Thursday, March 31, 2016

Monthly meta for February 2016

I haven't posted one of these since Best November ever and other monthly meta.  As I promised to resume doing so in Redistricting reform, the second most read post of blog year five, I'm going to follow through.

Last month was the best February in the history of the blog so far with 33 entries earning 12,256 page views and 36 comments.  Both exceeded February 2015, which had 10,731 page views and 13 comments for 32 entries.  Those stats translate into 422.62 page views per day, 371.39 page views per entry, 1.14 entries per day, 1.24 comments per day, and 1.09 comments per entry.  Even after accounting for the additional day (yay, leap year!), February 2016 had better stats than February 2015--383.25 page views per day, 335.34 page views per entry, 1.14 entries per day (that this stat didn't increase is a good thing; it means I didn't have to work any harder for my page views, one of my goals for the past two years), 0.57 comments per day, and 0.5 comments per entry.  Every single one of those statistics increased (or didn't increase in the case of posts per day) in the direction I wanted it to.

To celebrate these records, I'm sharing the most commented on, liked, shared, and viewed posts from and during February 2016.  I begin with "Super Bowl drinks from Tipsy Bartender" posted on February 7, 2016.  This entry tied for most commented on post for February with four comments.  It fell just outside of the top ten posted during the month with 106 page views according to the raw counter.

Next, "May Leonard Nimoy's memory live long and prosper" from February 28, 2015 was the most liked entry from this blog on Google Plus last month, earning 15 pluses on the last three days of the month when it was shared on the anniversary of Nimoy's death.  It has a total of 18 likes over its history.  It also earned 85 page views that month.

The most saved and liked entry on Pinterest during February was "Final 'Star Wars VII' trailer and reaction" posted on October 25, 2015.  Last month alone, 428 people saved the pin and 68 liked it for a total of 466 saves and 100 likes so far.

Follow over the jump for the most 15 most read entries during last month.

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Gas prices rise but are still (mostly) below $2

Two weeks ago, I wrote the following after the jump in Driving update for March 2016: Dez plus bonus gas price update.
When I last posted about gas prices, I wrote that the annual gas price rise had begun.  Then, the stations in my old neighborhood were selling regular for $1.66.  I decided to wait, as I thought gas should have been cheaper and thought it might even go down.  The next week proved me right, as I found those same stations selling regular for $1.50.  I filled up.  Two weeks later, which was last week, they were selling  the same grade for $1.73.  I decided I didn't need gas enough to buy and waited.  This week, the price went up to $1.78.  Given what the local price environment looked like, I decided it was a reasonable price for the time of year and filled up my tank again.

Was I right to think so?  GasBuddy says yes, as the Detroit average has been $1.96 all week.  The metro average may not be rising, but the national average is moving north of $1.98.
The metro Detroit average has only increased by a penny to $1.97, but the local price in my old neighborhood has continued to creep up.  Yesterday, the two stations down the street from the corner station were both selling regular at $1.90.  That's seven cents lower than the average, but thirteen cents more than two weeks ago.  However, both were a quarter below the corner station, which was advertising regular for $2.15.  Welcome to No Mans Land!  Meanwhile, the national average rose to $2.05.  Expect the seasonal gas price rise to continue.

That's the bad news.  The good news is that gas is 59 cents lower than it was this time last year.

While the retail environment is pushing the price a the pump up, the wholesale environment is not.  Oil-Price.Net shows yesterday's closes for WTI at $38.28 and Brent at $39.14, about $2 less than the $40.20 and $41.54 of two weeks ago.  Also, RBOB fell more than a penny to $1.45.  Those trends should moderate the rate of increase.

Follow over the jump for how falling oil prices fit into the larger market picture.

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Redistricting reform, the second most read post of blog year five

The second most read entry of the fifth year of the blog was WXYZ on redistricting reform, which earned 2529 page views, 2617 according to the raw counter.  I'll be a good environmentalist and recycle the story of how it earned its place from Record page views for August 2015 and other monthly meta.
The most read entry last month not only earned the back catalog trophy (barely, as it was posted on July 30, 2015) but also was the most read entry both last month and for the entire history of the blog so far.  I shared "WXYZ on redistricting reform" on the Coffee Party USA Facebook page, which earned it 2529 page views during August.  Added to its page views during July, and it ended the month with a total of 2578 page views, 2606 according to the raw counter, enough to knock "Corn questions from 'Food, Inc.' worksheet" out of the top ten.  Between the 2500+ people clicking though from Facebook and the 300+ who clicked on the link to "WXYZ previews marijuana legalization for the 2016 ballot," along with the rest of the day's traffic, the blog had its best day ever with 2,994 page views.
This post lasted less than a month at number one, as Trump thinks Sanders is the right enemy beat it handily during August, a story I told in Trump vs. Sanders, the top post of the fifth year of Crazy Eddie's Motie News.  Also, Corn questions from 'Food, Inc.' worksheet climbed back into the top ten--but that's a story I'll tell later.

On another note, I am so glad I wrote the monthly meta posts during 2015; they're making these retrospective posts so much easier.  Now I'll have to resume doing so for 2016.  Stay tuned for this year's first three monthly metas as well as more of last year's top 20.

Previous entries in this series.

Monday, March 28, 2016

Drink to nuclear reactors on the anniversary of Three Mile Island

Today is the anniversary of the Three Mile Island Nuclear Accident, which happened 37 years ago.  I'll say something serious about it that relates to "The End of Suburbia," which I'm showing to my environmental science students this week, later.  Today, I'm just going to have some fun with the anniversary, thanks to Tipsy Bartender.  I present the Nuclear Reactor Shot.

A reverse bomb shot...THE NUCLEAR REACTOR!
Green Shot:
1 oz. (30ml) Midori
1 oz. (30ml) Sweet & Sour
1/2 oz. (15ml) Everclear

Light Blue Water
1 oz. (30ml) Sprite
Splash UV Blue Vodka
Splash Island Pucker
I left a comment on the timeliness of this recipe at the YouTube video.
March is a good month for this drink.  Fukushima happened on March 11, 2011, and Three Mile Island happened on March 28, 1979.  As for Chernobyl, that has to wait until next month, when April 26 will be the 30th anniversary of the disaster.
It turns out there is a drink called the Three Mile Island.  It's also called Tokyo Tea, which means it does double duty for Fukushima.  Here's the recipe from Science of Drink.

20 ml gin
20 ml tequila
20 ml vodka
20 ml light rum
20 ml Cointreau
20 ml fresh lemon juice
30 ml Midori
splash of club soda
Shake all ingredients except soda, strain in ice-filled collins glass (400 ml) and add of club soda. Garnish with lemon slice.
Looks yummy and deadly.

In case you're wondering, I already have an appropriate drink selected for the 30th anniversary of Chernobyl already.  Stay tuned.

