Circus Maximus MMXVI: Hit me with your best shot

25 01 2016

This is terrific:

presidential-candidates-ranked-usefulness-bar-fight

I loves me some bar-fight imagery; when I had my last eye surgery I said (and if’n I ever get around to my next eye surgery, will say again) the bruises were from a bar fight.

Anyway, not every description is brilliant, but there are enough great lines to make it worth reading, and I think the author, Ali Davis, makes a good case for each of the rankings, and I like that s/he gives props to Lindsay Graham.

No, I’m not particularly a fan of Sen. Graham, but he gets entirely too much shit for not being He-Man, so yay, Davis, for turning that into a strength.

Anyway, there was never really a question as to who’d be number one, was there?

Plus, Clinton takes care of her own. If you’re on her team and you’re in a fight, she’s going to be breaking chairs over people’s backs. And I don’t know where she got that bike chain that she’s whirling over her head, but there’s no time to think about that now; just be glad you’re not the guy she side-kicked into the juke box.

There are all kinds of policy reasons to be disgusted with Clinton, but yeah, I can picture her swinging a bike chain above the fray before slamming it down hard on some jamoke’s noggin.

And I. . . kinda like that.

h/t Rebecca Schoenkopf





Circus Maximus MMXVI: Big time

18 01 2016

Former Virginia Attorney General and current Ted Cruz supporter Ken Cuccinelli, on New York values:

There’s lots of other things that go with that like cheesecake and big sandwiches.

Mm-hmmm.





Circus Maximus MMXVI: If you believed they put a man on the moon

13 12 2015

Trump is not a fascist and the US is not Weimar, 1930 or 1932.

Ah, fuck it. I was going to write a big, long post on what is fascism and what was Weimar, but, shit, I don’t think Trump will get the GOP nomination and while the US is a too-violent society, including too much political violence, the parties don’t have paramilitaries which members regularly assault and assassinate one another.

I mean, I might at some point post on Weimar—keee-RIST what a fascinating period!—but the thought of tying that fascination to an explication of the not-fascism of someone who will not be the GOP nominee just makes me tired.

I will say the main reason I don’t think Trump is a fascist is the main reason I don’t think he’ll win: the lack of organization.

Italian fascists: organized.

Nazis: organized.

Trump? Well, he has staff, some of them quite interesting, and apparently a great many paid organizers in Iowa, but how many of those staff and organizers actually know what they’re doing? Even Molly Ball, in a piece generally credulous about Trump’s organization, notes that

To be sure, Trump’s campaign isn’t totally standard: Few of his hires have presidential campaign experience; his Iowa chairwoman is a former contestant on his reality show, The Apprentice. He doesn’t have a pollster or a super PAC. Though his press secretary, Hope Hicks, occasionally tangles with the media, he frequently gets on the phone with reporters to speak for himself in articles about him, rather than deploying a spokesperson.

(She thinks that latter bit is “refreshing”, and that “more candidates should do it”—which, Jesus, is wrong—and thinks that the fact that “Trump just found a bunch of people he liked and hired them, and it’s working out great” means that his organization is up to snuff. Ask me sometime what I think of Molly Ball’s analytical skills.)

He is doing well in the polls, sure, but can he translate that into primary votes? According to this Tim Fernholtz piece, as of October he hadn’t yet purchased data on voters:

“The voter file is a foundational piece for any grassroots campaign in Iowa and New Hampshire,” Patrick Ruffini, a veteran GOP operative who founded digital agency Engage, told Quartz. “If Trump’s campaign were not using any voter file, even after being offered it by the RNC, that would be a pretty shocking statement.”

He and his staffers can talk all they want about his “unconventional” approach, but primary (and general) election voting is a grind: You have to identify people who are likely to vote for your candidate, make sure they actually will vote for your candidate, and get them to the polls. If you lack a voter database, you can’t identify your likely voters, can’t reach out to them, and can’t make sure they actually show up to vote.

Trump staffers are, apparently, getting “bushels” of voters’ names, and they’ve apparently been grinding through them, but it’s not clear how well those names grabbed at rallies and restaurants match up with voter files, and thus, not clear how well his staffers will be able single out those who are willing to say “Go Trump!” to a pollster and those who are willing to spend several hours locked in a room on a Monday night in February.

