Sunday, May 15, 2016

Who Gets the Bucket?

Alrighty then, it seems like a good time to see where the 2016 candidates are, now that the all-important Guam caucus is over for the Democrats (extra irony here, folks; our 'territories' are populated by US citizens and veterans, but they can only vote in primaries), Nebraska is in the win column for Trump, and West Virginia is done for both parties.

Voting in primaries will continue until June 14, so it ain't over yet, not by a thousand miles of squat, green peppermint trees.

Hillary Clinton's loss in West Virginia, again, didn't really affect her standing as the front-runner, thanks to the rather arcane 'superdelegate' math that the Democrats like. Engineered scandals and constant carping about her husband's shenanigans over twenty years ago, coupled with the futile whinging about emails, servers and Benghazi!, have eroded her poll numbers slightly against Trump.

Still, Clinton will come into the general election cycle after the conventions with a clear Electoral College advantage over any GOP nominee. Nineteen states regularly and consistently vote Democratic in the general; add only one swing state like Florida, and Hillary Clinton becomes the 45th President. That would cause much wailing and gnashing of teeth, particularly since many conservatives seem to think that having a vagina makes one ineligible (and nevermind their miserable wanking over Sarah Palin - GOP vagina-bearers don't seem to count).

Bernie Sanders' road is still the same uphill climb, but I think I see what he might be angling toward. By taking this all the way to June, even if Sanders loses the nomination, he might still be in a position to affect the Party platform for November.

Which leads me inexorably to Donald Trump. The presumptive nominee has been accepting the fealty of many in the GOP establishment and inner hierarchy, but many of the big donors are disdaining Trump in favor of casting their bread upon the downticket races.

That's not to say that Trump's being idle, oh no - right now he's trying to run away from the policy positions (now called 'suggestions') that he made last year, as well as doing his own particular brand of damage control regarding his past. To say that Trump was a lecher and a bear with women would be understating the matter, and the Party of Family values is slowly getting comfortable with a serial adulterer (after all, they're used to Newton Gingrich, go figure).

The big news recently was Trump's selection of a running mate. Ordinarily his chief fixer would be spearheading the vetting process, but Manafort's a bit tainted, having worked for various Russian oligarchs and other unsavory types. His campaign manager, Corey Lewandoski, is apparently heading up the VP selection, and there's no end of people running away from the job.


Traditionally, the Vice President balances the ticket; a nominee from the Northeast would pick someone from the West or South to broaden the appeal. Failing that, a VP is chosen to buttress areas where the President might be weak - Biden had the foreign policy chops to support Obama, for example. In other cases, the VP can become a stronger officer of state than the President - Cheney's the best example of this.

Roosevelt's running mate for his first two terms, John Nance Garner, famously said that his office was "not worth a bucket of warm piss," and you really have to have some sympathy for whoever Trump picks as his Veep. That man or woman will be the most marginalized Vice President in recent history; if he comes out of the Senate, he'll be ostracized privately. And no matter who he or she is, they'll be hampered by one important fact.

Trump will not want anyone who he thinks might try to undermine him, which will happen. He'll want a nonentity, preferably; someone he can keep under his thumb and relegated to opening bridges and attending foreign funerals.

That's where we're at right now.

Wednesday, May 04, 2016

A Right Hoosier Hosing

Or, ousTED.

Rafael Cruz stated before the Indiana primary that the Hoosier State was his 'firewall' - that is, he would pin the hopes of his flagging campaign for the GOP nomination on winning that state or, at the very least, denying Donald Trump the clean sweep he craved.

The night ended with Cruz eliminaTED, as the Senator from Alberta dropped trou, bent over, and offered Trump the time-honored anal prolapse known as the Goatse of Concession. Trump (who earlier had suggested that Cruz's father helped the man who assassinaTED John F. Kennedy) was pleased to accept it, in the manner of a baboon accepting the submissive posture offered by an inferior member of the troop.

Cruz's concession was a long-winded, bitchy-toned, and piously platitudinous pastiche of passe political prose. He then inadvertently elbowed his long-suffering and possibly abused wife Heidi in the face as he hugged her.

Carly Fiorina now holds the title of Shortest VP Pick Ever, being Cruz's losing mate for only 7 days. She did win in that category, beating out Richard Schweiker (24 days) and Tom Eagleton (18 days). I think she was trying to look a bit downcast, but all the plastic surgery and Botox have assured the Demon Sheep of a permanently creepy expression for the rest of her life.

