2:00PM Water Cooler 8/10/2020

By Lambert Strether of Corrente.

Patient readers, more on Politics shortly. –lambert UPDATE All done!

#COVID19

At reader request, I’ve added this daily chart from 91-DIVOC. The data is the Johns Hopkins CSSE data. Here is the site. Here are the bottom five of the top ten problem states: Tennessee, North Carolina, Alabama, Louisiana, and Illinois, with Georgia for comparison:

And here are the United States regions:

Data: “Covid Cases Go Undercounted With Muddy Data From U.S. States” [Bloomberg]. • Just a mess, and going on for months. And oddly, we never heard a thing about it from the CDC, whether in the crisis, or before the crisis hit (which would have been the time to have handled it).

CA: “California to towns defying the COVID-19 shutdown: No cash for you” [Los Angeles Times]. “With just 12 confirmed cases, the City Council in mid-May declared Atwater a “sanctuary city” for business, allowing all businesses to reopen in defiance of California’s shutdown orders.” • Hilarious to see “sanctuary city” repurposed. More: “Unless Atwater scraps its sanctuary city resolution, the state will withhold up to $387,428 for which the city is eligible because it is violating state public health rules, the Governor’s Office of Emergency Services told city leaders late last month. The tussle comes as COVID-19 cases have exploded in Merced County. The county had 5,012 confirmed cases as of Friday. On June 6, it had just 343 cases. Atwater had 831 confirmed cases as of Friday. On June 6, it had confirmed 32 cases…. Among the facilities in Merced County with an active COVID-19 outbreak is the Walmart Supercenter in Atwater, according to the county.” • Yikes.

Politics

“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. August 10: Still no changes.


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!

2020

Biden (D)(1): “Willie Brown: Kamala Harris should ‘politely decline’ any offer to be Biden’s running mate” [The Hill]. “Brown suggested Harris could be more effective, and better positioned for an ongoing political career, as U.S. attorney general. ‘Given the department’s current disarray under William Barr, just showing up and being halfway sane will make the new AG a hero,’ he wrote. ‘Best of all, being attorney general would give Harris enough distance from the White House to still be a viable candidate for the top slot in 2024 or 2028, no matter what the state of the nation.'” • Oof. I wonder who told Brown to give the word to Harris? Brown speaking: “I could not love thee (Dear) so much,. Lov’d I not Honour Barack more.”

Biden (D)(2): “Millions Spent to Target Elusive Obama-to-Trump Voters in Pennsylvania” [Bloomberg]. “Super PACs are pouring millions of dollars into advertising to target white, rural and working class voters who swung from Barack Obama in 2012 to Donald Trump in 2016, a bloc that is critical to winning the White House this year. Nowhere is this more evident than in Pennsylvania, which so-called Obama-Trump voters narrowly turned red in 2016. More than $11.4 million in ads have been booked to run there in August, more than in any other state.” • Lol, we’ve been told for four years that these voters are essentially racist. Now, apparently, a PAC that’s clever about advertising can flip them.

Biden (D)(3): The Democrat National Convention is going to be a fun-filled barrel of laughs:

Biden (D)(4): “The Democratic Party Platform Needs a Pandemic Plank” [The Nation]. “Absent a new and far more effective mobilization, both medical and social, on current evidence the pandemic will not recede. It will instead wreak havoc on American life for years. Given the lingering effects of the disease on many who recover, the costs in health, as well as lives lost, will multiply.” To be fair, the authors are indicting the Biden-Sanders Unity Task Force report, not Biden only. That said: “The countries that are failing—right now including Brazil, Russia, India, and the United States—are those with governments that do not command widespread trust. This problem is compounded by the toxic role of politics and public image-making, so that the appearance of success counts more than success itself, and illusions of reopening and recovery count more than facts. This breakdown can be repaired only by dramatic, radical public action, mobilizing the whole population—effectively, for the duration—as a matter of survival, such as seen on only three occasions in US history: in 1861, at the start of the Civil War; in 1933, at the launch of the New Deal; and in 1941, at the start of World War II.” • Does anybody believe that a Biden administration will be able to do mobilize anything?

Sanders (D)(1): “Bernie’s revolution will outlive Bernie” [Ryan Cooper, The Week]. “Back in May, establishment reporters were writing obituaries for the left’s attempt to take over the Democratic Party…. Now it’s August and, with several more rounds of primaries gone past, a good time to take stock. Democratic socialists AOC and Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.) obliterated their primary challengers easily. Progressive Mondaire Jones won an open primary in New York, Jamaal Bowman defeated longtime incumbent and chair of the House Foreign Affairs Committee Rep. Eliot Engel (D-N.Y.), and Black Lives Matter activist Cori Bush ousted the moderate incumbent Rep. William Lacy Clay in St. Louis. Leftist candidates have also made strides at the state and local levels in New York, Texas, Pennsylvania, and elsewhere. It seems predictions of the left’s demise were somewhat premature. This year’s fight is not over — Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) has her own primary in a few days, among others — but it is clear that the movement Bernie Sanders helped build will outlast him.” • And this was written before Marquita Bradshaw’s victory in Tennessee, which nobody saw coming.

Trump (R)(1): “Trump antagonizes GOP megadonor Adelson in heated phone call” [Politico]. “The 87-year-old casino mogul had reached out to Trump to talk about the coronavirus relief bill and the economy. But then Trump brought the conversation around to the campaign and confronted Adelson about why he wasn’t doing more to bolster his reelection, according to three people with direct knowledge of the call. One of the people said it was apparent the president had no idea how much Adelson, who’s donated tens of millions of dollars to pro-Trump efforts over the years, had helped him. Adelson chose not to come back at Trump.”

* * *

“Trump, Biden tactical battle intensifies” [The Hill]. “President Trump’s campaign and the Republican National Committee (RNC) are undertaking an aggressive ground strategy by sending mask-wearing field staffers to knock on doors to counter Democrat Joe Biden’s onslaught of over-the-air advertisements…. Biden’s staffers are not knocking on doors, believing it’s unsafe and a turnoff for voters during the pandemic. Instead, the campaign is focused on ensuring Democrats vote by mail through a fast-growing phone and virtual outreach program they say reached more than 3.5 million people last week.”

“Progressives Score New Wins in Prosecutor Elections, Adding to the Movement’s Breadth” [The Appeal]. “Meet the civil rights attorney, the former public defender, and the Bernie Sanders-endorsed lawyer who are set to become prosecutors in Michigan, Arizona, and Colorado. ‘Maybe we do teach the liberal bastions how things can be done by these country bumpkins over here,’ said one. The circle of progressives elected to prosecutors’ offices on platforms of cutting incarceration will gain three new members come 2021, due to elections and related events over the past week. In Pima County (Tucson), Arizona, and Washtenaw County (Ann Arbor), Michigan, longtime chief prosecutors with punitive records retired this year, triggering competitive three-way Democratic primaries to replace them. And in both counties, the most progressive candidate prevailed on Tuesday. Although this only secures them the nomination, Laura Conover and Eli Savit are each set to win office in November since no one has filed to run against them.” • Interestingly, the same story from a different angle–

“Progressive Prosecutor Movement Makes Major Gains in Democratic Primaries” [The Intercept]. “The movement to oust hard-line prosecutors and replace them with committed reformers first broke out in Philadelphia, with the 2017 victory of radical criminal defense attorney Larry Krasner in the race for district attorney. Since then, the push has met with major successes, and several near-misses, particularly in Dallas, Texas, and Queens, New York. On Tuesday night, the movement realized a major step forward, with reformist prosecutors, including McDonald, winning Democratic primaries in counties covering at least 3 million people in four states.” • So Kamala Harris is a dinosaur….

RussiaGate

“Pelosi says election threats from Russia, China aren’t equal” [Associated Press]. “‘They’re not equivalent,’ said Pelosi, D-Calif. ‘Russia is actively 24/7 interfering in our election. They did so in 2016, and they are doing so now.’ She urged intelligence agencies to ‘put more information out there’ on the specific nature of the threats.” • I wish the intelligence community would stop interfering in our elections. Anyhow, especially given a long count after election day, things are shaping up as Godzilla (RussiaGate, Democrats) vs. Mothra (Vote-by-Mail, Republicans). Should be exciting.

Realignment and Legitimacy

People’s Convention:

“Meet the white, middle-class Pinterest moms who believe Plandemic” [Guardian]. “When a childhood friend, a stay-at-home mom with a flourishing Pinterest account, sent me a copy of Plandemic – a 26-minute viral video falsely claiming manipulated origins of the coronavirus and the medical dangers of vaccines – I realized that conspiracy sympathizers weren’t as fringe as I thought. My friend was the third person, along with a work colleague and neighbor who is a doctor, to recently jump into the conspiracy theory abyss. I often dismissed conspiracy adherents as delusional cult members. But this was different. I knew these women. They were bright and led full, busy lives. All three fit the same profile: college-educated, white women, middle class. All organic, health food advocates with aversions to mandatory child vaccinations…. Dismissing this conspiracy group, as we did with small signs of discontent and populist uprisings prior to the 2016 election, would be another egregious error. Exit polls indicate that 44% of white college graduates voted for Trump, 52% white women in general voted for Trump – nine points ahead of Hillary Clinton. It’s difficult to determine the exact impact this added anti-vaxxer and conspiracy theory groups will have on the election, but there is no doubt they are motivated. “Trump is our only hope in 2020,” anti-vaxxers and current Covid skeptics often post on Facebook.” • This thread may be germane:

“Don’t be surprised when adults do, too.”

