Thursday, March 3, 2016

Super Thursday

Tonight is the first of two nights of quarterfinal action in the state hoops tournaments!

Related: Super Tuesday's Next Day Updates

"What does Trump’s dominance tell us about Massachusetts Republicans?" by Eric Fehrnstrom   February 25, 2016

Donald Trump is not moderate, but a win in Massachusetts will demonstrate just how much he has succeeded in expanding his coalition beyond alienated working-class voters. Where Trump has won, he’s done so in convincing fashion, across all age and income groups, men and women, independents, conservatives, and moderates.

For the state party, a Trump victory will confirm changes that have been slowly brewing. The grass roots are restless. A growing dissatisfaction with government causes them to eye their own leadership with suspicion.

The Republican race now enters a new stage. It is less about who finishes second or third and more about the math: who can amass the 1,237 delegates necessary to secure the party’s nod at the Republican National Convention in Cleveland?

In Massachusetts, 42 delegates are up for grabs on Tuesday. Kasich and Rubio each hope to win the lion’s share and emerge as the favorite of an establishment that remains frightened of a Trump nomination. Massachusetts would seem to be tailor-made for them. Instead, it looks like just one more state that will propel Trump to the nomination....


"Sense of crisis envelops GOP as Trump rises" by Matt Viser and Tracy Jan Globe Staff  March 03, 2016

DETROIT — A growing sense of crisis enveloped the Republican Party Wednesday after Donald Trump’s strong Super Tuesday performance, with 2012 Republican nominee Mitt Romney preparing to call for a united front against Trump.

From congressional corridors to State House hallways, party leaders fretted about Trump’s candidacy and the damage his divisive rhetoric about immigrants and Muslims has inflicted on the party, but in a sign of growing desperation among GOP elites, Romney planned to step off the sidelines more aggressively and deliver a speech in Utah Thursday about the 2016 nomination battle. Close advisers said Romney was not planning to enter the race himself or to endorse anyone, but instead would seek to use his leverage as an elder statesman to unify the party.

Behind Trump?

RelatedTrump endorses Romney

Look at the smile on Mitt!

So much for returning the favor.

On Capitol Hill — where there is talk about starting a new political party if Trump is the GOP nominee — senators were aghast at the growing Trump phenomenon.


They also said they may run an independent against him -- after badgering him not to mount such an effort. 

Regardless of what you think of Trump, the e$tablishment are a bunch of a$$holes!!

The Republican Party establishment, splintered for much of the nominating contest among several different candidates, has struggled with how to deal with Trump. First they dismissed him. Then they underestimated him. Now, they’re overwhelmed by him.

Trump has won 10 of the first 15 nominating contests. He holds a comfortable lead in delegates, but he’s only one-fourth of the way toward the 1,237 needed to secure the nomination.

One of the last hopes for those who want to deny Trump the nomination is to prevent him from getting a majority.

Or get some mind-controlled Manchurian patsy to take the fall for a bullet in the back of his head.

That would lead to a contested convention, releasing delegates pledged to him and potentially allowing another candidate to win. But there are enormous risks for the party’s political establishment if the effort to derail a Trump candidacy alienates voters across the country.

Ron Paul taught them nothing. 

In fact, had the party listened back then there never would have been a Trump.

“If someone rolls into that convention with a majority of votes and majority of delegates and the establishment — either perceived or real — tries to take the nomination from the leading vote-getter, then there’s going to be a political jihad like you’ve never seen,” said Hogan Gidley, a Republican consultant. “That’s going to be an absolute disaster, on many levels.”

Interesting choice of words.

“The establishment wouldn’t be rejecting Donald Trump,” he added. “They’d be rejecting the will of the voters.”

Honestly, it wouldn't be the first time.

Trump appeared to lay low Wednesday after his impressive night, but he was posting messages on Twitter. “Why can’t the leaders of the Republican Party see that I am bringing in new voters by the millions — we are creating a larger, stronger party!’’ he wrote.

Trump in his victory speech Tuesday appeared to recognize the challenges he faces after his campaign of divisiveness. He called himself a unifier. He joked that he was learning how to be diplomatic. He has boasted about endorsements of several prominent GOP politicians, including conservative Senator Jeff Sessions of Alabama and moderate New Jersey Governor Chris Christie.

Boycotting Trump or trying to derail him at the convention could lead to the splitting of the party, some warned. 

Looks like they are headed that way anyway. 

Heck, if they deny him maybe Donald runs as an independent along with Bloomberg. 

That would give us four "choices" for president.

“Look I’m going to support anybody that comes through the Republican process,” said Senator David Perdue Jr. a Georgia Republican. “If people don’t like the Republican process, we need to change the process.”

With no coherent party effort to bring him down — and after months of displaying a meek unwillingness to attack him — the scattershot strategy so far has the feel of a potluck supper: Everyone brings something, with the hopes that at least one dish is a success.

