Thursday, March 31, 2016

April Primary Calendar

Here's what we will see during the month of April, via Frontloading HQ:

Friday-Sunday, April 1-3:
North Dakota Republican state convention

Tuesday, April 5:

Saturday, April 9:
Colorado Republican state convention
Wyoming Democratic caucuses

Tuesday, April 19:
New York

Tuesday, April 26:
Rhode Island

Sunday, March 27, 2016

Sanders sweeps Super Saturday

Nobody called it that.

I'm just being silly.

Some people call it "Western Saturday", but sans California and Oregon, it really isn't accurate either.

Maybe we can call it "Pacific Rim" Saturday, but that may lead to off-color jokes about a certain type of job.

I'm taking the high road here. Nothing but serious news!

In a decidedly non-superish Saturday set of contests, Bernie Sanders did a good job by sweeping Hillary Clinton in three events.

But sadly, in all states the Democrats award their delegates proportionally, meaning Clinton will continue to outpace Sanders even if he continues to win all the remaining contests. There's something to be said for the winner-take-all concept that the Republicans use for some of their primaries.

Then again, with nearly 20% of the votes held by super delegates who tend to be party insiders, Clinton had a big advantage before the primaries even started.

It's going to take a huge shift in populist thinking among Democrats to give Sanders a shot at being nominated. I can't guess if that can happen before Clinton wins enough delegates to make it a shoo-in at the convention.

We'll see.

Friday, March 25, 2016

The Cuban Mistress Crisis!

Ted frickin' Cruz!

I absolutely LOVE this guy now!

He's managed to attain Clintonian levels of fucking around! A presidential frontrunner this far along in the race hasn't been this so completely caught at odds in ages!

Hint to political wives and advisors:

Always be on the lookout for the "crazy eyes"!

Whenever that hot intern or sexy aide is glued to the side of a candidate, watch her eyes! If she has that "I'm so in love with this guy" look, rather than the "all business and respectful admiration" look, you might want to nip that right in the ol' budsky!

A few well-placed words from the wife, or a closed-door meeting between the top advisors and the candidate where they spell out that he might be throwing away his only chance of becoming POTUS may work wonders in keeping an innocent work-place infatuation from becoming a half-million dollar donation to Carly Fiorino's campaign!

Or a drawn-out impeachment that ultimately failed to get the president removed.


Ya gots to watch for them "crazy eyes"!

You hearin' me, Mr. Trump?

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

No clear winners yet

The March 22nd contests were predictable, in that nobody expected anyone to sweep.

Trump won all 58 delegates in the Arizona winner-take-all contest, and Cruz captured all 40 delegates in Utah because Trump and Kasich didn't break the minimum percentage to carve out a portion of the pie.

On the Democratic side, Clinton won in Arizona, but the proportional split is something like 44-30 delegates with Sanders. Bernie won big in Idaho and Utah, with a current delegate count in those states 41-11 over Hillary.

So Sanders managed more delegates yesterday than Clinton, by current count 71-55.

I'm not counting the super delegates in any of my results, because none of them vote until the convention. They can pledge their votes to either candidate ahead of time, but they won't legally have to cast their vote for until late July. And depending how the remaining primaries go, we may conceivably see a change of heart if Sanders manages to snag significant votes.

Of course, I absolutely fucking HATE the idea of super delegates! It's an insult to democracy that a privileged few have the power to overturn the will of the electorate. Party insiders may have the opportunity to throw aside the vast majority of party voters if they choose.

Why in hell does the party that is NAMED after the idea of "democracy" decide to pointedly ignore the will of their members and reserve roughly 20% of the delegates for individuals that are well-entrenched in the party machine?

Who do we think we are? REPUBLICANS?!?

Ah, no, that's not fair. Republicans run their primaries FAR more fairly than Democrats. They actually subscribe to the idea that "one person, one vote" actually MATTERS to a democracy. So, yeah, I was out of line with that insult.

