Sunday, May 29, 2016

Week 25: "1,237" (May 29, 2016)

Dear Readers,

The great chaos that is the 2016 election season keeps hurtling at us, and I’ll help you make sense of it all.

Remember, all newsletters (and more) are available at

Days until June 7 (Final Primaries): 9
Days until General Election: 163


Trump OFFICIALLY Captures Nomination
It’s been a fun ride, but this past week Trump finally hit the 1,237 delegates he needed to win the nomination. We’ve come from 17 candidates down to just one, and who figured Trump would be that one? This newsletter is dedicated to Scott Walker, Rick Perry, Bobby Jindal, Lindsey Graham, George Pataki, Mike Huckabee, Rand Paul, Rick Santorum, Chris Christie, Carly Fiorina, Jim Gilmore, Jeb Bush, Ben Carson, Marco Rubio, John Kasich, and Ted Cruz, who just officially lost. Give them a hand!

Trump Thinks He Can Win CA, NY
The Trump campaign released a map today showing they were targeting California and Trump’s home state of New York. Let that sink in for a moment. California last voted Republican in the 1988 Bush-Dukakis landslide, and New York went Republican in the 1984 Reaganslide. And yet in this era of extreme polarization, Trump thinks he can win those states. Now, I have about as much of a chance of taking those states as he does, but that’s not what this is about.

What this is about is Trump letting people know he’s going to be “tough”. Not even he, the man of ultimate belief in himself, thinks he could carry California or New York. What’s important is sending a signal to his supporters that he’s so great, he can keep California and New York in play because he’s the best and that’s how he’s going to run. Now, if he pours money into these states, it will be a total waste and we should seriously question his judgment. But this is likely a signal, and it’s a powerful sentiment.

Add Another to the VP Shortlist: Corker Gains Attention
Another Republican has joined the ranks of those looking at serious VP speculation. That man is establishment Senator from Tennessee Bob Corker. Corker may be uninspiring, from a safe Republican state, and 63, but that didn’t stop Dick Cheney, did it? Many still think someone like Brown or Gingrich will still get the call, with Corker being pushed to Secretary of State, but it’s worth keeping an eye on the Tennessean.

Trump Wins Washington, Cracking 75%
The Washington Republican primary gave Trump his highest mark so far, at 75.8%. With Trump now being the official nominee (see earlier), it’s all trivial at this point, but it’s interesting to see that Trump was able to hit the typical landslide margins presumptive nominees get in the second/third week of their time as nominee. With Trump, that was never a sure thing, but it seems to be now. No more Republican primaries are left until June 7, and Trump may even hit 90% in some of those.


America: Not “Sick and Tired of Hearing About [Clinton]’s Damn Emails”?
A report was released this week condemned Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server, which I’m sure we’re all bored of. In case you aren’t, here’s some information. One important thing to note was that the report didn’t just find fault with Clinton’s use of a private email server: it also implicated former Secretary of State Colin Powell in mishandling of emails.

NBCNews: “The audit found that the non-compliance over personal email went beyond Clinton, and that former Secretary of State Colin Powell, a Republican, also failed to preserve government-related emails when he was secretary of state.

The State Department asked Powell to try to receive relevant emails from his internet provider, but ‘as of May 2016 the Department has not received a response’ from Powell, the audit said.”

Bernie Sanders has made reference to this audit, which does say that Clinton failed to comply with federal ruling. It does annoy me that the Republicans are getting behind their divisive nominee, but Sanders insists on making this a real fight, and it’ll surely damage Clinton in November.


Libertarians Count, Too....
This past weekend was the Libertarian Convention. There was a debate on Saturday and voting Sunday.

The debate:
Five candidates made the debate. Gary Johnson, John McAfee, Austin Peterson, Darryl Perry, and Marc Allan Feldman. Gary Johnson, former Governor of New Mexico, pushed his standard libertarian-conservative rhetoric and seemed almost sane. Software developer and possible murderer McAfee wasn’t very impressive. Peterson seemed the most presidential, but also seemed like a 16-year-old doing a Marco Rubio impersonation. Darryl Perry, the “grassroots” choice, looked and sounded insane. His notable moment was when he ripped up a dollar bill onstage and then looked proud and smug. Feldman threw out a bunch of one-liners and looked too proud of himself, but nobody cared.

The voting:
Johnson got 49% on the first ballot, and was subsequently elected. His preferred VP choice, Fmr. Gov. Bill Weld of Massachusetts, also got 49% and was also elected on the second ballot, with a tough challenge from Larry Sharpe.

That leaves the Libertarian ticket as Johnson/Weld, which would have more experience than Trump/Corker by a longshot, which is amazing to behold.

This Week In World Elections

Nothing happened this week proper, but here’s a preview of next week’s elections.

Macedonia: The parliamentary election will happen, with Nikola Gruevski’s VMRO-DPMNE (yeah, that’s an acronym) seeking to retain their plurality over Zoran Zaev’s SDSM and Ali Ahmeti’s BDI. There have been numerous protests against Gruevski over the past few years, and this election was a peace offering to them. This election could get very heated...

Peru: Former president (and tyrannical dictator) Alberto Fujimori may have been exiled, but his daughter, Keiko, ran for president this year, and secured a heavy plurality in the first round. However, a second round was required, so Fujimori is going against Pedro Pablo Kuczynski, who got 20% less than Fujimori in the first round of balloting.

Thanks for reading! As usual, comments are welcome!

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