My March Political Donations

What with Covid and the online stuff I’ve been doing for my own campaign, there hasn’t been much time to write here.  College basketball went away.  The Democratic nomination is pretty much sewn up by Biden, although someone needs to tell Bernie.  Still, the down ballot races are moving, albeit more slowly.  Today’s the quarterly deadline, so there’s some urgency on the part of campaigns.  The quarterly deadline also applies to me.  I’ll be filling out my quarterly financial disclosure, tomorrow I think.  As always, these donations don’t include anything I’m giving to myself.  If you want to see that info, you can check out  I should have my post about that up in the next day or two.

I haven’t really given much thought to this month’s donations.  We’ve been making other charitable donations because of the Covid crisis.  Notably to the Knoxville Zoo.  Plus, I’m doing home school (ish) with the 5th grader of the house.  But I guess I know where I want my $20 to go this month.

Now that Warren is out of the race, it’s an easy call for me to be with Biden.  I’m a progressive, not a revolutionary.  Biden can beat Trump.  I don’t think Bernie can.  Plus, Biden will help down ballot.  $5 to Biden.

I’m with Renee Hoyos, who is running to unseat Tim Burchett, the former Knox County Mayor and current member of the House of Representatives from the 2nd District here in Tennessee.  $5 to Renee.

I’m going to give $5 to the Knox County Dems, as I’ve done the last few months.

My wild card this week is Amy McGrath.  I’m skeptical that she can beat Mitch McConnell, but my copy of Mitch, Please came today, so I’m willing to throw $5 at the candidate who is trying to send Mitch packing.

See you next month.

My College Basketball Bracket – March 8

This could change a lot with the conference tourneys coming up.  Seems like the top 5 are set at this point.  I fully expect the NCAA to create the bracket of death with Kentucky, Kansas, and Duke, unless there’s an early exit in the conference tourneys for one of those teams.

Midwest (Indianapolis)

  1. Kansas
  2. Kentucky
  3. Duke
  4. BYU
  5. Illinois
  6. West Virginia

East (New York)

  1. Dayton
  2. Florida State
  3. Villanova
  4. Virginia
  5. Auburn
  6. Ohio State

South (Houston)

  1. Baylor
  2. Creighton
  3. Seton Hall
  4. Louisville
  5. Wisconsin
  6. Penn State

West (Los Angeles)

  1. Gonzaga
  2. San Diego State
  3. Michigan State
  4. Oregon
  5. Houston
  6. Michigan

Top 5 Candidates For The Democratic Vice-Presidential Pick – Warren Drops Out Edition

It doesn’t seem like there’s any reason for me to do a Top 10 or anything like that for the Democratic nomination for President now.  There are 3 candidates left and one shouldn’t have been in in the first place.  For what it’s worth, my list would be: 1-Biden; 2-Sanders; 3-Gabbard.  But she’s only on the list because she hasn’t dropped out.

And I admit that I’m a bit bummed about the fact that Elizabeth Warren dropped out today.  She’s been top of my list since last summer.  I’m using some of her ideas in my own campaign and she’s definitely part of the inspiration for why I’m running in the first place.  Sad to see her go, but I know she will be a prominent figure in the party for a while to come.

But I’m here to give you a first shot at a list of potential names for VP to either Biden or Bernie.  A couple of old white guys need some balance, so that’s who I’m focusing on.  I heard someone say today that he thinks Biden’s pick will be Mayor Pete.  That’s just crazy talk.  Pete in the administration?  Sure.  Just not as VP.  Both of these men need to put a woman on the ticket, someone young preferably, and possibly someone to shore up their weak areas.  Do they go for a unity pick or someone who reinforces, like Gore to Bill Clinton.  Any chance Biden and Bernie share the ticket?  No to that, but everything else is on the table I think.  Except it has to be a woman.

Here you go:

  1. Michelle Obama – It’s a pipe dream I know, but a Biden/Obama ticket is a sure fire winner.  She doesn’t want to the do the politics thing and I don’t blame her.  But she wouldn’t have aspirations for the top job and could take on some important issues as VP.
  2. Kamala Harris – OTOH, maybe Biden needs a powerhouse whom he can groom to take over and who can do a little of everything.  Harris has experience at the state level and in the Senate.  I’ve heard her floated as AG, but I think they should aim higher with her.
  3. Stacey Abrams – Maybe not as much experience, but she can excite the youth vote in a way that no other of these candidates can.  Or I’m reading it wrong.  Plus, she’s great at campaigning and organizing.
  4. Amy Klobuchar – She’s a good complement to Biden, not so much for Bernie.
  5. Elizabeth Warren – She’s a little too old and I think her talents would be wasted in the 2nd banana spot.  But maybe she is a unity option with Biden.  Or does she rein in some of the more extreme parts of Bernie’s plans?  Plus, if she’s selected, a Republican governor chooses her successor.


