October 8, 2020

Posted by orrinj at 5:19 PM


Lincoln Project the Latest to Find Seniors Jumping Ship From Trump After His COVID-19 Diagnosis (ADRIAN CARRASQUILLO,  10/8/20, Newsweek)

The Lincoln Project is the latest group to find seniors souring on President Donald Trump after his COVID-19 diagnosis, a development that threatens to derail his reelection effort with just 26 days remaining before November 3.

Beyond running ads on Facebook and YouTube, part of the group's analytics effort includes a sophisticated campaign that serves ads to seniors based on the news they're reading, and the group has seen a marked increase in engagement in Florida,Texas, and to a lesser extent in Ohio from seniors who are reading about Trump contracting COVID-19.

"Once the president got COVID, everything moved with seniors," Mike Madrid, a Lincoln Project co-founder told Newsweek. "We've been investing for months to push that demo when that late break suddenly came."

The data follows a CNN/SSRS poll this week--conducted almost entirely after the president's announcement that he had contracted the virus--showing Biden leading among voters 65 and older by 21 points, with a CNN analysis declaring Biden "well on his way to doing better with seniors than any Democratic nominee in at least 24 years." The 2016 exit poll shows Trump won seniors by seven points over Hillary Clinton.

This drastic change is also what Fernand Amandi, a pollster for Obama during both campaigns, is seeing in Florida, he told Newsweek.

His Bendixen & Amandi firm did a September poll and saw Trump's unfavorables rise 6 points in October. 

[N.B.: the deleted reply reads, "Andy Cuomo...blah...blah...blah...]

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Jonathan Mayhew: Colonial Pastor against Tyranny (Eric Patterson, October 8, 2020, Providence)

The most potent of these sermons was Jonathan Mayhew's 1750 "Discourse Concerning the Unlimited Submission and Non-Resistance to Higher Authorities." This sermon was printed and reprinted numerous times in the colonies and London. Mayhew begins:

Let us now trace the apostle's reasoning in favor of submission to the higher powers, a little more particularly and exactly. For by this it will appear, on one hand, how good and conclusive it is, for submission to those rulers who exercise their power in a proper manner: And, on the other, how weak and trifling and unconnected it is, if it be supposed to be meant by the apostle to show the obligation and duty of obedience to tyrannical, oppressive rulers in common with others of a different character.

Mayhew distinguishes between the moral duty of the Christian to submit to lawful authority and the citizen's duty toward "lawless, unreasonable" tyranny:

Those who resist a reasonable and just authority, which is agreeable to the will of God, do really resist the will of God himself; and will, therefore, be punished by him. But how does this prove, that those who resist a lawless, unreasonable power, which is contrary to the will of God, do therein resist the will and ordinance of God?

Consequently, Mayhew argues:

Thus, upon a careful review of the apostle's reasoning in this passage, it appears that his arguments to enforce submission, are of such a nature, as to conclude only in favor of submission to such rulers as he himself describes; i.e., such as rule for the good of society, which is the only end of their institution. Common tyrants, and public oppressors, are not entitled to obedience from their subjects, by virtue of anything here laid down by the inspired apostle.

This lays the groundwork for action against "tyrants and public oppressors." Mayhew's argument goes on at length but clearly articulates a rationale that became increasingly part of the colonial consciousness: the purpose of government was the common good, and citizens, working with established political authorities at the local and state level, had a moral duty to resist tyranny.

It's a Puritan nation.

Posted by orrinj at 9:20 AM


Only Half in Fun: William F. Buckley's NYC Mayoral Campaign, 50 Years Later (Thomas E. Lynch, October 19, 2015, Intercollegiate Review)

The campaign began with a promise of low effort and high art. Buckley, who had warned the Conservative Party that the race would not disrupt his already crowded schedule, had privately committed no more than a day a week to the effort. To the assembled press, he noted that he expected to campaign when he had time.

