Friday, July 4, 2014

"MSNBC - Where Anyone Can Be A Host" and "Not Just Another Poll"

If it were up to me, “Unfair and Unbalanced” would be the motto of MSNBC. Instead, they’ve chosen to go with “Lean Forward.” When your hosts include the likes of Rachel Maddow, Chris Matthews, Ed Schultz, Woody Allen’s kid Ronan Farrow and Al Sharpton, you’re not really running a cable news network, though. It’s really more of an asylum for the insane and the inane.

In some quarters, MSNBC stands for Morons, Slackers, Nitwits, Bigots and Cuckoos. What other so-called news organization would offer a bully pulpit to the likes of Al Sharpton? As S.E. Cupp reminds me, Sharpton is the race-baiting weasel who has said the following about Jews: (“If the Jews want to get it on, tell them to pin their yarmulkes back and come over to my house.); about white people and gays: (“White folks was in caves while we was building empires. We taught philosophy and astrology and mathematics before Socrates and them Greek homos ever got around to it.”); abut Mormons: (As for the one Mormon running for office, those who really believe in God will defeat him anyway, so don’t worry about that.”)

I think we can all draw some comfort from the fact that, judging by the ratings, not even their hosts are watching MSNBC.

Inasmuch as huge numbers of Iraqi soldiers doffed their uniforms and laid down their guns in spite of out-numbering the mutants comprising ISIS, perhaps we can all agree to stop arming Muslims. In the future, when going to war with followers of Allah, let us keep in mind we should never trust them with our weaponry. That’s because they are far likelier to use them on us than on our mutual enemies.

Recently, my friend Steve Maikoski wryly observed that Obama’s foreign policy has been a success; we are now a foreign country. But I would say that while that must be the way we appear to our allies, it is because of his domestic agenda that so many of us no longer recognize the nation where we were born and that we grew up loving.

For instance, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office decided to cancel the trademark of the Washington “Redskins” because they decided it was derogatory to Native Americans. For those of you who don’t think this is a big deal, you’re wrong. For one thing, it violates the First Amendment. For another, it means that, as with the IRS and the FBI, yet another federal agency has decided to abandon its independence in favor of doing Obama’s bidding. And, finally, it is encouraging people who have no connection to the team or the NFL to engage in what is immoral and should be illegal behavior by marketing team paraphernalia.

Not too surprisingly, one of the few entities to applaud the decision was the Council for American Islamic Relations. CAIR, the Islamic Bund, agreed that “Redskins” is disparaging to Native Americans, although one poll after another has shown that the majority of Native Americans don’t feel even slightly disparaged by the name.

So, while I oppose the action of the Patent Office, I wouldn’t mind in the slightest if team owner Daniel Snyder decides to field a team known as the Washington Ragheads.

A while back I heard from a reader, Joe Sprowls, who objected to my calling for the elimination of the VA. It had been my suggestion that our military veterans be provided with vouchers they could use in the private sector. But because he identified himself as a disabled vet and because he convinced me that the doctors at the VA are the ones best-equipped to deal with certain types of medical problems, I had to respect his dissenting opinion.

After mulling things over, I came up with a compromise. For the sole purpose of caring for those vets suffering from war-related injuries, I would allow the VA to keep its doors open. That would slash costs, diminish the size of the bureaucracy and cut down on the wait time for appointments. All other veterans would get those vouchers. Just for the record, Mr. Sprowls signed off on my proposal.

Here in California, because Jerry Brown, with the indulgence of an overwhelmingly Democratic Assembly and State Senate, runs things, we are now faced with the prospect of hundreds of millions of our taxdollars going to fund a high speed train. Although it’s been labeled The Train to Nowhere, it’s actually scheduled to run between L.A. and San Francisco.

In 2008, 53% of the voters decided they couldn’t live without it. Today, the percentage of those who still favor its construction rests at 41%. But Governor Brown continues to promote it in spite of the state’s teetering on the brink of financial ruin.

Even for Brown, previously known as Governor Moonbeam, it’s a nutty idea. Aside from its enormous price tag, the fact remains that California is a car culture. Most people cover the 400 miles between the two cities in about six hours. The choo-choo promises to cut that time in half. Big deal! Once you arrive, unless your whole purpose was to compare the two train depots, you’ll have to go to the bother and expense of renting a car.

Nobody really knows why Jerry Brown is so gung-ho about getting the darn thing built. I can only assume the schmuck always wanted his own toy train set and his dad, chintzy Pat Brown, never got around to buying him one.


I'd like to thank everyone who took the time to respond to my recent poll. As I said at the time, it was not, and was not intended, to be one of those scientific polls where people like Gallup and Zogby try to garner a cross-section of the American public. I have no idea what the racial, religious, gender or economic, make-up might be of the 265 respondents to the First Stupendous Prelutsky Poll. All I knew was that they were not typical voters. For one thing, they don’t rely on the mainstream media for their news. For another, they’re literate. And, finally, one of them was a Russian living in St. Petersburg.

