GOP's Got Talent

Today, Jon Stewart left The Daily Show to join the Academy Award trail - fare well Maestro!

A dozen people embracing Jon Stewart in a big hug, what a contrast with the GOP Debate podium!

Now Fox News can claim the top spot for political entertainment and not fully thought through opinions. 

Today, no fewer that 10 top stand-up comedians took the stage for the first GOP Debate, and we're not even counting the minor candidates, who enjoyed their own open mic hours before!
America's Got Talent: today, 10 funniest stand-up comedy talents on GOP Debate (tough competition for Donald Trump) (twitter.com/stephanemot/status/629481901875556352)

Here's how the 10 (+1) fared:
  • 2 over-performed:
As often in the case, the winners are underdogs: Carly Fiorina confirmed her potential as the perfect running mate, and John Kasich was, to put it simply, in the zone - his comfort zone (as long as this guy can repeat his same 'I did that' speech he's okay, but he'll be in trouble once the field's cleared up and he's given more time to talk about other issues).
  • 1 lost big:
Not only did Rand Paul sink, but to add insult to injury, Trump was the one who delivered the death blow.
  • 1 won the Democratic debate:
Chris Christie played the full orchestra: compassionate, conservative, patriot act hawkish, Obama hugger, no-nonsense tea partier hunter, good cop and bad cop, Hulk and Baloo.
  • 3 did exactly what was expected from them:
Jeb Bush by keeping low profile, staying below radar surface, and even ending with the dullest closing words. So he didn't win today's debate, but the aim was not to lose it, so mission accomplished magna cum boredom. 
Donald Trump by roaring outrageous Trumpisms that would terminate all hopes for any normal candidate, but will keep him in the race for a while. Chris Wallace and his Fox News pals tried their best to expose his ugliest sides and his lack of knowledge on key issues, but Donald Excuse Me Trump proudly owned up to every single monstrosity he ever said or did.
Marco Rubio by playing his charmingly hollow, perfect son in law self: my parents did all the tough parts, including my face, but I learned how to smile all by myself, so I'm qualified for the job.
  • 4 performed so-so:
Sorry but I still can't take Scott Walker seriously. He may be one of the least worst in the pack, each time he speaks I see Steve Carell.
Ted Cruz was, is, will be a loser.
Ben Carson is not a jaded politician and it shows. The unnatural way he waves his arms, how his eyes keep returning to his notes / screen... Regardless of what he says you can't trust a leader who doesn't trust himself.
I was about to face-palm when Mike Huckabee started his wrap-up (he's not going to denigrate Trump when he's supposed to finish on a positive me-note?!?), when he pulled his Hillary Clinton joke. Got me, but didn't seize the day.

BTW: now please give me a good Hillary Clinton - Bernie Sanders fight.

Rick Perry jabs at Donald Trump in absentia at Minor League debate. Huckabee to do the same in the main Nuthouse That GOP Built (twitter.com/stephanemot/status/629454011456884736)

GOP Debate starts with individual Q&A. Here, Chris Christie on how he slimmed down (the NJ budget, not his own weight) (twitter.com/stephanemot/status/629463191509045248)

Robin Williams still alive, Steve Carell still making a fool of himself (Ted Cruz and Scott Walker at GOP Debate) (twitter.com/stephanemot/status/629467865557504001)

Ben Carson body language: what am I doing here?
Certainly no Commander in Chief material (twitter.com/stephanemot/status/629468580174639104)

Donald Trump at Rand Paul with the grace of a buldozer: "you're having a bad night" - actually "you're having a bad time today" (twitter.com/stephanemot/status/629469326622478336)

Donald Trump proud of milking the system he pledges to change, of making money at other peoples expense. Surreal GOP Debate (twitter.com/stephanemot/status/629475624281706496)

Donald Trump in Atlantic City: I took the money and ran.
Christ Christie in NJ: I restored the budget, now I can run for Prez.
GOP Debate (twitter.com/stephanemot/status/629477659890749440)

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Trump Parliament

Since last May (see "ABH Corpus"), more candidates have joined the race. No surprise, except maybe for George Pataki, a serious contender for VP who didn't have to show up that early. As expected, Chris Christie and Scott Walker jumped in, as well as the Bobby Jindal - Rick Perry - Rick Santorum trio.
Of course, Donald Trump eventually putting his money where his big mouth has always been remains the most entertaining part of the show, particularly when you're on the Democratic side.

Yet Latinos and Veterans are not finding Trump that funny. Not after his latest outrageous remarks on Mexican migrants or John McCain.

