The horizon is not so far as we can see, but as far as we can imagine

Commentary on Biden’s Speech

Biden’s turning out better than I expected on domestic economic issues, though that isn’t a high bar. This speech (full transcript) is very interesting, though the question of how much he can get through Congress remains. My telegraphic thoughts on reading it.

The IMF predicting six percent growth isn’t that impressive, just because after Covid there was always going to be a boom.

Getting rid of all lead pipes is really good and has needed to be done for decades.

Getting high-speed internet to every home is good. Hope there’s some price controls in there, because the ISPs definitely rip people off (I’ve seen profit numbers as high as 97 percent.) They also need to be sure it actually gets built; money has been given to providers to build before, and they haven’t bothered.

Upgrading the power grid is absolutely necessary. We’ll see what the details are. It needs to be done in a way that forces proper maintainance. PG&E has let literally thousands of fires happen because they’d rather pay dividends than fix their infrastructure.

The green plan is pretty good. Insufficient, but better than anyone else has done. Half a million charge stations, more energy efficient buildings, planting over crops and some industrial policy to create green machinery in the US. Someone has finally got it through their thick skull that most of the jobs required in upgrading buildings and so on can’t be offshored and outsourced, something I and others have been arguing for decades. Happy about this.

Some stuff about $15/minimum. Doubt Manchin will let it through, but if I were Biden, I’d use it as a cudgel for 2022 to get a majority he can use. Really, even $15 is stupid. It should be about $22 and indexed, ideally to the increase in CEO compensation.

A lot more money for research. Excellent.

Universal pre-school. I think it’s a terrible idea, but I know most experts disagree. Have to take the kids from the parents and soon as possible and train them to be obedient workers.

Two years of free community college; give workers slightly better, but non-elite jobs.

Some ACA fixes, none of which will make it good or people not hate it, because insurance companies controlling what you can get and whether it gets paid for is always going to suck.

Allowing Medicare to negotiate drug prices. See if Congress lets it through, but a good thing.

Top bracket for those earning 400K or more up to 39.6 percent. No way Machin lets this through, but a good market for a start. It should be 90 percent, of course.

The fixes to capital gains are great, and something America (and most other countries) have needed for ages. Taxing capital gains less than income was always ridiculous and unfair.

Lots of red meat rhetoric against CEOs and execs. Nice.

China cold war still on: China must play by American rules, and the US military will stay in the East. (More on this in future pieces, this is important.)

Red meat on Russia. Self congratulation on Afghanistan (earned, but continuing drone bombing it is bad.)

Gun control talk: wants the loopholes closed and background checks on everyone (I doubt this can get past Congress. If it does, the Supremes will veto it.)

Immigration: don’t blame me, I sent a bill and Congress won’t pass it. Also we should help nations where we’re getting a lot of refugees from so they don’t need to flee to  us.

Call back to FDR. They clearly want to make Biden the next FDR. He ain’t that, but domestically he’s the start of the end of neoliberalism, perhaps, and if so, that’s enough and more than I expected. None of this stuff is exactly radical, or sufficient BUT it is a reversal of trend, and that matters.

(Writers need dental care, so subscriptions and donations help.)


Why Progress Always Required Space Travel


Open Thread


  1. Troy

    Well, definitely not the next FDR, but maybe could be mistaken for Chester A. Arthur, which is to say, Biden’s possibly going to be better than expected but expectations were incredibly low.

  2. lolcow

    No. This is INSUFFICIENT. He’s not going to get any of it passed- he even refuses to get rid of the parliamentarian. Get real Ian, you’re a giant sap. Anything that does get passed will have some sort of loophole to make it ineffective. This is not the beginning of the end of neoliberalism. That is the dumbest statement I’ve ever heard.

  3. Joan

    Thanks for the breakdown on this. I’m torn about a lot of things. Insulating buildings: absolutely. Electric cars: still requires the absurd energy inputs of maintaining car infrastructure on the public dime. A car-based society is the ultimate welfare drain.

    I agree with Ian on the ACA adjustments; I’m not convinced they will make the ACA tolerable. My exposure to the marketplace involved a lot of experiences that were indistinguishable from scams, and the quote I got on my own was one of those that said “Pay $450 a month for no access to care.” I had to hire an agent to manipulate things with magical sorcery and drain my state government for something like “$350 for no care, your state pays in, and you pay $165 a month for no care.” Even now, several years later, I still get robots leaving voicemails offering to help me enroll in the marketplace, and this is all after my employer cut my insurance without informing me, which they’re legally allowed to do.

