Monday, May 23, 2016

SOME THOTS ABOUT NOVEMBER



1—if my Democratic friends think they will have a cakewalk this fall, and HRC or Bernie, will waltz into 1600 Pa. Avenue, think again. Trump has been a masterful campaigner, bringing out many, many people to his rallies (as The Bern has) and that bodes well for the fall.  And even with prominent defections from his cause, party histories are, they kiss and make up before the vote.

2—But this is a  unique presidential year. Never have the polls shown so many people rejecting the 2 major party candidates as unworthy or with such high negatives; never.

3---That said, forget most of such polling. It is MUCH too early for polls to mean anything. (Remember in Iowa 13 polls in advance of its famous  caucus were all wrong!) Wait till mid-October.

4—Speaking of October, this may well be the year of the “October Surprise.” What would ISIS (or other terrorist groups) give to influence our elections by causing some major, tragic event this fall close to voting time. How would that influence the outcome?

5---A “dead heat” poll is not 43-46% with the margin of error (MOE) at 3%. That’s a close race, but not the dead head major media reported over the weekend. 46-46 is a dead heat.

6---But, for the first time we are seeing polls (see item #3 above) showing Trump ahead of HRC (but not Sanders) and this should give Dems some concern. (see item #1 above)

7—In short, keep your powder dry, don’t make any election bets  just yet, and…Stay Tuned.

I'm just sayin'...

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

THOTS AFTER THE KENTUCKY PRIMARY

1---Something is wrong when, in an election for President, “in the world’s greatest democracy” the turnout is 21%. America MUST solve how to get more people to vote...and until a better idea comes along, I favor fining people who don’t vote...or taking away their driver’s license. (That oughta get ‘em.)

2—Yes “the system IS rigged” by those who have money against the rest of us. The Citizens United decision must be reversed, and if it takes a constitutional amendment to do so, let’s get started.

3---Let’s also get started on the most UNdemocratic part of our Constitution—the electoral college. Either you favor “one person, one vote” or you don’t. As long as the “college” exists, that is impossible. It needs to be eliminated.

4---And we need to start now to get Kentucky added to a growing list of states who reapportion themselves by some method other than letting the legislature do it.  Talk about conflict of interest! There are good ways, using people who are expert in  geography and population…and fairness. The next census isn’t that far away.

5—Did you notice the major media in Kentucky had no “polls” in their stories recently about our presidential primary? This follows the abject failure of the polls in recent state elections..as for governor and senator.  (Other states haven’t gotten the message...there were 13 polls in advance of the Iowa caucus; all wrong.)  But, stand by…someone will claim their polling approach is more accurate and this fall or next time, Kentucky media stories will be full of them.

6---Did you also notice how local media, especially broadcasters, did NOT bother to cover such minor elections as for Congress or Senate? They used to ride those campaign buses, show the candidates meeting the people in Gravel Switch and Salyersville—but apparently no more.

And we wonder why the turnout is so low???

I'm just sayin'...

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

SOME CLOUDS (of smoke) OVER MARIJUANA

Full disclosure:

1—I have never smoked.

2—I support medical marijuana use.

3---I support Kentucky’s plans to cultivate industrial hemp (NOT the same as marijuana) as we used to do.

NOW THEN:

I would seriously restrict tobacco smoking as much as possible, including the statewide ban that failed in the last legislature, mainly because it is the most preventable cause of serious sicknesses.

I believe, and wait for scientific proof, that smoking marijuana has some similar health problems as tobacco.

BUT, that proof is lacking today.

Three states that have legalized marijuana have had traffic accidents among marijuana smokers DOUBLE in recent months.

A AAA researcher says there is today no consensus of what might be the equivalent for smoking marijuana of the .08 blood alcohol level for drinkers.

I think it’s out there…and the research goes on.

I'm just sayin'...

Monday, May 2, 2016

WHY “X” DOESN’T ALWAYS MARK “Z” SPOT



I watch a lot of TV, mainly PBS, and see a lot of ads. (Yes, even PBS/KET have succumbed to running ads these days!  Drat.)

I don’t know which is worse..the medicine ads or the lawyer ads. I guess perhaps the lawyer ads about medicine.

If I never hear corticosteroid again it will be too soon..or “messy-feel-lee-oh-ma(ha!), if I could spell it.

And why there  so many drugs with made up names starting with X, but pronounced as  Z. Something wrong with Z?  Are Zeus and Zorro out of favor?

(There’ll always be an ad man, and a lawyer…but must we hear those voices telling us."Don't take X if you are allergic to it!”  I mean, give me a break.)

Those lawyer ads are going down hill. The Hammer used to have whimsical, funny ads…no more. The best of what’s left are the Morgan Family ads..even if they "Ulti-muttly” go to the dogs.

