Friday Reads: Low Information Voters (SMH)Posted: March 18, 2016
I have to admit it still feels like the middle of the night to me. It looks like the middle of the night from my desk window. I do know–because my brain works–that it’s just damned daylight savings time freaking with my internal clock again. My brain always wins the argument though. I know I can’t ignore the time change even though I really really want it to go away. I know it’s longer than it used to be. (That’s another product of DUBYA’s shock and awe attacks on the nation.) I doubt that the US Congress will buck the Leisure Industry lobby and get rid of it. That’s the story of my life. My brain always wins the argument.
Some times it amazes me how many people can shut down any ability they’ve developed in math, science, reality, and life in general to believe what they want to believe. BB’s the psychologist around here so maybe she can explain it to me. My Facebook and Twitter feeds are cluttered up with so much nonsense these days that it’s enough to make a professor weep. My mantra these days is believe me, the math is the math. Do you know what kind of probabilities we’re talking here? It’s all to no avail.
This story sort’ve sums up what I keep seeing but in a macro kind’ve way. It’s not Florida Man for a change but East Texas Man is just about right there with him. This fossil enthusiast-not a rocket scientist or even 5th grade scientist with a chem kit–says he found fossils from Noah’s flood in his back yard.
“From Noah’s flood to my front yard, how much better can it get,” Wayne Propst said.
Propst is stunned. He was helping his aunt lay some dirt outside her home in Tyler when he found this.
“What’s really interesting to me is we’re talking about the largest catastrophe known to man, the flood that engulfed the entire world,” Propst said.
He called up self-proclaimed fossil expert Joe Taylor who confirmed that what Propst found is in fact from the time of Noah’s ark and he says finding those fossils in Tyler is rare.
“I’ve never heard of anything about that from over there, I’m surprised he found it there,” Taylor said.
For days, Wayne and his aunt Sharon have been combing through this dirt with the help of some neighborhood kids.
“I just take my toothbrush and work on it until we get it,” Wayne’s aunt Sharon Givan said.
And send pictures off to Taylor.
“To think that like he says that we have something in our yard that dated back to when God destroyed the earth. I mean, how much better could anything be,” Givan said.
But those damned experts at UT Austin just won’t let a man have his delusions. Why is it that they just can’t let a man and his love of fairy tales be?
But one expert at the University of Texas at Austin isn’t so sure. He said that the fossils predate humans by millions of years.
“The rocks there are about 35-40 million years old, and these little turret snails are commonly found in marine rocks of that age,” said James Sagebiel, Collections Manager of the Texas Vertebrate Paleontology Collections. “It’s not unusual.”
James Sagebiel said this type of fossil is usually found in sandy soil and the reason it’s here is not due to a great global flood.
“The Texas coastline would have run several miles closer inland than what it is today,” said Sagebiel. “So where Tyler is today would essentially be the coastline.”
Sagebiel said the scientific evidence points to the earth being billions of years old. And that there’s no evidence of a great global flood, as described in the Noah’s Ark story.
So, the Bernie memes and koolaid are in. We’re deep in the doo doo. For example, I found out today that Bernie says “Hillary is running out of deep red states” yet, I look at the 2016 Primary schedule and see a list that sort’ve defies whatever attempt at logic that was. Yes, Sky Dancers, Arizona, Indiana, Wyoming, Alaska, West Virginia, Idaho, Kentucky have suddenly turned blue. Imagine the surprised look on my face! Facts just don’t seem to bother people any more. Journalists and low information voters alike have decided they dislike Hillary based on a whole bunch of things that aren’t true and have been proven untrue.
Clinton has been in the public eye for so long, journalists have long since formulated a storyline about her, as former Democratic presidential candidate Michael Dukakis recently observed. Their view—and portrayal—of her as “remote and programmed,” he said, is “nonsense” and impervious to accounts by those who know or meet her that she is actually warm, smart and funny. Political opponents have had decades to dredge up (or fabricate) accusations, with a smoke-there’s-fire (you might say blame-the-victim) result. Whitewater! Benghazi! Email! After endless investigations, each accusation has turned out to be groundless. Yet the impression remains: she’s been the object of so many accusations and investigations, she must be doing something wrong. Hence the impression she’s not trustworthy.
There is also a self-fulfilling prophecy element to Clinton’s long history with the press. Part of the reason that they see, and depict, her as stiff and measured (and therefore inauthentic) surely is what she herself saidrecently: she’s not a natural politician—something that is as ironic as it is obvious, since her being a seasoned politician is one of the main criticisms raised against her. But another part of it, no doubt, is that she has had so much experience having her words and actions turned against her, it’s no wonder she might be cautious in choosing them. And this, too, started with her hair.
