Off to the races

Well, ladeez an’ gennulmens, there you have it.

In a perfect world this would not be my idea of the ideal progressive ticket. But we’re more than a few ZIP codes away from perfect.

The gibbering gobshite besmirching the Oval Office at present is only a secondary infection of the body politic. The primary ailment is a political/economic system designed to shovel wealth upward to people who already have too much of it.

They get their shining city on a hill. We get the big hole in the ground. Hey, the landfill has to go somewhere. Also, the graveyard. Coffee break’s over, bitches. That moola ain’t gonna shovel itself.

Louis C.K. is not a gent I’m fond of citing lately, but he was spot on when he had Kurt, a nihilistic barfly in “Horace and Pete,” describe what Adolf Twitler’s supporters wanted: not to fix the system, but to destroy it.

I can dig it. It feels good to break things. In the short term, anyway. Cleaning up afterward is a chore, though, and then you have to either fix or replace what you broke. Especially if it’s something you need, like the government or the economy.

I don’t expect miracles from Joe Biden and Kamala Harris. We’re just hiring another cleanup crew here, is all.

They’re both pragmatic pols, and they don’t need a weatherman to know which way the wind is blowing. We can expect them to lean our way for a while, even after they win in November. If they win in November. And if we give them a Congress that functions. Lots of moving parts in this machine.

But we’re going to have to keep an eye on them, make sure they’re shoveling, and in the proper direction, too.

And while Joe and Kamala do the scutwork, the rest of us need to think long and hard about what this country needs to be, and how it came to be what it is.

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25 Responses to “Off to the races”

  1. khal spencer Says:

    Well, not liking labels, I’m not a Progressive, so its easy for me to relax a bit. The last thing I wanted to see was fire breathing Progressives on one side and Orange Hitler on the other, wondering which set of idiots would win 270 electoral votes.

    It used to be a moderate position to say that the rich should pay their fair share. As in the U.S. tax code up until approximately the Reagan Revolution, aka the Reverse Robin Hood Tax Law. I’d be happy to get another fifteen percent or so out of the upper 1% and keep Obamacare, possibly expanded to a national public health service that was available as a baseline to all. Oh, and start funding state universities and community colleges again.

    But does that make me a Progressive? Well, I guess it depends. Meanwhile, there is that hole to dig in the back yard.

  2. carl duellman Says:

    david sedaris posted on facebook about being on a flight and the stewardess asks if you want the chicken or the platter of shit with bits of glass in it and we’re concerned about how the chicken is cooked.

  3. Stan Thomas Says:

    As the Stones had it:
    You can’t always get what you want
    But if you try sometimes, well, you might find
    You get what you need

    Please – for the World’s sake, get rid of this dangerous moron.

    • Pat O'Brien Says:

      Perfect Stan. Biden and Harris are republican light. But, they are light years ahead of a malignant narcissist wanna be dictator. Make no mistake, they will have to drag him out of the white house, because no one else will do business with him when he leaves. This is the asshole’s last gig, except maybe making license plates.

  4. Pat O'Brien Says:

    It was true when I was 16, and it still is. Just a different and more sinister set of talking heads and marketing types.

  5. SAO' Says:

    I could be way off base here, but Joe is starting to look like one of those assistant assistant to the assistant coaches who is mostly a knucklehead but has a way with the players and has learned so much through osmosis that he can’t help but be effective, despite his best efforts to fuck things up.

    He has been pretty much a punchline for the entirety of my participation in the voting process. Perpetually running for president, always messing things up.

    And he started this campaign looking more like a punching bag.

    But he made one really good hire, and you gotta wonder if that was just 50 years in the biz creating a blink/ten thousand hours thing.

    And ever since then, the dude has been smoking. Anyone with a corporate job is looking at how the DNC pulled off 16 hours of Zoom meetings without one rogue participant having a hot mic moment and saying, we can’t do our weekly round-table without half the folks logging into the wrong space. And there was zero leakage of the Veep selection. Remember No Drama Obama and zero scandals for eight years? Guess who was running a big hunk of that show. So maybe he’s actually pretty good at the part about running the office.