    I don’t know about you guys, but I would trade my internet connection for an open-stacks library full of books with a physical card catalog. Thank goodness the libraries didn’t close here during covid. I currently do the bulk of my work online, so a home connection makes sense, but once the post-covid economy picks up again I’ll be looking for more analog work. I could downgrade from daily access to the internet to weekly access and not lose any quality of life, imo.

    I’m torn on universal pre-k as well. It only makes sense if the families really need it, and a lot of families don’t need it.

  4. Plague Species


    Bwahahaha. There is no such thing. COVFEFE-45 is here to stay. From here on out until the bitter end of the human experiment, it’s a matter of degree and severity. Another way the cable news and mainstream media controls the narrative. Pushing the false assertion that there will be a “post-covid.”

  5. Ché Pasa

    Of course anti-Dems are not going to give Biden or the Dems in Congress credit for anything, let alone “ending neo-liberalism.” (Ha, what a crock!)

    The Biden narrative and rhetoric we heard last night is, however, very comforting and even inspirational to a lot more folks than respond positively to the rages and lies of the previous White House.

    The Obama White House used similar communications tactics with the public, so given the (often lack of) results, caution is warranted now as it was then. Yet the Biden agenda/program is much more ambitious and much less tied to the overweening interests of wealth than Obama’s. In many ways, it’s close to what the progressive caucus has been calling for for decades.

    That is not at all what was expected of Biden given his endless record of bank-serving and war-mongering among other deplorable political traits.

    So where’s this coming from? He has no record of making these kinds of proposals on this kind of scale in his long political past. The attempts to credit them to Harris instead fail on the same basis.
    The Dems as a collective and Party have not been this openly, nay brazenly “hard left” (as some rightists claim) since LBJ. Even FDR wasn’t this “leftist” until just before he died.

    Of course LBJ wasn’t considered much of a “leftist” based on his previous record, either.

    So is this ending the neo-liberal era, even if many of the measures Biden lays out don’t pass?

    It could. But if it happens, it’s because enough of the Overclass are sick of what they’ve become, and I don’t see that happening… yet.

    I’m so old, I remember when Trump was all about “ending the neo-liberal era.” Well, he didn’t do that. He tried to protect and extend it. You would expect pretty much the same from Biden. But something else seems to be going on, and I am still curious where it comes from.

    I’ve attributed some of it to his Catholic faith and the social gospel teachings of not that long ago that have been partially reanimated by Pope Francis. Some of it, possibly, is the “working class” background Biden has always claimed for himself (um, dude, electeds in government for their whole lives are not, um, “working class” by definition.) Some of it, too, could be because the times call for it.

    As for how much of this agenda will get done, we’ll see. The Obama years were catastrophic for Dems. State houses were lost for a decade, and we’ve just seen that they are lost for another decade. Congress is a tossup for at least another decade with the advantage going to Rs, though the electorate is more and more anti-R. Our system doesn’t permit the rise of a third party unless one of the majors has collapsed. The R civil war over Trumpism may signify a coming collapse, but I wouldn’t count on it. On the other hand, the long term internet craving for the collapse of the Dems seems to be put off yet again.

    Looks like we’re stuck with what we’ve got. Again. And this time, what we’ve got may not be that bad.

  6. Stormcrow

    Plague Species:

    You’re right about “post-covid”. It started as a zoonosis, a virus cycling in other species, particularly bats, which successfully jumped to humans. So we know it has reservoir hosts right from the start. Measles and polio are at least theoretically possible to eliminate, since they only reproduce in humans. With covid, no such luck.
    So bottom line is, we’re stuck with this stuff. For keeps. All we can do is keep a close eye on how it mutates, and try to keep on top of the mutations that escape whatever immunity our most recent vaccine conferred with updates. Just like we already do with influenza. Except that covid started out as a single clade 18 months ago instead of the galaxy of influenza variants we have always been forced to contend with, so it’ll be noticeably easier.

  7. Mr Jones

    It started as a zoonosis, a virus cycling in other species, particularly bats, which successfully jumped to humans.


  8. Hugh

    Biden may not be as bad as he might have been –so far, but the three big progressive goals were Medicare for All, eliminating student debt and free higher education, and the green new deal. The green new deal seems to be faring the best of the three because it dovetails with Biden’s infrastructure/jobs program. As for the others, Biden seems more interested in keeping the ACA and Big Insurance on life support than in delivering real healthcare to Americans. And unless I missed something, it was pretty much crickets on higher ed.

