They’re coming.

OK, well, I guess we’re done now:

Intelligence officials warned House lawmakers last week that Russia was interfering in the 2020 campaign to try to get President Trump re-elected, five people familiar with the matter said, a disclosure to Congress that angered Mr. Trump, who complained that Democrats would use it against him.

The day after the Feb. 13 briefing to lawmakers, the president berated Joseph Maguire, the outgoing acting director of national intelligence, for allowing it to take place, people familiar with the exchange said. Mr. Trump cited the presence in the briefing of Representative Adam B. Schiff, Democrat of California, who led the impeachment proceedings against him, as a particular irritant.

During the briefing to the House Intelligence Committee, Mr. Trump’s allies challenged the conclusions, arguing that he had been tough on Russia and strengthened European security. Some intelligence officials viewed the briefing as a tactical error, saying that had the official who delivered the conclusion spoken less pointedly or left it out, they would have avoided angering the Republicans.

This is just the fucking cherry on the sundae, isn’t it? What a way to start the weekend. Have a good one, all.

Posted at 9:12 pm in Current events |

84 responses to “They’re coming.”

  1. Suzanne said on February 20, 2020 at 9:17 pm

    Hitler & Stalin, heck every totalitarian regime, has not taken kindly to anyone telling the supreme leader the truth.
    So, this is where we are.

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  2. beb said on February 20, 2020 at 11:17 pm

    Given a choice between a frontal lobotomy and a bottle in front of me, the surgry sounds better all the time.

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  3. Dexter Friend said on February 21, 2020 at 12:42 am

    Rachel thoroughly dissected the entire Maguire story tonight. Then she read either the entire report or most of it anyway, of the judge in the Stone case. The judge held nothing back. If you can find it with 2 clicks somewhere, give it a go-over. Stunningly candid, lots of words. Trump is a Russian agent, but apparently his base does not read or even listen to any news at all. Putin loves Trump, owns Trump, and is currently doing everything possible to influence the 2020 election here in the USA. A couple days ago Trump declared himself the top-cop in the USA. He ain’t…but he says he is and receives only harsh words from pundits and authors and retired admirals and generals on cable TV. This blatant disgraceful behavior just washes over Trump’s sycophants, who apparently just are ignoramuses. Trump is not the fucking boss of the Justice Department. OK, some of you are Warren supporters. Her loud attacks on Bloomberg rang a bell and woke up her supporters and reporters who granted her the debate “win”. I watched it and I thought Biden won last night. Pete leads in delegates, 23-21 over Bernie but after Nevada comes South Carolina and Biden is either going to lose and drop out or roll easily along with a huge victory. The stakes are that big. The one thing I came away with is this: Bernie absolutely despises Bloomberg. As does Warren. Pete stayed out of it because Pete has a list of billionaire contributors too, says Bernie anyway.

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  4. jcburns said on February 21, 2020 at 1:35 am

    Warren won the Las Vegas debate for me without question. Smart, on top of the issues, thinking on her feet, and a relentless pursuit of Bloomberg’s troubling positions on wealth and lawsuit settlements under NDAs.

    I didn’t find her attacks “loud,” I found them powerful and irrefutable.

    But that’s just me.

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  5. Sherri said on February 21, 2020 at 2:15 am

    If we just went by my Twitter feed, Warren would win this election in a landslide. I won’t pretend I follow a representative sample or anything, but it has been striking. I follow an eclectic mix of female sportswriters, sports analytics people, urban planning types, people from this blog, local people, and other people I encounter whom I find interesting, from researchers and writers in a variety of fields. I made a conscious effort a few years ago to make sure my feed was diverse, not just white dudes. But I don’t follow political pundits, just some people (like Rachel Bitecofer and Sam Wang) who do research on the electorate.

    When the media started erasing Warren, my Twitter feed went ballistic with rage, and has been filled with Warren material ever since. The other thing I’ve noticed is that any time someone posts something about Warren, the BernieBros (or BernieBots) fill up the responses. It’s obnoxious, and it’s clear the Bernie campaign just doesn’t care.

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  6. alex said on February 21, 2020 at 7:03 am

    And Obama soft-pedaled intelligence reports of Russian interference in 2016 lest Mitch McConnell accuse the Democrats of political misfeasance during the campaign. Of course, he was reasonably certain that Congress would do something about it.

    What strikes me is how Trump and Russia have effectively muzzled our press in the interval not by closing it down but by seducing a critical mass of people away from it with agitprop.

    I’m trying not to be pessimistic but I really don’t find any of the candidates dynamic, and it’s going to take dynamism to generate turnout. Obama had that gift. I wish there were someone with the same qualities who could step in right now and steal the show.

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  7. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on February 21, 2020 at 7:27 am

    I don’t care how focus grouped or rehearsed it was, I was utterly impressed with how Sen. Warren lined up on Mayor Bloomberg and hit him with a wicked left, then pummeled him onto the ropes for a while, working all around the ring.

    The “will you? will you?” on releasing the NDAs sure should have been a knockout blow (“didn’t like a joke” was an eight count, and “consensual” should have been a TKO, but the ref didn’t step in). But I think we still can’t count out misogyny in this free for all, just as Mayor Pete’s dealing with homophobia (it may not be everyone, but elections are a matter of percentages). And while I’ve read the arguments against it statistically, I’m not yet convinced that Mitt Romney wouldn’t be president if he’d been a Presbyterian.

    Barack Obama showed there’s a path to the presidency if you’re a non-traditional candidate, but it’s a narrow way, and requires utmost skill to navigate. I hope Warren can make it through, but I’d also be interested in seeing what kind of Senator she’d choose to be if disappointed in this attempt. Lots of good work to be done in those Augean stables.

