Thursday, October 27, 2016

Battle of Segale

The Battle of Segale took place in Ethiopia on this day in 1916.  Negus Mikael of Wollo marched on Addis Ababa in support of his son, the Emperor Designate Iyasu V.  His forces were defeated by  Fitawrari Habte Giyorgis which secured the throne for Empress Zewditu.

 Empress Zewditu of Ethiopia, Empress from 1916 to 1930.  The defeated Iyasu V outlived her but never returned to power.

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

A Mid Week At Work Blog Mirror: Kit Up; Trails Found: Training SOF to Operate on Horseback

Trails Found: Training SOF to Operate on Horseback.

Standards of Dress: The high school graduation

 High school students, Pennsylvania, 1942.

I originally started this thread at the time of my son's high school graduation.  Like a lot of threads around here that get sort of started, it marinated a long time and I'm only know just getting back around to it.

Indeed, as an aside, I'll note that some marinate so long they spoil, and are discarded.  I usually have about 100 draft posts, some up to two years old, that are lingering around.  I shouldn't do that, as the older they get, the less likely it is that they'll ever be finished.

Anyhow, what I started to note here is that during the recent high school graduation I was surprised by how dressed down the crowed was, and I don't mean the students.  They were generally better dressed than many of the adults.  There are truly no standard in dress anymore.

Outdoor graduation, 1941.

Even as late as the 1960s a crowd of adults here turned out for a high school graduation would have been well dressed. . . nice dressed for the women, and suits and ties for the men.  Not any longer. T-shirts adorned a lot of the adults.

I'm not much better, I'll note. I think I wore a polo shirt in the school colors.

This probably isn't good, in all sorts of ways. For one thing, it  pre loads an assumption in the minds of the young.  Things here aren't the same as they are everywhere.  Indeed, I was recently in Houston in a business hotel and the men lining up for the early breakfast each day were definitely dressed.  Maybe our standards locally have declined more than they have elsewhere, which means when our kids end up in that environment, which seems to be the direction society is engineered to send them, there will be a bit of a learning curve.

Crowd of parents and well wishers at a segregated high school, Georgia, 1941.

Out of curiosity, if you've been to an event like this recently, how were people dressed?

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

On the occasion of the commencement of the 2016 World Series

The one constant through all the years, Ray, has been baseball. America has rolled by like an army of steamrollers. It has been erased like a blackboard, rebuilt and erased again. But baseball has marked the time. This field, this game: it's a part of our past, Ray. It reminds of us of all that once was good and it could be again. Oh... people will come Ray. People will most definitely come.
Field of Dreams.

Matters of preception: The old and the new?

This late 1910 issue of Puck really shows us some interesting things about conditions and preceptions of little over a century ago.

Viewing Milestone

Sometime yesterday this blog went over the 200,000 views mark.  Pretty remarkable in some ways.

On the other hand, this blog has been around for quite awhile, so perhaps not.   While there are a few postdated entries here, the actual first post came on May 1, 2009.  200,000 views in seven years isn't exactly an Internet sensation by any means.  Of course, early on the blog was very inactive and therefore its not surprising that it received little in the way of readership. 

It's readership has picked up a lot this year.  It has ups and downs, but starting in March it really picked up. That was the anniversary of the Punitive Expedition and we started posting a lot on that.  Searches on that, perhaps, might explain it.  The frequent insertion of newspapers from 1916 also seems to have had a marked impact.  Given that we were basically running some things in "real time", so to speak, we also started linking some of those threads into Reddit's 100 Years Ago Today subreddit, which also had quite an impact.

Indeed, an impact of 100 Years Ago today is that the longstanding list of most viewed threads changed nearly completely.  Only one of the threads on the all time top ten, the one on hats, was on that list before Reddit impacted the list and changed it nearly completely.  Posts on Arminto, Wyoming, young Queen Elizabeth II in Canada and the Niobrara County courthouse left the top ten, presumably for all time.  Most of those thread would have about half of the views they'd need to be on the top ten list, even though some of them had been on it for years.

Indeed, some of the newer threads on the list have gone over 1,000 views in a day, pretty remarkable when we consider that getting about 500 used to guarantee that the thread would be on the top ten list.  Right now, the site gets over 15,000 views per month.  Prior to March of this year, the all time high had been September 2014 which had seen 5,000 views that month.  In February 2015 the number was back down to a little over 2,000 per month.  March of that year brought it back up to a little over 4,000 and it hovered around that for a long time.  March 2016 brought it back up to nearly 5,000.  Last month in had a little over 19,500.  It's had just over 16,000 this month, with the month nearly over, so my guess is that September 2016 will be a peak for some time.

Thanks go out to everyone who reads the blog.  Special thanks go out to everyone who has commented on a thread.  This blog remains mostly a learning exercise, so i particularly enjoy any engagement we receive.

Monday, October 24, 2016

Wyoming National Guard M1917 Helmet

A Wyoming National Guard M1917 helmet.


No doubt painted in this fashion after the war.  Generally, it's maintained that US units didn't paint unit insignias on their helmets until after the war.

Wyoming Fact and Fiction: Westward Ho the Wagons

Wyoming Fact and Fiction: Westward Ho the Wagons: I can remember many years ago watching or listening to  various programs that ended with some form of the phrase – “and the rest is history...

Spillway forms, Keechelus Dam, Yakim River, Washington, October 24, 1916.

LOC Caption:  Photographic copy of photograph, photographer unknown, 24 October 1916 (original print located at U.S. Bureau of Reclamation Upper Columbia Area Office, Yakima, Washington). "Spillway forms." - Keechelus Dam, Spillway, Yakim River, 10 miles northwest of Easton, Easton, Kittitas County, WA

The Big Picture. Inspecting the ore docks.

Members of American Iron and Steel Institute inspecting the ore docks, Cleveland, Oct. 23, 1915

Sunday, October 23, 2016

Lawrence meets Feisal for the first time, October 23, 1916

While we've been looking at the Punitive Expedition, momentous occurrences have been going on in the Middle East and more were about to occur.

It was on this date, October 23, 1916, that T. E. Lawrence, then a Captain in the British Army, first met  Emir Feisal, son of Sherif Hussein of Mecca.  As recounted by Lawrence in Seven Pillars of Wisdom:
He led me to an inner court, on whose further side, framed between the uprights of a black doorway, stood a white figure waiting tensely for me. I felt at first glance that this was the man I had come to Arabia to seek – the leader who would bring the Arab Revolt to full glory. Feisal looked very tall and pillar-like, very slender, in his long white silk robes and his brown head-cloth bound with a brilliant scarlet and gold cord. His eyelids were dropped; and his black beard and colourless face were like a mask against the strange, still watchfulness of his body. His hands were crossed in front of him on his dagger.I greeted him. He made way for me into the room, and sat down on his carpet near the door. As my eyes grew accustomed to the shade, they saw that the little room held many silent figures, looking at me or at Feisal steadily. He remained staring down at his hands, which were twisting slowly about his dagger. At last he inquired softly how I had found the journey. I spoke of the heat and he asked how long from Rabegh, commenting that I had ridden fast for the season.
"And do you like our place here in Wadi Safra?"
"Well; but it is far from Damascus."
The word had fallen like a sword in their midst. There was a quiver. Then everybody present stiffened where he sat, and held his breath for a silent minute. Some, perhaps, were dreaming of far off success: others may have thought it a reflection on their late defeat. Feisal at length lifted his eyes, smiling at me, and said, "Praise be to God, there are Turks nearer us than that". We all smiled with him; and I rose and excused myself for the moment.

Sunday Morning Scene: Churches of the West: St. Hubert's Catholic Church, Kaycee-Sussex Road

Churches of the West: St. Hubert's Catholic Church, Kaycee-Sussex Road:

This Catholic Church, served by the Parish in Buffalo, is a truly rural church being located on the highway leading east out of Kaycee, Wyoming, which goes to Sussex. The small church is just off the highway, in an area that's otherwise agricultural.

Saturday, October 22, 2016

Exposing the foolishness of transfering the public lands

The much anticipated study, sponsored by the legislature, to examine the costs of transferring the public lands to Wyoming reveals. . . we can't afford it.

Or that's what it basically reveals.

The costs would be really high, and we just can't bear the cost.

That this would be the case, and that the same result has been arrived upon in other studies, elsewhere, is no surprise.

Also no surprise is that one legislative sponsor of this much disliked proposal won't concede the evidence. And that should give us pause.

The state's economy is the thing he cites, which means in the long term , or maybe not even the long term, one simple thing.

They'd sell the land off, or end up dong so, and essentially destroy the character of the state.

Politicians holding this view should be held accountable.  If you hunt, fish, or hike, you need to change their minds.

Poster Saturday: Seven Samurai

Fifty-Fifty Reased, October 22, 1916

If Prudence the Pirate didn't strike your fancy, Fifty-Fifty was released on this day in 1916 as well.

The plot involves an intended divorce, a rival female suitor, and a wise family court judge.

1916 at the movies: Prudence the Pirate released

Released on this date.

And you haven't seen it.  It's a lost film.

Apparently the plot entailed the protagonist's Aunt attempting to get her to marry the self centered John Astorbilt, but she turns down his refusal, and takes to a life of piracy.

Jihadi attacks in the US.

Friday, October 21, 2016

Maybe you "can't go home again". . .but you sure don't have to keep traveling in the same stupid direction.

"You can't go home again"

Thomas Wolfe, from the novel by the same name.*

"Those who do not learn history are doomed to repeat it."

Adulterated version of a statement by George Santayana.**

"You are going home again."

