Rainy Day

It was raining like a bastard when I got up this morning and left the flat at 7:30 to catch the train up to beautiful Kralupy nad Vltavou, where I teach for a couple of hours every Monday.
My plan was to try and get some poetry written on the train, mostly one I just haven’t been able to figure out the ending for. But, lo and behold, the last two lines just popped into my head as I was leaving the Metro and walking into Masarykova Nadrazi. Still early, had time to buy a ticket and a nut roll. At 17 crowns, you can’t beat it. Actually a filling breakfast.
Then, I saw on the board that my train was on platform 5. But, maybe I saw wrong. I got on the train and thought “This doesn’t look right.” It had different seats than the train I usually catch and it didn’t have the chyron with the destination and all. So, I asked somebody and he said no, it’s going to Neratovice which, since I have no idea where that is, I didn’t know if it would even be on my way. Tried to get off but the train started right then.
So, I had to get off at the first station, wait for the train back, and catch the next train from Masarykovo. Which was delayed.
I did, however, get out my poetry notebook and once I tacked on my brilliant final two lines, I realized they rhymed a little too perfectly. I’d rhymed live with live, and hive with hive.
So, I had to add a couple more verses to cover that, but I got it in the end.
And nobody was too worried that I was almost an hour late.

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Red Flag in Nevada

Emma Goldman has been named Voter Protection Director for the Nevada Democratic Caucus. It’s nice that they realize the need for a voter protection director, especially after Iowa was so fucked up that a lot of people may never trust the Democratic Party again. It’s also nice that they’ve agreed not to use the Shadow app. And Emma Goldman looks like a very nice lady. She probably has friends.
BUT, she is a paid staffer for Pete Buttigieg, and if that isn’t a steaming pile of bullshit, I don’t know what is.
I know all my vbnmw friends and family think I’m paranoid, and whiny, and ready to call foul at the slightest infraction because I’m Bernie or Bust, but dammit, the infractions keep coming. It doesn’t seem to matter how much we object to their cheating, Tom Perez does not resign, and they keep on cheating.
Here’s my suggestion: if there’s going to be a voter protection director, then there should be a voter protection director from each campaign, and they should all be together all the time and all use the same equipment and methods, so nobody can sneak off and do something dirty behind everybody’s back – which I am certain they are planning to do.
I don’t know what polling places in America are like now, but when I was living there, each polling place would be staffed by Democratic Volunteers and Republican volunteers, who would sit there all day and drink coffee and talk about their kids (my Mom did it a few times, she was very civic minded like that)
I don’t know that it was a perfect system. I’m sure political cheating goes right back to the days of John Adams, but at least they were trying. I’m very tired of this “We can cheat, fuck you, haha” attitude that the Democratic Party is taking.

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Today's Topic

Having a bit of trouble finding a good topic to write my blog about this Sunday morning. Didn’t write one last night as I was falling asleep in front of the screen. It wasn’t really late, I was just a bit too high. So, it sometimes happens. I tell myself that in the morning, with a clearer head, a topic will present itself.
Usually it works, today not so much. There was an article in the Washington Post, owned by the richest man in the world who hates Bernie Sanders because Bernie Sanders wants him to pay taxes, that directly called Bernie a communist. I wasted about half an hour reading the article and checking a few key points in Google and had a humdinger of a blog ready to go, with zingers at the end of each very short and pointed paragraph, but then noticed that the article was from 2016.
They’re saying the same shit today, but I’ll wait for a more up to date article before attacking on that point.
Should write something about the New Hampshire debate, but didn’t watch it live and haven’t really heard enough about it.
My bright news of the morning was somebody on Facebook (who I should actually know in real life, but have never met), who I’d previously had some discussions with about how she liked Pete, said she was considering Bernie because her children had asked her to.
I imagine that scenario playing out in millions of families across the country, and it makes me feel good all over.

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Pete's Latest Totally Not Cheating Thing

O.K., I suppose it really is time I stopped talking about Iowa and moved on. I’m not going to ‘forget about it’ like some people are suggesting, they would like us to forget any crooked thing the DNC does, but we need to talk about something else, there’s no more to be done or said about it at this point anyway, and Bernie did win Iowa, largely due to the vigilance and perseverance of Bernie’s Iowa people.
But, since it seems to have elevated cheatin’ Pete into an actual contender, it’s totally fair game to scrutinize the Blue Lives Matter former mayor of South Bend, Indiana a little bit closer. Which is why it’s so totally weird that he would do this thing here.

