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July 17, 2020

Comments

I'm still trying to figure how Gohmert came down with a hoax.

I understand gargling bleach may work against hoaxes.

Call the HoaxBusters.

America: The Land of the Nitwit and the Home of the Knave

I have a concept for a 24-hour round-the-clock reality show: the unedited funerals of Republicans.

On the other hand, it could be sarcasm.

I suppose it could. One of the many losses thanks to the Trump administration is that things which would once have been self-evident sarcasm keep turning out to be actual policy suggestions. It's really hard to do over-the-top parody of folks who are that over the top in reality. Or what passes for reality for them.

Apparently, the feds are leaving Portland.

Fucking A.

Props to naked Athena, and the walls of Moms, Dads with leaf blowers, and Vets.

A friend notes the similarity to this historical moment. I'm glad the feds had the wit to step away before things progressed to live rounds.

Don't let the door hit you on the ass on the way out.

And, in my dreams, we'll all be saying that to the sleeveless fuckwit jackass on his way out the door in January.

Soon come.

The Sheriff backtracked.

Must be a true Trump acolyte: bluster, then cave at the first sign of serious resistance.

Apparently, the feds are leaving Portland.

Although DHS Acting-even-though-I'm-far-over-the-legal-limit-to-do-so Secretary Wolf is naturally claiming that he hasn't actually agreed to do so.

You can't sue your employers for the harm they do to you, but they can sue YOU for requesting they maintain your safety on that thing they a job.

Well not exactly. For starters, every state has a law that says if the employer carries worker's compensation insurance, the employer is immune from suit. And, the employees benefits are limited in every state under WC. And, except in rare and extreme cases, there is no right to sue for punitive damages.

Finally, most states and the feds have some kind of remedy against litigants who bring "frivolous" lawsuits. The standard for claiming against a litigant for bringing a "groundless matter in bad faith" is quite high and in my career of mostly defending against lawsuits, I've asserted a frivolous lawsuit counterclaim exactly one time and that one was/is against a person who has filed and dismissed the same lawsuit now about 20 times in various state and federal courts against my client and several other companies. I have counter-sued to declare this person a vexatious litigant and to enjoin her against further filings against my client.

All up, if employers could be sued when employees get sick at work or get injured, if there is WC available, you'd run out of employers pretty quickly. The cost of liability insurance is already pretty high and so is WC insurance. At some point, interests have to be balanced, and the balance in every state I am familiar with, the injured employee gets medical and pay benefits and does not have to prove fault.

But even with all of that, I suspect there is a big and unacceptable gap in what WC insurers will and will not pay for and I'm betting they are all denying liability for CoVID. The injustice lies in immunizing employers AND not requiring WC to step up to the plate IF CoVID was more likely than not contracted at work. AND, the WC insurers will need federal support because there is no way in hell that the premiums charged for WC were high enough to cover millions of CoVID-inflicted employees.

It's a mess and we are in uncharted waters in this and many other CoVID-related areas. Holding an employer liable because someone comes to work who shouldn't and makes others sick, or allowing someone who went out partying to claim he/she got sick at work is problematic if you want to see people continue to work. The going price for defending a fairly straightforward case starts at about $40,000 at the very low end and up to $500,000 to go to verdict, and that is at relatively modest hourly rates. Very few businesses have the ability to carry that load and remain viable.

As a practical matter, lawsuits won't make a workplace safe. Shitty employers don't care if they get sued and decent employers need to stay in business. What is needed are (1) a way to make WC apply to work-place CoVID, (2) published workplace safety guidelines and (3) and a series of escalating fines for workplaces that do not follow published guidelines.

Great points, McKTx.

I'm not so sympathetic to the insurers. Understanding, and quantifying risk, even low-probability tail risk, is their entire purpose for existence. If they can't do that, and get themselves some reinsurance, they deserve to be driven to extinction.

I understand unbridled lawsuits by employees are a possible bottomless legal mess for employers, especially now that great numbers of the American people have proved they can't be trusted to police their own private Covid prevention, and refuse to be held personally responsible, and I agree with your cautionary words on how workman's comp should play into this.

It's going to be what's in the small print and McConnell's small print in the age of Citizen's United is smaller and more diabolical than Covid-19-laced droplets loose in an unventilated strip club.

