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Posted by on Feb 25, 2020 in Blog, Essays, Politics | 0 comments

Uncle Dick for President!

 

Al Pacino in Godfather part 3

 

JUST WHEN I THOUGHT I WAS OUT, THEY PULL ME BACK IN!

ANOTHER DEMOCRATIC DEBATE, ANOTHER SHITSHOW, ANOTHER COLUMN

“Uncle Dick in the deer stand.”

Did anyone catch that line? Really, check the record. AKlob muttered that pearl midway into the circus shitshow. But “Uncle Dick in the deer stand” got buried in the avalanche of shouting matches with Bernie, plus Bloomie’s miserable attempt at stand-up comedy, and Uncle Joe’s chuckle-worthy gaffe about “150,000,000” dead Americans from guns, a line that I kinda’ wanted to cheer because that would mean I can now find a great parking spot next time at Costco.

Gee, who would have guessed Marrianne Williamson would ADD to the sanity of the debate? Too bad she dropped out.

I think it’s time Liz Warren gets slapped with a restraining order for stalking Mike Bloomberg. Yeah, I know he’s a fraud, a liar, a cutthroat, a racist, a Wall Street scumbag with a deeply-seeded Napolean complex with the personality of a junior high assistant principal, and pretty much the scum of the earth for trying to buy the nomination of a major political party. But hey — who among us doesn’t have a flaw or two?

Tom Steyer seems like a nice guy. Exactly like Bloomberg — except that he’s likable, honest, a decent speaker, and actually a real Democrat. But Steyer has one thing I can’t overlook. That TIE. Good grief man, it’s a Democratic Presidential Debate, not the office Christmas party. Seriously, has he changed that tie in six months? Bloomberg beats Steyer all to hell on the necktie issue. And if I was either one of these billionaires, I’d take every vote I can get.

Speaking of buying votes, Bloomie is paying social media hounds $2,500 a month to praise him. Really, it’s true. You can look it up. The Bloomster’s people are paying 500 social media activists to like, and post, and persuade, and influence all you readers. So, anyone who jumps into my thread and defends Bloomberg is likely a paid agent.

But that’s not nearly as appalling as Uncle Joe Biden pandering…..oops, I mean promising to fill the next Supreme Court vacancy with “an African-American woman” while speaking in a state where 60 percent of the Dems are Black.  Excuse me Joe, but I just heard five Democrats in the front row say they’d much rather have Bloomberg’s $2.500. But it has to be in cash.

During the debate, Bernie was untouchable for the most part, even though the back of his head must have felt like he’d just driven circles through Dealey Plaza. Bernie did a wonderful job doubling down on Castro, Mao, the USSR, Lenin, the Stasi, Nicolae Ceausescu, and Che Guevara, but at least he didn’t mention Susan Sarandon. Not even once. So, let’s give him that.

Speaking of Sanders, I had a huge problem with him claiming the United States overthrew democratically-elected governments all over the world, multiple times. Who does he think he is! That man needs to read some history. How could we elect a president like that who makes up so much nonsense and won’t tell Americans the truth?

Back to AKlob. Her answer to the final question of the night about ‘the greatest misconception” about her was answered with a grand slam. AKlob sheepishly noted that some people think “she’s boring.” AKlob noted that she’s really not boring at all. Not in person. Wow, I feel much better now. I was terrified Klobuchar’s doddering demeanor and forced smile was a put on. I’m so relieved she’s actually a barrel of laughs in person.

Mayor Pete didn’t damage his chances tonight, but he didn’t do much to help his candidacy either, which might be a win for an openly gay man running for office in South Carolina. I figure if Mayor Pete makes it to his car without getting called some homophobic slur, that’s got to be chalked up as a major step forward in the history of civil rights.

Did I forget anyone?

Oh yeah!

Uncle Dick!

Where’s the deer stand?

UNCLE DICK FOR PRESIDENT!

And THE NAKED COWBOY FOR VEEP!

__________

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Posted by on Feb 22, 2020 in Blog, Essays, Politics | 1 comment

Caucus Cliffnotes (The Lakes/Las Vegas)

 

the lakes las vegas

CAUCUS CLIFFNOTES (THE LAKES/LAS VEGAS)

My Experience at the 2020 Nevada Caucus
(MJ Christensen Elementary School)
Saturday, 22 February 2020

My local caucus was held today at the MJ Christensen Elementary School. Only in Las Vegas will you see a kid’s school named after a diamond dealer.

