Sunday, January 31, 2016

The Des Moines Register's current caucus poll

Gives Donald Trump a plurality at 28% with Ted Cruz relatively close behind at 25% and Marco Rubio third with 18%.  Caucus predictions are notoriously difficult since it is tedious balloting for delegate slates, a lot of this is slanted towards campaigns that have a good statewide network and voters with the endurance to stick it out to the end.
With Trump you have to wonder if he is gonna run those numbers tomorrow night, his core voters are all low information, indifferent engagement (though high in rage factors when stoked) are enough of them gonna show up when push comes to shove.
Cruz is just the sort of smarmy book worshipping hypocrite that Iowa republicans traditionally love, if he does any business tomorrow night its on that basis alone.  How any of that leverages The Granite State is difficult to say, usually there is a huge political disconnect between the Iowa Caucuses and the New Hampshire Primary anyway.
As for Marco Rubio volatility should be his middle name he is still mired with the cheap acts in New Hampshire, his surge in Iowa might be a mere polling blip. He is another one who may do well tomorrow night and still hit a brick wall, at the moment the cheap acts have all snitched on each other to such an appalling degree there seems little hope of a consensus establishment candidate emerging in the next three weeks.  Rubio's drive to be the Sensible Alternative is compromised by the increasingly irrational animus of Jeb Bush who seems obsessed with dragging down Marco Rubio with him when the fires of annihilation are at last lit for "Team Jeb".
Ben Carson is still polling at 10% though in Iowa, if anyone was gonna dicker I'm thinking it'll be him since destiny seems to have quit on him six months ago.
I'm guessing Trump by three percent then Cruz flies to Manchester and unlocks his Headquarters on Eddy Street and starts screeching about his "momentum". Look for the attack adverts to triple by next weekend, WMUR is gonna make a blood fortune off these jobbers.

Friday, January 29, 2016

There is talk out of Iowa that

Maryland Governor Martin O'Malley, currently polling at around four percent, could play the King-er-Queen Maker in the looming Sanders versus Clinton Fight. The point being that in a caucus environment, four percent can't leverage much in the way of a delegate slate, but if O'Malley came to his caucuses with  some disciplined cadres and some notion of who he wanted to enrich then just possibly thast four percent could be the margin of victory for either the Former Secretary of State or the Senator from Vermont.
I've seen it happen at local caucuses and it has happened before in Iowa.
But to Your Humble Narrator it seems "a finkish thing to do" (to quote the Late Jack Kerouac), having put someone over the top in Iowa its hard to imagine how a candidate would then go on to New Hampshire to make a case for clean and transparent politics. Plus that sort of thing, reeks just reeks of a deal. When all you've got is four percent to work with it is hard to make the argument that you are strategically voting for a candidate you think you can whip in primaries to come with greater ease.
So I would hope O'Malley could find some grander more dignified way to exit the stage, alas this is modern politics and those opportunities just don't happen for the "Four Percent Guy".
It is a shame because O'Malley is a decent man, he is a Successful Governor from a Big Mid Atlantic State, the veritable farm team for US Presidents....but something hasn't clicked this year and the man is currently billed with the cheap acts.  He can hardly scheme for the Vice Presidency either, as an Eastern Seaboard Governor he makes a poor running mate geographically and demographically for either a Tranplanted Chicago Gal by way of New York Or a Transplanted New Yorker by way of Montepelier.
So exactly whats to be got by delegate-peddling isn't clear....The Secretaryship of Housing and Urban Development?

Lets hope O'Malley does not go the cheap route out there in Iowa.

Thursday, January 28, 2016

As of yesterday

John Kasich is putting all his hopes on finishing in the money in NH and this is devoting all his time to the Granite State. It's important though to stress the fluidity of the race up there, as of yesterday the polls indicate that Kasich is running THIRD to Ted Cruz despite a cursory effort by the Texas Senator in NH as well as a headquarters in Manchester that is locked up on a Saturday Morning.
Jeb Bush is still mired at 8% in the polls and winds are blowing Marco Rubio back and forth like a spend plastic grocery sack.
Meanwhile Chris Christie's adverts are built around the theme of "protection" the way the olde Syndicate Racketeers offered "Protection" to unwary shopkeepers in NYC back in the Depression.
These Guys are for the most part selling fear and decline and annihilation on volume I cannot believe for a minute that there are no bad consequences for that.
It'll be interesting to see if Kasich keeps to the giddy "politics of joy" motif up there, the political atmosphere is otherwise utterly toxic.

