Archive for February, 2016

lies my teacher pushed on me, take 2

Saturday, February 13th, 2016

Sometime ago, I ran into the peculiar back-story of a damnable video shown to my High School Health class for… no particularly good reason.  It was listed as an example of schmaltz for what universe he was coming out of, and had been producing for.

I ran into another curiosity from my forgotten public schooling.  Flash back from this to 7th grade Literature class, where, in the literature textbook, we read… some excerpts from a young teenager with a tough background who was now dying of AIDS.

Anthony Godby Johnson’s memoir A Rock and a Hard Place.

A memoir whose tradition will be duplicated with A Million Little Pieces, except Johnathan Frey’s book is more truthful.  (He needed to fabricate a bunch of things because the story of junkie-dom is too much a dime a dozen.)

I… think this was what it was.  It was from the memoirs of a boy with some terminable disease, and some things about the writing struck me, back then, as little off… not quite believable, this 14 year old, even as I understand the shifting balance of relations when confronted with death and the precociousness (high intelligence quotience, who seemed to be mouthing things that would be adored by the intended audience), I couldn’t stomach the the relationship with the saintly mothering character, who was oh so giving — and relented to give him a Playboy with its naked picture of Vanna White.  I’m leafing through the book (with its afterward from none other than Fred Rogers, describing a conversation with the boy suggesting not to put AIDs into Mr. Rogers’s Neighborhood to not disrupt the Innocence here) for some memorable passages to see if I have this pegged right.

But I’m not sure this was it.  It may have been some other high profile book by a terminally ill child with the same basic attitudes that would endear him to Fred Rogers and Oprah Winfrey and on…

… and read in a middle school reading class for life perspective and relatability, because it’s just too good to pass up or too good to be true.

your Democrats for Trump

Friday, February 12th, 2016

Donald Trump… not visiting the state that he, reportedly, fairs best in.

He may be the most talked about presidential candidate this year, but we checked his travel calendar and found that Donald Trump has no plans to visit West Virginia in the near future.

His receptive voting base…

“I’d like to see him come here, just to see what he has to say. I’d think it’d be pretty funny. The stuff he says on TV makes me laugh,” said Joshua Clemens, a West Virginia voter.
Others say a Trump visit could mean more interest in saving the coal industry, and keeping fossil fuels as a a major energy source.
Margaret Wilkinson, a West Virginia voter said, “What Donald Trump says, or whatever he does, I mean he’s looking in the best interest of everyone, I think.”


But Mr. Trump’s lead is not equal among all G.O.P. groups, or across all parts of the country. His support follows a clear geographic pattern. He fares best in a broad swath of the country stretching from the Gulf Coast, up the spine of the Appalachian Mountains, to upstate New York.
Mr. Trump’s best state is West Virginia, followed by New York. Eight of Mr. Trump’s 10 best congressional districts are in New York, including several on Long Island. North Carolina, Alabama, Mississippi, Tennessee, Louisiana and South Carolina follow.

West Virginia…

The 2004 Presidential Election Result
George W Bush — 56.1%
John Kerry — 43.2%

The 2008 Presidential Election Result
Barack Obama — 42.5%
John McCain — 55.6%

The 2012 Presidential Election Result
Barack Obama — 35.54%
Mitt Romney — 62.3%

The county map shows a starker story.

On Election Day, McCain won West Virginia by 13.09 points while losing nationwide. McCain did well throughout the state, losing only a handful of counties. While his margins were best in the more conservative northern part of the state, he also improved significantly in Southern West Virginia. This coal-mining, union-heavy region was one of the most heavily Democratic places in the nation; Logan County, for example, cast 72 percent of its ballot for Bill Clinton.[21] In 2008, however, John McCain won the county by double digits.
On the other hand, Barack Obama did make gains in the area between Maryland and Virginia, counties which are a part of the Washington Metropolitan Area. Obama also ran close in Central West Virginia (the counties around the capital Charleston).

2008 Democratic Primary (late in the cycle)

Hillary Clinton — 66.93%
Barack Obama — 25.77%

2012 Democratic Primary

Barack Obama — 59.3%
Keith Judd — 40.65%

Interestingly, Ron Wolfe, Jr. went on to best Keith Judd in Arkansas — being the protest contest who also isn’t a convicted felon — going to 41.6 percent.  I gather the map shows Trump Country.  (For whatever reason, wikipedia doesn’t show a similar one for West Virginia.)

