Sunday Night Owls: Excerpts from the March edition of the Harper’s Index. (And a vaccine poll)

Night Owls is a themed open thread appearing at Daily Kos seven days a week.

Selected excerpts from the March edition of Harper’s Index (not yet on-line):

  • Percentage increase last year in use of the phrase “technical difficulties” during corporate earnings calls: 310
  • In use of the phrase “you’re on mute”: 1,000
  • Of the phrase “unprecedented times”: 70,830
  • Estimated portion of countries that will be poorer in 2100 than they would have been without climate change: ¾
  • Projected percentage change in average income by 2100 in the poorest 20 percent of countries: -75
  • In the richest 20 percent of countries: 0
  • Percentage of parents aged 27 to 45 who have “a negative vision of the future”: 92
  • Who regret having children: 6
  • Percentage increase in the mortality rate in large U.S. jails over the past decade: 35
  • Portion of inmates who died during that period who were awaiting trial: 2/3
  • Estimated percentage increase in the number of U.S. deaths last year: 15
  • Year in which the United States last saw so great an increase: 1918
  • Percentage of Americans who believe that 2021 will be better than 2020 for them personally: 44
  • Who believe that 2021 will be better for the world: 37


Unity Over Bipartisanship, by Tom Perriello. Genuine bipartisanship is largely illusory. To deliver for Americans, Democrats need unity.

Lindsey Graham Predicts Kamala Harris Impeachment if GOP Retakes House, by Justin Baragona. The South Carolina senator also said that the Republican Party needs to fully embrace Trump and make him the face of the party if they want to win moving forward.

The Environmental Threat You’ve Never Heard Of, by Doug Johnson. It’s called coastal darkening, and scientists are just beginning to explore its growing threat to all sorts of marine life.



LIFE IMITATES ART Republicans: "Trump was acquitted twice!" Chicago gangster Big Jule in the musical Guys and Dolls: "I used to be bad when I was a kid, but ever since then I've gone straight, as has been proved by my record: Thirty-three arrests and no convictions!"

— Victor Laszlo (@Impolitics) February 14, 2021


“It is one thing to overthrow a dictator or to repel an invader and quite another thing really to achieve a revolution.” ~~James BaldwinThe Fire Next Time (1953)


On this date at Daily Kos in 2012Orrin Hatch claims abortion is '95 percent' of what Planned Parenthood does:

Sen. Orrin Hatch is a hardcore old-school conservative. For much of recent history he was considered a conservative stalwart in the senate. That's not good enough for modern conservatism, however, which is predicated on being so absolutely batshit regressive that Ronald Reagan looks like a communist by comparison, and so Hatch has had his work cut out for him lately trying to placate a base that considers him a traitor to the cause.

Which might explain statements like this, from Hatch:

Look, we all know that Planned Parenthood does 400,000 abortions a year or more, and yet that's supported by the federal government. They claim that money isn't, uh, they don't use federal funds, well, about 95 percent of all they do, from what I understand, is abortion.

Oh! In the senate playbook we call that "Pulling a Kyl." Last year, on the floor of the Senate, Sen. Jon Kyl famously declared abortion was "well over 90 percent of what Planned Parenthood does." It was an assertion so obviously and profoundly false that his office could do nothing but issue a now-famous press statement that his claim was "not intended to be a factual statement." Then, after becoming a national laughingstock (well, more so, anyway) Kyl "revised his remarks" in the congressional record to erase the claim, which you can do if you are a senator, and which I think senators believe alters the fabric of spacetime in such a way as to make the thing not have ever happened.

Monday through Friday you can catch the Kagro in the Morning Show 9 AM ET by dropping in here, or you can download the Stitcher app (found in the app stores or at, and find a live stream there, by searching for "Netroots Radio.”

Sunday Night Owls. Mayer: Why Trump can’t afford to lose

Night Owls, a themed open thread, appears at Daily Kos seven days a week

Jane Mayer at The New Yorker writes—Why Trump Can't Afford to Lose:

The downfall of Richard Nixon, in the summer of 1974, was, as Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein relate in “The Final Days,” one of the most dramatic in American history. That August, the Watergate scandal forced Nixon—who had been cornered by self-incriminating White House tape recordings, and faced impeachment and removal from office—to resign. Twenty-nine individuals closely tied to his Administration were subsequently indicted, and several of his top aides and advisers, including his Attorney General, John Mitchell, went to prison. Nixon himself, however, escaped prosecution because his successor, Gerald Ford, granted him a pardon, in September, 1974.

