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September 26, 2021

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Republicans and their conservative movement are racist subhuman McCarthyite vermin:

https://www.esquire.com/news-politics/politics/a37807934/rachael-rollins-us-attorney-ted-cruz-tom-cotton/

Last time I saw Ben Sasse, the reasonable, thoughtful one, he wanted more American death in Afghanistan and was lined up with the rest of the malignancy rooting for total default on America's debt obligations.

Fuck the lot of them.

The Great Replacement Theory, beloved by conservative burning martyrs at FOX and throughout, can't happen fast enough.

You can have either the Republican Party or America.

Choosing the first murders both.



The Great Replacement Theory, beloved by conservative burning martyrs at FOX and throughout, can't happen fast enough.

Ah, but there is an antidote to the Great Replacement.
https://www.eastbaytimes.com/2021/09/29/what-is-going-on-at-fci-dublin-first-prison-guard-now-warden-charged-with-sexual-abuse-of-incarcerated-women/
Think about it. You have (white) prison guards rape (white) women in prison. Because rape is not a justification for an abortion, that gets you another white child. Figure an additional child every two years, for as long as the sentence lasts. You could pile up a whole lot of additional white children, and avoid the Great Replacement. Problem solved.

/disgusting sarcasm
But don't bet that the idea won't occur to them. If it hasn't already.

Yes, but like everything else republicans do, it kinda ruins sex for normal people, by which I mean everyone but them.

I'm sure the republican powers that be in Texas, when they see this, will be making regular visits to the women's prisons for a little rapey R&R and drinks all around on them for their kinky Christian base after they sue their imprisoned victims for pursuing medical help.

Another comment on the subject...

I swallowed a bit of bile and actually read that column. It was the usual Freidman pablum. Here's a quote:

"So, I repeat: Do Representative Josh Gottheimer, the leader of the centrist Democrats in the House, and Representative Pramila Jayapal, leader of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, have the guts to stop issuing all-or-nothing ultimatums and instead give each other ironclad assurances that they will do something hard?"

A couple things:
1. There was an agreement. The moderates broke it. Somehow this important fact goes unmentioned by mr. 'suck on this'.
2. The progressive caucus is on record that they will vote for both bills, but they need to advance together. The moderates have not made any such offer.
2. The progressives and the administration have trimmed their sails substantially in an effort to get the Big One up for a vote. What is the moderates counteroffer? Here it is: We don't want to talk about any of these programs that we really really want at this time. Trust us. Pass the potholes bill now, or we walk.

But of course it is the radical commies apparently are the big roadblock.

Like I said, pure pablum.

We would all be better off if the media would stop soft pedaling Manchin as a moderate and start calling him a conservative Democrat like he actually is. The Dems span both sides of the center and the GOP hasn’t sniffed the center in more than a decade.

Call them what they are.

Even the Guardian insists on this falsehood and it perpetuates and legitimates the lie that the GOP has not evolved into a radical right wing party.

https://www.vox.com/platform/amp/2021/9/30/22700697/house-progressives-infrastructure-vote

Not your mom’s progressives

Nobodaddy's fascists, however, for sure:

https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2021/10/claremont-ryan-williams-trump/620252/

Replace all republican murderers (they murder the Afghans in their own country and then fuck with them here) with Afghan refugees.

It will indeed be great.

Subhuman mealy-mouthed cuck Mitt Romney goes along with this barbarian conservative Trumpian pig shit, which will of course end with violence against the refugees by conservative armed operatives, just as gays, blacks, other immigrants, Jews in their synagogues, and any old liberal walking the streets is violently assaulted for crossing the uncompromising high principles of the racist, subhuman conservative movement.

The Afghan refugees become part of the 50% (most of us here are held in similar , low esteem by the conservative scum) of Americans the Claremont Institute regards as un-American and not fully capable of participating in the American experiment and therefore subject to the violent Civil War Claremont, FOX News, QAnon, the entire Republican establishment infesting all levels of governance, and their brownshirted base and their trigger fingers are preparing for us.

Nothing will blow over until it is blown up.

WRT the Atlantic article, I’ve recently read up some on Strauss and am currently reading a bunch of Levinas and Derrida (where he’s working through Levinas’ ideas). It’s ironic that the Claremont stooges are using one Jewish scholar deeply engaged in the Jewish Question to argue against two other Jewish scholars also working through the thorny questions of difference and hospitality and come out the other end like a swallowed penny, having not digested any of it and supporting Christian Dominionism dressed up as Western Chauvinism.

When I'm watching Congress making sausage, I try to keep in mind that the same maneuvering for position, and the same irritating compromises, have always been part of the process. It's more visible now; that's the world we live in today in many spheres. Recalcitrant members with personal agendas, whether ideological or career-oriented, are nothing new. Deadlines, delays, rescheduling? Also old news. Or it would be, if we'd been in a position to see it.

That doesn't keep me from being irritated (or disgusted) by some members behavior. But it does tend to keep me from both dispair and triumphalism. Time for that after the last batter is out. Because until then, we won't really know who won. (And maybe not for quite a while after that, in some cases.)

