Open Thread: Say It Ain’t So, Joe

I like Joe Biden — it’s hard not to — but this, if true, is just terrible. (I refuse to buy a sub to the WSJ, so I can’t read the whole article, and am open to the idea that they’re trying to shiv Biden as the ‘most electable Dem’ to their readership.) Very few actions are less likely to attract Democratic voters in 2020 than being suspected of ‘talking to big donors’ in order to ensure ‘good finance optics’ in advance. Even for someone who isn’t already widely caricatured as ‘(D-MBNA)’.

It does reinforce my suspicion that Biden is less interested in actually running than he is in… doing what’s required / unable to give up going through the motions / out of touch with what 2020 Democratic voters, specifically women and people of color, want from a President. Better to rest on your laurels, Uncle Joe — don’t break your spirit and our hearts relitigating the Reagan era!

An almost equally tragic trial balloon:

There’s been a great many reports about Biden and Stacey Abrams meeting privately last week. Although doing so would certainly attract a lot of ‘earned media’ (as the Village Idiot pundits prefer to refer to free media, since they are in every sense professionals), at least 75% of it would be derisory — and that’s not even counting Twitter snark. Frankly, I respect Abrams too much to think she’d fall for so cheap an attention grab.

Now, Beto O’Rourke, on the other hand — I think he’s the guy Biden’s backers had in mind in the first place. And I think he’s perfectly capable of saying, off the cuff at some coffeehouse rally, that he’d gladly accept Biden’s offer to serve in a Beto administration just as he did for President Obama. And wouldn’t *that* just set the horserace-tout media to squawking about Dems in disarray

139 replies
  1. 1
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    Oh Joe 😢

  2. 2
    NotMax says:

    Go, Joe, go.

    Really. Just go.

  3. 3
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    I loved him so much as Obama’s feisty VEEP, as Kindly, Wacky Uncle Joe. But he is setting himself up fo ignominious humiliation. Don’t do it, Joe.

  4. 4
    David 🎅🎄Merry Christmas🎄🎅 Koch says:

    Biden/Trans Am 2020.

  5. 5
    ronp says:

    He is so old. Thank you for your service Joe, but please stay retired.

  6. 6
    debbie says:

    I hate to pile on, but this is a disappointment.

  7. 7
    rikyrah says:

    Please don’t run😒

  8. 8
    mrmoshpotato says:

    Go, Joe, go.

    Really. Just go.

    +1

  9. 9
    Amir Khalid says:

    I’m not sure why Biden, whose two previous presidential campaigns didn’t get very far, would think he can do it this time. Yes, he won as Obama’s running mate, but on his own he never even made it to the top of the ticket. Does he feel he owes it to the memory of his son, who from his deathbed urged Joe to run?

  10. 10
    Bonnie says:

    I like Biden; but, I am old enough to remember his treatment of Anita Hill. I understand he seems to appear that he can beat Trump; but, I want someone younger. I also do believe that this country is so full of sexist pigs (this includes many women) who will not vote for a woman. My very favorite candidate is Stacy Abrams; but, there is little chance for her. I think Warren has the best policies and has shown to be a good Senator; but, she still can’t win. What is with the Democratic men who can’t seem to run a campaign . . .

  11. 11

    Joe Biden, all but certain to run for President, is concerned he won’t garner the millions in online donations that Beto O’Rourke and Bernie Sanders pulled in when they announced.

    Then don’t announce.

  12. 12
    The Dangerman says:

    Joe, lotsa golf courses out there that won’t have either Donald or OJ on them. Bowling is kinda fun. Maybe collecting stamps.

    Running for President in 2020 ain’t gonna be your thing. Sorry.

  13. 13
  14. 14
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    He’s been in electoral politics for his entire adult life. I am sure that it is hard to let go and harder still to accept that one’s moment (if there ever really was one) has passed. I say let him dip his toes in the water one last time. It’s early and, if he doesn’t play around too long, he won’t do any damage to the people who really have a shot.

  15. 15
    Grumpy Old Railroader says:

    I remember Joe Biden”s questions to Anita Hill in the Clarence Thomas nomination hearings. Not good. I also remember him defending the credit card corporations in a hearing when then Professor Elizabeth Warren schooled him in economics. I also recall his previous “also rans” for the presidential nomination.. He was always a conservative Dem which is one of the reasons why Obama selected him for VP.

    All that said, I think the only one to get hurt if Joe runs is Joe.

  16. 16
    opiejeanne says:

    I like him, generally, but I agree that he shouldn’t run, or at least not hang around for too long. I don’t want to see him distracting everyone from a better candidate

    Way way OT: We listed our cabin in SoCal on Friday. It sold today. We are stunned. 20 day escrow, all cash offer, and we got what we wanted for it. We just got home to Washington and we’ll have to go back in about 2 weeks to clear out the things that aren’t staying.

  17. 17
    eemom says:

    These are my problems:

    1. I am one of those who sincerely loves Uncle Joe — who I also sincerely believe is a good man — but believe his time is past.

    2. There are a whole shit ton of people who likewise sincerely believe, in good faith, that he’s the best bet to defeat trump, and he’s got access to a shit ton of money. Therefore, I seriously doubt it’s gonna be a short lived thing if he does get in.

    3. I really, REALLY am sick of the fucking white man shit. I feel that the last couple of months have made it blindingly obvious in a way it wasn’t before.

  18. 18
    jl says:

    If Biden wants to run, let the guy run. It’s a damn free country. The guy is leading in the polls, or nearly so. Who’s going to tell him not to run, other than anonymous posters on almost top 10,000 blogs?

    But I agree that gimmicks like early announcement of a VP pick is a bad sign. Sounds like some dumbass move a committee of political consultants would pump out. And Biden looks and sounds like he has been way over political consultanted, IMHO, from what I have seen. Maybe Biden can’t resist his lead in the polls, but he remembers how he never got traction or only went downward in past runs for national political office, and he has some confidence problems.

    So, the Biden is going to run if he wants to run. I should hope he doesn’t since I think if he stays out some of his support would go to my candidate, Warren, but she has to know how to campaign well enough to overcome problems that come from running for office in a democracy.

