SocraticGadfly: 2/7/21 - 2/14/21

February 13, 2021

Xi Jinping Thought is on a computer motherboard near you!

China busted for supply chain hacks, or rather, per Schneier, it's been ongoing for a decade-plus and we're getting new reporting about it. Schneier's lead is this new piece by Bloomberg.

And, it's pretty serious. Per him, read the whole thing if you have time. Part of it is about cat-and-mouse by US intelligence in whom I have less than full confidence. Part of it is lies by "deep state" career bureaucrats in association with computer manufacturers.

THIS part is interesting:

Bloomberg Businessweek first reported on China’s meddling with Supermicro products in October 2018, in an article that focused on accounts of added malicious chips found on server motherboards in 2015. That story said Apple Inc. and Inc. had discovered the chips on equipment they’d purchased. Supermicro, Apple and Amazon publicly called for a retraction. U.S. government officials also disputed the article. 

So ... deep state denialism, and arguably, in this case, sad to agree with Trump, but it was that. Permanent bureaucrats, surely. 

Supermicro goes on to say that its own computer networks have been breached. Talk about hypocrisy and chutzpah on calling on Bloomberg to retract its old story!

Then there's this on Lenovo:

Another Pentagon supplier that received attention was China’s Lenovo Group Ltd. In 2008, U.S. investigators found that military units in Iraq were using Lenovo laptops in which the hardware had been altered. The discovery surfaced later in little-noticed testimony during a U.S. criminal case—a rare public description of a Chinese hardware hack. …

Lenovo was unaware of the testimony and the U.S. military hasn’t told the company of any security concerns about its products, spokeswoman Charlotte West said in an email. U.S. officials conducted “an extensive probe into Lenovo's background and trustworthiness” while reviewing its 2014 acquisitions of businesses from IBM and Google, West said. Both purchases were approved. …

After the discovery in 2008, the Defense Department quietly blocked Lenovo hardware from some sensitive projects, the three U.S. officials said, but the company was not removed from a list of approved vendors to the Pentagon.

Geez o fucking Pete!

The Pentagon claimed to have quarantined the found Supermicro attacks so it could let them run and find out more about the Chinese reach. It claims this quarantine was undetectable. How do we know that?

As Bruce said, read the whole thing. WITH an open mind.

Whether leftist anti-imperialists or something else, I found it interesting that half or more of comments on his post as of late Saturday afternoon were engaged in at least partial denialism.

National third-party left news roundup

There's several big things going on in and related to third parties of the left. 

It's enough that I thought it needed to be broken out of my version of the Texas Progressives weekly roundup and made into its own post.

The Lavender Caucus' request to deaccredit the Georgia Green Party on false claims it is "transphobic" has been approved by the Accreditation Committee for forwarding to the National Committee. I think Georgia Greens are (sadly) likely to lose, and to be further tarred and feathered in various ways in the process. Click the link to learn the truth about its 2020 platform. I offered my personal take on the largely fact-free, science-light claims of the Lavender Caucus last summer, and have had follow-ups since then. I'll have additional follows after the NC vote.

Ryan Knight has ended active involvement with the Movement for a People's Party and says he won't go back unless it makes socialism a core issue. For right now, assuming he's not a communist, that leaves Greens and SPUSA. We'll see how this plays out. I've seen the MPP, based on its convention last year, as a mix of butthurt Berners (including grifters on that like Nina Turner and Nick Brana) and conspiracy theorist types, especially Jesse Ventura fanbois. Especially on the second part, I don't know if that's part of Ryan's concern. Stand by. I offered my take on all of that AND on Ryan as a Tulsi Kool-aid peddler in a piece at the start of last fall.

Meanwhile, the MPP has officially been registered with the state of California. Per its presser, it needs 80K signatures for ballot access. This is interesting because, among states where Greens have had the most dropoff is in the Golden State. At the same time, at the sub-presidential level, California is a top-two / jungle primary state. As of right now, its efforts have the highest potential payoff level in Maine, since that state has ranked choice voting.