I would venture that they are all Republicans, including my Russian reader. I base that on the fact that it’s only Republican blogs that carry my work. But even if I hadn’t known that, I would have based the assumption on the fact that in response to the question regarding which TV commentator they trust the most, 30 different people were mentioned, and not one of them works for ABC, CBS, NBC or MSNBC. However, 23 of them host their own shows on Fox or appear so regularly on Fox, you might think they host their own shows.

Now, without further ado, here are the final results:

The top vote-getting commentator was Bret Baier with 45 votes. Megyn Kelly came in a close second with 42. In third place, with 37 votes came “I Don’t Trust or Watch Any of Them,” with Charles Krauthammer’s 36 nipping at Nobody’s heels. Among those who received 10 or more votes were Brit Hume and Sean Hannity (16); Bill O’Reilly (12); and Glenn Beck (11).

It was only when I got to my second question, the one regarding the biggest problem facing America, and began tabulating the votes that I realized I should have provided limited choices. That’s because there was a great deal of overlap, and I wasn’t always certain how to group certain responses. Clearly, I would have saved myself a lot of time and energy if I hadn’t stipulated that people couldn’t just respond with “Barack Obama.”

For instance, because a few people specified, say, “Liberalism,” I wasn’t sure if I should combine it with those who thought “An Expanding Federal Government” was our biggest headache. Another question mark I was faced with was whether or not to combine votes for the “Public School System” with “An Ignorant and Apathetic Electorate.” On the other hand, I didn’t have a problem adding the very specific “Widespread Acceptance of Homosexuality” to the more general category of “Godlessness/Moral Decline.”

The top vote-getters were “An Ignorant and Apathetic Electorate” (36); “Expanding Federal Government/ObamaCare” (33); “Open Border/Illegal Aliens” (30); “National Debt” (24);“Godlessness/Moral Decline” (21); “Lack of Accountability in Washington” (18); “Unemployment” (14);” and “A Corrupt Media” (11).

The response to my question about the advisability of Barack Obama’s being impeached in 2015, after the midterm elections, was slightly more mixed than I expected, with 188 votes for and 48 against. But the majority of those voting No explained that they really wanted him going to jail; were afraid it would backfire on the Republicans in 2016; or, in a few cases, didn’t want to see Joe Biden in the Oval Office. I, on the other hand, would love to see Biden, the incumbent, and Mrs. Clinton duke it out in the primaries, so long as the GOP nominee eventually wound up winning the general election.

Speaking of which, in response to “Which GOP nominee you would most prefer to see topping the ticket in 2016, it was nip-and-tuck all the way, but in the end, Ted Cruz edged out Ben Carson 65-62. Scott Walker came in third with 50 votes. Of the 27 names that were mentioned, the only others who received double digits were Trey Gowdy with 18 and Rand Paul with 11. The only ones to receive more than five votes were Mitt Romney and Marco Rubio (9), Allen West (8); Sarah Palin (6); and Bobby Jindal (5). Just for the record, Jesus Christ and I each got one vote.

For those of you who live to say “Gotcha!” I acknowledge that if you add up the number of votes garnered by those 12 people, you come up with 245. So how is it that with 15 other politicians receiving between 1 and 4 votes each, I would have the gall to claim that only 265 people responded to the poll? Okay, I‘ll come clean. It’s because some people simply couldn’t limit themselves to a single candidate. Would you have had me tell them to just suck it up and make a decision for once in their miserable, wishy-washy, lives? I considered it, but, heck, I don’t have that many readers to begin with. I figured there was no point in pissing off the precious few I do have.

When it came to the GOP candidate they least wanted to see as the standard bearer, 17 people received dishonorable mentions, along with “Any RINO,” “Any country club blueblood,” “Anyone whose parents weren’t American citizens when he was born” and “Anybody who’s been in Washington for more than six years.”

Of the 17 individuals mentioned by name, the top vote-getters were Jeb Bush (76) and Chris Christie (73). For a while, the lead kept switching back and forth, but in the end, Jeb and “Anyone Named Bush” pulled it out.

Others who received double-digit negative votes were John McCain (18); Mitt Romney (14); Rand Paul (11); Rick Santorum and Marco Rubio (10).

I wish I could have personally responded to all 265 of you, but if I had, you wouldn’t have gotten the results until October. So please accept this general thank-you to all who took part in the proceedings, and a grateful tip of the hat to all of you who didn’t bother. I can’t believe how time-consuming this polling business can be!

Frankly, I don’t know if we can conclude anything from these results. But at least now you can’t go around bad-mouthing polls for no better reason than that you’ve never been polled. And for my part, I can brag that in certain weird quarters I’m as popular as Jesus.

©2014 Burt Prelutsky. Comments?