'Superman vs. Batman' buries 'Zootopia' in rubble

Two weeks ago, my entertainment headline read "Zootopia" remains on top of the box office for a second week after displacing "Deadpool."  I anticpated this week's this morning when I concluded A drum corps 'Superstar' for Easter with "I expect a changing of the guard at the box office as 'Batman vs. Superman: The Dawn of Justice' should topple 'Zootopia.'"  That happened, as Forbes reported 'Batman V Superman' Box Office: 'Dawn Of Justice' Opens With Mostly Super $170.1M Weekend.
The much-discussed/much-debated/much-anticipated Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice opened this weekend with a whopping $170.1 million domestic bow. So, riddle me this, Batman: When is a $170.1m debut weekend not entirely cause for unmitigated celebration?  Answer: When it is started by an $82m Friday. In terms of pure weekend numbers, that’s the biggest opening weekend of 2016 thus far and the 6th biggest opening of all time and the biggest DC Comics debut ever. $18m of that came from IMAX, $17m came from PLF auditorums, and 40% came from 3D auditoriums. At the very least, Warner Bros. is breathing a massive sigh of relief this morning.

It sits just ahead of The Dark Knight Rises ($160 million) and Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows part 2 ($169m), behind only Iron Man 3 ($174m), Avengers: Age of Ultron ($191m), The Avengers ($207m), Jurassic World ($208m), and Star Wars: The Force Awakens ($247m).  It’s the biggest pre-summer start of all time, beating The Hunger Games ($152m) and Furious 7 ($147m) and notching the second largest non-summer debut ever behind The Force Awakens. It’s Warner Bros./Time Warner Inc.’s biggest debut weekend ever.

So that’s good, right?  Well, mostly.
The film was panned by critics and it doesn't have the best word of mouth, but it still made a lot of money, enough to justify a sequel and a Wonder Woman film, both of which are already in the works.  The bad news is if it continues to make money, or if it fades quickly.  It will probably do well for another couple of weeks, as Forbes notes.
Even if word of mouth is poor from general audiences (or at least heavily mixed), there is little-to-no competition for the first 14 days of release. God’s Not Dead is the only new wide release next week and the week after that sees Melissa McCarthy’s The Boss while the week after that sees Walt Disney’s The Jungle Book. The film’s fate will be set by the time The Huntsman: Winter’s War drops into theaters on April 22nd.
I expect I'll post about the next changing of the guard the Sunday after "The Jungle Book" debuts.

Follow over the jump for how the rest of the speculative fiction movies still in theaters fared.

Sunday, March 27, 2016

A drum corps 'Superstar' for Easter

Happy Easter!  I marked the holiday on this blog last year with Easter drinks from Tipsy Bartender, so it's time to use my other default angle when celebrating a holiday, drum corps.  Fortunately, drum corps has given me plenty of material in the form of corps playing Jesus Christ Superstar.  Traveling back in time to the 1970s, I begin with The Cadets from 1977 playing "I Don't Know How to Love Him."

From rule-bending vocals to soprano bugle playing color guard members, the Garfield Cadets' 1977 production featured a number of trail blazing programming choices for the time period.
Moving up a decade, the 1985 Geneseo Knights perform "Superstar."

1985 Geneseo Knights - Semifinals 19th Place
That is not the definitive drum corps performance of the song.  That honor goes to the 1999 Madison Scouts.

There are other versions, particularly the 1971 Argonne Rebels, but I'll save them for next year.  Besides, the Madison Scouts will play selections from the musical this coming summer.  Stay tuned, both for that and for the rest of the posts I promised in Trump vs. Sanders, the top post of the fifth year of Crazy Eddie's Motie News.  In particular, I expect a changing of the guard at the box office as "Batman vs. Superman: The Dawn of Justice" should topple "Zootopia."

Saturday, March 26, 2016

Trump vs. Sanders, the top post of the fifth year of Crazy Eddie's Motie News

I concluded Statistics for the fifth year of Crazy Eddie's Motie News by telling my readers to "Stay tuned for a entry about the top post of last year."  It only took until the end of the week, but here it is.

The most read entry of the fifth year of Crazy Eddie's Motie News was Trump thinks Sanders is the right enemy.  It ended the blogging year with 7107 page views, 7247 according to the raw counter.  This puts it not only in first for the year but first in the history of the blog by a wide margin; the second most read entry according to the default counter is more than 4500 page views behind.  I'll be a good environmentalist and recycle how it earned this status from Record page views, comments, and 100th follower: Monthly meta for October 2015.
"Trump thinks Sanders is the right enemy" was the single most viewed post of the month as well as the most read entry in the history of the blog with 7111 page views, 7422 according to the raw counter.  This entry was shared at the Coffee Party Facebook page.  It drew 1369 page views to the blog the first hour and 1150 page views the second hour.  The total number of page views for the day was 6316, a record, and for the post 7110 over the next week, another record.
Between this post and the fourth place entry, "page views shattered the previous high of 14,981 page views during August 2015 by 7,500 with a new record of 22,491."  That record has not yet been matched.

Since that entry, the continuing rivalry between Sanders and Trump was reignited when the torches and pitchforks came out for Trump last night, as many of the protestors were Sanders supporters.  I documented Trump's response in a comment to Kunstler's Bull Run.
Trump isn't ignoring Bernie.  He's blaming Bernie for the protesters and threatening to send his supporters over to Bernie's events.  He thinks Bernie organized the protests, a claim Bernie has denied.  In fact, Bernie called Trump a liar and tweeted back that his supporters would be welcome to see "an honest politician."

On the one hand, this could lead to a whole series of Weimar moments like last Friday's.  On the other, the best way to attract a crowd is to start a fight.  On top of Sanders winning Michigan, this direct conflict could help Bernie.  Unfortunately, it will also draw more people to Trump.  Sigh.
Trump has moved on to attacking Ted Cruz, but Sanders continues to say the following about Trump in his stump speeches.
Sanders attacked Donald Trump later in his address.  In particular, he went after Trump's attempts to use fear and bigotry to divide the nation.

"We will together defeat Trump because the American people understand that bringing our people together trumps divisiveness," he said as quoted by the Michigan Daily. "The American people will defeat Trump because they understand that a community helping each other, standing with each other in our times of need, trumps selfishness."

"And the American people will defeat Trump most profoundly," Sanders concluded as quoted by MLive, "because they know what every religion in the world teaches, whether it's Christianity, Judaism, Islam or Buddhism, and that is ultimately: Love trumps hatred."
It looks like Sanders has decided that Trump is the right enemy.  May he find this quote to be true--"There is only one thing more useful in politics than having the right friends, and that is having the right enemies."

Stay tuned for entries about the second most read post of the past year, the Sunday entertainment entry, a humorous take on nuclear meltdowns, and an update on the Flint Water Crisis.  Also, follow over the break for a linkspam about the top entries of the past four years.

Friday, March 25, 2016

M1 Rail to be called QLine for next 10 years

Yesterday brought news about the M1 light rail line in Detroit.  WXYZ reports in M-1 Rail to be named Q Line.

Officials have announced that the official name of the M-1 Rail project will be the Q Line.
The Detroit Free Press included quotes from Quicken Loans, who bought the naming rights, in Detroit's M-1 Rail line now to be called the QLINE.
“The launch of QLINE marks a significant moment in the development of Detroit. Quicken Loans is proud to play our part in the beginning stages of modernizing the transit system in our burgeoning urban core,” Jay Farner, president and chief marketing officer of Quicken Loans, said in a news release.
In addition to the name, the QLINE logo was also released. It "features a stylized 'Q' in a design that symbolizes the connectivity accomplished through the rail line," according to a news release.