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Marco Rubio....

otherwise a phantom presence in New Hampshire at the moment is nonetheless clouding the Boston Airwaves with adverts jumping all kinds of ugly on Hilary Clinton.
You'd think she was the frontrunner for the GOP Presidential Nomination the way these jobbers are talking about her.
Meanwhile Chris Christie is spewing some nasty venom at The President and Former Secretary of State Clinton in his commercials. Meanwhile Jeb Bush spends millions on slagging everyone who is polling within two points of himself in The Granite State, so much for running for President "Joyously" the Ex Governor of Florida's whole campaign oozes a beaten air of bitter vindictiveness.
None...of these mooks are as yet nominated for President yet they are all running pushy presumptuous adverts in the market trying for the most part to lay some claw marks on Hilary Clinton.
Granted...Hilary did run some adds scoring on them....but the goddamned fools TOOK THE BAIT like a bunch of batshit amateurs! Ms Clinton understands the New Hampshire Electorate dislikes sore losers and presumptuous candidates the loud varieties they dislike most of all.
So I'm saying just possibly IF this is strategy on Clinton's's working.

Monday, January 25, 2016

John Kasich and the Politics of Glee

Dateline Amherst NH VFW, Saturday 1/23/2016

You know John Kasich really IS trying to run a sunny upbeat dignified campaign for the GOP Presidential Nomination.  He is running for President "Joyously" which was exactly the schtick that Jeb Bush promised back in 2015 when all things were possible and Donald Trump was Fox News Jobber.  Of course this IS the contemporary GOP so it's all a matter of degree, Kasich declines to spend ninety minutes of Town Meeting Time ranting and raving like Yosemite Sam about Barack Obama's vices and this glum apocalyptic GOP crowd that is enough to bid on veritable "Happy Warrior" status.
And what the hell, Kasich does have a wit, its a gubernatorial wit to be sure and won't stand up to the slightest pressure but in a race where Ted Cruz openly promises his audiences atomic war one has to take one's corny laughs where they can be found.
Some would say he is "comfortable in his own skin" (a phrase I've never understood)...Kasich strikes me as a bit more giddy than anything else, he seems reconciled to his end-run around the venom and anger of the current field, that seems the limit of his grinning self possession.
That is little enough but the GOP race is so sodden with gruesome sentiments that its enough to appear to be a towering humanitarian.
Otherwise Kasich seems a rambling rather orthodox gubernatorial conservative, several fairly pointed questions from the audience were simply not answered at all in favor of long discursive anecdotes.
No Governor of Ohio in living memory has ever been cursed with eloquence but Kasich could not summon anything memorable to say when asked what his greatest challenge was in public life.  The Ohio Governor also has a startling habit for taking undue credit for the balanced budgets submitted by President Clinton back in 1997 when Kasich was a ranking congressman from Ohio. And his national security plan somehow involves cashiering 900,000 Pentagon bureaucrats while giving said institution additional funding of some 100 billion (on top of the 900 billion The President is already allocated too the same).
Kasich made much of his record of tracking non-violent offenders away from prison terms but almost everyone these days is having second thoughts about crowding in potheads with Crips and Bloods.  As for Obama-care here again Kasich took to rambling promising lower deductibles, transparency and a nebulous system of rewards for "better care at a lower price"  how all this is done without funding was never delineated.
I can't say his education notions break new ground either, Kasich wants to bundle up one hundred and four Federal Programs relating to education and drop them back on the States, this is the olde GOP "Federalist Two Step" a great of freedom is dropped on the individual states to "design their own educational utopia" sans the burden of funding.
Bush has been saying something similar, Christie as well (when he stops screaming and shaking his fist of course) its the old republican passive aggressive educational dodge.
He also said nice things about vocational education and like the rest of them he wants to end "social promotion" (that much will be a Federal Initiative to be sure), unlike almost anyone else on the campaign trail though I did not hear John Kasich jump ugly on the teacher's unions or public sector unions at all.
But then again I was late to this particular Town Hall and who knows what his opening schtick covered....?
Nor did he take some particularly obvious bait when asked if he favored term limits for Supreme Court Justices (this has a been a muted topic at other candidate town halls this year), Kasich hemmed and hawed and politely declined to back the notion, but I'd hardly call it Hubert Humphrey coming out for a bombing halt or anything.
On the other hand Kasich talks in vague terms about a "People's Court" wherein the average citizen can interact with the regulatory bureaucracy on terms of equality, this strikes a notion fraught with danger and veritable free fire zone for lobbyists in the making.
So there you have it, John Kasich Happy Warrior.  Its an act that currently is supposedly boosted him into a distant second place in New Hampshire and is sufficient to earn him the usual petulant attack adverts from Jeb Bush's PAC (With each passing day I come to the conclusion that Jeb just wants to take the entire GOP Mid Card down with him nothing more he has written off the big job long ago)....but is it enough to  get Kasich into contention?
Probably not, the second slot in New Hampshire has been a volatile sinecure for the past three months (At various times Carson, Rubio and Christie have all tasted it), this might simply be "Kasich's Week in the Sun".  On the other hand settling himself up as a stylist contrast to the rest of the field might pay off down the line when it's time to select a vice presidential candidate. Ohio is a swing state after all and the GOP has been doing piss poorly above the Mason Dixon in four straight Presidential Elections.
We will see how giddy John Kasich can be when it's "Trump-Kasich in 2016"....

