Andrew Yang, barack obama, Bernie Sanders, Donald Trump, Eric "Nuke 'em" Swalwell, Everything free for illegals, Gropin' Joe Biden, John Hickenlooper, Kamala Harris, Kirsten Gillibrand, Marianne Williamson, Michael Bennett, Pete "I'm gay you Christian hypocrites" Buttigieg, Second Democrat Debate
I have significant academic chops, which in the context of this article, means I have fearsome note-taking powers. However, the night of 06-27-19, the second night of the first Democrat Candidate debates, my powers were as dust. I just couldn’t keep up. This is so because the candidates talked at warp speed, trying to compress hours of talking points into 50-second bursts, and they made as much sense as a stream-of-consciousness novel. Also, they have gone around the Socialist/Communist bend, raising questions about their sanity. They drank the entire bathtub of totalitarian Kool Aid. I survived the entire two-hour debacle out of sheer wonder at the lunacy of it all. It was a like a horrific multi-vehicle accident: I just couldn’t tear my eyes away from the carnage.
So I sit here and gaze, my eyes blank and lifeless, at my voluminous notes and realize I cannot possibly inflict them all on you, gentle readers. What I will do is condense the insanity down to bite-sized chunks for your edification–actually, for your horror. Even so, this is a long article, but I hope you’ll read it all to better understand exactly what we face. One thing is certain: if any of these people, particularly the “top tier” types, become POTUS, we could be Venezuela within their first term, certainly if they have the House and Senate. I hope you like the taste of Zebra, and can do without electricity, running water, money, housing and toilet paper. I’m just not sure to where we’ll illegally emigrate.
Rational democrats, and there are a few out there, hoped against hope the Candidates wouldn’t say what they were afraid they would say. They said it, and much, much more and much worse. There was very little substance, virtually nothing but socialist talking points, and gross mischaracterizations of fact and reality.
Initial Observations Of The Narrative: OPEN BORDERS! Completely open borders! FREE HEALTH CARE FOR ILLEGAL IMMIGRANTS! Free! Free! Free health care for everybody, and it will cover abortions! LGBTQWERTY good and moral! Free! Free! What do you mean how are we going to pay for it? We’ll just pay for it! TRUMP EVIL!!! Insurance companies evil. Reality isn’t real; it’s what we say it is. Free college. WE’RE GOING TO TAKE YOUR GUNS AND NEVER MIND HOW WE’RE GOING TO DO IT YOU RACISTS! The magic wand produced, greater than 2% GDP economy, is an illusion; you’re living in misery and squalor whether you recognize it or not. We’ll make it all better by taxing you within an inch of your life and giving it all to illegals. Trump is destroying America, the world, the universe, and the multiverse. And then they gotweird…
Positioning: These standard bearers for the Democrat Party are full- blown Socialists, and those topping current polls would fit in perfectly in the apparatus of any communist dictatorship. Except Joe. He’s not sure what he is today. Maybe tomorrow.
The Nomination: If the media have anything to say about it, Kamala Harris will be the nominee. She’s black–ish, which gives her a leg up on Elizabeth Warren now that her Indian persona has all but disappeared like a smoke signal, but she’s a woman, damn it, and it’s a woman’s turn! The moderators did their best to help Bernie Sanders, but he’s the guy that used to turn up at police headquarters with tinfoil in his hat to deflect the evil rays being shot at him by the government. He’d regale me with conspiracy theories for hours, if I let him. Joe Biden–was present–sort of. The rest? They were present–and desperate.
Most Pathetic Figure: Kirsten Gillibrand. She was pale, shrill, and demonstrated why she’s so low in the polls. There’s no there there.
Whodat? Andy Yang, Marianne Williamson, Michael Bennett, John Hickenlooper, Eric Swalwell. I’d include Pete Buttigieg, but the media has labored mightily to give him as much exposure as possible, so it’s at least possible some Americans outside South Bend, Indiana have heard of him. He’s gay, you know. Really gay, and proud of it, and you’d better praise him for it and recognize his moral superiority you Christian hypocrites. At least some people probably sort of recognize Hickenlooper, the ex-governor of Colorado, because “he’s that guy with the funny name, right? The pot guy?”
Potted Plant: Andrew Yang
Visitor From Another Planet/Comedic Relief: Marianne Williamson
Most Aggressively Annoying: Kamala Harris
Most Generally Annoying: Kirsten Gillibrand
Most Telling Moment: When the candidates were asked if they were for free health care for illegals, and everyone enthusiastically raised their hand. I’d like to believe Biden doesn’t really believe in this, but it’s hard to know what Biden believes from moment to moment.
