2:00PM Water Cooler 8/6/2020

By Lambert Strether of Corrente.


At reader request, I’ve added this daily chart from 91-DIVOC. Here is world data:

Once again, I don’t love China or the CCP, but it’s not hard to tell which country — and which system of political economy — prevented more people from dying of Covid. Also, I don’t want to be a Gloomy Gus, but that stairstep pattern in the United States is a little concerning (though not unique, since Brazil seems to have one, too). It would be really bad if there were another step up, say after schools re-open.

And here are the United States regions:

Here also it’s curious that “the entity that gave it to everyone else” (China; New York) actually “got off easy” with respect to later outbreaks. I don’t know if there’s a reason for this or not.

Party on:

CA: “5 shot, 1 dead at Mulholland Drive mansion party in Los Angeles” [NBC]. “A NBC Los Angeles helicopter captured video of partygoers and a long line of cars going up the home’s driveway, in addition to a party bus dropping guests at the event. While officers helped with traffic and parking control, they did not enforce the county’s health order banning large gatherings during the coronavirus pandemic, police officials told NBC Los Angeles. California’s current stay-at-home order prohibits social gatherings. State law enforcement agencies, including the LAPD, have generally opted for ‘education’ over action against Californians not keeping social distance or those who refuse to wear masks in public.” • Wait. The cops get to “opt for” enforcing or not enforcing country health orders? (And did the cops “helping” with traffic and parking control get OT?)

CA: “Editorial: Partying our way to more coronavirus death and destruction?” [Los Angeles Times]. “Partying in the face of a pandemic isn’t just foolish; it’s a giant slap in the face to everyone who has followed the rules, even at great personal cost, in order to protect the larger community. Los Angeles officials are grappling with ways to stop the parties, or at least punish property owners who allow their homes to be used for illicit gatherings. Good. We’re not in favor of arresting people for violating pandemic restrictions, but authorities must figure out how to discourage this kind of dangerously irresponsible activity.” • Why not? How hard is this?

CA: “LA Mayor Authorizes DWP To Shut Off Water, Power For Large House Parties” [KCAL]. “Mayor Eric Garcetti says he is authorizing the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power to shut off utility service to properties where large parties and gatherings are held. Starting Friday, Garcetti says in ‘egregious’ cases where non-permitted large parties and gatherings take place, the DWP will cut off water and power service…. Under the proposal, penalties for large gatherings could include water and power shutoff, permit prohibitions or having a certificate of occupancy held or revoked for any ‘large, close-contact, largely maskless gatherings, in direct violation of City Emergency Orders and County Health Orders.'” • Why not permit revocations?

TX: “UT official: No parties, on or off campus, are allowed fall semester” [Statesman]. “The rule has the potential to affect a large number of social gatherings across the campus. Sara Kennedy, a spokeswoman for the dean of students’ office, said fraternities and sororities are private, off-campus organizations and not under the purview of the university, but they would still be subject to the no-party rule…. More than 6,000 UT students are members of one of the school’s 63 sororities and fraternities, according to the office of the dean of students.”

* * *

Positivity (not good news):

New cases (good news):

This map is a fine example of Tufte’s “small multiples.”

“US shows signs of coronavirus peak, but difficult days lie ahead” [The Hill]. “The number of new coronavirus infections across the United States is showing signs of easing but remains at a discouragingly high plateau that underscores the difficulty the country has ahead of it in getting the pandemic under control…. Even if the number of cases is plateauing, experts expect the number of deaths to rise for several more weeks. Deaths tend to be a lagging indicator, the tragic conclusion of cases that were confirmed several weeks ago, when average counts were substantially higher than they are today… Instead of ramping up testing, the number of tests conducted in the United States on a daily basis is actually falling. More than 929,000 people were tested on July 24, the highest level recorded to date. On Tuesday, 695,000 cases were conducted, according to data maintained by the Covid Tracking Project, an independent group of researchers.” • Must not be profitable enough….


“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!


Biden (D)(1): This is a very good campaign ad:

“How can American vehicles not be out there”? Well, because Democrats and Republicans worked together to deindustrialize America over five Presidencies, that’s why. But since 2016 is Year Zero for liberal Democrats, and nothing happened before then, we can forget all that!

Biden (D)(2): “With ‘Survival of Organized Human Society’ at Risk, New Campaign Rallies Progressives to Vote Trump Out” [Common Dreams]. “Organizers of the new ‘Vote Trump Out’ initiative argue that while progressives have major substantive differences with Joe Biden on a number of key issues, ‘supporting the Democratic nominee in swing states is the only means we have to defeat Trump.’ … ‘If Biden wins, we’ll be at his door on day one, demanding the kinds of structural reforms that advance racial, economic, and environmental justice,’ the statement continues.'” • When does the left have more leverage? Now? Or under a Biden administration?

Biden (D)(3): “Democrats in key states press for a more visible Biden campaign” [WaPo]. “In the states that will probably decide the presidential election, President Trump is everywhere…. That has not necessarily helped Trump, who trails former vice president Joe Biden in almost all key states. Yet to some of Biden’s supporters, Trump’s continuing dominance is a warning sign…. Republicans in many states have resumed knocking on doors, holding meetings and registering voters at community events, despite the serious health risks of doing so. Democrats remain almost completely virtual, hosting online house parties, organizing Facebook groups and calling and texting voters — work that is largely out of view compared to traditional presidential election years. A few of the staffers the Biden campaign recently hired for battleground states may never be able to safely move to those sites.” • I would imagine that virtual campaigning skews heavily PMC…

Biden (D)(4): “Joe Biden bundlers plot fundraising blitz to follow running mate announcement” [CNBC]. “Some of the expected co-hosts who are privately being mentioned are Hollywood movie executive Jeffrey Katzenberg, Wall Street executive Jim Chanos, Sen. Chris Murphy, D-Conn., Andrew Hauptman, co-founder of investment firm Andell and movie star George Clooney, according to the people…. The events will be a showcase for Biden’s running mate, whom he is expected to choose within the next couple weeks. Many of these fundraisers would feature both Biden and his VP choice. But some gatherings will allow his pick to appear solo, giving her a chance to connect with big money donors.”

Biden (D)(5): “Biden campaign announces largest ad buy ever by a presidential candidate” [CBS]. “The Biden campaign on Wednesday is announcing what it says is the largest TV ad buy ever by a presidential candidate, with $220 million set aside for commercials to air through the fall and another $60 million budgeted to reach audiences digitally on social media or gaming platforms. Biden’s team is planning to reach voters in at least 15 states, with messages that feature the former vice president speaking directly to camera about the response to the COVID-19 pandemic and the resulting economic fall. Signaling the states they see as most competitive, the Biden campaign said their ads will target: Pennsylvania, Michigan, Florida, North Carolina, Arizona, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Nevada, New Hampshire, Colorado, Virginia, Georgia, Iowa, Ohio and Texas.”

