Patterico's Pontifications


Tulsi Gabbard Sues Hillary Clinton For Defamation (Update Added)

Filed under: General — Dana @ 10:29 am

[guest post by Dana and JVW]

Note from JVW – Dana began drafting this post yesterday but then transferred it over to the Little Aloha Sweetie desk at Patterico’s Pontifications for me to complete.

But of course:

Democratic presidential candidate Rep. Tulsi Gabbard sued former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on Wednesday for allegedly defaming her by suggesting the Hawaii congresswoman is a “Russian asset.”

“Clinton’s false assertions were made in a deliberate attempt to derail Tulsi’s campaign,” says the lawsuit, filed in U.S. District Court in Manhattan.

The suit claims that Gabbard has suffered “actual damages” of ”$50 million — and counting” from Clinton’s comments.

During the interview to which Gabbard’s suit refers, Clinton’s spokesman Nick Merrill confirmed that Clinton was specifically referring to Tulsi Gabbard:

Hillary Clinton says she believes that the Republicans have “got their eye on somebody who’s currently in the Democratic primary and are grooming her to be the third-party candidate.”

In a recent interview, Clinton didn’t mention Democratic presidential candidate Rep. Tulsi Gabbard of Hawaii by name, but said she believes one candidate is “the favorite of the Russians.” Asked if the former secretary of state was referring to Gabbard, Clinton spokesman Nick Merrill said, “If the nesting doll fits…” He later tweeted that Clinton was referring to the GOP grooming Gabbard, not Russians.

Public figures don’t enjoy the same degree of legal protection against libel and slander that us ordinary private figures do. This creates a pretty high hurdle for a Congresswoman and Presidential candidate who wants to perhaps settle a political score with an opponent. And indeed, Rep. Gabbard’s lawsuit sounds more like an earnest op-ed piece than a legitimate tort action [bold emphasis added]:

Plaintiffs Tulsi Gabbard and Tulsi Now, Inc (collectively, “Tulsi”) bring this lawsuit against Defendant Hillary Rodham Clinton (“Clinton”) for defamation. Tulsi Gabbard is running for President of the United States, a position Clinton has long coveted, but has not been able to attain. In October 2019—whether out of personal animus, political enmity, or fear of real change within a political party Clinton and her allies have long dominated —Clinton lied about her perceived rival Tulsi Gabbard. She did so publicly, unambiguously, and with obvious malicious intent. Tulsi has been harmed by Clinton’s lies—and American democracy has suffered as well. With this action, Tulsi seeks to hold Clinton, and the political elites who enable her, accountable for distorting the truth in the middle of a critical Presidential election.

In the Nature of the Case section of the suit, the Gabbard team cites her endorsement of Bernard Sanders four years ago as creating enmity between herself and the First Lady-turned-Senator-turned-Secretary, then accurately characterizes Mrs. Clinton as “a cutthroat politician by any account” (no, no, get it straight: Jeffery Epstein was hanged in his cell). They argue that Mrs. Clinton purposefully and maliciously defamed Rep. Gabbard in order to harm the Hawaiian Congresswoman’s reputation during her Presidential run as payback for four years ago when Rep. Gabbard’s resigned from her DNC post in protest of the advantages being given to the Clinton campaign during the primary at the expense of the Sanders campaign. The suit seeks unspecified compensatory damages along with costs and an injunction prohibiting further publication or republication of Mrs. Clinton’s statements.

Again, the lawsuit would seem like something of a long-shot, but Little Aloha Sweetie does have her allies. While conceding that her demand for relief “is not likely to succeed,” NRO’s Jim Geraghty points to a section of the suit which argues that Mrs. Clinton’s words carry an implied credibility far beyond that of the average journalist or blogger. He explains:

But Hillary Clinton isn’t just anybody. She was Secretary of State for four years, had the highest security clearance, and had access to all kinds of extremely secret classified information. (And if the 2016 cycle taught us anything, it’s that Clinton is always careful with classified information!) When Hillary Clinton accuses someone of being a Russian agent, it comes with the implication that this isn’t run-of-the-mill fuming or paranoia but a suspicion or accusation based upon something Clinton saw or learned from the U.S. intelligence community.

