Big night.

Big weekend here. Kate’s band’s record release party was Friday night. The event was held in a bar with two other bands, and it’s safe to say the place was packed. Because it was. You could hardly move, what with their fans and those of two other bands all smashed into a not-very-big room.

And so eventful! The opening act had barely started its set when the lights went on and the music stopped. Apparently some guy, an older one, went down. I couldn’t see anything (crowded), but fortunately there was a registered nurse in the audience. He – the nurse – plays in his own band, Caveman and Bam Bam. The nurse is the caveman, and performs in an Alley Oop getup, and Bam Bam is the drummer. Anyway, Caveman is a pretty big guy, definitely the sort of nurse you want around when a patient of some size needs to be moved, or if someone collapses at a rock ‘n’ roll-type of event. I couldn’t see over the crowd, but his voice came through loud and clear: PETER CAN YOU TELL ME WHO’S THE PRESIDENT. PETER. MOVE YOUR RIGHT LEG FOR ME. And so on.

Here’s Caveman. He’s the one with the guitar:

So the paramedics were called, and they took the guy out, and I’m not sure what the outcome was, but the ambulance stayed at the curb for a while after the show started back up, so I have to assume he wasn’t in grave danger, or they’d have rushed him to the hospital.

Very exciting start to the show. The girls went on last, of course, it being their party, and they did well. They finally made a bit of money, too — a nice take at the door (did I mention how crowded it was) and about $800 worth of merch. A good night. They leave on tour in a couple weeks, and will stop at SXSW, if anyone is in the neighborhood. They’ll be at the Burger Records showcase; Shadow Show’s the name.

Oh, and the album is now streaming on all platforms. Call your local radio station and condemn it as injurious to today’s youth.

I drank two beers that night, and felt icky half of Saturday. On Saturday, however, I had an Aperol spritz, a nice glass of pinot noir and a manhattan to finish the night and feel capital today. So maybe it’s not all over between me and alcohol, it’s me and beer. Or just terrible beer.

A big week ahead, that I hope won’t be too ridiculous. I want to keep my weekends free of work, which means finishing it by 5 p.m. Friday and pushing back on any efforts to encroach on Saturday and Sunday. I have a hard enough time fitting my personal life and chores into the weekend; shouldn’t there be at least 15 minutes for recreation?

In the meantime, I leave you with two stories from our deteriorating republic.

This one is a lovely rumination on the fading star of Elizabeth Warren, by Monica Hesse, who usually has something interesting to say about gender in the early 21st century:

Loving Elizabeth Warren means planning for America to break your heart.

It means watching her tweet out an optimistic message after Iowa, and then watching how all of the early replies instruct her to defer to Sanders and drop out.

It means making sure to preface your pro-Warren statements with “I don’t have anything against the male candidates,” as if the act of supporting a female one was somehow misandrist in itself.

It means listening to people complain about her schoolmarmishness and quietly wondering what was so wrong, exactly, with sounding like a schoolmarm. What’s so wrong with sounding like a grandmother? What’s so wrong with her animated hand gestures, her cardigans, her preparedness, her laugh, her husband, her brain, her work, her femaleness, her voice?

It means hoping things will break your way but accepting that they probably wouldn’t, because America never quite seems to work that way, does it?

We’re gonna nominate Bernie and we’re gonna lose. I see it plainer every day.

Remember when Russia was our enemy, and we worried about propaganda slipping in under the door? The genius of Vladimir Putin may be that he figured it out. All you have to do to get Russian propaganda into this country’s bloodstream is write a big check:

In January, Radio Sputnik, a propaganda arm of the Russian government, started broadcasting on three Kansas City-area radio stations during prime drive times, even sharing one frequency with a station rooted in the city’s historic jazz district.

Sputnik’s American hosts follow a standard talk radio format, riffing on the day’s headlines and bantering with guests and callers. They find much to dislike in America, from the reporting on the coronavirus epidemic to the impeachment of President Trump, and they play on internal divisions as well.

On a recent show, one host started by saying he was broadcasting “live from Washington, D.C., capital of the divided states of America.”

Critics in Kansas City called Radio Sputnik’s arrival an unabashed exploitation of American values and openness. Those behind the deal defended it as a matter of free speech, as well as a simple business transaction.


OK, then. Off to enjoy an afternoon of soft sunshine and what’s left of my weekend.

Posted at 2:16 pm in Current events, Detroit life |

81 responses to “Big night.”

  1. David C. said on February 16, 2020 at 3:58 pm

    I honestly don’t understand the attraction of Bernie. He seems like such an asshole. He doesn’t seem to get along well with anybody. If he came to visit your house for supper he probably wouldn’t talk about the kids, the pets, the food, or anything normal people talk about. He’d probably rattle on endlessly about Stalin’s policies toward the Kulaks and he’d be on the side of Stalin. Does anyone doubt that the airwaves are going to be filled with photos of him and the Soviet flag in his office and him honeymooning in the Soviet Union (as one does). Elizabeth Warren is everything anyone could want in a candidate. I guess anyone but the people who run the networks. WASF.

    677 chars

  2. nancy said on February 16, 2020 at 4:21 pm

    Exactly. And the fact Trump seems to want to run against him should tell you everything.

    88 chars

  3. Deborah said on February 16, 2020 at 4:32 pm

    No no no no no, don’t even say that. I keep hoping the Deomcrats come to their senses about Bernie, I keep hoping they will let him go. Please, please, please let him go. I can’t take 4 more years of Trump. I can’t. I campaigned for McGovern in 72 and I learned my lesson then. Don’t do it, don’t do it, don’t do it.

    316 chars

  4. alex said on February 16, 2020 at 6:15 pm

    Today I read about the likelihood of a brokered convention on this go-round and how it never bodes well for the eventual nominee. The Bernie Bros already feel like they got screwed out of the nomination last time and if you think they were sore losers in 2016, just you wait ’til this summer.

