Archive for Political Science Fiction

We build nations

Except for the minor detail that actually, we don’t:

I was one of the fools who believed in W’s grand “nation building” project in the Middle East. I know more history than the average guy, and yet I was fooled, too — such is the power of wishcasting.

In reality, representative government is an Anglo-Saxon thing. And given the problems we have with it — our current election is between a criminal narcissist and a narcissist criminal — it’s no surprise that cultures with no tradition other than the despotic can’t get the hang of it in just a few years, despite the best efforts of National Review and the Peace and/or Marine Corps.

This is not, you should note, some kind of ethnic thing:

[N]one of this should be taken for an argument that only white people can do democracy — as if the ability to mark a ballot is somehow genetic. Again, see Presidential Election 2016, or any of the literally Caucasian countries surrounding the former USSR. The point is that representative democracy is the result of a long, long, long history, a unique combination of circumstances stretching back to the Greek polis (and, again, if you want to maintain that white folks have a “government” gene, imagine what would happen if you time-warped Demosthenes into modern America and told him that this is representative government. The poor dude would stroke out). Other cultures simply don’t have that history, and even the best-intentioned attempts to impose a facsimile from above give you — at best — India. Which bills itself as “the world’s largest democracy,” and it is … sort of, if you add a list of qualifiers about the size of the Chicago phone book.

Still, if India is the best-case scenario, and you can make a case that it is — well, you don’t want to think too hard about the worst-case scenario.

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Dollars here, dollars there

The apparently not-dead-yet Ted Cruz — at least, that’s the name in the From field — has issued this blurb on behalf of Rep. Jim Bridenstine of Oklahoma’s 1st District:

There are hundreds of congressional races taking place across the country this year, but this election in Oklahoma is especially important.

Jim Bridenstine is one of the top conservative leaders in the House today and he isn’t afraid to stand up to the powerful interests in Washington.

He has fought to stop Obamacare, to defund President Obama’s executive amnesty, and to stop Planned Parenthood from receiving taxpayer money.

Time after time, Jim has stood with me and other conservatives in Congress to defend the Constitution, and now he needs your help.

The Washington establishment has recruited a candidate to run against Jim in the June 28th Republican primary election. He’s a threat to the Beltway insiders so they are determined to defeat him.

*Please join me in supporting this outstanding conservative leader by making a contribution to his campaign today.*

Some of us down here in Soonerland are, shall we say, suspicious of solicitations for out-of-state money. And we know this is going out of state, because Ted Cruz and/or his fellow travelers in this particular PAC didn’t send this to me; it was sent to good old Roger Green in Albany, New York, who isn’t the least likely person on earth to send a contribution to the Jim Bridenstine campaign, but he’s a long way from the top of the list, if you know what I mean.

There is no Democrat running in the First District, which should give you an idea of how this area skews politically. (There is an Independent in the race.) Tom Atkinson, the “establishment” Republican candidate, actually considered running against Bridenstine two years ago, but eventually thought better of it. With Bridenstine vowing to serve a maximum of three terms — he’s completed two — Atkinson may actually get a chance in 2018.

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Irrational for the moment

I could probably find some exceptions to this rule:

Then again, I wouldn’t be surprised to hear that they’d recently left the GOP.

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You heard it here third

Possibly second, but definitely not first:

If Donald Trump secures the Republican nomination for President, the media will close ranks both on the news side and on the advertising side — and the only pro-Trump stories or ads that will ever see the light of day will be the ones that make him (and Republicans in general) look the most ridiculous, and Hillary look the most sympathetic.

With Ted Cruz exhibiting withdrawal symptoms, we should be able to see examples of this phenomenon Real Soon Now.

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Didn’t need this after all

From page A5 of yesterday’s Oklahoman:

Oklahoma County Commissioner Brian Maughan is giving campaign donors their money back.

The District 2 commissioner secured a third term earlier this month when the deadline passed without an opponent filing for the seat. Maughan says he returned $75,810.11 to 372 donors after deducting expenses.

