Who Is To Blame for President Trump?

April 29, 2016 by  
Filed under Videos

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Image courtesy Michael Vadon – Wiki Commons

As it has become increasingly apparent that Donald Trump is going to be the Republican nominee for the Presidency (and quite possibly the next President of the United States), the blogosphere (and mediasphere (if that is a word)) has been filled with self-flagellation and self-recrimination by journalists saying, in essence, ‘we did it’.

What they did, and continue to do, was to give Donald Trump vast amounts of publicity, the lifeblood of any campaign, and, apparently, nearly $1.9b worth of free air time.

Is it any wonder that millions have flocked to the polls to vote for him? He’s all over TV all the time. You vote for that which is familiar.

But is this some kind of recent ‘failing’ of journalism? Reading Nicholas Kristof NY Times piece, “My Shared Shame:The Media Helped Make Donald Trump” or Politico’s “Did We Create Donald Trump“, you would think that the simple solution was that the media should either have ignored Trump or been harder on him.

Nonsense.

The television news business is a business (and so are newspapers). The idea here is to sell advertising, first and last. And advertising responds to big audiences. The bigger the audience, the more you can charge. That’s all there is to it. And Donald Trump was and is a ratings magnet. He is vastly entertaining, and that is why he is going to be the next President of the United States – not because Nick Kristof or CNN gave him lots of air time (they could not stop themselves), but rather because he is far better television than Hillary Clinton.

The coming election (like all that has proceeded it) has nothing to do with ‘issues’. (Who really cares about who uses what bathroom). It is all about who is the most entertaining – the most fun to watch. That’s what drives the ratings and that’s what will drive the election in the end.

Look, we are a nation that spends an astonishing 5 hours a day, every day, watching TV. That’s what we do. In a way, it’s the foundation and basis of American culture. We have also been doing this for the past 40 years. It’s like we have all been part of a vast sociological experiment.
What happens when you put 300 million people in front of a TV set for 5 hours a day, every day, for their whole lives. Does it have an effect? Of course it does. We crave amusement.

And now we have it.

Look at the ‘myth’ of journalism. Journalists like to believe that they are delivering important information that people need. Nonsense! Watch local news some night. The lead story (if it bleeds it leads) is generally about some random shooting or some fire somewhere. Now, exactly how much impact does that random shooting or the fire have on you, (the viewer). Would none (unless you are the poor bastard who was shot or whose house burned down), be the right answer?

But it leads the news because… like slowing down to watch a car wreck… we like it.
It rates.

Well, Donald Trump is that car wreck. He rates.

Hillary does not rate.

Hillary is crap TV.

She may be smarter, better informed, know foreign policy better, know domestic policy better… who cares. Boring!

Trump is more fun to watch.

Trump rates. Hillary does not.

This election is going to be like Kim Kardashian vs. Judy Woodruff.

Who do you think is going to win that one?

This has nothing to do with ‘news’ or ‘journalists’.

Donald Trump is who we are… or who we have become.

As previously published in TheVJ.com

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Christopher Lamb: Indiana Governor Bans Boys from Wearing Clothes with ‘Gay’ Colors

April 28, 2016 by  
Filed under Humor

Indiana Gov. Mike Pence signed an executive order Wednesday that bans what he called “gay colors” to be worn by boys in public elementary and secondary schools in the state. Pence referred to pink, chartreuse, teal and magenta, in particular, as “gateway colors” for young boys who might have an inclination toward homosexuality.

Read more: Satire, Politics, Lgbt, Mike Pence, Indiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, Tennessee, Presidential Election, Comedy News

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Curt Schilling Says ESPN Has ‘Some Of The Biggest Racists’ On Air

April 28, 2016 by  
Filed under Videos

Curt Schilling has no problem burning bridges.

Schilling, the Hall of Fame-aspiring pitcher with what many see as Hall of Shame opinions, played hardball with former employer ESPN during a radio interview.

In a conversation with the conservative “Breitbart News Patriot Forum” that aired Thursday morning, Schilling said ESPN features “some of the biggest racists in sports commentating.”

“Some of the most racist things I’ve ever heard have come out of people that are on the air at ESPN,” he said in the clip above.

Schilling was fired by the network last week for sharing an offensive Facebook post critical of a North Carolina law that requires transgender people to use the restroom of their birth gender. He was previously suspended for tweeting about Nazis and Muslim extremists.

“It was apparent to me early on that if you wanted to go off-topic as a sports person you had to go off-topic left, or you were going to get in trouble,” Schilling said on the show.

Asked afterward to elaborate on his comments, Schilling referenced ESPN personalities Stephen A. Smith and Tony Kornheiser, Newsday reported.