  19. 19
    plato says:

    @jl: Yup. It’s the very concept of primaries. The right to get burned/chosen by the dem voters.

  20. 20
    Mary G says:

    I am still wondering if the big donors aren’t stringing Uncle Joe along in the belief that he won’t go anywhere and why should they waste their money, which is why he keeps putting off announcing. I keep reading that Dr. Jill Biden is really pushing the run, which doesn’t seem in character for what we’ve seen of her.

    @eemom:

    I really, REALLY am sick of the fucking white man shit.

    This. I will be extremely upset if the ticket ends up being two men, especially white men. It is so far overdue to elect a woman. I keep remembering the tweet someone did with emojis of 43 white men, one black man, and one blond woman. We deserved that.

  21. 21
  22. 22
    Gin & Tonic says:

    Since this is an open thread, I had asked last week or the week before whether anyone had seen the current film Cold War (Zimna Wojna) which has inexplicably been playing one showing per night at my local megaplex. People assured me it was coming out Real Soon on some streaming service I don’t subscribe to.

    To cut to the chase, I just got back and am still digesting. Since I have family who escaped that environment and family who didn’t, it cuts close to the bone, and I’m not sure I can be objective about it, but if you have an opportunity, watch it. A haunting, powerful, visually and aurally compelling film about hard decisions and uncomfortable compromises. Shot in black-and-white, as seems necessary, it was, thankfully, subtitled as it floats among languages – I counted six spoken or sung, but may have missed one or two.

    Briefly, and avoiding spoilers, it is a love story which spans the period from 1949 through 1964 in Poland and elsewhere, focused on a folk-art performance company, its artistic director and one of its stars. I really recommend it.

  23. 23
    jl says:

    @opiejeanne: “I don’t want to see him distracting everyone from a better candidate”

    My take is that a truly better candidate would not suffer from distraction due to a Biden campaign. That is what primaries are for, at least in the Democratic party, to find out who has the best talent at formulating and presenting good policy and winning elections. So, if Biden, who in the past has never shown much talent for running for national office, can distract from the other candidates, then the Democratic field is weaker than we thought. I hope that is not the case.

  24. 24
    Mary G says:

    @opiejeanne: Congratulations! It is very cute. Must be a load off your minds.

  25. 25
    Ohio Mom says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: That seems compassionate and fair to me.

  26. 26
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @opiejeanne: My daughter listed her house for sale and it went to contract in a week. Then she saw a house that went on the market Thursday, she viewed it on Friday, submitted an offer Saturday and went to contract Sunday. I think the entire period from selling to buying was 8-9 days. Inventory is moving rapidly.

  27. 27
    Bobbo says:

    A photo like the above where it looks like he is on death’s door is reason enough for him not to run and for me not to vote for him

  28. 28
    Mike J says:

    @opiejeanne: Sounds like you should have asked for more! Congrats.

  29. 29
    NotMax says:

    Is it just me who interprets talking about naming a running mate this early as saying “There’s a decent chance I won’t live out my term.”

  30. 30
    chopper says:

    @ronp:

    yeah he looks like 700 in that second picture.

  31. 31
    Brickley Paiste says:

    It would be very interesting if all candidates had to run with their VP from the outset.

    Biden,Warren,Harris,Sanders puts people into four bins pretty quickly. But how would a Biden/Warran vs. Harris/Sanders break versus a Biden/Harris Warren/Sanders.

    Very different results.

  32. 32
    Brickley Paiste says:

    @Gin & Tonic: The new uniform contract app has really changed the game about rocketing through closings. If I can get you closed in a 4 hour window – why are you going to look to anyone else in the tri-state area to supply all your roofing needs.

  33. 33
    NotMax says:

    @Gin & Tonic

    Arrives March 22 on Amazon Prime.

  34. 34
    Archon says:

    I actually think some balloon juicers might be a little out of touch on the potency of a Biden candidacy. The polls suggest he would be formidable but anecdotally both my parents (black, in their early 70’s) would immediately and wholeheartedly support Joe Biden. I wouldn’t underestimate the support he might get from black folks who remember how deligently he supported Obama when at times it felt even other Democrats wouldn’t. Of course that was basically his job as VP and it doesn’t mean he will be a good candidate or President but believe me it matters with the folks that love Obama (myself included).

  35. 35
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @NotMax: Ah yes, there was an Amazon logo in one of the opening screens.

  36. 36
    Brickley Paiste says:

    @Gin & Tonic:

    Wow that sounds fantastic. Its nice to finally see some quality cinema on the horizon rising above all of these goddamned comic book movies that don’t demand a damn thing from the audience except to channel its basest emotions?

  37. 37
    jl says:

    in the end, it makes no difference, once Baud 2020! decides to run…. total wipeout… it’s over, done finished. Everyone else will pack it in the next day.

  38. 38
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @Brickley Paiste: I call these sorts of movies “adult films.”

  39. 39
    B.B.A. says:

    @NotMax: There’s a decent chance he won’t make it to election day.

    That, and he’s almost certainly got a closet full of skeletons. Every photo of him looks like a #MeToo waiting to happen.

  40. 40
    Brickley Paiste says:

    @Gin & Tonic:

    You’re goddamned right.

  41. 41
    smintheus says:

    When you’re a frontrunner, especially in Democratic presidential primaries, that quickly becomes all you are. In voters’ minds it crowds out virtually every other thing that might form part of your appeal. And then if you lose your frontrunner status, you’re basically cooked because you’re effectively nothing. A candidate with much lower support who’s rising in the polls can hang in where a former frontrunner finds himself quickly bereft of people who want to be seen with him. Even the threat of being overtaken is highly damaging. In this case, Sanders is close enough to Biden in support that he could easily threaten to supplant him.

    It’s hard to see Biden navigating all those shoals on the way to the nomination – particularly since “it’s his turn” doesn’t apply in 2020. It was Biden’s turn in 2016. This is going to be more or less like Humphrey running in 1972; out of style and out of time.

