2:00PM Water Cooler 8/24/2020

By Lambert Strether of Corrente.


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 again is the Midwest: Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota, and Wisconsin. Illinois still rising:

I left out positivity, becaue the chart becomes unreadable if I include it. Interesting spike in Missouri; I wonder if it’s a reporting problem at the state level, since they seem to be cropping up all over.


Vegas (via):


“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 18: Still no changes. (Last change August 10.) Despite the sturm and drang, and the polls, the consensus on the electoral college remains the same: Biden ahead, Trump within striking distance.

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

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


* * *

Biden (D)(1): “Biden says he is willing to ‘shut down’ US to contain Covid-19” [Financial Times]. “Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden said he would ‘shut down’ the country if elected president to stop the spread of coronavirus if scientists recommended it.  ‘I will be prepared to do whatever it takes to save lives because we cannot get the country moving, until we control the virus,’ said Mr Biden in an interview with ABC to be aired on Sunday evening. ‘That is the fundamental flaw of this administration’s thinking to begin with. In order to keep the country running and moving and the economy growing, and people employed, you have to fix the virus, you have to deal with the virus.’ When asked if he would be willing to shut the country down if that was recommended by scientists, Mr Biden replied: ‘I would shut it down, I would listen to the scientists.'” • Biden’s quote, which Yves brought to my attention, presumes that “the scientists” are unanimous in their views; but science doesn’t work like that (and the record of experts on COVID, and in policy-making generally, is far from unblemished.) I believe that Biden’s idea stems from Andy Slavitt: “We are always four to six weeks from being able to do what countries around the world have done… 6. Instead of 50% lockdown (which is what we did in March and April), let’s say it’s a 90% lockdown. Meaning most of the Americans who couldn’t stay home in April because they were picking crops or driving trucks or working in health care would stay home with us.” Slavitt heads the anti-MedicareForAll lobbying organization USofCare. It’s possible we should listen to Slavitt on a shutdown (Slavitt’s avocation) and not on health care policy (his vocation). What we should be doing is applying our critical thinking skills to science, and not making arguments from authority about “the scientists.”

UPDATE Biden (D)(2): “Biden ‘absolutely’ open to possibility of serving eight years if elected” [The Hill]. “[ABC’s David Muir] mentioned the 77-year-old’s own description of himself as a ‘transition candidate,’ and asked if that meant Biden was committing himself to a single term. ‘No, it doesn’t mean that,’ Biden responded. ‘So you’re leaving open the possibility you’ll serve eight years?’ Muir asked. ‘Absolutely,’ Biden responded.” • So long as The Biden™’s nutrient bath is periodically refreshed, I don’t see an issue. Meanwhile:

UPDATE Biden (D)(3): “Former National Security Officials from Republican Administrations Endorse Biden” [Government Executive]. “Seventy-three former national security officials who served under Republican administrations and/or as Republican lawmakers came out against President Trump on Thursday, arguing he is an unfit leader…. The co-signers include former secretaries and other high-ranking officials for the State, Homeland Security, Commerce, Defense and Treasury departments and U.S. Agency for International Development, and directors of the National Security Council, CIA, FBI, National Security Agency and National Counterterrorism Center.” • So it’s war, then?

UPDATE Biden (D)(4): Admirably consistent:

Stilll a good speech, though! (Moore says the video was speeded up to fit within Twitter’s time limit for videos.)

UPDATE Biden (D)(5): “Biden Now Up To 106 Billionaire Donors; Trump Has 93” [Forbes]. “Joe Biden extended his lead over Donald Trump in the race for the most billionaire donors in May, according to a review of documents filed with the Federal Election Commission. The former vice president, who has received donations from 106 billionaires and their spouses, added six new donors last month. President Trump, meanwhile, got just one new donor, bringing his total to 93…. Despite the months-long pause on new billionaire donations, the Trump campaign is certainly not hurting for cash overall. While the Biden campaign and the DNC out-fundraised Trump’s and the GOP in May, Trump’s team still has $265 million cash-on-hand, compared to $122 million for Biden’s.” • the billionaires are listed.

UPDATE Biden (D)(6): How’s the outreach going:

Trump (R)(1):

In essence, a two-month shutdown would bring wage labour, and non-speculative capital accumulation, to a halt for two months. In order to make that work — if we define “work” as minimizing human suffering, or, more concretely, avoiding bread lines, riots, and other forms of mass distress — we would need universal concrete material benefits for two months; that’s what the working class would need to replace its lost wages (and businesses would need to replace their lost revenues). I don’t think the political class is prepared to countenance that, simply because such a policy would raise too many awkward questions. But anything less, and you have workers breaking quarantine to feed their famliies.

* * *

UPDATE “Kansas Democrat, 19, Who Admitted to Revenge Porn, Ekes Out Primary Win” [New York Times], “Aaron Coleman, the 19-Year-Old Progressive Who Won His Kansas Primary, Speaks About His Troubled Past and Promising Present [The Intercept], and “Kansas teen who won Democratic primary intends to withdraw nomination” [KSHB]. • Dollars to donuts, if Coleman weren’t for #MedicareForAll, hadn’t beaten a 7-term incumbent, and had Anita Dunn handling his PR, he wouldn’t have been dogpiled and would still be in the race. My takeways are systemic: (1) Middle school oppo is now a thing, and (2) liberal Democrats are perfectly happy to overturn legitimate election results. Since they’ve been yammering for years that the principle of respecting election results was critical to “our democracy” it’s, well, entirely natural and to be expected that they would do this.

* * *

Republican National Convention

UPDATE “Republicans will not adopt a new platform at this week’s convention and will instead pledge to ‘enthusiastically’ support Trump” [Business Insider]. “The Republican Party says it will not be announcing a new platform of policies to voters at this year’s Republican National Convention but will instead pledge to ‘enthusiastically’ support President Donald Trump. In a statement released Sunday, the Republican National Committee announced that instead of unveiling a range of new policy goals should its candidate win in November’s presidential election, the party would instead ‘continue to enthusiastically support the President’s America-first agenda.’ The committee said that because of the scaled-back nature of this year’s convention, its first to be held largely online, the party’s Convention Committee on Platform had been unable to meet…. Critics are pointing out that swaths of the 2016 platform are out of date. It contains criticism about the White House incumbent, who at that point was Barack Obama but is now Trump. It also advocates policies since enacted by Trump, such as relocating the US Embassy in Israel to Jerusalem.” • Well, since 2020 is all about restoring the Obama Alumni Association to power, it might not be all that out of date….

Democratic National Convention

“What we learned about Joe Biden during his nimble 4-day convention” [Politico]. “What was missing from the big speeches — with the notable exception of Bernie Sanders — was a clear articulation of the specific policies Biden would pursue to combat the pandemic and recession. Biden filled in those gaps clearly. He discussed, with some specificity, infrastructure, education, health care, climate change, and tax policy. He gave a detailed list of actions he would take to stop the spread of Covid-19. Overall this was a nimble speech that responded to the dramatically changed circumstances of the last few months, when Biden transformed from being the leader of a faction within his party to the leader of the most diverse electoral coalition in modern politics.” • The writer must have seen a different speech; “some” is doing a lot of work, there. And I dunno about a Biden “coalition.” Coalitions are supposed to have or at least promise some durability, to last more than one election. Of course, being in power soothes a lot of wounds. But it’s dubious that will happen in this case; after the Obama Alumni Association grabs the political appointments, everybody else will be out on K Street or NGO-land. Not a good prospect for the left in either case.

“Biden Should Reject The Harris-Yates Model of Justice” [Jonathan Turley]. “One of the Democratic convention speakers was former deputy attorney general Sally Yates, widely viewed as the leading candidate for attorney general in a Biden administration. She was presented as the personification of a new Justice Department’s commitment to the rule of law. Yates declared: ‘I was fired for refusing to defend President Trump’s shameful and unlawful Muslim travel ban.’ The problem is, she wasn’t. She was fired for telling an entire department not to defend a travel ban that ultimately was upheld as lawful. I was highly critical of the travel ban, particularly in the failure to exempt lawful residents. However, I also said Trump’s underlying authority likely would be found constitutional. Despite revisions tweaking its scope and affected countries, opponents insisted it remained unlawful and discriminatory. They continued to litigate on those same grounds all the way to the Supreme Court, where they lost two years ago….Yates was due to retire from Justice within days when she engineered her own firing. It made her an instant heroine and allowed her to denounce Trump at this week’s convention for “trampl[ing] the rule of law, trying to weaponize our Justice Department.” But that’s precisely what she did when she ordered an entire department not to assist the recently elected president – a move which, at the time, even Trump critics described as troubling.”


“Unproven, but interesting” “provocative nuggets”:

Amazing that an entire impeachment inquiry couldn’t shake this loose but wev.

Realignment and Legitimacy

UPDATE “The Grand Old Meltdown” [Politico]. “[A student asked:] ‘What do Republicans believe? What does it mean to be a Republican?’ … I did not have a good answer to the student’s question…. I decided to call Frank Luntz…. ‘You know, I don’t have a history of dodging questions. But I don’t know how to answer that. There is no consistent philosophy,’ Luntz responded. ‘You can’t say it’s about making America great again at a time of Covid and economic distress and social unrest. It’s just not credible.’ Luntz thought for a moment. ‘I think it’s about promoting—’ he stopped suddenly. ‘But I can’t, I don’t—’ he took a pause. ‘That’s the best I can do.’ When I pressed, Luntz sounded as exasperated as the student whose question I was relaying. ‘Look, I’m the one guy who’s going to give you a straight answer. I don’t give a shit—I had a stroke in January, so there’s nothing anyone can do to me to make my life suck,’ he said. ‘I’ve tried to give you an answer and I can’t do it. You can ask it any different way. But I don’t know the answer. For the first time in my life, I don’t know the answer.’

