It’s Pragmatism, Stupid

By Amy Chozick and Patrick Healy (New York Times) — “This new line of attack was a risky attempt to puncture Mr. Sanders’s growing popularity before the next nominating contests in Nevada and South Carolina. Mrs. Clinton is wagering that voters will care that Mr. Sanders has not provided a political strategy or clear financing plan to enact Medicare for all and provide free public colleges, and that such details will matter more to voters than his inspiring political message.”

Webb Out

Jim Webb spoke today at the World Affairs Council of Dallas/Ft. Worth about the need for a vigorous foreign policy debate in the presidential campaign and his conclusion that he will not pursue an independent campaign. 

Webb: “I’ve worked with both parties, including as an official in the Reagan administration and as a Democrat in the Senate. Both parties, in my view, have moved away from the major concerns of the average American. We looked at the possibility of an independent candidacy. Theoretically it could be done, but it is enormously costly and time sensitive, and  I don’t see the fundraising trajectory where we could make a realistic run.”

In his speech Webb discussed the lack of serious foreign policy debate in the current presidential election cycle.

“We have not had a clear statement of national security policy since the end of the Cold War, “ he said. “And I see no one running for president today who has a firm understanding of the elements necessary to build a national strategy.”

Webb will meet tomorrow at 9:00 am with the Dallas Morning News Editorial Board.

And Now It’s National

Cathleen Decker (Los Angeles Times): “Tuesday marked the end of regional contests and the beginning of a national campaign, with all the financial and logistical demands that entails. … One Clinton campaign concern is that Sanders will benefit from the same primary dynamic that aided Barack Obama in 2008: a cascade of support that fell toward him as voters realized that he might actually win the nomination. The situations are different: Obama was a breakout African American candidate trying to appeal to black voters. … As a senator from Vermont, Sanders has not had to forge the relationships that would come in handy now with black and Latino voters. But as the New Hampshire contest wore on, he became more adept at expressing concern about issues important to those voters.”

  • On Feb. 20, Democrats in Nevada and Republicans in South Carolina will vote.
  • On Feb. 23, Nevada Republicans will make their picks
  • On Feb.27, Democrats will compete in South Carolina.
  • On March 1, the race widens to more than a dozen states, many in the South, that vote on March 1: Alabama, Alaska, Arkansas, Colorado caucuses, Georgia, Massachusetts, Minnesota caucuses, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Texas, Vermont, Virginia, and Wyoming

Hillary Humiliated

New Hampshire in Clinton lore was once their land of fairy tales, the place they came back from the worst. But this was a crushing defeat, far worse for her than imaginable. Invincibility, inevitability? Gone. No amount of spin can twist this away. Sure, going forward the Democratic demographic terrain might favor Clinton but the remarkable resistance to her in New Hampshire’s more general-election type electorate reveals a major warning sign for Democrats in November if she is the nominee.

Where We Are

The presidential campaign seems to be at a crossroad, and it is in New Hampshire. Will the status quo survive? That is the question. Will Jeb Bush beat expectations and revive? Will Hillary Clinton overcome? The establishment has served us all so poorly that I hope the answer to both questions is a resounding NO. But if not, this too shall pass and we will certainly survive.

Debate Rut

At least tonight’s Republican debate, airing just before Tuesday’s New Hampshire primary, could be pivotal, but these last few days, with two Democratic showdowns, are getting a bit tiresome even for the most addicted political junkies. Still, get out the popcorn, here’s your latest debate thread (on ABC 8pm ET).

‘I Got The Fever For Some Ham Hocks’

— Goodie Mob (Soul Food Remix)

By Blue Bronc, Trail Mix Contributor

Can I call the Bern to go find where my ham hock went? How about Hillary coming to town and making me a big bowl of ham hock, beans and greens? No need to bother with the Republicans. To them, anyone who would eat a ham hock is not one of their voters (this is guessing they even know what a ham hock is).

All day I had been dreaming of a smoked ham hock in a pot meeting with a pound of split green peas, on onion, a few carrots and celery and some chicken stock. Okay, some thoughts for hot dogs. Not hot dogs in a plastic package which have a shelf life longer than my truck. Hot dogs and a smoked ham hock from the local Dutch/Amish Market (some confusion as both labels are used interchangeably). Hot dogs with a crunch, a smoked ham hock that is big and meaty.

While I was getting a turkey leg to smoke and a pile of chicken leg quarters, someone moved my grocery buggy. Little did I know that, when I took my cart and rolled over to buy a pack of hot dog buns. Hot dog buns that you do need to eat or freeze today. My cart with my hot dogs, smoked ham hock and two pork chops was not where I tossed my chicken and turkey parts.  I got home and had two pork chops and a pound of bacon.

hamThere is something about being in the midst of a couple dozen Amish men, women and children that I enjoy. I have been lucky enough to have grown up visiting their villages and towns since I was a young child. Their lives are very enticing. Oh the lack of anything beyond 1890 is something well known. The other parts of their lives are what I like.

Why would anyone not like a utopian socialist religious society like the Amish? Plenty of fun things to do. Milk cows. Muck the horse barn. Sew your own clothes. Sounds good so far, eh?

Republicans are fervently not Amish. The whole share and work together to make a better day causes them to freak out and stain their drawers.
How about Democrats? Amish? No. Some parts sound good, but being nice to each other every day and sewing your own clothes seem a bit much.

Bernie? How about Bernie in the old Amish community? Nah. He is a socialist, not a utopian socialist, which includes religion. Not that not being religious is a problem for a good share of Americans. His foreign events policy would be interesting to them.

Can you imagine living in a world where the pace is the speed of a horse and you have to do a lot of wood splitting to stay warm in the winter? A place where there is no television, radio or internet.

A place where you do not have to hear or see politicians like the group we have today.