  42. 42
    James E Powell says:

    Before he partnered with Obama, I never liked him. I used to refer to him and Lieberman as the Odious Joes. They were both first rank Villagers whose main occupation seemed to be appearing on the Sunday shows to praise Republicans and undermine Democratic policy arguments. Though his respectful and supportive tenure as VP softened my feelings toward him, I don’t see him doing anything in this race but running down leading Democratic candidates as “too left.”

  43. 43
    Brickley Paiste says:

    @Gin & Tonic: And, forgot to say, I really like the ritual of going to movies and seeing families and kids excited to see some animated crap, but that’s fine because we can all believe different things and still get along and all that other bullshit we’ve been fed for the last 50 years but after weblocked off what used to be the formal dining room and installed stadium recliners and a 110 inch screen with b and w sound …. I don’t know. I just saw the EL print of Roma and it was just as vivid as when I saw it in full kinervision at the Egyptian.

    But I digress.

  44. 44
    Mary G says:

    I don’t even know who this is:

    I am considering running in the 2020 Democratic primary. The goal will not be to win, but to bring a critique of American imperialism to the Democratic debate stage. The website (https://t.co/j5qZdJoH7S) is under construction. Official announcement will be in the coming days.— Senator Mike Gravel (@MikeGravel) March 20, 2019

    I’m running, but I don’t have a website yet is not exactly a formula for success.

    ETA: Checked Wiki, he is an 88-year-old Libertarian who used to be a Democrat and served in the Senate from 1969-1981. Okay.

  45. 45
    Mike in NC says:

    Just go away, Joe. You are too damn old.

  46. 46
    smintheus says:

    @Mary G: He was Adlai Stevenson’s running mate.

  47. 47
    Brickley Paiste says:

    @Bonnie: I was always amazed that Obama picked him after he had to have seen the way Biden just shit all over Anita Hill – and even back then it had been a long time ago since that shit was ever acceptable.

    It had to have been that Obama didn’t think he could win without him because why in the world would you ever pair up with such an odios bastard if you had left any choice at all?

  48. 48
    Plato says:

    @Mary G:

    Gravelmentum!!!

    I thought that fucker was dead.

  49. 49
    AThornton says:

    Biden’s was first elected in 1972 and spent his career under ever-increasing Conservative ascendancy. His political experience and instincts are out of date going into the third decade of the 21st Century. Also he is part of the reason Conservatives have grabbed and will maintain control of the Federal Bench for the next 20 or 30 years.

    Just go away Joe.

  50. 50
    Brickley Paiste says:

    @Mary G:

    YOU CAN’T STOP THE GRAVELMENTUM!!!

  51. 51
    AThornton says:

    @Mary G:

    Run for your life!

    IT’S THE CAMPAIGN OF THE LIVING DEAD!!!!!!!!!!!

  52. 52
    Brickley Paiste says:

    Is Gary Fucking Heart still alive? If he is get him on he phone.

  53. 53
    Ohio Mom says:

    @Mary G: Another old white man chasing after the glories that were his a half a century ago.

    Interesting to learn Alaska once had a Democratic Senator.

  54. 54
    mrmoshpotato says:

    @Mary G: Someone needs to tell him it’s much easier to just have a YouTube channel or podcast.

    Sounds like he trying to outcrackpot someone.

  55. 55
    Ruckus says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:
    He’ll be 78 in November 2020.
    He’ll suck oxygen out of the room.
    He’ll suck money out of the room. Not enough to do much with but possibly enough to be a distraction.
    He won’t win but he might be enough of a disruption to make things worse.
    So I wish someone with more brains would tell him that it’s over. Maybe President Obama could give him a call. But he probably won’t, they were/are friends. But then friends should be more than someone who just holds your beer. Good friends are.

  56. 56
    Steve Crickmore says:

    Biden will talk himself out of the nomination, one way or another,

  57. 57
    Brickley Paiste says:

    @Steve Crickmore:

    Yikes but true.

    I’m afraid we are going to see him just flush away the dignity and legacy that kept him at Obama’s side for 8 years. Very sad.

  58. 58
    Mary G says:

    @Ruckus: Good friends tell you when you’re being an idiot.

    @Ohio Mom: Maybe he’s in league with Biden, to have someone even older run for president and make Joe seem like a young whippersnapper in contrast.

  59. 59
    Ruckus says:

    @opiejeanne:
    Great!
    Once sold a commercial property in LA. Put it up at 9:30am, had a deposit for 5% more than the asking price by 3:30pm. The same day. We were stunned, as we’d tried to sell it about 5 yrs before and got one offer for 1/3 the asking price. Some days the market is on your side and some days there is no market.

  60. 60
  61. 61
    Suzanne says:

    Joe. Hang it up. Enjoy retirement.
    UGHHHHHH.

  62. 62
    eemom says:

    @Archon:

    I actually think some balloon juicers might be a little out of touch on the potency of a Biden candidacy.

    Yup. This is what I was trying to say, as well.

  63. 63
    Skepticat says:

    @SiubhanDuinne: D’accord. My main concern, as a 73-year-old with barely enough energy to feed the cats, much less decide what can to open, is Biden’s age. Why would he want to subject himself to this brutality when he has an excellent REAL life? Of course, I hate seeing even the candidates who have the chops and strength to do it throw themselves into this meat grinder and get savaged. Ted Kennedy, John Kerry, Paul Tsongas, Mitt Romney, and a number of other New England politicians became my personal acquaintances through community and business work, and I saw the toll it took on them even when politics were almost normal. Yes, I want someone wonderful (and the Dems are developing a great bench), but gawd, what a nightmare politics are now. I grieve for our country—and those good people who want to lead it.

  64. 64
    eemom says:

    Christ. Like I SAID, I don’t think Biden should run either, but can we turn down the blatant, contemptuous ageism just a TAD, pretty please?

    First of all, he’s in fine health as far as anybody knows, and just BEING 78 in this day and age is a long way from knock knock knocking on heaven’s door.

    Secondly, for all the hatred that has been (rightfully) hurled at Bernout on this site, I don’t think I’ve seen as many comments about his age EVER as there have been about Biden’s on just this thread. He’s one year older than Biden.

