Category Archives: Election 2016

Why My Knees Were Knocking That Morning

First a word about my knees. They’ve been good to me for a long time, and I’m grateful. But last summer I strained the right one, trying to do The Twist. I don’t know what went wrong; the last time I did it, my knee was fine. Well yes, that was in 1962; picky picky.


I finally went to a physical therapist, who gave me some stretching exercises to do. I did them just before the election, and afterward, voila! –both knees hurt. A miracle of modern medicine. Continue reading Why My Knees Were Knocking That Morning

Vote Suppression for Lunch: North Carolina, Part Two

Another part of the Republican vote suppression scheme is aimed right at my old home turf, Cumberland County, a heavily nonwhite area which includes Fayetteville & Fort Bragg. And part of the plan is probably going to work. And this is important.

To see why,  a bit of background: in 2004, George W. Bush beat John Kerry in the county by 3351 votes, which was decently close considering Bush carried the state by 435000 votes.

But then in 2008, the Cumberland County Democrats, led by my esteemed and astute friend Roberta Waddle, organized the heck out of the place and totally turned the tables: Obama carried the county by 22000 votes over John McCain.


This was an amazing feat; and it’s the more astonishing considering that Obama won North Carolina — but by only 14000 votes out of 4,271,000 statewide. Continue reading Vote Suppression for Lunch: North Carolina, Part Two

Vote Suppression for Breakfast: North Carolina

Trouble at home:

I didn’t sleep well last night. And then I woke up on election day in a battle zone.

This morning, Durham election officials “discovered” that their voting computers “failed.” So they’ll have to turn to searching through paper records for the voters lining up outside their doors. This will slow down voting and lengthen lines and wait times.

Live from NC It’s: Voter Suppression!


You may know that fights over the suppression of black  & other minority votes in North Carolina have been ongoing, since the Supreme Court Shelby decision cut the heart out of the Voting Rights Act.

The federal courts have been striking down the Reactionary Republican state government’s vote suppression laws with some frequency this year.

But striking down the laws, and actually eliminating vote suppression are two different processes.  Continue reading Vote Suppression for Breakfast: North Carolina

The VEEP Debate: Style vs Substance

The VEEP Debate: Style vs Substance

The VEEP debate: If all that mattered was  “style” and presentation, Mike Pence ran away with it. If that’s the ball game, call him the winner.
But I wasn’t much interested in the “optics” or horse race aspects. Instead, I focused on the substance of what I heard in Pence’s smoother, better-packaged comments.

And that “substance” amounted to a whole lot of trouble, for the nation and the world. Let me illustrate, by edited pieces from the transcript. From the angle of substance rather than showmanship, a very different picture emerges. Here are a few snapshots
Continue reading The VEEP Debate: Style vs Substance

Two Election Comments — Bear With Me

Two Election Comments — Bear With Me
Some years back, a peace-minded friend of ours wanted to bring some Truth In Recruiting materials to the main public high school in her western North Carolina County — where military recruiters had free run of the place. Local officials fought her every inch of the way. So she finally turned to the ACLU.
To help our “Truth In Recruiting” work, we created a character, “Sgt. Abe, The Honest Recruiter.” Here he is, at right, showing an interested teenager the fine print on enlistment forms that recruiters usually skip. Kudos to John Stephens who did the artwork.

The NC ACLU staff lawyer then was a very smart, genial, friendly, but “git ‘er done” pro, and after genially threatening a court fight, she negotiated a deal which got our friend and Sgt. Abe into the school there.

Continue reading Two Election Comments — Bear With Me

Harry’s Razors: Not Making the Algorithmic Cut

Harry’s Razors: Not Making the Algorithmic Cut

There’s a radio show on Sirius/XM I listen to sometimes; they talk politics, aim for an independent but plain-speaking stance, and it’s pretty good. They also have commercials.

In addition, I read the New York Times on my Ipad. And for several weeks now, one of the ads from the radio show has been popping up in almost every Times article I read, day after day.


I mention this because it shows both the pervasiveness of today’s wired marketing machinery, and its limitations.

Continue reading Harry’s Razors: Not Making the Algorithmic Cut

Enter The Next Trump Campaign Manager: It Might Be ME

Enter The Next Trump Campaign Manager: It Might Be ME

I was trying to avoid any political posts until after Labor Day; but this is just too good to keep to myself.

You see, I’ve been doing a lot of important work for the Trump campaign.  

No, really. I mean, I must have. And I did go to one of his rallies here in North Carolina, back in March. So it must be true, because that’s just what he and several other campaign bigwigs have told me, repeatedly.

And it’s about to pay off. Look what he wanted to sent me. An Executive Membership card! (Well, really just the picture. But who could resist?)


And yes, I was a little surprised; but he’s a super-smart guy, and he said, Continue reading Enter The Next Trump Campaign Manager: It Might Be ME

A Note To Angry/Sad Bernieites

A Note To Angry/Sad Bernieites

I Feel You. These photos, of heartbroken Bernie fans, take me back to the 1968 Democratic Convention in Chicago. There’s a bunch more such photos in this album on Slate. (Disregard the snarky captions.)

Bernieites-sad-1No, I wasn’t physically in Chicago that year. But I felt like it; glued to a portable radio, listening to live reports of chaos inside the hall, and a violent police riot outside, a police attack this once aimed at mainly white kids like me.

Continue reading A Note To Angry/Sad Bernieites

Top Ten Reasons Why This Berniac Is Happy Today:

Top Ten Reasons Why This Berniac Is Happy Today:

10. Because all the smart Beltway people were “sure” Bernie would NEVER get anywhere.


9. Because most of those same people still think he didn’t get anywhere–and they look & sound even Lame-er and sillier.

8. Because the chances of beating Trump are now better than they were yesterday.

Continue reading Top Ten Reasons Why This Berniac Is Happy Today:

Checking out “Convention-al” Wisdom

Checking out “Convention-al” Wisdom

Coming, up, national political conventions, Cleveland (Republican), Philadelphia (Democrat.)


This post is not about candidates, platforms, or horse race predictions. I’m thinking about convention security.

I’m no expert, but in 2012, I got a pretty good outsider’s glimpse of external convention security measures while spending several days in the neighborhood near the Democrats’ gathering in Charlotte NC. And I took some photos with my trusty Blackberry. I’m thinking that much of what I saw will likely apply, in spades, at the conventions this year, and so it’s worth passing them on.  Continue reading Checking out “Convention-al” Wisdom