As I write this, there are still no final results from the Iowa Caucuses. The cause seems to be some faulty software and generally poor planning by the Iowa Democrats, resulting in chaos. There is a lot of schadenfreude going on at the conservative websites, and it is unseemly. Much as the Democrats deserve to fall on their faces, this is botched democracy in action, and nobody should be gloating about it. It’s unfair to all of the campaign workers and supporters of the various candidates—even though the supporters of some candidates should hide their heads under a bag—and chaos in the process serves nobody’s interests. What are the odds President Trump sends out a mocking tweet about it this morning?
Here’s Nate Silver explaining what a catastrophe this is for Democrats.
The bon mot turning up in comment sections and social media over and over again last night was “The Democrats can’t handle a caucus, and they want to run the whole country?”
Until the real vote totals are in it’s all speculation, but it looks like Joe Biden crashed and burned, with his vote totals missing the 15% threshold required to win any delegates.
1. Pete being Pete. Remember what the Ethics Alarms verdict was on Pete Buttigieg a while back? It stands. Mayor Buttigieg declared himself the winner before any useful vote totals were in. Mediaite: “All this dumpster fire of an Iowa caucus was missing was a candidate who declared victory without a single vote being reported. But shortly after midnight eastern on Tuesday morning, Mayor Pete put the cherry on top of this hideous sundae with a confounding speech in which he seemed to proclaim himself the winner.” He has been sharply criticized by just about everybody, and deserves to be. It’s a jerk move.
Meanwhile, the Sanders camp, remembering the underhanded treatment he received from the DNC in 2016, is suggesting that this may all be a plot by the Democratic Dark lords to rob him of a big victory and the proverbial “Iowa Bounce.” I don’t blame them.
2. Stop making me defend Joe Biden! Biden is getting “Ew!’s and “Ick!”s as a result of this photo..
..taken when he gave his 19-year-old granddaughter s peck on the lips during an Iowa rally. Granted, this wouldn’t be an issue if Joe didn’t have a well-deserved reputation for inappropriate public behavior with women and girls, but this is one of the best examples I have ever seen of how a photograph, contrary to the old saying, can and do lie. The kiss lasted a nanosecond, but the photo makes it look like Steve McQueen and Faye Dunaway in “The Thomas Crown Affair.”
3. Bloomberg’s news service gets what it deserves. I’ll be watching for dark accusations from pundits and the news media that President Trump is disrespecting the First Amendment by not allowing Bloomberg News to cover his events. (Let me know if you see any.) Bloomberg, now that he is committed to spending billions to defeat Trump, ordered his service not to investigate or publish negative coverage of his campaign or any of his Democratic rivals, just the Trump campaign. Well, that means it isn’t a legitimate news service, put an openly declared partisan propaganda tool, not that CNN and others are not. The Wall Street Journal reported that Bloomberg reporter Jennifer Jacobs was “walked out of the room” before a press conference in West Des Moines yesterday. Good. That’s exactly what should have happened.
4. I’d take on this case, and I bet I could win it with my eyes closed. Cruz Vernon is the only male on the girls’ gymnastics team at Ossining High School in Westchester County, New York, and he’s also the team’s star. The committee governing high school sports in the county, however, has banned Vernon from participating in meets, saying that the young man “exceeds the physical abilities in his team … thereby creating an unfair advantage” and his participation “would result in a female gymnast being displaced.” The school has no male gymnastic program.
What geniuses: predictably, this ruling is being assailed from the right and left. All over the country biologically male trans athletes are smashing high school athletic records in girls’ and women’s discrimination, competitions, while transitioning women are being allowed to compete against unenhanced members of their gender despite being loaded up on male hormones, but this typical, biological male can’t compete in his sport because the school only provides a gymnastic team for girls? These are the crazy years. He’s being discriminated against, and I see no credible defense against his family’s lawsuit.
Of course, he could just declare that he identifies as female, and that would fix everything.
5. It is hard to see a grown man cry, I guess. Fourteen-year veteran NYPD cop Jason Arbeny was convicted of planting crack on an innocent couple, but was so pitiful in his blubbering apology in court that the tender-hearted judge let him off with probation and community service. Judge Gustin Reichbach said that Arbeny had engaged in a “reprehensible” abuse of his authority and the public trust, as well as corrupted the whole criminal justice system. Instead of sentencing him to up to four years as he could have, however, the judge allowed his indignation to be washed away with tears.
This kind of thing is why the justice system is criticized as being capricious and untrustworthy. The judge is incompetent, and should be removed from the bench.
Notice of Correction: This story turned up in several of my go-to sources, and now I learn it was old. Judge Gustin Reichbach died 1in 2012. That doesn’t make it less outrageous, but I’m going to have to always check the dates on these things. Old stories get recycled for no discernible reason. Thanks to Matthew B. for flagging the age of the episode.
6. Exactly. In his post mortem on the impeachment, David Harsanyi writes,
“Perhaps if the public hadn’t been subjected to four years of interminable hysteria over the United States’ imaginary decent into fascism, it might have been less apathetic toward the fate of ‘vital’ Ukrainian aid that most Democrats had voted against when Obama was president.”