SocraticGadfly: 3/1/20 - 3/8/20

March 06, 2020

Super Tuesday 2020 post-mortem

First, the election results themselves, starting at the national level.

All things considered, Sanders did decently.

That said, that "all things considered" is pretty big. The New York Times reports that his campaign was largely unprepared for the multiple dropouts of Steyer, Klobuchar and Buttigieg, with the second and third then swiftly endorsing Biden, who was joined here in Tex-ass by Bob on a Knob O'Rourke.

That doesn't really surprise me. I've blogged and Tweeted before about how the campaign staff, which having plenty of enthusiasm, AND seeing some of the shenanigans of 2016, not just by national Democrats, but the Iowa party then over caucuses, the Nevada party over some specific voting issues plus, paralleling the party and not officially denounced by it as a lie, the chair-throwing claim, etc.

Per the old gray lady, Harry Reid called Sanders campaign manager Faiz Shakir before any of the dropouts, letting him know that he was going to endorse Biden. That should have been DEFCON 3 right there. Love him, hate him, or some of both, but nobody has ever successfully claimed that Reid doesn't know his way around the world of political machinations. His call for party unity for anybody who had an outright majority, issued a week ago, may have been the buttering up to ease the thrust of the shiv.

Meanwhile, Puny Pete, Klobberin Klobuchar and Bob on a Knob swapped old lies for new on Biden, as Newsweek shows the receipts.

And "considering" running ads in Michigan about Biden's NAFTA support, but still worried about direct attacks? Shakir and others need to either shit or get off the pot.

The ONLY good thing so far appears to be Sanders himself trying to wedge between other candidates' supporters and the candidates themselves.

Meanwhile, Biden's explosion coincided with Warren's continued implosion, as he beat her in her now-home state of Massachusetts. If she's still in the race as of the time these words hit cyberspace, it's purely due to petulance, presumably against Sanders. That ALSO said, Biden, not Sanders, winning Massachusetts is also a symbol Bernie needs to suck it up.

Politico reports that Sanders's campaign has a new game plan with a mix of harder elbows where needed and a kinder, gentler Bernie where needed. The piece goes on to reference the myth of the unchangeable Bernie by wondering if Bernie won't stubbornly go off script. He might stubbornly go off script. But, unchangeable? The Sanders of 1975 would probably laugh at the Sanders of 1998, or 2010, for pandering to gun owners, for example.

The bigger issue may be, per Eric Levitz, that as much as Bernie might like the underdog and outsider images, he overplayed his hand after the Nevada win. This is a must-read piece for all sorts of independent thinking left-liberals and leftists. Question: Per Politico's piece, can Sanders' campaign staff — and Bernie himself — incorporate some of these ideas into the new game plan?

And, following up on a Rolling Stone piece from last week about mediocre Democratic turnout? Sanders' youth movement was kind of a bust at the polls Super Tuesday, USA Today reports. I agree with a bit of analysis in the piece, too. This is why calls to further lower the voting age are stupid. IF, even by Sanders, youth voting surges can't be sustained, then let's not pretend otherwise. Maybe it's even time to resurrect the old #slacktivism tag while noting the old generalization that youth is wasted on the young.


Well, as Aristotle may have said about 2,400 years ago: "καταβηθι του χορτου μου" or something like that.

Texas level races

Christine Costello looked poised to make the Dems' Senate runoff against MJ Hegar. (And, this is what I get for starting this post on Election Night and not checking to update it; Royce West actually did pull out second, of course.) So, here's hoping Green Party planned candidate David Bruce Collins clears any HB 2554 related hurdles and is in.

Related? Sorry, Sema Hernandez, but aim your sights a little lower in whatever your next race is. Kissing the ass of Bob on a Knob O'Rourke and the state Democratic establishment got you nowhere. I mean, you finished behind Annie "Mama" Garcia, for doorknob's sake. I am sure that I was at least partially right (as was Kuff, and deal with it, Brains) on your likely heritage-influenced results in 2018.

And, this time around, you raised less than $8K, despite basically never leaving the race after election day 2018, as of your last FEC report. Of course, the last FEC report on file isn't the last one that SHOULD be on file, as you missed two reports after that. It's also less money than Annie "Mama" Garcia raised. And, yeah, Brains had fun with post-election mocking, but, other than being more about Medicare access for all rather than Medicare for all, her platform was to the left of anybody else not named Sema.

Finally, a friendly reminder that NO Democratic Senate candidate was where they need to be, or said much about, Israel.

Othewr than Hegar? ConservaDem Henry Cuellar beat off his primary challenger. And in general, Democrats did "OK."

The Twitterverse and primary Fauxtrage

Next, a mix of actual outrage plus Fauxtrage on social media.

