Tuesday Afternoon Open Thread

This sad bag illustrates the depth of my interest in current news stories:

bag-o-fucks

I’m just trying to get through the workday, nursing an injury I sustained over the weekend — an injury so embarrassing that even Cole would blush to share such a thing. Don’t even ask, man.

Okay, okay: I semi-crashed a scooter (not a Rascal — like a Vespa, only made in China) while taking evasive maneuvers to avoid an attacking Yorkie. I’ll never live it down.

Open thread!






146 replies
  1. 1
    Chris says:

    Dogs chasing me when on a bicycle are such a pain in the ass. One day, they’re going to get run the fuck right over, and then I’m going to feel terrible, and yet “WHY THE FUCK DID YOU HAVE TO RUN UP TO THIS MOVING VEHICLE?”

  2. 2
    Germy Shoemangler says:

    Things are not so great here. First, I don’t understand republicans’ reaction to Trump’s announcement:

    “Sadly, the American dream is dead,” Trump said. “But if I get elected president, I will bring it back bigger and better and stronger than ever before, and we will make America great again.”

    It was a speech that drew immediate scorn online from a series of Republicans, who fear Trump will turn an otherwise serious Republican primary contest into a circus.

    “I just apologized to my toddler for bringing him up in a country where Donald Trump runs for Prez, gets better than 2% in the polls,” veteran Republican strategist Liz Mair tweeted.

    Republican operative Brendan Buck, who previously worked on Mitt Romney’s presidential campaign and now works for Rep. Paul Ryan, tweeted: “Who do I blame for Trump running for president. Whose fault is this?”

    Isn’t that somewhat like my cat leaving poop outside her litterbox, and then pointing to it and asking “Whose fault is this?”

    Speaking of the cat, she’s got fleas. She’s an indoor girl, never sets foot outside, no desire to, prefers to harass neighborhood squirrels and birds from the comfort of her window sill, and she’s scratching like an alley cat. I combed her and found tiny black dots (dried blood?) and she’s been grooming excessively.

    Bought a topical flea treatment. One dose to the back of the neck, good for six weeks. I made sure to put it up high behind her head, so she couldn’t reach it. After the dosage, she twisted her head around like Linda Blair and licked close to the application area.

  3. 3
    catclub says:

    The Congress wants to make it easier to get arms directly to the Kurds. Present law is that it has to go through the central Iraqi government. The admin is not strongly in favor of dropping this requirement, but is kind of wishy-washy on it.

    I just wonder how Obama sells the Turks on more arms for the Kurds. They hate them.

    link1: http://www.bloombergview.com/a.....aq-s-kurds

    versus link 2: http://www.juancole.com/2015/0.....ainst.html

  4. 4
    Betty Cracker says:

    @Chris: Exactly! Even my crappy little scooter is faster than a Yorkie, but it came angling toward my front wheel from a forward position. My hubby was all, “You should have just run the son of a bitch over!” But it wasn’t a conscious decision — I just registered a shape flying at my front wheel at speed and swerved on a road with a crappy surface. Boom.

  5. 5
    catclub says:

    @Germy Shoemangler:

    Speaking of the cat, she’s got fleas. She’s an indoor girl, never sets foot outside,

    ours are similar. never _outside_, but they love to be in the garage – and we let them. I think leaves and dirt in the garage are the vector.

  6. 6
    sharl says:

    taking evasive maneuvers to avoid an attacking Yorkie

    On the bright side, at least it wasn’t a Cuban tree frog this time! Viva la variété!

  7. 7
    catclub says:

    @Betty Cracker:

    I just registered a shape flying at my front wheel at speed and swerved on a road with a crappy surface. Boom.

    The thing I tell myself whenever I see a bee, and I am on my bike, is “Don’t wreck when it goes in your helmet.”
    The temptation to get busy swatting at bees is high.

  8. 8
    Rosalita says:

    Betty, what about the douchebag owner who let their dog loose to begin with? Humans…

  9. 9
    Sourmash says:

    Teh DONALD!!! See, one exclamation point isn’t good enough for him… The speech ending his campaign will be among the greatest spectacles of all time, putting Dick “You won’t have Nixon to kick around anymore…” to shame. If Nixon could feel shame, which, like DONALD!!!, he couldn’t.

  10. 10
    raven says:

    Worse than slicing my ulnar nerve and requiring surgery to patch it up? I don’t think so. . . .

  11. 11
    max says:

    Okay, okay: I semi-crashed a scooter (not a Rascal — like a Vespa, only made in China) while taking evasive maneuvers to avoid an attacking Yorkie.

    The parenthetical doesn’t make a lot of sense. Not a Rascal, not a Vespa, but made in China? Not a Rascal, like a Vespa, but made in China? Not a Rascal, not a Vespa, not made in China?

    an injury so embarrassing that even Cole would blush to share such a thing.

    Bah. Cole thought he destroyed his shoulder when he fell down from stepping off a curb. If you’re using a vehicle, you need a whole ‘nother level of goofy to match Cole.

    max
    [‘For example you could be sitting on your scooter in the driveway, not moving, and just fall over and break something.’]

  12. 12
    MattF says:

    @Germy Shoemangler: I think ‘Catpoop!’ should be Trump’s nym. He brings a lack of dignity to the whole process that’s just very unique.

  13. 13
    Suzanne says:

    I am home sick today from work. I feel like someone has my throat in a vice.

  14. 14
    Germy Shoemangler says:

    @MattF: I found this interesting comment on another blog by someone called PrestonSturges:

    A few things about Trump stand out as a classic narcissist::

    Raised by a wealthy family
    Bad temper
    Reckless
    Vanity
    Public cruelty (“You’re fired”)
    Endless need for being the center of attention
    Envy, wants thing they can’t have deserve (wants to be president)
    String of trophy wives (narcissists abandon others)
    Accusations, but lack of self awareness or empathy makes the accusations sound stupid (Birther)
    General disconnect from reality and others make people ask “Is this guy stupid or something?”

    The best other example is John McCain, who just won’t get off your tv. Mitt Romney seems like he has strong narcissistic traits with a dose of neurosis, Palin is a narcissist/histrionic personality disorder, Michelle Bachmann is narcissist/sexual hysteric maybe, and someone suggested Glenn Beck is a narcissist with schizoaffective disorder. For the Democrats see Anthony Wiener and John Edwards.

    Notice that the GOP is obsessed with the idea that Obama is narcissist?

  15. 15
    RSA says:

    @max:

    The parenthetical doesn’t make a lot of sense.

    I got “Not a scooter-for-olds but a Chinese knock-off of a Vespa.”

  16. 16
    trollhattan says:

    @catclub:
    Turkey: Worstest Ally Evah.

  17. 17
    Gindy51 says:

    @Germy Shoemangler: Here’s a good site for offing fleas:
    https://insects.tamu.edu/extension/publications/epubs/e-433.cfm
    Here are the top treatments, now make sure the treatment you pick works in your area. Frontline does not in SE IN where I live.
    http://www.consumersearch.com/flea-control
    We use K9 Advantix II on our dogs, Not for cats but they do make one for them.