His wife, Elaine Chao was not known for her rigorous enforcement of worker protections and the pillow talk in that bed must be something to hear when one asks the other "How was your day, dear?" and the remaining Koch Brother in bed with them pipes up with his thoughts on workman's compensation, while Arthur Laffer, Sthen Moore, and Larry Kudlow (Tariffs, he hates em, wait .. Hooray for tariffs, long live tariffs!) snuggle up.

And God knows what the Federalist Society is doing behind the scenes. Last time I heard they aren't especially fond of mandated manhole covers, fire alarms, or skulls and crossbones on items that Agatha Christie would use to poison her victims.

https://fedsoc.org/events/covid-19-in-the-workplace-mandated-paid-sick-leave

I haven't read that yet; will try tomorrow.

Gotta admit, trumpeting a provision to shield companies from covid-19 liability makes a great red herring to dostract from whatever other scams McConnell is trying to hide in the bill. And he can even be forced to give it up during reconciliation negotiations, instead of his real priorities.

More on Gohmert, the idiot savant:

https://www.balloon-juice.com/2020/07/29/gop-death-cult-open-thread-plague-mole-edition/

He and Barr used the men's room together, and the least of their problems was that Gohmert also chose today of all days to announce that he is a transitioning woman.

The House Republicans will now be bringing pee bottles to position under their desks for convenience and so they don't die from mixing with the unclean.

https://thehill.com/homenews/campaign/509557-100-police-agencies-pull-out-of-democratic-national-convention-security

These folks will stand security for the Convention for free, and somehow I don't think there will be much trouble.

https://www.newsweek.com/armed-black-demonstrators-challenge-white-supremacist-militia-georgias-stone-mountain-park-1515494

Interesting that tear gas is banned in times of war, unless the enemy is one's own citizens.

Well, he was probably holding back. In his notes he introduced the subject of Gohmert, as "My fellow conservative subhuman genocidal asshole".

https://twitter.com/therecount/status/1288577803387117572

Those Tea Party deplorables have always been prone to Mrs Malapropisms.

Ending the day on a good note:

https://www.bing.com/videos/search?q=Georgia+inmates+save+deputy&docid=13847503940205&mid=5318B9B4060A25B949555318B9B4060A25B94955&view=detail&FORM=VIRE

Interesting that tear gas is banned in times of war, unless the enemy is one's own citizens.

That's a natural result of that quaint late 19th century notion that war between civilized nations should be a humane and heavily regulated affair. So, they banned a lot of stuff that police at the time did not yet dream of using against their citizenry (as opposed to their subjects in the colonies who were also naturally not covered by the Hague Conventions).
Also police matters are internal affairs into which outside meddling and interference cannot be tolerated. Culling your own herd is a sovereign right.

John Lewis wrote the following short piece before his death, to be published by the NYT on the day of his funeral. I link it here, for any of you who do not read the NYT (which I think is quite a few of you).

https://www.nytimes.com/2020/07/30/opinion/john-lewis-civil-rights-america.html?action=click&module=Top%20Stories&pgtype=Homepage

I take no pleasure in this, but since Pat Robertson and a host of grifting, grafting, gohmerting sadists haven't thought to note it yet, as they did with AIDS, weather events, and Hillary Clinton's pendulous Christmas tree ornaments, the sheer and swift biblical Old Testament symmetry of the dark forces of sociopathy and its meted-out punishments to the guilty is something astonishing to behold:

https://heavy.com/news/2020/07/bill-montgomery-dead/

Two days ago:

https://www.mediamatters.org/coronavirus-covid-19/charlie-kirk-declares-he-wont-wear-masks-because-he-doesnt-believe-science

One hopes we have reached a Turning Point, but methinks EVIL is merely gathering strength for some indescribable cataclysm.

The fires of Mordor are not banked, to allude to another cultural touchstone the despicable conservative anti-American conservative movement has misappropriated for its own malign trumpian ends.

virus doesn't care what you believe.

One hopes we have reached a Turning Point

we seem to arrive at the same turning point, repeatedly.

some folks just don't seem to want to turn.

