American progressives

The Coronavirus Deniers and Their War on Expertise
Anything they don’t want to believe is simply discarded as partisan.

by Nancy LeTourneau


We Have No Idea How Many Coronavirus Cases There Are in the U.S.

by Nancy LeTourneau

That sure is a hell of a lotta expertise on show there.

The solution being that we should listen more to the experts, right?

This is fascinating from Amanduh

5. What’s the big takeaway here? There are several.

Biden’s communications director, Kate Bedingfield, said the allegations are false and issued this terse statement to Salon: “Women have a right to tell their story, and reporters have an obligation to rigorously vet those claims.”

The story of Reade’s allegations against Biden shows what can happen when the rigorous standards espoused by mainstream publications are sidestepped for a more credulous and politicized approach. The failure to vet this story methodically and to preemptively address its odder elements opened the door to a whirlwind of conspiracy theories and misinformation.

Some Sanders supporters are lobbing wild accusations of a cover-up by the mainstream media and Time’s Up for not publicizing Reade’s story. In turn, some Biden supporters are being reckless — whether by assuming Reade is lying, or by spreading ridiculous conspiracy theories about her, or both. No doubt some folks on either side of the political divide would be reacting the same way no matter what, but the situation has been made significantly worse because of the slipshod manner in which Reade’s allegations were reported and released.

Organizations like Time’s Up and mainstream journalists take great care with politically sensitive accusations like Reade’s. That isn’t because they’re cowards. It’s because they fear situations just like this, where piecemeal reporting and the perception of slanted coverage create a political food fight that ends up pushing what is supposed to be the central concern — resisting sexual harassment and violence — to the sidelines.

No matter how it may be interpreted, “believe women” has never been an injunction to publish every allegation of sexual abuse without hesitation or reservation. It’s about taking these stories seriously on their own terms, instead of dismissing them as women’s attempts to manipulate people and public opinion. For journalists, it means we must take stories of sexual abuse seriously and treat them carefully and thoroughly; as Rebecca Traister said on Twitter in 2017, that means publishing stories that are “reported, investigated, fact checked & backed up by the outlets reporting on them.”

What can be said is that Reade’s story is credible and compelling in some important ways, and also comes with a number of troubling red flags. For a variety of reasons it has not been taken seriously on a national level, but those reasons do not include a mainstream media conspiracy to protect Joe Biden. Rather than becoming the subject of serious investigation, this has instead become an occasion for die-hard supporters on both the Sanders and Biden sides to score points on one another online. Actual facts have been supplanted by reckless conspiracy theories spun by enthusiasts of both candidates. Whatever the facts of this case may be, the #MeToo movement deserves better than to be dragged into the sleaze like this.

What’s so great about this is that this was exactly the response that Amanduh and Salon gave to those allegations of sexual assault against that Republican judge nominated by Orange Man Bad.

Good to see consistency, isn’t it?

The Coronavirus solution – Dianne Abbott

This is what is being said:

Defeating the Covid-19 crisis could need a wartime coalition government
Martin Kettle

If only we could have the skills of Dianne Abbott in government then all would be saved!

Of course, none of us are greatly impressed with the skills of the Tory ministerial bench but really, who among the Labour frontbenchers is government actually missing?

This’ll help, yea ,

“This is a case for a nationalization, literally a nationalization, of crucial factories and industries that could produce the medical supplies to prepare this country for what we need,” de Blasio told MSNBC’s Joy Reid on Saturday


The following day, de Blasio reiterated this message, telling CNN that “the federal government needs to take over the supply chain right now.”

Even in the depths of WWII it was still GM running the GM factories that made tanks. It being one of those human experience pieces of knowledge that leaving factories to be run by those who know how to run factories – rather than, say, those who know how to deny food stamps – works better than alternative management methods.

Quite so

Think the world is ending? Grab a shovel, not a shopping trolley

Those mass graves won’t dig themselves. All we’ve got to do now is elect a few socialists so that we need them.

Not safe in offices

There was a time when the code was “Not safe in taxis”. Salmond has updated this:

Senior civil servants ordered that women should not be left alone with Alex Salmond in his official residence when he was first minister, a court has been told.

Of course, we all knew he wasn’t safe in office anyway.

This should strike fear into some

As analysts debunk the myth of the black voter monolith, some black Republicans are stepping forward to counter stereotypes and assert a political identity very different from the usual assumption that all black Americans are Democrats, especially in the era of Donald Trump.

As with the Red Wall in the UK – that product of the assumption that the Northern working classes were Labour’s whatever stupidities the metropolitan party decided to adopt – the idea that the Republicans bite off a chunk of the black vote should have Democrats reaching for the wet wipes.