Holscher's First Law of Human Behavior

The other day (actually quite a few days ago now), I published this rant:
Lex Anteinternet: How dense we've become. Denver Topless Day, How g...: This is, I'll confess, a full blown rant. Which means, perhaps, that I shouldn't publish it at all.  If I do, it means I've o...
Since that time I've published what might perhaps be an ancillary rant on a related topic.  And I've had to endure and endless number of political debates and Facebook posts on the current election, a lot of which are based on assumptions of a necessary straight line progression from point A to point B, with perhaps the only question being where point B is, although it's pretty evident that a lot of the debaters aren't very aware of where point A was.

It's time to rethink a lot of this.

It might at first blush (assuming that modern Americans are capable of even blushing, given that a sense of decency has declined to shocking level that the "cow town" city of Denver Colorado now features stoners on the street (and airport) and an annual Topless Day) seem that Denver Topless Day, local baloonification surgery, and political debates have nothing to do with the express purpose of this blog, as related in our very first post.  In that, of course, we claimed:
The intent of this blog is to try to explore and learn a few things about the practice of law prior to the current era. That is, prior to the internet, prior to easy roads, and the like. How did it work, how regional was it, how did lawyers perceive their roles, and how were they perceived?
But maybe it actually does.

As readers of this blog know, this blog focuses on the period of about 1890 until about 1920, although it strays a lot. Recently there's been a lot of threads on the year 1916 (which are on point, I'd note) which is due to the centennial of the Punitive Expedition.  Indeed, this year has featured a lot more posts than prior years, and in no small part due to that centennial.

One of the purposes of the blog was, as noted in the first post, was to look at life a century ago. And in doing that, we've learned a lot about that era in a way that we wouldn't necessarily have known otherwise.  I can't say that it's become on obsession, but once you learn stuff its hard to ignore it.  And it's hard not to draw conclusions and make some comparisons.

Now, I have no intent of romanticizing the past, which I've posted about before. The past wasn't really all that romantic and it had plenty of problems.  In 1916, rather obviously, there was a titanic problem in the works in the form of World War One, which any way you look at it is a war which doesn't really leave a person feeling all that nifty about it.  What was it about?  Even now, there's lots of answers to that question, but there's no real agreement on any of them.  Yesterday, as a recent example, we learned of the tragic loss of life on Lake Erie in a storm, much of which can be attributed to nonexistent, nearly, weather reporting in that era combined with a complete lack of ship to shore, or ship to ship, communications.  Those men died alone, as nobody could have known what was happening to the.

Pretty grim.

But we also have to admit that in some ways the past compares very favorably with the present, and there are definitely lessons to be learned. . . and applied.

Santayana actually said "Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it"  That is undoubtedly true and there's plenty of evidence of that.  Some, or Americans any way, are fond of quoting Thomas Wolfe in the fashion quoted above, which came from a novel (making the utility of the quote at least somewhat questionable).  His actual expanded line, from the novel is:  "You can't go back home to your family, back home to your childhood ... back home to a young man's dreams of glory and of fame ... back home to places in the country, back home to the old forms and systems of things which once seemed everlasting but which are changing all the time – back home to the escapes of Time and Memory."

Well, maybe you can't go home again (or maybe you really can, in part). . . but you sure don't have to keep going in the same stupid direction.

 Straight line to somewhere, but where?  History doesn't have to work this way.

That often seems to be the lesson that people take away. That is, the opposite one.  In other words, if you can't go home again, which may not be an accurate statement in the first place, you have to keep on keeping on in the direction you are going.

Even if you don't like it.

And there's plenty of evidence that people actually aren't all that keen on the direction that the country and society is heading.

The country was never prefect by a long shot but what we can seemingly tell is that people did like the slower and much more rural aspect of American society in prior eras. As we've gotten away from that, and have been told that we had to, we've developed what seems to be a national psychosis.  Depression is rampant, a large number of Americans have to be medicated just to tolerate their daily lives and work lives.  Estimates are that up to, and even over, 70% of Americans don't like their jobs.  And it also seems fairly clear that the decay in social standards, which is encouraged by the political left on the country,  has not liberated anyone, but rather made quite a few miserable and many more confused.  The Justice Kennedyesque Utopia promised to be around the corner, hasn't been.

Huh. . . Utopia wasn't there. . . but maybe its off these tracks?

We're like the polar bear at the Denver Zoo.  It knows that Denver in the summertime isn't the high Arctic and there's nothing you can do to fool it.  Even putting in your employee cafeteria and exercise room isn't going to do it, just as it isn't doing it for the bear.

I'm not picking on the Denver Zoo.  But it knows that this isn't the Arctic and this isn't where it's supposed to be.  But maybe we know that a little too?

And yet we keep on keeping on in this direction.

We really don't have to.

There's no reason that, in 2016, we need to keep this direction going.  We don't need to become more urban. We really don't have to have an ever expanding population in order to support the old, an endgame which has a curious result at some point, and require people to be ever and ever tighter packed in terminally same cities. We really don't need to keep favoring larger and larger centralized entities over smaller and more local ones.  We don't really need to pretend that people don't have an ingrained natural nature, and that, in our imperfect world, many of us don't quite match it, but ignoring it in the name of diversity or equality is going to bring perpetual personal and connubial bliss.  We don't have accept that everyone everywhere can, or is even capable of, defining a personal reality that's separate from, well, reality.

We just seem to assume that we do.
Well, we don't have to.

And we shouldn't, the evidence seems clear, as its pretty clear that the Humanistic Millennial Age will, in fact, not be arriving.  And indeed, we can at least suspect that those prior generations at some point, perhaps in the era we focus on here, or perhaps slightly later, might actually have been more content, at least while not fighting in wars or struggling on sinking ships.

But it is also clear that to do nothing, is to elect to keep traveling the same direction we already are.

G.K. Chesterton: The real evil of our party system.

The real evil of our Party System is commonly stated wrong. It was stated wrong by Lord Rosebery, when he said that it prevented the best men from devoting themselves to politics, and that it encouraged a fanatical conflict. I doubt whether the best men ever would devote themselves to politics. The best men devote themselves to pigs and babies and things like that. And as for the fanatical conflict in party politics, I wish there was more of it. The real danger of the two parties with their two policies is that they unduly limit the outlook of the ordinary citizen. They make him barren instead of creative, because he is never allowed to do anything except prefer one existing policy to another. We have not got real Democracy when the decision depends upon the people. We shall have real Democracy when the problem depends upon the people. The ordinary man will decide not only how he will vote, but what he is going to vote about

G.K. Chesterton: The Voter and the Two Voices.
And posted here after having read it on the G. K. Chesterton blog.  Emphasis added by me.

Friedrich Alder shot and killed Austrian Minister President Count Karl von Stürgkh

Socialist revolutionary Friedrich Alder shot and killed Austrian Minister President Count Karl von Stürgkh on this day in 1916.

 von Stürgk

Alder was a Socialist radical who took his extreme beliefs to the extreme of killing the Austrian Minister President, an act disavowed by other Austrian Socialist.  His death sentence was commuted and he lived until 1960.  He lived in the United States during World War Two, having left Austria after its incorporation into Nazi Germany but returned to Europe to live in Switzerland after the war, having retired from politics.

Tracking the Presidential Election, 2016 Part X. The final stretch

The Republican Party has officially nominated Donald Trump. The Democratic Party has officially nominated Hillary Clinton.  Both parties have, therefore, managed to nominate the two least liked Presidential candidates in over a century, and perhaps of all time.  The choices are so unattractive that the two most significant third parties, the Libertarians and the Greens are actually attracting serious attention with their candidates, Gary Johnson and Jill Stein.  The new American Solidarity Party, a Christian Democratic party that is socially conservative but otherwise somewhat liberal in other respects is actually getting commentary in some quarters.  Their candidates are Mike Maturen and Juan Muñoz.  Any third party candidate is unlikely to win, but frankly the third parties are much more likely to get a serious looking at this year than at any time since the early 20th Century, at which time a variety of progressive parties and special campaign parties received serious attention.  Those parties failed t win also, but they did get some serious attention.

How the country fell into this sorry situation has been widely speculated on for months, but basically it came about because the two major parties utterly ignored their base. At least the Democrats still are, but they also have, so far, much stronger party organization that has allowed it to suppress insurgencies, although at the cost, it would appear, of the position of their national committeeman.  Republican insurgents succeeded in toppling their establishment, but probably at the cost of the election and at a time which effectively will secure a "progressive" triumph that stands to permanently impact the country until such time as most of it unravels under its own weight, which is likely to occur at some point.  Chances are high, however, that a positive benefit of that will be that Congress will rediscover that it, not the Presidency, is the governing body, and indeed it already seems to be doing so.

And so we roll on to the General election.

Commentary followup, August 1, 2016

At some point it has gotten difficult to watch this election season and not conclude that you just don't want to. The entire thing has become unbelievably surreal.

This past week the news has been full of articles about the DNC and its emails back and forth within it. They are a little shocking.  It's pretty clear that the DNC was working against Sanders, but that's not any real surprise.  It shouldn't have been, but it was.  It really shouldn't have been commenting on making use of Sanders religious dedication, or lack of it, as a point in the election and the person who referred to its Hispanic outreach efforts as "taco bowl outreach" really needs a dope slap.

As part of this, we now have the question of how the Russians got into the DNC email system.  What is up with that?

All of this should be a gift to Trump, but by the weeks end Trump's comments about the Russians maybe finding missing Clinton emails and then going on to continually comment about Khizr Khan's comments at the Democratic convention are just stunning.  What, on earth, is he thinking?

It is often said that countries get the politicians they deserve, and I suppose in some ways we do deserve this. But this entire election has now reached the point where to a lot of people it seems really out of hand.  The two major party players are highly unpopular and for good reason.  Lots of people are extremely uncomfortable with both candidates.