UPDATE AOC, goddammit:

If identity politics wasn’t fracturing the working class, we wouldn’t have to stitch it back together. Of course, that would disempower and defund a lot of NGOs and media “voices,” so maybe a Frankenstein’s monster is the best we can do….

UPDATE From one of our more lateral political thinkers:

Mucha is correct; beginning to address the neoliberal infestation of original Medicare would be popular. I imagine, however, it would be too radical for the Biden campaign.

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.

Coincident Indicators: “July 2020 CFNAI Super Index Moving Average Index Suggests Economic Growth Again Improved” [Econintersect]. “The economy’s rate of growth again improved based on the Chicago Fed National Activity Index (CFNAI) 3 month moving (3MA) average – and the economy is now above the historical trend rate of growth…. This index is likely the best coincident indicator of the U.S. economy. A coincident indicator shows the current state of the economy. The economy has slowed from its rate of growth in 2018 but now has moved above territory associated with recessions [a level below -0.7 indicates a recession is likely underway]. The single month index which is not used for economic forecasting, and unfortunately is what the CFNAI headlines. Economic predictions are based on the 3-month moving average. The single month index historically is very noisy and the 3-month moving average would be the way to view this index in any event.”

Trucking: “July 2020 Trucking Still In Contraction Year-over-Year” [Econintersect]. “Headline data for the American Trucking Association (ATA) and the CASS Freight Index show that truck volumes show the year-over-year growth deep in contraction…. The CASS index is deeply in contraction year-over-year whilst the ATA index is less in contraction year-over-year. The CASS index is inclusive of rail, truck, and air shipments. The ATA truck index is inclusive of only trucking industry member movements (ATA’s tonnage data is dominated by contract freight).”

* * *

The Bezzle: “Inside the get-rich-quick scheme that cost Amazon sellers thousands — and then got them banned” [ReCode]. “Amazon is not responsible for its merchants’ investments. But the popularity and complexity of the Amazon marketplace provides fertile ground for such schemes targeting its sellers. Nearly 2 million small and mid-sized merchants like Christensen now sell products on Amazon, and they account for 60 percent of the company’s gross retail sales. They are a huge part of the platform’s retail success. But while Amazon does provide some education for new sellers, its vast and competitive platform has created an ecosystem of experts and opportunists alike promising all sorts of help to mom-and-pop sellers with dreams of e-commerce glory. Some of these offers are worth the money. But others are unhelpful — or worse, harmful for the sellers they lure in…. At the same time, the story of the duped sellers also refocuses attention on some of the obstacles all sellers face on Amazon’s highly automated marketplace, which can take away their livelihoods suddenly and with little explanation…. On the occasions that sellers even get a response from an Amazon seller support representative, the feedback is typically scripted or vague and rarely explains the specifics of a suspension unless you happen to get an especially helpful rep on the phone, she said. It’s not totally surprising then that some Amazon sellers have been willing to pay bribes to Amazon employees for access to inside information, or to try to get their accounts reinstated.” • Lovely. One of the things I’ve been watching for, as the United States descends to Third World levels, is for corruption to appear, not at elite levels — that’s a given, at this point — but at “street level,” as a pervasive and normalized social relation. Here it is. (And bribery would be one reason for Amazon employees to put up with the horrific working environment.)

Concentration: “Industry Concentration May Help Explain Divergent Business Cycles” [St Louis Federal Reserve]. “U.S. states experience significantly different growth rates, and sometimes they may not even be in the same phase of the business cycle at the same time…. Since 1990, U.S. employment in construction, professional and business services, and manufacturing tends to be the most responsive to national expansions and recessions, the authors found. Many states in the Southeast and the eastern part of the Midwest have relatively high employment shares of sensitive industries. The figure below shows states’ shares of employment in these three sensitive industries…. Conversely, employment in government, education and health care, and utilities tends to be the least responsive. Such lower sensitivity is most notable in the Northeast, Gascon and Haas found, adding that this may subdue these states’ responses to fluctuations in the national economy.” • With handy map. I should probably filed this under Realignment and Legitimacy….

* * *

Today’s Fear & Greed Index: 71 Greed (previous close: 69 Greed) [CNN]. One week ago: 70 (Greed). (0 is Extreme Fear; 100 is Extreme Greed). Last updated Aug 24 at 12:29pm.

Rapture Index: Closes even on Earthquakes, Beast Government [Rapture Ready]. Record High, October 10, 2016: 189. Current: 182. (Remember that bringing on the rapture is a good thing.)

The Biosphere

“History-making California blazes — worst likely yet to come” [CalMatters]. “Dry lightning storms and gusty winds forecasted to slam the Bay Area through Tuesday could exacerbate the fires’ spread and start new ones, stretching already overworked firefighting crews to the limit. And California hasn’t yet entered the prime of its fire season — which is likely to worsen as climate change takes its toll on the Golden State.” • Climate change and lots and lots of bad decisions, especially (?) about real estate development.

UPDATE “No net insect abundance and diversity declines across US Long Term Ecological Research sites” [Nature]. “Recent reports of dramatic declines in insect abundance suggest grave consequences for global ecosystems and human society. Most evidence comes from Europe, however, leaving uncertainty about insect population trends worldwide. We used >5,300 time series for insects and other arthropods, collected over 4–36 years at monitoring sites representing 68 different natural and managed areas, to search for evidence of declines across the United States. Some taxa and sites showed decreases in abundance and diversity while others increased or were unchanged, yielding net abundance and biodiversity trends generally indistinguishable from zero. This lack of overall increase or decline was consistent across arthropod feeding groups and was similar for heavily disturbed versus relatively natural sites. The apparent robustness of US arthropod populations is reassuring. Yet, this result does not diminish the need for continued monitoring and could mask subtler changes in species composition that nonetheless endanger insect-provided ecosystem services.” • But no bug splats on our windshields — which one could think of as monitoring stations. Why?

Health Care

A press release from Hong Kong university:

More context:

Black Injustice Tipping Point

“Video shows police in Wisconsin shooting a Black man in the back 7 times as he gets into a car” [Business Insider]. “At least one police officer in Wisconsin shot a Black man in the back seven times Sunday afternoon after officers were called to a domestic incident, according to multiple reports. Video shared widely on social media shows the confrontation between officers from the Kenosha Police Department and a man named in local media as Jacob Blake. A statement from the department confirmed a police shooting had taken place. It said the victim was given first aid at the scene and then flown to a hospital, where he was in serious condition. Protests began in the city not long after, despite a curfew order being put in place.”

“More protests planned after video captures Wisconsin police shooting of Black man” [CBC]. “Police shot a Black man in the back multiple times in Kenosha, Wis., as his three sons watched on Sunday, his family’s lawyer said, sparking a night of unrest during which protesters hurled firebombs and bricks at law enforcement officers…. Crowds gathered at the scene, set fires and threw bricks and Molotov cocktails at police, prompting authorities to impose a curfew. On Monday morning Kenosha County announced on Twitter that its courthouse and administration building would be closed due to damage from the night’s unrest.”

“In photos: The aftermath of civil unrest in Kenosha after shooting” (photo gallery) [Kenosha News]. • No banks, as usual.


“Returning to our roots: Black Americans are redefining relationship to the land with gardening, farming” [USA Today]. “Brionna Jimerson tends to her garden in Brooklyn, New York City, two 5-by-8-foot raised beds of fresh fruits and vegetables. Her connection to cultivating the land runs deep. She learned from her paternal grandmother, Lula Mae Cole, who grew up on the Cherry Grove Plantation in Natchez, Mississipppi, in a family of sharecroppers. Jimerson says she is already reaping produce after her “panic reaction” of planting seeds when the coronavirus pandemic first began. The social media editor culls inspiration from other Black women in agriculture, including Black Girls Farm and Black Girls Gardening (which she calls ‘the mothership’), and says her ultimate goal is to own a ‘garden market or … system that can sustain a small community.’ ‘So many (enslaved people) were from West Africa and made to work the land,’ Jimerson says. ‘There is something inherently powerful about being able to produce and cultivate something with your own two hands.'”

Police State Watch

Alert reader TS from West Virgina posted this tweet:

“Cops Have Repeatedly Attacked and Obstructed Street Medics During BLM Rebellion” [Truthout]. “Dozens of reports of police arresting medics and destroying their property have arisen since the revolt began in late May. In Minneapolis, Minnesota, police assaulted medics at their tent in a Kmart parking lot on May 31. ‘We announced ourselves as medics,’ one medic told Unicorn Riot. ‘They began to launch rubber bullets and tear gas into our facility where there were no other protesters in that area, exclusively medics and those who had been wounded…’ Police forced them out, occupied the space and slashed all tires in the parking lot.”

