How did I Miss That? First Dog Saved; Mo. Bans Quid Pro Ho

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CNN reported that the Secret Service, based on a tip from their Minnesota field office, apprehended a North Dakota man with an array of firearms, ammunition, and hand combat weapons in his truck. Scott Stockert was allegedly on a mission to dognap one of President Obama’s Portuguese water dogs.

The Secret Service has taken a lot of hits for incompetence lately, so uncovering this sophisticated terrorist threat to Bo and Sunny was a turnaround for those of us who could imagine terrorist demands for the return of the First Dog.

Outsmarting Stockert seemed less impressive when he claimed to be the offspring of JFK and Marilyn Monroe and that he intended to run for POTUS on a platform of $99 a month health care. Then, when being booked for possession of unregistered firearms, Stockert gave his name as “Jesus.”

“There is no truth to the rumor,” my cousin Ray Sixkiller assured me, “that the NRA and Gun Owners of America are about to have a shootout over who gets to fund his defense.”

Maine Gov. Paul LePage claimed that out of state drug dealers “impregnate a young white girl” while in Maine to sell heroin. A LePage spokesman later claimed the Republican governor was “not making comments about race.”

“Perish forbid,” my long-suffering Republican cousin spat, “that idiot would make a comment about race.” From Cousin Ray’s point of view, there was one upside in the fact that LePage has endorsed Chris Christie for POTUS.

Stop the presses! Jeb! Bush has broken into double digits in some of the latest polling. The polling nerds also pointed out that, for the first time, if you added all the establishment candidates together—Bush, Rubio, Kasich, Christie---they could beat Donald Trump.

GOP consultant Alex Castellanos told Chuck Todd on Meet the Press that he got no takers among Republican donors for his plan to run an ad campaign to take down Trump because they were afraid that Trump’s fall would benefit Ted Cruz, who polls even worse than Trump for the general election.

The mystery of why Trump gave out over 20,000 tickets for a Vermont venue with room for 1,400 is solved. People who waited in line for hours were asked at the door whether they supported Trump. If not, they were sent away. From the number of protestors ejected, it appeared that some people lied to get in.

Trump experimented with audience participation in the Burlington rally:

“Who’s going to pay for the wall?”

“Mexico!”

“Who’s going to pay for the wall?”

“Mexico!”

Cousin Ray is no Trump fan, and I overheard him practicing another way to use the audience:

“What do we want?”

“Pie!”

“Where do we want it?”

“In the sky!”

Since there have been no ballots counted and no caucuses held, all the news about the presidential election is based on polling.

Polling has been enough to defeat former GOP frontrunner Scott Walker, as well as Rick Perry, George Pataki, and Lindsey Graham. Two candidates who lived by the polls early on seem poised to die by the polls, Carly Fiorina and Ben Carson. Others taking up space with little hope are Jim Gilmore, Rick Santorum, Mike Huckabee, and Rand Paul.

On the Democratic side, Lincoln Chafee, Jim Webb, and Lawrence Lessig have called it off and Martin O’Malley is hanging by his fingernails.

Polling has identified current GOP frontrunner Donald Trump’s base of support as angry white men without college education. Juan Williams of Fox News published on The Hill that drilling down in the polls shows Trump not only shines among angry white women, his support among women does not slip with more education.

Men or women, Trump’s supporters are angry because they believe white people are oppressed even before they become a minority. When the demographic tide comes in, Trump supporters think things will be even worse for white people. Apparently, it has not dawned on them that they still have a few years to treat non-while people better if they are worried about retaliation.

Gallup reported that both Democrats and Republicans have come within one point of all time lows in the number of voters who admit party ID. The poll showed 29 percent Democrats, 26 percent Republicans, and self-ID as independent over 40 percent.

I switched from Democrat to independent in 2008 in disgust over the Blue Dogs messing up the stimulus bill. My cousin Ray is a good man who is Republican for a traditional Cherokee reason—Andrew Jackson was a Democrat. But Ray knows a clown car when he sees one and I expect him to join me off the two party reservation any time now.