It is worth considering whether those in high places such as Mrs. Clinton have an extra-special obligation not to make wild accusations about the rest of us. (And yes, Mr. Geraghty does mention those ex-CIA folks who accuse President Trump of treason.) Hillary Clinton is an awful person, and her petty vindictiveness and disregard for any and all norms of propriety will be a major part of her ugly legacy. I (JVW) think that Rep. Gabbard’s lawsuit against Google is far more meritorious than this lawsuit, though both of them deal with the same idea of a fetid and corrupt Democrat establishment (including friendly business allies) tipping the scales for the candidates they favor and decidedly against those whom they oppose. The message here should be that if you want to play in the Democrat pigsty, you had better expect to get covered in excrement.


Cross-posted at the Jury Talks Back.

– Dana and JVW


Tulsi Gabbard Leaves Campaign Trail For National Guard Training

Filed under: General — Dana @ 9:00 am

[guest post by Dana]

[Ed. I thought JVW might post about his Little Aloha Sweetie but maybe the thoughts of her going to such a far away place makes him too sad to post…]

Tulsi Gabbard announced that she was leaving the campaign trail for two weeks to participate in National Guard training in Indonesia:

“While some people are telling me, ‘Gosh, this is a terrible time to leave the campaign. Can’t you find a way out of it?’ That’s not what this is about,” the Hawaii Democrat said in a news release. “I look forward to joining my fellow soldiers for a joint-training exercise with the Indonesian military, focused on counterterrorism and disaster response.”

“I love our country,” Gabbard said Monday. “I am grateful to be able to serve our country and the American people in many ways, including as a soldier.”

Gabbard has demonstrated her love of country and a willingness to serve wherever, whenever. While politics certainly played a part in her decision-making, I think ultimately she is honoring a commitment that she takes very seriously, in spite of her political campaign. And yet, a huge part of what draws supporters to her is her military service and experience. And she makes no bones that it is what anchors her in the quest for the presidency:

…her military experience has become a central selling point to her campaign. During the second night of July’s debates — wherein Gabbard finished the night as Google’s most-searched candidate — she wielded her credentials as an Iraq War veteran to speak about foreign policy decisions with a personal tone.

“For too long, we had leaders who have been arbitrating foreign policy from ivory towers in Washington without any idea about the cost and the consequence, the toll it takes on our service members, on their families,” Gabbard said. “We have to do the right thing. End the wasteful regime change wars and bring our troops home.

“The leadership I will bring to do the right thing, to bring our troops home within the first year in office, because they shouldn’t have been there this long.”


“It’s impossible to separate the experience that I have serving on the Foreign Affairs Committee, on the Armed Services Committee, as we’re going through these exercises and I think it’s an added value in bringing these two different perspectives together — those of the policymakers in Washington and that of a soldier.”

Gabbard is clearly in an uphill battle on the campaign trail. While she has met the threshold of 130,000 contributions from individual donors, she still hovers at 1% support in the polls, which makes her short of the “two percent in four surveys” polling criteria. She is also rightfully facing scrutiny for her meeting with Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad. Here she is being interviewed by (ironically) Chris Cuomo on CNN, where he demanded she denounce Assad (at the 1:23 mark):

Anyway, Assad aside, Gabbard clearly loves America, and I’m grateful for her willingness to serve our country.




Tulsi Gabbard Campaign Sues Google

Filed under: General — JVW @ 4:28 pm

[guest post by JVW]

Hawaii Congresswoman and Presidential candidate Tulsi Gabbard (be still my heart!) has filed a $50 million lawsuit against Google, alleging that the tech giant has interfered in the election against her interests. Here is the explanation posted on her campaign site:

On June 28th, 2019 in the immediate hours following the first Democratic Presidential debate, millions of Americans were searching online for information about Tulsi Gabbard. In fact, according to multiple news reports, Tulsi was the most searched candidate on Google. Then, without any explanation, Google suspended Tulsi’s Google Ads account.

For hours, Tulsi’s campaign advertising account remained offline while Americans everywhere were searching for information about her. During this time, Google obfuscated and dissembled with a series of inconsistent and incoherent reasons for its actions. In the end, Google never explained to us why Tulsi’s account was suspended.

The Gabbard campaign understandably believes that the lack of Google Ads starting at roughly 9:30 pm on June 27 and lasting until roughly 3:30 am on June 28 led to fewer visits to her campaign site and thus to fewer donations than she otherwise would have received. They also allege that their campaign emails were being redirected into the spam folders of Gmail users at a much higher rate than other Democrat candidates’ campaign emails. In addition to the $50 million, the campaign is seeking an injunction against Google to prevent them from favoring or disfavoring any other campaign sites during the primary.

