The Ted Talk above features Nobel laureate Daniel Kahneman talking about how our "experiencing selves" and our "remembering selves" perceive happiness differently, although my interest in Kahneman's talk is not happiness. It's perception-- and how people experience something and-- especially with time-- their remembrances of what happened can drift apart, even radically. I've been thinking about that for the past couple days because an author who I've known for over 3 decades is about to start weighting a biography of me and another writer is writing a book about my old record label, 415 Records. I promise to talk more about this as the nightmares unfold.
Meanwhile though, I want to turn to Biden. Actually, first Trump. According to the PolitiFact fact checkers only 12% of the disputed statements he's made are either True (3%) or Mostly True (9%). The rest that they were able to research (85%) are various levels of lies, including 36% that are just straight up 100% lies and 17% that are "Pants on Fire" lies.
Now they we've elected Biden, we can expect fewer lies. In fact 35% of his checked statements are true and just 62% are false. Just 62%. Yes, 62% is less less hideous than 85%. And it is indisputable that Biden is the lesser evil and in this guess the one who lies less-- or at least less than Trump. But he's still an outrageous, reflexive liar. Most of what Biden says publicly is somewhere between half true (24%) and completely false 20%. Just what we needing the White House! You probably voted for him to get Trump out of the Oval Office. I don't blame you, although I couldn't do it. I know Biden too well to ever consider voting for him. I fully expect him to be the second worst president in living memory-- not as bad as John Tyler, Andrew Johnson, James Buchanan or Waren G. Harding... but worse than Bush, Reagan, Nixon, Clinton, Ford... Maybe time will prove me wrong. But being an inveterate liar, helps make me pretty sure I'm correct.
Michael Shear and David Leonhardt represented the NY Times on a kind of press conference call Biden held on Wednesday. According to Shear, "Biden expressed optimism... that his decades-long brand of centrist deal making would empower him to move beyond the bitter partisanship of the past four years and advance his agenda." Who was he lying to-- the reporters or himself? Biden said that 'My leverage is, every senior Republican knows I’ve never once, ever, misled them. I’ll never publicly embarrass them."
Is that more a lie or just bullshit? Is there a difference? Drunk?
"As vice president," wrote Shear, "Biden had a front-row seat to the eight years of obstruction that Republicans waged against President Barack Obama. In his second term, Mr. Obama all but abandoned hope for large-scale legislative victories, turning to executive actions instead. President Trump adopted a similar approach as he battled Democrats in the House". But Biden, wrote Shear thinks his skills and his history give him an opportunity to break the cycle.
“I’m going to be able to get stuff done on the environment you all are not going to believe,” he told the columnists. “I couldn’t have gotten it done six years ago.”
Biden expressed a similar hope for bipartisan work on confronting the coronavirus pandemic and restoring economic health to a country battered by job losses and business closures.
He acknowledged a widespread weariness with coronavirus restrictions around the country, especially during the holiday season. Nonetheless, the president-elect described a broad willingness among Americans to do what was needed to reduce transmission of the virus and save lives.
“There’s a new sense of urgency on the part of the public at large,” he said. “The American public is being made painfully aware of the extent and damage and incredibly high cost of failing to take the kind of measures we’ve been talking about.”
Mr. Biden’s optimism is sure to be quickly tested once he takes office. Polls show the public is sharply divided, often along partisan lines, about pandemic restrictions. Regardless of which party controls the Senate after a pair of early-January runoffs in Georgia, Congress will be more closely split than at any time in recent memory.
And as president, Mr. Biden will need to build bridges to Democrats as well as to Republicans. Once again, progressives who hoped for a champion of more liberal policies in the White House feel burned by the 2020 election. They have already promised to pressure Mr. Biden against cutting deals with Republicans.
When reporters asked him about opposition he's getting from both outside and inside the Democratic Party, he responded to the pushback the way he has always responded to pushback-- by lying, trying to rewrite history, the same way Trump does. "I respectfully suggest that I beat the hell out of everyone else. I think I know what I’m doing, and I’ve been pretty damn good at being able to deal with the punchers. I know how to block a straight left and do a right hook. I understand it." He's as asshole who was dead in the water, when Obama made him the party nominee. Biden's straight lefts and right hooks had nothing to do with it.
And then a moment of reality and truth: "I’m ready to fight. But one of the things that happens is when you get into one of those kinds of blood matches, nothing gets done, nothing gets done." If the Republicans win even one of the Georgia seats a week from Tuesday, McConnell will be co-president. If Ossoff and Warnock both win, then Joe Manchin or Kyrsten Sinema or any other right-wing Democratic asshole who wants to be, becomes co-president. Either way, the American people were screwed the moment Obama stepped in and decided to burden the country with someone who will be a far worse president that he even was in all his inspiring mediocrity.