Cliffnotes, as follows:

— 28 people showed up today at my local caucus, which was held from 12 noon to 2 pm. This number was added to the 40 who voted early. Hence, 68 persons voted in my precinct in the 2020 Democratic Caucus.

— The first alignment resulted in the following tally of votes (early votes plus those present):

32 Sanders
10 Warren
9 Buttigieg
8 Steyer
5 Biden
1 Klobuchar
1 Gabbard
2 Undecided

Viability required 15 percent of all precinct votes, meaning 11 was the magic number to be counted for delegates. This meant only Sanders was viable after the first round of voting.

— Next, each candidate’s representative (one person was selected from each group, which were gathered around tables) was given 1 minute to make a plea to get votes on the realignment (second round of voting). I was stunned at how articulate my neighbors were when speaking. Each person made a very good case for their candidate.

— Then, another vote was taken, which was called the realignment. This open ballot resulted in some surprising results as people moved around the classroom. The 28 persons who showed up were allowed to move. The other (early) votes were counted electronically on an iPad (as a second choice option on the ballot — it was entirely electronic):

39 Sanders
15 Warren
11 Steyer
5 Buttigieg
(I can’t remember the exact scrap count)

— This meant that three candidates were declared “viable,” meaning they would receive delegates. The math formula for allotment was as follows:

4 delegates for Sanders
2 delegates for Warren
2 delegates for Steyer

— There was some confusion about the non-11 count for some candidates. Obviously, only the persons who showed up were able to make an on-the-fly decision. Some votes ended up being wasted. That’s the benefit of actually attending a caucus versus doing the half-assed thing and voting early. While all voting is good, I also found the line to be much shorter today than expected. I waited only 20 minutes to register and the caucus took no longer than 90 minutes from start to finish. I also got to meet some of my neighbors, which was nice.

— I was asked to be a delegate for my candidate but declined. I preferred to give that seat to a Tulsi Gabbard backer who came to support my candidate and I befriended during the caucus. The young man was in his 20s and I thought it was far more important to let a younger person be engaged in the process rather than me, who has been in these battles before. Let others have fun.

Now, my major takeaways:

1. Sanders is a force and the clear frontrunner. My precinct went for Clinton in 2016, by about 55-45 margin. This time, the two progressive candidates took 75 percent of the vote. While 68 votes aren’t statistically significant, it’s not insignificant either. Apparently, Sanders will win Nevada easily statewide, showing this state is far more progressive than 4 or 8 years ago. This gives me great hope as to the future of the movement here and the energy of young people who are the driving force for progressive causes.

2. All the Sanders supporters were young, meaning under 40. Again, the future. Great demographics of progressive causes and democratic socialism. This is particularly satisfying in a city like money-obsessed Las Vegas, which isn’t exactly the epicenter of Leftist politics.

3. Biden’s turnout in my precinct was pathetic. It was shocking. Biden should perform well in my area, which is older, established, and above-average income. Apparently, Biden will do much better statewide, especially among minorities and the braindead union vote, but his showing in my area should be a serious cause for alarm.

4. Tom Steyer. Seriously? Wow. Steyer had a solid showing in my precinct and was well organized. Good spokespeople. Finishing third is quite a feat for Steyer, which won’t draw those numbers throughout Nevada, but who did gain some enthusiasm.

5. Pete Buttigieg got shafted. He was right there in votes close to Warren and Steyer but then collapsed in the realignment. I actually stopped the meeting at one point and spoke to make sure the Buttigieg people weren’t pissed and would leave thinking something was rigged. To go from nearly getting delegates to being shut out (by Steyer, no less) was a baffling outcome to all those in the room.

So, I ended up caucusing for Elizabeth Warren. Sanders has my heart on the issues. But Warren is the candidate best suited to win. I think she’s a longshot, of course. But I was proud to stand with her today.

Finally, I like caucusing. I much prefer having to take part in the political process rather than standing in line anonymously. I presume this is a minority viewpoint and caucusing will be a thing of the past, but I do like the old fashioned way of discussing and advocating for a party nominee.

I want to thank all those who read my earlier reports, commented, and even lobbied me to support their candidate. Please know that I took each instance of outreach very seriously. In fact, I was honored by your interest and swayed by your passions.

