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This blog was updated on a daily basis for about two years, with those daily entries ceasing on December 31, 2013. The blog is still active, however, and we hope that people stopping in, who find something lacking, will add to the daily entries.

The blog still receives new posts as well, but now it receives them on items of Wyoming history. That has always been a feature of the blog, but Wyoming's history is rich and there are many items that are not fully covered here, if covered at all. Over time, we hope to remedy that.

You can obtain an entire month's listings by hitting on the appropriate month below, or an individual day by hitting on that calendar date.

We hope you enjoy this site.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

April 9

1682 Robert La Salle reached the Mississippi River.

1867  The Senate approved the purchase of Alaska.

1884  Death, on the Wind River Reservation of an elderly Shoshone woman whose grave marker lists her as Sacajawea.  She almost certainly was not, but at the time of this woman's death there were those championing that idea, and some still adhere to it.

1890  F. E. Warren inaugurated as first governor of the State of Wyoming.  Warren was a Civil War recipient of the Medal of Honor, and would shortly become Wyoming's Senator.  His daughter married John F. Pershing, and his name was later given to Cheyenne's Warren Air Force Base, which was first Ft. F. E. Warren.  He is not wholly without controversy, as he was closely associated with the Wyoming Stock Growers Association at the time of the Invasion, and it is fairly clear that he had at least some tangential involvement with the events of that time.  His association with events nearly cost him his Senatorial seat.

1890  Government conducts auction of buildings and furniture at Ft. Laramie.  Attribution:  On This Day.

1892  The siege of the Champion cabin at the KC Ranch commenced at 4:00 AM when the men built sagebrush fires for heat near the point of their intended assault. The invasion was already going badly, as in the three days since it had commenced it had advanced only 50 miles and taken no action other than to rip down a series of telegraph lines, a tactic that would be adopted by their opponents who would take it up to keep the news of the failure of the action from happening later.  Weather was playing a factor, as snowy weather took the imported Texas gunmen off guard, as they had not dressed for winter, April still being a winter month in Wyoming.  The siege at the KC would last all day long, in spite of the defenders number only three men, only one of whom was wanted by the invaders.  The invaders numbered about 50.  The invaders ultimately killed Nate Champion, who was one of their prime opponents by their reasoning, but the end of the action would see an invader casualty as well, when one of them suffered an ultimately fatal gunshot wound when his horse objected to his mounting.  Grossly overweight, the Wyoming cow pony blew up upon his attempting to re mount, ultimately throwing the rider and taking off his rifle at the same time, which discharged.  Nick Ray, who as at the Champion cabin at the time of the assault, was also killed in the battle. Two trappers who were present were basically removed from the fighting.

 Nate Champion, center, and Dud Champion, far right.  Dud Champion would be murdered by an unknown killer the following year.

Some Gave All: Last Stand of Nate Champion, Buffalo Wyoming: A monument on the corner of Big Horn and Main in Buffalo Wyoming, commemorating Nate Champions attempted dash from his cabin.

April 9, 1916:   Sunday State Leader: April 9, 1916
April 9 was a Sunday in 1916.  The Casper papers didn't print an edition on Sundays at that time.  Indeed, the big paper, if we'd call it that, for the Casper Daily Press was the Friday edition, which recapped the news of the week.

The Cheyenne paper, which Casperites would likely not be getting, did print a Sunday edition however.  This is it, for that day.

1937   Nina Moran appointed State Librarian and exofficio State Historian.  Attribution:  Wyoming State Historical Society.

1942  The Wartime Civilian Control Agency established to administer wartime internment.

1992  Gale McGee, Wyoming's Senator from 1959 to 1977, and later U.S. Ambassador to the Organization of American States, died.

2004  Marine Corps Lance Corporal Chance Phelps killed in action in Iraq.

2016:   Our entry for this date on Lex Anteinternet.

