Friday, February 5, 2016

I doubt that Hillary Clinton is electable. Bernie Sanders absolutely is.


Author’s note, February 7: Updated to include additional polling numbers.

There’s a really interesting Marquette University Poll from Wisconsin last week that no one seems to have noticed — but concerned progressives certainly should.

The Marquette poll is well known for the accuracy of its surveys in a critical swing state. Here’s what the most recent one found:
  • Former progressive Sen. Russ Feingold continues to hold a solid lead over incumbent Tea Party Republican Sen. Ron Johnson in next November’s matchup. No surprise there.
  • Here’s where things get fascinating, though. The same poll found that Hillary Clinton barely ekes out a one-point advantage over Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz in Wisconsin — well within the margin of error.
  • But when Bernie Sanders is tested against those two Republicans in Wisconsin, he crushes both of them by margins nearly identical to the lead that Feingold holds over Johnson in the Senate race.
  • Hillary Clinton’s lead over possible Republicans in the Badger State has been greatly diminished over time. Meanwhile, Sanders’ advantage there has dramatically expanded just since November.

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

The illusion of “choice” in America’s mainstream media


I was visiting nbcnews.com tonight, and for some reason, I took note of the footer on the site’s homepage. See anything that looks a touch out of place there?

XFINITY — that’s a (shitty) cable and Internet provider, isn’t it? Certainly not a news outlet, right?

So why in the world would an XFINITY logo and link be situated at the bottom of the NBC News website? Just in case you happen to be interested in shopping for a new television or wifi package after reading the day’s news?

I mean, what the hell?

This is one among many scenarios where Wikipedia really comes in handy. All you have to do is look up NBC News on Wikipedia, and you’ll quickly see that NBC News is a division that operates under a subsidiary of NBCUniversal. Click on NBCUniversal, and you’ll soon learn who owns that company: Comcast.

And who owns XFINITY? Also Comcast.

Monday, February 1, 2016

Some thoughts on tonight’s Iowa caucuses


One of the benefits of living on the West Coast is that our time zone here is behind the rest of the continental United States, so there’s always a bit of extra time for me to issue same-day pontifications on political events that take place farther east. Here are my initial ones in regard to tonight’s Iowa caucuses:

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

I probably won’t be too excited for your pregnancy announcement. Sorry.


I’m generally leery of making categorical statements, but not in this case: I categorically, unequivocally, absolutely, 100-percent never want kids — now or at any point in the future. In fact, I probably wouldn’t marry someone who does, unless she was willing to change her mind.

I certainly don’t disparage anyone who feels differently on this issue; indeed, many people my age do. Good for them. Live your life, and do whatever makes you happy. I’ll try to do the same.

Plus, kids can be very cute — just as long as they’re someone else’s kids.

As for me, however, I won’t someday lie on my death bed and feel as though my life was less meaningful because I never had children. Far from it. I cherish the freedom I have right now, and I suffer no anxiety that my legacy — whatever it turns out to be — will somehow be incomplete because I never procreated.

In short, the idea of having kids doesn’t appeal to me or excite me in the slightest. Not even a little bit. And I’m fully at peace with that.

Monday, January 25, 2016

Whale watching in the Salish Sea


May 2015: An orca whale surfaces for air in this pixelated photo I snapped while on a whale watching tour in the San Juan Islands of Washington state.

If you haven’t visited this rugged archipelago of hundreds of rocky, forested islands in the Salish Sea north of Seattle and south of Vancouver, you should add it to your Pacific Northwest bucket list immediately. It’s a beautiful, unique place.

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Four reasons Hillary Clinton shouldn’t be the Democratic nominee


I’m going to skip right over the “she’s owned by Wall Street and corporations and rich people and other special interests and is not a real progressive” bit. That’s a fine argument to make, but in my mind, it’s secondary to the following four considerations.