maxomai: (mouse)
And now, my predictions for 2019. These are somewhat more grim than they have been in previous years, and for good reason. They are:

  1. The Mueller investigation, which is apparently focused on collusion between the Trump campaign and the Russians, will turn up something even worse.

  2. Turkish forces will rout the Kurdish forces in Eastern Syria, causing yet another humanitarian crisis.

  3. It will come out that hundreds of children have died while in ICE custody.

  4. The Virginia House of Delegates will flip to Democratic control.

  5. Japan's LDP-led conservative ruling coalition will suffer substantial losses in the upper chamber, although not enough to end the conservative majority. This will be taken as a sign of Abe fatigue.

  6. The DJIA on Mon July 1st will close at or below 10% less than the Dec 31, 2018 close.

  7. The unemployment rate June 2019 will climb above 4.5% (up from the November 2018 3.7%).

  8. The Patriots will win the Super Bowl.

  9. Instagram will replace Facebook as The Irreplaceable Social Media Company, mostly due to younger users. Of course, Facebook, which owns Instagram, will still make money.

Let's go into these one by one. Read more... )

What are your predictions for the year?
maxomai: dog (Default)
Hello everyone.

(Taps mic)

Is this thing still on? Yes? Good! And hello all the refugees from Tumblr!

A year ago I made some predictions about what I thought would happen in 2018. Unlike most political prognosticators, I take the time to go back and grade myself on how I did, and I have for (checks calendar) sixteen years now.

Wow. Sixteen!

So what were my 2018 predictions, and how did I do? Good question........first, let's look at the predictions.

  • There will be a war in Eastern Europe.

  • Housing prices will grow at their slowest rate since 2010.

  • Democrats will win enough seats to control the US House and US Senate in 2019.

  • Democrats will flip at least six (6) governor's seats and six (6) state legislatures in 2018.

  • SCOTUS will rule in both Gill v. Whitford and Benisek v. Lamone that excessive gerrymandering violates the Equal Protection clause of the Constitution.

  • The Euroskeptic Right will win the March elections in Italy, further weakening the EU.

  • The Racist Right will run out of steam while the Socialist Left gains momentum.

  • The Chicago Cubs will, once more, return to postseason baseball.

  • Oklahoma will win the College Football Bowl Series Championship.

Ooof...yeah, lots of swing-and-a-miss there. Let's evaluate.

Read more... )
maxomai: (typewriter guy wtf)
I will be proposing an emergency resolution to the Central Committee of the Multnomah County Democratic Party tonight, calling on our Congressional representatives to defend the Mueller investigation by any means necessary. The full text of the resolution may be found here. As this resolution did not have time to go before the Platform and Resolutions committee, this resolution will be under new business and will require a four-fifths majority to pass.
maxomai: dog (Default)
Conservative paper The Oregonian has a new poll from Gravis Marketing, of the Oregon Governor's race.

Brown (D) 45
Buhler (R) 45
MOE 3.5

Let's look at the good, bad, and ugly of this poll.

THE BAD Gravis Marketing does not have a reputation for being that accurate - gives them a C+ rating. Also, the voter breakdown in this poll leans towards older voters, which might not accurately reflect the likely voters in the upcoming election.

THE GOOD Other than the baselines, the poll has pretty good results for Democrats overall: voters oppose the Trump agenda, are more likely to vote for Democrats in Congressional elections, and oppose a ballot measure that would restrict abortion rights in Oregon.

THE UGLY This poll is consistent with other polls that have Governor Brown under 50%. Not only does this poll have Brown and Buhler tied, but it has voters slightly favoring Measure 105, a ballot measure to rescind Oregon's Sanctuary State law. Rescinding that measure wouldn't just affect immigrants' rights in Oregon, but would also free more police forces to engage in racial profiling.

Also, FiveThirtyEight gives Gravis a slight Democratic lean. The numbers for Brown, and for the anti-105 vote, could be worse than they appear.
maxomai: dog (Default)
And now, my predictions for 2018.

