Amy Coney Barrett will inspire Americans to get fit?

“To Conservatives, Barrett Has ‘Perfect Combination’ of Attributes for Supreme Court” (NYT):

“Amy Coney Barrett meets Donald Trump’s two main litmus tests: She has made clear she would invalidate the A.C.A. and take health care away from millions of people and undermine a woman’s reproductive freedom,” said Nan Aron, the president of Alliance for Justice, a liberal group.

It is unclear to me why people who live in properly governed “Blue states” worry about health insurance and the availability of abortion (on demand at up to 24 weeks here in Maskachusetts, and, after that, available if a single doctor believes that “continuation of her pregnancy will impose on [the mother] a substantial risk of grave impairment of her physical or mental health.”) A repeal of Roe v. Wade would not prevent a state from offering unlimited free abortions right up to 40 weeks of pregnancy. A repeal of Obamacare would not prevent a state from using state funds to offer unlimited free health insurance to every resident.

What else do we know about this judge?

Judge Barrett and her husband, Jesse Barrett, a former federal prosecutor who is now in private practice, have seven children, all under 20, including two adopted from Haiti and a young son with Down syndrome, whom she would carry downstairs by piggyback in the morning. Judge Barrett is known for volunteering at her children’s grade school, and at age 48, she would be the youngest justice on the bench, poised to shape a generation of American law.

So she’s kind of busy. Does that stop her from working out?

Judge Barrett and other university faculty members have been known to work out together at a CrossFit-type program, sometimes with their former provost.

Seven children and a job as a Federal judge do not stop Amy Coney Barrett from going to the gym. What is stopping the rest of us?

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Does Cardi B have more concrete policy ideas than Joe Biden?

The rapper Cardi B interviewed Joe Biden and a full transcript is available from Elle:

Cardi B: And also what I want is free Medicare. It’s important to have free [healthcare] because look what is happening right now. Of course, I think we need free college. And I want Black people to stop getting killed and no justice for it. I’m tired of it. I’m sick of it. I just want laws that are fair to Black citizens and that are fair for cops, too. If you kill somebody who doesn’t have a weapon on them, you go to jail. You know what? If I kill somebody, I’ve got to go to jail. You gotta go to jail, too. That’s what I want.

Biden: There’s no reason why we can’t have all of that. Presidents have to take responsibility. I understand one of your favorite presidents is Franklin Roosevelt. Roosevelt said the American people can take anything if you tell them the truth. Sometimes the truth is hard. But right now, we’re in a position where we have an opportunity to make so much progress. The American public has had the blinders taken off.

Cardi B: I’m always so focused on Medicare and college education, and I never really thought about how important child care is. Nobody is more motivated than a mom. Nobody wants to go hustle out there and get the money for the kid like a mother. [But] how are you supposed to do that when you probably don’t have a babysitter for your kid? Fortunately for me, I have my mom to help take care of my child, but a lot of people, their mom cannot retire and take care of the kids. The mom has to work, too. I feel like this country is so hurt, to the point that this year, a lot of people couldn’t even celebrate July 4th, because not everybody feels like an American. A lot of people feel like [they’re] not even part of America.

Joe Biden: Absolutely. One of the things that I admire about you is that you keep talking about what I call equity—decency, fairness, and treating people with respect. John Lewis, one of the great civil rights leaders, used to say the vote is the most powerful nonviolent tool you have. Look, I’m a lot older than you, to state the obvious. When I was in high school, the civil rights movement was just being started, and along came Bull Connor and his dogs. He thought he was going to drive a wooden stake into the heart of the civil rights movement. But when all those folks saw what was happening in the South—[when] they saw Bull Connor with dogs [attacking] elderly Black women going to church and kids being knocked down with fire hoses—all of a sudden, as Dr. King said, we had the second emancipation. We had the Voting Rights Act and we had the Civil Rights Act. It changed things because people said, “Oh my God, that’s happening.” [Today], the cell phone has changed America. Because we’re at a point where some brave kid can stand there for a total of 8 minutes and 46 seconds and take a of a Black man [being] brutally murdered. And people around the world were saying, “My God. This really happens?” And now they’re demanding change.

What strikes me about the interview is that it seems to be Cardi B, the 27-year-old rapper, who has the concrete policy ideas. The 77-year-old Joe Biden, on the other hand, is mostly silent and/or vague on what he would actually do as president.

Readers: What do you think? Cardi B for President 2028?

Related:

  • “Nobody wants to go hustle out there and get the money for the kid like a mother. [But] how are you supposed to do that when you probably don’t have a babysitter for your kid?” said Cardi B. Hunter Biden’s plaintiff shows one straightforward way to solve this problem. See “Hunter Biden’s child support is finalized with his stripper baby mama” (Daily Mail, regarding a mom who was smart enough to move to Arkansas, which offers unlimited child support profits, prior to giving birth to a baby conceived in Washington, D.C. (practical child support revenue limited to about $2 million))
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Why is the late RBG considered an advocate of “gender equality”?