Maughan had geared up for a challenge after others announced plans to run. Maughan says each donor got back about 79 percent of what they contributed.

I suppose the scary aspect of this is that it takes about a hundred grand to run for County Commissioner, at least in a county this size. (There are 77 counties in Oklahoma, each divided into three districts.)

Still, this is a far better return on investment than a donor normally gets without Actual Graft.

Maughan’s campaign Web site is still up, though it probably doesn’t cost a whole lot.

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A consummation he will surely miss

Gary Welsh at Advance Indiana calls the state Republican primary for Donald Trump:

If I’m not around to see the vote results, my prediction is that Trump wins Indiana with just shy of 50% of the vote, but he will carry every single congressional district and sweep the delegate race — assuming the party-chosen delegates honor their rules-bound commitment to support the winner on the first ballot. Most of those delegates favored John Kasich at the time they were chosen. Only two of the delegates named by state party officials publicly declared their support for Trump, although some have indicated they would feel obligated to support the voters’ wishes.

What’s surprising here is that opening phrase: “If I’m not around to see the vote results.” Because he won’t be:

Prominent Indianapolis blogger Gary Welsh has died, according to Indianapolis police, who say they are investigating the death as a “tragic suicide.”

Welsh, 53, wrote the widely followed conservative blog Advance Indiana, which he launched more than a decade ago. He also was a practicing attorney.

The Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department’s incident report says officers were dispatched to the Lockerbie Glove Factory Lofts, 430 N. Park Ave., before 8 a.m. Sunday after receiving a report of a person found shot in the stairwell of the building. The witnesses who called 911 reported that a gun was next to the body.

That last post went up just after noon on Friday. I didn’t see anything in the preceding week’s worth of posts to suggest that this was coming.

(Via Aaron M. Renn.)

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Redeeming social value

The Oklahoman Scissortales page 30 April 2016Earlier this year, Ted Cruz won the GOP primary in this state, and I assume the Oklahoman is fine with that, since they tend to tilt a bit rightward, as does Cruz. Still, a person in page-turning mode, as I was this afternoon, might have been taken aback by this image on the editorial page.

It took a moment, but: “Oh. I get it.”

The paragraph, complete:

Donald Trump has struggled to convince Americans to support his presidential candidacy, as evidenced by his poor showing in many polls. Notably, he typically falls below 50 percent support even in polls of Republican voters, despite dominating the news cycle for months and notching up plurality wins in many primaries. But others are unintentionally providing reason to support Trump for president: If he is elected, some Hollywood lightweights promise to leave the country. That list includes Lena Dunham, Jon Stewart and Rosie O’Donnell. Dunham recently declared, “I know a lot of people have been threatening to do this, but I really will. I know a lovely place in Vancouver and I can get my work done from there.” When asked about those comments during a Fox News interview, Trump responded, “That would be a great thing for our country.” No doubt, many Americans agree with Trump on that point.

Note to travel agents: You are not going to make a killing on all these celebrities who claim they’re going to leave the country, no matter what they claim.

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Minor political content

Considered purely as a poem, it’s not much, but it does make a point:

Victoria Moll-Ramirez, last I heard, was a Segment Producer for The Rundown with José Díaz-Balart at MSNBC.

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This doesn’t look like a primary

The last two elections, we had more than 50 (!) legislative incumbents returned to office because they didn’t draw any opposition. This year, not so much. There are no unchallenged Senators, and only a handful of House members got a free pass:

  • H22: Charles A. McCall (R-Atoka)
  • H24: Steve Kouplen (D-Beggs)
  • H34: Cory T. Williams (D-Stillwater)
  • H35: Dennis Casey (R-Morrison)
  • H37: Steven E. Vaughan (R-Ponca City)
  • H38: John Pfeiffer (R-Orlando)
  • H48: Pat Ownbey (R-Ardmore)
  • H57: Harold Wright (R-Weatherford)
  • H59: Mike Sanders (R-Kingfisher)
  • H68: Glen Mulready (R-Tulsa)
  • H77: Eric Proctor (D-Tulsa)
  • H88: Jason Dunnington (D-Oklahoma City)
  • H90: John Echols (R-Oklahoma City)

Of these thirteen, nine appeared on the 2014 list.