  65. 65
    frosty says:

    @Ruckus: 78?? 78?????? Fuck that! I’m a long way from there and I couldn’t handle the stress and level of effort the job requires.

    ETA: and Bernout at 79 is disqualified for the same reason.

  66. 66
    Jay says:

    @Mary G:

    Remember how France, Germany, Canada, etc tried to “hold you back” on Iraq?

  67. 67
    Jay says:

    @eemom:

    I counted 98 in the last Wilmer thread, and Wilmer being Wilmer, there’s a lot more to diss than his age.

  68. 68
    Ruckus says:

    @jl:
    We have several strong women candidates and a lot of folks who are not ready for a woman president. (And never will be)
    I think that Joe will suck oxygen and money and won’t get any farther than he has before but he could make a shambles out of the process of getting to the finish line, just by being a name. Because really what else does he actually have as a politician?
    And I like him a lot, he really is a good guy. But it’s not his time, he’ll be too old, we need fresh blood, younger blood, stronger blood.
    And while I like Warren a lot, some of this goes for her as well. She is 8 yrs younger than Biden though but I still see her as just a bit too old. She’d be my first choice, she’s smart, her plans are at least mostly in the right direction if not all seemingly on point, but we have other great choices. Kamala Harris and hopefully Stacy Abrams. Both also wicked smart and positive. I’m not warming up to Beto at this point though.

  69. 69
    Achrachno says:

    @Ruckus: This is all correct, in my view.

  70. 70
    Jay says:

    “Mattis joining Hoover Institution to increase Stanford University’s overall lethality

    Chaos is returning to Stanford.

    Former Defense Secretary James Mattis is joining Stanford University’s Hoover Institution in California as of May 1, a university news release says.“

    https://taskandpurpose.com/mattis-joins-stanford

    Lots of stuff to fix.

  71. 71
    karen marie says:

    @NotMax: Who was the Republican who named their veep during the primary? It was a move borne of desperation then and remains so. I cannot believe everyone doesn’t just burst out laughing at the idea of Biden as a serious candidate for the Dem nomination. There was certainly a lot of laughter when he ran in 2007 and toyed with the idea in 2015.

    It looks like Biden is trying to play the same cutsie game as in 2015, but starting earlier. From 538 in August 2015:

    History suggests that it will be difficult for Biden to mount a successful campaign if he enters the race this late. Of course, the Biden people know that and are apparently not quite ready to make a decision. Maybe they want to see if Hillary Clinton’s stumbles worsen. The solution: Stall. Put one foot in the race. Get the media talking about your running. Meet with big-time Democrats to generate buzz, and plan future get-togethers. Provide lots of tea leaves for the press to inspect.

    And he has a number of weaknesses that are likely to come out on the campaign trail. He has a tendency to put his foot in his mouth, and his record is slightly less liberal than Clinton’s. Biden, for example, has credited himself with the passing of the “tough on crime” 1994 Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act, which will almost certainly hurt him with Democratic primary voters focused on criminal justice issues and race — in the same way Martin O’Malley’s record as Baltimore mayor has come back to haunt him.

    I am not in favor of the David Brooks fanboi.

    PS Forgot the link. https://fivethirtyeight.com/features/joe-bidens-half-campaign-playing-the-media/

  72. 72
    Ruckus says:

    @eemom:
    I’m an old and the number of people who tell me how much younger I look than I am is, well a lot. I’m not as old as Biden, and yes he may be in great health for his age but the vast majority of us old farts just don’t have the stamina that this job requires. And yes I’ve seen the occasional person who did. I once met a man who was 95 yrs old. No one who didn’t know his history would ever have thought he was over 65 and maybe not even 60. I was 50-52 when I met him and he didn’t strike me as any older. Ninety Five. He looked great until he was 102. He looked like death warmed over at 104. He’s the exception to the rule. And that rule is that most people are old over 70. Sorry about that, but this is a job that sucks the life out of you and we need someone with enough life to be able to have some sucked out, because it will happen. We need people who can lead, not just exist. We’ve had too many who just existed in office.
    I like Joe Biden, I’d like to see him, remember him as a good person, some one to look up for having been a public servant for decades, even with some rather stellar fuck ups, rather than a has been with an ending that didn’t go well for anyone.
    ETA Bernie’s major problem isn’t his age, it’s him. His age is just shitty icing on a shitty cake.

  73. 73
    Achrachno says:

    @eemom: People commonly deteriorate quite a bit after 80 — but many are fine in their 70s. The presidency requires a lot of energy and ability to do properly, so it’s probably best not to consider anyone close to 80 just as we’ve legally forbidden anyone under 35 from the office. Would it be wrongly ageist to forbid anyone under 35 or over 78 from holding the office?

    Many people here have some level of fondness for Joe, and if he were younger I bet he’d have a fair level of support at BJ. Wilmer has enough other disqualifiers that his age is small potatoes and almost not an issue. Why bother thinking about that in his case?

  74. 74
    karen marie says:

    @Brickley Paiste: I would have a very hard time voting for a ticket with Sanders on it. He pisses me right the fuck off. At this rate he won’t be able to get on the ballot in any of the multiple states that will require tax returns be released before qualifying for the ballot.

  75. 75
    eemom says:

    @karen marie:

    Cruz named Fiorina. It was hilarious.

  76. 76
    Achrachno says:

    @Ruckus: “but this is a job that sucks the life out of you”

    Unless you just don’t even try to do the job, it appears. Either that or “hurry up!”

  77. 77
    E says:

    My preferred candidate is Warren. But if Biden wants to run that’s his option. It’s amazing to me how everyone thinks they have the right to tell Biden what he should or shouldn’t do. The guy was a pretty damn good Senator. Was a great vice president for eight years. And if he wants to run then that’s his friggin right to run. And concerning Anita Hill. What exactly did he do that was so bad? I watched a good chunk of the hearings on C-Span the other evening. And while people like Arlen Specter were incredibly condescending biden seemed to be perfectly respectful and asked legitimate questions. At least the portion of that I saw he didn’t seem the least bit disrespectful or condescending to Hill.

