Category Archives: Politics

What The DNC Just Did Wrong

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You are probably aware that the DNC has just put the kibash on having a climate change related debate in the primary process.

Climate change, Perez says, is a single issue and no single issue is worthy of elevation to this level. Here are some of my thoughts on this, and below find a link to Adam Siegel’s excellent post on the subject, where you will also find the DNC’s position.

The climate crisis is not a single issue, Mr. Perez. It is an existential issue that permeates all of the other issues, an economic issue that will shape our entire agenda, an issue of national security that should be of great concern, and the number one premier health issue of the century. It is a moral issue that tests our the ability of our elected Democrats and candidates to lead.

The moment at hand has bee a long time coming. This is the first election cycle in which climate change and its effects are being taken serious by almost all Democratic candidates and voters. This issue has to be part of the conversation from now on, indefinitely.

Perhaps instead of driving climate change into a corner, or ignoring it, you actually meant to challenge the current framing of such a debate. Indeed, Democrats do not have to debate “climate change.” We all know it is real, critically important, and that we must address it. That is not a matter of debate.

But we do need to discuss, and debate, the solutions. What kind of Green New Deal do you want, candidate? How do you propose we harness market forces to hasten the transition away from fossil fuels? Do you like bridge fuels like Methane or are you on board with following a direct line to zero-Carbon? What about Carbon pricing, fee and dividend? How can we keep the economic benefit that will come with decarbonization in the US, by supporting local union industry in the construction of wind, solar, and storage facilities? Can the benefits of this energy transition be made available to most citizens? Is there a way to have economic benefits that go to more than the 10%? Should there be improved national best practices and regulations to push utilities to help more with this? What about divestment from funds that invest in fossil fuel extraction, processing, and distribution? What is your favorite pipeline story and what does it tell us about our commitment to changing things? What sorts of mandates can hasten widespread access to technologies like heat pumps and geothermal heating and cooling?

There is, indeed, a great deal to debate. Not climate change per se, but rather, how we save the future for our children and grandchildren. As noted by “Climate Hawks Vote,” climate change is a single issue: the survival of humanity. That is worth a debate.

Have a look at this thoughtful and informative post by energy expert A. Siegel to see how debating climate change can work as a political tool to the benefit of Democratic candidates and the party.

Coming out against a climate or energy debate is ethically questionable and politically foolish. Lets expand, rather than contract, this vitally important conversation.


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Warming up to certain candidates

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Good work, mateys! Joe Biden’s new climate plan is pretty much in line with the Green New Deal. Way to pressure!

This moves Biden from bottom to middle tier for me, which makes me feel better about the fact that he is crushing everyone else in early polls.

California Convention. Since California a) has more electoral votes and more national party delegates than any other state, and b) is a Super Tuesday state now, all of the sudden for the first time in memory, the California Convention received additional special attention outside of California.

And, candidates were sorted. Have a look:

Yay Warren! Yay Sanders! Yay Buttigieg! Yay Harris! Boo Hefferlooper, Boo that other guy!

Perhaps California Democrats are not the same as other Democrats, but in fact, they aren’t different. The outliers in the Party of Kennedy and Wellstone are the right wingers found here and there in Old Dixie or or the High Plains, and a few machine cities or country states in Appalachia or the south. I think we saw some of the herd thinned out in California.

Head to heads. In a recent Quinnipiac poll held in Texas, Biden beat Trump in the head to head, but Trump beat all the other tested candidates. In Michigan, Biden and Sanders trounced trump in the head to head, and Warren, Harris, and Buttigieg did fine. Who cares. Trump was going to win Texas anyway, since Texas is populated with so many god fearing evangelicals who love them their transgressors.

Warren. Warren remains a weak third, but consistent in that spot. In the frontline primary states (New Hampshire, Iowa, Nevada, and South Carolina) it is typically Biden and Sanders in first (strong) and second place. In the latest North Carolina poll (which is not South Carolina, but still, has a lot of African American voters and it is near South Carolina) that held true, but Warren pulled a very strong third (39-22-15). But generally, Warren, while usually in third place, does not break single digits and is statistically in the same bed as Harris and Buttigieg.