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It’s starting to look like a primary

Collin Walke, who ran for House District 87 two years ago and was beaten by incumbent Jason Nelson, is trying again, now that Nelson’s out of the running. (He left a small flyer on my door some time between 11:30 and 1 yesterday.) He’s the second Democrat I’ve heard from, following the opening salvo last week by Kelly Meredith. And there won’t be any more: no other Democrats filed before the end of the official filing period Friday.

Meanwhile, four Republicans have signed up to take a stab at it, and with this year’s actual recognition of the party, there’s a Libertarian; in fact, the LP has sixteen candidates for 2016, and there will be an actual Libertarian primary, there being two candidates for Senator James Lankford’s seat.

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Greater Scott

Scott Inman is the Minority Leader in the Oklahoma House, charged with keeping the Democrats more or less in line. He has a short bio in Wikipedia, which used to be a lot longer before this section was excised:

Bogus biographical details about Scott Inman

Okay, we get it: Scott Inman is not Aquaman.

Inman’s comment upon reading this:

[M]y friends have a unique and clever sense of humor. And apparently they have a lot of time on their hands too.

(Via Phil Cross at Fox 25. He didn’t do it, I’m pretty sure.)

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Live with Kelly

Last week, Rep. Jason Nelson (R-Oklahoma City) announced he would not seek reelection:

The Republican floor leader of the Oklahoma House says he will step aside from his northwest Oklahoma City seat after eight years in office.

Rep. Jason Nelson said Wednesday he will not seek re-election to his District 87 House seat in November. The 44-year-old Nelson announced his decision on the floor of the House where he was congratulated by Lt. Gov. Todd Lamb and Republican and Democratic House members.

As an actual resident of District 87, I am of course interested in Nelson’s successor. And the first flyer has arrived, on behalf of Kelly Meredith. Her political affiliation is not disclosed, but let’s read between the lines, specifically these lines from the flyer:

Kelly will bring her experience as a strategic planner, an educator, and a mother to the Capitol. She is tired of seeing reckless budgeting, wasteful legislation, and political games that hurt our children and our state.

Got to be a Democrat. (Republicans have a 70-31 majority in the House, so at least two of those charges will presumably be blamed on the GOP.) Which means I will eventually meet her; in the 12 years I’ve lived in 87, every single Democratic candidate — and no Republican — has come out to knock on my door at a time when I could conceivably have answered it.

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Please don’t kill our bomber

There exists on change.org a petition to spare the life of Boston bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, largely referencing the usual “Capital punishment is yucky” suspects. Most of it is fairly predictable — it’s not like we haven’t seen anything like this before — but this one paragraph toward the end is, well, striking:

Depriving Mr. Tsarnaev of his essential rights as a human being in response to his own disregard for human life is a senseless and counterproductive way of addressing the issues at hand.

Um, what issues might those be? Whether bombers should have their selfies on the cover of the Rolling Stone?

Last I looked, 34 people had their names affixed to this appeal.

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Muddle in the middle

“Moderate” is kind of a bad word around elections, especially this election. Chris Lawrence, who describes himself as “College professor and all-around troublemaker,” once said this:

Most Americans — and most people the world over, in fact — don’t have consistent, ideological belief systems. The absence of those belief systems makes them moderate, because they just react to whatever’s going on in the political ether; if you’re lucky, you might be able to pin their beliefs to some overarching fundamental value (“hard work”, “equality”, “liberty”).

There are only two types of true moderate: people who don’t care about politics, and centrist politicians (and this latter class of people generally care less about politics than they care about keeping their jobs — I defy you to explain the behavior of Arlen Specter or Olympia Snowe otherwise).

