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grantcart's Journal
grantcart's Journal
November 27, 2018

Beto O'Rourke is going to run and Beto O'Rourke is going to win. We need a Beto O'Rourke (Group)

One of the known factors that ran against Sec Clinton that wasn't really discussed was the issue of voter fatigue. There is a reasonable chance that if Sec. Clinton's last name was anything but Clinton that she would have likely won the office. There is also the known voter fatigue factor that occurs after any party has held the White House for 8 years. People forget how bad it was when the Republicans left and the improvements under Obama were steady and incremental but after any party has the WH for 8 years about 20% of the population is highly likely to vote for the other party.

Without question the most refreshing alternative to the older generation of leaders on both sides is Beto.

Beto has reversed his previous statement that he was not available for 2020:


EL PASO – Beto O'Rourke, coming off a closer-than-expected race against U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, is no longer ruling out a 2020 presidential run.

During his Senate campaign, the El Paso congressman declared he would "not be a candidate for president in 2020" regardless of the outcome. But on Monday, O'Rourke kept the door open to a White House bid during a town hall in El Paso and admitted his resistance to higher office was no longer as unequivocal.

During the town hall, an audience member asked O'Rourke if he was running in 2020. In response, O'Rourke said he is currently focused on spending time with his family and finishing his term in the House, which ends Jan. 3. "And then," O'Rourke added, "Amy and I will think about what we can do next to contribute to the best of our ability to this community."

While there are many outstanding leadership traits that O'Rourke showed in the Senate race including the ability to work hard and explain complicated progressive issues in a charming way what really stands out with O'Rourke is his ability to understand the interworking of social media, the internet and traditional media in a way that moved the masses as they felt a personal connection to him.

Moving at the speed of light he is going to make all of the other candidates look fatigued. He will not only visit every county in Iowa, he will live stream his engaging meetings with farmers on Facebook. He will out fox the Russian bots and leave Trump huffing and puffing.

All of the other good Democratic candidates will be tied to their jobs while he will be visiting and establishing sophisticated support infrastructure in Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina where he excels at both retail politics and transmitting that enthusiasm to a larger stage.

He will also dramatically increase the participation of college age and post college age students and Spanish speaking Americans which will make him formidable in AZ, TX, FL.

If you are interested in forming a Beto O'Rourke (Group) please respond below. We will need a group of leaders to petition the admins and set up the hosts, my schedule prohibits me from doing it but the time has come for us to seriously consider O'Rourke as the next nominee of the party and to form a group that will promote his nomination.

November 15, 2018

Best of Enemies Gore Vidal vs William F Buckley Jr on Netflix

I thought it was well done and held my interest.

The last quarter is arresting.

I was surprised to learn that Vidal had never gone to college but went into the army instead. He showed enormous courage in a sexually repressed era and one that enshrined homophobic. Vidal's simple statement that homosexuality is as normal as heterosexuality is 5 decades ahead of its time.

There are many paradoxes revealed. Vidal is the epitome of the self made man who doesn't go to college but rises to become one of the most important writers of his time.

Both ran for office and failed. Both despised Robert Kennedy. Both pursued philosophical arguments but were imprisoned by their personal ambitions. And both were obsessed with each other.

Pause here if you don't want to read any "spoilers" and watch the documentary "fresh"

spoilers bridge

continue below

The key point of the debates is when Vidal and Buckley are in a heated point and Vidal refers to Buckley as a "crypto Nazi" and Buckley takes it personally, loses his cool and in overacting displays an unmasked level of hatred.

This of course reveals a betrayal of the essence of Buckley's Roman Catholicism and the essential teachings of Christianity and you can tell that it affects Buckley and continues to haunt him 30 years later.

I had a somewhat similar encounter with a Holocaust survivor who called me a Nazi when I was in my mid 20s and we were having a serious meltdown in our refugee medical screening division in Bangkok and it had become so serious as to threaten our success. The head of the mission had me do a review of the operation which was headed by his close friend who was a survivor at Auschwitz who had become a medical doctor and worked for our organization for decades.

I interviewed key staff and followed the handling of documents. It was completely inefficient and workers were working18 hours a day. I had nurses break down and cry in the interview because they were at the breaking point.

When I gave my report to the Head of Mission and the Chief Medical Officer the latter listened to me and when I finished he said "you remind me of the little Nazi underlings who use efficiency to destroy the soul". Which given the fact that he was a Holocaust Survivor in an organization dedicated for refugees should have been a devastating argument.

