Friday Open Thread

“Common sense is genius dressed in its working clothes.”

–Ralph Waldo Emerson

67 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. mamajama55 says:

    The misinformation campaigns have started – or they never stopped.

    Politico: Sustained and Ongoing Disinformation Assault Targets Democratic Candidates

    “It looks like the 2020 presidential primary is going to be the next battleground to divide and confuse Americans,” said Brett Horvath

    If you use social media at all, you probably saw 3 or 4 virulently anti- Sanders posts the instant he declared. You've been seeing anti- Warren stuff for longer.

    Seem familiar? This is slickly produced (in most cases) garbage, half-truths, out of context, etc. Don't "share" it. Don't "like" it. If you must do somethng with it, investigate it. Make up your own mind as to the relative merits of a candidate.

    No one Democratic candidate has a right to be the nominee, and the others are not  worthless failures, or corrupt, or terrible people. All are flawed, all have successes and failures. Don't play into the hands of the trolls and bots this election season.

  2. ParkHill says:

    WOTD from Hillary Clinton via Mahablog: "We're not Denmark"


    Sen. Sanders said,

    And what democratic socialism is about is saying that it is immoral and wrong that the top one-tenth of 1 percent in this country own almost 90 percent — almost — own almost as much wealth as the bottom 90 percent. That it is wrong, today, in a rigged economy, that 57 percent of all new income is going to the top 1 percent.

    That when you look around the world, you see every other major country providing health care to all people as a right, except the United States. You see every other major country saying to moms that, when you have a baby, we’re not gonna separate you from your newborn baby, because we are going to have — we are gonna have medical and family paid leave, like every other country on Earth.

    Those are some of the principles that I believe in, and I think we should look to countries like Denmark, like Sweden and Norway, and learn from what they have accomplished for their working people.

    To which Hillary Clinton responded,

    But we are not Denmark. I love Denmark. We are the United States of America. And it’s our job to rein in the excesses of capitalism so that it doesn’t run amok and doesn’t cause the kind of inequities we’re seeing in our economic system.

    But we would be making a grave mistake to turn our backs on what built the greatest middle class in the history of the world.

    [Maha] What built the greatest middle class in the history of the world was the New Deal, which “centrist” Democrats like Clinton had long ago abandoned in all but name.

    In the 1970s, truck drives made $30/hour, today they make $20. College tuition was affordable. 

    Hillary Clinton lost to Donald Trump because a lot of people felt that both parties were screwing them. The conservative wing of the Democratic Party had spent the previous three decades presiding over the decline of living standards while triangulating against the Dirty Fucking Hippies, lowering taxes on the wealthy, and catering to the corporations. 



  3. MichaelBowman says:

    T***p demands quick deployment of 6G networks (which don’t exist) 

  4. Nasty Woman says:

    Have to wonder how much of the dough Bernie (Not a Democratic Party Member) Sanders is getting is Russian.

  5. Voyageur says:

    I was pretty suspicious of hic-civis, who checked in for the first and so-far only time the day bernie announced to beat the drums for bernie and socialism.  But at least he/she kept it positive, more a cheerleader than a shill.   We'll see if they come back and what tone they take.

    • ParkHill says:

      I only heard the negativity from hickey – Cheerleader for which candidate, or which ideas? 

      The measure of a troll is precisely the positive vs negativity ratio. A troll seeks to divide with insults, straw-men and vitriol. An honest discussion starts with building up your ideas, not tearing down others.

      Trump is the classic example. He loves to insult, bully and hurt people. 

      In any case, we know that hundreds of troll accounts are already pouring division into the Democratic primary. This site is fairly small and the long-term usernames are well-known, so we can spot the pop-up trolls pretty easily.

      • Davie says:

        I thought it bizarre that a newbie like hic_civis ("this citizen") accused Dio of being a troll because they weren't familiar with his posts.  hic then proceeded to appear to be on the left side of the spectrum, which made me wonder if it was trying to establish false credibility before turning into a divisive troll to stir up animus among us.

        If they make a reappearance, I suppose we can ask, or simply observe in order to impute their motives.

  6. Lucy Montrose says:

    I want to thank Mamajama for responding to my reply in the other thread. I was beginning to think my posts here didn't resonate with anyone.

    Thanks, MJ. I guess what I say does have a positive effect on others, so my attempts to contribute are not a waste of time and a failure to make others feel a spark. Not altogether, anyway.

    [/feeling sorry for myself and wanting reassurance]

    • JohnInDenver says:

      Lucy … You now have TWO replies over there. Make contributions, get responses.  Heck, that even happens with the human trolls who sustain their persona here.

