US and NL Politics…and

Do You Know Where America Stands on Guns? June 2022

The linked article appeared, in FiveThirty Eight in March 2018 after the mass shooting at Stoneman Douglas high school in Parkland, Florida. They list an interesting series of questions on how Americans feel about different aspects of gun control.

For this who do not have time to read the article please find the results below and draw your own conclusions. Please note, the views reflected here were taken shortly after the Parkland mass murder in February 2018.

What share of Americans support stricter gun laws?

Overall 66%   GOP  46%   DEM 87%

What share of Americans support raising the minimum purchase age to 21?

Overall 76%   GOP 67%   DEM 86%

What share of Americans support background checks for all gun purchases?

Overall 87%   GOP 82%   DEM 92%

What share of Americans support blocking gun sales to people with a history of mental illness?

Overall 86%  GOP 87%  DEM 88%

What share of Americans support arming teachers?

Overall 42%  GOP 72%  DEM 17% 

What share of Americans support banning assault weapons?

Overall 62%  GOP 43%  DEM 81%

What share of Americans support banning high-capacity ammunition magazines?

Overall 67%    GOP 53 %   DEM 84%

What share of Americans support outlawing all guns?

Overall 10%   GOP 5%   Dem 15%

The conclusions:

 the majority of ALL Americans regardless of party are for:

  • stricter gun laws
  • raising the minimum purchase age to 21
  • background checks for all gun purchases
  • blocking gun sales to people with a history of mental illness
  • banning assault weapons
  • banning high-capacity ammunition magazines

Democrats and Republicans disagree on whether it makes sense to support arming teachers. 

But they do agree that outlawing all guns is not worthy of support. So, when you hear a politician tell you, the Dems are coming for your guns…you are being played. 

Limited school access….one door No questions back in 2018 on the validity of having only one “door” or limited access as recently pushed by whatasenator Ted Cruz. He is on the right track concerning limited access, but limiting access to guns would probably be more effective as other countries have done with startling success It can be done, because it has been done.

Or you can beef up security at schools. What are the next easy targets? What’s next…daycare centers, senior citizen facilities, Sonic drive-ins, etc…Guess it would make for a different afternoon activity at your grandma’s retirement village.  Bingo has been replaced by target shooting and/or How to clean my AR15…they could make it a singing activity. But I digress.

To summarize:  if the majority of all Americans agree on stricter gun laws, raising the minimum purchase age to 21, background checks for all gun purchases, blocking gun sales to people with a history of mental illness, banning assault weapons and banning high-capacity ammunition magazines….

….why can’t we make any progress on addressing the gun control issues the majority of Americans want addressed?   We’ll find out in the next few weeks if action in Washington takes place to truly act upon what the Americans want. Or will we simply add the recent mass shootings in Buffalo and Uvade, Texas to a very long list of atrocities that resulted in no actions being taken. Stay tuned.

WHAT “A” SENATOR…. January 2022

Texas pride exists for its local based burger chain Whataburger. Founded in 1950 in Corpus Christi, it’s actually been around longer than McDonalds(started in1955). Yet, it has not traveled as far.  Still, you can find it today in 10 states and counting.  Since eating there for the first-time last month, the only question I have to ask is why? 

The same why can be asked about junior Texas Senator “groveling” Ted Cruz. Seen recently begging for forgiveness from Fox’s Tucker Carlson on his national show, because evidently Whatasenator Ted gave his real opinion about the January 6th insurrection. Cruz had called it a terrorist act. 

Turns out, that’s not Tucker’s opinion….at least not one he shares with his television audience. And after being on Tucker’s “show”, it’s no longer grovelin’ Ted’s either. Why? The answer to that is captain 2024 elections obvious.

Tucker Carlson is my shepherd, I shall not voice my own opinion again without first asking what it should be…

The other why question is why is “Cancun” Cruz the twice elected senator from the state of Texas? Did nobody else of any character want the position?  Please keep in mind, this is the same elected official who, when the going gets tough, increased cases of Covid rising rapidly in Texas, the Whatasenator flies off to Cancun for a family vacation…..only to come grovelin’ back early….I’m starting to see a pattern here.

Given Ted Cruz credit for one thing. He will accept any personal insult about any member of his family, if he thinks he can answer the question, what’s in it for me.  Take for example the former president Trump’s, just love saying those words in his special case….former president, comments on Whatasenator Cruz’s family during the 2016 presidential primaries.

According to the Don, Cruz’s father was involved in JFK’s assassination in 1963. Getting more personal, simply stating that lying’ Ted’s wife is ugly. Evidently not a matter of principal for Whatasenator Ted, given his ringin’ endorsements of Trump in 2016 and in 2020.

Obviously Lyin’ Ted has his vision focused squarely on the 2024 election….if Trump don’t run….Grovelin’ Ted will.   I’m not sure that last statement would be a winnin’ campaign slogan, but for now we’ll move on.

After spending a couple of months recently in Texas I must admit that most of the Texans I met were really quite decent friendly folk. So, as mentioned already I did something truly Texan; I took the local fast-food plunge and went to the Texas burger institute since 1950 known as Whataburger.

What a waste of time, money, calories and space; first in my mouth and then in my stomach. I could not finish it.  In fact this was the first time since 1985 that I have not finished a burger. Never again, given all the other burger choices that exist in the great state of Texas, would I make that important burger decision again.

That would be my political advice as well.  And as you can see where I’m going……I feel the same about Whatasenator Cruz, especially as evidently his opinions and potentially his policies would need to pass the Tucker Carlson mustard test.

Relish the following made-up thought….drum roll please from future Whatapresident Cruz, “President Putin…..after further consultation with Tucker…….here is what I really think…”, now that is leadership….no need to ask the question….where is the beef with future Whatapresident Ted.

Now, I realize that no self-respecting Texan would ever ask any political advice on which candidate to vote for, to become one of their senators, from a short-term import who has only spent a few months in the Lone Star state, let alone where to eat a burger.  But please….my fellow Texans…just keep them both in Texas.

If you do, I’ll make you one promise.  I won’t be grovelin’ on Tucker’s show, should he call me out on my Whatasenator…Whataburger opinion.  Hold the pickles please.

Coalition Summer Blues…at the end of June 2021

Since we last met in April I wrote, if a week is a lifetime in politics, then come meet the grandkids as it’s now been more than three weeks after what has been one of the most boring predictable election results. 

Having now past 100 days since the March 17th elections here in the Netherlands, our family tree now goes back generations and still there is no end in sight to the coalition discussions. 

To be honest, I have no clue what needs to be discussed. Neither do the politicians and that is a problem. Prime Minister Mark Rutte made a political mistake. He got caught. He has paid a price. The opposition wants him to pay a higher price. At what cost?

Before the election, the major parties pointed out we are in the middle of a crisis of pandemic proportions….covid.  A politician tells a lie…..stop the press….dog bites man. Now we have all the time in the world.

Back to the draftboard...the top two parties are now going to write a draft coalition agreement.

The idea of Mariëtte Hamer, who like the previous three attempts to form a coalition government has interviewed all 17 parties elected to the Dutch parliament. She submitted her final report to the House of Representatives last week on Tuesday. Her conclusions: the formation of a new government “is at an impasse”. “At the moment there is no majority cabinet to be found”, Hamer said.

In case you are wondering what we are talking about. You need 76 parliament members to form a majority government. The three willing members of the coalition, VVD, D66 and CDA account for 73.

There are 17 political parties now in parliament. Fourteen parties have 3 seats in parliament, which means there are 11 parties that can provide the final three seats needed. For political and religious reasons….ok…for purely political self-interest disguised as principals in some cases, it’s not happening.

What’s next….in order to force a breakthrough, resigning Prime Minister Mark Rutte and D66 leader Sigrid Kaag are instructed by Mariëtte Hamer to work out a draft of a coalition agreement. “It is important that the two largest parties, both winners of the elections, take responsibility,” Hamer writes in her report. That concept note must be completed by 9 July, just before the summer recess. Our politicians get some homework for their version of the “construction workers” holiday, so in essence no transparent coalition construction works for the next 8 weeks.

Tune in again the end of August for the next chapter of the Dutch coalition blues….circa 160 days and counting by then…..only 65 days to go to break the 2017 coalition forming record…..crisis…what crisis?

Rutte IV or New Elections again in 2021???

If a week is a life time in politics, then come meet the grandkids as it’s now been more than three weeks after what has been one of the most boring predictable election results. Nothing special to write about the election results themslves, until all hell broke loose in polderland….a little more than a week after the election. The earth’s crust opened up to claim the political life of truth denier, evidently with Texas connections lyin Mark Rutte. New elections threaten, even though the ruling party VVD scored a higher percentage of the overall vote vs. 2017 results, 21,9% vs 21,3%; good enough for 34 seats(+1 vs. 2017).

So, what happened….let’s go back a few weeks to March 17th, election evening. Exit poll results would be announced right on time as the clock struck 21:01…….the NS(Dutch trains) could learn from this.

…..Three…two…one…and action…here are the Dutch exit poll results…….And the winner is….yawn….the ruling party VVD with Mark Rutte. Let’s be honest, he’s been ready since January to form the Rutte IV cabinet, when his last coalition government fell without any real consequences. We just had to go through the motions.

Yes, there were some election night surprises. D66 took second place. For three new political parties, accounting for 7 seats(JA21, Volt, Bij1); welcome to the jungle. The main left opposition parties; GroenLinks(Green), PdvA(Labor) and SP(Socialists) continue their seats slide; falling from 37 seats in 2017 to 26. The main far right party results were 50/50, PVV(-3 seats) & FvD(+6 seats), but overall, up slightly to 25 seats.

The actual votes…all present and accounted for…took a few extra days

But once all the votes were counted, which took a little more time due to an increased use of “valid” write-in ballots, the actual election results looked slightly more different than the exit poll results.  Evidently, the write-in ballot procedures were not organized well with the 70+ers in mind, judging by the number of invalid write-in ballots(6%). Yet, still no political parties were screaming rigged elections or voter fraud…….they would however be screaming about something else in a few days.

Coalition of the willing….building

We said goodbye to the last 150 parliament members and hello to the new parliament in a formal swearing in. Circa 60 members from the last parliament will not be back.

One of the first actions is to appoint the “formers” of the new coalition. The task is in essence to “secretly” interview all 17 political parties, yes all 17, regards their willingness, availability, interest(if asked) to join/not join the coalition government. Mum’s the word. Your secret is safe with me or channeling their inner Frasier Crane….I’m listening. The first two “formers” chosen were Kajsa Ollogren(D66) and Annemarie Jorritsma(VVD). To the election victors goes the coalition reconnaissance mission.

For the majority of the political parties….what’s the point. On election night, it was clear the current coalition could move forward together given the political will. VVD won…again. The smallest coalition member, CU(Christian Unie), won 5 seats again.

What changed? Both CDA(Christian Democrats) and D66 had 19 seats after the 2017 election. Both were winners in the last election. But in the 2021 campaign and before during their party meeting, CDA shot themselves in the left foot, then the right, followed by one of their hands and then their party leader shot a political commercial ice skating indoors while the rest of the country could not ice skate due to corona. Such political tone deafness translated to dropping 5 seats to a total of 14.

Whereas D66 gained 5 seats(8 based upon the election night exit polls) to 24 seats. At one point it looked like these three parties alone could form a majority coalition government. But when all the votes had been counted VVD, D66 and CDA accounted for only 72 of the 76 seats needed to form a majority government. Bring back CU and you have Rutte III plus I. So, what changed?

The pecking order. D66 is now clearly number 2 and they prefer a more progressive approach to governing than the CU is willing to compromise.  They prefer someone else.

When asked….some of the other parties were saying……we lost…we are not worthy….ask someone else.  And others…choose us…but we will have our demands……clearly everyone is dancing until the shit hit the fan or in the case of the formation process….when Kasja  Ollogren left a meeting in a rush.

People leaving in a hurry happens all the time, but in her case, she did not bother to pack the documents she had with her and that included their notes on what had been said during the “secret” meetings. And then a photographer from the local newspaper took pictures and yes, the newspaper made it public, specifically the following four words:

Peter Omzigt – functie elders (function elsewhere)

And the Dutch political world was struck by an Earthquake, but not in Groningen this time.

Peter Omzigt is a member of the CDA party and is known for being a too honest politician. Yes, they exist. By that I mean, in the sense that when politicians screw up, he wants to know why….in public. It does not matter if they are members of his party or his brothers and sisters of the coalition government his party belings to. He is in parliament to represent us….the voter…and he says what he thinks….politically correct or not. Evidently, his function is not appreciated….elsewhere(elders).

Sausage Principle, Lessons from Watergate…relived, Blood in the Water

40 years later and throwing the word “gate” at the end of a word also means a man-made crisis in the Netherlands. Evidently having amnesia again…comes across as lying after heavily denying several times that you did not discuss something, a position elsewhere for Peter Omzigt,…still gets you in trouble as a politician, especially when it’s recognized as your standard modus operandi….deny deny deny….it really happened….I don’t remember.

Had Mark Rutte simply said yes, when asked by the press/his colleagues. Of course we discussed that issue, because such issues are always discussed in such coalition meeting discussions. What’s the issue? I mean, a sausage tastes great, but you don’t want to know how it was made.

Instead, he applied the classic Rutte-ism……deny, deny, deny and then it came out that he lied…then he did not remember that conversation.  He shot himself in the foot. There is now blood in the water and what his political opponents could not achieve, beating Marc Rutte in an election, he was now busy doing it for them; a self-inflicted opportunity presented itself, now that “Teflon” Marc was coming across as “Tricky Dick” Nixon saying, “I am not a criminal.”, when the U.S. voters knew he was.

Similar situations when you think about it. Nixon won in a landslide. There was no way George McGovern, the senator from South Dakota, was going to win.  Yes, it would have made Nixon look bad to admit what happened…..someone tied to his re-election campaign breaking into the DNC(Democratc National Committee) headquarters several months before the election…but… would have blown over.

Instead Nixon lied, covered it up and the rest is history.  I doubt it was the first time that a politician learned the tried and true political lesson, the cover-up is worse than the crime. But evidently, it needs to be learned again and again to remind us all.

Rutte’s next trick, his political opponents hoped, was to disappear. He didn’t and they blinked….by two votes in a motion of distrust his political opponent asked for. A motion of distrust, that if passed, would most probably have led to new elections.

But Rutte’s two million voters were not disappearing. And neither does a prime minister that has been around for 10 years already. So, now we are going through the coalition formation process again…for the third time. 

The 2017 after-election formation process took 225 days….the longest ever in Dutch politics.  Only 25 days have passed so far since the March 17th election…..200 more to go? Who knows…a week is a long time in politics…..even in polderland.

Set your Election results clocks for 21:00

Exciting times on election night….March 17th, 2021…at 21:01.

The polling booths close at 21:00 followed by the “exit” poll results at 21:01 regards how the 150 seats in the “2nd chamber” will be allocated. And while the actual counting of the votes will only be done by the next morning, we will know the results tonight with 99% exit poll accuracy. And since the election is not expected to be close regards who wins…..

No celebrations in the streets…because the daily lockdown curfew also goes into effect again tonight….at 21:00….

And tomorrow the coalition safety dance begins. Please keep in mind potential coalition partners….you can dance if you want to….you can leave your political friends behind…..let’s all hope you take less time ….than 4 years ago…….to form a government safety dance.

Four years ago, they took 225 days to form the new coalition…that would be October….we don’t have that kind of time.


You Made It – My DUTCH General Election VOTE Decision Time Has arrived …and based on….tons of non-research and gut feelings……

I have decided… remind you that in my previous blog I mentioned I needed help to decide. Given numerous choices, one takes the easy route as you do,and the advantages offered by the various online “election apps”.

What do these election apps do?  In essence, they ask you a number of questions(between 20-30). And based upon your answers their app determines which of the 37 party’s policies are in line with your way of thinking…what makes sense for you.

My answers were surprising………I was not alone.

The major parties in the Netherlands are VVD, PVV, CDA, D66, PvdA, SP and Groen Links.(Read my last blog to see where they lean.)

So, what major three Dutch parties are in align with my views?  

Scene one…take two…what two major Dutch parties are in align with my views?

Scene one…take three…what one major Dutch party is evidently in align with my views?

We have a winner……Well, one major party….D66(D=Democrats….who would have figured that one) and the other two parties of the 37 running that represent my feelings…views are…..the (Piratenpartij)Pirates Party….#19 on the ballot. Not so fast, my friends; I hardly know you, let alone vote for you.

Nevertheless….yes, picture those kind of pirates….channel your inner Johnny Depp….

By the way…at home…I’m not allowed to randomly scream ….PIRATE….around the house anymore.  This party’s claim to fame…issue-wise…net neutrality. Another one-trick pony party.

And the other party aligned with my thoughts…SPLINTER.  The party name itself, does NOT suggest, that their party’s vision is to become a mainstream party, but let’s not rashly…harshly judge a new party by its name.

Who knows? It’s a new wine. It may age well.  

Splinter is #22 party on the ballot. Formed in the last 6 months, given their party leader joined the ultra-extremist FvD party(led by Thierry Baudet) for six….seconds…days…weeks. Then she left them, when it became clear how racist they actually were….at least…online….only joking around……whatsapp-wise…apparently.  Kudos for leaving FvD, but Splinter isstill not a serious party that in all likelihood will not be around for the next election.

Oh…by the way….just because you think I made a decision on which of the 37 parties I will choose…does not mean…I have made a decision among the 1049 potential candidates these 37 slightly overambitious parties have added to the ballot. There are only 150 seats available….in the Tweede Kamer(House of Representatives)

Tomorrow is election day. The moment has arrived….who will I vote for…..ok….not PVV. Sorry, Geert Wilders, but when your party platforms states that anyone with a dual-nationality would lose their right to vote in future Dutch elections, then maybe I’m looking elsewhere.  Self-preservation as well as no taxation without representation….besides, after almost 20 years in the Dutch parliament, what have you really achieved?

No…as well….to Trump Jr. light, i.e. Thierry Baudet and his Forum voor Democratie(FvD).   Does this really require any further explanation?

Ja 21…tempting……because, if they win, then I know the Prime Minister…ok…ok… I have met the future PM. It’s a small city Rotterdam….and country…apply six degrees of Kevin Bacon….but in this case….none required.

GroenLinks(GL) – elect an adult as a party leader and maybe…

Denominational parties like CDA, CU, SGP, Jesus Lives…no

New parties like Volt, BBB and many many more….no

DENK, SP….Party for the Animals…no…no and no.

The answer is clear…my vote goes to the University of Illinois “Fighting Illini”, seeded # 1 in the midwest regional to win the 2021 NCAA men’s basketball championship …and my vote in the Dutch election on St. Patrick’s Day will….be……decided in the voter’s booth. I’m down to three. We started at 37parties…so not bad.

Down to the wire…so apply the sniff test….drink a beer with candidate test….check shelf life expiration….change……new ideas.  

And wear a mask…..when you vote tomorrow.

Oh…in case you are wondering…did I have to register to vote? No.  Done automatically.

82% turn-out in the last election……means something…it’s your right…..your vote matters.


The “UNDECIDED” must decide…Wednesday March 17th

With 37 parties to choose from once can use a little help to figure out what party makes sense for me. Those who rule, those who are the eternal opposition and those party’s potential prime ministers that have a shot:

Let’s take a look at the 37 parties…ok…..maybe not so many, but certainly the main contenders….

It seems fair to me to start with the oldest party, SGP(founded in 1918), and work my way through to the youngest party, FVD(from 2016):

SGP(Staatkundig Gereformeerde Partij) – the Reformed Political Party in English and reformed in this case has religious connotations namely Calvinism. Considered to be Christian right, the party bases its views on the bible. Like many other parties the SGP party was formed when they left the Protestant Anti-Revolutionary party(ARP) in 1918. What is interesting to note about the 103-year-old SGP party is that they have never been in power. Sounds like a waste of a vote? They currently own 3 seats in the house(Tweede Kamer); looking like a repeat in 2021.

PvdA(Partij van de Arbeid) – Labour Party – formed in a merger of three parties shortly after WW II in 1946. It’s success has direct ties to supporting the common man and support from the trade unions movement. It is in this aspect a social-democratic party yet given the party’s origin has no interest into turning us all into socialists…feel the Burn perhaps. 

And unlike the SGP they have led three majority coalitions on three occasions with prime ministers Willem Drees(1948-58), Joop den Uyl(1973-77) and Wim Kok (1994-2002). In the last general election, the PvdA suffered the biggest defeat in Dutch electoral history losing 29 of its 38 house seats; gaining less than 6% of the vote. The party’s leader Loodewijk Asscher did not resign. 2019 was a comeback year as Labour(PvdA) won the most votes, 19%, thus gaining the most seats, in the 2019 European Parliament elections. Two years later, Asscher resigned in January this year, given he was the responsible minister at the time of the childcare affair. His successor Lilianne Ploumen has a tough task. The polls have them picking up 3-4 seats vs 2017

VVD(Volkspartij voor Vrijheid en Democratie) – The People’s Party for Freedom and Democracy was founded in 1948 and the party whose leader, Mark Rutte, has been the Netherlands prime minister since October 2010. Yes, the Dutch government has been run by the “liberals” for 10 years and this party has won the most votes in the last three general elections. Bear in mind, checks and balances are in full force here as the politics of the current coalition government led by the VVD are considered to be center-right. The VVD have 33 seats in the tweede kamer and look to repeat that number in 2021 according to the last polls. They had 41 house seats in the 2012 election. A week ago that seemed possible again……

There are no term limits. Rutte Cabinets IV appears to be a lock.  That means he will more than likely match and surpass Pvda’s Ruud Lubbers as the longest serving prime minister in a couple of years.

D66(Democraten 66) finally, an easy translation – Democrats 66, a social liberal intellectual democratic party, whose name originates from, 1966, the year it was founded. Currently a member of the coalition government, their election fortunes can be compared with a roller-coaster. 2017 general election went well as they gained 7 seats. But their fortunes have changed since Alexander Pechtold resigned and the next generation took over in October 2018.  Election results in 2019 have not been kind. Sigrid Kaag was chosen as the new party leader last September. They will be fortunate to break even in 2021, circa 19 seats.

SP(Socialistische Partij) – the Socialist Party that started out in 1971 as the Communist Party of the Netherlands/Marxixt-Leninist, one based upon Maoist principles. And while it changed its name in 1971, it kept the Marxism/Leninism terminology as part of its beliefs until 1991. This probably explains in part why they failed in every election since 1977, which was their first attempt, to gain enough votes to enter the house. Finally in the 1994 election did they succeed in getting two seats in the house. Their party power peaked in 2006 with 25 seats in the house. Currently at 14 seats, the 2019 elections have been a disaster…how many times can a party run against something?

Their party leader is Lilian Marijnissen. The polls have them winning 10-11 seats.

CDA (Christen-Democratisch Appel) – The Christen Democratic Appeal was formed in 1977; in essence three religiously oriented parties became one large party. Conservative protestants(Anti-Revolutionary Party) got together with conservative Catholics (Catholics People’s Party) and conservative Christians to form a……what else… a conservative party known today as CDA.  Considered to be center-right in scope their basic message is that government is there to have a role when needed, but the individual citizen is responsible. One must give credit to a party, that when you include all three of the parties that became CDA, they have been part of the ruling coalition in 26 of the 29 previous cabinets. CDA currently holds 19 seats in the house and 9 in the senate. Their party leader Sybrand van Haersma Buma resigned in 2019 and is now the new mayor of Leeuwarden.

So far in 2021 the CDA have shown us how not to run an election campaign. The chosen party leader in 2020 Hugo de Jonge chose to step aside, given a questionable result in CDA’s own party leader vote. He won barely…but?  Couple that with his role as the Minster of Health in connection with a rightly perceived poorly managed covid vaccination program left the door open for the current Minister of Finance Wopke Hoekstra to play hero and save the day. 

But when you agree to ice skate indoors for a publicity stunt, albeit with the best Dutch ice skater of all times Sven Kramer, and you choose to do this even though all indoor ice skating  rinks are closed due to covid….what were you thinking Senator Cancun Cruz….King “It’s on to Greece for me”” Willem Alexander,  I mean Wopke…at least he owned up to his mistake. Perhaps they should have gotten rid of those commercials skating…..outdoors.

Back in 2006 CDA’s Prime Minister Balkenende was given the keys to the Dutch cabinet for the fourth time with 26,5% of the vote and 41 seats in the house. Four years later – they lost almost half of their seats and Mr. Balkenende is no longer in politics. In 2021, CDA is looking at circa 16-17 seats; just below their 2017 results.

GL(GroenLinks) – GreenLeft – my guess is that you have figured out where GL is on the political spectrum just by looking at their name. And that would be true. You would however never have guessed that, I mean never, if you judged their potential politics based only upon the name of the four parties that merged to form GL in March 1989. This would include the Communist Party of the Netherlands, the Pacifist Socialist Party, the Political Party of Radicals and the Evangelical People’s Party. I will be the first to admit that I have not read the platforms of these four left-wing parties.

They earned 6 seats in the house during their first general election in 1989. And have been in ever since ranging from 4 seats in the 2012 election to for them a record high 14 seats  in the 2017 general election. They were asked to become a member of the coalition government. Despite months of negotiation they ultimately declined the honor.

In 2021, it is clear when Jesse Klaver called Prime Minister Rutte a liar during the first national debate last week he made sure that GL will maintain their opposition status; it’s easier to govern from there. He has zero interest to govern. It might ruin his hair.  If you need a US comparison, think Senator Marco Rubio, all TV sizzle no…no…real content. Again….In 2021, the polls are showing +/- 12 seats.

CU(ChristenUnie) – Christian Union – primarily a protestant party combining socially conservative ideas regards same-sex marriage, abortion while having more progressives ideas on economic, immigration and environmental issues. Government should uphold Christian morality. CU is the smallest member of the current coalition with only 5 seats in the house; the same results they had in 2012 and 2010 general elections given just over 3% of the votes. And in 2021, things are looking up….to 6 seats.

