Dianne Feinstein is dead

She had quite a career, and if she’d retired gracefully a few years ago, I’d have nothing but good things to say about her. But she didn’t, so I don’t, and I’ll shut up there.

I’ve been planning my own retirement, so it hits close to home. I’m still fine and I think I’m doing an OK job at my profession, but I think I should make room for new blood before those things aren’t true anymore.


  1. birgerjohansson says

    Naah. Leave it as a shrine.

    But document everything, while your memory is still sharp.
    When Ingmar Bergman’s daughter wanted to ask him about his early career and write it down, he could not recall the details (unlike Michael Cain, whose memory of his escapades in the 1960s is razor-sharp). Not dementa, just the natural slow fading.

  2. wzrd1 says

    PZ Myers @ 3, that’s crazy talk! Out of respect for the Dearly Departed, one must wait for at least three days after one dies to clean out the clutter.
    After you’ve been deceased for three days, then it’s culturally acceptable for you to declutter.
    I’ll be cleaning up a full week after I die, as I will be far too upset with my loss to be able to do so sooner.
    If you examine your contract, you’ll also notice that you’re required to continue working until your replacement is brought in and fully up to speed, as is standard in modern contracts. And death is not considered a valid excuse for tardiness.

  3. nomaduk says

    It’s not difficult to find things other than good to say about her, but, meh, there’s no point. So, who’s next?

  4. Pierce R. Butler says

    wzrd1 @ # 5: … one must wait for at least three days after one dies to clean out the clutter.

    Some take more than eight months.

  5. birgerjohansson says

    btw bcw @ 9

    “…she oversaw a crackdown on gay rights”.
    OK. I’ll join in.
    Ding dong, the ☆▪︎ich is dead.

  6. raven says

    Not everyone is like Feinstein at 90.


    One of the people I go kayaking with in the summer is now 85.
    He is still a good paddler.
    His mind is still sharp as well with a good memory for the distant past and the recent past.

  7. birgerjohansson says

    Pierce R Butler @ 10

    If you have read the Garrett, P.I. novels you will be familiar with The Dead Man, a Loghyr (a species whose souls sometimes choose to remain in the body for decades after death. As they are telepathic, they can be both useful businesses partners and annoying housemates).

  8. birgerjohansson says

    Me, @ 13
    I recall a cyberpunk novel where even the dead are reanimated by nanotech, so they can work to repay the infinitely growing debts they owe the oligarchy.

  9. Artor says

    So what happens now? Does Gavin Newsom appoint a replacement until a special election can be held? Who is a good candidate? Someone Progressive I hope.

  10. robro says

    … I’d have nothing but good things to say about her…

    I was living in San Francisco when she became mayor, so I might find some things to be critical of, and in her role as senator. But overall she wasn’t as horrible as some politicians we see now. Of course, she was part of the American oligarchy. Richard Bloom, her late husband, was enormously wealthy…something to do with Nepal I was told bazillions of years ago…but probably all kinds of things. And as is natural for royalty, the children (step-siblings) are fighting over his estate.

  11. KG says

    bcw bcw@9,
    One of the comments on the article at your link:


    blockquote>I think that Senator Feinstein needs to seriously consider stepping down at this point.</blockquote.

  12. raven says

    I recall a cyberpunk novel where even the dead are reanimated by nanotech, so they can work to repay the infinitely growing debts they owe the oligarchy.

    In Charles Stross’s Laundry Files novels, dead employees are called “residual assets”.

    They are reanimated by low level entities to become Zombies doing jobs that don’t require a lot of thinking.

  13. birgerjohansson says

    OK, so she was not Republican-level evil. But as part of “EMILYs list” she helped block more progressive women politicians.

    @ 14
    The book was “Noir” by K. W. Jeter. Not a very good book, but it had some interesting ideas. Like in the future, even as dead, The Man won’t let you escape your debts.
    One notch more horrible than the world of Neuromancer.

  14. birgerjohansson says

    If I was the protagonist in the manga “Death Note” I would start hanging around Mitch McConnell right now.