The campaign has gone from horse race to pot luck supper! 


At least we must be all done "shopping" for a candidate.

Senate Republicans on Wednesday appeared divided into two camps: those who disavow the Trump brand, saying it does not represent the Republican Party they know, and those — especially senators running for reelection like Johnny Isakson of Georgia and the normally verbose John McCain of Arizona — who are wary of coming down against a presumptive nominee who has drawn a flood of voter support from all corners of the country.

And yet we were told all his support was racist Klansmen.

Some Republicans in the key swing states of Ohio and Florida have vowed to shun Trump if he wins the nomination.

Romney has grown increasingly alarmed by Trump....


"Could populist wave send Trump to the White House?" by Annie Linskey Globe Staff  March 03, 2016

WASHINGTON — If Donald Trump fights his way to the Republican nomination, there’s evidence showing he could also ride his populist, outsider wave right onto the lawn at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave.

The freshest clues lie in election results from Super Tuesday, especially in moderate Massachusetts, where the casino and real estate mogul won a stunning 31-point victory. It was his largest margin of the seven states he won Tuesday.

Trump won half of the unaffiliated Bay State voters who came out, exit polls showed. His populist rhetoric attracted the most voters making less than $50,000 a year.

Trump may not have a pickup truck, but he is riding the same wave of discontent that helped propel Scott Brown to the US Senate from Massachusetts in 2010. Brown on Wednesday told the Globe he recognizes the warning signs for the Democratic Party in Trump’s candidacy.

Brown and other Trump boosters say they can imagine a Ronald Reagan-type scenario that sweeps through the nation on the backs of white working-class voters who either stay home each year or typically trend Democratic.

The tsunami of GOP establishment rebukes directed against Trump, Brown said, only make him stronger with downtrodden supporters who feel crushed by the system.

“When you are dissing Trump, they get more and more angry,” Brown said. But Brown also conditioned his remark, noting Trump still needs to prove he can reach out and unify the fractured party.

The durability of Trump’s appeal has confounded the best Republican minds for six months, and national polls show him within striking distance of Democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton.

Within striking distance???? She beats him by 1 point!

Strategists warn against underestimating Trump. At the very least, the selection of Trump as the Republican standard bearer could scramble predictions in some traditionally key swing states.

Trump offers an antiestablishment message that can sound more like Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren than, say, Mitt Romney. Hedge fund managers are “getting away with murder” he says. He’s called Wall Street bankers “fat cats.” He’s labeled the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade accord “a horrible deal.”

That last one is behind a lot of the e$tabli$hment hatred. 

Of course, he's a hypocrite, right?

Even some Democrats acknowledge his message could provide him inroads with blue-collar voters in Ohio, Michigan, and Pennsylvania who’ve more recently voted for Democrats but relate to Trump’s maverick nature.


“Trump is like the grizzly bear in ‘The Revenant,’ ” former House Speaker Newt Gingrich said, referring to the gritty survival movie that includes a memorable bear mauling. “When you attack him he goes crazy, and he does everything he can to pound you into the ground. And in every blue-collar bar in America, they cheer. Because that’s exactly what they want in a leader.”

Top Clinton boosters say the former secretary of state, if indeed she faces Trump, must convince lower income voters that his policies wouldn’t improve their lot in life.

“When working class voters learn more about Trump’s record on issues involving wages — for example, the minimum wage — they may rethink whether he’s really the right person for them,” said Geoff Garin, a pollster for Clinton’s super PAC Priorities USA. “Trump’s record and positions on economic issues may end up being a reason that may cause blue-collar voters to rethink whether he’s someone who would look out for them.”

And Clinton is? Wealth inequality has soared under Obama!!

He disputed the notion that there are large swaths of working-class Democrats ready to defect to the Republican Party.

“Today we call Reagan Democrats ‘Republicans,’ ” he said.

That's why Congress is now in Republican hands.

Clinton’s plan to take on Trump was already on display during her victory speech Tuesday night, when she called out to economically devastated Rust Belt cities.

“We can break down the barriers that face working class families across America, especially in struggling Rust Belt communities and small, Appalachian towns that have been hollowed out by lost jobs and lost hope,” Clinton said from her election night party in Miami. “Families who for generations kept our lights on and our factories running.”

Under you!

And while few at this point believe that Clinton would actually lose Massachusetts to Trump in a general election, she has struggled — even in her primary race — to attract those working class Democrats who could be drawn to Trump.

“If Democrats take solace that this wrecking ball named Trump is swinging through the Republican Party, get ready for the wrecking ball that is going to go through the Democratic Party if he’s the nominee,” said Ari Fleischer, a former White House press secretary for President George W. Bush who has been predicting that Trump could be the GOP nominee.