The project's supporters tout it as an economic development engine. Tweets from Quicken Loans and M-1 Rail touted prior projections that "Detroit’s modern streetcar is expected to ignite over $3 billion in economic development."

Sommer Woods, vice president of external affairs for M-1 Rail, the organization developing the project, predicted in a news release that “the QLINE will activate the sidewalks throughout the community, encouraging residents and visitors to experience all the neighborhood has to offer, from our cultural institutions, restaurants and small businesses, to Detroit’s entertainment district. The streetcar will create connectivity and serve all who live, work and play in Detroit.”
I hope both Quicken Loans and M-1 Rail, which will still use the name to operate the streetcar line, are both right about their predictions.  I promise to update my readers either way.

Thursday, March 24, 2016

My blog shares a birthday with Twitter, which turned 10 Monday

Yesterday, I found out that March 21st is not just this blog's birthday as well as Nowruz (Persian New Year), it's also Twitter's birthday.  Wired reported Monday On Its 10th Birthday, a Short History of Twitter in Tweets.

As it enters its awkward pre-teen years, the company that invented fame in 140 characters has had a tough run recently. It lost its longtime CEO Dick Costolo, who was replaced by co-founder and formerly ousted CEO turned new CEO-slash-savior Jack Dorsey. Yes, people use Twitter (more than 300 million of them), and yes, Twitter brings in money (more than $500 million each quarter), but its stock plummeted to an all-time low this year as Wall Street worried over its slowing user growth.

People rightfully complain that the platform can be a hotbed for hostility. It also offers a loudspeaker for the disenfranchised, but swarms of voices also silence through harassment. It’s a company, it’s a platform, and it’s the world’s biggest cocktail party. That means sometimes it’s a mess.

But for all its problems, Twitter is everywhere. It’s the place where the world talks to itself, often sharing and even making news in the process. Twitter has become a powerful force, but it wasn’t always that way.

It all begins with a tweet from Jack Dorsey himself.
That tweet was sent out March 21, 2006.  Surf on over to read the tweets Wired thought were significant in a timeline.  For a different selection, watch CTV's Twitter Turns 10: A look at the network's defining moments.

Digital Public Affairs Strategist Mark Blevis explains why Twitter will continue to be relevant, despite its stalling growth.
A belated Happy 10th birthday to Twitter!  From now on, I promise to remember the service's birthday when I celebrate my blog's.

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Happy Purim 2016 (5776)!

Last year, I wrote "I don't celebrate Purim anywhere else but on this blog, but I'm all in favor of fun holidays and this one certainly qualifies.  Happy Purim!"  On that note, I'm sharing International Business Times' What Is Purim 2016? Everything You Should Know About Celebratory Jewish Holiday.
Purim has just about arrived. The date is among the most joyous celebrations in the Jewish calendar, as it celebrates the survival of the Jewish community against an ancient Persian Empire plot to annihilate it. Purim is celebrated on the 14th day of the Hebrew month of Adar, which falls on a Wednesday this year. It begins in the evening and runs until sunset Thursday.

Although Jews began marking the date in the first century, it grew into a popular holiday during the Middle Ages. Today, it is celebrated with food and treats, dancing, festivals and costumes. So what’s the holiday all about, and how is it celebrated? Here’s a handy guide to help answer that question.
Click on the link to read more about the event in history the holiday commemorates and how the holiday is celebrated.

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Marching music for the elections in Arizona, Utah, and Idaho

I'm getting antsy waiting for the results of the Arizona presidential preference election and the Utah and Idaho caucuses, so I'm doing the same thing I did for the Iowa Caucuses, Super Tuesday, and Ides of March--sharing marching music by units from the states where the voting is happening.

I begin with Arizona and The Academy Drum and Bugle Corps playing "A Step in Time."  May the results go down with a spoon full of sugar.

Follow over the jump for units from Utah and Idaho.

Statistics for the fifth year of Crazy Eddie's Motie News

I told my readers to stay tuned for a statistics entry about the blogging year just ended, first in Nowruz Mubarak (Happy Persian New Year) and Happy Birthday to the blog and again in A belated Earth Hour 2016.  It's time to follow through and complete the cycle.

Between March 21, 2015, and March 20, 2016, I posted 435 entries, which earned 176,458 page views and 672 comments from my readers and me.  These are out of totals of 2724 entries, 595,621 page views, and 1309 during the first five years of the blog. For comparison, I present the statistics from the previous four years.
During the fourth year of Crazy Eddie's Motie News, from March 21, 2014 to March 20, 2015, I posted 528 entries, the readers and I posted 229 comments, and the blog received 145,875 page views for a total of 2289 posts, 637 comments, and 419,163 page views over the entire first four years of the blog.*  For comparison, the third year of this blog saw 785 entries, 304 comments, and 127,945 page views, the second year I posted 493 entries, readers and I posted 129 comments, and the blog received 97,535 page views, and the first full year I made 483 posts, readers and I posted 204 comments, and the blog received 47,808 page views.
*I am recording these stats from Midnight EDT to Midnight EDT on March 21 of successive years.  It would be easier to record using Midnight GMT, as that is the default time zone of the stats recorder, but I want to count full days here, not London.
Follow over the jump for my analysis of the fifth year's statistics compared to the fourth year's.

Monday, March 21, 2016

A belated Earth Hour 2016

I was so busy with the Vernal Equinox and looking forward to Marche du Nain Rouge and Nowruz (Persian New Year) and the blog's birthday that I completely missed Earth Hour on Saturday.  To make up for it, I'm sharing a hopeful vision--The Future Starts Today: Earth Hour 2016.

Our actions today will decide ?what tomorrow will look like for generations to come. Join us at to #ChangeClimateChange and create a better future for us and the planet.
I wish, I really do.  That's why I'm a Crazy Eddie.

Now, Earth Hour 2016 At A Glance.

On Saturday 19 March 2016, as WWF’s Earth Hour rolled across the world from Samoa to Santiago, millions came together to shine a light on the climate action our planet needs. Watch how the movement united individuals, communities, organizations and landmarks in an unprecedented 178 countries and territories to change climate change.
That looked like fun.  I'm glad I remembered, if a bit late.  Here's to celebrating it on time next year.

Stay tuned for the statistics entry for the fifth year of the blog.

Nowruz Mubarak (Happy Persian New Year) and Happy Birthday to the blog

Happy Persian New Year to my readers and a Happy Fifth Birthday to this blog!  I begin this year's celebration with President Obama’s Nowruz Message to the Iranian People.

President Obama sends best wishes to everyone celebrating Nowruz, March 20. 2016.
Like the President, I celebrate the nuclear deal with Iran.  I think it's a good thing, including holding oil prices down.

Follow over the jump for more on the holiday from Vox.

