2:00PM Water Cooler 8/26/2020

By Lambert Strether of Corrente.

Patient readers, I tried to do a pantry clearout on Politics, including Convention reporting, but for some reason it went extremely slowly (and that’s why the rest of Water Cooler is thin, today). I’ll add some more material shortly. –lambert UPDATE All done!


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:

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.

And here are the United States regions:


“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’s Grief Versus Trump’s Grievances” [The Nation]. “America, indeed the entire world, is in a season of death. Every day, hundreds of Americans die from Covid-19. Given this reality, it’s not surprising that the Democrats have had a death-haunted convention. Indeed, one of the main qualities of Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden repeatedly touted in the convention was his ability to comfort the grieving.” • Lordy. Maybe comfort flyover, where life expectancy has been declining for several years?

UPDATE Trump (R)(1): “Trump goes dark on TV as early voting looms” [Politico]. “Trump has ceded the airwaves in Michigan and Pennsylvania, where he’s gone dark in August. In Wisconsin, Trump has been outgunned more than 8-to-1…. Trump aides say they have decided to focus their spending on the post-Labor Day final stretch of the campaign and say they see little reason to advertise during the national conventions, which are receiving widespread coverage…. After taking over the Trump campaign last month, [campaign manager Bill Stepien] briefly paused TV spending to reassess the strategy. Rather than airing commercials across the country, the campaign decided to target early voting states.” • So, no advertising, and–

UPDATE West (I)(1): “Kanye West Has an Interesting (and Legally Questionable?) New Presidential Campaign Poster” [The Fashion Law]. “In the midst of a last-minute presidential campaign, one that has been rife with ‘reports suggesting that Republican-affiliated operatives are working to get [him] on the ballot in several states, part of a strategy to use [him] to siphon votes away from away from the major party candidates,’ Kanye West posted what appears to be a campaign poster to his Twitter account on Tuesday. Alongside his ‘Kanye 2020 Vision’ slogan, which is a close play on the logo of cult skate brand Vision Street Wear, the poster consists of an array of images, one features a laughing Vogue editor-in-chief Anna Wintour, another depicts actress Kirsten Dunst by way of a photo from a 2002 Vanity Fair profile, and the list goes on.” Dunst and Wintour are not happy, and have raised IP issues. But: “As for whether West’s use of the images would fall within the realm of transformative use, which would be a relevant defense for both right of publicity and copyright infringement claims, West might be able to fashion a creative argument on this front, particularly if his run is some elaborate and controversial art ploy or something in that vein.”

* * *

UPDATE MA: “The Memeable Mr. Markey” [Mother Jones]. “Even more importantly for the incumbent senator, the Markeyverse have transformed a race once defined by generational change into a referendum on who is the better progressive. Markey himself called Kennedy “a progressive in name only” during a June debate. The overall effect, in Kennedy’s own words to The Intercept last month, has been to turn Kennedy into ‘a mealy-mouth moderate who is running on ambition and my name.’ Barney Frank, the former Massachusetts member of Congress, called the distinctions ‘wildly overdrawn,’ adding that trying to label Kennedy as a moderate and Markey as a progressive is ‘not an accurate depiction of either of their careers.'” • Very interesting post on the mechanics of online campaigning.

UPDATE KS: “Aaron Coleman’s Ex-Girlfriend Says He Slapped And Choked Her In The Past Year” [Ryan Grim, The Intercept]. “When Coleman had first told her about his troubled and impoverished childhood and the harm he’d caused, Passow hoped it was behind him. ‘At the time, I did think he wasn’t that person anymore,’ she said. ‘He’s not changed; this isn’t in his past. I just want people to know he’s not the person he says he is, and if you still want to vote for somebody who’s like that, I guess that’s your prerogative.'” • Too bad Coleman didn’t have Anita Dunn fighting his corner… Good reporting by Grim, on a story that really needed it.

* * *


Republican National Convention

“What Trump needs out of his convention” [National Journal]. “The Republican National Convention will offer the president an opportunity to recalibrate his own muddled message and redefine Joe Biden to the public. So far, Trump hasn’t been successful on that front, but the convention will be one of his last, best opportunities to shift the political narrative in his favor. Here’s how the Republican Party can help him do that this week: 1. Focus on the party, not the president…. 2. Explain what a second Trump term would look like…. 3. Neutralize his biggest weakness: Handling the pandemic….. 4. Capitalize on the Democrats’ glaring silence on violent crime.” On the last point: “A recent Pew Research Center survey found that dealing with violent crime is now the fifth-most important issue for votes, with 59 percent listing it as “very important” to their vote in November. For context, it’s nearly as important to Americans as the coronavirus, which ranks fourth with 63 percent listing it as a top issue.” • Property values! Kenosha and Portland are waiting to be exploited:

(Also, quite the chyron.)

“4 takeaways from the second night of the Republican National Convention” [WaPo]. “‘We all know Donald Trump makes no secrets about how he feels about things,’ [Melania Trump] said. ‘Total honesty is what we as citizens deserve from our president. Whether you like it or not, you always know what he’s thinking. And that is because he’s an authentic person who loves this country and its people and wants to continue to make it better.’ One of the biggest applause lines of her speech came when she sent a message to Trump’s critics, saying, ‘If you tell him it cannot be done, he just works harder.’ ‘He’s what is best for our country,’ she said.”

UPDATE “Live From the RNC: The Republican Party’s Identity Crisis” [Bloomberg]. “Ramesh Ponnuru: Throughout his career, Newt Gingrich talked a lot about saving Western civilization, too. But he always connected that grandiloquent ambition, however tenuously, to a concrete agenda that he thought could unite Republicans and the public at large. That’s the work Republicans are skipping. They don’t have an agenda because they don’t know what they want. Trump destroyed the old Republican consensus but didn’t replace it with anything equally developed. Republican politicians, meanwhile, have figured out that they can win elections without doing much to explain how they would wield power. Trump has benefited from and contributed to this post-policy orientation of Republicans, but it’s a phenomenon that goes well beyond him…..And the message itself is muddled. The country is falling apart and has to be saved by Trump, who is also presiding over an American renaissance. The Republican Party is spending four nights advertising an identity crisis.”

UPDATE “Daniel Cameron, Breakout Star Of The Republican Convention” [The American Conservative]. “Because Mr. Cameron is black, and young, and seemingly out-of-nowhere, and speaking on the traditional “keynote” Tuesday of the convention amidst a bitter, partisan grudge match, it’s not difficult to find a precedent for his address: Barack Obama. Conservative pugilist Victor Davis Hanson swiftly ruled Tuesday that Cameron’s address was “a lot more impressive” than the speech that shot the then-Illinois state senator to fame in 2004. I don’t know about Hanson’s verdict, but in a time where politics is changing (seemingly by the day, and seemingly for the worse), the parallels in Cameron’s speech with Obama’s uplifting language that year (which by all outward appearances, even Obama has since abandoned) were clear.” • Naturally, NC readers are already familiar with Cameron, from his role in Mayberry v. KKR.

“Guess who’s NOT speaking at the RNC” [Business Insider]. “Who’s not at the RNC? Just about every Republican who mattered for the last 25 years.” • They became Democrats!

“Despite Trump’s Success, Little Mention Of Judges At Convention” [NPR]. “In not quite four years in office, President Trump has appointed 203 judges to lifetime appointments on the federal bench — and that’s not including his two Supreme Court justices. ‘I think the transformation of the federal judiciary is President Trump’s biggest accomplishment,’ said Mike Davis, former nominations counsel on the Senate Judiciary Committee who now runs the Article III Project, which advocates for judicial nominees. ‘President Trump has absolutely delivered on his promise.'”

Lots of advance people dunking on these flags:

Realignment and Legitimacy

UPDATE “Hillary Clinton to Biden: Don’t concede if the election is close” [The Hill]. “Speaking with [her former Director of Communications] Jennifer Palmieri for Showtime’s ‘The Circus,’ Clinton said Trump would likely try to take the election by going after absentee voting. She emphasized that even a small margin of votes can have major consequences, harking back to her experience winning the popular vote by nearly 3 million votes and still losing in the Electoral College. .. ‘Joe Biden should not concede under any circumstances because I think this is going to drag out, and eventually I do believe he will win if we don’t give an inch and if we are as focused and relentless as the other side is,’ Clinton said in an excerpt posted Tuesday.”

“West Wing cast will revisit ‘Hartsfield’s Landing’ episode for streaming special” [Entertainment Weekly]. “It’s time to walk down memory lane — or, in this case, Hartsfield’s Landing. The West Wing creator Aaron Sorkin announced on Tuesday that the original cast of the political drama will come together for a special featuring a theatrical stage presentation of season 3’s “Hartsfield’s Landing” episode. It will air this fall on HBO Max in support of When We All Vote, a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization co-chaired by Michelle Obama.” • I’m loving it: A paywalled West Wing to promote voting awareness. It’s like a poll tax! (Here is The West Wing Thing podcast on Hartsfield’s Landing.)

“The Lost Republicans” [The American Conservative]. “Trump’s presidency has been a failure in most regards, but very few actual Republican voters want to return to the pre-Trump status quo — nor should they. Still, the fact that the zombie Reaganites that Trump defeated and displaced deserved it does not make Trump a successful president. Owning the libs and pissing off the media — that can be fun, but it’s not the same as governing with competence and effectiveness. The weirdest thing is that for the GOP to become a party that actually could get some populist agenda items accomplished and enacted into law, Trump might have to lose to clear the way for serious, focused, steady politicians who know how to pass laws, not just tweet and emote and cause pointless chaos. As Alberta points out, as long as he’s here, Trump is kryptonite to Republican lawmakers. They all know how nuts he is, but they also know that the base loves him, so they don’t dare resist. To be fair to these Washington lawmakers, in a democracy, it’s awfully hard to be an elected representative who stands against the views of the people who sent you to Congress.” • Republicans fear their base…

“Small-time scams are dissolving America from the inside” [The Week]. “QAnon is rooted in cryptic online posts by a purported government employee that are then interpreted by an ersatz cult priesthood of D-list online media celebrities. As Brandy Zadrozny and Ben Collins write at NBC News, these livestreamers and YouTubers pushed the Q narrative to a broader audience, with the semi-deliberate intention of getting attention and money for themselves through Patreon, merchandise sales, and direct donations (indeed, one of them may in fact be the author of Q). The strategy ‘proved to be the key to QAnon’s spread and the originators’ financial gain.’ Lately, QAnon loonies have barged into anti-sex trafficking and crunchy wellness online spaces, turning them towards Trump, soliciting donations, and hawking quack remedies and other merch. A huge set of #SavetheChildren rallies planned to take place soon nationwide are similarly a thinly-disguised veneer covering QAnon maniacs. In this they are following a long tradition of other right-wing grifters.” • There doesn’t seem to have been a lot of investigation into who or what the “purported government employee” is. That would seem to be a key topic for investigative reporting.

