Saturday, February 29, 2020

Marching music for the South Carolina Primary — Carolina Crown and South Carolina State University

I told my readers to "stay tuned" at the end of BBC News explains why we need leap years by writing "today is the South Carolina Primary, so I plan on doing for it what I already did for Iowa, New Hampshire, and Nevada, share some marching music for my readers to watch and listen while they are waiting for the results."  Here goes.

South Carolina has one competitive drum corps, but it's an excellent one, Carolina Crown, so I begin with the show of theirs most on-topic for an election year, 2012's For The Common Good.

2012 Carolina Crown - For The Common Good

May all the candidates be focused on the common good.

Follow over the jump for the rest of the musical selections, which include 2016 and 2019 Carolina Crown and 2019 South Carolina State University.

BBC News explains why we need leap years

Happy Leap Year Day!  As I did four years ago, I'm celebrating the occasion by sharing a video explaining the science and history behind it.  Last time, Vox had the honors.  This cycle, it's Leap years and why we need them from BBC News

It's a leap year which means there's an extra day in the calendar - 29 February 2020. But why do we need it? The answer is a little more complicated than you may think.
As I wrote four years ago, "May you be smarter after reading and watching than you were before!"

Normally, this would be my last post of the month.  However, today is the South Carolina Primary, so I plan on doing for it what I already did for Iowa, New Hampshire, and Nevada, share some marching music for my readers to watch and listen while they are waiting for the results.  Stay tuned.

Friday, February 28, 2020

Closer looks at the coronavirus outbreak from Meyers, Noah, and Colbert

I'm going to admit that when I wrote "I'll try to post something more serious about the outbreak the next time I write about it here" at the end of Trevor Noah and Stephen Colbert look at official responses to the coronavirus outbreak, I failed.  That's because the next good video I saw about the outbreak and its response was Trump’s Flailing Response to the Coronavirus Outbreak: A Closer Look from Late Night with Seth Meyers.  I couldn't resist.

Seth takes a closer look at President Trump appointing Mike Pence to take charge of the response to the coronavirus outbreak and reassuring absolutely nobody.
I always appreciate  Meyers and his writers taking in-depth looks at an issue, even if it is ostensibly for entertainment.  He does manage to get the information across, too.

The panic on Wall Street shows up in the next video, Is This How We Die? - Coronavirus, Continued by The Daily Show with Trevor Noah, which also looks at the state of the outbreak around the world.

As coronavirus continues to spread, the stock market tanks, the public panics and runs out of protective masks, and the CDC recommends shaving facial hair to wear a face mask.
This is where I appreciate Noah for being from outside of North America and Europe.  He's likely to take a global look at an issue.

The Late Show with Stephen Colbert placed the panic in the financial markets front and center in Wall Street Panics After Trump Unveils Lackluster Coronavirus Response Plan.

While President Trump prefers to blame Democrats for the stock market's nose dive, the country he leads is concerned about his administration's disorganized response to the Coronavirus crisis.
First, Trump is making cause and effect go backwards.  Second, I should not be surprised that Trump is blaming the wrong NBC Universal cable channel for coronavirus coverage. When I look at my YouTube subscription page, I see video after video about coronavirus from CNBC. In contrast, MSNBC and CNN hardly had any videos on the subject at all until after the stock market crashed. Then again, CNBC is Larry Kudlow's old channel and Trump never let the facts get in the way of a good attack.

Speaking of CNBC, the latest video on the CNBC Television YouTube channel is showing the Dow down more than 900 points so far today to below 25,000, more than 4,000 points this past week with no end in sight.  This stock market crash is the one reason I am not revising the recession call I made in CNBC explains how the yield curve predicted every recession for the past 50 years.  Without the coronavirus outbreak, I might have to.  With it, I still think it's likely.

I close with A Coronavirus PSA From Vice President Mike Pence.

From the Office of the Vice President comes this important message about keeping yourself safe from the Coronavirus.
Gallows humor at its finest.

Thursday, February 27, 2020

Trevor Noah and Stephen Colbert look at official responses to the coronavirus outbreak

When I wrote "On another note, I've been ignoring the coronavirus outbreak on this blog, so I'm glad Dingell mentioned it.  I'll have to make up for that omission later this week" as an aside in Politics, pastries, and Polish culture from Michigan for Paczki Day, I was expecting to post a serious science video.  Then President Trump and Vice President Pence held a press conference about the response to the outbreak yesterday, which meant that the late night comedians were all over it.  As a result, I begin my coverage of the potential pandemic using two clips from The Daily Show with Trevor Noah.   The first one asks Coronavirus: Is This How We Die?

Trump appoints Pence the coronavirus czar as the virus spreads from China to Japan, Iran, the Philippines, and Italy.
Comedy aside, that's a good summary of the state of the outbreak so far.  As for the answer to the question, probably not, which means, as much as I hate to type it, Trump is right.  Just the same, that's not reassuring.

In addition, The Daily Show created a parody of the short informational videos I post here from time to time, Trump Has the Coronavirus Under Control.

Don't worry everyone, Trump has the "Caronavirus" under control.
"Caronavirus" — LOL, that's right up there with cofeve and Global Waming.

Stephen Colbert opened his show last night with one of his cold open skits, Coronavirus Fears Are Reshaping Global Facial Hair Trends.

The president of the American Association of Evil Villains is here with an important message about facial hair in the age of the Coronavirus.
That is a real chart.  Since I have a beard, that means I have facial hair that is incompatible with a mask.  The beard still stays.

I'll try to post something more serious about the outbreak the next time I write about it here.  Stay tuned.

Wednesday, February 26, 2020

Colbert and Noah react live to the South Carolina Democratic debate

I did not post a recap about the Democratic debate before the Nevada caucuses because both Stephen Colbert and SNL were off last week.  Darn.  That debate could have used being laughed at.

Both Colbert and SNL are back this week and so are my posts featuring comedy takes on the debates.  I begin with Stephen Colbert's LIVE Post-Debate Monologue: Fury Road To The White House 2020.

Following the raucous Democratic presidential debate in his home town of Charleston, South Carolina, Stephen Colbert took the stage to discuss the night's winners, losers and most surreal moments.
While Colbert only alluded to the Nevada debate and especially Mike Bloomberg's poor showing in it, The Daily Show with Trevor Noah took it head on in February 2020 Democratic Debate in South Carolina.

Trevor went LIVE after the 10th Democratic Debate in South Carolina.
And I thought last week's debate was wild!  At least it was well-moderated.  This one could have used a stronger hand from the moderators.

I'm pretty sure that SNL will have a sketch about the debate on Saturday.  If so, expect me to post it on Sunday, the first of March.  Also, I might share Samantha Bee's reaction tomorrow after her show tonight.  She always has the most original insights on current events.  Either way, stay tuned.