PvdD(Partij voor de Dieren) – Party for the Animals. Yes, you read that correctly. For me, it’s an important issue – animal welfare. However, a single-issue party is not a serious party in the traditional sense. They claim that their role is to act as an “influencer”.  Perhaps it works. Formed in 2002, PvdD have consistently since their first election in 2006 gained 2 seats, except in 2017 when they earned 5 seats. It’s time for a merger with GroenLinks. Still is…even if the polls showing them gaining an additional seat in 2021.

PVV(Partij voor de Vrijheid) – Party for Freedom – a right wing populist party that is known for being Eurosceptic as well as its limiting immigration policies for non-Western and Islamic countries. It’s leader Geert Wilders left the VVD in 2004 as he could not agree with their policies to allow Turkey into the EU.  PVV was formed in 2006 and has held as many as 24 seats in the house after the 2010 election when they agreed to support a minority led cabinet with VVD and CDA for circa two years. They withdrew their support over budget cut related issues. Currently they hold 20 seats in the house as the second largest party in the Netherlands.

(50+)50Plus – was founded in 2009 and have been fighting amongst themselves ever since. With less than a week to the elections the party delivers again on airing their dirty laundry in public given the party leader wants their number 3 candidate to withdraw her name. And of course…she declined.  Time to drink coffee.  Given they are expected to only gain two seats being #3 on the ticket means…you can still gain a seat in the house if you are a preferred candidate, i.e  you earn more votes than the #1 or #2 candidate.

Denk formed in late 2014 when two Turkish-Dutch house representatives split off from the PvDA  to form their own party. Denk means “think” in Dutch and “equality” in Turkish and these two words together in its purest form explain the party’s doctrine. However, for a new party they have been known to have issues in accepting certain historical facts involving their forefathers. That blind spot unfortunately waters their message of tolerance and acceptance of immigrants.

FvD(Forum voor Democratie) – Forum for Democracy – One should certainly give credit to the former think tank turned extreme conservative populist party in 2016 credit for being directly elected to the house in the 2017 general elections – two seats. What you may have noticed is that other parties entered parliament for the first time, while they were elected as a member of one party. They then leave their party, but not their seat in parliament, to start what they hope will be their own political movement. It was moving north until they blew themselves up. Can you feel my crocodile tears of sadness?

Watching last night’s debacle on late night TV(Jinek), Thierry Baudet is simply not a serious person let alone candidate, so why make him a victim my cabaret friend Martin.

Party life expectancy? That would be my question for most of these populist parties. Once the leader goes, there goes the party?  Take LPF(List Pim Fortuyn) as perhaps an inappropriate example, given its party leader was assassinated just before the May 2002 general election. His party won 26 seats in May 2002; yet only 8 seats 7 months later in January 2003 and it was dissolved in 2004.

LPF lives again through Joost Eerdmans and JA21, a new “conservative liberal” party that came into existence a week before Christmas last year.  If you blinked last fall you missed Joost joining than leaving FvD….but then again….he was not alone in leaving FvD. JA21 maybe 2 seats; not bad for a new party.

Volt – a new European wide party; popular among the young voters. Welcome to the Dutch tweede kamer; 1 seat Many more new parties to discuss…but no time. Most will go the way of a 16th seed in the upcoming NCAA mens basketball tournament …one election and done.

Only a couple more days to decide……


365/24/7 vs. 21/24/7

Campaign elections in the US usually take one day off every four years: the first Wednesday after election day in November. The first Thursday news in November is then awash with who are the odds-on favorites to win the Democratic/Republican party in the next election, i.e. whichever party does not have the keys to the White House. Hotels in Iowa start taking party caucus-time reservations of politicians who have never been to Princeton, Iowa or Bettendorf or Clinton, let alone the Iowa state fair held in the state capital DesMoines every year since 1854; trying and wanting hard to be or become relevant to the average Iowan voters. The cycle of lunacy is off to the races again.

Thirty of the 37 parties running in the Dutch general election later this month

Here in the Netherlands…campaign elections are more like 21/24/7. Yes, 7 days a week but the actual campaign lasts about three weeks.   Of course, the posturing, positioning goes on for a much longer period.  The third Tuesday (Derde Dinsdag in September) in September is when the new annual fiscal government budget is presented. It was an obvious opportunity for the opposition and coalition partners to stake out their positions knowing that the general elections were at most only 6 months away.

Yes, they kiss babies here too, but not this year, unless of course you are at a FVD (Forum voor Democratie) campaign rally complete with baseball caps worn by their party leader Thierry “Trump borrowed the baseball cap idea from me” Baudet. Those attending FVD rallies do not wear masks, but do take selfies with party members as there is no recognition that the “fake” Covid 19 pandemic actually exists in their reality. Why is it fake? Because as one attendee stated, “I don’t know no one who has been sick with corona”.  All the other parties got the email that suggested…..let’s campaign digital…digital.

The March 17th election day is a day for FVDers to vote for your freedom back and in general their main focus is that NEXIT is the next Brexit. They are the only party doing any traditional type of cross-country campaigning. Don’t be too impressed, you can cross the country from the east coast to the west coast in less than two hours. Still, my guess is that sometime before election day, many FVDers will come down with covid. Reality bites.

Dutch Election 2021 – any doubts who will win….not really.  The 8 seats the ruling party VVD lost in 2017 are expected to be found again in a few weeks…if you believe the polls.  No reason not to. Perhaps the only suspense will be if the VVD can form a government with two other coalition partners instead of the three parties needed to reach a majority of 76 seats.  Never say never, but I really do not see the VVD party working together with the right wing PVD party headed by Geert Wilders. They are expected to finish second in the election.

Then again, they have worked before, see Rutte I,…so hell can freeze over as it already had. Keep in mind, VVD’s main current coalition partners, CDA and D66, are down slightly vs 2017 results. They may need a fourth chair at the coalition table. Hello, CU my ole friend, it’s time to talk to you again…!

My guess after the election….meet the new coalition….same as the old coalition. GroenLinks(GL) basically said no thanks in advance when Jesse Klaver breaking the don’t burn your bridges rule by calling the Prime Minister a liar repeatedly on national television. That in combination with memories of the last failed attempt to bring GL into the coalition probably means it is a no-go from the start. More crucial is the need to act quickly to address all the issues generated by the covid crisis.

Need for speed – We do not have 200 + days to form a new government. For that reason alone, Rutte IV will look a heck of a lot like Rutte III in terms of the coalition partners. It has been a snoozer of an election so far. The need for change has not become an issue.

March Surprise….doubtful. We may be welcoming a couple of new parties to the Tweede Kamer(Second Chamber); VOLT, a pro-European party and JA21 not a pro-European party.  More on these parties in a later blog.

It is true the percentage of undecided voters is high. And we have seen wild swings in previous elections in number of seats won. Yet at the same time, the majority of the Dutch have been in favor of Rutte’s handling of the covid crisis despite the delayed vaccination roll-out and a number of other mistakes. We were dead-last for a long time, no pun intended, but now we are somewhere in the middle.

And while his approach to running the government is certainly not that of Ronald Reagan, he is Reaganesque in that the slings and arrows shot at him are usually somehow deflected by his teflon armour and end up on his minister’s doorsteps or those of his coalition partners. 10+ years in power(even if he does not call it that)and still running strong; it’s not just luck.


Better Dead Than Red

In the case of the Dutch elections better a fair election than a Russian hacked one. Since 2009, after 30 years of using voting machines, the red pencil and paper vote power was again game on.  

In my last column I mentioned there are 37 parties on the ballot. “My god” was one reader’s response. Well, if size matters, we must have the most powerful government in the world, judging by the size of our paper ballots.

Bring your reading glasses when voting.

But who do we vote for?   Well actually, a single member in a political party we like. Yes, ultimately the winning parties do form a winning coalition.  But it starts with each party submitting a list of party members in order of their priority, regards who should become one of the 150 members of the “tweede kamer”, house of representatives.

Take, for example, the VVD party, the current leading member of the last coalition government. Opinion polls have them willing between 35 and 41 seats. They need to list a number larger than that on the paper ballot. So we may want Prime Minister Mark Rutte to be the PM again, but we will vote for Jan Nobody…not a real person…who is #38 on their list of say 50 candidates, because, well, we love Jan. Who doesn’t love him?

Mark Rutte does not care. Why?  Because a vote for Jan Nobody, is a vote for his party, hence a vote for Marc as well. Ok, if everyone really votes for Jan Nobody, Marc will have a problem.

How do the names on the official ballot get there per party?   That’s easy. The party decides. You don’t want to know how many party members actually choose your future. It’s not that many, but they are loud like Bernie Sander supporters. No, not like Trump supporters…no guns here I’m not afraid to say!

“Tweede kamer”” – The “Dutch” House of Representatives  – There are 150 seats up for grabs.

150 seats / 13 parties = compromise

Which Party Wins How Many Seats – Take the total number of votes cast and divide that number by 150.  In 2017, there were 10,5 million votes cast. Taking that number and dividing by 150, your party needed to win at least ca. 70,000 votes to earn one seat in the Dutch House of Parliament(Tweede Kamer).  13 parties achieved that in 2017.

And by the way, the voter turnout in the 2017 Dutch general election was 82%.

Dutch Elections 2021

You like potato and I like potahto,
You like tomato and I like tomahto;
Potato, potahto, tomato, tomahto!
Let’s call the whole thing off!

Too late…with less than two weeks to go the Dutch election will take place. You can’t turn on the TV nowadays without stumbling over a politician or two….breaking news… it during the morning news discussion; acting their son/daughter-in-law to be Sunday best for the afternoon show 65+ age focus group audience.  Let’s not forget the late evening talk shows as well. The first televised debate was last Sunday night and before you knew it, CDA’s party leader Wopke Hoekstra was on the late night Jinek talk show spinning his performance from about an hour earlier.

First Official Televised Debate Night Last Sunday – At least the politicians here are talking and to each other and not screaming. Having said that, new for me was Jesse Klaver of Groen Links actually calling the prime minister a liar on national televised debate. With Prime Minister Rutte having such a commanding lead in the polls, I guess one can understand why he took this futile shot.  Shock effect…short term at best. VVD votes are not switching to GroenLinks. I mean if Jesse cannot correctly name the name of the Dutch national football trainer, how can we trust him with the state of the nation? He took his shot and…missed.

Actually the most effective debater was an average Dutch voter…several in fact, were invited to take part in the debate, but one truly stood out. Actual voters were allowed a few minutes, one-on-one facetime, in front of the whole country. And while the Prime Minister was able to stay above the fray while Klaver called him a liar, the average citizen calling out Rutte for the “child-care” fiasco he was responsible for in her opinion, won that debate round hands down….He did his best to dance, to show empathy. But she was not buying, as her emotions/pain were real, and because she was already looking ahead to after the election. She expects Rutte to win again, so when she then said, “will you finally take responsibility for this mess, if it is still not solved by this time next year.” We never got an answer from the PM, but the message was absolutely delivered.

Who knows where this election leads to, but one common denominator of many election results is that you never know what message will win the day or how on debate night will be remembered…no matter how long you practice your one liners Jesse Klaver….Frank de Boer is the Dutch national team soccer coach.


The Election Road to 76……has begun

Early on February 26th….. via write in ballots for only those voters above the age of 70. There is no question that covid will play a role in this election as it already has. The official election day of March 17th has been extended to also include March 15th and 16th.  Write in ballots need to arrive by March 12th to be counted.

How Did We Get HereRutte III – To understand this, let us take a quick look at the 37 parties running in the 2021 and their corresponding 2017 results including % of vote won and the number of seats their party won. The ruling member of the previous coalition government actually lost 8 seats, VVD; went from 41 to 33 seats. As the other member of the coalition, PvDA, imploded in a record fashion; from 38 seats to only 9 seats. It was clear the new coalition government to be formed in 2017 would look differently as a new political direction was required.

The remaining parties running in 2021 include:

Caretaker Government again….the Rutte III coalition government fell in January 2021, as they did not survive a no-confidence vote due to a long-running scandal whereby thousands of families were accused of fraudulently receiving too much money for child-care.  The Dutch tax authorities required these families to pay back the money received, sometimes several thousand euros, immediately, without any consideration of the financial and relational hardship this would cause. Many families did not survive this ordeal.  I could go on for pages, but suffice to say for now, it has gone on way too long with lots of promises made by the ruling coalition to compensate these falsely accused families financially and few kept.

The timing of the fall of the coalition has been orchestrated to perfection to avoid any real political damage. Only one minister resigned. The original election date has not been changed and when the new government is formed, the “les affaire child care” will probably be placed in the “that was the last cabinet’s mistake and they paid for it.”

Same Election day – the first Tuesday in November every four years does not have any special meaning here.  When President Richard Nixon resigned in August 1975, the government did not fall. Vice President Gerard Ford finished out his term and then lost on the first Tuesday in November 1976 to President Jimmy Carter.  Ford won in California and Carter took Texas that year; times have changed.

When the government falls here, for whatever reason, new elections are called. For comparison’s sake, President Biden is the 14th US president since 1945.  Six of them have been re-elected in the 19 elections since 1945.

The current Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte is the 15th since 1945. If his party wins the election again on March 17th, they will have won the 31st election since 1945. He will be forming his fourth coalition government. Rutte is not the first Dutch prime minister to lead four different coalition governments, nor is he the longest serving prime minister. That honor goes to Rudd Lubbers from the CDA(Christian Democrats) party with 12 years. There are no term limits here.

The long and winding road to 76, which is a majority needed to control the 150 members of the “tweede kamer”, house of representatives. And as we see in the following graph, there are many roads to a majority of 76 seats and the current prime minister has taken several of them already, given the number of coalition partners( 5 in total so far, PvDA, PVV, CDA, D66, CU) that have served in the three previous cabinets: Rutte I, Rutte II and Rutte III.

We set a record in 2017 in terms of number of days taken after the election to form a new goverment.

Secret to our Success – No government – Looking at the past four elections we are without an elected government on average for more than 200 days per election. How? When one factors in the time before the election, i.e. after the government has fallen and the amount days, weeks, months it takes to form a new government. Once formed it is then presented to, nowadays, our king.  We have a constitutional monarchy form of government here.

Seventy-six trombones led the big parade…and more than 200 days is needed to get them marching……how is this possible. Forming a coalition takes time. When you have four parties forming a government, there policies are not always the same. Egos need to be massaged. Compromises will be made.  Minister posts need to be determined ….which person from which party. Coalition government = coalition ministers.

Practicing bi-partisanship….ask me something difficultplease – Prime Minster Mark Rutte is from the VVD; the first deputy prime minister is from the CDA, so is the minister of Defence and also from Finance.  D66 cabinet member heads the ministry of trade and even the smallest coalition partner CU runs the Ministry of Education.

Never burn bridges during the Dutch elections, because quoting from an old film, “today’s junior prick is tomorrow’s senior partner”. Translated….the one you are calling an idiot during the election may be your future Foreign Minister in your new coalition cabinet.

Next post….the socialist or democratic red pencil………..election ballot….just who are you voting for and how did they those Talking Heads get there


Time To Vote….Elections 2021….

Can you feel the excitement?  It is growing bigger every day!!  So, tell me honestly…are you watching pre-election coverage on FOX, CBS or perhaps you prefer CNN’s Situation Room with the Blitzer…or waking up to MNBC’s Morning Joe.  With less than a month to go, before we go to the polls to vote here in the………….Netherlands. You may know us as Holland(no, not the one in Michigan). Maybe you don’t care. I mean, I can imagine by now, you must be sick of all the news coverage of the upcoming Dutch elections on US television.

Me……I’m voting twice. It’s legal and there is nothing you can do to stop me. The first person I already voted for…in another country….just kept winning again and again and again. The second person I’m voting for…well I just don’t know yet who that will be. You see; it’s the first time for me voting for the big Chief here. I am fairly confident that whoever wins the Dutch national elections; only has to win them once. Yes, less entertainment factor, more bordering on boring.

Who will I vote for?  Here is some red meat for you right wingers…. I could go for the socialists, maybe the pirate party, how about one of the religious based parties like Jesus Lives, or perhaps I take one for the planet and vote for the greenies or the animal lovers. You want choice. We got choice. But will we have government?

Yes, at least 37 different parties will be on the ballot, but definitely not 50 shades of grey.  Be careful what you ask for when you say you want more choices than the two-party system in the US.  I guess the first question to ask myself – do I have time to review 37+ different party platforms before the March 17th election…because as of today no change of election date expected due to covid despite all the talk show excitement.

So Many Questions to address…. Now, without googling the answer….how many of you know the name of the current Dutch Prime Minister, the party he/she belongs to, whether that party is conservative or progressive, same question goes for the coalition government he/she heads and how many times years has he/she been the Dutch Prime Minister.

Play along with me please. I’m auditioning here to be a Dutch political insider for the major US networks. I mean, if I had to suffer through all the Dutch “American political experts” on Dutch TV…and lordy lordy there were oh so many of them;  it’s my turn now to sound and look like an idiot on live TV! I’m practicing that aspect here on my blog! Coming to you live from Holland it’s…..

Dutch Elections 101 – Too much to discuss today, but stay tuned to this blog the next few weeks to learn everything you wanted to know about the Dutch elections, yet were afraid to ask. 

For example, are there term limits; what about voter registration issues?   Do we have low or high voter turnout %; national televised debates and just who pays the election campaign bills.  What are the various political parties standpoints on the right to bear arms…spoiler alert…..that won’t be discussed. It’s not an issue.

Other important issues that also won’t be addressed, as the answer is obvious, include; is it ok to storm the parliament if their party loses then blame the left-wing media….the Dutch Prime minister bikes to work.

How long will it take before the election results are known…days….weeks….election evening just after nine…and….what happens after the results are known? What role does the Dutch Royal family play…if any?

Dutch Political Parties 101 – they are not all socialists. Yes, there is at least one left-wing socialist party running – SP(Socialistische Partij). They were founded as the Communist Party of the Netherlands/Marxist–Leninist in 1971. 

And there is also the labour party, PVDA (Partij van de Arbeid) considered to be a socialist democratic political party. Back in 1918 when the PVDA party was known as (Social-Democratic Workers’ Party, SDAP); their party leader, Pieter Jelles Troelstra, declared a revolution. He was caught up in the fever that was sweeping much of Europe right after WWI ended.  Vivá the current government back then, because the revolution went nowhere.  And thus, the party he helped establish, he also helped to destroy, given the SDAP were not asked to take part in any coalition government for the next 20 years…but hey that was 80 years ago. And they have a different party name now.

Perhaps we are diving in too quick to Dutch Politics. So, let’s take a step back and compare the Dutch way of electing new leaders vs. the US.

Rule #1 – the party with the most votes wins. Not true in the US and not true here. Hey, we’re in agreement. But there is a difference….

But you will have to come back another day to learn why and much much more about the greatest democracy in the world that every nation looks to and admires…actually we don’t say that here.

Much Ado About Nothing….?

Having gone down this path before myself, I realized the back and forth I was reading on a friend’s Facebook site would simply lead to the obvious conclusion in terms of agreement. Each side agreed, the other was an idiot. Entertaining maybe, inciteful yes, insightful no, other that our friends across the Facebook chasm will say just about anything to avoid the brutal truth.  President Donald J. Trump is simply no longer in office, because Trump lost. 81 is larger than 74.

My voice does not matter….for some….why

Usually boils down to one of the following three reasons…..I tend to vote for Democrats, I have never been in the military and I no longer live in the US.  To which I would reply: that last aspect has never bothered Uncle Sam come tax time, 20% of those arrested for attacking the nations capitol have served in the military(what % of these folks attacking the nations capital vote straight Republican ticket???) and I can live with your first reason for thinking of me as we are not worthy; I mean, this explains why for some 74 million votes more important than 81 million.

Not worth the unity effort to discuss when judging by what some are posting – since January 6th -the attack on the nation’s capital never took place….never took place…no acknowledgement what-so-ever….

Evidently it’s about the process; criminal actions don’t matter.

There was maybe a day or two of meme silence followed by a steady daily diet whereby the best defense is a good offense appears to be the strategy and in many cases the chosen way to defend is to be very very offensive.

We are from the Proud Boys and we are here to help….the twelve most terrifying words in the English language.

Project onto others, what we do ourselves. Now you would think the following Sun Tzu meme would reflect on what recently happened on January 6th in Washington DC.

Yet, in this case my Facebook colleagues are pointing their fingers squarely at Mr. “I’ve been in office for less than one month.” Biden.

You see, January 6th never happened. Rule #1, when confronted with an obvious truth you respond by an even larger lie a.k.a. if you can’t dazzle them with your brilliance, you baffle them with your meme B.S..  Rumor has it that they have an inexhaustible supply.  

And an alternative truth to boot. It was not Trump supporters who listened to the Don, marched down to the nation’s capital and attacked resulting in a total of 6 persons dead.  According to one Facebooker I know, it was antifa that started the assault on the nation’s symbol of democracy…..and no one from the press would make him see this differently. So how many members of the invisible antifa organization have been arrested in connection with the January 6th homeland terrorist attack on the cradle of democracy?

That the attack on the nation’s capital would lead to increased security measures being taken with the inauguration ceremonies in just two weeks is security 101.  A repeat performance would be unfathomable, yet to some it mean the praetorian guard has been installed, that the false narrative of thousands of deplorables readying to march on Washington DC was a ruse….days after…such an event just happened.  Go figure.

When nothing else is left to say……simply blame the left-wing press who reported….the news. And when the fair and balanced right-wing news finally does their work this tipping the scales ever so slightly, you change channels. Fox news ratings are down 20% and counting…they are now 3rd behind MSNBC and yes even CNN. Must lie more……the Fox mantra for 2021.

Hey, the locals are just following the lead from their party leaders.

The fair and balanced jury will watch this later on the fair and balanced entertainment channel. You could say it was rigged.

When confronted with the obvious 81 million voters is more than 74 million, that elections have consequences. We focus on the 74 million and and…..somehow they count more. Why is that….well the Republicans evidently are entitled, cuz they more American.

Biden’s inauguration. You just knew that certainly sooner than later, someone would post the meme of classic ignorance and stupidity….here it is

On an opinionated side note; the over/under is December 2021…when Melania files for divorce.

Where is Sean Spicer when we need him to explain why the Biden inauguration had higher total TV ratings than the Don had four years ago, at least according to the New York Times;

President Biden’s inaugural address on Wednesday attracted about a million and a half more viewers than tuned in for Donald J. Trump’s inaugural speech four years ago, according to preliminary data from Nielsen.

Nearly 40 million people watched Mr. Biden’s address on the major cable news stations and the three big broadcast networks. In 2017, 38.3 million viewers watched his predecessor’s first speech as president, the Nielsen data shows.

CNN was the ratings leader, drawing roughly 10 million viewers from roughly 11:45 a.m. to 12:15 p.m., when Mr. Biden took center stage. Only 2.7 million watched Mr. Biden’s address on Fox News, the lowest of the major networks and a sharp reversal from four years ago, when nearly 12 million viewers tuned in to Mr. Trump’s preferred cable news network.

And for those who do not like the New York Times. How bout some USA today reporting…..let’s all chant now USA…today, USA….today.

Biden hits high ratings

In fact, the Biden inauguration drew one of the largest TV audiences in history, not the lowest. 

According to Nielsen, 33.8 million people watched Biden’s inauguration between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. on Jan. 20, the third-highest viewership of any presidential inauguration in the past 40 years.

Only the first inaugurations of Presidents Barack Obama and Ronald Reagan exceeded Biden’s TV audience. Nielsen calculated 30.6 million people watched Donald Trump assume office in 2017.

Still….Happy ending so far…..the long-shot made it around one corner and came home in front in the two Georgia senate races……….the blue Trifecta…..won by a landslide, because 81 is more than 74. I learned that in second grade….thank you Mrs. Fryer!

Facebook Wars – Duck and Cover

A lot of Facebook defriending going around this week given the recent homeland terrorist acts that just went down in Washington this week. Lord knows I’ve made some new…frenemies.  Take the following post I received: Just like the rest of the American people he(Trump) was tired of watching idiots get away with murder cheating lying and stealing from the People and like I said early people like you better duck and run for cover because it’s coming.

The gist of my response to that post was the only folks who should be ducking and covering, were those lunatics who stormed the capital and filmed themselves in the process of committing crimes….because it’s coming…their arrest. Naturally, other folks provide their opinions and that led to some interesting exchanges.

And some of the exchanges have been actual discussions.

G – I believe in equal justice under the law, so are all of the perpetrators of rioting, assault and looting this past summer in cities across America being prosecuted?

Me – So do I. Homeland terrorists are homeland terrorists regardless of party affiliation. The person or persons who killed the capitol policeman during the riot, with a fire extinguisher (not yet confirmed) should be sent away for a long long time.

G – What if Trump posts bail for them as Harris did for the rioters last summer? Will it be ignored?

Me – I read up on her tweet to ask people to support the MFF to help those who were protesting. Sounds like a decent idea, to help those folks who cannot afford bail, so that they can go back to work, keep their jobs, while awaiting trial; that in practice was not carried out well.  Yet protesters stop being protesters when they loot, vandalize etc..  And Trump raised this issue of her support, as he should, and it was covered in the media, yet evidently the majority of the voters in Minnesota did not feel it was important enough given who won the state.

To your second question….what if Trump posts bail……will it be ignored. Obviously not and rightfully so. They stopped being protesters once they stormed the capital building. You tell me, the folks accused of killing the capital city policeman with a fire extinguisher, would you bail them out? Do you think Trump should?  In my opinion, the key difference between last summer and last week is that, unlike the president, Harris was not accused of inciting the riot, but poor judgement. If Trump wants to bail out the looters, for something many people believe he caused, that would be in my opinion more than just another nail in his political coffin. My guess is you would disagree with me. Just don’t come to my house and sit in my chair😊 and call yourself a patriot.