My Facebook feed is alive with people mourning Ruth Bader Ginsburg, often specifically mentioning that she advocated “equality”. Our government-sponsored broadcasting network describes her as “a champion of gender equality”:

Yet Ginsburg praised Brett Kavanaugh for promising to hire employees (clerks) from only one gender ID and then following through on that promise to practice gender-based discrimination in employment. From “Ginsburg credits Kavanaugh for helping boost number of female Supreme Court clerks” (The Hill):

“Justice Kavanaugh made history by bringing on board an all-female law clerk crew. Thanks to his selections, the Court has this Term, for the first time ever, more women than men serving as law clerks,” she said, according to remarks released by the court.

Her remarks come several months after Kavanaugh, who was confirmed to the court last year after a fraught confirmation battle that centered around allegations of sexual misconduct, followed through on a promise he made during the nomination process to appoint an all-female team of law clerks.

(Why is that private employers can be sued by plaintiffs alleging gender discrimination in employment if our top government officials brag about doing this?)

Perhaps RBG could legitimately be described as having been an advocate for 1 out of 50+ possible gender IDs. But why is she is an example of someone who advocated “equality” among people with 50+ gender IDs?

Separately, if Mother-of-7 Amy Coney Barrett is appointed to this demanding job (though apparently it wasn’t too demanding for an unhealthy 87-year-old?), will that stop stay-at-home American helicopter moms-of-1-or-2 from complaining that they are exhausted from doing the most difficult job on the planet?

Related:

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Nancy Pelosi writes me a letter

Although politicians don’t generally campaign here in Maskachusetts (the outcome of almost every election is predetermined and, in fact, most candidates run unopposed), they do sometimes favor us with letters. Let me share one from Nancy Pelosi!

People tell me it must be a tough job to be Speaker of the House when the president belongs to the opposite party, lives in a world without facts or decency, and has nearly every Republican in Congress marching in unthinking lockstep behind him.

I’ve had a tougher one. I raised five kids born in six years. It taught me that children deserve our love and our caring.

What else did Mom Pelosi learn about children while the five brats milled around her ankles?

Trump and his followers on Capitol Hill want to take away women’s most fundamental rights.

Your generous contribution of $15, $25, $35 or more to the DCCC’s Headquarters Account will help the DCCC sustain and expand Battlestations across the country.

We will not let them end the right to choose in America.

Take it from a mom: We can’t do this alone. Together there’s no limit to what we can achieve.

Then there is a postscript:

The most formative experience in my life has been being a mother to five children.

So half the letter is about how being a mom makes a person (not to foment anti-LGBTQIA+ hatred by saying “makes a woman“, since men can also be moms) better. And the other half is about how babies should be aborted.

Presumably this was tested and actually did result in recipients getting out their checkbooks.

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The absurd conspiracy that Wall Street elites are manipulating American politics

My Facebook friends like to conjure a bogeyman somewhere in the South or Midwest. He is wearing camo, carrying an AR-15, driving a car with a Trump/Pence bumper sticker, and spouting an absurd conspiracy theory about Wall Streeters manipulating American politics far beyond their coastal elite districts.

Showing just how wrong this conspiracy theory is: “Bloomberg pledges $60M to boost House Democrats” (The Hill). (This will also be great for allaying the concerns of those who believe that rich Jews have too much influence in the U.S.!)

Readers: What do we think of all of these campaigns that are financed by money from outside the districts that politicians are supposedly representing? I see Facebook ads all the time for politicians who are running states where I don’t live.

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Joe Kennedy III is more progressive than AOC, but not progressive enough for Maskachusetts

“The age of incrementalism is over,” Markey said. “Now is our moment to think big.” (Boston.com)

Ed Markey, who might be running to replace President Harris in 2028 when he will be a young 82 years of age, defeated Joe Kennedy III in the Maskachusetts Senate primary by declaring that Kennedy was not progressive enough and winning the endorsement of AOC. Yet ProgressivePunch says that, during the 2019-2020 session, AOC had a “Progressive Score” of only 94.94 percent (based on her votes). Kennedy, by contrast, voted correctly 96.2 percent of the time.

In other words, a candidate who was actually more progressive than AOC lost the election here in Massachusetts.

(This was the only race on my Democratic primary ballot in which there was a choice; all other candidates were running unopposed.)