I've noted it before, but if ever there was an American election in modern times that cried out for third party candidates, this is it.  Right now it does not look like the major third party candidates will be able to participate in the debates, which is a real shame, as we have to wonder what the impact of that would be.  Normally we think that they would simply scrub off votes from either party, and maybe tip the balance that way in a close election, but frankly if they received more press this time around, they may do more than that. At least Johnson form the Libertarian Party might do fairly well, and its now clear that Stein from the Green Party would pick up an appreciable number of Sanders voters.  I don't think Stein can ever be imagined as a potential victor, but it's not impossible that Johnson could be.

That doesn't amount to an endorsement of Johnson.  Indeed, I'm not keen on the Libertarian Party.  But perhaps the two main parties are so out to sea this year that third parties ought to step in.  In a year in which Republican voters were willing to give a chance to such an unlikely candidate as Trump, and Democrats nearly did the same with Sanders, perhaps voices that aren't getting heard ought to be.  That might stand to make this election historic in a positive way.

Indeed, this particular year the rare "what if" clause of the 12th Amendment might come into play, and we might almost hope that it does.  In relevant part, that provisions states:

The person having the greatest Number of votes for President, shall be the President, if such number be a majority of the whole number of Electors appointed; and if no person have such majority, then from the persons having the highest numbers not exceeding three on the list of those voted for as President, the House of Representatives shall choose immediately, by ballot, the President. But in choosing the President, the votes shall be taken by states, the representation from each state having one vote; a quorum for this purpose shall consist of a member or members from two-thirds of the states, and a majority of all the states shall be necessary to a choice. And if the House of Representatives shall not choose a President whenever the right of choice shall devolve upon them, before the fourth day of March next following, then the Vice-President shall act as President, as in the case of the death or other constitutional disability of the President.

The person having the greatest number of votes as Vice-President, shall be the Vice-President, if such number be a majority of the whole number of Electors appointed, and if no person have a majority, then from the two highest numbers on the list, the Senate shall choose the Vice-President; a quorum for the purpose shall consist of two-thirds of the whole number of Senators, and a majority of the whole number shall be necessary to a choice. But no person constitutionally ineligible to the office of President shall be eligible to that of Vice-President of the United States.
That's right, we might have a situation in which neither Trump  nor Clinton take over 50% of the vote.  And if that occurs, it's up to the House to choose from amongst the top three.  I'm not entirely certain the House would go for Clinton or Trump in that situation.

And if they simply can't agree on what to do, then Joe Biden becomes the President.  It'd be bizarre, but it could occur.  Then the Senate would have to pick the Vice President from amongst the VP candidates.

Given the make up of the House, this would favor the Republicans, but it might also be the case that they'd be so disaffected that they wouldn't want to do, or live with, the obvious.  Not likely, but actually possible.

Commentary followup, August 3, 2016

How Joe Biden can become President in the 2016 Election. A wild, but hypothetically possible, scenario.

You never know. . . .

On other matters, President Obama came out swinging at Donald Trump a couple of days ago and stated he was unfit for office. This came in the wake of ongoing controversy about Trump's comments  about Khizr Khan's statements at the Democratic Convention.  This is causing a lot of GOP figures to back away from Trump, while saying little, except in some exceptions, as Trump's comments are so insulting of the sacrifice made by Cpt. Khan, who died in action.  It's getting a lot of Press and President Obama called upon the leaders of the GOP to disavow Trump, which would be a dramatic, if nearly impossible, thing for them to do at this stage of the race.

On this in general, yesterday the New York Times ran an article on this and a really insightful comment was made by one of the readers about no matter what a person's view was, after the election, or maybe even now, it was paramount to make an effort to understand why so many have been attracted to Trump not matter what he's said.  Of course, the Time readership being what it is, the average Time commenter came back full of snark with their typical "I'm smart, everyone else is dumb" reply, but that commenter has a really good point.  Trump has said some things that are flat out shocking and in a normal year would have been the death of his campaign.  But this year has been totally different which means something hugely significant is going on.  That's why the GOP establishment is now not saying anything, it doesn't know what to say, and it truly appears that Trump cannot loose his base.  I feel his based is not sufficiently large to carry him through and that this will be a disaster for the GOP, which I think the GOP now believes as well, and that it's opted for the Dunkirk Option, but somebody is truly going to have to figure out what occurred here.

The controversy is also calling into question Trump's ineligibility for the draft during the late stages of the Vietnam War, but so far there's no reason to question his status. Clinton, of course, perhaps uniquely for a candidate of her antiquity, cannot be questioned in regards to that.  It is interesting how the Vietnam War has come back election cycle after election cycle to haunt those who didn't serve, which many who have run for high office did not.

Jill Stein is having a critical eye turned towards here for the first time, which is interesting in that some must actually consider her a bit of a threat to the Democrats.  

Commentary followup, part two, August 3, 2016

The question is, are the voters watching?

There is some reason to believe the answer to this is no. People might have their minds made up to the point where whatever happens now doesn't matter. But if they do, this week might be proving to be the worst imaginable for the GOP.  It's been truly incredible.

Trump has, without good reason, sparked a new spat with Speaker Ryan.  Its hard to know why he would do this, and his VP candidate Pence is not following his lead, and has endorsed Ryan.  So we actually have a split between the VP and the Presidential candidates in the GOP in regard to Ryan.

The debate over Trump's comments on the Khans is getting worse. Added to that, it now seems that Joe Scarborough had some information some time ago that would at least raise questions about Trump's views on the use of nuclear weapons.  This hasn't been fully developed, but it's troubling.

Indeed, at this pace, the GOP candidacy shows ever sign of imploding.  Trump's dedicated supporters are going to stick with him at this point, but a lot of Republicans were not very keen on him to start with.  Conservatives who didn't like Trump but grudgingly came along have to be considering bolting at this point.

Things have the feel like we're waiting for the other shoe to drop, but what will that be? An endorsement of a black horse independent?  An emergency GOP denouncement and rejection of the nominated candidate?  Nothing at all?  It's hard to know, but this week has been a disaster and its only Wednesday.  

Some sort of intervention will happen. But the question there is whether the nominee can accept the intervention.  If not, then what?

Commentary:  August 6, 2016

Trump came out yesterday and endorsed Ryan and McCain.

I've seen a small amount of push back on the Khan speech at the DNC which fell into a different context than Trumps.  Basically, that text criticized Khan for politicizing the death of his son.  I have to admit that this has bothered me a bit consistently since I read of the speech being made.  What I hadn't done, however, was read the speech.  Here it is:

First, our thoughts and prayers are with our veterans and those who serve today. Tonight, we are honored to stand here as the parents of Capt. Humayun Khan, and as patriotic American Muslims with undivided loyalty to our country.
Like many immigrants, we came to this country empty-handed. We believed in American democracy -- that with hard work and the goodness of this country, we could share in and contribute to its blessings.
We were blessed to raise our three sons in a nation where they were free to be themselves and follow their dreams. Our son, Humayun, had dreams of being a military lawyer. But he put those dreams aside the day he sacrificed his life to save his fellow soldiers.
Hillary Clinton was right when she called my son "the best of America." If it was up to Donald Trump, he never would have been in America. Donald Trump consistently smears the character of Muslims. He disrespects other minorities -- women, judges, even his own party leadership. He vows to build walls and ban us from this country.
Donald Trump, you are asking Americans to trust you with our future. Let me ask you: Have you even read the U.S. Constitution? I will gladly lend you my copy. In this document, look for the words "liberty" and "equal protection of law."
Have you ever been to Arlington Cemetery? Go look at the graves of the brave patriots who died defending America -- you will see all faiths, genders, and ethnicities.
You have sacrificed nothing and no one.
We can't solve our problems by building walls and sowing division. We are stronger together. And we will keep getting stronger when Hillary Clinton becomes our next president.
Out of line?  Well, it's not something that I really think should be done.  I.e., I don't really feel that the parents of those who lost their lives in battle ought to speak in this context, which does not mean that it isn't their right to do so.  Mostly I think the speech was a bit in articulate, but I wouldn't expect a speech from a person who grew up speaking a language so radically different from English to deliver the Gettysburg address either.

I suppose, again, the most problematic aspect of this is that Trump replied the way he did.  In order to acquire the job he seeks he will have to have a pretty thick skin and show an ability to turn the other cheek.  He hasn't. By lowering himself in this debate, as he did, I suspect he's done fatal damage to his chances with a lot of previously undecided voters.

Commentary: August 8, 2016

The long anticipated conservative GOP effort at fielding their own candidate has now occurred.  Evan McMullin, a former CIA staffer, has announced a bid for the presidency with the backing of some conservatives in the GOP.  McMullin is a Mormon with ties to Utah and some early speculation holds that even if his overall impact on the race on a state by state basis is low, he may take Utah away from Trump as Trump's support is very low there within the GOP.

As the McMullin race is just starting, its overall impact is really too early to speculate on, but after a week in which Trump did very poorly, particularly given that he is now competing for the undecided vote in general, rather than for GOP primary votes, this may be the beginning of additional bad news for Trump.

Of interest, at least one of the weekend news shows is now beginning to talk about polls featuring Johnson and Stein, which also shows how unusual the dynamics of this election are.  Supposedly, even optimistically,  Johnson only takes 10% of the vote and Stein 5%.  McMullin will appeal to a different group of disaffected voters.  If he can take even 5% of the vote, and other third party candidates as little as 1%, this race starts to look much different.  And that's assuming that the third party candidates positions in the polls do not start to improve.

Commentary:  August 10, 2016

Some related threads I haven't previously linked in here, but I probably should have:

Cognitive Disconnect on the left and right.
Cognitive Disconnect on the left and right. Mark Shea and Moral Delusion.:
Cognitive Disconnect on the left and right. Mark Shea and Moral Delusion. Father Longnecker weights in.

