2:00PM Water Cooler 8/20/2020

By Lambert Strether of Corrente.

Patient readers, I had one too many mimosas at brunch today, so Water Cooler will be a little abbreviated. –lambert

#COVID19

At reader request, I’ve added this daily chart from 91-DIVOC. The data is the Johns Hopkins CSSE data. Here is the site.

Here again is the Midwest: Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota, and Wisconsin:

I left out positivity, becaue the chart becomes unreadable if I include it. Interesting spike in Missouri; I wonder if it’s a reporting problem at the state level, since they seem to be cropping up all over.

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

“They had learned nothing, and forgotten nothing.” –Charles Maurice de Talleyrand-Périgord

The electoral map. July 17: Georgia, Ohio, ME-2 move from Leans Republican to Toss-up. Continued yikes. On July 7, the tossup were 86. Only July 17, they were 56. Now they are 91. This puts Biden at 278, i.e. over 270. August 18: Still no changes. (Last change August 10.)


Click the map to create your own at 270toWin.com

So, taking the consensus as a given, 270 (total) – 204 (Trump’s) = 66. Trump must win 66 from the states in play: AZ (11), FL (29), MI (16), NC (15), PA (20), and WI (10) plus 1 to win not tie = 102. 102 – 66 = 36. So if Trump wins FL, MI, NC, and PA (29 + 16 + 15 + 20 = 80), he wins. That’s a heavy lift. I think I’ve got the math right this time!

Democratic National Convention

“Official Drinking Game, “The Speech Joe Biden Has Been Preparing For His Entire Life” Edition” [Matt Taibbi]. “Guessing what an unscripted Joe Biden will do at any given moment is pretty interesting. Here we’re basically trying to guess what Biden and his handlers have decided to put on a teleprompter.” Yep. Then the rules: “Drink EVERY TIME: 1. Biden says, ‘Folks.’… Take small sips and hydrate. Good luck, America!”

* * *

I remember a comic strip called “Stan Mack’s Real Life Funnies. Guarantee: All dialog verbatim.” So herewith:

The adults in the room (1):

This is just a sampling. There’s plenty more.

The adults in the room (2):

“Us”?

The adults in the room (3):

The adults in the room (4):

The adults in the room (5):

The adults in the room (6):

“What it is ain’t exactly clear:”

Shot:

Chaser:

Austerity, here we come:

“Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Upgraded To Full DNC Speaking Slot After Announcing Support For Iraq War” [The Onion].

Realignment and Legitimacy

We’re gonna hold Joe Biden’s feet to the fire:

She’s a woman:

Maybe:

Stats Watch

At reader request, I added some business stats back in. Please give Econintersect click-throughs; they’re a good, old-school blog that covers more than stats. If anybody knows of other aggregators, please contact me at the email address below.

Unemployment: “15 August 2020 Initial Unemployment Claims Climb Back Over One Million” [Econintersect]. “The more important (because of the volatility in the weekly reported claims and seasonality errors in adjusting the data) 4 week moving average moved from 1,254,750 (reported last week as 1,252,750) to 1,175,750.”

Manufacturing: “August 2020 Philly Fed Manufacturing Survey Index Declined” [Econintersect]. “The Philly Fed Business Outlook Survey declined but remains well into expansion…. Overall, this report was slightly worse than last month’s report as key elements declined.”

* * *

The Bezzle: “Airbnb files for IPO that was ‘hard to imagine’ just a few months ago” [MarketWatch]. “The San Francisco-based startup was hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic as travel came to a halt in many parts of the world in March, with its valuation reportedly dropping from $31 billion to $18 billion a month later. It laid off almost 1,900 employees, or nearly 25% of its workforce, in May. But the company said in a news release after trading closed Wednesday that it had filed a draft registration statement for an IPO — not a direct listing — with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. ‘It was hard to imagine in mid-March and April that Airbnb would be going public this year,’ Tom White, an analyst with D.A. Davidson, said Wednesday. With travel for business and pleasure ‘decimated,’ however, the bright spot in the industry has been alternative accommodations and vacation-rental inventory. People have been cooped up, and the virus-safe option is renting a house,’ White said.”

* * *

Today’s Fear & Greed Index: 69 Greed (previous close: 68 Greed) [CNN]. One week ago: 72 (Greed). (0 is Extreme Fear; 100 is Extreme Greed). Last updated Aug 19 at 1:01pm.

The Biosphere

“Climate change: Dams played key role in limiting sea level rise” [BBC (Paul O)]. “Measuring how much the seas have risen over the past 100 years or so is a difficult task for scientists. Researchers found that there was a gap between how much water they knew had gone into the oceans compared to how much those oceans had actually risen by over the past century…. There are around 58,000 large dams in the world right now with many of them constructed over the past 60 years. … The study finds that overall sea level has risen by approximately 1.56mm per year between 1900 and 2018. The largest contributors to rising seas over most of the 20th century have been melting glaciers which have responded faster to a warmer world.Over this whole period, the authors believe that sea level would have been around 12% higher without the influence of dams and reservoirs.” • That’s remarkable!

Class Warfare

“Would a Biden Victory Be a Win for the Working Class?” [Michael Lind, Tablet (carla)]. “The suggestion that a Biden administration would be pushed in a pro-worker direction out of fear of incurring the wrath of veterans of the Sanders campaign and the feckless Democratic Socialists of America could make a cat laugh. A Biden administration would be staffed by conventional, conformist, careerist retreads from the administrations of Bill Clinton and Barack Obama, representing the pro-Wall Street, anti-labor wing of the Democratic Party that has been dominant since the 1990s. Biden Democrats are likely to use a combination of social liberalism and fiscal conservatism to bring well-heeled Bloombergian independents and country-club Bush Republicans permanently into the Democratic coalition, accelerating its transformation into an alliance of affluent whites with members of minority groups who vote on the basis of race, not class. As long as enough well-off whites and African Americans and Hispanics vote for the centrist candidates of the Clinton-Obama-Biden machine, neoliberal Democrats have nothing to fear from ‘democratic socialist’ poseurs in pricey hipster neighborhoods and college towns.” • As I said, more or less, yesterday. More: “Even if the Democrats win a trifecta of the White House, House, and Senate in November, the boss class will remain firmly in control, kicking American labor while it is down. Welcome to the 2020s, American workers of all races. Have a nice decade.” Yep. Barring, well, accidents…. Definitely worth reading in full.

“The Elegy of the New American Left” [Policy Tensor]. “While Sanders generated much enthusiasm in the New American Left, and some working-class whites still left in the Democratic fold, the response from the core of the Democrats’ rainbow coalition was decidedly lukewarm. Both professional middle-class whites and African-Americans remained loyal to the Clinton-Obama neoliberal wing. Chastened by the rejection of mostly working-class black communities in 2016, Sanders made a point of reaching out to black Democrats in his second bid. It did not work. What was worse, it turned out that working-class whites who seemed to be enthusiastic about Sanders in 2016 were, in fact, voting against Clinton. In the 2020 cycle, they favored Biden, the lackluster former vice president of Barack Obama. With a broad base of support among centrist professional middle-class whites, African-Americans, and working-class whites, Biden consistently polled ahead of the pack through the early campaign season. It was widely assumed in the progressive faction of the professional middle-class, including much of the media, that Biden was merely keeping the seat warm until a real candidate emerged. But the Biden tendency continued to persist. When Sanders briefly took the lead in February and seemed within reach of racking up an insurmountable lead, party elders panicked…. With days to go before Super Tuesday, party elders cleared out the “centrist lane” in a stunning display of party discipline and elite competence. Pete Buttigieg, an AstroTurf political entrepreneur known for his effortless regurgitation of platitudes, and Amy Klobuchar, a seasoned and highly competent senator from Minnesota, were prevailed upon to drop out and throw their weight behind Joe Biden. The operational maneuver was shockingly effective. Although it would be a while before Sanders would throw in the towel, Biden locked up the Democratic nomination on Super Tuesday.” But: “Sanders lost the “electability” argument to Biden once it became clear that the latter enjoyed greater support in the working-class. In other words, the Sanders campaign failed to forge the progressive-working class alliance — “a mass working-class movement to challenge the power of the billionaires” — that it had itself deemed a prerequisite for the ‘political revolution.’ To place the blame squarely on the superior organization of the enemy is not serious.” • Yep. Also worth reading in full. I still want to know why the Sanders campaign lost Texas, though. The popular vote was 34% Biden, 29% Sanders, with Bloomberg at 14% and Warren once again playing the successful spoiker at 11%. That’s pretty close. Flip that contingency, and the Sanders campaign would be hailed as a work of genius. Texas readers?

“Listen to Episode 160: Neither Snow Nor Rain Nor Chronic Lyme” (podcast) [Trillbilly Worker’s Party]. • Maybe listen to this in conjunction with the two articles above. Terance: “People have been protesting in Louisville for 85 days over Breonna Taylor’s murder. 85 days. And the fact that the powers that be can just withstand that, and just not even respond to it, and be like “That’s nice, just keep doing your thing,” that tells me that we have to develop some sort of new way of applying leverage to them.”

News of the Wired

News you can use:

Enough to make me change my mind about golf:

* * *

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

WB remarks: “Peak fluttering….” I have always taken Tiger Swallowtails as a sign of good luck. So here we are!

* * *

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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.

225 comments

    1. Dickeylee

      Steve Bannon was arrested on a Chinese billionaires 150 ft yacht by the Post Office Police. WSJ says Gou Wengui is a double spy. Right on cue Trump says it’s been years since he spoke to Bannon…
      Build that wall!
      Steve is scheduled to speak in prime time next Tuesday at the RNC. Think they will reschedule?

