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

The Left-wing “Shit Sandwich” Dilemma

Kamala Harris and Joe Biden each have terrible records. There is no reason to believe they will do much that is good, and every reason to believe they will do much that is bad.

Trump will, at least for Americans, probably be even worse. (It is less clear he will be better for foreigners.)

The issue is simple, both choices are bad choices.

The left-wing dilemma is simple: If you always vote Democratic, then why should they give you anything? If, however, you don’t vote Democratic, Republicans are likely to win and they are generally even worse (though not in every way).

If you vote, you’re stuck with the choice of endorsing a shit sandwiches. One has slightly less shit and a single leaf of lettuce, but they’re both shit sandwiches.

The “Don’t Eat a Shit Sandwich” vote happens, usually, in the Democratic primaries. This time and last, the “Don’t Eat a Shit Sandwich” candidate was Bernie Sanders. His offering was a spam sandwich. He lost because Obama convinced every remaining candidate except Sanders and Biden to drop out — all nearly simultaneously.

Thanks, Obama! You sure deliver!

So now the choice is simply which shit sandwich to vote for or whether to not vote. Not voting doesn’t mean you don’t get to eat a shit sandwich, it just means you aren’t saying, “Yes, please feed me a shit sandwich!”

Shit sandwich eating is, alas, compulsory, unless you are rich. Rich people are a bit stupid, not understanding that having to live with people, 96 percent of whom eats shit sandwiches, is gross.

What tires me out, beyond the obvious (mmmm, shit sandwich!) are the people who pretend, every election, that the Democratic Presidential candidate is not a shit sandwich candidate.

Don’t try and tell me that Biden is offering brie and thinly sliced apples on a croissant when I can see that what’s in his hand is a shit sandwich.

Anyway, it’s almost time to decide which sandwich to eat. The only forbidden option is not eating.

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Biden Picks Kamala Harris as VP


Open Thread


  1. nihil obstet

    What the argument always leave out is time. If the election was for who will govern for the next 50 years, the argument of vote for the lesser evil which will still make things worse might have some merit. But since the election is for 4 years, then a refusal to keep validating evil, to keep allowing the evil to continue and to get worse, has lost its merit. This is especially true since each Democratic president of the last 40 years and the Democratic Congress has made permanent the practices that they claimed you have to vote against.

  2. Hugh

    We have two political parties dedicated to foisting on to us the worst candidate they can find. They always turn the election into a contest between personalities because their goals are pretty much the same: to serve the rich, the elites, in other words themselves, not us.

    Whenever we have a major election, Emma Goldman’s take always comes back to me: “If voting changed anything, they would make it illegal.”

  3. Stirling S Newberry

    That means that China will get stronger. The douopoly in power know that it does not matter to them.

  4. GlassHammer

    You vote for the lesser evil because the things they sign into law can last for many decades after they leave office.

    The stakes are always high.

  5. Plague Species

    Moore, I’m done with you for good. You have no credibility with me any longer whatsoever. He’s a border collie, a well-fed one at that, who’s duty it is to steer the wayward progressive rebels back to the DNC fold. F*ck you, Moore, you’re a crumb bum.

    In other news, but still related.

    If only Konrad had Trump’s luck. Trump has dodged one COVID-19 bullet after another (he’s still fit as an obese fiddle) and Konrad falls through an ice sheet. I’m convinced, like the Gnostics, an evil genie created and rules this realm for his entertainment.

    I guess on the bright side of things, this fella was smart to die now considering the suffering to come.

    Beloved U.S.-Swiss climate scientist and glaciologist Konrad “Koni” Steffen died Saturday while doing research in Greenland. He was 68.

    Steffen fell into a deep crevasse full of water, Swiss media reports say, after snow and ice gave way beneath him while he worked near a weather station. Rescue attempts were unsuccessful, and his body was not found.

    Jason Box, an ice climatologist at the Geological Survey of Denmark and Greenland who was with Steffen before he died, said he believed his friend “remains 8 meters down in the water,” according to CBS News.

    “Personally, Koni was like a father,” Box told CBS. “Immense man. Immense loss. Tears falling around the world.”

    You just know Trump and his supporters are crying. Right? Truth be told, I had never heard of this fella before reading this article. I just found it ironic in a world awash in so much irony, we’re drowning in it.

  6. Ed Herman

    For some odd reason high profile leftists like Noam Chomsky keep telling us that we simply have no other choice but to hold our noses and chomp into the DNC turd hoagie.

    Honest, here he is on Democracy Now! Plugging for Biden:

    Just like he plugged Clinton in 2016:

    This is nothing short of betrayal, it guarantees that the Democratic Party leaders will continue to ignore anyone but their billionaire donors. Because they know that every year a donor shill like Chomsky will tell activists to roll over and do what they are told.

    The only way to ensure change is to punish the Democratic party when they sell out, and then take over the DNC.

    Noam Chomsky would rather you sit quietly and vote for Biden.

  7. borderdenizen

    Umm, there is no dilemma. Trump is a f*cking disaster.

    The US is a hard-right right wing country where the long-term power emanates from crazy-town worshipers of the dictator-in-waiting. It is time for the politics of what is real and play the rear-guard action to oust the wrecking crew so that we can save what has not been destroyed and save what is worth saving.

    Again, there is no dilemma, the choice is between total implosion and something else not as bad. It will be bad either way, but the current administration is so lawless and so absolutely and completely disastrous to the constitution that there is really no comparison to their crushing crazy/evil governance to whatever the Dems roll out.

  8. Ian Welsh

    And we see the split in comments.

    The slow road to hell.

  9. anon

    If Trump wasn’t so outwardly vulgar and disgusting, it would be difficult to tell who is the lesser of two evils. There will be a time when a wolf in sheep’s clothing much more dangerous than Trump will come into power, but his (or her) professional and polite demeanor will allow him (or her) to get away with many more evil acts.

    All Trump needs to do is pivot to the left of Biden/Harris on a few issues, and he may still win the election despite his bungling of the pandemic. Millions of Americans are suffering and Biden has not offered anything to Americans other than to say that we won’t have to worry about his Tweets if he becomes president. If Trump did one good thing, like legalize marijuana, extend mortgage and eviction moratoriums, or forgive student loan debt, he could bounce back in the polls.

    If Trump took the advice of the former chief operating officer of Federal Student Aid, A. Wayne Johnson (A Republican btw. See his letter to the Senate here:, and overhauled the federal student loan system, millions of independent-minded and libertarian Millennials and Gen Zers would vote for Trump or simply not be enthusiastic enough to come out for Biden.

    Trump doesn’t have the wisdom to do these things on his own accord, but if advised by his handlers to do the right thing for once in order to win, we may see Trump throw Americans a bone before the election to make himself look like the lesser of two evils. It wouldn’t be difficult for him to do.

  10. bruce wilder

    if there were ever a time when the centrist “liberal” left could be made to “work for it” it is surely now!??!

    if any of these bastards were truly horrified by Trump and his antics, his corrupt cronies, one would think they would pull out all the stops to offer the country an alternative.

    instead they offer a Chevy in place of a Ford.

    impeaching Trump for something Biden had done (and bragged about doing) was writing it out in neon capital letters: nothing will change, everything will get worse

    I do not see even a leaf of lettuce on this one. I watched a clip of Tulsi Gabbard taking Harris down and was sick to my stomach.

    I am not going to vote. Pretty much the first time in my adult life. The decision really was not prompted by Biden’s securing the nomination — I made that choice when I voted in the primary and saw first hand the touchscreen vote fraud machine the authorities had put in place locally. There is no point.

    I see commenters who insist Trump is “worse” or see some shimmer of humanity left in the Democratic establishment, and I think, “idiot or fool? Why ask silly questions?”

    I am angry that Bernie did not draw a line at Biden. He had a chance to tell the truth and instead he endorsed Biden in a bouquet of lies.

    I am angry and in despair for my country.

  11. Hugh

    Trump is already acting like he knows he is going to lose the election. In Trump’s brain, the only way his greatness can lose is if there is some nefarious conspiracy against him. So this legitimizes his doing whatever he can however he can, –like trashing the post office. This guarantees that the election and its aftermath are going to be a mess. And it would be a lot scarier if Trump had any attention span, but he doesn’t. I expect things to get ugly but for him to be largely ineffective, much as he has been for the last 3 1/2+ years.

