SATURDAY: "Why is [Donald Trump] tied with Joe Biden?"

 SATURDAY, MARCH 23, 2024

Cable star can't figure it out: Yesterday morning, in the 7 o'clock hour, Joe Scarborough gave voice to a long-standing bit of puzzlement.

At this site, we're puzzled by Scarborough's puzzlement! That said, here's the question Scarborough posed to Michael Steele:

Why is he tied with Joe Biden right now?

"He," of course, was Donald J. Trump. Let's fill in the background to the question Scarborough posed.

The discussion in question had actually started right around 7 o'clock. At 7:12 a.m., Scarborough ran down the names of the (many) former Trump officials who are refusing to endorse his current bid for election. 

Below, you see Scarborough offer a partial list of the (many obvious) reasons why such officials have walked away from Trump. This list of horribles eventually leads to the question he posed to Steele:

SCARBOROUGH (3/22/24): Michael Steele, you couple that with the fact that this guy really worships dictators. You couple that with January 6th. 

You couple that with the fact that he stole nuclear secrets, and then his IT guy said he ordered him to destroy them, and when he decided not to, he wanted to flood the room to destroy the documents.

We could go on and on. You had a federal judge in New York state who said Donald Trump raped E. Jean Carroll. 

Again, I could go down the list for the next three hours of one thing after another which would have disqualified any other candidate running for president in American history. So why is he tied with Joe Biden right now?

Why is Trump tied with Joe Biden right now? At this point, Steele launched an attempt to answer that question. 

All in all, Scarborough and a bevy of reliable guests offered a long discussion of that basic question—a discussion which consumed the first twenty-five minutes of the program's 7 o'clock hour.

Scarborough says he can't understand how Biden and Trump can be tied. More specifically, he said—as he frequently does—that he can't understand why family members and long-term friends continue to support Donald J. Trump in the face of Trump's many offenses.

We'll be voting for Biden this fall—but it's puzzling to us that a person like Scarborough is puzzled by this phenomenon. 

In our view, it's obvious why a candidate like Trump could still be tied with President Biden. In our view, the basic answer would go something like this:

Judged by normal political standards, Candidate Trump is basically unelectable. But judged by normal political standards, it seems to us that President Biden is basically unelectable too!

Presumably, one of the two will be elected this fall, assuming they're both on the ballot. But it seems to us that each of the candidates is unelectable—and this helps explain why the pair, less than eight months out, seem to be locked in a statistical tie in the polls.

We agree with the general drift of what Scarborough said about Trump. Based upon many of his behaviors and statements, we would say that he's basically unelectable, as judged by traditional norms.

That said, we'd say that President Biden is unelectable too! What's puzzling here is the fact that Scarborough doesn't seem to have any idea why someone would voice such a judgment. 

What makes President Biden unelectable as judged by traditional norms? Why might he be tied with someone like Donald J. Trump?

At the present time, we'd list (at least) four fairly obvious factors. In possible order of importance, the four factors would be these:

Factors making President Biden unelectable:
1) His conduct and statements—or his remarkable lack of same—concerning the southern border.

2) The fairly obvious fact that he seems to be personally diminished, in a way that (the badly disordered) Trump is not.

3) The price of food in grocery stores, happy talk to the side.

4) The power of red tribe propaganda as delivered through red tribe "news orgs."

Judged by any normal standard, the situation at the southern border is an astonishing mess. The president's persistent refusal to address or discuss this situation strikes us as astonishing too.

Blue tribe programs like Morning Joe virtually disappeared this absurd situation during the past few years. Presumably, the blue world's agreement to behave this way has helped keep Biden afloat.

Beyond that, President Biden seems to be diminished in some fairly obvious way. Surveys suggest that everyone can see this about President Biden, except those who are blinded by tribal loyalty.

We would add the price of food, at least as such prices currently exist. Also, red tribe propaganda is blasted out all day every day. Many voters hear nothing else.

By normal standards, we would say that these four factors help make President Biden unelectable. In our view, he remains tied in the polls for one reason only:

The vastly disordered Donald J. Trump is unelectable too!

Why in the world is it so hard for Scarborough to answer his own question? Is he really puzzled by this situation, or is he simply striking a pose?

The conversation he anchored yesterday touched on all the standard blue tribe bases. By 7:19, he was even willing to trash mainstream news orgs in this standard though remarkable way:

SCARBOROUGH: I'm from Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, Florida. It ain't like I grew up in the Young Marxist League in Greenwich Village.

I'm from—I was born in the heart of Dixie. I grew up in the heart of Dixie. You know, it's like—still, all these years later, I can't figure it out. 

And really, I don't want to drive to Pennsylvania, middle of Pennsylvania, to sit down and go [SPEAKS MOCKINGLY], "Tell me, I want to understand, because I don't understand"—

You see, I'm a conservative, so I can go "bullshit" on that.

If liberal media people want to drive to the middle of Pennsylvania and go [SPEAKS MOCKINGLY], "Oh, tell me why you want to like a guy who loves Kim Jong-Un"— 

Don't waste your time. Don't waste your time.

Scarborough didn't grow up in Greenwich Village! That said, he long ago became a resident of the big-money metropolitan area surrounding Greenwich, Connecticut

(Not that there's anything wrong with it, until such time as there is.)

Scarborough, who is very bright, doesn't want to bother himself asking actual voters why they still support Trump, or why they may simply prefer Trump to Biden. Instead, he ridicules other journalists for pursuing this obvious journalistic endeavor.

Please don't speak to the others! This is how dumb things have become over here within our own blue tribe in this modern age in which our news orgs are organized around the principle of "segregation by viewpoint."

Why do people support Donald Trump? Why do people prefer Trump to Biden?

Voters will offer many reasons, some of them derived from the vast disinformation regime to which Scarborough has become a blue tribe counterpart. 

People are routinely (though not always) disinformed by organizations like Fox News. That said, voters are also kept in the dark by people like Scarborough, who is very bright except when it comes to this.

You can't run a large modern nation this way. Routinely (though not always), Watters and Gutfeld are as dumb as it gets, but what can we say about our own blue tribe's wholly partisan news orgs?  We'll be exploring such questions all week.

Possibly through no fault of his own, President Biden's a terrible candidate. In our view, Trump is worse. 


219 comments:

  1. The Republicans come out of church organizing. They understand what it means to grow membership and build a brand loyalty -- religion has been doing this for thousands of years.

    The Democratic party has a few contacts in the Black churches, but their real power base is in the legal field. That's why they think they can just sue Trump out of the picture. They're technocrats who don't know how to organize. They expect to be judged by the election as if the election were a court room and not a popularity contest.

    You're losing to a literal clown because the Democratic Party was never supposed to have a strong grassroots base. Bernie Sanders and the Squad gave Biden a huge gift allowing them to have their respect to build a coalition government, and now Biden is throwing them under the bus by going Rambo in Palestinians and the immigrants for the news.

