2:00PM Water Cooler 7/19/2018

By Lambert Strether of .

Patient readers, I got wrapped around the axle on Obama’s Long Con. Much more in a bit. Here are a few snippets to get you going. –lambert UPDATE All done!

Trade

“U.S. launches national security probe into uranium imports in apparent new trade war front” []. “The Commerce Department has started an investigation into the impact of uranium imports on U.S. national security, a move that could limit future imports and add another front to the Trump administration’s trade fight. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said Wednesday that the United States produces just 5 percent of the uranium it needs for the U.S. military and for electricity generation, down from nearly half in 1987.” • That fragile supply chain…

“Trump says U.S. may pursue separate trade deal with Mexico” []. “President Donald Trump said on Wednesday the United States may hammer out a trade deal with Mexico, and then do a separate one with Canada later, sowing fresh doubts about the future of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).”

Politics

2020

All in the framing (1):

Divine knew.

— Eric Nelson (@Oogabooga)

2018

“Dozens of Democrats are endorsing Md.’s Republican governor. Will it matter?” []. “But Gov. Larry Hogan is hoping that the 40 Democrats — and counting — who have endorsed him in recent days will be a potent weapon in his campaign to defeat Democratic nominee Ben Jealous and become the first Republican governor to win a second term in Maryland since 1954. ‘I’m a Democrat supporting Governor Larry Hogan because his actions over the last four years transcend party politics,’ said Dennis Donaldson, who served as a state lawmaker in the 1980s, in a statement posted on Hogan’s Twitter Friday with the hashtag #DemocratsForHogan. Dozens of similar sentiments have been tweeted since July 3, and Hogan campaign officials say more are coming.” • These are real Democrats, and you’d better neutralize them before they neutralize you.

“Centrist Democrat Runs as an Independent to Thwart Democratic Socialist Who Won Primary” []. “Montgomery County, Maryland, which is one of the bluest counties in one of the bluest states in the country, may end up being represented by a Republican thanks to a centrist Democrat’s recently announced campaign. Democrat Nancy Floreen — who has currently serving her fourth term on the county council — is now running as an independent in this year’s county executive race, which is between Democrat Marc Elrich and Republican Robin Ficker. ‘I am determined to give Montgomery County a third, independent choice come November,’ Floreen told the Washington Post, saying that the two major party nominees were ‘flawed extremes.’ • AOC, Ben Jealous, now this. It’s quite clear that liberal Democrats will run straws and seek to defeat left (or even non-establishment) Democrats (as we learned long ago with Lamont v. Lieberman). That reveals “But Bernie’s not even a real Democrat!” as the vile hypocrisy that it is, but then we knew that. And there’s no point whinging about norms; just win, baby.

“Jayapal Endorses Opponent Of Fellow Justice Democrat In Washington 9th” []. “United States Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal extended her endorsement to Democratic incumbent Adam Smith, who was first elected as the congressional representative of Washington’s 9th district in 1997. Congressman Smith endorsed Jayapal in her 2016 run for the House… Jayapal would win her race to become the House representative for Washington’s 7th district in the United States Congress. Her endorsement for Congressman Smith would not raise eyebrows if not for his top challenger, Sarah Smith. Washington state has a unique ‘top-two’ primary where the top two vote earners; regardless of party, move on to the November general election. Sarah Smith has run a grassroots campaign which has led to her receiving endorsements from numerous progressive organizations including Our Revolution Washington Berniecrats Coalition (WABC), Progressive Party of Washington, Our Revolution King County (Jayapal represents King County), The Progressive Ballot, Demand Universal Healthcare (DUH), and Justice Democrats. Sarah is expected to advance to the general election along with Rep. Smith after the August 7th primary. Rep. Jayapal is also endorsed by Justice Democrats….” • One wonders if there’s some way for Justice Democrats to discipline her….

“Democrats’ 2018 slogan: ‘For the People'” []. “Why it matters: Dems are trying to capture what they stand for by simplifying their economy-focused “A Better Deal” message, but neither slogan will inspire Democratic voters the way Trump’s ‘Make America Great Again’ broke through with Republicans.” • I know I ran this in Links, but I really wanted an excuse to run this exchange:

Daniel's right on this "verb, proper noun, value-laden adjective, even more charged adverb" business. Also: "for the people" leaves off the 2 key parts of Lincoln's statement: "of the people, by the people." That was the democratic triad. W/o that, it's just: we'll do for you.

— corey robin (@CoreyRobin)

Looks like the liberal Democrats read that Gallup poll that says voters don’t care about Russiarussiarussia:

Just got an email with survey from Kamala Harris asking what issue I consider most important, and "Russia Investigation" was listed 2nd which seemed like a fairly obvious effort to get more clicks for that. I picked climate change :)

— The Teacher Liberation Front (TLF)🎄🦄📚🏔️ (@e_rock1980)

NY-14: “Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Knows She Can’t Save America All By Herself” []. “It’s this ‘different’ playbook that Ocasio-Cortez credits with her success. ‘It’s not just that I’m a woman of color running for office,’ she says. ‘It’s the way that I ran. It’s the way that my identity formed my methods. Because if I was still a woman of color, but I was playing by their playbook, I’m convinced I would’ve gotten squashed. What the people on this campaign accomplished was groundbreaking on so many levels.’ She checks off all the things that were ‘supposed’ to happen to her. ‘Nobody ever wins the first time they run for office. Nobody’s ever supposed to win their first bid for office. Nobody’s ever supposed to win without taking lobbyists’ money, no one’s ever supposed to defeat an incumbent, no one’s ever supposed to run a grassroots campaign without running any ads on television,’ she rattles them off. ‘We did all of those things.'” • Very hopeful, which is nice.

KS-04: “Bernie Sanders rally outgrows Orpheum, moved to Century II” []. “A Friday political rally featuring former Democratic presidential contender Bernie Sanders and rising progressive star Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has been moved to the Century II Convention and Performing Arts Center [capacity 5,000] after rapidly outgrowing its original venue at the Orpheum [capacity 1,400]. Sanders and Ocasio-Cortez are coming to Wichita to stump for Democratic congressional candidate James Thompson.” • Readers, if any of you, please report!

KS-04: “To Combat ‘Political Malpractice’ of Democrats in the Midwest, Sanders and Ocasio-Cortez Joining Forces to Boost Progressive Agenda in Kansas” []. “‘I’ve believed for years that the Democratic Party has committed political malpractice by writing off half the states in this country,’ said Sanders. ‘They’ve got to fight for every state in this country.'”

WS-01: “Questions raised about payment made by lawyer to Randy Bryce’s ex-girlfriend” []. “Congressional candidate Randy Bryce owed money to his ex-girlfriend for more than a decade. That debt — which totaled about $4,200 by late last year — has since been paid. What’s unclear is exactly who paid it.” • Cathy Myers does seem to be hanging around…

New Cold War

Thread on the latest gaslighting episode on McFaul. Worth a read:

OK so a lot of misdirected attention on the Russian request to "arrest/question former US ambassador to Russia McFaul" — perhaps worth a quick thread

— Pwn All The Things (@pwnallthethings)

In short form, the Russians are trying to send a signal. However, the liberal Democrats are yammering so loudly that the Trump administration may not hear it, even if they were competent to receive and decode it, which is unlikely.