We should actually try to be MORE like Republicans.

At least in that respect.

Oh, and here's something that happened while people were trying to vote in Arizona. Just in case you think this was a foregone conclusion. From Bernie Sanders:

What happened yesterday in Arizona should be considered a national disgrace. I got an email last night from a woman who waited five hours to vote in Arizona. Five hours.

We don't know how many thousands of people didn't get to cast their ballots yesterday in Arizona because they couldn't afford to wait that long. Scenes on cable news last night showed hundreds of people in line at 11:30pm in Phoenix – more than four hours after polls closed. Voting should not be this difficult.

One reason it is so hard to vote in Arizona is because the Supreme Court gutted the Voting Rights Act. There were 70 percent fewer polling places this year than in 2012 in Phoenix's county. They wouldn't have been allowed to cut those polling places if the Voting Rights Act was still in tact.

These cuts meant that, in a county with more than 4 million residents, there were just 60 polling places. This is unacceptable, but it's also not an isolated incident.

We need to make it easier to vote, not more difficult. One way we can do that is by reaffirming our support for the Voting Rights Act, which, when I am president, I will fight to reinstate.

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Another big Tuesday

In a somewhat surprising result, Donald Trump beat Sen. Marco Rubio in Rubio's home state of Florida, winning all 99 delegates in the winner-take-all primary. Because of this, Rubio has pulled out of the presidential contest.

This, along with his decision to forego running for reelection this year means, like Nixon, we won't have Marco Rubio to kick around any more.

Not that we kicked Rubio around all that much, anyway. We love to kick around Donald Trump, and we'll likely have the opportunity to keep kicking him around all summer long! And Ted Cruz, with his ridiculously intolerant religious agenda, well, we'll get some kicks in too. Kasich, I mean, really, who cares?

After yesterday's primaries, it looks like Donald Trump is well over halfway towards winning the nomination.

The Tea Party-wrought destruction of the Republican party is nearly complete!

On the Democratic side, Hillary Clinton claimed victories in all the five states, although Illinois and especially Missouri were especially close. Clinton increased her delegate lead and unless Bernie Sanders can put together a late surge in the remaining states, we'll probably have a first-ballot convention win for Hillary.

Not that anyone truly thinks Clinton's eventual win is in serious doubt. Even if the delegate count was tied or Sanders in a small lead, the pledged super delegates (largely made up of long time party insiders) are roughly 90% in Hillary's camp.

But we still need Sanders in the race, up to the convention, because he acts as the conscience of the Democratic party, and his supporters will have some say in the Democratic platform and may effect some positive changes. Even Hillary's most ardent supporters have some reservations about her ties with big finance and some of her social stances, like her defense of the death penalty.

If Bernie has a voice at the convention, and we all know he will, then we may see some good things come of his campaign even if he falls short of the nomination.

Sunday, March 13, 2016

Really Hartford?

What the motherfucking fuck is this? Is this necessary?

A week ago my wife and I were in New Orleans, and apparently after a Trump rally the locals were really charged up. A carload of redneck boys drove by us on Royal Street, leaning out the window waving a Trump sign, yelling "Vote for Trump". I yelled back "Yeah, good luck with that!".

In retrospect, I'm kind of glad we didn't get our asses kicked!

Next time, unless I'm with a similar number of my knucklehead friends, I'll keep my opinions to myself.

UPDATE: The cop was fairly disciplined and he removed the sticker and all is back to normal. Except for the lingering embarrassment the City of Hartford will have to deal with over this tacky situation.

Well, nobody is surprised about this

The level of violence at Donald Trump's rallies is getting ridiculous.

Somehow, his angry, racist, violent rhetoric is bringing out aggressive behavior in his followers.

Who knew?

This video was put together a week ago, and since then Trump has canceled a rally in Chicago, allegedly due to protesters, although the Chicago P.D. has stated that the situation was completely under control and the only reason the rally was canceled was due to Trump's paranoia.

