Sunday, April 24, 2016

Last Call For Open Threat Season

The closer we get to a Clinton v. Trump blowout that costs the Republicans the Senate and maybe even the House, the more open the threats get from the GOP towards Hillary Clinton.

U.S. Sen. Chuck Grassley suggested on Friday that the FBI might leak reports of its investigation into presidential candidate Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server as secretary of state.

Grassley, Iowa’s senior senator and chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, said an anonymous and unauthorized release of FBI investigative materials could result if officials at the agency believed prosecution of Clinton was stymied for political reasons.

“Is there going to be political interference? If there’s enough evidence to prosecute, will there be political interference?” Grassley wondered aloud during a breakfast meeting with the Des Moines A.M. Rotary club on Friday. “And if there’s political interference, then I assume that somebody in the FBI is going to leak these reports and it’s either going to have an effect politically or it’s going to lead to prosecution if there’s enough evidence.

The senior senator’s musing came in response to a long answer to a very general question from one of the Rotarians about the status on inquiries into the email server and Clinton’s handling of the 2012 terrorist attack on a diplomatic post in Benghazi, Libya.

Both issues for years have plagued Clinton, the leading Democratic presidential candidate.

When asked by Radio Iowa reporter O. Kay Henderson after the breakfast if he was suggesting the FBI should leak investigative findings, Grassley expounded on his comment.

I wouldn’t be encouraging it because if it’s a violation of law, I can’t be encouraging a violation of law,” he said. “This is kind of my own opinion, this is something I’ve heard.”

Will no one rid Chuck of this troublesome Clinton?

Sure would be a shame if someone involved in the Clinton email nonsense went to the Republicans and laid everything out in order to try to affect the 2016 election.  Sure would be illegal if that happened but what can you do oh well wink wink.

If there was any actual evidence, don't you think we would have heard it by now, after nearly four years of this?  If the smoking gun existed, why not get rid of Hilary now and throw the Democrats into chaos?

Or are we waiting for an October surprise?

That's Some Class Sick Bernie

We've reached the "recriminations and blame" part of the Sanders campaign now that Bernie has finally figured out he's not going to win the nomination.

Confronted with poor performance in states with higher populations of low-income people, Bernie Sanders said his losses are due to those people not voting. 
"Well, because poor people don't vote. I mean, that's just a fact. That's a sad reality of American society," Sanders said in an interview with MSNBC's "Meet the Press" set to air in full on Sunday.

Stupid Poors! Why for you not vote Bernie more?

Host Chuck Todd had asked about rival Hillary Clinton's victory in 16 of 17 primary contests in states with the highest levels of income inequality.

“If we can significantly increase voter turnout so that low-income people and working people and young people participated in the political process, if we got a voter turnout of 75 percent, this country would be radically transformed,” Sanders said.

Sanders has often pinned his success rate to voter turnout. But he has lost among Democratic voters with household incomes below $50,000, 55 percent to 44 percent, across primaries where network exit polls have been conducted, according to the Washington Post.

Oh, so people making under 50k are voting for Hillary.  I guess they're not "real progressives" either, joining the ranks of the impure and unclean such as red state Democrats (who don't count), Southern Democrats (who reall really don't count), Democrats over 40 (who don't count), Dems making over $50,000 (who don't count and are probably all paid shills) and black Democrats (who never counted but if they would only do exactly what we tell them to do maybe they would).

Clinton still has massive problems, and I'm still wondering whether or not I even want to vote in next month's KY primary (as I fit into a number of groups above that mean I don't count), but Bernie needs to move into "graciously taking the loss mode" here and this is not how to do it. Even if he does have a point about 75% turnout, acting like people who don't vote for you are some sort of plague isn't the way to get people to turn out.

Sunday Long Read: Tiger By The Tale

This week's Sunday Long Read is Wright Thompson's fascinating ESPN piece on golf prodigy and legend Tiger Woods, and his fall from the heavens over the last ten years into despair and numerous affairs, and how the death of his father Earl, a former Green Beret, in 2006 all but broke one of the greatest to ever play the game.