This of course comes on the heels of Google’s appearance at Senate hearings regarding claims of censorship over the past month, as well as similar scrutiny being applied to Facebook and Twitter, among others. This site has had posts time and again about sketchy practices in which opinions that exist outside of the officially acceptable shibboleths of the progressive gentry-techie crowd are purposely suppressed. Thus far the criticism of Google has largely (but not exclusively) come from the right, but perhaps given the fractured nature of the Democrat Party there are more and more elements of the left that are left wondering if their views a now deemed problematic as well.

This could be an innocent mistake, though the amazing timing of it is certainly notable, or it could be the actions of a rogue engineer like we saw at Twitter, or it really could be a coordinated campaign to favor certain Google-approved candidates (Biden? Harris? Buttigieg?) over others. I don’t expect Rep. Gabbard’s lawsuit to go very far, but at least the it might help put the tech giants on notice that their behavior this election cycle will not escape scrutiny.



My Little Aloha Sweetie for Vice-President

Filed under: General — JVW @ 4:58 pm

[guest post by JVW]

Don’t pretend like you didn’t see this one coming.

With putative Democrat Presidential nominee Joe Biden zeroing in on his Vice-Presidential pick — and believe me, the leaked names under consideration are indeed a bunch of zeros — it’s time to make the argument for a bold, refreshing, unconventional pick that would establish Slow Joe as something other than a dinosaur who has spent a half-century mucking around Washington, DC and who is in complete thrall to the power players and elite opinion makers which sadly dominate his party. Various names have been bandied about over the past few months: Stacey Abrams, Amy Klobuchar, Kamala Harris, Elizabeth Warren, Keisha Lance Bottoms, Tammy Duckworth, and now Karen Bass. They each have something to offer the elderly white male Establishment figure around whom party pooh-bahs rallied during that harrowing point last winter when a nutty old socialist nearly stormed the gates and threw out everyone who wore a tailored suit.

But none of them offer the advantages that Mr. Biden stands to reap if he takes the bold step of naming the fourth-term Congresswoman from the islands of Hawai’i to his ticket. She matches and/or surpasses any of the strengths of the other potential candidates, and at worst her liabilities are no more troublesome than those of the rest of the field. Don’t believe me? Let’s consider:

Stacey Abrams
Pros: Almost managed to get herself elected governor of Georgia.
Cons: Garden variety leftist of the Sanders stripe. It’s hard to see her winning over voters in the Rust Belt.

Karen Bass
Pros: Apparently she and Biden get along well together, though Biden might have mistaken her for his nurse.
Cons: As late as 2016 still thought Fidel Castro had done a bang-up job in Cuba. Her only major accomplishment as Speaker of the California Assembly, a budget deal with Governor Schwarzenegger, was overwhelmingly rejected by the state’s voters, hardly an endorsement of her ability to sell her fellow Democrats on compromise.

Keisha Lance Bottoms
Pros: Executive experience in government, I suppose.
Cons: Atlanta has hardly been a model for how to deal with civic unrest, and her dithering ended up in the senseless death of a young girl.

Tammy Duckworth
Pros: Inspiring life story about her service to our country and how she overcame devastating war wounds. Her politics generally align with those of one of her seat’s previous occupants, Barack Obama.
Cons: I consider Sen. Duckworth, whose mother was Thai-Chinese, to be a person of color, but will African-Americans? The recent prominence of BPIOC (Black & Indigenous People of Color) in woke leftist usage seems particularly designed to omit Asians from the intersectionality grievance matrix.

Kamala Harris
Pros: I pass.
Cons: Mr. Biden would look weak by choosing a woman who relentlessly demagogued him at the first Democrat debate. Her accomplishments in offices she has held have been scant, but the controversies she has stirred up have been formidable and will at last get full airing should she be chosen.

Susan Rice
Pros: I don’t know; maybe having worked with her in the past there will be a flicker of recognition in Mr. Biden’s mind when she walks into a meeting room.
Cons: It makes more sense to pick an elected official who is notable for brazenly lying to us than an appointed official who is notable for brazenly lying to us. And I don’t think the Biden team wants to give strong hints that they will merely be reassembling the Obama squad.