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.

Durable Goods: “Headline Durable Goods New Orders Improved Again In July 2020” [Econintersect]. “The headlines say the durable goods new orders improved for the third month. Our analysis shows the rolling averages improved…. The data this month was above expectations – however, the previous month was revised down.”

Recession: “The U.S. Is Battling Two Recessions, Not Just One” [Bloomberg]. “The U.S. is in a very odd situation. Even as the official unemployment rate falls, the health of the underlying labor market is deteriorating as the coronavirus pandemic drags on. The country is in the middle of two simultaneous downturns — a short-term seizure caused by fear of coronavirus and a longer-term slump that will look more like a traditional recession. Unfortunately, the latter is just beginning. The good news is that more Americans returned to work in June, continuing the trend that began in May…. A deeper, more lasting recession is brewing — one that won’t be as acute, but which has the potential to last much longer. One reason is business closures. Lack of demand during the pandemic will simply make a lot of businesses vanish…. A second reason is sheer pessimism…. A third factor will be a shift in the industrial mix of the U.S. economy. Businesses such as movie theaters could be headed for the scrap heap, and many colleges are set to suffer as well. This is not a normal reason for a recession, and it could create a supply shock that partially negates the deflationary effect of falling demand, while adding to unemployment…. These patterns are already showing up in the labor market data. The number of temporarily unemployed people is falling, but the number of permanently unemployed people is rising…. This slowly building recession will be all the more dangerous because it’s so sneaky…. The good thing about traditional recessions is that we know how to fight them; we just have to be ready and willing to do so.” • Important! More on permanent job loss:

* * *

Debt: “Debt Relief And The CARES Act: Which Borrowers Benefit The Most?” [Liberty Street Economics]. “To summarize, we have investigated who may benefit (and the expected forbearance amounts) from the various debt relief provisions in the CARES Act. We find that while student debt relief may be expected to reach a larger share of borrowers in majority Black neighborhoods, the dollar value of expected student debt relief per borrower will be perceptibly less in low income, majority Black, and majority Hispanic neighborhoods. Unlike student debt relief, mortgage relief may be concentrated in high income and majority white neighborhoods, both in terms of dollar amounts and share of borrowers that will be potentially assisted. It is worth emphasizing that in this post we have outlined who may benefit from the mortgage and student debt relief provisions of the CARES Act. In other words, we have focused on the supply of this relief to different neighborhoods. Who will actually benefit and the amount of relief obtained will be determined by a combination of supply and demand factors. Since, low income and majority minority neighborhoods have been affected more negatively by this pandemic, residents in these neighborhoods may have the highest take-up rate. Moreover, mortgage benefits are not automatic; mortgagors must actively seek out these benefits by contacting servicers and proving financial hardship. Thus, ultimately, who actually benefits and by how much will be determined by a combination of factors, a topic we will continue to study.”

Tech: “If you think Mozilla pushed a broken Firefox Android build, good news: It didn’t. Bad news: It’s working as intended” [The Register]. “An update to the Android flavor of Firefox left fuming punters thinking a bad experimental build had been pushed to their smartphones. In fact, this was a deliberate software release… What’s happened is this: the last stable version of Firefox for Android was version 68, released in 2019. For over a year, Mozilla has been working on an overhaul of its browser in a project code-named Fenix. Moz has slowly rolled out the result of its work to netizens in preview and beta form – and since the end of July, as a proper release: version 79. This new stable version is what appeared on people’s devices. As well as changes to the user interface and many new features that have thrown some users, it is also missing support for all extensions.” • Well, it is free. Nevertheless.\

Tech: “A Chrome feature is creating enormous load on global root DNS servers” [Ars Technica]. • This is entertaining, but complicated, and I can’t excerpt it properly. What it looks like to me is that Google’s programmers ended up hijacking the commons to solve a programming problem they were unable to address (“Hopefully, the issue will soon be resolved—and the world’s root DNS servers will no longer need to answer about 60 billion bogus queries every day”).

* * *

Today’s Fear & Greed Index: 74 Greed (previous close: 73 Greed) [CNN]. One week ago: 68 (Greed). (0 is Extreme Fear; 100 is Extreme Greed). Last updated Aug 26 at 11:59am.

The Biosphere

“Don’t Call It a Honeybee Comeback Yet” [Bloomberg]. “Since hitting a low point in 2008, beset by the apocalyptic-sounding colony collapse disorder, America’s honeybees have been on the comeback trail. The number of colonies the U.S. Department of Agriculture counts is back up to almost 3 million, a level last seen in the early 1990s…. Most losses last winter were attributed not to colony collapse disorder but to more mundane causes such as starvation and pests. Honeybees seem to have become generally more vulnerable, with two oft-fingered culprits being the varroa mite, a parasite originally from Asia that first appeared in the U.S. in the late 1980s, and the widespread use of neonicotinoid pesticides by U.S. farmers starting in the late 1990s.”

Police State Watch

“‘I’ve just killed somebody’: Two dead, one injured on the streets of Kenosha as dramatic videos capture gunman shooting at BLM protesters during clashes with militias guarding gas stations after wave of looting” [Daily Mail]. The best aggregation I can find; the Daily Mail is, in fact, good at this sort of thing. There’s an excellent sequence of photos with captions, showing the shooting and the shooter. Here’s something distinctly odd: “Despite appearing to hand himself in, police said early Wednesday they were still looking for the gunman.” One wonders if the shooter was a militia member, and if so, whether they were deputized.

UPDATE “Suspect Charged With Murder After 2 Shot Dead At Kenosha Protest” [HuffPo]. “The suspect, 17-year-old Kyle Rittenhouse, was reportedly arrested in his hometown of Antioch, Illinois, and charged with first-degree murder on Wednesday. Police had been searching for him after a man holding a long gun was captured on video shooting several people during the protests and then fleeing the scene…. Investigators say they are focusing on a group of men with guns who were lined up outside some businesses a few blocks down the road from the courthouse.”

Noble sentiments:


It’s a big world!

Groves of Academe

Too cynical?

Class Warfare

“Genetic data show how a single superspreading event sent coronavirus across Massachusetts — and the nation” [WaPo]. “None of the biotech executives at the meeting noticed the uninvited guest. They had flown to Boston from across the globe for the annual leadership meeting of the drug company Biogen, and they were busy catching up with colleagues and hobnobbing with upper management. For two days they shook hands, kissed cheeks, passed each other the salad tongs at the hotel buffet, never realizing that one among their number carried the coronavirus in their lungs. By the meeting’s end on Feb. 27, the infection had infiltrated many more people: a research director, a photographer, the general manager for the company’s east division. They took the virus home with them to the Boston suburbs, Indiana and North Carolina, to Slovakia, Australia and Singapore…. Now, a sweeping study of nearly 800 coronavirus genomes, conducted by no less than 54 researchers at the Broad Institute, Massachusetts General Hospital, the Massachusetts Department of Public Health and several other institutions in the state, has found that viruses carrying the conference’s characteristic mutation infected hundreds of people in the Boston area, as well as victims from Alaska to Senegal to Luxembourg. As of mid-July, the variant had been found in about one-third of the cases sequenced in Massachusetts and 3 percent of all genomes studied thus far in the United States.” • I filed this story under “Class Warfare” because, again, it’s worth noting that however one may dislike, say, maskless Sturgis motorcyclists, they were did not bring the virus here.

“A Street-Wise Philosopher Explains What It Means To Be Homeless Amid the Pandemic” [Smithsonian]. “[Alexander] has lived on various heating grates in Southwest D.C. for almost all of his homeless life, which is why he introduced himself as ‘Alexander the Grate,’ when he and I first met in 1983. Several years ago, he told me this: ‘The bottom line is that the urban homeless in Washington, D.C., don’t create structures. We can’t because of the restrictions. Rather, we impose ourselves into the interstices of the infrastructure.’… Even more troubling for Alexander, however, are the closings of the Smithsonian museums—all of which were once his primary hangouts during the day, and even many evenings for after-hours programs. ‘I am losing some of my social integrity,’ Alexander admits, fearful that he may return to ‘a constant state of vanity, vapidity, emptiness, futility, melancholy, ennui, uselessness and sloth,’ which was his condition when living in SROs (single-room occupancy hotels) in the early 1980s before he moved to the grates.” • Well worth a read.

News of the Wired

“An asteroid will pass extremely close to Earth the day before the election” [CBS News]. “An asteroid is due to pass extremely close to Earth, just ahead of Election Day in November. But there’s no reason to worry — NASA says this space rock poses no risk to our planet…. ‘Asteroid 2018VP1 is very small, approx. 6.5 feet, and poses no threat to Earth!,’ NASA Asteroid Watch tweeted Sunday. ‘It currently has a 0.41% chance of entering our planet’s atmosphere, but if it did, it would disintegrate due to its extremely small size.'” • And if NASA turns out to be wrong–

News you can use:

I love that on the “15-minute warning” list, #9 is “Checkbook, bills to pay.” This is America!

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

farragut writes: “I believe this is the Jack-O-Lantern mushroom (Omphalotus illudens), growing in deep shade near our house in the Appalachian mountains of Virginia, elevation ~2500 feet. The day after I took this picture, the entire batch had been eaten by a local critter!”

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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. km

    As rich as Steve Bannon supposedly is, the “Build The Wall” scam is depressingly chickenfeed, if true.

      1. km

        Perhaps I misunderstood, or perhaps I didn’t make myself clear.

        You’d think that a guy as rich as Steve Bannon allegedly is would not bother to participate in a nickel-and-dime scam like “Build The Wall”.

        It would be like seeing a Goldman MD moonlighting in a South Florida boiler room hawking penny ante forex scams, like Al Capone rigging the bingo game at an old folks’ home where the grand prize winner takes home an ice cream cake.

        1. NotTimothyGeithner

          I have two thoughts on the matter in regards to your point.

          Schilling was paid over $90 million during his playing career. He was the best on air baseball talkin’ guy, so he could have pulled several million in broadcasting and souveniring without breaking a sweat every year. Irrational greed led him to try to compete with World of Warcraft and every other MMORPG with no smaller IPs to demonstrate proof of concept. From a lifestyle aspect, his lifestyle wouldn’t change if he was wildly successful. There is room for irrational greed. I’m sure all of Bannon’s friends hate immigrants, so when you add up all their friends…there is a fortune to be made.

