Glenn: Did you see Elizabeth Warren’s question? Click here to watch Chief Justice Roberts read it:
“At a time when large majorities of Americans have lost faith in government, does the fact that the Chief Justice is presiding over an impeachment trial in which Republican senators have thus far refused to allow witnesses or evidence contribute to the loss of legitimacy of the Chief Justice, the Supreme Court, and the Constitution?”
David: “After the Senate acquits, the Dems should simply announce that the trial was a sham since no witnesses were called, and so the case will be appealed to the higher tribunal of the American people November 3 and the whole campaign can be wrapped strategically in this concept.”
Peter (responding to last week’s Note To Bernie Bros): “I despise the Bernie Bros. They worked very hard to get Trump elected in 2016. They bought, full on, the Russian Propaganda that the DNC had ‘cheated’ Bernie. Those 3 million+ Democratic voters who preferred Clinton to Sanders? Bernie was robbed! And they tried their hardest, based on that Russian Propaganda, targeted specifically to them, to convince Democrats to either stay home and not vote or to vote for Stein. In their eyes, all Democrats who vote for somebody else are corporate shills.”
→ I love the Bernie bros, so long as they recognize that this time it’s necessary to elect whoever gets the nomination . . . with a Democratic Senate, to boot.
And I think they would, if it turns out not to be Bernie — and that Bernie himself would forcefully urge them to — because this time it’s different:
> First, Trump has proved to be dramatically worse than even we expected.
> Second — unlike last time, when everyone “knew” there was no real chance Trump could win — now we know. (Indeed, to get him to leave, it may not be enough simply to win; to be on the safe side, it’s urgent that we try to win huge, both in the Electoral College and the popular vote.)
> Third, all our other candidates share Bernie’s goals of affordable healthcare and a more just society where the rewards aren’t skewed so heavily to the top tenth of one percent.
Some of his opponents might actually be more effective than Bernie in moving the ball down the field toward those goals, if only because they are perceived as more moderate . . . though there’s no way to know for sure, either before the election of after the fact.
Susan S: “Please share which of those Democratic candidates you believe can get this country out of this mess — domestic and international. Please explain which policies they have articulated you believe will make the USA move ahead and why.”
→ The short form is: any of them. They’re all bright, competent, and decent — not sociopaths — who would surround themselves with smart, competent, decent people — not sycophants and felons. Kind of the way it was under Obama, Bush, Clinton, the better Bush, Reagan, Carter, Ford, Nixon, LBJ, JFK, Truman, FDR, Hoover . . . albeit some proved far more capable than others, and none of them — least of all in my book Bush 43 or Nixon — was perfect.
Michael M.: “I had an epiphany. We currently exist at a time of tribulation in which the Antichrist has seized the helm of world leadership to lead the masses of evil. The Republicans today are made up entirely of evangelical Christians who espouse faith but do not live it. And thus we must answer the question of where the true Christians who live their faith have gone? The epiphany that enlightened me is simple: the rapture has already occurred! All the true Christians have ascended to heaven, leaving only the false Christians to follow the Antichrist. This more clearly explains the world in which we find ourselves today than any other explanation I have heard.”
Carl asks . . . (reacting to Just 162 Billionaires Have The Same Wealth As Half Of Humanity / “If everyone sat on their wealth piled up in $100 bills, most people would be sitting on the floor, a middle-class person from a rich country would be the height of a chair, and the world’s two richest men would be sitting in space.”) . . .
“What do the wealthy do with those bills? Hide them in caves? If they put them in bank accounts what do they do with the interest? What do the banks do with all that money? The fact is they don’t ‘sit on their wealth piled up in $100 bills.’ They build or invest or research or construct — isn’t that producing jobs or helping the world? The point is money is useless unless it is being spent. Everybody including middle and lower class benefit from wealthy spending.”
→ By that logic, we could have a really prosperous world if one person had all the money. Instead, of course, I think it’s a balance — with lots of incentives and rewards for hard work, innovation, and risk-taking; but also mechanisms as varied as the progressive income tax and Nixon’s Earned Income Tax Credit. And right now, a lot of people think it’s gotten out of balance. Check this out for more: the Nick Hanauer clip I’ve been linking to for the past eight years. The pendulum has swung too far. The rich are not the job creators — though many of them have made enormous contributions to our health, happiness, and well-being. (They should be celebrated and thanked! But sensibly taxed, too. They don’t deserve all the rewards.)
Fred C: “Yes, I’m an idiot. But I was so excited you mentioned finance the other day, I went and blindly bought 3,000 shares of ANIX (with money I can truly afford to lose). Any chance you could write a paragraph or two explaining why I bought it? And still waiting for another update on Bank of Utica. Or maybe you should write a column telling how you feel about Trump.”
→ LOL. Not crazy about Trump. BKUTK last traded at $432, and is exactly the same (sans voting rights) as BKUT, that last traded at $567. Its $15.50 dividend is 3.5% here, not terrible in today’s world; and I like to think it might one day be bought out at $750 or whatever — but that could be a long, long, long time from now, if ever. Or things could go south. ANIX has three potential home runs in the cancer detection / treatment field and enough cash, I’m told, to go another year without needing to raise more. I bought a chunk because — while I understand none of it — someone I trust does. Which in no way means it will succeed. Tons of promising things fail. So I only bought it with money I could truly afford to lose. Good luck to us both!
Jonathan: “Could we have a word from you about BOREF?”
→ It dropped 50% to $3 Friday — on volume of 2,400 shares. Presumably, someone put in an order to sell “at the market,” and the only standing order to buy was at $3. Or maybe it was a typo. Later in the day I think I saw it at something like “$5 bid, $6 asked.” As you know, I think $6 is also ridiculously low — not because the company may not ultimately fail, but because if it succeeds it should be worth a great deal more. Only take that bet with money you can truly afford to lose!