I aspire to be a person who does not care about politics, although politics, damn it, persists in caring about me, or at least in pretending to do so. Still, if there’s such baggage attached to “moderate,” maybe I need a new word. How about “centrist”? Does “centrist” work for me?

Hmmm. It has potential.

(Via Will Truman.)

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When things get complicated

Middle of the morning, I got a note from a neighbor via Nextdoor: “I am going to close your garage door.” This, of course, leads to the obvious question: why in the fark is it open? I contemplated several possibilities, the most unnerving of which was the chance that someone might have figured out the Double Super Secret Code that runs the remote. This particular garage-door opener dates back to — well, not the Pleistocene, exactly, but it’s old enough to have its code set by a row of jumpers, the sort of thing we haven’t seen since we got rid of master and slave drives in PCs. I put in a call to William of Ockham, who noted that I happened to be carrying two remotes, one in the car, one on my person, and if I started the process with the former and inadvertently engaged the latter while turning away from the house, I could easily have created this situation myself. I argued that I didn’t think the secondary remote had that kind of range, but to no avail. I arrived back home about 11:30, and everything seemed to be in order.

And it is an election day, so I figured I’d take care of that detail on the way back to work. Turnout was expected to be light, given the single race on the ballot: finishing the unexpired term of Oklahoma County Court Clerk Tim Rhodes, who resigned last year to take a job at the Corp Comm. I did not, however, imagine it to be this light: at a quarter to twelve, four hours and forty-five minutes into the session, I was preceded by a mere 23 voters. There are more than 1500 registered voters in this precinct.

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The phrase that pays

The original Vision 2025 sales-tax scheme in Tulsa County has come to an end, and with the horror of losing that 0.6 percent staring them in the face, the powers that be have assembled a wish list for a renewal of the scheme. One of the bigger items on that list is a pair of low-water dams on the Arkansas River to supplement the existing Zink Dam. And those dams are on the list, apparently, because it is assumed the suckers will vote for them even if they’re not actually going to be built:

According to emails obtained by FOX23 News and videos of city council committee meetings being held throughout the month of February, city officials were aware the south Tulsa-Jenks dam was falling through and began to set up “contingencies” where voters would approve the two low-water dams, but the money raised from the sales tax, at least on the City of Tulsa side, would go to improving the Zink Dam, setting up a maintenance endowment for the Zink Dam, and then distributing what was left of the two dam plan’s funding to various projects throughout the City of Tulsa, some in council districts nowhere near the Arkansas River.

Cynical in the extreme, even by Tulsa standards.

The vote comes Tuesday, 5 April. In the meantime, expect to see these sprout up:

No More Dam Taxes

(Via BatesLine.)

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Dick Deux

The Z Man seems persuaded that Ted Cruz is the second coming of Richard Milhous Nixon:

Cruz, like Nixon, is a guy you instinctively want to avoid. There was an alien aspect to Nixon that even his friends found to be off-putting. His enemies, of course, pounced on these things, hence the name “Tricky Dick.” Cruz has this same problem. His friends are not enthusiastic about him, but his enemies are very enthusiastic.

Nixon, like Cruz, was never embraced by the GOP. Eisenhower picked him as his VP, but treated him like bad odor. Ike was universally revered, but Nixon, despite his talents, was despised by the WASP elite of both parties. Democrats hated him for Alger Hiss and Republicans hated him for being low-class. The fact that Nixon was smarter and more knowledgeable about international affairs made things worse as he could not be dismissed as a rube.

Then again, in Nixon’s day, the GOP actually went to the trouble to appear as though they believed in something. Today they can hardly be bothered.