Probably…to be continued……One thing is certain. Nobody is changing anyone’s opinion. And that’s ok as long as we don’t commit crimes when expressing one’s opinion.

Tweetless –  Speaking of potential crimes, I can’t wait to see the Don’s next Tweet.  Oh wait, his favorite message channel of choice has imposed a lifetime ban on Trump’s account. Not a problem.  I guess he can issue a self-pardon for this to get back online to tweet with his people. One parting shot… now the Don can’t tweet, post items on Facebook, Instagram and for the next 11 days he will still have access to the nuclear codes. Duck and cover…………

Make America Believable Again

That’s the daunting task facing President-Elect Biden. It was already not going to be an easy one to achieve given the last four years.  But the actions and repeated lies from the Don since Election day 2020 have made it even more difficult, and at the same time have highlighted the responsibility to respect the voices of more than 81 million Biden voters and get on with the business of the nation. President Trump – you lost by more than 7 million votes….and counting.

The National Polls Got It Right – the final poll of polls published on November 2nd had Biden winning the 2020 election 50,7% – 44%. 

The national polls were spot on…

Actual 2020 election results 51,4% – 46,9%. Pretty spot on for a poll, well within the margin of error.  When one considers the fact that Trump’s job approval ratings only reached 47% once the last four years, it is no surprise that the other 53%, most went quietly shopping elsewhere. What rigged elections are Trump and his fanatical sycophants raging about?  Whatever they are drinking, I’ll pass. Whatever hair dye they are using, also pass.

Still we have all lost…for now. As a child I was raised to believe that we had the freest fairest of all elections.  We are the greatest democracy…ever…because our centuries old traditional transparent peaceful transfer of power, based upon simple election results, for such a long period of time, was something you could count on working, no matter what, like a Timex watch, “It takes a licking and keeps on ticking.” That democracy works.

Making our peaceful transfer of power reputation of value again will take time

For some however, democratic rule appears to only work, to be valid when their candidate wins.

When he loses by more than 7 million votes, it’s apparently time to sue and sue and sue.  I’ve lost count how many frivolous lawsuits have been lost.  Word has it, since his election loss, the Don’s loyal legal looney team has earned a spot in the Guinness Book of World Records for losing the most number of court cases in the shortest period of time. And yet, the Texas lawsuit takes on a whole new dangerous dimension to democracy, when those folks who want to sue to overthrow the results of what has been proven over and over again to be a fair election, include 126 GOP House members and 18 like-minded attorneys general, elected officials in other words.

Elections have consequences and so do acts of treason to the belief in democracy. “The act itself by the 126 members of the United States House of Representatives, is an affront to the country,” said Michael Steele, the former chairman of the Republican National Committee. “It’s an offense to the Constitution and it leaves an indelible stain that will be hard for these 126 members to wipe off their political skin for a long time to come.”

The Crown – Having binged watched four seasons of the Netflix series this past month the concept of performing one’s duty takes center stage, doing is what is right for the crown takes precedence, giving direction on the actions that need taken.  In one scene, Prince Charles and Camilla Bowles Parker are together telling a joke about a hunter and a bear. The hunter stalks the bear for hours, finally finds his target, aim and fires. After the smoke clears it appears that he has missed. A firm tapping on his should a few minutes later confirms his miss. The bear than informs him that he has two choices, “You can be eaten alive by me or turn around, bend over, drop your drawers and I have may way with you.

Afterwards, the very bowlegged hunter goes back to the city, purchases a bigger gun and sets off to find the bear again. Once again after the smoke clears, he finds that he has missed. Once again, the bear taps on his shoulders and say this time, “you know the drill.”

Back in the village for the third time the hunter this time purchases a bazooka…..yadda yadda yadda…he misses again and this time when the bear taps him on his shoulder again, he says to the lawyer, “this really is not about a free and fair election, now is it…..lawsuit denied.”  Ok…that’s not the real punch line, but then again who knows what weapon the Don will use next as time runs out.

We have made it through safe harbor day(the last day for states to certify their election) and tomorrow the electoral college should perform it’s, in essence, ceremonial duty.

Evidently the Don has not been informed that he lost in a way he accepts. How about the following; after many years of ratings consistently under 50%, the majority of viewers have now switched channels and prefer to watch someone else. The Don show has been canceled. Stay tuned for Mr. Biden goes to Washington and he taking all 306 electoral votes with him.

It’s like déjà vu all over again…So Much Winning…Let’s Count Again

If the great Yogi Berra were alive today, what would he say to add to his library of classic Berra-isms. Yes, I know that is not possible. And no, he did not vote for Biden from the grave. But for the sake of this article, let’s just attribute some of Yogi’s countless expressions and turns of a phrase, that keep his memory alive, because most of them didn’t make any sense anyway, just like the 2020 candidates.  

Let’s play two today. OK, I’m digressing as that was Ernie Banks not Yogi Berra. Let’s play today, which candidate would have said which Yogi-ism phrases?

For those of you who grew up without Yogi, he was not Yoda’s distant cousin, but the former catcher of the New York Yankees. “Berra-isms”, while containing some truth, are simply expressions that lack logic.  Like urban legends, they are numerous, make a great story, and many of them, were never even uttered by Yogi, yet he got credit. Or as he once put it: “I never said most of the things I said.”  I used that last one during a discussion with my wife….won’t be doing that again.

Neither will the 2020 candidates, but let’s take a look anyway at some Berra-isms and attribute them to one of the presidential candidates or perhaps a member of their team:

Berra-isms 2020 Election-style….who would have said what?

You can observe a lot by just watching.  This one is for Biden – just sitting back in his basement; first watching the COVID-19 virus super spreader events and then the Keystone Cops just “make stuff up”, before they lost appeal after appeal a.k.a. the Trump lawyers, as they could not prove the stuff they made up themselves.

It’s like déjà vu all over again.    Again Biden…the following picture says it all.

It’s like déjà vu all over again…So Much Winning…Let’s Count Again

We made too many wrong mistakes. Giuliani…Trump makes no mistakes…don’t you know this by now?

Congratulations. I knew the record would stand until it was broken.  Biden – on winning more votes than any other presidential candidate ever…..second place….again…Trump for winning the most votes as a losing candidate…you see he won after all… second place.

You wouldn’t have won if we’d beaten you.  Trump

I usually take a two-hour nap from one to four.  Sleepy Joe

Never answer an anonymous letter….it could be a lawsuit.    Trump

Slump? I ain’t in no slump… I just ain’t hitting.  Trump’s team of lawyer….1 win out of 35 lawsuits or so??

The future ain’t what it used to be.  Trump…on losing the election and not being able to BS his way into a second term.

I tell the kids, somebody’s gotta win, somebody’s gotta lose. Just don’t fight about it. Just try to get better….certainly not Trump.

You’ve got to be very careful if you don’t know where you are going, because you might not get there.  Trump…when asked what he wanted to achieve during his second term’s agenda.

I never said most of the things I said…… Biden, commenting on the Trump political ads. 

It ain’t the heat, it’s the humility.  Biden summing up why almost 80 million “quiet” voters chose his future. They chose country over Trump. They chose for more steak….less self-serving sizzle.

If you ask me anything I don’t know, I’m not going to….lie to you more than Trump……Kayleigh McEnany, Trump’s press secretary…nobody could… by the way.

Take it with a grin of salt.  Biden….just letting the election results be certified. Classic politics…when your opponent is self-destructing…just sit back and quietly grin.

A lot of guys go, ‘Hey, Yog, say a Yogi-ism.’ I tell ’em, ‘I don’t know any.’ They want me to make one up. I don’t make ’em up. I don’t even know when I say it. They’re the truth. And it is the truth. I don’t know.  Trump….on the next unpresidential actions he will take to try to overturn the 2020 election results.

Lock him up…Hillary…ok Yogi never said, “lock him up”, but we all know that somewhere Hillary is taking it with a grin of salt.

Double Tap….

Almost two weeks after the election, the national horror film is finally winding down; the nightmare is almost over. The Zombie monster has been slayed by Sleepy Joe, the worse candidate to ever run for President according to the ex-President elect.  Yes, President-elect Biden beat the Don……the worst candidate that ever became president, even though he lost by almost 3 million votes four years ago. 

And what do you do when you lose by almost 6 million votes…..

over and over again…unsuccessfully

Here is a Republican joke…..In the US, what do you call someone who lost the popular vote in two elections by almost 9 million votes…..answer  –  a two-term President?

Four years ago, Democrat nominee Hillary Clinton described Trump supporters as a “Basket of deplorables“, circa seven weeks before the election on September 9, 2016, at a campaign fundraising event.  She said, “They’re racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic”. The next day, she expressed regret for “saying half”, while insisting that Trump had deplorably amplified “hateful views and voices”.  When one polarizing candidate talks about the supporters of another polarizing candidate, you know that is not going to be forgotten.  It’s going to get ugly and such statements will be used against you.

That she almost got it right is not the point. Although I’m thinking how could she forgot “zombiesque”. Take the recent example of the women from Mississippi, who just before election day, in essence, stated to the national press proudly word for word what Trump had said the day before;  namely that the fake press won’t be talking about Covid the day after election on November 4th. In other words, a classic case of what Trump says on 5th avenue, zombie supporters say and believe in rural America. November 4th came and went and …. Breaking news….the press is talking today about the all-time record high number of new covid cases reported for one day, more than 184,000 U.S. citizens….more than 6 days running of 100K+ new cases.  

But the zombies don’t care about Covid, because no one told them they needed to. They voted massively for their cult-like hero, who simply did not do his number one job….keep Americans safe. There was only one pro-life candidate in this election; the candidate who lost was just pro-Trump. Yet, the Don does not concede defeat. The zombies do not concede defeat. Of course not, as the Zombie leader…must show ignorance…disrespect.

Luckily for us, election rules still apply and everyone knows Presidential Election Rule #2: The Double Tap

Never assume an election with a zombie leader is over. Always make sure to apply double tap rule with a clean victory in the electoral college.

It’s time to call it as it is.  Biden won it in a landslide with 306 electoral votes.  If Trump can call it a landslide four years ago with 306 electoral votes, even though he lost the popular vote by more than 3 million votes, you can imagine that it was an even bigger LANDSLIDE, when Biden won by almost 6 million votes.  That means that Trump LOST by almost 6 million votes and all votes….

and even recounted if necessary, as the outcome was a landslide

But in 2020, if we leave it up to the GOP, that Republican joke I told above would become reality……somehow the Don loses by almost SIX MILLION votes; loses the electoral college vote, 306-232, which by way shows God has a keen sense of humor, since this is the exact opposite electoral outcome vs. four years ago when he won with 306-232 vs. Clinton.  And yet according to the new star of the Borat movie, Rudi Giuliani, the Don is still president because…..fill in your sad silly conspiracy theory here……

Fortnately for us…. the new ex-President elect and his TV lawyer Rudi will soon be…just another couple of right-wing nutters on the internet because….we chose country over Trump.…double tap…we chose country over Trump.

While You Were Sleeping

The Don called the election last night a day early while you were sleeping.  Around 3 a.m. he tweeted from the white house “Why make you kind folks stand in long voting lines, potentially catching covid-19 from the radical far left antifa wing of the Democratic party.” Doing his math homework, the answer was 6-3, so the Don also got rid of the one constitutional amendment he was never really in favor of, the 22nd. He tweeted, “I found it(constitutional term limits) to be a limitation on my ability to become your first royal dictator. Many people are saying that is what I should become. No one has ever seen it before in all of history. It will be amazing.”  

Evidently, some of his first royal degrees included making Don Jr. – senate majority leader, the gift of gab Eric – speaker of the house. Pence stepped aside so that Ivanka could become VP and royal robe designer for the Don and the (Supreme)court. The smart new color robe rumors are saying MAGA red. 

And finally he named a horse and an elephant as the first two senators to the new DC state(Don the Con). Evidently just naming a horse as a senator has been done previously by some ancient Roman emperor Caligula. He saw it once on I Claudius….just luv PBS.

Same Ole Same Ole – Last Election Polls

Back to reality….despite all frequent air miles flown, the final poll shows Biden with a commanding lead:

Biden is still north of 50 and Trump is still south of 45

While the polls show the traditional narrowing of the gap, Biden’s lead is still almost 7% and more than 50% of Americans will vote for him. That threshold is unknown to the Don, not only in terms of actual votes, he received just under 46% of the votes in 2016, but also his “job approval” ratings that never went north of 50% either….in the last four years. The divider in chief was good at what he divided.

Trump’s approval ratings never top 50%….in four years…first time ever any president achieved that.

Expanded his baseNot So his current approval rating at 46% matches what he received in 2016 and probably represents his ceiling as well.  Still he has help or the folks at Yahoo have a wicked sense of humor, see picture and caption below, given their remedy for foreign interference in our elections. For many of Trump supporters that means…Democrats…because no matter what…we are evidently subhuman…as we supposedly don’t love our country or guns as much as they do; we are to only be tolerated in non-election years.

In case you needed another couple of reminders why your vote counts

The Don is the pro-life candidate, with the exception of addressing Covid 19, where with his policies and leadership, we have lost more than 231,000 lives, please read that number again outloud, but at least the last super-spreader rally has now been held…

And while the end in near for the Don, he has shown himself to be willing to take just about any voter supression step possible, which means he has not even thought or yet written his concession speech. Just by chance I wrote it for him…..a year ago on election night 2019; to inspire him to let the healing process begin for the U.S.. Here we go:

Concession Speech 2020

Think positive concession speech thoughts, something like, “I would like to thank my family and friends for all of their amazing support during this hard-fought election. Over a century and a half ago, Senator Stephen Douglas told Abraham Lincoln, who had just defeated him for the presidency, “Partisan feeling must yield to patriotism. I’m with you, Mr. President, and God bless you.”

In a contest as long and difficult as this campaign has been, his success alone commands my respect for his ability and perseverance. But that he managed to do so by inspiring the hopes of so many millions of Americans, who had once wrongly believed that they had little at stake or little influence in the election of an American president, is something I deeply admire and commend him for achieving. I have said repeatedly in this campaign that the president was my opponent and not my enemy. And I wish him well. And I pledge my support in whatever advances the cause of a better America because that’s what the race was about in the first place.

I also accept my responsibility, which I will discharge unconditionally, to honor the new president-elect and do everything possible to help him bring Americans together in fulfillment of the great vision that our Declaration of Independence defines and that our Constitution affirms and defends.

And finally, I would also like to ask my fellow Americans to put country before party, to join vice-president Pence and myself to support new president elect…fill-your-favorite-Democratic-candidate’s-name-in-here.”  <<<That’s where Biden’s name goes.

One last time – choose country over party…over the Trump/McConnell ticket… we’re going for the senate as well, the trifecta…and remember…stay safe on election day…that one even has to say that is revolting enough.

Rounding the Corner…and Going Full-Circle

Somewhere in America this past winter….It’s incredibly early in this very important game. It is the first week of February and the player coach on the US Covid prevention team has just gave a massive rejection to the development of covid cases in the US. “This is Dick Vitale reporting from courtside and that indeed was a huge play early in the game, closing air travel from China. What a move. Give the kid with the funny hair full credit…what a play. It’s early February and as of now no one has died yet in the U.S from Team Covid.…but still….huge defensive get.”  

Co-announcer Jim Nance chimes in to add, “Yes that was indeed a huge play back in February, bigly like indeed. But hey Dick, the game is still on, still being played. I’m not sure what quarter we are in, but that kid with the funny hair does not appear to be still playing.  He’s flying all over the country telling everyone, we are rounding the corner.  Given he has been saying that for over a month now, we must be full circle by now, yuck, yuck, And yet, all he does is still talk about that play back in the first quarter.”

Neck deep in the big Muddy, the big fool says to push on.

“Yeah Jim, the Covid related death score line has surpassed 226,000 American, yet like a parrot he keeps saying, rounding the corner, we’re rounding the corner. At least he finally likes the team mascot.”  That has at least changed, according to Dick.

Jim: “I think you mean team mask.”

Dick: “Yeah, yeah after he got sick himself, he finally puts one on himself now and then…but all those cult like rallies he keeps organizing, so he can tell them, “Hey, that was a great play back in February.” Yet, “they’re not social distancing, not wearing masks and he just don’t care.  I mean, Team Covid is killing us on a daily basis and he’s already put a big fat check on his to do list, placed a victory in the win column, swore he heard the fat lady sing already and gave a couple of fist pumps, while at the same time calling that other kid on the team, who is wearing glasses, with the Italian name a non-team player.  What’s his name…..Faucci?”

Jim:” Well, let’s get back to the game because we have a lot of work to do yet, a lot of work, if we want to defeat Team Covid, with or without that kid with the funny hair. Thank God, Faucci is still playing like our lives depend upon it.”

This is Dick Vitale and Jim Nance, still reporting, still alive months later from the courtside…Team Covid has again just registered more than 74,000 cases yesterday and almost another 1000 deaths.

Jim: “Yeah, those numbers we keep hearing on a daily basis and they seem to have lost their effect. Hey Dick, think we’ll have March Madness this year?

Dick: “Only if Trump is still president….because we will all be mad…one way or the other…yuck, yuck, especially, if we are still playing the same game for over a year.

Jim: “I meant basketball, Dick. The Fighting Illini are looking real good this year and the university has an effective Covid testing program in place”

Dick: “Just boomer, humor…Jim, boomer, humor. Sorry”

Roller-Coaster ride…..

If the following graph was the Dow Jones development the past 6 months, then rounding the corner would indeed be a pretty positive roller coaster ride.

Covid does not care that the first wave never really ended in the U.S….it’s still going up…again.

Dow Jones stocks would have gone up by 39% and the NASDAQ by 13% or maybe the other way around. Yet, the New York Times is talking about the number of new Covid cases, number of related deaths……someone’s life here, someone’s family.

Yet….the Don keeps saying, if we did not test as much as we do, as good as we do, then these numbers would not look as bad as they do.

So…following that line of logic, if we don’t test for Covid-19, people won’t die from it? The following is copied and pasted direct from the John Hopkins website

Mortality in the most affected countries

For the twenty countries currently most affected by COVID-19 worldwide, the bars in the chart below show the number of deaths either per 100 confirmed cases (observed case-fatality ratio) or per 100,000 population (this represents a country’s general population, with both confirmed cases and healthy people). Countries at the top of this figure have the most deaths proportionally to their COVID-19 cases or population, not necessarily the most deaths overall

The United States(not blue or red) is currently ranked 5th in deaths per 100,000 population, let’s hope we will never be number 1….unfortunately number 2 posoiton is in sight with the holidays approaching fast

Take a look at the data above. These are friends, fathers, mothers, brothers, sisters, grandparents, and children who have died. Do you doubt these figures, that they are real; that all these good people actually died from Covid? I’ll let you go door-to-door to check. 

Vote like your life depends upon it, because it does. Meanwhile….that was a great call back in February to stop air travel from China….most of us, minus almost 227,000 Americans and rising, have moved on. It’s almost November. Vote…. and let’s count them all as well!

If You Can’t Dazzle Them With Brilliance….Baffle Them With…Conspiracy Theories, Wishful Thinking, Scream We’re Winning and…

if all of that does not work,  bring back the FOX girlfriend to remind us all that we are doomed…not four more years…but fear more years of the Trump presidency!

Donald Jr’s girlfriend….will she run in 2024?

What’s left to do before election day- which is one week from today. We vote(those who are left anyway…then a day of results(we hope)….followed by the finger pointing (reference my blog from one year ago election day)…and then followed the next day by a list of 2024 candidates. What will be interesting this time around will be both parties lists, given Biden only plans to serve one term, and meaning no disrespect to Kamala Harris, because politicians will be politicians.

As we are now in the final stretch of the campaign we see the extreme right proclaiming victory, the far-right pundits proclaiming Bidens’s decline everywhere they look…except it’s not true, no matter how many times they proclaim it to be so.  

It will be a whirlwind of a week, but the cake is already baked. Now we go for the icing, and lots of it, because if anything became crystal clear this week, the ticket the Dems are running against, is Trump/McConnell. We need the senate. So even though all is looking well regards Biden vs. Trump, there is still plenty of work to do in several key races to complete the trifecta sweep.

Remember to vote country over the Trump brand! VOTE……

That’s a Wrap – 2020 Presidential Election

We’re not supposed to say that…out loud.  We Dems can dream it, think it, believe it in our wildest dreams, just do not say it out loud.  Look what happened in 2016.

Well, in 2016 I did not believe it. Hilary ran a pathetic campaign. Also in the primaries. I mean when you lose Michigan in the primaries and you don’t even bother to go there during the fall campaign…. you just don’t get it.

With 10 days to go anything could happen…that’s what we are supposed to say….ok so… we go. Let me change the heading to…that’s a wrap.  There, I said it again. 2020 is not 2016, Biden is not Clinton and Trump the outsider is now Trump the swamp king with a record on Covid and other issues that speak volumes regards his inability to function as President.  Plus, too many voters just don’t like him, his constant lying etc. etc…etc. Trump 2020 is Hilary 2016 on the likeability meter.

This week’s poll of polls – as per October 23rd:

Yes…compare to last week Biden is down by 0,7% and Trump is up 0,6%. Yet, the gap is still almost 8% with 10 days to go. Historically, no one has come back from so far down with only 10 days to go. No one.  Yes, it will tighten and the Republican pundits will write in bold font 28 type…yet, to no avail.

In addition, two things happened this week that can only be translated to……game over.

Did you see the debate? – Tie goes to the candidate currently winning and it was not really a tie anyway in my view. But I do believe in that …. you are going to see what you believe. I must admit, the Don was civil for Trump standards. That bar is not set very high. But being almost civil once for 90 minutes, don’t make a presidency and certainly do not erase one’s actions of the last four years. It’s a bit late anyway with almost 50 million votes already cast.

Adultery ain’t what it used to be when national politics are involved. – Case in point the North Carolina Senate race:  Cunningham vs. Tillis.  The Democratic candidate apologized to his family. Now it is up to the folks of North Carolina to decide. What have they decided so far….given this race is certainly not over. All the polls since he apologized are still in Cunningham’s favor.  The locals understand all to well the national ramifications of Cunningham losing.

So up to now the folks in North Carolina are still feeling blue. Not only do they want Trump out of office, judging by the current polls, but they want Senator Mitch McConnell out as well as Senate Majority leader.  That’s the real ticket we are trying to defeat in 2020, not Trump/Pence but Trump McConnell. Why can’t I vote in North Carolina this year?

With 10 days to go….the message is still simple…vote country over Trump/McConnell...that’s a wrap!

Royalty Crisis…Dutch Style…It’s all Greek to Me…

You may have read in one of my earlier blogs that the Prime Minister of the Netherlands Mark Rutte has been for the last 10 years a part-time teacher for 7th graders. Today, I want to look at his overall job description as described to me by my secret private not to be named deep-state blog source….ok ok…the Dutch government’s website.

Prime Minister, Minister of General Affairs

Mark’s four main duties are as follows – the Prime Minister presides over the Cabinet and is also Minister of General Affairs. He is accountable for the actions of members of the Royal House. He also has an active role in international affairs.

Head of the Cabinet

Keep in mind this is a coalition cabinet with the ministers coming from the four political parties, whom currently form a majority government herein the Netherlands. The Cabinet rules of procedure give the Prime Minister various powers. He sets the Cabinet agenda, chairs its meetings and monitors implementation of its decisions. A press conference is held after the weekly Cabinet meeting, during which the Prime Minister explains government policy and discusses current political events. FYI – Not only does he give a press conference every week on Friday, he follows it up with a 15 minute question/answer session with a journalist at 6:30 pm followed by a radio address. No helicopters drowning him out…no pretending to not hear questions.

Minister of General Affairs

The Prime Minister also heads the Ministry of General Affairs. The 1947 Constituent Instrument states that the Ministry is in charge of matters relating to general government policy in the Kingdom, where these are not expressly dealt with by other ministries. The Ministry’s duties as described are hard to specify in detail but amount to responsibility for coordinating overall government policy. The Prime Minister’s office is in the ‘Torentje’ (the ‘turret’), which is part of the Binnenhof complex in The Hague.

International duties

The Prime Minister attends several international conferences each year and handles a wide range of bilateral international relations.  It is said that whenever he stops being the Dutch prime minister, a major European role awaits Prime Minister Rutte…….hello…..this is Brussels calling.

So why did I bore you with all of the above….well now we get to his last major role as prime minister….as the royal babysitter….. given his role as prime minister means he is accountable, i.e. responsible for the royal family, even if the King earns circa four to five times the amount of money that Mark Rutte earns as the Dutch Prime Minister.  And it will increase by another 5% in the next fiscal year. In fact, when the King’s daughter Amalia turns 18 next year, she will earn more than the Dutch prime minister, almost 100K euros more annually. I am not making this up. You don’t want to know how much they receive in addition to pay, for example, their staff etc…

Accountability for the Tone-Deaf Royal House

The Prime Minister is the minister primarily accountable for the Royal House. He meets with the King once a week to discuss government policy.

And as we found out last week the Prime Minister and King Willem-Alexander discuss the royal house’s vacation plans…supposed to anyway. But while the rest of the Netherlands was going into a lockdown last Friday, the King and co were on their way, with the official Dutch government (private)plane, to Greece for vacation where restaurants, bars etc. are still open. Guess when it concerns sacrifices made by the general Dutch population due to Covid….where……we all go down together…not.  And while the royal family was clearly tone deaf, evidently the plane’s wifi worked just fine, because the royal family quickly flew back home the same evening to the Netherlands on a commercial airline or so we thought.  As it turned out his two older daughters flew home only yesterday. Two princesses in Greece, one the future queen….a wild and crazy time…probably not.

There is a Telford commercial here for mobile phones somewhere.

