2:00PM Water Cooler 8/4/2020

By Lambert Strether of Corrente.


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

CA: “Central Valley becomes California’s new coronavirus concern” [Politico]. “[A]fter the state reopened in May and June, the region became the state’s biggest problem spot — with some metrics now worse than even Los Angeles…. The Central Valley has a disproportionate share of essential blue-collar workers and Latino residents, many working on farms and in factories to provide food for the nation…. While parts of the Valley felt insulated from the worst of the virus in March, and local Republican leaders have pushed for a faster reopening there to boost the economy, the region could ultimately be hit hardest. Many Valley workers are immigrants and people of color who cannot do their jobs from home, and are more likely to have underlying conditions and less access to health care. Aloise said workers are risking their own health to support their families, with some octogenarians still reporting to cannery production lines. Working conditions, including more personal protective equipment, have improved since the pandemic first hit, he said, but the disease is more prevalent in the community and there remains pressure to keep producing food.”

IL: “Gatherings With ‘Trusted’ Friends, Family Are Driving Rise In Chicago Coronavirus Cases, Top Doc Says” [Block Club Chicago]. “After slowing the initial spike in coronavirus cases months ago, Chicago is again seeing a troubling rise in cases that could force city officials to tighten restrictions on dining and gatherings that were loosened as cases dropped. A main culprit, [said Dr. Allison Arwady, commissioner of the city’s Department of Public Health] said Tuesday, is people letting down their guard at gatherings with friends and family and bringing coronavirus back into their homes…. Arwady encouraged people to limit their close contacts — the people likely to contract COVID from you if you do become infected. Exposure within a household is the number one risk factor, Arwady said, noting you are 10 times more likely to contract COVID in your home than in other settings, based on people bringing it home.”

MA: “Experts urge rollback of reopening as COVID-19 cases rise in Mass.” [Boston Globe]. “‘We’re not seeing a major surge in cases. What we’re seeing are the indicators that a surge is coming,’ [Samuel Scarpino, a Northeastern University epidemiologist] said in an interview. ‘Given how challenging it can be to intervene and slow the spread of COVID-19, the actions we take now are what’s going to determine whether we’re risking a situation like heading back to April or a situation that’s far more manageable.’ Scarpino advocated for returning to “at least” the second stage of Phase 2 of the state’s reopening plan, which would mean once again shuttering venues including gyms, casinos, and movie theaters.

UPDATE NJ “Wild pool party shut down by police at New Jersey mansion” [New York Post]. “A massive rager at a mansion in New Jersey’s richest zip code was shut down by cops over the weekend — and neighbors say wild Vegas-like blowouts have been regularly held there despite the coronavirus pandemic. Hundreds of carefree revelers — most without masks — were spotted outside the home on Hemlock Drive in Alpine for what promoters called ‘The Lavish Experience Pool Party’ Saturday night, NBC New York reported. Cops eventually were called to break up the bash, which spilled out onto the street with zero regard for social distancing rules…. A neighbor told The Post that the wild affairs have been a regular occurrence since May, at the height of the coronavirus crisis. She said she’s seen party buses dropping off people for the bashes — which are brazenly advertised on social media.” • Represent, New Jersey! (But “rager”? What is a “rager”?)

NY: “NYC party ship owners arrested, charged with breaking coronavirus orders on ‘booze cruise'” [NBC]. “Owners of a New York City party boat were arrested after taking 172 guests out on a cruise — without a liquor license and serving alcohol indoors — in violation of emergency coronavirus regulations, officials said Monday…. ‘Operating a booze cruise in the middle of a pandemic is irresponsible and in complete disregard with COVID safety measures,’ [Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer] said in a statement on Monday. ‘Reckless socializing isn’t worth putting people’s lives at risk, and now is not the time to let our guard down.'” • “Operating a booze cruise in the middle of a pandemic is irresponsible” is really a sentence I never expected to read…

UPDATE Yglesias must love Trump:

I think we’ve seen a series of first waves, starting from the epicenter in New York. However, “back to school” is more or less simultaneous — is it not? — so there may indeed be a synchronized, second wave.


“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 3: Still no changes.

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

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


UPDATE Biden (D)(1): I thought Biden didn’t hire Bloomberg’s media team?

UPDATE Biden (D)(2): “How the coronavirus got Joe Biden to think much bigger” [Vox]. “Those close to Biden told me that watching the country fall into two debilitating recessions in the past 12 years has had a profound effect on the former vice president. Biden helped shepherd the country out of the 2008 crisis, yet many working families never enjoyed the full benefits of that recovery. With America in yet another economic calamity, Biden now envisions a much larger role for government in his administration if he wins than past Democratic presidents have been comfortable with.” • “Yet” is doing a lot of work, there. More: “‘Bill Clinton and Barack Obama were operating under the shadows of the Reagan ‘government-is-the-problem’ [idea],’ said Emanuel. ‘I think Biden is the end of the Reagan critique and the beginning of something new, a touchstone of a view where the government was an affirmative force and public service was a noble profession.'” • The article pivots to a beat sweetener on Biden advisor Bruce Reed, describing him as “a quiet presence” who is “an influential voice on policy.” Reed was CEO of the Democratic Leadership Council. Come on, man.

Biden (D)(3): “Supporters Urge Joe Biden Not to Debate Trump, Applaud Hosts for Canceling Over COVID-19 Concerns” [Newsweek]. “Democratic strategists and supporters of Vice President Joe Biden are urging him not to debate President Donald Trump in the lead-up to Election Day, citing Trump’s publicity stunts and disregard for the rules in 2016. Meanwhile Biden backers, including some conservatives, applauded the University of Notre Dame and the University of Michigan for cancelling their scheduled debates over COVID-19 concerns. Former White House Press Secretary Joe Lockhart joined several Democratic Party strategists in bluntly advising Biden, “whatever you do, don’t debate Trump.'” • Waiting for Trump to set up an empty chair, and debate that…

Cuomo (D)(1): There it is:

I hope Cuomo told them to wear masks.

Sanders (D)(1): Going negative:

“Orange man bad” ten ways. Not one positive reason to vote for Biden.

Trump (R)(1): The walls are closing in:

Trump (R)(2): He’s not wrong:

Trump (R)(3): Not owning the libs enough:

Of course, we’re still waiting on Trump’s health care plan. Nonetheless….

Trump (R)(3): “RNC: Decision on private Trump renomination vote not final” [Associated Press]. “The vote to renominate President Donald Trump is set to be conducted in private later this month, without members of the press present, a spokeswoman for the Republican National Convention said on Saturday, citing the coronavirus. However, a Republican National Committee official contradicted that assessment Sunday, emphasizing that no final decisions have been made and that logistics and press coverage options were still being evaluated, The official was not authorized to discuss the matter publicly and spoke on condition of anonymity. While Trump called off the public components of the convention in Florida last month, citing spiking cases of the virus across the country, 336 delegates are scheduled to gather in Charlotte, North Carolina, on Aug. 24 to formally vote to make Trump the GOP standard-bearer once more. Nominating conventions are traditionally meant to be media bonanzas, as political parties seek to leverage the attention the events draw to spread their message to as many voters as possible. If the GOP decision stands, it will be the first party nominating convention in modern history to be closed to reporters.:”

* * *

“McConnell has 17-point lead over Democratic challenger McGrath: poll” [The Hill]. • Lol. Morning Consuilt, too.

UPDATE “Barack Obama omits AOC’s name while endorsing New York Democrats” [New York Post]. • That’s odd. AOC is a Woman of Color. It’s hard to keep track of the every-shifting rules.