At IPR, Fernando Reports that MPP is facing further crack-ups. Just after it registered with the state of California, Our Revolution's LA branch said it was disaffiliating from MPP. It in part reflected Ryan's claims, and in part claimed organizational issues, including various forms of authoritarianism, and that this was enabled by a lack of bylaws, etc.

On Twitter, David Bruce Collins says he's staying Green for now, but keeping an open eye on the development of the MPP. (Said a day before Ryan's announcement and obviously a few days before the news out of California.) Off Twitter, DBC supports Caitlin Johnstone's plea for greater left unity. Lemme see, this is the same Caity who called for red-brown alliance a few years ago, and I don't think ever repented of this. On Twitter again, DBC thinks Jimmy Dore is a good dood, ignoring that his political framing on Force the Vote was likely wrong, and all of Dore's other issues. (He also ignores, if he knows about it, Glenn Greenwald's history of sexism. Note: It goes back to before Greenwald was famous.)

Update, Feb 20: New grifting by MPP over Houston's electricity and water woes, flagged on Twitter by Miami Geoff.

Green Feminists have responded to the Lavender Caucus' complaint against the Georgia Green Party.

February 12, 2021

Abraham Lincoln, black colonization pusher — until his death? Rethinking St. Abraham of Lincoln

With it being estimated that there's more than 16,000 Lincoln bios in print, it's definitely hard to find new angles or new interpretations for new authors.

Two new books within the last six months or so have done just that, though. Unfortunately, in both cases, what has been good, even occasionally splendid new work, has been offset by whoppers in historical errors I know the authors could have avoided, and in both cases directly related to the header.

Here you are, first with:

The Crooked Path to Abolition: Abraham Lincoln and the Antislavery ConstitutionThe Crooked Path to Abolition: Abraham Lincoln and the Antislavery Constitution by James Oakes
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This is good overall, but it loses a star on Lincoln and colonization. With Oakes, it's more a throwaway than a full-throttled claim like that of David S. Reynolds in "Abe-Abraham Lincoln and His Times," (see below) but Oakes claims Lincoln stopped discussing abolition after 1862.

Update: Book lost a star due to email exchange with Oakes:

You have to be obsessed with colonization to give a shit about this. I’m not and I don’t. 

 Here’s why:

 Q. Of the four million slaves emancipated by the Civil War, how many did the federal government colonize outside the United States?

A. Zero

 I’m interested in explaining what happened, not what didn’t happen.

My response:

I'm "obsessed" with historical accuracy. I guess you're admitting you're not.

PLUS, you knows it "goes to motive" on explaining persona of Lincoln.

Oakes' main claim is half-true by the letter, at best, and totally untrue in spirit, as he allowed the Emigration Bureau to discuss Belize colonization in 1863, asked AG Bates in 1864 if colonization was legally still on the table, and reportedly discussed the issue with Spoons Butler just before his assassination. (See extended note at bottom.)

Given this, and that Oakes like Reynolds tries to "soften" old Lincoln statements from charges of racism, it's no wonder Reynolds blurbed it. Add to that the fact that they're peers at CUNY and even both went to Berkeley and there probably was some cross-pollinization.

As with Reynolds' book, were the five-star elements in it not fully five-star, the book would have gotten three stars because of this willful and egregious failure. (As with Reynolds, it is both; I know he knows the history I just cited.)

View all my reviews
And followed by:  

Abe: Abraham Lincoln in His TimesAbe: Abraham Lincoln in His Times by David S. Reynolds
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I would have loved to five star this book. And, even with some of the early problems on one issue, I was still leaning that way. But, more problems on that issue meant I couldn’t do it. And, if it weren’t so good otherwise, it risked falling to three stars.

(Update: In hindsight, and seeing James Oakes is peddling some of the same untrue claims about Lincoln abandoning colonization after 1862, and with these claims getting bigger play in Reynolds, I have decided that for this and other reasons noted by myself and mentioned by other reviewers in various places, the rating must be reduced to three stars after all.)

