Friday Talking Points -- (Fiscal) Cliff Notes

[ Posted Friday, October 8th, 2021 – 16:56 UTC ]

The past two weeks were a prime example of why so many Americans are so disgusted and disillusioned with Washington politics. There were scary deadlines, meaningless drama, pointless partisanship, obstructionism, and ego-boosting all around. And at the end of the day, nothing really happened except we are all right back where we started from. What appeared to be a drama-filled few weeks of politics produced precisely zero result. Which is why so many citizens have just tuned out of the process entirely -- because it is usually frustratingly idiotic and nothing short of a massive waste of time.

Last week, of course, all the Kabuki theater centered around the intraparty spat among Democrats over passing President Joe Biden's economic agenda. The end result? Nothing got voted on, no grand bargains were struck, and the Democrats punted the ball another month down the road.

This week was "Kabuki, Part II -- Another Fiscal Cliff!", where Republicans tried to take the American economy hostage merely to create a political talking point they can use on the campaign trail next year. We wish this were a cynical caricature of what happened, but (sadly) it is not. At the end of the week, neither side had really blinked, but they had agreed to kick the can down the road to the start of December.

Which means we'll all get both acts of this cheesy drama all over again, except this time it will be: "Kabuki, Holiday Edition!"


If we sound a little disgusted ourselves, well, that's pretty much par for the course these days. None of this was even really necessary, and it wasted a whole bunch of time that probably could have been used a lot more productively. It's so rare that Congress is actually in Washington at all these days that it seems almost criminal to waste such a huge block of time on Kabuki. But again -- par for the course.

We're at least somewhat heartened by the fact that we're not the only ones disgusted. Some journalists have been managing to show the proper amount of outrage at the situation. HuffPost ran an article with the spot-on title: "This Is The Dumbest Debt Ceiling Standoff," and the Washington Post disgustedly pointed out how Republicans are probably going to get away with their threats to set fire to the economy (emphasis in original):

Republicans in Congress are doing everything they can to manufacture a crisis that brings the American economy to the brink of disaster. And they seem to be having a fine time doing it, as if they know there will be no price to pay.

This is not a story of a "standoff," not a story of partisan bickering, not a story of clever legislative maneuvering. One of our two great parties is managing to be simultaneously psychopathic and rational -- psychopathic because their willingness to wreak destruction is almost without limit, and rational because they understand one of the most fundamental and disheartening truths about the American system.

It's this: There is almost never any accountability for the people who deserve it the most.

Because of the legal abomination known as the debt ceiling, we are now hurtling toward a default on America's obligations within a matter of days -- an outcome that could send America into recession and destabilize the global economy. Democrats are trying to raise or suspend that ceiling to cover spending authorized by both parties. Republicans have not only declined to vote for such a measure, they are filibustering it.

Every Republican senator, even supposedly reasonable ones such as Mitt Romney (Utah), has joined in the filibuster. And they have the gall to claim, as they push us toward the cliff, that they don't want us to fall.

For instance, Sen. Kevin Cramer (R-N.D.) actually defended the filibuster by declaring: "We're not in the mood to facilitate their difficult job, to make their difficult job easier."

And then, when Cramer was asked what happens if the GOP filibuster does lead to default, this happened:

"Then too bad," Cramer said. "It's just really, really unfortunate that they're that irresponsible." He later said he did not think the country would breach the debt ceiling, adding, "I don't think anybody wants that to happen."

It's as though you caught me splashing gasoline onto the walls of your house and fumbling with a lighter, and I said, "Look, nobody wants your house to burn down. You're the one being irresponsible here."

By the end of the week, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell "blinked." He stared into the abyss and saw only two possible outcomes: the United States defaults on its debt and the ensuing economic pandemonium gets blamed squarely on Republicans, or the Democrats use his reckless and irresponsible obstructionism to convince Senators Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema to further weaken the filibuster rules (to allow debt ceiling increases to avoid filibusters ever again). Neither looked very good for McConnell or the GOP, so he cut a deal with Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer. A short-term extension bill -- which was not a budget reconciliation bill -- was allowed to pass. Ted Cruz filibustered it anyway, but 11 Republicans voted with the Democrats to begin debate, so this attempt was stymied. When the bill came up for the actual vote, only Democrats voted for it (the total was 50-48) and it passed.

Which just postponed the real fight for another month. What is really being fought over is how the Democrats will raise the debt ceiling. There are two ways to make this happen: by date, or by amount. Picking a future date is by far the easier of the two, politically. Unfortunately, it is also the hardest to do, parliamentarily (which may not even be a word, we fully admit, but we are too lazy to check). Raising the debt ceiling by throwing a dart at a future calendar is only allowed as a regular bill -- one that can be filibustered, in other words. To use the budget reconciliation process (to avoid the filibuster) requires setting an actual dollar amount for the new national debt instead of just picking a date.

This is the whole fight, in a nutshell. Republicans want to force Democrats to pick a number rather than a date so they can use this new number as a political bludgeon against Democrats in campaign ads. Democrats are afraid of this possibility and are insisting that a regular bill be allowed to pass without the Republicans filibustering it. Democrats are saying to the Republicans: "If you won't vote for it in the final vote, fine -- but please get out of the way so that that vote can happen."

This standoff may repeat itself, right after Thanksgiving. Schumer is adamant about not using the budget reconciliation process and McConnell seems just as adamant about forcing the Democrats to do so. However, one strong argument Schumer used this time around may have less impact next time -- that Democrats simply didn't have enough time for the arduous process of getting the debt ceiling hike through the reconciliation process. Next time around McConnell will be able to counter with: "We gave you an extra month-and-a-half. You could easily have done it by now."

