Will anyone pay attention to the Democrats now that Bernie is gone?

Bernie Sanders, my personal favorite candidate among the Democrats, has dropped out of the primary race. I wonder if this will actually hurt the Democrats. If there is no contest at all, who will pay attention to the anything that Biden does or says between now and Labor Day? How many people tune into a one-person boxing match?

[Why do I love Bernie? He is the only one willing to say “this is dumb” with respect to spending 17 percent of GDP on health care and not covering everyone (I proposed a universal coverage system back in 2009, it has some similarities with Germany’s). Bernie is the political example of zero-based budgeting. Congress sets the budget, so all that Bernie or any other president can do is suggest. It is not that I am fond of most of Bernie’s specific policy ideas so much as it would be nice to have someone in D.C. who pushes a zero-based budgeting idea. Ronald Reagan might have been the last president to do this (Congress ignored him).

Biden’s political philosophy on what Americans should get for the 35-40% percent of the GDP that is government is based solely on the assumption that whatever the government was doing/spending in the past was optimum (maybe not the last three years of the criminal Trump dictatorship, of course, but certainly in 2016). So Biden proposes slight tweaks to government programs from 2016, perhaps adjusting for inflation or maybe adding a mask and ventilator budget for the next respiratory disease epidemic.

Bernie, on the other hand, asks “You’re working 1 day out of 5 to pay for health care. What do you want the system to do for you?” and “Housing is a fundamental right. How much do we need to budget to put everyone in a house without a waiting list?”

Biden’s approach is comparable to the way that big dumb corporations did things in the 1960s. We spent $X on marketing last year so let’s spend $X*1.07 this year. Nobody in Dumb Co. asks “What would be the optimum and/or necessary amount to spend on marketing?” The U.S. has built the world’s second largest welfare state, as a percentage of GDP, without anyone, since the mid-1960s, asking “What do we want our welfare state to provide and to whom?”]

Readers: Was it a strategic error by the Democrats if they didn’t beg Bernie to keep campaigning, even if it isn’t fun to campaign from one of your Vermont mansions via webcam?

Separately, how are my Facebook friends reacting? A West Coaster:

His friends respond:

Which rapist do you want? Biden or Trump?

Stand up and work for the platform. The platform is more important than any one person. The ideas. FDR’s ideas!

(Which of FDR’s ideas does she like? Interning anyone who might be considered likely to wage domestic jihad or to be infected with coronavirus? See Korematsu v. United States.)

The Biden Believers don’t seem too worried. Here’s an April 9, 2020 meme that got 1,700 shares within the first 5 hours:

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Drafting coronavirus into the Army of the Righteous

March 20, 2020 Facebook posting from a wealthy (via marriage) Democrat:

Civil liberties, covid-19,Trump, and November election on my mind.

Her friend responds:

As much as I want this whole Covid-19 thing to be over, my biggest fear is that it will abate and the stock market/economy will rebound in time for the November election and Trump will claim credit and be re-elected.

Clicking on the friend’s page reveals a late middle-age woman with a cat, no sign of a husband, birth in Massachusetts and residence in Vermont, a recently graduated son (let’s hope she sued for child support in Massachusetts, which is much more lucrative than suing in Vermont!). Googling her name brings up a LinkedIn page that says she has worked for the state government in Vermont since 1982.

How did other friends respond to the response?

original poster: “and the 1200/ month got eligible families will help him too. Grrr.”

female-named friend #2: “it’s so orchestrated too!”

male-named friend: “I share your fear of his being reelected; however, my greatest fear is clearly the immediate problem– the COVID-19 pandemic threatens the health of all Americans, and will quickly overwhelm our health care system.”

[On that last one: Not only are viruses smarter than humans, but there is a virus more evil than Trump himself?!?!]

I’ve also seen a lot of Facebook postings from Democrats enthused about what they hope will be differential death rate; the healthy brown virtuous Bernie supporters will sail through the coronaplague, while old white Republicans will be culled from the voting herd.