“‘Any Functioning Adult 2020’ Presidential Election Campaign Is Getting Popular” [Sad and Useless]. “The 2020 United States presidential election, scheduled for November 3, 2020, will be the 59th quadrennial U.S. presidential election. Some people are supporting Trump, others will vote for anyone but him, so they’ve started a pretty funny “Any Functioning Adult 2020” presidential election campaign with various signs, bumper stickers and t-shirts available on Amazon and on Etsy. Featured below are some of the examples spotted in the wild.” Spotted in the wild by alert reader Jason Boxman and others. I don’t see the members of our political class as being anything other than adult — except maybe the Gravel kids, who really should have been permitted to get their candidate into the debates — and I also see them as being functional (at least in their own terms, and for their donors). So I’m not enthusiastic about this campaign paraphermalia, though I understand the sentiment.

UPDATE I whacked Welder for not knowing Roberts Rules, but this is good:

UPDATE Not being a church-goer, I wouldn’t have thought of this, but I think it’s correct:

First, shaming Red State church services. Now this…

Realignment and Legitimacy

“How the Media Could Get the Election Story Wrong” [New York Times]. “[A] group of former top government officials called the Transition Integrity Project actually gamed four possible scenarios, including one that doesn’t look that different from 2016: a big popular win for Mr. Biden, and a narrow electoral defeat, presumably reached after weeks of counting the votes in Pennsylvania. For their war game, they cast John Podesta, who was Hillary Clinton’s campaign chairman, in the role of Mr. Biden. They expected him, when the votes came in, to concede, just as Mrs. Clinton had. But Mr. Podesta, playing Mr. Biden, shocked the organizers by saying he felt his party wouldn’t let him concede. Alleging voter suppression, he persuaded the governors of Wisconsin and Michigan to send pro-Biden electors to the Electoral College. In that scenario, California, Oregon, and Washington then threatened to secede from the United States if Mr. Trump took office as planned. The House named Mr. Biden president; the Senate and White House stuck with Mr. Trump. At that point in the scenario, the nation stopped looking to the media for cues, and waited to see what the military would do.” • Oh. The name “Transition Integrity Project” reminds me forcibly of Nelson Algren’s advice: “Never eat at a place called Mom’s.”

* * *

UPDATE “U.S. judge orders election boards to extend count of absentee ballots in New York state primary” [Reuters]. “A U.S. judge late on Monday ordered all local boards of election in New York state to count “thousands” of absentee ballots received the day after a congressional primary held last June 23 but previously disqualified because of postmark problems.” • A good ruling that took 41 days. That will be a problem in a national election.

“Coronavirus creates election worker shortage ahead of November” [Politico]. “Election officials across the country are seeing early shortages and scrambling to recruit a new generation of poll workers for Election Day, looking to maintain a volunteer force that has relied heavily on senior citizens in the past — the cohort most vulnerable to the coronavirus…. More than two-thirds of jurisdictions said that it was either “very difficult” or “somewhat difficult” to obtain a sufficient amount of poll workers — according to data collected about the 2018 elections by the Election Assistance Commission, a federal agency charged with assisting election officials — with just 15 percent saying it was either somewhat or very easy to do so. And that was before a pandemic that is especially lethal for those most likely to serve as poll workers hit America’s shores.” • Just a thought, but maybe volunteers don’t want to fix paper jams and wipe down touchscreens?

“Tips to Mitigate Threats to Our Votes and Voter Registrations Before November” [Jennifer Cohn, Medium]. “5. Down ballot races, especially state races, are critical this year bc state lawmakers will vote in 2021 on the new maps that will impact control of the US House of Representatives for a decade.” • Quite right!

Stats Watch

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

Manufacturing: “June 2020 Headline Manufacturing New Orders Improve” [Econintersect]. “US Census says manufacturing new orders improved month-over-month with unfilled orders shrinking modestly. Our analysis shows the rolling averages improved but remain in contraction. According to the seasonally adjusted data, the increase was widespread except for civilian aircraft which significantly contracted.”

Housing: “June 2020 CoreLogic Home Prices: Fastest Monthly Gain In More Than 7 Years” [Econintersect]. “CoreLogic’s Home Price Index (HPI) shows home prices increased by 4.9% in June 2020, compared with June 2019. Month over month, home prices increased 1%, compared with May of this year, the fastest monthly gain for the month of June since 2013…. This is a rear view of home prices. Econintersect believes home prices will deteriorate as the year progresses as the knock-on effect of the coronavirus will grow. The worst-case will be a decline to Great Recession levels but the most likely scenario is a 10% decline roughly equal to the expected unemployment rate. Too much money is being removed from the economy due to the COVID restrictions and elevated unemployment.”

Employment Situation: In small businesses:

Employment Situation: “Five Things You Need to Know to Start Your Day” [Bloomberg]. “For some context on what’s going on in the labor market, I talked with Andrew Zatlin of SouthBay Research, who keeps his own proprietary data of small, local business job openings. He likes paying close attention to mom & pop-style small businesses (eateries, salons etc.) since they’re the most sensitive to real-time changes in the economy. Their situation is not good…. As for sectors, not surprisingly, the worst-performing category has been HR. The best-performing category he tracks has been security, as even shuttered businesses need security on some level. Longer term, he still sees knock-on weakness for white-collar workers, even if and when there’s more normalization for the directly-exposed service industry. Though not in the above indices, large tech job openings are way down, he told me. The issue with the labor market remains straightforward: There are a dearth of job openings due to the virus, and among the businesses who hire and fire the fastest, there has been a clear weakening trend again over the last month.”

* * *

Retail: “In A Twist On Loyalty Programs, Emirates Is Promising Travelers A Free Funeral If Infected With Covid” [Forbes]. “Emirates’ insurance for travelers stipulates that if one of its passengers is diagnosed with COVID-19 during their journey, the Dubai-based airline will cover their medical expenses, up to €150,000 (about $176,000). It will pay €100 ($118) per day for quarantine costs – such as a hotel room – for up to two weeks. And if the worst happens, Emirates will offer €1,500 (about $1,765) for a passenger’s funeral. The insurance is automatic with ticketing, effective immediately, and carries no fees for travelers. It’s an interesting idea. It delivers share of mind on steroids. It demonstrates the integrity of the brand to the public, and it shows they have empathy for their customers and understand the current environment. The premise of insurance for medical bills or quarantine is brave. It’s bold and cuts to the heart of the reluctance to travel. It doesn’t skirt the emotions surrounding COVID-19 but tackle them head on. However, the fact that the insurance includes a death coverage could be problematic. It could encourage the kind of mental imagery that an airline normally wouldn’t want associated with its brand.” • Makes me wonder. If I don’t buy the insurance, have I waived my ability to sue Emirates for unsafe COVID practices? Travel mavens?

Tech: “Robots Running the Industrial World Are Open to Cyber Attacks” [Bloomberg]. “Robots are often connected to networks and run via software, according to the report, and previously unknown vulnerabilities could allow hackers to hide malicious code in them and other automated, programmable manufacturing machines. The researcher found flaws in software produced and distributed by the Swedish-Swiss multinational ABB Ltd, one among world’s largest industrial robot maker. They also found other vulnerabilities in one of industry’s most popular open-source software called ‘Robot Operating System Industrial’, or Ros-I, adapted for ABB and for Kuka AG, a German robot maker.”

