So there I was, fiddling around with some things, working the social media, when it occurred to me that it had been a minute since I had drilled down a bit on the Twitter to make sure everything was as kosher as possible.
Excellent. Just as I had hoped. The last time I checked, which was around 25,000 followers, I was also at 0%, and that was after cleaning out a lot of chum, inactive followers, and egg people. While I was at it, I decided to check up on my inexplicable presidential social media rival, former Rhode Island governor Lincoln Chafee, who was about 12,000 back during the last check. 22,400+ followers. Hmmm, Chafee seemed to be gathering steam on social media, which was weird since he sure as hell isn't gathering steam anywhere else in his campaign.
That explains it. 4,400 or so fake followers. That's a little disappointing. I mean, President Obama only has a 7% fake score, so what the hell, Lincoln? I know things look bleak as fuck, especially since the debate, but dock the $10 those followers cost out of whichever intern's pay that though it was a good idea. If you have any interns, that is.
Then again, Chafee might as well go after the #FakeTwitter vote, 'cause he sure as hell isn't having much luck with the real life voting populace.
Yeah, so the first Democratic debate came and went last night, with nothing resembling fireworks or gotcha moments gumming up the news cycle. The morning after, however, held plenty of news proclaiming presumed Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton the winner, a victory in loose senses of the term.
While Sen. Bernie Sanders showed he was ready for everything but guns and foreign policy, the other three: Jim Webb, Martin O'Malley, and nowhere man Lincoln Chafee struggled for airtime, or anything substantive to say when given that airtime. The most damning moment for the three also-rans was when CNN even referred to them in a on-screen graphic as "the other three."
This is where I find myself in a crossroads when it comes to the subject of whether or not there should be more than six Democratic debates. On the one hand, I can agree with Rep. Tulsi Gabbard's take on the lack of discourse being presented, but on the other, they want more of this? Even Don King fights back in the day were less transparent than this. The DNC wants Hillary to win, therefore she got the most talking time. The closest challenger, in terms of popularity and fundraising, was given the next closest amount of time. Then Webb, O'Malley, and Chafee, the veritable who's who of who's that again?, were given the scraps to fight over for the audience's amusement.
What I, personally, would love to see, would be former Minnesota Governor Jesse Ventura wind up gaining the Libertarian Party nomination and somehow make it onto a debate stage with Hillary and whomever the Republicans can keep the vomit down for the most. Outside of the challenge getting beyond the threshhold that bars most candidates, something I doubt Gov. Ventura would have much of a problem with, I would like to see the political establishment truly put on notice by a unconventional candidate that actually knows what the hell they are talking about.
Since I won't be anywhere near a mainstream debate stage in this presidential election, guess I am going to have to remain hopeful "The Body" will step in to take care of my light work...
With reports breaking earlier in the day that Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI) had been dis-invited from attending the first Democratic presidential debate, one has to wonder if the DNC is not so much interested in keeping the White House or regaining one of the houses of Congress as they are playing keep-up when it comes to inaction, dysfunction, or flat-out stupidity.
Apparently, Rep. Gabbard drew the ire of Rep. Debbie Wasserman-Schultz (D-FL) and the rest of the DNC power structure when she made some comments on MSNBC,regarding the reluctance of the Dems to schedule more debates than the six currently planned, which is becoming an area of contention as of late for the left.
The comments were enough to warrant a phone call from Wasserman-Schultz, the DNC chair, which elicited rumors of being dis-invited or simply being asked to tone it down and avoid creating another divisive issue for the Democrats, depending on who was asked. The bottom line of whether Gabbard was still going to attend (Democratic Presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders has a ticket for her if all else fails).
Speaking to the New York Times, Gabbard went on to say “It’s very dangerous when we have people in positions of leadership who use their power to try to quiet those who disagree with them. “When I signed up to be vice chair of the D.N.C., no one told me I would be relinquishing my freedom of speech and checking it at the door.”
What a mess. With the implosion currently underway in the Republican Party, all the Democrats had to do was sit back, be quiet, and try to complete their goal of ramming the inferior Clinton down our throats (still better than the last time a Clinton was rammed down someone's throat), but no, that wasn't even enough. A perfect opportunity to put on the appearance of being a party cohesive enough to not have much of a trainwreck approaching the debate podiums (by way of comparison), and maybe even be capable of doing some of that governance we occasionally hear about, and Rep. Wasserman-Schultz and the DNC power structure crap on it.
