Wednesday, February 5, 2020

We are all still waiting

I woke up this morning after having watched a Jerry Lewis film with two of my grandchildren. I did not check my laptop or my phone before going to sleep. I did not tune into CNN. However, I did expect that I would awake fresh this morning, grab a cup of coffee, turn on NBC's TODAY and see the results -- the full results -- from Iowa. Clearly, I was dreaming.

Or, I guess, nightmaring. That should be the term, right? What is this nonsense? Are we going to get the Supreme Court involved? Is that the next step? Is this the 2000 general election and it will be a month from now before we know the results? This is ridiculous. This is ridiculous and it never should have happened.

I am pulling for Senator Bernie Sanders, of course. But if Mayor Pete Buttigieg won, it is still offensive. Whomever won should have had bragging rights on Tuesday and on Wednesday. That is true if it was Senator Elizabeth Warren. And it could be with nearly 30% of the tally still not accounted for.

Whomever the winner is, they have been denied their moment. That moment results in increases in fund raising. It results in an increase in press attention. They have been denied and that is not fair.

Then there is us. All of us who have waited for the Iowa caucus wanting clarification on where the candidates actually stood in terms of support.

We were left waiting. To all of us, I dedicate Diana Ross' "I'm Still Waiting."

That was on the radio in the early seventies but I got into the song in 1983 when I bought THE DIANA ROSS ANTHOLOGY. It was a double length cassette covering her MOTOWN solo hits. In 1981, Diana Ross had left MOTOWN and signed with RCA which released WHY DO FOOLS FALL IN LOVE. By 1983, she had released her third RCA studio album and had her historic Central Park performances. Was I at Sam Goody's? I think so. Or maybe Musicland. My youngest son was still a teenager and he loved music -- as did his parents. So we would take a trip to the mall every week to find music. Inferior vinyl had led the LP format to wane. Walkmans and other devices had led to the rise of cassettes. Diana Ross' new album was ROSS and I was going back and forth on whether to get it on vinyl or not. It had a striking photo which has since been called a downer but on the vinyl jacket it was a striking photo. It was a new release and so it was on both vinyl and cassette. I decided to check out the cassette 'stacks.' Vinyl was in bins. Cassettes were in stacks along the walls -- little cabinets. And the cassette boxes/cases (each one) was in a plastic case with a long plastic arm/handle. So I am checking out the cassettes. I had all of Ms. Ross' studio albums since 1979's THE BOSS (and many before that but not continuous -- I also had all the Diana Ross and the Supremes studio albums). I do not see any cassettes of albums I do not have already. Except . . . Diana Ross's ANTHOLOGY. I am not big on Greatest Hits and Best Ofs, I prefer to have the original albums. I do enjoy live albums though because often the songs are done with different arrangements.

So why did the MOTOWN ANTHOLOGY stand out? I did not buy all of her MOTOWN albums. I bought DIANA ROSS (her first solo album), SURRENDER, THE BOSS (all three of those were produced by the incredible Ashford & Simpson). I bought 1976's DIANA ROSS ("Love Hangover" and "Do You Know Where You're Going To") and, of course, diana -- that is not a typo, the title was in all lower case. In fact, we had three copies of diana in the house because it was a very popular album. The hits on it were "Upside Down" and "I'm Coming Out." So I had five albums covering her MOTOWN solo period from 1970 to 1980. But, not counting the soundtrack to LADY SINGS THE BLUES, she had eleven solo studio albums during that period so I was missing six. This was a way for me to get the hits from those albums as well. So since it was available in the store only as a cassette, I went ahead and got it and ROSS on cassette.

Again, I knew "I'm Still Waiting" from the radio. I never had the album it was from (EVERYTHING IS EVERYTHING). And it had her covering the Peter Frampton hit "Baby I Love Your Way" as well as John Lennon's classic "Imagine" and so much more. I assumed it was a big hit -- especially since no tracks from 1978's ROSS (not the 1983 ROSS I bought at the same time) were on it. She had some very popular radio and dance hits on that earlier ROSS album including "Loving, Living and Giving." There was no booklet (like Stevie Nicks' WILDHEART that same year -- 1983) had. The cassette cover did not fold out. So there was no information about the tracks -- not even producers or songwriters. I was surprised, years later, to learn that "I'm Still Waiting" only made it to number 63 on the Hot 100 and number 40 on the soul chart. But it was a huge hit in England where it topped the charts.

For all of us waiting on Iowa, we're still waiting.

This is C.I.'s "Iraq snapshot" for today:

Wednesday, February 5, 2020.  Two days later and still no results out of Iowa.

On Monday, Iowans turned out to caucus.  That generally means that late that night the country knows the results.  It's not a day later, it's two.  And the results are still unknown.

Iowa is not a vastly populated state.  It has approximately 3.1 million residents and, of those, about a quarter are children (under 18).  By contrast, NYC has a population of 8.6 million and Los Angeles has a population of 4 million.  Those are cities.

2,325,000 is the approximate number of voters in Iowa.  The most recent data (2010) has 645,000 registered Republicans in Iowa.  That would leave you with 1,680,000 eligible voters.  That's if they all participated in the Democratic caucus -- 700,000 is the number of registered Democrats per the most recent data.  Not everyone participated in the caucus.  (NPR's Mara Liasson said approximately 170,000 participated in the caucus.  That's a very small number if it's correct.)

There is no excuse for this failure to have happened.  There is no excuse for the results to still remain unknown.  The process failed and this was agreed on this morning in a discussion featured on NBC's TODAY SHOW.