UPDATE Biden (D)(6): “Why Would Biden Pick Susan Rice?” [Defense One]. “Rice’s record as national security advisor is celebrated by many former Obama officials who served with or under her and are waiting in the wings with the rest of the Blob, the establishment, and the hawkish middle. Look beyond, however, and her record has been harshly criticized by far-left progressives and far-right conservatives who say Obama’s record of military interventions, particularly in the Middle East, was spotty and disjointed; his Iran deal left much to be desired; and his flat-footed reaction to China’s rapidly rising security and economic threats are as much to blame for the current state of Beijing-Washington relations as Trump, Xi Jinping, or the coronavirus pandemic.” • Interesting venue for this discussion….

Buttigieg (D)(1): “Pete Buttigieg Takes a Faculty Post at Notre Dame” [National Review]. “Buttigieg will be a 2020-21 faculty fellow at Notre Dame’s Institute for Advanced Study (NDIAS), taking part in a cohort that is set to focus on the ‘nature of trust.’ In October, the former mayor will release a book on just that subject, called Trust: America’s Best Chance, ‘interweaving history, political philosophy, and affecting passages of memoir [to explore] the strong relationship between measures of prosperity and levels of social trust.'” • “Affecting passages of memoir.” I can’t wait.

Sanders (D)(1):


Sanders (D)(2):

You transgressed the unwritten law, there, Jamaal….

Trump (R)(1): “Trump outraises Biden in July, surpasses $1 billion for the cycle” [The Hill]. “President Trump’s campaign outraised presumptive Democratic nominee Joe Biden’s campaign by $25 million in the month of July and surpassed the $1 billion mark for the 2020 cycle. The Trump campaign and Republican National Committee (RNC) combined to raise $165 million in July, compared with $140 million for Biden and the Democratic National Committee. That’s the best month of fundraising for Trump and the RNC this cycle. The Trump campaign boasted about plowing its money into its field game, saying its 1,500 field staffers are double Biden’s.”

West (I)(1): “Republican operatives are helping Kanye West get on general election ballots” [CNN]. “Republican operatives, some with ties to President Donald Trump, are actively helping Kanye West get on presidential general election ballots in states ranging from Vermont to Arkansas to Wisconsin.” • Sturgill Simpson said West would run, but he didn’t say as a straw! That’s really funny. I haven’t seen a list of where West has gotten on the ballot, but he has succeed in Vermont and Colorado, and has successfully filed in Ohio and Wisconsin (but failed in New Jersey).

* * *

“Kobach and Clay go down: Takeaways from a big primary night” [Politico]. “Republicans went into Tuesday’s primaries with problems lurking all over the ballot, but they ended the night thanking their voters for cleaning up a potential mess. Democrats haven’t won a Senate race in Kansas in more than 80 years, but Kris Kobach as the GOP nominee threatened to make the state an improbable toss-up. Instead, Rep. Roger Marshall won the primary, giving the GOP a much more electable candidate to go up against a strong Democratic recruit. In one of Kansas’ key congressional districts, indicted Rep. Steve Watkins was looking like a juicy target for House Democrats — but they won’t get the chance to run against him after state Treasurer Jake LaTurner ousted the freshman in a primary, boosting Republican chances of keeping the seat. These weren’t just symbolic victories for the GOP establishment but ones that fundamentally boosted their chances in November, including their chances of keeping the Senate in Republican hands after watching their grip on the chamber weaken for months.”

“The Democratic Party Is Setting the Stage for a Letdown” [James Zogby, The Nation]. “About one-quarter of this year’s delegates are Bernie Sanders supporters. Most of them are progressive political activists—and many are first-time participants in a national convention. This virtual event will not be the experience they expected. And while all of those with whom I’ve spoken are supportive of the precautions being taken in this era of pandemic, most remain in the dark about the convention plans and whether their participation is valued…. Nevertheless, what was missing was a recognition that the convention wasn’t just the concern of the planning staff or the Biden campaign. It was personal for the delegates—especially first-timers, many of whom worked hard to earn their posts, felt empowered when they won, and were looking forward to playing their part in this quadrennial drama…. leaving grassroots delegates in the dark as to how the convention will work—and reducing their role to passive online viewers—runs the risk of producing a massive letdown that could leave hundreds of delegates alienated. What this may mean is that at the conclusion of the party confab, many first-time Sanders delegates (and some old-timers, as well), instead of being energized and engaged, may turn off their computers feeling deflated and dejected. The unity so necessary for victory will not have been achieved.” • It’s not a bug. It’s a feature.

UPDATE “Cuomo beats back ‘surprise’ AOC challenge to lead NY delegation to DNC” [New York Post]. “Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Tuesday easily defeated Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s surprise challenge to determine who will head New York’s delegation to the Democratic National Convention. Democratic Party chairman Jay Jacobs — a Cuomo ally — fumed that he was ‘blindsided’ when a motion was made to nominate AOC to head the delegation during an online Democratic Committee meeting…. Jacobs said it appeared that ‘rogue operators’ were behind the AOC nomination and that he didn’t think the congresswoman herself instigated the challenge.” • Cheeky!



Realignment and Legitimacy

“The Never Trumpers Have Already Won” [The New Republic]. “Whatever Sturm und Drang the Never Trumpers inspired on these fronts, they have done more damage to the left wing of the Democratic Party than they have to the powerful extreme right of their own party. From Trump’s Inauguration Day onward, Never Trumpers have written a script of defending the status quo ante, by delegitimating alternatives to it. They joined a coalition of liberals for whom free-market depredations and imperial violence were acceptable parts of doing America’s business, but left-wing mobilization was seen as part of a Weimar-style harbinger of regime collapse, and a living wage and universal health insurance were totalitarian equivalents of racist marches and travel bans. This agenda made it easy for the Never Trumpers to pivot from hating Trump to hating Bernie Sanders.” • No wonder the Democrat Party found the Never Trumpers so congenial!

“What it Means for DSA to Embrace Black Leadership” [Sociality Majority] v. “Spiraling anti-Marxism in the DSA” [Class Unity]. • Oy.

* * *

UPDATE “Over 80,000 mail-in ballots disqualified in NYC primary mess” [New York Post]. “The mail-in ballots of more than 84,000 New York City Democrats who sought to vote in the presidential primary were disqualified, according to new figures released by the Board of Elections. The city BOE received 403,103 mail-in ballots for the June 23 Democratic presidential primary. But the certified results released Wednesday revealed that only 318,995 mail-in ballots were counted. That means 84,108 ballots were not counted or invalidated — 21 percent of the total.” • That seems like rather a lot.

Stats Watch

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

Employment Situation: “01 August 2020 Initial Unemployment Claims Decline To 1,186,000 This Week” [Econintersect]. “Market expectations for weekly initial unemployment claims (from Econoday) were 1,380 K to 1,500 K (consensus 1,422 K), and the Department of Labor reported -1,186,000 new claims. The more important (because of the volatility in the weekly reported claims and seasonality errors in adjusting the data) 4 week moving average moved from 1,368,750 (reported last week as 1,368,500) to 1,337,750.”

Employment Situation: “July 2020 Job Cuts: Nearly 1.85M Job Cuts in 2020” [Econintersect]. “Job cuts announced by U.S.-based employers jumped in July to 262,649, the third-largest monthly total ever behind April’s 671,129 and May’s 397,016. July’s total is 54% higher than the 170,219 job cuts announced in June, and 576% higher than the July 2019 total of 38,845. Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, the highest monthly total of job cuts was 186,350 in February 2009.” • Not seeing that V-shaped recovery.

