Monthly Archives: May 2019

Joe Biden, who is Billary 2.0, already falls back to earth in the polls

Joe Biden, pictured above dozing in public during one of Barack Obama’s speeches in 2011, apparently believes that, like the hare in the tale of the tortoise and the hare — and like Billary Clinton — he safely can nap and win the race anyway.

The Democratic Party hacks won’t talk about this, but Joe Biden’s poll numbers have dropped. He got a post-official-announcement bounce that put him in the 40s in some polls, but already he has come back down to earth.

Three nationwide polls to which fivethirtyeight.com gives a grade of “A” were taken from May 11 through May 20.

A Fox News poll* taken from May 11 through May 14 put Biden at 35 percent and Bernie Sanders at No. 2 at 17 percent. Elizabeth Warren came in at No. 3, with 9 percent, and Pete Buttigieg came in at No. 4, with 6 percent.

A Quinnipiac University poll taken from May 16 through May 20 put Biden at 35 percent and Bernie Sanders at 16 percent, with Warren coming in at No. 3 with 13 percent, five percentage points ahead of Kamala Harris at No. 4.

A Monmouth University poll also taken from May 16 through May 20 put Biden at 33 percent, Bernie at 15 percent, Harris at 11 percent and Warren at 10 percent.

This trio of recent grade-“A” polls (according to fivethirtyeight.com) gives Biden an average of 34 percent and Bernie an average of 16 percent.

The million-dollar question, it seems to me, is which of these top-two candidates, Bernie or Biden, is going to inherit more of the supporters of those many candidates who inevitably will drop out over the coming several months.

Joe Biden has been around for decades — he first ran for the Democratic Party’s 1998 nomination for president, spectacularly unsuccessfully, in the midst of a plagiarism scandal — and it seems to me that if he were so fucking beloved, he’d be doing better than capturing the support of only about a third of Democratic Party voters and Dem-leaning voters.

Has the well-known Biden maxed out his support? If so, even though Bernie right now is trailing him at a rather distant No. 2 in the polls, then Bernie does indeed have a chance — especially if he picks up the lion’s share of the supporters of those candidates who inevitably drop out.

A sign of Biden’s weakness, it seems to me, is the fact that he’s keeping a low profile. The Washington Post reports:

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) plans to enjoy ice cream with New Hampshire voters to celebrate Memorial Day. He won’t be far from former Maryland congressman John Delaney, another presidential candidate, who’s in the midst of his 19th trip to the state and plans an itinerary that includes four barbecues, one parade and a wreath-laying.

In Iowa, Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.) is rolling through the cornfields in an RV, while Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) unveils a “Family Bill of Rights” and tours an ethanol plant.

And here’s former vice president Joe Biden’s agenda for the holiday weekend, according to his campaign: “Joe Biden has no public events scheduled.”

Those seven words are becoming familiar for the Biden team. Aside from a campaign swing right after announcing his candidacy, Biden has kept his head down while his rivals rush from state to state to state. Even when he has held public events, they have included only a handful of questions from voters or reporters.

The light public schedule reflects the unique position of his campaign, advisers say: With near universal name recognition and high favorability ratings among Democrats, the former vice president does not need to introduce himself to voters like nearly every other candidate. And as the leader in early polls, he can attract media attention without splashy events. …

Wow. Recall that in 2016, party hack Billary Clinton believed that she was so beloved that she didn’t need to show up in the Rust Belt states. Recall that the 2016 presidential election results showed that although Billary won the popular vote by almost 3 million votes, Pussygrabber won the Electoral College by having won only three Rust Belt states (Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin) by only a combined around 80,000 votes.

So why the fuck isn’t Biden campaigning as though campaigning matters?

I can think of only three possibilities:

One, as I just indicated, Biden believes, like the cocky Billary did in 2008 (when she lost the Dem Party presidential nomination to Barack Obama), and in 2016, when she lost the White House to Pussygrabber, that he’s a shoo-in, and therefore he doesn’t have to exert himself. He’s like the hare in the tale of the tortoise and the hare.

Two, perhaps most probably, Biden’s handlers realize that his propensity to put his foot in his mouth easily could sink his third try for the Dem Party presidential nomination. Therefore, the apparent limit on the number of questions that he’ll take when he can be bothered to appear in public, according to The Washington Post.

Third — and it could be some combination of these three — Biden is low-energy, as Pussygrabber might put it, and he prefers to keep a light schedule because, unlike Bernie Sanders, he is unable to keep up with a rigorous campaign schedule.