“Who Opposes Defunding the N.Y.P.D.? These Black Lawmakers” [New York Times]. “Laurie Cumbo, a Black councilwoman from Brooklyn who is majority leader, compared calls to defund the police to ‘colonization’ pushed by white progressives. Robert Cornegy Jr., a Black councilman also from Brooklyn, called the movement ‘political gentrification.’ This divide has widened in big cities across the United States, including in Minneapolis after Mr. Floyd was killed at the hands of the police. Mayor Ras Baraka of Newark, N.J., called defunding the police a “bourgeois liberal” solution for addressing systemic racism. At the heart of the dispute in New York City is the impact of police officers in neighborhoods that have higher rates of discriminatory policing. The issue came into focus in the weeks leading to the July 1 deadline to pass the city’s budget, as Council leaders pledged to cut police funding by $1 billion in response to the wave of protests after Mr. Floyd’s death. But a fissure opened when it became clear during negotiations that passing a budget with the $1 billion in cuts meant reducing police presence on the streets and eliminating school safety agents.”


“Ubisoft Family Accused of Mishandling Sexual Misconduct Claims” [Bloomberg (Basil Pesto)]. “Five brothers started Ubisoft Entertainment SA in 1986 and since then the video game company has survived seven generations of game consoles, four recessions, a hostile takeover bid from France’s largest media conglomerate, and a global pandemic. Ubisoft is one of the world’s largest game publishers, the maker of blockbuster series such as Assassin’s Creed and Far Cry, and the Guillemot family still maintains effective control. Now they face a new crisis: allegations of widespread sexual misconduct at the company. … In interviews with Bloomberg Businessweek, many employees detailed an atmosphere that was hostile toward women, often describing the Paris headquarters as a frat house. … The image of Ubisoft as a family business was a source of inspiration for many employees over the years. But others say the dynamic facilitated a culture in which longtime staff, especially Hascoët and his team, were given agency to misbehave.”

Screening Room

One of my favorite movies, His Girl Friday, is set within a mayoral contest and considers the role of the press:

Good to see Burn After Reading in the mix. I forget which NC reader posted this clip, but it’s a long-time favorite of mine, in “Everything is like CalPERS” mode:

“What do we learn, Palmer?” What indeed. “Good. Great!”

Class Warfare

“North Dakota Oil Workers Are Learning to Tend Wind Turbines—and That’s a Big Deal” [Bill McKibben, The New Yorker]. “Large chunks of Joe Biden’s energy plan are devoted to helping labor make this transition, and one hopes that those trends will continue, because the environmental and economic logic of clean energy is growing steadily more obvious. In many ways, it produces jobs at least as good as those in the oil fields, where boom-and-bust cycles make stability hard…. The new industries, at their core, are much simpler than the old, and as a result they’re going to relentlessly undercut established ways. Every forecast shows rapid growth in the world’s electricity demand, even as we near (or perhaps have already passed) peak oil. Instead of finding a distant pool of petroleum and fracking the subsurface geology to make it flow, instead of shipping the crude to a refinery, and then to a gas station, and instead of pumping it into a car tank whose pistons must then explode it in small bursts to power a ton of sheet metal down a road—instead of all that, you can let the wind turn a blade, take the resulting power down a wire and into a battery, and run a far simpler motor of a car, or a bus or a train.”

News of the Wired

Krazy Kat:


What were we thinking:

On 2020:

* * *

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 (Basil Pesto):

Basil Pesto writes, from Australia: “An hour south of Melbourne, on the south coast. No idea what these are but was struck by them all the same.” Readers?

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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. Jason Boxman

    Ha. I had an AWS trial account once. Didn’t have time for it, so it sat fallow for a year when it expired. But apparently I left a EBS volume active for a minute, or some such, so my Amazon AWS balance was $0.02 at the end of the year.

    Now that was a lot of back and forth via email, with scripted replies by supposed humans, to get that charge reversed. TWO CENTS!

    It took a week for them to zero out the balance due as I impressed upon them in my replies, again, and again, that I never used the trial. I have no doubt Amazon would have reported it to collections, too, if I refused to pay! (That’s certainly automated, too.)

    Clearly Amazon has so much market power, it has no reason to care. In a customer friendly organization, someone would have the initiative and permission to simply say, “yeah, you didn’t actually use your trial; you logged in once for 30 minutes. We’ll reverse that TWO CENT charge for you. Have a great day!”

    But nope.

    Not to mention, how much money by way of time was wasted haggling over TWO CENTS?

    I can only imagine how awful it is for sellers.

  2. JTMcPhee

    Re corruption at the retail “street” level: Waiting for it to appear? That must mean “waiting for big headline stories to manifest.” Some anecdotes from Chicago: you want a “Torrens certificate” filed, the Chicago equivalent of registering a deed to real property, you have to “shake hands” with the counter man, with (in the ‘80s) a $20 or $50 bill folded between your fingers for the counter man to slip into his palm, if you wanted registration in less than a decade.

    You want a very rare and sought-after boat slip or mooring in one of Chicago’s city-owned harbors? You go see the Director of Special Services in the Parks Department, with a plain brown envelope containing cash attached to your application form.

    Want a particular result in pending litigation? Hire one of the “connected” attorneys in your problem area, a guy like Adam Bourgeeois, known as “the miracle worker,” for drunk driving, who would Illegally work the system to get your case assigned to one of the “Greylord” judges, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Operation_Greylord.

    Illinois had a Secretary of State, Paul Powell, who required that checks for public services like drivers licenses and vehicle registration be made out to him personally. He died a very wealthy man, and after his death huge boxes of application documents and uncashed checks were discovered in his home. He’s in august company: https://www.wbez.org/stories/long-list-of-illinois-politicians-convicted-for-corruption/86da77fb-c3e4-4d08-adb2-f1c42110afe8

    And of course corruption in the Chicago police department is the stuff of legends. https://www.theroot.com/feds-confirm-that-the-chicago-police-dept-is-as-corrup-1791173264

    We are a long way closer to third world corruption status that maybe the perspective from Maine allows for.

    1. S.V. Dáte

      A city that works. At last everyone gets something for the money. This nothing new. Tammany Hall, ran everything from 1789 – 1967. Albany, Boston, every major city ran the way. So I’d not base the decline of anything on machine politics. I didn’t pay to get my deed filed, maybe, my lawyer did – have to ask. There is a corruption index (I’ll find & post in comments), the has had the US No. 1 for years, decades actually. That’s what DOD does. And does best.

    2. LawnDart

      Back in the day, I was given the opportunity to buy a job as a deputy sheriff in Cook County for only $200. You had to do a year or two at 26th and Cal before getting a patrol assignment, but I’m sure that there were exceptions.

      Not so long ago, in the course of my official duties, I became uncomfortably familiar with the depths of corruption in law enforcement in Chicagoland, and this appeared to extend through the federal level (no, I was not a deputy sheriff!).

      It’s still a shadowy mess, I’m sure. I can only imagine the lives that the corruption has cost.

    3. Lambert Strether Post author

      > Re corruption at the retail “street” level: Waiting for it to appear?

      I should have been more clear. I wasn’t talking about Chicago, a very well-known case. I had in mind “middle America,” like my own small town, where corruption takes place at the political level, but not in the sense that you bribe the code guy or the property tax collector or even the tops.

      Because Amazon is pervasive and people from all over the country are sellers, people all over the country, in big cities, small towns, and the country are being taught how to bribe. That’s not good.

    1. Pavel

      How could “Bulworth” and “Wag the Dog” not be in the list? The former in particular told so much political truth that I was surprised it was allowed to be released. And WTD is just brilliant. Dustin at his funniest. “No Oscar award for producing!”

      1. NotTimothyGeithner

        Wag the Dog is funny, but I think it could have been chopped up and released as a recurring sketch show. I’m not sure the lather, rinse, repeat or particular horrors were there either. We have plenty of Wag the Dogs, but Hollywood only helps with the sales pitch. You are right about Hoffman. With the NFL game day salutes and actual treatment of veterans, wouldn’t Woody be more fun if he was like Hunter Biden? Or representative of maybe laxer recruiting standards? Or more real if he was a demonstration of what war does? I think WTD lacks bite when the subject matter demands bite.

        As for Bulworth, I think Stoller tends to blaming the voters too often. Bulworth blames the propaganda machine. Its also dark and lacks memorable characters outside of the titular Bullworth and Halle Berry.

        I like “Dave”.

        1. ambrit

          How about the original version of “A Very English Coup?”
          Going out on a limb here, but for meta commentary, “I’m Alright Jack” is at the top of the socio-political genre.
          Continuing with the globalist theme, “The Conformist” makes a strong point about the phenomenon of “followers.”
          I would love to do a mini documentary about this years political “conventions,” and call it, “My Week at the Asylum.”

        2. Carolinian

          There are so many. Not sure why Office Space is on the list unless it’s office politics.

          Iannucci who did In the Loop did the half hour show Veep for HBO. For the first several seasons this was extremely funny.

          1. Dan

            The two Bobs do what they do because of political decisions that were made, i.e. the deregulation or lack of enforcement of existing regulations on corporate and financial behavior. These decisions have devastating effects on people. In Office Space, the tables were turned on the whole corrupt enterprise, if only for a brief moment in time, albeit with a happy Hollywood ending. But it was definitely more than office politics.

            Consider the various characters and how they’re affected by the potential downsizing. Hell, the one guy is selling magazines (and pretending to be disabled to make more sales) because he can’t get a job in the tech industry despite his degree.