Taking a look at the moral aspects of the vote, a topic that that perhaps matters more than any other here.

Okay, having noted those, an additional couple of comments.

Some Trump supporters claim that the Press is now hard focused on Trump and his gaffs and ignoring anything that questions Clinton.  While I'm reluctant to credit conspiracy theories about the press, I think there's an element of truth in that.

That seems fairly evident to me in the news pending over the past few days.  Yesterday Trump, who can't seem to know that New York buffoonish humor is detested in much of the country, made a really lame comment directed towards those who are on the right but find him distasteful.  Noting that if he looses, the Supreme Court goes with him for a generation, which is correct, he further noted that if Clinton is elected "there's nothing you can do about it". That's also correct. But then he went on to say something like "I don't know, maybe the 2nd Amendment people" (this isn't an exact quote).

To anyone listening this sounded like a reference to murder in jest.  I know his campaign is trying to spin this now, but you can't unspin that.

Trump doesn't seem to grasp that the demographic that was willing to tolerate his brash, boorish, rudeness has already voted for him and there are no more members of it.  He's loosing voters now.  But that comment probably was just another one of his lead bomb comments that most people ignore, and the press might try to be a little more balanced.  This same week we're told that many more Wikileaks of Clinton emails will be released and some of these, they claim, deal with arms to Middle Eastern folks most of us would not care for, they claim.  That seems like a pretty serious accusation against Hillary Clinton that you'd think we'd be focusing on, but we don't seem to be yet.  But maybe that's just yet.

Commentary:  August 18, 2016

Apparently signaling an intention to go full bore into his in your face style, Trump has shaken up his campaign style and put Steve Bannon, a Breitbart executive, in control of his campaign.  This signals an intention to go the polar opposite of what Republican leaders have been urging, and strongly aim for the disgruntled blue collar  and disaffected elements of the GOP.  That writes off appealing to moderate Democrats who might no like Clinton, although it might actually appeal a bit to some of Sanders blue collar support.

It will be perceived as risky, but it probably is a wise move.  Trump's campaign is going down in flames right now and he might as well throw the dice.  It will turn off wavering independents in large numbers however, so its based on the concept that there are enough hardcore right wing voters to push him over the top.  There won't be, but as a strategy, it's likely the best one a figure like him can employ.

Commentary:  August 26, 2016

Signature gatherers were out in full force in Casper for third party candidates.  Folks detailed to gather signatures for the Libertarian and the Green Party campaigns were reportedly on campus at Casper College and in the Smith's parking lot a signature gatherer, somewhat disingenuinely  or ignorantly wearing an AR15 t-shirt was gathering signatures for the Delta Party candidate.  Apparently Republican conservatives are gathering signatures for Evan McMullin, whose essentially running as a third party conservative Republican.

I'm generally of anyone getting on the ballot this year, although I didn't sign for the Delta Party candidate as I'd never heard of him.  That candidate is Roque "Rocky" De La Fuente, who apparently is to the Democrats what McMullin is to the Republicans.  He tried to gain the Democratic ticket and fell flat, so now he's formed his own party to advance what is essentially a campaign appealing to traditional Democrats who are left of center, but not so far left of center that they're now looking at Stein.

McMullin's boosters, as noted, are trying here as well.  An interview that related to him reveals that the Utah native is afflicted with the Utah disease of wanting to transfer lands from the Federal government to the states.  Why a conservative feels that he needs to run on this anti conservation platform escapes me, but this is a year in which a lot of the race escapes me.

Commentary followup: August 30, 2016

It appears that Green Party candidate Jill Stein and establishment GOP candidate Evan McMullin gathered enough votes to appear on the Wyoming ballot in November.  I know that the Libertarians had signature gatherers out as well, and I'd be surprised if they did not also make it onto the ballot.

Commentary, September 19, 2016

If George F. Will is correct, and of course he follows things more closely than I, it's his job, the control of the Senate is likely to come down to a single race, which the incumbent GOP Senator is likely to lose.

If that's the case, and assuming a Clinton victory (which is presently not safe, given that the races are actually surprisingly close) this could indeed be a transformational race, particularly in regards to the U.S. Supreme Court.

Commentary, September 27, 2016 

Last night was the first debate between the two major, and disappointing, Presidential candidates.

This morning, no doubt, there will be piles of pundit commentary and both parties, and their real fans, will claim victory.  In reality, neither candidate can claim to have blown the other out of the water.

I'd give both candidates B-- grades, or maybe C+.  Lester Holt, whose ability to control the debate was completely non existent, gets a D-.

I can't say that either candidate was spectacular.  Hillary Clinton managed to get a few digs in, but she was also quite unspecific regarding details on some of her major themes and Trump let her be, showing insecurity on them on his part.  On gun control, for example, he let her use the euphemism of "gun safety, which id the Democratic Party's way of avoiding telling a clear truth on their position. Trump didn't want to touch it. They pushed each other around on well known positions, but didn't get into them much, in spite of grossly violating the time limits they were each given and wholly ignoring Lester Holt's efforts, such as they were, to rein them in.

Trump's blustering style and rapid speech managed to make the few really good points become muddled.  Clinton occasionally was clear and occasionally not.  Trump was probably most effective at demonstrating Democratic insiders like Clinton can't claim to carry the torch of new effective ideas as they've been around so long they would have tried them by now.  Clinton was probably most effective at seeming clearer than Trump.

I doubt anyone in either camp was much convinced by anything.  As for independents, maybe some were swayed one way or another, or maybe their taking another look at the (excluded) third party candidates who increasingly look good by comparison.

If I was to declare a winner, it'd be a close call, but it would likely be Clinton, who has more experience at this sort of thing, but only by decision, not by knock out, and only barely.  A person could argue that Trump did well simply by requiring Clinton to go toe to toe with him in her own ring.

October 8, 2016

It's simply amazing how, even with campaigns being as sophisticated as they are (particularly on the Democratic side, where the pros are in charge of this campaign), the respective sides still can't help doing stuff they shouldn't.

On Trump's side, that's mostly dealing with what Trump says, although there appears to be a fairly dedicated effort at this point to dig up stuff from his pasts.  Enough of an effort that it does give some credence to those who would claim that the press is out to get him.  But the Democrats blunder as well.

Take for example this television advertisement in support of Hillary Clinton:

Why, on Earth, would anyone give a rat's fanny about what Hollywood types feel about this, or any other issue?

Indeed, I noted that here on our own blog a couple of times.  Being famous for acting or singing qualifies you to comment on politics not at all.

I suspect most people know that, and I'd think the Clinton campaign wouldn't want to be associated with an industry that most people hold at some distance.  Indeed, the lives of a lot of Hollywood types are so screwed up that a person can't really take seriously their recommendations on a serious matter that isn't concerned with acting.

The Trump campaign certainly knows that, and came right back with an ad parodying the Clinton one.

October 8, 2016, part two

Well, in an election season when seemingly every odd thing that could happen, had happened, the revelation of comments made in 2005 by Donald Trump which are, reportedly, quite lewd (I haven't read them) has resulted in host of endorsement retractions and calls for Trump to step down as the candidate.

This is an interesting development, to say the least.  Given the history of this race it seems unlikely that Trump will step down, but given the volume of the cries, who knows?

October 9, 2016

Well, after reading some of the comments and most particularly reading about the flood of Republican figures disavowing Trump, I finally read what the comments were.

I'm sad to say that I am both underwhelmed while at the same time finding the comments repugnant.

Underwhelmed as the comments seem fully consistent with Trump's character, which we've known about throughout this race.  They are repugnant.

At this point the GOP really is fully at a crossroads. The best thing that could possibly happen would be for Trump to step down, which nearly any other individual caught in this situation would to. So far, he is rejecting calls that he do just that.  In my view, he should.  If he was loyal at all to his party he wold. Yes, there is only three weeks left in the campaign to go, but the nation as a whole does not like either of these candidates and there's actually still a chance for a bonafide conservative or moderate to win.  Frankly, at this point, if Trump and Pence hit the skids, which they should do, a new ticket lead by Paul Ryan would likely defeat the disliked Hillary Clinton.  Nearly any decent Republican figure would do for a vice presidential candidate.  So, if  the ticket was, for example, a Ryan/Rubio ticket, they'd likely win.

But odds are that Trump will fail to do the right thing, and odds are high that this latest revelation truly ends his chances, and with them the conservative cause for over a decade, if not longer.

October 21, 2016

I've been abstaining from posting here in part because not all that much has been going on, really, and in part because I post too much anyhow.

But, reading the commentary following the recent debate, I guess I can't abstain further really.

I watched the last debate.  It's the only one I've watched from beginning to end.  And so, I can gauge the commentary on it a bit.

All the more so because I don't like either one of these candidates, Trump and Clinton.  I predicted way back in 2015 that Clinton would win the next election, and I think my prediction will come true, but personally I find her to be the most lamentable Democratic candidate since JFK, and of course JFK became mostly lamentable after the fact (although there were some lamentable things before).  She's a consummate politician and I feel she'd tack to the wind from whatever direction it was blowing.  This does not mean that I think Trump is nifty either.  I think Trump is the festering boil the Republican Party got after it refused to take seriously an infection that had been running at fever pitch for years.  Bernie Sanders was that candidate in the Democratic Party, where they managed to take a few aspirin and carry on.  Anyhow, as I do not live in a swing state, I have the luxury of voting for a third party candidate or writing the name of one in, which is what I intend to do in protest.

So, that is, I may be more objective than the press, which I truly think at this point is solidly Democratic.

The spin from the debate is that Trump did the best he ever did but that the master debater Clinton did better.

