mykeystrokes.com

"Do or Do not. There is no try."

“What’s The Deal With Cruz And Kids?”: Twas The Night Before The Shutdown And All Through The House

Is there any limit to Senator Ted Cruz’s willingness to exploit small children – his own and now others – in embarrassing and peculiar ways to further his bid for the Republican presidential nomination? Based on his latest TV ad, “Playing Trump,” which features three kids playing with a Donald Trump doll and robotically mouthing Cruz campaign talking points, the answer is clearly “No.”

“Look, I got the Trump action figure,” says one adorable child, holding the doll. “What does he do?” asks another. “He pretends to be a Republican,” says the first.

The child goes on to pretend that the Trump doll is saying that he gave money to Nancy Pelosi and Anthony Weiner. Then, when one of the others calls attention to a dollhouse, the first child says in his Trump voice: “That’s a lousy house. I’m going to take your house through eminent domain.”

The three children demolish the dollhouse with the “aid” of the Trump doll, and at the end, two adults, presumably playing parents, peek in the door, shocked. Shocked! “We wouldn’t tolerate these values in our children,” the narrator says. “Why would we want them in a president.”

Well, the obvious answer is, none of those children actually have those values. They are just pretending to. And no one under the age of 10 is running for president, even though the campaign is enough to make you think so.

The kids in this ad are, I fervently hope, professional actors. But Mr. Cruz is not above using his own children in equally chilling ways to advance his candidacy.

Last year, the Cruz campaign posted a lot of “b roll” footage of the candidate and his family, intended for use by super PACs. The point was to help the groups make ads on behalf of Mr. Cruz but act as if they were not coordinating with the campaign, to avoid running afoul of the very few campaign finance laws still in effect.

In that footage, we are all privileged to watch Mr. Cruz try, with increasing impatience, to get his older daughter to say grace at a dinner table, with minimal success, until he finally does it himself.

Then, the brains of American voters were violated with an ad in which Mr. Cruz cuddled up with his wife and daughters on a couch and read them a twisted version of a Christmas favorite.

“Twas the night before the shutdown and all through the House,” Mr. Cruz says in a very creepy tone of awe. “Not a bill was stirring, not even to fund a mouse.”

There ought to be a rule against taking beloved children’s stories and ruining them for your own children and the rest of America. What did he do when the camera was turned off? Tell his daughters there was no such thing as Santa Claus?

 

By: Andrew Rosenthal, Taking Note, The Editorial Page Editor’s Blog, The New York Times, February 10, 2016

February 12, 2016 Posted by | Campaign Advertising, Donald Trump, Ted Cruz | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

“The Beginning Of An Exceptional Friendship”: The American People’s Reply To Comrade Vladimir Putin

Dear President Putin,

Thank you so much for your letter to the American people! I am an American person, and when I learned on Thursday from the official Russian news agency, the New York Times, that you wanted “to speak directly to the American people,” I thought: How sweet!

I know I speak for many American people when I congratulate you on your English. It was flawless, with none of those dropped articles that plague so many of your countrymen. Please don’t be offended, but I have to ask: Did Edward Snowden help you with your letter?

It’s not just your English that impressed me. Your geopolitical points were smart — da bomb, as we American people like to say. (This is not the kind that would be used in Syria.) You were so thoughtful to bring up those memories of our days long ago as allies, and your references to “mutual trust” and “shared success” make me think that maybe we could be friends again. Your favorable mentions of Israel and the Pope remind me that we have so much in common.

Although some of us think it’s a good idea to have the U.S. military strike Syria, most of the American people agree with you that it would be a bad idea. (President Obama, you may have heard, is on both sides of the issue.) Your arguments against attack were creative, which is why it’s such a shame that, at the very end, you kind of stepped in it. When you told us that Americans are not “exceptional” — well, that hurts all of us American people.

I was surprised by this lapse because I think you really “get” Americans. When we saw photos of you shirtless in Siberia, you brought to mind one of our most celebrated American lawmakers, Anthony Weiner. When we watched you navigate around Russian laws to stay in power, you brought to mind another quintessentially American figure, Rod Blagojevich. The Harley-Davidson, the black clothing, the mistress half your age — you are practically American yourself.

This makes your crack about “American exceptionalism” all the more perplexing. “It is extremely dangerous to encourage people to see themselves as exceptional,” you wrote. “We are all different, but when we ask for the Lord’s blessings, we must not forget that God created us equal.” (Thank you for the considerate mention of God, by the way; American people respond well to that.) But I’m guessing what went wrong here is your translators let you down when they defined exceptional for you as luchshyy (better) rather than razlichnyy (different).

Americans do not believe they are better than other peoples. If you doubt this, you need only look at Congress. If we really thought we were superior, is there any chance we would choose them to represent us? There are exceptions — we think we are better than Canadians, for example, but please don’t tell them, because they’re awfully nice — but generally we accept that all countries have their strengths. We know, for example, that Russians are better than us at producing delicacies such as caviar and dioxin. (Kidding!)