Tracking the Presidential Election, 2016, Part II

I started this thread at the commencement of the 2016 Election Season:
Tracking the Presidential Election, 2016
The focus of this blog, at least theoretically, is on events of a century ago.  Indeed, the event that really motivated the concept of a novel and hence this support blog occurred 100 years ago, and is coming right up.  So we should be looking at the 1916 Presidential election.
That election, as the readers here well know, featured Woodrow Wilson in a contest against Charles E. Hughes. Wilson, of course, campaigning on "He kept us out of war" won.

President Woodrow Wilson.
Charles E. Hughes.  Maybe the beard, in the post bearded era, did in his chances.
I can't compare that election to the current one, as it was nothing like it.  I can compare, and often have, President Obama with President Wilson (without Wilson's racism, however) as in my view they're both guilty of confusing talk with action.
When I did that it was my intent to run that thread all the way through to the end of the campaign.
It's proven to be impossible, however, as the thread has grown impossibly large, and now when I update it the effect is to wipe out all of the other posts on the first page of the blog.  It's basically threatening to suck the life out of the blog, the same way this election is sucking the life out of the country, or so it seems.
So, I've decided to stop trying to update one single entry and start a part two.  There may be more parts later on, depending upon how things go.  There probably will be.
And this is a good point at which to do this, as the race really seems to have turned a corner recently.  It isn't the same race that the pundits were declaring inevitable results for just a couple of weeks ago, although it should be noted that we never did that here.
So, here's part two.
First, the tell of the tape as of today, following the Wisconsin victory for Cruz and Sanders, and the Colorado victory for Sanders.
Democrats (needed to win 2,383)
Clinton:  1,740, or 1,739 (469 Superdelegates)
Sanders:  1055 or 1070 (31 Superdelegates).
Martin O'Malley:  1 (now out)
Republicans (needed to win, 1,237)
Donald Trump:  737 or 753 (1 of which is an unpledged delegate)
Ted Cruz: 505 or 478 (12 of which are unpledged).
Marco Rubio: 171 or 173  (now out)
John Kasich: 143 or 144
Ben Carson: 8  (now out)
Jeb Bush: 4  (now out).
Carly Fiorina:  1 (now out)
Ron Paul:  1 (now out).
First let us note that the Trump tallies have gone down, that's right, down, since the last tally.
And Marco Rubio's have gone up.  Yes, up, even though he's out.
This race is far from over.
Now, I've been saying that all along, in spite of the press treatment of this race as being over and Trump and Clinton as being the nominees.  They aren't the nominees yet.
And there's more than a fair chance they won't be.
Indeed the pundits have now stated that the race is up in the air.  Last weekend one of them actually blew up at the assertion that Sanders couldn't win the Democratic nomination and that Trump had won the Republican nomination.  And there's suddenly a lot of discussion of the convention rules and what they mean, or the fact that there really aren't any rules.
A lot of things have gone into this, including a sharper focus in the GOP race on the various positions and statements of the candidates. And in spite of the assertions to the contrary, Kasich remaining in the race appears to be hurting Trump but not helping Cruz.  On the Democratic side discontent with Clinton and a surprisingly broad appeal for Sanders is making it far from certain that Clinton will gain enough delegates to prevent a contested convention.
And, as one of the pundits this past weekend finally admitted, there really is no prior convention or even election that provides a useful guild, as up until recently the conventions weren't dominated by primary elections, but by state conventions. So, we may be back, oddly enough, to the old free form convention of old.  Indeed, I suspect we are.
So, given that, my prediction right now is that neither the GOP or the Democrats enter conventions with the result of the race determined.