The most confusing and fascinating phenomenon is the continued stream of anti-Trump abuse being posted by Facebookers who live in New York and California. Sometimes they will say that Trump is intentionally trying to harm “blue states” (they got a letter from God on the subject of Trump’s intentions so they know what motivates him?). As Commander in Chief, Trump had the discretion to send the Navy’s two hospital ships anywhere in the world. If “all lives have equal value” and we’re right about the “science” (epidemiological prophecies), the most logical places to send the ships are Brazil and Sweden. Due to their failures to lockdown, science tells us that this is where unfettered exponential growth will occur. Or maybe to India or Africa, both of which are going to be short of hospital beds.

If Trump believes, unreasonably, that American lives have more value than non-American lives, he could easily have decided to send the ships to Florida and New Orleans, i.e., a swing state and a state that voted for him.

When I point this out to the New York and California-based Trump haters, they are not motivated to reduce their level of contempt and hatred. Trump is a “fool”, a “sociopath” (but not one smart enough to send the ships to a state where people might vote for him?), etc. One popular retort is that Trump does not have the authority to tell the ships where to go. The President is only Commander in Chief during wartime and this is not a war. Therefore, it is a mid-level Navy bureaucrat (the Trump haters can’t say which one, but they are confident that Trump does not a say) who made a technocratic decision to send the ships to LA and NYC (this does not make logical sense; California is not forecast to run out of hospital or ICU beds while Louisiana will run out of both).

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Wailing over Elizabeth Warren’s defeat betrays heretical anti-rainbow flag religious beliefs?

A Facebook friend who is passionate about both Elizabeth Warren and the Rainbow Flag (LBGTQIA+) religion posted “Elizabeth Warren endured sexism at every step of her campaign” (Guardian):

The next president, it is now assured, will be a man.

Setting aside the insulting dismissal of Tulsi Gabbard, this statement betrays extreme cisgender-normative prejudice and a denial of gender fluidity. How does the author (or anyone) know that Joe Biden won’t identify as a woman by the time January 2021 rolls around?

Nobody predicted Bruce Jenner adopting a new gender ID, right? Is there something more inherently male about Joe Biden than there was about Bruce Jenner? (an immigrant friend after Super Tuesday: “I can’t believe they picked the most demented puppet. The guy had to be defended by his wife from a vegan. He needs a physical and a head CT. Strikes me as a guy with cortical atrophy.”)

If there is nothing special about being born with a doctor-identified female biological sex, how can there be anything special about Elizabeth Warren compared to Joe Biden purely on account of her (potentially transitory) current gender ID?

From March 9, 2020 in our righteous neighborhood (Lincoln, Massachusetts, soon to be home of the most expensive school building, per student, ever constructed in the United States):

Related:

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Thomas Edison and electronic voting

Another day, another batch of primary elections. (How are the candidates doing? Is it obvious at this point that Biden (“the senile puppet,” as an immigrant friend puts it) will win everything?)

I recently finished Edison by Edmund Morris. It turned out that, like the Iowa Democrats, Thomas Edison thought that tabulating votes was a problem in search of a tech solution:

Working nights at Western Union, and by day literally under Williams’s roof in a third-floor attic, Edison invented and made half a dozen devices, including a stock ticker, a fire alarm, and a facsimile telegraph printer (“which I intend to use for Transmitting Chinese Characters”). He executed his first successful patent application on 13 October [1868; age 21] for an electrochemical vote recorder, whittling the submission model himself from pieces of hardwood. “To become a good inventor, you must first know how to use a jackknife.” It was a clever device—too clever to be commercial, as he soon found out. Designed to speed up the laborious process of vote counting in legislative bodies, it took signals of “aye” or “nay” from electric switches on every desk and imprinted them on a roll of chemically prepared paper, in each case identifying the signal with the legislator’s name. At the same time it separately tabulated the votes on an indicator dial. Edison’s dream of seeing his “recordograph” clicking and spinning in the chambers of Congress dissolved when he heard that speedy voting was the last thing politicos wanted in the passage of bills. They needed time to lobby one another in medias res. Edison resolved that hereafter he would invent only things that people wanted to use.

Since at least 1868, then, we have been inventing better machines for counting American votes, but nobody has worked on inventing better Americans!

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Popularity of Bernie Sanders proves that Marx was right?