But the ads that defy all logic are on the Fox 10pm news..A commercial says.."This portion of the 10pm news is brought to you by Sam’s tattoo and vampire shop.”  Two minutes later comes another ad…”This portion of the 10pm news is brought to you by Dewey, Cheatam, and Howe.”  Which means what Sam has brought you is a couple of commercials, NOT the news.  Why Sam, why?

And so it goes…"ad” nauseum,."

I'm just sayin'

Sunday, April 24, 2016

TRUMP IS RIGHT…..AH, CORRECT, BUT

He didn’t do his homework.

Yes, in many ways, our electoral process for president is rigged. But the rules, procedures and calendar are known months, even years, ahead, and Mr. Trump doesn’t seem to know that.

Yes, many of these favor the party faithful...those who work between elections, doing the grunt work, going to precinct meetings, and state conventions, ringing doorbells and working their way up to responsible party positions.

Is that so bad???

In Kentucky, and in one way, yes. The recent state GOP convention in Lexington elected a lot of people to the national gathering. Many of these were familiar names, and long time party workers. Gov Bevin, Senators McConnell and Paul, etc. etc. etc.

They will cast the vote for all Kentucky Republicans in Cleveland for President…but almost all of these people won’t tell their fellow Republicans who they favor for  America’s top job.

That just doesn’t seem right or fair.  (Not that the Democrats are much different.)

That’s what the recent primary…ah, caucus…was about..and the GOP voted for Trump ahead of the others...so on the first ballot it would seem fair…and the will of those who bothered to vote...that their choice be so reflected. (Most state and party rules allow delegates to be “free” after the first ballot…which Mr. Trump may not be aware of, either.)

So this “rigging" has been known and practiced for years. Doesn’t make it right (ah, correct) and I think the parties ought to offer their members slates committed to various candidates.

That would be fairer and more democratic (ah, republican.)

I'm just sayin'...

Monday, April 18, 2016

THE HOUSE CAN ONLY BLAME ITSELF

Checks and balances are an important part of our democracy---if our 3 branches of government operate effectively and as the Founding Fathers wanted.

But, once again, the House in Frankfort has lost the ability to consider the governor’s vetoes  (and he will do some vetoes!) by delaying budget agreement until the last minute. I blame the House more than the Senate, because its initial budget considerations and passage came very late in the session..and now the Democrats in control must pay the political penalty for not being able to override the Republican governor’s vetoes.

But, much more than this was the house failure to pass a constitutional amendment giving the legislature the right to call itself back into session. Now that power resides with the governor, and it is an unfair executive branch power over the legislative branch. It needs to be changed---soon.

BTW, if you saw “60 Minutes” Sunday and were incensed by the report showing how ALL  insurance firms are NOT paying death benefits as they promised…a bill to tighten requirements failed in the legislature.  I wonder why?

I'm just sayin'...

Sunday, April 10, 2016

THERE ARE NO EXPERTS, INCLUDING ME

The Donovan Forum at UK made the mistake of asking me to talk to them about national party nomination conventions -  (I have reported on 14 of them.) The Forum, open to all, meets each Thursday at 2pm at the Senior Citizens Center at Alumni and Nicholasville, during the regular UK semesters.

Last week was my turn. And I held forth for about an hour (making at least 2 mistakes I am aware of for now.)  Let me summarize for you.

On who will win at the summer meetings, there are NO experts. Since candidates started announcing last summer, almost all major media stories, predictions (especially) have been wrong. So have the polls. All 13 polls in advance of the Iowa caucus were wrong! (I was asked the origin of “caucus” and said it meant meeting, which it does but with political overtones---and that it came from the Latin.  First mistake: it is actually a North American Indian word.)

While I did not count them, my estimate is that over our entire history from one third to one-half of these conventions have been “brokered” or “open.” The last one was the GOP event in 1976, and we have gotten used to one candidate arriving with enough votes to win. That simply has not been true over much of our history.

Will there be a brokered convention this year?

The 3 “experts” I trust the most---CBS’s Bob Schieffer and PBS NewsHour’s Brooks and Shield (not to be missed on Friday nights for you political junkies) now say "the odds favor it.” I agree.

As of this week there are  still 22 primaries and caucuses out there...with the big New York primary set to come in soon, followed by Pa. and California. We’ll have a better idea after these states vote.  And please remember, the national news media are giving different reports of the candidates’ total delegate count based on their ESTIMATE of how the “superdelegates” in each party MAY vote on the first ballot. Since they are free to vote for anyone, unless they announce their choice, we really won’t know til then.

Stay tuned…and fasten your seatbelt, it’s going to be a bumpy ride.

(My 2nd mistake was to say writers of the Constitution wrote in a section so Alexander Hamilton couldn’t run for President. He was not born in the colonies---our first “birther” controversy. Wrong, there is a section so he could. But of course, he was killed in a duel.)

I'm just sayin...