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

Why Uncle Joe Biden Is Leading Polls

I’m finding the Biden run amusing, after a fashion, because of Joe’s absolute refusal to pander. He was right on NAFTA, doesn’t regret three strike laws, thinks the bankruptcy bill was great, is taking money from lobbyists (and started his campaign at a lobbyist run party), and so on.

And he’s way ahead in the polls. Oh, his lead is exaggerated because the polls are under-representing younger voters, who will actually come out for Sanders in higher than normal percentages. They’re also not including Independents who will vote in Democratic primaries and who broke for Sanders last time.

But they’re still accurate in the sense that a plurality of Democrats (and in a 1 v. 1 scenario, surely a majority) approve of Joe.

When Biden declared, most pundits were whinging on and about his record, which is terrible.

I wrote about the persona of “Uncle Joe” because that’s what matters to his electability. Joe is a meme, and in the meme he looks great. Your friendly, wonderful Uncle who’s maybe a bit handsy, but doesn’t mean anything by it. That’s Joe.

Moreover, most Democrats thought that the Obama/Biden administration did a good job. They’re, in my opinion, delusional (unless they’re in the top four percent or so), but that doesn’t matter, it’s what they believe. To them Obama was a good–even great–President.

And Joe was part of that. In fact, the most common Biden meme is some version of him and Obama having a great time (the Onion bears a huge responsibility for this, and if he wins they will have a great deal of responsibility for the disastrous policies which ensue (or his loss to Trump.)

So people think “Joe is a great guy” AND “Joe was integral to Obama’s Presidency, which I loved.”


Joe isn’t unbeatable, I suspect, but he starts out with some massive advantages. Sanders (or perhaps Warren, if she genuinely moves ahead of Sanders, which she has not yet, for the same reasons the polls overstate Biden’s support), will outperform the polls significantly.

But he’s still the odds-on favorite.

Because he’s “Uncle Joe” and because too many Democrats think Obama was the next coming of FDR, rather than the bought-and-paid-for servant of the banker class, and merciless murderer (he massively ramped up drone attacks, chose to destroy Libya, and supported the Saudi’s genocidal war on Yemen).

This is definitely the stupidest timeline: Trump and now a candidate who may be elected based on a persona created by memes, while his actual record is largely ignored.

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Competing with Corporations, Emotional Performance, and Meditation


Week-end Wrap – Political Economy – May 5, 2019


  1. Willy

    I met a guy just like Uncle Joe by coincidence. They called him Uncle Ed, thanks to his public donations to that particular parish. He was a VP from a very large corporation. From a distance, an attractively avuncular distinguished gentleman. Up close, a used car salesman stuffed into an expensive suit. Once he figured you were of no personal use to him he’d quickly move on to gladhand his next mark.

    They came up with the Bernie Bro pejorative. Most voters respond to simple stuff. Trump was good at the namecalling. The same should be done for Biden. I’m not sure what there is to work with. “When you pull his pinky he won’t fart but you’ll find something valuable missing” is too long. Uncle Bullshit? Cup of Poo?

  2. nihil obstet

    In 1980, the leading edge of the Baby Boom was 36 years old. Reagan’s election was stunning. In 1984, Walter Mondale ran as a New Dealer, promising Social Security- and Medicare-like services, for which, he famously said, “I will raise your taxes.” You may think you’ve seen fainting couches and pearl clutches, but nothing has ever matched the reaction to his speech. The good things that the common purse could provide were completely deep-sixed, while every TV and newspaper carried on about how he was going to raise taxes on Americans’ hard-earned money (all money in America is hard earned, except for low wage employees who make low wages because they’re so lazy). And so Democrats ran like cockroaches from a bright light from anything resembling the New Deal or the Great Society or solidarity with labor unions or anything other than a slightly kinder notion of “all by yourself you’ll be rich, too.” That’s the political world in which Biden flourished.

    The Republicans recognized that a hero like FDR has considerable voting effects, so they worked on turning Reagan into that hero. Active grassroots party Democrats felt about Reagan the way today’s Democrats feel about Trump. And so, they were easily convinced to support anyone who could beat the Republicans. Clinton did it. And Clinton’s administration was successful on its own terms — the government ran well (and a lot of active grassroots party Democrats work in areas where good government functioning is both visible and important), the economy grew, and there was actually wage growth at the lower pay levels. The good Democrats were willing to put up with the declarations of party independence from “special interests” like blacks and unions because that helped win elections and Democratic administrations were after all a lot better than Republican outright racism and anti-poor people, so they thought. The disastrous consequences of the deal didn’t become an issue until the economy stopped growing.