Karl Marx remains one of the most referenced and taught authors in Academia today. The best that one has been able to say about him was that he was a great historian and sociologist, but a failure as a prophet. It was supposed to be a rich industrialized country that turned socialist and, ultimately, communist, not a relatively poor and just-beginning-to-industrialize country such as Russia. (the Bolsheviks got a big boost from Germany, though, which may have distorted the natural course of history)

What if the socialist governments that returned to a market system, e.g., in Russia and China, were not evidence that Marx was wrong, but only that the particular countries that had adopted socialism weren’t rich enough?

The U.S. right now is in an unprecedented position of material prosperity. Americans on welfare today have a far higher material standard of living than did middle class Americans in Marx’s time. Suppose that Bernie wins the primary elections and then at least wins the popular vote in November. Wouldn’t that be evidence that Marx was right? Once a country is rich enough, the working class citizens will demand socialism and many of the elites will go along with this.

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Elizabeth Warren bows out with a dose of cisgender-normative prejudice

From NPR:

Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren ended her bid for the presidency on Thursday, acknowledging her place as the last major female candidate in the race “and all those little girls who are gonna have to wait four more years.”

Absent cisgender-normative prejudice and the heretical assumption that gender is not fluid, how does she know that the U.S. won’t have a president who identifies as a “woman” starting next week? Did God call up Elizabeth Warren and tell her that Donald Trump will never experience gender dysphoria?

Related:

  • “Elizabeth Warren: ‘Girls will have to wait for woman president'” (BBC)
  • “Transcript: Elizabeth Warren Speaks After Suspending Campaign” (WBUR): in response to people saying that she was too angry to appeal to voters, Elizabeth Warren uses the word “fight” three times in the first two paragraphs. “I say this with a deep sense of gratitude for every single person who got in this fight, every single person who tried on a new idea. … I guarantee I will stay in the fight for the hardworking folks across this country who’ve gotten the short end of the stick over and over. That’s been the fight of my life and it will continue to be so.”
  • “If Elizabeth Warren doesn’t become president… will the New York Times blame voters’ prejudice against women or voters’ prejudice against Native Americans?” (post from January 3, 2019)
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Elizabeth Warren’s Legacy: Idea that Trump is an ordinary rich guy

Elizabeth Warren is gone, much to the dismay of my Facebook friends, especially degreed women who don’t work. Before Warren dropped out, one of my friends on Facebook said “More of this, please!” over a video of Elizabeth Warren in which she says that replacing Donald Trump with Michael Bloomberg would “Just substitute one arrogant billionaire for another”.

Of course, I couldn’t resist asking “Shouldn’t she be happy if any Democrat replaces Trump? How can she say that it wouldn’t be progress for the virtuous billionaire to replace the hated dictator?”

His response included the following:

You are making the claim that neither Warren nor I appreciate that Trump and his minions are a threat to democracy and Bloomberg is not. I don’t believe you believe this claim. Therefore I believe you are trolling.

“Trolling” seems to mean “point out a logical inconsistency,” so had to continue:

“Just substitute one arrogant billionaire for another” does not seem like a great way to highlight that one of said billionaires is a “threat to democracy”.

Perhaps Elizabeth Warren would personally have voted for Michael Bloomberg if he’d won the nomination, but that’s just Pepsi vs. Coke according to her, right? Not “new Hitler” or “threat to Democracy” or “insane” versus “reasonable”, “rational”, and “righteous”.

After telling Americans that they might not survive four more years of Donald Trump, that the Trump Presidency was a “national emergency,” etc., the Democrats have their smartest politician on record saying that one of their own is scarcely superior.

I’m wondering if this will be the only lasting legacy of the Warren campaign.

Related (loosely):

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How could Elizabeth Warren have run for President if she couldn’t win her own state?

Super Tuesday is mostly over. Here in Massachusetts, Elizabeth Warren seems to be on track to place third (NPR). That’s a dismal performance considering that she is the only candidate with a connection to Massachusetts and is, in fact, our senior Senator.

If politics is mostly a professional endeavor, how could the professionals have failed to predict her lack of appeal? (perhaps it was the 70-year-old’s comparative youth and lack of life experience that caused voters to reject her?) She spent more than a year campaigning.

