What Are You Doing New Year’s Eve?

PatD

Question of the day (with a steal from Frank Loesser) to Hillary, Rand, Jeb and others dangling visions of sugar plums before the paparazzi:


Maybe its much too early in the game
Ah, but I thought I’d ask you just the same
What are you doing New Year’s…?

Give or take a month or two what have your analysts concluded about a too-soon announcement and the short attention span of the American electorate. Not to mention the even shorter nano attention span of the media? Jumping in too early risks ho-hum factor among the voters, as well as opening one up to a longer dirty tricks campaign. But the early pol bird gets the early pac worm, which brings me to …

Wonder whose arms will hold you good and tight
When its exactly

…the time that it is right? Which lady will Emily list, or will a gentleman turn her head again? And who gets the invite to the Tea Party that night

Maybe I’m crazy to suppose

… restricted funding will ever be chose(n) and donors with strings exposed.

Ah, but in case I stand one little chance
Here comes the jackpot question in advance
What are you doing New Year’s …

Trail Mixers?

– PatD is a Trail Mix Contributor

The ‘Real Threat’ to Hillary Clinton: Jim Webb

Craig.Crawford
Craig Crawford

Jacob Heilbrunn (New York Times) is making sense:

Mr. Webb’s attacks on free trade and economic elites, coupled with a call for America to come home again, might well prove a potent combination in the early primaries, attracting antiwar progressives as well as conservative-minded Southern white men whom he believes the party can win back. His credo is as simple as it is persuasive: Rather than squander its power and resources abroad, America should rebuild.

Leslie H. Gelb president emeritus of the Council on Foreign Relations: “[Hillary] would find him much more complex than dealing with liberals. He’s not a liberal, but a lot of what he says might appeal to liberals.”

MSNBC: Jim Webb, a real challenge to Hillary Clinton

Destination Cuba

Blue Bronc

Dr. Zira: What will he find out there, doctor?
Dr. Zaius: His destiny.
— Planet of the Apes

There are days when the world wants to collapse around itself and yet, it holds in place or rises a little to allow at fast glimpse of a better world.  Obama, and others in unison, forced a little rise of the heavy and often dark world the other day.

The expected response from the usual loud mouths failed to appear.  What has happened is that this is turning in to a significant event, without the screaming and rending of cloth I was awaiting.  One day of sputtering and spittle and now nothing.

Of course, once the blowhards return to the floor there will be speeches of dread and  doom, but that is all.  Will they refuse the ambassador vote?  Most likely, but eventually it will happen, as will the funds to rebuild the embassy.

cubancarThere is one huge cone of silence over the announced and almost announced presidential candidates.  They have nothing to jump on the soap box about.  Cuba has not been a threat to anyone in this hemisphere since the end of the Cuban Missile Crises of 1962.   That was a long time ago, most of those involved are dying off or already compost.  There is little to say that would do anything to rile the extremists.

I expect the rest of the presumptive candidates will find their voice once the polls are complete and interpreted to their desires.  The best known statement is the December 16, 2014, statement by Jeb-Boy Bush, that he wants the embargo strengthened.

Sometime next month there will be a bill in the hopper providing monies for those who abandoned property in Cuba when they fled to the U.S.  That will buy off the Rubios of Little Cuba and they will be quiet.

The final result will be an increase in Cuban marijuana, Maria to many, showing up in the stores of Colorado and all others with legal mj.  That will help the agriculture industry of the island.

– Blue Bronc is a Trail Mix Contributor

Jeb Bush: “The Empire Strikes Back”

Nash 2/5

Jeb Bush is now the establishment Republican Presidential candidate for 2016.

If you are a Wall Street banker, a corporate CEO, or any other member of the 1%, you know that the Bush family dynasty represents your interests, exclusively, like a country club or a gated community.

Did someone say Tea Party? Forget about those revolting peasants … they don’t have any MONEY. Jeb may not be able to buy the Presidency, but he can probably buy the primaries.

Quite frankly, the establishment GOP is more than a little tired of the Tea Party crowd. Yes, they need their votes but they don’t need their goofy candidates.

The establishment “empire” is finally striking back, to regain control of the Republican Party.

Speaking of country clubs, here’s Darth Vader playing golf.