    What I wonder about are the people around Trump. They must know he is going to lose too. I have to think a fair number of them have already put it together that the post-Trump investigations of his Administration, that is of them, are going to occupy their lives for years, are going to ruin a fair number of them financially, and that some of them are going to end up in jail. So who and when are they going to start making deals?

  12. Z

    No way that I’m voting for either of these clowns.

    I’ll vote for whomever is the Green Party candidate. Again.

    A vote for Biden does have some logic to it if you are a leftist because he’ll have to pretend he cares about civil liberties and he may very well be wary of going after BLM after all the support he got from the African-American community.


  13. Thomas B Golladay

    Know what, I’ll simply vote for Trump. Fuck it, let the house burn to the ground, its full of black mold anyway. Biden simply means we live in black mold four more years, Trump the house burns down and we can rebuild anew.

  14. somecomputerguy


    You are voting for the weakest enemy. It sucks, but the chance to elect a savior was always a long shot.

    You are getting to choose which enemy you will have to fight to try to achieve something for the next four years.

    Trump doesn’t even respond to normal incentives. I choose senile and amoral ambition.

    During Obama’s first eight years running the party it nearly went extinct. Obama is still running the party, and that is cause for optimism, because AOC could not have happened with competent leadership. And insurgents keep getting in. Richard Neal is getting primaried.

    I find the ostentatious spitting in the face of the left by the party establishment, comforting. It so over the top and unnecessary.

    Obama enforces the will of an establishment that is so disconnected from reality that it cannot accurately calculate where it is vulnerable, and what actions really serve its interests.

  15. Joan

    I realized my tax payments were funding wars, then emigrated.

  16. Ché Pasa

    A lot of those who have taken to the streets in hundreds of cities and towns in the United States and around the world are anarchists. As a rule anarchists don’t do elections or electoral politics. They look instead for consensus without elections. Because they know “democracy” is a crock. Shit sandwich isn’t the half of it.

    Those who have taken to the streets around the world are seeing some progress toward meeting their demands, more perhaps and quicker than you’re likely to see with electoral politics. It’s partly because the rulers are scared that this time the People really have had enough and are more than willing to break out the tumbrils and guillotines. So bones are thrown, promises are made, the rabble is told to desist.

    And they do not. Not yet. Not this time.

    Portland, you see, is still in revolt for example. “Stay together, stay tight. We do this every night!” And they do. Their objective is to wear down the police, exhaust them, make them withdraw, and to a point, they’ve been successful. The DA now won’t prosecute arrests unless there is ample verified reason. Arrests at protests have almost ceased. Nightly “running of the swine” has so worn out the police that even with their abundant drug use (don’t doubt they’re hopped up) they can’t keep up the pace. They have to take nights off, while the protests continue. And as the police are worn down, so the power structure in Portland and other cities is stymied and stalemated and shudders in fear.

    The whole point is the opposite of elections: to make it impossible for the rulers to govern. And once that happens it doesn’t necessarily mean that all hell breaks loose. We’re living “all hell” right now. When the chaos of current governance ceases one way or another, the rebuilding can get under way in earnest.

    Having experienced some anarchist communities, though, I’d say don’t try it unless you’re versed and able. Anarchism does not work on a large scale. It’s not paradise, and it’s often not pretty. People are notorious for not getting along. Consensus is nearly impossible most of the time. When it can’t be reached, but something must be done, those who don’t agree have to depart. That can only happen so many times before the whole thing disintegrates. And anarchist communities are vulnerable to loudmouths and bullies.

    The Revolution hasn’t come yet. But it will only take a spark…

  17. S Brennan

    Let me do this one more time, it will buried in an avalanche of DNC-suckup postings but…what the hell.

    There only two ways out the quadrennial dilemma posed by the DNC* over the last four decades.

    1] Revolution by the left. I am laughing as I write that because, well, who would take such a revolutionary cadre seriously? I mean, the overwhelming majority of the left wants the government to take away their weapons? I mean really, if the “revolutionary” left could only see itself from a distance they would realize how laughable their position is.

    So okay, number 1] is a non-starter for anybody who has few functioning neurons in their cranium so let’s look at number 2]

    2] Repeated vote for whoever is most likely to defeat the Clintonesque/Obamaesque/Fromesque DNCers until they lose the backing of the donor-class due to a poor rate of return at the ballot. If somebody is in cahoots with the Clintonesque-DNCers don’t let them win..crush them..period. If you are left and sit it out, you are doing exactly what the DNC expects of you

    So, right now that’s Trump. Now the counter argument to that so repeatedly expressed by the “left”…in lock-step with the DNC propaganda machine is; Trump is the most evil man in the history of humanity, Pol Pot, Stalin, Hitler…are all nice guys by comparison. I exaggerate, but only slightly. So is Trump as evil as all the “good people” continuously pontificate on?

    Trump has some bad people around him. Pompeo** is clearly trying to start a war, that’s very bad, he works for the interests of the Koch Bros not Trump but, so far…no luck, all Pompeo has been able to do is keep Hillary’s irons hot. Trump clearly does not want war and he clearly wants to disengage from the all too many wars started by his mainstream D/R predecessors. And that is a good thing, wars are the worst thing a US President can do.

    Trumps domestic policies on taxes are a mess but, definitely do not rise to the level of a Pol Pot, Stalin, Hitler. I exaggerate, but only slightly.

    Trumps domestic policies on immigration are line on line with FDR/D policies 1932-1965, only when blacks were freed from Jim Crow in 1964 did the D party switch immigration and then it was largely the Southern racist pols that supported cheap labor, Caesar Chavez and Barbara Jordan representing black and Hispanic workers in the D party did not. I am old enough to remember when northern Dems thought bringing cheap foreign labor was being used by racist to prop-up oppressive labor practices.

    Trumps domestic policies on bringing industry back to the US are what once was what boilerplate D’s demanded, back when they gave more than lip service to workers…and for anybody who has ever looked the prospect of a real war; necessary.

    So, is Trump the greater evil here? Nope, sorry, do all the virtue signalling you want, toss endless ad hominem accusations at Trump, he is, based on comparable records, the lessor evil. So what is the result of four more years of Trump? An opportunity for the left to run another candidate? Perhaps. Tulsi was too badly damaged by the betrayal of Bernie and his troops to have another go at it so, the left doesn’t have anybody in the bullpen and are unlikely to have any credibility for some time. Maybe the best very the “left” & “liberals” can hope for is a demented racist molester running with someone who slept her way into power to become a vicious enforcer of neoliberalism’s most odious evils? Or maybe, the “left” & “liberals” can pay attention long enough not to be fools of again? Kinda doubt it but, if Barr prosecutes Obama’s gang; the present DNC will have it’s high-end ranks thinned/tainted and that might provide an opening for the reform minded willing to take the beating Tulsi was given this year.

    So what is the result of 8-12 years of Kamala as President in all but name [IABN]? Well, what would be the result of Hillary for 12 years? War in Syria for sure, possibly escalating to war with Russia? I mean, what could go wrong there? Think of an unchecked Pompeo dressed in a pant suit as foreign policy. We would go back to building up China into a unipolar superpower, many here think that would be a good thing…I kinda think it would increase poverty as the fire sale of US assets continued but, all the righteous Trump deranged commenters disagree. Who needs jobs with a decent paycheck people with TDS ask? More Obamaesque bail-outs for sure, no difference with Trump there.

    So what will happen no matter who wins? Well, for one thing, Covid-19 will stop being a political football as “energizing” the voters to vote for Biden will be yesterdays news. That’s a good thing.

    *I am using DNC as a shorthand for the monied-class that rules the Democratic party.

    **Lets remember how Pompeo rose to wield power, it was the Obama-Admin/DNC, working with mainstream Republicans and the ultra-right-wing Deep-State that removed Flynn because he exposed Obama/Hillary’s attempt to shift weapons use into the overthrow of Assad in Syria. The Russian spy bullshit was for “liberals” who have shit for brains. So Trumps instincts on foreign affairs are better than those who call him a Pol Pot, Stalin, Hitler…et al. I exaggerate, but only slightly. Pompeo’s foriegn policy sucks but, it’s line on line with Obama/Hillary.

  18. Plague Species

    I’m surprised Gallagher, another Navy Seal goon, wasn’t there throwing pipe bombs into the crowd. Nice. Very brave. Well-trained. Does he still get a veterans’ discount every where he shops?

  19. Chipper

    There’s so much effort at voter suppression (not just this year) that I figure voting must still mean something, so I’m voting. I’m not voting for either major candidate, nor the Libertarian, and I’m not even sure if anyone else is running, but I’ll do a write-in as a protest vote.

