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GOAT?

Tom Brady is regarded as the GOAT among quarterbacks by many sportswriters, but if this football season has shown us anything it is that Brady is purely a product of the Belichick system put in place 20 years ago that no other team has been able to replicate.  It is a system that has produced 9 Super Bowl appearances and 6 wins.  Brady often gets the credit, being the quarterback, but Belichick probably could have achieved this incredible milestone with any decent quarterback.  After all, who remembers Phil Simms?  He guided the New York Giants to a pair of Super Bowl wins under Bill Parcells' system, which Bill Belichick was an integral part of.

Belichick came to New England with Bill Parcells.  It was Parcells who turned the Patriots around, leading them to only their second Super Bowl appearance in 1997, where they lost to a resurgent Green Bay Packers led by Brett Favre.  Oddly enough, Parcells quit after that year to coach the New York Jets, taking Belichick with him.  Parce…
Mitch was all ready to get the Senate trial done before the holidays, but in classic Lucy fashion Nancy Pelosi pulled the football out from under him when she chose to delay sending the impeachment articles to the Senate.  McConnell didn't see this coming as it was something he thought only he would do.

Nancy can hold off sending the articles of impeachment indefinitely, leaving Trump's fate in limbo for weeks or even months.  Lindsey Graham proclaimed that the president finds this grossly unfair. This despite Trump shutting down government for nearly a month at the start of the year, holding federal workers' pay checks in limbo.

Trump's been crying from the beginning, so upset that Nancy would have the audacity to launch an impeachment inquiry despite his effort to cop a plea deal when news first broke of his perfect call.  Since then Republican lawmakers have been circling the wagons, hoping to protect their dear president.  Mitch has vowed to work directly with the…

Of Beards and Santa

I can understand Phillip Wenz's concern about diluting the IBRBS' brand.  It already has to go by its abbreviation after admitting Mrs. Clauses in 2016.  Now, there is pressure to drop the RB all together and allow anyone who wants to be a Santa into its international brotherhood.  It takes years to cultivate a real beard as stout as Santa.  This is a full-time vocation, not something you can just put a yak-hair beard on at Christmastime and call yourself Santa.  Yet, there is a lot of pressure for IBRBS to expand to meet the growing ethnic interest in jolly old St. Nick.

Apparently, the international brotherhood has formed a pretty strong union and can command higher engagement fees, thus resulting in more interest in its organization.  Mrs. Deanna Golden has been pushing the organization to expand its base ever since it admitted her as a Mrs. Claus.  She books a lot of their engagements, and doesn't see why beardless Santas can't join.  What's most important is …
Nancy Pelosi tried to make it a somber occasion by wearing black and urging her Democratic colleagues to not gloat over the impeachment vote, but there was no hiding the glee many felt in seeing His Trumpness reduced to the lowest point in his presidency.  He became only the third president in history to be formally impeached by the House of Representatives.

The historic House vote put a damper on the Christmas theme Trump set for his Michigan rally, and he let Democrats know about, living and dead. Trump's wild rallies have become legend.  In this one a protester had to be escorted away, but not without Trump publicly shaming her on the way out.  He thought security was being too politically correct.  For whatever reason he chose to assail John Dingell, who died this past year after serving six decades in Congress.  Of course, he saved his harshest criticism for Ms. Pelosi, urging Americans to voter her "the hell out of office."

It all played out as expected.  Ms. Pelo…

A Thumping Victory

I feel sorry for British voters that their two major parties are represented by the Mad Hatter and the White Rabbit.  At least Scots had the SNP as an alternative, which they overwhelming voted into the British Parliament, setting up what very well could be another secession referendum next year.

Boris got what he wanted, a yes vote from the English and Welsh people that Lower Britain should withdraw from the European Union.  The low countries voted Tories in by a yuge percentage.  The largest ever seen since the Thatcher years.  This finally forced Jeremy to step down from his horrible leadership of the Labor Party, which saw his party blow a golden opportunity to regain control of the Parliament.

Look who's gloating!  Given how well the Brexit vote worked for him back in 2016, little wonder Trump (a.k.a Mr. Brexit) sees the snap general election as a referendum on his own administration.  He is not alone in this opinion.  Even Mayor Bloom sees the British vote as an ominous fore…

The Orange Glow of Christmas

Trump is desperate to roll back the last of the Obama energy efficiency regulations.  He offered a rambling discourse on low-flow toilets and showers, claiming that these regulations often led to no water at all and that some poor persons had to flush their toilets 10-15 times just to get their turds down the trapway.  What's a conscientious conservative to do?

This is a continuation of his administration's decision in September to rollback the regulations on energy efficient light bulbs.  Trump claimed "what's saved is not worth it, for the little they save."  Actually, quite a bit is saved.  One LED light bulb alone can save you more than $160 over a conventional incandescent light bulb during a span of 23 years.  Multiply that by the number of light bulbs in your house!

