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

Open Thread

Use comments to discuss topic unrelated to recent posts.


Week-end Wrap – Political Economy – February 28, 2021


Our Society, the Slave Factory


  1. bruce wilder

    Something fishy in Scotland: Salmond v Sturgeon

    A faraway spectacle to me, but interesting to me because it has become so stark.

    I am reading a lot into it concerning the way our PMC overlord class thinks and operates, but my overreading may not be unwarranted.

    Salmond was criminally accused of sexual assault and attempted rape and acquited, but journalistic accounts retrospectively refer to sexual harrassment. He is now engaged in pressing the charge that a politically motivated conspiracy was behind the prosecution and that his former friend and deputy, now First Minister was involved.

    Salmond makes a good case both that the original charges were exaggerated into criminal prosecution in an attempt to destroy him politically and that the processes of inquiry he is now using in pursuit of a just vengeance are being corruptly frustrated.

    The news media treats it often in superficial frames, calling what is going on a political feud tearing apart a Party and a soap opera.

  2. Senator Josh Hawley asked Steven Sund, who was chief of the Capitol Police,
    “Mr. Sund, were you complicit in this attack of Jan. 6?”

    Similarly, Senate Sargent at Arms Stenger
    “Mr Stenger, were you complicit the attacks of Jan. 6.?”

    Both denied any complicity. Sund additionally made noises about Capitol Police, in GENERAL, being innocents. { snicker }

    Hawley’s superficial inquiry didn’t reveal serious intention to follow the evidence, wherever it leads. (Well, not in the short segment on twitter that I saw.) Hawley is being a good little boy when it comes to exposing any false flag elements. I haven’t had time to look further (plus, I’ve got more pressing things to do), but if any DEMOCRAT who had access to Sund and Stenger during the same inquiry, actually asked probing questions, I haven’t seen the headlines. If anybody had asked them to take polygraphs, e.g., I haven’t heard of it. Nor have I heard of demands for accountability of the police/SWAT clown car that abandoned the door where Ashlie Babbitt was ‘shot’, after a police/SWAT retreat that took all of :28 seconds

    IOW, as expected, elite Congressional D’s and R’s will choose NOT to tangle with the Deep State – or take any chance doing so.

    Honore seems like a blood and guts, no nonsense type guy, even if he has some TDS. I hope he comes through, and Pelosi rues the day that she ever selected him. I took a quick look at his recent twitter feed, today, and he seems genuinely motivated by compassion for victims of the system, e.g., people in Texas whose power went out. I.e., more compassion than political animal, which is not the sense you get when you listen to Hawley or Tucker Carlson.

  3. Ché Pasa

    The Big Fight over $15 minimum wage has all the earmarks of a Democratic Party distraction from something worse they’ve packed into the currently stalled Covid bill.

    First of all, despite the media focus on a “$15! OMG!” minimum wage, it’s not even close to that in the language the senate parliamentarian (headlined as some anonymous “Senate Official”) scotched.

    Nope. It’s $9.50. Inching up to $15 in five years. Maybe. IOW it’s an effective minimum pay cut given the course of the cost of living, much like Social Security “increases” have been effectively annual cuts in SS benefits for many years (as the cost of living for seniors skyrockets.)

    The whole point is to “make them feel better” while effectively further impoverishing many millions and continuing to enrich the already obscenely wealthy.

    AOC and Bernie, one assumes, know this.

    Yet they’re “fighting for $15.” Hm. Something else is going on behind the scenes, far worse for the working classes.

    Far worse.

  4. bruce wilder

    Students of disinformation narrative will find much to intrigue them in “reporting” on the political fight over a $15 minimum wage.

    I live in the country’s most populous state, where incidentally the minimum wage is already $15. I only know this because I read the labor rights poster in the break room at work. It is a fact rarely reported in the national media.

    AOC has tweeted, I am told, that progressives would have fought harder on other provisions if they had known $15 was out. So, fans of 11-dimensional chess have something to waste brain cells on.

    And, of course, the block, supposedly, is not opposition from political factions and parties dedicated to sucking the last drop of blood from those stuck in the most menial jobs, but an arcane process rule decided by the Parliamentarian. Oh, yeah, and somewhere there is a CBO report.

