141 Comments

Loved the David Epstein article. Thanks for sharing it!

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I've seen a couple of the DCCC's ads supposedly supporting Trumpistas in the upcoming elections. Before Trump, they would have been regarded as "negative" ads, that is, attacking the candidate. They simply stated the candidate's more far-out Trumpy positions. I suppose they might improve the candidate 's name recognition. The only way otherwise they could be construed as pro Trumpista is in the perverse way that I blamed CNN for Trump's election, and not entirely facetiously. The network seemed to me to roll the clip of him mocking the handicapped NYT reporter every hour or so. I thought perhaps a lot of people inclined to support Trump anyway saw them and thought, "Yeah, I like this guy. He acts like I'd like to act if I thought I could get away with it." But then, I thought the Trump candidacy from the beginning was a covert operation by the Clintons, hence the total shock when Trump won.

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Re: the DCCC ads.....

The pundit establishment say that those ads benefit the deplorable candidate.

I say hogwash.

Those ads aren't complementary of the deplorable candidate.

Those ads rightly depict the deplorable candidate as, well, deplorable.

I look at those ads as preemptive strikes against the deplorable candidate.

Nothing more.

Nothing less.

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I pray you're right. I've probably been reading too many spy thrillers, and the current climate has made the paranoia center in my brain over active and hypervigilint.

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Actually I always blamed Joe and Mika on MSNBC for Trump. They let him use them by letting him call in almost daily and yack with them for ten minutes or so... You could see the twinkle in the eye of the "Morning Joe" panels communicating that this was a big joke... until the morning after the election when it wasn't. They gave Trump a platform and audience he would never have reached had he been relegated to FOXNews morning call ins over at "FOX and Friends."

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Wow! I wasn't aware of the MSNBC part in 2016. I tremble to think the media and political sophisticates really thought in '16 that publicizing Trump's ignorant barbarism would work against him. That might have been a rational theory in normal times or even in '16. In light of the catastrophic results that year, however, that notion has been conclusively disproved, shown to be about as risky as giving the car keys to a drunk teenager.

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Just read that DeSantis is poking his nose into Ohio, endorsing Vance and PA, endorsing Mastriano, in person. Trump may not like it.

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Trump won't care. He would have cared BEFORE the primaries if DeSantis endorsed someone other than Trump's annointed. But endorsing Trump's chosen ones is just performative virtue signaling--- since obviously no Republican is going to endorse Vance's or Mastriano's Democratic opponent. It just shows solidarity with the Party and with Trump.

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❤️ attempt

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I am a Josh Barro fan...and he could easily slip into the Bulwark pantheon. Check out his podcast: "Serious Trouble" with his legal-beagle wing man, Ken White. https://www.serioustrouble.show

But, his opening paragraph content: "Democrats have acted hypocritically, raising alarm about Trump being a unique threat to democracy..." how is that even remotely considered hypocritical unless Mr. Barro thinks that Biden, Obama, Clinton are/were threats to democracy.

Otherwise, the remainder of his writings are right-on (as we aging Boomers would say in the 60s and 70s, which White youths stole from Black culture...similar to stealing R&B songs in the 1950s that turned into R&R hits in which Black artists were left on the sidelines.)

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founding

First, JVL I very much appreciate getting the newsletter each week. They definitely open my horizons and I think they are all very good. I do share these with other folks in my network

As to Josh Barro and his analysis of "Team Normal" I tend to agree with him that the Dems are being hypocritical. Of course they want the Rep Party to implode. The risk, though, is that it doesn't and we end up with wing nuts in power.

I am reminded of the Beer Hall Putsch in 1923 where Hitler attempted a "coup". A big failure but he came back and eventually succeeded. As he returned the "establishment" allowed him to gain power and they viewed the Nazi's as the "mouth breathers" that they wouldn't be caught dead with (like the people showing up now at Trump rallies). I can see the January 6th event in the same light as Hitler's Beer Hall Putsch - really stupid and little chance of succeeding. Note that Hitler was sentenced to five years in prison for treason but only served 9 months. He came back and took power by "legitimate" means.

I hope that we will not let Trump come back. The Dems should do everything they can to defeat the Trump Cult/Election deniers even if that means supporting candidates that might defeat them in general elections.

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In re to Josh Barro's piece, it would seem to me the real hypocrites are Team Normal. "Team Normal wants nothing more than for Trump to go away. Doesn’t matter how. Jail. Defeat. The January 6 Committee. Whatever. They’re not picky.