    I do hope we get that slice of lettuce, fetid as it is.

  20. Hugh

    So let’s see. Trump completely blew the response to the coronavirus, except for the bailing out the rich part, managed to kill off more than a hundred thousand Americans in the process. He ran the economy into the toilet where it remains. But if you stand on your head and stare into the sun, Trump doesn’t look so bad. If he does, just add more HCQ and look again.

  21. Ché Pasa

    Misperceiving the other rightist party as “The Left” is I believe what “Lambert” would call a category error. The political duopoly in the United States does not contain a “left”. It has only two branches of the political right, one becoming ever more radical and insane, the other almost as insane but typically yearning for the preservation of or the return to a status quo — whatever it may be.

    To the extent there is an ideological Left in the United States, it is almost entirely divorced from politics with the exception of political criticism and sometimes putting up candidates for PR purposes. Even DSA is relatively rightist compared to historical “left” parties.

  22. KT Chong

    “The Left” is getting CRUSHED… by the DEMOCRATIC PARTY. Not by the Republican Party, but by the DNC that is “cleaning/finishing up” the left right now.

  23. rangoon78

    One key correction: everyone dropped out but Sanders, Biden, and Warren. Warren staying in the race had the effect of splitting the left vote. Warren had to be in on Obama’s masterful Biden ploy — or her hubris was so great even with her miserable showing she was determined to press on. I will on the former scenario.

  24. Laslo Hahn

    The assumption that the Democrats are less evil needs to be scrutinized.

    The Republicans are pretty clear about who they represent and what they want. Ditto that for the the conservative NGOs.

    The Democrats claim to represent the working class but several decades of their policy decisions prove that they are liying right through their teeth.

    When push comes to shove, the Democrats will have the aptitude to screw people more effectively, in ways that are not immediately clear, while making it look like they are making progressive strides and sidelining genuine change.

    The lesser of two evils is still evil. And you don\’t get NOT evil by voting for evil.

    Have to vote for other parties or take them over.

  25. S Brennan


    Let me correct you, Sanders stayed in until ~10 days after Tulsi. Sanders job was to make sure the DNC could declare TINA and then to drop out. Had Sander’s not been in the race Tulsi would have occupied the left. Sanders declared after Tulsi declared, cleared off her support and then, like a cheap lawn chair, he folded as quickly as he could without being overly brazen…just as he always has.

    Some day, one day, twenty or so years from now, people who support Sanders this will realize they had been repeatedly conned by the man…they won’t admit it, that would bring their judgement into question, but they’ll know. They’ll know that they are the ones to blame.

  26. Stirling S Newberry

    > And we see the split in comments.

    >The slow road to hell.

    That is because each person faces a different question. A person in safe state has a different answer from one whose life is ride the it. But the vast collective of South Carolina says “Biden.” They knew what they wanted: safety for a little while.

    There is a reason to study history: it tell you how such bets play out.

  27. Z

    I think one very important thing that voters should keep in mind when they vote in the presidential election: the extreme unlikelihood that their precious vote is going to make any difference anyway.


  28. krake

    Or, guillotines.

  29. NoPolitician

    This should not even be a debate. We have seen the massive damage that Trump has foisted on the US, increasing in intensity in the past few months. His lack of leadership has led to 164,000 deaths and still counting rapidly. He is taking brazen steps to control the electoral process.

    Not voting for Biden may make you feel good – which will be small consolation when the jackbooted thugs are stomping on your skull because you happened to be nearby a protest.

    There is no such thing as a perfect candidate. Every candidate will differ from your views and priorities in some way unless you’re the candidate. Ian, I guarantee that if you had the magical power to instantly swap out the nominee with anyone you wanted, 95% of the people here saying “hell, No Biden” would find fault with them and tell you they’re holding out for *their* perfect candidate.

    The time to steer the party towards your goals is during the primary. If you lose that fight, then you get on board and vote for the nominee, and you work harder the next primary cycle. Especially in this election, where there is a significant threat that there won’t be another primary cycle.

  30. S Brennan

    Our resident Disinformation Specialists speaks:

    “A person in safe state has a different answer from one whose life is rid[ing] [on] it.But the vast collective of South Carolina says “Biden.” They knew what they wanted: safety for a little while.”

    One thing Kamala had right in the debates Biden is a long time racist

    Joe Biden worried that de-segregation policies would cause his children to grow up “in a racial jungle ” –

    It has been a long time since our Disinformation Specialist has said anything that is factually correct.

  31. borderdenizen

    Stirling, yes, this is the split and why the US will always have the right wing nut-jobs rule: they stick together, hold their nose and vote as a block.

    Unlike “Z”, they know their vote counts because they stick together.

    And, like Joan, we are not all so privileged to be able to opt out so we have to beg to not live in a s*itty, mean-spirited country.

    Us citizens are just hostages of the hard right, right wingers because of the split.

  32. Ivory Bill Woodpecker

    Off topic:

    8 PM – 9 PM (Central) Friday nights: “The Magical Mystery Tour” spends an hour exploring one or another aspect of the Beatles. Tom Wood is the regular host, but I hear he’s sick this week, and so the show is recorded this week.

    9 PM – 12 AM (Central) Friday nights: The legendary “Beaker Street” has returned. Iconic host Clyde Clifford is undergoing medical treatment now, but he hopes to return to the show August 28.

    Meanwhile, Arkansas radio veteran Mark Wallace will host the show this week.

    Both can be found at

    If you can’t catch Beaker Street live, past shows are available at .

    I would expect that tonight’s show would become available some time tomorrow.

  33. Bramlet Abercrombie


    According to the results on the following site:

    Clinton got 65.8 million votes and Stein got 1.45 million.

    Where is this left wing split you’re talking about? Almost 98 percent of the non-right wingers voted for Clinton.

  34. S Brennan

    Bramlet Abercrombie;

    Where’s the evidence for the claim that “98 percent of the non-right wingers voted for Clinton” almost every Clinton voter I know is a “right winger” with no self-awareness.

  35. Compound F

    what’s the evidence that Obama intervened to sieve the shit?

    It doesn’t strike as odd that he would,

    but for purposes of verification,

    I’m curious.

  36. Bramlet Abercrombie


    I’m sure some right wingers voted for Clinton.

    borderdenizen was making the argument that Republicans rule because left wingers don’t come together and vote for the Democrat. I was just pointing out that the split between Democrat and Green votes in 2016 was about 98% to 2%, which sounds like most of the left wingers held their noses and voted for Clinton.

  37. Dan

    How about that rapper guy. West is his name, I think. Can’t be all bad. I heard he’s also a fashion designer. We could use someone that well-rounded.

  38. bruce wilder

    Held their noses? Or, flushed their memories and self-awareness?

    “no self-awareness” was kind of a key phrase there?

    I think the vast majority of voters are ignorant. Narratives flood the corporate Media and social media and somewhat randomly a few memes land in each otherwise empty mind.

    They vote for George W Bush because that dry drunk seemed like a great guy to have beer with. They vote for Obama because they heard he was a community organizer and they assume he cares about communities and the poor. Some of them may have heard Romney was mean to the family dog.

    And, people discount the information they do have, lots of those supposedly holding their noses while voting for Clinton ignored the open corruption of her $200,000 speeches to banksters and the Clinton Foundation ( “they do good work” I was earnestly told though no could say what that work was, aside from employing key campaign staff in waiting).

    There is no left, as someone up thread commented. A real left is obsessed with understanding and overthrowing/replacing the system. The nutrition-free sugar substitute of a “left” does not see an actual system. Sure, they see racism and sexism everywhere, but that obsession just obscures the actual economic system and the actual political history of the country.

    Anyone who is actually paying attention knows that Biden today is nearly incapacitated by age. They know he was a fabulist in his prime. They know his family has been implicated in financial corruption. They know he loves billionaires, hates M4all, loves pointless wars, was an advocate for credit card banks on bankruptcy legislation. They know he was always “tough on crime” as long as it was not crime perpetrated by rich folks.

    Biden is so far from good, there is no chance he feels any rivalry with the perfect. Point for point, it really is hard for me to see how he differs much from Trump. He even has his own brand of abusive vulgarity.

  39. Hugh

    It’s the difference between Trumpian chaos kleptocracy and Bidenesque Establishment neoliberal kleptocracy.

  40. Z


    Go ahead and vote straight democrat. Go to the polls and be a demo-zombie dumbass and pound D D D until you titillate yourself. That’s your prerogative. I’m not participating.