  18. 18

    Okay, okay: I semi-crashed a scooter (not a Rascal — like a Vespa, only made in China) while taking evasive maneuvers to avoid an attacking Yorkie.

    Could be worse. My former boss broke his hip wiping out on a Razor scooter just outside the front door to our building. He tried to turn a corner on wet pavement, the scooter slipped out from under him, and he fell on his hip. What a 60+ year old was doing riding a Razor scooter to work is a whole other story.

  19. 19
    raven says:

    Let me tell you my dog bite on a bike story. Shortly before the 96 Olympics I was in grad school and living with my now bride. I rode my bike to classes daily and, one morning, I rode past a German Shepherd that was on a lawn just a few houses down. I looked at him and turned my head to the from and he ran around the bike and bit me on the leg. I was hot, went home, called animal control and go no action. I ran into a neighbor and the dude said “you are about the 3rd person that dog has bitten”! So I’m really pissed. I walk up to the door and bang. College boy comes to the door and I jumped ugly on his ass, “motherfucker your dog bit me and I’m not the most one” I’m not taking this shit”! The dude looks tav me and breaks into tears “It’s not my dog, it’s my roommate’s AND, my best friend was just killed in the Valu Jet crash in the Everglades”! I could have crawled under a rock. This is one reason I am reluctant to jump on my contractor!

  20. 20
    Germy Shoemangler says:

    @Gindy51: Thank you!

  21. 21
    piratedan says:

    with Trump declaring that will give the Media a new shiny and something new, yet old to play with.

    I await the baited breath updates from The Village who will take this man of commerce seriously…. while he talks about a gun on every table and sending a PI to find the PI who has the Birth Certificate scoop…..

  22. 22
    trollhattan says:

    @RSA:
    Yup, two wheels and gas engine, not three wheels and an electric motor..

    And on that topic, when did it become possible to spend nearly ten grand on a Vespa? I never got that memo.

  23. 23
    shell says:

    As Charlie Pierce said about the Rachel Dolezal kerfuffle.
    “Things I Choose Not to Care About”

    But what’s with all the surprise with Trump? Isn’t he always running for President, even when it isn’t a campaign year?

  24. 24
    Punchy says:

    I semi-crashed a scooter

    THIS guy? Me has a sad.

  25. 25

    @Germy Shoemangler:

    Republicans, who fear Trump will turn an otherwise serious Republican primary contest into a circus.

    Have they looked at the rest of the gang running for the nomination? They should have raised their concerns about the seriousness of the primary contest several clowns ago.

  26. 26
    piratedan says:

    @trollhattan: I dunno, I would put Saudi Arabia up there as a counterpoint illustration

  27. 27
    jl says:

    @Sourmash: Awww, you beat me to it. Trump is in! And very good chance he will be among top ten for the prime time August debate cage match of death. Good times. Something to tell your grand kids you actually survived, yourself, in person.

    Not that anyone will notice him for a while, what with Trump in the race, but I can see why Jeb! gets all snide and impatient and grumpy when mean reporters ask him about his connections to Dub. It’s just not fair that they ask him about gossipy stuff instead of High Policy Issues.

    I mean, just because Jeb! has stuffed his staff with Dub’s foreign policy advisors, put Dub at the head of Jeb!’s own wingnut supply side magic BS economic growth institute, and is bragging about how he guided FL to DOW 36 K levels of economic miracle during Dub’s housing bubble, that doesn’t mean Dub is relevant in any way to what Jeb! plans to do as president, right?

  28. 28
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    I take it all back. There is a God after all and he has answered my prayers. Donald Trump in a debate…. I am so excited I am about to pee in my pants.

  29. 29
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @MattF: This is as good a place as any to drop Felix Salmon’s brilliant tweet in rejoinder to The Donald’s “net worth.”

  30. 30
    jl says:

    @Roger Moore: With Trump it will at least be the yoogist, biggest and classyist circus the world has ever seen. The RNC should thank Trump.

  31. 31
    Chris says:

    @Germy Shoemangler:

    Sadly, the American dream is dead

    Maybe instead of mourning the American Dream, we can finally admit that it’s not and never was a substitute for a proper social policy.

    @Betty Cracker:

    My hubby was all, “You should have just run the son of a bitch over!”

    Massive props to your husband for an entirely proper and applicable use of the term “son of a bitch.”

  32. 32
    Pogonip says:

    @max: With luck, she’ll fall on the vicious Yorkie and squash it.

  33. 33
    SuperHrefna says:

    Feel better, Betty! I’m stuck home keeping my leg elevated while the antibiotics get to work on cellulitis I caught from a bug bite. So fed up, just last month I had an abscess and now this. This year has been for the birds.

  34. 34
    Mandalay says:

    @catclub:

    I just wonder how Obama sells the Turks on more arms for the Kurds. They hate them.

    (Turkish) Kurds just got 13% of the vote in the election in Turkey last week, and the Turkish government isn’t in much of a position to tell Obama or the Kurds what to do right now.

    Almost everyone except ISIS, Iran and Israel is losing in the Middle East, but the Kurds are doing really well. As an aggressive opponent of ISIS, they’ll surely get their arms. The only question is whether we go through the charade of plausible deniability while arming them.

  35. 35
    Kropadope says:

    @Germy Shoemangler:

    It was a speech that drew immediate scorn online from a series of Republicans, who fear Trump will turn an otherwise serious Republican primary contest into a circus.

    My emphasis. I doubt it requires further explanation.

    @Betty Cracker:

    We used to have a turkey roaming freely around our town center. He was famous, named by the local business owners and talked about in the town newspaper. One day he attacked a motorcycle rider who was stopped in traffic. They wound up putting him down.

  36. 36
    Napoleon says:

    Betty, unless you were naked when you crashed that scooter Cole still has you beat.

  37. 37
    Germy Shoemangler says:

    @Kropadope: The motorcycle rider?

  38. 38
    jl says:

    @Germy Shoemangler: Nice typical thought from Ryan’s flunky on Trump entrance: what chump can take the blame? Surely ain’t me or the miserable vicious grifter swindle me or my buddies have made of a once great national political party.

  39. 39
    shell says:

    @SuperHrefna: Ugh. But at least you’re home. When my Mom had cellulitis her doctor insisted on the hospital and IV drugs.

  40. 40
    Chris says:

    @catclub:

    One of my cousins is in the Army, and last week we were just talking about this whole thing about ISIS taking the U.S. Army’s discarded armored cars and turning them into very effective kamikaze weapons… I pointed out that surely there’s armor piercing stuff that’s effective against these cars; he said that yes, there is (I forget what the name of the weapon was), but it was pretty much restricted to NATO countries, and the government is afraid of selling them in Iraq for fear that they’ll be used against us in a few years.

    At the rate at which weapons change hands in that part of the world, I can’t say I blame them; a surplus of American arms is, after all, how ISIS was able to come up with this tactic in the first place.