    I wasn’t much of a baseball player, but for whatever reason I’ve run into a whole bunch of people who played Triple-A ball. Got an uncle who was in the Pirates organization (got drafted for Vietnam, never got back into game shape), a little league coach who played for the Dodgers (called up to the majors, same day broke his wrist, was replaced by a guy named Maury Wills), neighbor on the Orioles (fastest guy on the entire roster at spring training but couldn’t hit a curve), and maybe half a dozen others who spent some time traveling the country making $5k per year and $37/day per diem. (I also struck out against Cal Ripken Jr, who pitched for our cross town rivals back in high school. But that’s a different story.)

    And baseball more than any other sport, maybe because it moves so slowly, creates these guys who just have a feel for the game, without necessarily teaching them the skills to explain this understanding. Every single one of them would watch a play and mutter something under their breath that always came true. The batter hadn’t even swung yet, and I’d hear “he’s going to boot it,” and then he’d hid a ground ball to the short stop, it would take a bad bounce, and go off his arm. Every one of these guy — except for Cal Jr — was basically a knucklehead, and couldn’t tell you anything useful about anything, but they always knew what was going to happen next in the game.

    And Joe has that weird vibe right now. Uncle Joe, always walking in the room with his fly down and a shoe untied, but then he’ll tell you you’re gripping the seams wrong on your slider without even seeing you hold the ball.

    Or maybe I’m just hoping against hope. I guess we’ll see.

    With respect to his actual policies and where he fits in the progressive–liberal–moderate spectrum, check out this .

    During the Democratic primary, Biden was often described as the half-measures moderate in the field. But if you look beyond political labels to the meat of the policy Biden is proposing, his agenda is shockingly ambitious.
    He’s proposing a significant expansion of government health care that includes a public option and has floated a climate plan that would decarbonize the US economy by 2035. Waleed Shahid, the communications director for Justice Democrats, told Vox that Biden’s policy slate is “the most progressive platform of any Democratic nominee in the modern history of the party.”

    • Patrick O'Grady Says:

      Charlie Pierce credits the Sanders wing of the party for moving Biden (and by extension, Harris) a skosh to the left. That’s where the enthusiasm is, and the party would be smart to clearly distinguish itself from the GOP instead of continuing to masquerade as Republican Lite.

      Appeal to young folks, women, people of color … basically the same groups the bike biz is after, because we’re running out of old white guys. The GOP insists on dancing with the ones what brung ’em, but that’s a losing proposition in the long run. Or so I’d like to think, anyway.

      • Pat O’Brien Says:

        I think what Andy Yang and Charlie Pierce say has legs, but the President can’t do shit without convincing congress to do it. A complete flip of the house and senate to veto proof dem control is necessary and not just now but two years from now. Otherwise S2D2.

      • SAO' Says:

        Charles has a way of sizing people up really quickly and rarely being wrong.

        I think because the debates were pretty much disasters… Too many people, incoherent moderators … the candidates had to quickly fall in line from far left to left to center. Joe spent a lot of time telling Bernie his plans were DOA, without getting into the weeds and admitting his ideas were in the same ball park, just on a gentler take-off ramp.

        Joe maybe spent too much time putting his foot down on the pie in the sky stuff like free college, but there’s no way a candidate ever says, “ I agree with it in concept, but don’t see how it’s ever viable“ without sounding like he’s trying to have it both ways. When your opponent is offering free puppies and ice cream, you have limited ways of saying “no” when you’re in the same party.

  6. Libby Says:

    Trump and DeJoy have caused an epic disaster. It has already happened.

    https://www.latimes.com/california/story/2020-08-20/usps-cutbacks-post-office-chaos

    They count on very few people understanding mail processing, delivery and the distribution and transport of mail. DeJoy is assuring that people will not receive a ballot. Piggybacking on Carl’s reply above: it is akin to worrying if the turkey will be ready for the guests when the house and contents have burned down.

    • Patrick O'Grady Says:

      There are a lot of different takes on this topic. Here’s another, from The Atlantic.

      My best guess is that all of us are gonna have to suck it up. We can’t depend on anybody else to get our ballots from and back to the county clerk.

