2:00PM Water Cooler 11/1/2019

By Lambert Strether of Corrente.

Warren has released her #MedicareForAll plan. I’ll have a post up shortly. –lambert

Politics

“But what is government itself, but the greatest of all reflections on human nature?” –James Madison, Federalist 51

“They had one weapon left and both knew it: treachery.” –Frank Herbert, Dune

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2020

Alert reader dk (not to be confused with DK) is in the process of developing the following interactive chart. Here is (are) the latest Dem Primary Polling as of 11/1/2019, 11:00 AM EDT:

I’m using the results from the last national poll, YouGov, as of 11/1/2019, 11:00 AM EDT:

A new Iowa state poll is out, also as of 11/1/2019, 11:00 AM EDT:

Warren, Sanders, Buttigieg climbing into contention, then Biden. The results:

Here is an explainer on the Iowa poll from dk. Thread:

More on Iowa:

No contradictions there!

I think dk has started a really neat project, and in the near future we’ll seek your feedback (within reason) for the tool “live.”

* * *

Biden (D)(1): “2020 rankings: The struggle is real for Joe Biden” [CNN]. “If Joe Biden were a stock, he’d be a “sell.” Or a “hold” at best. Why? Because the man who spent eight years as vice president, another 30+ in the Senate and has been the front-runner in the 2020 race since the day he got into it continues to struggle to convince voters and donors that he is their guy…. Then there is the money primary. Biden has never liked raising money and, as a result, never been terribly good at it. But even by those lowered standards, the fact that he ended last month with less than $9 million in the bank is truly incredible…. Could Biden still be the nominee? Sure! He remains the preferred candidate of minority voters, who have been — and will be — a decisive presence in past nomination fights. But Biden today is in a much weaker position than he was even a few months ago. And this is the time to be peaking, not losing your stride.”

Trump (R)(1): “I predicted Trump would win in 2016 — and I’m predicting the same for 2020. Here’s why liberals don’t understand what he represents” [Alternet]. Quite a rant, concluding: “[Trump] is the perfect mirror, just as Nixon followed Lyndon Johnson, Reagan followed Carter, and Bush followed Clinton, in performing not so much an oscillation but an exaggerated return to form. Empires, heavy and difficult to maneuver, don’t engage in circular or sideways motions. Trump is the accelerant to the end point that empire needs now, just as Reagan and Bush served their functions earlier, and in that sense he is a true man of the people. You don’t beat a man of the people electorally. You just don’t.”

UPDATE Warren (D)(1): Give credit:

Impeachment

“Americans sharply divided over whether to impeach and remove Trump from office, Post-ABC poll finds” [WaPo]. “The poll finds that 49 percent of Americans say the president should be impeached and removed from office, while 47 percent say he should not. Among Democrats, support for removing the president from office is overwhelming, with 82 percent in favor and 13 percent opposed. Among Republicans, it is almost the reverse, with 82 percent opposed and 18 percent in favor, even as the president’s approval rating reached a new low among members of his party. Independents are closely divided, with 47 percent favoring removal and 49 percent opposed.” • If one wished to be completely cynical, one might argue that the quick release and simple story of UkraineGate was more effective than the constantly shifting story of RussiaGate.

“Impeach Trump. Then Move On.” [David Brooks, New York Times]. “During Watergate, voters trusted federal institutions and granted the impeachment process a measure of legitimacy. Today’s voters do not share that trust and will not regard an intra-Washington process as legitimate,” • Yep. More: “I get that Democrats feel they have to proceed with impeachment to protect the Constitution and the rule of law. But there is little chance they will come close to ousting the president. So I hope they set a Thanksgiving deadline. Play the impeachment card through November, have the House vote and then move on to other things.” • The Democrats were muttering about the end of the year. No way.

UPDATE “Why the Impeachment Fight Is Even Scarier Than You Think” [Politico]. “Democrats and Republicans might still disagree about policy, but they are increasingly also at odds over the very foundations of our constitutional order. Political scientists have a term for what the United States is witnessing right now. It’s called “regime cleavage,” a division within the population marked by conflict about the foundations of the governing system itself—in the American case, our constitutional democracy. In societies facing a regime cleavage, a growing number of citizens and officials believe that norms, institutions and laws may be ignored, subverted or replaced.” • Seems reasonable. Here’s the tell: “Decades ago, a regime cleavage divided Chileans, with conservatives aligning against the elected government of Salvador Allende and eventually leading to a coup that replaced him with General Augusto Pinochet.” How on earth to do you write about the coup in Chile without mentioning the role of the intelligence community? Well, the same way you write about a change in the Constitutional order today, without mentioning the intelligence community.

2019

“Pro-Business House Democrat Loses Union Money as AOC Backs Rival” [Bloomberg]. “Unions may be hesitant to back Cuellar, but he still has the support of the most powerful Democrat in federal government: House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (Calif.), who recently endorsed him. While Ocasio-Cortez gets attention as a leader of a new generation of progressives, the number of Democrats considered moderate increased in the House with the 2018 midterm wave, which was fueled by moderates flipping seats from red to blue. Cuellar is member of Blue Dogs and the New Democrats, the more centrist Democratic caucuses. Despite this, Montserrat Garibay, secretary-treasurer of the Texas AFL-CIO, said Texas is changing and Cuellar should consider changing as well. The Texas AFL-CIO hasn’t released its endorsement lists yet.”

Realignment and Legitimacy

Important thread on “ballot marking devices” which, since they make marks on paper, are being marketed as “paper ballots.”

“Amazon’s cloud computing services elections data in 40 states, report finds” [MSN]. “[M]ore than 40 states are now using Amazon Web Service for elections. AWS handles state and county election websites, stores voter registration rolls and ballot data, facilitates overseas voting by military personnel, and helps provide live election-night results, according to the company. Elections officials have welcomed the company, as they say it has been a struggle to keep elections systems up to date. But security experts claim that it makes Amazon a bigger target for hackers.” • Or Amazon itself,

* * *

“Revolutionary Quotes from Centrist History” [McSweeney’s (NippersMom)]. “”A house divided against itself sounds expensive to rebuild.” — Abraham Lincoln, 1858

“How to Write a Memo to Convince a President: Walter Heller, Policy-Advising, and the Kennedy Tax Cut” [OpenEdition]. “The purpose of this paper is thus to use Heller’s successful attempts to persuade Kennedy as a case study to reinvestigate the interactions between economic knowledge and public reason.”

Stats Watch

Employment Situation, October 2019: “GM strike or not, October’s employment report came in solid and steady and in line with the Federal Reserve’s outlook for respectable overall economic growth” [Econoday]. “Manufacturing, reflecting the effects of the now settled GM strike, fell 36,000 in a very steep decline that looks, however, to reverse in the November…. Yet is there available capacity in the labor market to extend job growth in the coming months? The answer, judging by wage pressures, would appear to be yes as average hourly earnings managed only a 0.2 percent rise following the prior month’s unexpectedly low and unrevised no change… [T]here’s no indications of weakening in October’s employment report which instead points to building momentum for the consumer going into the holiday shopping season.”

Purchasing Managers’ Manufacturing Index, October 2019: “The manufacturing PMI improved further in October” [Econoday]. “This report has been stabilizing in recent months in sharp contrast, however, to the rival ISM manufacturing report which has been sinking into contraction.”

Institute For Supply Management Manufacturing Index, October 2019: “On the low side of expectations but not at increasing rates of contraction” [Econoday]. “The good news in this report is the rise in export orders, a move confirmed by the PMI manufacturing report which was released earlier this morning. Yet overall conditions are still very soft and are not pointing to any year-end acceleration for a sector that has been holding back the 2019 economy and where export-related trouble has helped trigger three straight rate cuts from the Federal Reserve.”

Construction Spending, September 2019: “Construction spending improved for a third straight month in September” [Econoday]. “The decline in nonresidential spending, where spending on commercial building has been very weak this year, will be a concern for the Federal Reserve which is closely watching the status of business investment. Otherwise, there’s more positives than negatives in today’s report especially single-family homes where increased building looks to keep emerging sales momentum alive for new homes.”

Retail:”How a thriving indie bookseller is taking on Amazon’s bricks-and-mortar insurgence” [Los Angeles Times]. “She didn’t intend to be flippant. But when asked how her independent bookstore will fare with an Amazon store moving in across the street, author Ann Patchett replies: ‘They don’t have a deaf border collie who jumps through hoops.'” • The owner is not just an author, but a best-selling author. But still, the collie!

Retail: “Retailer J.C. Penney is plotting a turnaround for its brick-and-mortar stores that includes far less merchandise on the floor. The company is testing a new model for its buildings that would hold fitness studios, a videogame lounge and style classes…, as it tries to transform a chain of 850 stores overstocked with clothing and consumer goods while its customers increasingly move online” [Wall Street Journal]. “That would mean more yoga classes and fewer truckload deliveries, extending a lean supply-chain effort that has already helped Penney slash inventories by 12.5% over the past year. Shoppers aren’t helping them shed that inventory very much: U.S. government figures show department store sales fell 6.1% in September from last year while the category that includes e-commerce grew 12.9%.”

The Bezzle: “Startup Molekule Is Using the California Wildfires to Sell Its Crummy Air Purifier” [OneZero]. “As huge swaths of land went up in flames, some Bay Area residents noticed something odd: their social media feeds were peppered with content from the air purifier startup Molekule, a sleek, San Francisco-based company that claims its $800 air purifier can eliminate pollutants at the molecular level. The company saw a financial opportunity in the crisis, apparently, and targeted Northern Californians with ads for its products…. By many accounts, Molekule is not a good air purifier. The device does not use HEPA filters and is not HEPA-rated; instead, it uses a proprietary UV light-based ‘photo electrochemical oxidation’ technology to break up particulates. Wirecutter called it ‘the worst air purifier we’ve ever tested,’ and said that having no purifier running at all was potentially better than running the device. Other reviewers have also given Molekule negative ratings.”

Tech: “A downturn in the memory-chip market has Samsung Electronics taking a hard look at its high-cost, high-yield semiconductor supply chain. Third-quarter profit at the world’s largest producer of memory chips fell 52%… despite growth at its mobile and display businesses” [Wall Street Journal]. “The company is being roiled by shifting buying patterns for electronics like smartphones that are disrupting Asia-based supply chains. Samsung has sought to cut costs, and in September shut down its smartphone production in China [(!)] after losing its grip on that enormous market. The company has also overturned longstanding strategy by outsourcing some manufacturing as its own production lines became inefficient when Chinese competitors launched cheaper and better quality devices.”

Tech: “Think you’re anonymous online? A third of popular websites are ‘fingerprinting’ you.” [WaPo]. “There’s a tactic spreading across the Web named after treatment usually reserved for criminals: fingerprinting. At least a third of the 500 sites Americans visit most often use hidden code to run an identity check on your computer or phone. Websites from CNN and Best Buy to porn site Xvideos and WebMD are dusting your digital fingerprints by collecting details about your device you can’t easily hide. It doesn’t matter whether you turn on ‘private browsing;’ mode, clear tracker cookies or use a virtual private network. Some even use the fact you’ve flagged ‘do not track’ in your browser as a way to fingerprint you. They’re doing it, I suspect, because more of us are taking steps to protect our data…. Fingerprinting happens when sites force your browser to hand over innocent-looking but largely unchanging technical information about your computer, such as the resolution of your screen, your operating system or the fonts you have installed. Combined, those details create a picture of your device as unique as the skin on your thumb.”

Concentration: “Q&A: Travelfish’s Stuart McDonald on the OYO and Instagram problems plaguing Southeast Asia” (interview) [Phocus]. • How Google screwed yet another good small business:

How does Google factor in, and how are you trying to compete?

They shouldn’t be allowed to do what they’re doing. I guess it’s good for Google shareholders. I have no problems with competing with other people in search on a level playing field, but when Google gets its material and shovels it in at the top – that’s all revenue-earning for Google. That’s very problematic.

A report recently said 70% of clicks on Google go to another Google property – might be YouTube or Google Maps or their travel portal or whatever. Back in the day, Google was all about, “We’re going to send you to answer as quickly as possible.” Now it’s much more keep answer here [within Google].

As example for us: We rank very well for general weather questions, that’s always been a good traffic source for us. Now Google puts all that on their own site.

We’ve also paywalled a lot of the site to drive the membership, but when you do that then Google penalizes you and you get pushed down in the search because people will click through and see it’s paid and bounce back, so the signal is they’re not getting a good experience.

Concentration: “Linguistic capitalism. Has Google become an all powerful usurer of language?” [We Make Money Not Art]. “Google Ads (formerly AdWords) is an advertising platform that allows businesses to bid on the keywords they are interested in. The higher your bid, the more prominent your clickable ad on the search engine results. In poetry and other forms of literature, words acquire value based on the type of emotions, mental landscapes and history they evoke. For Google algorithm however, the value of a word fluctuates according to the power of the industry that uses and advertises it. The term “cloud”, for example, evokes meditative moments, dreams and celestial visions. But on Google planet, it is associated to the technology that uses the internet and remote servers to store data and applications. Which explains why the word “cloud” is much more expensive than the word “sunny” for example. This type of emotionless commodification of language has helped Google become one the most successful and wealthy companies in the world.”

Honey for the Bears: “A ‘Big Short’ Investor’s New Bet: Climate Change Will Bust the Housing Market” [Vice]. “[Investor David] Burt sees similarities between now and the lead-up to 2008. ‘There’s a lot of parallels, it’s a big real estate mispricing issue. At its core that presents a lot of the same risks. A lot of real estate is massively overpriced and there’s a lot of risk associated with that and the big risk is another foreclosure crisis,’ he said. ‘Now, it’s a very different dynamic that’s creating the mispricing but actually magnitude-wise it looks pretty similar, maybe even bigger.’…. Burt sees similarities between now and the lead-up to 2008. ‘There’s a lot of parallels, it’s a big real estate mispricing issue. At its core that presents a lot of the same risks. A lot of real estate is massively overpriced and there’s a lot of risk associated with that and the big risk is another foreclosure crisis,’ he said. ‘Now, it’s a very different dynamic that’s creating the mispricing but actually magnitude-wise it looks pretty similar, maybe even bigger.'” • With an ingenious reworking of The Big Short’s Jenga Tower into a “a brand new condo tower on the beach, with “penthouse is occupied by banks and other investors.”

* * *

Today’s Fear & Greed Index: 76 Greed (previous close: 72, Greed) [CNN]. One week ago: 62 (Greed). (0 is Extreme Fear; 100 is Extreme Greed). Last updated Nov 1 at 11:38am.

The Biosphere

“De-Growth vs a Green New Deal” [New Left Review]. The conclusion: “[I]f the left is serious about mounting a viable, global, climate-stabilization project, it should not be losing time seeking to build an all-purpose, broad-brush degrowth movement—which, for the reasons outlined, cannot succeed in actually stabilizing the climate. This is even more emphatically the case when a fair and workable approach to climate stabilization lies right before us, by way of the Green New Deal.” • As usual from NLR, a tightly reasoned but long read.

“Keystone Pipeline leaks 383,000 gallons of oil in North Dakota” [KTVZ]. • Nobody could have predicted….

“The rise of the greedy-brained ape” [Nature]. “Gaze into a mirror. Reflected is a marvel of evolution: a weak-jawed, bipedal omnivore with a greedy brain, in which 100 billion neurons consume 20% of the body’s energy intake. Science journalist Gaia Vince urges us towards such reflections in Transcendence, a book tracing the journey of Homo sapiens through genes, environment and culture to what might be, she surmises, a new state of being…. She tracks the cultural explosion, triggered by technological discovery, that gathered pace with the first trade in obsidian blades in East Africa at least 320,000 years ago. That has climaxed this century with the capacity to exploit 40% of the planet’s total primary production. How did we do it? Vince examines, for instance, our access to and use of energy. Other primates must chew for five hours a day to survive. Humans do so for no more than an hour. We are active 16 hours a day, a tranche during which other mammals sleep. We learn by blind variation and selective retention. Vince proposes that our ancestors enhanced that process of learning from each other with the command of fire: it is 10 times more efficient to eat cooked meat than raw, and heat releases 50% of all the carbohydrates in cereals and tubers.” • One more book to read!

Games

“The games that smart people play” [Financial Times]. “[O]f all the deep pastimes one might embrace there’s nothing quite like a tabletop game to sharpen the mind, strengthen friendships and ease the soul…. Thomas Schelling — a cold war strategist and winner of the Nobel Prize in economics — once wrote: ‘One thing a person cannot do, no matter how rigorous his analysis or heroic his imagination, is to draw up a list of things that would never occur to him.’ War games offer a solution to that conundrum: the experience of trying to outwit a gaming opponent makes the unimaginable start to seem familiar.”

“Why we still love board games” [The Undercover Economist]. “”There are two schools of thought as to why the Germans love board games,” says Martin Wallace of Warfrog. ‘The Germans are of the opinion that it’s down to their superior education system. We English are of the opinion that it’s because German TV is shite.’ There are, in fact, many more than two schools of thought about why Germany is the world’s board game superpower. It could be the enthusiasm of the citizens. In a country such as Britain, it is downright odd to pull a board game out of a cupboard and offer to teach it to friends alongside after-dinner coffee. In Germany, people do that and more. They discuss old games and act as evangelists for new ones. Naturally, the games are better as a result.”

“Selling Toys with the Sailor Moon Transformation Sequence” [JSTOR Daily]. “As [Kumiko Saito] explains, selling toys was always a key part of the ‘magical girl’ anime. ‘While Western concepts of ‘genre’ may entice people to define the magical girl based on plots and settings,’ she writes, ‘the most practical way to identify this category is primarily by means of its business structure. Many of Japans anime programs for children are founded on toy marketing that capitalizes on gender-divided sales of character merchandise and gadgets used by characters in television programs.'” • I suppose I can file an anime story under Games…

Halloween

Accurate (1):

Accurate (2):

Black Injustice Tipping Point

“How slavery still shadows health care” [The Harvard Gazette]. “[City College of New York journalism Professor Linda Villaros] also found disturbing signs in her own dealings with the system. She noted that in many hospitals, the spirometer (used to measure lung capacity) is given a ‘racial correction’ because of the perception that African Americans have inferior lungs — an infuriating falsehood that she traced back to something Thomas Jefferson wrote. She suspected that such an adjustment was made on her when she was pregnant, which was ironic, since she’d been raised at higher altitudes in the Colorado mountains and so probably had stronger-than-average lungs. Worse, when she developed a complication during her pregnancy, her doctor asked whether she’d used crack cocaine, despite her status as the health editor of a national magazine.”

Class Warfare

“‘I Was Proud to Do This Work With Him’: David Simon on James Franco Controversy” [Rolling Stone]. • Hoo boy. Not a whole lot of understanding of power dynamics, here. Introduces the term “intimacy coordinator.” Very Hollywood!

“NBC News digital staffers opt to unionize, citing questions about sexual misconduct procedures” [WaPo]. “Three-quarters of the staff — which includes reporters, editors, designers, video journalists and social media staff at news sites run by the company — have signed on to the effort, according to a statement released Wednesday by the NewsGuild of New York, the union that will represent the employees. Calling itself the NBC News Guild, the union said the reasons behind the push included concerns about the company’s treatment of women and people of color and the way it handled recent incidents of sexual misconduct.”

News of the Wired

“The Weird Psychological Theory behind Gym Class” [JSTOR Daily]. “[Geographer Elizabeth A. Gagen] writes that one of the most influential advocates for physical education and playgrounds was the psychologist G. Stanley Hall. Hall argued that the development of an individual human ‘recapitulated’ evolutionary history. In this formulation, Gagen writes, until age 8 ‘children may exhibit prehensile movements or yearn for the sand pit which reminded them of the primeval muds.’… “To the young child,” Hall wrote, ‘There is no gap between his soul and that of animals.’ Between ages 8 and 12, Hall’s (racist, colonialist) theory equated children with ‘savage’ people. It was only in adolescence that people could enter what Hall considered a modern human existence.”

“How Magazine Pages Were Created Before Computers: A Veteran of the London Review of Books Demonstrates the Meticulous, Manual Process” [Open Culture]. “Pasting-up, which Dalefield frames as a marrying of the work of editors and typographers, will seem astonishingly labor-intensive to most anyone under the age of 50, few of whom even know how magazines and newspapers put together their pages before the advent of desktop publishing. But the very word ‘desktop,’ in the computer-interface sense, speaks to the metaphorical persistence of the old ways through what Dalefield calls the ‘falling out of trades’ in the digital age. I myself have done a fair bit of ‘cutting,’ ‘copying,’ and ‘pasting’ writing this very post — but I suppose I never did say, ‘Oh, that’s very sticky’ while doing so.” • The video:

I loved doing paste-up, and I was really accurate and fast, probably because in common with all the old guys, I used single-edged razor blades instead of that X-Acto knife…

Movie nook:

Culture nook:

“Little Feat Guitarist Paul Barrere Dead at 71” [Rolling Stone]. • Not by Barrere, but a propos:

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 and coral 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 (New Wafer Army):

New Wafer Army: “Please find attached a picture of an unknown (to me) plant taken in Dublin’s National Botanic Gardens.” I have pleasant memories of Dublin’s National Botanic Gardens from long, long ago. But I don’t know what that plant is!

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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. Oregoncharles

        Related, variously, to pineapples and the Old Man’s Beard of the SE (the stuff here is actually a lichen.) Amazing family. Not all epiphytes, of course.

        Reply
  1. Jason Boxman

    I well remember the refrain from my thankfully forgotten time at dkos that the Democrat party is the reality-based party or some such. And here we are with impeachment, with the liberal class unhinged by Trump.

    So I wonder, if all of these Democrat voters that claim to support impeachment, would continue to do so if not for the hysteria created by the liberal establishment media; are these thinking people, susceptible to reason, or not?

    I don’t see any difference between this and conservatives believing Obama was actually a muslim, or not an American citizen, or whatever. It’s all just unhinged.

    But most people are herd animals, then, anyway.

    Happy 1st of November!

    Reply
    1. Lee Too

      I remember the dustup before the 2016 election when Trump hedged on a question of whether he would accept the results of the election in the event that he lost. Oh the tyranny! Oh the sacrilege! And now the dems are about to start their fourth(!) year of non-acceptance. Oh the irony! I pointed this out to a progressive newsletter when they asked why I wanted to unsubscribe. At the time the non-acceptance was still in its first year. There was no response, and I think they (the dems) still don’t get it.

      Reply
      1. Jason Boxman

        It leaves me with little hope for the future, to say the least. But at least it’s a lovely day outside here in Boston, with the leaves changing, still clinging to the trees in places, with a cool breeze.

        Reply
        1. Amfortas the hippie

          trump derangement does indeed mirror obama derangement.
          but keep in mind that the majority of your fellow americans don’t subscribe to either, and are more likely to have watched a ballgame than the last debate.
          DK is not the world, in the same way that rush limburger is not the world…they’re both relatively tiny minorities…
          the advent, and acceptance in both establishments, of troll armies is something to consider, too.
          and the reinforcement effect of said armies…in my field work, i stalked local yokels online and compared that behaviour with what i observed in real life…the two couldn’t be more different.

          Reply
  2. Carolinian

    Re David Simon and James Franco–an HBO show about the horrors of the porn industry doesn’t necessarily strike one as being on the up and up (I’ve never seen it). As Game of Thrones fans know the channel does love its nudity and violence. Of course if these are “artistically necessary” then it’s surely ok…..

    Reply
    1. voteforno6

      It was a pretty good show, and was a lot more nuanced than “the horrors of the porn industry.” As for the “intimacy coordinator,” that was actually something that came about from the request of one of the actors on the show.

      Reply
      1. Carolinian

        Sorry if I’m cynical but I somehow doubt HBO gave the green light out of pure social concern.

        Their Westworld also styled itself an arty update of the old Crichton movie but with lots of nudity and violence. It’s what they do.

        Reply
      2. Basil Pesto

        yes, the intimacy coordinator is an interesting thing. It’s very easy to be glib and take the piss out of an ostensibly silly job title, like you might see in the credits of a Leslie Nielsen movie. On the other hand…

        I was talking about this with filmmaking friends the other day, I forget the example but somebody was trying to compare the ethics of staging a swordfight with the ethics of staging a romantic scene. To which I countered that it’s not quite the same because a swordfight is faked, not only are the swords not real, but there’s no physical striking of the bodies. On the other hand, you can’t fake a kiss. You can fake sex to the extent that there’s no actual penetration, but the actual physicality and indeed intimacy of the act can’t be faked in the way that stage fighting can.

        However, film sets (where the story requires it) have stunt coordinators and safety officers on set and this has been standard practice for decades. They’re there for 2 chief reasons: to protect the staff (cast and crew); and to protect the production to some extent (from ensuing legal liabilities if things go awry).

        Considering that framework, why not an intimacy coordinator? To protect the actors at the very least. The question, though, is protect them from what, precisely? with stunts, it’s axiomatic – protection from physical harm, and there’s a vast body of tort law that qualifies exactly what harm is, what causes it, and how to right those wrongs, if a wrong has indeed been committed (through the production’s negligence, for example). But what is the nature of the harm when a sex scene is performed, and something goes awry? I’m not an actor who’s been in that situation so I can’t really say with any authority, but I could guess along the lines of: embarrassment, shame, loss of dignity, psychological/psychiatric harms.

        There’s far less jurisprudence, as far as I know, for suing for wrongs of that nature. In the case of exceeding professional boundaries in the performance of a sex scene I suspect contract law would be invoked more than tort law (being coerced to do something that wasn’t provided for in a contract for instance). For these scenes, though, a production may still need protection from the court of public opinion (particularly a serialised production over many years), where backlash and bad press might result in (actual) cancellation of a series, having a pretty terrible result for all the workers on the production. From the interview it seems like this was certainly a concern for Simon, particularly after the first season. If an intimacy coordinator can protect the actors from those putative harms I mentioned and protect a production and the considerable unionised workforce employed by it, then why not?

        It’s also interesting to think about the difference in attitudes to nudity and sexual expression between, say, American and European cinema. Consider, for example, Germany’s Freikörperkultur (‘free body culture’), where people are considerably less squeamish about being naked around strangers than in anglophone countries. One wonders whether this ‘intimacy coordinator’ innovation will find its way to Europe, whether it would even be considered necessary or if the very idea might raise eyebrows
        of the “those damn Americans” variety. I find it all rather interesting.

        Reply
        1. DJG

          Basil Pesto: In some sense, the intimacy coordinator is protecting the actors from the director. On stage, and undoubtely in films, some directors pretty much directed such scenes as “Suck face.” There are plenty of rumors of performances of real sexual acts by actors who weren’t sure what was expected. Women on stage have demanded protections–from inept directors and from predatory directors and actors.

          On the other hand, there is this bureaucracy: As a playwright, I have to deal with dramaturgs, those helpful people who tell playwrights just what it is that the playwright intended to write. Ahem. (Not quite–but they can also be overbearing.)

          I was working on a staged reading of a play of mine, when one actor asked if he should kiss another actor–the two male characters were linked romantically. The director said no. Squeamishness? Actors not ready to take that step? I’m not sure. But I didn’t ask, either.

          Reply
          1. Basil Pesto

            Respectfully, the cynicism is misplaced in this instance, in my opinion. I do remember reading the press around the first season and the production team made a point of saying that it was important that they try hard to make sure the show’s sex is not prurient. They succeeded in that, in my opinion. It’s not a titillating show at all.

            Reply
          1. Carolinian

            It wasn’t really a rape scene although she likes to call it that now. Don’t forget the movie was praised to the skies by Pauline Kael–someone who had a low opinion of the macho attitudes of, say, Carnal Knowledge.

            Interestingly Ingmar Bergman’s comment on the movie was that it really should have been about two gays.

            Reply
            1. Carey

              Schneider doesn’t call it anything, since she died in February 2011.

              In 2007, she said:

              I should have called my agent or had my lawyer come to the set because you can’t force someone to do something that isn’t in the script, but at the time, I didn’t know that. Marlon said to me: ‘Maria, don’t worry, it’s just a movie,’ but during the scene, even though what Marlon was doing wasn’t real, I was crying real tears. I felt humiliated and to be honest, I felt a little raped, both by Marlon and by Bertolucci. After the scene, Marlon didn’t console me or apologise. Thankfully, there was just one take.

              Reply
              1. Carolinian

                They are all gone. Bertolucci liked to explore the boundaries of sexuality. In The Dreamers the Eva Green character howls as her brother has sex with another woman in the next room. Needless to say this sort of exploration–which Kael enthused over–has fallen out of favor now.

                Reply
        2. JBird4049

          Accidental sword/lance/whatever deaths are pretty rare, but they do occur. Anytime you start flinging a solid piece of metal or wood about there is a chance.

          Reply
  3. Lunker Walleye

    Paste Up
    We used a hot wax machine for doing paste-ups of college brochures and promotional literature. I wasn’t that good at it but I’m happy to have had exposure to it as part of on-the-job education. Tip o’ the hat to Frank Mathews for his university class on pre-production and printing.

    Reply
    1. Off The Street

      Paste-up pizza, another bygone tradition of an aging population. I must admit that clicking a mouse while holding a slice of pizza in the other hand does reduce the chance of dripping on the layout.

      Reply
    2. nippersdad

      I worked at newspapers doing paste up for about fifteen years. We, too, used hot wax and eschewed scissors for exacto blades, as the alternatives just slowed production to a crawl.

      What amazed me at the time was how labor intensive the hot metal process was, so it was kind of funny to see the paste up process described as being time and labor intensive; if we couldn’t get a four color front page out in ten or fifteen minutes inclusive of editing (usually done simultaneously) it was proofreading or ads-for-you-forever.

      The job itself would have been fun were it not for the insane hours, deadlines and horrible, horrible bosses.

      Reply
      1. Oregoncharles

        It’s a crisis – a deadline – every day, at least on dailies.

        Not as bad as a commercial kitchen, with a crisis every few minutes.

        Reply
    3. DJG

      Lunker Walleye: At my first job, we still had one journal set in hot type: Mergenthalers with “pigs” of lead. Those typesetters would “lock up” the typecases when corrections were finished. The typefaces were gorgeous–something that cold type has yet to achieve. And those typesetters could spell any word in the English language.

      I later had as job as an editor/proofreader at a place that had the Mergenthaler cold-type machines. Giant screens, and some photo-development apparatus built into the side.

      One of the graphic designers who was a client of ours prided himself on being able to slice in a semicolon on the “boards,” if a change of punctuation was required late in proofing. He was the master of the Exacto knife.

      The same typographer was one of the pioneers of desktop publishing , and I took a tutorial on one of those early Apple machines–vertical rectangles with screens about 6 in. by 6 in. That was about 1987.

      Until desktop publishing took over, the boards would come to the editors with a sheet of tissue paper over each spread. What a sensory experience. (And as an editor, I still smell books.)

      Reply
      1. Lunker Walleye

        DJG, You had some great opportunities and I enjoyed your comments. It’s hard not to have a near reverence for the beauty of hot type — and “pigs” is such a great term. The hot typesetters had incredible skills. I have memories of learning about the California Job Case shortly before people hung them in living rooms to display miniatures. My friend moved house recently and took hot type from her family printing business complete with the oak cabinets. So fun to look in the drawers.
        A really good paste-up was a thing of beauty. Being able to patch in a semicolon? That dinky little thing that wants to slip around? Also admirable. It’s really hard to beat working with your hands. Printing processes are so exciting.

        Reply
      2. lambert strether

        O the Linotype is fickle
        She breaks down every day
        But when she hits the matrix
        She will steal your heart away

        —to the tune of When Irish Eyes Are Smiling

        I too learned PageMaker 3.0 on the 6×6 Mac. Two bit/black and white screen. What a great machine that was

        Reply
    4. eg

      Did some paste-up during my stint at “Canada’s Other National Newspaper” Golden Words when my brother was co-editor.

      Beer, pizza and good times …

      Reply
  4. laughingsong

    Ah I did paste-up for a couple of years (X-acto, probably blew through a package or two of blades a day). Would show up between 4:30-5 AM, gather the printed column rolls and strip the boards from the previous day, load up the hot wax machine, go through my advertisement placements/copy, then chug through the morning, bringing boards to the print room periodically (pun intended).

    My paste-up room was next to the Computer Room that had been a break room (with a minicomputer – mini-mainframe that is), and that’s how I got into computers; they trained me on it so they wouldn’t have to come down there, they could just call me. Then they hired a programmer consultant who I had to work very closely with because she was writing the code that would replace me. Once it was in production and tested out to the company’s satisfaction, they let me go, but I asked the office manager, president, and the programmer to write letters of recommendation attesting to my computer skills. It took 3 months of shopping those letters into a computer job, but I finally found a startup willing to try me out.

    That was that. How I wish that kind of thing were more common for today’s up-and-coming young people. A little moxy, some luck and someone willing to train. . . .

    Reply
      1. laughingsong

        Well bless you and others like you!!!!! On-the-job training works better for some (like me) who need the extra incentive of being able to see the real-world application of what is being learned. For some of us, that was needed to focus and not constantly be looking out the window and thinking about other things to do (essentially sums up my school career).

        Gave me a chance and I am forever grateful. Gordon Stewart of Dial Info: if you’re out there, I owe you big time!!

        Reply
        1. nippersdad

          Everyones’ experience will vary, but I don’t think the intellectual exercise of learning something can be cemented without actually doing it. The physical act of baking bread, for example, is as good or better a tutorial than anything one could find in a book. Textures, colors, weights, smells and sheen can be experienced in a way that intellectual exercises cannot adequately get across.

          Everyone needs that kind of extra incentive, if for no other reason than to know whether the field is a right fit for them.

          I know of landscape architects that pride themselves on never having planted a bush, for example, and one has to question the quality of their work as a result. Interviews on client satisfaction five years later would be nice to see in their portfolios in such cases. I think that tactile experience is a fundamental quality of education that is wholly undervalued in any number of fields today, and that is a real shame.

          Reply
          1. Oregoncharles

            Landscape architects mostly are not designing gardens – more like shopping complexes or boulevards.

            I did some designing as a landscape contractor; but the truth is, it isn’t really designed until you have plants in your hand – and the person who does the planting has the last word. Installed other people’s designs a couple of times, too; they changed a bit.

            Reply
  5. Off The Street

    Tech fingerprinting is a race, where some exploit any and all data points about the user hardware, software, session and such, and others work up deflections or shields. Anti-fingerprinting, VPN, java script disabling, https enforcement without leaking info and other tools have become part of user arsenals. Sadly, those won’t stop some sites from user name and address identification and subsequent doxxing.

    Reply
  6. flora

    re:

    Here’s the tell: “Decades ago, a regime cleavage divided Chileans, with conservatives aligning against the elected government of Salvador Allende and eventually leading to a coup that replaced him with General Augusto Pinochet.” How on earth to do you write about the coup in Chile without mentioning the role of the intelligence community? Well, the same way you write about a change in the Constitutional order today, without mentioning the intelligence community.

    Just wanted to repeat that.

    Reply
    1. dcblogger

      If indeed the intelligence community is united in their opposition to Trump, they are a little bit like all those 18th century French Aristocrats who were so critical of Louis XVI, it just never occurred to them that the country did NOT consider the aristocracy as their natural leaders. That may be why the country is not as transfixed on this impeachment the way there were the Judiciary Committee hearings of 1974 or the Iran Contra hearings of 1987.

      Reply
      1. lambert strether

        I think the intelligence community has factions, like anything else, so they are not united by definition. (I don’t know where Haspel is, for example.) But the dominant faction is united and IMNSHO dominates the impeachment show. If there is factional opposition in the IC, we will see counter-leaks. But really, who doesn’t want to see one’s own institution gain power?

        Reply
        1. Rod

          In his interview on Joe Rogan Exp #1368 at about 1hr :50min, Ed Snowden chuckles a bit and says something like:
          ” Boy–get on the wrong side of the IC and while they can’t get you out of office they can make a Presidents life very difficult.”
          The timestamp for the YouTube video is 10/23/19.
          “Factions” within IC are culprits is a theme he returns to many times in the Interview.

          That Link, through NC, was another outstanding example of Public Service by NC-imo.
          Kudos to Mr Rogan for mostly sitting aside and just letting Snowden roll it out.

