Tag Archives: Marco Rubio

Super Tuesday brings more Trump victories, and it’s almost over for Bernie. And The latest “Mean Tweets” is great.

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Well that kind of sucked.

Super Tuesday came and went in the Presidential race, and some of the things I was hoping for (somebody slowing down the Trump-mentum, Bernie Sanders outperforming expectations) didn’t quite happen.

Instead, the man the great Charlie Pierce calls “the vulgar, talking yam” dominated yet again. As I write this late Tuesday night the orange-faced idiot has won six states, and could win a couple more.

He is amazingly, truly an unstoppable force right now. Marco Rubio ain’t stopping him (Headline of the night: “Rub-i-No”), Ted Cruz ain’t stopping him, and all this bluster and bravado about millions of dollars suddenly coming in from the GOP Establishment, and the horror they’re all suddenly feeling and their insistence that they’ll be the ones to destroy Trump… yeah, I’m not seeing it.

It’s March 2 and a racist, sexist, xenophobic ego-whore is going to be a major party candidate for President. God save us all.

Even though Tuesday night didn’t go as well as I’d hoped, I sure had lots of fun watching, Tweeting, and reading all the coverage. Lots of thoughts on the results…

— First and most importantly in my mind, on the Democratic side, Hillary continued to do what she needed to do. She dominated the South, she dominated among African-American voters, and except for Massachusetts, none of the states she won were particularly close.

My  man Bernie won Vermont, Oklahoma, Minnesota, and Colorado, but lost Mass., which I think he really needed to win. It’s not over Bernie, the fat lady isn’t singing yet, but she’s sure warming up her vocal chords.

— Hillary continues to astound me with her firebrand liberal speeches on primary  nights. I don’t care if she comes out holding copies of “The Nation” and reading from Paul Wellstone’s autobiography, she is NOT a liberal (And yes, I understand maybe only three of my readers got those references). I gotta take my hat off to her, she is trying so damn hard to be a liberal. Maybe somehow all of this leftward movement will lead to a more liberal Presidency from her. I sure hope so.

— I really don’t know why Bernie isn’t making inroads with minorities. He’s so, so much more progressive on issues like police brutality, incarceration, and unemployment than she is. He’s done a hell of a job getting this far and scaring Hillary so much, but I think Bernie’s got about 2-3 more good weeks left.

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— So… Trump. Let’s forget for a minute the improbability of a slick, fast-talking con man from New York winning primaries in the Deep South. And forget that it looked like Chris Christie was making a hostage tape while introducing Trump, then staring up at him from behind for 20 minutes (“Seriously Governor, blink three times if you’re being held against your will” was a popular Twitter comment made by many).

I have to admit it was brilliant stagecraft for Trump to hold a press conference and not a pep rally. He actually seemed calmer and almost rational for a few minutes, but then he reverted back to his old self (he basically threatened the Speaker of the House, Paul Ryan, that he better get along with President Trump or “he’s going to pay a big price.”)

He was trying to seem Presidential, and it almost worked. I got a little scared.

— I’m finally giving up on Rubio. I’ve been saying for months he’d be the nominee, but the dude just cannot win anywhere. His speech Tuesday night, saying we’re getting closer and Trump’s numbers are falling, was pathetic. He did finally win something late, Minnesota. Way to go, Marco!

— The GOP elite have a real problem: The one guy who’s beaten Trump, Ted Cruz, is the most hated man in Washington, by Republicans. Can they really swallow their hatred and support him to ward off a Trump landslide defeat in November?

— And finally, I watched MSNBC most of the night and can someone tell me how Brian Williams so easily got his reputation back? I mean, hasn’t he lost all credibility as a newsman?

— Sorry, one more thing: Anyone know if Ben Carson is still alive?

**Finally today, I haven’t featured one of these in a while but they always make me laugh. In honor of Sunday’s Academy Awards, Jimmy Kimmel offered up his latest edition of “Mean Tweets,” where celebrities read out loud the horrible things said to them on Twitter lately.

This is the all Hollywood edition; I think Susan Sarandon’s response was the best, at around 1:05…

 

The GOP debate produces the usual high comedy and insanity. And why the Monmouth basketball team bench is the best show going

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I resolved to myself that I’d write about the GOP Presidential debate for this post today, but halfway through watching this exercise of extreme diarrhea of the mouth, I stopped and had a thought: Maybe I shouldn’t blog about it. Why?

