2:00PM Water Cooler 8/11/2020

By Lambert Strether of Corrente.

Extremely patient readers, I set the alarm wrong and woke up too late. More as shortly as may be, since I must also do a laundry if I am not to be whiffy later in the day. Grr! –lambert UPDATE All done. Now to the dryer!


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:

CA: “CA Director of Public Health resigns [Cal Matters]. “The director of California’s public health department resigned late Sunday night, less than a week after state officials reported a tech glitch that resulted in an undercount of coronavirus cases and confusion about the scope of infections as the state’s death toll crossed 10,000. Dr. Sonia Angell didn’t state a reason for her departure. She is the second high-ranking official to leave the department in two months, raising questions about how the state plans to handle a critical moment in the pandemic while addressing data snafus and communication problems.” • Everything is like CalPERS.

DC: “The State of COVID-19 in D.C.: Not Heading in the Right Direction” [Mike the Mad Biologist]. “It’s a mixed bag, Wards 1, 2, and 3 are doing better, while the rest are holding steady or getting worse. “Holding steady” is doing a lot of work, as the city as a whole and Wards 4 – 8 are above the German rollback threshold of 50 new cases per 100,000 per week… I understand Bowser’s desire to keep businesses afloat–and the lack of a federal support package means we can’t do the public health interventions needed–but we’re just going to keep limping along. And for those turning to test-and-trace, it’s not working in D.C. Most cases can’t be linked to quarantined individuals–this probably means we’re not finding the initial patient (and massive street parties of hundreds of people aren’t helping), even though we’re doing enough testing (percent positive rate < 0.05%), though it's probably not rapid enough. We really need to rollback–If we did this now, we could be in a good place come October." GA: "The Georgia school that punished students for posting photos of a packed hallway says it will close for 2 days after multiple students and staff got COVID-19" [Insider]. “On Saturday, Gabe Carmona, the principal of North Paulding High School, Dallas, told parents that six students and three staff members had tested positive for the virus… ‘On Monday and Tuesday the school will be thoroughly cleaned and disinfected,’ [Superintendent] Otott wrote, according to a copy of the letter obtained by WSB-TV reporter Chris Jose.” • The school may or may not reopen.

TX: “Coronavirus testing in Texas plummets as schools prepare to reopen” [Texas Tribune]. “In the week ending Aug. 8, an average 36,255 coronavirus tests were administered in Texas each day — a drop of about 42% from two weeks earlier, when the average number of daily tests was 62,516. At the same time, the percentage of tests yielding positive results has climbed, up to 20% on average in the week ending Aug. 8. Two weeks earlier, the average positivity rate was around 14%…. The number of tests performed in Texas has ‘never been great,’ said Vivian Ho, a health economist at Rice University and Baylor College of Medicine, but ‘it’s extremely troubling’ that the numbers have dipped since last month. ‘It’s troubling because we can guess at some of the reasons, but we’re not sure,’ she said.” • Oh…

TX: “So, how bad is COVID-19 in Houston? A guide to reading the data” [Houston Chronicle]. The first sentence: “The first thing to keep in mind is that in order to get the full picture, you have to look at several metrics together.” • And the metrics have different sources. We really do need a single, national data standard for Covid reporting. I don’t want to denigrate Houston’s efforts, but this is beyond absurd.


“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!

“Why I’m Nervous about the 2020 Presidential Election: It’s the Map, Stupid” [Mike the Mad Biologist]. “This map does not feel me with optimism. Other than Arizona, I find it hard to believe that Biden can win any of these states or the swing votes in Maine and Nebraska. And between mail-in voting, a lack of appeal to young voters, and Republican chicanery, Wisconsin seems optimistic. Losing all the ‘brown’ regions and Wisconsin yields a two vote Electoral College victory for Trump. Yes, the polling suggests a Biden victory, but it also suggests a ten point win, and I don’t think that will hold (already, the political press corps is emphasizing Biden’s idiot eruptions–and we told you this would happen). Given the map, it’s very possible that Trump wins the electoral college, even as Biden gains an actual majority–not a plurality like Clinton, but a majority.” • So I’m not the only one.


Biden (D)(0): Twitter chatter that Biden has ended the enormous suspense and picked his Veep, but nothing sourced, as of this writing. UPDATE “Kamala Harris Is Biden’s VP Pick — Here’s What It Means For The Election And Beyond” [FiveThirtyEight]. • What it means is that Harris is the Democrat front-runner in 2024, and perhaps in 2028. Assuming Biden makes it through his first term. So you’re not just voting for Biden. (I dunno what was with that Willie Brown thing, though. Brown is a sharp, sharp operator.)

Biden (D)(1): “Biden Builds Staff Team for Running Mate Before She Is Unveiled” [Bloomberg]. “The vice presidential candidate’s staff includes longtime Biden insiders, veterans of former President Barack Obama’s White House and more recent campaign hires. The rollout comes ahead of Biden’s announcement of who will join him on the ticket… Karine Jean-Pierre, a senior adviser on Biden’s campaign, will be the vice presidential candidate’s chief of staff, the Biden campaign said. Before joining Biden’s team earlier this year, she was chief public affairs officer for MoveOn and also worked on both Obama presidential campaigns. She was also a regional political director in the Obama White House.” • I guess the VP won’t be straying far off the reservation…

Biden (D)(2): “Biden won’t rule out naming donors as envoys, despite corruption concerns” [Politico]. “Joe Biden has promised to put “U.S. diplomacy back in the hands of genuine professionals.” … [But] the presumptive Democratic nominee has refused to rule out giving ambassadorships to big-time campaign donors and fundraisers. Instead, he’s indicated that, if he wins the presidency, he’ll continue the longstanding, bipartisan practice, which critics for decades have said smacks of corruption and damages America’s international standing.” • “Nothing would fundamentally change.”

Biden (D)(3), The Great Assimilation™: “The Revolt of the Republican Strategists” [Ross Douthat, New York Times]. “[There is] question of what the Lincoln Project actually stands for — what ideas would its strategists import into the center-left, were they welcomed there with open arms, and how they imagine rebuilding the Republican Party, were the entire G.O.P. somehow actually burned down? From following a few of the Lincoln Project men on Twitter and reading the things they write, I have a hard time figuring out the answer to these questions, mostly because it’s hard to distinguish their takes from a banal MSNBC liberalism.” • Exactly.

Biden (D)(4), The Great Assimilation™: “Neoconservative Wolves Dressed In Never-Trumper Clothing” [The American Conservative]. “Never-Trumper Republicans have been worming their way into the Biden campaign, offering to flesh out his ‘coalition’ ahead of the election and pushing their way into the foreign policy discussions, particularly on China. Given their shared history with the liberal interventionists already in the campaign, don’t for a second think that there aren’t hungry neoconservatives among them trying to get a seat at the table. ‘Some hawkish Democrats may see the neocons as convenient allies in preserving an outdated interventionist mindset,’ offers Matt Duss, who is Sen. Bernie Sanders’ longtime foreign policy advisor and maintains close ties with the Democratic campaign to replace President Trump. ‘And of course neocons are desperate for any opportunity to salvage their own relevance.'” •

Biden (D)(5), The Great Assimilation™: “What Do ‘Never Trump’ Republicans Want From Joe Biden?” [HuffPo]. “But [Lincoln Project] certainly have taken up a fair amount of airspace, and that might be what they want. After all, exposure like that leads to more money ― both in donations and lucrative TV contracts. Cable networks can’t resist moderate Republicans, and they were given plenty of time in the primary to warn against Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) with the perspective of what could and could not appeal to Republicans who dislike Trump. It seems likely that they’ll also get a similar platform in a Biden administration, but with Trump gone, the question will be what they would use it for.” • Grifters gotta grift. I hadn’t realized that Obama wanted to put three Republicans in his cabinet. The Great Assimilation™ has been going on for some time….

Biden (D)(6): He’s not wrong:

Trump (R)(1): “Trump’s path to winning Pa. runs through small Rust Belt towns — like one near Biden’s hometown” [Philadelphia Inquirer]. “While Trump has collapsed in the polls in Pennsylvania and nationally following his mishandling of the coronavirus pandemic, the race is likely to tighten in its final weeks. In a pivotal state Trump won by less than 1% of the vote in 2016 — partly because of voters in Lackawanna County and bordering Luzerne County — even small shifts in his favor in places like Carbondale could have outsized importance. And interviews with 20 residents and political operatives in the northeast suggest that places like Carbondale are trending even more pro-Trump than four years ago.” • Worth reading in full. Deindustrialization has political consequences.

Trump (R)(2): “The MAGA President Remade America as a Shithole Country” [The Daily Beast]. “We are now the shithole country in the toilet—not the shining city on the hill—thanks to the president’s disinterest in protecting Americans.” • Since this is a Members-only story, I can only quote this, but remember that for liberal Democrats, January 20, 2017 is the Year Zero, and nothing happened before that. Especially not deindustrialization, the health care system, falling life expectancy in flyover, etc.

UPDATE Trump (R)(3): “‘Christianity Will Have Power” [New York Times]. From Sioux Center, Iowa: “Evangelicals did not support Mr. Trump in spite of who he is. They supported him because of who he is, and because of who they are. He is their protector, the bully who is on their side, the one who offered safety amid their fears that their country as they know it, and their place in it, is changing, and changing quickly. White straight married couples with children who go to church regularly are no longer the American mainstream. An entire way of life, one in which their values were dominant, could be headed for extinction. And Mr. Trump offered to restore them to power, as though they have not been in power all along. ‘You are always only one generation away from losing Christianity,’ said Micah Schouten, who was born and raised in Sioux Center, recalling something a former pastor used to say. ‘If you don’t teach it to your children it ends. It stops right there.’ Ultimately Mr. Trump recognized something, said Lisa Burg, a longtime resident of nearby Orange City. It is a reason she thinks people will still support him in November. ‘The one group of people that people felt like they could dis and mock and put down had become the Christian. Just the middle-class, middle-American Christians,’ Ms. Burg said. ‘That was the one group left that you could just totally put down and call deplorable. And he recognized that, You know what? Yeah, it’s OK that we have our set of values, too. I think people finally said, ‘Yes, we finally have somebody that’s willing to say we’re not bad, we need to have a voice too.”” • I think this is what I had in mind when I posted those Louvin Brothers tunes the other day.

* * *

Here is the Democrat National Convention speaker line-up:

There’s a lot of ways this tells Sanders people where they stand, but I think the best is putting Sanders on Day One, “We The People,” and then making Closing Night, with Biden, “America’s Promise.” As if, to the liberal Democrat mind, “the people” and “America’s promise” are quite distinct. As indeed Thomas Frank, in The People, No! explains they are. To them.

“Democrats will highlight everyday Americans in their prime-time convention lineup” [WaPo]. • Ah, yes. “Everyday Americans.” Perhaps the Clinton campaign’s most flaccid formulation.

Good for Zephyr Teachout:

We all scream for ice cream:

Nina Turner, AOC, Tlaib, Omar, Cori Bush, Marquita Bradshaw…. What world do the Pelosis live in?

