Monday, April 13, 2015

My Pledge to the 2016 Bouchercon Attendees

Dear Bouchercon attendees: if my book DEVILS AND DUST is not nominated for an Anthony for this year: 

I promise that I will not pitch a self-pitying hissy fit like those right wing mooks trying to game the Hugo awards.

 I will not stamp my little feet and claim that I am the victim of discrimination and PC oppression because I am a straight white cisgendered male.

 I will not put together a slate of similarly disappointed writers and call it "Mournful Mongrels" or "Despondent Doggies" or any such silliness as that.

 I will certainly not try to ally myself with those ‪#‎gamergate‬ assholes or Adam Baldwin. 

'Cause Dusty don't roll like that. 

But, you know, a nomination would be pretty cool. Just sayin'.

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Rand Paul Is His Own Worst Enemy

The Pilot Newspaper: Opinion

So, it looks like another clown has exited the Republican circus car.
This week’s entry is the junior senator from Kentucky, Dr. Rand Paul, son of Ron, who threw his hat into the ring in a rally in Louisville. There he promised, as every presidential candidate who ever took the podium has promised, to “take the country back.”
The campaign then showed its modern-day tech savvy by going live on the day of the announcement with a spiffy new campaign website, where you can peruse the candidate’s views on subjects like “Eductation” (that’s how they spelled it).
You can also buy that all-important Rand Paul merchandise, such as a Rand Paul cornhole game, a campaign poster in the form of an eye chart (Dr. Paul’s an ophthalmologist) for only $20.16 (get it?); a blanket with a picture of the Constitution on it (only $75!); and if you’re still craving some of that Constitution-y goodness after a night’s slumber underneath a representation of our nation’s founding document, you can get the senator’s signature on a copy of the Constitution for only a thousand bucks.
So much for the sizzle. How about the steak? Well, if Sen. Paul hews as a presidential candidate to the same positions he’s espoused in the past, he may end up in a spot of trouble with primary voters.
Oh, sure, he hits some of the talking points beloved of the far right, such as a constitutional amendment to balance the budget and a flat tax. He never, of course, fully explains how both of those things can exist at the same time. But then, the libertarian right is known for its embrace of “magical thinking”: If we just believe hard enough, we can make two plus two equal five.
Paul also likes cutting spending, particularly spending on Those People. You know, the poor (working and otherwise), the sick, and of course, children whose parents can’t afford to send them to private schools. He’s proposed budgets that, among other things, eliminate most of the Earned Income Tax Credit; eliminate Section 8 housing vouchers and K-12 education funding; and slash the budgets of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the National Institutes of Health.
But certain other positions of Dr. Paul are going to be, shall we say, problematic with the GOP base. For one thing, those budget proposals we just talked about would eliminate or drastically reduce all foreign aid — including aid to Israel. “I just don’t think you can give other people’s money away when we can’t rebuild bridges in our country,” he said in 2011.
While the right is all for cutting money for starving black or brown people in furrin lands, they’d cut out one of their own kidneys before they’d deprive Bibi Netanyahu of a single F16 or Iron Dome missile.
Which leads us to Sen. Paul’s defense and foreign policies. His proposed budgets included cuts in defense spending of as much as 30 percent, saying he wants “to reduce the size and scope of the military complex … to one that is more in line with a policy of containment.”
This is going to be anathema to neoconservative hawks who never saw a world problem they weren’t chomping at the bit to “bomb back to the Stone Age” before throwing someone else’s children at it, and for whom the word “containment” is the same as “appeasement.”
(Other words they equate with “appeasement” are “treaty,” “agreement,” “dialogue” and “negotiation” — pretty much any word other than “air strike,” “invasion” or “war.”) His perceived dovishness has led some on the right to begin mobilizing against Dr. Paul. “A group calling for a more hawkish U.S. policy on Iran is prepared to launch a $1 million ad campaign casting him as weak on the issue,” says an article in Politico.
On the campaign trail and in the debates, the Honorable Gentleman from Kentucky is going to find that the GOP may flirt with the type of small-government, low-spending libertarianism he claims to embrace.
But when the last dance is called, they’re going to be in the arms of the defense and Israel lobbyists. And, if by some miracle, Paul survives the primaries and gets the nomination, his budget radicalism will doom him in the general election.
Rand Paul is going to be another candidate who flares brightly and makes it to front-runner status for a week or two, then sputters out when people start using that status to actually take a look at him.
Poor sad clown.