    Biden doesn't have to move to the right to call out the border issues. He can say Trump's wall is a grift, this is a distraction to make people's wages go down while they attack foreign scapegoats.

    But liberals don't believe in using precise language about anything. They want to cheerlead a few policies and then crack jokes about how fat or unsexy the opposing party is, and that's why people "hate talking politics." The lobbyists still run everything, and what's called talking politics is just arguing in vain while pretending we have a choice.

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    1. It is ignorant to think that Democrats don't have churches too. First, most Catholics are Democrats. Second, aside from Baptists, Pentecostals and Evangelicals, Prosperity gospel and Mormons, ALL protestants are pretty much Democrats too. Unitarians, Quakers and Methodists are activist churches. Churches help immigrants become acculturated and have been behind the sanctuary movement. We have a grassroots base also among labor unions, the women's movement, and issues such as gun violence, environmentalism, homelessness and food insecurity and other volunteerism.

      This particular troll badmouths the left more than Somerby does.

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    2. They are like Corby deprogrammed from DNC talking points. Post all the time 11:29, I say!!

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    3. If @1:51 is trying to call Corby a Democrat, that label probably fits. But I don't consider supporting Biden's accomplishments to be a bad thing just because it is the role of the DNC to get Democratic Party candidates elected (or re-elected). That's what a party organization is supposed to do.

      The alternative is to elect Trump again. No one to the left wants to see that happen. So, I don't understand why anyone here is using the term "DNC talking points" as if they were something bad. How else do Democrats get the word out, if not through talking points, ads, campaign speeches, editorials, campaign materials, and so on.

      Lobbying is legal in our country. Bribery is not. Confusing the two seems counterproductive. An elected official must be accessible to all constituents. It doesn't mean they are being paid off. If the trolls here know differently, they need to post the evidence of graft and quid pro quos, not just call all lobbyists and all politicians corrupt without proof of anything.

      The biggest examples of grifting and nearly always on the right, but somehow I don't think that is who this new trolls is talking about. Or is this Mao, back without his old nym?

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    4. If you have the votes that you say you have, then why is Trump winning in every swing state?

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    5. Grassroots means that you are not raising money from PACs, that your organization isn't staffed by the party.

      Biden is not really a movement politician. He has situated himself among lobbyist money, like most politicians do.

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    6. Why shouldn't an organization devoted to electing a candidate be staffed by the party? That is what the political parties in the US exist to do.

      Asking why Trump is winning POLLS in swing states shows that you weren't paying attention to the explanation of some of the problems with polling. Polls are not elections. There have been no elections yet between Biden and Trump (for 2024). Trump is no more winning in swing states than anywhere else because there has been not voting yet. The polls are flawed and polling about primaries show Trump under-performing the predictions, with votes still going to Haley after she has dropped out.

      Biden is no more involved with lobbyists (who tend to vote for both candidates) than any other presidential candidate at this stage in the campaign. PACs are a legitimate way to promote candidates, legal in the US. It makes no sense for Biden to eschew PACs while Trump is using them.

      Meanwhile, Biden signed an executive order back in 2021 limiting lobbying opportunities after leaving the white house, preventing the revolving door currently operating between members of an administration and lobbying organizations. That works against lobbyists, not in favor of them. Why would he do such a thing if he were "situated" among lobbyist money?

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    7. I don't want to just defeat Trump by one vote every time. I want the mental security that my president isn't going to facilitate a genocide to make AIPAC happy.

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    8. Trump was considered by many to be the most pro-Israeli-government president ever.

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    9. Is that why Russia funded Hamas (also Hezbollah & the Houthis) via Iran in order to provoke a second front and divert funds from the Ukraine war effort? Because Trump is so pro-Israel? Actually, Trump has been doing everything he can to get the Republicans in Congress to prevent Ukraine support so that Russia can gain an advantage in its war. The provocation of hostility between Israel and Gaza and Israel's various Iran-funded terrorist neighbors, is only intended to benefit Russia. Russia doesn't give a damn about Israel, and neither does Trump.

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    10. The point is that Trump is pro-Putin not pro-Israel and that Russia funds the attacks on Israel (Trump’s good buddy Putin) funds Israel’s enemies.

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    11. I'm so old I remember when there was a bipartisan Senate border bill (a month or two back) the second coming of Moses scuttled on orders from Trump not to give Biden a win, FFS Somerby.

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    12. https://theintercept.com/2024/03/04/trump-biden-israel/#:~:text=Trump%20recognizes%20their%20importance%20to,%2C%E2%80%9D%20Trump%20claimed%20in%202022.


      https://www.vox.com/policy/24072983/biden-trump-palestinians-israel-gaza-policy-different

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    13. Biden waited until he was about to die to do anything about college debt. He waited until he was about to die to mention Palestinians. That's corporate grooming succeeding.

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    14. He waited until he was elected president to do something about student debt. No one else has done anything. Certainly not Trump.

      Biden is not "about to die". Jimmy Carter may be about to die (at age 99).

      Palestinians can end the war in Gaza any time they want by simply laying down arms and releasing the hostages. Why did they get to kidnap and torture people like that, if their cause is so just?

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    15. It's simply not true all Palestinians need to do is lay down arms. Here is Israel killing unarmed people from a helicopter.

      IDF probes video of 'unarmed' Palestinians gunned down by drone in Gaza
      https://www.jpost.com/israel-hamas-war/article-793273

      United Nations is failing to agree on ceasefire language to facilitate prisoner swap:
      https://www.aa.com.tr/en/middle-east/hamas-says-no-prisoner-swap-deal-with-israel-without-full-cease-fire/3142379

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    16. *autonomous drone helicopter

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    17. Note your own source. It says Hamas says no deal.

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  2. I fully agree with Bob that both candidates are unelectable by normal, historic standards. It's a failure of our democratic system that two such bad candidates will be running.

    I would add that negative campaigning is so advanced and effective that any candidate can be made unelectable. Both parties do this. The Dems are better at this than the Reps, because the Dems have most of the media helping them.

    Take Ted Cruz as an example. Cruz is very smart and well-educated. He's been a responsible Senator for a considerable amount of time. He hasn't been caught in a scandal.

    Yet, most people would agree that he's unelectable, even though we might not be able to give a reason. IMO the reason is that an effective negative campaign made him unelectable.

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    1. Ted Cruz carries himself with boyish innocence but he's deeply connected to very big players in the US who are strangling the potential to have a democracy in the first place, whether you want the country to be liberal or conservative leaning doesn't matter if the billionaires are writing the laws for you.

      Here is Ted Cruz meeting with the main war chest of the elite, the American Legislative Exchange Council:https://www.prwatch.org/news/2015/07/12876/alecs-2015-agenda

      He cannot change policy on dark money in politics, he cannot enact good labor policy, good climate policy. Cruz is basically there to take up space on behalf of rich people, not the voters.