    If someone put me in a time capsule, brought me back to 2008 with the knowledge that I have now, and placed me personally in charge of picking the president and I was forced to pick between McCain and Obama, I’d pick McCain in a f*ing heartbeat even though he was hideous and I’d imagine we’d probably be in a better place than giving the deplorable Obama eight years to serve up the citizens of the U.S. to Wall Street and have the demo-zombie idiots cheer his sorry ass on the whole time.


  41. Z

    I’d say that with Biden there is a better chance to overthrow the system, again because he will have to pretend to care about civil liberties and probably won’t come down hard on BLM.

    The absolute need to break the system should also gain traction when more people realize that the democrats aren’t going to do sh*t for them either. Hopefully the right will kick in against a democratic president too.

    The movement ought to go into hyperdrive once Sloppy Joe gets in because for a while there his ego will demand that he is calling the shots. That’s when the government will be most vulnerable. Eventually he won’t be making any decisions.


  42. bruce wilder

    I doubt Biden will be around long enough to pretend to care about anything. Kamala Harris does not care about civil liberties, and does not have to pretend, because she’s black. Intersectionally, but still black a WOC.

  43. Z

    Kamala Harris does not have much pull with African-Americans. I think black women in particular do not like her. She won’t be able to calm anything.


  44. Z

    People voted for Change in 2008 and what they got instead was an out and out fraud who 90% of the dumbass demo-zombies still worship.

    And now these idiots want to vote shame people into voting for democrats …


  45. borderdenizen

    Z, thanks for the Ad hominem attacks, that’s right-wing classy, whee, I’m a zombie. I worked for African service NGOs and single payer health care orgs in the 90s and have seen a lot of people sacrifice a lot for nothing but disappointment and teeny victories. They struggled against the neoliberal machine that could literally print money out of thin air to oppose them and they all got to the point that they knew that they could only do incremental change. Nihilism leads to nothing and work begets work (to expand on Jane Jacobs) and there is, and was, good work to be done in the world. I got burned out quicker than most because the grinding awfulness was awful. I have seen just a teeny glimpse of the inner workings of the exploitation machine and it does not want you to have anything that threatens its profit. It is like a force of nature. Yep, I am satisfied with the shit sandwich because I have seen desperation and that the “moderate” is possible and makes a difference. If you want to wreck things and have ideological purity, you can go to the “unite the right” hatefest tomorrow and find some nice people who want to have a revolution and some good ol’ fashion purity. They want to let things burn, I don’t.

    Bramlet Abercrombie, that is a good point that the Dems stick together and a lot of people held their noses and voted for Clinton (when I was working for single payer during the health care debate of the Clinton years, she said single payer was “off the table” and so I never forgave them) and what I wrote was indeed incorrect and that the right wingers do not even hold their nose and will just pull the lever for the tea party/anti-choice candidate no matter how incompetent and there is a block that would never think of anything else and keep their criticism to a minimum. And that block is nearly impossible to crack (as Z would say, Zombies).

    For me, I have watched solid public policy be dismantled and just flat out wrecked over the past 3.5 years that a lot of folks worked hard to construct and, while the exploitation machine will purr on, the Biden regime will at least appoint departmental functionaries that will follow the law, not be completely looting the place, and not outright terrorize LGBT folks. We need to figure it out so that the monsters don’t burn the place to the ground. Trump is a toddler with nukes and the right wing nationalists have his ear. Is this a risk I do not want to take.

  46. someofparts

    Thursday afternoon in the water cooler section at NC, Strether posted a video from Krystal Ball that aired in mid-April, where she breaks down the situation in Virginia as cautionary message.

    Virginia is controlled entirely by Democrats – the governor and both houses of the legislature.

    It turns out that people who measure the well-being of working-class people in the states report that Virginia ranks dead last. That’s right. Of all the states in the nation, when it comes to living conditions for working-class people, the state that is run entirely by Democrats ranks last at 51.

  47. Joan

    Apologies for the flex. I did not realize my comment would be interpreted that way when I posted it. Usually Americans treat me as childish and rebellious when I talk about how I’d much rather not live in America and how I do not want the American life.

  48. Plague Species

    Ché Pasa, you say that the Portland Protesters are largely anarchists. Per review of the links I provided, Fernbaugh is responsible for the pipe bombings, if they can be called that. When you investigate his unmasking further, it’s revealed that there is a lot of celebration by the unmaskers that Fernbaugh will be going to prison — that the cops will bust him and throw him in the clink? What? What kind of anarchists would trust justice to the corrupt justice system? No anarchist worth their salt could possibly believe the police would ever bring Fernbaugh to justice. They want him because they want to slap him on the back and reward him for a job well-done. Any anarchist should know that if they want justice, they’ll have to administer it themselves. They should have cornered Fernbaugh and slit his throat and stuffed him in a barrel of HCL so his remains could never be found and identified. Fernbaugh’s right, you don’t want to mess with a guy like him, you eliminate him, immediately, for he is the enemy.

  49. Plague Species

    Not voting for Biden may make you feel good

    It doesn’t make me feel good or bad. It’s a matter of principle. I will not legitimate and validate this ruse of an electoral system with my vote. Ian is correct, it’s a shit sandwich either way, whether I vote for it or not, but I’ll be damned if I’m going to order it from the menu that only serves shit sandwiches. They’ll have to force it down my throat, which they will and do of course as I’m restrained with the threat of prison rape if I fight back. All those prison rapists, they may as well be the police because they are as much enforcement of this corrupt, malevolent system as are the cops and prosecutors and judges. They keep you in line every bit as much as the man in blue. In an imagined anarchical night of the long knives, all those prison rapist goons would have their throats cut too.

  50. Ché Pasa

    The Laurelhurst Park pipe bomb incident is just one of dozens and dozens of provocations that have taken place during the protests in Portland and around the country. Nobody I know of thinks the police will do jack about it, though they are trying to pretend they care. Many believe that Fernbaugh is working for the police — or would like to. (He’s pretty messed up, as you’ll see if you look into his posts, videos and website.)

    Hint: most anarchists that I’m aware of are nonviolent and would not harm another unless there was immediate defensive necessity. The fellow who tracked down Fernbaugh (assuming that’s who it was) appears to be a nonviolence practitioner. He was alone when he encountered Fernbaugh on the street, and he made no threat. Fernbaugh, for his part, appeared to reach for a gun behind his back. A number of protesters have been shot, run over, or otherwise killed or injured by police or military connected individuals to date, so it was probably wise to back off, no?

    Here’s a story in Task and Purpose which details some of what happened and what the police are doing… or not.

    On the other hand, rightist insurrectionists have shot and killed a number of police since the start of these protests, something those in the streets confronting police racism, brutality and murder have not done and wouldn’t.

  51. anon
    “If Trump did one good thing, like legalize marijuana, extend mortgage and eviction moratoriums, or forgive student loan debt, he could bounce back in the polls.”

    He actually did extend mortgage and rent eviction moratoriums, and he extended federal unemployment assistance along with a payroll tax holiday. He was not applauded for doing so, he was condemned. I am not, you understand, advocating for Trump, just pointing out the amount of disinformation upon which many positions about him are based.

    What SPECIFICALLY did Trump do that constituted “completely bl[owing] the response to the coronavirus” and “kill[ing] off more than a hundred thousand Americans?”

    I have heard literally hundreds of statements that Trump blew the response, but no one has been able to give me a specicif statement of what he did or dd not do. When did he order nursing homes to admit coronavirus patients, for instance? So, what specific acts did he commit or fail to commit that allow the virus to rage unchecked through the nation.

  52. GlassHammer

    Less evil can potentially* (not a guarantee) give you some room to manuver/survive while maximal evil provides very little. You won’t thrive or better your position under either. (Well unless you become increasingly evil that is.)

    I won’t weigh in on who is the lesser evil in this election, people can make that call on thier own. But I will say that you are not doing yourself or anyone you care about a favor by abstaining. (Some of you may have the luxury of a principled stand but me, my family, and my community need the best chance we can get in every election cycle.)

  53. Z

    I completely understand people deciding not to vote.

    There’s ample reason to believe that there’s not much difference between the candidates in regards to how much net damage they’ll do and also uncertainty as to whether handjob-across-the-aisle Biden might not be able to do more damage than Trump anyway.

    That neither is worth the gas money or effort of voting is a defendable position.