  15. tacitus says

    It’s certainly not disrespectful to criticize Feinstein among other geriatric lawmakers for turning the Senate into a gerontocracy. It’s supremely arrogant to continue to believe you are the best person for the job when your physical and especially your mental abilities are well past their peak, not to mention how out of touch with the most important generation for the future of the US you become.

    There will always be the exceptional elderly senator, but I’d far rather that the occasional exception be forced into retirement too soon than dozens in decline (many of which were not exceptional to start with) clinging onto power for far too long.

    Yes, there is some risk in finding a suitable younger successor, but there’s also opportunity to find someone better and more effective. Incumbency leads to atrophy, and no legislative body has atrophied more in the last 40 years than the US Senate.

  16. robro says

    Further info on her Senate replacement: Newsom says he will appoint a temporary to hold the seat until the election next year. There are several Democrats already running for the seat, but not one of those.

  17. says

    It’s honestly always incredibly depressing to me how little, even people like you and the people commenting here care about the lives murdered, ruined, maimed and displaced by the US. There are so many truly awful things the power brokers in the Democratic and Republican Parties have done. Among other things, Feinstein voted for the authorization that allowed the Bush admin to launch the Iraq War, which killed hundreds of thousands of innocent Iraqi people, and Feinstein knew better. https://twitter.com/RealScottRitter/status/1707760992300490794

    If there were any sort of real, just, reckoning these people would all be tried and convicted for crimes against humanity.

  18. tacitus says


    If you’re going to condemn anyone for their past and present behavior, then quoting Scott Ritter, a convicted pedophile, tankie and shameless apologist for the genocidal regime of war criminal (many times over), Vladimir Putin, wasn’t your best choice, to say the least.

    What the US did in Iraq was shameful, but what Russia is doing in Ukraine right now is far worse — the abduction of a hundred thousand Ukrainian children, the deliberate targeting of civilians, razing entire cities to the ground, annexing Ukrainian territory, and attempting to wipe out the Ukrainian identity entirely — with the full support of Scott Ritter and his ilk.

    Your credibility is shot.

  19. raven says

    Matthew Ostergen the idiot troll lying.

    It’s honestly always incredibly depressing to me how little, even people like you and the people commenting here care about the lives murdered, ruined, maimed and displaced by the US.

    It is even more depressing that lying trolls like you exist.
    This must be lying troll day. We’ve got a Trans people hater on another thread.

    .1. Who said we don’t care about the lives murdered by the US in Iraq.
    This is an accusation without proof or data and may be dismissed without proof or data.
    You are simply wrong here.

    Most of us cared enough to oppose the war in Vietnam and Iraq II.
    I’ve got an FBI file from the Vietnam war for Cthulhu’s sake. I’m proud of it and regard it as one my major life accomplishments.
    I also opposed Iraq II at some personal cost to myself, mostly insults from far right wingnuts.
    I also lost two friends, both killed in Iraq for nothing worthwhile.

    I/we really don’t need a sick in the head troll to tell us how pathetic we are after we spent decades opposing the wrong wars of the USA.

    Chances are Matthew Ostergren did nothing himself except send out gibberish on mom’s computer from her basement.
    This guy has hypocrite written all over him.

  20. raven says

    Matthrew Ostergren:

    If there were any sort of real, just, reckoning these people would all be tried and convicted for crimes against humanity.

    Most of these people were dupes or misinformed. It was right after the terrorist attacks of 9/11 and emotions were running high enough to override a lot of reasoning.

    The real war criminals would be the leadership of the USA at that time.
    That would be Bush and Cheney, Rumsfeld, and a few neocons.
    Even some of the US military leadership opposed going into Iraq and one key general resigned first.

    Not going to happen in the Real World that we live in though.

    If it did, we would be having Crimes Against Humanity trials for the current US GOP, Donald Trump, Syria, Iraq of Saddam Hussein who started two wars himself and nerve gassed the Kurds, the Afghan Taliban, the Chinese leadership for Tibet and the Uygers, the Serbs for Bosnia, and a whole lot of other leaderships.

    And of course, the current champions of pointless genocide and mass murder, Putin and the Russians.

  21. raven says

    Matthew Ostergren:

    There are so many truly awful things the power brokers in the Democratic and Republican Parties have done.