Of course, this argument was valid this time around, too. Democrats could easily have already raised the debt ceiling with a reconciliation bill. They could have included it in the first bill they passed -- the emergency COVID aid package. The country was in a crisis and would easily have accepted a debt ceiling rise as part of the recovery efforts. Democrats chose not to go this route, meaning it is now a standalone issue that has attracted a lot more political heat. That is on Schumer and the rest of the Democrats -- nobody's really blameless in this mess.

Meanwhile, in the background, the power struggle between two Democratic senators and the other 48 continues to heat up. To bring the Build Back Better plan down to the level that Joe Manchin has been demanding is going to require massive cuts to the original plan. Progressives are getting stronger in this fight, since they essentially have Joe Biden in their corner (after all, this is truly Biden's agenda). But a pragmatic Biden, who is telling the progressives to get ready to accept drastic cuts that either scale back the timeline for new programs or drops them completely.

Also meanwhile, Kyrsten Sinema has become such a cartoon that, not unlike Sarah Palin, her Saturday Night Live spoof actually seemed more real than she does.

But the deadline is still weeks away, so it's quite likely that nothing but more bickering is going to happen for a while. Again: "Exhibit A" for why most of the public is just flat-out disgusted with Congress and politics in general.

What else was going on this week? Facebook apparently had a hard week, but we find it hard to care since we are not on Facebook.

A federal judge finally shut down the Draconian Texas abortion law -- although who knows what will happen in the appellate court and the Supreme Court? For now, though, this is welcome news.

Corey Lewandowski is a pig and may face charges for sexually harassing and touching a woman at a fundraising party. Normally we wouldn't even mention this, but it does lead into a much funnier item:

Donald Trump announced a new super PAC on Monday -- and his critics couldn't get over the name: "Make America Great Again, Again."

The awkward moniker has been used before by Trump's allies, including former Vice President Mike Pence, who tested it out at the Republican National Convention in 2020 to similar confusion on social media at the time.

In this case, New York Times reporter Maggie Haberman said the rebrand was a way to sideline longtime Trump aide Corey Lewandowski, who was purged from the former president's orbit after being accused of sexual misconduct last week. However, Lewandowski remains in charge of the current PAC, "Make America Great Again Action."

"Trump folks had no way to legally replace Lewandowski, one of two board members of the first super PAC, unless he stepped down, so they're now forming a new group," Haberman wrote on Twitter.

The internet, of course, had a field day.

Personally, we would have gone with something snappier than "MAGAA" -- maybe something along the lines of "MegaMAGA"?


Most Impressive Democrat Of The Week

We are reluctantly going to give the Most Impressive Democrat Of The Week to Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, for essentially forcing Mitch McConnell to blink on the debt ceiling.

This was good -- Schumer winning a battle of wills with his counterpart -- but it was also needlessly dramatic. In the end, Schumer even got 11 Republicans to vote to begin debate on the short-term extension bill that McConnell offered, and it is rare indeed these days to see any filibuster defeated. Schumer also didn't give in to McConnell's demand that even the short-term bill be a Democrats-only effort, which strengthens his whole argument that such contortions shouldn't be necessary (since Democrats helped raise the debt ceiling multiple times under Donald Trump).

Schumer even made Trump get publicly annoyed with McConnell, which is always fun to see.

So while we're reluctant to congratulate anyone on what happened this week, we must in all honesty admit that Schumer sticking to his principles worked, in the end.

This time, at any rate. We'll see what happens next time.

[Congratulate Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer on his Senate contact page, to let him know you appreciate his efforts.]


Most Disappointing Democrat Of The Week

However, to balance things out, we're also handing Schumer the Most Disappointing Democrat Of The Week award as well.

In the first place, it didn't have to be this way. Democrats could have hiked the debt ceiling all the way back in February. Schumer chose not to. Schumer also could have taken the necessary time to insert the debt ceiling into the budget reconciliation deal at any point in the past few months, so his excuse of: "There just isn't time to get it done" is a little threadbare.

But mostly, we are handing Schumer the MDDOTW award for not fighting for what he really should be fighting for -- abolishing the debt ceiling forever. Why allow this hostage-taking nonsense to even take place? With one vote, Democrats could make it turn into a pumpkin (hey, it's October, it's time for pumpkin metaphors...).

This is the only sane path forward. Republicans will play this suicidal game, every chance they get (with a Democrat in the White House, of course -- they don't play this game when a Republican in in charge). So why continue to let them?

For not leaning in hard to abolishing the debt ceiling in the midst of this pointless political fracas, Schumer missed a real opportunity to educate the public about a permanent solution to this problem. And that is what earned him this week's Most Disappointing Democrat Of The Week award.

[Contact Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer on his Senate contact page, to let him know what you think of his actions.]


Friday Talking Points

Volume 637 (10/8/21)

We've got a fairly cohesive pair of issues this week, separated by one unrelated talking point. The first three deal with all the new revelations about the attempted insurrection and coup (and how much of it is being flat-out ignored by the mainstream media), and the last three deal with vaccines and mandates. So let's just dig right in....


   Trump tried to stage a coup

For some reason, this isn't a big deal to the media. It really should be, so Democrats should point it out even if they aren't asked about it.