The fix is in. Trump and his subhuman minions will steal the election:

https://time.com/5873514/u-s-postal-service-downsizing-mail-in-ballots/

And even if they fail, there will enough of the scum left to destroy America:

https://www.motherjones.com/kevin-drum/2020/07/republicans-prepare-for-latest-round-of-pretending-to-be-deficit-hawks/

Wipe the Republican Party off the face the Earth.

If its noxious spore remnant finds it way to bide its time under rocks on other planets in the universe, nuke those planets.

We will NOT go around this vicious cycle yet again with these nihilists without savage violence.

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2020-07-30/trump-floats-idea-of-delaying-u-s-presidential-election

Voting by mail is fraudulent, his mouth shits, but he, the biggest fraud in American history, is the only f*ck permitted to vote by mail.

If employer liability is the hill the GOP wants to die on, well fine.* Make them pay for it: A $3T package with aid to state/muni govs, medicare for all, school aid, extend the $600 UC policy.

*Unless you work in a meatpacking plant, proving employer fault might be a tough road to hoe. But hells bells, employers routinely sue each other at the drop of a hat over contract issues. So what's the big deal?

Have you ever hoed a road?

Voting by mail:

https://www.marketwatch.com/story/heres-the-truth-about-mail-in-voting-fair-safe-and-honest-11594920269?siteid=bigcharts&dist=bigcharts

It's expertise, so conservative dupes among us may feel free to gargle bleach.

Have you ever hoed a road?

Well...

Welp:

https://www.nydailynews.com/news/national/ny-herman-cain-dead-coronavirus-20200730-grsjw67vejhuvi36dukc5o63qa-story.html

Tulsa: The Republican murder capitol of America.

Send in the troops.

Despite his politics, there was something about that guy that I liked. I'm feeling genuinely sad about his death, while also feeling a little weird about feeling sad.

"Despite his politics, there was something about that guy that I liked"

Was it his "999" plan? Should have turned it upside down for more accuramacy.

yeah, same here.

he was a much better version of Goofy Republican Businessman Tries Politics For A Laff than the one we got stuck with.

Have you ever hoed a road?

If I'm not mistaken, one hoes a row.

I'm also saddened by Cain's death, as well as that of Montgomery. Time takes us all, eventually, but it's sad to see otherwise competent people undone by their own folly.

Plus, it's just a nasty freaking virus.

1485 people died of COVID yesterday. 1330 the day before. 4.5M total cases in the US, 152K dead. We've overtaken France in deaths per million.

Victim of our own mythology.

No lives matter to these ilk. Even their own.

Herman Cain, when he announced he was infected some weeks back:

"Former Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain announced Thursday that he has been hospitalized due to symptoms of COVID-19. But in an unusually on-the-nose development, the announcement came only hours after he denounced measures to stem the spread of the illness on Twitter in a show of political support for Donald Trump."

al qaeda suicide terrorists, a few of them, were probably likable over pizza away from their day jobs as well when they weren't wearing their work garb, suicide vests.

These people are literally dying, f*cking on purpose, to fulfill cleek's law.

This is a deep, quintessentially American apotheosis of conservative movement perversion.

You don't get any more radical and death-cultish than that.

And look at this racist scum, possibly in line for the third slot at Defense:

https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/2020/07/30/anthony-tata-trump-nominee-pentagon-fox-news-obama-terrorist/5543918002/

Inhofe can drop dead too.

I wonder how Bill Bennett is feeling.

Goofy Republican Businessman Tries Politics

Sometime early in the Obama administration, I attended the national conference of funeral directors. Long story.

One of the keynote guys took the podium and offered some comments about what a crap POTUS Obama was. The man has no insight into what really makes this country work, he (the speaker) could do a better job, based on his experience running a chain of funeral homes.

A chain of two.

Everybody who ever made a million bucks in the private sector thinks they're a f'ing genius.

Not all skill sets are transferrable.

Have you ever hoed a road?

It's not easy.

Have you ever hoed a road?

Sort of possible with a dirt road. But with concrete or asphalt? Not really.

Re vote by mail... In the 13-state western region, something over 90% of all voters registered in time will receive ballots by mail this year. 100% in California, Colorado, Hawaii, Oregon, Utah, and Washington; 80% in Arizona; 70% in Montana; 60% in New Mexico; 30% in Wyoming; and smaller percentages in the rest.