    I know some of you consider this absolute heresy, but I’m leaning toward Bloomberg and hoping that others will see the sense in it. Beating Trump is the single most important issue on my political wish list right now, and Trump’s shitting himself at the prospect of facing Bloomberg. Bloomberg is the candidate most likely to siphon off disaffected Republican voters, particularly educated suburbanites who held their noses and voted for Trump in 2016. Fewer voters for Trump is what matters most in this election.

    812 chars

  5. Jakash said on February 16, 2020 at 6:36 pm

    “Fewer voters for Trump is what matters most in this election.”

    Really, Alex? More voters for the Democratic candidate doesn’t matter just as much? How many voters will Trump need to lose to Bloomberg to make up for all the Bernie fans, African-Americans and anti-plutocrat miscellaneous folks who won’t vote for Bloomberg? I don’t know, but I’m afraid it’s more than Bloomberg could attract. I’m not ruling any candidate out, but I sure have not been impressed by what I’ve been seeing about the guy lately, aside from the fact that he’s bought some swell commercials.

    Educated suburbanites who held their noses and voted for Trump in 2016 have already demonstrated that they’re willing to compromise much of what they claimed to believe in by voting for Trump, in the first place. I suspect it won’t be all that hard for them to do it again, when it comes right down to it. They’re the Susan Collinses of the electorate, after all.

    945 chars

  6. alex said on February 16, 2020 at 6:42 pm

    I’m just feeling resigned that this is no time for insisting on ideological purity and if I can see my way past it so can anyone else.

    134 chars

  7. Suzanne said on February 16, 2020 at 7:43 pm

    I am not wild about Bloomberg, but his trolling of Trump is lit! Trump has got to be steaming. If Mike B is the nominee, I will vote for him. I don’t like that he’s buying his way into the election but he was NYC mayor so he does have some notion of how government works. And unlike Trump, he actually is a millionaire and doesn’t seem bat $hit crazy. Also, he is literate.
    Do I trust him? No. But given a non-psycho I can’t trust against a psycho one, I’ll go with the least crazy of the two.

    Also middle of the road ex-GOP type people in my neck of the woods who are disgusted with Trump will never, ever vote for Bernie. They simply won’t.

    656 chars

  8. Charlie said on February 16, 2020 at 8:44 pm

    Deborah, with respect, in 72 did you think a lot about the ‘20 election between Cox and Harding? Did that election guide your thinking? That election was 50 years earlier, as the 72 election is today. Maybe there are some new lessons to learn.

    248 chars

  9. alex said on February 16, 2020 at 9:22 pm

    I’ve come to this point — and it’s certainly subject to change — thusly:

    I want to support Mayor Pete because I’m gay, however I fear that the country isn’t quite ready for him and that he’s not quite ready for the job.

    I want to support Liz and Bernie because they are most closely aligned with my ideals, but I also know a lot of people who find them scary. For instance, Dems who are happy with their current health insurance and current levels of taxation. These people see both of these candidates as threatening to abolish things they’re happy with and replace them with things that are untried and unknown. AOC has been trying to mitigate this fallout by pointing out that a starting negotiating position is never the same thing as the eventual compromise, but given her creds as a socialist lightning rod she is probably not the best messenger even though she’s telling it exactly how it is.

    I didn’t want to support Biden because I’ve always found him to be a total phony and having seen him on the debate stage at age 78 I also find him senescent, enough so to know he’s not going anywhere.

    Klobuchar I found meh and I’m extremely turned off by her deliberate misrepresentations of Mayor Pete’s positions, an effort that has propelled her momentarily to where she’s at, which is still in the running but at the bottom of the barrel.

    I didn’t want to support Bloomberg for all of the reasons you could possibly throw at him, but he’s as scrappy as Trump, he has nothing to lose, and he’s better at delivering snark and sick burns than his witless playground bully rival. And that’s aside from the fact that he’s a real rags-to-riches success story who’s willing to show his tax returns and divest himself while holding office. Sure, he’s of a generation that doesn’t find Borscht Belt humor misogynistic and his corporate culture was pretty consistent with all of it 20-30 years ago and his racial profiling is also pretty consistent with what even liberal white people genuinely feel but never dare to say out loud.

    Again, I’m most concerned about beating Trump and when I size up each candidate I’m not seeing a sure winner, but if I have to hedge my bets I’d go with Bloomberg.

    2211 chars

  10. Sherri said on February 16, 2020 at 9:49 pm

    Disaffected Republican voters are not the important bloc to win.

    64 chars

  11. alex said on February 16, 2020 at 9:58 pm

    No single bloc is important to win, unless you’re building a winning coalition.

    79 chars

  12. Sherri said on February 16, 2020 at 11:24 pm

    There just aren’t enough disaffected Republicans to be worth chasing, and they’ll always find some excuse not to vote for a Democrat anyway. It’s like relying on Susan Collins; you always lose.

    199 chars

  13. Brandon said on February 17, 2020 at 2:35 am

    And Tulsi is still in the race.

    227 chars

  14. David C. said on February 17, 2020 at 5:43 am

    Bloomberg lost me when he said he would only use the Oval Office for ceremonial events and he would sit in a cubicle farm and collaborate with his team. I hear enough of that horse shit at work.

    194 chars

  15. alex said on February 17, 2020 at 6:52 am

    I originally predicted that Warren would edge out the others, and it’s possible that she may yet pull ahead. I think that she would be the ideal compromise candidate between the Bernie Bros and the moderates. Unfortunately, in the primaries, those two blocs don’t appear to be supporting her. And her debate performances, while not bad, have not been all that great. She would be my first choice but I’m afraid she won’t have enough delegates by the end of this thing for it to matter. Indiana’s primary doesn’t take place until May and I’m concerned that she may not even be on the ballot at that point and that it will be Bernie vs. Bloomberg.