    The only thing that’s going to produce the change needed to right this ship before it sinks is mass civil disobedience anyway.


  54. js

    Voting for self-protection (ie lesser evil voting) makes sense. It’s just protecting oneself from getting screwed even more. Abstaining from voting out of moral purity may make some sense IF it enables you to fight another day (in the streets for example) and prevents one from losing the will to do so.

    But abstaining because you think it will improve the “lesser evil” is pure wishful thinking with no evidence behind it. When has this EVER happened? Look if this was capable of happening, the election of Trump would have done it. How much evidence does anyone need it won’t happen? Believing abstaining from the lesser evil will mean better choices in the future, seems a faith based position that no amount of evidence otherwise will dispel. It’s like it’s based on “Negotiating 101” without taking in account how profoundly little power one has in negotiating and imagining one has significant power there.

    I do of course agree that for President most of our votes don’t actually matter. I mean if one isn’t in a swing state, it doesn’t really.

  55. Hugh

    Trump dismissed the danger of the coronavirus.
    Dragged on closing borders.
    Refused to lead a national response.
    And oh yes, he was President, not some retired golfer wannabee living in Florida.

    People get so inundated by Trump’s non-stop BS that they end up expecting less from him then someone they pass in a parking lot.

  56. Willy

    Trump has to prove that big government doesn’t work, while at the same time proving that big government does work, while on his mission from God.

    It’s strange how the Lincoln Project Republicans are suddenly saying all the things about Trump which the so called “left” has been saying for years. Satan is indeed powerful.

  57. nihil obstet

    Refusal to vote for the lesser evil endorsed by the DNC has resulted in the elections of the “the squad” to Congress. Not the kind of immediate, stunning, sweeping policy victory that seems to represent the only acceptable alternative to an incrementalism that goes only half as far to hell as the greater evil, but potentially an opening to abandoning the road to hell.

  58. Z


    Z, thanks for the Ad hominem attacks, that’s right-wing classy, whee, I’m a zombie.

    Hey, no problem. You’re so classy yourself, you know you deserve such.

    Unlike “Z”, they know their vote counts because they stick together.

    And thanks to you too for vote shaming me for not getting in line to get served up my hot shit sandwich by the DNC.

    Good luck and I’m glad that you find shit sandwiches satisfying. Good for you!


  59. Z


    I find you centrist/moderates very inspiring and I truly appreciate the tireless work you do in letting us all know that all that will ever be available on the menu for us are shit sandwiches.

    I suppose I’m just not much interested in developing a taste for them though.

    But thanks anyway for keeping our hopes up for a better shit sandwich tomorrow.


  60. Z


    If you don’t mind, would you share with us some of your best dining experiences eating shit sandwiches? We could all use some inspiration at a time like this. It sounds like you’ve eaten so many of them that there has to be a time or two that you got one with a partially digested pickle in it or something.

    Please share …


  61. Tom R

    On three issues, the difference between the candidates could not be more stark:
    1. A woman’s right to choose
    2. Environmental regulations
    3. Climate change

    I could continue to list other issues that are stark but they will get nit picked to death here, like racial justice, LGBTQ rights, increased taxes for the rich, and, oh yeah, managing the pandemic with experts instead of conspiracies.

    Do you want Christian fascists advising your president, or neoliberals? That’s an easy choice for me, not one of Tweedledum-Tweedledee. Maybe it’s because there’s so many men in the comments that the right to an abortion is ignored in judging the difference between Biden and Trump. 8

  62. GlassHammer

    “Refusal to vote for the lesser evil endorsed by the DNC has resulted in the elections of the “the squad” to Congress.” – nihil obstet

    Sorta, “the squad” (like any group of elected officials) is still the result of a great deal of hardwork from staff, supporters, donors, etc…

    Shame and failure from the DNC didn’t just cause the squad to manifest from thin air or compel enough people to vote and secure a win. Everything requires work, especially politics.

  63. nihil obstet

    Shame and failure from the DNC didn’t just cause the squad to manifest from thin air or compel enough people to vote and secure a win. Everything requires work, especially politics.

    Sorry if I had misunderstood you. Many of the lesser evil advocates don’t seem to see this, so I noted that the election of the squad was not an immediate, stunning, sweeping policy victory, as it seemed to me they demanded.

  64. bruce wilder

    abstaining because you think it will improve the “lesser evil” is pure wishful thinking with no evidence behind it. When has this EVER happened? Look if this was capable of happening, the election of Trump would have done it.

    when you have no power, you have no power.

    one interpretation of the “lesser evil” argument — no matter how and why you identify one candidate over the other as “lesser” in the evil department — is that it is wishful thinking, whistling in the dark, as it were, rather than a serious analysis of how to effect change. It is because people of good will are not organized to effect positive change, while evil is organized to maintain a descent into worse and worse, that we are reduced to having a “lesser evil” argument to begin with.

    i understood voting for / rooting for Trump in 2016 as a “burn it all down” wrecking ball strategy. Heighten the contradictions as a Marxist might say. Or, maybe, just bring the centrist Democrats to their senses about what is at stake. i did not believe it would work in 2016.

    But i understood why a voter feeling desperate to get a response to acute problems in local area or region (not even personal problems particularly, but just feeling a sense that the society around them is deteriorating markedly, without necessarily having any personal vision of what shape a solution might take) might take a flyer on Trump, rather than on the Democrat who was ignoring the problems or had a hand in creating them.

    what has been wonderfully clarifying for me about having Trump as President is how obtuse much of the blue state political classes, including the centrist Democratic establishment is.

    i keep coming back to gaze at the Democrats running Biden in his dotage, with Biden promising nothing more than better grammar in Presidential speechifying, and probably physically and mentally not capable of delivering on that promise!

    the grossly reckless irresponsibility on display from the Democrats and from the corporate Media is astonishing to me. it really is. Ian and others keep saying, a competent authoritarian demagogue is coming. I wish. I think the establishment believes Kamala Harris is that demogogue, the idPol version of Hitler for the 21st century. but it is just absurd.

    Trump was not wrecking ball enough apparently, the Democrats are bent on collapse under the guise of returning to an imaginary status quo ante.

    the Media and the Democratic establishment saw the deep unhappiness expressed in the election of Trump and they screamed “racist” every ten seconds and spun out the absurd Russiagate narrative. Now they are taking a knee for BLM, which is nothing but brand management.

    Re: the Squad

    4 Congress critters, one of which is the entirely conventional centrist, Ayanna Pressley.

    Meanwhile at least ten newly minted conservative or centrist Democratic Congress critters with military, police or intelligence agency on their resumes also assumed office in 2018. So, score 3 for progressive ideals and 10+ for neoliberal authoritarianism.

  65. GlassHammer

    “Many of the lesser evil advocates don’t seem to see this” – nihil obstet

    It’s not that I find picking the lesser evil desirable, I just find selecting/facilitating the maximal evil to be strategically unsound and more than a bit irresponsible.

  66. Ché Pasa

    There’s a fair chance the Republican Party will spontaneously combust this cycle, as it almost did in 2008, and this time, there will be no rescue (as Obama performed for the Rs in 2009). The less radical and insane Rs will have become Ds and that will be that. The conservative Democratic Party will emerge singed but standing. The Rs, like so many institutions, will come close to ceasing altogether, and will never restore themselves to power.

    That leaves a political vacuum. Something will fill it. If the Ds become the acknowledged conservative party, then there would be room for a somewhat leftist party, no? And hasn’t that been the dream of so many who’ve long sought the destruction or take over of the Democratic Party? The Democratic Party is not leftist and never has been. Not even FDR wasn’t a leftist. He was in many ways a classist and conservative. But mostly he was a pragmatist.

    It’s time, actually past time, for the handful of semi-leftists in the Democratic Party, the Greens and DSA and the many would-be leftists outside of politics to get together and create a new party to finally provide a mechanism for leftist power.

  67. someofparts

    Joan, far from being dismissive, I’m really interested. How did you make it out and where did you go? I worry that getting out may not be possible without enough money or sought-after skills.

  68. Trinity

    And we see the split in comments.

    It’s by design. Splitting the constituency is part of the plan. Setting people against each other is a feature, not a bug. Having people argue over meaningless events is part of the base code.

    Especially when one considers that there is no real choice. The one with the most money (backing them) wins. Trump’s Tulsa speech was nothing but signaling his backers (as were the location, date, etc). Another example: having tech companies testify at a hearing on monopolies. As if! Really just a sham show to determine which ones will pay the most, and determine which ones are most vulnerable (looked like Facebook to me, followed closely by Google).