    Biden was a leader throughout that era. The mass Democratic party membership internalized the deal that you trade off a “shrill” commitment to political purity in order to win the election, where you will be better for the people than the Republicans. Partly, they never reckoned with how much those policies hurt people, because they tend to be in relatively safe kinds of jobs — government, legal, contractors for government programs, agencies that receive government funding. And so they identify with Biden as the party leader to successful winning and governing. And Obama was the same, except he talked a good talk, like themselves.

    At least, that’s what I’m seeing. It will be interesting to see if more focus on the actual content of Biden’s career will get through to them that he is a very bad man.

  3. It’s still very early. I think right now it’s mostly just a manner of name recognition.

  4. someofparts

    Yep. I’ve always kept my political opinions to myself IRL because, in the South, my colleagues and neighbors tend to be Republican. Now I have to practice the same restraint around Democrats, because they think exactly the way you just described.

    However, I figured out how to adjust my thinking to regain my equanimity. One way or another, the American nation and empire are on a glide path to collapse. Once that is done, millions around the world will be safe from all the evil we do globally.

    Better for us and for the world if we pick Bernie and manage our downshift in a decent way. If, instead, we pick Joe or he loses to Trump, well then we go out with great carnage to ourselves and others, but at least we will be gone. After that, the rest of the world may have a fighting chance.

    It has felt natural to feel concern for the circle of people I know personally. But if I think of it globally, the number of people hurt in this country may be dwarfed by the number of people saved.

    It does make me wonder how much thought people really put into having children. How can people who actually have kids not care a farthing what sort of world they leave behind for them? Dogs are better parents than that.

  5. Adam Eran

    Just FYI, to vote in the California Democratic primary, you must register as a Democrat. This contrasts with every other Democratic primary, where voters from different parties, even “No Party Preference,” can participate. Important because you must register 15 days before the primary, and you won’t even see the Democratic primary contenders on your ballot unless you’re registered as a Democrat.

  6. Chiron

    “a candidate who may be elected based on a persona created by memes”

    This is the new rule of the game, today “populist” politicians are created and pushed by memes more than anything else.

  7. Herman

    I know I sound like a broken record but none of this surprises me after what I have read about how voters approach elections. Many people vote based on identity, tribalism, personality and other “irrational” factors rather than policy. I put the word “irrational” in quotes because this behavior is not entirely irrational.

    It takes a significant amount of time to read about economics, international relations and other issues and many people do not want to use their spare time to read about these issues because it is boring or depressing or they have come to the very reasonable conclusion that they have little influence on policy so why bother to spend time becoming informed when you could do something fun like follow sports instead of politics. I am not trying to dismiss the people as dumb sheep since I actually have a lot of sympathy for this way of thinking.

    Furthermore, even well-informed people are biased by things like partisanship which is why it is frustrating to talk to highly partisan Democrats and Republicans even if they are well-informed. You have to figure that for many Democrats, Obama was a success. The economy improved under Obama, the drone strikes and interventions in places like Libya were good, etc. They just don’t see things the way most people on this blog do.

    For example, there are plenty of hawkish Democrats who would approve of much of the Obama legacy on foreign policy. I am not saying that they are right (I disagree with them) but they have a different view of the Obama legacy and that probably helps Biden since he is associated with Obama.

  8. Hugh

    One of the most insightful things I heard about Biden is that he starts out at his high point and will only go downhill from here. Biden can milk his Uncle Joe schtick for his launch, but it is already wearing thin. Even MSM reporters are noting that he is dodging taking a position on issues that virtually every other Democratic candidate has. Biden, like Hillary Clinton, and even Gore, has the reputation of being a terrible campaigner. And this combination of refusing to say where he stands on anything in conjunction with his deeply toxic past record is going to deep-six his run.

    I am sure there are some voters who will support Uncle Joe no matter what. But as with Clinton, what Establishment Democrats still don’t get is that there are a lot of independents, millennials, and progressives who will not vote for Uncle Joe or any other conservative Democrat the party seeks to stuff down their throat.