I laughed and looked him in the eye and said "That is a great line, how many times have you used to win bureaucratic arguments in the last 30 years ?" (they were both in their 70s). They looked at each other and both laughed because they knew it was true.

I didn't take it personally because I knew it wasn't true. I turned to the doctor and told him that I was actually his best friend. I had proof that he was in fact running a mid sized hospital and that 80% of his time wasn't doing medicine but doing administrative and even low level clerical duties and what we needed to do is to hire an experienced hospital administrator that could help run a bureaucracy to screen up to 800 people a day. He saw my point and that's what we did.

That Buckley couldn't laugh off such an outrageous claim showed that he was afraid that some part of it was true. His response confirmed some small part of it.

Vidal keeps his cool and wins the debate but later on is cynical about the whole thing but detests Buckley to the end.

Both Buckley and Vidal become obsessed about the debates. One visitor to Vidal talks about having to watch it over and over again and he discussed it every day during the visit.

At the last taping of Firing Line (33 years) Ted Koppel is interviewing him and he runs the clip and you can see Buckley deeply affected at seeing it and is rendered speechless.

And at about the 1:22:00 mark there is something that I found profoundly sad. Charlie Rose is interviewing him and asks him about regrets and Buckley says he wouldn't take a pill that would turn the clock back, he is "tired of life" and doesn't want to go back, he just wants to stop. His face is distorted and worn with something deeply troubling.

I think I know what has drained the life out of Buckley. He used his life to pursue a foundation philosophy of conservative philosophy (or more accurately termed "classical liberalism&quot that would promote a secular government that would enshrine the maximum amount of personal freedom that would allow a devout citizenry to both prosper and grow in a moral sense.

The charge "crypto Nazi" tagged him to the political movement of the Republican Party from Nixon on and he saw his contribution to keep it on the rails and away from the race based politics that far right wing European countries had devolved into that which eventually became fascist. He saw his efforts to keep the KKK and racists out of the Republican Party turned on its head by the "Southern Strategy" and could see that this marriage of convenience would eventually consume the Republican Party. Of course I could be completely off on this

The one happy note for me about William Buckley is that Buckley's only son Christopher Buckley embraces Barack Obama and leaves the National Review, ironically confirming Buckley's Catholic religion that redemption is possible.
November 13, 2018

Dear MSNBC, regarding that ass wipe Hugh Hewitt,


Regarding that ass wipe Hugh Hewitt you really have to reconsider having him as a regular on your network.

There are 5 reasons:

1)His Self Absorbed addiction to his own awesomeness.

While he tries to imitate the better informed and occasionally independent George Will and Charles Krauthammer who both actually got Pulitzer Prizes instead of wearing the pretence of one. They had some other independent basis of experience, Will with his obnoxious obsession of baseball and Krauthammer his legitimate standing as a Psychiatrist. Hewitt is simply obnoxious and in need of a Psychiatrist.

His belaboured soporific patronizing tone of a Chamber Commerce booster who has reached the pinnacle of his career promoting the wonders of the greatness of Walla Walla, Washington is only outdone by the extreme smarminess of his ingratiatingly insincere smile.

While he may dream that he is the eventual successor to William Buckley he isn't, he is just an ass wipe.

2) In Offering his political analysis he is almost always wrong.

He consistently predicted, promised and pimped Martha McSally as the tsk tsk tsk (why are we even talking about it) winner by a comfortable margin. Each time stuffing more egregiously stupid reasons that people should vote for her in the "sleeve" of objective political analysis:


But when you go in to vote, you go in to vote and you're in Arizona, you got to pick Martha McSally, who's surging. Did the Star-SpangledBanner at the ASU game. Do you vote to keep the economy humming, or do you vote against President Trump? And I think you end up voting--( for McSally)

3) He is no different than Sean Hannity he is a 100% in the tank and on the stage with right wing Republicans

What is the point of having Rachel Maddow and Lawrence O'Donnell preach about the inappropriate endorsement of Sean Hannity jumping on the stage with Trump when Hewitt does the same thing on his radio show?


HH: I think you’ll get the LDS vote, because honestly, Kyrsten Sinema attacked stay at home moms. That’s like political suicide.

MM: I know. I mean, this is one of many, she called them leeches. . . .

. . . .

HH: And you would have voted for Justice Kavanaugh, and she would have been a no.

MM: Yes.

HH: Look, while you were defending America, she was protesting our troops.

MM: Amen.