“Hillary’s hold over working blue-collar Democrats who are worried about the economy is tenuous,” he said. “And many of them will join Trump.”

Instead, the lower income voters on the Democratic side have picked rival Bernie Sanders — and did so in Massachusetts Tuesday night as well. The only income category Clinton won in the state was voters who make more than $100,000 a year.

“You can see crossover characteristics in Sanders and Trump voters,” said Phil Cox, a Republican strategist and former executive director to the Republican Governors Association. “They are disaffected and believe the current system is broken.

Must be why there are no references to Duke today. That desperate strategy has again failed.

“Trump has demonstrated a broad appeal among the strong majority of Republican primary voters who think Washington is broken,” Cox said. “His appeal cuts across ideological, geographic, and socio-economic groups. This same disaffection applies to so-called Reagan Democrats as well.”

The last time a place like Massachusetts voted for a Republican for president was in 1984, when Reagan swept the country, winning every state except Minnesota and the District of Columbia. The Bay State also supported Reagan in 1980.

Democratic and Republican strategists agree that even if Trump can make inroads in states that typically vote for Democrats in the presidential election, he would also be playing defense in others states that are typically red.

Those would include places like Arizona that have large Hispanic populations, a voting bloc Trump appears to have alienated with his immigration proposals.



I don't see any path forward for this monster, but you better get your passport ready just in case.


Charlie Baker won’t vote for Donald Trump in November

He did he vote for again?

"Six New Jersey newspapers called for Governor Chris Christie to resign. His backing of Trump led some former donors and allies, including his onetime campaign chairwoman, to renounce him. On Monday, New Hampshire’s Union Leader and the Boston Herald both expressed regret for having supported Christie’s failed presidential run. Christie, who introduced Trump at his Super Tuesday victory speech in Florida and then stood behind the real-estate investor as he spoke at length, was mocked on social media for his facial expressions. ‘‘Joining forces with Donald Trump was hardly a vehicle for getting voters to reconsider their sour mood toward the governor,’’ said Krista Jenkins, a political science professor and director of PublicMind. On Monday, during Christie’s first press conference in the New Jersey State House since abandoning his presidential bid, the governor refused to answer any questions about his Trump endorsement. That was a departure for Christie, whose press briefings typically last more than an hour as he responds to various topics."

I suppose there could be another job for Christie in a Trump administration. 

Secretary of Transportation maybe?

Also seeWinner, second candidate die before vote tallied

They are‘‘horrible, coincidental tragedies’’ in Tennessee, and could we ever use some perspective now (RIP, friend).

And while Trump is drawing millions of new voters:

"The falloff in Democratic primary turnout — which often reveals whether a candidate is exciting voters and attracting them to the polls — reached deeply into some of the core groups of voters Clinton must not only win in November but turn out in large numbers


It stands in sharp contrast to the flood of energized new voters showing up at the polls to vote for Donald J. Trump in the Republican contest. Some Democrats worry that Clinton will have difficulty matching the surge in black, Hispanic, and young voters who came to the polls for Barack Obama in 2008 and 2012. “Barack Obama without that surge is John Kerry,” said Cornell Belcher, a Democratic pollster who worked on Obama’s reelection campaign, referring to the losing Democratic nominee in 2004. “Just turning out the traditional minority base is not a 51 percent pathway going into November.” The results suggest that Clinton, who has surpassed every other presidential candidate in fund-raising and has the overwhelming support of her party’s elected leaders, still faces a daunting and difficult road to reassembling the winning Obama coalition." 

Seven years of an abysmal failure of a presidency will do that, and so much for Trump being in striking distance.

People are not happy about Bill Clinton’s appearance at Mass. polls 

I wasn't, and they are calling for his “prosecution” and “arrest,” and I second the motion.

"Sanders faces tough climb to nomination" by Eric Moskowitz Globe Staff  March 03, 2016

They are giving the insurgent candidate a slim chance, and if I see that word one more time to describe some political candidacy.... !!

BURLINGTON, Vt. — With 2,383 delegates needed for the nomination, the Associated Press Wednesday put Clinton’s tally at 1,052, compared to 427 for Sanders. Nearly half her total came from “superdelegates” — elected officials and state and national party leaders — who are not tethered to primary results and overwhelmingly back Clinton.

On Wednesday, her campaign manager, Robby Mook, said they expect to widen that margin soon, “making it increasingly difficult and eventually mathematically impossible for Senator Sanders to catch up.”

Still, Sanders’ longtime supporters in Vermont’s Queen City — where he served as mayor before being elected to the US Congress — share the conviction that he can come back to win. And they want to see him stay in the race no matter what.

Tad Devine, a senior strategist for Sanders, said part of their plan is to peel off superdelegates. He called their support for Clinton “very soft,” noting that 120 seemingly committed superdelegates jumped from her to Obama in 2008.