The format was slightly different than the first night’s “debate”: 50 seconds instead of a minute to answer questions and 30 seconds for followups. That fell apart even more quickly than on the first night. Lester Holt, Savannah Guthrie and Jose Diaz-Balart began the questioning. Diaz-Balart did a greeting in Spanish and got a Spanish reply back, once. Perhaps they realized how stupid their Spanish pandering was the previous evening? Chuck Todd and Rachel Maddow handled the last half hour. I’ve not seen much of her–never watched her show–but goodness, what an unserious, self-important and snooty person she is.
Trump: The candidates were much more direct in their attacks on President Trump, accusing him of ultimate evil. Of course, they live in the Bizarro World, where everything is backward, so Mr. Trump is destroying NATO, abolishing the rule of law, destroying our relations with our allies, supporting Russia, and desperate to go to war with Iran.
The Winner: Illegal Immigrants
The Media Anointed Winner: Kamala Harris
THE CANDIDATES IN NO PARTICULAR ORDER BECAUSE KIRSTEN GILLIBRAND KEPT INTERRUPTING, BUT THEY STARTED WITH:
Bernie Sanders: His make up people got his hair to mostly behave. It usually juts at wild angles that contribute mightily to his overall tin foil hat visage. His eyes always look wild, as if he’s constantly on the lookout for conspirators that want to take away his tin foil. He avoided directly answering pretty much every question, but Savannah Guthrie finally got him to admit he’d tax the hell out of everyone to pay for Medicare for all. The only reason we don’t have Medicare for all–which also means abortion for all–is the Insurance companies spend a hundred million a year to tell us why we can’t have Medicare for all. And how are we going to pay for it? He adopted the AOC “we’ll just pay for it” answer with a slight twist: we’ll have Medicare for all when millions stand up and demand it! Viva la revolucion! But Bernie assured us every one of his proposals was “fully paid for,” so we can all relax. Donald Trump is a “phony,” a “racist,” and a “pathological liar.” Chuck Todd asked a question that assumed “diversity” was all-important. Bernie delivered a non-responsive, wandering rant, sort of about wages–or something–that made no sense. He did that a lot. I’m not quite sure he lives in this dimension all the time. Nothing is more important than Defending Roe v. Wade, and he wouldn’t pack the Supreme Court, but he would “rotate” judges on and off the court to achieve the same goals. We have 12 years left before climate change destroys us all, so Bernie would cut all military spending, get the world to sing Kumbaya and do away entirely with fossil fuels. “We have a gun crisis right now,” so Bernie would do a mandatory “assault weapon” buyback, but he got the idea from Swalwell, and like Swalwell, he’s really going to confiscate all the guns. He’s a Communist. He’s just using the term “socialist” to be less scary to the rubes, but what’s most scary is how virtually all of the Democrats running for President are falling all over each other to adopt his ideas, but not his hair or tin foil-lined hat.
Joe Biden: Joe’s makeup people applied his with a trowel to try to hide as many wrinkles as possible. Joe is 76. He’d be 78 if he took office. Some people don’t look their age. He looks older. He also looked tired, and was, for the most part, passive. He said President Trump thinks Wall Street built America, but the middle class did, and Gropin’ Joe is going to return dignity to the middle class. I wasn’t aware I’d lost mine, but he’s rolling. Trump is responsible for income inequality. Free college/no student debt. Obamacare must be preserved at all costs. It is more important than life itself. He was more fervent about that than anything else. Obama was and is the messiah who did everything right and who made the world a much better place, and Joe was an integral part of that, a great statesman and deal maker who single-handedly preserved humanity and was instrumental in every worthwhile legislative accomplishment. He implied that anyone without government health care was “uncovered,” in other words, denied medical care. He’s going to jail insurance executives, and send billions to south/central America to deal with the “root causes” of illegal immigration, which isn’t illegal at all, you know. Balart noted Obama deported 3 million “Americans,” and Biden replied Obama did “a heck of a job.” No locking people up, no deporting people, Trump is abusing children. Climate is the greatest existential threat. Obama’s green energy policies were a wonder, particularly his wind and solar accomplishments, but Joe is going to do even more. He’d mandate half a million charging stations so we can have nothing but electric vehicles by 2030. He apparently has no idea from where electricity comes. Perhaps it makes itself at charging stations?