From the Claremont thing that nooneithink links to:

We disagree on what men and women are; on what human nature is; what rights are. That’s a real crisis.

That seems about right. And no small part of the crisis is the difficulty people like Ryan at Claremont have with sharing a world and a polity with people he disagrees with.

I was also struck by this:

But the courts and administrative agencies quickly turned against the color-blind, equal-opportunity vision of the founding and toward affirmative action—this calculation of current oppressor or past oppressor, and the pursuit of equity and social justice.

The "color-blind ... vision of the founding" declared that black people were 3/5 of a human. So I'm unclear on exactly what history and traditions Ryan is trying to preserve.

I'll also say that the "pursuit of equity and social justice" seems like a completely appropriate thing for the courts and administrative agencies to be doing.

More excerpts:

The counter from the left is that there’s systemic racism that has built up over years by certain legal systems. I would have to see some real proof of that. The main evidence seems to be that there are disparate results, thus there’s systemic racism.

Unclear to me what it would take to persuade this guy that we have a history of unequal treatment of black people, or that that history contributes to current-day inequities.

Some folks just don't want to know.

The Founders were pretty unanimous, with Washington leading the way, that the Constitution is really only fit for a Christian people.

Anybody else see a problem here?

The reality is that 'the founders' were not of one mind. About nearly anything. The reality is that slavery was baked into the Constitution at its writing, and it took a fncking horrendous war to un-bake it. And another 100 years of domestic terrorism and legal, de jure discrimination before the law of the land implemented what the outcome of that war demanded.

And FWIW I find it more than rich to listen to a guy who thinks the Constitution is only fit for a Christian nation talk about identity politics.

Everything he is selling is identity politics.

The US is, at the moment, a dysfunctional mess. There is no unity, there is no consensus, there is little if any common ground.

Claremont has no answer to this other than for their particular vision to dominate.

Manchin is demanding as part of his nebulous list of demands, that the Federal Reserve immediately taper its policy that has kept the American economy from collapsing these past few years.

One: Who the fuck does he think he is? The Fed is an independent body.

Two: Immediately removing the stimulus would crater the American economy, which already is slowing.

Three: This demand is bullshit from the get go as he already knows the Fed is embarking on a taper, free of his fucking advice, as they have already announced it will begin tapering in the near future in a responsible manner. Why doesn't he demand the sun rise tomorrow at Congress' will, and claim he caused it to rise?

Four: Prove to us Manchin that you are so horribly concerned about inflation. See your houseboat at noon tomorrow for half-price. Demand that the coal interests your coal-brokerage, the source of all of his self-interested corruption which he confuses with the general good of America, like all fucking conservatives do, immediately accept a 20% reduction in the price of coal for both energy and metallurgical uses.

Broker something for the American people instead of yourself, ya pig.

Christ, what a self-righteous conservative movement tool. He's the whore in the cat house the Republican Party trots out for its especially kinky clients, who love a trans-conservative Democrat who will bend over for their demands.

I am for Manchin's tax increases. I guess when he takes those to McConnell and the filth, he'll find out those cheap little handjobs he's been giving out gratis to the conservative caucus will be returned in the form of an anal gang bang.

Some folks just don't want to know.

The Founders were pretty unanimous, with Washington leading the way, that the Constitution is really only fit for a Christian people.
Anybody else see a problem here?

Pretty clearly he has never read any of, for example, Thomas Jefferson's writings on religion. Jefferson does probably count as Christian. But how many of today's loud Christianists would see him (more precisely, someone with his views) that way is another story.

As for Washington, there's this from the Mount Vernon Ladies’ Association, which manages Mount Vernon:

Shortly after his inauguration as president, religious communities began writing to Washington. He told these groups that the only being to whom Americans owed an explanation of their religious beliefs was God. When the Virginia Baptists wrote about their qualms that the new Constitution did not specifically guarantee freedom of religion, they went on to say that they knew they were in good hands with Washington at the head of the government. The President responded that he would never have signed the Constitution if he thought it would endanger the religious rights of any group.

There are some who believe that Washington was only speaking of religious freedom in regard to Christian denominations, but did not intend it to apply to other religions. To a Jewish congregation in Rhode Island, he noted that,

It is now no more that toleration is spoken of, as if it was by the indulgence of one class of people, that another enjoyed the exercise of their inherent natural rights. For happily the Government of the United States, which gives to bigotry no sanction, to persecution no assistance requires only that they who live under its protection should demean themselves as good citizens, in giving it on all occasions their effectual support"
Doesn't sound very "Christian only" to me.

Thomas Paine

Here's an interesting thought piece for you. Try to read the whole thing before writing your outraged response. A big problem for Democrats is they need more Joe Manchins, not fewer

Alex Jones admits to being a psychotic mess of a conservative republican animal:

https://www.cnn.com/2021/10/01/us/alex-jones-loses-sandy-hook-cases/index.html

He of course is lying about the psychosis as all serial killers do when confronted with personal responsibility.