Sunday, March 20, 2016

Marche du Nain Rouge 2016--the earliest so far

Yesterday, I promised an entry Nain Rouge.  Today is Marche du Nain Rouge, which happens to be one of the rare occasions when the event occurs not on the the Sunday after the Vernal Equinox but on the day of the Equinox itself.  Until the Equinox falls on a Sunday the 19th, which could happen during a future leap year, this is the earliest it's ever been held.  History in the making!

Speaking of history, WXYZ explains some of it for both Detroit's Red Dwarf and the parade to run him out of town in Detroit 2020/Legend of the Nain Rouge, a variation of a clip I included in 2013's Marche du Nain Rouge.

Stephen Clark reports on the legend of the Nain Rouge, which has haunted Detroit for more than 300 years.
In addition to fires, ice storms, and blizzards, people claim to have seen the Nain Rouge during the 1967 riots and the 2003 blackout and credited him for them as well.

That's the actual Nain Rouge.  Follow over the jump for the fake one who actually shows up every year.

Saturday, March 19, 2016

Equinoxes and seasons for Vernal Equinox 2016

As I wrote in Snyder testifies before Congress about the Flint Water Crisis, I told my readers to "stay tuned for posts about the Vernal Equinox" and other topics.  It's time to follow through and wish my readers a happy arrival of astronomical spring.  Why astronomical spring and not just spring?  I'll let these two videos from PBS's It's OK To Be Smart explain.

First, The Equinox Isn't What You Think It Is

Is the equinox really when day = night?
So the equilux was a few days ago.  I'm OK with that; I could always use more daylight.

Next, the reason I called tomorrow the beginning of astronomical spring, Why Seasons Make No Sense.

See, that's why.

As for when it arrives, I'll let The Weather Channel have the honors.
This year, the vernal equinox takes place on Sunday, March 20 at 12:30 a.m. EDT, or late in the evening on Saturday, March 19 if you live in the central (11:30 p.m.), mountain (10:30 p.m.) or pacific (9:30 p.m.) time zones. At this time, the sun is crossing over from the southern hemisphere into the northern hemisphere. During this process, the sun is shining directly over the earth's equator, bathing the earth's northern and southern hemispheres in nearly an equal amount of sunlight.
In other words, the equinox isn't tomorrow for readers between Chicago and Hawaii, it's today.  Happy Equinox.  Here, have this image of Earth spinning.

Snyder testifies before Congress about the Flint Water Crisis

The Congressional hearings on the Flint Water Crisis finally got to their star witnesses, Governor Rick Snyder and EPA Chief Gina McCarthy, on Thursday.  The result was predictable, as WOOD-TV reported in Lawmaker: Gov. Snyder responsible for Flint crisis.

A Democratic lawmaker says Gov. Rick Snyder is responsible for lead contamination in Flint’s water supply.
Yes, the Democrats attacked Snyder; I expected no less.  What I also expected, but the title and caption ignored, although the reporter highlighted it, was that the Republicans went after the EPA.  Charlie Pierce of Esquire minced no words about that: Drink in This Republican Hypocrisy From the Flint Water Hearings Today.
[T]he howling hypocrisy of conservative Republicans feigning concern about environmental safety, and the howling hypocrisy of conservative Republicans pretending that they expected the EPA to take care of this crisis, was extraordinarily hard to take. Nine days out of ten, they'd be baying at the moon about regulations strangling business and about devolving federal functions to the states, which are run by people like Rick Snyder. Today, though, rather than confront the complete failure of that entire theory of government in this awful episode, it was time for them to argue that the EPA wasn't tough enough in regulating Snyder's bungling. Where were the jackboots, they seemed to be saying, when the citizens of Flint could have used them.
It was profoundly nauseating to listen to Congressman Jason Chaffetz waxing wroth about what was done to the poor people of Flint, smirking his way through his questioning, over and over again, and blaming "career bureaucrats" in the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality for letting down poor Rick Snyder. Chaffetz has had the knives out for the EPA ever since he slithered into Congress. He has a lifetime rating of three percent from the League of Conservation Voters. On at least three occasions in 2015 alone, Chaffetz voted in ways harmful to clean water regulations. He's a climate denier. He's one of the leaders of the movement to prevent the EPA from regulating greenhouse gases. He wants to privatize federal lands for the purpose of exploitation. And his basic point yesterday was that Barack Hussein Obama's EPA didn't do enough to force the Republican governor of Michigan to do his freaking job.
Pierce obviously bought none of what the Republicans were selling.  Instead, he placed blame squarely on Snyder and his policies.
Regardless of who sent what memo to whom and when they sent it, the crisis in Flint is the result of a full implementation and exercise of a philosophy of government that noisy pissants like Chaffetz, Grothman, Carter, and Rick Snyder have proposed as a solution to almost all the nation's problems—government is bad, government bureaucrats are always incompetent, devolve federal powers to the states, and that government is best that is limited and, preferably, run like a business. The two primary contenders for the Republican presidential nomination want to eliminate the EPA. Absent as a cudgel against environmental protections that he wants to gut, the 100,000 people in Flint wouldn't matter a damn to Jason Chaffetz. "A government is not a business and it shouldn't be run like one," said Rick Snyder to Congress, and his tongue did not burst into flames.
About time Snyder figured that out.

Follow over the jump for more on the hearings.

Friday, March 18, 2016

The Trumpenstein Munsters

When my wife said that "the torches and pitchforks came out for the Trumpenstein monster last night," my first response was to write The torches and pitchforks came out for Trump last night and call the incident "a Weimar moment" in my comment to Bull Run at Kunstler's blog.  That was a serious response that ignored the "Trumpenstein monster" part of my wife's remark.  Now for a silly one that puts that phrase front and center, The Republican Munsters.

For good measure, here's Ted Cruz as Grandpa, along with my favorite Republican as Eddie Munster, Paul Ryan.

Keep laughing, because it hurts too much to cry.

Driving update for March 2016: Dez plus bonus gas price update

After observing that Americans are driving more in Driving update for February 2016: Pearl, I wrote that I'd wait to see if both drivers in the family were contributing:
I'll see if my wife is reinforcing the trend or bucking it when I report on Dez later this month or sometime in March.
My wife's car Dez rolled over 50,000 miles on Wednesday, March 16.  She even sent me a text with a screenshot of the odometer at 50,001 miles, which inspired my choice of illustration for this entry.  How sweet!

Dez passed 49,000 on December 6, which was 101 days earlier.  That translates into 9.9 miles/per day or 302.0 (301.98) miles per standard month.   It's a lot less than the 16.67 miles per day or 508.33 miles per standard month we drove the car between October and December, but only slightl more than both the 9.71 miles/day and 296.1 miles/standard month my wife and I drove the car between June and October.  The difference?  My wife hasn't driven to Chicago to see our daughter yet this year, cutting down her driving.  She's not the one in the family contributing to the nation driving more.

Speaking of which, Bill McBride of Calculated Risk wrote last month that Vehicle Miles Driven increased 4.2% year-over-year in December.
Travel on all roads and streets changed by 4.2% (10.6 billion vehicle miles) for December 2015 as compared with December 2014.