When Clinton first appeared on the national stage back in 1992, the young wife of the Arkansas governor running for president, she kept her natural-brown hair off her face with a headband. This sparked an avalanche of criticism, so she colored her hair and had it styled, which led to a new round of accusations: she was nefariously manipulating her image! Other damned-if-you-do, damned-if-you-don’t attacks were also particular to her as a woman. Because the Clintons kept their small daughter out of the public eye, polls showed that people thought they were childless, a condition that stigmatizes women. When evidence emerged that Clinton was a devoted mother, Margaret Carlson writing in TIME found her guilty of “yuppie overdoting on her daughter.”
All these forces have played a role in Clinton being seen as inauthentic and untrustworthy. And they are all related to the double bind that confronts women in positions of authority, as I recently wrote in the WashingtonPost. A double bind means you must obey two commands, but anything you do to fulfill one violates the other. While the requirements of a good leader and a good man are similar, the requirements of a good leader and a good woman are mutually exclusive. A good leader must be tough, but a good woman must not be. A good woman must be self-deprecating, but a good leader must not be.
Sanders is appealing when he comes across as tough by railing against Wall Street and corporations, and as comfortingly homey and authentic with his rumpled clothes and hair and down-home Brooklyn accent. When Clinton is tough, a characteristic many see as unfeminine, it doesn’t feel right, so she must not be authentic. And a disheveled appearance would pretty much rule her out as an acceptable woman. As Robin Lakoff, the linguist who firstwrote about the double bind confronting women, put it, male candidates can have it both ways but Clinton can have it no ways.
The biggest nitwit meme I’ve been seeing these days comes under the heading of there’s no excitement for Hillary. WTF? Bernie keeps getting on TV to insist only he can beat Trump. But look at the damned vote count. Who is beating Trump and who is NOT beating Trump?
Considering that narrative, one would expect Clinton to be faring far worse in the primaries. Instead, she currently holds a popular vote and delegate lead over Sanders that far surpasses Obama’s lead over her at this point in the race in 2008.
This is no accident. An examination of Clinton voters and their motivations might reveal that the narrative that most media outlets have been feeding us this election cycle is dubious at best. Because if the biggest vote-getter of either party is Hillary—by a large margin—then that suggests the electorate is not necessarily as angry as pundits claim. It further suggests that perhaps some people are tired of hearing about how angry they are, and are quietly asserting their opinions at the ballot box. If Democrats are so angry, Clinton would not be in the position she is today. Is it really so farfetched to claim that quite a few Democrats aren’t voting for Sanders precisely because he seems angry? Which isn’t to suggest that people aren’t angry—certainly many Republican primary voters seem to be. Rather, it is to suggest that voters who aren’t angry are still showing up at the polls, despite being ignored in news stories.
Of course, angry voters make for sexier clickbait. So it’s not too surprising that we’re not seeing front-page headlines that scream, “Satisfied Obama Supporters Show Up in Droves.” Furthermore, Trump and Sanders have seen enormous crowds at their rallies, and exuberant support on social media platforms.
So perhaps Clinton voters don’t show up at rallies so much. Perhaps they are a bit less passionate on Facebook, share fewer articles, give less money to their candidate (she does have a super PAC, after all). But what they are doing is perhaps the only thing that actually matters in an election. They are showing up to vote. In numbers that no other candidate can boast.
It’s certainly curious to presume, as many do, that Clinton’s supporters are somehow less enthusiastic than Sanders’s are. How is enthusiasm measured, if not by actual vote count?
So here are some things worth reading today.
So much for the Bernie’s gonna cream her in Deep Blue States.
I call this Sistertude !!!! Sisters are into doing it for themselves!!!
The bedrock of her winning campaign is African-American women, and, as a group, these women seem pretty damn determined to vote for her.
“They are the absolute heart of the party,” Jaime Harrison, the South Carolina Democratic Party chairman said of African-American women in a comment posted on Sidewire (the political communication platform I work for). “Hillary is their BFF.”
The connection isn’t lost on Clintonworld. Her last two major ads featured the “Mothers of the Movement” who lost children in killings involving police and ABC television luminaries Shonda Rhimes, Viola Davis and Kerry Washington, all of whom (in case you’ve been living on a television-free planet) are black.
It is not common for a presidential candidate to run ads that feature an all-African American cast — or, in the case of the ABC stars’ ad, a mostly African-American cast. Ellen Pompeo of “Grey’s Anatomy,” who is white, was also in the spot.
But it’s not unusual for Clinton to rely on African-American women. Over the years, her top aides have included Maggie Williams and Cheryl Mills, owners of two of the sharpest minds in the political world.