        1. drumlin woodchuckles

          Which goes to show how very not-a-racist Trump really is.

          Well, it can certainly be made to go to show that.

      1. ObjectiveFunction

        Well, that’s one less bookmark for me to check weekly (WarRoom Pandemic). Deleted. Was nothing but yellow peril hysterics these days anyway. Pity, I thought Bannon himself had some good observations now and then, so long as you didn’t ask him for solutions.

        Assuming this isn’t another witch hunt, he can join Jack Abramoff and Liddy in the small time DC grifters pen. Sometimes smartest guy in the room just turns out to be a slightly higher form of stupid.

  1. jo6pac

    Amazing golf shot and I don’t even like golf.

    demodog party running on we’re better but not by much and Russia/China are bad.

    1. Dr. John Carpenter

      Eh, I think they’re more running on: we’re basically the same but Biden can’t figure Twitter out.

      1. ambrit

        My take is, their strategy is: Populism is a Commie plot!
        Is there a word for; “Governance by confidence tricksters?”

        1. km

          Is there a word for; “Governance by confidence tricksters?”

          Kakocracy and Kleptocracy each come prominently to mind.

      2. hunkerdown

        I get the sense that the veep is being chosen on the basis of the performance of their campaign’s troll farm. The #KHive did overperform (for the Party) once Sanders was out.

    2. Jason Boxman

      Can’t exactly run on “because markets, go die”, can they? So why not scary monsters in your closet? The Democrat party is here to make you feel safe!

    3. Wukchumni

      Grown men whacking off repeatedly trying to fit the object of their desire into a fitted hole on manicured grounds is a good walk spoiled, but that was a hell of a shot. {golf clap}

      1. ambrit

        Hmmmmm….
        To continue your analogy somewhat; what exactly is your “handicap?” (Mine is a closely held secret.)

  2. antidlc

    https://sirota.substack.com/p/team-biden-now-signals-austerity
    Team Biden Now Signals Austerity, Despite Campaign Pledges

    The Democratic convention has sucked up all the political oxygen in America — so much so, that most people missed Team Biden signaling that it may back off the entire agenda it is campaigning on. This monumental declaration went almost completely unnoticed for an entire day — which is a genuinely disturbing commentary on how the biggest of big political news gets routinely ignored.

    To review the situation: earlier this month, Bloomberg News reported that Biden’s “campaign rolled out a $3.5 trillion economic program over the past month” — one that “promises to invest in clean energy and caregiving, buy more made-in-America goods, and start narrowing the country’s racial wealth gaps.” This, said the news service, was proof that Biden no longer adhered to an ideology of austerity and deficit hawkery — which would be good news.

    But then on the eve of Biden’s convention speech, the Democratic nominee’s top aide suggested to Washington reporters that, in fact, that’s not true.

    Reminds me of the following:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_siQqiT48Tc

    1. The Rev Kev

      It is more than that. It means that any promise that Joe makes to the left to get their vote is a joke. After the election, he will say sorry, there is no money for any of your causes. Banks maybe but nothing like healthcare. Stephanie Kelton picked up on that rubbish idea but Cenk Uygur will tell his listeners that it is all Trump’s fault and there is nothing to be done so keep on hating Trump and his Russian handlers.

      1. John

        There is always plenty of money to bailout the banks and the corporations; all the favored ones get instant service. Then, mirabile dictu, the money is all gone. Because markets; go die is good for most circumstances. Because our masters; go die is for those crisis moments when all loses must be socialized. They aren’t even trying to hide the fix anymore.

        Elect Biden and nothing will change and Trump is so greedy for attention that he won’t go away.

    2. dcranedavid.marshall@insectsingers.com

      A perfect punctuation mark on the nullification of the Sanders movement, with Bernie’s complicity.

      “Most progressive president since FDR”, my [family blog]

  3. zagonostra

    >They are laying down the predicate for a do-nothing Biden Administration.

    When we get in, the pantry is going to be bare,” said Mr. Kaufman, who is leading Mr. Biden’s transition team. “When you see what Trump’s done to the deficit…all the deficits that he built with the incredible tax cuts. So we’re going to be limited.”

  4. DJG

    I second: Read the Lind article. It is a reminder that the dominant social class (singular) of the Mauve Party and the Aqua Party (if you can tell the dueling fan clubs apart) has no jobs plan. Their only plan is to cut “labor costs.” Lind also notes how the makeup of these administrations is depressingly similar–the same people recycled.

    And on the day after the Head of the Hollow Mean has another rhetorically award-winning speech, Lind dares to bring up Simpson-Bowles. Yes, that Simpson-Bowles. [Not Homer.]

    1. nycTerrierist

      V. good piece by Lind — I’ve shared with friends who are buying the line
      that ‘we can push Biden left after he’s in office’ — —

      wishful thinking, alas

    2. Pelham

      Agreed about the Lind article. Now, however, what do we do?

      I’ve suggested simply voting for Trump, on the theory that 4 more years of a now familiar conman would be preferable to permanently cementing the supreme status of the neoliberal/PMC/idpol class at the top of one of our two major parties.

      But I’m open to other ideas. Please, someone, anyone, point me in a different direction. I’d really rather not risk Covid death or a lung transplant casting a vote for the orange bad man.

      1. jsn

        Unless someone like AOC or someone you deeply believe in is your rep, vote against the incumbent.

        Both incumbent parties have clearly told their voters, FOAD, we work for our donors, so whichever party they are, vote them out.

        If everyone who wasn’t really committed to their rep, which requires a rep worth committing to, did this, the volatility and insecurity would get even the most bought reps attention.

      2. Tom Bradford

        But I’m open to other ideas.

        No, no. Vote for Trump. After all, he’s a shameless, blatant liar who either knows he’s lying or has utterly lost touch with reality. We know he’s incompetent and corrupt, motivated only by what’s in it for him and who has surrounded himself with equally incompetent corrupt cronies to run the country when they’re not licking his butt – but hey, if you think the other guy is even worse then simply vote for Trump.

        1. edmondo

          We know he’s incompetent and corrupt, motivated only by what’s in it for him and who has surrounded himself with equally incompetent corrupt cronies to run the country when they’re not licking his butt

          I’m confused. Are you referring to Biden or Trump?

    3. Milton

      Going off-track here…
      The Simpsons and politics conjurs up for me the aliens, Kodos and Kang (I think that’s their names) daring the crowd of humans to go ahead, throw your vote away when challenged by someone that wants to vote third party.

    4. Katniss Everdeen

      Really worth the read, if only for the redefinition of the sacred american “dream” for the “huddled masses yearning to breathe free,” from next generation democrat “beto,” watch-me-skateboard-to-the-dentist-and-get-my-teeth-cleaned-on-instagram, o’rourke:

      “Who the fuck do you think is working on the farms and feed lots, in the packing houses and processing plants at a time when we are struggling to feed ourselves? Who is in the kitchen? Who is picking, preparing, serving the food we eat and cleaning up afterwards?”

      Now tear down that statue of Jefferson Davis.

  5. Billy

    Thesis: The Democrats chose Kamala to deliberately lose:

    “The Democrats ostensibly went with Kamala Harris to whip up the voters into wild bouts of inspiring enthusiasm!
    Only, Kamala bowed out of the primaries even before 2020 started, after spending $40 million -part of which is still not paid off- because she was stuck at 2% support and couldn’t generate … any enthusiasm.”

    “What you got is a really old man who couldn’t get a toddler excited about ice cream, and a token black woman who nobody even in her own party likes. Mix those ingredients into a convention that attracts just half the viewers of the 2016 one and generates the excitement level of an infomercial for kitchen appliances, and is it any wonder I doubt that the “behind the curtain party” is in this to win?”

    https://www.theautomaticearth.com/2020/08/do-the-dems-want-to-win/

    Miss Two Percent for the 2%?

    “Job opening, White Star Lines, HMS Titanic, must have some experience, jumping from ‘job to job.”

    1. flora

      and, per the Kelton tweet, if they do manage to get elected they’re already saying they’ll nothing for people struggling in this pandemic, might even have to impose more austerity because “the pantry is going to be bare.”

      Which they all voted for, so don’t blame T or Mitch alone, guys. You guys saved Wall St. when you had the leverage to help Main Street in the first round. Shades of 2008-9.

      “When we get in, the pantry is going to be bare,” said Mr. Kaufman, who is leading Mr. Biden’s transition team. “When you see what Trump’s done to the deficit…all the deficits that he built with the incredible tax cuts. So we’re going to be limited.” 😞https://t.co/VEz6VlGRK0

      — Stephanie Kelton (@StephanieKelton) August 20, 2020

      1. Hepativore

        Remind me again why Trump for four more years is supposed to be worse than 8-12 years of Clintonite/Obama neoliberalism and austerity? I have yet to see any evidence that the Democratic Party leadership would have handled the pandemic and the coming Great Depression II any better than Trump did.

        I am not saying to vote for Trump rather than third party or not voting, but at least if Trump wins we can have a better shot for the presidency in 2024. There is no way the Democratic Party would ever allow a primary challenge for Biden or Harris in 2024 if they were the incumbents.

        Forget about the idea of trying to move Biden and Harris to the left once they are in office if they win the presidency. They have already shown that they will turn a deaf ear to progressives. The DNC convention that is heaping praise on W. Bush alumni/Republicans over the progressive wing of their own party is just the icing on the cake. The Democratic Party does not care if they lose progressives as they feel that they have them over a barrel. It is also ever more clear that they do not care if this causes them to lose as it is still more preferable to them than winning with progressive policies but losing their corporate donors.