"As we learn more and more of what happened between the election and the sixth of January, it just gets more and more frightening to anyone who cares about democracy in America. The sitting president tried to use the Department of Justice to orchestrate what can only be called a coup d'état. He was all set to fire his attorney general and install someone who would be a willing participant in this coup. Only the threat of mass resignations -- what a White House counsel called 'a murder-suicide pact' -- kept him from doing so. The Senate just put out a damning report titled: 'Subverting Justice: How the Former President and His Allies Pressured DOJ to Overturn the 2020 Election' and yet the political media responds with a collective yawn. Republicans just shrug. Let me state it again: the sitting president tried to use the Justice Department to overthrow a presidential election. You'd think that would be big news, right?"


   Another collective yawn

It's just mindblowing what the media deems important and what they consciously choose to ignore.

"The political media spent a lot of time handwringing over some activists who followed Senator Kyrsten Sinema into a public bathroom, but when the story broke of a memo that outlined a six-point coup strategy for Vice President Mike Pence to use to subvert the will of tens of millions of American voters, you know what happened? In the two days after the bombshell release of the memo, the news departments at ABC, NBC, and CBS all decided it was worth zero coverage on their evening and morning news shows. Zero. The only way the public heard about this seditious memo was through the networks' late-night comedy shows. That is a pretty damning indictment of the state of broadcast journalism in American today, folks."


   No lawyer jokes for a while, promise!

They've earned the respite.

"While I would much prefer to see the architects of the attempted insurrection and coup be charged in a court of law for their seditious and treasonous acts, at least somebody is working hard to see that there are some consequences for trying to overthrow American democracy. John Eastman, the author of the infamous memo laying out a six-point roadmap for how Donald Trump could remain in power after losing a presidential election, is going to have to face the California State Bar to answer for his actions. A group of California lawyers (including ex-judges and former governors) sent a letter to the State Bar requesting an investigation into his legal misconduct. Hopefully, they'll move swiftly to disbar Eastman. Rudy Giuliani already got his law license yanked, and I sincerely hope that everyone with their fingerprints on this attempted coup is eventually banned from practicing law ever again."


   Your people?

Hoo boy.

"Senator Chuck Grassley, who was born during the Great Depression, addressed Lucy Koh, a judicial nominee who happens to be Korean-American, by saying, and I quote: 'If I've learned anything from Korean people, it's a hard work ethic. And how you can make a lot out of nothing. So I congratulate you and your people.' Seriously, in this day and age, a sitting senator used the racist phrase 'your people.' I wonder how he would have reacted if a minority member told him: 'I'm glad to see that your people finally realized that owning other human beings was wrong.' This type of stereotyping not only has no place in politics anymore, it has no place in polite society, period. Grassley should apologize and swear never to use such a term ever again."


   Double down on fighting COVID

This is good politics, as more and more Democrats are realizing.

"You know what? The anti-vaxxers and anti-maskers get a whole lot of media attention because they are so loud and obnoxious, but that does not make them any kind of majority. The majority of people want to see their political leaders stand up to the pandemic and do what is necessary to get us out of it as quickly as possible. This means mandating vaccines for as many workers as possible. It means mask mandates where they are needed. It means telling people to do stuff they don't want to do. That's hard, but that is also known as leadership. And the majority of the public welcomes such leadership, as poll after poll shows. Thankfully, some Democratic politicians have realized the political potency of this issue and are actively running on it. The Democratic candidates for governor in both Virginia and New Jersey have doubled down on pandemic leadership. Gavin Newsom beat a recall effort in California by doubling down on the issue, too. Voters reward such leadership. President Biden is leading the way on this one, with the speech he gave this week on vaccine mandates. The time for mollycoddling the unvaccinated is over. The public wants this pandemic to end as soon as possible and they welcome strong measures to make that happen. And, as usual, Republicans are completely on the wrong side of the issue."


   Vaccine mandates work!

Biden's speech contained a few key ideas. Rinse and repeat.

"Joe Biden gave a speech this week in advance of his Labor Department rolling out new rules for businesses with 100 or more employees. They'll all have to either institute a mandate for employee vaccines or require unvaccinated employees to get tested every week. Biden's biggest point is that this is the pathway to getting the economy completely back on its feet as soon as possible. This is also the pathway to ensuring that workers have a safe workplace and don't have to risk death for a paycheck. Biden put it quite simply: vaccine mandates work. Where they've been instituted, vaccination rates have shot up to above 90 percent. Sometimes as high as 99 or 100 percent, even. That's what it is going to take to get us out the other side of this nightmare. As Biden put it: 'Let's finish the job.' I could not agree more."


   Six words

We're not going to repeat them here, you'll have to watch the video.

"Recently a seemingly-deranged woman was caught on video walking down Hollywood Boulevard, using a megaphone to rant and rave about the COVID-19 vaccines. Hilariously, a man pushing a shopping cart down the street shut her nonsense down with only six words. Rarely do you see such a wonderful example of instant karma in action."

-- Chris Weigant


Follow Chris on Twitter: @ChrisWeigant

Cross-posted at: Democratic Underground


113 Comments on “Friday Talking Points -- (Fiscal) Cliff Notes”

  1. [1] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    i have met the vaccine, and it is pie.

  2. [2] 
    Don Harris wrote:

    Liz (FPC)-
    Google Ralph Nader Radio Hour. Find "Strip Mining Democracy" episode from last week (easy to find). 24-25 minutes in.

    Not difficult.