It's not like he or any member of his administration has quantified these decisions.  They are rolling back these regulations purely out of spite, akin to Reagan removing the solar panels …

Whatever Happened to Jimmy Hoffa?

It's pretty clever to reframe Hoffa's ties to the mob through Frank Sheeran.  Charles Brandt coaxed the "confession" out of The Irishman shortly before his death in 2003, and laid out corroborating evidence in his book, I Heard You Paint Houses, published the following year.  The book has been widely discarded as pulp fiction, and in turn Scorsese has taken some heat for giving weight to Sheeran's account in his epic movie, but then I saw the Netflix original as a geriatric version of Goodfellas.

Scorsese relishes in not just one but several conspiracy theories from the 60s and 70s.  According to the Irishman, it was the mafia in Chicago that carried Illinois for Kennedy in 1960; the Bay of Pigs Invasion was a mafia-coordinated effort that didn't get the aerial support promised by Papa Kennedy; and the mob had Jack Kennedy rubbed out when the president no longer answered to their interests, namely getting rid of Castro and letting them have free access to Ha…

So long Kamala

but we still might see you in November


There was a brief moment in this campaign when it seemed Kamala was set to take the Democratic nomination by storm.  She shot down Joe Biden at the second debate with a fiery retort on busing that went viral.  Unfortunately, that magic moment was lost when she was hit by a stealth attack from Tulsi Gabbard at the next debate that she was unable to rebound from.

Kamala held so much potential but failed to reach a Democratic electorate that was torn between multiple candidates.  The voters Kamala probably most appealed to were already supporting Joe Biden.  The more liberal voters were split among Bernie and Liz.  The rest were toying with a multiple number of candidates, casting 2 per cent here, 3 per cent there and 1 per cent anywhere.  With no defining message, Kamala soon found herself relegated to the also-rans.

Still, she should have hung out until the first wave of caucuses and primaries.  She had invested heavily in Iowa and New Hampshire. …

Ours is not to reason why

Nationally, Trump continues to poll poorly, but if you look at key states like Wisconsin, Michigan and Ohio, Trump surprisingly polls evenly or ahead of Democratic candidates.  Ohio has long been a toss-up state but Michigan and Wisconsin are traditionally Democratic states.  Midwest voters claim to have voted for Democratic candidates in the midterms but say they will return to Trump in 2020.

Some said they prefer a split government, so voted for Democrats to check Trump's executive power in the midterms.  If they don't like all the power Trump wields why vote for him in 2020, and instead vote for Republican Congresspersons to balance a potential Democratic president's power?

The sad truth is many of these persons don't put a lot of thought into how they vote.  It is mostly a reflexive action driven by an emotional response to a candidate, which is why all those fake ads worked so well in 2016.  Trump has been able to shrug off the scandals that surround his administ…

Sorry, Angels

Defending Charlie's Angels as a #MeToo movie that men can't handle is not the smartest move.  The early reboots of the popular television series did quite well, largely because they stayed in the same spirit of the original.  The Angels were never meant to be more than fluff, but combining three good comic actresses made it a lot of fun, and a lot of men enjoyed the 2000 version very much.  It didn't hurt having Bill Murray as Bosley either.  This after all was a television series that gave us Farrah Fawcett-Majors, the equivalent of Pamela Anderson in her day.

The original Angels came from the mind of Aaron Spelling, who probably imagined himself as Charlie, although he got John Forsythe to play the famous voice.  The premise was quite simple, a bored millionaire decides to create a private detective agency and hires three nubile young women, who aren't going in anywhere in the LAPD, to become his undercover agents.  He has Bosley serve as his intermediary, played to …

The Gordon Problem

Gordon Sondland's testimony laid bare the corruption in the Trump White House.  This administration went out of its way to pressure the new Ukrainian president into giving them dirt on a political opponent.  Sondland presented a wide range of e-mails implicating all the major figures in Trump's cabinet, leaving virtually no one unscathed except maybe the clueless Ben Carson.

Of course, Sondland is no Mr. Nice Guy.  He played a role in all this backdoor double dealing by meeting with President Zelensky himself and presenting the Trump's administration's demands.  He and his White House contacts used the euphesmistic language one would expect from small-time mafia hoods, as if watching too many episodes of The Sopranos, but Sondland was kind enough to spell it all out for the impeachment panel, much to the chagrin of the Don, who was left stumbling for words on the White House lawn.

All in all, it was a black day for Trump and fellow Republicans.  His clowns in the Hous…

You've got to give me a big win, OK?

It was supposed to be a Republican trifecta -- three easy wins in Magaland -- reaffirming that Trump is still strong among the Republican base.  Yesterday, saw a runoff for governor in Louisiana.  Trump wanted this state badly as he had lost Kentucky when Bevin finally conceded defeat earlier this week.  Trump went to the Deep South state not once but twice during the run-off to try to lift the Republican businessman Eddie Rispone across the finish line, only to personally witness yet another defeat.  In the end, the only state Trump could still claim to have a hold over is Mississippi, but even here the Republican barely defeated his Democratic challenger.

