Friday Frenzy, Ragin’ Cajuns,Democratic Debates, Off Route Mardi Gras Parades, and a Snow Moon! OH MY!

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Good Day Sky Dancers!

The off route Krewes of Mardi Gras have started rolling.  They’re the only parades I really attend these days.  Krewe de Boheme’s second parade will take the Marigny/French Quarter route tonight and Krewe du Vieux rolls tomorrow night where I will nest at the Spanktuary with feast, libation, and friends. I need a break from the rest of the country right now and this is exactly what Dr Kat ordered.  Nothing beats a downtown krewe!

But there will be more than just Mardi Gras Parades and the first super moon–a Snow Moon--of the year this weekend.  We have debates and votes in New Hampshire and a maniac in the White House whose meltdown yesterday extended to a phone call to PM Boris Johnson. I really think the guy is on his way to a psychotic break but we need to get BB’s take on this.  (He just said Pelosi’s speech ripping was a crime on TV too!)

The country has to get rid of this dotard.

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The more I look at the polls, KKKremlin Caligula, and Moscow Mitch on TV, the more desperate I feel about 2020.  I’m not the only New Orleanian who feels that way either. From VOX today: “We’re losing our damn minds”: James Carville unloads on the Democratic Party. Why the longtime Democratic strategist is “scared to death” of the 2020 election.”  Sean Illing extends the conversation that started with an MSNBC conversation that really got to me.

In a rant on MSNBC that went viral on Tuesday evening, the longtime Democratic strategist vented his concerns about the party’s prospects for beating Donald Trump, taking particular aim at the party’s leftward lurch.

“Eighteen percent of the population controls 52 senate seats,” Carville said. “We’ve got to be a majoritarian party. The urban core is not gonna get it done. What we need is power! Do you understand? That’s what this is about.”

His diatribe took place against the backdrop of an Iowa caucus that had fallen into chaos and amid a rancorous ongoing debate among Democrats over the party’s direction. He took particular aim at Sen. Bernie Sanders, whom he fears could lead the party to defeat in November.

Carville’s lament distills a concern among the Democratic Party’s establishment: Will ideological purity and playing to the base cost the Democrats victory in November? For Carville at least, “We have one moral imperative and that’s to beat Donald Trump.” That his comments went viral speaks to the sense of urgency among Democrats, even as it only fuels the debate over the direction of the party.

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I still don’t see what any one sees in Bernie Sanders other than he’s a cranky old man of few accomplishments and a hell a lot of angry words mostly displaying the politics and economic stuff of the wobblies.  He’s a walk to the past.  And, he’s not a Democrat!

James Carville

We have candidates on the debate stage talking about open borders and decriminalizing illegal immigration. They’re talking about doing away with nuclear energy and fracking. You’ve got Bernie Sanders talking about letting criminals and terrorists vote from jail cells. It doesn’t matter what you think about any of that, or if there are good arguments — talking about that is not how you win a national election. It’s not how you become a majoritarian party.

For fuck’s sake, we’ve got Trump at Davos talking about cutting Medicare and no one in the party has the sense to plaster a picture of him up there sucking up to the global elites, talking about cutting taxes for them while he’s talking about cutting Medicare back home. Jesus, this is so obvious and so easy and I don’t see any of the candidates taking advantage of it.

The Republicans have destroyed their party and turned it into a personality cult, but if anyone thinks they can’t win, they’re out of their damn minds.

Sean Illing

I wouldn’t endorse everything every Democrat is doing or saying, but are they really destroying the party? What does that even mean?

James Carville

Look, Bernie Sanders isn’t a Democrat. He’s never been a Democrat. He’s an ideologue. And I’ve been clear about this: If Bernie is the nominee, I’ll vote for him. No question. I’ll take an ideological fanatic over a career criminal any day. But he’s not a Democrat.

Sean Illing

You know people are going to read this and say, “Carville backed Clinton in 2016. So did the Democratic establishment. They blew it in 2016. Why should I care what any of them think now?”

James Carville

I don’t give a shit. People will say anything. And first of all, Clinton won the popular vote by almost three million. And secondly, the Russians put Jill Stein in front of Clinton’s campaign to depress votes. And thirdly, the New York Times a week before an election, assured its readers that the Russians were not even trying to help Trump. And then they wrote 15,000 stories about Hillary’s emails.