  3. [3] 
    Don Harris wrote:

    It's easy as pie.

  4. [4] 
    John M from Ct. wrote:

    Good stuff on the inside baseball of Washington politics that you specialize in.

    And speaking of that, I am kind of shocked - shocked! - that you can write a sentence like "Which is why so many citizens have just tuned out of the process entirely..." in expressing your shock - shock! - that Washington politics is inverted, self-defeating, and inane.

    Wait - you mean Americans of the common stripe are suddenly turned off by the inside baseball of Washington politics? Just now, in the 2020s, Joe and Jane Public are abandoning their hitherto admirable addiction to civics and walking away in disgust, because McConnell and Schumer and Pelosi and McCarthy and Biden, etc. etc.?

    Got news for you. In the 1990s, American citizens were disgusted by Congressional B.S.

    In the 1960s, American citizens thought it was all B.S.

    In the 1930s, American citizens were appalled, etc.

    In the 1870s, Americans of every description found Congress' antics unbearable.

    In the 1840s, Americans were disgusted to the point of physical illness at the appalling display known as the American Congress.

    It's poor punditry - jocular journalism - comical commentary - to open a political column with an inane premise that this week's circus on Capitol Hill is the reason why good Americans have suddenly abandoned their faith in good government under the Constitution's Article I. It sounds like you, not the American people, have been living in some dreamworld.

  5. [5] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Don, if I promise to go through all of that trouble to find what you want me to see, you have to promise to come to the party Sunday night, at least make an appearance. Deal?

  6. [6] 
    C. R. Stucki wrote:


    Chris doesn't object to Grassley using the term "Korean people", but he takes major offense at him using the term "your people" whilst addressing a person of Korean heritage.

    What the hell CW, sounds like hypermax nitpicking to me. Don't we ALL have 'people' (of our own), whether politically, religiously, racially or otherwise affiliated?

  7. [7] 
    Don Harris wrote:

    First a call for a link. Then offering a deal.

    No need for you to go all Manchin on this.

  8. [8] 
    Don Harris wrote:

    TP 2-
    Physician heal thyself.

  9. [9] 
    Don Harris wrote:

    Could you have your people call my people about this?

  10. [10] 
    Don Harris wrote:

    Isn't the racist term actually "you people" and not your people?

  11. [11] 
    John M wrote:

    [6] C. R. Stucki wrote:

    "Chris doesn't object to Grassley using the term "Korean people", but he takes major offense at him using the term "your people" whilst addressing a person of Korean heritage.

    What the hell CW, sounds like hypermax nitpicking to me."

    You MISSED the POINT. Korean people is based on nationality and location, NOT race, just like "British or French" people.

    "Don't we ALL have 'people' (of our own), whether politically, religiously, racially or otherwise affiliated?"

    Not very self-aware are you??? In this part of your statement, you actually make both C.W.'s and my point, while simultaneously contradicting yourself and negating the original point you were trying to make! We do have religious, political etc. people, but not just one that is specifically RACE based.

  12. [12] 
    C. R. Stucki wrote:

    John M [11]

    Black people don't consider other black people to be "their people"? Or Native Americans, same thing? Also, there are places left in the world where nationality and race turn out to be damn near the same thing, right?

  13. [13] 
    MtnCaddy wrote:

    I agree with some of the above points in the Comments section, and Grassley was a waste of ink.

    Yes, the folks who are even paying attention (what, 1 or 2 percent of us?) still don't care about how the sausage gets made, only that it's tasty.

    And baked into a pie to keep nypoet22 happy.

  14. [14] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    pie makes everybody happy. except maybe don, but that's just because pie wasn't his own idea.

  15. [15] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    it does, indeed

  16. [16] 
    Don Harris wrote:

    I like pie.

    I don't like when people use pie to troll because they don't have the balls to have a rational discussion.

    You just don't like that my idea exposes your stupidity for supporting Deathocrats and gives citizens the opportunity to use democracy to fight back against the evil you support.

  17. [17] 
    Don Harris wrote:

    Pie is just another dodge.

    None of you even have the balls to check out the Ralph Nader Radio Hour from comment 2.

    Or maybe you did and just don't have the balls to address it here.

    That would be consistent with the rest of your behavior here.

  18. [18] 
    Don Harris wrote:

    What is wrong with YOU PEOPLE? :D

  19. [19] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    so you DO like pie! does it make you happy?

  20. [20] 
    John M wrote:

    [12] C. R. Stucki wrote:

    "Black people don't consider other black people to be "their people"? Or Native Americans, same thing?"

    Again, it is the power dynamic difference and the use of "you" people by white people specifically and in historical context in particular in the USA that is THE issue.

    "Also, there are places left in the world where nationality and race turn out to be damn near the same thing, right?"

    Yes there are, but they are far more rare in modern times, and limited almost exclusively to nations in Africa and Asia due to the consequences of Western colonialism. In fact, the legacy of Western colonialism is why so much of Europe is multi-racial now. In a reversal of migration the now ex-colonial populations have come home to roost, so to speak.

  21. [21] 
    C. R. Stucki wrote:

    John M [20]

    No, the ACTUAL issue is PC run amok!

  22. [22] 
    MtnCaddy wrote:


    Liberal as I am, CRS, I absolutely hate "PC run amok." While it's important to realize that PC is the Left's attempt to give respect to all of the non-hetero white male segments of society, the TP regarding Grassley's is, IMO, a good example of PC excess.

