N(eva)DA

Site leaders at Nevada precinct caucuses (according to two articles I just read) are being asked to sign an NDA before being allowed to pick up the election materials needed to conduct a caucus.
Now, this is new news, so more details may come to light (or not, as the whole purpose of an NDA is secrecy) and I must admit, it’s not clear what it’s all about, but it sure looks shady as hell to me. What with Pete Buttigieg paying $42,500 for a vote stealing app in Iowa and the Iowa Democratic Party saying flat out they won’t correct all the errors, and a member of Buttigieg’s campaign team being appointed to something called ‘voter security,’ and 5 out of 6 candidates on the debate stage saying they are perfectly happy with the DNC ignoring the will of the people and choosing their candidate in a smoke filled back room, like the good old days, there is certainly room for skepticism.
And there were differences in the two articles I read. One called it a non-disclosure agreement, which is what NDA usually means, and another called it a non-disparagement agreement, i.e. you can’t talk bad about any of the other candidates, which is a violation of free speech and kind of against the whole spirit of a caucus is. But even in the non-disparagement agreement article, they admitted that there was a clause in there which prohibited the site leaders from talking to the press. Which makes it a non-disclosure agreement. And if there’s anything we learned from Wednesday’s debate, it’s that NDA’s are bad.
One article said that it was voluntary, but the other quoted site leaders as saying they couldn’t get the materials unless they signed. Voluntary. Yeah, like all the women who signed NDA’s for Bloomberg were voluntary.
This is looking like a repeat of Iowa, and that’s bullshit.

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More Debate Comments

When I wrote my last blog, I was informed mostly by internet comments and the few highlights I’d seen. It wasn’t a bad blog, I just read through it and it’s all true. But, I just watched the whole thing, and there’s one part nobody’s talking about, but I think is worth mentioning.
Much has been made about Warren eviscerating Bloomberg, but nobody’s talking much about Mayor McCheat’s lowering the hammer on Klobuchar. It was good dirt, it needed to be said, and Klobuchar is finished.
When you have to say “Are you saying I’m dumb?” it’s bad. When you’re out among friends and say that, you might elicit sympathetic comments, maybe an apology, and Pete did back off a bit, like “I’m not saying you’re dumb, but…” and the thing was, she was caught being extremely dumb. Both uninformed and unintelligent. The back story: a couple of days ago, Klobuchar was interviewed by some Hispanic station, and the reporter asked her if she knew the name of the Mexican president. She said no.
Now, to be fair, I have to admit that I couldn’t remember his name off-hand, either. I had to google it. Same as Amy Klobuchar did.
But when the question came up, she didn’t say “I’m sorry. I should have known that. But, I take relations with Mexico very seriously and promise that as president I shall work closely with President Obrador to improve relations between our two countries.” Seriously, how hard is that?
But no, she says she just forgot, she says she made a mistake, of course she knows the name of the Mexican president, Lopez Obrador.
I watched the interview. That wasn’t the case at all. She didn’t know.
So, she’s kind of dumb, maybe, at least for a presidential candidate. At any rate somebody that doesn’t do a bit of research before a major interview. Not executive material.
But, worse than that, kind of dishonest. It’s not the incident that’s damaging. It’s the cover-up.

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Nevada Debate

Pretty much everybody agrees that Warren had a great night. Pretty much everybody agrees that Bloomberg got totally trashed. But where was Tom Steyer?
Not on the stage, not being talked about. So, he’s effectively out of the race. All of our anti-billionaire rhetoric can now be aimed at Bloomberg. All environmentalists should come to Bernie Sanders.
So, let’s talk about the 6 candidates that were there. First, Bloomberg. If these debates matter, and I think they do, a little bit, he’s toast. Maybe not right away, it took Kamala Harris a couple of months to drop out after her on-stage crucifixion at the hands of Tulsi Gabbard, but eventually. He can spend a shit ton of money on ads, memes, audience plants, and endorsements but all his money is not going to erase Warren’s attack -which was not about his money as much as it was about being rude to women. Also, the fact the Bloomberg himself looks a bit like a horse didn’t help. Bernie nailed him on the money. Then Pete nailed him on the money and Bernie turned around and said “You, too, Pete. You’ve got lots of billionaire donors.” So, that’s another result of last night. The gloves are off.
Pete, overall, did O.K. But, he will never be able to do any better than that because all he has is platitudes and platitudes don’t get out the vote. They don’t get people excited.
Warren, as noted above, had a great night. Does it mean she’s back in the race? We’ll see soon. If it translates into a strong finish in Nevada, she’s back in the race. If it doesn’t then she’s gone the first 3 states without gaining delegates and there’s very little chance of making it up.
Biden finished Iowa and New Hampshire as badly as Warren and had a mediocre debate performance. He’ll stay in until South Carolina, for sure, hoping for a big win there, but I doubt if he’s going to get it. He’s from another era, and barely registers with anybody under 60.
Klobuchar also felt the wrath of Warren last night. I wouldn’t say she responded badly (Yay, Minnesota! I didn’t know post-its were invented there. Did you know that?), but her voice was screechy and her hair kind of had that same unfortunate wobble that it did a few debates back. She is out of her league and I don’t get what she expects from staying in the race.

So, to Bernie, my main man. Nobody’s saying he had the best night, but they never do. He also never has the worst night. He’s consistent, and he’s had a pretty good debate every debate. It’s sort of like the primaries. I think the projections that show him winning every single state are kind of wildly optimistic and that’s a bubble that could be burst at any time, maybe even South Carolina, but Bernie will do well in every single state. He has a ground organization and enthusiastic followers in every state. There are working class people, and uninsured or under-insured people, and people with student debt, and people with family members in jail for marijuana, in every single state and they are natural Bernie voters. There will be no states where he is not in the top 3, and very few where he is not one of the top two. In most states, he will be the winner.
Bernie Sanders will win the nomination and be the next president of the United States.

