2:00PM Water Cooler 11/21/2018

By Lambert Strether of Corrente.

Readers, this is a travel day for me, so I am going to have to ask you to talk amongst yourselves. Water Cooler will return on Friday, after the tryptophan wears off. –lambert

Here, however, is a conversation starter:

“Democratic Donors Suggest They May Withhold Donations If Nancy Pelosi Isn’t Elected Speaker” [HuffPo]. From their wonderfully clarifying “Open Letter” to the House Democratic Caucus:

Because of her diligence, her powers of persuasion, her enormous effectiveness and her adherence to our values, we have provided a portion of the financial resources required to be competitive cycle after cycle. We look forward to a day when we achieve the reforms necessary to reduce greatly the impact of money in elections. But until that day we must do what is required to contest the Republicans on an equal playing field.

When it came to funding this recent effort to retake the Majority, would we have contributed anywhere near as much as we did if Nancy was not the Leader? We think not….

Inserting ourselves into internal House Politics is not something we would normally do. But if we lose Nancy, and the new Leader can only raise half the funding, the Republicans will not reduce their funding and we will be back to the structural disadvantage that prevailed for many years.

Nice little Party you have here. It would be shame if something happened to it. (Not that the Seth Moulton crowd and their generational claims to power have my sympathy; far from it.)

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Readers, feel free to contact me at lambert [UNDERSCORE] strether [DOT] corrente [AT] yahoo [DOT] com, with (a) links, and even better (b) sources I should curate regularly, (c) how to send me a check if you are allergic to PayPal, and (d) to find out how to send me images of plants. Vegetables are fine! Fungi are deemed to be honorary plants! If you want your handle to appear as a credit, please place it at the start of your mail in parentheses: (thus). Otherwise, I will anonymize by using your initials. See the previous Water Cooler (with plant) here. Today’s plant (PM):

PM writes: “Everything is still blooming here in sunny Tucson, AZ.”

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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.

89 comments

  1. Synoia

    Because of her diligence, her powers of persuasion, her enormous effectiveness and her adherence to our values

    Dear Donors:

    Please describe in detail “our values” with respect to:

    Medicare for All
    800 Military bases and Defense Budget
    Climate Change
    Job Guarantee
    Charter Schools
    Publically Funded Elections
    Protecting the Commons

    And I’m sure this can be made into a much better list, and sent back to the donors and their D’ reps.

    Reply
  2. ChrisAtRU

    #Pelosi

    ” … her adherence to our values …”

    No … it wouldn’t be a shame if something were to happen to their little party.

    #Kleptocracy

    Reply
    1. Arizona Slim

      I’d laugh my head off if someone, oh, like AZ CD3’s own Raul Grijalva, became the next Speaker of the House. Sorry, Nancy, but your time has come and gone.

      Reply
    2. Geo

      Nice display of loyalty to the party and our nation. These are the same people who preached about Bernie supporters getting in line and “party unity”, right?

      Reply
      1. Eureka Springs

        The same super pacs, super delegates, super lobbyists. The owners. The self proclaimed aristocrats. Nothing has changed since that party was for slavery except the sales pitch.

        Pelosi, arguably the most powerful progressive this century was singing Paygo to any who would listen while measuring the drapes to her old Speakers office well before election day. She won then, she will win now.

        Reply
      1. JohnnyGL

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QK5-58gfMrw

        Kyle Kulinski’s saying they’re being promised important committee spots. No detail on who’s getting what spots, but that’s the deal that was struck, I guess.

        We’ll see if Pelosi finds a way to give the newbies a lump of coal in their stockings, or if there’s some important influence being gained, here.

        Reply
        1. Richard

          Pramila Jayapal is my congressional rep, one of the people who met with Pelosi. I just wrote her. I’d like to know exactly what was said, what Jayapal and other justice dems asked for. If all they asked for was committee preferences, then they are obama-level negotiators and useless in my book. Where was paygo? What about Pelosi’s proposed rule change on tax increases? These were meant precisely as an attack/warning to her left. If they didn’t respond to that, then what f*$#ing good are justice dems?
          Sorry Kyle Kulinski. I’m trying to believe, but JD need to show me.