Sean Illing

A lot of threads there. First, a lot of people don’t trust the Democratic Party, don’t believe in the party, for reasons you’ve already mentioned, and so they just don’t care about that. They want change. And I guess the other thing I’d say is, 2016 scrambled our understanding of what’s possible in American politics.

Are we really sure Sanders can’t win?

James Carville

Who the hell knows? But here’s what I do know: Sanders might get 280 electoral votes and win the presidency and maybe we keep the House. But there’s no chance in hell we’ll ever win the Senate with Sanders at the top of the party defining it for the public. Eighteen percent of the country elects more than half of our senators. That’s the deal, fair or not.

So long as McConnell runs the Senate, it’s game over. There’s no chance we’ll change the courts and nothing will happen, and he’ll just be sitting up there screaming in the microphone about the revolution.

The purpose of a political party is to acquire power. Alright? Without power, nothing matters.

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I’ve been saying the same damn things but not so colorfully.  So, why is the media chasing Buttigieg and Bernie while writing off Amy and Elizabeth and kind’ve ignoring the disappearing act that is Biden?  This is a disgusting bit from Boston CBS.

Hoosier daddy now? In the latest exclusive WBZ/Boston Globe/Suffolk University poll, Pete Buttigieg continues his remarkable post-Iowa surge.

Bernie Sanders is holding steady at 24 percent, but Buttigieg is up four points over last night with 23 percent, a virtual tie in a survey with a margin of error of 4.4 percent.

Elizabeth Warren takes over third place with 13 percent, and Joe Biden slips to fourth with 11 percent.

Mayor Pete’s gains don’t seem to be coming at the expense of Sanders, whose numbers haven’t changed much all week. Instead, Buttigieg seems to be attracting registered Democrats. And his biggest gains appear to be raided from key backers of Warren and Biden.

Among women, Warren is down four points from Wednesday night and Buttigieg is up six.

And among voters over 65, a core source of Biden backers, Buttigieg has doubled his support overnight, a 16 point jump.

There are like two articles I found that somewhat ask some questions. But do they really go far enough?  From WAPO:  “His campaign on the line, Joe Biden goes missing in New Hampshire”.  Iowa always stamps return to sender on Biden’s forehead.  This is the third year.  Can elderly black people in South Carolina revive him?

Biden spent Thursday gathered with his top advisers at his home in Wilmington, Del., seeking a reset and perhaps a last-ditch effort to save his candidacy, beginning with a debate Friday night. He held no public events.

Following dismal results in the Iowa caucuses that have rattled many in his orbit, his campaign is now simultaneously trying to lower expectations here — with some suggesting they would consider a finish as low as third place a victory — while also bracing for a second straight difficult Election Day.

In one troublesome sign for the financially strapped campaign, it canceled nearly $150,000 in television ads in South Carolina, which votes Feb. 29, and moved the spending to Nevada, whose Feb. 22 contest follows New Hampshire’s. The move seemed to acknowledge that Biden’s campaign cannot sustain a continued run of bad news.
“From a Biden perspective, there’s going to be a course correction in all three states before Super Tuesday,” said Dick Harpootlian, a South Carolina state senator who is in regular contact with Biden’s campaign. “He’s got to have sharper elbows.”

He suggested that those inside the campaign realized the gravity of the moment and that Biden had to better “explain the difference with his opponents.”

“History may write that the best thing that ever happened to Joe Biden was getting gut-punched in Iowa,” he added. “It woke him up, it woke his campaign up and his supporters up. They were complacent. . . . You’ve got to talk about the other guy.”

But, at least on Thursday, it was the other guy talking about Biden.

Pete Buttigieg, the former mayor of South Bend, Ind., who along with Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) finished at the top in Iowa, continued his media blitz, appearing on shows from ABC’s “The View” to the gossip site TMZ, where he argued that he — not Biden — was the most electable Democratic candidate.

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I did hear Biden go after both of them yesterday the few times I turned the TV on to see if the hapless Democratic Party of Iowa had finished trying to unclusterfuck the caucus clusterfuck that has now given BernieBros the chance to attack the rest of the world because every one they see as establishment is against them.  Don’t try mentioning that all this changes were made to appease the Berntrocity of 2016.  We’re undoubtedly going to get a lot of whining right up to November.  From the Hill’s Jonathan Easley: “Iowa debacle deepens division between Sanders, national party”

 The vote-counting debacle around the Iowa caucuses has furthered distrust and hardened anger between Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and the national Democratic Party.