Rail Week: “Rail Week Ending 01 August 2020 – July Down 9.3% Year-over-Year” [Econintersect]. “Week 31 of 2020 shows same week total rail traffic (from same week one year ago) contracted according to the Association of American Railroads (AAR) traffic data. Total rail traffic has been mostly in contraction for over one year – and now is recovering from a coronavirus pandemic…. Intermodal and carloads are under Great Recession values. Container exports from China are now recovering, container exports from the U.S. declined, and remains deep in contraction.”

Household Debt: “2Q2020 Report on Household Debt and Credit: Total Household Debt Declines for the First Time Since 2014” [Econintersect]. “The Federal Reserve Bank of New York’s Center for Microeconomic Data today issued its Quarterly Report on Household Debt and Credit, which shows that total household debt decreased by $34 billion (0.2%) to $14.27 trillion in second quarter of 2020. This marks the first decline since the second quarter of 2014 and is the largest decline since the second quarter of 2013.”

* * *

Private Equity: “Blackstone to acquire Ancestry.com for $4.7 billion” [Reuters]. “Blackstone Group Inc (BX.N) said on Wednesday it agreed to acquire genealogy provider Ancestry.com Inc from private equity rivals for $4.7 billion, including debt, placing a big bet on family-tree chasing as well as personalized medicine.” • What could go wrong?

Travel: “Southwest Will No Longer Disinfect Armrests and Seat Belts Between Flights” [Travel and Leisure]. “As flights increase, Southwest Airlines is reducing its COVID-focused cleaning protocol. Effective this month, the airline is now only disinfecting high-touch areas like lavatories and tray tables between flights. Armrests and seat belts will not be disinfected between flights. Customers will be able to request sanitizing wipes if they wish to disinfect their space on the airplane before sitting down.” • Which they can dispose of, I would imagine, in the seatback pockets, along with the inflight magazines and safety manuals…

* * *

Today’s Fear & Greed Index: 71 Greed (previous close: 70 Greed) [CNN]. One week ago: 62 (Greed). (0 is Extreme Fear; 100 is Extreme Greed). Last updated Aug 6 at 11:55am. Solid greed. Starting to get dull.

The Biosphere

“Humans have altered North America’s ecosystems more than melting glaciers” [Science]. “Recent human activity, including agriculture, has had a greater impact on North America’s plants and animals than even the glaciers that retreated more than 10,000 years ago. Those findings, presented this week at the virtual annual meeting of the Ecological Society of America, reveal that more North American forests and grasslands have abruptly disappeared in the past 250 years than in the previous 14,000 years, likely as a result of human activity. The authors say the new work, based on hundreds of fossilized pollen samples, supports the establishment of a new epoch in geological history known as the Anthropocene, with a start date in the past 250 years.”

Health Care

Get on this, Bernie:

Soon enough it won’t be $12.50, either.

Police State Watch

“Downtown Portland quiets down, but skirmishes crop up elsewhere” [Los Angeles Times]. ” Clashes outside a U.S. courthouse in downtown Portland, Ore., have largely stopped since Democratic Gov. Kate Brown reached a deal that called for the drawdown of federal agents sent by the Trump administration to protect the building — but the turmoil is far from over.

For the past several nights, Portland police have skirmished with protesters in other parts of city, far from the Mark O. Hatfield U.S. Courthouse, as residents rally around a call to defund the police force. Demonstrators are also mad at the use of tear gas by police multiple times over the summer to tamp down unrest.” • For example, this thread:

Surely the best opening tweet for a thread on the Twitter, at least for this week….

Sports Desk

“The Dismal Politics of the Sports World’s ‘Wokest’ League” [The New Republic]. “[LeBron] James’s approach has become the dominant mode of NBA politics. Under this paradigm, players see their interests as intertwined with that of the league. James wants to play out the season because winning a championship is good for his brand. Similarly, his loftier social justice goals are achieved in a putative partnership with the league itself. What’s good for the NBA is good for James and vice-versa. Achieving social justice starts to become synonymous with winning another ring.”

Class Warfare

“We need to abolish race” [Spiked Online]. “Race abolitionism poses a challenge to both racism and modern forms of ‘anti-racism’. It is predicated on several core claims. First, race abolitionists argue that the social construct of race is based on a taxonomy invented to create and reinforce racial hierarchies. Therefore, to continue to affirm the meaning and existence of race will inevitably perpetuate racial hierarchies. Secondly, race abolitionists contend that the concept of ‘race’ is scientifically and socially unsupportable. Unlike ‘sex’, which describes the material reality of the divided reproduction function of a given species, the concept of race has no such material, biological basis. That’s why its meaning is constantly shifting. … And thirdly, race abolitionists argue that the perpetuation of the notion of race is in direct opposition to humanism and universalism. By dividing human beings into broad racialised categories, and institutionalising those categories in the form of quotas, ‘positive discrimination’ schemes, ‘black-only’ spaces and so on, identitarians reify race and racialise social life…. racial essentialism is a destructive idea, regardless of where it is coming from on the political spectrum. This concept assumes that individuals can be reduced to some racial essence, which in turn determines how they ought to behave and act.” • I wonder if it was Reed’s comment (paraphrasing from memory) “a racist is someone who believes in race” made him personal non grata in some factions of the DSA….

From this interactive in the New York Times, New York employment:

Compare to DC:

I would imagine the suffering of the rest of the country is necessarily abstract to the Beltway; McClean and Bethesda aren’t feeling a thing. (Anacostia is bad, but who goes there?)

New of the Wired

Sid! Sid! Sid! Sid!

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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 (IM):

IM writes: “This one is from Napa, a trip some time ago. Among all the grapes and wineries, it is nice to find a secluded creek. No horizon line! Just the reflection in the water.” Monet would be proud.

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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. a different chris

    We’re not in favor of arresting people for violating pandemic restrictions, but authorities must figure out how to discourage this kind of dangerously irresponsible activity.” • Why not?

    Huh? Because they are largely, almost entirely upper-class white people. You knew that :)

    The law, like taxes, is for the little people.

    1. DJG

      a different chris: What is strange about the police response is that they can issue tickets, or the public-health agencies orders can have provisions for being ticketed (if the police are too cowardly to do the obvious thing, which is ticket). I know that in Italy the police were ticketing for violations. Not so long ago, city hall in Salerno announced a fine of 100 euro for not wearing a mask in public.

      The answer to this question isn’t hard. But then, the purpose of U.S. police is to reinforce what the upper-middle class wants and to brutalize black people.

        1. a different chris

          Ummm…yeah, they are.

          That specific party may not be all white, but. Its. A. Mansion. in. Santa Monica.

          Definitely way upper class. It’s freaking Mulholland Drive itself.

          The 5 largest ethnic groups in Santa Monica, CA are White (Non-Hispanic) (65%), White (Hispanic) (11.6%), Asian (Non-Hispanic) (9.88%), Two or More Races (Non-Hispanic) (4.49%), and Black or African American (Non-Hispanic) (4.15%).

          1. Fiery Hunt

            You pull “demographics” on an entire area to refute visual evidence.