Tuesday, February 25, 2020

Politics, pastries, and Polish culture from Michigan for Paczki Day

Happy Paczki Day AKA Fat Tuesday!  For this year's celebration, I begin with something serious from WDIV in Detroit, Rep. Debbie Dingell talks Paczki Day and politics.

It's a tradition her late husband started decades ago, and she's keeping it going.
I think it's smart for Representative Dingell to bring paczki to "her friends in the media."  It certainly makes her look good in the eyes of both the media and the public and gets them to talk to her on good terms.  Speaking of being on good terms or lack thereof, I'm no fan of Mike Bloomberg, but I'm also no fan of vandalizing his campaign offices, either.  It's no secret that I don't like Trump at all, but I still disapprove of Trump's star on Hollywood Walk of Fame being demolished.  As I wrote then, "Don't trash symbols of the opposition--vote!"

On another note, I've been ignoring the coronavirus outbreak on this blog, so I'm glad Dingell mentioned it.  I'll have to make up for that omission later this week.

Enough seriousness on this fun holiday.  Follow over the jump for videos about paczki from Michigan.

Monday, February 24, 2020

Democratic candidates from left to center for the 2020 primaries

I concluded Bye-bye Booker as Cory climbs down from his campaign by noting that I've been delaying on making good on a promise I had made late last year.
I had one final comment on Booker's ideological scores at On The Issues at the end of Kamala Harris heading home came as a complete surprise.
While I'm retiring this chart because Harris has dropped out, I would have had to been retired even if she were still running.  First, Harris left the campaign with a more moderate social score of 73, which, combined with her economic score of 10 places her closer to Amy Klobuchar than Joe Biden.  Harris ended her run as the fourth most liberal member of the field according to On The Issues.  Second, Biden himself has become more moderate with an economic score of 15 and a social score of 80.  The two no longer share the same point on the Nolan Grid.  Time to make a new graph for Biden, Cory Booker, Julian Castro, Tom Steyer, and Andrew Yang, who now share a spot.
That prompted me to ask "Now, do I hurry to make new memes for all the remaining candidates for tomorrow's entry, or wait until Booker drops out?  Decisions, decisions" at the end of Julian jumps from the plane as Castro campaign crashes.  By not making the memes before Booker dropped out, I made my decision through inaction.  I guess I have no excuse now.
Now that there are only eight major Democratic candidates after Andrew Yang, Michael Bennet, and Deval Patrick all dropped out, I think it's time to fulfill that promise, as I told my readers yesterday in John Lewis earns Chairman's Award plus movie and TV winners about politics and government at the 2020 NAACP Image Awards.

I begin by being a good environmentalist and recycling to explain my methodology.
[I] rank[ed] the candidates by economic score from low (left) to high (right, or in this case center) to make it comparable to the liberal-moderate (there are no true conservatives running for the Democratic nomination) ranking I used last [month and again earlier this month] which was based on the economic dimension [of Voteview's DW-Nominate scores].  I then used the social score to break ties in the economic score with high scores being considered more liberal and low scores being considered more conservative.
For the four remaining candidates who are sitting members of Congress, I'm also recycling my methodology for their Voteview scores.
Voteview allows users to view every congressional roll call vote in American history on a map of the United States and on a liberal-conservative ideological map including information about the ideological positions of voting Senators and Representatives.
Ideological positions are calculated using the DW-NOMINATE (Dynamic Weighted NOMINAl Three-step Estimation). This procedure was developed by Poole and Rosenthal in the 1980s and is a "scaling procedure", representing legislators on a spatial map. In this sense, a spatial map is much like a road map--the closeness of two legislators on the map shows how similar their voting records are. Using this measure of distance, DW-NOMINATE is able to recover the "dimensions" that inform congressional voting behavior.

The primary dimension through most of American history has been "liberal" vs. "conservative" (also referred to as "left" vs. "right"). A second dimension picks up differences within the major political parties over slavery, currency, nativism, civil rights, and lifestyle issues during periods of American history.
...the scores of liberals are all negative and the more liberal they are, the more negative the scores, so the most liberal candidate will have the lowest or most negative score.
I last updated both the the Vote Match scores from On The Issues and first dimension DW-NOMINATE scores from Voteview in August, so it's been half a year.  Follow over the jump to see how the remaining candidates rate from left to center.

Sunday, February 23, 2020

John Lewis earns Chairman's Award plus movie and TV winners about politics and government at the 2020 NAACP Image Awards

For this week's Sunday entertainment feature, I'm being a good environmentalist and recycling by writing about the NAACP Image Awards.  Last year, the big winner was "Black Panther."  This year, I open with a real-life political leader earning an award.  Watch The Incomparable Rep. John Lewis Is Honored With The Chairman's Award | NAACP Image Awards from BET Networks.

For his work during the Civil Rights movement and for all he does for the country, Congressman John Lewis receives the 2020 Chairman’s Award.
Congratulations, Representative Lewis!

Follow over the jump for the awards presented to movies and TV shows about politics and government.

Saturday, February 22, 2020

Marching music for the Nevada caucuses

I concluded Vox explains America's presidential primaries by telling my readers "I plan on doing for Nevada what I've already done for Iowa and New Hampshire, share some marching music for my readers to enjoy while they wait for the caucus results.  Stay tuned."  It's time to me to follow through and my readers to watch and listen.

Since there are no competitive drum corps in Nevada, today's installment features the state's top marching bands, beginning with the one from the state's flagship university, University of Nevada Wolf Pack Marching Band Pregame Show 2014.

I captured the NEVADA spellout from this performance to illustrate this entry.

Moving from north to south, ShowtimeWeb captured UNLV "Star of Nevada" Marching Band 2016's halftime show when UNLV played Jackson State University.

Even with the sound problems, this is the best video of the UNLV band I could find on YouTube.  The Star of Nevada Band could use better videographers among its fans!

That's it for the university bands from the Silver State.  Follow over the jump for two Nevada high school bands that marched in the Rose Parade during the past decade.

Friday, February 21, 2020

Vox explains America's presidential primaries

I posted FiveThirtyEight's Primary Project explains how the U.S. primary system evolved and asks if there is a better way a little more than two weeks ago to express my frustration with the delayed results of the Iowa Caucuses.  That entry included three videos, which FiveThirtyEight had uploaded over three weeks.  Today, Vox managed to condense the same history into one video, America's presidential primaries, explained.  In addition to a snappier treatment of the topic, Vox also included their frustration as part of video, asking "Why does America's system for picking the president start in Iowa?"