But also, Team Normal cannot—under any circumstances—appear to want Trump to go away. And so they wind up pushing back against and defending Trump from the processes that could drive him out of American politics."

Why should the Dems miss an opportunity to strengthen their chances of winning in the midterms and 2024?

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The entire premise of Barro's piece is that Team Normal is hypocritical and full of shit. He just acknowledges that there is also some hypocrisy to be found in Dems, but it's Team Normal who is at fault for their Trump problem.

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May I just say this? Because I cannot be the only one to see it...

But were Liz Cheney and Sarah Longwell "separated at birth"?

(okay Liz is older, and I mean no disrespect to Sarah who looks much

younger because she is, but really, put a pair of glasses on Sarah... and wow... )

Is it just me?

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founding

I just love the last caller on C-SPAN calling both Liz Cheney and Sarah as intelligent young ladies.

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Make sure those are blue frame glasses.

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Glad to see Barro's piece plugged.

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Re culture: What can I do to make you more effective?

I highly recommend this book - The Progress Principle: Using Small Wins to Ignite Joy, Engagement, and Creativity at Work

I used to work for a company that designed and deployed custom employee surveys. We would always try to include a question about how supportive the work environment was for the employee to be productive. What we found was that one question was the most correlated with every other question., regardless of topic . How they felt about their co-workers, their management, senior management, their benefits, the ethics of the company, everything. To make employees feel like they want to continue to work at your company, both line and senior management should focus on making it easier for them to feel they have accomplished something as often as possible.

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Humans need positive feedback, not because we are all insecure, but because we're social beings. I always do better when I'm feeling not useful. And so did my employees.

So it's good when others let us know our efforts are an accomplishment of value in their eyes..

The Progress Principle sounds like a good book. Thx.

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I agree that positive feedback is important. What the book focuses on is the intrinsic rewards of being able to accomplish something regularly at work. You might be surprised how many managers do not think it is part of their job to remove the impediments (lack of training, poor tools and/or processes, excessive multi-tasking and interrupts) keeping their employees from doing their jobs effectively.

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Ah more the mechanics than positive feedback. 👍🏼 sounds like a good book.

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In all of this conversation, I'll bring this up again. The women's health issue is just getting basically ignored here. That is not clear thinking if one wants to consider motivational politics. The Kansas abortion vote was an enormous bell ringing in an empty sky.

The democratic candidates really need to lean into this issue hard. The constituency is huge, built in and fundamentally captive. It needs exploiting but in a good way. 50% of the population is being treated like cattle.

I'd wager that businesses as well as professionals are not going to want to move or expand in states where a women's choice is disregarded. The job market really is competitive these days and making things look unattractive to a potential candidate for a job is big, really big. Who wants to move to Texas and set up a medical practice with the atmosphere of Calvinists?

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"Republicans are correct that many Democrats have acted hypocritically, raising alarm about Trump being a unique threat to democracy while they act to strengthen his grip on the Republican Party."

Please explain. I'm not being sarcastic, I really want to know because it sounds a lot like "both-sides-ism" to me.

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founding

My criticism on the DCCC is on wasting resources well before the general election. Otherwise, there is a lot of pearl clutching by Team Normal. If any Republican who has a genuine gripe, it is Adam Kinzinger who got his district eliminated by the Democratic-controlled legislature.

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JVL is specifically referring to the DCCC running ads (albeit not direct ones in most cases) that are softly in support of the craziest of the crazy Trumpist candidates, because they think they can beat them more easily in a general election.

Frankly, I get *why* they did it - if even team normal Republicans refuse to push back on Trump and co. then why bother running against a moderate? Did these GOP candidates need the help? In almost every case: no, Trump endorsements did that.

Did the ads directly tell voters "vote for X"? No. They said things like "Mastriano is too conservative for PA". Maybe it was JVL or another writer that said, "if someone is running ads saying 'this is poison, it will kill you' and people buy it / drink it anyway, it's not really your fault".

At the same time, I get the sentiment of "please stop promoting the crazies in any capacity". Messy stuff, but he's not wrong that there's some arms of the Democratic party meddling (in an extremely limited capacity), by telling GOP primary voters XYZ candidate is literal poison.

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To declare Trump is an existential threat to democracy, and implicitly that the GOP is as well, it's high-risk to do anything to promote the Trumpiest candidates in any race. After all, the Trumpiest candidate could very well win.

That's the argument. I find it overstated, but I also find it true.

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The Trumpiest candidates are gonna get the Trumpy vote.