            It was a black, primarily young party.
            End of story.

            Stupid kids/30 somethings of a particular race and you double down on “but it’s whites!”.

            I call Bullsh*t.
            And racist Bullsh*t to boot.

            Narratives are for the ruling class.
            Those of us living the reality know the truth.

          2. anon in so cal

            The incident did not occur in Santa Monica. Mulholland Drive does not even go near SM. It occurred in the Beverly Crest area of Los Angeles, which *way* east of SM.

      1. Keith

        Well, the police in the US are under fire for being overly aggressive, so it stands to reason rather than focusing on compliance, education would be a better option, especially if the people are peaceful.

    2. flora

      Or maybe, because jails and prisons are notorious Covid-19 spreading environments. Jails, prisons, meat packing plants, large numbers in crowded indoor spaces for long periods. Arresting for being in a crowded indoor space, then putting arrestees in crowded indoor space, sounds…. counter productive.

      Big fines, thought, big fines for party goers, or mandatory 14-day home quarantines sounds good. Condemning the property as a public nuisance sounds good. Turning off the water in party houses sounds good. imo.

    3. cnchal

      Arrest their cars instead. Call the tow trucks and tow them to the scrap yard. It would take one car being towed and they would all run out to save their precious shit metal, even if daddy paid for it.

      Lambert > Also, I don’t want to be a Gloomy Gus, but that stairstep pattern in the United States is a little concerning (though not unique, since Brazil seems to have one, too). It would be really bad if there were another step up, say after schools re-open.

      You are not gloomy enough. It is a certainty this disaster will become worse than it already is.

      Sauron says, your economy and your life, choose wisely.

      1. anon in so cal

        > “Call the tow trucks”

        Easier said than done. This can only be done by calling parking enforcement. PE only responds in a timely manner for traffic violations, not for parking violations. It can take weeks for them to come out for parking violations, unless someone’s driveway is actively blocked, in which case they will come out. However, to get a car towed for blocking someone’s driveway or for some other immediately obstructive occurrence, the caller has to be present…

    4. Keith

      Perhaps the calls to defund the police have worked. You have problems, take care of themselves!

      It is kind of interesting people get upset about police enforcing some laws, like rioting, but ignoring others, like people having a peaceful party.

      1. Keith

        I agree, unless it is violence against person or their property, it shouldn’t be a crime. Also why I do not think this is a big deal, or when cops do look the other way for a dime bag, traffic offense, whatever. Problem is decriminalization makes for bad politics.

        1. CarlH

          If you give me covid because you aren’t wearing a mask, I say that you have done violence to me.

      2. a different chris

        Oh yeah they totally did /s:

        Santa Monica said Wednesday its city council has approved a $613.6 million Fiscal Year 2020-2021 budget that reduces spending by nearly 25 percent and takes a small chunk out of the police department’s budget…..

        The budget reduces the Santa Monica Police Department budget by 3.3 percent compared to the FY 2020-21 budget plan.

    5. Pelham

      Actual enforcement against this and any similar gatherings would minimally involve rounding up everyone and shipping them off to an isolated camp in a box canyon for 14 days. The gatherings are criminal, but it’s even more criminal to turn these clowns loose on the rest of us.

      1. JBird4049

        In the past, health authorities in the United States did have hard quarantines. I don’t think that it was often, but they could have people strictly confined (Locked into) to a home or a hospital until they were no longer infectious. Wouldn’t that blow people’s minds today?

        Granted, it declined when improved understanding and practical treatments for the various diseases decreased the deadliness of the epidemics and the need for such quarantines. That is about a century. Of course, right now we don’t have any effective treatments for COVID19.

        I wonder if those old health laws are still on the books?

    6. anon in so cal

      The Covid-19 house parties problem is a subset of the larger ongoing problem of house parties, which often occur in AirBnB rentals. The City of Los Angeles has made a lot of progress with this issue, as diminishing calls attest:

      “LAPD logs show 1,618 calls to police about parties in 2018, with the new ordinance in effect for eight months of the year. From 2010-17, an average of 2,605 such calls were made each year.”

      There are escalating series of penalties levied on offenders (party goers) themselves as well as on the owners. AFAIK, there have never been actual arrests. The City Attorney can also add the house to the problem list.



      The owners may be white but the offenders are of all races and ethnicities.

    1. Darius

      Everyone should get a pulse oximeter. Anything below 90 indicates a likelihood of COVID-19 or other serious condition requiring medical attention. I got one on sale at Walgreens for $33.00. You can test yourself everyday.

  2. TMoney

    Test: Friday 9am.
    Test Result: Thursday 2 pm: NONE.
    *Sigh* At least I feel better. Now I feel trapped. Quarantined and no results to release me (or confirm my fate). Fever broke Saturday. Lost taste for a day on Sunday, but felt better. Feeling fine now.

    Sorry to know so many of you are in a worse state than me. I did appreciate the good feelings sent my way.

    It may be profitable to test this way, but its certainly not good for the testee – or contact tracing.
    I don’t think profits belong in health care. Having been trapped makes me grateful for the big(ish) house in the burbs. Doing this in a 700 sq ft NY apt would be awful.

    1. Krystyn Podgajski

      I have to go in to get some tubes stuck down my throat next week, They said I would get a COVID test before hand and turnaround was same day.

      So I guess when there is money on the line….?

      1. Keith

        I think the hospitals are reserving the quick turn around tests for procedures to protect staff. If there is no emergency, then there is no rush. My girlfriend’s test result was within 15 minutes- she was having a procedures. Mine took a week, as I was just sick. In a world of finite resources, you have to prioritize.

      2. Hopelb

        Praying/hoping and rooting for you! Thanks for sharing your singular insights with us!
        Love to you Krystyn Podgajski.

      1. TMoney

        Curse my terrible communication skills.
        I still don’t have a test result.
        I’m still waiting.

    2. Glen

      Profits do not belong in health care.

      Why is anybody surprised that the US has the most infected people or the most death? We have a system designed to maximize profit, not health. Same as when prisons became “for profit”, the US became the country with the most people in prison.

      The systems are functioning as they are intended, and will continue to do so.

      1. a different chris

        >Profits do not belong in health care.

        That’s why the (senior) doctors and administrators help themselves to so much of it!!! Those Bentleys aren’t gonna buy themselves.

      2. Copeland

        You can only optimize on thing at a time. US has optimized profit. Other places have optimized health outcomes.

  3. Jessica

    “Here also it’s curious that “the entity that gave it to everyone else” (China; New York) actually “got off easy” with respect to later outbreaks. I don’t know if there’s a reason for this or not.”

    This is one of the great mysteries of this pandemic. The pandemic not only started in Wuhan (not near the bat caves, which itself is a bit of a mystery), but before the CCP got its act together, millions of people streamed out of Wuhan to all over China. Despite this, as low as China’s fatality count is, the fatality count for China excluding Wuhan is absolutely miniscule and this despite the world’s largest population.

    1. Detroit Dan

      One factor could be hydroxychloroquine. China, Korea, and others have standardized treatment with HCQ, Zinc, and azithromycin since February.

      Chloroquine and COVID-19: A western medical and scientific drift?