For those of you who don’t know the Telford campaign, they are about someone, who was once rich, but now no longer is…still he can still afford Telford’s services. So with that explained, here we go………..from flying in a private plane to Greece to see the jet set…to flying home on commercial coach with low-cost Easy Jet…..I’ll work on it.

A Royal Apology Perhaps– Yes, for the first time ever live on nationwide TV, King Willem-Alexander apologized for misreading the situation that themajority of the Dutch were upset, that the King and co jetted off to Greece, while the rest of us went into more or less a lockdown.  This was not their first corona mistake. That took place on his last vacation to Greece, also this year, when a picture of the local Greek restaurant owner was taken with the “mask less”” King Willem-Alexander and Queen Maxima…so much for social distancing and face masks.  That was a little bit dumb to misquote royalty from years ago. But, he did apologize!

And yes, maybe Willem-Alexander has worked hard on his image as a king who lives, breathes and suffers with his people. I mean, years ago he was really successful at it; that video of him with the Dutch women’s Olympic volleyball team….jumping up and down…and up and down..and….a Netfix classic. Plus, he was once known as Prince Pils(beer).  But he was just a prince then…probably like Amalia also earning more than the previous Dutch prime minister….

Yet, now he has apologized. It’s a good start. The king, I believe, can do even better. My suggestion, if he wants to be one of us again. How bout for his next vacation, a mid-week arrangement at Center-Parcs or simply go camping.  There is nothing like the sight of someone early in the morning, crossing the campground, dodging the puddles, getting rained on, while walking to the central toilet and shower facilities with his toilet paper in hand, to convince me that you are one of us; especially if you have to stand in line…..from heading down the hall to the royal loo….to dodging rain during a storm to get rid of some doo-doo.

Meanwhile, what gifts will the royalty wanna-bee, the Don, give the Biden camp tonight during the last debate.  If form holds, he will find some way to be insulting, racist, hurtful, demeaning, condescending all in one sentence, despite having the mike muted.   

Only 12 days to go…vote country over partybut vote.

Two Weeks to Go to Election Day– What Does this Mean…..besides…

Thank God this reign of terror is almost over…..

Yes, and election day 2020 is just two weeks from today. As the end gets nearer for the Don, what can we expect to hear over the next few weeks from this soon-to-be future former president.

A higher dosage of red meat for his base – somehow chants of lock them up have replaced fiscal conservative family values at these Republican-minded covid super spreader rallies.  Quick tell me…..what exactly does the Don wish to achieve during the next four years if re-elected. What goals, policy objectives has he mentioned…… My guess is that should he be re-elected, and he will not be, then he would have achieved his goals and policy objectives for the next four years on election day 2020.

Best defense is a good offense – in other words…attack and deflect, deflect, deflect – to avoid hearing how he had Ivanka on the pay roll as an consultant to lower his taxes or that he has no plan to solve the covid crisis, expect to hear the name Hunter Biden over and over again and then some, not only from the Don himself, but also from all the Trump minded political pundits like Rudy Giuliani….America’s once favorite mayor has somehow squandered just about every ounce of credit he once has. It is hard to imagine that he was once considered a Republican front-runner for the presidency. Hunter, seems to be the theme of the week from just about every right-wing publication. It’s like someone sent out a memo with…..these are the points to mention…what a coincidence. Too bad this albatrossian idea can’t fly. Folks no longer believe in miracles or in coincidence….and given the base already believes, no extra votes here.

We will still be rounding the corner on Covid – because Dr. Faucci and all the other experts got it wrong…are getting it wrong…and will continue to get it wrong. Why? Because the Don, who thinks he knows more about military strategy than our generals, also thinks he knows more about infectious diseases than our experts. So, while Biden will listen to those wimpy scientists, the medical experts; the Don will listen to the…Don and maybe his son-in-law Jared. I feel so much better…..

The economy is going up like a rocket…well the Chinese economy is booming according to recent news reports…do you think that is what the Don meant?

That the election is rigged – lord knows the Don and the Republican party have tried their best to achieve such a lofty “the end justify the means” goal in their opinion via various acts of voter suppression.  Yet, it won’t be enough. 

What we will no longer be hearing…are the endless vacuous promises that… two weeks…we will have a covid vaccine….a new policy for(Fill in your special interest here)….a new tax break incentive…designed to buy your vote.

Those lucky bastards….those 28 million folks that have already voted. They can now watch the Masked Singer or any other non-election minded show they want for the next two weeks, and then just tune in for the election results.

And yet…..the rest of us who remember the 2016 results…know one thing for certain….keep your petal to the metal…on voting.  Nobody wins until the votes are counted. And complacency has no place in presidential politics…ever.

And yet, yet….We have one secret weapon…okay maybe not so secret…given the noise volume…the DON himself.  Given even a lot of Republicans do not like his tactics, nor him or simply have Trump fatigue, the Don 2020 is Hillary 2016.  

Despite that secret weapon….VOTE!

Voters in Foreign Countries Switch to Trump Overnight – His “Moving Abroad” Threat Worked

At a rally last Friday night, the Don floated the prospect of moving abroad. “Could you imagine if I lose?” he said. “I’m not going to feel so good. Maybe I’ll have to leave the country, I don’t know.” Overnight the foreign polls turned from a certain Biden victory into a Trump landslide. The idea of the Don moving to their country “scared them straight”.  Finally, an issue that resonated with the voters, well, to be honest with folks who can not actually vote in the U.S. election. It is too early to say if Trump’s threat to move abroad will increase the size of the Democrat’s potential blue wave or not.

Andrés Manuel López Obrador, the current President of Mexico was the first foreign leader not waiting to find out.  He had some harsh words about President Trump considering a move to Mexico. “He is not our friend, believe me,” he said, before disparaging the Don as a potential presidential immigrant: “He’ll bring drugs. He’ll bring crime, nepotism. He is a misogynist, has admitted to grabbing women by the… has been accused of rape. And worst of all, he will bring his family with him. Now some, I assume, are good people. But who can be sure”? 

He went on to add, “the wall has not been built so we can’t stop the Don from crossing the border to visit.  And no, we also will not build the Don a damn golf course resort and pay for that either. Thank god we have an extradition treaty with the US, should that be needed.”

The Mexican president went on to say, “we have nothing against former US Presidents moving to Mexico. On the contrary, Jimmy Carter is welcome to build houses in Mexico anytime. Obama, as long as he brings Michelle, and even George Bush speaks Spanglish, but the Don?  Supporting far right conspiracy theories like QAnon or white power organizations might not play well in a predominantly Latino culture.”

Plus, the Mexican president for sees legal issue with the future former president, based upon the number of current and previous lawsuits, not to mention potential bankruptcy issues with circa $420 Million in debt that will come due in a few years. He provided me with the following list of countries for the Don to move to….as a suggestion:

Countries with no extradition treaty with US

  • African Republic, Chad, Mainland China, Comoros, Congo (Kinshasa), Congo (Brazzaville), Djibouti, Equatorial.
  • Mauritania, Micronesia, Moldova, Mongolia, Montenegro, Morocco, Mozambique, Namibia, Nepal,
  • Niger, Oman, Qatar, Russia, Rwanda, Samoa, São Tomé & Príncipe, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Serbia,

What Rollercoaster Ride…?

The poll of polls borrowed from Yahoo have been consistent for months. Biden has not been south of the 48th parallel since April. Trump has not been north of 46 since February. What race?

Finish the 2020 race…..less than three weeks to go

Yes, some Democrats are still nervous since Trump won in 2016 despite the polls. So, what’s different in 2020?

Trump is this year’s Hillary.  There are too many voters who simply can not vote for the Don in 2020….no matter what Attorney General Barr does. Some folks gave him the benefit of the doubt in 2016…not this year. Spoiler alert; just like Hillary, expect to hear the Don give his unsolicited opinion after he loses…for years to come.

Lack of undecided voters – last time I looked, if you are polling above 50% in a state you will win.

Polls are tightening – not yet, but they will, as they always do. Yes, Trump will finish higher than his current 42% poll results….this is not exactly news.

Hunter is not on the ballot.  Neither is Donald Jr., Eric, Ivanka…..

And neither is Hilary – really….release Hillary’s emails…really

Trump Fatigue – voters are sick and tired of being divided….and you think they will vote for four more years of this childish narcist….

Trump’s Handing of Corona(or lack of) –  I’m not sure which is worse; his handling of this crisis before he became sick or after. One thing is sure, Marine 1 helicopter rides to the hospital are not in my insurance policy…are they in yours? Neither are experimental drugs…

Next three weeks  – Block out the noise….and the volume will certainly be turned up……just vote.  I can assure you that when you vote you are no longer a ….lean Democrat.

Blue wave in 2020….?  I can dream…can’t I. Yet, it won’t happen if we don’t vote…….and in certain states more turnout is needed than others. We need to focus on specific senate races to complete the trifecta. Yes, I’m talking to you Michigan. We are writing history in 2020…when we vote.

As a reminder, in case you missed it….here are the previous election results……. Democrats have won every election, except one, since 1992….I repeat.…Democrats have won every election, except one, since 1992…here comes the small caveat... when we only count the number of votes casted by actual voters. But, in the world we live in….it’s the Electoral College that matters.

Less than three weeks to go…we all know how expensive college tuition can be, so let’s finish the 2020 race and turn this roller coaster ride of the last four years into a blue Electoral college merry-go-round.  

Vote – choose country over President De La Soul…da da da da…it’s just me, myself and I…coming to a golf course near you in Florida 2021.

View from the Streets of DC – Trump’s Covid 19 Positive Test Results Mi Covid Su Covid

Yesterday our roving reporter on the streets of DC asked the average American what he thought of the president coming down with Covid 19.  We first asked Karen what she thought. “It’s a Democratic hoax.  He is not sick.”  We reminded her that Trump is a Republican. She appeared offended by our comment, but then added with some kind of compassion, “well if he really is sick. I am sure it will go away by the spring. It will magically disappear.” 

Then we spoke with Frank, who chose to keep his last name to himself.  We asked him what he thought about the Don coming down with Covid-19. We quote, “I like my Presidents to not be sick. What a loser.” Pushed further to respond on the president walking to Marine 1, Frank added, “I don’t wear masks like him either. Every time you see Trump, he’s got no mask,” but now Frank said, adding that Trump “could have been walking 200 feet away when he saw him, he shows up with the biggest mask I’ve ever seen.” He went on to add, “It’s a twenty-minute drive from the White House to Walter Reed. How many tax dollars were spent on his helicopter joy ride?” More compassion from the average American!

Going further on our walking tour in DC we asked Shari what she thought about Trump holding the rose garden press conference knowing that he could be sick. Well, “I’ve gone to his rallies. I’ve talked to his people. They love him. They listen to him. They listen to every word he says. They hang on his every word, mi covid su covid.”  

Sharp Shari reminded us what Trump has previously been quoted on the subject of control, when he answered a question with a question during a recent TV interview, “Well, what’s your definition of control?” Trump replied, adding: “I think it’s under control.”  Shari went on to add. “And so, when they hear him say, ‘everything’s under control. Don’t worry about wearing masks,’ I mean, these are people — many of them Republicans attending were older people.” In other words, they chose to accept that level of risk, just don’t come into contact with those who did not.

With regards to the 11 republicans and counting coming down with Covid 19 virus earlier this week, Shari said emphatically “They are sick. That’s true. It is what it is.” That is a presidential level compassionate response, if I have ever heard one.  Shari went on to add, “But that doesn’t mean they aren’t doing everything they can. It’s under control as much as you can control it. I mean look at all those doctors standing in from of Walter Reed medical center. I mean how bad can Covid be given all the doctors who showed up dressed as the new wave band DEVO from the late 70s. If everyone were so sick, would those doctors have time to parade around in costumes at a press conference.  Well, at least those busy doctors were wearing masks for their made for TV moment. I hope Attorney General Barr was not involved, because that would mean tear gas was used to clear the path in front of the hospital.”

The lead white house doctors feel good lack of transparency press statement in front of Walter Reed hospital

It was also reported that President Trump’s campaign did not contact the campaign of former Vice President Joe Biden regarding the president testing positive for COVID-19 following Tuesday’s debate.  Trump confirmed in a tweet early on Friday that both he and first lady Melania Trump had tested positive for COVID-19, which came after Trump and Biden faced off in the first 2020 presidential debate on Tuesday evening. Citing a senior Biden campaign official, CNN reports that “there was no contact from the Trump campaign or the White House to alert the Biden campaign of possible exposure” to COVID-19.  One anonymous white house staff member was heard to say, “well, if we are not going to inform Republicans that the President is a super spreader, do you really think we are going to inform the leader of the radical left, socialist sympathizer from the enemy. We are at war.” When told that the Biden campaign has stopped showing negative advertisements on Trump in deference to his illness and out of sheer human decency, he responded, “well, that’s not us. If he had done what we did, well, uh, that’s his own fault. No mercy.”

And that’s the way it is…in 2020.

Biden Secures His Base in Last Night’s Debate…in one sentence

“Why don’t you just shut up, man?”, in one sentence Joe Biden spoke for his entire base, probably a majority of independents and secretly many Republicans, when he suggested that to Don last night during the first debate.  Joe got the clown word in as well, but actually the full line used by the Democrats is, “when you elect a clown, expect someone who can’t address the corona virus….ok…ok…expect a circus.” So true, but no full marks for Joe’s ad hoc use of the word clown I’m afraid.  Don’t worry. He has two more debates, plenty of time.

Who won last night…..since most people agree that neither candidate won…… the only obvious winner thanks to Trump’s refusal once again to condemn white supremacists, were the Proud Boys, an alt-right self-described “western chauvinist” group. They clearly viewed Trump’s comment to “stand back and stand by” as a call to take action. The group turned Don’s words into a logo that has been widely circulated on social media. On the right-wing social media site Parler, Proud Boys leader Joe Biggs said he took Trump’s words as a directive to “f— them up.”

So, given Mr. Bigg’s remark, I would say it was not just me that found Trump’s call to “stand back and sytand by” the one truly memorable moment of the night. It is however the kind of remark, or lack of, condeming another white supremacist organzation, that will be played over and over on talk shows every four years on how not to debate.  Just no action please….Proud Boyzzzzz.

Who really won last night….Biden. He’s leading. Nothing negative happened last night to change that. That feat is in itself great….but there is an election to win in 34 days!

What happens next….if Biden’s current lead in the polls holds, it’s just a matter of days before the Republicans start to jump ship. This should be fun to watch. I mean nowadays Lindsay Graham can’t even remember who John McCain was, how long do you think it will take for him to forget the Don.

Tonight’s First Presidential Debate – Follow the Short and Curlies

What does it matter?  Tonight’s first presidential debates are hyped to the hilt as they are every four years. So what?  Four years ago, Hillary won every debate battle poll but lost the election. 

Anybody left undecided– This year the poll of presidential election polls has been dramatically consistent with Biden +/-7 points ahead at 49% plus change and Trump hovering around 43 give or take a half percentage. They are not many voters left truly undecided.

Still…expect fireworks because Trump has nothing to lose and will leave no lie unsaid.  The trick for Biden is to stay on message. The American people gave Trump the keys to the car in 2016 and he gave them a train wreck. The president has one job. To keep Americans safe. More than 200,000+ Covid 16 related deaths later and rising he has failed miserably to meet that core objective.

In two weeks – there will be a vaccine for Covid 19. Two weeks from now it will be another two weeks and tomorrow we will be serving free beer at your local bar.

Supreme court justices – as in the third conservative pick that will play way to Trump’s base and hopefully it will fire up the Democratic base to do what it did not do four years ago…vote. To all those folks who protested the results in the streets four years ago…one question…..did you vote in 2016?    I mean, if you did not have the time nor felt the need to vote, but you had plenty of time to protest the results you helped to create by not voting, than perhaps you want to take care of business first this time around.  There will be more Supreme Court picks in the next four years…the president appoints the next Supreme Court justice…but whose votes(or lack of) confirm that pick… so don’t forget your local election for U.S. Senator. It does not matter how many bills are passed in the house of representatives, if they never see the light of day in the senate.

More ammunition for Biden –  what does Joe Sixpack or the average fiscally minded Republican feel, think, believe when they hear about how little in federal taxes the Don has paid over the last 15 years. More importantly, who has the Don by his short and curlies to the tune of 420 million in loans due in a few years. Follow the money…….to the folks holding the strings to the short and curlies.  They are on your neck by the way!  This is a family oriented political blog!

Radical left – the Republicans have been lockstep in pushing this paint by numbers picture of Biden. Please keep doing it. The lack of movement in the polls shows it is not working. Joe Biden is Joe Biden. We know Joe.

What will Joe Biden say?  If it were me, keep doing what you are doing.  Brush off the lies and stay on message in reminding everyone what an economic train wreck the Don has created. Keep your focus on demonstrating the lack of leadership Trump has displayed daily in dealing with the Covid crisis. It is about keeping Americans safe. It is about trust.  

And when it’s over, I hope that we win the….election…..who won the debate don’t matter…..because, it’s about the election results…the way forward. Choose country over party.

Notorious RBG vs. Deranged DJT

There is no comparison. RBG changed the system that was rigged against her.  What she achieved was amazing! The other received $10 million from his dad and still managed to go broke more than once. There’s not much else to add here. There is no comparison.

Europe’s Political Counterpart for Trump….Where Have We Seen This Before

Does Europe have anyone today we can compare with Trump?  Looking at the Netherlands may be a bit premature. Take Forum for Democracy leader Thierry Baudet for example. Watching the leader of the Dutch political party Forum for Democracy the other night on TV one can certainly see similarities between Donald and Thierry, but that is about as far as it gets. I mean both are completely capable of saying incredibly inane things out loud on camera. And both look incredulous when their brilliant ideas are confronted with derision from their follow politicians. But that’s kind of where it stops.

No, Thierry is not Donald more like Donald light, say Donald Jr.  When he says something, you know he really does not have a clue about what he is talking about. Both lack the swagger that comes with the political upper echelon territory.  They need another 20 years to ripen….like their beards.

France’s Jean-Marie Le Pen perhaps? While his daughter is currently in charge of the National Front party today, are you reading this Ivanka, Jean-Marie is still the iconic French politician who served as President of the extreme right-wing National Front party from 1972 to 2011. It’s a close call except Jean-Marie is a career politician, who despite 5 attempts, never became the French prime minister. Plus, he never really mattered on a stage outside of France…WFIF…world famous in France. Donald likes winners.

Putin? Besides the fact that Vladimir too is a career government employee; yes, the KGB counts, he is career public servant. That’s not real estate Don. And for whatever reason known between the two leaders, Trump walks on eggshells concerning placing any criticism at the doorstep of the Russian leader. It is difficult to compare them especially as one obviously has an unseen advantage over the other.

 No, there is only one choice, one European politician that was Trump before Trump was Trump.  In fact he was the Don before the Don…and his name is not even Don…..

Who thenSilvio Berlusconi…the former four time prime minister of Italy. 

Why Silvio?  Like Don, they both started at the top. Neither Donald nor Silvio ever held public office before Donald was elected as President of the U.S. and Silvio as Prime Minister of Italy. But that’s not all they have in common. For example:

  • Same political friends….Years before Donald became Israel’s Prime Minister’s Netanyahu best friend there was Silvio in January 2010 when Benjamin told Silvio during his visit to Israel,  “We are lucky that there is a leader such as yourself. I don’t believe we have a better friend in the international community,” Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told his Italian counterpart Silvio Berlusconi during a gala dinner at Jerusalem’s King David Hotel Monday night.
  • To Putin with love…Berlusconi had a warm relationship with Vladimir Putin.  In September 2014, Berlusconi accused the United States, NATO and EU of “a ridiculously and irresponsibly sanctioning approach to the Russian Federation, which cannot but defend Ukrainian citizens of Russian origin that it considers brothers”. We all know how that turned out.  They are reported to be friends even after there is no political advantage to be gained by either. Why not?   I’m not sure Donald will be Vladimir’s friend come the second week of November
  • Obama –  Silvio complimented Obama on his 2008 election victory, he offered his own particular form of praise today for America’s president-elect Barack Obama, describing him as “young, handsome and tanned.” That last word got him in trouble with the Italian press.  When it comes to Obama, well Trump has been…Trump. Maybe Silvio was being sarcastic?
  • Tax issues – Trump won’t release his tax returns and Berlusconi was convicted on tax fraud.
  • Focus on younger women – although Silvio stayed domestic in tastes whereas Don did not
  • Bad hair – Silvio went for the slicked back oil look whereas Don chose…Don chose…the jury is still out.
  • Narcistic – it’s a tie. I’ll let them fight it out. It’s a tie for me.

This hurtsmy idea to compare is not as original as I thought – The NY times beat me to the comparison …those bastards… the following is borrowed from Wikipedia…

  • A number of writers and political commentators consider Berlusconi’s political success a precedent for the 2016 election of real estate tycoon Donald Trump as the 45th President of the United States,[177][178][179] with most noting Berlusconi’s panned Prime Ministerial tenure and therefore making the comparison in dismay. Roger Cohen of The New York Times argued, “Widely ridiculed, endlessly written about, long unscathed by his evident misogyny and diverse legal travails, Berlusconi proved a Teflon politician […] Nobody who knows Berlusconi and has watched the rise and rise of Donald Trump can fail to be struck by the parallels.”[180] The New York Times also published an interactive quiz called “Name That Narcissist”, which compiled quotes from both politicians with the reader having to guess whether each one was uttered by Berlusconi or Trump.[181] In The Daily Beast, Barbie Latza Nadeau wrote, “If Americans are wondering just what a Trump presidency would look like, they only need to look at the traumatized remains of Italy after Berlusconi had his way.”[182] During the 2016 presidential election, Politico described Berlusconi as the closest parallel to Trump in a historical world leader[183] and that his tenure as Italy’s Prime Minister is a good bellwether of what a Trump presidency would be like.[184]
  • In a piece written for Slate and published in April 2017, Lorenzo Newman noted the similarities in the career trajectories between the two men – “Both grew their fortunes on allegedly mafia-linked real-estate developments, transitioned into successful careers as media moguls, and, against all odds, ascended to the helm of their respective national governments” – but also highlighted their shared tendency to question and undermine established institutions such as the judiciary and the press, the way that neither of them had been accepted by their countries’ respective establishments despite their wealth, and how they channeled the resulting resentment into a populist form of politics by “portraying themselves as every men, if not in wealth, then in language, tone (and) aspirations”. He also pointed out other commonalities, such as responding to concerns about conflicts of interest by delegating responsibility for running their businesses to family members.[185]

End of the day election 2020 Teflon Don is losing with 6+ weeks to go. The stock market may not be steady, but the spread among voters has been consistent for months. Biden is winning…and will win. We need the senate! Given the surprising number of undecided voters, much lower vs. 2016, the numbers are looking bad which explains why Don is currently making Nixon look like a boy scout when it comes to applying dirty tricks. But they are not working. We have heard this gimmick before….again and again…about the election being rigged, if he loses.  I am not sure why,  given the Republicans have lost the popular vote every election since from 1992, except one.

Straw Poll or Reaching for Straws……Welcome to Polarization

I admit it. I looked at the current polls on Real Clear Politics website. With 7 weeks to go, were coming down to the wire….we get one day off……then only 208 weeks to go to the 2024 election!

Up until now the 2020 election year picture has been fairly typical… candidate leads…then it grows….but come September…the polls tighten….yawn….we see this almost every four years.

What do these pollers want to show us…each polls asks more or less a variant of the following:

If the presidential race in 2020 was between Donald Trump and Joe Biden, who would you vote for? or If the 2020 Election for president were held today, would you vote for Donald Trump or Joe Biden?

Where they differ is who they ask, likely or actual voters, and how neutral is the organization running the poll. Yes, even the polls are “polarized” nowadays.  This is the U.S., land of the free and the home of what do you want the polls to say.

In the UK a friend of mine once told me you can tell a person’s status, origin, level of education by listening them speak 10 words or less. In the US,  all you have to do is look at the name of the station: FOX or CNN, newspaper: New York Times or the New York Post, show presenter: Sean Hannity or Chris Cuomo and..and..and..Biden/Trump……..there is no vagueness here; the difference is in your face.

Some call it a clear choice. It is in 2020. That explains the much lower percentage of undecided voters. We know Joe Biden and who he is after all these years.  Go ahead Don and try to tell us he is someone else. It’s not working.  After 3 1/2 years as president there are also no longer any surprises regards what the Don will say or do in order to remain king of the ever increasing swamp he promised to get rid of. And the same goes for his sycophantic cult followers, who as can be predicted, will also do or say anything to make sure Trump stays in power.  October surprise(s) this year is guaranteed!

So it comes as no September surprise that in the week where it is revealed what Trump actually said about how dangerous he thought the corona virus really was back in February/March, and what he stated in public, which created the ensuing PR crisis; that in this specific week Trump ekes out a 1% lead over Biden in the race for the white house in the Rasmussen poll.  Every other poll has him losing.

September 17th’s overview of polls on the general election in the US: Trump vs. Biden…a blue stream with one red rock in the middle.

Let’s for a moment leave out the margin of sampling error( +/- 2 percentage points with a 95% level of confidence ) and focus on just who is or who is behind Rasmussen Reports.  No, I am not looking for any conspiracy theories, just a better understanding if the folks behind the poll are FOX or CNN minded.

So, mustering together all the political sources this truly professional amateur blogger can afford with our massive research budget, I……. looked them up on Wikipedia and found(in italics).

Rasmussen Reports /ˈræsˌmʌsən/[5] is a conservative[6] American polling company founded in 2003.[7] The company engages in political commentary and the collection, publication, and distribution of public opinion polling information. Rasmussen Reports conducts nightly tracking, at national and state levels, of elections, politics, current events, consumer confidence, business topics, and the United States president‘s job approval ratings.