        At this point, the only thing that a Biden/Harris win would do is validate the idea that the Democratic Party can win without progressive supporters as they will either fall in line or have enough Karen voters where it does not matter. They will do the same thing in 2024 and 2028 with Harris.

        1. NotTimothyGeithner

          Harris won’t be elected in 2024 without a severe course correction. She has no charisma, and Biden’s sure thing is getting tighter when 180k Americans just died. Look no further than the Democratic electeds reactions to protests and support of the police state.

          The tickets only path to reelection is a 1994/5 style event where the GOP sweeps Congress and Newt 2.0 takes a huge dump everywhere putting the GOP in a situation where they run a corpse after really annoying everyone.

          1. Fern

            The fact that Harris has no charisma probably won’t matter. The vice president keeps a low profile and has no responsibility for the administration’s policy. Remember, Biden also performed as badly in his earlier primaries because of his incompetence, poor decisions and lack of charisma. He was ridiculed out of one primary because of his long history of blatant plagiarism, but once he was elevated to the vice presidency none of that mattered.

            Harris didn’t just poll at 2% nationally. She was also polling FOURTH in her own state. She doesn’t even do well among blacks, in whose name she was selected. For example, on Nov. 18, 2019, Harris polled number SEVENTH in a poll of South Carolina, where blacks are 60% of the electorate. She came in at 3%. And this is in spite her heavy promotion by the establishment and their mainstream media.

            But it all doesn’t matter. She was the establishment’s chosen candidate, and she will be the Democratic nominee in 2024 because they have said so.

          2. Procopius

            Krystal and Saagar (on Thursday) pointed out the new CNN poll on Rising. It shows Biden’s lead dropping from 14 points to 4 points. And they choose this moment to say they’re going to impose austerity!

        2. zagonostra

          Excellent analysis. I think you clearly lay out the implications of a Dem win as opposed to a re-election of Trump…except, and there is always that nasty “except,” if we take folks like Chomsky and others who say that there won’t be anything left in 4 years. That Trump is an “existential threat.”

          Personally, I don’t buy it, I’m voting 3’d party/write-in/or nothing.

          1. Pookah Harvey

            In early January a few experts were afraid that COVID-19 could be an “existential threat” but most people didn’t buy it. I would suggest that in risk management you have to consider worst case scenarios.

        3. TBellT

          Trump is also a neoliberal and advocates austerity. Either candidate winning will be considered a justification of the orthodoxy.

          “The table is tilted folks. The game is rigged. And nobody seems to notice and nobody seems to care.” – Carlin

          I would have thought a crisis like this would finally have caused some table flipping and action that would have made Occupy look like a picnic. If this moment can’t break the duopoly what hope is there that people will wake up in 4 years. Got to give some applause to the founders for creating a system that would keep their class in power no matter how badly things got. It’s a marvel really.

        4. Acacia

          Yep. The DNC convention makes it pretty clear. The Dems have nothing at all to offer progressives — and they don’t care — so they’re chasing after suburban Republicans to help the party get their snouts back into the trough.

        5. John k

          Yes. Only if Biden loses can a progressive such as aoc have a chance for the nom in 2024.
          In the deepest of blue states it doesn’t matter what I do, easy to write in Bernie. IMO if in a swing it makes sense for a progressive to vote trump.

      2. Pelham c

        Kelton is too polite to say this, but I have a theory as to why there are always trillions available for nefarious purposes but not for others that would enrich actual Americans:

        It’s good for the banks that consumers and businesses are starved for money. Our debts are banks’ assets. Thus, Congress has no problem allocating trillions for wars and bank bailouts but pleads that “the cupboard is bare” for M4A or other nice things. Consumers will readily use credit cards to pay for necessities, but probably wouldn’t pull out their Visas to depose Assad or launch drone strikes on obscure targets in Central Asia.

    2. jr

      I cannot believe the gallery of clowns we have before us. Is it possible for everyone involved to lose a Presidential election? I mean besides us.

      1. drumlin woodchuckles

        If every single POC ( that’s Pissed Off Citizen, folks) who overtly wanted Neither One to win were to come out and vote Some Other Party or Leave The President Line Blank . . . . and really truly VOTE that way to where it couldn’t be pretended that it wasn’t seen . . .

        . . . . and if all the votes added together for Trump AND Biden all added together still came to less total votes overall than all the votes for Some Other Party and all the votes for Leave The Line Blank when THEY were added together . . . both would be SEEN to have LOST against the “something else” choice. Oh . . . the higher minority-votegetter of the two would be “declared” the “winner”, but the spreading gray acid shitmist of popular public de-legitimization would cover the “certified Winner and New President” like a fog of corrosive acid.

        A point will have been made. And the None Of The Above community will see that it really IS a community and that it really DOES have the numbers. And that visible self-demonstration to themselves of the numbers that the NOTA community really does have . . . would be a first step towards the NOTA community thinking about how to build and use the power to go with those numbers.

        So it may well matter that every POC member of the NOTA community comes out and votes NOTA one way or another, whether through a hopeless vanity party or leaving it blank or some other way.

          1. drumlin woodchuckles

            Blank. As in ” not voted on”.

            What if a spur of the moment movement were to get started to inspire and organize the people who “felt” like doing this . . . to actually do this? It wouldn’t have to try converting people who are definitely committed to voting for someone by name over to the cause of leaving the P/VP line blank.

            But if all the people who saw/felt nothing/no-one to vote for were to actually come out and cast a ballot with the P/VP name left blank on purpose, might all those people be counted? They very well might.

            Nowadays such a movement would have to have a social media presence. But maybe they could also have a Toll Free Number with a cute name embodied in the numbers. They could get a number whose assigned letters would spell out I VOTE NO.

            Dial 1-800-IVO-TENO .

        1. orlbucfan

          Voted third party on a whim in 2016. I will skip the 2 Party choices for POTUS in November. Not all that crazy about the Greens and Hawkins. Plenty of down ballot stuff to weigh in on even where I live.

          1. John Anthony La Pietra

            What’s got you un-crazy about Howie Hawkins? He’s not perfect — had a bad interview on a bad night (and low blood sugar, I’m given to understand) and misstated his position on RussiaGate. If that’s your worry, look at his real position here.

            He’s been trying to work with other parties and groups toward a left unity campaign. And in the teeth of the ballot-access tornado of COVID-19, the Hawkins/Walker campaign has gradually been winning the right to put their names before voters in more and more states. By my count of what’s posted currently, they are:

            * On the ballot in 28 states (including DC, as Greens do; see the DC Statehood Green Party) with 347 electoral votes.

            * Recognized as valid write-in candidates in 8 states with 72 EC votes.

            * Through petitioning and waiting for announcements in 5 states with 57 EC votes.

            * Currently collecting signatures in 8 states with 53 EC votes.

            * And only out of the running in 2 states with 9 EC votes.

            (Of course, challenges can still change the status in various states . . . for better or for worse.)

    3. km

      To quote Caity Johnstone:

      “Watching Team D cultists feign enthusiasm for Biden is like watching a deeply closeted gay man feign enthusiasm for congress with his wife.”

    4. Donald

      Kamala was picked partly for her friendly relations with the donor class, and partly because her ethnicity deeply impresses the subset of the Democratic PMC that thinks diversity in the ruling class is the central moral issue of our time. They went nuts over her pick because that’s what they think they are supposed to do.

      1. The Rev Kev

        Jimmy Dore nailed it when he said that in a time of resistance and resentment of police with a demand for their reform, that the Democrats choose as VP Kamala the Cop. He also said that it was nice how Republicans were being brought into the Democratic Convention to say who is and who isn’t a Democrat. Will there be a lot if big name Democrats speaking at the Republican Convention?

      2. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

        I desperately want two things.

        Thing 1: that the arc of Clinton > Obama > Hilary > Biden is finally ended once and for all with a stake driven through its heart by a resounding defeat. I find this arc to be much more dangerous and insidious than the straight up Republican program because it provides the illusion of representation of your interests and thus serves as a pacifier and blocker to any actual change or opposition to the single neo-lib neo-con consensus.

        Thing 2: that from the ashes of that failure emerge an entirely new kind of class revolutionary, who utterly rejects any and all divisions that are horizontal (race, gender, age, orientation) in absolute favor of the only division that has both a chance to gain power and to effect actual change: the vertical division between the 99% and the aristocracy. People who insist on their special identarian values (skin color, gender etc) must absolutely be shouted down and shamed as enemies of the revolution. This game is not lost, far from it, but we must stop aiming our guns at each other and begin aiming them at the actual enemy.

    1. DJG

      IMOR: I had to come back here after doing some work. I let that string of tweets circulate in my brain for a while.

      I realize that I’m not Dr. Freud and Dr. Jung, but I thought that the aspiration one had going from childhood to adulthood is to strive to emerge from immature dependency (looking for mommies, looking for someone to lay down the rules) to accept the responsibilities of mature dependency. Which may mean not being addicted to the Democratic Party.

      How many of these folkses are operating in that realm–the emotional universe of a three-year-old?

      [This also sheds light on Yves Smith’s intriguing speculation on why Americans won’t wear masks and my own peculiar observation that in my neighborhood the dog walkers with their “fur-babies” have exempted themselves from wearing masks. Unlike, oh, bicyclists, walkers, and runners. We are living in a nation of thumbsuckers–every darn one of them a rugged individual–super-edgy–full of freedom fries!]

      1. Harold

        It is really critical to wear masks *inside* in enclosed spaces & outside where there is no physical distancing. Walking the dog?