The media was going to treat these elections as a referendum on Trump no matter what, but the president made it that much easier by making the gubernatorial races all about himself in his pleas to conservative voters to send a message to the country that they still love him.

Louisiana is worse than Kentucky for Trump because he, t…

Hmmm ...

We finally got rid of half a dozen candidates who had no business being in the race to begin with, only for two more has-been politicians to announce their candidacies by filing in Alabama and New Hampshire.  I already covered Mayor Bloom, but now we have the former governor of Massachusetts, Deval Patrick.  Is there something about Elizabeth Warren he doesn't like?

If we don't watch out, Hillary may run again.  She certainly appears to be toying with the idea.  At that point, the Democratic primaries would look like The Celebrity Apprentice and it would be hard to take any of this seriously.

The DNC needs to step in before it's too late and squash any more late bids.  It's not like Bloomberg or Patrick have a snowball's chance in hell.  Deval's big pitch is that he can successfully run to the center.  Wow!  How's that for inspiring?  Apparently, he thinks Joe is too nostalgic and Liz and Bernie are too hostile.  I guess he thinks Mayor Pete is too young, …

Quid pro quo

Safe to say that this meeting served one purpose and one purpose only -- to deflect attention away from the impeachment hearings that started yesterday.  Unfortunately for Trump, his press conference only served to highlight how he allowed himself to be played by Erdogan.

Republican lawmakers are having none of it. The House passed a bill placing sanctions on Turkey for their incursion into Syria by an overwhelming majority.  At least two-thirds of House Republicans signed onto the measure.  The House also voted overwhelmingly to recognize the Armenian genocide, which has long been a sore point with Turkey.

Moscow Mitch will probably sit on these bills as he has done so many other House bills.  He claims he doesn't want to antagonize a fellow NATO member, but Turkey has been the black sheep of the NATO family under the double-dealing Erdogan.  He has repeatedly played NATO off Russia, most recently in Syria, where he struck a deal with Putin on the northern region without any con…

There's Something About Amy

It's safe to say very few of us would have known anything about Amy Klobuchar if it wasn't for her exchange with Brett Kavanaugh over his drinking habits during his confirmation hearings. Klobuchar dropped that her father is a recovering alcoholic at age 90, but that didn't deter future Supreme Court Justice Kavanaugh from blithely dismissing his drinking binges as something everyone did.

Since then Klobuchar has become a media favorite, parlaying her newfound fame into a presidential run, which unfortunately hasn't gained much traction.  Frustrated, she has started to lash out at her opponents, namely Pete Buttigieg, who she feels has garnered way too much attention being the mayor of a small city.  She feels a woman with that limited experience wouldn't be taken seriously by the media.  Well, that isn't exactly true as Tulsi Gabbard doesn't have a very deep resume and she is garnering a lot of media attention.

Part of the problem is that Amy comes across…

Mayor Bloom

Goes to Alabama with a Banjo on his Knee

The former Mayor of the Big Apple has filed his papers in Alabama, officially throwing his hat in the Democratic primaries.  It comes as a bit of surprise as Mayor Bloom seemed content to sit this race out, but the idea of a wealth tax got under his skin, as it has many other rich so-called Democrats who think Liz Warren has gone too far with her proposed taxes.  Bill Microsoft similarly spoke out against Liz's extreme measures to fund Medicare for All.

Bloomberg and Gates are not like other billionaires.  While Bill Microsoft pours billions into fighting tuberculosis in Africa, Mayor Bloom has been a big environmental advocate.  These are genuinely good deeds, but then they didn't reach this stage in life by not climbing over the backs of others.  The irony of Gates' critique is that tech giants like Microsoft have done more to stifle start-ups than any new tax would.  In fact, the current tax codes are expressly designed to bolste…

Rebuked!

If Kentucky and Virginia are any indication, all is not well in Trumpland.  Kentuckians voted out one of Trump's staunchest allies, Matt Bevin, in favor of the son, Andy, of former Kentucky governor Steve Beshear.  Bevin won in 2015 thanks to a historically low voter turnout of 19 percent, and immediately went about undoing Beshear's legacy, especially the highly successful health insurance exchanges the Democratic governor had set up in the state.

Bevin is a product of the now defunct Tea Party.  He ran against Mitch McConnell in the 2014 Senate primaries, and upset the favored Republican candidate, James Comer, by 83 votes in the 2015 Gubernatorial primaries.  He won the governor's seat with less than 1 million votes cast that November, only because Comer chose not to challenge him in the general election, as there were many bitter feelings after that scorched earth campaign.

Comer is asking Bevin to concede if the recanvassing fails to yield any major inconsistencies i…