Before Americans vote on the next president in November, both major political parties have to settle on a nominee. That process is called the primary, and in 2020 it consists of 64 different contests, held on 22 different days, over several months. And for some reason, it all starts in the midwestern state of Iowa. So how did America's political parties come up with this system? And is there a better way to do it?
Since FiveThirtyEight did this first, I find it fitting that Vox cited FiveThirtyEight's efforts to determine the most representative state in the Union, which is Illinois.  I'm also glad that Vox did a better job of exploring better ways of doing things, particularly the order of state primaries.  Li Zhou, who is interviewed in the video, explains more in Why Iowa and New Hampshire shouldn’t go first in the primaries anymore.  I recommend my readers read the article in addition to watching the video.

I'll have more on the primary contest tomorrow, when I plan on doing for Nevada what I've already done for Iowa and New Hampshire, share some marching music for my readers to enjoy while they wait for the caucus results.  Stay tuned.

Thursday, February 20, 2020

Company Man examines the rise and decline of Sbarro, a tale of the Retail Apocalypse

Hot on the heels of Pier 1 Imports filing for bankruptcy, I have another tale of the Retail Apocalypse to share with my readers.  This one ties into Goodbye Ruby Tuesday, a tale of the Retail Apocalypse, in which I pointed out "everything is connected to everything else, so dead malls no longer bring in foot traffic, which means the restaurants inside them no longer have customers, so they close."  Company Man uploaded a video yesterday about another restaurant chain that has a lot of mall locations, The Decline of Sbarro...What Happened?

Sbarro is a major U.S. pizza chain that you probably know best from their delicious smelling pizza stands inside shopping malls. Well, they haven't been doing well lately, evidenced by their multiple bankruptcy filings over the past decade. This video attempts to explain what happened.
Sbarro's dependence on malls was helpful until the Great Recession but is hurting the chain now, as more than half of their stores have closed since the company's peak.  One of those is the Sbarro I first encountered and which my kids and I ate at regularly during the 1990s in Briarwood Mall on the south edge of Ann Arbor, Michigan.  It closed sometime during the past decade, after I last stepped foot in Briarwood Mall.  A Panda Express now occupies its location.  Honestly, I think that's an improvement.  At least if I want to eat at Sbarro, I can still go to the one in Twelve Oaks Mall in Novi or Somerset Collection in Troy.  Given my diabetes, I probably won't.  Other people will have to support Sbarro by eating there.

Wednesday, February 19, 2020

Drinks and drinking games for the 2020 Democratic Primary debates

I finished Pier 1 Imports files for bankruptcy, a tale of the Retail Apocalypse by telling my readers to "stay tuned for an update to Drinks for candidates at the September and October Democratic debates.  I bet it will be time to add Bloomberg's drink suggestions.  Any takers?"  Well, that happened, as NPR reported yesterday NPR/PBS NewsHour/Marist Poll: Sanders Leads, Bloomberg Qualifies For Debate.    Good thing no one took me up on betting against that happening!

With that, it's time for a new drinking game.  I begin with a meme from Delish.

This drinking game, in addition to being simple, has aged better than the others, even, which hasn't been updated since December.  Rolling Stone last updated its game in January.  BTR at least has one for the last debate in New Hampshire, but I don't know how well it will work unless one substitutes New Hampshire for Iowa and Nevada for New Hampshire.  Just the same, happy drinking! 

Follow over the jump for the drink suggestions, which I've recycled.  Of course I did; I'm an environmentalist.

Tuesday, February 18, 2020

Pier 1 Imports files for bankruptcy, a tale of the Retail Apocalypse

Last October, I posted Pier 1 Imports closing stores, a tale of the Retail Apocalypse.  Last month, I updated the story with Company Man recounts the rise and fall of Pier 1 Imports, a tale of the Retail Apocalypse.  Yesterday, the other shoe dropped.  Watch NYC station WPIX report Pier 1 files for bankruptcy protection.

As nearly 450 Pier 1 locations are set to close in the coming year, the company announced it is filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy.
The reporter mentioned Target.  That reminds me of what I wrote in October: " When my wife heard about Pier 1's troubles, she thought that Wayfair was the major competitor, not Target, as Erik suggested.  I'll go with my wife."

The Dallas Morning News also mentioned Wayfair among the chain's competitors in Pier 1 Imports files bankruptcy and looks for a buyer.
Pier 1 has struggled through multiple leadership changes and with the expense of building up a separate online business. At the same time, competitors such as Amazon and Wayfair gained market share with free shipping and often lower prices. Walmart and Target improved their home selection in recent years as HomeGoods expanded into new markets, going head-to-head with Pier 1 in neighborhood shopping centers.
Of course, Amazon's name would appear in an article about a retailer facing stiff online competition.  Still, it was good to see someone else mention both Wayfair and HomeGoods as major competitors.

By the way, The Dallas Morning News updated its readers about Forever 21's. bankruptcy.
Just last week, no other bidders came forward in the Forever 21 bankruptcy after mall developers Simon Property and Brookfield together with Authentic Brands made an initial bid of $81 million. Authentic Brands already owns 50 brands, including some it purchased out of bankruptcy in recent years such as Nine West and most recently Barneys New York, which is in the process of closing all of its stores.
The group that purchased Forever 21 intends to keep stores open. But other specialty chains are often sold out of bankruptcy to companies that close the stores and keep the name alive as a licensed brand. There’s not one dominant landlord in the case of Pier 1. Among the more than 400 stores closing now, Kimco Realty has the most leases with 11, and Site Centers has 10 of the rejected leases.
The article also explained what happened to Destination Maternity/Motherhood Maternity.
That was the case late last year when New York-based Marquee Brands purchased Destination Maternity Corp. out of bankruptcy for $50 million and closed its 235 stores. Destination Maternity operated 435 stores when it originally filed for bankruptcy in October. It became an example of how fast these court cases can move. The Wall Street Journal reported last year that the retailer’s investment bank contacted more than 180 potential buyers.
Wow!  Talk about an information-rich piece of reporting!  Also, talk about how fast things moved in bankruptcy!  The Retail Apocalypse is really rolling!

I'll do my best to keep track of this story along with the rest of the Retail Apocalypse.  In the meantime, stay tuned for an update to Drinks for candidates at the September and October Democratic debates.  I bet it will be time to add Bloomberg's drink suggestions.  Any takers?

Monday, February 17, 2020

Business Insider and The Daily Conversation rank past presidents for Presidents Day

Happy Presidents Day!Yesterday I ranked the best movie and TV presidents, real and fictional, for Presidents Day weekend.  Today, I'm ranking the real presidents.*

The most recent video I could find from a reputable source was The top 15 presidents according to historians by Business Insider.

It should come as little surprise to anyone that, for the third time in a row, historians agree that Abraham Lincoln was the best US President, but what about our newest former president?

