I’m Sorry About The Elevator

I took a week off in February. It was wonderful. I recommend a week off of work every once in a while. It’s good even if you don’t do much or get much done, of which I did neither.

The primary mission did get done, however: Order a new bed. The bed I’ve been sleeping in I bought in November 2016, and it was a good bed for about a year or so. It was a Serta that bore the name of a hotel I’ve stayed at a few times called the Bellagio. I paid $987 for it and the bed frame. After a while, I started waking up with my back hurting horribly. I felt what had happened, the bed material had broken, and the bed could no longer offer me proper support. So for at least two years now I’ve been sleeping on the broken bed for as long as I could stand and then marching to the recliner for the rest of my rest.

I finally took the plunge and purchased a Yellowstone brand mattress. It cost a bit more then my previous purchase, but if the salesman’s words are true, it’s one of the better mattresses you can get, with high-quality materials and excellent craftsmanship. I had looked at the same bed six months ago and had quite favorable opinions on it then, but I still needed to research models and to consider financing this little project. I had already arrived at what it would cost me to buy my other favorite choice, the Purple mattress, which I have had the opportunity to test in-store a few times. I would have required a Purple 3 hybrid, which are not cheap. So I set that as my initial budget and went from there.

The bottom line, however, is that I don’t feel good about making such a large purchase like that without looking a person in the eye. I want to be able to find a person to ask any questions I might have. You can’t really do that with a bed-in-the-box. So I ended up with the Yellowstone with an adjustable base. I took delivery of it yesterday, and so far, I am mighty pleased with it.

Except for this: I didn’t think to question the fellas who delivered it when they loaded up our elevator with the adjustable base, the mattress, and their own burly bodies to traverse to the third floor. Shortly after they left, and after my Dad left–he had been here to watch the Jayhawks eke out a victory in men’s basketball over the Baylor Bears–I left my apartment to go to the grocery. And the elevator’s exterior doors seem not to be closing.

I’m assuming the thing got overloaded and went into some sort of safety mode. I’ve seen it do this before, so it ain’t the first time with this elevator.

Have I mentioned that I hate elevators?

Anyway, I can tell you I’ve already taken two unintended naps in the new bed and had a much better night’s sleep last night than I have in a while. My Mother and I joke that I’ve just taken on a car payment–which is nearly true–but I can think of many less responsible things to do with money. A kid’s gotta sleep.

Today, I am cleaning and digging finally into the CD compilation of Brasilian music that I got last week.

In other news, I think you should take a moment to hear from a kid named C.J. I hope the world C.J. envisions becomes a real thing someday. It sounds pretty terrific to me.

Nevada Caucus

Bernie Sanders was the clear frontrunner in the Nevada Caucus and stands currently as the frontrunner overall. Here is the delegate count to-date, according to NPR:

Bernie Sanders, 31; Pete Buttigieg, 22; Elizabeth Warren, 8; Amy Klobuchar, 7; Joe Biden, 6.

Next: Feb. 29. South Carolina

***

Just a note about why I count delegates on a total-to-date basis. I have created and continue to work on a detailed timeline for the 2016 election. I do this to be able to make certain points about that election, namely:

~ That Hillary Clinton was the consistent leader in delegates at any given time during the 2016 contest. She was, consistently, 200 to 300 delegates ahead of Sanders at nearly every snapshot you can take of that primary. Had the Democratic Convention used a plurality rather than a majority to cast its nominee, and had all the superdelegates been punched in the nuts, Hillary Clinton still would have clinched the nomination easily.
~ That, due to this, Bernie Sanders’ continued presence in the race after, say, May 2016, sapped resources from the presumed nominee; that his persistent invective regarding the process itself was harmful–in fact, in early May, Sanders called for a contested convention, at a time when he was literally 300 delegates behind.
~ That the notion that the DNC had it in for Bernie Sanders in 2016 is overblown and inaccurate. The most offensive DNC emails were from a time when Hillary Clinton should have been taking her rightful place as the presumptive nominee (the Republicans had their nominee installed by May 26; Sanders did not concede until July 6).

You might get the impression that I am not enamored with Bernie Sanders. I’m more of a Liz Warren gal myself.

However, the way I analyze it, I have what could be an effective voting position. New York votes April 26, and we award 274 pledged delegates. My pledge is that, if a ballot arrives in New York that offers a clear front-runner in delegates, I will vote for that candidate. If there’s no clear front-runner, I’ll vote my conscience.

So. I count delegates. And Sanders has a tidy lead currently.

Let’s see what happens in March.

New Hampshire Primary

Sanders wins the New Hampshire primary. Andrew Yang withdraws from the race.