    100 days into his Administration, Biden’s bipartisanship BS has already gotten old. Unless they want to lose one or both Houses of Congress in 2022, Democrats need to put together a Dean-style 50 state strategy now. They need to ditch this phony bipartisan shtick and just tell ordinary Americans that when it comes to spending money on and for them, the Republican message is they hate you and want you to die.

  9. DMC

    Here someone who is not impressed with Biden’s weak tea proposals:

  10. Jason

    He is who we thought he would be:

    Biden Scandals List

    No public option (ran on)
    No $15 minimum wage (ran on and the one concession progressives got. Biden not only didn’t fight for it, he actively tanked it)
    $2000 check fiasco
    Increased military budget by $20 billion (an amount that would alleviate homelessness)
    Issued dozens of oil-drilling permits in first few days
    Extended Trump’s Enhanced Mandatory Minimum Drug Sentencing (after a summer of protests!)

    Military equipment now being sent to primarily black and brown inner city neighborhoods at a greater rate than under Trump

    Refuses to shut down Dakota Access Pipeline
    Re-opens Trump-era migrant children camp and adds second camp to hold 500 more kids
    Resumes Border Wall Construction, including confiscation of people’s homes
    Halts Police Oversight Commission
    Urged Supreme Court to let cops enter homes and seize guns without warrants

    Gives in to Pelosi’s demands with last-minute change to plan to include $200 billion to extend enhanced ACA subsidies, rejecting calls by Sanders and others to expand Medicare – which has overwhelming bipartisan public support – instead serving to expand the incredibly wasteful ACA and further enrich and empower insurance and big pharma. Speaking of big Pharma:

    Cut the prescription drug overhaul from the bill

    Keeps low-level cap on refugee admissions – set by Trump – in place, walking back campaign pledge
    Accepting refugees at a lower rate than any modern president – including Trump – again walking back earlier pledges

    Massive Haitian deportations (“title 42″ expulsions”)
    Didn’t rejoin Iran deal and not lifting sanctions on Iran
    Continuing Trump Venezuela policy, including attempting a coup
    War on Yemen
    Continues support for right-wing dictator in Haiti
    Immediately bombs Syria and militarily occupies their oil and wheat territories
    Continuing and escalating murderous sanctions around the world
    Nothing for Palestinians, Everything for Israel
    Escalating new cold war with China and Russia

  11. js

    Those were the 3 big progressive proposals because that’s what Sanders ran on and what some wanted them to be. I mean healthcare is pretty basic so it’s hard to argue that one, things will be precarious and crazy as long as that basic need isn’t met for so many and healthcare bankruptcies continue. Climate change is basic, yes, however, I’m not sold on the GND being sufficient.

    But as for progressive proposals: preschool and paid family and medical leave could be considered progressive proposals too, though a bit less bro-ish?

    Increased wages, increased unionization, paid sick leave, all would be progressive. I’m not saying they will happen, most probably won’t.

  12. js

    Those were the 3 big progressive proposals because that’s what Sanders ran on and what some wanted them to be. I mean healthcare is pretty basic so it’s hard to argue that one, things will be precarious and crazy as long as that basic need isn’t met for so many and healthcare bankruptcies continue. Climate change is basic, yes, however, I’m not sold on the GND being sufficient.

    But as for progressive proposals: preschool and paid family and medical leave could be considered progressive proposals too, though a bit less bro-ish?

    Increased wages, increased unionization, paid sick leave, all would be progressive. I’m not saying they will happen, most probably won’t.

  13. Astrid

    My expectations were very low, so if he actually passes any of the positive stuff, I will be pleasantly surprised. Let’s see him do that. The foreign policy was going to be terrible no matter what, though his staffing is not good. Let’s hope it’s not too deadly for people living in places Americans can’t find in a map.

    I don’t think it matters in the long run, as this is pretty small potatoes stuff that’s not reversing the corruption and erosion of trust that’s already taking place. But it might buy a few relatively better years for the alert to prepare and relative calm for the rest.

  14. they just bombed my village

    Let’s hope it’s not too deadly for people living in places Americans can’t find in a map.

    The “collateral damage” appreciate your wishes from afar. Just curious, what constitutes “not too deadly?

    Asking for a dead friend.

  15. js

    “The “collateral damage” appreciate your wishes from afar. Just curious, what constitutes “not too deadly?”

    If Trump would have done it then it can’t be too deadly, and never once has a dead person refuted this either.