Trump did seem to do better, much better, than he did in the part of the first debate I watched, although like both Glen Beck and Michael Moore, I never thought he did as poorly as the press claimed he did.  In the last debate, I think he was nearly equal to Clinton, quite frankly. And that's because she gave a poor, yes poor, performance.

She's a smoother talker but very poor at actually addressing facts in some instances.

The best example of this is in regards to the Supreme Court.  Trump actually answered the question directly.  Clinton, if she is to be believed, apparently thinks the Supreme Court is a junior high class council.  "It should listen to the people".  No, it shouldn't Mrs. Clinton, and if you believe that, you are a pathetic excuse for a lawyer.  Courts apply the law, and that should be all they do. Granted, in the last term, Justice Kennedy authored an opinion that's so egregiously contrary to the law that there's reason to question whether its actually binding precedence (yes, a shocking view I know from a lawyer), but that doesn't make the Supreme Court the United States House of Liberal Lords.  Not by a long shot.

They were both pathetic in regards to the Middle East. Trump accused Clinton and her fellow travelers in government on spilling the beans on the offensive on Mosul, currently going on now.  What nonsense.  Mosul is the type of military target that everyone knows is a necessary target.  It has to be taken, and everyone knows that.  Surprise isn't a factor.

Clinton for her part backed a no fly zone over Syria, which is absurd.  It's one thing to enforce such a zone over a country that you de facto occupy, quite another over one that you do not.  If that country is so weak you can do it safely and not have that act of war be recognized as such by your opponent, that's one thing, but in this case the no fly zone would have to work to shoot down Russian aircraft. Really?  Why on earth would we want that kind of risk.

Of course don't, which is why I think the whole no fly zone is just warm and fuzziness on this issue that she doesn't believe. And the Mosul sneak attack options probably aren't seriously believed by Trump either.  Shame on both of them for babbling about it.

The big news of the night was Trump's refusal to say he'd automatically accept the results of the election, which as the Press all atwitter.  This has been portrayed as a shocking departure from American political culture.


It is true that generally politicians have avoided this, and that has been portrayed as putting the nation above the self.  But we seem to have forgotten that the Bush-Gore election went to the United States Supreme Court.  Up until the Supreme Court ruled there was some question on whether Bush was the legitimate President (it's often forgotten that latter ballot counting showed he'd won by any measure).  Had the Supreme Court determined that counting in Florida was improper there was a real chance that Gore could have become President.  That's not that long ago.

Beyond that at least one modern election, the 1960 election, could have been challenged and should have been.  It's widely believed that vote tampering swung a close election from Nixon to Kennedy in that election, but Nixon did not challenge it. He's often praised (when he is praised at all) for that decision.

Well, hindsight being 20/20, we should all wish that Nixon challenged that election. That would have put him in office, probably, if it did, from 1960 through 1968.  The US would likely not have backed the coup in Vietnam, not have invited a mess with Cuba in the early 60s, and likely not have nearly caused a war over Berlin.  Kennedy was a creep and a disaster, and the country would have been much better off with out him, the Cuban Missile Crisis, the Berlin Crisis and the Vietnam War.

So I'm not all that worried about Trump challenging an election.  It's not likely to do anything, or even happen, but I don't think he's obligated to abstain in advance.

I do think, however, that the Press is so biased against him, even though I don't like him, that there is almost nothing he can do that won't generate bad press.  Trump could go to work at Trump tower, find it on fire, rush in and pull a woman out of the fire and hit the fire alarms on the way out, and the headline the next day would read "Trump Assaults Woman While Acting To Save His Property. . . And He Hates Cats".  Clinton, in order to get equally bad press, would have to shoot Tim Kaine while aiming for  a Bill accuser while high on weed, and only that would last for a day.

I would say "thankfully it will all be over soon", but it won't.  Depending upon the results, when Clinton becomes President we're either going to see a big lurch legally to the left, or we're gong to see four years of complete stalemate, the latter being the better option.

But, fortunately for me, I can register a protest on the whole thing with my vote, as I do not live in a swing state and therefore I am not presented with a really immoral option vs. a really distasteful one.

On other news, we're treated this morning with the fact that Miley Cyrus and Katy Perry are going to stump for Clinton.  Apparently she's aiming for the tragically fallen Disney Star/can't remember what size my clothes should be vote.

Related threads:
Cognitive Disconnect on the left and right.
Cognitive Disconnect on the left and right. Mark Shea and Moral Delusion.:
Cognitive Disconnect on the left and right. Mark Shea and Moral Delusion. Father Longnecker weights in.
Tracking the Presidential Election, 2016
Tracking the Presidential Election, 2016, Part II
Tracking the Presidential Election, 2016, Part III Sic Transit Gloria Mundi.
Tracking the Presidential Election Part IV
Tracking the Presidential Election Part V
Tracking the Presidential Election Part VI. The wobbly Democratic Party.
Tracking the Presidential Election Part VII
Tracking the Presidential Election Part VIII. Is there a Brexit lesson for the US election?
Tracking the Presidential Election 2016, Part IX. Yawn. . . . who?. . . what parties?
Maybe You Can't Go Home Again. . . but you don't have to keep traveling in the same stupid direction.

Tracking the Local Races

Patrick Henry before the Virginia Legislature. . . probably not quite the way it really was.

I haven't tried to do a thread tracking the local races, although I've made some comments on them from time to time in individual threads.  I can no longer avoid that, although I'm not going to dwell on it all that much for a variety of reasons.

U.S. House Race 2016

This is the big local race this year and we've seen a lot of candidates contest for it in the GOP.  The number is declining a bit, as the relocated Idaho veterinarian Rammel dropped out, thankfully.  He endorsed Cheyenne attorney Smith when he did, whom I know little about.  Fewer are contesting in the Democratic Party.

Yesterday debates were held here in town, but I didn't go, as I have to work.  The Tribune ran some commentary on it today.

As we already know, Liz Cheney is ahead in the polls in this race at something like 20%.  The appeal of Cheney is more or less lost on me as she moved back into the state so recently, and that was a topic in the debate, and I feel a fair one.  I'm not keen on political dynasties and her relocating from Virginia to here before she took a run at Mike Enzi last election cycle is peculiar.

On stuff I'm tracking (which often the Tribune doesn't really fully cover in these storeis), it looks like Tim Stubson and Leland Christensen have gotten a clue on how detested the idea of transferring public lands to the state are, and they're both backing off that position.  They can only back so far off, but they are backing off.  Christensen may have backed off even more than Stubson at this point.  But they both now are indicating that they do not support the lands going into private hands.  That's a huge positive in the view of most Wyoming voters and its a shame that the GOP didn't wise up on this months ago.  Some of these candidates may not have wised up yet as the Tribune reported that only Stubson and Christensen had reached this point.

Right now, while anything is possible, this is essentially a three way race with Cheney amazingly ahead by quite some margin. The overwhelming majority of Republicans haven't decided yet.

At the debates only two Democrats debated.  I'd thought three were running. The two who debated were Ryan Greene and Charles Hardy.  Hardy in my view needs to get out.

Greene is running as a Wyoming Democrat, and in that he has indicated that he's not opposed to Wyoming's energy industry and in fact works in it.   He's also a supporter of gun rights and keeping the public lands in Federal hands.  Based upon earlier reading on him, he generally fits into the Democratic fold on social issues and would be regarded as liberal there, but he's running right of center on guns and right down the Wyoming highway on public lands.  He's sharp and does reflect the views of a lot of people in the state.

Hardy, in contrast, reflects the left wing delusional nature of Democratic Party that too often skips, jumps and twirls into the race and then goes down in blistering defeat.  There's no point to his race whatsoever other than it serves to demonstrate the way that the ice cold grip of Boomer antiquity has a firm grip on American politics.  Hardy is very left wing, no doubt very nice, and past retirement age and ought to get out.  He defines what most Wyomingites feel defines the Democratic Party and candidates like him hurt the Democrats here.  Go home Charlie.

House District 57

I don't live in House District 57 but this race has featured really spats.  I see quite a few signs for both candidates around town so they both obviously have their supporters.

They would be, of course, Chuck Gray and Ray Pacheco.  I know Pacheco slightly.  Gray is the son of the owner of a series of radio stations including a local one and has been a right wing commentator the last few years.  I've never listened to him, but from what I understand, he's on the hard right wing of the GOP that's stirred up a lot of dissent in recent years.  If what I understand is correct, he'd be in the Tea Party wing of the GOP.

I commented on this recently in this post t he other day:
When I was a young voter, Wyoming had political parties.  And by that, I mean rational political parties.  There was a large, rational, Republican Party and a smaller, but actually viable, and rational, Democratic Party.  You could be a member of either and not be ashamed of it.  Indeed, you could and would have friends in the other party and you weren't embarrassed for them.

My views, therefore, on this race can be found down there.

House District 56

My house district is open as Tim Stubson has left it to run for the U.S. House.  There are a selection of Republicans running for it and one Democrat, Dan Neal formerly of the Casper Star Tribune.

Neal is running wisely on public lands issues, indicating that he doesn't support a transfer.  He is running on the solid left on social issues.  I don't know what all the positions of the GOP candidates are but I do know that Jerry Obermuller, a retired accountant, is running to the right on social issues but also opposing land transfers.  I'm favoring Obermuller over his opponents in the primary.

Commentary followup:  August 4, 2016

Long serving Fremont County Senator Eli Bebout has been faced with an ethics charge filed by four citizens whom the Star Tribune describes as "conservative".  One of those citizens ran on the Wyoming Constitution Party ticket for public office recently, and I'd generally regard members of that party as far to the right.  The charge entails a claim that Bebout benefited vicariously from the efforts of the Abandoned Mine Lands funds although he notes there was no vote to directly spend money on behalf of a company that he owned.  Those filing the charges maintain he should have abstained voting.

