Drinking Liberally Idaho Falls Chapter Blog

Thursday Night DL at the Bee's Knees

 

Miscellany

   Next meeting:
  Date Thursday, May 5th
Time 7 to 9pm (show up when you can)
Place Bee's Knees at 850 Lindsay Blvd (in the front of the Guesthouse Inn)
 

The built-in advantage for this year's Democrats

I want to thank everyone for coming to both the ACLU Session Confessions and our 10th anniversary events.  Both were great successes.  I look forward to ten more wonderful years with this group.


Breaking News!  Trump sews up the nomination.

That's all I care to say about that.


There is a lot of talk about the primary process.  People complain about caucuses being undemocratic.  The Sanders camp has complained about closed primaries.  And the idea of superdelegates has taken some heat.  Even coin tosses to resolve ties in precinct voting for state-level delegates.

And no doubt there are some things that need fixing.  But should we really standardize the process?

Should we make the party selection process fully democratic?  I.e., as close as we can get to individual voters selecting the party nominee?

I get to be a contrarian ass now.


What skills and characteristics do we want in a president?  Assume we make the primary process consistent and more democratic.  Do we want a president that appeals to the most people?  That's nice when people are supporting a candidate like Sanders.  Not so nice when they support a candidate like Trump.

I suggest that we want a president that can win in a lot of different types of contests.  We want a candidate that can run a massive organization to handle a complex process with a large staff and a huge team of volunteers.  We want a candidate who can evaluate and prioritize his or her time effectively in a complex environment.  So standardizing the process removes our ability to find that out.

Like I said, there probably are some fixes.  Voter registration is one area that can be liberalized and automated.  Let's make it easy for everyone who wants to vote to participate.  For states that have caucuses, perhaps we could add a method for non-attendees to cast a vote in advance.

But let's not ignore the benefits of a complicated, contradictory process for selecting nominees.


Of course, when there is breaking news of a mass shooting, we all worry about the victims, and about the motivation of the perpetrator.  We worry about the underlying causes of the act, and how society should respond.

But there are some more selfish worries.  These are selfish worries because they have to do more with how we feel than about the people suffering in the event itself.  And I don't mean that in a bad sense ... we all have these selfish responses.

When I hear about a mass shooting, I worry that it's a black or Muslim person.  I worry that it might be a person with identifiable mental health issues.  I worry that it might be an undocumented immigrant.  I worry about those things because of the impact that it will have on those already vulnerable minority populations - and specifically how the right will respond to that aspect of the crime.

What I don't worry about is that it might be a person motivated by liberal politics.

I wonder what conservatives worry about?  Don't they worry that it's another person motivated by conservative thought?  Maybe another far-right gun fetishist who thinks that the government is out to get him.  Or a racist with obvious conservative ties.  Or an anti-abortion extremist.  Or a misogynist.  Or another Rush Limbaugh listener.

[This is not to say that every mass shooter has to have an ideological motivation.  But enough of them do that such considerations must occur to everyone when they first hear about another shooting.]

And don't they worry about why they have to worry about that?

Cheers,
Dan

 

Contact

Follow IFDrinkLib on Facebook     Follow IFDrinkLib on Twitter     Email me

 

Action for the Week

  Drinking Liberally does not take official stands on issues and does not endorse any political candidates or parties.  Items appearing in this message are listed at the discretion of the sender/poster, and are intended for information purposes only.  Any opinions expressed in this message are those of the sender/poster only and not of the Drinking Liberally organization.

* Petition:  support Target
* Petition:  help free two dads

 

Quotations of the Week

"The left is making a big mistake here.  What they're offering people is a full stomach and an empty soul.  The American people want more than that.  This reminds me of a story I heard from Eloise Anderson.  She serves in the cabinet of my buddy, Governor Scott Walker.  She once met a young boy from a very poor family, and every day at school, he would get a free lunch from a government program.  He told Eloise he didn't want a free lunch.  He wanted his own lunch, one in a brown-paper bag just like the other kids.  He wanted one, he said, because he knew a kid with a brown-paper bag had someone who cared for him.  This is what the left does not understand."
- Rep Paul Ryan

 

"We're going to say 'Merry Christmas' again."
- Donald Trump, GOP nominee for President

 

Poem of the Week

A Nearly Perfect Morning

It was a nearly perfect morning-bucolic, pastoral-
so I found myself cataloguing my past humiliations.
Really, there was no reason for it!  I might as well have
looked for an ant hill to lie down on in a meadow
of goldenrod.  I can't explain it but perhaps I thought
that with the rising sun as my witness, with the catbirds
crows, and whizzing hummingbirds my soundtrack
that I could ameliorate them, neutralize their charges
against me by holding them up to the woods now in wait
for the light to balance on their individual leaves, on
the absorbing vastness of my fortune.  The concentric rings
of the spider web have the wiry shine of guitar strings
there's been so little wind it seems the trees have not
yet shook themselves awake, but we are moving around
this light at such a pace that by now the sun is nested
in the crook of two thin branches that could not hold
anything else.  I was barely up to the third count
against my integrity when the whole lake turned white
but I decided it was not aghast, just trying to erase.

Jessica Greenbaum
(Listen to an audio version)

About This Poem

"It's funny what good fortune does in the wrong mind!  I mean, I try to catch myself when I'm giving my own good luck short shrift.  The poem falls in that category of my preoccupation in poems (and not in poems) with the relativity of sorrow, and how to find a place for it.  I'm thinking of the stellar, oft-cited poem by Jack Gilbert, 'A Brief for the Defense,' in which (to be crassly reductive) he talks about the need to genuinely praise delight so that the depth of real suffering has its own integrity.  How does the luxury of serene beauty - a commodity so out of reach for so many - sometimes serve as a backdrop for our self-destructive, fortune-destructive tendencies?  And how can we manipulate that?  How can we interpret our contextual surroundings in order to best respect the richness of what we have in the world and in ourselves?  And then, how to complain?"
-Jessica Greenbaum

 

 

links ... links ... Links ... LINKS ... LINKS!

  * The most important economic chart you may see this year
* Science says:  why electing women is good
* George Will isn't happy
* ... but he's still an idiot on climate change
* The GOP's electoral map problem
* Journos predict top 5 picks for Clinton's veep (notice no Warren or Sanders; also notice who's in the #1 slot:  my guy Julian Casto)
* ... and the same for Trump
* Privilege allows Sanders supporters to say "Never Clinton"
* Map of epic literary road trips
  * If you need more excellent linkage, check out Yankton, Oakland, or Claremont!

 

Schedule

       
May 7 Sat Truman Banquet
 
May 17 Tues Idaho primary elections (state and local issues)
 
May 14 Sat Martini Mayhem - Bee's Knees

 

 

Thursday Night DL at the Bee's Knees

 

Tenth Anniversary!

   Next meeting:
  Date Thursday, April 28th
Time 7 to 9pm (show up when you can)
Place Bee's Knees at 850 Lindsay Blvd (in the front of the Guesthouse Inn)
 

Please come to this awesome session recap
by the ACLU of Idaho

Idaho Falls 10th Anniversary!!! - Join us this Thursday evening for this special celebration.  I would love to see all of you show up - we should pack the place!  We'll have cake and ice cream, too.

Plus, we have a special guest.  Rep Wendy Horman will join us and share her impressions of the session.  She may be able to shed some light on the last-minute failure of the Medicare expansion effort.  She has been a great advocate of school funding, and gets a pretty low score from IFF, so you know she's one of the good ones.

 


Another Special Event - We also have this to look forward to:  2016 Session Confessions with the ACLU of Idaho.  Join our Leo Morales, Executive Director, and Kathy Griesmyer, Public Policy Strategist, for a review of all the behind-the-scenes action.  Remember, the real interesting stuff never makes it into the papers.  Find out what almost got introduced, and how they were stopped.  Find out how the ACLU worked with the IFF (for example) to influence bills.  It really is fascinating.

It's Tuesday, April 26th, starting at 6:30pm at the Snow Eagle Brewery & Grill.

Cheers,
Dan

 

Contact

Follow IFDrinkLib on Facebook     Follow IFDrinkLib on Twitter     Email me

 

Poem of the Week

Jack Rabbit Slims Convenience Store

It sits between the Dollar General
and Rescue Alley, begging
for change, white sign
with a Jack Rabbit dressed
like a '40s gangster.  Smug grin,
he leans against a lamppost,
his cane no more relevant
than the red suspenders
clamped to his slacks.
In the parking lot sits a trailer,
where a guy who goes by Dino
sells fireworks with names
like Falcon Rising, Sexy Rider,
and Bada Bing! Bada Boom!
Nancy burns one out back,
and rumors about town
contend the ladies love Dino
for his sparklers and not for
his cherry bombs, which might
mean anything in Sulligent, Alabama,
where things are still simple
enough for a scratch-off ticket
and half-a-tank of non-ethanol gas
-a reminder on the way home
that there is more to life
than barely making it.  Why,
right at your foot a 1952
wheat penny shimmers like
a pinky swear in a schoolyard.

