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

The Good Scenario For America’s Future

So, the default scenario is that Biden rules for 4 to 8 years, maybe Harris for another 4, then we get a more disciplined right wing “populist.” In the meantime, nothing that will actually change the trend-lines has been done about climate change or the continued concentration of wealth and power. America continues to be divided into two tribes who hate each other, while the West as a whole stagnates under neoliberalism and a second block, led by China, with Russia and many developing nations, especially in Africa and South America, forming, with its own payments, legal and trade system. The world descends into Cold War 2.0 as climate change continues its advance.

What’s the good scenario for the United States?

AOC, basically. In 2022 she takes out Schumer and becomes a Senator. In 2024 she primaries Biden or Harris and wins.

Likely? No.

Impossible? Also, no.

AOC is popular, Schumer is a lame duck. If she goes for him, I give her the nod to win. Having taken out the Senate leader, she looks unstoppable.

The primary will be extremely difficult to win. Obama, Clinton, Clyburn and all the usual suspects will do everything they can to cheat her of a win, just as they did with Sanders twice. But AOC is clearly Bernie’s heir, having saved his bacon when he had a heart-attack, and never having betrayed him as Warren did. Unlike Sanders, she is genuinely charismatic, and like him she will pack massive arenas and have huge support from the grassroots and activists.

Assuming Biden has been weak-tea, there’s an opening for her. Odd are slightly against her, but it’s not impossible.

Then we come to the general election. Contrary to what centrists claim, progressives running on Medicare-4-All did very well in this election, as did policies like a $15/hour wage. An aggressively progressive platform, with concrete job promises so people know where they go when fracking goes away, can win. A real Green New Deal offers tens of millions of good jobs.

AOC’s national numbers aren’t the greatest, but I suspect this can be turned around. The people who hate AOC don’t vote Democratic anyway (no, Republicans do not vote Democratic) and she activates constituencies which are only loosely attached to the electorate.

In fact, I see the primary as a bigger problem than the General: if AOC gets the nomination, she’s likely to win, because she can run both against unpopular Democratic politics and Republican ones. Running on an actual popular program, she stands a good chance of controlling both the House and Senate.

At that point, an FDR style Presidency which overturns everything is possible, and if the Supremes try to stop it, threaten them with court-packing. They either fold (as FDR’s court did) or they don’t, either way, it’s done.

Now this scenario isn’t the most likely (and yeah, she’s not perfect, but she’s the best on offer and way better than anyone else who could run), but it is the only possible scenario I can see right now that leaves the US in a good place.

May this, or something similar, be so.

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  1. profan

    In the NYT interview she seems to signal that she is getting tired of constant democratic opposition and maybe just wants to settle down and start a family:

    Is there a universe in which they’re hostile enough that we’re talking about a Senate run in a couple years?

    I genuinely don’t know. I don’t even know if I want to be in politics. You know, for real, in the first six months of my term, I didn’t even know if I was going to run for re-election this year.

    Really? Why?

    It’s the incoming. It’s the stress. It’s the violence. It’s the lack of support from your own party. It’s your own party thinking you’re the enemy. When your own colleagues talk anonymously in the press and then turn around and say you’re bad because you actually append your name to your opinion.

    I chose to run for re-election because I felt like I had to prove that this is real. That this movement was real. That I wasn’t a fluke. That people really want guaranteed health care and that people really want the Democratic Party to fight for them.

    But I’m serious when I tell people the odds of me running for higher office and the odds of me just going off trying to start a homestead somewhere — they’re probably the same.

  2. Plague Species

    A real Green New Deal offers tens of millions of good jobs.

    Net new jobs? How so? You must factor in the job losses from the fossil fuel industry and as we saw from Planet of the Humans, green energy is really brown energy in disguise.

    Also, if you can rationalize and provide evidence for millions of net new jobs, the green deal may be green, whatever green is supposed to mean, but it won’t be sustainable. Growth is unsustainable. We can not grow our way to sustainability. Contraction, radical contraction in fact, is the only way.

    Tye caveat here is that we are focusing on aggregate growth. Overall growth. There may be growth in one sector during overall radical contraction, but for humans to be sustainable at this point, even if sustainability is possible and some claim it’s not, the economy, production in otherwords, must contract radically in the aggregate.

  3. Keith in Modesto

    This seems like a reasonable assessment to me. My question is what do we do, as U.S. citizens, to help make this happen, either with AOC or someone similar? How do to help prepare for Sanders 2.0?

    Democratic centrists kept telling us, after defenestrating Bernie in the primary, that first we had to get Biden elected and then, *after* the election, we could push him left. Well, it after the election, it’s time to start pushing Biden, and the whole system, left. We can’t just wait 4 years and hope AOC will run. We’ve got to start pushing now. And prepare the ground for AOC or some other (hopefully) real progressive to lead. We can’t just wait for the next opening. We have to help create that opening. The Climate Emergency isn’t going to wait for us to get our act together.

  4. This is the last time I’m voting for someone older than me.

  5. Chicago Clubs

    lol at pinning all our hopes on a single idpol socdem. Yes she’s the best available, and that’s a huge indictment of America right there. She’s not enough.

  6. Ian Welsh

    Refit every building for energy neutrality at a minimum. It was possible with 90s tech to make buildings which were net neutral at -40, it’s possible now.

    That’s only one piece of the work which needs to be done, and it’s huge. It doesn’t need to be sustainable, but it will take 10+ years. Rewilding is huge work, getting rid of asphalt streets is huge work, moving to regenerative agriculture is huge work (and increased the number of workers needed by farms), re-creating wetlands around cities is huge work, blah, blah, blah.

    There’s an insane amount of work to be done. You don’t just switch to green energy, you have to switch to “less energy”. That’s possible, and every step of the way takes real work that requires actual people and cannot be offshored or outsourced (not that most things need be offshored if the US doesn’t want to, it’s a policy choice for a still advanced continental power.)

    The idea that nothing can be done is propaganda. It has never been true, the problem is that we have left things too late. Nonetheless, doing it is still better than not doing it.

  7. GlassHammer

    “then we get a more disciplined right wing “populist.” – Ian

    This election left many conservatives with a deep disdain for electoral politics and the Republican party. I don’t know if they can be mobilized and disciplined by a leader into participating in the electoral system. The ones that live near me look like they are moving more towards a counter culture and further away from typical political life.

    I am not convinced that this election will make conservatives more unified.

