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Saturday, August 1, 2020


As I predicted, and as anyone with half a brain could see, August brings with it evictions, foreclosures, job losses, economic slowdown, and ever greater numbers of deaths from the virus. I find it extraordinary and really rather terrifying that even professional sports, with all the money in the world and every incentive to handle the virus successfully, cannot even put on baseball games in empty stadia without endangering the members of the teams. We are just now seeing the first attempts to open the schools and the consequences, predictably, will be disastrous.

I was not impressed by Trump's efforts to scare up a storm of commentary about the election, as they were transparently a response to the quite mind blowing drop in quarterly GDP. The news that his campaign has suspended television advertising for the time is genuinely astonishing and indicates a behind-the-scenes panic that even reporting from a leaky White House cannot fully capture.

The Republican national convention will be a shambles, and Trump's poll numbers will continue to slide. Will he use the excuse of a rigged election to withdraw? It is hard to imagine, but we live in what the Chinese curse calls "interesting times."

Since I seem to be in the business of making predictions about as risky as calling for the sun to rise in the east, I will predict that when Joe Biden announces his vice presidential choice we will all be massively disappointed.


Jerry Fresia said...

Interesting comment about the VP pick. Of course there is Warren. No chance. Before the VP pick had to be a black woman, Tammy Baldwin's name was mentioned. Now, she would have been a good pick, I thought. And then there is Harris, the worse of those on the short list. I hate to say it, but she got her start via a dalliance with Willie Brown; and she has not stopped being an opportunist. I thought, when she dropped out, that it was a form of a pledge to Biden. Susan Rice would be good only in the sense that I think she would be vulnerable to a progressive challenge four or eight years from now. I think she is highly overrated and really doesn't have a lot going for her except that like Harris she is willing to say and do what leaders of the empire perceive as needed. Stacy Abrams faded, happily. That leaves Karen Bass. My preferred candidate among the sort listers. Apparently she is capable in many ways and has won support by not being madly ambitious. And she may not stand in the way of a truly progressive candidate in 2024 should one arise and should Biden leave the stage.

David Zimmerman said...

Sadly, Karen Bass is a Scientologist..... and an enthusiastic one at that [... The great L.Ron Hubbard" and such.]

David Zimmerman said...

Sorry for the hasty post:

Bass claims she was just acknowledging the opening of a building in her district.... has learned about the issues with Scientology in the meantime.... and is a Baptist.

Pretty weak defence, I'd say.

Here's her statement:

Anonymous said...

NHL is managing to resume this weekend, games starting today, with no positive tests so far in their bubble. Of course they wisely decided to hold the whole thing in Canada, where there has actually existed a plan for dealing with this thing.

David Palmeter said...

One thing that doesn't seem to get mentioned in discussions or articles about the possibility of the increased volume of absentee ballots, shortage of poll workers etc etc overwhelm the system, and no winner could be declared. If that should occur, it can last only until noon on January 20. Trump's--and Pence's--term ends at that point. They were elected for four years and not a day longer. The office would then be vacant, and the powers of the president would be assumed by the Speaker of the House, one Nancy Pelosi. I wonder if Trump is aware of this.

Danny said...

about 'making predictions'..

When evictions were attempted in New York (Harlem, the Lower East Side, Brownsville) during the ‘30s, Communist organizers would literally hoist furniture up off the streets and move it back into apartments — and they’d urge neighbors and passersby to resist marshals and police if an eviction was repeated. These actions sometimes generated crowds of hundreds of participants. I mentiona all this, supposing that the idea of a large crowd of strangers convening to defend tenants from landlords might have seemed improbable just a few months ago. But also, on Monday Wolff's remark about 'act millions of Americans will be displaced and made homeless' made me snort. I might agree to call that 'a catastrosphe of unimaginable dimensions', but wait a minute -- how many renters are there? Looking it up, I find '43 million'. I incline to quibble, then, about how one comes up with an estimated share of renter households facing a rental shortfall and potential eviction. he United States is facing a possible tsunami of evictions? I tried looking something up about it, and found this item: 'IN Houston, Texas, there were 550 eviction filings over the past week, and more than 1,700 over the past month'. Well, then I don't picture this as being that, like, a million households did not pay their rent in July. Or heck, maybe it's like a million, shall we say. Of course this could be especially 'interesting' in high-cost real-estate markets, but I don't suppose the idea is to care, in particular, about those markets. Looking something up about it, I find a claim that in Santa Clara County, California, which is home to Apple and Google, among many other tech companies, a recent report estimated that more than 43,000 household are at risk of eviction. One might be interested in issues related to housing affordability across the country, and maybe sudden financial hardship is not just, like, a theoretical issue to yammer about, but, on the other hand, if you think of places like Virginia, Kentucky, Mississippi, Arkansas, then you might keep in mind that these are places where a full-time worker earning $15 an hour can afford a two-bedroom home without spending over a third of their income on rent. Also, mom-and-pop landlords own nearly half of all rental units nationwide. I'm fine with rental assistance, need to go further in terms of addressing renters’ needs amid the pandemic and such, the apartment industry solvent and such, but saw something about 'dilly-dallying' here, as if it's Republicans delaying action on evictions protection. Democrats oppose a piecemeal approach on that, which, fine, negotiations and all, but if it's about 'dillydallying' or not, then Trump, for example, isn't in the way on this one.

Christopher J. Mulvaney, Ph.D. said...

Jerry, when I consider who will be best in a debate situation, I think it is Harris. I can picture her demolishing the oleaginous Pence. Also, every politician I have worked with has been opportunistic. It goes with the territory. Like you, I would prefer Warren. I’d nominate Harris for A.G. Biden has repeatedly said he wants a VP with whom he is simpatico. I doubt either Warren or Harris fit that bill.

Anonymous said...

Don't people need an actual address to vote?

That means, in addition to the horrible disruption this causes to people's everyday lives, evictions also work, in effect, as a form of disenfranchisement. So of course the Republicans don't give a shit about people who get kicked out of their homes or apartments.

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