To hear Jeb Bush, Chris Christie or even

the ever giddy John Kasich tell the story, the USA is now so militarily weak that a planetload of rivals and malevolent actors are tempted to aggression on an hourly basis.
Yet according to what I read, the President is planning to allocate 900 billion dollars for a thirty year program of strategic force modernization. What that means is better ICBMs, new cruise missiles, bombers and sundry platforms.
I mean...weakness appeasement?
Uh no.
Now you can argue whether any of it is of any value against actors like ISIS and Al Queda or even Superstorm Sandy.....strategic forces tend to track with the pace of modernization among other nuclear actors so I'd love to read the DoD's justification for the money...given our need for a hardened infrastructure etc etc....

Sunday, January 24, 2016

A Saturday in Manchester New Hampshire

An ambitious friend drove up to Manchester NH to do a little publicity for his latest book, I tagged along to tour the various presidential campaign headquarters and see whats cookin'.
Y'know A LOT of effort and manpower seems widely and ineffectively dispersed among some seriously marginal campaigns.
Jeb Bush's headquarters was staffed by a couple of disinterested blank rather antiseptic young men in gaudy sweaters the same exact sort who have been staffing the various Bush campaigns since 1980.
They were by and large a glum and terse lot...much like their candidate.
Marco Rubio's Campaign Headquarters was a cramped rental in an office building and looked like it was down to its very last volunteer. This turned out to be a chatty soul who freely admitted that the Senator from Florida was staking everything on Iowa at the moment.
But this was an immense Campaign Juggernaut compared to Rand Paul who campaign office on Bridge Street was completely invisible and surmised to be naught but a cubicle rented from a sympathetic local business.
Now Bernie Sanders...HE is doing some business with a admin headquarters and a separate rendezvous for volunteers clearly they are worming a large workforce on a door to door model of voter ID. Voter ID is generally "The Politics of Ones and Twos" and is favored by campaigns that can field the troops in a situation where a thin plurality is in play. Sanders' admin headquarters even has an intern from Australia who is looking to import the Sanders outreach model Downunder.  Its a familiar young cohort that is calling the shots over there, academic based independent leftists of a kind that were once drawn to Eugene McCarthy, Jesse Jackson or Dennis Kucinich.
Donald Trump has a similar level of activity with a phone bank going when when we dropped by, I was struck by the younger skewage among his volunteers I was expecting an older cohort. interesting.
Ben Carson's headquarters is an immense tomb stuffed with lawn signs and banners that the campaign cannot apparently give away to save their very lives. The place was staffed by two yappy old ladies who had no idea when Dr. Carson would be back in the state if indeed he ever returns at all. They were both very nice and offered us snacks and gave off the air of two women who have missed an important bus connection and are making the best of it under trying circumstances.
Kasich campaign headquarters has got some energetic old ladies hard at work, but then their candidate is currently polling second in NH and is clearly staking everything on the Granite State.

Carly Fiorina's headquarters is up six flights of stairs in an obscure and cheap looking office block with a broken elevator.  It is otherwise a veritable tomb presided over by two sad looking staffers who are clearly updating their resumes and just waiting for the concession speech. The joint is stuffed with immense signage that they can't seem to place anywhere and huge mass mailings await pickup by the Post Office. Those mass mailings are  dead tip off that Fiorina doesn't have the volunteers to do any kind of real outreach its a sure sign of a campaign that is in a slow death spiral.
Still it was all better than Ted Cruz's headquarters which was locked up and unmanned when we pulled up at noon on Saturday.
Clearly Cruz, Carson and Rubio are all looking to get their tickets punched in Iowa and somehow use that to leverage NH however thats a plan that doesn't always work (ask President Santorum and President Gephardt for the details) and seems driven by the plurality politics of candidates who striving to run second to Trump (even if it's by twenty points) and thus make an argument that they somehow are the answer to The Donald's Dread Menace.
If there is one unifying theme here is the universal air of bafflement that clings to all these campaign headquarters (save Trump, Sanders and perhaps Clinton)....none of these people seem to have Clue One as to why their Candidate just isn't clicking with the voters or why they are getting schooled by a clownish TV Personality with a penchant for Spiro Agnewish vulgarity.
And that bafflement will likely run straight thru primary night with catastrophic consequences for the GOP.