As part of C-SPAN's third Historians Survey of Presidential Leadership, almost 100 historians and biographers rated the 43 former presidents on ten qualities of presidential leadership: Public persuasion, crisis leadership, economic management, moral authority, international relations, administrative skills, relations with congress, vision, pursued equal justice for all, and performance within the context of his times.
That may be the most recent, but the most popular video on this topic I could find is The Daily Conversation's Top 10 Presidents of the USA, which goes more in detail about each president's accomplishments.

The 10 best presidents in American history, ranked by their overall contribution to the country.

10. John F. Kennedy
9. James K. Polk
8. Lyndon B. Johnson
7. Dwight D. Eisenhower
6. Woodrow Wilson
5. Thomas Jefferson
4. Theodore Roosevelt
3. George Washington
2. Franklin D. Roosevelt
1. Abraham Lincoln
The one that surprised me in both rankings was James K. Polk, who shows up on both lists while another president I expected, Andrew Jackson, did not.  I guess I would consider Polk underrated, while Jackson, who is our current president's favorite past president, might be overrated.  As I've written before, any day I learn something new is a good day.

*Yes, I know I promised to write "an entry about the people running for president in real life" for today.  I'm working on it, so stay tuned.

Sunday, February 16, 2020

The best movie and TV presidents, real and fictional, for Presidents Day weekend

For today's Sunday entertainment feature, I'm recycling the concept from Movie and TV Presidents from the Wall Street Journal for (Not My) Presidents Day to look at how Hollywood has portrayed presidents on film and video.

I begin with The Christian Science Monitor's Top 5 Movies about US Presidents for the best portrayals of real presidents on the silver screen.

Discover the best presidential movies ever made with the Monitor's star critic, Peter Rainer.
Abraham Lincoln, John F. Kennedy, and Richard Nixon — my reaction is that's an interesting trio.  Also, one of these guys is not like the others.  I'll leave it as a exercise for my readers to figure out which one I think is the odd man out.

Peter Rainer mentioned that the more irreverent portrayals of presidents is reserved for fictional presidents.  Ovation shows some of those performances in The Best Fictional Presidents of TV & Film.

For Courage. For Honor. For Independence.

Here are some of the greatest fictional presidents from TV and film. Which one is your favorite?
The Ringer, where I got the image to illustrate this entry, has its own list in Who Is the Best Movie President?  That would be a good question to answer in the comments.

I still plan on finding out who the members and volunteers of the Coffee Party think is the Best Television President when I run the vote for the 2018-2019 Golden Coffee Cups for television.  I've been promising that for months.  Maybe now I'll follow through.

Enough fantasy.  Stay tuned for an entry about the people running for president in real life tomorrow.

Saturday, February 15, 2020

CNBC explains why the Electoral College exists

When I mentioned how the delayed results of the Iowa Caucuses inspired me to wrote FiveThirtyEight's Primary Project explains how the U.S. primary system evolved and asks if there is a better way, I only told most of the story.  The rest of my inspiration came from seeing CNBC's Why The Electoral College Exists appear among my YouTube subscriptions.  It made me think I should explain how the nominees are selected before I share how the President is elected.  Now that I have, I think it's time for my readers to understand how the United States has such a peculiar way of choosing its Chief of State who is also its head of government.  Watch.

Around 138 million people voted in the 2016 election, but 306 people officially elected the president by using their electoral college votes. Here’s why the Electoral College exists.

The Supreme Court will decide whether Electoral College voters have a constitutional right to cast ballots for candidates who didn’t win their state’s popular vote, the justices announced in an order on Friday.

The justices said they will hear two cases brought by Electoral College voters in Washington state and Colorado who refused to vote for Hillary Clinton in 2016 despite her wins in those states.

Like most states, Washington and Colorado require their electors to follow the will of their states’ voters. But those laws are now being challenged by Electoral College voters who argue that such laws are unconstitutional.

A decision in the matter is expected by the end of June, ahead of the U.S. presidential election in November. The cases are the latest in a string of high-profile disputes the top court is expected to resolve in a contentious election year.

Historically, the faithfulness of Electoral College voters has largely been a formality. In 2016, 10 out of the total 538 electors attempted to cast ballots out of line with their state’s popular vote. But attorneys on both sides of the issue urged the top court to resolve the constitutional question before a crisis emerges.
In addition to the case before the Supreme Court, Virginia's House passing a bill to give its Electoral College to the popular vote winner is another reason the institution is in the news.  I wish it weren't as important as it is, or even still existed, but the video above explains why it was formed and how it was important in putting our country together.  As William Faulkner wrote, "The past is never dead. It's not even past."

Enough politics and history for today.  Stay tuned for the Sunday entertainment feature.

Friday, February 14, 2020

Tipsy Bartender drinks for Valentines Day 2020

Happy Valentines Day!  For today's celebration, I'm reviving an idea I've only used once before in 2015's Sweet things to make for Valentines Day, drinks from Tipsy Bartender for today's holiday.

I begin with Red Hot Valentine's Shot, the first drink recipe for today's holiday uploaded by Tipsy Bartender to YouTube.

Continuing on in chronlogical order of uploading, here's Loveshake.

Next, Sweetheart Martini.

Finally, Sweet Heart Jello Shots.

I'll let Willy Wonka express my opinion of all these drinks.

Once again, Happy Valentines Day!

Thursday, February 13, 2020

Happy Trails to Yang, Bennet, and Patrick after New Hampshire from Colbert, FiveThirtyEight, and Newsy

I finished PBS Eons explains how evolution works for Darwin Day 2020 by telling my readers to "Stay tuned for more politics tomorrow when I write about the candidates dropping out after the New Hampshire primary."  I got my wish, as FiveThirtyEight reported Andrew Yang And Michael Bennet Drop Out soon after the polls closed Tuesday.

Galen and Geoffrey react to Andrew Yang and Michael Bennet dropping out of the presidential race.
I've been waiting for this since John Delaney dropped out and people actually noticed.
When Cory Booker dropped out, I was hoping Michael Bennet would drop out next.  That didn't happen and I'll probably have to wait until at least Monday night after the Iowa Caucuses, as four candidates bid farewell after Iowa four years ago.
Instead, it was just over a week later.  About time!  Seven down, two to go from FiveThirtyEight's second drop out draft in November, although I think Tom Steyer is more likely to drop out soon than Amy Klobuchar, who finished third in New Hampshire and will probably last until Super Tuesday.

That wasn't all, as Newsy reported that Deval Patrick ends presidential bid on Wednesday.

The former Massachusetts governor confirmed his decision in a statement Wednesday.
Those were the serious news reports.  Last night, Stephen Colbert had some fun with the three dropping out in Biden Campaign Shook, Democratic Field Narrows After New Hampshire Primary.

