Why Bernie Sanders needs to talk about race

The Supreme Court didn’t decide the election in 2000. Neither did Ralph Nader steal votes from the Democrats. Al Gore lost because he benched the best campaigner, Bill Clinton.

Gore was embarrassed by Clinton’s sexual misadventures and so didn’t have him campaign in traditional Democratic strongholds. The voter turnout was low enough in key states, such as Florida, that the race was close. It didn’t need to be close.

In a general election, Bernie Sanders or Hillary Clinton don’t have to win votes from Donald Trump, Scott Walker, or any of the core Republican candidates. They have to energize their disaffected constituencies – minorities and young people in particular. If  black voters aren’t excited about Bernie, they’re not going to switch to any Republican in any significant numbers; they’re going to stay home. If Hillary can’t engage young people, they’re not going to vote for Marco Rubio in any significant numbers; they’re going to stay home.

Sanders has charmed the white liberals and made the campaign for the 2016 nomination interesting. If he is the nominee (largely because Clinton stumbles), most of the Clinton supporters will have little trouble voting for him. That, however, isn’t enough to win the election. He needs enthusiasm in the black community. So far, as noted by Clive McFarland, he’s embarrassingly unprepared.

There are some moderate, undecided voters who will study each candidate and make a choice on election day. I wish that the election was about winning their hearts and minds. Sadly, though, their numbers won’t matter compared the bigger impact of each part energizing its natural constituency.

The election will be decide more by who doesn’t vote than by who does.

I was the egg man

For most of my early working life, I was a short-order cook.

The biggest technical advancement in my era was the addition of a microwave oven,  one of those big units with a label warning people with pacemakers to keep their distance.

If you haven’t already discovered it, eggs will explode inside a microwave. There are a few ways to make this not happen, but none that made cooking an egg faster or better than on a grill or in a pot of boiling water.

EggMaster in action

Nevertheless, gadget-makers continue to try to improve egg cooking. As this article from The Guardian shows, they’ve yet to make much progress. The device produces “…without warning, a flaccid, spongy log half jumps from the machine, writhing like an alien parasite in search of a host body.”

The article links to Amazon UK. American readers can find a similar product on Amazon in the good, old US of A.