IT’S ELECTION DAY IN CALIFORNIA!
Yes, I know, that was yesterday. My perplexing job in these columns is to make some comment the day before when you’ll be reading it the day after, without coming off as a schmuck. (Too late, Charles, some would say. As far back as grade school. And that’s in Catholic grade school. But that’s between me and my priest. And his therapist. And his parole officer.)
Prognostication in regards to elections has become not just much more pronounced, high tech and influential, but a cottage industry (OK, a big fat mansion industry), a “science” (but it isn’t – Dewey wasn’t the last time they got it wrong). We have to tune in earlier and earlier on election nights to find out “who won” because it will be not just predicted but declared before you can get supper on the table, from one tenth of one percent of voters as they exit. (Maybe we should start a campaign to get everyone to lie to exit pollsters, to take our elections back! California counts!)
Speaking of declared – Hillary refrained from declaring her coronation… uh, nomination, at her rally in Long Beach Monday, but she famously announced it three weeks ago in a CNN interview. None of these are oversight or slips of the tongue, but calculated political moves. Oh yes, Bernie makes them too, he is a politician, but I still find him much more transparent, up-front, consistent and honest than any national politician I’ve ever seen. When will we see his like again? (Oh, yeah – Elizabeth Warren. Who should be our first woman president, right after Bernie’s two terms.)
CAN’T WIN, CAN’T WIN, CAN’T WIN!
From the beginning the hit from Hillary’s people has been that Bernie can’t win, and it continues through these last primaries and right into the convention. Actually, “he can’t win” has changed to, “he lost!” I was shocked to hear a good friend, very smart and informed, echo the fallacy. He was certain superdelegates are elected, and of course they are not. They are the Democratic Party’s elite (big donors, elected officials, career politicos), given a “special say” – I would say, it’s their mechanism for making sure no one “unacceptable” gets nominated. (The GOP wishes they had that mechanism, right now.) It is a shameful, undemocratic system that needs to go. (As does DNC Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz, but that’s another story.)
As of Tuesday morning, Hillary had 1,812 delegates, Bernie 1,512 – you need 2,383. With six states plus D.C. remaining, 813 delegates were still up for grabs, including those from California – the largest state in the country.
Sanders spokesman Michael Briggs wrote Monday, “It is unfortunate that the media, in a rush to judgement, are ignoring the Democratic National Committee’s clear statement that it is wrong to count the votes of superdelegates before they actually vote at the convention this summer.
“Secretary Clinton does not have and will not have the requisite number of pledged delegates to secure the nomination. She will be dependent on superdelegates who do not vote until July 25 and who can change their minds between now and then. They include more than 400 superdelegates who endorsed Secretary Clinton 10 months before the first caucuses and primaries and long before any other candidate was in the race.
“Our job from now until the convention is to convince those superdelegates that Bernie is by far the strongest candidate against Donald Trump.”
WHERE ARE THE JOURNALISTS?
Yet, I’m struggling to find examples of national media who had not already declared her the nominee by Monday. In spite of the facts. It really is embarrassing to be a journalist these days. I looked up many definitions of “journalist” and didn’t find what I thought I would. Has the definition changed? Most limit it to someone who gathers and presents “the news,” period. Without any qualification about facts, balance, honesty or verification. There used to be all the difference in the world between Pravda and CBS/Reuters/BBC, and everyone understood it. For real news organizations, credibility is crucial. This is not academic, folks. Not just the concern of journalists or social scientists. A society cannot remain free without a free press. We must be truthfully and accurately informed. Our founding fathers knew that. Hitler understood it. Donald Trump clearly understands it.
ALEX EVICTED AGAIN
It ain’t over. I’ve reported before about efforts by his landlord, the Kotlar family, to get him out. “Alex” (Ygnacio) has been repairing Santa Monicans shoes for 35 years, with pride and skill. Even though his rent has jumped enormously in recent years, he told me the recently vacated small storefront next door to him will now rent for $4,000 a month, double what he pays. Not good.
The new eviction notice, he told me, was signed by the wife in the family, Fanny, after the previous one signed by son Jack was invalidated by Alex’s lawyer. He now has a new lawyer to go along with a new eviction notice (and a new legal fee), but neither the new lawyer, the previous one nor anyone from the firm, nor anyone from the Kotlar family, returned my calls by press time.
WELCOME BACK, BILL BAUER!
For nearly two months we had to live without his popular and pithy “My Write” column, running for years now in the Daily Press. Bill had to deal with some medical issues but obviously they did not surgically remove his sass. I visited him during his hiatus, and I want to acknowledge two who were really there for him. I think Bill’s friend Ron Hooks, who has been working for years with the homeless in this area, was there every single day. Bill told me the best way anyone could help him, would be to contribute to Hooks’ West Coast Care.
Bill’s small room was often crowded with cops. No, he’s not dangerous (that way). He has worked for years with our SMPD, riding patrols and especially dealing with homeless issues himself. They obviously care for him a lot, and the feeling is mutual.
QUOTE OF THE WEEK: “Now that’s what makes America great!” – William Black (watching and listening to a DVD of MC5)
Charles Andrews has lived in Santa Monica for 30 years and wouldn’t live anywhere else in the world. Really. Send love and/or rebuke to him at firstname.lastname@example.org.