More to come, but that wraps up my report from The Lakes/Las Vegas.

FINAL FUNNY STORY: I’m not known in my community, but everyone sees me running each day, which I have been doing for the past seven years. While we were waiting during the caucus, an older woman came up to me. Marieta was sitting beside me. The woman, perhaps 70 and for Biden said, “I’ve never seen you before with your shirt on!” I looked at her and was like, “huh?” Marieta looked at her like she was crazy. Then, the lady mentioned she sees me running in warm months all the time and recognized me from the street. At least, that’s “our story” for now.

__________

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Posted by on Feb 20, 2020 in Blog, Essays, Politics | 2 comments

Rethinking Marxism

 

karl-marx-photo

 

de obmibus debutandum

(Translated from Latin, means to “doubt everything.”)

 

If Karl Marx was alive today, he’d be a frequent guest on news and talk shows.  He’d be a regular on CNN, MSNBC, and perhaps even FOX News.  Imagine Marx sitting opposite Sean Hannity or Tucker Carlson.

Think of Geraldo Rivera, only with brains and integrity.

Marx was not a political fanatic, nor was he an extremist — certainly not when you examine his many writings.  In fact, back in his day, during the mid-to-late 19th century, Marx is what we’d now call a social commentator. He wrote about politics, economics, and current events. Think of a leftist version of Jeanine Pirro, only much better looking.

Talking heads didn’t exist back then, not as a television entity nor with David Byrne.  So instead, Marx scribed all of his ideas.  Those ideas were published in various newspapers and periodicals, including even in outlets based in the United States.  He also wrote a few notable books, which weren’t particularly well-received when they were initially published, which is another way of saying Marx was way ahead of his time.  Too bad Marx didn’t have an agent.  He might have ended up as a capitalist.

Marx doesn’t merit our reverence, though he has come to personify a global movement.  Many patriarchs of what we now call “socialism” pre-dated his work and expressed similar ideas with far superior clarity.  Indeed, Marx is no ideological messiah.  But he doesn’t deserve universal scorn, nor any condemnation, either.  Based on several passages of his writings and his character revealed later by those who knew him best (and chronicled these encounters), it’s accurate to say Marx would have been mortified to see the terrors later perpetrated in his name long after his death, carried out more than half a century later in places like the Soviet Union, Mao’s China, East Germany, North Korea, and other bastard regimes.

The fact is, Marx only commented on the events of the 19th Century, a period of vast social upheaval, the industrial revolution, and grotesque inequity.  He couldn’t have foreseen the bloody horrors to come (done in his name).  Like Jesus or Mohammed fronting similar popular movements some millennia earlier, we don’t hold them responsible for horrors like the Crusades, Islamic terrorism, or the worst catastrophe in the history of the world — The Jim Bakker Show.  The mullahs twist Islam.  The Falwells and Grahams twist Christianity.  And Lenin twisted the hell out of Marx, worse than a dishrag.  Pol Pot would have been utterly inconceivable to this struggling academic from Trier, Germany living in the 1830s.  Besides, Pol Pot just sounds way too weird to be taken seriously, unless its a marijuana dispensary.

Marx got many things right.  He also got some things wrong, which goes with the territory when commentating on unstable political and economic systems with lots of moving parts.  He never proposed forming any kind of political movement, though several grotesque variants materialized which dragged his name and historical reputation through the mud.  He declined opportunities to join parties and organize revolts.  Marx became a victim of history.  I would go so far as to say he was a tragic figure.  The average (uninformed) American places him somewhere in the company of Adolf Hitler and Charles Manson.  Such is the fallout of a supposedly free society with allegedly the greatest access to information than any civilization in history.  America, fuck yeah.

Leninism, Stalinism, and Maoism have become the nuclear holocausts of political thought.  Like Marx’s writings, the idea of fission may have initially been scientifically correct.  What was actually done with the knowledge becomes a far more explosive topic.

But that’s not how our popular attitudes gel or how meanings evolve.  Ideology isn’t organic.  Rather, it’s evolutionary and politically pasteurized by the events of the day and then seasoned with bias.  We always seek simple answers to complex questions.  Capitalism = Good.  Karl Marx = Bad.  End of discussion.  Now, turn on the ballgame and grab me another beer.  U-S-A!