Because honestly? This is like shooting fish in a barrel. If the fish are already dead. And the barrel is inches from you. It’s way, way, way too easy.

There was just SO much insanity, idiocy, lies and outright wrong-ness on that stage Tuesday night, it was breathtaking. I had no breath at some points. It was, for lack of a more PC term, the biggest and loudest dick-swinging contest I’ve ever seen in my life. Every single candidate (except Carly Fiorina, who was oddly restrained) tried to be the biggest, most macho, baddest dude around, who was going to kick ass and blow the crap out of ISIS and do it yesterday.

So, so much to comment on and mock. But I’ll try to keep this to a reasonable length.

— First, these guys are all supposed to be so tough and so baaad, yet there was a guy on the state tonight who was walloping them all by at least 15-20 points in the polls, voting for real starts in about six weeks, and yet only two of them went after Trump at all, and only one with any real passion. These guys are so strong and so fearless, yet they’re afraid of a real estate developer with an acid tongue?

— Gotta say, though, the one candidate who really tore into The Donald was Jeb Bush, and he did go after him. That was as strong as Bush has been this whole campaign. Trump is the most thin-skinned politician in history, so when he’s called out on things he’s said in the past, he either calls it a lie, or goes to a personal attack. He’s a schoolyard bully of the worst kind, but it was nice to see Bush stand up to him.

— Ted Cruz is getting closer to this nomination than I ever thought possible. Listening to him talk, he’s Dick Cheney on steroids. I cannot even fathom him talking/negotiating with a world leader.

–Ben Carson couldn’t be sinking faster than if he was a rock in the ocean. His answer about killing children in war and comparing it to kids about to undergo brain surgery was … beyond bizarre.

— Enjoyed the Marco Rubio-Ted Cruz fighting about immigration. Seems everyone on stage took a lot of time to go after Rubio, which surprised me. He’s so far back in the polls, even though people like me think he’ll eventually be the nominee. Why did the other candidates spend so much time attacking him, are they suddenly afraid he’ll start gaining popularity?

— Now Trump, in addition to barring all Muslims from entering the U.S., wants to kill the families of suspected terrorists. And shut down part of the Internet. Swell.

— Nice to see Chris Christie taking the Rudy Giuliani 2008 playbook by invoking a noun, verb and 9/11 in every sentence. How’d that work for Rudy?

— “We’re going to start killing the bad guys.” Ted Cruz. So THAT’s what we should be doing! Thanks Ted!

— I know this was a foreign policy debate, but there are other problems in the world besides ISIS. Would’ve liked to have heard more (or anything!) about China, Russia, or lots of other places.

— Finally, remember when a lot of us thought Rand Paul was going to be a serious candidate for the nomination? Now he and Kasich sound like the only mentally stable folks at sanitarium, shouting into the wind. And the wind is coming from Trump’s mouth.

**Finally today, this is sort of about sports but more about creative celebrations and how much fun they are to watch. One of the coolest under-the-radar stories in college basketball so far this season has been the Monmouth Hawks, and their crazy-cool bench antics.

The scrubs sitting on folding chairs while the action is going on have choreographed some elaborate, hilarious routines to perform when things are going well, and this season, they’ve been going really, really well. Monmouth beat Georgetown Tuesday night, and have a real chance at making the NCAA Tournament, which would make their bench 100x more famous.

Check out the above video for some of the bench highlights; my favorite is the football-themed hike at :26.

And here’s more, from a recent game vs. Wagner. I just love stuff like this, bored college kids having fun and enjoying themselves…

“Steve Jobs” a rip-roaring, crackling good time at the movies. Another disgraceful police brutality incident at a school in S.C. And GOP Debate III, the insanity continues!

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(That World Series game last night, oh my God how fantastic was that! Too exhausted to write about it after it ended, but wow was that great.)

Sometimes, it’s like movies are made exactly for me.

Aaron Sorkin, my favorite Hollywood writer, pens a flick about Steve Jobs, one of the craziest and most brilliant thinkers of the 20th century? And it stars Kate Winslet, Michael Fassbender, Seth Rogen and Jeff Daniels?

Yeah, there was a 99 percent chance I was going to love this picture. The wife and I saw “Steve Jobs” Saturday night, and it was spectacular.

Honestly, I had so much fun at this film, and not just because it was a rare date night without the little guy for us.
Sorkin’s script was so sharp and funny and witty, it was like he’d totally forgotten how badly he’d screwed up “The Newsroom” and was channeling the best of his “The West Wing” writing.
The acting, led by Fassbender’s brilliant, frenetic turn as Jobs, was uniformly terrific, with Rogen surprising the hell out of me with the depth of his performance as Steve Wozniak, Jobs’ co-creator of Apple who got shunned to the side as Jobs’ star rose.