From the first press conference, it was clear that he would be running on his own terms. The candidate read his statement of principles in a tone Murray Kempton described as that of "an Edwardian resident commissioner reading aloud the 39 articles of the Anglican establishment to a conscript assemblage of Zulus."(8)

Buckley was as committed to enjoying himself as he was to fulfilling his objectives:

Press:  Do you want to be mayor, sir?
Buckley:  I have never considered it. . . .
Press:  How many votes do you expect to get, conservatively speaking?
Buckley:  Conservatively speaking, one.(9)

Within days of launching the campaign, Buckley would make his most lasting contribution to American campaign lore by telling the press that if he were elected, his first action would be to "demand a recount."(10)

Joking aside, Buckley had at his disposal one powerful advantage, namely that he "did not expect to win the election, and so could afford to violate the taboos."(11) From the start, his campaign sought to undermine the basic vocabulary of New York City politics: ethnic-group and other bloc voting.

For most of the twentieth century, the Democratic Party's dominance was rooted in the hundred or so local ethnic clubs--Irish, Italian, Jewish, black, Puerto Rican--that enfranchised recent immigrants and traded votes for municipal jobs and petty graft. By the early 1960s, reform movement Democrats--often from the left wing of the party--had taken over many of the old clubs. But the habits of political affiliation were ingrained in the political culture; ethnic-bloc voting was reality in New York City political life.

Buckley launched a frontal attack on these patterns. Bloc voting of all kinds, he argued, was the enemy of good governance. There was "marginal disutility" involved in appealing to voting blocs; the politician's desire to satisfy the needs of the largest and most powerful blocs ultimately undermines the welfare of the individual members of those blocs. The taxi driver might enjoy the enforced oligopoly that government provides, but political concessions to other blocs result in higher taxes, greater congestion, weaker schools, and hundreds of problems that ultimately outweigh the value of the oligopoly.

The city's problems, Buckley claimed, were rooted in maladministration and the capitulation to special interests. Much of the latter could be resolved if politicians engaged voters as individuals, "depriving the voting blocs of their corporate advantages" and "liberat[ing] individual members of those voting blocs."(12) Buckley committed to this idealistic form of campaigning: "I will not go to Jewish centers and eat blintzes," he declaimed, "nor will I go to Italian centers and pretend to speak Italian."(13)

THROUGH the summer, Buckley's campaign barely qualified as back-page news. The leading local political story was the September Democratic Party primary, in which City Comptroller Abraham Beame emerged the victor. Other stories occupied the city's attention: the drought and the New York World's Fair continued through the summer, and many working-class Catholics were buying televisions so they could witness the pope's first visit to New York (and America) in early October.

Buckley's program was scarcely registering with voters until, on September 17, the campaign caught a huge break: the Newspaper Guild called a general strike. The city newspapers, largely in the thrall of the Lindsay campaign, would not publish for twenty-three days. The mayoralty campaign now would be waged on television: in four televised forums, Buckley's wit, manners, and mercilessly adept debating style transformed him into the central figure in this campaign. "Love him or hate him, TV fans found it difficult to turn off a master political showman," wrote one scribe,(14) while famed campaign chronicler Theodore White deemed Buckley a "star" who would be "Oscar Wilde's favorite candidate for anything."(15)

The effect in the field was even more surprising, especially to those inside the campaign. Television was allowing Buckley's seemingly academic attack on voting blocs to gain traction not among the intellectual or business class but with the ethnic voters themselves. The largely Catholic ethnic vote--increasingly alienated from both the old and the new reformist clubs--was warming to Buckley's conservative message of low taxes, individual accountability, and law and order.

"I can tell you that it surprised me," campaign aide Neal Freeman recalled. "I suppose that I was expecting our supporters to be National Review types--car dealers, academic moles, literate dentists. . . . As soon as we hired halls, though, we learned that [Buckley] was speaking for the people who made the city go--corner-store owners, cops, schoolteachers, first-home owners, firemen, coping parents."(16)

The polls showed Buckley rising to 16 percent of the vote--one poll put him at 20 percent--mostly with support from largely disaffected and strongly Catholic voters. Any sense of the campaign's being a "lark" quickly disappeared, and Buckley, instead of limiting his political activity to a day a week, began to campaign every day.

One of the best aspects of the book is WFB's surprise with--and annoyance at--himself as he begins to take his own candidacy seriously even though he has far too little political experience to campaign effectively.    

