April 29, 2016

Ted + Carly; Donald + ???

Lucifer and What D. Fuck?
Well, now that Lucifer Cruz has named Carly (No Anticipation) Fiorina as his putative Veep months before the GOP convention in Cleveland, what next?

The first what next is this won't work.

St. Ronald of Reagan, in closer stalking to Jerry Ford in 1976 than Cruz is to Donald Trump this year, tried it with Richard Schweiker. All he got was having to explain "why" to hardcore conservatives without significantly closing the gap.

Beyond that, Cruz looked less trustworthy than Reagan even before this, and for someone pretending he's not a real politician, this is what it looks like.

Why Carly?

California. Period. End of story.

It, for the GOP as well as Dems, is the biggest prize left.

However, it is NOT winner take all; it's a proportional race.

Rafael would have been better off, arguably, playing Lucifer with former Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels.

Besides, Carly won't help him with the evangelicals in the OC out in SoCal, who have not "broken" for Cruz anywhere anyway.

Why? They, like others, like a "winner," and think Cruz is a geek.

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Back to the second half of the header.

Before last Tuesday's primaries, when the possibility of no clear GOP winner loomed larger, I speculated about a Trump-Cruz team to ward off a brokered convention trying to bypass both.

Well, a brokered convention looks unlikely, in large part for the fact that the majority of remaining GOP primaries, and remaining available delegates, are awarded proportionally. And, among the few WTA states besides Indiana is New Jersey, clear Trump territory.

So, whom might The Donald pick?

1. It won't be Ted Cruz. Bet on that.

2. Just possibly Kasich, since the two haven't tangled a lot. Maybe Boehner, if he wanted to reach out to the establishment otherwise. And, no, sit down, Sarah Palin. Trump ain't that dumb.

3. Or, setting Palin aside, he might go wild card. It's quite possible.

April 28, 2016

All over but crying, Dem side, or Hey #Sandernistas, coffee! Smell it

Apparently the #FeelTheBern fanatics, the #Sandernistas, aren't yet ready to face that they're at the "BUST" fork of their other hashtag, #BernieOrBust, even after Tuesday night's generally poor showing, as described by me yesterday.

OK, let the man himself, or his campaign, spell it out in 72-point font. (A reference lost on those who claim not to read a newspaper, but who get their online news from a blog or some other site that links to a newspaper's website.)

Sanders, although his direct campaign fundraising pulled even with Hillary Clinton last week, has now started shit-canning staff.

First, the money.

The Sandernista kids on the block may look at the start of the story and say, he actually raised more than her recently.

I'll look later in the story and say: "He's had a higher burn rate." Specifically, 91 percent vs. 84 percent, and 99 percent for March.

In other words, for all the money Bernie has taken in, $27 at a time, he ain't got much more than bupkis in the bank.

That's the first reality.

So, yes, he wants to concentrate his resources on California.

So does Hillary Clinton, and she's not cutting staff right now.

That, in turn means this may be about other realities as well. So, to the second link.

Tad Devine had already mentioned a "reassessment" a day earlier. So, that's what's happening. I don't care about the spin from other campaign management staff, not even the eminence grisé, Jane Sanders. Per the piece, Devine's got a reputation as a straight shooter. And, this seems like an honest assessment.

As for "spinning"? Yes, Sanders said that there are 40 states already behind them.

But, he only mentioned California among those ahead.

Reality?

Indiana next week, the three primaries on the week after that, and the others on the same day as California, per the Democratic primary schedule, have almost as many delegates combined as does California. Add in DC a week later, and the non-California remainder of the schedule is worth more than California.

And, if he were to win California? It's not winner take all. It's got easy, concentrated delegate resources, yes, but it's an even more expensive media buy than California.

Plus, is he going to win?

I don't know about Gov. Jerry Brown, but Sens. Barbara Boxer and Betty Crocker (Dianne Feinstein), and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi are all very much in the Hillary Clinton camp.

I said this more than a month ago.

Bernie is NOT winning California.

Beyond that, winning California alone isn't enough anyway. He'd have to win more than 80 percent of ALL remaining delegates to have a majority of just elected delegates.

Now, you Sandernistas can start thinking about the Plan B of voting Green. You can vote for ideas first, individuals second, while also finding out more about Jill Stein as an individual.

Or you can hold on to your "bust" in two months and stay home in November.

Or you can fold your tents into Camp Clinton.

Which will it be?

If you think you need a couple more days "mourn time," I'll accept that. But, soon enough, you need to accept reality (which includes not waving an eked-out Rhode Island primary win as a talisman of "he's still in it") and decide what your plans for near the general election are.

April 27, 2016

Merika: Cradle of (cluelessness about) democracy, including by #Sandernistas

After Bernie Sanders pretty much got his clock cleaned in the latest round of Democratic primaries, we now have some Sandernistas crying out:
A. For him to run as an independent, and
B. That closed primaries are undemocratic.

I've already addressed A more than once, kiddos. He's way too "good" of a Democrat to do that, as noted here. The fact that he can't mention the Hillary Clinton-supported coup in Honduras, not even once? I wouldn't want him to run independent anyway. He'd detract from a true left-liberal voting opportunity. Per friend Brains, that comes with Plan B, voting for Jill Stein or whomever the Green Party nominates.

And, beyond that, as that should indicate, I vote for ideals first, individuals second. That's why the #ImWithHer on Twitter, with all the tribalism it portents, makes me want to throw up. (And, no, neither explicitly nor implictly, did Obama make the same type of appeals in 2008, for all of his own other neoliberal issues.)

Now, to point B, which I want to tackle in more detail.