      Cruz is a puppet, just because they let mediocre people like him into power to oppose Trump doesn't make him a good candiate.

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    2. I heard Cruz’s father was involved in the assassination of JFK.

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    3. If Ted Cruz can persuade me that labor unions are bad, that the environment isn't changing, that billionaires should write legislation instead of regular people, then I would happily think of voting for him. But if he wants to say that the sky isn't blue he has to prove it first.

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    4. If Cruz is "unelectable", how come he keeps getting elected. Maybe this time he'll lose, but I doubt it.

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    5. 12:19PM

      Cruz's father bribed his way out of Cuba and the rumor about him knowing LHO was just a random blog looking at a picture of someone who looks a bit like Cruz. That's what too much media does to the brain. You start to lose your ability to differentiate faces and fall for Trumpist conspiracy theories.
      https://digitalcommons.law.uga.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1267&context=fac_pm

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    6. America's feeble attempt at giving everyone healthcare under pressure of the healthcare lobbyists is Obamacare which they've been modifying with some limits on how much people can be charged etc. Even that is too far for Cruz and Trump. They want to smash the social insurance system to the ground. They want you flat on your back.

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    7. My uncle bribed himself out of Cuba and later bribed his parents, siblings, and some cousins out of Cuba.

      That’s how you get out of Cuba.

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    8. Trump is saying that he will change the government in Cuba if he is elected. How do you imagine he will do that?

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    9. Rafael Cruz left Cuba in 1957. Were bribes required then? I assume Cecelia’s uncle left after January 1, 1959.

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    10. When Fidel Castro got too old to govern, he retired.

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    11. Anonymices 2:19pm, he had attended college in the U.S., got engaged to my aunt, my dad’s sister, and made a trip back home and got stuck. My grandmother helped him get out.

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    12. While America hoarded its extra vaccines and billions in weapons to attack Palestinian hospitals, Cuba sent nurses around the world.

      The Cuban government is objectively a more responsible state than the US.

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    13. Internationally, Cuba does some good and little harm. At home, it represses dissent.

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    14. If it's a death sentence to testify against Boeing, then America suppresses dissent too.

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    15. "If it's a death sentence to testify against Boeing, then America suppresses dissent too." You're an attention-seeking idiot

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    16. If testimony about Boeing were being suppressed, how come we all know about it?

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    17. "As of February 26, 2024, the United States has donated more than 692 million vaccine doses to 117 countries and economies, in partnership with COVAX, Caricom, AVAT, and bilaterally."

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    18. It is anti-US disinformation to say that the US did not share vaccine worldwide. This kind of stuff is being spread by Russia via bots and trolls. It only takes a few seconds to use Google to find out the truth about such questions.

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    19. "As long as I hear about witness intimidation then it didn't work'

      Genius, which university did you go to to learn this one?

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    20. I didn't hear about witness intimidation. I heard about the content that the whistleblower was trying to reveal. Obviously those efforts didn't work, since we all know about that supposedly suppressed information. Calling someone stupid is also not really an argument.

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    21. Jesus Christ the intimidation is so that nobody else comes forward. Use your head.

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    22. And yet we are finding out all about the troubles with Boeing's planes!

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    23. Quaker in a BasementMarch 24, 2024 at 3:43 PM

      "Cruz is very smart and well-educated. He's been a responsible Senator for a considerable amount of time."

      Holy Heck, David. Cruz was a key player in the fake elector scheme. Also, even Republicans in Congress can't stand the guy.

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    24. How hypocritical is it to visit cancun all the time but object when Mexicans want to visit the USA?

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  3. "That said, we'd say that President Biden is unelectable too!"

    This definitely isn't about President Biden, Bob. It's about the Swamp. Remember the Swamp? One Swamp creature or another, it makes no difference.

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    1. The Democratic Party is a frankenstein's monsters of technocrats and progressive policy. The stock market is booming under neoliberal warfare ideology. The economy is running hot.

      The Republican party is a swamp creature that wants to carry women back to the kitchen because Elon Musk said white people aren't breeding enough.

      The job we have as Ameircans is not to choose the correct cursed crown to put on the Statue of Liberty, but to just have an effective and democratic society where people can talk to each other like equals. Chase the lobbyists out of power.

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    2. Few appreciate how hard it is to reach the ideal state of democracy. There a 340,000,000 or so people in the country. What is good for some people isn't good for others. There is probably no way to make everyone happy, and in societies there always will be conflicts, people will strive to gain poser. We take it for granted that things are secure, but things could be a lot worse. Obama had a one-word campaign slogan - "Change" - which seemed stupid to me. Things are always going to "change:" in ways often unpredictable, and often in ways that make things worse. On the other hand, there always will be, and it's desirable, that some people try to make things better. Contradictory propositions can both be true.

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    3. American government doesn't try to make everyone happy, what are you smoking? They pass legislation their lobbyists tell them to pass. In the rare case you see good policy it's because people have organized for it, created ballot referendums, played power politics witholding votes, doing call in campaigns, and such. The idea Democrats have to come up with the right slogan to win is some baby-boomer community college superstition.

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    4. I liked it better when the trolls used to pretend the Democratic Party was bunch of totalitarians, who want to tell American citizens how to live their lives.
      Trump, the Republican Party, and the Roberts Court put an end to that nonsense pretty quickly, by making woman answer to the government for their reproductive decisions.

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    5. I agree part of the way, that the abortion as an issue serves as a totalitarian block on thinking, the moment someone brings up the topic they are discredited. Of course it's built entirely on falsified studies, and the excuse of wanting to "rescue" women from their own medical freedom.

      But Republicans also use the abortion issue to broadly dodge the question of America's poverty. You see, if we just banned abortion, then people would have less risky sex, and if they had less risky sex, they would buy a piggy bank and save their way out of poverty. The liberals were too slow to educate themselves on gender and anti-elite intersectional politics and lost ground catching up to the anti-transgender hate machine. They ran endless thinkpieces about the issue without getting to the root of the problem. This cost them a lot of votes.

      The technocrats in the liberal class can't just use another party's dodge to avoid calling out capitalism.

      When will Joe Biden grieve the death of the Boeing whistleblower? When will he say sorry Democrats took so long on college debt? Why did he have to be dragged kicking and screaming to stand with people ? That issue alone is bleeding thousands of votes to the Republican Party. Working off debt for 20+ years is a totalitarian control on the working class.

      The people Americans owe debt to for medical and college bills have lobbyists talking to all your politicians while you write your angry letters to 20 year old staffers in Washington who reply back with stock answers written by the lobbyists.

      Damn right change is a good word, but Obama only read radical literature to get laid.

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    6. What a bunch of pseudo-intellectual BS the above person has wasted everyone's time with the last few days. With not a shred of evidence to back any of it up. Please back off the caffeine and the delusion that you got it all figured out.