The Unmaking of a Mayor : The following is the prologue from William F. Buckley's now-classic memoir of his campaign for mayor of New York City, The Unmaking of a Mayor, just reissued in a fiftieth-anniversary "deluxe edition."  (William F. Buckley, October 21, 2015, Intercollegiate Review)

Q. Why haven't you availed yourself of the two-party system in New York and fought your fight with John Lindsay in the primaries?
A. Because if I had entered the Republican primary and lost to John Lindsay I'd have felt obliged to support him in the election. Party loyalty demands that sort of thing. Since I could not in good conscience have endorsed Mr. Lindsay, I could not in good conscience have accepted the implicit discipline of a Primary contest. To avoid this dilemma, I am running as a Republican but on the Conservative ticket, whose platform is wholly congruent with the Republican National Platform of 1964.

Q. If the Republican Party in New York City is oriented toward Democratic principles, then isn't that because New York Republicans wish it to be so, and don't New York Republicans have the right to shape the character of their own Party?
A. (1) John Lindsay got 135,000 votes in New York in 1964, having repudiated the national candidacy of Barry Goldwater. (2) Barry Goldwater, in 1964, got 800,000 votes in New York City. Granted that Lindsay ran only in a single Congressional District. But grant, also, that he won a lot of Democratic votes. If there are 800,000 people in New York City willing to vote for Barry Goldwater, you have to assume that the Republican Party, understood as a party reflecting an alternative view of government to that of the Democratic Party, isn't dead in New York. The question, then, is whether the Republican Party should have tried, by evangelizing the Republican faith, to double that 800,000 votes, sufficient to win an election, or do as John Lindsay is doing, which is to unsex the Republican Party and flit off with the Democratic majority--which effort would ultimately convince the voters that the Republican Party, as commonly understood, offers no genuine alternative.

Q. Isn't John Lindsay engaged in revitalizing the Republican Party?
A. No, he is engaged in devitalizing the Republican Party. A party thrives on its distinctiveness. John Lindsay's decision, made years ago, to bestow himself upon the nation as a Republican rather than as a Democrat was clearly based on personal convenience rather than on a respect for the two-party system, let alone a respect for the Republican alternative. The two-party system, if it is meaningful, presupposes an adversary relationship between the parties. John Lindsay's voting record, and his general political pronouncements, put him left of the center of the Democratic Party. As such he is an embarrassment to the two-party system.

Q. Does the Conservative Party's position in New York bear on the struggle for power within the Republican National Committee?
A. It appears to me obvious that it does. Mr. Bliss, understandably hungry for any victory by anyone who, off the record, concedes a formal affiliation with the Republican Party, has shown enthusiasm for Mr. Lindsay's campaign. That enthusiasm is not shared by an important wing of the Party, probably the dominant wing of the Party, some of whose spokesmen have directly encouraged me to run for office and thereby uphold nationally authorized Republican principles.

Q. Granted John Lindsay is running for Mayor of New York alongside a Democrat and a Liberal. He has said that the problems of New York require a fusion approach. What do you think of that?
A. It is a relief when John Lindsay rises from banality, if only to arrive at fatuity. 

[originally posted 10/23/15]
Posted by orrinj at 8:44 AM


Trump refuses to participate in virtual debate on Oct. 15: 'I'm not going to waste my time' (Christina Wilkie, 10/08/20, CNBC)

The second presidential debate between President Donald Trump and Democratic nominee Joe Biden, slated to take place on Oct. 15, will be held virtually, the bipartisan Commission on Presidential Debates said Thursday. 

Minutes after the announcement, however, Trump said he would not participate.

"No I'm not going to waste my time on a virtual debate," he said during an interview on the Fox Business channel.

Posted by orrinj at 8:35 AM


Cultural Marxism's Origins: How the Disciples of an Obscure Italian Linguist Subverted America (Sam Jacobs, 10/07/20, Ammo)

It was in prison that Gramsci began formulating the core of his theory, which would later form the core of leftist thought throughout the West. In the Prison Notebooks, he broke from Classical Marxism, formulating a new and largely distinct ideology:

Cultural hegemony is a more important factor in maintaining capitalism than economic or political hegemony.

Cultural and social education of workers must be performed to create a class of worker-intellectuals capable of combating capitalism.

Civil society is distinct from political society. The latter rules through domination and coercion, whereas the former rules through normalization and consent.

A rejection of materialism (the primacy of the material world) in favor of a semi-mystical view of history, as well as a greater degree of cultural relativism.