Indeed, real understanding takes work.  Why read or study or think when you can wave a flag?  Plowing through deliberate disinformation takes even more work.  Overcoming historical misrepresentation even takes courage.  Most of all, it requires an open mind, in a world that largely consists of nonsense barreling down the lunatic fringe assembly line. Like trying to pour wine into a corked bottle.  Nothing gets in.  Even the most advanced societies are a giant cork of ignorance.  Closed societies, especially those impoverished or tied to religion, are locked in a barrel.

Nonetheless, Marx and his ideas deserve to be understood accurately, instead of the amalgamation of knee-jerk emotions and the lightning rod for evil that they’ve become.  Marxist to contemporary politics what a pedophile is to daycare.  It’s an unthinkable prospect.

Given how loosely Marx’s name gets tossed around — especially with the misnomer of “Socialism” being such a timely topic — now is a perfect opportunity to look more closely at this fascinating man who lived from 1812 to 1883.

As you read further, I’ll later pose a question:  Is being a Marxist — that is, believing in the words and ideas expressed by this social commentator — really so extreme?  Ponder that question.  Then, take this short test I composed based on his life and his writings.

Here are 25 things about Karl Marx you might not know (taken from various biographies I’ve read):

(1)  Marx wasn’t Russian.  He never once visited any of the countries which would (allegedly) later come to practice his philosophy.  Marx was born in what’s now Germany.  He lived in one of the more enlightened societies in the world, a time and place filled with cultural and artistic expression.

(2)  Marx’s parents were Jewish.  However, they later converted to Christianity (Protestantism).  This was reportedly to avoid fears of rampant antisemitism in central Europe.  Young Karl Marx was baptized in the Lutheran Church.  Tell that to your Sunday School class.

(3)  From early adulthood, Marx openly claimed to be an atheist.  Oddly enough, that self-proclamation — highly unusual for its time — made him even more of a social outcast than if he were Jewish.  His rejection of religion certainly hurt him professionally and economically much of his life.

(4)  Marx and his wife had six children.  By all accounts, he was a devoted father.  Marx created funny nicknames for each of them.

(5)  Marx was burdened by health problems during most of his life.  He had severe liver problems, suffered from rheumatoid arthritis, endured migraine headaches, and complained constantly of toothaches.

(6)  Marx was an insomniac.  He often slept no more than three hours a night.

(7)  Marx loved the arts.  He initially wanted to become a theater and drama critic.  But his father talked him out of this career pursuit insisting there was no way to make a decent living attending opera and plays and writing about the theater.

(8)  Marx was immensely popular with his peers while studying in college.  He often paid for parties and nights out on the town with friends.  He dated often.  His out-of-control spending habits left him and his parents in debt.

(9)  Marx attended universities in Bonn, Berlin, and Jena.  He earned a Ph.D. and was a Doctor of Philosophy.

(10)  Marx lived in poverty during most of his life.  While they collaborated, his close friend Friedrich Engels provided him money on which to live every month.

(11)  Marx met his lifetime writing partner Engels at a street cafe while living in Paris in 1843.  After a two-year residency, they both moved to Brussels where they remained for another two years.  After that, they moved to Cologne along with their families.  Remarkably, the duo long associated with communism spent most of their lives in Germany, France, Belgium, and England — democratic countries that would become the bulwark against the movement during most of the next century.  However, one can also say these nations are among the models of modern democratic-socialism.  So, perhaps Marx’s ideas did gain fertile ground.

(12)  Marx’s personal hero was Spartacus.  He was a Roman slave and leader of a popular uprising and revolt during the Roman Empire.

(13)  Marx’s personal motto was “nothing human is alien to me.”

(14)  One of Marx’s early political writings was an expose on the gross mistreatment and exploitation of vineyard workers along the Rhine River.  The controversial story caused quite a stir and led to unskilled workers’ rights being debated seriously for the first time.

(15)  Marx did not invent communism.  This term essentially means private property rights are dissolved in favor of common (shared) ownership.  Such ideas were first proposed by French philosophers, including Jean Jacques Rousseau, in 1762.  Those ideas would spark the French Revolution, a generation later.

(16)  Karl Marx had drug problems, but that was much more common than is usually reported.  Because of his intense pain and multiple ailments, Marx often took heavy doses of arsenic and opium, which in those days were thought to cure for some health problems.  He found it so painful to sit down that he often wrote while standing.