Really, predicting 2018 is a fool's errand. If there is one thing that the last two years have proven so far, it is that reality is capable of rapidly outpacing, and outweirding, our imaginations. From the Muslim ban to Trump's easily disproved lies to the collision of two neutron stars, there is a lot about the last year that has served to inspire and horrify like never before.

I could go the route of Angry Staff Officer and take a satirical approach, but that's not what y'all have come to expect from me these last ... wow ... fifteen years. It's not what I have come to expect of me. So, here we go:

  • There will be a war in Eastern Europe.

  • Housing prices will grow at their slowest rate since 2010.

  • Democrats will win enough seats to control the US House and US Senate in 2019.

  • Democrats will flip at least six (6) governor's seats and six (6) state legislatures in 2018.

  • SCOTUS will rule in both Gill v. Whitford and Benisek v. Lamone that excessive gerrymandering violates the Equal Protection clause of the Constitution.

  • The Euroskeptic Right will win the March elections in Italy, further weakening the EU.

  • The Racist Right will run out of steam while the Socialist Left gains momentum.

  • The Chicago Cubs will, once more, return to postseason baseball.

  • Oklahoma will win the College Football Bowl Series Championship.

Let's consider each of these predictions in turn.

There will be a war in Eastern Europe. A year ago I wrote:

The two forces that keep Pax Europa in the 21st Century are NATO and the EU. The election of Donald Trump and other far-right russophile nationalists, along with Russia’s recent overtures to Turkey, has weakened NATO; the victory of Brexit has weakened the EU. This gives belligerent powers an opening they haven’t had since the end of the Balkans Wars.

None of these conditions has changed. If anything, they have gotten worse, with Germany unable to form a government, Brexit still causing chaos in the UK, and the Euroskeptic Right gaining ground from the Netherlands to Austria. In the meantime, the Trump administration has utterly gutted the State Department, leaving the US with practically no diplomatic resources from which to draw.

If you asked me to put odds on the likelihood of this prediction coming true, I'd put them at 30%. That's more than I'd have put it at a year ago, and enough that I feel comfortable still making this prediction.

Housing prices will grow at their slowest rate since 2010. This is quite simply because the GOP tax plan has put a cap of $750K on the value of mortgages that come with an interest deduction. This makes borrowing to buy homes in expensive markets more costly, and puts a soft cap of on how much a home's value can appreciate. The consequences of this slowdown will mostly be felt by the middle class, for whom most of their net worth is typically in real estate.

Democrats will win enough seats to control the US House and US Senate in 2019.
Democrats will flip at least six (6) governor's seats and six (6) state legislatures in 2018.

Last year I said that the Virginia and New Jersey elections in 2017 would give us a sense of what 2018 would be like. The Democrats performed impressively in Virginia. More to the point, they ran a nearly perfect campaign in Alabama, which resulted in a stunning upset. This gives me the sense that, whatever their faults, the DNC seems to have figured out a magic formula that could lead to blowout wins in November 2018. It will require a lot of hard work (so get ready to make phone calls and knock on doors), and a lot of money (so get ready for a flood of fundraising emails). But if they can pull it off, the resulting wave could undo all the Republican gains of 2010 and 2014, and then some.

SCOTUS will rule in both Gill v. Whitford and Benisek v. Lamone that excessive gerrymandering violates the Equal Protection clause of the Constitution.

I think, based on the way Justice Kennedy reacted towards the GOP side in Gill v. Whitford, that there are five votes to declare the Wisconsin map unconstitutional. My guess is that SCOTUS took Benisek v. Lamone in order to give conservatives on the Court a booby prize -- that is, since the Republicans are going to lose Gill, they can take comfort that the Democrats will also lose Benisek.

The Euroskeptic Right will win the March elections in Italy, further weakening the EU.

Just two days ago, Italy's President dissolved the legislature, which had, in typical Italian fashion, produced three Prime Ministers in five years. Right now the polls have the Euroskeptic Five Star Movement slightly ahead of the center-left Democrats. My guess is that the Five Star Movement will probably win enough seats to form a governing coalition with a cluster of center-right parties.

The Racist Right will run out of steam in America, while the Socialist Left gains momentum.