HH: Martha McSally, all the way to the finish line. I look forward to calling you Senator-Elect McSally on Wednesday. Thank you for joining me.

Softball, let me kiss your ass, Amen and you are wonderful.

Then you dress him up as an objective political analyst. Shouldn't you at least introduce him as someone who has endorsed and embraced the candidacy he is now going to give an 'objective' statement on?

4) He is completely compromised on a personal basis. While he would take occasional hits on Trump and the malfeasance of his administration he had a particularly odd defense of Scott Pruitt.

In April 2018, Hewitt defended EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt amid controversy over his expenditures as Administrator and a conflict of interest over renting a condo at discounted prices from a lobbyist representing clients regulated by the EPA.[29] Politico described Hewitt as "one of Pruitt's staunchest defenders".[30] Hewitt described the numerous ethics scandals facing Pruitt as "nonsense scandals" and argued that Pruitt's critics were "just trying to stop the deregulation effort

. . . .

Hewitt has argued that media coverage of Pruitt has been "hyperpartisan".[31] In an interview with Pruitt, Hewitt said "I know you are not a climate denier"; Pruitt rejects the scientific consensus on climate change.[31]
After Pruitt resigned amid a dozen separate ethics investigations, Hewitt defended Pruitt, saying he "is a good friend and a very good man, caricatured by left and MSM. I hope he sets to work on a memoir ASAP and deals out a tenth of what he took."[32][33]

I mean god, man you are still holding Pruitt up when even they sycophants at FOX were getting the dry heeves.

And yet what neither MSNBC nor Hewitt took the time to explain is that Hewitt's son James Hewitt is a political appointee and protégé of Pruitt.

5) From a completely ontological perspective . . .

First to remind readers what ontological means

on·to·log·i·cal /ˌän(t)əˈläjək(ə l/

adjective: ontological

1. relating to the branch of metaphysics dealing with the nature of being.
"ontological arguments"

2. showing the relations between the concepts and categories in a subject area or domain.

So from an ontological point of view and based on both a clinical and laboratory examination there is little doubt that the domain that Hugh Hewitt is best configured is that of a "ass wipe" it isn't what he does, it is actually the nature of his being.

In conclusion this particular ass wipe diminishes your network every time he appears on it. He has a remarkable record of parading highly partisan positions that are laced with personal conflict and he wraps it up with a patronizing smarmy inauthenticity that is so revolting that it can only be watched with all sharp and pointed objects removed from the immediate area.

When it came to predicting the solid victory of Martha McSally, Hugh Hewitt was wrong for the 23,342nd time.

He is also an ass wipe of the first order.

November 10, 2018

The next Democratic nominee for President will almost certainly be

one of our great Senators or Congresspersons that rise to the top in a Senate or Congressional hearing.

We are in the middle of a great turbulence and everything is about to change.

Those old enough to see it know how the Watergate hearings completely redefined the political landscape in1973.

The President with the greatest landslide in history, winning every state but Mass, lost his mandate when one Senator asked a simple question, "What did the President know and when did he know it?"

You got a little hint of it with the Kavanaugh hearings but hearings held by the Democratic House will be considerably different, they will be like the Watergate hearings and we are going to have a lot of them because Pelosi is a genius at defining a message and keeping on message.

There are likely to be many important hearings besides open and public hearings on Russian interference, including a possible House hearing to consider the impeachment of Kavanaugh for perjury.

We have many who rise in these circumstances. Booker, Harris or Schiff are obvious possibilities but it could be someone like Klobuchar who rises to the top unexpectedly.

We should not spend much time trying to project candidates based on current realities and project where we are going to be in a year from now because everything will be different in a year (just see how they change week by week) and it is likely that the clash of power will be played out live on TV before the nation and unscripted one on one confrontations will reveal the grit and brilliance of our Senators and Representatives and that will be the pool for our next nominee.

November 10, 2018


Over and over again we have to re examine the very substantive problems that moves Bernie from being a great Senator to being a problem for the Democratic Party, one that has enriched him and created this permanent canyon between those that suspend critical thinking because of some of the things that they agree with and principles that we expect all Democrats to embrace.

1) He significantly undermined Secretary Clinton on two key issues that provided substantial ammunition to the GOP in 2016. His persistent harping about "speeches" and revealing the content of these mysterious speeches to the finance community endorsed the GOP completely false narrative that somehow Clinton was dirty and untruthful.

The irony of this is that Sec. Clinton released decades of tax returns while Bernie refused.