Kerry James Evans
(Listen to an audio version)

About This Poem

"I feel like there's more to almost everything, especially fireworks and gas stations, and while I'm usually left with more questions than answers, attempting to grasp the light in these seemingly mundane places helps me to believe that the world is a bit less ephemeral than it often appears."
-Kerry James Evans

 

 

Schedule

       
Apr 27 Wed Constitutional Conversations with Dr David Adler
 
Apr 26 Tues 2016 Session Confessions with the ACLU of Idaho - 6:30-8pm, Snow Eagle Brewery & Grill
 
Apr 28 Thu Tenth Anniversary! What should we do?
 
May 1 Sun Soup Kitchen - join us from 11:30am - 2pm
 
May 7 Sat Truman Banquet
 
May 17 Tues Idaho primary elections (state and local issues)
 
May 24 Sat Martini Mayhem - Bee's Knees

 

 

Thursday Night DL at the Bee's Knees

 

Debatable

   Next meeting:
  Date Thursday, April 21st
Time 7 to 9pm (show up when you can)
Place Bee's Knees at 850 Lindsay Blvd (in the front of the Guesthouse Inn)
 

Please come to this awesome session recap
by the ACLU of Idaho

Special Event - Join us on April 28th for a two-fer!  First, it's our Tenth Anniversary!  We'll have cake and ice cream to celebrate.

Second, we have a special guest.  Rep Wendy Horman will join us and share her impressions of the session.  She may be able to shed some light on the last-minute failure of the Medicare expansion effort.  She has been a great advocate of school funding, and gets a pretty low score from IFF, so you know she's one of the good ones.


Another Special Event - We also have this to look forward to:  2016 Session Confessions with the ACLU of Idaho.  Join our Leo Morales, Executive Director, and Kathy Griesmyer, Public Policy Strategist, for a review of all the behind-the-scenes action.  Remember, the real interesting stuff never makes it into the papers.  Find out what almost got introduced, and how they were stopped.  Find out how the ACLU worked with the IFF (for example) to influence bills.  It really is fascinating.

It's Tuesday, April 26th, starting at 6:30pm at the Snow Eagle Brewery & Grill.


A Third Special Event - Buddhism 101:  An Introduction to Buddhist Practice.  This event is being held at Reflections (686 W Broadway) on this Saturday, April 23rd at 1:30pm.

If this is half as good as Debu's presentation at the UU Church a few years ago, it'll be well worth attending.


It would take too much to describe this Radiolab story in enough detail for you to understand fully the background of my topic here.  Though it's not really necessary, I hope that you can listen to it before reading on.  Mostly because my discussion might constitute a bit of a spoiler.

The one-sentence summary is this:  minority debate students have recently upended the world of collegiate competitive debate by turning every debate into a debate about racial equality, fairness, and privilege.

The debate topic may be energy policy or the value of mandatory national service, but these particular debate teams argue that addressing our fundamentally racist society is required before resolving the issue one way or the other.  Even further, no matter what the specific topic is, the debate format itself is fundamentally unfair to underprivileged minorities.

And they've won some major debates - including the "Superbowl" of debate - the very first victory by a black debate team.  They've won because competitive debate actually has very few real rules.  Specifically, there is really no way to force debaters to stay on topic.  And even more, the structure of debate itself is a debatable topic.

[To be clear, it is apparently up to the particular judges as they score performances.  They do judge responsiveness - whether a team counters the points made by the other team.  But that kind of thing can work against both teams.  So the team receiving the racism argument can be penalized for failing to address it, even when they are sticking to the official debate topic.]


I can understand why some people might consider those victories to be problematic and unfair in themselves.  You have a traditional debate team that has prepared to address the subject of the debate - they've spent months gathering factual support for positions and working on their arguments.  Then just as the debate begins, one team shifts to a completely different topic.  It's like if the Patriots showed up for the Superbowl and an underdog team manages to turn it into a pool tournament.

That would certainly be unfair to the Patriots, who prepared for a football game.  But that's not a completely fair analogy, either. Because the upstarts haven't really changed the debate to something else.  They've just altered the subject of the debate.

And the upstarts have a point.  Traditional debate has managed to keep out minority teams from participation at the highest levels.  It started way back when outright discrimination was common (as depicted in The Great Debaters).  But the impact of legacy discrimination and institutional racism continues today in more subtle ways, much as it does in every facet of American life.  Is it fair to expect black kids to participate in the program as if there are no extra hurdles for them while allowing unearned advantages for others?

Alternatively, is it fair to allow debate topics to be co-opted into racial questions?  The opposing team depicted in the episode certainly had a right to feel like their success was sacrificed to an issue that didn't have to do with them personally, their sense of racial equality, or how they argued the particular debate topic (though the guy they interviewed did not make that point).  The white kids from prestigious college programs might find it very easy to say, "We should ignore the unrelated racial issues here, and just focus on the assigned topic."

But that's the evil of privilege, isn't it?  It lets lots of people pretend that race doesn't and shouldn't matter, while minorities are required to pretend that all is fair.  Ignoring race is an advantage to one side, and a disadvantage to the other.

Many conservatives will argue that if we just ignore race, all will be fixed.  That we can take racism out of the picture, and then every aspect of life will play out on a level playing field.  But can we achieve racial equality without pain?  Without real harm being done to real people who seemingly don't deserve it?  I'm not sure.  This story kind of epitomizes that issue for me.  Maybe reaching racial equality will require those of us in privileged positions who have benefited from centuries of discrimination to suffer real, substantial unfairness.  And given all of our advantages, is that really something we should complain about?

I have to say that the guy at the center of the story, Ryan Wash, is brilliant, funny, and engaging.  His participation in this unorthodox insurgency may have angered some people.  And he is surprisingly unimpressed with the extent of his own success (though perhaps his response isn't that surprising).  But one thing is certainly true.  Debate has done exactly what it is supposed to do in helping to form future leaders like Ryan.

Cheers,
Dan

 

Contact

Follow IFDrinkLib on Facebook     Follow IFDrinkLib on Twitter     Email me

 

Action for the Week

  Drinking Liberally does not take official stands on issues and does not endorse any political candidates or parties.  Items appearing in this message are listed at the discretion of the sender/poster, and are intended for information purposes only.  Any opinions expressed in this message are those of the sender/poster only and not of the Drinking Liberally organization.

* Petition:  tell Idaho's senators to do their jobs

 

Poem of the Week

Natural History

Tell me the world.  Here comes light, unspoken.
Light hooks a claw on the horizon, pulls itself
into view.  Here comes water, saline,
scattering single-celled organisms.
Land is a puppet.  It climbs hydrothermal vents like stairs.
Lava congeals.  Land rises.  Here comes land,
hand-springing out of water.  Wind is a comma,
pausing the day.  At night, wind kicks its legs.
What about multi-celled life?  What about invertebrates
and vertebrates?  Tell me evolution.
Tell me old growth forests.  Tell me a rainbow.
Tell me blue-tailed skinks.  Here comes science,
explaining eyeballs.  Look, here come the stars.
Here comes a commuter train, hopping the rails
and crashing into an empty sidewalk
at 2:30 in the morning.  Here come sparklers.
Use them to trace letters of light in the darkness.
Here comes someone's childhood cat.  Here comes a paper
about George Washington, complete with colored
pencil illustrations of his many sets of false teeth.
Tell me bourgeois glass lanterns strung from a live oak.
Tell me a graveyard bigger than its town.
Please understand I mean no harm.  Hold the phone.
Here comes Tina, hand-springing across the backyard.
Here comes a tent.  Wind boxes its nylon sides,
scaring the children, their sleeping bags unfurled
and arranged like daisy petals.  Tell me a flashlight.

Rebecca Lehmann
(Listen to an audio version)

About This Poem

"When I wrote this poem, I was thinking about the opening command from Genesis (Let there be light), and about science, and the relationship of both of those things to everyday life.  The poem uses light as a trope to telescope forward through time, beginning with the big bang, and ending with Tina, a girl I used to know who was really good at handsprings, and a children's sleepover party where a flashlight serves as a proxy sun.  I initially wrote this poem backwards, but in revision flipped it around."
-Rebecca Lehmann

 

 

links ... links ... Links ... LINKS ... LINKS!