None of these possibilities bode well for Team Biden, and, as I’ve indicated before, it’s my belief that if Joe Biden manages to win the 2020 Democratic Party presidential nomination, November 2020 will be a fucking repeat of November 2016, and Pussygrabber will get another four years.

The Democratic Party hacks never fucking learn. Instead, they blame their wholly predictable failures on others, such as those of us who are true Democrats (that is, true progressives and not centrist corporate whores), and this sick dynamic easily could keep the Repugnicans in power for some time to come.

*I usually refer to Fox News as Faux “News,” and while the media outlet indeed is evil, fivethirtyeight.com rates its polling outfit highly.

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I will miss the perfectly imperfect epic series ‘Game of Thrones’


A still from HBO’s final episode of “Game of Thrones.”

This had to happen, and while the final season of “Game of Thrones” did unfurl too quickly, methinks that critics of the final season are more upset over the fact that the series is over than over anything else.

I believe that I have yet to post a word about the now-concluded long-running HBO series “Game of Thrones,” but I’ve been watching it for years now. I was a holdout for the first four seasons, but then, because of all of the buzz, I caught those seasons on DVD, and then started watching each subsequent season as it aired (via HBO streaming).

I’m not sure why so many fans say they hate season eight.

Yes, the eighth and final season does have a pacing problem. That is, the first several seasons unfold gradually and leisurely, perhaps even too slowly for some, but they solidly establish the characters and fairly carefully chronicle the events.

Things start to pick up the pace in season seven, and then season eight, it’s true, could give you whiplash. Season eight is a bit of (OK, maybe a lot of) Wham, bam, thank you, ma’am!

I would love more of it to have been fleshed out, such as Dany’s (Daenerys Targaryen’s) turn to the dark side. There were signs of that possibility pretty much all along, but in season eight, she careens toward the dark side to the point that almost overnight she essentially resembles a medieval she-Hitler.

And, of course, there are logical inconsistencies in season eight. The second felled dragon is shot down by Team Lannister with ease, not with one ginormous arrow, or two, but (if memory serves) with three, yet the third and last surviving dragon, Dany’s favorite, Drogon, apparently can’t be shot down when Dany makes her assault on King’s Landing, and this isn’t explained.

And when Drogon climactically melts the Iron Throne in a fit of sorrow and rage in the final episode, it’s as though Drogon knows that it was her quest for this throne that ultimately killed his “mother” Dany. Have we really anthropomorphized a giant reptile? (True, once we accept the existence of fire-breathing dragons, then we can’t be too picky with logic, but still…)

On another note, I don’t know that illegitimate Queen Cersei Lannister’s death (in episode seven of season eight) is satisfying enough — it seems undeservedly quick for her, given all of the pain and suffering that she has caused others — but the fate of the other characters by the end of season eight seem more or less logical and fair.

I’m fine with Dany’s death. The way that she was going, she had to be eliminated, and she was so deluded that it’s not too inconsistent with her character that she apparently didn’t think that Jon Snow might skewer her. (On that note, it’s interesting that even raging fire couldn’t harm Dany, but a rather simple dagger could…)

Yes, Jon got screwed out of his monarchical birthright (and exiled [although exile seems to suit him]), but because the whole concept of monarchical birthright is eliminated by the (surviving…) heads of the houses of Westeros by the end of the final episode of the show, that takes at least some of the sting out of Snow’s screwing. (And we can acknowledge that “the wheel” finally has been “broken,” albeit not at all in the way that Dany had envisioned it would be.)

It had occurred to me that Bran Stark (the too-repeated moniker “Bran the Broken” makes me cringe; have the disability-rights folks said anything about this?) might end up as the king, and I’m fine with that choice, perhaps especially because that choice was made, more or less, democratically. (That is, it was made by the heads of the houses, not by the common people, which Sam Tarly suggests should be the case but then is promptly ridiculed by his aristocratic peers, even our heroine Sansa Stark.)

I only wish that Bran had been more developed before he was named king. He was fairly developed for several seasons (as much as you can develop a mystic with magical powers, anyway), but then he just faded into the background, and in season eight he returns, but he’s pretty much all cipher, which can wear on the nerves.

The problems with seasons seven and eight — mostly, their fast, let’s-get-this-over-with-and-wrapped-up-already pace — apparently stem from the fact that the showrunners probably should have waited until “Game of Thrones” creator George R. R. Martin had finished all of his books before they began the television series at all.