“You listen to Stephen A. Smith, and Stephen A. Smith was the guy who said that Robert Griffin didn’t play quarterback for the Redskins because he’s black,” Schilling told Newsday. “No, Robert Griffin didn’t play quarterback for the Redskins because he [stunk].

” … Tony Kornheiser compared the Tea Party to ISIS. I don’t know any planet where those are sports topics. But I don’t care. It’s OK. I think those conversations need to happen. But as soon as you go to the flip side, the right side, there are repercussions for not talking about sports.”

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Asking A Comedian To Be Your Guest Host Is No Laughing Matter

April 27, 2016 by  
Filed under Videos

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When Gary Garver asked comedian Dave Shelton to be a reoccurring guest on his KCAA Morning Show which airs in the Riverside/ San Bernardino area, he didn’t anticipate getting sued for it, but that’s exactly what happened and it was no laughing matter.

In one of the most curious entertainment cases in recent memory, Gary Garver, formally of the Howard Stern Show and the host of KCAA’s “Controlled Chaos” Morning Show faced off against comedian Dave Shelton at the People’s Court in Stanford Connecticut in January of this year. The episode will air on Thursday May 5th 2016.

Shelton originally filed the case in Los Angeles against Gary Garver and also against Fred Lundgren, the station’s CEO. Shelton claimed he had been promised compensation for his appearances on Garver’s Morning Show. Garver and Lundgren insisted that no such promises were made and that Mr. Shelton’s appearances on KCAA provided publicity for the comedian that was equal to the value of his performances and making such trades are the standard exchange for radio appearances.

The People’s Court heard about the case and asked that it be remanded to their jurisdiction. The LA Court approved the change in venue after all parties agreed to abide by The People’s Court decision.

Legally, a decision of “The People’s Court” is like binding mediation. The best part about the outcome of the “trial” is that all travel expenses are paid and regardless of who wins, the Court pays the settlement.

Shelton sued Garver and Lundgren for $10,000.00, but with the TV Court’s intervention, there was no way to lose which made it easy to trust the good judgement of the most Honorable Judge Marilyn Malian.

It was an amazing event. Think of going into mediation and knowing that regardless of the outcome, the mediator pays! From our perspective, it was an expression of jurisprudence at its best.

Shelton and Garver traveled to the People’s Court in Stamford, Connecticut on January 20th 2016, where the case was tried and decided.

On the same day as the trial, Fred Lundgren appeared Pro Se before the California Labor Commission to defend KCAA on a labor grievance filed by Shelton in the same matter. Lundgren was successful in getting that case dismissed with prejudice.

To find out who prevailed in this comedic People’s Court case, watch the May 5th episode entitled “Ripping Off A Radio Star”.

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Check your local listings for broadcast times in your area.

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Aron N. Weinberg: Passover Study Finds God Isn’t That Religious

April 27, 2016 by  
Filed under Humor

God as it turns out may be pretty agnostic when it comes to this whole religion thing, valuing all people – Jews, Christians, Muslims, Hindus, Buddhists, and Zoroastrians – as a single family of “chosen individuals”, united on the basis of their shared humanity regardless of their personal religious convictions.

Read more: Religion, Comedy, Satire, Culture, Music, Passover, Interfaith, Religion News

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Greg Schwem: Multitasking While the Titanic Sinks

April 26, 2016 by  
Filed under Humor

I wish to apologize to the development team at Four Funnels Entertainment for being such an impatient, easily distracted oaf. This past weekend I learned I am utterly incapable of watching history unfold, particularly if my phone is nearby.

Read more: Comedy News, Humor, Satire, Titanic, Multitasking, Time Management, Youtube, History Channel, James Cameron, Comedy News

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Get Ready For The Veepstakes, Everybody!

April 26, 2016 by  
Filed under Videos

For all we argue which American presidents were successful and which were failures, one has to be impressed with the glowing achievements of American vice presidents. Whenever a president is dead, or being driven from office, the vice president must rise to the occasion, and be not-dead, and not-being-driven-from-office. In this regard, our vice presidents have assembled a glowing track record of sustained excellence.

Who will be the next man or woman to add their name to this legend? This is a matter that the media has suddenly begun to take up in earnest, perhaps sensing that this year’s primary elections are now more or less decided, and it’s time to now move to the next chapter of the story of this election — the one in which the media ponders what’s at stake in the choosing of a running mate in a race to find out which pundit can overthink it the most.

Over the weekend, The New York Times reported that the Clinton campaign had “begun extensive discussions” about her running mate. The paper’s headline notes that the campaign is “cautious but confident,” probably because some spokesperson said, “We are cautious but confident.” I don’t know how you are supposed to fact-check this, but there you go: They are neither reckless nor terrified.

