Are You Ready to Sip Unflavored Almond Milk?

Biden Transition tweets of note.

Lachlan Markay, “One of the more remarkable—but unremarked-upon trends of the past three weeks has been the relative calm of the Biden transition in the face of Team Trump’s frantic shit stirring.”

Jake Sherman, “THE BIGGEST SHIFT in Washington in January won’t only be that Democrats are taking the White House. It will be that the BIDEN administration will be — as @ BrendanBuck pointed out — “delightfully boring”. 

@ harrispolitico calls it “Joe Biden’s Team of Careerists.”

Sherman, “By design, they seem meant to project a dutiful competence, as Biden creates a government overseen by those who have run it before. THEY BELIEVE IN A LINEAR, plodding purposeful and standard policy process. EXPECT INTERVIEWS with JOE BIDEN to be a big deal — meaning, they won’t happen often, which givens them an extra oomph. We’ll complain, and they won’t care.”

The end of Sherman’s thread is money:

“IN OTHER WORDS, if the TRUMP White House was like downing a vat of Tabasco sauce over the past four years, the BIDEN White House will be like sipping unflavored almond milk.

Someone pass me a dictionary. . . what do these words mean—competence, purposeful, standard? Yo no comprendo. 

On Political Courage

Susan B. Glasser in The New Yorker

“On Thursday morning, when Governor Mike DeWine, Republican of Ohio, said on CNN, ‘Joe Biden is the President-elect,’ it was treated as breaking news. Merely acknowledging basic math, it seems, is now considered an act of political courage. More foreign leaders have so far acknowledged the outcome of the American election than Republican Party officials.” 

Rush Limbaugh Is Dying

Justin Peters with a smart history lesson on Limbaugh’s legacy. Peters argues we have him to thank for Trump in “Rush Limbaugh’s Fight to the Death.”

The conclusion:

“Limbaugh might have had a choice at one point, a choice to stop being a crabbed, reactionary loudmouth and do something different. That choice is gone now. The conservative movement—the wackos and the reply guys, the pundits and the dissemblers, the Q disciples and the truthers—has barricaded itself within the echo chamber Rush built. They swap memes and theories in a big windowless room that admits no outside light, and they have grown so accustomed to the smell that they’re convinced it’s the outside world that stinks.

This is the right wing we’re stuck with, even if Trump loses, even after Limbaugh dies. And a Biden victory can only make it worse, for there is nothing conservative media like more than playing the victim. Spinning spurious grievances into bullshit extending beyond the horizon is the quintessential talk-radio trick. Limbaugh pioneered it. Trump perfected it. It’s a potent, brilliant idea that will outlive them both.”

“Spinning spurious grievances into bullshit extending beyond the horizon.” If that prediction could be monetized into a proposition we could gamble on, I’d slide every last one of my chips into the center of the table. 

On Impeachment—It’s a Pretty Simple Calculation

Moderate Republicans (not sure I should have used the plural) are using an “inappropriate, but not impeachable” line of defense to sleep at night. But what about the True Believers? Here’s how they think:

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The ends always justify the means.

Demo Debate 2

More middle school classroom. The talking over one another was distracting and disappointing. Props to Harris for reigning the class back in. The consensus is correct, Harris dominated at Biden’s expense. Other thoughts:

  • The party is listing too far left for the surviving candidate to win the general election. Of course there’s still a lot of time to correct for that.
  • The pundits said Biden should’ve apologized for his anti-busing stance. It would’ve been even more authentic for him to have said that busing was, and is, a subject upon which reasonable people disagree. He could’ve summarized his long standing commitment to civil rights, why he opposed forced busing, and what we can/should do to better integrate schools today. Or he could’ve gone egghead professor like I would’ve and asked how are we supposed to have integrated schools given intense residential racial segregation?
  • Improving schools is sometimes mentioned in passing, but no has talked in any detail at all about what that means. That is a huge opening for someone especially since Trump (fortunately) never says anything about schools, unless you count his arm teachers bullshit after school shootings. No candidate should be allowed to say schools are obsolete without explaining how they specifically intend to update them. Where is the national leadership on education reform?
  • Buttigieg’s owning of the police problems in South Bend was an unexpectedly refreshing break from the status quo of politician’s never admitting faults. “I couldn’t get it done,” he admitted when asked about diversifying the police force. When was the last time you heard a politician be as honest? The moderators should’ve asked everyone to share something they’ve failed to get done despite good intentions and hard work. If the President was asked that he’d deflect by blaming the media or Democrats or the media and Democrats.
  • Also, in contrast to Gabbard, a real life Danny Chung (VEEP), props to Buttigieg for not bringing up his military service unless asked directly about it. Impressive guy, but his last name is too damn hard to spell and there should be a step or two between South Bend and 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue (sorry Dano).
  • Sanders is hella grating. The guy you make sure to avoid at the party. Half of it is his nonstop haranguing. He’s channeling this guy.

  • The other half is his answer to the problems of growing inequality. “Guts”. Guts to challenge Wall Street, the insurance industry, the military industrial complex, the pharmaceutical industry, etc. And he’s the only one with sufficient guts. Fool me once. Obama promised to bridge the partisan divide. But it only deepened. One person’s guts, even the Presidents, is irrelevant compared to winning the Senate. Sanders hasn’t come close to convincing me he’s the best person to win the Presidency and help retake the Senate. Then again, I’ve started to tune him out.
  • Swalwell is the most opportunist politician going. Instead of empathizing with Buttigieg and the people of South Bend, he attacked him for not firing the Chief of Police as if that would solve everything. He does tons of media. I get the sense he’d run over his mom to raise his profile. Doubt he has any friends in Congress.
  • Does Biden think his resume is sufficient to get the nod? It is impressive, but he’s the Golden State Warriors whose window is fast closing. Last night, he tore his achilles. As Hillary proved, the Presidency is not a lifetime achievement award.
  • I want to see Warren, Castro, Harris, Buttigieg sitting at a round table with time to lay out their ideas and interact with one another. Debates are flawed in that it’s difficult to assess interpersonal skills. Of course that won’t happen. The much needed winnowing is still many moons away.
  • The Demos are absolutely right that the economy is not working for many people. Harris’s point about the limited number of people who own stocks was important. The walking wounded are always evident in our downtown. Yesterday, while running around Capital Lake, I was more aware than normal of people sleeping and living out of their cars. What’s left of the middle class is struggling with rising health care, higher education, and housing costs. The Republican base is deluded to think that their leadership cares about these issues. Just yesterday, their President proposed another tax cut for the wealthy, by indexing capital gains to inflation.
  • The Demos are wrong to paint all business with the same broad brush. People are smarter than that, knowing that businesses vary widely. Why not highlight positive examples of profitable businesses that are committed to living wages, the right to organize, and sustainability. I’d be perfectly happy in Scandinavia or Western Europe, but individualism is so deeply rooted in the US that most people have deep-seated, negative associations with socialism. The Demos need to talk more about a new capitalism, one more aligned with Adam Smith’s thinking about regulated markets, than socialism.