— Nash 2.5 is a Trail Mix Contributor

Taibbi: It’s Not All About Warren

Craig.Crawford
Craig Crawford

Matt Taibbi (Rolling Stone) is making sense:

“Making the budget fight a news story not about bailouts, but about the ambitions of Elizabeth Warren, is part of the game. And the Beltway hacks have succeeded there. Media on all sides have described last week’s episode as Warren’s political coming-out party. …

oligarchy-400x248All the Dodd-Frank rule says is that if you’re a federally-insured depository institution – if you’re an FDIC-guaranteed bank, where real people have real bank accounts that are guaranteed by the federal government – you can’t also be gambling with swaps and other dangerous derivative instruments. …

There’s no logical argument against the provision. The banks only want it because they want to use your bank accounts as a human shield to protect their dangerous gambling activities….

[Democrats] are not a real party. They’re a marketing phenomenon, a big chunk of oligarchical Blob cleverly sold to voters as the more reasonable and less nakedly corrupt wing of a two-headed political establishment.” (Rolling Stone)

“Strange, how in all those apocalyptic movies,

when their society breaks down into lawlessness and anarchy, Canada is always the haven of safety, the place people want to escape to.” 
 Jenifer Mohammed, Resurrecting Cybele

Blue Bronc

This week. This month. This year.  Hell the last fifteen years have been horrible, or rather horrible if you are a Progressive person.  A lot of Dems no longer can apply that honorable description to themselves.

The release of the torture report revives the disaster that is the Bush/Cheney/Ashcroft reign.  So many deaths have come from those criminals that we do not even begin to have an accurate count.  The Republicans are crying crocodile tears that Americans might be in danger now.  What a pile of stinking BS that is.  Due to the actions of the above named criminals, Americans have been in the sights of terrorists since the inauguration of the chief fool.

NYT: Report Portrays a Broken C.I.A. Devoted to a Failed Approach

Civil rights are being shredded in the name of “anti-terrorism”.  Fear of everything is the word of the day, promoted all day and all night by the Republicans.  People who should know better are believers of that.  These people do not deserve the right to vote.  The people who care, and are the ones losing the right to vote, should be the American voters.

Right now the Republicans stand for police and non-police killing black children and men.  They stand for torture.  They stand for everything that is un-American I can think of, yet they are being elected to positions of ruling the United States and every political office there is.

Why?
– Blue Bronc is a Trail Mix Contributor

Recommended Reading: “Fields of Fire” by James Webb

Nash 2.5

Widely considered to be the BEST novel to come out of the Vietnam War…

“Fields of Fire” by James Webb

Publisher’s Description:
They each had their reasons for being a soldier.

fieldscoverThey each had their illusions. Goodrich came from Harvard. Snake got the tattoo — Death Before Dishonor — before he got the uniform. And Hodges was haunted by the ghosts of family heroes.

They were three young men from different worlds plunged into a white-hot, murderous realm of jungle warfare as it was fought by one Marine platoon in the An Hoa Basin, 1969. They had no way of knowing what awaited them. Nothing could have prepared them for the madness to come. And in the heat and horror of battle they took on new identities, took on each other, and were each reborn in fields of fire….

Fields of Fire is James Webb’s classic, searing novel of the Vietnam War, a novel of poetic power, razor-sharp observation, and agonizing human truths seen through the prism of nonstop combat. Weaving together a cast of vivid characters, Fields of Fire captures the journey of unformed men through a man-made hell — until each man finds his fate.

*****

fieldscover2Most highly rated Reader Comment on Amazon:

A lot has been said about style, etc. that I agree with & won’t repeat. Suffice to say James Webb was a platoon commander in Delta Co./1st Battalion/5th Marines: I was a grunt (said with pride) in C/1/5. When I first opened this book back in late ’70s and saw the map of the An Hoa basin – the “Arizona territory”, Go Noi (No-go) Island, Liberty Bridge, the Phu Locs – the hairs on my neck stiffened, and then I let out an “Alllright!!” (scared a few bookstore patrons, nbd).

When you’re reading this you are walking down the same trails, setting up ambushes in the same spots, taking fire from the same tree-lines that Lt. Webb and this young (then)PFC walked & fought from. Hell, it was like goin’ home for a visit!

I had the chance to meet James Webb during the dedication of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial and thank him for writing this personally. He still had the look in the eyes: quiet, deadly calm, with steel-trap analytical processes going on upstairs. At his swearing-in ceremony for Secretary of the Navy (he remembered this grunt from two chance meetings & sent me an invitation!), as soon as he was “official”, he stopped the show, called up some of the men who had served with him back in An Hoa, and gave them the medals and commendations he had recommended so many years before but had never been given to them. Outstanding!

Jim has the courage of his convictions that he later resigned rather than acquiesce to a polically-motivated evisceration of the Naval service he was entrusted with. He exemplifies the Marine officer – I know of only one other, a Lieutenant in C co, that I had as much respect for, and sadly he didn’t make it out alive. He’s the real deal: this old grunt would assault the fire-and-brimstone-beaches of hell if James Webb was commanding!