          Bannon’s celebrity status and 15 minutes are the other factor. These kinds of grifters need a phony organization to be the President of to have a platform. The Clinton Foundation, The Catholic League (founded in 1973 to protect Catholics from discrimination…they were kind of late), and so forth largely exist to make run of the mill grifters sound wonderful. I feel like an organization creates a certain aura that makes a person sound legitimate. Can Steve Bannon, private citizen, make the rounds on cable news?

          1. Greg

            Schilling’s 38 Studios did churn out Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning which is a pretty good single player RPG, so they had smaller IP as a demo.
            They’re not the first game company to build a solid single player game and decide to try and monetise better by going online massively multiplayer. They’re not even the hundredth company to go bust that way I expect, it was what every game company was doing after WoW(2004) and pre:PUBG(2017).
            I don’t think you can read spectacular hubris into that tactic when everyone else was doing it to at that time. Of course, he might have spectacular hubris as well.

  2. NotTimothyGeithner

    A paywalled West Wing to promote voting awareness.

    (Blinks)…wow, this is the single most West Wing thing ever. Gosh, they don’t want the poors to get near them even through the internets. Of course, I mean it is possible someone has recognized the visuals of having an all white Democratic Administration where the only non-white cast member carries the President’s bags.

    From The West Wing wiki:

    In one scene near the end, President Bartlet (Martin Sheen) predicts that Sam (Rob Lowe) would run for President. Years later, Rob Lowe would go on to play President John F. Kennedy, a real life President that Martin Sheen previously portrayed in the ’80s.

    My memory is this episode includes a bit of mansplaining about the “importance” of Dixville Notch to Donna.

      1. jr

        I get a mildly nauseous feeling when I see TV actors doing theatre or pop stars paired with Pavarottis. I know it works on occasion but I always get the sense I’m being sold a buffed up piece of puffery, like they are hoping some kind of authenticity will rub off. To my ears, hearing the cast of Worst Wing is on a stage is equal to hearing Gallagher or the inhabitants of McDonalds Land are appearing live…or God forbid David Caruso. He tried to make the leap to movies years ago from whatever grotesquely dramatic and self absorbed, Constitutional rights mocking, unrelentingly gritty to the point of comedy, 40 year old women dressed as porn dolls super cop acronym show he was cultured in. It was “Jade” and even as a young, naive cinephile I knew this deadpan lump of high self regard couldn’t act to save his life.

      2. edmondo

        I just hope that they don’t run the West Wing reunion show BEFORE the election. The sight of Jeb Bartlett walking amongst his home town might just bring about The Rapture of millions of liberal Democrats and cause Poor Senile Joe to lose the election. I’d like some warning before this airs. There won’t be a pair of dry panties on either coast.

        1. Carolinian

          From the Variety link

          will be shot at the Orpheum Theater in Los Angeles in early October

          Since meant to encourage voting (among those who get HBO Max) it will undoubtedly air before the election. And an extra bonus

          The show will also feature guest appearances, including a special message from Obama

    1. S.V. Dáte

      Almost everybody with an iPhone or internet connection gets HBO Max for for free, further one can get it free anytime once wants. So no not an example of class warfare at all. Or warfare at all.

      1. Carolinian

        Presumably you mean iPhone and internet? It’s a $15 subscription to the entire HBO catalog so how can it be free? They do offer a free trial period I believe. Anybody who pays for HBO by some other means such as through their cable company gets it for free but they are still paying for HBO.

        A friend does take HBO but watches all his streaming via Roku and complains that he cannot get it.

        Me, I don’t stream….I check out (from the library). I prefer the little discs….

      2. Dr. John Carpenter

        What are you talking about? I know plenty of people with an iPhone and an internet connection and not a one gets HBO Max for free. It’s a paid subscription service.

  3. flora

    re: Biden(1)
    “Biden’s Grief Versus Trump’s Grievances” [The Nation]. “America, indeed the entire world, is in a season of death. Every day, hundreds of Americans die from Covid-19. Given this reality, it’s not surprising that the Democrats have had a death-haunted convention. Indeed, one of the main qualities of Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden repeatedly touted in the convention was his ability to comfort the grieving.”

    I’m trying to imagine FDR running on the ability to comfort the grieving (for foreclosed homes, farms, lost jobs and wages, lost savings when banks closed, hunger and despair) during the Great Depression, a Grief Councilor in Chief. Instead, FDR ran on pledges to do something (unspecified) to lift people out of the Depression and regulate the financial malefactors that caused so much harm.

    1. km

      No joke. I don’t want the President to “give us hope” or any other pie-in-the-sky crap.

      I expect results. Concrete material results.

      1. polecat

        ‘Grief’ ..uh Yeah. Wait and watch the crocodile tears roll …
        Politicians can be utterly shameless har(s) .. lot!

        the Emotive over the Substantial … since the Kennedy Admin …

        60+ years of assorted pantomimes and conjuring. And here We are, collapsing into a late-stage empiric PeterPrincipality of the psychopathic kind!

      2. drumlin woodchuckles

        What I found icky, yucky and noisome in that article is that the article wanted me to respect Biden for this “grief counseling ability” and “empathism”. And vote for him on that basis.

        And the fact that The Nation approvingly runs this icky, yucky, noisome article makes The Nation seem icky, yucky and noisome its own self.

    2. Pat

      I think this may explain Trump’s victory in 2016. And his continued popularity.

      We all have our choice policies and causes. Often there are distinct actions we think will make things better. Given how rarely we see anyone run on things that make things better we will pick the person who names the problems and offers change. Or if not that just change. Trump not only named some of the problems, he offered distinct changes and to consider other changes. Clinton ran on the status quo. Certain areas of the country voted change.

      I would posit that Trump has met many of those promises far better than “hope and change” Obama managed change.

      Now Biden is largely running on “orange man bad” return to the former status quo along with “I know grief and can pretend to feel your pain”. I don’t think you can count out that for much of our upper middle class there is a deep discomfort with Trump which is fueled by the media (until recently there really hadn’t been much clear change for the majority of them from four years ago – corona did shake that up). That is enough change for them,
      But that is not going to win back that many of the change voters from 2016.

      That is why a President with a disastrous response to a health crisis and subsequent financial one is neck and neck with his opponent.

      1. John Wright

        “I feel your pain” was Bill Clinton’s tagline.

        Did people believe it then or now?

        Actors Ronald Reagan and Donald Trump ran on making the USA better and it resonated with enough of the voters to put them in office.

        Biden’s ability to comfort won’t win many votes.

        It may cause voters to believe that Biden will avoid making positive changes because he can bank on his grieving skills to help him do unpopular neoliberal actions (SS “reform”, austerity).

        1. nippersmom

          Yeah, I don’t need Biden’s “comfort” in grieving. I need him to stop giving me more causes of grief.

    3. Oh

      OBiden has been milking his grief from Beau’s demise for a long time. That’s the only grief that I know from Obiden the O-Liar.

    4. Duke of Prunes

      Biden is as consistent about “tearing up” over his dead son or wife as Giuliani was about mentioning 9/11 when he ran. It’s nauseating.

  4. polecat

    Regarding honeybee pests,

    It’s not just varroa mites that are at issue, but that they’re also vectors for diseases such as curly wing and k wing, caused by the viruses that they can transmit to a colony via parasitism. I lost 3 entire colonies last Fall, because the late Summer brood hatched out infected, with the house bees forcibly removing those with wing deformities leaving no bees left to winter cluster!
    No cluster, means no *viable queen that can survive the coming winter.

    *A honeybee queen has to be fed by her attendants. She does not draw nutrition on her own!

  5. Krystyn Podgajski

    Republicans fear their base because they know the base can split or weaken votes. Something the Democrats have stilled fail to learn.

    1. NotTimothyGeithner

      Not enough have been punished and left to wither. Claire McCaskill lost her Senate seat and found a soft spot at MSDNC to land where she explains “how to win elections”. To a certain extent, the GOP elites fear the base because the “base” and power elites away from the traditional GOP power centers made Reagan President over 41.

      I think its going to take consistent outrage and confrontation. I saw Mark Warner was speaking in front of a safe crowd and droning on about what an embarrassment it was that kids didn’t have access to the internet. Why wasn’t he asked about his efforts for over 10 years? He’s made the same promise, and yet, being JP Morgan’s number one recipient, hasn’t helped. Pelosi needs to be stomped on Tuesday with Morse and Markey wins.

      Hopefully, Kennedy the Doofus loses, but he should be made a continuing example of failure. His family brand can’t be used as a shield.

      1. Jason Boxman

        At City Hall in Somerville today, I was told I arrived after large crowds earlier regarding the Markey race, so people are certainly coming out to vote for one of the pair. I had the distinct pleasure of voting against Pelosi, which feels good.

        As for the Democrats, the PMC is their base; There is nothing to fear. The left disciplining the Democrat Party as the Tea party astroturf did some years ago to Republicans, would be impressive.

    1. NotTimothyGeithner

      So are we preparing excuses for Biden’s loss or paltry presidency?

      Sorry, but the idea blacks need to play the “long game” is a bit tired.

      1. Fiery Hunt

        No, not what I’m saying at all.

        Obviously, the waiting for the Democrats “long game” hasn’t worked either.
        But I don’t think this “short game” is a winner, in either the short term or long term.
        All I’m saying is the end results of this “short game” is a fired up Republican base.

        BLM may not care (and I certainly don’t). Personally, I don’t think POC ( or the rest of us non-PMC for that matter) are going to benefit from either candidate.

        1. flora

          And it will result in a lot of people turning off who might normally be onboard with the moral cause of BLM. Thuggery, even by attractive young women, toward people minding their own business at lunch, isn’t a strong selling point. It flips the bully-victim story line. There’s a reason MLK insisted on non-violence.

          1. NotTimothyGeithner

            Yeah, and what’s been going for decades? Non-violence and voting. MLK’s message also was its his way or he won’t serve as a go between like so many black leaders have in the past.

            1. nippersmom

              Also ignores that the reason people were willing to work as much as they did with MLK and his movement was fear of Malcolm X and his movement taking ascendancy. There was always the threat of non-peaceful protest in the background.

              1. NotTimothyGeithner

                Per Julian Bond, MLK’s importance was he was W.E.B. Dubois’ defeat of attitudes represented by Garveyism and Bookerism (which is far more prevalent than people want to acknowledge) in MLK’s time and the place of Black Americans in America. The Civil Rights Movement was bigger than MLK, and MLK happened to be around after World War II and the Civil Rights Movement got back on track. King was out of the game from ’59-’61ish and was just a minister and professor.

                The treatment of these “bad apples” has demonstrated the government at all levels and with bipartisan agreement simply has no interest in keeping the deal.

            2. flora

              Considering the history of COINTLPRO in the 1960s, King was being shrewd. He had no way of knowing who was who, not for sure, in other organizations.