Justin Armash on Helsinki; thread:

A thread for my fellow libertarians on the :

— Justin Amash (@justinamash)

The Liberal Democrats Have Lost Their Minds

Neera Tanden with a clenched fist power move:

always on the front lines of what is absolute shit about modern Democrats.

— Kamala Harris is a Cop (@BethLynch2020)

And if that was PhotoShopped, this one was too:

. got a rockstar reception at !

— Matt Rogers (@Politidope)

The sign reads: “I hope they used condoms when Trump took it up the ass from Putin.” OK, we get it. Being gay means you’re weak. A strange message from liberal Democrats, but as Obama , these are “strange and uncertain times.” Frankly, I’m baffled. Is it stupidity, or calcuation? But if it’s calculation, and the liberals really want to own the conservatives on this, my thought is that Neera could have fund some Astroturf groups. “Faggots for Putin,” say. Or “Trump’s Gay Agenda.” Idea:

Maybe The World’s Greatest Newspaoer could run some Op-Eds from them. After Louise Mensch, why not?

I figured there was a 50/50 chance the would apologize—or at least in some way acknowledge the many complaints about their homophobic garbage. Three days later…nothing…still up… 🤔

— Scott Wooledge 🌹 (@Clarknt67)

“How Russia Conquered America — Without Firing a Bullet” []. “Everyone had lost faith in the system. The urbans dropped out of civic life entirely. The rurals attached themselves to civic life with a vengeance — but only for a perverse purpose — to destroy the very government that had failed them.” • The prose is less deranged than the headline, but still a trifle… schematic. For example, if the “urbans” had dropped out of civic life, would still be a viable business model.

Obama Legacy

All in the framing (2):

Hypothesis: winning the presidency and a filibuster proof majority amid a disastrous war and financial crisis, only to then promptly lose Congress, the White House and most statehouses — this qualifies as the most epic self-own in modern American history.

Discuss.

— David Sirota (@davidsirota)

Realignment and Legitimacy

“Michelle Obama wades into the midterms” []. “Michelle Obama is jumping into the 2018 campaigns with a voter registration initiative that will be strictly nonpartisan — exciting and frustrating top Democrats who’d like the popular former first lady to actively campaign for candidates.” • So Michelle is “wading” in a thoroughly bipartisan matter, doing — — what ought to be done as a core party function 24/7/365. But then the liberal Democrats don’t really want to enfrancise more voters, do they?

“Inside the Democratic Party: Major changes ahead as Unity Reform Commission proposal moves forward” []. • I read this twice. I couldn’t understand it.

“A Critical Factor In 2020: Democrats Make Significant Cut To Caucus States” []. “By next year, Democrats could see the number of caucus states cut in half. Four states have already moved from a caucus system to a traditional primary: Maine, Minnesota, Colorado, and, as of last month, Idaho made the switch. Party officials say two more states — Nebraska and Washington — are now considering the same change.” • I don’t think much of caucuses. But the Democrats have also eliminated a path for insurgent campaigns. Not a coincidence.

Thomas Frank on “The Travails of Centrism”:

One of the best things about Frank is that he’s very funny…

Stats Watch

Leading Indicators, June 2018: “June was a month of broad strength for the index of leading economic indicators” []. “Building permits are the only weakness with the new orders index of the ISM manufacturing report the leading strength in a report that points to steady economic growth ahead.” But: “Because of the significant backward revisions, I do not trust this index” [].

Philadelphia Fed Business Outlook Survey, July 2018: “Philadelphia Fed Business Outlook Survey” []. “The sharpest rise in input costs since July 2008 — and no doubt tariff related — leads an overheated Philly Fed report for July.” And: “Consider this a stronger report than last month as key elements significantly improved” [].

Jobless Claims, week of July 14, 2018: “The labor market keeps tightening as initial jobless claims fell” []. “Timing and related adjustments in the statistics for summer retooling shutdowns in the auto sector are always wildcards at this time of year, yet the signal from this report is nevertheless very clear: demand for labor is unusually strong.”

The Bezzle: “Musk Enlisted Sierra Club to Deflect Flak Over GOP Donation” []. • Unsurprising. See NC on the Sierra Club.

Supply Chain: “Strikes, Boycotts, and Outages Mar Amazon Prime Day” []. • There’s that complex and very vulnerable supply chain again…

Five Horsemen: “It’s another day without sunshine for the Fab Five, all mildly down at late morning” [Hat Tip, Jim Haygood].

Five Horsemen July 19 2018

NakedCap Mania-Panic Index: “Yesterday’s modest market rally raised the mania-panic index to 60 (complacency) as the put-call ratio receded to a less worried 0.85” [Hat Tip, Jim Haygood]. (The NakedCap mania-panic index is an equally-weighted average of seven technical indicators derived from stock indexes, volatility (VIX), Treasuries, junk bonds, equity options, and internal measures of new highs vs new lows and up volume vs down volume … each converted to a scale of 0 to 100 before averaging, using thirty years of history for five of the seven series.)

Mania panic index July 18 2018

Water

“Who will control PWSA? A public hearing will tackle governance” [Post-Gazette]. • “Governance,” by which we mean privatization.

Health Care

“CMS plots path forward for Kentucky work requirements after court setback” []. “The Trump administration is redoubling efforts to allow Kentucky to impose controversial Medicaid work requirements after a federal court halted its attempt to overhaul the safety-net program three weeks ago. CMS plans to announce that it will open a new 30-day federal comment period on the Kentucky plan — allowing the administration to potentially show it’s addressing the court’s concerns…. While the state’s bid already went through a similar process last year and was approved in January, Trump administration lawyers are said to be confident that the strategy will allow them to surmount a federal judge’s misgivings, although advocates and external observers have doubts. Federal health officials have approved Medicaid work requirements in three other states. Arkansas’ program is already in effect, and officials remain confident that Indiana and New Hampshire’s will move forward.” • I believe that social welfare functions in Prussia were handled by the Police. That seems to be where we’re headed….

MMT

“A Job Guarantee vs a Universal Basic Income” (podcast) [].

Twenty years of schoolin’ and they put you on the day shift:

It's happening.

— Stephanie Kelton (@StephanieKelton)

But if you think that’s dumb or even wrong, MMT University might be a good place to go to get a grasp on the facts of life (at least about money).

Thread:

The concerted effort to police the boundaries of economics by ostentatiously excluding MMT is highly interesting as an observation on the history of economics as a discipline. /1

— Marshall Steinbaum 🔥 (@Econ_Marshall)

It’s almost like “merit” doesn’t have a lot to do with the “meritocracy.” Of course, “merit” can be defined in various ways…. s

AOC gets it:

Ever notice how the “how do you pay for it” argument is selectively employed against working class benefits?

