2:00PM Water Cooler 7/28/2020

By Lambert Strether of Corrente.


At reader request, I’ve added this daily chart. The data is the Johns Hopkins CSSE data. Here is the site. This is the next tranche of five problem states: Tennesse, Louisiana, North Carolina, Alabama, and South Carolina, with Georgia and Arizona for comparison:

This chart includes new cases and positivtity (because deaths scrunch together at the bottom of the chart and I don’t trust that data anyhow; excess deaths would be nice). In terms of undercounting as measured by positivity (higher is bad), the order from worst to best would be AZ, FL, TX, GA, CA, and CA, at 7.42%, is still too high by WHO standards (they want 5%).


“But what is government itself, but the greatest of all reflections on human nature?” –James Madison, Federalist 51

“They had one weapon left and both knew it: treachery.” –Frank Herbert, Dune

“They had learned nothing, and forgotten nothing.” –Charles Maurice de Talleyrand-Périgord

The electoral map. July 17: Georgia, Ohio, ME-2 move from Leans Republican to Toss-up. Continued yikes. On July 7, the tossup were 86. Only July 17, they were 56. Now they are 91. This puts Biden at 278, i.e. over 270.

Click the map to create your own at 270toWin.com

So, taking the consensus as a given, 270 (total) – 204 (Trump’s) = 66. Trump must win 66 from the states in play: AZ (11), FL (29), MI (16), NC (15), PA (20), and WI (10) plus 1 to win not tie = 102. 102 – 66 = 36. So if Trump wins FL, MI, NC, and PA (29 + 16 + 15 + 20 = 80), he wins. That’s a heavy lift. I think I’ve got the math right this time!


Biden (D)(1): “Our Foreign Policy Nightmare: Vice President Susan Rice” [The American Conservative]. “‘Susan Rice is right in the middle of the road, when you think about foreign policy hands in DC,” said John Glaser, director of foreign policy studies at the Cato Institute, in an interview with The American Conservative. ‘She has a lot of high level experience in foreign policy, but I’ve never been able to detect a way she stands out as a unique thinker, in that she had something to say about the way she’d prefer the U.S. to go. She says things that are plastic, packaged to be right in the center of the foreign policy consensus in D.C. That’s how I see her: run of the mill, not an extraordinary pick … If she were VP, our foreign policy would not be different than what we’ve seen the past 30 years.'” • Well, we’ll have the Bush Republicans to counter-balance her and serve as a check. Oh, wait…

Biden (D)(2): “Will the Left Get a Say in the Biden Doctrine?” [David Klion, The Nation]. • I don’t even have to invoke Betteridge’s Law for this one.

Biden (D)(3): “Don’t Count Trump Out” [The Atlantic]. “Nina Turner, a co-chair of the Sanders campaign, told me she has no appetite for the choice she faces: ‘It’s like saying to somebody, ‘You have a bowl of shit in front of you, and all you’ve got to do is eat half of it instead of the whole thing.’ It’s still shit.'” • Had to pull that quote out and file it under Biden, despite the headline.

Sanders (D)(1): “Bernie Sanders introduces bill to provide ‘Masks for all'” [CNN]. “Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders will introduce a bill on Tuesday that would provide high quality, reusable masks to every American…. The legislation, which was written before this latest outburst from Trump, has support across the Democratic congressional caucus’ ideological lines, from Alabama Sen. Doug Jones to New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, one of the cosponsors on the House side. It also has the support of an assortment of unions and progressive groups. The bill calls on the United States Postal Service to deliver the masks, which would also be made available at pick-up sites around the country, including schools and pharmacies, and provided — all free of charge — to the homeless, patients in assisted living facilities, people in prison and college students in their dorms. Health care workers, who have struggled to maintain stocks of personal protective equipment, would be given surgical masks and N-95 respirators. The Defense Production Act, invoked but rarely used by Trump, would be counted on to aid in what would be a massive manufacturing project.”

Trump (R)(1): “Don’t Count Trump Out” [The Atlantic]. “He could win. He might win. Here are six reasons why. 1. The economy could come back just enough…. 2. Polling could be wrong (again)… 3. Trump can campaign all day long…. 4. Biden’s got his own problems….. 5. Biden voters might not get to vote…. 6. What if there’s an October surprise?” • On #2, I look at the polls — very sadly — as openly political players at the tactical level, like the Beltway press. It’s not a matter of the “house effect,” sadly. It’s like every poll is a push poll. I attempt to compensate for that by aggregating pundits with 270toWin, but who knows? Of course, we have the exit polls to serve as check on the opinion polls. Oh, wait…

MA: “Send Ed Markey back to the Senate” [The Boston Globe]. “In this moment, the country and the Commonwealth need leaders who won’t settle for incremental progress, who recognize the profound underlying conditions of inequality and racial injustice that exacerbate our problems, and who notice that the table is set for transformational change and can help carry it out with legislative proposals.” • The Gods are good.

MA: “Rep. Joe Kennedy calls out Sen. Ed Markey for ignoring Massachusetts towns that don’t even exist” [The Week]. “Sen. Ed Markey (D-Mass.) is facing a tough primary challenge from Rep. Joe Kennedy III (D-Mass.), and has tried to highlight what he’s done for every Massachusetts municipality with a map on his campaign website. But that map seemingly had some omissions, Kennedy’s campaign noted in a weekend press release, saying ‘the towns/cities of Stoughton, Blackstone, Dana, Dudley, Enfield, and Prescott do not exist in Markey’s Massachusetts.’ ‘There’s just one problem,” The Boston Globe notes. “The towns of Dana, Enfield, and Prescott don’t exist in anyone’s Massachusetts.’ Those three western Massachusetts communities actually haven’t been around for a century, as they were all unincorporated and flooded in the 1930s to create what’s now the Quabbin Reservoir.” • The Gods are good…

* * *

The Party decides:

Useful information on the DNC:

I wish Mark Ames could learn to be more direct about his feelings:

Sid’s owner:

Health Care

AOC 2024 and don’t @ me:

At one point, AOC asks her viewers what COBRA means to them. I thought the best answer was “a car note,” meaning that you had to go into debt to make the COBRA payments. (Hilariously, Biden wants the government to cover COBRA, but only during the Covid crisis, like working class America doesn’t suffer a daily crisis, Covid or not.)

“Congress’s Steadfast and Stupefying Refusal to End Surprise Billing” [The New Republic]. “For years, media outlets have covered the most unfortunate of these casualties of the American health care system, skimming off the most shocking examples of surprise hospital bills from among thousands of unlucky patients who won’t get articles written about them, and nothing has been done…. Responsibility for this failure can be largely laid at the feet of Representative Richard Neal, chair of the House Ways and Means Committee. In December, Neal reportedly killed the compromise bill, in favor of one that was more friendly to doctors and hospitals (and lighter on details). Neal took $54,000 from lobbyists who represented groups and companies that opposed the surprise billing legislation and $29,000 from Blackstone, the private equity firm that partially bankrolled a $53 million ad campaign to defeat the legislation. Blackstone owns TeamHealth, one of the bigger purveyors of the surprise bill scam. Chuck Schumer is also “famously close with the Greater New York Hospital Association,” which donates millions to Senate Majority PAC.” • Ka-ching. ($54,000 + $29,000 is not a lot of money. As the joke goes: “Why are politicians bought so cheap?” “Why not? It’s like selling your neighbor’s car for twenty bucks!”)

Realignment and Legitimacy

“SCOOP: Senate GOP Copied & Pasted Cuomo’s Corporate Immunity Law Word-For-Word” [David Sirota, Too Much Information]. The background: “TMI previously reported that in April, Cuomo worked with a major health care industry lobby group to slip language into his state’s budget designed to block lawsuits against hospitals and nursing homes during the pandemic, as the casualty count exploded in New York. The provisions did not just cover frontline health care workers — it included language extending that protection to any ‘health care facility administrator, executive, supervisor, board member, trustee,’ or other corporate manager. Cuomo pushed the provision after his political machine received more than $1 million from the Greater New York Hospital Association.” • Ka-ching. More: “Senate Republicans copied key parts of New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s controversial corporate immunity law and pasted it word-for-word into their new coronavirus relief proposal released on Monday. The provision could shield health care industry CEOs, executives and corporate board members from COVID-related lawsuits in the event that their business decisions.” • The first parallel (an image) is deady taken in combination with the second one (scroll down). Always good to see Democrats and Republicans extend the right hand of good fellowship across the aisle.