          2. TMoney

            One big difference between MLK’s day and today is the number of videos showing “Policing” of the black community to the rest of us. Whether this is enough to overcome the fear of black* people or the fear/disgust of the violent members of the protesters remains to be seen, but personally I think it means a higher tolerance for most of white* suburbia. Enough for the usual Republican playbook to work ? Well now, that is the question.

            * overarching words crassly representing great swaths of society too crudely – sorry

          3. Lee

            “There’s a reason MLK insisted on non-violence.” And the Black Panthers, while in favor of armed self defense, eschewed riots because they gave armed police justification to harm and kill unarmed protestors.

            1. flora

              Then FBI Director Hoover seemed to hate equally MLK’s Civil Rights movement and the Panthers but for different reasons.

              1. drumlin woodchuckles

                From what little I’ve read, Jedgar Hoover hated to see any Black people taking any political initiative in any direction for any purpose whatsoever.

                1. flora

                  I agree. From what I’ve read, Hoover also hated to see elected politicians taking any political initiative, and had files on all of them to use as ‘persuasion’. ;)

    2. NotTimothyGeithner

      If Biden was seen as a viable alternative to the status quo, people might actually act with more restraint than they should have believing Biden and Team Blue might act.

      Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable. -I’ll leave the source blank.

      Team Blue’s electoral problem is Ferguson has already happened. I would argue Team Blue played into the hands of the GOP by not working to expand the electorate and basing their electoral hopes on people who call the cops if a black person is on their street.

    3. flora

      There goes the outside dining option for restaurants trying to stay open and keep workers on payroll.

      1. Arizona Slim

        Yet another reason why I won’t be going to restaurants any time soon. I’d rather not be hollered at while I’m eating a meal for which I paid good money.

        1. drumlin woodchuckles

          If this kind of anti-patron aggression starts to become a repeated “thing” in restaurants, restaurants might want to have bouncer teams in place to eject aggressors fast and hard with enough dispassionate brutality ( ” its nothing personal, its just business”) to genuinely deter such actions in future.

          Because obviously if people decide not to come for fear of *sshole aggression, restaurants which don’t crush and smash such aggression fast and hard, restaurants will die for lack of business. And if any Antifa scum-filth come over to get revenge, shoot them. Shoot them all. That way, any secret policemen hiding among them will also be shot.

          Kill them all. The Big Cop in the Sky will know his own.

            1. drumlin woodchuckles

              I was feeling entirely serious when I wrote this. But I didn’t realize this young Social Justice Screamer was part of a mob. And as flora points out just below, sending a few couple bouncers against a big SocioRacial Justice Mob is poor business practice and an unsafe thing to do.

              So if BLM decides to make this a new method, and potential patrons decide to stay home to avoid the hassle and harassment, BLM could indeed help to exterminate a whole struggling little business sector.

              And if the Proud Antifa Boys decide to show up at restaurants to hold their little festivals of violence, that could shut down outdoor seating business too.

              If customers , workers, and owners in the restaurant sector don’t want to see the whole restaurant sector driven into mass liquidation, and my bouncer idea won’t work ( which on reflection it won’t), then what is to be done?

              Doxing every member of such support-extortion crowds in hopes of getting enough of them tracked down and fired from THEIR jobs and evicted from THEIR dwelling units that the practice is stopped before all the restaurants are shut down for good? Would that work?

            1. drumlin woodchuckles

              Yes. Cathar crusade reference.

              In this case referring to the Antifas and the Proud Boys and the various militias.
              I feel confident that the various police and other government agencies have hidden provocateurs seeded into all three groupings. Kill every single member of all three groupings when they show up in public and you are bound to kill the police and other government provocateurs along with the “real” ones.

              Eventually an overwhelming mass of Radical Center citizens might decide to bring their guns to town and do exactly that. Kill them all. Each of them. All of them. One by one. And in detail. The Big FBI Director in the Sky will know his own. I wouldn’t approve of that. But it could happen.

    4. integer

      Here’s another incident:


      Whether or not these are “Biden voters” is unclear, but what is clear is the video of an elderly man getting sucker punched for trying to defend his shop from looters (the person who sucker punched him may have had a cement filled plastic bottle in his had when he threw the punch). It knocked him out and broke his jaw.

  6. a different chris

    > “But if it actually gets justice, sure burn it 20 times” they tell me

    That alone I see as a simple but brilliant illumination of the difference between the Black Experience and the rest of us. The floor is always ready to drop out from underneath them anyway, so if some greater good can come of it they will take the personal hit.

    I feel pretty humbled by that man’s attitude.

    1. MK

      I also admire his attitude, but something doesn’t quite add up from the short bit included.

      (1) Insurance won’t cover.

      (2) Complete loss – hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of vehicles.

      (3) Unless he bought those vehicles outright, it’s likely he’s in on the floor plan financing from the horrible lenders (the big one will remain nameless but they have put many a small dealer out of business, then pursue fraud as basis for non-dischargeablity if the dealer tries to file BK and run up legal fees on both sides, which if _ _ _ wins, gets added to the poor dealer’s non-dischargeable debt!!)

      (4) So, with no insurance, he’s either got a floor plan lender to deal with (no suitable collateral now and likely BK) OR he has to spend again hundreds of thousands out of his own pocket to restock his inventory.

      1. Louis Fyne

        scratched my head too.

        1. not the real owner,
        2. WI has some form of nonrecourse secured financing laws ???? such that it’s the lenders who bear the brunt of losses and owner just walks away and mails them the keys…and owner was so leveraged that he only loses little equity

        1. a different chris

          Yes this is curious. However the story did not say “complete loss”, it just gave a number and a picture. Can’t tell what percentage of the lot the picture shows (hmmm maybe Google Earth?), can’t tell if he has other dealerships. Big difference if he lost 50% of his inventory or just 10%.

          We’ll of course never get a follow up story so oh well.

        2. JTMcPhee

          Car dealers not known to be the most “sympathy-engendering” set of victims — speaking as one who was outsmarted and screwed by such businesspeople several times over the decades.

          This one seemed to have a bit of a knack for the grand gesture, though. The adherents to the “property is God” set, maybe some of them will come through with a GoFundMe benefice for the dealer. Joking, of course.

        1. a different chris

          He looks black to me. I only work with like 50% people from India so what do I know.

          And they are except for one Republicans (although backing off quickly) so weird that somebody of that background would be OK with his cars getting smoked.

          1. Laputan

            Update on this (though no one is going to read it): the guy clearly isn’t black and, from this footage, I’m not buying the quote:


            You can see it’s the same dealership in the beginning. It seems as though the BBC correspondent either misinterpreted something he said or it’s a completely fabricated quote. Might explain why he didn’t get it on camera.

  7. anon in so cal

    >Navalny saga:

    Discusses who benefits: (CIA Dems?)

    “1. The timing of the Navalny drama is suspicious, occurring as it did just before the closing of the Democratic National Convention and right before the start of the Republican National Convention. This way Russia’s ‘malign’ activities remain front and center in the mainstream media in the middle of a US election. One has to ask: Cui bono?

    2. The Russian bounty report has become implanted in the public mind even though there was no credible evidence, and the Defense Department has officially denied it. Yet President Trump is asked about this at almost every press conference. It was even mentioned in Biden’s acceptance speech on August 20th. This ‘poisoning’ news of Alexey Navalny will now seamlessly replace the Russian bounty report. To paraphrase Ronald Reagan, “Here they go again.”

    3. The Durham report has been underway for some time, and the prosecutor may soon be ready to bring about specific charges against certain members of our own intelligence community. What better way to protect these agencies and foment a distraction from Durham via another “Putin poisoning”?

    4. President Trump has offered to meet with President Putin at the General Assembly meeting in September. News such as this will inevitably make it difficult for him to do so, for fear of being perceived as a ‘Putin puppet’. That will further setback US relations with Russia, and make such dialogue even more difficult than it is now.

    5. Various Arms Control treaties have already been abrogated or withdrawn from, and New START is scheduled to expire in February 2021. Renewal will require that the negotiations begin now. News such as this will make that more difficult, and feed into the interests of our own military and corporate groups that stand to profit from the abrogation of such treaties….”


    1. John Wright

      Even if someone associated with Putin’s government was involved in the alleged poisoning, why would it be attributed directly to Putin himself?

      It could have been a rogue operator or as your link suggests, an outside group (or there was no poisoning at all)

      Perhaps Obama established that some national leaders may be directly involved in murdering people as he stated he was ‘Really Good At Killing People’


      But that does not suggest that Putin is behaving as Obama did in killing people.

      We may eventually know the truth, but that can take a long time to surface.

      See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gulf_of_Tonkin_incident

      “The original American report blamed North Vietnam for both incidents, but the Pentagon Papers, the memoirs of Robert McNamara, and NSA publications from 2005, proved that the US government lied to justify a war against Vietnam.”

      It took 2005-1964 = 41 years for the NSA information to surface and a long war was launched via the lie.

  8. Carla

    American Conservative article about Republican party:

    “To be fair to these Washington lawmakers, in a democracy, it’s awfully hard to be an elected representative who stands against the views of the people who sent you to Congress.”

    Oh, I dunno. Congressional Democrats have made it an art form. “Everyday” Democrats have wanted expanded, improved Medicare for All for DECADES. “Everyday” Democrats have pointed out that money is not speech and decried fossil-fuel caused climate change for YEARS.

    Democrat Congresspeople seem quite adept at standing against the views of their base.

    1. flora


      And my guess is that there’s more to come. As soon as it became clear I could win my race, there was $1 million of corporate dark money spent against me. In Kansas! In a Democratic congressional primary!


      The only connecting point in these that I see is the Dem estab believes first and foremost in money. Who’s got it, who can get it. What will keep the mega donors happy and paying?

      1. Hepativore

        Plus, the Democratic Party thinks that it can thumb its nose at the political left as much as it wants as they feel that they have nowhere else to go or that they do not even need the political left in the first place. I know that Kyle Kulinski of Secular Talk said that Sanders should have come up with a list of executive order demands before endorsing Biden. The problem is that Biden and the Democratic Party would have probably told Sanders to go to hell and to take his supporters with him.

        You do not have much leverage over a party that would rather lose and fundraise off of its political opposition and get cushy lobbyist positions from donors post-career than let the political left have anything. Besides, if they demoralize the non-PMC enough, this might discourage them from actually voting while they can ride in on the backs of the Karens to carry them to victory by default.

        Four years of Trump vs. eight years of Biden or Harris. I would rather pick the neoliberal candidate that I know is leaving the soonest if I was not voting third party.

    2. km

      It ain’t just “everyday Democrats”. Lots of people want expanded, improved M4A.

      The Team D response is to jam their proverbial fingers in their ears and scream “I CAN’T HEAR YOU!”

