Marshall in the Middle

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Reality TV with Real Consequences Part 4

By Chuck Marshall

Today is my fourth in a series reviewing the Presidential candidates for 2016.   Today is the New Hampshire primaries so it's possible these two candidates will no longer be in the race after today.   Both of these guys are what I would refer to as genuinely "nice guys" so I will miss both of them in the election if it does come to that.   They are both patriots and they care about our country and have been endeavoring to make it better for us.  God Bless them both for trying.

     John "My top 3" Kasich

     Governor John Kasich, Republican (Ohio).  In my mind, was the forgotten candidate for a while flying low and not getting too much attention except when Donald Trump whacked him a couple of times regarding his record in Ohio.  I have come to like John, and he has actually risen to my "top 3" choices since my first blog regarding the candidates back  several weeks ago.  I like John because he doesn't pick on anyone, he sticks to his guns, and he keeps on fighting.  He is a moderate which is important to me for obvious reasons if you read the title of my blog.  Finally, he has experience as the governor of Ohio, which seems to have been very successful.  So, John Kasich is on my short list, he's on "my top 3" choice list.

       Ben "soft spoken" Carson

     I watched the movie about his life with Cuba Gooding Jr. and I was blown away.   So much hope and faith and a total inspiration to us all that anything is possible, especially in this country.  Carson was my guy for about a month !  Unfortunately for Ben, the left dislikes him because of the color of his skin.  They skewered him over and over because the idea of a Republican black goes against their bigoted ideas of what African Americans should be.  Their behavior towards Ben during this election actually moved me to the right a little bit more because they disgust me so much.

     At the end of the day, though, I do feel that Ben is a little too soft spoken to get his message out effectively in the general election.  There's too much hatred out there.  I believe the Democrats would mock him and do everything they could to prevent his election including to bring up his unique opinions regarding the pyramids that he refuses to disavow or explain effectively.  So, with their narrow minds the left defines a man by one odd opinion and not the lengthy success of his career.   I don't think he could withstand their attacks and so therefor, as much as I like him, if he is the Republican nominee I don't think he would be elected and so by endorsing  him I'm helping the Democrat nominee (and we know that's one of two people) and I do not want either of them. Strategically, I can't support Ben because I don't think he'd win the election.

 God Bless you Ben.

Tomorrow;  Jeb Bush and Ted Cruz.

Sunday, February 7, 2016

Reality TV With Real Consequences Part 3

By Chuck Marshall


Carly Fiorina and Chris Christie

Carly"one hit wonder" Fiorina

The face that Donald Trump famously chastised !  "Who would vote for a face like that?" he exclaimed.  "Not Nice"  Donald.  Anyway, I think she looks fine.  The thing about Carly is her voice is a little monotone and she always seems to be trying to "out-tough" the guys on stage.  Where's the charm?  Also, she mentions Hillary Clinton too much, implying it would be a great "woman vs woman" match.  Ho Hum.   I'm  a little concerned about her track record at Hewlett Packard which doesn't sound like she really did that good.  But, in all fairness I'm not interested enough to research the facts on this.  Carly had a great debate a while back when she took on Donald Trump with her quick wit but that was her one shining moment.  She never caught on and then she was sent to the "kiddie table" debate which  I've already explained is the kiss of death.  Now we  have the New Hampshire debate and she's pitching a fit because she's not included in the debate.    Her poll numbers aren't high enough.  To her hissy fit I say;  "this rule didn't bother you when you qualified, Carly"  

Final Verdict: Carly had one bright moment but she never caught on.  She's a "one hit wonder".

Chris Christie

Chris "Big Bully" Christie

     This is the first candidate in this series that still has a chance to win the nomination.  But he won't.
Am I the only one that sees him as the Eddie Haskel of this race ?   When he's trying to seem sincere it seems so fake.  "That's a lovely dress  you're wearing Mrs. Cleaver".  I know he also talks tough, but I think that's actually his only personality... the rest is fake.  I have a personal dislike of Chris Christie.

   Chris Christie will never live down the "bridge" controversy where it was revealed that as governor his "people" (he knew nothing about it - ha ha) used a bridge closing and clogged traffic to get back at a political enemy.   I don't remember the details but I do NOT believe that he was ignorant of the situation.  Also, in the New Hampshire debate (last night at this writing) he proved himself to be a bit of a bully with nasty attacks on Marco Rubio that I thought were ugly and personal and revealed his "win at all costs" attitude no matter how he has to do it.  He's Donald Trump minus the charm.

