Manic Monday Reads: Iowa Caucus Day, Senate Gasbaggery and When will he take the sharpie to Missouri?Posted: February 3, 2020
Good Day Sky Dancers!
I think I could have a new hobby from what’s evidently a very old practice! Ever heard of curse tablets? Well, it’s an Athenian thing and maybe we should bring it back! I keep a list of graves I intend to dance upon nips and clits up. (.e.g. Phyllis Schafly, Jerry Falwell and his spawn, Billy Graham and his spawn, you know the usual evil suspects). But, an Athenian curse tablet seems much more righteous and long lasting!
Thirty lead tablets engraved with curses have been discovered at the bottom of a 2,500 year old well in ancient Athens. Discovered in the area of Kerameikos, ancient Athens’ main burial ground, the small tablets invoked the gods of the underworld in order to cause harm to others.
These curses were ritual texts, usually scratched on small lead objects. “The person that ordered a curse is never mentioned by name, only the recipient,” observes Dr. Jutta Stroszeck, director of the Kerameikos excavation on behalf of the German Archaeological Institute in Athens.
Before the discovery of the 30 specimens in the well, dozens of curses from the classical period (480-323 B.C.E.) had been found mainly in tombs of dead people who had died in an untimely manner and were therefore thought suitable to carry the spell to the underworld. One had also been found in another well. But there was good reason for the transition of ill-will from graves to wells in ancient Athens.
The well where the curses were found was excavated in 2016 by a team under Stroszeck’s direction while investigating the water supply to a bathhouse about 60 meters beyond the Dipylon – the city-gate on the ro to the Academy. It was a public bathhouse, not a private one, that operated from Classical to Hellenistic times, the fifth to the first centuries B.C.E., and is thought to be the spa referred to by the comic playwright Aristophanes (Knights, 1307-1401). It was also mentioned in a speech by the 4th century B.C.E. Greek rhetorician Isaeus (against Kalydon, fragment 24).
So, as the Senate debates impeachment today … well, wait that might not be a good description. It’s more like as the Republicans spout noxious talking points while the Democratic Party folks beg for something akin to constitutional justice. So, as to whatever that thing is today that’s on TV with so much gasbaggery … consider finding the nearest well! We could start a thing!
I do have a well under my house so maybe I should consider digging the fill out for my new hobby. Those old holier than God dudes might be dancing with the devil now but their horrid sons are still plaguing the world. And of course, we know who needs to go to a devil waiting with millions of hints about what to do with him! He certainly showed Kansas last night that they were just fly over country! Or did he show the Show Me State of Missouri?
Here’s the headline via the Kansas City Star: “Trump congratulates Chiefs for representing ‘the Great State of Kansas.” My mom used to actually write for this paper believe it or not! Most of that side of my family is still all around the place although most now live on the Kansas side of State Line Road. Which reminds me to tell you that State Line is of the interesting roads ever! It used to be a stretch of road where of confederate Missouri folk frequently yelled obscene things at the folks from the Free State of Kansas and it’s aslo got Joe’s Kansas City BBQ! I’m as unlikely to go to or watch a football game as I am to enter a church any time in the near future but I do admit that this got a huge chuckle from me. Such a stable genius!
In a tweet that apparently disappeared — but was captured in screengrabs — Trump wrote: “Congratulations to the Kansas City Chiefs on a great game, and a fantastic comeback, under immense pressure. You represented the Great State of Kansas and, in fact, the entire USA, so very well. Our Country is PROUD OF YOU!”
We all know geography is no part of his very stable genius but to be President of a country should mean you know something about its biggest cities! At least you think that would be a skill set you’d develop after three years or so. Let’s hope Kansas and Missouri remember this coming election!
And, just to get you juiced up for those curse tablets! Here’s the guy that really really needs a billion or so sent so everything i hell is waiting for him! I should hope the world doesn’t act like his church because that would look a lot like hell! Just think what will happen to all those kids of they think all those over 40 mothers and grandmothers can dance!!!!
So, I should probably mention another state around there that I spent an awful lot of time in given my Dad owned a business there for over 30 years! That would be the Iowa caucuses
While Iowa’s always held a caucus, their popularity is only about 50 years old. So what has changed over the years?
