Let’s all go crazy over polls!
In the wake of this past week’s debate, the Intertoobz were abuzz with terror and woe about a Quinnipiac poll that showed the president* beating all the Democrats in Wisconsin, and by substantial margins, too. (h/t Newsweek). This caused a general panic, especially among the Never Trumpers, who always are the first to panic because, if the Democratic candidate doesn’t win this fall, they all might have to slink back to being Republicans and confront the job of closing down the madhouse many of them helped to build. In truth, the numbers are something of a shock, but there are some elements in the poll that I’d like to highlight.
First, the poll says that the primary issue in Wisconsin is the economy. Second, the poll says that, on the critical right track/wrong track numbers, 62 percent of the people surveyed in Wisconsin think the country’s on the right track.
Bull cookies. That last number is hinky. From In These Times, with receipts.
A closer look at Wisconsin under Trump reveals a less rosy picture. The total number of jobs in Wisconsin has fallen over the past two years. The total number of Wisconsin manufacturing jobs declined in 2019. Wisconsin employers have been hurt by Trump’s trade wars—the all-American brand Harley-Davidson, for example, shifted its motorcycle production overseas and laid people off because of retaliatory tariffs in the EU, sparked by Trump. Trump’s tariffs on Chinese-made goods are arguably hurting Wisconsin companies. And the big Foxconn deal (Trump lofted a golden shovel at the plant’s 2018 groundbreaking) is projected to create only 1,500 of the 13,000 promised jobs (but the company will still receive massive tax breaks from the state).
And the state’s signature industry, the dairy industry, is rapidly becoming a basket case. The state lost 10 percent of its dairy farms last year, an unprecedented debacle, and the farmers still in business are hanging on to their personal economies—and, hell, their emotional health—by a thread. So, no, I don’t believe that 62 percent of Wisconsinites believe the country’s headed in the right direction. Everyone calm down.
As it happens, Friday was the 80th birthday of Congressman John Lewis. Nobody at this shebeen has to be reminded that Lewis is an American hero and that his life has been a blessing to this country and to the world. But, as this CNN story points out, he is not a marble statue.
In 2015, Lewis attended San Diego Comic-Con to promote his graphic novel series, “March,” one of which won the National Book Award. But he didn’t want to just attend the convention, says Andrew Aydin, co-author of “March” and a policy adviser to Lewis. “I want to dress up,” he told Aydin. Lewis’ costume was a replica of what he wore at the Edmund Pettus Bridge: a trench coat, a backpack containing two books, and a toothbrush and toothpaste. Aydin, a self-professed comic geek, says Lewis quickly got into the spirit of Comic-Con — even if he didn’t know all the characters.
“Who is that?” he asked Aydin as they passed an attendee with hairy sideburns and blades on his hands.
“Sir, that’s Wolverine.”
“That’s the Incredible Hulk.”
At their Comic-Con panel, something unexpected took place. A group of elementary school students — children of all races — came to hear Lewis. After his talk, Lewis decided to join hands with them and stage an impromptu march through the hall.
And my favorite Lewis story is how the elders of the Movement cornered him before his speech—in a room, as he always puts it, right under Mr. Lincoln’s backside—at the March on Washington and told the young firebrand to tone it down. This is part of the original draft, courtesy of billmoyers.com. And it was a corker.
The revolution is a serious one. Mr. Kennedy is trying to take the revolution out of the streets and put it into the courts. Listen, Mr. Kennedy. Listen, Mr. Congressman. Listen, fellow citizens. The black masses are on the march for jobs and freedom, and we must say to the politicians that there won’t be a “cooling-off” period. All of us must get in the revolution. Get in and stay in the streets of every city, every village and every hamlet of this nation until true freedom comes, until the revolution is complete. In the Delta of Mississippi, in southwest Georgia, in Alabama, Harlem, Chicago, Detroit, Philadelphia and all over this nation, the black masses are on the march!
We won’t stop now. All of the forces of Eastland, Bamett, Wallace and Thurmond won’t stop this revolution. The time will come when we will not confine our marching to Washington. We will march through the South, through the heart of Dixie, the way Sherman did. We shall pursue our own scorched earth policy and burn Jim Crow to the ground — nonviolently. We shall fragment the South into a thousand pieces and put them back together in the image of democracy. We will make the action of the past few months look petty. And I say to you, WAKE UP AMERICA!
Sadly, nobody at this shebeen needs to be informed that Lewis revealed that he recently got a terrible diagnosis. But let’s celebrate him while alive. Let’s all go out this weekend and make some gooood trouble. Hey, Nevada. You first!