FT: “For those who make politically motivated forecasts of doom for US fiscal health, it may be their own credibility that ends up paying a price.”

— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@Ocasio2018)

Our Famously Free Press

“Too much bad news can make you sick” []. “With the surge of technology, social media and a 24-hour news cycle, exposure to traumatic events has rapidly increased over the past few decades, as well. According to a survey conducted by Pew in 2015, ‘65% of adults now use social networking sites — a nearly tenfold jump in the past decade.’ Much of the public’s news consumption occurs on these digital platforms…. Our brains are hardwired to process stress relating to trauma by entering what is known as “fight, flight, freeze” mode before returning to a restful state, explained Susanne Babbel, a psychotherapist specializing in trauma recovery. However, constant exposure to trauma can derail our ability to cope healthily and hinder our ability to return to a relaxed state…. Chronic levels of stress can have myriad such as headaches, muscle tension or pain, stomach problems, anxiety and sleep issues.”

“On a big story like the Helsinki Trump/Putin summit, Google News’ algorithm isn’t up to the task” [] • So I’m not the only one. The issue is that all four stories appearing up top as part of the current gaslighting episode were derived from the same FOX story. But the issue isn’t FOX at all; that’s only a trigger or story hook. The real issue is that Google’s algorithm — which must be very stupid indeed — is unable to recognize that some stories are similar, and adjust the user interface accordingly. Hence link after endless link to the same AP copy from different venues, the only difference being that the headline differs. Then throw crapification into the mix.

Black Injustice Tipping Point

I don’t understand how this can be:

Local Democrats have absolutely failed the family of Eric Garner. It’s been FOUR YEARS since his death. No justice.

— Shaun King (@ShaunKing)

Look on the bright side, though. At least Neera isn’t putting both Trump and Putin in blackface and calling them “niggers.” As a society, we have truly advanced.

“Persons outside the Law” []. “William, following the well-worn pattern of white colonists, began a relationship with an enslaved woman, Countess. He named their first child Eliza, after his mother. In 1807 he returned to Scotland, having persuaded the man who owned Countess to sell her to him for £120, but leaving her and Eliza behind. He borrowed £2000 from his father to try to establish his own plantation. On his return to Berbice he set up house with Countess, whom he renamed Harriot, after his sister. Their second child, Matilda, was named for his favourite cousin and a son after his father, Allan. William freed Harriot and her children, moved, he recorded, by affection for them. His business did not prosper and he was soon heavily in debt. He contemplated marrying his main creditor’s daughter, but she was of mixed heritage and he could not swallow the idea of a mulatto wife. He surrendered his estate and sailed for Scotland with the two girls, leaving Harriot and their son in Berbice. Allan was to follow when he was a little older. Harriot/Countess, whose African name we do not know, would have to find her own way like many other women abandoned by white men. Affection had its limits. Her motherless children would have to deal with their new environment.”

“From Slavery To Freedom” [Frederick Douglass, ]. From 1845, still germane.

Class Warfare

“Food-Stamp Use Is Still at Recession-Era Levels Despite Job Gains” []. “Judging by the number of Americans on food stamps, it doesn’t feel like one of the best job markets in almost a half century and the second-longest economic expansion on record. Enrollment in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, better known as food stamps, fell to 39.6 million in April, the most recent government data show. That’s down from a record 47.8 million in 2012, but as a share of the population it’s just back to where it was as the economy emerged from the longest and deepest downturn since the Great Depression.” • Best economy ever…

News of The Wired

“Writing Prescriptions to Play Outdoors” [].

“Everything Changed When My Trip To Get New Glasses Revealed A Shocking Diagnosis” []. “Even though glaucoma cannot really be prevented, I’ve been known to chastise my family and friends when they don’t go see their eye doctors regularly, even if they don’t wear glasses. Had I gone a year sooner, I might have had an extra five years of eyesight.” • I hate this kind of story, because what’s the point of getting a diagnosis if you can’t afford the treatment? Still, catching glaucoma early is a lot cheaper to deal with than catching glaucoma late.

“The Living New Deal” (map) []. “New Deal projects covered the whole country. No city, town, or rural area was left untouched. Hundreds of thousands of roads, schools, theaters, libraries, hospitals, post offices, courthouses, airports, parks, forests, gardens, and artworks were created in a single decade, 1933-42, by our parents and grandparents. Not only did they improve and modernize the country back then, most are still in use today. The long-term payoff from this public investment helped propel American economic growth after the Second World War and is still working for America today. The Living New Deal’s purpose is to make that enduring legacy visible.”

* * *

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About Lambert Strether

Readers, I have had a correspondent characterize my views as realistic cynical. Let me briefly explain them. I believe in universal programs that provide concrete material benefits, especially to the working class. Medicare for All is the prime example, but tuition-free college and a Post Office Bank also fall under this heading. So do a Jobs Guarantee and a Debt Jubilee. Clearly, neither liberal Democrats nor conservative Republicans can deliver on such programs, because the two are different flavors of neoliberalism (“Because markets”). I don’t much care about the “ism” that delivers the benefits, although whichever one does have to put common humanity first, as opposed to markets. Could be a second FDR saving capitalism, democratic socialism leashing and collaring it, or communism razing it. I don’t much care, as long as the benefits are delivered. To me, the key issue — and this is why Medicare for All is always first with me — is the tens of thousands of excess “deaths from despair,” as described by the Case-Deaton study, and other recent studies. That enormous body count makes Medicare for All, at the very least, a moral and strategic imperative. And that level of suffering and organic damage makes the concerns of identity politics — even the worthy fight to help the refugees Bush, Obama, and Clinton’s wars created — bright shiny objects by comparison. Hence my frustration with the news flow — currently in my view the swirling intersection of two, separate Shock Doctrine campaigns, one by the Administration, and the other by out-of-power liberals and their allies in the State and in the press — a news flow that constantly forces me to focus on matters that I regard as of secondary importance to the excess deaths. What kind of political economy is it that halts or even reverses the increases in life expectancy that civilized societies have achieved? I am also very hopeful that the continuing destruction of both party establishments will open the space for voices supporting programs similar to those I have listed; let’s call such voices “the left.” Volatility creates opportunity, especially if the Democrat establishment, which puts markets first and opposes all such programs, isn’t allowed to get back into the saddle. Eyes on the prize! I love the tactical level, and secretly love even the horse race, since I’ve been blogging about it daily for fourteen years, but everything I write has this perspective at the back of it.

127 comments

    1. Lambert Strether Post author

      I think Sanders trying to appeal to liberals is like Clinton trying to appeal to conservatives (or like several administrations trying to appeal to Middle Eastern moderates).

      It’s a seemingly Machiavellian move that in fact is utterly destructive of, for lack of a better phrase, brand identity.

      said:

      Given the choice between a Republican and someone who acts like a Republican, people will vote for the real Republican.

