Good Day Sky Dancers!
The weirdest news of the day continues to be the lines at Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods as white burbies do their panic hording of toilet paper. Did I miss the memo on the magical impact of Northern and Scott to keep them ensconced in the white burbie bubble? Panic buying is just one of things that make us human, I guess. I’ve stocked up on a few things myself now but only because I’m convinced they’ll run the store empty and my plan is to go out as little as possible.
There’s nothing quite like the behavior of panicky humans—especially when it comes to hoarding. Let a blizzard approach or a hurricane churn toward shore, and we descend on stores, buying up more batteries, bottled water and canned foods than we could use in a lifetime. We’re seeing the same thing again as America hunkers down against the novel coronavirus, and of all of the products that are being snatched up the fastest, there’s one that’s in special demand: toilet paper.
The Washington Post reports a run on the rolls, with both Costco and the Giant supermarket chain stripped all but clean. Even Amazon’s physical stores “appeared to be down to single rolls of novelty toilet paper in some places Friday,” the Post said. The New York Times similarly reports from a Whole Foods supermarket in Somerville, Mass., where shoppers had to be limited to two packages of toilet paper each, lest they strip the store bare.
But why? What is it about toilet paper—specifically the prospect of an inadequate supply of it—that makes us so anxious? Some of the answer is obvious. Toilet paper has primal—even infantile—associations, connected with what is arguably the body’s least agreeable function in a way we’ve been taught from toddlerhood. Few, if any of us, remember a time when we weren’t acquainted with the product.
Ir’s no wonder that I just got emails from my German students telling me their government has told them to get out of the US. That’s right, the German government has decided it’s not safe for them to be here. I’m assuming they fully believe that it’s just a matter of time before US hospitals are overwhelmed. It hasn’t stopped US college students from partying on dude.
A lot played out this weekend but the adult playpen areas like Bourbon Street, Nashville, and Ft Lauderdale continued to party on dude even as the major events for the tourist traps of America were shut down. Student in Tulane were filling the campus’ dumpsters with furniture and home appliances as they were tossed out of their dorms. Still, the first death in New Orleans of Covid19 didn’t stop wall to wall humanity on Bourbon Street or the Irish Channel despite that St Joseph’s an St Patrick’s parade being cancelled and all sporting events were cancelled. The mayor finally sent the police in to clear the crowds.
By day, lower Magazine Street was packed with people in kilts and green shamrocks Saturday despite the cancellation of the city’s official St. Patrick’s Day parades, with many revelers appearing to hope that the luck of the Irish would be enough to keep the new coronavirus at bay.
By night, New Orleans police broke up a bustling party at a local bar, and Mayor LaToya Cantrell issued a strong statement, imploring people to practice “social distancing” to stop the spread of coronavirus. Around 6 p.m. Saturday, New Orleans officers arrived at Tracey’s Original Irish Channel Bar, one of the traditional epicenters of the St. Patrick’s Day holiday in the city, to break up a large party there.
Public officials have taken steps to limit gatherings in an effort to keep the virus from moving quickly through the population. Gov. John Bel Edwards has closed schools for several weeks and barred events where 250 people or more gather. But warnings from the governor and Cantrell about avoiding close contact and large gatherings were scarcely heeded Saturday along Magazine Street, through the Irish Channel and Garden District, where the streets were bustling.
Cantrell said that to fight this virus required social distancing, carried out in all seriousness.
So, while some people spend endless time in lines buying cans of tuna, peanut butter, and toilet paper others day drink with their closest 500 or so friends. Right. This is America. They’re also hoarding guns and panic buying guns.
Some further local news that’s surreal from any vantage point. The French Market has been open continuously for over 300 years and it will be closing down today for an undetermined period.
Probably the most profoundly disturbing image yesterday was the Trumperz suprise visit to Pence’s attempt to bring some gravity to a Presser. It’s been evident that number of cases is on the rise and the number of deaths have just started to look disturbing. But hey, Trumperz was just a happy camper as the Board of Governors at the FED sent prices at the zero bound. And, I ask you again? Who is going to get a loan and like, buy something like a car right now?
So, Trumperz said “investors should be thrilled.”
Investors this morning to Trumperz (via the WSJ) :“Stocks Open Sharply Lower After Fed Slashes Rates. U.S. stocks drop 8%, while bond yields plummet again.” He just doesn’t get anything right ever. Oh, and then there’s this via CNBC: “Stock futures drop — hit ‘limit down’ — even as Fed slashes rates; Dow futures off 1,000 points Stock futures plunged Sunday night even after the Federal Reserve embarked on a massive monetary stimulus campaign to curb slower economic growth amid the coronavirus outbreak.”
The real real is getting serious too. From the Seattle Times: “EvergreenHealth doctor tests positive for coronavirus, in critical condition”.
An emergency room doctor at EvergreenHealth in Kirkland is in critical condition with COVID-19, the disease caused by the new coronavirus.