Jordan Charlton gets suspended from Twitter for accurately quoting Biden about "Super Thursday." Twitter eventually admits its mistake and unsuspends him.

But, the outrage has gone to Fauxtrage, and yes, I participated.

So, as I later said:
For all the #DeleteFacebook people who remain on Twitter, this itself illustrates Twitter's own problems to a T.

Facebook corporately and Hucksterman individually are a moral cancer.

Twitter and Jack aren't big enough to be anywhere near the size to be such a level of moral cancer, but they're just fucking incompetent.

As for Jordan Charlton? Remember that The Young Turks dumped him over sexual misconduct allegations that ... kind of faded away but who knows?

Also remember that both he and TYT operate strictly within and inside the duopoly orbit.

Finally, remember that most Gnu Media have a high self-aggrandizement level. (Yet another reason why I don't favor a version of basic income like that promoted by Scott Santens.) That's reflected in the Fox piece. Charlton claims the outrage his fans generated got him out of Twitter jail after just 5 hours of a 12-hour sentence. Twitter claims it recognized the error on its own. The truth probably is somewhere in between, or at a triangulated third point.

I "threatened" Tuesday afternoon that, should I be around in four years, I would snooze my Twitter account during that election season. It sounds more and more tempting.

The post-mortem has me doing this even more.

Biden voters as well as Berners claiming conspiracy over ballot order when voting. Read Texas law, then read Aristotle above before commenting.

#RiggedPrimary then trending on Twitter.

No, no, no, if one means the sense of Gab-ber Jared Beck and his DNC Fraud Lawsuit. Going way back to Will Rogers being "a Democrat ... not a member of any organized party," Democrats are too disorganized to pull off a stunt like this. Crowdstrike letting the DNC get hacked when the Russians tried the same on the Republicans and, overall, failed. (They did; shut up.) NGP VAN letting the Bernie staffer in 2015 peek at stuff unknowingly also comes to mind. The idea that Democrats are organized enough to rig elections SHOULD be laughable after the Iowa caucuses.

Sadly, the actual likely conspiracy of endorsements has people not seeing straight beyond it.

And, speaking of conspiracy theories, it's probably easier, or "easier" to retweet this:
Rather than accept that you might have hit either an overall follow limit or a rate of new followers limit.

Such limits do exist, of course. And it took me 10 seconds of Teh Google to find that. As well as to find information that Twitter limits your daily Tweeting and breaks that daily limit into half-hour time blocks.

As of right now, Ms. Bouvier wasn't at the 5K limit, but at nearly 4,500, she may have been yesterday, or else she hit the new follower rate limit. The reality if, of course, that she wouldn't have 30K followers if Twitter were censoring her.

Per the embedded Tweet, it's most likely that, at or near the 5K limit (her numbers have changed since I first posted this) she was hitting her Tweeting limits.

There's the added irony, or hypocrisy, that Twitter has these limits to restrict paid human accounts and pure bots, and that many Berners in the previous week or two complained about Bloomberg buying followers.

I may wind up making this, with yet more material, into a separate blog post.

March 05, 2020

High school hoopster height and the death of the NBA 7-footer

When the Houston Rockets traded away Clint Capela, fans wondered if "ancient" 7-footer Tyson Chandler would play center, or fellow 7-footer Isaiah Hartenstein, or if PJ Tucker or the newly acquired Robert Covington (I said he could) would man the post?

Well, Daryl Morey is committed to avoiding the 7-footer. So the answer is no on the first two.

That said, Max Preps informs us that for every Chandler, Rudy Gobert, Unicorn Kristaps Porzingis, Joel Embiid or Nikola Jokic, there are almost twice as many 7-footers at the high school level.

Well, it's actually worse than that. Max said it wasn't cherry-picking much above 6-10, but I don't know if that means at the high school level, or the NBA level? Because while it claims 31 NBA 7-footers, the league itself (good for honesty after a long history of height inflation) only listed 15 at the start of this year. That includes very in-development Tacko Fall and very limited Boban Marjanovic, along with very much real center Marc Gasol and the decent Ivica Zubac. (Dallas is the only team with two; fortunately, Mark Cuban isn't like Peter the Great on his royal guard, contra fans who wanted him to keep Salah Mejri as well.)

Throwing out Mejri, since he's not with an NBA team, the ratio is not just under 2-1, it's a full 4-1 in favor of the high schools. Yes, there's tens of thousands of high schools in the nation. But, none of their players is older than 19, and very few are even that old; just about all are 18 or younger, many still growing.

So what's going to happen to those players past high school?