      And given a choice between a liberal and someone who acts like a liberal, people will vote for the real liberal. I mean, does Sanders really think he’s going to pick off Kamala Harris or Cory Booker voters with this nonsense? Na ga happen.

      I can chalk some of this up to the fact that the political class, in which Sanders is embedded, has lost its mind. But introducing a bill is a bridge too far. If Sanders ends up as “the lesser of two evils,” that’s going to be sad. And the really sad thing is that Sanders must know what voters really want; they’re telling him, at the Town Halls, which are great! Dance with the one that brung ya, Bernie!

          1. Lee

            Watching the Dem establishment drive a stake through its own heart is at once a gruesome and gratifying sight.

      1. Carolinian

        Maybe Sanders is angered about the latest stories suggesting the FBI is still going after his wife–this is some way of digging at Trump.

        Maybe?

        As for NYT, Colbert etc and their homophobia….I don’t pay much attention to either source but presumably this is considered some sort of ironic gotcha against both Trump and Putin who they consider anti gay. Of course in Trump’s case there’s no evidence that he is anti gay and in Putin’s case it seems to go back to Putin’s support for the Russian Orthodox church and the Pussy Riot controversy. Presumably such taunting is intended to be a big blow to Putin’s self esteem. Baby Putin blimp up next?

        “The Resistance” is not even high school–more Jr. High School.

        1. Rob P

          >Maybe Sanders is angered about the latest stories suggesting the FBI is still going after his wife–this is some way of digging at Trump.

          If so, he should really be mad at Obama and Comey–the investigation started under them. What does he expect Trump to do, shut the investigation down as a favor to him? And if he did, it would probably somehow be used to accuse Sanders of being in on the Putin-Trump plot.

      2. Code Name D

        I think Sanders trying to appeal to liberals is like Clinton trying to appeal to conservatives (or like several administrations trying to appeal to Middle Eastern moderates).

        The strategic deception argument. Clinton (or at least the Clinton apologists) tried to use this to rehabilitate her record. “Oh no, she didn’t vote against gay marriage. That vote was part of a strategic calculation to get us to the point where she could vote for it later.”

        I think this is just wishful thinking, desperate to try and rehabilitate Sanders from his own words. Far more likely, he actually believes this to be the case, which forces me to question his capacity to reform the Democratic Party. The whole point of the post-election Russia narrative is to defend the establishment’s control over the party. Sanders may challenge, and even reform the major parts, such as the super delegates. But accepting the Russia-narrative will prevent Bernie from searching deeper into the power structure.

        1. Aumua

          It may indeed be time to consider the possibility that there is a limit to Sanders’ clarity about every aspect of reality. He’s done good for the people and stuck to real issues on many fronts, in word and action. That doesn’t exclude him from having a glaring blind spot or two. The mind control beam is turned up to 11 right now. It’s scary, and if you take any issue with it, you’re practically declaring you support Trump and everything he represents. Safe harbors, grey areas and middle grounds are disappearing rapidly on all sides.

      3. Summer

        If you go with the assumption that Sanders is different, itcould be a lot of things. What about the simple, tried-and-true excuse for going along to get along: “I’ve got to /protect my family.”
        But w/ DC politicos we know their families are well fed. So the concern would be protection.
        As said, the blob has lost its mind.

      4. CalypsoFacto

        As much as I admire and respect Bernie and think he’s the closest thing the US has to a principled and moral leader, I try my hardest not to project an unreachable ideal of perfection on him. As a culture we need to move beyond investing single people with all of our hopes and wishes for change because we will be inevitably shattered when they are revealed to be human and don’t deliver. Beyond not letting the perfect be the enemy of the good enough, what’s most important about Bernie is that he’s inspiring an actual left in this country, and that left is starting to build an actual bench. and an actual bench is actually a force that can introduce legislation and effect real and lasting change. a single charismatic leader can be taken out or rendered ineffectual if the party they nominally lead won’t unify behind them, as the 2020 democrats would likely to be. Inspiring local and regional movements tied to a democratic socialist platform is the long road to victory, with or without Bernie.

        1. johnnygl

          I hear you, but let’s not underestimate how important bernie is to help build that bench. He’s the clear front-runner for the dems in 2020. A loss to trump in the general would be pretty catastrophic. Sell-out dems would be ecstatic and would immediately move to join with repubs to impeach trump and put pence in charge.

          I know this is a pessimistic/depressing scenario, but it’s got higher odds than i’m comfortable with.

          1. CalypsoFacto

            I’m not sure yet that Bernie is the front-runner for the dems, to the dems who think they matter to the decision. As shown by the many examples ongoing of establishment dems trying to shut out insurgent progressive candidates across the country. So even if by some miracle he runs AND defeats Trump in 2020, there remain enough compromised dollar dems to water down his campaign promises when he attempted to enact them. And I think that, long term, would be more catastrophic than taking the loss in 2020 to Trump.

            Whereas if we manage to focus on building the bench of progressive candidates in the face of losses, we can have a real chance at both a progressive candidate AND a fundamental voting bloc within congress to enact legislation to actually help people by 2024. A significant number of actual progressive congress members elected in 2020, within a second Trump term, could have a major impact on Dem party cohesion/effect similar to the way the Tea Party/Freedom Caucus has destroyed the 1980-2011 GOP (as a force for voters, it’s purely a vehicle for the donors and in that respect McConnel’s leadership/discipline/blackmail/whatever gets the job done but I don’t think as a political force they’re not much more to the people than a violent expression of rage against the lib misleadership class).

            I’m too young to remember Carter, but it’s my impression from growing up during Reagan that Carter’s ‘failures’ doomed the nascent ecological and reduction in consumption trends that seemed inevitable during the oil shocks. What if democratic socialism were to go the same way with a Bernie presidency that didn’t have a willing or effectual Congress?

            1. pretzelattack

              you mean carter that put solar panels on the white house, back when that was not seen as a pressing issue by anybody? or argued that we should stop using so much energy on air conditioning and heat? he was ineffective, he couldn’t use the bully pulpit (it was more like a mr. rogers performance), but he did try. he also said the us had in ordinate fear of communism, which along with releasing the panama canal back to panama had a considerable political cost. the reagan administration constantly vilified carter; imo, the reagan campaign committed treason with the october surprise, prolonging the release of the hostages till the day of reagan’s inaguration. i can’t say the old fraud was aware of that; he made a career of not being aware of things he should have aware of. later, with the alzheimers, he lost the capacity.

      5. Kurt Sperry

        Sanders will need the votes of millions of TDS sufferers if he is serious about winning in 2020, why needlessly alienate them? If the investigations fizzle out, it won’t probably matter much in the end, and if actual criminal evidence personally damaging to Trump is ever publicly brought forward, Bernie will then be in position to leverage that. I don’t see “truthing” Russia!Russia!Russia! hysteria as canny political navigation either way. Getting too truthful about MMT or Israel would likewise probably be politically unwise.