  9. Hugh

    OT the April jobs report was good. This is because, barring depression, April is always a strong month for jobs. 1.126 million jobs were created total nonfarm (public and private sectors combined) and 1.060 million in the private sector alone. These numbers are in range. Importantly, net job creation to date (Jan-Apr growth minus the previous Dec-Jan dropoff) continues to lag. At this point in 2014, we were already 33,000 in the black total nonfarm. In 2019, we are still 215,000 in the red. This is nearer to, but a little worse, than the last 3 years. In the private sector, in April 2014, we were -62,000 net. In 2019, we are -305,000. And of course, most of the jobs created since the 2007 recession fall into the crap category.

    Things to keep in mind when you hear all the hoopla about how well the economy is doing.

  10. Jeff W

    Just FYI, to vote in the California Democratic primary, you must register as a Democrat.

    That is false. You can vote in the Democratic primary for president if you are a No-Party Preference voter but you must request a Democratic party ballot. You can request one if you go to a polling place to vote. If you’re a vote-by-mail voter, you’ll receive a postcard asking if you would like to receive a ballot with presidential candidates from the Democratic Party (or the American Independent Party or Libertarian Party which also allow NPP voters to vote in their primaries). If you do not return the postcard, you’ll be sent a non-partisan ballot without presidential candidates. (Even then, you can exchange that ballot for a ballot with presidential candidates for one of those parties at a polling place.)

  11. Z

    Biden has the media-propaganda complex fully behind him, but there’s no enthusiasm behind him and that’s important. Enthusiasm can be infectious and can lead to gaining support/votes. What support Biden now has, outside our rulers’ support, will not grow, it will only diminish.


  12. StewartM

    What can I say? Joe Biden’s lead just shows that Democrats can’t smirk at Republican low-information voters, because they have their own fair share.

    Compare Biden and Joe Lieberman, the latter being supposedly the pariah of turncoat Democrat to the denizens at Daily Kos and on the ‘progressive’ blogsphere, yet there’s hardly a whit of difference between Lieberman and Biden on the issues. Not to mention both being happy to be chums with the Republicans and cut “bipartisan deals” (i.e., deals that advance the movement conservative agenda) with them. Yet the candidate for *Senate* that the Netroots pilloried in 2006 they’re willing to accept a near-identical copy as *PRESIDENT* in 2020, just because he was Obama’s vice prez. Go figure.

  13. KT Chong

    Creepy Joe is leading the polls because all those polls are manipulated and skewed by the mainstream media. For example: a very recent CNN poll actually EXCLUDED everyone under the age of 50 due to its biased methodology. Yet, CNN and other mainstream media outlets just reported the poll result as the matter-of-fact – thereby misleading the public into thinking Creepy Joe is leading everyone else by double digits.

    Here is a YouTube video that looks into the detailed date of the poll. The video succinctly analyzes/breaks own the poll and its methodology – and shows how CNN actually “cooked” the poll to skew the result:

    Basically, CNN found a way to exclude the entire “18-34” and “35-49” age groups from the result, (i.e., not enough sample sizes for those age groups so those age groups are excluded in the result.) So the poll result included ONLY the “50-64” and “65+” age groups. However, CNN did not disclose that important little detail when reporting the poll result to the public. CNN deliberately misled people into thinking the poll was representative of the entire US population.

    In another instance, MSNBC straight out LIED about a poll by Monmouth University. A redditor caught MSNBC’s lie and posted about the discrepancies. MSNBC has never bothered to correct, retract or apologize for the “misreporting”.

    In the poll, Bernie was number one and Joe was two. Yet MSNBC reported it completely wrong – the wrong order and wrong numbers.

    Trump is despicable but he is absolutely 100-percent correct on one thing: the mainstream media is FAKE NEWS.

  14. Ché Pasa

    Skepticism of any poll result — including voting results — is wise. It’s too easy to manipulate opinion polls and to falsify voting results. Sorry it just is.

    On the other hand, Old Joe (I don’t call him “Uncle Joe.” That’s Stalin for us Old School lefties, after all!) is out there spreading a bit of cheer among the wounded and betrayed constituency that forms much of the core of the Democratic Party — and a not insignificant portion of the Republican Party as well. That’s the whole point of his candidacy at this time. I don’t believe, at least from what I can tell, that the DP hierarchy intends him to gain the nomination, let alone for him to win in 2020. But stranger things have happened, so I’ll hedge my bets.