  41. 41
    Germy Shoemangler says:

    @Gindy51: I ran out this morning and bought a topical application. But the fine print says it only kills adult fleas. I should have gotten something that attacks eggs, larvae and everything else. It’s a half-hour drive to the nearest pet center, so I bought it at the nearby grocer. I’ll have to wait a month to apply something else.

    And I hope she didn’t ingest too much of the stuff when she turned her head 180º to lick herself.

  42. 42
    Chris says:

    @trollhattan:
    @piratedan:

    I’d put Israel up there as (at the very least) stiff competition for both.

  43. 43
    Kropadope says:

    @Germy Shoemangler: No, all personal pronouns refer to the turkey.

  44. 44
    Cervantes says:

    @max:

    The parenthetical doesn’t make a lot of sense.

    I see the ambiguity in your paraphrases but the original is clear enough, if only because the dash weighs more than a comma does:

    (not a Rascal — like a Vespa, only made in China)

    Not a Rascal; a Vespa, except Chinese [instead of Italian].

  45. 45
    RSA says:

    @trollhattan:

    And on that topic, when did it become possible to spend nearly ten grand on a Vespa?

    How funny. The top end of Vespa prices is about the same as the low end of, say, Harley Davidson prices.

  46. 46
    jl says:

    @trollhattan:

    ” Turkey: Worstest Ally Evah. ”

    If you mean ‘Turkey under Erdogan’, even that would be an exaggeration, but I could understand the feeling. But over all post WWII, no way that is true.

  47. 47

    @Chris:

    Massive props to your husband for an entirely proper and applicable use of the term “son of a bitch.”

    Only if he was certain the dog was male; otherwise it would be just a bitch, rather than a son of a bitch.

  48. 48
    SuperHrefna says:

    @shell: I know! I’m lucky. That’s why I’m being careful about following doctor’s orders, I don’t want this to get any worse. I was so surprised when I got my diagnosis, I associated cellulitis with cat bites, not bug bites! But here I am.

  49. 49
    different-church-lady says:

    Nope — you’re depressed over the game last night. Don’t try to hide it.

  50. 50
    Chris says:

    @Roger Moore:

    Hmm. You’re not wrong.

  51. 51
    Starfish says:

    @Germy Shoemangler: Be careful about this. Some cats have allergies and not fleas.

  52. 52
    SuperHrefna says:

    @Germy Shoemangler: have you got claw trimmers, a fine tooth comb, a plastic cup and a bottle of Dawn? First trim her claws, then comb her good and proper, then draw a deep blood temperature ( if it’s chilly out, if it’s hot she might like it cooler) bath. Carry her into the bathroom, shut the door, then pop her in. Be prepared to get soaked. And be prepared to chase her all over the bathroom. Keep putting her back in the bath, pour water over her with the cup and when she is ready lather her up with the Dawn. It really makes a fab kitty insecticide! We used it all the time when I worked at a shelter. Rinse her off well, dry her as much as she will let you, and then let her out to sulk for a while. Eventually she will lick herself completely dry and she will be prepared to accept your crawling offers of toys and treats as you make it up to her.

    Next month get her some Frontline Plus. It’s expensive, but it is worth it.

  53. 53
    NotMax says:

    One Trump?

    I bid two no Trump.

  54. 54
    chopper says:

    as a rider of actual vespas (the old kind), i’ve got a million injury stories but none involving a yorkie.

    mostly idiot drivers or gearbox seizes.

  55. 55
    chopper says:

    I semi-crashed a scooter

    that sounds like my friend who was hit by an actual semi while riding his scooter.

  56. 56
    Germy Shoemangler says:

    @SuperHrefna: Thanks for the advice. Here’s something I’m unsure of. I applied generic frontline (not plus; it doesn’t deal with eggs) and after doing some reading I see that I shouldn’t use pesticides in the house? Maybe I’m misunderstanding what I read.

    This morning I also bought two cans of rA!d flea spray for carpets.

    Because of her treatment is she now hyper-senstive to pesticides?

    Someone told me they put rubbing alcohol in a spray bottle and sprayed all their carpets because they didn’t want to deal with pesticides. Not sure how effective that really is.

  57. 57
    shell says:

    @Germy Shoemangler:

    her head 180º to lick herself.

    Exorcist kitty!

  58. 58
    SuperHrefna says:

    @Germy Shoemangler: I wouldn’t use pesticides in the house just because I wouldn’t want to breathe them in. And I wouldn’t want her to breathe them in either. If you spray your house for fleas can you both go stay somewhere else for a night? I’d be tempted just to do a really deep house clean and leave it at that, no raid.

  59. 59
    Germy Shoemangler says:

    @SuperHrefna: I’m tempted to vacuum and then just spray the vacuum. It’s bad enough us breathing that crap, but I’m comfortable with a pet walking on it, breathing it, laying on it, and then licking herself.

    And the label says you can spray it on pet bedding, but also says it’s not safe for pets! Did Donald Trump write the instructions?

  60. 60
    catclub says:

    @SuperHrefna: Sounds like an episode of “There will be blood”.

    I might try a tight towel wrap, but first I would say no way my cat is getting a bath from me.

  61. 61
    Germy Shoemangler says:

    @SuperHrefna:

    I wouldn’t use pesticides in the house just because I wouldn’t want to breathe them in.

    What’s your opinion of the alcohol/spray bottle solution?

  62. 62
    SuperHrefna says:

    @Germy Shoemangler: Rubbing alcohol makes me wheeze so I wouldn’t do that either! But that’s me. I should think she’d hate it thoug, cats have a much more sensitive sense of smell than we do.

  63. 63
    catclub says:

    @jl: I agree. Turkey was solid for us when we put missiles there. OTOH ….

    I would say Turkey was solid for us when they did NOT let us invade Iraq through their nation.

    In most cases (all those other nations that turn out to be not such good allies) we assume that our interests are their interests, and they often aren’t.

  64. 64
    Germy Shoemangler says:

    @catclub: Our cat is a sweet girl, a purr girl, bumps her head against my face, loves attention, loves to cuddle….

    But when i combed her with the fine tooth, she went into attack mode. Bite and scratch. She forgave, but she’ll never forget. And then later, when she saw me with the brush, she gave me a look and then walked away. I think I heard her curse under her breath.

    She’s a sweet thing, but she doesn’t take shit from no comb or brush.

    EDIT: I meant to say above I’m UNcomfortable with spraying pesticides in the house.

  65. 65
    Elizabelle says:

    TCM goes to the dogs today, and it’s a shame they’re not scheduling Dog Day Afternoon tonight to cap it off.

    Dog movies — lotsa Lassie — all day today. Lassie in Scotland now, and another Lassie flick (down a well, whatever) at 3:15 p. And then some good stuff.

    4:45 p has Goodbye My Lady, with a young boy (Brandon de Wilde) who finds an exotic dog — a Basenji — in the swamp. And then the owner shows up. Sidney Poitier in an early film (1956), and Perry Mason’s Paul Drake (William Hopper) is in there too. William Brennan’s the grandfather.

    Sniff.