I mean, Martin doesn’t appear to me to be the picture of great health; all along there has been no guarantee that he’d even live to finish writing and releasing the full series of books, so, it seems to me, starting the television series before the book series was finished was quite risky.

But for all of its flaws, big and nitpicky, what a ride “Game of Thrones” has been! I don’t think that there has been anything on television before it, and I don’t think that we’re likely to see its equal anytime soon. (And spin-offs usually don’t equal their original material, do they?)

“Thrones” not only was a television show, but it became intertwined with American culture. (In my personal vernacular I even use “Game of Thrones” as a verb, meaning to work behind the scenes to try to influence an outcome, usually when you can’t operate in the open, for political reasons.)

An example of how “Thrones” intertwined with American culture is how the objectification and sexual mistreatment of women in the first few seasons was roundly criticized, and in later seasons was curtailed. (Coincidence? I think not; over the years there definitely was a synergy between the show’s creators and the show’s audience.)

For another example, you know that had Jon Snow been made king after Dany had been offed (by Jon!), feminists would have screamed to high heaven. I mean, that would have been too soon after Billary Clinton didn’t become president, no? Why can’t a woman ever run the show? (And if she does run the show, why does she have to be evil, like Cersei, who got to where she did by lying and cheating [including murdering her rivals]?)

On that note (feminism), it seemed to me that both Brienne of Tarth and Arya Stark were displaying some lesbian* (or at least asexual) tendencies, so it disappointed me a bit that both of them ended up with heterosexual love interests, if even only briefly. Must everyone be heterosexual? (There are at least two other bona fide lesbians in the series, though, Yara Greyjoy and Ellaria Sand [OK, the later is bisexual, but still…].**)

It also seems to me that feminists might have been up in arms also had Sansa not been made queen of the North, newly made an independent kingdom, as it had been in the past. I was OK with that choice, but, sociopolitically (in real life), after Dany’s death, didn’t Sansa kind of have to get something? Feminists would have been outraged had she not.

And it was fitting, of course, for Arya to go off exploring at the end. Perhaps there will be a spin-off about her adventures. (In the final episode of the show, if memory serves, Tyrion Lannister pontificates that Bran’s journey is the most interesting of everyone’s, but Arya’s, I think, probably is the most interesting of them all.)

Finally, my favorite character of “Thrones,” I think, was Tyrion. Not only did actor Peter Dinklage do a great job with the character, a basically good guy from a really rotten family, but the character was well developed, even though the character was neglected in much of season eight (until toward the end of the season). And Tyrion has no magical powers or magical beasts at his disposal; indeed, he has had to overcome having been born an “imp” (again, activists, why haven’t I heard you on this?).

After Tyrion, I think, my favorites were sorceress Melisandre and “Master of Whisperers” Varys, who, like Tyrion, are string-pullers. All three of them make mistakes, but overall I find their behind-the-scenes intrigue to be more interesting than the in-your-face heroism and big acts of the likes of Jon Snow and Dany. (Again, though, Arya is interesting, too; she has some in-your-face heroism [she kills the Night King, after all!] and plenty of behind-the-scenes intrigue. [Ask Walder Frey.])

If Bran had been fleshed out a lot more, as I had hoped that he would be, I’d have liked him more, but his statement in the final episode indicating that he had known all along that he would be made king made him seem kind of like a dick. (It does, however, perhaps explain why the Night King specifically was after Bran.)

Alas, “Game of Thrones,” with all of its hits and misses, is over. Yes, as I hinted, there are to be spin-offs. No, season eight does not need to be re-done. I mean, yes, it could have been done better, but it won’t be re-done, so one’s energy is better spent elsewhere (perhaps as by trying to lose one’s virginity and/or moving out of Mom’s basement [Kidding! (Not really…)]).

“Thrones,” like its characters, is imperfect, but like so many of its characters, is unforgettable. It has been a grand achievement of art and culture, the likes of which we aren’t likely to see again for a long time.

While I was glad to have the fates of the ever-dwindling cast of characters*** finally determined, at the same time I’m sad to see the series end — as are, no doubt, even its most vocal critics.

*The Advocate had pegged Brienne and Arya as lesbians, too, so shut up.

**As a gay man I wasn’t thrilled that “Thrones'” two biggest gay male characters, Renly Baratheon and Loras Tyrell, are killed off, but in the end, it’s a television series… And sometimes when a member of a historically oppressed group is portrayed as being victimized, it draws attention to the fact that that group needs to stop being victimized in the real world.

