2:00PM Water Cooler 1/22/2020

By Lambert Strether of Corrente.

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

Here is a second counter for the Iowa Caucus, which is obviously just around the corner:

* * *

2020

Alert reader dk (not to be confused with DK) is in the process of developing the following interactive chart.

We have a lot of polls today, as of 1/22/2020, 12:00 PM EST. Morning Consult and CNN made the headlines, so they will get their own charts. Others will get numbers only (including Monmouth and YouGov). , it looks like it’s now a two-person race between Biden and Sanders, with Warren trailing badly, followed by Buttigeig. with Bloomberg still closing on Buttigieg, which is interesting or concerning. Of course, these are national polls, about to be massively thrown into confusion by IA, NH, SC, and NV — and then CA. stopped using three-day averages because, this close to the first balloting, day to day fluctuations are important:

And the numbers:

NOTE: The CNN/Morning Consults polls are the ones with the black circles around the results.

Here is Morning Consult (note big sample size):

And Morning Consult numbers:

Here is CNN (smaller sample size):

And CNN numbers:

Here’s Monmouth nationally (matches CNN and Morning Consult), plus state polls for OH, WI, MI, and OA:

Finally, here’s YouGov nationally, with Warren and Sanders tied for second:

Summary: The Biden juggernaut rolls on, but Sanders is closing. Warren is in trouble (meaning her smear of Sanders did not work). Needless to say — though of course IA, NH, SC, and MV are each different — this is a good place for Sanders to be. It’s hard to believe this was the DNC’s desired result.

CAVEAT I think we have to track the polls because so much of the horse-race coverage is generated by them; and at least with these charts we’re insulating ourselves against getting excited about any one poll. That said, we should remember that the polling in 2016, as it turned out, was more about narrative than about sampling, and that this year is, if anything, even more so. In fact, one is entitled to ask, with the latest Buttigieg boomlet (bubble? (bezzle?)) which came first: The narrative, or the poll? One hears of push polling, to be sure, but not of collective push polling by herding pollsters. We should also worry about state polls with very small sample sizes and big gaps in coverage. And that’s before we get to the issues with cellphones (as well as whether voters in very small, very early states game their answers). So we are indeed following a horse-race, but the horses don’t stay in their lanes, some of the horses are not in it to win but to interfere with the others, the track is very muddy, and the mud has splattered our binoculars, such that it’s very hard to see what’s going on from the stands. Also, the track owners are crooked and the stewards are on the take. Everything’s fine.

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.”

* * *

Buttigieg (D)(1): Hmm:

UPDATE Gabbard (D)(1): “Tulsi Gabbard sues Hillary Clinton for $50M, claims defamation over ‘Russian asset’ remark” [NBC]. “Democratic presidential candidate Rep. Tulsi Gabbard filed a defamation lawsuit Wednesday against Hillary Clinton seeking $50 million in damages, claiming the former Democratic presidential nominee ‘carelessly and recklessly impugned’ her reputation when she suggested in October that one of the 2020 Democratic candidates is ‘the favorite of the Russians.’ The lawsuit, filed in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, says it aims to hold Clinton and other ‘political elites’ accountable for ‘distorting the truth in the middle of a critical Presidential election.’ It also says Gabbard suffered an economic loss to be proven at trial. Clinton spokesman Nick Merrill responded: ‘That’s ridiculous.'”

Sanders (D)(1):

Nobody said that oppo can’t be faked; perhaps the Clintons weren’t quite ruthless enough…

UPDATE Sanders (D)(2): Bringing receipts = attack:

“But don’t take it from me.” Ouch.

UPDATE Steyer (D)(1): “Does Tom Steyer have real momentum or just a ton of money?” [Los Angeles Times]. “‘I get the feeling he cares about us,’ [Rachel Minus] said, as she waited for Steyer to take the stage here at the Jerusalem Baptist Church, a black congregation dating to the late 1800s. ‘The other candidates say things that are lip service. We have seen it year after year with the Democratic Party. So when they keep repeating the same talking points, you listen to it and it falls on deaf ears. He’s genuine.’ That sentiment is especially significant in a state where about 3 in 5 Democratic voters in the presidential primary four years ago were African Americans. Steyer’s aggressive spending here and in Nevada bought enough support in state polls to allow the former hedge-fund manager to qualify for last week’s nationally televised Democratic debate, much to the annoyance of some rivals and a chorus on social media.'” • Hmm. If Minus is representative, criticizing Obama is not a third rail.

* * *

“Iowa is Not the Twitterverse” [Counterpunch]. “The real game changer around here, though, might be Iowa State University’s decision, after years of pressure, to issue new student IDs, enabling 35,000 students to vote, even under Iowa’s restrictive new voter-ID law. That’s a progressive victory, and in a different media universe, it would be a story even juicier than a handshake.” • We’ll see.

“Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama want to stop Bernie Sanders. Can they actually do it?” [WaPo]. “The optimal move for Obama, Clinton and other Democrats might be to wait for results in Iowa and New Hampshire, assess whether Sanders has momentum and only endorse a rival if he looks like he’s taking off. If they endorse someone else earlier, it could backfire: Imagine the momentum Sanders would get if he beat Joe Biden or another establishment candidate after Democratic luminaries intervened in the race…. Sanders’s opponents have few other options available to them. Sanders doesn’t depend on top donors for money: He spent years building a network of small-dollar donors who have sustained him during long fights with mainstream Democrats like Clinton. Polls show that rank-and-file Democrats generally like Sanders and wouldn’t be disappointed if he were the nominee. And superdelegates, who don’t vote until the second ballot at the convention, might have trouble throwing the nomination to someone else if Sanders clearly had the most votes and delegates…. Obviously this is only one of many scenarios: Biden, Elizabeth Warren or Pete Buttigieg could win Iowa and keep Sanders from the nomination without Obama’s help. But Sanders’s candidacy underlines the weakness of the Democratic Party. Twenty years ago, the idea of a socialist taking over the party and running a general election campaign would be pure nonsense. But the guardrails of our party norms are weak. Trump broke through them. For better or worse, Sanders has a chance to do the same.” • Suddenly, I’m seeing this “guardrails” metaphor everywhere. Anyhow, if Sanders manages to win by expanding the Democrat base, how exactly does that “underline the weakness of the Democratic [sic] Party”? FWIW, I think Obama needs to intervene before South Carolina — given his history in that state.

Impeachment

Senate decorum rules:

UPDATE “Why Is John Roberts Even in the Impeachment Trial?” [Politioo]. “While the Constitution doesn’t offer much detail other than that ‘the Chief Justice shall preside,’ a review of the Federalist Papers shows that the founders in fact wanted the chief justice to be much more than a ceremonial officer or a potted plant. They wanted him or her to play an important, substantive role, as one who presides in the sense of a judge overseeing a trial, or even the vice president presiding over the Senate.” • It would be helpful if a passage from the Federalist Papers were quoted. It sounds to me like the idea here is that Roberts should be a civil law judge, investigating, rather than a common law judge, presiding. From Federalist 65:

Would it have been an improvement of the plan, to have united the Supreme Court with the Senate, in the formation of the court of impeachments? This union would certainly have been attended with several advantages; but would they not have been overbalanced by the signal disadvantage, already stated, arising from the agency of the same judges in the double prosecution to which the offender would be liable? To a certain extent, the benefits of that union will be obtained from making the chief justice of the Supreme Court the president of the court of impeachments, as is proposed to be done in the plan of the convention; while the inconveniences of an entire incorporation of the former into the latter will be substantially avoided. This was perhaps the prudent mean. I forbear to remark upon the additional pretext for clamor against the judiciary, which so considerable an augmentation of its authority would have afforded.

I think “ceremonial role” is a bit of a strawman.

UPDATE “Roberts admonishes House managers, Trump lawyers, telling them to ‘remember where they are'” [WaPo]. “Roberts, before calling for that vote, delivered his admonition to the lawyers. He recounted a 1905 impeachment trial of a federal judge, when a House manager was admonished for using the phrase ‘pettifogging.’ ‘I don’t think we need to aspire to that high of standard, but I do think those addressing the Senate should remember where they are,’ Roberts said.”

“Senate blocks push to subpoena Bolton in impeachment trial’ [The Hill]. “Senate Republicans blocked an attempt by Democrats to include a deal on former national security adviser John Bolton’s testimony in the impeachment trial rules. Democrats forced a vote in the early morning hours Wednesday on calling Bolton to testify.” • The House should have done this. And decided not to.

“The only thing we don’t know about the outcome of Trump’s impeachment trial” [The Week]. “Some of them may well be willing to state what many of them feel, which is that what Trump did and was trying to do with Ukraine was wrong, even if it doesn’t warrant booting him out of the White House, especially when there’s an election less than 10 months away. That falls about 1,000 miles short of what Democrats want, but it’s not nothing. On the contrary, it’s quite a lot compared to the alternative, which Trump himself clearly prefers. From the start of this whole sordid episode, the president has insisted that his July phone call with Zelensky was ‘perfect.'” • So victory in the impeachment saga consists in getting Republicans facing challenges to pre-emptively diss Trump? And that makles three years of yammering worth it?

“Whistleblower Was Overheard in ’17 Discussing With Ally How to Remove Trump” [RealClearInvestigations]. “Barely two weeks after Donald Trump took office, Eric Ciaramella – the CIA analyst whose name was recently linked in a tweet by the president and mentioned by lawmakers as the anonymous “whistleblower” who touched off Trump’s impeachment – was overheard in the White House discussing with another staffer how to remove the newly elected president from office, according to former colleagues. Sources told RealClearInvestigations the staffer with whom Ciaramella was speaking was Sean Misko…. Misko left the White House last summer to join House impeachment manager Adam Schiff’s committee, where sources say he offered “guidance” to the whistleblower.” • Big if true.