    If you are going to condemn the US for Iraq you can add a whole lot more of the world with it.

    We didn’t go into Iraq alone.

    Our allies were the UK, Australia, Poland, and Canada.
    I suppose in Matthew Ostergren’s fantasy world they will be with the US leadership in the Crimes Against Humanity trials. And all of the British, Australians, Canadians, and Polish are also pathetic losers and supporters of pointless wars.


    Approximately 148,000 soldiers from the United States, 50,000 British soldiers, 2,000 Australian soldiers and 194 Polish soldiers from the special forces unit GROM were sent to Kuwait for the invasion.[13] The invasion force was also supported by Iraqi Kurdish Peshmerga fighters, estimated to number upwards of 70,000.[14] In the latter stages of the invasion, 620 troops of the Iraqi National Congress opposition group were deployed to southern Iraq.[2]

    Canada discreetly contributed some military resources towards the campaign, such as personnel from the Royal Canadian Air Force who crewed American planes on missions in Iraq in order to train with the platforms, and eleven Canadian aircrew who manned AWACS aircraft.[128][129] The Canadian Armed Forces had ships, planes, and 1,200 Royal Canadian Navy personnel at the mouth of the Persian Gulf to help support Operation Enduring Freedom,

  22. raven says

    More people for Matthew Ostergren to insult and accuse of being war criminals.
    It turns out that 62 countries supported the US invasion of Iraq.
    It’s a big chunk of the world at that time.

    I guess it is war criminals all the way down and in Ostergren’s fantasy world, the leading industry is Crimes Against Humanity trials. They are however, having a very hard time finding anyone who wasn’t at least a citizen of a Crimes Against Humanity country to actually run them.

    Coalition and Allied contingent involvement

    The “coalition of the willing” named by the US State Department in 2003.
    Members of the coalition included Australia: 2,000 invasion, Poland: 200 invasion—2,500 peak, Spain: 1,300 invasion United Kingdom: 46,000 invasion, United States: 150,000 to 250,000 invasion.

    Other members of the coalition were Afghanistan, Albania, Angola, Azerbaijan, Bulgaria, Colombia, Costa Rica, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Eritrea, Estonia, Ethiopia, Georgia, Honduras, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Japan, Kuwait, Latvia, Lithuania, Macedonia, Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Mongolia, the Netherlands, Nicaragua, Palau, Panama, the Philippines, Portugal, Romania, Rwanda, Singapore, Slovakia, Solomon Islands, South Korea, Tonga, Turkey, Uganda, Ukraine, and Uzbekistan.[240] At least 15 other countries participated covertly.[241]

  23. seachange says

    The woman who was most likely to be appointed as a replacement for Feinstein got into a snit with Newsom two weeks ago. Newsom is buddies with many of the people who are running to replace her, so he has been loath to say who he will appoint and was hoping Feinstein would hold on. Him describing the appointment -as a placeholder- was a strong nasty statement. It meant that the woman he chose to replace her (promise was that it would be a woman) was a cruel political shot across the bow because it meant he would not support her or endorse her for office when the actual election comes around.

    Pelosi shittily declared about a week before that that people who wanted Feinstein to resign were sexist. Kinda true? It’s part of the gerontology of the Senate that incompetent worthless elderly MEN were allowed to die in office. I have heard her say similar things about RBG.
    Here in California, Senators Cranston and Hayakawa were both criticized for being elderly incompetent men. They were not seriously challenged. Cranston retired? I may or may not have agreed with him but he seemed coherent and active the entire time. I know he didn’t die in office, I wanna say Boxer took his place. Hayakawa would pretend to sleep in committee and then wake up to cast the deciding vote in opposition to the old boys club and in favor of California interests, he was known for this. I think he did die in-office.

  24. birgerjohansson says

    PZ Myers @ 25

    Yet, the legacy Democrats will of course praise her, as if she was the second coming of Eleanor Roosevelt.

    And when the awful, awful Henry Kissinger finally dies any day now, the same politicians and newspapers will praise him, while keeping their eyes wide shut about his crimes.
    Because f☆ck accountability.