    It's easy and common for Lefties to lapse into feeling morally superior (Cancel culture is another example of this) but action talks and virtue signaling walks.

    That is, high income Lefties who practice PC but who aren't willing to pay higher taxes to help all these marginalized groups are talking the talk but not walking the walk. Harumph.

  23. [23] 
    MtnCaddy wrote:

    Here's a great primer on China, Is China Naturally Authoritarian?

  24. [24] 
    MtnCaddy wrote:


    Do you know what else isn't hard to do? Posting the damn link to Ralph's video. Just like how Elizabeth took the time to learn how to post her music links (with titles) on Sunday night. It's all there is the "Commenting Tips" above. If you care enough about convincing anyone around here, that is. But nobody here is going to Google something that you can't be bothered to provide the link to.

    Tell you what, Don: you post the link and I'll listen to the whole thing. Ralph has been right about politics and our social economic set up for decades, now.

  25. [25] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Welcome, everyone, to the CW Sunday Night Music Festival and Dance Party, where we leave all political chatter and commentary behind in favour of the music, just the music!

    And, tonight, by popular vote, demand, we will indulge and pay tribute to the Blues.

    In Canada, the Downchild Blues Band really got things rolling around 1969 and celebrated their 50th anniversary in 2019.

    Here they are doing Shotgun Blues

  26. [26] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Everybody loves the Blues - come on, play your favourites!

  27. [27] 
    MtnCaddy wrote:


    Lenny by Stevie Ray Vaughn. (5:07)

    And Voodoo Child -- Slight Return, by the same AMERICAN Artist. (7:59)

  28. [28] 
    MtnCaddy wrote:

    Guit-Steel Blues, by Junior Brown. This guy plays a double neck, hybrid lap steel and regular electric guitar. Two guitars in one.. This white boy just kills it in this 11:15 Tour de Force.

  29. [29] 
    MtnCaddy wrote:

    As y'all likely have noticed that i like looong songs.

  30. [30] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Here is a big favourite of mine ... Tom Lavin and his legendary Powder Blues Band!

    Tom is orginally from Chicago but moved to Vacouver and became an origianl member of ... wait for it ... PRiSM. But, soon after that, in 1978, he formed the Powder Blues Band.

    Here's a fun tune ... What've I Been Drinking

  31. [31] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    No band has more fun that Tom Lavin and the Powder Blues!

    Boppin' With the Blues

  32. [32] 
    MtnCaddy wrote:


    Man, would this be a fun song to play Bass along with! Tasty everything -- vocals, horns and an axeman who knows how to hold back in the beginning (harder to do than it sounds, especially for cats who just got fast) and increasing the complexity, speed and overall awesomeness of his riffing.

    They say,

    It's the space BETWEEN the note that makes something tasty.

  33. [33] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Can't help but feel real good when you're listening to the Powder Blues ... and, stick around 'cause something very, very special will be coming up later on this evening ... Cali time, naturally.

    Powder Blues - Thirsty Ears

  34. [34] 
    MtnCaddy wrote:

    Speaking of tasty, here's a taste of some B.B. King.

  35. [35] 
    MtnCaddy wrote:

    Yeppers, Cali-time is when I shine!

    Next year in Jerusalem -- er, Vancouver, Elizabeth Miller! Coffee in the mornings, wine and weed in the late afternoons and killer outdoor cafes.

  36. [36] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Here's one just for you, my Caddy!

    Downchild - It's Been So Long

  37. [37] 
    MtnCaddy wrote:

    Haha! Good choice.

    Dixie Chicken, by Little Feat. The whole live album is fabulous. (8:54)

  38. [38] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:
  39. [39] 
    MtnCaddy wrote:

    Cain't forget the Brits!

    For example...

    Bring It on Home by Led Zeppelin (4:20) to go with I Cant Quit You Now. (6:20)

  40. [40] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Jeff Healey was a great Canadian bluesman with a unique guitar style ... here is his cover of Blue Jean Blues

    And, here's the original by ZZ Top

  41. [41] 
    nypoet22 wrote:


    ha. was that 4:20 intentional?

  42. [42] 
    nypoet22 wrote:
  43. [43] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    From her Live At Blues Alley, have a listen to Eva Cassidy and a beautiful interpretation of Simon and Garfunkel's Bridge Over Troubled Water

    Hope you love this one, Caddy!

  44. [44] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    I love listening to Eva's Live At Blues Alley album. She is gone but not forgotten ...

    Autumn Leaves

  45. [45] 
    MtnCaddy wrote:

    Elizabeth, I hate to bail but I'm up at 0600 tomorrow, and I need my beauty rest. Feel free to leave me something(s) equally tasty to listen to after my work is done, please.


  46. [46] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Oh, heck, here is the whole live performance from Georgetown in Washington, DC at the Blues Alley jazz club...

  47. [47] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    It's only nine bloody o'clock where you are!!!! You can't leave yet!

  48. [48] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    you can't leave yet blues?

  49. [49] 
    nypoet22 wrote:
  50. [50] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Time for some Colin James ... I've really been lovin' his stuff!

    Colin James - Why'd You Lie (sexy version)

  51. [51] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    you can't leave yet blues?


  52. [52] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:
  53. [53] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    More Colin James ...

    Just Came Back (to say good-bye)

  54. [54] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Here he is at Toronto's Much Music Big Ticket Concert from 1991 in Sudbury, Ontario.

  55. [55] 
    Don Harris wrote:
  56. [56] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Well, Don, you've got nothing if not bad timing. :)

  57. [57] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    We're on Cali time here, after all. Harumph!