    Then one I’ve not seen, but looks cool:

    6:30 p EDT It’s a Dog’s Life from 1955. With what looks like a bull terrier, pre Spuds McKenzie. Leonard Maltin gives it 2.5 stars. His blurb: “Film uses gimmick of having the canine star tell his life story from slums to luxury. Retitled: BAR SINISTER.” OK.

    8:00 p Souls at Sea. Gary Cooper and George Raft in movie about abolitionist who joins a slave ship crew to sabotage their mission. 1937. Be interesting to see how they handle it, and how they write the slaves’ roles …

  66. 66
    WaterGirl says:

    @Germy Shoemangler: CAPSTAR is awesome for dogs and cats. It’s a tiny little pill and it starts killing fleas within 30 minutes, with everything dead in 24 hours. As I recall, it can even be used in conjunction with other flea products because it works differently than the others.

    There was a summer, maybe 5-6 years ago, where Frontline just completely stopped working so I learned a lot more about this than I would have liked. CapStar saved me.

  67. 67
    jl says:

    @catclub:

    ” I would say Turkey was solid for us when they did NOT let us invade Iraq through their nation. ”

    Ha. I did not remember that episode, but I agree with you.

  68. 68
    Germy Shoemangler says:

    @WaterGirl: I’ve been reading a lot about weird counterfeits that show up on amazon and some pet stores. Counterfeit frontline and other flea products.

    The generic I bought is supposedly comparable to regular frontline… but who knows?

  69. 69
    Ryan says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: This is a Youuuuge boost to late night comedy for the next year!

  70. 70
    Joy in FL says:

    I’m sorry– I laughed at your non-detailed account of how you sustained your injury.

    I hope you feel better soon, and I loved the bag.

  71. 71
    pete says:

    Via Mr Benen:

    In an official press statement, DNC National Press Secretary Holly Shulman said this morning, “Today, Donald Trump became the second major Republican candidate to announce for president in two days. He adds some much-needed seriousness that has previously been lacking from the GOP field, and we look forward hearing more about his ideas for the nation.”

    Perfect. I would like to see her saying that with a straight face.

  72. 72
    cckids says:

    @OzarkHillbilly:

    There is a God after all and he has answered my prayers. Donald Trump in a debate

    YES!!! I want a camera trained on him at all times. His face the first time the moderator shuts him down for time . . . the GIFs will be priceless.

  73. 73
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    Some of you have been wondering how Jeb! came up with his campaign logo. Well…

    http://aboveaverage.com/wp-con.....-email.jpg

  74. 74
    Keith G says:

    This sad bag illustrates the depth of my interest in current news stories:

    Quite so:

    I am so GD tired of posts and news stories highlighting candidate character, personality, and/or skill issues. Enough!!

    There are more than enough real issues to be discussed such as H-1B visas, what real tax reform should look like, and what are the best craft ales – to list a few.

  75. 75
    Joy in FL says:

    @Germy Shoemangler: I remember years ago my three indoor cats got fleas. I finally figured out that a neighbor’s dog that I had petted for 10 seconds must have been the source, which means that the fleas went from neighbor dog to me to my cats.
    $60 (for 3 flea treatments and spray for the interior of the house) and a few days later, I once again was not getting bitten. Oh, and my sweet kitties were no longer scratching all the time.

  76. 76
    WaterGirl says:

    @Germy Shoemangler: Vacuum every single day for 35 days. As I recall, that’s how you get all the fleas through a whole cycle of life thing. Also, if your vacuum has a bag rather than a canister you can empty, go get yourself a new vacuum.

    The fleas can live in the vacuum cleaner bag, so you have to take the bag outside immediately after you vacuum. If you have the canister you can empty, just empty it into a plastic bag, tie it up, and put it in your outside trash immediately.

  77. 77
    Germy Shoemangler says:

    @Joy in FL: A happy ending. That’s what I like to hear.

  78. 78
    WaterGirl says:

    @Germy Shoemangler: It didn’t matter where I bought my Frontline PLUS, even through my vet – it had just stopped working. My vet stopped carrying it after that summer because I was not the only one it didn’t work for.

    Edit: But I would definitely get the CapStar through the vet.

  79. 79
    shell says:

    @Elizabelle: I HATE dog movies. Even if they end well, there’s way too much suffering along the way.

  80. 80
    Bobby B. says:

    It’s hard to care about news stories when Colbert isn’t around. Stewart just can’t carry the weight and he’s going too.

  81. 81
    Tommy says:

    @Keith G: Amen. There are many important things we could/should talk about but alas our main stream media doesn’t. Tax reform is a perfect example. We to invest in this nation. Some are going to have to pay more in taxes. We need to talk about that!

  82. 82
    Betty Cracker says:

    @WaterGirl: Second the Capstar rec — we had to resort to that one time to get a particularly bad infestation under control when our regular flea treatment for the mutts stopped working. Apparently you have to change it up from time to time, maybe because fleas develop an immunity? Or maybe we just got a bad batch? In any case, Capstar kilt the bugs and kept us from getting eaten up until the new stuff kicked in.

    @Keith G: Craft ales! I’m partial to the Founder’s Brewing Co. line lately. Also a big fan of Left Hand Brewing.

  83. 83
    Germy Shoemangler says:

    @shell:

    Exorcist kitty!

    “The power of Bastet compels you!”

  84. 84
    Knowbody says:

    Trump really is a pile of dogshit but at least he’s against the TPP.

    What does that say about Hillary and Obama?

  85. 85
    Tommy says:

    @Joy in FL: My indoor cat only had fleas once. The stuff I got at Wal-mart just didn’t work. Had to get Frontline from the vet. I was stunned how expensive it was but it did work.

  86. 86

    Last night in Missouri Karl Rove commented on the 2016 GOP presidential field and Donald Trump in particular:

    “…Or, in the case of Donald Trump, they’re complete idiots….”

    “…the third tier is gonna be mostly entertaining, except for that guy Trump who’s a complete moron…”

    MO Boys State: Karl Rove on the 2016 GOP presidential field and Donald Trump – June 15, 2015

    (video and transcript)

  87. 87
    WaterGirl says:

    @Germy Shoemangler: My vet actually used my kitties as a test case as they decided which products to offer when they ditched Frontline. They went with the one that finally got my flea situation under control. It was Vectra, as I recall.

  88. 88
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @Betty Cracker: If I recall correctly Mr. Cracker is an ex-Buffalonian. Southern Tier Brewing somewhere in the boonies southwest of there has been doing very good work for the last few years (if you discount that abhorrent crème brulee stout.)

  89. 89
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @Knowbody: Holy shit, you’re not content trolling only the Zandar threads? Don’t you have a fire to go die in?

  90. 90
    Germy Shoemangler says:

    Betty, here the suffragette who rode a scooter – 1916.
    http://mashable.com/2015/06/15.....e-scooter/

  91. 91
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Knowbody:

    Trump really is a pile of dogshit but at least he’s against the TPP.

    Whatever gave you that idea? Because he said it? Trump is against anything Obama is for.

  92. 92
    Elizabelle says:

    NY Times op ed today: The Other Terror Threat

    Despite what Fox News Channel and the right wing wurlitzer would have you believe:

    The main terrorist threat in the United States is not from violent Muslim extremists, but from right-wing extremists. Just ask the police.