Secondly Bernie endorsed economic nationalism of the radical GOP right coming out against the TPP which was on track to increase workers income by $ 131 billion. But if a "progressive" endorses exactly the same thing that Trump is saying then it must be true. Sanders positions undermined the perception of Hillary's integrity and gave Trump's economic nationalism a boost.

Here's a clue: I care exactly the same for the people in that caravan, the poor farmer in Burma, and the worker in Pennsylvania. Any politician of any stripe that wants to push a policy that leverages our inherent advantages and exploit the weaknesses is not only NOT progressive but not pursuing a strategy of mutual advantage. The United States will be more prosperous and more safe with a Central and South America that is developing and prospering.

2) There are things that Bernie does that we would never accept from any other politician. We would never accept any Republican not showing his taxes so why do we make an exception for Bernie?

But there are other things that are very worrisome about Bernie that would never be acceptable from any other politician, some examples:

When Jane Sanders was President of Burlington College she funnelled $500k to her daughter's woodworking school. She also made disastrous $ 10 million land purchase that pushed Burlington into bankruptcy. This is a clear case of nepotism and the results were a calamity all the way around. If nepotism is bad for Republicans, its bad for Democrats.

But it didn't stop there. The Sanders Institute raised money for a "think tank" which is fine if it employs leading academicians who have advance degrees and publishes peer review material.

Apparently they didn't have to go far they hired Jane's son David Driscoll who makes a six figure income leading the Sanders Institute. I have found no information about David Driscoll, his education or background except that he used to sell snow boards at Burton Snowboards.

3) Bernie Sanders didn't keep his word. He promised that he was a "Democrat for Life"


“Well, he is a Democrat, he said he’s a Democrat and he’s gonna be supporting the Democratic nominee, whoever that is,” Weaver responded.

“But he’s a member of the Democratic Party now for life?” Halperin pressed.

“Yes, he is,” Weaver said.

Since that time he has joined and left the Democratic Party twice.

He continues to deny that he is a Democrat as forcefully as he can.

Here he is in January of last year:


Sen. Bernie Sanders put to rest questions about his party affiliation, telling a Fox News reporter he’ll continue to run as an independent.

“I am an independent and I have always run in Vermont as an independent, while I caucus with the Democrats in the United States Senate,” Sanders said Sunday after an appearance in Rollinsford, N.H. “That’s what I’ve been doing for a long time and that’s what I’ll continue to do.”

Except after this he rejoined the Democratic Party to tie up the nomination in Vermont and then left it again.

He talks about the Democratic in the third person (they, those, them) and never in the first person plural, (We US).

By staking out a separate brand Bernie continues to undermine the Democratic brand, and not help it. He could join the Democratic Party and state, like all Senators and Congresspeople do that they don't agree with everything in the party but he is proud to be a Democrat.

By continuing to push his "Independent" brand the "Our Revolution" brand he is stating, in neon signs, that The Democratic Party is better than Republican Party but only incrementally so.

Its like a star wide receiver who joins a team and they accept him because he has particular skills that help them and its better that he is inside the tent than out. But this player insists on wearing gold and blue jersey when the team wears silver and green. They go along. But then the WR complains about every strategy and every play. He eventually says that the only way to win is to make him quarterback. In fact they should just hand the entire team over to him and let him be the coach too.

4) This whole populism shtick is dangerous and counter productive.

It sells the idea that the only problem with the country is that a few people are destroying everything. (Sanders used to rail against the 'Millionaires and Billionaires' except that once he became a Presidential Candidate he saw his personal income increase by 500% and edited out the 'Millionaires')

I have lived in countries where I have witnessed it in detail and the damage and death that follows. Populism does 3 terrible things:

a) it sells the idea that in our highly complex technical society that things can be solved with solutions that can fit on bumper stickers. It creates social disharmony because it raises expectations that cannot be met and gives birth to deep anger when those expectations are not met.

b) it bankrupts the treasury. Whether it gives unrealistic subsidies or gigantic tax breaks to the rich the government becomes more insolvent until it cannot carry out its basic functions because of debt burden. Sanders advocated over a trillion dollars in additional benefit but never articulated where the revenue would come from.

c) it always ends up creating boogeymen of outsiders

Some of the central arguments of the 2016 presidential campaign emphasized growing American fear and distrust of globalization. Then-candidates Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump energized large portions of the electorate against existing free trade agreements

The problem is that it is gibberish which would be laughed off the stage anywhere outside the US. The direct labor that is in your Smart phones is 85% located in California where the hard ware is designed and the software made. The 15% of the direct labor which is involved in assembling, quality control and packaging is in Malaysia or Korea, etc.

