Tuesday, February 25, 2020

Happy Hour




Seeing Red

Roy speak, you listen.
I remember this and I also remember that in some circles (like Mad magazine!) red-baiting was an object of ridicule. I didn’t know then that it had been an object of ridicule for years before that, going back to the beatniks, The Manchurian Candidate, and Joseph Welch. But as I grew older it became more obvious that red-baiting was some bullshit, and anyone who pulled it was probably trying to get away with something. In fact culture reflected that: Red-baiters were figures of fun, obviously flim-flam men, the Tartuffes of democracy.

When the Soviet Union actually collapsed, and with it any chance of a Dictatorship of the Proletariat in our lifetimes, I figured that nonsense was over for good. People only called you a commie-pinko as a joke, like calling you an Albigensian.

But here we are in 2020, and last week Michael Bloomberg literally called Bernie Sanders a communist in a Democratic debate, and today we have people practically drawing a Stalin mustache and red star on Sanders because he noticed that Cuban kids don’t get rickets anymore and can read.
And sign up for his newsletter. If you only sign up for one newsletter (like me) let it be that one.

Nothing To Do

I'm not one to panic over things like coronavirus. I'm not saying there's no reason to panic, just that my inclination is to not. And I'm not panicking now. There's a lot of perfectly justified criticism of what is coming out of the Trump administration about it - these are not very bright and competent people - along with a general "oh shit Trump's in charge." But what if he wasn't? What if it was like year 6 of a fantasy Obama administration. Not precisely my fantasy Obama, but the fantasy of a competent, technocratic leader who would have a handle on this stuff (that I think Obama was...not that is a different conversation). Let's give our RPG Obama Dem majorities in Congress, too. So, to the extent that our federal government can respond, within the boundaries of a somewhat better reality, it can.

I don't know how you make our health care system work unless you start calling up for profit hospital CEOs and saying, "we own your hospital now." I don't know how you mobilize the necessary resources for the public good unless you overturn 40 years of dogma. I don't know how you begin to have a for profit medical system, as we have constructed it, serve the public need. Half of Missouri could be dead and they'd be debating President Obama's ATTEMPTED SOCIALIST TAKEOVER OF THE MEDICAL SYSTEM on Hardball, and the Supreme Court would rule it unconstitutional, 5-4, with RBG casting vote 5 against.

Not sure what happens if half of NoVa is dead, but...

America's Worst Editorial Page Editor

Fred Hiatt.

Because America

If a pandemic hits, instead of actually trying to provide health care for people we'll pay Erik Prince to "house" the ill for like $10000 per day per fast dying resident.

I Don't Think We Have A Plan For that

If we do get hit by a genuine pandemic, lol our health care system. People with insurance spending 3 hours on hold trying to get pre-approval for a blood test. People without it or with not good insurance....
After returning to Miami last month from a work trip in China, Osmel Martinez Azcue found himself in a frightening position: he was developing flu-like symptoms, just as coronavirus was ravaging the country he had visited.

Under normal circumstances, Azcue said he would have gone to CVS for over-the-counter medicine and fought the flu on his own, but this time was different. As health officials stressed preparedness and vigilance for the respiratory illness, Azcue felt it was his responsibility to his family and his community to get tested for novel coronavirus, known as COVID-19.


But two weeks later, Azcue got unwelcome news in the form of a notice from his insurance company about a claim for $3,270.

Morning, Again

Monday, February 24, 2020

Late Night

Rock on.

Monday Evening

Still have not received my Bloomberg for Bloomberg 2020 check. I is disappoint.


No idea how he'll respond but STONKS GOING DOWN is something Trump responds to.

But What About My Part In The Story

It's depressing realizing that so much opposition to an actual change of personnel in DC (it happened bigly with Clinton in '93, can explain elite opposition to people like Howard Dean, and happened to a lesser extent but still did with Obama) isn't even about people seeing their great future income streams dry up, because they probably won't. It's just about a minor reshuffling of the pecking order of the permanent floating class of DC.

Few elite pundits spend 4 seconds thinking about policy, except against some 20 year old mental model of what Reagan Democrats want. But some candidates for president threaten the most important thing, their own importance.

America's Worst Pundits

Chris Matthews.

Everybody I Talk To. You Know, Everybody Who Matters

I don't want to debate Bernie's "electability" which people can have differing opinions about, but when all the Serious Politics Knowers you chat with day to day who inform you on everything in politics, and who you presumably think of as spanning the relevant ideological spectrum, have a unanimous belief on this issue which is completely at odds with polling, maybe you aren't getting the full perspective on all the non-Bernie issues, too.

Maybe the bubble is YOU!

Bye Harvey

One of our faves.
A jury convicted Mr. Weinstein of felony sex crime and rape, but acquitted him of the most serious charges against him, predatory sexual assault.

My Foreign Policy Vision

In any civil-warish situation, there are likely to be Bad People On Both Sides and perhaps, most of the time, we should just stay the hell out of it, especially as any noninsane person looking at our record of foreign interventions at all levels (from exploding cigars to dropping bombs) would conclude that our record of achieving our stated or even nonstated goals, unless those goals are some version of What's Good For Milo Minderbinder (but even then), has been catastrophic for everyone involved.

We did pretty good post-WWII Europe. For a bit.

Everybody Gets Sick

I try to keep my bad thoughts to a minimum, but very few people are rich enough be immune from enjoying the glorious realities of our health care system. You don't just need to have "good insurance." You need to have the extra super secret insurance that most of the 1% don't even have. Basically, you need to be super super rich.

Thinking it's all gonna be good for you, personally, is one of those follies of youth things which extends right up until the point where you or yours actually has to deal with it. Then we're all communists now.

Monday Morning

Sunday, February 23, 2020

Sunday Evening

Gettin' arrested with Biden.

Politics As Fandom

I don't like to be negative about this kind of enthusiasm, especially to the extent that it motivates people to do productive things, but politics fandom, like all fandom, tends to be exclusionary and offputting to those outside of the club...

Our Dumb Discourse

Cable news is basically going to be "Democrats who hate Bernie" and "Republicans who claim they hate Trump but hate Bernie more."

Even if you aren't a big Bernie fan you can maybe see that's a... problem.

A Win is a Win is a Win