The Great Assimilation™: “Revenge of the Never Trumpers: Meet the Republican Dissidents Fighting to Push Donald Trump Out of Office” [Time]. A good round-up: “A group of more than 70 former national-security officials from GOP administrations, led by John Bellinger, the senior National Security Council and State Department lawyer under George W. Bush, and Ken Wainstein, Bush’s Homeland Security Adviser, plans to endorse Biden and publish a mission statement describing the damage they say Trump has done to America’s national security and global reputation. They will also fund-raise for the former Vice President and do media appearances in battleground states when the group launches later this summer. Some of the same people wrote an open letter denouncing Trump in 2016. But, says Wainstein, “our effort this time is going to have some staying power throughout the campaign.'” • “Bush’s Homeland Security Adviser”…. Jobs for the boys?

* * *

“100 days out, parties fear chaotic election” [The Hill]. “A little more than three months before November’s election, partisans who back both President Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden are growing anxious over what they see as the mounting potential for a chaotic contest marred by disenfranchised voters, administration errors and mountains of litigation. The new anxiety comes on top of the typical nerves that plague campaign operatives…. ‘We won’t have an Election Night this year. Every important race is going to take days or weeks to decide. It’s going to have people on edge and it’s going to be a complete mess,’ said Sean Noble, a Republican strategist in Arizona. ‘County recorders are going to be under a microscope and almost none of them are prepared for that kind of scrutiny.'” • At some point, an electoral system that both parties want to fix was going to hit the wall. Perhaps 2020 will be the year.

UPDATE “Hand Counts Vs. Machine Counts in the 2020 Democratic primaries” [Dale Tavris, Medium]. “If the exit poll discrepancies from official election results that Soares has identified are indeed the result of election rigging, then it would be highly likely that Sanders would have performed better in hand counted than in machine counted voting jurisdictions, because vote counts produced by machines are far more susceptible to vote rigging than hand counting. Hand counting is susceptible to small errors, but not errors large enough to result in statistically significant exit poll discrepancies from official results…. The main result in all three states [New Hampshire, Vermont, and Massachusetts], depicted in the Table below, was that Sanders performed substantially better in his total hand-counted vote percentage compared to his machine-counted vote percentage, whereas his nearest competitor (Buttigieg in New Hampshire, Biden in Vermont and Massachusetts) performed worse in in the hand counted townships…. It seems to me that a country that calls itself a democracy should be willing and eager to recount paper ballots by hand in elections that are highly suspicious and important.” • Soares regularly compares exit polls to election results, finding statistically significant discrepancies. But he’s the only one doing it. So it’s significant to me that a second figure, however obscure, built on Soares’s results. Can any statistics mavens in teh commentariat take a look at this potentially important post?

Stats Watch

At reader request, I added some business stats back in. Please give Econintersect click-throughs; they’re a good, old-school blog that covers more than stats. If anybody knows of other aggregators, please contact me at the email address below.

Manufacturing: “July 2020 Richmond Fed Manufacturing Survey Improves” [Econintersect]. “Of the five regional Federal Reserve manufacturing surveys released to date, all are in expansion…. The important Richmond Fed subcategories (new orders and unfilled orders) improved. This survey was better than last month.”

Consumer Confidence: “July 2020 Conference Board Consumer Confidence Decreases” [Econintersect]. “A quote from the Conference Board: ‘Looking ahead, consumers have grown less optimistic about the short-term outlook for the economy and labor market and remain subdued about their financial prospects.’ Consumer confidence had been steady for the previous two years – but the coronavirus killed the upswing.”

Leading Indicators: “28 July 2020 New York Fed Weekly Economic Index (WEI): Index Again Declined and Remains At Recession Levels” [Econintersect]. “The New York Fed’s Weekly Leading Index (WLI) declined and continues to show an economy that is significantly worse than seen during the Great Recession. However, this index remains on a recovery trend.”

Housing: “S and P CoreLogic Case-Shiller 20 City Home Price Index May 2020 Year-over-Year Growth Slows” [Econintersect]. “All home price indices are now showing home price growth is slowing year-over-year. Most of the blame for this should be laid at the feet of the pandemic which has altered daily lives.”

* * *

Retail: “Toy makers are getting an expensive lesson in inventory management under the pandemic. Retail sales at Hasbro Inc. and Mattel Inc. soared in the second quarter as parents stocked up to entertain homebound children… but overall revenue actually declined because wholesale business lagged as retailers remained cautious on replenishing inventories” [Wall Street Journal]. “The wide split between point-of-sale trends, which toy makers say reflects underlying demand, and financial performance reflects the tumultuous retailing conditions in recent months. The toy makers say orders are weak as retailers remain wary of overstocking in an uncertain environment. Sales have moved online, but the toy makers are finding that digital sellers don’t require as much inventory on hand to stock shelves. Manufacturers still have high hopes for the critical holiday season, however, and they don’t expect parents to get conservative with the kids still at home.” • So toymakers are long Covid…

The Bezzle: “Waymo: Human factor key to unlocking AV safety, public trust” [Freight Waves].

Asked by moderator Chrris Gerdes, director of Stanford’s Center for Automotive Research, how the company builds trust while protecting intellectual property, Schwall responded: “Fundamentally, in order to really convince the public and be compelling, what we need is to be simple. And the simpler it is, the less IP is an issue.”

For example, to instill confidence among first responders, Waymo has implemented a toll-free number dedicated to that group and created a video explaining how the technology works. In California, where the company runs tests on public roads and Arizona, Waymo brings the vehicles to police and fire stations directly to train workers on the technology.

While no intellectual property is revealed during these trainings, Waymo does open the trunk of the vehicles to first responders, a view not available to the broader public.

They open the trunk….

The Bezzle: “NJ police charge three after 700-person party at Airbnb rental” [The Hill]. “Capt. Steven Laskiewicz said in a statement posted on Facebook that the party attracted more than 700 people with more than 100 vehicles parked in the area, violating statewide coronavirus restrictions…. The Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office was contacted to pursue charges against Weiss and the party organizers for violating the governor’s executive order on gatherings. New Jersey currently mandates that all outdoor gatherings be less than 500 people and indoor gatherings have fewer than 100 people.” • Turns out the “sharing economy” means sharing the virus. Also, can we please not be stupid?

Manufacturing: “Kodak aims to be one of ‘greatest second acts’ in American industry, add 300-plus jobs” [Democrat & Chronicle]. “Eastman Kodak Co. will receive a $765 million government loan to help expedite the domestic production of drugs to treat a variety of medical conditions and loosen the country’s reliance on foreign sources, officials said Tuesday. The move is expected to create at least 350 new jobs, launching a new business unit for the Rochester-based company that — when at peak production in four to five years — is expected to produce 25% of the active ingredients for ‘non-biologic, non-antibacterial, generic pharmaceuticals.’ The loan from the U.S. International Development Finance Corporation is the first of its kind under the Defense Production Act, officials said. Kodak is gearing up to produce ingredients for drugs including the antimalarial drug hydroxychloroquine, which President Donald Trump has supported in treatment for COVID-19, according to the Journal.” • Great for Kodak, for whom I am happy, but hoo boy.

Supply Chain: “General Mills Inc. is reaching deeper into the food manufacturing business to help match its supply chain to heightened demand. With its own factories already operating at capacity, the company is turning to more third-party manufacturers…. a sign of the continuing struggle by packaged-food companies to keep grocery shelves stocked as consumers load up during the coronavirus pandemic” [Wall Street Journal]. “General Mills will boost the number of suppliers by as much as 20% on top of the 200 it had before the pandemic, and expects these third parties to supply products until at least next summer. The outsourcing will be costly but the company says it’s needed for an expected “longer period of sustained higher demand.”

* * *

Today’s Fear & Greed Index: 65 Greed (previous close: 65 Greed) [CNN]. One week ago: 65 (Greed). (0 is Extreme Fear; 100 is Extreme Greed). Last updated Jul 28 at 11:59am. Solid greed.

The Biosphere

“A Front-Row Seat for the Arctic’s Final Summers With Ice” [Bloomberg]. “Scientists are certain that the Arctic ice is disappearing. The shrinking ice cap accelerates warming globally. As Greenland and other Arctic glaciers lose ice, they help raise sea levels, potentially exposing millions of people to flooding. Nearly every dramatic, headline-grabbing effect of climate change, from alarming coastal erosion to intense and frequent fires, is already happening in the Arctic, at a fast pace and at a giant magnitude. ‘These individual things are part of a very complex system that’s changing dramatically,’ says Guido Grosse, head of the permafrost research unit at the Alfred Wegener Institute, Helmholtz Institute for Polar and Sea Research, or AWI. ‘Because it is very remote people have a hard time understanding how it might affect our life in more temperate regions. But it will.'”