        1. DJG

          Harold: I live in a very densely populated, older neighborhood of Chicago. There are many people out, even when I take my morning walk at 6:30 a.m. To show how crowded it is, the local chamber of commerce has posted signs on the main shopping street asking people to wear masks on the street, even though they are outside. Chicago and its teeming masses.

        2. Judith

          On early birdwatching walks in natural areas, I can be completely alone and then encounter a small group of birders looking at a special bird. Of course I stop and join the crowd, talking and hopefully seeing the bird. Most birders I encounter are wearing masks.

          1. drumlin woodchuckles

            One nice thing about birders: they don’t feel they are made poorer by helping other birders see the special bird that they themselves have seen/ are seeing.

  6. Daryl

    > Texas readers?

    Widespread vote suppression, particularly targeted towards university/college voters. The R party who control things have honed this down to a science here.

    1. johnherbiehancock

      I was going to say the same thing. I remember seeing the pictures of the long lines for the voting precincts in Austin, and the more African American and Hispanic areas of Houston.

      I’m cynical enough at this point to think “Why even bother arguing political strategy & and tactics?” Sanders’ campaigns time and resources would’ve been better spent trying to throw a monkey-wrench in the DNC’s overall plans to suppress his likely voters.

      1. jsn

        The old LBJ base is still dead and growing!

        Since Connally flipped they’ve been determined Republicans.

      2. edmondo

        Look at a map of the primary. Bernie died north of the imaginary line that runs about 60 miles north of the Rio Grande. Bernie’s support held firm with Latinos. Bernie lost the AA vote in Houston and Dallas. Funny how it all firmed up when Mr. Cool Ex-President (Don’t you black folks embarrass me on Super Tuesday) threw his support to Biden. What happened in Texas happened everywhere else – Obama.

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2020_Texas_Democratic_presidential_primary

  7. nippersmom

    That liberal dems need their politicians to be parent figures pretty much sums up everything that is wrong with them. As an autonomous adult, I don’t need Jill Biden or anyone else to be my “mommy” and I sure as (family blog) don’t want Joe as my “daddy”.

    1. ambrit

      Give “Creepy” Joe a break. At least he has plenty of practice at being a “hands on” Daddy.

      1. NotTimothyGeithner

        I guess Harris must have hired the “Hillary is your abeula” staffer. Its too coincidental about this mommy and daddy thing.

        Though Hillary’s fans did seem to believe she was their Mother.

    2. NotTimothyGeithner

      Its more or less an announcement they don’t want any civic responsibility. It was Obama’s whole pitch. “Obama’s got this” or the 853rd dimensional chess argument. With the chess line, they didn’t even need to explain everything. They could just claim it would be beyond explanation. Its really not any wonder the younger liberals connect everything to Harry Potter with its mindless “you are special and can do wonderful things with no effort” narrative.

        1. Mike Mc

          Totally stealing this! Lengthy discussions of Q stuff with very bright PMC members who actually study this stuff (perfessors) and this is the best summation I’ve seen.

    3. nippersdad

      And for God’s sake, I truly do wish that they would quit whining about all the people in their family they have lost. EVERYONE has gone through this, and wailing about it for decades just gets old. That is not “empathy,” that is a soap opera.

      My actual Mommy would have my guts if I were to put on such a public display; my actual Daddy would just shoot me. Probably literally.

      Answer the question, but don’t roll around in it like a dog who has found something dead that it wants to smell like.

      1. nycTerrierist

        agreed, i am offended by Biden’s maudlin ploys for sympathy

        tasteless, from a man who has shown little sympathy for the non-rich

        1. petal

          Having experienced it in person a year ago at his town hall,… It’s more than infuriating. He’s disgusting in every way. A slimeball like I’ve never seen.

      2. Pat

        Beau Biden died more than five years ago. But mind you Joe milked his first wife’s death for years as well. And lied about the circumstances even more egregiously.

        I cannot imagine anyone paying attention to Joe Biden not figuring out that Beau is a freaking prop. That what ever grief there was has long since been passed by the sheer opportunism. It is his go to whenever he doesn’t have a clue what to say to someone, feels pressed by anyone or just needs to pretend to be human. If I didn’t know Beau’s record, I’d say he deserves better, but frankly Dad taught him well. He would do the same.

      3. DJG

        nippersdad: For all the yipyapping about how the Baby Jesus is going to give me COVID and carry me off to the Big Rock-Candy Mountain, American culture is death-averse. So Joe Biden isn’t just stoking the endless national melodrama–Biden is also stoking fear.

        Given what is already leaking out about how ineffective the Biden administration plans to be economically, I’m wondering if Joe is signaling something along the lines of, Well, at least I’m good at going to funerals.

        [And as someone descended from Sicilians, who are the absolute best at going to wakes and funerals–it’s a kind of constant flirting with death–Biden doesn’t impress me.]

      4. Donald

        It’s amusing how everyone in the liberal press talks about Biden’s “empathy”. It’s like they all got the message some months back that this is what you are supposed to say about the guy. What empathy? At best, he can be friendly to some people, including Bernie, but he can also be a hostile jerk to critics and I don’t think he empathizes too much with the women and young girls he gropes. And he has no empathy for Palestinians or Iraqis.

        1. Acacia

          If anyone tries to say Biden has showed Sanders empathy, just remind them of the debate in which Biden lied repeatedly and kept referring to Sanders as “this man”.

          He’s got all the empathy of a lizard — and that’s an insult to lizards.

  8. zagonostra

    >The Grand Spectacle

    This headline from CNN’s Chris Cillizza, someone that makes my skin crawl, to borrow MSNBC’s Mimi Rocah charming phrase.

    Hits and misses from Night 3 of the Democratic National Convention

    It was a star-studded night, with the last Democratic president (Barack Obama), the last Democratic presidential nominee (Hillary Clinton) and, perhaps, the next presidential nominee (Kamala Harris) all speaking.

    A “star-studded night” WTF? Is this a “political convention” or a the Oscars? I just couldn’t read past that first paragraph, I’ll wait to watch the highlights on TBTV with Tim Black tonight, who by the way, is doing folks a great service in watching something that I can’t stomach and give highlights and commentary.

    https://www.cnn.com/2020/08/19/politics/democrats-analysis-best-worst-dnc/index.html

    1. Pat

      Wiping DVDs with hand sanitizer might have some issues as well. Not as much as the microwave, but…

  9. jr

    Re: Micro’ed-fiche

    That book looks like my first copy of the Necronomicon after a failing summoning of a Nightgaunt..

    1. ambrit

      I understand that there is a rare copy of the Latin translation by Olaus Wormius of the dread tome in the vaults of the New York Federal Reserve Bank. That would explain a lot.

  10. pjay

    ‘The moment Trump won re-election’

    Yes!

    Well, it might not be *the* moment, but it is certainly symbolic of a whole bunch of similar moments that are accumulating rapidly and demonstrate the total obliviousness of the liberal media/Democratic establishment.

    Interestingly, I thought Trump might actually have had his “Dukakis-in-the-Tank” moment a few weeks ago when he suddenly appeared in public with a *mask* on for the first time. That seemed strikingly bad symbolism for the Trump crowd. But I think the Dems and their media shills will continue on their self-destructive path until they’ve once again snatch defeat from the jaws of what would certainly be a victory anywhere else but Bizarro world.

    1. RMO

      Just consider how amazing a feat it is for Biden not only to not have a big lead on Trump but to potentially losing to him. Trump has most of the mass media against him. The “intelligence” community is against him. He started out his first campaign as one of the most disliked and distrusted people in the nation and is even more disliked and distrusted now. Then a global pandemic comes along and he comprehensively screws up the response to it resulting mass deaths that didn’t have to happen AND the economy is also foundering. With all that Biden still can’t open up a sure lead on him. It smacks of genius on the part of the Dems. A mere blundering incompetent couldn’t have managed it!

      1. drumlin woodchuckles

        If indeed the DemParty’s secret mission is to throw the election, then the genius would lie in making it look as if the election has been lost instead of thrown.

    2. Oh

      I’m waiting for Biden to ride a tank to show how macho he is. Maybe Kamala could join him in a tank where there’s another tank head orifice.

  11. zagonostra

    >Cenk Uygur is a Wank – I know, no ad hominems bad boy, drop it, drop it…

    I don’t think any comments on Cenk’s comments are necessary, too bad Jimmy Dore is personal friends with him, I’d love to see his take on his former employer’s views of the good doctor Biden.

    What @DrBiden did so effectively last night was connect the grieving of the Biden family with the grieving of the country as we go through #Coronavirus and other tragedies. If ever there was a family that was equipped to help a country heal after grieving, it’s the Bidens.

    1. The Rev Kev

      Dore has talked about Cenk falling for Russiagate and makes plain that like a lot of people, that he has let his lizard brain take over from his critical thinking abilities.

    2. occasional anonymous

      Man, what the hell happened to Uygur? I was never a huge fan of him or TYT, but they gone from being left-ish liberals to straight establishment shills. TDS is a powerful disease I guess.

      There’s something so liberal about projecting emotions and personal empathy into the realm of politics. Even if what Cenk is saying here wasn’t so much gibberish (and I see no reason to think the Biden’s aren’t an entire family of fundamentally corrupt sociopaths), literally why would it matter? I couldn’t care less if the president can empathize with a grieving country; I care about their policies.

      This is just a different version of the ‘but he’s a swell guy’ gimmick. Saying the Biden’s are ‘equipped to help a country heal after grieving’ (except, you know, actually help anyone in a material manner) is just the liberal version of ‘would you rather have a beer with Bush or Gore?’.

      Personally, I would vote for someone whose hobby was kicking puppies if they had good policies and a record that showed they would fight to implement them. I do not particularly care if they’re a good person on a personal level.