Separately, below are the diverse political signs at our polling place, which happens also to be a school where diversity is celebrated (said school soon to be torn down and the students moved into trailers for three years). There is good news for Native Americans who want to wear the mantle of modern victimhood: “We are ALL Immigrants.” We can “Respect the Science” by re-electing Senator Ed Markey, who last took a science course in high school circa 1962 (Wikipedia suggests that he got an unspecified BA and then went on to law school).

In short, “If you Vote for Democrats, all of your wildest dreams will come true.”

My Facebook friends seem to be newly excited about Joe Biden. One of them posted a recent quote:

“We can and we must build a more perfect union. Because the American people have seen the alternative, so let’s get back up. We’re decent, we’re brave, we’re a resilient people. We can believe again. We’re better than this moment and we’re better than this president. So get up and let’s take back this country. We’re the United States of America. There’s nothing we cannot do if we do it together”

This sounds a bit like a Hollywood Democrat back in 2016:

“I don’t want to move to Canada, but I certainly don’t want to see Donald Trump [win] with bigotry and racism. … This is really serious. It’s somebody appealing to the worst in us.”

But if people who vote for Biden are “better than this president,” aren’t those Biden voters also better people than Trump voters? Why would the “better people” want to do stuff together with people who are racist, sexist, and stupid?

Since there’s nothing we cannot do if we do it together, we will be able to make our own mobile phones, flat screen TVs, and tunneling machines instead of buying them from the Chinese, Koreans, Taiwanese, and Germans? We will be able to dig new metro systems and build out nationwide high-speed rail at a reasonable cost? We will be able to deliver health care without bankrupting ourselves? We could construct cruise ships as good as the ones currently made in France, Italy, Finland, and Germany and not be shut out of this multi-$billion market? If true, why wait until the hated dictator is removed from the White House? Why not start doing these things together tomorrow? Is Trump actually stopping us from working together? How?

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Do all of the Democrats support effectively unlimited immigration?

Voters are choosing today among the remaining Democrats running for President. What is the choice on what many would consider to be the biggest issue and one with the most long-term impact: low-skill immigration ? (transfers $500 billion/year right now from the working class to the rich, for example, and chips away at every American’s infrastructure endowment)

Let’s look at Mike Bloomberg’s immigration policy page:

Mike’s plan will protect Dreamers and TPS holders and create an earned pathway to citizenship for the 11 million undocumented.

Mike will rescind President Trump’s disgraceful travel ban, end family separations at the border, establish rigorous safeguards for children, and promote alternatives to detention for individuals and families who pose no threat to public safety.

A “dreamer” is someone who shows up prior to turning 16 (but since none show up with documents, it is necessary only to say “I am 15”?). There will be no family separation at the border if an adult shows up with someone who is, or says he/she/ze/they is under 18.

Isn’t the effect of these policies essentially unlimited immigration? A would-be adult immigrant shows up with a “child” and neither can be detained (one is a blameless child; detaining the adult would be “family separation at the border”). Once in, the child cannot be deported because he/she/ze/they is now a “dreamer”. Once the “child” turns 18, he/she/ze/they is entitled to obtain green cards for two parents (“chain migration”).

There are roughly 2 billion children worldwide, age 0-14. Add their parents and that’s at least half the world population that would be eligible for legal immigration to the U.S. under Bloomberg’s plan(s).

Do any of the other Democrats propose a substantially different immigration policy?

[Separately, how does Bloomberg know that there are 11 million undocumented immigrants currently in the U.S.? There is no citizenship question on the 2020 Census (rumor FAQ) and there wasn’t one on a previous census. The eggheads at Yale say that the likely number is closer to 22 million.]

Exterior of my hotel last week in Los Angeles:

Americans are supposed to call up Mike, charge boldly up to the edge of the coronavirus, and let Swedish vodka merchants tell them how to have sex (but we still want to let the Russians tell us how to vote?).

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Chinese perspective on American Presidential candidates

Some photos from the November 2019 trip to Shanghai…

Folks there love our Democrat-turned-Republican President so much that they named a car after him. The Trumpchi:

Pure Democrats aren’t forgotten either. Shanghai has a substantial monument to Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren:

Happy Super Tuesday!

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