When we say we are exceptional, what we really are saying is we are different. With few exceptions, we are all strangers to our land; our families came from all corners of the world and brought all of its colors, religions and languages. We believe this mixing, together with our free society, has produced generations of creative energy and ingenuity, from the Declaration of Independence to Facebook, from Thomas Jefferson to Miley Cyrus. There is no other country quite like that.

Americans aren’t better than others, but our American experience is unique — exceptional — and it has created the world’s most powerful economy and military, which, more often than not, has been used for good in the world. When you question American exceptionalism, you will find little support from any of us, liberals or conservatives, Democrats or Republicans, doves or hawks.

I hope you won’t take this criticism badly, because I offer it in friendship. I was in Slovenia that day in 2001 when President George W. Bush looked into your soul and liked what he saw. And had your ancestors not chased my ancestors out of Eastern Europe, I would not be here today, participating in the American experiment.

Anyway, it was such a pleasure to get your letter. Please write again soon. I think this is the beginning of an exceptional friendship.

 

By: Dana Milbank, Opinion Writer, The Washington Post, September 12, 2013

September 15, 2013 Posted by | Democracy, Syria | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

“Forgiveness, Unless You’re A Democrat”: Anthony Weiner Is No Bill Clinton Or David Vitter

Republicans, the party of forgiveness … unless you’re a Democrat.

Anthony Weiner ain’t no Bill Clinton, although many Republicans consider them one and the same, which is why many on the right are perplexed about Weiner’s popularity rapidly dropping in the polls this week in his bid to become mayor of New York. Democrats have pulled their support from him and, so it would seem, have the Clintons.

Weiner’s problem isn’t that Democrats can’t be forgiving. Weiner’s problem is that he continued his inappropriate behavior after stepping down from Congress. The Weiners like to compare themselves to the Clintons, but the situations are not the same, though many of my Republican friends love the comparison. Let me break it down as to why the situations are quite different:

Weiner isn’t, nor ever will be, president. Weiner was a congressman, and not a popular one. Bill Clinton was a popular president, the economy was good and we were at peace. In other words, Bill Clinton was doing his job, despite his behavior, and a good job at that. Weiner on the other hand, it could be argued was distracted by his…umm…hobby.

Hilary wasn’t pregnant. As a woman, I think it was even more reprehensible to many of us ladies that Anthony Weiner was having cybersex, if you will, while his wife was pregnant with his child.

Weiner’s marriage was new. Hilary and Bill have been together a lifetime. Hilary had already suffered through Bill’s indiscretions. She had forgiven him and decided long ago to stand by her man. Although I am sure this was quite painful for her, she was used to forgiving him, and I am sure his behavior was not shocking to her as it was a pattern of behavior.

The “affair” of Bill Clinton and Monica Lewinsky was behind closed doors, albeit those doors were that of the oval office. They were not out for the public to see. On the other hand, Weiner’s penchant for taking photos of his own body parts is, well….a bit perverted. And putting it out there, online for all the world to see, makes it public and a public embarrassment for his wife as well.

I also find it odd that Republicans couldn’t wrap their heads around Democrats forgiving Bill Clinton, and for a time, Anthony Weiner. Isn’t David Vitter still in his political seat after soliciting a prostitute? Not only engaging in adultery, but breaking the law? And how about Mark Sanford? A guy who lied not only to his wife and kids, but to his state when he fled to South America to see his mistress?

So when Anthony Weiner stepped down and, at first, New Yorkers forgave him and gave him a chance, why were Republicans so harsh to judge when their own “sinners” had been forgiven? And what about Eliot Spitzer, who did the same thing as David Vitter, but had the decency to step down, get help, work on his marriage and come back, perhaps soon to be a winner again?

It’s obvious. You can hire prostitutes, play footsies with guys under a bathroom stall, run off from your post, commit adultery and use tax dollars to fly to South America to visit your mistress, and it will be forgiven … unless, you’re a Democrat.

 

By: Leslie Marshall, U. S. News and World Report, July 31, 2013

August 1, 2013 Posted by | Politics | , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

“Being Mrs. Carlos Danger”: Subjected To A Storm Of Contempt

As America basks in the comedic glow cast by Anthony Weiner’s dirty little keyboard, made so hilarious by Weiner’s use of the online pseudonym “Carlos Danger,” many are asking, what about Huma? That Weiner is a dirtball is pretty clear to all at this point, and given that a year after he had left Congress over the first incarnation of the sexting scandal he was still playing these games suggests something compulsive about the behavior. An ordinary person, particularly one who wanted to stage an eventual political comeback, would say, “OK, I had my fun, but now I’ve been caught and humiliated—no more of that.” But who the hell knows what was going on in his head? Maybe the possibility of getting caught was the whole thrill.