    The most obvious real problem with mandating a $15 minimum wage or any specific minimum nationally — that price levels vary radically across the country — is also raised rarely. Not as rarely as the political dominance of blood-sucking oligarchies in the poorest places that make a national mandate a needed end-run around local or state politics, nor the lack of conviction in a Dem establishment catering to a PMC that rather likes its privileges subsidized by the poverty of more than a third of the country.

    Also, rarely discussed: the number of workers paid less than the legal minimum.

  5. Noteworthy that Democrats are so focused on the minimum wage which perpetuates a subsistance standard of living, and not on creating well paying jobs that will create prosperity. It’s almost as if maintaining the population in a state of being entirely focused on a desperate struggle to feed their family and therefor having no time to pay attention to government is in Democrats’ best interest.

  6. bruce wilder

    More on disinformation narrative:

    NaCap points to a classic essay in New York magazine that explains how Biden really wants to “disengage” from the Middle East chaos that U.S. policy has done so much to create and expand, but events are likely to force him to do bad things and stay forever. Perpetual war will remain U.S. policy despite Biden’s good intentions because . . .

    The tone of the essay is set in the course of explaining that Biden’s air strike in Syria is just as illegal as Trump’s was, when the author puts forth as an article of the true faith: “Biden has much more regard for constitutional checks and balances than Trump ever did . . .”

    Pay no attention to what Biden does. Know that he intends to do better. Even while he does the same horrible things, because the suffering Middle East keeps threatening to collapse and surely will if we are not there in occupation continually dynamiting the foundations of any emergent local government.

    Obama entered office pledging to end the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, and ended up getting mixed up in new crises in Libya and Syria, both of which remain basket cases to this day. As a candidate back in 2016, Trump wanted to get out of Afghanistan and Syria more than anyone, if only because he saw them as money pits. As president, he found himself unable to do so. No matter how noble his ambitions or how extensive his knowledge and experience may be, Biden may be cursed to the same fate.

    Poor noble Biden. He’s cursed!

    It is amazing that a class of people so wilfully stupid as to write or want to believe such drivel remembers to breathe between their opportunities to passionately vote for the lesser evil in the most important election in their lifetime.

  7. Joseph E. Kelleam

    No surprises at all from our DNC hacks. Especially when you remember Upton Sinclair’s quote:

    “It is difficult to get a man to understand something when his salary depends upon his not understanding it.”

    It’s just show biz. And as Steely Dan laid out in Show Biz Kids:

    Show biz kids making movies of themselves
    You know they don’t give a fuck about anybody else

  8. Willy

    Biden was a better “lesser evil” option than Trump was because of his proclaiming to work on behalf of “all Americans” instead only his own supporters. Regardless of actual policy or result, real or bullshit, these optics matter because so many Americans are tribal lemmings who’ll worship whatever it is their Dear Leader de jour proclaims.

    Maybe I’ll be proven to be sadly mistaken, but I think it’s better that people in a liberal democracy embrace a culture of lively and thoughtful debate, instead of a culture where “the other” is only ever evil and/or demonically possessed and all their ideas must be utterly disregarded as irrelevant.

  9. S Brennan

    OMG, Willey is a comedian…if not, certainly a sociopathic joker, did he really say this:

    “Maybe I’ll be proven to be sadly mistaken, but I think it’s better that people in a liberal democracy embrace a culture of lively and thoughtful debate, instead of a culture where “the other” is only ever evil and/or demonically possessed and all their ideas must be utterly disregarded as irrelevant.”

    My God. A man who just spent 1.5 years infusing this comment section with mindless invective and diatribe now wishes to distance himself from his own biases. Willey now wants to be seen as an honest arbitre…a médiateur…this is too much. Give it time Willey, maybe a few weeks/months…at least a year, otherwise it’s just way to obvious for the few sentient beings still left on this earth.

  10. Willy

    Meanwhile, Sad Brennan refuses to respond to the question of how progressives are supposed to unite with his beloved Trump conservatives (not me of course since I obviously despise/misunderstand them), preferring instead to infuse “this comment section with mindless invective and diatribe”. It’s a good thing people like Hugh, NR, Stewart and Sterling aren’t here yet.