Then we move into the Republican Primaries and see… some things get complicated.

maybe we should be down to 4 Republicans in the race now?

Tuesday, February 9th, 2016

John Kasich Really Wants to Win New Hampshire.

Not going to happen.  He did come in second, though, as the farthest figure to the left in this very right New Hampshire Republican electorate.  Following the tradition of John McCain, I suppose, except not coming in first.  Donald Trump, following the tradition of Pat Buchanan, comes in first.

It might also be possible to say Kasich follows in the tradition of Jon Huntsman, Jr — who received 17 percent of the vote.  And came in third.  On par with Kasich and his vote tally of just under 17 (as of right now).  Just that here… no one’s available to come in second.

Though… don’t tell Scott Adams Trump did anything but score a blow out.  Oops, though…

“Look for Rubio to have a surprisingly strong second-place showing in New Hampshire. And look for the most common explanations for that surprise to be his momentum from Iowa.” Adams predicts.

Late deciders breaking for Trump, Kasich in NH GOP race.

Okay.  Marco Rubio blew it.  And Chris Christie’s attempt to capitalize it by reminding voters how bad his debate performance shows him didn’t rebound to Christie, because… he’s Chris Christie.

On the Democratic side… there was a question once asked to, I believe it was Joe Trippi, at that point in time this started looking possible last year.  What will it mean to the Hillary Clinton campaign if Sanders won Iowa and then New Hampshire.  The answer — it means there will be a bad news cycle with some carping on “what’s wrong with Hillary” for a bit, then Hillary Clinton will go on and win the bulk of the remaining primaries and caucuses and be the nominee.

Though… Bill Clinton plays the part of the Bad Cop in some Good Cop Bad Cop routine.  But the basics look to be correct.

… Next stop.  South Carolina.  That’s… Trump and Clinton Country, right?  (The big state for Trump is West Virginia, apparently.  They believed him about the birth certificate.  See too the infamous Democratic Primary result 2012.)

electoral gender gambitology

Saturday, February 6th, 2016

A funny quoteth, so far as I remember, from — if I recall right — In These Times.  Or maybe it’s the Nation.  This in regards to the inevitable Hillary Clinton nomination…

Scratch a Bernie Sanders supporter and she will admit he’s not going to be elected president.

The operative word here was “She” — as in, we’re battling the Patriarchy and will use she as a default person instead of he…  but here it stands out due to the nature of the campaigns.  A Bernie Sanders supporter/ primary voter is more likely to be male than female.  (So much so that we get things like this to explain female Sanders backers.)

It is thus amusing to see, as the campaign has developed, that the thematic break on Bernie Sanders backers is it’s a bunch of dudes.  Kathy Pollit for the Nation, as she puts her support behind Hillary Clinton (yes, despite things like this), bemoans all the “Bernie Bros” — evidently a meme out there.  And see here the wallop from the New York Times in comparing the backers of Bernie Sanders with those of Donald Trump — “Mad as Hell, Not Going to take it” — white males.

Which makes me wonder about this — I believe it was In These Times — when generically describing a Donald Trump supporter in this abstract.  Would they ever use the word “she”?  Or is there a percentage discrepancy out there or level of rhetorical vitriol that must be crossed which Sanders hasn’t and Trump has before we go ahead and shutter the pronouns back?

Incidentally, Paul Krugman, editorial writer for the New York Times, has a bit of a problem here on the Overton Window set by the front page

There are still quite a few pundits determined to pretend that America’s two great parties are symmetric — equally unwilling to face reality, equally pushed into extreme positions by special interests and rabid partisans. It’s nonsense, of course. Planned Parenthood isn’t the same thing as the Koch brothers, nor is Bernie Sanders the moral equivalent of Ted Cruz. And there’s no Democratic counterpart whatsoever to Donald Trump.

Trump assumes the media is comparing Cruz with Sanders, when they’re not: it’s Trump and Sanders.  Everything’s more out of whack than Krugman is suggesting here.

endorsements coming fast and furiously

Friday, February 5th, 2016

This should ramp up the Donald Trump campaign!

And earlier this week, the billionaire real estate mogul picked up another high-profile endorsement when Scott Brown, the former Massachusetts senator and New Hampshire transplant, joined the Trump cabal.

