Big Deal

A big story in media this week is Joe Rogan, host of the popular podcast The Joe Rogan Experience, has signed an exclusive deal with Spotify that could be worth over $100 million.

Joe Rogan’s podcast has been around since 2009, and features long (two hours or more) interviews with personalities from every background and occupation.  The long-ranging, free-flowing conversations (really, they’re more conversations than traditional interviews) make for great listening, and I suspect part of the key to Rogan’s success is that he offers something for everyone.  For example, I ignore most of Rogan’s content, but I’ll never miss an interview he does with any of the various figures on the Right, from Ben Shapiro to Gavin McInnes (persona non grata from Rogan’s show these days, unfortunately).

McInnes describes Rogan as a man with a “blue-collar brain,” but who is generally open to learning.  That is, he’s rather meat-headed and unsophisticated in his analysis, but he’s willing to discuss anything with anyone (Flat Earthers, for example, are regulars on his show).  His only real sticking point, until the SJWs targeted him, was marijuana.  He lost it on Steven Crowder for merely suggesting that copious consumption of marijuana isn’t completely benign.  Yikes!

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Lazy Sunday LII: Democratic Candidates, Part I

The last week saw some major momentum for Joe Biden, as he smashed through big chunks of the Super Tuesday primaries.  Then his most logical competitors, one by one, dropped out, no doubt after receiving some threatening phone calls from the DNC.  That’s narrowed the field, essentially, to Biden and Bernie, with Congressbabe Tulsi Gabbard out there with some Somoan delegates and a dream of a debate appearance.

What seemed so unlikely even ten days ago—but was the conventional wisdom last summer—now seems plausible:  Biden, possibly struggling with dementia, is on track to become the Democratic nominee for the presidency.  There’s still a chance for a brokered convention, which would no-doubt devolve into chaos as angry Bernie Bros watched their doddering hero stripped of any chance at the nomination, but the safe bet at this point seems to be a narrow Biden win.

It’s a good reminder that these primaries can be incredibly unpredictable, but also that the establishment choice usually wins.  I remember the 2012 Republican primaries, in which, week after week, one of the second-tier candidates would take the lead, only to fall behind or get knocked out of the race.  Romney was the presumed front-runner, even though he was second in most of the polls, but none of the other candidates could stay out in the lead for long.  It finally came down to Rick Santorum to offer some kind of alternative to Romney, and he, too, fell.

It’s why so many of us were dismayed when the media was trumpeting JEB! Bush as the Republican front-runner in early 2015.  I was Trump-skeptical in those days (how wrong I was), but the thought of another Bush, even a capable one (JEB! was a great governor in Florida), getting the nomination was disheartening.  Fortunately, Trump upended everything like a bull in a gold-plated hotel china shop.

Trump’s nomination now seems like an historical aberration—one for which I am extremely thankful.  I’m hoping it’s the start of a new trend of populist firebrands (at least on the Republican side), but the circling of the DNC wagons around Biden suggests that the elites are still running the show, at least on that side of the political spectrum.  Republicans do seem to listen to their base a bit more—sometimes.

Regardless, I thought it would be interesting to look back at some posts regarding the Democratic primaries to see some of the figures that rose and fell during the process.  I’ll continue this review of recent history next Sunday.

  • Box Wine Aunties for Williamson” – a social media savvy, New Age-y guru, Marianne Williamson was all the talk in the early days of the Democratic debates.  That was during the point when the party, chastened by claims of a rigged primary season in 2016, was letting everyone and their brother get on television if they had enough small-ball donations.  Thus, Williamson became an Internet sensation.  In reading back through that post, my analysis relies a great deal on symbolism, which is increasingly important in an age in which memes and images convey complex meanings.  Buuuuut the moon-bat dropped out.
  • The Collapse of the Obama Coalition?” – The identity-politics-obsessed Left now bemoans the fact that the Democratic primaries are down to two old white dudes.  It turns out there are many Democrats that don’t care about identity politics, but in 2019 the candidate I most feared was Senator Kamala Harris, the concubine-turned-prosecutor-turned-pandering-politico who seemed to check off all the intersectional boxes.  She was a woman, black(ish), exotic—like Obama.  If anyone could revive the frayed Obama coalition of the “marginalized,” it would be her.  Of course, her inauthentic pandering to blacks was so transparent, they rejected her out-of-hand.  Turns out black folks don’t like a half-Jamaican prosecutor who pretends to know about African-American culture and who spent her career locking them up.
  • Iowa Caucuses: Disaster on the Prairie” – The Democrats love to sell themselves as do-gooding technocrats who “know how to get things done” (I’m pretty sure Elizabeth Warren has said that, with all the earnestness of every girl who cried over making a 98 on a quiz, constantly over the past year).  Yet they botched the much-watched Iowa caucuses in spectacular fashion, using suspect technology with close ties to some of the candidates to calculate the results.  Sometimes good old pencil and paper really are the way to go.  Of course, that muddying of the waters screwed up the momentum for both the Bernie and the Buttigieg camps, and may have had downstream effects on both campaigns.

That’s it for this (unintentionally long) Lazy Sunday.  Part II of this retrospective will be next week.

Happy Sunday!

—TPP

Other Lazy Sunday Installments:

Super Tuesday Results

Whoa!  The Super Tuesday results are (mostly) in, and it looks like my prediction was right:  Biden gobbled up the South, including Virginia, while Sanders held strong on the Left Coast, including Colorado (and, most significantly, California).  Politico has a nifty rundown of the results.