Tech: “Hedge funds scour alternative data for edge on Covid and economy” [Financial Times]. “A multibillion-dollar industry offering unusual data such as satellite imagery and measurements of social media sentiment is enjoying a boom in demand as hedge funds and companies hunt for clues on how to tackle the coronavirus crisis. Many investors have turned to so-called alternative data — niche information beyond standard financial market indicators or statistical releases — after finding official numbers too slow in reflecting the collapse in economic activity due to Covid, and the recovery. Providers argue it can provide precious, real-time glimpses into how a company or economy is faring.” Then again: “Anthony Lawler, head of GAM Systematic, said his firm used alternative data but added that such information had not been behind his funds’ gains last year, nor had it driven markets this year. ‘Daily credit card data or footfall data didn’t lead the recovery in [stock] prices. What led the recovery was investor sentiment, animal spirits and a belief in a better future,’ he said. ‘For none of that could you use innovative photographic, credit card or shipping data.”

* * *

Today’s Fear & Greed Index: 67 Greed (previous close: 67 Greed) [CNN]. One week ago: 63 (Greed). (0 is Extreme Fear; 100 is Extreme Greed). Last updated Aug 4 at 11:50am. Solid greed. Starting to get dull.

Rapture Index: Closes up one Beast Government. “The government movement is having trouble with world unity” [Rapture Ready]. Record High, October 10, 2016: 189. Current: 182. (Remember that bringing on the rapture is a good thing.) Beast Government is volatile!

Health Care

“What is herd immunity and could it happen in the US?” [Guardian]. Interview with Dr Angela Rasmussen, virologist and associate research scientist, Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health; Dr Amber D’Souza, professor of epidemiology, Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health; Dr Marc Lipsitch, professor of epidemiology and director, Center for Communicable Disease Dynamics, Harvard TH Chan School of Public Health.

Is there any possibility that we could achieve natural herd immunity to Covid-19?

D’Souza: The data suggest that nationwide, maybe 10% of Americans have been exposed. We’re not even close to achieving herd immunity through natural infection at this point.

Rasmussen: The idea that, “Well, we’re just stuck with it, so let’s all just get it over with and we’ll all have herd immunity”, is just not done. It would cause the deaths of millions of people and potentially the permanent disability of millions more. We can’t afford to pay that type of epidemiological price for herd immunity. We need to wait for a vaccine.

Lipsitch: The problem is that we’ll suffer in the process. So, it’s not that we can’t do it, it’s that we don’t want to do it, given the damage that we now know that it can cause.

I don’t think it’s scientifically wrong, I think it’s morally wrong.

Assuming that we can achieve “herd immunity through natural infection” at all. We haven’t with the common cold.

“Pastor who urged people not to ‘cower in fear’ tests positive for coronavirus” [The Hill]. “The pastor of a Capitol Hill Catholic church tested positive for the novel coronavirus the same day he suggested parishioners who did not attend in-person church services over fears of infection were ‘lukewarm’ in their faith.” • Lick the shrine….

Our Famously Free Press

I believe I’ve posted these rules before, but they are still useful:

Class Warfare

“Wave of evictions expected as moratoriums end in many states” [Associated Press]. “23 million people nationwide [are] at risk of being evicted, according to The Aspen Institute, as moratoriums enacted because of the coronavirus expire and courts reopen. Around 30 state moratoriums have expired since May, according to The Eviction Lab at Princeton University. On top of that, some tenants were already encountering illegal evictions even with the moratoriums. Now, tenants are crowding courtrooms — or appearing virtually — to detail how the pandemic has upended their lives. Some are low-income families who have endured evictions before, but there are also plenty of wealthier families facing homelessness for the first time — and now being forced to navigate overcrowded and sometimes dangerous shelter systems amid the pandemic. Experts predict the problem will only get worse in the coming weeks, with 30 million unemployed and uncertainty whether Congress will extend the extra $600 in weekly unemployment benefits that expired Friday. The federal eviction moratorium that protects more than 12 million renters living in federally subsidized apartments or units with federally backed mortgages expired July 25. If it’s not extended, landlords can initiate eviction proceedings in 30 days.”

UPDATE Symbol manipulation from the back row:

Fortune passes everywhere. Except it doesn’t, does it?

New of the Wired

“How to Autosave local to PC instead of to OneDrive when using Word” [Microsoft]. • Ha ha, you can’t. Imagine not being able to store your own data on “your own” PC. Who thought of this? Who coded it?

Try this at home:

(I believe that Twitter is less virulent than Facebook, perhaps because Twitter has never claimed to be about “friends” (although paradoxically I’ve formed friendships on Twitter, but never on Facebook)).

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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 (CR):

CR: Spiderwort (Tradescantia). From the Missouri Botanical Garden: “When the stems of spiderworts are cut, a viscous stem secretion is released which becomes threadlike and silky upon hardening (like a spider’s web), hence the common name.” Yes, but about the wort part?

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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. Pat

    “Central Valley becomes California’s new coronavirus concern”

    We gave our old washing machine to our neighbor’s gardener. Upon helping him unload it at his place, not in the Central Valley, a two bedroom ranch house rental, I was amazed to find at least fourteen, or more, people living there. Grandparents, aunts, uncles, wife, kids, cousins etc. This, according to him, is common with Hispanic family groups. While very thrifty, and ecological, it is a built in vector for Covid.

    1. Oso

      it’s very common, economic as you point out, Pat. having an extended family group provided a lot of stability, young people accustomed to having elders presence made for close families. Covid has really slammed us.
      What makes the close quarters (for essential workers) especially bad is the working conditions in the fields. porta potties are spread out and obviously unhygenic. no hand washing stations, some shared hand sanitizer. people jammed into vehicles to get to work and back. lot of undocumented folks, some in their sixties and seventies stay in rentals sleeping on couches and mattresses.

  2. L

    On the topic of the post-election predictions:

    The House named Mr. Biden president; the Senate and White House stuck with Mr. Trump. At that point in the scenario, the nation stopped looking to the media for cues, and waited to see what the military would do.”

    While I get that these are called “wargames” by convntion that implies that they have, you know, rules like other games. But so far none of the reporting on this event has suggested that they adopted any rigid strategy, red teaming, or indeed anything that would limit what comes out. Thus all statements of the kind above should be labeled correctly as mere speculation.

    Any pretense that this particular gathering of the best and the brightest knows more about what the American people will do, or even what The Donald will do post election is as misguided as faith in Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld’s assertion that the Iraqis would greet us as liberators.

    1. Lambert Strether Post author

      I don’t think they know more. I find the fact of the exercise interesting, and I like knowing what tactics they regard as within the realm of the possible (for example, fa

      @ConceptualJames In case you haven’t seen this yet, the white woman who started MeTooSTEM was also mascarading as a faux queer Hopi anthropology professor at ASU. After using COVID to kill her creation off, she was finally outed after ASU was bombarded with woke memorial demands.

      — JD Terhart (@jdterhart) August 3, 2020 “>ithless electors were bruited about in 2016). I don’t regard this as predictive.

    2. D. Fuller

      Post election prediction? If Trump loses? Here goes… and this is much more realistic than Podesta and his “wargames”. Note, that this is only one strategy of what should be many that Republicans may employ.