  78. 78
    karen marie says:

    @eemom: Bernie’s issues are so numerous, his age is pretty far down the list.

  79. 79
  80. 80
    karen marie says:

    @eemom: That’s right. I was going to say Fiorina but I had forgotten it was Cruz picking her, not her picking some other loser.

  81. 81
    Ruckus says:

    @Achrachno:
    I’d imagine that sitting on the shitter tweeting could be stressful but if one is doing that instead of actually doing or even being able to actually do the job one was possibly elected to and gets fucking paid for, then for sure it’s less stressful. But you know he has all the best people, fucking up everything. I haven’t looked but I’m wondering if under massive cock up in the dictionary there’s an entry, see Trump, Donald.

  82. 82
    CapnMubbers says:

    @opiejeanne: Perhaps you haven’t considered the pressure on an already tight housing market caused by the Paradise fire (and others). Most insurance companies were very quick with their payouts, but finding anything in the general area—Chico, Oroville and surrounding communities—is practically impossible, even at hugely inflated prices. I’m still on a month-to-month lease two hours away from Paradise, dealing with lot clearing, deciding whether I want to rebuild, locating friends and health providers, recreating accounts—I’m one of the many who lost everything. I wonder whether one of my Paradise neighbors bought your cabin, I thought about making a cash offer myself. I suspected when you said that some homes in that area did not sell for a year that it would go more quickly—I’m happy for you.

  83. 83
    Mary G says:

    @E: As I recall, there were four other women who came to the hearings to testify about Clarence Thomas being skeevy to them, and Biden let somebody twist his arm deny them a hearing at all.

  84. 84
    Mandalay says:

    @Amir Khalid:

    Does he feel he owes it to the memory of his son, who from his deathbed urged Joe to run?

    That seems highly unlikely….

    Biden told CBS’ Norah O’Donnell in the interview that his late son, Beau, who died this May at the age of 46, did not urge his father to run from his death bed.

  85. 85
    jk says:

    Biden is a buffoonish windbag who has no business getting in this race.

    His habit of invading the personal space of any woman he finds attractive is nauseating and disgusting:
    h/t http://nymag.com/intelligencer.....-ears.html
    h/t https://gawker.com/joe-biden-we-need-to-talk-about-the-way-you-touch-wome-1686648038

    He’s one of the worst public speakers I’ve ever seen. He’s terrible on the issues I care about (banking, foreign policy, etc), his handling of the Clarence Thomas hearings was unforgivable, and he’s too damn old.

    With so many capable, competent individuals already running, Biden’s entry into this race would be an act of epic selfishness and hubris. Consequently, I hope he gets the humiliating and crushing defeats he richly deserves. It’s time to say no to clueless Joe.

  86. 86
    eemom says:

    Again, the thing that bothers me most about Biden — and Beto, and even frikkin Bernie — is how the intense, unspoken preference for a white man has burst in our faces like a jack in the box even in the earliest days of the godawful 20 month long torment that lies ahead.

    One: Warren, Harris, Gillibrand and Klobuchar announce: damn, it is so COOL how we have four (4) — count ’em, FOUR — qualified women running for president. Are we the awesomest, most progressive political party that ever existed or WHAT?

    Two: Bernout announces, and out moneys all the women candidates in the first 10 minutes.

    Three: Beto announces and every camera and microphone in the US media is on his ass 24/7. Elizabeth and Kamala barely register a “Who?”

    Four: Biden. Air masks drop as all remaining XX oxygen is sucked from the room. MAYBE he’ll even choose Stacey Abrams as his running mate, cuz there will be NO stopping him then.

    Mark ye well my words. I would be delighted to be proven wrong.

  87. 87
    Jay says:

    @eemom:

    The MSM has a preference.

    They are less influential now because of their past “preferences”.

    This may be their last gasp at infuence.

  88. 88
    eemom says:

    @Jay:

    A whole lot of voters also have a preference. Moreover, a whole lot of other voters are willing to kowtow to that preference because, in their minds, it’s the price of defeating trump, and therefore well worth paying.

  89. 89
    Ruckus says:

    @eemom:
    And look who is doing all the oxygen sucking. The news media. People willing to stuff money in the pockets of people that may not win, may not be the desired dem candidate so that will suck the oxygen and votes out of the race and a conservative can win. A lot of them are not dumb, even if every word they utter sounds like it. They are conservatives who don’t care how they win, as long as they do. They are also quite possibly foreigners, getting their money in early to attempt to fix the dem side so that their shitty candidate can slide in and continue the grand theft and destruction of our government. And yes we may be able to get anyone up to and including a box of cheerios elected over Trump’s reelection, given that he is far, far worse than any other form of semi human life, in every conceivable way.
    Just in case you aren’t aware, Stacy Abrams is my first choice. Kamala Harris is second and E. Warren is third. Fourth is who the hell cares, it’s a white guy.

  90. 90
    NotMax says:

    @Ruckus

    Not you, but there have been comments more and more frequently here which hover perilously close to stating outright that being white and/or being male is ipso facto disqualifying. This is a trend I find troubling.

  91. 91
    hitchhiker says:

    @Mary G:

    Yes, it wasn’t how Joe talked to Anita Hill during the hearings. It was that he alone had control of everything from who got to testify to how long the hearings would go on. He chose to be courteous and gentlemanly to the Republicans instead of allowing the truth to be made public.

    There were women prepared to make it obvious that Anita Hill was telling the truth. No public testimony. There were porn shop owners prepared to show receipts that would have shown Anita Hill was telling the truth. Too divisive and unseemly, I guess.

    We got stuck with Clarence fucking Thomas for decades because Joe was more serious about giving deference to the president than he was about making sure the nominee wasn’t a dishonest pig.

    That’s just a fact.

    And when you think about sneering Mitch McConnell telling Obama to pound sand, it just makes you a little crazy. Joe has never confronted any of this in an honest way, either. He knows people are angry about it, but he just says, “I know people are angry about it … ”

    Yeah, because you sold us out so you could look reasonable!