    You can go back to knocking down your bleach and hydroxychloroquine with metamars, Sad.

    We had a guy here before, clearly mentally ill, who’d curse at any commenter who objected to his calls for political violence which he admitted that he would never be a part of because he was too old. When I asked for advice on how we were supposed do this thing without getting nailed by his “deep state”, I got the whole “mindless invective and diatribe” as badly as anybody he routinely cursed out. After a year of continuing to hound him, he finally requested that I read a novel. I wonder what Sad will advise.

  11. S Brennan

    More Time Willey, more time…let the memory of your incessant yammering for a “blue no matter who” Presidency fade into the shadows…then try to come forth as a new born swan. Those with with protozoan memories will surely praise your “wisdom”. Eat your shit-sandwich quietly.

  12. Willy

    What keeps Blue from getting the $15/hr minimum wage is two conservative Democrats. What kept Trump from getting it was 50+ Republicans, not to mention “because it should be a state option”. Trump then backed down from his $2K covid relief exclamation after a couple days of golfing.

    Yeah, that’s a progressive hero for ya.

  13. Willy

    Here’s an article from Sad Brennan’s dear friends at the John K. MacIver Institute for Public Policy (a Wisconsin-based conservative think tank).

    …on policy, Donald Trump was perhaps the most consequential conservative in recent history.

  14. Feral Finster

    “NaCap points to a classic essay in New York magazine that explains how Biden really wants to “disengage” from the Middle East chaos that U.S. policy has done so much to create and expand, but events are likely to force him to do bad things and stay forever. Perpetual war will remain U.S. policy despite Biden’s good intentions because . . .”

    Excuses, excuses. Results are what matter, not intentions. Results.

  15. silly

    Perhaps S Brennan and Willy are the same person, arguing with herself.

  16. Willy

    Smaller government is always supposed to be the antiwar side. Free trade not bombs, remember? Bigger badder weapons always means bigger badder taxes, remember?

    Neocon for the right is as much of an abomination as neolib is for the left. I said forever ago that neolib-neocon seemed two sides of the same deep state machination, a loose but determined coalition (more of a culture really) which only cares about taking more and more of any fertile ground for themselves, ASAP.

    If you’ve been around greedy pathology then you’ll understand the mindset. Such an addict will do anything to get yet another gold fix, everyone else be damned and the future be damned. That’s all the deep state is – a collection of wealth and power addicts. Of course they’ve helped condition the millions of MBAs to believe that this quarter’s profit statement is to be worshipped as a god and that everything else is irrelevant.

    Example of this dysfunction: Boeing buying back stocks instead of investing in a real (as in not faked) 737 replacement.

    Yet “Qanon” still successfully persuaded millions to believe the deep state is pedophilic blood sucking Hollywood Democrats. Maybe psychologically, such a fantasy seems easier to attack than any omnipotent-sounding “military-industrial complex”. A clearly dysfunctional loser like Trump (who’d been wealthier had he let a financial advisor invest his inheritance in mutual funds) gets worshipped as a savior, with most of his followers believing him on a mission from God. For his part, the geriatric Biden isn’t much better but does seem more corrigible than a Trump who wastes effort building up a brand of nothing which stands against “socialism” and “fake news”.

  17. Astrid

    S Brennan and Willy both have useful things to say and their heart in the right place. They would be taken more seriously if they didn’t engage in grade school name calling. Seriously, discussing the morality and corrigiblity of R v. D is today’s version of counting the number of angels who can dance on a pinhead. Move on and accept that both are abuser exes who will never live up to any of their promises an who will join up to beat up on anyone who can offer you a better option.

  18. Aaron

    Is there ANY major policy measure that the dems are realistically expected to pass before 2022?

    I can only remember the fracking ban on federal lands. And the transgender equality thing. After that, everything else seems to be a dud. Student debt forgiveness, Green New Deal, Minimum wage — all are in various stages of getting deep-sixed. I am not very thrilled about the new bombings either.

    Is there something useful in the stimulus bill, or as Pelosi famously said, “We have to pass the bill to find out what is in it?” Someone who knows well please educate me. I am getting a sinking feeling that substantial improvements are not going to happen, especially for the economy, and it will just be more handouts to PMC.