Rasmussen’s polling in the 2000 and 2012 U.S. presidential elections has been criticized by polling watchers as highly inaccurate while the company’s performance in the 2004 and 2008 presidential elections was credited for its accuracy. Some, including Patrick Caddell and Douglas Schoen, have lauded Rasmussen Reports while others, such as Chris Cillizza, have questioned its accuracy. FiveThirtyEight gives the firm a “C+” rating, reporting it had a 3.9 point bias in favor of Republican candidates in the 2010 midterm election. The company’s frequent divergence from results reported by other polls has been attributed to its use of likely voters, rather than registered voters or all adults, in its survey panels.


According to Politico, “Rasmussen’s final poll of the 2008 general election—showing Obama defeating Arizona Sen. John McCain 52 percent to 46 percent—closely mirrored the election’s outcome.”[54] In reference to the 2008 presidential election, a Talking Points Memo article said, “Rasmussen’s final polls had Obama ahead 52–46%, which was nearly identical to Obama’s final margin of 53–46%, and made him one of the most accurate pollsters out there.”


The final 2012 Electoral College projection by Rasmussen Reports showed 237 safe electoral votes for Barack Obama, 206 safe electoral votes for Mitt Romney, and eight toss-up states with a total of 95 electoral votes.[58][59][60] The final Rasmussen Reports daily tracking poll showed Mitt Romney with a 49–48% lead over President Obama.[61] Obama won the election by close to 4 percentage points. Rasmussen Reports predicted Obama winning Nevada and New Hampshire, tying Romney in Ohio and Wisconsin, and losing in the other five swing states, including North Carolina. Obama won in the swing states of Ohio, Wisconsin, Colorado, Florida, Iowa, and Virginia, while Romney took North Carolina.[62]


Rasmussen Reports’ final White House Watch survey showed Democrat Hillary Clinton with a 1.7% popular-vote lead over Republican Donald Trump.[68] After all 136+ million U.S. votes were counted, Clinton led the popular vote by 2.1%


In 2018, Rasmussen Reports predicted that Republicans would win the generic ballot by 1 percentage point while the actual election results had Democrats winning by nearly 9 percentage points. This error of nearly 10 percentage points was the largest polling error out of major firms who polled the national generic ballot.[81] Rasmussen pushed back against critics after their miss, claiming that “the midterm result was relatively poor for Democrats compared to other midterms” despite the Democrats having scored a historic margin[82] in the popular vote. Rasmussen has not articulated any significant changes to their methodology after their significant miss in 2018.

How did Rasmussen do – actual results vs. their poll?  Hit(2004, 2008, 2016) or miss(2000, 2012, 2018)pretty well sums it up. And when they miss, their poll results error to the side of the Republican candidates.

Several Trump’s approval ratings were also published today on Real Clear Politics. Here too, the Rasmussen Poll results paint a different picture than in my opinion current reality:

Trumps’approval ratings published today, Sept. 17th, on Real Clear Politics……heretoo Rasmussen Reports poll results are more favorable for the president than all other polls

What’s on the to do list until November – What needs to be done is clear…for Trump supporters….RELAX…your guy is winning….one polling organization loves him…he’s doing a great job… Rasmussen Reports…go to those indoor rally’s and breath on Don….it’s not a lockdown, cause the election is locked up.

For Biden supporters…….with less than 7 weeks to go….quit looking at the poll numbers….election results are what mattter. We have too much work to do in order to keep the momentum from 2018 on track in 2020, this year’s polarized choice is as clear as FOX/CNN, New York Times/Post…choose America….Bidenwe are reaching for the stars, not straws.

Mark Rutte – The Netherland’s Part-Time Prime Minister

Got your attention? Technically speaking…I am exaggerating. Mark Rutte is the full-time Prime Minister for the Netherlands and has been for the last 10 years. Three coalition cabinets and counting. The next national elections are scheduled for spring 2021.

Prime Minister Rutte of the Netherlands in action as a part-time 7th grade social studies teacher……since 2010

Yet, once a week on Thursday you will find him teaching social studies in the Hague, specifically for a VMBO class in the Schilderswijk.  First year level…so 7th grade in the U.S. school system. If you are thinking it is a cynical political stunt, it is not.  Since 2008 he has taught classes once a week at Johan de Witt College in Den Haag.  He became prime minister in 2010.

Earlier this year when Covid 19 closed the schools here in the Netherlands, Prime Minister Rutte did not teach online. He did what we all wanted to do, “I skipped school from mid-March”, Rutte acknowledged at the opening of the 2020 school year while in Zwolle last week.

Rutte is now back in the classroom in Schilderswijk in The Hague. “At first in a fairly empty class, but now the class is full again.” After the summer holidays, secondary school students are also allowed to go back to school in full. They do not have to keep a distance of 1.5 meters from each other. It is not entirely as usual, noted Rutte. “The students can hug each other again, but the teacher has to stay in his specified area.” And where do you find the Dutch prime minister at lunch time, well, in the school cantine…where else….eating lunch….just like everyone else. He may be prime minister, but he is first Dutch!

At the official 2020 school year opening, which could be seen via a live stream, Rutte was also asked, if he could go back in time, what MBO(secondary vocational school) course he would have chosen. The Prime Minister himself studied history at Leiden University. Yet, the presenter wanted to know if a monument restorer perhaps would have been an appropriate choice, “Well, the Binnenhof(Dutch parliament) is about to collapse”, Rutte joked. The monumental complex awaits a major renovation, which will take years. “In any case, things are not going great with the (Binnenhof)Torentje.”   He was referring to the courtyard turret (Binnenhof torentje)office that became the prime-minister’s office in 1982 and therefore his office; it stems from the 15th century.

Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte’s courtyard turret office is pictured in the far left corner ….first built in the 15th century

What’s next…..Teaching is socially responsible but...Yes, 10 years teaching is pretty impessive while being prime minister. Perhaps it’s also time to take it to the next level… about holding parent-teacher-student meetings as a school guidance counselor…come on Mark…get back to your human relations days at Unilever. I bet the parents can’t wait to hear, “Mom, dad, our meeting with the prime minister, I mean Mr. Rutte, is next week on Thursday. He asked us to be on time this time and also no politics. He knows already that you think he sucks, so don’t wear your “op-Rutte” (get lost) teeshirt either.”

By the case you are wondering how Mark gets back to his day job dealing with corona issues, governing etc……..he takes the presidential limosine…the beast…surrounded by secret serice?….right……ah…nope…we’re in the Netherlands remember….more like…his “fiets”(it rhymes with beast…but it’s just his bike.) I am sure he wears a helmet. And the secret service here, they are in great shape!

What Did the President Know and When Did He Know it…Crisis What Crisis..It’s Kayleigh Time

And the Don said let’s keep them in the dark, all except Bob. We’ll tell him everything and let him even record it.  It is hard to fathom, that in early February, President D.J. Trump acknowledged to The Washington Post’s Bob Woodward, the “deadly” nature of the coronavirus in a series of recorded interviews. How is it possible that this did not leak out, even as Trump publicly sought to play down the disease’s threat to Americans?

Recounting a conversation with Chinese President Xi Jinping, Trump told Woodward on Feb. 7 that the coronavirus is “more deadly than your, you know, your — even your strenuous flus. Then later on March 19 Trump told Woodward, “I wanted to always play it down.” He had declared a national emergency over the virus days earlier, but also said, “I still like playing it down, because I don’t want to create a panic.” Ok, so now we know more or less what the president knew and when.

And when it all came out in conjunction with Woodward’s forthcoming book, Rage, based on a series of interviews with President Trump, I could only think to ask two questions, one, what idiotic and potentially dangerous thing will Don say or do next and, two, is Woodward available for white house duty, come January, because nothing gets leaked to the press. 

Maybe a third question as well….why did Woodward not divulge such information earlier in the interest of public safety?  Having said that, I realize it is in some respect it’s like Bolton is not gonna tell us either, unless you issued a subpoena. Can’t you all wait until fall when my book will be published?  Still from Bolton I expect such behavior, but up until now, not from Bob, especially as lives were on the line. I am more than curious to hear what he has to say.

Then again, asking that question of Bob now would simply be a distraction from the fact that this president purposely hid information from the U.S. public, that was harmful for his re-election campaign and for the safety of that same American public. So how the Don acted is no surprise, because as his sister Mary once said, “It’s all about Donald.” 

And when the Don is in trouble from a PR standpoint…….it’s….Here’s Kayleigh……….time.  As the extent of his comment’s damage began to expand exponentially, Donald sent his press secretary out yesterday to berate the white house press corps and to lie to us about his lies…glare at us…then strut off the public stage with her now patented I showed you all walk.

When she started out months ago, she was so friendly. Nowadays, all she would need to do is to carry an axe as well and her impression of Jack Nicholson in The Shining would be picture perfect, complete with the Shelley Duval( press corps) shivering in the white house press room murmuring …redrum…redrum….Do any of you remember Kayleigh’s promise not to lie to us?  Does it really matter? Ah…no not really. Because what we are witnessing cannot be spun, it is how a failed presidency intends to spend its remaining months in power. It is what it is, to quote a soon-to-be once president.

Any polling news…….With less than 8 weeks to go, two weeks after the respective national conventions took place, and in essence everything is still on course for a victory for America. No real significant movement for either candidate.  

Yet, how will this latest adventure of a Trump self-inflicted political crisis play out….less then a week after the last one, when it was made public in the Atlantic article, and for the most part the story was confirmed by a FOX news reporter, that Trump called members of the U.S. military “suckers and losers”.  

And this week Trump’s February and March comments on the actual seriousness of the Corona virus come out, which is…No, not another golf story …Borrowing and using a sporting analogy, the damage that Trump has inflicted on himself is by no means a “sucker” punch, nor is it a potential knock-out blow given the reverence he holds from his base.  This election like most recently will last 15 rounds. Still, one has to think the constant and repeated body blows Trump’s campaign is taking, self-inflicted or not,  are beginning to take their toll here in rounds 6 and 7.  And while this fight will certainly last 15 rounds, the other two fights on the undercard may not.    Keep in mind what is important…. we don’t want no split decision. The House is won. The battle for the senate will probably also go 15 rounds, so leave no vote unturned.  Winning here in the senate is the only option to prevent any further lasting damage in confirming judges to the U.S. supreme court….even when Biden wins the main draw. Just ask Supreme Court Justice Merrick Garland.

White House Press Corp Complicity…Do Your Job

What a homefield bully pulpit the president has and uses every press conference he gives…with an emphasis on bully. When will the white house press corps finally do its job?  Its time to decide. Do your job or continue to enable the current president to spread his hoaxes every day on your watch, to demean anyone who dares to disagree with the president’s interest.  It’s time to boycott the BS! Our country matters…!

Biden called you all out today. The time to report what the president says as factual news is over, because as Biden pointed out what we all know,  “It’s a fraud.”  The president is not stupid. He says what he says for a reason…and you my friends in the press are complicit as you report it as newsworthy….and report it and report it…and by the way…..doing it while being outraged does not weaken his message, but spreads it. 

My suggestion; report it as such WITHOUT repeating his message. How about simply saying, “Yes, he lied today again. Dog bites man. No point to repeat or fact check it. Another day of if you can’t dazzle them with presidential brilliance then baffle them with BS.” That’s it!

And then there is his base. They have to add another item to their list of false justifications to justify their behavior…. “Yes, I don’t agree with his comments, tone or actions…yet…..”  When are you going to choose, duty, honor and country over Trump? How many more Republicans, ex-White House staffers, former 4 star generals have to say in public…he’s unqualified to carry out the duties as President. Are they really all part of the deep state? Really…?

How patriotic are you really when you allow a person who never served to continue to debase those who did serve over and over and over again.  Ok…you don’t trust the press…then take action…look it up yourself.  Check it out yourself, how many times has Trump been to Arlington cemetery in the past 3,5 years to honor those who died for their country?  Compare it to other Presidents.  Look it up yourself.  Don’t just say console yourself by saying …well…they are just never Trumpers…therefore… that’s not good enough, if you truly love your country…do your own research.

Now getting back to the white house press… your job….do I really need to explain what that means?? If the president dodges your colleague’s question, then your first duty is to say when called on…….”getting back to my colleagues last question, can you please……..Mr. President..” Boycot the BS. Call him out on his bluff and bluster….choose country over the president.

Four years is too long. It will only get worse in the next four years. Enough is enough.  Personally, I am tired of the news asking why President Trump continues to NOT call out Russia…on the actions they take…no matter what they do.

Do your job…2020 voter. Don’t kid yourself any longer. There is no vaccine becoming available in late October, only more fake news. And wear your masks!

By the way…what does rounding the corner mean as deaths are predicted to rise to 400,000 deaths by the time the next president is sworn in by January?

Just imagine…a Minister of Justice and Security Commits High Treason…and he says…

“I’m sorry. As minister, I should set a good example.”  He stood in front of his colleagues as well as in front of the opposition parties and apologized for his behavior. He even paused for a moment to compose himself.  The opposition wanted him to resign; a logical idea given what he did and what he had said before on the issue. In essence, he has stated that everyone by now knows what needs to be done on social distancing and why it is important to follow the regulations. He was tired of seeing such asocial behavior, i.e. groups of people simply ignoring the regulations.  

Then he was caught in the act. He talked the tough talk, but he did not walk his toughness.  A political guillotine for the minister in charge of enforcing the corona regulations….please…step right up to the line.  Nope. After a lengthy debate, his public apology, and corresponding public rebuke by several leaders of the opposition party, the minister in question is allowed to stay on for now. Because according to his boss, while he made a mistake in this case, he is doing a great job.

The headline in this morning’s paper, the minister is quoted, “Yes, I am still credible.” For some yes, mainly the coalition parties, others not, mainly the opposition parties. Let’s wait and see how the public jury decides.

OMG….Who is this person and what did he do….Fred Grapperhaus(CDA) is the Minister of Justice and Security in Mark Rutte’s(VVD), the Dutch Prime Minister, third cabinet composed of ministers from the four coalition parties: VVD, CDA, D66 and CU.  Yes, even today it is still possible for political parties to work together to form a coalition government. But I digress………So what exactly did he do wrong…what were the treasonous high crimes and misdemeanors? Well, he got married.  Really, that’s it. Ok, that’s not just it.

There was also a lot of touching, hugging, and shaking hands and at least one kiss…I hope. These things happen during weddings.

But a wedding sounds like a private affair? And it was until the local paparazzi shared pictures of a typical wedding scene, which unfortunately took place in a not to typical corona time frame where social distancing rules the day. There will be no touching, hugging, shaking hands among people who do not live in the same house.  And the one kiss…..we see it through the fingers (Dutch English) as my guess is that minister Grapperhaus already lives with his wife in one household.  Still, social distancing regulations exist, and you can be fined if you are not in compliance. According to one member of the opposition, the Dutch lead Europe in fining folks for this offense; 390 euros I believe per offence per person. Plus, you now have a criminal record…..unless you are the minister of justice and security…because he was not charged despite the evidence……because he is the……you got it.

What’s the big deal?  Yes, we all make mistakes. But in this case Minister Grapperhaus on many occasions has been quite publicly adamant on his thoughts about those who continue to break these rules.

When it first came out, the one picture of his wedding party Minister Grapperhaus formally admitted it was a mistake in writing, a moment of wedding madness, yet still bad judgement given the corona situation. The couple wanted to share their happiness. You do that at a wedding.  It really was understandable…really. But then they came out…………………they being more pictures, which led to a motion of distrust by the opposition parties and last night’s debates and subsequent apology.

What’s next? Now all of this, a minister in charge of enforcing certain regulations, breaking the aforementioned regulations, is slightly more than much ado about nothing. Or not? We shall see as the minister in question more importantly did not experience political social distancing from any of the four coalition partners… a show of public support was clear last night from Mark Rutte the (VVD)prime minister for a (CDA) minister……yet….keep in mind….there is an election scheduled early next year.

Putting this affair into global context…..if this had happened in the U.S…..we would probably see Trump stating in public that the pictures in question are fake, Attorney General Barr is doing a great job, the radical liberal Democrats will destroy the wedding industry, plus where and how is Hunter Biden involved. In short, there is little in common regards how affairs are dealt with in the Netherlands vs. the U.S..

And in terms of importance, l’affaire Grapperhaus was definitely front-page news on both late-night Dutch talk shows. Looking to find more political rage I switched channels to CNN and caught part of Wolf Blitzer’s interview Attorney General William Barr. After watching it, all I can say is, further clarification about what the current administration will do to stay in power, and to what lengths they will go, is no longer required.  The attorney general’s thought and opinions were transparent in their vagueness.  So give me a romantic wedding any day of the week complete with paparazzi……..because you won’t see a good example being set in the U.S. by the current administration and for certain, no one is apologizing.

Copy and Paste BS – Last Night of the RNC

Somewhere in heaven George Floyd is looking down from and praising Trump’s RNC speech.  No, the Don did not make that mistake again, but the alternative reality shown this week by the RNC demonstrates that nothing else matters but getting Trump re-elected. 

The last four nights in Charlotte need to serve as a wake-up call to the Democrats that the Republican party will say and do anything to get Trump re-elected. Party over country. The message could not be clearer.

Your actions in November should also send a clear message…choose America over Trump.

Made for TV RNC Reality……If Only he was a Real Life…a Real President

Look…. up in the sky!  Is it a bird?  No!  Is it a plane?  No, he’s underdog in the polls, cuz he sure ain’t superman despite all of his made for TV escapades shown last night during day 2 of the RNC.

Following up on last night’s superhuman feats, our hero will….tonight…perform an intimate wedding in the White House Rose Garden between a loving LGBT couple from the swing(get it…one of them is bi…) states Florida and Pennsylvania between a 35 year old card carrying union worker with a Cuban heritage and an African American kindergarten schoolteacher, from the South Side who only speaks Pittsburghese…. yinz know what I mean…go Stillers beat Da Bungles.  How many boxes are we ticking with this made for TV couple…eh?

Our TV reality producer…worth every donation the Trump re-election campaign could afford!

Then, we will waste some time to hear Pence tell how great the president is, while he gives us his Gillette man shaving look speech with his perfect hair…..yaddah…yaddah…yaddah…followed by his wife who will do the same while trying to sound evangelical. More boxes ticked….

But then……the main event….our super prez will deliver a baby…”live on TV”, the Heinz 57 variety that includes as many heritages as possible with whom we are not currently running strong. The only drawback is that the chosen couple could not make it. We had to use a last minute stand-in from DC, and while they are here illegally….Mary, Joseph…turns out though, they had the right manger look for the nativity scene set-up.. They nailed it and Don is a natural as father of the nation.

One small technicality, the newborn may have been born here, but he was not Made in America…..and as mentioned, they were not the promised All-American couple from next door swing-state Virginia…plus, who wants to see two nights of illegals becoming Americans….boring…. one final word for the Virginia swing voters who backed out last minute….what do you mean you couldn’t wait a few more hours……..until tonight’s show. Amateurs….

Still…more to come…After the baby delivery and back by popular demand from Monday night for a cameo, it’s that wacky first generation Irish American Kimberly Guilfoyle with Puerto Rican roots. Watch again while she screams….they will DETROY you…those Dems.  Love those nails by the way!

Less drama and more mama Kellyanne will give us a tearful rendition of her favorite lies, sorry, alternative facts,  told over the years, before she heads off into the sunset while being sung to her by the Europeans for Trump PAC Choir and orchestra We, who love the #Lincoln Project are going to miss George…but not as much as the Don is going to miss Kellyanne. After that tearful send-off….I’m making a prediction here…..given by the prez himself.

Even more…we’ll see Sheriff Don down in Texas on border patrol….riding a horse bare-chested like his Russian friend. Followed by Doctor Don doling out Chlorox filled needles to the homeless. Then he finds the cure himself for Covid 19….but actually that’s a surprise for October.

I can’t wait to hear all about it tomorrow, because I certainly won’t be watching tonight!

Spoiler alert for tomorrow’s last night of the RNC…..Trump, our super hero, will give his own eulogy………now that is must-see reality TV!

Until then….Time to say Goodbye…to TV reality Don.

Where’s the Republican Party?

Former Fox reporter panders to her boyfriend’s father’s base at the RNC last night, I mean, why else would she be invited to speak?

The basic theme again on the opening night of the Republican National Convention, and probably will be for the next three nights upcoming, was in essence Howard Beale’s screaming in the 1976 film Network, “I’m as mad as hell and I’m not going to take this anymore!” The Democrat’s response should simply be to quote Reagan…”There you go again”…the great communicator’s line first used in 1980 during his debate with President Carter and repeated every four years by one party  or the other.

Core values on display last night, other than instilling fear among your base that it will be the end of the world as they know it, should a Democrat be living in the White House come next January, were absent. The usual suspects regurgitated last night included, “radical left” Democrats are socialists….your child’s safety is as risk, the white St. Louis couple who pointed semi-automatic weapons at Black Lives Matter protesters outside their home said that Democrats “want to abolish the suburbs altogether. In essence, it was your run-of-the-mill fearmongering and just under the surface the white power message that wants to show itself in all of its glory, but can’t just yet. Their leader has to be re-elected first!

Another key theme from last night and certainly will be repeated again this week and up through November is that the Democratic platform’s goal is to destroy America…really. Just because you scream it does not make it so. Is this the optimistic message of the RNC that Trump has promised….choose us…or…choose certain death!

Then there was the revisionist history Covid 19 campaign like video on how effective the president has been to handle this crisis…daring us to ask….who are you going to believe….your lying eyes or the Trump re-election team.  It’s like watching the police shoot an unarmed individual, then claim self-defense, even though we have it on film…and then question why folks want to exercise their rights on the streets to a peaceful protest. 

From Kellyanne’s alternative facts statement back in 2017 to last night’s alternative reality every day this Orwellian president takes us all one step closer to 1984….and I do not mean Reagan’s morning in America. And the reason why he says what he says? Remember, he’s a businessman; he thinks it will work. It did four years ago. So why change a winning strategy?

So perhaps we are asking the wrong question. It’s not, what’s wrong with Trump, charlatans come and go throughout history; it’s why his base stays squarely behind him….evidently no matter what….yes, I’ll quote his I can murder someone on 5th avenue comment again. I mention this, because evidently this is true for some of the people…all of the time. 

What is it about the continuous lies, divide and conquer take no prisoners approach, the subliminal, yet getting closer to the surface, out of the closet white power nature of this president that the majority of Republicans continue to support….just because he/she is a republican?  Or do Trump’s comments, actions, beliefs truly reflect your values?

If it’s the latter….then it is true….your vision of America, I want to change forever.

One Virtual Convention Down, One Reality Soap Box to Go

What a difference a week makes. I mean, whatever positive news you heard last week from the 2020 Democratic ticket, future President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris; plus key members of the Democratic party on the future of America, you will hear doom and gloom for the next four nights, regards their ideas…thoughts…plans. 

Yes, the Democrats also had a distinct take last week on the current administration’s inabilities to address the single important issue, keep Americans safe, and in line with that objective, what they would do if elected how to address the corona issue.

But this week, it’s the Republican’s turn. So, let’s not forget what I call Trump’s law and, of course, apply it, given the Democrats said things that were not exactly positive about Trump…that means….when applying Trump’s law….the Democrats were….had to be….lying. His base believes that. How else can they sleep at night?

So plan on hearing the exact opposite and worse this week from the Republicans on how the president has handled this corona crisis perfectly, all 175,000+ deaths and counting. Yes, even given previous comments made by the president, you now need to ignore, forget, discard as fake news, despite reminders from the #Lincoln Project, comprised of Republicans, who do not want Trump re-elected:

We will probably hear the following again this week, over and over, that it was Obama’s fault, even though the corona virus did not exist during his 8 years in office. And please forget the fact that the Obama/Biden administration had in place the Global Health Security and Biodefense unit that was responsible for pandemic preparedness. It was established in 2015 by Barack Obama’s National Security Advisor, Susan Rice. The unit resided under the National Security Council (NSC) — a forum of White House personnel that advises the president on national security and foreign policy matters.

So, what happened? In an op-ed for the Washington Post, Beth Cameron, former Senior Director for Global Health Security and Biodefense in the NSC, wrote, “When President Trump took office in 2017, the White House’s National Security Council Directorate for Global Health Security and Biodefense survived the transition intact. “Its mission was the same as when I was asked to lead the office, established after the Ebola epidemic of 2014: to do everything possible within the vast powers and resources of the U.S. government to prepare for the next disease outbreak and prevent it from becoming an epidemic or pandemic. One year later, I was mystified when the White House dissolved the office, leaving the country less prepared for pandemics like covid-19”. 

Last week at the Democratic convention we heard from former Presidents Clinton and Obama. This week, we will hear from Trump’s family, during what some are calling the Republican National Convention. Others are calling it the Trump Variety Show featuring Donald John, Melania, Don Jr., Ivanka, Eric and Tiffany. Even Lara the wife of Eric will speak.  Former President Bush, a Republican, is available and not invited.

One Trump family member has already spoken…kinda….his sister Maryanne Trump Barry. Her disparaging comments, secretly recorded, about her younger brother are perfect as a teaser for the family drama reality show to be aired this week over four nights.  It’s all about Donald! Yes, he will be on every night.

In addition to the Trumps, Mark and Patricia McCloskey, that lovely St. Louis couple who pointed guns at Black Lives Matter protesters, will speak to the American public on their love thy neighbors while pointing automatic weapons at them approach. As the song goes….meet me in St. Louis, Louis, and bring your AK-47 with you….loaded.

And although they are not scheduled, maybe the QAnon Cult choir will perform as well their greatest conspiracy hits on Democrats sex trafficking ways.  But hey, they like Trump….that’s all the President knows about these extremists…despite daily intelligence briefings in the White House….oh that explains it….intelligence.  But they like Trump….so they are ok. Right…that’s what matters…they like Trump…which means they tell the truth……please…please…please…let them speak live at the convention.