      Trump has, in a tweet, tacitly stated in other words, that he will not accept the results should he lose. That occured yesterday. By attacking Nevada’s decision to expand mail-in voting. SEE YOU IN COURT -DJT

      The SETUP

      1. The USPS is hobbled by the bipartisan 2005 legislation signed by Bush that financially cripples the USPS. A case of Centrist Democrats shooting themselves in the head by pursuing Republican priorities: the destruction of the USPS.
      2. Trump Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin has offered a $10 billion loan to USPS that is onerous and will harm the USPS.
      3. Trump mega-donor Postmaster General Louis DeJoy is pursuing various strategies – mail slowdowns, etc – to further impair USPS operations including delivering & returning mail-in ballots.
      4. Trump whipping and stiriing up his base with “mail-in ballots invite fraud” unless Trump personally approves of the State – which he did for Florida, today.

      Shouid Trump lose the General Election?

      Republican lawyers go into action to contest election results in as many States as they need to get Trump to 270. If Trump needs 3 electoral college votes? Florida, if Trump lost Florida. The only defense against this is for Biden to win by a large enough margin in electoral college votes.

      First, file lawsuits in the State courts. If not successful, file lawsuits in Federal courts. However, make sure to file Federal lawsuits in Federal courts where Republicans & Trump have stacked the courts with ideologues – a consequence of Obama adhering the Senate tradition and kowtowing to Republicans for their approval that never came. This is critical.

      If that fails, petition the Supreme Court. And this is where Roberts becomes a problem for Republicans.

      The USPS is the largest and most public single point of failure in mail-in voting that Republicans can use to overturn a Trump lose in The General Election. Republicans like Postmaster General DeJoy are doing their best to make it so. The USPS is not the only point of failure, vote counters are the less public point of failure.

      Add in some conspiracy theory from reliable Right Wing outlets (or “journalists” such as John Solomon)? Right Wing violence and an increase in Right Wing terrorism with State governors such as Gov. Abbott of Texas, declaring sedition\ by refusing to honor a Biden win. At this point, Republican States might be the ones to openly discuss secession. Right Wing media will also flood the conspiracy channels with voting irregularities (real or imagined), the usual “11 million illegals voted for Democrats”, etc.

      On that note, one other option is for Trump to deploy Federal Police & troops to Democratic cities in the name of “protecting the vote”. Which could very well backfire. Trump would need a reason, such as violence to deploy troops. Violence that might be provided by Right Wing terrorists depicting themselves as “antifa”, etc. This is a stretch, however.

      I can guarantee you that this is but one strategy that Republicans are actively considering, should Trump lose.

      This option is a repeat of Florida 2000, but on a much larger scale (depending on the size of the loss) in 2020.

      1. D. Fuller


        A deployment of Federal Police to Democratic precincts would occur before the election, and would be a voter suppression measure that could very well backfire.

        I apologize for not being clear on that point.

        1. hunkerdown

          Oh, of course, that’s the point. Make a scary show against Hispanics because the oligarch PR department says that’s the “winning” theme this season, then blame the police for Trump’s win, or alternatively, blame voter fraud (by whom?) for Trump’s loss. Life goes on just as before, with two parties competing, sportingly, to confuse and enthrall the creatures, out of deep and abiding friendship, and the recognition that, if either of them stops, they both die, and their class system with it.

          And Americans like to be fooled so much, or have been fooled into thinking they like to be fooled perhaps, that they treat this song-and-dance put on by the aristocrats as some genuine good, knowing full well that they could be spending their time getting a better deal for 99% of us but they’d rather believe in their own fictive self-righteousness. Many such cases. Sad!

      2. anon in so cal

        >”add in some conspiracy theory from reliable Right Wing outlets”

        Like Russiagate?

        Wikipedia describes John Solomon as a purveyor of conspiracy theories about the Bidens and Ukraine. Problem is, most everything Solomon documented aligns with reputable sources who’ve documented the Bidens’ misdeeds in Ukraine. Robert Parry (RIP) wrote:

        “it was Vice President Joe Biden who demanded that President Yanukovych pull back his police on Feb. 21, a move that opened the way for the neo-Nazi militias and the U.S.-backed coup. Then, just three months later, Ukraine’s largest private gas firm, Burisma Holdings, appointed Biden’s son, Hunter Biden, to its board of directors…”


        1. hunkerdown

          Conspiracy theory: any assertion of non-obvious cause and effect that challenges establishment political power.

        2. drumlin woodchuckles

          Remember . . . its not a theory if it happened. Its not a theory if it is happening.

    3. BinDenver

      My fear is that this is not passively gaming what might happen, but what might happen so that it can be actively manipulated in the actual event. I didn’t get foil-y when the Soros and Pelosi comments made the rounds about Trump being “gone sooner than he thinks”, but this study really concerns me that something dangerous might be forming in Washington.

      1. HotFlash

        The ‘Wargames’? We are being prepared, in the same way that ‘polls’ prepare us for a rigged outcome. Compare Bernie rallies to Bernie polls. Compare Bernie rallies to Biden or Clinton rallies, while you are at it. The fix was in, and oh, ‘exit polls’ were first discounted then simply not done.

        1. edmondo

          It’s not bad enough the Democrats politicized the FBI and the “intelligence” agencies, now they want to invite the military in to decide if the people have chosen wisely? The Democrats are the fkn stupidest political party that ever existed.

          1. hunkerdown

            “The nation stopped looking to the media for cues, and waited to see what the military would do”

            I mean, first, it’s the Democrats, who are in bed with the IC and the MSM, not the Pentagram. Second, people turning away from liberal mouthpieces is a good thing for the left and for everyone. (The more mainstream pundits that fail to survive a military tribunal, the better for 99.999% of everyone else.) You’d have to want very badly to misread that as their desire rather than clear sight of the end of their welfare-princess (good name for think tank detritus of any gender) privileges.

          2. neo-realist

            The FBI and the intelligence agencies have been politicized for decades: Hoover called for MLK’s removal from the national scene. Whenever some foreign leader that opposes multi-national corporate rule comes into power, the money power tells the intelligence apparatus to wack him.

            “Cough Cough” Cointelpro.

            The company helped fixed the fact for the Iraq war for a republican president.

  3. Toshiro_Mifune

    Wave of evictions expected
    While I don’t doubt that this will happen. Who are landlords expecting to take the place of those evicted tenants? The PMC that was not laid off is not an inexhaustible supply. Second; a huge wave of evictions would lead to a glut in rental supply thus leading to falling (one would hope) rents.
    Surely some of the landlords out there have to have come to the same conclusions.

    1. Reality Bites

      I’ve wondered the same thing. The PMC will also have access to former Airbnb properties that are looking for long term tenants since tourism nosedived. I don’t see how the real estate market holds up long term.

    2. Keith

      Perhaps the benefit of the evictions are to empty the structure for a liquidation event. After all, he who panics first, panics best, and if you are going under financially, it might be best to try the mitigate your losses early, rather than keep accruing more debts, interest, charges, etc.

      1. hunkerdown

        Interesting, isn’t it, the calls from some creeps in #ADOS to finance into existence a broad Black bourgeoisie, just as the broad working class (and a few downwardly mobile PMCs getting repaid for their treason) are having trouble keeping a roof over their head. If you thought it was hard to find a landlord of your own race before (which all neos hate because of the possibility that the working class might find solidarity and flexibility outside of the market™ in their own “manor”), it may get worse.

      2. HotFlash

        Hmm. Liquidation event, very likely. But predicated on belief that The Market (some market) will rebound. So, who they think gonna buy this stuff? Or rent it? Do they think anyone will have money? Will they take payment in blood? If so, who will want that, except Peter Theil? I just don’t think the vultures realize how much life will change post Covid. The only people with money are Bezos and that crew. They gonna rent office space? Why, when they can offload that onto their employees (aka ‘work from home’). How are people with no jobs, businesses with no customers, and *nobody at all* with a long-term safety net gonna pay rent, let alone buy these properties?