Politics At The Dinner Table

MadZee is doing his first voting this year.  He’s attending the University here in Knoxville, but his registration is back in Virginia, where he graduated from high school.  So, he’s doing absentee voting.  Last Fall he did a vote for the local Virginia elections in November.  Now, he’s doing the Super Tuesday primary vote for Virginia.  He doesn’t keep up with politics like the rest of us around here – too busy with classes and basketball it seems.

He brought his absentee ballot with him this evening to fill out.  Pretty late in the process, as it turns out.  It needs to get back to the local election commission by 7 p.m. on Election Day to be counted.  So I’m running out to overnight his absentee envelope tomorrow morning.

MadZee was doing some due diligence.  I wouldn’t say a lot, since he wouldn’t have waited til the last second if he was really being diligent.  But I remember being 18.  Vaguely, anyway.  He said he wasn’t sure whom to vote for.  He did one of those online quizzes and it didn’t give much differentiation between the candidates for him.

I asked him what his issues are.  He said, climate change first.  Then, maybe immigration.  And criminal justice.  He mentioned getting people who have finished their time the right to vote.

So, I told him a little about the candidates as I see them.  From the perspective of a Warren voter who does not have Bernie as his second choice.  I mentioned that the MadDoc voted for Pete.  My mom came out of her cave and we asked her who she would vote for (the grandmas still don’t have their Tennessee IDs, although they will by August – in time to vote for me).  She said Bloomberg.  Then, the MadDoc’s mom came downstairs from her room and she dropped the bomb that she had just heard that Pete was dropping out.  She said she would vote for Biden.

I’m pretty sure MadZee’s mom is leaning Bloomberg and he sounded at first like he was going that way too.  I’ll admit I put a thumb on the scale against Bloomberg and gave some of the oppo research on the Mayor.  MadZee pondered over dinner and eventually went for the former Vice President.  I half expected the youngster to go for Bernie.  Once upon a time, he was a fan of Andrew Yang.  I like Biden well enough.  I think he’s more electable than Bernie and will have longer coattails.  Biden’s no Warren, but he could have done worse for his first foray into voting for the President.

My College Basketball Bracket – March 1

I’m going to forego entirely my Top 25 format and, instead, put the teams in seeds/regions.  We’ll see how it goes.

Midwest (Indianapolis)

  1. Kansas
  2. Seton Hall
  3. Creighton
  4. Louisville
  5. Iowa
  6. Colorado

East (New York)

  1. San Diego State
  2. Dayton
  3. Florida State
  4. Arizona
  5. Penn State
  6. Michigan State

South (Houston)

  1. Baylor
  2. Kentucky
  3. Villanova
  4. West Virginia
  5. BYU
  6. Michigan

West (Los Angeles)

  1. Gonzaga
  2. Maryland
  3. Duke
  4. Oregon
  5. Ohio State
  6. Auburn

My January and February Political Donations

I was looking back and it looks like I didn’t do a post for my January donations, so I’ll combine last month and this month together.  I got February’s in just under the wire – about 90 minutes before it turned to March.  I think I also waited almost until the end with January.

The rules, as usual, are that I give a total of $20 a month, usually at $5 a candidate or cause.  Also, I don’t count the donations I’m giving to myself in my campaign for Knox County Commission, District 4.

In January, I gave $5 to Elizabeth Warren and gave $5 to the Knox County Democratic Party.  I also gave $5 each to my fellow Democrats running for the Knox County Commission (Districts 2 and 5), Courtney Durrett and Kimberly Peterson.

In February, I gave $5 to Elizabeth Warren and $5 to the Knox County Democratic Party.  I also gave $5 to Renee Hoyos’ campaign for Congress (TN2) and $5 to Stacey Abrams’ organization Fair Fight.

I think it’s possible this might be the last month I give a donation to Elizabeth Warren.  Unless something changes in March, it looks like it’ll come down to Bernie v. Biden.  At that point, I’ll probably stop donating to Presidential candidates until we have a nominee.