      And responding to the Nasty Woman up top — can we simply put the "not a Democrat" nonsense to bed? if you want to say he doesn't support Democrats enough, or write he supports only certain types of Democrats, or (heavens!) claim his ideas don't have a Democratic provenance or resonance, go for it. But a membership card doesn't mean a great deal. Extremists on left and right have "Democrat" after their name.  The label/brand/designation is not a guarantee of quality.

      • Voyageur says:

        We won't put the Bernie ain't a Democrat thing to bed as long as bernie ain't a Democrat.

        And bernie ain't a democrat.

        Cue "Ride of the Valkyries" and brace for another shrill lecture from mj about how bernie not being a democrat lets him get shit done.

        But when we wake up from that boring tirade, the fact is still that bernie ain't a Democrat.



      • mamajama55 says:

        Careful, John, you might get called "shrill" or accused of being a "Valkyrie". Wait, I guess that's just for female Polsters…so you're probably safe, at that.

        Democrats and Bernie Sanders have a mutually satisfying, if somewhat utilitarian relationship. He's a Democrat when they need him to be one.  There hasn't needed to be any  long-term commitment until now, but Bernie'll put a ring on it this time, he swears. 

        • Voyageur says:

          Actually, it's just for you, your victimness.  Now, go ride your Valkyrie.  At least I shamed you out of posting your get shit done opus more time.

          • mamajama55 says:

            At least you’re admitting that shaming and insults are what you do, instead of argument on the issues. Doesn’t work on me and won’t ever, but that sheds some light on your m.o.

            • Voyageur says:

              Oh, I think we all know what works with you, your sulkiness.  And we're not buying that your m any sore loservattacks on Hillary after the nomination were "facts."

               like the blog you linked to that claimed 700 Bernistas  walked out after Hillary won.

              The New York Times put it at "dozens."

               You were so frenzied you abandoned your long -time goal of writing a diary to promote your health care plan. It could have used your help.

              But have a nice hate.

              • mamajama55 says:

                Spell check is your friend. Nobody understands your incoherence. The point on the Bernie thing is that you had a beef with how JohninDenver kept pointing out that the rallying cry"Bernie's No Democrat!!" is not logical or helpful, since for all practical caucus and vote purposes, Bernie is a Democrat, and has been for decades.

                I would add that this constant refrain does not help the Democratic party to welcome in the new lefty millenials and skeptical independents… the millions who do like him and his ideas. What is the Democratic party offering anyone to the left of anodyne moderates like Bennet?

                But back to our exchange. You didn't like what JiD wrote, but instead of countering JiD's arguments with logic and reason, you chose to drag me pre-emptively into it – with sexist language to boot. You've been around style sheets long enough to know that referring to women as "shrill" is considered to be a sexist slur on those of us with higher-pitched voices, and at the same time demeans female contributions as some kind of stereotyped henpecking. The "Valkyrie" reference is  also a perjorative on female power, referencing armor breastplated Brunhildes.

                I'm nobody's victim, these days, but as a survivor of abuse, I recognize when I'm unfairly targeted. When I have the time, I choose to push back. You don't have to like it. You won't ever like it. We are not friends. We won't be. I have some respect for you as a wordsmith.

                I would ask you to confine your remarks to the person with whom you disagree, and leave me out of it, unless I choose to engage with you….which won't be often.


                • Voyageur says:

                  If you've ever actually listened to Wagner, you'll grasp the power of "Ride of the Valkyries."  Bum bum bum bum, bum bum bum bum bum, bum bum bum BUM bum, bum bum bum bum bum. ..

                  And, yes cueing it in to presage one of your inevitable attacks sets the right tone.  Need I mention that you had already inserted yourself into jid's theme with yet another repetition of your bernie gets shit done opus?

                  Now, you promise your attacks on me will be rare?

                  And this is supposed to scare me?

                  Anyway, did I mention Bernie ain't no Democrat?

                  Cuz he ain't, you know.

                  (Cue "Ride of the Valkyries.")

    • mamajama55 says:

      It was actually really well written, and I agreed with your argument.  So take a bow, and write more!wink

  7. Genghis says:

    The North Carolina GOP wants folks to pray for Mark Harris, Republican candidate for that state's 9th Congressional District. Ol' Mark is having a tough time of it, what with the North Carolina Board of Elections ordering a full do-over of an election he stole fair and square.

