Meanwhile, in Iran …


… the coronavirus pandemic appears to have spread to all regions of that country. The BBC has this video posted with footage from social media showing a morgue in the city of Qom full of dead bodies to be tested for the coronavirus.

Totalitarian societies such as China and Iran have not done well in their public health responses to the virus. Neither have most countries with socialize medicine, e.g., Italy. Could it be that part of the reason for Bernie’s burnout in the last few primaries is that too many Democrats gat hurt by changes in their health insurance under Obamacare, and that the prospect of having the same sort of system as China has caused them to reconsider giving the leadership of their part to a Socialist?

Hmmmm.

UPDATE—

The Morning After Stupor Tuesday


It looks as if Biden has taken the lead with 397 delegates, and Bernie is not far behind with 356. Fauxcahontas is in a distant third place with 48, but that still more than the 43 that Mini Mike was able to buy. The two dropouts, Mayor Pete and Klobuchar, have 26 and 7 respectively, and the least insane of the Democrats running, Tulsi Gabbard, has 1.

A side note about Sanders and Bloomberg: There’s an old line that says and honest politician is one who stays bought, meaning one who honors the “requests” of his significant “donors.” Bernie and Mini Mike seem to be pursuing what they hope is an honest electorate—one that will stay bought. The difference between the two is that Bernie is promising to use other peoples’ money while Mini Mike is also using quite a bit of his own.

Yep, everything is proceeding more or less as I have foreseen.

Stupor Tuesday


Tulsi Gabbard won a delegate which would have qualified her for the next debate under the old rules, so the DNC is already making noise about the rules changing.

Fauxcahontas came in third in her home state of Massachusetts.

Bernie finally got more than 50 % of the vote in a primary—in his home state of Vermont.

Biden appears to have beaten the 50 % mark in Virginia and Alabama.

The poll are just closing in California as I type this, and I’d rather get some sleep than pretend to be especially interested.

BTW, there were more voters in the Republican primaries than in the Democrat races in Alabama, Arkansas, Oklahoma, Tennessee, and Utah.

Team Kimberlin Post of the Day


I must confess that I’ve been bogged down in my Real World work life and haven’t paid much attention to The Dread Deadbeat Protector Kimberlin’s protectorelections dot org website of late. While I wasn’t looking, the site posted an article with original content (everything for the past year or so has been ripped off from other websites). The new article is dated 5 February, 2020, and it tries to spin the problems with the Democrats reporting app for the Iowa Caucus as a Russian hack.

Without evidence, the article proposes the following similarities between the Iowa debacle and an alleged Russian attack on an election in Ukraine:

  1. Malware and/or denial of services attack to delay and distort election results;

  2. Interference of election result transmission to central tabulators;

  3. Chaos that undermined vote counting and confidence in election results;

  4. Propaganda effort to blame delay on those who oppose pro-Russian candidate; (sic)

BTW, the authority cited for the alleged attack in Ukraine is empr dot media, an English-language Ukrainian “news” website hosted on the same server as breitbartunmasked dot com and greencasamaryland dot org. In 2017, Kimberlin changed the corporate name of Velvet Revoution US to Protect Our Elections/EMPR Inc.

Of course, Protect Our Elections takes the position that the Russians favor Bernie in the Democratic primaries because they favor Trump in the fall.

In the case of Iowa, Russia wants chaos and wants to use that chaos to divide the Democrats.  Of all the major candidates, Russia wants Bernie Sanders to be the nominee against Trump so the false narrative being spun by Russia and Trump is that Joe Biden and the DNC caused this Iowa meltdown in order to deprive Sanders of his win there.  Clearly, in the case of the Iowa cyber catastrophe, the real beneficiaries are Russia, Trump and Sanders.  Although election officials are feverishly trying to spin the failure on a bad app rather than Russia, Americans need to understand that when Russia benefits from something, it likely has a hand in it.

And that’s supposed to make sense? Let me get this straight—Democratic party officials are trying to hide hacking by the Russians in the Iowa primary in order to help Russia and Trump in November.

Uh, huh.

If Kimberlin expects that kind of crackpot theory to generate more donations to Protect Our Elections, he should probably fix the PayPal link.

CPAC 2020, Day Two


There’s a lot of speechifying at CPAC, and some of it’s worth hearing, but I spend most of my time networking and developing background information for future posts. I spent most of my time today on the floor of the exhibit hall, on broadcast row (where talk radio outlets are set up doing interviews), and in the lobby bar. One recurring theme I heard today was about outreach to minority voters and especially about bring black voters back into the Republican party.

I live in a far suburb of DC which is in range of WCSP-FM, C-SPAN’s local FM station, so during the drive home this evening I was able to listen to President Trump’s speech at a rally in South Carolina. His opening seemed almost like a standup comedy routine; he was clearly having a good time with a friendly audience. Toward the end of the speech, he made a pitch targeted explicitly at black voters which he ended by reminding everyone that the Republicans are the party of Lincoln. The crowd, a South Carolina crowd, erupted in cheers and applause.

The Republican Party has changed since I was growing up in the ’50s.

And so has South Carolina.

CPAC 2020, Day One


The big deal of the day was a speech by Vice-President Pence. It was well received, and there’s lots of coverage about it elsewhere.

When I was involved in the pro audio equipment industry, I would sit at a table in the lobby bar of the convention hotel for various trade shows and buy drinks for other engineers, often from competitors. I picked up lots of useful trade information that way—and made some good friends as well. I do something similar at CPAC. I take a table in the Lobby Bar at the Gaylord Convention Center about an hour or so before they start serving, and as the place begins to fill up, I invite people to join me. Among the folks at or near my table this afternoon were several Republican political operatives, and their discussions about the relative pros and cons of the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact were the most interesting things I heard today.

One group believes that the Compact would be beneficial to Republicans because it will create an additional incentive for Republican voters to turn out on election day, and these folks see that as being helpful for candidates down the ballot. I understand their reasoning, but I’m not convinced.

I pointed out that I expect Donald Trump to actually win the popular vote in November, but still lose California. The Compact won’t be in effect for this election, but the Democrats in the California legislature will be presented with a scenario that would have caused the state to gives its electoral votes to a candidate who a) didn’t win the state and b) is from the wrong party. If Trump wins the national popular vote and loses California in November, I’ve bet a bottle of scotch that the California legislature will vote to leave the Compact before the end of the year. One of the pro-compact guys told me that that couldn’t happen, that it was illegal, that there was no escape clause. However, the text of the compact explicitly says, “Any member state may withdraw from this agreement[.]”

Buy more popcorn.

And stay tuned.