by Burt Prelutsky
If you want to Comment directly to Burt Prelutsky, please mention my name Rudy.

         I would probably be more excited about the uprising in Iran if, one, I thought there was any chance that the mullahs and the Ayatollah Khamenei would be ousted; or, two, if the impossible actually took place, it would turn out any better than any of those other uprisings in the Middle East.

         We in America tend to be starry-eyed about revolutions because ours turned out so well. But those who took up arms against King George were a group of extraordinary men who, in retrospect, appear to have been divinely inspired.  What’s more, they weren’t Arabs and Muslims, they were mainly religiously-observant Christians.

         Revolutions and civil wars won by atheists or Muslims, such as occurred in France, Russia, China, Cuba, Iran, Libya, Egypt and Syria, tend to result in tyrannies as bad or worse than those they replaced.

         At the time of the highly-touted Arab Spring, I predicted that it would quickly evolve into an Arab Winter. I didn’t regard it as one of my bolder predictions; it seemed obvious to me that people who haven’t shown any particular interest, through the millennium, in freedom for themselves or for others weren’t going to come up with the likes of Washington, Adams, Madison or Jefferson.

         * Some elitists are soiling their diapers because President Trump refuses to mollycoddle North Korea, Pakistan or the U.N. What a welcome change from Barack liar-nObama, a weak sister who, I’m guessing, spent his early years coughing up his milk money to schoolyard bullies and being given swirlies in the boys’ bathroom!

         While the rest of us regard Trump as a breath of fresh air, the likes of clown-Schumer, Pulosi, scum-Durbin and scum-Blumenthal, are smelling swamp gas. They are so afraid of an American leader who places the concerns of Americans ahead of what the chiselers at the U.N. or the bumbling bureaucrats in the EU insist should be our agenda, they can barely give voice to their outrage. Instead, they wind up sounding like a barnyard of squawking chickens.

         Personally, I hope Trump doesn’t just stop sending Pakistan $250 million a year; I would like to see him cut the Pakis loose altogether. Those double-dealers have been far more welcoming to terrorists fighting us in Afghanistan than they’ve been to us, often shutting down our supply routes, while simultaneously offering rest and refuge to the Taliban.

          For the life of me, it has never made any sense why we have chosen to cozy up to the folks who provided Osama bin Laden with a hiding place for years. Why on earth would we choose to marry the Islamic Pakistan, when Hindu India is right next door, just waiting for us to sweep her off her feet?

          India, by the way, has seven times as many people as Pakistan, and, what’s more, is a democracy.

          * I was sorry to hear that Orrin Hatch will be retiring from the Senate this year. At his age, he certainly deserves a few years out of the rat race, but it means he will be replaced by Mitt Romney. Admittedly, when the choice was Romney or liar-nObama in 2012, I was one of Romney’s most ardent supporters. But, over the past two years, he has consistently added his voice to the chorus of Never-Trumpers or at least Hardly-Ever-Trumpers, that includes Karl Rove, Rich Lowry and Jonah Goldberg.

          These are the prep boys of the GOP who prize style over content. They don’t even necessarily think Trump’s agenda is wrong, they simply think Trump is boorish. They wouldn’t invite this brash kid to their parties and they certainly wouldn’t let him sit at their lunch table, although I’m sure they wouldn’t mind it if the rich boy picked up the check.

          * The once proud city of Chicago has seen Baltimore pass it in per-capita murders this past year. The Windy City, which could point with pride to 771 homicides in 2016, saw the number tumble to 650 in 2017. One can only hope that the three murders that took place in the first 24 hours of the new year is a sign of things to come. I realize that no city, not even Chicago, could be expected to keep up a pace that would see 1,095 of its citizens bite the dust in 2018, but is 800, all of them registered Democrats, too much to ask?

          Speaking of which, Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Chicago’s City Council have determined that August 4th will hereafter be celebrated as Barack liar-nObama Day. I guess they’ve forgiven him for not moving back to his old stomping grounds, as he had promised to do. But, then, what’s one more lie in a life and political career that was built on them?

          * Some unidentified prankster has been busy, adding a second sign reading “Felons, Illegals & MS-13 Welcome!” to the official highway signs welcoming tourists and transplants to California.

          * The author Isaac Asimov once wrote: “There is a cult of ignorance in the United States, and there always has been. The strain of anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that ‘my ignorance is just as good as your knowledge.’”

          Perhaps because Asimov died 26 years ago, he didn’t survive long enough to discover that it is among those who regard themselves as intellectuals and culture mavens – college professors, authors, New York critics, journalists and even those alleged “scientists” who have taken up such causes as man-made global warming – who have been the major purveyors of ignorance, partisan propaganda and blatant lies.

          * We’ll close with a joke, set appropriately on a college campus.  In a crowded library, to be specific.

A young male student looking for a place to settle asked a coed if he might share her table. The girl, in a very loud voice, replied: “No, I don’t wish to have sex with you!”

Everyone in the library immediately turned and stared at the young man, who blushed and hurried away to find a spot at the far end of the room.

After a few minutes, the girl quietly approached him and said with a laugh: “I study psychology, and I know what a man is thinking. I guess you were pretty embarrassed; right?”

The man responded in a loud voice: “A thousand dollars for a single night?!  Are you insane?!”

Everyone in the library turned and stared in shock at the coed.

The young man whispered: “I study law, and I know how to screw people.”

In a certain kind of movie these days, that would serve as a meet-cute, and the two bratty liberals would go on to fall in love and get married.