Health Care

Alert readers MV sends a link to vaccines.gov, commenting “Quick, before they change it”:

The same process concerns were raised on the issue of changing the Covid dataflow endpoint from CDC to HHS proper. I understand them, and obviously the thalidomide tragedy, after which the FDA was given the power to regulate drugs, argues strongly for those concerns. But the risk of not “CRUSHING” Covid is ruin, and a process that doesn’t account for those risks is problematic too.

“This seaweed extract outperforms COVID-19 drug remdesivir in the lab” [Fast Company] (original). “In cell tests in the lab, RPI-27 was nearly 10 times as active as remdesivir at blocking infection, meaning a much smaller dose was needed to inhibit infection. Heparin was slightly less active than remdesivir but could also be used in treatment. Separate tests showed that the compounds worked without causing any damage to the cells. The researchers are now beginning the next step of animal trials.” • Fauci ramping Gilead like a penny stock over remdesivir might also be considered a process issue. However, I think the cases are different. Fauci degraded trust (as he also did with his Noble Lie on masks) which makes the entire system dysfunctional.

Class Warfare

UPDATE “How Larry Hogan Kept Blacks in Baltimore Segregated and Poor” [Politico]. “For Black Baltimoreans and allies watching, the pattern of investing public funds in white areas and disinvesting from Black neighborhoods could not have been more obvious.” • This is just awful. And Hogan is supposed to be one of the good Republicans, apparently.

UPDATE “Single Mothers and Their Children Are Taking Over Abandoned Public Buildings” [In These Times (dcblogger)]. “In Philadelphia, single mothers and their children have moved into abandoned, publicly owned buildings, in the most significant housing take over in the country—at a time when millions have lost their jobs and the country is on the brink of another housing crisis…. In recent years, the housing authority’s projects have included more market-rate housing, which is unaffordable for those eligible for public housing, and potentially takes housing from those who really need it. And while thousands of Philadelphians languish for years on the waitlist, PHA sells lots and structures to private developers who build market-rate housing, and let other houses sit empty and decay.”

News of the Wired

I don’t follow skateboarding, though naturally as a former resident of Philly I support it, so I can’t rank this video, but it does look pretty cool:

Restoring my faith in humanity:

* * *

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J-LS: “Mom’s tomatoes!” (I’m letting this one jump the queue, because tomatoes.)

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About Lambert Strether

Readers, I have had a correspondent characterize my views as realistic cynical. Let me briefly explain them. I believe in universal programs that provide concrete material benefits, especially to the working class. Medicare for All is the prime example, but tuition-free college and a Post Office Bank also fall under this heading. So do a Jobs Guarantee and a Debt Jubilee. Clearly, neither liberal Democrats nor conservative Republicans can deliver on such programs, because the two are different flavors of neoliberalism (“Because markets”). I don’t much care about the “ism” that delivers the benefits, although whichever one does have to put common humanity first, as opposed to markets. Could be a second FDR saving capitalism, democratic socialism leashing and collaring it, or communism razing it. I don’t much care, as long as the benefits are delivered. To me, the key issue — and this is why Medicare for All is always first with me — is the tens of thousands of excess “deaths from despair,” as described by the Case-Deaton study, and other recent studies. That enormous body count makes Medicare for All, at the very least, a moral and strategic imperative. And that level of suffering and organic damage makes the concerns of identity politics — even the worthy fight to help the refugees Bush, Obama, and Clinton’s wars created — bright shiny objects by comparison. Hence my frustration with the news flow — currently in my view the swirling intersection of two, separate Shock Doctrine campaigns, one by the Administration, and the other by out-of-power liberals and their allies in the State and in the press — a news flow that constantly forces me to focus on matters that I regard as of secondary importance to the excess deaths. What kind of political economy is it that halts or even reverses the increases in life expectancy that civilized societies have achieved? I am also very hopeful that the continuing destruction of both party establishments will open the space for voices supporting programs similar to those I have listed; let’s call such voices “the left.” Volatility creates opportunity, especially if the Democrat establishment, which puts markets first and opposes all such programs, isn’t allowed to get back into the saddle. Eyes on the prize! I love the tactical level, and secretly love even the horse race, since I’ve been blogging about it daily for fourteen years, but everything I write has this perspective at the back of it.


  1. fresno dan


    The only details known about the feline are that it lives in England and was tested at a laboratory in Weybridge, Surrey, last week, on 22 July.

    Evidence suggests it contracted the virus from its owners, who had previously tested positive for COVID-19 – but both the animal and family have since made a “full recovery”, the government said.
    It added there is “no evidence” the cat transmitted coronavirus to its owners – or that any other domestic pets are able to, either.
    Now, my neighbor’s cat, Millie, basically stocks me. Every morning when I go out to water the plants, she comes running up demanding to be petted. She is very insistent and won’t take no for an answer. Totally self absorbed.
    And I would say absence of evidence is not evidence of absence. And in an abundance of caution, I am going to insist she start wearing a mask. Of course, she simply ignores social distancing requests.

    1. CanChemist

      From other incidents we know that cats and ferrets are likely quite susceptible, but so far the transmission has been from humans to those animals and not the other way around.

    2. Ignacio

      If you can help the cat feel adorable / cutest with the mask. Cats like to look cute, depreciatively cute.

    3. polecat

      Wear the damn gloves!

      … any kitty spit induced allergies (Covid not withstanding) will likely have been avoided ..

    4. fajensen

      Which begs the question: How does one go about ramming a long cotton bud into a cats nose cavity to collect a sample?

      That cat is not gonna sit there and suck it up like it’s chattel does!

  2. Dr. John Carpenter

    I usually say it’s like the Republicans are offering me a warm sh*t sandwich and the Dems want to feed me a cold sh*t sandwich, but Nina Turner’s analogy works too.

      1. JWP

        One of the best public speakers I’ve ever seen. Absolutely brimming with energy and confidence.

      2. polecat

        It doesn’t matter Who’s on the ‘list’. We All go down the rocky chasm, none the less!

    1. DJG

      Dr. John: Nina Turner and Briahna Joy Gray have plenty to say about why Biden and his helpers (who just voted down Medicare for All with Mental/Dental) and their helpers, The Lincoln Project, are just one big Submarine Sandwich of Poop.

      Let’s keep the scato-metaphor going, because we are now going to enter the season of organized bullying by the Democrats, along with the usual regular red-baiting and BernieBro-ing.

      Oh, and if they don’t get their way, it will be the fault of the Russians, Chinese, Iranians. And Andorra! Those darn Andorrans!

      1. Procopius

        I really resent the current level of Bernie Bro-ing. I was pretty angry three years ago when I was told I was a liar for claiming I (reluctantly) voted for Hillary. Now I’m seeing more comments insisting the Hillary would be president now if not for the Bernie supporters who sabotaged her. [Family blog] ’em. Those people are not my friends.

    2. Keith

      We had a saying in the Marines, “Life is a giant sh*t sandwich, but the more bread you have, the better it will be.”

      1. Dr. John Carpenter

        I used to work with a guy who’d say “I’d offer you a sh*t sandwich but I know you don’t like bread.”

    3. D. Fuller

      Apparently, four years of Trump are not enough to change Democratic Party leadership. As long as those sh*ts remain in their safe seats? Corporate America and RW bipartisanship rule the American political landscape.

      Eight years of Trump will not change them.

      As long as senior Democratic leadership feel safe in their districts from Republican challengers, they are content to lose to Republicans, the seats of junior Democratic Congress Members. After all, Right Wing senior Democratic leadership has enough of a sufficiently large talent pool to run more candidates in the following election.

      Joe Biden does not have my vote. Neither does Trump. Third Party, it is.

      In the end, change will only be affected when people are backed into a corner where there is no hope, no one will be there to save them, with only themselves to blame. At that instant, there will only be two choices.

      Change or Die.

      Either fight for what they know is right, or continue traveling the road to destruction for all.

      Democratic leadership as chosen the latter. I will be damned before I vote for that orthe other stains in the middle of the aisles. I will vote, however.

    4. John k

      I don’t think Biden is the bowl half empty, they’re both pure s’it.
      Yes, trump is crap on energy, and that’s important. But IMO Biden looks far more likely to start a war, bearing in mind Both the bushies support and that trump is the only pres since Reagan not to start one in his first term, and that’s important, too.
      But Biden leads the wing that has the duty of keeping progressives from any power, and that’s important bc so long as that continues there will be no hope of any change. IMO progressives should refuse to support neolibs exactly as they will never support progressives. The two groups cannot make common cause bc their objectives are diametrically opposed.

      1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

        I suppose it’s down to which brand you prefer. Brand A: I didn’t vote your interests because screw you. I’m with Capital against Labor. Brand B: I didn’t vote your interests because race, misogny, Russia, Facebook, and brand new words like “intersectionality”.

        Gene Hackman in the movie “Heist”:

        “Are you going to shoot me?”


