Sunday, June 30, 2019

Rating the Debate Vol. II

Waal, that coulda gone better for Joe Biden, but then the format favored controlled chaos and those best adapted to it.  Although I love the retrograde notion that whole bunch of people who voted for Joe Biden twice, are outraged over his allegedly compromised record on Civil Rights.
On the other hand, Biden should have been better prepared, he sounded his age and he should have known those questions would be brought up.  Moreover, the tenor of the first debate, the lack of directed fire at Donald Trump ought to have tipped Biden that he'd be A Prime Target, on the second night. The Former VP has racked up the best polling numbers and any one of his rivals can transform the debate into a zero sum game at any moment, Joe's a professional you'd think he'd know that.  Joe can come back from this, he needs to dial down to an indoor voice, invoke Barack Obama a little less and invite his audience's to look over his own program. He should be billing himself as "An Equal, Not a Sequel".
Kamala Harris definitely had a good night let us be honest, she was brainy, passionate & focused on one goal, demonstrate feistiness, "I can handle this debate and I can handle Donald Trump" was  her coded mantra.  She put some deep claw marks into Joe Biden, and she did it without turning a hair, the ability to carry the fight to the enemy rhetorically is something the democratic base will be looking for in the primaries. Senator Harris has title and deed to roughly seventy electoral votes from the git-go, but can she grow that base?  Thats my current question.
Pete Buttigieg, I confess the South Bend Mayor felt like "the phenom du jour" to me, he was young, gay, fecklessly liberal, he has a big social media all felt very superficial to me. Ah but that boy-o can debate yo!  He is very poised, articulate and well adapted to television, rising from a Midwestern Mayoralty (especially in a Deep Red State) to the White House seems like a stretch but its no more improbable than Trump's rise to power.  I dunno if he can carry Pennsylvania or Florida, but I do think democrats and republicans underestimate him at their peril.
Bernie Sanders, The Senator from Vermont may as well have been in The Fraternal Order of the Eagles Lodge on Central Street in Manchester NH, he hardly seemed to take notice of his fellow candidates, he was content to blast thru his Greatest Hits. It is likely the highly truncated format was a burden to him.  I thought, he might be the one to directly confront Biden, but I guess Sanders can feel Senator Warren's hot breath on his next so he opted to shore up his base for the bulk of the debate.

Senators Bennet, Gillibrand, Governor Hickenlooper, Andew Yang, Rep Swalwell, Mariann Williamson, are pretty much going nowhere at this point, but the format favored candidates with a strong fundraising profile so its doubtful anyone is dropping out anytime soon...Williamson in particular made a perfectly bizarre impression with her weird "1940's Wonder Woman" style monologues about love conquering hate.  Typically the GOP has been routing money to Williamson to keep her in the race in the hopes of embarrassing the democrats. This is a strange stupid strategy as their party is headed by a Horror Movie Clown, Williamson could ramble on for a year and not make a bigger fool of herself as Trump does every day on Twitter.

Thursday, June 27, 2019

Rating the Debate...

Y'know, the democrats didn't do half bad last night, granted the ten person line up was cumbersome, the technical gaffes embarrassing and the podium gabble sometimes incoherent, but some good ideas and better candidates shown thru all the same.

Jay Inslee: Obviously, one's expectations are set low when we are talking about a candidate seemingly mired in the cheap acts, but damn me if Jay Inslee didn't convey decision & insight even if he was seemingly monomaniacally focused on Climate Change as the cause of all our ills.  He even looks like a US President, which means he definitely looks like Vice President. Not sure if he has the right "Electoral College Transcript" but he was impressive last night all the same.

Bill di Blasio: I am not sure why the Mayor of NYC is running for President, other than the fact that like almost everyone else in Manhattan he has a deep unrepentant grudge against Donald Trump?  Be that as it may he is another one who conveyed decision & brains last night, and like the Above Cited Governor of Washington, he looks the part.  Alas the last Mayor of New York to run for President was John Lindsay, he didn't do too well at the end of the day...but then, di Blasio is shut out of the Governor's Mansion and the US Senate, this is likely his last and only hurrah outside of NYC.