          Reply
        2. Darius

          Why aren’t there 10 people nipping at her heels? Aren’t these people ambitious? Why isn’t there a throng trying to shoulder her out of the way? She’s had her turn. I can’t fathom how docile the caucus is.

          Reply
          1. NotTimothyGeithner

            Aren’t these people ambitious?

            There are levels of ambition and work requirements. Pelosi for her other faults is willing to put in the drudgery work. Its fun and sexy to make a campaign commercial, go to a rally, and even wave signs. Its much harder to canvass, phone bank, and even do the data entry, so you can start fresh. They aren’t getting fired for not going to committee meetings or being prepared. There is no boss to fire them.

            Its the focus on the debates. American style debates are dumb. Finally, Ben Shapiro and Beta O’Rourke will debate to show who is the Survivor!!!! No one changes their mind or even learns anything, and the questions are usually the same drivel thats been asked a 1001 time to date. A single issue debate that lasts three hours. Sanders CNN town halls strike me as informative.

            But you know what…debates might be dumb but they can fun. There will be a stage, balloons, flag, and pretty soon they’ll have Steve Harvey to hand out awards. Getting a person to do the fun work is easy. The hard work is hard.

            I suspect the belief HRC meant business versus Sanders as usual was appealing to electeds because it meant they wouldn’t be called to do anything other than attend the pageantry of a new President who also would have had the extra shine of being the first woman President.

            Reply
      1. Richard

        Thud. There goes all your excitement, hitting the floor. Stone dead.
        “Getting the best deal on the table”
        Was that what was exciting thousands of new yorkers, and millions of people across the country about AOC? We who are being worked to death, who have no health care as a human right, who have seen the normalization of imperial butchery and the domestic police state. We who are pushed to the utmost extreme by oligarchy, by climate catastrophe, by the nightmare that is developing around us?
        So here’s my take. First, if Pelosi and a few choice committee positions were the best deal on the table, then we’re not done talking. Pelosi supports paygo and a change in house rules to require a 60% majority for most tax increases. Bye-bye med4all, free college, living wage, infrastructure rebuild, green new deal, anything. If Pelosi was to step back from her extreme position in this regard, then I’d say she’s worthy of a vote.
        Second, I am truly sick of getting the so-called “best deal” from negotiations I’m not invited to, where no one seems to be truly representing me. Calling Obamacare, anyone?
        At the very least, if one is compeled to make a deal in the best interests of ordinary people (and I guess that will be unavoidable in representative politics) AOC and any so-called justice dem should make the details of these negotiations extremely public, and keep policy goals as the first priority always.

        Reply
      2. Todde

        I would think that of her constituents wanted ‘the best deal possible’ they would have elected Crowley in the primary.

        But they didnt.

        Reply
  3. taunger

    Had a reasonable interaction with a stranger online regarding Pelosi recently! He was of the persuation that Pelosi is a very effective leader, and without control of the government, someone of her experience and knowledge is important to forestall the Republican party. Nevermind the calls for bipartisanship right from her mouth.

    But he was willing to hear that she should be gone if dems ever take both houses, and that pushes like those that Ocasio-Cortez is making are important (e.g. on global warming).

    I’m kinda ready to not care so much about the next two years of Democratic House majority and let the idiots have their way. I mean, I don’t see like it makes much of a difference in the long run, which is becoming more Keynesian by the minute.

    Reply
    1. Pat

      I might agree with you IF Pelosi wasn’t pushing the ridiculous rule change.

      If you refuse to admit that taxes don’t fund government AND insist upon Pay/Go AND institute a rule that makes it impossible to raise taxes on the lower 80% of the citizenry without a 2/3 majority you are simply being proactive in making sure real lefty Democrats are hamstrung in correcting all the issues that the rest of think are important – like Medicare for All, Climate Change, Education, Public Transportation, etc in the future. That’s why her election is so important to them.

      Since so many corporate stooges are still in Congress, fully expect that poison pill to become the rule of law. Without Pelosi, that little present to stymie future FDR and DFH Democrats might not become come to pass.

      Oh, and for the record – *family blog* the donors. Their “agenda” has devastated this country in a multitude of ways for the last three maybe four decades.

      Reply
    2. JohnnyGL

      “I’m kinda ready to not care so much about the next two years of Democratic House majority and let the idiots have their way”

      Disagree on what to do with the next two years. The new members of Congress need to demonstrate they serious about making change and not coasting for 2 years. If the 2 years gets wasted, you can’t build for the next cycle.

      At the very least the following should be done:

      1) Force floor votes on Medicare for All. Make your opponents show their hand. It gives you a target list for primaries in 2020 and verbal pressure before the primaries. Once a pol commits, you’ve got them, if they stab you in the back, then you have a campaign ready-to-go against them for the next cycle. Same is probably true for other important issues besides MFA, but MFA has most public support and already has a lot of party support. So for that issue, I’d like to see lots of public pressure, bullying, primarying, etc. Not much compromise. Health care doesn’t need to be complicated, we know exactly what the solution looks like.

      2) For an issue like climate change, it’s different than MFA, there can be more room for compromise. Legislation needs to be written that can get support from *most* democrats that are currently seated.

      When Bernie or wins the Oval Office in 2020, the first 100 days is going to be crucial. That’s what happened during Roosevelt’s New Deal. He basically hit Congress like a hurricane and blasted through a bunch of legislation in a hurry. Lots of ‘shock and awe’ tactics. We need to prepare, now!

      If you’ve got legislation you KNOW can get through a dem controlled house, you know you’re 1/2 way there. New dem senators stepping in for 2020 need to be put under immediate pressure to pass what’s been put in front of them by the house.

      Politicians should be treated like wait staff at a bad restaurant.

      “Please give me Medicare for All. Stop telling me why it can’t be done, just do it. I don’t care about Trump, if you can’t do it, get me a new rep.”

      “Thanks for Medicare for All, now give me a Job Guarantee wrapped in a Green New Deal. And hurry up, here’s a generous tip.”

      Reply
      1. Amfortas the hippie

        ^^”Politicians should be treated like wait staff at a bad restaurant. “^^^

        Amen and damn the torpedoes.
        They’re supposed to be our employees, FGS!
        all the deference and bowing and scraping—the majesty of the office,lol….fie, fie fie.
        let them earn respect, not merely expect it…so far , I can think of very few who have even come close.
        Currently, I have more respect for the guy who takes my money at the dump.

        Reply
      2. Keith Howard

        Thank you for this. It’s called seizing the initiative. The strategy should be obvious. Making law with only one house of Congress is impossible, so use that house to develop the platform which will win the WH and Senate the next time. Whining DNCC reply: MFA will drive away the big money. Then learn something from Bernie and Beto. So far, it still looks like the D paralysis is deliberate, I’m sorry to say.

        Reply
    3. Bugs Bunny

      People at her level of “wisdom”, for want of another word, are very effective at advancing their interests while couching them in the interests of others – that said, she probably was a “Progressive” when this all began, until her achievement of “wisdom”.

      Reply
    4. NotTimothyGeithner

      Given how many people don’t know who Pelosi is, knowing Pelosi exists is effectively secret knowledge, and brain dead partisans won’t ask the natural follow up question.

      Lets consider the idea of “leadership” or being “smart.” What does any of this mean? Its like Obama’s lofty rhetoric, soaring even. So it just sits there and gets repeated even if it has no meaning. ” Trump knows how to make deals, and on and on it goes, just crazy stuff.

      I had an experience with a “liberal” and “as anti-gun as one can get” neighbor who suspected I might have similar values. My neighbor knew working class whites liked Joe Biden. I asked him why didn’t the working class whites in Iowa and New Hampshire embrace him in 1988 or 2004. Towards the end of his trying to not expose his ignorance of so many issues and people was a justification of JFK’s importance to Catholics as if I would have missed that key detail. After I spit out an Ave Maria, I did mention I went to 14 years of Catholic school, confirmation and reconciliation classes, and I then brought up how cool it was that Jackie had the last name Bouvier but was Catholic as its a common name among Huguenots. My neighbor was clearly out of his depth. I hate Joe Biden. I usually just smile and say, “I don’t know”, but people who admire Biden deserve to be beaten down and their ignorance exposed.

      Knowing Pelosi is from San Francisco or that Biden rides the train is seen as an accomplishment. I blame television for being too sporadic, and maybe testing has ruined Americans for much longer than we like to complain. Its still the Holocaust scholar and the Holocaust denier on television situation.

      Back in 2016, HRC could get things done. What things? Silence, followed. Sanders? What has he done? Structurally minor stuff, but he wasn’t a national figure. What is particular striking about Sanders’ time in the Senate is he was both the ranking member on the budget committee and the Veterans committee. Despite not being a threat to switch parties and not commanding major industries (Ben and Jerry’s is owned by a Clintonista) how did Sanders get these positions is a question. The answer is his colleagues who in a healthy party would be crawling through much to get those positions gave it to him because he could get things done.

      It takes effort to go back and look at records and then make a corresponding values assessment. ACA was hailed as politically pragmatic. How so? John McCain ran on ACA basically and lost. Obama ran on a fairly different policy and won. I’m going on a bit, but I think really these people are just saying, “my leader is good. Their leader bad.”

      Reply
      1. Jeff W

        Sanders? What has he done?

        In addition to what you mentioned, Sen. Sanders is, in fact, “the amendment king” of the US Senate. And, judging by his ability to get things, like a $15 minimum wage and single payer, on the political agenda, he knows how to wield effective political power outside the confines of passing legislation.

        (And someone I know, who was a resident of Burlington, Vermont during the time Bernie was its mayor, says he was “the real deal,” much respected and admired—he was, it seems, highly effective as a mayor, too.)

        Reply
      2. blowncue

        If you live in a state that didn’t expand Medicaid to cover ACA premiums and your income is below a certain threshold, you don’t quality for ACA coverage. Can you get charity care from your local integrated service provider? Depends on the provider.

        I didn’t qualify, but my local community health center covered me. Who fought for funding for community health centers? In other words, who fought to get services to me today? Not someday, not in the future, but today? Sanders.

        Who didn’t get a pipe bomb in the mail during midterms? Sanders.

        Reply
    5. cj51

      I second the blowback about “not care so much about the next two years of Democratic House majority”. The Democratic House majority should care very much. They should redefine the Democratic platform and try to bring some unity to the Rep House and publicize the Democrats position on the issues, most notably health care. This is not a time to sit back. Trump is doing a lot of damage. In 2020 there will be 20 Repub Senators up for reelection and just 9 Demoncrats. The House of Reps should plan accordingly and have legislation in place to fix the destruction that the Republicans and the Trump Administration are pushing on the government of the USA.

      Reply
    1. Jeff W

      From the article:

      “I don’t think that the Bernie Sanders $32 trillion solution that’s going to eviscerate the insurance for 156 million Americans is really something that’s going to be helpful to the party in critical states,” [Joel Kopperud, the vice president of government affairs at the Council of Insurance Agents and Brokers, one of the industry groups backing the Partnership for America’s Health Care Future] added in an interview with The Intercept.

      As opposed to the $34 trillion or $49 trillion “solution” offered by the Partnership. And, sure, the first publicly-funded fire brigade, in Edinburgh, Scotland, in 1824, and those that followed, “eviscerated” the then-existing private fire brigades and the insurance companies that paid them, too, but no one particularly missed any of that.

      I had been operating on the theory that talking points like these displayed a certain kind of idiocy but I’m beginning to see them as signaling a bland arrogance—”It doesn’t matter what we tell these rubes—they’ll believe anything. And, besides, we’ve got the whole thing sewed up, anyway.”

      Reply
      1. pricklyone

        I went and read again that 2017 article. Then I read thru the comments.
        I was struck by the notion presented that something is lost if ’employer paid health plans’ were to go away, in the US.
        Accountants have a term for ’employer paid plans’…”COMPENSATION”.
        You are already receiving it in kind, as part of your compensation package. So that would be subtracted from any theoretical increase in your taxes due to a National Health plan, because you would surely get a corresponding bump in salary to make up for the COMPENSATION you were deprived of when your employer no longer paid for your health care. Yes? Because if not, you would have taken a pay cut in the amount that your insurance plan cost your employer.
        I tried to make the same case when they stole defined benefit pensions, and rplaced them with defined contribution 401k plans. Nobody heard it then either.
        Either your employer needs to pay YOU that part of your compensation that he pays the insurance company, or pay it in taxes, thereby defraying the cost of any tax increase to “pay for” a National single payer plan.
        Done and dusted.

        Reply
  4. todde

    “Democratic Donors Suggest They May Withhold Donations If Nancy Pelosi Isn’t Elected Speaker”

    Another reason to fight Pelosi’s election as Speaker.

    Reply
    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Perhaps a Republican can convince a few dissatisfied Democrats to become the next Speaker.

      I watched a couple of episodes of The Young Pope, with Jude Law, and I think the above is similar to how he got elected over a heavy favorite who was also his mentor.

      Reply
      1. emorej a hong kong

        Willie Brown’s long run running California legislation started, IIRC, with him beating incumbent Democratic leader with votes from Republican legislators.

        Reply
  5. savedbyirony

    What do i have to be thankful for this year? Plenty, but prominent among that is the work and community of NC.

    Safe travels and a joyful Holiday to all the NC clan. And remember as you perhaps tuck in tomorrow at the table, “Enough is as good as a feast.”.

    Reply
  6. Chris

    Happy Thanksgiving to everyone in the commentariat! Hopefully you will get a chance to rest and enjoy family and fellowship this week.

    On the topic starter… I understand the argument that the procedural and institutional expertise of people like Nancy Pelosi are important to make government work and to maneuver around the Republicans in a divided government. I get that she is a good politician. I agree that some of the arguments against her speakership are sexist and ageist and a whole bunch of other things. My problem with her is she will never take anyone to promised land of policies that will help our country. She won’t even change course. She sees no need to.

    The latest tax agreement and pay-go proposals are evidence of that. The people who are currently saying there’s nothing stopping Congress from raising taxes to get around the proposed limitation provide no arguement why we can’t raise taxes first and then impose the limit. Why do we have to create additional barriers to legislation that offers concrete material benefits to citizens before we’ve even drafted the legislation? Nancy Pelosi will let the status quo go when we pry it from her cold, dead fingers. So why let the Dem$ take ownership of their party being a wholly owned subsidiary of Wall Street and other Corporate donors and leave the base to spend it’s time building a party that won’t sell out before the battle for fixing our country has even begun.

    Reply
  7. PKMKII

    Interesting article in The Intercept today about the Congressional Progressive Caucus’ woes filling seats on the powerful committees. Nice look at the machinations that run the House:

    But finding enough progressives to sit on those committees has thus far proven difficult, The Intercept has learned. CPC members who already have committee assignments of their own on less powerful committees are reluctant to switch, as they would lose the seniority they’ve built up over the years. Separately, they worry about the jockeying that would be required on the new committees, which would put them in confrontations with centrist members that many would rather avoid for internal political reasons. Broadly speaking, incoming progressives are not traditionally captivated by the notion of slogging it out on the “money committees,” as they are sometimes known on Capitol Hill.

    In the past, progressives have ceded these committees to New Dems and Blue Dogs, who have long understood their importance, both for setting the direction of policy and earning access to corporate donors. “Progressives come to Congress to change the world, and New Dems come to Congress to get on the Ways and Means Committee,” said Alex Lawson of Social Security Works, who has spent months on an inside-outside effort to increase progressive committee representation. (The Ways and Means Committee has jurisdiction over tax policy.)

    Reply
  8. Richard

    Endlessly droning on about “our values”
    and never, not once, saying what “our values” are
    As part of my job I teach children how to write
    and of course one principle of good writing that we talk about is “show, don’t tell”
    I am beginning to think that should be an organizing principle for life as well.
    We have a relatively large, privileged class in this country that won’t shut up about values but never show any.
    I demand that they clearly state their values, in terms of policy, which is ALL THAT MATTERS in politics.
    In the meantime, while we’re waiting on that, maybe they could stop talking about values.
    Oops! This was meant to be a reply to Synoia above.

    Reply
    1. Trent

      Hear hear! All these empty platitudes. This is what struck me back in 2009 with the tea party. I went to a rally to feel it out. Major established republicans were on stage quoting Thomas Jefferson and others. And I thought to myself, well great I already know these quotes, tell me what you are going to do in specifics. They never did. So instead I decided to feel out the crowd and see what points if view they held. I was in my early 20’s at the time and was going thru a libratarian phase. They all wanted to cut spending, mostly their own benefits “entitlements”. I said ok that’s fine but if you’re going to do that you should also cut military spending by the same amount or more. Jaws dropped and glazed over eyes. That’s when I knew the tea party was a bunch of BS. Cynisism is looked down upon by most people but in the past ten years it’s helped me correctly guess how politics generally will progress. Until I see a politician who’s main platform is breaking up banks and major corporations I will continue to think they are full of BS. Recently AOC ( a darling of many here, though some are skeptical) had a sit in at mrs. Pelosis office about climate change. And I was heartened by some comments here that said it felt like she was high 5ing pre schoolers. Obama did the same to his supporters and what did he do for anyone? You want to fix the climate, your first major step should be breaking up the banks and major corporations. This solves sooo many of the problems in our society, especially the disparity in wealth. So again until I see this as the main plank of a politician or party I’ll continue to think they are full of BS.

      Reply
      1. NotTimothyGeithner

        You want to fix the climate, your first major step should be breaking up the banks and major corporations.

        The sit-ins during the Civil Rights movement weren’t held at racist establishments. They were held at places blacks frequented or represented a significant part of the clientele.

        AOC protesting Pelosi is important because Nancy as a “progressive” is the major stumbling block to your “first major step.” Bull Connor will always Bull Connor. Maybe Arpaio will strike a friendship with a lighter skinned Spanish speaker one day and see the light. I don’t care about his soul, and I don’t care if the CEO of Exxon Mobile pays to support a new Captain Planet television series. The problem is the “good guys” are bums. Unfortunately, the first step is making these friends come off the fence. Pelosi as leader is entrusted to fight the Republicans, and she doesn’t. She claims the mantle leadership, and she does nothing that would be called heroic. Perhaps, Obama will spin a “A Profiles in Courage 2.0”, and Schumer only allowing Trump to fill judicial vacancies will fill several chapters.

        The Republicans will always be bad guys. The sit-in over guns on the floor of the House was a stunt. If they wanted to make an impression, those Congressmen would have been in the lobbies of funds that invest in gun makers.

        AOC’s sit in like Sanders filibuster is a step towards these moves. Unfortunately, it takes time. Obama never once put on his comfortable shoes. In AOC’s short time, she’s presented more moral leadership than Obama has 14 years.

        Reply
    2. djrichard

      From my perspective, the “values” of the donor class are to reclaim what is theirs: the empire. It’s a three stage effort:
      – see the empire through this assault by the deplorables and their pirate leader.
      – get the deplorables back on the reservation.
      – and once it’s back to business as usual, take steps to mitigate this from happening again. Who knows, maybe we’ll see their generous side.

      Reply
  9. Tomonthebeach

    Why does WS want Pelosi in charge? What is in it for them? Wish we had investigative reporters who tried to answer such questions.

    So only Pelosi can lead the Congress? That shouts lack of leadership depth (for those who had not previously noticed). The last Dem President had a puny 4 years as senator. It took him the next 4 to learn how government works, and by then the Republicans had outflanked his administration. Now the Dems are suggesting a yet-to-be-sworn-in freshman Cortez and a failed-to-be-elected O’Rourke – these are the best they can come up with for 2020? I just read a headline on Drudge Report reassuring America that Ocasio-Cortez is too young to run for POTUS – whew! Does she know?

    It sure looks like WS is terrified of Sanders & Warren (seldom mentioned as DNC POTUS hopefuls. Just like 2016 when we saw how defeat was snatched from the jaws of victory – deja vu.

    Reply
      1. Watt4Bob

        IIRC all California vineyards and orchards are in reality water plays.

        So Pelosi is one of those busy securing future rents by getting a hold on water rights?

        Nothing to see there.

        Reply
      2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        That makes it look like it’s better to be a wealthy servant than a hungry, impoverished homeless master.

        “The wait is about 20 years to be a servant.”

        And we should be reminded of those old USSR jokes about waiting forever for a plumber. Of course, they could have been just CIA propaganda that are just waiting to be debunked.

        Reply
  10. Big Tap

    So the donors want Pelosi. No surprise there but isn’t this fatal to Democrats beating Trump in 2020. Those donors probably get REAL (and permanent) tax cuts from the Republicans and wouldn’t mind secretly if Trump is reelected. As long as the Left is stomped by people like Nancy Pelosi the donors are happy. Their interests are for the top 10% (or 9.9%) of the country only. Pay-Go is something even Paul Ryan didn’t use and is a device to keep the Democratic base down by doing nothing of any value. The Democratic voter might stay home in 2020 if they see two wasted years of Russiagate nonsense. Maybe that’s the plan.

    Reply
    1. Carey

      Beating Trump! in 2020 is not job #1 for Team Dem, not by a long shot. Stopping any policy that could benefit the Many is Team Dems’ job, and as long as they continue to do so, the donor-class money will continue to flow.

      Reply
  11. Randy

    I have voted in every election big and small since I was eligible to vote. I am seriously considering not voting anymore. In my rural area in flyover country I drive four miles round trip to my polling station. It takes 10-20 minutes to complete the process and it is becoming obvious that it is a waste of my gas, wear and tear on my car and my time.

    It just doesn’t matter which party is running the show, the donors that finance the campaigns of these politicians and the donors these politicians truly represent are the same donors to both parties. The voters are just an accessory to the crime.

    Reply
    1. Amfortas the hippie

      aye. I’ve made it a habit of being the first one to appear when the polls open…so much so that the county judge misses me when I’m late.
      I’ve always taken it very seriously.
      But I, too, have been having second thoughts…really, since Obama’s first term. Banker’s Holiday/Redemption, and all that.
      we early voted for the first time, this last election…mostly due to chemo scheduling..but also as a sort of distancing.
      I’ve inquired about absentee, too…again, for the first time.
      That I have even considered not voting is a pretty big deal, for me.

      Reply
    2. drumlin woodchuckles

      Are there still referrenda and/or initiatives on the ballot in your area? Those are often well worth voting about.

      Reply
  12. Hana M

    I have nothing constructive to add on the Pelosi issue but banging my head against the wall for a few minutes really cleared out my sinuses.

    The adorable picture of Leo inspired me to ask the NC commentariate for tech advice. I just adopted two darling eight year old brother cats–one of whom looks a bit like Leo. Of course no addition to the family is complete without pictures….which leads me to my question. I’m smart enough not to have a ‘smart’ phone and my old and excellent Olympus SLR is apparently unfixable. While I’m not giving up yet on that repair job I’m hoping to buy a low cost ($60?) digital camera for point and shoot cat family photos. I use a PC running Outlook and Windows 7 so easy upload via USB. Obviously I’d like a zoom and I’d like it to be slim enough to carry in my purse for stalking the occasional Water Cooler Plant.

    Any recommendations?

    I will, of course, share the resulting cat pix with NC :)

    Reply
    1. Carey

      Well, mine is a Canon Powershot 1300, and it’s thoroughly ok. Intuitive enough to use,
      adequate controls and optics, for the price.

      Reply
      1. Hana M

        Do you have a model number? Apparently a lot of these digital cameras differ by model and I’m hoping to buy used. Thanks and Happy Thanksgiving.

        Reply
        1. Carey

          A couple of things I like with this camera is that it uses AA batteries and it
          has a conventional viewfinder, as well as the screen. YMMV of course. :)

          Reply
    2. Watt4Bob

      If you have any friends who have a ‘retired’ smart phone they would donate, it can still be used as a camera, and a music device without the problems associated with all the ‘smart’ stuff.

      I have an old iPhone that I use that way.

      Reply
      1. Hana M

        Interesting idea! Forgive a probably basic question. How do you transfer the photo files from the retired smart phone without full capability (email, etc)?

        Reply
    3. jo6pac

      I have a Sony cyber-shot and I also have the same software as you do. It’s very easy to use compared to the old Olympus.

      Reply
  13. flaesq

    WTF is wrong with this dude? Someone needs to teach Moulton MMT. Stoking fires of intergenerational warfare is not something to encourage let alone perform. I suppose I just should be happy with the fact that he’s under column D. But I’m not happy.

    Reply
  14. Summer

    That’s a shove Single Payer up your butt letter.

    But you all keep going round and round on the duopoly game.

    Nothing would make a striking case for new parties like the demise of one of the duopoly.
    Let them go and make a move for the long haul to change. It’s just going to be longer messing with these clowns.

    It’s a duopoly. One has to go to get the ball rolling. Nothing says it doesn’t matter wjich one like this letter.

    Reply
  15. Bugs Bunny

    This rabbit is thankful that he has a place to come by once in a while and share his opinions and occasionally an observation or even a fact on the ground.

    Also, I hope Mrs. Bunny and I can get our marriage back on track; it’s been a tough one, doc. Humbling. Thankful that we’re still trying.

    Reply
  16. Craig H.

    After over five consecutive months of not one single rain drop in my zip code it has been raining continuously for over twelve straight hours and nothing in the forecast but more rain. The place has been aired out down to trace level of fire smoke and we are breathing free again. I have never in my life been this thankful to see rain.

    Happy Thanksgiving all. If you are the turkey I am sorry. :)

    Reply
  17. jaxbeau

    Happy Thanksgiving to our fearless leaders Yves, Jerri-Lyn, and Lambert, and to the commentariat one and all. From a lurker who reads every day but rarely has greater wisdom than that already displayed.

    I’m thankful for y’all.

    Reply
  18. nlowhim

    Love how, on my Twitter, all the centrists (#theresistance) are immediately, in the aftermath of the midterms, looking to crush all comers on the left (AOC etc). And the outcry over the journalist from people who still say little about KSA and Yemen is getting on my nerves. Yeah, I understand, but since there’s so much complicit silence over “other” journalists as well as environmental activists the world over, I just cannot take it seriously.

    Reply
  19. The Rev Kev

    Trump is fighting in Europe furiously to stop them getting Russian LNG via the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline – in construction at the moment – but wants them to import much more costly US LNG. Seems that it is more of a matter of ‘Sanctions for thee but not for me’ as three tanker loads of Russian LNG have already reached the US with another on the way soon-

    https://www.fort-russ.com/2018/11/does-the-u-s-actually-buy-russian-gas-despite-their-own-sanctions/

    Hey, it’s just business!

    Reply
  20. BobWhite

    “Democratic Donors Suggest They May Withhold Donations If Nancy Pelosi Isn’t Elected Speaker”

    Sounds like “Voluntary Campaign Finance Reform”.

    Let’s do it!!!

    Reply
    1. Sparkling

      I’m not sure what’s worse, the classic incompetent neocon posturing in the video or the odes to Putin’s masculinity in the comments.

      Reply
  21. Code Name D

    Happy terkey day to everyone here at NC. Today was also a travel day for me, so I wasn’t able to vent here like I might of wished. Fortuanly, you guys took care of that quite well, robbing me of any thing to say. So I will just pound my head against the wall for the next hour before Igo to bed.

    But my ordeal is only just begining. Soon Iwill have the dreaded political discusions with my opinionated famley. You know the ones who think Trump is going to be impeached for Russia any day now, because global warming or something.

    Skippipping ahread, my dad has revealed himself to be towing the pro-Pelosi line preaty much word for word. Even though he couldn’t rap his brain around Pelosi taking impeachment off the table. (He thinks I just made that up.) It’s stunning how disconected from reality he is. Of course he says the same about me and that I need better (non-Russian) sorces.

    Iwish Icould say Igained some insight into how he thinks. But he really just repeates what ever he heards Rachal Maddow say.

    Sigh. I hope this turkey has a lot of druggs in it, Imay need it before this is over.

    Reply
    1. The Rev Kev

      I suggest that you go on the offensive. The solution? Cricket! Learn about this English game at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cricket and pretend that you are an enthusiast. Watch a few YouTube videos to get an idea of the game. Somebody mentions Trump and you talk about the different ways that a batsman can be bowled out. Somebody talks about Pelosi, talk about how it is a game that goes on so long that it has scheduled drink and meal breaks. Learn the jargon and nobody will have a clue what you are talking about and cannot dispute what you are saying. With any luck, it should short-circuit a lot of arguments and leave people baffled and flummoxed by your newfound enthusiasm.
      It is either that or get yourself a blue baseball cap with big letters saying “AIAG” on it as in Clinton’s “America Is Already Great”.

      Reply

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