And did you know Joe is “the only person that’s beaten the NRA nationally”? He banned “assault weapons,” and limited magazine capacity (he’s referring to the defunct Clinton gun ban that in a decades, accomplished nothing and cost a great many congress critters their seats–Joe has been around a very long time), and he’s going to mandate “smart guns.” Oh yes, and if Trump is reelected NATO is doomed. I suspect he was so reserved because his handlers were afraid of what he might say as his meds weakened.
Kamala Harris: She’s an angry, aggressive woman. Her smiles are more smirks, and she’s absolutely convinced of her moral and intellectual superiority. She is anxious to use what power she has against her political enemies, which is you, gentle readers. She was very rehearsed, and constantly tried to invoke tear-jerking stories about children abused by Trump and other horrible non-woke barbarians. She had perhaps the best “gotcha” line of the night, when she said, during a free for all, “America doesn’t want to witness a food fight; they want to know how we’ll put food on the table.” It was obviously a scripted line, which anyone with a modicum of gray matter could predict would be useful. The audience loved it, and she nearly smirked her face off. When asked if Democrats should be able to explain how to pay for their insane ideas, she dodged the question. The economy is terrible: everyone “is working 2 and 3 jobs.” On immigration, she’d restore DACA, and make everybody a citizen immediately, including “undocumented veterans” (?!). Illegals can’t join the military, so it’s hard to know what she is talking about. Trump is evil because he’s enforcing immigration laws, the bastard! She bragged about when she, as California’s AG, told sheriffs not to honor ICE detainers. CA is America’s beacon of light and goodness, and she’s largely responsible for that. Illegal immigrant rape victims can’t report their rapes because of Trump. My favorite was her assertion race is not being talked about with “truth and honesty,” which likely means white people aren’t admitting they’re racist, and aren’t falling all over themselves to pay reparations and give Black people other free stuff. Everyone she knows has been racially profiled.
Biden sort of woke up when she attacked him for saying he was able to work with segregationist Senators in the past. She all but called him a racist. Biden claimed he was one of the all time great civil rights leaders, and said, in what was also obviously a scripted comment, that he left a lucrative law firm to be a public defender, “not a prosecutor.” That one scored a few points, and Harris was not happy.
It’s not climate change, but a “climate crisis.” Trump believes in “science fiction, not science fact.” She’s all for the Green New Deal, and would reinstate the Paris agreement. Trump is the greatest national security threat. Russia! North Korea! Congress is gutless, and if they don’t act, she’ll use executive orders to mandate the usual gun control measures. Oh, and like Bernie, she’s going to immediately abolish all private insurance.
Kirsten Gillibrand: She’s angry, mostly because she knows she doesn’t have a chance, but she’s America’s answer nonetheless. We can’t enact gun control because the NRA is greedy. Also greedy are the insurance companies. Private insurance must be abolished, but she’d do it over a few years instead of all at once. Trump has “torn apart the moral fabric of who we are.” She’s going to fix everything by taking money out of politics–publically funded campaigns!–because everybody but her is corrupt, and she’d going to give illegals publically funded lawyers. The only reason for the Trump tax cuts was to pay back his donors. She’s going to “stabilize the Middle East”–hasn’t that been tried for millennia?–but I’m sure she’ll succeed, because she’s the foremost proponent of girl power.
John Hickenlooper: At first glance, he almost sounded rational, almost like a Democrat of the past that was actually grounded in reality and actually liked America and Americans. He rationally observed that if Democrats define themselves as socialists, they are going to get creamed. He even said Democrats can’t eliminate private insurance. See what I mean? Almost rational, but he couldn’t suppress his inner socialist for long. He’s big on abortion and environmentalism. He was one of the very few that brought up the drowned illegal and his poor daughter. He invoked “children in cages. We must “reform” ICE, open borders, and just pay for everything. He’s a scientist–he said so repeatedly–and we have only 10-12 years before climate change dooms us all. Since he’s a scientist, he must be right. He’s so proud of what he accomplished as Colorado’s governor, such as destroying the coal industry, pushing wind, solar and batteries (?!). He was also really proud of being the first state to legalize marijuana–want a toke, man? This is really good shit!–and Colorado is the most progressive state in America. I guess he’s never heard of California. Oh, and Trump is “the worst president in history,” but we can’t be seen as socialists, man. Pass that joint.