  8. Mallam

    Unlike your Biden analysis which was mostly correct and clear eyed, this contains a lot of fantasy and lies. If “doing politics and endorsing candidates” is “cheating” then what AOC did to Bernie was also cheating. It is a disservice to the readers to just lie like that. It is better for them to know the truth so we know what our actual real options are. Lying with fantasy makes for more good losers, like Corbyn. Ah but wasn’t it fun when we had the fantasy he’d be PM?

    As to her chances in 2024, I don’t think she will run then. Everything depends on how Biden governs, obviously. However, her odds are definitely better than Bernie’s were. And his werent half bad. He had a very good shot of winning. Required different strategy than relying on 30% of the vote, but he could have done it with some things shifting.

    Harris is by default the clearest choice since VP’s are usually the next nominees. But she’s not going to go unchallenged. Not in this environment. But people are making plans now, no matter how Biden governs (assuming he doesn’t run in 2024; incumbency is very powerful and worth like 2-3 points).

  9. AOC kills your insane plan when she runs for the Senate in New York. She loses with about 9% of the vote. She is popular in her Bohemian district in NYC, but she a clearly recognizable nutbag who could not win a race for dog catcher state wide.

    4 to 8 years by Biden and 4 more by Harris? It’s questionable that Biden will last 4 years, much less be reelected at age 81. Harris, with her insane cackle win election on her own, when she came in last in the first primary and dropped out? You’ve gone over the edge Ian.

  10. S Brennan

    Not to be unkind here Ian but, this is fantasy.

    Cortez’s numbers suck state/nationwide, that said, she’ll see which way the wind is blowing, change course and trim her sails to become the next Sanders; a graceful loser who will, like Bernie, work with the DNC, on the down-low, to blanket the sails of any real FDRist who may appear on the horizon. And the beauty with Cortez is…she can do Bernie’s shtick…for decades to come. Apparently, D “liberals” and “progressives” love to virtue signal before voting for the evil of two lessors…over and over and over again. The DNC, with “liberals” and “progressives” help have found the formula to enact a right-wing agenda while fooling enough of the proles to vote D to allow the election to be purloined.

    As I said two weeks ago, dovetailing with MOA’s take; look for a Biden impeachment after the mid-terms. Hillary wants to push aside Biden’s Quisling Inc and jam her own blood-funnel down the nations military-State Dept-financial services throat. Hunter Biden’s coke addled brainlessness in leaving his laptop, with the family secrets for all to see, makes Hillary’s usurpation doable.

  11. kråke


    We’re on the precipice of assassination season.

    Conservatives, as a rule, are pussies. Fear is the beating heart of all reaction. Fear, and dread. That’s why they complain, fall in line, and traffic in the opiate of the powerless: conspiracism.

    But, what we have now for real in this country is a rising fascist/falangist cadre. And they want blood in their soil.

    Joe Biden is the sign, such as any person can be, that politics are over now. What comes next is not a given, but we’re are all well past orderly transitions and the ruse of democratism.

  12. Willy

    One plus about AOC, The Squad, Sanders, or whatever the “far left” superscary boogieman de jour may be, is they don’t behave as if their supporters are easy marks to be grifted.

    With billionaire superwinner superselfreliant Trump, worthless governors like Noem or managers like Bannon, your donations to fight whatever anti-“far left democrats” Biden cause will go straight into their pockets.

  13. Jan Wiklund

    Politics has degenerated since Eugène Pottier wrote
    “Il n’est pas de sauveurs suprêmes
    Ni Dieu, ni César, ni Tribun,
    Producteurs, sauvons-nous nous-mêmes
    Décrétons le salut commun.”

    Nowadays people always seem to wait from a deliverer on high….

  14. Joan

    Seeing Tulsi Gabbard as Secretary of State is still a dream of mine. A pipe dream, but still. Having an anti-interventionist represent the United States would be really cool.

    I agree with Ian on his climate comment.

    I would love it if someone revived the Civilian Conservation Corps. Lots of jobs for good work that needs doing. My cynical side thinks that nothing will get done unless at a local level, especially if Biden, Harris, and a right-winger are all we’re going to see this decade. It’s in the hands of Americans.

  15. anon

    AOC is a lightning rod and a divisive figure, even among the “left”. She won’t receive the backing of establishment Democrats or the older base of Democratic voters who thought even Sanders was too radical. Sometimes being divisive can work (Trump, for one term) and sometimes it doesn’t (Hillary Clinton). Superficial factors that AOC has over any of the aforementioned politicians is youth, attractiveness, and charisma.

    I already said this in my comment to yesterday’s post, but let’s not put all of our hopes on AOC. She is Bernie’s heir apparent and that can be both good and bad. Sanders was unwilling to rock the boat and name names in the Democratic Party the same way Trump was willing to do in order to win in 2016. I doubt AOC would be willing to go scorched earth and compromise her friendships in DC. I see her more being like Bernie Sanders in order to ensure a lifelong position in the Democratic Party leadership. She will become very wealthy and powerful by doing so.

    One example that makes me think there could be another progressive to emerge willing to fight is that AOC, Bernie, and the Squad have done next to nothing to push or a better stimulus bill in March, nor have they done much to push Pelosi to pass a second stimulus bill. Congressman Ro Khanna is the only Democrat who has publicly held Pelosi’s feet to the fire to take a stimulus deal asap.

    We’ll see. The Boomers are dying out and maybe in 15 years, AOC will have assumed enough power in the Democratic Party to do things her way with a large enough squad who will support her goals. For now, I’m not getting my hopes up.

  16. Mark Pontin

    S. Brennan: “And the beauty with Cortez is…she can do Bernie’s shtick…for decades to come.”

    She will not have decades.

    If you’d described today’s U.S. to anybody in 1999-2020 except a science-fiction writer, almost nobody would find it plausible.

    Likewise, in 2030, though there’ll very likely be an entity called the U.S.A., it won’t much resemble the U.S. that exists today. Because the processes and systemic failures that brought us here will only accelerate.

    As the old Hemingway line has it — How do you go bankrupt? Gradually, then all at once.

  17. Sasquatch

    You should see support for her on Tiktok and other platforms, especially from Gen Z.
    The current crop of dinosaurs are on the way to extinction.

  18. Willy

    The Rev. Irvin Baxter Jr. has died from covid. He blamed the pandemic on “the sin of fornication”. A Trump supporter, he believed that the End Times is now.