The object of those ads is to point out to the fence straddlers (i.e.: independents and soccer moms) just how deplorable the Trumpiest candidates truly are.

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The "3 body problem" story reminds me of the part in the Gulag Archipelago where nobody wanted to stop clapping for Stalin because the first to do so would get singled out for being too independent, and hence purged.

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Fear. The greatest weapon in a Bully's arsenal.

Works every time.

Unless you try it with Liz Cheney.

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With the Rs there are few Liz Cheneys. Is there anyone on the national Rs who says anything remotely like Liz? Every single high profile R has bowed to the "king"!

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Yes exactly! Liz is unique. Im a little bit afraid for her. This war crap is already out of hand and more people are gonna get hurt.

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I think a good chunk of the war crap is out-and-out noise intimidation. They think it worked for Trump to get his way. So they figure if they make all those noises, the rest of us, including the FBI, etc., will let them have their way. Yeah, it worked for Trump, but only because nobody's pushed back at him. Well, now NY and Georgia are talking fraud and pushing, the DOJ is definitely pushing and talking fraud. For the first time, at least since he turned into an "adult", there are big guns after him, and they're not just talking about fines. And those idiots like that FL wanna-be rep thinks declaring war on the FBI, IRS, etc. will work. Like the poor fool who was killed a couple of weeks ago, they'll find out it won't.

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Regarding the Barro article; it's hardly surprising that the Republican response to losing is to demand mercy and forbearance and to attempt to accept the compromise that was on the table before they lost the battle. It's exactly what they did with gay marriage. All those years in the late 90s and early 00s where they were offered a compromise of accepting civil unions, but they refused. Until 10 years later when it was obvious that the culture had turned and they lost; then it was only natural for people who supported gay rights to accept a compromise with someone who had no leverage left whatsoever. Even though they spent decades going into gay enclaves and enforcing their will in a way that would never admit any compromise. Just anther result of their conviction that they are the only ones operating from a moral position.

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And in other news - just read an article about a FL R candidate for their legislature saying, “Under my plan, all Floridians will have permission to shoot FBI, IRS, ATF and all other feds on sight! Let freedom ring!” Name - Luis Miguel, and Twitter banned him for life. Don't hear any "normal" GOPs condemning him.

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The sad part is that NO ONE would have known who he was--- but thanks to the Twitter ban he is now internationally famous. All the news articles focus on the Twitter ban not on what he said and now he has more "street cred" with the Banana Republican Party in Florida and I bet the money is pouring in. He is running against a strong GOP incumbent. race. Fortunately he is unlikely to win the GOP primary. I hope!

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They have long wanted a civil war, and 1/6 was the opening salvo.

They are literally "at war" with the rest of us, and it will continue

to escalate.

Not sure what to do about it.

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Aug 20, 2022·edited Aug 20, 2022

Sadly, angrily think you're right. Hope the FBI is keeping them in sight; can't trust anything De Santis controls.

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I have always said (literally always) I prefer to be shot than to shoot another human.

I forbid guns in my household, and am concerned you have plunged to their depths, exactly as they want.

But gun up if you want.

I see myself as more of a medic on the frontlines than a killer.

But I really”get” your pov. Its increasingly popular in America these days.

What does pyoob mean?

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Eons, okay decades, ago, post Vietnam and reading about the first Christian martyrs who didn't fight their oppressors, I thought of myself as a pacifist who wouldn't shoot/kill another human even at the cost of my life, even in a just war. Luckily, I never had to put it to the test. But as the years go by, really in the past decade or two, as I started reading about the German Resistance against Hitler, and started to incorporate them in my "fanfiction", I find myself thinking less like a pacificist and more like a Resistance fighter. There are evils that may require fighting - protecting someone from the Nazis, the KKK, the McVeighs, etc. God forbid it happens here!

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Aug 20, 2022·edited Aug 20, 2022

In some areas, don't know if I'd trust the cops.

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And this is why we need to make these wannabe warriors the face of the GOP.

Make the bastards own their would-be McVeighs.

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The article says his opponent in the race is another R, no Ds in sight. Granted it's "only" a local state race, but God knows what his opponent thinks!

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When will we recognize that Tik Tok is a propaganda tool of the CCP. When will regulators recognize this and take appropriate action - shut it down in the US.

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Team Normal Republicans number exactly zero: except Cheney and Kinzinger and their tribe has excommunicated them. So Republicans have achieved absolute zero: zero integrity, zero testicles, zero spine. They carry Trumps urine as if it were gold and bathe in it proving Trump does enjoy the golden shower.

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