Don't know about the others, but in Colorado most ballots are returned through the collection boxes rather than by mail.

Sort of possible with a dirt road. But with concrete or asphalt? Not really.

The first brick is hard. After that, not too bad. Sort of screws up the road, though.

I was back in the town where I went to high school this past summer. They were preparing to repave the few-block main street. They had milled off multiple layers of asphalt and were down to the Depression-era bricks.

This is a dirt road. One grades a dirt road, with one of these.

These are rows. One hoes a row, with one of these.

They had milled off multiple layers of asphalt and were down to the Depression-era bricks.

granite cobbles, around my way.

Increasingly, industrial-scale rows like those are hoed by machine. The most interesting methods -- still mostly experiments -- are small machines that straddle the rows and are equipped with video and computer-controlled blades that can recognize the difference between the crop and weeds and take out the weeds without hurting the crop.

In the 13-state western region, something over 90% of all voters registered in time will receive ballots by mail this year

It should perhaps be noted that several of those states have been conducting their elections 100% by mail for years. Without problems. For them, it's just business as usual -- and I expect people there are wondering what Trump is on about....

This is a dirt road. One grades a dirt road, with one of these.

These are rows. One hoes a row, with one of these.

One notes that for rows the ruts are deeper. ;-)

Hoeing rows (of sugar beets) even has creationist connections. In 19th century Germany this (backbreaking) work was left to women because of the biblically alleged difference in rib numbers. This was claimed to make it easier for women than men.
Btw, that's how US professors of anatomy/biology/medicine recognize evengelical home-schooled students. They are those who count the ribs in order to find out which skeletons are male and which are female.

How to tell you are totally in la-la land: even Moscow Mitch says flat out that election day is fixed and won't be changed. Period.

The inevitable climb-down (i.e. admission of error without admitting error) has started: "The President was merely raising the question." All together now, in chorus: Bullsh*t!

Well, if MAGAts prefer, they're welcome to cast their votes on December first.

I hear the lines will be much shorter then.

President Troll is trolling. bragging about imaginary accomplishments and lying about the extent of his authority is his M.O.

Every dog in my neighborhood went to full quivering point when the troll whistled this:

https://digbysblog.net/2020/07/whats-he-getting-at/

Read the article.

He calls out the name of any old n*gger to scare those white suburbanites.

To be on the safe side, she ought to ask her doctor to throw in syphilis, gonorrhea, herpes, and AIDS tests too, when you consider all else her conservative fascist husband, modeled after American republican fascists, has "given" his people:

https://www.bing.com/search?q=Michelle+Bolsonaro+coronavirus&filters=tnTID%3a%22F265F285-9D7E-4365-91CE-1592950AE7CC%22+tnVersion%3a%223635323%22+segment%3a%22popularnow.carousel%22+tnCol%3a%221%22+tnOrder%3a%22ffac4e96-f481-4cda-98e9-7afbf8a6f662%22&FORM=BSPN01&crslsl=0

OK, OK, already. Can I just claim it was a typo? Probably not. LOL.

Can I just claim it was a typo? Probably not. LOL.

I'd go with claiming it was a deliberate effort to bring a little amusement into our lives. When it is in short supply elsewhere.

Derp.

Americans Who Mainly Get Their News on Social Media Are Less Engaged, Less Knowledgeable!

OK, OK, already. Can I just claim it was a typo?

sorry bobbyp.

every once in a while my inner pedantic nerd gets loose and runs wild.

OK, finally, something they don't like:

https://talkingpointsmemo.com/news/federalist-society-co-founder-calls-trump-bid-to-change-election-day-fascistic-impeachable

Patio Pizza.

I got nothing.

As I've mentioned in the past, I'm a huge fan of the USPS. Imagine my frustration when, for the first time in a very long time, I was missing an important mail delivery that tracking said was supposed to have been delivered. I entered a complaint in their online system, and received the package the next day (yesterday).

This morning, I read this.

Ruining our country on purpose. We must get them out (reason 1,000,000).

Americans Who Mainly Get Their News on Social Media Are Less Engaged, Less Knowledgeable!

They're the only ones who didn't already know that.

They're the only ones who didn't already know that.