I mean, he must have realized that people would spot that, because Berner’s with computers following the election with the intensity of a computer game is a very real group of people, and kind of out to get him at the moment. Anyway, as per the link, he added applause in the studio, and then aired a little segment of a town hall speech as an ad. But, in the original speech, there had been no applause.
Now, TV uses that all the time, and canned laughter, it’s standard. But when you do it in a presidential election, that is super lame. Back in the days when people expected a bit of a higher standard from their politicians, that would have been disqualifying.
Coupled with Shadowgate, and the thing a while back where he said a bunch of people in South Carolina had endorsed him and they all said “Whoa, hang on there a second, guy, we didn’t endorse you, we never said anything even close to endorsing you and we’re not even sure we like you,” a pattern is starting to emerge. And it isn’t pretty.

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Still More on Iowa

Let me start with the positive. Bernie won Iowa. It took a lot of yelling and screaming and fighting with people who are supposed to be in the same party to do it, but Bernie won Iowa. It took him having his own app, built in house, to combat the Shadow app the IDP paid $60,000, and Buttigieg paid $42,500, for, but Bernie won Iowa.
Now for the negative. The worst thing about this whole debacle, in my view, is what it says about the American voters. Pete Buttigieg just got caught, red handed, cheating his ass off, and he got an 8 point bump in New Hampshire.
Now, I’m not too worried about Pete winning New Hampshire, or any future races, but you never know. Voting machines can be hacked, probably even easier than a caucus vote where there are lots of witnesses, but team Bernie is apparently being much more vigilant, and combative, than they were in 2016, so that’s a good thing.
But, Pete cheated. That should be the main thing people remember about Iowa. Unfortunately, only the Bernie people see it that way.

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Not Ready to Shut Up About Iowa

A lot of people seem ready to just forget about Iowa and move on. I’m not, quite. First, it’s not over. They’re up to 80 something percent as I write this, but it’s been two days. Then, since there have been so many questions about Shadow, like what is it, what does it do, how does it do it, and why did Pete Buttigieg pay it $42,500 dollars?, that it seems only fair that they take another half day to compare the figures from Shadow with the paper record from the precinct county chair and see if they match. Maybe then they could all publish these figures online, in a clear format, precinct by precinct, so people who were actually there could compare and if everything matched, computer, paper, memory, then we’d have to say “Well, even if it seems strange that they blocked the Des Moines Register poll, and then that premature victory speech with almost zero reporting, I guess we have to admit that Pete didn’t actually cheat.”
If there are discrepancies, and there will be because there already have been, then they need to be corrected for sure, but also those responsible need to be called out.
Then we need to have this app examined. Tested. Analyzed. Whatever you do with an app to figure out just exactly how it was switching votes.

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Ioweirdness

O.K., the Iowa precinct caucuses were a huge fuck up. There are a couple of silver linings, but I’ll get to those at the end.
The problem, so they say, was an app that didn’t work properly. Now, I admit I don’t know anything about the design and development of apps. Not a computer person. But an app that just registers the number of votes in each precinct when a precinct chairman keys them in strikes me as a pretty simple thing. It’s basically a spreadsheet.
But the Iowa Democratic Party paid a company named Shadow (first suggestion – don’t do business with anybody called ‘Shadow.’ They are actually TRYING to convey an image of shadiness, darkness, secrecy, etc.. Things done in the shadows are not good things) $63,000 for the app, so they wouldn’t have to use the old, primitive (but entirely functional) method of counting the votes on paper and then phoning them in. Oh, and did I mention that Shadow is managed by a bunch of people from Hillary’s 2016 campaign? Probably worth mentioning. Then, Pete Buttigieg also chipped in $42,500. I can’t imagine why a candidate would do that, but I suppose he had reasons.
Then, with less than 1% of the precincts reporting, Pete gives a speech claiming victory. While he was doing that, a lot of precincts were trying to enter their numbers and having no luck, because nobody had thought to actually test the app or anything like that, and when they just tried to phone the numbers in, they wound up on hold for hours.
So, things were looking bad. But, Bernie had had observers in every single precinct. People were recording votes and taking pictures. So, the results were delayed, and aren’t even all in and official yet, but it’s clear that Bernie Sanders has won Iowa. That’s part of the silver lining.
People are angry at the party and many are calling for Tom Perez’ (DNC chairman) resignation. I doubt that will happen, although it should. Also, Pete has been exposed as kind of a cheating low life. I don’t know that he actually did anything illegal and in today’s morally compromised politics, he might not be forced from the race. But, he just might. At any rate, he is going to be known as Pete the Cheat from this point forward. It was bad. The other part of the silver lining has nothing to do with the app, and was not too surprising. Biden got crushed. Didn’t break 15%. And he probably won’t in New Hampshire, either. He’s toast.
So, essentially the race is now between Sanders and Warren, and Warren tends to lose voters as fast as she gains them. Bernie’s going to win this thing.

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