From Newburyport, MA yesterday, a multilingual Hate Has No Home Here message that welcomes migrants right next to a No Trespassing sign. The owner is also apparently an Ed Markey fan:

Related:

  • “It is the duty of the revolution to put an end to compromise, and to put an end to compromise means taking the path of socialist revolution.” (i.e., the age of incrementalism was also over in 1917; V.I. Lenin)
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If voting is more difficult, e.g., due to USPS shutdown, shouldn’t that favor the Democrats?

My Facebook feed remains alive with those who are convinced that Donald J. Trump will win the election via making it more difficult to vote, e.g., by shutting down the U.S. Post Office and/or discouraging voting by mail. Donald Trump is literally Hitler and nobody will vote against him unless voting is extremely convenient.

Some New York Times articles:

In other words, Trump is the biggest danger to the U.S. in the history of U.S. politics. But if lines at the polling station are longer than usual, Democrats, who are smart enough to recognize Trump as the dictator he is, will simply walk away. “Yes, Trump is a dictator and the U.S. is turning into Nazi Germany, but I can’t spare a whole hour or take a 1 in 100,000 risk of contracting coronaplague to save democracy.”

(Conundrum: if masks work, why is there any risk at all in masked adults gathering in a wide-open polling place? if masks don’t work, why are we demanding that elementary school children wear them?)

At least for the moment, I am not interested in the truth of these propositions. I am just fascinated by how it is possible for people to believe that (1) a second term for Trump will cement a U.S. descent into a dictatorship, and (2) the people who recognize this will not bother to vote against the dictator if there is any obstacle in their path.

Related:

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Did either the Republicans or Democrats present a clear plan?

The conventions are almost over. Did either the Democrats or Republicans present something that could be characterized as a coherent philosophy or clear plan?

I struggle with the use of “left” and “right” in the U.S. because it seems as though these terms presuppose a philosophy of some sort and I haven’t been able to discern any (Group A trying to use government power to grab money from Group B is not a philosophy, but an expedient).

What did either party promise to do? For the Republicans, did they promise to do some stuff starting in 2021? If so, why didn’t they do deliver the promised items back in 2017 when they had a larger share of Congress? For the Democrats, what do they say that they will do?

Finally, did either party essentially make the same promises as Hugo Chavez? As I wrote in this book review:

According to Carroll, Chavez promised the same things as leaders in other countries:

  • To a country that already had a free public health care system for the poor he promised additional health care services/schemes
  • To government workers and people whose skills were not in demand he promised that they would be enriched through taxes on the most successful private sector workers (and that the new higher taxes would not discourage those private sector workers from continuing to work as hard as they formerly had)
  • To most voters he promised that they could enjoy a better standard of living without either working more diligently or learning new skills (i.e., the government would either raise wages or reduce prices).
  • That he would protect citizens from foreign invasion/influence via an expensive military.
  • That he would reduce income inequality.

I’m convinced that Chavez was the greatest politician of our age. He kept getting reelected in fair elections despite the country’s downward economic and social spiral.

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Election of President Kamala Harris will end the BLM protests?

From The American Conservative (both of them?):

There once was a general who fought a war to protect slavery. That’s not how he would have described it. He would have said he was fighting to protect his way of life from a foreign invader. Whatever construction he put on it, his so-called way of life rested on the sweat wrung from forced labor on plantations and gold earned from buying and selling black flesh.

That general was Samori Touré. The West African chieftain is honored today by black nationalists for resisting French imperialism in the Mandingo Wars of the late nineteenth century, but thousands of Africans were enslaved by Samori’s raiders in the course of building up his empire. After his final defeat in 1898, for more than a decade, columns of refugees tramped into French Guinea to return to their home villages as they escaped or were liberated from Banamba or Bamako or wherever Samori’s men had sold them.

Ta-Nehisi Coates named his son Samori, after the great resister. That means that Between the World and Me, the best-selling anti-racist tract of the current century, which takes the form of letters from Coates to his son, is addressed to someone named after a prolific enslaver of black Africans.

Unless the U.S. is packed with hidden Deplorables that poll-takers can’t find, at some point in 2021, the U.S. will be led by a president who identifies as “Black” (though we also have to accept the possibility that Kamala Harris changes her racial and/or gender ID between now and then).

Is it safe to say that the BLM protesters/rioters will go home for eight years, starting November 4? We didn’t have BLM riots during the Obama Administration, right? (“Obama Says Movements Like Black Lives Matter ‘Can’t Just Keep on Yelling’” (NYT, 2016) turned out to be prescient!)

Every day of the Obama administration was a day in which life for Black Americans became more challenging (see “Effects of Immigration on African-American Employment and Incarceration,” NBER 2007) Yet as long as there was a person in the White House who identified as “Black,” it apparently did not bother lower-income Black Americans that their jobs, apartments, and infrastructure were taken over by immigrants

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