In contrast to the messy Iowa caucus, the New Hampshire primary produced clear-cut results. And while they weren't good for Joe Biden's campaign, the Granite State vote tally meant the end of the road for Andrew Yang, Michael Bennet and Deval Patrick.
Fury Road to the White House?  That's a good idea, but I still like The Hungry for Power Games better.  In any event, three candidates are now eliminated from the campaign, at least until one of them gets chosen for a running mate.  That's five months off.

Follow over the jump for the drink suggestions and memes I'm retiring now that all three have suspended their campaigns.

Wednesday, February 12, 2020

PBS Eons explains how evolution works for Darwin Day 2020

Happy Darwin Day!  To celebrate, I'm continuing a tradition I began in 2016 by sharing videos from PBS about evolution.  Like the past two years, this year's video is also from PBS Eons, How Evolution Works (And How We Figured It Out).  Charles Darwin, whose birthday is today, plays a starring role.

As a scientific concept, evolution was revolutionary when it was first introduced. With the help of all three of our hosts and the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History’s new Deep Time Hall, we’ll try to explain how evolution actually works and how we came to understand it.
I started showing this video to my organismal biology class last semester to explain the mechanisms of evolution.  I would have shown it the semester before but it came out just after I finished lecturing on evolution and tested the students on it.  Darn.  It did help the students in last semester's class describe the mechanisms of evolution better than the class before them.  The only mechanism the video missed was assortative mating AKA sexual selection.  I suppose the creators would consider that a special case of natural selection and they wouldn't be wrong if they did.  Still, that's a mechanism the students have to include in their test answers.  Good thing I'm not testing my readers!

Enough science.  Stay tuned for more politics tomorrow when I write about the candidates dropping out after the New Hampshire primary.

Tuesday, February 11, 2020

Marching music for the New Hampshire Primary — Spartans and Londonderry High School

To celebrate today's New Hampshire primary, I'm recycling the concept behind Marching music for the 2020 Iowa Caucuses, Colts and Hawkeyes for the Granite State.  I didn't do this four years ago, skipping right from Marching music for the Iowa Caucuses: Colts and Hawkeyes to A Drum corps Super Tuesday.  I'm not making that mistake again.  I want my readers to have some music to listen to while they wait for the results from today's primary, too.

I begin with the 2013 Spartans of Nashua, New Hampshire, performing their 2013 program, Live Free!

"Live Free" happens to be part of the New Hampshire state motto, "Live Free or Die."  I think that's an appropriate thought for today.

Next, the Spartans referring to the Greek origins of their name in the corps' 2014 show, Olympus.

That's the most recent clip of a Spartans championship show performance on Drum Corps International's YouTube channel, so I'm going to change ensembles to feature.*  Now on to a marching music group from New Hampshire that more people have seen than the Spartans, the Londonderry High School Lancer Marching Band, who marched in the 2018 Rose Parade.  Here they are, performing their field show at Bandfest, as recorded by Music213.

From Londonderry, New Hampshire
Londonderry High School Lancer Marching Band & Colorguard performing their field show at the 38th Annual Pasadena Tournament of Roses Bandfest on Saturday, December 30, 2017.
It's a baseball show, so it includes music from "Field of Dreams," tying this show back to the Iowa Caucuses.

I conclude with Music213's video of them marching in the Rose Parade.

From Londonderry, New Hampshire
Londonderry High School Lancer Marching Band performing at the 129th Annual Pasadena Tournament of Roses Parade on Monday, January 1, 2018
I hope my readers enjoyed all the performances I shared.  I also hope that "New Hampshire does a better job at counting the votes and picking the winner, survivors, and losers than Iowa did," as I wrote yesterday.

I plan on doing this again for Nevada on Saturday, February 22nd, and South Carolina on Tuesday, February 29th.  Nevada doesn't have any drum corps, so I'll feature marching bands, but South Carolina has Carolina Crown.  I'm looking forward to both and I hope my readers are, too.  In the meantime, stay tuned for a celebration of Darwin
Day tomorrow.

*There are unofficial clips of more recent performances, but sharing them might attract the attention of organizations who might ask YouTube to take them down, and official clips of older performance, but I want to save them for four years from now.  I'm an environmentalist.  I not only recycle, I conserve my resources.

Monday, February 10, 2020

FiveThirtyEight asks 'How important is winning Iowa or New Hampshire?'

The fiasco that was the the Iowa Caucuses, which prompted Stephen Colbert, Jimmy Kimmel, Trevor NoahSamantha Bee, and SNL to all poke fun at the chaos, inspired me to post FiveThirtyEight's Primary Project explains how the U.S. primary system evolved and asks if there is a better way as a way of coping with my frustration.  Maybe there is a better way, but right now the U.S. is stuck with the system we have.  Given that, it's worth asking the same question FiveThirtyEight did this morning, How Important Is Winning Iowa Or New Hampshire?

During primary season, we hear a lot about Iowa and New Hampshire, the first two states in the nation to vote. Neither state boasts a large number of delegates, so why does it seem like they are so crucial to winning the nomination? We crunched the numbers to see just how important it is to win the early states.
The answer is very, much more so than winning more diverse and representative states like Nevada and South Carolina.  Only Super Tuesday rivals Iowa and New Hampshire in importance.  No wonder the two states like going first.

Here's to hoping New Hampshire does a better job at counting the votes and picking the winner, survivors, and losers than Iowa did.  Stay tuned to see if it does.

Sunday, February 9, 2020

SNL satirizes New Hampshire Democratic Debate, Iowa Caucuses, and impeachment acquittal

For this week's Sunday entertainment feature, I'm returning to the Iowa Caucuses and the current episode of "The Worst Wing" with help from SNL, just as I did in SNL has fun with the December Democratic debate and impeachment two months ago.

I begin, as the show did, with New Hampshire Democratic Debate Cold Open.

2020 Democratic presidential candidates Tom Steyer (Pete Davidson), Amy Klobuchar (Rachel Dratch), Elizabeth Warren (Kate McKinnon), Joe Biden (Jason Sudeikis), Bernie Sanders (Larry David), Pete Buttigieg (Colin Jost) and Andrew Yang (Bowen Yang) face off in a debate.
Once again, Michael Bloomberg crashes the debate, this time via his ads.  He'll probably crash the next SNL debate parody, which should be on the 22nd, as he hasn't qualified for the Nevada debate next week and probably won't.  So far, neither has Andrew Yang or Tom Steyer.  That means only five people on stage.  I'll drink to that!

SNL moved on from the debate to other political news to open Weekend Update: Trump Acquitted.

Weekend Update anchors Colin Jost and Michael Che tackle the week's biggest news, like President Trump's reaction to his impeachment acquittal.
While that pretty much summed up the week in national politics, Weekend Update wasn't done.  SNL returned to the topic to close the segment in Weekend Update: Cathy Anne on Trump's Impeachment Acquittal.

