Crotchety Old Men Can Be Fun

Not on the Supreme Court, but as baseball managers, they’re perfect. There’s got to be someone crotchety, of whatever age, to say “there’s no crying in baseball.”  Or this:

“It’s become a young man’s game, especially with all of the technology stuff you’ve got to be involved in,” he said. “I’m not very good at it. I don’t enjoy it like other people do. I’m not going to sit there today and look at all of these (expletive) numbers and try to predict this guy is going to be a great player. OPS this. OPS that. GPS. LCSs. DSDs. You know who has good numbers? Good (expletive) players.”

Mets manager Terry Collins on his feelings about Sabermetrics, the math wizardry that is all the rage in evaluating players.

“You know who has good numbers? Good (expletive) players.”

Indeed. Get off my lawn nerds!


Why Henry Kissinger Matters

The debate on Thursday night between Clinton and Sanders didn’t address the progressive/establishment argument that was a point of contention in at least one earlier debate. But there was one part of the debate where that progressive/establishment schism was illustrated better than maybe any other issue could bring it into focus.

Only establishment Democrats, like the “Morning Joe” contributors, the DLC, the Clintons, do not consider Henry Kissinger a war criminal. The Nation and other progressives have thought, and said he was one since 1973. Pretty clearly, if you won’t say Kissinger was a war criminal and his brand of realpolitik a nightmare for the country then you are part of the chummy establishment. Period.

Henry Kissinger’s War Crimes are Central to the Divide Between Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders

But Kissinger is reviled by many left-leaning observers of foreign policy. They consider him an amoral egotist who enabled dictators, extended the Vietnam War, laid the path to the Khmer Rouge killing fields, stage-managed a genocide in East Timor, overthrew the democratically elected left-wing government in Chile, and encouraged Nixon to wiretap his political adversaries.

This is a must read, especially if you aren’t familiar with Kissinger and Nixon’s horrendous continuation and expansion of the disastrous foreign policy proscriptions of intervention, both covert and overt (in conflicts and countries they didn’t really understand), and a philosophy that concluded “the enemy of my enemy is my friend,” (even if they’re a monster).

These establishment foreign policy “experts” operated for decades never understanding (or wanting to understand)  the concept of blowback and unintended consequences. This is what progressives have been arguing since the 50’s. It was typified by the arrogance of the Iraq war, entered into by people who didn’t know, and evidently didn’t care about, the difference between Sunni and Shia.

A poster at Daily Kos as an important point – You Can’t Admire Both Henry Kissinger and Martin Luther King Jr.

Part of that is a link to a David Corn article that asserts that the Clintons and Kissinger are pretty chummy. Like vacationing together annually in the Dominican Republic.


South Carolina Politics is Sooooo Dirty

Keep hearing that, but it’s not like when you cross the border into SC the devil meets you at the airport. Politics in SC aren’t any more amoral or immoral than NH or IA, it’s that the candidates get more desperate by the time an election gets there. Survival is on the menu along with the shrimp and grits. So yeah, that’s when you pull out the push poll saying your opponent has a black child.

Rove invented a uniquely injurious fiction for his operatives to circulate via a phony poll. Voters were asked, “Would you be more or less likely to vote for John McCain…if you knew he had fathered an illegitimate black child?” This was no random slur. McCain was at the time campaigning with his dark-skinned daughter, Bridget, adopted from Bangladesh.




Yesterday Was Ash Wednesday

I didn’t see one besmeared forehead. Not one.

Just realized it 24 hours later. Usually, the only way I know it’s Ash Wednesday is I see somebody with a dirty forehead and think, “oh, must be Ash Wednesday.”

Is religion dead or just Catholicism, discuss.

More NH Notes

Let’s recognize that Bernie Sanders becomes the first Jew to win a presidential primary. Mazel tov!  And he’s a mensche!  The Marshalltown, IA Times Republican tallied all the costs that the town incurred from the candidate visits there, police, fire, crowd control and what not.  The paper noted this:

“Occasionally, a candidate without secret service protection makes a request, but these are not common and are generally minimal,” he said.

“Sen. Sanders was in Jan. 10,” (at the BWRI). Tupper said. “He does not have secret service protection and did request security assistance. The Sanders campaign paid. That is a welcome deviation from the norm.” (emphasis added)

The Sanders 22% victory in NH was pretty complete in the cross tabs too.  He won every demographic except three:

Hillary got a marginal 1 point victory 50% to 49% in the non-white category. Which does not reflect that supposed robust Clinton firewall with non-whites.

Hillary took people with incomes over $200K 53% to 46%. Not exactly something you want to advertise.

Hillary took the 65 and older demographic 55% to 44%. Come on older people. As a wise person once said, there’s a special place in hell for older people who don’t support other older people. At least pick up a check now and then.




Coming for Weeks, Results Still Shocked

So Brooklyn won the Democratic primary in NH and Queens took the Republican race. This Brooklyn/Queens rivalry feels very familiar to me. Only issue is I’m a Queensite who would clearly be rooting for the Brooklyn guy in that race. In fact, I’d be happy to cede Trump to Manhattan if they’d have him, doubt they would.


It was no big deal to call the winners. But the 22 point win by Bernie Sanders had to be very unsettling for the Clinton camp. Her last week had been pretty good and they thought they could keep it to 10 or so, but that did not happen. Until last night they had seemed pretty confident that going forward they had built in advantages (states with more minorities, states that don’t allow independents) but we’ll have to see if that optimism holds. All the success of the last two weeks in Sanders world will no doubt bleed over to Nevada, South Carolina and beyond. The firewall that the Clinton people thought they had, plus the double digit national polling lead, may prove to be a lot less formidable redoubts than they imagined. Already there were national polls that showed Sanders catching up.

On the GOPoopiepants side, for the record I called Trump (35.3%), Kasich (15.8%)(nailed it!) Rubio (10.5%) and Cruz (11.6%).  I got 1 and 2 right, but did not anticipate the depths of the Rubio collapse that no doubt buoyed Bush (11.1%) to his surprise 4th place finish and lifeline to South Carolina. Still, 11% is no great victory after spending a fortune and months of time concentrated in one or two states. Going forward nobody is going to be able to spend that much time and money in one place as things accelerate fast.  Just 10 days now to SC and NV (NV is split to 2 days: 2/20 for Dems, 2/23 for GOP).

Christie is at least smart enough to see his 7.5% means he’s done. Rubio and Bush will now engage in a game of chicken to see which disastrous campaign realizes its mortality first, allowing the other some oxygen.

It just gets more interesting.