John Kasich won only about eight percent of the vote in Indiana, and is no doubt wondering how a governor of a neighboring state with the charisma of Scott Walker and the media savvy of Tim Pawlenty could have possibly lost.

Unless Kasich bows out, he can look forward to consistently coming in fourth in a two-man race.

Donald Trump accepted the Suffering All the Way to Havana award, given to all prospective nominees who are now inevitably going to get the Great Green Weenie but must still get through the remaining primaries. It gives him time to polish his invective and flood the airwaves with constant waves of bullshit regarding the putative Democratic nominee.*

Speaking of Hillary Clinton, she lost to Bernie Sanders in Indiana, but her delegate lead is sufficient to help her weather the loss. I think, and some pundits agree, that Sanders is staying in the race all the way to June in order to make sure that his views on the issues remain heard.

So, what's up next?

There are six more primaries slated for the month of May, and California looms like a vast bowl of pus on June 7. The entire cycle will be complete with the all-important Democratic primary in the District of Columbia on June 14th.

The possibility of a contested convention in Cleveland has now withered like a clump of sphagnum moss in a blast furnace, and despite the wet dreams of the Berniebros I really doubt that we'll see anything similar in Philly. Still, there are mutterings that the RNC will decide on a third party run to fight Trump.

And the reasons for that will be the subject of another post.

*And the Media will be happy to give him the air time for free.  Trump's great for ratings, after all, and the so-called journalists of all ideological stripes are vying with the Tea Partiers in licking his made in China designer shoes.

Two in the Stink

We'll just get the technical stuff out of the way first, dear readers, before we move on to The Weird.

The primaries back on Tuesday night were a triumph for Donald Trump as he took all five of the states (Rhode Island, Connecticut, Delaware, Maryland, and the biggest prize of the night. Pennsylvania). Rafael Cruz managed a poor third in most of the states, failing to even beat John Kasich.

Which goes to show you that screeching about "Northeastern elites" and "New York values" can backfire on you just a teensy bit.

Hillary Clinton took four of the five states, with Bernie Sanders getting only Rhode Island. It's starting to get close for Bernie, and he knows it - his campaign is reportedly beginning to shed staffers, a sure-fire signal that the campaign is starting to wind down. It's good timing if Sanders is, in fact, planning on ending his run, allowing the Democrats to unify well in advance of the convention.

Even the most ardent believer must eventually acknowledge objective reality.

You won't see such bowing to reality over on the Republican side, with neither of the three candidates even thinking about getting out before the Cleveland riots - er, convention. Kasich has no way of getting close to the magic 1237 number of delegates. but is hanging on like grim death in hopes that a deadlocked convention will turn its longing eyes to him and anoint him the Nominee out of pity.

Trump, on the other pseudopod, has no such hopes. He only has to win about half of the remaining delegates to assure himself of the Great Green Weenie on the first ballot, and has publicly announced that he considers himself the presumptive nominee of the GOP.

Which thrills the Rubes, and drives home what I said on March 27, 2011:

"He's certainly got all the narcissism and delusions of grandeur necessary to be a modern politician, plus the Slave Media love him to tiny bits. Speaking of tiny bits, he's also a serial adulterer like Gingrich, a full-class Birther and able to spread a smooth layer of bullshit. I can see a theme of his campaign speeches: "Vote for a Rich Man - The Poor Man's Friend." The Tea Party will lick the soles of his designer shoes."

No less a douchebag than Charles Koch has suggested - publicly - that maybe Hillary Clinton would be a better choice than Trump.

Trump gave his first major foreign relations speech yesterday, and it was very short on details (as described by the campaign - don't want to burden The Donald's bird-like mind). One observer opined that it was very much like Trump hired a nerd to write one of his term papers for him.

The campaign not only dumbed down the content, they put it on a teleprompter (a device for which Trump routinely excoriates Obama and Clinton), so that Trump wouldn't wander off the reservation as he usually does. His delivery came off as stilted and wooden as a result. The speech itself was largely an exercise in contradictions (our allies don't think we can be relied upon, so let's leave NATO and charge them for our services, just as an example).

By far the silliest bit in a silly day came Wednesday afternoon.

Rafael Cruz chose a running mate. Yes, the guy who's getting his ass regularly beaten by Trump and whose path to the nomination is fast dwindling, decided that the best boost he could give his campaign would be to choose a Vice President three months before the convention. With the stench od desperation hanging over his campaign like a shitmist, Cruz had to be seen to Do Something.