      An Effective Treatment for Coronavirus (COVID-19) March 13, 2020:

      Recent guidelines from South Korea and China report that chloroquine is an effective antiviral therapeutic treatment against Coronavirus Disease 2019. Use of chloroquine (tablets) is showing favorable outcomes in humans infected with Coronavirus including faster time to recovery and shorter hospital stay… South Korea and China have had significantly more exposure and time to analyze diagnostic, treatment and preventative options.

      The treatment guidelines of both South Korea and China against COVID-19 are generally consistent, outlining chloroquine as an effective treatment. Specifically, according to the Korea Biomedical Review, in February 2020 in South Korea, the COVID-19 Central Clinical Task Force,composed of physicians and experts treating patients agreed upon treatment principles for patients with COVID-19.4 In China, the General Office of the National Health Commission, General Office of the State Administration of Traditional Chinese Medicine as well as a Multi-Center Collaborative Group of Guangdong Provincial Department of Science and Technology and Guangdong Provincial Health Comp and the China National Center for Biotechnology Development have established effective treatment measures based on human studies…

      1. GettingTheBannedBack

        There has been a campaign against these drugs for covid-19 for months.
        Data showing possible cuts in mortality are suppressed or the researchers are shamed and bullied to such an extent that they silence themselves eg The Henry Ford study has attracted such criticism that “…, we have made the heartfelt decision to have no further comment about this outside the medical community,” the doctors said” https://www.detroitnews.com/story/news/local/michigan/2020/08/03/henry-ford-health-defends-hydroxychloroquine-study/5571987002/ . And also the French researcher’s credibility has been dragged through the mud.
        As someone who values good, independent and rational science, this is so disappointing.
        Such campaigns cost money. You can’t have the media in lockstep without money and effort. So the stakes must be high. Take your pick of villains.

        1. Andrew Thomas

          The early info out of China re: hydroxocloroquine was that it looked promising, maybe, but only with people who tested positive but were asymptomatic or close to it. Of course, that involves testing people who don’t have symptoms, and getting the results FAST. You know-like a real country. And there are still issues with side effects.

          1. GettingTheBannedBack

            This is what I don’t understand. After 60 years of usage with negligible issues, suddenly HCQ is toxic for COVID-19 patients.
            From an article on the University of Oxford COPCOV trial,
            “The COPCOV study is a double-blind, randomised, placebo-controlled study aiming to enrol 40,000 healthcare workers to determine if hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine can prevent COVID-19.
            The researchers maintained that previous prevention studies were too small to show conclusive evidence of whether hydroxychloroquine can work or not as a preventative medication. They also added that early use of the drug is critical, and that safety concerns surrounding hydroxychloroquine have been exaggerated.
            “”Chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine have a very good safety record in the treatment of malaria and rheumatological conditions over the past 60 years. Billions of treatments have been given,” said Professor Sir Nick White, COPCOV Co-Principal Investigator.
            “”Concerns that they might cause heart arrhythmias are not supported by the evidence from the randomised trials in COVID-19, and in rheumatological conditions hydroxychloroquine has actually been shown to reduce the risk of heart arrhythmias.””

    2. L

      Based upon my knowledge of the PRC I believe there are three reasons for this.

      First, while the PRC top level was late on their game, once they did go in they went for maximal containment. Cities all over the country were shut down hard on suspicion so they could enforce a “crush the curve” strategy.

      Second, they used their national spying to effect with forced installation of contact monitoring, with added location monitoring, on every phone. The app is configured for a hard block, if you have a suspected contact you cannot enter stores or even leave your home and they are very interested in arresting people for that.

      Third, they lie about the numbers. What little independent reporting there was in Wuhan reported death rates (via watching the crematoriums) that far exceeded the official totals. Clearly the problem was worse, and may still be worse than officially acknowledged.

      1. jsn

        As capable as US at lying, China maintains the operational capabilities to execute on obvious public goods.

        In the US, if a corporation can’t profit from it, it is no longer possible. And mostly the corps can’t even be bribed to provide public goods, sure they’ll take the bribe like airlines and their bailout, but then they fire all their employees anyway.

        We’re getting better at lying about the numbers, but it’s having the affect of disappearing the economy along with the bodies. You can distort the information flows but the underlying realities just snowball without real intervention. Maybe China is a house of infectious cards too, though I doubt it, everywhere with socialized medicine of any form has contained the virus. The league table for Corona is dominated by maximalists neoliberal nations.

    3. drumlin woodchuckles

      Well . . . once the Central Authorities admitted to the existence of Coronavid, they applied hard, real and sincere lockdowns . . . ranging up to people forbidden to exit their houses and getting fed by meal deliveries from whole cadres of meal delivery people . . . . and other equally sincere measures designed to actually prevent the virus from spreading.

  4. Wukchumni

    “UT official: No parties, on or off campus, are allowed fall semester” [Statesman].
    Don’t thirsty Ute students typically make a border run in search of booze in Wyoming, when they want to party?

    1. Amfortas the hippie

      UT= University of Texas.
      it’s in Austin
      alcohol is readily available, and they don’t even ticket you for weed, any more.
      having lived in Austin, and worked(or waited for my ex-wife to get off from work) in the UT area, I don’t have a clue how they’re expecting to enforce this.
      hundreds of miles of greenbelt/nature/bike trails,and parks all over for a start.
      and, these are college kids…with recent experience of being high school kids. surely they’ve retained some of the tactics and strategies that allowed them to party while underage…
      I like your initial idea…from what seems like a lifetime ago: ration gasoline.

      1. Wukchumni

        Yes, close down the airlines and ration gas to the same extent as in WW2, where 6 months after Pearl Harbor, each driver was allowed 3 gallons per week.

        And what a goof on UT/Utah on my part, whoops.

        1. ambrit

          I don’t know about the goof. I could readily see there being a University of Texas Salt Lake City campus.
          These are the ‘Crazy Times.’

  5. a different chris

    >The Trump campaign boasted about plowing its money into its field game,

    Yeah because he won in 2016 by outspending Hillary by….oh wait nevermind.

    I don’t think anybody even cares what’s on the TeeVee – which so many do not watch the commercial version – anymore. Signs in the yard? There isn’t much concept of “neighborhood leadership” anymore outside of (authoritarian) parts of red states, and they’re voting for Trump whether Bob puts up a monster sign or not. So what do these expenditures accomplish as far as moving the electoral needle at this point, with everybody now not only encamped in their silo virtually but also in reality for most of the people who will vote.

    Just sayin’

    1. drumlin woodchuckles

      Perhaps scaring the Biden Group into spending its money in ways they would rather not have?

      1. a different chris

        Heh between the two campaigns we maybe will get a well-targeted (young people) 2 billion plus stimulus. Again, at this point I think it’s just digging holes and filling them up again, not a cent either one of them is going to spend will change a single vote!

        So that’s something to help us get thru the nightmare.

  6. allan

    Re: “I was worried about Tlaib, because her opponent had a lot of money.”

    You might have Tlaib and Ilhan Omar reversed.
    Tlaib’s primary opponent was very well known but had very little money.
    Omar’s primary opponent is unknown but has an enormous amount of money,
    largely coming from supporters of a certain nuclear-armed country at the eastern end of the Mediterranean.