“Schiff may have mischaracterized Parnas evidence, documents show” [Politico]. “House Intelligence Chairman Adam Schiff appears to have mischaracterized a text message exchange between two players in the Ukraine saga, according to documents obtained by POLITICO — a possible error the GOP will likely criticize as another example of the Democrats’ rushed effort to impeach President Donald Trump…. The apparent mischaracterization, however, does not undercut Democrats’ argument that Trump withheld critical military aid to Ukraine as a way to pressure Zelenksy into opening up investigations into the Bidens.”

2016 Post Mortem

“Bernie Sanders on Hillary Clinton comments: ‘Ask her’ why she’s still talking about 2016” [New York Post]. “‘Secretary Clinton is entitled to her point of view,’ Sanders said when asked Tuesday by reporters to respond to Clinton’s remarks on his supporters. ‘My job today is to focus on the impeachment trial. My job today is to put together a team that can defeat the most dangerous president in the history of the United States of America,’ he added. When asked why he thought his 2016 primary competitor was ‘still talking about 2016,’ Sanders responded, ‘That is a good question, you should ask her.'” • Never interrupt your enemy when they’re in the process of making a mistake…

“Hillary Clinton tears open wound with her attack on Sanders” [The Hill]. “‘It’s bullshit,’ said Jonathan Tasini, a progressive strategist who backs Sanders. ‘I’m confident, if Bernie is the nominee, that any sane Democrat will understand the singular objective of beating Trump. The same holds true if he’s not the nominee. Anyone whose candidate does not win will go through a mourning process, but the value of Donald Trump is that he’s the most powerful organizing force in politics and we are focused on defeating him in November.'” • I’m really depressed to see the phrase “progressive strategist.” Sounds like a Democratic strategist who rebranded himself.

“I worked for Hillary Clinton. Her attacks on Bernie Sanders are a big mistake” [Peter Daou with Leela Daou, Guardian]. “n a new Hulu documentary and Hollywood Reporter interview, Hillary Clinton perpetuates the false narrative that Bernie Sanders supporters are largely a gang of raging ‘bros’ who spend all day trolling his opponents online. ‘It’s his online Bernie bros and their relentless attacks on lots of his competitors, particularly the women,’ Clinton said. The myth that Sanders supporters are predominantly raging young white ‘bros’ whose driving purpose is to viciously troll and harass his adversaries took hold during the 2016 election and has been pushed relentlessly by his 2020 detractors. We know, because although we avoided using the derisive term Bernie bro, we still bought into that narrative in 2016. We did so as outspoken advocates for Clinton, who Peter had advised during her first presidential run.” • Repentance is good for the soul.

Stats Watch

Tech: Sounds like a great business model to me:

The Bezzle: “Google CEO Thinks AI Will Be More Profound Change Than Fire” [Bloomberg]. • If there’s an AI that doesn’t need to be plugged in, we’re in worse trouble than I thought.

The Bezzle: “G.M.’s Cruise Unveils a Self-Driving Car. Don’t Look for It on Roads.” [New York Times]. “That year, G.M. plunked down nearly $1 billion to acquire a 40-person start-up in San Francisco called Cruise. The start-up went on to raise billions more in outside funding. Head count swelled to 1,700 workers. But hype hit reality when testing data made it clear that it would take many more years for self-driving technology to be ready for widespread adoption. Google and Tesla had predicted fully autonomous self-driving cars would be available by 2018, a deadline that passed with little fanfare.” • Oops.

* * *

Today’s Fear & Greed Index: 79 Extreme Greed (previous close: 81 Extreme Greed) [CNN]. One week ago: 86 (Extreme Greed). (0 is Extreme Fear; 100 is Extreme Greed). Last updated Jan 22 at 12:09pm. Definitively drifting down.

The Biosphere

“The chemists policing Earth’s atmosphere for rogue pollution” [Nature]. ‘[Atmospheric chemist Martin Vollmer], who works at the Swiss Federal Laboratories for Materials Science and Technology (EMPA) in Dübendorf, specializes in sniffing out newly emerging trace gases, which make up less than 1% by volume of the planet’s atmosphere…. Behind the scenes, scientists such as Vollmer are keeping watch over the health of the atmosphere — in part to make sure nations are honouring their promises…. For many years, the news coming from these air-monitoring campaigns was good. Concentrations of CFCs and several other dangerous compounds were declining steadily. It was the biggest win in environmental policy the world has ever seen, say researchers… Then, in May 2018, Montzka reported a disturbing blip: levels of one of the most harmful chemicals, trichlorofluoromethane, known as CFC-11, weren’t dropping as fast as expected1, suggesting that companies were producing this compound somewhere, in violation of the protocol. ‘It was the most surprising and shocking thing I’ve seen in my entire career,’ Montzka says. Montzka’s research pointed to eastern Asia, and a follow-up study last May pinpointed the source of a significant fraction of the emissions to two provinces in China.” • Sigh.

Florida readers?

Groves of Academe

“Self-efficacy, procrastination, and burnout in post-secondary faculty: An international longitudinal analysis” [PLOS ONE]. “Over the past 20 years, faculty at post-secondary institutions internationally have experienced rising levels of stress and burnout due to increasing demands for quality instruction, research excellence, and service contributions without commensurate increases in institutional support…. Whereas existing professional development efforts to date aimed at improving faculty self-efficacy beliefs or reducing procrastination show promise with respect to performance and productivity gains, increased institutional efforts to reduce known antecedents of emotional exhaustion due to overwork (e.g., teaching demands; research pressures; for a review, see [8]) may be more effective for improving psychological health in faculty internationally.” • Wages and working conditions… .

“Competition drives researchers to counselling – and exit door” [Times Higher Education]. “Half of researchers have sought or wanted professional help to deal with anxiety or depression, according to a landmark survey that blames competition and targets for creating an ‘aggressive’ culture of bullying and overwork. Thirty-four per cent of the 4,000 researchers who completed the Wellcome Trust poll, most of whom were based in the UK, said that they had sought professional help for depression or anxiety during their research career, and a further 19 per cent had wanted to do so.”

Class Warfare

“Barstool Sports Settles With Labor Board Over Anti-Union Tweets” [Bloomberg]. It’s actually worse than tweets. “The settlement posting also provided confirmation that Barstool Sports was behind a Twitter account calling itself the Barstool Sports Union that purported to be ‘the labor movement inside Barstool Sports.’ ‘Would prefer to stay anonymous right now in beginning stages of unionization. DM. Serious inquiries only,’ the account tweeted out Aug. 13. The Twitter account was really a ploy to uncover whether any employees supported efforts to unionize.” • Ugly.

News of the Wired

“More Evidence That Many ‘Unusual’ Sexual Interests Aren’t So Unusual After All” [Sex and Psychology]. “Psychologists and psychiatrists typically use the term paraphilia to refer to unusual or uncommon sexual interests or activities. Hundreds of desires have been described as paraphilias over the years, although there are currently only eight specific paraphilias listed in the DSM-5 (the psychiatry bible): fetishism, transvestism, voyeurism, exhibitionism, frotteurism, pedophilia, masochism, and sadism. … [A] few large studies have emerged in the last few years suggesting that most of these sexual interests are more common than previously thought. First, a 2017 study of over 1,000 Canadian adults aged 18-64 examined how many people said they had a desire for the eight specific paraphilias listed in the DSM [1]. Many of them turned out to be quite common. For example, among men, 60% reported a desire for voyeurism, 40% for fetishism, 34% for frotteurism, and 19% for masochism. Among women, the numbers were 48% for fetishism, 35% for voyeurism, 28% for masochism, and 21% for frotteurism. A 2020 study of over 10,000 adults in the Czech Republic aged 18-88 yielded similar results.” • Dear me.

“A Better Body Is Possible. These Anarchist Biohackers Want to Build It” [Vice]. “The focus of the session “I took my surgically removed organs home in a snow globe and maybe you can too” was, as the title suggests, on sharing knowledge about how to get doctors to let you keep your removed body parts. Several audience members had kept theirs, and joined in for some questions and answers, and the speaker provided a ‘teaching aid’ which was passed around the room: their testicles in a snowglobe. ‘Here are my balls in a jar’ might sound like a flippant frame for a talk, and very different from autonomous trans healthcare, but to me they’re part and parcel of the same thing. It matters that we can keep our organs, because behind that practice is the finding and sharing of paths through medical bureaucracy, and new techniques to evade control.”

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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.

245 comments

  1. jo6pac

    I do think this the demodogs way of winning by way of losing.

    boltin
    The House should have done this. And decided not to.

    Good job nancy and gang.

    Reply
  2. Toshiro_Mifune

    More Evidence That Many ‘Unusual’ Sexual Interests Aren’t So Unusual After All

    So. Someone got funding for a study to determine what any adult with an internet connection could have told you.

    Reply
    1. epynonymous

      Fetishism is only ‘weird’ if it’s sex stuff.

      Fetishism in politics and education is just par for the course. And as the DSM tells us, anything that goes against the grain of society is illness. :)

      Reply
      1. clarky90

        Long long ago, many, diverse societies practiced man/women/child sacrifice (the Mayans in SAmerica, the Baalists in ME….) and also, ritual cannibalism……

        Then progressing (!) to animal blood sacrifice (The Second Temple, The Romans….).

        Christianity has been, imo, a good step away from utter weirdness, to the “much less weird”…Thank God. May we long continue in the correct direction! (Away from the ritual spilling of blood)

        Reply
        1. HotFlash

          Odd you should mention that, my neighbour and I were discussing ritual cannibalism just this morning, in the context of ‘communion’ as practiced by Catholics and several other Christian religions.