“American fascism?” [El Pais]. “The United States, even under the Trump administration, is at this moment not a fascist regime. Though protestors on the street are facing violent retaliation from federal forces, one can criticize the ruling party and its leader without fear of repercussion. The courts, while stacked with extreme partisan Trump appointees, still operate relatively independently. The Congress of the United States is controlled by the opposition party. If we are thinking about regimes, the Trump administration does not preside over a fascist regime.” But: “However, it would be naïve to be concerned only about regimes that are already fascist. If we only ever worried about regimes that were fascist, we would be helpless in the face of social and political movements that sought eventually to transform liberal democracies in more fascist directions…. it is not the particular actions taken by the Trump administration, disturbing as they may be, that are the cause for the most alarm. It is rather that these actions are taking place in the context of a governing political party that has shown tremendous ruthlessness over a long period in the service of controlling a country in which it has minority support. And they are taking place in a country that has failed to dismantle the security apparatus it developed in a failed Middle Eastern imperialist adventure. This security apparatus was trained to locate foreign terrorists and gang members. It has been told for several years that all undocumented residents are terrorists and gang members. And now the president has instructed them to treat peaceful American protestors as terrorists. This moment is frightening not just because of current demons, but because the country has for too long allowed its prior demons to persist undisturbed.” • Note lack of agency in “has failed to dismantle.” Revenue bills originate in the House.

“Democratic mega-donor Ed Buck faces new felonies for overdose deaths” [New York Post]. “Buck, a former fixture of southern California Democratic politics, was arrested last year after a federal grand jury approved five charges related to the deaths. The Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office has a separate case alleging state crimes. Buck is accused of using his powerful connections to escape prior scrutiny. Critics note both men who died were poor and black.”

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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.

Employment Situation: “July 2020 Conference Board Employment Index Insignificantly Improves and Remains Deep In Contraction” [Econintersect]. “The Conference Board’s Employment Trends Index – which forecasts employment for the next 6 months recovered marginally again after the coronavirus crash with the authors saying ‘Despite increasing again, the ETI’s July results mark a small improvement compared to the gains made in May and June. The slowing momentum likely resulted from the diminishing impact of the reopening of the economy.’ [But] The bottom line is that I doubt you can forecast using traditional methods what employment will look like six months from today.”

Employment Situation: “June 2020 Headline JOLTS Job Openings Rate Improved But Remains In Contraction” [Econintersect]. “The unadjusted data this month remained well below average for the rate of growth seen in the last year. With this low average rate of growth, JOLTS is predicting lower employment growth than we have seen over the past year. Jolts predicted the slowing of employment growth. However, the pandemic effects will drive this data.”

* * *

Construction: “‘Horrible sequence of mistakes’: How bullet train contractors botched a bridge project” [Los Angeles Times]. Everything is like CalPERS:

A series of errors by contractors and consultants on the California bullet train venture caused support cables to fail on a massive bridge, triggering an order to stop work that further delayed a project already years behind schedule, the Los Angeles Times has learned.

Hundreds of pages of documents obtained by The Times under a public records request show the steel supports snapped as a result of neglect, work damage, miscommunications and possible design problems.

The problems on the Road 27 bridge reveal project management hitches that have dogged the bullet train for years. The California High-Speed Rail Authority has five separate layers of consultants and contractors on the bridge. Any one of them could have identified a long series of errors, but it appears no one did so.

Oh, and:

The bridge is part of Gov. Gavin Newsom’s plan for a 171-mile, $20.4-billion bullet train operation from Merced to Bakersfield.

Stories like this fill me with rage and despair. China built a 10,000km high-speed rail network in ten years. We can’t even build 171 miles of high speed rail from [family blogging] Merced to [family blogging] Bakersfield. We can’t even build a bridge that doesn’t collapse. Same deal on the other Coast: We can’t build a new tunnel under the Hudson for the Northeast Corridor when we know the existing tunnel is going to fail. Good thing there aren’t similar problems with all that expensive weaponry we’ve sold ourselves and our “allies.”

* * *

Today’s Fear & Greed Index: 75 Extreme Greed (previous close: 72 Greed) [CNN]. One week ago: 67 (Greed). (0 is Extreme Fear; 100 is Extreme Greed). Last updated Aug 7 at 12:00pm. Greed now extreme. Remarkable.

Rapture Index: Closes up one on Earthquakes. “The largest quake since 1916 hits North Carolina” [Rapture Ready]. Record High, October 10, 2016: 189. Current: 182. (Remember that bringing on the rapture is a good thing.)

The Biosphere

“Why deforestation and extinctions make pandemics more likely” [Nature]. “But a key question over the past decade has been whether the decline in biodiversity that inevitably accompanies human expansion on the rural frontier increases the pool of pathogens that can make the jump from animals to humans. Work by Jones and others6 suggests that the answer in many cases is yes, because a loss in biodiversity usually results in a few species replacing many — and these species tend to be the ones hosting pathogens that can spread to humans…. [Ibrahima Socé Fall, an epidemiologist and head of emergency operations at the World Health Organization in Geneva, Switzerland] says the key is to align efforts by government and international agencies focused on public health, animal health, the environment and sustainable development. The latest Ebola outbreak in the DRC, which began in 2018 and ended last month, had its roots not just in disease but also in deforestation, mining, political instability and the movement of people. The goal must be to focus resources on the riskiest areas and manage interactions between people and animals, both wild and domestic, Fall says.”

Health Care

“The Great Covid-19 Versus Flu Comparison Revisited” [Bloomberg]. “After much back and forth in the early months of the Covid-19 pandemic, a consensus is emerging that the overall risk of dying for those infected with the disease — at least so far, in a population with an age distribution roughly similar to that of the U.S. or Europe — is about 6 or 7 in 1,000. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention upwardly revised its “best estimate” of the fatality rate in July to 0.65% from 0.26%. An occasionally updated “meta-analysis” by Australian researchers Gideon Meyerowitz-Katz and Lea Merone of all relevant studies on the disease has it at 0.68%. This isn’t much below the approximately 1% estimated in a Feb. 10 study by the Covid-19 disease-modeling group at Imperial College London, which was adopted as a provisional consensus by many in the epidemiology and public health communities. [We can] conservatively calculate an infection fatality rate of 0.065% — exactly one-tenth what the CDC currently estimates for Covid-19.” • The full article is really good and worth a read (and it’s not quite as cut-and-dried as my excerpts suggest. See, for example, the four (4) methods of figuring the “infection fatality rate to influenza.”

“Statistical dark arts endanger democracy — and life” [Nature]. “Yet there are missed opportunities. Most importantly, the referencing is below par. The authors assert that, to verify a claim, one must “dig to the source”. Why, then, does Calling Bullshit not use citation footnotes? Instead, it presents a chapter-specific alphabetized literature list and the unappealing prospect of guessing which references are relevant to what. A claim such as “Most people think they’re pretty good at spotting bullshit” might not be supported by any empirical research; it is difficult to tell (I could find no references for it in the list). Neither is there a figure listing. So how can we evaluate a graph suggesting that, around 2001, television channels Fox News and CNN had roughly similar ideological orientations — could this be balderdash? In that case, the source paper is listed at the back of the book, but I wonder how many will dig for it.”

“Your Old Radiator Is a Pandemic-Fighting Weapon” [Bloomberg]. “The Spanish Influenza, which caused just over 20,000 deaths in New York City alone, “changed heating once and for all.” That’s according to Dan Holohan, a retired writer, consultant, and researcher with extensive knowledge of heating systems and steam heating. (Among his many tomes on the topic: The Lost Art of Steam Heating, from 1992.) Most radiator systems appeared in major American cities like New York City in the first third of the 20th century. This golden age of steam heat didn’t merely coincide with that pandemic: Beliefs about how to fight airborne illness influenced the design of heating systems, and created a persistent pain point for those who’ve cohabitated with a cranky old radiator. …. According to Holohan’s research, the Board of Health in New York City ordered that windows should remain open to provide ventilation, even in cold weather. In response, engineers began devising heating systems with this extreme use case in mind. Steam heating and radiators were designed to heat buildings on the coldest day of the year with all the windows open. Anybody who’s thrown their windows open in January, when their apartment is stifling, is, in an odd way, replicating what engineers hoped would happen a century ago.” • Amazing! My “This Old House” is steam-heated and I love the engineering’s ruggedness and simplicity; once you get steam properly tuned, it works great. I bought Holohan’s book to understand my system, and I highly recommend it.

“Statement from Yale Faculty on Hydroxychloroquine and its Use in COVID-19” [Medium]. • A statement against Harvey Risch’s defense of Hydroxychloroquine here. I think Risch’s central claim is this: “I myself know of two doctors who have saved the lives of hundreds of patients with these medications, but are now fighting state medical boards to save their licenses and reputations.” If this claim is correct, at some point the data will be produced. I am with Tricia Greenhalgh: “In a complex system, the question driving scientific inquiry is not ‘what is the effect size and is it statistically significant once other variables have been controlled for?’ but ‘does this intervention contribute, along with other factors, to a desirable outcome?'”

“Antiviral activity of green tea and black tea polyphenols in prophylaxis and treatment of COVID-19: A review” [Phytomedicine]. From the conclusion: “This review summarizes the available reports and evidences which support the use of tea polyphenols as potential candidates in prophylaxis and treatment of COVID-19.” • Worth noting that Asian, South Asian, and Southeast Asian countries tend to drink more tea than Western Countries — though I suppose the UK drinks a lot of tea, too (though not green tea. Black tea?).

