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Cruz Vs. Clinton

Screenshot_10I was laughing when I lifted this from Twitter, planning to include it with the other funny posts I referenced in a post of #tedcruzcampaignslogans, but the more I thought about it the more I thought: this ticket would be ideal.

First and foremost, these two aren’t the idiots most of us think they are–oh, they’re simple enough, but the characteristics we deride as stupidity and are actually cynacism.  Politicians like Cruz, and sideshow performers like Palin, know their target demographic: older, conservative, poorly educated, resentful white people.  Their strategy is to rile up the disaffected, rally the numbers, and ride the wave. Cruz wants power, but (bristle if you want, it’s true:) Palin makes millions by running her mouth and posturing; as a candidate she would need to woo moderates and delivers possible solutions–it’s easier to just keep ranting and count the money as it flows in.

That said, despite a field of abrasive, much-loathed contenders like Wisconsin’s Scott Walker and wingnutty Rand Paul, who spits more poison than a cobra, the Republicans have a significant advantage: malaise.

Screenshot_8

Hillary is almost a foregone conclusion as the Democratic candidate, and will remain so until some dark horse can buck the political machine and work her way to the top by  coloring outside the line. That horse isn’t coming from Vermont. This is Hillary’s time, and while I supported her enthusiastically against President Obama back in 2008, I really no longer give a single damn.  She would probably make a good enough President, if she could bust through the Obama model of opacity and ponderous bureaucracy and lead in a manner that seems or, better still, actually is hands-on and engaged.

Even if she did that, I’m not sure I’ll be interested.  Ms. Clinton has been at the forefront of current events for 23 years and counting, for good and for ill.  Maybe it is just me, but I’m not feeling a rush.  If anything, I’m dreading the next election cycle, the relentless negativity that has become genetically linked with national politics, the endless posturing to niche groups and special interests, and the fear of provoking the same, that all but eliminates productive debate from either side.

Screenshot_9A Cruz candidacy virtually assures the early segments of the campaign will be lively–there’s no telling what will come out of his mouth, and the outrage should be both palpable and engendering of a certain electrical charge that might just awaken people.  Of course, should he emerge from convention season, nomination in hand, we’ll see Cruz dial things way back in a determined effort to win centrist and undecided voters.

 

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Funny and/or Strange Photo I Like Short/Micro/Flash Fiction

Sarah In The Morning

20731_1351607707108_4432096_nIt was a cold, October morning at the Super 8 just off exit 337 and things were about to go, well, the way things tend to go.

The detritus of a night gone wonderfully wrong lay about us: A crumpled bag of NASCAR-themed barb-e-cue Fritos, a spent bottle of Yukon Jack, a crumpled patriot-blue camisole and a pair of Jimmy Chou pumps that cost more than my vintage Impala–one under the chair in the corner, the other dangling from the lampshade beside the TV.

I lay on the bed, pulling deep off a wrinkled Gauloise, absently tracing my hands over the swollen bite marks on my thighs and abdomen,  when the bathroom door clicked and swung halfway open, releasing a cloud of steam.  I grinned, rolled off the bed, stepped on a beer cap and almost knocked over an open, half-eaten styrofoam take- home box of ribs and gravy-soaked fries from Applebees, limping to the door to watch as she did her lips, the heavy coat of eyeliner.  Her bright red dress hung from a hanger on the towel rack–an open bottle of Smirnoff on the sink, hair of the dog.

She looked so beautiful, in the steam; I raised my phone to snap a picture.  She tried to block me, but too late.  There were enough pictures of her in the word, she’d said once before. Modest, to a fault.

“You can’t.” She shook her head. “I can’t. Not the picture. Not us. Never again.”

“You said that the last time.”

“There’s too much at stake.  I’m not getting any younger, and the money won’t always be like it is now,” she sighed.  “My family. America. They need me more than you do.”

“Leave it all.”

“It’s too late. I’ve already called them.”

I looked up towards the door even as the shape of a large, black vehicle skidded to a stop beyond the worn, gauzy draperies.  A second later, the door burst open and two large, glowering men burst through, the first with a blackjack in his gloved hands.

I whipped around for one last look. Her moist eyes were sad, but not sorry: determined, resolute.

So that’s how it was.

“You broke my heart,” I said, thumbing the SEND button on my phone.

“You betcha,” she smiled.  The blackjack swung down on the back of my neck, stars exploding in my skull, like the fourth of July, like the stars I’d touched in her aching, desperate embrace.