      1. polecat

        I can think of more vivid displays of behavior by team D .. but it would involve corporate-sized mountains of knee pads ……

    3. Big River Bandido

      That’s why the correct response is to not vote for them. That’s what the Republican base does.

    4. PhilK

      I’d say the quote is largely correct. Everyday Democrats (and Republicans) may think they sent those people to Congress, but evidently most of the lawmakers themselves don’t think so. Brings to mind the old teevee commercial for Hebrew National hot dogs: “We answer to a higher power”

  9. ptb

    Re: US college covid

    Classes starting in most places in the next week or two.

    So far the most extreme data point is U of Alabama with 500+ cases before the end of the first week [al.com]. Not much shock value, unfortunately. To generate a nationwide call to change things (i.e. suspend classes), I think it would take 1000+ in a week, somewhere people from the Northeast are more familiar with. Keeping an eye on PSU, although their minimal testing policy means delayed visibility to whatever happens.

    (also fwiw, in K-12, my money is on a rapid reversal by NYC board of ed within 10 days of schools starting there, which I think will be 2nd week of Sept… but that’s getting ahead of ourselves)

      1. ptb

        Yeah the K-12 infection numbers, if actually diagnosed, would be huge. Most of those 9000 I think are associated with the Florida’s mid-summer outbreak. Too soon for a wave associated with primary schools to register. Per the Newsweek article:

        […] many have already reopened, the state health department released a report on Monday showing that more than 700 cases of the virus have been linked to K-12 schools and higher education institutions within the first two weeks of reopening.

  10. Kurtismayfield

    Re: Militia shooter.

    Oh god the excuse making and disinformation campaign during the last 18 hours for this 17 year old kid has been terrifying.

    “He had a Molotov thrown at him”


    That ain’t no Molotov.

    The Police had a moment after the 2nd shooting (Where the Mob was trying to attack him after the first shooting occurred) to apprehend him. a 17 year old was walking towards them with his hands up. With a rifle slung around his waist. After they heard multiple shots fired. Instead the Police let him walk away. It was all captured on video too. I can’t make excuses for the Police anymore, they should have detained him at that moment.

    1. savebyirony

      That young white shooter knew what’s what and who is it against who in this occupation/war. He went to the police to protect him, and that is just what they did.

      It’s a “mob trying to attack him”?! Looked like brave citizens trying to disarm a vigilante killer to me before he got away, possible to kill more.

      1. Kurtismayfield

        That is my reaction to the videos as well. The protesters were trying to stop this kid with a gun. He shot at them, and went to the cops.

        Then the cops did nothing to him minutes after he opened fire.

        There are videos of the police thanking the Militia types for coming. If only they asked this kid “How old are you son?”. Then this would have never happen.

        This kid is going to be made into a hero by the gun supporters. Even though he was illegally there with a rifle.

        1. Aumua

          That’s right kids, right wing death squad patrols are not that far away. Of course some around here would probably welcome them.

          1. ambrit

            Big mistake if true. One thing one can expect from any ‘revolutionary’ movement is that it will eventually “eat it’s own offspring.” That ‘revolutionary’ can be either from the right or from the left.

          2. VietnamVet

            I getting to the end of Babylon Berlin’s 3rd season on Netflix. They had a segment on the Brown Shirt teen recruits camping and training in a German forest. What was interesting was how the team leader used contempt of the others to bond two antagonists to a greater cause, swearing fidelity, hands on the Nazi flag. One must be in deep denial not to see the parallels between then and now. Scary how both American political parties are using scapegoats from BLM to Vladimir Putin to blame for their own incompetence, corruption and corporate servitude.

            It appears in Portland OR and Kenosha WI police are stepping aside and letting the gangs go at each other. This will quickly get out of hand fast. Corporate elite will ultimately find out that authoritarianism and no rule of law is not to their advantage.

      2. drumlin woodchuckles

        ” Young White shooter” . . . .

        Really? Young White shooter? Nothing more? maybe.

        or maybe . . . .

        secret policeman.
        secret Deep State riot-starter.
        secret Deep CREEP riot-starter.

        many possibilities.

        1. savebyirony

          As of now I know none of that about him for sure (looks too young to be an officer), though i suspect he was part of a militia whose presence and purpose was well known to the police, but I see that he is white and we have all been seeing and reading of how police officers act towards whites brandishing weapons in these circumstances vs protestors and everybody else. He could have been all of your suggestion or none, does not matter as far as his confidence in going to the police. He could approach feeling safe because he was white.

            1. Lost in OR

              Who was it that said recently that people aren’t adults until they’re 25. There was some really bad judgement somewhere for this kid to be wandering alone with an AR in the middle of an angry street protest. He didn’t look to me like he was amped on adrenaline, which would have been the natural response. Most of us would have wet our pants and more.

              Very bizarre. The texture of his life will be interesting.

              1. occasional anonymous

                It was probably me who said it. The prefrontal cortex doesn’t fully solidify before about 25. And it’s the part of the brain most closely associated with rational thought and planning.

          1. drumlin woodchuckles

            I read somewhere that some police themselves had seen and thanked this particular individual among others for being there to support them . . . earlier before all this happened. They even threw him a water-bottle of water, I remember reading.

            So it could be that the police let him walk because they recognized him in particular, they supported him as an ideological soul-mate, and they approved of his murdering protesters, and so they let him go for that reason. If that is so, then his “being” “white” is an irrelevant distraction and just the sort of diversion one expects from Wokeness leftists to try and stop us from focusing on class issues and particular police fascism issues.

  11. hunkerdown

    The ISPs stole the common first. FTA: “many ISPs and shared Wi-Fi providers hijack every mistyped URL, redirecting the user to an ad-laden landing page of some sort.”

    Chromium just resisted forcefully. To detect this borderline dark pattern, upon startup Chromium sends three name service requests for unlikely domains, expecting a not-found response, and takes evasive action if unexpected successful responses arrive. The cost to the commons arises because not-found results are not cached for very long, in case of temporary failures, and not-found results can not be considered truly proven negative until denied at the top level.

  12. Henry Moon Pie

    I was a little surprised to hear the CDC get behind the “need to test less” line being pushed by the Trump Administration. Upon a little reflection, it seems that a growing part of the medical establishment:

    1) recognizes that test, trace and isolate is not in the realm of possibility for the U.S.; and

    2) there are going to be lots and lots of people in the fall with symptoms that could be regular flu or Covid, and they’ll need to reserve testing for that purpose just to distinguish people for treatment purposes.

    But time traveler Larry addresses us from the future where Covid is spoken of in the past. It is reassuring to know hearing from that place of time privilege, Kudlow affirms that the virus will indeed go away and the recovery is V-shaped.

  13. Sheldon

    “~33% of employees furloughed in March were laid off for good by July

    Small businesses got to keep their PPP money without repaying it, if they keep employees on the payroll until June 30th.
    Gee, think there’s a connection there?

    Same with large to huge recipients of PPP money who have to keep their employess on the payroll until September 30th.

    October will be the cruelest month.

    1. Mikel

      And checkout the news on Salesforce today. There’s something like it every month. They don’t cheerlead it like the stock market drama. That’s quite a long fishing reel they are throwing out with all the bait to hook some little fishies…

  14. Jason Boxman

    Lambert, thanks for mentioning Pelosi’s endorsement of Markey’s opponent a few days ago; I had the pleasure of voting against Pelosi by proxy today and it feels good. For good measure I wrote in Sanders’ name as a vote against Pressley (MA-7) who endorsed Warren as I recall; coincidentally she does not have a primary challenger.

    1. drumlin woodchuckles

      If Markey wins, you could get some more pleasure by writing or calling Pelosi’s various offices to tell them you voted for Markey. You could even twist the knife by telling them that it was Pelosi’s support for the other guy which made you decide to vote for Markey.

  15. TroyIA

    Although N=20 some good news about a COVID-19 vaccine.

    Moderna COVID-19 vaccine appears to work as well in older adults in early study

    Moderna Inc (MRNA.O) said on Wednesday its experimental COVID-19 vaccine induced immune responses in older adults similar to those in younger participants, offering hope that it will be effective in people considered to be at high risk for severe complications from the coronavirus.

    The company is one of the leading contenders in the race to develop a vaccine against the virus that has killed more than 820,000 people worldwide. Its candidate, mRNA-1273, is already in late-stage human trials testing its ability to safely prevent infection.

    The latest data from an early Phase I study includes an analysis from 20 additional people detailing how the vaccine performed in older adults.

    The analysis looked at subjects given the 100-microgram dose being tested in the much larger Phase III trial. Moderna said the immune responses in those aged between ages 56 and 70, above age 70 and those 18 to 55-years-old were similar.

    Health officials have been concerned about whether vaccine candidates would work in older people, whose immune systems typically do not respond as strongly to vaccines.

  16. Louis Fyne

    if the DNC think that winning means adopting all the GOPers ‘who mattered over the past 25 years’, the party deserves to lose—And lose so badly that the entire party infrastructure gets rebuilt from scratch.

    1. hunkerdown

      What is the Democrat Party, really? It’s a rolodex, a hierarchy, and a resource base. (And a cookbook!) To damage the party infrastructure, you have to damage or deny relationships, subvert that hierarchy, and destroy or deny them that resource base. It’s a tall order, and the optics look really bad once passed through the oligarch filters. We’re talking something on the order of a smash and grab of every state and important county Democrat Party office and their IT assets, which by now may be anonymously hidden in the cloud alongside a million other Zoom meetings.

      I’ve been noodling with the idea of a citizen ballot initiative that declares elections an institution belonging to and inuring to the benefit of the whole people of the State of _____, and declaring their rights in the ballot permanently senior to those of any organization or individual who seeks to appear on it.

      1. Oh

        The ballot issue needs to require that no political party be involved in the election process, strictly non party individuals from the local governments

    2. a different chris

      Well to be fair those GOPers have been mostly winning over the past couple of decades… so I agree the party deserves to lose but the American people just maybe are not up to doing it.

      Whoever wins, almost 1/3 of the country are going to pull the lever for either Trump or Biden. That’s gotta be almost incomprehensible from the vantage point of any civilized (and some not so much but at least smart) country.

        1. Chris

          Yep. Fellow Chrises, it’s like watching those coins go round and round the funnel at a fair. Except, the coins are coprolites, the funnel is a toilet, and most of the country has decided they have better things to do with their time.

          It’s hard to have hope about what’s coming next.

        2. a different chris

          Ok there is this Internets thingy….

          American Population 2016 323 million.
          Clinton Votes 66 million
          Trump Votes 63 million

          (66+63) / 323 = 129/323= 0.399 which is actually closer to 40% than the “almost 1/3” even I claimed.