        If this wouldn’t be a death sentence for so many people, it might be interesting to watch. As it is, I can’t watch.

    3. D. Fuller

      The better for Blackrock to buy up all those underwater homes and buildings. And other Wall Street scavengers.

      As predictably happened after 2007-8.

    4. JohnnySacks

      And what’s left after eviction revenge may not be pretty. There’s some nefarious actions that wouldn’t present until long after the victims are looking for shelter.

    5. Yves Smith

      Huh? A tenant at half the old rent not being paid is better than no $.

      So if the tenant can’t pay a reduced rent, the landlord is best off evicting ASAP to pick up anyone who has income and is downsizing (as in has income but less of it or worried about soon having less of it).

  4. Mr. Magoo

    Re: “How to Autosave local to PC instead of to OneDrive when using Word”

    This is insidious. I only learned recently that all my data was being stored on OneDrive. Not something I knowingly signed up for. So I can assume my documents are being scanned for targeted advertising? Me thinks I want to download a honeypot of misleading documents……

    1. Arizona Slim

      All the more reason not to use Word. I’m using a Windows 10-based PC to type this comment. Instead of using M$ Office, I use LibreOffice. Works for me, and it has for years.

      1. Amfortas the hippie

        i like Open Office(apache?).
        works for my purposes, and is similar enough to word….and simple enough for luddites.
        i don’t use clouds at all, and if i obtained a machine that ended up forcing me to, i’d take it back.
        default win10 on my last laptop purchase is bad enough, as far as i’m concerned.

        1. Sheldon

          Pictures stored in Photos on a Mac can be, or might be scanned for facial recognition against your wishes? Depending on your settings, that information goes to the cloud. Always use preview for photos.

        1. HotFlash

          Yup. But watch out for DuckDuckGo as a search engine, looks like Apple wants to buy it to steal a march on Google.

          Currently I am using SwissCows (neat, fast, and I can get European/world content). There is probably an offer that Ducks can’t refuse.

          1. furies

            I had a weird experience with DDG a few months ago…after listening to an interview of an Epstein victim I was inspired to punch in “the US is run by satanists”…and I got a results screen that immediately blinked off and thenb gave me a different screen with “no results”.

            OK a little foil-y (lot)…but it freaked me out and I switched my search engine to Qwant; good rep from what I’ve read. But now I know about “SwissCow”–that would be a nice match for my ProtonMail account.:)

  5. jo6pac

    It’s good to see this in the news that biden team has hired loser JP.

    For their war game, they cast John Podesta.

    We know that consults received bundles of cash to do nothing.

    1. D. Fuller

      Reminds me of 2016 where Hillary Clinton hired five close consultants, spent $700 million on them, for their computers to tell Hillary Clinton she had 340 or some such nonsense. While neglecting to re-register voters that were kicked off voting rolls by Republicans.

      The real reason she lost.

      1. Pat

        My joke for a couple of years was that “I would believe the Russians cost Clinton the election when they proved that Podesta and Mook were on Putin’s payroll.”

        Still holds.

        1. D. Fuller

          Democratic Russia!Russia!Russia! conspiracy certainly did help Russian interests. Ah, the useful idiots. They exist on both sides of the aisle.

  6. DJG

    What about the wort part?

    “Wort” means plant.

    ORIGIN Old English wyrt, of Germanic origin; related to root1.

      1. Henry Moon Pie

        And the bees love it first thing in the morning. And the opening/closing characteristic of the flowers is cool as well.

        Watch out, though. It likes to spread by seed so cut back those seed pods before they open.

  7. hunkerdown

    ABB was the contractor and major supplier for Venezuela’s power grid modernization. If some fly on the firewall had been watching their internal control network at the time, I wonder if that fly would have seen the very vulnerabilities announced today being exploited back then…

    (Thanks lambert, dk, for that super crunchy article on class formation not among other primates, from Links 7/25. I can fit general strikes and “shift leaders” into that model with little friction and it basically works. And there are tantalizing suggestions of strategies to break class systems… depending on the degree of overmatch. Still chewing on it, definitely a must-read, not just as a strategy paper, but as a cold, hard statement of the conspiracy that is class society, one which they might want to reconsider the risk of being held to account for.)

  8. ambrit

    We have the dreaded spiderwort in out back yard. I try to dig the little buggers up regularly. They spread like weeds and will crowd out other plants. You cannot pull them up. You have to dig the roots out and fill the hole back in with compost or spoil from the ditches. We have not found a human use for them yet. Even the flowers aren’t anything special.
    Bah humbug! (Cue ‘Ghost of Flora Past.’)

    1. Robert Lewis

      The roots are the spider-web part, and they go pretty deep too. The flowers attract bees so I’m a little reluctant to get rid of them all; I’ve set aside an area between two palms where they’re free to flower.

      1. Harold

        They are pretty, though they flower only in the morning. Problem is the leaves are rather weedy and spreading — for those of us with tiny gardens.

    2. Amfortas the hippie

      we’ve used the sap for mosquito bites for 5 generations
      edible, too, apparently

      I allow them as a natural born cover crop, except with things like lettuce.
      Carrots grow right up through them, as do radishes and beets…while they cool the tubers.
      bees like them, too…and i think they’re pretty.

  9. shinola

    Tech: “Robots Running the Industrial World Are Open to Cyber Attacks” [Bloomberg].

    And in other shocking news: “The Sun Rose In the East This Morning!”

      1. phoenix

        Boothole is overblown. To successfully exploit it, you would need to have pwned the machine already and there are easier ways to gain persistence in that case. Companies will do more harm to their systems trying to patch the damn thing

        1. D. Fuller

          Pwning machines is an everyday occurrence. Even mitigations for Spectre/Meltdown are turning out to be less effective than advertised. Boothole is on top of all the other vulnerabilities.

          Which does not include the vulnerabilities yet to be found and exploited.

          Anything electronic? Consider it already compromised. Because it is.

      2. hunkerdown

        Or, more likely, owners of those billions of formerly useless devices can use this vulnerability in concert with some other privileged code execution vuln to put custom firmware on their devices where they might could not have before. At this point it’s just silly to treat a mobile device as something that can be secured. Do your important work at home, with a cable you can unplug.

        How very interesting that Eclypsium’s flagship product differentiates itself by detecting just this sort of thing, isn’t it.

  10. Wukchumni

    The Central Valley has a disproportionate share of essential blue-collar workers and Latino residents, many working on farms and in factories to provide food for the nation….
    There really isn’t much in the way of factories in the CVBB, but oh is there agriculture, and then some.

    As luck would have it, the Hispanic population i’d mentioned in the links that’s particularly taking it on the chin, over 90% being in the hospital intubation ward in Visalia, and here’s an added bonus, the Hispanics most affected are in the age group of 40 to 49, with the average age of a fieldworker being 45.

    Every aspect of growing food is under assault in California, and it’s 100% Hispanic, all the workers.

    Who’s going to fill their considerable slack?

    1. GF

      Not sure how many are in the slack?? I can see 50+ million starving USians come Christmas. Some may opt to fill the slack. Oh, and there is the military.

      1. ambrit

        The military, or at least the smart portion thereof, will feed itself first. Can you blame them? I cannot.