And then there’s that whole 19th-century ethos, explained by Severian:

Pick any 19th century president — the odds are you’ll find a weirdo with limited interpersonal skills. In the newsprint-and-telegraph media era, the President was basically just his party’s designated flak-catcher. Nixon was a Martin van Buren type — an ideas guy, an organizer, a wire-puller, who through a weird confluence of circumstances ended up as the nominee. It’s only the media era, and really the tv era, where you get the “imperial presidency” (in that jerkoff’s condescending but wonderful phrase) and all the hoopla and nonsense that goes along with it. As I’ve said before, Cruz would’ve cleaned up in the 19th century.

And Van Buren, who arrived at the White House from the Andrew Jackson administration — he was Andy’s second-term Vice President — caught plenty of flak just from the Panic of 1837. At any rate, the electorate was disinclined to elevate any sitting Veeps thereafter, including Nixon in 1960; the only one since to break through was Bush 41. (Joe Biden? Don’t get your hopes up.)

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Drawing lots of lines

The other day, I asked Roger this: “What would be the one change you’d most like to see in the governance of the State of New York?” His response:

Generally, I disdain term limits, because I believe philosophically the people should be able to elect who they want. But I also recognize that the state legislature gets to pick the gerrymandered boundaries of the state legislature.

I like the idea of a truly independent board that would redraw the lines every ten years, pretty much ignoring the previous boundaries, and primarily paying attention to finding the population balance, still with some consideration of neighborhoods, would be nice. I just don’t know what that looks like.

Neither do I. But it would definitely be nice to find out.

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Quote of the week

Amanda Kerri writes for The Advocate:

Somehow we have put up some qualifiers on which political party you’re supposed to be a member or supporter of as an LGBT person. It’s somehow become the accepted norm that when a person comes out of the closet, they come out carrying old WPA posters, a yellowed newspaper saying “Dewey Defeats Truman,” and a Mondale-Ferraro button. I’m alluding to the Democratic Party, of course. To be fair, we tend to get weird about Lyndon Johnson and Bill Clinton, who complicate the narratives. Still, we seem to have become wedded to the idea that we are at least supposed to be Democrats as LGBT people, and to some you’re not truly “woke” on LGBT issues unless you’re slightly to the left of Trotsky. It’s odd that we think that way — that for some reason who we love or how we identify determines our attitudes about taxes, foreign policy, Wall Street oversight, and the Second Amendment.

Let me lay it out straight for you — pun intended — your sexual orientation and/or gender identity has nothing to do with what you should believe politically. It may shock you, but 20 percent of LGBT people self-identify as conservative. It goes up to 30 percent if you’re polling people over 50, but of course we all know gay people quit mattering after 40.

I did not know that. I did, however, know this:

Not everyone who falls into the conservative camp is a vile hatemonger corporate stooge, while not everyone on the progressive side is ready to cut off rich people’s heads and quote from Das Kapital.

With respect to that article, “don’t read the comments” applies particularly strongly.

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A unified theory of Trump

Severian explains Donald Trump about as well as Donald Trump can be explained:

I’m far from a Trump fan (though I do support him — he’s exactly what we deserve, and I want to help us get it). But Teh Donald epitomizes a facet of the American character, which Euros, Leftists, and assorted other dummkopfs call “anti-intellectualism.” Americans aren’t against thinking, or even high-level abstract airy-fairy cogitating — if we were, we’d never have led the world in pretty much everything ever. What we’re against is being educated past our hat size, and we’re utterly opposed to thinking that words like “critique” and “studies” are anything other than dangerous boondoggles. Euros and Leftists think that pretending to know what the hell Lacan was talking about means you’re a super-smart deep thinker; Americans take it as a sign that you got took, that you handed over your house deed along with your wallet to a snake oil salesman.

Hence, Obama. He’s everything the latte-slurping, soccer-loving, paper-chasing crowd wishes they could be. Trump openly thumbs his nose at all that, and when you call him on it, he just says “scoreboard, bitches.” He must’ve learned something with all those bankruptcies, because he keeps getting back on the Richest People list every time he gets knocked off.