Bebout faces no opposition in the primary but does face Democrat Chesie Lee in the general election.

I don't know any of the details of the ethics complaint, but the association that it apparently has with individuals who are far to the political right causes me concerns. We've seen a run of similar things lately that commenced while Cindy Hill, who was on the Tea Party end of things, was Wyoming's Secretary of Education.  Since that time certain far right conservatives have used the courts to target things they haven't liked, something that conservatives otherwise generally accuse liberals of doing.

Bebout is one of those Wyoming Republicans who was originally a Democrat and he ran in 1986 for Governor on the Democratic ticket.  He switched, like many of the older Democrats of that era, to the Republican Party during the Clinton Presidency.

Commentary followup:  August 6, 2016

Commentary followup:  August 8, 2016

The House race is not only heating up, it's getting to feature some hostility.

Included in the attacks that Liz Cheney has been facing are those noting that her connection with Wyoming may be somewhat thin.  Leland Christenson did that in this video on his Facebook page that was recently sent to me:

Some would regard this as a bit of foul play in the Wyoming context, but it raises a legitimate point. For a state that's so proud of its own traditions, some would even say provincial, Wyoming has often relied on imported folks for our representation in Washington DC.  Early on that made a lot of sense, but a person has to ask if it still does.  Currently, for example, Senator John Barasso is an import.  Barbara Cubin, who was in the house prior to our current, and retiring Congressman Cynthia Loomis, was from California originally.  Her father, it should be noted, was from Nebraska but did grow up partially in Casper and graduated from NCHS.

Liz Cheney was born in Madison Wisconsin but she grew up partially in Casper, attending grade school and junior high here.  She graduated high school in Virginia.  Is she a Wyomingite? Well, that can certainly be debated.  Unlike Barasso and Cubin she has not had a long period of recent residence here that proceeded her declaration that she was running for an office.

That may be what makes her uniquely vulnerable to this sort of criticism.  We've had a lot of politicians who moved in here for various reasons, and then ran for office, but in her case it looks like she moved in to move run for office.  Her last name, which she's retained in her married life, is of course a famous one, but not necessarily a universally admired one.  She's extremely well funded.  It'll be interesting to see if these factors, amongst others, carry the day over her opponents Stubson and Christenson whose Wyoming connections are genuine.

Commentary:  August 10, 2016

A couple of interesting items.

First, Bill Sniffen, the columnist for the Casper Journal, has come out today in an article and predicted that Cheney will win in the election by a nose.  He places, to my surprise, Leland Christensen in second place with nearly as many votes as Cheney, and Stubson just behind Christensen. For reasons I'm not really aware of, I've been assuming that Stubson was running in a distant second place to Cheney right now, but maybe not.

Sniffen, whose views I respect, would have a combined total for Christensen and Stubson at nearly double of those that he predicts Cheney will take, in which case Stubson and Christensen are defeating each other but not Cheney.  If one dropped out, the other would therefore likely win.  Perhaps they should consider that.

Sniffen clearly wrote his piece prior to Rammel, the Idaho ex-pat, dropping out as he has him finishing last, behind Smith. So maybe there's some wiggle room in there, although I wouldn't be so sure. 

I would note that in trips around the state I have been surprised to see a lot of Christensen signs.  Around here you see a lot more Stubson signs, but then this is Stubson's home turf.  I'm seeing Stubson and Cheney ads on television.

The support for Cheney in some quarters really surprises me given her think connection with the state, as I've already noted.  Both Stubson and Christensen are trying to emphasize that in their campaigns.

On the Democratic side, a flap has broken out over invitations to a post primary party to be held for Democratic candidate Greene in Laramie County after he wins the Democratic primary.  Charles Hardy, who lives in Laramie County, is crying foul as the use of the state's Democratic Party symbol in suggests, he claims that the Democratic Party is working to defeat his campaign.

If it isn't, and no doubt it isn't, it should be.  Hardy's campaign is delusional.  It serves optimistically to emphasizes the rebirth of a local Democratic Party that's really a Wyoming party, in the form of Greene.  Not so optimistically it make the Democrats look like a lame bunch of aging Boomers who are perpetually stuck in 1972.  He has no chance whatsoever and ought to drop out so that Greene can focus on the general election prior to the Republicans nominating their candidate, which might give the underdog Greene a bit of a chance.  It's unlikely that Greene can win, but it's impossible for Hardy to win.  The fact that he doesn't seem to grasp that makes him all the more unqualified to run.

The Democrats have said that Hardy can use the symbol too, so there's no big conspiracy.  They also organized the reception for Greene before Hardy time traveled out of 1972 to announce his bid for 2016, so there was nothing conspiratorial at work.  Too bad.

Finally, the Tribune endorsed Pacheco for House District 57.

Commentary followup:  August 12, 2016

The Tribune is reporting today that an autodialing, i.e., electronic call with no live person on the other end, is making the rounds amongst Wyoming GOP voters. The call backs Cheney.

Such calls are illegal in Wyoming and the Cheney campaign has denied responsibility for the calls.    A push poll in her favor, which is legal, is also being conducted, and her campaign denies being behind those.

The denials are likely genuine, but with the huge out of state financial backing she has, something like this is nearly inevitable.  It will be interesting to see who is behind these and these bring into focus that her backers have vast financial resources and a desire to see her win.

Locally, Tim Stubson is running television advertisements. We're seeing  a fair number of those, but not as many as we're seeing for Liz Cheney.  Running up to the August 16 Primary date (yes, next Tuesday) we're probably going to be seeing a lot of this.

Commentary followup:  August 13, 2016

The Tribune, in its last edition prior to Tuesday's primary election, endorsed Greene for the House in the Democratic Party and, to my real surprise, Cheney in the GOP.

I'm surprised by Cheney as, by the Tribune's own admission, she has no legislative experience and she also holds that the Federal government should transfer its lands to Wyoming, which the overwhelming majority of Wyomingites are opposed to. So shy does the Tribune think Cheney would be good for the state when she's both green and holds a major unpopular view?

Basically it comes down to her other experience and her influence.


I think the Tribune laid an egg with this one.

I can't see a good reason to elect somebody as the candidate when we know that they don't agree with us, and then expect them to change their views. And while I agree that a  Cheney is likely to have more influence than a Stubson or a Christensen, even the Tribune concedes that our House member is one of 400 something, so she's not going to be starting off titanically influential.

I'd prefer Christensen or Stubson as the candidate myself, and of those two (and I wish only one were running, as they're effectively helping Cheney by there being two) I'd prefer Stubson.

On Cheney, her folks were at the door yesterday.  I failed to question them on the public lands matter, which I regret, but as they were from just up the block I was a lot less blunt on my views than I'd normally be (at age 53, I've quit being reserved in the presentation of my views).  I was amazed, however, by the argument they brought up with no prompting from me that its not true that Cheney's connections with Wyoming are thin as, they told me, her parents, not her but her parents, graduated from a Casper high school.


She didn't.

Stubson grew up in Wyoming.  I'm not sure what Christensen's background is.

They also pointed out that she lives in Wilson and her parents live in Jackson.

That too is an odd argument, mostly pointing out that her family has vast sums of money.  I couldn't afford to relocate from Virginia to Wilson, and neither could you.  That seems to emphasize once again that she's not really one of us.  Probably very few people who live in my neighborhood could afford to move to Wilson.

As for Hardy and Greene, I tried to look up his actual positions on things and failed on some of them, so I should reserve my judgment in this race.  Maybe his positions would dovetail with mine on some things, I just don't know.  I do know that he received the endorsement of the Wyoming Tribune Eagle, to my surprise.  He's also associated himself with the now defunct Sanders campaign, so he at least was trying to partially mold his campaign into the Sanders image.

Commentary followup:  August 15, 2016

Rand Paul yesterday endorsed Leland Christensen.  The Libertarian did so based, as we'd of course expect, based on an analysis of the issues from his prospective.

Paul made the odd statement that it's a "two way" race right now, which it certainly is not.  At least right now, I'd expect Stubson to out poll Christensen, but perhaps that's because I'm in central Wyoming where support for Stubson is strong.  You see a lot of Cheney signs everywhere.

If you are in Natrona County Wyoming, you may wish to consult the Where Do I Vote page on the County's website.  Every school polling place in Casper has been removed due to security concerns which I think to be, frankly, a bit overblown. A lot of people will end up voting at the Industrial Building at the Fairgrounds, thereby making what were local polling places one giant one.  I also feel that if the schools were not to be used, surely some other building was available rather than send us all of to the fair, which is distant for a lot of us.

Commentary followup:  August 16, 2016

Wyoming's primary election day

Okay, because it was in fact election day here, and we'll be narrowing the field for the Fall, I wasn't going to post.

I was particularly not going to do so as I recently posted a long, actually on topic, post, regarding horses in the Punitive Expedition.  And I've been over posting recently anyhow.

But then, after I'd already read my electronic copy of the Tribune, the paper edition arrived at my door (the paper guy must wonder about the Manx Guard Cat there every morning, but that's another story).

Stuck to the Tribune was this:


I thought Cheney, the daughter of Dick Cheney, our former Congressman who went on to be a controversial VP, whose connections with Wyoming are thinner than her current major competitors, was running for Congress.  Not traffic cop on Pennsylvania Avenue.

Now, okay, I know what this sticker is supposed to mean, but what it brings to mind is the old police series Hill Street Blues.  That series started off every episode with the policemen being briefed and the briefing officer was say "Be safe out there."

Well, Be smart out there.