Yang, Gabbard, Ryan and Inslee are number one candidates. And by that, I mean, if you round up their numbers, the get to 1%. I don’t see a way up for them, even though this is very early in the race. Klobuchar, Booker, and Castro are consistently in the wings, the one digit 1-3 point wings, and there are things about them that might make them factors later on. They seem to be keeping their powder dry. O’Rourke and Buttigieg could possibly be described as candidates that peaked but then sort of guttered. They are still in the race, but at the moment they were supposed to ride into town on their dark horse, the horse was doing something else that day.

Until proven otherwise, it feels like a race between Biden, Sanders, Warren, and Harris, with Warren and Harris ready to move ahead at any moment, though the Buttigieg-O’Rourke-Booker faction looms small in the background.

In other words, I have no faith in the idea that it is a totally open race. It is a race between twenty-whatever people in which a maximum of five are for real, and we know who the top two or three are and the next two or three will come from a small set of the remainders.

I also have no faith in the order of the leaders. Biden has a history of guttering. I don’t see Sander support moving because of Sanders, but rather, because he absorbs support from other candidates. If ever there was a primary season where an early adoption of a veep is tempting, it is this one. A wavering Biden could be surpassed by a suddenly formed team of two of the top non-front runners, as long as one of them is Sanders. I hasten to add this piece of classic advice about vice presidents: Don’t do that. No talk about the vice president until the convention.

(Hickenlooper and Delaney need new campaign managers. Or just don’t bother.)


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Dem Vs Trump: How are we doing?

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There is a new poll pitting various Democrats against Trump. Before you complain to me that we should not be looking at polls because it is not election day, think again and take note of the fact that polls are data and I’m a data-oriented scientist, so don’t even say that to me. (I’m working on a post that will serve as an answer to that complaint every time it comes up on Facebook)

Anyway, this is a Quinnipiac University poll taken in Pennsylvania. Quinnipiacis a good poll. Details are here. Also note that I’m not posting this poll because its results show something I want to push, or use to cause your hair to burst into flames. I’ve not looked at the results, yet here I am writing this blog post. I will now look at the results, figure out a good way to show them to you, then finish the post. brb.

The poll has a LOT of interesting data that will figure as important down the road as the number of candidates cull out and we get to see the results of a bunch of natural experiments (like, which non-dropping out candidate tends to accrete which demographic as they drift away from dropper-outer-candidates).

But here is what the head to head shows:

These results vary considerably when adjusting for age, gender, and race. Note that in this sort of matchup, reaching above 50 is considered by pollsters as a sort of magic number. Only Biden does that here, but Sanders is (obviously) vert close.

I think the most important message here is this: The candidates do not vary much in this very early indication of their electability, even if they vary a great deal in how they rank among Democrats.

Putting aside the head to head and looking at some of the other data, among registered democrats, Biden has 39% support, Sanders has 13% support, with Harris, Warren at 8%, Buttigieg at 6%, Booker at 5%, O’Rourke at 2%, and Klobuchar at 1%. Nobody else registers. Someone else has dropped, interesting, to an apparent low at 2%. I’m thinking people realized, “no, no, NOT someone else, pleasssseee!!!”

Again, that varies by age, gender, race, etc. Among the young, Biden and Sanders are essentially tied (Biden just ahead, 29-27), while among the old, Sanders barely registers and Biden swoops (Biden: 47%, Sanders 4%). Putting both Biden and Sander aside for a moment, and digging into the demographic weeds, Harris, Warren, and Buttigieg pop among those with higher incomes (Sanders gets very little support there, Biden plenty). Harris pops among older folks, Booker and Buttigieg do a bit better with younger folks. Liberals like Buttigieg and Warren.


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The Mueller Report As A Searchable PDF File

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This is imperfect but, well, here it is, in several parts.

This is the scanned part with the searchable text along side it. It is split into many files because the original scans are so large. You can search across several files using a variety of searching tools on any given computer system. Adobe Acrobat may work for you on some OSs.

Mueller Report Searchable Part 01

Mueller Report Searchable Part 02

Mueller Report Searchable Part 03

Mueller Report Searchable Part 04

Mueller Report Searchable Part 05

Mueller Report Searchable Part 06

Mueller Report Searchable Part 07

Mueller Report Searchable Part 08

Mueller Report Searchable Part 09

Mueller Report Searchable Part 10

Mueller Report Searchable Part 11

Enjoy!


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Here is the Mueller Report (with redactions)

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The report is huge because, instead of being a searchable PDF file, it is a file of 448 pictures of a report. For the record, AJ Barr is pretty much of a dickhead for releasing the report in this form. From a technological point of view, that is obstruction of public justice.