And if that occurs, on the GOP side Trump will not be the nominee.  He lacks a majority of the delegates now, and that may still be the case by the convention.  And, if he has a plurality, it will not matter.  I'd give Cruz less than a 50% chance of being the nominee as well.  Kasich, maybe, but more likely than that a candidate not currently running.
And while I think it more likely that Clinton take the nomination in a contested convention, I don't think its a guaranteed result by any means.  Sanders still stands a chance, as does a candidate not running at the present time, including Biden.  Sanders is actually within striking distance of Clinton on pledged delegates, and if his tally exceeds that of Clinton's the Superdelegates may truly being to fall apart for Clinton. At least some will defect, or being to look for a compromise candidate.
For the first time in a very long time, it's actually possible that the candidates in the fall might not be those who ran prior to the conventions.
First Commentary Followup
The real nature of the national contests this year is showing up in a surprising way locally. Wyoming is actually getting a lot of attention from the various campaigns, save for the Kasich campaign, which might tell us something about it. 
The Democrats hold their county conventions this Saturday.  The vote at the county level will determine the elected delegates.  The Superdelegates have already pledged for Clinton in spite of the strong state wide general dislike of Clinton. 
Demonstrating how tight this race really is, at the local and national level, both campaigns have sent representatives of surprising nature here recently.  Earlier this week Jane Sanders spoke in Casper.  On the same day, Bernie Sanders spoke in Laramie.  The choice of Laramie, Wyoming's most liberal town (omitted Jackson, whose demographics don't reflect the state very well) was a wise one showing some knowledge of demographics in the state on the part of somebody.
And Sanders has been running television ads. These may be the first Democratic pre convention ads to be ever run in the state.
The Clinton's sent Bill Clinton to Cheyenne.  In Cheyenne he gave a speech where he mentioned the plight of coal.  That shows that they're paying attention to what is going on in the state, but it's also the sort of thing that is fueling the sort of cynicism that is drawing in a lot of people to Trump and Sanders this year.  I doubt very much that anyone here thinks the Clinton's really feel that coal has a long term future in the national energy picture.  Sanders is opposed to fracking, which is part of his national plank, which will mean than in a general election he'll be a flop here, amongst other reasons, but at least he's honest about it.
The Republican state convention is on April 12.  The GOP system is odd as the county conventions have already been held and chose delegates, with nine out of twelve going for Cruz.  The remainder of the twenty-nine total will be chosen at the state convention.
Cruz will come and address the convention, again showing how tight the national election is.  The Trump campaign is sending Sarah Palin to address the GOP convention.  Idaho Governor Butch Otter will cross the state lines to address the delegates for Kasich.
On the Kasich campaign, their choice is the oddest and saddest, and they basically haven't mounted a campaign here. Perhaps that's because they felt that they didn't have a chance here, or perhaps they don't have the cash or the base. There were Rubio supporters in Wyoming although Rubio did not show well at the county conventions.  This is all odd as Cruz is vulnerable for his stated views, in Idaho, about public lands.  Public lands in public hands is a huge issue here and the vast majority of Wyomingites are hugely in favor of keeping it that way.  Trump is known to favor keeping the lands in public hands, Cruz actually favors privatizing them.  Kasich's views are unknown, but if his views on this issue mirrored Trump's, Clinton's and Sander's, he'd have an opening I suspect.  A lot of the votes going to Cruz here now are simply going to him as he's not Sanders.  Otherwise I suspect the support isn't deep.  Cruz is definitely running the best, and most politically astute, campaign here on the GOP side.