They probably think professional wrestling is a real sport, rather than theater, too.

They're the only ones who didn't already know that.

This made me smile.

https://www.thedailybeast.com/what-happened-to-stacey-abrams-will-happen-to-joe-biden?via=newsletter&source=DDMorning

More about ruining the Post Office, and why they're doing it.

If you are a part of the government which has high favorability ratings, which the Post Office does, then someone who wants to shrink all things government will make trashing that part a priority. To make it less well regarded first, because it's a bad example for their views.

More about ruining the Post Office, and why they're doing it.

When (R)'s can't win, they cheat.

But the Dems, the anti-cheaters, are the real cheaters, because stopping the cheating would help them. Don't ask why stopping the cheating would help them, though. That doesn't need to be part of the discussion.

Well, look who else is chiming in:

https://talkingpointsmemo.com/news/stephen-miller-falsely-claims-voter-identity-is-not-confirmed-for-mail-in-ballots

The entire Democratic Party, half the country, is nothing but non-citizen illegal immigrants to the fascist subhuman Republican Party.

The November election is nothing more than nightmare, we dreamers.

Savage violence is unavoidable.

Abolish Homeland Security and ICE.

Defund the Justice Department.

https://www.esquire.com/news-politics/politics/a33483418/homeland-security-compiled-reports-on-journalists/

Several bombshells alleged in this report from Vanity Fair about Kushy's role in bungling the COVID response.

https://www.vanityfair.com/news/2020/07/how-jared-kushners-secret-testing-plan-went-poof-into-thin-air

Unauthorized ordering of test kits. Leaving states with D governors to hang.

The usual...

From that Vanity Fair article, it appears the Kushner's group actually came up with a good plan for ramping up and coordinating national testing. But it never saw the light of day.

Maybe Kushner was the one who buried it. But my bet would be that it got ditched by the man that hates testing because he's dumb enough to think that more testing somehow causes more cases.

To anybody with experience of the requirements and procedures for USG procurement, the story of the million tests is absolutely gobsmacking. I haven't heard a better example (even in the Michael Lewis book) of the sheer and unbelievable ignorance and incompetence of the Trump people, and God knows there have been plenty examples to choose from.

wj, while Trump certainly would have ditched it, I bet that Kushner never even presented it. You can be sure that continuous monitoring of the Emperor's moods by Javanka goes on, and the decisions about what to present or not are based solely on whether doing so will win the Emperor's personal favour. That's how it is in dictatorships, or regimes where the advisors are unqualified family, not professionals.

This dovetails with a declaration of martial law, though by then the doves will be fully plucked.

https://talkingpointsmemo.com/muckraker/trump-admin-sidelines-cdc-to-give-pentagon-unprecedented-role-in-vaccine-distribution

QAnon can make up the rest of what is coming.

Everything is gonna continue to go steadily downhill, until the big orange man is outta there.

I could basically have started posting this in January 2017, once a day every day, and then continued posting it once a day every day right through today, right up until January 2021 or 2025. Whichever it ends up being.

The details are important, of course, and probably worth discussing for various reasons.

But the above pretty much sums it up.

He, Trump thinks the Pentagon is on His side. That's how wannabe dictators always think: the military exists to serve il Duce first, The Nation second.

Nancy Pelosi needs to make some private calls to the Joint Chiefs, to remind them who it is that buys their toys for them. Calling the heads of Boeing, Lockheed, Raytheon, Northrop, and a few others, either before or afterwards, to convey the same message, might be even more effective.

--TP

Everything is gonna continue to go steadily downhill, until the big orange man is outta there.

I might quibble about "steadily." Seems more like fits and starts of acceleration on the downhill path. But otherwise, yeah pretty much.

And, of course, all of us saw it coming from the instant he stumbled to accedental victory. (Although I confess that my imagination failed me in predicting just how bad, and on how many fronts, it would be. Guess I should watch more horror movies.)

The plan:

"Most troubling of all, perhaps, was a sentiment the expert said a member of Kushner’s team expressed: that because the virus had hit blue states hardest, a national plan was unnecessary and would not make sense politically. “The political folks believed that because it was going to be relegated to Democratic states, that they could blame those governors, and that would be an effective political strategy,” said the expert."