  12. Lou Anton

    “One too many mimosas at brunch.” Attaboy! Did the drinking game while reading the Obama transcript I presume.

    I’m going to have to be at least a glass or two in on wine if I’m watching Biden’s acceptance speech.

    1. tegnost

      Our kind host may or may not have been joking, … That said after collecting those tweets etc I’d probably have skipped the mixer and drank straight from the bottle,

    2. edmondo

      Day drinking might be the only way to make it through the next four years. Don’t knock it till you’ve tried it.

  13. Lee

    The Unraveling of America. Rolling Stone

    Nothing new to NC readers in this article but well written and worth the read. I must however take exception to one of his comparisons between Canada and the U.S.

    When American friends ask for an explanation, I encourage them to reflect on the last time they bought groceries at their neighborhood Safeway. In the U.S. there is almost always a racial, economic, cultural, and educational chasm between the consumer and the check-out staff that is difficult if not impossible to bridge. In Canada, the experience is quite different. One interacts if not as peers, certainly as members of a wider community. The reason for this is very simple. The checkout person may not share your level of affluence, but they know that you know that they are getting a living wage because of the unions. And they know that you know that their kids and yours most probably go to the same neighborhood public school. Third, and most essential, they know that you know that if their children get sick, they will get exactly the same level of medical care not only of your children but of those of the prime minister. These three strands woven together become the fabric of Canadian social democracy.

    Here in Murica, the entire vegetable department of a local Trader Joe’s have master’s degrees or better. I love having my vegetables handled by people more credentialed than I. We can exchange abstruse abstractions over the carrots or discuss the advantages conferred upon the apple species by their not throwing true. Albeit, the Trader Joe’s of which I speak is just minutes from the U.C. Berkeley campus.

    1. Wukchumni

      I lined up outside of the Bakersfield Trader Joes for about 20 minutes under the eaves as they are only letting customers in when one comes out, and as a nice touch, a TJ’s employee came by with ice cold bottled water, on the house.

      Clad in a bandana, I would’ve looked like a desperado about the rob the joint in a previous life last year, but posed no threat today.

      Hadn’t been in a TJ’s since last fall, and couldn’t help but notice that prices have mostly stayed the same, but product & packaging has been downsized, shrinkflation to the rescue!

    2. drumlin woodchuckles

      Well, there was a joke in Ann Arbor ( maybe still is) that a Bachelor’s from the U of M will get you a waitering job at most restaurants. But if you want a waitering job at the Gandy Dancer ( local fancy restaurant), you need a Masters.

      1. Swamp Yankee

        Ah, that’s a good one about the Gandy Dancer! Used to walk by it near daily when fishing or swimming in the Huron River. Pretty building, but always out of this impoverished grad students’ budget. Essentially all of Main Street was, too, by this time (c. a decade ago). With the delightful exception of The Fleetwood*, on the other hand….

        *All night diner on that was the inspiration for Bob Seger’s “Down on Main Street”…

        1. drumlin woodchuckles

          Fleetwood is still here. So is the Gandy Dancer building though I don’t know if it is open for business just now.

    1. DJG

      Watt4Bob: Good question. I think that some of it has to do with his peculiar role in the Trump campaign and administration as, well, what? The brains? One more sinister religio-pseudo-intellectual like Newt Gingrich? And his three associates were not much in the public eye, although, to make the whole thing even more bizarre, Brian Kolfage is a triple amputee who has been trading on his disabled-veteran status.

      I am going to check some Italian news sites now: Bannon was mixed up with the usual idiots in Italy–Salvini and Meloni–and may now have inadvertently taken down much of the “center-right,” as the euphemism in Italy goes. So the political consequences of his adventures–and sudden departure under a financial cloud there–may be bigger in Italy than in the U.S.A.

      1. Watt4Bob

        Starting to see some analysis;

        From the Washington Post;

        Two months ago, Attorney General William P. Barr launched a hasty, questionable and haphazard effort to get rid of U.S. Attorney Geoffrey S. Berman at the Southern District of New York and install a new acting head of his office. Critics suggested it was a thinly veiled effort to get rid of the man whose office investigated allies of President Trump, including Rudolph W. Giuliani — the latest in heavy-handed and seemingly political actions by Barr to protect Trump.

        It turns out the office was about to indict another Trump ally: Stephen K. Bannon. And the person responsible for charging the former top Trump aide is the acting U.S. attorney whom Barr tried and failed to bypass.

        1. pjay

          Can’t say that I’m unhappy about this, though if anything came of it he’d probably be pardoned by Trump. To me, Bannon was crucial in getting Trump elected. Unlike the Orange One himself, who is an astute con-man with regular people but over his head with the real powers that be, I think Bannon is a smart pseudo-populist who knows how to push the public’s buttons for real neo-fascist ends. As DJG implies, some of his international contacts suggest as much.

          I don’t really take the “Trump-as-fascist” BS from the liberal media seriously (though he is certainly capable of creating a lot of turmoil and misery). But for me, Bannon is a different story.

          1. PeterfromGeorgia

            Bannon just co-opted Steve Sailer’s theories (from 2002!) that the Repubs were fools to chase hispanic voters and should concentrate on swiping 3% or so of the Dems traditional voters from several key states. He’s an interesting thinker, but be aware you’re treading deep in white nationalist territory on Ron Unz’s site.

    2. ambrit

      Of course, he is the one “blamed” for Trump’s win in 2016. The arresting officers were Postal Inspectors. So, the DoJ can claim ‘clean hands’ in this. The arrests were made on a Chinese ex-pat millionaire’s yacht. The wealthy Chinaman is a big opponent of the CCP. So, the “Yellow Peril” is in play. The purported venue of the scheme was the Border Wall project of Trump. So, both Trump and Anti-Immigrant activists are in the sights of the Protectors of the Status Quo.
      Compare this treatment of Bannon to the treatment of the Wall Street grifters who stole an entire generation’s patrimony and suffered no ‘official’ consequences.
      Bannon is an “outsider” who helped elect another “outsider” President. Thus, his sins are numerous and egregious. I see this as a flank attack on Team Trump.

      1. Watt4Bob

        I believe he was indicted by the SDNY, they probably enlisted the help of Postal Inspectors in order to avoid leaks.

        I wonder how long they had to wait for that dramatic Chinese yacht setting?

    3. occasional anonymous

      Surely this puts a dent in the whole notion, perhaps most notably pushed by Rising, of the possibility of a left-right populist alliance? Because one of the biggest pushers of right-wing economic populism just turned out to be a cynical grifter.

  14. Amfortas the hippie

    “I still want to know why the Sanders campaign lost Texas, though.”

    I was so busy with getting the farm activated for covid that i missed the usual nitty gritty, post-election differential diagnosis.
    what i do know for a fact is that there’s lots of working class lean gop-ers in my neck of the woods who would have given bernie a shot, but for all the mud in the water, and very little ground game out here*
    I remember feeling pretty good about it going into the texas primary…like “yeah…maybe”, in spite of the shenanigans in Nev and SC…but then all of a sudden, i was the only one leaving the farm for supply runs, and coordinating planting, weeding and construction on the fly.
    I’d love to see a Palast level explainer of what happened.

    (*I was pretty much the ground game in my county…untethered and definitely on my own initiative. Even with that, i reckon i had pretty darned good results…even comparing the votes for Bernie 2016 and 2020. all that seems largely moot, now…what with the success of the weaponisation of masks and covid and protests, etc…and just think what the vote would have been if i had had help.)

    1. Synoia

      I still want to know why the Sanders campaign lost Texas, though

      They were driving there on I35, and missed Texas because it is too far to the right.

    2. curlydan

      well we know from every other southern state that he wasn’t going to get the black vote in TX, but Night of the Long Knives basically explains his defeat. Sanders was down 4.7% to Biden in Texas, and Pete and Amy only pulled in 6.1% of the vote after collectively getting 11.3% of the vote in SC, 24.6% in Nevada, 44.0% of the vote in NH, and 37.3% of the vote in IA.

      Generally, I’d say TX could be a mashup of SC and Nevada, so Pete and Amy should have gotten say 17-18% of the TX vote.

      And the only reason they probably didn’t do better in SC was that’s where Steyer dumped most of his money.

      Without Night of the Long Knives, Bernie wins TX (and MN and ME and MA).

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2020_Democratic_Party_presidential_primaries

  15. Glen

    Stroller is 100% right. The voters on the left and right have voted for nothing but change, but never get change.

    At least Biden is more honest – nothing will change.

  16. truly

    Anomaly’s tweet, re rightward drift, whose fault is it.
    I also used to believe it was the Dems following the Rs to the right. But I once heard Hedges say “the Dems relentlessly pushing the Rs to the right” (from memory, I paraphrase). And that made a lot more sense to me. Clinton guts welfare and occupies a space the Rs would have had. Now Rs have to move rightward to find new voters. Dems push and pass three strikes laws and for profit mass incarceration. Now Rs need to literally push for vigilantism to maintain their support/base. Now Biden brings Powell, Whitman, Kasich to his national convention. Push, push, push. Dems become Republicans, Republicans are pushed into full throated fascism or…….. maybe they turn towards (worker based) populism. Might backfire on the Dems if DJT throws some crumbs to the workers. Either way, it backfires on all of US.

