JackRiddler » Fri Jun 28, 2019 4:43 pm wrote:BS, the google search interest says little, not with more data, but it's interesting. The graphic shows rankings of five (not 10 or 20) and no absolute numbers. It may or may not be telling that someone bothered to make a graphic so simplistic, as if designed to tell an implicit story.
Here, let me tell an explicit story:
NBC THE APPRENTICE 2020: AMERICAN NOMINEE EDITION
Notes on Round 1, Day 2 and the Google Aftermath
Dated: 27 June 2019
Zen masters, if you turn off the quackers playing analysts on TV and close tabs on the online political gossip sheets, do they keep yapping? It's bad enough the corporate media organized the order of battle through polls that can adjust results thanks to the construct of a "likely voter" set. Or that they made this about personalities in the first place: two years of tedious soap opera punctuated by gladiatorial death matches. There's your democracy.
On game night, corporate wants to hog the time. They use it to promote a whole stable of stars from several news network owned or allied with NBC. They get to open the show with "How are you going to pay for the unicorns?" They throw sternly worded softballs to their favorites of the moment and slap the second tier with gotcha questions. Hey, they're your friends! Chuck and Rachel, like Hepburn and Tracy as treason inquisitors. They get to harangue everyone amiably for 120 minutes, minus the commercials from Pfizer and McDonald's.
But it's never enough. Afterward, they keep at it, explain what your lying eyes and ears really perceived, sort the winners and losers for you. (ONE OF YOU IS IN -- AND ONE OF YOU WILL BE OUT! AUF WIEDERSEHEN!) Never with an agenda in mind, of course. Heaven forfend.
Not too many participating in the show -- as hosts, as candidates on the stage, or as spectators -- are willing to admit that this has always been a kind of Fantasy Football talk-radio crossed with Game of Thrones fandom, and usually ends up having about the same impact on political reality: yours, or the world's. (WHO WON?! WHO'S NEXT?!) This was always true, I say, yet never as obvious. How many will tell you that none of this will change a thing, that is, if you are not also organizing as a popular movement for change that intends to struggle and build and endure beyond and apart from elections? Spoiler alert: At least one of them is saying that clearly, and seems to mean it, while another is believed to mean it.
So, who am I going to tell you "won" last night's Round 1, Day 2? I'm going to tell you there are more important questions, but let's start with the Google search rankings. If nothing else, these show who among the many relative unknowns are being discovered and piquing interest among a larger circle than before. Becoming better known may or may not help them, but it is a prerequisite for getting ahead if your name is not already Bernie Sanders, Joe Biden, or Elizabeth Warren (whose arrival at the top recognition level was the most recent).
By the Google search measure, two winners were clear. Tulsi Gabbard exploded to capture 40 percent of searches for candidates' names on the first night, while Kamala Harris was the most searched on the second. Each attracted her peak attention by producing the most dramatic, cathartic scene-stealing of her respective show. For both, this involved the sudden on-air decapitation of an aggressive blowhard. Gabbard's attack on Tim Ryan for wanting to extend the Afghanistan war for a second generation (and for being generally clueless), and Harris' on Biden for his history of working with and praising leading segregationists (and for being generally clueless) were both emotionally genuine and positive highlights. But both moments really stood out for making the respective tall-man targets stagger around like a Marvel movie villain about to yell NOOOOOOOO and turn into dust.
Regarding Harris, however, I must ad the caveat: as phony as Harris otherwise is. Sorry, fans! Truthfully, I have enjoyed the overnight conversion of her and several other long-standing leaders in the corporate donations league-tables into firebreathing trustbusters. There was no doubting the passion in her story of being bussed to school as a child. The attention may cease to do her good, however, once it turns to her record. Gurgling in his blood, the expiring Biden scratched her with his sole poignant line for the night: "I was a public defender, not a prosecutor!" That was a good epitaph for his career, but he had already chiseled a better one into stone with "O, my time is up?" Then falls Caesar! Now we shall see whether Prosecutor Harris' flesh wound develops an infection.