Genocide as American government policy finally comes to the homeland after being dispensed abroad for so long.

Execute all of them.

Biden should continue Trump's order that the military carry out the vaccine disbursal.

Blue states get the shots, red states get shot.

More on the genocide of vulnerable American citizens because of their voting habits.

https://www.dailykos.com/stories/2020/7/31/1965464/-Trump-did-the-crime-then-he-arranged-the-cover-up-only-this-time-the-crime-is-genocide

Move the Hague to Washington DC and try and execute all Republicans. All of them running loose like this are dangerous to national security.

We're going to need bigger holding pens.

Also: Defund the Supreme Court.

We'll try Herman Cain posthumously for the murder of Herman Cain as well, despite his bipartisan approach to murdering Americans because of the political affiliations.

Also, none of this will distract from the trial and punishment of Bill Clinton for his role in the Epstein rapey camps, in case some creeping look-over-there whataboutism is about to overtake these pages, like maybe we support the Chinese Communist Party.

Trump of course will not stand trial for his Epstein romps.

He'll already have been brutally executed in public three different ways.

This might prove that having a slithering reptile as a father and a mother with an innate conscience can yield a semblance of humanity:

https://www.marketwatch.com/story/james-murdoch-resigns-from-news-corp-board-over-certain-editorial-content-2020-07-31?siteid=bigcharts&dist=bigcharts

Flood the zone with shit, the motto of the contemporary trumpian Republican Party, as coined by the late, executed felon, Steve Bannon:

https://talkingpointsmemo.com/news/how-many-people-in-the-u-s-are-hospitalized-with-covid-19-who-knows

Actually, the vote was held last week and it's decided .. Ferdinand Adolf Idi Valdimir Trump won with 99% of the tally:

https://talkingpointsmemo.com/news/huh-trump-now-says-he-wants-election-day-moved-up

I might quibble about "steadily."

Fair enough.

I'll amend that to "monotonically downhill".

Why have the military distribute the vaccine?

Well, when it's the NEW! SUPER! TrumpVax!, formulated out of 50% bleach, 50% lysol, Trump's got to make sure that all the "right people" get vaccinated. Forcibly.

I'll accept that friendly amendmeny.

when it's the NEW! SUPER! TrumpVax!, formulated out of 50% bleach, 50% lysol, Trump's got to make sure that all the "right people" get vaccinated. Forcibly.

How nice for the anti-vaxxer Trump supporters to finally be proven right -- which that formulation** for TrumpVax would surely do. And by their boy, too.

** Although I'm sure he will insist on a last minute addition of Hydroxychloroquine to the mix.

Trump™-brand Hydroxychloroquine is the best Hydroxychloroquine you can buy. a lot of people are saying so.

https://www.lawyersgunsmoneyblog.com/2020/08/an-american-story

https://people.com/politics/trump-ignores-miamis-mandatory-mask-rule-after-landing-in-covid-19-hotspot/

Perhaps in his most private hours, he throws up a little into his hankie, like Himmler was reported to do when witnessing the execution of Jews.

But, I doubt it.

Genocide.

JDT, I'm not quite clear why you're upset that Trump went to Miami (a covid-19 hotspot) and didn't wear a mask. I think it's an excellent bet that Trump doesn't (yet) have covid-19. So his lack of a mask doesn't directly** put others at risk.

On the other hand, that lack, in a covid-19 hotspot definitely puts him at increased risk. So suppose it results in him coming down sick. Couldn't happen to a more deserving guy. Right?

** Sure, it's a bad example to others. But then, that's old news.

Think of the dozens, if not hundreds of advance operatives, federal, state, local, and trump's private militia, it takes to secure these appearances, and think of how we are hearing that more of THEM are testing positive each day for the disease .. and think how ... geez, never mind.

If it matters to ya, I'm still slightly more upset at Himmler, even after all this time.

I hear ya about the support staff. But they're at the same risk, whether Trump wears a mask or not. Sure, he ought to emulate Biden and just stay home. But that's a different question.

Spent 40 minutes this morning watching Obama's funeral oration for John Lewis.

Hard to believe the same country chose him, twice, and then elected Trump.

More and more, I'm losing confidence in the American project. Other places are going to have to pick up the baton, because we've lost the plot.