Devine also said party rules mean even seemingly “pledged” delegates, determined by primary and caucus results, have some flexibility to switch at the convention if a race remains competitive. “I would suggest that understanding the dynamics of a modern presidential campaign requires more than the skills of simple arithmetic,” Devine said.

Rich Cassidy, a Democratic National Committee member from Vermont who is pledged to Sanders, said many superdelegates at the 2015 DNC summer meeting told him they were supporting Clinton out of loyalty, but that was ages ago in campaign time.

Besides, “people like to support a winner and if he couldn’t win and win convincingly in a place like Massachusetts, where is he going to be able to do that?” 

[His] talk of a map to victory “sounds to me like a lot of hopeful thinking that doesn’t have any kind of reality behind it. Black voters are not necessarily bloc voters, but they do tend to be somewhat conservative, and they vote for the person they think has the best chance of winning.” 

They Klinghard to the Clintons.


Maine, Michigan, Kansas and Nebraska all have nominating contests in the next week.

"Sanders backers need to wage a broader battle" by Yvonne Abraham Globe Columnist  March 03, 2016

Let those who cling to the quaint notion that Massachusetts is a lefty bulwark pause to ponder Tuesday’s remarkable results: Bernie Sanders couldn’t win here, and Donald Trump could.

The writing is on the wall for the Vermont senator. Sanders has the resources and supporters to continue his campaign well into the summer, but electoral math makes his path to the nomination exponentially harder now — though he and his people maintaina quixotic confidence that he can still overtake Hillary Clinton.

Tuesday night made Clinton a far more formidable candidate, not just because of her delegate tally, but also because of Trump’s resounding victory.

We’re not special in Massachusetts. We never were.

I never said we were, and speak for yourself.

Here, as in so many other places, the bigoted buffoon’s appeals to voters’ baser instincts worked brilliantly. More than 300,000 of our fellow citizens sized up Trump — his taunting pettiness, his racism, his advocacy for war crimes, his wilful ignorance — and endorsed it all, deciding they loved this drunk-text of a campaign. And they’re just the ones who remembered to vote.

He may be advocating war crimes, but at least he hasn't committed any yet. 

Nor did he blare lies on the front pages of the papers in promoting such things.

To the horror of so many inside and outside his party, it looks like Trump will be the Republican nominee for president. And if that happens, the enthusiasm gap that has bedeviled Clinton’s campaign so far will evaporate.

Yes, it was noted yesterday that her support is flat, not growing, and won't. We know who and what she is.

Yes, Clinton’s baggage car is full, with plenty for even devoted Democrats to dislike: her hawkishness on foreign policy, her ties to Wall Street, her support for welfare reform decades ago.

And yet the minorities and women still luv her!

But she has become a far stronger candidate during this primary. Pulled to the left by Sanders, Clinton is talking about jailing bankers who break the law and hitting populist themes in Flint, Mich., in the wake of its water contamination debacle.

What campaign BS, and I can't believe she cited those cynical photo opportunities as proof.

And whatever doubts remain among left-leaning voters will quickly be put to rest by the specter of a President Trump. Sane Republicans, including our own governor Charlie Baker, and former governor Mitt Romney — set to deliver a speech Thursday in an attempt to head off Trump — know that.

But barring something close to a miracle, it’s too late for Republicans, who created Trump, to stop him. And that means the general election will be beyond ugly, with Trump’s well-honed sexism and grade-school insults having only one target. It’s going to be dispiriting to watch — especially for Sanders supporters, some of whom will be holding their noses as they vote for Clinton.

I was told above they are more likely to cross over to Trump!!

But if that’s the way it plays out, there is something else devotees of the firebrand senator from Vermont can do: Fix it so that future candidates like him become more like the mainstream of the party, and not insurgents.

There is that word again!

The voters Sanders has mobilized — young and passionate — tend to disappear in off-years. They ghosted after Barack Obama won in 2008 and 2012.

It was the broken promises.

“There’s this illusion . . . that just electing a president is enough,” said Paul Starr, professor of sociology and public affairs at Princeton, and cofounder of The American Prospect. “You have to actually win Congress as well before you can do anything, and you have to win again and again, otherwise you’re just kidding yourself.”

Enacting a progressive agenda means electing an army of candidates like Sanders across the country. Adam Green of the Progressive Change Campaign Committee, which backs unapologetic liberals like Senator Elizabeth Warren, says that is already underway, citing a slew of congressional candidates his group supports.

But Starr says he isn’t seeing anything close to the transformational shift required to achieve goals like universal health care, debt-free college tuition, and true corporate accountability. That requires voters disenchanted by this year’s food fight to resist the urge to walk away from the fray. We need their energy, and their idealism, more than ever....

How odd that I am feeling just that way, and that stuff tends to wear off when you see it's all a big $how.


Time to get ready for a different kind of game.