Elizabeth Warren
Pros: Ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha.
Cons: Where do I begin? Let’s just leave it at the fact that a party which fetishizes youth and diversity would have 150 years’ worth of white folks on their ticket.

Here’s a helpful tool I created so that you can all see how My Little Aloha Sweetie stacks up against all of these mediocrities:

Dem VP chart

By naming Tulsi Gabbard to the Vice-Presidential slot, Joe Biden could improve his candidacy in several ways. First, he keeps his promise to appoint a woman, and he gets a woman of color to boot (though, like Sen. Duckworth, Rep. Gabbard would have her BPIOC credentials challenged). Second, he gets an ally of Bernard Sanders to join him, and one who is far more personable and charming than the cranky old Marxist bastard. Third, he flanks the Trump/Pence ticket by appointing a generation other than the Baby Boomers who have ruled the roost for the past twenty-eight years. (Fun note: Joe Biden would be the first representative of the Silent Generation to be elected President; Dick Cheney is the only one to serve as VP.) Fourth, in our heavily divisive times he would be choosing someone who doesn’t seem to have much interest in scoring cheap partisan points, and who generally treats her ideological opponents as serious people with whom she should discuss ideas rather than as irascible racists who need to be silenced. Her weaknesses — impractical economics, a tolerance of murderous dictators, lack of high-level leadership — aren’t any different than the weaknesses of any of the other candidates, or for that matter her potential boss. And we have seen the Warrior Princess on the debate stage and we know that she has a toughness and a resiliency that are quite admirable.

Joe Biden could do a whole hell of a lot worse. And he probably will.



National Guard Deployments To End One Day Before Members Qualify for Education and Retirement Benefits

Filed under: General — Dana @ 2:44 pm

[guest post by Dana]

This is not good news:

More than 40,000 National Guard members currently helping states test residents for the coronavirus and trace the spread of infections will face a “hard stop” on their deployments on June 24 — just one day shy of many members becoming eligible for key federal benefits, according to a senior FEMA official.

The official outlined the Trump administration’s plans on an interagency call on May 12, an audio version of which was obtained by POLITICO. The official also acknowledged during the call that the June 24 deadline means that thousands of members who first deployed in late March will find themselves with only 89 days of duty credit, one short of the 90-day threshold for qualifying for early retirement and education benefits under the Post-9/11 GI bill.

The looming loss of crucial frontline workers, along with questions about whether the administration is shortchanging first responders, would require a delicate messaging strategy, the official — representing FEMA’s New England region — told dozens of colleagues on the interagency call.

“We would greatly benefit from unified messaging regarding the conclusion of their services prior to hitting the 90-day mark and the retirement benefit implications associated with it,” the official said.

The decision has compelled both sides of the aisle to seek an extension from the White House:

Governors and lawmakers in both parties have been pleading with the White House to extend the federal order for several more months or until the end of the year, warning in a letter to Trump that terminating federal deployments early in the summer just as states are reopening “could contribute to a possible second wave of infection.”

Here are the numbers:

More than 40,000 Guard members are currently serving under federal orders known as Title 32, which grants them federal pay and benefits but puts them under local command, in 44 states, three territories and the District of Columbia — the largest domestic deployment since Hurricane Katrina.

Tens of thousands of them have been working full-time since early March on a wide range of sensitive and dangerous tasks, such as decontaminating nursing homes and setting up field hospitals, along with performing tests for the virus. They’ve provided a crucial backup for understaffed and underfunded state public health agencies trying to contain the pandemic.

The cost of the deployment is as much as $9 million per month for every 1,000 troops, according to the National Council of State Legislatures — an expense that states would have to shoulder should Title 32 expire. In addition, state deployments do not count toward federal education and retirement benefits.

It’s possible for National Guard members who have extra deployments within the same fiscal year to qualify for GI Bill benefits or early retirement.

So far, “more than 1,100 guardsmen had been diagnosed with coronavirus, many of whom were deployed for pandemic response missions.”

FEMA is the federal agency responsible for the final determination of how long National Guard members are activated.

I checked out FEMA’s Coronavirus Rumor Control page (yes, they have one), and found this:

On March 22, President Trump directed the Secretary of Defense to permit full federal reimbursement, by FEMA, for some states’ use of their National Guard forces. The President’s action provides Governors continued command of their National Guard forces, while being federally funded under Title 32. Each state’s National Guard is still under the authority of the Governor and is working in concert with the Department of Defense.