***Shout-out to actor Jack Gleeson, whose Caligula-like villain Joffrey Baratheon (actually 100 percent a Lannister, of course) probably was the show’s most delightfully despicable.

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Keep up your irrational exuberance, Bidenbots!

PHOTO: Democratic presidential candidate and former vice president Joe Biden speaks to guests during a campaign event at The River Center, May 1, 2019, in Des Moines, Iowa.
Getty Images photo

Nothing says “I give up even trying to figure all of this out!” quite like supporting Joe Biden for president for 2020.

Shitty polls can make for great headlines.

For example, The Hill recently ran this headline: “Biden Takes 32-point Lead Over Sanders in New 2020 Poll.” Dramatic!

The “news” story begins:

Former Vice President Joe Biden has a 32-point lead in the Democratic presidential race in a Hill-HarrisX poll released Monday. [The poll was conducted May 3 and May 4.]

Biden won 46 percent in the poll compared to 14 percent for Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), who came in a distant second place.

South Bend, Ind. mayor Pete Buttigieg was in third place with 8 percent, followed by Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) with 7 percent. …

What doesn’t this “news” story tell you? It doesn’t tell you that this poll is an outlier — that no other recent reputable nationwide poll of Democrats and Dem leaners gives Biden more than 40 percent. It doesn’t tell you that fivethirtyeight.com rates the polling outfit (HarrisX) with an unimpressive C+.

And I’ll keep saying it: Give me a huge sample size and a small margin of error!

This HarrisX poll that is a clear outlier from the other polls has a sample size of only 440 people and thus has what to me is a useless margin of error — plus or minus 5 percent. (I can work with around 3 percent, but 5 percent is too much.)

Luckily, there is one polling outfit that gives a shit about a huge sample size and a small margin of error: Morning Consult, which fivethirtyeight.com gives a B- (I’m not sure why it’s not higher than that).

Morning Consult’s latest poll, taken April 29 through May 5, with a sample size approaching 16,000 and thus a margin of error of only plus or minus 1 percent, gives Biden 40 percent and Bernie 19 percent, a difference of 21 percentage points, not 32. (In that poll, Elizabeth Warren comes in at a distant third place, with 8 percent, and Kamala Harris is just behind Warren, with 7 percent.)

Biden had hit 35 percent in previous Morning Consult polls taken this year, so 40 percent isn’t what I’d call phenomenal. It’s a boost of only 5 percentage points from where he had been polling recently. It is, as far as I can discern, a normal boost in the polls to receive after you’ve officially announced your candidacy (especially if you were vice president in the past).

Morning Consult at several points had Bernie polling in the low 20s (or even lower) this year, so 19 percent doesn’t mean that all of his support has evaporated overnight. It hasn’t; he’s still in solid second place in the polling, and his (non-Biden) competitors would love be able to hit even 9 percent.

The question is: How long will the Biden bounce last?

Not long, I believe.

Biden offers nothing new. The two biggest policy wonks thus far, in my book, are Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders, who churn out policy ideas like amazon.com churns out packages, but what, exactly, is Biden’s pitch? It’s something along the lines of, “I was Barack Obama’s vice president — and I promise not to manhandle women anymore!”

Ooooo — exciting! Not!

There are reasons why Biden failed to win the Democratic Party presidential nomination when he went for it in 1988 and 20 years later in 2008; the voters actually aren’t all that into him.

Now that he’s older but not wiser, and offers not a vision for the future but only wishes us to believe that we must seek to go back to the past (this is much the fuzzy, magical thinking that was “hope” and “change”), I see Biden imploding again — especially once we get to the debates (which begin late next month) — as he has imploded in the past.

The fact of the matter is that the establishment, including our corporately owned and controlled “news” media, much prefer that Joe Biden rather than Bernie Sanders be our next president because they know fully well that Biden (like Obama before him) would be the keep-the-status-quo president.

Who knows what success a President Sanders might actually have in making things less cushy for the corporations and better for the people?

Therefore, I fully expect the corporately owned and controlled news media to continue to push the narrative that Biden already has won and Bernie already has lost even before the first voter has been able to cast a vote. (That would be in the Iowa caucuses on February 3, 2020.)

But if the Bidenbots believe that Biden already has this thing in the bag, then that’s probably good for Bernie.

Billary and the Billarybots smugly thought that they had in the bag in 2008 — and that worked out pretty well for Barack Obama.

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