        “Then you shouldn’t point a gun at me. It’s insincere”.

    5. HotFlash

      I don’t know, I don’t know, but in November I might want the warmer shit sandwich. By November, I might be happy to eat anything at all.

  3. Matthew Saroff

    Sick to death of the hippie punching by the Democratic Party establishment (There is no Democratic Party establishment).

    1. Geo

      The parasitic class has gutted the GOP and left it a husky of its former self. Now they’ve moved on to the Dems and are doing the same.

      Margaret Thatcher once said her greatest achievement was “New Labour” meaning that she made the Labour Party into a rightwing party. Same has happened here. It’s depressing.

      1. AbateMagicThinking But Not Money

        Thatcher Legacy:

        Apart from a poisoned polity, I think of her legacy as Nigel Farage. And like unlike The Rapture it isn’t a good thing.


        1. polecat

          He seems at least, not to aspire to become an Antifa-nini-an, so there is that to be grateful for..

    1. Rod

      Same for the Workman–answering Questions while concentrating on the task at hand is tricky.
      The young man ‘may’ have also learned some new Vocabulary words.
      I hope he was inspired to work ‘with his hands’

  4. ptb

    So here’s something I was wondering (covid related, sorry)

    The US will have nearly 20mm college students[US Dept of Ed] and around 50mm K-12 students[ibid] are going back to school in 6 weeks or so, right? The premium brand uni around here is arranging testing as a preventative measure, but… to do that everywhere, it would be a LOT of testing. Plainly beyond the extrapolation of the current capacity trend [Hopkins]. I think it would consume the entirety of what’s in the pipeline to (optimistically) materialize at that time. And the tests that could plausibly be available in such numbers will indeed be the cheap-fast-less-than-perfect type.

    Hurd immunity here we come :-/

    1. Synoia

      My daughter is a teacher and has a young Grade School Son. Keeping the children apart and in masks can be done, shy says.

      However in the Cafeteria for Lunch they can neither be kept apart nor wear masks, and will become infestations of Covid transmissions.

      She believes this term, school will be closed in 2 weeks to a month.

      1. Late Introvert

        Spot on. Governor Trumpette in Iowa is going to do to students and teachers what she did to the slaughter house workers (yes, that is what it’s called people.)

        Why my kid is staying home those first 2 weeks.

    2. Lost in OR

      I just received notice that my high schooler will be distance learning for at least the first semester. While I’m not happy with that, I don’t know what would have made me happy.

      I’m having a toast to the fail(ed/ing) state. And scheming an emergence from the other side.

  5. allan

    Re: “Great for Kodak”

    As much as this would be wonderful if it becomes a reality, it makes absolutely no sense.
    Kodak [EK] spun off Eastman Chemical [EMN] (part of George Eastman’s soup-to-nuts internal supply chain)
    back in 1994, and EMN now is the much bigger entity (7 times the revenue of EK).
    And Eastman Chemical has a much greater competency in, you know, chemicals.

    Maybe Peter Navarro doesn’t know the difference between the two – sort of like the guy who bought
    London Bridge and moved it to Arizona, thinking that it was the Tower Bridge.

    1. Lambert Strether Post author

      The hometown paper to which I linked says:

      The operation will build on Kodak’s existing Specialty Chemicals Group, a segment that is dispersed across a three-building complex at Eastman Business Park, with multiple cells or bays that operate as its own chemical factory so that multiple processes can be run concurrently. That operation already is working with various markets, including pharmaceuticals. In company brochures, Kodak touts the 88 reactors, more than 25 centrifuges, filter and membrane presses

      And looking at Eastman Chemical’s product range, I’m not sure you’re correct that it’s more sensible.

      1. Phacops

        Now, if only we had an industrial policy that embargoed or limited the importation of Active Pharmaceutical Ingredient made by domestic manufacturers.

    2. Lee

      You’ve got to admire a company that patented gravity in the form of the Carousel gravity-feed slide projector, thus forcing competitors to use more costly and less reliable mechanical feeds. Or so I was told by someone in the dim and distant past.

    3. upstater

      I went to grad school at Rochester Institute of Technology in the mid 1980s. Kodak already had some downsizing, but still employed 55,000 (!!!) people in Rochester. There were all sorts of chemistry types in the statistics program at RIT. Really, a lot if top notch people.

      There were also EEs that were involved in digital photography product development. Kodak, of course developed digital photography in the 70s. From what I heard from my IP attorney, Kodak had very poorly written patents for their technology. As a consequence everyone made end runs around them. And Kodak went bankrupt.

      I have no idea about employment now, I think it is something like 2000-3000. Back in the 80s, Rochester also had huge GM, Xerox and Bausch and Lomb operations, with tens of thousands of people.

      Needless to say, like all of upstate NY, it is a rust belt shell now.

      So much for US industrial policy!

  6. Darius

    I don’t have much confidence in a vaccine. For one, immunity appears to be short-lived. A vaccine also likely would have to trigger t-cell response, not just antibodies. I also speculate that the level and duration of immunity have something to do with the level of exposure and severity of illness, as well as the course the illness takes.

    If a vaccine lives up to hopes and expectations, I suspect that it may be useful in wiping out current levels of infection and achieve true herd immunity. But such immunity will be short-lived. The virus will roar back in a year or two when people’s immunity has worn off or the virus mutates, as do common cold viruses. Perhaps annual vaccination would be required. I suspect compliance would be spotty, short of making it mandatory and enforcing the mandate.

    We should use that herd immunity period to work out robust systems for preventing another pandemic. But, in neoliberal America, that would never happen. The response in the rest of the world probably would be better than America’s, but extremely inconsistent. We are going to have to accept this virus as a part of life, going forward. Given the American response and the systematic destruction of America’s public institutions over the last 40 years, it will be a hugely destabilizing force in society. I think it very well could be the death blow.

    1. cnchal

      There is no such thing as herd immunity with this virus. The point of the vaccine isn’t about health, but vast never ending profits for a few. As Goldman 666 says – there is no profit in curing people.

      Jawb one is do not get it.

    2. Ignacio

      For what is known cellular responses, even if strong, provide some protection but no immunity. The Pfizer-Oxford candidate triggers a relatively weak humoral response and a strong biased cellular response. In rhesus macaques this does not provide immunity and viral replication proceeds in the nasopharyngeal tract with no differences compared with unvaccinated macaques after challenge, while it prevents viral replication in the lungs. Notwithstanding 3 out of 6 vaccinated macaques showed sign of respiratory distress after challenging. Whether these challenges are somehow excessive compared with normal human infection is something to be considered.

      Other candidates do better in non-human primates but yet there is the open question of vaccine duration and so far none tested seem to provide total immunity.

  7. Ignacio

    I would like to make Andalusian gazpacho with those rosy large tomatoes… Or a tuna-onion-tomato-olive oil salad or a simple tomato-onion-thyme-olive oil salad. Simple but great with the later pleasure of dipping bread in the residual salad. Hummmmmm

    1. Kilgore Trout

      Ignacio, can you comment on this study? This doc wrote a recent Newsweek piece as well. The right is having a field day with a banned Youtube video of a Texas doc claiming to have cured over 300 patients with this regimen. Had hoped to see some mention of the kerfuffle, since it involved Trump Sr and Jr as well. Also, regulars on here have in past talked about the efficacy of hydroxychlorquine and zinc in combo.


      1. Ignacio

        I cannot have a strong opinion. Just wait and see the results with outpatient treatment. Something that should be done of course. A French study showed that HCQ is not prophylactic but who really thought this could be prophylactic? Nobody. Whether this could help to prevent some of the most severe outcomes rather than trying to treat those is indeed necessary. It should be done with combinations of antiviral drugs with potential for synergy. It is quite possible that at some point the antivirals do nothing because it is no longer the virus what is doing the worst damage but the immune system.

        1. Rod

          My Congressman–Ralph Norman, Rep. SC 5th CD, is obviously sold on it by the recently posted Fac88888K video introducing Americas Frontline Doctors on the steps of the Supreme Court.

          Bump retweeted it and Facemess pulled it down 5 hrs latter.

    2. dougie

      Bread of your choosing. Thick slab of ‘mater, thin slice of Vidalia onion, salt, pepper, and key ingredient Duke’s mayonnaise. No Miracle Whip, Hellman’s, etc. Duke’s. Getcha some. Thank me later.

      1. MichaelSF

        I’ve found that Thai honey chili sauce is great on fresh slices of tomato. This is the sauce in roughly 1 quart-size bottles from Thailand that we bought at a local Asian-food market. Give it a try.

    3. Phacops

      I just love tomato season. Am watching a bounty of plum tomatoes ripen (Amish Paste) so I can pulp and freeze the results for use in myriads of dishes. We use our Green Zebra tomatoes for a great gazpacho.

      1. polecat

        Almost time for polecat to can his much savored pasta sauce. 3 cases should just about do it! We still have 36+ pints left over from last year, in our larder.

        Canning is an art to be had, by those who enjoy summer come winter!

    4. Rod

      the larger look like Heritage Cherokee Purples–must pick when crown is green and bottom rouge to avoid split outs–yea on pre-rain picking, steady afternoon rains have been blowing my ‘maters out for the last 10 days.

  8. Darius

    My tomato vines are rampant, but my soil is deficient, so the fruit is misshapen, cracked, and has rotten spots. I’m working every year to add organic matter.

    1. Alternate Delegate

      Cracks and splitting can be caused by too much water. We often pick the tomatoes that are closest to ripeness before a big rainfall, so they don’t split. If it’s sunny, let them ripen!

      Rotten spots, if they are on the bottom of the tomato, are called blossom end rot, and can be prevented with a calcium supplement spray. You have to get the spray on the leaves while the tomatoes are still at the flower stage, but you can use it even after you see blossom end rot and save some of the tomatoes that come later.

      Misshapen – I don’t know?

    2. deplorado

      This spring I mixed in my garden soil, in the large holes I prepare for my tomato seedlings, horse manure compost and old mulch, each ~30% by volume. The mulch had developed so much mycelium over the last years that it had actual fruiting bodies (actual tasty looking mushrooms) in some spots and smelled deliciuosly like the forest floor. I started late, but the tomato plants are growing like crazy, with shoots as thick as a thumb, outsized deep-green leaves, and a couple are exceeding 6′ in height and are loaded with great looking fruit.

      I’ve never had such wildly robust tomato plants and I’ve always used plenty of horse compost. Also I’ve had blossome end rot and msshapen fruit, but not this year. So I attribute this to the mycelium. I’ve become a big believer in mycelium.

      The tomato sort I use is “Early Girl” – regular sort you can get anywhere – but when it’s ripened in the sun and maybe due to the compost and mycelium, it’s full of flavor and juice!

  9. dcblogger

    How Trump could still win:
    vapor voting (rigged voting machines, although given Biden’s politics, dunno why they would bother to steal it for Trump)

    coronavirus, a disproportionate share of the deaths are Hispanics and African Americans. The Democratic base is literally dying.

    evictions/foreclosure, again disproportionately affects the Democratic base who will be too traumatized to vote. that you never see any mention of this tells us all we need to know about the political press and the Democratic establishment.

    1. JWP

      Or/in addition, like in 2016 with trade, he jumps to the left of biden on healthcare and wipes him out in all the swing states and maybe a few surprises. (Maine, NH, NV) come to mind.

      1. km

        Even if Trump were to go to the left of Biden on healthcare (not hard), what makes you think he’ll follow through with it, especially as no legislation will get passed until after the election?

        For that matter, if Trump were serious, why did he wait until the last 100 days before Election Day? What took him so long?

        1. Briny

          Due to the fact that this is the way Trump operates; totally stream of (Twitter) conciousness. Much the way his reality TV operations worked.

        2. Dr. John Carpenter

          All he needs is a promise that will carry him past the finish line. If he could make it happen, or even wanted to, is irrelevant.

          To paraphrase something I heard a coal miner say in 2016: I could vote for Hillary, who is offering me nothing. Or I can vote for Trump, who is offering me something and even if I think he’s lying, it’s still more than Hillary. Swap the names and it’s the same idea.

          1. RMO

            I thought that one big difference between the Clinton and trump campaigns was that Trump was willing and eager to make the effort to sell the public a line of B.S. Not surprising that this worked better than Clinton’s resentment of the very idea that she should be obligated to actually campaign in order to become president.

          2. km

            Wish in one hand, [family blog] in the other.

            Talk is cheap, especially as Trump is under pressure to save his re-election chances and will only be able to deliver, if at all, once that pressure is off. We saw a similar dynamic among Obama cultists in 2012, waiting for The Real Obama.

            Again, he had three years to do something. Instead he played golf and indulged in twitter beefs with fellow members of the Moron-American Community. If you think that now he’s really changed, well, the Great Wall of Idiocy is not going to get built, either.

            No, I am not endorsing Biden. Simply pointing out that expecting anything from Trump is a fool’s game.

            1. JWP

              That’s exactly the point. What Trump says he will do gets him elected, what he actually does gets the donations and himself/friends rich. He won’t follow through on his promises and thats how the republican PMC likes it.

        3. John k

          Trump might say he supports m4a now that he sees Covid focuses the need to get everybody covered with quality healthcare, and that he therefore supports it, will push reps to help pass it, and will sign it if it arrives on his desk… contrasting nicely with Biden’s promise to veto it.
          Is it believable that it would pass in his second term? Maybe not given that neither party wants it. But just the offer would help him and maybe a few other reps, too. Plus it helps push the program, he would be the first pres in a generation to propose it.

    2. neo-realist

      AZ, TX and FL might have something to say about Covid-19 deaths now. The virus is starting to hit those red states (and red state voters) hard where the Governors are like the cure is “Markets, Freedom”, even if it results in hospitalization and death.

      I do agree that if the GOP amps up the voter fraud and the dems don’t defend against in any serious way that it might make a difference for the incumbent.

      1. Arizona Slim

        This slender Arizonan just read — and I’m sorry, but I don’t recall the source — that our governor has a 23% approval rating. In short, Covid-19 isn’t helping Doug Ducey’s political career at all.

        1. The Rev Kev

          I am surprised that his rating is not even lower. From what I have been reading during this pandemic, Ducey has dropped a deuce.

    3. MT_Bill

      My family and friends are still in PA. Lot’s of Trump supporters. The one thing they are all proud of is lying to pollsters. Add in suburban Trumpers who can’t admit their vote socially.

      Would love to know what the polls are like if you factor in 1 in five Biden supporters being a closet Trump voter.

      1. km

        IIRC, the difference between pre-election poll numbers in MI, WI and PA and actual 2016 voting tallies was a couple of percent at most. May even have been within the margin of error.

        I’m willing to believe that there are Trump voters out there who won’t admit it to pollsters. But one in five Biden supporters? Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence and all that.

        1. ambrit

          I’ll jump in and observe that one of Trump’s core constituencies is comprised of the sort of people that pollsters do not ‘reach.’ (Are land line polls still the “gold standard?”)

          1. km

            There are people that pollsters don’t reach. There are people that lie to pollsters. Both groups exist now and they existed in 2016. Again, I would need some evidence to believe that there are enough such people in both groups as to make up for the staggering lead that Biden is showing in opinion polls.

            Further, the 2016 results weren’t actually that far off, percentage-wise, from the polls. This is an artifact of the winner-take all electoral system in force in most states.

            1. ambrit

              What surprised many of us about the Democrat party primaries was the ‘lead’ Biden was shown “to have” over Sanders in many places and groups. Considering the sordid machinations of the Obama clique that resulted in the “Super Tuesday Knight of the Long Knives,’ I was suspicious of the Biden “lead” in the polls then and remain suspicious of the same phenomenon now.
              On Super Tuesday, Biden “won” due to machine politics at it’s “best.” Whoever “wins” this November will probably owe his victory to the same old skullduggery.

        2. Briny

          I’d look back at the deviations from “hot button” social issue propositions to give a rather infamous set of examples such as California’s Proposition 86 or anti-gay marriage. People do lie to pollsters, extravagently at times.

          1. hunkerdown

            Exactly. Why tell them the truth when all they’re going to do is try to manipulate us away from power? Sabotaging their OODA loop by feeding them garbage is almost a public duty, my only reservation being that fabricating election results out of whole cloth would now be trivial rather than just easy. Lie to the PMC every day like your life depends on it, because it does.

        3. edmondo

          All I read is how Biden is 15 points ahead nationally but the biggest margin he has in any state is 7 points. I guess California will vote for him by 5 to 1 and Trump will eke out a victory the way he did the last time.


          I always lie to the pollsters whenever they call.

          1. polecat

            I honestly don’t care who gets to sit on on the Ironbutt Throne come January. We’re all f#cked no matter the whiner …

        4. neo-realist

          The thing is, a lot of people in the swing states who sat on their hands in 2016 may regret doing so having seen what a horror show Trump is and may get out and vote for what they perceive to be harm reduction in Biden, assuming their places on the voter rolls haven’t been eradicated by republican state government.

    4. hunkerdown

      An informed electorate: People realize the Democrat Party is a right-wing scam with a different marketing language than the other scam, and vote Green instead in sufficient numbers to deprive the entitled aristocrat of his place.

