HomeUncategorized7.28-31 TGIF and Weekend Open Threads
newest oldest most voted
Notify of

RIP Randy Meisner, Eagles. Another good one taking flight from Earth along with Glenn Frey. Henley is the last one standing.


Nice cover of this tune.



Rep. Maxwell Frost on Why Bernie Sanders is Gen Z’s Barack Obama

He’s in the middle of his freshman year as the youngest person serving in one of the oldest Congresses in history.

Congressman Maxwell Frost, the first Gen Z member of Congress, is in the middle of his freshman year as the youngest person serving in one of the oldest Congresses in history.

I’ve been covering generational change in American politics for years now, and when Frost won his seat in 2022, he brought Gen Z priorities to Congress for the first time. But Congressman Frost is more than just the new kid on the block. He’s also the first Afro-Cuban to be elected to Congress. He’s a former organizer for March For Our Lives, the Gen Z movement against gun violence. And his district includes parts of Orlando, a democratic stronghold in a state with a Republican Governor, Ron DeSantis, who’s running for president.

All this makes Maxwell Frost the perfect person to help us better understand this weird moment in American politics. In this episode, we talk about octogenarian politicians, dynamic young voters, how gun violence has radicalized an entire generation, and what it’s really like to be in Congress in your 20s.

On why Bernie Sanders is Gen Z’s Barack Obama:

I think a lot of Gen Zers would probably talk about the campaign of Bernie Sanders in 2015, 2016, as a movement that put a lot of people into politics. You know, Bernie is probably—this is not to compare individuals, but more movements—Bernie is probably the Obama of Gen Z. You know, just like a figure that pushed you into politics. And Obama was that for me too. But I’m older than most Gen Zers, so a lot of them probably don’t remember Obama’s campaign, I volunteered on it. I think all these very progressive social movements and political movements have really built off of one another to create this politically active generation that we see now. If you look at the numbers, the United States has some of the most active young people in politics in the entire world.

On how younger leaders have a different perspective:

I think your generation and where you’re from and who you are, and your family story and your experiences, all these things change the lens through which you see the same issue. So if you were to talk to me about economic opportunity, I might talk to you a little bit more about student debt, food insecurity, housing, and becoming an entrepreneur and building wealth. And an older person might have a different way of thinking. They might first want to talk about home ownership. But for me as a young person, I understand that home ownership is very important, but damn, we can’t even get into a rental.

I’m thinking about how can we make renting easier for people so then we can build wealth to get a house. It’s not that I don’t want to talk about buying a house. It’s that I just realized that there’s steps to getting there and the first step is having a place to live. And that’s personal for me.

On how he keeps having fun even with a busy Congressional schedule:

Last week I went to a concert here in D.C. and then had some friends in town I hadn’t seen in a while. I hung out with them and then I had an interview here in the office very early. I was doing a morning show in Orlando remotely, and so I just kind of stayed up. I came to the office very early at like five, and I took a nap on this couch and then I did the interview. It definitely sucked. Would not recommend. But, you know, it is what it is. I UberEata some McGriddles and I got through the day.


from WaPo

The secret slide deck started circulating in June, intended as a wake-up call to top Democrats in Congress, the White House and state capitals across the country about a dangerous flaw in the Democratic brand.

Based on six months of polling and focus groups, the document showed the party losing badly to Republicans on the most important single issue of voters: the economy. Voters said Democrats focused too much on “cultural and social issues” and not enough on pocketbook issues. The message of “economic fairness” was a loser compared with “growing the economy,” a regular GOP refrain.

“Challenge is one of volume and message clarity,” reads the opening slide of a presentation that has now been seen by hundreds of party leaders and activists. “Democrats should anchor your economic message around ‘growing the middle class.’”

The effect was almost immediate. Days after their briefings, leaders in the House and Senate, including House Democratic Leader Hakeem Jeffries (N.Y.) and Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), started sneaking “growing the middle class” into social media posts and statements. President Biden, who had long embraced a “grow the middle class” mantra, returned to it with a June speech meant to rebrand his policy approach as “Bidenomics.”

The behind-the-scenes attempt at a political rebranding is just one of several efforts, as Democrats wrestle with the vulnerabilities they expect in next year’s presidential election. Along with concerns about Biden’s age and worries about lower turnout among the urban base, Democrats see the party’s faded economic approval as a top concern.

A Washington Post-ABC poll in May found that 54 percent of voters said Trump had done a better job handling the economy than Biden, compared with 36 percent who sided with Biden. By contrast, when President Barack Obama won reelection in 2012, he was running closer to even with his Republican opponent, Mitt Romney, on handling the economy.

“It’s clear Democrats are getting the balance wrong about actually connecting with voters on their most important issue,” said Navin Nayak, the Center for American Progress Action Fund’s president who led the research effort behind the June presentation, which continues to be briefed to party insiders. “The outcome we are offering people is not just a transactional one. It is an emotional one of having a little more security and being a little less stressed.”