With the one-and-done college-to-NBA approach, most of these players have to know that they have to find college coaches who not only want them on their teams to win at the collegiate level, but can best prep them to shoot some 3s and to occasionally handle the ball outside. (Unless the NBA gets refs to start calling more fouls in the paint, making post play more valuable.)

How much help do they get already at the high school level? The top players featured in the Max story go to some sort of private schools or academies. Now, while those places may have coaches that can work on pro-developing LeBron's son Bronny, how many know how to develop centers for today's NBA needs? And, to do so while still trying to maintain national school rankings levels with places like Max and win titles so they can also recruit elite guards and forwards?

Or, move up to the college level. Per Myron Medcalf, the Jayhawks' Udoka Azubuike might be college player of the year, but, he won't be lottery pick and might fall to the back third of the first round because the's not what the NBA wants today.

March 04, 2020

Is Texas being Californicated? No, not really

Is Texas being Californicated? No, not really. This Frisco development likely mainly has other Texas move-ins.
A couple of weeks ago, I wrote about Texas Monthly calling Fredericksburg the new Aspen.

In addition to calling out that general bullshit, I said that to the degree housing costs WERE going up there, it was primarily due to their fellow Texans.

But, Derek Thompson at The Atlantic didn't get the memo. Or more to the point, he read the wrong memo from places like the Snooze.

So, time to set him straight.

First, to the degree Texas, especially its suburbs, ARE being Californicated as Derek Thompson claims? That said, the idea that this might be a political tipping point? Tosh or at least semi-tosh. The majority of California migration here is from places like the OC, the Inland Empire, San Diego exurbs to the south of that, and portions of the Central Valley. Red, or at least red-dish. Now, these folks may not be as conservative as the likes of Former Fetus Forever Fuckwad Jonathan Stickland or Gohmert Pyle, but they're conservative enough.

That said, many Californicators aren't moving to Tex-ass. Per the Wall Street Journal, high property taxes (and they are, for Texans who still think they may not be, but refuse to look at an income tax). a $10K cap on state and local tax deductions, while not hitting Texas as hard as California or New York, is hitting it hard enough.

As for the Snooze saying more Californians move to North Texas than people from any other state?

No duh, dum fux. California is still far and away the most populous state in the Union. And, many conservative Californians do see some things they like. In suburban areas, the Former Fetus types of the world, like Stickland himself, may find themselves more and more deciding to leave the Lege. But as the recent special election for HD 28 points out, that day ain't here yet. Stickland has a good chance of being replaced by a Rethug, just one not quite so winger as him.

Let's look more at the Nerdwallet piece that said Snooze guy Dom DiFurio blogged about. (That's really what it was.)
  • Phoenix, as well as the Metromess, had California's Southland as the No. 1 move-in source.
  • Chicago, Denver, Portland, San Antonio, Seattle all had the Southland as the No. 2 source.
  • Houston had it as third.
  • Other Texas metro areas, in aggregate, were the largest Metromess move-in source. In fact, by itself, Helltown was almost twice as popular a DFW move-in source as the Southland. Ditto on other Texas metros, on the target move-out destination.
  • Vegas was the No. 1 destination for LA and the Inland Empire. Other Cal metros were No. 1 for San Diego and San Francisco. (In a fail, Nerdwallet didn't mention in-state moves for the first two.
If you're going to write a piece like that, coastal transplant guy, that's how you do it.

Beyond the high taxes, the Observer for the Metromess, and Texas Monthly for Helltown, have already refudiated the idea that Texas' main urban areas are low-income paradises, at least when compared to New York. The Snooze apparently didn't get that memo either.

As posted by me in a Texas Progressives roundup a couple of weeks ago:

When transportation sprawl, and housing and other costs relative to pay are all factored in, both Dallas and Houston are LESS affordable than New York City. For whatever reason, even though the Metromess and Houston are almost dead even on these costs, Texas Monthly writes its story on the issue only about Houston. (Unless it does the rewrite I suggested.) Related? Contra former Houston mayor Annise Parker's past bragging about how Helltown would eventually pass Chicago? The Windy City is cheaper, per the first link. And that ignores the humidity, skeeters and flooding of Houston, along with the climate change that will exacerbate all. Do we file this under "Rick Perry's Texas Miracle" or "Greg Abbott's Texas Miracle"?

The Dallas Observer DID pick up on the Dallas angle.

Per the bullet points above, Nevada also has no state income tax, is a much shorter move from California than Texas, and since Fredericksburg is NOT the new Aspen, like California, Nevada has skiing.