That's classic Donald Trump: a farcical extremist, a guy who, at the same time, makes you want to laugh (doesn't he look like Owen Wilson?) and to puke (doesn't he think like Jean-Marie Le Pen?).

Owen? You'd better not pout, I'm telling you why (Donald Trump between Jean-Marie Le Pen and Owen Wilson)
This outrageous character is leading the polls for the GOP primaries: according to Fox (July 13-15), he scores 18% compared to 14% for Jeb!, 15% for Walker (Scott, not W), 8% for Rand Paul, and 7% for Marc Rubio (who didn't stand the distance vs Bush The Third).

This shouldn't last, but Donald Trump has become the ultimate deformable mirror for other GOP candidates, forcing them to distance themselves from this radioactive clown, to the risk of alienating ultra-conservative voters.

And ultra-conservative voters are not in a mood for laugh, following the latest victories of democracy:  Confederate Flag outlawed, and equal rights for same-sex marriage (hell, Lindsay Graham even became a candidate for the GOP, how's that for LGBT rights!).

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ABH Corpus

Even if many heavyweights are taking their time, the 2016 race is considerably more crowded than when Ted Cruz launched / torpedoed his own campaign (see "2016 - Recyclable Expendables").

By submitting his candidacy first after Hillary on the Democratic side, Bernie Sanders claimed at least 3 obvious categories : "ABH" (Anyone But Hillary), "EWE" (Elizabeth Warren Erzatz - Sanders reaches even further to the left, pitching himself as a 'socialist'), and "OFGWAB" (that perennial candidacy type I dubbed "Old Farts Going With A Bang"). If both Jim Webb and Martin O'Malley show up (not to mention Lincoln Chafee), they have little chance to last long in the primaries.

On the Republican side, serious contenders don't want to appear as anonymous members of the tadpole pack. So Jeb Bush, Chris Christie, or Scott Walker keep waiting (Lindsey Graham could also be a serious contender - but like, two centuries ago?). Among declared candidates, neither Rand Paul nor Mike Huckabee seem to have enjoyed any form of momentum. Marco Rubio made a pretty good start (only tripping a bit during Shinzo Abe's visit - see his flip-flop in ""History is harsh" and other sick jokes"), but Jeb has the capacity to financially suck his campaign dry. Still, Bush The Third must beware not to leave Marco get too much time and space to shine. Ben Carson and Carly Fiorina have, as expected, bought their lottery tickets for a Veep slot. Will Jindal join them? Will Perry further embarrass himself? Will Santorum run again, or simply wait for a theocon V.P. call?

And does Barack Obama consider running again, this time under the GOP flag? Some arctic drilling after an ultra-SIG-friendly TPP, anyone? I don't know if Michelle will ever run for the office, but I can't wait to discover the top sponsors of his Obama Foundation...

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2016 - Recyclable Expendables

Ted Cruz and his wife launched this stand up comedy season: Heidi's Goldman Sachs story and Ted's Obamacare flip-flop set the bar relatively high.

as a friend put it, Heidi makes serious dough
Sad to see this nut crack so soon: with Cruz, GOP primaries would be so much more fun to follow! We're not sure Rick Perry will return or Donald Trump go for it, and John Kasich is by no means SNL material.

The main question is: after John McCain and Mitt Romney, will yet another 'fake-moderate' win? For the conservative base, Chris Christie is too billclintonish, Mark Everson too joebidenish, Jeb Bush too Bush, Bobby Jindal too weak, Scott Walker too hollow, Marco Rubio too latino-alienated, Lindsey Graham too dovish (and gay), Ben Carson too... well, you know, not Latino enough? (even if his anti-gay score looks perfect)...

Will the Tea Party decide? No, Rand Paul is too curly and pro-gay-rights.
Will theocons decide? Yes, Mike Huckabee can sing. And seize any opportunity.
Will Netanyahu decide? Hillary is AIPAC-friendly anyway. And it could be worse: Shinzo Abe is the next in line for a speech at the Congress...

If a fake-moderate wins, they might be forced to pick yet another ayatollah as a running mate - of the theocon flavor like Sarah Palin, of the tea party variety like Paul Ryan. Another cycle wasted for the fake-moderates running for a Veep spot, unless Carly Fiorina or Rick Snyder join the early stages of this Love Boat Season 2016.

In a best case scenario, the GOP selects two lukewarm nobodies covering all gender-race-age bases, and easily wins on a Anyone-But-Hillary platform.