(17)  Marx spent most of his life working as a journalist.  His writings were revolutionary at the time.  Some of his ideas included abolishing child labor, providing free public education to all citizens and making school attendance mandatory, and implementing a gradual income tax based on personal income.  Virtually all western societies would adopt these “revolutionary” ideas within the next 70 years.

(18)  Marx was a fast and prolific writer.  One of his most famous books, The Communist Manifesto, was completed in only six weeks.  Das Capital, the first edition of his masterwork was also written in a short amount of time.

(19)  Marx was an outcast and a refugee.  A year after The Communist Manifesto was released in 1848, Marx was expelled from Prussia (modern-day Germany) and stripped of his citizenship.

(20)  Marx was highly-principled and ideological.  At the time he was expelled from the country, Marx was the editor of a progressive newspaper that featured stories on economic inequity and unfairness.  When he learned that the paper would be shut down by authorities, the final issue of the paper was printed in red ink.  That act of defiance later became the basis of red being associated with communism.

(21)  Marx knew English and lived in England for a time.  After being expelled from Germany, he found a job as a reporter in England and moved to London.

(22)  Marx even wrote for American readers.  While in London, Marx wrote for an American newspaper called The New York Daily Tribune.  He served as one of the paper’s European correspondents.  Marx initially wrote in his native German language which was translated into English once it reached New York.  However, Marx learned English well enough to eventually write all of his columns in the English language.  He was fluent in at least four languages.

(23)  Marx had a strong grasp of American history and society.  Among the many topics covered by Marx was the issue of slavery in America.  He wrote passionately about its terrible inhumanity.  When The New York Daily Tribune changed management prior to the American Civil War, it also changed its editorial position on this issue and was no longer an abolitionist paper.  Despite needing the job at the time, he parted ways with his employer.

(24)  Marx got the geography for his ideas wrong.  His ideas were intended to be applied to the most modern industrialized societies, such as England, Germany, and France.  Instead, they were adopted in Russia (and later China) which were overwhelmingly agrarian societies and lacked the proper political and economic infrastructure to achieve success.

(25). Marx saw the signs of what was to come.  Late in his life, Marx attended a political rally that had formed and taken his name.  When he found out what they believed and wanted to accomplish, he famously proclaimed, “If they are Marxists, then I’m not a Marxist.”

While writing about this topic, I came up with a couple more:

(26)  Marx loved poetry and often wrote about romance.  He penned dozens of poems, later judged to be quite respectable.  These poems were discovered after his death and were published in 1929.

(27)  Marx is buried in England.  His body rests in London, at Highgate Cemetery.

So, do these revelations change your idea of Marxism?

In this poisonous political climate of such grotesque historical ignorance, enlightenment clouded by the poisonous shroud of social media, let facts be separated from fiction.

Next time someone is labeled as a “Marxist,” it would be wise to remember who Karl Marx truly was and reflect upon those beliefs.  Demagogues who insist on using Marxist as a slur reveal a lot more about their own ignorance than the target of their derision.  In fact, based on the points above, the Marxist tag might rightfully be construed as a compliment.

__________

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Posted by on Feb 19, 2020 in Blog, Essays, Las Vegas, Politics | 5 comments

Grading Each Candidate in Tonight’s Nevada Democratic Presidential Debate

 

las vegas nevada

 

Here’s what one Nevadan thinks about tonight’s Democratic debate in Las Vegas

.

First, let’s get one thing out of the way.  Anyone who says or believes tonight’s debate was bad for Democrats or harmful to party unity simply doesn’t know what they’re talking about.

That attitude smacks of someone with zero political instinct and no knowledge of American political history.

Fact: Debates are a pressure test and a cleanse.  They are one of the best ways to reveal weaknesses, just as the questions and answers/give and take allows the best candidates to show strength.  Moreover, instead of canned scripts and predictable stump speeches which are all too common nowadays, candidates were forced to engage and think on their feet.  Some Democrats shined in their moment.  At least one candidate melted under the spotlight left a puddle in the middle of the stage.

Party infighting is often good for the party and the eventual nominee. As evidence, I give you the following historical markers

2016 Republicans (won) — 21 candidates began, brutal personal attacks and infighting….resulted in Trump win

2008 Democrats (won) — Clinton, Edwards, and Obama were locked in a three-way dead heat early on. Debates got testy. Eventually, Obama got the nomination and won big.