The hospital at the center of the coronavirus outbreak in King County confirmed that the doctor was ill Sunday afternoon.
“EvergreenHealth is providing care for one of our physicians who has a confirmed case of COVID-19. He is in critical condition but stable. Out of respect for our patient’s privacy and that of his family, there is nothing more we can share at this time,” says a brief statement issued by the hospital on Sunday.
The physician, who is in his 40s, has been admitted to the intensive-care unit and could be the first front-line health care worker in the state to test positive for the disease, said Dr. Liam Yore, the immediate past president of the Washington Chapter of the American College of Emergency Physicians.
Yore is an emergency room doctor who works primarily at Providence Regional Medical Center in Everett but is also on staff at EvergreenHealth. He spoke to The Seattle Times on behalf of his professional organization and not as a representative of the hospitals.
“There was an initial test on Tuesday and that came back negative,” Yore said of his EvergreenHealth colleague, who he described as “a dedicated and selfless physician.”
That’s not the hospital where my daughter practices but it is damn close. USA’s headline today is the best advice these days: “The best thing everyday Americans can do to fight coronavirus? #StayHome, save lives ” That’s certainly my plan. I’m facing down 65 in November and while I’m relatively healthy, I will not be tempting fate.
I did watch a bit of the debate last night but was just overwhelmingly depressed especially after seeing parts of that stupid Presser. Old White men will be the death of us all. We’re going to have to vote for Biden to save what’s left of our country, but damn, I wish it didn’t come down to this. Here are some headlines.
“Trump finds his MAGA movement fracturing over coronavirus — Just two weeks after President Donald Trump rallied conservatives to focus on the threat of socialism, his followers are splintering over the coronavirus pandemic. ” via Politico.
“Biden and Bernie face off: Key moments from Sunday’s debate” also via Politico. They even elbow bumped.
Under the cloud of the coronavirus pandemic, they talked about bailouts — and hand sanitizer. Biden said he washes his hands—a lot—”God knows how many times a day!”
Biden and Sanders met Sunday night, with Biden looking to open up a commanding lead for the nomination Tuesday and with the nation struggling to contain the fast-moving coronavirus.
The debate comes amid escalating spread of the disease that is dramatically altering Americans’ way of life and the normal rhythms of a campaign. In-person rallies and fundraisers have gone digital. Staffers are working from home. And Sanders’ chances to shift the dynamic in his favor have become even more limited.
The last thing you should try to read today is from David Leonhardt and the NYT. It’s really a depressing dose of reality but we need it. “A Complete List of Trump’s Attempts to Play Down Coronavirus — He could have taken action. He didn’t. ”
President Trump made his first public comments about the coronavirus on Jan. 22, in a television interview from Davos with CNBC’s Joe Kernen. The first American case had been announced the day before, and Kernen asked Trump, “Are there worries about a pandemic at this point?”
The president responded: “No. Not at all. And we have it totally under control. It’s one person coming in from China, and we have it under control. It’s going to be just fine.”
By this point, the seriousness of the virus was becoming clearer. It had spread from China to four other countries. China was starting to take drastic measures and was on the verge of closing off the city of Wuhan.
In the weeks that followed, Trump faced a series of choices. He could have taken aggressive measures to slow the spread of the virus. He could have insisted that the United States ramp up efforts to produce test kits. He could have emphasized the risks that the virus presented and urged Americans to take precautions if they had reason to believe they were sick. He could have used the powers of the presidency to reduce the number of people who would ultimately get sick.
What’s on your reading and blogging list today?
So, the night went as planned:
I could never get up and say that about Bernie and his Bro’s…
However, if Bernie does that…it just makes the stunt he pulled in 2016 even more disgusting.
Also, about 2016:
And this tweet from Ezra is especially, what is the word…fucked? Coming from his misogynistic jerk:
“To put it gently?” Ezra can piss off.
In other news:
Hope y’all enjoyed that little video message.
This is an open thread.
Good Day Sky Dancers!
There are several story lines cooking their way to the news day. None of them are particularly uplifting which just about matches stuff I’ve been going through lately too. I wish I could give up adulting but Spring Break and Carnival have ended not that I could truly enjoy either with this ever lingering flu. I’m going to fill the pages today with imaginary creatures since I’ve pretty much had it with the real ones. They are from Danish Illustrator/Artist Kay Nielsen whose primary works are illustrations for Fairy Tales and are stylistically Art Deco but many have Asian influences. He is best known for doing the Bald Mountain Scene in Disney’s Fantasia.
Super Tuesday is tomorrow and we’re down two candidates today as Pete Buttigieg just bumped Tom Steyer out of the last man out of the race place. His race was historic no matter what you thought of his chances or his positions. From the AP:
He opened February by sharing victory with one of the Democratic Party’s best-known figures and ended it with a humbling defeat at the hands of another. Yet Pete Buttigieg’s unlikely path over the last 30 days exceeded virtually everyone’s expectations of his presidential ambitions, except perhaps his own.
The former mayor of Indiana’s fourth largest city, an openly gay 38-year-old whose name most voters still can’t pronounce, formally suspended his White House bid Sunday night. He did so acknowledging that he no longer had a viable path to the Democratic Party’s presidential nomination, even after finishing in the top four in each of the first four contests of the 2020 primary season.
“By every historical measure, we were never supposed to get anywhere at all,” Buttigieg reminded his hometown crowd, which was disappointed and hopeful at the same time. The crowd interrupted his speech with chants of “2024.”
Buttigieg began the month effectively in a first-place tie with progressive powerhouse Bernie Sanders in Iowa’s presidential caucuses. The mayor made history as the first openly gay candidate to earn a presidential delegate, never mind becoming the first to finish on top in any presidential primary contest.
And now we hear Amy’s out and gone over to the Biden side via NYT.
Senator Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota, who entered the Democratic presidential race with an appeal to moderate voters and offered herself as a candidate who could win in Midwestern swing states, has decided to quit the race and endorse a rival, former Vice President Joseph R. Biden, Jr., according to a person close to Ms. Klobuchar.
Ms. Klobuchar will appear with Mr. Biden at his rally in Dallas Monday night. The decision comes one day after former Mayor Pete Buttigieg of South Bend, Ind., departed the race, and after weeks of Democratic Party hand-wringing about a crowded field of moderate candidates splitting a finite field of centrist votes, allowing Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont to march forward unopposed among progressives and amass delegates.
What would year would it be without the Republicans trying to get rid of the old Republican cum American Enterprise Institute cum ChaffeyCare cum Dole cum Care/Romney care relabeled and passed as ObamaCare? The odd thing thing about this is that it will likely kill off their most ardent Trumperz which is why they’ve got it to the Supreme Court but the Court won’t actually here it until after the Election because, well, you know that’s what the Trumpist regime requested. I’m headed for Medicare about that time so my ObamaCare is safely in place until then but all I can say is that those of us with pre-existing conditions are evidently just supposed to die so they can get on with it. This is the headline from WAPO: “Supreme Court will once again consider fate of Affordable Care Act”. written by Robert Barnes. It will also be a test of Republican Court Stacking efforts since they’ve managed to get another Religious Inquisitor on their Bench.
The Supreme Court will hear a third challenge to the Affordable Care Act, this time at the request of Democratic-controlled states that are fighting a lower court decision that said the entire law must fall.
The court’s review will come in the term that begins in October, which would not leave time for a decision before the November presidential election. The law remains in effect during the legal challenges.
Democrats are eager to keep public attention on the fate of the act, sometimes called Obamacare, which has features voters value, such as required coverage for preexisting conditions. Health care is a leading concern, especially among Democratic voters, and many considered it a persuasive argument when the party won control of the House in 2018.
The House and Democratic-led states asked the court to review a decision last year by a panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit.
Hearing a challenge from Texas and other Republican-led states and backed by the Trump administration, the panel struck down the law’s mandate that individuals buy health insurance but sent back to a lower court the question of whether the rest of the statute can stand without it. The lower court had said the entire law must fall.
The House told the Supreme Court that the 5th Circuit decision “poses a severe, immediate, and ongoing threat to the orderly operation of health-care markets throughout the country, casts considerable doubt over whether millions of individuals will continue to be able to afford vitally important care, and leaves a critical sector of the nation’s economy in unacceptable limbo.”
he House and Democratic states also have been eager to get the issue before the Supreme Court because the majority that has upheld the ACA in two previous challenges remains.
Texas is leading the efforts in voter suppression yet again. This is from the UK Guardian: “Texas closes hundreds of polling sites, making it harder for minorities to vote. Guardian analysis finds that places where black and Latino population is growing by the largest numbers experienced the majority of closures and could benefit Republicans”
Long considered a Republican bastion, changing racial demographics in the state have caused leading Democrats to recast Texas as a potential swing state. Texas Democratic party official Manny Garcia has called it “the biggest battleground state in the country”.
The closures could exacerbate Texas’s already chronically low voter turnout rates, to the advantage of incumbent Republicans. Ongoing research by University of Houston political scientists Jeronimo Cortina and Brandon Rottinghaus indicates that people are less likely to vote if they have to travel farther to do so, and the effect is disproportionately greater for some groups of voters, such as Latinxs.
“The fact of the matter is that Texas is not a red state,” said Antonio Arellano of Jolt, a progressive Latino political organization. “Texas is a nonvoting state.”
On a local level, the changes can be stark. McLennan county, home to Waco, Texas, closed 44% of its polling places from 2012 to 2018, despite the fact that its population grew by more than 15,000 people during the same time period, with more than two-thirds of that growth coming from Black and Latinx residents.
In 2012, there was one polling place for every 4,000 residents. By 2018 that figure had dropped to one polling place per 7,700 residents. A 2019 paper by University of Houston political scientists found that after the county’s transition to vote centers, more voting locations were closed in Latinx neighborhoods than in non-Latinx neighborhoods, and that Latinx people had to travel farther to vote than non-Hispanic whites.