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    7. And does all of this mean that we should vote for Trump? Of course not. It would all be much worse with Trump as president. So how do you help the right guys to win with these complaints?

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    8. Someone who is pretending to attack Biden from the left is still attacking Biden and promoting Trump. These guys are not earnest lefties. They are paid trolls financed by Putin's campaign to get Trump reelected.

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    9. which one of those links is supposed to "prove" that, for example, "abortion as an issue serves as a totalitarian block on thinking, the moment someone brings up the topic they are discredited"?

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    10. Never talked to a conservative about abortion before? They've literally murdered dozens of doctors in raw rage.

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    11. in other words, none of the links support your reductive "leftist" babble

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  4. It's like Corby deprogrammed from DNC talking points..

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    1. There is a one-note asshole troll here who has nothing to do with Corby.

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    2. Ahh, those ridiculous DNC talking points, like the one about the right of black people to vote.
      You'll never hear a Right-winger express something that crazy.

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    3. I am not Corby.

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    4. It’s an anonymouse flying monkey.

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    5. I'll hold the troll down and you spit gasoline into his mouth until he confesses to working for the Communists and we deport him to Cuba

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    6. The typical Democrat Yard sign says:

      Black Lives matter
      Women's rights are human rights
      No human is illegal
      Science is real
      Love is love
      Kindness is everything.

      The following statements should be printed on toilet paper and used to wipe your pristine middle class behind with:
      Free Gaza
      Health reform isn't impossible
      College should be affordable

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    7. Troll:

      Someone who shares an opinion you can't say on CNN

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    8. Hell, even CNN is covering the genocide by now. It's entirely mainstream to be talking about Palestinians.

      The fact that you are looking for a corner of the internet to hide from talking about an ongoing genocide is shameful and cowardly.

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    9. Ted Cruz was illegal.

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    10. It is not illegal to be an asshole like Ted Cruz. Ask him about his second home in Cancun.

      Hamas owns the genocide after their massacre of innocent Israelis. They can end the war in Gaza today simply by laying down their arms and releasing the hostages. Why don't they do that?

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    11. Israel doesn't want to return the hostages, otherwise it would call for a ceasefire and trade prisoners in a swap.

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    12. Dear self-impressed, attention-seeking, pseudo-intellectual leftist: it's not a genocide. Israel isn't trying to wipe out all Palestinians, or even all Gazans. It is trying to completely root out and destroy Hamas after it committed an unimaginable act of mass slaughter, rape, kidnapping, and torture. Perfectly reasonably, Biden supported this effort. But after so many deaths of civilian Palestinians, he now thinks Israel has gone too far and his administration is pressuring Israel to agree to a truce. No one is "looking for a corner of the internet to hide." We're just sick of your incessant hyperbolic propaganda.

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    13. Hamas has repeatedly refused negotiated ceasefire attempts.

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    14. The reporting on mass rapes were fabrications of what are essentially Israeli rednecks. They would tell you how to find Dracula if you put a camera in their face.

      825 Palestinian families are dead, from grandparents to grandchildren. Families. That's genocide.

      The whole world is watching Americans let it happen. While they light their cigars xheeringy to the stock market booming from the ashes of Gaza.

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    15. The American understanding of Palestine is so shockingly out of date. I mean, do you only watch NBC and Biden speeches? I mean it's beyond embarrassing when I see other Americans comment on it and it's just cowboys and Indians to you.

      What's the chances that every government in the would is lying about Palestine's genocide but only the US and Israel are telling the truth?

      Why is is okay for Israel to bomb civilians but wrong when I tell people who is supporting them?

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    16. If the US and Israel is committing a genocide then why is it going to be illegal for Palestinians to sue Israel in the icc without losing aid? What are they afraid of?

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    17. If the US and Israel aren't committing a genocide then why is the House of representatives conditioning aid to the Arabs based on them not being able to sue Israel?

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    18. Here's the law the US will use to try to block lawsuits against Israel while it denies the genocide:

      https://appropriations.house.gov/news/press-releases/house-approves-hr-4665-department-state-foreign-operations-and-related-programs

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    19. The Palestinians sued and lost.

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    20. If Palestinians have no case against Israel, then why is the US trying to block them from suing again?

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    21. Strawman. We have only your word they are doing that. You are not a reliable source.

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    22. The comment on 11:44 AM appears to be correct.

      Page 875 of H.R. 2882, passed on Saturday:

      "None of the funds appropriated under the heading ‘‘Economic Support Fund’’ in this Act may be made available for assistance for the Palestinian Authority, if ... the Palestinians initiate an International Criminal Court (ICC) judicially authorized investigation, or actively support such an investigation, that subjects Israeli nationals to an investigation for alleged crimes against Palestinians

      https://www.documentcloud.org/documents/24490733-bill-text-of-12-trillion-government-funding-package

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    23. The comment on 11:44 AM appears to be correct.

      Page 875 of H.R. 2882, passed on Saturday does make a direct threat against Palestinians if they choose to continue legal resistance to the occupation:

      "None of the funds appropriated under the heading ‘‘Economic Support Fund’’ in this Act may be made available for assistance for the Palestinian Authority, if ... the Palestinians initiate an International Criminal Court (ICC) judicially authorized investigation, or actively support such an investigation, that subjects Israeli nationals to an investigation for alleged crimes against Palestinians

      https://www.documentcloud.org/documents/24490733-bill-text-of-12-trillion-government-funding-package

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  5. "SATURDAY: "Why is [Donald Trump] tied with Joe Biden?""

    First, Donald Trump is not tied with Joe Biden. Some polls have shown them running equal but that is not the same as election results. Polls use modeling to sample from subsets of voters (for example, likely voters or previous voters or registered voters). They decide how many Republicans, Independents, Democrats, women/men, and people from various demographic backgrounds to include in their sample. These subgroups may or may not reflect the actual electorate accurately. Then they ask questions that are not worded the way ballots are, but can influence the responses by their phrasing and the order in which they appear.

    Polling has been compared against actual voting results in places where there have been primaries. Trump has been routinely underperforming the polls. That means he has been getting fewer votes than predicted by recent polls. This has been consistent across several primaries now, even after Nikki Haley has dropped out of the race. Democrats have been out-performing the polls -- getting more votes than predicted, especially in special elections to fill vacant seats down ballot.

    These results suggest that those saying that Biden and Trump are tied are incorrect. Biden seems to be ahead. Somerby's "analysts" should have pointed this out.

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  6. We get it that Somerby doesn't want to vote for Biden, even though he says he will. That doesn't mean other people feel the same way.

    Somerby gives a list that includes two factually incorrect statements and two opinions about what may matter to voters.