    No, Joe’s a place holder, keeping the otherwise despairing traditionalist constitutency engaged and hopeful that something of What Used to Be can be salvaged — or at least pretend to be.

    The problem with the other leading Dem candidates is that none of them represent a return to normalcy after the chaos of the Trumpazoids. They are all — except Old Joe — off on one tangent or another, or there is something “different” (read: scary) about them. And thus worrisome. Joe represents the Old Guard, sure, and that means a lot of baggage, but the constituency he’s appealing to knows all that and is — at least for now — OK with it.

    I would never vote for him. I may be old, but he doesn’t comfort me at all. I don’t have the memories of an illusory Golden Age that he seems to evoke in others. But he’s keeping them from bolting, I guess, so there’s that. If he were not there, I suspect Dems would have a hard time rounding up enough voters who’d even want to bother with the 2020 election. Joe at least has been around so long and has won so many elections that he seems much less vulnerable than the other candidates (for many of whom the public can only say “Who?”)

    We’ll see how it shakes out. Joe may wind up the leading candidate at the convention, but my suspicion is he will not be the nominee.

  15. Daize

    This is why non-Americans think Americans are so goddamn stupid… *sigh* Uncle Joe??? Really?!?

  16. Daize

    Just to add: I really do hope the polls are heavily skewed, in which case I take back my previous comment.

  17. bruce wilder

    the political “ideology” or worldview of the vast majority of Americans does not draw a realistic connection between electoral politics and policy or policy and their own life experience. corporate media propaganda reinforces considerable confusion and the continual loss of memory by deliberately promoting political celebrity and confusing (public) personality with policy (expectations).

    the intense media focus on Presidential electoral politics itself serves to distract attention Congressional, state and local political contests. here we are discussing an electoral cycle that will not even begin for real for half a year.

    the idea that people like Biden have been the architects of American political economy: the designers of foreclosure for millions, the loss of manufacturing jobs, the stagnation of wages, debt peonage for many of those aspiring to college education, perpetual war, immunity to criminal prosecution for banksters, dominance of vast sectors of the economy by a few corporate behemoths in banking, media or computing — these ideas, ideas that would doom Biden’s candidacy in anything but the emergent kakistocracy of America’s imperial collapse — are simply not part of most people’s outlook on politics.

    so, sure, the few people who know — or spare the time to read about politics — about Biden’s association with the bankruptcy bill (2005) or Hunter Biden’s hedge fund career or numerous other horrifying indicators of who Biden is — expect his candidacy will implode. Like some other commenters here, i do expect his candidacy to erode at least, but i think that will happen partly because his personality does not wear that well and only secondarily as his record becomes known. americans in general are very, very resistant to thinking about political economy as something politicians do.

    they are not entirely wrong: politicians mostly do not do anything but pose. Biden is typical of spokesmodel politicians who serve as mouthpieces of interests willing to finance campaigns. and, the demand for a “normal” politics or a “normal” President from electoral supporters of the Democratic establishment is strongly attached to not-seeing politics as economic design for living. if you are looking at Biden’s persona, you will never see him as the avatar of Lloyd Blankenship (Goldman Sachs) because the method-acting that produces the affable Uncle Joe carries no convictions about policy, any more than Reagan’s did while he was reading his script.

    i had a late night talk with a very intelligent woman the other night, a person who obsesses over politics and reads the Guardian and listens approvingly to NPR, and she still clings to a vague notion that Hillary Clinton was the “peace” candidate in 2016, because “better” than Trump. If Clinton’s war mongering makes no impression on these people, then what chance does Biden’s financial policy corruption have?

    i do not think most self-identified Democrats think of Obama as responsible for policy. a common narrative in the media makes him constrained by events, by Republican power and stubbornness, by a vague necessity and praises him for some gestures of resistance to, say, expanding the war in Syria or regret over not having “a plan” for afterward” in Libya, but in these cases, he isn’t failing so much as he’s being failed by subordinates or foiled by the opposition.