          Reply
          1. clarky90

            Hotflash, you are referring to “this bread is my (Christ’s) Body, this Wine is my Blood”. So, instead of lambs, cattle, doves having to shed their blood, to appease god, for a while (til next year); God, Himself was sacrificed by us…. Theoretically, the finish of blood sacrifice. A really helpful innovation! Imo

            Reply
            1. epynonymous

              I was musing through the day (good day) and thought to myself that education and politics can be considered sub-sets of religion, actually.

              The difference between medicine men and social sciences is that medicine men had practical use.

              Historically, great fortunes have been spent by the upper-classes on “totems” (needless skyscrapers and pyramids, art and artifacts, stories, legalism, etc.)

              Wealth destruction and human sacrifice are just two sides of the same coin, hiding the same face, ours.

              Reply
              1. skippy

                Religious documents from antiquity were political manifestos, Nicaea is a prime example of a political accord to reconcile regional differences in facilitating the economic concerns of the empire.

                Reply
    2. Lee

      And how might we classify researchers’ undue interest in the sexual proclivities of others? Nosy Parkerism, perhaps?

      Reply
      1. ambrit

        Probably a sub-set of Voyeurism. All Social Sciences are voyeuristic in nature. It’s when you leave nature behind and set sail into the boundless main of Academe that you become pathological.

        Reply
        1. Lee

          I’m with Dorothy on this:

          As I grow older and older, And totter toward the tomb, I find that I care less and less, who goes to bed with whom.

          Dorothy L. Sayers

          Reply
        2. skippy

          Anthropologists had long recognised that tribal structures — indeed, all cultural structures — require norms and myths which to live by. Myths are stories that give life meaning, while norms are somewhat like laws or prohibitions. Perhaps the best way to think about this is to take a recent law in our own societies that now seems antiquated but which was taken seriously only a few decades ago: namely, laws against homosexuality.

          Why were there laws against homosexuality throughout most of the 20th century? Does homosexuality harm anyone? Today I would say that most people would say that it does not. So, why the laws? Simply because our cultures developed in that way. Other cultures did not. In Ancient Greece, for example, homosexuality was by no means against the law. The laws that remained in place until the end of the 20th century mostly derived from the Judeo-Christian tradition that we inherited. There was nothing functional about them. Things just happened that way. (Indeed, readers of cultural history will know that our own culture is basically unique in attributing to homosexuality an actual sexual identity. In most cultures sexual activity is dealt with based on acts, not proclivities that are supposed to be immutable). – snip

          https://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2014/08/philip-pilkington-economists-anthropological-view.html

          I miss Philip here, but I do engage in a bit of voyeurism, him and this girl put a smile on my dial ….

          Reply
          1. ambrit

            Agreed about Philip. Did he fall prey to the glamours of the LSE?
            As for proclivities; they are useful tools for ‘boxing’ and thus controlling the populace. Individual actors with full autonomy, (the word I really want is hiding behind a plaque in my brain somewhere and somewhen,) are difficult and complex to track and predict. Reduce those actors to categories, such as sexual proclivity, and control becomes feasible.

            Reply
    3. Bill Carson's Alter Ego

      “…there are currently only eight specific paraphilias listed in the DSM-5 (the psychiatry bible): fetishism, transvestism, voyeurism, exhibitionism, frotteurism, pedophilia, masochism, and sadism.”

      They need to hurry up and add incest. Geez, the number of otherwise good skin flicks that are ruined with a stepmom/stepsister theme.

      Reply
        1. Martin Oline

          Robert Schimmel, who died in 2010, had a special called Hardcore In The Big Apple. It has been chopped up and is on YouTube in parts. Part 4 has his bit about animal necrophilia at about 4 minutes. As he said, “You know they had to write a law to make this illegal?” I could go on, but this is a family blog . . .

          Reply
      1. nippersdad

        It makes one think that everything Steve King says about how Republicans reproduce may just have a grain of truth to it./s

        Reply
    4. Jonathan Holland Becnel

      Czech Republic is known in the Adult Section for Orgies/Group stuff. Wouldn’t surprise me if that polls an outlier.

      Reply
  3. Henry Moon Pie

    This is from an old man’s memory, but Jonathan Tasini’s background is labor unions, not political consulting. He used to write regularly at DailyKos but was run off at some point. He’s a genuine Lefty.

    Reply
      1. Pat

        I don’t disagree, but we have no idea if that was his or in my mind the more likely descriptive choice of the writers. And since our media is both a party to and as time goes on as confused by the continual misues of liberal, conservative, fascist, not to mention progressive, I’m not sure how we go about changing the growing list of bad descriptions.

        Reply
    1. birdsmouth

      Tasini was president of the National Writers Union some years ago. As a member at the time, and as someone with a background in militant unionism, I viewed him as a Dem flunky. I believe he moved on, with similar credentials, to the Working Families Party in NY.

      Reply
    2. Betty

      He also destroyed the NWU (an amalgamated UAW local) by running out elected officials at the local chapter level, and inserted folks who knew nobody and nothing of even basic union principles. Incredibly destructive. Some good reporting in the Village Voice, still available online.

      Reply
  4. a different chris

    >that any sane Democrat will understand the singular objective of beating Trump

    I think “sane” excludes Ms Clinton, doesn’t it?

    OK, now I am going to stop beating her up and go back to ignoring her like any, well, sane person would. Also note that I sure as h-e-double-toothpicks am not a Democrat, and thus my singular objective is not “beating Trump” but overthrowing the entire duopoly applecart. If that means supposedly “wasting” my vote again so be it.

    Reply
    1. ambrit

      You ignore HRH HRC at your own peril. She sure as H— is not ignoring you. Just ask the poor folks in Libya about ignoring Hillary, and the consequences. (I know. I know. ‘The Benghazi Blues’ is more properly classed as “World Music.”)

      Reply
      1. nippersdad

        I think I read somewhere that she has been downgraded to The Duchess of Chappequa now that she no longer commands an army. Not much of a consolation for Libyans, but the rest of the third world may heave a sigh of relief that there is no longer a hell awaiting them for not supporting her.

        Reply
  5. Plenue

    >Whistleblower Was Overheard in ’17 Discussing With Ally How to Remove Trump” [RealClearInvestigations]

    It may be true that the individual has personally been an enemy of Trump for years, but I’m convinced he wasn’t any kind of conscientious ‘whistleblower’. He was a spy, sent in by the CIA, or at least some faction in the CIA, to find something to attack Trump on, and then leak it.

    Him personally being opposed to Trump made him willing to do the job, but a job concocted by others it was all the same.

    Reply
    1. Lemmy Caution

      Interesting timing of this tidbit about the whistleblower being a rogue individual with anti-Trump designs. Better origin story than being a CIA mole sent in as part of a clandestine operation. Wonder if someone is getting a little nervous about what might come out during the impeachment proceedings. Eric, meet bus.

      Reply
    2. Montanamaven

      A whistleblower exposes corruption/wrong doing in the department he/she works in. If he was CIA then he would expose corruption in the CIA not the White House. John Kiriakou was a CIA analyst and exposed the people behind waterboarding at the CIA. He got 30 months in jail. He’s a whistleblower. Eric, on the other hand is a spy/ leaker as you and the President say. John Kiriakou . Jimmy Dore has interviewed him a couple of times.

      Reply
    1. ambrit

      “Probably going to worse than I imagine.”
      Yes. One of the unexpected byproducts of the Social Media experiment is ‘Crowdsourced Evil.’ Now we have an entire world’s worth of “How Low Can You Go” to draw from.

      Reply
      1. Jonathan Holland Becnel

        Yuuuuuup.

        Reddit.com is a cesspool of evil posts of murder, mayhem, and establishment propaganda.

        If I were Bernie, Id shut the site down until the moderators can get a grip.

        I do not need to see r/trashy, r/justiceserved, r/Iamapieceofs***, r/watchpeopledieinside, AND ON AND ON.

        Reply
  6. zagonostra

    >Iguanas falling from trees

    I was looking to buy an air gun yesterday to scare off the ever increasing number of Iguanas in my backyard in FLL, maybe I’ll wait to see if there are any frozen ones tomorrow morning, gather them up and do what with them I don’t know..

    Reply
      1. Wukchumni

        How would a Florida Man prepare Carne Iguana, and will he get it mixed up with a carnival show denizen with leathery skin who works a sideshow attraction, the bearded clam?

        Reply
      1. Wukchumni

        We have Chuckwallas in the southwest, and they’re Iguana size and Native Americans were so fond of them, that one tribe did this:

        The Comca’ac (Seri) considered the Angel Island species of chuckwalla an important food item. They are believed to have translocated the lizards to most of the islands in Bahia de los Angeles for use as a food source in times of need

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chuckwalla

        Reply
    1. Chuck T

      not sure if you saw the post from Martin Oline above about “Robert Schimmel, who died in 2010, had a special called Hardcore In The Big Apple. It has been chopped up and is on YouTube in parts. Part 4 has his bit about animal necrophilia at about 4 minutes”…

      Reply
  7. JohnnyGL

    “FWIW, I think Obama needs to intervene before South Carolina — given his history in that state.”

    — The problem is Obama doesn’t believe in Biden as a candidate, or he’d have endorsed him awhile ago. Also, if Biden can’t win any of the 1st three primaries, Obama looks ridiculous and desperate for trying to endorse him after he keeps posting losses. Obama MUST endorse into strength, or at least the appearance of strength, from Biden.

    The danger scenario is that Biden has a small lead after Super Tuesday and Obama endorses then. If/when that happens, Biden jumps 10 points and really puts Bernie in the rearview mirror.

    The Morning Consult poll of early states has a very narrow lead for Biden….it’s possible his lead in SC is eroding away. We haven’t seen a state-wide poll for quite awhile. If Biden’s up <5 points in SC (even under 10, really), it's going to be really damaging.