There are two men that historians refer to for as to why the Iowa Caucuses are so popular. That’s George McGovern and former U.S. President Jimmy Carter. Both of them used first in the nation status as a way to show their strength as a candidate.
It all started in the 1970s.
“In 1976, when Jimmy Carter was here, these were very small events,” David Yepsen, of Iowa PBS, said.
A living room, church basements: those were the kinds of places where Iowans met candidates 50 years ago, offering a sense of charm in politics.
“I think the candidates like to try and recreate it, but the thing has gotten so big that they can’t,” Yepsen said.
Yepsen is a long-time journalist who started his career in the 70s, just as the caucuses were gaining fame. The democratic party was in the midst of reforms, so Iowa wound up going first. It wasn’t for any specific reason. That’s just how it happened.
Through the years, the Iowa caucuses predict a party’s nominee correctly about half of the time.
Usually though, the one who wins the presidency does well in the Hawkeye state.
“The only time that a candidate has not finished in the top three and has gone onto win the presidency was 1992,” Leo Landis, curator of the State Historical Society of Iowa, said. “That was when Senator Harkin was running and Bill Clinton comes in 4th.”
Here’s some Iowa Caucus Day Reads!
Ronald Brownstein / The Atlantic: “2020 Democrats Are Bringing Butter Knives to a Gunfight”
Heading into tonight’s Iowa caucus, the clock may be ticking faster on the Democratic presidential candidates than they believe.
All of the leading contenders have campaigned energetically and extensively across the state during the past few days, but none have moved to sharply contrast themselves with their rivals.
None of the candidates have offered a sustained challenge to Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont, who has surged to the lead in most Iowa polls and delivered an impressive show of strength on Saturday night with a raucous rally here that attracted some 3,000 people. Nor has former South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg, or Senator Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota delivered much of an argument against former Vice President Joe Biden, though he leads them in the competition for moderate voters. “I think this is a pillow fight compared to previous caucuses,” says Jeff Link, a longtime Democratic strategist in Iowa.
This restraint partly reflects a widespread belief in Democratic circles that in a multi-candidate field, a conflict between any two candidates hurts both of them and opens a pathway for another contender to win. That’s famously what happened in the 2004 Iowa caucus, when the scorched-earth hostilities between former Representative Richard Gephardt of Missouri and former Vermont Governor Howard Dean allowed John Kerry to make a late surge, winning the state and, ultimately, the nomination.
No one has more at stake tonight than Joe Biden.
A first-place finish in the Iowa caucuses here could put him the driver’s seat to win the Democratic nomination; a fourth-place finish could end his political career.
No other Top 4 Democrat has that wide range of possibilities.
Pete Buttigieg admitted on “Meet the Press” yesterday that he needs a strong showing to vault him to the later states, but finishing fourth wouldn’t end his political career (he’s just 38 years old).
Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren could very well win tonight, but that wouldn’t put them in the driver’s seat for the nomination — at least not yet.
As Democratic candidates began a last-minute blitz across Iowa on Friday evening, nearly a dozen men gathered in a cavernous YMCA meeting room in downtown Des Moines to have a conversation that felt a universe removed from the 2020 race.
They were part of one of the largest groups shut out of Monday’s caucus: people with felony convictions. Iowans are barred from voting for life once they commit a felony, and people can’t vote even if they committed a crime decades ago. The state’s policy, one of the strictest in the country, means more than 42,000 Iowans out of prison won’t have a say in choosing a presidential candidate. Almost 10% of the black voting-age population can’t vote because of a felony conviction.
For decades, the Iowa caucuses have marked the beginning of the presidential primary, and often set the tone for the election year. But the event has come under increasing scrutiny for giving some voters – namely white and wealthy Iowans – outsized power in choosing the president in a state that’s already more than 90% white. Meanwhile, the physical and legal barriers built into the structure of the caucuses leave out large swaths of the population, whether they are disabled, work long hours, or were once convicted of a crime.
So, why does Iowa still go first? And given that many newly enfranchised Iowans that work the local stock yards and do construction work along with plenty of other Iowa type things have their heritage South of our border … what does Iowa think about this?
And there is the whiff of Troll in the Iowa air …
Anyway, this week will be wild. Stock up on whatever gives you comfort!
And, what’s on your reading and blogging list today?