            Mike Judge knows what’s up. That’s a political message.

            1. NotTimothyGeithner

              “It would be nice to have that kind of job security.” The Bobs have a line about doing the usual stuff and farming stuff out to India.

              Even the whole stuff at Fuddruckers or wherever. Mike Judge was the manager.

          2. JWP

            Veep, widely quoted as the most realistic political show by congresspeople. No joke too: https://editorial.rottentomatoes.com/article/dc-insiders-call-veep-the-most-realistic-show-about-politics/

            I wish Veep could be run on cable so all could see it’s humor. Far better to base our politics off of veep than the west wing or house of cards.

            Office Space will always be one of the greats. Lumburgh as the boss epitomizes the crapification of the workplace.

            Add in Dr. Strangelove and Thank you for Smoking too.

            1. Basil Pesto

              all the British pols said similar about The Thick Of It, which was the British series from which In The Loop is spun off (and which I happen to think is one of the greatest sitcoms of all time, political or otherwise)

              I wasn’t expecting much for Veep after Iannucci left, but it stayed pretty darn good – and arguably got impressively darker. I don’t think the 2nd showrunner was a Hilary fan.

              HBO’s ‘Succession’ is created by an Iannucci writing collaborator, Jesse Armstrong, and it definitely shows.

        3. Pavel

          Ha ha… Dave one of my guiltiest pleasures. I watch it on DVD (how quaint!) every year… funny and charming and sweet. Alas the opposite of real life. :((

          Last scene is great for us old time romantics.

          1. NotTimothyGeithner

            I would argue the bully pulpit matters, and the cabinet meeting scene is how to do politics. Its not about sittin’ down and discussin’ with McConnell. Its inviting the mob and telling everyone the way things should be.

            And everyone is memorable.

        4. The Rev Kev

          Don’t forget the 1972 film “The Candidate” starring a young Robert Redford. Here is a clip from that film. Fifty years later and the same sort of speeches are being made-


          And that is the difference between 1972 and 2020. If you remade that film you could still use Robert Redford now aged 84 as his age is about the same as the present two candidates.

          1. Wukchumni

            I was going to mention that film, Redford in his prime, and it holds up well-as an added bonus.

          2. Pavel

            Good addition, Kev!

            Indeed one of Redford’s best. Great last scene :)

            Look out for his “Downhill Racer” from about the same period.

      2. polecat

        “The Big Short” … ?

        I mean .. when you really get down into the weeds, the financial almost always begets the political !

    2. Basil Pesto

      Iannucci’s ‘The Death of Stalin’ is also massively enjoyable.

      Not a comedy, and it’s been many years since I watched it, but Costa-Gavras’ ‘Z’ impressed me a lot at the time.

  3. Detroit Dan

    Any thoughts on Unity2020 — the Bret Weinstein group that is trying to field a moderate alternative to Biden and Trump? I just signed up at their website — https://articlesofunity.org/. Not sure if I’ll vote for their candidate or for the Greens. I haven’t heard much from the Greens this year.

      1. Detroit Dan

        I’ve watched a lot of YouTube videos of Bret Weinstein, both as a host with his wife Heather Heying, and as a guest on other YouTube channels (e.g. The Black Guys on bloggingheads tv). Weinstein comes from a liberal background as do I, but now sees the Democratic leadership as unsupportable, as do I. So there’s a natural affinity. His focus is on being against corruption, whereas I am more of a socialist, although obviously the two are not mutually exclusive.

    1. TBellT

      The word “moderate” has lost all meaning to me anymore. What would a “moderate alternative to Biden & Trump” even embrace except more feel good pablum?

        1. Detroit Dan

          Yes, I think that’s what they’ve got in mind. I’ve even heard Jon Stewart mentioned as a possible candidate. He’d probably be the left moderate and would be paired with a right moderate. One would run for Pres and the other for VP; they’d agree to switch around for 2024.

        2. TBellT

          Stewart was almost certainly a Warren or Sanders voter who’s turned Biden voter.

          Also I was asking for an issue set, not nessecarily candidates. Though Stewart is instructive in the sense that Stewart’s “Rally to Restore Sanity” was an ode to “coming together despite differences”.

          It was a naive position to take post financial crash, and is past it’s sell by date when so many working people are facing the hardest financial situations in their lives.

          1. Alex Cox

            Stewart was pushing hard on his show for war with Syria. Gave up watching Comedy Central at that point.

            An excellent Democrat candidate!

    2. Adam

      Isn’t the deadline for getting on the Presidential ballot rapidly narrowing? And they don’t even have a ticket, just crowdsourced top candidates (2/3 of the ones on the left endorsed Joe Biden as part of the D priary, and one of the ones on the right is…Dan Crenshaw). No ideology or specific policy critiques, just a “vision”–although that seems to limited to just “not Trump or Biden”. I’m not sure what this is, but it’s definitely not a genuine attempt at fielding a Presidential campaign.

      1. Detroit Dan

        Good point about the deadline for getting on the ballot. I’m not sure how this works or details in various states.

        Bret Weinstein’s brother Eric describes Unity 2020 as an emergency plan for candidates to be available in case there is some sort of system failure — e.g. election can’t proceed for some reason or one of the major candidates is disqualified at last moment for some reason. It’s not hard to imagine either Trump or Biden being somehow disqualified, or for the election to get wrapped up in a legal morass.

        So I guess the idea is to start building something to be ready when / if implosion occurs.

        1. TBellT

          If either gets disqualified its likely the parties would install their VPs as the nominee.

          As for legal challenges, we will have Bush v gore redux. The courts will select a winner. Since dissent will be larger than 2000, law enforcement will be used to subdue protests from the losing side, with toys provide by the Military Industrial complex. There’s your Unity.

    3. Glen

      We live in interesting times so remember to apply the inverse MSM law:

      It’s what the MSM is NOT talking about that is IMPORTANT.

      I will most likely vote for the Greens again this year. Definitely NOT voting for Biden.

      1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

        The Fear/Media Industrial Complex is determining who the new president will be, the allowable candidate selection process by the FBI and CIA was already completed, vetting by Wall St, Big Insurance, Big Pharma, and the MIC has been passed, now we are into “implementation” phase. Twitter, Google, Facebook, and YouTube will provide assistance in the runup to “the election”.

    4. Darius

      A moderate? Seriously? Why don’t we just bring back Obama? Except he’s constitutionally disqualified. A moderate is just a corporate shill sent by corporations to distract us with kumbaya BS while they run off with what they haven’t stolen already. Eff the moderates.

    5. John Anthony La Pietra

      If you’re actually in Detroit, I can help connect you with some Greens — those on the ballot in Wayne County and those helping them. I’m a candidate myself, (though in south central Michigan), so I’m on this list.

  4. Cat Burglar

    Political films? Don’t miss The Great McGinty or Kurosawa’s Ikiru. The second half of Ikiru is like ancient tragedy.

    1. ambrit

      Recommendations seconded.
      Add to “Ikiru”, many of Kurosawa’s mid-career films, like, “The Bad Sleep Well.”
      Now, “Dodes’ka den” is in a class of it’s own.

  5. JohnnySacks

    instead of all that, you can let the wind turn a blade, take the resulting power down a wire and
    split oxygen from hydrogen in the water molecule and have hydrogen available to produce electricity on demand wherever and whenever it’s needed without the need to manufacture, purchase, and transport tons of batteries wherever one requires power.
    The everrready energizer based accepted solution to every problem is unsustainable and a stop-gap measure. Saudi Arabia with all it’s fossil fuel money and desert resources could have made itself into the world’s hydrogen source and Elon Musk could have made hydrogen as cool as batteries. But again we’ve allowed Toyota, Honda, and even Hyundai to become the same leaders they were decades ago.

    1. Rod

      wisdom in the bleachers there :)
      And, imo, no more solutions outside of a circular economy of use…

      Regardless I think the redirection of workers described is a good thing unless occupied in methane capture and sealing up there…

    2. Copeland

      >have hydrogen available

      Isn’t that easier said than done, due to the extreme difficulty (and high embodied energy of storage systems) of storing hydrogen?

        1. RMO

          That and the fact all but an infinitesimal amount of hydrogen is produced through steam reformation of natural gas (much of it fracked natural gas at that). At the moment the only benefit is reduction in direct local emissions – as in it can reduce the pollution in the locale where the car is operated. In the long term, yes the hydrogen can be produced using solar/wind/geothermal/nuclear/hydroelectric power but even then the energy losses involved in making the hydrogen and the expense, difficulty and emission associated with transportation and storage of the hydrogen are a big problem. I can’t see it being viable except in applications where there’s no way around the need to cram a whole lot of stored energy for a given volume and weight – air transport for example.

  6. Louis Fyne

    lightning-sparked wildfires are Normal in the West, and needed particularly in redwood country. this year’s acreage being burnt is inline with historical norms.

    the obvious problem is the haphazard development of homes in places where they shouldn’t be. (but I am incredibly sympathetic as being in the path of a future wildfire might be the trade-off many make to have affordable housing)

    but this happens after every fire. Fires happen, people point at the backwards zoning decisions, people forget about fires. repeat.

    YMMV. IMO.