    Reply
    1. Hepativore

      Obama might decide not to endorse anybody at all, as he despises Sanders and Biden is on shaky ground. Instead, Obama might opt for his classic “zen-like” statements of empty platitudes and say that he is “staying out of the race to promote unity”. Instead, Obama and pals might opt for making the Sanders administration’s life hell by being as obstructive and unhelpful as possible in both overt and covert ways during his term.

      Court picks, administration appointments, etc. might end up being blocked by bipartisan efforts, with Democrats suddenly finding their spine when it comes to opposing picks that are not center-right. Finally, it would be unlikely but possible, there might even be an impeachment attempt on the part of the establishment Democrats. They might hope that they can garner enough anger on the part of the Republicans in Congress against a “socialist” that they can get them on board for impeaching Sanders as well.

      Reply
      1. JohnnyGL

        Obama will have to endorse at least at the convention. If he’s not there, he’ll have legions of people screaming, “you’re helping trump” at him.

        He doesn’t like Bernie, but I suspect they’ve got a working relationship that they’ll maintain in public. A lot of Clintonites can’t even maintain that level of civility and professionalism.

        Behind the scenes, his people will definitely fight Bernie’s staff on process, staffing, congressional arm-twisting, etc. Lots of media leaks to shape narrative.

        One upside of the ridiculous impeachment saga (in a Sanders presidency), is that it may render impeachment moot as a political tool for awhile. I think an underlying reason (beyond 9/11) why Bush was never impeached over Iraq is how badly it played out for Republicans during the Clinton years.

        I also think today’s electorate is a lot more cynical and jaded. There’s not going to be a lot of naive belief in beltway gossip. In a Sanders presidency, the DC elite are going to be as confused and afraid by the Sanders base constantly going at them as they are by the Trump base today. We’ll here an awful lot of fretting by op-ed writers about ‘mob rule’ and accusations of Sanders being a modern day Julius Ceasar.

        Reply
      2. christofay

        Wasn’t it just two weeks ago that Obama appointed Warren as his girl? Between them Summers, Obama, and Deval, they have manhandled that woman into her current position.

        The Washington democrats have been fine in appointing right-far right bureacrats and judges for years.

        Reply
    2. ambrit

      It could be that the fix is in and Obama doesn’t want to ‘tarnish’ his legacy by being too closely associated with what looks to being an obvious and flagrant fraud.
      I don’t think that Obama cares about anyone else except himself.

      Reply
    3. Synoia

      As always Obama is waiting to see the clear result before taking action. Obama is very practiced at leading form behind.

      One could say Obama is Biden his time.

      Reply
      1. JohnnyGL

        That’s exactly right. The most aggressive Obama will get is passive-aggressive. His remarks on ‘no more old white guys’ is about as direct as he’ll get.

        Supposedly, his team was talking with the Warren camp a lot, particularly when she was looking a lot stronger in polls, but he won’t take a risk for her. He’s still smarting from having had a hand in the 2016 debacle.

        He really doesn’t want to endorse Biden and see him get slaughtered by Trump. It’s all about the legacy.

        Reply
        1. ChrisAtRU

          There’s not enough popcorn for the schadenfreude … ;-)

          One of the interesting subtexts of establishment panic IMO is watching them suffer the same “choose the lesser of two evils” dilemma they’ve subjected the electorate to for years. Obama’s decision to endorse or not endorse, or whom to pick is exactly that. Biden is not as strong as his frontrunner status would indicate. Like HRC, he is a flawed candidate and chances are still good (despite polling) that Trump would trash him over the course of a general election run-up. I don’t think Biden gets 10 points ahead of Bernie from here on out – unless there is massive voter-suppression (which to be fair is still a possibility). My own belief is that Obama will not endorse anyone. He’s got the perfect forked silver tongue to deliver a typically vapid fence-sitting overture like “I believe the voice of the American people is clear, and I stand with them … as I always have.”

          And so Obama, who had to audacity to implore the French to vote for now-beseiged Macron, will sit impotent on the sidelines, effectively mirroring his toothless presidency.

          Reply
          1. AbateMagicThinking But Not Money

            Lesser of two evils…

            I prefer to put a positive spin on such an outcome; I try think of it as “the cream of the crap”.

            nb Trump is Obama’s legacy – for good or for worse*.

            Pip-pip!

            * No all-out nuclear war as yet – the best I have reluctantly come to hope for.

            Reply
    4. Fiery Hunt

      You’re assuming Obama would endorse Uncle Joe…

      I’m assuming it’ll be Mike Bloomberg.
      Obama won’t back a loser without an out and Mike’s late start gives a natural excuse.
      Biden won’t win and Obama can’t get too close to that repudiation.

      Reply
      1. JohnnyGL

        If Sanders is racking up wins and Obama endorses Mike Bloomberg as an independent, twitter would scream bloody murder about how he’s “helping Trump get re-elected”. That’s not a risk Obama will be willing to take. All the ‘unity’ talk we’ve heard for years suddenly gets turned around on the centrist dems if they try to run a 3rd party candidate.

        Plus, Sanders will be thinking, “What’s better than crushing a billionaire?!?!?! Crushing TWO billionaires?!!?!” He’d go full on FDR.

        Reply
    5. Katniss Everdeen

      biden was obama’s vice president for eight (long) years and obama refuses to endorse him.

      biden’s wife recently said something like people should “hold their nose” and vote for her husband.

      obama’s pretty slick and, as long as there’s a field of candidates, he can navigate around no endorsement with a lot of thumb-on-the-scale mumbo jumbo that true believers will lap up.

      But the “enthusiasm” with which the two people who are arguably most familiar with biden’s “capabilities” have approached his potential candidacy suggests that neither one of them is particularly interested in his “success.” It’s one thing when you can make biden look “good” by dumping on Bernie supporters who point out his flaws, it’s a whole different thing when he’s out there stammering and senior-momenting with all eyes on him.

      I’d bet money that both obama and jill biden have their fingers crossed behind their backs, because consoling joe when the third time’s not the charm would be a lot less painful than campaigning nationally with him.

      Reply
  8. Bill Carson

    I am feeling a little better about Sanders’ chances after seeing the slight rise in the polls and watching his new attack ads on Biden. It’s about stinking time that he started pressing these issues.

    And hey, I’m not sure the “corruption” attack/apology wasn’t effective, and perhaps it was even part of the strategy. It’s sort of like Warren’s attack was meant to put the idea into people’s heads that Sanders is sexists without coming out and saying it or having any proof. And also (this could cut both ways), when Sanders strongly denied that he had said a woman could win the White House, without putting it into words, he got people thinking about Warren’s credibility problem.

    All of these ploys (whether intentional or accidental) are effective persuasive techniques because they let the public draw the conclusion. (“But don’t take it from me. Take it from you.”)

    Reply
        1. Dr. John Carpenter

          Biden is going to have to learn he can get away with talking to minority or elderly voters like that but I doubt the media will take too kindly to that. Trump only gets away with it because “he’s good for business.” Joe isn’t.

          Reply
      1. Big River Bandido

        Yes, it’s a pocketbook issue (universal, concrete, material benefits) that will peel off some seniors from Biden to Sanders. Jujitsu move, especially right after “apologizing” (with the perfect non-apology).

        Reply
        1. Pyrotis

          why is it so hard to get our minds around the thought that the Obamas might have their own candidate (guess who?) in reserve for a devoutly-to-be-desired “brokered convention” that would “unify” around a totally “noncontroversial” Lady. Since all the candidates except Bernie are either marginal or in the course of felo-de-se, their entire strategic goal at this point takes the shape of “Destroy Bernie at all Costs.”

          Reply
          1. Bill Carson

            I don’t think being FLOTUS qualifies one to be POTUS, without some experience of her own. I thought the same thing about HRC 20 years ago, too. She became a carpet bagger and got 8 years experience in the senate. Meh.

            However, it might be worth it just to see the Republicans’ heads explode.

            Reply
        2. Monty

          I think many seniors are in favor of cutting SS for future recipients, so they don’t lose out in a fake insolvency crisis. They would much rather everyone else got nothing, than take a hit themselves. “Got mine, [familyblog] you”, just like everything else in this country.

          Most reform plans I have heard about involve raising eligibility age and means testing, but leave current recipients whole.

          Reply
          1. Wukchumni

            By the time i’m nearly eligible, I expect Sisyphus Security will be where they keep raising the minimum age every year.

            Reply
            1. ambrit

              Don’t bet on it. A lot of us Social Security recipients are getting an equivalent sum lower than the present poverty level. If the Feds in their infinite wisdom were to raise the minimum wage and bring all Social Security cheques on up to that level, I, for one, would be very happy.

              Reply
          2. drumlin woodchuckles

            If that is indeed the current recipients’ game, then the response from every not-yet-recipient should be “no FUture cuts without PREsent cuts at the SAME TIME”.
            ” No two-tier Social Security. Cut everyone or no-one”.

            We the future beneficiaries should make it very clear that we support pulling the present beneficiaries under the very same bus they support throwing us under . . . if indeed they support throwing us under it.

            Reply
            1. Mo's Bike Shop

              That’s fighting on the opponents terms. Use general funds to increase Social Security Spending. Sunset every congressional cycle so there’s nice fresh evidence every election of who is on your side.

              Reply
          3. Yves Smith

            Bullshit. Any one old with an operating brain cell sees NOW that their benefits are cut every year due to benefits increases not keeping pace with inflation. They know that any reforms means lower/no increases.

            People on fixed income know damned well how far their money goes, which is not very.

            Reply
            1. inode_buddha

              And yet this is no different than what hourly wage earners have been going through for decades, and continue to endure. If some political genius (Sanders) somehow manages to join these two groups in a dialogue, the revolution will be unstoppable.