The movie shows Jobs as a complicated, often cruel, often whimsical guy, who had a knack for knowing what the customer wanted most times, but stubbornly refusing to yield to basic common consumer sense at others.

I came away from the movie not feeling sympathy for Jobs, but rather, being amazed he was able to accomplish what he did, with so many crippling flaws.

It’s a truly fantastic movie, with great insights into a man few understood. Go see it.

**Next up, you may have seen this video Tuesday, yet another despicable act by a law enforcement officer. This one thankfully didn’t result in a murder, but is distasteful for other reasons. Monday at Spring Valley High School in Columbia, S.C., a female student was assaulted and manhandled by Richland County sheriff’s deputy Ben Fields, one of the two officers who works at the school.

The girl was allegedly not obeying the teacher’s orders, and was asked to leave. Fields then ordered the girl to get up, before he yanked her wrist, wraped his arm around her neck, and FLIPS her (and her desk) onto the ground. Fields then drags her out of the overturned desk, throws her across the room, and jumps on top of her while instructing her to put her hands behind her back. At no point does the girl appear to put up a physical fight.

To say this was an incredible overreaction and a wanton abuse of power is an understatement. Incredibly, I saw some people on Facebook defending Mr. Fields Tuesday.

As my friend and e-migo, Dr. Rebecca M. said to me as we discussed this: “People are arguing that security needed to be called for a student not participating, so that learning could happen. If you think learning is going to happen after students witnessed THAT, congrats you have passed the sociopath test.”

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**Finally today, great night for obssessive channel-switchers like me: We’ve got World Series Game 2 (last night was a hell of a game in what ought to be a fabulous Series, I’m picking Royals in 7) and we’ve got Episode 3 of the long-running series “Which 2016 Republican presidential candidate can say the most crazy shit and still get the nomination?”

Yes friends, we’ve got the third GOP debate tonight on CNBC at 8 p.m, starring new front-runner Dr. Ben Carson, who likes to use Nazi Germany references when talking about U.S. legislation; The Man Called Trump, as the great Charlie Pierce calls him, Marco Rubio, who is the only candidate who actually scares me in a general, but can’t seem to get any traction; and W.’s brother, who is running the worst campaign this side of Lincoln Chafee.

One of these days I’ve got to live-blog or live-Tweet these GOP debates, because they’re so batshit crazy, filled with so many far-right ideas and racist, homophobic and xenophobic comments that my head spins.

Couple things to look for tonight: This is the first debate since Carson has surged into the lead, so look for Trump and others to attack him; also, look for Rubio and Bush to really take on Trump some more, now that there’s finally been some denting in his armor.

I also wouldn’t be surprised to see Kasich continue his theme of “sanity,” in a desperate appeal to seem different from the rest. This debate is supposed to focus on the economy, I’ve read, so with the U.S. economy humming along and the Affordable Care Act a big success in every way, can’t wait to see how they blame Obama.

Get your popcorn, this one ought to be a whole lotta fun.

The Yankees collapse is complete, for now. A rip-roaring start to the DNC. And a Paralympic table tennis shot you won’t believe

I’m not really a good Yankees fan anymore. Haven’t been one for years; as I’ve said many times, I just don’t follow baseball on a day-to-day basis.

But man, watching the Bombers collapse over the last month has been pretty shocking. And seeing the Baltimore Orioles, who were last relevant when Jeffrey Maier was sitting in the Yankee Stadium bleachers, rise up to become a real rival has been pretty amazing as well.

If you haven’t been paying attention, the Yankees had a double-digit lead in the American League East 47 days ago. Tuesday night, it was down to zero. As in, the Yankees and Orioles were tied for first.

The Yanks aren’t hitting, the pitching hasn’t been near good enough, and injuries are a problem, too. Meanwhile, Baltimore is playing like a hungry team under a really good manager (Buck Showalter) and I can only imagine how nuts Camden Yards will be this weekend, when the Yankees and O’s hook up for a four-game series.

As a Yankee fan, I’m definitely worried that Bobby Valentine’s seemingly crazy July prediction (“the Yankees can be caught,” Bobby V said then) has come true.
Still, kind of neat for baseball to see the O’s back in business again.