Cathy Anne (Cecily Strong) weighs in on President Trump’s acquittal from the impeachment trial.
I agree with everything the character said about the trial.

With that, I'm done with last week's episode of "The Worst Wing."  Good riddance!

Saturday, February 8, 2020

I missed Messam dropping out three months ago

I'm not done chasing shiny objects.  After I wrote Macy's announces 125 stores closing and 2,000 corporate jobs cut, a tale of the Retail Apocalypse, I returned to the main page of On The Issues, which I had checked when writing Joe Walsh walks away from the Republican primary and says he'll support the Democratic nominee.  I noticed that Wayne Messam was missing from the list of active Democratic candidates.  I looked under "Withdrawn or undecided contenders for 2020" and found his photo and link to his page.  It turns out he suspended his campaign on November 20, 2019.  Vox had the story.
Wayne Messam, the mayor of Miramar, Florida and an early — but almost entirely overlooked — entrant into the 2020 Democratic presidential race, has suspended his White House bid.

“I knew the odds were a steep hill to climb but I have always fought for what is right and will continue to break barriers never broken,” Messam wrote in a Medium post announcing his plans to suspend his campaign — perhaps indefinitely — Wednesday.

“Although the campaign goal of becoming President was not realized at this moment, I could not be more thankful for the many supporters including my family, friends and so many Americans I have had the awesome opportunity to meet on the campaign trail all over this nation,” he added.
I'm not surprised, as the video with the most views on YouTube about Messam that I found on a search was Team Coco's AKA Conan O'Brian's show on TBS segment How Wayne Messam Raised $5 For His Presidential Campaign.

After taking a closer look at Wayne's campaign website, Conan isn't surprised that the 2020 hopeful fell short of his fundraising goals.
LOL, that video was uploaded on October 25, 2019, but accurately predicted that Messam would drop out soon afterwards.  Considering that Conan used to write for "The Simpsons," which is notorious for predicting events years, sometimes decades, in the future, I shouldn't be surprised.*

As for my excuse, I was too busy writing about Mike Bloomberg and Deval Patrick joining the Democratic primary contest and coming up with drink suggestions for them to notice.  On the one hand, oops.  On the other, both are still in the contest, so I don't feel so bad.

Follow over the jump for the drink suggestions and memes I'm retiring now that I've finally caught up with Messam missing from the contest.

Macy's announces 125 stores closing and 2,000 corporate jobs cut, a tale of the Retail Apocalypse

I needed a break from the Iowa Caucuses, the current episode of "The Worst Wing," and other election news, so I'm sharing the latest tale of the Retail Apocalypse, Macy's announcing the closing of more stores.*  I begin with CBS This Morning's Retail giant Macy's announces massive cuts.

The largest department store chain in America is closing 125 stores and cutting 2,000 jobs. Macy’s is making the cuts in an effort to end a yearslong slump, though it’s unclear how many total jobs will be affected once retail workers factor into the final count. Jill Schlesinger breaks down the implications of the retail giant’s massive move.
That's the human dimension.  CNBC provides more numbers and details in Macy's to close 125 stores and cut 2,000 corporate jobs.

Macy's announced that it will close 125 of its department stores over the next 3 years. CNBC's Courtney Reagan reports.
One of the closures was of Macy's second headquarters in Cincinnati, the focus of WCPO's Macy's to close corporate headquarters in Cincinnati in massive restructuring.

Macy's Inc. will close its corporate headquarters in downtown Cincinnati as part of a massive restructuring that includes the elimination of 2,000 corporate jobs and the closure of 125 stores in the next three years.
When I told my wife about this story, she worried that it would take longer for our orders to get here from another location besides Columbus.  I hope the warehouse there stays open.

That's the bad news.  The good news is that no Michigan locations are closing, as the Detroit Free Press reported.
Michigan has 14 Macy's stores with locations in cities including Troy, Dearborn, Ann Arbor, Novi, Sterling Heights and Traverse City, according to its website.

Asked about closures in the Mitten, officials "do not have any store closures to announce at this time," Andrea Schwartz, senior director of media relations for the company, said in an email Tuesday.

*I know I promised to write about the Oscars, but I'm just not feeling it.  Instead, I decided to follow up on a shinier object.  Maybe tomorrow.  Definitely later next week.  Stay tuned.

Friday, February 7, 2020

Joe Walsh walks away from the Republican primary and says he'll support the Democratic nominee

The Hungry for Power Games have claimed another tribute.  Watch Joe Walsh make his announcement on CNN in GOP challenger to Trump ends bid for presidency.

Republican presidential candidate Joe Walsh announced he is dropping out of the 2020 presidential race, telling CNN's John Berman that President Trump is a "dictator" and saying he plans to speak with other Republicans to get them to support the Democratic presidential candidate.
Unlike Mark Sanford, who probably will vote for Trump in November, Walsh will support the Democratic candidate, whoever he or she is.  I take that as a sign of his seriousness in getting Trump out of the White House.  I appreciate that, although it will likely make him person non grata among Republicans for the foreseeable future.  Now it's up to William Weld to serve as the internal opposition to Trump within the Republican Party.  I wish Weld luck, but I don't know if he'll even get enough delegates to earn a speaking spot at the Republican National Convention — this is, if the party bothers to follow their own rules.  I'm not optimistic about that, either.

Now it's time for me to be a good environmentalist and recycle: "While I never got around to suggesting any drink recipes or making memes showing his ideological position, I'll make do with what I already had on hand.  Follow over the jump."

Thursday, February 6, 2020

Samantha Bee on Iowa Caucuses, State of the Union Address, and impeachment acquittal, Episode 5, Season 4 of 'The Worst Wing'

I closed FiveThirtyEight's Primary Project explains how the U.S. primary system evolved and asks if there is a better way with an opinion and a prediction.
Of course, if I want really original takes on both, plus Trump's acquittal, I just have to wait for Samantha Bee to weigh in tonight.  She might just earn an entry with her reaction tomorrow.  Stay tuned.
She lived up to my expectations.  Watch Samantha Bee say The State of Our Union is BAD.

Trump's impeachment trial ended in an acquittal. The State of the Union was a complete catastrophe. But hey, at least the Iowa Caucus went well! Oh wait, never mind.
Best week ever for Donald Trump, but a bad week for democracy and the rule of law.

By the way, congratulations are in order for Bee and her writers.  Follow over the jump for some good news for them.

Wednesday, February 5, 2020

Colbert, Kimmel, and Noah react to the State of the Union Address and Iowa Caucuses, the opening of Episode 5, Season 4 of 'The Worst Wing'

Once again, it's time for the recap of the latest episode of "The Worst Wing," Stephen Colbert's name for the reality show that is the Trump Administration.  Effectively, this week's ongoing episode began with the State of the Union Address against the backdrop of the confusion surrounding the results of the Iowa Caucuses.