    1. Amfortas the hippie

      yup. after a decade of soul searching, the dems went with the DLC Plan: steal the GOP’s economic and criminal justice planks…making them freak out and hafta run against their own plans.
      it was the same with Obamacare…steal the GOP’s plan and watch GOP lose it’s mind calling their own plan “Communist!”.
      it’s sad that i agree with what some here are saying, that another trump term might be preferable to 14 years of clinton 3.0.
      at the very least, maybe losing again to the swine will finally kill off the clintonist wing.
      at some point, they won’t have enough support to be worth the while of the donors…or so i would think,lol.
      regardless…i’ve settled on Hunker Down Mode for the foreseeable future…declare our Hermit Kingdom a sovereign state…attempt to gin up a trade deal with the nearest town, etc.
      Just like great grandaddy during the great depression.
      I’ll ride the camel

      https://www.oxfordreference.com/view/10.1093/acref/9780191843730.001.0001/q-oro-ed5-00017466

      1. drumlin woodchuckles

        The Donors are not overly concerned with the DemParty winning elections. They support the Catfood Mainstream Dems to keep the New Deal Reactionaries like Sanders and the rising semi-socialists like AOC OUT of power within the DemParty itself.

        The Donors gave money to the unSanders candidates and party to make sure no Sanders-figure would win the nomination. Their money bought the result they wanted. If it means Trump re-elected, they are okay with that as the price of having kept Sanders, Gabbard, etc. off the ticket.

        So DemParty “defeats” won’t stop the Donors from Donorating. Staged fake “Defeat” is part of what the Donors are buying.

        The Catfood DemParty will have to be exterminated from existence step by step. Would a Trump re-election help exterminate the Catfood Democrat Party? Or would a Trump re-election panic and re-devote the Blacks for Clyburn and other such eaters of catfood to support their beloved Catfood Democrat Party even harder and more fanatically?

  17. ptb

    Re: US, Covid, Schools, trainwreck ahead

    Trump admin makes teachers ‘critical workers’ [ABC News]. Can be required (if school/district is so inclined) to work even after known exposure, which is likely to be common with kids.

    Meanwhile, for college testing, here’s a data point: How Does Penn State’s Coronavirus Testing Stack Up Against The Big Ten [Onward State].

    The low end is PSU’s policy of testing 1% of the student population each day. The high end is U of Illinois with each student tested twice weekly, or 28% each day. Twice weekly is great, but can’t be scaled up nationally because of supply chain. 1% per day is good for surveillance, not prevention, and even that would be a stretch if applied nationwide.

  18. Pat

    If Biden does win, and I just do not think that is a given despite all the early celebrating, I have to wonder what will be the meme regarding his lack of action on popular policies.

    Just thinking about the Obama years when even with overwhelming majorities the Republicans were holding him hostage, but there was so much confidence that he and his people would out maneuver them with ‘his thirteenth dimensional chess”. No one, not even those celebrating a new ‘mommy and daddy’ could possibly think that Joe plays checkers well enough to win. So it isn’t going to be that.

    Mind you they could just say we can’t afford to do anything but pay bankers and fight wars and the rest of you are just SOL, except for meaningless naming of soon to be closed Post Offices for Black, Hispanic and LGBTQ heroes.

    1. NotTimothyGeithner

      Obama or his people through Politico already put out the story about how he preferred Hillary. Randy the Rainbow will probably start tweeting how he wishes he had two mommys.

      1. flora

        Hey, use guys, da way I hoid it was dis: da DNC took nom support away froms Hills in 2008 and gave it to O, wit da promise she’d get a cabinet post and da 2016 nom. So in 2016, O follows tru on da deal and says “vote Hills. ” Nuttin’ to do wit preferences. Joey B was told to step back in 2016, dat his toin would come later, da way Hill’s toin came. All cooked in from da start in 2008. / ;)

        (Apologies to Mike Royko and his alter ego Slats Grobnik. /heh)

        1. flora

          More seriously, why did the Dem party move to a Super Tuesday format featuring mostly Southern states in 1980? Southern states mostly voted GOP in the 70’s and 80’s (and now). See Nixon’s Southern Strategy. If the idea in 1980 was simply to nominate a moderate Dem candidate, well you can’t get more moderate than Mondale. Or was the idea to placate the old Dem dixiecrats, once bulwark of the Dem party, by de facto recreating the southern Dem party in importance with early voting power and as its importance was before Thurmond left the party after LBJ signed the Civil Rights and Voting Rights legislation?

          1. hunkerdown

            You answered your own question. The Party establishment wants a conservative bias in early results to sway undecideds, and the Dixiecrats have always been essential at keeping the Party establishment from doing anything it doesn’t want to do, even under FDR.

            1. richard

              yuuuup
              “Dixie/Daley”
              “Boston/Austin”
              is how old Walter Karp used to shorthand the situation
              there is a collusive dance between repubs and dems
              though the nature of that has changed considerably lately
              but less well known is the collusive dance between the wings of the dem party
              For all that FDR is admired on the left today, he helped keep Dixiecrats in their positions of influence within the party; he didn’t just use them, he strengthened them (strategically, for his purposes).

        2. richard

          i remember Slats! Mike Royko was the most liberal columnist printed by my local Idaho newspaper when i was a young person (not a lot of competition), and i read him like it was a duty.

    2. drumlin woodchuckles

      The meme will be: The Cupboard is Bare. Look what Trump did!

      I am sure appropriate photographs will be found

  19. jr

    Re: First “Adults in the Room” Tweet inspired Theatre of the Mind haiku:

    A smile then absence
    A city bus careens through
    Sunbeams sparkling now

    1. Oh

      Stockdale was an honest man and he had a conscience unlike any of the politicians in the recent past. JB is a crook and a hit man for the big corps.

  20. Elizabeth

    Taibbi left out mentioning Beau’s name tonight. Depending on when his name comes up, this might finish the whole thing off and put us out our of misery..

  21. jr

    What Cenk just did just wiped himself off the map as far as I’m concerned. Never was a big fan but holy crapcakes this is pure idolatry…

    1. Quentin

      Obviously Cenk thought to himself, ‘If I grovel enough I might regain admittance into the gilded chambers of the Democratic bosses.’ Biden’s exhibitionistic Beau schtick is childish and vulgar. At least one son dies somewhere every day under equally horrific circumstances, but only one in the incalculable number of their fathers is in the position to hold a whole nation hostage to his loss.

    2. richard

      he has really blown himself up into quite an impressive fraud, hasn’t he?
      i suspect dore will apply a rhetorical flamethrower to the situation.

  22. cocomaan

    Watching the Convention is like getting the aversion therapy from a Clockwork Orange. It’s so awful that it’s hard to even describe. It’s almost beautiful.

    If someone pinned my eyes open and sat me down all day to watch it on repeat, I would become a Democrat.

    1. zagonostra

      And I would go stark raving mad and put a gun to my head if one happened to be handy.

      Nothing beautiful even in a kitschy/campy way. I’ve only been able to handle clips that are aired on TBTV or linked to here at NC.

      There is no satisfying description of the putrid, pusillanimous, pablum, puked up by these politicians, but then again, having watched Tom Perez “warming up” the audience during the DNC primaries, I should have been prepared with an emetic.

      1. richard

        and they are inescapable! Anyone using You Tube has to deal with C. Schumer’s giant face and wheedling voice asking for money, interrupting every vid once or even twice.
        this feels very much like 2016

  23. jr

    Re: “Adults in the Room (3)

    Remember that scene from the Handmaids Tale where the infertile wife takes the maid between her legs while the man impregnates her? Imagine that with HRC, Harris, and Biden.

    Now try to un-imagine it.

  24. Kurt Sperry

    Frankly apropos of nothing in today’s more than Obama’s musings about ‘meaningful voting’, I was remembering there was a lot of smoke issuing from disturbing discrepancies between exit polling and official results in the D primaries last year and the only sources I can find online generally or on this site in particular all seem to lead back to a blog calling itself TDMS Research which seems to be the one-man operation of someone named Theodore de Macedo Soares. A source that actual statisticians have landed telling blows on regarding methods and conclusions.

    Do we have any better, more qualified, and diverse sources for this story than Mr. Soares? It’s be a huge help to me if there were some better corroborating analyses I could cite. TIA

    1. Zagonostra

      I’d be interested in knowing the results of your search, especially if you happen to come across some corroborating references/sources.

  25. Synoia

    The 2020 Democratic Party Convention:

    “I come not the praise Cesar, but to bury him”

    or

    My Horse, my Horse, my Kingdom for a Horse (Or in this case a Kamela)

    1. NotTimothyGeithner

      But Team Blue elites will never give out the addresses of the donors to the mob.

      My friend Colin Powell is an honorable man.
      When he knew the intelligence is bullshit and still repeated the lies about WMDs, he didn’t do it out of malice. No, he did it because he was honorable. He was following orders.
      His honor may have left thousands of dead GIs, thousands more maimed for life, and so many more head injuries causing crisis to this day, but we have to remember it was because of honor.
      Let us praise this honorable man. You can find him at this address.

      I’m too lazy to do it up entirely. I guess it would be “I’m not here to praise Sanders but to tell you he won’t be President because of the actions of fine men such as…”

      We need more Mark Antonys.

  26. RadicalRestive

    The Dems are indeed trying to sell us a pig in a poke.

    So, what do we do? Abstain from voting since it’s all a joke? Vote Green (basically the same as abstaining)? Vote for Trump and be convinced that he’ll help out the workers of the US like he has been promising?

    What do you say?

    1. zagonostra

      I’ve been asking myself the same question. Someone in the comments section above had a great suggestion. Leave the slot for President blank. Vote as you normally do so they can tally up how many people voted but don’t vote for president. When they count the votes, the disparity will have to be apparent and some implications drawn, no?

      1. richard

        i like this idea, but obviously we shouldn’t hold our breath or wait around for paid idiots to draw conclusions from the world’s most patently obvious situation. Start walking away now is my advice.