      6. Roger Smith

        If Sanders ends up as “the lesser of two evils…”

        This is exactly what I feel he has already become (and yes, a very good lesser, but a lesser nonethe…less. I’d vote for him again because of some of the policies (provided they are equal or greater to 2016), but do I trust or have faith? No. He destroyed his brand over a year ago after the convention, took all the momentum and sunk it, choosing to do this stuff instead.

    2. LarryB

      Dangerous, too. Trump may be tempted to prove his independence by starting a war with Russia.

    3. JerryDenim

      I don’t like Sanders jumping on the McCarthyist bandwagon, but he’s been dangling a toe in the water for a while. Sanders has to pick his battles and there’s only so much heterodoxy he sell to the public. What sense does it make for him to fight the “Mighty Wurlitzer” on behalf of a dishonorable man to whom he is obviously opposed, a man that also will be his opponent in 2020 if the next two years go well for him? The left-hating, hippie punching establishment DNC conjured this latest iteration of McCarthyism and they will gladly deploy it against Sanders who is far more of a threat to them and their business model than Trump. If you recall the 2016 Telemundo debate, the pro-Clinton forces trotted out footage from an old interview with Bernie speaking fondly of Castro as a smear attempt. Don’t think for a minute that any sane repudiation of the corrosive, anti-Trump, McCarthyism infecting the liberal politosphere won’t be used as further proof of the Senator’s communist loyalties later.

      I think it makes more sense for Sanders to preserve his credibility and air time to sell MMT and Medicare For All instead of attempting to defend Trump and his faux-populist, authoritarian vision of neo-feudal America.

      It’s stinky, but politics is an ugly game. Hopefully Sanders knows what he’s doing. He doesn’t have many allies and 2020 is going to be a tough slog. He has a giant target on his back now.

      1. Aumua

        I think it makes more sense for Sanders to preserve his credibility and air time to sell MMT and Medicare For All instead of attempting to defend Trump and his faux-populist, authoritarian vision of neo-feudal America.

        See that’s the thing, if you question the McCarthyism then that means you’re defending Trump. That’s the kind of corner they have us backed into. In in reality of course, it’s quite possible to be against McCarthyism and also against Trump and his policies in general.

    4. Big Tap

      My theory is this is a deal Sanders made with the DNC to run in 2020. He ‘buys’ into the BS Russiagate crap and the DNC lets him run as a Democrat for president. Still sad to see Bernie doing this. The DNC hopes this discredits him with his voters. I’ll still vote for him as I don’t believe what he’s saying about Russia is sincere.

  1. Roger Smith

    Neera Tanden & Sign

    So let me get this straight. Trump and Russia are so terrible that we are going to make fun of Trump literally sharing physical sexual relations with Putin as some sort of attempt to “stick it to them” (this part is Phase 2 in the Underpants Gnome chart), but even so we want to make sure they used protection as to avoid the spread of STDs? Wouldn’t this person who these people created so much hate in as to manifest such a sign maybe, want them to contract diseases? Or maybe it is all a temporary fugue state, hysteria, mania.

    1. Stephen V.

      I just took it to mean they were concerned about some feral fecal children of the cornhole offspring.
      And while we’re on the subject: are we supposed to believe that private conversation between 2 world misleaders is unprecedented in history?
      Have they water boarded the translator yet?

      1. roxy

        Maddow referred one night this week to Trump and Putin “in the tire swing” together. Guess that’s as far as she’s willing to go with the “homophobic jokes are okay now” thing. As I made my usual sprint away from the teevee I asked the RM fan in my home if he’s noticed this phenomenon and he said he had not.

        1. Quentin

          That’s rich. Maddow herself is a homosexual —- dike! Or has she now become a self hating one?

    2. Mel

      I think the two big political teams have been addicted to attack ads, and addicted for a long time. And because election campaigns are adversarial, attack ads will be permitted to say anything that might work, and it’s only the opponent’s look-out if they don’t counter it. Not my problem to produce good ads, their problem to shoot down my bad ones. Otherwise, tough luck.
      So now we have political arguments, presented in public, that are obscene.

      1. NotTimothyGeithner

        The Clintonistas are simply vile, and they cultivated a cult of personality for years who will simply follow the orders of the tribal elders. A good deal of these people are working on pure id at this point having their constructed world destroyed in 2016.

        1. Lambert Strether Post author

          > working on pure id at this point

          Makes as much sense as anything else I’ve heard. I’m at a loss. It seems very clear to me that the whole social movement began in the 60s, was amplified by the AIDS crisis, and culminated in, in essence, a place for openly gay people in “the public square” was an immense civilizational accomplishment and driven by millions of small acts of great courage (“coming out”). Yes, as a male, a WASP, and an old codger I occasionally gritted my teeth, and still do, but that is my problem, and I know it.

          So now Neera Tanden, at the very heart of the liberal Democrat establishment, just trashes this. Pisses all over it. As does the New York Times, so all the liberal factions in the political class have been given license to do the same thing. And presumably her funders are down with it too.

          I’m gobsmacked. I find it all very difficult to process. Heart-breaking, even. “Progressives” are supposed to progress, after all. Not regress.

          1. ChiGal in Carolina

            I cannot help but think that they believe Trump’s crassness justifies theirs. This is again making it about a PERSON, not a SYSTEM.

          2. flora

            I’d think that after the NYT and Clinton spent half of 2016 calling the white working class and GOP voters deplorables and racist, sexist, backward, knuckle-draggers… I’d think the Dem estab would stay on script that they – the Dem estab – are *not* racist, sexist knuckle-draggers… at least for branding purposes. It seems I would be wrong.

    3. Rob P

      They’re going for the coveted homophobe vote. Surely right-wing homophobes who said Obama was gay will be turned off by Trump’s love affair with Putin, and join the Democrats.

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        I have always wondered if all humans are nasty.

        And if some find it more convenient to be nasty under a virtue banner.

    4. Matt

      I thought the point was to needle Republicans and Putin, who are not known for their warm embrace of gays. Thought it seems an odd way of attacking Trump, who never seemed to have a problem with gays.

      1. Lambert Strether Post author

        I think if you read the other comments on this thread, you’ll come to a better understanding.

        Or let me answer by asking: Is “Hey, faggot!” an acceptable form of “needling” to you?

        1. Matt

          Well who is saying that? “Faggots for Putin” would be knock on Russia’s notorious homophobia wouldn’t it?

          “They’re totally gay for one another” is juvenile but it’s not clear to me that it’s born out of saying “gays are icky and we’re calling these people gross” as opposed to putting their own anti-gay rhetoric against them.

            1. ChiGal in Carolina

              There’s more than one way to interpret this. Matt is not being naive, he just isn’t jumping on the bandwagon. Sure, it’s distasteful, but it could be thought of as giving Putin a taste of his own medicine without buying into that homophobia is legit.