    First, Biden has addressed the border regularly since taking office and the left has not ignored that as an issue, but has talked about it on MSNBC and other places. For example, one of Biden's first acts was to send Kamala Harris to meet with officials in the countries that immigrants have been fleeing, to develop ways to address the problems there at the source. This was perhaps before the border was on Somerby's own radar as an important issue. People who care about immigration have been following Biden's policies in news, even before Trump decided to make noise about migrants. Somerby thinks his own ignorance means Biden has neglected the issue.

    Second, Somerby says Biden seems to be personally diminished (his code word for "old") in ways that Trump is not. However, the general public was reassured by Biden's SOTU address performance in ways that Somerby is not. The concerns over Biden's age have receded in the general public but Somerby is still using this to campaign against Biden. Meanwhile, concern over Trump's possible dementia has been increasing, including among Republicans and people who worked with Trump in his first administration. These concerns about dementia are not being applied to Biden despite his being older, because Biden doesn't have dementia symptoms whereas Trump does. Somerby, of course, ignores Trump's diminished state.

    To date, Somerby has mocked Biden's attempts to deal with consumer issues, and he has done his best to repeat as much red tribe propaganda here as possible. These things are not Biden's fault and not within his control. But Biden is certainly aggressively addressing that propaganda via his own campaigning and ads.

    But is it reasonable to expect Biden to spend his time discussing grocery costs instead of Trump's rape conviction, his courting of alt-right Nazi lawbreakers and use of Hitleresque language, his financial problems (which make Trump a security risk), and his obvious unfitness for office. If voters do not care about Trump's legal losses, why would they care about prices for groceries going down a bit?

    Somerby has never said what the left should be doing about right wing propaganda? Repeating it on this blog doesn't seem like the best strategy for getting Biden elected.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. A functioning party would have dropped Biden a long time ago when he started losing every swing state. He's an old elephant that tied himself to the progressives and he's dragging them down with him.

      Delete
    2. He was never really popular in the first place. He ran for president a number of times and the voters then made it very clear "thanks but no thanks." Then he squeaked in because of the pandemic. Trump would have have won easily otherwise. But now voters are just returning to the mean. The don't like him. They don't want him. He's a shitty candidate because of this. End of story

      Delete
    3. Biden appears to be doing a fine job as president and would likely do fine in a second term. Polls reflect the vast cluelessness of the average American. The choice between him and Trump isn't a choice between two evils; it's a choice between a decent person and president in Biden and a fucking nightmare.

      Delete
    4. Unionization is higher under Biden than Trump. If you want to be a single-issue voter, that's it.

      But it is not really fair to Gaza to say, sorry guys, you do deserve to not be killed, but we deserve to have our pay raise next year matched to inflation!

      The Democratic Party needs to take out the trash in the neoconservative side, and that means people like Biden. It's a bigger fight than just this election. Trump isn't going to help with that, he is going to make it much harder than Biden will.

      Delete
    5. There are a lot of reasons to support Biden. You seem to be the single issue voter who ranks Gaza above all else, 4:46.

      Delete
    6. Hamas can end the war in Gaza immediately by stopping the fighting and releasing the hostages. That has always been within their power, so they are the reason the war there continues and people keep dying. They are also the ONLY reason the war started in the first place.

      Delete
    7. Genocide is an "issue" it's an ongoing crime.

      Delete
    8. If you are being divided on the issue of genocide then you don't oppose genocide.

      Delete
    9. Calling something genocide in order to argue a point is not the same as actual genocide. The UN decided that Israel's retaliation against Hamas did not qualify as genocide. That you trolls keep referring to it that way changes nothing about the facts but reveals you as propagandists and trolls.

      Delete
    10. 7:01: unions are also not an “issue” in your sense, but an ongoing struggle for workers’ rights. Biden supports that.

      Delete
    11. The UN court did not rule on the core issue of whether Israel’s devastating military offensive against Hamas amounts to genocide. That question likely won’t be answered by the court for years.

      It did not rule out the possibility that Israel is conducting genocidal acts. In imposing “provisional measures,” it found that concerns about possible genocide merit further review.

      A claim that "the UN decided that Israel's retaliation against Hamas did not qualify as genocide" is a lie.

      Delete
    12. APNews.com said:

      THE HAGUE, Netherlands (AP) — The United Nations’ top court on Friday ordered Israel to do all it can to prevent death, destruction and any acts of genocide in Gaza, but the panel stopped short of ordering an end to the military offensive that has laid waste to the Palestinian enclave.”

      South Africa asked that the Gaza war be declared a genocide but the court declined that step.

      Delete
    13. Exactly. A claim that "the UN decided that Israel's retaliation against Hamas did not qualify as genocide" is a lie.

      Delete
    14. (or maybe you misinterpreted what you read.)

      Delete
    15. Americans can't say it's all legal to support Israel but you can't sue Israel. That's trying to suppress the truth.

      Delete
    16. No, I quoted the result of the court case and it said Israel has the right to defend itself.

      Delete
    17. Israelis have the right to emigrate.

      Delete
    18. Why is some goofball calling all Americans "Democrats"?
      Is it because the Democratic Party aligns much more with the American people than any other party?

      Delete
    19. The UN never "decided" or said Israel's retaliation against Hamas did not qualify as genocide.

      Delete
    20. Caitlin Johnstone writes well about this.
      https://substack.com/@caitlinjohnstone

      Delete

  7. I play bridge and I spam Somerby's blog. What an asshole Somerby is.

    I am Corby.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Corby trolls spam this blog. Corby has been gone for a long time now.

      Delete
    2. I am alive and well, Boris. And I will always spam Somerby's blog. You are funded by Russia via Iran and Qatar.

      I am Corby.

      Delete
    3. The funds come to me from Russia, but they originate in Iran. Qatar has nothing to do with it.

      Delete
    4. Actually, it works the other way around. The funds go from Russia to Iran to trolls, not from Iran to begin with. Russia is promoting pro-Trump trolls in order to put Trump back into office, whereupon he will let Putin do whatever he wants in Ukraine and to the rest of Europe (including NATO).

      Most of the right wing disinformation originates with Russia and is spread by Russia-funded bots and trolls and agents such as Somerby.

      Delete
    5. Bridge is a difficult game to play well. I doubt you Corby pretend trolls could master it.

      Delete
    6. I know where my money comes from, and 6:47PM doesn’t. On the other hand, 6:50PM is correct that bridge is difficult; I absolutely cannot play it.

      I love Cecelia, even though she’s taller than I am. I love David, even though he’s smarter than I am.

      Delete
    7. You all are Russian trolls. Somerby is a Russian troll. The Russians are here. Via Iran and Qatar.

      Somerby is no liberal. What an asshole Somerby is. My finger smells funny.

      I am Corby.

      Delete
    8. Qatar is the home of an important US base. So stop your nonsense.

      Delete
    9. Bro, I’m smarter than you too.

      Delete

    10. Until I get the memo about Qatar, you are funded by Russia via Iran and Qatar, 8:01 Boris.

      Somerby is an ass. I am Corby.

      Delete
    11. If you support Trump, you aren’t smart.