* * *

Police State Watch

Learning from Hong Kong:

Without graffitti and street art, this exhibit doesn’t really look like the Portland Protests on the ground. There, I have an aesthetic reaction, and its negative. That probably says more about me than anything else. I did not, however, have such a reaction with any of the Occupy movements.

Games

When I had my first Mac I got hooked for three days some sort of early Tetris variant. It was clear I would never get anything done if I kept on with computer games, so I swore off them. Thread:

Remember when you could actually own software? Anyhow, lots of history on this thread!

Feral Hog Watch

About the boar that stole the nude guy’s laptop the other day:

Who said that Art History degree was worthless?

Black Injustice Tipping Point

“Black Americans Now Account for the Highest Increase in Gun Sales of Any Demographic” [Black Enterprise]. “Overall, gun sales have been surging across the United States. According to The Brookings Institution, nearly 3 million firearms had been purchased since March when the public health crisis caused the shut down of major cities across the U.S….. ‘The highest overall firearm sales increase comes from Black men and women, who show a 58.2% increase in purchases during the first six months of 2020 versus the same period last year,’ wrote Jim Curcuruto, National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF) director of Research and Market Development, in his report according to AOL News. ‘Bottom line is that there has never been a sustained surge in firearm sales quite like what we are in the midst of.'” • I bet a bipartisan consensus for gun control will shortly emerge…

Guillotine Watch

Marie Antoinette would love it:

“Passports for purchase: How the elite get through a pandemic” [CNN]. “For most people, the coronavirus pandemic has meant fewer travel options. Not so for super-rich families who are increasingly using their money to cross borders that would otherwise be closed to them. This is the elite world of investment migration, where passport applications are based not on nationality or citizenship, but on wealth and the willingness to move it around the planet. These so-called citizen-by-investment programs, or CIPs, are currently a growth industry, as are residence-by-investment arrangements, also known as ‘golden visas.’ They’re a way for ultra-rich individuals to not only diversify their portfolio by moving their money into a country, but also receive the benefits of citizenship, including a new passport. Over the past five to 10 years, the primary motivations amongst CIP participants — who tend to have a net worth of anywhere from $2 million to over $50 million — have been freedom of movement, tax benefits and lifestyle factors, such as better education or civil liberties. But with Covid-19 dramatically transforming our 2020, some elite families are also considering healthcare, pandemic responses and potential safe havens to ensure they have a backup plan for the future.” • When, oh when, will there be a Mr. Lee’s Greater Hong Kong, so the likes of me can just buy a passport?

Class Warfare

Massive takedown. Thread:

News of the Wired

“Can Bullet Journaling Save You?” [The New Yorker]. • Bullet journaling seems sort of like scrapbooking for professionals to me, but maybe I’m being too harsh. Do any NC readers keep a bullet journal?

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Readers, feel free to contact me at lambert [UNDERSCORE] strether [DOT] corrente [AT] yahoo [DOT] com, with (a) links, and even better (b) sources I should curate regularly, (c) how to send me a check if you are allergic to PayPal, and (d) to find out how to send me images of plants. Vegetables are fine! Fungi and coral are deemed to be honorary plants! If you want your handle to appear as a credit, please place it at the start of your mail in parentheses: (thus). Otherwise, I will anonymize by using your initials. See the previous Water Cooler (with plant) here. Today’s plant (AC):

AC writes: “Some saguaros outside Tucson, AZ (the saguaros were shot with an infrared filter which turns their green surfaces white…).” Onward and upward!” My mentor, NC commenter the late Isolato was quite taken with infrared.

Regarding Kinnucan’s millet the other day, 1 SK via email:

Kinnucan:

You got lucky to plant MILLET. It is a great grain nutritionally and healthwise.

You can EAT IT instead of rice or wheat flour products in everything like bread, pancake Pasta, cereals cookie etc. It has more fiber which is in the entire grain (not only on the surface) and is helpful with diabetes prevention and also naturally facilitates elimination.

It is not just for the birds and has been consumed for centuries in Asian countries, like India. Plant requires lot less water to grow.

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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.

162 comments

    1. DJG

      And the Turkish (and southern European) beverage, boza, which is only about 1 percent alcohol. Tasty with cinnamon, plus added leblebi, which are toasted chickpeas.

      Reply
  1. TMoney

    Called the Doc’s office for my test results. They had them (!) and informed me someone in the system had MAILED the results for my Covid19 test – despite having a valid phone number and telling me they would call when they had the results. Brilliant thinking there. The person answering my call was unable (or unwilling) to tell me the date the results arrived in their system.

    Test was negative (Horay!) . Regular pandemic life can now resume.

    Final update will be with the post mark and the date the letter arrives.

    One friend who was tested around the same time is also still waiting for results, so this is not exceptional in NW Ohio.

    Reply
    1. RWood

      Excelsior!

      Even as Sauron sets free the womblats:

      an aggressive ground strategy by sending mask-wearing field staffers to knock on doors to counter Democrat Joe Biden’s onslaught of over-the-air advertisements

      to spread the faith

      Reply
  2. zagonostra

    >Huawei, Tik-Tok and WeChat

    Where is Apple’s income derived from, I don’t know anyone who has bought an iphone in the last year? I’ve always used a cheaper Android phone (ZTE for past year and very happy with it at 1/10 cost).

    Trump’s problems with Huawei are twofold. The most obvious is that China is eating America’s lunch when it comes to innovation and invention…

    Tik-Tok is nothing of consequence, except that it is in direct competition with similar American platforms and has proven too popular and too competitive to be permitted to survive. This is just a cheap, below-the-belt and illegal-as-hell shot at China. No threat, no nothing. However, as with all similar IT products and platforms it contains much personal information especially useful for marketing, which has so far been the private property of people like Google, Facebook and Twitter…

    [T]he CIA and NSA cannot very well approach WeChat and ask for automatic sharing of all that personal relationship data. Therefore, under the guise of China being untrustworthy, the US government simply bans WeChat and thus no one in the US can send or receive any message without the NSA having a copy. A huge plus is that any news not fitting the official narrative will then be strangled at birth, as Google, Facebook and Twitter are now doing.

    https://www.unz.com/lromanoff/huawei-tik-tok-and-wechat/

    Reply
    1. John

      This reminds me that our industrial policy and economic planning consist entirely of punishment sanctions applied to those who displease our political/economic commissars and are the default competitive method of the meritocrats. The economy is simply a tool for punishing the littles and unqualified. No planning to figure out how to use the economy to improve life for all. Because markets. Ignorance, cruelty and punishment. The American way since slaves and witches.

      Reply
    2. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

      But but but meantime the Democratic Coup Conspirators CIA insists that WeChat does not send messages directly to the CCP.

      Why would the Defenders of Democracy say such a thing unless it was true? (Apparently the vaunted men in trench coats forgot to mention that *every* WeChat bank transfer now clears through the People’s Bank of China).

      I for one cannot wait until they finish re-installing The Biden, things used to be so much simpler. Step 1: We send all the money over there; Step 2: Kumbaya, We’re Number 1, etc.

      Reply
      1. Lost in OR

        I saw what may be my first Biden bumper sticker today.
        It actually read “By Don”.
        Not exactly an endorsement.

        Reply
    3. The Rev Kev

      All this is doing Facebook a favour. Facebook has made a knock-off copy of Tik Tok that they call “Reels” but the data from this little app will go to Langley so it is cool with Trump.

      Reply
  3. Toshiro_Mifune

    Without revealing your age, what’s something you remember in gaming that if you told a younger person they wouldn’t understand?

    Entering BASIC from the back of Byte to play whatever game they were publishing that month only to discover that line 469 had a PEEK error and you would have to wait until at least next month to them to publish the correct PEEK statement….
    This also got me interested in what PEEK statements were and how they worked…. this eventually led to a career in computers… I may never forgive Byte Magazine. And that almost certainly revealed my age

    Reply
    1. lyman alpha blob

      On a less technical note, how about going to an arcade and being able to play for hours on one quarter once you got good at a particular game?

      Or how about playing a game that had a point and that you could win or at least improve your score? This, in contract to the games I see my kid play where you wander around in some virtual environment indefinitely, performing the same handful of virtual feats over and over again to no apparent purpose, with the added bonus of being able to chat with complete strangers who pretend to be 12 year old girls.

      Reply
      1. Wukchumni

        Circa 1974 the local Texaco station decided to put a couple of pinball machines in the little store inside and we’d have to ride our bikes a mile to go play, and we soon discovered that one of them named Duotron, would rack up points if you rapped the left hand side about halfway up, so we’d play normal for 4 balls and if we needed a boost all you needed to do was gently tap it and the points would accumulate followed by the sweet sound of a replay.

        The owner of the gas station thought we were honest to gawd pinball wizards, he had no idea.

        Reply
      2. temporal

        Back in college I did a few arcade games pretty regular.

        Battlezone would after a time (less than an hour or so) just give up and go back to slow mode.

        Donkey Kong would just keep getting harder until it finally got your quarter.

        My first home computer was a Commodore 64.

        Reply
        1. Janie

          The boys would bike to the corner market to play Donkey Kong. A few years ago on a family outing, one spotted an old-time arcade with Donkey Kong. It was fun to watch them, for the first 30 minutes lol.

          Reply
      3. BobW

        Tank, had vector graphics, was my favorite game. Hide behind hill when loud missile came, you could sometimes shoot one down. Ran apt based stereo repair shop using Commodore 64, daisy wheel was LOUD.