    … An officer from a large metropolitan area said that “militias, neo-Nazis and sovereign citizens” are the biggest threat we face in regard to extremism. One officer explained that he ranked the right-wing threat higher because “it is an emerging threat that we don’t have as good of a grip on, even with our intelligence unit, as we do with the Al Shabab/Al Qaeda issue, which we have been dealing with for some time.” An officer on the West Coast explained that the “sovereign citizen” anti-government threat has “really taken off,” whereas terrorism by American Muslim is something “we just haven’t experienced yet.”

    … Since 9/11, most [terrorism attempts with Muslims involved] were disrupted, but the 20 plots that were carried out accounted for 50 fatalities over the past 13 and a half years.

    In contrast, right-wing extremists averaged 337 attacks per year in the decade after 9/11, causing a total of 254 fatalities, according to a study by … a professor at the United States Military Academy’s Combating Terrorism Center. The toll has increased since the study was released in 2012.

    Lots of links in the NYTimes story to various studies.

  93. 93
    Betty Cracker says:

    @Gin & Tonic: The mister is, regrettably, a Bud man — he was weaned on Genny! He’ll have a craft beer if I make it or on other rare occasions. But my sister and I frequently enjoy Southern Tier. I like their Tangier IPA.

  94. 94
    Elizabelle says:

    @shell: Yeah, seeing a dog in a movie gets me worried whether it survives to the end.

    My guess is they added a clip to “The War Between the Tates” (edit: had Roses!) because it was pretty much implied she turned a dog into pate, if memory serves. May not have tested well with audiences. Cruelty between spouses: meh.

  95. 95
    srv says:

    There will be order:

    House GOP leaders booted three members off the whip team for voting against a procedural rule that structured how a critical trade package was brought to the House floor last week.

    Majority Whip Steve Scalise (R-La.) informed Reps. Cynthia Lummis (Wyo.), Steve Pearce (N.M.) and Trent Franks (Ariz.) on Monday that they were no longer a part of the GOP’s vote-counting operation, a source close to the whip team confirmed.

    Rep. Raúl Labrador (R-Idaho), who was among the 34 Republicans to vote against the rule last week, said Boehner hasn’t spoken to him about his vote. He accused GOP leaders of catering too much to Democrats at the expense of losing support from conservatives.

    “This is the second or third time that they negotiated with Democrats and then Democrats go back on their word. And they still don’t come to the conservatives,” Labrador said at an event hosted by the Heritage Foundation Tuesday morning. “We can help them with this process.”

    Americans only hope is butthurt tea-partiers.

  96. 96
    Chris says:

    @Elizabelle:

    And those kinds of threats and attacks started going up after 2008, too.

    ETA:

    it is an emerging threat that we don’t have as good of a grip on, even with our intelligence unit, as we do with the Al Shabab/Al Qaeda issue, which we have been dealing with for some time.

    I wonder to what extent that’s simply the fact that it’s difficult to even broach this topic without igniting a firestorm of right wing butthurt in Congress, the media, and elsewhere. IIRC Clinton had a bitch of a time getting some anti-terrorist laws through even when they weren’t aimed at the militia movement, because so many NRA types were simply outraged that it might one day be turned against good God-fearing red-blooded Real Americans.

  97. 97
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @Betty Cracker: For cheap beer, Genny Cream isn’t terrible.

  98. 98
    Knowbody says:

    @Gin & Tonic: The truth hurts I guess.

  99. 99
    Joy in FL says:

    @Germy Shoemangler:
    speaking of generics and anti-flea products at the grocery– I just remembered that I had put Adam’s Flea spray on my sweet Arthur (not one of the cats in my earlier post) and bathed him in their shampoo when the dog brought fleas into the house. (That dog was 4 years old before my yard got fleas and I had to start flea treatment.) Arthur did not take the Adam’s product well, but money was tight and I hadn’t wanted to finance the real stuff at the vet. (At the time, I kept that dog up-to-date on shots, but had not done the same for the inside cat, so to get flea treatment for him from my vet required an exam and shots $$$$– lesson learned.)
    Anyway, the point– I finally ended up at the vet with him because he just did not feel good after the Adam’s flea products. They told me that Adam’s was really bad stuff and actually could cause nerve damage in pets.
    So avoid Adam’s– it’s in blue plastic containers last time I looked.
    and just so you know, Arthur got rid of his fleas and was ok.

  100. 100
    Knowbody says:

    @srv: It’s certainly not Obama and the fucking Democrats.

  101. 101
    Tommy says:

    @srv: Clearly I am a liberal but I will say this about the Republicans. They tend to demand order. I am not totally sure I want my party to do the same but there is something to be said for being able to whip votes and demand party loyalty.

  102. 102
    Iowa Old Lady says:

    @pete: @Germy Shoemangler: Both these posts made me LOL sitting here all alone in my office. Trump brings the funny!

  103. 103
    Betty Cracker says:

    @Germy Shoemangler: LOVE that photo!

  104. 104
    Elizabelle says:

    Got the movie’s name wrong.

    It’s The War of the Roses, with Kathleen Turner and Michael Douglas. My bad.

    And it does have the dog as pate scene. That, acrimony, and someone hanging from a chandelier is about all I remember by now …

  105. 105
    Betty Cracker says:

    @Gin & Tonic: True — I’m fond of Genny Cream and not ashamed of it! Bud Light, though — ugh. Though I consider it a step up from Coors Light.

  106. 106
    Elizabelle says:

    @Chris: Always wonder how much some of the rightwing outrage is squid ink. “Hey — don’t look too closely here. Look at that Muslim instead.”

    My guess is the police being sometimes out of control because they are not responding well to threats (perceived or real) against themselves and public order — they’re on the front lines of a society awash with guns in the wrong hands — is going to be what brings us some sensible gun control.

  107. 107
    Knowbody says:

    Trump is less of an asshole than Zandar a man who believes this piece of shit from the Sunday Times is credible in any way.

  108. 108
    raven says:

    Banhammer in aisle 107 please.

  109. 109
    sharl says:

    Simon Maloy @SimonMaloy
    haha what the hell Issa escorted out of Benghazi deposition

    Rep. Darrel Issa (R-Calif.) apparently tried to crash former Hillary Clinton adviser Sidney Blumenthal’s deposition before the House Select Committee on Benghazi on Tuesday.

    Issa marched into the closed-door deposition and remained inside for about a minute before he was escorted out by the panel’s chairman, Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-S.C.).

    The pair briefly exchanged hushed words in a nearby hallway before Issa stormed off, throwing an empty soda can into a nearby trash bin.

    Gowdy returned to the private session.

    “Sorry about that,” he said as he went back into the interview…

  110. 110
    James E Powell says:

    @Knowbody:

    Jeez! Show us on the doll where Zandar touched you.

  111. 111
    Iowa Old Lady says:

    @sharl: OMG, this thread is full of entertainment.