Now, it’s entirely possible that he hasn’t learned anything since then, or that he’s bought into his own schtick, or that he’s gone completely delusional. But telling the American people that they ain’t not no un-dummies for not having PhDs — that they can, in fact, be wildly successful while misspelling every third word on Twitter — will take you a long, long way.

Bonus points for that triple negative (I think) in the last graf.

For the record, Noam Chomsky thought that Lacan was an “amusing and perfectly self-conscious charlatan.”

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From the Manila folder

The Philippines hold a general election every six years, on the second Monday of May, and it looks like this one might be expensive:

Our cook announced the going rate to vote for the mayor is 2000 pesos … ditto for president.

Either I misunderstood her, or there has been inflation, since the going rate is traditionally 500 pesos (10 dollars).

Elections in America, of course, are different: instead of bestowing small sums on the many, we confer huge riches upon the few.

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One step toward Utopia

On the face of it, this would seem to be a swell plan:

I think that every citizen should have a once-in-a-lifetime option to have the bureaucrat of his/her choice fired, whipped through the streets naked, and forbidden to hold public employment ever again. This in terrorem effect would significantly reduce government misbehavior. Sure, there will be the occasional injustice, but think of the overall social benefit.

What will happen, after the first couple of incidents: the bureaucracy will close ranks and conduct all its future business under assumed names. Richard Windsor can show them how it’s done.

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I suspect something up his sleeve

Does anyone see a motive for this?

A Congressional resolution to recognize magic as a national treasure was introduced to the U.S. House of Representatives on Monday.

The resolution was sponsored by Rep. Pete Sessions (R-Texas), with six additional Republicans also attaching their names to it.

The problem, the resolution says, is that magic gets no respect. It has “not been properly recognized as a great American art form, nor has it been accorded the institutional status on a national level commensurate with its value and importance.”

Yet, magic is an art, the resolution insists, going on to cite a number of prominent magicians, including, eight times, David Copperfield.

Let’s see if we can come up with the Top Ten Reasons Rep. Pete Sessions (R-Texas) is pushing for official recognition of magic:

  1. Someone turned him into Newt Gingrich
  2. There must be some way to make Donald Trump disappear
  3. Houdini’s escape-artist expertise inspires weary Congressmen hoping to get out of yet another boring hearing
  4. Mistakenly thinks David Copperfield is the coach of the Orlando Magic
  5. Princess Celestia has asked for funding for a second year of Magic Kindergarten
  6. Wants a tax deduction for his collection of Doug Henning memorabilia
  7. Magic Johnson, if you know what I mean
  8. If the government can’t guess which way the economy will go, at least it can guess what card you picked
  9. Just once, we ought to levitate Chuck Schumer
  10. The only way to beat Hillary is to saw her in half

(Via Fark.)

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A smoke-free smoke-filled room

But what if … what if … no candidate has secured a majority of delegates before the convention?

Big freaking deal, says Bill Quick:

[T]oday’s panty-wetters act as if a brokered convention is both unique and horrible. In 1968 I worked on the RFK campaign. I was in San Diego when he was killed in LA. He’d just won California, but had not clinched the nomination. The battle cry of his victory speech was “On to Chicago!” Where there would be a contested, “brokered” convention. Nobody, myself included, thought this was strange at all.

It was just part of the process.

Go back further, to 1924. Had television been in its infancy in that year, the Democratic convention might have constituted crib death: John W. Davis, never one of the front-runners during the campaign, was finally selected on the 103rd ballot. (The GOP had no such issues; Calvin Coolidge, who became President upon the death of Warren G. Harding the year before, didn’t even bother to campaign, perhaps another reason why he’s so highly regarded today.) Davis wound up carrying only 12 states, all in the South; a third-party candidacy that year managed to win one state, Wisconsin, home of Progressive Robert M. La Follette, who’d bolted from the Democratic ranks rather than support some terrible person like Davis.