  92. 92
    Mandalay says:

    @jk:

    Biden is a buffoonish windbag who has no business getting in this race.

    An excellent rant, and enough of this “great public servant” crap about Biden…

    His groping is repulsive. He’s a plagiarist, He’s never met a bank he didn’t like. He calls himself a Zionist. He publicly took a shit on Anita Hill. He’s a lousy campaigner. He’s gaffe prone. He’s a mediocre speaker unless he’s attacking someone. He’s way too cozy with his Republican buddies. He been a politician for almost 50 years. And he’s way too old.

    No thanks.

  93. 93

    @NotMax: I’m sure I could dig some up that say exactly that pretty quickly if I wanted. And it’s all over liberal and left twitter, naturally.

  94. 94
    eemom says:

    @Ruckus:

    That’s a slightly confusing rant, but I can assure you there is no human being who has more contempt for the “news” media, the horse-racing of elections, and the sale of public policy to the highest bidder than I do. Not possible.

    My point was just that folks need to come to terms with the fact that sexism is some deeply ingrained shit. Even the media whores aren’t making that up.

    @NotMax:

    there have been comments more and more frequently here which hover perilously close to stating outright that being white and/or being male is ipso facto disqualifying.

    Not saying that either. My point, again, is the assumption of God knows how many millions that being a white male is “ipso facto” QUALIFYING.

    Also, with due respect, you should watch your disjunctives, because the literal meaning of the above is that some people here consider white WOMEN to be disqualified. I don’t think you meant to say that.

  95. 95
    Mike J says:

    @Major Major Major Major: I heard a Buttigieg interview and I’m back down to just Inslee on my white guy list. PB said that people had tried to talk him into running for congress because they knew he was the kind of Democrat that Republicans could get along with. That’s a lot more disqualifying than being a white guy.

  96. 96
    NotMax says:

    @Major Major Major Major

    And it’s all over liberal and left twitter, naturally.

    That is very depressing and makes me all the more glad I do not have anything to do with Twitter.

    Meantime, how’s Taipei? Long way to go for take-out.

    ;)

  97. 97

    @opiejeanne: Have you been inspired to catch The Bloom on your return? Good to hear it sold quick, it looked like a nice place.

  98. 98

    @jl:

    But I agree that gimmicks like early announcement of a VP pick is a bad sign.

    It was a disaster for Saint Ronald of Reagan in 1976.

  99. 99
    karen marie says:

    @NotMax: Given that that’s been said about women for too long – including still now – I’d suggest you get used to it. I’ve read numerous comments right here on this very site stating that Warren can’t get elected because she’s a woman. I’ve had my fill of incompetent white men running the country into the ground, and I don’t just mean Trump. Don’t like it? Too fucking bad.

  100. 100

    @NotMax: twitter is on balance bad for humanity, yeah.

    Taipei is nice, although we’re being led around by the nose by a travel companion, who I will stop paying attention to tomorrow, methinks.

    @eemom: some people absolutely think white women are disqualified by being white humans.

    @Mike J: I don’t see what’s wrong with that tbh. People said a thing, oh no.

  101. 101
    David 🎅🎄Merry Christmas🎄🎅 Koch says:

    @eemom:

    I really, REALLY am sick of the fucking white man shit.

    I think if Stacy Abrams ran she would win, she’s that dynamic. The other women in the race aren’t catching fire, but nobody is catching fire.

    As to Joe, the corporate media will attack him day and night. It’s gonna be hell for Joe.

  102. 102
    Ruckus says:

    @NotMax:
    I’m not saying disqualifying. I’m saying not preferable. Especially given the choices of non white non males. It’s someone else’s turn. It’s not Biden’s turn, it’s never Bernie’s turn.
    We need a change, We need to see if someone else besides a white male can do it, we know some white males can absolutely not. And look, we had a non white guy do it and he did damn fine. We were cheated out of our last attempt to even the score and to see that we can be a better nation. We owe it to the half of our population that has never been represented in our highest elected office.

  103. 103
    NotMax says:

    @eemom

    Was not pointing a finger at you.

    Qualifications are being 35 or older, being resident for at least 14 years and a natural born citizen. That’s the totality of the official list. When it comes to the parties, additional conditions may apply. In the case of the Democratic party, being a party member in good standing for a set minimum amount of time prior to and also concurrent with running plus also releasing X years of taxes OUGHT to be non-negotiable qualifications.

  104. 104
    Mike J says:

    @Major Major Major Major: Only disqualifying if it’s true.

  105. 105
    opiejeanne says:

    @CapnMubbers: I am so sorry you lost your home. I feel I need to explain that the cabin is in Southern California, in the San Bernardino Mountains less than 80 miles from LA. The land behind it is National Forest so no one can build there.
    There hasn’t been a huge demand for housing in the area until just now and I don’t know where this buyer is from, but it’s possible he’s from Paradise. The market is exploding in the area right now, for the first time in a long time, but there aren’t a lot of jobs on the mountain. People can commute to San Bernardino for work, but most of those commuters used to buy in Crestline. This is something new.

    The buyer is 70, wants to live in it year-round, likes the idea of being able to walk into town (Blue Jay has the fancy grocery store and the movie theater) and has kids who live down the hill, so wanted a place nearby but not in the extreme heat of San Berdoo.

  106. 106
    Ruckus says:

    @NotMax:
    That’s most of the gist of the email I sent yesterday to Tom Perez. Although I did name BS specifically. And naming him I didn’t feel I had to put in there the minimum of 35 yrs old. As he’s over twice that.

  107. 107
    NotMax says:

    @Ruckus

    Heck, he’s old in dog years.

    ;)

  108. 108
    sukabi says:

    @Major Major Major Major: I think there are more people of both sexes that think being female is disqualifying, race is the lesser factor.