    Meanwhile Trump is creating budgets for next year, acting as if the election was irrelevant. Par for the course of a typical malignant narcissist. Anybody else getting the feeling he’s gonna have to be walked out by security, collateral damage to the citizenry be damned?

    Would AOC, Bernie or Biden ever have to be walked out under similar circumstances?

  19. nihil obstet

    What good leader was ever anything other than divisive and a target of the powers that be? The few American presidents that I can think of that had such widespread approval were military commanders in what appeared to be essential wars — Washington and Eisenhower. If a good outcome were easy, we’d have had it already. There were serious assassination attempts against FDR. The one against Kennedy was successful. The left gets mocked for simply wanting to hold hands and sing “Kumbaya”, but any analysis that looks at possibilities in the world of very powerful enemies draws criticism as fantasy.

  20. S Brennan

    I agree Anon,

    “[Cortez] is Bernie’s heir apparent…Sanders was unwilling to rock the boat and name names in the Democratic Party the same way Trump was willing to do in order to win in 2016. I doubt AOC would be willing to go scorched earth and compromise her friendships in DC. I see her more being like Bernie Sanders in order to ensure a lifelong position in the Democratic Party leadership. She will become very wealthy and powerful by doing so.”

    Ian also said that Cortez was the next Sanders in a post a few months ago, although I think he thought it complementary. I would point out, thanks to Bernie’s fecklessness, we facing 12 to 16 years of a right-wing quisling government.

    The fact that Bernie Sanders supporters on this board have proven to be the most vociferous supporters of Biden should tell you that the DNC has “liberals” pegged correctly…they’ll swallow any shit sandwich so long as it’s got a D behind the name.

  21. Ché Pasa

    She’s an activist, not a legislator. Different skill sets. Some people can do both, others not so much. When she muses that maybe she’ll drop out of politics, I doubt she means ceasing her activism. But legislating may not suit her particular skills, and whatever moves a legislative body to do something positive for the People generally comes from outside, not inside the body.

  22. Synoptocon

    Always fun to see how certain topics trigger the SST crossover crowd. Yes dinosaurs, your time and relevance are finite.

  23. Harry Lime

    AOC may very well become the head of some organization that works to elect more progressive candidates to all levels of local, state and national office. If she does wish to remain in government, she would be better off staying in the House, where with a more progressive caucus evolving over the years due to demographics, she could possibly become Speaker and be very consequential in making policy. I could also see her running for mayor of NYC in 2025, if she wants to get out of DC. I don’t see her in the Senate, but someone does have to primary Schumer, who is a completely corrupt old fossil and needs to be sent packing.

  24. the pair

    not going to happen. ever. they nuked sanders every chance they got and they’ll pull out full-on “independence day” spaceships that destroy new york with pulse lasers before they let her near any meaningful power. just ask dennis kucinich.

    carter followed nixon and ford to cleanse america’s palate with some down home hick charm only to be cast aside when the national amnesia set in (plus he told a nation of spoiled b_tches they might have to tone down their spoiled b_tch behavior which is political suicide). now we have a morally retarded place filler to make america sleep again and he’ll probably be supplanted by reagan 2.0 – which will possibly be pence.

    he has the stuffed suit technocrat thing that appeals to DC types while being just trump-adjacent enough to get the mountain dew and tractor pull crowd in the “red” states. he’s a psychotic “christian” zealot but keeps it low key à la bush jr. he’ll bring the “gog vs magog” jesus camp ideology while still looking sharp when he kneels down to pleasure the investor class.

    america is a dying beast writhing and lashing in its final heinous years of life. this would be good news if not for the succession of bipartisan subhumans willing to delay the inevitable with resouce coups and outright wars. if you want to see the best possible outcome you need to start with the US in total collapse with the military headless and their financial equivalent (sanctions are laughable if your economy isn’t the big stick it used to be) throwing themselves from manhattan skyscrapers by the hundreds. then the rest of the world can just be the rest of the world instead of being subject to the whims of a brain damaged ape with a machine gun.

  25. Willy

    I doubt AOC would be willing to go scorched earth and compromise her friendships in DC. I see her more being like Bernie Sanders in order to ensure a lifelong position in the Democratic Party leadership. She will become very wealthy and powerful by doing so,

    Fool, having integrity, they don’t earn the payoffs which would help protect their families from retaliation.

  26. Feral Finster

    What makes you so sure that AOC is not just a female version Obama, someone young intelligent and good-looking, someone who talks a good game but can be easily co-opted?

  27. Ian Welsh

    Obama went to the Senate and asked for Joe Lieberman as his mentor. He was always a centrist. If AOC wanted to be co-opted, she would already be on the path. She doesn’t even make fundraising calls (which is most of what House members do, and refused to share funds to elect centrists.

    Certainly, as she gets older the slow process may work on her, but she’s sure as hell no Obama, who didn’t need to be co-opted, he went in already sold out.

  28. Hugh

    Having strong, articulate spokespeople like AOC is important, but even more, progressives need a clear vision (this is is different from a list of programs); they need to build a movement out of this vision; and they need to declare independence from the Democratic party (that is TINA is out. Democrats can deal with progressives in a major way or progressives field their own candidate.) We need to be doing this now, as others have said, and not wait for the next Democrat coup against the progressive candidate.

  29. Thomas B Golladay

    It is so rare to get audio recordings of Federal Agents actually intimidating a witness that it warrants sharing.

    And with Democrats coming forward and saying they saw fraud, the evidence is piling up beyond what the Media can hide or dismiss.

    All because Trump insists on the Constitution being followed. Ultimately the Supreme Court will have no choice but to order all Mail-in Ballots across the board thrown out as chain of custody can’t be verified.

  30. Hugh

    “All because Trump insists on the Constitution being followed.”

    Thomas, have you thought about doing standup? Trump wouldn’t know the US Constitution if it kicked him in the a__. Do you ever get tired of all these conspiracies and delusions of yours? What is it about a third-rate carnie like Trump that has so seduced you?

  31. Trinity

    Meanwhile, Triumph & Co are still fundraising by going on the “we were robbed” circuit to pay off the debts from their poorly managed election fund, and to build their much needed legal offense (and possibly legal defense) fund. Nice how that works out, cover up one crime by declaring someone else committed one and then legitimately fundraising (and paying off your debts) to address it.