    Sanders’s candidacy is the flipside to Biden’s. Sanders wishes for a bottom-up political movement, without seeming to be much invested himself in his own personal role, especially as a celebrity personality. Sanders seems to be actively teaching about the politics of policy, though he keeps it very simple and seems fairly careful about avoiding some issues (particularly in foreign policy) where many people appear primed to reject reason impulsively. Sanders both provides proof-of-concept and evidence for how thin the soil is for such a politics of policy driven from the bottom-up.

    What Trump’s Presidency and political viability is seems particularly hard for the kind of Democrat who “likes Biden” to fathom, but that’s a whole ‘nother discussion.

  18. someofparts

    I got banned from a local coffee shop for pointing out that the financial reporting on NPR was reactionary.

    While so much political opinion is focused on the race for President, the Democrats can’t persuade anyone to challenge incumbents for the Senate. If the Senate doesn’t change, any good the President attempts will be blocked, even if we elected the reincarnation of Buddha. The ghastly stacking of the federal judiciary with young Federalist Society spawn will continue unimpeded. The idea that rising stars in the party don’t see the importance of winning control of the Senate indicates a level of political incompetence that baffles me.

  19. someofparts

    Just spotted at Fivethirtyeight:

    Long but interesting post suggesting that part of Biden’s appeal is indeed a return to something reassuringly familiar. As the context for that, the writer speculates that white Democrats are now split along class lines.

    The class distinctions the writer describes are about race, not economics. (The city still has a real, operational GM plant, and the blue-collar population that did not attend college remains prosperous.) When people in the blue-collar community are quoted as saying the Democrats have moved too far to the left, they are talking about identity politics, not economic policy.

    As far as economic policy goes, it sounds like both sides of the class divide in Cleveland don’t know and don’t care because they remain comfortable financially. They think Bernie’s proposals are a hoax or a folly.

  20. Temporarily Sane

    What if…what if we can’t vote our way out of this mess we are all in? (At this point pretty much everyone agrees things have gotten very strange…they may not agree on what those things are but pretty much nobody is walking around going “dogamn I feel great..the future’s so bright I gotta wear shades, baby!”) What if all the “alternative” and “anti-establishment” candidates get a shot at elected office and maybe they tinker around the edges a bit and even make a few genuinely positive changes…but the unhinged craziness and all-around social and economic decline continue while a few people at the very top of the pyramid continue to hoover up every last penny and anything else they can “innovatively” monetize and sell on the stock market? What if the foreign wars and interventions continue and tensions with Russia and China and Iran become the new normal?

    The thing with great power is that that those who have gotten a taste of it are not going to easily let go of it and “share the wealth” or give the serfs and proles a shot at upward social mobility. The only time in history that ever really happened is after the Great Depression and World War II when social and political circumstances meant either share the wealth around a bit or risk being taken out in a revolt or revolution funded by the Soviet Union. So the middle-class era that everyone who came of age between the 1950s and 1980s considers the default mode of western society was actually an anomaly and not all how things were usually done.

    My dad, for example, comes from a very humble background in a European country that was on the losing side of WW2. He was raised by a single mother and worked as a construction laborer while he was in high school to help put food on the table. Yet he got into a polytechnic college, earned an engineering degree and he and my mom managed to travel and work in different countries around the world before settling down in North America as members of the white collar middle-class. In 2019 that already seems impossibly utopian and someone in a similar situation today would not have those opportunities. Even crazier is that my parents did NOT have jobs lined up when they arrived here and had no family or friends on this continent to help them out. But my dad found work very quickly and his salary was enough to cover a family of four with my mom staying at home with me and my sister until we got older. The only real debt my parents ever accrued was their mortgage and the place was paid for in full 20 years later. It must also be said that while I think my dad’s a great guy, he is certainly not a gifted genius who pulled off some incredible feat…there really was a time when a willingness to work conscientiously and having enough self-discipline to be able to save a bit of money was a ticket into the “middle” middle-class.

    The Keynesian era of the western middle-class and ubiquitous upward social mobility that many people still use as a benchmark for “how things should be” only lasted about half a century. Globalization and the collapse of the Soviet Union put an end to it and now we are returning to the real normal…a society in which a tiny minority controls the vast majority of wealth and everyone else is poor and dependent on their “betters” or left to scrap it out in social Darwinist cage fights. When a Trump or a Sanders promise “good jobs”, affordable education and health care for all citizens etc., they paint a picture in people’s minds of the middle-class era when hard work and tenacity was respected and rewarded and people who fell (or were pushed) through the cracks weren’t as blatantly thrown under the bus and written off as degenerate losers who have only their “bad choices” to blame for their predicament. But anyone who thinks voting for an “independent” or “anti-establishment” politician, even one who really seems to get their pain and anxiety, will magically roll the clock back and reinstate a bygone era are going to be disappointed.

