Imagine wanting Joe Biden to be your nominee


  1. Originally published, March 12, 9:40 am.
  2. March 13, 7:23 pm:
    • The Pixel 4 XL has not arrived and therefore, the expected communication disruption has not begun. Please watch The Irregular Bullshit for updates.

Joe Biden

As of now, FiveThirtyEight scores the endorsement race at 682 for Joe Biden to 73 for Bernie Sanders.[1]

Glen Kessler defends Biden’s record on Social Security, sort of, against Sanders’ attacks by calling attention to context: Austerity had wide support, at least within the Washington, D.C., elite—in Kessler’s phrasing, it was uncontroversial. Biden allegedly was seeking to stave off even worse cuts. And it wasn’t just Social Security.[2] It’s damnation by faint praise.

Neoliberalism remains intellectually utterly discredited.[3] To advocate it is not an intellectually honest position, but rather one that appeals to the “donor class,” that is, the filthy rich.


There will be significant disruptions to my phone communications beginning sometime tomorrow.

The iPhone just wasn’t cutting it. The myriad annoyances with workflow were one thing. It was another when I discovered I was missing Uber orders because of something that wasn’t working correctly (the old sound system in my car may bear some blame here).

But what was really getting me is that Lyft is pretty aggressive about reshuffling orders among drivers, presumably to optimize overall utilization. Often, I’m in Pittsburgh traffic[4] at a crucial moment, making a turn, whatever, when Lyft does this. With the iPhone, I was having to push three buttons to get navigation back on track. It’s press, wait for response, press, wait for response, press.

So I dredged out that Pixel 3 XL I’d received on a warranty exchange, the phone that can’t handle dual SIM, dual standby (DSDS, a requirement to ensure maximum mobile data availability), put it on a cheap Google Fi plan (their plans really are cheap but they run off third-tier mobile providers), and tried running it off a personal hotspot on the iPhone.

The difference was amazing. All those annoyances were gone. Presto. Poof. Gone. And it’s only one button to get navigation back on track when Lyft does its thing. In general, the integration works far better with Uber and Lyft.

But running a personal hotspot like that is unsustainable. Sometimes things really go wrong. And I’m having to carry two phones. And sometimes that third-tier provider stuff or that routing voice calls over WiFi on the personal hotspot stuff doesn’t work so well when I have to call passengers.

The Pixel 4 XL is due to arrive tomorrow. I’m going to be going through hell getting it set up. And communication might not work as intended at that point.

Use the Google Voice numbers as appropriate for any urgent contact. The Pixel 3 XL will be unperturbed until I shut down the Google Fi plan and it has Google Voice.

  1. [1]FiveThirtyEight, “The 2020 Endorsement Primary,” March 12, 2020,
  2. [2]Glenn Kessler, “Sanders versus Biden on Social Security: a guide to the claims,” MSNBC, March 9, 2020,
  3. [3]Mark Blyth, Austerity: The History of a Dangerous Idea (Oxford, UK: Oxford University, 2013); Amir Fleischmann, “The Myth of the Fiscal Conservative,” Jacobin, March 5, 2017,; Jason Hickel, “Progress and its discontents,” New Internationalist, August 7, 2019,; Daniel Stedman Jones, Masters of the Universe: Hayek, Friedman, and the Birth of Neoliberal Politics (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University, 2012); Robert Kuttner, “Austerity never works: Deficit hawks are amoral — and wrong,” Salon, May 5, 2013,; Dennis Loo, Globalization and the Demolition of Society (Glendale, CA: Larkmead, 2011); Thomas Piketty, Jeffrey Sachs, Heiner Flassbeck, Dani Rodrik and Simon Wren-Lewis, “Austerity Has Failed: An Open Letter From Thomas Piketty to Angela Merkel,” Nation, July 6, 2015,; John Quiggin, “Austerity Has Been Tested, and It Failed,” Chronicle of Higher Education, May 20, 2013,; David Stuckler and Sanjay Basu, “How Austerity Kills,” New York Times, May 12, 2013,; David Stuckler and Sanjay Basu, “Paul Krugman’s right: Austerity kills,” Salon, May 19, 2013,
  4. [4]David Benfell, “Pittsburgh driving for the uninitiated,” Irregular Bullshit, n.d.,

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