    I was just think about Issa and Gowdy today. (I know. It’s odd)

    I’m reading this book about Gettysburg and afterward there were congressional hearings about the conduct of the battle, mostly intended to smear Meade. Witnesses lied like rugs. Some of them came close to accusing Meade of treason. The guy in charge of the hearings (ie, Issa/Gowdy of his day) has political issues that meant he wanted Meade gone too. Apparently nothing changes.

  112. 112
    rikyrah says:

    Allan Brauer @allanbrauer
    Sen. Bernie Sanders Wants You People of Color to Know Your Issues Aren’t Important. http://www.tinyurl.com/l54fgpg
    12:28 PM – 16 Jun 2015

  113. 113
    Amir Khalid says:

    @Elizabelle:
    You don’t remember the house being partitioned into His and Hers zones? The running over of her cat which led to his dog being made into paté? God, The War Of The Roses is one of the most delightfully nasty comedies ever made.

  114. 114
    Emma says:

    @Knowbody: Nope. He’s still not interested.

  115. 115
    boatboy_srq says:

    @sharl:

    The pair briefly exchanged hushed words in a nearby hallway before Issa stormed off, throwing an empty soda can into a nearby trash bin.

    Recycled wingnut fauxscandal, yes; recycled can, no. Figures.

  116. 116
    boatboy_srq says:

    @Elizabelle: That’s not terrorism: that’s merely Patriotic Hetero Caucasian Xtian Real Ahmurrcans™ exercising their God-given Constitutional Rights. /wingnut

  117. 117
    Kerry Reid says:

    Betty: No shame in being taken down by a Yorkie. Now if it were a POMERANIAN…

  118. 118
    sharl says:

    @rikyrah: Hmmm. Pulled from what I think is the relevant bit in Allan’s link:

    …INSKEEP: When you say the working class, are you thinking about the white working class specifically?

    SANDERS: I’m thinking about the working class in general. When you talk about unemployment, do you know what real unemployment is? In counting those people who have given up for looking for work and are working part-time, when they want to work full-time. For African-American kids, it is 30 percent. Who is fighting for these folks?

    INSKEEP: Here’s why I ask about the white working class. Of course, President Obama has assembled a coalition that depends heavily on minority voters. You have argued in the past that Democrats are losing too much of the white vote. There were states in Senate races in November where Democrats couldn’t even get 25 percent of the white vote.

    SANDERS: That’s correct.

    INSKEEP: Why have you been focusing on that?

    SANDERS: Well, I am focusing on the fact that, whether you’re white or black or Hispanic or Asian, if you are in the working class, you are struggling to keep your heads above water. You’re worried about your kids. What should the Democratic Party talking about, Steve? What they should be talking about is a massive federal jobs program. There was once a time when our nation’s infrastructure – roads, bridges, water systems, rail – were the envy of the world. Today, that’s no longer the case.

    INSKEEP: Haven’t Democrats been raising some of these issues…

    SANDERS: Yes.

    INSKEEP: …And weren’t they raising them in the election that they just lost?

    SANDERS: Some candidates did raise some of these issues. But I don’t think you see the kind of forceful development of this idea and forceful need to raise the issue about job creation that we should be talking about. I would say, if you go out on the street and you talk to people and say, which is the party of the American working pass – class – people would look to you like you’re a little bit crazy. They wouldn’t know what you’re talking about, and they certainly wouldn’t identify the Democrats.

    INSKEEP: Help me understand what’s going on here though because you have mentioned the white vote in the past. The African-American working class has been voting for Democrats. If you looked at single women, who were often working class…

    SANDERS: You’re going into this – Steve, you’re going into this demographic stuff, which I reject. That’s not my cup of tea.

    INSKEEP: Although, you talked about it.

    SANDERS: Yes. Well, here’s what you got. What you got is an African-American president. And the African-American community is very, very proud that this country has overcome racism and voted for him for president. And that’s kind of natural. You got a situation where the Republican Party has been strongly anti-immigration. And you’ve got a Hispanic community, which is looking to the Democrats for help. But that’s not important. You should not be basing your politics based on your color. What you should be basing your politics on is, how is your family doing?

    And your point is well taken. In the last election, in state after state, you had an abysmally low vote for the Democrats among white, working-class people. And I think the reason for that is that the Democrats have not made it clear that they are prepared to stand with the working people of this country, take on the big money interest. I think the key issue that we have to focus on – I know people are uncomfortable about talking about it – is the role of the billionaire class in American society…

    I’m gonna ask – and this is an honest question – is Sanders really dissing/dismissing black folks here? Or is he trying – perhaps clumsily/inarticulately – to aim for being more inclusive of working class people, specifically working class white folks who have become hostile to the Democratic party?

    If the latter, he may be showing the cluelessness one might expect from a white man from an overwhelmingly white state regarding the strong and deeply rooted racism in the white working class [fwiw, lots of poor whites in Vermont, outside of the resort-ish areas to which the wealthy people from Boston retired]. Unless Bernie has a plan to convince white working class folks that their problems are also those of working class POCs – and good luck with that* – he may well be hopelessly naive. But I wouldn’t call it a case of maliciousness, or even insensitivity.

    *Jesse Jackson actually won plaudits among Appalachian whites way back when – 1988 Dem. primary, I think – with such a message. But the well has been poisoned so badly in the ensuing years that I doubt we could get back to that place without a huge effort. That effort would be worth it, but there is no doubt it would be fought along the way by a hostile political system and a media which is indifferent on its best days, but otherwise usually just as hostile.

  119. 119
    Chris says:

    @rikyrah:

    WOW. Just wow!

    Yes, this country has overcome racism…and blacks only vote for Obama because he’s black… and Hispanics only vote for Democrats because immigration… and now let’s waggle our finger very sternly at all these people for basing their politics on their skin color.

    And it’s SUCH A WONDER white socialists can’t get elected.

  120. 120
    Knowbody says:

    @sharl: no more insensitive than Joe Biden was during the 2008 campaign.

    See here’s the deal Rikyrah, as much as you hate Hillary why the hell would you prefer her to Bernie Sanders?

    Oh, and the TPP is officially dead as of this afternoon.

    Fuck Obama. I’m done with these shitty Republican lite corporate Democrats. Pray Bernie Sanders gets the nomination over Hillary.

  121. 121
    catclub says:

    House comes up with rule for reconsideration of disastrous TAA vote that gives Boehner until July 30 to bring it back up, if that’s the strategy he and Obama agree upon for advancing fast-track.

    So Boehner wants it, but cannot come up with a majority from his own party to vote for it.

  122. 122
    bluefoot says:

    @WaterGirl: Someone once told me that if you have a vacuum with a bag, put a flea collar in the bag. That is supposed to kill the fleas that are sucked up by the vacuum. I’ve never had to try it, so I don’t know if it works or not.

  123. 123
    Betty Cracker says:

    @sharl:

    I’m gonna ask – and this is an honest question – is Sanders really dissing/dismissing black folks here? Or is he trying – perhaps clumsily/inarticulately – to aim for being more inclusive of working class people, specifically working class white folks who have become hostile to the Democratic party?

    I’m convinced it’s the latter, and yeah, it was clumsy and inarticulate as hell. I can certainly understand why it offends people.