Cory Booker: The Senator for New Jersey wants it, and he wants it bad. Of course, he is running as "Obama 2.0.1" but that is a winning routine all the same.  Booker threw some sharp elbows last night, wasn't afraid to talk himself up and he knows there is a huge possibly decisive national constituency out there waiting for him, if he can only bootstrap himself off the mid card.

Julian Castro: Who knew Obama's HUD Secretary would come to a democratic debate, loaded for bear? If Jay Inslee regards climate change as destiny's fulcrum, then surely Castro is serenely assured that a humane immigration policy is literally the answer to all our woes. Moreover he wasn't afraid to mix it up with the other candidates, Like Booker he seems to be running as "A Pugnacious Barack Obama". Castro as well senses a vast potential constituency out there if he move up into the double digits.

Elizabeth Warren: I swear to Ghod, the Senior Senator from Massachusetts had nine of her interns faithfully impersonate her fellow candidates as part of her debate prep, she seems unnaturally at home in that chaotic atmosphere, she literally had "time in her head". Ah, but then her goals were fewer, Warren was mainly there to display passion, decision and erudition, all this came thru in spades.  The Senator is playing a very long game in all things, she is grinding away waiting for Biden to Peak and Sanders to founder, if that happens she can surge and surge convincingly in NH even late in the game.

On the other hand, Beto O'Rourke got his ass kicked last night, he looked unshaved, unprepared and he sounded very nervous, this is a bad start indeed for a much touted candidate, Julian Castro skated rings around him on immigration. I don't think the campaign has degenerated into a zero sum game...yet, but clearly being "the big candidate from Texas has become a gladiatorial contest with first blood to Castro.  Delaney and Ryan, on the other hand came in as cheap acts, and departed the hall as cheap acts sad to say. Ryan at least, has nowhere to go, a stalwart Ohio politician learns from youth how to wait patiently by the phone for that Vice Presidential Call...but Sherrod Brown has a lock on that possibility, so all thats left for Ryan is a kamikaze run at the White House. Both men will be out of the race before Thanksgiving, the value of their respective endorsements seems minimal at the moment.
Klobuchar made some sense, Gabbard might be the flag waving-est candidate since John McCain, but I also suspect they may be mired on the mid-card, they'd be standouts any other year, but women candidates just aren't that remarkable anymore.
If I had to predict tonight, I suspect the lack of sustained fire at Donald Trump will inadvertently put a target on Joe Biden's back, Bernie Sanders must recapture his old legionaries (who are prone to drifting away to Warren whom most of them desperately wanted to run back in 2016 anyway), slagging the Former VP seems like an important step in that process.
But I could be wrong...:)

Thursday, June 20, 2019

Will someone please tell The Boston Globe that

That Valentina Tereshkova (Vostok Six, June 1963) was the first woman in space, NOT Sally Ride?
Ms. Ride, wasn't even the Second Woman into Orbit, that Honor belongs to the ridiculously over qualified Svetlana Savitskaya. No, Sally Ride was the USA's First Woman into Space, its a conspicuous honor, but in the end she was the third woman up there. The gender line buster of record was still Ms. Tereshkova in'd think they'd know that at the Globe.

