Category: Presidential Politics

OR24 Caucus Report — It Wasn’t Like that at the Caucus I Attended

By , March 23, 2016 12:51 pm

I’ve read reports that ballot stuffers were hard at work last night, sealing the deal for Ted Cruz. How else to account for his resounding win in Utah when next door in Arizona the Donald won? Without going deep on that question, I’ll just say this about the OR24 (Orem 24) caucus last night:

  • There was no ballot stuffing last night.
  • There was no giving people stacks of ballots.
  • Kirby Glad ran the caucus in an orderly and controlled fashion.
  • Multiple people counted ballots in plain view of all in attendance.
  • I know at least four of the people counting ballots. The day they cheat is the day the world ends.

I say this as one who is not a party official. I have been a county delegate before last night–2008 and 2010, IIRC. I was there from start to finish of the voting. There was no hanky panky. And the results of our caucus virtually mirrored the final vote percentages for the state. Just sayin’.

So a Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Orem (Caucus)

By , March 23, 2016 12:39 pm

UCRP_2016-03-23_1237Actually, it happened at the Orem, Utah, Precinct 24 Caucus–OR24 for short. I was elected county and state delegate. (A really funny thing did happen, by the way. My son David–bored to tears by the very slow reading of the party platform–volunteered to read. You know those commercials with the speed talkers in them? Got nothing on him. He finished to loud applause.)

Anyway, I’m waiting for some information on my responsibilities from Precinct Chairperson Kirby Glad. I also must attend a training session for officers and delegates–I’ll do this on Saturday morning. My plan is to use my blog to keep people apprised of what I learn about the candidates and issue, so check back.

My How Times Have Changed! Or Is It the Media That Has Changed?

By , March 4, 2016 12:28 pm

I’m interested in what you think about the differences between the debates in these two videos, one from 1960 in West Virginia, the other from Detroit just last night. Not in the content so much–that is the policy proposals–but in the quality and type of questions the media poses.

Humphrey-Kennedy Primary Debate in West Virginia – 1960

 

Republican Primary Debate in Detroit, Michigan – 2016

 

My view? The media plays at least as large a part in creating these disasters we call debates nowadays as the candidates–more, much more, in my opinion. Fox, CNN, NBC. Doesn’t make a difference. Chris Wallace’s opening question, for example, is not worthy of a debate that will help decide who we might choose a president. (I won’t comment, for now, on the difference in the quality and type of questions in the Democratic debates, other than to say, there is a difference.)

The Roman Colosseum-like crowds? Don’t get me started.

Mitt vs. The Donald: The Donald Loses

By , March 3, 2016 10:49 am

When the Spotlight’s Not So Bright

By , March 1, 2016 8:49 am

Neil Goldschmidt_5629lFor a whiff of why the press is dumping on Trump—as well they should—and not so much on Hillary (and maybe Bernie), you only need read this.

Sunday evening, Spotlight won best picture for its portrayal of the Boston Globe’s coverage of the Catholic Church’s cover up of sex abuse. Abuse such as that should be exposed—and I say this as a fan of the Catholic Church. The light of day prevents rot. So where was the Spotlight in the case of the Mayor of Portland, then Governor of Oregon, Neil Goldschmidt as he cavorted openly with his 14-year old babysitter? Well, some people turned it off because, well, Goldschmidt was such a good governor.

Unless and until we have an equal opportunity Spotlight, things will only get worse. That Trump is leading in the polls is, in part, a response to partisan cover ups like this.

Here’s my take on Trump voters: They’re not responsive to all the well-sourced and factual mud being slung his way because they’ve learned that there’s mud to be slung at the other side, and it’s not being slung. The Spotlight was turned off on Bill Clinton’s shenanigans. Yes, I know the press covered Monica Lewinsky, but grudgingly. But it was all Juanita Broderick who? Kathleen Wiley who? Paula Jones? “If you drag a hundred dollar bill* through a trailer park, you never know what you’ll find.” It’s just sex after all.

And in President Obama’s case, the Spotlight was used only to create a halo at photo ops.**

“So what the hell!” the Trump voter cries, “I’m voting for Trump!”

I’m not. But I know at least one reason why they are.