Also interesting: Harris and Kristin Gillibrand were both auditioning for Bernie's Best Friend, the latter with so much enthusiasm that I half expected her to pull out pom-poms: "Give me an M, give me a 4, give me an A, Medicare4All, I wrote Bernie's plan, hooray!" As a potential season champion, Harris was much more reserved, of course. Gillibrand seemed to be pitching more to the hope of a Veep spot and the college students she will need to build an organization, while Harris used her excellent range to speak to the mothers of the world. I counted three parables about a mother and a child in peril, two explicit, one implicit, each truthful in facts and resonance. This is a welcome shift from the usual presidential rhetoric about the implicitly Christian Family Father and Joe Sixpack the Forgotten Man.
But what is a parable, or even the perfectly executed outburst reminding us that real people are not worried about wonkery but food on the table, without a genuinely strong corresponding policy and the intent and means to do it? Gillibrand actually proved more substantive. On questions of Empire, Harris tipped her bellicose hand with a side-comment assaulting the Korean peace process (literally the only good development Trump has involved himself in, even if it was to hog the credit). During the speed-round, in which contestants must name the very first among all the countries that Trump has kicked in the groin that they hope to kiss and make up with once they are Prezident, Gillibrand actually said she would work to restore the Iran deal, because the current situation is so dangerous.
Sanders summed the show up with concision, not that the corporate spinmeisters and freelance cadre of neoliberal meme-ers and me-me-ers are going to be repeating his concluding statement, or paraphrasing it except to distort it and smear him. For the moment, most of the contestants are sounding like him, and even the "yes, buts" from the openly conservative white guys (Mayor Pete foremost among them) concede that Sanders' campaigns have defined the party's policy goals for good reason, that he has helped to revive real issues. And implicitly, this is what he said: they're all talking like him. But who among them is really ready to fight Wall Street, the insurance companies, the military-industrial complex, the pharma conglomerates, the billionaires, and (unnamed but omnipresent) the corporate media? Who really wants to put McConnell's head on a pike and pass a Green New Deal and a real single payer system? Only two who might remotely qualify as serious contenders may also meet this criterion, and of these we ask: Could Sanders, if he somehow won, really do it, with the awesome forces and money that will continue to be deployed against these goals? Only with the organized support of independent movements fighting for the same goals, as he made clear. And does Warren, now that she seems to talk the same way, really mean it?
California Senator Kamala Harris won the Democratic presidential debate last night. It was not a close contest. She will win every debate she enters during this election cycle. If she becomes the nominee, she will win every debate with Trump.
Night two of the debates was just as vapid and ridiculous as night one. Candidates interrupted and talked over each other a lot, questions about foreign policy were avoided like the plague to prevent NBC viewers from thinking critically about the mechanics of empire, and Eric Swalwell kept talking despite everyone in the universe desperately wanting him not to. Buttigieg and Gillibrand did alright, Bernie played the same note he’s been playing for decades, and everyone was reminded how bad Joe Biden is at talking and thinking.
Biden has been treated kindly by polls and regarded as a “frontrunner” in this race exclusively because for the last decade he hasn’t had to do anything other than be associated with Barack Obama. Now that he’s had to step out of that insulated role and interact with reality again, everyone’s seeing the same old garbage right-wing Democrat who sucks at making himself look appealing just as badly as he did in his last two presidential campaigns. By the end of the night, even Michael Bennet was slapping him around.
The moment everyone’s talking about was when Harris created a space for herself to attack Biden on his citing his collaboration with segregationists as an example of his ability to reach across the aisle and “get things done”. Harris had not been called upon to speak, and once given the go-ahead by moderator Rachel Maddow after interjecting went way beyond the 30 seconds she’d been allotted in tearing Biden apart. She skillfully took control of the stage and engineered the entire space for the confrontation by sheer dominance of personality, and Biden had no answer for it.
That’s the moment everyone’s talking about. But Harris had already been owning the debate prior to that.