First, the good of what’s billed as the first ever “cultural biography” of Lincoln? Reynolds delivers in spades in many ways.

One area where he really impressed me was on Lincoln’s religiosity. He notes that his parents attended an anti-slavery Baptist church in Kentucky, and were steadfast in their own stance. Beyond that, Reynolds talks about Lincoln’s younger adult deism, and how he soft-peddled that as part of his political rise. At the same time, along with other biographers, especially after the death of son Willie, he shows Lincoln, though still not a churchgoer, moving toward a more fatalistic version of conventional Calvinism.

Reynolds is also good on Lincoln’s legal practice. Many biographers focus on his 1850s railroad cases. Reynolds looks at how many divorce cases the younger Lincoln handled, for women as plaintiffs suing on grounds of desertion. He adds that Illinois was one of the few states that allowed women to file for divorce on desertion as well as abuse, and that it was fairly generous, for that day, on what counted as abuse.

Fast forward to the 1850s. Reynolds talks about Lincoln avoiding ‘isms,” a charge Democrats hurled repeatedly at Republicans. He notes that Lincoln was like French tightrope walker Blondin, who had crossed Niagara Falls at this time. He adds how Lincoln sometimes made this modeling conscious, and how many newspaper columns and cartoons in the 1860 election explicitly drew this out.

He also talks about how Abe, not just Mary, was interested in spiritualism, especially after Willie’s death. Again, he puts this in the context of a rising national interest in spiritualism, fueled largely but by no means entirely by the Fox sisters. Among his contemporaries, Ben Wade, Josh Giddings and Garrison all had at least some degree of interest. Lincoln conversed with both Robert Edmonds and Robert Dale Owen, the son of utopian Robert Owen, and listened seriously to Owen on matters both within and outside of spiritualism.

(Sidebar: This puts paid to the lie by folks like the Freedom from Religion Foundation that Lincoln was an atheist.)

That’s just a sample.

On the non-cultural side, Reynolds does a good job of recognizing Anna Carroll’s contributions to the war effort. I had read basically nothing about her before.

Several problems with the book, though, and they all center around slavery. Reynolds isn’t quite doing the Spielberg movie version, but ….

First and foremost, no, Lincoln did not stop talking about colonization in 1862. His administration continued discussions with Central American countries well into 1864, and in 1865, Lincoln purportedly said he had only abandoned it at the time for political reasons. Spoons Butler said that Lincoln, the day before his assassination, asked him to continue to look into it. It’s dishonest of Reynolds to not even mention Bernard Kock and the Ile-de-Vache (Vache Island) scheme. More here

It's true that Vache Island wasn't actively promoted after 1862. But, colonizing Belize? That was an activity the Emigration Bureau did promote, under Lincoln's auspices, into 1863. And, per Wiki, Lincoln continued to have at least a background attachment to colonization into 1864, even if he and Butler didn't discuss it in 1865.

The question is, ultimately, after the war itself started swinging to the US more instead of the Confederacy and 1863 elections went pro-Republican, how much was Lincoln’s diminished public push for colonization his own change of mind and how much was change of politics? That first link, especially, needs reading. Basically, I find Reynolds, given the amount of knowledge he has otherwise, to be intellectually dishonest.

Second, he “sanitizes” some of Lincoln’s somewhat racist comments in the 1840s and 50s. No, they were racist, if not the worst racist for his age, and they weren’t all told in the service of politics.

Third, he claims the republic was strong against the slave trade, citing that the death penality was made a possible punishment in 1820. Reality? The Lincoln Administration’s imposition of it, once, was the ONLY time in the 42 years. More reality? The US refusing to cooperate with Britain in African shore naval policing. MORE reality? Very few cases brought in the US. W.E.B. DuBois may be too high, but, as of the start of the Civil War, I’d estimate 100,000 blacks had either been post-1807 illegally imported (whether from Africa or the post-1832 British Caribbean) or descendants of such people.

In addition, I found a phrase here and there jarring, such as calling Elizabeth Keckley’s son “light complexioned.” Of what relevance is that? None, obviously.

On the 13th Amendment? Lincoln may not have personally handed out favors. (I can’t remember what Speilberg claimed.) But, did he know that Ashley and others WERE? Yes. And, some of the favors being peddled? Federal jobs are executive branch appointments. For instance, only Abe (or Andy Johnson, later) could have named George Yeaman ambassador to Denmark. The movie part about Lincoln personally lobbying Yeaman at the White House is true.

And, again, I know Reynolds knows this. If not, he should

It’s anachronistic to call a Lollard like John Oldcastle a Puritan.

Per reviewers elsewhere, applying labels like "conservative" and "progressive" to the battle over slavery is also anachronistic and serves no purpose.


As with Spielberg's movie, promoting untrue claims about Lincoln does nobody any good today. All it does is give openings and fuel to libertarian pseudo-historians attacking Lincoln for violating civil liberties and stuff like that. (For the wondering, I'm referencing Thomas DiLorenzo. Yeah, Oakes, I know academics reject him, and largely rightly so, but a chunk of the general public eats him up. And, I haven't even mentioned Lerone Bennett, who would kick your ass if still alive.)

And, yes, that note applies to you, Prof. Oakes. And, assuming this is part of why Reynolds never responded to my email, it applies to you as well. And, I'm not going to add further email exchanges to the book review, or the full amount of them here.

Suffice it to say that I never claimed Lincoln uttered public calls for colonization after 1862, so I'm not even further answering that. The fact is that, officially, even without public pronouncement, Lincoln kept colonization on the official governmental plate through the first two-thirds of 1864. And, as is documented, he talked to Bates about it as late as late 1864. And, as great a historian as Foner is, if he uses the lack of PUBLIC discussion post-1862 to also pretend that colonization wasn't on Lincoln's plate after that? Well, Mr. Oakes, then Eric Foner, as great as he is? Is wrong.

And, all the links on the Reynolds review apply to Oakes as well. Hell, they apply to Foner if he really claims that Lincoln making no more public calls for colonization after 1862 means that he abandoned the idea of colonization general. The first of the three links in the one Reynolds review paragraph has Seward claiming in 1877 that Lincoln never abandoned the idea. Gideon Welles is quoted as saying the same, also in 1877. While Bates, Seward and Welles were on the conservative side of Lincoln's Cabinet, outside the Cabinet, Butler was an eventual Radical. George Julian, who also said after Lincoln's death that he supported colonization to the end of his life, was a Radical in the 1860s, though later a Liberal Republican then a Democrat. Samuel Pomeroy, also a Radical, recounts this as well.

Let's also add that both books are biographies of Lincoln, or biographies of select slices of him, NOT histories of the end of slavery in the US. That's another reason Oakes and Reynolds are guilty of intellectual dishonesty. And again, applies to Foner, too, if he really holds this.

And, contra Oakes' vituperative response to my "goes to motive" comment? It DOES go to motive. You come off as promoting a St. Abraham legend on the subject of colonization, per my header.

For the reader? Lincoln's colonization schemes were always voluntary. To riff on his famous 1862 letter to Horace Greeley? If he could have Black freedom and basic civil liberties while keeping all African-Americans in the U.S., that was his preference. But if not, he stood ready to continue to keep colonization on the back burner.

As for taking two stars away? With Reynolds, even more than Oakes, it wasn't just for this, it was for several other reasons, all obvious in the review. Both authors sanitize Lincoln's comments. Plus, I note Reynolds' wrongness on the slave trade and other things, including his "jarring" comments. 

Oakes lost the second start for being contentious.

As for "goes to motive"? Much historical speculation ink has been spilled on how Reconstruction would have played out differently had Lincoln lived. Surely, he would have cracked down on the Klan, Knights of the Camellia, etc., quicker than Johnson did. He would have done other things more firmly. But, if Butler, Wells, Seward, Schurtz, the Blairs, etc., are all right, would he have started peddling colonization again, even with a Lincolnesque version of "see, I told you we can't live together"?