2000 Republicans (won) — The McCain-Bush primaries got very personal. Things turned ugly. Result? Bush ended up winning a razor-thin victory.

1992 Democrats (won) — Clinton was hammered early on, and thought to be dead in NH. Other candidates piled on, and the party was divided until Clinton’s nomination. End result: Democrats won the election.

1988 Republicans (won) — Jack Kemp and VP Goerge Bush Sr. were in a knock-down-drag-out primary. Kemp forces did not like nor trust the Bush establishment. Outcome? Republicans won big.

1980 Republicans (won) — Reagan initially competed versus a dozen candidates and even had to face a split off wing led by John Anderson (Republican) who ran as an Independent. At one point during a debate, Reagan grabbed the microphone and said, “I paid for this microphone, so I’m going to speak!” Rival George Bush eventually took the VP slot. Divided party? Yes, in February.  Then, they won big in November.

Sure, there have been divided parties that lost presidential elections a number of times. But let’s look at the actual historical record and agree with some balance. Again — tonight’s fierce debate is GOOD for the party and makes eventual nominee tougher. Politics isn’t softball. It’s hardball time. I want serious answers, passion, and pressure testing of candidates. I want to see which candidates can take and throw a punch because a cage fight is what’s going to happen in the general election.

Now, on to my grades for each candidate:

Elizabeth Warren: Grade — A+
I thought Warren might be finished. But she stole the show. Warren was on target all night long, had just the right tone, interjected herself into the debate at the perfect moments, and may have obliterated Michael Bloomberg in a 5-minute stretch that was cringeworthy for the New York billionaire. She destroyed Bloomberg, and that alone keep her in the race. I wish I had seen this fire earlier. Mad props to Warren tonight, the clear winner, by far.

Joe Biden: Grade — B
Biden did well by Biden standards. He didn’t knock anything out of the park, but he hit a clear single and then stole second base. Biden has been lagging on the campaign trail but we saw some fire from him tonight, persuasively arguing he’s been on the right side of many political battles and was there in the trenches with Obama. I didn’t expect much out of Biden, but this was one of his better performances and natural displays of energy. I also thought his command of subject knowledge and experience shined through tonight.

Amy Klobuchar: Grade — C+
Klobuchar needed to perform better but she got tangled up with Buttigieg and others and needed to be rescued by Warren at one point during the exchanges. Again, Klobuchar and/or her staff seem unprepared for questions and controversies certain to be exposed. Why not have a scripted response read to launch? This is the first class of Political Campaigning 101. Klobuchar was semi-effective when talking about her Senate record, but are her votes as a Senator really going to sway any votes? I did not see her connect with the audience tonight in the same way she’s done over the past week, which was effective. I call it a push for Klobuchar. But as the third- or fourth-leading candidate in the race she now needs to take some chances. Playing it safe isn’t a winning strategy.

Bernie Sanders: Grade — C
Since Sanders is the frontrunner, the fact he was only attacked by Bloomberg for the most part, is a win for him. He fought a draw, which is okay when the race remains so fluid. I think Sanders hurt himself somewhat with some fumbling and repetitiveness. Sanders has opportunities to connect with people on a more personal level but often comes across as angry and even militant. I personally like anger and militancy, but that won’t win a nomination or an election. I also think Sanders has to leave some things alone when he’s attacked. Let the desperate attack him, but stay on message. Sanders appears to get flustered on occasion, which is a concern. I tend to watch Sanders more closely for obvious reasons, so perhaps my critique is a bit more sharp towards him.

Pete Buttigieg: Grade — C-
First time we saw Buttigieg attacked repeatedly tonight, and while he remained very much in control, for the most part, we also saw some cracks in the emotional china cabinet. I didn’t think Buttigieg reacted well when pressed by both Warren and Klobuchar, and his anti-Washington bullshit is hick stuff. Buttigieg has been refreshing throughout the campaign, but tonight was his first miss. Nothing catastrophic happened But we might have seen Mayor Pete topping out.

