We’re back on the boat deck filled with potential Survivor contestants, waiting to see who will commit by jumping into the water and swimming to shore. The action has picked up considerably since I last wrote. The water in front of us is now churning with swimmers.

And are those sharks I see, circling the gaggle of swimmers? FOX News and Meet the Press and Yahoo.com, among dozens of others? Or are just they amateur blowhards like me?

The Not-So-Big Three Declare

Ben Carson, Carly Fiorina, and Mike Huckabee have declared their desire for the Republican nomination. Of the three, only Huckabee has ever held public office, or perhaps more importantly here, won an election.

Fiorina claims to understand how the economy really works. Sadly, she may be right: after laying off 30,000 workers and costing Hewlett-Packard millions in sales, she received $40 million in cash, stock and pension benefits as a golden parachute when the HP Board fired her as CEO in 2005. But she many not know how to spend it well: She holds the current prize for weirdest campaign commercial EVER.

Carson is a retired surgeon, who (like Fiorina) brags about not being a politician, and seems a bit ignorant about some facts of political life. Such as, the difference in the electorate between regional and national elections. He operates in the mold of Michelle Bachmann, comparing Obamacare unfavorably to 911 and slavery.

I watched part of an interview Carson gave to CNBC’s John Hargrove, where Carson widened his eyes and told Hargrove “You know what comes next,” when questioned about what he claimed would follow legalizing gay marriage. I don’t, but I do hear that Rick Santorum has some ideas.

Both Fiorina and Carson can legitimately claim outsider status. Not to mention amateur. Evangelical Christian Mike Huckabee would like to be considered an outsider as well, or at least a minority, even though he’s really just another old white guy. (Full disclosure: “old white guy” describes me too.)

Not one of these three has an actual shot at the Republican nomination, but I can’t do it justice like Jon Stewart can. So I say, read this Alternet story, with a link to a Daily Show bit on the latest no-chance candidates.

Rick Santorum (undeclared) and Ted Cruz (declared long ago) represent the greatest threat to the eventual Republican nominee because they will push the debate and everyone farther to the right than it already sits. I’ll give Cruz credit for honestly and publicly being what he is. Santorum too; just Google his last name to find out how angry his public statements gave made people.

But here is why the Republican field of late has been loved by comedians across the land for their Crazy Car Politics.

The Sidecar

I’ll inject a tad of temporary sanity to note that Bernie Sanders announced his candidacy for the Democratic nomination, and this FiveThirtyEight.com article examines the good things that he can accomplish while losing the nomination to Hillary Clinton (mainly, pulling her back to the left as the Republicans move her in the other direction).

A valid point, but the article doesn’t mention what I think is highly significant: just listening to this actual, self-identified Socialist puts a clear lie to conservative accusations that Clinton is a Socialist. (Assuming, perhaps foolishly, that conservative voters will bother to listen.)

IMO, Clinton’s a pragmatist. She’s also a warrior, and we need both, to counter the Tea Party assault on intelligent governance.

Separated at Birth?

Conan O’Brien must pay his research staff well—they did a fantastic job finding doppelgangers for candidates.

The Harry Reid “Scandal”

Oh how I love this story! Reid isn’t running for another Senate term. Not even dogcatcher in Searchlight, Nevada. But the rumors-sold-as-news machine was in full engagement as if he were up for President. That would be the “some people say…” people, who mostly quote each other.

The Democratic minority leader has done his very public job with one eye covered and other bruises healing, for at least a couple of months now. He fell, but the rumor machine had his injuries resulting from a mob beating. It’s a reverse Law and Order episode: this version has the headlines being ripped from a story.

There’s no presidential politics in the above, but I think its flames were fanned by the general election craziness that is already setting in some 17 months before the actual election.

But there IS presidential politics in this next bit of lunacy, because candidates are being forced (by competition) to comment. Therein lies somebody’s downfall…

Operation Jade Helm 15

Those beloved X-Files are coming back, at least as a limited series. Let’s have a government conspiracy party! An alarming number of Texas “patriots” are doing exactly that, certain that their state will soon be invaded by U.S. Troops. Forget that Texas is already home to 32 military bases (source: wikipedia), employing the very citizenry who would be their unwitting victims.

The web site Alternet comes down hard on the conspiracy theorists. Some form of the word stupid appears 31 times in less than 2800 words; thus it’s a fun read only if you agree with them. The essence goes like this: “Town meetings attract these people, but yelling your internet-sourced theory into a microphone does not make it more intelligent. It just makes it louder.”

Maybe the weirdest result was that former governor Rick Perry became the voice of reason simply by stating his faith in the military. That improved his image for me, but we’ll see how it plays in the heartland. He’s got those “smart glasses” too.

“Operation Jade Helm 15,” really? I say fire the jerk who names these operations and just plop “Onward Christian Soldiers” in front of successive numbers.

Conspirators should also consider who occupied the White House during the original run of The X Files. Break out the aluminum foil!

…And Here’s Where All That Comes From

Not to be outdone by the Colonies, the British conservative press went nuts in the run-up to their latest election.

Written by

Steve Schlich is retired after 35 years of writing fiction about software: “easy to use,” “does what you want,” and the like. Hobbies include webmaster for www.RodSerling.com, writing songs and short stories. In 2004, he created www.NakedWashington.com, a website chronicling the naughty public art in Washington, D.C. He lives happily with his wife and cats, north of San Francisco.

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