Still a great place to be rich, if that's what floats your boat.

We'll see how it goes in November. It's gonna be a mess, we'll see how we come through it.

Hard to believe the same country chose him, twice, and then elected Trump.

More and more, I'm losing confidence in the American project.

No question we've taken a big step (or three) backwards. But it's hardly the first time in our history that's happened. In the past, what we've seen is on the order of three steps forward; two steps back. It's not inconceivable that the same sort of thing will happen again this time.

231 years is a good run for any set of rules, but the players seem less and less inclined to play within the spirit of them.

No telling where this goes next.

Reply hazy. Ask again later.

And JHFC, if Joe goes with his hurt feelings and picks Rice over Harris, he's a complete idiot. Rice will just be an excuse for the right to trot out the whole Benghazi thing again without adding much to counterbalance that.

And wj, we have faced huge challenges in the past during the Civil War and the Great Depression for sure. We were fortunate that neither of those ended the country. Hindsight takes away a lot of the sense of how fragile those moments really were. Those are not comforting examples for me.

https://www.motherjones.com/kevin-drum/2020/08/jared-kushner-wanted-to-get-shit-done-he-didnt/

https://www.balloon-juice.com/2020/08/01/unsafe-workplace/

Spent 40 minutes this morning watching Obama's funeral oration for John Lewis.

Hard to believe the same country chose him, twice, and then elected Trump.

More and more, I'm losing confidence in the American project. Other places are going to have to pick up the baton, because we've lost the plot.

If your take-away from Obama's speech was to lose confidence in the American project, I don't think we watched the same speech.

And let's recall that "we," the majority of the country, did choose Obama twice. Trump was "elected" so to speak because of "irregularities" that played into a major flaw in our electoral system. The majority of the American people didn't elect him.

I realize that scare quotes are bad writing, but let's be honest. By all accounts, from our national security experts and from the Mueller Report, the Russians interfered with our election on Trump's behalf, and succeeded in getting him elected. The New York Times, and other seemingly legitimate media outlets assisted Russia with that project, sensationalizing trivial errors of Clinton's, while downplaying evidence of gross criminality in Trump's history. James Comey publicly announced that a criminal investigation into Clinton yielded nothing to prosecute, while at the same time lambasting her email practices, and was silent on investigations into the Trump organization, causing a significant change in polling data. There was evidence of substantial voter suppression.

2016 was not a normal election, and Trump soundly lost the popular vote. Obviously, it could happen again, this year and repeatedly. But let's also remember that many people were extremely dispirited about the state of the country when Obama was in office, when the federal government was functioning quite well, if not yet delivering everything to everyone. Heightening the contradictions seemed appealing to some who now (perhaps) see what that means.

If John Lewis's life meant anything, it's that we can't sit back and expect things to go well, and be surprised when they don't. Barack Obama's presidency wasn't a given. He stood on the shoulders of John Lewis, whose odds weren't good, but he beat them. We have to fight too, even if we can't manage as heroic an effort.

John Lewis's life was about beating the odds, and we have to do that as well. That's what I heard Obama say.

Rice will just be an excuse for the right to trot out the whole Benghazi thing again without adding much to counterbalance that.

I prefer Harris, and hopes he picks her. But who gives a flying f' what bullshit the right trots out? If we let "the right" make up whatever, give it a name and an exclamation point, and then we hide from it, we're done.

russell didn't say that was what he took away from Obama's speech. A plain reading of what he wrote is that the speech was what prompted his meditation on who Americans choose for their leaders and what that could mean for the future of the US.

And anyone who thinks that it doesn't matter who Biden chooses isn't paying attention to how uncertain Biden's support is at the seams. He has a coalition mostly by being a safety pick. I don't think that WI, PA, FL, or AZ are in the bag for him and conspiracy theory runs rife. He does not want to tie himself to Hillary Clinton with his VP pick. That conspiracy narrative is right there and has a wide audience. Biden wants to keep the narrative fresh and keep the attention focused on the Trump fiasco.

A plain reading of what he wrote is that the speech was what prompted his meditation on who Americans choose for their leaders and what that could mean for the future of the US.

We can all plainly read what he wrote; moreover, he can explain it. We're not studying an ancient oracle. My point was that "we" didn't "choose" Trump. Maybe you didn't plainly read my reply.