              Reply
              1. flora

                quoting Thomas Frank, 2016:

                But the media and political establishments, I suspect, will have none of it. They may hate Donald Trump, but they hate economic populism much more. If history is a guide, they will embrace any sophistry to ensure that the Democrats do not take the steps required to broaden their appeal to working-class voters.

                These people think they know what liberalism includes and what it doesn’t include. And in the latter category fall the concerns that made up the heart and soul of liberal politics a few decades ago: labor and work and exploitation and economic equality.

                https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2016/nov/29/how-the-democrats-could-win-again-if-they-wanted

                Sanders is putting the older New Deal Dem party concerns with economic exploitation back on the table, much as the Dem estab hates that topic and tried to ignore it.

                Reply
                1. ambrit

                  Thus, that cohort is trying their best to scupper his chances at being elected.
                  Just a thought, but, if Sanders is stabbed in the back again, he should, along with his parallel political organizing, do something like the Parliamentary systems method of establishing a ‘Shadow Cabinet’ to keep hammering away at the Powers That Be 24/7. At present, that strategy is carried out under the guise of “Think Tanks.” High time to make the practice “official.”

                  Reply
      2. John

        It’s hard to fight Biden on this without attacking Obama too for his “Grand Bargain”.

        Trouble is the Democratic base still thinks Obama was a populist Democrat.

        LOL

        Reply
    1. VietnamVet

      WaPo – AMES, Iowa – “There are people being killed in Ukraine by Russian soldiers right now, as I speak to you,” Joe Biden said at a campaign event here on Tuesday afternoon. “As I speak to you!”

      His lack of self-awareness is nuts. He is older than I am, and I remember the Red Scare – Atomic Bomb fear of the 1950-70s. It is back. What’s worse he is lying. There are no Russian Federation military units in Ukraine unlike the USA. No, Crimea has been part of Russia since 1783. Russian troops were already stationed there. No Invasion. Joe Biden spearheaded the Ukraine’s military attack against ethnic Russian rebels in Donbass formed after Neo-Nazis shot up polling places there. He is directly responsible for restarted Cold War 2.0 with the Russian Federation.

      The 737 Max is a result of a deregulated corrupt system that was once illegal for a good reason, it kills people. Profiting from the war in Ukraine is the ultimate corruption.

      Reply
    2. Jeff W

      It’s great that Sanders is finally attacking Biden’s record on Social Security but he has to start attacking Biden on electability.

      In the latest CNN poll, “Sanders has jumped seven points, while both Biden and Warren ticked down two,” according to New York Magazine, so Sanders now leads at 27% to Biden’s 24%—and the numbers are trending in Sanders’s favor—but there’s this:

      And even if CNN’s poll is accurate, Sanders would still have his work cut for him. If the primary became a two-way race, it is unclear exactly where the other candidates’ supporters would land. But 57 percent of the CNN poll’s respondents said that nominating a candidate who can beat Trump is more important than nominating one who agrees with them on the issues — and 45 percent named Biden as the most electable candidate, while just 24 percent said the same of Sanders. Taken together, these results suggest that Biden has room to grow his support if he can retain his aura of electability as the field narrows.

      [emphasis added]

      So it seems like Biden’s strength in the polls depends, not on policy, but on some “aura of electability.” Go figure.

      I imagine the Sanders campaign is well aware of this and figuring out the best way to address it. (Zephyr Teachout’s piece, while detailing Biden’s corruption, was actually an electability argument so, at least, they’ve given some thought as how to they don’t want to address it.)

      Reply
      1. Yves Smith

        I disagree. How does Biden’s or Sanders’ “electability” do squat for me as a voter? This is a fixation of the media, political consultants, and pollsters. Real people care about what a candidate says he will do for them and whether he actually means it.

        Reply
        1. John k

          The coastal people I speak to all have tds, and all at least say electability is everything (which means to me that Bernie can unite the partyin spite of elite animosity but biden can’t.)
          Anyway, had a conversation with one such educated, comfortable, senior this eve, and got her to consider the 8-10 states that will decide the election, states where voters that voted for Obama stayed home. I got her to focus on flyover, and the vast number of deaths of despair, and how they want to hear what somebody will do for them, and not that they’re not trump. She said he hasn’t done anything either, and I replied that he will campaign by saying it took 40 years to send our mfg to China and Mexico, he can’t bring the jobs back in four, he needs another term.
          I think she began thinking about which dem has the best chance in the swings.

          Reply
        2. JohnnyGL

          I think this is accurate based on what i heard canvassing in NH in December. A lot of people liked Bernie, but were most concerned about beating trump. Not too many were overtly pro-biden.

          I think we forget how much the expectations have been beaten down over decades. DC elites have worked hard to make people believe the federal government won’t/can’t do anything that makes life better.

          People have been told that the feds maintain highways and blow up middle eastern countries and not much else.

          Reply
        1. inode_buddha

          I’ll volunteer if you can send it to me on DVD. Note, I depend on closed captioning however. No specific time frame. I fear I may be developing a HRC fetish.

          Reply
        2. tegnost

          No please. This isn’t something where you just go in up to your knees…what would we do if you went in and never came out?

          Reply
      1. Jen

        Waders won’t be enough. This job requires a full on hazmat suit.

        However, were this to run opposite the next presidential debate, I, for one, might be tempted.

        Reply
        1. RMO

          The only suitable… suits…for that task exist only in science fiction or video games. T-51b power armor, the HEV suit…

          Reply
    1. ambrit

      Me neither. I already am struggling with depression issues. I’ll bet that anything to do with Hillary is in the DSM as a marker for depression.

      Reply
        1. ambrit

          Hugs and kisses from us in return petal.
          I do wonder how much of the general malaise I see all around us now is conditioned. Growing up on a philosophy of exceptionalism, whether American Exceptionalism or science exceptionalism, (everything can be figured out and fixed,) I find it mentally challenging to admit my own basic powerlessness and essential limitations. (I’ll bet I would fit a whole raft of maladies in the DSM.)
          Stay warm! Watch out for falling everything!

          Reply
          1. Amfortas the hippie

            when going among the Mundane, and eavesdropping, i try to keep in mind that not 10 years ago, they thought they were heading for the top, and the Republic would soon be fixed(Tea).
            for a while, there was a kind of desperate hopefulness about trump…an affirmation, even. …a prayer…well, now that trump’s….”
            i don’t really hear that any more.
            a few bumper stickers here and there…and 2 rather large homemade signs(look almost professionally done) along the 130 miles to san antonio that trumpet, wordily, the magic of trump.
            these latter are all the more striking because they are outliers.
            reckon most of the yelling and argument is on-line, now.

            Reply
            1. drumlin woodchuckles

              Perhaps the best drug to cure American Exceptionalitis would be a course of American Ordinarycillin.

              ” I am an American Okayness Ordinarian for American Okayness Ordinaryism.”
              MAOKA. Make America O K Again.

              Reply
              1. ambrit

                Alas, I fear that American Exceptionalism, like every other observed form of Exceptionalism, is a fever that will have to burn itself out. If it kills the host at the same time, oh well, tough t—-es.

                Reply
        1. ambrit

          Thanks. The physical parts are doing very well. Learning not to worry about things beyond my control is a perennial problem. She is in very good spirits.

          Reply
          1. Amfortas the hippie

            thoughts and good vibes from the denizens of the Hermit Kingdom for Phyl and you.
            it’s a hard road.

            Reply
            1. ambrit

              It is indeed. I hope your wife does well. I imagine that “the evil weed” is out for her nausea, because of her job status. Cook her something she likes tomorrow. Try a little synesthesia treatment.

              Reply
          1. ambrit

            Thank you. Keep warm! And try to manage some time every day where you can sit back and relax without worrying about the state of the world. It does a lot of good. A mini-psychic-holiday.

            Reply
    2. urblintz

      I did my bit watching “The Family” (in which Hillary should have figured more prominently) so I’ll pass…

      Reply
    3. Pat

      As it is produced by someone who is long term Clinton toady associate and backer, I will be hard pressed to watch it. I suspect even if I start it will be off before I can destroy the television I cannot afford to replace.

      But I fully expect that we will get loads of flowery loving clips and lots of derogatory ones as people applaud her or point out her bull shit on social media. IOW, no one here probably has to take one for the team.

      Reply
      1. Lemmy Caution

        The book tours, the traveling stage show with the hubby, now a documentary. Sheesh, enough already. As Jimmy Dore would say, “Hillary, the country is just not that into you!”

        Reply
    4. Toshiro_Mifune

      I’m pretty sure I have plans that night. And the next night…. What were the plans? Oh, um. I was going to count the number of transistors on my Core i5 to make sure Intel wasn’t shorting me. Sounds more pleasant.

      … On second thought. The chance to give it MST3K treatment might be hard to pass on.

      Reply
      1. Jonathan Holland Becnel

        We need to make a YouTube reaction video!!!

        Call it, ‘What NC thinks about Netflixs Hilary Doc.’

        Reply
        1. ambrit

          Deflect any criticism away from NC. The Internet is becoming less and less friendly towards any effective counter narrative. How about; “What The Commenteriat thinks About…”

          Reply
    5. Big River Bandido

      I’m sitting in the Quiet Car, reading this thread and trying not to piss my pants from laughing.

      Thank you petal et al, for lifting my commute.

      Reply
    6. polecat

      Not me – no way no how ! I need to save my bile for when it really counts .. like when she’s finally thrown info a filthy gaol, wearing an orange pantsuit !