  109. 109
    opiejeanne says:

    @🐾BillinGlendaleCA: We saw The Bloom in the San Bernardino Mountains on the lower slopes, and along the I-5 past Grapevine. I was surprised that the Tejon Pass wasn’t in full bloom, but it looked dry compared to everywhere else. Maybe they’re just late but the laurels weren’t blooming yet (I think those are laurels: bushes with blue flowers on them in the pass). The floor of the valley was covered in tiny, low-growing pale yellow flowers in some areas, pale blue ones in others, and bright yellow ones elsewhere. there were lupines along the 210 all through the Los Angeles basin.
    Then we hit Oregon and the daffodils are getting going.

  110. 110
    opiejeanne says:

    @Mike J: We got what we told our agent we’d like to ask for it, she put it up a little higher and we got exactly what we were going to list at.

    We had two nibbles on Sunday, one from a couple of agents who don’t live in the area, and another from a guy who claimed to have stellar credit, owned lots of commercial and residential real estate in the mountains and in Orange County, and wanted us to either carry the note for him or become partners in ownership of the cabin. You can imagine how hard we laughed at that.

  111. 111

    @opiejeanne: I was driving north up the 15 and the hills about 10 miles in front of me were just all orange, though somewhat muted by the haze, stunning sight. I need to pull the dashcam video from my car before it gets overwritten.

  112. 112
    NotMax says:

    @sukabi

    Flashing back to a very short, extremely memorable bit of dialogue in the movie Ship of Fools.

  113. 113
    janesays says:

    @Mary G: He actually ran in the Democratic primaries in 2008 and was one of the eight candidates on the stage in the early debates (alongside Obama, Clinton, Edwards, Biden, Dodd, Kucinich, and Richardson).

  114. 114
    NotMax says:

    @janesays

    IIRC he was the first to announce himself as a candidate.

  115. 115

    @Mike J: sure, but it’s also the sort of thing politicians say, which some voters like to hear (borne out in polling), that has little relationship to their actual behavior. I find it hard to take issue with somebody saying it.

  116. 116

    @sukabi: doubtless, and all the things we are describing are bad.

  117. 117
    VeniceRiley says:

    @hitchhiker: Now, imagine making Stacey Abrams answer for this and the crime bill, and his handsiness, and all of it in support of Biden for even longer than the general, and then you get why my rage is incandescent.

    Yes, it wasn’t how Joe talked to Anita Hill during the hearings. It was that he alone had control of everything from who got to testify to how long the hearings would go on. He chose to be courteous and gentlemanly to the Republicans instead of allowing the truth to be made public.

    There were women prepared to make it obvious that Anita Hill was telling the truth. No public testimony. There were porn shop owners prepared to show receipts that would have shown Anita Hill was telling the truth. Too divisive and unseemly, I guess.

    We got stuck with Clarence fucking Thomas for decades because Joe was more serious about giving deference to the president than he was about making sure the nominee wasn’t a dishonest pig.

    AND he has never, not once, apologised to her.
    That hearing radicalized me, I must say.

    The rest of the men saying they’ll pick a woman veep is just so completly shivving every woman running for the top job, it makes me want to vomit. The women should say “Hey, don’t worry, I might pick a man for Veep!” to show how rediculous it is. Won;t get as much serious play as this garbage has on the cablenets, but might bring some pain and shame,; so bring it on.

  118. 118
    janesays says:

    @NotMax: According to the Wikipedia page for the 2008 Democratic Primaries, that is correct – he announced in April 2006. The next two to announce were Edwards and Kucinich, both in December 2006.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2008_Democratic_Party_presidential_candidates

  119. 119
    Patricia Kayden says:

    @jl: I don’t care if Biden runs. That’s his prerogative. Since 99% of our candidates would be better presidents than the Bigot in the White House, I don’t care about how many run. My fear is that Democrats are about to pull another 2016 where too many of us get pissed off by the primaries and refuse to vote for the eventual Democratic candidate.

  120. 120
    BC in Illinois says:

    @Mary G:

    Mike Gravel !!!
    Former Senator from Alaska.

    I actually heard him speak.
    Against the Vietnam War.
    On the Capitol Steps.

    in 1972.

    (To be honest, Mrs. BC and I were there to hear Judy Collins.)

  121. 121
    rikyrah says:

    @opiejeanne:
    Congrats on the sale

  122. 122
    J R in WV says:

    @opiejeanne:

    Congratulations on the quick sale. Must have picked a great set of folks to make that happen smoothly. I know it make you wonder if you shouldn’t have asked more, don’t worry about that.

    My cousin the realtor always says that if it isn’t selling at all, the price is way too high, but selling fast means it was just right. Not that V is always right, even about her specialty, but I think this advice is pretty spot on.

    Be Glad it’s over, and in time for new buyers to have it for this season, and all you have to do is go get what you want to have from the place.

  123. 123
    satby says:

    @Mike J: @Major Major Major Major: he’s a mayor of a purple city in a blood red state. If course he’s already had to find a way to work with Republicans, since that’s the party that controls the state coffers. And that fact doesn’t mean he isn’t progressive enough, it means he’s pragmatic enough to find ways to get what his city needed from people opposed to his very existence as a gay man.

  124. 124
    J R in WV says:

    @eemom:

    Cruz named Fiorina. It was hilarious.

    That’s like putting shoe polish on cat barf to make it seem more attractive and palatable… never gonna help! Way to go, Rafael Cruz, way to go.

  125. 125
    J R in WV says:

    @E:

    But if Biden wants to run that’s his option.

    True, but in a democracy we all get a say in who gets to win the primary races.

    The guy was a pretty damn good Senator.

    Yes, for the Corps founded in Delaware, for the lending industry and their pet “never get to file bankruptcy unless you’re a corporation.”

    And concerning Anita Hill. What exactly did he do that was so bad?

    There were other women who wanted to testify in support of Ms Hill, with the same sort of stories about Clarence’s character and hitting on them in very creepy ways. Sen Good Ole Joe Biden didn’t let them appear, allowed Anita Hill to twist in the wind all alone while Clarence pretended to be a good person, which we now know was absurd.

    Fuck Uncle Joe Biden. My neighbor, subsistence beef farmer, and former roofer Joe B is far more qualified to be President, he’s never shit on anyone the was Biden shit on Anita Hill. Of course, there’s the “He’s just a roofer!” thing, but his roofs don’t leak, and if they do he comes back to figure out why and fix it.

