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.

So There’s Another Matthews Explanation Besides Hackery?

Hillary Donors Funding Chris Matthews’ Wife Into Congress

Matthews has always been a hack.  He made his TV bones in the 90s trotting Ann Coulter out everyday to shit on the Clintons. He had a tingle up his leg when GWB walked onto an aircraft carrier, only to later say he was always against the war.

He’s been inexplicably friendly to Hillary and absolutely unquestionably anti-Sanders. Well it’s not so inexplicable now.

Now, research by The Daily Caller reveals that Hillary’s biggest donors are backing Matthews’ wife — Kathleen Matthews — in her congressional race in Maryland, even though many of them don’t even live in the same state, much less the same district, that Matthews is seeking to represent…

Many of Matthews’ biggest donors have close ties to either the Clinton foundation or the Clintons themselves. As noted by Bloomberg two years ago, 12 families have donated to every single Clinton campaign and charity. Of the 12 families, the two families that have donated the most to the Clintons are both funding Matthews’ campaign.

Don’t recall hearing any disclosure from Matthews on any of this.  And he’s been anchoring MSNBC’s election coverage so far.  Not good.

Feds Dishonestly Still Attacking Pot

It’s always so discouraging when people, especially people in positions of power continue to push ideas that have collapsed of their own weight in the public discourse. While addressing the opioid addiction crisis in the country the DEA can’t help itself but to make spurious connections with pot smoking.

Last week, the FBI and DEA released “Chasing the Dragon,” a documentary that paints an honest, unforgiving picture of opiate addiction’s devastating, often deadly consequences. As the opioid epidemic continues to rip through communities across the U.S., it’s part of a new effort by the sister law enforcement agencies to convince teens to steer clear of prescription painkillers and heroin at all costs…

But the FBI and DEA were apparently not satisfied just using the available fodder to both terrify and educate teens about the opioid epidemic and the ravages of addiction. Instead, the agencies quickly try to link these harder drugs to marijuana use.

Yes, marijuana.

By the way, I counted 3 Super Bowl commercials for pharmaceuticals, which I think is unprecedented.  One was about diarreah and showed a walking intestine with a face.


Enough said.

One of them was for a drug that helps people with opioid induced constipation, which must be as epidemic as the opioid problem because it has an acronym “OIC”.  You gotta love it when the pharmaceutical industry comes up with a pill to deal with the side effects of another pill they sold you.  Where does that end?  There is a direct connection between the pain medication and the constipation, whereas there’s no connection between smoking pot as an 11 year old and taking oxicontin after you slip on ice at 21.


What does marijuana have to do with Matt’s opiate addiction? He says he got arrested at age 15 for drinking a beer at a concert, which got him put on probation and subjected to drug testing. Since he was unable to smoke pot, a friend told him he should take an oxycontin. He continued to steal prescription drugs from his friends’ houses until he got addicted to opiates and eventually to heroin. (If anything, the DEA inadvertently makes the argument for legalization with this example. Had Matt had legal access to a less harmful substance, perhaps he would have been better off.)

Arrested for drinking a beer, Matt didn’t get addiction treatment, he just got probation and drug testing eliminating his preferred harmless drugs, so he moved onto harmful BUT LEGAL drugs.

Everything we do about drugs in this country feels addicted to stupid.




Granite State Day

New Hampshire is “The Granite State.” I spent a good portion of 2015 going through granite yards and I don’t recall seeing one piece of granite from NH. Vermont marble yes, NH granite, no.

And New Jersey is “The Garden State,” just sayin’. Maybe the “Confusing Road Sign State,” sure.  Gardens? Meh!

Sanders will win tonight by double digits.  Go, Dixville Notch!!

Trump will win, and I am predicting a surprise second place by Kasich. Rubio third, Cruz fourth and nothing but tears for Christie, Bush, Carson and… oh yeah Carly is still running for veep.

A brief thought on feminism in regards to the election.  Not sure how feminism even applies to elections because we’re supposed to vote for the best person for the job regardless of race, gender, sexual orientation, etc. I guess I’m a feminist in that I have voted for numerous women for numerous offices – the point being it would never occur to me to vote against a woman just because they were one. Feminism was the response to people who would indeed vote, choose, hire a man over a woman as a matter of prejudice, discounting their abilities.

While it’s cool to extol the virtues of women, which are legion, voting for a woman simply because she’s a woman would be almost as uncool as real prejudice. Not willing to put them on the same level, but almost. I do understand women wanting to support women, but making it mandatory or even reflexive? No.  That’s sexism.

No One’s Nostalgic About This Crap

They had a Super Bowl yesterday, some watched the game, everyone watches the commercials and halftime shows. (btw I echo the sentiment that the SB should be coordinated so that it’s on President’s Day weekend.) During the halftime show with some people called Coldplay, Bruno Mars and Beyonce, that I think I’ve heard of, they showed clips of other halftime shows with Springsteen, the Who, Rolling Stones, etc.

They DID NOT wax nostaligic for this 1980 fiasco with Up With People.  Yes, in 1980 the NFL ran out Up With People, a group of clean cut white kids created in response to hippie subculture (even its creation was a decade behind reality!) with funding from companies like Halliburton (not even a joke, really!). They played at 4 Super Bowl half time shows between 1976 and 1986.

This was the NFL not wanting to reflect the actual culture, but trying to be as white bread and inoffensive as they could to the older, whiter culture that was going to elect Ronald Reagan later than year. Nobody under 65 sat through this kind of zombie WASP nonsense in 1980. They, like other institutions were in complete denial over what had happened in the country over the last 20 years. It was like the NFL thought “Happy Days” was a documentary about youth culture. You turned off the sound, went to the bathroom and didn’t come back to the couch until you saw the teams come back out on the field.

You may not like Coldplay, Bruno Mars and Beyonce, but they reflect the actual culture outside the stadium NOW!

Of course there are still people who would prefer pablum. Giuliani rips Beyonce’s Halftime Performance.  Somehow the Black Panthers were in the show. I missed it.  That was Cam Newton blowing the game, not Huey, right?

Rudolf Giuliani – “You’re talking about the Super Bowl, you’re gonna have entertainment, let’s have decent, wholesome entertainment.”  February 8, 1965

Oh, he said that in 2016?  Nooooo!  What a dick!

It’s New Hampshire Weekend

Polls show Cruz predictably tanking undecided beating him Christie, Carson and Fiorina. Rubio predictably rising, although Kasich making a respectable establishment showing as well.  Boston Globe poll:

Donald Trump————————–28.80

Marco Rubio—————————-19.40

John Kasich —————————-13.00

Jeb Bush ——————————9.80

Undecided —————————–8.00

Ted Cruz ——————————6.60

Chris Christie—————————5.20

Ben Carson—————————–4.40

Carly Fiorina—————————-3.80

They also asked about who the second choice would be and for that Undecided won with 19.35%.  Undecided is the most popular second choice going into the final weekend. That’s Undecided.

On the Dem side, nothing new in NH, but one poll indicates Clinton’s national lead has evaporated to a 44% to 42%.   This is the first national poll that shows the race that close. The national poll tracker still has Clinton over 50%. But if this poll is indicative of the direction of the race, we should see polls in NV and SC start closing too. And then it can be said that Sanders has legs. We could see a few more of the kind of terrific debates like MSNBC hosted in NH.