By releasing a partial result yesterday evening, the Democratic Party in Iowa did further damage.  We don't need a news dump for the evening news that was about 71% of the tally.  This is outrageous.

Yes, Iowa should suffer consequences.

So should the hideous Shadow, Inc who sold the state party the new technology.

 Pinned Tweet
We sincerely regret the delay in the reporting of the results of last night’s Iowa caucuses and the uncertainty it has caused to the candidates, their campaigns, and Democratic caucus-goers.

That pinned Tweet?  After mid-day Tuesday, that wasn't nearly enough.  Last night?  You mean two nights ago?  Shadow, Inc should announce that they recognize the harm they've done and they'll be closing their doors before they cause further problems.

Ronald Brownstein (CNN) points out, "The meltdown in reporting results made it extremely unlikely that the full momentum that has often followed a caucus victory would flow to any of the candidates [. . .]"

Responsible call by colleagues, per : “Various individual Democratic campaigns are releasing their own numbers with estimates of how the Iowa caucuses turned out. We are NOT reporting these numbers, which are hand-picked.” We’ll get you reliable results.

Will you, Steve?  You will?  Because this morning, you reported on (here for THE MORNING EDITION segment) partial results.  That's not reliable results.  We still do not know who came in first -- we can't know that with what you termed this morning "some vote totals."

I'm not interested in partial counts.  The only thing I will note is that Joe Biden may come in fourth when the full totals are released.  May not, but he may.  In yesterday's snapshot, I noted he came in fifth in 2008 and appeared to do the same this go round.  If the results hold, he will come in fourth.  That's still not enough to justify his remaining in the race.  He had the biggest name recognition.  He had the easiest press.  He was declared the front runner the moment he announced he was running for the nomination.  Bill Barrow and Brian Slodysko (AP) report:

Joe Biden’s third presidential bid enters a critical stretch after a disappointing finish in the Iowa caucuses sent the former vice president on to New Hampshire with a skittish donor base, low cash reserves and the looming threat of billionaire rival Michael Bloomberg and his unlimited personal wealth.
In New Hampshire on Tuesday, Biden insisted he had a “good night” in Iowa even as he trailed the top moderate candidate, former Mayor Pete Buttigieg of South Bend, Indiana, and the leading progressive, Bernie Sanders, according to initial returns from 71% of precincts. Biden was running fourth, close to Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar, who just days ago polled in single digits.
[. . .]
Biden aides have said for months that he didn’t have to win in Iowa or on Feb. 11 in New Hampshire because he was better positioned in Nevada’s Feb. 22 caucuses, South Carolina’s Feb. 29 primary and a slate of March 3 primaries with more than a third of Democrats’ national delegates at stake on a single day.
That never meant, however, that Biden could sustain a bad showing in Iowa and New Hampshire. 

"This is a very disappointing finish for Joe Biden," NPR's Mara Liasson observed this morning and noted that this was low even after his campaign had attempted to lower expectations and she noted that some had been saying that  "he really had to come in a close second to in order to raise the money to keep on going."

Not a single poll in Iowa had performing as badly as he did. They were off, in most cases, by nearly 10%. We think it shows that Biden’s polling is badly inflated by landline polls and that polling for Biden also misses new voters, young voters, and independents.

Shaun may very well be right.  However, there may be more to it.  It's also true that historically what this usually means is that people who are really not paying attention and don't plan to vote often say they will be voting when called on the phone for polling.  In other words, you're put on the spot by a pollster and you go with the first name you know while pretending you'll be voting when you actually don't plan to show up.  That really sounds like Joe's base.  Smart campaigns always prepare for that possibility if they're seen as the front runner.

Kenneth R. Rosen (NEWSWEEK) reports:

The War in Iraq cost nearly $2 trillion, roughly $8,000 per U.S. taxpayer, representing 9 percent of the national debt.
The current cost to the federal government for conflict zone operations in Iraq is an estimated $1.922 billion, including increases to the base budget in funding from the U.S. Department of State and United States Agency for International Development (USAID), homeland security, reenlistment bonuses, healthcare costs for active-duty and war veterans and accrued interest, according to a new report from The Cost of Wars project.
Without a war tax and few war bonds, direct war spending by the Pentagon resulted in interest payments of about $444 billion, the report estimated. The author warns even if the fighting stopped today, and the Trump Administration pulled out of all ongoing fights in the "Global War on Terror," those cumulative interest payments would continue to rise. If all war spending stopped today the existing war debt would "rise ... to $6.5 trillion by 2050," according to the report's estimates.

While the report does estimate that amount of interest on the debt, they do not attempt to estimate the costs of treatment over the coming years for the veterans of the war.

In Iraq, the protests continue.

University and institute graduates protest in Kirkuk after controversial hiring plan scrapped

The revolution never die, we made it, and will not give up.

journalist Muntadhar al-Zaidi, who became famous for throwing shoes at President Bush at a 2008 press conference, answers questions on the protests and the contemporary situation in Iraq

| Demonstrators inside Tahrir come out with big number of demonstrators against Sadr attitude towards and Calls for resignation of a new iraqi PM.


The Blue Hats gangs burned more than four tents at 's Al-Umma Park early today


In other news, this is being reported . . .

| pilots arrive at Air Base with an militia team to seize Iraqi F-16s.

Is it true?  I have no idea.  Did anyone worry about that when the US was making this deal with Iraq?  Uh, we did raise the issue here.

The following sites updated: