By Wink

With the death of Antonin Scalia, it is now the duty of the President to nominate a new member to the U.S. Supreme Court.

Unfortunately for America, the President is a Democrat, and his name is Barack Obama.

This congress is not capable, mentally, emotionally or otherwise, to do anything but to oppose Barack Obama. ‘Governing’ is a foreign concept.

Senate majority Leader Mitch McConnell has said they plan to block any nomination of a Scalia replacement from President Obama. This is an election year so, humorously, Republican leaders say we should allow the voters an opportunity to have a say in this. (The voters already decided this when they elected Obama in 2008 and 2012.)

It is of note, the last time a Supreme Court position needed to be filled during an election year was 1988. The president was Ronald Reagan, but Democrats controlled the Senate. So what kind of firestorm did the Dems’ work up to delay the confirmation? None. Anthony Kennedy was approved 97-0, with every Democrat voting in favor.

What are the odds, in the current political climate, of a reasonable confirmation process in 2016?

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Regardless, the Winkest Link pick to be nominated, and even to be approved, is Padmanabhan ‘Sri’ Srinivasan.

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By Wink

When I was younger, it was all black and white. You murdered someone, you got the death penalty.

I had always been a death penalty supporter. The mindless savagery of many killers is horrifying, and vengeance somehow seems satisfying. I thought, with the high level professionalism of police officers and prosecuting attorneys, and knowing there would be air-tight evidence, that innocent people being convicted of murder was rare-rare-rare, close to impossible.

At some point, ‘black and white’ started to turn a little ‘gray.’ Now and again a new technology, DNA testing, would prove that someone on death row was actually innocent. Then more and more inmates were proven innocent.

My confidence in the ‘system’ was a bit shaken.

In 2011 Governor Pat Quinn put a moratorium on death penalty in Illinois, because it turned out too many on death row were being proven innocent by DNA evidence. He cited 20 cases where death row prisoners were released, not on some technicality, but because they were proven innocent.

Any execution, even just one, of an innocent man would be inexcusable, but there are an astonishing number of cases around the United States where an innocent man was sentenced to the death penalty.

What causes these errors? Zealous prosecutors anxious to clear cases, incompetent defense attorneys, faulty witnesses, etc., etc.

Wisconsin repealed it’s death penalty way back in 1853.

Thank goodness, because the state would probably right now be executing two seemingly innocent individuals.

Don’t take my word for it, watch “Making a Murderer” on Netflix. See a defense attorney working to assist the prosecutors. Watch a 16-year-old mentally slow child tell the police and his lawyer that he was innocent, only to…

– have the police badger him into a confession after many hours of interrogation,

– have his attorney allow the child to be interrogated again by police, without an attorney present,

– have the ‘defense’ force the child to draw pictures of an imaginary crime scene, telling him exactly what to draw, when the defense knew the drawings would be used to convict the child to a life sentence (but telling the child the drawings would help him)

Warning: If you believe in the U.S. justice system, this show will make you queasy, at minimum. (‘Pissed off’ is a more likely response.) Worse, this shows there is no valid system of justice in Wisconsin – just a ‘conviction system.’

Be wary if you plan to visit the dairy state. With ego-driven prosecutors, unethical police, incompetent judges, and severely disturbing decisions by the Wisconsin appeals court and state supreme court, being ‘accused’ there is every bit the same as actually being guilty.

The whole Wisconsin legal system is messed up, bottom to top.

“Making a Murderer” is a 10-episode documentary that (spoiler alert) does NOT have a happy ending. You, however, will be much-much wiser for having viewed it.

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By Wink

Paul Ryan and the GOP continue to run circles around the capital building, shouting, waving their arms, voting and re-voting and re-voting to repeal Obamacare.

We have now been exposed to years of additional windbaggery, when the GOP could have spent a little time trying to find their own ‘better’ way to insure the 16 million Americans who will be exposed to crippling healthcare costs when the repeal succeeds.

This is not to mention the 40 million who still don’t have coverage because Obamacare, frankly, doesn’t go far enough.

The unfortunate truth is Ryan and his cohorts have no plan, none, because they do not care about the uninsured.

Here is the complete list of Republican priorities, now and forever…

1) The Wealthy (with special emphasis on the very-very wealthy)
2) Gun-makers (see also #1)
3) Nothing.

If you believe that number three might be abortion, or balancing the budget, or some sort of ‘family values’ issue … you, my friend, are an idiot.

Everything else they try to sell you… strong defense, tough-on-crime, religious faith… It is all smoke, just to get you to vote for them.

And you do. Again and again. Idiot.

“Hey,” you say…”they really DO care about a strong military!”