More compelling, though, are the numbers.
Consider exit polling from the dozen states where there were enough African-American Democratic primary voters to adequately survey both how white men and women voted and how black men and women voted.
African-American women supported Clinton at between 66 percent (Michigan and Illinois) and 93 percent (Alabama) in those dozen states, according to data on CNN’s Website.
I’d call that enthusiasm too! So, why are young white college kids getting all the press?
Bernie is getting more hypocritical in his quest to win. It appears to be coming at any cost now including his purity ring. First he wanted to get rid of super delegates calling them establishment and corrupt! Not now.
So, Rachel asked again whether he might try to convince superdelegates to side with him, even if he’s behind in pledged delegates. Sanders said he and his campaign are “going to do the best we can in any and every way to win,” but he still avoided comment on the specific approach he’s prepared to take.So, Rachel asked again. For those who missed it, this was the exchange that stood out.MADDOW: I’m just going to push you and ask you one more time. I’ll actually ask you from the other direction. If one of you – presumably, there won’t be a tie – one of you presumably will be behind in pledged delegates heading into that convention. Should the person who is behind in pledged delegates concede to the person who is ahead in pledged delegates in Philadelphia?SANDERS: Well, I – you know, I don’t want to speculate about the future and I think there are other factors involved. I think it is probably the case that the candidate who has the most pledged delegates is going to be the candidate, but there are other factors.It was arguably one of the more controversial things Sanders has said this year.When the race for the Democratic nomination first got underway, many saw this same scenario, but in reverse: it seemed possible that Sanders would do well in primaries and caucuses, and Clinton would turn to powerful superdelegates to elevate her anyway.That possibility, not surprisingly, enraged many of Sanders’ backers. The Hill published this report in early February:
All is fair and good as long as Bernie is the one to do it. Same with using Shadowy SuperPacs. Try this one on for size: Bernie Sanders Gets an Alaska ‘Super PAC’ Aimed At Millennials. This one operates on murky legal ground.
Now, there is a pro-Sanders super PAC just for the millennials of Alaska.
The Anchorage-based America’s Youth PAC, made up almost entirely of former Bernie 2016 campaign staffers, is the latest unconventional outside group to throw its support behind the Vermont senator. Its leaders broke off from the Sanders campaign last week and have holed up in an old mall on the outskirts of town, just steps away from the official campaign’s office in the same building.
Despite Sanders’ fading odds for the Democratic nomination, America’s Youth PAC’s 10-person team is canvassing, making buttons and registering voters in the hopes of giving him a victory in the Alaska caucuses on March 26 against Hillary Clinton. Chris Johnson, the executive director of the super PAC and former Sanders field director in Alaska, said they abandoned the Sanders campaign over “creative differences.”
“We were all former staffers on the Bernie Sanders campaign and we came to a realization that there was a niche where we could do some really good work,” Johnson said. “We really felt like there was a niche of activating new voters that was left untapped.”
It is an unusual arrangement: Instead of billionaire donors looking to fund television ads, Sanders campaign staffers have formed a dissenting splinter group in the northernmost state and campaign on the ground for the Alaska caucus. From a drab shopping mall storefront, they want to take on Clinton’s powerful alliance on the Acela corridor.
The group also exists in murky legal territory, as federal election law requires a “cooling-off period” that prevents a candidate’s staff from leaving the campaign and doing certain kinds of work for a supporting super PAC within 120 days. America’s Youth PAC disputes it is doing anything illegal, but several independent campaign finance experts said it was pressing the boundaries of election law.
The so-called “cooling off period” is intended to prevent coordination with the campaign. Technically, the law prohibits former campaign staff from assisting on paid “public communications” that rely on material knowledge from the campaign.
Bernie’s being nasty to our President again. It’s not only Republicans that don’t want President Obama doing his job. Bernie Sanders Says He Will Ask Obama to Withdraw SCOTUS Nomination if He Wins. Another link to Maddow, btw. Oh, and Bernie is all about getting rid of citizens united and no SuperPacs. (Don’t forget to go reread that last link so you can see exactly how clearly hypocritical the man can be.)
And of course, Bernie is now after Clinton’s pledged delegates that resulted from actual votes. Feeling the Fucking Bern yet? BB wrote on Master Taddler’s presser a few days ago but just thought I’d remind you.
Bernie Sanders’ campaign believes it can win the nomination by persuading delegates pledged to Hillary Clinton to defect.
In a call with journalists just now, Senior Strategist Tad Devine suggested that a string of victories from his candidate in the second half of the race would put “enormous” pressure on Clinton delegates.