    It’s all just show.

    But it’s nice to see people finally agree that there is no real difference between D and R.

    There really should be a movement where people don’t vote at all. It would be interesting to see what “our betters” do about that! Or better yet, everyone should write in Boaty McBoatface as their presidential candidate of choice. And then take all that energy and redirect it into their state and local elections.

    Abortion is regulated at the state level, and is one of those “issues” they bring up to “help“ us “decide” between candidates. That’s a state level issue, so meaningless, which is why they bring it up. Just like they “bring up” social security, while knowing it’s political suicide to even suggest ending social security. All the “news” about these topics is to get people focused on something other than what people should be focusing on.

    Reading Matt Stoller today … he talks about a book that illustrates how people across political ideologies are starting to “wake up” to the reality that “something is wrong in the US”. Better late than never, I guess. One can hope but I’m not holding my breath.

  69. Z

    It’s time, actually past time, for the handful of semi-leftists in the Democratic Party, the Greens and DSA and the many would-be leftists outside of politics to get together and create a new party to finally provide a mechanism for leftist power.

    I’d say.

    Hopefully it gets done before Bernie croaks so that he can be the official papa of the party and when he dies we can place Sanders’ Tomb behind glass encasing near the entrance way of the party headquarters so that when everyone passes into the building they can pay him their proper respects.


  70. don

    ian. time to ban z. we don’t come to this website to behold himher displaying their tastelessness and disrespect this has nothing to do with political views don’t let the site degenerate

  71. Temporarily Sane

    Lesser evil voting is for fools who’ve let Democratic Party propaganda take over their minds.

    Michael Smith at the Legalienate blog published the ultimate LEV takedown. If any LEV aficionados think they have a valid counter argument, post it on his site.

  72. don

    Is nobody awake? Does nobody agree with me? I’m really concerned. I’m really hoping for some support. I don’t know how these things work, but it really looks to me that if people start tripping on how strikingly they can fling excrement at each other, then this -as noble an effort as I have been able to find for people thirsting to know what they can do to rescue the world from a terrifying tailspin seems in real danger. I think it’s time or past time that this be said. People need to be heard on this. PPeople need to speak. please help.

  73. Mark Pontin

    Okay, Don. I too find z stupid and unsavory. But at the end of the day:

    [1] It’s just somebody being wrong on the internet again;

    [2] It’s Ian’s website to run as he chooses and, relatedly, if he thinks freedom of speech means freedom of speech for assholes too — well, he’s right.

  74. Tom R

    Roe v Wade is a national ruling. Women in all states need its protection, especially women of color and women in poverty or abusive relationships. In some states there’s only one or two abortion clinics left. That’s because conservative courts keep weakening abortion protections. Democrats stand for full choice. Republicans want to limit or ban abortion. I call that stark and I call that a national difference. Four more years of Trump and a Republican Senate, and we could have a 7-2 conservative majority on the Supreme Court. No thanks.

  75. anon y'mouse

    the problem with not voting (as a lifelong intermittent non-voter) is that they don’t really count towards anything.

    when they decide “the big victory”, they do it only among those who did vote.

    this would be much different if we could vote “no confidence” and that would make them recast the election if such votes were in the majority.

    as for this election: some of us would rather be stabbed in the front than roofie-coladad and raped up the backside while having our kidneys stolen and sold for someone else’s profit. or, if Shit is the only thing on the menu, give us the real brown with the nutty stuff inside and not that artificial half-shit/half-soy extracts disguised with Red40 and cranberry extract. fake shit is neither better for you nor better going down. it’s just fake.

  76. Z

    Hey all,

    I’m leaving. Bye, see you later.

    Hopefully some of what I’ve written rings in your head because most of it is correct, especially with the Jewish Zionist Mafia stuff and the Fed, but if you are unable or unwilling to look at things in a statistical sense and won’t objectively evaluate what is going on, then that’s your issue.

    Again, it’s Israel Israel Israel not Russia Russia Russia and I always get a ton of resistance from whom I believe are Jewish people either defending actions of their tribal elites because they fear that they will all be smeared by it or are simply defending what they see as the advantages they are afforded by the economic and political power of their elites. And again I am not talking about all Jewish people, not at all. Most are on the everyday working man’s side IMO and have historically made positive and important contributions to U.S. society.

    But I’m not here to do Ian wrong.

    So goodbye and good riddance.


  77. Z

    Again, the Jewish Zionist Mafia is not the only problem in the U.S., the world is not that simple, but it is the controlling power in the sense that although it can’t get everything that it wants it can prevent from happening what it heavily opposes (see Sanders, Bernie and as far as political and economic power factions are concerned, it is the biggest problem we have in the U.S..

    Bon voyage …


  78. Z

    Also, keep in mind the rampant amphetamine use in our society particularly among our business and political elites and other upper end professional classes and the negative consequences of that.

    That is a very real and a very major hidden problem in U.S. society. It’s unspoken of and largely unseen.

    The non-users are paying for it, but most of them don’t know it. I didn’t know it existed until about three or four years ago.

    It’s only getting worse, especially among our younger people, and it is difficult to get off of so it will continue to proliferate.


  79. Z


    Thanks for showing your “concern”. So big of you to be so “concerned” about the degradation of Ian’s website.

    It seems like people like you seem to get very “concerned” about everything I write when I start shining the light on the Jewish Zionist Mafia.


  80. Z

    Beware the hasbara-bots too, they are all over the internet tone policing when people start calling out the Jewish Zionist Mafia and their methods.


  81. Z

    Temporarily Insane goes back into his static state in regards to the J.Z.M. by mischaracterizing my position about it; of course the always J.Z.M. defending krake chimes in with his absolutism idiocy; borderdenizen picks me to criticize about not voting straight democrat and tries to guilt me about their supposed past sacrifices for the “cause”; and then of course don decides that talking about lettuce on shit sandwiches is fine, but not pickles.

    See how that works once you start digging into the J.Z.M.? It happens every f*ing time.

    Just a coincidence though, I’m sure.


  82. StewartM

    nihil obstet

    What the argument always leave out is time. If the election was for who will govern for the next 50 years, the argument of vote for the lesser evil which will still make things worse might have some merit. But since the election is for 4 years

    That is the error in your thinking. That only holds true for a Biden victory. I am confident in 2024 and 2028 there will be another election if Biden wins.

    As for Trump:

    Trump, life was a game and all that mattered was winning. In these dangerous days, I see the Republican Party and Trump’s followers threatening the constitution—which is in far greater peril than is commonly understood —and following one of the worst impulses of humankind: the desire for power at all costs.


    As the months passed by and I thought about the man I knew so well, I became even more convinced that Trump will never leave office peacefully. The types of scandals that have surfaced in recent months will only continue to emerge with greater and greater levels of treachery and deceit. If Trump wins another four years, these scandals will prove to only be the tip of the iceberg. I’m certain that Trump knows he will face prison time if he leaves office, the inevitable cold Karma to the notorious chants of “Lock Her Up!” But that is the Trump I know in a nutshell. He projects his own sins and crimes onto others, partly to distract and confuse but mostly because he thinks everyone is as corrupt and shameless and ruthless as he is; a poisonous mindset I know all too well. Whoever follows Trump into the White House, if the President doesn’t manage to make himself the leader for life, as he has started to joke about—and Trump never actually jokes – will discover a tangle of frauds and scams and lawlessness. Trump and his minions will do anything to cover up that reality, and I mean anything.

    If Trump loses, he will not go willingly. If Trump wins, he will try to make sure there is nothing like a free election after him. He knows he can’t else he’s facing time in an orange jump suit. We’ve come to that already.

    And I dare say to the “both sides”-ists here that in this case, you’re plainly wrong. I trust that Micheal Cohen knows Trump better than any of you. Yes Biden is a piece of shit and America’s decline will continue, but his tenure will mean the normal decline; it will be more like floating down in a parachute as opposed to the free-fall under Trump. At least the parachute route gives one a bit more time to prepare. I don’t think America can be save, it’s do you want a crash-landing or do you want just a nose-first crash?

  83. don

    Z: Sorry to be delayed in responding. I was trying to find my pearls that fell out of my clutch when I was driven to the fainting couch by your use of harsh language. If it’s Christmas for me, when the dust settles you acknowledge to yourself your effectiveness is diminished your energy is squandered when you allow yourself self-indulgence in your unfortunate gift for gratuitous vilification in the course of fighting ferociously (if deeds match words) for the wonderful things you want for downtrodden humanity. I’m not backing down on that. I think it’s important. I think you shoot yourself and your wonderful causes in the foot. There are too few of us. We need your foot un-shot-through. And best of all there is no charge for for my wonderous awesome advice here.