In a report on armed standoffs against law enforcement, The New York Times reminded us that everything comes bigger in Texas. John Joe Gray, 66, of Trinidad, Texas failed to appear in court to answer an assault charge, armed himself, and dared authorities to come and get him. Fifteen years ago. The standoff continues even though the Sheriff stood down in December 2014, when the assault charge was dismissed. Gray is staying armed and holed up on his property because he thinks the dismissal of charges is a ruse to catch him.

Missouri State Rep. Bart Korman (R) started the first day of his legislative session off with a bang by filing House Bill 2059, amending the ethics law to require reporting sex between lobbyists and lawmakers as a “gift.” Perhaps mercifully, the reporting requirement exempted a gift of sex from the section of the law that requires the recipient to assign a dollar value to the gift.

Alcalde, the magazine put out by ex-students of the University of Texas, printed a short history of pranking between Texas and Texas A & M, a legendary rivalry that has outlived the breakup of the Southwest Conference, when the Texas Longhorns joined the Big 12 and the Aggies went to the Southeast Conference.

The pranks could probably be placed on a continuum. At one end would be the UT students renting an airplane, from which they tried to drop a bomb on the Aggie bonfire. Those unimpressed by that can’t picture the size the annual bonfires were reaching until 1999 when one collapsed, killing 12 and injuring 27. Since then, the size has scaled back.

At the other end of the continuum, for the last several years, an unusual stand of bluebonnets has bloomed in a flowerbed around the UT Main Building, with maroon blooms rather than blue ones. Maroon and white are the Aggie colors.

Bluebonnets are not perennials, so somebody is replanting every year. The Aggies are prime suspects because a laboratory on that campus was the source of the heatless jalapeño pepper, a source of ridicule in Texas but an outstanding commercial success among Yankees.

“So,” Cousin Ray snickered, “they had the technical knowhow and the motive. That leaves only opportunity and the case is closed.”

UT is probably stuck with maroon bluebonnets, because I can’t imagine anyone wants to stop the prank badly enough to pull guard duty on flower beds.

Mashable reported on a gift “for the pregnant woman who has everything.” Babypod is an appliance for the purpose of exposing a fetus to parents’ iPod playlist in utero. To make the electronics a little safer, Babypod does not use Bluetooth. Hard wiring the speaker means the future mother has a couple of wires hanging down that are not attached to tampons.

Mexican drug lord Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman Loera was last in the news when he pulled a prison break worthy of Mission Impossible, stepping into a shower in full view of a surveillance video and disappearing. It was his second escape and the most recent incident was the second gunfight since the escape, this one ending with five persons dead and El Chapo (“Shorty”) back in custody of Mexican Marines.

Media sources agree that Shorty contributed to his own apprehension by being too hands on in putting together a motion picture celebrating his life much as the narcocorridos already do.

There is speculation in Mexico and in the U.S. whether Shorty’s extradition to the U.S. will now be put on the fast track to avoid any more difficulty from a criminal who inhabits the Forbes billionaire list.

“Does this mean,” Cousin Ray asked, “that Adam Beach and Wes Studi both turned down the part?”

I’ve always been partial to the socialist Green Bay Packers, owned by over 350,000 shareholders in the community where they play. Packer season tickets are bequeathed in Wisconsin wills, and the Packers are not only the only NFL team not a toy for some rich guy, they are also the only team not in a major media market.

Who competes with the cheeseheads? A cabal of crony capitalists who are always demanding public funding for venues with luxury boxes none of the taxpayers are likely to visit. If the taxpayers do not cough up, the threat goes, the rich guy will take his toys to another city with a major media market and more docile taxpayers.

So imagine my delight when the socialist Packers spanked the Washington team owned by Dan Snyder, a crony capitalist whose ego stands out even in a field of egomaniacs. Washington’s loss to Green Bay pitches them out of the NFL playoffs---one and done. Now they can go back to D.C. and meditate on Snyder’s racist sins for another year, watching the playoffs on the tube.