      1. John k

        Wait… the reps say straight up what they believe and want. It’s the dems that have to pretend they support the deplorable in some way… granted, not in any meaningful way. ‘We feel your pain; now that we said that, you owe us your vote. Let’s have another meaningful chat next election.’

    5. Procopius

      @dcblogger: re evictions/foreclosure, you need a street address to vote in most places, I think. If you’re homeless… The DNC coesn’t seem worried, though.

  10. flora

    re:“Rep. Joe Kennedy calls out Sen. Ed Markey for ignoring Massachusetts towns that don’t even exist” [The Week]

    lol! Thanks for that.

    1. flora

      re:UPDATE “Hand Counts Vs. Machine Counts in the 2020 Democratic primaries” [Dale Tavris, Medium].

      Thanks for this link, too. Hand marked ballots, counted by hand, in public. Now where have I heard this before? ;)

      (When msm got rid of exit polling I figured the fix was in.)

    2. Lou Anton

      Unlike my opponent, I’ve sold monorails all over this fine state, in places like Brockway, Ogdenville, and North Haverbrook!

          1. ambrit

            Given the meretricious nature of politicos everywhere, I’d say that we are the recipients of bad natured raillery.
            The other day, someone linked to a video of Gomez Addams playing with his toy train set. Now that was railery!

    3. John

      Rep. JK III: Man of the people.Looking after you even after you cease to exist. He can’t wait? He’s that entitled?

  11. GreenVoter

    On a day the Democrats abandoned Medicare for All (not that they were ever for it) it’s worth pointing out that there’s a ranked choice election for the Senate in Maine and we have a M4A progressive running as a Green:

    US Senate Candidate Savage Launches Policy-Focused Webinar Series on “The Way Forward”

    Series description: Independent Green candidate for U.S. Senate Lisa Savage is convening a series of policy-focused webinars this summer, “The Way Forward,” that bring together policy and subject-matter experts from Maine and around the country to have substantive discussions about solving some of our country’s most difficult policy issues, with opportunity for questions and discussion.

    Part 3: Join former Green congressional candidate and universal healthcare advocate Dr. Margaret Flowers, Maine AllCare’s Dr. Bill Clark, and recovery and harm reduction advocate Glenn Simpson, in the 3rd of our “The Way Forward” series of webinars, moderated by Lisa Savage, candidate for U.S. Senate. “Improved Medicare for All: Universal Single-Payer Health Care,” will explore the failing “health insurance system” and the growing demand for a health care system that puts people over profit.


    1. HotFlash

      Not in Maine, not US citizen, only an observeer, but hot damn, “Candidate Savage” is a pretty cool handle.

  12. CanChemist

    Speaking of aerosols, and strange risk factors…Tall people are at higher risk of catching covid-19:

    “Survey suggests aerosol is significant form of COVID-19 transmission”

    “Early results from a survey of 2000 people in the UK and US has suggested that the COVID-19 transmitted through aerosol transmission is materially significant.

    The survey analysed by a team of data scientists in the UK, Norway and the US is one of the first to examine a wide range of personal and work-related predictors of transmission.

    Taking both samples together, being tall more than doubled the probability of having a COVID 19 medical diagnosis or positive test for people over 6ft.

    The data in both countries, argue the researchers, could suggest that aerosol transmission is very likely, with taller individuals at higher risk – something that would not be expected if transmission was exclusively through droplets.

    And that, they say, something that would not have been observed if downward droplet transmission was the only transmission mechanism.”

    Not sure exactly why being tall was such a risk factor, but tall people have other susceptibilities (e.g. collapsed lung) so perhaps this is a reflection of that. As for aerosols… not surprised.

    1. fresno dan

      July 28, 2020 at 3:09 pm

      Taking both samples together, being tall more than doubled the probability of having a COVID 19 medical diagnosis or positive test for people over 6ft.

      From this morning links:
      July 28, 2020 at 11:20 am
      Thanks for Wired on schools. This seems to sum it up.

      But the question of how likely children are to spread it to teachers, staff and other students still hasn’t been settled. One large new study from South Korea found children under the age of 10 appear to not transmit the virus very well. While it’s not exactly clear why, the pediatric infectious disease experts contacted by WIRED say that it’s perhaps because young children expel less air that contains the virus and are shorter, so any potential respiratory droplets are less likely to reach adults. A study published in April by researchers at the Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston suggests that younger kids haven’t developed the molecular keys that the virus exploits to enter the body and wreak havoc on the respiratory system, microscopic structures known as ACE2 receptors.
      Height as a variable with regard to transmission and susceptibility. Shortness as an advantage.
      Huzzahs to the short!!!
      Hmmm…..I am going to have to disavow Randy Newman:
      I suggest the song be rewritten as “tall people”

      1. Late Introvert

        Short People Rule

        We live longer, use less resources and can’t get away with being jerks (as easily). But we also make less money and if you’re a man face a mating penalty.

        1. The Rev Kev

          A mating penalty? That is only because some women, like some men, forget that all people are the same height – laying down.

    2. caucus99percenter

      People in the Netherlands are the tallest on an absolute scale. If it’s the aerosols and not genetic predisposition, then absolute tallness wouldn’t show a correlation and tallness relative to one’s own local population (surrogate for circle of personal contacts) would.


  13. Another Scott

    I’ve largely refrained from commenting on the Massachusetts senate primary. It’s a month away and I have no clue who I’ll be voting for. What I find most troubling though is people from both inside and outside the state trying to make the claim that Markey is some progressive champion. This is a man who spent his entire career championing deregulation of the energy and telecommunications industry. Does anyone on the left think that these were good things? He’s also on the right of the Democratic party on foreign policy having supported the war in Iraq and the Patriot Act. I’ve seen a lot of outside money supporting him but can’t find out who is spending it.
    Despite all of this, I’m not sure I can vote for his opponent, who has little going for him other than is name and who might be worse on the issues. There is ample room to run to Markey’s left on economic and foreign policy issues. How hard is it to say, “if it weren’t for Ed Markey your cell phone and cable bills would be half what they are”?

    1. Jason Boxman

      Did he? I only moved here recently; I know Sunrise is all in on Markey, supposedly for his stance on climate. They were recruiting people to go to the state convention for him or some such.

      1. Another Scott

        Here’s an article from the 2013 Senate election about the impact of the Telecommunications Bill, which I think is over friendly to the act.


        It’s hard to find coverage on his long-standing support for energy regulations, but he proposed H.R. 1960: Electric Power Competition and Consumer Choice Act of 1997. The purpose of which was, “To modernize the Public Utility Holding Company Act of 1935, the Federal Power Act, the Fair Packaging and Labeling Act, and the Public Utility Regulatory Policies Act of 1978 to promote competition in the electric power industry, and for other purposes.” The explanation includes neoliberal buzzwords.

        But then again, the same outside groups that supported Pressley 2 years ago despite her 2016 stances against a $15 an hour minimum wage and Medicare for All, and support for wars in Syria and Libya say Markey is a progressive.

          1. Bernalkid

            One of curiosities of the day was that the pizza guy, who was challenging umbrella man while breaking the windows, is later seen walking away with box under arm seemingly having a friendly chat with umbrella man. Reeks of some sort of choreography between the two.

            1. Foy

              If the other videos are listened to when they were walking away together the pizza guy kept saying accusing the other guy of breaking windows. He was following him making sure other people knew what the had done and continually asking him was he an undercover cop. It looks like pizza guy was staying just far enough away so the guy didn’t turn around and whack him and also in a way that wasn’t aggressive – it seemed he was smiling/laughing because he was so incredulous that they guy had the balls to do what he did and walk away calmly like he did.

              1. Aumua

                That was pretty much how I interpreted the video. I guess others have tried to look at it from another angle.

    1. Aumua

      It’s not implausible. You’re saying because the info is coming from the police department that it’s suspect? Maybe, but these guys (actual white supremacists) do hang out all day online talking about race war and how to make it happen. I’ve spent enough time there to know this is exactly the kind of idea they like to toss around, to make the opposition look bad and stir things up. The Hell’s Angels thing sounds a little hokey, but who knows?

  14. Jason Boxman

    An election? Ha. The trick this year is convincing the American public that the outcomes have any legitimacy at all. And that might be the trick of the century, even more than rapidly delivering a vaccine. (For SARS-COV-2, not elite stupidity.)

    Between a failing postal service, Republicans delegitimizing vote by mail, Democrats delegitimizing, well, any Republican electoral success at all, electronic voting, limited polling places, limited polling workers, outright voter suppression by Republicans; and the risk and fear of getting killed voting in person.

    Well, that’s gonna be a trick. Or maybe it doesn’t matter? Half of Americans don’t vote, so a large part of the population might not see any legitimacy to our political system anyway. And life is progressing just fine for our elite. This house of cards has an amazing staying power.

    1. WobblyTelomeres

      Limited polling workers. Harrumph. I worked the recent Republican runoff election here in Alabama. We had been told that we poll workers, largely older, retired, volunteers, would be protected. Being larger, I was given the job of checking for face masks at the door. Just beside the signs that read, “No mask, no vote”. Even had a bag of Made in China single use masks to pass out for anyone that was without.

      Hours after the polls opened, our greasy quisling Sec. of State had his staffers calling all the precincts saying we could not enforce the rule. The proper response was to walk, but I stayed. There were a lot of people angry when offered a mask. Even a few in scrubs. Sigh. “Got a Chinese mask here for you if you want one. The state, meaning you, paid for it!” I enjoyed that a bit.

      After voting, an elector gets a little “I voted!” sticker for their shirt. I wasn’t wearing said sticker, which an acquaintance noticed and commented on. Didn’t miss a beat, thank you, “Leon Trotsky wasn’t on the ballot.”

      Next day I called in, saying I wasn’t working any more elections without a vaccine.

      1. John

        Is running in circles and shouting, “The election will be chaotic. The election will be chaotic.” supposed to be helpful? Why not do something? greatly exp[and the number of polling places instead of closing them. Hire, yeah pay, and train people to run the polling places. Start checking the machines now and keep checking them. Have sample ballots printed in the newspapers, shown on TV, on websites. Point out the most common errors. Collect and sort mail in ballots at the post office where they are deposited as they will most likely belong to local electoral districts. Get more voting machines. Use paper ballots in addition to machines. Hire larger halls. The schools are likely to be closed; use the gymnasiums. If you really want people to vote and you really an orderly honest election there is a great deal that can be done in the next three months … if you really want turnout and order and honesty and frankly party pols, I do not think that is your goal: how would you control the outcome? There might be an outbreak of honest to god democratic politics.

        1. Dr. John Carpenter

          Why not do something?

          This has been my frustration with politics in general for ages. Our selected leaders are more than capable of whipping up hysteria over whatever issue but when it comes to actually doing anything about it, they act like they have no power. (And I do understand there are limits to what specific positions can do, but I guarantee the lowest ranked among them has more power than you or I. Doing anything is better than doing nothing except acting completely powerless.Besides, Obama used this strategy and I’m supposed to believe the president is a powerless, reactionary position? Give me a break!) They no more care about “election chaos” than they do anything else or we’d see actual fighting and not “fighting for”.

  15. ProNewerDeal

    I am incredibly frustrated that the US Power Elite of Billionaires, Fortune500 CXOs, & the Fed politrickians they own refuse to copy the solution to mitigate the health & economic effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, shown by both the rich OECD nations & the communist nations like Cuba & Vietnam. Even the prior fugazi status nations like Italy/Spain are down to 0.08% Estimated Currently Infected compared the US 2nd-worst-in-world-just-behind-Panama 1.91% per covid19-projects dot com.

    Instituting a US-nationwide 6-8 week lockdown with a Andrew Yang-style temporary UBI of $2K/month to all adults, with the USPO dropping off a N95 mask 5-pk at every residential address would get us on the path to Canada/Italy/etc. Add better rapid testing & say optional free isolation for mild & asymptomatic tested positive patients who live with others to protect their noninfected household.

    These proven policies from other nations would seem to benefit the Power Elite. The sum of Q3-Q4 profits of their companies would be better than the current status quo. Sacrifice 8 wks for a better overall 26 wks. The Fed politrickians incumbents would have a better chance of winning their Nov elections. The Fed Gov expenditures over the 8 weeks would eventually be offset, perhaps by 1 year later at most, by a less-crappy economy.

    The health vs economic False Dichotomy has been shown to be obviously bogus. Crush Currently Infected to 0.10% (Canada is at 0.05%) & both health & economy will be better off.

    I do not understand the Power Elite here to recognize what seems obvious enlightened self-interest. For example, South Korea is allowing back fans at baseball games, presumably wearing masks. The NFL Billionaire owners could have prevented losing a major percentage of their revenues (30%?) had such policies had been implemented & the US was at Canada’s Currently Infected levels by September.

    Anyways it is incredibly frustrating to see the failure to implement the proven obvious solutions that could greatly limit such health, economic, & social interaction suffering of us USians. I do not see “light at the end of the tunnel” as when Currently Infected declines to even 0.30% in the US & each state.

    1. hunkerdown

      > The sum of Q3-Q4 profits of their companies would be better than the current status quo.

      For elites, it’s not about maximization, except in a casual, friendly, sporting sense. It’s about *non-elites* not having *enough*. The relationship of dependency and servility is the point. The money is just to keep it safely out of the commoner’s hands. That patter for the help is class-denialist propaganda.

      > recognize what seems obvious enlightened self-interest

      Class interest. Elites will sacrifice themselves and each other to preserve and reproduce the elite class and the popularly perceived necessity for one. I reformulate Marx’s conception of human history as the struggle of those who do not wish to be parasitized by a self-superior gang vs. those who have developed a means of parasitizing the bulk of humanity through millions of person-years of research and practice in the art of manipulation.

      1. JBird4049

        The insertion of a more robust tax write-off for business lunch and travel expenses in the Time of COVID while simultaneously reducing unemployment benefits is just gold, isn’t?

  16. Pat

    So Spectrum is seeking permission to cap data. There’s a shocker.

    (My bet is their throttling has gotten too obvious.)

  17. LawnDart

    Hand Counts Vs. Machine Counts…

    Two charts for your consideration:

    This is coming from another direction than the Medium article (this info gathered and presented by arch-conservatives: and yes, I am aware that their mission may be construed as voter suppression, but if their numbers are valid this could be useful information, even if perhaps not used in the way that the authors intended):

    more registered voters than live adults……244 counties exceeding 100% voter registration, another 279 counties across 31 states exhibit implausibly high registration rates of 95 to 99 percent.


    I think that these would be the prefered states and go-to counties for use of electronic voting machines, as far as election-fraud goes, if I were the one (one of the ones) whose task it was to cook the books: you can risk a lot more slop in your numbers without concern for raising undue suspicion, and adding votes would be a lot less tasking (and expensive) than old school, Tammany Hall, get-out-the-vote tactics.

    I’d like to further compare the PI Legal chart to the following which was published by Pew Research, but at a glance there does seem to be quite a bit of overlap between the “more registered voters than live adults” and the means of tabulating ballots.


      1. urblintz

        The familiar garbling of speech, deer-in-headlights botox stare… he was defensive about his record and seemed a bit frightened. In fairness, I think he was trying to convey sympathy…

        no wonder it didn’t work.

        1. NotTimothyGeithner

          seemed a bit frightened.

          One does wonder if Bankruptcy Biden is starting to recognize the Presidency is an actual job. Trump is an obvious joke, but it would be remiss to not note Obama’s own embrace of the fun aspects of the job. Sandy and Ebola were jokes compared to the current array of crises. As for the 2008 crisis, Shrub did some heavy lifting, and Obama more or less Bernanke and Summers make decisions which resulted in millions of foreclosures. The resulting flow of wealth to the >0.1% was insane and set us up for long term dangers too.

          The other issue that really sticks out with Biden is Obama did use a number of cudgels against lefty criticism to silence the left. But what exactly is Biden going to rely on? The black women he intended to hide behind are all being labeled as cops, because thats who he is going to pick, but I suspect he isn’t getting the feedback he had hoped.

          Does anyone remember Biden’s promise to moonshot cancer?

          1. hunkerdown

            Biden dropped trou and presented to the noonday sky. Job done. (A little astronomy/astrology joke. I leave to others the jokes about right ascension and declination.)

            1. The Rev Kev

              No sure what his declination is but I am pretty sure what I know his inclinations are.

        2. ObjectiveFunction

          So DC technocratic careerist (read ‘Swamp creature’) Susan Rice would become the first major party Pres/VP nominee never to have held elected office since… Eisenhower?

          And the first non Senator/ Governor since…. Geraldine Ferraro?

          Rice is probably an easier sell than the visibly fake and supercilious Kamaleon. But she’s also a double-down bet that the American electorate wants the DC Blob hive-mind back in charge! Hmm.

          And if this ticket does happen to ‘win’, we could well see a 2022 GOP populist / nationalist / states rights extreme makeover of Congress that makes the 1994 Gingrich sweep seem like a tickle. (All in the midst of a long overdue depression that’s unfolding no matter who wins).

    1. edmondo

      No offense to Bernie – but if he thinks getting masks to everyone is the biggest problem out there, then Bernie’s is more deluded as I thought he was.

      1. hunkerdown

        There are two counter-arguments that come immediately to mind: There’s something to be said for not rousting the atrophied limbs of public provisioning from years abed directly to a kickboxing match before one can definitely stand on them. And, there’s something to be said for unbusting the trusts to get public goods delivered (see also FDR). I mean, he can be doing his thing, which is mildly distasteful but offers interesting directions, and we can keep doing our thing.

        This round of FDR, though, we sabotage, shun, and ruin the market authoritarians utterly and completely, and keep them from ever having a good day again. Absolutely 100% make it personal. They want to be a product, they can deal with having no words said to them but expletive-laden 1-star reviews and threats to be boycotted. (I think some of them could legitimately be driven to suicide if they can’t get their dopamine fix of market participation, so don’t go that far, natch.)

      2. Oh

        Everyday I hear him making statements to sound like he’s a champion of the people (whom he let down badly). Most of his initiates never get passed. That’s been his MO all along since he joined Congress. He plays good cop for the Democrats.

  18. clarky90

    Jawb 2 is to be lean, vitamin D infused, athletically fit, happy and supple, if we are exposed to this lurgy.

    It is OUR responsibility to find our particular, “healthy state of being.” The medical system (imo) is not there to save us, but rather, to sell us expensive “sh$t sandwiches”.

  19. anon in so cal

    >Another scary aspect of Covid-19 is that some people and companies hide their positive status. This is occurring mainly for economic reasons: people don’t get sick leave, are afraid of losing their jobs; companies can’t afford to shut down.

    “S & S Foods in Azusa had a total of 58 employees test positive for the virus, Mission Foods Corp. in Commerce had 40 who tested positive, and Golden State Foods Corp. in the City of Industry had 43 employees with the virus.

    Golden State Foods Corp. is one of the largest and longest-serving suppliers to McDonald’s, and Mission Foods is one of the most popular tortilla makers in the U.S.

    “They have significant outbreaks amongst their employees [and] we were not notified, as we’re required to be notified, once they had their three cases,” Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer said during a Monday news conference. “Our inspector asked them to make some modifications to really enhance their infection control protocols at all three sites”

    Garment factories, meatpacking plants and food processing centers in the county have recently experienced some of the worst coronavirus outbreaks. Workplaces, food and retail stores and educational settings in L.A. County have to report outbreaks to the health department after they’ve had at least three people test positive for the virus.

    As of Monday, 245 such locations were listed on the department’s site for having at least three cases, with the largest outbreaks reported at the Smithfield meat packing plant in Vernon, with 220 cases, and at Los Angeles Apparel with 384 cases. Los Angeles Apparel had also been ordered to close its South L.A. garment factory June 27 after four employees died of COVID-19 and inspectors found “flagrant violations” of COVID-19 guidelines….”


  20. epynonymous

    I have a new theory on covid transmission. After the New York debacle, all the high transmission states are *hot* – We thought that ‘summer heat’ would kill the virus, but maybe what it’s doing is reducing mask usage.

    Wearing a mask in the heat is a pain, and despite being very clear on this whole thing, loved ones still fail to wear (and wear properly) their masks. Rather than focus on some other narrative, let’s just focus on the heat.

    It’s understandable and human to hate wearing masks in such heat. Maybe we can (through messaging) reset the mask debate as not party vs. party but somehow through that lens and say – in effect – you have a second chance to start wearing masks now as things cool off.

    Not mentioned : china and the US, daniel ellsburg’s new book isn’t groundbreaking except as an autobiography, and vorgon poetry.


    1. shtove

      My understanding is the increased humidity that comes with heat should reduce the rate of respiratory transmission – I haven’t heard a good explanation.

        1. shtove

          That seems to be the physics of droplets, in which case the sustained or elevated rate of transmission must be down to aerosols and/or something else – perhaps fecal contamination. I’m still in the William Goldman corner.

    2. epynonymous

      I may have been a bit rough on Ellsburg, but my re-watch of the west wing seems to recall the simplistic world-view of British romantic novelists circa 1860-1890.

      1. epynonymous

        Yes, but you’re thinking rationally. I’m worried for the rest of us.

        I think the seat belt comparison is universally apt. “You could learn alot from a dummy.”

      1. epynonymous

        Nah, they all just wear masks.

        I’m tempted to blame Americans for just being insane, but there are street-people all over Asia too, though I ain’t judging.

        Targeted biological weapons were first mentioned in pop culture in the Japanese game Metal Gear Solid from 1998. Two years later, Bill Clinton passed a law law dictating employers and insurers couldn’t discriminate against people on the basis of their genes.

        Must have watched Gattaca.

        Honestly, I had intentionally forgotten about the rest of the world. I’ve got my hands full trying to figure out the domestics.

  21. anon in so cal

    >Anyone following the controversy over the ChainSmokers’ concert in Water Mill, NY (greater Hamptons)?

    “People Who Attended The Massive Chainsmokers “Drive-In” Concert Swear It Was Safe And Worthwhile
    Still, people online are both appalled and ridiculing attendees who “risked corona…….for the……..Chainsmokers.”


    Cuomo condemned the concert as illegal and reckless and will investigate.

    1. JWP

      Only illegal until he realizes his donor’s kids were in the audience. And then it magically disappears from his office and the news.

    2. FreeMarketApologist

      And the article doesn’t include my favorite fact: The opening set was DJ ‘D-Sol’, the stage name of David Solomon, the CEO of Goldman Sachs. (

  22. The Rev Kev

    “A Front-Row Seat for the Arctic’s Final Summers With Ice”

    If this keeps up. they may have to re-purpose all those ice-breaker that they have. No ice! Only thing is that as the ice retreats, the area is heating up geopolitically as different countries go in to exploit the resources there. We may end up with a situation of how the Arctic region becomes the new middle-east in the second-half of the 21st century. But without all the sand and history that is.

    Buried in this article is mention of a doomed English expedition to this region back in the 1550s. Only one ship survived and the other two suffered all sorts of ill luck to the point that you think that they must have been cursed. The crews died so the Russians tried to return the ships to England but even then that bad luck was still running as both ships sunk during a storm off Norway-


    1. Lambert Strether Post author

      I’m thinking I don’t have time to listen to 24 minutes of YouTube from a “coach, speaker, thought partner” and (in that order) “astrophysicist.” I can imagine the claim. What’s the backing?

  23. allan

    Raytheon sheds 8,000 aerospace jobs amid collapse in air travel [Seattle Times]

    Raytheon Technologies has slashed roughly 8,000 jobs in its commercial aviation businesses as the maker of jet engines and airliner systems contends with the travel collapse caused by the coronavirus pandemic…

    Almost three months after the merger of Raytheon and United Technologies, the company is a tale of two businesses with the defense operations providing a much needed cushion. The Pentagon has accelerated billions of dollars in payments to contractors to help mitigate the impact of the pandemic. …

    Oddly, no Heritage or AEI economists have criticized accelerated payments to defense contractors for
    undermining the companies’ executives’ motivation to work.

  24. Otto

    Lambert, I do not understand where you are coming from. One can take cynicism too far. The radical doubt of everything leaves nothing, no beliefs, no facts, and no reality. You say – “Fauci ramping Gilead like a penny stock over remdesivir might also be considered a process issue. However, I think the cases are different. Fauci degraded trust (as he also did with his Noble Lie on masks) which makes the entire system dysfunctional.”

    So trump is fine? Republicans are fine? Only socialists who have accomplished nothing? Trump appeared with a witch doctor today. She explained, CV19 is from evil spirits visiting us in our sleep. And alien dna. The elites as usual are protected and the rest of are going to die. Just like the feeling I get lately reading ‘Water Cooler’. I can handle you point of view but the comments are not reality based. There are positive things happening in the world. Humanity has only ever gotten by the skin if it’s teeth. Now is no different. The Marines and the Jesuit’s have many sayings, the one I like is ‘get it done or be found dead trying’. And what I mean is that water always wears down the rock.

    1. HotFlash

      I do not understand your comment in the context, but I have to observe, while ‘water always wears down the rock’, it takes a long, long time. We may not have that luxury.

      BTW, I live in a country where socialists have accomplished a lot in a century or so. Americans do not believe that anything is real beyond their border. Nyah nyah, we have free healthcare for everyone! Honk!!!

    2. Lambert Strether Post author

      > So trump is fine? Republicans are fine? … Trump appeared with a witch doctor today.

      No, I don’t love Trump fss. That doesn’t mean he “appeared” with her, because he didn’t. Making shit up is also against site policy.

  25. Otto

    The task of the individual, then, is to have faith, which is the opposite of despair: “in relating to itself and in wanting to be itself, the self is grounded transparently in the power that established it.”

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