I congratulate the decent families of the 20 children and six staff members at a fucking elementary school, for Christ' sakes, murdered by conservative gun policies carried out by a republican operative, who no doubt also lies about being crazy, for resisting the urge to track down Jones and his staff, and his family and his supporters, particularly in the Republican Party, including Donald Trump, with fully automatic weapons and riddling their bodies with bullets as revenge.

It illustrates that there is still a window of opportunity to use the proper, lawful, governmental channels to gain the frankly inadequate relief of judicial deliberation in this country against our mortal domestic enemies.

Martyr Jones will not pay the penalties, although he can well afford it from his grifting ivermectin and other horseshit businesses and he will be pardoned by the next Republican President, probably Trump, the day after Inauguration Day in 2025, so none of this good will hold and then extra-judicial channels will be wide open for fully justifiable furious revenge against all of the guilty parties, who are legion.

Here's an interesting thought piece for you.

The counter-example here is John Tester, who somehow finds a way to be a (D) Senator from a rural Western state that went for Trump by double digits, yet manages to not throw a wrench in the gears on a daily basis.

The (D)'s need more John Testers. They can live without more Manchins.

The (D)'s need more John Testers. They can live without more Manchins.

Actually, they need both. Especially if that's what it takes to avoid filibusters (should it, unfortunately, survive). Every addition makes it less likely that McConnell gets back in control.

Note that, as recently as 2020, Democrats held both the Governor's and Lt Governor's offices in Montana. So, not that bright a red state.

"Unclear to me what it would take to persuade this guy that we have a history of unequal treatment of black people"

Oh, it's SUPER-easy.
Just impose on him a chemical treatment that turns his skin semi-permanently black, then have him jog around in a lily-white rich southern neighborhood.

Or drive a fancy car. Or act "uppity" to a cop.

Just impose on him a chemical treatment that turns his skin semi-permanently black, then have him jog around in a lily-white rich southern neighborhood.

Or maybe just have him read or watch Black Like Me. Things are somewhat better now. But only somewhat.

ask him to count up all the state and local GOP party chairpeople who got busted sending racist emails of the Obamas.

what the Senate needs is to end the filibuster.

it's the reason a President's entire "agenda" gets shoved into giant reconciliation bills: they're the only bills that can avoid the filibuster.

"Summary

Background

The burden of fatal police violence is an urgent public health crisis in the USA. Mounting evidence shows that deaths at the hands of the police disproportionately impact people of certain races and ethnicities, pointing to systemic racism in policing. Recent high-profile killings by police in the USA have prompted calls for more extensive and public data reporting on police violence. This study examines the presence and extent of under-reporting of police violence in US Government-run vital registration data, offers a method for correcting under-reporting in these datasets, and presents revised estimates of deaths due to police violence in the USA.
...
For every decade from 1980 to 2019, the highest age-standardized mortality rate due to police violence by state occurred in non-Hispanic Black people. In 2010–19, the states with the highest rates of police violence towards non-Hispanic Black Americans were Oklahoma, Alaska, West Virginia, Utah, and the District of Columbia, whereas, in 2000–09, the states with the highest rates were Oklahoma, Nevada, Nebraska, Iowa, and Kansas. Oklahoma has among the highest rates of police violence against non-Hispanic Black Americans in the country, with a peak estimated age-standardized mortality rate of 12·20 deaths (5·36–23·19) per 100 000 in 1980 and a current rate of 3·05 deaths (1·82–4·59) per 100 000 in 2019. This aligns with extremely high rates of police violence in recent years as reported in the open-source databases, high under-reporting rates in the NVSS, and large peaks in police violence in the 1980s and 1990s in the NVSS."

Fatal police violence by race and state in the USA, 1980–2019: a network meta-regression

what the Senate needs is to end the filibuster.

Completely agree.

But whether that happens depends AFAICT on getting a larger Democratic majority in the Senate. Which, realistically, means electing Senators in purple, and even red, states. Which, in turn, means coming up with candidates who are more conservative than the average Democrat nationwide.

Articles like the WaPo one wj links to are good for testing assumptions and for asking if there are other ways of understanding the conflict, but I find their frameworks unconvincing as arguments for what the Democrats need because they treat the assumptions made as conditions for their re-framing as givens.

What if Manchin had supported the federal voting rights legislation the Dems had proposed instead of opposing it? How many of those state vote margins would have changed had more people been give the ability to vote? Would we still need more Manchins if he had, or would we be looking for more purple pro-labor Latinos like the Tio Bernie crowd?

Are Manchins an Eastern thing and Testers a Western thing? Does purple shift by region? Can't tell just by looking at vote margins.

So good for alternative perspectives, but better for deeper. more granular, more comparative analysis to give us a better sense of the actual sorts of political crises we face.

Actually, they need both. Especially if that's what it takes to avoid filibusters (should it, unfortunately, survive). Every addition makes it less likely that McConnell gets back in control.

Just having more Dems doesn't make passing legislation any more certain and doesn't help one bit with the filibuster if those Dems are going to take positions that go against the party consensus. All having them does is give the illusion of power and control.

What the Dems need is a Democratic Romney or Cheney, who makes a lot of noise about values but finds a way to vote for the party when it comes to a partisan showdown over legislation. If we had just two of those, we wouldn't need a single Manchin.