As I've stated before, People are hungry for an alternative to the neoliberalism and globalism that has caused a lot of economic pain. After the collapse of the Soviet Union and the collapse of the anti-capitalist left along with it, those alternatives came primarily from the European New Right, particularly de Benoist.

For those who are not familiar with de Benoist, he is a French philosopher who has adapted the ideas of both far right philosophers (Evola) and far left philosophers (Gramsci) into a new vision of European society, one that is fundamentally ethnocentric. The object of his attacks are neoliberal capitalism, equality, American-style democracy, and, to a lesser extent, Christianity.

When de Benoist and his cronies got their start in the 1960s, they had interesting ideas, but few followers. On the other hand, the anti-capitalist, particularly socialist, left, had billions of followers, but (due in no small part to the intellectual stagnation that came with Communism) stale ideas.

Today, de Benoist and his ideas have philosophies that have been in development for fifty years, and they have numbers. This puts them in a good position to benefit from Euroskepticism, and that's been evident from some of the election results of 2017.

Meanwhile in America, the far right has (thanks to the intellectual bankruptcy of the alt-right and the neo-nazis) more numbers, but stale ideas. They also have terrified their opponents into action, not the least because the far right has gone so far as to murder their opponents. This has brought them a lot of negative media attention. The window of time in which it was socially acceptable to be part of the American far right has come and gone. On the other hand, it has never been socially unacceptable in the bohemian-bourgeoisie circles that dominate our culture to be socialist. And so, In reaction to the shock of the American far right, and in reaction to the Trump agenda, many on the center left have started to give socialism another look.

I think this next year will see the socialist left continue to grow in numbers, both in America and in Europe. Unfortunately, I do not see that they have developed the engaging ideas that can keep the movement going, except as a reaction against the far right. Nonetheless, for the next few years, the numbers of the socialist left will continue to grow.

If any Democratic Socialists are reading this, I would encourage them to at least try to engage with de Benoist. They don't need to agree with him --- heavens forfend! --- but they do need to learn how to elevate their thinking to his level. They would also do well to remember Edward Witten's critique of the New Left from fifty years ago, and to address the flaws he found.

A critic might ask whether someone who started out a socialist, and engaged with (or was capable of engaging with) de Benoist might no longer be a socialist. This is a fair question, and in truth, I think they would not be socialist if they could grasp de Benoist. I'm not so much concerned with whether socialists can save socialism, but whether they can come up with an alternative to neoliberalism and globalism that is something other than ethnocentrism.

The clock is ticking.

The Chicago Cubs will, once more, return to postseason baseball.

The team that won the Cubs' first World Series since 1908 is still young, and still mostly intact. As an added bonus, they brought their most senior member back as a coach. This year they made it to the NLDS. I think they will repeat in 2018.

Clemson will win the College Football Bowl Series Championship.

I used to be a big SEC fan. I have since come to the conclusion that the SEC is overrated. In particular, Alabama, who lost their final SEC game to Auburn, has no business being in this championship series. I think Clemson is going to ROFLstomp Alabama. Meanwhile, Oklahoma is paired against the other SEC team, Georgia. Georgia has more business being there than Alabama does, but Oklahoma is still the stronger team from the stronger conference.

That means that the championship game will be Oklahoma v. Clemson. In a match-up between number one and number two, the smart money is on number one.
maxomai: dog (Default)
A little more than a year ago, I presented my predictions for 2017. Unlike other predictors, I keep score of how I did at the end of each year, as a way to hold myself accountable. So, how did I do this year? Not so well, in fact.

My predictions were:

  • There will be a war in Eastern Europe.

  • The Far Right will win in the Netherlands, but not in Germany or France, despite substantial gains.

  • Democrats will win Governor’s races in Virginia and New Jersey.

  • Richard Spencer will not be elected to Congress.

  • The economy will slow down, with tech feeling it the worst.

  • The State of California will sue to keep recreational marijuana legal.

  • The Chicago Cubs will return to the postseason.

  • Alabama will win the national college football championship.

Here's how I did on each of these:

  • There will be a war in Eastern Europe. This did not happen in 2017, but the conditions,
    which I described in my 2017 predictions post, still remain. This is a prediction I will carry over into next year.