Further critiques of economic determinism (the notion that economics is the primary driver of human history and civilization) and philosophical materialism (the philosophical claim that the material world is either the only reality or the most important one).

Later theorists, including the famous Frankfurt School, which introduced elements of Freudian psychoanalysis, antipositivism (the notion that human society cannot be studied using the scientific method) and existentialism, a philosophical movement that posits that "being determines consciousness" and sees humanity as necessarily hemmed in by a variety of forces beyond their control.

There has been an attempt to smear the identification of the Frankfurt School and similar currents as Cultural Marxism as an expression of anti-Semitism and (of course) a "conspiracy theory." While there are certainly anti-Semites who talk about Cultural Marxism, they often do so from the perspective of an obsession with the alleged "Jewish" nature of the intellectual tendency. We reject both the characterization of Cultural Marxism as somehow "Jewish" as well as the notion that its existence is a "conspiracy theory."

Indeed, it is Cultural Marxism that is inevitably Anti-Semitic, given that it rejects the Judeo-Christian culture of the West.  And Gramsci was quite right that it is this cultural hegemony--the dignity of the Created individual--that maintains capitalism, democracy and protestantism, the End of History that globalization imposed on the entire world, defeating the Marxism that rejected it rather handily.

Posted by orrinj at 7:50 AM


Stephen Colbert Mocks Mike Pence's Debate Hair Fly, Calls It His Only 'Black Friend' (Matt Wilstein, Oct. 08, 2020, Daily Beast)

The dude serves the Lord of them; inevitable he picks up a few strays.

Posted by orrinj at 7:47 AM


The furniture resale market is booming (Chavie Lieber, Oct 8, 2020, Vox)

For Jeremy Adams, a software engineer living in the San Francisco Bay Area, the score was a Pottery Barn sectional for $400 on NextDoor.

For Anne Hersh, it was a $800 sideboard buffet she bought on Facebook Marketplace for $30.

And for Avital Chizhik-Goldschmidt, it was a $13,000 Roche Bobois sofa set she got for free from a neighbor.

The furniture resale market is having a moment. With people fleeing cities for more space in the face of coronavirus lockdowns, unemployed millennials moving back home with their parents, and boredom-induced redecorating taking the country by storm, tons of people have been selling their furniture, often at rock-bottom rates. For prowlers like Chizhik-Goldschmidt, Adams, Hersh, and many, many others, their neighbor's trash is their latest treasure.

"It is like Black Friday every single day, where I can just type a piece of furniture I'm looking for into Facebook Marketplace and buy it for, like, 80 percent off," Adams gleefully said. He's been redecorating his apartment with used furniture sold by other engineers leaving the Bay Area. "I will probably never buy another new piece of furniture again."

Posted by orrinj at 7:44 AM


The first post-VP debate poll says Kamala Harris won (Andrew Prokop,  Oct 8, 2020, Vox)

The poll, conducted by CNN and SSRS, found that 59 percent of debate watchers thought Harris won, and 38 percent thought Vice President Mike Pence won, an impressive margin of victory for Harris.

It wasn't losable. 

Posted by orrinj at 7:31 AM


34 people connected to White House, more than previously known, infected by coronavirus: Internal FEMA memo (Josh Margolin andLucien Bruggeman, October 7, 2020, ABC News)

The coronavirus outbreak has infected "34 White House staffers and other contacts" in recent days, according to an internal government memo, an indication that the disease has spread among more people than previously known in the seat of American government.

Posted by orrinj at 7:18 AM


Kamala Harris's Indian uncle 'felt sorry for Pence' (AFP, 10/08/20)

Kamala Harris' uncle back in India watched her vice-presidential debate with pride on Thursday, feeling "a little sorry" for Mike Pence, who he said came up against a better-qualified foe.

"Expectations were too much of Kamala -- 'she'll wipe the floor', etc. But Pence has also been a Congressman knows how to debate. But Pence has an albatross around his neck -- and that's Trump," Balachandran Gopalan, 79, told AFP in New Delhi after the US election debate in Salt Lake City.

"I felt a little sorry for Pence. You can't ask about the judiciary -- she was on the judiciary committee, was attorney general, on Black Lives Matter she's an expert, on the pandemic, he's on weak ground," the academic said.