Friday, February 14, 2020

Frederick Douglas on Politics

Frederick Douglass

If only contemporary audiences could really hear the wisdom of "Liberty's Champion":

Wednesday, February 12, 2020

Abraham Lincoln on Freedom

Sifting Through the Rubble from the Granite State Primary

Pundits expected the Democrat New Hampshire primary to be an easy win for Senator Bernie Sanders (Socialist-VT). After all, Sanders had name recognition being a Senator from a neighboring state as well as his resounding victory in the 2016 Presidential primaries.  

Senator Bernie Sanders (Socialist-VT) after New Hampshire primary
So Sanders triumph in the 2020 New Hampshire primary was not a great surprise. What was remarkable, however, was the narrow margin of victory and muted percentage of support. When Sanders ran essentially against First Lady/Senator/Secretary of State Hillary Clinton (D-NY), he racked up 60% support and beat her by 22%. While there was a more crowded field in Election 2020, Sanders only won 25.9% compared to ex Mayor Pete Buttigieg (D-South Bend) 25.4%.  This flips the placement in the closely contested (and thoroughly botched) 2020 Iowa Caucuses.  

What seems significant is the degradation of support for Sanders in New Hampshire, despite his inherent advantages.  For the moment, Buttigeig is the principle competition for Sanders.  But the campaign is shifting to the Nevada Caucus on February 22, which “Mayor Pete” may not have the organization to capitalize. For the South Carolina Primary on February 29, Buttigieg seems to have difficulty attracting support from African American voters, which comprise two thirds of Palmetto State Democrat voters.

Sanders is an avowed Socialist, which is anathematic to admit for Establishment Democrats who want to win in November. Considering the malarkey (sic) in the Iowa Caucus tabulation as well as manipulating the debate rules, there seems to be a behind the scenes effort to mute “The Bern”’s momentum to allow for an alternative who the Establishment deems more electable.  

Ordinarily, the second place finisher would be the designated competition, but Mayor Pete seems weak in other early primaries. In this cycle, billionaire ex Mayor Michael Bloomberg (R-I-D-NYC) opted to skip the February primaries to vigorously compete in the twelve primaries on Super Tuesday March 3. Thus, “Mitey Mike” (sic) might play the white knight and steal an easy nomination from Bernie Sanders.

Another interesting nugget from the Granite State Primary was the third place finish by Senator Amy Klobachar (D-MN) with 19.8%.  Klobachar garnered more than double Senator Elizabeth Warren’s (D-MA) support, which was surprising as Warren was a neighboring state pol and she expended considerable resources in New Hampshire.   Warren is on the far left of the Democrat political spectrum, but it does not appear that Warren voters did not gravitate to her ideological comrade Sanders.

Klobachar seems to have been aided by a stand out debate performance in the New Hampshire debate.  Moreover Klobachar won some attention the prior week when she was the first to declare victory (despite placing 5th) in the Iowa Caucuses.  Perhaps Klobachar won some support from voters concluding that she is the viable female candidate. It is a safe assumption that Klobachar prospered with the collapse of the Warren and ex Vice President Joe Biden (D-DE) campaigns. 

Andrew Yang dropped out after earning 3.3% support in New Hampshire, as well as Senator Michael Bennett (D-CO) with 0.3% of the vote. Ex Governor Deval Patrick (D-MA) is expected to drop out after a 0.4% performance.

Joe Biden left New Hampshire early to kick off his South Carolina campaign, as he sensed the impending doom. In the end, former frontrunner Joe Biden placed fifth in New Hampshire with 8.4%.  Paired with his fourth place finish in Iowa, it is almost certain that Biden is the walking dead in the primary process, as it will be difficult to raise more funds with such pathetic early showings. It is dubious if Quid Pro Quo Joe could beat Mickey Mouse.

News coverage of the primary process loves to focus on who won the horse race and not the delegate count. Granted, the delegate stakes are paltry in Iowa and New Hampshire, but the process matters.  As long as there is a competitive three person race, the more likely it is for there to be a brokered Democrat convention, as no candidate has a clear majority. If it seems as if Sanders is cheated out of the nomination (again), James O’Keefe's exposes with Project Veritas exposed the violent sentiments of Bernie bros working on the campaign, it could be a hot time in Milwaukee in July.

Tuesday, February 11, 2020

Friday, February 7, 2020

Mayor Pete on Backyard Bullying

Preying on Fake Prayer

At the 2020 National Prayer Breakfast, President Donald Trump railed against politicians who hide behind false piety in proffering their politics. 

Pelosi's purportedly prayful approach to impeachment has not conveyed a sense of sincerely, as evidenced by a skit from Saturday Night Live.

Wednesday, February 5, 2020

No Malarkey from Joe Biden?

Apparently, former Vice President Joe Biden (D-DE) is not totally detached from reality as he offered a no malarkey assessment of his campaign's performance in the 2020 Iowa Caucuses.  With less than 70% of the vote tallied after two days, Biden is running in 4th place with 15.9% support.  On the bright side, Biden (barely) qualifies for delegates.  But on the dark side, he might place fifth behind Senator Amy Klobachar (D-MN).