    1. PlutoniumKun

      Whatever the cause it certainly looks like an industrial accident, seems like they are blaming ammonium nitrate stores. its reminiscent of the Texas City explosion and the more recent Tianjin and West, Texas disasters.
      Seems that we never learn.

      1. bob

        I don’t think it was AN, or any other HE type stuff. It was too ‘slow’ for that. Very big? Yes. But not a ‘fast’ enough blast, IMO.

      2. TroyIA

        It seems that a shipment of ammonium nitrate from Georgia to Mozambique got abandoned in Lebanon in 2013 after the vessel experienced trouble. m/v Rhosus

        So 2750 tons of ammonium nitrate has been sitting unclaimed for all these years until this tragic accident. For perspective when Timothy McVeigh bombed the federal building in OKC he used 2 tons. 2750 tons of ammonium nitrate is equivalent to ~1.1 kilotons. Poor Lebanon.

    1. Arizona Slim

      During my college days, back in the Jurassic Period of the late 1970s, a “major rager” was a HUGE party.

    2. HotFlash

      Based on my minimal contact with Young Persons, it is two orders of magnitude greater than ‘rave’ and one greater than ‘mega-orgy’. CAVEAT: Regional definition, n=1. My informant allowes as how it would ‘most likely’ be one order below festivities involving boars and/or emus*.

      * To paraphrase Tanya of the Trillbillies, “Emus? What do they even do?”

    3. Jonathan Holland Becnel

      “Let’s Fn RAGE!”

      During copious amounts of drugs and alcohol and seeing where the night leads you…


    1. Geo

      I’m fully expecting Jill to be by his side and speaking for him in these debates, just as she does for his interviews and live streams. At this point, she is the one running for President and Joe is merely the mascot.

  11. Lee

    Have i lost my mind or have the massively dire material prospects of the citizenry put the working classes in a stronger, if not yet well organized, bargaining position?

    Biden’s putative evolution leftward and Trump’s anti-eviction declaration may be head fakes, but I’m getting the feeling that the people are becoming more desperate and therefore less forgiving of false promises and unmet expectations. Always the optimist, me.

    1. Pat

      Please note who are saying this, Emmanuel and Bernstein.

      iOW grab your wallet and everything of value you have left – they’re coming for it.

      Toxic manure.

    2. GramSci

      Could be. Back in the day, news spread faster in the beer halls and union halls than it did to Washington, DC. Pols and media were slow to adjust, giving grassroots organizing an edge. Now, thanks to the interTubes, DC gets wind of where the weeds are growing and spreads RoundUp(tm) ASAP.

    3. John k

      Options aren’t good. One guy promises things will change for the better, other guy promises no change.
      Bear in mind T is in a trade war with China, has tried to bring some troops home, and started no wars.
      I assume he will say, ‘it took 40 years to move those jobs to China, I couldn’t bring them back in 4. I need another term to finish the job.’

    4. NotTimothyGeithner

      I figure since Rahm brings absolutely nothing to the table as long as he is a Team Blue elite in good standing anything Biden says is simply a lie. If he was pressured, he would get rid of Emmanuel.

  12. Pelham

    Re Chicago’s virus surge due to small gatherings: The excerpt notes that the most dangerous setting is the home AFTER someone in the household brings in the virus from outside. That “after” part is key. Right wingers note the “home is dangerous” part and omit what should be the obvious factor of covid being brought in first from an outside source. In this reptilian way they support their “get back to work, slackers” narrative.

  13. Michael McK

    A “rager” is a big, wild party. Raging like a wildfire.
    PS Thanks for the comment by someone several months ago about the proper way to use a plunger. Instead of trying to force a clog down through the pipes, try pushing the plunger down before you are over the drain then sealing around the drain and pulling up. The clog will work it’s way back to the top of the drain where you can fish it out and dispose of it. Having tried the technique, now I can report back that it works much better that way! I have mentioned it to a few people around town, all were as surprised as I was to learn we were doing it wrong. It appears that most of us don’t (or didn’t) know how to use one.
    I suppose they are called pull-ungers for a reason ;).

    1. Yves Smith

      We mentioned this in comments on Links when it was 53%. I stated this was crap because I have encountered multiple businesses Yelp listed as closed that are in fact open. And it’s not as if I went looking and I certainly don’t frequent Yelp. Things are bad but this particular factoid is garbage in, garbage out.

  14. Wukchumni

    Oh yeah, the President can be held to the courage of his evictions, ha ha.

    He’ll say anything these days not too dissimilar from the previous 1297 or so days.

  15. allan

    LAPD officer among dozens seen without masks or social distancing at party for first responders [CNN]

    At least one of the people attending a party at a bar in Los Angeles on Friday night — without wearing masks or adhering to social distancing — is a Los Angeles police officer.

    The gathering sparked an investigation by the Los Angeles Department of Public Health, and the LAPD
    said the department is now attempting to identify LAPD employees, who may have been in attendance.

    The LAPD officer, who a source identified to CNN as a current officer in the LAPD’s southwest division, spoke to CNN on the night of the party.

    The officer defended the gathering Friday night saying, “Everybody is either family or works at the same place so that’s why we don’t have Covid concerns. They micro-group or whatever with each other and everyone’s been tested and everything. That’s why we all know that everyone in there is cool.”

    “If you’re so concerned, why don’t you call the police,” the LAPD officer said as CNN tried to
    observe the party. …

    At the very least, using “micro-group” as a verb should be a firing offense.

  16. Pelham

    Re the busted cruise: Shouldn’t people grossly violating Covid rules like this be isolated? Seems criminal to just turn these infected morons loose on the rest of us.

    1. Wukchumni

      We had a busted family cruise on NCL that was scheduled for early June.

      NCL gave those that had put a deposit down, a whole one week period in which to claim a refund, all others deposits will be used for a future cruise if you didn’t put in a request.

      I mentioned numerous times early in the Covid caper, how you could buy a week-long cruise for $200-250 per person, with free drinks included. This was about 1/4 of the going price normally.

      They knew what they were doing, attempting to fill the death ships…

  17. Pat

    AOC is too uppity for Obama. She may be a woman of color, but she doesn’t understand her place. She challenges people he considers her betters, like himself.

    As for that vaunted Obama policy of going high…well it is getting harder and harder to miss how crass, low and petty Barack and Michelle are. They don’t even bother to hide it anymore.

    1. neo-realist

      Obama is a conservative at heart. He could never advocate for somebody that supports policies opposed by the elites, even if that candidate is of the same party, e.g., Sanders.

  18. fresno dan

    So I actually got to use my medicare counseling skills today. A woman who I used to work with (and dear friend) emailed me about her mother (73), who apparently does not have medicare Part D. Yeah, that’s what I had to work with.
    Of course, there is about a zillion questions to get to the bottom of what the situation truly is. One scenario that I suspect based on experience is that the mother signed up to medicare Part C, which at least in CA
    always includes a prescription drug benefit. Typically the precipitating event is that the beneficiary has no idea how the modern convoluted health care system works, and there was some drug not covered by the plan, OR the deductible is gigantic. The woman’s mother is poor and is none to familiar with the bureaucratic state, so the other likely scenario is that the mother was getting prescription drugs through a Medicaid program.
    The woman’s mother lives in Maine, so try googling Maine SHIP (state health insurance program, which is the bureacratic hierarchy between state health programs and medicare to help people find answers to their medicare questions) and you get about a zillion referrals to boats. I had much better luck typing the whole name of the program instead of the acronym – duh…
    After some more searching, I found the Maine offices that could help figure out what is going with her mother’s medicare or lack of medicare. Hopefully my friend (also an FDA employee) can accompany her mother to that office so that some effective action can be undertaken.
    So…one good deed since March. Probably buys me about 30 seconds less in hell – if only I could stop looking at the naughty internet pictures…

    1. 3.14e-9

      … if only I could stop looking at the naughty internet pictures…

      Why? If you’re like many others, stay-at-home has left you with more time than money, and holding your manhood’s cheap.

