Tuesday, May 24, 2016

1883: Happy birthday to The Brooklyn Bridge

It took 14 years, and sadly 27 lives, but The Brooklyn Bridge opened on this day in 1883.   It connected Brooklyn and New York City.   It was designed by John A. Roebling.
President Chester Arthur, and Governor of New York & future President Grover Cleveland, presided over the ceremony. It was the largest suspension bridge ever built to that date.

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A few songs to remember Bob Dylan's birthday

Bob Dylan is is a year older today. I guess that he is old enough to collect Social Security.

He was born Robert Zimmerman in Duluth, Minnesota. He changed his stage name to Bob Dylan.

Dylan wrote a lot of good songs. My favorite is still "Mr. Tambourine Man":


Dylan wrote "It ain't me babe" and it was performed by The Turtles"


Joan Baez recorded a lot of Dylan songs. My favorite was "Love is a four letter word":


Peter, Paul & Mary recorded "Blowing in the wind"


Happy birthday Bob Dylan!

1935: Phillies vs Reds and the first night game

Most major league games are now played at night, including the post season.    Afternoon baseball is primarily on weekends or opening day.   
The first night game was on this day in 1935:   The Reds beat the Phillies 2-1 before 25,000 happy home team fans!
NIght baseball became a reality in the 1940s.  
The first World Series night game was game 4 in 1971 when the Pirates beat the Orioles.   A few years later, millions watched the 1975 Boston-Cincinnati series.
Most post season games are now under the lights to maximize the TV audience.
The good news about baseball under the lights is that you can tap into prime TV audiences.   The bad news is that a lot of little kids can’t stay up to watch the final innings.    In other words, millions of kids have grown up never seeing the last out of the series.    
Last, but not least, the Cubs did not turn on the lights until 1988!

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Mr. Trump: Check out Bush ’04 and Abbott ’14 and Hispanic support

The latest polls confirm that Mr. Trump is in a big hole with Hispanic voters: 77% unfavorable.
I saw some of this a few weeks ago at a social gathering. We went to a birthday party and everyone there had voted for Romney but one. In other words, Romney beat Obama 9-1 at that table. My friends were Hispanic professionals and most were naturalized citizens like me. Trump will not win 9-1 with those Hispanics. They are furious with Trump and my friends do not support amnesty.
Maybe it’s time for the Trump people to look at two winning electoral strategies: Bush 2004 and Abbott 2014 in Texas.
In 2004, President Bush was reelected with 51% of the popular vote and 286 electoral votes.
Bush did well with men, religious people, and married women. He won the white vote 58-41%.
Believe it or not, Romney did about the same in 2012: Romney got 59% of the white vote!
So why did Bush get 51% and Romney 48% of the popular vote? The answer is Hispanics: 44% of the Hispanic vote for Bush vs high 20s for Romney.
Down in Texas, Abbott won a landslide for governor in 2014:
Some exit polls also showed GOP governor-elect Greg Abbott winning 44 percent of the Latino vote, a higher percentage than the 38 percent Republican Gov. Rick Perry won in 2010.
I should add that Governor Perry was never seen as anti-Hispanic. Also, Ms. Davis turned off a lot of Hispanic women over abortion.
Mr. Abbott adopted the attitude that the GOP would ask Hispanics for their vote. He spoke about crime on the border but did not single out Mexicans or used the words rapists or criminals. He addressed the violence as a national security issue and was more critical of the Obama administration than people coming over.
Finally, President Bush or Governor Abbott did not call for open borders or amnesty.
The Trump people keep telling me that demographics do not matter. It’s “old school”, as a Trump supporter told me.
But demographics matter and it’s up to the Trump team to see the Hispanic challenge that he faces today.
In 2012, President Obama got 5 million votes more than Governor Romney. Do the Trump people really think that they are going to convert Democrats or bring in new voters and have it add up to 5 million?
The good news is that Mr. Trump has time. He will find an audience among Hispanics who care a lot more about the economy than immigration. But, Mr. Trump has to get started and I don’t mean naming a Latina as VP. He should speak to Hispanics about jobs and the lousy public schools that their kids go to.
P.S. You can listen to my show (Canto Talk) and follow me on Twitter.

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The Hispanic vote in 2016 with Israel Ortega

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Monday, May 23, 2016

Obama, Ho & Che

President Obama’s last year in office has been marked by two awful photos.
The first one was in Cuba with Che in the background.   It caused an outrage as many of you remember reading in this blog.
President Obama’s latest photo will upset more than just Cuban Americans. In other words, most Americans remember Ho Chi Minh and the 60,000 troops lost in Vietnam.
President Obama did not have to stand in front of these tributes to Che and Ho.
He could have told the leaders of Cuba and Vietnam that such displays were unacceptable.
So what does it say about President Obama?   It tells us that he is ignorant of history and not too concerned about the families of those killed in Vietnam.    
He is the Obama who sat in Reverend Wight’s church all of those years!