Biden is being propped up by the establishment wing of the Democratic Party.  Amy “The Teacher’s Pet” Klobuchar and “Mayor Pete” Buttigieg both suspended their campaigns after Biden’s big win in South Carolina.  Based on his performance in South Carolina, I figured that black voters were behind him thanks to his role as Obama’s VP.  Sanders has struggled with black voters (who, in addition to not liking homosexuals, also don’t seem to care for elderly Jewish socialists).

Now Bloomberg has dropped out, too, and thrown his support to Biden.  I called this one right as well:  he was a red herring all along.  Elizabeth Warren, who seems to reevaluating her pledge to “take it to the convention,” effectively destroyed him in the Nevada debates.  It also puts to bed the notion that the presidency can be bought (at least at this point).  Maybe if Biden had stumbled in SC (and Bloomberg had stayed out of the Nevada debate), Bloomy could have filled the vacuum of the Democratic “center,” but I doubt it.

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Phone it in Friday VI: Valentine’s Day

Happy Valentine’s Day, readers!  Don’t try going out to eat tonight—it’s going to be a mad house.  Sensible couples will probably wait and dine out on a less sexy night, like Tuesday, or pick up Taco Bell.

We’re in the midst of a glorious four-day “Winter Break.”  The great thing about teaching is all the bogus holidays.  Valentine’s Day and President’s Day just happen to bookend the weekend, so why not turn it into a slightly-extended holiday?

In the spirit of Jay Nordlinger, today’s post is going to be a series of barely-related reflections, as well as some links to the stuff you should read or watch.  Speaking of Nordlinger, how do I land a gig getting paid to write about classical music in exotic parts of the world?

But I digress.  Here are some reflections on this Day of Love:

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The Collapse of the Obama Coalition?

Yesterday, would-be authoritarian and multiracial presidential candidate Senator Kamala Harris dropped out of the Democratic primaries.  That’s shocking news, but good for the future of republic.

Early on, I (as well as Z Man) thought that Senator Harris posed a major threat.  With the Left’s supposed desire for a charismatic, exotic-but-not-too-different, intersectional candidate, Harris fit the bill.  She is basically a female Obama:  the unusual ethnic background (Jamaican and East Indian), the meteoric rise, the stentorian rhetoric, the Third World penchant for strong-man (or -woman) rule.  As a woman, she could pick up the angry professional woman vote, and as a nominal black she could pick up  black Americans.

Boy, was I wrong—thank goodness!  The black vote is hewing pretty closely to former Vice President Joe Biden, apparently because of his association with the Obama administration, which black Americans remember fondly.  The box wine auntie vote is going to Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts.  All of the suburban soccer moms, urban young professionals, and Episcopalians are going for Pete Buttigieg.

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MILF on a Hot Tin Mic

America’s favorite Dukakis-hugging moon maiden, box wine auntie, and power crystal aficionado Marianne Williamson experienced an endearing epiphany on a hot mic after a recent Fox News appearance: that the Left is really mean!

After being treated civilly by someone with different political opinions—gasp!—Williamson expressed surprise at how kind Eric Bolling was to her. The bigger realization was that her own side can be terribly cruel, even to its own (of course, conservatives have long recognized the tendency of the Left to eat its own).

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Video: Z-Man on 2020 Democratic Hopefuls

A quick post today—and for real this time—but this one will take you a little over an hour to digest.  Dissident Right blogger and podcaster Z-Man‘s latest video gives a detailed rundown of the current and prospective slate of 2020 Democratic candidates for the presidency, what he calls the “Tribal Circus“:

I’m not usually one to insist you watch a video, but Z-Man’s video is the best comprehensive analysis I’ve seen or read about the Democratic field so far.  In a no-nonsense, quite politically-incorrect way, Z-Man breaks the field down into the competing “tribes” of the Democrats, such as the “Festive Tribe” (Hispanics), the Angry Woman Tribe, etc.

His basic analysis is that Kamala Harris is probably the biggest threat, not because the American people will like or care about her radical policies, but because she ticks off some important boxes:  she’s “black” (she’s half Jamaican and half Asian, but these inconvenient genetic details won’t matter much to the general population) and a woman.  He also argues that she comes across as shrill and “b*tchy,” and thinks that will hurt her, but he has some concerns about her ability in the general election.

Late in the podcast he touches on Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard, who has become a bit of a pariah on the Left because of her stance on Syria and her meeting with Bashar al-Assad.  Z-Man hopes that, at the very least, Gabbard makes it onto the debate stage, not because he thinks she can win (he explicitly states that she won’t be able to win), but because he wants to see the resulting meltdown on stage as she and her opponents snipe each other.

For what it’s worth, I’m #MAGA, all-aboard the Trump Train, etc.  President Trump would have to eat a baby on live TV for me to not vote for him in 2020.  That said, if I had to live some kind of nightmare scenario in which only a Democrat could be president, I’d probably go with Gabbard (naturally, I’d do way more research before making that pick).  My reasoning is not solid at this point, but she’s sacrificed actual political capital in order to stand up against religious bigotry from other Congressmen.

Unless that was a calculated move in advance of a presidential bid to win over moderates, I can’t see how she had anything to gain from such a move.  It seems like a principled stand.

Regardless, enjoy Z-Man’s video on this lazy Sunday morning.  God Bless!