Who won’t be there? I know that Trump wants to keep on packing the courts with his appointees. Not sure that this was what he meant, but my guess is the following eight Trump associates arrested or convicted of crimes will not be at the RNC this week, but they may be in the courtroom…I mean news…about the same crime…I mean…thing actually. That would include:

Steve Bannon has been charged with defrauding Trump supporters in a campaign to help build the president’s signature wall along the U.S.-Mexico border, prosecutors said last Thursday.

Roger Stone – Trump’s longtime friend and adviser, was convicted of lying under oath to lawmakers investigating Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. election.

Paul Manafort- Trump’s former campaign chairman Paul Manafort was found guilty of tax fraud and bank fraud in a jury trial in August 2018. A month later, he pleaded guilty to conspiracy charges related to money laundering, lobbying violations and witness tampering. He was sentenced to seven-and-a-half years in prison and in May was released to finish his sentence at home due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Michael Cohen – Trump’s former personal lawyer is serving a three-year prison sentence at home due to the coronavirus pandemic. He pleaded guilty in August 2018 to crimes including orchestrating ‘hush money’ payments before the 2016 election to women who had said they had sexual encounters with Trump. I don’t think Michael will be pardoned, but I’m not a Washington insider.

Michael Flynn, the retired Army lieutenant general served as Trump’s national security adviser for less than a month in 2017. He pleaded guilty that year to lying to the FBI about his interactions with Russia’s ambassador to the United States in the weeks before Trump took office.

Rick Gates The former deputy chairman of Trump’s campaign pleaded guilty in February 2018 to conspiracy against the United States and lying to investigators. Gates agreed to cooperate with former Special Counsel Robert Mueller and testified as a prosecution witness against Manafort, his former business partner, and Stone. Gates was sentenced in December 2019 to 45 days in jail.

George Nader, an informal Trump adviser on foreign policy and witness in the Mueller investigation, was sentenced in June to 10 years in prison by a federal judge in Virginia. He pleaded guilty to possessing child pornography and bringing a boy to the United States for sex.

George Papadopoulos the former Trump campaign adviser was sentenced in September 2018 to 14 days in prison after pleading guilty in October 2017 to lying to the FBI about his contacts with Russian officials and a Maltese professor who told him the Russians had “dirt” on Clinton.

So starting tonight….live from Charlotte, North Carolina, I mean, live from Jacksonville, Florida…..oh wait….too much what??….corona related issues did you say….ok…so, back live from Charlotte…again…yes, I’m sure…….this time. It’s the Democrat’s fault anyway…….did you get that email?

Waist Deep in the Big Corona, The Big Fool Says Re-Elect Me

It’s what you do on a Sunday morning, some 70 odd days before the November election. You take a famous protest song from the sixties, Waist Deep in the Big Muddy, written and sung by Pete Seeger, update it by changing a word or two or several to make it 2020 relatable.  Now only if I could play the guitar or sing.

In case you don’t know the melody or the original version, here is the link:

Pete sung it on the Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour TV show.

If laughter is the best medicine…here we go….and no…injecting laughter will not cure corona either

Waist Deep in the Big Corona, The Big Fool Says Re-Elect Me

It was back in twenty twenty,
I was a member of a good platoon.
We were told there was a new disease made by China,
One night by the light of the moon.
The president told us it was democratic hoax to make him look bad,
That’s how it all begun.
We were — knee deep in the big Corona,
But the big fool said it would disappear by spring.

The nation said, “Sir, are you sure,
This is the best way to be safe?”
“Scientists, go on! I know this disease better
‘It’s just another flu.
Some folks are dying, they just keep dying.
But the stock market is doing great.”
We were, waist deep in the big Corona.
And the big fool said open the bars!

The scientists said, “Sir, with all this infections
No one will be able to stay safe.”
“Dr. Fauchi, don’t be a Nervous Nellie, “
The president looked down on him.
“All we need is a little condescension;
It is what it is and I won’t wear a mask.”
We were, neck deep in the Big Corona.
And the big fool said send your children to school!

All at once, it was the first Tuesday in November,
We heard the nation’s voice.
A few months later, the new president was sworn in
The last one was nothing but noise.
The new president said, “Turn around nation!
I’m in charge from now on.”
And we will make it out of the Big Corona
With the last administration long long gone.

We had enough of his division.
Stuck in the same ole mess.
I guess he didn’t know that the nation was deeper.
Because it went out and got the votes!
For someone who truly loves this nation.
And understands it’s not just about him.
We were lucky to escape from the Big Corona.
When the big fool said re-elect me.

Well, I’m not going to point any moral,
I’ll leave that for yourself.
Maybe you’re still walking, you’re still talking.
You’d like to keep your health.
But every time I read the papers.
That old feeling comes on;
We’re, waist deep in the Big Corona.
And the big fool says vote for me.

Waist deep in the Big Corona
And the big fool says it’s a hoax.
Waist deep in the Big Muddy
And the big fool says I won’t wear a mask
Waist deep! Neck deep! Soon even a
Nation’s health will be over its head, we’re
Waist deep in the Big Corona!
And the big fool says it’s time to move on….re-elect me… is what it is….que sera sera

First Impressions – Joe Biden’s VP Choice – Kamala Harris – Game On…But Not on the Golf Course

Biden/Harris 2020 Ticket– the final four is set…let the high stakes games begin for America’s future!

Biden’s first decision is telling – his running mate….and what a great choice he made!! Some journalists were calling it the safe choice. Two thoughts here on the use of the word “safe”; first, given all the previous African/Asian Americans chosen to be vice-president in the past, I mean there was…and then there was….you get the picture….his choice is unique.

Secondly, it was the best choice given what is needed for this election campaign, her ability to fight for her right to be where she is and where she and the party is going in November. And if you asked me what campaign strategy they should apply…my suggestion would be for future VP Harris to take the Bill Clinton approach… back double what they say about you…quickly….leave no stone unturned and no slight unanswered. Joe is like me, he says no in a polite way, when sometimes a street fight is called for.

Trump’s predictable negative and surprise surprise untruthful comments on Biden choosing Senator Harris falls under the category of no news….so quit doing the work for Trump my main stream media friends, how, by showing his made for TV scripted rantings over and over again like it is news……then letting your talking heads hash it our once more. He wants you to do this…….he realizes it’s in your nature….so he lets nature take it’s course.

Democratic candidate Joe Biden picked a VP, future President, in Kamala Harris, someone who may not always agree with him….but that sounds like real life to me.  Looks like Joe does not mind being challenged….who appreciates a real opinion before making the best decision. This is telling, as we are all in this together.  

Ask yourself….do you want the next person in line, a heartbeat away from becoming the next President, to be a wuss….yes, Mr. President Trump…you are always wonderful!

Then Trump, as if on cue(is anyone surprised), when asked if he had an issue with someone, anyone, who could challenge him. He made it very clear in is first “nasty” comments, that anyone who would challenge him would never be picked….never be picked.   Well done lapdog Mike!  You are still on the 2020 ticket…for now!   But in very clear terms, we see the difference in leadership! Biden likes to be challenged, Trump needs, demands obedience.

Biden’s Team of Rivals – let’s not go there just yet, a bit premature, but yes, the possibilities……Joe picks someone who expands the possibilities in Kamala Harris – as VP, possible cabinet picks …..Secretary of ????… Warren…Amy…Pete…the possibilities…a better more respected version of what we currently have. 

Meanwhile…as expected…Trump’s Team of, what many call, Racists, watch out suburbia……the carnival fear mongering will be calling…tweeting…doubling,  tripling, quadrupling the BS he spreads including right now as he lies through his teeth on national TV.  

Main news…today…any presidential candidate has one important decision that shapes the rest of the campaign’s future. Vice-President and future President Joe Biden passed this test with flying colors……well done…great choice in Kamala!  

When will the Trump horror show stop?  November 3rd, of course…..but before then, you can expect the next three months of whatever it takes, whatever Trump needs to say…do…whatever crap the networks will show…by the way….

Why are the national news, like CNN, FOX news(OK…this channel I get), giving free marketing to such drivel…I won’t mention…..the details…as the fact checkers will certainly declare it, too late, as BS tomorrow…when will the network news wake up to the fact that all Trump wants is for you to broadcast this crap live….then spend hours telling us its crap, which means you are not broadcasting the other more informed side……and more importantly you give credence to his nonsensical message. Negative attention is positive….as your focus is on……Besides…….who actual sees the fact checking results!   I just turned President Joe Isuzu off…..because the networks are not.

Anyway, I prefer to concentrate on the new Democratic ticket….because…I gotta feeling…that this ticket, that this ticket, is gonna be a good good good good ticket….let’s get it elected….

Cease and Desist Don

I always liked the late great Tom Petty’s music and now I like his family’s actions as well too, given the family of the late Tom Petty has condemned the apparent use of the musician’s song “I Won’t Back Down” at Trump’s recent campaign rally in Tulsa, Oklahoma.  In a statement released on Twitter, Tom Petty’s daughters Adria and Annakim, widow Dana, and ex-wife Jane Petty wrote that they’d “issued an official cease and desist notice to the Trump campaign.” Going on to say, “Trump was in no way authorized to use this song to further a campaign that leaves too many Americans and common sense behind,” the family wrote in their statement.

In fact, the list of musicians asking Trump not to play their music at his rallies keeps getting longer and longer. Adele, Aerosmith, Guns N’ Roses, Neil Young, Queen, REM, Rihanna, Rolling Stones…..just to name a few.  I’m not saying we’re reaching the stage where they can only play Hail to the Chief over and over, but it is getting more difficult to avoid the bad publicity with all those cease-and-desist notices stacking up. To help keep the president’s legal expenses down, I have put together a suggested list of songs that would be appropriate for his upcoming rallies or perhaps at the Republican National Convention in Jacksonville, should it take place.

I, in no way represent any of these artists, so please check with them, as my ideas are only unsolicited suggestions! My guess is that most of the artists listed have an issue with Trump and or his politics. With that in mind we therefore need to start the show with a guaranteed Trump friendly artist.

My suggestion would have to be the Motor City Madman A.k.a. Terrible Ted Nugent.  Now here me out, Michigan is a swing state and he just recently gave credence to his Motor City Madman image when he stated in a recent interview on LondonRealTV, “Donald Trump was sent here by God. Just like our founding fathers were touched by divine intervention,” Nugent told LondonRealTV  And Terrible Ted had been to the White House and has the picture to prove it. He would be perfect.

Motorcity and Washington DC Madmen meet in the Oval Office

Plus like the president he did his best to avoid the draft. At that time ole Ted was probably not worried about his second amendment, “(the)right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.” Perhaps they were both more worried about the Viet Cong’s right to bear and use their arms.  For some historical perpective, my suggestion would be to take a look at the following link Being totally transparent for my readers I too have seen terrible Ted live back in my teens, but I did not inhale.

Picture as you will the opening night of the Republican Convention and the Motor City Madman being introduced by the one and only Billy Bush as he gets the convention hall rockin with……my fellow Republicans…….here he is the one and only……singing….his classic hit……………

Cat Scratch Fever…..wah.. wah.. wah.. ah

Well, I don’t know where they come from, but they sure do come

I hope they comin’ for me

And I don’t know how they do it but they sure do it good

I hope they’re doin’ it for free

Evidently, they were not, but Michel Cohen can fill you in on the financial details

They give me cat scratch fever
Cat scratch fever

And while Ted is banging away we see on the mega screen, which tonight will be dubbed the MAGA screen, the historical video of Donald on the bus with Billy as Ted wails…..or perhaps Donald lip sinking along Ted’s lyrics….

Well, I make the pussy purr with the stroke of my hand

They know they gettin’ it from me

They know just where to go when they need their lovin’ man

They know I’m doin’ it for free

Developing domestic policies that courts that suburban housewife electorate is important to the Don

I give them cat scratch fever

Cat scratch fever

They got a bad scratch fever

The cat scratch fever

Now you may be worried that the Evangelical wing of the party will be in uproar with such a choice to start off the convention. But fret not, as Nazareth’s classic, Sold My Soul……to the devil is up next to remind them of the price they paid to stack the Supreme Court with choices designed to meet their flock’s needs. An even subtle musical reminder is on the card as well, with Nazareth’s cover of the Everly Brothers, Love Hurts.

The second night of the convention will be dedicated to pandering to the young adult vote. You can’t reach this generation with a policy speech though. The Trumpeteer knows you have to reach them on their own terms with a video. But they are in luck….no need to spend money to make a new video as the perfect one already exists; making sure with one song, that we all know who to blame for all of the failed corona policies, attempts to take away your Obamacare healthcare, build a wall paid for by the Mexicans….you get it

Here we go for the youth vote…..roll that last video link…

Honey came in and she caught me red-handed
Creeping with the girl next door
Picture this we were both butt naked
Banging on the bathroom floor
How could I forget that I had
Given her an extra key
All this time she was standing there
She never took her eyes off me

No, Pelosi does not have a key to Donald’s place, but she certainly knows when the American public is getting screwed and she is the key to getting things done through congress. Someone needs to apply balances and checks on the ole rascal.

Now back in the convention hall, nuthin gets a crowd roared up like wearing a mask to keep you safer…. gnah…not that, but….the audience sing-along participation time.

Four years ago, it was “Lock her up”; this year it will be VP Pence leading starting us off with

But she caught me on the counter …. (And the convention hall responds in harmony with)

……It wasn’t me

Saw me bangin’ on the sofa         (It wasn’t me)
I even had her in the shower        (It wasn’t me)
She even caught me on camera   (It wasn’t me)

Then the crowd goes wild with a video of President “Shaggy” singing

Mr. Lover Lover, Mmm, Mr. Lover lover, heh girl
Mr. Lover lover, Mmm, Mr. Lover lover

She call me Mr. Boombastic
Say me fantastic touch me on the back
She says I’m Mr. Ro
Mantic, say me fantastic
Touch me on the back, she says I’m Mr. Ro……

Who needs consistent coherent policies for all when you can simply cater to your base….or sing along with Doris at your next Corona press conference…?

Que sera sera

Whatever will be will be

The future’s not ours to see

Que sera sera….it is what it is…it is what it is

Now with all the focus on the third and final night of the 2020 Donald love-in we bring you the essence of Trump’s agenda for the next four years…basically the same as the last four….a De La Soul classic…..covered by the Don himself…

Mirror, mirror on the wall
Tell me, mirror, what is wrong?
Can it be my de la clothes
Or is it just my de la song?

What I do ain’t make-believe
People say I sit and try
But whan it comes to being de la

It’s just me myself and I
It’s just me myself and I
It’s just me myself and I
It’s just me myself and I

Now there are three votes for Trump…. Probably…all write in votes to Florida.

Yet in summary, were three nights of nationally televised mayhem and Mike Pence sucking up really necessary to tell us what we already know about this election…. Choose Trump or choose America

On the first Tueday in November, it’s time for millions of Americans to file their cease and desist notices…maybe even sing a song while doing it like….don’t stop thinking about tomorrow….don’t stop, it will soon be here, yesterday’s gone, Trump is gone…..

ONLY…..Three More Months to Election Day

…or not….that was the idea floated by the current white house occupant.   Turns out there are members of the Republican party have read the constitution and this idea died quickly, but it created the necessary DOD(distraction of the day) to steal media air time. Let us keep in mind that speaking out loud (that is different from thinking out loud) is something Trump uses effectively to distract. 

Yet, this time, perhaps it missed the mark and the reactions to his suggestion(or was it a joke…or was he being sarcastic??) instead shed light onto another phenomenon…the sleight of hand social distance game which is developing slowly in DC, than will ramp up in numbers like the spread of the corona virus in the US as the weekly polls continue to point towards a Biden presidency. More importantly, i.e. locally…as it’s getting closer to home for most prominent Republican politicians…an even larger  Democratic majority in congress and yes, I dare to think it and say it, a senate controlled by the Democratic party.  

So watch your weekly polls…because the way they go….will determine how political social distancing will grow…..

Now in practice….. social distancing….DC style….means you will not catch sight of the president in your district or state let alone the corona virus from him, if the local politician can help it.  But if you have to be on stage with the president, you will be wearing a hockey goalie’s facemask to avoid political suicide. True, these masks are not very effective regards protection vs. catching corona,  but that would be a walk in the park for your political career as compared to being caught live on the six o’clock news standing next to the future former president rant on about his DOD.  

And as we get closer to the day, given current poll developments, when the Republican politicians will no longer want to support his ideas, nor apply #Trump’s law or when the political social distancing aspect becomes more obvious to the white house, the inevitable tweet storms will descend. Simply watch the polls develop and watch them politicians run, run, run…..away, because no one wants to see this emperor without his clothes!

But getting back to Trump speaking out loud on moving the election day, the president once again makes the choice very clear….choose Trump or America… decide…..but don’t forget to check which date in November…cause someone wants to move it….you could mail in your absentee ballot but that’s another DOD special……roughly 90 more to go before the first Tuesday in November.

#Trump’s law….anything said or written that makes Trump look bad, even the truth, is a lie. Correspondingly, anyone who speaks the truth, and in this process of telling the truth makes Trump look bad, is a liar.

Definition of a Lie has Changed – Applied “Trump’s Law” Theory

Webster’s definition of the word “lie” vs. Trump’s…Someone is Lying

According to Webster:

intransitive verb

1to make an untrue statement with intent to deceive

She was lying when she said she didn’t break the vase. He lied about his past experience.

2to create a false or misleading impression Statistics sometimes lie…..

Like when figures lie and liars figure. The mirror never lies or in the case of the current situation in the US, the deaths attributed to corona are over 130000, are the highest in the world, are still rising and Vice President Pence keeps saying how the president’s leadership has kept us from a much worser scenario. How bad does this lie have to get?

transitive verb

to bring about by telling lies He lied his way out of trouble.

Trouble in this case being the truth. President Trump keeps lying,  because this is what his base wants to hear. And if you think this is going to get better, i.e. that he stops lying to avoid the truth…then you are lying to yourself.   How many more lies will you be telling yourself in front your bathroom mirror…you have to do it there…..because the mirror never lies….just like the current white house press secretary.

More Webster: Definition of lie (Entry 4 of 6)

1aan assertion of something known or believed by the speaker or writer to be untrue with intent to deceive

He told a lie to avoid punishment.  But when Roger Stone was caught lying under oath and convicted, the president lied regards why he commuted his sentence. And Trump’s base keeps lying to itself, “you see, Trump takes care of the simple common man, because Roger Stone is one of us.” That’s what I believe anyway, about the hoax that Trump has the interests of the common folk at heart.

ban untrue or inaccurate statement that may or may not be believed true by the speaker or writer.

The lies we tell ourselves to feel better. Historical records containing numerous lies…which is probably why we will never ever see Trump’s tax returns. Like all blue-collar workers know and experience, those damn IRS audits take forever.

2something that misleads or deceives

His show of remorse was a lie. Needs no further comment.

3a charge of lying – is what everyone hears from various sources, lately coordinated from the White House, as an attack on the individual, when they tell an inconvenient truth in the eyes of Trump. One only has to watch the Sunday morning talk shows to see this circus in motion.

All of this leads us to the definition of a lie…..According to Trump: the definition of a lie is simply any statement or anyone that makes Trump look bad when telling the truth, that last word is the English translation of the Russian word pravda. But you knew that of course Donald.  Dusting off my Trumpsaurus key modern day words to note, that can be interchanged with the word “lie” or indicate that someone cannot be trusted, hence a liar include hoax, liberal, Democrat, liberal Democrat(the worst), fake news, New York Times, Washington Post, Robert Muller and witch hunt. And given the latest coordinated, but deniable, attack from the White House, evidently now Dr. Fauci is the latest lie, hoax, fake news story, whereby one only has to retweet the attack…lie…hoax…fake news and say…see. I mean, Dr. Fauci, is not yet “washed up”, but we are getting close….to the next election, which means, the white house still has some time to finish their Dr. Fauci character assassination process as the related news cycle will be forgotten in a few weeks.

But the biggest liar of all, obviously a hoax, has to be the corona virus. I mean no matter what President Trump, VP-Mike Pence state about how we are winning, plus add any additional spin from White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnan; that corona virus is the meanest liar of them all today. It’s making the Trump re-election campaign look bad…..thus, it’s a lie.

Lately, the number of related deaths are increasing again. We are setting records daily in the U.S. for reported new cases, over 65,000 earlier this week. And all those comparison charts that show, for now, that most European countries have addressed the first wave of the corona virus, when compared to the U.S..  I mean, those graphs make President Trump look bad, so by Trump’s definition…..wait a minute…there’s not enough gravitas here….he is the prez…so let’s say instead…so referencing the “Trump’s law” theory…these graphs must be lying because they make him look bad!

Now “Trump’s law” is not really a law, more like a signal to guide the statements to be made by his friends at FOX and friends in congress to make his thoughts their daily mantra, which he will then retweet and say…..see. We can go all day on the subject of the president lying, over 20,000 and counting according to the Washington Post’s fact checker. And given he is calling everyone who makes him look bad a liar, thus applying Trump’s law here, I guess we should then apply that classic kids’ line, it takes one to know one, and it is more mentally age appropriate based upon the current occupant of the White House.

But in case you forgot, your choice in 2020…is Trump or America….that’s the truth…….but for some…it’s a lie. You decide the first Tuesday in November where your truth lies….country or president. Because with the current occupant of the white house…you can’t have both.

Fear More Years……Fear More Years

The carnival barker was at it again in South Dakota. Ladies and gents…..Fear here, get your fear here. Step right up… got some #liberal democrat…they are not real Americans…fear here. Only costs you one vote….yours.  While spreading the word of corona to his loyal followers, the fearmonger-in-chief addressed the crowd, “There is a new far-left fascism that demands absolute allegiance. If you do not speak its language, perform its rituals, recite its mantras, and follow its commandments, then you will be censored, banished, blacklisted, persecuted and punished. It is not going to happen to us. Make no mistake this left-wing cultural revolution is designed to overthrow the American revolution.” 

Regards this thought, seems to me, it would be more accurate if you could replace both “a new far-left fascism” and “this left-wing cultural revolution” in his statement literally verbatim with, ”the current president in the white house”. So it should read as, “There is the current president in the white house that demands absolute allegiance, if you don’t….”, just ask all those censored, blacklisted, persecuted and punished by the Don ex-white house “washed-up” staffers or simply read their books.

Donald has been joking during this visit that his visage should be added to Mt. Rushmore.  I must admit that tearing down that symbol of a racist on Mt. Rushmore, would be more difficult to do than a simple statute located in a downtown man square near you. Still the current trend is to tear down these kind of symbols and not erect new ones.  I realize that the Don chisled in stone here will never happen. But I also think that his base believes that it should.

There is a message being spread by his fervent supporters that truly believe that us mere mortals do not, cannot understand, nor comprehend the true genius of the Don. They share this belief among themselves as they attempt to recruit more to the cause. Yes, they are the silent minority and we need to work hard, every day, to keep it that way.

Four more months….that’s what the various current polls keep telling us and I hope they stay the course.  Still, it is the first week in July, not November.  The list of presidents elected in July is not very long.  There was President Dukakis…Hilary…and….. Normally I have to google such information. Now I just check my memory banks.

I do not believe for a minute the narrative that the Don is counting down the remaining days of his presidency or will announce that he will not run in 2020. If that was the case, perhaps a more appropriate location for his Mt. Rushmore monologue would have been nearby Custer State Park…yes, named after that General George “Last Stand” Armstrong Custer….

But no, the fat lady has not sung on the the Trump campaign, nor has the ship sailed. Are you kidding? The narrative, his narrative, that he was really building in South Dakota, was….this will be the greatest comeback….ever…ever. Our job is to keep that newspaper headline in his mind.

Translated….for the next four months, expect the Trump campaign’s message to be …fear here…get your liberal democrat fear here….step right up. Whereas the real choice in November boils down to only one decision, choose Trump or choose America.

Four Months Ago Today, June 26th, President Trump Said….

Four months ago today, President Trump came to say, that the 15 corona cases would go away, President Trump’s lonely heart clubs band.

Now 126,000 deaths later and counting…Vice President Pence keeps claiming victory on national TV…..thanks to the president’s leadership. Nothing to see here, move on. We won, yet we keep losing lives.

My guess is that Trump has moved on…just putting in the time until November. What does that mean? It means the rats will soon take notice and start to create distance by jumping this sinking ship. To be fair, some will do it loudly, out of political self-interest. And some more quietly than others for the same reason, because all are already working on their 2024 posturing.

And if history repeats iself. All were told to jump by the president, because as Fox news will report on the show with two old guys and almost always a blond in the middle for eye-candy. They will dutifully quote the president’s own words….the senator…congressperson from…fill-in state and name mispronounced here…were all washed-up.

Let the Scare Tactics Begin – Election 2020

There goes your stock portfolio…if you vote for Biden. If the official campaign season started last week in Tulsa it was quickly followed by the opening of the official scare campaign tactics. Today I read on Yahoo Finance, thanks to its editor-at-large, Brian Sozzi,  that “over a two-year period the market does better following a Republican win (+8.3%) than a Democratic presidential win (+5.8%), according to numbers crunched by Fidelity that go back to 1789. When Republicans sweep the House and Senate, the two-year average forward return for stocks is an impressive 12.2%. But when Democrats sweep, stocks only return 3.4% over a two-year span.”

Really, since 1789…so George Washington was a Democrat or was he a Republican…try neither. Then there was the Democrat-Republican party historical period, so if the stock market went up, they were Republicans and if the market was down, it was…well…a Democratic year.  President’s Harrison, Tyler, Fillmore and Taylor of the WHIG party were which ???

In essence, such inane comments about judging market performance the first two years over a 220 historical year period are worthless. More to the point would be the performance of the current White House occupant. What’s happened so far?  Up in 2017(thanks in part to Obama’s economic policies), down in 2018, up in 2019 and down 10% YTD in 2020

Ask yourself which is a more relevant measure of the stock market’s future performance in 2020 and beyond, up or down. Would that be Trump’s handling of the corona virus, social issues concerning Black Lives Matter or perhaps his divide and conquer management style when it comes to American citizens or maybe his America first policies, which are in essence ridiculed outside the US.