        1. drumlin woodchuckles

          But if a hundred million Americans all voted “Blank” for President, they (we?) wouldn’t have to hold our breath or wait around for paid idiots to draw conclusions. One hundred million votes for “Blank” would become a number too huge for the paid idiots to hide. We could become directly aware of eachother and of the numbers involved, and we could draw our own conclusions without any help from paid idiots.

          And if some among us actually want to vote for a particular named candidate, they(we?) should feel free to do that instead, without being shamed or guilted about it.

          But if all the people who simply cannot vote for Trump or Biden were to decide to MAKE their displeasure KNOWN, one way or another, they would get eachothers’ attention.

          Picture a hundred and fifty million votes for ” leave the President line Blank” and the other 150 million votes divided up among all the named candidates on the ballots. How would the spinners spin that away?

          1. Anthony Noel

            Except 138 million Americans already voted “blank” by simply not voting at all in 2016. Hasn’t made either party do much in the way of soul searching.

            Well except for Cory Booker and the rest of the also rans having that convention roundtable where they talked about how not voting was a sign of your “privilege”.

      2. Amfortas the hippie

        given who is likely to be on my ballot way out here(a lot of goptea people run unopposed, or only opposed by a libertarian)…I’m seriously considering my offhand remark from earlier this week.
        go to the little community center at 7 am as usual, get a ballot, and tear the damned thing up and stuff it in the box.
        none of the above.
        really depends on if the Greens are on the ballot, i guess…i’m partial to giving them a boost, re: ballot access, if nothing else.
        i haven’t watched anything from the “convention”, save for AOC’ minute and a half….but i’m boiling mad at the dems, nevertheless.
        this latest shot across the bow, about the pantry being bare…geez!

        here’s tankus’ prophetic utterance from earlier today:
        https://twitter.com/NathanTankus/status/1296508629114331144

        “There is no policy program that effectively deals with Coronavirus and the economic damage its done that doesn’t spend trillions and trillions of dollars. If the Biden administration thinks or acts as if the “cupboards are bare” we’re just not going to recover for a decade.”

        yay.
        sigh.
        go long on seeds and hand tools.
        wonder how long it will take to deplete the ammo hoards, public and private?
        should i start making short swords now?

        1. drumlin woodchuckles

          I should think people in the ammo fabrication business would keep making ammo as long as they could get all the supplies and energy to keep making ammo. As long as it sells. There wouldn’t necessarily be a “fixed-amount” hoard which could be sold off and depleted to zero.

          Maybe its like what Jay Leno said about Doritos . . . ” buy all you want. We’ll make more!”

          But if you expect a post-firearms world, powerful slingshots, bows and arrows, crossbows, blowguns and the poison for darts, etc. would be just as useful or even more useful than short swords. Maybe even spears and spear-throwers for certain situations.

          Also packs of well-trained man-eating attack dogs with laryngectomies and muffled feet, so the targets never hear them coming.

        1. Copeland

          I’ve wondered/worried about this as most of my recent ballots have been left blank due to only having one party with two right wings and no leftists.

          In a sane country there really would be a “none of the above option” or an “I refuse this ballot” option.

          1. drumlin woodchuckles

            Some States permit the Ammendment of their State Constitution by referrendums and/or initiatives of some sort. What if such a State saw a movement by citizens of that State to forcibly ammend their State’s Constitution to forcibly require the overt addition of a line for None Of The Above along with all the names for National Federal Offices? Or to at least force onto the state ballot a referrendum or initiative item designed to force that change to their Constitution?

        2. drumlin woodchuckles

          On an electronic touchscreen system they could certainly do that.

          Could they do that on a paper-ballot opti-scan system? If so, would there be a way to prevent that? By filling in ALL the bubbles to create an ” over-vote” situation? Or would that get the rest of the ballot thrown out?

          And what if the authorities did that? And then a hundred million people all went on the record with notarized affidavits and everything to say ” I left it Blank”?

    2. a different chris

      Vote Green. Trump won Pa by 44292 votes.

      You won’t get a Green candidate, but you will get crumbs. If less than 1/2 the Green candidates voted for Clinton she would be the winner. If less than 1/6 the Libertarian candidates… like they would ever vote for Clinton, but you know the math works.

      The Dems are so rightward it’s too far to even throw small crumbs, however. But if you don’t want them to move right, you gotta signal that.

      > Abstain from voting since it’s all a joke?

      Like p*ssing in a dark suit, you might feel warm but nobody is going to notice. It doesn’t take that much effort, you might meet Mr/Ms Right (not the political kind of right) in line.

      1. km

        I’m supposed to signal to Team D not to move to the right by voting for the Team D candidate when they move to the right?

        How’s that supposed to work?

        And since when did Team D or Team R care about signals from anyone other than their paymasters?

    3. deplorado

      Write in Jesse Ventura.
      He said on Jimmy Dore that if enough people write him in, he will do the job.

      He said he wanted to get the Greens’ nomination but was turned down because they had their own little thing going (I didn’t like the sound of that).

    4. Tom Bradford

      Vote Green (basically the same as abstaining)?

      No, it isn’t.

      I was part of the group that worked to set up the Greens as a movement in my neck of the woods 30 years ago now. In the first General Election the Party stood for it scored a pathetic few votes. In the next GE it scored a few more but still hardly making a difference. In the next GE it scored a few more, enough that people started to notice and perhaps to have taken enough votes off the ‘main’ parties to have affected the outcome. In the next GE enough people took the view that voting for the Greens wasn’t a wasted vote, and the situation now is that after the last election it was the few Green members making it into Parliament that made the difference between a right-wing or a left-wing Parliament.

      So yes, you can say that for 15 years or so my votes were no different to abstaining, but you’d be wrong.

      Now I’m not saying vote Green. I’m saying that if you don’t vote for what’s closest to what you want you ain’t ever going to get it, while voting for it might make its voice a little louder for more people to hear next time.

      Of course it helps that we have a proportional representation electoral system, but that wasn’t given to us by the politicians of the old two-party system out of the goodness of their hearts. I’d suggest that trying to change the US system, pointing out that many parts of the world have a far more democratic system than the ‘Home of Democracy”, would be a fight worth joining.

    5. Daryl

      Vote Green, if you care to. Write-ins don’t show up and analysis of down ballot votes is mostly done and consumed by people who are already aware of the vast hatred of D and R parties.

  27. a different chris

    >The moment Trump won re-election

    Well that was cringe-inducing, but….. Trump. Not only will he have those wack gun-wavers from St Louis, but I’m sure some horrible country bands and somehow down from there.

    Get popcorn. I don’t think you will ever be able to top the coming Rethug Convention. Barnum and Bailey were pikers, and they only tortured animals mostly.

    Also that tweet about rethinking how the country moves to the right — on how many points (yes you are allowed to take off your shoes to help count) is Biden to the right of Trump? Whether Trump means what he says is not the question. I’m sure Biden does.

    1. Kurtismayfield

      When they paint Biden, the representative of pro corporate policies from Wilmington Delaware, as a radical leftist, I am just going to laugh my butt off. The man’s job was to pass every pro corporate bill he could muster.

  28. allan

    USPS Warns Employees Not to Speak to Press [Vice]

    Memos are trickling down the United States Postal Service bureaucracy warning employees that they
    should not speak to the press and any customer asking lots of questions may be a journalist sneakily
    trying to get information out of them. …

    “The Postal Service continuously strives to project a positive image, protect its brand, and present a unified message to the customers and communities it serves,” the memo begins. “It is imperative that one person speaks on behalf of the Postal Service to deliver an appropriate, accurate and consistent message to the media.” …

    How long before DeJoy and colleagues hire NSO to hack employees’ phones?

    1. drumlin woodchuckles

      Would an Acting President Harris appoint a pro postal-system Postmaster General? Will the Harris Campaign have something to say about this? Is ” having a Post Office” important enough to social-economic survival that it would be worth voting for Harris in order to ” have a Post Office”?

  29. Lunker Walleye

    WAPO. >The first night of the DNC did something radical.
    This reminds me of Futurama’s “Heads in Jars”.

  30. richard

    Thanks Lambert for expertly summing up the dnc in their own worthless words and images. That was quite awesomely done.The rnc will be even less watchable (maybe debatable) and exactly as removed from reality. This is what dem authoritarianism will feel like and sound like. Scolding the left, embarrassing poses, solemn declarations about austerity, stoking fear about russia, china and the repubs. Oh, and sh&% tons of celebrities smiling at us.
    Not sure what i would do for hope, if I did not have the People’s Convention (August 30th, 4-6 pm EST) to look forward to. Who knows where all that will lead, but at least i’ll get a chance to hear what Cornel West, Nina Turner, Marianne Williamson, Mike Gravel, Ryan Knight, J. Dore, and other yet to be announced speakers have to say about our situation. And then I get to help start a new party! I’ll be there on the day it starts. Who knows where it will go, but i am walking in that direction, and the dems can watch my ass recede into the distance. And millions of other asses, i hope.
    btw, Randy Rainbow was getting scorched on left twitter the other day not just for his sycophancy, but for a extensive series of tweets joking aout how loud, unpleasant, and socially maladroit he thinks Black people are. The New Dems!

  31. Kurtismayfield

    Wow,it didn’t even take them until inauguration day to pull away the football.

    “I am sorry, but we can’t spend money on infrastructure, health policy, education, and Medicare for all.. because we have to balance the budget first.”

    1. The Rev Kev

      It’s worse. They will say that they have to make cutbacks right across the board to pay back all the money that they “borrowed” for all the corporations and billionaires.