Speaking of the Democratic primaries... only Al Franken, Wendy Davis, or Nick Hanauer could spice them up. That, or health issues for Hillary that would open the door to Elizabeth Warren, Andrew Cuomo, Joe Biden and all. For John Kerry, it would take a double miracle with Iran and Israel. And Charlie Crist pulling out a Reagan 1980? An Obama 2008 scenario remains unlikely, but many dream of an Obama 2004 stunt in Philly for DNC 2016 (give Hanauer an hour...). Before that, the primaries will provide opportunities of a lifetime: for ambitious youngsters to show their face (Julian Castro if he can't wait for the VP slot)? for old farts to go with a bang? for a smart anti-conservative to steal the A-B-H votes promised to Warren? Evan Bayh? John Hickenlooper? Mark Warner?

We do know that Janet Yellen won't run, even if the Fed chair is not as 'patient' as she used to be.

Employment is up, the greenback is recovering, the stock exchanges are way too high..., but fundamentally, the US economy is not in a much better shape than national politics or this post-Ferguson society in general. Much of the good news comes from a bad thing (shale gas), and the failure to reform finance sucked the whole world dry, paving the way for the extremes, and even the success of China's AIIB. Greedy money reflated bubbles all the way to where future value is created (research, start-ups...).

After the subprime crisis, we basically rewarded the guys who broke the system, and of course they've been pushing further ever since. How far into the campaign will the gimchi hit the fan?

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Welcome to Guisin-dong

Here's a small gift for you: 'Guisin-dong', a short fiction I wrote a couple of years ago (part of my collection of Seoul 'dragedies' in English). 

Frankly, you don't want to visit Guisin-dong. Even I, who visited every single Seoul neighborhood, never set foot there.

Now that you've been warned, you can download it for free, right here:  Guisindong2012StephaneMOT.

Any comments and critics are welcome (e.g. on this site, on the Facebook page, on Amazon...).

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Je Suis Charlie.

Well. Actually, I'm rather Canard Enchaîné than Charlie Hebdo (I only purchased once a copy of the latter, about thirty years ago), but that doesn't matter.

They assassinated our Grand Duduche.

Cabu's Le Grand Duduche - twitter.com/theseoulvillage/status/552810111194783744

They murdered journalists, satirists, officers of the Republic in charge of their protection. 

But you can't kill Charlie Hebdo (for that matter, that rag is perfectly able to commit "Hara Kiri" by itself).

And by shooting on anticlerical anarchists, they shot on the Republic and on Islam. 

And post-1/7 France is not post-9/11 USA: unlike George W. Bush, François Hollande won't start a pseudo-war on terror that actually fueled worldwide terror and fundamentalism.

Ces connards ont réussi à nous réunir:

"Ces connards ont réussi... ... à nous réunir"

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2014 blogules

Below, a list of blogules spilled over the year 2014.
NB : for the comprehensive lists of blogules (2003 - to date), go to the bottom of this post or to the blogules transfusion center.

. "If it ain't fixed, break it again"
. "Exclusive Transcripts From Clinton Presidential Records"
. "Thank you, Bibi, for shooting yourself in the foot"
. "ISIS the end of Iraq?"
. "Francois Hollande vs Extreme Right? Been There, Done Nothing"
. "On Obama's visit to Korea - in Asia Pacific Bulletin"      
. "The First (Nation) Captain America"
. "Don't skip a beat"
. "A Bridge To You Know Where" 
. "2013 blogules"

Previous seasons: 

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Happy New Year 2016

It's that time of the year, and for the 14th time*, I have no choice but to wish you a happy next year, considering what's going to happen in 2015:

January 2015: 

First YouTube video to go viral this year: a female polar bear, surfing topless in a bikini, disturbs a beach volley game in Churchill, Manitoba.

February 2015 : 

North Korea hacks the movie '50 shades of grey': Kim Jong-un wanted a sneak peek at the plans of the new attraction in Universal Studios' adult section.

March 2015: 

A major tsunami completely overwhelms the Cricket World Cup in Australia and New Zealand. The rest of the world will remain totally unaware of the tragedy until the 2016 Australian Tennis Open.

April 2015: 

The GOP impeaches Barack Obama for mentioning the possibility of enforcing existing gun control laws after 1,715 kids die in school shootings across the States over the last week of March - a mere 0,2% increase compared to the previous year.

May 2015: 

UKIP wins the elections: Scotland leaves the Union, the UK leaves the European Union, David Cameron ends his union with Nick Clegg, the Kingdom's official tabloid becomes The Onion.