Michael Bloomberg: Grade — F
I cannot fathom a worse more unprepared performance than we saw tonight from Mike Bloomberg. I thought these New York types were supposed to be smart and tough? Bloomberg was horrendous. He was utterly destroyed by Warren during one exchange and then made the controversy (about his background and treatment of women) worse with an answer that made the audience groan. His calling Bernie Sanders “a communist” at one point was straight out of the Republican playbook, and even the other candidates were shocked. The billionaire emporer has no clothes. As I said, thank goodness for debates. They exposed this fraud quick. He’ll be around for a while and might even be a force, but Bloomberg lost everyone’s respect tonight as a serious choice in the race. Just a horrific performance in every way.

Heading into Saturday’s Nevada caucus, my scorecard now reads:

KLOBUCHAR — 45
SANDERS — 45
WARREN — 10

* note: percent chance I will vote for the candidate in the caucus

__________

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Posted by on Feb 19, 2020 in Blog, Essays, Politics | 2 comments

Updating My Nevada Caucus Vote (Three Days Away)

 

Bernie Sanders

 

UPDATING MY 2020 NEVADA CAUCUS VOTE

A week ago, my lean was 60-40 in favor of Amy Klobuchar over Bernie Sanders.  What I mean is — there was about a 60 percent chance I’d vote for Klobuchar and 40 percent chance I’d vote for Sanders.

Here were my thoughts at the time:  Announcing My Lean in the Nevada Democratic Caucus

Three days ago, my lean declined to 54-46 in favor of Klobuchar, based on her fumbling some major issues here in Nevada.

Here were my thoughts as to why Klobuchar lost some of my confidence.

After last night’s Town Hall (CNN) which featured both Sanders and Klobuchar onstage for an hour each, my lean has shifted again, to a razor-thin 51-49 margin with Klobuchar now perilously close to losing my vote.

Looking ahead, two more things will likely shape my final decision.

[1] Tonight’s debate is absolutely critical for Klobuchar. I have watched Sanders actually improve on the campaign stump in recent months. He seems to have more passion and energy than anyone could have expected for a 78-year-old candidate. I’ve also been impressed that he’s found a better way to explain his complex positions with some clarity. Klobuchar, on the other hand, remains a serious concern to me. I need to see something from her tonight that makes me confident she can front a national campaign in the fall against Trump, the nastiest possible adversary, and if not knock him out at least prove she belongs in the same ring. Klobuchar’s waffling Midwestern PTA meeting demeanor isn’t going to cut it at this point in the race, either tonight or in the future. I need to see some fire, without pandering to the usual Democratic establishment. That’s a huge turnoff, to me.

[2] I had three different people from the Bernie Sanders campaign personally reach out to me and invite me to be part of the media scrum who attends and covers his speech this Friday night at 7 pm in Las Vegas. I have met Sanders before, seen him speak, and was long-ago a fan way before he was known nationally (as an avowed socialist Senator). I don’t need to shake hands with Sanders or see him speak live to be starstruck. I already know and respect the man (and generally agree with 9/10 of his positions). Still, what impresses me is the small things; that Sanders’ campaign is so on top of the race that they would text me with invites to join the press pool and cover the candidate. That’s a well-oiled machine that can win an election.

Meanwhile, despite my professed public support for Klobuchar, including multiple tweets, several Facebook posts, and an article explaining my lean (which got several thousand hits), not a single person has reached out to me from the Klobuchar campaign, certainly not in any media capacity, and not even with an invite to come to see her speak. I realize Klobuchar’s campaign is still in the formative stage, but these little things at the grassroots level do matter.

Oh, but I did get several robocalls from Klobuchar, as well as Biden (more than anyone else), and various Democrats professing to endorse Biden. Sanders did not robocall me — that lone should tip the scale 3 points in his favor.

So, tonight’s debate will weigh heavily. I’ve given up on Klobuchar’s operation in Nevada so far as outreach. I don’t take that personally, but I do have to credit Sanders’ people for being far superior in terms of the ground game here in my state.

Meanwhile, all I see from Biden is cozying up to the big union and running a campaign through robocalls. As for Bloomberg, he’s just spewing money with ad buys. Buttigieg has my respect and has also done some solid groundwork in Nevada. Warren’s ground game is also very good, but her attempts to win my support through ads showing her working closely with “Dirty Harry” Reid were a huge turnoff. If a campaign is using that corrupt fossil to attract local votes, I’m totally repulsed by the campaign.

Current scorecard: Klobuchar 51-49 over Sanders (and subject to change). My vote takes place this Saturday.

Here’s a detailed account of what happened when I caucused here in Nevada back in 2016, in favor of Sanders.

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