These potential candidates are being vetted, and there's a lot of work done to figure out what might be worrisome about each candidate. My guess is that they each have their positives and negatives. Your point about Rice is well taken, but Harris also has many detractors, and gullible believers in right-wing conspiracy theories are going to do their thing. I noticed on Twitter that they're trying to do a birther number on Harris (just for example, and I've read plenty more trash about Harris, and that's what it is - trash).

I'm not here to lobby for Rice. As I said, I prefer Harris. But getting emotionally involved in who Biden picks for VEEP is a fool's errand, IMO.

More and more, I'm losing confidence in the American project. Other places are going to have to pick up the baton, because we've lost the plot.

It gives me a shiver to hear russell say this, because I remember using the phrase "the American project" before the 2016 election, when I said here that the election of Trump would be an existential threat to it. Nothing he himself has done has surprised me, but I have been surprised by the extent to which he has been enabled. The behaviour of the pols like Graham, and McConnell, in defiance of everything they ever claimed to believe or hold dear, has been the truly astounding and depressing thing, which really threatens American democracy, such as it is (i.e. EC et al). I have been watching the Lincoln Project ads with interest, but I just read in the WaPo an article about them, in which this, about one of their founders, appeared:

But Schmidt, who it’s fair to say is disgusted by Trump, is unapologetic about his life’s work. Yes, he urged McCain to pick Sarah Palin as his running mate, a decision ultimately driven by politics. But no, he’s not renouncing the Republican Party as he knew it.

“I think a good sign of being an idiot in life is believing that all virtue is vested in one of these political parties and all evil in the other,” he says. He rejects those who say he should be ashamed of the past: “The necessity for an act of atonement against conviction is self-righteous and smug at a level that beggars my ability to describe it in the English language. And I would suggest that they’re part of the problem, not so much part of the solution.”

Clearly, I think he's right about the first sentence in quotes in that extract. But he recommended Palin, and he sees no reason to be ashamed of the past? The refusal to see the clear progression from Palin to Trump, shows that these people, however much I welcome their help in the short term, are morally (and probably intellectually) defective.

I back sapient's determination to fight, and fight hard, although I agree with nous above. But, like russell, I fear for the future of the American project. It's really hard to see a good way back from this.

I back sapient's determination to fight, and fight hard, although I agree with nous above. But, like russell, I fear for the future of the American project. It's really hard to see a good way back from this.

I appreciate your kind words about me. I agree that seeing a good way back from this is difficult. But we have to look long and hard, find it, and make it happen.

I am as guilty of despair as anyone. But John Lewis's life and persistence was promise in the face of bleak odds. That's what I took from the words that were spoken there, along with the warning that there's no rest.

What sapient said at 5:30.

At 5:52, not so much. Even we care what bullsh*t the right spouts -- not for ourselves, but because of its ability to influence marginal voters. Should they pay the least attention to such self-evident nonsense? No. Will they pay attention to it, if the right's garbage machine gets an opening to use it? Sadly, not unlikely. THAT'S why we care.

Will they pay attention to it, if the right's garbage machine gets an opening to use it? Sadly, not unlikely.

Of course they will. What candidate is immune from that? The garbage machine is programmed to spew out garbage. About everyone. Of course, it's possible to come up with an unknown person about which no garbage can immediately take hold. That's the Karen Bass ploy. But there are those things ...

So you tell me, how is Harris immune from the garbage machine?

What we need to do better is to not buy into the garbage machine ourselves, which some of us are pretty bad at. We need to fight it.

I'm not emotionally involved in Biden's pick. I'm worried that the rationales for his pick coming out of his camp shows that they still have a really shallow understanding of the big picture.

He's not the superhero picking his sidekick, he's a fragile starting QB picking his backup.

Honestly, I think he should set Chris Dodd and Jill Biden's advice aside, call Obama to ask about the VP pick, and go with the person that Obama thinks he should have on the ticket.

Honestly, I think he should set Chris Dodd and Jill Biden's advice aside, call Obama to ask about the VP pick, and go with the person that Obama thinks he should have on the ticket.

I agree. If he hasn't sought Obama's advice, Obama needs to give it to him. My guess is that this is going on.

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