Teach Your Children Well

I find this video very affecting. In fact, I cried when I first watched it.

All About That Base

With apologies to Meghan Trainor, whose song was catchy and body-positive:

The 2020 election – it’s all about that base. We have to win, because who could stand another 4 years of this?

To win, we have to turn out the younger people and all the African Americans who tuned out for Obama. And to do that, management has concluded that we need to nominate Kamala Harris.

Look, any of them will be a quantum leap better than that [add your own expletives and colorful barnyard sayings here]. Kamala may not be your first choice, or mine. But we don’t win if we don’t motivate the black vote.

Now scroll up and play the video again. It’s catchy!

“Electability”

No Joe Biden is not the most “electable” candidate. Electability is code for “dull white candidate who won’t turn off the right wing of the Democratic party.” History demonstrates that choosing the “electable” candidate is a losing strategy.

Since WWII, the Democrats have consistently LOST by running safe “electable” candidates. Adlai Stevenson, Hubert Humphrey, George McGovern, Walter Mondale, Michael Dukakis, Al Gore, John Kerry, even Hillary – they all lost. (Yes, I know Republican chicanery played a huge role in Gore’s and Hillary’s defeats, but it shouldn’t have been that close.)

Democrats have WON by taking the “risk” of nominating a candidate who represented a break with the past, in some way that made sense at that moment. Kennedy, Carter, Clinton, Obama all won. In 1960, it was a Thing for a young Catholic to run; in 1976, Carter’s piety was a refreshing change from Nixon’s amorality; Clinton ran as a “new Democrat” (no comment on all that), and of course Obama promised Hope and Change and the first African American candidate.

No, Biden is not the best candidate. The crucial key to winning is turnout and inspiration, and who find Uncle Joe inspiring? Or Klobuchar or any of the indistinguishable white guys at either end of the row during the debates?

#electability #Buttegieg2020 #Harris2020

Wilde Across America

My nephew is having a wonderful adventure, biking with his cousin from Minneapolis to Seattle and posting daily updates on Instagram under @wildeacrossamerica.

They have camped out a few nights, sleeping in the open and cooking out. Most nights, however, they have found shelter with strangers in the small towns that they pass through. Apparently there is a network of biking enthusiasts who put each other up.

I’m glad he is exploring the world beyond suburban New Jersey, and discovering natural beauty and kind souls. There is nothing political in his posts, photos, or reflections, so this Debbie Downer observation is all my fault.

The observation is this: You kind of need to be a straight, white, Christian, cisgendered male for this trip to be such a carefree lark. Just saying, and nothing against him or all the fun.

First Pass – Joe Biden

Joe Biden has applied for the position of President. Management finds that the pros and cons of his application have a substantial overlap.

Pros – Biden’s strongest assets are that (1) he is likeable and seems authentic, and (2) he could jump right in without needing an education, given that he’s been in politics since 1753 and has even been vice president.

Cons – Biden’s greatest weaknesses are that (1) his go-along-to-get-along, affable, deal-making personality is not what we need in this time of crisis, which cries for someone who is braver and willing to step on toes if necessary to save the country, and (2) he’s been in politics since 1756 and does not seem to have Kept Up with Things.

Leader in the Polls. Biden is the current front runner. This is a point in his favor, but the rankings will surely change and change again.

Can he win? Maybe.

On one hand, people who dislike the current president won’t be “afraid” to vote for him. They won’t associate a vote for Biden with a dangerous leap into some hitherto unknown presidential demographic (a gay French Hindu juggler!).

On the other hand, Biden will neither excite anyone nor bring a new generation on board. Nor would any demographic, even his own, be thrilled that – at last! – an old white man will have a chance.

Then there is the question of age. See the post of April 14 that I would link to if I remembered how, “Are Some 2020 Candidates Too Old For the Demands of the Presidency?”

Nominating Biden feels like admitting that we lack vision, guts, bravery. On the other hand, he is the current front runner.

Conclusion: Biden will not be invited back for a second interview at the moment. However his application is retained for further review.

The Washington Post: Want to help prevent mass extinction? Get rid of that grass lawn. (Seriously.)

I wish I could leave this on the neighbor’s lawn. You know, the one with the lush lawn maintained with pesticide, about 3 houses down the hill? It’s yellow but isn’t my yellow house.

Want to help prevent mass extinction? Get rid of that grass lawn. (Seriously.)
https://www.washingtonpost.com/climate-environment/2019/05/13/governments-could-take-decades-save-species-heres-what-you-can-do-now/

Reyna

Reyna is a free pattern for a one-skein triangular shawl. The design is a mindless combination of garter stitch and eyelet lace, perfect for social knitting or Knitting Under the Influence. It’s so boring that I need TV or conversation to work on it. Nonetheless, I’ve made several. Here is the latest.