      FWIW, as someone who has tried to navigate Medicare/Medicaid, I think you’re way under-pricing your good deed. And anyway, Hell is becoming a gated community for the obscenely rich. The mopes will have to settle for Purgatory.

      1. fresno dan

        August 4, 2020 at 5:39 pm
        speaking of cheap manhood holding (why does everybody think I do that…oh, right)

        fresno dan
        July 5, 2020 at 10:21 pm
        Arizona Slim
        July 5, 2020 at 9:43 am

        for you, dear cousin liberal cynic….without surviving relatives.

        Westmoreland: Oh that we now had here but one ten thousand of those men relatives in the USA that do no work today at this family barbecue
        This story shall the good man teach his son; and Crispin Crispian shall ne’er go by, from this day to the ending of the world, But we in it shall be remembered-we few, we happy few, we unrelatived few, we band of brothers; for he today that sheds his blood drinks much beer with me shall be my brother; be he ne’er so vile as to double dip the guacamole, this day shall gentle his condition; and gentlemen in England now-a-bed shall think themselves accursed they were not here, and hold their manhoods cheap (I really have been trying to cut down on my manhood holding, but alas, with little success) whiles any speaks that barbecued with us upon Saint Crispin’s day.

        1. HotFlash

          I raise my bottle of Polish beer to you! Also, today alone I received 2 (TWO) emails from beautiful Russian ladies who would like to meet me (not actually interested). Shall I forward them to you?

          1. ambrit

            Fresno Dan can have the “beautiful Russian ladies” fully vetted by the Pink Bunny Slippers Unit of the FSB. However, I think he still has a yen for Comrade Fatale. (Don’t we all!)

          2. fresno dan

            August 4, 2020 at 8:12 pm

            As long as they look like Jennifer Laurence from Red Sparrow
            Of course, such women would probably kill me…but it would be worth it…

  19. Laputan

    Re: The Vox Biden article

    “‘Bill Clinton and Barack Obama were operating under the shadows of the Reagan ‘government-is-the-problem’ [idea],’ said Emanuel. ‘I think Biden is the end of the Reagan critique and the beginning of something new, a touchstone of a view where the government was an affirmative force and public service was a noble profession.’”


    Yep, Biden sure believes in the “affirmative force” of the government, except when it comes to healthcare, energy, wealth inequality, criminal justice reform (at least in the good way), education, climate policy, the military industrial complex, etc. I didn’t know Emanuel could be such a Buttigieg.

  20. Wukchumni

    I’d so like to take the President on a long hike, and at the start he’d tell me what a great hiker he is, probably among the best.
    The best thing about the hike would be the Chief Executive would be largely breathless from being completely out of shape and unable to converse as we attempt 1/2 a mile of vertical gain in 4 miles.

    Meanwhile, the doof can’t pronounce Yosemite, and turns it in a pro AIPAC statement inadvertently.


  21. Wukchumni

    Interesting bookends, Kobe Bryant & John Lewis funerals…

    The former was the last public funeral in essence, the latter the first of it’s kind under the new aegis.

    And yes, I sneer at idiotic religious types with a death wish that can’t curb their dogma, and how is Lewis’s service any different?

  22. Wukchumni

    Less than a week passed between Don Bonnet’s sudden loss of a tenant at his Oildale rental and his discovery, upon returning from medical treatment on the coast, that people he’d never met had filled the vacancy.

    Bonnet called local law enforcement to have the new inhabitants removed from the house on Diane Drive, to no avail. Several months later they’re still not paying rent and he’s been unable to have them removed because of a moratorium on evictions during the pandemic.

    “I don’t know how many squatters are over there now,” said the 82-year-old owner of five local rental properties.


  23. Amfortas the hippie

    i sent an email to “my” us senator creature…one Ted Cruz(R- Sixth Circle of Hell)
    this was at about 4am, while waiting for the coffee to make, and well before the Joint Walk.
    Now I’m waiting for the Knock at the Door,lol

    Hope y’all enjoy, and please forgive the cussing, it’s integral to the whole.


    You’re even more of an idiot that I thought.
    Payroll tax cuts?
    When there’s not enough jobs?
    Superunemployment, in the middle of a pandemic demand destruction, is a “disincentive to work”?
    You think the American People are just a bunch of lazy morons who will sit on the couch playing video games if given the chance?
    Even before the current mess….the severity of which can be laid squarely at the feet of your president(sic) and your party…things weren’t exactly rosy out here, beyond the well appointed places you people frequent.
    Wages have stagnated for all my fifty years….and who’s idea was it to send all the physical plant to china?
    The People I see around me certainly weren’t consulted.
    House Flipping and doing each others’ laundry is not a robust economy.
    Add in the hatred displayed by Republicans when Obama proposed YOUR OWN DAMNED PLAN for Healthcare…
    What’s the goal, here?
    Are you all Trying to destroy the country?
    (and make no mistake, the Dems get just as much of my ire as y’all do…all that laying on the floor when it counts and all)
    We need a New Deal, now….not some re-hash of Hooverism.
    Have you calculated that your voter suppression efforts…as well as the purposefully crapified Post Office…are sufficient enough that you don’t care about the election?
    Or is it the Democrats’ turn again…handing the bag of shit to them to pretend to clean up?
    I think that both of you have badly miscalculated the situation…things are bad out here…worse than i’ve ever seen them.
    Fifty years of the counterrevolutionary Mindfuck that y’all have perpetrated have left us totally unprepared for hardship, and overripe for a Hobbseian Civil War…is that the Plan?
    Is there some Rand study somewhere that reckons that if We, the People, kill each other off in sufficient numbers, that the Boss Class will emerge from the bunkers and start up the Machinery again?
    Sometimes, when I watch y’all on C-Span, lunatics like David Icke seem more and more right about us being ruled by reptilian aliens in human suits…or the Davos Set secretly worshiping some grasshopper god that poor people must be sacrificed to.
    That this becomes as plausible a narrative as stupidity and/or malice is an indictment of the course y’all have stayed for most of my life.
    It’s time to admit that the Experiment with “Free Markets” and “Trickle Down” has been run….and that it has been an utter failure.
    We are a shamble of a country…a failed state with lingering pretensions of relevance and agency.
    And y’all’s usual repertoire of dividing us according to melanin and bank account and what’s in our pants…as well as repeatedly erecting the specter of the USSR…as if Bernie is Stalin,lol…ain’t gonna have the same effect as in former times.
    It turns out that people can see…and remember from one day to the next just how bad the Two Parties are…and how little either of you care about Us.
    You’re playing with fire, here.
    Please get your head out of your ass…and help everyone from Mitch to Nancy do the same….and all of you step outside of your bubble and see what’s happening to your People.

    Mason, Texas.

    oh…and I pressed the “reply to me” button on your form…but I only want to hear from you. I’m too busy getting the farm ready for the Burning Times to mess about with some flunky.

    1. orlbucfan

      Amfortas: major kudos on your email. Wonder if Cruz is literate enough to read it? The two major yahoos who are “senators” from my state (FL): Sick Rott and Robbing Rubio are beyond hope. They are also planning on running for POTUS in the near future. Figured I would issue a warning.