      If you live in a state that permits it, request your absentee/mail-in ballot as soon as you can — here in New Mexico we can do that now — and submit it as soon as is humanly possible. Double-check to make sure you followed all the rules, of which there are many. Hand-deliver the sonofabitch. Give your friendly neighborhood mail carrier a break.

      The second-best choice? Vote in person. That has problems too, far too many of them, from buggered voting machines to bollixed polling locations to The Bug®. Still, there it is.

      This should be easy. But it’s not. And we’re just gonna have to deal with that.

      • khal spencer Says:

        We are planning an in person party up here. Several friends are coming by. We will go vote in person and then have a Clorox party…

        • SAO' Says:

          kinda surprised no one is selling unitards made out of Clorox wipes or tyvek jumpsuits just for this purpose. the flaming lips bubbles are effective but not an efficient way to get around town.

        • Patrick O'Grady Says:

          It’s gonna look like Halloween at the polls. I wonder how many people will get sent home for wearing MAGA or Biden-Harris masks?

          “Sorry, no electioneering within 100 feet of the polling place.”

      • Pat O’Brien Says:

        Early voting at the recorders office start in Cochise County on October 7th. We always do in person early voting and it is usually very easy with minimal waits, sometimes no wait at all. This time we will wait as long as necessary. I might even pack a picnic lunch! Biden and Harris all the way. In fact I am very tempted to vote a straight party ticket, something I have never done before. Not a single single repub here, both nationally and state, that I would vote for.

        • Patrick O'Grady Says:

          I denied the Bernalillo County sheriff my vote last time around. He’s about two-thirds Republican and the other third fascist.

        • khal spencer Says:

          Samey-same. The only reason I won’t vote straight ticket this year is that there are a couple Democrats up here who should have a government position, but one in that big grey building surrounded by barbed wire that is down Route 14 on the way to Madrid rather than in the State Capitol.

  7. Charley Says:

    It is a good start? There is at least hope.

    • Patrick O'Grady Says:

      Right now, outside my office window, the neighbor munchkins are riding their midget bicycles around the cul-de-sac. So, yeah, I’d say there’s hope. Or there should be.

      Hope won’t be enough, though. We’re gonna have to work for it this time around. The way we should’ve the last time.

      • khal spencer Says:

        How’s the air down there? Smoky as hell up here. Apparently the Medio fire is acting up.

        • Patrick O'Grady Says:

          Not too bad here in the foothills at the moment. I haven’t ventured out to have a peek at the valley. Two families of anklebiters have commandeered the cul-de-sac and I don’t want to be the guy who steps out of his house every time the kiddos are playing. Everybody already wonders what the hell is it the old weirdo does all day anyway. “He has no children of his own, you see. …”

          • Shawn Says:

            Re: Waits

            I was wondering what the neighbors thought of me. Although I don’t have any formaldehyde, and I haven’t yet been to Indonesia. I do have a dog (woohoo!), a router, a circ saw and I send a lot of packages out. Unfortunately I don’t get a lot of mail. But I suppose I might be stranger than “He” – I don’t have an ex wife and of course, I ride a bike.

            As for clear air, wow, it’s beautiful out here. Blue sky and the temp is about 75 at 10:30 AM. What the hell am I doing in here writing this rant. Oh yeah, I’m a weirdo.

          • SAO' Says:

            You can go in so many directions with that last sentence.

            My mind went to, “He was an only child … eventually.”

  8. Pat O’Brien Says:

    Well, the news today clinched the idea that dumpster will have to be dragged out of the White House. Either his enablers will flip, or we might all be saying that the guy at the bar said. Pat drops mike, nothing more to say. Where is my guitar, damn it!

  9. SAO' Says:

    God as my witness, I’ll never ride a bike again!

    https://www.forbes.com/sites/carltonreid/2020/08/22/two-weeks-after-fox-news-showed-joe-biden-cycling-donald-trump-counters-ill-never-ride-a-bicycle/

    There’s a picture of tRump holding a Huffy painted gold. Can’t get any more “on-brand” than that.

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