  58. [58] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Founding member of PRiSM, Lindsay Mitchell, wrote this tune and it's the opening track on PRiSM's 1980 album, Young and Restless ...

    American Music

  59. [59] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Tom Lavin wrote this tune on PRiSM's phenomenal 1977 eponymous debut album, the first debut album by a Canadian artist to achieve platinum status in Canada!


  60. [60] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    As promised and because, I just can't get enough of Tom Lavin and his legendary Powder Blues Band, here they are at the Montreux Jazz Festival in Switzerland ... Enjoy!..

    Powder Blues Band - Montreux Jazz Festival

    Take care, everyone - and stay safe!

  61. [61] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Joshua [42],

    I just learned of Eva Cassidy long after her death. As soon as I discovered her - not sure how - I bought her Live At Blues Alley cd and I play it often. Her voice is angelic and usually brings a tear to my eye.

  62. [62] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Okay, one more ... here is Fil Henley with one of his analysis videos for Eva Cassidy singing Over the Rainbow - she died of cancer in November of 1996 but her music will live on forever ...

    Fil fron Pegasus analyzing Eva Cassidy singing Over the Rainbow

  63. [63] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Joshua [42],

    Wow. Just WOW.

    I think you just broke the CW record, my friend, for number of links in one post!

    And, some very fine tunes they all are. We just scratched the surface of the Blues last night so, I'm thinking, we should do it again, soon, eh?

  64. [64] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Caddy, I'm not even talking to you. And, that is all I have to say about that.

  65. [65] 
    Don Harris wrote:

    Liz (56-7)-
    Thought you were done usurping CW's blog for your own agenda. :D

  66. [66] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Whatever gave you that idea?

  67. [67] 
    nypoet22 wrote:


    it's all the same link, to a playlist with ten songs on it.


    it's not lack of balls, and to be frank not even lack of interest. i'd found and listened to the whole show before you posted the link. the guests made some excellent points, and bless his soul, ralph really did give you a forum, so congrats on that. anyone with a modicum of self-awareness might show him a little more appreciation than one terse thank you followed by a page and a half of invective.

    notwithstanding the tone of the question, professor schwartz was pretty patient, and made essentially the same point russ made here, namely that the sort of small-donor campaign you're promoting would suit donald trump and his constituency just fine, while big money has plenty of other routes to power.

    pie, on the other hand, is completely democratic and generally immune to the influence of people without taste.

    best of luck!

  68. [68] 
    Don Harris wrote:

    What was terse about the thank you?

    There was nothing wrong with the tone of the question.

    The quote was taken out of context.

    In the beginning of my comment I quoted Ralph saying that if you don't protest and you don't make demands you get ignored. I pointed out how i had been asking for years and would make it a demand (based on his statement).

    But I bet you already also knew that.

    Of course, you could have just congratulated me on my persistence finally paying off but you chose to instead bury it in your invective.

    Yes, Prof. Schwartz made repeated the same points often made here that are not factual.

    I am not sure how providing the correct information could be considered invective.

    You really are a poor excuse for a human being.

    See- even though it is factual the last sentence clearly is invective. And is well deserved on your part.

    Take your pie and go troll somewhere else.

  69. [69] 
    Don Harris wrote:

    Or should I show my appreciating for you congratulating me by ignoring your invective and nonsense?

  70. [70] 
    MtnCaddy wrote:

    Okay, Don Harris, I downloaded the transcript and found your 15 minutes of fame, to wit:

    There is a person in our audience who I have neglected for longer than his question deserved. And he wanted to ask you, his name is Don Harris. And he said, “I demand that you discuss One Demand with Professor Herman Schwartz and the effect One Demand could have on gerrymandering.” And One Demand, if you're not familiar with it, is a drive that demands politicians run small donor campaigns in order to get votes from the people. So people say to candidates, If you don't restrict your fundraising to small donors, we're going to vote against you. What do you think of that?

    Herman Schwartz: I don’t know. The Republican machine these days does very well with small voters. I'm not sure how much that would help. It might take – I don't know if it will take big money out of the political process, but this may be a particular talent of Trump's. But Trump gets an immense amount of money from small donors.

    Ralph Nader: They're getting better at it, right? I mean, Bernie Sanders sort of broke ground with a large number of small donors in 2016.

    Herman Schwartz: That’s right.

    Ralph Nader: But the Republicans in recent months, are not only getting better at it, they're getting more deceptive. They're hooking people into supporting them automatically by the month. You know, like if you don't opt out, you're going to be charged every month.

    Herman Schwartz: Right. Yeah. So I don't know whether that will help because the Republicans don't have problems with money. One way or another, they get it.

    So what exactly is incorrect about Prof. Schwartz's pointing out just ONE of the reasons why OD won't have the results that you expect?

  71. [71] 
    MtnCaddy wrote:

    See? All you have to do is shake off the lazy and post a bleeping link to get a little engagement.

    BUT in order to win anybody over to OD you must address the points and concerns raised by both Prof. Schwartz and our fellow Weigantians. Otherwise you won't get anywhere. If you don't care enough about OD to engage then you don't care enough about OD. Either "play ball" or stop wasting everybody's time.

  72. [72] 
    MtnCaddy wrote:

    Well H/O* to ya, anyways, Brother Don. Thanks to you I got to bookmark Ralph's Radio Hour under my "Politics" tab.