Final Verdict;  He's guilty of being a typical slimy politician who really likes his donuts.

I have another "who's that ?"

Governor  Jim Gilmore- Republican (Virginia)

Jim "Who?" Gilmore

I also need to fill in the blanks going back to the beginning of this election by listing the following as "also rans".  They don't get comments because they dropped out too early, all before Christmas.  Sorry guys !  (but that's actually a good thing for a couple of them)

Rick Perry
Lindsey Graham
Bobby Jindal
Scott Walker
Jim Webb (Democrat)


Ben Carson and John Kasich

Friday, February 5, 2016

Reality TV With Real Consequences Part 2

By Chuck Marshall

Huckabee and Santorum

Yesterday was Martin "who?" O'Malley and Rand "perfectly round eyebrows" Paul.   Today, I'd like to review the campaigns of Mike Huckabee and Rick Santorum.   At this writing both Mike and Rick have bowed out of the race so this is a "retrospect" review of these reality TV stars.

Interestingly enough, after google searching both candidates it turns out they both have the exact same estimated net worth;  $5 Million.   They also both won the Iowa Caucus in past elections.  They both are born again "Evangelical" Christians.  They both dropped out of the 2016 Reality TV Show in the same week !  What a coincidence !  Creepy, right ?  It's  like the Kennedy-Lincoln similarities we've all read about.    

Mike  "Sunday School Teacher"  Huckabee

Governor Mike Huckabee- Republican (Arkansas) -  Mike is already famous due to his run for the Presidency in 2008, so a lot of people already knew him.  Not to mention  he also had a talk show on Fox for a while "Huckabee", which aired from 2008 to 2015.  So, Mike is famous and that  IS half the battle to becoming President.   I've always liked Mike Huckabee.  His "aw shucks" demeanor and his quick wit make him a crowd favorite.  He's likable !  Unfortunately for him, his last name sounds a lot like "Huckleberry Finn",  as in the bumpkin character of  the Mark Twain novel by the same name.   People naturally think of this when they hear his name and so he's immediately at a disadvantage in that he has to prove he's not a bumpkin.   In my mind Mike seems like a friendly, lovable Sunday school teacher not a President.  Also he's a little too far to the right on social issues.  I'm not saying I agree or disagree, I'm just saying it probably wouldn't play well in the general elections.

Final Verdict;  Mike couldn't stay on the reality TV show because his name puts him at a disadvantage and he seems too much like a Sunday School teacher.

Rick "yesterday's news" Santorum

I've already elaborated on Rick Santorum above since he's a near duplicate of Mike Huckabee.  BUT, just to add a couple of comments.  Rick is not as likable as Mike Huckabee but his name does sound more serious, so that's a plus and a minus for Rick.   Rick was relegated to the "Kiddie table" at the Reality TV debates so I sincerely don't have a fresh take on his positions.  He was always hard to the right, but I liked his sticking up for the common guy.  Rick is a big believer in educating young people according to their skills and that we need to stop making all young people feel like they have to go to a University in order to be worth anything.  I really like that he emphasizes that.  Rick had a real chance back in 2012, but he did eventually run out of steam.  He's kind of like "yesterday's news"this election season.

Rick couldn't stay on the Reality TV show because he was sent over to the Kiddie Table for TV debates which is really the "kiss of death".   Also, at the end of the day he lost in 2012, so I think most people see him as "yesterday's news".

Finally, I did want to bring up another candidate that I totally forgot about ( there were a lot !)

Governor George Pataki -Republican (New York)
"Forgot about Him"


Chris Christie and Carly Fiorina

Thursday, February 4, 2016

Reality TV With Real Consequences

US Presidential Primaries 2016-  Part 1 

By Chuck Marshall 

     It has been an interesting primary season and even though it's just getting under way I'm already waxing nostalgic for Rand Paul, and Mike Huckabee 'cause "gee" they weren't bad guys and they made some good points.   I think watching these ladies and gentlemen  has been quite a show for all of us.   As much as I criticize the process of electing our leaders, I must say it enabled me to form an opinion and I have made a decision after paying attention with due diligence to each candidate and all their antics.    Although my last blog elaborated that our process is flawed and not an effective rocess., at the same time, it has been entertaining to those of us who are so inclined  to pay attention !  Is this inclination good ?  I don't know.  In some ways it all makes me want to take a shower after watching too much of it, however to be totally honest it  is the best reality TV on earth with REAL consequences to the end result.   (This won't end with the muscle bound dude walking away from the cute blond he impregnated to reveal what a cad he really is !)  So there it is, the guilty pleasure of  the Reality TV that modern politics has become.

