Friday, October 23, 2015

THE PRAIRIE EDITOR: Weekend Update 7

It was the first Republican president, Abraham Lincoln, who
so indelibly made the point that "a house divided cannot 
stand." If there is to be a likelihood that there is to be a
"newest" GOP president in 2017, the current conservative
caucus in the U.S. house of representatives ought to think
long, short and very hard about resolving their differences to
a credible degree before the conservative party goes before
the voters of the nation seeking to re-elect their majorities in 
the Congress, and to put one of their own in the White House.

(Updated October 25)

 The "catastrophic" storm came and went, and thankfully, 
it did not cause not major damage or loss of life. The
winds were reduced from 200 M.P.H. to 140 M.P.H. and less
at landfall, and affected mostly uninhabited areas.)
Let’s all of us take a moment for a personal prayer, or its
non-religious equivalent for those who don’t “pray,” of
concern for our neighbors to the south (on the west coast of
central Mexico) who are about to endure the landfall of the
“most powerful storm” ever recorded in our hemisphere.
Hurricanes and cyclones of about 75-100 mile per hour (MPH)
are very destructive; this storm has winds recorded at 200-225
MPH. “Catastrophic” in such a case is almost an
understatement. The largest cities in its path are Puerta
Vallarta and Monterrey, and the area is mostly the province of
Jalisco, a region of much inland character and coastal beauty.
It was the locale of Mexican writer Juan Rulfo’s Pedro Paramo,
the nation’s most famous and haunting novel. Let us hope that,
by a some miracle of nature, the worst of this storm bypasses
most inhabited areas.

The Benghazi congressional hearings have reinforced the
notion that facts have little to do with much public opinion in
the current election cycle. Earlier, a dumb and inexcusable
bridge closing in New Jersey was employed by Governor
Chris Christie’s political and media opponents to try to harm
his political prospects, even though no facts have emerged to
connect him directly to the scandal. Now, the frontrunning
Democratic candidate for president has been able to stonewall
culpability for breaking the law with her e-mails by pretending
that the facts of her case are not facts. The facts of the Benghazi
affair, after many hours of testimony, have been reduced to
30-second excerpts which portray Mrs Clinton in the best
possible light. The mainstream media has proclaimed that,
after 11 hours of testimony, she made no mistakes, and “won”
the confrontation. Those biased in the media apparently have
figured out that it no longer is necessary to confuse the voters
with facts.
One of many paradoxes in the unfolding 2016 election cycle is
that one of the richest persons ever to run seriously for
president is receiving so much free media that he does not
have to spend even a dime of his own billions for his campaign,
and he yet remains notably ahead of most of his opponents,
many of whom have raised large sums of campaign dollars.
Political consultants usually stress fundraising as the number
one task of a candidate (much of these funds, of course, go to
pay political consultants), but that does not seem to be the
primary requirement in 2016. Businessman Donald Trump has
upended this political cliche, and so has physician Ben Carson
who is in second place. Meanwhile, former Florida Governor
Jeb Bush has raised the most money in the GOP field, and he
languishes far behind in the polls.

Copyright (c) 2015 by Barry Casselman. All rights reserved.

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