  • The Far Right will win in the Netherlands, but not in Germany or France, despite substantial gains. The Far Right PVV did not win in the Netherlands, but did come in second place, and gained enough seats in the European Parliament to form a far-right caucus along with eight other European nationalists. Le Pen lost in France to a centrist alliance led by Marcon. Perhaps the European far right's greatest victory was in Germany, where AfD, although by no means the majority, managed to get just enough seats to make forming a new government impossible. De-facto leadership of the Free World now lies with France.

  • Democrats will win Governor’s races in Virginia and New Jersey. New Jersey was an easy call. Virginia was a harder one, but as it turns out, the Virginia Democrats got their acts together, and not only retained the Governor's seat, but nearly wrested control of the House of Delegates from the GOP.

  • Richard Spencer will not be elected to Congress. This prediction was made at a time when Spencer wanted to make a bid for Ryan Zinke's seat in the House. Spencer ended up not running, quite possibly because punching Nazis became a thing in January.

  • The economy will slow down, with tech feeling it the worst. In fact, while the economy did slow down somewhat, tech had a boom year.

  • The State of California will sue to keep recreational marijuana legal. My presumption here was that the Trump administration would go after low-hanging fruit --- legal marijuana --- before tackling bigger topics like immigration. In fact, they went after immigrants first, and in doing so nearly led the nation to a full-blown melt-down.

  • The Chicago Cubs will return to the postseason. The Cubs made it to the postseason, and to the NLDS. They did not make it farther.

  • Alabama will win the national college football championship. In fact, they lost to Clemson,

maxomai: dog (Default)

  • The most important thing to know today: ACA repeal is not over, not by a long shot. Andy Slavitt lays it out for us here.

  • Facebook is blaming their AI for the fact that you can targets ads to "Jew Haters" on their platform.. On the one hand, between this and other betrayals of privacy, there is a good case for abandoning Facebook entirely. On the other, there is a case that Facebook's problems are just the tip of the iceberg. Remember Total Information Awareness? Do you think that's gone away? Or, on the other hand, do you think that maybe someone at Homeland Security is doing exactly the same analysis that Facebook is, but geared towards rooting out enemies of the state instead of selling advertising?

  • Lots of people among my Facebook friends and anti-war buddies supported Trump on the grounds that he would be better for brown people overseas (even if worse for brown people in the United States)
    than Clinton. This proposition looks silly yet again as Trump tries to do away with Obama-era restrictions on drone strikes.

  • Today's award for Best Troll goes to Slashdot user phantomfive for this piece about weakly vs. strongly typed languages, wherein he adds a parting shot, "Does this make you want to avoid Python?" Why is this trolling, you ask? Because the definition of strongly typed is ambiguous and often misunderstood. Python, for example, is considered a strongly typed language, albeit a dynamic one. The resulting thread would make my programming languages professors want to drink to forget.

  • If you're going to the H. P. Lovecraft Film Festival in a few weeks, you should know that Liv Rainey-Smith will have screenprints of Shub-Niggurath, Cthulhu, and Krampus for sale. These are not woodblock print originals, but screen prints on wood veneer!

maxomai: (mouse)
Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales is launching WikiTRIBUNE, a new site of actual journalism designed to fight fake news. Quoting CNN:

The site will publish news stories written by professional journalists. But in a page borrowed from Wikipedia, internet users will be able to propose factual corrections and additions. The changes will be reviewed by volunteer fact checkers.

Which of course leads to a problem: what if a swarm of people who want to promote an alternative theory, not supported by the facts, takes over the discussion on WikiTribune?

Of course, Slashdot has a discussion.
maxomai: dog (Default)
Medium doesn't work with my workflow, so it's back to LiveJournalDreamwidth for me. Here we go kids!

maxomai: dog (dog)
Well folks, it's time for me to retire from LiveJournal. It's been almost 14 years and thousands of posts, and I've lasted here longer than a lot of people, but this place isn't what it used to be.

I am going to continue blogging, however, on Medium. It doesn't give me the same level of control as LJ, but it does give me the sense of community that has all but disappeared from LJ outside the Russophone world.