Yes, I am asking you to look past your portfolio. But if you cannot, then please allow me to suggest that we take a closer look at the recent Dow Jones stock performance under the past two Democratic presidents Clinton and Obama. And let’s also include President Bush’s performance for comparison’s sake.

From 1993 – 2000 the stock market rose from 3309 in January 1993 and after 8 years of the Clinton presidency the Dow Jones ended the year 2000 at 10788. So, the market tripled in value!

During George Bush’s 8 years(2001-2008) the Dow Jones index went down; from 10646 to 8776.  That would be a lousy rate of return, i.e. lower market value in laymen’s terms.

During Obama’s presidency, 2009 – 2016, the stock market rose from 9034 at the beginning of 2009 and finished at 19762 at the end of 2016. So, the market more than doubled in value! Last time I checked; his vice president was Joe Biden.

One thing I learned in school, and Brian knows it as well, what the markets do not like is uncertainty. So, when a Democrat replaces a Republican in the white house or vice versa, it usually creates….a certain amount of uncertainty.  And my guess is that the level of uncertainty is undoubtedly influenced by a change of power in either the senate or house And when you take these simple facts and twist it in order to scare investors….voters…it creates something else…partisanship journalism. We deserve better from an editor-at-large.

I get the fact that Brian is trying to reach voters on a pocketbook level. All I’m saying, is that recent stock market performance, based upon actual recent results, Democrats vs. Republicans in the White House, means one thing only in November…hello….President Biden….as long as you vote your stock market portfolio!

Biden’s Tulsa Infomercial – The Room Where It Happened

Biden and the Democratic National Committee hit an all-time monthly fundraising record in May, bringing in $80.8 million. His fundraising efforts were boosted Saturday night in Tulsa by Trump’s racist and insensitive sense of humor, really…. Kung-Flu, or perhaps he was simply pandering to the level of the audience. And then there was his comment on limiting Corona testing, which you knew would be brought up during the Sunday morning parade of TV talk shows.

Case in point: White House trade adviser Peter Navarro on CNN’s State of the Union with Jake Tapper, said Sunday that President Donald Trump was only joking when he said he asked his administration to slow down coronavirus testing for the sake of optics. There have been more than 2 million cases of coronavirus diagnosed in the United States, causing more than 120,000 deaths.  Guess, presidential humor is not the best medicine.

Despite these figures, Trump once again clams victory again regards his performance in limiting the effects of Covid 19 in the U.S.. And as expected he gave his standard, no news, mail-in bash Democrats performance in a less than capacity stadium plus a canceled appearance.

Less than capacity…and no extra performance in front of 40,000 folks outside, who never showed up, despite the President’s words, that there were more than one million requests for tickets.

One cardinal rule of politics is under promise and over deliver.  My guess is that kicking off your 2020 campaign by canceling one speech and having another event with less than capacity results in the heart of Trump country, means it back to the drawing board on the actions they will take to get re-elected.

Just ask Geoffrey Berman, “In light of Attorney General Barr’s decision to respect the normal operation of law and have Deputy U.S. Attorney Audrey Strauss become Acting U.S. Attorney, I will be leaving the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York, effective immediately,” Berman said in a statement, following a tense 12-hour-period in which Barr twice sought to remove Berman, only to see his efforts frustrated. Related to the campaign? Keeping a promise to a friend? Time will tell, but more telling are the actions the attorney general is willing to take to keep his boss in office.

Back in Tulsa…in the stadium where it happened,

Enough said…if you don’t vote in 2020

And the same can be said for those folks who do not feel the need to exercise their right to vote in the 2020 presidential election, because it does not matter. Because the one message that came across loud and clear last night in Tulsa, and the last 3,5 years, if Trump wins, it will be more of the same for the next four years.

So keeping last night’s Tulsa infomercial in mind, give Joe Biden’s campaign a call today and make your campaign contribution. Thanks Don!

Trump Full Campaign Mode In Tulsa, Biden’s Campaign Matters

I’ve seen this story before. Will it work again? One self-created 24 hour media cycle crisis, covered 24/7 by the press, who then dutifully follow up with the next crisis, tweet, retweet, new outlandish statement that makes you forget the last outlandish comment, what was the other one before that, when we chased down that rabbit hole again and before you know it your news show is almost out of time. So you feel obliged to mention in passing that the other candidate made some boring policy statement or actually said something important in a normally intelligent fashion, which is well, why it is not really news.

This shit show has gone on since the 2016 election, through most of the last 3,5 years and is coming back for an encore performance, just in time for the 2020 election, to a local news program located near you. The only question that remains is, how long will it last; another 4 months or another four years plus 4 months. And what do the networks like CNN really want?

CNN and other mainstream media outlets are kinda like pre-corona investors. We don’t really like him or his policies, but my stocks are doing great. He’s not the reason folks, and the stock market performance in the eight years of Obama/Biden era, clearly show your stocks won’t tank if Biden is elected, but that’s another article.  CNN newscasters profess daily digust and indignation about Trump, yet their ratings are doing very well.  

A Biden presidency would not be bad for the markets, but probably would be for CNN’s ratings. So, you are saying there is really no story, no chance that Biden was born in Kenya. No more tweet storms, temper tantrums, intentional racist remarks, actions followed by fake denials or comments from the white house press secretary implying that we have lost our sense of racist humor.

2020 Campaign – Yes, the campaign is now in full swing and officially kicks off tonight in of all place corona infested Tulsa, Oklahoma. First task, create a crisis or two in order to achieve full media attention. Check!

Trump fans are known to support Trump even if he shot someone on 5th avenue in New York city. Well, what if he poisons them in Tulsa. Yes, that’s a bit overkill, but maybe not.  Ok, my understanding is that the folks attending need to sign a waiver( Alarm bells….danger, danger Will Robinson…..) that absolves the Trump campaign of all legal responsibilities, should they come down with corona when attending this Trump mardi gras love in.  Hey, if Republican voters want to take that risk, as VP Pence, in charge of sucking up at our expense,  says probably on a daily basis, “under the Presidents’s leadership and guidance”…ok by me…or is it?  I mean, on the one hand, if they want to take the risk to come down with a deadly disease, in order to get a glimpse of their messiah, whom am I to stop them.  On the other hand, they will afterwards come into contact with folks, who did not sign such a waiver and see Trump more as a pariah, someone who cares more about his reelection than the health of the nation let alone the 20,000 folks attending his kick-off rally.

Maybe that’s it, it’s part of Trump’s genius that we just don’t see. These folks will take one for the gipper, for the good of the economy, and the Republican led white house, because although we can not see it, they all leave Tulsa with a mission as follows, “Yee, the chosen ones weird enough to stand in line for a week to get a ticket,  shall go forth among the Democratic enemy among thee and spread the word of corona. We shall not forget you, nor pay you or your loved ones after you are gone, because, after all, you signed a waiver remember.

Biden’s VP pick – wow, I have spent almost all my time on this article on Trump, that I have almost run out of time. Where have I seen this story???  Vice President Biden will soon be making in the eyes of many, the single most important decision for his campaign, his choice for VP to complete his ticket. To give you an idea of how important this could or could not be please allow me to say: Kaine, Quayle, Biden, Pence, Palin, Eagleton, Lieberman, Bentsen, Bush, Cheney, Ryan, Edwards, Kemp, Ferraro, Mondale, Dole and Shriver. Now how you responded to these names, tells you how important this choice is for you anyway. By the way, one of those folks just mentioned was quickly replaced by another on this list…..others should have been.

Back to Tulsa – hopefully not for long and hopefully also a peaceful uneventful no-news cycle, just the usual Democrat bashing, that they are not real Americans that plays well to his 35% base and alienates everyone else.

CNN – this is not news, so please stop being a willing accomplice to a crime in action….an active theft of an election is taken place live on TV…aided and abetted by the mainstream media. Biden’s campaign matters…..

Suggestion for Biden’s Campaign Slogan, “Make America……….

My slogan suggestion for Biden’s campaign, “#Make America Great Again”.  Yes, it’s been used before. Just recently in fact. And the last person who used it, may have been wearing one of those silly red hats while hunkered down in the white house bunker last weekend.

Has the white house shared any photos to demonstrate his lack of lead from strength position?  Does the two hours spent below ground mean that Trump has now served in the military?

Too bad, there was no breaking news moment from CNN’s or any other news agency in the US, “reporting live from Bunker Hill, sorry, I mean, from the white house bunker, the president sought protection from the enemy, whom are otherwise known as U.S. citizens, who were protesting his public stance on just about anything he has said with regards the protests that have arisen from the police murder of George Floyd.” Racial baiting evidently tends to do elicit those kinds of reactions.

Meanwhile presidential candidate Joe Biden met with the protesters to discuss our common concerns……….what a contrast of strength.

Recalling one of the glory days of racists, the president tweets, ”when the looting starts, the shooting starts.”  My tweet line suggestion would be, “when the shooting starts, we are voting the idiot out of office, who is obviously way in over his head”.   I admit, it’s not a very catchy tweet, but perhaps one more to the point, the actions needed to be taken by US voters, because elections matter.

If you are truly interested in making America great again, which by the way takes place 5 months from today on election day, please consider the contrast between President De La Soul, who was acting in the interests of, It’s just me, myself and I, when evidently having protesters tear gassed for a photo op.  Or consider the approach taken by Joe Biden, who actually sat down with some protesters,  to understand better what needs to be done, to improve the health of the nation. One approach helps us all. One does not. You decide which….the first Tuesday in November.

Yes, it was reported this morning on Dutch news, that protesters on the streets of DC were tear gassed for a Trump political photo op.  Really, so he could hold up a bible to placate his base by showing some kind of orchestrated strength…..sounds like fake news to me?  

Guess the folks tear gassed won’t be voting for Trump come November, but more importantly where is Sean Spicer when you need him to highlight this historical moment. The new white house press secretary has promised 100% honesty. With Sean, we would have gotten, “this was the largest protest audience…EVER…to be tear gassed near the white house for a political photo op…PERIOD…..and, if not for the corona virus, even more protesters would have shown up.”  

When was the last time a U.S. president had to spend time in the bunker under the white house given U.S. citizens were protesting nearby?  Ever?

Others, meaning more Republican minded folks, are starting to notice that this is not how the white house is supposed to operate. I mean, even on Tucker Carlson’s show on FOX news, Tucker stated, “If you can’t keep a Fox News correspondent from getting attacked directly across the street from your house, how can you protect my family?” Carlson said on his show. “How are you going to protect the country? How are you trying?”

Et tu, Tucker, et tu…………hope the FOX news underground bunker keeps you protected from when the U.S. National Guard comes calling.

And now…..Live from the White House…It’s Saturday Night…eh…the Daily Corona Virus Update

I have a dream.  I have a dream that one day, we will judge a president’s performance, not by the color of his political party, but by the content and character of his performance. But until then we live in a world, at least in the US, where only party affiliation matters. He may be an idiot, but he’s our idiot approach.  I have to be honest. This concept more or less works on both sides of the aisle, although the Frank Sinatra My Way or Die award usually goes to the elephant. That’s one of the explanations I have for the continued, it’s all about me approach the narcist-in-chief displays on a daily basis during the televised corona virus daily briefings, and yet the polls consistently show 85% of republicans rate his handling of the crisis as favorable and whereas circa 82% of Democrats and 56% of independents consistently do not agree with his approach over the past few months. When looking at poll movement from mid-February until today, if Trump was a corona patient, his vital signs showed he flatlined. Very little rally around the commander-in-chief during times of crisis. What little there was, has already disappeared. That lack of rally should speak volumes.

Yet, there has been an increase in popularity for a country’s leader in at least one other country. Right here in the Netherlands. Prime Minister Rutte’s stock in the polls has rocketed up to 70% approval ratings. It hovered last year between 25 and 40% as a stale taste began to form in the mind of many Dutch voters given Rutte’s sell-by-date sticker, after more than 10 years in charge of a coalition government, seemed to be growing more relevant.  Such increase in approval numbers are not that surprising during a rally around the chief crisis moment.  They will come back to earth eventually, although his, we are in this together brand of honest transparent approach resonates nationwide. My guess in the years to come is that his brand of honest leadership will remain to be appreciated.

How does he achieve such positive ratings? There have been an increased number of press conferences explaining the progress in addressing the corona virus and communicating what will happen next, when and what is expected from all citizens. The prime minister also gave a very special address to the nation(the last one was in 1973 during the oil crisis) highlighting the obvious fact that we are all in this together and, like every Friday for the last 50 years, the prime minister holds a 15 minute one-on-one interview at 18:30 on television, with one member of the press actually asking questions that are answered. This televised interview is preceded by a press conference, and also followed by an interview aired on radio.  

Judging by the President’s nightly it’s all about me approach and my re-election campaign update, taking place live from the White House, the reviews are in and evidently the President’s performance is an insult to just about every American that is not a republican. For most of us this is known as the daily live corona update briefing.

As it’s a performance designed for the television audience, although the blame game format has not been successful in achieving its goal to increase the president’s poll numbers, my suggestion would be to change the introduction to: From Washington… coming to you live from the Rose Garden, it’s the Corona Virus Update Show….. Starring President Trump….I’m Ed McMahon(cue Mike Pence) and now ladies and gentlemen…….Heresssssss………Donny!   Today’s guest stars include…..Over here CNN televises the corona update live, more or less around 11 pm at night given the 6-hour time difference. It would be comedy gold late night television, if the corona issue at hand, was not as serious an issue as there was.  My suggestion to improve the format’s integrity: less sucking up to the president and more honest transparent focus on addressing the corona issue at hand. Evidently honesty reasonates and not only in dreams.

Golden Anniversary for the Dutch Prime Ministers Weekly Live Political “Carwash” Press Conferences..a tradition worth keeping

For the last 50 years the Dutch prime ministers give every Friday late afternoon a weekly press conference. Let’s put that into perspective…the last 50 years…every Friday…eight different prime ministers from six different political parties!  I mean, if a week is a long time in politics….what do we call 50 years?

The mythical legend – how it all started. The first press conference took place on January 16th 1970 in the Nieuwspoort press center. The Dutch Prime Minister at that time was Piet de Jong(from the KVP party, today the CDA). He gave the first press conference, because supposedly his wife was tired of having her  Friday evening meal ruined every week by the newspaper press journalists who would call the PM one after the other all night long.  Not once was he able to answer his wife’s question, ”So how was your day in the office. Did you do anything prime ministry…like?” And besides that, his potatoes were getting cold and the phone calls were never ever for her.

According to Marja Wagenaar, that was the myth. As the former director of the Government’s Information Service, who spoke to Prime Minister Piet de Jong a number of times for her book about the history of the RVD, she would know. “In reality, there was a lot of rebellion against authority in the 60s and a great need for openness. A state committee then came up with the idea of ​​the press conference. Moreover, the image of the cabinet was going very badly, so then De Jong decided that he would have to make public statements more often. “

Wagenaar does have an idea about how the “potatoes” myth originated. “De Jong himself told that potato story(I embellished it here a bit ….obviously!), and he did it cleverly. It is a nicer and more recognizable story than that your cabinet is not doing well and that you want to sell your policy on TV. He was not averse to political opportunism. ”     

Some political things do not change over 50 years, I guess.

Look behind the carwash – In honor of this special 50 years press/PM tradition, last Friday night while on the late night talk show OP1, Dutch NOS TV political reporter, Xander van der Wulp shared a behind the scene tour of this traditional weekly exchange with the press. The tour was personally given by Prime Minister Rutte himself.

What I know now…..The initial press conference is evidently followed by a more informal, yet more informative, off-the-record discussion with the press over coffee in the Nieuwspoort press center cafeteria. Afterwards the prime minister gives a one-on-one television interview on NPO1 with a journalist that starts at 18:30 sharp, and lasts less than 15 minutes.  And as the evening approaches the final stop of the weekly carwash is a radio address given in the great tradition of FDR’s fireside chat. In the case, Prime Minister Rutte actually turns out the studio lights and lights up a candle to create the mood.

No one is naïve here. Not every question is answered completely. The Prime Ministers are not always 100% enthusiastic to be there every week…not always possible to even be there every week for obvious reasons. Yet, this traditional weekly press carwash is evidently something only done in the Netherlands.  And while we may get 50 grades of transparency, they are all more believable and less insulting to the truth in comparison to what nowadays passes as a press conference in the U.S..

And unlike other parts of the world…the weekly press conferences conducted by Prime Minister Rutte are done without the special effects use of a helicopter in the background on the white house lawn drowning out the reporter’s questions.

Direct answers are certainly often avoided and some prime ministers were known for answers that contained a high degree of nuance. Yet again they are generally more informative than the pro-Trump info-commercial type monologues(written, directed and produced by the great man himself) that seldom even attempt to address the question being asked, in order to focus on the message du jour he wants to communicate. Some would question,  should Trump’s answers even be taken seriously given the high lie content. The only question I’m personally left with after such a trumped up pseudo press conference event, is why do the cable and major news networks continue to give this drivel air time?

The term carwash was coined by Prime Minister Rutte himself. And I guess if you have been doing something for 10 years, I would give it a nickname as well.   And when you know and appreciate the fact that you and your seven predecessors have been given weekly press conference the last 50 years, warts and all, you can indeed call it what you like. Just keep doing what you are doing. It’s worth it.

Election Night 2019…One Year to Go

Congratulations to all the Democrats still in the race to become our next president. In exactly one year from today, the election will have been decided. We hope. Someone will be giving an early Wednesday morning concession speech or perhaps already on Tuesday night given a not-so-close election.

What’s next?

You remaining Democrat candidates have a lot of work ahead of you. Some would say that the obvious next action would be strengthen your team in Iowa or to prepare for the upcoming Democratic debates, to make certain we score the necessary points to look presidential at my fellow Democratic candidates’ expense.  Others would say, it’s time to dot the i’s and cross the t’s on one’s own platform policies that are more extreme left than yours, or maybe highlight your inspirational and affordable non-tax raising plans for America’s future.

But before you do that….my suggestion would be to first watch, then read, then feel the pain in every concession speech from at least the last 6-7 previous presidential elections. In essence, the party affiliation does not matter, as being humbled in public is an unbiased non-political event. Spoiler alert: when you look back at some of the concession speeches, you’re kind of glad that some of them lost.

In front of millions of your closest voters, you spend roughly 8-10 minutes thanking family, friends, your choice for veep(and partner), plus everyone else involved for their amazing work ethic and efforts. And you will mean it!

And the next day you wake up to a lot of second guessing by the press, your party, your veep choice(and partner) and even yourself. And they and you will also mean it.

My guess is that humbling experience of losing a presidential election is more intense than when I lost the 7th grade election to become class treasurer.  Then again, I never ran again.  And for me personally, as it turned out, accounting and finance were not my strongest subjects.

Ok, actually I did run again(not for treasurer) and I won, but this article is not about my ego coming back after victory, but about your campaign.

Concession Speech 2020

The point is….with a little bit of foresight, hindsight does not have to apply to you in 2020…not for the Democrats anyway.

Think positive concession speech thoughts, something like, “I would like to thank my family and friends for all of their amazing support during this hard-fought election. Over a century and a half ago, Senator Stephen Douglas told Abraham Lincoln, who had just defeated him for the presidency, “Partisan feeling must yield to patriotism. I’m with you, Mr. President, and God bless you.”

In a contest as long and difficult as this campaign has been, his success alone commands my respect for his ability and perseverance. But that he managed to do so by inspiring the hopes of so many millions of Americans, who had once wrongly believed that they had little at stake or little influence in the election of an American president, is something I deeply admire and commend him for achieving. I have said repeatedly in this campaign that the president was my opponent and not my enemy. And I wish him well. And I pledge my support in whatever advances the cause of a better America because that’s what the race was about in the first place.

I also accept my responsibility, which I will discharge unconditionally, to honor the new president-elect and do everything possible to help him bring Americans together in fulfillment of the great vision that our Declaration of Independence defines and that our Constitution affirms and defends.

And finally, I would also like to ask my fellow Americans to put country before party, to join vice-president Pence and myself to support new president elect…fill-your-favorite-Democratic-candidate’s-name-in-here.”

Good Reality Television

Now that is reality TV that I would stay up for! Like all good concession speeches, Trump’s would immediately start the nation’s healing process, not because he is leaving the white house office, but simply because he is leaving……probably to his golf resort in Florida. Whereever…go…bye. His speech could also create the spark of hope that Pence will run in four years, thus ensuring the Democrats of being in the white house for the next 8 years.

If you wonder if business will suffer. It will. But the damage will be limited.  Fact checker stocks will plummet and Saturday Night Live ratings would drop like the 1929 stock market. The actual market numbers will rise given they like certainty.

And if you maybe recognized some of the text in my fake news President Trump concession speech above, please allow me some literary leeway when I say, something borrowed, unfortunately mostly Gore blue, and if Trump would actually quote from McCain, then his words must be untrue. What else is not new………….s


Some would argue that using the word concession and Trump in the same sentence is not possible….let alone a Trump concession speech given that he obviously never concedes anything. So instead of having the United States presidential inauguration ceremonies, we’ll just call it Bigly’s Going Away from Washington Party and believe me….he would have the biggest attendance ever for such an event. We could bring back Sean the main man Spicer for a day to announce the record numbers. SNL could bring back Melissa McCarthy and of course Alec Baldwin for one last live from New York cold opening.

Less than one year to go….

For Whom the Bells Toll, They Toll for the U.S. Voter

“Today is the only one day in all the days that will ever be. But what will happen in all the other days that ever will come can depend on what you do today. It’s been that way all year. It’s been that way so many times. All of war is that way.”, from Ernest Hemingway’s book For Whom the Bells Toll.

Therein lies the lessons to be learned from the 2016 election war zone.  Too many Democrats stayed home as Hillary was not their choice. They felt the Bern in the primaries, but also felt spurned as the Democrat’s primary process favored the other candidate.  While that favoritism feeling rang true in my opinion, then it must also be said that of the 30,1 million votes cast in the Democrat’s primaries, Hillary took home 55,2% of the vote. She won 34 of the 57 possible ballots. Barring an electoral college style voting outcome, this meant that Hillary was our candidate in 2016…like the process or not Bernie supporters. Votes matter, especially when they are counted, like in elections.

What’s true in the primaries also goes for the main election. Hate to do this, but let’s take a quick view at the key Democratic states Clinton lost in 2016 as well as Minnesota where she did win.

Dems since State of Clinton Trump   Obama Romney
1992 Michigan 2268839 2279543   2564569 2115256
  47,3% 47,5%   54,2% 44,7%
  2016 vs. 2012 -11,5%    
1988 Pennsylvania 2926441 2970733   2990274 2680434
  47,2% 47,5%   52,0% 46,6%
  2016 vs. 2012 -2,1%    
1988 Wisconsin 1382536 1405284   1620985 1407966
  46,5% 47,2%   52,8% 45,8%
  2016 vs. 2012 -14,7%    
1976 Minnesota 1367716 1322951   1546167 1320225
  46,4% 44,9%   52,7% 45,0%
  2016 vs. 2012 -11,5%    
  Total Votes 2016 6577816 6655560   7175828 6203656
  vs. Obama 2012 -598012 -520268      
  2016 v. 2012 -8,3% -7,3%      

The last Democrat to lose Pennsylvania and Wisconsin was Walter Mondale in 1984; the last to lose Michigan was Dukakis in 1988 and while the blue streak is still alive in Minnesota, the last Democrat to lose a presidential election there was Senator George McGovern in 1972….today’s trivia question…and he was from which state!

It is interesting to note that Bernie Sanders won the 2016 Democratic primaries in Michigan, Minnesota and in Wisconsin. In Pennsylvania he lost…badly. 

And while the majority of Bernie supporters certainly voted for the 2016 Democratic candidate, some stayed home, some voted third party(Libertarian or Green) and some voted Republican.  In all three of the solid blue states Clinton lost: Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin the increase in voters choosing the Libertarian party from 2012 to 2016 definitely impacted the outcome. But that alone certainly does not tell the whole story given the final results.

In Pennsylvania, Clinton lost to Trump by 54 thousand votes. The Libertarians added almost 96 thousand. In Michigan, the Libertarians turnout increased by 150 thousand votes. Clinton lost by about 11 thousand. In Wisconsin, the Libertarians increased by 86 thousand votes from 2012 to 2016. Clinton lost by 23 thousand votes. Similar Libertarian voter turnout increase also took place in Minnesota. And what did the Libertarian party actually help to achieve…President-elect Trump.

Lost – Need to be Found 600,000 Obama Voters

Before this article continues, let me clearly state that the loss of the 2016 elections falls squarely on Clinton’s shoulders.  As the table above also clearly shows, while the results were close in these states, it was because Clinton earned almost 600,000 less votes in these four states vs. Obama in 2012(It’s even worse when compared to 2008.); ranging from 2.1% in Pennsylvania to almost 15% fewer votes in Wisconsin. To paraphrase Forest Gump, “that’s almost all that needs to be said about that.” Evidently, when Democrats vote with their hearts they win(the other Clinton, Carter(in 76), Kennedy, Obama), and when we vote with our heads, coupled with poorly run campaigns, we lose…Dukakis, Gore, Kerry and now Clinton. You decide what that means for 2020!

Happy days are near again, happy days are…

Perhaps better days are ahead with only one year to go until the next election. 2018 was a giant step in the right direction. And even though we lost in 2016, congratulations to the majority of (all 65,853, 514 of you) U.S. citizens who voted for Hillary Clinton.  After today, less than one year and counting… have made it 75% through the current election cycle. The end is in sight. And while it will not be easy… the end is in sight….if we vote…and if we support others to vote as well.

The consequences of the last election will take a bit longer to digest given two supreme court appointees among other decisions taken that would have been different…that would have been different.