One by one, I'm going to review the candidates with you, dear readers, and let's see if we can sort the whole thing out., if nothing else to help future generations understand the nuances of how the early 21st century American population selected the most powerful person in the world.  They certainly won't figure it out by watching old newsreels !  For the  past 6 months those have consisted of one story;  Donald Trump.  I've already said enough about "The Donald",  so I'm not going there... however, I do want to mention I can see how people fall under his magnetism.  The guy is funny and unrestrained and refreshing -- he's truly THE star of this reality TV show !

The Other Characters -- and some shallow observations

Republican- Senator Rand Paul- (Kentucky)  (at this writing, officially out of the race)  Did anybody else notice how perfectly round his eyebrows were ?  It makes him look clown-like, especially with that curly hair bouncing up and down on the top of his head as he urged us all to eliminate the  government entirely.  Only missing a red ball on his nose.  I like a lot of Libertarian ideas but they get a little carried away, it's getting too close to anarchy - in my humble opinion.  I want a wise government not a non-existent government.  Who's keeping the barbarians out ?

Rand "Round eyebrows" Paul

Democrat- Martin O'Malley - Who?

Tomorrow ?  Mike Huckabee & Rick Santorum

Monday, January 25, 2016

Election Process Fails All of Us


      It's all a game.  That's what the problem is with our election process.   It has turned into a game- just like football or basketball- where we have the Left VS the Right and it all becomes about the game and not about the actual issues.  The ideas to fix our country are never the focus.  This is why nothing ever gets fixed and why we're in the middle off the most inept., incompetent, disgraceful government the United States has ever had.  It's all a game.  When the focus is the disagreement then the solutions become secondary.  When the focus is specific faults of the candidates' personalities that have nothing to do with leadership., then it's a game.   When it's about who can get the most attention due to outrageous comments,  then it's a game.   The citizens of the United States and the world deserve better than this !  I mention the world because we are the leaders of the world.  The world has little hope of stability and prosperity under the leadership of any other country.  We are it, and we've turned the entire process of Democracy into a game.

     Who's at fault for the game we call politics ?  We all are, because we'd rather watch the candidates at each other's throat than listen to plausible solutions.  We want the game because it's easier to lay back and be entertained rather than think hard about the issues and work to distinguish who can help move our country and the world towards solutions to the problems at hand,  The half-truths that the candidates feed the people are meant for the uninformed American public because it's easy to confuse an issue and disguise the truth from the people under such circumstances.   Political ads, at their core, are all lies.  We're so close to solving serious problems but the brass ring continues to elude us.  We still have wars and recessions and poverty and pollution and uneducated children because we refuse to cooperate and be smart and select leaders who will lead us and bring solidarity and progress    We refuse to do the work that needs to be done therefor we allow the political parties and the media and special interest to lead us by the nose down roads that lead to THEIR  prosperity and THEIR opportunity and THEIR power.  We are the enablers.

     What's the solution ?  1) Remove money from election process in totality. There was a time when elections were the candidates, the voters and a ballot box.   The problem is there's  money to be made, but why is that the obligation of the citizen to allow that ?   2)  Remove any and all advantages that the dominant political parties have in the election process AND in the governing process.  In the beginning of our republic there were no parties and things still "got done".  3)  Educate our children to understand and scrutinize their leaders and to participate in the that they see the complexity of the issues not the "black and white" that we've all been brought up on;  the "left vs "right", "Democrat vs Republican", "conservative vs liberal"  bunk that the media has spoon fed us for so long.  It only behooves  them and their political cronies to maintain the status-quo.  There will always be disagreement, but that should not stop action to  minimize the struggles of the every-day citizen and to encourage liberty and the pursuit of happiness.  We have it in our power to do this.  We owe it to our children to fix this thing we call politics.