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sofa king

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Member since: Wed Apr 14, 2004, 04:27 PM
Number of posts: 10,857

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This is going to be excruciating.

I'm saying this out loud, both for myself and a lot of you. American Presidential elections are bullshit. Total bullshit.

There is a particular cycle that runaway elections go through; I can give you three recent examples: Dole v Clinton ('96), McCain v Obama ('08), Romney v Obama ('12).

All three of these elections were blowouts, pretty much from beginning to end, although you can fairly say that McCain v Obama wasn't a blowout until they picked Palin as the running mate. In each case the Republican candidate was weak and fatally flawed, yet the Republican enjoyed the majority of the coverage--usually because they were saying stupid things.

All three of these elections went through a totally fucking infuriating cycle in which the press "pushed" the eventual loser closer, and closer, and closer to the leader and pretended it was a much closer race than it really was. All three had a fake-ass "surge" in August which was really just pollsters and news organizations trying to make the race interesting in the political black hole that is August.

Two out of the three races then "walked back" the polls in October, as pollsters began trying to establish a good call so that they could get hired in the next cycle. (It's pretty damned scary that some polls did not walk back Obama-Romney, and tried VERY hard to keep it within the margin of error. If they could have, the GOP would have tried to steal it like they did in '04.)

In the end, all three were solid victories. And, also infuriatingly, in the aftermath of all three were a series of sheepish articles in which political and journalist insiders confessed that they knew it was a blowout months in advance.

And this is where we are. We know this is a blowout, months in advance. If we all do our duty, check our registrations right now, and make sure not to let shitty employers and governments prevent us, we'll crush this election.

Soon, my anxiety won't let me believe my own words. But here it is, the whole story, long in advance: The Press and the Republican Party will make a good show of it because a close race sells subscriptions and protects the gerrymandered House. But even with a third party candidate in it--and I expect one any day now--they're still going to get their asses kicked.


I'm proud to rack this one up in the "I told you so" column. Back in March your Nostra-Dem-US proclaimed:

It permits the President to play an extremely not-lame duck role in this election. The President can pick an extremely qualified candidate, let the Republicans refuse to hold hearings, mention the refusal at every press conference, and begin to make a couple dozen Senatorial elections turn on the idea that no matter who's running for President, it's also a mandate for President Obama's Supreme Court nominee.


President Obama's most amazing ability has always been to find a way to turn the vile behavior of Republicans against themselves. Here he is doing it again, working to flip the Senate while a lesser lame-duck President would be ignoring the elections and organizing his biographical notes. We are so much better off for him, and if we are lucky, we just might find him on the Supreme Court himself in a couple of years, thanks to this effort.

Just the tip of the iceberg.

Sibel Edmonds has been claiming for years that Turkey was blackmailing Hastert--now we know how. That also means the Bush Administration knew about Hastert's high crimes, because Edmonds was working for the US government when she translated the intercepted phone conversations, and it was they who silenced her.

And what about Congressional investigations into 9/11, blowing the cover of the US WMD spies, the false information used in the run-up to the Iraq war, the election thefts of 2000 and 2004, manipulating the appropriations process to punish enemies of the White House, and on and on and on and on. Everything Congress did in the Bush years, which benefited the Bush Administration, can now be considered to be illegally coerced, thanks to their knowledge--and presumed threats to expose--Hastert's crimes.

He wasn't just a child molestor. Dennis Hastert was a known child molestor whose liability was exploited to facilitate an unknown number of high crimes. He was a criminal bitch whose crimes were exploited for the benefit of even worse criminals--criminals who were in charge of our government.

He's been wonderful.

The nuts-and-bolts of President Obama's political acumen will be studied by scholars for the next 200 years.

Getting tax cuts for the rich to expire, then luring Republicans into holding the government hostage to bring the tax cuts back, then using that to force the GOP to agree to cut a trillion dollars out of the defense budget was the most brilliant political maneuvering I have ever seen.

His ability to focus the hatred of his enemies back upon themselves is legendary and will surely form part of the American mythos from now on.

And he did it all while being personally above reproach, picking competent and scandal-avoidant underlings, and rarely if ever losing his composure in public. He is the model President of the modern age, and we are unlikely to get so lucky twice in my lifetime.

