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February 04, 2020


Those looking to change the mysterious swing voter to our side may be looking in the wrong place.

Plus...she swears like a sailor.

Well, if she's right, then there's simply no need to worry much. (Although it would be interesting to see more details on just which Senate seats she sees as flipping. Tried Googling it, without much success.)

Electability is not all it's cracked up to be.

Swears like a sailor, and was a Deadhead. Even if I disliked what she was saying, I'd like her.

Btw, Sinn Fein seems to win in Ireland (probably only popular vote, not seats).

That's quite astonishing.

Brexit: the gift that keeps on giving.

If I had to pick between (D) POTUS and (R) majority Senate vs the other way around, I'd go for (D) majority Senate and live with (R) POTUS.

I'd prefer the other way. A (D) POTUS can immediately start rewriting rules and regulations, and their DOJ can chose the other side in court cases (eg, defend Obamacare rather than arguing that it's unconstitutional). Trump's got dozens/hundreds of people who have been approved by the Senate for something, can cycle them through all of the Cabinet and agency positions indefinitely, and do the same things with rules and the DOJ that he's been doing.

If I had been moderating one of the debates, my question would have been, "What's your plan for governing by rules, regulations, and executive orders if the Senate remains in Republican hands?"

Yes, there are also various policy differences.

LOL....well, indeed yes. But in my lifetime-Viet Nam war going forward, it is the left, broadly speaking, that pushes the mushy lib center toward better public policy (I am hard pressed to think of a public policy advance since the 1960's that was not taken up first by the dirty hippies). And the phrase, "You're trying to go too fast"? Well, I tend to ignore that.

It's our job. Sometimes we win, but most times not. Some of us bear that cross better than others. I am at a loss as to why that seems so difficult to understand. Most of the time you have us right where you want us...but the opportunity for rubbing it in just can't be passed up.

As they say, where else can we go?

But I also recall with a white hot anger that has yet to subside the center's massive abandonment of a well meaning good hearted New Deal, but anti-war liberal Democrat in 1972.

Please do everything in your limited power to not let it fucking happen again. The stakes are a bit higher this time.


I don't think this had much to do with Brexit - it's more about young people not being able to afford a home and such things:

But I also recall with a white hot anger that has yet to subside the center's massive abandonment of a well meaning good hearted New Deal, but anti-war liberal Democrat in 1972.

Note that McGovern wasn't generically anti-war. (He was, after all, a World War II vet.) He was anti the Vietnam War. Which was a whole lot broader group.

(I'm recalling, still with amusement, the time an anti-war type decided to come to one of my ROTC classes. He kicked off the conversation saying "The Vietnam War is a f*cked up mess!" And was astonished when all of us, sitting there in uniform, indicated complete agreement. Because it definitely was.)

Yeah, Nixon and his boys did a good job of painting McGovern as a wild anti-war liberal. But he wasn't actually.

I'd prefer the other way.

I'd tend to agree. There is also this thing called "foreign policy" that comes up from time to time.

"anti-war liberal"


"In September 1944 McGovern joined the 741st Squadron of the 455th Bombardment Group of the Fifteenth Air Force, stationed at San Giovanni Airfield near Cerignola in the Apulia region of Italy.[41] There he and his crew found a starving, disease-ridden local population wracked by the ill fortunes of war and far worse off than anything they had seen back home during the Depression.[41][42] Those sights would form part of his later motivation to fight hunger.[43] Starting on November 11, 1944, McGovern flew 35 missions over enemy territory from San Giovanni, the first five as co-pilot for an experienced crew and the rest as pilot for his own plane, known as the Dakota Queen after his wife Eleanor.[44] His targets were in Austria; Czechoslovakia; Nazi Germany; Hungary; Poland; and northern, German-controlled Italy, and were often either oil refinery complexes or rail marshaling yards, all as part of the U.S. strategic bombing campaign in Europe. The eight- or nine-hour missions were grueling tests of endurance for pilots and crew, and while German fighter aircraft were a diminished threat by this time as compared with earlier in the war, his missions often faced heavy anti-aircraft artillery fire that filled the sky with flak bursts.[45]

On McGovern's December 15 mission over Linz, his second as pilot, a piece of shrapnel from flak came through the windshield and missed fatally wounding him by only a few inches.[46] The following day on a mission to Brüx, he nearly collided with another bomber during close-formation flying in complete cloud cover.[47] The following day, he was recommended for a medal after surviving a blown wheel on the always-dangerous B-24 take-off, completing a mission over Germany, and then landing without further damage to the plane.[48] On a December 20 mission against the Škoda Works at Pilsen, Czechoslovakia, McGovern's plane had one engine out and another in flames after being hit by flak. Unable to return to Italy, McGovern flew to a British airfield on Vis, a small island in the Adriatic Sea off the Yugoslav coast that was controlled by Josip Broz Tito's Partisans. The short field, normally used by small fighter planes, was so unforgiving to four-engined aircraft that many of the bomber crews who tried to make emergency landings there perished. But McGovern successfully landed, saving his crew, a feat for which he was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross.[49][50]