Disenfranchising voters through overly rigid ID requirements? That's antidemocratic. Slashing day-of-voting poll locations by 2/3, even if your state budget is struggling? That's antidemocratic.

Closed primaries? Nothing of the sort.

Regular readers of this blog know that I support moving the U.S. more in the direction of parliamentary government. Well, in a parliamentary system, the whole schmeer is pretty much like a caucus here in the U.S. for states that use a caucus system.

And, you know what? Caucuses are closed. And, party establishments are key there.

(But, you have more than two viable parties to back. Usually more than three, even.)

Now, the real thing that's antidemocratic?

Is the presidential-focused two-party system, combined with non-majoritarian, first-past-the-post voting for House and Senate members.

Municipalities, in local elections, and school boards, likewise, require absolute majorities, not just pluralities, for elections. So why not the U.S. Congress and state legislatures? Especially when wedded to something like Instant Runoff Voting, this would actually start making America more democratic.

This is not meant to sound (too much) like a lecture, especially younger participants in the "system." It IS meant to be a wakeup call.

So, "Sandernistas"? There are many more, and more serious things, that America is undemocratic about than are in your philosophy.

Hat tip, Shakespeare.

As for Sanders himself? I'm glad that he's shaken up the Democratic establishment, but the fact that a relatively mild non-socialist is doing that speaks volumes about the party.

All over but the crying in both races?

Clinton took four of five of last night's primaries over Sanders, while Trump had a clean sweep, per the NYT.

On the Dem side, the likes of Jim Hightower may want Bernie to slug it out to the bitter end. Well, he'll figure out some way of splitting the middle on that and being nice to Clinton and the Dem Establishment that won key Senate primaries last night — with no Bernie endorsements in either Pennsylvania or Maryland.

Kind of makes one wonder just what sort of revolution he's pushing when he has had no Senate primary endorsements so far and just issued his first three House endorsements a couple of weeks ago. Friend Brains has some more on this.

Not a lot else to say, other than mentioning the need to get Sandernistas to think about the Plan B of voting Green in the general election rather than sitting out.

And, since many Sandernistas refuse to look at memos at first, here's a more directed follow-up.

April 25, 2016

Did Timmeh, Manu, Pops? and TP? of the Spurs just get a retirement gift?

Steph Curry is supposed to be out a minimum of two weeks with a sprained knee suffered Sunday against the Rockets.

This means he could be back for the Western Conference finals round, if the Warriors get past the L.A. Clippers (I presume) in the second round.

That said, given their own very strong season, Tim Duncan, Manu Ginobili, Tony Parker, Kawhi Leonard, LaMarcus Aldridge and coach Gregg Popovich of the San Antonio Spurs, while not wanting to win this way, have to move to the head of the line in the Western Conference, right?

An easy win against the Grizz, with time to rest before playing the Thunder in a series that (sorry, Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook) shouldn't go more than six. That said, we'll see how Billy Donovan as head coach vs. Scotty Brooks does in a matchup like this.

That said, assuming the Clipps beat the TrailBlazers in their first round series, could they beat the Warriors? I'll still give Golden State odds on that, but that's a series quite likely to go seven, no matter who wins. Sure, with Draymond Green, Klay Thompson and others, and Shaun Livingston a decent replacement, you can't bet hard against the Dubs. (That said, don't expect the emotion of Sunday's second half against the Rockets to be a constant.)

And, that's music for the Riverwalk in San Antone.

Meanwhile, if Los Spurs do take it all, I assume Timmeh and Manu, at least, are riding off into the sunset faster than Peyton Manning, if they have any brains. The sixth title would tie them with Michael Jordan and Scottie Pippen, and go one up on Kobe Bryant.

What about Pops? He's 67, and the sixth title would put him behind just Red Auerbach and Phil Jackson.

At the same time, while Curry this year had the eighth-best season ever, the Warriors won a year ago with him outside the top 50. On the third hand, when he had more ankle problems in the past, they never could go higher than the second round of the playoffs.

TX Progressives mourn Prince, talk politics

The Texas Progressive Alliance is gathered here today to get through this thing called mourning the loss of Prince as it brings you this week's roundup.

Off the Kuff looks at the different reactions to Houston repealing HERO and North Carolina passing its harsh anti-equality law.

Libby Shaw contributing to Daily Kos insists that something has got to be done about Houston's serial flooding.  Bold political leadership and action are woefully lacking.   Houston: We really canít do this every year.

Socratic Gadfly notes there's no "old lace" in the GOP race, just arsenic vs cyanide, and speculates on how it might play out.

The greater Houston area has received four '100-year" storms in the past twelve months.  PDiddie at Brains and Eggs thinks it's either time to find a new name for these apocalyptic floods, or perhaps address the various root causes (climate change, too much concrete, greedy land developers) of them.

Many people in McAllen cannot travel.  Why?  Crazy immigration rules terrorize families.  CouldBeTrue of South Texas Chisme wants immigration reform.

Neil at All People Have Value took note of the hopeful 2016 Texas Green Party convention. APHV is part of NeilAquino.com.

Bay Area Houston asked Sid Miller, "Where's Ted Nugent?"

For Texas Sharon, Huggate was so important in Denton she wrote a follow-up.


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And here are some posts of interest from other Texas blogs.

Beyond Bones takes a stand against shark finning.

The Makeshift Academic urges Democrats to accept a lame-duck confirmation of Merrick Garland to the Supreme Court if it is on offer.

Better Texas Blog celebrates Tax Day.

Grits for Breakfast dismisses talk of a "crime wave" in Texas.

Paradise in Hell just can't even with Sid Miller.