It has been argued to me that Cheney will have more influence than Stubson or Christensen, because of her family's connections back in D.C.  Indeed, the Tribune argued that. But if she doesn't reflect us well, and the Tribune admits that she's a complete non fit on public lands, which really matter to us, so what?  We want her to represent us, not a narrow selection of interest on issues like that which would, quite frankly, wreck the state.

Be smart out there.

Indeed, let's be honest and smart on things in general.

The Tribune picked up on something I've posted on here a lot, which is the fantasy of a "war on coal" that all of the GOP candidates spout.  Bull.

As the Tribune stated, "there is no war on coal, unless natural gas started it".  As some GOP pundits said several elections ago, "It's the economy stupid".

It is, the energy economy moved on from coal and its not coming back. And as we read here recently, in petroleum extraction, technology has reduced the need for hands, and when that comes back, to the extent it does, it's not going to be the employer it was before.  Time to wake up on these things.

And time to be honest.

The GOP and the Democrats are in real trouble nationally as they keep lying to the population, and the base of both parties is hopping mad. Well, leading people on about the energy sector fits right into this.  It ain't 1966 anymore.

 A pre World War One British suffrage poster

So, Wyoming voter, don't be handicapped by traditional positions.  Think.  I'm not saying vote liberal, or vote conservative.  I am saying that if you have exclusively hard left or hard right views, you ought to re-think them.  Because if your views fit completely into the hard edge of one of the parties, you either aren't thinking them through, or you are sort of a political freak of nature.  And assuming its the former, and not the latter, your chances of being taken advantage of are high.

I'm also saying that if you are adopting views that are fed straight through, without pondering them, by organizations that have a peculiar interest in these topics, you should reconsider them as well.  If you are simply accepting the views of people sponsored by The Wyoming Liberty Group that came to you via radio or op-eds, rethink them.  Are their interests really yours?  If you believe that Common Core is bad because some right wing organization says so, rethink it. Why is it bad?  If you think that same gender marriage is nifty because it's "progressive", where is it progressing to and how does that relate to a state of nature?  If you can't answer those questions, maybe you ought not to vote at all.  If you don't really know when life beings and aren't going to err on the side of life, are you a conscientious voter?

Voting is serious business. Think.

Commentary followup:  August 17, 2016

Well, the local results are in. And as in most instances, the primaries determine who will win in the Fall, as the Democrats are rarely competitive here, this race determines who has won (for the most part) in the election itself.

Elizabeth Cheney, in spite of her thin connections to the state, won the House contest for the Republicans and will go on to be our Representative after the general election. This is a real shame, as the two  members of the Wyoming Legislature who were opposing her were better candidates and grasped the seriousness of the public lands issue.  So Wyoming will send another non native to Congress who already is in opposition to what most Wyomingites think. Why did the electorate do it?

That's a good question, and its notable that Wyomingites, in spite of being quite provincial in their views, have very often turned to imports for their Congressional representation.  Right now two out of the three people Wyoming has sent back to Washington hail from somewhere else.

In this case, of course, name recognition had a lot to do with it as Wyoming has remained sort of perversely proud of Dick Cheney, the Nebraskan we sent to Congress years ago who went on to be VP.  That name recognition counted for a lot and overcame Cheney's other detriments to a large extent.  As Wyoming virtually never tosses out an incumbent, Liz Cheney probably has a seat for life, but she probably also has higher aims than being Congressman from a state that she hasn't lived in, until recently, since her teenage years.

Of course it should be noted that Cheney came in with 40% of the vote.  More people voted against her, than for her.  Smith did surprisingly well with 15% coming in a respectable fourth.  Christensen came in second with about 20% of the vote, and Stubson third with the remainder.  If the three contestants hadn't split the vote against her, Cheney may not have won, although its a little difficult to tell where Smith's votes would have gone.  Anyhow, Cheney advances with 60% of Wyoming voters having opted for somebody else.

Stubson, it should be noted, did take his native county, Natrona.  But only barely.  And frankly, if you only barely take your home county, your campaign was in real trouble.  That shows, I suppose, Cheney's strength in the GOP.

The results would seem to present an opportunity for Greene, who blasted by the hapless and clueless Charlie Hardy's quixotic and hopefully final campaign.  But it won't.  Greene has no chance against Cheney given Greene's left wing social views and Democratic Party membership.  He may have a vital role in correcting Cheney's privatizing land instincts.

A person has to wonder what would occur if the Democrats could actually encourage a known and respected Democrat to run. What would occur, for example, in a contest between Liz Cheney and Dave Freudenthal?  Or Cheney and Mike Sullivan (who is likely too old to run at this point)?

Would that there were a third option who actually reflected Wyoming's views. And would that Wyoming voters would look more seriously at some of these issues, rather than so easily accept the pablum that they tend to be fed about "wars" waged by Washington, when in reality we're ignored more than we're consciously oppressed.

In other elections we've tracked, Chuck Gray, a real right winger, defeated Ray Pacheco.  This is unfortunate as Gray is far too right to be a successful legislator in my view.  In positive news, however, Jerry Obermuller, a really good candidate in House District 56, took that contest by a large margin in spite of a low key campaign.  A retired accountant and political moderate, he will be an able replacement for Stubson in the legislature.

Overall results, for the County, are listed on its website.

Commentary followup:  August 18, 2016

The Tribune today ran a headline and a following article on Cheney's "strategy" being better than her opponents. Reading the article, the strategy was, according to the Tribune; 1) not running against an incumbent; 2) having lots of money; 3) having that Cheney recognizable name and 4) that the other parties split their efforts of every type against her.

I didn't cover all of those here before today, but did some.  No surprise.

Commentary followup:  August 22, 2016

In a really surprising event, Rosie Berger, who was likely to be Speaker of the House in the upcoming session, lost her primary bid.

An incumbent loosing  her spot is rare in Wyoming, let alone one slated for an important position.  I have no idea why this occurred, but it is not only rare, but a bit startling.

Commentary followup:  August 26, 2016 

The Democratic Greene campaign has challenged the GOP Cheney campaign to direct debates.

According to the Tribune, the Greene challenges have gone unanswered up until the Greene campaign made them public, at which time the Cheney campaign spokesman released this written reply to the Tribune; "We look forward to debating Mr. Greene so he can explain why Wyoming shouldn't turn its single seat in the House of Representatives over to the Party of Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton and their policies that would be so destructive to the state of Wyoming and Wyoming families."

Hmmm, snarky snarky.

Greene has stated that Cheney, who received less than half of the GOP vote in a crowded field, has been challenged on her residency but not on her positions.  There may be something to that.  Indeed, while I think Greene's chances are extremely poor, both because he is a Democrat and because he is in the Democratic mainstream on social issues, but not on gun issues, he may turn out to be a bit of a handful for Cheney to some extent.  I frankly hope so, as even though I'm sure Cheney will win she needs to be given a titanic dope slap on some issues.  She's been feeding the public the GOP pablum about a "war on coal", which is absurd, and he has drank the minority Utah Madness Koolaide on transferring Federal lands to the state.  And frankly she does appear to be a carpetbagger that 60% of Republicans didn't want.

Commentary followup:  September 14, 2016

So, this thread goes silent for nearly three weeks as not much is happening, when all of a sudden a legislator says something amazing.  Amazingly stupid in this case.

Representative Gerald Gay, who is somewhat of a gadfly anyway, and who is already mentioned in this thread and blog, came out and stated that the gender gap in pay is due to women's workplace behavior.


More specifically, Gay related it to their taking advantage, as a gender, of maternity leave and sick pay.  Gay made these comments in an interview by Kerry Drake for something called Better Wyoming, which I'm not familiar with, but they then circulated rapidly.  The Star Tribune followed up and Gay actually amplified them, amazingly enough.  They display a view of women in the workplace that reads like something from a century ago.

I'll refer readers to those publications, in part because the Tribune's comments come in pdf form but not in a way that's easily capable of being copied and there's just too darned much. Suffice it to say Gay, who sued Governor Mead earlier this year, is rapidly evolving from right wing to something else, and that something else isn't something most in the Equality State can get behind.  Some of his comments in both publications, according to the Tribune, apparently were:
Women are always going to take their full maternity leave, and there’s the dependability issue about whether they’re going to show up for things,
 * * *
"They look at how many sick days you get in a year,” he said. “Say you get 12 sick days a year. If they go for two years and they’ve only taken three sick days, they’re going to cash in the remaining 21 sick days. That’s a gender thing and it hurts getting [the gender wage gap] rectified. Some of the misuses and abuses that go on there, and it’s predictable, it’s statistics that are written in stone. As long as you have people who behave differently on it between the two genders, it hurts the chances of getting that gender wage gap shrunk all the way down. We’ll make small progress on it, but they won’t make it [go away.]”
Here's a doosy:
“Women in the workforce traditionally take a disproportionate amount of their sick days off for other reasons than sick days,” he said. “They take Junior to the hospital or go see Johnny’s soccer game.”

Gay is running for reelection this year.  He did loose his seat to a Democratic contender once before, and then regained it.  Given his comments, I really think the GOP Legislature would be well advised to censure him when the Legislature next sits, and the party itself ought to boot him, assuming that he regains reelection.  His comments are a gift to his Democratic opponent who commented:
“That attitude is kind of a '50s attitude, when a mom’s job was to stay at home, barefoot and pregnant,” she said. “I think it was insulting to women, and it just appalls me to think there’s somebody out there who thinks women aren’t dependable workers because they’re women. I’m not sure he ever looked at the fact that we have so many families where both of the husband and wife have to work. The cost of childcare is horrendous. They’re balancing trying to go to work, paying for child care.”
I think his opponent, Debbie Bovee, a retired teacher, is mischaracterizing the 1950s quite frankly (as so often is the case), but if she'd said that his attitudes fit better in the world of 1916, rather than 2016, I'd agree.

