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March 09, 2020

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A week ago I was still betting that Bernie would triumph on Super Tuesday and roll unimpeded to the nomination. Thank Gaia that inevitability died an early death. Factions are self-limiting in a two-party system because there simply isn't a space for ideology that parliamentary systems permit. This means differences have to be blurred to create a winning majority. Berniacs, for some odd reason, have a difficult time with this concept and often resort to name-calling ("neoliberal", "establishment stooge", "corporatist") to express their frustration. But the more specific you get, the more exposed you are to critiques and worries from various nonbelievers. Zealots have a very easy time convincing themselves, of course, but the history of cults almost always demonstrates how necessarily insular they must become in order to maintain group think. I was never prouder to be a Democrat than seeing my party reject the contagion of populism last week.

Joe Biden's age worries me and it will probably be the biggest headwind the Democrats face this fall. I'm resigned to defending him damaged as he is because there is no other choice. Trump is the greatest individual disaster in our nation's history. He personifies the absolute worst traits a would-be leader can posses, from smug ignorance to insane self-regard. He who cannot love cannot lead. For all of Biden's many faults, he is fully human unlike the emotional train-wreck that is Trump. The coronavirus/recession might be the Black Swan event that finally rids us this putrid fraud.


Tepid...is so much more a compelling word than lukewarm. Oddly, as i age, i find comfort in words. Some speak more on an emotional level than others.

I suspect most of us reading this site and your writing JT enjoy/appreciate words and the way you make them sing at times. Thanks for the article and the accompanying links. My sense there are many of us feel the same about the recently paired down list. Unexcited.

Sullivan's piece may be most on point; the democrats appeared to have done what the republican's failed to do in 2016. Perhaps that is the extent of our solace at this moment. Once we get down to the election that should change.

The fervor to save trump or dump trump will ramp everything up 10 fold. I can't imagine there being much middle ground. I say that and smile, only because when the results are tabulated in November, half of the eligible voters will likely stay home. That would be pathetic.

My hope was always some shining star would appear and save the democratic party from themselves. Someone without baggage; smart, energetic and dare i say younger. Lord knows we need someone who can put this country back together again.

While Bloomberg was a bust, his billions may well be the X factor. How fitting would that be given most of us having total disdain for Citizen's United? I was hopeful MB was the guy, but his limits/weaknesses were quickly exposed.

If it comes down to Joe and the donald, it will be a butt ugly race and campaign. But then with trump, anyone nominated would be used as a punching bag. I expect Bloomberg's money and political machine to "counter-punch" him every step of the way.

Again, thanks for your thoughts, really looking forward to comments from those who read the site. They are the best.

In 2016, I thought Clinton would win. I winced, remembering her vote for the Iraqi war, but I was convinced that all progress was slow and took time.

Then, Trump pulled off the shocking win. I was quiet for weeks, unsure of what to think, what to say. I knew how dangerous he was, how he had zero moral compass, how he could be, in Michael Moore's words, "the last President of the United States".

Somehow it is fine to lurch hard and fast to the right in these United States. A massive tax break for the wealthy? Cool. Separate children from their families? Eh, my 401k is fine, no big deal. On and on the roll backs go and Americans argue whether we should have the balls to provide health care for all or not. No one asks how you pay for a war, but they want line items on how to pay for health care.

I no longer subscribe to the idea that positive change can only be slow. I know that Americans can adapt quickly. We saw it in WW2, the Moon Race, electrification and Television, and to the adaptation of the internet.

I think Biden will lose to Trump. I think Bernie would be isolated by his own party if he won- something the GOP didn't do to Trump.

Well said, Rogue. I already hear Bernie's cult caterwauling about how he is being screwed in the primaries...yet somebody is casting those votes for someone else. Just like Trump, the game is rigged they howl!

As I expected, the cultists can't be bothered to look up from their "devices" and get off their asses and vote, they haven't shown up in the primaries and that's why he will lose. So much for his claim he will turn out the masses.

And I expect they will behave as they did in the last election. If Bernie isn't the candidate, they will stay home and pout,not even a third party candidate to cast their "protest vote" for. I even heard a millennial I know say he would vote for Trump if Bernie isn't the nominee...

Dog
And if "Little Joe " dosen't pull off a Bonanza and loses to the Orange elephant, you will say?

Looks like Bernie wins that prize from Cuba's Raul Castro. A year rent free in Hemingways house.

I kinda like the wind swept streets of Bayamo.