          Regular Chris misread me, I did say “for Trump or Biden”. My 16.5% each was slightly closer to the 20% than his 25%, but not much.

          I guess we all are being affected by the Reality Distortion Field of the ongoing RNC? :D



    3. voteforno6

      I think that change is coming, whether they want it or not. The question is, how quickly does it come? It may seem counter-intuitive, but I think that it will come quicker if Biden wins.

      Right now, we don’t have a functioning Republican Party – it’s devolved into a Trump personality cult. What happens when he’s gone? It’ll probably be a lot like Alexander’s generals after he died, except with people who are a lot stupider.

      What is it right now that’s holding together the Democratic Party? In large part, opposition to Trump. When he’s gone, then who is there to hold them together? The Clintons are done, and it’s not like Obama will be able to run for office again – even if he wanted to do so. With Trump in office, the party establishment has been able to keep the factions in line, for the most part. With him gone, then what?

      1. Fiery Hunt

        What is it right now that’s holding together the Democratic Party?

        What’s holding the Democrats together?? Seriously???

        They (both the politicians AND their supporters!) have benefitted from the f’ed up income inequality that has decimated this country for the last 40 years!!!

        It’s not race that matters. It’s CLASS.

        They like the way America is.

        And they will let go of their advantages only when forced to, either by the non-violent 90%… or by the violent 10%.

        1. Chris

          I think way more than 10% of citizens will end up on the violent side of the column soon.

          How many millions are predicted to be evicted that we know about right now? How many more that we don’t know about? I’m trying to imagine what happens when there are 30 million cold, hungry, angry people facing the start of a long winter and they’re either forced to accept Joe won’t do anything to help them or Trump won’t be allowed to (even if he can conceive of a reality where they need help). My current model of people and the rage rioting we’re seeing even in small places like Kenosha makes me think there is no one we can elect right now who will be able to solve this problem. I’m afraid we’re in a for an awful time that should really start to hit right around Thanksgiving.

      2. hunkerdown

        What’s holding the Party together? The other Party. Extrapolating into the future, the oligarchs and the Treasury (but what’s the difference, really) will keep cutting the checks and the lights will continue to stay on; both parties will preserve their duopoly in state and Federal election law, throw races back and forth as suits their situation and the oligarchy’s standards, and pass laws annoying the other party’s captive constituencies; and the oligarchs will use their monopoly to continue to accumulate and waste the productive capacity of the nation and its people.

        Use your imagination and think of some ways that one Party could seek to improve the electoral fortunes of the other Party. I offer the deliberate choice of weak talking points against Kavanaugh as an example.

      3. Acacia

        Yes, opposition to Trump is holding the Democrat party together, which clearly shows they have nothing constructive to offer themselves. They are a product with vastly diminished market share, decades beyond their sell date.

        The sooner the two parties collapse, the better. They have shown that they cannot be reformed.

    4. Fiery Hunt

      Here’s a random thought I’ve been playing with….

      What if it’s the Republican Party that has the open flank ripe for take over?

      Instead of the Democrats, who seem to be consolidating with the “centrist” Republicans, why not target and take over the Republican party?

      1. Lost in OR

        You mean like Josh Hawley?

        In my blue district, the Republican Party can’t find anybody but wingnuts for candidates. I believe running left of our corporate dems as a republican just might work. Especially for a house seat.

  17. zagonostra

    >Small-time scams are dissolving America from the inside [The Week]

    …the state could place requirements on social media platforms so they do not amplify dangerous craziness, or simply ban them from using any kind of algorithm to control people’s attention in the first place.

    If CNN, MSNBC, NYT, WaPo didn’t spout daily lies and CIA-Mockingbird, MK-Ultra, were fictions…then people might not be so drawn to “crazies.” The author wants to create an “algorithm to control people’s attention.” Yeah, like Y-Tube demonetizing Jimmy Dore videos that criticize both Dem and Rep Presidents as de facto war criminals. Sure why not just create an avatar for me that will vote on my behalf after it has analyzed the content of all my gmails and online activity, I’m sure it knows my vote/nonvote better than I do.

  18. Samuel Conner

    Years ago, at a university astrophysics colloquium, I heard a presentation on near-earth objects, with specific mention of Apophis, which will have two near earth encounters in coming decades (the first of which could, with very low probability, perturb the orbit enough to lead to Earth impact in the second encounter)

    The presenter pointed out that it is a relatively easy matter to avoid a collision, by landing a low thrust motor sufficiently early and applying a small thrust over a long period of time. He noted, wryly, however, that there is a political problem. Any intervention will shift the most probable impact point away from its current location toward the Earth’s limb, and that inevitably moves it away from some nation or nations and toward others, which would be to those nations’ disadvantage if the motor were to fail before the trajectory had been moved sufficiently to reduce the impact probability to zero. This could lead to international dispute and even conflict at a time when an orbital perturbation was needed. It was a sobering thought.

  19. Louis Fyne

    Q-Anon, example #29393 of the “Streisand Effect”.

    if MSM pundits just ignored Q, it would have been lost in the cacophony of the byzantine world of 4chan.

    But the MSM dolts can’t help their own urge to moralize—-they have been Q’s best promoters

    1. nippersmom

      If Q-Anon didn’t exist, the MSM, or one of the groups they work in concert with, would have invented it so they had a boogey man to frighten us all with.

      1. Dr. John Carpenter

        And who is to say they didn’t? ;)

        I agree with you and Louis Fyne. I have a pet theory that you can tell when something is authentically subversive because the MSM and all associates will ignore it entirely.

        1. Louis Fyne

          paging Tulsi Gabbard.

          her media blackout is because MSM editors are tonedeaf dolts or shrewd Machiavellians

          i vote for the former, but the world would look the same way if it was the latter

  20. Dr. John Carpenter

    Only anecdotal evidence here so take it with a grain of salt, but my SO works for a large Midwestern university in a position where she would know such things. If they’ve been planning all along to pivot to on-line learning, they are not sharing that info with deans, instructors or associated facility. She has been in the thick of normal semester openings this week and there hasn’t been any talk of closing down. Of course, this is just one place and she wouldn’t be privy to all the university’s going ons. But if this is the plan, it’s going to be as much of a surprise to the facility as the students. (To be fair, it wouldn’t be a shock if the highest ups did drop this on them unexpectedly.)

    1. a different chris

      Wouldn’t shock me either, but I suspect your SO is well informed and my usual “don’t quickly attribute to evil what could just be gross stupidity” applies until proven otherwise.

      Remember the people at the top got there in the world that was. They know deep down they aren’t anything special, so a different world would likely have different results. So they simply cannot let go of “normalcy”.

      I suspect you can find this behavior at the early stages of wars as well as other pandemics.

      1. Mo's Bike Shop

        The idea that they have a plan, as opposed to some powerpoints, seemed overly optimistic to me.

  21. Mikel

    “The U.S. Is Battling Two Recessions, Not Just One” [Bloomberg]. “The U.S. is in a very odd situation.
    “Even as the official unemployment rate falls…”

    Just ignore the consistent layoffs. WTF?????

    1. savebyirony

      Yup. By the rules this would mean an automatic forfeiture for the Bucks (up 3-1) and a 5 million dollar fine for the franchise if the NBA enforces them. Two more games scheduled for tonight, so we shall see. And there is a chance that Toronto vs Boston tomorrow may be canceled due to both teams boycotting. Toronto may very well choose to boycott as their team’s black GM was accosted by a security guard last year when they won the NBA championship and he was trying to go on the court to celebrate with his team; and they have been very vocal about race issues and player involvement in change since.

    2. savebyirony

      I do not know the economics of big sports so well but maybe millionaires costing billionaires serious money will actually have an affect. I also wonder if any owners were savvy enough last spring to argue against a months long bubble of the players. Talk about an organizing opportunity.

      1. nippersmom

        Bucks management has been very vocal about racial injustice issues in the past, so I doubt there will be fallout for the players from ownership in this instance. At least one member of the team has been subjected to racial profiling by MPD in the past, so it is definitely an issue they are very aware of.

        It will be interesting to see if the NBA tries to enforce the fine, and if so, what kind of PR blowback that results in.

      2. NotTimothyGeithner

        NBA players have significant leverage compared to their major American professional counterparts in other leagues as they could form their own league or go abroad tomorrow. They could rent college arenas with no problem and have a quick draft. They would put out an instant product. Would they cash in as quickly? Probably not. There are also less players to organize. The question is how radical is each player. Kyrie Irving has guess spoken to players about forming a players’ league. One problem is LeBron sees his dream of becoming a billionaire before he retires is through the NBA, so LeBron and others will be only so radical. If LeBron changes his attitude its a different game altogether. Players effectively chased the old Clippers owner out. They have real power.

        Could the owners address policing in their respective cities? All but NYC, LA, and Chicago. They could wield power, but they would have to be brought up to speed. I’m not sure where they are, and the bipartisan elite are fairly united except over who to blame. Right now, the owners are probably ecstatic there is a season. I don’t what the ratings or tv deals are, so I imagine this will factor in.

        If LeBron doesn’t move and the situation calms, I expect a new round of pledges to spend money on a few projects and for the NBA to move on.

        Always remember the famous quote from His Airness, “Republicans buy sneakers too.”

        1. wadge22

          A note on LeBron in all of this.

          His team (LA Lakers) was scheduled to play (the Portland Trailblazers) in game 5 of a series they lead 3-1. Portland’s star player, Damian Lillard, was set to sit that game out with a sprained knee.
          It’s unlikely Portland has a chance of winning this series, but they were all but certain to lose tonight without Lillard. A few days recovery could be very impactful.
          LeBron and the Lakers agreeing to a postponement of this game is an extremely strong statement.

          1. NotTimothyGeithner

            Its a statement from LeBron. Strong? We’ll see. He’s at a different level. Some of the nature of the bubble as opposed to say what Irving an admittedly less charismatic figure boiled to where LeBron went. He needs to be pressured.

            1. wadge22

              I guess I think he probably had as close to veto power over that decision as any one player could possibly have had.
              And also as strong of reasons to want to play.
              I agree he was probably swayed by pressure from more enthusiastically outspoken players/teams. It certainly would have been talked about if they did play tonight, but only LeBron’s game.

              1. NotTimothyGeithner

                He won’t play tonight. Whether the Greek Freak and noise from the Raptors and Celtics players made a difference, only LeBron knows. LeBron backed the NBA’s relationship with China during the Houston assistant GM’s mild support of the Hong Kong protestors. Shockingly enough, James has a ton of money wrapped up in China along with future investments. He could lose them all and still be the number one American athlete in the world, but he showed who he was. It wouldn’t derail Space Jam 2.