    Since you (didn’t) ask: I do also believe that among problematic things, too much influence and money in private hands is being devoted to furthering policies in the middle east not in humanity’s interest. The actual scale I do not doubt could easily be awesome. I am not Jewish. I am by heritage Moravian Christian. My own life experience is that had not Jewish friends who owed me nothing come forward I would have dead 55 years ago, whereas those deeply indebted to me to a person fled when I crucially needed them and had as far as I could see earned in advance every basis to expect they would be there. I read with interest recent allegations by Yale historian Timothy Snyder that Hitler personally -not just indifferently going along with underlings- did indeed intend by the Jews what occurred because he believed they conflicted with how things should be by nature in that they were genuinely charitable as something they should be.

    Mark Pontin: thx for being heard and helping me to be confident I had a point it was all to the good to express

    ian: thx i suppose for judicious silence

    z: as to bon voyage: may you miss your debarking and your ticket be refunded. please consider if i did not have a point to the good to express


  84. nihil obstet

    Stewart M —
    On the time issue — which is worse, to work for wages that will not sustain you, or to march around the workplace carrying a sign for no pay? The latter is the lesser evil for a day, but a strike is how you’re going to solve the former issue. Withholding your vote is analogous to withholding your labor.

    the free-fall decline under Trump as opposed to Biden? Under Obama with Biden as VP, the country rocketed down. The administration used the 1917 espionage act to reinstate anti-whistle-cases and to instate new ones, so that it was prosecuting more people than the entire history of the very bad act. It established secret government. It used torture to attempt to coerce testimony (that’s according the the UN rapporteur on torture). The 4th amendment was simply shredded, as the government got surveillance on citizens from other organizations. The administration a nationwide wrap-up of Occupy protests.

    It also claimed the right of extra-judicial executions of American citizens on the sole say of the president.

    If you can spy on your citizens, arrest them for unwanted speech, run raids against their gatherings, torture them, and kill them, what in hell is left to Trump to do? Biden never objected to any of this, nor did most of the Democratic Congressional members. And they’ve continued to give Trump all the money and power that he has asked for.

  85. Dan

    Aside from the tone, which some may object to, nothing Z has written is factually incorrect.

  86. krake

    “Jewish Zionist Mafia” is factually incorrect.

  87. Z


    You really should not have went to the trouble of responding. What you wrote was not worth reading, much less going through the trouble of writing. It was so incoherent that I got lost a couple of times and honestly thought I had skipped over a line, found that I didn’t, and then just gave up on the whole ordeal before I could finish it.

    Anyway, the career of Larry Summers, Epstein’s pal, is substantial proof by itself of a Jewish Zionist Mafia. How the hell else does someone like him keep getting into powerful positions, much of them in public service, when everywhere he has gone he has overseen massive looting and corruption that has damaged hundreds of millions of people and only benefited a small percentage of the population which just happened to include the Jewish Zionist Mafia that extracts much of its wealth and power through Wall Street? I suppose that your grand prize theory would be that he gives a great interview …

    Larry Summers, Robert Rubin, and Alan Greenspan – the Committee to Save the World on Time’s magazine cover in 1999 that showcased an article about the East Asian contagion – all come from a group of people that comprise 2% of the U.S. population and somehow they found themselves basically in charge of our financial system and one could say wielded a ton of influence over the entire global financial system during that financial crisis. How does that happen? Mind you that the man who largely granted them that power was Epstein pal Bill Clinton, he who walked into hundreds of millions of dollars once he left office, largely from Wall Street.

    So, let’s keep that in mind and play a little game of 3 card poker with 52 players at the table. Two percent is basically 1 out of 52 cards. Let’s deal one card per deck to all the folks at the table. Now one player somehow gets dealt three Aces of Diamonds on the initial draw and walks away with the pot. There is a .0008% chance that happens by random. When something extraordinary like that happens, don’t you think it’s worth considering who is truly shuffling and dealing the cards?

    And now look at the bailouts in 2008 and 2020 and you see the fingerprints of people from that same group that comprises 2% of the population all over those “generous”, no questions asked, no accountability Wall Street bailouts again. Consider that the extremely powerful head Fed chair position was held by people from this group for 31 years from 1987-2018 (three in a row – another .0008% chance of being random). Consider how often members of that group have been the main characters in “how-could-you-think-you-could-get-away-with-it” level of Wall Street crimes (Milken, Boesky, Madoff, etc.), back when those things used to prosecuted. Look at the percentage of large hedge fund owners who come from this group (Singer, Schwarzman, Fink, etc.). Look at the percentage of the largest campaign contributors who come from this group (Adelson, Steyer, Bloomberg, etc.).

    It’s just simple logic that there is some organizing force, some unified power, behind these arrangements that emanates from within that group of people.

    And if you think in some way this is due to merit, that these people from this small group just happen to be the best we got, ask yourself if any of this was to the benefit of the greater U.S. population at large: the working class and poor? I’d say most definitely not. It’s been to our detriment. It’s been at our expense.


  88. Joan


    I’m in Europe but would prefer to not share specifically where. In my case, I will not take the “green card/permanent resident” exam until next year so I’m not out of the woods and into a stable situation quite yet. Take this with a grain of salt.

    We got out by my husband getting a job that sponsored his visa and mine. I make this distinction because often student visas do not count toward your ten-year timeline (or what have you) in order to apply for citizenship. It’ll get you into your new community, but you’ll have to find employment after graduating and hope they’ll be willing to sponsor your visa.

    In our case, my husband brought skills to the table that are useful to the community here and that his employer wanted. He is not undercutting the local labor force; he had something they didn’t. (He’s a big problem solver. Anytime he takes a work call at home, I hear him troubleshooting.) Whenever I go to a staff party, people come up to me and tell me how my husband helped save a project’s deadline or fixed an issue, etc.

    As for me, I had attempted to emigrate several years before but ran into visa issues while abroad because I couldn’t get mine renewed. I thus repatriated and was preparing to try again when I met my husband. I work online and help the community here by making money from all over the world, then pulling it out of an ATM and spending it at local businesses. I might end up needing to work part-time locally to secure the national pension (we’ll see what the future holds), but I pride myself in helping the local economy by bringing in money but not taking a job. My husband and I were both looking around for work in order to emigrate; we’d decided that whoever got hired first would take the visa and the other would be the tag-along spouse.

    I want to also mention that I had to completely give up the American lifestyle in order to have the cash I needed to emigrate. I did not have a car, mortgage, data plan, subscription service like netflix or prime, none of that (or health insurance for that matter, but that wasn’t by choice). Living without a car in America is horrendously inconvenient, which was motivating for me to get out.

    You need startup money in order to emigrate. For example, my country only had consulates on the east or west coast, so when they scheduled an appointment for us, we had to drop everything and lay down serious cash on last minute flights and a hotel room in a major city. We also had to prove that each of us had something like five thousand euros’ worth of cash in our bank accounts, so we had the money to get settled there without needing the first paycheck immediately. The only way I had this cash was because I was stockpiling everything I could and (dangerously) biking everywhere. I want to stress that I was not financially stable at all, nor did I have support from my parents, but I still made this work.

    That’s what I’ve got. Let me know if you have any questions. By the way, if you are a single person eager to find someone, in the case of my country, that’ll put you on the same timeline as us (five years to “green card,” ten years to citizenship) but your partner will have the ability to petition to keep you in the country should something go wrong, whereas my husband and I don’t have that protection. Plus, despite everything that’s going on, the people who have chatted with me about wanting to date Americans have expressed the idea that we are very kind and open. American men are understanding and chivalrous and American women are sweet and homely. Stereotypes, sure, but hey, I’ll take it. For what it’s worth.

  89. someofparts

    Joan, thanks for all that very helpful advice. It sounds like you have family help, in the person of your husband, plus decent skills and relative youth. Those are advantages I won’t be able to muster, but it is good to know that it can be done even if I’m not wealthy.

    I’m looking to retire out of the country. I will have to hang on to my citizenship because Social Security is hooked to that. Canada has a category for permanent residents and that looks like my best option so far.

    I was very interested in what you said about having a car. I live in a city which is said to be the worst in the nation for making it impossible to live without one. Fighting to get a car and then keep it has been a major battle over the decades of my work life because it is so necessary here and yet so expensive.