    2. fresno dan

      Amfortas the hippie
      August 4, 2020 at 5:32 pm

      A friend was asking what I was going to rant about today. I rant so much because there is so much to rant about…. Ted Cruz is always rant worthy – maybe the most rant worthy.

    3. JBird4049

      With the upcoming “elections,” does anyone have a good idea of what to call the new or old American Junta?

      The government, such as there is, and what there is of it, really consist of the political leadership, the Wealthy, the Security State, and the leadership of FIRE. There is not much separation. A junta.

      Whatever candidate wins whatever seats this governing body will consist of the people as now, just shuffled around.

  24. Jeotsu

    I don’t like the ‘waves’ nomenclature as applied to the C19 pandemic. Yes, we had distinct waves in the 1918 Spanish Flu, but that was a different beast in a different age. Calling them ‘waves’ might also lead to an incorrect belief that if we get past the peak that a case-rate decline is inevitable/automatic.

    I see C19 as a continuous roar of ever increasing volume. Useful actions – masks, social distancing, travel restrictions, test-trace-isolate, lockdowns, etc all have the effect of leaning on the volume knob and suppressing the roar, but if you release that pressure, it roars right back up.

    The real second wave is still in our future — when large numbers of people who’ve already had C19 get it again. But this time they go into the illness with a high probability of extra co-morbidities from their first time through. What is the death, disability and long-covid rates in the second wave? The third?

    IMO far too many people are way to sanguine about this who pandemic thing, all relying on the socially-approved magical thinking that a miracle cure (vaccine) will come along and solve their problems without any need for personal inconvenience.

  25. bob


    Since Trump is now seen as the best in the world at killing people, can we now agree that Cuomo is the best in the US?

    Or does being the baby daddy of two Kennedy Daughters void that out?

  26. HotFlash

    Re: “Election officials across the country are seeing early shortages and scrambling to recruit a new generation of poll workers for Election Day, looking to maintain a volunteer force that has relied heavily on senior citizens in the past — the cohort most vulnerable to the coronavirus….

    I have an idea!!!! Have paid poll workers. Other countries (incl the one just to your north that also has paid vacation for *everyone*, maternity/paternity leave for all new parents, including adoptors, oh, and incidentally, (way better than) Medicare for All. Not to mention our govts’ Covid response *and* our much-better-than-your Covid stats. When I ran away from home over 50 years ago, the smartest/luckiest thing I ever did was run north.

    1. hunkerdown

      “The trouble with capitalism is that eventually you run out of other people’s free labor.” -Caitlin Johnstone

      In the absence of actually deciding that elections are important enough to pay for — perhaps, in the US, where we choose between two private functionaries of two private organizations who do what they will, it really isn’t government anymore — calling out the National Guard would be a fair way to cause an election to have happened, as seen in Wisconsin. Unfortunately, again, they too are under the influence of one or the other private corporation and won’t be used without permission from corporate.

    2. furies

      It *is* paid…it was $60 back when I did it in the 90s…it’s about a hundred bucks now.

    3. wilroncanada

      You didn’t mention Hot Flash, that Elections Canada is a body of parliament independent of the political parties. The previous Prime Minister, who got a lot of training from US (mainly Republican) election schemers tried but mostly failed to politicise the Process in Canada.

      1. HotFlash

        Didn’t want to confuse USians. The Stephen Harper-Frank Luntz nexus is known to me, but not relevant to Americans at this time. I also have some great first-hand info on the US Republican/neoCon establishment involvement in the career of Ontario Premier (1995 – 2002) Mike Harris. FWIW.

  27. edmondo

    Waiting for Trump to set up an empty chair, and debate that

    It won’t be so funny when the chair wins 45 states in November. What will John Podesta do then?

    1. Dr. John Carpenter

      Empty Chair/Klobachar’s Stapler 2020

      Seriously though, this is exactly what I would do if I was Trump. I wonder if eventually the wheels are going to come off the hide Joe in the basement strategy. It doesn’t exactly project an air of leadership and if Trump somehow manages to get something right soon, who knows how that plays?

    2. hunkerdown

      Quickly maneuver Mr. Biden into it, feed him some lines (take that as you will), and scurry nervously off stage hoping for invisibility.

  28. allan

    File under Why There Should Be No Lameduck Sessions:

    Matt Ford @fordm

    I wondered why I couldn’t find much debate at the time on the bonkers law that requires USPS to prefund health/retirement benefits, and it turns out Congress passed it in three days during a lame-duck session
    [in Dec. 2006] without recorded votes.

    If the GOP loses the Senate in November, look for court packing that will last into the 22nd century.

  29. JBird4049

    Has anyone seen Krystal Ball on today’s The Rising? She’s reporting that the DHS is actively to find any Antifa connections to foreign agents or organizations, no matter just how tenuous it may be. Once President Trump has declared the movement a “terrorist” organization with ties to foreign agents the Constitution legally goes away. Seeing as how the police and the various federal law enforcement agencies have been, I wonder just how they would crackdown on an effectively leaderless movement.

    A kind of domestic Gulf of Tonkin Incident or perhaps another Reichstag Fire to really put the imprimatur of a terroristic Antifa and anyone deemed as its allies in the American Left and the subsequent crushing by the Feds. Considering the amorphousness of the movement, its broad connections to the entire left, anyone from Bernie Sanders to the end of that political spectrum could consider terrorists under this political version of the RICO act (Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) Act)

    That would be what? At least a third of the population? A hundred million Americans?

    1. CoryP

      Since the start of the unrest, I’ve been wondering if this was going to happen.

      This kind of nightmare scenario has been “legal” for years, hasn’t it? And surely they wouldn’t need actual evidence…

  30. VietnamVet

    Talk of coronavirus waves is typical of the misleading information spread by both sides in the oligarch’s battle for control what’s left of America. Since the start of the lockdown the vast majority of infections are due to family members bringing it home and family gatherings. Up to 25% of American children live with their grandparents especially in poor and Hispanic households. Reopening schools now without daily antigen testing, isolation, and a national public health system is eldercide. It will destroy the public school system.

    Six States led by Maryland have joined together to make a large enough order to prod companies to make millions of antigen testing kits. Tens of millions more of quick paper antigen tests are needed to make a daily testing regime possible and control the pandemic. Back in March, Jared Kushner axed the COVID-19 testing program. The pandemic was hitting Democrat controlled cities and states. Now the virus is spreading through red states – a new peak on the same wave. The US federal government has collapsed into confusion and incompetence.

    A million Americans will die too soon from COVID-19 and the lack of health care if there is no money-maker, safe and effective, vaccine/treatment next year. Fewer if the testing regime is implemented

    1. Yves Smith

      Not just eldercide. 78% of the 100 people who got MRIs after Covid-19 in one UK study (which included mild/asymptomatic cases) showed heart damage. In some cases it was inflammation which might go away over time but still….Other studies have found significant levels of kidney disease and lung abnormalities even among asymptomatic cases. And we have “long Covid” with many of the victims young, formerly healthy people.

  31. Quentin

    I suppose the party the article describes in Alpine, New Jersey, is a ‘rave’ (not a ‘rager’, as stated).

  32. drumlin woodchuckles

    About the “wort” part of spiderwort . . . someone upthread may have already covered this. But if not . . . I think “wort” is an older English word for plant, hence its appearance in plant names such as motherwort, woundwort, liverwort, etc.

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