Archive for January, 2016

the state of the alt weekly

Thursday, January 28th, 2016

I trust Nike paid good money for this week’s “shoe” and massive product enfused placement issue of the Willamette Week?

on the eve of the big Iowa conflaburation, the GOP field…

Thursday, January 28th, 2016

Jeb Bush has an ace up his sleeve.
Lindsey Graham endorses him!  Rumored to be a closeted gay man… should bring out the closeted gay Republicans?
I mean… no wait.  The man who’s going to come through for Jeb is… George. W. Bush.
Cited as the most popular figure within the Republican Party.

Credited with… er… keeping America safe?

Donald Trump discounts.

a strange voice comes out against Donald Trump.

Funny thing about Ben Carson.

Though Carson held just one public event on Tuesday — appearing at a Des Moines church — I’ve been running into the onetime GOP frontrunner multiple times a day. He happens to be staying in the hotel room across the hall from me at a local Marriott.

This is the kind of story you have to file when your beat is the Ben Carson campaign.

The Chris Christie Beat gives you more coverage options

Beleaguered New Jersey governor and presidential wannabe Chris Christie was challenged to a sumo wrestling match — technically, 10 matches — by a loincloth-wearing member of the militia occupying an Oregon wildlife refuge.

“I know mom gave us both girl names, but I wanna see who the real sissy is,” says Gneiting, who is not related to Christie. “Because you got out in front of the cameras the other day, and you talked about how you’d like the strong arm of the law disperse these good folks in Oregon … You know what I wanna see? I wanna see you come over here and disperse me, your older brother, in the dohyo,” he says, slapping his belly.

Well… Chris Christie got his wish.  Without a ten round bout.

Twitter debate between Carly Fiorina and Donald Trump?  Frankly, isn’t that pretty much this entire presidential election.

Jim Gilmore’s stature is rising, as you can see by his qualifying for the second debate.  BIG MO…

Mike Huckabee parodies Adele… to confusing results.
I think he’s channeling the 2008 presidential campaign of Mike Gravel?

Take that John Kasich!   A national conservative group intends to spend $1 million on ads in New Hampshire that refer to GOP 2016 contender Gov. John Kasich as an “Obama Republican.”  That should stop that John Kasich steam-roller right in its tracks.

The Ghost of Richard Nixon?

Local authorities in Manchester, N.H. say Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul ‘s headquarters was robbed between 11 p.m. Tuesday and 8:30 a.m. Wednesday, WMUR ABC News 9 reports.A campaign worker who opened the office Wednesday morning discovered the break-in. The back door to the office was visibly forced open.
Computers, iPads, articles and a stock of snacks were taken, officials told WMUR.
“These are tools that we use every day to manage our data, look up voter data and contact our supporters online,” Matt Chisholm, Paul’s New Hampshire communications director, told WMUR.

In other items… hm?

“I’m a well-known liberal and it just irked me beyond belief that my beloved song would be co-opted by Sen Rand Paul,” Sean Altman, who co-wrote the song for the PBS show in the 1990s, told POLITICO. “This song is my bread and butter. This is literally one of the ways I make my living because it is licensed frequently.”

San Altman known as a liberal?

538 believes roughly what I believe… Marco Rubio’s the Republican’s best chance of winning in November.

Rick Santorum defeated Dan Savage.  Not that it matters — his campaign is still sputtering to its conclusion.


in this week’s majorest political magazines

Saturday, January 23rd, 2016

National Review:  I suppose following up on the big “project” of claiming and reclaiming Popular Culture for Brand Movement Conservatism, the National Review features an article extolling the virtues of the heavy metal band Iron Maiden.


Nation:  Katha Pollit’s pro-Hillary Clinton piece has a few curious lines… one, in blasting away at a Harpers article turned anti-Hillary Clinton book…

He ignores as well the curious fact that the person he regards as an enthusiastic tool of corporate capitalism and seller-out of other women (cf welfare reform) is regarded as a radical socialist feminist by much of the country.

No, don’t know what to do when one’s analysis of the reality of a politico clashes with the analysis of another… though it is worth mentioning that the conservative world-view would still stick in that “corporate capitalism” model somewhere in defining modern liberalism.

Beyond that within a couple of the quotes in the “Sexism Strikes again” sidebar, moving past Donald Trump’s vitrol and comparing the somewhat more literate sexist quote of Limbaugh against the dumbness of Hannity…

“Can we talk about Hillary’s wig?”  — Drudge
A take-off of commentary about (Republican front-runner) Trump’s hair.  I shrug.
She’s great at being the victim.  You know this will enhance her victimology status.”  — Jeb Bush on that whole “schlong” gate.

First Lady Hillary Clinton was never more popular than under the crisis of Monica – Gate.  (Then again so was her husband.)

I suppose I’m in for a bit of that annoying “In partial / aggrivated defense of” clownish buffoonish politico figure under the coming Presidential bid of Clinton.

out in the boondocks

Thursday, January 21st, 2016

Ted Cruz chimes in with an assault on “New York Values”, going into a spot against Donald Trump that was foreseeable last summer.

The line comes out of some weird amalgam of something of a deeply submerged anti- semitism*, some anti-cosmopolitanism — or the vision of the multi-ethnic melting pot **, parochial — rural boosterism, and making hay off of an image of New York cemented off of the era of 1970s urban decay.

(*In the same way “San Francisco values” is all about the gays.)
(** Attacking Donald Trump as a false prophet to that downwardly mobile uneducated white working class George Wallace-ite support he’s been attracting.)