Commentary followup, September 15, 2016

The AFL-CIO endorsed Ryan Greene, the Democratic candidate for Congress.

In contemporary Wyoming, this endorsement frankly doesn't mean a great deal, but it is noteworthy.  It's likely that any Democratic candidate would receive it, and to some extent, except for the unions membership (and here many will ignore the endorsement) it could even hurt Greene a bit.

Commentary followup, September 16, 2016

Sometimes the national news becomes local.

That's what's occurred with the leak of former Secretary of State Colin Powell's email.  Powell let loose pretty freely with his opinions, including his opinions on the Cheney's, whom he called "idiots" in regards to a book that they released some time ago.  The comment might be somewhat nuanced in that it reflected to the release of the book, which he expected to flop.  I frankly haven't heard of the book in awhile, so perhaps that's what occurred.

The Tribune's article, I'll note, contained the common error of claiming that the Cheney's are "from Wyoming".  They are not.  Dick Cheney is from Nebraska, not Wyoming, although he did live here in his teenage years.  Liz Cheney was born in Madison Wisconsin, but grow up here, although she graduated from high school in Virginia and lived there for many years.

Republicans are sensitive to this, and it plays into the strong nativist sentiments that many, including myself, have in this region.  A lot of born and raised Wyomingites, like myself, are quick to point out just what I did, none of which has stopped all sorts of things from being named after Dick Cheney around here.  For example, Natrona County High School's stadium, which as been there since the Great Depression, was renamed Cheney Stadium for some reason some years ago.  At the same time, however, a GOP booster who came to the door during the primary was quick to point out to me that Liz Cheney is "from Wyoming" as her parents graduated from the local high school and her kids participate in rodeo, a really strained argument.

That may or may not really matter.  Wyoming has an extremely long history of sending non natives to Congress, but it's interesting to note that there is a misconception there.

Commentary, September 18, 2016

We learned yesterday, from the Tribune, that the Cheney campaign has refused the Greene campaigns request for five debates.

No reason was given, she has agreed to one debate, but chances are that her campaign fears that the more exposure Greene has the more serious of candidate he appeaers to voters. Right now, his campaign his hampered by comparative low funds.

Greene is a candidate that has a mix of issues in which he's in line with the national Democratic party, such as most social issues, but is out of sync with them on some others, like gun control. As he is from Wyoming and is running on the public land issue to some extent, Cheney may have some reason to wish to limit the voter's exposure to him.  Except on issues like gay marriage and abortion, where he's weak (and seriously weak, that makes voters who value these issues seriously out of his running), he may align more closely with Wyomingites than Cheney.

On other news, the Tribune came out with a Sunday editorial calling Gerald Gay "unfit" for office, based on his recent comments, which are noted above.

Commentary, September 20, 2016

The Wyoming Mining Association endorsed Liz Cheney.

This creates the interesting situation that, to at least a minor extent, industry if for Cheney and labor for Greene, if the endorsements carry much weight with their members.

Commentary, September 22, 2016

Natrona County's GOP came out and criticized Natrona County GOP house member and candidate Gerald Gay over his recent sexist statements. Virtually no one has come to Gay's support, which is hardly surprising.

October 8, 2016

The degree to which infighting remains an issue, albeit a declining one, in the State's GOP was revealed again this week when an effort broke out to censure a selection of GOP members in Laramie County over their endorsement of Kym Zwonitzer's write in campaign over GOP candidate Anthony Bouchard.

Now, GOP members endorsing a write in campaign against a person who won a primary is, of course, extraordinary, but in this case two of the people backing Kym Zwonitzer are her husband and son, both of whom have been politically active in Laramie County.  Moreover there's good evidence that Bouchard only won due to the insanity of the first pass the post system.

Bouchard pulled in five more votes, that's right, five against David Zwonitzer, one of the Zwonitzers endorsing Mrs. Zwonitzer.  The third place finisher was behind by about 60 votes.

Pretty darned close.

Now, the Zwonitzers aren't the only ones who backed Mrs. Zwonitzer.  There were others, and the GOP down there is considering censuring all of them.  But those backing Zwonitzer are cognizant that Bouchard reflects a type of Republican view that can only exist in the vacuum of the rural West, and only there as long as they aren't given a test.  He's extremely right wing and indeed has been the head of a group that claims the NRA is too soft on the Second Amendment, a view so extreme that it would likely result in the Second Amendment not being taken seriously anywhere.

That's fine, if that's a person's view, but the fact of the matter is that views like this are so extreme that when they escape the state's boundaries, or at least those of the Rocky Mountain West, the flop on the sidewalk of public discourse like fish out of water before they die a ghastly death and in the process they make Conservatism, which has deep intellectual roots, look vapid and shallow.  To some extent this sort of thing makes one recall the U.S. government's brilliant conclusion to Red Cloud's War, taking the chiefs to Washington D. C.  That is, maybe folks like Bouchard, who have radical views on almost everything, should take a trip through the political zones where those views can't get any sort of airing and them come back and ponder that.  Certainly, it would seem, folks backing the Zwonitzers have.

One of those folks has given the middle finger salute to those who would censure her, pointing out it has no effect at all.  And indeed, it does not.  But, by the same token, we have to wonder if the GOP in Laramie County is going to censure the Zwonitzers for oppoing Bouchard, should it elsewhere censure Gerald Gay for insulting the work ethics of women in general?

On Gay, the Tribune recently reported on a press conference he held noting that city counsel candidate Todd Murphy were there supporting him.  Murphy reacted immediately with a "oh no, I'm not, I just wanted to hear what he had to say" and the Tribune was generous enough to correct itself.  But frankly it does raise questions about Murphy.  Politics is a game that has to be played carefully and showing up at a Gay event, right now, does indeed suggest support.

Added to that, Murphy is one of those candidates that is using a bright red sign this year for a campaign sign.  Nearly all the candidates doing that, at least here, are on the far right of the GOP.  Rummel, the relocated Idahoan veterinarian, used a bright red sign.  Chuck Gray uses one as well, and he's on the far right.  It may be mere coincidence, but  it's hard not to draw that assumption this year.  Liz Cheney, on the other hand, uses a blue sign.  And for that I'll applaud here, as the weird reversal of colors in the US, where red means conservative, is indeed odd, at least in an historical context.

October 17, 2016

The extremity of some positions this year has now come down all the way to the city council race level, as the Tribune ran snippets of candidate Todd Murphy's  Facebook comments in today's edition.

I'm not going to repeat them, but they're vile.

Murphy was one of the GOP candidates who showed up at Gerald Gay's attempt to pour oil on the troubled waters caused by his comments about women. The Tribune noted that at the time, and Murphy then came right in and stated that his mere presence didn't indicate support for Gay, only that he wanted to hear what he had to say.  He's taking a similar position now on his own Facebook comments, backing away from them and stating that they don't really reflect his beliefs.

Well, a person probably ought to be held accountable for calling people Nazis and Communists, even if you really don't mean it.

And that's party of the problem we have in politics right now.  It's become increasingly common to tolerate really absurd name calling and accusations over the past decade or so, maybe longer, and so it should be no surprise that we see this sort of conduct at all levels.  People need to be held accountable for things of this type, at least in some fashion.  A censure, at a bare minimum, is in order.

And, as an aside this reinforces my earlier observation that, at least locally, signs that are in bright red tend to indicate that the GOP candidate using them is really extreme.  Lots of GOP candidates aren't using the bright red sign here, whether by design or accident, but those who do seem to uniformly be of a certain mindset.

Finally, I don't know how it occurred that people started hating their government.  Conservatives of prior eras did not hate their government.  Now many seem to.  I suppose in comparison many extreme left wing people of the 60s and 70s seemed to hate the government as well.  Disagreeing with the government is one thing, hating it is quite another.

October 19, 2016

Oh, you knew it was coming.

The absolute rule of thumb in Democratic politics in Wyoming is that once it looks like a candidate really has a chance, he or she hauls off and says something stupid.

In this case, Greene, candidate for the House, who last week said neither Presidential candidate, said he'd vote for Clinton even though he doesn't like her stand on guns and energy.


He didn't have to say anything at all, and he shouldn't have.  Now he's tied himself to Clinton, and his race is over.

Not that there weren't so many problems that he was likely to fail anyhow.  A Democrat in a Republican state, and fully aligned with the Democrats on abortion and undefined marriage, social conservatives couldn't vote for him anyway.  But individuals who were close to using public lands as their most significant issue will walk, no run, away from him in droves.

Democrats in Wyoming, the party of political suicide.

October 20, 2016

The  sole debate of the 2016 campaign for house, for the general election, was held at Casper College tonight.

Not a terribly impressive debate.

Neither of the two main party candidates shined in the debate.  The Libertarian candidate appeared clueless and the Constitutional Party Candidate came across every poorly, to say the least.  I think his shining moment was when he went after Social Security. . .yeah. . ., like that's going to get you votes.


All in all, no surprises and there was very little effort on anyone's part to go after big issues.  Cheney accused Greene of supporting Clinton and Sanders, which hardly is a rip roaring debate moment.  She flubbed when she accused Green of getting "to go to work for her father's company" as Green fired right back that her father got her a job in the State Department.  The topics of public lands, abortion, same gender marriage, where they have real differences, were never brought up.

Cheney appeared  the most comfortable in the debate but Greene, while, well, green, did not do horribly.  The Libertarian guy could have just gone home and the Constitutional Party candidate did best before the camera ever appeared on him, after which he dropped like a rock.

October 21, 2016

A keen observer of this debate commented to me that third party candidates like those are what keeps third parties from become major parties.

I can't disagree.