P.S. You can listen to my show (Canto Talk) and follow me on Twitter.

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Party like it’s 1824?

In the interest of full disclosure, everyone of my 2016 predictions has turned out to be wrong. I have not been this “streaky bad” since Rich Dauer of the Orioles went 1-for-41 to start the 1977 season. Dauer turned it around and became a very good player with the Orioles that won the AL pennant in 1979 and World Series in 1983. I’m hoping the same for my predictions.
I feel good about this one: We will have four candidates in 2016 and the election will go to the House.    
Yes, we see new polls that show Mr Trump beating Mrs. Clinton. He leads in Rasmussen (42-37%) and Fox (45-42%).   
Am I the only one who sees that those numbers don’t add up to a 100%? In other words, there are a lot of people in those polls who are staying home or have not decided for Trump or Clinton. My guess is that these undecided would go away if there were other choices.
The undecided confirms what Bill Kristol said over the weekend:
Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump are manifestly among the worst presidential candidates ever to be presented to the American people by their respective parties. Yet our politicians are paralyzed, the donors are uncertain, and the smart set in general looks on with world-weary gaze and looks down with disdainful aspect at those who would like to provide the American people with a better alternative.
The American people know better. A high-quality national poll conducted recently by Data Targeting finds an astonishing 58 percent of the public very dissatisfied (34 percent) or somewhat dissatisfied (24 percent) with the current Republican and Democratic presidential candidates. By contrast, only 9 percent of respondents say they’re very satisfied and 21 percent are somewhat satisfied. If you add the 11 percent who are neither satisfied nor dissatisfied or who are unsure to the 58 percent who are dissatisfied, you get 69 percent of the public as a pool from which an independent candidate can prospect. And indeed that’s why 65 percent of respondents say in answering another question they are very willing (22 percent), pretty willing (10 percent), or somewhat willing (33 percent) to support someone who’s neither the Republican nor the Democratic party’s nominee. Furthermore, in a ballot test, when given a choice between Trump, Clinton, and an independent candidate, the independent gets 21 percent support, within hailing range of Trump’s 34 percent and Clinton’s 31 percent — which makes it very likely the independent candidate could get into the fall debates with the two major-party nominees. And possible that he or she could go on to win the presidency.
This is why I believe that four candidates will get votes this November. The Green Party will drive Mrs. Clinton down. Another candidate will drive Mr. Trump down.    
At the end of the night, no one will reach 270 electoral votes and it will go to the House.
In 1824, election day ended up like this: Andrew Jackson (99 EVs), John Quincy Adams (84), William H. Crawford (41) and Henry Clay (37). No one got a majority!
In 2016, the election would go to a House likely to be in GOP hands. In the end, the candidate, say Romney, with the strongest ties to the GOP would win. It could go the other way if the Democrats win the House. Mrs. Clinton would likely win under that scenario.     
It sounds as crazy as my prediction that Mr. Trump would not survive the primaries or that Mrs. Clinton would have all wrapped up after New Hampshire.      
Finally, a president elected in the House will be sworn in but it won’t be easy. We remember how many Democrats reacted to President Bush after losing the popular vote in 2000.   
Buckle your seat belts, because the turbulence of 2016 is really just getting started.
P.S. You can listen to my show (Canto Talk) and follow me on Twitter.

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1934: Bonnie & Clyde killed by police

Bonnie & Clyde were killed on this day in 1934:
“Famed fugitives Clyde Barrow and Bonnie Parker are killed in a police ambush near Sailes, Louisiana. A contingent of officers from Texas and Louisiana set up along the highway, waiting for Bonnie and Clyde to appear, and then unloaded a two-minute fusillade of 167 bullets at their car, killing the criminal couple.”
And the rest is history.

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We remember Rosemary Clooney (1928-2003)

We remember one of the great voices of American pop music.
Rosemary Clooney was born on this day in 1928:
Rosemary Clooney was born on May 23, 1928, in Maysville, Kentucky. She sang and toured with a big band in the 1940s and eventually signed with Columbia Records as a solo artist. Her first No. 1 hit was “Come On-a My House” in 1951. In the 1950s, she starred in White Christmas with Bing Crosby and had her own television show. Clooney was twice married to actor Jose Ferrer and received a lifetime Grammy in 2002. She died of lung cancer in 2002.

Clooney was before my time.   However, her lovely voice and style live on in recordings, TV and movie clips.    One of her big hits was “Hey there”:

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The week in review with Bill Katz, the editor of Urgent Agenda

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