I perused President Trump’s Twitter feed, and given the incredible array of tweets covering any number of subjects, I was only able to find this mentioning the National Guard (it is in response to the recent flooding in Michigan):

My team is closely monitoring the flooding in Central Michigan – Stay SAFE and listen to local officials. Our brave First Responders are once again stepping up to serve their fellow citizens, THANK YOU!

We have sent our best Military & @FEMA Teams, already there. Governor must now “set you free” to help. Will be with you soon!

One National Guard member has publicly voiced her disapproval of the decision by the Trump administration:

According to reports, the White House has declined to respond to any inquiries about the matter. But of course…



Aloha ‘Oe, Warrior Princess

Filed under: General — JVW @ 10:22 pm

[guest post by JVW]

Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard, forever and always My Little Aloha Sweetie, announced earlier today that she is ending her campaign to be the next President of the United States.

Listen to her announcement; it’s worth the five minutes of your time. Sure, I joked a great deal about my crush on the Congresswoman and I would be Fauxcahontas-level lying to you if I tried to claim that I don’t find Congresswoman Gabbard to be quite attractive, from her rich Island beauty invoking the Goddess Pele; to the dulcet tones of her voice, as pleasing to the ear as the soft song of the Puaiohi heard over gently rolling ocean waves; to her graceful and elegant bearing, appropriate for an athlete and soldier. When she stares into the camera it’s as if she is looking deep into my soul, healing all of my pain and exciting in me such an overwhelming feeling of–

Uh, what point was I trying to make?

Oh yeah.

Anyway, I know that her affection for big government runs counter to pretty much everything I have ever written on this blog, and while I greatly respect her pacifist and non-interventionist foreign policy as being heartfelt and authentic, I do have to grit my teeth at her rather blasé reaction to some of the world’s worst tyrants. I’m sure that if we were to sit down to discuss domestic and international policy I would find myself disagreeing with much of what she had to say as I stared deeply into those coconut brown eyes which haunt my dreams with desires of such longing–

[Dammit, man. Focus!]

The point of this being that even though I would disagree with much of what she says, I don’t think that she would readily dismiss me as some sort of neanderthal right-wing nutjob, in the way that the rest of her fellow candidates — with perhaps Andrew Yang exempted — would. Though she has pretty much garden-variety progressive left opinions, she distinguished herself on the campaign trail by not venturing out to the far fringes of social policy where her party’s center seems to have gravitated. Alone among the candidates — again, with perhaps the exception of Andrew Yang — Congresswoman Gabbard expressed some trepidation with late-term abortion, and suggested that the entire practice was not something to be “celebrated” or “shouted,” but should be considered a necessary evil. When Rush Limbaugh announced his cancer diagnosis, Tulsi Gabbard put aside the ideological warring to wish him well. Unlike a Nancy Pelosi or a Chuck Schumer or a Gavin Newsom, to name but a few, she was one Democrat who didn’t have contempt for those who had different beliefs from her own.

And of course I will be forever grateful that she ended the candidacy of the obnoxious Kamala Harris, realizing that unlike her friend Bernard Sanders she had the guts to go toe-to-toe with Hillary Clinton and Elizabeth Warren and call both of them out on their mendacious bullstuff. It’s no wonder the Democrat Party hated her so.

As I said three-plus years ago, it would be a great idea for President Trump to bring her into his cabinet, should he win reelection later this year. She was allegedly considered for Donald Trump’s first cabinet, even perhaps for Secretary of State. I think I would offer her something more along the lines of Secretary of Veterans Affairs, but if President Trump needs a token Democrat for his cabinet he couldn’t do any better. Of course the President would have to swallow his pride and accept a woman who has harshly criticized him, although he can take heart that she refused to vote in favor of his impeachment. She would support President Trump’s reluctance to intervene in overseas affairs, though she would almost certainly try to move him to the big government left in domestic affairs. He would have to be strong to resist her island charms lest he start going all Green Mountain Gramsci on us. Speaking of Comrade Candidate, I would be interested in seeing if the foolish old Marxist would vote in favor of her nomination.