If you want to Comment directly to Burt Prelutsky, please mention my name Rudy.

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Political Cartoons by AF Branco

Political Cartoons by Tom Stiglich


 Will  Tea Party Hand The Liberals Their Ass On Election Day? 

It was this week two years ago that Hillary Clinton’s victory looked assured, when the infamous “Access Hollywood” tape of Donald Trump bragging about sexual assault appeared all but certain to end his campaign.

Jesse Ferguson remembers it well. The deputy press secretary for Clinton’s campaign also remembers what happened a month later.

It’s why this veteran Democratic operative can’t shake the feeling that, as promising as the next election looks for his party, it might still all turn out wrong.

“Election Day will either prove to me I have PTSD or show I’ve been living déjà vu,” Ferguson said. “I just don’t know which yet.”

Ferguson is one of many Democrats who felt the string of unexpected defeat in 2016 and are now closely — and nervously — watching the current election near its end, wondering if history will repeat itself. This year, instead of trying to win the presidency, Democrats have placed an onus on trying to gain 23 House seats and win a majority.

The anxiety isn’t universal, with many party leaders professing confidently and repeatedly that this year really is different.

But even some of them acknowledge the similarities between the current and previous election: Trump is unpopular and beset by scandal, Democrats hold leads in the polls, and some Republicans are openly pessimistic.

FiveThirtyEight gives Democrats a 76.9 percent chance of winning the House one month before Election Day. Their odds for Clinton’s victory two years ago? 71.4 percent.

The abundance of optimism brings back queasy memories for Jesse Lehrich, who worked on the Clinton campaign and remembers watching the returns come in from the Javits Center in New York.

“I was getting texts after the result was clear – including even from some political reporters and operatives – texting me, you know, ‘Are you guys starting to get nervous?’ or ‘What’s her most likely path?’” he said. “I was like, ‘What do you mean, starting to get nervous? What path? They just called Wisconsin. We lost.’”

“People were so slow to process that reality because they just hadn’t considered the possibility that Donald Trump was going to be the next president,” he continued.

Lehrich said he sees similarities between 2016 and 2018. But he said he thought Democrats were cognizant of the parallels and determined not to let up a month before the election, as many voters might have two years ago.

Other Democratic leaders aren’t so sure. Asked if he thought his party was overconfident, Democratic Rep. Seth Moulton responded flatly, “Yes.”

Democrats could win a lot of House seats, he said, or could still fall short of capturing a majority.

“The point is that we’ve got to realize that this not just some unstoppable blue wave but rather a lot of tough races that will be hard-fought victories,” Moulton said.

If Democrats are universally nervous about anything after 2016, it’s polling. The polls weren’t actually as favorable to Clinton and the Democrats as some remember, something 538’s Nate Silver and some other journalists pointed out at the time.

But Clinton’s decision not to campaign in a state she’d lose, Wisconsin, and the failure of pollsters everywhere to miss a wave of Trump supporters in red areas are mistakes Democrats are still grappling with today.

“Clearly last cycle, polling was off,” Ben Ray Lujan, chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, told reporters last month. “There were a lot of predictions that were made last cycle that didn’t come to fruition.”

Lujan emphasized in particular how pollsters missed the rural vote, calling it a “devastating mistake.” He said the DCCC has taken deliberate steps since 2016 to get it right this time around, but underscored a congressional majority still required a tooth-and-nail fight.

“So I’m confident with the team that’s been assembled, but I’m definitely cognizant of the fact we need to understand these models and understand the data for what it is,” he said.

One Democratic pollster said the data he’s seen makes plain that the party is favored to win a majority — but that it’s still not a sure thing. He said even now it’s unclear if the political environment will create an electoral tsunami, or merely a good year where Democrats might still fall short of a House majority.

“We’ve all learned a lesson from 2016 that there are multiple possibilities and outcomes,” said the pollster, granted anonymity to discuss polling data one month before the election. “And if you haven’t learned that lesson, shame on you. That 20 percent outcome can happen. That 30 percent outcome can happen.”

This year, Democrats have history on their side: The incumbent president’s party historically struggles during midterm elections. That wasn’t the case in 2016, when Democrats were trying to win the presidency for three consecutive terms for the first time in their history since Franklin Delano Roosevelt (The GOP accomplished the feat only once in the same period, with Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush.)

Some Democratic leaders say the reality of Trump’s presidency — unlike its hypothetical state in 2016 — changes the dynamic entirely.

“Democratic energy is at nuclear levels,” said Steve Israel, a former DCCC chairman. “Democrats would crawl over broken glass to vote in this election.”

Israel said he still has concerns about November (political operatives always have concerns about the upcoming election). But he waves away the notion that the party might fall short of a House majority.

“Most Democrats and a heck of a lot of Republicans I speak to believe that Democrats will have the majority,” he said. “The real question is, by how much?”

Ferguson is, of course, of two minds: He thinks the push to repeal the Affordable Care Act and the day-to-day reality of Trump’s presidency fundamentally changes how voters will see this election.

But he’s also gun-shy about what could change in the next month, after the multitude of surprises that occurred during the last month of the 2016 race, whether the “Access Hollywood” recording or then-FBI Director James Comey’s announcement that the investigation into Clinton’s emails was re-opened.

Many Republicans argue the 2018 election has already seen its October surprise, with the confirmation fight over Brett Kavanaugh finally motivating conservative voters to vote.

“I don’t know what the October surprises will be,” Ferguson said. “But we make a mistake if we assume that what we’re seeing today is what we’ll see for the entire month. We lived through it two years ago.”

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