  25. birgerjohansson says

    And the obituary reminded me of Strom Thurmond… now my temper will be too foul to allow me any sleep.

  26. beholder says

    Another war criminal escapes justice. Another congressperson takes full advantage of the shield of incumbency and accumulates power through antidemocratic means for so long she basically becomes a walking corpse.

    Can’t say I’m sad to see her go, but I have no faith in the Democrats to choose anyone other than a protege with a fresh face and the same old, murderous ideas.

  27. hemidactylus says

    @9- bcw bcw
    I hadn’t followed Feinstein hardly at all, but two side points from that article you posted stood out for SF oddities. I think people here would prefer religious people who have a progressive bent, but sometimes things can take a dark turn even in that direction: “For Feinstein, the counterculture was the problem. Just a few days before White murdered Milk and Moscone, Jim Jones and his followers had committed mass suicide in Guyana, but that was a San Francisco-based cult. Feinstein took a lesson out of all of this—the counterculture caused problems and so did leftists”

    It’s all to easy to pin the tail on right wing religious loons these days especially given their love of Christian Nationalism, but Jim Jones was a bona fide social justice guy. Pretty far left.

    And I had to struggle a bit to grok this: “[Feinstein] served as one of Jimmy Carter’s major surrogates to resist Ted Kennedy’s 1980 primary challenge. She was considered a frontrunner for the 1984 VP slot, but Walter Mondale went with Geraldine Ferraro instead. Amazingly, he managed to pick an even worse Democrat than Feinstein. When she proposed to ban handguns in the city, the White Panther Party attempted to recall her, but she won the recall election and served her two full terms that ended at the beginning of 1988. She was most certainly a strong mayor, if nothing else.”

    The White Panther Party was antiracist and pro-gun I gather. I think the Black Panthers had famously freaked Californians out by toting firearms.

  28. Pierce R. Butler says

    seachange @ # 33: Cranston retired?

    Cranston chose not to run for re-election in 1992, primarily because he was caught in the Charles Keating/Lincoln Savings & Loan scandal (which knocked out four Democratic senators, but the one Republican involved – Sen. John McCain – skated with minimal reputation damage).

    Alan Cranston was – otherwise – one of the best Senators we had at the time.

  29. Pierce R. Butler says

    Senator Hayakawa may have “pretend[ed] to sleep in committee”, but he certainly didn’t fake sleeping in numerous meetings, as repeatedly reported at the time.

    He served one term in the Senate and dropped his attempt at re-election in 1982 due to lack of support, but dabbled in right-wing causes (such as making English the official US language and resisting compensation for Japanese-Americans sent to detention camps during World War II) until he died ten years later.

  30. jrkrideau says

    @ 31 raven
    We didn’t go into Iraq alone.
    Our allies were the UK, Australia, Poland, and Canada.

    Nope, we, Canada were definitely not there in term of official forces. Some Canadian Forces personnel, on endorsement, may have been. IIRC, a Canadian, on secondment, commanded a US brigade.

  31. hemidactylus says

    @41- Pierce R. Butler
    I dated a Brazilian woman who knew Spanish but resented it being spoken. Why not speak Portuguese was her argument. In Florida Haitian Creole might be accommodated but Chinese, Vietnamese, and German not so much. I can see resentment from other languaged immigrants, but in Miami and Orlando Spanish speakers are far more common so that’s a better argument I guess.

    Weird someone of Japanese descent would opine that way about internment camp victims, but a friend of mine who is of Mexican descent and I would lament Merkins (of Mexican descent) who are pro-Trump or disparage Latin Americans crossing the border. There is that I got mine mentality. Plus the US broke Honduras, Guatemala and other North American nations, so…

  32. ChrisE84 says

    It was quite clear how wrong the war was before it started. Given how much manipulation had to be employed, all these powerful people in the US and from the coalition of the willing knew better (I remember the EU perspective at the time and the people in Congress knew it, too). I guess a lot of the alies simply thought it’s better to be on America’s side. Given the sentiment in the US at the time, I don’t really blame most politicians for their cowardice.

  33. raven says

    It was quite clear how wrong the war was before it started.

    To many of us that was true.
    There was a lot more opposition to the Iraq war before it started than I even remember.
    The majority of US congresspeople voted for the war but it was a close vote.
    Almost all of the GOP voted for the war and more than half of the Democrats voted against it.

    The tl;dr version.
    The majority of Democratic US congresspeople voted against the war.
    The majority of GOP US congresspeople voted for the war.

    GOP 2.7% against the war
    Democrats 60.3% against the war

    GOP 2% against the war
    Democrats 42% against the war

    No, the GOP and the Democrats were not the same.
    What really surprised me and not in a good way is how Bush won a second term, even after it was obvious that Iraq was a disaster for everyone including the USA. It took a long time for a lot of people to realize how pointless it was.

    BTW, I’m not arguing for War Crime Trials for our 62 allies.
    That is the logical conclusion to troll Ostergren’s claims, which are mostly fiction anyway.

    Authorization for Use of Military Force Against Iraq Resolution of 2002 Wikipedia

    An authorization by Congress was sought by President George W. Bush soon after his September 12, 2002 statement before the U.N. General Assembly asking for quick action by the Security Council in enforcing the resolutions against Iraq.[5][6]

    Of the legislation introduced by Congress in response to President Bush’s requests,[7] S.J.Res. 45 sponsored by Sen. Daschle and Sen. Lott was based on the original White House proposal authorizing the use of force in Iraq, H.J.Res. 114 sponsored by Rep. Hastert and Rep. Gephardt and the substantially similar S.J.Res. 46 sponsored by Sen. Lieberman were modified proposals. H.J.Res. 110 sponsored by Rep. Hastings was a separate proposal never considered on the floor. Eventually, the Hastert–Gephardt proposal became the legislation Congress focused on.

    Passage of the full resolution
    Introduced in Congress on October 2, 2002, in conjunction with the Administration’s proposals,[3][8] H.J.Res. 114 passed the House of Representatives on Thursday afternoon at 3:05 p.m. EDT on October 10, 2002, by a vote of 296–133,[9] and passed the Senate after midnight early Friday morning, at 12:50 a.m. EDT on October 11, 2002, by a vote of 77–23.[10] It was signed into law as Pub. L.Tooltip Public Law (United States) 107–243 (text) (PDF) by President Bush on October 16, 2002.

    United States House of Representatives
    Party Ayes Nays Not
    Republican 215 6 2
    Democratic 81 126 1
    Independent 0 1 0
    TOTALS 296 133 3
    215 (96.4%) of 223 Republican Representatives voted for the resolution.
    81 (39.2%) of 208 Democratic Representatives voted for the resolution.
    6 (<2.7%) of 223 Republican Representatives voted against the resolution: Reps. Duncan (R-TN), Hostettler (R-IN), Houghton (R-NY), Leach (R-IA), Morella (R-MD), Paul (R-TX).
    126 (~60.3%) of 209 Democratic Representatives voted against the resolution.
    The only Independent Representative voted against the resolution: Rep. Sanders (I-VT)
    Reps. Ortiz (D-TX), Roukema (R-NJ), and Stump (R-AZ) did not vote on the resolution.
    United States Senate
    Party Yeas Nays
    Republican 48 1
    Democratic 29 21
    Independent 0 1
    TOTALS 77 23

    Final Congressional vote by chamber and party, October 2002
    29 (58%) of 50 Democratic senators voted for the resolution. Those voting for the resolution were:
    21 (42%) of 50 Democratic Senators voted against the resolution. Those voting against the resolution were:
    1 (2%) of 49 Republican senators voted against the resolution: Sen. Chafee (R-RI).

  34. lotharloo says

    Good fucking riddance. Hope the rest of the political fossils are next. You guys really did well with climate change and other disasters that won’t impact you or won’t get in the way of money. Speaking of money, this is from 9:

    Feinstein was fundamentally a rich centrist who legislated for other rich centrists. She might “forget” to report her husband’s stock earnings.[3] Let’s remember that not only did she personally have assets of $58 million in 2020, but her husband, Richard Blum, was listed as worth around $1 billion. Effectively, Dianne Feinstein was a billionaire. That came in part from her own personal work as a senator. Much of her husband’s wealth came from business with China. Will it shock you to know that Feinstein consistently worked to expand American business relationships with that nation? No, I don’t suppose it would. Hell, Jiang Zemin was the personal houseguest of Feinstein and Blum at Thanksgiving one year! Feinstein always claimed her finances and her politics were above the level with a sharp “firewall” between the two, but who does she think she’s kidding her? Maybe herself, actually.[4]

  35. John Morales says

    Good fucking riddance.

    Did she truly do nothing good ever in her long, long life?

    (‘The evil that men do lives after them;
    The good is oft interred with their bones.’
    Billy spearshaker)

  36. Silentbob says

    @ ^

    With the disclaimer this is not a comment on the dear departed; I hear Hitler loved animals.

  37. Silentbob says

    @ ^

    Given this comment could be taken out of context, let it be clear I am making fun of Morales idiocy.

  38. John Morales says

    Sullenbub, your obsession is showing.
    Three consecutive comments about me, nothing of substance there other than your jaundiced perception. Shit-coloured glasses, I get it.

    So. The inevitable retort to your spurty ejaculation:

    With the disclaimer this is not a comment on the dear departed; I hear Hitler loved animals.

    Um, we’ve recently heard about a dude that also loved animals. To death.

    Apparently, in your mind, that’s an example of doing good in one’s life.
    Like Hitler.

    … such a pity his good will be interred with his bones.

    It kinda bemuses me that you imagine you’re somehow mocking me by this.

    PZ: “Dianne Feinstein is dead”
    Soylentblob: “Hitler loved animals, by which I mean dogs”

    Me: heh.

    Given this comment could be taken out of context, let it be clear I am making fun of Morales idiocy.


    Still, if you still want to pretend you truly did not get what my comment was about, go for it.

  39. raven says

    Greetings war criminals of Freethoughtblogs Pharyngula. (This is sarcasm.)
    This morning we are going to beat a dead horse some more. Because why not, it is already dead.

    Matthew Ostergren the troll making false accusations:

    It’s honestly always incredibly depressing to me how little, even people like you and the people commenting here care about the lives murdered, ruined, maimed and displaced by the US.

    If you read this thread, no one had much good to say about Feinstein, no one defended her vote for the war in Iraq, and no one defended the US invasion of Iraq.

    .1. Ostergren is just lying here.

    He has no idea and no way of knowing what all of us were doing and thought in 2003 when the US invaded Iraq.
    It’s possible that some people on this thread weren’t even born then or were in kindergarten when that happened 20 years ago.

    .2. I had to look it up.
    I was opposed to the invasion and said so at the time in public many times and got a fair amount of abuse from neocon trolls for it.
    Which wasn’t that unusual or particularly noteworthy.
    Opposition to the invasion was by almost half of the US population at the time.
    And, we never did get that UN approval.

    .3. I would guess that most or all people on this thread that were old enough to have an informed opinion in 2003 weren’t invasion supporters based on their current viewpoints.

    Ostergren is just a driveby troll who slimed an entire blog of people based on absolutely no data whatsoever.

    Before the invasion in March 2003, polls showed 47–60% of the US public supported an invasion, dependent on U.N. approval. According to the same poll retaken in April 2007, 58% of the participants stated that the initial attack was a mistake.

    Public opinion in the United States on the invasion of Iraq
    Wikipedia https://en.wikipedia.org › wiki › Public_opinion_in_the_…

  40. beholder says

    @52 raven

    Ostergren is just a driveby troll who slimed an entire blog of people based on absolutely no data whatsoever.

    Eh, he made a cogent observation. Premature, perhaps, based on a few subsequent comments, but certainly aimed at people who are giving Feinstein the complete identity politics treatment and are choosing to ignore her crimes.

    If you’re hung up on the “these people would all be tried and convicted for crimes against humanity” part, I would hazard a guess he meant the Team Coke and Team Pepsi power brokers (many of whom are still in power), not the commenters on this blog.

    If you are going to condemn the US for Iraq you can add a whole lot more of the world with it.

    We didn’t go into Iraq alone.

    Indeed. If you’re interested in doing Nuremberg Trials 2 Electric Boogaloo properly, you gotta round ’em all up.

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