Michael Bennett: He initially came off as sincere, less rational than Hickenlooper, but still sort of rational, but loud desperate and frantic with an Adam Schiff, deer-in-the-headlights look. Did you know we’ve had “40 years of no economic growth for 90% of the people”? I must be in the 10%, because I certainly make a lot more than I did 40 years ago. He’s for universal healthcare, but wants to supercharge Obamacare, but if you want to keep your private insurance, you can keep your private insurance. Suuuuureyou can. Trump has turned the border into “a symbol of nativist hostility.” That got some applause. Instead, he invoked the Statue of Liberty. That didn’t. Democrats must take over every branch of government or there will be gridlock. He’d end gerrymandering–at least for Republicans–overturn Citizens United, and “stop the attack on voting rights,” presumably by letting anyone and everyone vote early and often, including the illegal, the dead and the illegal dead. He did attack Biden’s time in the Senate. Trump is destroying the rule of law, freedom of the press–how dare he criticize those noble, selfless laborers for humanity?!–and an independent judiciary. Climate change is the greatest existential threat. He kept butting in when and wherever he could, which is largely why he looked so desperate.
Pete “I’m Gay!” Buttigieg: The media is proclaiming his performance a triumph, and he gave the appearance of being cool and calm, but I kept spotting sweat on his upper lip. He’s flat white wall paint. He began by speaking a bit of Spanish in reply to Balart. He’s for free college, but maybe not so much for the really wealthy. $15 dollar minimum wage. Everybody willlove Medicare for all! He plans to use that as a “glide path” to an unspecified “single payer” plan. He justifies health care for illegals because “America is healthier when everyone is healthier.” Sure, and everyone is taller when they’re taller. Eleven million illegals are just fine, but no health care for them isn’t, so they have to have a “pathway to citizenship.” He continued his particularly annoying tactic of accusing Christians of hypocrisy for daring to oppose socialism and illegal immigration. He said Democrats don’t speak in religious terms like Christians because they’re so morally superior. See what Stacey Matthews atLegal Insurrection has to say about this. Speaking about the recent shooting of a black criminal in South Bend, he said he couldn’t comment on it because “I can’t take sides,” and immediately threw the police under the campaign bus, essentially claiming they’re all racist by saying we must do away with the “systemic racism” in policing. He’s big on climate change, speaking of several floods in Indiana, and advocating a carbon tax “in a progressive fashion.” When asked if military families–he’s a veteran–were for gun control, he dodged the question, advocating instead the usual “common sense measures.” He made sure the audience knew he was gay, mentioning his “husband” and advocating for gay issues several times.
Eric Swalwell: Swalwell is angry and has essentially a single, blank facial expression. He interrupted early and often. He reminds me of no one so much as Neidermeyer, the abusive, insane ROTC student commander of Animal House,who was fragged by his troops in Vietnam. He’s pretty much a one-trick gun confiscation pony. He started the attacks on Biden by quoting Biden from 32 years ago in a speech–which Biden plagiarized from JFK–about “passing the torch” to a new generation of politicians, implying with no subtlety that Biden was too old, and he’s the new torch accepting hotness.
He’s for open borders, and regarding Trump, “there’s nothing he will not do to separate families, cage a child or erase their existence by weaponizing the Census.” He’s going to “buy back [it will be mandatory] all the “assault weapons.” “We have the NRA on the ropes.” When asked how he was going to confiscate all those guns, he dodged the question, and there was no follow up. Considering Swalwell has threatened to use nuclear weapons against Americans to disarm them, this was not exactly probing journalism
Andrew Yang: A businessman, he is an earnest fellow, who, in comparison with everyone else on the stage, is a model of rationality. He spoke very little and was unfailingly polite. There is some conjecture this is so because his mic was turned off. He too is a one-trick political pony. His trick is to give everyone over eighteen $1000 dollars a month. He’d pay for this by means of a value added tax, which would in large part amount to taxing people so the government could give it back to them as a freebie. He thinks this would create millions of jobs–hasn’t trump already done that?–make the population more mentally healthy, and increase the GDP. He actually said Russia was our most dangerous threat, and China wasn’t far behind. He doesn’t stand a chance.
Marianne Williamson: An author, she was the evening’s entertainment. She’s was very much the aging flower child “can’t we all just get along–peace, man,” candidate. She actually sort of made sense in a utopian narrative kind of way, hitting the other Democrats for being all talk and no action. Trump is “kidnapping children,” and abusing them to boot. “These are state sponsored crimes!” We must “open our heart to the stranger,” which means open borders, as she blamed America for illegal immigration. There is “deep racial injustice,” and she’s all for reparations, because” Americans are woefully uneducated about the history of race in America.” She said If elected, the first thing she’d do is call the president of New Zealand, because they supposedly said New Zealand is the best place for children to grow up, and she would tell them that because she was President, America was the best place for children to grow up, so there. Her closing statement was comedy gold. Mr. Trump has “harnessed fear for political purposes.” She’s going to harness love, and “love will win.” Then she and her fairy friends mounted a unicorn and rode off the set.