I hope you'll join me there, or on Twitter.
maxomai: dog (dog)
This was a terrible year for just about everyone and everything, and that includes my predictions for this year. That said, I did better this year than last, scoring 6 out of 14 correct predictions. Let's go through what I predicted for 2016, where I was right or wrong, and why.

  1. Hillary Clinton will be elected President of the United States --- DID NOT HAPPEN

    This seemed like a slam dunk given the polls at the time, and the dynamics of electoral politics since 2006. So what happened?

    The Clinton campaign blames the Comey letter to Congress for shifting undecided voters to Trump. Post-election polling shows about half of Clinton voters blame Russia, because Russia hacked the DNC and the Clinton campaign (which is supported by the intelligence community including the FBI), and also because they believe Russia somehow changed the vote tally (a hypothesis for which there is no supporting evidence).

    I think what really happened is simpler and more prosaic and depressing. The DNC and the Bill Clinton people resorted back to their old ways and fucked up a perfectly winnable Presidential race, a la Al Gore in 2000.

    In particular, they fucked up on messaging. Most of their television ads were about what a horrible person Donald Trump is, rather than why Hillary Clinton should be President. They adopted a slogan, "Love Trumps Hate," that once again made Donald Trump, not Hillary Clinton, the center of attention. Everyone involved in the campaign --- and I mean, everyone from the lowest level canvassing and phone banking volunteer to the candidate herself --- needs to go back and re-read George Lakoff's Don't Think of an Elephant, which spells out in plain terms why this is an inexcusible fuck-up.

    That's just one way in which the campaign fell apart. There's dozens of others, from not bothering to engage the Democratic apparatus in Madison, WI, to presuming Pennsylvania was safely in their column, to continually writing off the Bernie people at an organizational level.

    The end result is a mess. Donald Trump is a thin-skinned, grossly incompetent President-Elect, whose actions post-election might have asuaged the investor class but have terrified and angered half the country at the same time that it has galvanized the white supremacist so-called "alt-right." He shows all the signs that his administration will be corrupt, brutally racist, and unrepentantly authoritarian and antidemocratic. There are even signs that he might be a Russian puppet.

    Trump is a weak PEOTUS in a lot of ways, but one that should not go ignored is his level of support. His approval ratings are at an historic low for Presidents-Elect. He has negative coattails such that the GOP lost House and Senate seats. And, his popular vote margin is at about negative 2.9 million.

    This gives the Democratic Party a narrow path to avoid extinction. It needs to win big in local and state races, and hold its ground in Congressional races, in 2018, if it wants a shot of winning the White House in 2020 or getting back control of Congress in 2022. Trump's unpopularity gives them a shot, and it's already produced results in the form of a flood of new volunteers and apparatchiks. What's needed to capitalize on this new blood is a return to the fifty state strategy espoused by Howard Dean in his tenure as DNC chairman.

  2. The Democrats will gain seats in the US House of Representatives, but nowhere near enough to take control in the next Congress. --- HAPPENED

    This actually happened, and it's one of the most underreported political stories of 2016.

  3. The Democrats will score a net gain of at least four US Senate seats, enough to control the Senate in the next Congress. --- DID NOT HAPPEN

    Long story short, Democrats blew a lot of easily winnable races by assuming that the Great Lakes states were in the bag.

  4. Kate Brown will be elected to finish her predecessor's term as Governor of Oregon. --- HAPPENED

    Oregon Democrats did worse this election season than expected, but Kate Brown won in a shoo-in. Dennis Richardson's win as Secretary of State should sound alarm bells for 2018.

  5. Augustus Invictus will NOT be Florida's next US Senator. --- HAPPENED

    In fact, Marco Rubio went back to run for his old seat, and won. That said, it might well have been that Augustus Invictus was simply before his time. The events of the next few years, and in particular, the success or failure of fellow authoritarian Richard Spencer in Montana, will tell us more.

  6. Tammy Duckworth will win the general election to represent Illinois in the US Senate. --- HAPPENED

    And so Barack Obama's Senate seat repeats the pattern in which it has been since Alan Dixon lost the Democratic primary to Carol Mosley-Braun; that is, switching parties every six years.