Watching The Debate So You Don’t Have To – South Carolina Edition

So, I watched the debate, but not live.  There was a campaign related meeting I had to go to and a basketball game to watch first.  I took notes as I normally do, but it was too late to write something up last night while it was fresh in my mind.  I have a grandma doctor appointment to go to this morning and another campaign thing to handle after lunch with the MadDoc.  Therefore, I’m just going to bang out a few quick thoughts and give you my ranking.

The moderators were pretty terrible.  They let the candidates talk all over each other.  It was entertaining to watch the first section because of all the fighting and jabs at each other.  On the other hand, it wasn’t a great look for the Dems.  For better or worse, this chaos will abate after Super Tuesday.  Or, at least, I hope it will.

When they got to the second section, it turned boring.  The fact is that the Dems really don’t disagree too strongly on most issues.  That’s why almost every debate has included a healthcare section, because that’s where you can find meaningful differences between the candidates.

The Democratic voters in South Carolina are overwhelmingly African-American, which explains the number of questions and answers touching on race.  The group of white men and women on the stage have to show their bona fides in advance of the South Carolina primary.  It made for an awkward section of the debate.

The last question was ridiculous.  With that said, I though Warren and Pete had the best answers.  Warren, then Pete, if I’m ranking them.

I was stingy with the “good answer” notes.  I gave one each to Warren, Steyer and Bloomberg.

I’ll also note that I paused the debate for a bit because MadDoc and I got into a rather contentious discussion when they started talking about legalizing marijuana.  I’m for it, she’s against it.  She comes at it from her knowledge of studies of long term marijuana use and her experience with patients who use it frequently.  I come from my legal background, my pro-defendant bias in the criminal justice system, and my peculiar brand of libertarianism.  Since I know she will read this at some point, I’ll say that I understand her perspective.  But she’s still wrong ;-).

Now, on to the ranking.

  1. Biden – Joe definitely has a ceiling when it comes to debates.  For me, this was one of his better ones.  Also, no one else really shined.  So, by default, Biden won this debate.  And he needed to, since South Carolina is his firewall state.
  2. Buttigieg – Pete is a little desperate to get some traction in a state he’s not doing well in.  He had some memorable lines and he’s been the most consistent in pointing out the problem with Bernie at the top of the ticket.  Last time it was his line about choosing between someone who wants to burn the party down and someone who wants to buy it out.  Last night he used the same line he gave in his speech after Nevada, that we need to care about more than just the Presidential race.  And Bernie at the top of the ticket is going to endanger the House and the Senate.  I agree with him on both of these points.  He also continued to show a good grasp of foreign policy.
  3. Warren – It was just an OK debate for the candidate who has consistently been the best debater since the beginning.  She took advantage of the moderators lack of control and interjected quite a bit.  I’m sure some white men someplace are calling her shrill for doing so.  She won the last question and was pretty good all the way through.  She doubled down on Bloomberg with the women and their NDAs.  And her explanation of how he’s the riskiest candidate was solid.
  4. Sanders – Bernie was attacked.  Finally.  They get that he’s going to win if they don’t do something.  Bernie’s responses were, as usual, some combination of deflection and pivoting to his stump speech.  I think it was Steyer who said that Bernie is right about his analysis of the situation.  It’s just his proposed fix is wrong.  The question is whether the fact that he’s really fuzzy on how to pay for M4A and his other programs will cause him to crash the way it did with Warren.  His base of support is so enthusiastic, I suspect not.  He’s got a high floor.
  5. Klobuchar – In the first section, Amy returned to the nervous sounding candidate of the early debates.  Later on, she did better.  Too many attacks going around for her to get into the mix.  I think we’ve seen the end of the Klobuchar boomlet.  She’s gonna stay in through Super Tuesday because she wants to win her home state over Bernie.  But I suspect her money will dry up and she’ll be out around March 4.
  6. Bloomberg – The mayor did better this time than last.  Although that’s a low bar.  He had his answers better rehearsed this time.  If you’re inclined more to the center, then you probably think Warren’s attacks against on the women and NDAs was too much.  I’m not so inclined, so I think he really hasn’t answered the question and Warren is right about how risky it’ll be if he’s the nominee.  But he was better than…
  7. Steyer – This billionaire was just not ready to be back on the stage.  He’s polling pretty well in South Carolina and he wants to keep his position, so he was playing to the South Carolina electorate hard.  If he doesn’t do well, I could see him dropping out before Super Tuesday.  Then again, he’s got the money to stay in if he wants, so who knows.