The news from this non-debate was the attacks on Biden. They weren’t constant, but they opened the door to Nuclear political attacks in the future. It’s not news, but very disquieting that these candidates are far more concerned with the welfare of illegal immigrants, including gang members and other vicious criminals, than Americans. To their way of non-thinking, that’s an example of true American values.
It was a night of narcissism and socialist virtue signaling. Even some Democrats are appalled, and they should be. Scary.
You might also, gentle readers, want to take this link to my pal Bookworm’s article on the debates. It’s worthy of your time.
One thing is certain: if any of these people, particularly the “top tier” types, become POTUS, we c̶o̶u̶l̶d̶ will be V̶e̶n̶e̶z̶u̶e̶l̶a̶ Kosovo within their first term
there…fify. you’re welcome
Mike McDaniel said:
Perhaps so. I know one thing with certainty: I’m not going to report in any sort of depth on the next 237 Democrat debates. One can only take so much psychological abuse without losing years of their life.
It might surprise readers to learn that this is actually completely sound economics if he has chosen a value to pay out that falls in the correct range, which it looks like he might have done. The thing is, such a payment both allows and obliges enough people to price themselves into adequate work by giving them an across the board subsidy that is less than enough to live on by itself, but which is enough to allow survival by working as a top up to paid work that is also not enough to live on by itself – and then those other gains come out in the wash as a consequence of fixing a negative externality, e.g. causing G.D.P. increases and mental health improvements that would accompany increases in personal job security.
However, the description given does omit a couple of important matters: transaction costs, from churning by taking the funds in and sending them out; and, transitional delays from wage stickiness and other causes, which would cause possibly large costs during that transition. At this point, it is not clear whether he has overlooked all this or has just avoided muddying the waters by not bringing up the related policies just yet (those issues make yet other policies even better, in my view).
Did anyone notice that New Zealand has no president, what with New Zealand being a constitutional monarchy working via a governor (governor-general) like Australia and Canada?
Of course, the boot is on the other foot if she actually said “Prime Minister” and you misquoted her.
Mike McDaniel said:
Dear P.M. Lawrence:
There is, of course, considerable argument on all sides of a VAT, and the “debate” format certainly didn’t allow any opportunity for reasoned presentation or reflection on Yang’s part. It was all sound bites and attempts at “gotcha.” I’ve seen several transcripts of Williamson’s comments that say “president,” and others that say “prime minister.” My recollection was she said “president,” so, despite knowing New Zealand has a PM, I went with my recollection. It’s always possible I was mistaken…
The V.A.T. issue* is something of a red herring for this policy topic, handled in the Yang way**. All that needs is a tax that is heavy duty enough to get the funds needed for the subsidy going out, without too much in the way of other kinds of burden as those could offset any good the subsidy did. A V.A.T. is supposed to be “economically neutral”, i.e. not introducing any other distortions as it is supposed to fall only on consumption***. That means that a V.A.T. is the right tool for the Yang job, if you believe its touts, but whether it is or not is less important than the subsidy side; any other adequate tool for the job would do too.
Interestingly, though, a V.A.T. does have one feature that makes it a reasonable fit for one approach**** that bypasses the problem areas of the Yang approach: it has its point of impact (where it is first paid) on producers, who are potential employers. But it would be even better to find a tax that had that while avoiding the real failures of a V.A.T.
* Also called a G.S.T. (Goods and Services Tax) in some countries, e.g. here in Australia.
** A way with an emphasis on dealing with the issues via what is in effect an actual wages subsidy, working as a Pigovian solution to a negative externality whether Yang appreciated that or not. It is in effect an actual wages subsidy because people still need work to get wages under this approach, what with its limited level – unlike wrongheaded schemes that aim at paying people enough to live off even if they don’t work, schemes which overshoot the optimal Pigovian corrections far too much to be sustainable.
*** A V.A.T. doesn’t fall only on consumption as it hits investment and other things as well, just in a much more hidden way. Although there are partial fixes, those have their own disadvantages.
**** I consider this a virtual wages subsidy, in that it works out as a wages subsidy but does not have any actual funds flow. Time and space are too short to go into this, but it has been a research topic of Professor Kim Swales and his colleagues at the University of Strathclyde (in Scotland). If there is interest, I will post more.
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