The Ursula Le Guin reference at the beginning of the second story deserves repeating:

The Ones Who Walk Away From Omelas,’ is set in the ultimate Shining City on a Hill, a place of joy and happiness, full of educated, creative types who spend their days frolicking at festivals and occasionally indulging in (non-habit-forming) drugs that reveal the secrets of the universe while ‘exciting the pleasure of sex beyond all belief.’

There are ‘fast little trains and double-decked trams’ in Omelas. And a farmers’ market.

‘If the child were brought up into the sunlight, … all the prosperity and beauty and delight of Omelas would wither and be destroyed. … The child’s torture is no secret. The good people of Omelas know.’

How great is Omelas that we look the other way? Have a nice day.
.

*Only just now did I notice Carville’s Freudian slip.

**I won’t bring them up here, but I’m not oblivious to the fact that Right has done its fair share of covering up as well, the only difference being that the media is largely liberal, so such cover ups are less successful.

UPDATE: @MZHemingway_2016-03-01_1244

Hillary Clinton vs. William Safire

By , February 12, 2016 2:13 pm

Safire wins!

Sorry, this outburst was prompted by this morning’s Diane Rhem Show, where Diane and three reporters discussed the race between Hillary and Bernie. In taking about why Hillary wasn’t gaining traction among voters generally and women voters in FILE: William Safire, Speechwriter of President Nixon Dead At 79...WASHINGTON - FEBRUARY 27: (FILE PHOTO) Columnist of the New York Times, William Safire, gestures as he attends a roundtable discussion on NBC's 'Meet the Press' during a taping at the NBC studios February 27, 2005 in Washington, DC. It was reported that William Safire, a speechwriter for U.S. President Richard M. Nixon and a Pulitzer Prize-winning political columnist for The New York Times died at a hospice at the age of 79 on September 27, 2009 in Rockville, Maryland. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)particular, the three reports avoided the obvious–though one listener made them face the same fact that led William Safire to speak his mind on the matter of Hillary.

What an election.

Trump Tweets Trump Fans Won’t Re-Tweet

By , January 31, 2016 8:48 pm

This one, by Tom Nichols, for example.

And She’s Better Looking Too

By , September 22, 2015 8:52 pm

Fiorina struck it rich at the second Republican debate, while Trump sunk. Carly has her problems–many point to her time at HP, for example–but she’s quick on her feet. Only Rubio holds a candle to her when it comes to words.

To the Source (of much conversation)

By , March 6, 2015 2:37 pm

So, I’ve mentioned Oyez.org before, but I’m going to refer you again to this great little source of entertainment–if you like to follow the Supreme Court. Today, Oyez.org published the audio of Wednesday’s oral arguments in King v. Burwell, the important challenge to the statutory construction of the Affordable Care Act, commonly known as Obamacare. I have not listened to it, but I will be doing so in a few minutes as I run–yes, you can download the arguments.

You should listen to it too, rather than paying attention to second-hand commentary on the case.

LBJ: I Hardly Knew Ye

By , August 29, 2014 9:26 am

I’m reading–well, listening to, anyway–Robert Caro’s Pulitzer prize winning biography of LBJ, a bio he refers to as a study of political power, how to acquire it and how to use it. I’m almost through with the second volume, Means of Ascent. The first volume, Path to Power, which chronicles his life (and his ancestors’s life) up through his years in Congress and his first run at the U.S. Senate–which he lost only because his opponent–literally–bought more votes than he did and then only because Johnson got a little cocky on the day of the election, is an enthralling read. (In case this sentence is a little too complex [a little?], here’s the essence: The first volume is an enthralling read.) The second volume has proved its equal.

Means of Ascent discusses Johnson’s time in the armed services during World War II and his second run for the Senate, an election he literally bought, paid cash for. This comes as no surprise to the reader. At this point in the story, the reader has already read where Johnson stole a student election in college, stole another election for the presidency of an organization of congressional staffers, stole an actual congressional seat, and attempted to steal a Senate seat in a special election.

I’m reminded of a great line from the movie Patton. The great general is facing Rommel in North Africa, and he’s beating him. George C. Scott, as Patton, peers through his binoculars at the unfolding spectacle and says, “Rommel… you magnificent bastard, I read your book!” Methinks more than a few politicians and their operatives have read Caro’s biography of LBJ.

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