Hot Air: A Ray Of Sunshine

Maybe I’m naive, but I believe I’ve found the single positive thing to emerge from the ascension of the Republican Candidate for President (RCP).

Think along with me for a moment: the RCP represents all the worst aspects of this holy land. He is greedy and self-involved. He treats women like objects and dark-skinned people like lessers. He worships wealth and the wealthy. He’s amoral. He’s a reality TV star. He’s pathologically thin-skinned. He couldn’t walk a mile in another’s shoes if he had a gun pointed at his head. He’s proudly unaware of geopolitical issues. He’s a climate-change denier. He’s a nativist. He fears foreigners. He digs tyrannical strong men who lead other countries. I could go on and on.

All that said, it occurs to me the RCP is the absolute worst major party presidential candidate we’ll ever see for the rest of our lives.

Think of it! Say Mitt Romney were to rouse himself from the dead and run for president in 2020. Say he’s collected enough chits over the last few years to actually emerge as the Republican nominee. Honestly, we’d be thrilled. Naturally, I wouldn’t agree with a word he’d say even if he claimed the sun would rise in the east tomorrow morning. Nevertheless, he wouldn’t be the RCP.

Same with Marco Rubio, or former Utah Gov. Jon Hunstman,  Georgia Sen Tom Graves, or Arkansas Sen. Tom Cotton. Few of them are likely to call for redistribution of wealth, reproductive choice, or a commitment to renewable energy. None will share a stage with Black Lives Matter representatives. Nor would I care to share a cocktail with most of them.

Still, none will be as emblematic of the worst characteristics of our nation as the RCP. At the very least, they back up their godawful policies with a semblance of intellectual chops.

Hey, gimme a break, okay? I’ve gotta find some silver lining in this 2016 fetid political swamp.

The Obvious

Riddle me this: How did the most average and unremarkable modern Democratic politician become known as such a horrifying beast to reactionaries on both the right and the left?


Answer: She has a vagina.

Nightlife Support

Here’s the link to Players Pub GoFundMe page. Proprietors Joe and Vicki Estivill aim to raise $55,000 to help keep the joint alive. As of 6pm today, they’d raised $1225.


When Joe told The Pencil yesterday he might have a big announcement in the works for eight o’clock last night during the nightclub’s blues jam, I got the feeling it’d entail more than revealing a URL. Joe hinted that angels just might be fluttering around his temporarily shuttered establishment. The fact that he didn’t introduce a gang of investors or offer his undying thanks to a new silent partner indicates such angels just might still be circling the Players Pub. Simply starting up a GoFundMe page means little to vendors who want their invoices paid last month.

Fingers crossed that Joe and Vicki can handshake their way to solvency soon.


Joe Ricketts, the Omaha-based billionaire who founded TD Ameritrade, is a known right wing crank. He’s one of those guys who, when B. Obama first was running for pres., implied the candidate was not one of us — us, ostensibly, being respectable, flag-loving Murricans but in reality meaning…, well, white. Ricketts’ four kids own the Chicago Cubs.


Joe Ricketts

Like many uber-successful business titans who find it wise to play both sides against the middle, Rickets has pitched scads of dough to orgs. fighting against the Republican Candidate for President (RCP) and then, only last month, it was revealed he and his bride Marlene have donated a million bucks or more to a super PAC supporting the RCP. A certain fraction of sports nation went goggle-eyed over the revelation. Allowing that sports fanatics tend to favor the GOP — it has to do with bromides like sports imitates life, competition is good for the soul, quarterbacks are great leaders, designated hitters know how to follow the rules, there is no I in team, and other holy horseshit — the fraction of them that can be described as liberal or progressive were aghast that the owner of a major professional athletic franchise would give money to the Orange-utan. In fact, there were insinuations that pulling for the Cubs might in some way further the causes of tyranny, anti-intellectualism, misogyny, racism, nativism, xenophobia and all the rest of the qualities the RCP holds near and dear.

Lemme set the liberal/progressive wing of sports nation straight. The vast majority — and by that I mean a good 98 out of a hundred — of American sports franchise owners are hard-core conservatives. As a rule, you don’t get to be a billionaire by embracing the tenets of Kumbaya. Billionaires make their mountains of cash by steamrolling over the competition, thinking, acting and believing only in what benefits them, ignoring collateral consequences of their actions, and finding true human fulfillment in the acquisition of $10,000 bottles of wine and luxury yachts complete with gold toilet-flushing handles. These are not progressive aspirations and/or qualities.

The rare liberal sports owner — the Chicago Bulls’ and White Sox’ Jerry Reinsdorf leaps to mind — stands out like a high-level ISIS operative at an Amway presentation. Sports fans in general are unlikely to be loyal readers of Cornel West or Howard Zinn. The players and their paymasters are even more antediluvian.

If one were to restrict her or his sports loyalties only to teams run by forward-thinking, humanist, kind and loving souls, one wouldn’t be watching many games at all. Or even any games at all.

For that matter, if one were to boycott every business run by an aggressive, narcissistic, materialistic troll who steamrolls the competition, thinks, acts and believes only in what benefits him, ignores collateral consequences of his actions, and finds true human fulfillment in the acquisition of obscenely expensive alcohol and precious metal toilet hardware, one would have precious few reasons to ever leave one’s comfy home.

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