Popular vote totals (from CNN):

Sanders 72,493 25.9%
Buttigieg 68,337 24.4%
Warren 26,174 9.3%
Biden 23,745 8.4%
Steyer 10,105 3.6%
Gabbard 9,223 3.3%
Yang 7,997 2.8%
Write-Ins 3,810 1.3%
Patrick 1,219 0.4%
Bennet 923 0.3%

24 delegates are available in New Hampshire. Delegate wins are: Sanders, 9; Buttigieg, 9; Klobuchar, 6.

Delegates TTD: Buttigieg, 22; Sanders, 21; Klobuchar, 10; Warren, 8; Biden, 6; Limbo, 1*.

2016 Flashback: February 9 Bernie Sanders wins the New Hampshire Democratic primary. Pledged delegates TTD: Bernie, 36; Hillary, 32.

2008 Flashback: Jan. 8: Hillary Clinton wins the New Hampshire primary, but it’s still a three-way race. Clinton and Obama both net nine delegates; John Edwards gets 4. Delegates TTD: Obama, 24; Clinton, 23; Edwards, 18.

*Still waiting for the Associated Press to declare a winner in Iowa.

All numbers are incomplete and may be updated.

Next: Nevada caucus is Feb. 22. New York primary is April 28.

Iowa Caucus

[Note: This entry has been updated several times since its original draft, due to the fluctuating nature of the Iowa delegate count.]

Well I was going to start a 2020 presidential primary timeline tonight, but I guess that will have to wait. Due to a new app that was supposed to help the Iowa Democratic Party deliver results faster blowing up, paired with the party’s mandate that it deliver a second data set in addition to delegates, there are no results as I write this at 1 a.m. Tuesday. I am reading that the campaigns are yelling at the party, the Biden campaign lawyers have already sent a nasty letter to the IDP, and all of the candidates have made speeches that essentially declared victory in Iowa “and now on to New Hampshire.”

This is not an auspicious start to primary season.


Some vital details to understand about the Iowa caucus in 2020:

An additional data point was publicly announced in 2020 to fulfil a mandate of the Democratic National Committee. The Iowa Democratic Party for the first time in 2020 reported raw vote numbers following the first and second alignment rounds. Previously, the Party had only released delegate counts and the State Delegate Equivalents.

SDEs = the number of people in a candidate’s corner multiplied by the number of delegates assigned to that precinct, divided by the total number of caucus-goers. So the number ends up based on a ratio of success in a particular precinct per total caucus turnout.

This is how Sanders actually won the popular vote [Sanders, 45,842 (26.5%); Buttigieg, 43,274 (25.1%)], and yet Buttigieg may have ended up with more delegates. However, as of this update (Feb. 10), Iowa is not final. AP still has not declared a winner, and both the Sanders and Buttigieg campaigns are requesting a recanvassing.

Update
Here’s where Iowa stands as of Feb. 12: Iowa offers 41 delegates. But the Associated Press has yet to declare a winner in Iowa. The Iowa Democratic Party initially allocated 14 national delegates to Buttigieg, 12 to Sanders, 8 to Warren, and one to Klobuchar. But the AP has listed one delegate as unallocated due to counting irregularities. The unallocated delegate will be awarded to either Buttigieg or Sanders once a winner is declared. I am for now updating my count to match this report. One delegate has been allocated to “Limbo.”

Delegates TTD: Buttigieg, 13; Sanders, 12; Warren, 8; Biden, 6; Klobuchar, 1; Limbo, 1.

Feb. 1, 2016: Pledged delegates TTD: Clinton, 23; Sanders, 21.

January 3, 2008: Obama, 37.6%, 16 delegates; Edwards, 29.7%, 14 delegates; Clinton, 29.4%, 15 delegates.

Next: February 11, New Hampshire primary

New York primary is April 28.

So I’ve Discovered Wikileaks

May 3, 2016 Sanders wins the primary in Indiana. This is seen as a surprise victory in the Indiana primary, as he won by a five-point margin despite trailing in all the state’s polls. Pledged delegate TTD: Clinton 1,706, Sanders 1,408. Clinton leads Sanders by 298 delegates.

May 5: The date of a leaked Democratic National Committee email suggesting that, at least in some regions, Bernie Sanders’ faith might be a vulnerability to exploit.

“It might may [sic] no difference, but for KY and WVA can we get someone to ask his belief. Does he believe in a God. He had skated on saying he has a Jewish heritage. I think I read he is an atheist. This could make several points difference with my peeps. My Southern Baptist peeps would draw a big difference between a Jew and an atheist.”