    It’s so hard to discuss because there really aren’t special “white working class” issues that politicians can (or should, anyway) address in the same way that there are minority issues that need to be addressed. Any legit “working class” issues, such as wage stagnation, healthcare access, trade policy, etc., apply equally to all working class people, don’t they? And then there are issues that affect minorities only, such as redlining, discrimination, etc.

  124. 124
    WaterGirl says:

    @bluefoot: I think it does work, except that I am allergic to something that is in the flea collars and flea soaps, so I can’t do anything like that.

  125. 125
    Cervantes says:

    @Betty Cracker:

    I’m convinced it’s the latter

    Same here, for what it’s worth.

  126. 126
    WaterGirl says:

    Sometimes we seem to look for the gotchas on our own side instead of focusing on all the things we share in common. It also seems like when we do that we are shooting ourselves in the foot.

  127. 127
    Chris says:

    @sharl:
    @Betty Cracker:

    I agree completely that it’s the latter – no, he’s not deliberately dissing black folks, he’s just completely tone-deaf. I’ve never been to Vermont or thought much about its racial makeup, but now that you mention that it’s a very, very white state, that explains a lot.

    And yeah, I can certainly understand why it offends people, because it’s offensive – and just plain wrong. Racism has not been overcome in this country. White flight, war on drugs, massively disproportional incarceration, out of control police departments, you name it – we’re still swimming in racism. Black people did not vote for Obama simply because he’s black; they were just as overwhelmingly supportive of white Democratic candidates. And Hispanics don’t vote for Obama simply because of immigration issues. And dismissing all their problems as “that’s not important” is something nonwhite voters damn well should take offense at.

    For a guy who takes pride in being so far outside the mainstream, Bernie Sanders buys into some quality bullshit Beltway/Village conventional wisdom. Namely, the idea that It’s All About The White Working Class; the idea that Democrats in their elitist ways have sinned greatly in offending the White Working Class and just have to try harder to convince them they’re on their side; and the idea that black and Hispanic nationalism are any kind of a major issue in preventing the emergence of a working class coalition.

  128. 128
    WaterGirl says:

    @Chris: I don’t see what he said in the same way at all. I think they were trying to play gotcha and get him to slice and dice and talk about black people and hispanics and whites when his goal is to make things better for everybody. I felt like he was trying to keep from pitting different demographic groups against each other.

  129. 129
    jl says:

    @Chris:

    ” and blacks only vote for Obama because he’s black… and Hispanics only vote for Democrats because immigration… ”

    Where did Sanders say that? Especially, where did he say that blacks only vote for Obama because he is black?

    I admit that Sanders handled these issues clumsily. It certainly comes too close to clueless stuff Webb was saying. But asserting that Sanders said blacks voted for Obama only because he is black is in my opinion patently reading your own biases into what he said.

    If people view building coalitions as a zero sum game, so that every bit focus given to working class in general, or say, white rural poverty, is at the expense of an exactly equal focus lost to blacks and Hispanics, then you will not be building a robust long standing winning coalition for anything.

    I think HRC’s and Sander’s stands on a broad progressive platform of action is what is important, certainly more important than people reading their preconceptions into every turn of phrase in a single interview.

    I think Sander’s needs to, for example, have a strong position on polices to restore voting rights, and criminal justice system reform that explicitly take racial/ethnic minority rights into account. If he does not, then in my view he will be veering into Webb and Nader territory, and I won’t give him any more money, it will go to HRC. That is more important to me than jumping to conclusions about his platform based on what he said in this interview.

  130. 130
    jl says:

    @Chris:

    ” Namely, the idea that It’s All About The White Working Class; ”

    Sanders did not say that either. Did he not say it was about working class issues of all racial/ethnic groups, and specifically name them?

    You are imputing to Sanders words that he did not say, and thoughts and attitudes that he did not indicate or suggest at all.

  131. 131
    WaterGirl says:

    Steve Benen:

    To the Senate GOP’s credit, most of the Republicans in the chamber voted against torture. It was, however, quite close – of the 54 GOP senators, 32 vote for the bipartisan policy, 21 voted against it, while Marco Rubio skipped the vote altogether.

    Wow, if you don’t know whether you’re against torture or you’re not willing to take a public stand on torture, you are clearly unfit to even run for the presidency, let alone be the president.

  132. 132
    Chris says:

    @jl:

    INSKEEP: Help me understand what’s going on here though because you have mentioned the white vote in the past. The African-American working class has been voting for Democrats. If you looked at single women, who were often working class…

    SANDERS: You’re going into this – Steve, you’re going into this demographic stuff, which I reject. That’s not my cup of tea.

    INSKEEP: Although, you talked about it.

    SANDERS: Yes. Well, here’s what you got. What you got is an African-American president. And the African-American community is very, very proud that this country has overcome racism and voted for him for president. And that’s kind of natural. You got a situation where the Republican Party has been strongly anti-immigration. And you’ve got a Hispanic community, which is looking to the Democrats for help. But that’s not important. You should not be basing your politics based on your color. What you should be basing your politics on is, how is your family doing?

    Okay, more nuanced version: he’s saying that black people are turning out to vote because they’re proud of the country for overcoming racism and electing an African-American president. But that kind of comes back to the same notion – that it’s all about Obama’s skin color. Ignoring the role of, for example, all the economic issues that Sanders talks about in turning out the black vote (which was hit especially hard by the Great Recession).

  133. 133
    Betty Cracker says:

    @Chris:

    And yeah, I can certainly understand why it offends people, because it’s offensive – and just plain wrong.

    You’re right. The way I worded it above was akin to one of those “sorry if anyone was offended” non-apologies.

  134. 134
    Chris says:

    @WaterGirl:

    They may very well have been playing gotcha, but it was pointed out to him that the black working class was voting very strongly for Democrats – and the explanation, according to him, had to do with Obama’s election overcoming racism. He then made a similar observation about the Hispanic community, and followed up by saying “but you shouldn’t be basing your politics based on your color.”

    What exactly are we supposed to read into that?

    @jl:

    Sanders did not say that either. Did he not say it was about working class issues of all racial/ethnic groups, and specifically name them?

    Yes. And then, it was pointed out to him that there were plenty of working class demographics turning out for Democrats, he responded, well, yes, but “in state after state, you had an abysmally low vote for the Democrats among white, working-class people” – and then attributed this simply to the Democratic Party refusing to make it clear to them that it’s on their side.

    People have been talking about Obama’s “working class problem” when they really mean “white working class problem” for his entire presidency – I don’t see how this is different.

  135. 135
    Chris says:

    @Betty Cracker:

    Oh, I wasn’t blaming you. Just building off of you. I think we’re on the same page there. Sorry if that was unclear.

  136. 136
    jl says:

    @Chris:

    Thanks for your more nuanced view. I still think you are so eager to put your stereotype of the progressive white ‘socialist’ into Sanders’ mouth that you are over interpreting what he said.