I’m glad that Tulsi Gabbard ran for President. She was a welcome break from the Ivy League overachievers, the mediocre lifelong “public servants,” and the riff-raff from the financial and dot-com worlds. I hope we see her reemerge in a leadership position in the next administration, no matter who the chief executive is, and I hope that both of our major parties can attract interesting, even unconventional, candidates such as My Little Aloha Sweetie.



Nancy Pelosi Blames Misogynistic Democrats For Elizabeth Warren’s Loss

Filed under: General — Dana @ 3:34 pm

[guest post by Dana]

After Elizabeth Warren anounced that she was dropping out of the Democratic presidential race, Nancy Pelosi weighed in on the “misogyny” factor that contributed to her demise:

“Every time I get introduced as the most powerful woman, I almost cry, because I wish that were not true,” Pelosi told reporters, just hours after Warren ended her presidential run and extinguished the possibility of the first woman president being elected in 2020.

“I so wish that we had a woman president of the United States, and we came so close to doing that,” said Pelosi, the highest-ranking woman in government, at her weekly news conference. “I do think there’s a certain element of misogyny.”

It’s funny because Pelosi never endorsed any of the female candidates that were running. Funnier yet, she acts as if there is no longer a female Democratic candidate in the race. And there is: Tulsi Gabbard. Which brings me to my other point: While Gabbard has virtually no chance of becoming the nominee, it remains a fact that Democratic women wo claim that having a woman in the White House is of the utmost imporantance, they belie that claim with their ever-present abortion litmus test. Pelosi can’t support Gabbard, and it’s not because of her contrarian nature or squishy Democratic views. At the end of the day, she can’t support Gabbard because Gabbard, not unreasonably, believes that there should be some limitations on abortion, and that disqualifies her from any serious consideration from Pelosi or other Democratic woman in power:

“I do, however, think that there should be some restrictions in place. I support codifying Roe v. Wade while making sure that, during the third trimester, abortion is not an option unless the life or severe health consequences of a woman are at risk.”

That’s simply unacceptable to Pelosi and her ilk.

Further, it’s interesting that while Pelosi blames the problem on misogyny, she seems to pretend to not know that Democratic women are endorsing and voting for the male contenders – even as their first choice before Kamala Harris, Kirsten Gillibrand, Marianne Williamson, Amy Klobuchar or Elizabeth Warren. Consider the female officials who have endorsed Bernie Sanders: five female Representatives, one female representative, 25 female State legislators, and five female DNC officials. Joe Biden has been endorsed by four sitting female Senators, 22 female Representatives, 4 female Cabinet-level officials, 4 female State Dept. officials, two female State governors, etc. So really, misogyny is the reason for Warren’s poor showing?? How about the thousands upon thousands of women who voted for the male candidates over her? Because they actually exist, you know.

Which brings me to this:

Whoever the nominee is, their campaign is going to have to come to terms with the intense misogyny so many female voters have dealt with — and understand that it’s an issue we care deeply about. And their supporters are going to have to let us be sad — depressed, even — that once again we’re going to watch a race to leadership between old white men.

So ignoring the fact that Democratic and progressive women happily support two old white men, one wonders how the Democratic Party, the party of inclusivity and girl power, reconciles the fact that both female voters and female candidates on the Democratic side of the aisle, are, once again, victims of “misogyny” from their fellow travellers?



Super Tuesday Takes

Filed under: General — Dana @ 11:15 am

[guest post by Dana]

Without comment:

FiveThirtyEight weighs in:

Biden is now about twice as likely as Sanders to win a plurality of pledged delegates, according to our primary model, which gives him a 65 percent chance of doing so compared with a 34 percent chance for Sanders. This represents the culmination of a trend that has been underway in the model for about a week; it started to shift toward Biden once polls showed the potential for him to win big in South Carolina — and it anticipated a polling bounce in the Super Tuesday states if he did win big there. Still, even after South Carolina, Biden’s plurality chances had risen only to 32 percent, compared with 64 percent for Sanders. That means the polling bounce from the events of the past few days has been bigger than the model anticipated.

To be clear, however, there is still a lot of uncertainty. We’ve been talking about delegate pluralities, which obscures the fact that the most likely outcome in the model is still that no one wins a majority of pledged delegates. And we should note that the lack of a majority does not necessarily imply a contested convention. For instance, if Biden enters the convention with 46 percent of delegates and former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg with 10 percent, they could strike a deal where Bloomberg delegates vote for Biden on the first ballot.