  * Why President Obama will go down as one of the greatest
* Great point:  despite the polls (which are not meaningful), the GOP would rather face Sanders
* Sen Elizabeth Warren slams Ted Cruz
* Time Magazine lies about our debt
* Ted Cruz does a good job on the Tonight Show
* Neat 538 delegate projection tool
* The war between Sanders' supporters and Clinton's supporters is getting old
* Idaho's protection of faith-healing murderers made international news
*  ... and now the Today Show
*  ... and ABC News
* Really neat world history chart
* Conservative Idaho PAC under investigation
* MRAs are cave-dwelling idiots
*  ... but they can get better
* Trump sues over nude portrait (see the full portrait here - not for the squeemish)
* Wait for the random passenger to bomb the session
  * If you need more excellent linkage, check out Yankton, Oakland, or Claremont!

 

Schedule

       
Apr 13,
20, 27
Wed Constitutional Conversations with
Dr David Adler
 
Apr 22 Fri IF City Club:  Michael H. Baumann, MD, MS, Division Chief Medical Officer, Mountain Division, Hospital Corporation of America, Health Care Reform:  One Physician's "Adventure" (Bennion SUB, noon - 1:30pm)
 
Apr 23 Sat Buddhism 101 - 1:30pm, at Reflections (686 W Broadway St)
 
Apr 28 Thu Tenth Anniversary! What should we do?
 
May 7 Sat Truman Banquet
 
May 17 Tues Idaho primary elections (state and local issues)
 
May 24 Sat Martini Mayhem - Bee's Knees

 

 

Thursday Night DL at the Bee's Knees

 

Trump Options Revisited

   Next meeting:
  Date Thursday, April 14th
Time 7 to 9pm (show up when you can)
Place Bee's Knees at 850 Lindsay Blvd (in the front of the Guesthouse Inn)
 

When I proposed the best outcomes for the GOP primary, I considered three alternatives:

  1. Trump is the GOP nominee
  2. Trump drops out
  3. Trump runs as an independent

My argument was that we liberals should root for the scenarios in that order.  That the best possible situation was Trump as the GOP nominee, while the worst outcome was a third party candidacy by Trump.

But I failed to include one other option that for a short time was bandied about.  There was the possibility of a third party candidate put forward by the GOP establishment to oppose Trump as the official GOP nominee.  I believe that it's now too late for such a possibility.

Had that option been pursued, it would have indicated deep problems within the GOP, which would be a good thing.  However, it would also have the same problem as option 3 - it would vastly increase conservative turnout (very bad for down-ticket races).  So I guess it belonged as option 2.5.


As long as we're going a little deeper into the possible outcomes, we should probably include one other scenario - really a sub-scenario to option 2 above.  And that is that the GOP goes through a contested convention and selects someone other than Trump (assuming he's near or past the 1,237-delegate majority.  That seems like a remote possibility for multiple reasons.


First, the GOP really does not want a contested convention.  Some candidates see it as their only option.  Lots of establishment types and anti-Trump pundits are pushing for that option as a way to prevent the disaster of a Trump nomination.  But you have to think that the GOP itself, as an organization, would rather back Trump half-heartedly than to go through the disarray and possible violence of a contested convention.

[That reason may seem a little weaker now than it did before.  When listening to party insiders these days, it sometimes seems as if they are actually preparing for a contested convention.  Or at least preparing for the option, and putting on an air of nonchalance, as if it will be no biggie.]

Second, the country has to send Trump to the convention in Cleveland with less than 1,237 delegates.  That seems to be a 50-50 proposition right now.

Third, the convention has to succeed in replacing Trump with someone else.  That might be the most difficult challenge of all.  Can you imagine the response of the Trump supporters?  These are the idiots willing to sucker-punch people being led out by security.  What would they do if the GOP acts to exclude their guy?

It might even be pretty hard to find someone to do it.  Rep Paul Ryan, the guy running for VP four years ago, isn't up for it now.  only Cruz or Kasich seem like willing alternatives to Trump.  And I don't think that they have enough support to make the pain of such a painful process worth it.

So despite this outcome having a low probability and my previous argument that having a non-Trump nominee is the second-best option, I have to say that this possibility is my secret favorite choice.  Will it happen?  Nope.  But maybe.

Cross your fingers.


We're only 2 weeks away from our tenth anniversary as a Drinking Liberally chapter.  Let's plan some kind of a celebration!  I mean more than normal.  What do you all want to do?  Join us this Thursday to discuss.

Cheers,
Dan

 

Contact

Follow IFDrinkLib on Facebook     Follow IFDrinkLib on Twitter     Email me

 

Action for the Week

  Drinking Liberally does not take official stands on issues and does not endorse any political candidates or parties.  Items appearing in this message are listed at the discretion of the sender/poster, and are intended for information purposes only.  Any opinions expressed in this message are those of the sender/poster only and not of the Drinking Liberally organization.

* Petition:  tell Idaho's senators to do their jobs

 

Quotations of the Week

"[The Fountainhead] relates to business (and) beauty (and) life and inner emotions.  That book relates to ... everything."
- Donald Trump

 

"I don't know if [Fults] ever killed anybody, but that nigger got just what should have happened.  Once he pled guilty, I knew I would vote for the death penalty because that's what that nigger deserved."
- Member of the jury that sentenced Kenneth Fults to death

 

Poem of the Week

The Needs of the Many

On the days when we wept-
and they were many-we did it
over the sound of a television
or radio, or the many engines
of the sky.  It was rarely so quiet
we could hear just our sadness,
the smallness of it
that is merely the sound of wind
and water between the many pages
of the lungs.  Many afternoons
we left the house still crying
and drove to a café or the movies,
or back to the hospital where we sat
dumb under the many eyes
of Paul Klee.  There were many
umbrellas, days when it refused
to rain, cups of tea ignored.  We
washed them all in the sink,
dry eyed.  It's been a while,
we're cried out.  We collect pauses
and have taken to reading actual
books again.  We go through them
like yellow lights, like tunnels
or reunions, we forget which;
the older you are the more similes,
the more pangs per hour.  Indeed,
this is how we break one hour into
many, how healing wounds time
in return.  And though we know
there will always be crying to do,
just as there's always that song,
always a leaf somewhere in the car,
this may be the only sweetness left,
to have a few griefs we cherish
against the others, which are many.

Brendan Constantine
(Listen to an audio version)

About This Poem

"This piece began as a series of notes from a period when I first began working with the Alzheimer's Poetry Project.  It was also a time of huge personal loss, when one discovers at depth the meaning of expressions heard for years.  In this case it was, 'You never get over it, kid. You just find a new normal.' The poem is part of a forthcoming collection titled Dementia, My Darling, which will be published by Red Hen Press in 2016."
-Brendan Constantine

 

 

links ... links ... Links ... LINKS ... LINKS!

  * Sanders may use clout to reform broken Dem primary system, but broken parts are helping Sanders the most
* Watching this documentary on George Wallace - surprising parallels to Trump
* Trump ally (and scumbag Roger Stone) outlines dirty tricks
* Rush Limbaugh's in some trouble
* ... and Phyllis Schlafly's not doing much better
* Looking forward to this movie on HBO
* Are the young folks right to oppose Clinton?
* I'm afraid that really bad cheerleading like this will leave them disaffected
* This sure seems like a whole lot of nothing
* Gov McCrory of NC tries a deceptive walk-back
  * If you need more excellent linkage, check out Yankton, Oakland, or Claremont!

 

Schedule

       
Apr 13,
20, 27
Wed Constitutional Conversations with
Dr David Adler
 
Apr 22 Fri IF City Club:  Michael H. Baumann, MD, MS, Division Chief Medical Officer, Mountain Division, Hospital Corporation of America, Health Care Reform:  One Physician's "Adventure" (Bennion SUB, noon - 1:30pm)
 
Apr 28 Thu Tenth Anniversary! What should we do?
 
May 17 Tues Idaho primary elections (state and local issues)

 

 

Thursday Night DL at the Bee's Knees

 

Trump Was Right

   Next meeting:
  Date Thursday, April 7th
Time 7 to 9pm (show up when you can)
Place Bee's Knees at 850 Lindsay Blvd (in the front of the Guesthouse Inn)
 

Check how you will fare under each
candidate's tax plan

The Donald really deserved all the heat he took over his abortion comments recently.  Not only because his position is fundamentally wrong and because he is flip-flopping his own position.  But also because it proves that Trump really is not thoughtful.  He has not put very much thought into his own positions.  More accurately - he has not put a lot of thought into the positions he is assuming in order to win the GOP nomination.