            2. Matt

              Just looked at it. As I said, it’s juvenile but it disturbs me far more that the Democrats think a close relationship with another leader is something bad. And I think that’s how this kind of material should be engaged.

              You say I’m naive. I say it’s trying to turn the id-pol ideas against the liberals in an “any stick to beat a dog” maneuver. Sorry, I’m gay and don’t find it offensive, just stupid.

    5. Milton

      What is it with liberal hawks and anal sex? If it isn’t the perverted joy of imaging Putin thrusting pile drivers into an ecstatically-receptive US President, it’s the sociopathice glee they get while watching a world leader take in a razor sharp blade. Sick puppies, all of them.

      1. Quentin

        And HRC’s girly giggling at Gadaffi’s demise — a bayonet in the anus! ‘We came, we saw, he died’, giggle, chuckle, smirk…then regain composure. Watch her on YouTube if you yet haven’t treated yourself to this classic gem of elitist obscene public behaviour.

  2. Stephen V.

    Yes Lambert. Thank you for this family blog in this dog-poop eating Divine Intervention universe!

    1. Lambert Strether Post author

      Well, I don’t want people to think I’m defending Trump. That tweet should deal with that.

      However, I was taken to see Pink Flamingoes when I was a mere sprat, and I think it’s a wonderful movie, sensational episodes aside:

      The Italian subtitles are a hoot!

      1. RiverboatGrambler

        Er, how young? I watched Pink Flamingos for the first time last year with a friend, he walked out during the chicken scene. Can’t say I’ll ever want to watch it again, but it was definitely an experience. That pic of Divine and Trump is perfect.

          1. Lunker Walleye

            Phew! Was thinking maybe I was older than you. I saw Pink Flamingos in the theatre too. Good times.

        1. BobW

          They showed it in the dorm basement (early 70s)… I left very early. Not really a prude, but it was way too much.

  3. Pat

    So Hillary Clinton is the not so big draw for Ozy Fest. The feel good get together for readers of an online magazine started by a former MSNBC reporter funded by Steve Jobs widow and one of the Google biggies…

    Yeah, nothing says counter culture/out of the mainstream media like something grown from a major media organization funded by Tech billionaires who colluded to not pay their employees as much as they should have. (Yeah, I’m damning the widow not the dead corporate head as she is still profiting from that little corrupt action.)

  4. Summer

    Re: David S.
    Hypothesis: winning the presidency and a filibuster proof majority amid a disastrous war and financial crisis, only to then promptly lose Congress, the White House and most statehouses — this qualifies as the most epic self-own in modern American history.

    Discuss.

    — David Sirota (@davidsirota) July 18, 2018

    ——-
    It was worse than that. Before the Democrats lost their majority, they negotiated away power against the filibuster. They tied their own hands, then said that tired trope to their alleged constiuents in the masses “you have to organize and make us do what you want.”
    This, of course, is after they absorb all the organizing energy from movements to get elected.
    Wash, rinse, repeat.

    1. ChiGal in Carolina

      They didn’t lose the White House, Obama got his 4 more years. He just didn’t do a thing for the party once he had the presidency, which contributed to losing Congress and the states. Not to mention he pulled a bunch of prominent Dems out of Congress for his Cabinet.

      And prejudice; it doesn’t excuse his role in the debacle but it played a part as well. And now the Birtherer in Chief does have the White House.

      1. Summer

        That executive branch focus as the strategy for the Democratic Party dates back to the Clinton years.
        I can’t find the article that talked about it a few years ago. But it should not have been surprising.
        The same thing happened after Bill Clinton’s election.

        Obama comes along first term with the Senate and House Dem majorities and they negotiate away their majority against the filibuster during the establishment of rules around the filibuster that happen in the Senate after election cycles. Their focus was the “global financial order” or whatever the hell their fantasies are.

      2. Summer


        “Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid may force a vote to change the rules governing debate over judicial and agency nominees to allow a simple majority of 51 votes to end filibusters. His Republican counterpart said Democrats would regret the move.”

        I can’t find the article I’m looking for, but here is an article that demonstrates what could have been in 2009.
        2013 the Dems still barely had the Senate.

        1. Altandmain

          I can’t find the article I’m looking for, but here is an article that demonstrates what could have been in 2009.

          The issue here is that the Democratic Establishment didn’t want to help the public. They did not want to persecute Wall Street for 2008 or anything along those lines.

          They wanted to serve the rich and look forward to working with them for lucrative retirement opportunities.

          I mean look at Trump. With his bare majority, he has been able to give the rich a tax cut that has been estimated to cost 1.5 to 2 trillion dollars over a number of years.

          Obama could have done the opposite, but he did not “want” to. About the only mild reform he did was to cut some of the obscene Bush tax cuts.

          1. Summer

            The issue is that you’re preaching to the choir.
            I’m not a Democrat because I already know they wouldn’t piss on me if I was on fire. And not interested in their alleged reforms now.
            I said “what could have been” in the sense that if they truly were trying to convince people to help them really hold on to majorities in Congress, they would have done better Kabuki earlier in Obama’s term.

          2. Summer

            The article I am searching for is about the DNC or DCCC explicitly turning the focus away from domestic governing and concentrating on expanding and dominating executive branch power.
            It specifically talked about that change in reference to the 90s and the Clinton administration.
            That is what I wanted to show ChiGirl…that what their constituents called losing they thought of as a type of strategy.

            1. ChiGal in Carolina

              That specific point of focusing on the executive, not the states, is not something I remember but I’ll look for it. I thought it started with Obama and his overweening ego. Course Bill…

              1. Summer

                It’s going to drive me crazy, but DLC may be in the article since the article also spoke about Rahm Emmanuel. However, it was maybe written in 2016 or early 2017 during all those post-mortem articles about the 2016 election.

                1. ChiGal in Carolina

                  This is on the topic but much earlier, anyway I do get what you’re saying

          1. ChiGal in Carolina

            This I don’t think it’s what is being discharged here, or at least not by me. There clearly was a time when he had the votes and I did not say otherwise.

            Can’t remember the page numbers but there is a wonderful section of Listen Liberal where Frank reels off all the things Obama could have done.

            If he’d wanted to.

    2. Whoa Molly!

      And left a huge number of federal judgeship positions open for Trump to fill with young right wing judges

    1. LarryB

      Smells like it too: , it’s pollinated by flies attracted to it’s rotten flesh odor. Probably a good thing that they’re not too common.

    2. Barmitt O'Bamney

      The translation of the taxonomic name works roughly out to “giant shapeless engorged penis” . It is also known for its overwhelming fragrance which is always compared to a decomposing body. Whenever the local botanical gardens has advertised that they had one coming into bloom, I have stayed the hell away.

      1. ChiGal in Carolina

        it is kinda penile. Love the combo of “shapeless” and “engorged”. One wouldn’t think it possible *shivers*

    3. abynormal

      @ChiGal, Thank You for THE poem you forwarded me…I wrote it down (hard to write these days without keys). I will hold it near, always.