Trump wins if things hold. Nature backs off and US Frackers work a deal with Putin and MBS. He will get the upper income tax break folks. The white evangelists. Religious black folks strongly oppoed to homesexuals and abortion. The white supremists.
But more important as my old deceased campfire host would say, i aint voting for anyone that uses words with more than four letters.
Its up to Bloomberg, Steyer, Never Trumper GOP'ers and a HUGE turn out to take i wanna be King Don, down.

NOW. Its all about the VP.

How many write ins will Tulsi get?

I want to congratulate Bernie Sanders on winning the North Dakota primary. A virtually all-white state came through for the Revolution! No African American stooges for the establishment to skew the result toward neoliberal corporatist sellouts!

Soleri. North Dakota.
I anticipate an attack but here goes anyhoo.

Hmmm. Open voting? (GOP)
And the indigenous folks?
Poverty level?
Medicare for all.
Or just good ole Bernie Bros?
Lets hear it! Biden/Clinton.

I am working on getting a ride from Bayamo to Hemingways Cuban House to hang out with Bernie as he writes his memoirs.

I think if Biden runs as nothing more than a decent human being as his platform, he crushes Trump.

Klobuchar as VP would be worth the price of admission, just to watch sycophant Pence trying to deal with a woman in a confrontational setting. Plus, she was probably the best presidential candidate in the field.

Dog, you didnt answer my question if the Orange one wins?
Join a new party started by Bernie Bros?
Join an Oregon Ken Kesey commune?
Go into exile?

Good post, JT.

Anecdotal evidence is dubious but I've talked to a lot of people about this. I've been surprised at how many said essentially the same thing. They want to win and they thought Sanders would lose so they voted for Biden. Me too.

There are too many major variables to make reliable predictions at the moment but I certainly don't see any reason for pessimism.

Cal, if your cult forms its own party, it will be as irrelevant as the Greens are now. Let me pay Bernie this compliment, however: he knew that in order to win he would necessarily have to hijack a serious political party since third parties never win. In other words, he's saner than many if not most of his followers. His problem is that despite his heady brew of "revolution" and free stuff, he couldn't convince a majority of Democrats to adopt his One True Faith. This has predictably led to the left's heavy breathing about burning down the DNC and the "establishment". Note to zealots: you can go third party and still lose because 1968-style socialism is hardly a majority taste in America.

Soleri. Not my cult.
I post to get response.
It works.
"Gas stations used to pour oil down the sewer and mines left tailings on hillsides" and Democrat politicians keep voting for war.
Will Biden be different?
Now that he is old.
Regardless the orange alien must go and maybe more important Democrats need to keep the House and take the Senate.

Note. The South Dakota winter visitors near me tend to be avid Trumpers. Bernies small vote count seemed to me to be the poor and the indigenous. But snarkism is currently popular.

Note: so far no Coronavirus reported in Cuba (or Uruguay). And Cuba has no Monsanto, Pfizer, Lucky Luciano or Trump tower.

But Donald if you lose the election there is a McDonald's on Guantanamo.

Since the Traitor-in-Chief doesn't listen to anything except the voices echoing inside his empty head, praising his every action, once he finishes botching the Corona virus response, causing some of his acolytes to meet their just rewards, and the economy contracts another 15-20 percent, he and his vile family and corrupt administration will be consigned to the ash heap of history.

Then, just like the aftermath of the second Bush's debacle, a Democrat will be expected to put the pieces back together. This time, hopefully, the guilty will be punished.

First address Climate Change and environmental policy. (Remember GOP and Republican Nixon and the EPA).
Give Greta a medal. Free Manning, Winner, Assange and bring Snowden home. Close Guantanamo. Review immigration approvals from Slovenia. Relax travel to Cuba. Save the Amazon from Bolsonaro. No more military involvements without approval of Congress. Including CIA clandestine operations. Complety re-do FISA.
Well thats a beginning if we survive Corona with no salt and lime.

I know. We wouldn't be here if Hillary won. But that didnt happen. So to the barricades.

Cal, now you tell us.

Runaway populism won't save us from its own creation, Donald Trump (or maybe even a left-wing demagogue). Mass demonstrations will not cure us of ourselves. We have a man-baby and his personality cult leading the world's leading advanced economy. What could possibly go wrong? We're seeing in real time what happens when citizen-vandals vote as if the only thing that matters is burning down the house of democracy in a fit of pique. Thanks, but I think I'll pass on yet one more emotional release.

I don't know about you guys, but i for one am resting way easier after trump's speech last night. He's clearly seen the light and is on top of his game when it comes to COVID 19.

It should come as no surprise though, given the medical experts who were so impressed by how well the stable genius understood the virus with virtually no forehand knowledge. Natural assimilation i guess.

Part of my excitement stems from knowing Steven Miller and Jared the great were the speech writers. Between the quality of the words crafted and trumps ability to read them with such passion, we should all sleep better for weeks to come.

It all grows clearer every day: ANYBODY BUT tRUMP. If Joe and bernie drop over from the big one, i might even vote for Tulsi what's her name.

I heard. Is this true?
Trump had more primary votes than all the Democrats combined.
Not since Reagan!
The Ides of March!

Corona Virus with a lemon.
Were ok.
Jared is researching it?
Will give slow Mike his findings.

Gabbard might be ok. If you believe Hillary. Tulsi sleeps with Putin.
Vladimir is everything Trump isnt.
In good athletic shape.
Schooled and understands and practices military and spy and political stuff.
Has an emotional Mother Country side coupled with a killers instincts.
Has more money than Donald and holds Trump and Kushner IOU's.

Soleri. Tiring at 73.
Mass demonstrations do work. Check with the French. Recall Kent State. Tunisa.
Break out your bicycle. Pedal into the headwind. The ride home will be emotional.

But then we get idle and the psychopathic greed monsters gain back control.

I have never been a fan of the stock market. Fixed leaglized gambling.

Enough for now. Need to give it 6 weeks to see how accurate Malthus was.
The desert will win.

On another front. Bear and Deer have invaded the highly dangerous density of downtown Seattle. Plus Coronavirus is causing an economic crunch with Seattle sex workers. Donald dont care. Nor does his Amazon destroying parroting clone, Bolsonaro.
Is there still a tv show,
"As The World Turns?"
Its been 34 months since i turned my tv on.
Too much fake stuff.

Cal, I'm not contemplating what happens if Trump wins at this point, I'm choosing a more positive focus for now.

All I know is that if half the electorate is half as fatigued as I am at the vile rhetoric, compulsive lying, schoolyard braggadocio, and the gross incompetence, he will get the bum's rush. Hmm, that may be the most appropriate use of that expression ever...

Damn Cal; never know if i want to slash my wrists or start drinking again after 40 plus years sober. Sometimes you make me laugh, others i sink into despair.

Mercifully common sense grabs me by the throat and i click on my bookmarked link Democracy (is coming to the USA) by Leonard Cohen). Snaps me right out of it.

From his Live in London album: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ifwtWF485HU

RIP Leonard.

PS. If i was the democratic party i would buy the rights to the song. I'd hire Springsteen to record it and blast it every time Joe stepped on the stage. Besides an upper, it would cut down on his time at the mic.

Ok, Dog and Bill. Google this.
Kathy Gilsinan at the Atlantic,
Never Trump article.

Note: Trump power envy. Vladimir Putin today is setting himself up as King for life as his pals push new legislation.
At this time only Russias organized crime oligarchs could be a threat to Vladimir.
As there are to Donald and Jared.
See New Yorker article.

This is how a president speaks:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kMxokey64pU

I'm impressed. He did a really good job. Nice touch offering to let trump use any or all of the plan.

The other day i snapped on Tucker Carlson, just to see how they were covering this mess. Low and behold, he was talking about the media trying to explain Joe's gaff's with his stuttering.

He was nearly perfect in his speech. It's what i would expect from anyone elected to serve the country. Sadly, we know this kind of a speech isn't in trump's DNA.

It's a commonplace to assert that the president has one primary responsibility: to embody our national unity. This is something Trump cannot do on his best day because he's an insecure narcissist mired in an internal drama of Good Guy (himself) and Bad Guys (anyone who threatens his fragile ego). He cannot think outside this cramped box because it has framed his entire life. Increasingly, the GOP is caught in the same trap. A party in thrall to such a damaged human being as Trump is caught in a vortex of its own construction.

What keeps us sane in a national crisis? Knowing we're not alone, trust in our institutions, and informed, consistent leadership. What is most damaging is not merely a president with little to no empathy and conscience but an attitude where everything that is wrong is somebody else's fault. If your political viewpoint is starkly binary, you will fight a holy war to vanquish the the infidels on the other side and establish the One True Faith. For the right, this is mostly a cultural battle. On the left, it's mostly economic. Both are toxic because they feed the delusion that reality is black and white instead of thousand shades of gray.

Politics that is a binary drama opens an abyss that swallows complexity, tolerance, and necessary doubt. Joe Biden takes a lot of heat for saying Republicans are not the enemy and once Trump is gone will regain their sanity. He is probably too sanguine in his analysis but it does underscore this existential necessity: we must find our way back to a broad consensus reality because the alternative is killing us. We will not survive as a nation when half of America is the enemy. It's impossible. Yes, extreme partisanship can win elections and fervent cult followings, but it will also destroy our ability to reason and compromise. Patriotism means loving your country, warts and all. Being permanently jazzed on righteousness, by contrast, is the solipsism of the mob.

I agree and
https://lithub.com/what-we-can-learn-and-should-unlearn-from-albert-camuss-the-plague/

Cal, I read that essay and it's a good primer on the human mind and its ability to rationalize away inconvenient catastrophes.

Here's some Good News from Peter Wehner at The Atlantic: The Trump Presidency is Over: https://www.theatlantic.com/ideas/archive/2020/03/peter-wehner-trump-presidency-over/607969/?fbclid=IwAR3GbMcckU6bm3q9QluZ80DFYIij7CqcRezxhCz0Y1Hqqi2qWFzIx-7zSkI

This post (and comments) began with the Democratic Primary. In four days, we've advanced to a national calamity that may well include the effective end of a rogue presidency.

Thanks Soleri.
There has been no "Presidency" since the takeover by the Russian Asset.
At 80 i get to have a conspiracy or two.
And clap for the Lincoln Project.

Soleri, once again you nailed at.

In these times I choose to pay attention to Winston Churchill's assessment: "Americans will always do the right thing--but only after they have exhausted all the other alternatives."

Trump's epitaph:

"No, I don't responsibility at all"

3/13/2020

Self-inflicted gunshot to the head; administered repeatedly over about a 2 week period.

Thanks soleri, brilliant summations.

Silent Spring
Rachel Carson to Greta Thornberg.
If you are over sixty and can read you knew this catastrophe was coming. You and I and Technology and politicians failed for 60 years to pick up the pieces and put them together. So now we have Humpty Dumpty at the helm and about to fall off his wall.
In 58 I got tossed out of ASU for playing pool at the MU and failing all my classes. But I got one A in an English class in Old Main while sitting next to the beautiful
Ms. Lux of Goodyear.
As I recall I had recently finished reading a history of Thomas Malthus and was attempting to understand language by hanging out with the large book, Science and Sanity by some dude named Alfred. . The A came on a paper I wrote on population and disasters.
I left and got a job running the sweet potato sheds for Carol Arthur farms in Glendale and moved on to collecting milk samples for the state of Iowa.
But I knew or at least suspected back in 58 that more people were going to mean more problems. I think the ASU rat study looked at that regarding housing projects.
So I guess I failed. I should have been manning the barricades and carrying Rachel’s messages. So Greta has it. I am sure she is much more qualified.

Will Trump try and postpone the election?

And lest we not forget,Reporters, Journalists, Whistle Blowers and true patriots, I would hope the elections, free Julian Assange, Leave Chelsea Manning alone and bring Edward Snowden home.

Cal, the essay about Camus was interesting. I've already felt the increased sense of isolation. The author correctly notes that we have the internet, as previous generations didn't, and it provides a tie, however imperfect, to the people we're cut off from.

Woodward's book Fear is amazing when you think about the number of folks working at the White House and their efforts to keep a lid on trump. Over time, almost all of them have moved on from crazyville.

The new C or D listers he has now as advisors are little more than sycophants hoping to gain favor. Can you imagine what the book would read like over the past 6 months?

On page 244 following a speech Rob Porter helped trump with following the Charlottsville debacle and his effort to clarify he screamed at him: "That was the biggest fucking mistake I've made. You never make those concessions. You never apologize. I didn't do anything wrong. Why look weak?"

Sound familiar?

On a lighter note; anyone read Louise Penny's Inspector Armand Gamache series? I just bought the 15 book lot set to help get me through the summer.

Summer in the Sonoran Desert is not fiction. Its the best of times!
Ask the Dust.

Re; Armand Gamache - yep, he's a breath of cold air. Good escapism for Rogues of all sorts.

Thanks tt. Looks like Sun City is shutting down its rec centers (finally ) and so i will buy an elliptical and spend the summer in the back yard reading and working out in seclusion. Nice.

What is with all the Bernie and Progressives bashing? What could go wrong? Biden gets elected with a Democrat Congress and screws us again just like the revered Obama did. Have we forgotten the corporate bailout, the foreclosures, the losing wars, the attack on journalism outside the cable news, the 1000s of civilians droned to death and disability, the utter waste of national treasure bending oil rich countries to our will, supersizing the military, making nukes large and small, the funneling of all wealth upwards to a craven few? Evidently. But Democrats will make it all better? It will be their last chance. I will bet against it.

E-dog,

Add to you list that Obama/ big pharma sold us out and gutted our essential drug manufacturing capability. China could cut us off and thus kill many Americans.

The RNC and DNC will be the death of this country.

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