Now, who would a man widely known as the most hated man in the US Senate choose to run alongside him? Why, simple! Someone even more unpopular than him!

Meet Carly "Destroyer of Jobs" Fiorina, folks.

Horseface broke into song at one point, which added just that final bit of Bizarro to what had been a completely mental day of As the Republican Party Turns.

What does this all mean? My take on possible outcomes:

1. Sanders will eventually bow out, probably before California.

2. Kasich will stagger into Cleveland just in time to help the janitors sweep up.

3. The Cuyahoga River will burn like the Lake of Fire as the GOP make one last demented try at stopping Trump.

4. Trump will choose Chris Christie as his VP nominee (because a New Yorker would consider that enough regional diversity to balance the ticket).

5. Rafael will take his Carly and bolt the Party, taking a solid minority with him and splitting the Republican vote.

6. Somehow, all of this will be good news for John McCain.

Who is Luca Brasi?

The New York primary is now over.

Who sleeps with the fishes today?

We start with the Democratic candidates, because alphabetical order, so there. Clinton won, with about three hundred thousand more votes than Sanders. As a result, she garnered 175 delegates to Sanders' 106, virtually erasing the gains he made from winning the previous seven races.

With a steeper hill to climb, but still hopeful as the next volley of voting is just a week away (and in hopefully good states for Sanders - Connecticut, Delaware (which has only 3 counties - 4 at low tide), Maryland (O'Malley country), Pennsylvania, and the biggest prize of all, Rhode Island), Bernie went up to Vermont to take a day off and recover from the grueling pace. I expect Hillary to do the same.

The Republicans face the same states on April 26th, but yay howdy, the New York voting was FUN. A few highlights:

1. Trump swept practically the entire state, only losing his home county to . . . John Kasich.

2. As a result of the voting, Trump got a swollen nut of 89 delegates, and Kasich got 3.

3. Cruz got exactly shit. In fact, a couple of districts in Westchester County actually gave Ben Carson more votes than they gave Cruz. If only Carson had been awake to see it . . .

Trump now has about 845 delegates, provided that his Chief Fixer can lock them all in on time. For Cruz, the road just got tougher and the GOP establishment must be wishing they could have stuffed Trump in a bag and tossed him into the East River last year.


Still, the convention in Cleveland might be good for a few laughs and many more shenanigans. Some of the Idiot Wing have started squealing that they want the RNC to trash their rules on procedure and adopt Robert's Rules of Order.

Hoo boy, that'd be fun. Can you imagine how much the works would get gummed up if all of the delegates on the floor can interrupt the Chair and force changes to everything? Especially with all the 'Sovereign Citizen' types that just LOVE to squawk about the tiniest arcane twist of English vocabulary?

Give you a little hint. Back in 1972, the Democratic Convention in Miami ran over for so long as this person and that person took over the podium for meaningless shit that McGovern didn't give what many people thought was the greatest speech of his life until after 1 AM, after everyone at home had gone to bed, TV sets were showing test patterns, and most of the delegates were wallowing in a Behavioral Sink.

With twenty-four hour news feeds and social media, we probably won't miss the speeches from Cleveland. Whether that's a good thing or a bad thing remains to be seen.

Arcana Imperii

Or, How Trump Got His Butthurt On.

Colorado, along with a handful of other states and territories, does not hold a caucus or a primary to determine how many delegates go to which GOP candidates. Instead, the Colorado Republican Party started voting on delegates at the State Party Convention, which was held last weekend.

Here's how it worked (brace yourselves, it's gonna get NUTS):

Colorado has seven Congressional districts, and there are three delegates chosen for each. That's 21 so far. They also get to select another 13 statewide delegates.

With me so far?

So on Saturday about 8,000 Party faithful gathered to listen to 600+ delegate candidates speak (for 20 seconds each) in an effort to convince said Party faithful to make them a delegate. After the gabfest, it's time to vote, yay!

In this kind of foofaraw, fortune favors whoever has the best organization and the best ground game. For good or bad, that was Senator Rafael Cruz who toted away with all the delegates, leaving none for Donald (t)Rump and John Kasich(who?).

It wasn't a good weekend for Trumpy. His organization was a bit slipshod - many ballot lists were incorrect and new ones had to be xeroxed on the fly (and still contained errors). So you might expect that he dusted himself off, straightened his tie, basked in the fact that he still has a huge lead in delegates, and move on, right?

Come on. We're talking about Donald Trump here, dear readers.