For Blacks have been a reliable voting block for the Ds. And yet in many areas – not being too keen on the gay stuff as Mayor Pete found out, another area being significant and pretty fundamentalist religious belief at times – blacks aren’t quite in accord with current D obsessions.

The break up of that voting block would indeed hugely change US politics. For the better of course – being ignored because your vote is known isn’t good for anyone.

Even the American left are saying it now

And given Biden’s age and cognitive state, he will likely be a far more hands-off president than Obama.

Not that doing less is a bad thing, King Log has his advantages and consolations.

A good rule of thumb is that nobody who has spent much of their career at the largest banks or hedge funds—Morgan Stanley, Citi, Goldman, JPMorgan Chase, BlackRock—should be considered for a top economic job in the next Democratic administration.

Let’s not have anyone who knows anything, eh?

One of these things is not like the other

The rightwing US shock jock Rush Limbaugh said a gay man could not be a presidential contender because “America’s still not ready to elect a gay guy kissing his husband”. Buttigieg’s leftwing opponents said he should not be the Democratic candidate because he was the wrong type of gay.

One is an observation of how the populace thinks. Might be right, might be wrong, but it is still an observation.

The second is an insistence. These are not the same thing.

A new documentary

Working with Clinton’s personal archives and dozens of hours of interviews with friends, colleagues (Barack Obama makes a brief appearance), staff and family, including husband Bill and daughter Chelsea, Burstein works to unpack the hardened public persona.

Ah, right, so it’s a hagiography then. Bill and Chelsea wouldn’t appear in anything else, would they?

A slightly snarky point

So, Lizzie Warren thought that:

“I was told at the beginning of this whole undertaking that there are two lanes: a progressive lane that Bernie Sanders is incumbent for and a moderate lane that Joe Biden was the incumbent for and there’s no room for anyone else in this,” she told reporters. “I thought that wasn’t right but evidently I was wrong.”

OK, well, we all make mistakes and reality comes along to tell us so often enough.

It’s just that, well. Warren was full of plans as to how the economy should be organised. Detailed plans. And how many of those would she have admitted might be wrong once they ran into that reality?

This being the problem with politics as a way to do something. When such plans are wrong then people redouble their efforts to insist upon them rather than ” but evidently I was wrong.”

Or, as we might put it, markets kill error by bankrupting it. And what is the cleansing method of politics?

Won’t this be a new and interesting thing in politics?

Donald Trump attacked Joe Biden’s cognitive abilities on Thursday night during an event in the former-vice president’s hometown that could set the tone for an ugly general election.

Appearing at a Fox News town hall in Scranton, Pennsylvania, Trump – who has faced repeated scrutiny over his own mental acuity – said there was “something going on” with Biden, in what may prove a rehearsal for Republican attacks during the presidential election.

Trump will campaign by telling all that Biden is senile.

Fancy that, such a new tactic, the use of truth in a political campaign.

Einstein and insanity

Amazing this:

Senator Elizabeth Warren came in a disappointing third place in her home state of Massachusetts and struggled to break through the viability threshold of 15% in other states.

Even after Hillary’s ground breaking run it appears that American still don’t like hectoring women who remind all of their first mother in law.

I guess Joe Biden is a Southern Democrat

Delaware’s in the South, right? A slave state even if not perhaps part of the Confederacy?

All of which makes this commonplace but very odd:

The former US vice-president secured vast support among African-American voters as he outperformed expectations and swept the Southern states

The Ds were the party of the Old South, Jim Crow and all. That they now own the black vote is obvious, known, but also most odd.

Diverse means something different

The remaining eight candidates in the field (minus former New York Mayor Mike Bloomberg, who’s not on the ballot in South Carolina) will compete to win over the state’s diverse electorate: 60 percent of its Democratic voters are black, and 55 percent are women.

A solid ethnic block as a majority of the electorate is not a diverse electorate, it’s the opposite of it.

“Only one of mine did”

What could be – but probably shouldn’t be – Trump’s response to this:

Pete Buttigieg hits back at Trump: My marriage “never involved me sending hush money to a porn star”

Or perhaps “Are we sure Hillary’s didn’t?”

Sounds like a great political plan to me

The Labour Party is planning to expel any members who think that someone born with a male organ is necessarily a man, as science might suggest. This excellent proposal from the transgender rights lobby has been widely supported in the party.

I expect soon another Labour initiative to ensure that people who identify as wading birds — herons, snowy egrets and so on — are accepted as such, regardless of their inability to stand motionless in a bog for hours or spear small fish with their long and dangerous beaks.

These are the kind of measures that will ensure Labour voters come joyously flooding back, convinced that the party is once again sane and rational and has its priorities in order.