The goal of a political debate is to make yourself look appealing and electable to your audience. You can do that by having a very good platform, or you can do it with charisma and oratory skills. It turns out that Kamala Harris is really, really good at doing the latter. She made frequent and effective appeals to emotion, she built to applause lines far more skillfully than anyone else on the stage, she kept her voice unwavering and without stammer, she made herself look like a leader by admonishing the other candidates to stop talking over each other, and she hit all the right progressive notes you’re supposed to hit in such a debate.
Unlike night one of the debates, night two had a clear, dominant winner. If you were a casual follower of US politics and didn’t have a favorite coming into the debate, you likely went away feeling that Harris was the best.
This wasn’t a fluke. Harris has been cultivating her debate skills for decades, first in the Howard University debate team where she is said to have “thrived”, then as a prosecutor, then as a politician, and she’ll be able to replicate the same calibre of performance in all subsequent debates. There’s more to getting elected than debate skills, but it matters, and in this area no one will be able to touch her.
Harris won the debate despite fully exposing herself for the corporate imperialist she is in the midst of that very debate. While answering a question about climate change she took the opportunity to attack Trump on foreign policy, not for his insane and dangerous hawkishness but for not being hawkish enough, on both North Korea and Russia.
“You asked what is the greatest national-security threat to the United States. It’s Donald Trump,” Harris said. “You want to talk about North Korea, a real threat in terms of its nuclear arsenal. But what does he do? He embraces Kim Jong Un, a dictator, for the sake of a photo op. Putin. You want to talk about Russia? He takes the word of the Russian president over the word of the American intelligence community when it comes to a threat to our democracy and our elections.”
Harris is everything the US empire’s unelected power establishment wants in a politician: charismatic, commanding, and completely unprincipled. In that sense she’s like Obama, only better.
Harris was one of the 2020 presidential hopefuls who came under fire at the beginning of the year when it was reported that she’d been reaching out to Wall Street executives to find out if they’d support her campaign. Executives named in the report include billionaire Blackstone CEO Jonathan Gray, 32 Advisors’ Robert Wolf, and Centerbridge Partners founder Mark Gallogly. It was reported two entire years ago that Harris was already courting top Hillary Clinton donors and organizers in the Hamptons. She hasn’t been in politics very long, but her campaign contributions as a senator have come from numerous plutocratic institutions.
Trump supporters like to claim that the president is fighting the establishment, citing the open revulsion that so many noxious establishment figures have for him. But the establishment doesn’t hate Trump because he opposes them; he doesn’t oppose existing power structures in any meaningful way at all. The reason the heads of those power structures despise Trump is solely because he sucks at narrative management and puts an ugly face on the ugly things that America’s permanent government is constantly doing. He’s bad at managing their assets.
Kamala Harris is the exact opposite of this. She’d be able to obliterate noncompliant nations and dead-end the left for eight years, and look good while doing it. She’s got the skills to become president, and she’ll have the establishment backing as well. Keep an eye on this one.
Joe Biden is a right of center Republican, a DINO, and for being a Democrat he has a terrible voting record. He's unelectable and will not be supported by a majority of Democrats, regardless his present favorable polling. Obama, in fact, was just about as far right as any moderate Republican of the recent past.
Sure, Joe's a lovable character whose deserving of our sympathies for the hardships he's endured, but certainly, a great many educated Democrats and others aware of his voting record - which actually has been in opposition to the goals of the civil rights movement - will not support him. Biden's behavior towards Anita Hill was grotesquely obscene - for a Democrat. (and a man)
For an intelligent, well-read man like you, Frank, I'm surprised you didn't better research Biden's history before writing. It's difficult to believe you see no slur in Biden's "...he called me sir" remark, but perhaps you hadn't. There's very good reason to be outraged by such a toxic statement and your castigation of those who've criticized is sorely misplaced.
Quite frankly, Frank, and ironically, I see you as the one calling the kettle black, as it seems you're engaged in exactly the behavior you're accusing Biden's critics of: being intolerant.