Friday, January 22, 2016

Kasich is the Flavor Du Jour in NH at the moment

he is tracking second to Trump at the moment, but lets keep in mind the second slot has a lot volatility as we get closer to Primary Day. Both Christie and Rubio have themselves been in that exact position over the last two months.
Its not hard to see why Kasich is polling upwards, he has declined to wallow in apocalyptic rhetoric at least insofar as his commercials are concerned and he is assiduously kissing ass via frequent candidate town halls, that tends to be a successful template in general.
Too much end of the world screeching and the electorate up there shut's in point Richard Lugar who made liberal use of mushroom clouds in his commercials back in 2000 and got bupkiss on primary night in return.
At the moment the whole of the GOP pack seems infected with a sort of belligerent madness, ranting and raving about social security bankruptcy nuclear annihilation, xian interment camps and what the supposedly SANE candidates have to say about the Incumbent President is perfectly hair raising. Win or lose, Donald Trump has accomplished one thing he has successfully infected everyone from pushy policy wonk Jeb Bush to ward heeler Chris Christie with his madness.
Which in turn may well be their downfall...why vote for Trump-Lite when the real thing is so readily available?
Hence Kasich who is admittedly as sound a wingnut as the rest of them he is simply declining to howl and promise nuclear war at the local VFWs....that is enough at the moment although that could change by dawn tomorrow.
Keep in mind also all these guys are battling over single digit increments and a potential double digit plurality on primary night, all they really want is a chance to do additional fundraising, force a few midcarders out and hope like hell they can catch fire in South Carolina.
I dunno from what I can see....a lot of that thinking is largely speculative and fanciful.

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Jeff Jacoby has come down hard

on the deal that moves GE's Corporate Headquarters to Boston...for the most part I agree with him 175 million in tax breaks (or whatever the hell it is) is an awfully high price for 800 jobs.
But then we live in the era of "Urban Set Design" wherein cities are held to be prosperous if they have huge skyscrapers embossed with corporate logos.
And lets not forget we are also living in the era of "reactionary socialism" wherein tax monies collected from all and sundry are forcibly redistributed to hugely profitable corporate entities in return for a promise of jobs created down the line. A tax cut is welfare every bit as much as a check from the Department of Transitional Assistance, and if we are targeting tax cuts at corporations then the tax payers have a right to get certain actionable guarantees from said entities.

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

I can't for the life of me

Figure out Marco Rubio's game plan in New Hampshire. He is making very limited one off appearances on weekdays over the next week or so, his adverts veer from calling Jeb Bush a loser and a dope and denunciations of President Obama (who is not on the ballot), the dominant video image of Senator Rubio depict a rather shifty looking callow young man.
Even Ted Cruz has begun to cautiously move his ground game into the vote rich southern tier of the state....but Rubio is apparently trying to win NH on the strength of his youth and television advertising.
Thats a new approach to be sure, I have my doubts as to it's effectiveness. I still wanna see his stump speech up there, although Cruz is looking like the better bet at this point in terms of availability.
Frankly I begin to wonder if Rubio has given up on the US Presidency, maybe he is just gaming the system for the Veep nomination? This accounts for his hysterical attacks on his former mentor Jeb Bush and the base-pleasing attack on the President.
But pushing himself as a "recognized expert on National Security" is laughable....Marco Rubio looks all the world like an aging lardy Ompaa Loompa with a expertise limited to ice cream.

Monday, January 18, 2016

MLK Day Blogging...

"Intelligence plus character-that is the goal of true education.”
― Martin Luther King Jr.

Would to Ghod anyone in the state legislature remembered that quote when it comes time to "reform public education"....

Saturday, January 16, 2016

In The Last Ditch with Jeb Bush....