    The MN primary is next Tuesday, so it’s not too late to donate.

      1. allan

        Thank you for the link. From the editorial:

        On health care, Omar and Melton-Meaux both support universal coverage. How they get there differs. Omar supports the purist proposal championed by Sen. Bernie Sanders that would dramatically shift the entire system to the federal government. Melton-Meaux more pragmatically builds on the Affordable Care Act by embracing the logical next step, a public option that would offer a government-run insurance program for consumers to voluntarily choose. …

        Shockingly, his health plan makes no mention of tax-advantaged Vaccine Savings Accounts.

        His experience on Capitol Hill, as a fellow with the Congressional Black Caucus, has gained him a valuable window into how skilled leaders work against the odds to bring change. …

        I have news for the Star Tribune’s star editorial board, but Clyburn’s Tuesday of the Long Knives
        gave us all a valuable window into how skilled leaders work against the odds to bring change.

        No mention of foreign affairs, which is strange since that seems to be the motivating factor
        for a lot of Melton-Meaux’s direct campaign contributions and those independent expenditure groups.
        Surely an oversight.

        1. EGrise

          “Pragmatic” is becoming one of those words that make me reach for my revolver.

          Especially with regard to healthcare.

  7. Grumpy Engineer

    Wait. The cops get to “opt for” enforcing or not enforcing country health orders?

    Sadly, this has been the trend these days. Where authorities (in whatever level of government you care to examine) are enforcing the laws against situations and/or people they don’t like and letting them slide for situations & people they do like. “Prosecutorial discretion” is being abused as never before. It’s hard to imagine how this moves us towards a just and healthy society where people are treated fairly.

    1. Keith

      There may be a little more to it than that. I am no longer a LEO, but I am a govt regulator who focuses on compliance. We have pulled back completely and focused entirely on being industry friendly and focusing on education. The concerns are businesses have a hard enough time of it already without having to deal with us and more importantly, the fear of bad publicity in an environment where people have nothing to do but watch the news and become outraged. Until things open up and people are happily distracted, I would expect more of the same.

  8. richard

    Yea Sid! so happy he’ll be breathing better
    and sid, hey? you got a little hanger there buddy

    1. Andrew Thomas

      I have the same damned thing as Sid. I am not nearly as cute, and mine is only one nostril. But I definitely sympathize.

  9. jr

    “We’re not in favor of arresting people for violating pandemic restrictions,”

    Why not is right! You can get arrested for damn near anything else. Here in Manhattan when it’s street sweeping day they manage to send out a small army of traffic cops. They scour the streets looking for outlaw cars. They can help enforce masks along with the regular cops. If customers act out in a business, call the cops and make sure the cops prioritize such complaints. Organize civil patrols, give people a hat and a radio, seniors are perfect for this. I’ve seen “granny” security guards who shutdown rowdies faster than any goon could; few dare disobey a grandma figure who is calling them out.

    And make a few examples. When COVID hit, this guy in the small NJ town near my GF’s mom coughed on some grocery workers when they asked him to put on a mask. He was charged with assault and his stupid mug was plastered on the local daily’s front page for all to see. The modern version of the public stockade.

    Gee whiz, pandemics bring out the authoritarian in me. I have to design a uniform now, something……grave.

    1. The Rev Kev

      They have Melbourne Australia in lockdown right now and if you are out without an excuse, they hit you up with a $5,000 fine which is a good motivator in any country. Imagine if they had done that for those party-goers. Imagine if they had told the police that they would get a $100 commission for every ticket that they wrote at that party.

      1. ChrisPacific

        They would have headed down to the black neighborhoods and looked for gatherings of 3 or more people, which would be officially designated as ‘parties.’ (Tell me I’m wrong).

        1. The Rev Kev

          Works out to about US$3,600 – or what an American would be forced to pay getting a stubbed toe treated in any for-profit hospital these days.

          1. Wukchumni

            Ouch, that left a mark.

            Years ago in NZ I met this Aussie who was on holiday in NYC when he had a heart attack, and a couple different ambulances were dickering over who’s ride he was…

  10. none

    “The Biden campaign on Wednesday is announcing what it says is the largest TV ad buy ever by a presidential candidate, with $220 million set aside for commercials to air through the fall and another $60 million budgeted to reach audiences digitally on social media

    I thought Bloomberg spent a lot more than that in the D primary, as part of the coordinated effort to take out Bernie.

    1. a different chris

      That’s 40 million apiece for those 7 undecideds who probably will not even vote because their boss doesn’t give them the day off. Again, a good targeted stimulus for the college students!

    2. The Rev Kev

      I notice that Biden went for nostalgia with that classic car add. But I would not be surprised to learn that he helped put together the legislation which destroyed those very same American car companies. And of course he got in a mention of his dead son yet again. He could use that as a campaign slogan – ‘Do it for Beau.’ But what I want to know from that car add is this-

      ‘Would you buy a used car from this man?’


      1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

        And please tell me what road/country/planet The Biden will be driving his EV @ 200 MPH on…so I can be sure not to be on it

      2. Glen

        Old joke:

        Do you know what the difference is between a Corvette and a porcupine?

        The prick’s on the outside of the porcupine.


  11. Amfortas the hippie

    re: race abolitionism.
    yep. that’s what i am…an abolitionist.
    good to have a word for it, i guess…no matter the source*.
    black skin, red hair, big ears, blue eyes, the ability to wiggle those big ears, epicanthic folds,sickle cell anemia(selected vs malaria)…and on and on and on…like the Vulcan Aphorism, IDIC: “infinite diversity, in infinite combination”.
    what an amazing creature we are.(similarly:lab, collie, westie, chihuahua=all dogs)
    conversely, the people most involved in hiding their covidity in my county are almost to a person Right Wing Brown People,lol.
    Essentialising people based on superficiality is backwards and stupid, and not conducive to actually maturing as a species.

    (*by the comments, Spiked maybe appears to be a right leaning outfit, but i’m finding it hard to tell without reading everything in the place(i recognise only a few of the authors))

  12. Wukchumni

    Amid a growing number of COVID-19 cases in two Latino neighborhoods, health officials say they weren’t fully prepared to curb the disease’s spread when the outbreak began in March.

    Now, Latinos account for 1 in 4 local coronavirus cases — a greater share than any other racial or ethnic group in the Las Vegas Valley.

    Since Nevada allowed casinos to reopen in early June, the official tally of cases in 89110 and 89030 has increased more than sevenfold


  13. Big River Bandido

    James Zogby the pollster was one of Bernie Sanders’ appointees to the so-called “unity committee” or whatever it was after 2016. Seems like his short piece is rather limited in scope. The “unity problem” this year isn’t going to be with Bernie Sanders’ convention delegates (who have been muzzled), but with his supporters who will either not vote in the fall or be unable to cast their ballot.

    Re: the 26% “invalidation rate” of mailed ballots in NYS: This, too, is a feature, not a bug. Remember that the New York State Democrat Party didn’t even want to hold the primary in the first place. Further, that “invalidation rate” doesn’t count all the absentee and mail-in ballots that never made it to voters in time. Because of my work schedule (Tuesdays and Wednesdays out of town), I have voted absentee almost exclusively since 2010, with never a hitch. This year? My ballot didn’t arrive until the day AFTER the election.