    After reading what you posted, I’m thinking the transportation arrangments will probably be fairly different in Canada so I need to take a long careful look at that. If it looks like I will need my car, will that be more expensive up there? Or do I need it at all if I live in a large city? Doing without a car would save me a fortune, so it would be great news to find out that the city I hope to move to would make that possible.

  90. StewartM

    nihil obstet

    I think you’re ignoring my point. I believe very seriously that Trump is trying to set himself up as our permanent President and escape any constitutional restraints on his power. *There is simply no comparison* in that with any of the neoliberal Democrats you guys despise, and I believe you and others here despise them so much that I believe it clouds your judgement. Trump is indeed different, and more dangerous.

    The current surveillance state was set up by conservative Republicans, starting with Reagan but really ramped up by Bush (I mean President Cheney, who simply ignored a decree by Congress to set it up). But I fully agree, Obama kept it going and in some ways furthered it. Ian’s summation is correct–the Democrats only at best hit the “pause” button but they don’t undo anything and in some cases they pursue it more. But now, I am happy with anyone the pause button.

    (My most frustrating thing is that the Democrats and the Never-Trumpers keep talking about Trump “violating our norms” but a robust constitutional form of government doesn’t rely on friggin’ “norms”—it doesn’t allow programs that would allow a would-be dictator or autocrat to take power in the first place, aand it also puts into place “electric fences” that zap automatically would-be trespassers. (Our constitutional interpretation that exempts the President from potential criminal prosecution while in office is just terrible, for starters). It doesn’t give leaders a broad swath of powers then just expect them to show some modicum of restraint on using them. A robust constitutional system expects at times bad people will win elections and it set up mechanisms to resist them; ours is failing that test).

    No, we were not ‘rocketing down’ under Obama. We were going down, I agree with that, but slowly. The fact you see people in the streets now and less so then is the testament to the sharp decline in both our economy and our civil liberties. There were no moms in Portland being tear-gassed by secret police and no one putting people into vans off the street just like in Belarus. There was no flaunting of court decisions to anywhere like the same degree (how many times have the courts told the Trump administration to reunite those immigrant children with their parents? And has the Trump administration complied? They’re thumbing their noses at the courts). And while I know you guys think it’s the Democrats who are the Wall Street whores, notice during CoVID it’s the Republicans who are saying “we don’t need the HEROES Act or anything else, just lookie! the stock market is doing just fine!!). In fact, Trump’s response to CoVID more than anything has been largely governed by his fixation on the financial markets, and little more. You may rightfully complain about our current system of legal corruption of politicians (true) but if you give Trump a pass on the *illegal corruption* he is currently engaged in, what good does it do to pass new laws if you give someone a pass on our current weak laws?

    But many of you guys are like the Communists who thought their “real enemy” was the Social Democrats and even willing to work with the Nazis at times because that Hitler guy was, you know, just a clown and buffoon and poorly-educated and thus not really dangerous. Micheal Cohen knows him much well; and yes, he’ IS dangerous. As much as you hate Sleepy Joe, there will be another free election in 2024 and/or 2028, and there is no guarantee with Trump if he gets his way.

  91. Joan


    I have a friend from Winnipeg who never bothered getting a driver’s license because she took the buses everywhere, so maybe poke around and see what you can find. I know Toronto and Vancouver have public transit, but they are blue bubbles that are surely prohibitively expensive to retire in.

    One thing often glossed over in defense of American car culture is how that puts the elderly on house arrest. In contrast, I see old people on the trams here all the time, still living their lives.

  92. different clue

    Here I am at the workplace before I have to clock in. No time to say much. I will just offer another way to view the Trump vs. Biden choice. One of them is a plate of spaghetti and barbed wire. The other is a big bowl of broken glass soup. I leave it to the political taste-makers here to decide which is which.

  93. different clue

    I wish to offer a poetically evocative improvement of my understanding of the choices as mentioned just above. While I think that “big bowl of broken glass soup” is evocative as-is, I think that the other choice could be re-stated as . . . a big heaping helping of barbed wire and meat balls.

  94. Dan

    But who’s who? When it was spaghetti and barbed wire, I could have gone either way. But changed to meatballs, that’s Trump to me. So, Biden is a big bowl of broken glass soup; Trump is meatballs and barbed wire. Again, for no other reason than “meatballs” for some reason invokes Trump to me.

    That’s my productive thought for the day…

  95. different clue


    You know, I’m not sure. You can try picking the meatballs out from between the barbed wire.
    On the other hand, you can try straining the broken glass out of the soup. I was going to offer a longer comment in which one I considered the greater short term menace if elected . . . and I yet may.

    Blogger Ran Prieur has just recently done a “Dungeons and Dragons” analysis on what kind of character Trump would be if Trump were a D & D character. Here is what he said . . .

    “August 18. What if Donald Trump were a D&D character? I’m using edition 3.0, and I’ll start with the six ability scores, which for normal humans can range from 3-18, where 10.5 is average.

    Strength: 5. He’s an old man.
    Dexterity: 10. He’s an okay golfer.
    Constitution: 14. He thinks exercise is bad for him, and he’s still somewhat healthy at 74.
    Intelligence: 7. He’s probably never read a book all the way through.
    Wisdom: 10. I’m tempted to go much lower, but D&D wisdom includes self-control and intuition.
    Charisma: 16. I’m tempted to go higher, but his personal magnetism is better explained as a spell power.

    Alignment: Neutral Evil. He’s evil because he lacks compassion, seeks power, and has no moral code except what he can get away with. Despite his talk of “law and order”, he has shown repeatedly that he’s against the rule of law when it contradicts his personal rule, and he takes every opportunity to push America toward disorder. I don’t think he’s hot-headed or unpredictable enough to be chaotic evil, but this bit from the rulebook does fit him: “Thankfully, his plans are haphazard, and any groups he joins or forms are poorly organized.”

    Class: Sorcerer. Sorcerers have fewer spells than Wizards, but can cast them more often. Trump has only one spell, an upgraded Mass Charm, which allows him to affect an unlimited number of people through television and social media. Or it could be Hallucinatory Terrain, modified to create a false social and scientific landscape. Instead of feeling angry at Trumpers, I’m just grateful that I made the saving throw.”

    If I knew Ran Prieur personally, I would ask him to attempt a D & D character sketch of Joe Biden. My zero-evidence guess is that Prieur would analyse Biden as being the D & D equivalent of a pile of old wet dirty laundry . . . rotting away in the basement and stinking up the house. But I will never know, because I can never ask him.

  96. different clue

    I was listening to NPR today . . . as I do EVERY day . . . and I heard a bit about Kamala Harris’s True Black background. I heard it from one of her Sorority Sisters, whom Morning Edition interviewed, about Kamala Harris’s student career at Howard University. That’s HOWard UniVERsity, folks, for the True Black Experience! Oh yah, you darn betcha! Don’cha know . . .

    And this Sorority Sister Blacksplained to us all about how any criticism of Kamala Harris would by definition be racist bigotry, couched in all the old familiar racist tropes. And it would be against all of Sorority Sister Harris’s Black Sorority Sisters all over the country, who will make sure to take it racially-personally because it is certainly meant that way, don’cha know. And they will all Have Her Back. Oh yah! You betcha!

    Thanks for explaining to me in advance what a White Privilege Racist I really am for condemning the Eric Holder-style immunity and impunity that Attorney General Harris gave to Steve Mnuchin for all his financial fraud crimes against the homeowners and homeowers of California. Thanks to Attorney General Harris’s get-out-of-jail-free card which she went out of her way to freely give to Steve Mnuchin, Steve Mnuchin was free to circulate among the General Citizen Population long enough for Trump to make him our Secretary of Treasury, where he was tasked with designing the Trump Tax Cut. Which is really the Mnuchin Tax Cut. Which would never have happened if Harris hadn’t extended herself on Mnuchin’s special behalf to keep Mnuchin free. So we could really call the tax cut the Harris-Trumpnuchin Tax Cut.

    Maybe one of the (Biden)Harris team’s little hasbarists will come on here to point out what a racist pig White Privilege Suprematist I really am to look back at that instead of looking forward to the coming (Biden)Harris Redemption of the Soul of America!

    Is Ian Welsh a White Privilege Suprematist for having pointed out some of these things to begin with? Well, he is Canadian, so maybe he gets a Special Foreigner Pass for having pointed these things out.

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