        Reply
      4. steve

        A Donky Kong located in a corner convenience store in a Midwest town of 1350 official residents made in excess of $600 a week for four weeks when it would be moved to another location for one week then brought back to again rake in $600 or more per week. It maintained this popularity for more than a year after which it began to fade, to finally settle at around $50 a week two years in. The very same game was still in operation as a shop game until about 2015 when the CRT gave out and there was no one left to take an interest.

        Reply
    2. farragut

      My two sons (17 & 15) are both huge fans of video games (ie, Fortnite, Call of Duty, etc.). Recently, I was describing my fascination with computer games in my high school & college years.

      An ASCII-based Star Trek game which had been loaded onto our high school’s mainframe in Canal Zone, Panama (circa 1975).
      https://www.theregister.com/2013/05/03/antique_code_show_star_trek/

      And, a few years later, an ASCII-based game called ‘Moria’ (based on the Rogue game concept) I played all through grad school (circa 1987) on my Mac Plus.
      http://www.roguebasin.com/index.php?title=Moria

      I showed them working versions and asked them what they thought. They were… unimpressed.

      Reply
      1. Toshiro_Mifune

        I remember that Trek game very very well. My Dad worked for AT&T and they would have it on the WYSE terminals for the kids to play during the Christmas office party at 32 Sixth Ave.

        Reply
      2. rowlf

        A high school friend showed me the Star Trek game one day after school on his father’s home office teletype. After seeing about twenty feet of paper on the floor I thought it was kinda dumb.

        Reply
      1. Kurtismayfield

        The video from that era.. hysterical.

        I loved the wing commander and Command and conquer videos as well.

        Reply
        1. Riverboat Grambler

          I’ve never actually played a C&C game but I am obliged to post this clip of Tim Curry giving one of the best line readings in gaming history.

          https://youtu.be/g1Sq1Nr58hM

          I don’t know what makes me happier, his stifled laughter before delivering the line like a champ or the fact that the developers were cool enough to go with that take for the final game.

          Reply
            1. NotTimothyGeithner

              I’m in the opendev for a 4x game.

              Civ II fixed and improved upon Civ, and it was a great background game for years at school and work. Whenever I got bored, it was time to keep pressing next turn.

              Reply
            2. Drake

              The only all-nighter I’ve ever pulled in my life was a game of Civ2. It was not planned. I played until I noticed some strange light filling the room, strangely resembling sunlight. I’m trying to figure out the nuances of Civ6 now, decades later. No all-nighters but a few all-dayers so far.

              I first got hooked on a friend’s Apple II in high school. We were addicted to M.U.L.E and Eastern Front. My first PC was an early IBM model, an XT I think. I remember playing stuff like Castle Wolfenstein on it. Made me literally motion-sick for days until I got used to it. I remember games that actually required multiple floppies, OMG! Though I was an arcade quarter-feeder long before than. Ah, Zaxxon on the Wildwood boardwalk.

              Sounds sad, but the many of the most intense moments I’ve had in life were playing games. And still reliably even now.

              Reply
    3. Dr. John Carpenter

      I had to explain loading programs from audio cassettes to someone who is both a gamer and works in IT. I completely blew his mind. (He did know what audio cassettes were. He was old enough to have had those in the house growing up.)

      Reply
      1. WobblyTelomeres

        Luxury!

        Confession: I remember fishing through the trashcan at 2am in the UNM lab in Albuquerque for passwords from students who had logged in on a teletype. Would use up their minutes playing games, and find another. I’m certain I was hated.

        Reply
        1. MichaelSF

          I put off a lot of my computer lab assignments and may have seen you there at that 2AM time if it was at the end of a semester circa 1972ish. Ohh, the agony of going to the batch window after a hour or two wait to pick up the printout to find that a control card or two had gotten shuffled into the wrong order, bringing everything to a halt, and making me no closer to having that Fortran program finished.

          Reply
          1. WobblyTelomeres

            Walking around campus guarding a box of punch cards as if my life depended on it, yeah, I remember those days. Was very happy when the personal computer came out.

            Reply
          2. Oh

            Ever submit a stack of punch cards to a mainframe and wait for your results only to find a small two page output with errors – divide check, division by zero several time until the machine timed out? Famous on fortran compilers on an IBM 370.

            Reply
        1. Dr. John Carpenter

          Thank you for that. There was a similar article I read about underground computer clubs in the USSR where people were building their own with parts that were deemed “defective” and would be retrieved by people in the know. It was really fascinating. I’ve also read about arcades in Soviet bloc countries and that was pretty amazing too. And I just saw a great YouTube video about the Dendy, which was Russia’s version of the Nintendo.

          I’m kind of into 70s and 80s Soviet computer stuff.

          Reply
    4. Barbara

      My favorite Byte cover (sometime in the late 70s, early 80s)showed a man sitting in front of his desktop computer with the glass screen busted and smoke rising. His hand to his mouth, a thought cloud rose above his head: . . . that never happened before. . .

      Reply
    5. Jason Boxman

      It must be somewhat comical to see old paradigms reemerge. From mainframe to beefy standalone workstations to thin clients and the Internet to virtual machines, to containers, to Function-as-a-Service. So we’re right back to running jobs on basically a mainframe, again.

      Reply
    6. Pavel

      Around 1978 playing “Adventure” (?name) in a CLI at a Stanford Univ network… “You find yourself in…”

      Good and simpler times.

      Reply
      1. pricklyone

        The version on cassette for TI 99-4a was simply called “Adventure”. Frustrated me nearly to death. There were many variants, all derived from those early experiments at various uni tech centers.
        I had a Byte subscription in the 70’s, but no computer until much later. Did get to tour the local bank computer center in the late 60’s, but never had access until I bought my own.
        Cleaned out 20-30 issues of Byte long ago, and no one wanted. Wish I had kept them, maybe could have sold on ebay, or something

        Reply
    7. Mike Atwood

      I once spent all night playing Asteroids at MIT on a million-dollar DEC PDP-6 mainframe with a vector graphic display. So I am probably about the same age as you……

      Reply
  4. Wukchumni

    Underestimate the stupidity of the denizens of the CVBB @ your own risk. There’s more mouth breathers per capita here than just about anywhere else in the country.
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    Hilarious to see “sanctuary city” repurposed. More: “Unless Atwater scraps its sanctuary city resolution, the state will withhold up to $387,428 for which the city is eligible because it is violating state public health rules, the Governor’s Office of Emergency Services told city leaders late last month. The tussle comes as COVID-19 cases have exploded in Merced County. The county had 5,012 confirmed cases as of Friday. On June 6, it had just 343 cases.

    Reply
  5. Anonymous

    Stories like this fill me with rage and despair. China built a 10,000km high-speed rail network in ten years. We can’t even build 171 miles of high speed rail from [family blogging] Merced to [family blogging] Bakersfield. lambert

    Just shows we’re more advanced than the Chinese.

    Also reminds me of that cartoon (Bloom County?) where a lawyer was sent 1 million (?) years into the past and the resulting absolute desolation everywhere that replaced the present.

    Reply
    1. Off The Street

      Merced-to-Bakersfield, to fulfill some obligation(s) by Jerry Brown to local AssemblyGrifters, and doubtless others, to get those votes.

      Add in multiple layers of consultants, why you may ask?

      Obvious reason is because they effing can.
      Next, because there is a big, permanent public trough that Ol’ Moonbeam pushed through, so gotta keep those beaks wet.

      Nobody is responsible, there is no accountability, and you are stuck with the choice of continuing to fund a horrendous boondoggle of a pork barrel fiasco, or trying to close it down and still getting stuck with those phantom charges, late invoices, change orders, contributions and what-have-you.
      And, because vanishingly few associated with California public works projects have any competence in procurement, project management, civil engineering or related skills, so oversight is needed. Build in those layers of graft and corruption, then try to call in favors when needed.

      Reply
      1. IMOR

        Bullet train commission and hype, and the conlusion it had to start in Bakes, far antedate Jerry’s latter two terms.

        Reply
    2. Wukchumni

      Imagine if we went whole hog and attempted to build a rail line between the Chinatowns in LA & SF, instead of 2 places nobody really wants to go?

      Reply
      1. RMO

        I was wondering about that… Is there really a cohort of people out there with a pressing need to travel between Merced and Bakersfield by rail in about an hour? Reminds me of that movie “The Big Bus” a disaster spoof about a massive nuclear powered articulated bus and it’s initiation of non-stop New York to Denver service.

        I’m all for high speed rail in general (though we’re never going to see anything as stylish as a 0 series Shinkansen ever again) but finding usable city-pairs in North America doesn’t seem to be too easy. And of course we don’t seem to be able to actually, you know do anything right anymore.

        Reply
        1. NotTimothyGeithner

          Is there really a cohort of people out there with a pressing need to travel between Merced and Bakersfield by rail in about an hour?

          The question is about stops. And I’m generally dismissive of intercity developments when so many intracity developments go unnoticed by bourgeois types who went to Europe once and thought their trips between tourist areas was neat.

          -where is the existing infrastructure?
          -what is near the tracks? trackbeds? available trackbeds? Highspeed rail lines have wider gauges. The existing trackbeds aren’t sufficient. What is beyond the existing space? Infrastructure? Homes? The US hasn’t been bombed by a foreign power for more than a single day since 1812 and hasn’t had armies running around since 1865.
          -relocation. How many people are needed to start? How many railroad employees can afford Beverly Hills? You might find its harder to bring in skilled workers.
          -training and retraining. Presuming a successful operation to bring in a sufficient workforce to get a highspeed…well any major rail yard up and running, how do you keep them up to date or bring in replacements as time goes on? I know in Virginia the quality of community colleges is considered when discussing rail improvements.

          To a certain extent, if you build it, they will come, SO, the question really is what is the intent of any major transit project? To get cars off the road or make it so Nancy Pelosi can threaten her driver with taking the train to go shopping. I feel like the failure of mass transit projects is no one ever gets around to this and we build random highways in the absence of clear ideas.

          I don’t know much about the region. Would highspeed lines between this Merced to Bakersfield region reduce congestion and get people and businesses not to look to the overcrowded coastal cities but develop the inland? Or does it fall under “I’ve been to Europe…”

          Reply
    3. Ranger Rick

      I always assume major public works projects in California are scams until proven otherwise. It’s such a common assumption it’s actually made it into the plot of more than a few books, movies and video games.

      Reply
    4. JBird4049

      >>>Does anybody believe that a Biden administration will be able to do mobilize anything?

      Just for my peace of mind, I assume that is a rhetorical question? It’s not like we built the Golden Gate Bridge or anything like it.

      Maybe I should walk across it again before it disappears, like Atlantis, into the Golden Gate itself. Maybe, we too will become another pseudo history by a future Socrates after the Steel Age Collapse.

      Reply
    5. The Rev Kev

      Unbelievable this when you remember that Americans were renowned once for building big projects whether it was the trans-continental railway, the Brooklyn Bridge or Hoover Dam. Now the only engineering expertise remaining is build massive bases/cities in foreign countries. I suspect that like in Oz, the expertise in doing so has been lost to a large degree.

      Reply
  6. Sheldon

    “Brown suggested Harris could be more effective, and better positioned for an ongoing political career, as U.S. attorney general.”

    Here’s some examples of the Kamaflaged Republican’s “effectiveness:”

    Munuchin donated to Harris’ senatorial campaign after she failed to prosecute his OneWest Bank and it’s 36,000 foreclosures in California.

    https://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2011/11/matt-stoller-50-state-settlement-chatter-%e2%80%93-65-million-of-fundraising-and-the-kamala-harris-network.html

    She’s part of the “resistance”?
    Harris’ brother in law, Tony West, is chief council for Uber. Saudi Arabia is the major investor in UBER pre-IPO. Harris voted to send more weapons to Saudi Arabia and voted for Trump’s defense budget.

    Kamala Harris Takes Money From Jeffrey Epstein’s Law Firm:
    https://fortune.com/2019/07/15/kamala-harris-jeffrey-epstein-law-firm/

    Harris Senatorial ad:
    “I took on the banks! and the for profit colleges!”
    We know about Mnuchin’s bank.

    “Harris has aggressively probed for-profit colleges, but she has steered clear of Academy of Art University, a San Francisco-based for-profit that has had red flags about graduation rates raised in its accreditation process. Academy of Art President Elisa Stephens, a wealthy socialite, contributed more than $16,000 to Harris’ campaigns for district attorney and attorney general.”

    https://hyperallergic.com/493016/fraud-case-against-academy-of-art-university-in-san-francisco-will-proceed/

    Her early “ongoing political career”:
    “Aside from handing his mistress an expensive BMW, Brown appointed her to two patronage positions in state government that paid handsomely — more than $400,000 over five years. In 1994, she took a six-month leave of absence from her Alameda County [deputy DA] job to join the Unemployment Insurance Appeals Board. Brown then appointed her to the California Medical Assistance Commission, where she served until 1998, attending two meetings a month for a $99,000 annual salary.”

    https://www.sandiegouniontribune.com/opinion/commentary/sd-kamala-harris-criminal-justice-willie-brown-20190123-story.html

    Reply
    1. kate

      So Willie Brown is basically saying he expects the Biden administration to be an unexamined wreck, such that Harris’political ambitions would be better served by “distancing” herself from the White House. I see…..

      Reply
      1. drumlin woodchuckles

        And as AG, she would be able to immunize and impunify all the Black Hat FIRE sector perpetrators who come across her desk, just like Eric Holder did.

        She would earn the gratitude of a new generation of financial criminals who would contribute bigly to her Presidential Campaign when the time comes.

        Reply
        1. farragut

          After the Obama DOJ clown show of Holder, Breuer, et al, I’m afraid this is exactly the reason she would be asked to take the AG position, and — if she plays ball — she’s next in line as the Dem candidate for President.

          I’m reminded of this PBS interview with Lanny Breuer who, in a remarkable display of candor, shared his rationale on why neither he nor Holder prosecuted any banksters after the GFC.

          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FHWTsDPaCXk

          Reply
      2. Dr. John Carpenter

        That was how I read it. I can’t understand how anyone would want to be VP in his administration, unless their ambition stops at being an unelected president for a couple of years after Biden gets “the call” from Obama. That doesn’t strike me as Kamal’s goal.

        Reply
        1. Keith

          I think ambition may play a part, which is why I think Warren would be a very interesting pick. She seems to have no scruples and willing to do and say anything that suits her (worse than other pols). I suspect if she were picked, we could see a soft coup where Biden is shown the door on medical grounds. It would be very interesting.

          Reply
        2. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

          Jimmy Dore recently made some comments about how he has been to a wake before, and the customer had exactly the same hair and the exactly the same skin tone as The Biden. The chances he makes it all the way to Inauguration Day before making it to His Maker seem vanishingly small.

          Reply
        3. neo-realist

          Warren is objectionable to the Wall Street donor class, she won’t be selected.

          Biden has interviewed Governor Whitmer of Michigan for the VP slot. Would potentially be the safest pick of all and maybe the smartest from an electoral college standpoint: She has less baggage than the other prospects (Harris, Bass), less defined than the other prospects for potential republican attacks in the general. She has the gravitas and executive experience of having served as a Governor. Well spoken and photogenic. She gets MI in the electoral college bag for the Biden ticket, unlike Hillary in 2016, and possibly another midwest swing state or two, if the voter suppression isn’t all that bad.

          Reply
      3. km

        No, Willie Brown is basically giving Biden a pass on naming a black female as his running mate, in exchange for the right to name another member of a President Biden’s cabinet. Presumably also, other favors to be called in later.

        I forget which congressman it was who recently commented that he’d rather see a black woman on the Supreme Court than as VP. Same thing.

        Reply
  7. Pat

    Local politicians have now lined up to try to figure out why the delayed response in cleaning up the downed trees and wires, and the long power outages in the TriState area. Apparently there are going to be investigations in both NY and Connecticut. One local respresentative from Nassau is issuing warning to the utilities that the cost of this will NOT be passed on to the customers (ha!).

    And the number of residents without power in Connecticut is still upwards of 100,000 as per reports this morning.

    Reply
  8. Plague Species

    Soon enough we’ll have Feral Human Watch at this rate. Feral humans who have a taste for human flesh. Brought to you by Dow 50,000. The immiseration index by any other name. The higher it goes, the more immiseration there is.

    This country is seeking to be whole… stretching out its arms, and consuming all it can. And we merely follow.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N7-PNH0IDpg

    Reply
  9. John A

    the UK drinks a lot of tea, too (though not green tea. Black tea?).

    British people also put milk in their tea (strange habit) for some reason, which apparently negates the beneficial properties of these teas.

    Reply
    1. Synoia

      Hmm, I was told than putting milk into black tea made the Carcinogens into an insoluble colloid.

      I have no proof this is correct.

      I still prefer English tea to coffee.

      Reply
      1. Wukchumni

        The reason they put milk* into tea?

        Porcelain in the UK back in the day (circa 1700) would crack if it got too hot~

        * I always drink tea with milk, yum!

        Reply
    2. Janie

      Dislike coffee and rarely drank hot tea, until an English friend passed the milk and said, ” I do encourage you to try it”. Now it’s NC and English Breakfast with milk every morning.

      Reply
    3. c_heale

      Koreans traditionally drank teas made from fruits, leaves, and roots of other plants, however brown rice green tea is also popular here. They do grow some tea (it’s very expensive) but most comes from China. Having said that, I would say coffee is more popular here.

      Reply
      1. Jeff W

        “I would say coffee is more popular here.”

        The common story—that King Gojong [고종] was the first Korean to be introduced to coffee sometime during his year-long refuge at the Russian legation in Seoul starting in February, 1896, ushering in Korea’s “coffee culture”—turns out not to be true. Coffee was brewed at the royal palace several years before that and at least a few Koreans were drinking coffee a decade earlier. But probably the fact that coffee became part of the royal family breakfast did not hurt coffee’s popularity, which grew into the early 1920s.

        Reply
  10. fwe'zy

    Why do you say “lie scrapbooking for professionals”? That hurt me more than the comment under Links today about “shorter, fatter” being the opposite of progress/ cellular superiority/ whiteNess. My personal BuJo is sending emails or to-do lists to myself that also contain journal-like self-help notes. Maybe these are lies, maybe they are perspective, maybe they are the scales falling from mine eyes, maybe they are anchors. <3

    Reply
      1. John Anthony La Pietra

        And here was me thinking my bullet journal would be short and repetitive. “No bullets fired again today. . . .”

        Reply
    1. CanChemist

      I’ve seen that fairly frequently.

      An older article with some discussion points,

      https://theconversation.com/anti-vaccination-beliefs-dont-follow-the-usual-political-polarization-81001
      “Essentially, it doesn’t matter if you are conservative or liberal; the more political someone is, the more likely he or she is to think that vaccines are unsafe. Yet it is only the very conservative that are more likely to believe that vaccination should be a parent’s choice.
      When it comes to political affiliation, it appears that the social forces that shape Americans’ personal beliefs about vaccination safety are not the same as the social forces that shape their views of U.S. vaccination policy. ”

      I’ve heard that the Covid-19 CT is piggybacking/tracking the anti-vax CT.

      Reply
    2. grayslady

      I can’t say I’ve experienced knowing anyone who is a full-on anti-vaxxer, but a part of me understands where they are coming from. Two years ago, after faithfully taking flu shots for 20 years, I almost died from the flu shot. I suffered anaphylaxis within about 20 minutes of receiving the shot at the local pharmacy. Fortunately, my hospital’s regional emergency room is just a half mile away from my home. I realized pretty quickly following the shot that something was wrong, that it was happening fast, and that my best bet was to just drive over to the ER. I staggered in, barely able to breathe, and they saved my life. But part of what prevented me from driving over even sooner was that I’d been led to believe flu shots were safe. It took me several precious minutes to realize that what was happening was very serious indeed.

      I don’t know how many of you remember the early protocols for flu shots, but we used to line up at one of the local grocery stores on a particular day when the Visiting Nurse Association was in charge of administering shots. The whole experience was treated as an informal post-surgical recovery room routine. After the shot, each person received a small cup of orange juice and a cookie, and we were told to stay in the store for half an hour just in case of a reaction to the shot. The grocery store did its part to encourage us both to get the shot, and to stay around afterwards, by giving us a coupon for $5.00 off anything we wanted to buy. It was almost a social event, chatting with people in line, and you knew that a nurse was available should anything go wrong. So much for what used to replicate caring public health.

      We no longer know if our medical products are pure because we don’t even know where they are made. We’re confronted with national health officials who know we should be wearing masks but tell us not to wear them due to government procurement failures. We have, rightly, in my opinion, lost faith in our institutions and corporations, but every discussion of our failures seems to devolve into black or white positions. I’m not an anti-vaxxer, but I no longer believe that we are carrying out our vaccine programs safely. Pharmacies do not have the medical equipment or trained personnel to handle an emergency. If I had called 911 and waited for an EMT I’d be dead by now—that is how quickly anaphylaxis can occur.

      Every vaccination is actually a small scientific experiment, and in a scientific experiment there is only one variable and all other conditions are held constant. Receiving several vaccinations at once flies in the face of that procedure and makes it difficult to identify the source of the problem should a problem occur. Furthermore, no vaccine should be given as casually as we do today. I think there needs to be more space for people to address their safety concerns without fear of social reprisals.

      Reply
      1. JBird4049

        Yes. As our medicine is at greater risk of being dangerous, the establishment becomes even more insistent that they are. It is not all safe or dangerous though, but we have the extremists saying so, which reinforces the extremists on both sides.

        I have little faith that any approved vaccine for COVID will be safe or effective, yet vaccines have, and will continue to save millions of lives. So as I think about the next flu vaccine, I have both the lack of faith for the future’s medicine and with having faith in the past’s. Interesting.

        Reply
        1. RMO

          I would be interested in what the author of that article would have to say about the white, college educated moms that may be in her circle who believe that Russia hacked the election to put Trump in the White House as Putin’s puppet. Would that raise questions about those unsupported-by-evidence beliefs?

          Reply
      2. juliania

        Thank you, grayslady. Anaphylactic shock is not to be fooled with. I experienced it with an unrecognized allergy buildup to red ant bites over several years. Fortunately a friend’s young son got me to the hospital in time by hotwiring his Dad’s car, pretty sure he saved my life.

        Your points are well taken. I am sorry I haven’t commented on this subject earlier. I believe we were much safer back in the day than now. My own pediatrician had advised me to get my daughter’s infant shots at the local health clinic because it was free, until with one vaccination she said not to do that but to get it from her, because the health clinic vaccine had a preservative she did not consider safe. Doctors did that in those days; they looked after their patients.

        (And that hospital visit didn’t cost me an arm and a leg either, even though the chief resident was the one who diagnosed and treated my affliction. Those were the days.)

        Reply
  11. DJG

    From a comment on Marshall Steinbaum’s examination of the manifest defects of Uber and the column in WSJ by its shah-in-shah:

    Uber is not a viable business model. Foxes are.

    To paraphrase Archilochus:

    The fox knows many things, Uber knows nothing

    I also noticed that Khosrawshahi uses that poor abused word “binary.” Khosrawshahi appears to want to defend some Schrödinger’s Cat idea of employment–Uber’s drivers are employees only when he perceives them to be employees, which is almost never.

    Let’s retire binary and give it back to number theory and computer programming. In real life, there just aren’t all that many binaries, except maybe, “Pepsi or Coke?”

    Reply
    1. drumlin woodchuckles

      The Uber managers and elite are all getting paid and making money. So they know how to do that.
      And if they dump their pumped stock before its worthlessness becomes known to all and sundry, they will show they know how to do that too.

      Reply
    2. John Anthony La Pietra

      Personally, I prefer RC over both of those. And Faygo does a decent regional cola. And I remember visiting cousins in Toronto decades ago who had some sort of Italian cola with a pleasant double-dash of cinnamon; I wonder if that’s still around somewhere. . . .

      (Count on me to advocate for third-party alternatives.)

      Reply
  12. Krystyn Podgajski

    RE: “Antiviral activity of green tea and black tea polyphenols in prophylaxis and treatment of COVID-19: A review”

    When infected with the virus, T Cells will release TNFa. The Epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) in Green Tea inhibits NF-kB, which is stimulated by TNFa. So it slows the inflammatory process, specifically, the innate immune response. If you are overweight you naturally have a lot of TNFa because it is secreted by the adipose tissue.

    But I have a hard time with Green and Black Tea, and I think I have found it is because it inhibits DNA methylation (DNMT).

    Reply
    1. Jim Hannan

      I always used to get a little bit of nausea from green tea. A few years ago I tried the Japanese green tea sold at Costco under their own Kirkland brand, and I’ve not had any problems.

      Reply
      1. Sheldon

        The Fukushima radiation DNA damage won’t become apparent until a couple of generations of mutatated cells, probably 14 years.

        Friends don’t let friends eat food from Japan.

        Reply
  13. ddt

    Re: getting passport via investment, in Greece I believe it takes a meager 250-500k euro purchase of real estate to buy a European passport. There was a middle eastern racket that bought and sold the same property a number of times, using the same chunk of money (minus the title deed change costs etc) to get a bunch of folks a passport they then could then use to go where they liked in the EU. So much for bringing much needed funds in…

    Reply
  14. Wukchumni

    Now that the college football season is in backwardation, does the NFL follow suit?

    Just when long suffering Bills fans get a good QB, something like this happens, but we wouldn’t have it any other way…

    Reply
  15. h2odragon

    https://www.state.gov/5g-clean-network/

    There is so much to mock there.

    U.S. Department of State will begin requiring a Clean Path for all 5G network traffic entering and exiting U.S. diplomatic facilities.

    The 5G Clean Path is an end-to-end communication path that does not use any transmission, control, computing, or storage equipment from untrusted IT vendors, such as Huawei and ZTE,

    I get it, State wonks might not understand the technical details of networking and radios and terms like “BGP routing” or “multipath redundancy” etc scare them. They should find someone who does and run this shit by them, maybe not publish it until that person stops laughing long enough to suggest better wording.

    You want a clean path between points A and B? string unbroken fiber between them, and only count on it staying clean while you have people you trust watching it. Past that, plan to leak.

    Reply
  16. Another Scott

    I see headlines about “progressive” wins in primaries and wonder if the candidates really are progressive? Some seem genuine, while others common across as opportunists (remember Harris claiming that she was a progressive early in the primary?). And the issues emphasized lean more towards identity issues than more traditional leftist views on economic and foreign policy issues.
    It honestly takes hours of effort to track through all of the past statements by candidates so see when they adopted these positions and where their money comes from, and that’s just for the competitive races in Massachusetts. There’s no way that I can look at a random race in Tennessee or Texas and tell which candidate is more progressive although I can tell if the incumbent horrible (Engel). This is before they even get elected, will their positions change once the challengers become incumbents?

    Reply
    1. Left in Wisconsin

      Here in woke central (Madison WI), our state senate seat is open for the first time since 1962 (no lie). Local “progressives” have coalesced around candidacy of wealthy perma-candidate Kelda Roys, who ran (and lost) for Congress against Pocan (who now co-chairs progressive caucus) as a centrist but has since re-branded.

      My view is 1) if they don’t identify as socialist, they are not trustworthy and 2) if they do identify as socialist, more vetting is needed.

      The larger point, of course, is that as much as we need principled individuals to represent us, the idea that even a large number of good individuals, absent a shared (identifiable) political program, will be able to achieve anything more than tinkering around the edges is completely ludicrous.

      Reply
    2. Samuel Conner

      Anyone who is unwilling to make an unqualified full-throated endorsement of M4A is to my mind signaling loyalty to corporate masters. So that’s one simple filter.

      Of course, some of those who pass this test may be lying, but at least it’s a smaller sample to further inspect.

      Reply
    3. Dr. John Carpenter

      I can’t get excited either way until they’re in a position where they have to go against the Dem establishment to do the right thing. Until they have to make a decision that risks the ire of Nancy, Chuck, etc. we don’t really know if they’re progressive or fauxgressive.

      Reply
  17. marym

    ICE Is Making Sure Migrant Kids Don’t Have COVID-19 — Then Expelling Them to “Prevent the Spread” of COVID-19
    “The administration has used infection risk to justify expelling thousands of children without legal protections. But it’s only expelling kids who’ve tested negative.