I begin my recap with Colbert's LIVE Monologue Following Trump's 2020 State Of The Union Address.

After President Trump delivered a divisive State of the Union, Stephen Colbert delivered his LIVE Late Show monologue. The one thing we can all agree on: "My fellow Americans, the state of our union was long."
Colbert's Monologue went overtime as he asked How Did Iowa Get So Thoroughly Caucus Blocked?

On the first day of official voting in the 2020 Democratic primary, new reporting procedures failed and paralyzed the counting of votes in the Iowa caucus.
Two nights later and the results still haven't been completely reported.

While Colbert broke the topics in two, others combined the two, such as Jimmy Kimmel on Trump’s SOTU & Iowa Caucus.

During Trump’s State of the Union Address he told a bunch of lies, did not shake Nancy Pelosi’s hand, gave Rush Limbaugh the Presidential Medal of Freedom on Rosa Parks Day, and Guillermo gave the official Spanish language response. The Democrats had a very long day with the Iowa Caucus disaster too so we checked in with one of the coordinators to get some info on what went wrong.
I think Colbert is funnier, but Kimmel did a better job of both reporting the events of the address and expressing his hostility in humor.

I'm saving the first comedian to comment for last, Trevor Noah's liver response to Trump’s 2020 State of the Union.

Trevor went LIVE after Trump’s third State of the Union address in Washington, D.C.
Colbert may be funnier and Kimmel more hostile, but I think Noah had the most original insights on the State of the Union and Iowa Caucuses of the three.  Of course, if I want really original takes on both, plus Trump's acquittal, I just have to wait for Samantha Bee to weigh in tonight.  She might just earn an entry with her reaction tomorrow.  Stay tuned.

Tuesday, February 4, 2020

FiveThirtyEight's Primary Project explains how the U.S. primary system evolved and asks if there is a better way

As I am writing this entry, the results from the Iowa Caucuses still have not been released.  That's frustrating.  To cope with my frustration, which includes not being able to write about who dropped out, I've decided to move up the post I planned for next Tuesday, the day of the New Hampshire primary, to today.  Without any further ado, I'm sharing the three videos FiveThirtyEight created for The Primary Project about how our party primary election system developed, how it works, and, most importantly given last night's ongoing failure to report the results, if there is a better way to select a nominee.

First, a history lesson as FiveThirtyEight describes How A Raucous Convention Revolutionized Our Primary System.

By casting a ballot in a primary or caucus, voters in the U.S. have the chance to decide who will vie to lead the free world. But that wasn't always the case. The rules governing our primary system aren't in the Constitution, and average Americans have only been able to have their vote guaranteed to count since the 1970s. This monumental change might not have happened if it weren't for a disastrous convention in 1968.

Over the next few weeks, we'll be looking into how our our modern system of primaries and caucuses came to be as part of our podcast and video series, The Primary Project. This episode is about that 1968 convention, and in the following episodes, we'll ask if the system we have today works as well as we'd like.
For an extended version of the video, listen to Our Presidential Primary System Is An Accident, the podcast upon which the video is based.  Both explain how the Democratic Party reformed its nomination process in the wake of a convention that did not follow the popular will, at least as far as it could be determined, but instead followed the desires of the party bosses, who picked a candidate that did not win a single primary.  The result was rioting in the streets and a defeat at the ballot box.

Next, FiveThirtyEight asks Do Parties Or Voters Choose Presidential Nominees?

Who really picks our presidential nominees? Sure, most Americans have the chance to go to the polls and vote for their favorite candidate in a primary or caucus. But when it comes down to it, are party elites really pulling the strings?

In this episode of The Primaries Project, we look at historical elections to see who's really in control of our primary system: the parties or the people.
The podcast version is How The Modern Primary System Has Shaped Our Politics, which explains that the answer depends on which decade one examines.
To understand how our modern system shapes our presidential candidates, we look at elections from three periods: first, the 1970s, when the reforms were relatively new and the parties and candidates were still figuring them out. Next, the ’80s and ’90s, when the parties got a handle on the rules and used them to promote their preferred candidates. And last, the modern era, when for a variety of reasons, the parties have begun to lose their grip again.
During the 2016 election, the Republican Party lost its control over the process, which is how it ended up with Donald Trump as the nominee, while the Democratic Party had enough power that it got Hillary Clinton.  It's too early to tell how the parties are faring this time around.

Finally, FiveThirtyEight asks Is Our Primary System Democratic?

Back in the 1970s, we changed how we choose presidential nominees. Those changes supposedly made our primary system more democratic by allowing voters to cast a ballot in a primary or caucus rather than having party leaders pick a candidate. But there is more to a well-functioning democracy than just being able to vote. In this episode of The Primaries Project, we look why our primary system may not reflect the views of the people.
The podcast figuratively shakes its head at the current system as it wonders There Has To Be A Better Way To Pick Presidential Nominees … Right?  After watching last night's (so far) non-result, I'm asking the same question.  I think a lot of my readers are, too.

Monday, February 3, 2020

Marching music for the 2020 Iowa Caucuses, Colts and Hawkeyes

"Stay tuned," I wrote at the end of Serious and silly about how the Iowa Caucuses work from CBS News, Samantha Bee, and 'The Good Wife', wishing for my readers "May they be as entertained by my next post, an update of 2016's Marching music for the Iowa Caucuses."  I begin by being a good environmentalist and recycling from four years ago: "I'll have more to say about the Iowa Caucus results later.  Right now, I'm just going to play some music" for my readers to listen to while they wait for the results.

Like four years ago, I begin with the Dubuque Colts 2016 show "Nachmusik."

Yes, the corps is playing "Nights in White Satin."  Are any of the caucus goers waiting for their knight to ride in tonight?

Next, the 2017 Colts "Both Sides Now."

Are the caucus goers listening to all sides before making their choice?

I conclude the drum corps portion of the post with the 2018 Colts program, "True Believer."

Will the caucus participants be true believers in the candidates they finally pick, or will some wish they could still vote for their initial choices who didn't reach 15% and maintain viability?

Finally, all the rest of us will be watching the results on TV, so why not join the University of Iowa Hawkeye Marching Band for an evening of HMB TV?

I can see why this is the most watched video on the Hawkeye Marching Band channel.  Will the caucus results be as popular?  Stay tuned!

Serious and silly about how the Iowa Caucuses work from CBS News, Samantha Bee, and 'The Good Wife'

After months of debates decided by polling and donations, the voters themselves begin casting or their equivalents as the Iowa Caucuses are today.  I have three videos explaining about how they work, one serious, one silly, and another fictional.  I begin with the serious one from CBS News, How the Iowa caucuses really work.