Before the midterm elections, Nayak teamed up with Anita Dunn, now a senior White House adviser, on a similar polling and research effort that led Democrats to focus their attacks last year on “extremist MAGA Republicans.” The tactic was widely adopted, turning a nickname for adherents of Trump’s Make America Great Again movement into a shorthanded drag on Republican candidates.

In recent months, Democrats have allowed themselves to become more optimistic about the larger political winds shifting in their direction. Inflation has eased to below 3 percent from 9 percent last year, the economy grew at 2.4 percent in the second quarter and Federal Reserve Chair Jerome H. Powell said Wednesday that his staff no longer forecast a recession in the United States in the coming months. A key marker of voter anxiety that the Obama reelection campaign focused on — real median household income — may also be turning a corner, after multiple years of declines because of the coronavirus pandemic and inflation.

But there is broad agreement inside the party that elected officials cannot just rely on macroeconomic forces to change their fortunes.

“The economy is the only major issue where Republicans are connecting with voters, and if we can take that away from them, we are going to have a very good election next year,” Democratic strategist Simon Rosenberg said. He has been offering Democrats a separate presentation encouraging them to talk about the relative performance of the U.S. economy under Republican and Democratic governance.

Signs tout “Bidenomics” before President Biden’s arrival at the Philly Shipyard in Philadelphia on July 20. (Spencer Platt/Getty Images)
Republicans, for their part, are determined to maintain the advantage over Democrats. Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R), a 2024 presidential contender who has recently shaken up his campaign staff, has planned a major economic policy speech Monday in New Hampshire.

“There is no way to message their way out of this — under Biden and Democrat leadership, prices and interest rates are sky high while real wages and savings are down,” said Emma Vaughn, a spokeswoman for the Republican National Committee. “Bidenomics means you pay more to get less, which is why voters will choose Republicans and our common sense, jobs and family-first agenda in 2024.”

I don’t think Bidenomics as a brand will help Biden. Biden let too many things slide, such as child care and Medicaid since 2022. He has an opportunity to tweak his message, and I’ve noticed the progressive press is beginning to talk up any positive effects, such as unemployment being low.


Funny how Bernie campaigned on these issues(Below) when he first ran. Pick one and its one of the issues that worry Americans to this very day. You can add a 7th point Climate change.




Arizona’s saguaro cacti, a symbol of the U.S. West, are leaning, losing arms and in some cases falling over during the state’s record streak of extreme heat, a scientist said on Tuesday.

Summer monsoon rains the cacti rely on have failed to arrive, testing the desert giants’ ability to survive in the wild as well as in cities after temperatures above 110 degrees Fahrenheit (43 Celsius) for 25 days in Phoenix, said Tania Hernandez.

“These plants are adapted to this heat, but at some point the heat needs to cool down and the water needs to come,” said Hernandez, a research scientist at Phoenix’s 140-acre (57-hectare) Desert Botanical Garden, which has over 2/3 of all cactus species, including saguaros which can grow to over 40 feet (12 meters).

Plant physiologists at the Phoenix garden are studying how much heat cacti can take. Until recently many thought the plants were perfectly adapted to high temperatures and drought. Arizona’s heat wave is testing those assumptions.

Cacti need to cool down at night or through rain and mist. If that does not happen they sustain internal damage. Plants now suffering from prolonged, excessive heat may take months or years to die, Hernandez said.

Cacti in Phoenix are being studied as the city is a heat island, mimicking higher temperatures plants in the wild are expected to face with future climate change, Hernandez said.


The Talibangelicals in action


Delightful Wisconsin Republican.

Rep. Derrick Van Orden (R-WI) defended screaming obscenities at high school Senate pages who were resting in the Capitol Rotunda early Thursday morning by accusing the teens of treating the space “like a frat house common room.”

The 16- and 17-year-olds had been working late on amendments to the National Defense Authorization Act when they were discovered taking a break in their usual spot.

A page transcribed Van Orden’s words shortly after he berated the group around midnight. The transcript alleged that the congressman screamed:

Wake the f‑‑‑ up you little s‑‑‑‑. … What the f‑‑‑ are you all doing? Get the f‑‑‑ out of here. You are defiling the space you [pieces of s‑‑‑].

Who the f‑‑‑ are you?

When the teens answered that they were Senate pages, Van Orden reportedly retorted, “I don’t give a f‑‑‑ who you are, get out. You jackasses, get out.”

Max Cohen with Punchbowl News, the first outlet to report on the incident, tweeted that alcohol may have played a factor.

“Per a source, here’s a photo from last night of a bunch of alcohol in Van Orden’s office. Van Orden and staff were heard partying loudly before he cursed out a group of teenage Senate pages,” he posted.


One of many congresscritters that seem to embarras Wi on a regular basis



RIP Paul Reubens. I watched Pee Wee’s Playhouse during its run in the late 80s. The 1988 Christmas special is among the best ever (Cher, Grace Jones, KD Lang, Little Richard, among other guests and regulars.)