      Delete
    12. I support Trump.

      Delete
    13. Having a base in Qatar doesn’t absolve them of other stuff.

      Delete
    14. Qatar does not give me any money.

      Delete
    15. I am taller than David and smarter than Cecelia.

      Delete
    16. @5:51 PM
      This is exactly what Boris funded by Russia via Iran and Qatar would say.

      I am Corby and I sniff my fingers.

      Delete
    17. Corby doesn't have fingers. He is a flipper baby.

      Delete
    18. Corby no longer comments on this blog.

      Delete
  8. Digby provides a plausible explanation for why people have such negativity that they are taking out on Biden, coupled with anger that is motivating them to support Trump. It all has to do with reaction to the pandemic, as described in The Atlantic magazine.

    https://digbysblog.net/2024/03/23/dont-forget-even-though-you-want-to/

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. "The Real Reason America Is In a Funk
      March 23, 2024 at 11:15 am EDT By Taegan Goddard [Political Wire]

      George Makari and Richard Friedman: “Experts have struggled to find a convincing explanation for this era of bad feelings. Maybe it’s the spate of inflation over the past couple of years, the immigration crisis at the border, or the brutal wars in Ukraine and Gaza. But even the people who claim to make sense of the political world acknowledge that these rational factors can’t fully account for America’s national malaise. We believe that’s because they’re overlooking a crucial factor.”

      “Four years ago, the country was brought to its knees by a world-historic disaster. Covid-19 hospitalized nearly 7 million Americans and killed more than a million; it’s still killing hundreds each week. It shut down schools and forced people into social isolation. Almost overnight, most of the country was thrown into a state of high anxiety—then, soon enough, grief and mourning. But the country has not come together to sufficiently acknowledge the tragedy it endured.”

      “As clinical psychiatrists, we see the effects of such emotional turmoil every day, and we know that when it’s not properly processed, it can result in a general sense of unhappiness and anger—exactly the negative emotional state that might lead a nation to misperceive its fortunes.”

      Delete
    2. Telling people they have to go to work during a deadly plague because they might as well die anyway does tend to put a damper on trust in the powers that be.

      Delete
    3. The capitalist elite confessed in Vanity Fair May 15, 2020 that "people die" for "personal responsibility" by which they mean to defend the stock market like "a war."

      https://www.vanityfair.com/news/2020/05/wall-street-has-had-enough-of-the-lockdown

      Well, people are getting tired of it.

      Delete
    4. Where is this baseline of rational calm that America is supposed to return to? Is it the McCarthyist era? The neoliberal panic about wars we have to join? The panic about Communists taking over healthcare? The panic about Communists taking over the ghettos with the Black Panthers? America is a large screeching hysterically repressed country of loudmouths always pretending its about to clear its throat and find something respectable to say, then it accidentally commits another genocide.

      Delete
    5. The era to return to? The era of the Greatest Generation! World War II.

      Delete
    6. There are a lot of people on the right who want to see Hitler's army march again.

      Delete
    7. @8:02 A number of people on the left are chanting “From the river to the sea.”That slogan means ethnic cleansing of all the Jews in Israel.

      Delete
    8. If you talk to the pro-Palestinians doing the chanting, they say that isn't what they mean by their slogan.

      Nevertheless, pro-Palestinians are nothing like the alt-right neo-Nazis who Trump plays footsie with.

      And your response @8:09 is what-aboutism, not an actual response to the embarrassment of the Hitler jungen on the right.

      Delete
    9. @8:23 They can't just have their own meaning. Suppose you say, "Fuck the N*****s" and say that what you really mean is MLK was a wonderful hero, Your personal meaning doesn't erase what you said.

      You are correct that my response was 'what-aboutism' So, here's a direct response: Please link to the many Trump supporters who you claim are Hitler jungen. And, what does that phrase even mean? There aren't any literal Hitler jungen around today, so you apparently mean that phrase figuratively as some simile or figure of speech. How do you decide who is a Hitler jungen?

      Delete
    10. Read David Neiwert’s books about Trump and the alt-right.

      Delete
    11. What do you think the Proud Bois are?

      Delete
    12. There are literal Hitler admirers on the right hoping to recreate the reich in America. Trump gives them frequent shout-outs.

      Delete
    13. One member of the Hitler-Jugend was a Hitlerjunge. The plural was Hitlerjungen. Ein Hitlerjunge, viele Hitlerjungen.

      Delete
    14. @9:36 can you demonstrate that the Proud Boys support Hitler? Can you demonstrate that they support Trump? You need to prove both in order to support your implication.

      Delete
    15. Yes, read their trial transcripts and arrest records. Look at what their organization did before 1/6, their cute uniforms and gathering points in public parks where they rallied to go beat up protesters and terrorize people in small towns.

      https://www.splcenter.org/fighting-hate/extremist-files/group/proud-boys

      "White nationalists and neo-Nazis themselves have cited McInnes as a gateway to the alt-right. On “The Southern AF Podcast,” one former Proud Boy who went on to embrace white nationalism said he was originally drawn to the group because of its “pro-white sentiment.” “All his jokes, all his content when I first started listening to him,” he said of McInnes, “was all freakin’ alt-right stuff and racial issues and funny, comedic ways to like try to point out that white civilization has been superior.” Many Proud Boys like him have moved on to more extreme groups and ideologies.

      McInnes plays a duplicitous rhetorical game: claiming to reject white nationalism while espousing a laundered version of popular white nationalist tropes. He has ties to the racist right and has contributed to such hate sites as VDare.com and American Renaissance, which publish the work of white supremacists and so-called race realists. McInnes has himself said it is fair to call him Islamophobic. He announced the founding of the Proud Boys in the far-right Taki’s Magazine.

      The Proud Boys stage frequent rallies around the country. Many have descended into violent street riots where members openly brawl with counterprotesters. Indeed, as early as summer 2018, a document circulated by Washington state law enforcement described the group’s involvement in a series of violent incidents in Oregon and Washington, as well as its involvement in Unite the Right. This report came to light a mere two months before 10 members were charged with assault after an attack on antifascist activists in New York City in October 2018.

      Through 2019 and 2020, the Proud Boys were one of a handful of far-right groups instrumental in instigating violence and civil unrest in the Pacific Northwest. Likewise, a series of leaked chats showed Proud Boys and extremists associated with other far-right groups discussing how and when to use violence against leftist activists while planning rallies in the northeast in early-to-mid 2019.

      The group became a household name after a mention at the Sept. 29, 2020, presidential debate.

      In early February 2021, the Canadian government designated the Proud Boys as a terrorist entity, citing the role the group played in the Jan. 6, 2021, insurrection at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C."