I wish he weren't such a moderate, though. But I can accept his centrism in exchange for his unflappable competence. He was the President we needed at the exact time that we needed it.

(Sometimes, sofa king is a fool)

Forgive me for my silly and confusing error. You can still see it by clicking my edit history below.

Carly thinks he's the remuneraTED one.

Like I said before, none of this makes any sense unless they're planning to bounce out as a third party right away.

Within a month the filing deadlines begin to close, so they have to move soon--within days or weeks--to get signatures.

They aren't going to get a convention, so they make the running-mate announcement now while Cruz still still has a dedicated press corps.

The idea of Cruz and Fiorina together is terrible, no doubt, but they're not running to win.

They are running to make sure that nobody wins.

They run as ultra-conservatives, hoping to bag Texas and the deep south.

Trump, in the meantime, tacks hard-left, steals some of Bernie's campaign, and aims for the mid-atlantic and former industrial states.

If, between the two campaigns, and with the help of the entirety of the Republican election-theft mechanisms, they can bag 270 electoral votes, then nobody wins. It becomes a contested election. The presence of a strong third party screws up the statistical studies, obscuring the election theft.

The contested election goes to Congress. Republicans in Congress are told to protect themselves by not permitting the question to come to a vote.

Nobody is elected President, Republicans in Congress are held relatively blameless, and Speaker of the House Paul Ryan inherits the White House as per the line of succession delineated in the 25th Amendment.

Ted and Carly get to pocket millions and millions in campaign cash, and maybe President Ryan throws them a bone.

It's a good plan; I've been talking about it since last year. The only thing that can realistically stop it, should the smears against Mrs. Clinton finally begin to work and it gets close enough to steal, is to vote out every damned Republican in the House of Representatives so that it's the Democrats who choose whether or not to hold a vote, or give it to their Speaker. Don't see that happening if they're already rigging the Presidential election.

Of course, it won't work at all if Hillary can stay far outside of the margin of error, as Senator Obama did, and win an overwhelming victory.

Let's take this Saudi business step-by-step.

What was really going on is the Republicans and their allies the Saudis were trying to toss a wrench into the US economy in an election year.

But they didn't get away with it and the proof is in the headlines right now. The short version is this:

* The Saudis were (among other objectives) trying to pressure Russia out of Syria by overproducing oil, making Russian oil unprofitable.


* The Russians declared victory and made preparations to pull out.


* As soon as they did, the Saudis agreed to an emergency OPEC meeting, to discuss a production freeze, so they can go back to making money.


* In the meantime, Republican election success depends directly upon oil prices, so whatever they're saying publicly, privately they're rooting for the Saudis to freeze production.


* Republicans also depend upon economic instability to get close enough to steal it, and raising fuel prices is all they need.


* Recall that this is exactly the game they played in 2000 to let GW Bush get close enough to steal it.


* So the moment the Saudis opened the door to an emergency meeting, President Obama started to consider declassifying reports that would surely implicate the Saudis and the Republican Party in the 9/11 attacks. At the same time, a bill floated which would allow the families of 9.11 victims to sue the Saudis.


* The Saudis didn't like that at all, and quickly resorted to extortion.


Then the President dropped in on the Saudis, paying them a nice, cordial-like visit. There was a discussion, about what we do not know, and all of a sudden things changed. Now:

* The Obama Adminsitration wants to squelch the right of families to sue the Saudis.


* The Russians are moving around artillery in Syria, rather than pulling it out.


* And the Saudis won't freeze oil production.


Here's what I think we can conclude from all of this. The Republicans and their allies the Saudis were up to their usual election-year trick of destabilizing the US economy, in order to help the Republicans. President Obama in turn began a double counterpunch, legislatively and through executive action, threatening to reveal the Saudi (and therefore Republican) role in the 9/11 attacks.

The Saudis freaked the f&^% out about it, went straight to the armageddon threats, and quietly rolled over on halting oil production. This pissed the Russians off and now they're not leaving Syria, but hell with them right now, say both the Saudis and the Americans.

The deal, obviously, is that the Obama Administration will keep up the usual 9/11 charade for another six months, in return for which the Saudis will continue to overproduce oil for another six months.

In the United States, the economy will continue to improve, unemployment will continue to drop, and the Republicans are going to get totally stomped, losing the White House, the Supreme Court, and probably Congress as well.