February 11, 2021

Texas Progressives wonder when the Xi Jinping honeymoon by leftists will end, along with the gunz honeymoon by wingnuts

The Roundup this week begins with gun nuts and ends with Xi Jinping Thought nuts.

Only in AmeriKKKa does a 95-year-old man resident in an assisted living center have a gun .... and kill someone with it.

And, only in Tex-ass does a dog shoot its owner.

Related to this other gun nuttery? SocraticGadfly talks about the bogus claims of new NRA Pander Bear Drew Springer.

That leads us to other Texas news in the Roundup.


Fracking lovers, including Gov. Strangeabbott, worry about nuclear fuels waste contaminating the Permian. That said, when you have a company like Holtec, even more sleazy than frackers?

Now that more and more Dems are voting by mail, Strange wants to extend GOP vote suppression efforts to that, picking up with last year's battles with Harris County and elsewhere. The same piece notes Abbott trying to separate himself from nutbar state party leader Allen West. The Texas GOP fired one staffer who was at the Capitol insurrection.

Off the Kuff discusses a recent poll of Texas political attitudes.

Is JC Penney doomed to continue to follow Sears into zombieland? I don't see it recovering, or even holding on to what it's now holding on to.

Josh Marshall is wrong: QAnon IS a conspiracy theory. Doesn't stop it from ALSO being a political movement. See "Native American Party." This is philosophy of language, or set theory, 101. These are not mutually exclusive items.

So, with executive privilege eventually prove thicker than seditionist blood, on the possibility of the Biden Administration trying to block House Dems' access to Trump's tax returns?

Nevada wants to let large tech companies who relocate to the Silver State to form their own counties. No, really, and for the love of god, why? The gov claims it's to replace economic development money.

The average age of an arrested seditionist is 40, per a George Washington University database. Many have a lot to lose from being arrested for something, that contra Josh, is a conspiracy theory as well as a political movement — and a cult, arguably. The Atlantic has additional details; 2/3 are over 35, 40 percent are small-biz owners. Contra Rod Dreher (not linking to the piece I have in mind) were in in a position to need to do business with the type of business they owned and could deliberately not do business with their company and be visible about it? I'd be there.

The Texas Signal profiles Solar Winds, the Austin company in the middle of that giant Russian hack.
Therese Odell attempts to explain The Watchmen and Avengers: Endgame to Ted Cruz. 
Grits for Breakfast dives into the data provided by the 2017 Sandra Bland Act.
The TSTA Blog wants to know what Greg Abbott will do for teachers in this legislative session.


Globally, no, Chinese Maximum Leader Xi Jinping isn't telling new lies about the origins of COVID-19.

Rather, Uyghur women are telling the newest truth, it would seem, about how Xi's China has treated them: rape cases, along with sexualized torture and other claims. It's a long read, and a must-read. Too bad the likes of Howie Hawkins and Margaret Flowers of the Green Party, Rainier Shea of the People's Republic of Humboldt Bay, and Max Blumenthal of East Chinastan Daily News will try to poo-poo it. (Actually, Flowers already tried, and failed, on related material about Chinese police surveillance in Xinjiang; had she made one more response to me on Twitter, I would have easily and willingly gone Godwin's Law on her, with pleasure.)

February 10, 2021

Top blogging for January 2021

List is a little late, as of Saturday, the 6th, but better late than never.

As normal, these were not all blog posts written last month, but they were the 10 most popular for last month.

No. 1 was a 2015 weekly Texas Progressives roundup. (That said, when old posts like this that seem to have no current relevance start taking off, I always wonder why. But, I don't see a comment with spam URL links to be triggering that.)

No. 2 and trending upward? My post from last month giving the St. Louis Cardinals two big thumbs up for trading for Nolan Arenado.

Third? Week 40 of my weekly coronavirus roundup, which spotlighted maskless COVIDIOTS running around a Love Field baggage carousel, later updated with Love Field giving ME the runaround and Southwest giving me the silent treatment.

Fourth? My laughing at the idea of Trump forming a Patriot Party, MAGA Party or any other new party.

Fifth? COVID roundup week 41, putting antivaxxer loon RFK Jr and his ilk in the spotlight.

Sixth? Calling Glenn Greenwald and his ilk confused, idiots or whatever with their protests about Trump's Twitter ban. (Since then, although I'm not a fan of hers, Glennwald has gone sexist on AOC and has gone endorsement by fellow traveling by appearing on red-brown alliance/Seth Rich conspiracy theorist Jimmy Dore's show.)

Seventh? Via Russ and Pam Martens, my two cents on the GameStop bubble. It should be noted that my local GameStop is closing.

Eighth? One of my top 10 all time posts, Actual Flatticus / Alan Smithee / IRL Chris Chopin keeps trending. It's really too bad he died before this election; I would have loved to seen his anti-third party but anti-money schtick put to the test.

Ninth? Trending from even longer ago? Timothy Treadwell was really nuts, and is still really dead.

Tenth? My Janis Joplin-inspired paean to Harris County Sheriff Ed Gonzales.

February 09, 2021

Coronavirus, week 44: Have we overworried on schools? Now underworried on restaurants? And, those no-shows

• A lot of people, primarily conservative but within that, not all wingnuts, have argued that we're causing harm by keeping schools virtual only in many major urban areas. The argument goes on, but the proponents of reopening schools may be right. Higher education correlates with longer life (note old caveat with internal second caveat: correlation does not necessarily imply causation), and even short term disruptions can throw learning off track, especially for lower income students on the wrong side of the digital divide. This doesn't even address free and reduced lunch issues, school as a relatively safe place and more.

• Viral genome swapping has long been a problem with flu strains and vaccines. Now, word comes that the British coronavirus variant has picked up part of the additional variant in the South African strain. The Brazilian strain has similar evolution to the South African one. Immunologists are looking for hope amidst this, saying it shows COVID-19's evolutionary path and wells. We'll see.
• More help may be on the way. Johnson and Johnson has officially filed for an EUA for its 1-shot vaccine. Cliff Notes: It's not as good as Moderna or Pfizer against mild to moderate cases, but is just as good against severe cases. Part of its Phase 3 trials were in South Africa, so we should soon get news if it's better, or not, against the COVID variant than those two vaccines. The biggie for distribution and many other things? It's a 1-shot, of course, and it can be stored at normal refrigerator temperatures for months.

• ProPublica argues that many states loosening up restrictions on indoor dining (we've never, but briefly, had serious restrictions here in Tex-ass) is only inviting trouble with the rise of the new variant forms, noting that poor restaurant ventilation will likely help them spread faster. Let's remember that at least the South African variant can re-infect people who had the initial version. In addition, the British variant has now reportedly picked up the South African variant's main additional difference. Carl Zimmer confirms this.

• In Dallas, City Hospital at White Rock already had 150 or so no-shows for their second Moderna vaccine as of late last week. Logistics of making the second appointment appear to be part of it, which may be compounded by English language challenges in a heavily Hispanic service base. But ... how many are cancelling over first-shot side effects? And, do we have any nationwide information?

Many Texans, reportedly 1 in 5, don't even want the first shot.

Of course, thanks to Gov. Strangeabbott's mishandling, or nonhandling, of vaccine distribution, many people who want/ed the shot(s) still can't get it. (And Strange lied his ass off in the State of the State, including ignoring the fact that he was delivering his address to the Lege virtually.)

Meanwhile, while Strangeabbott expanded the vaccine-eligible list from "frontline medical worker types" to include all those over 65 (thought they had a duty to die, Danny Goeb?) he ignored the non-medical frontline workers, ie, grocery store employees, contra CDC recommendations. (We know what Strange thinks about federal recommendations.)

• China's Sinovac vaccine has turned out to be a semi-bust in Brazilian tests. 

Still robust? Likely quasi-official Chinese social media networks peddling lies about vaccines in the US that could almost be lifted from folks like NVIC.

• Still not robust, contra claims by the likes of Strangeabbott, Goeb and Comptroller Glenn Hegar? The Texas economy. American plans to furlough 13,000 without federal biz help being extended. United is cutting 14,000. Southwest says no furloughs, but it's pushing early retirement.

• Death begets death: The ghoulish federal execution death cult of former president Donald Trump and his attorney general henchman Bill Barr likely was a set of COVID superspreader events.

• Death begets violence: The pandemic put QAnon on steroids.

February 08, 2021

Cards resign Yadi on safe one-year deal

After the Birds resigned Adam Wainwright with a healthy $8M to come back another year (Waino claims he had better offers from two other teams), and before opening the wallet to land Nolan Arenado, I think most of us Birds fans expected the Yadier Molina domino to fall and him to return as well.
The only possible sticking point? Yadi's desire for a 2-year deal.
Well, he is back, and per Derrick Goold via MLBTR, it is a one-year deal for $9M. Good all around. Including not blocking further development of Andrew Knizner after this season.
As I noted in my post about the Arenado signing, if a few other things play out, like Matt Carpenter not having his 2022 option vest, Dexter Fowler out of contract next year., the enigmatic, injury-challenged, Carlos Martinez surely being offered a $500K buyout after this year rather than the team picking up his $17M option unless he has a hell of a turnaround, and Andrew Miller not likely being back for 2022?

That would make Arenado and Paul Goldschmidt the only players on the team, right now, guaranteed to make more than $10 million in 2022.
That leaves them bucks to try to sign a few of their younger players into all of their arb years and maybe even some of their free agency.

The team might try a "sign-out" of his third year of arbitration plus free agency on Jack Flaherty, or more likely, if this year, his second and third arb years plus one year, maybe two, on FA. John Gant is the only third-year arbitration player in 2021. (Update: Flaherty won his arb case for this year; whether this increases or decreases any Cards' desire to do a "sign-out," and if it increases the team's desire, whether it increases or decreases Flaherty's interest, are all open questions.)

In other cases, even this isn't necessary. Paul DeJong is signed through at least 2023, and it's likely the team picks up both of his option years. Tommy Edman doesn't even clear his arb years until 2025. Goldy's signed through 2024, so, for better or for worse, the Cards' infield is definitely set for two years with Arenado, and if he opts in, for at least four, in all likelihood.
So, free agency?

Rumors have the Birds hunting Jake Odorizzi; if they want to push the roster above $170M this year, that's of course doable as, in paper, they'll be below $100M next year.

As for salary? I'd give him 3/$40, perhaps with innings pitched incentives, but nothing more. (That's about what Spotrac suggests.) They played it smart with Yadi and Waino, and they held off on Arenado. They need to not be stupid now.

James Paxton is now off the boards, so not much in the way of FA left. And, the price suggests that 3/$40 for Odorizzi is realistic.

Jeff St. Clair should know better than this

The Counterpunch publisher has multiple errors of fact in a nostalgic semi-screed.

The biggies are two.

One is the claim that presidents starting wars without Congress is something that only really happened after WWII. The obvious and easy refutations are Wilson first bombarding Veracruz then having Pershing chase Pancho Villa without Congressional remit.

But that would be lazy on my part.

After all, most 19th-century Indian wars had no Congressional approval.

As for executive orders?

TR really accelerated them, with Woody giving them another boost. They died down again after Truman, per this site. Wiki has the same basic numbers.

Weirdly, JSC then talks about "not winning a war since 1945," which is a third error and in two ways.

First, the Korean War was deliberately "fought to a draw" after China's entry.

Second, the Gulf War was won, by defined terms of its goals.

Third, why is the publisher of Counterpunch focused on counting coup?


I have seen a couple of friends and online friends boast about being published at Counterpunch. I have briefly lamented not being published before. Nuttery like this, and the fact that St. Clair will, on major issues, publish contributed items directly contradictory to each other helps me get over my non-publishing sour grapes. (I also wonder if being on a list of previous contributors is a publications factor.)


Finally, why is someone named Elaine Shelley writing under St. Clair's tagline at the top of a story? (And, it's clearly a regular practice.)