  16. Willy

    I predicted that Sanders would have Joe’s ear after he was made chair of the Senate Budget Committee.

    But Joe has two ears, you may say. And I might say back: “Yes. Yes, Joe does. Have two ears. We’re gonna have to wait and see just how ‘informed’ Joe becomes with whoever’s got that other ear. And it certainly helps that Republicans are pretty much utterly discredited batshit/bullshit these days.”

  17. Jason

    The migrant children camps, which were referred to as “concentration camps” under Trump, are expanding and are getting worse.

    No student debt relief

    While Biden said he’d veto M4A, he went all in on the $15 min wage yet when the rubber hit the road he didn’t exercise his power to at least get that done. He caved without even that one concession…a minimum wage which is $5-$10 too low to begin with and would have been phased in over time. Couldn’t even get that.

    After a summer of protests, Biden is increasing police budgets and doubling down on militarizing the police.

  18. bruce wilder

    It is a stupid manipulative propaganda game to prompt people to repeat the narrative that Biden “ better than I expected ”. It is an ancient political game to build reputation with varying groups with proposals and poses. Obama proposed raising the minimum wage, he said he favored making it easier to join a union, they gave him a Nobel Peace Prize for just being a projection screen upon whom they could project wishes. I listened to Biden and saw and heard an increasingly pathetic, reactionary old man — not an energetic, domineering visionary.

    If you discount all the stupid, evil crap that Jason details, because you “expected” it and listen only to the glittering rhetoric, sure you can pretend that the author of that evil, in his dotage, is going to “intend” good stuff and maybe kick most of the consequences of the evil down the road a ways. Uhuh.

    The American political system is two Parties both attempting to achieve power with only minority popular support, the better to serve fantastically greedy, irresponsible elites. It is a sick system even when, especially when the Party you perceive as somehow culturally nicer is in power. That’s just makeup and lighting after all. Gestures into the coming whirlwind.

    There is a petition to the Bidens to restore Jackie Kennedy’s Rose Garden after a supposedly destructive revamp by Melania Trump. (No she did NOT gild the lily. She tore out some crabapple trees that were replanted elsewhere on the grounds — the crabapple trees became Japanese cherry trees in the petitioners’ imagination.) This is the nonsense level on which our politics turn.

  19. Astrid

    Speaking for myself, the entirety of the modern Western political class deserves to be strung up on lamp posts. The microscopic number of actually sorta good people who make it through the filters of corrupt selection processes and don’t succumb to temptation of big money still go along to get along with this utter mad house. And Biden is towards the baddies in this spectrum and still is. So saying he out perform my expectations means I still think in a fair world, he deserves to be boiled in oil with working pain receptors for the next 40 million years, for all the harm that his evil venal career has netted so far.

  20. Stirling S Newberry

    PostScript’s co-inventor died. Geschke was a technological genius and a ruthless businessman.

  21. Astrid

    Humanity is a dead end. We perpetrated suffering and violence on the natural world, in other tribes, and finally on ourselves. When the pitchforks come for me, I will know that I sorta had it coming. We all did. Blame our parents.

  22. Plague Species

    Any time a Techie celebrity dies is a time to celebrate. Techies — hastening the inevitable extinction of human and the destruction of the living planet under the aegis of yet further “progress.”

    Yes, nature has some REAL pitchforks, not the fake pitchforks donned by QAnon schizophrenics. The Adrenochrome Busters!! Who ya gonna call?

  23. Plague Species

    I think Biden will go down as one of the best presidents in history. Thanks to McDonald Trump and his supporters. They helped lower the Overton Bar of expectations so low, Biden doesn’t even have to jump over it. He merely has to step over it to be considered a huge historical success. A piece of cake even for a doddering old codger who thinks a dandelion is a rose. Even that’s more than McDonald would ever do for Melanoma, the Overton Bar is so low. Hell, McDonald couldn’t have bent down that far to pluck a dandelion without dropping a load in his pants.

  24. Mary Bennett

    Jackie Kennedy’s so-called Rose Garden was in fact a tulip garden, and La Mel’s revamp was no improvement. Tulips and lilies followed by day lilies might make for an easy care ceremonial garden. The problem with a ceremonial rose garden is that roses are pretty high maintenance, needing trimming, watering and so on. An actual rose garden featuring the creations of the great American rose breeders, such as John Cook, Eugene Boerner and Ralph Moore plus selected imports of historic importance, such as the Noisettes, could be very nice but would take a lot of upkeep.