      Reply
    7. chuck roast

      Only a tried and true recovering-Catholic perv can truly analyze this. We could need a fetishist…that would mean finding an “I’m with Her” person. There are still plenty of those around, but I’m not sure we get a credible “report out.” Would a transvestite due? Uh, I think they are still trying to figure out which bathroom to use. A voyer might be an appropriate choice. Are voyers non-discriminatory? An exhibitionist would give us a fun report, but my guess is they would have no interest in Hillary…although she dresses well. How about a frotteurist? And to think that I had no idea until today what frotteurism was! A pediophiliac? Isn’t that the third-rail of politics? That leaves us with a masochist or a sadist.

      Yes my friends. I think that we can all agree who we need to take the lash here.

      Reply
    8. christofay

      Obama? If he’s going to stay out of it, he’ll have free time between the speeches. I delegate him to watch the latest Clinton product, a video this time. It’ll be great to have him comment at NC.

      Reply
    1. JohnnySacks

      I guess if they repeat it enough, it’s actually true, after all, every one of them went out and voted for Jill Stein in 2016, right? Why is passion for your candidate a punishable offense? Doubly if your candidate aspires to transformational goals which piss off the ‘establishment’. And of course there aren’t any obnoxious fan clubs for any of the other saintly candidates.

      And if Biden wins, every person under 30 will sit it out because, really, so what. What are we to do, tell them to suck it up, vote Biden, and try harder next time? No, sorry, I won’t make the hard sell for a platter of day old sushi.

      Reply
    2. Lee

      If someone has millions of supporters, you can hardly expect them all to be to your liking, or for you to be to theirs.

      As for him being “liked” , he has the highest favorability rating of any Senator. and ranks among the highest of all politicians.

      Here’s a link to some anti-Bernie toxicity, if you can stomach it.

      https://photos.google.com/share/AF1QipOieaGhgmp-BFkEGXBTz8SaigFHjpCczlM2_UEP7nz0dDt6_lfZ6NWBlEBhThp79g?key=YTdLbmpoa00wcExHZFI2OElKMENWTWg4ZTJMX1ZB

      Reply
    3. nippersdad

      It is funny how Sanders’ supporters are construed as toxic but I have yet to see any mention of the kinds of Clinton supporters who shut down our FB pages with child porn. In hindsight with The Epstein revelations maybe there is a good reason for that. What did Bill know and when did he know it?

      Reply
      1. Tvc15

        He new enough as soon as he received his first “massage” from one of Epstein’s victims. According to flight logs, Bill was on Epstein’s plane 26 times and Hillary twice. Then there’s the famous picture of Ghislaine Maxwell at Chelsea’s wedding. Oddly, Epstein’s guards were asleep and the video cameras didn’t work or the video was accidentally deleted. I’m sure AG Barr will uncover every stone to make sure justice is served. Nothing to see here at all folks, move along.

        I don’t think the Clinton’s suicided Epstein although there are numerous very suspicious suicides that have benefited them. I would put my money on the CIA or Mossad.

        Reply
      2. Amfortas the hippie

        aye. i remember noticing the nasty hillarytrolls yelling about how bad bernie supporters were…BEFORE noticing any bad bernie supporters.
        ie: exactly the opposite of their claim.
        gaslighting/They Live as methodology.

        Reply
    4. polecat

      So, Ok then… Lizzy Bras are just fine and dandy ??.. or am I just being a misogynist for showing the hypocrisy of it all ?

      Reply
      1. ambrit

        Sorry to tell you this, but, at this stage of the discourse, being non-female is misogynist.
        It’s all toxic sludge now. To paraphrase an earlier form of dismissal; “$-chan is all around us!”

        Reply
    5. lyman alpha blob

      Bernie should release a statement saying he has evidence that all the online bros are really Russian bots. That should make some heads explode.

      Reply
  9. Jen

    The power to destroy a thing…

    “There are valid criticisms to be made of Sen. Sanders. But regardless of whether you find his policy agenda too ambitious, his Brooklyn mannerisms too abrasive, or simply do not want another old, white man in the White House, in 2020 — we must vote for Sanders in the primary election.

    Why?

    Because if Sanders doesn’t win, millions of people will boycott the national electoral process and abandon the Democratic Party, thus handing President Donald Trump another four years and ensuring our inexorable slide towards political and environmental breakdown.”

    https://madison.com/wsj/opinion/letters/sanders-must-be-the-nominee—-max-puchalsky/article_370a53ff-987b-54c8-97f9-f0ed383a38a7.html

    Reply
    1. ambrit

      That’s a compelling argument for political quietism, I’ll admit.
      However, we must take cognizance of the fact that the Democrat Party can continue on in a nosferatu way for decades. The Zombie Party could last literally till the End of Days.

      Reply
    2. a different chris

      “Brooklyn mannerisms”????? Jeebus.

      I wonder if somebody ever said that Jesse Jackson should be voted for “despite his Compton mannerisms”. I hope not.

      Reply
    3. Jen

      I will be interesting to see if the argument that democrats can’t win without Sanders supporters gains traction with voters, especially those for whom defeating Trump is their singular objective. I saw a couple of people saying this on twitter last week.

      Reply
      1. Tom Doak

        The journalist who protested was also a former Hillary staffer, according to the analysis that follows the clip

        Reply
        1. Tvc15

          And she doesn’t base her comments on facts. I’ll be surprised if Krystal Ball is invited back on CNN anytime soon. Refreshing to see her on cable news.

          David Doel, the Rational National also adds his perspective to the interview. 16 minutes.
          https://youtu.be/pPghU2jpISw

          Reply
          1. lyman alpha blob

            If trends continue, in a year or two Wolf Blitzer will be begging to be on the Krystal Ball show in a doomed attempt to still appear relevant.

            Reply
        2. drumlin woodchuckles

          This shows why “removing Hillary” is not enough. The Clinton Mafia seeded politics, media, FoundationLand, Think Tankistan, etc. with thousands of Gladio Clintonite Left-Behinds. Every one of them must be found and destroyed.

          If even one of them is left alive and in place, the cancer will return.

          Reply
  10. Another Scott

    The Atlantic has published by Sean Wilentz’s critique of the 1619 Project and the editor’s response.

    https://www.theatlantic.com/ideas/archive/2020/01/1619-project-new-york-times-wilentz/605152/

    His conclusion is particularly damning:

    “We wholeheartedly support the stated goal to educate widely on slavery and its long-term consequences. Our letter attempted to advance that goal, one that, no matter how the history is interpreted and related, cannot be forwarded through falsehoods, distortions, and significant omissions. Allowing these shortcomings to stand uncorrected would only make it easier for critics hostile to the overarching mission to malign it for their own ideological and partisan purposes, as some had already begun to do well before we wrote our letter.”

    I read a few of the early articles in the project and found them problematic. I read other critiques from historians last fall, but this is the first time that I’ve seen it in a publication that would be read by NYT readership.

    Reply
  11. ambrit

    Has anyone else here noticed an uptick in retail prices at the shops recently? I’m wondering if I’m having some sort of delusional episode.

    Reply
        1. Wukchumni

          Candy bars went from a Nickel when I was a kid to 75 Cents now, and don’t forget to compare the smaller size of one currently versus the 1967 object of my confection.

          Reply
          1. ambrit

            Round here, at the ‘Full Retail’ shops, regular sized candy bars are noe $1.20 USD per unit. In some places, the “Impulse Aisle” price for a cold 16 oz. bottle of fizzy water is now reaching $2.00 USD. Now, by the six pack, beer is selling for roughly $1.50 USD per bottle. So, my own private ‘inversion index’ has rung it’s warning bells. Beer is now cheaper than cola.

            Reply
    1. allan

      My “if you like your employer-provided health insurance you can keep it” is up 20% from last year.
      Also too optical is now no longer included. But the CPI is 2.3% YOY, so we need to stop whining.

      Reply
    2. Lee

      I’m reading a 1943 Raymond Chandler novel in which a can of beer costs a dime, $5 is a very respectable bribe, and the private detective works for the princely sum of $30 per day.

      Reply
    3. Bill Carson

      Yes!! I was just complaining about this yesterday. They claim that there’s no inflation—just 18% from 2010 to 2020, but in that time rent in Colorado is up as much as 66%!

      And every time I go to the grocery store, I get sticker shock.

      I think that there is inflation that they are hiding from us. Stagflation, perhaps?

      Reply
      1. Wukchumni

        Changing the size of a package and contents in the days before computers did all the work was a lot of work, but luckily nowadays, you can lose 8% of the content via new packaging and keep the price the same, see-no inflation?

        About the only thing they haven’t messed around with is a gallon of gasoline, you’d think they’d start selling it in quarts in an effort to befuddle us?

        And don’t get me started on that 9/10’s of a Cent on the end of the price, yeah it was a nice dodge when a gallon of go-juice was a Quarter and you didn’t want the proles to know you were getting nearly 26 Cents, whoo daddy!

        Reply
      2. Matthew

        I don’t know about rent, but food definitely isn’t included in the standard inflation tracker. I leave it to others to speculate why that might be.

        Reply
    4. Jeremy Grimm

      I’ve noticed the price for dried black beans went up by quite a bit, almost $2 per pound in some markets. The price for a bag of red rose potatoes went up by a dollar. The increasing price of beef is an old story. I did notice a fair number of sales for ham and a few for turkey after the holidays. That made me wonder whether these items didn’t sell as well as the market hoped.

      Reply
    5. Freethinker

      This weekend, fresh organic broccoli shot up from $2.99 to $4.99 per pound in a single week at local Chicagoland grocer. G*A*S*P.

      Reply
      1. ambrit

        Here, the availability of “organic” produce is falling. I also noticed a big spike in the prices of junk food. (I can look but not touch, Phyl tells me.)

