Nov 26, 2020Liked by Matthew Yglesias

Welcome to Marc! And thank you, Matt! This has been a wonderful place to read your work and I’ve really enjoyed reading the smart, insightful (and often funny!) comments from your subscribers. It’s a nice little corner of the internet, thanks for creating it.

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It's great Matt is giving an opportunity to someone from Dartmouth. America has been dominated by University of Delaware graduates for too long.

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Thank you, Matt for writing One Billion Americans. As someone who agrees with you and often ponders how to make versions of that argument to voters in general, I was very glad to see you do it, even at potentially a big risk of looking silly (and I don’t mean that you did!).

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As long as this is an open thread...

Today is also a good day to consider the worst Thanksgiving in living memory; unfortunately, most Americans living have no memory of it, if they ever knew it, which most of them don't since this history mostly doesn't get taught.

I'm talking about Thanksgiving 70 years ago, in 1950. The day that 400,000 Chinese troops forcibly educated America that we weren't the biggest boy on the block, as we thought (and still mistakenly think) we are. Secretary of State Dean Acheson called the Chinese intervention in the Korean War "the greatest defeat of American arms since the Second Battle of Bull Run." British historian Sir Martin Gilbert called it "the greatest defeat of a previously-victorious army in recorded history."

A month earlier, when questioned about Chinese warnings of possible intervention if the US continued to advance into North Korea, General MacArthur responded "I would remind the Chinese leadership that no Asian army has ever successfully stood against a Western army." That was the day the first Chinese troops crossed the Yalu, carrying everything on their backs, hiding in the forests by day, "invisible" to American reconnaissance since they didn't move like we did.

The US units retreated out of North Korea in what was called at the time "The Big Big-out" so fast that they outran their pursuers. Those that didn't suffered the fate of Second Division in "the death ride to Kuni-ri" in which the division was caught in a 2-mile long pass with a single dirt road for all their vehicles, with the Chinese in the hills on either side after they had moved through US lines. 3,000 Americans died in the 24 hours it took to get out, and the division took six months to rebuild.

70 years later, China has been celebrating this year as the anniversary of the "return" of a China the rest of the world was forced to respect. In their view of the Korean War, they won. That's because ever since, the United States has been forced to take them seriously, and has never come close to provoking them again. (Throughout the Vietnam war, every decision about "escalation" was framed through the question, would this provoke China? "American intelligence" - there's an oxymoron! - being unable to discover that China in the throes of the Cultural Revolution was incapable of doing anything)

And the US still hasn't learned the lesson of that Thanksgiving 70 years ago, as witness all the wars since.

Thanks for taking the time to read this. "The Forgotten War" is one that should be remembered.

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Matt - thank you for having the courage to create this forum. The comments section here is the first internet discussion I've taken part in since 2008. It's not only because of the depth and clarity of your analysis but also because of its underlying humanity and humility that leaves it open to further discussion and persuasion that comes from an underlying moral center (and patriotism!).

So I'm maybe even more thankful to everyone who's reading this comment section and participating and supporting Matt on this endeavor. Thank you to you all. I came (paid) for the writing and stayed for the comments.

Welcome Marc - excited to see your contributions and what's next!

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Always enjoy your work Matt, glad you have found the energy to be actively thankful. I feel like being thankful is like being happy. It isn’t easy most of the time (for some it’s chemically impossible or very nearly so) but it’s an obligation we have to one another as members of a community. Trying to embed positivity in our communities (online or otherwise) makes them stronger and nicer places to be. I’d like to say thanks to the other commenters here. This is one of the few places where I find the comments section almost as good a read as the article itself. Welcome Marc!

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Thanks to essential workers makes me feel squeamish the same way that people who say “Thanks for your service” do when they find out I’m a Veteran. (If anyone replies with that phrase, I will scream}


I read a few of your articles. And I was reading the one one Racial Justice... thinking, good points...

Until... all the sudden you referred to LatinX families. Seriously, why do white people make up names for other people.

I stopped reading.

I’m going to assume it was the Dartmouth Hipsters that influenced you. Hopefully on your Gap Year back in LA you have shed bad habits like that.


Other than that, I look forward to your writing.

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I think you’ve earned a day to be thankful, Matt. Thank you for taking a risk and creating this exciting community, and also for being one of the people who did your part over the last 4 years. Welcome Marc- you seem like quite the catch for Matt and we are all thankful we will get to see your work in this forum. Hope both of you, and everyone else here, enjoy the day!

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I'm very thankful for you Matt. After Sean Spicer's first press conference in January 2017, the world didn't seem to make much sense anymore. I have read your Twitter nearly everyday since and it grounded me in voice that is rational, thoughtful, human, funny, and willing to question orthodoxy of any kind. You speak for those of us who want ideas, pragmatism, and basic human goodness to win the day. Thank you.

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I'm thankful that Republican judges still follow the law, and not the whims of Republican politicians.

I'm thankful that our distributed, federalist, chaotic election system does seem to produce reliable election results, at least when people are patient enough to let them finish counting.

Most of all, I'm thankful that over 80 million Americans made it a priority to vote Trump out of office.

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Best wishes to you, Marc. Thanks for taking a risk and starting this new venture, Matt.

I feel like you try to be intellectually honest and also gracious to colleagues with whom you disagree. Those are both good qualities.

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Hello Marc!

Thankful for Matt, whose work on the Weeds in particular has given me a window into interesting political discussions. Can’t wait to keep up with SB.


I just wrapped up 1B Americans and am keen to learn more about the network effects of cities. I’ve read both Triumph of the City and Scale, which were both incredibly interesting. Any recommendations?

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Welcome to Marc. Glad to see you are in California. One of the great weaknesses of thoughtful journalism in this country is that it derives so overwhelmingly from that foreign land on the east coast. Now if you'd been in Hanover ...??

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Thanks for sharing your fresh and original perspectives with us, Matt! And welcome to the team, Marc! You've got a great gig.

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Thanks for making me think

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Congratulations, and welcome, Marc!

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