* * *

Sunrise Movement heaves Morse over the side:

So, climate isn’t the most important thing? (See the Bauman affair.)

Mass Nurses do not:

Krystal Ball on Morse:

A long thread on “the left.” If this is “the left,” the left needs a new name:

Interesting, as we say, that the accusation against Morse comes from College Democrats. To me, a thinly evidenced accusation about personal behavior immediately before an important election is something Massachusetts Democrats just do ***cough *** Liz Warren ***cough***. It’s the same play. Kudos to College Democrats for protecting Neal and making the Sunrise Movement look like fools. It’s a two-fer!

* * *

“Ballot Drop Boxes Become Latest Front In Voting Legal Fights” [NPR]. “Many voters are worried about casting their ballots in person this November because of the pandemic. They’re also concerned that their mail-in ballots could be misplaced or delayed. One voting option that’s gaining popularity — and also attracting controversy — is the use of drop boxes, where voters can deposit their absentee ballots to be collected later by election officials. Michigan had hundreds of drop boxes available for its primary after more than 1 million voters decided to cast absentee ballots rather than go to the polls. In the last presidential election, about 16% of voters nationwide used drop boxes, but they were concentrated in states such as Washington, Oregon and Colorado, where almost all voters cast absentee ballots.”

“The Postal Service is Not Ready for November” [Democracy Docket]. However, this tweet and the attached letter is more to the point than the article:

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.

Debt: “May 2020 Loan Performance: First Annual Increase In More Than 9 Years” [Econintersect]. “Loan Performance Insights Report for May 2020 shows on a national level, 7.3% of mortgages were in some stage of delinquency (30 days or more past due, including those in foreclosure). This represents a 3.7-percentage point increase in the overall delinquency rate compared to 3.6% in May 2019.”

Inflation: “July 2020 Producer Price Final Demand Year-over-Year Growth Remains In Contraction” [Econintersect]. “Year-over-year inflation pressures remain soft as this index remains in contraction. This may be the beginning of a deflationary cycle – we will know only in hindsight.”

Small business optimism: “July 2020 Small Business Optimism Declines” [Econintersect]. “The Small Business Optimism Index fell 1.8 points to 98.8 in July, near the survey’s historical average. Overall, 4 of the 10 Index components improved, 5 declined, and 1 was unchanged. The NFIB Uncertainty Index increased 7 points to 88. Reports of expected better business conditions in the next six months declined 14 points to a net 25%. Owners continue to temper their expectations of future economic conditions as the COVID-19 public health crisis is expected to continue.”

* * *

Readers, earlier today I got the dreaded “This Message has no content” for 30 mails, which iOS refused to send and dumped in my outbox, with nothing in the message body. Here’s why:

There are a lot of third-party email applications on the App Store, but Apple’s own app, Mail, works perfectly fine for most people. Unfortunately, there are times where the Mail app acts up and doesn’t work correctly and shows either not subject or “this message has no content.”… The problem is that there’s no certain or clear-cut workaround, but there are a few different options to try out.

Tim Cook is a billionaire. His company can’t write an email application that works reliably. (30 mails for me is thirty gathered links, so that’s about an hour of work lost, plus the value I hoped readers would get.) Note also that the iPad is supposed to replace the Mac as a professional tool (perhaps on Earth 2). In order to do that, it’s going to need email that works.

* * *

Today’s Fear & Greed Index: 74 Greed (previous close: 74 Greed) [CNN]. One week ago: 67 (Greed). (0 is Extreme Fear; 100 is Extreme Greed). Last updated Aug 11 at 1:17pm. Falling back to mere Greed from Extreme Greed.

The Biosphere

Helping Mauritius:

“Court strikes down Trump administration’s methane rollback” [The Hill]. “In 2018, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) rolled back parts of the prior rule that limited the release of the greenhouse gas. The change was expected to allow for more methane leaks in a process called flaring and add to air pollution. On Wednesday, Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers determined that the rulemaking process used by the BLM was ‘wholly inadequate.’ ‘In its haste, BLM ignored its statutory mandate under the Mineral Leasing Act, repeatedly failed to justify numerous reversals in policy positions previously taken, and failed to consider scientific findings and institutions relied upon by both prior Republican and Democratic administrations,’ wrote the Obama appointee.” • Good news!

“Green bean seedling vigor” [John Kempf]. “When our goal is to have seed germinate quickly, establish large root systems, and have strong seedling vigor, we need to support seeds with the trace minerals and biological symbionts they should have had if they were grown in optimal conditions.” • Yep!

Health Care

“Do Masks Work Or Not?? Proving Whether Masks Stop Covid-19 Transmission with Uncle Rob” [YouTube]. • This is awesome. If you someone is your circle thinks masks don’t work, show this to them:

“Universal Masking in the United States: The Role of Mandates, Health Education, and the CDC” [JAMA]. “Although a federal mask mandate may appear to be an attractive policy, it could encounter legal challenges, be difficult to enforce, and further politicalize wearing of masks. It is not clear whether the CDC has the authority to mandate face coverings nationwide. The Public Health Service Act grants the CDC powers to detain and medically examine potentially infected persons arriving into the United States and traveling between states, but this authority is unlikely to extend to regulatory actions such as requiring masks. Congress probably could enact a national mandate under the commerce power but has not done so. A federal mandate, moreover, might provoke political opposition to face coverings rooted in state sovereignty. A better way to gain more national uniformity is by inducing states to enact mask laws. This respects states as key decision makers in public health and is more consistent with state autonomy. It is also easier to gain compliance with state and local directives rather than using federal officers to monitor and enforce a national mandate. A well-crafted use of federal spending powers would likely be constitutional. Congress could attach conditions on the receipt of federal funds, inducing states to adopt a mandate. Intoxicated driver laws offer an analogy. The Supreme Court upheld a federal law conditioning 5% of highway funds on states adopting a 21-year-old drinking age.”

“Exposure assessment for airborne transmission of SARS-CoV-2 via breathing, speaking, coughing and sneezing” (preprint) [medRxiv]. From the Results: “The calculated total volume of expelled aerosol droplets was highest for a sneeze, followed by a cough and speaking for 20 minutes, and lastly breathing for 20 minutes. A few to as much as tens of millions of virus particles were expelled. Exposure probability strongly depends on the viral concentration in mucus, as well as on the scenario.” • Intuitive! This is a modeling paper, but it’s worth a read for the droplet/aerosol explanation. (This paper is from July. Later studies have shown physical transmission of Covid particles through aerosols, nota bene.)

* * *


News of the Wired

UPDATE “The New Passport-Poor” [New York Review of Books]. “Today, the passport’s days are rumored to be numbered. Airline executives and government officials predict that as soon as 2022, international travel will be ‘a smooth, tokenless process,’ free of IDs or boarding cards, relying entirely on iris scans and fingerprints taken in a split second and vetted by a gigantic database of traveler information.” • That’s a horrible idea.

Sid! Sid! Sid!

Further down in the thread, there’s an image of the polyp the vet removed from Sid’s throat, in a jar; it’s the size of a quarter.

* * *

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 (RM):

RM writes: “I thought I’d send you this photo of the grasshopper damage to my sunflowers just for fun. Hungry little rascals.” Striking the optimsistic note! Next, frogs. After, boils…

* * *

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About Lambert Strether

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


  1. allan

    New York’s true nursing home death toll cloaked in secrecy [AP]

    Riverdale Nursing Home in the Bronx appears, on paper, to have escaped the worst of the coronavirus pandemic, with an official state count of just four deaths in its 146-bed facility.

    The truth, according to the home, is far worse: 21 dead, most transported to hospitals before they succumbed. …

    New York’s coronavirus death toll in nursing homes, already among the highest in the nation, could actually be a significant undercount. Unlike every other state with major outbreaks, New York only counts residents who died on nursing home property and not those who were transported to hospitals and died there. …

    Something that Cuomo will undoubtedly address when he speaks to the DNC.

    1. KB

      Something I have not understood is our state’s dreadful nursing home/assisted living stats not hitting the news when New York’s does?….Minnesota has had a 75-83 percent fatality rate of all covid cases inside of congregate setting from the beginning until now. Granted the total numbers can’t reach New Yorks as we are a much less populated state, but the my state’s deaths have almost all been in these settings.

      It infuriates me that none of this hits the airwaves but New York does..

      Help me out here?

      1. Keith

        NY is a media and financial capital, so it is important. Further, journalists and news readers live there, also making it important and relevant. MN is in flyover country, and so is ignored. Welcome to the club!

        1. KB

          Thanks, Keith….still bugs me cause our stats are worse than New York, but I still suspected your statement is the truth all along.
          Yes, fly over country. Glad to hear someone else gets it. I appreciate your comment.

  2. flora

    re: Sunrise Movement heaves Morse over the side:

    The Sunrise Movement just passed the astro-turf test: they are. (imo) ;)

    1. L

      Once you know the accusation is from “College Democrats” then you know this is an establishment test. In my experience “College X” groups are almost entirely run by and for future “leaders” of the establishment who chart their path into paying politics by working in the trenches keeping the kids amped up or in line. They are just budding ensigns doing their job.

        1. Mel

          Not to mention the powerality dynamicistic. We can really go places with this.
          At this point, I doubt that anybody is “examining the game”. Most likely IMHO they’re rooting around in strange corners in their own heads.

          1. Jonathan Holland Becnel

            Positionality, Lean In, etc

            Hitting all the Woke Checkmarks.

            Theyre making this shit up as they go along in real time.

          2. drumlin woodchuckles

            “Positionality” a new word? Well, why not?

            Its just as cromulent a new word as “intersectionality” was when it was first invented, and if “intersectionality” gets to be a word, so does “positionality”.

            The encoinment of perfectly cromulent new words is how we embiggen the language.

        2. hunkerdown

          But a good new word, Lambert. “Positionalists” hate horizontal relationships, but they love to pretend all relationships are commensurable and exchangeable. Very common in adolescents and other mental incompetents in love with markets and other imaginary friends, it has also been common from time to time as a means of forming a “middle class” to uselessly consume in exchange for the coordination skills they withheld from the working class.

          1. HotFlash

            Speaking of ‘horizontal’, I do recall that, when asked about the position of women in the movement, Stokley Carmichael replied, “The only position for women in the movement is ‘prone’. ” No link, many cites, look it up. A**holes abide. Doesn’t make them any less a**holes, but still — some things they did were right and still resonate. Humans are fallible. If they/we don’t get it 100% right (by decades later standards) on the first try, then we, decades after them, are probably going to come up short in another 50 yrs. We sacrifice for the cause.

            Meanwhile, hoisting a beer, a lime-and-mint-kefir-soda, or other beverage of your choice, for y’all.

        3. a different chris

          Funny the “power dynamic” I see is an incumbent with all that entails.

          It would be awesome if all this actually pushes Morse over the top. Somebody smart in Hollywood once said “I don’t care what you say, just spell my name right”.

