Isn’t that how kissing works?

I was confused about the allegations that Trump of kissed women without permission.

I thought that’s pretty much how kissing worked.

You think you’re having a moment. You go in for the kiss. The other party either reciprocates or doesn’t. If not, you stop.

If someone asks permission, the other says that ruins the moment. We’ve all been told that.

Because of that norm, nearly everyone can be accused of kissing someone without permission and has been kissed plenty without giving explicit permission.

But, “kissing without permission” sounds like a damning headline to folks that don’t stop and think how many of their former dates could accuse them of the same thing.


“Hall Pass” Hypocrites

Last September 2 Alicia Keys was a guest on The Today Show.

Alicia, two of the lady hosts (I can’t remember which ones) and Al Roker were sitting at the discussion table and the following bit of conversation took place (paraphrased).

One of the female hosts points out that Keys is one of Al’s “Hall Passes.”

Keys asks, “What?”

“Go ahead, Al, tell her.”

Al:  Uh..Well, I was just telling them backstage that if my wife let me have a hall pass, you would be it. 

Keys replies, “Oh..hmmm [looking somewhat displeased]… That wasn’t on the talking points.”

It’s pretty tough to offend me. I’ve seen Amy Schumer and her much nastier sister, Nikki Glaser’s stuff. But, even I thought The Today Show hosts (plural) crossed a line.

For those that don’t know, the term hall pass comes from the movie with the same title and refers to a married couple giving their spouse permission to have sex with someone else.

So, the female hosts of the Today Show and Roker told a respected and successful artist on national TV that Roker wanted to have sex with her.

When I Google that incident (search terms: “Al Roker hall pass”), I only find one Facebook status update referring to it. That person wrote:

Al Roker owes Alicia Keys a huge apology for the comment about her being his hall pass. It was a disgusting thing for him to say to her.

I agree. The uncomfortable look that I read on Keys face said to me, I’ve worked so hard to get where I am and this dirtbag still just sees me as a sex object.

A few weeks later, The Today Show suspended Billy Bush for his part in the recorded Trump conversation from 2005.

I found it ironic that Roker subbed for Bush during Bush’s initial suspension, which caused me to recall the tasteless exchange above.

I was appalled with The Today Show and its double standard. But, I suppose Roker isn’t running for President (seems to be the reasoning lots of folks use to justify their double standard on this one).

Now, I will say one thing in defense of Al Roker.

He really did not seem like he wanted to say it. He was egged on by one of the female hosts. I can’t remember which one.

It sounded like an off-the-cuff, unthinking comment he had made backstage to his co-hosts that he has a high level of comfort with and who generally know the boundaries between private and public personas.

He seemed just as shocked as Keys that his co-host crossed that boundary and egged it on.

Two noteworthy SNL skits

Besides David Pumpkins 100 Floors of Fright being one of the funniest SNL skits in recent memory, there was another noteworthy skit last night, Black Jeopardy.

In it, Kenan Thompson, plays host of a Jeopardy-style game show, that, as the name implies, is focused on things that would normally be considered black culture.

The three contestants: two black women, Keeley and Shanice, and a white, Trump supporter, Doug (played by guest host Tom Hanks, who also plays David Pumpkins in that skit).

The Black Jeopardy skit starts off with everyone dismissing Doug’s chances of being successful. But, as the game goes on Doug does well, revealing that there are elements of the two cultures that overlap.

The reason I thought this was noteworthy is that Thomas Sowell laid out the case for why that is in his book Black Rednecks and White Liberals.

As David S Pumpkins would say, Any questions?

Three good reads

Good read from Charles Krauthammer. About Clinton:

The soullessness of this campaign — all ambition and entitlement — emerges almost poignantly in the emails, especially when aides keep asking what the campaign is about. In one largely overlooked passage, Clinton complains that her speechwriters have not given her any overall theme or rationale. Isn’t that the candidate’s job? Asked one of her aides, Joel Benenson: “Do we have any sense from her what she believes or wants her core message to be?”

This isn’t unique to Clinton, though. For a long-time, politics has been more about ambition and entitlement than standing for a set a beliefs. The only beliefs politicians stand for are the ones that poll well. We don’t vote for people anymore. We vote for phony facades.

Peggy Noonan makes a great point in her column, Imagine a Sane Donald Trump. “Oh my God, Sane Trump would have won in a landslide.” Yep.

And this, “Since I am more in accord with Mr. Trump’s stands than not, I am particularly sorry that as an individual human being he’s a nut.”