Tuesday, June 18, 2019

Patrick Shanahan is Outski

as SecDef Nominee following repeated reports of the rollers intervening in various domestic disputes at his household allegedly including the arrest of his wife on assault charges and an alleged incident where his teenaged son hit his mother with a baseball bat.
I guess I am conservative and old fashioned but I think it is awfully unchivalrous to call 5-0 on your wife if she takes a legit above the belt swing at you.  I wish to protest this unmasculine behavior, Shanahan ought to stand there and Take His Medicine Like a Man!
That sets a very poor example for Our Fighting Men and Women in Uniform....
As for his son allegedly hitting his moms with a baseball bat, there you have me, sometimes ya gotta call 911, otherwise is this twitchy little running mook still around free?  Sensible people need to know these things.
My last question is of a rhetorical nature...where does Trump get these gaudy self destructive freaks??
Is there a factory in Manila that churns them out??  Cuz you know thats one business Trump owns free and clear 100%...

Wednesday, June 12, 2019

Two count em' TWO...

derailments in one week, (and the week ain't over by any means), and still Charlie Baker thinks the MBTA "is Headed in the Right Direction"!!
Hell a fare increase goes into effect next week, which is nothing but a targeted tax increase on the MBTA ridership, apparently its a costly privilege indeed to go thru a derailment on the Red Line!

When is anyone anywhere gonna Charlie Spreadsheets responsible for his slack-ass "management" of Public Transportation????
By every measure the MBTA ridership gets less and less worthwhile service every day while simultaneously incurring greater and greater sheer danger.
They can't be actually scared of this tone deaf mook can they?? Eff his seventy percent approval rating he is inert mediocrity, entirely bereft of inspiration or charisma...will no one take this nullity on????  Charlie Baker is an Inept Hack!!! Does No One Else Get This???

Monday, June 10, 2019

On receiving a robocall at home at 3:20 PM EDT

would love to know where some outfit called "The Affordable Arlington Committee" came up with the scratch to robocall the town urging no votes on tomorrow's dual New High School/Prop 2.5 override?
Just curious, did they target retirees (which is my theory) with bold promises of keeping housing affordable? Or did the call really blanket the town. One way or another its a sign that someone has more money than volunteers to work with...
Frankly Affordable Housing in Arlington went over the hump in the 1990s when rent control was repealed and hundreds of Department Chairs at Harvard and Project Managers in Kendall Square came surging up Mass Ave with their liquidity and good credit, searching for housing like neanderthals looking for the secret of fire.  By 2001 we'd had our first million dollar home sale and it's been a land office business ever since.
Which brings me back to the money question? Who is financing "The Affordable Arlington Committee"?  Any ideas?

Sunday, June 09, 2019

Well whaddya know...

I might have been wrong, about Governor Baker's future plans, I thought it possible that he was throwing in the towel and bailing on politics.  Turns out he's been beefing up his political team, aggressively fundraising, hiring lawyers to fend off Scott Lively's lawsuits in short behaving like a craven third rate shyster hell bent on re-election.
Well color me chagrined, that freezes up the political plans of more than a few statewide democrats and a couple of republicans as well, as long as Baker's approval ratings stay in the seventy percentile that is...
But lets face it, the very factors that might force Baker out into the private sector are the same ones that might persuade him to run for a third term, namely he has nowhere else to go, he is blocked beautifully nationally, he is too skittish to run for the US Senate, that leaves either the Bain Capital Group or a Third Term. Right now, it looks like a Third Term.
In truth, Baker is a surprisingly uninspiring politician, a crashing bore on he best day, he is almost comically incapable of any decision when faced by any sort of public corruption, currently the State Police and the Prison System are under Federal Investigation, Baker keeps track by reading The Boston Globe every day.  He will never be mistaken for "Horatio at the Bridge", he is certainly no sort of Governor for a truly serious crisis in anyway. His lack of leadership in these areas is astonishing, makes you wonder what else he is ignoring so successfully?
 No, Baker abides because he is a bore who gives no offense, sometimes sheer vacuums can have very high approval ratings.
Just remember "Bust Follows Boom", The Higher They Climb, The Further They Fall.  Baker will never do anything to risk that seventy percent approval rating, but thats his problem, when the going gets tough he'll never put any skin in the game, and like Herbert Hoover, he will inevitably lose it all, count on it.