  19. Willy

    Astrid, you do remember the Republican debates of 2016? While I don’t start the grade school name calling, I have to admit that it works. Too many undisciplined minds out there. If you don’t retaliate then it might stick. Ask low energy Jeb or lyin Ted. Or Lindsay Graham for that matter.

    In the recent CPAC 2024 POTUS straw poll Trump got 55% while Pence got 1%. Explain that.

    Have you ever had to deal with a Dark Triad in your own meatspace? Yes or no? Did you learn anything worth sharing here?

    Every time Brennan calls somebody who’s clearly not a DNC shill, a DNC shill, just for dissing Trump, then I’ll post commentary from a conservative source telling us they think of Trump.

  20. Plague Species

    Well, in the least, Biden could do this to help lower drug prices and this is only part of what should be done but it’s an easy part, unless of course the donors you represent happen to be Big Pharma.

    The populist Trump, my ass he’s populist, didn’t do squat to lower drug prices. His actions didn’t match his hyperbolic rhetoric. Not surprising. But hey, it’s all good because McDonald is the sexiest pacifist that ever lived. He didn’t start a war. Because he was too busy looking at himself in the mirror. So busy doing that in fact, the only thing he accomplished, with the support of the Dems, was a tax cut for the wealthy elite pandemic be damned.

    Under pressure to move quickly, examiners spend an average of 19 hours per application in considering a decision of whether to grant a 20-year monopoly. According to a study by the Government Accountability Office, 70 percent of examiners say they do not have enough time to do as thorough of a job as they would like. Because the law puts the burden on the government to show that a patent application should not be granted, such time constraints mean the PTO grants too many invalid patents.

    The problem of weak drug patents has worsened under the Trump administration. In the past two years, the PTO has made it even more difficult for examiners to reject patent applications. The office issued directives that increase the amount of work examiners must do to reject certain applications, such as those that seek to patent a process found in nature. Predictably, these directives decreased examiners’ rejections for such ineligibility by more than 25 percent.

    The Biden administration can fix these problems, helping to lower drug prices and increase innovation. These changes can start immediately, without congressional action.

  21. Plague Species

    I saw a statistic last week on CNN, they only showed it once and then pulled it because it’s disconfirming to their Biden support and praise, that only 6% of Americans have been FULLY vaccinated thus far. That’s abysmal. Pathetic, in fact.

    They also, surprisingly, had another healthcare expert, a scientist, on who is a recurring guest but maybe not much longer, who was clearly frustrated by all of this and said he now firmly believes that this virus will be with us forever like the flu just much more deadly. He said we will have to get vaccinated at least once a year maybe more to keep the various variants in check.

    Juxtapose his analysis with the price of drugs and the abysmal vaccination campaign and you quickly realize that this virus will ultimately cull the herd. Maybe not overnight, but certainly substantially within a decade and keep in mind this may be the era of one pandemic after another.

  22. different clue

    If the Joemala Administration cleans up the USPostal Service Board of Overseers ( or whatever they are called) to the point of having enough pro-Postal people on there to fire Postmaster General De Joy , and replace him with a pro-Postal Postmaster, then that will slow down the Postal Service’s speeded-up death march back down to the slow death by retirement-fund-prefunding which the bipartisan Depublicrats passed in 2006. And that might buy enough time for the unhappy mail sending-receiving public to force a repeal of that law and a legal permission to the USPS to use all that excess stored-up money for internal improvements. Which that 2006 law was carefully engineered to stop the USPS from being able to do.

    And that would be another good thing.

    And cancelling the Keystone XL pipeline was a good thing.

    What the Joemala intermission before the return of the Trump Show 2.0 gives us is 4 years to begin waging a diffuse peoples economic war against the various Black Hat upper class bad-actor perpetrators which currently destroy the world. Chief among them the Merchants of Fossil.

    How many greenies are ready to accept some pain into their own lives in order to impose greater pain on the enemy? How many greenies are even ready to accept some inconvenience into their own lives in order to impose greater inconvenience on the enemy?

  23. S Brennan

    File Under; Like shit sandwiches covered with a rich creamy blue sauce?

