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Oct 28 2020

Pondering the Pundits

Pondering the Pundits” is an Open Thread. It is a selection of editorials and opinions from around the news media and the internet blogs. The intent is to provide a forum for your reactions and opinions, not just to the opinions presented, but to what ever you find important.

Thanks to ek hornbeck, click on the link and you can access all the past “Pondering the Pundits”.

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Jeffrey Frankel: Joe Biden looks like a safe pair of hands for the US economy

Contrary to popular belief, Democratic presidents have been better for the economy than Republicans

In a few days, Americans will choose a president. Opinion polling suggests that voters favour former Vice-President Joe Biden when it comes to social policy, foreign policy, the environment and managing the pandemic, not to mention personal character. But until recently, some polls indicated that on the economy, voters favoured Donald Trump.

The general impression that the US economy does better under Republicans than Democrats is long-standing. But the facts do not support it.

In the 16 complete presidential terms since the second world war, from Harry Truman to Barack Obama, annual GDP growth averaged 4.3% under Democratic presidents, versus 2.5% under Republicans. Trump’s presidency has pulled down the Republican score further. In fact, average annual growth during his term to date has actually been negative.

Cecile Richards: Amy Coney Barrett’s appointment is a wake-up call for female voters

It’s not only Roe v Wade on the line. Parental leave, affordable childcare, equal pay, the Affordable Care Act – all are under threat

The pandemic and its collateral economic crisis have illustrated like never before that women are the backbone of America. Before Covid-19, women made up more than half the workforce, nearly two-thirds of minimum-wage workers, and the majority of caregivers. One in three jobs held by women has been designated as essential. Right now, millions of women are pulling off an impossible balancing act: working while trying to keep their families safe and healthy during a terrifying time. Others have lost jobs, have had their wages or hours cut, and more than 800,000 women have left the workforce.

This crisis is disproportionately burdening women, especially women of color. They need immediate relief, but instead of solving this crisis, Donald Trump and Senate Republicans have focused on one thing: pushing through a supreme court nominee who wants to take away healthcare for millions and strip away rights women have had for decades. And they’re doing it against the will of the majority of Americans, who believe that voters should decide who makes the next appointment to the court.

Heather Digby Parton: Progressives and power: If Trump is defeated, the real fight begins

With Amy Coney Barrett, the right won a huge victory. It will take focused, long-term activist power to defeat them

After seeing the spectacle this week of a Supreme Court justice installed just before an election for the express purpose of tilting the result in Donald Trump’s favor — and watching Justice Brett Kavanaugh’s evil threat of “what goes around comes around” take shape — it’s clear that the political battles we’ve been fighting for these past few years won’t be over once the election is decided even if Trump is defeated. The fight is just going to continue on new terrain. [..]

The question, of course, is what happens to all that if they win. You’ll recall that there was a ton of grassroots energy in the center left organized around Barack Obama’s campaign in 2008, which was promptly squelched by a combination of top-down direction from the administration and a foolish belief among many of the faithful that their work was done and they could just trust Obama. That’s the natural consequence of a “movement” that’s based upon a charismatic leader.

That’s not going to be an issue this time. Joe Biden is not a charismatic leader, and while people are enthusiastic about ousting the worst president in American history, they are also primed for change in a substantive way. Trump and the Republicans have exposed the rot in our system in a way nothing else could have done.

Amanda Marcotte: Justice Barrett: Culmination of the right’s five-year misogynist temper tantrum

Five long years from “blood coming out of her wherever” to Justice Barrett — but women can finally defeat Trump

It was five years and two months ago that candidate Donald Trump became livid that a mere woman — Fox News host Megyn Kelly — had the temerity to talk back to him, and responded with a vile sexist dig. Kelly is no friend to feminists, but for once in her miserable career as a right-wing troll, she had done the right thing: Standing up to Trump’s sexism. [..]

Now, five-plus years later, Trump and the Republicans are still at it, swearing in Amy Coney Barrett as the newest associate justice of the United States Supreme Court. Barrett isn’t there because she’s especially qualified or intelligent. No, the entire purpose of her nomination in the last days of the campaign is to get in one more giant fuck-you to feminists before the women’s vote throws Trump out on his butt.

It’s all part of the same project: The right is using Trump’s presidency as a weapon to punish women for speaking out against sexism, and to put women in their place.

Of course picking Barrett over any other cookie-cutter right-wing ideologues was about trolling feminists. The “joke” is that they’ve replaced a legendary feminist — the recently departed Ruth Bader Ginsburg — with a woman who believes husbands are the “heads” of their wives and who refused to agree with the 1965 Supreme Court decision that legalized birth control.

Lynn Stuart Parramore: Trump’s ’60 Minutes’ interview underscores America’s ongoing manterrupter problem

Lesley Stahl, like women everywhere, knows that gaining a seat at the table doesn’t mean much if you can’t be heard over the din

The entitled male is hard to shut up. Recent displays of infuriating “manterrupting” illustrate how tough it can be to manage the problem. CBS News journalist Lesley Stahl, in her “60 Minutes” interview Sunday with President Donald Trump, was interrupted, talked over, instructed and lectured about how to speak. Despite — or perhaps because of — her unrattled persistence, Trump finally cut her off completely and walked out of the interview early.

As every woman who has sat seething through a meeting knows, “manterrupting” is real. Social science studies suggest that men interrupt women 33 percent more than they interrupt other men.

Researchers who study this offer three basic categories of response tactics: aggressive, polite and a combination of the two. Effective strategies, ranging from “verbal chicken” to “pause and resume” and the “question sneak attack,” can up women’s chances of having their say among verbally hostile men.