Trump failed to make an appearance at any of the Sunday chat shows for the first time in about four months, leaving it to his Chief Fixer to blather on about 'irregularities' and 'Gestapo tactics' perpetrated by the Cruz campaign, up to and including alleging that the 8000 or so in Colorado had been threatened by the Cruzites.

There may, in fact, be something to this, but it's rather telling that in other states where Trump lost because of a sloppy ground game (Wisconsin, Louisiana) he and his staff started accusing other campaigns of dirty tricks. In fact, he's suing the Louisiana GOP. Just what we need; more frivolous lawsuits.

Now we hear that two of Trump's kids, the rancid fruit of his loins, failed to register to vote on time. They won't be able to vote for Big Daddy in the New York primary, which ought to make the next family get-together a lot of fun if Trump loses in New York.


Caucuses are not primaries; of the two caucuses are the least democratic.

In a primary, you go in and vote. In a caucus, you sit around and talk with people for a preset time limit - sort of like speed dating without having to buy dinner - at just be at a certain table at a certain time to get counted.

Name recognition seems to have the best chance here. Former Virginia Governor Jim Gilmore only got 12 votes in the Iowa caucus - eh? What's that? You never heard of Jim Gilmore, and didn't know he'd run for the GOP Presidential nomination? That's okay, neither did anyone else, it appears.

Clinton won in Iowa where the tall corn grows, and Sanders seems to do well in the western caucus states. Case in point: Wyoming, where he vacuumed up all the delegates.

This still leaves him lagging behind Clinton, and with a statistically reachable but still very hard goal in order to get the Great Green Weenie.

Clinton's task is a bit tougher, particularly because of her husband's predilection for occasionally letting his mouth override his ass.

Still, New York looms, with 291 Democratic and 95 Republican delegates at stake.

We shall see.

You Want Cheese with that Whine?

Or, the Wisconsin primaries.

Wisconsin has a long history of progressivism and a long history of supporting progressive politicians like 'Fighting Bob' La Follette. I imagine Fighting Bob must be fighting to climb out of his grave to fix the damage done to the Badger State by the hideous derp-faced abomination known as Scott Walker.

But we're not here to talk about Walker, who tried for the Presidency and had his ass handed to him:

Gentle readers, the contest in Wisconsin (Go Packers!) was much anticipated, and there were many questions going in. Would Bernie Sanders beat Hillary Clinton? Would a Sanders win affect the delegate count? Would Ted Cruz beat Donald Trump? Would John Kasich have any relevance at all? Who the fuck cares about John Kasich anyway?

Last night, the results came in.

Sanders beat Clinton by a thirteen-point margin, but it won't do much to pull him even with her according to the analysts. Clinton won two counties bordering Minnesota and is leading in Milwaukee. Cruz, on the other hand, beat Trump by the same margin, taking all three major cities in Wisconsin and leaving the rural counties to Trump. Kasich managed to eke out fourteen percent of the vote, and got zero delegates.

With only 143 pledged delegates, Kasich's pipe dream of becoming a kingmaker at the RNC convention in Cleveland is swiftly fading away.

Still, Cruz got 33 delegates, and is closing in on Trump. The prospect of a brokered (or 'open') convention in July is increasing. One oddsmaker calculates that there's now a 71% chance of all hell breaking loose, and Trump supporter Roger Stone is calling for violent mobs to enact a Days of Rage thing to pressure the convention into making Trump the nominee.

Trump will have to win most of the remaining states by wide margins in order to get the Great Green Weenie on the first ballot. Otherwise, we'll see this

As the Republican Party drops a hefty Cleveland Steamer on all of us.

Getting There, the Long Way Around

March, it has been said, goes in like a lion and comes out like a lamb. Well, gentle readers, get the mint jelly handy, because in this political season that's pretty much what has happened.

The month's primaries and caucuses ended with a trifecta of caucusi in Washington state, Hawai'i, and Alaska. They were all Democratic contests, and Bernie Sanders won all of them. Now, this could prove that sparrows can make just as good feathered omina as eagles in presaging victory, or it may just help (again) to prove that the caucus system is undemocratic and favors those candidates whose supporters want to show up and spend several hours just nattering away.

The delegate disparity between Sanders and Clinton wasn't affected much by the triple win, but the New York primary is still in the offing, so we'll see if momentum is favoring the underdog right now.