    1. periol

      ““This fire is historic for an area like San Mateo-Santa Cruz,” said Ian Larkin, unit chief of Cal Fire’s San Mateo-Santa Cruz Unit. “We have not seen fires burn like this in this unit — in either one of these counties — for many, many years. And those fires were much smaller than what we have in front of us today,” Larkin said. ”


      “The 2nd largest wildfire in Colorado history, the Pine Gulch Fire, swells to 133,783 acres”


      “LNU Lightning Complex fire surpasses SCU Complex as 2nd largest in CA history, burning 347,630 acres across Bay Area”


      1. Tom Stone

        Armstrong woods has fire on the periphery, not yet in the redwood grove.
        Quite a few homes have been in the woods for a while, mine since 1910, hopefully it’s still there..

        1. anon in so cal

          Fingers crossed for you. The trees in Armstrong are amazing, and the whole area is beautiful.

    2. periol

      A San Jose State MA thesis from 2014 goes into great detail about the fire history around the redwoods and the Santa Cruz mountains, and the necessary role that fire plays in the ecology of the area. If you read it carefully, you can also see that the fire history described here, which goes back to 1390 (based on tree rings, burn scars, and other tree data) does not show a history of large fires like the one now burning in the Santa Cruz mountains.


        1. Milton

          I think all hell broke loose when the US Forest Service renamed Smokey the bear to Smokey Bear.

    3. rd

      Flooding is the same as wildfires. Building a home in a floodplain still seems to leave many people surprised when the plain upon which the house is built floods, as does the house.

      Regarding zoning decisions, the Houston area was the winner of all time when they approved developers constructing homes inside USACE operated flood control reservoirs leaving residents quite surprised when their homes flooded. USACE didn’t own all of the land that would flood, which made it prime developable land. There was some teeny-weeny fine print somewhere in the deed mentioning that they were living in a flood control easement.

      1. polecat

        Yes. The “Control of Nature” was a great read, especially where debris flows happen .. as they tumble down the San Gabriels, on their way into the LA basin.

        1. John Anthony La Pietra

          +2 . . . for two more fascinating situations in that book: a harbor town in Iceland battling a volcano, and the Army Corps of Engineers trying to keep the Mississippi River from overflowing — or changing its path to the Gulf of Mexico.

  7. Billy

    The Harris-Yates Model of “Justice”

    “Peoples had been arrested for her daughter’s spotty school attendance record under a truancy law that then-California Attorney General Kamala Harris had personally championed in the state legislature. The law, enacted in January 2011, made it a criminal misdemeanor for parents to allow kids in kindergarten through eighth grade to miss more than 10 percent of school days without a valid excuse.
    “Shayla — who has lived with sickle cell anemia, a serious genetic illness that causes her acute pain and requires frequent hospitalization and medical procedures, since birth frequently missed school because she was in too much pain to leave the house or was hospitalized for long-term care. Her school was aware of these circumstances.”


    Harris on the ballot means a black ballot bubble for Trump.

    1. clarky90

      Hi Folks

      I am responding to a spate of lies (Putin? You be the judge!), feebly attempting to besmirch the reputations of the Democrat candidates, Joe Biden and Kamala Harris.

      I have begone to despair for our Democracy.

      In particular, a telling FACT, scrupulously avoided by the noxious, unstable Donald Trump;

      Nobody, in recent USAian history, has been responsible for housing more low income people than Joe Biden and Kamala Harris. For many decades they have reached out, and lifted up, a diverse group of people, out of the slums, off of the streets; the homeless, the mentally ill, the desperate, the addicted…… Finally, their own tiny-home, to lay their weary heads.

      Joe and Kamala have quietly been at the forefront of the nationwide movement that has been building communities of 10′ X 10′ Tiny Homes. No matter how one identifies ones self, there is a welcoming place in these vibrant communities! Three wholesome meals are provided everyday. by communal kitchens, staffed by fellow residents. Also, access to educational facilities, “Wellness Centers”, vocational training, sports, even “mindfulness”, yoga and other forms of spirituality. Members of these “villages” often volunteers for community outreach projects, for instance manufacturing automobile licence plates or fighting forest fires!

      Joe and Karmela have quietly rolled up their sleeves, and been at the forefront of this revolution. Why should the wonderful concept of the “Gated Community” be reserved for only the rich?

      “It takes a villiage…” and Joe Biden and Karmela Harris have been unobtrusively building them across the country for years and years!

      1. ChiGal in Carolina

        Delightful story, that should be true rather than a fairy tale. That parallel universe, so close and yet so far away.

        1. periol

          Pretty sure clarky is talking about prisons. No need for a parallel universe, this is our hell.

          Joe and Kamala have both been on the cutting edge forefront of getting and keeping Americans in prison. I wouldn’t be shocked to hear one of their first pieces of bipartisan legislature will be legalizing debtor’s prisons.

          1. hunkerdown

            Come on, man, someone’s gotta clean up after the Tom and Daisy class. Rational people wouldn’t volunteer for that.

            1. periol

              In the future American dystopia, the wealthy won’t pay their cleaning people, they’ll pay their cleaning people’s prison guards.

          2. polecat

            Aren’t cell bars generally spaced in parallel form ?

            Seems pretty universal to my eyes. Well …. unless your made of Clintonite! Then it’s a wholly different world.

      2. a different chris

        And they get the heart (and other parts of the body) warming opportunity to fight massive forest fires! What more could you want?

  8. Dr. John Carpenter

    Re: The Bezzle, I don’t know Christensen, considering what you’ve been through and that you are clamoring to get back onto selling at Amazon, it sounds to me like everything is working exactly as planned and Bezos has no incentive to change anything. I believe the saying around here is: if your business depends on a platform, you don’t have a business? I am sympathetic that this toy company ripped so many people off, but I know I’d probably also be steering clear of selling on Amazon in the future if I was any of these people.

    1. drumlin woodchuckles

      The only way thing-sellers can sell on NOmazon is if thing-buyers will buy from NOmazon. Every thing-buyer who buys a thing from Amazon helps exterminate non-captive bussiness somewhere in America.

      If thing-buyers all boycott NOmazon, it is their own Amazon-loving fault if thing-sellers have nowhere left to go to sell things but Amazon.

    1. Fred1

      My favorite political movie, particularly because it’s based on true events: The Dancer Upstairs.

  9. George Phillies

    Dear Aunt Crabby:

    “No college degree” does not mean stupid. You should pray that your plumber, electrician, furnace repairman, and auto mechanic do not see your remarks, or be prepared (tip of the hat to iirc Groucho Marx) to wonder why, when you throw the light switch, the light bulbs fill with water.

    On the bright side, three out of four Americans over 21 do not have a college degree. Be grateful they will not see your post. You can post that they are all stupid, but they are not too stupid to hold a grudge against flyover liberals, and they are not to stupid to show up and vote against people with your attitude.

    As it happens, I have a Doctor of Science degree, in Physics, from MIT, and just finished my 25th book (Physics One, freshman physics for $19.99) so perhaps you do not want to say I am one of the stupid ones.

    1. Pavel

      2020’s version of HRC’s “deplorables ” comment. Reveals more about the commentator than the presumed target.

    2. The Beeman

      We hired Mark to build our home. Not that it mattered to us at the time we hired him, but we are told Mark is faithful and goes to church every weekend. He has a family and lives locally. Nice guy.

      Everything in the house turned out exactly as we wanted. He did a magnificent job. Mark has no college degree but is educated enough to determine and purchase the correct amount and quality materials, he understood and helped with the design making many suggestions for improvements, the permitting, the electrical, the plumbing, the sewage, the landscaping the deck, and the budgeting.

      We trusted Mark, with the lives of our children – they live with us in this home.

      F*ck you Aunt Crabby.

    3. George Phillies

      No, I do not know why my edits did not stick. Some mysteries are beyond the grasp of mortal men.

    4. ChiGal in Carolina

      Thoroughly disgusted with our government scientists for sure. Just went from my county website to the CDC, which I usually avoid cuz it’s so crappy.

      After months of seeing only family I have my first socially distanced outing later this week so was curious what the recommendations are these days.

      A random request that I take a survey popped up and instead of ignoring it, I participated because it gave me an opportunity to provide this feedback:

      I am shocked that with all the studies of airborne transmission and air flow indoors, the need for increased air exchange and upgraded HVAC filters for schools and workplaces, etc., the only advice on this website is about droplets and fomite transmission. Thank god I came here out of curiosity and not for information. Huge disservice to those who don’t follow the science who based on this would think it was fine to go to indoor gatherings so long as they wore masks, socially distanced, and washed their hands. And everyone else who comes into contact with them. I am not a scientist, just an informed citizen. What a shame that the CDC continues to fail us as the case count and deaths go up. I am outraged that the carnage is already 3x that of the Viet Nam war and this website doesn’t alert people not to share indoor air outside the home with others for an extended period, EVEN WEARING A MASK.

    5. flora

      +1. “No college degree” does not mean stupid.

      Aunt Crabby sounds like a … what’s the phrase… ‘over educated idiot’? ;)

      1. CitizenSissy

        Aunt Crabby misses the point. A lot of Trump support, IMHO, is cultural. My full MAGA cousins are in the same building trades that Trump screwed over for decades in the gaming and construction industries. They’re in western Massachusetts, and the SALT cap raised their taxes considerably. But guns (they’re hunters) and abortion. Ugh.

    6. pjay

      Perhaps the DNC can hire Aunt Crabby to help with some of their political ads. I’m sure if those uneducated Trump supporters were only told how stupid they were a few more times, they would come around and vote for Biden — like the educated smart folks.