        Reply
      2. tegnost

        I’m a big broccoli fan. Over the years I’ve switched to organic. It was 1.99/lb for conventional as long as I can remember back, then organic came in pretty reliably at 2.99 for the past few years. This year it’s organic at 3.99 where I stop shopping, and i’ve seen it at 5.99. Cauliflower I can only get when it’s on sale, a good (org.) cauliflower at list price is like 8-10 dollars. I do wonder why broccoli is priced consistently at the .99 threshold, no incremental change there. Where I’ve also noted a spike is organic onions, gone are the days of the .99/lb onions, now it’s 3.99 for a 3 lb bag of boilers, 1.60- 1.90 for yellows and red/sweet, respectively. Celery is also trying to push the envelope, but customers like me walk at 2.99/lb.,
        so there’s a limit…3 lb. organic carrots are stuck at 3.99 for now…

        Reply
  12. XXYY

    I’m really depressed to see the phrase “progressive strategist.” Sounds like a Democratic strategist who rebranded himself.

    Back in the 70s and 80s, progressive was a term that people on the left deliberately used to distance themselves from liberals, who we regarded as centrists and sellouts. Now progressive seems to have become compromised by the center, too.

    Looks like we need a new word.

    Reply
        1. The Rev Kev

          Patriotic Socialism? I have a better idea. Trump has proved with his MAGA campaign that people are going back to Nationalism as a way to unify. So how about as a brand we use the term National Soc….dammit, forget it.

          Reply
  13. JTMcPhee

    An entry for the Vulnerability Index: UN experts demand US inquiry into Jeff Bezos Saudi hacking claims
    ‘Grave concern’ expressed at evidence of possible ‘effort to silence Washington Post’
    Amazon boss’s phone ‘hacked by Saudi crown prince’
    The Saudi heir and the alleged plot to undermine Bezos
    https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2020/jan/22/jeff-bezos-un-calls-for-investigation-into-alleged-saudi-hack It seems Bezos’s really smart security is not so smart, and MbS might hope to do what the CIA, NSA, FBI and AIPAC and others have done for years: control or “influence” the “narrative,” in this instance that organ of the Beltway Bubble called the Washington Post. And other stuff too, no doubt. In part by downloading gigabytes of all kinds of stuff, over a year or more, all undetected, via Bezos’s cell phone.

    Bezos apparently opened an image file in a text from bin Salman which injected a hack that may have gestated in one of the “security systems providers” that created stuff like STUXNET and the other “State-actor level” code weapons that Snowden brought to the world’s attention.

    Of course we mopes are all accustomed to and accepting of our own vulnerability to these kinds of repurposing of those handy-dandy little devices we have in our pockets or purses or hanging from our belts…

    And a second of-course, who knows if this is the real tale or just a fable concocted by one of the many sowers of fear, uncertainty and doubt, in pursuit of some goal or advantage that is for the moment obscure…

    Lambert frames it as “We know nothing.” I’d add “And nothing is ever what it seems.”

    Reply
    1. John

      I totally believe it.
      Does anyone else here remember when it came out that Jarad Kushner was using WhatsApp to communicate for White House business?

      He thinks it’s encrypted and untraceable as in, he can delete his sent messages and there’s no trace of them.

      His buddy is MBS. The talk was he gave a list to MBS of who it was safe to go after. Trump hates Bezos.

      Hmmmm.

      Reply
    2. Henry Moon Pie

      “MbS might hope to do what the CIA, NSA, FBI and AIPAC”

      It was all so much easier when Epstein was in business.

      Reply
  14. Roy G

    Re: Suddenly, I’m seeing this “guardrails” metaphor everywhere. Anyhow, if Sanders manages to win by expanding the Democrat base, how exactly does that “underline the weakness of the Democratic [sic] Party”?

    The weakness is that the parasitic ‘business wing of the Democratic Party’ (h/t Rahm Emmanuel) is being exposed like a tapeworm after the host ate too many Saltine crackers.

    Reply
        1. ambrit

          Oh my! Gay porn yet!
          As the Davos Dungeon Master said: “If we don’t swing together, we don’t swing!”
          That is something I would pay to see: The Rugged Individualist Societies’ Annual Orgy. Everyone wants to be on top.

          Reply
          1. Jonathan Holland Becnel

            Hahaha.

            And once you get to the top you gotta proclaim loudly, ‘You…ARE ALL MY BITCHES!!!’

            Jet Li says this in ‘The One.’

            Reply
    1. Pat

      IOW, ‘real’ Democrats don’t want to expand the base with anyone outside the professional management class. They moved on from demographics mean that Republicans are toast to ‘moderate’ Republicans are going to see how out of touch their party is and vote for us!

      Democrats from the FDR/Democratic wing of the party don’t count and should be ignored at all costs.

      After a few years of being defensive and angry that someone like Sanders could be described as ultra left wing when so many of his policy stands are so mainstream and even historically Democratic. Now I’m just increasingly amused as those stating that so often are seen to be stepping in excrement. The leadership of the party (all of it not just the Clintons) have a lot to answer for, they just haven’t yet found that out. It may take a while, but it is happening.

      Reply
  15. Wukchumni

    McFarland is a classic CVBB little Ag town full of Hispanic farm workers & formerly convicts in prison. And crisis = opportunity, right?

    And besides, who doesn’t like a self-licking ice cream cone?

    A huge crowd of protesters and counter-protesters showed up to a McFarland Planning Commission meeting on Tuesday in which the city took the first steps in allowing the private prison company GEO Group Inc. to expand immigration detention capabilities.

    Immigrant-rights activists and GEO employees fighting to keep their jobs clashed in front of the McFarland Veterans Community Center. At one point, the two groups formed lines of verbal battle across from each other and shouted “shut down GEO!” and “we want jobs!” to the other side.

    Only around 50 people were allowed to sit inside while the meeting took place. Those that were admitted appeared to be aligned with GEO, and all wore matching black suits. The immigrants rights activists chanted throughout the beginning of the meeting, their shouts easily heard through the thin walls.

    With the state of California closing private prisons, converting those prisons in McFarland into immigrant detention centers may be the only hope for keeping detention jobs in the area.

    “I really wish everyone understood that the things they are seeing in the news about GEO capturing kids and holding families, it’s not what we do and it’s not what we’re looking to do,” said Liz Knott, a program manager for the McFarland Female Community Reentry Facility, which is run by GEO. “I feel very confident that if you visit our facilities, they are clean, they’re safe and we do a good job at housing people.”

    She added that closing the facilities would devastate the McFarland area.

    https://www.bakersfield.com/news/mcfarland-meeting-on-expanding-ice-detention-capabilities-draws-huge-protest/article_f7e444a0-3cca-11ea-8ea0-ff67a9ee2622.html

    Reply
    1. Eclair

      Jobs are important. I’m sure the residents of German towns that housed labor and concentration camps were happy to have the jobs they brought to the area. As were the German engineers who designed the ovens and loading systems for the death camps in Poland, and the mechanics who fabricated them and the workers who installed them. When it comes down to being able to feed, clothe and house yourself and your family …. or see them starving and homeless, you do what you gotta do.

      But the so-called leaders of this country have a choice. May they rot in some hell not-of their-own-choosing for forcing working class people to exploit their own.

      Reply
      1. Wukchumni

        Your comparison isn’t so far off, I looked up the makeup of McFarland and it’s a little over 91% Hispanic/Latino, and one must think of transport costs in bringing the object of ICE’s desire, which should be minimal.

        By the way, one of my sure-fire ways to see who’s behind a protest is to look at the signs, and all of the Big ICE ones in the photos were all made by the same firm, look alike and scream big corp’se, whereas the counter protesters signs were all different, ha!

        Reply
      2. David B Harrison

        Chris Hedges talks about this in what may be his finest essay “The Careerists “.Reply to Eclair 1-22-20 @ 9:39 pm comment.

        Reply
  16. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    La Peste by Camus…something about the novel, as I read about outbound flights being suspended, in Wuhan, China.

    Reply
    1. Wukchumni

      All inbound & outbound commuter flights had been suspended in 1918 because they didn’t exist yet, but somehow the Spanish Influenza went around the world 6 times.

      Reply
        1. Wukchumni

          Europeans shut down airports when Icelandic volcanoes erupted a decade ago (…you’ll poke your Eyjafjallajökull out kid~) losing money on account of too many ash sets.

          Probably too late to do anything now anyway in Wuhan & the rest of the world, it’s more going through the motions. If China really cared, they’d suspend rail service, which has got to be a better spreader of germs i’d guess.

          Reply
          1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

            According to Wikipedia:

            According to a research report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Oran was decimated by the plague in 1556 and 1678, but all later outbreaks, in 1921 (185 cases), 1931 (76 cases), and 1944 (95 cases), were very far from the scale of the epidemic described in the novel.

            Hopefully, we don’t even reach the lowest of above (76 cases).

            Reply
      1. Lee

        Wasn’t it spread beyond its point of origin in France by WW1 troops going home? Having some 400 million Chinese traveling for their New Year presents a similar scenario.

        We get a lot of Chinese travelers here in the SF Bay Area, and two of my housemates have jobs in tourist and commuter transit that put them in contact with many of them. Well, I’ve logged my three score and ten and then some, but even so, I’m not yet eager to pop off the twig. (:>I

        Reply
        1. Wukchumni

          My buddy who does sightseeing tours in Sequoia NP and interacts with the world just came down with the A version of the flu and a 104 temp, with an overnight trip required to the hospital, where he needed 3x IV bags to get him somewhat back to normal, says he feels like he’s gone 7 rounds with Ali in his prime.

          Reply
        2. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

          While Hongkongers were protesting last year, more protests took place, less reported, in Wuhan last July over an Incinerator plan.

          I commented then about the historical significance (probably still relevant) of the city (the place the beginning of the end started for the Qing dynasty).

          Reply
        3. aletheia33

          according to wikipedia, the place of origin of the 1918 influenza pandemic continues to be debated.
          the w. article mentions several interesting theories that have been put forth.