    *H/O means Hats Off

  73. [73] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    What was terse about the thank you?

    it was six words long.

    But I bet you already also knew that.

    i know most of what you'll write before you set fingers to keys. and none of it holds a candle to pie.

    Of course, you could have just congratulated me on my persistence finally paying off

    you got paid? i hope it was less than 200 dollars, or you might have to spam yourself for it.

    You really are a poor excuse for a human being.

    super! ad hominem was my center bingo square. still waiting on the fallacy fallacy or no true scotsman for the win.

    it's ralph's show, and he's mentioned you twice. i'd be feeling more congratulatory if i suspected you might actually do something useful with that exposure. i'm always open to the possibility of being wrong, but i haven't been yet. especially not where pie is concerned.

    Take your pie and go troll somewhere else.

    i'll take my pie and continue politely requesting that CW recognize it for the ingenious political strategy that it is. i've been here three times as long as you have, and i'll continue to be here until CW decides to finally shut it down. both he and ralph nader have earned the respect others show them. one certainly can't say that for everyone.


  74. [74] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:


  75. [75] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:


    i'll take my pie and continue politely requesting that CW recognize it for the ingenious political strategy that it is. i've been here three times as long as you have, and i'll continue to be here until CW decides to finally shut it down. both he and ralph nader have earned the respect others show them. one certainly can't say that for everyone.

    ...very well said.

  76. [76] 
    Don Harris wrote:

    Mtn Caddy (70,71)-
    Yes, clicking the link was so much easier than googling.

    What is incorrect about what Prof. Schwartz said about Trump (and what Ralph said about Bernie)?

    Try clicking the link again. It is explained there the same way it has been explained numerous times here.

    So read that and engage.

    Or will you not engage as you usually do at this point and then return in another thread to to make the same false accusation of me not engaging?

  77. [77] 
    Don Harris wrote:

    Mtn Caddy (72)-
    At the risk of sounding terse for not using enough words- thank you.

  78. [78] 
    Don Harris wrote:

    It was direct and to the point and was a sincere thank you.

    I could had said "Thank you for finally mentioning One Demand after over five years of asking."

    You know that I was referring to the context and not you knowing what I write before I write it.

    That is just you trolling again.

    As Mtn Caddy says play ball or stop wasting everybody's time.

    You are a coward and a troll and I am sick of your bullshit.

    Get lost.

  79. [79] 
    Don Harris wrote:

    Liz- (75)-
    Shame on you.

    While I endured years of being told to get lost by many commenters and posted the same basic thing that you quoted from Nypoet you rarely if ever gave it a very well said.

    Now that I give it back to nypoet who has earned it (when I got it it was not deserved) suddenly I'm the bad guy?

    Not that that kind of behavior is unusual here, but I do not expect it from you.

    Very disappointing.

  80. [80] 
    BashiBazouk wrote:


    A bit cheese with that whine?

    You really can't handle anyone disagreeing with you. It would be hilarious if it was not so pathetic. You got your moment in the sun and they agreed with us...

    Nelson Muntz

  81. [81] 
    Don Harris wrote:

    Stating facts - not whining.

    No, I handle people disagreeing with me just fine.

    As I have done here and did in my comment on the radio Hour I explain why I disagree with them.

    And I can handle trolls like you and nypoet when you post nonsensical claims like I can't handle people that disagree with me. I point out your bullshit.

    You are the one that can't handle disagreement- that is why you troll instead of refuting my argument (usually because you can't).

    You are the pathetic one here.

    Play ball or stop wasting everybody's time.

  82. [82] 
    BashiBazouk wrote:

    Projecting again, Don?

    Your "facts" do not meet the definition of the word. Trump and Bernie did run small donor campaigns especially early in the 2016 primaries as I have mentioned to you previously. Not by OD definition, but by general political definition as the political class would define it. Seems Herman Schwartz agrees. Now lets see: professor of law vs you. I think I'll go with the professor of law when determining facts...

    As I have mentioned before, think about someone interested in your idea and researching your organization and name. They come here. Does your childish insults help your case or hurt it?

  83. [83] 
    nypoet22 wrote:


    i would have gone with the slightly more esoteric but no less profound:

    "Maybe we don't see ourselves the way we really are."
    - Russell Hammond, almost famous

  84. [84] 
    Don Harris wrote:

    Nope, not projecting. That's you.

    Gosh, the person initiating childish insults doesn't like it when they get it back, proving my point on who is projecting. Thanks.

    But HOORAY!, you actually put a little bit of discussion in with your trolling! Good for you!

    It is of course, not true.

    200 dollars is the standard definition of a small donor.

    It was the standard used by CW himself when he wrote about Bernie and the 87% small donors in early 2019 until the percentage dropped as explained in my comment on the Radio Hour.

    It is the standard of groups that keep track of campaign financing that I have posted here before.

    Prof. Schwartz never provided a number to define small donors.

  85. [85] 
    Don Harris wrote:

    Nypoet (83)-
    You sure as hell do not.

  86. [86] 
    BashiBazouk wrote:


    Generally small donation vs absolutely 100% purity test small donation. You are the only one who uses the later...By the way, how many candidates have you found to meet your definition?

    Gosh, the person initiating childish insults doesn't like it when they get it back, proving my point on who is projecting. Thanks.

    Lying again? You have thrown insults in this thread long before I joined it...

    But I am not advocating for a cause, at least not through my nom de plume. You are. What you say matters. Or at least it should if you are serious about any sort of success. The price

  87. [87] 
    BashiBazouk wrote:

    The price of being an advocate.