Talk about 'let's all get along;' hah! (It's a nice dream.) Please point out who the moderate Republicans are, because I haven't seen any evidence any still exist.
Let's not forget McConnell's refusal to allow Obama the appointment 80 federal judges, or the obstinate shutdown of the government, so it's not a one- way street, despite the efforts of the revolutionary tea party radicals that have taken over the Republican Party to make it one way, their way, always. And then there's Oregon!
As a conservative-minded unaffiliated voter, I don't see an announced Democrat presidential candidate capable of unifying their party and capturing the election. I'm no fan of Trump. I think he'll leave an indelible stain on the office of President, beyond those already part of its history left behind by men of both parties. Durbin's probably the most electable Democrat, but he's not running. If they don't get their money-making war with Iran, Republicans will undoubtedly dump Trump and go with Barr. They've gotten tired of waiting for Guaidó, and have realized war with Venezuela as untenable, especially due to the number of refugees it will inevitably drive north, who surely will join migrants escaping from untenable conditions the US has helped to bring about in their home countries.
Here are a few links to help folks learn about Biden. The first is a Far-Left publication, the next, not-so-far Left, Don't mind the 82 years old Jonathan Kozol's frailties, on Democracy Now. The second and third to last are from the National Review. a Conservative publication. None of these are kind to Biden. The last is from a source I'm unfamiliar with, but it offers a simple compilation of Biden's awful record.
Joe Biden Is a Disaster Waiting to Happen
https://www.jacobinmag.com/2019/04/joe- ... ign-record
Joe Biden Is a Bad Bet
"Far from being the safest choice, Biden lacks the economic vision necessary to counter Trump."
https://www.thenation.com/article/joe-b ... nomy-2020/
Jonathan Kozol: "Joe Biden Didn’t Just Praise Segregationists. He Also Spent Years Fighting Busing."
https://www.democracynow.org/2019/6/25/ ... on_history
Jonathan Kozol on “When Joe Biden Collaborated with Segregationists”
https://www.democracynow.org/2019/6/26/ ... _joe_biden
Can Joe Biden Be America’s New Great Compromiser?
https://www.nationalreview.com/2019/06/ ... mpromiser/
Biden’s Switch on Taxpayer-Funded Abortion Cost Him Support
https://www.nationalreview.com/corner/b ... m-support/
The Case Against Joe Biden
https://www.pastemagazine.com/articles/ ... biden.html
https://blog.timesunion.com/frankrobins ... /#comments
Just hours before President Donald Trump took to the stage in Greenville, North Carolina and unleashed more racist vitriol against Rep. Ilhan Omar and other progressive members of Congress, 137 House Democrats joined a united Republican caucus on Wednesday to kill articles of impeachment that sought to hold the president accountable for sparking "fear and hatred of new Americans and people of color."
The final vote in favor of tabling the impeachment resolution, introduced Tuesday by Rep. Al Green (D-Texas), was 332-95-1, with Rep. Peter DeFazio (D-Ore.) voting present.
Democrats' decision to kill the impeachment articles as Trump continued his racist rampage against members of Congress Wednesday night represented yet another failure by the House majority to listen to grassroots demands and take meaningful action against the president.
"House Democrats are working with Republicans to avoid launching an impeachment inquiry. Let that sink in," tweeted progressive advocacy group Indivisible. "A. Day. After. They. Condemned. Trump. For. Being. A. Racist."
Ahead of Wednesday's vote, Green told reporters that it is time for Congress to confront Trump's bigotry.
"This president has demonstrated that he's willing to yell 'fire' in a crowded theater," said Green, "and we have seen what can happen to people when bigotry is allowed to have a free rein."
After the articles of impeachment were tabled with the support of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.), Trump celebrated the vote during his rally Wednesday night, just before his supporters erupted in racist "Send her back" chants against Omar.
The president made it a point to thank the Democrats who joined the House GOP to kill the resolution.
"Many of them voted for us," Trump said. "The vote was a totally lopsided 332 to 95 to 1."