    This, more than anything, has hardened my decision to de-register as a Democrat and do everything I can to screw them.

    1. drumlin woodchuckles

      Voting for Trump again would be the way to screw them the hardest. Is it worth it this time around? That is a real question.

      1. Amfortas the hippie

        While I’ve considered this…solely to “discipline the corpsedems”…i have too many moral qualms to go through with it.
        if he, between now and then, came out all the way for M4A,twisting mitch’s arm behind his back, making McCarthy eat dog food, etc…. then…yeah…I’d prolly vote for him.
        Get M4A and it will be hard for the Hillaryites and Bog Standard Teabillies to undo.
        Without that, no.
        I’ll be voting Green….again.

        and again, to re-cap: I’ve voted Dem only once in my life for Preznit….Barack’s First Time.
        voted Third Party and /or Nader the rest of the time.
        And I’m frelling proud to say so, dammit!
        I’ve been vocally against all of this bullshit since before I could vote.
        and shame on Common Dreams for giving these neoLOTE manipulators a platform…and shame on Norm for falling for it.
        The Actually Existing Left has zero leverage After the election, unless we somehow expect some broad cohort of left behinds to rally to the cause.
        Not impossible, of course…but improbable, “absent some catastrophic and catalyzing event – like a new Pearl Harbor.”,lol.
        So far, all i’ve seen is Blue No Matter Who.
        “Same as it ever was…”
        Only the Choir is pointing at the Machine and it’s Neoliberal Orthodoxy.
        Everyone else is rolling in the mud,pointing at each other.
        Asinus Ad Lyram

        1. Big River Bandido

          Common Dreams is actually a sheepdog platform owned by establishment interests and used purely to channel disaffected “progressives” harmlessly back into Democrat Party politics. They’re just a front group, essentially a blog version of the Working Families Party. You can see how fulminating their articles were in February, always “for Sanders and Warren. Immediately after the Night of the Long Knives they pivoted to “but Trump” mode.

          I only read Common Dreams to laugh at them. And then I go right to WSWS.

          1. John Anthony La Pietra

            Ah, yes, CD . . . or maybe that should be “See-D”. I read them quite a lot in past years, until — well let me tell you my story about our break-up.

            After the 2016 DNC convention, CD announced a series of monthly reader polls on who they’d vote for.

            Round 1 (Aug 3-5, results out Aug 9):

            Clinton 41.7%
            Stein 33.4%
            write in Sanders 13.4%
            undecided 6.5%
            Trump 2.4%
            Johnson 0.8%
            write in someone else 1.8%

            The article said they’d survey again Sept 7-9, Oct 5-7, and Nov 2-5.

            Round 2 (Sept 7-9, results out Sept 15):

            Clinton 42.2%
            Stein 36.3%
            write in Sanders 10.8%
            undecided 4.4%
            Trump 2.5%
            Johnson 1.4%
            write in someone else 2.4%

            The article said they’d survey again Oct 5-7 and Nov 2-5. (At least that’s what it said at the time; confirmed via Wayback Machine.)

            I was the first (but not the only) one who commented that Stein appeared to be catching up despite the news blackout, and said: “Jill could yet win CD. It wouldn’t net her any Electoral College votes, but it might reassure CD that they could pay equal attention to Greens and survive.” But you need to go to the Wayback Machine to see that now, too.

            Round 3 . . . well, Oct 5-7 came and went with no sign of Round 3. I asked where it was, and then why it wasn’t — and on Oct 22, my CD commenting account was suspended for 90 days. With no reason given.

            I mentioned this on their Facebook page the same day, wishing they’d tell us what happened to the October survey — and saying if they ever gave me a reason for the suspension I’d share it. That afternoon they tacked on another 180 days of suspension — and gave me a reason: “Because.” And they later piled on another year of suspension for the same reason.

            They eventually did have a Round 3 of that survey . . . on a shortened schedule from when the original Round 4 was to have been — on Nov 3-4, results out Nov 6:

            Clinton 50.3%
            Stein 36.1%
            write in Sanders 7.1%
            undecided 2.4%
            Trump 1.3%
            Johnson 0.4%
            write in someone else 2.5%

            By that time I was already persona non grata to CD, of course.

            Would the October survey have shown Stein ahead? Would it have made a difference? I don’t know. I do know I hadn’t been so disappointed by the cancellation and “unexisting” of a poll since 2001, when the “Straight Talk America” PAC noticed how badly their proposal to reform campaign finances by tripling donation limits (a “cost-of-lobbying increase”, as I called it in my comment at the time) was losing in a poll on their own Website.

            I still visit CD occasionally when someone from a better site (like nc) links there. And I have a new e-mail address, so I can comment there if I feel a pressing need. So far, for some reason, I haven’t felt that need.

        2. John k

          Only chance for the left to have leverage in the dem party after the election is if Biden loses.
          M4a would be a good reason to vote for trump. Not starting another war is another. IMO if Biden wins we will be in Caracas in 2021.

          1. a different chris

            But to do that we have to vote left, otherwise no message gets sent and nobody comes looking for our vote in 2020.

            Sitting at home furiously writing blog comments is basically fly-on-a-windshield stuff. Voting for Trump will only make the Dems move even more rightward.

    2. Andrew Thomas

      The % of non-counted mailed ballots was only 21%, but that is still ridiculous. But right on track for other years, and across the country. It is about exactly the % that Greg Palast has been telling us is the norm as he has been waving his arms and yelling for the past several months. Mail in voting is NOT a panacea, despite what might be inferred from Trump’s hysterical opposition.

  14. DJG

    Natasha Bertrand tweet: Instructive. The responses seem to consist mainly of the enlightened accusing every possible Republican of being in the pay / thrall / bondage of the Russians. But, no, we don’t live an era of McCarthyism and panic.

    Making wild accusations that the last election was manipulated and the results massaged by the Russians always strikes me as odd: Why aren’t these resistance leaders off in the countryside like Chairman Mao, on a Long March led by Hillary Clinton, preparing a guerilla war to to take back This Great Land of Ourn?

    Would it interrupt brunch? Would it be that many of the resisters are mainly good at Office Politics and Writing Snarky Memos?

    I have a feeling that November is going to be an epochal pasticciaccio brutto. Two parties of denialists determined to lie their way to power, and ensure that the rest of us don’t stand a chance at even the forms of democracy.

  15. Massinissa

    In regards to the DSA, I find it amusing that the right thinks that Socialists are secretly infiltrating most of society, when in reality Socialists can’t even maintain control of organizations that literally have ‘socialist’ in the title.

  16. Wukchumni

    A food distribution event for Las Vegas families in need prompted a mile-plus-long caravan of motorists to form on a busy roadway early Thursday, with demand far exceeding supply.

    The line of cars stretched from the intersection of Jones Boulevard and West Cheyenne Avenue to as far north as one could see. The drivers were waiting in line to get free food boxes from the Three Square Food Bank and Wells Fargo bank at 6110 W. Cheyenne Ave.

    The event started at 7 a.m. and was expected to continue until 10 a.m., but it ended shortly after 8 a.m. when volunteers had given out every food box they had.