There is a very simple reason the DNC only wants six debates- the less they have to challenge Hillary with anything other than the chance to respond to the opposition, the better. For a candidate to have already had such a ponderous campaign, even with the vast majority of legacy media in the bag for her, the fact the general public perception of her is she's as crooked as a duck's dick should be stressing the DNC out more than the idea of an incredibly weak candidate pool in six nowhere debates. The idea they would schedule the debate during the Major League Baseball playoffs speaks volumes to a party hoping to fly this one under major scrutiny until they see how their chosen one handles answering questions she might not want to answer. Don't get me wrong, it would be great to see her walk away from the podium with her arms out about a third of the way in. Sad part is, even if that happened, Lincoln Chafee would still finish last somehow.
Earlier today, California Governor Jerry Brown signed a bill that would make his state the second in the country (along with Oregon) to automatically register people getting driver's licenses as voters.
While citizens can opt-out of the voter registration system, the move to automatic enrollment comes after record low voter participation in last year's elections. California Secretary of State Alex Padilla went on record after the signing as saying the right to vote is "fundamental," and that as with other rights such as free speech, the people should not have to opt-in as with the right to vote.
There has been much debate over voting rights in recent months, and I am all for measures such as this, because it not only makes voting easier (are you listening, Alabama?), but it also ties voting to having a photo ID, another issue that can create quite a bit of contention. I'm not as sure I would completely agree with Padilla's take on fundamental rights, especially given the government's ability and willingness to take away those fundamental rights (such as voting) when the circumstances dictate. I guess we should just take the small victories and hope they keep adding up.
But in a state that also issues driver's licenses to illegal immigrants, how will this affect the automatic enrollment plan? I'm not trying to cast shadows of suspicion on this voting measure, but is there going to be a mechanism in place to prevent illegal immigrants from being registered as voters? Growing up in Illinois, I am already used to dead people voting, but I know it's a whole different set of messes in California.
Then again, while it's nice to have a more significant portion of your population registered to vote, how do you then address the other problems inherent with the voting process, such as independent and third-party candidate access, and even getting people to the ballot boxes in the first place? If the people that are already registered aren't rushing polling places on Election Day, how is making sure there are more people registered going to improve those numbers?
Is the question now not who's minding the store, but rather what difference does it make since the store hasn't been selling much of anything in the past seven or eight years?
The establishment GOP and the conservative GOP are now gloves off at center ice over the next Speaker of the House, as presumptive favorite Rep. Kevin McCarthy, the House Majority Leader, suddenly withdrew his bid to replace outgoing Speaker John Boehner this afternoon. With no clear winner in sight, the Speaker election has been postponed, Boehner said he's sticking around until his replacement can actually be found, and at last report was begging Paul Ryan over the phone to take a shot, even though Ryan had already said his gracious 'oh hell, no!' earlier in the day, rather to the point stating "I will not be a candidate."
What a clusterfuck. After all the hype Boehner and Sen. Mitch McConnell have been building on the Republican brand, now the Speaker's position is up for grabs and no one's quite sure who has the long enough arm. The House Republicans have got some heavy lifting in the upcoming weeks with the impending debt crisis next month, and not only being, but looking rudderless, was not the brand image they had hoped for.
It comes down to McCarthy no longer being confident in his ability to convince either side of the aisle he was not going to be an extension of John Boehner. This is why the Freedom Caucus threw their support behind Rep. Daniel Webster (FL). They haven't been convinced for a while, and their efforts eventually drove Boehner to announce his resignation. This leaves House Oversight chair Rep. Jason Chaffetz (UT) and Webster as the two guys who want the job at present.
And what a job awaits the victor, if that's what one would call the new Speaker. An impending budget crisis, with the typical shutdown play right up front in the playbook, and a party teetering on the brink of internal war, who wouldn't want to be the guy facing the sea steering the damn boat?
With the presidential primaries on the horizon, how is the GOP supposing to gain voters when they can not, at present, show them they even are a cohesive political party? It is the breakdowns such as this that make the inexperienced candidates the front-runners in their own primary race. This is the set-up for a Trump nomination, which would be the stake in the heart of the Republican Party as we know it. Not that I'm saying a stake in the heart for the GOP is a bad thing, I'm just not convinced a Trump candidacy is the appropriate cost.
The fact I've heard even one Republican congressman talk about "broken government" at any level is amusing, given the fact his party, the party that controls Congress, is broken as hell right now, here in real time. The idea the system is still broken, even when both major parties are supposedly in harmony, is irritating. The fact this will mean only a negligible bump in third party or independent voting is even more irritating. The challenge is not getting used to it.
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