“A front-runner in a process like this needs to continue to win if you want to keep hold of delegates,” he said. He said pledged delegates are not bound to the candidate they are pledged to.
“I think that pressure is going to build. If we can win, I think the pressure on the other side is going to grow and be enormous.”
This is a major step beyond the Bernie camp’s reported push to persuade superdelegates to switch their endorsement.
Here are Devine’s comments in full, made in a briefing call that we were on this afternoon.
If you really want to read Master Taddler’s tales follow the link to Bernie Wonderland. Bernie is now leaving pressers when reporters ask him questions he doesn’t like. How very Trumpish of him!!!
So, here’s my favorite read of the day from Amy Freid Bangor: Four reasons why it’s so unlikely Sanders will win the Democratic nomination. Freid basically responds to all the totally unrealistic Bernie wet dreams I’m seeing since the Mega Tuesday Bloodbath. Oh, btw, Missouri has been officially called for Hillary so she did officially sweep all five states. Again, the big shitty argument is that the landscape improves as we move towards the West Coast and back to the East coast.
First, one specific claim is that Sanders will do much better in the next eight contests.
Those are the Arizona and Wisconsin primaries, the Utah, Alaska, Hawaii, Idaho, Washington state and Wyoming caucuses.
That’s true for the caucuses and indeed the Sanders campaign could win the primary in the very progressive Wisconsin, although the recent polls have it close.
However, there are just not that many delegates in all of those contests. Taken together, there are just a few more than in just Florida and Illinois. Clinton won Florida huge and Illinois narrowly, netting 69 more delegates more than Sanders from those two states.
Moreover, Arizona is by no means a slam dunk for Sanders. He has weaknesses on immigration and gun control, both of which matter in Arizona, due to the shooting of former Rep. Gabby Gifford and the large Hispanic population.
In fact, the most recent poll I could find for Arizona found Clinton with 50%, 24% for Sanders and the rest undecided. Given that Arizona is the third largest of the eight states, a good Clinton win here could provide enough delegates to wipe out Sanders leads from small caucus states or even from a small win in one of the large states.
Second, the states following those include many states that, based on demographics and their past voting behavior, are likely to be good states for Clinton.
For example, April 19 and 26 include a trove of 753 delegates in New York, Connecticut, Delaware, Rhode Island, Maryland and Pennsylvania.
New York elected Clinton as U.S. Senator with 55% in 2000 and 67% in 2008. The most recent polls have her 21 points ahead. It’s also a diverse state with a closed primary. All of that suggests she should do well there.
As for the other states of April 19 and 26, unless something comes along to seriously transform the race, Clinton will likely win all or most of the others.
There are of course other states after this, and those could be won by both candidates or be close, but if Clinton gets to April 27 having done well on April 19 and 26, any chance for Sanders winning most pledged delegates is pure fantasy.
My final offering of the day is this: “Hillary Won the Confederacy”: How Bernie’s Campaign is Subtly Fueling Racist Rhetoric of His Supporters. How is this not as freaking racist as the STrump?
Ed Schultz. Michael Moore. The Huffington Post. Shaun King of New York Daily News. Prominent Bernie Sanders backers in the media and culture have for some time been perpetuating the reprehensible idea that black voters – who delivered 30, 40, 50 point wins for Hillary Clinton in southern states don’t count because their states are likely to vote for the Republican in the general election in November.
But it isn’t just his prominent supporters. The Sanders campaign has itself repeated that message, albeit in more subtle forms. After Hillary Clinton won seven out of 11 states on March 1, Sanders senior adviser Tad Devine and campaign manager Jeff Weaver sent the message that the “calendar” ahead didn’t look good for Clinton, intimating that the black-heavy southern states where Clinton racked up big margins were about done voting (well, that prediction didn’t work out too well).
It was only a matter of time before a prominent Sanders backing organization would do something like this:
Progressive Democrats of America is an ultra ideologue Leftist organization that backed Bernie Sanders’ candidacy early. After Sanders lost 5 out of 5 states on Tuesday, PDA has taken the logical next step to what Bernie’s mouthpieces have been doing for more than a month: they have gone from minimizing the black vote as insignificant because they live in “red states” to minimizing them as part of the confederacy.
That is outrageous. The people providing Clinton’s huge margins, black voters, are by and large descendants of slaves, and to associate them with the confederacy is a disgusting display of racism.
There’s examples from Weaver and Master Taddler Devine at the link. Be sure to read it. It’s not that long.
So, anyway, I was already sick of that shrill, finger wagging man. I’m really sick of him and his little followers now. Where’s a good house to drop when you need it?
What’s on your reading and blogging list today?