A B‑24 Liberator of the Fifteenth Air Force's 451st Bombardment Group (not McGovern's group, but also stationed in Italy), on a March 1945 mission over Germany
In January 1945 McGovern used R&R time to see every sight that he could in Rome, and to participate in an audience with the pope.[51] Bad weather prevented many missions from being carried out during the winter, and during such downtime McGovern spent much time reading and discussing how the war had come about. He resolved that if he survived it, he would become a history professor.[52] In February, McGovern was promoted to first lieutenant.[53] On March 14 McGovern had an incident over Austria in which he accidentally bombed a family farmhouse when a jammed bomb inadvertently released above the structure and destroyed it, an event that haunted McGovern.[54] (Four decades later, after a McGovern public appearance in that country, the owner of the farm approached the media to let the senator know that he was the victim of that incident but that no one had been hurt and the farmer felt that it had been worth the price if that event helped achieve the defeat of Nazi Germany in some small way. McGovern was greatly relieved.[55][56]) On returning to base from the flight, McGovern was told his first child Ann had been born four days earlier.[54] April 25 saw McGovern's 35th mission, which marked fulfillment of the Fifteenth Air Force's requirement for a combat tour, against heavily defended Linz. The sky turned black and red with flak – McGovern later said, "Hell can't be any worse than that" – and the Dakota Queen was hit multiple times, resulting in 110 holes in its fuselage and wings and an inoperative hydraulic system. McGovern's waist gunner was injured, and his flight engineer was so unnerved by his experience that he would subsequently be hospitalized with battle fatigue, but McGovern managed to bring back the plane safely with the assistance of an improvised landing technique."

There is nothing anti-American conservative movement fascists hate more than a decorated soldier who put his ass in harm's way and dropped ordnance on the former's fellow fascists in any war.

What were Nixon and Reagan pussies and cowards doing during those years besides playing sailor reserve and faked cavalry horsey.

Limbaugh, Bush Jr., Cheney, Trump .... all of them medal of freedom-winning cowardly scum and filth.

Jesus Christ, what a fucking pile of conservative dogshit.

the Berniebro meme is BS.

I basically agree.

My issue with so-called "Bernie Bros" is mostly about fundamentalism in whatever form it takes. So, not really about Bernie per se.

I don't know if he would be a good POTUS or not, but he has, really almost single-handedly, introduced a political / social / economic stance into national politics that was simply not present before. Or, not for a generation or more.

To the degree that the Overton window has moved to the left at all, Bernie gets a lot of the credit. The positions he holds are the same ones he's held for, like, 40 years or more, and he makes exactly zero apology for them. I don't know if all of his policies are, in practical terms, the best available idea, or even politically possible. I do know that I don't have much of a problem with them in principle.

Best of luck to all of the candidates. I hope the process delivers whoever is most likely to win, and by the largest possible margin.

The Berniebro meme is not bs.

I was going to say more, but why? I'll vote for him if he manages to get the nomination. And I'll learn to like it. And, no, it's not about his policies.

A heavy lift for our thoughtful cultural observer, no doubt.

I read this and thought, "Obviously, Russell and I did not read the same article."

I generally agree that the focus on "go to college, if you don't go to college you're gonna be a loser" is not a constructive emphasis or message. Mostly because it's false, and also because it's alienating to people who don't really want or need to go to college to do what they want to do in life.

Yet, this was the central thrust of Geoghegan's piece! So once again I find myself flummoxed. Further, the over-reliance on policy prescriptions that flow from the single minded emphasis on education, (including trade schools, community college, etc.), as the be all and end all for what ails our polity is deeply flawed.

In a nutshell, that is what Geoghegan argues. The prescriptions for a more participatory social democracy (see his observations about Denmark in the essay) and worker empowerment in the workplace he makes at the end of his essay. I should think you did indeed make it that far.

Geoghegan's whole opus is about empowerment for those who have none. He is an old time New Deal labor lawyer, hardly a Thomas Frank Listen Liberal lefty.

You might check out his wiki entry here.

You might even try reading some of his books and essays. Like this one.

I feel your initial reaction did him a disservice.

I see he has a new book out. I, for one, will be an eager reader.


Well, it's not a "single minded emphasis on education." But the Fed chairman does seem to believe that education (together with the opoid epidemic) is why American labor force participation is so much lower than other developed economies.

Granted, he was responding to a Senator who was fishing for something about the welfare state discouraging people from working. (Which, Powell pointed out, is nonsense.) But the pount remains.

from the essay....

"Of course we should have more college—absolutely—and yes, it should be cheaper, if not free. But more college should be part of a new and more democratic education that reflects a new and more democratic workplace. There are many examples in Europe—I urge people to read the work of scholars like Kathleen Thelen at MIT and others who study those European alternatives to our form of capitalism. And within Europe, Denmark is still the gold standard. Denmark has firmly committed itself to education at all levels, at all points of life. Under the Danish system, the state makes a heavy investment in training that makes no distinctions and eliminates boundaries: It is the same commitment to the employed as to the unemployed, for students from white-collar and blue-collar backgrounds, for college graduate and high school graduate, and early in life and in mid-career. It is not our idea of job training—it’s not focused on any specific manufacturing-type skill, nor is it occupationally based in principle. The idea behind this kind of lifetime instruction is indeed to get people out of narrow occupational roles by giving them continued education in social and communication skills for a knowledge-based and service-based economy"

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