    Focusing one things that can be characterized as ‘only about skin color’ are fine as long as they concern issues you want emphasized, but not so fine when Sanders discusses the pride the African-American community has in electing a first, and it turned out, first-rate African-American president. Your over interpretation of what Sander’s meant simply does not work, since it is hard to see how Sanders could think that African-Americans have been voting for Democrats for years and years because of Obama’s skin color (Obama was elected only eight years ago).

    I will now demonstrate that Sanders is a Ryan style libertarian in disguise. Sanders said

    ” In counting those people who have given up for looking for work and are working part-time, when they want to work full-time. For African-American kids, it is 30 percent. Who is fighting for these folks? ”

    Well, hell, Ryan and Paul use the same line. QED.

    I think you need to calm down and see how both HRC’s and Sander’s specific policy proposals develop over their campaigns rather than trying to divine the inner thoughts of Sanders from one interview.

  137. 137
    jl says:

    @Chris: Sure, many ‘people’ mean that. I personally think Webb means that. They can be used as code words. Question here is does Sanders use them as code words? Right now, I take his language that explicitly recognizes working class concerns of all races and ethnic groups as indication that he is not using ‘working class’ as a code word for catering to white bigots.

    I’ll see how his language and specific policy proposals and emphasis develop and make up my mind whether to continue contributing to his campaign.

  138. 138
    Chris says:

    @jl:

    I am not overinterpreting him. I am quoting his explanation of why the black working class turned out for Obama in overwhelming numbers… and disagreeing with it. “It is hard to see how Sanders could think…” Sanders didn’t offer an explanation for why black people turned out for Democrats before Obama. He simply ignored the issue altogether.

  139. 139
    Chris says:

    @jl:

    I don’t think “working class” is a “code word” for white working class – sometimes it is, but oftentimes I don’t think so (for Sanders, and also for a lot of these “many people”). It’s more of an assumption that runs through our entire political discourse, even if not for everyone. People say words like “labor,” “union,” “blue collar” and “working class” and still picture the mid-20th century Irish or Polish dock worker or assembly line worker with the picture of JFK on the mantelpiece. Thus, when you interview these guys or their children and hear a lot of equivocation and skepticism and even Republican agitprop, it’s assumed (and the MSM repeats this far and wide) that Obama has a “working class problem,” ignoring the fact that the working class has changed and that these guys aren’t the majority of it anymore and haven’t been in a long time. Black people and Hispanics, meanwhile, are still considered a single voting bloc defined by a few issues which usually aren’t economic (civil rights for blacks, immigration for Hispanics).

    Often, this isn’t deliberate dog-whistling, it’s unconscious assumptions picked up by osmosis.

    I don’t think Sanders is in any way trying to whistle up racially tinged code words – like I said, if there’s a sin I think it’s tone deafness, not malice. I think what he’s saying sounds very much like the bog-standard MSM discourse on economic/racial issues (“the Democrats have a working class problem, and to illustrate this, we’re going to talk about the white working class”). I choose to interpret this as his being a victim of conventional wisdom in some measure, at least on this, not as his actively courting racists. It doesn’t mean he’s a bad person, it certainly doesn’t mean he can’t improve, but he does need to do better on this.

  140. 140
    jl says:

    @Chris:

    Thanks for your explanation.

    ” it certainly doesn’t mean he can’t improve, but he does need to do better on this. ”

    I agree. What really bothered me about the interview was Sanders saying the topic was not his ‘cup of tea’. I think that is a good example of the unconscious framing common among even well intentioned people who belong to powerful groups. (Edit: in this case, an insight into how Sanders frames problems of racial and ethnic bias in his own mind. I did find that statement from him flip and can see how people would be severely, really severely, put off by it)

    He needs to do better if he wants to get many groups behind his proposals and take his candidacy seriously.

  141. 141
    Betty Cracker says:

    @Chris: Not at all — your comment just made me realize how crappily I’d worded mine above. ;-)

  142. 142
    sharl says:

    I appreciate folks contributing analysis on the Sanders thing. I still think he is a person of goodwill – until I have evidence to the contrary – but for the moment my preliminary conclusion is that he was extremely clumsy in this interview, and in a way that took him to the Red Zone as far as a number of reliable Democratic constituencies are concerned. He’s gotta realize he isn’t just talking to Vermonters anymore, and adjust his thinking and language accordingly.

    As a fellow White Privilege-haver, I have more than a passing familiarity with this affliction. If Sanders doesn’t have the right kind of people on staff to straighten him out on this kind of stuff, he’ll be in a heap o’ trouble.

  143. 143
    Chris says:

    @jl:

    Yeah, I agree.

    For what it’s worth, I think he already has and will continue to provide something valuable in this campaign, especially on economic issues (as long as he’s not talking about how they intersect with race). I hope he does learn, because I’d hate for those things to be the biggest splash to come out of his campaign.

    @sharl:

    The funny thing is, this kind of liberal-but-white-privilege-blind thing is (in my experience) especially common among two groups. First, obviously, the DLC crowd. (Which isn’t “liberal” so much as “moderate” on social issues). And second, the left wing student activist types who just happen to be white and male. It’s not the rule, exactly, but also not the exception for these guys to embrace some kind of philosophy in which it’s all about class, but then dismiss racially specific issues as “false identity” and “just the man keeping you divided…” which can lead them to the kind of conversation Sanders just had.

    I mean, I can relate to the latter. Or maybe I’m just projecting – actually, I probably am, at least partly. I’ve been there too. Hopefully, Sanders learns to diversify his “cups of tea;” many of us do, given time.

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    jl says:

    @sharl: Well, at least he is progress compared to Webb and Nader types. I guess Bernie contributors should send some emails or letters and see if something can get his attention on it.

    He needs to learn to like that cup of tea.
    As I said, if he shows no signs of understanding that economic and social inequality is not the cause and wellspring of all social ills, then that is a big problem, though it can be a huge source of exacerbation of underlying prejudice and bigotry. But racial/ethnic prejudice and bigotry is a free standing social problem that has to be recognized, and considered worthy of addressing in its own right.

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    Betty Cracker says:

    @Chris:

    “It’s not the rule, exactly, but also not the exception for these guys to embrace some kind of philosophy in which it’s all about class, but then dismiss racially specific issues as “false identity” and “just the man keeping you divided…”

    To complicate matters further, they aren’t wrong on the latter point — “the man” DOES totally leverage race to divide the working class.

    I come from white working class stock (bowling stock!) myself, and it amazes me how successful “the man” in the person of Rupert Murdoch, his on-air minions and pols have been in convincing white working class men that they’re victims of affirmative action quotas that favor minorities. Even though their own wives and daughters have benefited more than black men.

    If Bernie or anyone else has a viable plan to explode that myth, it could be a game-changer.

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    Kerry Reid says:

    @Chris: I was also struck by the fact that Sanders doesn’t seem to realize that “class issues” are ALSO discussed and analyzed exhaustively by feminists and activists within black, Latino, Asian, GLBTQ communities, etc. etc. Primarily because they often represent people who are disproportionately affected by class inequality exacerbated by racial and gender discrimination.

    And the “not my cup of tea” thing was tone-deaf in the extreme.

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