Dateline: Amherst NH, Souhegan High School, 10:30am EST 1-16-2016

Let the record show that as I drove up to a Bush for President Town Hall this morning I passed gas stations that were selling their fuel for $1.71 a gallon. When his Brother Was Top Swank of course it was 3.35 a gallon, but then we were feared all over the planet in those days so it doesn't count.
Jeb has definitely lost some weight on the campaign trail he used to have a definite lardiness to him I guess you really burn the calories chasing everyone else's coat-tails.
Otherwise this was a relatively small event with some two hundred people in attendance in the lobby of the above cited high school, I guess the campaign didn't want to book the auditorium and suffer thru the humiliation of row upon row of empty seats.
Morever some thirty of the people in that room were either campaign volunteers or members of the when you parse the numbers it was a small room for a waning candidacy.
There is something about a New Hampshire Primary Audience, the punditariat likes to wax stupid about their flinty no nonsense New England Values...but mostly I just see a bunch of grey haired retirees with tight little smirks on their faces. It is as if they can't wait to get their bony asses kissed they've come to relish that part of the political ritual.
Y'know it's funny, Jeb in part a "sum of nullities" he is not as diffident and incoherent as his father nor is he as smarmy and insincere as his brother, this is at best faint praise I know. Jeb is however, a very blustery policy wonk who keeps harping on his desire to make the USA "safer, stronger & free-er" (free-er isn't a word but all members of La Famiglia Arbusto mangle the English Language sooner or later).
And how will he accomplish this?
By writing endless blank checks to the Pentagon, by increasing the size of the Army, Navy and Marines by hundreds of thousand by "destroying Isis", by putting all our chips on the Sunni Warlords, by Arming the Kurds, by putting Russia, Iran & China In Their Places.
Its a tremendous triple down on "Yosemite Samism" across the globe to be sure....but then this is January in New Hampshire so The World is Always Coming to An End as far as the Presidential Primary is concerned.
He even uses the somewhat laughable term "fierce force" when describing in detail all the awful vengeance he'll rain down on ISIS when he is President.
In short it's a Neocon Eschaton circa 1997 he offers us, full of threats to use force if so much as a pickle jar refuses to be opened.
Oh and he opposes the nuclear deal with Iran big surprise it's place he offers us, more threats of "fierce force".
Basically Jeh Bush has a Great Big War in his Head one that will correct all the problems generated by His Brother's Great Big War.
Somehow this Iraq War III is supposed to attrite domestic terrorism, exactly how Jeb doesn't say but he bugs his eyes a lot snarks at Obama every other sentence and that somehow is supposed to keep us safe at homed and abroad.
And then there is "Jeb Bush; Radical Reformer".....
And what are those radical reforms?
A Balanced Budget Amendment to the US Constitution...except if the Congress or states don't comply, Jeb is prepared to Call a Constitutional Convention to impose said Amendment on the American People by a dangerously primitive open ended constitutional technicality.
So maybe he is a radical after all...or else he is simply a policy wonk who has been running against borderline falangists so long now he has begun to ape their appalling mental habits.
Jeb also likes to harp on "our broken culture in Washington" (this from the son and brother of two US Presidents)....his solution there is singular and amazing, he wants to eliminate "lifetime tenure in the Civil Service" and bust the public sector unions. In short he wants to dial the whole civil service back to 1881 where there were no protections with respect to hiring or firing....the GOP could fill up the bureaucracy with hacks and jobbers until the flaming end of time itself.
Just in passing one of the least reported aspects of the GOP Presidential Campaign this year is all the sustained hostility to public sector unions and civil service protections...granted this is presented as a means to shrink the sheer size of the US Government but a clear by product of said policy IF implemented will be packing the agencies with lackeys and patronage hires.
Jeb made it unambiguously clear he'd sign a Federal Right to Work Law if it came to his desk as President which pretty much would bring wages to a dead stop for the US working class.
And on he droned about term limits at the Federal Level, (maybe they could cover that one at his notional Constitutional Convention along with gutting the First Amendment or arming schoolteachers with flamethrowers), reforming the VA, charter schools, raising education standards and of course plenty of welfare for wowsers in the form of school vouchers.
And then Jeb got onto the subject of Social Security where he declined to talk privatization (at this town hall at least) but Jeb's plan more or less boils down to "Working Longer for Less Benefits" this somehow will allow us to avoid any sort of revenue resolution to funding the plans.  I think Jeb Bush wants to simply avoid the topic, he saw how much trouble it caused his brother in George Jr's second term.
Granted he wants to mean's test higher incomes (thats everyone's bipartisan gambit these days) and raise the minimum benefit to 125% of the poverty level...which we can afford if I work until I'm seventy years old and don't get too sick before then.
Oh and Jeb said "Y'All" a few times in the more forced rehearsed manner possible....Ringo Starr would have said it with more natural 'elan.
Jeb talks about Bipartisanship the way Franco used to talk about Unity....something we will all have as soon as I'm done beating up people in back alleys.  The implication seems to be Jeb wants to play nice except mean people like Donald Trump, Hilary Clinton and Barack Obama are forcing him to fight dirty.
A few months on the campaign trail and chronic single digits in the polls have made a immigration irrationalist out of Jeb. He wants to spend spend spend on border enforcement, built more fences, draft local police into immigration enforcement, toss out the visa "overstayers", end sanctuary cities oh and bust the border patrol's union.
But Jeb Bush is against self deportation...that is are round ups....instead what we need is GPS tracking and more drones ...maybe he could hire some of those armed Kurds in which he has such faith to patrol the Rio Grande?
In sum, Jeb is running as Neocon and all Neocons have to run as Paul Revere howling in the night about the USA's impending doom as a Superpower. The problem is, The Times and most of all the GOP Base have decisively passed him by. Jeb is likely smarter than his Brother The President, but he hasn't a single new or original or even particularly challenging idea in his head. Mostly its a collection of applause lines, appalling constitutional and or bureaucratic notions and yet another war to restore US Prestige.
In short Jeb wants what his father and brother wanted A Small Do-Nothing "Bipartisan" US Government that is yet strong enough to humble, Putin, China, Iran and Destroy ISIS.  And by extension HE, Jeb Bush, is the Man to Do All This, except at the moment he can't even handle Donald Trump on a soundstage in South Carolina, how is he supposed to overawe Putin in Geneva or wherever the stare down happens?
Audiences I think sense this weird gaseous disconnect when it comes to Jeb Bush hence his current single digit polling numbers they see thru his bluster especially how old it all seems. Moreover the GOP Base is getting bloody red meat every night from Donald Trump and Ted Cruz....Jeb's Hot Air just doesn't register.
I frankly believe Bush is still in this thing in part because he thinks his family honor is at stake and just possibly he is hoping to stab his onetime protege Marco Rubio in the back.  A sad and tawdry end to a man who was once lauded as the GOP's Man of Destiny, who was once gonna run for President "Joyously",  now reduced to trading ugly insults with Donald Trump.
From what I saw today, Jeb's Heart Just Wasn't In It, Bluster or No Bluster.....I think he has taken a long hard look inside and decided he just doesn't want it...he thought he did but now not so much. Alas though The Family is Now Fully Invested, Money has been Raised (and squandered), Endorsements Jeb can't back out now, even though I suspect he can't wait for the hammer to drop in New Hampshire so he can bail out with the shreds of his dignity intact.