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  8. Suzanne said on February 21, 2020 at 7:39 am

    I feel the same way, Alex. Nobody really impressed me in the (stupid format) debate. I like Klobuchar best, I think, because she realistic. None of them have that X factor. I think Biden is a good person but he and Bernie both come across as angry, doddering old men and that is draining. I like Warren’s policies but her earnestness reminds me too much of a middle school friend of my daughter’s who had everything in life figured out by age 12 & never, ever ceased telling you about it. Pete has too little experience (run for Senate in IN, Pete!) Bloomberg wouldn’t be sucked into the Trump vortex because he has no eff’s to give him, but I don’t entirely trust him.
    I don’t think it matters how any of them would do in a debate against Trump. He won’t debate. He doesn’t need to and by refusing, he would demean his opponent as unworthy of his time, which his followers would embrace.

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  9. diane said on February 21, 2020 at 8:36 am

    If nothing else, I’m learning how influenced by social media I am. It’s helping me have a little sympathy for the victims of Fox.

    I went into the debate a Warren supporter but didn’t like the Warren I saw there. I thought the zingers were too staged and done with too much crowing. After the debate, I told my husband I had gone from Warren to undecided. Then my Twitter feed filled up very like Sherri’s and I changed my mind and went back to being a Warren supporter. So I’ve learned experientially that susceptibility to social media is real thing. I pride myself on being a reasonably intelligent person who thinks for herself but am now having doubts and am totally worried about Russian influence in the election.

    I think Mayor Pete isn’t running for Senate in Indiana because a gay Democrat couldn’t win a statewide race there. But my view is from afar and I know Indiana mainly as the state that gave us Mike Pence. Lots of commentators here are a lot closer to Indiana and would have a much better sense of politics there.

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  10. susan said on February 21, 2020 at 8:50 am

    I can’t remember if I posted this link here, but…listen to Al Franken talk with Malcom Nance. Nance knows we are fucked by Trump and Putin, having worked in intelligence for decades. In July, before the 2016 election, Nance published a book, and warned, about Russia hacking our election. Nance was our spy. Trump and Putin and Russia go back decades. Trump is a Russian asset. Nance said if we lose in November, that’s all she wrote. Really scary shit.

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  11. susan said on February 21, 2020 at 8:52 am

    Malcolm Nance’s book: The Plot to Hack America: How Putin’s Cyberspies and WikiLeaks Tried to Steal the 2016 Election

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  12. Suzanne said on February 21, 2020 at 9:13 am

    Diane @9. I was monitoring Twitter during & after the debate and kept wondering if I was watching the same debate. Reading the news reports the next day, I thought the same, especially regarding Warren & Bloomberg.
    But I still don’t have much sympathy for Fox News junkies. I see how they are swayed but most of them that I know will not get news from anywhere else, except Rush & Beck maybe. They are willingly being swayed.

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  13. Jeff Borden said on February 21, 2020 at 10:36 am

    His rally in Colorado Springs sounded like a fun evening. He taunted all the Democratic candidates, led the crowd in booing Greta Thurnberg and lamented how a South Korean movie won the best picture Academy Award by fondly recalling “Gone With the Wind.” A boor’s gotta do what a boor’s gotta do, but man, all those cheering yahoos lapping up every lie fill me with dread and despair.

    Putin has done a fine job of wrecking our country and he spent mere rubles to get the job done because he had accomplices in the GOP, Fucks News, hate radio, etc. to help in his campaign. Who needs ICBMs or nuclear submarines when you have Mitch McConnell and Sean Hannity?

    And yet amidst this insanity, a good 100 million fine American citizens will be unable to rouse themselves from the couch to go out and vote this fall.

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  14. Sherri said on February 21, 2020 at 10:55 am

    So, I’m curious. What do you want from the debates? I seldom watch them, because I don’t find them useful, they’re just theater. But then, I care less about what people say and more about what they do, and in particular, with candidates for office, what they have done in prior office and similar situations. I do want to know why they’re running for the office and what they hope to accomplish.

    The debates show me very little of that. Having sat through many candidate forums and debates in local races, which are seldom any better, I’ve really had my fill. I think they’re information theater, enabling people to think they’re making a rational decision based on information when there’s really nothing there other that ways to reconfirm your priors.

    But what are you looking for?

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  15. annie said on February 21, 2020 at 11:16 am

    what I’m looking for in a candidate is anyone who can beat Trump. Sadly, I don’t think we have anybody. My good friend voted for Nader a few elections ago and when I pointed out that people like her gave the election to Bush, she said ‘at least I can sleep at night’ But this is a huge and diverse country and the only way democracy will semi-work is with compromise. Yes, hold-your-nose compromise.

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  16. Sherri said on February 21, 2020 at 11:20 am

    On a different note, talk about not so happy Valentine’s Day! The local paper has three stories in the top news of local residents who may have murdered their wife/girlfriend. Two have been arrested, the third committed suicide in the sheriff’s parking lot.

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  17. Deborah said on February 21, 2020 at 11:51 am

    I’m going off on a tangent here but I had a good friend, LB’s godfather, who committed suicide in a sheriff’s parking lot. He shot himself in the chest there. He was married, didn’t have children. Anyway, is killing yourself in a law enforcement parking lot a thing? We assumed our friend did it there so his wife or a friend etc wouldn’t have to find his body. Sorry Sherri’s comment #16 made me think of that. OK on to your regularly scheduled commenting.

    Susan, thanks for that link to Frankin’s podcast with Malcolm Nance. I didn’t know that Frankin had a podcast and now I do, I used to listen to him on Air America radio back in the day. Nance is scaring me, I don’t want to believe him that this November could be the last election.

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  18. Suzanne said on February 21, 2020 at 11:56 am

    I wish the debates would ask a question about policy issues and then have each candidate, in a set amount of time, give their answer. The questions are frequently not that great and then the moderators clearly have favorites of who they ask questions of. The loudest mouths (Trump, Sanders) get more air time because they butt in and talk over others.
    Mainly, what I want from a debate is to hear from the candidates what their policy ideas are. I can decide for myself how they differ & pick which I agree with the most. I don’t need them to snipe at each other, each claiming they are superior.

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  19. Sherri said on February 21, 2020 at 11:56 am

    I think we should recognize the reality of our billionaire kings and start referring to them that way. So, no longer Jeff Bezos, but King Jeff of Amazon. King Mark of Facebook. King Mike of Bloomberg.

    And this is a very good visualization of Bloomberg’s wealth:

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  20. Jakash said on February 21, 2020 at 11:59 am

    “at least I can sleep at night”

    Because she spared the nation the supposed nightmare of an Al Gore presidency, and instead helped usher in “Shock and Awe,” the neocon-chickenhawk-industrial complex, and hundreds of thousands of unnecessary deaths in Iraq? I think I’d need some Ambien to help assuage my culpability for that, myself.

    As a palate cleanser, I believe Nancy had a post here about the Obama presidential portraits, back when they were revealed. This is an interesting article discussing their impact and sharing the perspective of Amy Sherald, the woman who painted Michelle’s. (Full disclosure — I confess that I was among the hoi polloi that “didn’t get it.”)

    “‘Some people like their poetry to rhyme. Some people don’t,’ was her most succinct summary. ‘That’s fine. It’s cool.'”

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  21. jcburns said on February 21, 2020 at 11:59 am

    I think the “what do you want out of debates” question is a good one. I think we could be better served by having the candidates do a lot of town halls (like the ones on CNN, although I have to admit, I’ve never watched the ones on CNN.) Some sort of way to extend New Hampshire-style-small-group-retail politics (where we then go home and ponder who we like best) to large populations nationwide. But the debates really seem to be TV contrivances, and all the “battle” metaphors do not serve us well at all. (Slurps coffee.)

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  22. Deborah said on February 21, 2020 at 12:06 pm

    I found this link to an interesting thread from something Sarah Kendzior’s retweeted

    As to why I watch debates: actually this election cycle I haven’t watched more than 5 minutes of any of the debates, and the last couple I didn’t watch at all. I’m finding that they heighten my anxiety level and it’s already through the roof. I read a lot about the candidates, as much as I can. I watch videos they produce or are produced about them by others. I read the news online mostly, I find the debates to be unhelpful, but I didn’t feel this way in other election cycles.

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  23. Heather said on February 21, 2020 at 12:12 pm

    I read an analogy somewhere that Trump ignoring the report about Russians is like if he was warned and given proof an enemy was going to bomb us in a specific time frame, and he said, “Nah, I don’t care” and installed someone who would tell him what he wanted to hear. That’s essentially what happened.

    I’m really scared about this and feel totally powerless to change it. Yes, vote, but if the election is compromised, it won’t matter.

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  24. Sherri said on February 21, 2020 at 12:17 pm

    It must be spring. A flicker is pounding on my metal chimney cap.

    We’ve also had sunshine everyday this week!!!

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  25. Joe Kobiela said on February 21, 2020 at 12:35 pm

    This is what my daughter has been working on the last few years, needless to say I am extremely proud of her, do your self a favor if you are in the area and pay them a visit, the painting they renovated is stunning. Pilot Joe. AUBURN, Ind. (WPTA21) – The historic main library in Auburn that suffered an arson fire has announced an opening date following years of renovation and restoration.

    The arson fire gutted the Eckhart Public Library, destroying tens of thousands of library materials, historic paintings and stained glass.

    Years after the fire, much of the 7 million dollars in damage has been repaired.

    Contractors have saved as much of the historic structure as possible but six panes of stained glass and several irreplaceable works of art that once adorned library walls were destroyed.

    Library officials announced Friday they will open the doors to the public on Sunday, March 15.

    Highlighted Features at Eckhart Public Library

    ● Battle of Fair Oaks: Robert Grafton’s “The Battle of Fair Oaks” has been expertly restored and showcases brilliant colors that had been hiding under shellac for years. This painting will now be able to be seen as it was vibrantly painted originally, displayed in an area that had been closed to the public for the past 24 years.

    ● More meeting rooms: In addition to the restored Close Community Room on the Upper Level of the library, there is now an Assembly Room on the Main Level, a Children’s Meeting Room, an Eckhart Room conference room on the Upper Level, and an Activity Room featuring multi-level space for the education of life skills and other programs.

    ● A new entrance to Children’s Area on Lower Level provides a direct path for children to literacy and learning opportunities.

    ● The Secret Garden room in our Children’s Area has been restored, with the mural touched up and its design more fully incorporated into the rest of the Children’s Area.

    ● The Activity Room in the Children’s Area has been expanded and now features sinks for children and adults, as well as a washing machine and dryer, to allow children to be fully engaged in all aspects of programming and learn valuable life skills.

    ● A private Nursing Nook has been added to the Children’s Area for families that would prefer a private space for feeding their children. While this space is available for families that would like to use it, parents are encouraged to feed their little ones in the library in the ways that work best for them.

    ● Library of Things: While the library started a Library of Things, featuring items like a Kitchen Aid Mixer and metal detector, prior to the fire, this collection has expanded. It now includes items like graphing calculators, a stroller, a walker, reading glasses, crutches, cake pans, fishing poles, a card table and chairs, a Cricut die cut machine and more. This collection will be featured in the Upper Level of the library.

    ● Listening Station: A brand new collection of vinyl records is available to circulate as well as be listened to inside the library.

    ● Self Checkout Stations: Each level of the library will feature all-in-one self-service checkout machines. While library staff are always happy to assist and will be available to checkout materials, we want our patrons to have options. If they would like to go at their own pace or check out their items privately, they will be able to do so.

    ● Mechanical Room housed in the library to maintain the Historic Fountain, which is now tied into the library’s plumbing for the first time.

    ● An increase in public drinking fountains that are equipped with bottle-filling features.

    Kayla Crandall

    Kayla Crandall is an Emmy award-winning journalist. She serves as the Social Media

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  26. Jakash said on February 21, 2020 at 12:35 pm

    Well, Suzanne, you can’t say that Elizabeth Warren has skimped on offering policy ideas, or running a positive campaign. And it got her pretty much written off by the media and many voters. Targeted, substantive sniping has put her back in the conversation. I don’t like that much better than you do, but I don’t blame her for trying to adapt to the reality of the American campaign circus.

    My favorite “Bloomberg’s wealth” comparison is $15,000 per month since the dawn of humanity. Uh, that seems like a lot. Is a tax that would “redistribute” a couple millennia’s worth of that out of the question?

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  27. susan said on February 21, 2020 at 12:56 pm

    Mother Jones worked up a visual of Bloomberg’s wealth:

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  28. Suzanne said on February 21, 2020 at 1:06 pm

    I agree Jakash @26, which is why the debate format is so idiotic. It doesn’t lend itself to policy discussions but leads to shouting because that’s the only way to get noticed, especially if there is a brash, loudmouth participating. It’s what sunk the Republicans in 2016. If being a loudmouth isn’t your nature, faking it to get attention makes you look worse, not better. Who can forget Little Marco or Low Energy Jeb! or Lyin’ Ted trying to get down & dirty with Trump. They looked like fools (which they are, but that is another discussion).

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  29. nancy said on February 21, 2020 at 1:55 pm

    And the “well, what do YOU think of that answer, Other Candidate?” is total bullshit. It’s designed to generate zingers and social-media clips.

    I hate this business lately.

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  30. Sherri said on February 21, 2020 at 2:19 pm

    But when have debates been any different? Not in my memory. Well before the internet, much less social media, they were about zingers and gotchas.

    Why do we keep doing the same thing and keep watching, expecting something different?

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  31. Jeff Borden said on February 21, 2020 at 2:24 pm

    I believe it’s fair to say American journalism was not properly prepared to confront the enormous challenge of covering a lunatic who lies like others breathe and who has no concept of following behavioral norms. The whole “other side does it too” horseshit and the unwillingness to simply call out these falsehoods in real time has allowed tRump and his proxies to play journalists like a piano. And the so-called political shows are simply beyond redemption. Chuck Todd, in particular, makes me throw up in my mouth. Only the late night talk show hosts –and “The Daily Show,” of course– are doing justice to this particular time in our history.

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  32. St Bitch said on February 21, 2020 at 2:45 pm

    In the debates, I’m curious to see how they dress; whether they use a lot of make-up for the cameras; how at ease they are in their own skin; how they interact with their ‘team of rivals’; how well they can deliver rehearsed zingers; what kind of stamina they have for that rather demanding format where they’re not as produced and packaged as in most other media presentations.

    Above all, I’m panning for nuggets of characteristics inadvertently revealed when a candidate is forced off-script, their game face slips, and they have to maneuver on their feet. Such RARE glimpses can usually only be gleaned from the sturm and drang of a heated debate.

    On the other hand, I do NOT want to see or hear about any Democratic nominee debating Trump. Why seek participation in a farce you know full well will only showcase the one who’s successfully mastered the art of buffoonery?

    What fool goes knowingly into battle with a suicide bomber?

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  33. Snarkworth said on February 21, 2020 at 3:26 pm

    St Bitch speaks for me.

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  34. alex said on February 21, 2020 at 4:27 pm

    For all of its flaws, one thing I must say about this debate season is that, for the most part, they’re keeping it real. Remember the old days when the questions were total bullshit and the candidates, like George HW Bush, gave totally patronizing answers? The moderators didn’t even address real issues, just empty partisan tomfoolery like “family values” and “balanced budgets.”

    I remember screaming at the TV “Why can’t you fucking talk about anything real?”

    At least the issues being addressed are much more substantive.

    And yes, I agree that any debate with Donald Trump is a farce not worth participating in. The eventual candidate stands to lose more by submitting to it than by refusing and stating clearly why.

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  35. Peter said on February 21, 2020 at 4:32 pm

    First off, Pilot Joe, that was one nice article. Congratulations to you and your daughter.

    I only watched a bit of the debates because I was turned off by Warren’s takedown of Bloomberg. I’m not saying it wasn’t deserved, because it was; I’m not saying it was a bad look for her, because it wasn’t; I’m not saying it changed my mind about her, because I still think she’s the best candidate. It’s just that it had a all star wrestling feel to it and I could have done without it.

    I’ve met Mike Bloomberg before he made his first billion when he was peddling his services on the trading floor. It’s as a hostile environment as you can get, and he was very impressive. The problem is that I think we need someone to clean this place out without going Robespierre or Cromwell, and I think only Warren could do that.

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  36. Jeff Borden said on February 21, 2020 at 4:54 pm

    Times like these require a little bit of Pokey Lafarge. . .

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  37. Icarus said on February 21, 2020 at 5:42 pm

    In 5th grade, we had these art contests every Friday. My coloring skills were worse than my handwriting if you can imagine that. I never came close to winning.

    One day the most popular girl in class, Sandy B, decided she wasn’t gonna participate. On a whim, I asked if I could have her vote. She said sure. Somehow word got out that Sandy was voting for me and a few others followed suit.

    After the first round, it was a tie, between me and some other kid with more talent. We did a second pass and I overwhelming trounced him/her because everyone wanted to vote with the cool kid.

    That is our American Primary folks.

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  38. Sherri said on February 21, 2020 at 7:14 pm

    Eat the rich.

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  39. Deborah said on February 21, 2020 at 9:25 pm

    Jeff B, that Pokey LaFarge video was quite the spectacle.

    My husband arrived in Chicago this evening, back from Charlotte. His mother is doing much better physically from her fall and broken hip surgery, but he said she is “dropping” mentally. We’re hoping it’s just from the medication but it’s disconcerting. He said at one point she couldn’t discern if he was her son or her brother. And many other such things. This is so sad because her mental state has always been amazing. She’s always been one smart cookie.

    And on another front we just got word that Uncle J has taken a fall, he’s being transported to the hospital as I’m typing this. We have no idea what happened, this is all happening right now. Uncle J, is 89 and in the middle/late stage of Alzheimer’s.

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  40. Deborah said on February 22, 2020 at 8:55 am

    Uncle J seems to be ok, no broken bones etc. Quite a scare though.

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  41. Joe Kobiela said on February 22, 2020 at 9:38 am

    I know most on this sight don’t care about sports but does anyone remember where they were 40 yrs ago today and how they felt when they heard USA-4 Russia-3 out of Lake Placid? I was working security for The Beach Boys concert in Fort Wayne as a member of the rugby club and Steve Goodman was the opening act and right before he went on I heard the score and told him, he walked out on stage and announced the score and I thought the place was going to come down, it was a roar like I have never heard. What a feeling, I still get chills, do you believe in miracles? YES!!!!
    Pilot Joe

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  42. Julie Robinson said on February 22, 2020 at 10:01 am

    In that era, I still believed it was patriotic duty to watch the Olympics, So though not a hockey fan, I had it on. It was thrilling. Was it late at night? Can’t recall.

    BTW, no one has commented on the title of this post. Is it assumed everyone knows, or are many too young?

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  43. David C. said on February 22, 2020 at 10:08 am

    Everything you ever wanted to know about the miracle on ice, but forgot these many years later.

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  44. Sherri said on February 22, 2020 at 11:32 am

    A sad epilogue to the Miracle on Ice:

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  45. Jakash said on February 22, 2020 at 12:33 pm

    Yeah, I remember the Miracle on Ice. Cool story, PJ. Another thing I remember about 1980 is that Republicans actually rooted heartily against the Soviets, rather than turning a blind eye on and attempting to cover up the fact that their Russian descendants helped deliver the last presidential election to an authoritarian, criminal boob and are intent on doing so again this time.

    While I’m somewhat sorry to politicize a feel-good topic, PJ’s selective celebration of Americana while he blithely ignores the damage to the rule of law, among many other American values, that this president is doing is, uh, sad. Bread and circuses for all!

    Julie R., “They’re coming” had some vague resonance for me — I think of Poltergeist, or something like that, but I can’t really put my finger on it. While I’m old enough to get whatever the reference is, I’m also old enough to have forgotten it…

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  46. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on February 22, 2020 at 1:05 pm

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  47. Jakash said on February 22, 2020 at 1:44 pm

    Hmmm… So not Poltergeist or some alien-invasion movie, then. D’oh! For whatever reason, I don’t believe I ever saw that, though I’ve certainly heard of it and should have picked up on the reference. Thanks, Jeff.

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  48. Julie Robinson said on February 22, 2020 at 1:57 pm

    Thank you, Jeff!

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  49. Jason T. said on February 22, 2020 at 1:57 pm

    Julie @ 42

    “Emergency. Emergency. Everybody to get from street.”

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  50. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on February 22, 2020 at 2:27 pm

    I honestly believe that this modest little movie might have had a significant effect on human history in moderating the tone around the Cold War. I could be wrong. Hope is my addictive drug of choice. Hat tip, Norman Jewison who has made some good ones, but none with possibly as much influence on the culture than “The Russians Are Coming, The Russians Are Coming!” (1966)

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  51. St Bitch said on February 22, 2020 at 3:04 pm

    “Bernie’s a fucking gasbag…” is ouch!, a bit of a cheap shot, but I have a sister who he irritates the hell out of, so I kind of get it.

    But calling Sanders a Robespierre (Peter @35) isn’t even witty. Really? Feeling the Bern is going to lead to a Reign of Terror? Hello…that future is now! And no, Bernie Sanders is not bloodthirsty.

    Now that I’m ‘hotted up’, may I say that everyone seems to have gotten something topsy-turvy. It’s not that Mitch McConnell GOP, Inc is turning a blind eye to the White House antics…on the contrary, they’re feeding the beast and turning him loose to keep us all distracted as they continue to upgrade their power playbook. Remember, Obama was in office when they flexed their muscle on Merrick Garland…for all to see but with no one able to counter-punch. Trump is their perfect tool, sucking up the oxygen and keeping the national (as well as international) eye off of the real shadow destruction of our norms. Maybe the beast slips his leash once and a while, but I have no doubt if he ever strays too far from their control, he’ll be ‘put down’.

    *Pause* to take a breath and give thanks to all who voted in the midterms, empowering Nancy Pelosi.

    I firmly believe that Stacey Abrams’ FairFight2020 voting rights initiative is every bit as important (if not more so) as our hunt to nominate a crucial contender.

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  52. Sherri said on February 22, 2020 at 3:37 pm

    From the New Yorker in 2013, Bloomberg’s Fables:

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  53. Sherri said on February 22, 2020 at 4:25 pm

    I think this is an insightful thread:

    I don’t like Bernie. I agree with a lot of his stances, but I think he’s an activist who doesn’t understand how to work on the inside, and so would get little accomplished and just blame everybody else. And I don’t mean activist as a pejorative; we need activists, to challenge the status quo. But not all activists are capable of moving form the outside to the inside. It’s difficult, and can only be done for a limited time before you lose all credibility one place or the other. That Bernie has accomplished so little in Congress and maintained so much credibility as an outsider for such a long career does not inspire confidence that he has the skill set to work as an insider.

    My concern about the BernieBros is that there is a nihilism in them not that dissimilar from the nihilism of the Trump supporters, the sense that everything is broken, so we should just blow it all up. It’s a lot easier to think that way if you’re a white male.

    I want to change the status quo. I’d advocated pretty dramatic changes to the status quo. But blowing shit up tends to rain that shit down on the most vulnerable people. That’s what I’m not sure is fully grokked in Bernie land. Sure, after the glorious Revolution, all will be wonderful, but there’s a lot of “then a miracle occurs” as to how we get there.

    TL;DR Boomers don’t grok why Millennials aren’t as scared of socialism as they are, because Boomers have their houses and are within ten years of Medicare anyway.

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  54. Maria said on February 22, 2020 at 5:09 pm

    Not to worry, Sherri. Bernie hasn’t got a chance in hell of winning.

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  55. Dexter Friend said on February 22, 2020 at 5:18 pm

    2008 seems like so long ago, when Dems were moving so quickly for Barack Obama, and the feeling of finally being able to feel good about America after the debacle of the 2nd worst President in history was done with. (Reagan was the worst, and Bush43 isn’t even close to worst behind RR.) Today we are polarized to the maximum. All my adult life I have been waiting for a candidate like Bernie Sanders to ascend to a top tier candidate. If Democrats later on at convention time decide he is a do-nothing Senator and cannot beat Trump, and we must head quickly to the center, we can go right of center with Klobuchar or preferably for me, get behind Pete smack dab in the center. Many women love Warren, but with her close policy ties to Bernie , will she be able to shake her semi-socialist beliefs? I have never seen such hatred for a front runner as I see for Bernie Sanders…women seem to hate him, calling him an old coot and a dinosaur and unelectable. Culinary workers and others hate Bernie because they believe their union’s medical care insurance is superb. Well, I am long retired and medical insurance is only for the employed. You get laid off for a while, you are covered, maybe just a month, maybe a year, but then you are done, proverbially fucked. In a booming economy and you are hale and hearty and skilled, you will find a good job and a good insurance policy. In a down economy or if you are in failing health or too old , you will not have insurance. Safeguards for health-insured people who depend on insurance packages paid for by the employer will have a minefield to negotiate to be covered when they get the axe. Bernie might be a good alternative to right of center candidates such as Klobuchar. I have been on Medicare for 5 years and have never used it because I qualify for V.A. insurance, but my wife has had five major surgeries in that time and Medicare pays well.

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  56. Suzanne said on February 22, 2020 at 5:19 pm

    Yes, Sherri. I agree. Sadly, the way we choose presidents in the modern time means that the Warrens or Klobuchars or the Bidens of the world, who get things done and who understand the complexity of life but aren’t full of pizzazz are overlooked in favor of the reality show candidates who talk the loudest and longest.

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  57. 4dbirds said on February 22, 2020 at 6:26 pm

    Well, Pilot fucking Joe is flying over blue skies and notes that everyone is happy in Disney World so every thing must be fine. Right?

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  58. Deborah said on February 22, 2020 at 6:27 pm

    Totally agree that the extremes seem to be the only ones who get attention. Big mistake, we’ll be paying for, for a long, long time unless a miracle happens. And yes I’ll vote for Bernie if he gets nominated, I have no choice.

    Today is cultural day for us in Chicago, we had lunch at the Art Institute with Uncle J’s French artist friend that he is a patron for, and her family, then browsing in the Modern Wing. Tonight we go to the symphony, where the program is Beethoven’s Second and Fifth. Malika (the artist came to see Uncle J, one last time, since his Dr doesn’t want him to travel internationally any more, and really not more than a 2 hour drive from his home. Those days are over for him unfortunately.

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  59. Deborah said on February 22, 2020 at 6:43 pm

    Sherri, good thread link in your comment #53. My generation certainly fucked a lot of stuff up for the young folks, no question about that, and I get why they;re mad as hell. But this election is so critical, I wish they could be a little more patient. Obviously, easy for me to say. Like I said, I saw idealism on the progressive side with McGovern back in 1972, it failed miserably. I hope I’m wrong and I’ll do my best to help and give to whoever the nominee is.

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  60. St Bitch said on February 22, 2020 at 6:47 pm

    Ok – I just skimmed the twitter thread, Sherri…more interested in your opinion

    Four years ago, I’d never have guessed I’d now be defending Bernie…so the case I want to make is pretty much a shoot-from-the-hip response.

    Every hopeful in this primary who also holds, or has held, office, has worked on legislation with Bernie Sanders, and has been vocal about it. I’ve seen plenty of feedback from both sides of the aisle that he may rant and rave, but will ultimately make practical decisions that promote the passage of a bill (or, more likely, an amendment) when push comes to shove. As Klobuchar would point out, he’s been doing the (so, so tedious) hard work and making the hard choices for a long, long time. What more is he supposed to have done to be considered an insider player? Furthermore, who else running for the executive office these days has been able to accomplish anything with McConnell Inc manning the blockades?

    Is Bernie really an Independent hiding as a Democrat? Huh? He was out front with his reasons for joining the party, and has paid more dues towards being a member than I ever could.

    When I was phone banking for Elizabeth, one of the issues about which Iowan Democrats (who were willing to answer their phone) expressed concern was election reform. You question Bernie’s ability to bring about change, Sherri, in the face of his phenomenal grass-roots small-donor-fueled juggernaut of a campaign that circumvents Citizens United and super pacs. In my book, that’s a hefty historic change…a bloodless revolution.

    Finally, I take exception to the tarnishing of Sanders supporters with the BernieBro brush. I know they’re out there, but I don’t know them. I do know many of my longest-held dearest friends – who protested Viet Nam; who consorted with the Soledad Brothers, the San Quentin 6, and Dianne Feinstein when she was mayor of San Francisco back in the day; who fervently support Bernie now – radical California Boomer friends around whom I’ve always been content to feel frivolous – are simply not nihilistic. Here in Iowa, my best friend’s son – dreadlocked, biracial, hardcore Bernie-base, new-father-of-a-baby-girl – is not nihilistic. The well-oiled Bernie caucus in my precinct was respectful of the process (such as it was) and lively – not nihilistic. Did you not hear Bernie repudiate (without qualifiers) those BernieBros acting out in unacceptable ways? Don’t you believe him?

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  61. Julie Robinson said on February 22, 2020 at 8:38 pm

    I birthed a BernieBro. He thinks the party cheated Bernie out of the nomination in 2016 by manipulating the primary rules and creating the super delegates (super-super-delegates?). He did still vote for Hillary after Mom kept reminding him about Supreme Court nominations.

    He is ready to blow up the party if he thinks Bernie is cheated again this year. Certainly he will never vote “D” again.

    Dexter, the economy is supposedly booming but I still know a lot of people with full time jobs and crummy insurance. If you have a 5K or 10K deductible before coverage kicks in, you effectively don’t have insurance.

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  62. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on February 22, 2020 at 8:43 pm

    You have to admire Bernie’s sheer persistence, which is how he got here.

    And on MSNBC now (8:40 pm EST), it’s fascinating watching Bernie literally wear out his crowd with his stump speech. They want to wildly cheer so much of what he says, but Bernie just keeps going, and going, and going . . .

    Mayor Pete’s speech was basically all going at Bernie, because that’s the game over hazard he’s up against. If Biden’s edge in South Carolina goes up from 5% to closer to 10% over the next week, it will be because there really is concern about Bernie-ism in the Democratic Party, but I wonder. Warren, though, seems to be a sail flapping in the breeze through March 3. Not enough wind to make headway.

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  63. Sherri said on February 22, 2020 at 9:52 pm

    St B, first let me say, watching so many people freak out about Bernie is making me like him more…

    What could Bernie have done to be more of an inside player? Helped out other Dems. Or you know, actually join the party, other than just when he needs it.

    As for accomplishing change, well, I’d call the CFPB pretty big. Biden also has a long history of accomplishment in Congress, even if I think some of it is disqualifying. I don’t like *what* he’s done, but he has worked to get stuff done. Not all of it was bad.

    I hate Citizens United, but I don’t think PACs are automatically and inherently bad things. I have a problem with using 501(c)4’s for campaigns, because they don’t have to disclose donors, and guess what? That’s exactly what Our Revolution is. I’d rather see a PAC where I can tell who gave and how much.

    I have dealt with BernieBros. Certainly, not all Sanders supporters are BernieBros, but the phenomenon is real, and isn’t just Russian troll bots. It’s been around since 2016, and Bernie may make a comment now and then saying something, but no, I don’t believe he thinks it’s a big deal. There would be better self-policing among the ranks if it mattered to him. I think he’s just clueless about the problem and believes that it’s just made up to attack him, and his staff who should know better either don’t educate him or are part of the problem.

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  64. Brian stouder said on February 22, 2020 at 10:03 pm

    All my faves this time around have been women, and they’ve not caught fire. First Kamala, then Amy, and now Elizabeth….and if we end up with an old (old, old!) white guy, whatever. (But still, go Liz!)

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  65. alex said on February 22, 2020 at 10:33 pm

    The comparisons between Bernie in 2020 and McGovern in 1972 are spine-chilling to be sure, but there is one significant difference that might make all the difference.

    In 1972 the Democratic party was still home to a considerable number of far-right southern conservatives who hadn’t yet shifted their allegiance to the GOP, and no way were these people ever going to vote for a progressive. McGovern’s nomination doubtless hastened their exit. By the same token, today’s Democratic party is home to a lot of centrist to center-left former Republicans and while the prospect of a progressive candidate may not make them delirious with joy, it may also not be the dealbreaker we assume it to be.

    It’s a pretty stark choice between a man of good will versus the man of ill will currently inhabiting the White House and just maybe that’s enough.

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  66. Brian stouder said on February 22, 2020 at 10:53 pm

    And, on the subject of things on TV I simply don’t understand, there is a Hyundai commercial touting an automated parking system – touting that you get out of the car and then it parks between 2 others…not parallel parking – with cars in front and in back – but for example at a Wal-Mart parking lot with cars to the left and right of you… Making we wonder what will happen to your new car when the other folks come out and cannot open their doors with your stupid car too close to theirs…??

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  67. St Bitch said on February 23, 2020 at 12:27 am

    Hey Sherri,

    I guess I’m not enough of a party animal for Bernie’s Democrat credentials to factor into my choice. When I was leaning toward Nader in ’96 because…Kerry, a California friend read me the riot act…tore me a new one (choose your cliche). Bernie has taken the pledge and, although perhaps begrudgingly, been accepted by the DNC. Point taken that his Party history is a source of resentment. That resentment just strikes me as petty in light of Trumpian race-baiting and fear-mongering.

    The last thing I want to do is undervalue the other candidates’ accomplishments. But by the same token, why be so ready to trash the record of a civil servant who has been toiling on behalf of his constituency, upholding his oath to protect the constitution, and staying true to his proclaimed (controversial) ideals for many years?

    If Our Revolution is structured to obfuscate the campaign funding, and/or Bernie is misrepresenting his donation numbers, then a serious breach of trust is being perpetrated on all of us. I just don’t see it. There isn’t a disconnect between his (declared) donations and polling/voting results. Also, among the many Sanders flaws I believe I actually can see, fraud isn’t one of them.

    I imagine that tangling with aggressive BernieBros would sour my attitude as well, and I hear that you’re not satisfied with the Sanders campaign BernieBro wrangling. Perhaps he’s dismissive of the problem…perhaps he isn’t but doesn’t have a strategy for handling it. I have no idea. All I can say is that I’ve heard Bernie condemn the fanatical behavior of his most extreme supporters.

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  68. Sherri said on February 23, 2020 at 1:09 am

    You misunderstand me, St B. I don’t care whether Bernie is a party loyalist or not. You asked why I didn’t think he showed any sign of being able to work well as an insider, and that he has only ever worked for what mattered to him and not put forth any effort to help anyone else until it was useful to him as a Presidential candidate is a big sign to me. Politics is about relationships, and I don’t see the relationship building.

    When Bernie condemns the bad behavior, what I’ve mostly seen is not, my supporters should not do this, but more like, nobody should be subjected to this. Those are subtly different things, and it matters. The first says, I see that my supporters are behaving badly, and I will not tolerate it. The second says, bad things happen in elections, on all sides, and they shouldn’t.

    It’s been four years, and it hasn’t gotten any better.

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  69. Sherri said on February 23, 2020 at 1:13 am

    Oh, I’m not accusing Bernie of fraud. However, it is the case that Our Revolution is structured as a 501(c)4, not as a PAC. That means that they don’t have to disclose their donors, and they don’t, not reliably. It’s one of the ways dark money gets in thanks to Citizens United, and Bernie has been using it while condemning others for using PACs. It’s not fraud, merely hypocrisy.

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  70. St Bitch said on February 23, 2020 at 1:23 am

    Respect due, Sherri. I think I have a better grasp on where you’re coming from. Always interested in what you have to say.

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  71. Deborah said on February 23, 2020 at 1:27 am

    If Bernie chooses Kamala Harris or better yet Stacy Abrams as his VP, well now there’s a ticket I can get behind 100%. Especially if he promises not to run for a second term when he’s 80 something. Maybe Obama and Eric Holder could get him in a room and convince him to do just that.

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  72. Dexter Friend said on February 23, 2020 at 2:25 am

    Julie Robinson: Before my old army pal from Connecticut aged into Medicare, he worked in a halfway house for probies just out of prison. It paid a buck + minimum wage and had a $5,000 deductible and was tightly capped as well. For him, it was worthless.
    Brian, that commercial set me off too…old man takes fob and hits a button and the car creeps into the garage. In a tight spot like a close-in garage or lot anywhere, and the neighboring cars are hugging the lines, that car would have wedged itself in. There was no mention of any reverse button.

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  73. Mark P said on February 23, 2020 at 8:26 am

    If Sanders is the nominee then the choice of VP will be critical, because at his age he may not make it through his first term. I really like Stacy Abrams as VP.

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  74. Deborah said on February 23, 2020 at 10:37 am

    Speaking of prescient movies, this one just about exactly predicted Facebook’s role in elections now The President’s Analyst with James Coburn. Yikes.

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  75. Jeff Borden said on February 23, 2020 at 11:11 am

    I’m not much of a fan of Bernie, but will vote blue no matter who. That said, there’s a reason the Orange King wants to run against him. Republicans have weaponized the word “socialist” to a point that many older Americans think of it solely in terms of the old USSR or, more currently, the economic collapse of Venezuela. Younger voters are much more inclined to see the benefits of democratic socialism, but are there enough of them to swing the election? I fear the attack ads on Bernie will be highly effective in noting his embrace of leftist leaders and his honeymooning in the old Soviet Union. He’ll bring the Magats out in swarms.

    Sometimes, it’s hard to remember it was only 12 years ago the rise of Barack Obama made me feel so good about the future of this country. I was naive and stupid. He was a hiccup. The Orange King is far more representative of our grim future. His reelection will bring on unmitigated disasters we cannot imagine.

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  76. Sherri said on February 23, 2020 at 12:34 pm

    Probably my biggest concern with Bernie as the nominee is how House and Senate candidates will handle it. Because Bernie doesn’t have those relationships, and because the Dem consultant class seems to be very much of the “must appeal to moderates” model rather than “increase turnout” model, I fear that they will run away from Sanders, to the detriment of both Sanders and the chances of taking the Senate and the House. It will become everyone for themselves.

    In other words, Bernie will be perceived to have no coattails, which becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy.

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  77. David C. said on February 23, 2020 at 12:41 pm

    Exactly, Jeff. I hear it said that the Rs will try to brand any of the Democrats as a socialist and they will. But will any candidate make it so easy to stick at Bernie? Bernie isn’t an actual socialist. He’s a social democrat. So why all these years has he hung the label socialist on himself? Who knows? He isn’t stupid. He knows how that word is perceived by a fair percentage of the electorate. Who knows what the FSB will give to the Rs from their archives. It’ll be relentless with the American and Russian oligarchs funding it no matter if they find anything or pull it straight out of their asses.

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  78. Sherri said on February 23, 2020 at 1:01 pm

    Also, to be clear, I do not find Sanders to be a threat to democracy in the same way I find Bloomberg. I don’t like Sanders but I don’t think he’s authoritarian.

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  79. Sherri said on February 23, 2020 at 1:20 pm

    This is just cool.

    Hockey teams have emergency backup goalies: players who are not on the team but able to step in in the rare case that both the goalies on the team have to leave a game due to injury. A 42 year old Zamboni driver and practice goalie for a minor league team is the EBUG for the Carolina Hurricanes, and he got the first win for an EBUG last night, entering the game in the second period and stopping 8 of 10 shots.

    And by the way: he had a kidney transplant 15 years ago.

    For his efforts, he gets the NHL mandated $500 and his game worn jersey, and eternal fame.

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  80. Sherri said on February 23, 2020 at 1:24 pm

    What’s also cool about the emergency backup goalie concept is that it’s the home team that provides the goalie, to play for either team as necessary.

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  81. Jakash said on February 23, 2020 at 2:11 pm

    I’ll just note that I was not aware that a bunch of Miracle on Icers had worn KAG hats at a Trump rally when I said that I was “somewhat sorry to politicize a feel-good topic” yesterday. Ain’t that America.

    “To us, this is not about politics or choosing sides” — their tweet defending themselves — for appearing at a political rally wearing campaign hats which support the most shameless “side-choosing” politician in recent memory. Sure, Jan.

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  82. Deborah said on February 23, 2020 at 3:03 pm

    I need to try to be optimistic, which is not my usual mode of operation. I read this on Twitter today by Anand Giridharadas

    “Curiosity is the lubricant of our civic engine. When things you don’t get start happening, be big enough to wonder about what you don’t see.”

    I too prefer Bernie over Bloomberg, it’s the rest of the population I worry about. But I still prefer Warren overall.

    Today was a marathon cleaning day after mostly being away for nearly 3 months, we’re having dinner guests tonight and others later this week, so it was imperative.

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  83. St Bitch said on February 23, 2020 at 5:15 pm

    “Curiosity is the lubricant of our civic engine. When things you don’t get start happening, be big enough to wonder about what you don’t see.”

    Love that quote, Deborah!

    Intellectual curiosity, an open mind, is what I’ve loved the most about Obama, Elizabeth Warren and Andrew Yang. The lack of that quality is one of the things I’ve disliked about Bernie.

    I believe that cultivating curiosity is a vital tonic for our mental health, and can chase away the fear with which many forces are attempting to subdue and oppress us. We don’t have to fabricate a fragile optimism, or succumb to an impotent pessimism, if we can somehow keep trying to tap into a sense wonder about the seismic shifts happening in our time.

    Curiosity is a luxury I’m grateful I can afford, yet it’s a privilege I don’t think most of the groundswell of supporters for Bernie’s firebrand focus on inequality and injustice have on their radar.

    Is Bernie really unstoppable? Will Elizabeth manage to persist on the trail and keep holding Bloomberg’s feet to the fire? How are the black and latin-x coalitions going to shape up? What the hell is going to happen next? I wonder…

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  84. Brandon said on February 23, 2020 at 6:32 pm

    @Sherry, #73: So Bloomberg would be the American Lee Kuan Yew?

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