There is deep frustration among Sanders’s supporters and allies over the historic meltdown of the first-in-the-nation caucuses.

The early reported results found former South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete Buttigieg with a small lead over Sanders — a dynamic that has been reflected in the news media for several days.

The race is too close to call, but the late results trickling in appeared to be breaking in Sanders’s direction and there’s still a chance he could win both the popular vote and a plurality of delegates.

Sanders’s allies believe he was deprived of valuable momentum he should have had coming out of Iowa.

And progressives are livid, viewing the fiasco as endemic of a party that’s been run by establishment figures whose unchecked power has bred incompetence and laziness.

Adding to the frustration is the fact that a handful of former Hillary Clinton aides are involved with the company that developed the failed app being blamed for the reporting irregularities that led to the slow and confusing release of results.

 

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At some point, they need to stop dragging Hillary and any one that worked for her around.  Joan Walsh discusses “The Erasure of Elizabeth Warren Continues” at The Nation. I’m still waiting for the moment every one realizes that she’s just about the 5th candidate in line for that right after Kamala, Corey, Julio, Amy, and Kristen.  Lost in the media narrative is that she beat Biden and Amy was right there on his tail.

Coming out of the disastrous Iowa caucuses this week, media coverage of the Democratic presidential race turned back the clock almost a year: Suddenly everyone was again focused on “the B-Boys,” as Washington Post columnist Margaret Sullivan lamented last March: Bernie Sanders, Pete Buttigieg and Joe Biden, with a fourth killer B, Mike Bloomberg, replacing the departed Beto O’Rourke. Since Monday night, there’s been breathless coverage of the race between Sanders and Buttigieg to see who, finally, comes out on top in Iowa, plus endless hand-wringing over Biden’s disastrous fourth-place showing, and whether that opens the door to the billionaire Bloomberg’s buying the nomination.

Iowa conventional wisdom says there are only “three tickets out” of the caucuses, and yet coverage has curiously overlooked the woman who got one of them: Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren. From the moment cable networks switched from her caucus night rally speech to Biden’s, Warren has been virtually erased. As the fight for first place continued into Thursday, I have watched cable news panels mention Warren only in passing, if at all (MSNBC’s Lawrence O’Donnell had been one exception, featuring an interview with Warren Wednesday night, and then on Thursday night she was hosted by Chris Hayes).

This despite the fact that Warren clearly beat the Democratic front-runner, Biden, and outperformed her numbers in the final Des Moines Register poll (spiked because of one complaint—one—from a Buttigieg supporter who said she wasn’t asked about him by a pollster), which had Warren in second at 18 percent; with 97 percent of the results in, she finished at 20 percent, in third, with Sanders and Buttigieg effectively tied (though Sanders on Thursday declared victory, and he may ultimately be right). Despite being derided as a New England progressive who might not connect with heavily rural and suburban Iowa, she beat two rivals who were said to have the inside track with those voters—Biden and Minnesota Senator Amy Klobuchar, who came in at a disappointing fifth place.

“From the beginning, all of the women in the race—Kamala Harris, Kirsten Gillibrand, Klobuchar, Warren—have known they were facing erasure,” says former Iowa Democratic Party chair Sue Dvorsky, who switched her support from Harris to Warren after Harris left the race in December. “Elizabeth has known she has to just stay in there and keep fighting and just not quit.”

But since getting one of the “three tickets out” hasn’t earned her much of a bump, Warren will have a harder road ahead in New Hampshire, Nevada, South Carolina, and the Super Tuesday states.

Finishing a distant fifth, Klobuchar did herself a big favor by jumping out on Monday night and claiming some sort of victory, in a speech networks took live and in full, in an absence of other clear news at that point. Biden, Warren and Sanders got less time; Buttigieg, who appeared last and claimed a victory he hadn’t been granted, actually got more.

So, I must decide between the debate and the Krewe du Boheme.

I expect there will be fireworks at both so decisions!  decision! decisions!

Here are a few other things I recommend you read:

Yes!  It’s old!  But it’s a lesson in what we should not repeat!

 

Jonathan Capehart from WAPO: Trump’s State of the Union speech was a white supremacist vision of America

Washington Post:  Secret Service has paid rates as high as $650 a night for rooms at Trump’s properties

Kaitlan Collins / CNN: Key impeachment witness Alexander Vindman expects to leave White House post in coming weeks, source says

 

 

So what’s on your reading and blogging list today?