Little Project I’m Working On

2016 Primary Timeline

February 1: Martin O’Malley leaves the race. And then there were two.

April 24: The date of an e-mail from Debbie Wasserman-Schultz, responding to an article describing the ways Sanders felt the DNC was undermining his campaign. She wrote back, “Spoken like someone who has never been a member of the Democratic Party and has no understanding of what we do.”

She’s not wrong.

May 2: Sanders says there will be a contested convention and that the system is “rigged.”

May 3: Sanders wins the primary in Indiana. But he still trails by 300 pledged delegates.

May 5: The date of a leaked DLC e-mail suggesting they should question Sanders’ faith.

May 17: Date of a leaked e-mail from Debbie Wasserman Schultz, who took exception to Sanders campaign manager Jeff Weaver’s defense of his candidate’s supporters.

“Damn liar,” she wrote. “Particularly scummy that he barely acknowledges the violent and
threatening behavior that occurred.”

Weaver had said:

“There was a horrendous breakdown, where the leadership there in Nevada hijacked the process on the floor, created a tremendous amount of angst among people who were there attending the convention, who were supporters of Sen. Sanders, by ignoring the regular procedure and ramming through what they wanted to do.”

Politifact flagged this claim as “false.”

Jeff Weaver was a “damn liar.”

May 18: The New York Times reports:

“Advisers to Mr. Sanders said on Wednesday that he was newly resolved to remain in the race, seeing an aggressive campaign as his only chance to pressure Democrats into making fundamental changes to how presidential primaries and debates are held in the future.

“Tad Devine, a senior adviser to Mr. Sanders, said the campaign did not think its attacks would help Mr. Trump in the long run, but added that the senator’s team was “not thinking about” the possibility that they could help derail Mrs. Clinton from becoming the first woman elected president.”

May 21: The date of a leaked DNC e-mail suggesting a narrative could be used to show that the Sanders campaign is a mess. The idea is nixed. National Communications Director Luis Miranda responds to the idea: “…the chair has been advised not to engage. So we’ll have to leave it alone.”

May 26: The Associated Press announces that Donald Trump achieves 1,237 delegates required to guarantee his nomination for the Republican Party.

Sanders tweets that he is willing to debate Trump. Very funny.

June 1: The New York Times reports:

SPRECKELS, Calif. — Bernie Sanders signaled Wednesday that he would continue his presidential campaign beyond the California primary next week, saying he had the money to keep running until the Democratic National Convention next month.

While Mrs. Clinton is just 71 delegates shy of the 2,383 needed to clinch the nomination, Mr. Sanders said he was “feeling pretty good” about his campaign and hoped superdelegates would realize that he was the best candidate to beat Donald J. Trump in the general election. He also said he hoped the next week would bring victories that could help him make his case at the party’s convention in Philadelphia.

June 6: The Associated Press and NBC News state that Hillary Clinton is the presumptive nominee.

June 7: Hillary Clinton officially secures a majority of pledged delegates after winning in the California and New Jersey primaries. She wins 254 pledged delegates.

At this point, Clinton has won 2,310 delegates, 73 delegates shy of the nomination. Sanders trails her by more than 700 delegates.

Sanders marks the occasion by shitting all over the Democratic Party.

“The message to the Democratic leadership is that if the Democratic Party is to be the party of working people and young people and the middle class, they’ve got to open up the doors,” said Sanders, noting the strong support he’s received from young adults. “You are the future of this country … and the Democratic Party has got to be a party that is more than its candidates going to wealthy peoples’ homes to raise outrageous sums of money.”

June 9: Sanders meets with President Obama. After the meeting, he pledges to “…work as hard as I can, to make sure that Donald Trump does not become president of the United States.”

This does not apparently include conceding to the presumptive nominee.

Obama, Vice President Joe Biden and Senator Elizabeth Warren formally endorse Hillary Clinton.

Meanwhile on this date: Donald Trump Jr., Jared Kushner and then-campaign chairman Paul Manafort meet with a Russian lawyer, ostensibly to get opposition research on Hillary Clinton.

June 16: Sen. Bernie Sanders declines to concede the Democratic nomination to Hillary Clinton.

July 12: Bernie Sanders finally concedes and endorses Hillary Clinton in Portsmouth, N.H.