Michael Bloomberg goes after Joe Biden:

Mike Bloomberg started the most important day of his 2020 campaign scolding a sea of reporters about rival Joe Biden’s momentum and refusing to drop out of the Democratic primary.

“Joe’s taking votes away from me,” Bloomberg said at his campaign’s Little Havana field office when asked by a reporter about moderates dropping out to support Biden in the last 24 hours.

“Have you asked Joe whether he’s going to drop out?” Bloomberg then challenged. “When you ask him that then you can call me.”

When a reporter asked a follow up, Bloomberg scolded that it was the same question that had just been asked.

“I have no intention of dropping out,” Bloomberg said. “We’re in it to win it.”

Early post-mortem for Elizabeth Warren’s campaign (which, of course, includes putting the blame on sexist double standards and media bias):

In interviews with Democratic strategists, top progressive activists, allies and critics, nearly everyone agrees that Warren’s campaign faltered not through scandal or dysfunction, but because of a series of miscalculations and circumstances that conspired against her. She positioned herself just off Bernie’s right shoulder, which both failed to win his hardcore progressive base and alienated moderates who think she’s too far left. Her campaign hit a series of speedbumps in the last months of 2019 and early 2020 that slowed her down just as her opponents were taking off, and failed to correct course quickly enough to regain momentum. Her online defenders are quick to point out sexist double standards between the candidates, and the stench of bias that pervades some media coverage, but the fact remains: heading into Super Tuesday, Warren has not won a single state.


Warren’s campaign aides have publicly suggested their most viable path to the nomination is by prevailing in a contested Democratic convention, which would be a historical rarity if it happens.

And from Joe Biden’s rapid response team to James Comey: Uh, no thanks:

Let us know how things are looking in your districts.


[UDPATE by JVW] – I apologize profusely for infringing upon Dana’s post, but My Little Aloha Sweetie just aimed the ihe ‘ō ‘ia nalohia pua right into Fauxcahontas’s spleen, so this must be one of the happiest days of my life.



Which Democrat Is Closest to Your Views According to a Silly Quiz?

Filed under: General — JVW @ 7:59 pm

[guest post by JVW]

The Washington Post has a 20 question quiz up where your answers are correlated to the positions staked out by each Democrat candidate. Yes, the questions can be kind of stupid: some of them are along the lines of should the President “consider” or “not consider” a certain course of action, as if mere consideration was a substitute for implementing a course of action. And others didn’t really have a choice that fit my response, such as the question of whether college should be entirely free, mostly free, or only partially free for some people. There wasn’t an option for “the federal government has no business mucking around in college education.”

But still, it was interesting. For seven of the twenty questions my response was not reflected in the response of any of the Democrat candidates, so I feel pretty good about this. But here is the breakdown of how close my beliefs, such as they could be captured by this limited quiz, maps to the various Dem candidates:

Michael Bloomberg – 11
Joe Biden – 10
Andrew Yang – 7
Tulsi Gabbard – 5
Amy Klobuchar – 5
Tom Steyer – 5
Pete Buttigieg – 4
Bernard Sanders – 4
Elizabeth Warren – 0

Not all candidates have a position on each one of these questions; for instance, Little Aloha Sweetie has no recorded answer on five of the questions, so I’m going to go ahead and assume that we would have agreed on those questions and bump her up to a score of 10. Elizabeth Warren has answered all 20 questions, and it tickles me to no end that we do not agree on a one of them. Hell, I even agree with Comrade Bernard on four questions.

If you feel motivated to take the quiz, please feel free to tell us with which candidate you are most aligned, if you so wish.



Intersectionality Bingo Folds Her Tent [Updated]

Filed under: General — JVW @ 6:18 pm

[guest post by JVW]

As Dana posted on this blog earlier today, California Senator Kamala Harris has announced her exit from the 2020 Democrat Presidential Primary. Dana characterized the announcement as “expected, rather than surprising,” but I have to slightly disagree. My feeling is that the senator’s announcement is unexpected, but not exactly shocking. I had assumed that despite the layoff of campaign staff that she would tough it out until the California primary, but perhaps she had not allocated her money wisely and saw her campaign donations drying up as her numbers continued to drop in the polls. I suppose a fourth or fifth-place finish in the California Primary would have been extraordinarily embarrassing for a home state candidate who still harbors future political ambitions, so rather than subject herself to the indignity she has wisely chosen to call it a day.