March 03, 2020

Texas progressives await Super Tuesday's results

Avoiding wishing readers a belated Happy Texas Independence Day because of wingnuts saying "God Bless Texas," Religious Right wingnuts ignoring that the Texas Revolution (as well as the U.S. Revolution, for that matter) was a grave sin because it violated Romans 8 which calls for "submission to the governing authorities," and offers neither ethical exceptions nor legal loopholes, this outpost of Texas Progressives, per a national politics link of mine below, wishes readers a "Happy Black Cherokees Day" while it eagerly awaits the state and national results of Super Tuesday.

Remember: We don't have straight ticket voting here in Tex-ass any more. Who benefits overall: Rethugs or Doinks?

Texas politics

Brains weighed in on the Texas Democratic Senate primary, which was apparently going to send former Libertarian and current gun nut M.J. Hegar to a run off against either a ConservaDem, Royce West, or #FakeTexMex Christine/Cristina "various last names."

Texas Monthly wondered if Jessica Cisneros could pull off the primary upset over Henry Cuellar. The Observer discusses how Cuellar got here, starting with being a modern Landslide Lyndon.

Off the Kuff analyzed the three primary polls we got last week.

The Texas Signal finds another new candidate for Worst Republican.

Sanford Nowlin begs to differ.


The Dow ain't the only thing that dropped like a rock last week over coronavirus fears. West Texas Intermediate dipped to $45 a barrel, which makes even more fracked wells in the Permian Basin underwater.

The TSTA Blog dismisses private school vouchers as a "conservative moral value."


So, contra former mayor Annise Parker's big PR push about the city possibly passing Chicago in population, who would want to live in a place that, if flooding from hurricanes to weak tropical depressions weren't bad enough, decided to flood itself by busting one of its primary water mains?

Better Texas Blog urges people who may be affected by the anti-immigrant "public charge rule" to stay enrolled in public assistance programs.


Jim Schutze calls out the Snooze for hypocrisy on endorsements.

The Dallas Observer notes the settlement in the case of a teacher who was fired for being gay.


In the anticipation of Super Tuesday, Gadfly expected Elizabeth Warren to get about zero Cherokee support in her native Oklahoma. That's OK. Many anti-Warren Cherokees, as he illustrated, have about zero support for black Cherokees, too.

It's official. East Texas wingnut (no, not Gohmert Pyle) and Trump fellator John Ratcliffe is Trump's nomination to be DNI, despite many Rethuglican senators hinting to Trump not to do it last time the position came open.

Trump's attempt to gut the Flores Rule on immigrant detention hearings has been rejected by the Ninth Circuit. Trump's asylum ban was also rejected there, this vote being unanimous.

Brooke Lewis celebrates Black History Month as a history of endurance.

In an item of note for Super Tuesday and going ahead from there, Rolling Stone reports that in two two primaries and two caucuses so far, Democratic turnout has been mediocre? moderate? bleah? or whatever word is your choice.


SocraticGadfly read Edward Snowden's "Permanent Record" and was left with lots more questions (about Snowden, not the government) than he had before.

March 02, 2020

Wingnutting at county candidate forum, though Pelosi may have earned it

I was recently at a county political candidates forum. Given that all the local races for tomorrow's primary have candidates from only one political party (guess), that party's county office ran the forum.

At the start of the meeting, party staff talked about the State of the Union address and about Speaker Nancy Pelosi tearing up a copy of Trump's address. Hey, wingers, it was neither illegal nor unethical.

Is this a constitutional issue? So they claimed. It isn't that, either.

But? Pelosi fired the first snub gunshot, arguably, not using traditional SOTU language to introduce Trump.

Meanwhile, audience-crafted questions included asking candidates if they proposed any changes in tax structure. Given that property and sales taxes are all the county has, and it doesn't have EDC or recreational development tax options, unlike cities with their two extra half-cent options, there's little they can do except vote more or less property taxes. And asking Republicans in Texoma wingnutistan to talk about more taxes is laughable. That said, while counties might not have as much need for these extra taxes, an exurban county could use some of them. So, why not give counties an eighth-cent slot for each of the above, with a cap of five-eights cent total, or a nine-sixteenths total if no special taxes were levied, similar to how cities have multiple special sales taxes they can levy, but cannot levy all of them without hitting a ceiling.

Well, Texas law would have to be changed.

Currently, residents in a city cannot be charged a maximum, between city and county taxes, of more than 2 cents on the dollar. That ceiling I mentioned above is for combined city-county sales taxes. That includes dedicated sales taxes, like for economic development, as well as general revenue sales tax. The Comptroller's office has more.

I doubt that county residents would vote to approve paying extra tax on sales outside of incorporated cities, though they could do so in theory.

So, the cap would have to be raised to something like 8.5 percent. Is that doable?

It's a matter of law, not the state constitution, so you just need a majority of both halves of the Lege plus a governor with a "sign" pen and not a "veto" pen.

But, this is Texas.