    During his campaign President Joe Biden promised to punish Saudi Arabia’s clown prince Mohammad bin Salman for ordering the murder of [Jamal Khashoggi]..Biden of course never had the intention to follow through on that.

    – The White House on Sunday defended its decision to not target Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman after a U.S. intelligence report linked the royal to the 2018 murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

    “Historically…there have not been sanctions put in place for the leaders of foreign governments where we have diplomatic relations and even where we don’t have diplomatic relations,” White House press secretary Jen Psaki said.”

    If one of Trump’s press secretaries had issued the above lie the media would of course have lambasted them.

    [as would our crowd of “blue no matter who” commenters here; b continues]

    Do not expect such outcries with anything that is coming from the Biden administration. While it is running the same imperial policies as the Trump administration, the media will defend those for Biden just as they condemned them when Trump was reigning.

    Posted by b on March 1, 2021 at 18:53 UTC

  24. Astrid


    Yes, I noticed that S Brennan was painting with a broad and inaccurate brush. It turned me off and I stopped reading the comment, even though I typically find his arguments to be worthy of consideration.

    Nevertheless, you joined in the name calling. That is to the discredit of your arguments. This isn’t a play ground fight when you fight the bully and they stop picking on you. It’s just a distraction that makes all sides look bad and for people to ignore the meat of your arguments.

    I wouldn’t take the lessons of American primary politicking to heart. This place isn’t that, let’s be thankful for that small mercy.

  25. Hugh

    A living wage begins at $20/hour although some urban areas might be higher. That’s for 40 hours a week and a 50 week work year, or $40,000. And that living wage assumes things like a cheaper Medicare4All health system and zeroing out student debt.

    So as Josh Hawley was complicit in Jan. 6, does that make him deep state or just another fascist on the make?

    Looks like Trump’s goldenass statue at CPAC was enough to get SB all hot and bothered. and break out a new package of brown shirts.

  26. Trump Statue

    I thought they could have done a better job making me.

    The people at that conference were weird.

  27. different clue

    @ S Brennan,

    Actually, the Joemala Administration is going back to the worse imperial policy our DC FedRegime had before the Trump Show came to town.

    Biden restores support for the Banderazi coup regime in Kiev, orders bombing of an anti-ISIS militia in Eastern Syria in order to strengthen ISIS, wants to restore American membership in the GAJ ( Global Axis of Jihad) and support the CLEJ ( Cannibal Liver Eating Jihadis) in Syria again.

    Very bad. Very not nice.

    On the other hand, Joemalabama would like to restore some functionality back into the Administrative State structures. Those are the people who make sure its not arsenic in the bottle if it says aspirin on the label. Those are the people whose functionality Trump and the Republicans want to destroy. To suspend the ongoing destruction of elementary safety and protection provisions is why I voted for Joemalabama this time around.

    Maybe next time someone will offer me something better to vote for which doesn’t put the Administrative State at fresh risk of destruction if Joemalalabama loses in 2024.

  28. Pelosi’s treasonous involvement in the Capitol Hill riots may see the light of day. Well, at least the light of dawn or dusk, since Deep State involvement is a sure thing, as far as I’m concerned. And the Deep State bad boys seems to always skate, ya know? has an article “Report: ‘Conversations’ Pelosi Had With Sgt At Arms About National Guard Presence Factored Into ‘Blender Of Decision Making’ That Led To Jan. 6 Incident”

    House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has done her best to stage-manage what happened at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6.

    Pelosi is now being accused of having weakened security before and during the Capitol mayhem due to “optics.”

    A report from The Daily Caller cites multiple anonymous sources that say the former House Sergeant at Arms Paul Irving is “covering for her,” referring to Pelosi.

    The Daily Caller provides a timeline that exposes the problematic timing of Irving reportedly being contacted on the request.

    Meanwhile, back at the CPAC ranch, Trump “confirmed” he did, indeed, “call for” 10,000 National Guard before the riot. Trouble is a) Trump lies a lot b) I wouldn’t necessarily put Trump above knowledgably playing a role in the riot, though not the absurd “Trump incited an insurrection” meme so beloved of pathologically lying Democrats.

