Friday, March 4, 2016

Marching Forth Toward Spring -OR- The (Still Turbulent) Waters of (This) March

Early spring day in Bryan Park, Richmond, Va., in an undated photo.

Source image: The organization "Friends of Bryan Park" Spring and Summer gallery.

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Blog Editor's Note: This entry is divided into several topically-distinct parts since it was written on two different occasions two days apart.

Part 1: General and Weather Update

Back from the gym tonight after a decent day at work.

It's actually snowing lightly-to-moderately tonight even here in D.C. proper and there is a winter weather advisory in place. However, surface air temps are a bit above freezing and the snow is only sticking on cars, grassy areas, and bushes and the still-winter-bare trees. The roads and sidewalks are just wet.

Light snow falling, 2000 block of New Hampshire Ave NW, Washington, D.C., 10:47PM March 3, 2016.

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This snow should end a bit later tonight. A coastal low will organize but too far from this area to bring anything significant.

There is a winter storm warning in place for St. Mary's County, Md., and parts of east-central Virginia, although I'm not exactly sure why.

Sterling LWX county warning area (CWA) weather advisories updated at 12:36AM EST March 4, 2016.

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Tomorrow will be partly cloud with highs around 42F. Thereafter, a significant warm up is forecasted with highs reaching 70F by the middle of next week. The tree pollen will soon be filling the air -- and requiring me to stock up on Claritin and whatnot.

I suspect tonight's snow will be the last of the season around here.

The 0Z 3/4/2016 GFS showing 384 hour precipitation totals (in inches and with legend) for the western continental United States and eastern North Pacific Ocean valid at day 16 0Z 3/20/2016 (the end of the run range).

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The big U.S. weather story is the hope that a "March Miracle" will occur in California in the next 7 to 14 days with a series of Pacific storms that will dump feet of snow in the mountains and bring reservoir-and-river-recharging heavy rains to the water-hungry state ravaged by a multi-year drought. See above image for the most recent operational GFS run showing precipitation totals for the full 16-day run.

Snowfall potential for the Sierra Nevada Mountains of California for the next two weeks (through about March 17, 2016), as put together by the Weather Channel / weather.com.

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Despite the "Godzilla" El NiƱo (warm ENSO) of this winter season, California really didn't get that much precipitation. (The Pacific Northwest, on the other hand, had a tremendous amount.) March is the really the last chance for a warm ENSO to have a rainy effect on California -- at least in a normal situation.

Here are two CWG entries about it, one from earlier this week and another on Thursday (links embedded):



Central Sierra snow water content histogram through March 3, 2016 and compared to last year and historically wet and dry years.

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Part 2: Belated Super Tuesday Overview

I started this entry back on Wednesday but did not have time or images to post it. Let me just repost that part -- it is a summary of the Super Tuesday results -- before bringing it up to the present.

Super Tuesday results for both the Democrats and Republicans in terms of delegate allocation and who won what state.

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As for the primary and caucuses election results,  Trump had a very good night, winning in the still-crowded GOP field by significant pluralities in 7 of the 11 states as follows:

49.3% in Massachusetts
42.4% in Alabama
38.9% in Tennessee
38.8% in Georgia
34.7% in Virginia
32.7% in Arkansas
32.7% in Vermont (where, of note, John Kasich came in second with 30.4%).

Slimy, hateful Ted Cruz won his state of Texas GOP primary with 43.8%. -- hardly a blowout, considering he is a sitting U.S. Senator from Texas, but still a victory.

Cruz also won the Oklahoma GOP primary (34.4%) and the Alaska GOP caucuses (36.4%).

I left Floriana -- where a group was gathered to watch the results -- when Cruz came on to give his weird "victory" speech. The man is some combination of sociopath, huckster, hatemonger, and slimy villain.

New York Times online headline featuring one of three scenarios -- this was the Trump victory one -- for delegates going forward, 2:12PM March 2, 2016.

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As for Trump's victories, I was the only one at Floriana who whooped "YES!" when Virginia was called for Trump. Everyone else was just passive. (To be clear, the room was 100% Democrats and 90% gay men.)


Poor Marco Rubio -- the Great GOP Establishment Hope -- eked out one victory: the Minnesota GOP caucuses with 36.8%.

Rubio did well among more affluent suburban Republicans (hence, he won the D.C. Virginia suburban counties).

On the Democratic side, Hillary won 7 of the 11 contests, many by large margins. Her victories in the Southern states' Democratic primaries were especially lopsided and she amassed many delegates owing to the higher population states she won:

77.8% in Alabama
71.3% in Georgia
66.3% in Arkansas*
66.1% in Tennessee
65.2% in Texas
64.3% in Virginia
50.1% in Massachusetts

*I would have expected a better Arkansas showing, but I guess her time as first lady there is long forgotten.