          Reply
  7. Robert Valiant

    Tech: “Think you’re anonymous online? A third of popular websites are ‘fingerprinting’ you.” [WaPo]. “There’s a tactic spreading across the Web named after treatment usually reserved for criminals: fingerprinting.

    Firefox has blocked fingerprinting since May of this year.

    It even blocks the Twitter Tracker on this site.

    Reply
  8. dearieme

    an infuriating falsehood that she traced back to something Thomas Jefferson wrote

    Well what did she expect? She must surely have read the Declaration of Independence.

    her doctor asked whether she’d used crack cocaine, despite her status as the health editor of a national magazine

    It’s so annoying when one isn’t accorded the class privilege to which one is entitled.

    Reply
    1. Expat2uruguay

      “Did you use crack cocaine?” seems like exactly the kind of information a doctor should ask for. any fear of offending the patient should be balanced with the need for the doctor to professionally monitor the health of The patient.

      Reply
      1. dcblogger

        I am white and no doctor has ever asked me that question. NOT the sort of question you should ask unless you have SOME evidence to suggest the answer might be yes.

        Reply
        1. Oregoncharles

          They use a questionnaire that asks for any drug use. the staff handle that, though, so not confidential. Some sort of followup seems appropriate, esp. in pregnancy.

          Reply
  9. Dita

    Re: Impeachment – Never thought I’d see the day, but I agree with David Brooks. As Lambert might say, it’s a funny old world. I just think the dems will prolong the impeachment process out as long as possible, the better to distract from the dire issues facing us, from healthcare to climate change.

    Reply
    1. flora

      The Dems aren’t doing themselves much good on this, imo. From The Hill:

      Support for impeachment is under water in new surveys of Wisconsin and Florida, two key states in next year’s fight for the White House.

      Trump won both in 2016, turning Wisconsin red for the first time in decades and returning Florida to the GOP column after former President Obama carried it twice.

      In New Hampshire and Arizona, two more swing states, most voters oppose impeachment. Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton narrowly won the Granite State in 2016, and Democrats believe they have a chance to win Arizona after securing a Senate race last year.

      https://thehill.com/homenews/administration/468240-polls-show-support-for-impeachment-weaker-in-key-battleground-states

      Ignoring the battleground states in 2016 worked so well for the Dems. /s

      Reply
      1. chuckster

        It’s the House of Representatives they need to worry about. Every reason why America hated Nancy Pelosi has been validated since January 2019. I have a feeling that a lot of those newly minted MILO Congresspeople are going to be looking for lobbyist work next November.

        Reply
      2. The Rev Kev

        ABC says that Americans may be sharply divided about impeachment but have they taken a poll of the Senate lately? Even two Democrats sided with the republicans in the House vote. Can you imagine what would happen if the Republicans cooperated with the Democrats to kick Trump out? The backlash would be immense. You would probably see a takeover of the Republican party by Tea Party 2.0 but who would make the Taliban look like moderates. All those Trump voters would make sure of that. It would be a tactical win by the establishment but would turn out to be a strategic loss – with a lot of dire consequences.

        Reply
    1. ewmayer

      I enjoyed the statistical oddity that the visiting team won every one of the 7 games in this series – apparently even visitor-wins-first-6 had never occurred before. Coin-flip odds would be (1/2)^7 or 128:1, but I ran the numbers for this year’s regular season and see that the away team won on average 47% of games, so based on that the odds were closer to 200:1.

      To put that in perspective, those odds are similarly long to the statistical odds facing the NE Patriots during the depths of Super Bowl LI, down 28-3 midway through the 3rd quarter: “The Patriots’ chance of winning bottomed out at 0.3 percent (after Julian Edelman’s incomplete pass). There were 20 different points in the game in which the Falcons’ win probability was 99 percent or greater.”

      Reply
  10. DJG

    Yes, the Anis Shivani piece is a rant–but like Matt Taibbi, who is another Cassandra worth listening to, we should not make the mistake of ignoring the Cassandras.

    What we have to remember is that Taibbi and Shivani are concerned about human welfare. For all the fireworks going off on Shivani’s paragraphs, he is concerned with who is suffering and who will suffer.

    Highly recommended.

    And don’t forget that, like Shivani, Naked Capitalism was highly skeptical of the coronation of Hillary Clinton. What happened? What happened.

    Reply
  11. ambrit

    I had to laugh in reading the Bloomberg statement that ‘Blue Dogs’ and ‘New Democrats’ are “centrist Democratic caucuses.” FDR is spinning in his grave. Fifty years ago, those groups would have been called “Cloth Coat Republicans.”

    Reply
    1. nippersdad

      Given their penchant for the surveillance/carceral state at home and approval of war crimes abroad I can think of other descriptors that would have applied more than Cloth Coat Republicans. Nixon, after all, was passing the Clean Water and Clean Air Acts about fifty years ago, when we still had a lot of vets who would have recognized all too well what we are devolving into.

      But, yeah, FDR is definitely spinning in his grave when someone like Sanders can be considered “not a real Democrat” in polite society.

      Reply
  12. BobW

    Great comment on the scariest costume link about small incremental change:

    “the sad part is you never get any candy trick-or-treating, you just walk half-way up the driveway, then turn around declaring an ‘acceptable compromise.'”

    Reply
    1. Jeremy Grimm

      If it is a political small incremental change I thought you wait a moment, make sure the coast is clear and go to the dark side door or gate to get your much larger share of candy.

      Reply
  13. jefemt

    RIP Paul Barrere.

    Saw him with Lowell & The Feat, John Pousette-Dart Band, and Orleans (with John Hall and the Hoppen brothers). Stage was loaded with superlative Strat-slingers!

    Here’s one of him noodling while checking out a Rivera Amplifier. Wish I could do one thing this well

    https://youtu.be/tSsGBEcJUIk

    Reply
    1. marku52

      Very cool. Black strat in open G with flat wound strings, gets that farty tone on the low strings. I think Ry Cooder does the like. Rivera went on from Fender to make some nice amps.

      I was in a outdoor store the other day, of all places, and Crossroads by Cream came on. Clapton’s incendiary soaring solos on top of Bruce and Baker doing a psychedelic jazz trio rhythm section on meth blowing insane underneath it all.