                1. savebyirony

                  According to an ESPN NBA insider, if the players do decide to boycott the rest of this season the owners could choose to void the present collective bargaining agreement.

        2. savebyirony

          That “Republicans buy sneakers too” dynamic was significantly changed, though. Back in air Jordan’s day, players would have lost endorsement deals. Not so much now.

          I think Lebron is fully behind this boycott by his limited public comments so far today. And the NBA moved quickly to “postpone” all three games, though the first game shut down due to boycott! What interests me about Lebron at present and his political initiatives is his push for getting out the vote and voting access. As far as in know he speaks often on and funds greatly voting initiatives, but does not dig down or at least speak about “duopoly” and “lesser evil” issues.

    3. wadge22

      It was announced on NBAtv that the Rockets Thunder game will also be boycotted. They just announced the Lakers Blazers are leaning towards a boycott as well. Those later games (unlike the Bucks Magic game currently cancelled) were scheduled for national broadcast on TNT.

      Sports illiterate readers take note:

      This is a genuinely significant event. These players (and/or the NBA) are taking a significant risk to make this statement.
      These are very important playoff games, where each and every second or play could be the pivotal point in a player’s career. It is literally the moment they have been working towards since they were children.
      It’s very hard to see this as any kind of a stunt.

      1. nippersmom

        Yes, this is a huge statement by the Bucks, and the domino effect of other teams following suit will have repercussions.

            1. savebyirony

              I live in Ohio and it is a football state. In the USA, football is a religion and a mighty economic juggernaut. IF this spills off into the NFL, then it is a game changer. But the NFL owners will combat the organizing and players’ boycotting actions much differently than the NBA’s.

              1. NotTimothyGeithner

                The financials of the players’ are radically different. The NFL is a bunch of guys trying to get to the pension and then retiring. The guys on the 10 and 10s in the NBA can make fantastic livings abroad.

                The NFL cooked up Deflategate because Brady joined the concussion lawsuit. Thats the power they thought they had on Brady. NFL players don’t have anywhere close to the power as NBA players.

                1. savebyirony

                  “The NFL is a bunch of guys trying to get to the pension and then retiring.” Ok, I do not know how seriously or broadly you actually mean this, but you paint with much too broad a brush. Granted, though, NFL players who step out of line and socially advocate stand to loose (and have lost) their football careers, careers that have probably not been nearly as lucrative as even an average NBA player’s. But these are different, even more dire times; and more importantly people are learning and seeing the power of collective actions. I do not know if the NFL players union will meet the social forces strong enough to inspire them to act collectively in a boycott, but i think the chances are increasing daily, whether its due to the examples of the NBA or even the efforts of college players. And if they do it together, they will have plenty of power to effect change and protect their collective backs in what will be, undoubtedly, a very ugly, dirty fight.

                  1. NotTimothyGeithner

                    Its a broad brush because of the turnover and the number of guys making the minimum which is much less than the NBA. Getting to the pension is a huge deal. Its a radically different league than it was even 15 years ago.

                2. eg

                  The NFL and NCAA football are straight up plantations. I love the sport, but those organizations are the worst.

        1. periol

          When it comes to statements by pro athletes, there was another big one announced today: Lionel Messi is leaving the Barcelona Football Club to play for the Manchester City Football Club (owned by the Kingdom of Abu Dhabi). It’s a statement of some kind, not sure exactly what.

          Barcelona supporters have stormed the facilities. There was a crisis “emergency council” meeting yesterday and today and so on. Apparently the directors have to shoulder the losses of the club if they step down, and right now Barcelona is a billion euros in the hole.

          There will probably be court battles galore. Manchester City famously paid big bucks for 50 lawyers in a recent court showdown with FIFA, which they won, so they’ll probably win this one too.

          My favorite part is a different Argentinian recently played for the other team in Manchester, and his wife gave quite a scathing review of the [family blog] town where it was grey and rained all the time and “I didn’t like anything at all. The people were all skinny, neat, weird. You are walking and you don’t know if they are going to kill you or not.”


          Can’t wait to see how Messi feels about it.

          1. Basil Pesto

            The Messi thing is a shocking story, unlike Ronaldo he is synonymous with one club. He truly is an incredible player. FC Barcelona has had some CalPERS-tier admin running the business the last few years, it would seem (my team is owned by Stan Kroenke, so I’m by no means casting stones :( )

            Sid Lowe has written about Spanish football for a long time and he’s very good; this piece, while it might seem histrionic, captures some of the sense of what an epochal drama it represents for Barcelona: https://www.theguardian.com/football/2020/aug/26/the-end-of-the-affair-after-messi-barcelona-will-never-be-the-same

            City’s CAS battle was with UEFA, not FIFA, over ‘Financial Fair Play’ rules (belated rules half-heartedly applied to make rampant spending more sustainable)

            Football (soccer) economics is fascinating, and worthy of a link or two on NC for sure, but I’m not sure where you’d start and U’m not sure that I have the skills to delve into the subject. I would say that it seems like the market for transfers of players and broadcasting rights that fund that market have been an enormous bubble that has grown to silly levels in the past 25 years, and that the implications of COVID could be quite a shock that clubs don’t fully understand yet.

      2. Sheldon

        Sports “literacy” is akin to memorizing a series of abstract numbers attached to muscle measurements and superstitious idolotry.

        “This is a genuinely significant event.”
        Only to those who believe that basketball is significant to anything beyond advertising profits, obscene pay levels and hero worship of the less educated.

        Hope there never are any more games.

        Basketball and pro sports in general, have probably done more to distract young black men from academic opportunities in front of them than any other illusion. When coaches are the highest paid state employees, it’s evidence that we live in a bizarro world.

        1. wadge22

          I’d love to hear your thoughts on music, or visual or performing art. They seem to me fairly similar to athletics.
          I happen to think these are some of the things that make humanity sufferable.

          1. Sheldon

            My personal preferences are irrelevant. Centuries of music being having been and to be performed thousands of times by orchestras around the world is why it’s called “Classical,” and is named by its composer.

            Can’t see many people fifty years from now listening to concerts of any rap ‘music’. That’s just a commodity. The timeless human themes reflected in theater and performing arts, written by talented authors have and will survive. Do you think Hamilton will mean anything a generation from now? Those $2,000 tickets and its staleness mean it’s just a commodity, not art.

            Nothing wrong with exercise and athletics. But, not many discussions of ball games in the 1800s, nor of their players. No football player could mimic a good ballerina’s moves. Sports is more akin to programmed herd mentality, as in sheep ramming each other and the cheering observers. It is a soothing balm to the minds of the uneducated everywhere, helps keep them from asking too many economic questions, and serves as a performative fandom for The Woke and office workers who tire of listening to Top 40 radio, where songs are named for the performer, not the composer.

            Imagine young black men substituting the hours they expend on the ball court with reading, studying and learning, instead of perfecting free throws. My doctor grew up in the projects and never bothered with basketball, thanks to loving parents and a disciplined and loving home life. Fortunately, he ignored a potential career in the N.B.A.

            1. wadge22

              Our personal preferences ARE irrelevant, but yours seem rather strongly held.

              Your doctor also ignored a potential career as a ballet dancer or composer, don’t forget. Would that have been so bad?

            2. Fiery Hunt

              No football player could mimic a good ballerina’s moves. Sports is more akin to programmed herd mentality, as in sheep ramming each other and the cheering observers. It is a soothing balm to the minds of the uneducated everywhere, helps keep them from asking too many economic questions, and serves as a performative fandom for The Woke and office workers who tire of listening to Top 40 radio, where songs are named for the performer, not the composer.

              Says someone totally ignorant of sports.

              As Stephen King said about John Grisham books while receiving the Nation Book Award for Distinguished Contribution to Letters,

              “What do you think? You get social or academic brownie points for deliberately staying out of touch with your own culture?”

              I’d put Barry Sanders, Allen Iverson, and Mario Lemieux against any damn ballerina.

              1. Basil Pesto

                or, as the great American writer Harry Mathews wrote:

                Why ever hesitate to recognize the beauty of athletes?

            3. savebyirony

              “No football player could mimic a good ballerina’s moves.” Many football players have been study dancer including ballet, for years. For example Lyn Swan, hall of fame wide receiver, was a beautiful dancer.

              I will not speak to the positive effects of sports for young men, but for girls and young women their is a significant correlation between playing sports and achieving what you clearly see as successes in life.

              1. savebyirony

                Ok, that is terrible typing. Should read, “Many football players have studied dancing, including ballet, for years. For example Lynn Swann…”

            4. a different chris

              Oh god this is freaking ridiculous and I am a music lover.

              Nobody normal knows anybody beyond Beethoven (thanks to the Snoopy cartoon), Mozart, and because his name is so weird plus the cannon thing, Tchaikovsky.

              And they also know the names Honus Wagner (funny because they don’t know the composer Wagner because he is actually insufferable), Ty Cobb, and of course Babe Ruth.

              People excel in physical pursuits and get remembered, and music at that level is pretty physical.

              And further what a bunch of racist s(family blog)t this is:

              Imagine young black men substituting the hours they expend on the ball court with reading, studying and learning,

              It’s not necessary to imagine that. The vast, vast majority of black men hardly ever actually play basketball, sorry if that’s a shock to you. Ever hear of Howard University? Lordy what rock did you crawl out from, I’ll hold it up so you can crawl back in.

            5. ChrisPacific

              You can’t have it both ways. If classical music is objectively valuable owing to having been part of human civilization for centuries, then so is sport. What about ‘Mens sana in corpore sano?’ That’s thousands of years old.

            6. JBird4049

              Who knows what music will still be listening to fifty years from now. But I like listening to West End Blues as done by Louis Armstrong and his band in 1928. Much of what was said about hip-hop was also said about jazz when it first came out.

        2. chuck roast

          Go for it fellahs’! If Sleepy Floyd and the brothers never came out for the NCAA basketball championship game back in the day, we would live in a different world now. The difference between making history and being a footnote in history.

  22. a different chris

    Re the earlier conversation about “how bad it is to miss a year of school” – if you thought I had an opinion, I must clarify that I did not. I was just waffling around. This is a hard problem. But in any case here is an interesting data point, I didn’t even know you could do this but, you know, Europe. Whose schools blow ours away…


    Again, this isn’t to dismiss some very interesting “early brain” research. We should probably start teaching kids like at 3 years old, but use that to reduce the school hours overall. For example, instead of going to school full time between say 6 and 8 years old, spread those two years across 5, from 3 yrs old to 8 years old. Start with the stuff they seem weirdly good at (language) and then you have more time for the stuff that they struggle with (math). Also that makes a catch-up adjustment, if you have to keep everybody at home for 18 months due to COVID-2028, much easier.