The email was from Brad Marshall, then CFO of the DNC. Marshall’s Wikipedia article From 1976 to 1980, Marshall held positions at PriceWaterhouseCoopers and Deloitte & Touche in Lexington, followed by some time as a CPA. So he may have figured he knew the territory.

Later that day, Marshall responded to the email thread he had started: “It’s these [sic] Jesus thing.”

There was a reply from DNC CEO Amy K. Dacey, who simply replied, “AMEN.”

That was the end of this thread. This was a single brain fart from the DNC’s money guy that went nowhere. A single person threw this idea against the wall one day, and it did not stick. The DNC did not call Bernie Sanders out on his faith.

But you’d better get ready if he’s the nominee because you can bet your Gideon’s Bible that the Republican Party will.

Billie Eilish, A Poem

Me: Hey 2018 Aaron, guess what?

2018 Aaron: What?

Me: Your favorite thing in the world in 2020 is going to be an album by a teenage girl who recorded the entire thing in her bedroom with her brother.

2018 Aaron: Yeah okay.

Me: And much of the music is kind of slow and tad morose, but I love it. It’s really really great music!

2018 Aaron: Man, are you okay? STOP FIBBING

Me: I’m not making this up.

2018 Aaron: Sure. Next you’re going to tell me they have burgers not made of meat.

Me: Well…

Kindle and Hillary and CNN Sucks

The best thing I’ve done so far in 2020 is to upgrade my Amazon Kindle.

The one I’ve been carrying around I earned with points at work. See my job decided it was more economical for them to offer points that you could spend in their little online store than it was to say, offer bonuses. I marked a big anniversary or something and wound up with a big pile of points, so I got a Kindle.

This thing was old-school, no backlight, big chunky plastic thing. But I still found it useful to be able to carry around a library in one little toy.

The new Kindles looked a bit nicer. Backlight, so you could read anywhere no matter what the environmental lighting. And, here’s the cool part, this thing can offer full integration with Audible. So I can buy a Kindle book, and for a few bucks more, I can slap an audio-book on it, and I can switch back and forth between reading reading and listening reading. This is great if you’re a person who needs some sort of entertainment going on at all times, like I am. So I can pop in my Airpods (it does work with Airpods, though getting them to pair without restarting the device has been a thing), and read while I warsh my dishes and such. Then, if I decide to sit down for a luxurious read, I push a button, and it shows the page exactly where I left off listening.

Amazon even let me trade in the old one for a discount, so I didn’t have to wonder about how re-purpose or recycle it. Saved me $15.

So the first book I’ve been reading this way has been What Happened by Hillary Clinton, as read by the author. I had tried to read the book in hardcover the first time, but I got bored and put it down. She doesn’t spend the entire book analyzing 2016 as the reader might expect. First you have to trench through a bunch of storytelling. I sure do love Chelsea and she’s great and Marc is such a great father to her grandson Aiden, and Bill sure does enjoy being a grandfather! I mean, it’s okay, but I’m sure one could find this sort of content in one of her other 12 books.

Takeaways from the thing so far when she actually does get down to business: She’s really pissed at Comey. She believes Putin believed he had many reasons to target her. She’s not as mad at Bernie as I am. She explains why Podesta’s e-mail leaks were particularly damaging, and no, it’s not because they revealed some bias at the DNC that wasn’t there. Don’t @ me.

I am enjoying the book, especially since I can put it on and listen while I scrub the terlet. I would almost recommend it as important reading considering the campaign season we find ourselves in now.

I mean, for example, you want an example of how you, the voter, can be brain-fucked by our grand institutions? Just look at today’s brouhaha about Liz Warren said Bernie Sanders said a broad can’t be preznit. As Matt Taiibi documents over at Rolling Stone, CNN wrote that story and posted it the night before the debate, then fed it into the news cycle all day long, then had its moderator-robots ask the candidates about it in the most baited of sleazy ways. Liz and Bernie took the bait and gave what I’m sure CNN thought was some jim-dandy television. They got to extend this cycle, too, by producing hot-mic footage of Warren confronting Sanders after the debate, since her ostensible refusal to shake Bernie’s hand was tearing up Twitter. Look, everybody! Turn on CNN! WOOT.

And that’s just what CNN is up to to fuck with your head. Please know that Vlad Putin has much more nefarious things in mind for you this campaign season.

So when you see a story on the Facebook soon about how Amy Klobuchar ate a salad with a comb and then punched an opossum in the tits? Yeah maybe let’s either not believe it or stop making such stupid shit matter. Because that nonsense is why we have Preznit Sharpie Sippycup now.