    For one thing history doesn’t work that way. Lots of politicians have promised a return to a fabulous golden age…but has that ever actually happened? The always changing economic, technological and political factors that produce and shape what later become definable epochs that can be academically dissected and critically interpreted cannot, however, simply be reverse engineered and replicated.

    And, perhaps even more relevant, history shows quite clearly that power is not generally relinquished without a violent struggle beforehand or a very compelling threat that convinces those with power that not giving some of it up could result in their wholesale destruction. Are we in such a situation today? Is there a potent, credible alternative arrangement that threatens to usurp global capitalism if it doesn’t play nicer? It seems ludicrous today but the totalitarian half-baked communism, or “state capitalism” if you prefer, of the USSR actually did put the fear into the western plutocrats and oligarchs of the day. The fact that the Soviet Union armed and financed covert and overt challenges to western power…from 3rd world anti-colonial rebellions and wars to left-leaning European and North American political parties and labor organizations was a very visceral reminder that the capitalist order had competition and could not take itself for granted. Keynes and FDR both said, quite correctly, that their project was all about saving capitalism. They convinced the powerful that cutting the industrial working class some slack and letting them enjoy a modicum of prosperity and stability would take the wind out of the communist’s sails and stop the working class from revolting. They were right. Would someone like my dad have traded his western life for what the Soviet Union had to offer? Exactly. But there is nothing at all today that challenges the supremacy of global capitalism. So why would people like Jeff Bezos give up any of their wealth? Because Bernie is such a down to earth guy who can convince them to be nice and share? Because Trump bellows loudly and says he’ll roll back globalization? I won’t hold my breath.

    The establishment’s over-the-top reaction to people like Trump and Corbyn, two very different characters who both indicate that they want to curb some of the power global capitalists currently command shows that they aren’t going to take any threat lightly and will fight dirty and fight hard to take out any possible competition before it can develop into something with clout behind it. But frankly, Corbyn is a milquetoast waffler who keeps trying to placate and appease the people who are out to destroy him…and Trump’s working class schtick comes from Goldman Sachs alumni Steve Bannon, who openly admits that he’s a myth weaving bullshitter, whose dreams of a 19th century model of the world is unfeasible unless he finds a way to destroy or tightly control the computer networks that make globalization possible. He’s a half-decent propagandist, I’ll give him that, but Emperor of Neo-Christendom? Nah, not a chance. And what about everyone’s second favorite Uncle, Bernie Sanders? He already ran once…how did that turn out? Plus, he signed the Democrat “loyalty pledge” (although he claims he’s an independent) that obligates him to support whichever neoliberal corporatist gets the nomination…because Trump. It will be 2016 all over again,

    So what will happen? I think Wolfgang Streeck nailed it. With no challengers offering any credible alternatives, global capitalism in the west will continue declining relative to the BRICS and quite probably transition into authoritarianism if civic unrest becomes an issue. The ruling class in places like Brazil or Indonesia are perfectly content letting the masses live in abject misery so long as they can wall themselves off from the discontented rabble. Why would it be any different here? Anyway, we shall see how it plays out.

    TL;DR…even if you don’t read a word of my rather long unedited rant or read it and disagree with every word…please do read Wolfgang Streeck’s essay The Return of the Repressed (linked below), particularly if you believe Trump and his ilk are the cause of the sorry state of affairs in the west today.

  21. Temporarily Sane

    I didn’t mention, but probably should have, global warming (which nobody with any political power takes seriously including the people who regularly “express their concern” about it) and the über-hawkish tendencies of the Trump administration and its love of sabre rattling, hardball economic warfare against Iran and Russia, fomenting coups in Ukraine and Venezuela, unconditional support of ethnic-supremacist state Israel, and the bone-sawing psychopath waging a genocidal war in Yemen with the west’s blessing and help. One or more of these factors could easily spiral out of control and wreak havoc in ways that nobody expects. They are the jokers in the proverbial deck.