    But I do want to emphasize that there is absolutely no one (with any power) that wants to unite the people. They’ve got us right where they want us: at each other’s throats instead of their’s.

  32. NL

    I guess one can keep in mind two opposing thoughts a) the so-called parties are corrupt, paid for and bought by the oligarchy and b) the solution to our woes stemming from political corruption will come exactly from this same party system.

    My mind rebels against such twisted torture. Maybe I am not intelligent enough or maybe my mind has a mind of its own. There is something wrong with me…

    Either way, the current politicians – all of them – are not the answer to the problem, they are part of the problem.

  33. Hugh

    NL, they are all part of the problem. That is not the same as saying they are all the same. Long term, lesser evilism is a recipe for defeat and disaster, but can be justified occasionally as with a wacko like Trump, a man as we continue to see even now with a severe personality disorder.

  34. NL

    Trump is inconsequential to the extent that he neither initiated the current predicament nor changed it significantly one way or another. He is a nonentity, a mediocre corporate executive/owner with a big ego — so what? Trump is not a politician, so he has not learned to pretend in public and act, like most politicians do and act. With him, you get what you see. What, none of you on this blog have worked for a corporate entity and never had a boss like Trump and worse? Would you rather have a suave actor-politician like Reagan – talking sweat nothings in your ear while picking you pockets and worse?

    I am afraid that it has become a fetish of sorts to obsess over Trump. Solutions for our problems will certainly come from getting rid of Trump and much less from fetishizing him.

  35. NL

    Spoonerism. forgot “not”
    Solutions for our problems will certainly NOT come from getting rid of Trump and much less from fetishizing him.

  36. NL

    An era of true mental illness and low IQ is coming. You out there performing mental labor, please stay safe.

  37. Willy

    First persuade the Trumpers to quit mindlessly sucking his cock, and then maybe we can move up to talking about the trickier politicians.

    But if MAGA rallies in Trump country were any indication NL, your warning about mental illness may be coming a bit late.

  38. bruce wilder

    wait, the last twenty years of WMD, financialization, MAGA, and Russiagate were NOT(!) the era of true mental illness?

    (This might be significant: “The study also found that people with a pre-existing mental illness were 65% more likely to be diagnosed with COVID-19 than those without.”)

  39. NL

    “wait, the last twenty years of WMD, financialization, MAGA, and Russiagate were NOT(!) the era of true mental illness?”

    No, it has been an era of misunderstanding and miseducation. The educated and ruling classes have been miseducated. It may be that whoever has been educating America ruling classes was just wrong. If the American rulers can’t shake off the miseducation, they will suffer dearly. They may lose their country, no more and no less, full stop.

    Those out there with the classic education, question: was Socrates good or bad for the Athenian well-born, yes or no?

    Here’s another super secret knowledge that I should be paid billions to share with you: Machiavelli was not Machiavellian! In fact, he said that if you be Machiavellian, you will lose your country, your family and your possessions. Yes, I know this sounds crazy.

  40. Hugh

    Thank you, bruce, for more false equivalence. Trump has a personality disorder, his narcissism. It not only affects but determines his decisions. You can dislike recent history as much as you want. But it is sloppy to equate any decision with which you disagree with mental illness.

    And NL, Trump being so inconsequential will come as a surprise for most of us who lived through the last 4 years.

  41. NL

    “And NL, Trump being so inconsequential will come as a surprise for most of us who lived through the last 4 years.”

    I am always open to changing my mind. Please tell me how your life became significantly better or worse under Trump because of Trump and not a general crapification of our lives.

    Thank you.

  42. Hugh

    Trump, covid

    You’re welcome.

    Trump lies all the time, but his lying is qualitatively different. His is more nihilistic since it is driven by his narcissism rather than the usual Washington motives of power or money (all those show up too). I often view his lying as an attack on thought itself as opposed to any particular thought. Similarly, Trump isn’t anti-Establishment so much as anti-structure. Structure puts constraints on his narcissism and so has to go. In this way, Trump is much more destructive than the usual run of the mill pol abusing their office.

  43. Ten Bears

    I am sorry, NL, but I fear you may have been led down a primrose path. Trump is inconsequential to the extent that all things pass, his time is short; it is sophistry to suggest he has been of no consequence in our lives. I can’t be fucked any harder than I already have (but you can) so… I’m pretty ambivalent about it: things are not necessarily any better, not necessarily any worse. Some things are better, some far worse. I did take my old huntin’ rifle and pistols out for some target shooting this year, first time in over ten years, but I haven’t started drinkin’ again. I am in a little trouble with the law ‘ore my penchant for not backing down – it’s a short-guy thing – but, I’ve been in trouble with the law before, it ain’t no big thing, other than the knot on the side of the asshole’s head. Funny thing about these assholes, they’re bullies as long as they can get away with it, bust one in the face though, and I know this to be true, they run cryin’ to the cops. Invariably, with out fail.

    I wasn’t going to get back into this thread, it’s pretty fucking disgusting, but you inadvertently joined a new meme I’v been pushing: of late I’ve been closing comments and posts suggesting to trolls (and stooges!) here and there that they “are of no consequence.” As in sit, down, shut up, be seen and not heard, if you can remember that circumstance.

    Eventually, it will go away. I can deal with whatever comes up twixt.

    Not my first rodeo.

  44. NL

    Ten Bears
    “I’m pretty ambivalent about it: things are not necessarily any better, not necessarily any worse. Some things are better, some far worse.”

    I sense you agree with me, my friend. Solutions will not be found in the existing frame work. Free your mind.

  45. NL

    Trump, covid
    “Trump lies all the time, but his lying is qualitatively different. His is more nihilistic”

    Bulls***, I will take Trump anytime because — let me tell you this — he is not very intelligent. I have met and took on much worse people than Trump. I literally vomited unrollable trying to figure out what to do and survive against much smarter people that Trump. And I lived to see another day….

  46. Willy

    The primary damage Trump has cause is cultural: hate, racism, cult thinking, extreme tribalism, misogyny, successfully firing and replacing with yesmen instead of expertise, general politeness and consideration… are far worse now. And our future: climate change, respect for the media, voting, education and institutions, conspiracy theories running rampant, our environment and parklands, international relations and national respect going sideways, as in, into the realm of “international laughing stock”, supercharging anti-science and prosperity gospel at the expense of the real thing. That an obviously personality disordered, yet moronic, leader gets to command so much respect from his own party without any pushback. Yes sir. And making fascism possible.