      2 out of that 3 gone as well.

      Reply
    2. lyman alpha blob

      Yes, and thanks for the tune Lambert. Best live album ever if you ask me.

      Never made the connection before, but listening to that tune again reminds me of the old story of Alexander the Great stopping by Diogenes’ tub while he was basking in the sun. When Alexander told Diogenes he’d grant him whatever he wanted, Diogenes told Alexander “Stand out of my light”.

      Reply
  14. Jeremy Grimm

    RE: “More on Iowa”
    “NYT poll finds that majorities of Iowa voters want a moderate, common-ground candidate who will use those traits to bring fundamental, systemic change to American”

    “No contradictions there!” — indeed! Sounds like a suggestive prediction of a vote for an Obama II. This time ‘systemic’ change we can believe in. Can we save Tinkerbell? Be Zen and use one hand.

    Reply
    1. sleepy

      Fwiw–In my small Iowa town, Sanders organizers are going all out. I get a call once a week offering a free bus ride to various Sanders events around the state–potluck with Nina Turner in Waterloo, a march with Bernie in Des Moines, and so on, and requesting volunteers for caucus night, 3 months away, which I did. Afaik, I wasn’t initially listed in any database as a Sanders supporter, though I caucused for him in 2016. Seems to be cold calls. I guess they call every registered dem in the county asking for support.

      Not heard a blip from any other candidate–Warren, Buttigieg, nada. Hopefully that will pay off in a bigger turnout that benefits Sanders.

      Reply
      1. sleepy

        Duh, I forgot I donated to the Sanders campaign which is why they called.

        But still . . . . . not heard a word from another campaign. I think it’s great that Sanders is working hard to marshal his supporters 3 months out. They’re working like it’s 3 weeks out.

        They’re not calling for money either, but to promote activism on behalf of the campaign.

        Reply
  15. The Rev Kev

    “Startup Molekule Is Using the California Wildfires to Sell Its Crummy Air Purifier”

    So what happens with this crappy air purifier when PG&E cuts your power?

    Reply
    1. notabanker

      it is in the best interests of this party as we seek to unify around a nominee;
      Before a single primary vote has been cast……

      Reply
      1. cm

        a nominee

        Presumably he had the intelligence to throw his support to the strongest nominee, correct? So, who does he endorse?

        Reply
  16. BoyDownTheLane

    In re: “physical education and playground”, my daughter (now 43, teaching 4th grade math in a sanctuary city that is a ward of the state) spent most of her time at corporate pre-kindergarten daycare climbing all over the jungle gym. In her third year under a full athletic scholarship as a fast pitch catcher/slugger at a large land-grant university north of Bangor where the first home games were played in May after they shoveled the snow off the field, she was recognized as an All-American in strength and conditioning and was regional MVP, #2 slugger in NCAA D-I despite being from New England, and holds two master’s degrees. “A good beginning never ends.”

    Reply
  17. Plenue

    Re: anime and merchandising.

    The direct counterparts to magical girls for girls* would be super robots and transformation (tokusatsu; special effect shows. Power Rangers is a Western re-versioning of some of these) shows for boys. With super robots especially there’s often a tug of war where creative wants to actually have a show be about something, but the producer wants a glorified toy commercial. This is basically the story of the Mobile Suit Gundam franchise, where the creature was forced to concede to toyification aspects in the original, which he attempted to lessen as the years went by and he was given more control.

    Sometimes it will cross over into being meta like the final episode of The Big O, which acknowledges the commercial nature of the entire existence of the characters, including showing the protagonist seeing an assembly line of himself as an action figure. The message is that the mystery of the world literally doesn’t matter, and maybe it’s best to just end things there. Which is what happened; there was no third season.

    *there’s also a sub-genre of magical girls shows that are not really aimed at girls at all. Shows like Madoka Magica, which is ‘what if magical girl but gritty and dark?’, and the Nanoha franchise, which is basically a Gundam show with girls instead of robots.

    Reply
    1. lambert strether

      > Sometimes it will cross over into being meta like the final episode of The Big O, which acknowledges the commercial nature of the entire existence of the characters, including showing the protagonist seeing an assembly line of himself as an action figure. The message is that the mystery of the world literally doesn’t matter, and maybe it’s best to just end things there. Which is what happened; there was no third season.

      Well, Presidents are constitutionally limited to two terms.

      Reply
  18. Hamford

    Well, now that Amazon Web Server mittens are in 40 state elections, I do believe the executives of Amazon have a fiduciary responsibility to prevent a Sanders or even Warren presidency by tampering elections. Anything else would be irresponsible to their shareholders. It’s all going as planned.

    Reply
  19. SlayTheSmaugs

    Re “NYT poll finds that majorities of Iowa voters want a moderate, common-ground candidate who will use those traits to bring fundamental, systemic change to American society”

    Here’s a way to understand the answers; imagine a person responding to the poll saying:

    I believe the ruling elite that control all three branches of the federal government have priorities and policies that are wildly disconnected from the policies and priorities most people have. Only fundamental, systemic change to American society can get Washington to focus on polices and priorities most people have. I want a candidate who speaks to these policies and priorities; that is someone intrinsically standing on common ground.

    Also, when you say “more liberal” or “more moderate” than other Democrats, and “bold progressive agenda”, which policies are you talking about? I’m tired of the culture war/Identity politics centering, I want someone who focuses less on that. Because, you know, tax fairness and medicare for all are common ground positions.

    In sum, I don’t think the answers are as inherently contradictory as they seem at first glance

    Reply
    1. jrs

      OR they believe that actually trying to find common ground with Republicans is the way to pass an agenda of systematic change. And I have heard this argument, that’s it’s the only way to accomplish things. It is true that R’s hold some power unless the Senate flips, so that is an obstacle. But um, the Republicans resisted the only a bit stronger than water weak tea of Obama, so where is this compromise and wonderful systematic change from working with Republicans going to come from. In another era perhaps but …

      Reply
    1. cm

      The real question is what can the Senate do during the “removal from office” hearings? If they can force testimony, I believe the R’s will be able to demonstrate to the public what a farce the “impeachment” hearings were. I believe Pelosi will come to regret the impeachment farce. I wish the various Deep State actors would suffer sedition charges.

      Reply

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