    The Trump administration has argued that, because of the pandemic, it must circumvent protections built into immigration law for migrant children, which dictate they should be turned over to the Department of Health and Human Services (and ultimately to sponsors in the U.S.) and given a chance to seek asylum…Yet even after children test negative for the virus, they aren’t being allowed to access the usual protections.”

    https://www.propublica.org/article/ice-is-making-sure-migrant-kids-dont-have-covid-19-then-expelling-them-to-prevent-the-spread-of-covid-19

    Reply
  18. Stormcrow

    Very good overview of where the Biden campaign is headed.

    Biden’s blueprint for a right-wing presidency: Part one
    Patrick Martin’
    https://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2020/08/10/bide-a10.html

    This is an appropriate occasion to review the political program advanced by Biden, and rebut the incessant claims by the media that the Democratic nominee, and the party as a whole, have moved to the left and that there exist wide, even unbridgeable differences between the Democrats and Republicans on virtually every significant political issue. …

    But the effort to promote this process, both by Sanders himself and his pseudo-left apologists, has obscured a more fundamental feature of the emerging Biden campaign: its complete subordination to corporate America and to the demands of the military-intelligence apparatus. …

    In class terms, the Democratic Party does not seek to reduce the class wealth gap, the yawning social gulf between the multimillionaires and billionaires at the top of society and everybody else. It aims only to “close the racial wealth gap,” in other words, to bring a thin layer of blacks, Hispanics and women into the privileged upper class, where they can join in the exploitation of the entire working class, black, white, Hispanic and immigrant. …

    The whole thing is worth reading.

    Reply
  19. TBellT

    Glenn Greenwald has been doing a good take down of the hatchet job on the opponent to Congressman Neal.

    https://twitter.com/ggreenwald/status/1292846180813156354?s=20

    I do wonder if this story is going to have the opposite of the intended effect, this race wasn’t on my radar until I saw the tweets over the weekend and decided to send a donation. I was just so struck by how they can put out such a badly workshopped smear and expect it to work. Then again the Warren attack on Sanders was similarly shoddy and the campaign claims that it had a lasting impact.

    Me and my partner have been watching a sci-fi show were one of the characters gets stuck in the past and ends up marrying the mother of one of his friends from the original timeline (hence becoming his friend’s father). I joked that if I was one of these puritanical scolds I would be trying to figure out which of the two is the predator, the woman because her birthday is technically 33 years before the man or the man because he knows the future which creates a power imbalance.

    Reply
    1. allan

      Here is an thread on Twitter that places this in the context of `The Left’.

      It makes for interesting reading, but I think misses the point.
      This is a hit job on Morse not from the left but from the corporatist wing of the party,
      three weeks before the primary, to stem the momentum that has been building from
      Jamaal Bowman and Mondaire Jones’ victories in NY and Cori Bush’s in MO.
      The allegations certainly need to be investigated by UMass,
      and it might in fact turn out that Morse’s behavior was inappropriate,
      but it’s curious why, if they knew about this months ago,
      these College Democrat organizations (one of which has financial ties
      with Neal’s campaign), are only reporting Morse to UMass now.

      Reply
      1. TBellT

        The local Sunrise Movement also rescinded their endorsement, so I think there are some in “the left” that are enabling the establishment strategy here.

        The allegations are so vague that it’s hard for me to see this as anything as political. The most concrete claims (he friended someone on Instagram who didn’t really want to be friends) is so laughably pathetic. Maybe this person should be considered a child because they don’t know how to use a (family blog) block button.

        It’s also unclear what they would have considered the appropriate way to interact over hookup apps. Was he supposed to get a complete CV and plug it into excel to determine the power differential before messaging someone?

        Reply
        1. RMO

          Yet old Gropy Joe gets a pass on the ton of footage of him fondling young women who are visibly uncomfortable with his attentions… and a credible accusation of rape. Funny that.

          Reply
  20. allan

    The Postal Service is Not Ready for November [Democracy Docket]

    … We’re already seeing the negative impact of these agency-wide changes on states’ ability to administer vote by mail for the November election. In a July 31 letter to Washington Secretary of State Kim Wyman, USPS General Counsel Thomas Marshall warned of a “mismatch” between the state’s vote by mail deadlines and USPS “delivery standards” that could lead to some ballots not being counted on time. He goes on to say that USPS “cannot adjust its delivery standards to accommodate the requirements of state election laws.” This letter is an early warning that USPS has abdicated its responsibility to facilitate a free and fair election. Now, states face a logistical and financial crisis—how to provide vote by mail as
    a reliable option to voters without risking mass disenfranchisement. …

    There is plenty of bipartisan blame for the condition the USPS is in
    (I hope all those fiscally responsible reinventing government Dems are proud of themselves)
    but that doesn’t mean this isn’t a real, game-over constitutional crisis.

    Reply
    1. Jason Boxman

      And the Biden campaign is clearly going all-in on vote by mail. It’s going to be a disaster election that might make 2000 look benign by comparison. The Supreme Court ultimately appointing the next president might be the least dark scenario to contemplate. But what of state and local races?

      Reply
    2. JBird4049

      Just because the postal system was explicitly authorized by the Constitution…(Article I, Section 8, Clause 7)

      They must want a war, really.

      Reply
    1. JWP

      Refusal to admit error is a function of the system. Can’t see a world where error is admitted by anyone in power, let alone their talking heads.

      Reply
    2. Mike H

      Poor old Matt. All the related tweets shown at that link are from a veritable rogue’s gallery of the most odious “Conservatives” on the platform. None one of them are discussing the Steele dossier. Does that mean Twitter now thinks Tiabbi has “gone to the dark side”?

      Reply
      1. Left in Wisconsin

        Interesting question you ask about the Twitter algorithm: given that any Taibbi post gets lots of replies from both defenders and dark-side accusers, it would be really interesting to know which ones show up in one’s feed, and how much (if at all) it differs from person to person.

        Reply
  21. Gregorio

    “Unless Atwater scraps its sanctuary city resolution, the state will withhold up to $387,428″
    Atwater is also the site of a Federal Prison with over 1500 inmates.

    Reply
  22. Pelham

    Re the absence of a Dem pandemic plank, Biden’s inability to inspire anyone, and the tweet from the woman who told kids her shark stories:

    Sure, big lies can inspire. But not because they’re lies. Because they’re big. The left either fails to come up with big ideas or when it does (the Green New Deal, for example) the idea tends to be pulled down by the firmly attached presence of a thousand Lilliputian woke ideas (defund the police, math is a form of white patriarchal oppression, etc.).

    FDR was unburdened by such matters (meritorious or not), allowing him to plow ahead with the real New Deal.

    Reply
    1. taunger

      Defund the police is hardly a Lilliputian woke idea. Police and prison abolition was a long-standing left project a generation before woke and privilege we’re political terms.

      Reply
  23. George Phillies

    “… They were bright…college-educated…organic, health food advocates with aversions to mandatory child vaccination…”

    Data do not compute. (thus dating myself a bit).

    Reply
  24. marym

    Biden’s campaign website has a lengthy pandemic plan. Oddly (/s) it doesn’t include M4. (It also doesn’t seem to include a scroll bar, but maybe that’s just some glitch in my browser.)

    The party platform is just generic:

    “a selection of issues from our 2016 platform — our most progressive platform in our party’s history”

    in case anyone hadn’t noticed all the remarkable progressiveness (/s). Happily (/s) it includes a public option.

    Do candidates still pretend to support their supposed campaign proposals after the party platform is adopted, or do they just switch to pretending to support the platform?

    https://joebiden.com/covid19/
    https://democrats.org/where-we-stand/the-issues/

    Reply
  25. Lost in OR

    Meet the white, middle-class Pinterest moms who believe Plandemic” Guardian

    I realized that conspiracy sympathizers weren’t as fringe as I thought

    So true. Some of them even write for major international newspapers.

    A memorized quote from a keynote speaker at a long ago conference…
    “If you’re not a part of the lunatic fringe, you’re falling behind”.

    Reply
  26. jr

    I’ve got an online gaming story that I bet almost no one else does. See, I played online pre-internet. My mother worked for the DoD when I was say 7 or 8. One day she brought home a teletypewriter and showed me how the phone connected to it. Then she let me play a game called, IIRC, “Dungeon Quest” a text only turn based adventure game in the order of “Go left door” and “Pick up sword.” This was on DARPA net I believe…

    Reply
    1. Lost in OR

      jr, you don’t date your experience.

      In the 70’s I played an “adventure game” (adven?) where you were allowed 5 characters to make you’re move. Very similar to what you describe. An awesome game that depended on memory and imagination.

      Reply
      1. jr

        I’m sorry, yes so it had to be ’78 or ’79 I think, I read a bit on ARPANET in Wiki and the Net wasn’t in widespread use in the government then but it’s probable that my mother had early access to the tech. She was a kind of “super secretary” for high level civilian and military authorities and had a very high security clearance. I remember her being extremely proud to show me the teletypewriter and how it worked.

        Reply
  27. noonespecial

    Environment

    NC links and comments have, and assume will continue to, shed light on the issue of air pollution and respiratory disease, especially in urban areas. But the current brains at the EPA just didn’t get the memo.

    *sarc alert* Maybe we can look forward to the day when we can splurge like Mel Brooks’ character as leader of some galaxy in “Spaceballs” and open up a can of air (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=etY7kbRRQ_c)

    Via Forbes, related to methane (the WSJ published the story, but paywalled):
    1. Proposed rule changes, which will be reportedly finalized this week after proposals were announced in 2018 and 2019, will apply to wells drilled since 2016 and “remove the largest pipelines, storage sites and other parts of the transmission system from EPA oversight of smog and greenhouse-gas emissions,” the Journal reports, rescinding requirements for energy producers to have systems to detect methane leaks and reducing the frequency for checks for leaks of other pollutants.

    2. While small and midsize oil and gas producers favor rescinding the rules, the rule change is opposed by large energy giants like Exxon Mobil, BP and Royal Dutch Shell, who say it will undermine their claims that their natural gas is a “cleaner” fossil fuel.

    https://www.forbes.com/sites/alisondurkee/2020/08/10/epa-reportedly-set-to-rescind-obama-era-methane-rules-as-white-house-speeds-environmental-rollbacks-ahead-of-election/#7701e83d43fb

    Reply
    1. Massinissa

      That might help alleviate some of the warming problem, at least…

      Might not be worth the human cost though… I can’t even begin to contemplate the consequences of an event like that.

      Reply
  28. VietnamVet

    Willie Brown’s 86 years are showing (also Nancy Pelosi’s 80 years). Being Attorney General in the Joe Biden Presidency will tar Kamala Harris too. She should stay California’s second Senator. William Barr will be forever associated with the Donald Trump disaster.

    The US Government has failed its most basic purpose of protecting American lives. The US no longer can build anything safely, profit (corruption) takes priority. The pandemic is not going away. It is now too widespread and too transmissible.

    This is explicit in the Emma and James Galbraith’s The Nation article, if skipped, because of the misleading headline. The rich at the very best will get twice yearly booster shots but poor little people will die early without food, housing and medical care. The economy will only rebound once the pandemic is controlled. “This breakdown can be repaired only by dramatic, radical public action, mobilizing the whole population—effectively, for the duration—as a matter of survival, such as seen on only three occasions in US history: in 1861, at the start of the Civil War; in 1933, at the launch of the New Deal; and in 1941, at the start of World War II.” There is no other option than rebuilding the national public health system, daily testing and containing the virus. If not, America’s future is bloody revolts and dismemberment.

    Reply
  29. flora

    For every complaint I have against the Dem estab , plenty of GOP voters have almost the exact same complaint against the GOP estab. This para could be written about the Dems, too, imo.

    From The American Conservative:

    The conservative favorite Lord Acton famously quipped that power corrupts, but as the self-described Marxist Slavoj Žižek is fond of pointing out, powerlessness corrupts, too. One effect of conservatives’ waning economic and social power has been a retreat into their own self-referential identity groups and subcultures—bizarre little cults ranging from Straussians to Burkeans to the various branches of “Austrian economics.” Conservatives applaud themselves for this apparent devotion to “ideas,” but it’s actually just an effect—and a cause—of their irrelevance with respect to matters of practical importance and almost total intellectual incoherence. Despite this obsession with theoretical inquiry, however, conservatives have been nearly banished from the academy, prestige media, and cultural institutions. The leading “conservative thinkers” of the last 20 years have influenced hardly anyone beyond the next generation of downwardly mobile graduate students.

    https://www.theamericanconservative.com/articles/conservatism-is-a-collection-of-losers-it-doesnt-have-to-be/

    Two sides of the same coin of selling out to neoliberal orthodoxy, of abandoning coherent ideas about larger ideas that are more important than ‘because markets’.

    Reply
  30. RWood

    Venturing

    The highest overall firearm sales increase comes from Black men and women, who show a 58.2% increase in purchases during the first six months of 2020 versus the same period last year

    Not a majority that’s quitting

    Reply
    1. Wukchumni

      In the happenstance of a solar storm the likes of the 1859 event, all electronics would be fried, but every last gun would work perfectly.

      Book Tip:

      Dies The Fire by S.M. Stirling

      Reply
      1. The Rev Kev

        Until the bullets ran out. Then a lot of people would discover that their automatic rifles actually have a single-shot option – but too late!

        Reply
        1. rowlf

          What makes you think people in the US own automatic rifles? In the US they cost upwards of $15k, blow through $20 of ammo in a few seconds, the licensing is considered to be a colonoscopy and they don’t hit the aimed at target well.

          Maybe outside the US automatic rifles are more popular/affordable.

          As a fun aside and a noodle baker, in shooting competitions the Armalite Rifle platform is loaded single shot for 200, 600 and 1000 yard shooting as it groups better that way.

          Reply
          1. RMO

            Everybody I know who has had the chance to fire something fully automatic has said the same thing: it’s a kick and fun for about one magazine full at most. After that it loses it’s appeal. These were all Canadians though so there may be some gun-culture differences there (Fully automatic firearms have been “prohibited” in Canada since the 90s but people who already owned them when the law changed were allowed to keep what they had and could continue to buy and sell them as well)

            Reply
    2. rowlf

      A local news station covered this in Atlanta several times (Fox 5, Morse Diggs, Adventure Outdoors) and it matched what I was seeing at local stores outside the perimeter. On the plus side training classes are going on now for the new owners and are filling up quickly. The new firearm owners have bought up almost all available ammunition too, which is expected.

      The Black Agenda Report website had a lot of pro firearms articles over the years if one does a search. Good on them.

      Reply
      1. pricklyone

        Judging by the conversation locally, it is the “old” owners buying up large quantities of ammo.
        I have seen whole basement rooms like armories. I am a sitting duck, whomever comes calling. I just hope they let the cat out when they kill me…outside, she can find hiding spots, and get food…

        Reply
  31. Tom Stone

    RWood, given the current state of America buying a gun and learning how to use it safely and effectively is not a bad idea.
    And that goes twice if you are Black.

    Reply
    1. JBird4049

      Then I expect to see more Black Panther gun control laws to be proposed soon. Maybe even some very expensive insurance requirements as well to keep out the poor and working class (or what remains of it now)

      Reply
      1. pricklyone

        Maybe not this time. Keep hearing that “new” civil war idea.
        Maybe they will just let it play out this time, bring on the rapture. Look at who is in charge, now.

        Reply
  32. chuck roast

    Obama to Trump Voters in PA

    Racists? And all this time I thought that the Russians did it! Maybe the cellah’ dwellah’ should do a combo…target the white guys in PA with racist ads in Russian. They’ll all drown laughing in their Rolling Rock.

    Reply
  33. The Rev Kev

    ‘How phenomenally stupid of the @JoeBiden campaign and the @DNC to deny convention press credentials to @TheYoungTurks . So, so stupid.’

    Well what did they expect? The progressives have been sidelined and run over by old Joe and the DNC so why would progressive media think that they would be treated any different? Right there is a demonstration of the position of progressives under a Biden Presidency. Maybe, just maybe, this will jolt them out of their TDS and their idea that it was the Russians that threw the election to Trump and get them back to real journalism. This move by the Biden campaign is just a start.

    Reply
  34. flora

    The Dem estab never sleeps in its attempt to derail progressive candidates.
    From Taibbi:

    https://taibbi.substack.com/p/the-new-puritans

    There are a million reasons to be disgusted by this story – the overt trading in ancient homophobic tropes about sexual predation, the Moral-Majority style sexual Puritanism, the nauseating neo-Bolshevik terminology (“gatekeeper” is set to be this generation’s kulak) and the ludicrous political implications, with would-be mega-progressives laboring to keep someone like Morse from unseating a favorite of Lockheed-Martin and Altria from one of the Hill’s most powerful committees.

    Reply
    1. ObjectiveFunction

      I have Taibbi bookmarked, and his Twitter too, but by concluding an interesting piece debating the boundaries of sexual predation with a Woody Allen quote, however apposite, Matt is really leading with his chin in this Gotcha environment.

      P.S. I’ve been collecting Matt’s collection of Twitter ‘block phrases’ and other witticisms as he cheerfully faces a nonstop torrent of abuse. Pasted here for your momentary amusement….

      “For many years I had a no-blocking policy, finally gave in, and even then tried to limit it to libel and threats. I’ve tried not to mute or block even complete assholes who criticize only, so long as they’re original. Today however I’m going for guilt-free arbitrariness.
      Ok, new rule: I’m going to start muting everyone who tells me to talk about Trump instead of (insert any subject here).
      Can’t stand the term “signal-boost.” Going to mute for that and some other terms also, like “cosplay.”
      “what happened to you?”
      “good faith” and “bad faith”
      “Problematic,” when used unironically, for sure.
      Whataboutism
      “Interrogate (not a person).”
      “Are you sure this is the hill you want to die on?”
      “Gaslighting”
      “Carrying water”
      “Read the room”
      “Anti-anti-Trumpism”
      “Do the work”
      “What’s wrong with you?”
      “Stop being such a (person hated/ganged up on by Twitter)” goes on the list also. We can call it the @mtracey rule, because it’s usually him, and I’m sick of that, too.
      “Decolonize” and “check your privilege”
      “invisibilize.”
      Invoking “harm” is a no-brainer. On the list!
      “Pearl-clutching”
      “fash” and “crypto”
      “Reclaiming”
      “accountability”
      I’m having fun zapping trolls blabbering Newspeak at me.
      The United States is like five years away from being run by Children of the Corn.
      Ableist language! I feel unsafe. Muted
      “Consider their perspectives forcefully”
      Come get your boy.
      “I’m disappointed” (over an Onion article)
      Muted for “Bro.”
      Bothsiderism
      Asking me to renounce someone
      Contrarians
      “Chuds.”

      Reply

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