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It Can't Be Bloomberg

This business of Mike Bloomberg running for the Democratic nomination is bullshit. He is a Republican. He was a Republican when he held his only political office, mayor of New York City. He governed as a hard-line, law and order and screw people’s rights Republican. He supported George W. Bush, still praises the guy, and has supported and given money to other Republican candidates, notably Pat Toomey in Pennsylvania, who narrowly defeated a Democrat and tilted the balance of power to the Republicans in the Senate.
And yet, he’s racking up endorsements like crazy. Over 100 mayors have endorsed him, and a significant number of them are black mayors, like the mayors of Washington, D.C. and Houston. The reason the black, female (Oh, btw, Bloomberg’s sexist as hell, too, and Emily’s List has endorsed him. RIP Emily’s list) mayor of D.C. is backing him is (I’m paraphrasing, but only slightly) “Trump won by spending a lot of his own money, now we’ve got somebody who can top that.”
They are so afraid that a Democrat who has FDR values might be smeared as a leftist that they are willing to run a mini-Trump against Trump. Even if it works, Democrats lose.
The nomination of Mike Bloomberg would not be a clever strategy to defeat Trump. It would be the complete surrender of the Democratic Party and everything it ever stood for.

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Bloomberg and Pelosi are Fucking Snowflakes

I’ve been hearing a lot about how us Bernie Bros are rude, and argumentative, and divisive, and constantly attack other candidates’ supporters, and use bad language, and I really wonder where it’s coming from. Were there some incidents? Nancy Pelosi mentioned it a few days ago. And then Mike Bloomberg came out with a very nasty ad today, black backgrounds, breathless narration, screen shots of nasty things Berners have apparently said flashing by at high speeds, quotes from a couple Bernie hating papers talking about the terrifying Bernie Bros.
Screen shots? Yup. All of their talk about us swearing at people, and threatening people, and assaulting people, were all on line. That’s it. Occasionally a few Sanders supporters got overheated on the Internet. Made some rude comments. Put out some memes. That’s their whole case.
Welcome to the internet, Nancy and Mike. Stuff gets said. If people post stupid stuff, Sanders people respond.
I suspect it’s not our rudeness and aggression that bothers them. It’s that we’re right. That, for some reason, totally infuriates them, and makes them lose all sense of proportion.

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Binge watching is a change in our lives which I would never have predicted. It’s different, when you swallow a show in big chunks, rather than in bite sized weekly increments. And I’ve been doing it a lot lately.
But, you also go through them too fast, like a pack of oreos, and they’re gone. We just finished watching The Big Bang tonight. It was pretty much the only show Helena and I could watch together. The Venn overlap of our TV tastes is very narrow. Occasionally I’ll get drawn into one of her dark Scandinavian murder mysteries, but she absolutely doesn’t want to watch any science fiction stuff or superheroes. But, we both liked The Big Bang.
A lot of people say it kind of lost the thread in the middle, and I can see what they mean. They niced everybody up a bit…Raj learned how to speak, Howard couldn’t be such a creep after he was married, stuff like that. They stopped going for constant laughs and added a bit of pathos. Like the relationship between Leonard and his mom. Yeah, there were some laughs, but it was a sad story.
I was O.K. with it. I knew the characters well enough by that point that that interested me and as long as I got a couple of laugh out loud moments in each episode – and there always were – I was satisfied.
Haven’t really decided what to watch next.

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Are Gay Jokes about Buttigieg O.K. ?

Some people say “avoid the comments section, that way lies madness!” but I say the comments section is where it’s at. That’s were you find humor, and an occasional nugget of wisdom.
That is also, of course, where you find the large and seemingly unstoppable flow of ignorance, vitriol, and pig-headedness that is the mainstream of human culture.
It ain’t pretty, but it’s important to know it’s there.
Anyway, just now someone posted an actual headline from CNN that said “Sanders leads the pack, Buttigieg sneaks up the rear.” Now, that might not have been intended as a gay joke at all. It’s a common enough phrase, and we all know what is meant.
But, (or should I say butt?) in the comments section, people were going to town. It is a law of the social media universe that every pun is met by a whole wave of puns, because that’s an easy way to look clever and everybody in the comments section is an attention seeking 3rd grader at heart. I know I am.
Of course, the tone police came in. I’m a bit of a grammar noodge myself, so I totally understand the urge of people to come in and, instead of discussing the topic at hand, tell other people how the conversation should be regulated. So, I’m not criticizing people for saying “You shouldn’t make gay jokes about Pete Buttigieg. That’s not nice, and Bernie wouldn’t approve of that.” They mean well, and they’re not entirely wrong.
But if by some bizarre fluke Pete Buttigieg, the racist and not overly competent former mayor of a mid-sized Indiana city, were to get the Democratic nomination, does anybody think for one second the Republicans will avoid gay jokes?
They will be coming at us from every angle, 24/7, full volume, and they won’t all be jokes.
In fairness, the Republicans will have similar attacks on everybody. If Bernie gets the nomination we’re going to be hearing “Communist Jew!” all day long for months. But, Bernie can deal with it. He will keep explaining what Democratic Socialism really means, and so will his supporters, and the anti-semitic thing has its limits.
It appeals to Trump’s base, but most Americans don’t really hate Jews that much. We love Barbara Streisand, and admire Ruth Bader Ginsberg. We laugh our asses off at Ben Stiller movies, and some of us even like Adam Sandler.
Pete, on the other hand, does not have policies. At least, not any he has clearly articulated. So, the election will become a referendum on homosexuality. Which is not what we need at this time, and which we would probably lose.

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