Aside: Coolidge’s Vice President, Charles Gates Dawes, wrote (in 1911) a hit record (in 1951):

This is not, incidentally, what earned Dawes a share of the Nobel Peace Prize in 1925. Then again, the standards were higher back then.

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The new Democratic base

Well, there are the Sanders fans, of course, but it’s hard to imagine them as a majority of the party, let alone of the electorate. Then again, who else is there?

The rest are divided between disaffected Dems drawn to vote for Trump because their notion of an ideal president is Dwayne Elizondo Mountain Dew Herbert Camacho, and Hillary supporters who are certain that (1) Hillary is the nominee, finally, this time, and that (2) if the Republicans actually nominate a Republican for president this year, Hillary will be in cuffs before her concession speech ends.

I suppose they have to tell themselves that kind of thing if they insist on supporting someone who, were she less, um, connected, would already be wearing orange jumpsuits on a regular basis.

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The tinnest of tin ears

In the best of times, the National Republican Senatorial Committee is not exactly overflowing with clues, and we’re a hell of a long way from the best of times. Yesterday, though, they stepped in it big time:

You’d think someone would have known this: Duckworth lost both of her legs in Iraq.

NRSC pulled the tweet after a few minutes, but the damage was done; screenshots, like so much of the Internet, are forever.

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Not approved by Mayor Mare

Someone following Ted Cruz around before the Iowa caucuses filed this report:

I’ve just jumped from a hay bale to the upper rung of a bleacher seat — it’s the only way I can see Cruz, surrounded by fans, cameras and boom mics. Now I’m looking down, and the Texan with slicked-back hair, a rugged outdoorsman’s jacket and hiking shoes is talking about ponies. “What’s your favorite My Little Pony?” Cruz asks his tiny supporter, a little girl who is wearing a Rainbow Dash beanie. “Twilight,” she says.

“I have two daughters, and they love Twilight,” Cruz says, before adding, with a grin: “My favorite, though, is Applejack. I just think she’s funny.”

You know, sugarcube, that Rarity isn’t going to play so well in Des Moines, or however the buck they pronounce it.

I missed that piece when it first came out, but local political whiz Peter J. Rudy was happy to toss it in my general direction. Of course, I was ready:

Of course, this only extends so far: it wouldn’t matter, for instance, if Mike Huckabee not only could identify all three Dazzlings by name but also knew all the major plot points of My Little Dashie.

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The levers we pulled

The State Election Board has released preliminary precinct-level counts for Tuesday’s primary, and, well, I’m not above grubbing up a spreadsheet to look at my local numbers.

Democrats: Sanders 271; Clinton 227; others 11.

Republicans: Rubio 163; Trump 112; Cruz 102; Carson 19; Kasich 17; others 6.

Which is a total of 509 Democrats and 419 Republicans.

Countywide totals:

Democrats: Clinton 34,255; Sanders 32,368; others 1,716.

Republicans: Rubio 29,030; Cruz 26,912; Trump 22,117; Carson 4,992; Kasich 4,007; others 1,351.

Should anyone care, he who garnered the fewest votes was Lindsey Graham, with 49.

Note: Democratic totals may include independents invited to participate.

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Meanwhile down at the precinct

Thinking that this might be close to a record year for turnout, given the sheer nastiness of the campaign so far, I decided to close up shop early and beat the after-work crowd. Arriving at 3:50, I noticed a small lake where I used to park: there had been about 0.4 inch of rain last night. Not a problem.

When I reached the line, there were five in front of me: two Democrats, two Republicans, and one slightly baffled Independent, who could receive a Democratic ballot but who apparently was hoping to get one for the GOP. And there was a youngster on the way out the door, wearing a grey Trump T-shirt.

Nine minutes to take care of business and cast ballot #656. I was really expecting more like #800, but then I was earlier than I usually am for these things. The polls will remain open until 7 pm.

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Marks to be made

Today I get to fill out a ballot, and this is what’s been going through my head while I contemplate the matter.

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