          Reply
      2. Dickeylee

        Read an interesting article a while ago that one strain originated in Ft Riley KS and as the big red 1 shipped out to WWI you could follow the troop movements across the country along the two main rail links east through Omaha to Chicago to Cleveland and Boston, and KC to St Louis to Louisville through to Virginia. About how the flu spread at every stop along the way and how it mutated and spread in lock step with the troops.

        Reply
  17. curlydan

    I think Peter Daou saying there’s nothing in Bernie’s oppo file is a bit optimistic. I get the feeling we’ll hear a lot more about his honeymoon in the Soviet Union or the odd short story he wrote. The enemy will find it and use it. It’s a thin file, but hey, we’re all human. And in a Rovian sense, they (mainly Repubs) can take a strength and bend it in strange ways.

    Don’t underestimate the enemy, Peter.

    Reply
    1. Skip Intro

      Daou seems to have undergone a remarkable political or perhaps spiritual conversion, but his article seems particularly obtuse, if not dishonest when it comes to the evolution of the 2016 social media environment:

      Here is the irony: as we began to embrace #NotMeUs and express support for Sanders, a cadre of Sanders haters began trolling and harassing us with the same venom that they attribute to so-called Bernie bros. They impugned our motives and character, called us traitors and sellouts, and mobbed our Twitter threads. It was a disconcerting awakening to the hypocrisy of those who slam Sanders supporters as a bunch of sexist young white males, then engage in identical behavior to those they criticize.

      The lesson is unmistakable: there are angry and obnoxious supporters of all candidates.

      I guess Daou, “Internet Director” for Clinton’s 2008 campaign, never bumped into David Brock, or heard of the legendary Million $ Troll Army. He can only throw up his (and Leela’s!) hands in saddened bewilderment at the zeal of both sides’zealots…
      And all while implicitly verifying the existence of ‘Bernie bros’ even as he appears to repudiate the the language. The only evidence he presents is anti-Bernie trolling, and stories about harassment, themselves a product of anti-Bernie smears. We know the Clinton team funded that with at least $1million. Did Peter (and Leela!) just believe their own propaganda? Did cognitive dissonance erase Brock from the article, or deceptive intent?

      How deep is your conversion Peter? Do you have a strategic ‘hi-profile’ version of the “I was a Bernie fan until …” trope planned for super Tuesday or something?

      Reply
    2. Yves Smith

      No, the evidence supports his point.

      Why would Sanders’ enemies have to make up oppo, like reciting “Bernie Bros” or “Bernie doubts women” fabrications if they had anything real?

      Reply
    3. John

      Right Wing Hate Radio is already hitting the Bernie as a Communist supporter of Russia and Cuba. And they are making it sound really bad.

      Reply
    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      It is a (major, major) transportation hub.

      From Wikipedia, Wuhan (I know people look down on Wiki, but a journey of 1,000 miles starts with a single step):

      he name “Wuhan” came from the city’s historical origin from the conglomeration of Wuchang, Hankou and Hanyang, which are collectively known as the Three Towns of Wuhan (Chinese: 武汉三镇). It lies in the eastern Jianghan Plain, on the confluence of the Yangtze River and its largest tributary, the Han River, and is known as “China’s Thoroughfare” (九省通衢).[1]

      The Yangtze goes up to the populous Sichuan, and down to the even more populous Yangtze Delta (including Nanjing and Shanghai).

      (But the headline above does not mention freighters or cruise ships, coming in or out of Wuhan… or gunboats – I think the boat in Steve McQueen’s Sand Pebbles might have docked in Wuhan).

      The Han River goes up to the Hanzhong Valley. A UNESCO World Network of Biosphere Resreves site, Shennongjia National Nature Reserve, drains into the Han River. Per Wiki, the protected animal species include golden snub-nosed monkey, whose population in the district was reported to have grown between 1990 and 2005 from 500 to over 1200. A specially protected 100-square-km area is designated for this endangered primate species.[8]

      If the mystery disease is of animal origin, could it have come from there?

      BTW, the Xinhai Revoluation started in Wuchang (one fo the three towns mentioned above) and soon after, the Qing dynasty was no more, ending three thousand years of imperial rule in China, except for a few feeble, and short lived restoration attempts.

      Reply
    2. JTMcPhee

      How many people carrying the virus will have exited Wuhan for global destinations before the lockdown goes into effect, and how many will find the zillion cracks that such a containment effort will certainly contain?

      The war gamers as well as the public health people have played these scenarios many times. Some of the psychopaths that lurk in our own government sent pathogens into major cities “to see what would happen.” Germ warfare experiments on US people are just one among the many things “our government” has done and is doing to us (no, fluoridation of the water supply and vaccination are not -I believe— among them.) https://www.theclever.com/15-illegal-experiments-the-us-government-has-done-on-its-own-citizens/

      Bear in mind how these things happen: the “government” is a big place, with lots of money flowing around in various budgets. It;s the place that psychopaths and sociopaths, especially those with “dark ideas,” migrate to, to find the means to effectuate their ideas. And they find willing sponsors for the craziest stuff. Some senator was given the idea that th eUS could burn Japan to the ground in WW II if only the Air Force could disperse clouds of bats, fitted out with little metal cylinders with two violently reactive chemicals separated by a thin erodible membrane. the bats were expected to fly up into the rafters of all tiles wooden homes and buildings and whoosh! the cylinders would explode and spread flaming fluid into the woodwork. Read it here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bat_bombwwwwwww

      And then there was Joe Wilson, and his great idea of setting one piece of the US government to arming the “freedom loving” mjuaheddin in Notagainistan…

      Reply
          1. John

            So over at the orange site they are saying that Gabbard doesn’t have a chance because Clinton never named her.

            I wonder if that’s true since she didn’t name her. Plus she is a public figure and would need to prove malice by Clinton.

            Reply
            1. Yves Smith

              See my comment below. You don’t get what this is about.

              Successful defamation cases just about never result in financial awards, particularly in the US with a public figure.

              If Gabbard can get past summary judgment (or motion to dismiss, the legal form depends on the jurisdiction), she gets to do discovery. That would be hugely damaging to Clinton.

              And I don’t know the standard in NY, but it is generally not malice, but negligence, or worst, reckless indifference.

              Reply
        1. Yves Smith

          I hope Gabbard understands what this is about.

          She won’t get a dime in financial damages (unless Clinton wises up and settles) but she’s sink Clinton permanently in discovery. Can you imagine what fun it would be to root among Clinton files and depose Clinton cronies? Clinton may wipe more hard disks with a cloth, but she can’t do that to the brains of co-conspirators.

          Reply
          1. inode_buddha

            Heh. Discovery may actually be the whole point. I wonder if Clinton is egotistical enough to try and represent herself? (Disclaimer: I was quite active on Groklaw while it was running. I am not a lawyer)

            Reply
          2. John

            If the point is the discovery, where is Gabbard’s money going to come from for the lawyers? Inquiring minds want to know.

            Reply
            1. drumlin woodchuckles

              GoFundMe?

              Thousands and then millions of small donations from Sanderbackers and others who have already proven that they are ready to donate small-ly? Especially if they come to understand the target and the goal and the stakes?

              Reply
  18. Big River Bandido

    …Sanders’s candidacy underlines the weakness of the Democratic Party.

    The weakness of the ”party” is its dominant, autocratic and reactionary faction, the neoliberal PMC. In that sense the piece falsely conflates the party’s misleadership class with its base. “Underlined” is also accurate in that Sanders’ candidacy lays bare how toxic neoliberal policies have become at the polls. Voters hate them — especially Democrats.

    Twenty years ago, the idea of a socialist taking over the party and running a general election campaign would be pure nonsense.

    To the establishment, it’s still twenty years ago. Only a few of them have embarked on the seven stages.

    Reply
  19. Wukchumni

    Values are transient dept:

    Kind of a ski resort tradition for branches of trees just far away enough from the lift chairs to be festooned with panties, the occasional bra and lots of kitschy Mardi Gras strands of cheap necklaces.

    An odd looking yard sale 30 or 40 feet up, but there you have it.

    If you were to take those beaded necklaces with you back in time, you could have bought Manhattan with the proceeds 4 centuries ago.

    Reply
    1. ambrit

      Even the “benighted savages” of four hundred years ago would have turned their noses up at the cheap junk that passes for Mardi Gras throws today. Now, say, if you had some of the throws from the 1950s and 1960s, you could have Connecticut too.

      Reply
  20. pretzelattack

    cenk uygur points out that the p.u.m.a. hillary support group originally stood for “party unity my ass” in 2008. too much hypocrisy for this poor aging brain to keep up with. “nobody likes him” is just the latest iteration of their hypocrisy.

    Reply
  21. ptb

    Re: Biden ’95 clip

    Yep that’ll do it.

    Biden was in the Senate for 36 years, “reaching across the aisle” the whole time, on a bunch of issues that his backers would rather forget.

    Reply
  22. Tom Stone

    If Hillary does get the nod at a brokered convention she’d be wise to adapt some of Bernie’s rhetoric to her own style.
    “I’m with her” won’t cut it a second time.
    I’d suggest “Not us, Me”

    Reply
    1. The Rev Kev

      And you just know that if she got herself made President, that on Inauguration Day when she is on the podium, that she would rip that bandage right off again and say in her speech how she should have been here in 2017 but that she was cheated because she was a woman…

      Reply
  23. Big River Bandido

    Curious headline from the Jeff Bezos Daily Shopper: “Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama want to stop Bernie Sanders. Can they actually do it?”

    Betteridge’s Law?

    Reply
  24. Jack Parsons

    If there’s an AI that doesn’t need to be plugged in, we’re in worse trouble than I thought.

    The self-licking ice cream cone will need an AI.

    Reply

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