After Stupor Tuesday, the remaining candidates straggled into Arizona, and promptly had their rainbow shades and hobo shoes stolen by Clinton and Trump, who won the primary votes there. The Arizona primary was marked by incredibly long lines and lack of ballots (some waited on line so long they ordered pizza). A supervisor of elections there at first blamed the voters for not taking advantage of mail-in or early voting, then backtracked that and conceded that cutting (in one county) 200 polling venues down to 60 to "save money" might have been a teensy mistake.

Another pair of caucuses, in Idaho and Utah, were won by Sanders and Rafael Cruz.

Which brings me, dear readers, to the Great Kerfuffle.

In Utah, a pro-Cruz political action committee posted up a picture of Melania Trump from GQ Magazine, showing her nakedity and asking the poor sex-crazed Mormons and Fundies of Utah if she was what they wanted to be First Lady.

Now, it's good to recall at this juncture that Donald Trump takes any criticism as a personal attack, and responds like a petulant child. True to his nature, he immediately countered by implying that Cruz's wife was ugly, and then the National Enquirer started braying about Cruz having affairs with five other women not his wife.

(I will pause while you try to efface that image from your minds.)

My only question at this point is "When do the 'Yo Mama' jokes start?"

So, March Madness is over, but the Long March continues because we still have three more months of this tripe.

After June 14th, we'll see who gets the Suffering All The Way To Havana Award, and whether the entire RNC Politburo must drop their trousers, bend over, and offer the Goatse of Concession to Donald Trump.*

*By the way: At the last Party Convention in 2012, a rule was approved over the loud protests of the Ron Paul supporters. The rule, which may still be in effect, allows the Politburo to change any bit of the Party rules or platform after they were carved in Florida coquina in Tampa that summer. I mention this only because Certain Elements in the hierarchy may still be plotting to run a blazer on The Wig. Better stock up on popcorn.

Sifting the Ashes

Good day, dear readers. I hope you have your Haz-Mat suits on.


Okay, let's go.

Now that Bernie Sanders has taken the suspense out of the Missouri Democratic Primary by conceding that race to Hillary Clinton (they split the delegates more or less evenly, with Clinton getting one more than Sanders because she was leading, so there), we can analyze the entire result of Stupor Tuesday.

Democrats first, because alphabetical order. Clinton scored a sweep of the five state races on Tuesday, hiking up her delegate count and making it that much harder for Sanders. Still, Sanders is in it to win it, so expect more polite discussions about actual, substantive policies - much to the chagrin of the news media, who will no doubt send out lorarii to goad them into fighting each other.

Now, onward to the Republicans. We begin with the biggest news of the night:


Little Boots, a/k/a Marco Rubio, Senator of Florida, graciously conceded to the Trump and his Trumpanzees after failing to win his home state of Florida. "Failed to win his home state," what am I saying? The stupid little brain-addled shithead managed to carry his home county, and nothing else in the Sunshine State. All in all, it was a humiliating defeat, and if you had 'humiliating' as your keyword for a drinking game that night, you're likely still in the hospital, recovering from your alcoholic coma.

Rafael Cruz continued to nibble at Trump's heels, coming in a solid second in Illinois, Missouri and North Carolina. Hey, Rafael! Do you know what else is called Number Two?


That's you.

The second-biggest news came out of Ohio. You know, the state whose name is high in the middle and round on both ends?

And John Kasich had to be high as a goddam kite on something as he acknowledged the plaudits of his followers following his win of his home state. By winning Ohio, he manages to stay in the race for a while longer, and it makes it a bit harder for Trump to get a clear path to the Great Green Weenie of Nomination.

Of course, Kasich also pulled the very long bow by saying that he was going to win the nomination in Cleveland.

Yeah, right.

One analyst opined that The Reverse Mullet will have to win at least 60% of the remaining races to hit the magic number.

Which leads me to Donald Trump.

The Rude Pundit and Maestro Driftglass have already said it, and far more trenchantly than I could, so I'll content myself with a few points:

1. The odds of Trump winning the Great Green Weenie are very close to 90% at this time, within a 10% margin of error (this is because we still have half the country yet to vote). If he hits the magic number, he gets the coveted Suffering All the Way to Havana Award.

2. Trump's inflammatory, if not incendiary rhetoric has fomented violence against the people who stand up and say stuff that the Trumpanzees don't want to hear. Trump's lying through his fucking teeth when he says there's been "no violence" at his rallies.

3. Trump's assertion that there'll be 'riots' in Cleveland if he doesn't get the nomination is mighty damned close to incitement.

There's two more rounds of voting to close out this month, and then we have April, May and June to deal with.

The decontamination showers are over there, and remember to clean your suits out before you leave.