      THAT flower reaks like nothing I can describe. Around 2012 I was carpooling to UofI and there was a big to-do about it opening. Put it this way I smelt it 2 block’s before nearing the area. Thought it was a frat prank…

    4. Lambert Strether Post author

      Probably nobody will believe this, but I was in a real hurry because I was late with my post, and so I grabbed the first image I could find (I subscribe to the source) and this was it.

      Serendipitously, though, it does seem to reinforce, or reek of, the zeigeist.

      1. Stephen V.

        Yes indeed: like the Official Flower of the DNC as well as all those media hacks who advocate unquestioning obedience to the authority of our so-called Intelligence agencies.

  5. Lost in OR

    Beware! The edit feature for making comments may be on holiday. At least it was for my comment in Links.

  6. Kevin

    Once we are done dealing with the Ruskies interference in our elections, can we move on to the big fish…the U.S. media!!!

    The U.S. media basically gave the election to Dump imo.
    Bernie might as well have been campaigning on Mars.

    It was 24/7 Dump…and still is!!!!!!!!!!!!

  7. John D.

    There’s a side to the whole anti-Trump crusade from the centrist crowd that I rarely see discussed, whether it’s the supposedly “higher road” of them clutching their pearls and trying to smear the Orange Oaf as a traitor or the out-and-out low road of screeching, “Haw! Haw! Haw! Trump’s a fuckin’ f*ggot!”, and it’s this: Whichever of these routes they’re taking, the Limousine Liberals are explicitly attacking Trump from the right, which is a strategic miscalculation to put it mildly. Such a tactic not only won’t work, it can’t work, because the Republicans will never stand for such a thing. Certainly, the GOP base won’t, and the Party leaders have a very healthy – and perfectly justified – fear of their base, whatever their feelings about Trump.

    It’s not just that the whole Russiagate brouhaha is patently, transparently a load of propagandistic crap and extended temper tantrum from people still furious that Queen Hillary lost to such a person (or to anyone at all, for that matter). Though true, that’s almost beside the point. The plain fact is that reactionaries don’t like or appreciate having others attempt to use their own tactics against them. They do not give a damn about red-baiting unless it’s coming from them and directed at their own chosen targets.

    “Russiagate” is blatant hogwash, but even if there were something to the idea of Trump being in Putin’s pocket, it wouldn’t matter. The Republican right is the only faction that can be reached by such crude commie-bashing, and they’re unimpressed when others attempt to turn it against them or ‘independent’ political types they happen to approve of. So all this argle-bargle is not going to work. It can’t. not if the point is winning the next election, at least.

    1. Carey

      It seems to me that to determine whether RussiaGate™ can or cannot work, we’d need
      to know first what the objectives of its promoters are. If for example, the goal, or one of them, is to drive the Overton Window firmly back to the right, and to paint dissenters
      as traitorous loons, can it really be said to not be working? See Sander’s recent actions,
      too; not too promising.

    2. flora

      Whichever of these routes they’re taking, the Limousine Liberals are explicitly attacking Trump from the right, which is a strategic miscalculation to put it mildly.

      Yes, but it shows the Limousine Liberals for who and what they really are.

      “For the people neoliberal machine.”

  8. Barry Egan

    Unfortunately, I think the Divine photo is fake. Looks like it originated and was debunked .

  9. Synoia

    Hypothesis: winning the presidency and a filibuster proof majority amid a disastrous war and financial crisis, only to then promptly lose Congress, the White House and most statehouses — this qualifies as the most epic self-own in modern American history.

    Brilliant politics. Never had to do anything, and could always be a victim and not a perp.

  10. Jim Haygood

    Thirty-two hours work for forty hours pay!

    WELLINGTON, New Zealand — A New Zealand firm that let its employees work four days a week while being paid for five says the experiment was so successful that it hoped to make the change permanent.

    The firm, Perpetual Guardian, which manages trusts, wills and estates, found the change actually boosted productivity among its 240 employees, who said they spent more time with their families, exercising, cooking, and working in their gardens.

    The firm ran the experiment — which reduced the workweek to 32 hours from 40 — in March and April this year, and asked two researchers to study the effects on staff. Workers said the change motivated them to find ways of increasing their productivity while in the office. Meetings were reduced from two hours to 30 minutes.

    Andrew Barnes, the company’s founder, said he came up with the idea for a four-day workweek after reading a report that suggested people spent less than three hours of their work day productively employed, and another that said distractions at work could have effects on staff akin to losing a night’s sleep or smoking marijuana.

    On the other hand, for a firm in the financial sector, fewer hours could be a case of reducing value subtraction. Ought to work a treat at the Federal Reserve …

    1. Stevu

      I’ve been running this experiment for years. I keep meaning to let my employer know about my positive results, but it keeps slipping my mind somehow..

      1. Mo's Bike Shop

        I’m smiling at the class assumption. There are so many manual activities where a good toke is just the thing for better attitude and better product.

    2. heresy101

      The City of Alameda CA had no money for raises after the Navy left in the mid 1990’s so the unions and employee groups negotiated a 10% decrease in wages about 1996. Thus, the working week for most employees is 36 hours (4 – 9 hour days). Employees have two days less commute and more time for family, travel, or gardening.

      This works for most people but the small increase over a lesser number of hours tends to cause workers to fall behind in wages. Also, you get new people that like meetings and meetings rather than doing real work and it gets frustrating when they try to duplicate the 40 hour week.

      We don’t really need a guaranteed income but a reduction in work hours to 28 or 32 with no loss in pay! This would provide real jobs (not this gig sheeit) for everyone and welfare could be phased out for all but those that need it (severely disabled or mental problems etc). It could easily be paid for with a real tax on the 1% because they don’t really need the money because there is no way they can spend it (maybe on coke). A 90% tax rate (w/o phony deductions) would probably allow the workweek to be lowered to 28 hours, or less.

      Rather than Russiophobia, the Damnocrats should be pushing for a National Heath Service and lower hours for the same pay!!! But it’s not going to happen until the Damnocrats are dumped for a real political party!

      1. heresy101

        Typo – “decrease in wages about 1996.” should be “decrease in hours about 1996.”

    3. fresno dan

      Jim Haygood
      July 19, 2018 at 5:00 pm

      “value subtraction”
      One wonders how much medical productivity (health going up and costs going down) would increase if only health insurance claims adjusters just worked one day a week….

  11. Jean

    “Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said Wednesday that the United States produces just 5 percent of the uranium it needs for the U.S. military and for electricity generation, down from nearly half in 1987.”

    It’s time to expose the traitor who endangered our domestic supplies of uranium!

  12. JBird

    Meetings were reduced from two hours to 30 minutes.

    As one who has participated in meetings about the overabundance/length of other meetings, I think this is a most excellent idea.