Friday, January 15, 2016

I'm Sorry but

even if Maine Governor Paul LePage is an abominable racist jobber ("Shifty" what is this Dick Tracy??) his mere opinions are not an impeachable offense. The guy is pretty insolent and loathesome...but sans a high crime and or misdemeanor ya go no case.  Besides he is stumping NH for Former Obama Friend Chris Christie and I suspect Governor LePage is doing quite a lot up there to wreck movment conservative past all hope of recovery.

Revised NH Target List

Having seen Chris Christie in the full flood of his hypocritical anti Obama rage....I'm still bound and determined to see Jeb Bush's Stump Speech....mostly because I suspect Jeb is circling the drain (wonder how his fundraising is going) and so watching a member of La Famiglia Arbusto go over the hump is a precious spectacle to be sure. I think he'll stay in thru NH "family honor" is probably all that keeps him in at this point it's embarrassing the absolute contempt Trump heaps on Jeb Bush...also funny though. As for the third position I can't decide between Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio and both for utterly prosaic reasons....Rubio's strategy is a feckless mystery at this point he hasn't done much campaigning in NH at this point and always for a day or so at the most. He doesn't show up on the weekends at all. Cruz on the other hand IS stumping NH but in very out of the way places like Barnstead and Henniker ...hard to reach not sure if he realizes the play of population density up there favors campaigning close to the Massachusetts border. So it's a toss up...will advise luck will clearly play a factor.

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

State Senator Brian Joyce

apparently got his DRY CLEANING done for free for a decade or so thanks to a sweetheart deal with a local merchant, and that is enough to merit an ethics investigation for the Milton Democrat. Chiseling like this looks awfully penny-ante on the printed pages of the Boston Globe, but its exactly the sort of thing we should never ever let slip in Massachusetts no matter who is the alleged perpetrator. I mean especially when it's the state lege, we have save seats atop save seats so the opportunities to chisel are just too many and too tempting even if it's a brother democrat in the crosshairs.