Candidate Trump holds a political rally in Westfield, Indiana. Introducing Trump, Stephen Miller tells the crowd that Sanders’ concession to Clinton means that “the system is rigged from top to bottom.”

July 22: Wikileaks releases its e-mails hacked from the Democratic National Committee. Many of these e-mails are referenced in this timeline.

July 25: The Washington Post reports on some of the worst revelations to come out of the DNC e-mail dump. Many of these references are included in this timeline. The Post’s reporting acknowledges, yet couches, an important point:

“Basically all of these examples came late in the primary — after Hillary Clinton was clearly headed for victory — but they belie the national party committee’s stated neutrality in the race even at that late stage.”

Oct. 28: FBI Director James Comey announced in a letter to Congress that the FBI learned of the existence of emails that appeared to be pertinent to the investigation of Secretary Clinton’s email server and that the FBI would take steps to allow investigators to review these emails “to determine whether they contain classified information as well as to assess their importance to our investigation.”

Nov. 6 On FBI Director James Comey writes a second letter to Congress: “Based on our review, we have not changed our conclusions that we expressed in July.”

Aug. 25, 2017. A federal judge in Florida dismisses a class-action lawsuit brought by supporters of Sanders against the DNC.

The Most Fun I Had Today

Was watching the cashier at Barnes & Noble try to assign a value to the tagless used Clare Fischer album I’d found in the used stacks.

Then to watch her call her manager to come down to try to assign a value to this (to me) priceless record.

And then to have him let it go for $3 with a big fat discount.

Playing it now. It is mint condition. And it sure is pretty.

Pro Tip

Don’t masturbate while looking directly at the solar eclipse tomorrow.

You’ll go blind.

Take A Load Off, Annie!

“Who is this?” asked one altakaka to the other at where everyone knows my name where I had lunch today. “Is this Genesis?”

“No,” said the other altakaka. “It’s Peter Gabriel.”

The song was “Land of Confusion.”

“Oh, wait, I know.” said Altakaka Number One. “It’s Phil Collins.”

“It’s Genesis,” said the barkeep.

I tried not to sound annoyed when I finally cleared it up for everyone. “It’s Genesis. It’s Genesis with Phil Collins.”

“Huh,” said Altakaka Number One. “It’s not Peter Gabriel?”

“No,” I confirmed and returned back to my Kindle and my BLT.

“Now, who is this now?” asked AK#2. The song: “Here Comes the Feeling.”

“It’s Asia,” I answered. Oh! Yes! He exclaimed back. Asia!

Then, “Old Man Down The Road.” “Hey, do you like these guys?” asks AK#1 to AK#2.

“Yeah, but this isn’t that band. It’s that guy by himself.”

Correct. Score one for AK#2. This was a John Fogerty solo effort after he left CCR.

Shortly, “The Weight” played. “Hey, you know who this is, don’t you?” Altakaka Number Two shook his head. “It’s that Bob Dylan with The Band.”

No, I uttered interally. It’s just The Band. That’s Levon Helms singing.

Levon Helms.

I hadn’t intended to play musical trivia today. But I am glad to report that I cleaned AK#1 and AK#2’s clocks.

Fascism Is A Sweaty Shitty Mess

“I beg your pardon,” said Trump, wiping his mouth with a cloth napkin and sliding his chair behind him standing up. “Now is the time of the day when I like to take a nice big dump all over the Republican brand.”


Good morning. Anything going on in the news lately?

You don’t say. White supremacists? And “counter-protesters,” as the news readers were calling them (I thought this was an interesting style choice, especially given how instantly universal it was)? Beating each other up with baseball bats and cans of sprayable weaponry? The biggots showed up wearing helmets and other military gear?

Some were brandishing guns?

And someone killed a person with a car?

Well. I hope the President of the United States had some strong words to say about this!

Ah. Yes:

“I have a message to all of the white supremacists and the Nazis who came into Charlottesville today. Our message is plain and simple. Go home. You are not wanted in this great commonwealth. Shame on you. You pretend that you’re patriots, but you are anything but a patriot. My message is clear. We are stronger than you. You will not succeed. There is no place for you here, there is no place for you in America.”

No. Wait. That was Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe.

Oh, yes. Here is what the Preznit said:

“We condemn in the strongest possible terms this egregious display of hatred, bigotry and violence, on many sides. On many sides. It’s been going on for a long time in our country. Not Donald Trump, not Barack Obama. This has been going on for a long, long time.”