Because they love him in New Hampshire.

This should ramp up the Chris Christie campaign!

Hewlett Packard Enterprise CEO Meg Whitman has hit the campaign trail with New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, in his quest for the presidency of the United States.

This is being played up by the media as a diss against Carly Fiorina.  Or, you know, it is to the extent that it’s being noticed by anyone anywhere.

This should ramp up the Marco Rubio campaign!

On Thursday morning, the former Pennsylvania senator got one of his first chances to play the role of Rubio advocate during an appearance on MSNBC’s Morning Joe. It, um, did not go well. Asked repeatedly to name Rubio’s top accomplishment in the Senate, Santorum came up empty time and time again. “If you look at being in the minority in the United States Senate in a year when nothing got—four years where nothing got done, I guess it’s hard to say there are accomplishments,” Santorum said. “I mean, tell me what happened during that four years that was an accomplishment for anybody? It was complete gridlock.”
Things only got worse from there. When Joe Scarborough reminded Santorum that the GOP has controlled the Senate for more than a year now, Rubio’s latest endorser responded by noting that Rubio has been awfully busy during that time campaigning for president—something you’d expect to hear from one of Rubio’ rivals, not one of his newfound allies. (“Joe, look, the Republicans have been in the majority for one year and one month, of which, as you know, he was running for president primarily,” Santorum said.) At another point co-host Mika Brzezinski felt compelled to jump in and offer her guest a lifeline in the form of a fill-in-the-blank question. “Jeb Bush ran Florida. Donald Trump built a company,” she said. “Marco Rubio… — finish the sentence.” (Santorum went with “the speaker of the Florida House, which is not something that’s a minor deal.”)

On twitter… TeamMarco?  Looking forward to joining @marthamaccallum on @FoxNews at 10:10am to talk about why we need to elect @marcorubio President #TeamMarco

In other presidential campaign news: Jim Gilmore gloats about OUTLASTING RAND PAUL!!!

there should be 3 now

Tuesday, February 2nd, 2016

Jeb Bush urges New Hampshire to “Reset” the Race.

Former Florida governor Jeb Bush, who has staked his flagging presidential bid on a strong performance in this first-in-the-nation primary state, called Monday for New Hampshire voters to “reset” the race.

Reset!  Like with America and Russia?

“The reset has started as of tonight,” Bush said, adding, “Next Tuesday, we’re going to surprise the world.”

Chris Christie Unimpressed by Marco Rubio’s Iowa tally.

Some Republican might be impressed with Senator Marco Rubio’s strong third-place showing in the Iowa caucuses.
New Jersey Governor Chris Christie is not one of them.
“Why? Because he came in third after spending $5 million more than Ted Cruz?” Christie asked reporters Tuesday morning. “When I listened to Marco’s speech last night, you would have thought he would have won. Saying it doesn’t make it so. He has to come up here, he’s gotta compete, and he’s gonna come under the microscope, and it will be a very interesting week for him I assure you.”

Call me crazy.  It looks more impressive than Chris Christie’s.

Most interesting comment in this stupid video clip of John Kasich promising to “try” to reunite Pink Floyd for a couple songs (it has happened already) is… the finish of “We may be comfortably numb when we’re done with New Hampshire”.  Er?  Yeah.  Joking about your candidacy’s impending demise?

So you want to know the breakdown of who voted for Rand Paul?

12 People voted for Jim Gimore.  Sooo… let’s talk to one of them!

A total of 12 people voted for Republican presidential candidate Jim Gilmore in Monday night’s Iowa caucuses. That’s across the entire state. Twelve.
One of them is Troy Bishop. He lives in Des Moines, and he’s anything but disheartened by Gilmore’s dismal showing at the polls. He said the former Virginia governor actually did better than he expected.
“He exceeded expectations,” Bishop said in an interview with The Huffington Post. “I mean, look at some of the other candidates. Look at the money they spent. They got 3,000 votes. He didn’t spend any money and got 12.”

That’s Chris Christie logic.

The curious case of Carly Fiorina … fleeing Iowa before it all comes down.

Ben Carson … dealt a blow by crafty Ted Cruz.

Bottom line:  All of these candidates now need to follow the action of Mike Huckabee and call it a campaign…  It’s over.