  13. Richard

    re Jayapal endorsement
    Arrgghh. She is my representative. I just literally today had a nice thought about her (so rare for me with a pol) for scheduling convenient meetups between her staff and constituents. And it sounds like she takes seriously the services part of her job, helping constituents with immigration, etc. But she toes the party line on Russia 100% and now this, which doesn’t look good. I don’t know much about Adam Smith. Anyone?
    Tried calling her, but the mailbox is full.

  14. The Rev Kev

    BREAKING: Senate unanimously PASSES (98-0) a resolution expressing opposition to allowing Russia to interview US diplomats and agents but does demand that the Russians hand over the dozen ham sandwiches, err, Russian security personnel for interrogation. Story at-

    But wait, there’s more! Trump has invited Putin to visit Washington this autumn. Can you imagine? There will be Senate resolutions to arrest Putin or prevent his leaving American territory. The media and the Democrats will literally have a meltdown, Maddow will shed tears for the loss of American democracy, Hillary will make herself the lightning rod for shouting at Putin “You stole my Presidency!” and Putin may have to seek refuge in the Ecuadorian embassy. BWAHAHAHA!

    1. Jean

      Next thing you know, that pushy Putin will want to lecture congress, like Netanyahu did recently.

      1. The Rev Kev

        You think that Putin will get 26 standing ovations like Netanyahu did? I would call that an alphabet of ovations that.

  15. Utah

    Re: Caucuses

    I personally like the caucus system for party politics, but it is a horrible way to deal with contested races, especially the presidential race. The Buzz article points out that Utah will have a primary in 2020. That’s a half truth. We’ll have a presidential primary- very gladly and willingly because our caucus nights were a mess in 2016. But we’ll keep the caucus system for everything else. That bodes well for republicans and democrats because we get the extreme right of our parties at both party’s caucuses.
    But the reason I like them is because in Utah I can give Lambert an answer to the “who are the Democratic party members?” The Democratic delegates are our official members. If we lose caucuses, we lose delegates and that makes the party more insular, and that’s not a good thing.

    I’m happy to change my mind about caucuses if somebody can explain to me how precinct chairs all the way up to state party chair get elected in primary states, and if that is better.

  16. none

    Crickets almost everywhere about Joe Crowley refusing to take his name off the WFP ballot line. He is going to pull a Joe Lieberman and after suitable posturing, decide he is “forced” to mount a 3rd party run against AOC, and the Dem establishment will (maybe quietly) back him. It’s great that AOC won the primary, but she isn’t in Congress yet, so it’s too early to celebrate.

    Fuck the WFP for endorsing Crowley in the primary and giving him their ballot line. They didn’t want to look too leftist. So they unexpectedly maybe let Crowley in through the back door. Oops.

  17. flora

    re: “A Critical Factor In 2020: Democrats Make Significant Cut To Caucus States” [Buzz].

    Caucuses can’t be rigged, or can’t be easily rigged. You go and stand in an area designated for supporters of candidate x or y. People spend time trying to convince you to change your original choice. Debates. Moving from x to y’s side if you change your mind. Then the final count is taken by people physically walking and counting each person. Think of it as human ballots, hand counted, in public. Oh, and, Bernie won most of the caucus primaries. It’s a time consuming process. But it’s hard to rig.

    No coincidence, I think, the Dem machine wants to get rid of caucuses.

    1. flora

      The most interesting thing is the Dem estab is still more about rigging the process than about creating and promoting policies the majority of their voters want.

  18. anonymous

    Yasha Levine:

    @yashalevine

    “This measured discussion of Mueller’s GRU indictment comes straight from the centrist NatSec establishment. It’s good sign that at least some people haven’t completely lost their minds.”

  19. flora

    On meritocracy:

    High on a throne of royal state, which far
    Outshone the wealth or Ormus and of Ind,
    Or where the gorgeous East with richest hand
    Showers on her kings barbaric pearl and gold,
    Satan exalted sat, by merit raised
    To that bad eminence; and, from despair
    Thus high uplifted beyond hope,
    aspires
    Beyond thus high,…

    -Milton, Paradise Lost, Book II (my emphasis)

    1. Richard

      nice…
      what do you think Milton means, “from despair thus high uplifted beyond hope”?
      Why is Satan despairing? He’s sitting in an exalted throne!

      1. liam

        Satan, once throneless and despairing for power of his own, now has it. From despair -> thus high uplifted.

        Of course, “thus high uplifted beyond hope” … Lifted to success beyond his wildest hopes and dreams, or lifted so low that there is no hope for him?

        Given the bile spewing forth from every “Democrat” who can find a microphone, this quote is incredibly depressing.

  20. Jean

    “Strikes, Boycotts, and Outages Mar Amazon Prime Day”

    Note to AmazonWholeFoods workers.

    Start your strike for better wages, profit sharing and full benefits the week of Thanksgiving.

  21. Swamp Yankee

    Two thoughts, not related:

    1. I love the Living New Deal site. I use it in my US History II class at the 2 year college where I teach. It resonates a great deal with students. That state park where you took your family for hot dogs, swimming, and fishing? Those campsites and fire grills were built by the CCC. The seawall downtown, the road you came to school on — the New Deal. It’s very cool.

    2. It occurred to me that the 2002-5 character feverishness of MSNBC’s propaganda on Russia!Russia!Russia! — replete with accusations of treason, labeling of “traitors” a la’ the Dixie Chicks, etc. — may be due in no small part to the fact that MSNBC has essentially absorbed the Bush II communications team (hi, Nicole Wallace!)

    It’s almost like liberal 9.9%ers didn’t actually believe the stuff they so outragedly professed in 2004….

    Oh, well — we’ll always have the Kerry campaign./s

    1. polecat

      Yeah .. the Kerry campaign ..

      “HAY ! DON’T TAZE ME.. BRO !”

      Remember THAT touching incident ? .. I sure do !

      1. Swamp Yankee

        I do! Kerry at that particular moment, and the Dems in general, are a lot like that guard in Monty Python’s “Search for the Holy Grail” who, after John Cleese’s Sir Launcelot cuts the throat of his comrade and runs into the castle, feebly raises a hand and shouts, “hey….”, while the carnage continues.

  22. Carey

    Article at the Guardian- The Cashless Society is a Con:

    Old but maybe useful link on Smilin’ Joe Biden:

  23. ambrit

    More for the “How Bad?” file.
    Yesterday, Phyl got yet another begging letter from the DCCC. This time, alas, that we have come to this, the return address up in the top left corner of the envelope said “Elizabeth Warren.”
    2 Samuel 1:27: “How are the mighty fallen…”

  24. Oregoncharles

    ” ‘I am determined to give Montgomery County a third, independent choice come November,’ Floreen told the Washington Post, saying that the two major party nominees were ‘flawed extremes.’”

    Again, in plurality voting, more candidates make for a lower bar – and less predictability. If there are three and they’re even, one can win with 34% of the vote. Slick Willie won the first time with only 42%. Usually it shakes out more than that, but it could make it easier for a “radical” to win. Much depends on which side Floreen takes votes from.

Comments are closed.