Weekly WWOZ Pick To Click: “Sabine Turnaround” (Lost Bayou Ramblers): Yeah, I still love New Orleans, and everyone have a happy and safe Mardi Gras.
Weekly Visit To The Pathe Archives: This week was also the 75th anniversary of the fight for Iwo Jima. If the Pacific War could be said to have had signature battles, this, Midway, and Guadalcanal have to be at the top of the list. I always questioned the need for the big marble corral of a World War II memorial in Washington. Why bother, I thought, when that iconic statue of the flag-raising atop Mount Suribachi was still there, especially at sunset. Anyway, here’s the actual newsreel footage. History is so cool.
OK, Bernie. This is the way you react to this news. From the Washington Post:
It is not clear what form that Russian assistance has taken. U.S. prosecutors found a Russian effort in 2016 to use social media to boost Sanders’s campaign against Hillary Clinton, part of a broader effort to hurt Clinton, sow dissension in the American electorate and ultimately help elect Donald Trump. “I don’t care, frankly, who Putin wants to be president,” Sanders said in a statement to The Washington Post. “My message to Putin is clear: Stay out of American elections, and as president I will make sure that you do.”
But, Jaysus, this is not.
“In 2016, Russia used Internet propaganda to sow division in our country, and my understanding is that they are doing it again in 2020. Some of the ugly stuff on the Internet attributed to our campaign may well not be coming from real supporters.”
Quit while you’re ahead, man. Don’t try to use the Russians to defend yourself against the criticism of your Internet button men. Good look. Then, bad look.
Oh, look. Wells Fargo is forking over the dough. I’m still in favor of a week in the pillories for all of these bastards—or, at least, putting them in front of this person again—but this is a nice payday. From NBC News:
Under pressure to meet sales quotas, bank employees opened millions of savings and checking accounts in the names of actual customers, without their knowledge or consent. Since the fraud became public in 2016, the bank has faced a torrent of lawsuits. The scheme lasted more than a decade, Justice Department officials said, and was carried out by thousands of Wells Fargo employees.
“This settlement holds Wells Fargo accountable for tolerating fraudulent conduct that is remarkable both for its duration and scope and for its blatant disregard of customer private information,” said Michael Granston of the Justice Department’s Civil Division. Department officials said the bank took several steps to conceal the accounts from customers, such as forging customer signatures and preventing other Wells Fargo employees from contacting customers during routine surveys about their accounts.
God, what a dastardly bunch. Of course, the money is not going to the people whom the company defrauded.
None of the money to be paid to the government under this settlement will go to compensate victims. But officials said Wells Fargo has separately made efforts to compensate victims for potential losses — such as fees they might have been charged or harm to their credit ratings, if any. “We take seriously the rights of customers, creditors, and investors, all of whom were harmed by this conduct, where the bank was making up sales activities to get a competitive advantage over its customers,” a senior Justice Department official said.
And, this just in, also from our unaccountable plutocrats desk, courtesy of The Hill:
In a statement, Bloomberg said that his company, Bloomberg LP, had identified three nondisclosure agreements it had entered into with women who are thought to have accused the billionaire businessman of making inappropriate and offensive comments. “If any of them want to be released from their NDA so that they can talk about those allegations, they should contact the company and they’ll be given a release,” Bloomberg said.
Dog stays on porch. Declines to hunt.
Is it a good day for dinosaur news, SciTechDaily? It’s always a good day for dinosaur news!
“Prof. Rothschild and Tanke spotted an unusual finding in the vertebrae of a tail of a young dinosaur of the grass-eating herbivore species, common in the world 66-80 million years ago,” Dr. May explains. “There were large cavities in two of the vertebrae segments, which were unearthed at the Dinosaur Provincial Park in southern Alberta, Canada.” It was the specific shape of the cavities that attracted the attention of researchers. “They were extremely similar to the cavities produced by tumors associated with the rare disease LCH that still exists today in humans,” adds Dr. May. “Most of the LCH-related tumors, which can be very painful, suddenly appear in the bones of children aged 2-10 years. Thankfully, these tumors disappear without intervention in many cases.”
Amazing. They lived then not only to make us happy now, but also to make us healthier now.
I’ll be back on Monday, and we can all try to make sense out of the Nevada caucuses. Wheee! Party! Be well and play nice, ya bastids. Stay above the snake-line, and make some goooooood trouble. If you don’t, then, well, John Lewis knows Wolverine and Wolverine owes him a favor, so….
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