    I'm not a religious person, but okay, what the hell:

    Dear Jesus,

    Please make Mark Harris less of a lying, fraudulent sack of shit and entrails.



  8. ParkHill says:

    DOSF of the day from Marcy Wheeler: "How Amy Berman Jackson Got Roger Stone To Step In It And Then Step In It Again"

    Dying Of Schaden Freude – Try not to enjoy too much the transcripts of how Judge ABJ got Roger Stone to admit to issuing threats in his instagram account.  Even Stone's lawyer was waaaay behind the 8-ball on this one.

    In this quote, ABJ is pointing out that Roger Stone is a "Stochastic Terrorist".

    What concerns me is the fact that he chose to use his public platform, and chose to express himself in a manner that can incite others who may feel less constrained. The approach he chose posed a very real risk that others with extreme views and violent inclinations would be inflamed.

    The defendant himself told me he had more than one to choose from. And so what he chose, particularly when paired with the sorts of incendiary comments included in the text, the comments that not only can lead to disrespect for the judiciary, but threats on the judiciary, the post had a more sinister message. As a man who, according to his own account, has made communication his forté, his raison d’être, his life’s work, Roger Stone fully understands the power of words and the power of symbols. And there’s nothing ambiguous about crosshairs.

  9. Diogenesdemar says:

    He probably just stopped in to make sure his balls weren’t improperly underinflated?:

    Patriots Owner Robert Kraft Charged in Florida Prostitution Sting

    All of the sexual encounters that have resulted in charges were videotaped as part of the investigation, the police said. Investigators, who have been conducting surveillance of massage parlors in the area for six months, charged “nearly 200” people, though only a fraction have been arrested so far.

    • RepealAndReplace says:

      It's been a big day for sex crimes.

      Alexander Acosta, Trump's Labor Sec, is in hot water for failing to comply with Victim's Rights Act in giving an extremely generous plea disposition to the notorious kiddie-diddler, Jeffrey Epstein, back when he was a prosecutor.

      Any R. Kelly got busted today. Perhaps he can retain Roy Moore to represent him.

  10. Pseudonymous says:

    Talking about it isn't enough.

    Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s call for a ‘living wage’ starts in her office

    Claudia Pagon Marchena, like so many Hill staffers, moonlighted at a Washington, D.C., eatery to pay her rent until she took a job with Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. She celebrated her last day at her coffee shop job that same week.

    That’s because Ocasio-Cortez, who has called on fellow lawmakers to pay their staffs a “living wage,” is making an example out of her own office. The New York Democrat has introduced an unusual policy that no one on her staff will make less than $52,000 a year — an almost unheard of amount for many of the 20-somethings whose long hours make House and Senate offices run.

    For Pagon Marchena, 22, the pay bump meant an end to a grueling, seven-day-a-week work schedule that was wearing down her resolve to stay in Washington, where rents average more than $2,000 a month.

    • ParkHill says:

      $52K sounds like good money, but DC is very expensive, and housing is very hard to find. My daughter made about $36K as a law-firm intern in DC, fresh out-of-college, which was sufficient to live on, given that she found an apartment share. 

      Also, you want your aids and staff to be skilled, and appropriately compensated. We're not talking about congressional interns in the sense of a cool Summer job between semesters.

      I wonder how many Republican staffers are directly paid by lobbying firms or Koch non-profits.

      • JohnInDenver says:

        I think there are still laws prohibiting Congressional office staff from being directly paid by anyone other than the federal government or (for limited purposes) from campaign accounts.  Even multi-millionaires cannot dip into their private funds to pay Congressional staff.

        If they want more help, they need to set the people up off site, outside the formal structure of the staff. Those outsiders can be political staff (campaigning, raising funds, etc.), personal servants (not EVERY congress person requires aides to pick up cleaning — some have staff or spouses who do it for them), or acting as liaisons to nonprofits/for-profit/even governmental organizations).


    • Voyageur says:

      Gott a admit, r&r, this stuff troubles me.  Like you, I've been a klobuchar fan.  But this is a very unappealing side of her.  Still, some great pols are shitty to staff– with lbj being legendarily cruel.

      It has made me take a closer look at Gillibrand and Harris.

      I send Amy $50 when she announced.  It would have been $100 without this crap.

      • RepealAndReplace says:

        I probably could still vote for her despite this less-than-charming aspect of her personality.

        And I thought about LBJ, too. In reading one of the Robert Caro's bios on LBJ, there was an account of him throwing a telephone book at Nellie Connally in his Senate days when she worked in his office and failed to pick up the phone quickly enough when it rang.


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