    Why is Trump only “confirming” this, now? Why wasn’t he loudly and often proclaiming this, from the very night of the riot? And what did he do to prepare for expected antifa type provocations, at the very least? What, if anything, did ex DIA dude Michael Flynn, who mysteriously insisted that Trump would be re-inaugurated even days before Jan 6, do to help Trump stave off provocateurs? ( I am seriously wondering if he is a player, also. )

    I.e., one could rely on useful idiot antifa types to dress up as MAGA types and disrupt any way they could, even without Deep State/Capitol Police collusion, and even without any specific intelligence. Then, again, Deep State operations should ALSO be investigated.

    Has Trump called for investigating either a) Pelosi’s involvement or b) Deep State involvement? Based on a brief perusal at, and breitbart headlines, it sure doesn’t look like it.

    Oh, I know. Maybe Josh Hawley will wake up, and ask some probing questions! Yeah, that’s the ticket! NOT!

  29. different clue

    “I.e., one could rely on useful idiot antifa types to dress up as MAGA types and disrupt any way they could, even without Deep State/Capitol Police collusion, and even without any specific intelligence. Then, again, Deep State operations should ALSO be investigated.”

    Then again , again, one could expect hopeful Trumpanon riot-starters to try disguising themselves as antifas in order to get the actual spark for the violence mis-attributed. I have seen what are called ” during” and “after” photographs of some of the Proud Rioters. The “during” photographs have them wearing great big hippie beards. The “after” photographs show them clean shaven again. One suspects they grew those beards to try disguising themselves as ” Antifa”.

    Here’s another hypothesis I have read. That Trump invited all his people thinking the Left would invite all their people, including antifas and black bloccers. Trump’s plan was to have great big Right versus Left riots outside the Capitol . . . . riots he hoped he could then extort the Congress into throwing out the real election and installing him instead, in order to ” calm the madness” and “bring peace”.

    But someone alerted the Left and all the Leftrons stayed away, even the antifas and the black bloccers, and the Trumpanons had to hold their own riot on their own and all by themselves.

  30. different clue

    Hmmmm . . . . now that I think about it . . . . just exactly who DID alert the Left to stay away?
    Maybe the same people who stripped security away from the Capitol in order to render it easily invadable?

  31. edmondo

    “The populist Trump, my ass he’s populist…”

    The House of Representatives just passed a bill to increase government payments to $2000. That was totally Trump’s idea. The first pass of the bill that was passed by our “blue collar Democrats” had ZERO dollar stimulus payments in it. Nancy passed the bill and sent it to the Senate with a giant “Fuck you” attached to it for the middle class. Bernie and Hawley both said “Why not give them $600?” Trump, being the total bullshit artist that he is, said “It ought to be $2000, not $600.”

    So yeah, Trump is the populist here.

  32. Mr Jones

    And Trump fought like hell for that $2000 for his base and all Americans.

    From the golf course.

    Because he cares.

  33. Hugh

    Trump and the Republicans mount an insurrection. So if you are a winger the obvious conclusion is that it is Pelosi’s fault.

    The Republicans oppose a $15/hour minimum wage. Again obviously this is the Democrats’ fault.

    The Republicans want to nickel and dime the Covid relief bill to death. So obvious they are the party of working people.

    And so it goes.

  34. Mr Jones

    Only a segment of Dems support $15/hr and they don’t do much other than tweet in support of it. The Biden administration doesn’t support it. They just decided to go with the decision of an unelected Senate Parliamentarian who is simply an advisor, not part of the political process. At least not supposed to be. This allegedly in the interest of respecting the process, a process that never previously existed because they just invented it because they don’t want to do a fucking thing.

    Nickel and diming the covid relief bill to death is also every bit as much a Democratic problem.

  35. Willy

    Could the fact that all but one congressional Republican voted with Trumps positions at least 2/3 of the time (and usually much more!) be proof that the GOP is now to the left of the DNC?


  36. Mr Jones

    Left-right is obsolete.

  37. Willy

    Good discussion so far. Should we now do up-down?

  38. bruce wilder

    Its a big club and you ain’t in it. A lot of people seem to have a lot of difficulty with the nuance of that.

  39. Warvigilent

    yep sirree no difference betwix them, nary a glimmer of light ……

    yeah i know, wont happen but less than never if its not proposed. TAX THE RICH better become mainstream dem cause EAT THE RICH is getting pretty popular too.

