2020 presidential election

Pelosi, Mnuchin Cite Progress In Stimulus Talks, While ... Just Kidding

Not that we've grown jaded or anything.

Could there still be a new stimmy bill before the election? The Washington Post reports House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin had a very nice 90-minute call Thursday, and that both said they made "progress," so that's maybe a tiny bit encouraging, at least until you remember that Mitch McConnell controls what comes up in the Senate and has no interest in actually helping anyone hurt by the pandemic's economic fallout. All McConnell wants is 20 bucks in spending (for fresh leafy lettuce in his habitat) and corporate immunity from liability.

Still, this sounds nice:

Pelosi and Mnuchin have been discussing a new spending deal between $1.8 trillion and $2.2 trillion, though President Trump has said he would support even more.

[...] They both cited progress in resolving one of Pelosi's top demands, for a national strategic testing plan to better detect the coronavirus. Mnuchin told her that the White House would accept the Democrats' proposal with some "minor" modifications, according to Pelosi's spokesman -- confirming comments Mnuchin himself had made earlier in the day.

Much of the rest of the piece is about McConnell's rejection of anything more than his preferred option, a $500 billion package that would have the precious liability shield in it, and his rejection of Donald Trump's weird "Go big or go home!" call to spend more than even Pelosi was calling for. And then Trump went to his bizarre "town hall" and blamed Pelosi for the lack of progress.

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Class War

Weep, Weep (Don't Weep) For The Poor (Not Poor) White Supremacists (Definitely White Supremacists)!

In which Walker Bragman's rural poverty domestic terrorism chic is buried as it deserves.

Last week, America was blessed with a tantalizing glimpse of the future. Black Twitter, farm Twitter, real estate Twitter, blue-check policy wonks, and trailer park Twitter came together as one. What for? To deep-fry Walker Bragman, whom I had never heard of before last week, for his ignorant assertion that white supremacist terrorism is caused by "economic circumstances."

Unfortunately for poverty tastemakers like Bragman, who once complained that Uber brings gross icky poors who sleep in their cars into his nice clean Hamptons, rural Americans use Twitter. They were quick to point out that building private armies to overthrow the government is a rich and middle-class man's game. Accordingly, this isn't the broken-down shack that Walker, East End Ranger thinks it is. It's messy because it was just raided by the FBI. The home is new, in good repair (as seen on its Zillow page), and owned, not rented. It's got a private dumpster. Those are costly: a de facto class marker in rural areas without trash service. Nearby residents complained Joseph Morrison brought large groups to use the whole neighborhood as their personal shooting range. In other words, the first people these men terrorized were their own neighbors — the very rural residents Bragman claims to speak for.

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President Flopsweat WANT STIMMY NOW!

Or at least he wants it until his next dose of steroids.

You might recall that on Tuesday, Donald Trump declared there would be no more talks on an economic stimulus package until "immediately after I win" the election, at which time he would save the coronavirus-ravaged economy with a great new package, possibly harnessing the millions of flying pigs to haul ice from the recently frozen-over Hell. But he somehow didn't figure his announcement would cause a huge drop in the stock market, so since then, Trump has rooted around for something he could call a win.

First, he floated a number of stand-alone stimulus proposals, like maybe a new bailout for airlines and a new round of $1,200 stimmy checks to Americans, but House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said, as she has from the start of the crisis, nothing doing. The whole damn country needs help, so we're not going to do any à la carte deals, because only Family Dinner Special #3 will sustain a hurting America. We can talk about some of the menu choices, but we need a full meal. No way was she about to let Trump fill up on bread sticks. And for godssake, Donald, stop leering at the server, she's not interested, you pig.

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2020 presidential election

Joe Biden Gave One Hell Of A Gettysburg Speech

Our better angels have had the crap knocked out of them.

Joe Biden got his Abraham Lincoln on in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, yesterday, in a speech calling for Americans to come together and stop being a house divided, because if we keep going the way we've been going, we may not have fourscore years left as a nation. Something along those lines. It was actually a very good speech — and just the fact that it developed a coherent, well-crafted argument, as speeches are supposed to do, was a refreshing change from the freeform political cacophony of the past four years.

Biden made the most of the location, near the Civil War battlefield, to emphasize not just America's current political division, but also the awful death toll from the coronavirus pandemic, returning to his campaign's theme that the 2020 election is "a battle for the soul of the nation," and reminding us that America came out of the Civil War a different nation, one that keeps trying, too often clumsily and half-heartedly, to live up to its founding principles of equality for all. While he was at it, Biden managed to call for a less polarized politics without falling into the trap of pretending both sides of the political divide are equally extreme. Biden never mentioned Trump in the 22-minute speech, but very clearly called for an end to Trumpism.

In what could be seen as a sane person's riposte to Donald Trump's 2016 "What the hell have you got to lose?" Biden said, "You don't have to agree with me on everything, or even on most things, to see that what we're experiencing today is neither good nor normal."

Here, enjoy a hell of a good speech and maybe refuel your hope engine a bit.

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