But in fact, the heat he took was totally bogus.  People were angry at him only because he deviated from the standard position of the anti-abortion right.


If all he did was to piss off the left, he'd have been fine with his original comments and would have doubled down and said something more outrageous in response to the initial backlash.  But the reaction of the anti-abortion right was nearly as quickly if not as negatively as did the pro-abortion side.  And his quick retraction indicated that he realized that he'd really screwed up.

He even lost Ann Coulter (temporarily, though).

But that "nuanced" position of the anti-abortion movement really bothers me.  If people are anti-abortion, how is it that they feel that women who seek abortions should not be prosecuted if abortion were illegal?  They claim that woman has already suffered.  Why doesn't that same logic apply to drug users who get arrested?

The standard analogy is this:  if someone pays a hitman to commit a murder, is only the hitman prosecuted?

Trump's first position is the logically and morally consistent position for people who oppose abortion.  It is dishonest of them to give women a pass, just because it reveals the ugly side of their position.

When your movement - which supposedly promotes individual responsibility - finds itself excusing the person who originates the commission of a crime, then it should indicate to you that your position is inherently flawed.


We're only 3 weeks away from our tenth anniversary as a Drinking Liberally chapter.  Let's plan some kind of a celebration!  I mean more than normal.  What do you all want to do?  Join us this Thursday to discuss.

Cheers,
Dan

 

Contact

Follow IFDrinkLib on Facebook     Follow IFDrinkLib on Twitter     Email me

 

Quotations of the Week

"I'm a little testy with our man right now.  Our candidate is mental.  Do you realize our candidate is mental?  It's like constantly having to bail out your 16-year-old son from prison!"
- Ann Coulter, on Donald Trump

 

"Ted Cruz's tax cut will cost $8.6 trillion dollars and Donald Trump's will cost $9.4 trillion dollars ... over 10 years.  Those numbers are unfuckingbelievably large.  To put them in perspective, in today's dollars George W Bush in 2000 ran on a $1.8 trillion dollar tax cut.  And he did that during surpluses.  So Trump and Cruz - and before that Rubio as well by the way - are in a period of deficits running on tax cuts that are much much much much much larger than what George W Bush proposed.  And they're not sort of worried about how they pay for them.  Trump's tax cut is equal to 45% of projected individual income tax revenue.  I mean, these are just ... these are crazy laughable numbers.

[...]

"But I want to put the size of these things in a little bit of perspective because I think it's hard to do it when you just hear "trillions."  So to pay for Ted Cruz's tax cut, you have to get to something like $8.6 trillion dollars.  If Ted Cruz eliminated Medicaid and the children's health insurance program in their entirety, he wouldn't get there.  He'd have to then add all federal education spending - so cutting all Pell grants, all K-12 subsidies, Head Start, everything of that nature.  All federal spending on justice functions, so no more FBI, no more Drug Enforcement Administration.  The federal court system goes away, the federal attorneys go away.  All international spending, so you close all of our foreign embassies, you zero out all our aid to Israel, cut all of that.  And he's still not done.  You gotta take out all federal transportation spending, so everything we're putting into highways, everything we're putting into getting around.  And all spending on veterans.  And Donald Trump would then need another trillion dollars on top of that, of cuts.  And that's to say nothing of both men then wanting to spend even more money on the military.

"These are really wildly implausible tax plans.  And maybe on some level they're not that implausible if you just want to come out and say "Well I'm just going to get rid of Social Security," but neither of them have said anything like that.  And I don't think in any real way they're being held to account for this.

[...]

"The Republican Party has gotten into this weird, totally fantastical one-upsmanship on taxes where they propose these tax cuts - every one is bigger than the last, they've all become completely huge, they dwarf anything George W Bush proposed, they do so at a time when we have deficits and not surpluses, and the party hasn't really paid a price for it.  But it should.

"This is not a responsible way to talk about governance and it's not a responsible way to present your plans to the country, because in a way one thing that I think is true is that they are gaming these calculators.  That we are pumping these plans into the system and saying "Oh here's a huge tax cut."  But the converse of Sanders's argument that it's not a real tax increase because it's money that you would have been giving to your private insurer, and now you're giving less money than that to the federal government.  It works in reverse for Trump and Cruz.  If you were getting medicaid and now your're not but you got a much smaller tax cut than the cost of health care, you didn't get a big tax cut.  You lost more money than that in governemt services.  And it's really frustrating to watch this be a way you can campaign for president.  It's a way of ... the media has sort of normalized it and is OK with it, but it's not appropriate and it's not respectful to the voters."
- Ezra Klein (relevant section starts at 35:00)

 

Poem of the Week

April

The optimists among us
taking heart because it is spring
skip along
attending their meetings
signing their e-mail petitions
marching with their satiric signs
singing their we shall overcome songs
posting their pungent twitters and blogs
believing in a better world
for no good reason
I envy them
said the old woman

The seasons go round they
go round and around
said the tulip
dancing among her friends
in their brown bed in the sun
in the April breeze
under a maple canopy
that was also dancing
only with greater motions
casting greater shadows
and the grass
hardly stirring

What a concerto
of good stinks said the dog
trotting along Riverside Drive
in the early spring afternoon
sniffing this way and that
how gratifying the cellos of the river
the tubas of the traffic
the trombones
of the leafing elms with the legato
of my rivals' piss at their feet
and the leftover meat and grease
singing along in all the wastebaskets

Alicia Ostriker
(Listen to an audio version)

 

 

links ... links ... Links ... LINKS ... LINKS!

  * Great 538 discussion on turmoil at the GOP convention in Cleveland
* Looking bad for the GOP convention
* How will you fare under each candidate's tax plan?
* Does Sanders still have a chance?
* Rachel Maddow compares Cleveland 2016 and Chicago 1968
* Anatomy of a Men's Rights Activist
* Petition to halt immigration in Idaho fails
* We have some really shitty sheriffs
* Good music:  SXSW Lullabies
*  ... and the Austin 100 playlist
* Donaldo Trumpez
  * If you need more excellent linkage, check out Yankton, Oakland, or Claremont!

 

Schedule

       
Apr 13, 20, 27 Wed Constitutional Conversations with Dr David Adler
Apr 28 Thu Tenth Anniversary! What should we do?

 

 

Thursday Night DL at the Bee's Knees

 

Events

   Next meeting:
  Date Thursday, March 31st
Time 7 to 9pm (show up when you can)
Place Bee's Knees at 850 Lindsay Blvd (in the front of the Guesthouse Inn)
 

Sad news.  Mark Hatch, the current chairman of the Bonneville County Democrats and a guest at Drinking Liberally just 4 weeks ago, passed away on Friday of a heart attack.  Just 3 days after the caucus.  I never got to know him as well as I should have.  He was always cheerful and enthusiastic, whether it was for helping the Democratic party, or at our Add the Words demonstrations every Wednesday.

A memorial gathering will be held at the Art Museum of Eastern Idaho on Tuesday, March 29, from 5:30 to 7:30pm.  In lieu of flowers, the family suggests donations to the Art Museum of Eastern Idaho.


Special Events:  Constitutional Conversations with Dr David Adler are starting up again!  Join us at 7pm at the Trinity United Methodist Church for each of the next 5 Wednesdays for a fascinating series of discussions that relate to today's news events.  Each lecture is $10, or hear them all for $40.

March 30:  Supreme Court Appointments and Political Pressures: Constitutional Duties

This conversation focuses on the constitutional roles and responsibilities of the President and Senate on the issue of Supreme Court appointments, a historical overview of the process punctuated by landmark appointments, and the controversy surrounding the vacancy on the Court created by the death of Justice Antonin Scalia.

April 6:  Regaining Civility in a Presidential Primary Season of Incivility

This session examines the rise of demagoguery, the implications of extremism, the need for decorum in presidential debates, and the constitutional rights and roles of the citizenry in promoting civil dialogue, reducing partisanship, and holding government accountable.

April 13:  National Security and Freedom:  The Fragility of Civil Liberties in Times of War

This conversation provides a historical overview and analysis of the delicate balance between national security and American liberties when the United States goes to war.  Our session reviews governmental threats to civil liberty from the founding period through the Civil War, World War I, World War II, and the Vietnam War, to challenges in our time.