  40. bruce wilder

    The tremendous flood of disinformative narrative basically drowns any possibility of popular deliberation of the kind that could produce sophisticated and effective policy. What we have is whole country full of opinion distilled from tldr like bad moonshine, as likely to blind an angry drunk as make her pro-social.

    But for our complacent betters — and lots and lots of people are complacent, but among the elite political classes, it is a disease of the body politic, the cynical complacency about consequences for the country and disdain for the lower orders.

    Looking to some faded myth of the Democratic Party for glimmers of salvation is pathetic. They are the enemy, and no less so just because acknowledging as much leaves us with no powerful friends, even imaginary ones.

  41. Willy

    But at least we can have Republican enemies. Some say they’re even turning fascist.

  42. Hugh

    Let’s see, there are 48 Democratic Senators who back a $15/hour minimum wage and 50 Republican Senators who oppose it. So really they’re the same, right?

  43. Willy

    But the 48 are of no consequence because Trump had the steal stolen from him. This is the best discussion ever!

  44. Plague Species

    The irony of this kerfuffle over a $15 minimum wage that won’t be fully realized until years later is that $15 is woefully inadequate and raising the minimum wage alone without other concomitant radical structural changes is not much more than a feel-good measure.

  45. Jason

    PS is right about the woefully inadequate $15.

    Hugh, why don’t the Democratic leaders dismiss the Senate Parliamentarian so they can get some things done. You know, the way Trent Lott did:

    Lott to Oust Senate Parliamentarian Who Ruled Against GOP

    Although Dove was hired by the GOP, aides from both parties say he has angered Lott with some rulings this year that the Republican leader felt gave too much influence to Democrats.

    I don’t understand what you don’t understand, Hugh. Republican action is bad and prevents the Democrats from doing anything. Democratic inaction is virtuous because it’s not lowering itself to the hell that is politics. Or something.

  46. Jason

    Liberals on fire over failure on $15 minimum wage

    The liberals in the title are on fire at the Democratic establishment who are considered liberal by the conservative establishment. Are liberals Democrats? Are Democrats in line with the Democratic establishment? Are Conservatives Conservative? Does the Conservative Establishment align with Conservatives? Is Trump Conservative? McConnell? Rand Paul? Neo? Paleo? Small c? Progressive? Radical? Where does Hugh figure in all this?

    Money quote: “Outside groups are increasingly irritated by what they see as impotency on the part of the party.

  47. Hugh

    I agree with Plague Species.

    Jason, this is politics, not virtue. $15/hour is a first step. The story here is why the new working class Republican party can’t find two of its 50 Senators to help the working class while the elitist Democrats can find 48.

  48. Jason

    The story is why the Democrats as a whole can’t a do fucking thing for people even given their baked-in 48-whatever votes. And when you look further into said story you see that they could in fact have done something, sans any Republican votes. And when you look further you see that they don’t really care because it suits their donors anyway. And when you look further you see that they’d rather make excuses and even self-erect roadblocks to doing serious negotiation. And when you look further you see that they have an entire media and talking head apparatus that defends these clowns. And within said milieu there is Hugh.

  49. Jason

    that defends these clowns.

    In retrospect, clowns isn’t the right word. Clowns are sad people with perhaps some unresolved emotional issues. Defending clowns isn’t so bad.

    They’re jokers. They’re intentionally cunning. And people defending them play the part of the fool.

  50. Willy

    I still don’t understand the confusion.

    Shouldn’t it be obvious that the Overton Window is being systematically pulled to the right? Shouldn’t it be obvious that there are two Overton Windows, one for the elite-establishment and another for the polling public which consistently polls in favor of far more progressive positions? Shouldn’t it be obvious that the Dem establishment (such as it is) is still to the left of whatever the hell the GOP is becoming?

    I understand the powerful emotional need to shame the “vote blue” crowd. But then what? What’s the plan? Placing hope in an orange con artist who’s routinely called the best thing since Reagan by most conservatives seems a bit desperate for me. Still IMHO he did do two things right: increase talk about losing to China, and focus on hispanic illegals.