    No I do not know how this works when everybody but the 1% need two jobs. Again, hard problem. But note it doesn’t even really work now as kids have a shorter shift than their parents usually do (latch-key kids).

    1. juliania

      Without going into family situations too deeply, I feel I have something to contribute. My youngest daughter, for reasons beyond her control, did not learn to read until she was nine years old. She was a happy and bright child, who played and had fun in her childhood ‘free school’ not subject to the discipline of regular classes. It didn’t hold her back. She ended up going for further studies to China, and now teaches Chinese both the written and spoken language, with further studies of Chinese philosophy, in university classes.

      I’ll further add this was long before computers were an adjunct to learning, and she had some mighty fine teachers. But nobody discouraged her from learning, and I believe that is the key. If kids enjoy learning and want to learn more, nothing can hold them back at any age.

  23. periol

    I’m sure anyone in the area is already aware and hopefully long gone, but Hurricane Laura has rapidly intensified since yesterday and is looking to make landfall around the TX/LA border as an upper-end Cat 4 or Cat 5 hurricane in a few hours. They’re predicting catastrophic storm surge as much as 40 miles inland from the coast. It’s a hurricane bringing a tsunami.

    Latest infrared imagery, as of 2PM PST:

    Stay safe everyone!

    1. nippersmom

      Wow! The last update I saw was this morning, and they were predicting Cat 3 then. It has really intensified. I hope everyone was able to get to safety and that they don’t return to utter devastation in teh aftermath.

        1. drumlin woodchuckles

          At some point “climate reality” candidates will have to dare to address this problem with some “climate reality” talk. And just take their electoral chances with how people will receive it.

          If this hurricane can just become a Category Six hurricane, it will begin the process of implanting a willingness-to-listen among the survivors. Maybe not by itself. Maybe there will have to be a series of Category 6 and 7 hurricanes before people are ready to hear a “lets face reality” candidate.

          1. orlbucfan

            Dorian which tore the Abacos and Grand Bahama Island to pieces last summer was the equivalent to a category 6. Waiting for the weather community to update Saffir-Simpson.

            1. drumlin woodchuckles

              The weather community will not update Saffir-Simpson unless they are tortured and terrorised into doing so. They will never do it on their own.

              A good update method would be to make the Saffir-Simpson ladder open ended at the top end. Whatever the average size of the interval it takes to get from Cat 1 to Cat 2 . . . to 3 . . . to 4 . . . to 5 . . . . just use that average as the size of each further rung up the Saffir-Simpson ladder. That way as hurricanes keep getting faster and faster winds, one can just add more Category number Rungs to the ladder. Category 6 . . . 7 . . . 8 . . . 9 . . . 10 . . . etc. as the hurricanes keep gaining the “average difference interval ” of windspeed.

              We really should do the same with tornadoes. F5 . . . F6 . . . 7 . . . 8 . . . 9 . . . as tornadoes keep developing faster funnel-wind speeds.

              Maybe hurricanes should also be rated by size-area of the hurricane-wind area. So if you have a “small” Cat 5 hurricane like I think Hugo was, call it a 5-A. If it gets a certain amount wider, call it a Cat 5 B. It it gets a certain amount more wider, call it a Cat 5 C. It it gets the same certain amount even more widerer, call it a Cat 5 D. Etc.

    2. rd

      It is going to be very, very bad. I hope nobody anywhere near the eye thinks they can ride this out anywhere near the coast.

      It will be interesting to see how Trump handles all this in his speech tomorrow night. Covid, much of Louisiana/east Texas flattened and underwater, hundreds of thousands of people in shelters, no power probably for a million plus people as it continues to grind though Arkasas/Kentucky/Tennessee.

      1. drumlin woodchuckles

        Trump will handle it very easily. He will tell his base-load voters that a President Biden will bring them all bunches of BLM and Antifa on top of what they already have. And they will double-down for Trump.

        One category 6 hurricane isn’t going to change that. Several years of Category 6, 7 and 8 hurricanes may get these people ready for a new thought.

        1. drumlin woodchuckles

          And after I heard the Trump Acceptance Speech, I can say my prediction was correct. That is what he told them.

          ” If you permit Biden to be elected, the Radical Leftist Anarcho-Marxists will bring BLM, Antifa, and all the looters and rioters and arsonist to your town and your suburb and all the towns and suburbs in America.”

    3. Daryl

      IDK if anyone else is in the area, but http://spacecityweather.com/ is the place to go for Houston (& other Gulf Coast) related weather updates.

      Covid is going to make this disaster much much worse, I think…people infected while evacuating, people not evacuating because of fear of infection.

      Stay safe everyone.

  24. marym

    Perplexing puzzle:

    “In a shift that perplexed some doctors, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has changed its Covid-19 testing guidelines to say some people without symptoms may not need to be tested, even if they’ve been in close contact with someone known to have the virus.

    In its pandemic planning scenarios, the CDC says its current best estimate is that 40% of infections are asymptomatic and 50% of transmission occur before symptoms occur.

    The CDC did not explain the change, and doctors were puzzled by it.”

    “CDC would not comment on questions about its own policy change. A CDC spokesperson referred all questions to the Department of Health and Human Services.

    In a statement to CNN, HHS Assistant Secretary Brett Giroir said: “This Guidance has been updated to reflect current evidence and best public health practices…

    HHS has not specified what change in “current evidence” may have driven the change.”

    “Giroir argued the administration “does not expect” new CDC guidelines to decrease the volume of tests being conducted. With new tests soon coming onto the market, the number of people who can be screened “will go up significantly over the next couple of months.” That increase will come from “strategically done tests, not just tests done for the sake of being tested,” he added.

    The testing czar also denied that politics motivated the CDC switch, despite President Donald Trump’s repeated arguments that U.S. case numbers are high because the country conducts many tests.”

    1. rd

      I have gotten to the point that I am paying essentially no attention to the CDC and only slightly more to FDA. Doing my own reading and evaluations and developing our stragies that are often opposite of current federal guidance, but my strategies are based on science not wishful thinking.

      The federal government has, unfortunately decided to be, at best, MIA on Covid, and often provides dangerous disinformation. I am utterly baffled why Fauci wasn’t fired a month ago as he appears to be one of the few people still speaking intelligently about this disease in the federal government. Speaking intelligently is now against federal government policy.

      1. Late Introvert

        At least one state government – Iowa – as well. Trumpette Reynolds got to speak at the convention after saying schools had to stay open until there’s a 15% infection rate.

  25. chuck roast

    Alexander the Grate:

    Amazing! This fellow has been on the streets for well over 30 years, but he appears to be physically able and is certainly compos mentis. By all current standards this 72 year old should not be alive. He seems to have an understanding of history. He certainly knows what an epoch is. His world-view is very nuanced, and he has a way with words. A man from the extreme edge that is completely centered. A man that we need to hear more from.

    Good thing I’m not still in DC. I’d be out looking for him, and he would probably find me as annoying as the so called civilization that surrounds him. I don’t want to rescue the guy…I want him to rescue us.

    1. Henry Moon Pie

      As this old world collapses on itself and leaves a vacuum, we’ll learn that we must look for leadership not to those who have ruled us all these years but to those who have managed to endure the elites’ stupid cruelty and survive.

  26. FDW

    Visakanv, along with many of the people here would by what’s happening in the Virtual Youtuber scene Right now. Recently, the Virtual Youtuber scene has come to be dominated by the group known as Hololive. Hololive’s most popular member, Shirakami Fubuki had a 4-hour livestream where she had over 60k concurrent viewers (and over 800k total viewers as of rightnow). What was she doing to get that kind of numbers? Waiting to see which of a pair of co-workers would wake up first. (Said co-workers had passed out drunk the previous night)

    1. Pat

      Considering Democrats double standard on sexual harassment, she’ll probably suffer minimal fall out. But it is not a good look.

  27. drumlin woodchuckles

    About colleges and their in person to on line bait and switcheroo having been the plan right from the start . .
    here is an image about that. https://i.redd.it/tefrmspmnkh51.jpg

    About Google creating an “enormous load on global route DNS servers ” . . . is there a way for thousands or millions of aggrieved people to do some version of the same thing to google? To design ways to launch tens of billions of bogus inquiries against every possible basic google function and stop google dead in its tracks until google un-creates this problem it has created?

    1. Late Introvert

      Sadly, no. It would have to be DDOS level and so only the script kiddies would be able and they aren’t interested.

      1. drumlin woodchuckles

        Oh well . . . I’m just an old analog refugee in this new digital world. I don’t know a bit from a byte from a boot. At least I tried, anyway.

  28. Jason Boxman

    Some stuff I have trouble understanding, in particular this about Charleston evictions. The average pay in the area is way lower than 80-120k, so this makes no sense to me:

    “We did anticipate that people who were living paycheck to paycheck with very little emergency resources would be hit first, but we are also seeing people who are leaving their tenancies and moving back in with their parents and are in their 30s,” Paluzzi said.

    Paluzzi said people who have been evicted include those with salaries of $80,000 to $120,000 a year. One man paying $2,200 a month in rent lost his job and couldn’t afford private student loan payments and other bills. He was selling his computer to make ends meet before being evicted.

    I pay less than that in Somerville, MA, so that must have been a nice apartment in downtown Charleston. Places in West Ashley and James Island were 1,500/mo and under.

    At the tech networking even I went to back in 2016 when I was investigating relocation, working remote was a common thing as the local pay is nowhere near that high. So maybe it was a remote job. But otherwise, that’s impressive for a Charleston salary.

    1. periol

      Rent is crazy everywhere.

      I was shocked how much we had to pay for rent in rural Nebraska in 2018. Expected the cost of living to be lower in general than the Inland Empire. It most definitely was not.

    1. drumlin woodchuckles

      Biden can offer to take a drug test if/when Trump has released to the New York Times’s satisfaction every last jot, tittle and asterisk of every last bit of every last tax return he ever filed . . . going back to his first lemonade stand.

  29. drumlin woodchuckles

    Here is a video someone posted to reddit called “Daycare worker abuses kid for defending himself against another kid stealing from him”. The video looks pretty clear. If it is not a Deep Fake . . . and in these times it very well could be, but . . . if it is not a Deep Fake . . . . what do any viewers think they are seeing here? I will just offer the link without any editorial comment of my own.

    Daycare worker abuses kid for defending himself against another kid stealing from him

  30. IMOR

    “Nominations counsel”; “which advocates for judicial nominees”- two automatic disqualifiers for the bench anywhere worth a s**t 25 years ago, now a cottage industry. Add it to 30 years of TV-induced prosecutor worship ( ‘like rooting for U.S. Steel’ x10) and you know why the bench is filled with punks just like the ‘Biggest Blue Gang.’

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