I have sat in Qualcomm Stadium and listened to idiots talk about "an unfair trade system" without realizing that the company that purchased naming rights for the stadium gets a revenue stream from every phone in the world, that those repatriated profits and fees never appear on a balance of trade sheet and that janitors at Qualcomm drive $ 75,000 BMWs because they got their bonuses in stock.

5) I continue to be astonished that Sanders gets away with actions that would never be accepted by a regular candidate and that is because he holds an independent brand and he is in essence extorting the Democratic Party, if we hurt his feelings then he is going to walk out the door. No other Democratic candidate carries that kind of threat.

Now I will give you a list of qualities and you tell me what politician you think it represents

- never admits that any vote or any action he has undertaken is wrong

- refuses to release all of his taxes

- engages in populist rhetoric that is based on emotion

- involves his children in nepotistic schemes that funnel money to them

- doesn't submit to party norms and discipline but holds him out as being exceptional to the party

- makes promises to party loyalty and then walks away from them

If you think that many people at DU are not interested in him because of some superficial reason then I have to tell you that most of the Democrats I know are all too aware of the double standard that Bernie (and I would normally refer to him as Senator Sanders but you used the familial term Bernie) has gotten away with it and really would prefer to return to bring up the next generation of Democratic leaders and let Bernie continue with his independent brand.

Politics is not an individual sport, it is a team sport and team solidarity is a critical element to victory and Bernie does not share that solidarity with the Democratic Party although he wants all of the benefits that association with the Democrats brings.
November 6, 2018

A very real path to taking the Senate Part II

Yesterday I had a thread that documented multiple sources showing a 3-4% bump for Democrats in the final polls.

This probably represents a small number of GOP changing and 7-8% of independents who were effected by the bombing attempts, the Synagogue shootings and the capricious attempt to rewrite birth right citizenship in the 14th amendment. We finally hit the straw that broke a lot of independents backs. Details here:


There may be a broader "mass dynamic" at play here that you see in herds that are going in one direction and then move in another election. It turns out that when there are big moves in the House and the Senate has around 9 competitive seats that they don't split the seats but they go overwhelming in one direction.

We see other data points like huge increases in youth vote, including a 2500% increase in the youth vote in North Dakota. Does it make any sense that the youth in ND would show up in mass numbers if they thought the race was over? It is their perception that something still matters that creates a new reality and while the pundits have written ND off the youth, the tribes, and the Democrats haven't.

Those same data points ripple through every competitive Senate race. The Senate hasn't been decided and if we follow the patterns of herd movement in the past then we could end the night 51 Dems 48 Republicans and a seat in Mississippi that is headed for a run off election.

Hugh Hewitt casually is pimping for a GOP pick up of 4 seats and he has been wrong 493,932 times.

We don't know who is going to win the Senate but a careful examination of the data, including the last day bump in Dem numbers and a well established historical pattern points in our direction. The Senate is still in play.


One interesting phenomenon in Senate elections is that the races in the Toss Up column never break down the middle; one party wins a majority of them.”

“Going back 10 cycles to 1998, the lowest percentage of Toss Up seats one party won was in 2002 when Republicans won 67 percent (6 of 9 races). In 2004, 2006 and 2014, one party took 89 percent of the contests in Toss Up. In 2004, Republicans won 8 of 9 races, but in 2006, Democrats took 8 of 9 races. In 2014, Republicans won 8 of 9 contests. That there were nine races in Toss Up in all three years and there are nine this year is purely a coincidence.”

November 6, 2018

****** RandySF Appreciation Thread ****** Thank you *****

Every election cycle one DUer steps up and gets into the weeds and fleshes out all of the important races across the country.

This cycle we were particularly fortunate that RandySF stepped up and gave us hourly reports on all of the competitive House seats as well as the Senate seats.

This is a huge benefit to our community and saves us thousands of hours. His posts were accurate and supported Democratic challengers without succumbing to a cheerleader bias.

I had budgeted my time today to spend hours combing through the minutiae of 90 competitive races to have a check off list on who to watch. I prepared pencils, pads and two beers to get me through it.

Now I can just download RandySF's list and check it off as the night unfolds. Still keeping the beers.

You can find RandySF's list here:


I for one think that he should be rewarded with lots of pats on the back and a doubling of his DU stipend.

Thanks for a gigantic amount of research which saved us a lot of time.

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