  7. Black Lives Matter will dominate the Presidential race --- DID NOT HAPPEN

    In fact, what dominated the Presidential race was two even bigger manifestations of America's deeply rooted racism: anti-Muslim and anti-Latinx sentiment espoused by Donald Trump. It's not going to get better without a lot of work.

  8. Gun sales will continue to reach new records; prices of both guns and ammo will increase. --- HAPPENED

    Gun buyers assumed that Clinton would win and kept buying guns in anticipation of a Clinton administration AWB. New records were met each month. Now that Trump is going to be in power, I expect the gun market, which is usually driven by fear and anxiety, to level off, even as it gains new customers on the left.

  9. ISIS will execute a Paris-style attack on the United States. --- HAPPENED

    This would be the Pulse Nightclub shooting of June 12th. This focused the gay rights movement briefly on the cause of gun prohibition. I suspect that's over now that there are bigger fish to fry.

  10. ISIS will lose half their territory between 1/1/2015 and 12/30/2016. --- DID NOT HAPPEN

    ISIS has lost territory, but only by about a quarter, not a half, as measured in square miles.

  11. Oil prices will go back up to $70/barrel this summer --- DID NOT HAPPEN

    In fact, OPEC kept the spigot open. Demand has increased thanks to the cheaper oil prices, and prices never got above $50.

  12. The Oregon Ducks will win the Alamo Bowl. --- DID NOT HAPPEN

    What should have been an easy game turned into a stunning, horrifying collapse, presaging a dreadful 2016 season. Cue sad trombone. I remain a fan.

  13. The Carolina Panthers will beat the New England Patriots in the Super Bowl --- DID NOT HAPPEN

    In fact, the Panthers played the Broncos, and lost. The look on Cam Newton's face when the clock expired says it all.

  14. The Chicago Cubs will return to the postseason. --- HAPPENED

    A lot sucked about 2016, but it had great sports stories. The biggest is that Leicester City, a perennial underdog in British soccer, won the Premier League championship for 2015-2016. A very close second to that is the Chicago Cubs coming back from three games down, and eeking out a tough, harrowing win in game seven, to win the World Series and end a 108 year championship drought.

Tomorrow, I will state my predictions for 2017. See you then!
maxomai: dog (Default)
Today the Democratic National Convention will vote on their candidate for President, and it's virtually certain that Hillary Clinton will win the nomination. Let me explain why she will have my enthusiastic support, even though I think she's far less than ideal.

Read more... )
maxomai: dog (dog)
EDIT August 4, 2016: Strickland has since been indicted by a grand jury on 10 counts of unlawful use of a weapon, 10 counts of menacing, and one count of disorderly conduct. I still think he's being over-charged on each count of unlawful use of a weapon, as per below.

As delighted as I am the Michael Strickland (of Laughing-at-Liberals and Asshole-who-pulled-a-gun-at-the-BLM-march fame) was charged with two counts of Unlawful Use of a Weapon, my guess is that he will almost certainly see those particular charges go away.

There are two ways one can commit Unlawful Use of a Weapon (per ORS 166.220):

1) "Attempts to use unlawfully against another, or carries or possesses with intent to use unlawfully against another, any dangerous or deadly weapon as defined in ORS 161.015"

2) "Intentionally discharges a firearm, blowgun, bow and arrow, crossbow or explosive device within the city limits of any city or within residential areas within urban growth boundaries at or in the direction of any person, building, structure or vehicle within the range of the weapon without having legal authority for such discharge."

He didn't discharge his firearm, so (2) is out, leaving (1). And that's where it gets interesting. The prosecution has to argue that Michael Strickland either (a) carried a firearm with the intention of using it unlawfully, or (b) that he attempted to use it unlawfully when he pulled it. Now, they have to demonstrate mens rea, or intent. And that's going to be a pain in the ass.

If I had to guess, if the prosecution is serious about arguing their case, they will focus on the fact that Strickland had five extra magazines on him (for a total of about 80-100 rounds, including the ones in his gun), and argue that was excessive. But given the other charges (menacing and disorderly conduct), this looks like the prosecution over-charged him for being a troublemaker. As much as I despise Michael Strickland, that kind of behavior from a prosecutor can't stand. I doubt a judge or jury will disagree, even in liberal Portland.