And even if the rest of the primaries aren’t caucuses, that is, that they do only require a quick jaunt behind the curtain, there are 50 more of them; does he have infrastructure—and is he willing to pony up the money for the staff—to make it to through Super Tuesday, much less to June?

I do recognize that I could be wrong about all of this, that Trump may have figured out how to crack the delegate-gathering process the same way he’s figured out how to crack into the campaign itself. It’s entirely possible that I, in following Jonathan Bernstein, Nate Silver, and the rest on the durability of the old model of successful primary campaigns, am getting it wrong.

But I don’t think so.

~~~

And fucking hell, I just wrote an entire fucking post on this man, even after saying I wouldn’t bother.  Sucked y’all in with that ‘fascism bit’ and taking a turn at ‘organization’. Man. Sorry about that.





Circus Maximus MMXVI: Don’t know much about history

9 11 2015

On the one hand, voters shouldn’t worry that Ben Carson doesn’t know much about policy because he’s like Solomon:

“There are a lot of policies that I lack knowledge on,” he told reporters during his book signing in Miami on Thursday. “I’m gaining knowledge. But I don’t by any stretch of the imagination confess to knowing everything. That’s the reason you have advisors.”

“Even Solomon, the wisest man who ever lived, said, ‘A multitude of counselors is safety.’ The real question [about candidates] is, after they’re informed and have an opportunity to digest and talk about it, can they make a wise decision? It’s a false narrative that you have to know everything.”

Yet on the other hand he know more than any stupid experts about the purpose of Egypt’s pyramids:

“My own personal theory is that Joseph built the pyramids to store grain. Now all the archeologists”—here, Carson waves his hand dismissively—“think that they were made for the pharaohs’ graves. But, you know, it would have to be something awfully big if you stop and think about it. And I don’t think it’d just disappear over the course of time, to store that much grain.” Carson had his own take on the engineering: “When you look at the way that the pyramids are made, with many chambers that are hermetically sealed, they’d have to be that way for a reason.” The King’s Chamber, as he saw it, was not an instrument panel or a power substation, but a big Tupperware container.

“It’s still my belief, yes,” Carson said, on Wednesday, when CBS News asked him if he still held to this theory. Then, with an almost pitying smile, Carson explained again, as if to a child, that “the pyramids were made in a way that they had hermetically sealed compartments. You wouldn’t need hermetically sealed compartments for a sepulchre. You would need that if you were trying to preserve grain for a long period of time.”

So, riddle me this: how does Carson know what he knows and know what he doesn’t know so that he’ll know when to go with what he knows and when to defer to those who know what he doesn’t know?

 





Rolling in the deep

28 10 2015

There was a Republican debate tonight and plenty o’ grading for my Friday class. So what did I do?

Watched interviews with Adele on YouTube.

I’m not necessarily a huge fan of her music—I mean, I like her husky voice and retro-soul sound and all, but she doesn’t set my hair on fire—but I am quite a fan of her.

This video is part of the reason why. Start watching about the 9:10 mark:

She starts a bit low-key, but once she gets rollin’, well, who wouldn’t want to hang out with her?

Still got to get that grading done, tho’.





Circus Maximus MMXVI: We don’t need another hero

8 10 2015

“I have had a gun held on me when I was in a Popeye’s organization” in Baltimore, [Ben Carson] told Karen Hunter on Sirius XM Radio, referring to the fried chicken fast-food chain. “Guy comes in, put the gun in my ribs. And I just said, ‘I believe that you want the guy behind the counter.'”

Doubt the guy behind the counter is going to be voting for the good doctor.

Via





Circus Maximus MMXVI: Sincerely

7 10 2015

Hillary Clinton has come out against the Trans-Pacific Partnership, and I say ‘Great!’

I also say: don’t believe it for a minute.

If she becomes president and the deal has been ratified by Congress, she’ll do nothing to overturn it; if it were shot down, she’ll find a way to resurrect it.

So, too, would a Republican president.

Even money on whether President Bernie Sanders would throw in with the TPP.








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