Well, yes they do, but only in so much as it benefits giant corporations. (See priority #1, and use Dick Cheney as Exhibit 1, Exhibit 1a, Exhibit 1b, Exhibit 1c, Exhibit 2 and Exhibit 3.)

Keep voting for Republicans. Nothing I could say would sway you anyway. You are impervious to logic.

Besides, they care about your family !!!

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By Thomas Hardy

That night your great guns, unawares,
Shook all our coffins as we lay,
And broke the chancel window-squares,
We thought it was the Judgment-day

And sat upright. While drearisome
Arose the howl of wakened hounds:
The mouse let fall the altar-crumb,
The worms drew back into the mounds,

The glebe cow drooled. Till God called, “No;
It’s gunnery practice out at sea
Just as before you went below;
The world is as it used to be:

“All nations striving strong to make
Red war yet redder. Mad as hatters
They do no more for Christes sake
Than you who are helpless in such matters.

“That this is not the judgment-hour
For some of them’s a blessed thing,
For if it were they’d have to scour
Hell’s floor for so much threatening …

“Ha, ha. It will be warmer when
I blow the trumpet (if indeed
I ever do; for you are men,
And rest eternal sorely need).”

So down we lay again. “I wonder,
Will the world ever saner be,”
Said one, “than when He sent us under
In our indifferent century!”

And many a skeleton shook his head.
“Instead of preaching forty year,”
My neighbour Parson Thirdly said,
“I wish I had stuck to pipes and beer.”

Again the guns disturbed the hour,
Roaring their readiness to avenge,
As far inland as Stourton Tower,
And Camelot, and starlit Stonehenge.

Published April 1914, 3 months prior to the start of World War I

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By Wink

Do you think todays’ kids are part of the pampered generation? Do you think they expect to get great rewards without much effort? Me too.

This also perfectly describes the Republican party.

The American press has forever, forever, since the beginning of politics in this country, asked hard, pointed, slanted (and sometimes very stupid) questions of politicians.

They have, forever, asked these same questions of Democrats and Republicans alike.

Conservative think-tanks, tired of watching so many of their candidates come across as morons, decided to formulate the storyline that all press is liberal, that anyone who asks hard questions must have a liberal bent. Since newspapers and TV networks sometimes have nosy reporters, they must all be liberal! Never mind that they ask the same stupid questions to Democrats.

Republicans have beat this drum and beat this drum and beat this drum until ‘liberal press’ is actually an accepted axiom.

The press is so fearful of being branded liberal that they quake when every (and I mean every) GOP candidate drops the ‘liberal press’ line. (This is similar to another conservative insult… ‘intellectual elite.’ God forbid someone should be intellectual.)

The American press became so soft on conservatives that, when Cheney/Bush decided to declare war on a country not at war with us, the press was too afraid to ask “What the hell does Iraq have to do with 9-11?” By the time anyone brought it up, we were waist-deep in a worthless quagmire that led to 4000+ American deaths, and a much-worsened situation in the entire middle east.

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When he/she can’t answer a question, or comes across looking like an idiot for saying something stupid, Republican candidates will inevitably blame the press. “No! I am not a moron! The liberal press is twisting my words!”

This deep-seated crap has turned all GOP candidates into pansies. They all brag how they can stare down Putin, and then say the questions they receive from the press are ‘too hard.’

Pansies!

For Pete’s sake, you want to be President of the U.S., but are afraid of pointed questions? As an alleged adult (with solutions!) any half-assed candidate should be able to handle pointed/stupid and even yes, slanted questions. Be an adult just answer the question. Stop whining already.

Please give me a GOP candidate, just one, who says “The press is just doing their job.”

Grow up already. Stop blaming your own inadequacies on somebodies hard questions. You hate the welfare state and preach self-reliance, but are not self-reliant enough to handle the press?

Pansies!

It is not the job of the press to be patriotic or pro-America, it is their job to get at the truth (Fox excepted).

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By Wink

Todays quiz: Which GOP presidential candidate said he following? “Discrimination is still a reality, even when it takes different forms. Instead of Jim Crow, there’s racial redlining and profiling. Instead of separate but equal, there is separate and forgotten. Strong civil rights enforcement will be a cornerstone of my administration. And I will confront another form of bias: the soft bigotry of low expectations.”

The answer – George W. Bush, in 2000. Yes, THAT George Bush, sometimes knows as ‘W.’

‘W’, especially compared to his father George H. W. Bush, is not considered among the deepest-thinking presidents. George the younger is perceived as well short of a Rhodes Scholar. Even so, HE was able to articulate something that none of the current crop of GOP presidential candidates, and most conservatives, seem to comprehend.

There are national stories, almost daily, of discrimination, profiling and abuse. The conservative mantra is “these are all isolated incidents.” They never see any discrimination and, besides, that black guy who was shot in the back and the black girl dragged by her hair were probably doing something wrong.