Travel for the month is estimated to be 264.2 billion vehicle miles.

The seasonally adjusted vehicle miles traveled for December 2015 is 268.5 billion miles, a 4.0% (10.4 billion vehicle miles) increase over December 2014. It also represents a 1.4% change (3.7 billion vehicle miles) compared with November 2015.
Here's the relevant graph.

Of course, the important statistic is how much we are driving our cars.  The last time I estimated our combined mileage was in the Driving update for December 2015: Pearl.  Then, we drove a combined average of 34.21 miles/day and 1043.42 miles/month.  This time, I'm combining Dez's 9.9 miles/per day or 302.0 (301.98) miles per month with Pearl's 15.87 miles/day and 484.13 miles/month to total 25.77 miles/day and 786.11 miles/month.  That's much less than in December and even less than August's 26.95 miles/day and 822.0 miles/month.  We are definitely doing our part to counteract the trend!

Follow over the jump for the gas price update.

Thursday, March 17, 2016

St. Patrick's Day drink recipes from Tipsy Bartender for 2016

Happy St. Patrick's Day!  If it's a drinking holiday, then it's time for the appropriate drink recipes from Tipsy Bartender, beginning with this year's Irish Fishbowl.

Nothing says St Patrick's day fun like this IRISH FISHBOWL.
Green Apples
Melon Balls
4 Leaf Clover Cookie Cutter
6 oz. (180ml) Jameson Irish Whiskey
4 oz. (120ml) Apple Juice
4 oz. (120ml) Sour Apple Pucker
4 oz. (120ml) Midori Melon Liqueur
2 Green Apple Sodas
1 1/2 oz. (45ml) Blue Curacao
Top with Apple Juice
Welcome back, Sophia!

Follow over the jump for two recipes that I missed last year, but didn't include in a follow-up like 2014.

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

All those endorsements couldn't save Marco Rubio

It's time to be a good environmentalist and recycle two comments from earlier this month.
Paul W.:Stop trying to make him happen, Republicans, Rubio is not gonna happen.

ME: As for "Little Marco," I predict he'll lose Florida and then drop out. If Kasich wins Ohio, then he'll have the establishment/moderate vote all to himself from here on out.
That's exactly what happened last night.  CNN reports in Marco Rubio drops out of presidential race.

Marco Rubio drops out of the presidential race after losing his home state of Florida to Donald Trump. He warned his party not to play on people's frustrations.
All those endorsements of Rubio couldn't put him over the top; no wonder the smart money abandonded him.  Look at all the endorsements as of six days ago from FiveThirtyEight.

All that establishment support may have earned Rubio wins in Minnesota and D.C. and higher placements in a few states, especially South Carolina, but that's it.

Now look at the endorsements for the remaining candidates in both parties, again from FiveThirtyEight.

Hey, look, the Agenda 21 conspiracy theorist is number one--the establishment's worst nightmare!  At least I can be reassured that being an establishment candidate has not done any Republican candidate much good this year.  On the other hand, it's still working for Hillary Clinton on the Democratic side, but that's a story for another entry.

Follow over the jump for the reactions from Cruz and Kasich, plus a farewell toast to Marco.

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

A Drum Corps Ides of March for an election year

Beware The Ides of March!  In the spirit of both A Drum corps Super Tuesday as well as Talk like a drum corps pirate, I present marching music with a Roman theme for the double occasion of the prophesied day of Julius Caesar's assassination and the next round of primary elections.

First, a corps from a state holding a primary election playing an appropriately themed program--1998 Phantom Regiment from Illinois with "Songs from the Eternal City."

Phantom Regiment, finishing in 8th place, went on an excursion to Rome in “Songs from the Eternal City.” The show title was inspired by the name given the ancient city in the years B.C., when residents trusted that Rome would endure forever as a beacon of culture and power. Legend was the Roman king of the gods Jupiter god promised goddess Venus that he would provide the Romans with an empire without peers or an end.
Another state holding a primary today is Florida.  I'm going into the Wayback Machine to pull out a fitting selection, The Floridians playing "Vehicle" by Ides of March from 1975.

I now return to Illinois with 2008 Phantom Regiment - End of Spartacus.

Enjoy the music while simultaneously watching both your back and the election returns and remember--we are all Spartacus!

Monday, March 14, 2016

Pi facts and pie for Pi Day

Happy Pi Day!  This year, instead of drum corps and second slices, I'm going to play today simultaneously more straight and more silly, beginning with Nerdist's The Pi Episode: Math Bites with Danica McKellar.

Join host Danica McKellar as she explains the joys and mysteries of the wonderful world of Pi! The irrational number, not the food. Welcome to Math Bites! New episodes every Thursday.

Featuring Chris Hardwick, Simon Pegg, Felicia Day, Jonathan Bennett, Jim O'Heir, Jonah Ray and Matt Mira.
I told you it would be simultaneously more on topic and silly than my usual.  Speaking of silly, follow over the jump for some pies for Pi Day.

Sunday, March 13, 2016

'Zootopia' remains on top of the box office for a second week after displacing 'Deadpool'

It took me a week to write about Deadpool's second week on top of the box office, so it should come as no surprise that it took me a week to get to "Zootopia" taking over the top spot.  Wochit reported on last week's news in "Deadpool" Box Office Reign Ends As "Zootopia" Takes First Place.

All good things must come to an end - even for the wisecracking merc with a mouth - as "Deadpool's" three-week reign atop the box office has come to an end. Several new releases helped push the R-rated Marvel blockbuster out of the top spot, which went to the Disney-animated "Zootopia," whose first week total was over $73 million. In second place, "London Has Fallen," which stars Gerard Butler, Aaron Eckhart and Morgan Freeman, earned just under $22 million. In its fourth weekend in theaters, "Deadpool" fell to third place with $16.4 million, bringing its domestic total to over $311 million. Rounding out the top four was the Tina Fey comedy "Whiskey Tango Foxtrot," which debuted with just over $7.5 million.
Not only was "Zootopia" the top film last week (and this week--see below), but it set a record for a Disney animated film.  Wochit has that news as well in 'Zootopia' Stampedes Box Office, Bigger Than 'Frozen'.

Deadpool's" three-week reign atop the box office has ended thanks to a handful of new openers, including "Zootopia" and "London Has Fallen." The top spot went to Disney's "Zootopia" which staged a box office stampede in its first weekend in North American theaters with $73.7 million. It's the fourth highest March opening ever and a best for a Disney Animation three-day debut. The studio's previous record-holder, "Frozen," grossed $67.4 million over three days in its Thanksgiving opening. Critics and audiences love the film, which features the voices of Jason Bateman and Ginnifer Goodwin.
The write-up ignored what Shakira said about the film's social message.  For that, I recommend reading Vox's Zootopia review: This is the best animated kids movie about prejudice and police brutality ever and Zootopia wants to teach kids about prejudice. Is it accidentally sending the wrong message?  If Vox's prediction that "Zootopia" is a favorite for Best Animated Feature comes true, I'll be sure to write more about it then.  For now, follow over the jump to read about how "Zootopia" and other films did this week.