All because the Republicans and the Saudis have colluded to cover up whatever criminal role they both had in the September 11 attacks. We know this for certain, logically, because the cover-up itself was felonious and the cover-up always conceals a larger crime.

In other words, for the first time, the United States has begun to use the 9/11 attacks against the beneficiaries of the attacks, and it scared the ever-lovin' crap out of Saudi Arabia, which tells us a lot about their role in it.

It might just destroy the Republican Party forever.

I love "glass house" stories like this.

So Utah politicians are declaring pornography a health crisis, eh? Let's take one guess about who that's gonna hurt.

Thanks to the law of conservatism which states that conservative leaders are very likely to be secretly doing the things which they are trying to ban, we will discover that they are filthy horndogs.

Someone is sure to break into their computers and leak their Internet browsing habits and the attachments they email to one another, and it will be sordid and amusing, and probably also timed to impact elections since they have provided the opportunity.

Some of them will probably have crossed the line into the criminal, as well, so Utah politicians really are providing a public service--by drawing attention to themselves and the fact that the public health crisis of pornography is greatly exacerbated by electing Republican politicians.

I don't trust 'em.

Let me be the first to note that I am a hypocrite. Not only was I (and just like I am an alcoholic, I still am a) nicotine addict, I was a professional addict, actually getting paid to review cigars for a while.

I got lucky and finally beat it by getting sick enough to go 72 hours without dipping or smoking. Then it was six long and painful months as I adjusted.

Here is what bothers me with e-cigs: they use propylene glycol as the vapor mechanism. If you knock a single carbon atom off of that propylene glycol, like say with the heating element in the e-cig, you get ethylene glycol, or antifreeze, inhaled directly into the lungs. Similar chemical changes can apply to the flavorants, to the plastic in the design of the device, to the degradation of the heating element, and so on.

Therefore I don't trust them to be safe. I do trust that the industry will deceitfully hide behind the fact that most e-cig users are former smokers, and blame the prior habit for whatever health consequences result from vaping--for decades to come, no doubt.

Several people have thanked me for pointing out one simple truth about nicotine addiction, which I will share with all of you in hopes that one of you will take it to heart. The pang of addiction that you feel when you quit is the exact same feeling you experience just before you pull out that cigarette or vaporizer.

The miracle is that quitting eventually reduces the intensity and frequency of those pangs. In other words, if you smoke or vape right now, you already experience the misery of quitting dozens of times a day, more often than you would if you can just quit and stick to it for about a month. After that length of time, the pangs lasted less time than it took to smoke, and occurred less often than when I smoked. It's a shitty measure of success, I know, but success it is.

Consider putting that theory to the test next time you are sick or broke, and maybe you'll get lucky and break away, like I did.

Oh, they will ignore him, all right.

This sounds like a small thing, but it is already being writ large in Cruz's book:

Ted Cruz has violated the rules of comity in the Senate.

I know what you're thinking: why in the hell would Republicans care about courtesy and consideration for others? They haven't publicly shown such behavior since Richard Nixon.

But privately, it counts for a lot, maybe even everything in the Senate. Jesse Helms was an asshole, and as a result never got a bill of his own passed in thirty years.

Whatever Ted Cruz has been doing behind the scenes at the Senate suggests that he has already been similarly ostracized.


Violating comity is what triggered the nuclear option in 2013, which has FUBARred Republican plans to control the judiciary. It forces a-hole Senators to build their own self-sustaining campaigns, term after term. Nobody stumps for them, nobody asks them to sign on to populist bills that make people happy, they don't get Christmas cards, and other Senators do not lend qualified staff members or donor networks to their national campaigns.

Basically, by being a knuckledragger, Ted Cruz has guaranteed that his campaign will be run by knuckledraggers. His donors are knuckledraggers, his supporters are knuckledraggers, and so on. He will never be able to properly react to the curveballs that Democratic Senators would throw at him in support of either one of the very accommodating Senators who are in the same race right now. They will make him look like an asshole in the Senate, they'll make him look like an asshole on the campaign trail, they'll make him look like an asshole everywhere he goes.

And the only people who vote for him will be the assholes who didn't fall for Donald Trump--basically nobody. If he wins the nomination (and Trump doesn't go third party) some Democratic elector is going to have to defect and vote for George Washington to protect that President's clean-sweep electoral victory.
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