No American President has ever been charged with a criminal offense. But, as Donald Trump fights to hold on to the White House, he and those around him surely know that if he loses—an outcome that nobody should count on—the presumption of immunity that attends the Presidency will vanish. Given that more than a dozen investigations and civil suits involving Trump are currently under way, he could be looking at an endgame even more perilous than the one confronted by Nixon. The Presidential historian Michael Beschloss said of Trump, “If he loses, you have a situation that’s not dissimilar to that of Nixon when he resigned. Nixon spoke of the cell door clanging shut.” Trump has famously survived one impeachment, two divorces, six bankruptcies, twenty-six accusations of sexual misconduct, and an estimated four thousand lawsuits. Few people have evaded consequences more cunningly. That run of good luck may well end, perhaps brutally, if he loses to Joe Biden. Even if Trump wins, grave legal and financial threats will loom over his second term. [...]

Barbara Res, whose new book, “Tower of Lies,” draws on the eighteen years that she spent, off and on, developing and managing construction projects for Trump, also thinks that the President is not just running for a second term—he is running from the law. “One of the reasons he’s so crazily intent on winning is all the speculation that prosecutors will go after him,” she said. “It would be a very scary spectre.” She calculated that, if Trump loses, “he’ll never, ever acknowledge it—he’ll leave the country.” [...]


  • “It’s the Most Outrageous Thing I’ve Ever Seen,” by Michael Hall. DNA evidence proved Lydell Grant’s innocence. So why won’t the state’s highest criminal court exonerate him?
  • Data Disappeared, by Samanth Subramanian, Michael Hobbes, Jonathan Cohn, Kate Sheppard, Alex Kaufman, Delphine D’Amora, Chris D’Angelo, and Emily Peck. Data is the lifeblood of a functioning government. Over the past four years, the Trump administration has destroyed, disappeared, or distorted vast swathes of the information the nation needs to protect the vulnerable, safeguard our health, and alert us to emerging crises.
  • Remember What They Did, by Hamilton Nolan. One day soon, the most vis­i­ble phase of this night­mare will end. The cur­rent occu­pants of the White House will leave, and all of their assort­ed enablers will dis­perse back into the world like fun­gus spores float­ing on the wind, all hop­ing for a cozy spot to flour­ish anew. It is our job, as a soci­ety, to deny them that. To deny them accep­tance, peace, and the unearned sheen of respectabil­i­ty. To always, always, remem­ber what they did.



“There may be times when we are powerless to prevent injustice, but there must never be a time when we fail to protest.” ~~Elie Wiesel, Nobel lecture (Dec. 11, 1986)


Are you anxious and afraid right now over what might happen in the next few days?

— Cara Zelaya - 🦇 Scare-AH! ZelAAAAH!ya 🦇 (@carazelaya) November 1, 2020


At Daily Kos on this date in 2016—Democrats point out Comey's 'blatant double standard' as Justice clamps down on further news:

FBI Director James Comey believed that early October was too close to Election Day for the government to announce that the Russian government was trying to interfere in our elections, a second source has confirmed to Huffington Post. Weeks later, of course, Comey relied on much more speculative information in announcing that the FBI had come across emails possibly relevant to the investigation into Hillary Clinton’s private server. As Clinton campaign manager Robby Mook says, “It is impossible to view this as anything less than a blatant double standard.” And, as Clinton press secretary Brian Fallon says, “Director Comey owes the public an explanation for this inconsistency.”

It’s unlikely the public will get that explanation any time soon, though, both because Comey doesn’t seem inclined to make his actions make any sense whatsoever and because the Justice Department is trying to put the toothpaste back in the tube, saying it will move quickly on investigations but will not give out any further information while it does so.

Democrats, meanwhile, continue to pressure Comey over Trump’s possible Russia ties

Monday through Friday you can catch the Kagro in the Morning Show 9 AM ET by dropping in here, or you can download the Stitcher app (found in the app stores or at, and find a live stream there, by searching for "Netroots Radio.”