There was also a disruption at yesterday's Ohio rally, where a man rushed the stage but was quickly subdued and arrested before reaching Trump.

Trump immediately branded the attacker as a follower of Bernie Sanders.

Which raises immediate questions in my mind. Why blame it on Sanders? I mean, obviously Hillary Clinton has a significant lead in both voted delegates and potential super-delegate votes at the convention (don't get me started on super delegates please). So why would he feel the need to put the blame on the trailing candidate?

My guess is that Trump sees Sanders as the bigger threat. National polls show that if the general election was held today, Sanders wins by a larger margin than Clinton. Also, recent wins by Sanders show that even though he is trailing, there are many contests still to be held in northern states where Sanders is polling ahead of Clinton.

Trump may believe that Sanders is going to win the nomination, so he's more inclined to try to tack any blame on Bernie Sanders.

I'm wondering if Trump's secretive brain trust is going to capitalize on this and try to take this sort of thing to a higher level. At the risk of being labeled a "Godwin'er", there is an image in my mind of the 1933 Reichstag fire, which occurred roughly four weeks after Adolf Hitler was named Chancellor of Germany. The fire was purportedly set by German Communists. Hitler used the event as an excuse to solidify his power and gain sympathy from the majority of the German people who may have been ambivalent about him.

And to arrest and execute Communists, and basically anyone else who opposed him.

Since then, many historians have theorized that Adolf's crew probably staged the fire to achieve those goals.

While Donald Trump does not have that level of power yet, the concept of a false flag operation may benefit the Trump campaign. Especially when Trump himself has offered publicly to pay the legal fees of anyone who is arrested for assaulting any protesters at his events. What's to keep him from privately funding someone to disrupt and event or even threaten to attack him in order to gain sympathy and support from the Republican voters?

These are the sort of dark thoughts I have when waking up after a fun and booze-drenched St. Patrick's Parade day here in Milford. I'm not hungover, but merely coming back to reality and dealing with the awful stuff in the news and on Facebook and Twitter. Tuesday is a big day, with Florida, Missouri, Ohio, North Carolina and Illinois going to the polls. Trump can pretty much end the race by Wednesday morning with a good showing.

I'm going to watch what happens at Trump rallies for the next few days, and fervently hope that we see civility and common sense rule the events.

Wednesday, March 09, 2016

Michigan, what went wrong

This one just blew away conventional thinking.

I'm talking about Bernie Sanders' astonishing win over Hillary Clinton in the primary, where she was overwhelmingly predicted to cruise to an easy victory.

Everyone, and I mean EVERYONE, expected this to be a sure-fire win for Clinton.

Yet, somehow, Sanders took the state by a slight (but significant) margin.

Harry Enton at had the following to say about his colleague Nate Silver on this unprecedented as of the beginning of this century upset:

Bernie Sanders made folks like me eat a stack of humble pie on Tuesday night. He won the Michigan primary over Hillary Clinton, 50 percent to 48 percent, when not a single poll taken over the last month had Clinton leading by less than 5 percentage points. In fact, many had her lead at 20 percentage points or higher. Sanders’s win in Michigan was one of the greatest upsets in modern political history.

Both the FiveThirtyEight polls-plus and polls-only forecast gave Clinton a greater than 99 percent chance of winning. That’s because polling averages for primaries, while inexact, are usually not 25 percentage points off. Indeed, my colleague Nate Silver went back and found that only one primary, the 1984 Democratic primary in New Hampshire, was even on the same scale as this upset. In that contest, the polling average had Walter Mondale beating Gary Hart by 17 percentage points, but it was Hart who won, with slightly more than 9 percentage points over Mondale.

Indeed, my initial thought was to compare the Sanders upset with Clinton’s over Barack Obama in the 2008 New Hampshire Democratic primary, but that undersells what happened Tuesday night. I was in New Hampshire when Clinton won in 2008 and sat in stunned disbelief — Obama lost by about 3 percentage points, when the polling average had him ahead by 8 percentage points. In other words, tonight’s error was more than double what occurred eight years ago.