      Delete
  9. Yikes. Sorry Pied Piper, Bob has really put you in box today. Could the RNC create a better anti Biden propaganda piece?
    Could the dubious talking points against Biden be offered up with more brazenness? Does Bob get a few morning beers under his belt before he writes this drivel?
    How's the stock market doing Bob? How about the National debt in the Biden years, up or down? How have unions been treated by this White House? How was the move back from the Covid crisis handled?
    Obviously, Bob has decided one thing: In deciding if Biden gets another term, only two things can be considered: The Fox News account of the boarder crisis (Biden's failure to stem the poisoning of our blood), and his age (forget about the deft handling of rude hecklers at the State of the Union, Bob has). That's it, that's all Bob cares about. Now Ladies and Gentlemen, please rise for the horribly and unjustly mistreated Jan 6 Hostages....
    So why is it still close... Hmm.... perhaps there are just too many stone fucking idiots like Bob Somerby living in America....

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. @2:52 are you confusing the national debt with the deficit? There has been a huge increase in the National debt under Biden. That is one of his failures.

      Delete
    2. AP 01022024:
      "But the debt grew faster than expected because of a multi-year pandemic starting in 2020 that shut down much of the U.S. economy. The government borrowed heavily under then President Donald Trump and current President Joe Biden to stabilize the economy and support a recovery. But the rebound came with a surge of inflation that pushed up interest rates and made it more expensive for the government to service its debts."

      Your unsubstantiated conclusions continue apace and grow sillier and sillier.

      Delete
    3. I note David in Ca’s concession on the improvement in the deficit Trump exploded with his tax cuts for the rich. Which ultimately can only improve the situation with the debt. And again we will note Bob’s utter indifference to these issues.

      Delete
    4. How's the stock market doing Bob?

      Israeli weapons stocks are in a bull market. Buy on the genocide, sell on the war crimes trial.

      How about the National debt in the Biden years, up or down?

      Try not to spill you coffee here but the national debt barely affects people as much as rent and college debt.

      How have unions been treated by this White House?

      Biden's staffers are very pro-union, but he fumbled on the Christmas rail strike.

      How was the move back from the Covid crisis handled?

      Biden's Federal Reserve is sparring with the real estate lobby.

      Delete
    5. The pandemic gave the working class a very strong card to play which is to work from home, and this really pissed off the real estate lobby.

      Delete
    6. @3:58 - a smaller deficit does NOT reduce the national debt. It increases the national debt, but more slowly than a bigger deficit would.

      By historic non-Covid standards, the deficit is enormous. It is officially projected to grow the national debt to a disastrous level.

      Delete
    7. "How have unions been treated by this White House?"

      Unions that need to be treated by the White House are fake, bullshit unions. Real unions would be kicking White House's ass six ways to Sunday.

      Delete
    8. Compared to other nations, our national debt is not disastrous but on the low end among countries like ours, especially after dealing with covid. David's hysteria is political in nature.

      Delete
    9. Could the RNC create a better anti Biden propaganda piece than one that calls Trump unelectable, badly and vastly disordered, and a beneficiary of a vast disinformation regime?

      Yes. They could.

      Delete
    10. What does it matter what Somerby calls Trump if he repeats disinformation and damaging statements about Biden?

      If you have two people running against each other, you can boost the one you are for, knock the one you are against, or do both or do neither. Somerby makes a half-assed attempt to disparage Trump but then spends the bulk of his space here criticizing not only Biden but the entire blue tribe, owning the libs (as the right-wingers put it). He NEVER boosts Biden by saying positive things about him. Today he calls him "personally diminished, in a way that (the badly disordered) Trump is not." And then he repeats several untrue talking points from the right wing.

      So, Somerby is not boosting Biden, he is barely disparaging Trump and repeating right wing propaganda in great quantity daily, he never repeats Biden's accomplishments and doesn't seem to know what they are. That does not look anything like someone who wants Biden to be reelected. It looks like someone being paid to repeat Russia-generated propaganda while pretending to be liberal (so the right-wing garbage may be more acceptable or able to fool other liberals visiting here). He is a shill and he is conning rubes here, not trying to get Biden reelected.

      Delete
    11. 8:01 - And, unfortunately, liberal “rubes” are rational and thus are subject to persuasion by Putin agents such as Somerby, unlike brain dead conservatives - right?

      Delete
    12. I don't think this is a blog where you should expect direct political advocacy. Most posts, including this one, are critiques of our entrenched political and media landscape.

      The good news is there plenty of left leaning advocacy blogs that will boost Biden by saying positive things about him. I would be glad to list some of them for you if you would like to visit them.

      Delete
    13. @6:44 wrote, "Compared to other nations, our national debt is not disastrous..." It is true that a number of other nations also have huge national debts. OTOH by historical standards, our national debt is very high. Either way, we cannot keep going the way we're going now.

      The problem is interest on the national debt. We now have built-in big deficits. Our citizenry and political class are accustomed to government spending that far exceeds tax income. That problem gets worse without limit as interest on the national debt increases and eats up more and more of the federal budget.

      Delete
    14. DiC - Remember when I said it was time for conservatives to pivot from inflation to the deficit/debt?

      Delete
    15. But don’t get me wrong - as Keynes said, the boom time is when we should have austerity at the Treaury.

      Delete
    16. Why do you keep saying this stuff,David? You know Trump increased the debt himself, among the largest increases ever. Did you attack him the way you’re attacking Biden?

      Delete
    17. When Clinton produced a surplus he was reviled by the right.

      Delete
    18. Somerby bears no resemblance to a media critic.

      Delete
    19. The commenter above expects Somerby to explicit advocate on behalf of Biden by highlighting his accomplishments and positive attributes. I wonder why that is.

      Delete
    20. At 4:04, the notion that the stock market is booming is due to Defence spending on Israel ( would Trump have us spending less) is horseshit, but, how are things in Russia?

      Delete
    21. At 7:18, Bob’s big moan over the last two years is the Trump IS electable, so it’s hard to know what the hell you are talking about.

      Delete
    22. Anyone who pretends the debt is important should be forced to call the CEOs of every defense contractor in the country, and tell them the USA is too broke to purchase any of their products/ services for the foreseeable future.
      That'll teach 'em to play make believe.

      Delete
    23. @2:52 faults Bob for pointing out Biden's flaws. Evidently @2:52 believe Biden supporters should only present positive things about him.

      This is parallel to how blacks are presented. If someone accurately points out negative things about blacks, he's apt to be called a racist.

      Delete
    24. An article in today's NY Times illustrates my point. Musk is called a racist for pointing out that affirmative action leads to a reduction in standards, because there aren't enough highly competent blacks.

      Musk is especially preoccupied with the racial makeup of the country and the alleged deficiency of nonwhites in important positions. He blames the recent problems at Boeing, for example, on its efforts to diversify its work force, despite easily accessible and widely publicized accounts of a dangerous culture of cost-cutting and profit-seeking at the company.
      https://dnyuz.com/2024/03/23/elon-musk-is-preoccupied-with-something-he-doesnt-understand/

      Delete
    25. What you just quoted debunks Musk’s accusation, David.