Anyway, here it is in 11 bite size parts:

Mueller Report Part 1

Mueller Report Part 2

Mueller Report Part 3

Mueller Report Part 4

Mueller Report Part 5

Mueller Report Part 6

Mueller Report Part 7

Mueller Report Part 8

Mueller Report Part 9

Mueller Report Part 10

Mueller Report Part 11

Enjoy! I’ve only started to read it, but boy, is it interesting. Every page so far.

There is a lot more to come in this saga. I recommend, if you are reading this on the first day or two of the report’s release, try to ignore what everyone is saying. Give the experts a chance to actually read the damn thing, rather than being forced by their producers to say something interesting about a VERY DENSE 448 page report when the printer is still hot.


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Stacey Abrams, POTUS Candidate and her New Book

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I assume Stacey Abrams is a candidate for President, though she has not officially declared.

The point has recently been made that three southern candidates came with a very small margin of beating their unbeatable Republican opponents in the last election. One of them was white, two black, and the only real difference among them candidate-wise is that everyone is falling all over themselves to elevate the white guy to the status of High Candidate, while the two African American candidates have, at best, been suggested for a subservient role.

That got me thinking, “has Stacey Abrams written a book by any chance” and yes, she has! Lead from the Outside: How to Build Your Future and Make Real Change by Stacey Abrams.

Leadership is hard. Convincing others?and yourself?that you are capable of taking charge and achieving more requires insight and courage. Lead from the Outside is the handbook for outsiders, written with an eye toward the challenges that hinder women, people of color, the working class, members of the LGBTQ community, and millennials ready to make change. Stacey uses her hard-won insights to break down how ambition, fear, money, and failure function in leadership, and she includes practical exercises to help you realize your own ambition and hone your skills. Lead from the Outside discusses candidly what Stacey has learned over the course of her impressive career in politics, business and the nonprofit world: that differences in race, gender, and class provide vital strength, which we can employ to rise to the top and create real and lasting change.

And here is a short video on the book:


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A few preliminary thoughts about the Mueller Report vis-a-vis the Trump Crime Family and the 2020 election

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1) Mueller found no collusion, but does his report explain why a half dozen key Trump Crime Family members blatantly and in apparent coordination with each other lied about their contacts (which did happen) with Russian officials and agents?

This could be explained as follows.

For their part, Russia interfered with the election. This is known.

For their part, the Trump Crime Family attempted to coordinate with the Russians, but the Russians are not stupid. They regarded the Trump people as the Gang that Couldn’t Shoot Strait, and while Trump Jr, Flynn, Pence, and the rest of them, kept trying to open back channels and bend over backwards for the Russians, the Kremlin kept them at arms length. Why allow the idiots to get themselves arrested or impeached, thus becoming useless, rather than useful, idiots?

2) The special prosecutor a) chose to not move forward on obstruction but b) it was Barr and the Justice Department that determined that this is not worth pursuing. It is pretty clear that Trump committed obstruction, he is just going to get away with it. We have to see the report itself to consider this further.

3) Since so much of the left, the Democratic, the blue-wavist, momentum was (unwisely) tied up in this report, that is done now. Trump was polled as behind various Democrats in head-to-head comparisons, and his popularity and approval ratings were all down. The next head to head comparisons will likely show Trump as a possible 2020 winner, and his approval ratings will now go abruptly up. Had this report come out in this exact manner last October 1st, there would not have been as strong of a blue wave.

4) That slightly squishy zone, those who are Trump supporters but who we thought could be convinced to turn on him, will now harden and move fully into the Trump camp. This includes voters, the handful of Republican Senators that occassionally pretended to contemplate doing the right thing, and everyone in between. That particular political strategy for Democrats, not very important to begin with, is surely now zero gone.

5) We are probably left with only one option: To vote Trump out of office, and along with him, a bunch of Senators.

6) Now more than ever, infighting among Democrats is dooming our children, our planet, and ourselves.

This is an important perspective:


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Who will be the Democratic Nominee, who will be the POTUS?

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We often hear of bookmaker odds for elections. Sometimes they are right no, sometimes they are not. Here is a press release from BookMaker showing the current betting status.

San Jose, Costa Rica–March 15,2019–Online sportsbook BookMaker.eu has released updated odds to win the Democratic Nomination with Joe Biden as the 11/4 favorite over a crowded field. Continue reading Who will be the Democratic Nominee, who will be the POTUS?


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