Monday, January 11, 2016

Jeff Jacoby devoted some space yesterday

to reiterating the personal and political failings of President Woodrow Wilson in his Sunday Globe Column on his way to a denunciation of the whole "State of the Union" speech process. Well ole' Woodrow is fair game he kinda tore up the US Constitution during World War One (going waaa-ay beyond the PATRIOT Act in thought & deed) and his racial views were, utterly abominable. Jeff of course made the usual wampum out of Wilson's racist views...specifically his "jim crowing" the US Post Office. So I'd like to just note with all Christian Charity that Wilson's three republican successors did NOTHING to repeal said odious policy at the P.O., in fact Harding-Coolidge & Hoover starting edging away from the GOP's traditional advocacy on behalf of African Americans (Herbert Hoover's views on "colored people" were every bit as retrograde as Wilson's at the end of the day). Race shame is pretty much a bipartisan experience in the 1920's as far as I can see. Because Ghod Knows, Harding et al owed NOTHING to the Solid South's racially colonized electorates they could have easily resumed their advocacy they could have probably passed some efficacious laws relating to voter rights....but no nothing. Why? The GOP's inroads into the South commence in the 1920's and everyone was greedy for new margins in the electoral college...what else could it be these mooks controlled the Presidency the Supreme Court and Congress sans any dependence on the Solid South AND STILL they threw the Black Man Under The Bus!

Friday, January 08, 2016

In the Great NH GOP Degradation Derby...

where all the candidates for president vie with one another to depict themselves in the crudest most belligerent terms possible....Jeb Bush has come out for turning food stamps into a no-strings attached block grant to the States. Now normally I'd wax snarkily about Jeb's wealthy detached upbringing and La Famiglia Arbusto's sixty year record of poverty shaming....but for once I'm just gonna call this what it is, a power and revenue grab to the states nothing more. We are a Federalist System to be sure and always will be, but there is nothing in continental character of poverty that makes it especially vulnerable to Federalist Solutions. But the 10th Amendment has this whole cult on the small gummint right and what with being married to a Hispanic Immigrant Jeb had to grasp for bona fides where he could. Under this proposal what is to prevent a vengeful old falangist like Maine's Governor LePage from using the "Right to Rise Grants" to deputize an armed auxiliary of Poverty Shamers? Nothing so far as I can see....When you give revenue sans stipulations you grant power, and people like Scott Walker and Paul LePage already have too much power thank you very much....

Thursday, January 07, 2016

Well its apparent that Governor Baker

does not want to "fix" the problems at the MBTA so much as he wants them to go away quietly....and the best way to do that is for ME to Pay More in Return for a Decline in Service. Great Deal Huh? He can get away with this because our legislature completely enables him and does not want to make the hard decisions to fix the MBTA either they want the problem to go away as well, and if the ridership gets screwed well they are used to gaming that problem so it poses no terrors for any of them. So unless the ridership starts pressuring its representatives in a tough way this will be the shape of things to come....and for that to happen the ridership must enter into a defacto alliance however warily with the MBTA itself....divided we will both be screwed well and thoroughly.

Monday, January 04, 2016

I wonder who delivered my Sunday Globe?

as a publicity stunt to obscure the distribution difficulties the Globe has been having since changing delivery providers, some newsroom characters delivered papers sunday I'm wondering who tossed my paper up on the porch Joan Vennochi? Or (Dare I Say It) Alex Beam? Whoever it is neatly avoided the hemlock bushes so good show....

Oh and one other thing re Governor Chris Christie

his big game changing plan in the Middle East (after he busts the budget buying more guns and ammo for the Pentagon sans a tax increase) is to "pick a side" in the eternal Sunni-Shia' theological civil this case Christie wants to back the Sunni and that somehow will pacify the region. In sort Idiotic and Naive.... Oh and he wants to get rid of either public sector unions or civil service his tone in that exchange clearly indicated he wanted to get rid of all public sector unions....but that would likely fatally compromise civil service protections of itself making this yet another crowd pleasingly idiotic proposal from the Governor of New Jersey....

Sunday, January 03, 2016

Chris Christie in New Hampshire....