    But I’m open to the possibility that he’s simply uncovered the ridiculousness of many tens of millions. And maybe at the end of a very very long day, where I’ve wasted far too much time thinking about what the hell he’s gonna do next, he’ll provide a nifty solution to all of this.

  47. Willy


    I’m curious about your survival skills.

    Lets say that a guy just like Trump becomes your boss. Since he dislikes competency, especially the ethical kind as it sometimes says things he doesn’t want to hear, he fires all of your friends (since you prefer competent ethical friends). He replaces them with incompetent yesmen and snitches. So what do you do? This might be useful wisdom for the rest of us.

  48. NL

    Willy ,
    Ha ha, I am the ultimate survivor, G-d is my guide (whatever you think of G-d), (really, once you know who I am, you will recognize and appreciate my skills, I am it, I am the genius!) and I want to be not just a survivor, I want to be a trend setter, a leader, a leader who makes your life better, choose me. Ignore me at your own risk! I want to make life in America better.

    I have been called an outlier by English, cause I am NOT one of them. But I am a genius nonetheless, they will take their time to accept it.

    Otherwise, I will fu** you and the English,
    Do not hesitate to talk to me, I am a genius!

  49. NL

    Willy and Ten Bears prove your credentials or line up behind me… and no need to be disrespectful.. .

  50. NL

    Follow me, don’t me follow. I am a superior being, I will deliver what you want.

  51. NL

    In other words, Willy , don’t be a damp f****.


  52. Willy

    In other words you have none and you’re full of shit.

  53. NL

    November 11, 2020
    In other words you have none and you’re full of shit.

    No, the one full s*** is you, f*** off.
    Good luck

  54. kråke

    Good job chaps. Argue over arguing.

    Meanwhile, Trump prep a coup he’ll bungle, Biden is hiring pundits by the bucket and a covid-19 infection still doesn’t respond to blandishments or the spiritwar hoodoo of the Bleach Covidians.

    Eyes on the enemy, fellers.

    Eyes on the enemy.

  55. Willy


    So it appears that at least you haven’t been drinking. I think it was different clue who suggested in another thread that this whole experiment with Trump should be one helluva warning for the sober amongst us. Until then, Tata is #3 in the Pentagon now. Revise in my above comment “replacing expertise with yesmen” with “replacing expertise with nutjobs”. Mary Trump is freaking out.

  56. bruce wilder

    the whole experiment with Obama should have been a helluva warning for the sober among us, but here we are with Biden (and Harris)

    no one wants to deal with reality, especially the reality that no one anywhere near power is the least bit trustworthy where the general welfare of the 80% is concerned, maybe the 99% even.

    I like AOC because she is occasionally willing to tell the truth. That Pelosi is incompetent. “Every billionaire is a policy failure.”

    I think Trump was popular in large part because in his careless, rambling, crowd-pleasing way, he, too, occasionally told some truth the general run of politicians ran from. He was too weak, too addled to mean it or act from truth. But, the simple act of truth-telling gave people some hope in Trump as a long-shot bet.

    Sanders failed for me because he was not willing to tell the truth about Biden: that Biden was completely unsuitable as a candidate: senile, corrupt, the author of many policy afflictions. He felt he had to be a sheepdog, I guess. But, even before that he had handicapped his campaign with top advisors drawn from the Pelosi – Podesta camp, people who advised him, for example, not to call out the Russiagate crap and to go with idpol friendly cant.

    We lie in this country about everything. And then wonder why we cannot act on truth. About the predatory economy. About perpetual war. About fossil fuels, overpopulation, overproduction (of crap and salesmanship) and ecological collapse.

    That inability to speak truth to ourselves has doomed us.

  57. Ten Bears

    Blind boars and truffles, not just a canard.

    Line up behind, follow… now there’s a good laugh.

    Yes kråke, things are rushing to their logical conclusion. What a tangled web we weave. Most drumpf ucks just aren’t smart enough to not say the quiet parts out loud, indeed that seems to be drumpf uck’s modus operandi; the fun in the hunt is separating the wheat from the chaff, and paring out of these carefully constructed, ever more complicated fantasies what’s really going on. In all legend lay a kernel of truth. That it’s buried under mounds of bullshit like so many central american pyramids is moot, though it does make one wonder why they put so much effort into burying them.

    You know, there’s a difference twixt goin’ with the flow, and riding it out …

  58. Plague Species

    If Trump doesn’t want to go, and he clearly doesn’t, who or what is going to remove him? Not the GOP. Not the Supreme Court. Not Congress. Not Biden and the Dems. Not Wall Street. Not the military. Who then? You can’t just ignore it, Biden, you will have to deal with the treasonous traitor one way or another before he REALLY deals with you MBS and Erdogan style.

    As I see it, there is only one option remaining. One card to play.

    Oswald. Calling Oswald. Are you there? Ruby. Calling Rubenstein. Are you there? Zapruder. Calling Zapruder. Are you there?

    This is a job for the bullpen. The starting pitcher is pitched out — there’s nothing left in that noodle arm.

    This has been a Constitutional Crisis for two years or more. The Constitution cannot and will not remedy this. It requires extraordinary trans-constitutional means.

  59. @Golladay

    I’m of the impression that the fraud is so extensive (including fraud detected from statistical inference), that the Supreme Court will have no choice but to reject state certifications which don’t address the fraud. However, how can the fraud be accurately addressed? That is impossible when we consider Trump laden batches of ballots that have been destroyed. I don’t think there’s time enough for a supervised, constantly audited and monitored recount.

    I thus think we are most likely to see a contingent election, where Republicans hold a 28-22 advantage. Just like Steve “We’ve got this” Bannon predicted., which I came across via a scientist I am following on twitter, Ned Nikolov, Ph.D., @NikolovScience, shows that discounting voter fraud, Trump already has 307 electoral college votes. However, their more detailed view, @, while longish, doesn’t show the sort of extensive, statistical analysis I’d expect to see in a scholarly effort.