Spring ahead for Daylight Saving Time 2016!

In Colbert gives a 'Hunger Games' good-bye to Ben Carson, I mentioned that "Daylight Saving Time begins Saturday night, followed by Entertainment Sunday."  Spring ahead, everyone, and don't worry about the ill effects of Daylight Saving time--Daylight Saving: Spring Forward - Movie Trailer.

They thought it was over...but this March, they have to Spring Forward to find the vanishing hour. WE STILL DON'T KNOW WHAT TIME IT IS! #SavingDaylightMovie
All of us will get our missing hour back in November.  Just wait.  I'll even have another fake movie trailer for it.

Oh, and if you don't like Daylight Saving Time, you may be lucky enough to live in one of a dozen states considering getting rid of it.

Saturday, March 12, 2016

The torches and pitchforks came out for Trump last night

Last night, my wife and I watched as Donald Trump's rally on the University of Illinois-Chicago campus was "postponed" in the face of massive protests.  They were at least one step above calls to 'Dump Trump' and 'Arrest Snyder' at the Detroit Republican Debate.  My wife said that "the torches and pitchforks came out for the Trumpenstein monster last night."  Yes, they have, but a different image came to my mind.

The protests and the conflict afterward stuck me as just one step short of Reichsbanner Schwarz-Rot-Gold fighting with the Stahlhelm, Bund der Frontsoldaten during the Weimar Republic.*  The mainstream media's came off as less alarmed, but not by very much.  Watch ABC News's summary of the incident for Nightline: Trump Postpones Chicago Rally as Crowds of Protesters Gather.

Hundreds of protestors and supporters took to the streets after the GOP frontrunner canceled an event amid security concerns.
I'll return to the comparison to 1968 later.  Right now, I'll outsource my take on the responsibility for the atmosphere to Michael Smerconish on CNN, who contends TRUMP HAS SHOUTED "FIRE" IN A POLITICAL THEATER.

Smerconish assesses Donald Trump's role in contributing to the environment of anger in America, after chaotic protests cancelled a Chicago rally.
As one can see, the news media has changed its tone when covering the Trump campaign.  In part, it's because violence against protesters, who are mostly members of racial, ethnic, and religious minorities, at Trump's rallies and other campaign events is a real story.  As both reports show, Trump has contributed to the atmosphere that allows such behavior and capitalized on the prejudices of his supporters.  That's not new.

Follow over the jump for what I think has changed.

Friday, March 11, 2016

Fukushima triple disaster five years later

As I mentioned yesterday, today marks the fifth anniversary of the Fukushima triple disaster.  Eurohews comemmorates the occasion in Japan: Fukushima wounds still deep, five years on.

Japan's Emperor Akihito led the tributes, five years on from the Fukushima disaster on Friday, but for those who lived through it, the wounds have far from healed.

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe also paid his respects at a memorial ceremony in Tokyo as across the country people bowed their heads in silence at exactly 2:46 pm local time.

Flags at central government buildings were at half-mast, some draped in black.  All the trains on Tokyo's vast underground paused for a minute.
That's looking back.  Agence France Presse (AFP) looks ahead as well in Dismantling Fukushima.

Japan on Friday marked five years since an enormous 9.0 magnitude earthquake struck along Japan's northeast coast. Thousands are working on the decades-long decommissioning process. They perform delicate work to make the volatile reactors safer.
Forty years--that makes my use of the decade label appropriate in ways I hadn't anticipated.

Thursday, March 10, 2016

Colbert gives a 'Hunger Games' good-bye to Ben Carson

On Sunday, I warned my readers that a regular feature might be delayed.
Stay tuned for the Sunday entertainment entry, which may be delayed until anywhere between tomorrow and Thurssday.  That's happened before.
The Michigan Primary is over and the circus has left town, so it's now time to cash that rain check--or issue another one.  I'll have a proper entertainment entry later, but first here's this shiny object that combines the campaign with one of my favorite dystopian series, Hunger Games.  I present Late Night with Stephen Colbert in Hungry For Power Games: Carson Eversleep.  Looks like I wasn't done with Doctor Pyramid after all.

The sleepiest tribute of all has fallen, and not a moment too soon, as it has always been past his bedtime.
Hunger Games, Stephen Colbert, and the campaign--I couldn't resist!

I'll have some more DOOM tomorrow, as it will be the fifth anniversary of Fukushima, but the next week looks fairly festive.  Daylight Saving Time begins Saturday night, followed by Entertainment Sunday, Pi Day, The Ides of March, and St. Patrick's Day.  The next week looks fairly happy, too, as Nowruz, also the blog's fifth birthday, and Purim occur then.  Add in the several weeks of retrospectives over the past year, plus more election coverage, and it will be party time until April.

Wednesday, March 9, 2016 article on Sanders winning Michigan

Bernie Sanders, seen here at the Democratic debate in Flint, won the Michigan Democratic Primary in a narrow upset over Hillary Clinton.
Scott Olson/Getty Images
Sanders shocks in Michigan while Trump wins state but loses Washtenaw County
Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont upset former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton of New York in last night's Michigan Democratic Primary, beating her statewide by 1.5 percent of the total vote.  His margin in Washtenaw County was even greater at 11.7 percent.

"I am grateful to the people of Michigan for defying the pundits and pollsters and giving us their support," Sanders said in a statement quoted by the Detroit Free Press. "This is a critically important night. We came from 30 points down in Michigan and we're seeing the same kind of come-from-behind momentum all across America."

Washtenaw County also did its part in attempting an upset in the Michigan Republican Primary, giving Ohio Governor John Kasich a plurality of its votes to put him first in the county,  6.5 percent ahead of New York businessman Donald Trump.  Unfortunately for Kasich and his local supporters, he came in third statewide behind Trump and Senator Ted Cruz of Texas.
More at the link, including details of both races, including the delegate counts, and a video.

Personally, I am happy to have been wrong about my prediction that "'I expect Sanders to win Washtenaw County, Isabella County, Ingham County, and the Upper Peninsula, but that's about it.'  Add in Kalamazoo County to include all the big college towns in Michigan and that should about cover it."  Feel the Bern!

Tuesday, March 8, 2016 article on Sanders in Ann Arbor

Sanders speaks to thousands in Ann Arbor
On the eve of Michigan's March 8 primary, Senator Bernie Sanders stumped for votes in Ann Arbor.  He spoke before a crowd that MLive estimated at more than 5,700 in the Crisler Center on the University of Michigan campus.

The crowd anticipated Sanders eagerly.  Before he appeared, the Michigan Daily reported the students chanting, “Feel the Bern, Bernie will make it easy to learn; Feel the Bern, Bernie will make it free to learn.”  Sanders did not disappoint on that issue.

“When we think outside of the box, we choose to conclude that we need to make public colleges and universities tuition free,” the Michigan Daily quoted Sanders. “We need to substantially reduce student debt by allowing those with debt to refinance their loans at the lowest possible interest rates as they can.”
More at the link, including quotes from Sanders and Shalene Woodley of "Divergent" fame and a video.  Unfortunately, it's not WXYZ's Michigan Primary Day!