Furthermore, (drum roll please), we have a black president. What more evidence do you need that racism in America is ancient history!!

Never mind that the conserv-o-sphere went bat-s**t crazy when Obama was elected.

He can’t be an American! He must have been born in (what is the blackest place we can imagine?) – Kenya!

Blacks, even conservative blacks, will tell you the stories you hear of discrimination are NOT the exception, if you bother to ask.

In reaction to the constant flow of horrific racial events, someone created the concept of “black lives matter.” Conservatives cannot even put those three words together, and countered with “All lives matter.”

“All lives matter” is an unbelievably tone-deaf response to America’s real race problems. It is worse than a cop-out, it is straight up racist.

To assist the “All lives matter” morons, maybe they would understand the slogan “black lives matter too.” But I doubt it.

Yes, race is an issue, a problem, a big problem. Why is it that non-scholar ‘W’ can grasp this, but American conservatives cannot?

Discrimination is a reality. Ask ‘W’.

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By Wink

“Republicans will defend guns down to their last living relative.” – J Winkler

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Gun-lovers. What if…

– You lead a nice long life.
– You buy all the guns your house can hold…
– including the machine-gun stand sticking out of the back of your Humvee
– You write dozens of ”2nd Amendment” letters to the paper
– You get plenty of opportunities to chew out your sissy liberal friends regarding 2nd amendment rights…

…And then Armageddon doesn’t come?

What if you die without even getting to shoot one person? Is it a life wasted? Is it?

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By Wink

The Republican party line, spouted for years now, and certainly trumpeted by the many GOP candidates for president, is that “Obamacare is a job-killer.”

The jobless rate when he signed the bill, March 2010, was 9.9 percent.

The most recent jobless rate reported, June 2015, is 5.3 percent.

Never let facts get in the way of a good arguing point.

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By Wink

Today’s Quiz: who said the following?

“For too long, we Republicans have been content to lose the black vote because we found we didn’t need it to win, but when we gave up trying to win the support of African-Americans, we lost our moral legitimacy as the party of Lincoln, as the party of equal opportunity for all.”

a) Theodore Roosevelt

b) Dwight Eisenhower

c) Richard Nixon

d) George H W Bush.

e) John McCain

Nope. The correct answer is Texas Governor Rick Perry. If a non-Mensa member such as Perry can have such thought-provoking, from-the-heart insight, maybe there is hope for the Republican party.

In the face of Donald Trump’s overt racism, and the lackluster patronizing by all other Republican candidates, it is refreshing to see a real, legitimate candidate attempt to address this issue.

Think of it… the voice of reason and logic in the GOP: Rick Perry. I would have lost a lot of money on that bet.

The message from the rest of the myriad GOP candidates, ‘more tax breaks for the outlandishly wealthy,’ may not be the direct path to the hearts and minds of black America.

Sorry Rick, yours is a voice in the wilderness. Pragmatism and rational thought are great in the general election, but only extremist dogma flies in the primaries, which are dominated by the higher percentage of wing-nut voters.

Start talking wacky (Obama hates America!), or expect to be eliminated early in the primaries.

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By Wink

Run for the hills! Caitlyn Jenner is getting a ‘Courage’ award at the 2015 ESPY ceremony. Heaven help us all!

This travesty has Bob Costas’ underwear all in a bunch. He has declared this choice to be an attention grab by ESPN. His exact words were ‘crass exploitation” merely to “attract eyeballs.”

Well, how-do-you-do Bob? Nice to have your keen observations.

Look Bob, every drop of every ESPY Awards show is an attention grab. There are a million award shows, most of them worthless, but many of them get big (or at least decent) TV ratings.

A number of years ago, ESPN figured out there was no ‘sports’ version of an awards show, and dreamed one up with the goofy name “ESPY’s.” It was originally centered around the silly film clips the network shows every day, with a few awards (Most Popular Dunker) mixed in.

At some point, just like Bob Costas, the network started to take itself a bit too seriously. Now they feel the need to hand out some ‘serious’ awards.

Who cares if Caitlyn Jenner is given an award? It is a phony award, like EVERY award at the ESPY’s.

Nationally this has caused some weird uproar. Why? Why does Costas care? Does he think the ESPY’s have a special gravitas? Like a Nobel Prize?

Why does anyone care? If you are one of the people bitching about this, please add a comment to this blog and explain how this award effects you, specifically. I am betting you are not happy unless you have something to p***/moan about.

Do you know who was given the same award in 2014? If you didn’t know the answer, Michael Sam, then why do you care about the 2015 winner?

Sorry Mr. Costas, Your inane comments look like an attention grab.

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