          It might just happen, he couldn’t pay for this kind of exposure (uh, couldn’t think of a better word, sorry). How many people really are bothered by it, compared to how many are annoyed enough to vote in the primary just to show the middle finger to all this.

        4. L

          I also find it interesting that they affirm that “they believe all survivors” which rhetorically ties this to rape but he does not stand accused of that. Nor is it clear from what I have read that there is a clear “abuse of power.” Usually that would involve extortion for grades or sex with a student in your class but again, he does not stand accused of that so far as I know.

          I can see how his position as lecturer and mayor might create a dynamic but unless he was actually influencing things for or against a conquest in class or in city politics it seems that is just an abstract “positional” hypothetical. But given that they cite his “rising star” status in the same sentence perhaps that is exactly the dimension they want to focus on.

          Sadly @Lambert “positional” isn’t a new word. I think it has just finally escaped abstract post-structuralist theory critiques to public discourse.

            1. L

              Yes, it is an odd equivalency where you “believe all survivors” and equate that with people who got friended on instagram but not to Tara Reade.

              1. polecat

                Perhaps a popular film metaphor is in order ..

                Rippley: “How do we do it Ash? .. There’s gotta be a way of killing it – How. How do we do it?”

                Ash: “You still don’t understand what your dealing with … PERFECT ORGANISM …
                It’s structural perfection is matched only by its hostility.”

                Lambert: “You admire it.”

                Ash: “I admire its purity. A survivor … unclouded by conscience, remorse, or delusions of morality.”

                For Everybody who’s NOT cocooned, I give you the ultimate noxious band of xenomorphs – the Democrat Party!

        5. Laputan

          Our judgement of Alex’s behavior is fundamentally about power imbalance, given his role as an elected official, university lecturer, and rising progressive-star with undeniable political and social capital, who initiated sexual contact with students looking to break into progressive politics themselves.

          Never mind that his role as a “rising progressive-star”(sic?) was to happen years later, that he would have been around the same age as a college student (in his mid 20s), and that nobody would go on record with any complaints – there was one person who was “uncomfortable” once he found out Morse was mayor after their encounter. Oh, and to a random college student, a lecturer is just another poor nobody who makes a few thousand bucks to teach a class. It wouldn’t have been any different if he would have hooked up with someone taking classes at a local community college.

          There is literally no complaint, no matter how thin or blatantly erroneous, the ID pols won’t rally around. Is it also any coincidence that Boston Globe “broke” the story when Politico and WaPo wouldn’t run it and now they’re already declaring his candidacy shot? https://www.bostonglobe.com/2020/08/10/metro/if-you-aint-woke-youre-asleep/

          1. edmondo

            Tara Reade will be so happy to find out that the Sunrise Movement supports her. I wonder when they will withdraw their endorsement of Biden?

      1. Jason Boxman

        Sounds like the UCF college Democrats. They were all-in on Obama. No apparently ability for introspection at all.

        1. hunkerdown

          But society (if we must choose a new term for the “left”) can’t pay them in opportunities for casual predation and domination of their inferiors, which they’ve been told all their life is their right and property. So of course they’ll join the War on Society, because they’re prettier and richer.

      2. Jonathan Holland Becnel


        LSUs college Republicans and Democrats are nothing but pawns of the State Party Structure.

        1. Jeff W

          Some “fundamental power imbalances” and “challenging unequal power dynamics” are just not talked about.

  3. flora

    re: Readers, earlier today I got the dreaded “This Message has no content” for 30 mails

    Being a tech giant near-monopoly means never having to say you’re sorry. /heh

    1. carl

      When I get angry with Mr. Softy’s many foibles and frustrations, I remember that IOs might actually be worse in some circumstances.

    2. Anonymous

      They are fixing it as we speak. It is not high priority ( does not contribute to revenue ).

      The intern assigned is looking into it. /s

  4. Lou Anton

    Illinois moves on the 91-DIVOC tracker. Fortnuate that the creater is based at the University of Illinois, as DIVOC #5 shows results by county for IL (here).

    Illinois’s inclusion in the top 10 might be a little surprising since the Chicago area was hitting early on with wave 1.0 and fairly successfully flattened the curve. What’s more of a driver with wave 1.5 are the southern counties, which are a little more rural and suburbs of St. Louis, MO. Southern IL is a lot like Tennessee, and central Illinois is a lot like Iowa.

    You can start to see how the southern counties of St. Clair and Madison (both bordering STL MO) are growing quickly, but in absolute terms, things are still heading the wrong direction (upwards) in the Chicago area/Northeastern counties. (mapped here).

    This is a great resource, so thanks to the DIVOC crew and Lambert for posting it every day. Wish it was better news for we Illinoisians.

    1. DJG

      Lou Anton: Thanks for these breakdowns in data. The Sun-Times has a fairly good display with analysis, but it doesn’t break data down by region.

      The Cook County data have gone pretty much wrong, in spite of fairly good compliance, at least here where I live. The solution is to bring back more restrictions–but no one seems ready to bother with making any decisions.

      The one region that seems to be missing is Northwest–Jo Daviess County down to the Quad Cities to Dixon and Galesburg. Or am I misinterpreting the regions on the graphs?

      1. Lou Anton

        You have to play around a bit with the “Show” and “Highlight” drop downs. It helps me to take off the highlighting for the regions, and then under the Show drop-down, pick your region.

        Here’s (link) North-Central counties…Peoria skyrocketing (though lower in absolute terms versus Chicago area).

  5. Louis Fyne

    any intermediate DIYers looking for a project….try cleaning your AC condenser coils and replacing the AC capacitors.

    it’s been so long that I didn’t realize how inefficient the AC unit became.

    standard caveat: don’t try this at home unless you genuinely know what you’re doing. you can seriously hurt yourself or ruin your AC unit

    1. John Beech

      This is a good tip, Louis! And perhaps even more productive, is cleaning the evaporator’s coils (inside unit, often in the hall closet) and also replace the air filter. How do you clean the coils?

      Easy, just buy a couple spray cans of coil cleaner, remove the air filter, spray the coils (A-shaped setup, typically) until the cleaner foams up nicely. Wait 10-15 minutes, then spray (yes, use the water hose with a spray nozzle) to rinse. This liquid (spray water and cleaner) will collect in the evaporator’s drainage tray and go out the drain, or in my case because my home is built on a slab I don’t care where it ends up and subsequently use a ‘lot’ of water and the wet/dry vacuum to suck up the mess. Finally, replace the register (did I forget to mention I remove the register in the hallway and work through the wall? Oops!) and install a clean air filter. Anyway, if it’s been more than a few years since this was last done you’re going to be astonished at the amount of yuk on the coils. Cleaning them will result in a nice increase in performance.

      As for replacing the start capacitors of the outdoor unit, I only do that if the fan motor on the condenser unit (the outside unit) is having trouble starting the fan motor or the compressor. They’re inexpensive and eacy to replace (typically held in place with a zip tie or metal clamp. Amazon has them if you don’t have a local place to buy. Common values are 35μF or perhaps 45μM. https://www.amazon.com/Genteq-Capacitor-97F9834-replace-Z97F9834/dp/B008OJRHJG?ref_=fsclp_pl_dp_2 . . . and while you’ve got your hands dirty, give the coil contactor a close look for pitting on the contact surfaces. These are also quite inexpensive.

      In the alternative, pay someone to come do the work for you, $200 isn’t out of line for a service call. Me? I do it myself just as Louis Fyne suggests. Last tip; use a 5/16″ driver instead of a common (flat blade) screwdriver for the screws holding everything together – and please remember to shut off the breaker before swapping out the parts. Easy peasy!

      1. HotFlash

        My dear John Beech,

        Thanks for this. Don’t need it myself *at this time* as we live VERY near a Great Lake which is, along with the big maple over my roof, the household A/C unit. Gotta say, though, I find myself very fond of you. Thanks for being here. Party on.

        *but ya never know…

  6. Toshiro_Mifune

    Note also that the iPad is supposed to replace the Mac as a professional tool
    Dump the Mac and move to Mint Linux. Mac O/S has been dying a slow death for most of the decade and its not going to get better

    1. BoulderMike

      Any suggestions of laptops for running Mint Linux? I see the recommend a manufacturer called Penguin. Do you know anything about them in terms of reliability? I currently have a mid-2012 Macbook Pro running High Sierra. I won’t upgrade it, or my iPhone as Apple will likely break them. I wish I could find a non-Android replacement for my iPhone as it is a privacy nightmare, but to date I haven’t found one. I am comfortable going to Linux but I don’t want to end up spending as much on the hardware as Apple hardware.

      1. apleb

        A Thinkpad (X/T series), even used are fine for linux. For office/internet the used ones are great and price can’t be beat.
        Android is not necessarily a privacy nightmare, but you have to work on it. Also rooting for a firewall like afwall (and adaway) really help.

      2. Glen

        Ubuntu maintains a hardware certified database which lists some laptops:


        I would expect any laptop which can run a later version of Ubuntu, to be fine running Mint.

        If you have an older Windows laptop laying around, it would be a good to experiment with that. Linux runs very well on older hardware.

        Plus there are many guides on Utube on how to customize your Linux desktop to look/feel just like Mac OS. Here is one for Mint Linux:


        I have to admit that although I have used Linux for quite a while, I always build my own PC so I can pick the hardware, and I have not tried to make Linux look like Mac OS. I’m currently using ArchLinux with an Xfce4 desktop.

      3. periol

        Works perfectly on my old Lenovo Thinkpad T530. It’s an older machine, these were new models back in 2012. Old i5 processor, 8 gigs of RAM, the main Mint install took 20 minutes, everything worked perfectly after install, even the wireless keyboard/mouse. This machine has an SSD, but everything I’m running in Mint is smoother and faster than the Windows 7 install on here before.

        You can probably find a similarly specced used T530 for around $200, less if you look hard and in the right places. These were corporate machines, so you can sometimes find companies getting rid of them en masse.

        1. BoulderMike

          I have an old Lenovo/IBM Thinkpad from 2006. I assume it is 32 bit. Can Mint of Ubuntu run on 32 bit?

          1. periol

            Only one sure-fire way to find out. Follow the instructions on the Mint Linux site to download Mint and install it a USB drive. You can use that USB drive to Liveboot Mint and see if it works. If it does work, you can install directly from the Liveboot menu.

            I believe Mint and various Ubuntu flavors still have support for 32-bit, so it’s worth a shot.

          2. Jeremy Grimm

            It will run … but you won’t be able to access many websites. There was a security fix that used a machine instruction not part of the instruction set for machines older than a certain date — not sure of the exact date.

          3. Alex Cox

            There are 32 bit and 64 bit versions. An old Thinkpad or Windows box should be sufficient. System 76 make good new computers; they have their own Ubuntu variant, Pop! OS. But it’s easy to install Mint, and System 76 might do it if you ask ’em.

          4. diptherio

            For 32 bit machines I think MXLinux is the way to go. They still maintain a 32 bit version that works great.

        1. BoulderMike

          Which model? I am interested in their laptops. But the choices are a bit varied, making it hard to determine the “best” model.