      Delete
    26. 9:33 - After Clinton gifted W with a budget that ran surpluses, the W econ team was worried that the surpluses would soon erase the entire national debt. After all, what should they do with the excess cash? The government shouldn’t be in the business of buying stocks and thereby picking winners and losers, right?

      So, W solved the problem by enacting a huge unfunded tax cut and by lying us into an unjustified war.

      Delete
    27. @12:38, yes it tries to refute the allegation, but the refutation is feeble and unconvincing.

      Delete
    28. Musk's beliefs are incorrect. "Unconvincing" is in the eye of the beholder.

      Delete
  10. Yes, @9:32, I was very critical of Trump's failure to control government spending.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Not around here you weren’t.

      Delete
    2. Is this the same David who has touted McWhorter and some black mathematician? I remember when Republicans tried to get Colin Powell to run as a Republican. Was he not black then?

      Musk is just a bigot.

      Delete


  11. AnonymousMarch 22, 2024 at 1:53 AM

    Hi Marrie Allen i have good questen,
    For the moneypay1 can i make it good monies with naj-02 system? Also may be it help with schwantz grow. I have small schwantz.

    ReplyDelete
  12. Biden is not a terrible candidate, as Somerby claims. Biden is pulling ahead of Trump in the most recent polls.

    ReplyDelete
  13. Biden is only tied with Trump because a lot of people choose to be uninformed or just plain bigoted.They have no understanding of democracy and don't care that Trump has assaulted women, comitted Financial Fraud and doesn't believe in democracy.

    ReplyDelete
  14. As long as the electorate in this country believes in Republican failed policy like supply aside economics and a tax system that funnels money to the top 1%, the national debt will be worsening, irrespective of any draconian cuts that Republican lawmakers envision inflicting on the people so gullible and ignorant to elect them.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. unamused - Government funnels money to the top 1%? I wish.

      I could be in the top 1% if I went back to consulting. One reason I stopped working is that I was in a 63% tax bracket. That's the combination of federal, state, and self-employment tax. Working didn't look so attractive, because I could only keep a little over 1/3 of what I earned.

      BTW note how a very high tax rate can reduce the amount of taxes collected. From my consulting work non-work, the government is getting 63% of nothing

      Delete
    2. Even though David prefers not to work, I still love him.

      Delete
    3. Consulting actuaries are needed in Israel. Make aliyah, David.

      Delete
    4. David is retired.

      Delete
    5. David is a freeloader because he won’t pay to support the common good.

      Delete
    6. @David "One reason I stopped working is that I was in a 63% tax bracket."

      Being in an high tax bracket doesn't necessarily incentivize one to quit working. Rather, it incentivizes one to work less, thus getting in a lower tax bracket.

      But of course there were other important reason, I'm sure.

      Delete
    7. David: you were in a tax bracket that is the most hurt by current tax structure. The super wealthy make most of their money at capital gains tax rates. Remember when Warren Buffet said he paid less in taxes as a percent of income than an employee? When Biden at the SOTU stated that billionaires pay 8% on average? Bruce Bartlett, who along with Jack Kemp, constructed supply side economics (Reaganomics) abandoned it as a failure years later. The Laffer curve does not apply to current marginal tax rates. Are we supposed to believe, by your last sentence, that no one else was willing to do the consulting work you abandoned? The fact that you do not differentiate your situation from that of hedge fund managers and billionaires that most benefit from our current tax structure is bizarre.

      Delete
    8. Capital gains tax is not that obvious, because for the long-term gains it doesn't factor in inflation. If you bought a house 50 years ago for $50K and selling it now for $500K, it's considered $450K capital gain, but in fact it's just inflation; there is no gain at all. And short-term capital gains are taxed like earned income.

      It's more complicated than you think.

      Delete
    9. You pay no tax if you roll the gains over into another home purchase.

      Delete
    10. People in David’s bracket pay nothing because there is no IRS budget for auditing and enforcement.

      Delete

    11. @1:38 PM, house is just an example.
      Suppose you bought a Dow Jones index fund in Feb 2020, when DJI was ~$30K and sold it now, when it's ~$40K. It'll look like you made a killing, and you'll pay the tax. But because of the inflation you've probably lost money, actually.

      Delete
    12. This is why you should hire a professional tax preparer.

      Delete
    13. And financial advisor. There are tax sheltered investments.

      Delete
    14. Unamused - My tax rate on long term capital gains is about 35 per cent, because my state income tax rate is high. Buffett was including unrealized capital gain when he gave that 8 per cent figure. Capital gains are not taxed until the asset is sold.

      Unrealized capital gains can escape taxation at the owner’s death. For the estate, assets get a “step up” so the value at death replaces the original cost.

      Delete
    15. No, David. Long term capital gains tax maxes out at 20%, much lower than the highest marginal tax rate. The point being simple. If you earn a paycheck in the highest tax bracket you pay more in federal taxes than the investor cashing in on long term holdings in the market. As far as California taxation is concerned, that has nothing to do with your federal tax, and this is especially so since during the Trump presidency the Republicans decided that your state taxes could no longer be deducted from your federal taxes. I may be wrong about this, not living in a state with state income tax. If I am correct, it is remarkable that the party so vehemently against taxes decided to increase your burden, if you are a wage earner.

      Delete
  15. “ faults Bob for pointing out Biden's flaws.”

    Note that one of Biden’s flaws, according to Bob’s list, is right wing propaganda. How’s that for a catch-22?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think two of them were propaganda.

      Delete
    2. Not much of a Catch-22 since Bob didn't call them flaws, he said they were reasons why Biden might not be electable.

      Delete
    3. Biden is not responsible for right wing propaganda. Somerby calls Biden a terrible candidate on the basis of no evidence whatsoever, just like Somerby did with Hillary. Biden is 14th on the historians list of all-time best presidents. Trump is dead last. Somerby is making a fool of himself.

      Delete
  16. Quaker in a BasementMarch 24, 2024 at 3:39 PM

    "Scarborough didn't grow up in Greenwich Village! That said, he long ago became a resident of the big-money metropolitan area surrounding Greenwich, Connecticut."

    Oh, FFS. Scarborough once held the House seat now occupied by Matt Gaetz. He took his undergraduate degree from the University of Alabama. He had a 95 percent lifetime rating from the American Conservative Union.

    Let's not pretend he's some sort of Eastern liberal elitist.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. This is a brilliant comment. Thank you.

      Delete
  17. Biden is not tied with Trump.

    ReplyDelete
  18. Israel keeps taking Palestinian land:

    https://www.france24.com/en/video/20240323-israel-announces-west-bank-land-seizure-as-blinken-arrives-for-gaza-talks

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Palestine keeps taking Israeli land. How can Palestine have any land when it is not a state, has no legal status, and is currently run by Hamas, a terrorist organization?

      Delete