    Nikolov also recently pointed to what appears to be a far more substantive (and credible) statistical analysis by Dr. Shiva Ayyadurai, who ran for Senator in Massachussetts, and claims vote tampering caused his loss:

    WATCH: This is an EXCEPTIONAL analysis of Michigan voting data done by Dr. Shiva and 2 other data experts, which unequivocally shows that an algorithm has been deployed (as a part of the vote-processing software) that TRANSFERRED votes from Trump to Biden:

  60. Hugh

    With authority comes responsibility. I am sorry, NL, that you have had so many rotten bosses. I seriously doubt any of them had anything like the power of Trump as President. I doubt that any of them have killed nearly 240,000 Americans. I doubt that any of them have promoted and defended, as Willy notes, racism and white supremacy on national television. How many of them when they were fired declared they weren’t leaving?

    I can’t help thinking that all this is a new twist on defending Trump. He’s bad, but I’ve had worse. So he’s OK. Do you really think that is going to convince anyone other than another true believer?

  61. Hugh

    metamars, how is the weather in your alternate dimension?

  62. Rudi Giuliani just revealed, on Bannon’s ‘war room pandemic’ show, that they will eventually be suing in 8 or 9 states.

  63. Ten Bears

    Bannon, Giuliani, O’Keefe… lol, credible sources all.

    The best part is watching the professionals skin the rubes.

  64. BlizzardOfOzzz

    There is several orders of magnitude more evidence now that Dems stole the 2020 election, than than Putin stole the 2016 one. That won’t stop the Hughs of the world from continuing to assert the latter, while dismissing the former out of hand. But Trump is the liar, right?

    Not to suggest that the Dem party isn’t powerful, but their main center of power (the corporate media) is literally a bunch of hot air. And boy, are they blowing a lot of it right now.

  65. NR

    There is, of course, no evidence that the Democrats stole the 2020 election, because the Democrats did not steal the 2020 election. Trump lost, bigly, and his cultists simply cannot deal with the reality. And of course, as always, there is no shortage of people willing to lead the rubes on with fabrications, misleading statistics, and outright lies.

  66. NR

    Oh yeah, and about that “evidence” of fraud that Giuliani is going to present…. I’m sure that will be quality, hard-hitting stuff:

  67. S Brennan

    In 2016, we faced our years of listening to D’s scream that the Russians stole the 2016 election, countless investigations fully supported by D’s, endless news speculation and in the end, not a shred of evidence.

    But in 2020, when the outcome suits them, with an incredible outcomes, widespread violations of election law, endless suspicious circumstances, all throughout the contested states, all with razor thin margins, then D’s say, no investigations whatsoever…ever…ever!

    DNCers and their D supporters engage in black-shirt tactics; these fascists[D] demand for President a warmonger who has demonstrated legislative record as a racist, a man who has been handsomely paid to help the financial sector rob the American citizens blind…well, that’s what got. And I will get the next four years to laugh at these fascists[D] as they do their phony baloney virtue signaling.

  68. Plague Species

    Biden is a hypocrite and a walking contradiction. He and Obama downplayed Putin and called him Junior Varsity during Obama’s tenure. Please tell us Joe and Barack, how does the junior varsity determine the 2016 American presidential election via Russiagate? That sure seems like varsity to me and in fact more than varsity, professional in fact. You can’t have it both ways, poseurs. Either Putin really is a prodigious threat or he’s not. Biden, by acting as if he’s not too concerned, is playing the same downplaying game with Trump. It’s the same strategy he and Obama deployed against Putin.

    Aside from and related to it, there’s this. What a snowflake Putin is. He’s frightened Sleepy Joe is going to nuke him. Crapping his pants, it seems. Sleepy Joe is sooo scary. He gives Putin nightmares.

  69. Plague Species

    No doubt there was cheating on both sides. The Dems were the better cheaters. Trump and the GOP and Putin and Xi had their asses handed to them at their own game. The only thing more pathetic than a criminal is an imbecilic criminal. These nutjobs take the cake. They can’t even win when they’re cheating. That’s embarrassing. More embarrassing than not conceding.

  70. S Brennan

    “The Blue Wave” waves itself goodby:

    The D’s clearly supported pre-election fraud in 2016 [“Trump is Russian spy”] and of course the D’s four year long quest to overturn the election of 2016 culminating in an impeachment that concluded in late February of 2020.

    Those “dead-enders” at the DNC headquarters are directly to blame for Covid-19’s early spread through North America; the D’s first priority was to depose Trump…let the nation be damned.

    And when people needed financial help from the disease’s economic toll, the D’s sent money to their donors and then tried to increase the proles suffering in the hopes of creating a blue wave by purposely withhold any relief bill until Biden was seated. Today’s D’s are truly the most despicable group of fascist quislings this nation has had to endure.

  71. Mark Pontin

    NL wrote: ‘Trump is inconsequential to the extent that he neither initiated the current predicament nor changed it significantly one way or another.’

    With due respect, you are wrong.

    Josh Hawley: “We are a working class party now. That’s the future.”

    Sure, talk is cheap. But Trump has shown the Reps that it can be done, that it should be done because that’s where the votes are, and that they can — and should — appeal to non-whites. Can they do the latter? They probably can —

    Here’s Mitch McConnell’s protege, now AG of Kentucky —

    Here’s the Rep challenger to Maxine Waters in Watts, LA —

  72. Mark Pontin

    Bruce Wilder : “We lie in this country about everything. And then wonder why we cannot act on truth. About the predatory economy. About perpetual war. About fossil fuels, overpopulation, overproduction (of crap and salesmanship) and ecological collapse.

    “That inability to speak truth to ourselves has doomed us.”


  73. Plague Species

    Interesting terminology, all things considered. Coincidence? Yet another “exercise” gone live. And yet, nothing, so it seems, has been learned or done from all these “exercises.” Perhaps that was never the point. Perhaps they were always a wet dream until the dream becomes real or as real as real can be in this day and age.

    On June 22, 2001, a group of well-known U.S. officials and a handful of senior policymakers gathered at Andrews Air Force Base in Maryland for a senior-level exercise that simulated a biological weapons attack—an outbreak of deadly smallpox—on the United States. Designed by the Johns Hopkins Center for Civilian Biodefense Strategies (now called the Center for Health Security) and the Washington-based Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), the day-and-a-half-long “Dark Winter” simulation was conducted to gauge how senior leaders would respond to such an attack and included such high-level participants as Sen. Sam Nunn (who played the president), former White House advisor David Gergen (the national security advisor), and the retired career diplomat Frank Wisner (the secretary of state). But Dark Winter has since become legendary in senior policymaking circles in Washington for a different reason: It has regularly been cited by its designers and participants as the clearest exhibit of the spiraling stresses, and potential social collapse, that could be sparked by a public health crisis.