Iowa is not about delegates, as only 41 were available from the Iowa Caucuses.  It is about gaining momentum at the start of the Presidential Primary campaign.  Conventional wisdom is that there are three tickets out of Iowa, and it looks like Lunch Bucket Joe got a gut punch rather than his ticket punched.  Granted,  Biden did not pour all of his resources into organizing in the Hawkeye State, like Mayor Pete Buttigieg (D-South Bend, IN) or Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA).  But a former Vice President, who the media kept touting as the national front runner,  being an also ran is devasting.

Some have suspected that the Democrat Establishment have been obliquely seeking to help Biden, because the prospect of nominating socialist Senator Bernie Sanders (Socialist-VT) scares the bejesus out of them.  Thus, the delayed submission of the Articles of Impeachment curiously required that sitting Senators (Sanders, Warren, Klobachar, Bennett) could not be out on the Hawkeye hustings when the Senate was trying President Trump.   Moreover, the prolonged odd delay in reporting results from the Iowa Caucuses (which has been attributed to software output issues) both steals the thunder from winning candidates like Buttigieg and Sanders, thus taking away momentum from Iowa and it obscures the gut punch of a fourth place finish for Biden. 

Political junkies know that Biden planned on having a South Carolina strategy, as he expects to garner giant support from the largely black electorate who would give fealty to Barack Obama's number two.   The problem is that he has to make it to the end of February.  When a candidate, like Biden, is competing as a front runner, it burns cash. If Biden has another disappointing result in New Hampshire, the money dries up and the staff starts to bolt. 

The Establishment's chosen candidate has been floored by a Hawkeye gut punch and they feel they need to slow the Sanders juggernaut lest he becomes the inevitable nominee.  So they need someone to last until the March 3rd Super Tuesday primaries, when ex Mayor Michael Bloomberg (R, I, D) can buy them some time and victories before the Milwaukee convention in July.

And THAT'S no malarkey.

Tuesday, February 4, 2020

Talking Trash About DC's Green Police

For Super Bowl XLIV, Audi made a splash with its advertisement during the Super Bowl “The Green Police” which spoof’s Cheap Trick’s 1979 hit song “Dream Police” by fusing it lyrics and images of  overzealous Eco-Cops.

After the defeat of “Cap and Trade” legislation in the United States Senate and the revelations about scientists skewing global warming data in Climate-gate, the public could chuckle at this green cacotopia while considering the virtues of clean diesel cars.

Unfortunately, Audi did not prepare a parody but a prognostication. In the District of Columbia, a Dupont Circle resident is being barraged with fines from DC’s Department of Public Works for not recycling. It seems that Patricia White shreds her junk mail and newspapers to use as cat litter. In fact, she is being quite green since colored print matter is considered not recyclable.

 But much like the “Green Police” Audi ad, the DPW inspector admitted to digging through her trash cans to fine these violations. The city and the courts have enforced fines totalling $2,000.  Perhaps she should put these soiled papers into recycling and let the city sort it out.

At home I am nicknamed a “Recycling Nazi” for trying to get all the cans and bottles into the recycling bins. But I recognize the relative futility of the exercise. Washington mandates that all offices in the city have recycling bins for paper.  I have worked late at many offices and seen these blue bins dumped into the rest of the “basura” (trash), even though they are clearly labeled-even in Spanish.   I have also been to the city dump where I have seen the recycling trucks deposit their collections with the rest of the refuse.

The DC government used the plastic bag ban as a tool to expand its power and financial base while clothing it in environmentalism.  The 5-cent a disposable plastic bag fee was supposed to stem the tide of trash in the Anacostia River.  But then Mayor Adrian Fenty quickly diverted the proceeds from these mandatory fees assessed by business on consumers to non-environmental concerns.  After the first year of operation, the DC government realized the program for people bringing their own bags had been so successful that the DC Council looked to impose other taxes to supplement this shortfall. This was not a job for Captain Planet.

Improvements in the city are stifled by the city government concocting suspect environmental excuses to slow progress.  Philanthropists are seeking to convert an abandoned school into housing for homeless veterans. The charity was able to raise enough funds but their efforts are waylaid by city officials citing sustainable growth citing that there would not be enough parking spaces for these homeless vets.

These episode about municipal obsession about recycling illustrates several points.  The DPW inspector seems like an obsessive go-getter who is vying for promotion.  Allowing governments to expand by raising taxes funds such nonsense. In the end, seeing how recycling is more honored in the breach than the observance makes the recycling law more like feel good nanny-state law.  

No wonder this place earns the nickname “The District of Calamity”

[This piece originally ran on DCBarroco]

Monday, February 3, 2020

Tulsi Gabbard on the DNC

As Democrat voters begin the 2020 Election Cycle, it seems that establishment Democrats are putting their thumbs on the scale to try to shape the outcome.

Rep. Tulsi Gabbard is outraged that the DNC and CNN are not allowing her on stage for the New Hampshire debate, despite garnering 8% support, while they are letting former Governor Deval Patrick (D-MA) onstage as he only has 2% support.

The DNC seems worried that Senator Bernie Sanders (Socialist- NH) may well sweep the first few primaries, which would make him the odds on favorite to win the Presidential nomination.  So the DNC changed the rules for qualifying for future debates, ignoring the grass roots element of qualifications.  

That rules change allows billionaire candidate ex NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg to participate.  That becomes crucial as Bloomberg is banking on a strong Super Tuesday showing on Tuesday March 3rd and the fact that he can self finance his campaign.  

Mazie Hirono on Due Process and Impeachment