Fascinating enough, “The Donald” has a trump card to Ted Cruz.  Sarah Palin is endorsing Donald Trump.  Sarah Palin, the last seemingly overt practitioner on the national scale of this gambit Cruz is playing… seen when Palin quoted Westbrook Pegler.

Of course, now Bob Dole throws his lot behind Trump— or at the very least Dole is coming out in favor of Trump as the lesser veil than Cruz.  And here we see Dole’s view that it’s Trump or Cruz… and to that you can say… Wow.

Warren Harding in the news

Tuesday, January 19th, 2016

I saw in the National Review a sarcastic quip about the New York Times’s front page editorial urging gun control.  The quip was that the last time they did this (and with the mocking commentary that this means this is the most pressing issue in 95 years) — it was to broadside against the Republican nomination of Warren Harding.  And so the editorial is fated to be ignored by the public, just as Warren Harding prepared for a landslide victory in November.

Leaving aside whether the NYT editorial is right on the issue, this is an odd comment for comparison… Or… Was the New York Times not right to warn America about the perils and what it represents to nominate and elect Warren Harding?  History, as always, shall be the judge.

your points of substance in a political campaign

Saturday, January 16th, 2016

Clinton and Sanders Set For High-Stakes Democratic Debate.

Oh, and also O’Malley.

Scheduled, as it is, in the middle of a three day weekend.  Just as the last one was scheduled sometime during Holiday Season.  The vision of the DNC head, to hold as few debates as possible that will not be seen.

Still, an interesting debate thingy has emerged in the Democratic race.  Hillary Clinton proffers to the left of Sanders by pointing out the inherent weakness of federalism.

Clinton also said Sanders’ single-payer healthcare proposal would likely require a tax hike on the middle class, saying in an interview this week with MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow that Sanders’ single-payer plan would “dismantle healthcare as we know it.”


Hillary Clinton says Bernie Sanders’ Medicare-for-all plan is too expensive and too reliant on the cooperation of Republican governors.

And so we’re situational federalists.  In the current political climate, the Republicans have a pretty good lock on the local level down ballot with the “Generic Democrat” (that’s Hillary Clinton) favored for the top spot of Presidency.  Through the Bush administration, there was room for state level governors of Democratic red-state stripe, and at that point Democrats and liberals edged into support of taking policy down to the state level — now a vote for a Democratic governor in Kentucky (to use the most depressing result of this last year) is at some level a vote for Obama, so… the game goes aflutter.

As for the other issue Hillary Clinton can claim left-wing ground on Obama — guns — well… that’s only emerged as a litmus after… oh, Sandy Hook?


some are those that are there

Thursday, January 14th, 2016

Obama’s State of the Union speech decoded:

The State of the Union.  Has Donald Trump within earshot of the presidency.

Nikki Haley’s Republican Response to the State of the Union decoded:

The State of the Union.  Has Donald Trump within earshot of the Republican Nomination.

Sometimes I wonder if things wouldn’t be better if we can just go ahead and let them throw the name in, as opposed to referencing the dreaded “some” or the “those” that are “there”.

Now, I want to hear the Natural Law Response.

watching football as per statistical probabilities

Wednesday, January 13th, 2016

I’m watching the game — Seahawks versus Vikiings — with two others.  A man and a woman.  The man holds tightly to this sports watching ideology steeped at the axis of Vegas and Sabermetrics — hewing to statistics and probabilities.  He insists that the Seahawks oughta go for it on a fourth down at about mid-field.  My statement “I’d agree if the ball were any further down” — is met with a curt dismissal — he has the numbers on his side.  And who can argue with the numbers?  It’s all calculated out to a tee.

We bring out the obvious — the last call in last year’s Superbowl.  No, it doesn’t take Vegas sharpshooters to call that a bad call.  Statistically speaking.

We naturally all explode in a burst of cheers when Russell Wilson turns a botched snap and what should be a 20 yard loss into a 30 yard pass, setting up a touchdown.  Our Vegas Sabermetrics guy says “Now.  See.  That’s a champion.”  The woman here points out the obvious — had he botched that 20 yard loss even further, we’d be crying out a “WTF?”, Wilson is a basket-case.  I think I can come up some retro-active statistical play idea that hinges on a couple things … IF the ball can be picked up cleanly, and IF the quarterback can scramble into some safety, there will be a man open — in all probability — because the entire defense is right now converging on him.  So it’s good bit of high risk; high reward.  She next pulls out the play at the end of last year’s Superbowl, that had that been successful, we’d be claiming it as a good play.  “Still would be a bad move,” I say as Sabermetric guy nods sagely.

As the game comes to the end, the Vegas — Sabermetric Man craftily switches sides — his fandom of statistical probabilities out-weighing his fandom of Team Seahawks.  Fair enough, makes as much sense as anything else in spectator sports and the identity politics that it represents.  He says the Seahawks now don’t deserve to win; they deserve to lose — played too conservatively in the last series of downs.  So he’s laughing as we’re fretting as the Vikings easily go down the field and set up an easy chip-shot of a field goal — a goal any kicker in the NFL should be able to hit blind-folded, and with one leg missing.  I’m musing about the probabilities of Wilson getting the ball down the field in the 20 seconds that will follow this kick.  The other viewer sighs, “Hey.  Maybe he’ll miss it.”

Mr. Vegas Sabermetrics Man laughs.  “Yeah.  Right.  What are the odds?”