  25. Plague Species

    I’m a fan of nothing but most certainly not of roses. They’re overrated. A pain in the ass. Not worth it. Plant some wildflowers instead. Bring back clover for lawns rather than these grasses that require a ridiculous amount of pampering to grow lush and full. Clover is self-fertilizing, drawing its nitrogen from the air and the pollinators love it. Nitrogen-fixing, they call it.

    That being said, McDonald and his wife Melanoma have NO TASTE WHATSOEVER so no doubt whatever they replaced the tulip garden with was nothing to write home about. They are trashy wealthy elite. Lipstick on a pig. They wouldn’t know quality or substance if it smacked them in the face.

  26. Mel T

    Ask me if I care.

  27. Astrid

    There’s been significant advances in rise breading in the last 20 years. Nowadays, most breeders field test under no spray conditions, so what gets into commerce is pretty low maintenance and quite garden worthy. The primary American breeder, Weeks, has some excellent shrub roses that reliable rebloom with nice clean leaves in my no spray, east coast garden. Just stay away from the godawful Knockout roses (garish and rose rosette disease magnets) and the overhyped David Austin roses (lots of disease issues, poor shrub form in many locations). Still not as low care as daylilies and hostas, however.

    Anyone who thinks a wild flower meadow is easy to establish almost certainly never tried.

  28. Astrid

    (Very interesting autocorrecting, bread rise technology has indeed advanced in the last 20 years. Check out this guy’s stream for a DIY bread rise surveillance box-

  29. js

    Yea roses are actually low maintenance, mostly just deadhead them if you want more blooms but if not you’ll still get blooms just a few less, water them occasionally, that’s about it.

    Lawns OTOH are definitely not low maintenance, and incredibly polluting when you consider a gas mower will be mowing them, a gas trimmer will be trimming them etc..

  30. different clue


    “Universal Pre-K” could be the return of ” General Child Care” that the ” Gender Equity Feminist Movement” tried achieving during the Nixon Administration and which the Congress passed and which Nixon then vetoed. If it happens, that could be a good thing.

    If it is about training 3 and 4 year olds how to shut up and sit for 8 hours behind a desk, that would be a bad thing.

  31. different clue

    Up to several years ago, Lambert Strether and others used to write about a sort of ” ratchet and pawl” procedure in American politics. Republicans were assigned to turn the ratchet harder to the right. Democrats were assigned to prevent the ratchet from re-relaxing, in other words, to be the pawl in the ratchet and pawl system.

    Perhaps people can figure out how to make ratchet and pawl work in the other direction now. Starting with Biden, turn the ratchet a gear-tooth or two to the left, and then pawl it from letting the Republicans move it back to the right.

    If the Biden Interlude’s Newish Dealish language gets more popular and indicates a rising desire for Newer Dealer actions, perhaps Newer Dealer officeseekers and movements can sneak in behind Biden and take over the space he is clearing to prevent the antiNew CounterDealers from obstructing a Newer Dealer direction.

    About upgrading the National Power Grids . . . . Texas has its own sealed off State Of Texas Power Grid. Bits of far-east Texas and far-west Texas are connected to neighboring national grids, but most of Texas stands apart.

    This must be maintained. Texas must be prevented from touching the National Grids in any way. Texas has always been proud of its Free Independent Liberty Heritage, as exemplified by its own Don’t Mess With Texas power grid. This is Texas’s shining opportunity to show what a Free and Separate Freedom Grid can do to upgrade itself with zero Federal involvement.

    The only reason Texas would want to establish any points of contact with the National Grids would be to penetrate and infiltrate and subvert the National Grids and tear them down and destroy them down to Texan anti-standards. That must never ever be permitted. What happens in Texas must be forced to stay in Texas. Don’t Texantaminate the National Grids!

  32. Trinity

    I agree with most of the previous posts.

    The problems we have are systemic, and the solutions need to be systemic. This is a shopping list (literally). One exception is fixing the power grid (definitely a system), but they need the power system as much as we do.

    A systemic response would make the use of lead piping illegal, and hire some people to enforce it. Make sure they can’t be bought off. Start with the low hanging fruit (worst offenders). Start a public ad campaign focused on how people can test/identify, and find the resources for replacement, with a stated goal of 0% and a plan to achieve it. Of course, this example is a pipe dream and will never happen, pun intended. Solving our problems is not really on the agenda. Appeasing the crowd definitely is. Warm weather is coming.