*****

You can read more and/or order this book by clicking on the Amazon link on the top right of the Trailmix website or click Fields of Fire (Bluejacket Books)
for the book page.  If you order the book this way, Trailmix will get a small fee, which will help cover some of the costs of operating and updating the website.

(Craig doesn’t like to ask people for support, but posting this contribution and making this marketing appeal was entirely my idea.)

– Nash 2.5 is a Trail Mix Contributor

Roanoke (VA) — Our view, The unvarnished Jim Webb: “Webb is often categorized as a centrist. That’s not true. Webb simply does not fit neatly into the conventional, two-dimensional left-to-right universe. To understand where Webb is coming from, you have to think in three dimensions — which will be his problem with party activists (and some journalists, as well).”

Webb: Dems Are “Lost”

Craig.Crawford
Craig Crawford

The Washington Post: “Former senator and potential presidential candidate Jim Webb told an audience in Richmond on Tuesday that the Democratic Party has lost white working-class voters by becoming ‘a party of interest groups.'”

“The Democratic Party has lost the message that made it such a great party for so many years, and that message was — take care of working people, take care of the people who have no voice in the corridors of power, no matter their race, ethnicity or any other reason,” Webb (D) said. “The Democratic Party has basically turned into a party of interest groups.”

Richmond Times-Dispatch: “Webb said today that he will decide ‘over the next few months’ whether he has the political and financial backing to mount a campaign for the Democratic nomination.”

Washington Post’s Ed Rogers: “The Insiders: Hillary Clinton has to be careful with Jim Webb — When commentators cite the Democratic problems with white voters, many in the Democratic Party want to label them as racists. Democrats won’t even acknowledge their problem.”

Wall Street Journal: “Party Has Failed to Focus on Helping The Poor and Middle Class, Webb Says”

Save The Giraffe

Seriously. Just when you think the world can’t get any nuttier, it turns out we could lose the Giraffe. It says a lot about the imbalance of our times that killer coyotes are roaming the suburbs eating dogs while the gentle, leaf-munching Giraffe — our planet’s tallest animal — fades away.

The Times: “Giraffe numbers have plummeted by 40 per cent in the past 15 years and some species could become extinct in a ‘forgotten’ natural tragedy, the world’s leading experts have warned.”

“People love giraffes but they’re taken for granted.” — Dr Julian Fennessy, director of the Giraffe Conservation Foundation

giraffe

I Like To Have A Martini

Blue Bronc
Two at the very most.
After three I am under the table,
after four I am under the host.
— Dorothy Parker

How do we survive this turbulent period? Obviously many are supporting breweries, wineries and distilleries. In Colorado we can be sure they know the local pot shop and keep a supply of Boones Farm Apple in the cellar.

But, suppose loyal Democrats want to do more. At this time, those wishing for the old politicians to act are probably needing a palliative. Except for O’Malley, the current Democratic bench would be 70 years old or older if elected in 2016 and sworn in in January, 2017. Geriatric is a description that is more than about age.

Will HRC run? At this point I do not care. I want to see the rest of the crowd. A beauty pageant is what we used to call them, but that is old fashioned. Is this important? Yes. It is my era, the same era that HRC, Warren, Biden, Webb are from. I am from the 1950’s. I am from the 1960’s. I am from the 1970’s. I am from the 1980’s. This is what raises concern in my thoughts.

silver-age-congress-1The voters who matter, the voters needed to fill the polls and be volunteers in 2016, will mostly be in their 70’s or 60’s or 20’s. Those old enough for Social Security are not who we need to convince. They will vote D, as they have much of their lives. We need those in their 20’s to volunteer and vote.

This last week, actually today, I made a comment about 1978 to a co-worker. Carter was warring against the use of energy and we were still okay in Iran with the Shah. My co-worker made a comment that is critical to 2016: “I wasn’t even born then.” That is critical to understanding what kind of problem we have. He is all for experience that comes with age. But, when you start promoting and running a grandmother for president, you need to understand his concerns.

The Republicans have been knocked up side the head enough to understand their problems, and they have very serious problems. But, none severe enough to prevent finding a candidate a decade younger than the presumptive Democratic candidates. That ten to fifteen years difference can be important, especially if there is any sign of aging. Missed words, skipped words, misuse of words, vague statements with wrong words and you can forget winning this one. Granny, show me the Lindy Hop, please.

The Dems in their 50’s are who I would like to see.  Hopefully, a few will start peeking around the corner.

– Blue Bronc is a Trail Mix Contributor.