This Wall Street Journal editorial is also worth a read. On Clinton’s answer to the Supreme Court debate question:

“The Supreme Court should represent all of us. That’s how I see the Court,” she said. “And the kind of people that I would be looking to nominate to the court would be in the great tradition of standing up to the powerful, standing up on our behalf of our rights as Americans.”

Where to begin with that one? The Supreme Court doesn’t—or shouldn’t—“represent” anyone. In the U.S. system that’s the job of the elected branches. The courts are appointed, not elected, so they can be nonpartisan adjudicators of competing legal claims.

Mrs. Clinton is suggesting that the Court should be a super-legislature that vindicates the will of what she calls “the American people,” which apparently excludes “the powerful.” But last we checked, the Constitution protects everyone, even the powerful. The law is supposed to protect individual rights, not an abstraction called “the people.”


Pravda US

A question that I found annoying in the Presidential Debate was asked to Trump: Do you support Russia hacking emails?

Of course, when wikileaks works for Democrats, it’s okay. When they’re against, let’s moralize on whether it’s right or not.

My answer would be:

We should all find it amazing that we have to rely on Russia to report the truth about what goes on here in the U.S. Uncovering the truth used to be your job, but the American people can’t count on you anymore.

You’ve become apparatchiks for your political party. You sweep under the rug some pretty dastardly stuff to advance your agenda using your moral code of letting the ends justify the means, even when the means are horrifying.

History Lesson: 2000 Election

The big news headline this morning from the debate…Trump says he’ll refuse the election results if he doesn’t win! That has never happened in this country! That is absolutely shocking! 

Reporters and Democrat operatives are foaming at the mouth trying to get us to believe this is nuts and unprecedented.

First, I believe he just said that he can’t say now. He did not say he would refuse it. The misreporting of his statements shocks me.

Second, never happened before in this country? It was just 16 years ago when Al Gore’s campaign refused to accept the election results, forced a recount in Florida and pushed it all the way until the Supreme Court to call it off. Read about it here.


Supreme Court Question in the Presidential Debate

I made it through the first question before I tuned on something else.

Question: Do you think the Supreme Court should interpret the Constitution like the Founders intended or is it a living document left to be interpreted by the Supreme Court to reflect the day and age?

Clinton: Blah blah blah…The Supreme Court should represent the people.

This should disqualify her from being President because it shows she does not understand the separation of powers or why the Founders wanted to separate the powers.

If the Supreme Court is supposed to interpret the Constitution for the day and age, that gives them the power to legislate, which is vested in the Legislative branch. And, since presidents appoint justices, guess who then gets the power to legislate? Yes, the President.

Trump: Blah blah blah…The Supreme Court should interpret the Constitution as the Founders intended because that’s very important.

At least he got something almost right.

I would have said, the Supreme Court’s job is to decide whether something agrees or disagrees with the Constitution. That’s one source of the rule of law that has helped this country thrive.

The Constitution IS a living document.

BUT, it doesn’t live through arbitrary views of the Supreme Court Justices, it lives through Article V: The Amendment Process. You should all read it, America, because we don’t seem to know about it.

If we want to change the Constitution to reflect the day and age, we can. In fact, it has been changed twenty-two times in the country’s history, with the latest change coming in 1951 to limit the number of terms a President can serve.

So, yes, the Supreme Court should do its job and interpret the Constitution as intended.

And, just one point of technicality. You asked if they should interpret as the Founders intended. That’s a loaded question, because the Founders did not write all of the Amendments, so they did not write the whole Constitution.

The Supreme Court’s job is to interpret the Constitution as all of its writers intended.

If “we” don’t like something that’s in the Constitution, then “we” should use Article V to change it it, like our predecessors did twenty-two times before.

Good Sowell Series

Here’s a good, 3-part series of columns from Thomas Sowell:

In it, he discusses several topics where the Left thinks it is doing good, but they wind up hurting the very people they think they are helping.

He also discusses their unwillingness to consider the evidence of this. So they keep going with their policies because they sound good and keep hurting the people they say they want to help.

Thomas Sowell’s writings were key in getting me to question my support for leftist policies when I was younger.

But, I was also willing to to consider the evidence because my motivation was to actually do good for the people I wanted to help, not just say that I was and not just gain favor with others who think they are.


Why Power Corrupts

Here’s an interesting podcast from Harvard Business Review with Dan Keltner, Power Corrupts, But It Doesn’t Have To.

In it, he discusses ways in which power corrupts. A question I think is even more interesting is why power corrupts. He touches on it a little, but not much. Maybe his book goes deeper.

I wrote about why I think power corrupts in 2010.