And also better days ahead for the 500,000 concerned individuals who took part in the Woman’s March on DC to protest Trump’s inauguration. Please channel that same passion in working for the candidate of your choice in 2020.  And should your preferred candidate not win the primaries next spring, you have several months of Trumpiness to remind you what needs to be done the first Tuesday in November.

Back in 2016 some folks gave him a shot because they knew they did not like or trust Hillary for(fill-in-your-personal-reason-here).  Trump was simply the unknown alternative, who could, maybe, probably will become more presidential after he was elected. Those were the thoughts and prayers of many voters. They went unanswered.

It took about a year into his presidency for reporters to stop saying, “well, he read that well from the teleprompter; he was almost presidential. Maybe….” And usually by the early next morning, the tweet storms came raining down again. He is what he is…bank on it.

Getting kinda back to Hemingway…today is only one day out of 365 days until the next election. Make it count. Work for your candidate of choice. If they win the primary and become a better candidate having achieved that, great. If they don’t win, then do what is needed to make sure the other Democrat wins in November.

Why a democrat…don’t tell me how to vote…..why not a third-party candidate…because you do not live in Europe where coalition governments do a better job in keeping the nutters in check. Ours keeps telling us the voters that he can do what he wants….stop me if you can.  The U.S. is a two-party country, for better or worse, until the next election.

And in addition, we know by now who and what the Republicans offer after the last three years. What happened in 2016 can happen. Hey, we lost. But in 2020, if we elect the clown again, expect an even bigger circus. His base thinks it’s the greatest show on earth, yet his base is only circa 40% of the overall electorate.

What would I do? First action on the to do list would be: find the 600,000 Obama voters from the 2012 elections in Michigan, Minnesota, Pennsylvania and Ohio.

Keep that last figure in mind as you have a year of days to take action, because to paraphrase and translate what I borrowed from Hemingway into today’s language, elections have consequences.

Swear and Insult Others Like the Dutch

Late Late Show host James Corden was very upset recently when someone on twitter stated that he hoped Corden’s kid got cancer. That person had to be Dutch.

Wishing someone a disease…that’s standard swearing here…nothing special….to wish someone a disease. To be honest, when you think about it, if you are truly intending to insult someone, it makes sense to go straight to wishing someone something deadly like cancer(krijg de kanker); other Dutch flavors include, typhus, cholera or, if you want to go really medieval…the pest. In the Netherlands you can either wish these diseases on them or depending upon your mood that they only suffer from those diseases.

I mean what kind of impact would it really have to say to Corden, while turning bright red from anger(or texting in CAPITAL BOLD LETTERS), I hope your son catches…I hope your son catches…a cold. That will not exactly show them you mean business, nor will James even tweet you back!

Like everyone else the Dutch can insult you based upon your race, religion, disability, nationality, ethnicity and sexual preference. And yet, one of the worst insults does not involve the use of any swear words. If someone thinks that you are thinking mighty highly of yourself, they say you should…..act normal. Kind of a letdown to an outsider given all the disease name calling up until now.  I guess it’s a cultural thing.

I mean, “Doe eens normaal man”….act normal man…sounds pretty harmless and it is normally. It only becomes funny when Geert Wilders, the right-wing politician says it to Prime Minister Rutte on the floor of the first chamber of parliament and he responds in kind while laughing… “Doe eens zelf normal, tjonge tjonge”(act normal yourself).  It only got insulting because Wilders kept saying it over and over. But now we are heading down the road of expressions intended to keep everyone in the middle…gray….remind me later about this.

Yes, you can also swear here, as if you came straight off the set from Mayberry RFD or you belong to the Christian Democrats political party.  Words like verdorie(darn it), or potverdorie(gosh darn it) and, if you go to confession on Sunday, you can say verdikkema or  verdomme(damn it). And then there is also a version of verdomme combined together with the word God, but this is a nice blog, potverdorie!

Finally, there is one of my first and still favorites, “ga toch fietsen”, literally means go biking, but probably closer in meaning to go take a hike/get lost. Still, I guess the nicest of insults in this name calling contest is when someone calls you a “pancake” in Dutch, “pannenkoek”, but then you are usually not really mad or you are under the age of 5.

Of course there are many many more Dutch possibilities to swear or simply to insult someone, but you got the idea pancake. Besides, why waste them all now? Let’s wait to the mierenneuker James comes to the Netherlands with his family…I will let you look up that last new word yourself. Too bad, peanut butter…this one by the way rhymes in Dutch….helaas pindakaas!

It was the Third-Tuesday-of-September, the day I’ll always remember…not really

Let the games begin, the official parliamentary season is open, as history and tradition dictates, on the third Tuesday of September. It starts with the King and Queen of the Netherlands, Wiliam-Alexander and Maxima, entering the Glass Coach(Glazen Koets) around 13:00 for a short ride from their home in Palace Noordeinde and parading circa 500 meters through downtown the Hague

Awaiting the horse drawn “Glazen Koets” Glass Coach taking the King and Queen to the Hall of Knights(Ridderzaaal)
Before the King and Queen a liittle pomp and circumstance

to the Ridderzaal(Hall of Knights) located below in the Binnenhof(area where the 1st and 2nd chambers of parliament are located).

The King’s speech starts at 13:15. What’s the speech about? In essence, it’s about the state of the Dutch economy, what the Dutch can expect in the next year given the current world state of affairs, possible effects of Brexit, global trade conflicts etc., and therefore expectations.  

After the king’s speech, the contents are then discussed for the next two days on television. By the way the speech is not written by the king himself, but by the various cabinet ministers. This year for the first time, King William-Alexander was allowed to add his own personal touch regards part of the text. 

The speech is not very long. By 13:50 he’s on his way home to his palace and where the most famous annual balcony scene in the Netherlands takes place, and available as a post card in a shop near you, that of the Dutch royal family members waving to the crowd.

King William-Alexander and Queen Maxima on their way home after the annual statement of policy speech as required per Article 65 of the Dutch constitution

Meanwhile back in the second chamber of the Dutch parliament the minister of finance opens the secret contents of the “budget” briefcase. Yes, a briefcase on which “Derde Dinsdag in September” (Third-Tuesday-of-September) is engraved.  An actual briefcase being used has been around since 1947; that idea was borrowed from the British.

The third Tuesday in September date has been around since 1887. And leaking the contents of the briefcase, followed by all the ministers feigning disbelief that the contents were leaked again has been around since the beginning of time.

And this year something exciting else and new, certainly in line with the Netflix world we live in…a designated “minister” survivor up literally in the air on his way to…where else could he fly to but …the European parliament in Strasbourg, France.  Minister of Foreign Affairs Stefan Blok, also from the VVD party, same one as the minister president, was the designated minister to survive…just in case.   The coalition is strong, but not strong enough to pick a survivor from another political party!

Way back when, the opening of parliament took place on the first Monday of November then it was moved to the third Monday in October and in 1887 to the third Tuesday of September.   This change to Tuesday took place back in the days when one actually used horse drawn coaches. The ceremony was moved from Monday to Tuesday so that the more religious members of parliament did not have to travel on Sunday. And it was moved from November to October to September to ensure enough time for parliament to thoroughly discuss all matters pertaining to the budget.

And what can we expect in 2019/20? According to the coalition we should be cautiously optimistic. Doom and gloom according to the opposition. And me? My medical insurance costs are not increasing…long live the King…

Thirty five minutes later we head back to the King’s residence – Noordeinde Palace

Dutch Politics – Now that I’m also Dutch – I can vote twice!

Borrowed from Bruce…and slightly altered

Let it rain, let it rain, let it rain
Let it rain, let it rain, let it rain, let it rain
Meet me at Thierry’s place, we’re gonna start a party
Meet me at Thierry’s place, we’re gonna start a party
Tell me how do we get this thing started….

For those of you not familiar with Dutch political parties Thierry Baudet is the leader of the flavor of the month party, also known as Forum for Democracy(Forum voor Democratie or FVD), a former think tank turned extreme conservative populist party; whose focus is to make the Netherlands great again, European Union not so much. The Nexit should follow the Brexit.

Flavor of the month because from almost nowhere in the last general election in 2017, FVD received only 1,8% of the vote, which translated to 2 seats in the 150 seat tweede kamer(house), to receiving the most votes in the provincial elections held earlier this year. They earned 12 seats in the 75 seat senate(eerste kamer).

And yet they are already falling apart. Henk Otten who along with Thierry Baudet helped to establish FVD was accused from within of fraud involving party money. This came after he gave an interview in which he criticized Thierry Baudet for taking the party too far to the right. How this ends is still to be determined? However, the political divorce has already taken place as Henk Otten has left FVD to find his own “Otten” party. Two other FVD senate members have joined him and now all three will be in the senate, yet flying under the Otten party flag.

Why is the provincial election important? The local provinces results in turn determine the party breakdown of the 75 members of the Dutch Senate, i.e. how many senators does each party earn? This process takes place two months after the provincial elections.  FVD, having received the most votes means you have the most senators, as one can imagine, 12 in the case of FVD.

Why is the provincial election not important? Because the real power lies in the house and no other party, except perhaps PVV,  wants to work with Forum for Democracy. They may be the largest party for a moment in time, but you are still a member of the opposition, if no one wants to work with you. Allow me to explain.

The VVD(Volkspartij voor Vrijheid en Democratie >> People’s Party for Freedom and Democracy) also earned 12 senate seats and it’s party leader Mark Rutte has been the Netherland’s Prime Minister since….In the last general election they again won the most votes, 21,3 %, that earned them 33 seats of the 150 seats in the Dutch House of Representatives.

And the house is where the legislative power is. Bills are passed first in the house and then go on to the senate. The senate has the right to accept or reject legislative proposals, but not to amend them or to initiate new legislation.

The current VVD led coalition(VVD(33 seats), D66(19), CDA(19), CU(5) owns 76 seats(the minimum needed to form a majority) in the house and only 32 out of 75 seats in the senate. And while the current government does not own a majority in the senate it is very rare for the senate to reject legislation passed in the house. As strange as it sounds, the senators are only part time politicians. They meet only once a week. Ok, some would say that this is normal for politicians and that they are only being transparent about how little work they do.

So, what’s my interest? I am now also a Dutch citizen. This means no more just voting for the water board elections for me. What these are is another story…

Being Dutch means I have now earned my right to complain about how this country is run. And to keep this right I have to vote. And to do that I need a better understanding regards the 13 parties that currently are represented in the 150 member house of representatives in order to make a more informed choice.

Yes, the number 13 was not a misprint. You probably were not impressed with the 21,3% of the vote the VVD received in the last general election I mentioned earlier in this article. How is that number looking now; knowing that 13 parties have members in the house and almost 30 parties actually ran in the last general election.

More party choices is a good thing? When you want more choice other than just Pepsi or Coca Cola, be careful what you wish for as forming majority coalitions have their drawbacks. It took a record 225 days after the last general election to actually form a government(although no one really noticed).

Having to form a coalition also has their advantages. Populists, nationalists whatever you wish to call them, will always win a percentage of the electorate, just not enough to actually govern, to form and lead a coalition. Trump has his base that would vote for him no matter what. My guess is that his fate, if he was involved in the Dutch elections,  would have been the same as Marie le Pen from France. She does great in the first round of elections, but never wins the majority of voters as the opposition unites to defeat her every single time; like father like daughter. Yet, as we all know in the U.S. the electoral college has other ideas, which if you ask me, limits the interest in creating a multi-party system. Your third party candidate does not stand a chance despite the messiah faith of a minority and the end-game result may be your least favorite choice gets elected. Yes, I’m talking to you Ralph from 00…or Wallace in 68, Perot in 92…Anderson in 80….nah, Carter was losing no matter what.

Right-wing control of the house? Before FvD’s Thierry Baudet there was Geert Wilders. He left the VVD to form his own party PVV(Party for Freedom). They are currently the second largest party in the house. They too, like Forum, are pro Dutch, pro west, yet skeptical of EU sovereignty and in a more vocal way anti-Islam. And surprisingly enough they once agreed, as a silent member, to support a minority coalition(VVD/CDA) government that was doomed from the start not to last long given this set-up. There were no PVV cabinet ministers.

One could for see danger in the possibility of these two parties joining forces, FvD and VVD. Yet the lessons from the last provincial election suggest that these two parties are fishing more or less in the same pond. And while the overall size of the populist pond has grown from 15% of the voters in the last general election to circa 21% based upon the provincial elections, it’s still a minority all be they very very vocal.

Let’s get back to the question – whom should I vote for?  Yes, let’s take a closer first look to the 13 parties currently represented in the house.  I need to get a better understanding now what values these parties stand for, conservative or liberal, and who do they represent. Here are the results from the last general election.

Is there a link between the number of parties and percentage of voters who vote?

It seems fair to me to start with the oldest party, SGP(founded in 1918), and work my way through to the youngest party, FVD(from 2016):

SGP(Staatkundig Gereformeerde Partij) – the Reformed Political Party in English and reformed in this case has religious connotations namely Calvinism. Considered to be Christian right, the party bases its views on the bible. Now what particular view expressed in the bible was against female suffrage back in 1918 I do not know, however as we will see, the SGP upholds a sacred Dutch tradition when it comes to policy differences…”don’t get mad, just start your own political party”. And so they did when they left the Protestant Anti-Revolutionary party(ARP) in 1918 and we all know what happened to them….see our friends in the CDA party. What is interesting to note about the 101-year-old SGP party is that they have never been in power. Sounds like a waste of a vote? They currently own 3 seats in the house and 2 in the senate.

PvdA(Partij van de Arbeid) – Labour Party – formed in a merger of three parties shortly after WW II in 1946. It’s success has direct ties to supporting the common man and support from the trade unions movement. It is in this aspect a social-democratic party yet given the party’s origin has no interest into turning us all into socialists…feel the Burn perhaps. 

And unlike the SGP they have led three majority coalitions on three occasions with prime ministers Willem Drees(1948-58), Joop den Uyl(1973-77) and Wim Kok (1994-2002). In the last general election the PvdA suffered the biggest defeat in Dutch electoral history losing 29 of its 38 house seats; gaining less than 6% of the vote. The party’s leader Loodewijk Asscher did not resign from his post and instead applied an age old political trick. He opened the first of two envelopes given to him by his party predecessor, whereby he read out loud his advice, whenever the first major disaster occurs on your watch, claim the defeat was the last person’s responsibility. Ok, that part about the envelope was not true. 2019 has been comeback year as Labour(PvdA) won the most votes, 19%, thus gaining the most seats, in this year’s European Parliament elections.

So VVD won the last general election, FvD won the last provincial elections and PvdA won the European Parliament elections.  Politics are fluid here. It is worthy to note that this was the first time since 1998 that the PvdA has actually won an election, garnered the most votes. Mr. Ascher currently has no reason to open the second envelope!

Becoming Dutch means three elections for the price of one citizenship. This is getting serious.

VVD(Volkspartij voor Vrijheid en Democratie) – The People’s Party for Freedom and Democracy was founded in 1948 and the party whose leader, Mark Rutte, has been the Netherlands prime minister since October 2010. Yes, the Dutch government has been run by the “liberals” for nine years and this party has won the most votes in the last three general elections. Bear in mind, checks and balances are in full force here as the politics of the current coalition government led by the VVD are considered to be center-right. The VVD have 33 seats in the house and 12 in the senate. They had 41 house seats in the 2012 election.

Even if it is true that the Netherlands is officially a constitutional monarchy with a parliamentary system, the term Rutte III does not refer to his royal majesty King Mark Rutte III. The “III” indicates that this Cabinet is the third one formed and led by Mark Rutte the Dutch prime minister.

There are no term limits. Rutte Cabinets IV, V and VI could happen but not likely. He has a few more years to go to match Ruud Lubbers, who served the longest, 12 years, as prime minister.  Historically Rutte III is the 49th official cabinet and the 29th since the end of world war II.

D66(Democraten 66) finally, an easy translation – Democrats 66, a social liberal intellectual democratic party, whose name originates from, 1966, the year it was founded. Currently a member of the coalition government, their election fortunes can be compared with a roller-coaster. 2017 general election went well as they gained 7 seats. But their fortunes have changed since Alexander Pechtold resigned and the next generation took over in October 2018.  Election results in 2019 have not been kind.

SP(Socialistische Partij) – the Socialist Party that started out in 1971 as the Communist Party of the Netherlands/Marxixt-Leninist, one based upon Maoist principles. And while it changed its name in 1971, it kept the Marxism/Leninism terminology as part of its beliefs until 1991. This probably explains in part why they failed in every election since 1977, which was their first attempt, to gain enough votes to enter the house. Finally in the 1994 election did they succeed in getting two seats in the house. Their party power peaked in 2006 with 25 seats in the house. Currently at 14 seats, the 2019 elections have been a disaster…how many times can a party run against something?

CDA (Christen-Democratisch Appel) – The Christen Democratic Appeal was formed in 1977; in essence three religiously oriented parties became one large party. Conservative protestants(Anti-Revolutionary Party) got together with conservative Catholics(Catholics People’s Party) and conservative Christians to form a……what else… a conservative party known today as CDA.  Considered to be center-right in scope their basic message is that government is there to have a role when needed, but the individual citizen is responsible. One must give credit to a party, that when you include all three of the parties that became CDA, they have been part of the ruling coalition in 26 of the 29 previous cabinets. CDA currently holds 19 seats in the house and 9 in the senate. Their party leader Sybrand van Haersma Buma resigned earlier this year and is now the new mayor of Leeuwarden. Sybrand has gone back to his Friesland province roots!

Back in 2006 CDA’s Prime Minister Balkenende was given the keys to the Dutch cabinet for the fourth time with 26,5% of the vote and 41 seats in the house. Four years later – they lost almost half of their seats and Mr. Balkenende is no longer in politics. I do, however, see him on occasion at the local Texaco station down the street.

GL(GroenLinks) – GreenLeft – my guess is that you have figured out where GL is on the political spectrum just by looking at their name. And that would be true. You would however never have guessed that, I mean never, if you judged their potential politics based only upon the name of the four parties that merged to form GL in March 1989. This would include the Communist Party of the Netherlands, the Pacifist Socialist Party, the Political Party of Radicals and the Evangelical People’s Party. I will be the first to admit that I have not read the platforms of these four left-wing parties.

They earned 6 seats in the house during their first general election in 1989. And have been in ever since ranging from 4 seats in the 2012 election to for them a record high 14 seats  in the 2017 general election. They were asked to become a member of the coalition government. Despite months of negotiation they ultimately declined the honor.

CU(ChristenUnie) – Christian Union – primarily a protestant party combining socially conservative ideas regards same-sex marriage, abortion while having more progressives ideas on economic, immigration and environmental issues. Government should uphold Christian morality. CU is the smallest member of the current coalition with only 5 seats in the house; the same results they had in 2012 and 2010 general elections given just over 3% of the votes.

PvdD(Partij voor de Dieren) – Party for the Animals. Yes, you read that correctly. For me, it’s an important issue – animal welfare. However, a single-issue party is not a serious party in the traditional sense. They claim that their role is to act as an “influencer”.  Perhaps it works. Formed in 2002, PvdD have consistently since their first election in 2006 gained 2 seats, except in 2017 when they earned 5 seats. It’s time for a merger with GroenLinks.

PVV(Partij voor de Vrijheid) – Party for Freedom – a right wing populist party that is known for being Eurosceptic as well as its limiting immigration policies for non-Western and Islamic countries. It’s leader Geert Wilders left the VVD in 2004 as he could not agree with their policies to allow Turkey into the EU.  PVV was formed in 2006 and has held as many as 24 seats in the house after the 2010 election when they agreed to support a minority led cabinet with VVD and CDA for circa two years. They withdrew their support over budget cut related issues. Currently they hold 20 seats in the house as the second largest party in the Netherlands. Unlike Trump there is no discussion if Wilders, with Mozart as one of his nicknames, has been dying his hair blond since the 90s.

Party life expectancy? That would be my question for most of these populist parties. Once the leader goes, there goes the party?  Take LPF(List Pim Fortuyn) as perhaps an inappropriate example, given its party leader was assassinated just before the May 2002 general election. His party won 26 seats in May 2002; yet only 8 seats 7 months later in January 2003 and it was dissolved in 2004.

(50+)50Plus – was founded in 2009. PvdD was all about animals and 50+ is all about the interests of voters above a certain age..the so-called pensioner’s party. They earned two seats in the house in 2012 and doubled that number 5 years later….it’s no secret the country is getting older. More research needs to be done here, as I’m not sure if they are a one-trick pony like the Party for the Animals or a bit more serious.

Denk formed in late 2014 when two Turkish-Dutch house representatives split off from the PvDA  to form their own party. Denk means “think” in Dutch and “equality” in Turkish and these two words together in its purest form explain the party’s doctrine. However, for a new party they have been known to have issues in accepting certain historical facts involving their forefathers. That blind spot unfortunately waters their message of tolerance and acceptance of immigrants. There was a commercial on Dutch television whereby a customer and a hotel clerk are haggling in the international language of bad English.  At one point one of the actors says, “You move to me. I move to you.”, but in reality, the immigrants, like myself, moved here and need to adapt. Stop haggling. Tolerance is of course needed to allow this adaptation to take place, but we should not be talking several generations.  On a personal note, whereas I do speak Dutch, but not with the perfect Dutch accent, my children do.

FvD(Forum voor Democratie) – Forum for Democracy – One should certainly give credit to the former think tank turned extreme conservative populist party in 2016 credit for being directly elected to the house in the 2017 general elections – two seats. What you may have noticed is that other parties entered parliament for the first time, while they were elected as a member of one party. They then leave their party, but not their seat in parliament, to start what they hope will be their own political movement. Recent examples of this have been Denk and PVV in the house and Lijst Otten in the senate.

As with other flavor of the month parties the question is, once we all understand better what they stand for, how low in the polls will they go before the next general election? Time will tell.  What I can already say with certainty is that FvD will not be receiving my vote. The same can be said for several of the other parties discussed here. Still I have some research to do.

Timing of my first Dutch vote? Difficult to say…..Given the average life expectancy of the last 29 Dutch cabinets has been three years, we may have some time to go until the next election. Doing some math….as the last election was in 2017, we are probably looking at some time next year or maybe even in 2021. But that’s the tricky thing about coalitions, you never really can say when they were fall or what will cause them to fall. But whenever Rutte III cabinet goes, and it will, I can only hope that Trump II, does not or will not exist. If I had to choose today, I  prefer to be stuck in a Rut(te) versus being out-Trumped again. I can live with Rutte IV, but not with four more years of the Don.  The number of political party possibilities does not change my vote.

And if my choice wins…meet me at Mary’s place, we’re gonna have a party….and Thierry is not invited.

DUTCH Football(Soccer) – A Tradition in “Punching Above Their Weight”

“Who are you rooting for? USA or The Netherlands”, Facebook messenger is working early Thursday morning regards this Sunday’s Women’s World Cup finals.

“Whoever wins” will be my answer. Not that I’m a fair-weather football fan I just happen to have dual national interests.  But on Sunday, I’m Switzerland.

Another friend from the US has asked me to make sure the Dutch team won’t wear clogs. Really, in 2019, that’s your best shot. I realize that like most Americans, his only knowledge about “soccer” is that the US women’s team is very good and has been for years.  There is however a high level of amnesia regards the US men’s squad. And unlike most Americans he probably could find the Netherlands on a world map….but hey he lived in Germany for a few months.

Who wins the final…Without a doubt….the U.S. women’s team are the favorites. And rightly so. They are the better team and have certainly played better throughout the 2019 tournament.  

The average Dutch person will tell you that as well, right after they tell you how proud and happy they are to be in the world cup finals. The Dutch obviously want their team to win, but they are neither blind nor stupid. This is only the second time their women’s team has even qualified for the world cup. Not bad for the current European champions!

The Netherlands, a country of 17,3 million inhabitants is the 8th country to make it to the women’s world cup finals, a tournament that was first held back in 1991.  And in the US team the Dutch are playing the three times and current world champion. And how did the US finish in the other 4 world cups you may be wondering…. they finished third three times and once second in 2015.

So, who are the Dutch? Football is number one in the Netherlands….for the men. Some 7% of the overall population are registered to play football as a team sport; as compared to 1% in the US.  

The men’s team has qualified 10 times for the World Cup finals, finishing second three times, once third and once fourth. That they punch above their weight class is an understatement for a country where 17,3 million national team coaches live, breath and make constant comments on the teams and coaches performance. Nowadays every Dutch person coaches two football teams!

Football is only the number three sport for Dutch women; gymnastics and field hockey being the favorites. Regards the women’s field hockey team the women’s national team have dominated this sport for years and they are the current world champion!

So, while the Dutch “Lionesses” don’t share the long history regards success in “soccer” the Dutch men’s team has enjoyed, they have without a doubt been more successful the last 5 years and judging by the stars of the current team they have a bright future ahead of them as well.

But regards the world-cup final on Sunday I unfortunately will be somewhere in a car given another obligation and can only follow online.  The US team should win, but the Dutch team has already won by making it to the final. I realize that’s a bit of a cliché…both teams are winners….blah blah blah.

I guess the one advantage the Dutch have is that they are the only team on the field this Sunday that still wins, even if they should lose.  And on top of that, they have grown up schooled in the philosophy of the former national Dutch football “zen” master, Johan Cruyff, who has made the following statements, albeit at different times,  on the game during the course of his career, as many would say, as the one-time world’s best player and also pretty successful as the former coach of Barcelona:

Playing football is very simple, but playing simple football is the hardest thing there is. Quality without results is pointless. Results without quality is boring. There’s only one moment in which you can arrive in time. If you’re not there, you’re either too early or too late. If I wanted you to understand it, I would have explained it better.

May the best team win! At least it won’t be Germany after 90 minutes.

Editor’s note: Talking about football/soccer as my first general information NL blog was not my first idea, yet somehow it describes this country of 17,3 million, they punch way above their weight class!