As usual, IANAL, I just obsess over this stuff.
maxomai: dog (dog)
Recently a friend of mine asked:

"But do you really think even if the DNC makes this compromise that Sanders supporters will vote Blue in the General Election?"

My answer is, yes, because part of that deal will be that Sanders rallies his supporters behind Clinton.

Sanders supporters talk a big game about how they won't back Clinton even if Sanders tells them to do so, but we can also look at a similar situation that happened in 2008 and see how those sentiments will eventually play out. Let's check polling data for how Clinton supporters (so-called PUMAs) felt about Obama at this time in the 2008 elections versus how Sanders supporters feel about Clinton now. A CNN exit poll conducted in May 2008 indicated that Clinton supporters would support Obama over McCain by 48-34. Gallup polled the same group before the Democratic Convention and found that support for Obama had improved to about 70%. By the time the convention was done it was over 80%. We can credit Clinton's "No Way, No How, No McCain" speech for that ten point rise. Eventually Clinton supporters backed Obama over McCain, 83-17.

As of this week, Clinton has 69% support amongst Sanders supporters, and their underlying sentiments are mostly hostile towards Trump. Sanders's job of getting his supporters to back Clinton is somewhat easier than Clinton's job was getting her supporters to back Obama. If we presume that Sanders knows (a) he won't be the nominee and (b) his legacy will be in how he makes the Democratic Party more progressive, then it's reasonable to assume that he'll conclude that a Clinton Presidency is better for his legacy than a Trump Presidency, and that he will, therefore, be one of Clinton's best advocates during and after the convention.
maxomai: dog (dog)
For a long time now, progressive Democrats like me have hoped for a Clinton-Warren ticket to storm its way to the White House in 2016. Unfortunately, Harry Reid has put the kabosh on that. His reasoning is as follows: if the VP is a Senator from a state with a Republican Governor, that Governor is likely to pick a Republican to replace the VP-elect, leaving Democrats at a disadvantage for winning back the Senate, even should they win the White House.

So, with those hard criteria in mind, if Clinton is going to pick a sitting Senator for her VP nominee, who should she pick? The ideal candidate would be a popular progressive from a purple state with a lot of electoral votes, who can also stand up to the pressures of a Presidential campaign. That's quite an ask, but I think we have three good candidates for the job: Mark Warner, Claire McCaskill and Al Franken. Of those, Al Franken would be, by far, the most popular choice, and I think it makes the most sense for Clinton to give him the opportunity.

Click for the details! )
maxomai: dog (dog)
Long time readers of this LJ will recall that [ profile] dondodson and I used to argue with each other on this page and his. Despite our disagreements, I considered him a friend, and a valuable one, because he taught me a point of view that was completely alien to me --- that is, that of a hard-nosed Southern Baptist theoconservative and partisan Republican --- having grown up in a nominally Roman Catholic, partisan Democratic family in Chicago.

It pains me to report that last week his wife Hua let it be known that Don took his own life on April 19th.

Don and I started arguing from the day we met at Shreve Hall at Purdue University. We argued, respectfully but sometimes heatedly, about everything from religion to politics to changes in society and culture. We argued via signs on our dorm room doors, then over email, then over LiveJournal, then over FaceBook. I won’t rehash those arguments in this post, except to stat that there are only three things upon which we strongly agreed. The first and least important is that we both despised the darkly comical horror show that is Donald Trump's run for President. The second is the importance of the Second Amendment for the strength of the Republic. The third and most important is that he found a magnificent and capable partner in Hua.

I do have memories to share here, and they go to that third point of agreement.

By twenty-two years ago, meaning the first half of 1994, Don had already graduated college and had moved to Phoenix, Arizona, to start his career. Hua was still finishing her degree at Purdue, and the distance between them was clearly painful to him. On Valentine’s Day of that year he asked me whether I could do him a favor, that is, to print out a letter to Hua that he would email me, and also pick up some flowers, and deliver both of them the printed email and the flowers to his future wife. Of course I agreed. He thanked me profusely, and wrote a letter to his future wife where he testified to his love in glowing, almost embarrassing terms. I picked up a dozen flowers at the local supermarket — I can’t remember what they were but I’d like to think they were roses — then printed out his letter to Hua in the computer labs, then (I think) put the letter in a card for Hua, and then delivered the lot to her at the residence hall where she worked as a counselor. (I believe it was, again, Shreve.)