And no one but a lobbyist needs a single Sinema.

Just having more Dems doesn't make passing legislation any more certain and doesn't help one bit with the filibuster if those Dems are going to take positions that go against the party consensus.

I'm amazed that you can say that with a straight face. (You could equally well argue that just having more Republicans doesn't give McConnell more power.) It's blatant bullsh*t.

Sure, if you have more (relatively) conservative Democrats, you might be no more likely to directly get some of the things you want. On the other hand, your chances of getting something like a voting rights bill go way up. Which, down the line, gets you more states redistricted without Republican gerrymandering. Which, in turn, gets you more people in Congress who agree with more of the things you want.

In a perfect world, you could get progressives elected in West Virginia. But in the real world, you should be thanking God for Manchin -- simply because he is arguably the only reason that McConnell can't block even the things you are getting via reconciliation. Or would you rather be failing on getting even that little bit, if you can't have everything you want? (Which is, whether you intend it or not, what you come across as saying.)

Another point of reference against the founders intending a 'Christian nation' is the treaty of Tripoli which states explicitly that the US are not founded on any religion, in partuclar not Chritianity (stated there as a reason why there is no natural enmity between the US and the Muslim Barbary States).

Try to read the whole thing before writing your outraged response

Read it all. Don't see much reason to be outraged. More John Testers is fine by me (I actually kinda' like the guy, and as politicians go, he knows how to come across). More, say, from places like Ohio, Pennsylvania, maybe sneak one across the line in Florida or Maine. Of course you realize that if that happened, Senators from blue states would most likely tend to be 'bluer'(sic).

What we do not need are more Joe Manchins from places such as California, New York, or my state Washington.

and don't forget Wisconsin. Ron Johnson is not only a fascist pig, but an embarrassing fascist pig.

What we do not need are more Joe Manchins from places such as California, New York, or my state Washington.

Sure. But how likely is it that someone with Manchin's views could even survive a primary in those states? The challenge is getting more folks into the Senate from small, rural, conservative states -- of which there are a larger number than their share of the population.

I'm amazed that you can say that with a straight face. (You could equally well argue that just having more Republicans doesn't give McConnell more power.) It's blatant bullsh*t.

Nope. You can only pass the shit that your left/right most member will eat, and if you want to pass something with a filibuster you need to avoid putting shit on the plate that the member will not eat, otherwise they may as well be an independent.

How much leverage that gives you is dependent on whether you need to say yes to something or no.

So, yes, it helps for things like judicial appointments and cabinet positions as long as you aren't making demands on your members' dietary demands, but it is not a comparable situation for anything legislative.

wj
The challenge is getting more and better senators from just about every state...but if it is just about getting more Dems in the Senate, then picking of those borderline states (like Penn) would be great, even if the Dem is a turncoat piece of shit "moderate" (Evan Bayh comes to mind). The deep red rural states need good dems as well. But even the Joe Manchins of the world would need an earthquake type epic event to get those voters to come to the light of sweet reason (you know, the sweet reason I preach here constantly).

But don't take that as the same as throwing in the towel. We should always be there, pulling out whatever stops we have, and burning incense to the Black Swan Event.

Never give up. Never surrender. Fuck those guys.

don't take that as the same as throwing in the towel. We should always be there, pulling out whatever stops we have, and burning incense to the Black Swan Event.

Absolutely. Even though it may mean putting up a candidate who is less progressive than you would like. Get enough of those "less progressive" folks, and occasionally one of them may become the critical vote you need to get something done.

For the downside of not doing so, look no further than the California GOP. Years of demanding only far right candidates has turned them into an irrelevance in a state which was once safely Republican. The state changed a little, but not that much. It was rejecting those who didn't toe the line on everything which took them down.

wj - just a note to say that I don't blanket disagree with what you are saying, just that I don't think your position on this is relevant in these current circumstances.

And your "aim for what moderates want rather than what radicals want" principles completely apply here, it's just that the people posturing as moderates are the radicals, so your instinctual sympathies may be misplaced. By your principles they should be the ones to yield for the broadly popular progress within reach rather than torpedoing the whole deal.

Seems like a possible blind spot to me.

https://www.thedailybeast.com/oath-keepers-panicked-that-the-left-would-decapitate-them-after-failed-capitol-putsch

Prominent in the leak are paranoid email blasts from the group’s founder, Stuart Rhodes, who told members that the Biden White House was about to “conduct a ‘night of the long knives’ decapitation strike” on Oath Keepers under the guise of a massive power outage.

It's always projections with them

For the downside of not doing so, look no further than the California GOP.

I think one reason you are led astray (imho of course) is that you always view California as a microcosm of the US, so whatever happens in California goes for the rest of the country. Was it Perlman's observation that God basically tilted the country and everyone who wasn't nailed down ended up, like ball bearings, rolling to California? California has had highly visible diversification for certainly the last half of the 20th century, (my benchmark is the Dodgers move) and as such, makes much more sense to hew to the moderate line. In other places where diversity is not so visible (but is actually quite a lot, its just that you don't see it, you don't hear it being talked about and you don't celebrate it), you need something to move the needle. (For the benefit of the obtuse, 'moving the needle' does not mean intersectional LGBT takeover, however many wikipedia pages on the Frankfurt school you read)

nous' point about posturing also suggests how this all works: keep making this about 'moderation' while beefing up the systemic biases to prevent any meaningful change happening. You can do that, and if all hell breaks loose, you can say 'geez, why are they so angry?'.