  74. Mark Pontin

    @ Plague Species —

    I probably shouldn’t feed you because it’ll just encourage you, but —

    While ‘dark winter’ is such a common conjunction of words — as common as yoking together ‘flesh and blood’ or ‘down and out’ — that you come off like a cartoon version of a conspiracy theorist, it’s also true that just because you’re paranoid doesn’t mean they aren’t out to get you.

    ‘The Great Reset’ is where you need to be looking —

    Forex —

    “The Forum’s latest Great Reset meeting brought together Iván Duque, the President of Colombia, Paul Kagame, the President of Rwanda, and Benjamin Netanyahu, the Prime Minister of Israel … Studies have shown that the world leaped forward five years in digital uptake during the early days of the pandemic. AI is projected to increase global GDP by about 15% in this decade alone, while 5G is also expected to generate $13 trillion in global economic value and 22 million jobs by 2035.’

    Or as Alastair Crooke, whose bio describes him as a former diplomat but who was in fact a head honcho at MI6, lays it out —

    “Many of the élite hold that we are at that monumental inflection point at this moment – In a nutshell, their narrative is simply this: the planet is already economically and demographically over-extended; the infinite economic expansion model is bust; and the global debt and government entitlement expenditure bubble too, is set to pop at the same moment.

    “A ‘fourth industrial revolution’ is the only way by which to ‘square this circle’, according to this mindset. The Reset is purposefully aimed to disrupt all areas of life, albeit on a planetary scale. Shock therapy, as it were, to change the way we humans think of ourselves, and our relationship with the world. The Great Reset looks to a supply-side ‘miracle’, achieved through full-spectrum automation and robotics. A world where the money is digital; the food is lab-grown; where everything is counted and controlled by giant monopolies; and everyday existence is micromanaged by ever-monitoring, ever-nudging AI that registers thoughts and feelings before the people even get a chance to make those thoughts.”

    And in more detail —

  75. Ten Bears

    What with asteroid near-misses, Mark, climate change, drumpf uck, earthquakes, floods, forest fires, hurricanes, methane, sunspots, Trump … I’m starting to take the Book of Revelations’ signs and portents in the skys, earthquakes, floods, forest fires, hurricanes … sunspots … a whole lot more seriously. Especially after the way these creatures have turned away from their god to worship a false prophet. I think that qualifies as a reset. That we still have to get over the religious bullshit, with the blood of our refusal to get along with each other rising to the horses bridle, before we can actually “re…set” is probably beside the point.

    I do like that Cooke quote, what is it: forty years old?

  76. Hugh

    Trump and the Republicans, the party of sore losers. They act like a bunch of poorly behaved 13 year olds, but that’s OK because that’s who they are. The joke is that all their whining is as far from their make America great schtick as you can get. Meanwhile the deluded Trump trolls are out making up and trumpeting all their accusations for non-existent voter fraud. But then did any of us expect them to act like adults, or be honest? Of course not. Trump lost. They can’t handle it. So we get their temper tantrums and really lame lies.

  77. Willy

    Trump was popular in large part because in his careless, rambling, crowd-pleasing way, he, too, occasionally told some truth the general run of politicians ran from.


    That inability to speak truth to ourselves has doomed us

    Or perhaps, to get the truth through to the masses in ways they can hear. My in-laws are west coast longshoremen. And 2016 Trump voters. I tried to explain to them that their jobs were dependent on their powerful union and all of that outsourcing to China.

    The smartest of the four told me with his body language to just leave it alone. He voted Biden 2020. The other three went all Moe, Larry and Curly, trying to outdo each other with insults about gays and BLMs, and head slaps.

    A while ago, I tried to explain to one of them how to measure the height of a tall tree using only a protractor and measuring tape, with a little bit of simple trig. He told me that math was a trick employed by liberal scientists to make conservatives feel stupid. I stood there with mouth agape, before catching myself and saying: “You actually said that.” He then proclaimed that my reaction was proof that he was right.

    This is what we’re up against. Got any ideas?

  78. Willy

    We’re all Marxist comrades here Hugh, right?

    I’m coming to believe that the “sore losers” pretty much know what they’re doing, at least amongst the elites. It’s mostly show to keep us socialists away from their grift.

  79. different clue


    My ideas run along two tracks.

    Track one: don’t try teaching your cousins or people like them anything. There is no time and energy to waste on vain pointless efforts. Spend your time and energy finding other people who already know things in the general way that you know things. Lift a finger ( but only one finger . . . no one owes more than one lifted finger) towards getting people of like mental method gathered together into a cultural, political, social and economic strike force and siege force. And when the force is gathered and organized enough, we can strike, smite and besiege carefully chosen targets as needed and called for.

    Track two: stay on good family terms with them if that is possible. Keep discussions limited to politiculturally neutral family matters. As you develop your own survivalist capabilities, if they see you survivalizing better than they end up survivalizing, they might possibly decide to learn the way you think and approach things. But don’t ever offer it to them. Just be family and distantly neutral-nice.

    People who have willingly and carefully dummed themselves down so they can join the Militant Backwardite Stupidite Tribe have too much Identity at stake to hear criticisms of
    Backwardite Stupidism from others.

  80. Hugh

    Willy, look at all the Trumpers who can’t accept straightforward arithmetic. Trump lost. Biden got a clear majority of the electoral votes. So what do the Trumpers want? Are they interested in a fair election? No, they want to throw out as many Biden votes as they need until Trump wins. They go b-b-but voter fraud, –except that voter fraud is very rare and wouldn’t change the result. It’s just an excuse to allow them to vote tamper.

    Let’s not mince words. They are fascist. Elections are only good, only legitimate if they produce the results they want. If their Führer loses, the fault is not with him. It’s with the election. It’s with the math. Two plus two must equal whatever they want it to.

  81. Hugh

    I should point out lots of jobs require math. One of my uncles was a precision mechanic. One of his sons was wowed by his expertise but he wasn’t interested in school. So my uncle took him aside and said, “Those tolerances you’re going to need? Figure them out, your own self.” His son said he didn’t know how. My uncle responded, “And that’s why you need math. Because if you want to do what I do, you’re going to have to know how and work all this out yourself.” So his kid applied himself, and he learned the math he needed and a lot of self-discipline besides.