I admit upfront and without evasion that I do not care for Kamala Harris as a politician. I find her to be a deeply unprincipled careerist and I think the way she got her start in San Francisco politics was sleazy and unethical. Depending upon which way the winds blow, she is a tough-as-nails prosecutor who prioritizes making the streets of San Francisco safe for the city’s residents and visitors, or else she’s the progressive advocate for rehabilitative justice and an implacable opponent of harsh punishments rendered to minorities and the poor who run afoul of the law. When socialism seems ascendant in her party she wants a single-payer health care plan that would eliminate private coverage, but when she’s surrounded by union members or wealthy progressives she suddenly decides that there is a place for private health care after all. And she has absolutely zero compunction about changing her mind on this issue from hour to hour.

That said, up until this fall I really did think she was a shoo-in for the nomination. She seemed to me to be everything that progressives desired. She had Barack Obama’s biracial background, but with an even more glamorous pedigree, being half-Asian rather than half-white. She had Hillary Clinton’s gender, but was a generation younger and had nowhere near her political baggage. She came from the wealthiest state in the nation and already had a rolodex full of progressive donors who, I assumed, would keep her rolling in dough. I figured that a candidate with all that going for her would easily sweep aside the various white men and the fake Indian on the way to the nomination.

So I suppose I owe Democrats an apology of sorts. Rather than just fall for the superficial benefits of intersectionality, voters appear to be rather discerning at this point in the game, and that’s probably best reflected by the continuous rise and fall of the top candidates. Kudos to the members of the donkey party for seeing through the disingenuousness of Kamala Harris and finding another candidate to support. This is also proof-positive that, just like in 2016, I am destined to be wrong with respect to just about everything in the coming election.

And yes, I am going to mention My Little Aloha Sweetie’s epic takedown of Senator Harris in the second debate:

In just forty-eight seconds, Tulsi Gabbard’s perfectly-aimed torpedo breached Kamala Harris’s hull and though it took a few months, the ship sank at long last today.

Interesting coda: I would have preferred that she remained silent savoring her victory, but I guess My Little Aloha Sweetie is ready to mend fences:

UPDATE: Are you ready for an insipid take from the Dog Trainer? Here is what Carla Hall, one of their editorial writers (but of course), had to say:

I’m not surprised that Kamala Harris has dropped out of the presidential race. Sinking poll numbers, dwindling finances. That can only mean a death spiral for a campaign. But I’m deeply disappointed. Other people have left the race and I’ve thought, “Wait — they were still in?” But poll numbers aside, Harris was a candidate with a unique presence. And how exhilarating to see a smart, accomplished, powerful senator who is also a black woman running for president. Why has it even taken this long?

And for a minute there, she was on fire. There she was, onstage for the second debate, amid a bickering, cross-talking crowd of candidates, when she shushed the stage with the line, “Hey, guys, you know what? America does not want to witness a food fight. They want to know how we’re going to put food on their table.” The audience erupted in applause, and the next night her crack earned an admiring “Damn….” from late-night talk show host Seth Meyers, one of the most clever and insightful political commentators on television. It was exciting to see her rise above the crowd. And I loved that she flustered the avuncular, overly confident Joe Biden by reminding him of his opposition to court-ordered busing and that she made the whole country take a week to revisit segregation in schools then — and, unfortunately, now.

Political pundits I know who grade the performances of presidential candidates on whether they laid out their cases like rigid geometry proofs scoffed that she did a bad job that night, yet her poll numbers skyrocketed. I loved that, too. She quickly nailed the ultimate honor: She became a character in a “Saturday Night Live” skit, portrayed by Maya Rudolph.

And there you have the mindlessness of the modern young progressive (from her profile picture accompanying the piece, I am guessing Ms. Hall is roughly 30): She was adored by Seth Meyers (yeah, I’m having trouble remember who that is too) and by the cast of Saturday Night Live, so verily she was an outstanding candidate. Ms. Hall also lauds Intersectionality Bingo for being great on abortion rights, as if that was some existential threat front-and-center on the minds of a majority of voters and not the speciality hobby horse of high-strung young feminists. You can go on and read the rest, but I’ll save you the time and tell you it is absolute dreck. It is only axiomatic to be sure, but rest assured that a crappy candidate is likely to turn out and be a crappy leader.


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