To all my readers in Michigan and Mississippi, vote!

Stay tuned for the results tonight.

Monday, March 7, 2016 article on polls showing Democrats beating Republicans in Michigan

A poll shows Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders would both defeat Donald Trump and Ted Cruz in Michigan.
NBC News/Wall Street Journal/Marist College
Poll shows Clinton and Sanders beat Trump and Cruz in Michigan
If the election were held today, both former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton of New York and Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont would win in Michigan over either real estate developer Donald Trump of New York and Senator Ted Cruz of Texas.  Both would have larger margins over Trump than Cruz with Sanders earning the bigger victories.

The NBC News/Wall Street Journal/Marist poll published Sunday, March 6, showed Clinton would defeat Trump fifty-two percent to thirty-six percent in Michigan, a sixteen point margin.  Sanders would beat Trump even more handily, a twenty-two point lead of fifty-six percent to thirty-four percent.

At Sunday night's Democratic debate in Flint, Sanders pointed out his advantage over Clinton against Trump.  "I would love to run against Donald Trump," Sanders was quoted by Fox News Latino, adding that polls show "Sanders vs. Trump does a lot better than Clinton vs. Trump."
More at the link, including results from other polls and a video recap of last night's debate.

Stay tuned for more coverage through Wednesday.

Sunday, March 6, 2016 article on Kasich (maybe) pulling ahead of Trump in Michigan

John Kasich, seen here at the Fox News debate in Detroit, is ahead of Donald Trump in one poll of Michigan voters.
Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images
Most recently conducted poll shows Kasich ahead of Trump in Michigan
The first poll conducted entirely after the Fox News debate in Detroit showed New York real estate developer Donald Trump no longer leading in Michigan.  Instead, Ohio Governor John Kasich had gained a narrow lead in the race for the Republican nomination for President in the Great Lakes State.

The Columbus Dispatch reported the results of an American Research Group poll that surveyed 400 likely Republican voters on March 4 and March 5. It found Kasich the most popular choice with thirty-three percent, Trump in second with thirty-one percent, Senator Ted Cruz of Texas in third with fifteen percent, and Marco Rubio of Florida in last with twelve percent.  It was the first survey of Michigan voters after both the debate and the Detroit News endorsement of Kasich for the March 8 Michigan Republican Presidential primary, both of which occurred on March 3.

FiveThirtyEight Editor-in-Chief Nate Silver told readers in his live reporting of Saturday's primary returns that they should be skeptical of these findings.  He wrote that American Research Group was "not a highly-rated pollster," ranking near the bottom of his site's rankings.  They "sometimes post results that are way different from the pack," making them "interesting more often than they’re accurate."
More at the link, including a continuation of Nate's analysis, the results of two more polls, and a video of Kasich saying he thinks he'll do well in Michigan.  Yes, I'm pushing Kasich, but the news is actually in his favor.  Besides, if I were still a Republican, I'd vote for him.

Stay tuned for the Sunday entertainment entry, which may be delayed until anywhere between tomorrow and Thurssday.  That's happened before.

Saturday, March 5, 2016 article on Rubio falling out of second in Michigan

Marco Rubio, seen here on the left of Donald Trump the other candidates at the Republican debate in Detroit, has fallen behind Ted Cruz in two polls, one of which also had John Kasich ahead of Rubio.
Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images
Rubio falls out of second in Michigan behind Cruz with Kasich gaining
While New York real estate developer Donald Trump still leads in Michigan, the race for second place continues to develop.  Two polls taken after Super Tuesday show that Senator Marco Rubio of Florida has fallen out of second place and is being passed by Senator Ted Cruz of Texas and Governor John Kasich of Ohio, as Evangelicals and the youngest voters move from Rubio to Cruz, middle-aged voter shift from Rubio to Trump, and older voters change from Rubio to Kasich and Trump.

A poll of 1643 likely Republican primary voters by the Trafalgar Group conducted on March 2 and March 3 and released overnight between March 3 and March 4 found Trump leading with 41.87 percent, Cruz second at 20.45 percent, Kasich third with 18.14 percent, and Rubio fourth at 13.79 percent with 5.75 percent undecided.  A Mitchell/Fox 2 Detroit poll of 543 likely voters taken March 2 and released March 3 reported similar findings with the main difference being Rubio in third, ahead of Kasich by only one percent.

“There were several changes resulting from Super Tuesday including a small bump up in Trump's support (42%) and a big change in the second spot as Cruz (19%) and Rubio (15%) changed places and percentages.  Cruz moved up 5% and Rubio dropped 4%.  Kasich (14%) moved up 2% and was also helped by the awareness that Carson was not debating and that he ‘could not see a path forward’ for his campaign,” Steve Mitchell, CEO of Mitchell Research & Communications said in a press release, comparing the results to the Mitchell/Fox 2 Detroit poll taken on March 1, a day earlier.  “It appears that Trump’s more conciliatory style in his Tuesday night press conference, Cruz’s four victories, and Rubio’s failure to meet expectations have changed the race.”
This is the polling story I said I'd write about in 'Dump Trump' and 'Arrest Snyder' at the Detroit Republican Debate.  Lots of analysis of where Rubio is losing his support at the link along with a video recap of Thursday's debate.  As for the fresh angle, I decided that who was moving in and out of second was more interesting than another "Trump leads" story--boring!

'Dump Trump' and 'Arrest Snyder' at the Detroit Republican Debate

I concluded article on Clinton and Kasich endorsements by writing "As for what's next, I'm feeling like writing about the protests outside the Fox Theatre last night instead of the debate itself."  That was my idea for an article, but the local media covered those relatively well.  Besides, I've found another polling story to write about (a fresh angle on Michigan polling?  Yes!)

I begin with WXYZ's Protestors at the Republican debate.  If it moves, it leads!

Protestors converged on the Fox Theatre for the Republican debate.
That certainly conveyed the atmosphere and emotion of the protests, but it almost entirely missed the substance.  For that, I turn to the Detroit Free Press, which reported Hundreds protest outside of GOP debate at Fox Theatre.
Hundreds of protesters waving signs and shouting through megaphones filled the street and blocked traffic Thursday evening ahead of the Republican presidential debate at the Fox Theatre in Detroit, demanding attention be paid to the Flint water crisis and civil rights issues.

Despite the blowing wind and snow, many shouted relentlessly "Flint Lives Matter," and held up brightly lit "arrest Gov. Snyder" signs. Others shouted phrases critical of Republican candidate Donald Trump, such as "Dump Trump," as people entered the Fox.
The protesters were from a variety of organizations, including the National Action Network (NAN) and the Fight for $15 organization, which is calling on candidates to support the fight for a $15 hourly wage and the right to form a union without interference. Hundreds of workers marched from Cass Park to the theater, playing drums and holding signs.
"There will be no American president that doesn't address the American tragedy that happened in Flint, Mich.," [Rev. Charles] Williams [President of NAN's Detroit Chapter] said. "None of these candidates have said nothing about Flint, Mich. What we're saying is what debate, what conversation can (candidates) have in Detroit or the state of Michigan that doesn't involve Flint? We're calling on Republicans to begin to move and make sure there are shovels in the ground and the people of Flint get safe drinking water immediately."
Jessica Spencer, 22, of Bloomfield Hills, said while she's not from Detroit, she felt compelled to come and protest.