What I can’t tell is if Trump thinks that hatred, bigotry, and violence occur on many sides, or just violence. But many people sure did notice what wasn’t said by our pretty, pretty Preznit.


When I was growing up, every couple of years they decided to teach us about the Holocaust again.

They’d drag out the black-and-white pictures of emaciated men stacked up in bunks, the gates of Auschwitz bearing the not at all ironic phrase, “Arbeit macht frei,” they’d tell us the astonishing numbers of humans who were extinguished via this horrible effort, six million, 12 million, wow, you’d think as a kid trying to take all this in, that sure is evil.

In college, I spent a semester studying the Shoah under one of the most brilliant professors in the world, Sol Friedman. Friedman’s approach to teaching this history was to have his students understand the truly murky depths of anti-Semitism in the world and how it has essentially fused itself into the marrow of human beings.

At least, that’s what I took from it.

I mean, they trace anti-Semitism to back before the Middle Ages. But going back that far is a little in the weeds. A few key and fairly recent historical events, though, might make you think.

  • In 1492, Columus sailed the ocean blue. Also, Jews were being driven out of Spain.
  • In 1791, Catherine the Great creates the Pale of Settlement in an effort to bounce Jews out of Russia
  • In 1850, composer Richard Wagner–yes, “Ride of the Valkyries” Richard Wagner–publishes the essay Das Judenthum in der Musik. Among the notions discussed is the harmful myth that Jews actually rule the world.
  • In 1903, the Protocols of the Elders of Zion is first published. The book is a forgery, meant to reflect the Jewish plot for world domination. Many regimes in the Middle East proclaim it as fact to this day.
  • In 1913, Menahem Mendel Beilis is acquitted of murder in Kiev, but only after his trial elicited charges that he conducted ritual murder because, you know, that’s what Jews do.

Now. I understand that the main point of contention between the “idiots” and the “counter-protestors” was more racial than it was regarding folks with crooked noses. But I know more about this than that. And I speak of it today because of a larger point:

This idea that this group of people is better than that group of people, and that that group of people is a problem and must be mitigated somehow, this is an idea so ancient that it lives within our DNA. It lives in the dirt. Adolf Hitler did not invent it. Nor did David Duke. This disease has been with us as long as cancer has.

And we now have a Preznit who cannot even remotely speak harshly of it because it is a part of what he is and how he came to power.

Those people you saw with the helmets and the shields yesterday on the CNN?

Those people are this Preznit’s base.

This is why he had to punt to false equivalence yesterday rather than to call out this festering illness and its horrifying breakout yesterday for what it is.

Way to go, America!


After we walked out of the theater having watched Christopher Nolan’s new masterpiece Dunkirk, my DOD said, I know this wasn’t really your cup of meat*, but did you like it?

I gushed. I adored this movie. What a great movie. Look at how he told the story. Yeah, he said. The acting wasn’t so much the force of the movie. It was the direction. And the story.

And the soundtrack, I added.

That’s the thing about Dunkirk. Nolan goes out of the way specifically to not tell you this story in the typical way. There is no clear protagonist, no clear story arc. There is only one trumpeted moment of Hollywood victory. Every other moment of the film drops you into wartime and doesn’t pull you out until the credits roll.

Nolan has chosen to show everything and to tell nothing. Exposition in Dunkirk is held to a luddite minimum. And in most films, this would be where enjoyment breaks. In Dunkirk, it is a brilliant raconteur. It is a virtual reality machine. You viscerally experience the confusion and terror of war. By way of comparison, Saving Private Ryan toyed with this VR experience but spent most of itself creating the typical story arc. Dunkirk doesn’t do this.

Dunkirk is fully committed to showing and not telling. So if you have a friend or S/O who is the sort who asks questions during movies?

Go solo.

But go. This is a cinema experience you don’t want to miss. This is a gritty, horrible story beautifully shown.

*This is a phrase my Dad finds quite clever and I do not entirely disagree with him

So Long, Spicey!

This was the largest audience to ever witness a resignation— period — both in person and around the globe.

Now here’s something actually useful

I like a dot of Honest Amish Beard Balm for the mustache, but my chin whiskers are getting John Masters Organics Pomegranate Facial Nourishing Oil. It’s not even beard oil officially but I don’t care because it smell nice and softens wonderfully.

A little dab will do ya

Jaco Pastorius