Was it Perlman's observation that God basically tilted the country and everyone who wasn't nailed down ended up, like ball bearings, rolling to California?

I think it was loose nuts, not ball bearings...

I think one reason you are led astray (imho of course) is that you always view California as a microcosm of the US, so whatever happens in California goes for the rest of the country.

I don't think I'm doing that. Although I could just be too close to see it.

For example, I don't see the rest of the country going the way of California, necessarily. Certainly not on everything. But what I was trying to say was that the California GOP's narrowing of how much political/ideological diversity they would tolerate in their own ranks contains a warning for Democrats. They would be well advised not to make the same mistake from the opposite side.

The hockey pucks and loose screws ended up in Texas.

This morning I was going to write another longish comment about why the term “ moderate” needs to be fought—basically it appeals to the subconscious notion that moderates are nice people and “ extremists” yell in your face. Moderates are pragmatic, extremists are nutty Etc..,

But Adam Johnson did it for me.

https://thecolumn.substack.com/p/after-this-weeks-sinema-manchin-nihilist?justPublished=true

I would remind you that nihilism in pursuit of moderation is like having lice.

It's always projections with them

I figure somewhere between a fifth and a third of the country is straight-up barking mad.

True or not, it would explain a lot.

They would be well advised not to make the same mistake from the opposite side.

The Cali Republicans are coming from a particular context. While I draw lessons from what happens here in Japan, I don't want to suggest that American liberals take their the Japan left. That's an obviously extreme example, but I think you are falling into the same error, thinking that the context that the CA Republican party grows out of is the same nationwide as well as in the House and Senate. Yes, there is a 'warning' for Dems, but the Dems are not CA GOP. Unless you think that folks like Larry Elder, or the chunk of CA GOP QAnon friendly candidates that were endorsed by the state party are the functional equivalent of the Squad. And if you do think that, we need to explore why.

Again, my opinion on this, but Donald's article about moderation as a term to retire is on point here.

There was a previous comment about AOC being called 'kooky'. I'm sure that if she and other progressives become more threatening, they will pull out a bunch of other terms...

I'm obviously doing a terrible job of articulating my point, lj. Let me step back, and have another go.

The demise of the California GOP, in my opinion, stems from them collectively deciding that no candidate from their party would be acceptable for state office (executive or legislature) unless they adhere to ALL of a particular set of positions. As a result, they lose a lot. Republican candidates can and do win local elections, where the ideological straitjacket isn't as rigorously applied. But not higher offices.

The way I read the comments from some here (perhaps incorrectly), they would prefer to apply a similar approach to Democratic candidates. Totally different positions, of course, but the same insistance on conformity.

The thing is, the Senate is elected by state. And there are as many, or more, conservative states as progressive states. So for Democrats to control the Senate with any consistancy, they need candidates in red (and purple) states who can win with the voters there. That means you're looking at a bunch of fairly conservative Democrats.** Not necessarily on every issue (that's why they aren't Republicans), but on several critical-to-their-constituents issues.

That means, for example, that you either field a candidate in West Virginia who fights for the coal industry, or you concede the seat. You can maybe get someone who supports you on most other issues, but he's gotta oppose you there to get elected at all. Similarly in other states; different issues, but the same overall phenomena.

That's it: Insist on purity, or decide electability is more critical. You can work on changing opinions of the electorate, but that's going to take time. And, frankly, the country has too many issues which can't wait. So it's important to somehow elect people who will help you address as many of those as possible. Even if you don't get everything you would like.

** Then there are the folks, like Sinema, who are apparently only interested in their next career move. But they're a different story.

hi wj, appreciate you hanging in there, and I don't want to keep on. For me, the disjunct is this, in the vox article I linked to above, they had this

This move marks a huge shift in the way the CPC has used its power and what it has asked of its members. Prominent progressives have long argued that if even a subset of the caucus stayed united, it could influence major legislation and make ambitious policy demands — modeling themselves after methods used by groups such as the conservative Freedom Caucus and the moderate Blue Dog Coalition.

To get to that point, House progressives have had to think differently about congressional power as well as their own caucus. “It was a really important social club, for people with shared values to come together. But there wasn’t really any infrastructure built to support the organizing work,” CPC Chair Pramila Jayapal told Vox.

This thinking has been pushed by a new guard in the progressive caucus as well. “The thing that gives the caucus power is that you can operate as a bloc vote in order to get things done,” Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY)

There is the old Will Rogers joke, “I am not a member of any organized political party — I am a Democrat.” I'd suggest that Dems have something of a built in regulator on purity for most issues, so telling them not to succumb to purity tests, especially when it isn't on a particular issue, it is more as a general approach, misses the mark with me.

Now, I admit, we won't have peace in our time until we make everyone realize that the Judean People's Front are all wankers, but baby steps...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WboggjN_G-4&t=34s

I don’t buy the idea that you absolutely have to pander to right wing talking points to win elections in West Virginia. Krugman probably has it right here—

https://www.nytimes.com/2021/09/27/opinion/biden-centrist-democrats.html

I don’t doubt that, for instance, someone like AOC would have trouble winning in West Virginia, but could a white man with roots in West Virginia run on Biden’s economic platform and win? I think that is a different question. Even leaving racism aside, voters often like the type they could imagine having a beer with. This folksiness crap goes a long way. So it isn’t clear to me that a local West Virginian with moderately progressive economic views, maybe even from a coal mining family, couldn’t win in W Va if he was someone who they thought was one of their own. Probably not some leftist carpetbagger from out of state.


Put it another way. If Biden was from West Virginia, I think he could win in West Virginia as a senator. He’s got that white guy folksiness. He would be somewhat conservative, but he wouldn’t have to be as extreme as Manchin. There is quite a bit of space between Ilhan Omar and Joe Manchin.

Also, there’s no law that says a politician and his family have to benefit financially from connections to fossil fuels.

This folksiness crap goes a long way. So it isn’t clear to me that a local West Virginian with moderately progressive economic views, maybe even from a coal mining family, couldn’t win in W Va if he was someone who they thought was one of their own.

You could well be right. After all, that's precisely what Manchin has done. (I realize you don't see his economic views as "moderately progressive." But compared to what you'd probably see out of West Virginia otherwise, I'd say they qualify.)

But someone even more progressive? Might work -- but how big a risk are you willing to run? Might be an idea to field test it in some races for less critical offices first. Which would have the added benefit that it might shift WVa's local Overtorn window to the left.

But compared to what you'd probably see out of West Virginia otherwise, I'd say they qualify.)

I'm not so sure.

Might be an idea to field test it in some races for less critical offices first.

The assumption lying behind this statement is simply not true.

Might be an idea to field test it in some races for less critical offices first.

The assumption lying behind this statement is simply not true.

I'm not clear what it is you think I am (incorrectly) assuming. Please advise.

I remember the good old days when Tsar Nicholas fell from power and the "moderates" decided that continuing a disastrous war was in Russia's best interests..

...or that time when the center right parties in Weimar Germany thought that throwing their lot in with the Nazis was to correct political strategy to defang the Social Democrats.

Sometimes moderation is not really moderate. It is driven by self interest as much as other political actors, and they, too, are prone to making politically disastrous decisions. They have demonstrated many times that they are perfectly capable of making their perfect the enemy of the greater good.

When self styled moderates whine about the cost of stuff like the "Green New Deal" but routinely support $3/4 trillion annual defense expenditures, it's telling me that they are not actually serious. They are deluded.

Moderates

wj,

You call yourself "conservative". Manchin is way more conservative than you are. So my first thing is: "moderate" is a weasel word.

The voters of MAGAt-red West Virginia presumably applaud things like this ...

Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia told reporters on Thursday that he is not a liberal as he calls for the Biden administration's $3.5 trillion reconciliation bill to be pared down to $1.5 trillion.

"I've never been a liberal in any way, shape or form," Manchin told reporters outside the US Capitol. "There's no one that's ever thought I was. I've been governor, I've been secretary of state, I've been in the state legislature, I've been a US senator, and I hope voted pretty consistently all my whole life."

... although the next bit may perplex them a little:
"I don't fault any of them who believe that they're much more progressive and much more liberal. God bless them," he said. "And all they need to do, we have to elect more, I guess, for them to get theirs — elect more liberals."
Yes, Joey, that's what we have to do: liberate you to be the Republican you always wanted to be. And not just a McConnell Republican, or even a MAGAt, but the Christianist mullah God created you to be:
Outside of the U.S. Capitol building on Wednesday evening, Manchin briefly spoke to National Review:

National Review: Senator, you’ve been very firm on keeping the Hyde amendment on the appropriations bills. Are you concerned about that issue at all in reconciliation—

Manchin: Certainly—

NR: —with this new Medicaid program?

Manchin: Yeah, we’re not taking the Hyde amendment off. Hyde’s going to be on.

NR: In the new Medicaid program?

Manchin: It has to be. It has to be. That’s dead on arrival if that’s gone.

Force (poor) women to bear children so there will be more people to suffer the fuss and bother of a climate whose degradation you are too greedy and too old to care about. That's Joey's "moderate" position.

He's a pig, but a shrewd, level-headed pig, who knows how to cater to his constituents. So maybe that's all "moderate" means, in modern American English.

--TP

I'm not clear what it is you think I am (incorrectly) assuming. Please advise.

The implication, as I read that statement, is that "field tests" of progressives running for other offices in W Va. has not or is not occurring. Such an assumption is simply not the case.

it's telling me that they are not actually serious. They are deluded.

they don't share your priorities.

The implication, as I read that statement, is that "field tests" of progressives running for other offices in W Va. has not or is not occurring. Such an assumption is simply not the case.

Thank you for the clarification. And the information.

If such progressives have been running, have they been winning? In sufficient numbers to suggest that a progressive Senate candidate would win? If so, then you're good to go. But if not....

according to this, GA's two new D Senators are both in the top four most liberal Senators.

Sinema and Manchin are #49 and #50.

nine months probably is enough data to by, though.

they don't share your priorities.

lol. fair enough. i'll remember that the next time you excoriate the GOP.

damn

lol. fair enough. i'll remember that the next time you excoriate the GOP.

always keeping your eyes on the prize.

WV is the 4 most conservative state (Gallup, 2018). 68% of WVs voted for Trump, both times. only 16% of WVs say they're "liberal". no "progressives" will be elected Senator there in my lifetime.

that Manchin got elected as a Dem says more about the fact that we have a two party system and Manchin picked the D label in a state where "southern Democrat" still had its old meaning than it does about WV's willingness to support anything to Manchin's left. Manchin ran, as Governor, to get Robert Byrd's seat when Byrd died.

the Dems need to aim for places like NC, PA, FL or ME and just accept that a Dem from WV is an echo of days long past.

Well, I think it is partly a Senate that rewards incumbency and long service in a way that needs to be taken up.

WV needs someone like Tester
https://www.nytimes.com/2018/10/22/us/politics/jon-tester-montana-senate-trump.html

the Dems need to aim for places like NC, PA, FL or ME and just accept that a Dem from WV is an echo of days long past.

Yes. The Ds don't need more Manchins, they need more Dems of whatever stripe is supportable in the purple state they can win, where there is a chance that the public will not just vote for the D candidate, but back broadly popular public policy that Dems propose. And they need to run strong candidates with good communication skills in states that are on the verge of turning more purple, especially in districts that haven't been gerrymandered to make them perpetually safe for the GOP (the real travesty that must be stopped).

An occasional bit of support from Manchin will do nothing to move the nation back towards a reasonable political center and stop our rightward slide because Manchin, like WV is still to the right of our current center.

Accept the gifts of the unicorn when they come, but don't rely on them. They are not loyal or reliable.

Accept the gifts of the unicorn when they come, but don't rely on them. They are not loyal or reliable.

Not just accept them, but occasionally thank God for the blessing. Not because things can't be better, but because they could so easily be substantially worse.

they need to run strong candidates with good communication skills in states that are on the verge of turning more purple, especially in districts that haven't been gerrymandered to make them perpetually safe for the GOP (the real travesty that must be stopped).

All that and more. The Democrats number 1 priority, from 2026 (if not earlier) must be to overcome the existing gerrymandering in state legislatures in order to prevent the same disaster after the 2030 census as Democrats experienced after the 2010 and 2020 ones. Whatever kinds on registration drives and building up the on-going enthusiasm that will turn out voters that may require.

It won't be easy, of course, because in a lot of places the deck is stacked against them. But in places like Florida and Texas (and others) it is far from impossible. And it's absolutely critical going forward.

David Brooks tries to control the "fury" I have predicted will be unleashed in a tidal wave against the domestic enemies of America.

https://www.nytimes.com/2021/09/30/opinion/federal-spending-democrats.html

Who are those masked, genocidal murderers?

https://www.mediamatters.org/fox-news/behind-scenes-glimpse-fox-news-reveals-extent-its-masking-policy

Kill FOX.

David Brooks has taken a first step on the road to Damascus. Praise Allah.

This is about right, too:

https://digbysblog.net/2021/10/03/back-to-brownies/

Sullivan makes a reasonable point.

between talk of government shutdowns and the bipartisan infrastructure framework (BIF) and Build Back Better (BBB) and $3.5 trillion and other Washington-ese, the public does not know which is which or what is on the line for them.
and
The public doesn’t care about process. They just want to know what’s in it for them.
The difficulty, of course, is that "what's in it for them" won't be certain until the final bill gets voted on. Which is true of every budget bill, every year. (Unless, of course, the party has a big enough majority and the party leaders strong enough control, that they can decide from the get-go what they will include and then just ram it thru as is. Which isn't the usual situation.)

One more thing we need to do: improve civics education, so the public really understands how legislative things get done.** Things may have changed, but when I was taking high school Civics, the emphasis was on how the system ideally works. Rather than on how it works in the real world. We need more than that.

** Which might be seriously embarrassing for a lot of politicians. But perhaps we could stress the miracle the sometimes good stuff gets thru anyway.

More grist for the mill

https://theintercept.com/2021/10/02/gottheimer-congressional-progressive-caucus-infrastructure/

At the end of August, Gottheimer and a gang of eight other House members used their leverage to force Pelosi to schedule a vote on the infrastructure bill that had already passed the Senate with a bipartisan majority. The group of conservative Democrats hoped to cleave it off from the broader reconciliation package, which includes steep tax hikes on the rich and robust social spending.

But come Friday, Gottheimer was the lone name on the statement after, according to Politico’s Heather Caygle, no one else from his “unbreakable nine” would sign on. Later that evening, a Republican representative said one angry Democrat called Pelosi a “fucking liar” for not putting the bill on the floor, and there was little question about the identity of that angry Democrat.

The goal of Gottheimer’s group had been to pass the infrastructure bill and then train their fire on the bigger bill. Free the hostage, then blow up the insurgents. Their demand went against the grain of the Democrats’ two-track strategy, but Pelosi conceded by giving them a date for the infrastructure floor vote: September 27.

Gottheimer and some of his allies then huddled with the dark-money group No Labels, which finances their campaigns and was instrumental in organizing the opposition. “You should feel so proud, I can’t explain to you, this is the culmination of all your work. This would not have happened but for what you built,” Gottheimer told them, according to a recording of the conversation obtained by The Intercept. “It just wouldn’t have happened — hard stop. You should just feel so proud. This is your win as much as it is my win.”

Rep. Kurt Schrader, D-Ore., former chair of the right-wing Blue Dog Coalition, celebrated that the victory would let them focus next on fighting the reconciliation package, which he told the group he opposed. “Let’s deal with the reconciliation later. Let’s pass that infrastructure package right now, and don’t get your hopes up that we’re going to spend trillions more of our kids’ and grandkids’ money that we don’t really have at this point,” Schrader said.

But House progressives quickly responded, vowing to block the bill — to hold the line — if it came to the floor without the broader spending bill. Gottheimer remained confident over the next several weeks, saying privately that he was sure the progressives would fold. On September 27, it was clear that there weren’t enough votes to pass the bill, and Pelosi pulled it from the floor, rescheduling it for a September 30 showdown.

As someone somewhere said, read the whole thing

how it works in the real world. We need more than that.

** Which might be seriously embarrassing for a lot of politicians.

...following a field trip to a sausage factory?

"educational"?, surely. Nauseating, probably.

Been reading the articles linked here from Sully and The Intercept, but not commenting much. Glad they were posted, but don't have time ATM to wade in to any discussion/disagreements. Too much early term work for classes and for union stuff going on.

Instead, I've been reading Levinas, and Derrida meditating on Levinas, and thinking about just how much of the "deconstructive, postmodern, critical theory secular relativism" that the right bitches about is actually a deem meditation on ethics grounded in Jewish religious philosophy. At its heart it is an argument for why we owe a duty of hospitality to those not like us, which seems an odd ground from which to build a totalitarian threat.

Anyway, back to reading and to prepping for this coming week's classes.

an argument for why we owe a duty of hospitality to those not like us, which seems an odd ground from which to build a totalitarian threat.

If you are ardent about nobody being able to tell you to do anything, or expect you to do anything, then having any kind of "duty" is necessarily a totalitarian threat.

Which is nonsense. Except if you believe in anarchy when it comes to doing what you want to do, but the opposite when it comes to forcing others to do what you think they should.

'a deem meditation'
Usually, I can figure out if it is a typo or a word I don't know, but I've never seen deem as an adjective.

From our previous discussion when his name came up, I've been dipping into Levinas a bit, very interesting stuff.
https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/levinas/

https://talkingpointsmemo.com/news/gods-will-is-being-thwarted-even-in-solid-republican-counties-hard-liners-seek-more-partisan-control-of-elections

There will be savagely violent civil war.

The genocidal election-stealing god that infests subhuman fascist conservative Texas will be shot in his many heads.

Stop all commie republican corporate subsidization of employment-destroying technology:

https://finance.yahoo.com/m/3d0a8fe5-f8a8-3ef4-9d82-cd58c1988d06/robots-are-hiding-27-million.html

Double and triple the software robots' unemployment benes, food stamps, healthcare subsidies, and prevent them from being vaccinated to incentivize them to stay out of the workforce to make way for real humans, not those fake job-killing free market corporate humans.

God, America is a piece of self-serving shit.


Kind of a challenge to keep track of the level of insanity over covid that is still out there. But this gives a glimmer of how it's playing out with schools reopening.
https://www.thecut.com/2021/09/school-nurses-covid.html

https://digbysblog.net/2021/10/04/bannons-back-actually-he-never-left/

'A deem meditation' = a deep meditation plus some deeply incompetent thumb typing.

Think I need to pick up a copy of Totality and Infinity. I’m beginning to think that most of the 20th C.’s most consequential philosophy and a big chunk of The Culture Wars comes down to Levinas and Strauss arguing over Schmitt.

And those money hiding robots are several orders of magnitude less crooked with their financial shenanigans than what South Dakota is allowing, according to the Pandora Papers.

ahhh, didn't think it would be on the end. Thanks

hi nous, lj:

do you have any reading suggestions regarding Levinas? Thanks

Recommendations by dint of it being easy to get, the Oxford Handbook on Levinas and the Cambridge Companion to Levinas are both up at genesis library

The Cambridge is fun for me because there were a couple of really interesting takes on Levinas and language

I’m a Levinas noob, but Entre Nous (no relation) seems like a good collection. I’m looking at T&E because it’s the book that Derrida looks most deeply into when developing his thoughts about hospitality and autoimmunity in Adieu, Levinas.

T&I, Totality and Infinity, not T&E.

Thanks

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