          1. Arizona Slim

            I’m using the Oryx. Link to info about it:


            Note: This isn’t one of those dainty laptops that will fit effortlessly into a cute little laptop sleeve. It’s a beast. But it has excellent color and graphical rendering, and I like that in a laptop.

            1. BoulderMike

              Thanks! No worries on the weight. I don’t think I will be travelling anytime soon (sigh!). Being retired, I mostly just have it on my lap, and my Macbook Pro isn’t very light either.
              If I ever travel again, I will (a) get a light laptop or pad, or (b) haul the heavy laptop as I am used to that anyway.
              Since I live near Denver, supporting System76 is a good think as it is supporting local.

      4. Jeremy Grimm

        Why restrict yourself to laptops? If you move around with your computer on a daily or even monthly basis I can understand — but otherwise re-think the deskspace of a laptop vs a tower and external display, keyboard, and mouse. Heat and its dissipation is a big problem for computers. A desktop tower perhaps augmented with an external fan could add some years of life to your computer. I suspect older 64-bit towers use more power than the newer ones. You can pick up a five-year-old gamers tower for a discount and unless you’re running weather prediction programs, or bleeding edge games your computer will have all the speed you could ever need.

        1. BoulderMike

          I totally agree that desktops are better all around. I just never sit in my “office” anymore; being retired. So, a laptop just works better for me. At least the laptop is portable. I will date myself here. I remember when I had a Compaq “portable” computer. It looked like a sewing machine. We have come a long way since then.

    2. Keith

      I use Ubuntu, with MS as a backup just in case. How user friendly is Mint to someone who doesn’t write code or anything like that? I just want to be able to plug and play- namely Office suites (Officelibre), surf, play with photos, etc. Just the basics. I have read the Mint requires a lot more work and effort to use and is not good for a novice, like me.

        1. Carolinian

          Xubuntu fan here. IMO main fork Ubuntu went off the rails with Unity. They thought they were going to make a Linux smartphone but it never came off. Or at least I believe that was their excuse.

      1. Dr. Roberts

        I’d say Mint is equally user friendly and easier for someone with a Windows background. The setup requires some basic technical knowledge to set up the system the way you want it, but it’s very slick and thorough with sensible defaults. No command line required.

        1. Keith

          Thank you all for your comments, very much appreciated, as I had been hearing thins about Mind.

          Regarding Unity, I was hoping for something to come out of that.

      2. Jeremy Grimm

        Using ubuntu or mint is probably easier than shifting from MS to Apple or vice versa. I find using linux [I use mint now after ubuntu changed its UI to follow ?] to be easier than using MS. Linux is rational. It behaves much more as you might expect it should behave.

        There is some truth that Ubuntu and Mint require a lot more work and effort to use … because you suddenly have a universe of new programs you can use that are free, reasonably well-maintained, and very very tempting to use. I am still trying to tackle Blender.

    3. BobW

      I went back to Ubuntu from Linux Mint on my latest (old used) ThinkPad. Loads quickly, good support, and I was mad at the Unity UI, but now it’s a Gnome 3 desktop. Mint is great for those who want an old Pane98ish look and feel. I ran it for years and still have it on my back-up laptops.

      1. Carolinian

        Ubuntu-Mate is a good Gnome but the old desktop distro. I didn’t know main Ubuntu had dropped Unity.

    4. HotFlash

      Linux working fine on my elderly Samsung, that’s been what, more than 10 years? Maybe longer. I run Mint, others may be better but that’s what I have and it works for me. Will be installing the newest vsn, Linux Mint 20 Ulyana Download Linux Mint 20 Ulyana soon. Never had any problem in all these years, the community has lots of help (never needed much, but they are there) and it just works. No prompts. My BFF cannot start her machine, which is not even connected to the Internet, without 2-3-4 ‘warnings’. “This copy of Windows may be counterfeit!!” “You may be the victim of software highjacking!!!” Well, not bloody likely, but Bill, he’s just needin’ a few dollars more.

      Never Mac’d, and wouldn’t go back to Windows for any money.

  7. TMoney

    Covid19 Test Results mailed August 6, arrived August 10 (later in the day after I called the Doctors office). Here ends my tiny saga for the moment. The Post office isn’t doing too bad in my bit of the world then.

    I’ll post the billing details when they arrive too, somehow I doubt it will all be covered by governmental largess.

  8. Lambert Strether Post author

    Readers, you’re kinda watching the Water Cooler build-out. First came the standing elements (the charts, the stats). Normally I’d be working up from the bottom starting with Wired, but in the current emergency I decided to do Politics first. (Since that’s my favorite section, normally I defer gratification on it.) Now I am going to put in the laundry. Then I’ll flesh out the rest.

    Please refresh your browsers.

    Also, for those looking for good news, see the Tweet on Sid. That whole thread is good news and gives me hope for humanity.

    1. Shonde

      Thanks for Sid. I need some good news. Biden just picked Harris. Now I definitely cannot vote for him.

      Wonder what Willie is thinking? A sleepover in the White House in his future?

      Nasty I know but I don’t care. Maybe once she becomes President she can appoint Mnuchin as her Secretary of the Treasury again to thank him for his big contribution to her campaign for the Senate.

      Wonder if California will now vote Trump?

      1. km

        “Wonder if California will now vote Trump?”

        No. Electoral politics is intensely tribal. Team D could nominate Adolf Eichmann, with Pol Pot as his running mate, and California would still vote Team D by a huge margin.

        Likewise, Donald Trump could appear on national TV wearing a black cape lined with crimson velvet, belching sulfur and smoke, horns sprouting out of his head and sporting a tail as he bellows “All praise to Lord Satan!” and North Dakota would still go 65% for Trump.

        1. bassmule

          Most of the reaction I’ve seen is glee over the idea of a Pence/Harris debate; the general consensus being that she’ll eat him alive. Most of the people I come in contact with can’t spell Mnuchin’s name, much less understand how Harris let him go in exchange for cash. Which is shameful, but, “It is what it is” which I would like to nominate as catch-phrase of the year.

          1. Shonde

            Lots of that same glee in the comments at the Mpls. Star Tribune too.

            Interesting contrast for that debate. Someone, Pence, who refuses to be alone in a room with any women other than his wife and someone, Harris, who was, to say it delicately, a “protege” of a still married powerful California politician.

          2. Sheldon

            Well then! Here’s some speaking points for Pence, in hopes of a better Democratic Party, after they lose again:

            6 of 216 items:

            1. “Most homeowners are unaware that their mortgage banks make more money from foreclosure than actual payment. Mortgage banks give as few modifications as possible and comply minimally with statutes put in place to protect borrowers, all while employing tricks to “cash in” on homeowners’ defaults, pushing them to foreclosure.”


            #2. Steve Mnuchin and OneWest Bank were, according to a memo obtained and reported on by The Intercept, guilty of “widespread misconduct” in the form of over 1,000 legal violations. The memo was the result of a year-long investigation and it asserts that OneWest Bank operated to intentionally boost foreclosures. The Campaign for Accountability called for a federal investigation of Mnuchin and OneWest Bank claiming they used “potentially illegal tactics to foreclose on as many as 80,000 California homes.

            “Yet despite internal memos explicitly mentioning numerous prosecutable offenses by Mnuchin and co., then California Attorney General Kamala Harris refused to prosecute.”

            #3. https://www.rollcall.com/2017/02/14/harris-was-only-2016-senate-democratic-candidate-to-get-cash-from-mnuchin/

            #4. Harris has expressed the most direct opposition to Bernie Sanders’ proposals for a 21stcentury New Deal. Harris recently promised wealthy donors in the Hamptons that she “believed in capitalism.”

            #5. Prior to her running for office, Brown appointed Harris to two patronage positions in state government, the Unemployment Insurance Appeals Board and the California Medical Assistance Commission. These positions paid handsomely, more than $400,000 over five years.

            #6. Kamala’s Svengali. You think Woodrow Wilson’s Colonel House was bad?

            “At one point Willie Brown and Harris were the talk of the town. Right before Brown was sworn in as Mayor of San Francisco, legendary San Francisco columnist Herb Caen implied that the self described “Ayatollah of the Assembly” and “a girlfriend” [30 years younger than him] would soon get married.

            In his book, “Basic Brown,” Brown quoted his wife Blanche as responding to the column by saying, “Listen, she may have him at the moment, but come inauguration day and he’s up there on the platform being sworn in, I’ll be the b***h holding the Bible.”

            Mid America is not going to vote for the Dementia/Sutra Ticket.

            1. a different chris

              Have you seen Mike Pence in… well “action” for lack of a better word.

              She will flay him alive. They may have to stop the debate as she scores a TKO.

              You don’t get to where she got to in California by being anything but the most dangerous shark in the sea. Still doesn’t mean the debates will matter.

              >Mid America is not going to vote for the Dementia/Sutra Ticket.

              And the coasts aren’t going to vote for the Dementia/whoishe ticket.

              Again, nothing has changed.

              1. edmondo

                The only time I ever saw Pence “in action” was when he was mopping up the floor with Little Timmy Kaine in 2016.

              2. Fiery Hunt

                Kamala is a bad cop.
                And a shitty debater…just ask Tulsi.

                All Pence has to do is ask her what she thinks about the job Mnuchin is doing. If she attacks, he asks about his “contribution ” to her Senatorial campaign. She demurs and he crows about how she “likes” Republican policies.

                Phony Kamala will get quietly beat like a drum by Trump and Pence.

          3. Jason Boxman

            Ha. I saw Seinfeld live in NYC a few years ago. Part of his routine that night was to poke fun at how ridiculous “it is what it is” happens to be. Or “the [noun] is the [noun]”, as if that is a statement of deep wisdom, introspection, and contemplation.

            I tend to prefer more NC17 humor, but he wasn’t wrong.

            I could use some humor now; having delicious home cooked pizza (bought dough) and watching Lethal Weapon 2 instead.

            1. ambrit

              With Kamala Harris as the Veep candidate, you can now expect to enjoy the goofy theatrics of the new DNC Production; “Lethal Weapon 2020.”
              The main characters will be flipped from the original franchise outings. Now we have a “weary, worldly wise poc cop” teamed up with a “slightly frowsy, running on fumes non-black old timer.”

              1. polecat

                fumes ….

                All whilst giggling, condescendingly to the poor lumpens… as she inhales a big fat one!

        2. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

          Super mission critical that President Kamala gets in, that way nobody goes to jail for the attempted coup, just like in a third world banana republic.

          You don’t have to support The Orange One to agree with everything he says here…you just have to want to live in a country, I dunno, where the people choose the president, not the FBI and the CIA: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gn-_f6MTjzw

          From flora: This is like Watergate, only worse.

          It’s like Nixon’s allies put the Watergate burglars in charge of investigating themselves, and then they were installed on nightly news to discredit anyone criticizing them

          And the ship of the Republic sinks silently beneath the waves…

          Maybe in 2024 we can just skip all this “election” hoo-haw, after all we have government by, for, and of the spy agencies, just have them pick. Q: which system of government will we be extolling next time we smash a country full of brown people to bits?

          And like The Big O, President Harris can drone fellow browns with the best of them. Hey why doesn’t BLM get going in Yemen and Libya? (lots of suppressed brown people plus actual slavery today, not 160 years ago).

          Sorry, cynical disgust meter off the charts this morning. Dementia patient criminal plus phony idpol grifter who has Mnuchin and Zuckerberg on speed dial, not exactly the height of my aspirations for a better country and a better world.

        3. Jeremy Grimm

          Eichmann was an extremely efficient and reliable civil servant — a little morality challenged — but aren’t they all at his level? I don’t know about Pol Pot, but doubt he would be available. He is probably much more interested in an appointment to a cabinet spot — like Attorney General.

          it is most unfortunate the current head of the CIA, Gina Haspel, is of the wrong ‘background’. If only she were black, Biden could have chosen her for VP to make an elegant democratic echo of the Reagan-Bush team. [I doubt whether her base inclinations have any party affiliation.]

          We need an extremely partisan democratic Congress if Trump becomes President. Perhaps total grid-lock can save us …

        1. ambrit

          Centre right? More like hard Right.
          Don’t count Trump out yet. The Democrat Party has again shown their well known ability to snatch defeat out of the jaws of victory.

      2. ChiGal in Carolina

        Just heard. Not that I wasn’t feeling this way already, but I am so dispirited. So they get their first pick after all, and Biden’s just a figurehead: Jill will be keeping him in line.

        Another Obama, Black only at a superficial glance. So does this give Trump four more years? Will the progressive wing fall in line?

        Last week my mom had a drastic decline and she is now expected to live another week. She is 90 and the one thing she was hoping to hold out to do was cast a vote against Trump. She voted Bernie in the primary and oh so didn’t want Biden but that’s what we’ve got. She also oh so didn’t want Kamala but that’s what we’ve got.

        She asked me the other day who I will vote for, because she so wants Trump out of office and she knows I voted none of the above in 2016.

        I was thinking as a final gift to her I would vote for Biden; this just makes it that much harder.

        I am so grateful to have in NC a community where I can share these thoughts.

        1. Katiebird

          I am so sorry, ChiGal. My mom felt the same way but died in May last year (age 94) after a sudden decline. Both my parents loved Bernie. I don’t know what I’ll do. I live in Kansas and it’s hard to believe it matters (I used to think it did)

        2. ambrit

          Your gift to her will be to vote your conscience. She must know what a strong woman she produced.
          Forget all about the external world for now. This time with your Mom will be the most valuable that you remember. Family is first. Everyone here will understand.

        1. ambrit

          I, personally, in a much more risque sense, would make that another sort of encircling device altogether.
          ‘Vote For The C— R—.’
          [Apologies to any serious feminists out there, but the woman did rise to her present position of prominence partly due to the sexual favours she supplied to a powerful man.]

          1. Sheldon

            Stretch rubber bands between two parking meters, chant and dance~

            “Obama put the D in Deportation,
            Hillary put the H in Hillarity,
            Trump put the T in Triumph,
            Biden puts the DEM in Dementia and
            Kamala puts the Vice in Vice-President…”

        1. Chris

          My political scientist friends tell me Ms. Harris is a safe pick, will help shore up the AA vote, and is well liked by the party. Basically, she won’t be a Palin like disaster but she won’t be a star either. In other words, her performance in the primary is irrelevant.

          I don’t know if I believe all that but it seems lot of people I know do. I guess the bad things she did are too far away to remind people what an awful person she is.

          1. polecat

            Which ‘AA’ vote?? .. the crony, corrupt calcified relics among the misleadership cast .. THOSE votes??

            I don’t see that as a solid endorsement. Kanye’s, West’s et.al. head’s must be exploding in unison right about now ..

      3. drumlin woodchuckles

        This is to assure Wall Street that they will have a friend in the Old Naval Observatory as well as a friend in the White House. Harris will be a Newbama for a new generation of FIRE sector hustlers and lawbreakers and crash-causers.

        The Trump campaign could do a lot of hidden-hand false-flag messaging against this choice , making the ads feel kind of Sanderist without overtly claiming they really are.

      4. Oso

        Shonde agree with all you wrote, Harris was terrible in SF and as AG. Continued bad work as Senator. i was proud to be among the small group protesting her here in Oakland when she first announced her candidacy. OPD and Feds kept protesters kettled.

      5. John Anthony La Pietra

        I’m surprised to read that people here really think Pence is going to want to highlight the scandalous moral bankruptcy of his boss’s pick as Treasury Secretary — any more than Harris will want to discuss her prosecutorially indiscreet failure to take her staff’s advice and charge Mnuchin.

        IMO, both of them will try to keep the topic off the questions list. And the corporate media panelists will let them . . . unless they somehow wind up having to share the stage with someone like this.

  9. zagonostra

    >Forbes awards USA as the penultimate winner

    Bernie was never able to drive this point home. There was that one moment in the debates, but with a gaggle of other candidates to distract it never took root…this country is too damn fixated on the rich and famous, the Kim Karsomething or other and her famous husband. How did it happen to the country that was, post WWII, on top of the world? Rhetorical, I know you know the answer and so do I, unfortunately our brethren don’t know, don’t care, or both.

    The country came in at a shockingly low 34th place out of 35 countries… Topping the list of best places to raise a family were countries like Iceland, Norway, Sweden and Finland…

    American mothers are twice as likely to die in childbirth here as in Canada—even though it will cost us three times as much for a standard hospital birth…

    Americans work very long hours per year with zero government-mandated paid maternity, paternity, sick leave or vacation time…No other country in our study gives zero paid maternity leave or zero paid vacation time.”


    1. Amfortas the hippie

      i spoke to one of stepdad’s home health nurses yesterday.
      asked how it looked out there.
      she’s been a trumper maga person from the get-go, so it was sort of surprising what followed. she got a look on her face that i’ve come to associate with teabilly madness, like they’re fixin to go off about the communist reptilian takeover and grain alcohol with rainwater and all…
      but not this time,lol.
      she launched into an impassioned soliloquy about how the entire edifice of state and medicine, from the agency she works for to the county all the way up to His Orangeness had utterly failed, and how the tests are fer shit, because they take too long, how the official numbers are ludicrous and the actual numbers…which we all have to collate anecdotally, now…are orders of magnitude higher…and how folks who get tested the next county over don’t get counted here…and how a bunch of folks went to the big city and bought rapid tests(?), which aren’t counted at all.
      she ended by saying “mark my words, it’s fixing to blow up out here”

      and today…besides a brief trip to feed store…we’ve been home and inside all day(hot as hell), and the scanner has, indeed, been blowing up…frantic dispatcher, tripping over her words about this person with covid, now that person with covid… back to back, all day…enough to where they had to call in extra ambulances from neighboring counties(mutual aid rocks!).
      jungle drums/rumor mill/faceborg fills out the picture…we know everyone who’s been hauled to an er…ages from 25-60, 2 now on ventilators… 40 and 60 yo. respectively and relatively healthy.
      Only one guy at the feedstore with a mask on…he works there, and that is an addition of one, since the last time i went,lol.
      i saw 2 other masks when driving through the Square, and none at the bodega.
      population of 4500, and official number is around 45(?)…but anecdata indicates perhaps 10 times that…depending on which nurse type you corner.
      wife’s freaking out…in person school starts next week…although we all get to stay home due to cancer.
      others are not so fortunate(for a strange rendering of “fortunate”)

      1. Amfortas the hippie

        and if all that wasn’t enough, jungle drums say “chingos de policia” over in the “new barrio” east of town…escaped inmates, or something,lol.
        it is literally never, ever this exciting around here.

      2. anon in so cal

        I don’t blame your wife for freaking out. A while back Stat said the “official” confirmed case number could be anywhere from 6 to 24 times the official estimates. I multiply by 10. When I venture out in the car, I still see some of my neighbors not wearing masks. It’s not just that testing is a mess, but are the tests accurate? This child had Covid symptoms and tested negative, then succumbed to what sounds like Covid.


  10. a different chris

    >I have a hard time figuring out the answer to these questions,

    He isn’t supposed to figure it out? They don’t intend to change anything, well they do they intend to finish (and this may take no effort at all, just board the train) the journey of the Dem party to becoming the pre-Reagan republican party. Then they’ll find a Reagan, and if we had time (climate, war will not give us it but they are too stupid to know that) we would do the whole thing over again.

    Ridiculous that they think these people have any intention of becoming what we are told are “Democrats”, even Democrats with the exception of The Squad and Bernie are not so much.

    And having said that, Matt Duss doesn’t even really get it — “salvage their own relevance”… they never lost relevance in the sense of their voices being heard. The only effect *at all* on that has come from outside the country, courtesy of the Taliban. The news orgs here still act like those people know what they are talking about, whereas the far left and far right are the only groups that seem to recognize their cluelessness.

          1. Chris

            Or they’re like everyone else on my social feed right now high fiving over the decision to pick Harris as VP.

            I’m not voting for the red or blue flavored nyquil this year. I’ll do anything but support these options. On the blue nyquil side of the ledger, I don’t want to know what happens but I can’t look away. Like, it would please me on deep level if Biden and Harris crashed and burned so hard that their names became synonymous with failure on a grand scale. If they win, yikes. I guess it will be good to have the old level of corruption and idiocy back in charge?

            What I am looking forward to seeing is what Trump does with this. I can’t wait to see what crazy thing he comes up with to appeal to Black voters. If I had to guess, I think he’d say something elect me and as part of reparations you won’t have to pay federal income tax for 4 years.

            1. drumlin woodchuckles

              If they win, they will set the stage for a Republican ticket composed of Tucker Carlson and Steve Bannon in either order, in either 2024 or 2028.

          1. polecat

            Well, I don’t know about Amerika … but MiddleMurica has been in mourning for quite some time now ..

            come Around again and see the wonderous U.S. clusterf#ck! that is our two-party coin!

  11. Plague Species

    I can’t wait to receive the Sputnik V vaccine, can you? Great name for it, by the way. Another great name would have been Novichok II. The Sturgis bikers should be used for Phase 3 testing.

      1. pricklyone

        I am gonna laugh myself to death, phooey on Covid-19.
        So there’s Kamala Harris and “Kamala” Harris?
        Think I wet myself, a little…
        Condolences of course to the wrestler’s family, but what a strange coincidence!

      1. Lambert Strether Post author

        The administration’s body language changed about a week ago. I think they think they have a colorable vaccine (and I bet the litmus test would be Fauci backing it). Now they need to get their heads out of their [nether parts] and pump a lot more blood into the zombie economy and Trump’s got a shot. Remember, the campaign only begins after Labor Day. Any kind of deal with (say) North Korea and The Biden™ will start to sweat, assuming that Tyrell Corporation has installed that functionality.

      1. ChrisAtRU

        Trump ( R) (2)

        “Since this is a Members-only story, I can only quote this, but remember that for liberal Democrats, January 20, 2017 is the Year Zero, and nothing happened before that.”

        #Exactly – “Shithole Nation” status, much like the oft bandied “kakistocracy”, did not arrive with Donald Trump.

        1. ChrisAtRU

          L’Affaire Alex Morse

          “Interesting, as we say, that the accusation against Morse comes from College Democrats.”

          Les Énarques! Les Énarques! Toujours agents provocateurs!

          LOL … so thankful to this family blog for having taught me that word!

    1. Carolinian

      And San Francisco. Pelosi is married to Peter Kaufman, son of Philip Kaufman, director of The Right Stuff and many others (but now 83). It’s an exclusive club and you ain’t in it.

      1. drumlin woodchuckles

        Who is to say that the College Republicans don’t have deep cover agents within the College Democrats whose long-game job it is to set up promising young lefty politicos with traps exactly like this . . . . waiting waiting waiting till the time comes to spring them?

        1. Dr. John Carpenter

          Why would they need to or want to? Young lefties cause more trouble for the Democratic establishment than the Republicans and the Dems have shown themselves perfectly willing and able to do this dirty work themselves.

    1. JohnnySacks

      Incredible talent! But a disclaimer is in order, he’s sadly now a paraplegic due in no small part to his specialty.

      1. Glen

        Yes, he broke his back twice, and was paralyzed after the second accident in 2013.

        I thought about whether I should post the link based on his accident, and decided I would, but am also glad that you mentioned it so that we are all aware of the risk.

    1. L


      Yep, its up on his website. Wall St friendly, protects police from accountability, and yet “tough on crime” also someone who will do nothing to bring in Sanders voters but who is friendly to the GOP. Someone who, lest we forget, didn’t even poll well in her home state.

      What’s not for him to like?

    2. allan

      With what’s going on in the country, and KH’s track record in California,
      this is a completely tone deaf choice. C’mon man, read the room!

      1. Janie

        I dunno. Either way, it’s scraping the bottom if the barrel. I’m leaving the top of the ticket blank, an now it’s off to look for my lost shaker of salt.

      2. drumlin woodchuckles

        Rice would be given her pick of Secretary of State or Chair of the National Security Council if Dead Joe Walking wins the election.

    3. neo-realist

      Unlike a VP candidate like Gretchen Whitmer, I have doubts that Harris can help the ticket in the midwest swing states. She’ll get people excited in dyed in the wool blue NY, CA, but what about PA, OH, WI, MI? A lot of political baggage from her prosecutorial work in CA, potentially a big target in the general.

      I suspect a lot of black political people were also leaning on the Biden camp to get a black woman on lest he lose much of the black vote, particularly the black female vote.

      1. L

        I agree. So far as I can tell from my armchair she won’t pick up anybody who wasn’t already going to vote for him. For people who wanted the image of POC her choice shores them up, but so would Bass or Abrams. For people who care about policy then there is no meaningful daylight between them and thus noone she will bring into the tent.

        The only rational explanations I see are: 1) she does make him comfortable since they share policy views; 2) she knew his son so they have that connection; 3) she reassures the “centrists” and tough on crime types that h will protect them.

        My money is on #3

        1. NotTimothyGeithner

          Biden wasn’t going to pick anyone who might be from a main stream center right party in Europe. So that was limiting. It had to be a really right wing person. He wanted Klob. She brutalizes poor people and worshipped the rich. Events. Harris is very much like Klob but gives Biden an out.

          The Whitmer trial balloons turned into jokes about Tim Kaine.

      2. Tom Stone

        I’m not sure Kamala will bring many black female votes, her proposal to jail single mothers who can’t keep their kids from cutting school might not go over well with that group.

        1. drumlin woodchuckles

          How many single mothers outside of California even know about that? And don’t even THINK that the DEMocrats are going to tell them about that. The only way the single mothers outside of California will ever hear about that is if the Trump campaign makes a point of telling them about that.

          Now there’s an idea for any Trump operatives reading these comments to send back to Trump Command Central for careful consideration. Do you suppose any Trump operatives are reading these comments? Somehow I doubt that the Dead Joe Walking Headquarters could even be bothered to have someone reading these comments.

  12. flora

    re:More concerning news from @USPS. In short, the Post Office won’t prioritize election mail unless states pay more.

    Call it the DeJoy poll tax. (or shakedown).

    1. edmondo

      I’m not so sure why everyone is so concerned about the validity of their mail in ballot. I can’t even find one person on the thing that I want to vote for. If anyone feels strongly about one of the candidates and wants my ballot, hit me up. Frankly my dear, I don’t give a damn about either of these idiots.

      1. Late Introvert

        I want to vote against Joni Ernst, and use my new independent status to vote Green party.

      2. flora

        I care about the USPS, the bipartisan destruction of an essential public service esp. in rural US, and T’s appointee apparently enjoying the destruction.

        1. Jeremy Grimm

          I also care very deeply about the USPS. If they are run to ruin I worry about how I might respond. I’ll watch “the Postman” again tonight and I might check around for a copy Brinn’s novel. I watch the black and white older “Miracle on 34th Street” every Christmas, but with the USPS gone, I’m not sure I could.

      1. Keith

        It might be something that the silent majority appreciates, especially with all the violence occurring over this weekend alone. That being said, she and Biden will likely run away from law and order rhetoric, which will hurt them with a crowd they could naturally appeal to.

        1. JBird4049

          Unfortunately, Senator Harris is a “laws for thee and not for me” person. For instance, she did not prosecute the then extremely corrupt man who ran OneWest Bank, Steve “The Foreclosure king” Mnuchin despite, IIRC, her entire staff recommending that she do so. She was happy to threaten jail time for the parents of truants.

          Restated, she protects the wealthy and powerful, while punching down on the weak and the poor. She is amoral at best with her career more important than anything else.

          1. Keith

            So it should play well politically, then? Hypocrisy and immorality seem to be qualities of the political elites. Not a good thing, but just a reality. That being said, I think she has the potential to turn more people off from Team Biden than to on it. In many ways, the punching down is a reason for it. I can imagine Trump playing and replaying her stats are sending black men to prison with her interview with Charlemagne where she lefts about smoking weed.

          2. anon in so cal

            Nor for her husband’s clients.

            In 2015, CA AG Kamala Harris declined to prosecute Herbalife corporation, even though prosecutors recommended this—her husband Douglas Emhoff, was employed by a law firm representing Herbalife.

            “Harris declined to investigate Herbalife, the nutritional supplement company that has been accused of fraudulent marketing practices. Documents exclusively obtained by Yahoo News show that in 2015, prosecutors in the San Diego office of the California attorney general sent Harris a lengthy memorandum that argued for an investigation into Herbalife and requested resources in order to undertake such an investigation. Similar investigations into Herbalife were already taking place elsewhere.

            About three weeks after the San Diego letter was sent, Harris received the first of three donations to her campaign for the U.S. Senate from Heather Podesta, the powerful Washington lobbyist whose ex-husband Tony’s firm, then called the Podesta Group, had worked for Herbalife since 2013. Heather Podesta’s own lobbying firm, Heather Podesta and Partners, would soon be hired by Herbalife, too….

            …That same year, a class-action lawsuit filed in Kamala Harris’s home state of California was settled, where Herbalife agreed to set aside $15 million for distributors harmed by whatever practices they were not admitting to maliciously doing, and $2.5 million for product refunds. In 2015, Harris declined to prosecute Herbalife (while her husband Douglas Emhoff, was employed by a law firm representing Herbalife).”


        1. Keith

          If you really want criminal reform, you have to start at the prosecutors. Personally, I would like the withholding of Brady material a criminal offense.

          1. John Anthony La Pietra

            Sounds like one place to start — though we might have to tuck in a “willful” or a “blind eye”. . . .

    1. Keith

      Article from a little while back of black people at a cookout discussing politics- they did not like Harris at all, https://www.politico.com/news/magazine/2020/06/24/letter-to-washington-grosse-pointe-woods-325641

      Russmussen out with a poll showing over half of Americas don’t think Joe will make the full term, making Harris quite the focal of attention, https://www.rasmussenreports.com/public_content/politics/elections/election_2020/59_think_biden_unlikely_to_finish_a_four_year_term_in_white_house

  13. Dr. John Carpenter

    I’m still catching up but it seems to me there’s much less “there” there with the Alex Morse allegations than those leveled at Joe Biden. Not that I’m surprised that Biden got a pass or anything, I just wonder if the next establishment Dem in a position like Biden will.

  14. Dr. John Carpenter

    Also no Republicans are “worming” their way into Biden’s circle. They’ve been invited. This has been the plan all along and the Democrats have been open about it.

  15. Fern

    So they picked the AIPEC choice in defiance of the will of the voters.

    Kamala Harris did miserably in the primaries and was polling fourth in her own home state. That’s a resounding “no” from the voters. Yet according the polls, most people believe that if Biden is elected, he won’t finish his term. So they’ve selected an individual resoundingly defeated by the voters to be our next president.

    When Kamala Harris giggled and said that she smoked marijuana in college, even though she was responsible for draconian enforcement of drug laws and refused to support legalization of marijuana when her Republican (!) opponent came out in favor of marijuana legalization, she should have been disqualified immediately.

    Harris had every advantage when she entered the race; she was the establishment favorite, she had the backing of the big donors and she was telegenic. Yet because of her abysmal record and performance, she was being decisively trounced in her own home state.

    This is a travesty.

      1. Fern

        Kamala Harris’ pandering to AIPAC is over-the-top, as we saw when she was forced to release her off-the-record comments to AIPAC.

        As a sampler, she claimed to have walked around with a little box (the well-known ubiquitous little blue box used by well-meaning, often lower-income American Jewish grandparents like my own in the 1950’s and 60’s to collect money for Israel). Harris said at her off-the-record AIPAC speech:

        “Well I grew up, it’s just it was always part of my life. I grew up ― we, and maybe many of you, I don’t know if anyone is still doing this with the vigor with which we would do it, but we would have our little boxes where we were raising money to plant trees for Israel. (Laughs) And we would go around with our box, and you know, I actually never sold Girl Scout cookies, but I raised money to plant trees in Israel. So it was just, it’s always been, it’s always been there. I’ve been to Israel three times, most recently in November of last year. I promised friends and myself that I would go before the end of my first year as a United States Senator, and it is just something that has always been a part of me. I don’t know when it started, it’s almost like saying when did you first realize you loved your family, or love your country, it just was always there. It was always there”.


        Harris’ extraordinary pandering to AIPAC bodes poorly for our foreign policy and for our freedom of speech as well, given her fierce opposition to BDS.

        Harris brings nothing to the ticket except AIPAC. She doesn’t appeal to either conservative or progressive swing voters, she doesn’t bring in a swing state and she isn’t useful for increasing key voter turn-out because she isn’t even popular with youth and black youth, clearly due in part to her deplorable record as a DA and prosecutor. She has a cringe-worthy style — often blatantly imitating the accent and cadence of Obama. She’s a hopelessly bad pick.

        1. Keith

          She will fit in well with Biden’s team then, filled with Neo-Cons and Liberal Interventionists. One Politico article I read, albeit a social gathering of blacks living in a Detriot suburb, found her phony and quite distasteful, which may suppress black turnout over all.