**Well that sure was a hell of a start to the Democratic National Convention Tuesday night. Great speeches all around, I thought, especially by Deval Patrick (above), who clearly has some fire in his belly. Some quick-hit musings:

— Great keynote speech by Julian Castro (really interesting piece by Charlie Pierce on Castro vs. Rubio here). Guy has a bright future, brighter than just being the mayor of San Antonio. But I’m only half-joking when I wonder if voters in Florida would ever vote for a guy named Castro.

— Happy to see all the speakers hammer home the point that the auto industry in this country is no longer on life support. But sadly, my fiancee and I both wondered whether there are even that many people employed in the auto industry to impact a national election anymore.

— Michelle Obama — wow. What a composed, beautiful speech she gave, from the heart and filled with wonderful personal details about her life with Barack (my favorite line was when she discussed the family sitting around the dinner table, “strategizing about middle school friendships.”)

— Going to be a very interesting 2016 Democratic primary. I’ve loved Martin O’Malley for a long time now (he was the model for Carcetti’s character on “The Wire”) and I think he’ll be in it in ’16. Andrew Cuomo will be running. Biden will probably run again. Too soon for Castro, maybe Hillary gets back in? Will be very interesting.
— Can’t wait to hear what Bubba Clinton says tonite. And Tebow knows Joe Biden could say just about anything.

**Finally, the Paralympics don’t get much attention every four years, but there are plenty of amazing athletes competing in London right now. Here’s one great moment that I saw on Twitter this week, from British table tennis player David Wetherill.

How did he do that?

In praise of Charlie Crist. And a mascot dancing accident

So every now and again I’m going to turn this little space over to a different voice, just for variety’s sake. Also, I sometimes feel lazy. Today, our guest blogger is the person whose face I always take glasses off of at night, after she has fallen asleep with them on (never figured out how a person can do that).

It’s about an issue near and dear to my wife’s heart: The veto of Senate Bill 6 here in Florida. This was a huge news story down here for weeks.

Take it way, Julie Lewis …

This past week, the governor of Florida, Charlie Crist, vetoed a very damaging and potentially devastating education bill known as “Senate Bill 6.”

This bill proposed many, many changes to the current education system in Florida. Among these changes were the end of tenure for experienced teachers, the institution of merit pay based on test scores, evaluations for teachers that would be based 50% on a single test score, and the removal of a teacher’s certification if students in her class did not make yet-to-be defined learning gains 4 out of 5 years.

If a teacher did show learning gains, that teacher would be removed from her current school and placed into a school that did not show learning gains. And then have her certification removed if she did not show the same results as in her prior school. This bill did not take into account, at any point, communities, administration, the home life of a child, the class make-up, students who had any type of learning or medical disability or the economic status of the students.

This bill would have also eliminated paying teachers based on years of experience or advanced degrees. The legislature was determined to push this bill though without any input from teachers, parents, school boards or anyone else involved with education. For two weeks, regardless of party affiliation, over 20,000 people emailed the governor to ask him to veto this bill. He received over 18,000 phone calls and several thousand hand-written letters. I called, wrote, attended rallies and worked with a ball of lead sitting in my stomach as I contemplated how fast I would be able to move out of state and how long it would be before I was faced with the same asinine legislation in another state.

The state of Florida was deeply divided over this and had teachers already looking for work in other states. Now anyone who reads this blog knows that I am NOT a republican. (note from her husband: Yeah, she’s definitely not a Republican. If she were, we probably never would’ve ended up together).

I never voted for Charlie Crist and I never will, even as he runs for Senate against Marco Rubio (endorsed by the Tea Party people). But I have to say that this week, he earned a little of my respect.

He broke from the GOP and vetoed this bill because, among other reasons, he stated that this bill had been pushed through so quickly that there had been no time to listen to the people who were being affected. He recognized that there are factors other than the teacher which influence test scores and that test scores were not the be-all end-all to judging teachers. He stood in the face of what had become a witch-hunt and slapped back at it.

So Charlie, although I have never agreed with your politics, and I won’t ever vote for you, you listened to your constituents, you tried to hear what they had to say, and you rejected something which would have indelibly hurt that state of Florida and its students. Thanks. Now I can get back to teaching.

My take: It was a politically desperate move by Crist, since he’s going to run as an independent in the Senate race. But it was still the right thing to do.

And, since you need a laugh on a Sunday, check out this poor mascot’s accident at a Reno Aces game Wednesday night: (Don’t worry, Wolfie turned out to be OK).