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Poll tactics & kissin' cuzzins

Growing up, every time there was a close football game, I got to hear Frank Gifford or Dan Meredith exclaim how a tie is like kissing your cousin. (My initial reaction was "which one?" some of my cousins were pretty damn cute.)

At this stage in New Hampshire, it looks like Bernie's playing for a tie - roughly 2 point spread for the last 2 months, and within 5 points since August. 

The sad news for Bernie fans is that's not good enough - at this point it's dialed into everyone's expectations that New Hampshire's Sanders' back yard, that he should win - it's no longer an "upset". 

Berntrayal: we wuz robbed

Keeping an eye on the Bernie squad's meta for some time, there's been an interesting undercurrent of how unfair the whole process is since last summer.

What's funny to me is why this is news.

A New Year's Lament?

[seemed a shame to waste this/have it disappear as a throwaway comment]

Once upon a time there were people who expressed themselves - for me perhaps MLK & RFK & others in amazing books I'd read, you may have your own - in a way that was lucid and compelling and convincing. I could listen to them and I'd find reason to mull over what they said and incorporate what they had to say in my belief system - they provided new grist for the mill, not merely retread.

Missed Opportunities

More surprising than Scalia's attitudes this week were the Texas attorney's weak arguments.

"Now's not the time to lower diversity"? Jesus Christ, why not say "you're wrong, I'm right"? Wouldn't we demand our money back, look for better support than this?

Try it this way -

Don qui jodes thee

Jodido, simply jodido.
Le Donald is passing on the Apprentice to whoever wants it.
Situation normal, all fucked up - he's rounded the bend and headed on out to the great whatever.
Even Cheney's appalled and that motherfucker never gets appalled. Donald's given a great smooch to the left - not so much from love, but he's never been that bad - he's an asshole sure enough, bit more of a blowhard asshole. Now he's bestowing Christmas gifts - the charade's over.

A Step Back on Tolerance

Bob Somerby's been advocating a bit of withholding judgment until facts are in, and presents 2 pretty compelling instances. 1 was a piece of tape over the face of black professors' photos, the 2nd was a noose hanging at Duke.

Debating Abortion

In 538's summary of the GOP debate, I was struck by this item:

In his closing statement, Ben Carson said that since the debate had started, 200 abortions had been performed. That stat caught our ear. Turns out, he’s right. In 2011, according to the Guttmacher Institute, the abortion rate in the U.S. was 121 per hour, or 242 over the course of the debate.

According to the CDC, there were 730,322 legal abortions in the U.S in 2011. That breaks down to about 83 per hour, or close to 170 for the two-hour debate.

It's all good... for Bernie!!!

Curious if I remembered how the elections went in 2008, but after reviewing polls at RealClearPolitics, I decidedly didn't - Hillary had maintained a commanding 20 point lead up to Jan 5 - and then it collapsed in days as Obama surged.

That of course means nothing in particular this time, but we still have 2 months to go. It ain't over till it's over, redux. Good luck & good fighting.

Checks & no Balances

If you recall the times during the 2000 campaign when Bush claimed to responsibly hand back tax cut savings, with moderators never noting the discrepancies, these modern times should give you pause. What you might not have realized is that Bush's $1.9 trillion spend-fest is dwarfed by the current candidates' $6 to $11 trillion cost. [If only a Socialist wanted to break the budget by that amount, they'd be howling.] You'd be excused for not realizing this, how wacky their plans are, as this basic detail isn't much revealed by either the press or the media brainiacs moderating the "debates". You would think that part of a debate, as you learned somewhere around 8th grade debate class, was a "rebuttal", a point drilled home by references we'd crammed on, pre-internet, to fill 3x5" index cards in cardboard files to prepare for the fierce drilling of our opponents.

Post-trauma Disorder: none dare call it conspiracy?

If you want to start a fight, ask a bunch of Americans whether 9/11 was a conspiracy. Most will say no. If you then note that 19-20 people working together is by definition a conspiracy, they'll get pissed and say they thought you meant "government conspiracy". Which is not what they thought, since we don't know what individual gov workers from the FAA or INS or FBI might have helped the hijackers, eg who let them through the airport with boxcutters or who helped them scope out security. What they really mean is "not a HIGH government conspiracy" or some coordinated renegade group of spooks, no Ollie North and gang.

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