    As much as I would prefer Bernie over Bloomberg, I’m going to vote for the one most likely to beat Trump.

    755 chars

  16. Deborah said on February 17, 2020 at 7:52 am

    Charlie, of course not, but in 1972 the country wasn’t ready for McGovern. As much as the bros think the country is ready for Bernie, I don’t think it is. He’s got a lot of baggage and I don’t think he’s electable. I don’t like Bloomberg either for all the obvious reasons. My first choice now would be Warren, I think she would win over the bros, but I doubt any republicans would vote for her. We don’t need the Republicans to vote for a Democrat, we just need all of the Dems and independents to get out and vote.

    530 chars

  17. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on February 17, 2020 at 7:56 am

    Not a Bloomberg fan, but if you read the past admin’s memoirs, you’ll find that most Presidents just use the Oval for ceremonial events, and spend relatively little time in there “at the desk” for working purposes. Clinton (ahem) made it famously clear that the working personal office is just down a hall to the west, with the CoS and other key staff offices on down. If Bloomberg wants to knock some of those walls out, well, like most open plan attempts they’ll slowly be retro-fitted back into walls and barriers and privacy screens of some sort. But it never did look like “The West Wing”: it’s much dodgier than that down those halls, and less space than you’d think.

    673 chars

  18. alex said on February 17, 2020 at 8:12 am

    One thing that doesn’t get a lot of press is the fact that Obama had the highest vote tally of any president ever, 69.5 million votes, in 2008, to McCain’s 59 million. In 2012 he had 65 million votes to Romney’s 60 million.

    Hillary beat Trump 63 million to 61 million, but lost key electoral college states in the rust belt where moderate Dems generally fare much better than progressives.

    Obama was an inspirational candidate and brought out young people and minorities who otherwise don’t vote and didn’t bother in 2016. Bernie seems to have a lock on the youth vote now and none of the candidates seems to be a particular favorite of minorities. This is an election that’s going to rely on turnout, and crossover appeal may be a bigger factor than anyone wants to admit just yet.

    790 chars

  19. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on February 17, 2020 at 8:29 am

    Best I could find to link to: the door to the Oval is behind Obama, and the personal POTUS office is behind Spider-Man. Behind where Pete Sousa is taking the picture is a hallway remarkable for its narrow ordinariness and smallish offices with doors. No idea where Bloomberg would put his open cubes bullpen, unless he repurposes the now desolate press room, which is . . . well, if you don’t know the story, see the second link.

    602 chars

  20. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on February 17, 2020 at 8:33 am

    Here’s a set of images of those back hallways; they’ve been brightened up a bit since I was in there briefly in 1980. No, I didn’t meet Jimmy Carter (he was in Georgia, long story but a friend of a friend got me in for a quick tour which I’m sure would be utterly impossible today). We didn’t go into the Oval Office which was shut and locked and dark (it was 9:30 pm or so).

    443 chars

  21. LAMary said on February 17, 2020 at 10:23 am

    My brother who died in November was a Republican elected local politician. His whole adult life he was Republican. I talked to his wife a week ago and she said that he was not planning to vote for Trump. That is one disaffected Republican. He hated Trump and what he had done to the party and thought Trump was sleazy. I would characterize my brother as an Eisenhower Republican.

    379 chars

  22. LAMary said on February 17, 2020 at 10:23 am

    My brother who died in November was a Republican elected local politician. His whole adult life he was Republican. I talked to his wife a week ago and she said that he was not planning to vote for Trump. That is one disaffected Republican. He hated Trump and what he had done to the party and thought Trump was sleazy. I would characterize my brother as an Eisenhower Republican.

    379 chars

  23. Julie Robinson said on February 17, 2020 at 11:07 am

    Mary, my mom feels the same way. She hates Trump, and also feels he has wrecked the party. To her way of thinking she didn’t leave the party, the party left her. She’s going to protest vote in the primary by writing in Romney.

    It’s sure not hard to figure out which Shadow Show member is the mini-Nance! I love their retro clothing, and would have worn the same things back in high school, except the cool boots. I didn’t have any cool boots until college. They must have fun thrift store shopping, or perhaps raiding their mom’s attics?

    Two of my former volunteers from the radio reading service have died in the last week, one at 88 and one at 99. They were both kind men who spent their post-work time volunteering around town and being over-all good guys. One visited his wife twice a day in the nursing home. She had ALS and dementia, and he was faithful to the end. So today I’m raising my glass to Fred and Ern.

    924 chars

  24. Sherri said on February 17, 2020 at 11:20 am

    We were wondering back in 2016 what the equivalent of trump would be for the Dems. It’s Bloomberg.

    Bloomberg has demonstrated over and over that he knows nothing about and cares nothing about his lessers. You like him because he fights against trump and wins, which is the same reason the trump supporters like trump. His Borscht belt humor excuse is no better than trump’s locker room humor excuse. You don’t like trump putting children in cages? Learn more about what Stop and Frisk really meant. Learn about Khalief Browder. Learn about the damage Michael Bloomberg already did to so many young lives. And he didn’t end it. He fought to continue it. When the judge ruled against it, he appealed.

    He’s smarter than trump, to a point, but that’s not a feature, not when you’re convinced you’re right and used to getting your own way. It just makes you a more competent authoritaran.

    906 chars

  25. Maria said on February 17, 2020 at 11:23 am

    I’m a lifelong Democrat, getting more lefty the longer I live, but the idea of Bernie as the candidate scares me. He’s an unappealing, self-righteous, self-important jackass who will be a great whipping boy for Trump. I will vote for him, but oh, man, is the best we an do?

    273 chars

  26. Jason T. said on February 17, 2020 at 11:52 am

    There’s a lot of time until November. Everyone seems to be against Bernie Sanders except the voters.

    That being said:

    The biggest single thing Trump has going for him is the economy. I know a couple of stock brokers, and they just love him — yes, he’s a clueless, reckless asshole, but they love the fact that the brakes are off and the regulators are toothless.

    They are willing to tolerate anything else he does as long as they can keep making deals for as long as possible — knowing that the taxpayers will be holding the bag when the markets crash.

    I suspect there will be great pressure from the financial markets to keep leading economic indicators looking good, and tamp down rumors of a recession, at least through November.

    When we do hit a recession — almost a 100 percent certainty sometime next year — there will then be great pressure from Sensible People to implement austerity (which has been an disaster in Europe) and slash social programs “because we can’t afford them.”

    Bye-bye Affordable Care Act, hello means-testing Social Security, and let’s kick as many people as possible off of Medicaid and SSI.

    The fascism train has left the station and I don’t know if anyone can stop it at this point.

    1244 chars

  27. Jason T. said on February 17, 2020 at 11:57 am

    More random thoughts:

    If Bernie gets the Democratic nomination, a substantial number of fingers should be pointed at Joe Biden, who has sucked up a lot of oxygen while running yet another crappy, lack-luster campaign, and blocked the path for better center-left candidates.

    I don’t know why anyone thinks Elizabeth Warren is scary or a radical. She hasn’t run a great campaign, to be sure. (The Native American DNA test was one of the biggest unforced errors in modern political history, on a par with Dukakis in the tank, or Dukakis not being able to respond when asked how he would feel if his wife were raped and murdered.)

    I suspect a lot of the hostility towards Warren boils down to “well, she reminds me of Hillary,” which is a kind of misogyny.

    And I wish the Bernie Sanders fans hated Trump half as much as they hate Warren and Kamala Harris.

    864 chars

  28. Jakash said on February 17, 2020 at 12:13 pm

    I can agree with most of what Alex said @9, except that I’m not gay and he’s much more sanguine about Bloomberg than I am.

    “Oh, man, is this the best we can do?” That’s what bugs me. Why has it come to this? It’s a very disturbing situation. Honestly, I think that out of these folks, Elizabeth Warren is still the best we can do, but the whole “Pocahontas” thing is her “butter emails” and I really fear her economic program is too frightening to many to prevail in an election. The fact that Bernie is outpacing her at the moment is another example of pure misogyny, as far as I’m concerned, and he’ll get ripped to shreds if he becomes the nominee. The other dems have not attacked his many weaknesses with nearly the vigor that the “money is speech”-fueled Republican politico-industrial complex certainly will. Not to mention, Il Douche, of course.

    Sherri, if you were going to just summarize my points from #5 in your #10 and #12, you at least could have given me a hat tip. D’oh! 🙂

    Quick edit: Just to be clear, I posted this before I read Jason T’s comment above it! Double D’oh!

    1107 chars

  29. Charlie said on February 17, 2020 at 12:24 pm

    I don’t want to insult everybody here but this is a somewhat older crowd. No body under 45 even remembers the Soviet Union and the Eastern block. I was born in 71 and I was one of those annoying children who paid attention to politics and even I wasn’t ever fearful of the Soviets. Accidental nuclear war yes, Soviet invasion no. People younger than me don’t care at all. They care about debt and shitty jobs with no benefits.

    437 chars

  30. Jason T. said on February 17, 2020 at 12:38 pm

    Jakash @ 28: Great minds think alike. 😉

    40 chars

  31. maria said on February 17, 2020 at 1:10 pm

    Charlie, I’m an old white lady, but I’m not insulted. A large part of my age cohort irritates me anyway. But I am worried that all the young progressive leaning voters won’t be enough to put Sanders over the top. I think Elizabeth Warren would be a much better candidate with a wider appeal than Sanders. She’s stumbled a few times in the campaign, but she understands how the economy works and she is the best person to address the important issues of health care, jobs, and tax reform.

    Every day Trump does something else to shred the Constitution and destroy our country–right now he’s intimidating jurors in the Roger Stone trial–and we have got to get the election right. We can’t afford another four years.

    718 chars

  32. Mark P said on February 17, 2020 at 2:00 pm

    I will vote for Warren if she is still in the race when Georgia’s primary is held. But the most important thing for me is not who the Democrat will be, but who the Republican will be. If Trump doesn’t die from a heart attack or a stroke before November, the most important thing to remember is that Donald Trump is an existential threat to our country. Whoever the Democrat is, I will vote for that candidate. The damage that Trump has done to the country will not end when he leaves office. Most of the commenters here, including me, will be dead before the current Trump judges are gone. We will not see the end of the damage he has done. Can you imagine what another four years of more Republican judges will do to the country? RBG will be gone before the next presidential term is over. It’s entirely possible that abortion will be outlawed yet again, and gay marriage will lose any federal protection. Voter suppression laws will be confirmed. There is a credible threat not just to levels of Social Security and Medicare, but to their very existence. The damage will be immense and long-lasting. I don’t want to see Bloomberg as the Democratic candidate, but I don’t care how bad he is, I don’t think he will do the damage that another Trump presidency will.

    ” … broadcasting “live from Washington, D.C., capital of the divided states of America.” I would be more upset about hearing that from a Russian if it weren’t exactly like what the MSM do all the time.

    1474 chars

  33. Sherri said on February 17, 2020 at 2:38 pm

    Trump is not the existential threat. Those Trump judges are not really Trump judges, they are Mitch McConnell judges. Not a one of the would be appointed if McConnell didn’t want them.

    Mitch McConnell is sitting on 300 pieces of legislation that passed the House, quite a number of them with Republican votes, likely a number of them Trump would sign because he just doesn’t care. McConnell doesn’t want them.

    Trump is noisy and vulgar and corrupt and creates spectacle, but the real existential threat is Mitch McConnell. The real existential threat is a Republican Party that is rigging the game to retain power in a world where they represent not the will of the people, but the will of a small group of people.

    How can we have a sustainable democracy when control of the Senate resides in the hands of a party that represents a minority of the population? When it becomes a regular occurrence that the winner of the Presidency is not the winner of the popular vote? These are structural issues that will have to be addressed or we will continue to fall apart. Bloomberg is an oligarch, he’s never going to do that. Biden and Klobuchar are not going to make changes, they’re going to return to normal, not understanding that normal is no longer an option. I no longer understand what Mayor Pete wants to do; he started out as someone who seemed to understand the need for change, and then started campaigning as a return to normal candidate.

    Bernie sort of understands the need for change, but only in certain areas, and has shown no ability to actually create change. Warren sees the need for change across many areas, has demonstrated ability to create change and build things, and if she were a man, would be walking away with this thing. It is absolutely misogyny that she isn’t.

    Beating Trump is not enough to save us. Beating Trump is not even really the hard work.

    1906 chars

  34. Maria said on February 17, 2020 at 2:56 pm

    Sherri @ 33: Yes, a thousand times, yes.

    40 chars

  35. charlie said on February 17, 2020 at 3:09 pm

    I like Warren a lot. I think she has done a lot in the Senate but she’s campaigning as the expert with a plan. For the last forty years Americans have had experts show up at their work places with a plan- lay off30% of the workforce and start offshoring. I was raised to respect education and experts but the last few decades have seen credentialed and smart people doing massive harm to American workers. I think Warren could be a great president but I think the winner will be the person who is angry on your behalf not the expert.

    539 chars

  36. Sherri said on February 17, 2020 at 3:28 pm

    I find it fascinating that people spend so much time critiquing the campaigns candidates run rather than the candidates themselves. I suppose it’s a result of the heavy emphasis on horse race coverage in the media, but everyone is a campaign expert, evidently. It’s bullshit.

    If you really want to understand campaigns, put down the newspaper and stop reading political pundits, and do two things: work on local campaigns to understand the nuts and bolts of what campaigns are actually like, and read political scientists doing quantitative research. Stop trying to read the tea leaves of polls and polling averages, unless you’re willing to understand sampling and how pollsters weight their samples based on who they *think* will turn out. I think Nate Silver is a smart guy, have been aware of his work since before he was doing political stuff, and he does good work, but if the underlying polls aren’t weighted to reflect who actually shows up, there’s only so much you can do.

    You know, if we stopped worrying about how other people would vote and what errors campaigns were making, and voted for people who matched our values, maybe we’d elect better representatives.

    1193 chars

  37. Mark P said on February 17, 2020 at 4:09 pm

    Trump an existential threat.

    Sure, Trump doesn’t care who judges are, except that he prefers white males, but he’s ultimately the one that nominates them. Yes, he is a tool, but he’s the tool that will appear on the ballot in my state. I can’t do anything to get Mitch McConnell out of office, but I can do something to get Trump out of office. I will certainly vote for the Democrat when Georgia’s current, non-elected puppet senator appears on the November ballot. But in the presidential election, refusing to vote for the lesser of two evils is a luxury we do not have.

    576 chars

  38. Scout said on February 17, 2020 at 4:35 pm

    It’s not the slightest bit hyperbolic to state that this is absolutely the most important election of our lifetime. I will vote my conscience in the primary for Elizabeth Warren. And I will again vote my conscience in the general… for whomever the Democratic nominee happens to be, hopefully it will be Elizabeth. Or Pete. Or Amy. My top three in order.

    Meanwhile, I hope Bloomberg continues to needle TraitorTrump and BridgeBerner with his scathing ads. I’m there for his stance on climate, guns, healthcare and his promise to help fund our candidate even if it isn’t him. Right now, it feels like all the pundit noise is distilling everything down to Mike vs Bernie, and if they manage to influence our primary to make it that choice, I’m rooting for Bloomberg, because I think he can beat Thuggo. I don’t think Bernie can.

    830 chars

  39. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on February 17, 2020 at 4:50 pm

    Sherri, I think Charlie just before your comment has a point, when I think back to how Warren was doing just fine in many ways, and impressing me, but she was the first campaign to actually be specific about how she’d pay for her health care plan, and her numbers tanked. She and her on the ground apparatus didn’t change a thing, but the campaign messaging got wrenched out of their hands, and down went her support. I’m still anticipating voting for her in Ohio, but now I’m wondering if she’s going to make it to Mar. 17, and whom I’ll shift to if she drops before that date.

    578 chars

  40. Deborah said on February 17, 2020 at 5:02 pm

    Yes, there is something you can do Mark P (and all of us) to help get rid of Moscow Mitch, you can give $ to his opponent Amy McGrath

    182 chars

  41. Sherri said on February 17, 2020 at 5:50 pm

    You can do as much about McConnell as you can Trump. Thanks to a winner take all electoral college, most of us will cast meaningless votes for President. From right where you are, though, you can, as Deborah said, donate to McConnell’s opponent. You can donate to other Dems running for Senate so that even if McConnell is re-elected, he’s not the Majority Leader. You can write postcards, you can phone bank, all without leaving your house. You can find organizations looking to help underrepresented communities vote, and support them, if you don’t want to work with the Democratic Party.

    Just stop telling me I need to set aside everything I believe about civil rights and support Bloomberg if all you’re willing to do is vote for Bloomberg.

    756 chars

  42. Jeff Borden said on February 17, 2020 at 5:54 pm

    Agreed that winning the White House is not enough. The Senate must be flipped.

    I’ve long argued against term limits because of my belief voters should be able to elect a candidate as often as they want, but Moscow Mitch McTreason made me a convert to the term limit cause. He has terrible numbers in Kentucky and the Democratic candidate has a great story to tell, but please note the aggressively assholish Republican Matt Bevins barely lost the governorship in a squeaker with suburban white women in Northern Kentucky delivering the margin. Moscow Mitch via his ultra-wealthy and powerful wife, Elaine Chao, has also kept a steady stream of pork flowing to the Bluegrass State. I’ve sent two hundred bucks to Amy McGrath and M.J. Hegar (who is running against the empty suit John Cornyn in Texas), but the odds are very, very long the GOPers be ousted.

    858 chars

  43. Sherri said on February 17, 2020 at 6:56 pm

    Once again, it’s about turnout, not disaffected Republicans. Republicans are happy!

    165 chars

  44. alex said on February 17, 2020 at 8:13 pm

    Turnout plus disaffected Republicans = better chance of victory. I don’t think Susan Collins = disaffected voters. I think disaffected voters are ready to turn her out for being ineffectual and cowardly and a hypocrite.

    We’re arguing about an unforeseeable future that may turn out to be very different than anything we’re contemplating. I’m just bracing myself for possible outcomes and acknowledging that I’d be stupid to insist on arranging the deck chairs on the Titanic when I should be tying life preservers together instead.

    Warren is the best candidate but I’m terrified that she won’t beat Trump, and if she’s not an option, then what do I do?

    656 chars

  45. susan said on February 17, 2020 at 9:27 pm

    Would you vote for this guy?

    139 chars

  46. Kaye said on February 17, 2020 at 9:33 pm

    Read somewhere, Twitter probably, that Bloomberg joined the Democratic race to take out Warren because of her billionaire tax. That thought is in direct opposition to my hope for Bloomberg’s money (and ad agency) easing the path to a Warren victory over Trump.

    Mary, your son’s girlfriend and her family have been on my mind. Would love to hear concerns about the corona virus have lessened in their neighborhood.

    420 chars

  47. Mark P said on February 17, 2020 at 9:38 pm

    I can do as much about McConnell as I can Trump? That is demonstrably false. A Democrat came within less than 2 percent of winning the gubernatorial election in 2018 in Georgia, as red a state as you could possibly want. And she was a black woman! It might not be likely that a Democrat can take Georgia in 2020, but I’ll be damned if I’ll vote for anyone other than a Democrat and help throw that chance away! I can’t vote in Kentucky so my probability of changing that elections is ZERO. As far as donating to a candidate, I do what I can.

    547 chars

  48. Sherri said on February 17, 2020 at 9:41 pm

    If you’re willing to vote for Bloomberg, then don’t talk about evangelicals being hypocritical by voting for Trump. You’re no different.

    If the choice is Bloomberg or Trump, the existential threat is over. We’ve already lost.

    236 chars

  49. Sherri said on February 17, 2020 at 9:52 pm

    The thing about Bloomberg is, he has told us who he is, repeatedly and vociferously and on the record. Believe him.

    115 chars

  50. Mark P said on February 17, 2020 at 9:58 pm

    Rainbows and unicorns

    21 chars

  51. Deborah said on February 17, 2020 at 10:53 pm

    The thing is you don’t have to give a lot to each candidate, just $5 or more does something. If a million people give $5, that’s a big deal.

    140 chars

  52. Deborah said on February 17, 2020 at 11:00 pm

    Charlie, if the statistics that I’ve read about are accurate, young people don’t vote in numbers that make a difference. I hope, hope, hope that this election makes a difference. If Bernie is the nom, I will do everything I can to get him elected, I just hope the bros do the same if Bernie doesn’t get the nom. That’s my biggest fear.

    335 chars

  53. alex said on February 18, 2020 at 6:28 am

    I don’t waste my time calling evangelicals hypocrites for voting for Trump. They’re authoritarians first and foremost and authoritarian rule is exactly what they’ve been fighting for all these years.

    In 2016 one of my Bernie supporting friends sat out the election because as far as she was concerned Hillary was just as vile and corrupt as Trump. I take comparisons between Bloomberg and Trump no more seriously. I don’t suspect Bloomberg’s motivations are avarice or self-aggrandizement so much as a genuine desire to save this country from itself. I suspect at worst a messiah complex; at least it’s not malignant narcissism.

    But we’ll get a chance to see how Bloomberg acquits himself on the debate stage this week. I’m reserving judgment until then.

    761 chars

  54. Sherri said on February 18, 2020 at 10:58 am

    Alex, that’s just stupid. To believe that Hilary was as corrupt as Trump required believing in the ravings of the right wing fever swamp, and ignoring what she had actually done. Bloomberg has a record, and you just don’t care that he implemented a massive unconstitutional racist and ineffective program, and still defended it, in starkly racist terms, right up until he decided he needed to apologize so he could run for President?

    I swear, sometimes liberals are the worst on race.

    492 chars

  55. LAMary said on February 18, 2020 at 10:58 am

    Ok, an update on the household coronavirus saga: My son is fine and it’s been three weeks since he’s been back. The girlfriend may have had a mild case. She came down with a fever that lasted a few days. No other symptoms. My old hospital connections scored us some boxes of masks which we shipped off to the girlfriend. Stores here were out of them and they were hard to find in China. Someone whom I helped out a few years ago convinced a few doctors to part with 400 masks.
    So thank goodness none of us got sick, the girlfriend is fine and things are still pretty terrible there. It sounds like most people are just staying home. They order food and water and the delivery people show documents giving the temperature of the person who prepared the order and the person who is delivering it. The girlfriend is a teacher and she’s doing that online. The streets in her otherwise very busy city are nearly empty.

    914 chars

  56. Jakash said on February 18, 2020 at 11:51 am

    Hey, this internecine warfare is fun! Can I play? If you’re willing to not vote for Biden or Bloomberg if they’re the Democratic nominee, then don’t talk about Nader voters in 2000 or BernieBros in 2016 costing the nominees the elections. You’re no different. (I’m sure this will all work out swell for us in November.)

    Of course, one flaw of that cartoon is that Bloomberg has been a Democrat, a Republican and an Independent, supposedly. Bernie only deigned to become a Democrat when he decided he needed to in order to have a chance running for president. So, not all those in the circular firing squad are necessarily really donkeys. Talk about a Big Tent! Yet, still, there are so few happy campers…

    This country has been screwed for a long, long time, and will continue to struggle for a long time. It’s never gotten over its Original Sin of enshrining slavery in the Constitution, and it’s not helped by people who want to be sure to blindly follow whatever the wishes of a bunch of misogynistic slaveholders thought were beneficial ideas for them in 1787. But the current president and his minions are a specific problem that can be dealt with this year. Just because we’re not going to be fixing everything that’s wrong with this country in one election doesn’t mean that voting for a flawed candidate in order to oust Trump and Pence is hypocritical. Can we maybe try to keep the house from burning down before we remodel the kitchen?

    If I knew for certain which of the current crew was the only one that could beat Trump, that’s who I’d vote for. But I don’t know. I’ll probably vote for Warren, since I wish it were her.

    1772 chars

  57. Icarus said on February 18, 2020 at 12:08 pm

    if this post were a Facebook thread, I’d be posting that famous gif of Michael Jackson eating some popcorn…

    speaking of FB, in my On This Day or (Memories or whatever they are calling it these days) I posted a MEME of Trevor Noah making note of the Constitution and its enshrinement of slavery. Naturally, my Right-Wing BF* decided to chime in and claim the Constitution says nothing about Slavery.

    *I keep a couple of Conservative/Righties around to keep my bubble from being too liberal. But this guy is a candidate for being floated.

    It’s Primary Day in Chicago. Not exactly wowed by anyone but will pick someone soon. Last chance to sway me if you feel up for it.

    683 chars

  58. Jakash said on February 18, 2020 at 12:21 pm

    Uh, not sure which newly-legalized substance you’ve been firin’ up there, Icarus, but Primary Day in Chicago is March 17, so we’ve got plenty of time to talk to you about Kim Foxx. It does help explain the munchies that you’re sating with the popcorn, though! 😉

    264 chars

  59. Julie Robinson said on February 18, 2020 at 12:23 pm

    Not getting involved, but I’m very glad that Mary’s son is okay and they got masks to China. I understand there’s a worldwide shortage, along with surgical gowns. A friend who works for a company that organizes hospital storage rooms says people may be forced to postpone elective surgeries. (Talk about a specialized field, no?)

    329 chars

  60. Deborah said on February 18, 2020 at 12:48 pm

    I’m sorry to be missing the primary in Chicago, I don’t know how I let that get past me.

    I’ve been spending the morning reading about Terror Management Theory. I had never heard of it before, I was listening to Farm to Taber and she and one of her guests mentioned it. It’s basically that we humans invented culture to keep us from thinking about our death and to give us something to make our paltry lives meaningful. It’s pretty fascinating actually. The guest on the podcast was a dietitian and the conversation was mostly about health and fitness but they got off on lots of tangents.

    600 chars

  61. Julie Robinson said on February 18, 2020 at 1:01 pm

    Was just perusing the old files while eating lunch, and came across the 2013 entries, which included a discussion of Matthew Crawley getting killed off on Downton Abbey. Pam suggested they just replace Dan Stevens with Matthew Goode.

    From Pam’s lips to Julian Fellows ears, apparently. A couple seasons later, who comes along but Matthew Goode, eventually becoming husband #2.

    380 chars

  62. Jakash said on February 18, 2020 at 1:09 pm

    “I’m sorry to be missing the primary in Chicago, I don’t know how I let that get past me.”

    Gee, I’ve wondered in the past, but I guess my comments *are* invisible. As noted @ 58, Deborah, the primary in Chicago is on March 17, not today.

    Not that there’s anything *wrong* with ignoring my comments, of course!

    316 chars

  63. Icarus said on February 18, 2020 at 1:15 pm

    Jakash is correct. FB was telling me it was today and I needed to be sure I was registered to vote. Maybe I’ve figured out how to fool Zuckerberg with w a setting that places me somewhere else?

    195 chars

  64. Icarus said on February 18, 2020 at 1:17 pm

    for some reason, I cannot edit my posts, either because I’m using Chrome or my work laptop…

    so it seems today is the last day to register to vote for the primaries if you haven’t already.

    194 chars

  65. Jeff Borden said on February 18, 2020 at 1:38 pm

    It’s going to continue to be a vexing issue for Democrats and progressives as we confront the fact that our senators represent millions more people than the Republicans. They have a built in advantage that almost assures them of continuing Senate control and through the Electoral College a reasonable pathway to the White House. How Democrats can continue to appeal to the thriving urban areas while still appealing to far less populated and economically diverse areas is a question for which I have no answer. But the party had better find an answer.

    552 chars

  66. Deborah said on February 18, 2020 at 1:40 pm

    Jakash, sorry, I totally didn’t see your comment about March 17, I’m glad to know I’m not missing it. I thought it seemed too early. I was at a Starbucks when I posted my comment above, on my iPhone, easy to miss comments when you’re distracted by the noisy guy talking on his phone next to me. Why do people think they have to scream into their phones?

    I’ve been staying away from Starbucks but I had to mail my husband’s coat back to Chicago and there’s a Starbucks in the same mall as the PO. My husband didn’t want to take his coat with him to Charlotte and he’ll need it for sure back in Chicago. And by the way, his mother is doing exceedingly well. She’s getting out of the hospital this afternoon, she’ll be staying in a different place at her retirement home, where they have full time nursing care. When she gets out of that place she may be allowed to go back to her regular apartment there, but with a companion with her during the day. It’s not clear yet what the future holds for her in that regard.

    1015 chars

  67. Suzanne said on February 18, 2020 at 1:51 pm

    Thanks for the recommendation on Farm to Taber, Deborah. I’ve listened to a number of episodes and find them enlightening. The one you mention sounds very interesting.

    I am finding this book, Voices From Chernobyl, unsettling. So many of the people interviewed mention how they didn’t really question what had happened and didn’t question their participation in the clean up and evacuation. It was their duty to Mother Russia. The Party would help them. They were heroes. They were so trained to think that way, several mention, that it really didn’t occur them to think otherwise. But now, they have died or are dying, they are singled out in society as dangerous because of the radiation they carry, and their lives are ruined.
    I fear this is our future.

    759 chars

  68. Mark P said on February 18, 2020 at 2:00 pm

    Suzanne, just look at how much 9/11 first responders had to go through to get their conditions taken care of.

    109 chars

  69. Scout said on February 18, 2020 at 2:09 pm

    Icarus @57, it looks like you have some more time to be swayed, but I will go ahead and drop this here. It is from almost 2 months ago before IA and NH, but anything written by Rebecca Solnit is worth a read and it perfectly encapsulates why I support Elizabeth Warren.

    372 chars

  70. Jakash said on February 18, 2020 at 2:51 pm

    This would seem to fit in pretty well right about here…

    123 chars

  71. beb said on February 18, 2020 at 3:08 pm

    Jeff@39 — Good point about Warren’s numbers tanking after she released a plan to pay for M4A. There’s been a long tradition about this. GHWBush tanked after he said “Read my lips, no new taxes” then promptly raised taxes. Mondale, I believe it was said, Nixon would deny planing to raises taxes but would, will he would be honest with the country by saying he would raise taxes. No one likes having their taxes raised, even if the only taxes are being raised on billionaires.

    476 chars

  72. Deborah said on February 18, 2020 at 3:08 pm

    Excellent link Scout, I shared it on FB. Also, funny Jackash.

    61 chars

  73. Deborah said on February 18, 2020 at 3:13 pm

    Nobody has yet mentioned the Blago pardon here, or if they have I missed it. I think Trump is sending messages to his friends, but I don’t think the Republicans are very happy with this one.

    190 chars

  74. LAMary said on February 18, 2020 at 4:00 pm

    Blagojevich and Milken and De Bartolo and my personal fave, my homey, Bernie Kerik. All commuted sentences.

    107 chars

  75. Jeff Borden said on February 18, 2020 at 4:43 pm

    All of those who’ve received commutations are, of course, corrupt white men. American prisons are filled with men and women far more deserving of leniency than these creeps.

    173 chars

  76. Julie Robinson said on February 18, 2020 at 4:57 pm

    Milken, DeBartolo and Kerik were all pardoned. PARDONED. Blago had his sentence commuted. It kinda reads like a firm of attorneys, Corrupt, Terrible & Heinous.

    163 chars

  77. Suzanne said on February 18, 2020 at 5:09 pm

    At this point, I have no use for anyone who doesn’t get that we are run by a crime syndicate. I am more depressed than I have been since Trump was elected. I don’t think we will be done with the Trump family in my lifetime. At this point, I am glad I don’t have grandchildren

    281 chars

  78. Jakash said on February 18, 2020 at 5:19 pm

    Well, he hasn’t strung a puppy from a noose, or kicked a kitten on the White House lawn as he shuffles toward Marine One, but you’re right, Suzanne — it’s remarkable how so many of the things Dolt 45 says and does remind one of either a cartoon villain or a mob boss.

    As a Chicagoan, it doesn’t bother me much that Blago will be getting out early. That was a long sentence and he’s paid much more of a price than most white-collar criminals. (Particularly the ones who are never charged with anything, for instance.) But the “message” behind a crook pardoning a bunch of crooks because he doesn’t like the justice department, because he’s a crook — uh, that’s coming through loud and clear.

    699 chars

  79. St Bitch said on February 18, 2020 at 6:46 pm

    Whoa! Lotta hatred for Bernie around here. I’ve been calling him the F__k-It candidate, and when it came down to it, I went ahead and hit that ole F__k-It Valve at our caucus.

    But before that, I rented some wheels and drove a hundred miles to see Elizabeth Warren light up an auditorium at Grinnell College. We selfied…I kissed her cheek and told her she’s wonderful. She is! Then I had a great chat with one of her organizers, who hooked me up with the local campaign hq. So I volunteered to phone bank, and came to adore all those out-of-state millennials running around for a year in Iowa with their hearts on their sleeves for Warren. Now their idealistic, hopeful hearts are getting broken. Me, I think my heart would get broken over and over if I have to watch her become Trump’s favorite punching bag.

    Yet I refused to commit to Elizabeth, then ditched her for a candidate with less than a rat’s chance of surviving. Yang, however, just lit me up. Still does. Stimulates and inspires me. It was fun and luxurious to be roused with enthusiasm for one of the dogs in the hunt. And therapeutic.

    I think Deborah’s Terror Management tips, and AA’s Serenity Prayer can be extra useful in this election year.

    Has anybody else read, and/or mentioned ‘American Dirt’? I recommend!

    1297 chars

  80. Heather said on February 18, 2020 at 7:07 pm

    Blago and his family live in my neighborhood (well, he did until he got sent to the pokey), so I’ve had the delightful experience of listening to a helicopter hovering in the sky for the last two or three hours. Correction: someone in our neighborhood FB group says he sees FIVE helicopters.

    291 chars

  81. Jakash said on February 18, 2020 at 8:42 pm

    But, Heather, without a live shot of his house from a helicopter, would we even have heard about this news at all?

    114 chars