April 20:  Defining the Constitution at the Creation:  The Role of the Federalist Papers

The Federalist Papers, written by James Madison, Alexander Hamilton, and John Jay, were viewed as the "authoritative" explanation of the meaning of the Constitution by figures as diverse as President Thomas Jefferson and Chief Justice John Marshall.  This conversation reviews the fundamental principles of constitutional government set forth in The Federalist Papers with emphasis on key papers and issues of enduring importance to the Republic.

April 27:  Personalities and Rivalries that Shaped the Supreme Court and the Constitution

The opinions of the Supreme Court in shaping the meaning of the Constitution have been greatly influenced by the personalities and rivalries of the Justices across a vista of two centuries.  This conversation reviews the dynamics of some of the key relationships of members of the Court, the influence or lack of influence wielded by various Justices as a result of their approach to the work of the Court, and the shaping of landmark decisions.


Another Special Event:  TEDxIdahoFalls is this Saturday, April 2nd.  Here is the list of speakers:

  • Obert Skye, author.  The Magic of Revision
    Writing is a process.  Revision is the magic in the process.  It's what breathes energy into an otherwise lifeless body of words.
  • Roger Plothow, Post Register editor and publisher.  Journalism As Antidote
    Journalism is in peril, and consequently, so is an informed citizenry. It's time for people to demand better of their news media.
  • Robert Podgorney, director, Snake River Geothermal Consortium.  We're Sitting On the Sun
    The bulk of efforts allocated to research in alternative energy looks to a source that only shines part of the day, while we are sitting on a huge opportunity that never sets - geothermal energy.
  • Ann Washburn, body language expert.  Body Language:  The Key To Your Subconscious
    How we hold our body both demonstrates and determines who we are and our level of success.  What are you telling people about yourself?
  • Marjanna Hulet, founder, Pocatello Community Charter School.  The Simple Formula For Successful Schools
    What if the critical factor in education were not the curriculum, but what we believe about it?
  • Mashaal Hijazi, KISU FM Radio Host and Idaho State University student.  The modern maze of cultural identification
    When do I get to be my own version of me?
  • Garth Smelser, forest supervisor, Caribou-Targhee National Forest.  Unplug & reconnect: Propelling our children toward a nature-rich future
    Before we expect our children to care for the world which sustains us, we must first inspire them to connect with and love it.
  • Alan E. Barber II, scientist, software engineer and entrepreneur.  Humans:  Some assembly required
    When you break down the assembly of the human body to the cellular level, you discover that even the individual is a community - trillions of cells combine to create the human body.
  • L.J. Krumenacker, doctoral candidate at Montana State University.  Unearthing Idaho Dinosaurs:  You Only See What You're Looking For
    For the better part of the past century, dinosaur bones were discovered all over the globe while Idaho remained almost entirely dinosaur barren.  The lack of known fossils wasn't because dinosaurs weren't here - it's because of what was being looked for.
  • Cameron C. Taylor, author, entrepreneur, philanthropist.  You Can Innovate Like Philo T. Farnsworth - Innovation is not something that happens in a lab.  It's something that happens in a mind - or better yet, between several minds.
  • Jacob DeLaRosa, inventor, innovator, coach, heart surgeon.  Take Two Smiles and Call Me In the Morning
    Healing of the mind, the heart and any part of the body starts much earlier than in treatment - it starts in the diagnosis.
  • Valerie Hall, certified professional midwife.  We Are All Midwives
    The midwife model of care provides a template for dealing with people in a way which empowers them to bring forth their best.

Hollis and I are attending.  We are also doing the TEDucation cooking class being offered by Joel Henry at the Republic American Grill.


We're about a month away from our tenth anniversary as a Drinking Liberally chapter.  Let's plan some kind of a celebration!  I mean more than normal.  What do you all want to do?  Join us this Thursday to discuss.

Cheers,
Dan

 

Contact

Follow IFDrinkLib on Facebook     Follow IFDrinkLib on Twitter     Email me

 

Poem of the Week

The Needs of the Many

On the days when we wept-
and they were many-we did it
over the sound of a television
or radio, or the many engines
of the sky.  It was rarely so quiet
we could hear just our sadness,
the smallness of it
that is merely the sound of wind
and water between the many pages
of the lungs.  Many afternoons
we left the house still crying
and drove to a café or the movies,
or back to the hospital where we sat
dumb under the many eyes
of Paul Klee.  There were many
umbrellas, days when it refused
to rain, cups of tea ignored.  We
washed them all in the sink,
dry eyed.  It's been a while,
we're cried out.  We collect pauses
and have taken to reading actual
books again.  We go through them
like yellow lights, like tunnels
or reunions, we forget which;
the older you are the more similes,
the more pangs per hour.  Indeed,
this is how we break one hour into
many, how healing wounds time
in return.  And though we know
there will always be crying to do,
just as there's always that song,
always a leaf somewhere in the car,
this may be the only sweetness left,
to have a few griefs we cherish
against the others, which are many.

Brendan Constantine
(Listen to an audio version)

About This Poem

"This piece began as a series of notes from a period when I first began working with the Alzheimer's Poetry Project.  It was also a time of huge personal loss, when one discovers at depth the meaning of expressions heard for years.  In this case it was, 'You never get over it, kid. You just find a new normal.' The poem is part of a forthcoming collection titled Dementia, My Darling, which will be published by Red Hen Press in 2016."
-Brendan Constantine

 

 

links ... links ... Links ... LINKS ... LINKS!

  * Trump sits down with Washington Post editorial board.  The results are even worse than you think they would be.  Seriously.  It's stunning that this clown thought he could hold an adult conversation.  I suppose some of the old, right-wing crazies who write letters to the editor in the Post Register might have done a worse job.  But not by much.  And his NYTimes interview on foreign policy doesn't go any better.
* Trump's shocking ignorance, laid bare
* Republicans are worried about holding the Senate
* Conservative radio host interviews Trump, and reveals that he's a #NeverTrump Republican
* Awesome!  Politifact checks our friend Roy Zimmerman!
* Trump's caucus planning
* Trying to ignore this:  Trump-Cruz sex rumors intrude on CNN
* Angry Black Lady:  men's rights activists really are the worst
* Dirty Bonneville County politics?
* Man recently arrested for careless firing of weapons while drunkenly celebrating, but not charged in 2014 for accidentally killing a pregnant woman with gunplay
* Tim's Kitchen Tips (if you like My Drunk Kitchen or The Katering Show, you'll like this)
  * If you need more excellent linkage, check out Yankton

 

Schedule

       
Mar 30
Apr 6, 13, 20, 27
Wed Constitutional Conversations with Dr David Adler
Apr 2 Sat TEDxIdahoFalls
Apr 3 Sun Soup Kitchen - join us from 11:30am - 2pm
Apr 28 Thu Tenth Anniversary! What should we do?

 

 

Thursday Night DL at the Bee's Knees

 

2016 Dem Caucus Night

   Next meeting:
  Date Thursday, March 24th
Time 7 to 9pm (show up when you can)
Place Bee's Knees at 850 Lindsay Blvd (in the front of the Guesthouse Inn)
 

SPECIAL EVENT:  If you are so inclined, consider participating in the Bonneville County Democratic Caucus Night - Tuesday, March 22nd at Skyline High School - no later than 7pm.  You can help either Sanders or Clinton take Idaho's delegates, and possibly have a chance to go to the state convention in Boise.  This is a fun event - and a great part of our democracy.


Please come to the Add the Words rally at the Broadway bridge - every Wednesday at noon.  Only 15 minutes.


Matthew Yglesias made a great point in his The Weeds podcast this week.

Trump is winning in the GOP primary because he is a seriously bad politician.  He is voicing ideas that the rest of the GOP field knows will be losing positions in the general election.  They are not willing to support those positions explicitly, knowing that it would kill their chances against Clinton.  But Trump is actually too stupid to realize that.  And his racist, bigoted, angry, white, conservative base loves him for saying those things.  But those sentiments are terrible politics for the general election.


The example he gave is that most people think that racism is bad.  However, for the motivated conservative base, that's not necessarily true.  Those people actually tend to think that reverse racism (which isn't even a thing) is a worse problem than racism.  So Trump's coded messages to that constituency - making them feel fearful, justifying their racism - are selling very well.

If Rubio had tried to argue with Trump by accusing him of being a racist, then Trump would have responded with "No ... you're politically incorrect.""  In the weird world of the far right, Trump wins that argument, as insane as it is.