  82. bruce wilder

    @ Willy

    In the absence of organic political organization at the base, all political organizing is manipulation from above, and in such circumstances — our circumstances in the U.S. — people basically vote at random, buffetted by whatever memes come at them in their own echo chamber of aligned voices, ring-fenced by the best disinformation the new science of agnatology can devise.

    Smart, well-informed individuals acting as responsible citizens of a democracy are rare, and in most instances merely mythical elements in a story.

    Despair quietly and modestly. You won’t be saving anything or anyone, by converting some yahoo into an ahole.

  83. NR

    If there’s so much evidence of fraud, as the right-wingers here claim, why is it that *even Trump’s own lawyers* aren’t willing to say there was fraud in court?

    “THE COURT: I understand. I am asking you a specific question, and I am looking for a specific answer. Are you claiming that there is any fraud in connection with these 592 disputed ballots?

    MR. GOLDSTEIN: To my knowledge at present, no.

    THE COURT: Are you claiming that there or improper influence upon the elector to these 592 ballots?

    MR. GOLDSTEIN: To my knowledge at present. no.”

    These fraud allegations are just more right-wing lies, and anyone peddling them should never be listened to again.

  84. bruce wilder

    . . . anyone peddling them should never be listened to again.

    Can we extend that to propagators of, say, WMD and Russiagate?

  85. Willy

    The Trump Election Voter Fraud Hotline has had to change its number yet again due to “all of the spamming”. Apparently, the overwhelming majority of incoming fraud tips have falling into four catagories:

    1. Prank calls.
    2. IRS scammer robocalls likely originating out of Pakistan.
    3. Elderly Fox News viewers asking if they can vote twice.
    4. People yelling: ”Why the fuck is the mail so goddamn slow?!”

    Please please dear citizens! We need to be taking our democracy seriously!

  86. Willy

    NR, the mystery deepens when we notice that besides the POTUS vote, Republicans are generally pretty satisfied with all the other results… all marked on the very same ballots.

    Somebody must’ve crept in during the night, gone through many ballots and left everything alone except for one thing, the POTUS vote. Dangblasted meddlers! It hasta be so because Republican poll watchers all claim they saw no weirdness whatsoever. Republicans… Hey wait a minute.

    What if they weren’t real Republicans? Maybe the conspiracy actually involves them. Flippin socialist RINOs from the Lincoln Project infiltrated all the right polling stations. That’s it. In league with the Democrats. I bet they infiltrated all the way up to the Inspector General in some states.

    And they were funded by none other than the legendary George Soros.

  87. someofparts

    Those links about the Great Reset made me remember listening to the Joe Rogan podcast with Elon Musk. I couldn’t finish watching it because Musk was so creepy it made me uncomfortable. If he is one of the people expecting to engineer our transition to the dystopian future your links describe, no wonder he makes my skin crawl.

  88. anon

    I agree with Ian that while AOC might be another Bernie Sanders (for better or for worse) she is nowhere near as bad as Obama who was never a progressive.

    Obama ran on platitudes and flowery speeches, but a lot of us here saw through the BS before he even became president. Just look at his record in Chicago and statements he made before winning the White House. He has always admired Reagan and wanted to be the Reagan of the Democratic Party. He was never, ever a progressive, and if people had looked past the symbolism, they would have been able to see that.

    Some of us here supported Clinton over Obama (although by 2016 I was on Team Sanders), and if given the choice again in 2008, I would still choose Clinton over Obama. She had more experience over Obama and I believe would have made slightly better choices domestically. She absolutely was wrong for the Secretary of State role.

  89. Ten Bears

    Can we extend that to propagators of, say, WMD and Russiagate?

    WMDs were of course a failed Republican talking point and as usual is was the Republicans that put their trademarked “gate” in Russiagate, all of which not unlike “9/11” if I ever hear of again will be too damned soon. (heads up: we’re gonna’ be hearing a lot about “9/11” in the coming year) The only birth certificate – long form – I’m interested is Raphael “Ted” Cruz’s.

    Though I would like to see more Benghazi! That spectacularly successful cover-up into the highest halls of congress of Romney and the Retards look it up spectactularly failed attempt to stage a Reaganisq hostage taking and White Guy Rides To The Rescue When The Black Guy In The White House Could Not October Surprise that instead resulted in the deaths of three American service members and an American diplomat abroad.

    Like “9/11”, the dots are all there to connect …

  90. nihil obstet


    Any interchange with people with whom you totally disagree probably won’t work very well as either a session where you teach them or an argument where you beat them. They just think that you are playing word games that you made up. And frankly, in an administrative polity, that’s frequently accurate.

    What do you want that they also want? Instead of engaging on the disagreements, just back off with something like “I want X. I may get it from Y.” Some of my relatives who are near conclusive proof that we have Neanderthal genetic heritage were dealing with elderly care issues around a mother-in-law. When I did a short wistful talk about how I wish we could get improved Medicare for All that would secure everybody’s care in old age, they followed up with questions. Then they denied that it could happen. And so on. They weren’t instantly converted, but they listened and I hope were softened up for continued non-angry interchanges.


  91. Willy

    @nihil obstet

    Well, I did have a girlfriend who had an uncle, a crusty old fisherman (his own family boat) who spoke firmly but gently about social democracy, and admitted that he was just planting seeds. 30 years after his death still I think about the guy.

    The extremes are more like in that 80’s movie “Ticket to Heaven”. You’d need to “bomb with love”, and provide them with more than the cult can both materially and emotionally, to have a chance at deprogramming them. There’s a way into the cult, and there’s a way out. Leah Remini suggests that when they “hit bottom”, they’ll usually voluntarily leave, if they can overcome their fears about having no support on the outside.

    I’m concerned with the incoming. The nihilists have gotten pretty good at selling their lies, if the recent Hispanic vote is any indication.

  92. Mark Pontin

    nihil obstet wrote: “Some of my relatives … are near conclusive proof that we have Neanderthal genetic heritage …”

    You’re probably being unfair to Neanderthals.

    IIRC, the research indicates that Neanderthal humans tended to have less flexible spines than modern homo saps, couldn’t twist and bend backwards with quite the flexibility that we can, and were more vulnerable to severe back problems. Consequently, anthropologists reckon, Neanderthals had to cooperate more fully on their mammoth (and similar big game) hunting parties.

  93. nihil obstet

    Mark Pontin, you make me hope that I was subconsciously affirming the value of relatives that I usually demean. Otherwise, I apologize to the Neanderthals.

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