Dateline Merrimack New Hampshire, American Legion Hall, 5pm 1-3-2016. There is no denying it, Chris Christie is an obese man. His stomach bulges grotesquely over his solar plexus and mutely suggests the man has a real challenge whenever the candidate has to mount a high flight of stairs, that and his dull clay colored complexion give him a distinctly unhealthy pallor. I raise these mere issues of appearance against the possibility of a notional presidency blighted with ill health should Chris Christie get in, we will spend four years worrying about heart disease, hypertension and diabetes in the White House count on it. Moreover the man wears what appears to be baggy shirts and suit coats in a vain bid to draw attention from his bulging seems like a lost cause all around. *** It was the usual NH GOP crowd some 350+ strong crammed in there, average age sixty three and restive when the candidate was delayed....granite state audiences expect promptitude from candidates when getting their tired and sore asses kissed. But eventually Christie rolled in and devoted an total of twenty five minutes to articulating his Obama Hatred that is when he is not snarking in a very sophomoric way on former Secretary of State Clinton...fair enough though, the primary is thirty five days away and subtle is not a big seller among the GOP field. Of course it ought to be mentioned that when Governor Christie needed the full faith and credit of the US Government after "Super Storm Sandy" Barack Obama Had His Back. So Christie's bitter fulminations against President Obama do have that fragrance of aromatic hypocrisy to them....but again this is "Game On in New Hampshire" one cannot expect even a tincture of decency this late in the game. Christie's game plan superficially resembles Jimmy Carter's ground game in 1976, arrive early answer lots of questions (roughly twenty or so over two hours interspaced with more Obama-hatred and 9-11 bloodyshirtism) and totemize your own candor ad nauseum. Personally I think it's a huge strategic error to target The President like that, he is not on the ballot next year at some point the snarkage (which is all it is) starts to look evasive, petty & obsessive. If I had to locate Christie on the Conservative Myth Spectrum, I'd score him a lot closer to the whole "Myth of Grievance" sector, he thinks everything that is wrong out there is the fault of his former friend and sponsor Barack Hussein Obama, it is a topic he cannot seem to forsake over a two hour campaign, this is bad because it makes Christie sound like a de facto declinist even amidst his entirely mechanical invocations of Saint Ronald Reagan'cheery giddy memory. I will say I don't think the questions this time were entirely planted (something I always suspected at Romney's rallies) but a fair number of questions about EMP countermeasures and New Jersey's state mandated bear hunt came from what seemed to be various lobbying groups that stalk sundry candidates at these events. Along the way Governor Christie asserted some plainly contradictory notions, he would "never sign a tax increase" but would work to end a myriad of tax loopholes that benefit shirkers and the idle rich. That sounds great but if you close all those thousands of loophole you are in effect implemented a massive passive aggressive tax increase. Moreover....congress will never ever go for it in any way I count about fifty presidential candidates from Dick Nixon to Jimmy Carter to Tom Laughlin who've promised the same and never get anywhere near to accomplishing it. Its a sort of local Buddhist Hymn to means nothing but sounds great. Christie's other big idea is to replace Obamacare by COMPELLING the fifty states create their own individual plans build around certain Federal Mandates (notably the ban on preconditions and allowing to keep children on a parental plan into the post collegiate timeframe). This is yet another passive aggressive approach this time to health care it constitutes wholesale abandonment of the issue to the states who are not in a position to solve the issue due to revenue and demographic reasons if they were, it'd be resolved by now. I find it astonishing that a candidate who requires no prodding to complain about the President's latest directives on gun control can propose with a straight face a new unfunded nationwide federal healthcare mandate...and a bad one at that! I did have to stifle a giggle when Christie started whinging about President Obama's "Lawless Administration" this from a governor with a known rep for retaliation, closed bridges and the like. Christie sure likes that word "Lawless" expect to hear it from him quite a bit if he prospers. In short the man likes to make threats against Chinese Cyber Hackers, the Iranian Mullahs, GOP Congressmen who don't toe the line....and then Christie veers off into Compromiseland and insists he is some sort of giddy high minded statesman who can reach Across the Aisle. That part is pure contradiction....but then they all contradict themselves as the evening trudges on. Someone asked him about a "legacy mission" Christie immediately swung into an impassioned plea for a renewed war on cancer, diabetes, heart disease and Alzheimer...he is at risk for three out of the four so I can well understand the man's urgency. His plan for entitlement reform is built around raising the retirement age and then means testing social security sad to say he might get his way about the retirement age (I suspect it's bound to happen no matter who gets in) and mean's testing just doesn't seem to do much for the fund unless multimillionaires reach 40% of the population. If I had to sum up the man, Christie is a fairly typical "Big Government Conservative", prolife and given to windy verbose and entirely ineffective solutions to problems all delivered in a belligerent tone that is a hallmark of campaign 2016 so far. The Indoor Voice is indeed losing. The other weird thing about Christie is that he visibly has to restrain himself from geting all prideful and nostalgic about the Admin of George Bush Jr, he knows the topic is still toxic in certain reaches of the GOP but his admiration for the empire days of Dick Cheney is very very real and stands in sharp contrast to Jeb Bush who still seems unable to put his family legacy in perspective. At the moment Christie is allegedly polling second in NH behind Trump he is making comeback kid noises as often as possible but second place in NH is still second place in NH....not many candidates can use that to catapult themselves to glory. After NH the ground gets tougher for Christie, South Carolina Super Tuesday venues where the retail model of simply out trudging the opposition is ineffective its also plain he is betting all on a plurality in New Hampshire something he may not get and if he does it may not do him any long term good.