THE DECADE SEPARATING the cemetery in Kansas and the marina in the Bahamas has seen Tiger lose many of the things most important to him, and the more time passes, the more it's clear he left some essential part of himself there in the ground between Miles and Maude Woods. How did all he'd built come undone so quickly and so completely? That's the question that will shadow him for the rest of his life. The answer is complicated and layered. He fell victim to many things, some well-known and others deeply private: grief, loneliness, desire, freedom and his fixation with his father's profession, the military. These forces started working in Tiger's life almost as soon as his G-IV landed back in Orange County after he buried his father's ashes. The forces kept working until finally his wife found text messages from Rachel Uchitel on his phone and he ran his Cadillac Escalade into a fire hydrant (that car, incidentally, is owned by a man in rural Arkansas, who bought it used from a local dealer, neither of whom knew its own secret history).

After Thanksgiving in 2009, his life split open in the most public and embarrassing way -- can you imagine having to talk about your sex life in a news conference with your mom in the front row? -- but that car crash wasn't the beginning of his unraveling. In an odd way, it was the end. Everything he's endured these past seven years, including admitting that his golf career might be finished, is a consequence of decisions he made in the three years after he lost Earl. He'd been hurtling toward that fire hydrant for a long time. On some level, he even understood what was happening to him, or at least was invested in understanding. There was a book in his car the night of the wreck, and it ended up on the floorboard, covered in shards of glass. Its title was Get a Grip on Physics.

The topic fascinated Woods. He'd long struggled to sleep, and when he wasn't texting or playing video games, he'd read, often military books about lone men facing impossible odds, such as Roberts Ridge or Lone Survivor, or books about theoretical physics and cosmology. The intro to Get a Grip laid out the basic rules of early science, from Newton and Galileo, focused on the concepts of friction and gravity. These had long interested him. Five-year-old Tiger once made a drawing that showed stickmen swinging different clubs, with the clubface sketched, as well as the flight path of the ball, including distance and apex.

That drawing is a window into something Woods himself perhaps still can't articulate; even at that age, he was curious enough to be thinking about physics. From the beginning, his golf talent has seemed to be an expression of his genius, not the genius itself. He is a remarkable person, and not because he once won 14 important golf tournaments, but because he thinks about how he came to occupy his particular space in the world. "He certainly had his mind open to big questions, such as who he was, or who anyone was," says a close friend who requested anonymity, "and had his mind open to the idea that sometimes the question is the answer." Six pages into Get a Grip, author John Gribbin sums up a truth governing both the world and the relationship between Earl and Tiger Woods: "There was a fundamental law of nature which said that, left to their own devices, things move in circles."

I am always reminded that Tiger is just a few months younger than myself and has been through more than I'll ever imagine.  My life is pretty sane compared to his at pretty much any point along the line, and I wonder just how high a cost the man has paid over the years to accomplish what he has.

He's lost a lot along that road, more than I would be willing to pay, which is probably why he's got 14 major golf championships and I have a 2nd place junior league bowling trophy from 30 years ago.

2016 Is Probably All Her Fault Anyway

As awful as the 2016 campaign season has been, it's good to know that eventually every pundit will come around to clickbaiting an article that's framed as blaming Hillary Clinton for everything that's wrong in our current political system.

At this point, even amid one of the most captivating political upheavals in recent memory, the election process of 2016 is starting to feel like an extended car ride with a group of people after the conversational possibilities have run out. We’re all buckled up, with a long way to go, but everyone’s most irritating habits are already out in force. We’re feeling candidate fatigue, a malady first observed in the 1980s, perhaps earlier, and it’s the inevitable consequence of an exceptionally drawn-out political process combined with ample media coverage.

Candidate fatigue strikes people at different times. People were already complaining of Al Gore fatigue in 1999, and the complaints were deafening by 2000. John Kerry fatigue—yes, there was that in 2004. But it plagues everyone eventually: Barack Obama, John McCain, Mitt Romney. Yes, yes, yes. And now it’s all-of-them fatigue. Hillary Clinton, Donald Trump, Bernie Sanders, Ted Cruz, and John Kasich rotate seats regularly, each of them taking turns at the wheel. Each takes a different approach to driving, all of them tiresome.
The author is tired of everyone. Now, here's the headline at Vanity Fair for this article: