Trump Again Triggers the Instinct to Destroy Stuff

There’s something about Donald Trump that makes people want to beat things, and this ad from a Van Nuys, Calif. Nissan dealer is proof. The ad, which has been condemned by Nissan corporate, shows a sales manager nicknamed, “The Ladies’ Man” beating a pinata of a man in a suit with a generous topping of blonde hair.

After store managers hit the piñata, Van Nuys General Sales Manager Martin Cuevas declares, “Aqui en Van Nuys Nissan, los Latinos mandan.” (Translation: “Here at Van Nuys Nissan, Latinos rule.”)

Nissan quickly condemned the ad.

Presidents Versus Porn Stars — Some Endorsements are More Welcome than Others

Mitt Romney (left) and Meatloaf

Mitt Romney (left) and Meatloaf

It might seem a bit early in the 2016 campaign for endorsements to make a difference, but apparently, since 1980 at least, endorsements from party elites and big donors have been the single best predictor of who a party’s eventual nominee will be, according to the New York Times.

The pace of endorsements is a bit off of what it has been in the past few elections, probably because of the number of candidates, at least on the GOP side. The Times notes that only 14 percent — or 45 of 335 — current Republican governors, senators or representatives have publicly backed a candidate. Of those who have, however, more have endorsed Jeb Bush than any other candidate.

Not so on the Democrat side, with Hillary Clinton bagging a former president (her husband), Madeleine Albright, former U.S. secretary of state and former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, and Howard Dean, former chairman of the Democratic National Committee, former governor of Vermont and candidate for Democratic nomination for president in 2004.

In addition, Clinton has been endorsed by 11 sitting and former Democratic governors, 33 current or former U.S. senators and nearly 90 U.S. representatives as well as a ton of state politicians, government operatives, musicians and actors, celebrities and businesspeople.

Is John Kerry Really a Better Secretary of State than Hillary Clinton?
If So, How Much Is It Because of Sexism and How Much Because of Clinton Herself?


John Kerry could eclipse his predecessor, Hillary Clinton, in the role of United States Secretary of State. If he does, will it be because of sexism, anti-Clintonism, or world events? Or is Kerry simply more effective?

Kerry has seen a recent series of diplomatic victories.

  • The Cuban embassy is open again in America for the first time since 1961, and the American embassy is open again in Cuba.
  • If Clinton has greatness within her, it’s time to take a page from Kerry and show it
  • After months of talks, some while Kerry was on crutches with an injured leg, a deal was worked with Iran to commit to not building a nuclear bomb and to allow inspections to verify they are not.
  • Saudi Arabia, which was expected to criticize the Iran deal and bolster opponents, publicly came out in favor of it.
  • After saying no for months, Turkey agreed to allow American air strikes on ISIL targets from bases in its country, which could prove pivotal in the fight.

Both Kerry and Clinton had their bad moments.

Run Donald, Run!
His Ticket Would HAVE to Be Called the Whig Party


If you asked Democratic strategists for their dream scenario for 2016, here it is:

  • Hillary Clinton as the Democratic nominee
  • Generic Republican as the GOP nominee
  • Donald Trump as a third-party nominee

There is a chance this wish might come true, according to a report that says Donnie is threatening to go rogue.

Some Questions for the Gun Store Owner With the “Muslim-Free Zone”

When a gun shop owner announces he’s closing because he’s tired of selling arms to young, disturbed white guys wearing rebel flags, that will be a YouTube video worth watching

It’s bad enough that a gun store owner declared his store a “Muslim-free zone” after the shooting and killing of four Marines and a Navy sailor by 24-year-old Muhammad Youssef Abdelazeez. That he chose to deliver this message in front of a rebel flag tacked up over an American flag, while wearing a sidearm, made this move just that much worse.

There are so many questions raised by Andy Hallinan’s video. For starters:

  • Why didn’t Hallinan declare his gun shop a “white supremacist who says he wants to start a race war free zone” after 21-year-old Dylann Roof shot and killed nine people at a Charleston church?
A Map of the Biggest Companies in Each State


In line with the Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision, which held that corporations have the right to buy as much free speech as they can afford, it might be time to consider changing the names of the 50 states. Here’s a handy map that will help, posted by Broadview Networks VoIP Blog.

The map shows the largest company in each state, based on revenue, and makes the distinction between size by revenue and size by market value. If market value were the metric, California would be Apple-fornia.

The map also answers a question that’s been popular for years: What’s the matter with Kansas?

Trump vs. Trump: MTP Chronicles the Donald’s History of Mitt Romney-esque Flip Flops


In the 2012 presidential campaign, Republican nominee Mitt Romney seemed to set a world record for prevaricating and flip-flopping. In the 2016 GOP cycle, Donald Trump has emerged from the pack by portraying himself as a tell-it-like-it-is straight shooter. However, a look at the facts reveals that the Donald is just following a page from Romney’s lying, flip-flopping playbook. Politifact has nailed Trump on his lies about immigration and just about everything else — the right-leaning site found that, as of July 14, 2015, zero (0) of Trump’s recent statements were true. And now NBC’s “Meet the Press” — yes, MTP — has put together a reel of Trump’s flip flops that might even make the Mittster blush.

Unexpected Obamacare Savings for Women Could Lead to Fewer Abortions
At the Very Least, the Savings Could Mean a Few Less Bristol Palins


The numbers are in for the Obamacare provision that ended women’s out-of-pocket expense for family planning, and they are huge, according to the policy journal Health Affairs, and quoted by Kaiser Health.

Women are saving a lot of money as a result of a health law requirement that insurance cover most forms of prescription contraceptives with no additional out-of-pocket costs…But the amount of those savings and the speed with which those savings occurred surprised researchers.

The study looked at out-of-pocket spending from nearly 800,000 women (sic) between the ages of 13 and 45 from January 2008 through June 2013. For most plans, the requirement began Aug. 1, 2012, or Jan. 1, 2013.

How to Survive Until the 2016 Election

While we wonky types here at Pensito relish the long, slow slog toward Election Day 2016 … who are we kidding? If it weren’t for The Donald declaring, we would have stopped watching already.

For the rest of you, journalist Patrick Gavin offers a primer on how to deal with the inevitable.

Justice Prevails


I became a supporter of this movement in the mid-1990s at a time when the odds of success were roughly zero to none. It was personal for me and mine, of course, but there was a larger purpose too. This is our legacy — our generation’s — a hard-won gift to future generations of young people that will enable them to grow up without stigma and go on to lead full and productive lives. Sometimes justice prevails. This is one of those times.

Andrew Sullivan, then affiliated with the GOP, was one of the first advocates of gay marriage. I saw him speak on the topic at an event in West Hollywood in 1996 or so. He’s posted a brief history of those early days here.


  • 72%

    Of Americans “think their country isn’t as great as it once was—a central theme of front-runner Donald Trump’s campaign. More than a third prefer a presidential candidate without experience in public office,” according to a new Bloomberg poll. The poll also shows Trump leading the GOP race with 21%, followed by Ben Carson at 16%, Jeb Bush at 13%, Carly Fiorina at 11%, Marco Rubio at 8% and Ted Cruz at 5%.

  • 60%

    Of Americans in June said they personally would vote for an otherwise well-qualified candidate for president who happened to be Muslim, according to Gallup.

  • 70

    Number of days Scott Walker was a candidate for president. “The complete and utter collapse of Scott Walker’s presidential bid appears to bring to an end the shortest presidential campaign since at least 2000,” the Washington Post reports. “Walker’s bid began with his announcement July 13 before a fancy backdrop and in front of an energetic crowd in Waukesha, Wis. It ended in Wisconsin on Monday, in front of a drab background and with only a few reporters listening in. From start to end, the campaign lasted 70 days — a shorter campaign than even Rick Perry’s, since Perry started earlier. … Looking back at major candidate campaigns since 2000, 70 days appears to be the shortest, by at least a week. Jim Gilmore’s 2008 bid lasted 79 days. Tim Pawlenty hung on for 83 days in 2012.”

  • 25%

    Vice President Joe Biden’s share in the latest Bloomberg poll, which finds hime edging Sen. Bernie Sanders, with 24%, in the race for second to Hillary Clinton, who continues to lead the Democratic presidential field with just 33%.

  • 1/50th of 1%

    Amount Planned Parenthood spending makes up of all federal expenditures. “In the context of all federal spending, [$528 million] is infinitesimally small. In fiscal year 2014, the federal government spent $3.5 trillion, according to the Congressional Budget Office. So Planned Parenthood spending makes up roughly 1/50th of 1 percent of all federal expenditures — and that’s rounding up generously,” according to the Washington Post.

Poetic Justice

When it comes to the Pontiff, he’s it, Everywhere he goes, he’s a hit. But Pope Francis Could have gone to Kansas. Instead, he went to Congress and made John Boehner quit.


  • We should not have a multicultural society. When you create pockets of isolation — and in some places the process of assimilation has been retarded because they’ve slowed down — it’s wrong. It limits people’s aspirations.

    — Jeb Bush, quoted by ABC News.

  • I’m less concerned about what faith the person has. I’m more concerned about the authenticity of their faith and how that plays out in their politics … I’m also concerned about a guy that believes he’s a Christian and pretends to be and then says he is, but then does things that makes it very difficult for people to practice their Christian faith.

    — Mike Huckabee, telling Newsmax that President Obama “pretends to be” a Christian.

  • It seems to be hard for people actually to hear English and understand it.

    — Ben Carson, saying “his controversial comments about opposing a potential Muslim president were taken out of context,” the Cincinnati Enquirer reports.

  • This year is different, and what is happening now is leaving a searing impression. This is toxic for the Republican Party — potentially lethal for it.

    — Ex-Bush official Peter Wehner, quoted by the Washington Post, on the “shrill rhetoric” of GOP presidential candidates.

  • Know this, I meant exactly what I said. I could never support a candidate for President of the United States that was Muslim and had not renounced the central tenant of Islam: Sharia Law.

    — Ben Carson, writing on Facebook.



Republicans Hate the Constitution