"This is everyone's fight," she said, holding a "Say no to Trump" sign. "They're not doing enough. The Republicans need to hear what we're saying and that's that everyone deserves equal rights, good drinking water and  fair wage."
Trump wan't the only target of anger.  So was Governor Snyder.

Given what's been going on in Michigan with the the Flint water crisis, I'm not surprised.

Friday, March 4, 2016 article on Clinton and Kasich endorsements

Hillary Clinton and John Kasich earned the endorsements of both the Detroit News and Detroit Free Press.
Clinton and Kasich endorsed by both Detroit daily newspapers
The Detroit News and Detroit Free Press agree on former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and current Ohio Governor John Kasich.  This week, Detroit's major daily newspapers endorsed both candidates for their parties' nominations in advance of Michigan's presidential primary election on March 8.
The two papers each had kind words for one other candidate.  The Detroit News said that Senator Marco Rubio of Florida "has considerable promise, and a compelling story."  Of Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont, The Free Press wrote that they "admire the passion and energy Sanders has brought to his populist crusade, and the often-cartoonish 2016 presidential campaign has benefited immensely from his tenacity in dragging the crucial issues of income inequality and campaign finance to center stage."

As well as agreeing on the merits of Clinton and Kasich, both newspapers agreed on the undesirability of New York real estate developer Donald Trump as a candidate.  The Detroit News predicted "the damage a Trump nomination would do to the Republican Party is incalculable."  The Free Press's assessment was even more dire, writing that if Trump were nominated, "the nation will face an electoral crisis of conscience and morality that it hasn't seen since the 1960s."
More at the link, including quotes from both newspapers in support of Clinton and Kasich and the actual photograph I used along with a video of former President of Mexico Vicente Fox endorsing Clinton over Trump and Sanders.

I know I hinted that I would write about the debate in article on Kasich campaigning in Michigan, but I decided that writing about yoga and penis jokes just didn't appeal to me.  Instead, I fell back into writing about one of the four subjects I like best, endorsements.  The others are polls, local campaign appearances, and minor parties.  I've already written a lot about polls and campaign events.  Since it's too early for the minor parties to make news this cycle, it was time for an endorsement story.

As for what's next, I'm feeling like writing about the protests outside the Fox Theatre last night instead of the debate itself.  Stay tuned.

Thursday, March 3, 2016 article on Kasich campaigning in Michigan

Ohio Governor John Kasich, seen here in Virginia, is on a six-day campaign swing through Michigan ahead of the state's primary March 8.
Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images
Kasich 'phones in' first campaign stop in Michigan
Ohio Governor John Kasich's six-day campaign tour through Michigan began inauspiciously yesterday.  His charter plane from New York could not make it to his first scheduled stop, a town hall at the Student Union at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor on Tuesday morning, March 2.

Unable to attend in person, Kasich did the next best thing.  He called the approximately forty people at the venue and spoke to them over the phone.
Much more, including quotes from Kasich and a supporter, a video of Kasich about how to deal with Donald Trump, and the results of the latest poll, at the link.

As my readers can see, I was able to write the article about Kasich that I wasn't feeling earlier.  Now on to the debate!  WXYZ has a preview in GOP debate tonight in Detroit.

Stay tuned!

Sanders, Rubio, and Kasich campaign in Michigan

Now that Super Tuesday is over and Ben Carson has effectively dropped out, it's time for the remaining candidates to campaign in Michigan in advance of the debates and primary.  Yesterday felt familiar, featuring Bernie Sanders, John Kasich, and Marco Rubio stumping across the state.  WOOD-TV has the overall story in Super Tuesday survivors focus on MI voters.

With Super Tuesday behind them, presidential candidates are turning their eyes — and campaign buses — toward Michigan.
WOOD-TV had even more to say about Sanders in Sen. Bernie Sanders holds rally in East Lansing.

Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders held a campaign rally on Michigan State University campus Wednesday.
MLive reported on Sanders' speech in Bernie Sanders tells Michigan State crowd to fight for change, support him.
EAST LANSING, MI – Young people who participate in the political process can make changes that seem impossible now, Sen. Bernie Sanders told thousands of students and community members gathered at the Breslin Center in East Lansing Wednesday.

Sanders said several years ago people would have thought gay marriage, a black president or a $15 per hour minimum wage was impossible. But these things happened because of a groundswell, not a top-down approach.

"The point is that is how change takes place. Have a vision, be prepared to fight for that vision, understand that it won't come overnight but keep your eye on the prize and we can make extraordinary things happen," Sanders said.
The speech sounds very similar to the one he gave in Ypsilanti last month.  Just the same, the crowd ate it up.  Because of this, I'll repeat my prediction about the primary results--"I expect Sanders to win Washtenaw County, Isabella County, Ingham County, and the Upper Peninsula, but that's about it."  Add in Kalamazoo County to include all the big college towns in Michigan and that should about cover it.

As for what's coming next, I promise I'll deal with the Islamophobia of Trump's supporters mentioned in Springtime for Trump.  I'll also have an article tonight or tomorrow.  The obvious subject is Kasich's phoned-in (literally) campaign event in Ann Arbor, but I'm not feeling it.  I'm more up for debate coverage.  That will probably draw more eyeballs.

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Doctor Pyramid article and commentary

Ben Carson in Baltimore
Detroit native Ben Carson, seen here in Baltimore on March 1, announced that he will not attend the Republican debate in his old home town.
Jessica Kourkounis/Getty Images
Ben Carson not attending Detroit debate, sees no 'political path forward'
Thursday's Republican debate in Detroit will be missing the one candidate from Detroit.  In a statement on his Facebook page posted Wednesday afternoon, neurosurgeon and University of Michigan Medical School alumnus Ben Carson announced that he would not be attending the event.

"I have decided not to attend the Fox News GOP Presidential Debate tomorrow night in Detroit" Carson wrote.  "Even though I will not be in my hometown of Detroit on Thursday, I remain deeply committed to my home nation, America. I do not see a political path forward in light of last evening’s Super Tuesday primary results."

Carson stopped short of suspending his campaign in his statement.  "However, this grassroots movement on behalf of “We the People” will continue" Carson reassured his Facebook followers.  "Along with millions of patriots who have supported my campaign for President, I remain committed to Saving America for Future Generations. We must not depart from our goals to restore what God and our Founders intended for this exceptional nation."
More, including a Wochit video of the story, at the link; my readers will have to click on the link in the headline to view it.  However, the article also cites a poll EPIC-MRA did for WXYZ and the Detroit Free Press and the WXYZ video is here: EXCLUSIVE POLL: Trump leads among Michigan Republican voters, many support his proposed Muslim ban.

I'll blog about the second part of the poll's findings later.  Right now, I'll treat Carson as if he's suspending his campaign.  He may not be doing so just yet, but I'm sure he will when he addresses CPAC on Friday.  Follow over the jump.