    Amazingly, Trumps 2020 ‘get the hispanic vote’ campaign was a success, while Biden is the one who’s actually trying to be good to their kind. I disagree with what Biden is doing regarding illegals but that’s not my point here.

    My point is: How the hell did Trump get so many hispanic voters? Understanding the conservative political persuasion machine and how it works should help in understanding how we can move the Overton Window for acceptable DC elite behaviors back in line with where the majority of polled Americans want it to be. And then of course, comes the real work of pushing things back towards something “socialist” “Marxist” “Stalinist” “far left” in line with the more socially-functional Japan or even Norway.

  51. AT the Gateway Pundit: “Seriously?… FBI Director Chris Wray Testifies There Is No Evidence of “Fake Trump Supporters” at US Capitol During Riot”


    Gateway Pundit is either a right gatekeeper, or else not too serious, but this article shows they have redeeming social value.

    Trump failed to fire this guy, in spite of ongoing failures to do his freakin’ job. And yet, Trump (the fake populist) is supposedly the leader of the populist wing of the GOP. Did anybody bother asking him why he didn’t fire Wray? Or apologize for failing to fire Wray?

    I’m kind of doubting it.

  52. Willy

    Both Wikipedia and Conservapedia have articles about “Gateway Pundit” which read like polar political opposites.

    Both Drudge Report and Drudge Retort are by comparison, extremely reliable trustworthy sources of information as compared with Gateway which seems closer to the Weekly World News of old. If you want a chance at decent reporting then picking your political flavor of Drudge seems more sound than Gateway. But if you want the latest about batboys and bigfoot…

  53. someofparts

    I think that IRL the only people who have any hope of organizing to force genuine change are the ones who have the skill to use the internet instead of being used by it, i.e. the Snowdens and Assanges of the world. Maybe that means change is no longer possible. At the very least, however, it does mean that if real efforts to fight the kakistocracy are under way, no one on this thread will know about it.

    Bruce Wilder – That Carlin video should be part of the curriculum for every middle school child in the country.

    Astrid – Ditto everything you said.

  54. someofparts

    Willy – Your accounts of encounters with dark triad types mirrors many of my own experiences. Anywhere that I worked in the last twenty years I got manipulated right out of the job by psychopaths playing politics. I was in a lower skill category, administrative not engineering, but I always did solid quality work.

    Now and then I would hear from old colleagues about what happened after I was pushed out, and it was roughly the same story every time. When I got forced out, competence got pushed out too. Those who replaced me made a mess of things. At one job the entire workgroup I had been part of was let go and the managers responsible left in disgrace. At another job the new manager they hired to clean house pushed me out instead of the manipulators, only to get pushed out herself by those same posers a year after she fired me.

  55. Willy

    It seems that part of the tone of this blog is to help others come up with strategies for dealing with our coming dystopia. Dark Triads thrive in dystopia. They say they’re only 1-3% of the population, but the few I knew had an outsized influence in their drive to ruin their environment for personal power and pleasure jollies.

    I post the way I do primarily because I don’t think that Dark Triads (outside of anybody who might be working for a troll farm or other nefarious organization) will spend much time debating here. They’d rather be spending their time trying to conquer, control, or just plain mess with whatever portion of meatspace they inhabit. Moralizing is a waste of time to them.

    I wish I’d been warned so I could’ve been better prepared. There are others out there who have even more bizarre stories.

  56. different clue

    As people worry about spreading suppression and repression and control on the “Internet”-as-most-people-know-it, I have mentioned before that I suspect the paleo-internet, the deep undernet; still exists to be found and used by people so minded.

    Here is a post linked-to by Ran Prieur called Tales From the Dork Web, about that very fact. It talks about several internetworked means of inter-communication including one still existing still called “gopher” which I remember from decades ago.

    Here is the link.

  57. Trinity

    As I read/scrolled toward the end of the comments, I was thinking “well, they’ve won. TPTB have successfully divided us against each other so they can continue their dirty work in the open without any interference whatsoever.”

    Then I read the final few comments, and had hope again.

  58. Jason

    Trinity, my anecdotal evidence tells me that happy, fulfilled people don’t spend much, if any, time in online forums.

    I’m waiting for the scientific consensus to confirm this before I make my move.

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