The Iowa caucuses are a political tradition, and what takes place there every four years is unlike a regular election day. CBS News' Natalie Brand reports from Des Moines with an inside look at what to expect on caucus night.
While I'm pleased that the Drake University mock caucus had Elizabeth Warren and Pete Buttigieg above the viability threshold, I'm surprised that Bernie Sanders didn't make it, either.  The young people who feel the Bern didn't reach 15%?  Wow, I guess Warren and Buttigieg appealing mostly to college-educated Democrats while Sanders appealing to those with less than a college education is actually a thing.

Full Frontal with Samantha Bee also attended a mock caucus, which prompted the comedy correspondent to wonder Is The Iowa Caucus A Relic of the Past?

Full Frontal’s Allana Harkin goes back in time to find out why, of all 50 states, white-as-a-Radiohead-concert Iowa historically predicts the Democratic presidential nominee. Maybe it’s because they’re just nice people? Hop in the DeLorean and buckle up! This segment is a wild ride.

This piece was produced by Mike Rubens with Adam Howard. Edited by Daphne Gomez-Mena. Graphics by Ed Mundy and Cory Palmer. Featuring Allana Harkin.
The Iowans couldn't even come up with Iowa is "the ratifier of continental values" as Joel Garreau said about The Breadbasket in "The Nine Nations of North America."  That would be a good reason for them to go first, even if it wouldn't be popular with either the viewers of "Full Frontal with Samantha Bee" or much of the rest of the country.

Still, even if Harkin did not like the way the Iowa Caucuses work, she didn't propose a better alternative.  I plan on getting to that next week on the day of the New Hampshire primary.

Finally, yesterday's entry dueling Super Bowl ads on Groundhog Day was light on politics in entertainment, so I'm letting How the Iowa Caucus Works from "The Good Wife" have the last word.

That's a good set-up for the rest of the scene, which dramatizes how the caucus works, but apparently didn't make it too fictional other than Peter Florrick participating and dropping out, as the real Martin O'Malley did.

I hope my readers have been entertained and informed by these videos.  May they be as entertained by my next post, an update of 2016's Marching music for the Iowa Caucuses.  Stay tuned.

Sunday, February 2, 2020

Bloomberg and Trump have dueling Super Bowl ads on Groundhog Day

Happy, Super Bowl Sunday on Groundhog Day!  To celebrate, I'm going to write about the commercials.  Instead of ads for speculative fiction movies, I'm featuring something I've only seen once before, a political ad during a Super Bowl.*  CNN reports that there are two of them in 2020 Super Bowl ads: Trump vs. Bloomberg and they will show to a national audience.

President Donald Trump and Democratic presidential candidate Michael Bloomberg have each spent millions of dollars on TV ads for the 2020 Super Bowl. Chris Cillizza explains what this unprecedented ad buy means in the 2020 race.
I agree with Cilizza about the importance of these ads.  While the Bloomberg ad does a good job of introducing him, which is an important function of political advertising, that's not its main purpose.  Both Bloomberg's and Trump's ads show that the two campaigns have enough money to spend $10 million just to air during the Super Bowl without blinking.  That's intimidating, although, it will definitely cause the more populist campaigns, such as those of Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren, to react.

CNN linked to the ads, beginning with MSNBC's Morning Joe showing the Exclusive First Look At Bloomberg's Super Bowl Ad.

Morning Joe has an exclusive first look at 2020 Democratic candidate Michael Bloomberg's Super Bowl ad. Aired on 01/30/20.
Not only does this spot introduce Bloomberg, it showcases one of his signature issues, gun control.  It also might help him with African-Americans, who aren't particularly keen with Bloomberg because of stop and frisk.  That's one of the findings FiveThirtyEight reported in Bloomberg’s Super Tuesday Strategy Might Be Working.
Bloomberg has spent a lot of money on TV ads. In fact, he’s spent more than any other candidate running for president, including billionaire Tom Steyer, who’s also dropped a significant amount of money in some of these states. According to data from Kantar/Campaign Media Analysis Group, Bloomberg has spent an estimated $224 million on TV ad spots since entering the race, much of it concentrated in Super Tuesday states. In Texas, for instance, he has spent an estimated $24 million. And in all the Super Tuesday states combined, Bloomberg has spent about $91 million, which is four times more than what Steyer has spent (about $23 million) and more than 13 times what the rest of the Democratic candidates have spent — about $7 million.
That money seems to be paying off in both the polls and the endorsement primary. Bloomberg is hardly the most popular candidate among party elites, but he has picked up some key endorsements in recent weeks: He now has the same number of endorsement points as Buttigieg. On Monday, Rep. Scott Peters from California voiced his support for Bloomberg, making that his fifth congressional endorsement. His endorsers are geographically diverse, too, which potentially indicates his strategy is successful in building a broad base of support.

As for who exactly makes up Bloomberg’s burgeoning base, it is mostly older, wealthier and more moderate Democratic voters. This is perhaps not that surprising, considering Bloomberg has consistently branded himself as an alternative moderate candidate. For instance, per a recent national Echelon Insights poll, Bloomberg was the second-most popular candidate for moderate or conservative likely Democratic primary voters, picking up 20 percent support. Only Biden, at 23 percent, picked up more support among these voters.

But there are also signs that Bloomberg might be able to attract more support among voters of color (who make up almost half of Democratic primary voters) and those without a college degree (about 38 percent of primary voters). In December, a national Monmouth University poll found that 3 percent of nonwhite Democratic voters said they supported Bloomberg. But that figure had grown to 8 percent in its January poll. The pollster also found Bloomberg’s support among voters without a college degree grew from 4 percent in December to 10 percent in January. Fox News and SurveyUSA polls also found signs of Bloomberg diversifying his base: Fox News’s latest poll shows a 5-point uptick in support among nonwhite Democratic primary voters (5 percent to 10 percent) and a 4-point bump (2 percent to 6 percent) among non-college educated white voters since December. SurveyUSA, meanwhile, found a 5-point gain among black voters (2 percent to 7 percent) and a 6-point gain among voters with just a high school diploma since late November.
Money talks and people seem to be listening.

CNN also linked to the Trump Campaign's Super Bowl commercial, Stronger, Safer, More Prosperous.

With President Trump in office he is improving the lives of ALL Americans. Under President Trump, the economy is booming, historic tax cuts were passed, trade deals have been ren[e]gotiated, and African-American, Asian American, and Hispanic American unemployment are all at RECORD LOWS!
That caption looks like a slightly cleaned up version of one of Trump's tweets, complete with ALL CAPS and a typo.  While I would be surprised if Bloomberg's spot earns a nomination for Outstanding Commercial at this fall's Emmy Awards, I'm absolutely sure Trump's won't.  Then again, his campaign isn't interested in winning awards; it wants to win votes.

Follow over the jump for Groundhog Day news.