Hua, of course, missed Don, and of course wanted to return the favor. So for his 22nd birthday, which was going to be April 9th of that year, she wanted to make a video tape of some of his college friends joking around. Hua was kind enough to invite me to participate, which I did gladly. It was April 3rd — I know the date well, and I’ll tell you later how I know that date. It was a Sunday, and I had just finished studying in the Union building when I started my hike to Shreve to participate in the video.

Now, remember, this is April we’re talking about. It's Spring, the campus is in full bloom, the pleasant weather makes it hard to concentrate on one’s studies, and life is grand. So naturally, when I left the Union building, it was surprisingly very cold. As I passed underneath the math building, which was about a third of the way on my journey, it started snowing. And snowing. And snowing. And snowing. And snowing. By the time I got to Shreve the snow was about two feet deep. Fortunately I had a biker jacket and combat boots and a healthy layer of fat to keep me warm. We made our video in an afternoon — I remember doing some improvised routine with a clown friend of his — and I presume it got to Don in time for his birthday.

The love they had was unmistakable then. It continues to be unmistakable today, even in his current and more profound absence that once again separates them but temporarily.

To Hua, and to hers and Don’s children, I hope that the his love and the memories of his love bring you peace in the coming years.
maxomai: dog (dog)
In the wake of the Trump Un-Rally unfolding in Chicago, Chris Hayes just posted four tweets about the Donald Trump campaign that are critical to understanding the dynamics of American politics since 1968, and why it's falling apart now.

This is a particularly on-point observation by Hayes, especially given Pat Buchanan's calls for the GOP to unite behind Trump or risk losing to Hillary Clinton.
maxomai: dog (dog)
Here are my predictions for the Tuesday, March 1st primaries and caucuses.

Clinton: Alabama, American Samoa, Arkansas, Georgia, Massachusetts, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia.
Sanders: Colorado, Minnesota, Vermont.

I think Sanders will perform worse than expected tomorrow. He needs a win in Massachusetts and the polling says that it just isn't there. Recent polls have showed Sanders doing well in Oklahoma, but those polls are VERY recent, and I'm not convinced they reflect reality.

Obama won more delegates than Clinton on Super Tuesday 2004. That won't happen this year, and Sanders will continue to fall behind Obama's 2008 pace. This won't be the end of the Sanders campaign by a long shot, but it will be the end of any serious discussion of Sanders being the next Obama. Clinton knows this, and she's already started focusing on her campaign against Donald Trump.

Cruz: Arkansas, Minnesota, Texas.
Trump: Alabama, Alaska, Georgia, Massachusetts, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Vermont, Virginia.

Cruz is kicking ass in his home state of Texas, and that's bleeding over into the somewhat culturally similar state of Arkansas. He had a good showing in Iowa, which I think will also pan out in neighboring Minnesota. But the bottom line is that Donald Trump is crushing the competition everywhere else. I think he will finish tomorrow night with enough outright 50%+ wins to build an insurmountable delegate lead.

Once Trump becomes the clear winner, the GOP establishment will then be faced with a dilemma: whether to embrace a Trump/Cruz ticket with no establishment anchoring whatsoever, or try to foist Rubio on the Party in a brokered convention and risk Trump running as a third party candidate. If I were them, I'd back Trump. There is no good scenario now that will win the White House for the GOP. However, a two-major-candidate race at least gives the GOP a chance to save the Senate. A three-major-candidate race would doom the GOP in the Senate, and could cost them the House and many state legislatures.


maxomai: dog (Default)

December 2018

30 31     


RSS Atom

Most Popular Tags

Style Credit

Expand Cut Tags

No cut tags
Page generated Apr. 19th, 2019 03:01 pm
Powered by Dreamwidth Studios