The question I am asking myself now is whether this means the polls are off in other Midwestern states that are holding open primaries. I’m talking specifically about Illinois and Ohio, both of which vote next Tuesday. The FiveThirtyEight polling average in Illinois gives Clinton a 37 percentage point lead, while the average in Ohio gives her a 20 percentage point lead. If Michigan was just a fluke (which is possible), then tonight will be forgotten soon enough. If, however, pollsters are missing something more fundamental about the electorate, then the Ohio and Illinois primaries could be a lot closer than expected.

Either way, this result will send a shock wave through the press. Heck, I’m a member of the press, and you might be able to tell how surprised I am. This will likely lead to increased news coverage of the Democratic race, which Sanders desperately needs in order to be competitive next Tuesday and beyond.

Sanders must rack up big wins, and fast. Thanks to an 83 percent to 16 percent win in Mississippi, Clinton gained in the overall delegate count on Tuesday and leads Sanders by more than 200 pledged delegates. Her strong performance in Mississippi also put Sanders further behind his FiveThirtyEight delegate targets. That may not be as sexy as the tremendous upset in Michigan, but math is rarely sexy.

Sanders, however, can breathe a deep sigh of relief that all the states in the Deep South have already voted. He can hope that tonight’s Michigan win will help propel him to victory or at least make him more competitive in states with large delegate prizes left, like California, Florida, Illinois, New York, New Jersey, Ohio and Pennsylvania. We’ll see if it does.

And to continue beating a dead horse because apparently nobody is listening to this, the "super delegate" system that the Democrats have saddled the party with is an abomination to the concept of democracy and has the effect of discouraging members to vote in primaries simply because their votes MAY NOT MATTER!

The Republicans are getting record numbers of new voters this year, and that's because every voter knows their vote MATTERS!

I'm beginning to think it will be pointless to vote in the Connecticut primary in April, because so many of the super delegates are being put into one candidate's margin EVEN THOUGH THEY WON'T CAST THEIR VOTES UNTIL THE CONVENTION. Which means, they are trying their best to convince the trailing candidate's supporters that it's not worth voting, even though the super delegates won't be voting for months!

This is really starting to sour me on our party. I am seriously considering leaving the Democratic party and registering as an independent because I so strenuously disagree with the way they run their selection process.


Simple concept, right?

The Republicans understand that. And even though they are fractured in support of their frontrunner these days, you can bet they'll remind us how EACH AND EVERYONE OF THEIR MEMBER'S VOTES COUNTED!

Sunday, March 06, 2016

Sunday Night Music Club v.44

For anyone who's been following this blog for a while, you might have gathered that I'm a big Steely Dan fan, and specifically a Donald Fagen aficionado.

Welp, here's another track from his groundbreaking 1982 album The Nightfly.
A message in the liner notes of The Nightfly reads: "Note: The songs on this album represent certain fantasies that might have been entertained by a young man growing up in the remote suburbs of a northeastern city during the late fifties and early sixties, i.e., one of my general height, weight and build. - D.F."

"Walk Between The Raindrops" is a lively upbeat selection, written about Miami in that magic time. Since the only music video produced from the album was "New Frontier", some fan created a video of South Beach images that works very well with the song.

Wednesday, March 02, 2016

The Day After

Good morning folks! It's the day after Super Tuesday, and time to look at the numbers.

As it stands right now, the delegate count for the Republican nomination is as follows:

Needed to win: 1,237

Trump 285
Cruz 161
Rubio 87
Kasich 25
Carson 8

Trump currently has slightly more delegates than all his challengers combined. The GOP establishment is making statements that indicate there is a "dump Trump" movement starting up, although at this point it's probably too late and any serious uprising may splinter the party beyond repair.

Ensuring a Democratic win in November.