Bernie Sanders won the Colorado and Minnesota Democratic caucuses with 58.9% and 61.7%, and (obviously) the Oklahoma and Vermont Democratic primaries with 86.1%.

Thus, he did well in low-population and/or with large white Democratic electorates.

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Part 3: More Ruminations on the Donald Trump Phenomenon and the Republican Party Glorious-to-Behold Mess

Donald Trump with supporters at a campaign rally in Marshalltown, Iowa, January 26, 2016 in a black-and-white photo.

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I would like to post links to the following pieces (links embedded):


Good-bye, Rubio Tuesday by Jonathan Chait (yes, the sub-headline on the Chait index page is "Who Could Hang a Name On You").


Oh, and this one from Esquire columnist Charles P. Pierce: The Republican Party's Implosion Has Been a Long Time Coming. Today Is the Day. The sub-headline is "I love the smell of reckoning in the morning."

I can't do it justice with an excerpt. Just read it.

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Part 4: Tonight's Thursday Night GOP Debate Train Wreck

The four GOP presidential candidates at the debate in Detroit earlier tonight.

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Apparently, tonight's GOP debate -- yes, another goddamn made-for-for-profit-cable-network-TV "debate" this endless primary season -- devolved into a literal penis-measuring contest between Donald Trump and "Little" Marco Rubio. That whole thing started when Rubio made a joke about Trump's small hand size that was, by inference, a joke that he had a small penis.

This Huffington Post headline mash-up says it all:


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Josh Marshall's TPM.com site tonight blares:


Yes, that's Marco Rubio showing off his hands (although I'm unsure if that was taken in tonight's debate).

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Let's see how the political reporters for The New York Times -- a.k.a., the Gray Lady -- present this, or for that matter, op-ed columnists and genteel Establishment Republicans David Brooks and Ross Douthat.

Wall-P receiving his allowed opinions for the day.

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As for The Washington Post -- where Wall-P gets all his conventional wisdom* that in his megalomania he mistakes for Profound Insights -- I'm sure Fred Hiatt and his editorial board were all suitably aghast in Washington Consensus-style.

*And only if cleared and approved by Staff, but that's usually not a problem.

As an aside, IF ONLY everyone would just listen to Fred Hiatt, this would be a neoliberal paradise with free trade and little D.C. rightwing think tanks hatching daily and The Post op-ed pages full of whatever bullshit Fred Hiatt wants to "signal" the Gang of 500. Together, we can forever party like its 1999, the Washington Consensus in full flower.

As for the rest of the "debate" tonight, it was all bullshit gibberish if you don't reside inside the GOP Media-Entertainment Matrix.


True, Megyn Kelly asked Trump some "tough" questions about his various semi-fraudulent business ventures over the years, but I doubt that's going to change the minds of the Trump true believers. Besides, Fox News and the entire "Conservative Movement, Inc." is nothing more than a sprawling, multi-level marketing scam -- as a refresher, (re)read Rick Perlstein's seminal piece The Long Con -- so why should this somehow disqualify Trump??

Here is Josh Marshall's extended take on where things stand after tonight.

For me personally, it's Ted Cruz that I find the most foul and obnoxious. I'm fairly certain he is an actual sociopath. I cannot even abide the sound of his voice.


One last political item: frickin' Willard Mittens Romney was trotted out today to give the Establishment GOP view that Trump is horribly unacceptable and must not be supported because he will ensure the even more horrible Hillary is elected.

It was more the rank hypocrisy of Mr. former pro-choice, gay-friend liberal, not to mention Mr. Romneycare, Mr. Bain Capital, and Mr. Offshore Tax Havens saying that Trump is a huckster and fraud with "bombshells" hiding his in undisclosed tax returns. That is something that the inestimable Charles P. Pierce pointed out in this piece.

Mittens might even get into the race if that were the only way for The Party to stop Trump at the convention. Of course, that would lead to the biggest train wreck of a presidential election campaign ever. Hillary might only need to get 30% of the vote in some states to win (and I'm very fine with that).

I should note, though, that there has been much al Qaeda GOP "chatter" that Hillary is going to be indicted before the November election as a result of the FBI investigation into the whole email bullshit, and even some professional Hillary haters on the American Left have picked up on this.

GOP wet fantasies in poorly Photoshopped action.

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I don't think it's going to happen - Loretta Lynch herself would almost certainly have to OK that decision as the whole out-of-control "Independent Counsel" statue has long since expired -- but I felt I should mention it. (As it is, in the GOP hot house imagination, Hillary has been on the verge of being indicted for the past 24 years.)

The Rosslyn (Arlington), Virginia skyline as seen from the Key Bridge, 1:57PM March 1, 2016.

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OK, I think that's all for now. I'm probably not posting another entry until Saturday evening (ideally, the Saturday Evening Post and Jukebox Saturday Night features).

--Regulus

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