Super Tuesday is the biggest day of the Democratic primary campaign. Fourteen states will hold nominating contests to pick who they think should square off this fall against likely GOP nominee President Trump.
There are 1,357 delegates at stake, about a third of all delegates. So far, fewer than 4% of the delegates have been allocated.
People will head to the polls all across the country, from Virginia to California, Tennessee to Texas. The states and voters are diverse. Almost half have significant black populations, and Latinos figure to be an important factor in the two states with the biggest delegate hauls, California and Texas.
And who’d have thunk it? The Taliban have already broken their “peace” agreement signed with the Trumpist Regime on Saturday via Agence France-Presse.
A deadly blast shattered a period of relative calm in Afghanistan on Monday and the Taliban ordered fighters to resume operations against Afghan forces just two days after signing a deal to usher in peace.
No group immediately claimed responsibility for the attack at a football ground in Khost in eastern Afghanistan, where three brothers were killed, officials told AFP.
The blast occurred around the same time the Taliban ordered fighters to recommence attacks against Afghan army and police forces, apparently ending an official “reduction in violence” that had seen a dramatic drop in bloodshed and given Afghans a welcome taste of peace.
The partial truce between the US, the insurgents and Afghan forces lasted for the week running up to the signing of the US-Taliban accord in Doha on Saturday, and was extended over the weekend.
and the entire thing under the watchful eye of this guy which doesn’t seem to know about it even though French Journalists obviously do …
And, I want to go back to Fairy Tales again. I’m tired of this adulting stuff. This article in The Atlantic has just about done me in: “The President Is Winning His War on American Institutions. How Trump is destroying the civil service and bending the government to his will.” by George Packer.
But a simple intuition had propelled Trump throughout his life: Human beings are weak. They have their illusions, appetites, vanities, fears. They can be cowed, corrupted, or crushed. A government is composed of human beings. This was the flaw in the brilliant design of the Framers, and Trump learned how to exploit it. The wreckage began to pile up. He needed only a few years to warp his administration into a tool for his own benefit. If he’s given a few more years, the damage to American democracy will be irreversible
This is the story of how a great republic went soft in the middle, lost the integrity of its guts and fell in on itself—told through government officials whose names under any other president would have remained unknown, who wanted no fame, and who faced existential questions when Trump set out to break them.
Read each of these stories please. Unfortunately, they are not fairy tales.
What’s on your reading and blogging list today?
The last few days have made me sick…like, make me wanna puke sick.
There has to be a joke in that monkey tweet, I’m just too disgusted to think of one.
This is an open thread.
It has been a difficult day. So here is a few tweets and stuff:
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On this Presidents’ Day let us remember those who preceded us. The founders created a perfect system of checks and balances but it only works if corruption doesn’t become a systemic problem the way that it has. Our last hope lies in driving out the scourge next election and all those in congress who enable him. • #presidentsday #happypresidentsday #notmypresident #notmypresidentsday #georgewashington #benfranklin #foundingfathers #checksandbalances #votethemout #voteblue #votebluenomatterwho
Seems like we are losing many special people lately:
This is an open thread.
Friday Frenzy, Ragin’ Cajuns,Democratic Debates, Off Route Mardi Gras Parades, and a Snow Moon! OH MY!Posted: February 7, 2020
Good Day Sky Dancers!
The off route Krewes of Mardi Gras have started rolling. They’re the only parades I really attend these days. Krewe de Boheme’s second parade will take the Marigny/French Quarter route tonight and Krewe du Vieux rolls tomorrow night where I will nest at the Spanktuary with feast, libation, and friends. I need a break from the rest of the country right now and this is exactly what Dr Kat ordered. Nothing beats a downtown krewe!
But there will be more than just Mardi Gras Parades and the first super moon–a Snow Moon--of the year this weekend. We have debates and votes in New Hampshire and a maniac in the White House whose meltdown yesterday extended to a phone call to PM Boris Johnson. I really think the guy is on his way to a psychotic break but we need to get BB’s take on this. (He just said Pelosi’s speech ripping was a crime on TV too!)
The country has to get rid of this dotard.
The more I look at the polls, KKKremlin Caligula, and Moscow Mitch on TV, the more desperate I feel about 2020. I’m not the only New Orleanian who feels that way either. From VOX today: ‘“We’re losing our damn minds”: James Carville unloads on the Democratic Party. Why the longtime Democratic strategist is “scared to death” of the 2020 election.” Sean Illing extends the conversation that started with an MSNBC conversation that really got to me.
In a rant on MSNBC that went viral on Tuesday evening, the longtime Democratic strategist vented his concerns about the party’s prospects for beating Donald Trump, taking particular aim at the party’s leftward lurch.
“Eighteen percent of the population controls 52 senate seats,” Carville said. “We’ve got to be a majoritarian party. The urban core is not gonna get it done. What we need is power! Do you understand? That’s what this is about.”
His diatribe took place against the backdrop of an Iowa caucus that had fallen into chaos and amid a rancorous ongoing debate among Democrats over the party’s direction. He took particular aim at Sen. Bernie Sanders, whom he fears could lead the party to defeat in November.
Carville’s lament distills a concern among the Democratic Party’s establishment: Will ideological purity and playing to the base cost the Democrats victory in November? For Carville at least, “We have one moral imperative and that’s to beat Donald Trump.” That his comments went viral speaks to the sense of urgency among Democrats, even as it only fuels the debate over the direction of the party.
I still don’t see what any one sees in Bernie Sanders other than he’s a cranky old man of few accomplishments and a hell a lot of angry words mostly displaying the politics and economic stuff of the wobblies. He’s a walk to the past. And, he’s not a Democrat!
We have candidates on the debate stage talking about open borders and decriminalizing illegal immigration. They’re talking about doing away with nuclear energy and fracking. You’ve got Bernie Sanders talking about letting criminals and terrorists vote from jail cells. It doesn’t matter what you think about any of that, or if there are good arguments — talking about that is not how you win a national election. It’s not how you become a majoritarian party.
For fuck’s sake, we’ve got Trump at Davos talking about cutting Medicare and no one in the party has the sense to plaster a picture of him up there sucking up to the global elites, talking about cutting taxes for them while he’s talking about cutting Medicare back home. Jesus, this is so obvious and so easy and I don’t see any of the candidates taking advantage of it.
The Republicans have destroyed their party and turned it into a personality cult, but if anyone thinks they can’t win, they’re out of their damn minds.
I wouldn’t endorse everything every Democrat is doing or saying, but are they really destroying the party? What does that even mean?
Look, Bernie Sanders isn’t a Democrat. He’s never been a Democrat. He’s an ideologue. And I’ve been clear about this: If Bernie is the nominee, I’ll vote for him. No question. I’ll take an ideological fanatic over a career criminal any day. But he’s not a Democrat.
You know people are going to read this and say, “Carville backed Clinton in 2016. So did the Democratic establishment. They blew it in 2016. Why should I care what any of them think now?”
I don’t give a shit. People will say anything. And first of all, Clinton won the popular vote by almost three million. And secondly, the Russians put Jill Stein in front of Clinton’s campaign to depress votes. And thirdly, the New York Times a week before an election, assured its readers that the Russians were not even trying to help Trump. And then they wrote 15,000 stories about Hillary’s emails.But back to Sanders — what I’m saying is the Democratic Party isn’t Bernie Sanders, whatever you think about Sanders.
A lot of threads there. First, a lot of people don’t trust the Democratic Party, don’t believe in the party, for reasons you’ve already mentioned, and so they just don’t care about that. They want change. And I guess the other thing I’d say is, 2016 scrambled our understanding of what’s possible in American politics.
Are we really sure Sanders can’t win?
Who the hell knows? But here’s what I do know: Sanders might get 280 electoral votes and win the presidency and maybe we keep the House. But there’s no chance in hell we’ll ever win the Senate with Sanders at the top of the party defining it for the public. Eighteen percent of the country elects more than half of our senators. That’s the deal, fair or not.
So long as McConnell runs the Senate, it’s game over. There’s no chance we’ll change the courts and nothing will happen, and he’ll just be sitting up there screaming in the microphone about the revolution.
The purpose of a political party is to acquire power. Alright? Without power, nothing matters.
I’ve been saying the same damn things but not so colorfully. So, why is the media chasing Buttigieg and Bernie while writing off Amy and Elizabeth and kind’ve ignoring the disappearing act that is Biden? This is a disgusting bit from Boston CBS.
Hoosier daddy now? In the latest exclusive WBZ/Boston Globe/Suffolk University poll, Pete Buttigieg continues his remarkable post-Iowa surge.
Bernie Sanders is holding steady at 24 percent, but Buttigieg is up four points over last night with 23 percent, a virtual tie in a survey with a margin of error of 4.4 percent.
Elizabeth Warren takes over third place with 13 percent, and Joe Biden slips to fourth with 11 percent.
Mayor Pete’s gains don’t seem to be coming at the expense of Sanders, whose numbers haven’t changed much all week. Instead, Buttigieg seems to be attracting registered Democrats. And his biggest gains appear to be raided from key backers of Warren and Biden.
Among women, Warren is down four points from Wednesday night and Buttigieg is up six.
And among voters over 65, a core source of Biden backers, Buttigieg has doubled his support overnight, a 16 point jump.
There are like two articles I found that somewhat ask some questions. But do they really go far enough? From WAPO: “His campaign on the line, Joe Biden goes missing in New Hampshire”. Iowa always stamps return to sender on Biden’s forehead. This is the third year. Can elderly black people in South Carolina revive him?
Biden spent Thursday gathered with his top advisers at his home in Wilmington, Del., seeking a reset and perhaps a last-ditch effort to save his candidacy, beginning with a debate Friday night. He held no public events.
Following dismal results in the Iowa caucuses that have rattled many in his orbit, his campaign is now simultaneously trying to lower expectations here — with some suggesting they would consider a finish as low as third place a victory — while also bracing for a second straight difficult Election Day.
In one troublesome sign for the financially strapped campaign, it canceled nearly $150,000 in television ads in South Carolina, which votes Feb. 29, and moved the spending to Nevada, whose Feb. 22 contest follows New Hampshire’s. The move seemed to acknowledge that Biden’s campaign cannot sustain a continued run of bad news.
“From a Biden perspective, there’s going to be a course correction in all three states before Super Tuesday,” said Dick Harpootlian, a South Carolina state senator who is in regular contact with Biden’s campaign. “He’s got to have sharper elbows.”
He suggested that those inside the campaign realized the gravity of the moment and that Biden had to better “explain the difference with his opponents.”
“History may write that the best thing that ever happened to Joe Biden was getting gut-punched in Iowa,” he added. “It woke him up, it woke his campaign up and his supporters up. They were complacent. . . . You’ve got to talk about the other guy.”
But, at least on Thursday, it was the other guy talking about Biden.
Pete Buttigieg, the former mayor of South Bend, Ind., who along with Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) finished at the top in Iowa, continued his media blitz, appearing on shows from ABC’s “The View” to the gossip site TMZ, where he argued that he — not Biden — was the most electable Democratic candidate.
I did hear Biden go after both of them yesterday the few times I turned the TV on to see if the hapless Democratic Party of Iowa had finished trying to unclusterfuck the caucus clusterfuck that has now given BernieBros the chance to attack the rest of the world because every one they see as establishment is against them. Don’t try mentioning that all this changes were made to appease the Berntrocity of 2016. We’re undoubtedly going to get a lot of whining right up to November. From the Hill’s Jonathan Easley: “Iowa debacle deepens division between Sanders, national party”
The vote-counting debacle around the Iowa caucuses has furthered distrust and hardened anger between Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and the national Democratic Party.
There is deep frustration among Sanders’s supporters and allies over the historic meltdown of the first-in-the-nation caucuses.
The early reported results found former South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete Buttigieg with a small lead over Sanders — a dynamic that has been reflected in the news media for several days.
The race is too close to call, but the late results trickling in appeared to be breaking in Sanders’s direction and there’s still a chance he could win both the popular vote and a plurality of delegates.
Sanders’s allies believe he was deprived of valuable momentum he should have had coming out of Iowa.
And progressives are livid, viewing the fiasco as endemic of a party that’s been run by establishment figures whose unchecked power has bred incompetence and laziness.
Adding to the frustration is the fact that a handful of former Hillary Clinton aides are involved with the company that developed the failed app being blamed for the reporting irregularities that led to the slow and confusing release of results.
At some point, they need to stop dragging Hillary and any one that worked for her around. Joan Walsh discusses “The Erasure of Elizabeth Warren Continues” at The Nation. I’m still waiting for the moment every one realizes that she’s just about the 5th candidate in line for that right after Kamala, Corey, Julio, Amy, and Kristen. Lost in the media narrative is that she beat Biden and Amy was right there on his tail.
Coming out of the disastrous Iowa caucuses this week, media coverage of the Democratic presidential race turned back the clock almost a year: Suddenly everyone was again focused on “the B-Boys,” as Washington Post columnist Margaret Sullivan lamented last March: Bernie Sanders, Pete Buttigieg and Joe Biden, with a fourth killer B, Mike Bloomberg, replacing the departed Beto O’Rourke. Since Monday night, there’s been breathless coverage of the race between Sanders and Buttigieg to see who, finally, comes out on top in Iowa, plus endless hand-wringing over Biden’s disastrous fourth-place showing, and whether that opens the door to the billionaire Bloomberg’s buying the nomination.
Iowa conventional wisdom says there are only “three tickets out” of the caucuses, and yet coverage has curiously overlooked the woman who got one of them: Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren. From the moment cable networks switched from her caucus night rally speech to Biden’s, Warren has been virtually erased. As the fight for first place continued into Thursday, I have watched cable news panels mention Warren only in passing, if at all (MSNBC’s Lawrence O’Donnell had been one exception, featuring an interview with Warren Wednesday night, and then on Thursday night she was hosted by Chris Hayes).
This despite the fact that Warren clearly beat the Democratic front-runner, Biden, and outperformed her numbers in the final Des Moines Register poll (spiked because of one complaint—one—from a Buttigieg supporter who said she wasn’t asked about him by a pollster), which had Warren in second at 18 percent; with 97 percent of the results in, she finished at 20 percent, in third, with Sanders and Buttigieg effectively tied (though Sanders on Thursday declared victory, and he may ultimately be right). Despite being derided as a New England progressive who might not connect with heavily rural and suburban Iowa, she beat two rivals who were said to have the inside track with those voters—Biden and Minnesota Senator Amy Klobuchar, who came in at a disappointing fifth place.
“From the beginning, all of the women in the race—Kamala Harris, Kirsten Gillibrand, Klobuchar, Warren—have known they were facing erasure,” says former Iowa Democratic Party chair Sue Dvorsky, who switched her support from Harris to Warren after Harris left the race in December. “Elizabeth has known she has to just stay in there and keep fighting and just not quit.”
But since getting one of the “three tickets out” hasn’t earned her much of a bump, Warren will have a harder road ahead in New Hampshire, Nevada, South Carolina, and the Super Tuesday states.
Finishing a distant fifth, Klobuchar did herself a big favor by jumping out on Monday night and claiming some sort of victory, in a speech networks took live and in full, in an absence of other clear news at that point. Biden, Warren and Sanders got less time; Buttigieg, who appeared last and claimed a victory he hadn’t been granted, actually got more.
So, I must decide between the debate and the Krewe du Boheme.
I expect there will be fireworks at both so decisions! decision! decisions!
Here are a few other things I recommend you read:
Yes! It’s old! But it’s a lesson in what we should not repeat!
Jonathan Capehart from WAPO: Trump’s State of the Union speech was a white supremacist vision of America
So what’s on your reading and blogging list today?
Manic Monday Reads: Iowa Caucus Day, Senate Gasbaggery and When will he take the sharpie to Missouri?Posted: February 3, 2020
Good Day Sky Dancers!
I think I could have a new hobby from what’s evidently a very old practice! Ever heard of curse tablets? Well, it’s an Athenian thing and maybe we should bring it back! I keep a list of graves I intend to dance upon nips and clits up. (.e.g. Phyllis Schafly, Jerry Falwell and his spawn, Billy Graham and his spawn, you know the usual evil suspects). But, an Athenian curse tablet seems much more righteous and long lasting!
Thirty lead tablets engraved with curses have been discovered at the bottom of a 2,500 year old well in ancient Athens. Discovered in the area of Kerameikos, ancient Athens’ main burial ground, the small tablets invoked the gods of the underworld in order to cause harm to others.
These curses were ritual texts, usually scratched on small lead objects. “The person that ordered a curse is never mentioned by name, only the recipient,” observes Dr. Jutta Stroszeck, director of the Kerameikos excavation on behalf of the German Archaeological Institute in Athens.
Before the discovery of the 30 specimens in the well, dozens of curses from the classical period (480-323 B.C.E.) had been found mainly in tombs of dead people who had died in an untimely manner and were therefore thought suitable to carry the spell to the underworld. One had also been found in another well. But there was good reason for the transition of ill-will from graves to wells in ancient Athens.
The well where the curses were found was excavated in 2016 by a team under Stroszeck’s direction while investigating the water supply to a bathhouse about 60 meters beyond the Dipylon – the city-gate on the ro to the Academy. It was a public bathhouse, not a private one, that operated from Classical to Hellenistic times, the fifth to the first centuries B.C.E., and is thought to be the spa referred to by the comic playwright Aristophanes (Knights, 1307-1401). It was also mentioned in a speech by the 4th century B.C.E. Greek rhetorician Isaeus (against Kalydon, fragment 24).
So, as the Senate debates impeachment today … well, wait that might not be a good description. It’s more like as the Republicans spout noxious talking points while the Democratic Party folks beg for something akin to constitutional justice. So, as to whatever that thing is today that’s on TV with so much gasbaggery … consider finding the nearest well! We could start a thing!
I do have a well under my house so maybe I should consider digging the fill out for my new hobby. Those old holier than God dudes might be dancing with the devil now but their horrid sons are still plaguing the world. And of course, we know who needs to go to a devil waiting with millions of hints about what to do with him! He certainly showed Kansas last night that they were just fly over country! Or did he show the Show Me State of Missouri?
Here’s the headline via the Kansas City Star: “Trump congratulates Chiefs for representing ‘the Great State of Kansas.” My mom used to actually write for this paper believe it or not! Most of that side of my family is still all around the place although most now live on the Kansas side of State Line Road. Which reminds me to tell you that State Line is of the interesting roads ever! It used to be a stretch of road where of confederate Missouri folk frequently yelled obscene things at the folks from the Free State of Kansas and it’s aslo got Joe’s Kansas City BBQ! I’m as unlikely to go to or watch a football game as I am to enter a church any time in the near future but I do admit that this got a huge chuckle from me. Such a stable genius!
In a tweet that apparently disappeared — but was captured in screengrabs — Trump wrote: “Congratulations to the Kansas City Chiefs on a great game, and a fantastic comeback, under immense pressure. You represented the Great State of Kansas and, in fact, the entire USA, so very well. Our Country is PROUD OF YOU!”
We all know geography is no part of his very stable genius but to be President of a country should mean you know something about its biggest cities! At least you think that would be a skill set you’d develop after three years or so. Let’s hope Kansas and Missouri remember this coming election!
And, just to get you juiced up for those curse tablets! Here’s the guy that really really needs a billion or so sent so everything i hell is waiting for him! I should hope the world doesn’t act like his church because that would look a lot like hell! Just think what will happen to all those kids of they think all those over 40 mothers and grandmothers can dance!!!!
So, I should probably mention another state around there that I spent an awful lot of time in given my Dad owned a business there for over 30 years! That would be the Iowa caucuses
While Iowa’s always held a caucus, their popularity is only about 50 years old. So what has changed over the years?
There are two men that historians refer to for as to why the Iowa Caucuses are so popular. That’s George McGovern and former U.S. President Jimmy Carter. Both of them used first in the nation status as a way to show their strength as a candidate.
It all started in the 1970s.
“In 1976, when Jimmy Carter was here, these were very small events,” David Yepsen, of Iowa PBS, said.
A living room, church basements: those were the kinds of places where Iowans met candidates 50 years ago, offering a sense of charm in politics.
“I think the candidates like to try and recreate it, but the thing has gotten so big that they can’t,” Yepsen said.
Yepsen is a long-time journalist who started his career in the 70s, just as the caucuses were gaining fame. The democratic party was in the midst of reforms, so Iowa wound up going first. It wasn’t for any specific reason. That’s just how it happened.
Through the years, the Iowa caucuses predict a party’s nominee correctly about half of the time.
Usually though, the one who wins the presidency does well in the Hawkeye state.
“The only time that a candidate has not finished in the top three and has gone onto win the presidency was 1992,” Leo Landis, curator of the State Historical Society of Iowa, said. “That was when Senator Harkin was running and Bill Clinton comes in 4th.”
Here’s some Iowa Caucus Day Reads!
Ronald Brownstein / The Atlantic: “2020 Democrats Are Bringing Butter Knives to a Gunfight”
Heading into tonight’s Iowa caucus, the clock may be ticking faster on the Democratic presidential candidates than they believe.
All of the leading contenders have campaigned energetically and extensively across the state during the past few days, but none have moved to sharply contrast themselves with their rivals.
None of the candidates have offered a sustained challenge to Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont, who has surged to the lead in most Iowa polls and delivered an impressive show of strength on Saturday night with a raucous rally here that attracted some 3,000 people. Nor has former South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg, or Senator Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota delivered much of an argument against former Vice President Joe Biden, though he leads them in the competition for moderate voters. “I think this is a pillow fight compared to previous caucuses,” says Jeff Link, a longtime Democratic strategist in Iowa.
This restraint partly reflects a widespread belief in Democratic circles that in a multi-candidate field, a conflict between any two candidates hurts both of them and opens a pathway for another contender to win. That’s famously what happened in the 2004 Iowa caucus, when the scorched-earth hostilities between former Representative Richard Gephardt of Missouri and former Vermont Governor Howard Dean allowed John Kerry to make a late surge, winning the state and, ultimately, the nomination.
No one has more at stake tonight than Joe Biden.
A first-place finish in the Iowa caucuses here could put him the driver’s seat to win the Democratic nomination; a fourth-place finish could end his political career.
No other Top 4 Democrat has that wide range of possibilities.
Pete Buttigieg admitted on “Meet the Press” yesterday that he needs a strong showing to vault him to the later states, but finishing fourth wouldn’t end his political career (he’s just 38 years old).
Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren could very well win tonight, but that wouldn’t put them in the driver’s seat for the nomination — at least not yet.
As Democratic candidates began a last-minute blitz across Iowa on Friday evening, nearly a dozen men gathered in a cavernous YMCA meeting room in downtown Des Moines to have a conversation that felt a universe removed from the 2020 race.
They were part of one of the largest groups shut out of Monday’s caucus: people with felony convictions. Iowans are barred from voting for life once they commit a felony, and people can’t vote even if they committed a crime decades ago. The state’s policy, one of the strictest in the country, means more than 42,000 Iowans out of prison won’t have a say in choosing a presidential candidate. Almost 10% of the black voting-age population can’t vote because of a felony conviction.
For decades, the Iowa caucuses have marked the beginning of the presidential primary, and often set the tone for the election year. But the event has come under increasing scrutiny for giving some voters – namely white and wealthy Iowans – outsized power in choosing the president in a state that’s already more than 90% white. Meanwhile, the physical and legal barriers built into the structure of the caucuses leave out large swaths of the population, whether they are disabled, work long hours, or were once convicted of a crime.
So, why does Iowa still go first? And given that many newly enfranchised Iowans that work the local stock yards and do construction work along with plenty of other Iowa type things have their heritage South of our border … what does Iowa think about this?
And there is the whiff of Troll in the Iowa air …
Anyway, this week will be wild. Stock up on whatever gives you comfort!
And, what’s on your reading and blogging list today?