April 8, 2016

Updated totals following Colorado.

Democrats (needed to win 2,383)
Clinton:  1,767 (469 Superdelegates)
Sanders:  1 110 (31 Superdelegates)
Martin O'Malley:  1 (now out)
Republicans (needed to win, 1,237)
Donald Trump:  743 (1 of which is an unpledged delegate)
Ted Cruz: 520 (12 of which are unpledged).
Marco Rubio: 171 or 173  (now out)
John Kasich: 143 or 144
Ben Carson: 8  (now out)
Jeb Bush: 4  (now out).
Carly Fiorina:  1 (now out)
Ron Paul:  1 (now out).


Why is a Clinton victory regarded as inevitable, when she has over 600 delegates left to capture, while a brokered convention in the GOP is regarded as likely when Trump is about 500 delegates away from securing the GOP nomination?

I'm not saying that a Trump victory is inevitable. Rather, I"m saying that a Clinton victory isn't.

April 10, 2016

Yesterday the Wyoming Democratic Caucus was held.  Here's the new table:

Democrats:  Needed to win, 2,383.

Clinton: 1,774 (469 of which are Superdelegates)

Sanders:  1,117 (31 of which are Superdelegates)

Republicans:  Needed to win, 1,237.

Trump:  743 (of which 1 is an unpledged delegates).

Cruz:  532 (of which 12 are unpledged delegates)

Rubio:  171.  Rubio has suspended his campaign.

Kasich:  143.

Carson:  8  Carson has suspended his campaign.

Bush:  4  Carson has suspended his campaign.

Fiorina:  1  Fiorina has dropped out of the race.

Paul:  1  Paul has dropped out of the race.


Okay, a couple of comments.

First of all, these tallies are based on those kept by the New York Times.  You can find alternate ones that vary, sometimes quite significantly.  None of the alternate tallies impact who is the front runner, but they truly are different.  The Times is generally a lower tally.

Part of this might be based on the fact that there's actually more doubt in who takes what in terms of delegates than might initially appear to be the case.  So at any one time time, there could be a 20 delegate swing in the top contenders.  Indeed, these tallies tend to change a bit days after an election is supposedly concluded as the actual picking of the delegates commences.

Next, the Wyoming Democratic vote was yesterday.  This vote is very illustrative of a couple of things.  One of them is that Hillary Clinton has a huge likeability problem.  The second one is that Sanders has a very difficult time getting to where he needs to be even "winning" a state.

You'd have expected that a well established candidate link Clinton would have blown the doors off the Sanders campaign bus against Sanders.  Wyoming's basic outlook on things tends towards the Libertarian, and Sanders Socialist world outlook is about as far from the average Wyomingites as can be imagined.  None the less, Sanders took over 50% of the Democratic vote.  A lot of that is simply because people don't like Hillary Clinton.  Even with the endorsement of one of the state's former governors Clinton couldn't take the state in terms of the popular vote.

None the less, in delegate breakdown, she took the same number of elected delegates that Sanders did.  They each took seven. So if its a "victory", it's a Pyrrhic victory.  The real result is a wash.  Neither candidate really pulled ahead.  If Sanders can really pull ahead somehow, the seven delegates he took in Wyoming might matter.  But right now they surely do not.  Moreover, all of the state's superdelegates are presently pledged to Clinton, giving us an example of exactly what Sanders has been saying shouldn't happen. The majority of Wyoming Democrats, barely, might want Sanders, but the majority of the state's delegates, after the superdelegates are considered, are going to Clinton.

How the Democrats got themselves into this mess is interesting, but then both parties are in a mess right now.  The Democrats are set to nominate the most unlikable candidate they've run in a century.  She is so unlikable that she should be easy pickings for the GOP, but for the fact that the GOP seems to be heading towards nominating the least electable candidate of their own since 1964.  The parties, if their front runners win the nomination, will pit two candidates against each other that are hugely unpopular with large segments of the American public.  Perhaps, in an odd way, that wouldn't be a bad result as none of the front runners is likely to have much truck with Congress.  And that would include those in second position.  Cruz is barely more liked by average Americans than Trump.  Sanders is generally liked but his positions on almost everything are not going to be taken seriously by Congress.

For these reasons, oddly, the best hope for both parties are contested conventions resulting in the picking of somebody other than somebody now running.  There's a relatively good chance of that happening with the GOP and a slight chance of that happening with the Democrats.  With the Republicans, basically, if the current trend in the primaries continues that will happen.  With the Democrats, it's unlikely unless the Superdelegates bolt in mass, which perhaps would be the best service they could offer their party at this time.

On one final item, there's now a building movement to draft Gen. James Mattis as a GOP candidate or even as a Third Party candidate.  This hasn't gone far enough yet to regard there being a high likelihood of it happening, but there's definitely talk of it occurring.  The retired Marine Corps general was popular with servicemen who served with him, and he's not a professional politician.  He reportedly has some big money behind a campaign to draft him, although there's no evidence that he's supporting the movement himself.  It's an interesting development that should be watched.

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