        1. GettingTheBannedBack

          Golf carts for Biden is just the sweetest thing evah. So respectable, so polite.
          Unlike those boorish protesters shouting and carrying on against violence and guns and unemployment and evictions and racism and sexism and homophobia and inequality and medical bankruptcies and Covid-19 deaths and voter suppression and removal of polling booths and indiscriminate but legitimised killing of black people.

          I do hope they finished with a lovely afternoon tea of cream cakes and finger sandwiches and carfee.

          1. John Anthony La Pietra

            And applauded all the speeches with heartfelt (or other shirt-emblem-highlighted) golf claps, no doubt. . . .

    7. ambrit

      Gadzooks George! A Physics Text for a mere $19.99? How did you do it? An Elves co-operative print shop in a hollow tree?
      I learned early the difference between the words, and concepts, of “stupid” and “dumb.” One state is fairly easily remedied. The other is not so amenable to correction.
      I dearly hope that “AuntCrabby” is not representative of the Democrat Party nomenklatura. If, however, she is, then the basic definition of the Democrat party ‘follower’ will go from “stupid/dumb” on over to “insane,” in the traditional definition of that state. [Insane: characterized by the belief that a failed strategy will work eventually if tried again and again.]

      1. George Phillies

        How can Physics One cost only $19.99? Readers aware of the number of parasites, err, useful helpers who attach themselves to an academic project will rapidly follow how I managed to do this: Independent self-publishing via Amazon. I did not pay any artists other than the cover artist, photographers, editors, human resources counselors, publicists, sensitivity readers, Vice Presidents, administrative assistants, corner offices other than the one in my home,…. The text was prepared in LaTeX (language for scientific typesetting); I generated my own figures using InkScape. I did pay a friend a very modest sum to generate the book cover, as seen on Amazon.

        The other half of this is that Amazon Print On Demand is quite inexpensive for the reader.

        I do say this is the “Alpha Edition” and invite people to identify points where the book could be improved.

        1. ambrit

          Excellent news!
          Semi-snarkily, will the APOD Editions feature an “Officially Endorsed Printed Autograph” provision?
          I hope that you get a bigger “piece of the action” than does Amazon.

    8. The Rev Kev

      If you read that Aunt Crabby tweet, I think that you will find that she is being sarcastic about that NBC board. That is the literal message of that board – that if you vote Trump you must be stupid so is a form of voter-shaming. And we know from 2016 how well that works.

      1. Lambert Strether Post author

        I’ve seen so many other tweets expressing the same same sentiment. Sorting the ironic from the real has become a real problem on this timeline, and I wish the showrunners would change it.

        1. ambrit

          Too true. There are few things more ‘dusty’ than nostalgic verbiage. And yes, I did used to listen to the radio when Mammoths roamed the plains. [I built my own New Age crystal set.]
          On the other hand, it does make one ask; what makes “Creepy” Joe run?
          Being that the elements of the Quest in question are American, I doubt if an English crossword puzzle setter would use it. It would be great for the weekly crossword in Daily Variety though.

  10. zagonostra

    My proclivity was either to abstain voting for the Pres, vote for the Greens, or write in someone else, anyone. But now they trying to make me vote for Trump. Are they purposely goading progressives. Which reminds me is Kissinger dead? I didn’t see him at the DNC giving OBiden a big hug.

    Former National Security Officials from Republican Administrations Endorse Biden…Seventy-three former national security officials who served under Republican administrations… The co-signers include former secretaries and other high-ranking officials for the State, Homeland Security, Commerce, Defense and Treasury departments and U.S. Agency for International Development, and directors of the National Security Council, CIA, FBI, National Security Agency and National Counterterrorism Center

    1. Jen

      I will confess that this, along with the possible (probable?) return of the TPP have me considering the possibility that simply depriving Biden of my vote may not be sufficient.

        1. RMO

          Kissenger is on the outs with the DNCIA types at the moment I think – he’s too lefty, peacenik for them. He’s gone so far as to say that Putin isn’t a really slavering satanic monster out of a Jack Chick comic.

          1. ambrit

            Oh good heavens! I haven’t seen a Chick comic in ages. That’s probably because I don’t patronize public restrooms much any more either. The two do seem to co-exist in an unstable equilibrium.
            Jack Chick developed an effective propaganda outlet for his version of Protestant Christianity with his little comics. Now, why can’t some enterprising Left of DNC activists do the same? If you come across a tactic that works, appropriate it!
            I can see it now: “Working Class Funnies.”

  11. vegeholic

    Joke I heard about the Voyager mix-tape: “Listen, we’re getting an inter-planetary reply from our human music sampler, we can barely hear what they are saying … ”

    “Thank … you … earthlings, … please … send … more … chuck … berry”

    1. The Rev Kev

      Considering that a naked couple was on display, how do me know that there was just a mix on that LP? We only have NASA’s word what was on that disc. For all we know, it may have had the collected work of Harry Reed, Marilyn Chambers and John Holmes.

      1. Alex Cox

        I thought the naked duo a good message at the time. Since then I’ve read even more SF and am not so sanguine about sending out a calling card with our address on it to the far reaches of the universe.

        Most likely we will be extinct before intelligences cooler and more dispassionate than ours encounter it. But the precautionary principle…

          1. RMO

            We’ve been blasting radio waves out at the stars at light speed for decades upon decades now. Voyager will take 16,000 years to even get as far away as Proxima Centauri.

            1. ambrit

              With radio waves, we have the problems of, first, the Heavyside Layer, and second, attenuation.
              The Inverse Square Law is not Hip.

          2. Lambert Strether Post author

            > My favorite: “Meat. They’re made out of meat.”

            Great story, but that link no longer works. Try this. (Wikipedia says there’s a “theatrical adaption,” and an original text. The link to the original is the one you gave, which is broken.)

  12. a different chris

    Biden Should Reject The Harris-Yates Model of Justice – yeah well he’s clearly steered well clear of those two! /s

    Why do people even bother to write “What XXXZX Must Do!!” when XXXZX never has and never will show any inclination to do that.

    Anyway, the “why Kafka would be proud” link demonstrates yet again why police departments should get a heavy influx of cheap unarmed social workers. That incident – you don’t need a gun, you just need to be attentive and write stuff down. What would be the difference in cost if half of those full-bore cops, who I’m sure are collecting at least time and 1/2, were replaced by my social worker cops?

    1. Code Name D

      No kidding. We need a name for this. Maybe a Charly Brown, where Lucy always pulls the football out from underhim.

      Or maybe maybe intulectual reflux?


  13. Glen

    I lifted this comment from today’s links as an answer to the following questions:

    Why is Joe Biden running?

    Ask and answered: to do NOTHING.

    A more honest answer: He has been propped into place by Obama TO DO NOTHING THAT MAKES OBAMA LOOK BAD. So absolutely NOTHING which really fixes real problems for real Americans is on the agenda.

    So that’s Obama’s real legacy, reach out of the grave, take the mistakes you made on 2008/2009, and magnify those mistakes 1000x to run the whole country into the ground as the Democratic party response to the New Great Depression.

    But what do you think? Why is Joe Biden running? What will he do?

    1. anon in so cal

      Launch regime change wars. He sounded bellicose in the interview with the Council on Foreign Relations.
      Will essentially pick up where HRC left off and then some.

      1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

        To quote him at the DNC Convention: “No more cozying up to foreign dictators!!!”

        He had *that* gleam in his eye when he said it. Very scary to see *that* gleam from someone with such a tenuous grasp of reality and such a tenuous relationship with the truth.

        Unclear which foreign dictators he meant. Barack went over to lecture people not to Brexit, so maybe he means Bojo?

        And it’s easy to imagine rainbow and pink painted bombs with BLM stickers on them raining down on Caracas. Humanitarian bombing for all! Whee this IdPol Empire Building is fun!!!

  14. SteveD

    What we should be doing is applying our critical thinking skills to science, and not making arguments from authority about “the scientists.”

    Absolutely spot-on, Lambert.

    1. Jeremy Grimm

      I don’t understand Lambert’s comment.

      At this juncture I don’t understand why Science, authority Scientific or Policy Authority have much to do with controlling the Corona pandemic. A lot of things have been tried around the world, results are in, what is wrong with doing what seems to work. Science can explain how and why it works later, perhaps helping to refine what has proven expedient, and helping to prepare and guide policy for the handling the next pandemic. The ‘Science’ of wearing facemasks suggests more study is needed, but the effectiveness of wearing facemasks seems well established.

      I just finished reading Hansen’s latest chapter of Sophie’s Planet — chapter 29 — where I spotted this statement: “The phenomenon of scientific reticence was apparent. A primary reason for reticence is that the penalty for “crying wolf” is clear and immediate, administered via peer review of papers and funding proposals. In contrast, there is no penalty for “fiddling while Rome burns.” On the contrary, one is praised for extensive caveats and calls for more research.” [p. 10 Sophie’s Planet Chapter 29, http://www.columbia.edu/~jeh1/SophiePlanet/Planet.Chapter29.pdf ] Hansen makes this observation in the context of his experience testifying before the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation in 1989.

  15. Eric Patton

    Jimmy Dore’s already explained AOC to you. If you’re still getting surprised by her, that’s on you.

    1. a different chris


      The election is in, like weeks. Although Aunt Bee or whatever he name was is annoying, the graphic she posted shows white high school males as unreachable for this election – except for Sanders, Who. AOC. Nominated. At. The. Democratic. Convention.

      So what is this surprise, exactly? That she’s rallying the troops she has for November, rather than talking to to people that aren’t ready to listen, especially to her?

      Wow how slimy of her.

    2. TBellT

      Sorry but how is AOC’s comment any different than Bernie’s “We are bringing our people together: black and white and Latino, Native American, Asian American. Gay and straight. We are bringing our people together around an agenda that works for the working people of this country, not the one percent”. This was a common line in his speeches in 2016 and 2020.

      Maybe because it’s being used in the service of the Biden agenda? But I’m pretty sure Bernie still used this line when campaigning for Hillary, and used a variant on it in his Biden endorsement (all come together progressive,moderates, and even conservatives to stop Trump).

      I think they’re just both trying to polish the turd that is the Biden campaign like they agreed to do during the primary. I don’t like it but it’s hardly surprising.

    3. chuck roast

      Didn’t AOC used to be waitress? These days it’s not the greatest occupation to fall back on, but my recommendation would be that she she should go back to waitressing post haste or find a cushy spot in a woke 501c(3). More proof if any were needed that the “left” is infinitely malleable and the “hard left” needs to crush the “left.” Please forgive my sad-ass, throwback, left sectarianism.

      1. Tvc15

        Bartender I believe. AOC was assimilated by the borg a while ago, unless she’s always been one of them.

        1. polecat

          Her sudden meteoric trip into familiarity reads like another fairly recent politician who seemingly came outta nowhere .. as he blazed His trail to the steps to the Murican version of the Iron Throne ..

          We all know how THAT panned out … don’t we!

  16. hamstak

    And I dunno about a Biden “coalition.” Coalitions are supposed to have or at least promise some durability, to last more than one election.

    There is a coalition, but Biden is merely the smiling face of it — more appropriately, it is the “Not Trump” coalition. Since every candidate in future elections will almost certainly not be the Trump (although they will be perhaps a Trump, or a “Trump”), by necessity it endures. Its logical evolution is towards the “Never Again(!) Trump” coalition, as his presidency is ipso facto tantamount to genocide.

  17. ChrisAtRU

    Biden (D) (1)

    #FFS – How does Biden say this, and yet the journalist(s) to whom he says this won’t do the needful and follow up with: “If you do shut down the country, what is your plan to replace lost income?”

    Make him work. Make him talk about the size and scope of pandemic policy. But I guess our woeful press is fine with #OrangeManBad …


      1. ChrisAtRU


        LOL … The convention is a ginormous, four-day sizzle-reel! Bwwaaahahahah!

        1. ChrisAtRU

          … and I’m laughing at the spectacle of it all. But really, he is speaking to his base, and that’s all that matters to him, and they are gonna turn out for him.

        2. ChrisAtRU

          I know people in my liberal (nee MSNBC/CNN) circles are gonna all be talking about the lies, half truths and fear-mongering of the RNC Convention’s first night, but I would summarize it as follows: the first night was one part bleeding red meat for the base (Guilfoyle, McCloskeys) and one part amuse bouche of sorts (the Haley, Cook & Jones show); i.e. a little something to cleanse the palate; a little something to make Trump more palatable. Getting two black men (one a Democrat) and a [non-white] woman to extol Trump’s virtues my seem like an attempt at artifice, but when Cook brought up Biden’s “poor kids are just as bright … as white kids” gaffe, one got the feeling that an undecided angel got its wings.

          In other news: Welcome to America! Where #BrandCapitalism has completed its acquisition of flagging brand #Democracy! The new entity will just be known as Democracy™ , and as always, will be promoted and supported by #BothSides of our #Duopoly.

          Good Night

  18. marcyincny

    “Biden says he is willing to ‘shut down’ US to contain Covid-19”

    1. How much will there be to ‘shut down’ in 5 months?
    2. How many voters will recoil from this prospect?

    1. Dwight

      Between Kaufman’s “the pantry is bare” and Biden’s “shut down,” how exactly are people supposed to survive the first year of Biden’s presidency? Seems like they want to flip the House in 2022, like 2010. Can’t have power too long, might have to do something with it.

      1. edmondo

        Ummmm. Someone needs to tell Uncle Joe that the president does not have the authority to “shut down the country.” If Trump had said this the Dems would have been horrified and accused him of totalitarian tendencies.

    2. rd

      If shutdown means closing high-risk places like bars and gyms and providing subsidies to the owners and workers for their sacrifice for the public good, then I am for it.

      By now, there is a lot of knowledge and experience on how rational “openness” is feasible with reasonable precautions that may require subsidies from government to implement. That would require commitment from government, businesses, and people. “Not all for one and none for all” is not the appropriate social construct to make it work.

    3. John Anthony La Pietra

      Well, let’s do some back-of-envelope calculation here . . . $600 per week to each of about 200 million working-age people would mean $120 billion a week. If distribution cost balance out against funds not received or taxes withheld (or deferred now but coming due later), then for Lambert’s two-month shutdown the cost works out to just about a nice round trillion. How many of those “T-bills” have already been handed out to Wall Street varsity and JV?

  19. TBellT

    If identity politics wasn’t fracturing the working class, we wouldn’t have to stitch it back together.

    I see identity politics as a result of the fracturing of the working class not the cause. Maybe with some feedback.

    1. The Rev Kev

      It is not a matter of stitching together ‘women, gender-expanding people, immigrants, black folks, indigenous folks, Latinos, people of color of all stripes, Asian Americans, younger people, older people, etc.’ It is a matter of stitching up ‘women, gender-expanding people, immigrants, black folks, indigenous folks, Latinos, people of color of all stripes, Asian Americans, younger people, older people, etc.’

      1. polecat

        So which cadaverous subject gets to don those honking neck ‘troids’ ??

        Someone’s gotta take it for teamD … so who gets the current, the juice, sporting that eerie green glow of donor benjamins?

  20. a different chris


    Wow. Just wow, some serious brass (gonads) on those ladies. We like to celebrate people with guns firing at other people with guns… what about facing something you can’t even begin to see?

    The other interesting thing about this is:

    An attack by a mild strain of the disease was the only explanation Mr. Tack had for the good fortune in Mercer. It’s not unusual for viruses to mutate, but the impact of COVID-19’s mutation on disease symptoms, which so far has been slow, is unclear.

    I said something about this earlier. Unlike human beings, who can’t seem to stop s(family blogging) in their cradle even a virus sometimes seems to understand that it can’t consume all of its resources. Ebola was going to empty the planet then it didn’t.

    We can but hope.

  21. cocomaan

    That scene in Burn After Reading is one of my favorite in movie history. I laugh about it regularly. Something about the bureaucracy trying to understand the ludicrous story cracks me up.

  22. Dan

    I guess The Parallax View and Three Days of the Condor are a little too much for Stoller to handle. The others are fun though…

    1. JustAnotherVolunteer

      I’ll second Parallax and offer two early efforts “The Last Hurrah” from John Ford and it’s antidote “The Great McGinty” from Preston Sturges

    2. Henry Moon Pie

      You’d think Stoller would appreciate Mr. Jensen’s explanation of the “ecumenical college of corporations” in “Network.”

  23. Ranger Rick

    Unnerving to see cellphone tracking going mainstream. Remember the “God View” controversy back in the early days of Uber? Now everyone has access, and the targets don’t need to be running a special app.

  24. TonyinSoCAL

    Miami sees 53% percent drop in apartment construction:

    Miami Leads Decline as US Apartment Construction Hits Five-Year Low; A 53% annual drop is projected for new apartments in Miami this year, a new RENTCafe report shows.

    10% of entire Las Vegas population at risk of eviction:

    Las Vegas research group Guinn Center and the COVID-19 Eviction Defense Project in Denver have estimated 249,700 people in Clark County, or more than 10% of its population, are at risk of eviction starting next month.

    Business and personal bankruptcies are on the rise:

    The number of businesses seeking chapter 11 protection rose 52% in July from a year earlier as the coronavirus pandemic roiled the economy and upended businesses from coast to coast.

    1. zagonostra

      Yeah but OBiden has 116 billionaires supporting him and Trump 93 so not to worry, those business will be bought out by said supporters competing against each other or fill the nitch with their own product or service, what could go wrong.

  25. Lee

    But no bug splats on our windshields — which one could think of as monitoring stations. Why?

    Bugs that go splat do not reproduce; bugs that don’t, do? Road bugs, as a portion of total world bug populations and their habitat represent a very limited sample size. You probably have to get out of your car and into the fields to properly count them. I also wonder if the aerodynamics of more recently manufactured cars has some effect. I’ve added these little fairing doohickies to my car that makes the bugs swoop over the top of the vehicle. So limited are the demands on my time and attention that I am willing to think on such things.

  26. drumlin woodchuckles

    About no bug splats on our windshields – why?

    I have a hypothesis. Here it is. In the good old days, car windshields were vertical. They were rammed through the air at right angles to the direction of motion of the car. They were rammed right into any intercepted bug before that bug could get out of the way.

    Nowadays, car windshields are much more slanted and backwards leaning. They are part of an overall more aerodynamic airflow-around-the-car design of carbodies today. So any “intercepted” insects can be likely blown up and over the windshield instead of being splatted by it.

    Can this be tested? Yes. Drive a old fashioned legacy car a distance at different speeds and measure the number of bug splats at each speed. The first-highest speed at which the old fashioned vertical-windshield car registers significant bugspats . . . drive a modern car through the same air for the same distance at the same speed at the same time. Count the bug splats. Many less? None at all?
    My hypothesis would be supported.

    1. periol

      Bugs are missing from my radiator grill too, which is basically vertical, and that used to be full of them after a long drive. I used to have to clean that all the time.

      1. drumlin woodchuckles

        Good point. Did the old-fashioned radiator grill take up more square-area space than the modern radiator grill? Was the old-fashioned car-front so anti-aerodynamic that it ram-funneled way more air and insects into its grill than the modern car-front ram-funnels into ITS grill?

        An old-fashioned car could be driven the same distance as a modern car to see if its old-fashioned body design ram-funnels insects onto the grill in a way that the modern car-front just doesn’t.

        Without someone doing the experiment, we just won’t really know.

        1. periol

          I’ve had the same car for quite a while.

          There was a time when I regularly did long drives. I noticed the difference for the first time a couple of years ago when moving from California to Nebraska in 2018.

          I grew up in Colorado, and it was sure weird driving around and not getting bugs all the time last summer. Did a 14-hour roundtrip to Colorado Springs last spring, didn’t even have to clean my windshield.

          1. drumlin woodchuckles

            Such a difference over time with the same car is pretty strong evidence of the difference being the insects and not the car.

    2. Lee

      I don’t think two cars can occupy the same space at the same time without the drivers going splat. Sorry, I’m just really bored at the moment. That’s what happens when you’re spending your time in a small room keeping company with your air filter and air conditioner. It could be worse. I could get hit with one our sf bay area rolling electrical outages.

      1. drumlin woodchuckles

        Drive one car the distance on one day. Drive the other car the distance the other day. The two days should be fairly similar in terms of air borne insects.

        Or, for even more aerial insect similarity, drive one car from A to B in one lane and the other car from B to A in the other lane at the same time at the same speed and then measure for windshield bugsplats.

        That should solve the two-cars-in-the-same-spacetime-coordinates problem.

    3. Mel

      I have seen the airflow effect working on my wedge-shaped sedan. Yes, a butterfly will appear front-and-center, then suddenly exit stage up and gone.
      Popular trucks still use the old design of a box on a box. What’s happening with them?

    4. Wukchumni

      The Bug, by Dire Straits

      Sometimes you’re the windshield
      Sometimes you’re the bug
      Sometimes it all comes together baby
      Sometimes you’re a fool in love
      Sometimes you’re the louisville slugger
      Sometimes you’re the ball
      Sometimes it all comes together baby
      Sometimes you’re going lose it all


    5. Punta Pete

      Another test is to leave your porch lights on in the evening. Years ago a swarm of moths and other insects would gather in a short time. Today, only a few will be found buzzing around even after leaving the lights on for hours.

    1. JustAnotherVolunteer

      Hard to pick a favorite but Archy the journalist is high on the list:


      “ boss i went
      and interviewed the mummy
      of the egyptian pharaoh
      in the metropolitan museum
      as you bade me to do

      what ho
      my regal leatherface
      says i

      little scatter footed
      says he”

    1. LawnDart

      Cops had the numbers, guns, and time on their side: they could have backed off and waited– if he then clearly posed a threat, he could have been Swiss-cheesed in a heartbeat and a lot of cops coulda been heros.

      But no, kinda like that kid in Chicago, one cop takes it upon himself to get all worked up and pop off like an idiot. Seg or no seg, he’s going to be a popular boy in prison.

      1. MK

        Is this the guy with the knife trying to get into the convenience mart, where unarmed citizens could have been stabbed or taken hostage?

          1. LawnDart

            Some may remember this blast-from-the-past: courts rule that it’s okay to discriminate against higher IQ individuals who seek police officer jobs.


            Seems to explain a lot, doesn’t it? Times are too fraught with tension to trust badge-holding, gun-totin, luke-warm IQ individuals to defuse and resolve potential situations, as these Barney Fife Kenosha cops so clearly demonstrate– you saw the video, look at their positioning! Half-arsed, amateur clown show stuff. Lead cop clearly gave up an arm by holding a weapon before deadly force was called for, and then extended that weapon to easy reach of the crook– had he been so inclined to take it.

            Cop’s two partners were like totally out of it– jack in the way of situational awareness and controlling the contact. The three of them could have dropped and piled-on old boy long before he got to the driver’s side door. If they had been paying attention.

            And you guys defend these clowns?

  27. freedomny

    “Lovely. One of the things I’ve been watching for, as the United States descends to Third World levels, is for corruption to appear, not at elite levels — that’s a given, at this point — but at “street level,” as a pervasive and normalized social relation. Here it is.”

    I’ve been noticing this for a while from acquaintances and certain family members. It’s as if Capitalism is causing trickle down bad behavior which makes sense since you see those in power engaging in corruption.

    1. Lambert Strether Post author

      I think if he had really changed his mind he wouldn’t be working for US of Care anymore. If you want an example of somebody who really changed their mind, look at Wendell Potter.

  28. The Rev Kev

    “What we learned about Joe Biden during his nimble 4-day convention”

    Personally when I am as old and decrepit as old Joe, I want the same sort of cocktail that they gave Joe so that he could hold it together long enough to give a speech. Must be good stuff.

  29. dcblogger

    One of the things I’ve been watching for, as the United States descends to Third World levels, is for corruption to appear, not at elite levels — that’s a given, at this point — but at “street level,” as a pervasive and normalized social relation.

    pervasive corruption, where even the most trivial transaction required a bribe, was a feature of the Soviet Union. In a society where so many are grossly underpaid I suppose it becomes a feature.

  30. TB

    Why “as usual”? Certainly there were plenty of smashed bank windows here in Oakland in the immediate aftermath of George Floyd.

  31. John D.

    A horrid thought occurs:

    Let’s say Biden ‘wins’ the upcoming election, however tainted and questionable a victory it is. I’m certainly not counting Trump out just yet – nor am I discounting the Dems’ truly impressive track record of snatching defeat from the jaws of victory – but purely for the sake of argument, let’s say Senility Joe (or the team of scumbags behind him, more like) manages to pull it off.

    Well, then. It’s only a matter of time before they can no longer cover up the old buzzard’s continuing deterioration and he’s retired for “health-related reasons.” Frankly, I’m wondering if he’ll even make it to Christmas should events take this path. And Harris becomes President.

    So who’s going to be her Vice-President?

    Maybe I’m fear-mongering here…but it occurs to me there’s a very prominent member of the Democratic ‘leadership’ class who (a.) absolutely refuses to go away, and (b.) signaled in a recent interview that she’s “ready to serve her country once more” (or however she worded it). You all know the person I mean: Former First Lady, former Secretary of State, former Senator, former presidential candidate? It had gotten to the point where we may have considered this particular vampire well and truly staked. But as any fan of horror films knows, you never count the monster out entirely; there’s always a potential sequel.

    Or remake.

    1. neo-realist

      How do they finagle “her” into the oval office without risking a knock out drag out fist fight with the lady cop, who would be running for the Presidency from day one of the Biden Administration?

      1. John D.

        I don’t know. I suppose it depends on how much power the Clintons still hold within the Party apparatus. And also how much animosity exists between the 2 women. Does Harris think of HRC as being an enemy or rival? Obama supposedly didn’t like Clinton, but he still made her his Secretary of State. I don’t consider Harris as being any less of a blatant appointment here than Biden himself – she certainly didn’t “win” the role of VP nominee due to any merit, obviously – and thus she’d be expected to follow orders like a good employee if the donors/Party higher-ups decide they still want Clinton involved.

        1. TBellT

          After Hillary’s loss in 2016, I can’t see Obama world making the mistake of trusting Hillary again.

          1. John D.

            Neither can I, but as I said, it depends on how much power the Clintons still have. I have no real idea how many of the power brokers within the Party are Obama people, how many of them still belong to the Clintons, or how much overlap there is between the two groups. (And are there any other factions currently?)

            I agree that in normal political times, there’s no way she’d be allowed anywhere near a third bite at the apple after her dismal performances in the last 2 elections…but these aren’t normal political times.

  32. flora

    re: UPDATE Kansas teen, 19, …

    More on the long time incumbant he defeated in his primary. Read the whole thread.

    Kansas State Rep. Stan Frownfelter, the incumbent senior Democrat defeated by @Aaron4KS37
    in the primary, voted to criminalize second trimester abortions, also voted for resolutions supporting the Keystone XL & calling on Congress to remove EPA’s power to act on climate change.


  33. drumlin woodchuckles

    Here is a local news story about a freshly thrown out mail sorting machine. This is an example of what the Catfood Democrat Party pretends to care about . . . . until the election is over. After the election is over, then de Joy can throw out as many of these machines as he likes and it won’t bother the Feinstein’s Husband Democrats one little bit.

    Here is the link.


    1. sj

      Yeah… because that’s obviously what one should do with a very expensive machine that is not working correctly. Throw it out. Not fix it.

      And by the bye, the “spokesperson” apparently said it was broken. That does not conflict with the story given by the worker.

  34. Big Tap

    More Political Movies: Bullworth. Breaker Morant, The Last Hurrah, The Candidate, and Seven Days in May.

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