  88. [88] 
    Don Harris wrote:

    Generally small donation vs. the standard 200 dollars?

    It is not a purity test (another standard recycled line of bullshit), it is an adequacy test.

    If I am the only one using it then I am the only one that is using the term correctly.

    Generally small donation (as described in the Radio Hour comment) does not even describe the size of the donor.

    Then the how many candidates bullshit again.

    The demand (as Ralph Nader has said and proven by answering my demand) proceeds having your demand met.

    You are not advocating for a cause?

    Too bad for you.

    I am.

    And it is a worthy and deserving cause.

    If what I say matters why do you keep trolling with bullshit instead of engaging in rational discussion.

    Play ball or stop wasting everyone's time.

    That's the price you pay for trolling (besides exposing yourself as an idiot).

    No wonder you won't use your real name.


  89. [89] 
    Don Harris wrote:

    I have thrown insults before you joined here.

    In response to insults thrown at me.

    And insults were thrown before I got here.

  90. [90] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    none of us see ourselves precisely as we are. i wasn't excluding myself from the citation. most people when reading a general statement about the nature of humanity don't presume that it applies only to others, nor only to themselves.

    tu quoque, check.


  91. [91] 
    BashiBazouk wrote:


    It is not a purity test (another standard recycled line of bullshit), it is an adequacy test.

    I think the old Michale/Spock quote is in order:

    A difference that makes no difference is no difference.

    If I am the only one using it then I am the only one that is using the term correctly.

    Not even slightly self aware on that one?

    And it is a worthy and deserving cause.

    Then why do you consistently go out of your way to fuck it up?

    If what I say matters why do you keep trolling with bullshit instead of engaging in rational discussion.

    I did not say what you say matters, in fact you have proven just the opposite, I said it should matter if you wanted success.

    It is not an insult if it is true and your continued use of "Coward" to all that you disagree is as pathetic as it is inaccurate.

  92. [92] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:


    Shame on me? Excuse me? For what, pray tell!? What the hell did I do now??

    I recommend music ... and pie! :)

  93. [93] 
    Don Harris wrote:

    I repeat- what is wrong with you people?

    Cut the bullshit.

  94. [94] 
    Don Harris wrote:

    It is time to require that people post under their real name.

  95. [95] 
    Don Harris wrote:

    If you do not know what you did then there is something wrong with you just like the rest here.

    Is your real name Bob?

  96. [96] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    how to: start your own blog, require real legal names there, and bob's yer uncle.

    i've always wanted an opportunity to say that! ha!

    note to logician: does that one qualify as 'no true scotsman?' i think it might.

  97. [97] 
    Don Harris wrote:

    You go start your own blog.

    I am concerned with improving this one, at least in the comment section by exposing the trolls like you.

    I will continue to post my opinion on how this blog can be improved.

    And you will continue to troll until either you or the blog improves.

  98. [98] 
    BashiBazouk wrote:


  99. [99] 
    Don Harris wrote:

    No shit.

    I have been here ready to engage in rational discussion and all that the rest of you have provided is trolling.

    Grow up.

  100. [100] 
    Don Harris wrote:

    By the way, I guess coward is not an insult- according to your definition.

    It is true you cower behind a fake name to post here.

  101. [101] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    I can be a Bob!

    What movie is that from?

  102. [102] 
    Don Harris wrote:

    Real names or real discussion.

    All of you should be capable of at least one of those things.

  103. [103] 
    Don Harris wrote:

    I've had aboot enough of you! :D

  104. [104] 
    BashiBazouk wrote:


    I have been here ready to engage in rational discussion and all that the rest of you have provided is trolling.

    Hahahaha hahaha hahahahahahaha. Hahahahahahahahahaha. Hahahaha. Hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha. Hahahahahahahaa. Eyes watering. Hahahaha hahaha hahahahahahaha. Hahahahahahahahahaha. Hahahaha. Hahahahahahahaha. hahahahahahahaha. Hahahahahahahaa. Can't breath. Hahahaha hahaha hahahahahahaha. Hahahahahahahahahaha. Hahahaha. Hahahahahahahahaha. hahahahahahaha. Hahahahahahahaa. Rolling on the floor. Hahahaha hahaha hahahahahahaha. Hahahahahahahahahaha. Hahahaha. Hahahahahahahahaha. hahahahahahaha. Hahahahahahahaa. Ass about to fall off. Hahahaha hahaha hahahahahahaha. Hahahahahahahahahaha. Hahahaha. Hahahahahahahaha. hahahahahahahaha. Hahahahahahahaa...

  105. [105] 
    Don Harris wrote:

    Exactly what a raving lunatic would do.

    Laughing for no dicernable or valid reason.

    Way to show your true self.

  106. [106] 
    nypoet22 wrote:


    the lego movie? i give up!


  107. [107] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Hey, Joshua!

    It was one of my favourite movies because Willem Dafoe was in it ... White Sands ... and, that was one of his memorable lines. You'll have to watch it!

  108. [108] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:



  109. [109] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:



  110. [110] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Oh, and I have an idea for next Sunday night!

  111. [111] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    (even though it may mean that I won't play any PRiSM tunes but, there could be at least one)

  112. [112] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:


    Which means we'll all get both acts of this cheesy drama all over again, except this time it will be: "Kabuki, Holiday Edition!"

    Can't hardly wait. :)

  113. [113] 
    Don Harris wrote:

    Much better.

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