Ezra Klein went on to describe just how shitty a campaign organizer Trump is.  He points out how Trump asked why he should pay for polls when the news organizations were running them for free (not understanding that candidate polls have a different purpose - not to tell you whether you're winning, but where you need to focus your campaign efforts).  And his health statement from his doctor was hilarious ("If elected, Mr Trump, I can state unequivocally, will be the healthiest individual ever elected to the presidency.")

And how Trump has almost no campaign infrastructure.  He will inherit the GOP machine when he's nominated, but he really doesn't know how to run it.  He is used to hiring people who tell him what he wants to hear.  He's prone to believing really insane things because he's read them on the intertubes.  Remember how Romney was believing his internal polls that were just a bit too rosey?  Trump is ten times worse.

I really believe that we are headed for a historic landslide election win for Clinton or possibly Sanders this coming November.  The Democratic candidate would have defeated any normal GOP nominee.  But this year it really looks like he or she will slaughter Trump and take the Senate.


Minor point:

Economic populism - does Trump embody that?  Or is it more of a lottery win argument?  He's promising to increase wealth for everyone.  But economic populism (like Sanders promotes) has more to do with evening the playing field, investing in programs that help the country by providing benefits to the average person, etc.

Trump has almost no actual policy positions, other than building a wall.  He just promises general success.  His supporters just figure everyone is going to be wealthier.  But the Dems propose actual mechanisms to benefit actual people in very substantive ways.

Which is weird.  Because the GOP is promising vast wealth, while the Dems are saying we'll make it possible for you to work for your success.  Remind me again ... which party supposedly stands for individual responsibility?

Cheers,
Dan

 

Contact

Follow IFDrinkLib on Facebook     Follow IFDrinkLib on Twitter     Email me

 

Action for the Week

  Drinking Liberally does not take official stands on issues and does not endorse any political candidates or parties.  Items appearing in this message are listed at the discretion of the sender/poster, and are intended for information purposes only.  Any opinions expressed in this message are those of the sender/poster only and not of the Drinking Liberally organization.

* Register to attend the Idaho Democratic Caucus

 

Quotations of the Week

"This rat bastard @JohnKasich lied about this cop's treatment of him as a lack of respect.  Called the cop an idiot."
- Sheriff David A Clarke, young Idaho voter

 

Poem of the Week

Chess

Exactly four different men have tried
to teach me how to play.  I could never
tell the difference between a rook
or bishop, but I knew the horse meant

knight.  And that made sense to me,
because a horse is night:  soot-hoof
and nostril, dark as a sabled evening
with no stars, bats, or moon blooms.

It's a night in Ohio where a man sleeps
alone one week and the next, the woman
he will eventually marry leans her body
into his for the first time, leans a kind

of faith, too-filled with white crickets
and bouquets of wild carrot.  And
the months and the honeyed years
after that will make all the light

and dark squares feel like tiles
for a kitchen they can one day build
together.  Every turn, every sacrificial
move-all the decoys, the castling,

the deflections-these will be both
riotous and unruly, the exact opposite
of what she thought she ever wanted
in the endgame of her days.

Aimee Nezhukumatathil
(Listen to an audio version)

About This Poem

"I've always adored the marvelous and dramatic terminology of the game of chess.  And I suppose some of that daydream-y distractedness was what kept me from ever fully understanding how exactly to play the game most of my life.  What first started as a meditation on the game itself surprised me into a poem to celebrate ten years of marriage to the man who taught me (and continues to teach) with endless patience."
-Aimee Nezhukumatathil

 

 

links ... links ... Links ... LINKS ... LINKS!

Schedule

       
Mar 22 Tues Bonneville County Democratic caucus
Apr 28 Thu Tenth Anniversary! What should we do?

 

 

No DL Meeting This Thursday

 

Nonmeeting Non-notice

   Next meeting:
  Date NOT THIS WEEK
Time 7 to 9pm (show up when you can)
Place Bee's Knees at 850 Lindsay Blvd (in the front of the Guesthouse Inn)
 

One ass between two douchebags.

NO MEETING THIS WEEK.  We will be attending the Idaho Humanities Council event at the Shilo Inn instead.  Although the Bee's Knees will still be open, and the staff would certainly love to see you.


Special Event:  Bernie Sanders in Idaho Falls!  Friday, March 18th, 8:30am, Skyline High SchoolRSVP here.


Please come to the Add the Words rally at the Broadway bridge - every Wednesday at noon.  Only 15 minutes.



Another Special Event:  Movie nightMaking a Killing:  Guns, Greed, and the NRA tells the stories of how guns, and the billions made off of them, affect the lives of everyday Americans.  It features personal stories from people across the country who have been affected by gun violence, including survivors and victims' families.  The film exposes how the powerful gun companies and the NRA are resisting responsible legislation for the sake of profit - and thereby putting people in danger.  Movie details here.


Just placing this here as filler.  My latest letter to the editor.  Published today.

Today's paper (March 10) had two different commenters making the absurd claim that Hillary Clinton should be in jail. A.J. Moffatt rudely referred to her only as "Hillary" and R. Grant Hunter used the typical Limbaugh-inspired adjective "Democrat" rather than being grammatically correct. Disrespect is ingrained.

This is just more evidence of the pathology infecting America's right. Why do so many make bold claims that are contrary to fact? There is simply no evidence of Clinton committing any crime at all, yet they are convinced she should be in jail.

The right routinely insists that President Obama is "divisive." That's another completely bonkers claim. The right has spent seven years fighting every effort of the Obama administration including Republican ideas. GOP leaders recently announced they'd refuse to hold hearings on a Republican SCOTUS nominee. They've accused Obama of wanting to destroy America, of being a tyrant, of not being American, etc. And then they have the gall to say Obama's the divisive one.

Wake up, Republicans. You are suffering from deep cognitive dissonance. There's a reason that charlatans like Trump and unqualified extremists like Cruz dominate your party. If you are wondering why such people have ascended in your party, then start to think a little bit about what you're doing to cause that.

Come back to reality. Stop asserting absurd things. Start demanding compromise and cooperation instead of pretending that America is worse off now than we were seven years ago.

DAN HENRY

Idaho Falls


It's been awhile since I posted some Tiny Desk Concerts from NPR.  They just held their second Tiny Desk Contest - which drew over 6,000 entries.  And the winner is pretty unique:  Gaelynn Lea, a violin teacher discovered playing in a farmer's market in Duluth.

NPR has said that they made their selection based only on her sound, and I hope that's true.  Try listening to her video without watching, and see if you agree.  I'm not convinced.  She has something called "brittle bone disease," and I really hope that she didn't win because of compassion.

That said, she is really interesting, and the lyrics of her first song are haunting.

Here are a few others that I've enjoyed lately:

Cheers,
Dan

 

Contact

Follow IFDrinkLib on Facebook     Follow IFDrinkLib on Twitter     Email me

 

Action for the Week

  Drinking Liberally does not take official stands on issues and does not endorse any political candidates or parties.  Items appearing in this message are listed at the discretion of the sender/poster, and are intended for information purposes only.  Any opinions expressed in this message are those of the sender/poster only and not of the Drinking Liberally organization.

* Register to attend the Idaho Democratic Caucus

 

Quotations of the Week

"I really don't want to be a stranger in my own country.  Donald Trump, he's going to secure our borders, language and culture.  And that's why he's got my vote."
- Spencer Leatham, young Idaho voter

 

"Somewhere between Reagan's thirty-minute speech in 1964 and the most recent government shutdown, the conservative movement became neither conservative nor a movement.  Hijacked by the divisive and the dumb, it now finds itself hostage to emotions and irrational thinking.  It became more personal and less principled - more flippant and less thoughtful.  It became mean.  It became lazy.  It became its own worst enemy."
- Matt K Lewis, Too Dumb to Fail:  How the GOP Won Elections by Sacrificing Its Ideas (And How It Can Reclaim Its Conservative Roots)

 

"What we don't have time for is all that petty punk ass little thuggery stuff that's been going on with these quote-unquote protesters who are doing nothing but wasting your time, and trying to take away your First Amendment rights, your rights to assemble peacefully, and the media being on the thug side."
- Sarah Palin

 

"Calling GOP front-runner supporters low information disengaged voters, Ted Cruz's insinuation reeks of all the reasons America knows the status quo has got to go.  The arrogance of career politicians is something at which the rest of us chuckle, but Cruz's latest dig strays from humorous into downright nasty.