        2. Sheldon

          Paraphrasing her campaign slogan:

          “Kamala Harris For the (Chosen) People?”

          No way, she’s just going where the money and power are.

          Maybe she is a BRILLIANT CHOICE BY THE DNC, the actual ones who picked her, it wasn’t Biden.

          What makes any of you think that the DNC wants to be in charge of a country sliding into a deep economic depression??????

          By chosing her, they guarantee handing the country to Trump which leaves him holding the shitsandwich of the economy and pandemic.

          Smooth move DNC!

          1. ObjectiveFunction

            Hillary and Bill endorsed her in the primaries, didn’t they? So the Clinton grift machine can keep running for a bit longer.

          2. drumlin woodchuckles

            This would fit in with the theory that the DemParty wants to throw the election while pretending to try winning it to avoid disillusioning too many hopeful believers.

            If Trump wins, they would spend the next 4 years amplifying the Identy Social Justice Warrior Leftard WokeNazi faction in order to keep the Sanderistas and other Political Economy Leftists surrounded, isolated and smothered under the SJW WokeNazi cone of silence.

    1. Jeremy Grimm

      But no one even knew who Truman really was. The democratic party found a way to replace Henry Wallace with Truman. At least we know how very screwed we are with Kamala Harris.

  16. rowlf

    Yeah Uncle Rob! .…then…

    I think I could warm up to mask mandates if the penalty for not wearing a mask is the offender gets sent to the Democratic National Convention.

  17. Cripes

    Just when you think it can’t get worse, it always does. Kamala Harris will be running as Joes presumptive successor to the White House. They might as well keep Steve Mnuchin at Treasury since she gets along so well with him, too.

    Diversity! For the elites!
    Plus, she’ll handle BLM, because she’s blackish.
    Like Obama!
    The restoration!
    I think I might smack the first person who tells me how great it is to have a black feminazi (term repurposed) running for president, which she is.

    CNN and David Axelrod (historic) assure us that Sniffy Joe only picked her because they’re personally sympatico and he likes her so much.

    He hates her for the castration she performed on him during the debates. Methinks Joe has been given the talk.

    1. Keith

      That was a while back; it is just water under the bridge by now. I doubt Joe even remembers it took place. :)

    2. Sheldon

      Red Dot “Blackish”

      Her sister, Maya West, married to Tony West, Uber’s chief counsel, and the go between Saudi Arabia and Uber, their main investor, self-identifies as Indian, having like her sister, mostly Irish and East and some West Indian blood.

      Even Kamala’s father has repudiated how phony his daughter is:
      “Professor Donald Harris sent a comment to a Jamaican publication, saying, “My dear departed grandmothers, whose extraordinary legacy I described in a recent essay on this website, as well as my deceased parents, must be turning in their grave right now to see their family’s name, reputation and proud Jamaican identity being connected, in any way, jokingly or not with the fraudulent stereotype of a pot-smoking joy seeker and in the pursuit of identity politics.”

      “Speaking for myself and my immediate Jamaican family, we wish to categorically dissociate ourselves from this travesty,” he added.


      Oh such a coincidence!, That website that worked for over a year shows today an “Internal Server Error”

      Whatever. Here’s a list of the 89 slaves owned by Harris’ Irish ancestors in Jamaica from the archives in the British Museum. Jump ahead to the 32′ mark in the video.


      1. marym

        Why is this statement from her father about his own perspective on his heritage a recurring theme from her detractors, when there’s the whole of her professional life and policies to scrutinize? Also, having great-grandparent who is a descendant of an Irish slaveowner doesn’t make a person’s heritage “mostly” Irish. Her father has a right to interpret their family heritage however he chooses, but if there’s an argument the rest of us should consider about her use of identity politics this isn’t it.

        1. Sheldon

          Your math is correct:
          One 1/2 black, half Carib Indian grandmother, her father’s mother, his other parent 100% white Irish descent, and her 100% East Indian mother, doesn’t make her black either.

          1. marym

            I’m not claiming any math beyond what I said. The only white person identified in this recurring argument is further back than a great grandparent. Another person has an ancestry unknown to her father. Kamala Harris grew up as a non-white in the US and Canada. How she sees herself, her heritage, and her experience is her business. She should be judged on her performance of her public responsibilities, of which her own use of identity politics is only a part; not on some kind of reverse identity politics.


            1. Lambert Strether Post author

              > How she sees herself, her heritage, and her experience is her business. She should be judged on her performance of her public responsibilities, of which her own use of identity politics is only a part;

              There’s a lot to say about Harris’ performance of her public responsibilities — Steve Mnuchin playing on the national stage in the Trump administration is one outcome — but the Democrat Party is absolutely going to market her on her “heritage” (which most definitely will focus, as with Obama, on melanin, and not on her family heritage as slave-owners). That makes it our business, sadly.

        2. Lambert Strether Post author

          > Why is this statement from her father about his own perspective on his heritage a recurring theme from her detractors, when there’s the whole of her professional life and policies to scrutinize?

          Because her father’s statement — ” the pursuit of identity politics” — is on point up to the present day.

  18. Grant

    The Democratic Party is a joke. It is obvious that Neal or someone close to him did that attack (which is little more than thinly veiled homophobia), and Neal didn’t connect himself to it because it is homophobic. It is also dinosaur politics, what worthless and corrupt hacks like him always do when they have nothing to offer anyone on policy. The attack should end HIS career.

    Shame on Sunrise and the DSA for falling for it. They are suckers and pathetically weak for doing so. Compare that non issue to the real world impact of Neal’s decades long corruption. Many in the left are not really serious about taking power and taking on the rich and powerful.

    1. Lambert Strether Post author

      > The Democratic Party is a joke.

      As are the outer trenchworks that surround the Party, the NGOs. From the Sunrise Movement website:

      We’re building political power by voting out corrupt politicians [that’s Neal] and voting in real leaders who will stand up for their communities and a Green New Deal [that’s Morse].

      What Sunrise Movement is saying is that there are other things that are more important than their putative goal, expressed on their website here:

      For millennia, we have depended on a stable climate, which has shaped every part of our way of life. Now, we face the frightening reality that this foundation will crumble within our lifetimes unless we take immediate and decisive action to transform our energy system.

      So, by allowing Neal two more years (at least) in office, they slice 78 (average lifetime) – 20 (average Sunrise Movement age) / 2 years = 4% off their timeline. Good job guys.

      Lenin was a repellent character but in the Bauman affair he made the right calculation, given that his goal was to win power. Sunrise Movement made a different calculation, and in a couple of years they’ll be an ordinary NGO and we’ll all be wondering “What happened to those guys? Things once seemed so hopeful.” Is there a reason we shouldn’t learn from a winner?

  19. rowlf

    And.. the Babylonbee comes through!

    “If you want to fight for oppressed minority groups, you must vote for this rich, old, white man who authored the 1994 crime bill and this corrupt police officer who has made a career out of throwing minorities in jail for non-violent drug crimes,” said a DNC spokesperson. “It’s the only way to fight the establishment.”

    Party Of The Poor And Oppressed Nominates Old, Rich, White Man And Cop

    Bonus article:

    Stacey Abrams Graciously Accepts VP Nomination

  20. Sheldon

    This will drive Democrats to the polls I’m sure.


    “A new poll showing nearly 90 percent approval among Democratic voters for Medicare for All has stirred fresh calls for Joe Biden, to end his opposition to the healthcare solution that would cover all Americans at less overall cost than the current, more wasteful for-profit system.”


    1. edmondo

      I find those numbers suspect. Those 90% had a chance to GET M4A back in the spring. All they had to do was vote for Bernie. They didn’t. They voted for the exact opposite.

      1. Keith

        People like M4A when it is undefined, as it sounds nice, like a lot of things. It is when things get specific do you see break this way and that. I suppose the poll reflects that.

        1. Grant

          Well, to get an accurate result, the people being asked should also be given accurate information on this system, or this system with 1% change (like a public option, which could actually destroy Medicare), versus a single payer system. How much would single payer save individuals (working people in particular) and how much would it save the country, how many bankruptcies would it help people avoid, what qualitative improvements would it bring in regards to job lock, knowing it would be there regardless of a person’s life struggles, the power it would give workers, etc. Cause those being asked are not ever given that data, and it wouldn’t be enough to explain how such a system would work. What impact would that system have, and how would such a system compare to the present? Just as important. What do you think the poll result would be if Canadians were asked this question? They used to have a system like ours, can see the train wreck in practice here in the states and it isn’t even changing during COVID 19. How many would prefer this system to theirs, if the data was given to them as well, the implications for the people being polled of ditching their single payer system for a system like ours? I doubt it would have tons of support even in the Conservative Party. I don’t think it would break this or that way if people had the data. I think defending the present system would be untenable if people knew the facts of the matter. They don’t. So, explaining how such a system would work isn’t enough to get informed opinions, you have to also explain the impact of that system in an accurate way.

          As far as why the primary turned out as it did; it is a fact that a very small percentage of that party takes part in the primaries. Among those that do, it is disproportionately older voters, they get their news from hack sources like CNN and MSNBC and they were told to vote against Bernie (Tweetie as concerned about peoples’ courts, similar to those that sprung up during the early years of the Chinese Revolution, executing capitalists in Central Park or whatever), and they overwhelmingly voted for Biden because he was “electable”. They were told this, and have been told that story for decades by those same sources. And it wasn’t as if that primary wasn’t highly problematic from start to finish, from Iowa on. This is why I don’t take that party seriously when it talks about the sanctity of democracy. Even among those that voted, I wouldn’t assume it is a reflection as to which policies the people support.

          1. hunkerdown

            Elections only measure the will of the parties to collect votes. The two parties can ignore any votes they like just by closing unfavorable polling stations, and they certainly do that in Democrat primaries.

            Remember, it’s their democracy. Or we make it our democracy and replace their positions with an Excel spreadsheet and a couple of Perl scripts. There is no middle ground.

      2. a different chris

        More to the point:

        >According to The Hill, their online poll with HarrisX surveyed 958 registered voters

        Wow that’s convincing.

  21. Amfortas the hippie

    empty buildings=>legionnaire’s disease.
    at the cdc, no less:

    and texas sets a fine example, again:
    “Gov. Greg Abbott said on July 31 that local health officials could not issue blanket orders that preemptively blocked schools in their jurisdictions from opening their classrooms for in-person instruction. That statement, which followed similar guidance from Attorney General Ken Paxton, came after about 18 local health authorities had issued such orders.
    The move frustrated some superintendents, who said they were hamstrung in their ability to respond to the pandemic.
    Abbott has said that local health officials could shut down schools that have COVID-19 outbreaks after they reopen.”

    1. The Rev Kev

      Groan! Guys like Ted Bundy are pikers as they killed people on a retail level. People like Abbott are professionals as they do it wholesale.

    2. Henry Moon Pie`

      There’s quite a bit of irony lurking in the gubernatorial actions ranging from statewide shutdowns at one end to these prohibitions against local shutdowns at the other. If we believe the Morning Consult tracking poll on attitudes toward eating out or going to theme parks, the shutdowns had little effect on business viability because enough people were already averse to exposing themselves to the virus to make most of the spreader businesses economically doomed. The shutdowns did give crazy Propertarians and panicked bar and restaurant owners a chance to blame the guvmint rather than the virus, our disinvested public health system, for-profit medicine, our absurdly fragile economic system or their own foolhardy investments.

      On the other hand, these statewide shutdown prohibitions, ostensibly in place to preserve FREE-DUMB, have robbed localities of the ability to protect themselves against the Coronavirus.

      In the end, all these decisions are working to move us closer to real freedom as defined by Kris Kristofferson and covered famously by Janis:

      Freedom is just another word for nothing left to lose.

      We’re getting there, and the one encouraging thing is that that abysmal point may be the only one from which we can plot an escape.

      1. ambrit

        Yes, Pulp is very good.
        Strangely, my middle sister actually did go to St. Martins College. She graduated from the Kansas City Art Institute. She made a career in the field. I don’t know about the sculpture, but she is a wiz with an airbrush.

  22. Chris

    Kamala Harris huh? Time to go ghost silent on all social media. I won’t be able to do a good enough job pretending to be excited for the neoliberal mob to believe I’m being an honest serf.

  23. Synoia

    Brown is a sharp, sharp operator

    Certainly is, she got a good boo$$t from being Willie Brown’s mistress.

    Black lives don’t matter to her, she was not a good Attorney General.

    Definitely comes from the Hanging and Flogging wing of the Democratic Party. A perfect match for Biden.

    I’m voting for Trump, Mediocrity over Mendacity….

    1. CarlH

      You don’t find Trump’s entire administration mendacious as well? What would they have to do to get that designation from you?

      1. hunkerdown

        Irrelevant. We only need one neoliberal party, at most, and we’ve decided the GOP is going to be it and the Democrat Party needs to be RICOed.

        1. CarlH

          My anger is sufficient to encompass both parties equally. RICO the lot of ’em. Unfortunately, this would require the cooperation of Big Law, which brings us into the realm of fantasy.

    2. Arizona Slim

      Not planning to vote for Trump.

      But, Synoia, ya know what? If I ever met you in person, I’d treat you to a glass of your favorite beverage.

      Why? Because of how you explained your decision. And that’s how we roll here at NC.

    3. flora

      Facebook’s Sheryl Sandberg likes Harris.

      Facebook’s Sheryl Sandberg: “This is a huge moment… There’s no denying that Kamala Harris is ambitious – and that’s something we should be celebrating.”


      If I didn’t dislike Harris already, that FB honcho Sandberg support would turn me against her candidacy … ugh.

    4. CitizenSissy

      Synoia, are you kidding? Trump and his lackeys have turned the presidency into a nightmare vanity project. Kudos to Jonathan Swan for effectively deflating the balloon.

    5. Lambert Strether Post author

      > Mediocrity over Mendacity

      If we’re going to talk about lesser evil, then let us consult the master: Dante.

      If one candidate comes from Circle Eight of Hell (fraud) and the other from Circle Nine (betrayal), which is the “lesser”?

      If Hell Numbers are positive, 8 < 9, so vote for fraud. Alternatively, if Hell numbers are negative -- and shouldn't they be? -- then -9 < -8, so vote for betrayal. Decisions, decisions.

      1. ObjectiveFunction

        Ha, at a college party of insufferable intellectuals, I once ran a ‘truth or dare’ quiz called How Low Can You Go, based on where in the Inferno your worst sin would take you. Of course you had to convince the group that your actual sin qualified by providing the sordid details.

        Circle VII Sodomite was low hanging fruit of course, although fairly few chose to prove it. Showoffs tried going for obscure sins like Simony or Barratry. But I had to settle for VIII Sower of Discord. The game winner claimed IX Treason Against Guests, by seducing the g/f of a friend who was staying at his cottage.

        Good times, good times.

  24. ambrit

    Oh no. Just when I thought that it was safe to go back in the Elector’s Pool, up comes commenter Sheldon with a quip that immediately brought to my devious mind the perfect snark name for an anti-Harris screed: “The Kamela Sutra: the Illustrated Edition.”

  25. Big River Bandido

    re: Mike the Mad Biologist. He’s right to “feel” that Biden’s support in those states is wobbly — that’s why they’re pink, brown, and even light blue. The Democrats’ trouble is they used to win those states easily and now they’ve forgotten how. The piece gives short shrift to vote suppression and its likely impact on the election.

    As to the notion of Biden winning a popular majority: this is fantasy. In the last 50 years — 13 presidential elections — the Democrats *barely* won popular majorities only 3 times. In those other ten contests they mustered a pretty consistent 47%-49% of the vote, election after election, win or lose. This is where Biden will end up, if he does well, but it certainly won’t lead to electoral victory.

  26. CitizenSissy

    Re: Philadelphia Inquirer. Again, the Inky, whose reporters seem to enjoy their trips to gorgeous rural PA, posts an article that left me rolling my eyes. Is the Trump base motivated in a culturally conservative slice of the state? Of course. Another really, really motivated base is collar-county suburban women, many of whom are old-school moderate Republicans and would now crawl over glass to vote against Trump. Brian Fitzpatrick is my endangered Republican congressman, and none of yard signs I see in my town mention his Republican affiliation. “Bipartisan” is the mot juste in this situation.

    Let’s use the Reagan campaign metric: Are you better off now than you were four years ago?

    1. Jeremy Grimm

      Are you better off now than you were forty years ago?

      Neither Party could claim that slogan.

      1. CitizenSissy

        Completely agree. Reagan’s 1980 win was, IMHO, the end of the New Deal and the start of American decline. I hope this election at least starts the cleanup of the forty-year “Morning in America” nonsense. I use the Reagan quote to troll otherwise beloved Trump-supporting family members, who are rather sheepish these days.

    2. Lambert Strether Post author

      Please don’t double post, even if there is a delay before your comment goes up. By so doing, you are training Skynet to classify you as a spammer, because spammers do that. Once Skynet does that, we do not have the power to undo it.

  27. CitizenSissy

    Re: Philadelphia Inquirer. Again, the Inky, whose reporters seem to enjoy their trips to gorgeous rural PA, posts an article that left me rolling my eyes. Is the Trump base motivated in a culturally conservative slice of rural PA? Of course. Another really, really motivated base is collar-county suburban women, many of whom are old-school moderate Republicans who would now crawl over glass to vote against Trump. Mike Fitzpatrick is my endangered Republican congressman, and none of yard signs I see in my town mention his Republican affiliation. “Bipartisan” is the mot juste in this situation.

    Let’s use the Reagan campaign metric: Are you better off now than you were four years ago?

    1. Lambert Strether Post author

      > Another really, really motivated base is collar-county suburban women, many of whom are old-school moderate Republicans who would now crawl over glass to vote against Trump.

      Very true. I’m sure Harris will appeal to them. (I like the expression “collar county“; I’d never heard it.

  28. NotTimothyGeithner

    Awww…Andrew Yang thought he would get a speaking spot at the DNC for being a sellout.

    I do have to wonder how Liz Warren is handling the situation. She trashed her reputation to basically be dismissed.

    1. Jeremy Grimm

      Does it matter that much for the futures of either of them? Who will be watching the DNC convention and who will care what is said?

      1. NotTimothyGeithner

        Its more funny than anything, but they sold out and were dumped on because they offer nothing once they sell out.

        1. The Rev Kev

          Reminds me of Warren. She made up a bs story to destroy Bernie on behalf of the party and it got her nothing but a shredded reputation. No gratitude from the party for those efforts to set him up. She may not even be given a post in any Biden Presidency.

  29. a different chris

    Man they hate anybody that actually has a profile, speaks up, unless they are a wingnut. Post Gazette, nothing, MSN nothing, Yahoo news nothing.

    A Google search brought up almost nothing, a second search just a moment ago had Politico “…Omar’s career on the line…” and after that finally “…Omar wins contentious Fifth District…”

    Contentious, huh? On the line? Look at the actual results.


  30. VietnamVet

    Today is proof that the ruling class never changes.

    A female globalist Barrack Obama clone, Kamala Harris, is the VP pick of Joe Biden, the point-man for the restart of Cold War 2.0 in Ukraine. This is the intentional rebirth of the 2008 ticket without any hope.

    Washington DC is shut down in midst of the worse disaster in American history since the Civil War; a Pandemic Depression. Both political parties are so arrogant and incompetent that they believe that PR will cover up the next spike of coronavirus infections from reopening schools and the projected deaths of 300,000 Americans this year. The pandemic can be controlled now with a national public health program that shuts down hot spot states totally for five to six weeks or with daily quick antigen testing of workers and students at home. Instead both parties are allowing the pandemic to grow and spread while waiting for a profitable corporate vaccine or treatment. They use identity politics to divide the people and blame the unrest on foreign interference; Russian or Chinese. All to enrich themselves. This will not work if tens of millions of Americans have no food, no money, no shelter and no healthcare. If left unaddressed, change will come; suddenly and violently.

    1. Lambert Strether Post author

      Based on that Michael Tracy article I linked to last week — he visited and photographed several cities where riots weren’t covered — I think that Chicago is one of many. And none of it is being covered.

      1. integer

        Studiously ignoring anything that doesn’t align with their preferred narrative (i.e. their agenda) is standard practice for the liberal media establishment.

  31. Pat


    Points in her favor: – makes the Clitonites happy, who are much more vindictive than the Sanders folk. – likes playing the attack dog. – will reassure oligarchs that Biden’s obvious soon demise will disrupt them not at all. – acceptable to military/intelligence community.

    Points against: – no help in swing states. – no help with Latino community. – no help with younger Black community. – no help with Evangelicals. -No help.

    Harris is the Dems doubling down on positions that are increasingly failing with their supposed voters and does nothing to appeal to the moderate Republicans they were chasing in 2016 and continue to scream “like me” at annoyingly. If Covid 19 wasn’t taking out the Democrats most loyal voters, I would say the government falling apart after years of neglect would bring Trump down despite every obvious middle finger thrown to the public. But I can find no reason to pick Harris OTHER than to keep Trump viable and in office.

    I’m serious. They want to lose.

  32. MaggysFarm

    Just to be clear. Here in Oregon we have had 100% Vote By Mail since 2000. Every election, every time. Zero problems, easy-peazy. Don’t even need a stamp anymore. Plenty of drop-boxes if you’re a procrastinator.
    So we’re not Absentee Voting, we’re Vote By Mail. Hopefully the rest of the country will catch up some day.

    1. Lambert Strether Post author

      > Hopefully the rest of the country will catch up some day.

      I understand that. But on the national scale, the stakes are orders of magnitude higher and there’s a different set of players, not all with good intent.

  33. g3

    I guess the VP won’t be straying far off the reservation…

    Native Americans suggest NOT using the phrase “straying/walking/… off the reservation”

    I found “staying in the lane” to be a good substitute.

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