Bears and Bulls (Open Thread)

"Fearless Girl" sculpture on Wall Street

Senator Warren published a new Medium post this morning warning that we’re heading toward another economic crash. She was right about the 2008 crash — starting five years before it happened — and she was correct about the reasons we were headed toward a cliff back then, namely “shady subprime lending, rising household debt, a mortgage market where lenders didn’t bear the risk of their loans.”

In today’s post, Warren summarizes the signs that she finds troubling about the current economy, including rising household debt, leveraged corporate debt, a manufacturing sector that is already in recession according the the fed’s own numbers, and Trump’s feckless handling of the trade dispute with China as well as the idiotic way Trump “is goading the U.K. toward a no-deal Brexit.”

Warren also outlines the steps she would take to avert a crash, aligning them with her campaign pitch, which includes student debt cancellation, raising the minimum wage, eliminating the congressional debt ceiling, a green manufacturing plan, etc.

It’ll be interesting to see how this plays politically, if it garners notice at all. The conventional wisdom is that low unemployment and stock market enthusiasm will be huge strengths for Trump going into 2020. He certainly thinks so — “economy” might be a shorter leg than “racism” and “xenophobia” on the Trump 2020 campaign stool, but it’s definitely being deployed daily to carry part of the load.

I don’t know squat about economics, but Warren has earned trust on the topic, IMO. From a purely political perspective, maybe it’s smart to attack Trump on one of his so-called strengths. He’s as ignorant about economics as he is on every other topic, so he’ll be unable to coherently counter any points Warren raises beyond the usual moronic name-calling and self-aggrandizement.

Warren (and other Democratic candidates) also keys in on something a lot of pols and pundits miss when she says the stock market and GDP numbers Trump is always crowing about “don’t reflect the lived experiences of most Americans.” I think that’s true, and I’m glad Warren is pushing back in a highly specific way.

What do you think?

Saturday Morning Open Thread: Readership (Voter) Capture

From the Washington Post:

Former first lady Michelle Obama is urging teachers throughout the country to make sure students who are eligible to cast ballots actually register and “are ready to vote.”

Obama made her call through a video address at two recent teachers union conferences: the annual convention of the National Education Association, the country’s largest labor union, and the American Federation of Teachers. Together, the organizations have as many as 5 million members, most of them educators.

Her outreach to teachers is the first piece of a voter registration initiative that she helped launch last year, a national, nonpartisan organization called When We All Vote. Other co-chairs include Tom Hanks, Lin-Manuel Miranda, Janelle Monáe, Chris Paul, Faith Hill and Tim McGraw. The teachers unions are partners with the nonprofit initiative, as are other organizations including the League of Women Voters and Rock the Vote…

Election 2020 Open Thread: The CNN Debate Draw

What I was hoping for was a Biden-Bernie matchup, with the old bulls fighting over the remnants of the name-recognition vote. What I feared was a Harris-Warren draw, where the moderators would spend entirely too much time crying Let’s you and her fight!

What we’re gonna get, I suspect, is at least 24 hours of Extremely Online Drama as the Berniacs complain that one or more of their current chewtoys (Warren, Buttigieg & O’Rourke) was extremely cruel and unfair to their patron saint… following a long week of Media Village Idiots salivating over the potential for another Biden-Harris “fistfight”. Oh, well, it’s early days, and the normal people will be too busy with their summer to pay attention.

Early notes from the Washington Post:

The Democratic field is the most diverse ever and yet all five minority candidates ended up on the same night. If Harris does go after Biden again on race issues, he could face a pile-on with Booker onstage as well. Booker was actually the first candidate to take Biden to task for his comments about working with well-known segregationists early in his career.

O’Rourke, who raised a huge amount of money in his first 24 hours in the race, lost his early momentum while Buttigieg, who raised the most money of any candidate in the second quarter, surged. O’Rourke may try to recapture the mantle as the face of the next generation. Buttigieg, meanwhile, will have an opportunity to position himself as a pragmatist versus the more liberal Sanders and Warren…

The Trump/GOP Healthcare Plan: Lie

Indefatigable CNN fact-checker Daniel Dale surfaced this big, fat whopper from last night’s racist hate rally. Warning: the CNN clip contains brief video of Trump speaking at the hate rally, so if you watch it, you’ll see the bloated, sweaty orange shitgibbon chopping the air with his hand as he lies about the nonexistent Republican healthcare plan for about 15 seconds:

Hasty transcript of Trump’s quote for those unwilling to subject themselves to the image:

“Patients with preexisting conditions are protected by Republicans much more so than protected by Democrats, who will never be able to pull it off.”

As Dale points out, Democrats already “pulled it off” with the ACA, which is the only reason preexisting conditions aren’t a thing now, and if the Trump administration gets its way, the ACA will be struck down entirely by the courts, which will not only cause millions to lose access to coverage via the exchanges but also leave every single American with private insurance to the tender mercies of the insurance companies on a whole host of provisions, including preexisting conditions.

A few months ago, Trump started making noises about GOP healthcare reform policies, which Republican electeds played down. That’s because even if Trump is dumb enough to believe his own lies about the nonexistent GOP healthcare plan (debatable), people like Mitch McConnell know releasing a plan would necessitate defending said plan in upcoming elections. But are they going to go into the 2020 election with absolutely nothing? Possibly!

Trump appointed a couple of GOP senators to look into the issue, naming Medicare fraudster Rick Scott as “point man.” But while Scott is definitely a crook, he’s not stupid, so he immediately threw that hot potato right back at the White House on one of the Sunday shows, saying “I look forward to, you know, to seeing what the president’s going to put out.” So did it fall through the cracks? Maybe Jared is working on it?

Anyhoo, regardless of what you think of the various Democratic Party primary candidates’ approaches to healthcare, at least they have policies to debate. The same is true of many other issues, like the phantom wall that Trump lied about last night too. It looks like all Trump will bring to the general election is more lies. Am I wrong in thinking it’ll be harder to pull off a all-lie-based campaign strategy as an incumbent? Maybe, but I ‘m going to choose optimism on this point.

Open thread!

Thursday Morning Open Thread: Back to the Arena

(Tom Toles via

I guess if Rep. Lewis can keep fighting, so can we… even if the well-intentioned members of the DNC seem to be trying to kill me:

And then, if I had my way, the members of the B Ark Tier One would be locked in a nicely stocked hotel annex until mid-November 2020. (Sorry, Sen. Gillibrand.) But nobody ever takes my advice, possibly because they’re afraid of insufficiently sanitized telephones.

It’s not as though this rigamarole is making anyone but the ad salesguys and the Media Horse Race Touts happy. (Seth Moulton, predictably, is making a very public fuss already.)

I hope to Murphy the Trickster God that the Inslee campaign was being sarcastic.