"Where's information on any Cruz success whilst in his short, half-term U.S. Senate seat, proving his resume's advantage over another career politician's lawyerly executive inexperience that includes never having created a single private sector job, but boasting of his constitutional law teacher creds?  (Remember America experimented with that resume before; how'd that work out for the country?)"
- Sarah Palin

 

Poem of the Week

First

There is a holiness to exhaustion
is what I keep telling myself,
filling out the form so my TA gets paid
then making copies of it on the hot
and heaving machine, writing
Strong start! on a pretty bad poem.
And then the children:  the baby's
mouth opening, going for the breast,
the girl's hair to wash tonight
and then comb so painstakingly
in the tub while conditioner drips
in slick globs onto her shoulders,
while her discipline chart flaps in the air
conditioner at school, taped
to a filing cabinet, longing for stickers.
My heart is so giant this evening,
like one of those moons so full
and beautiful and terrifying
if you see it when you're getting out
of the car you have to go inside the house
and make someone else come out
and see it for themselves.  I want every-
thing, I admit.  I want yes of course
and I want it all the time.  I want
a clean heart.  I want the children
to sleep and the drought
to end.  I want the rain to come
down-It's supposed to monsoon
is what Naomi said, driving away
this morning, and she was right,
as usual.  It's monsooning.  Still,
I want more.  Even as the streets
are washed clean and then begin
to flood.  Even though the man
came again today to check the rat traps
and said he bet we'd catch the rat
within 24 hours.  We still haven't caught
the rat, so I'm working at the table
with my legs folded up beneath me.
I want to know what is holy-
I do.  But first I want the rat to die.
I am thirsty for that death
and will drink deeply of that victory,
the thwack of the trap's hard plastic jaw,
I will rush to see the evidence no matter
how gruesome, leaning my body over
the washing machine to see the thing
crushed there, much smaller
than I'd imagined it'd be,
the strawberry large in its mouth.

Carrie Fountain
(Listen to an audio version)

About This Poem

"I write and read poems in lieu of a more perfect spiritual practice.  In this poem, I wanted to explore the moral and spiritual implications of our everyday actions and desires, which are often complicated and hardly ever perfect."
-Carrie Fountain

 

 

links ... links ... Links ... LINKS ... LINKS!

  * Interview with Dear Leader Justin
* Great summary of Ted Cruz
* Very interesting chart showing authoritarian/elitism traits of the supporters of various candidates
* How Ginsberg, Sotomayor, and Kagan ruled during the Texas abortion hearings
* Idaho Freedom Foundation versus transparency
* What Sanders has to do to win (slightly out of date after last night - his task got a little harder)
* Fascinating:  why white teachers fail
* Nano impressions by Ross Marquand
  * If you need more excellent linkage, check out Yankton!

 

Schedule

       
Mar 17 Thu 9th Annual Eastern Idaho Distinguished Humanities Lecture and Dinner Pulitzer Prize-winning historian Fredrik Logevall, author of Embers of War:  The Fall of an Empire and the Making of America's Vietnam (7pm, Shilo Inn)
Mar 18 Fri Bernie Sanders at Skyline High School, 8:30am
Mar 21 Mon Making a Killing:  Guns, Greed, and the NRA
Mar 22 Tues Bonneville County Democratic caucus
Apr 28 Thu Tenth Anniversary! What should we do?

 

 

Thursday Night DL at the Bee's Knees

 

1,237

   Next meeting:
  Date Thursday, March 10th
Time 7 to 9pm (show up when you can)
Place Bee's Knees at 850 Lindsay Blvd (in the front of the Guesthouse Inn)
 


Buy Justin's new book!  Excerpt here.

Please come to the Add the Words rally at the Broadway bridge - every Wednesday at noon.  Only 15 minutes.


Wouldn't a brokered convention for the GOP be glorious?  Such drama and disarray!  And a shining future portent of party disunity!  But it also doesn't look likely.

"Brokered" is a bit of a misnomer, anyway.  There really are no back-room "power brokers" any more.  What happens is that a candidate needs half of the convention delegates to win the nomination.  It seems fairly likely that Donald Trump will arrive in Cleveland with that number and become the nominee.  But if nobody has half on the first ballot - 1,237 delegates - then the convention goes into a second phase of voting.

Delegates pledged to any candidates that did not get above a certain percentage (say John Kasich hangs on that long, but only gets 3% in the first round) are free to switch candidates.  And many (if not all) of the delegates in the first phase are allowed to switch as well.

Some GOP elites are considering this scenario as a way to stop Trump.  Because that's a cowardly way to beat Trump without actually taking him on directly right away.  Later, and through a bureaucracy.  Mitt Romney mentioned it as a tactic in his speech last week.


There will be party leaders pressuring candidates to drop out for the good of the party.  Everyone will be arguing which candidate would be the best one to unite behind.  Much like what's happening right now, but with the pressure of significant immediate consequences.  And the hundreds of Trump fanatics in attendance will see unfair party machinations behind every single decision.  Remember what happened at the last Idaho state GOP convention?  They broke down and didn't accomplish anything.  The national GOP convention could be worse.

I believe that they fear the potential consequences of a brokered convention much, much more than they fear having Trump win the nomination.  So if it comes to that, they will unite behind Trump.  And they will look a whole lot like Chris Christie all the way through until losing in November.


Primary turnout is not an issue.  Sure, lots of Republican voters are coming out to help select their candidate.  That race is fascinating and tumultuous.  But at the heart of it is the fact that so many Republican voters have apocalyptic opinions of what happens if they pick the wrong person.  They're all under the impression that their guy can win in November, but the others would be a disaster and turn the country over to Hitlery who will continue to the final phase of American destruction planned by Obummer.

On the Dem side, there isn't that sort of concern.  Sure, there are many people convinced that only Clinton or only Sanders can beat Trump.  But those numbers are much smaller than what we see on the GOP side.  In fact, large portions of the Democratic voter base is happy with either Sanders or Clinton.  So that complacency is reflected by the fairly anemic Democratic primary/caucus turnout.

That will not be the case in November.  Then, it will be hugely consequential.  It will be up to the Dems to do what the GOP was too cowardly to do:  defeat Trump.  You'd better believe that there will be huge Dem turnout for that.  Plus - imagine voting for the first woman to take office!  I have to tell you, I remember a similar feeling from 2008.  I very much remember the thought in my head of being a part of history just with my vote.  It would be similar, though likely smaller, for electing the first Jewish president.

So right now, I'd predict a rather large Dem voter turnout in November.  Perhaps not as large as 2008, but close.  And if the GOP nominates either Trump, Cruz, or Rubio, their turnout will be remarkably low.

There are unexpected events that can alter that view.  A third-party candidate from either side, for example.

But there's absolutely nothing to be concerned about from looking at relative turnout right now.

Cheers,
Dan

 

Contact

Follow IFDrinkLib on Facebook     Follow IFDrinkLib on Twitter     Email me

 

Action for the Week

  Drinking Liberally does not take official stands on issues and does not endorse any political candidates or parties.  Items appearing in this message are listed at the discretion of the sender/poster, and are intended for information purposes only.  Any opinions expressed in this message are those of the sender/poster only and not of the Drinking Liberally organization.

* Register to attend the Idaho Democratic Caucus

 

Quotations of the Week

"The fact is that Trump has triumphed in Republican Party primaries because the Republican Party is incapable of mounting effective resistance to him, not because effective resistance is impossible.  Their strategies have failed because highlighting his real weaknesses would put them on ground that is too uncomfortable given the ideological rigidity of the GOP structure and the biases of rank-and-file Republicans.  But the plain, obvious truth is that Trump is running a racist campaign based on an unimpressive record in business and bad public policy ideas."
- Matthew Yglesias

 

"Here's what I know. Donald Trump is a phony. A fraud. His promises are as worthless as a degree from Trump University. He's playing the American public for suckers. He gets a free ride to the White House, and all we get is recession. His foreign policies would make America and the world less safe. He has neither the temperament nor the judgment to be president. And his personal qualities would mean that America would cease to be a shining city on a hill."
- Mitt Romney

 

"Do you feel well served by the $2,000,000 spent on this election?"
- John Rusche, D-Lewiston, on the cost to Idaho taxpayers for the GOP primary

 

Poem of the Week

Swimming

Some nights, I rise from the latest excuse for
Why not stay awhile, usually that hour when
the coyotes roam the streets as if they've always
owned the place and had come back inspecting now
for damage.  But what hasn't been damaged?  History
here means a history of storms rushing the trees
for so long, their bowed shapes seem a kind of star-
worth trusting, I mean, as in how the helmsman,
steering home, knows what star to lean on.  Do
people, anymore, even say helmsman?  Everything
in waves, or at least wave-like, as when another's
suffering, being greater, displaces our own, or
I understand it should, which is meant to be
different, I'm sure of it, from that pleasure
Lucretius speaks of, in witnessing from land
a ship foundering at sea, though more and more
it all seems related.  I love the nights here.  I love
the jetty's black ghost-finger, how it calms
the harbor, how the fog hanging stranded just
above the water is fog, finally, not the left-behind
parts of those questions from which I half-wish
I could school my mind, desperate cargo,
to keep a little distance.  An old map from when
this place was first settled shows monsters
everywhere, once the shore gives out-it can still
feel like that:  I dive in, and they rise like faithfulness
itself, watery pallbearers heading seaward, and
I the raft they steady.  It seems there's no turning back.