    1. periol

      I heard a fun little detail tonight.

      Ever since the game in question in the article above, where Tatis hit a grand slam on a 3-0 pitch, the Padres have hit a grand slam each game. Yesterday was the third day in a row, which tied a record previously set in 1897. The joke was that made the series 3-0 to the Padres, so they wouldn’t dare hit one in the fourth game today…

      Today, Eric Hosmer hit another grand slam, for a new team record, four grand slams in a row – all against the Texas Rangers, the team Bush the Younger presided over for a bit.

      Guess the Great Umpire in the Sky looked down and frowned on the unwritten rules, and smiled on fun.

  32. Donald

    The policy tensor piece didn’t make sense–I agree that the working class has been betrayed by the Democrats (and the Republicans), but why, if the working class hates the PMC so much, did they vote for Biden, who represents the PMC wing of the party more than Sanders?

    I am more than willing to listen to critiques of the Sanders left and how we blew it (I will include myself in some tiny way), but this one didn’t quite make sense to me.

    1. NotTimothyGeithner

      Biden’s schtick. Also I think there is an element of reaction to faux-wokeness. Trumka keeps getting elected, and he’s terrible. Or why they have Tom Selleck pitching reverse mortgages. Isn’t he an avocado landholder?

      This is the big one: there is very little discussion of Biden’s actual record. Like Obama and both Clintons. Or any Washington figure. For most people, Biden is simply some doofus VP who didn’t cause anyone to spit. I imagine the lack of Biden signs is partially due to people finding out why the kids didn’t like Biden. When MSNBC was bemoaning the Bernie Bros, did they mention Joe Biden’s admiration for Strom Thurmond? The answer is no. Whether we like it or not, people need to be deprogrammed.

    2. TB

      It was interesting for a minute until it wasn’t, “stop talking about racism it makes the poors mad” is such a tired take by now. I agree it’s incoherent. It’s not like Sanders has been more woke than the centrists. And when someone asks why he thinks Bernie should have run as a Republican (good luck with that) he says, mysteriously, that the white working class voted for Obama, and then doubles down that the idea that Bernie should be a Republican is “not tendentious but accurate”. How does that make any sense? Obama is the middle-class woke candidate par excellence, and if he can get the white working class on his side as a Democrat, why could Bernie not?

      He takes time to pooh-pooh the idea that “The Party Decides” saying it was “disproven” in 2016 but it seems like just a romantic clinging to the idea that “the people decide” to me. One Trump in 50 years does not disprove anything. IMO even if Bernie won the Democrats would have done to him what they did to McGovern, and destroyed his campaign even if he was the nominee. (If you’re like me you’ve grown up being told that it was The People who rejected McGovern and that’s why we can never nominate a left candidate ever again, but the entire party worked together to destroy McGovern and throw the election to Nixon, just like Labour just did to Corbyn. It’s the Iron Law of Institutions. They would rather rule over the ashes than serve in a triumphant party.)

      1. Jessica

        Hunter S. Thompson claimed, in real-time, that Nixon’s retaining Agnew on the ticket as VP was Nixon’s way of reassuring Democrats that even if they supported Nixon in 1972, the smoke filled room Democrats would win in 1976.
        Come to think of it, even if Harris isn’t Agnew, she was an impressively lackluster presidential candidate. So General Haig perhaps.

    3. John k

      A large number of dems are older, quite comfortable, and like Biden’s promise of no change.
      Probably most of bernies potential supporters are registered indies, and in many states they can’t vote in the dem primary. I changed so I could in 2016, but it takes a modest effort.
      Ditto the reps that might switch to Bernie in the generalBc they want m4a.
      The dems have one job, keep progressives out. The donors don’t care that much which right winger wins the general. Of course the elites do bc of all the jobs and power, but first they gotta take care of job 1 or the whole apple cart might turn over.

      1. Jessica

        Have to mention Lambert’s take that the numbers showed Bernie steadily picking up support, that he didn’t fail so much as run out of runway.

        1. drumlin woodchuckles

          Partly because Obama helped “reverse-foam” the length of runway that Sanders did have.
          What’s a better word for “reverse-foam”? “Gravel” the runway? “Caltrop” the runway? “Bomb” the runway?

            1. drumlin woodchuckles

              hmmm….

              Cly and burn.

              He clyed and burned the runway?

              He clyburned the runway?

              Worth exploring and developing further.

              The names Clyburn and Obama should be made into Radioactive Mudd, which will live in infamy for centuries to come. They should be a byword for treachery beyond belief and beyond description. Maybe smart people can get to work on that.

              The faces of Clyburn and McConnell would make an interesting composite morph-face.

        2. TB

          Because every time Obama opens his mouth in public I start to see a plot, I kind of think this is why they’re pushing early voting so hard right now. Less time for unknown candidates to campaign can only be good for incumbents. Very helpful for local establishment Dems in office if everyone just puts down NO TRUMP without voting downballot and think they’ve saved the world.

  33. Wukchumni

    Just back from a car shuttle trip to Whitney Portal with a friend about to embark on the High Sierra Trail from Crescent Meadow, and thought we’d leave the considerable smoke in the Central Valley from the By Area fires behind, but it’s thick as thieves in the Owens Valley on the eastern flank of the Sierra as well. Mt Whitney looks like an apparition from afar in Lone Pine.

    My mission statement:

    I looked at the rear echelon of every jalopy, and not 1 Biden bumper sticker was affixed.

      1. Phil in KC

        I’m not seeing ANY bumper stickers except those that support Any Functioning Adult. However, my slice of Kansas City is awash in Biden yard signs. Have seen just one Trump yard sign, deep into the red state of Kansas.

        1. John Anthony La Pietra

          I’m starting to see a crop of Biden yard signs now. Oddly, perhaps, as recent as they are, they’re still all Biden signs — not Biden/Harris signs. Anyone want to read anything into that?

  34. jdm

    The west is on fire, it seems. Western Colorado is covered in ash. I wore a mask almost all day, hitting the library, grocery and liquor stores, as well as the morning walk. Most people I saw were wearing masks. The ash and soot floats in the air and covers the ground, although we are safe from the flames, the August heat adds a sense of doom which has grown since July 31 when the fire started. Today my thoughts dove into dems take congress and Donald wins the hot seat, but its all ashes, ashes, all fall down.

    1. WobblyTelomeres

      I was supposed to be on the California Zephyr today, taking advantage of the half price sale on Roomettes. An hour outside of Chicago (600 mile drive for me), I get a call from Amtrak that my trip has been canceled thanks to those same Colorado fires. So, instead, I’m sitting in a hotel in Paducah watching tv, hoping Joe Biden truly screws the pooch during his acceptance speech. Hope.

      1. periol

        Did they cancel the trip or just delay it? I know the Zephyr goes right through Glenwood Canyon, some of the most amazing scenery you can get on a train in America!

        According to a report I found, some trains are slowly starting to go through the canyon again, including the Zephyr. I sure hope they let you go, although it would be heartbreaking to see the fire damage right now, I assume.

    1. Jessica

      Overproduction of elites
      Until you reach the stratosphere, the competition at higher levels is intense.

  35. Duck1

    Just dropped in on that old ghoul Bloomberg. Bye-bye.
    How long is the Biden stemwinder?
    When is the balloon drop?
    re Shumer, if the donations are triple matched, why are you bothering shilling the brand?
    Caught a bit of Beau B. necrology a bit earlier.

    1. flora

      geez louise, how many flags does it take to make Bloomie look like a good Dem (or former candidate who cheated his campaign hires out of promised pay)? /ha.

      1. Glen

        Like the third richest guy in the world and he stiffed his own workers? What a jerk.

        Last time I did the math, this guy can spend a million dollars a day for like 160 years, but I’m sure he is worth more now in the big pandemic.

  36. Mikel

    You all still watching the Dem’s 2024 Presidential candidate pageant?
    It’s the show for their new, unicorn base of disaffected Republicans.

  37. Michael

    ABC News opens the DNC tonight with a pic of Joe, his wife and that other woman and the caption is:
    “DRIVEN HIM FOERWAD”
    WTF does that mean?
    Joe’s wife has a Girl Power sweatshirt like blouse/top thing on signaling she will take over ala Nancy Reagan if need be…Shush kamala!
    Gag!

  38. Duck1

    Looks like the vitamin mixture was spot on.
    Sure remember all those things accomplished when 0 had house and senate. Oh wait.
    But we will rebuild everthing for the zilllionth time.
    No balloon drop, so disappointed.

  39. Basil Pesto

    Day’s putt is great. Anyone who’s sunk a putt like that with a lot of length and break knows how good that feeling is, though few will have sunk one with such extremes of both.

    Graeber inadvertently demonstrated the appeal of the game to me in ‘Bullshit Jobs’ when he outlines Karl Groos’ theory of ‘The Pleasure of Being the Cause’ (excerpted here: https://harpers.org/archive/2018/06/punching-the-clock/ ) – that putt is a perfect such example.

    In the pantheon of clever oblique approaches on and around the green though, this from Woods has to be one of the greatest, made all the more impressive by the ball’s confounding lie https://youtu.be/WJEysanOT7w

    The detail I love is the little dart of his eyes between the pin and his target before he takes the shot. The whole thing is just unbelievable.

  40. sd

    Looking ahead to the new Cbainet….
    Susan Rice Secretary of State
    Jeff Bezos Secretary of Labor
    Jill Biden Press Secretary
    Elon Musk Secretary of Defense – edgy
    George Clooney at the UN – he’s just so international
    Brad Pitt at FEMA
    Bloomberg at Education – he knows a lot about getting info from a screen

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