    About global warming…interesting how the “debate” is all about belief and has absolutely no substance. If all the non-ifluential people who today, for whatever reason, do not believe it is something we ought to take seriously wake up tomorrow and “believe” would anything change? And if it IS a clear and present danger…who cares what one believes or does not believe. If satellites observe Country B’s air force, tanks and missile batteries massing along its border with Country C and drones spot scouts and special ops sneaking across the border into Cs territory…but half the population of Country C says it doesn’t believe it is being invaded, are the military people going to let that stop them from taking action?

    It really is as if our society has lost its “mind.” Reason and rational thought are no longer considered the most reliable tools we have with which to ascertain truth…and truth itself has become something that can be rejected on a whim if it interferes with one’s sacred “self-identity” or the media says it’s just not so…. and, conversely, the most illogical nonsense can become as valid as the laws of physics if it enhances one’s carefully “curated” identity (or the media repeats it often enough and says it is so).

    If global warming does take a turn towards the apocalyptic or an exchange of nuclear warheads is announced I am sure there will be more than a few crazed weirdos running around babbling in tongues about the rapture and Armageddon.

    Personally, I am convinced that if we all just set aside our differences once a week and believed sincerely together that a brilliant transhumanist tech bro will invent a global cooling/world peace combo app for Android and iOS that can save us from being turned into carbonized fossils and/or radioactive slag heaps…it WILL happen. Sorry, I’ll get my coat.

  22. Z

    I’m more optimistic than some here and it is almost entirely based upon Sanders’ surprising strong showing in the 2016 primaries and the growth of DSA. Also, polls never would have predicted at this stage that Obama would have won in 2008 and Trump in 2016.

    I suspect that the polling is extremely flawed because it is weighted too heavily upon demographics outside of economic class, which is partly because this is the info our rulers are most interested in because they want to maintain political power without addressing wealth disparity so they are looking for strategies to divide and conquer without ceding wealth/power. But the ethnic and white working class have more common major concerns than the ethnic construction laborer and the ethnic software programmer and they are more likely to vote based primarily upon similar concerns that are largely economic than ethnicity or race. It is also more difficult to obtain reliable income information to properly weight polls than it is to acquire ethnic and gender info.


  23. Z

    May 28, 2015 – Five Leaders In 2016 Republican White House Race, Quinnipiac University National Poll Finds; Rubio, Paul Are Only Republicans Even Close To Clinton Quinnipiac University Polling Logo
    PDF format

    Sample and Methodology detail

    There are five leaders – or no leaders – as Republican voters look at likely GOP candidates in the 2016 White House race, with no candidate above 10 percent and 20 percent undecided, according to a Quinnipiac University National poll released today.

    Leading the pack with 10 percent each are former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, Ben Carson, former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida and Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, the independent Quinnipiac (KWIN-uh-pe-ack) University Poll finds.

    Rounding out the top 10 for televised debates are U.S. Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky at 7 percent, U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas at 6 percent, Donald Trump at 5 percent, New Jersey Gov. Christopher Christie at 4 percent and Carly Fiorina and Ohio Gov. John Kasich at 2 percent each.

    Trump tops the “no way” list as 21 percent of Republican voters say they would definitely not support him. Bush is next with 17 percent, with Christie at 15 percent.

  24. Z


    PRINCETON, NJ — The 2008 presidential election has gotten off to an unprecedented early start. Many candidates were off and running as the year began. How much has all of the extremely early campaigning for president at this stage of the 2008 race affected voter preferences? On the Democratic side, not much. On the Republican side, not much more.

    The Fight for the Nominations

    New York Sen. Hillary Clinton established her lead among the Democratic candidates early in the process. Since January there have been two occasions when Illinois Sen. Barack Obama, who has been in second place during most of 2007, came within striking distance of Clinton in Gallup Polls, but she has otherwise maintained her lead, which has ranged from 9 to 19 percentage points. In Gallup’s latest poll, conducted June 11-14, 2007, Clinton leads Obama by 11 points among Democrats (33% to 21%).

  25. Adam Eran

    To correct my original comment: An April 10, 2019 law now permits “No Party Preference” voters to request a Democratic Presidential primary ballot.

    Must keep up with the law!

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