Speaking of the Democratic side, Hillary has taken a substantial lead over Bernie, but mostly because of that stupid "super delegate" system that our party insists it continue to use. I can't stress how much I hate that entire thing, because it makes us look like we favor some people over others, and the exclusivity of super delegates goes against every democratic (small "D") principle I hold sacred.

I mean, why not just appoint 9 favored Democrats as a sort of Supreme Court of our party, and then have them decide who will lead us?

The system is fucked, and I will never agree with it.

That being said (yet again, and probably to an unnecessary degree), here are the numbers as of 8:30AM on the day after. Pledged super delegate numbers are in parentheses (and I correctly spelled that work without using spell checker!)

Needed to win: 2,382

Clinton 543 (457)
Sanders 349 (22)

As you can see, Hillary has a 1,000 to 371 lead, mostly due to the super delegates. This race would be MUCH closer were it not for that. We are possibly looking at a convention where a candidate conceivably may win MORE elected delegates than his opponent, only to LOSE the nomination because of that fucked up super delegate system!

This scenario will have drastic consequences to the future of our party, going well beyond an eight-year Clinton presidency. It will disillusion a huge number of voters for future primaries. I mean, why bother going to the polls if your vote can be negated by the actions of a handful of party insiders? This sends the worst message to millennials and first-time voters.

Sanders will do a lot better in the West and North than he did in the South. The Clintons have a tremendous amount of goodwill leftover from the South, and Hillary definitely capitalized upon it. So the scenario I outlined above has a serious chance of being a reality.

This needs to change.

(all the numbers above are via, a very helpful resource)

Tuesday, March 01, 2016

Trump, Clinton both have a great night

Donald Trump has done something that not a single person in the world would have thought possible tonight.

Well, obviously except for Donald Trump.

Trump has mostly cleaned up in the Super Tuesday sweepstakes, although Ted Cruz has won his home state of Texas and nearby neighbor Oklahoma. But even then, most of the contests were proportional rather than winner take all, so Trump gained delegates even while coming in second place in a couple races.

There are outright statements being made by the GOP power structure that seems to be ready to mount a last-minute challenge to Trump's presumptive nomination.

The only problem here is that Donald Trump's star is rising so fast that it seems like the Republicans either have to accept him as their nominee, or they will concede the election to the Democrats.

Is there anyone who can save the party from Trump? More importantly, is there anyone who can save the party from the leaders themselves?

Trump is merely a symptom of an illness in the Republican party. They have let themselves get so far down the rabbit hole of hatred rather than the sort of common-sense politics that even a conservative hack like Ronald Reagan practiced that they've completely lost the thread of their party, and it's unwinding before us as we watch.

I almost feel sorry for people I know that have been life-long Republicans. To see their party go so far wrong in so short a time is sad and pathetic, and I can feel their sense of tragedy about what they've become.

On the Democratic side, Hillary Clinton has made a predicted good showing in the South, with big wins in many of the states. The results are coming in slowly, but all things point to Hillary gaining a huge number of delegates tonight. I can't imagine this will be enough to stop Bernie Sanders yet, but he'll need some substantial wins in the North and West in upcoming primaries in order to continue to be a viable candidate.

Ted Cruz just quoted FDR and JFK in his speech. I'm gobsmacked!

Super Tuesday

Maybe not so super, but pretty darned good anyway!

This should probably be called "Southern Tuesday", because there are contests in the following states today:


Now, I know that strictly speaking not all those states self-identify as "southern". But there's enough drawls in those places to qualify, if you ask me.

There are also a few "northern" states in today's contests:


All things considered, there will be roughly 700 delegates on the Democratic side decided tonight. That's about 1/4 all 2,382 delegates needed to wrap up the nomination.

On the Republican side, about 600 delegates are up for grabs, which is nearly half of the required 1,237 needed to win. So for Donald Trump and the other GOP candidates, tonight will go a long way towards making or breaking the competition.

Polls will start closing shortly, and I hope to have some results posted soon!


In honor of Super Tuesday. John Oliver crushes it.