About This Poem

"There's the usual kind of swimming—as in, through water—and then there's that swimming that the mind always seems to be doing, I find.  This poem feels to me a bit like both things, the combination of thrill and fear when there's finally no land in sight."
-Carl Phillips

 

 

links ... links ... Links ... LINKS ... LINKS!

  * Just how sleazy is this Trump advocate?
* Women on the SCOTUS shone brightly during the Texas abortion argument
* Can Trump deliver the House to the Dems?
* Felon Dinesh D'Souza has a crazy new movie coming out
* The Idaho Freedom Foundation isn't very transparent
* If you didn't hear this before, listen to Rep Kelly Packer (R-McCammon) discuss the problem with IFF
  * If you need more excellent linkage, check out Yankton!

 

Schedule

       
Mar 17 Thu 9th Annual Eastern Idaho Distinguished Humanities Lecture and Dinner Pulitzer Prize-winning historian Fredrik Logevall, author of Embers of War:  The Fall of an Empire and the Making of America's Vietnam (7pm, Shilo Inn)
Mar 22 Tues Bonneville County Democratic caucus
Apr 28 Thu Tenth Anniversary! What should we do?

 

 

Thursday Night DL at the Bee's Knees

 

The Trend in Predictions

   Next meeting:
  Date Thursday, March 3th
Time 7 to 9pm (show up when you can)
Place Bee's Knees at 850 Lindsay Blvd (in the front of the Guesthouse Inn)
 

Buy Justin's new book!  Excerpt here.

Please come to the Add the Words rally at the Broadway bridge - every Wednesday at noon.  Only 15 minutes.


There are a couple of historical trends pertaining to this year's presidential election.  We have a long-term trend of alternating presidencies between the parties.  We tend to like two-term presidencies (or perhaps it's that incumbent presidents are harder to unseat).  But we also like to switch parties after two terms with one party.  It's unusual for a party to hold office for three terms running.  Of course, this is just a trend, and there are counter examples.  But many people are worried about this particular trend, thinking that it poses a hurdle for electing Clinton or Santorum.

And another modern trend is that we seem to prefer a divided government.  We tend to reject a single-party rule of both Congress and the presidency.

Today (Super Tuesday), brings up another pattern.  People are saying that no candidate with Trump's or Clinton's winning record on Super Tuesday has ever lost the nomination for his or her party.

And, of course, no woman has ever won the presidency.  Or even run as a candidate from a major party.

So there are lots of confusing and conflicting treads.  However, statistically speaking, there are many trends that can be identified, and trends broken every year.  And this year has been so surprisingly unpredictable.

So do trends and predictions matter?  Can any of them be trusted?

I think the key is to consider the how fundamental and immedate the basis of the prediction is.  Long-term patterns in elections are made up of data from individual elections.  Any pattern we eventually recognize as a higher-level expression of experience, while each individual election is more fundamental and more immediate.


For example, we've never elected a woman before.  But that is based on high-level patriarchal issues that are decaying all the time.  It's a trend that cannot last forever, and seems close to being over.  Nearly as close as the trend of not electing people of color.  Alternatively, the division in the GOP between establishment and teabaggers is pretty fundamental and particularly pertinent to this election.  It's not a high-level extraction of events made over years of experience.

I have my argument about how the Dems cannot lose this year.  It's based on some fundamental data (specifically the relatively larger number of Democratic voters in 2014 - even though it is popularly thought to have been a Republican landslide).  That is recent behavior that isn't related to some perhaps mythical cycles in voting.  My argument also had a longer-term, less fundamental component - that presidential election years tend to show a larger boost in Democrating voter participation rates than what we see for the Republicans.

I've already mentioned that the internal strife going on within the GOP is a fundamental and immediate issue facing this election cycle.  It has definitely made this election much more entertaining that we could have hoped for.

And the SCOTUS situation - I think - is going to bite the GOP in the butt.  Their obstructionist behavior should help the Dem nominee a bit (but will likely also help the Dems possibly retake the Senate).

[An interesting side issue that I haven't seen discussed anywhere:  when either President Obama or President Clinton gets a liberal-to-moderate justice seated and the court gets a 5-4 liberal balance - what will be the approach of Justice Roberts?  He will have the some power to set the court's agenda (though I'm not sure how much).]

So most of the elements of my argument are based upon specific facts about current events rather than an expectation that there is a high-level pattern that will hold.

In my mind, there isn't worry much to worry about.  No matter who the GOP nominates, they just don't have the ability to overcome their built-in disadvantage in voters as well as their many self-inflicted disadvantages.  Then again, I got Jeb Bush completely wrong (to be fair, that was based on some high-level assumptions:  that Jeb had the money, the advisors, and the organizational support to win).  And like every sane person, I expected Trump to flame out.  So this could all be bogus.  However - again - my conclusions are based on lower-level, more fundamental facts.  So I think conclusions based on them are about as reasonable as can be.


Has anyone heard any more about a potential 3rd party run by Bloomberg?  Seems like he was approaching some near-term deadlines for filing.  He could throw a wrench into the works.

Cheers,
Dan

 

Contact

Follow IFDrinkLib on Facebook     Follow IFDrinkLib on Twitter     Email me

 

Action for the Week

  Drinking Liberally does not take official stands on issues and does not endorse any political candidates or parties.  Items appearing in this message are listed at the discretion of the sender/poster, and are intended for information purposes only.  Any opinions expressed in this message are those of the sender/poster only and not of the Drinking Liberally organization.

* Bone marrow registry:  Be The Match (those of you under 45 should sign up; over 45 will cost you $100)

 

Quotations of the Week

"Well, just so you understand, I don't anything about David Duke, OK?  I don't even know anything about what you're talking about with white supremacy or white supremacists.  Did he endorse me, or what's going on?  I know nothing about David Duke.  I know nothing about white supremacists."
- Donald Trump, yesterday

 

"As you know, the Reform Party has got some pretty big problems, not the least of which is Pat Buchanan, David Duke, Fulani, and it's a problem."
- Donald Trump, 2000 interview

 

"Although I am totally comfortable with the people in the New York Independence Party, I leave the Reform Party to David Duke, Pat Buchanan and Lenora Fulani.  That is not company I wish to keep."
- Donald Trump, 2000 op ed

 

Poem of the Week

Hurricane Song

Lady, won't you wait
out the hurricane

all night at my place-
we'll take cover like

the lamps & I'll
let you oil

my scalp. Please, I needs
a good woman's hands

caught in my hair, turning
my knots to butter.

All night we'll churn.
Dawn

will lean in too soon-
you'll leave out into

the wet world, winded
& alone, knowing

the me only
midnight sees.

About This Poem

"'Hurricane Song' is an outtake from my book Jelly Roll:  A Blues.  A series of such bonus tracks are included in my new book Blue Laws:  Selected & Uncollected Poems 1995-2015, due out in February of 2016."
-Kevin Young

 

 

links ... links ... Links ... LINKS ... LINKS!

  * Inside the GOP's attempt to stop Trump (thanks, Hollis)
*  ... and Josh Marshall's take
* Maybe there's a way to fix it
* Trump's appeal:  nationalism, not free-market conservatism
*  ... and the Clinton camp is taking that seriously
* People really don't like Trump
*  ... but Clinton's not much better
* Maybe Rubio has a shot?
* Neat GOP delegate calculator
* Scummy Breitbart tactics
* Locally, Sen Hill is so darned upset about not being able to Add the Words
  * If you need more excellent linkage, check out Yankton!

 

Schedule

       
Mar 17 Thu 9th Annual Eastern Idaho Distinguished Humanities Lecture and Dinner Pulitzer Prize-winning historian Fredrik Logevall, author of Embers of War:  The Fall of an Empire and the Making of America's Vietnam (7pm, Shilo Inn)
Mar 22 Tues Bonneville County Democratic caucus
Apr 28 Thu Tenth Anniversary! What should we do?