Many names found themselves to be afloat in the Times’ reporting. Because Clinton has envisioned her presidential mission as one of “barrier-breaking,” in which the nation’s economic ends are met by encouraging a continuing diversification of elite aeries, some of those names are Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren, former Massachusetts Gov.r Deval Patrick, and Obama administration Labor Secretary Thomas Perez, who worked for the late Massachusetts Sen. Ted Kennedy.

As the media will make much of Clinton’s need to appeal to working-class white men (and people with more limited connections to Massachusetts), many of the people named are also white guys: Virginia Sens. Tim Kaine and Mark Warner, and Ohio Sen. Sherrod Brown.

In case you were wondering, yes, Clinton would be open to running with another woman on the ticket. One can easily imagine that this might be the sort of thing that the media could get a little overexcited about, and not necessarily to good purposes. A distant early warning of how that might be received came over the weekend, when former Obama communications director Anita Dunn was asked if Hillary Clinton really could pick another woman as her vice president, as if there was some legal obstacle preventing this arrangement. Dunn replied, “There is some precedent for having a running mate of the same gender.” Bu-bu-bu-but, penises?

According to The Washington Post’s Robert Costa and Philip Rucker, the veep-game is afoot in GOP circles as well. The campaigns of John Kasich and Ted Cruz have apparently already begun their vetting processes, which seems pretty premature, when you consider the delegate count in that race. They report that the man atop the delegate count, Donald Trump, has given the matter some “serious thought,” but has not made it a focus of his campaign, which seems pretty tardy, when you consider the delegate — you get the idea.

The results of Trump’s vice-presidential ministrations are going to be of enormous interest, given the fact that he has a) cast himself as an outsider-basher of the establishment and yet b) desperately needs some insider-establishment type to explain to him basic things, like what a president does, and how Congress works. At the moment, Trump is still getting up to speed on what a “delegate” is, so it’s understandable that he’s lagging in the Veepstakes. 

Trump’s vice-presidential pick will also be a person of interest, in that once Trump discovers that the presidency is a low-prestige job that involves constant criticism, unending demands, and the congenital inability to get Congress to agree to the executive branch vision, there’s a good chance he’ll just quit, leaving his running mate with the bag.

But I have to give Trump some credit: I’ve never heard a president talk about what’s at stake in the choosing of a vice president with greater realism. As The Washington Post reports:

Trump, who said he wants to pick an experienced political leader, may calculate that he needs a bridge to mainstream Republicans who see his candidacy as radioactive.

“There are two advantages: They can help you with the system, and the politicians have been vetted,” Trump said in the interview. “That’s the biggest advantage to a politician – their whole life they’ve been vetted and you know everything, whereas if I pick some guy out of a great corporation who has done a job, you don’t know what’s going to happen.”

Besides demonstrating that they can draw breath and circulate blood, that’s literally all a vice president brings a ticket — a surfeit of institutional knowledge and, hopefully, a past free of scandal. There are literally no further advantages a vice-presidential prospect can bring to the ticket.

Unfortunately for all of us, the Veepstakes is essentially a long-winded exercise in determining how many angels can dance on the head of a pin. If we are at the beginning stage of the Running Of The Running Mates, that means we have a staggering number of hours to endure, in which prospective candidates are hefted for demographic advantages and probed for home-state benefits.

Can the right candidate deliver a larger share of voters from a swing state? Could a certain candidate help maximize turnout from some voting bloc? We are at the precipice of these possibilities being picked to death by pundits eager to battle their colleagues in their traditional game of Sunday morning panel one-upsmanship.

So let’s head all of that off at the pass. The home state of the vice-presidential pick? Their ethnicity? Their gender? Their religion? None of that matters. That needle won’t jump. You can stop fretting about it.

Over at The Washington Post’s Monkey Cage blog, Christopher J. Devine and Kyle C. Kopko break out all the relevant research on the matter of vice-presidential prestidigitation, and their overarching conclusion is that it more or less fails to amount to a hill of beans, provided that the presidential candidate remembers to literally not choose an actual hill of beans as their partner-in-crime. (Which, to be honest, is too bad. I for one would vastly prefer to hear what Hill Of Beans has to say about the state of contemporary politics and its preferred policy platform than I would, say … Carly Fiorina.)

Does the right vice-presidential candidate offer the ticket a home-state advantage? According to Devine and Kopko, in some limited instances, when the vice-presidential pick “comes from a relatively less populous state and has served that state for many years as an elected official,” it can. This benefit is then immediately offset by the fact that “less-populous states have very few electoral votes, thus making them unlikely to flip the outcome in the Electoral College.”

Other than that, the home-state benefit is straight-up tugging at ghosts: “No matter the empirical method,” they write, “we consistently find that the vice- presidential home state advantage is, statistically speaking, zero.”