June 2015: 

ISIS plants its flag in the Vatican, threatens to behead one cardinal every day if Pope Francis doesn't surrender, but before the terrorists make up their minds to select their first victim, all hostages die of old age.

July 2015: 

Now officially Chinese, Club Med inaugurates its new resorts in Guantanamo and Abu Ghraib.

August 2015: 

Shinzo Abe Declaration on August 15th: "I feel deeply sorry that people feel sorry about the lack of apologies from Japan, but I feel even more sorry that our campaign of pacification of Asia during the first half of last century is still perceived as an aggression, and that our heroes who fought to control demographics in occupied nations or to better understand the spread of deadly diseases on human guinea pigs are still considered as war criminals. In order to iron out all misunderstandings in the region, I pledge to destroy all evidence, and to jail for 10 years all whistle blowers."

September 2015: 

As soon as King Bhumibol Adulyadej dies, the nation splits in two: his son Vajiralongkorn will rule over Yellow Thailand, Thaksin Shinawatra over Red Thailand, and the only passage in the wall separating East from West Bangkok is called Check Point Chili.

October 2015: 

Because it was morally impossible to let Japan be the only candidate for the Asian seat at the UN Security Council elections, a last minute rival wins by a landslide. China warmly welcomes the newcomer to the institution's inner circle: "North Korea was a far better choice to bring stability and continuity in the region".

November 2015: 

Ebola outbreak in the Kremlin. Officially after Putin kissed, Brezhnev-style, Mugabe on the mouth, unofficially because Vladimir dropped the test tube where he kept the strain he manufactured for Ukraine.

December 2015: 

The Nobel Peace Prize is awarded to George W. Bush, Dick Cheney, and Alberto Gonzales, for redrawing the Middle East map on a waterboard.

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* see "Happy New Year 2010" (Jan 2009), "Happy New Year 2011" (Dec 2009), "Happy New Year 2012" (Dec 2010), "Happy New Year 2013" (Dec 2011), "Happy New Year 2014" (Dec 2012), "Happy New Year 2015" (Dec 2013)... and in French: "Bonne Année 2009" (Jan 2008), "Bonne Année 2010" (Dec 2008), "Bonne Année 2011" (Dec 2009), "Bonne Année 2012" (Dec 2010), "Bonne Année 2013" (Dec 2011), "Bonne Année 2014" (Dec 2012), "Bonne Année 2015" (Dec 2013).


Imperial Japan v. Japan

On December 14, Japan will probably give the LDP four more years to rule. More than enough for Shinzo Abe to fulfill his dream of destroying post-war Japan (see "It's the democracy, stupid").

Even the return of recession, and a Moody's downgrade won't affect the result of the snap elections: Japan has already reached the point when the economic alibi (Abenomics) isn't even required anymore to sell the political agenda (Abeignomics).

Abe and his fellow Nippon Kaigi friends never hid their intentions:
  • to restore the Empire of Japan (monarchy, State Shinto, militarism)
  • to rewrite the Constitution and history textbooks
  • to abandon post-war pacifism, peace treaties, Japan's human rights law
  • to negate the existence of Japanese war crimes
  • to remove all memorials to the victims of sex slavery for the Japanese military
  • to occult documents as 'State Secrets' and to harass whistleblowers

The State Secrets Law, a Patriot Act on steroids, will be implemented on December 10, even before the vote. Thanks to it, this openly revisionist government will decide which documents will be forbidden to reveal. People who dare disclose the truth, for instance regarding Imperial Japan war crimes, will face jail.

Anyway, hard to find a media to which blow the whistle: NHK is controlled by a friend of Abe's, the Yomiuri Shimbun and the Sankei Shimbun renewed their pledge to spread negationist versions of 'the facts', and their venom on a Asahi Shimbun still licking its wounds.

Foreign media are multiplying articles exposing the imposture, the outrageous lies, and Japan's suicidal path (special mention to the New York Times), but they're boycotted by the ruling party. And if Abe accepted to talk to The Economist, it ended in a surreal interview pushing denial to new standards (see "Shinzo Abe talks to The Economist").

Sorry for boring you with lost causes. 2014 Japan mirrors 2004 USA, except for the fact that the hidden agenda is even more extreme. And that it's not even hidden.


See all posts related to Shinzo Abe on blogules and Seoul Village.
See all tweets related to #ABEIGNomics and #YesToJapanNoToNipponKaigi.
See my piece in French on the Nippon Kaigi imposture: "En finir avec Nippon Kaigi" (on blogules V.F.), followed by ""En finir avec Nippon Kaigi, le lobby révisionniste japonais"" (on Rue89)

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