  126. 126
    TTT says:

    @Mandalay: “Biden calls himself a Zionist” – all of the Dem candidates are Zionists, perhaps see if Cynthia McKinney or Jill Stein are running on some other party.

  127. 127
    Lymie says:

    From Twitter Celia bedelia: Beto is that dude in your class that says the same exact thing you just said right after you just said it and gets told he’s the smartest bestest guy.

  128. 128
    Citizen Alan says:

    @Achrachno:

    People commonly deteriorate quite a bit after 80 — but many are fine in their 70s.

    It has actually been startling to see the difference between my mother at 79 and her at 82 despite there not being any specific health issues we can identify.

  129. 129
    Citizen Alan says:

    @Brickley Paiste:

    The biggest problem I see with everyone pre-picking their Veeps is that it eliminates the possibility of a unity ticket. I didn’t want an Obama/Clinton ticket in 2008, but it might have helped with the PUMA problem (well, except to the extent that the PUMA problem was the result of rightwing ratfuckery). The second biggest problem is the possibility of the Veep upstaging the lead (ala McCain and Caribou Barbie).

  130. 130
    low-tech cyclist says:

    We’re well aware that plenty of right-wingers are perfectly nice people in person, despite the fact that the policies they push make the lives of millions of people more difficult.

    The same can be true of Democrats, and Joe Biden is a good example. Sure, he’s a great guy to have lunch with. But (among other things) he was also one of the prime movers of the draconian 2005 Bankruptcy Act.

    If he runs, Senator Professor Warren will wrap that thing around his neck like a garrote, and his reputation will start to converge with the place where it should have been all along – in the gutter.

  131. 131
    dnfree says:

    @Achrachno: I used to think that “many are fine in their seventies” until I and my family and friends got into our seventies. There are a lot more health problems (some of them visible, some not) than I expected there would be in the group of 70+-aged people I know. The number of us in excellent health and likely to stay that way for four years is small.

  132. 132
    WaterGirl says:

    @Mike J: Pete Buttigieg is not interested in being in congress — he wants to get stuff done and you can’t change the course we are on if you are in congress. He sees the world crashing around us and doesn’t think we have time to fuck around on any of it. He believes that the next 5 years will determine what happens for the next 40 years in this country, and will determine whether we remain a democracy.

    A short story that might illuminate what I’m trying to say: Decades ago on Dec 26, my entire family except my parents was heading from chicago to champaign (where I live) in a terrible blizzard. It was me, my two sisters, and their 5 children. I was the youngest but I drove because I knew I could handle the driving conditions better than either of my sisters. I look back now and think holy fuck, that’s a lot of responsibility and oh my god what if something had happened? But that is neither here nor there.

    Buttigieg is NOT running to make nice with Republicans. He actually said OUT LOUD that he wondered if Pence had abandoned his faith for Trump – though he worded it much better than I did here.

    He is running because he thinks he is best suited to navigate the disaster that is the current state of our country. I’m not at all sure that he isn’t right – Buttigieg is surely the smartest of the crop of (mostly) stellar candidates — and he has a way of looking at problems that I think would give us our best shot.

    Buttigieg is the volleyball player that they describe as “being able to see the whole court” at all times. He thinks we have to start getting it right – RIGHT NOW – or we are screwed. He is nice and cordial and he has a disarming personality, so it may well be true that republicans could get along with him; they sure aren’t going to like what he believes in, but they will listen to him, for at least a minute.

    P,S. *Stacey Abrams may be as smart as Pete, but I would have to see more of her to know if that is true.

  133. 133
    Ruckus says:

    @NotMax:
    I thought you liked dogs.

  134. 134
    Uncle Ebeneezer says:

    My favorite podcaster, Rod from TheBlackGuyWhoTips, often says: for Black people to advance White people are going to have to willfully step off the podium.” Same goes for Men, Christians, and any other privileged group. It would be nice if JUST ONE of these damn “electable” White Men would read the room and the times and say “You know, I’m gonna pass because we need to start letting some other groups wield the positions of power if we want to see real change. So instead of running, I’m throwing my effort behind Kamala (or whoever) and then will support whoever wins the Primary.”

    But of course, because they are White Men…Bernie, Beto and now Biden are all being entirely predictable. As the saying goes “Just ’cause you CAN do something, doesn’t mean you SHOULD.” Unfortunately privilege seems to make the point of this saying really hard for some people to grok.

  135. 135
    dww44 says:

    @Brickley Paiste: That is a very bad idea. As a longtime Dem voter, I don’t want to vote on a prepicked pairing.

  136. 136
    karen marie says:

    @Uncle Ebeneezer: Thank you.

  137. 137
    JustRuss says:

    @opiejeanne: My brother in SoCal just sent me a pic of his beautiful orange poppies. Couple days ago I stepped out of my front door to be greeted by yellow daffodils lining the walk. Moved into the place last fall, had no idea they were there. Spring is cool.

  138. 138
    enplaned says:

    One of the biggest problems with Hillary in 2016 is that she wasn’t something new. More generally, the Democratic 2016 field (such as it was, since it was basically just Sanders and Hillary) was positively geriatric. As much as I’d have sold my soul for Hillary to be elected (Hillary being infinitely better than any GOPer, whatever her deficiencies) I was not looking forward to endless Clinton Drama Part II. Though I’d happily take that over the utter shit show that’s currently playing. The point is that the same-old-same-old is rarely a winning way forward.

    I really want a 40-50 year old — someone younger than me. Biden, Sanders, I’d love them all to stand down and leave the field open to a new generation. The Biden-Sanders generation has done enough damage to the country, let some new folks try.

  139. 139
    enplaned says:

    Agree that Biden prepicking his running mate would be a clear signal of weakness. And my guess is the others wouldn’t be shy of saying so, nor would the pundits. It would be a terribly beginning for him – and since as much as I like the guy personally, I don’t want his generation in charge any more, I hope he does this. I don’t think it would work out well for him.

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