If you want to read the texts, they’re here. My absolute favorite is when, in the midst of all the Penthouse Forum dirty talk, Weiner sends this plaintive text to his digital paramour: “I’m deeply flawed.” You can say that again, Carlos.

Huma Abedin is just the latest in a long line of women who had to stand before the press while their husbands discussed their betrayal. Each one handled it differently—Elizabeth Edwards was supportive in front of the cameras but raged at John privately, Jenny Sanford dumped Mark like a rock—but as Garance Franke-Ruta notes, if we assume Weiner and Abedin are telling the truth that she’s known about Sexting II: Sext Harder for a while, then they had prepared for this moment for some time.

I didn’t find much wrong in the statement she gave; it was blunt about how difficult it was for her to stay married to Weiner, said in the end their marriage is private, and expressed her belief in his political career. In other words, it was exactly what you’d expect. What was she going to do, slap him across the face in front of the cameras? I’ve seen many people react negatively toward Abedin’s statement (here’s an exception), which I think isn’t so much about what she said at the press conference but more a reaction to the fact that she hasn’t packed her bags. We can all say, “How can she stay with him?”, particularly when the two of them were posing for People magazine talking about all the progress they’d made at the same time he was starting up a new online relationship. The trouble is that it’s hard to find a good reason Abedin would stick with this. Is being the mayor’s wife really that great?

And that may be the most despicable thing about what Weiner did. Not just that he betrayed Huma in this way but that he asked her to accompany him on his mission to become mayor of New York, all the while taking this enormous risk that would not only put that bid in jeopardy but also mean that at some point, she’d have to come before the cameras and do what she did. Forcing his wife into that public humiliation, even knowing it would inevitably subject her to a storm of contempt, was, for him, worth the price of Carlos Danger having his fun (or feeding his addiction, or however you want to think about it).

It can’t be said too often that none of us knows what goes on between them or what is in her head. But I picture Huma going down to the basement every night, where there’s a punching bag on a chain; she puts on the gloves and goes to town, eyes narrowed, teeth clenched, sweat pouring down her face. The sound of her punches echoes up the stairs to where Anthony sits reading campaign memos, each thwack a reproach that he knows he should feel worse about than he does. After a while she climbs the stairs, panting, and stops in the doorway to stare at the back of his head. Knowing her eyes are on him, he turns and puts on a smile. “Good workout?” he asks. She pauses an extra second before answering, just to let him know she knows how full of it he is. “Yes.” Then she turns and heads for the shower, while he lets out a big sigh and returns to his computer.

 

By: Paul Waldman, Contributing Editor, The American Prospect, July 24, 2013

July 25, 2013 Posted by | Politics | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

“It’s Not The Sex, It’s The Stupidity”: Anthony Weiner, Bob Filner And Eliot Spitzer Are Too Stupid For Politics

For a moment, leave aside your emotions. Forget the disgusting character of New York City mayoral candidate Anthony Weiner’s sexting. Ignore the maddening hypocrisies attending New York City comptroller candidate Eliot Spitzer’s “Client 9” moniker. Dismiss the arrogance revealed in San Diego Mayor Bob Filner’s alleged sexual harassment.

Clearly, these men seem to have behaved deplorably – possibly even criminally. It’s perfectly fine to be angry, repulsed, and even transfixed by these outrageous scandals. Public servants are not supposed to do these types of things.

And while the media are not wrong for focusing on the shock-value side of these elected officials’ transgressions, the most relevant question to the public tends not to get answered: are these politicians just too dumb to be good at their jobs?

Politics requires perception and forethought. One must know the likely repercussions of one’s actions before doing them. One must know how others’ will receive their words before saying them. Understanding “cause and effect” is a necessary political skill.

Yet as someone who has spent more than a decade scientifically researching and writing on the electoral consequences of scandal, I’m still shocked by the glaring lack of judgment displayed by the politicians at the center of these ethical storms. It’s not just their immorality (infidelity, etc.), which most of them apologize for and suggest occurred because they were experiencing something akin to temporary insanity. It’s the fact that most of these politicians don’t even seem to notice that along with their flagrantly bad behavior, they’re also making such unbelievably stupid choices.

For instance, inventing the name Carlos Danger (Weiner’s alternate identity). Or George Fox (Spitzer’s alternate identity). Or allegedly requesting that a colleague “get naked” at work without wearing panties.

Really? Danger? Fox? Naked? These words alone should have clued these politicians into the possibility that they were engaging in activities that might have negative consequences.

And if they weren’t perceptive enough to realize this or they were too amused with their own assumed cleverness, then they’re too dense to be good politicians. Forgiving a moral failing is one thing, discounting political ineptitude is another thing entirely.

It’s the stupidity that’s scandalous and the most elementary reason why these politicians should not hold public office.

 

By: Lara Brown, U. S. News and World Report, July 24, 2013

July 25, 2013 Posted by | Politics | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

   

%d bloggers like this: