Wednesday, December 11, 2019

Aside from all his racial gaffes, the heavy baggage of all of his previous policy positions that don't look so good anymore, his inability to speak coherently off the cuff, the fact that he does not appear to be aging well and if elected would be the oldest president ever, and his completely unrealistic view of what the modern Republican party is I can't think of any other reason to not back this guy for President

Oh wait, here's one more!

Incumbency is a huge advantage in any election, including the Presidential election. Most Presidents have won a second term. Of the 9 Presidents in my lifetime only two, Carter and Bush the First, didn't win after running a second time (Ford was running his first time). Why would the Democrats ever give up that advantage with their Presidential nominee?

Also, Biden is presumably only saying this because he thinks it will people a reason to support him. But what kind of sales pitch is "support me and you'll get less of me"?!?!?!


Tuesday, December 10, 2019

All of them can beat Trump

I'm not saying they all will win or that we should take a Democratic win for granted. It is just that Trump has enough liabilities that anyone running against him has a good shot of winning. (As Atrios pointed out, Obama was never that far ahead of Romney in any head-to-head poll in 2012). So we might as well support the candidate who we really want, not some bullshit story we tell ourselves about who we imagine is the most electable.

Singular "they," "them," "their" seems to be a done deal

I have long thought that English should have singular gender neutral pronouns. A lot of times you don't know the gender when you are talking about someone, and calling that person "he" by default is sexist. It also is a bit strange that English pronouns are gender-neutral when they are plural but not singular. But I guess I just assumed when English finally got gender-neutral singular pronouns they would be completely new words,1 not the traditionally plural pronounces repurposed to be used in the singular.

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1- In college I was a proponent of the gender-neutral singular pronoun "shit," which is a contraction of "she," "he," and "it." Never mind the implicit insult to whoever chose to adopt a neutral gender.


Only two?

I could easily come up with a dozen off the top of my head (you pull that many just from the Mueller Report, and that doesn't even get to emoluments, or abusing his pardon power, or breaking immigration law and putting toddlers in cages, etc.) And even if we are just talking about the Ukraine matter, where is bribery?

Yeah, I know the GOP is feckless and will just acquit him on whatever charges the House draws up. But they will have to vote on each charge. The most charges there are the more vote Republicans will be forced to take on an issue that might not look so good for them 10-20 years down the road.

The purpose of impeachment isn't just to remove the President. It is also to build a record and to hold members of Congress accountable as well. I am not sure that the madness of King Don will completely leave the Republican party. But it is inevitable that there be some kind of distancing when he is gone. Even if Trumpism remains, Trump himself is such a dumb-dumb Republicans will probably be distancing themselves from his more nutso actions 15 minutes after he leaves the White House. If Trump loses next year's presidential election, the vote Senator Toomey will take to let Trump off the hook in 2020 is going to look pretty bad in 2022 when my Senator if finally up for reelection. Making every Republican Senator vote in favor of bribing foreign leaders just so they can let "their president" off the hook is something that can produce all kinds of political dividends over the next decade or more.

In other words, this impeachment is about the long game. Why are House Democrats refusing to play it?


Saturday, December 07, 2019

Amazon caves

Now that Amazon is opening its NYC facility even though the city withdrew all its incentives will local officials in Arlington, Virginia try to renegotiate the package they offered?

I’m not sure if what happened with New York tells us that all of these corporate shake-downs of local government for tax incentives is just a bluff, or if NYC is a uniquely appealing place for a company to have a facility so there is no lesson for other smaller places.


Friday, December 06, 2019

Lindsay doesn't want the House subpoeaing his personal telephone records

That's the best explanation for why he is breaking with Trump on this one thing.


Second choice polls are the most revealing

The polls showing that Sanders is consistently the second choice for for a plurality of Biden supporters tells me that a substantial portion of Biden support (more than a quarter) is from people who just want an old white guy.

The second-place polling for Sanders shows a similar phenomenon, with about a quarter of his supporters choosing Biden for their second choice, although a larger portion (31%) pick Warren second, which makes more sense ideologically.

A plurality of Bloomberg supporters also go to Biden, which makes sense ideologically. And relatively few Bloombergians go to Sanders for their second choice. On the other hand, aren't there very few Bloombergians to begin with? I mean, he was polling worse that Harris before she dropped out this week.


Thursday, December 05, 2019

Bibi charges ahead as the clock ticks

I expect that Netanyahu will announce the annexation of the Jordan Valley in the next year, while the U.S. President who will recognize the move.

Unless Israel gives full citizenship and civil rights to all the Palestinians who live in the annexed territory (and they won't), the move will also make clear that Israel is embracing outright apartheid. With annexation, Israel won't be able to make the distinction between "Israel proper" where it allows Palestinians to have citizenship, and the occupied territories, where it does not. The distinction was already extremely flimsy. After a half century, the pretense that occupation was a temporary situation in the immediate aftermath of the 1967 war is no longer tenable. It has long been clear to everyone who wasn't bending over backwards to pretend that Israel was a Western-style democracy that denial of full rights to people in the West Bank on a permanent basis is official Israeli policy. But rhetorical cover is still important. Annexation would mean abandoning that cover and making the ethnic-based denial of rights even more stark.


Wednesday, December 04, 2019

A landmark of sorts

My impression is that Kamala Harris is the first candidate to drop out who had an actual following. She may have only been at 3-5% in the polls, but she was a lot more people's second or third choice. (She might have even been mine!) The other drop outs so far haven't been like this. I wonder if Harris' people will migrate en masse to someone else (a +3% for anyone else could make a real difference for that other candidate) or if they will disburse among the others.

The most depressing thing is watching an acceptable candidate like Harris falter as Biden hangs on to his pile of supporters no matter how many times he embarrasses himself in the debates or completely flubs a simple policy question from a reporter.


Tuesday, December 03, 2019

All of Barr's investigations are bullshit

It is not an investigation if you're already certain what the outcome will be and reject any conclusion that contradicts your pre-established ideas of what happened.