    Libraries worked fine for thousands of years, and comprehensive public transportation would work very well. But I would take it much further: now is the time to begin immediately reducing and eventually eliminating our dependence on the internet in general, and the ginormous server farms in the specific.

    The only nod (I didn’t read the transcript) to solving the source of problems was helping the countries that are producing climate refugees, and since they are just the tip of the climate change-climate refugee iceberg, this is somewhat surprising. More likely someone wants us to send people to those countries, and more likely people of means will help themselves to something of value there under the guise of “helping”.

    So I wouldn’t recommend even cautious optimism. They still don’t address root cause, and the need for systemic change. To me this is all still BAU or heads they win, tails we lose, even if all of this stuff actually did happen.

  33. Joan

    @Trinity, “Libraries worked fine for thousands of years, and comprehensive public transportation would work very well. But I would take it much further: now is the time to begin immediately reducing and eventually eliminating our dependence on the internet in general, and the ginormous server farms in the specific.”–Absolutely, I agree.

    @different clue, thanks for the reply.

    On clover lawns, yes, that’s better than grass, but the elephant in the room is that extremely low-density suburbs are what happened to forests and open prairie. On environmental destruction performed by middle class Americans, the top is surely flying, and the next is surely ex-burbs/suburbs.

  34. Mark Level

    List me as agreeing more with most commenters here and less with Ian Welsh on the likelihood that old Joe will get any of these weak tea aspirations done. And thank you to Jason for his list, which I’m sure reminds us all that it’s what the political class does, not what they say.

    Over at Naked Capitalism today they pointed out that if Sanders hadn’t been sidelined and had become Prez and recommended these minor reforms, they would’ve been D.O.A. with the federal elites who would have gone on strike rather than allow a single reform to pass. Yet since Joe is “one of them” and didn’t utter heresies like “democratic socialism” he may get a few (?) of these aspirations across a finish line.

    We’ll see. His handlers could of course revert to the Obama negotiating-against-yourself-and-for-your-“opponents” strategy to water it down to the usual scams, as Ian and others reference.

    It’s too little and much too late, but I guess it’s better than nothing. It does at least signal a change to the master narrative that the political and media Elite have swallowed wholesale since the days of St. Ronnie of the Deathsquads. But we are in a very challenging time with a horrible pandemic that isn’t over yet, increasing effects of climate change, etc. that only the (R) wackos with their endless culture war (Dr. Seuss, anyone? Joe Biden wants to take away your red meat?) distractions.

    Lastly, what is truly sad is that Biden can only tie up these modified “make America great again” suggestions/ aspirations with wanting to compete with the Chinese. As usual, it has to be about an enemy, not about creating a truly good society on our own (Americans are far too selfish, greedy and materialistic to accept such ridiculous hippie ideals), but being “better than them,” and being #1. Truly, the excesses of Protestant individualism and Market worship are only being rhetorically softened with any “red meat” words against the current oligarchs, who after all were Joe’s biggest funders. They could take a small tax increase without any damage to their ridiculously excessive lifestyles, but the idea that they should pay taxes like the little people will be fought tooth and nail. Don’t let that camel’s nose into the tent, you’ll never get the camel out again.

    I do look forward to Ian’s take on the foreign policy half of the speech and the Biden Crew’s mindless devotion to doubling down on “smarter” (haha, as if) warfare against “threats” like China, Russia (yes, their economy is the size of Texas’s of course they are an unending threat to US!), Venezuala, Cuba, and anyone else who doesn’t appropriately worship the Mammon of endless growth that American greatness demands. . . . I will believe Joe is serious about making some change if he actually exits Afghanistan as promised in September. But I believe the Pentagon will block that, notgon’happen!!

  35. different clue

    About the plains and prairies turning into suburbia . . . . mostly the plains and prairies were turned into the wheat belt and the corn belt and the soy belt. And most of that farmland is still farmland. As big as suburbia is, it is only a small minority of the wheat belt, corn belt, soy belt land.

    Something similar is true for the eastern forest. It went to farmland of some sort, and then a lot back to new-growth forest Only a minority ( perhaps a bigger minority) of it went on to become suburbia.

    Suburbia may become one of the places where decent quality shinola-food, food fit to eat, makes its last stand. The farmland is currently devoted to petrochemical GMO shitfood agribulk commodity product used to make shitfood of low nutrition and low toxicity. Unless that changes, suburbia will be where suburbanites turn to produce their own shinola-food. Maybe there will be some goor-may booo-teeque shinola-food farming for those urbanites who feel ready to pay the price.

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