What about the idea that diversity on the ticket might bring a greater share of some demographic subgroup’s favor on Election Day? There, the science is incomplete, as there are no real-world examples of a major party selecting a Latino (or an African-American, or an Asian-American) as their vice-presidential candidate. But in analyzing “the performance of some other would-be breakthrough candidates” — such as Geraldine Ferraro, Sarah Palin, and Joe Lieberman — the relevant political science indicates that these choices result in some positive feelings toward these picks from voters who share their demographic identity.

But that’s as far as it goes. Per Devine and Kopko:

But again, more positive feelings toward the running mate do not necessarily translate into more votes. Controlling for a range of relevant covariates (such as age, income, party identification), gender is not a statistically significant predictor of vote choice in 1984 or 2008. Nor is Catholic identification in 1972, 1984, 2008 or 2012. The one exception is in 2000, when Jewish voters were significantly more likely to vote for the Gore/Lieberman ticket. But in a subsequent pooled analysis of presidential vote choice, Jewish respondents to the ANES proved to be significantly more likely to vote for the Democratic candidate in each presidential election since 1960. Further analysis shows that Jews didn’t feel more warmly toward Lieberman than toward the average Democratic running mate. So it’s not clear that Lieberman’s candidacy actually brought more Jewish votes to the 2000 Democratic ticket.

So, that’s a dead end as well.

Recently, the U.S. News and World Report’s Susan Milligan reported on the work of a “bipartisan team of veteran campaign managers and political historians,” who took up the task of evaluating how to pick the perfect vice president for the Bipartisan Policy Center. The way Milligan distills these experts’ ideal process into a series of steps basically boils down to this:

  1. Take a deep breath, and come up with some names.

  2. Vet their public records.

  3. Narrow the choices and vet them again, this time taking an “‘intrusive’ look at the contenders’ personal lives, including medical and financial matters that could be embarrassing to the ticket.”

  4. Tell your prospects to their faces what you found out and browbeat them into revealing if there’s anything that was not “unearthed but which could come out in the media.”

  5. Make a choice and then pray you did your due diligence and that you didn’t pick a liar.

Based upon Milligan’s reporting, the impaneled experts didn’t have anything to say about whether it’s necessary to find the right guy to help you swing Wisconsin, or the pick that’s got the magic touch to bringing out, say, more Asian-Pacific islanders to the polls. The process of picking a vice president is nothing more than a brutal, medieval endoscopy into the personal and political lives of people with whom you might spend the most important years of your political career. Hopefully, you find someone who survives that process, after which, you can simply just be hopeful that you, too, survive.

Still, this idea that the right vice-presidential pick might confer some sort of hidden electoral advantage — like they’re some walking political cheat-code — is a compelling story. And it’s understandable why a campaign would like to indulge in this sort of stagecraft. After all, what the selection is really all about is finding someone to fill a rather macabre political role who doesn’t load down the ticket with a bunch of dreadful liabilities. At the end of that process, you don’t want to have to talk about the intensity or the intrusiveness of the vetting process. So, hey, instead, come up with a fun story about how your running mate is someone who has hidden, ineffable strengths. 

Maybe such spin is silly. Still, like I said from the outset, this system has worked beautifully: All of our vice presidents have successfully performed the task of remaining a living, breathing vessel of human consciousness, and none have revealed themselves to be the Zodiac Killer, not even Spiro Agnew, although it was pretty touch-and-go there for a while.

~~~~~

Jason Linkins edits “Eat The Press” for The Huffington Post and co-hosts the HuffPost politics podcast “So, That Happened.” Subscribe here, and listen to the latest episode below.

– This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

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Brian Caldirola: Southern Strategy

April 26, 2016 by  
Filed under Humor

Read more: Cartoon, Comic, Funny, Political, Political Humor, Lgbt, LGBT Rights, Comedy News

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Sarah Cooper: Meeting Speak Cheat Sheet

April 25, 2016 by  
Filed under Humor

Not sure what your coworkers really mean during meetings? Use this handy meeting speak cheat sheet to figure it out.

Read more: Humor, Satire, Comedy, Meetings, Business, Comedy News

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Brian K. Pinaire, Ph.D.: President Trump’s Cabinet

April 22, 2016 by  
Filed under Humor

After this week’s big win in New York, we are one step closer to the White House. It’s time to start thinking about the team we need to assemble to Make America Great Again!

Read more: Donald Trump, Trump, Gop, Primaries, Irony, Politics, Comedy, Satire, Elections, Campaign, Campaign 2016, Republican, President, Cabinet, Humor, Parody, Celebrities, Endorsements, Departments, White House, Comedy News

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