    How interesting that cybercurrency has pretty much done away with bank runs, only to be replaced by food bank runs, where the institution has to shut down because it has run out of ‘money’.

  17. Henry Moon Pie

    Humans altering North America–

    Here’s something sobering along the same lines from a Resilience.org article about collapsology:

    A growing number of scientists now consider that the most likely outcome of climate change, if the atmospheric greenhouse gas concentrations keep growing from human activities as they always have, is a global societal collapse. Twelve top climate scientists recently said publicly that “it is game over for preventing dangerous climate change now”. For them, “it is time to acknowledge our collective failure to respond to climate change, identify its consequences and accept the massive personal, local, national and global adaptation that awaits us all.”

    But there’s hope toward the end:

    Our generation must lead on three fronts simultaneously. As Rob Hopkins and Joanna Macy say, we must lead with our heads, hearts and hands: understanding what is happening (collapso-logy), imagining and believing in other worlds, and finding courage (collapso-sophy) as well as gathering living forces to build alternatives and lead the fight against destructive powers (collapso-praxis). Deep Adaptation helps us in this task, so we should be careful with unnecessary divisions in the climate movement, and move forward with Deep Adaptation, and obviously with all the other voices from scientists caring for our common future.

    1. drumlin woodchuckles

      What can we do to increase the chances that it is the upper class and the Overclass who are selectively exterminated in the rolling collapse? It won’t happen by itself. The rest of us have to MAKE it happen, if we even can.

    2. Jeremy Grimm

      I read through both your link at Resilience and the criticism by Extinction Rebellion of the Resilience “Deep Adaptation” publication your link was supposedly answering — although it drifted into other areas. The ‘debate’ between climate groups seemed especially weird after reading each group’s manifestos. They draw very similar inferences about climate change but arrive at very different agendas. Resilience was working on ways to ‘collapse’ ahead of an actual collapse, while Extinction Rebellion was tied to a Green New Deal project and One Million Climate Jobs project among others. A lot of the debate between these groups echoed the debate between the documentary “Rise of the Planet of the Humans” and the critique of the film posted at Common Dreams. I am not sure these kinds of debate are especially good for either side.

    3. Jeremy Grimm

      RE: Humans altering North America
      I still prefer the beginning of the nuclear age as the beginning of the Anthropocene. I understand the marker is clear and easy to detect, while I doubt the other beginnings proposed for the Anthropocene are as clear-cut. Although perhaps the nuclear age could be used to bracket one of the other proposed beginnings for the Anthropocene. I like the irony of beginning the Anthropocene with date Humankind discovers how to dramatically end the Anthropocene, which would also have a very clear marker and easy to detect marker.

      1. The Rev Kev

        I would be curious to know how North America’s first inhabitants changed the landscape. I mean, they lived there for tens of thousands of years so they must have had an effect on the landscape, especially with the controlled burns that they did as an example.

        1. Amfortas the hippie

          park-like old growth forests and rich black earth.
          with a handful of bone whistles and hunting implements left behind.

        2. PeterfromGeorgia

          Well, one theory is the early “Natives” hunted the big mammals to extinction, i.e. almost every slow moving mammal of size was hunted til there were no more, most within about 1,000 years of our arrival. . .

  18. Mark Gisleson

    Disagree on the Corvette ad being good. Who’s the target market? And of that target market, what percentage hates GM vehicles? Of those who like GM, how many only respect old car buffs who do all the work themselves? This is a niche that gets smaller and smaller as you examine it.

    In normal times, the wannabe Corvette owners might be worth targeting but during a pandemic this seems brutally “let them eat cake” to me. But that also sums up the zeitgeist at the freezer-full-of-gelato Democratic party so I’m guessing the people who paid for this ad liked it.

    1. a different chris

      The only thing I can see is that it, oddly, encourages and enamors law-breaking which I guess is used to confuse Trump’s authoritarians. They keep valorizing the police in the abstract but man do they get mad when they get a ticket.

      Not a single vote is going to be changed by any of this.

    2. zagonostra

      What ever vehicle he may want to drive, someone needs to take the keys away. Not only is he not fit to be President he is not fit to safely be behind the wheel, at least that is the impression I had after seeing his last unscripted/scripted interview.

      1. edmondo

        I believe the real point of the commercial was to alert the citizenry what Joe’s car looks like in case they have to call a Silver Alert on the old fart.

    3. marcyincny

      Yes, an ad aimed at that big demographic, car collectors, for a 2020 presidential candidate who’s never made it a point to drive (or doesn’t OWN) an electric vehicle. Yes, “let them drive sports cars at 200mph”. LMFatAO

    4. voteforno6

      I don’t know…he makes a pitch simultaneously to people who want to bring manufacturing back to the U.S. and to environmentalists. Maybe it’s because I grew up in a family of car people, but I could see how they would find that appealing. Not to mention, he does seem much more authentic talking about that car than Trump does about anything but himself.

    5. Wukchumni

      I read that something like 60% of Corvette drivers are female many decades ago, and i’d say in my highly informal survey done en route over the years, it’s correct.

      1. Dirk77

        Well, when asked by Ford to create a race version of the Mustang, Carroll Shelby said his first thought was that was a car for secretaries. That said, my only data point on this style of Vette was a girl on my block when I was a kid.

    6. John

      my first thought to that ad was seeing him as a spoiled frat boy playing with fancy expensive toys while the country burns and there is mass unemployment and he has a s**t eating grin on his face. Seems tone deaf to me for these times.

    7. Oh

      The only thing about the ad is that BuyDon actually put several words together to form a sentence or two. Still, I think he comes across like a Bozo. He’s going to drive the country off a cliff much like his election opponent.

    8. Lambert Strether Post author

      > Disagree on the Corvette ad being good.

      The Corvette ad is good because humanizes Biden (not that he’s a good human, mind you) and because it shows him as a cool old guy instead of a senile hack*. It also leverages his sunglasses/car brand identity which goes all the way back to The Onion.

      * They’ve got his meds under control, or something. I saw and posted that Iowa video where he had to be physically led around by a handler. It went on for minutes and something was definitely wrong.

      1. Mark Gisleson

        I think the class lines here are brighter than you may perceive. Fwiw, I’ve always seen corvettes as the cars newly divorced middle-aged men bought but that’s an upper Midwest take and I think these things are very regional (and generational).

        In my experience, I just don’t remember national candidates embracing name brand products like this. You would think the rub-off would be good and they would do it, but I’d argue that negatives accumulate rapidly and that this is not good strategy.

      2. John Anthony La Pietra

        The argument from coherence is possible, especially compared with that underground bar. But it would carry more weight with me, for one, if he got to say more than about 15-20 words at a time without a video cut . . . and if there weren’t subtitles.

        Up until this year at least, my hometown has had a big parade of Corvettes and similar cars for a July 4-adjacent “Fiesta of the ’50s”. I suppose the Biden campaign is trying to appeal to this segment of those who want to Make America Great Again — and who include those cars in their definition of Great America.

        If so, that might make this the 2020 version of going after suburban Republicans — this time in exchange for environmentalists who don’t see driving even electric cars at 200mph as very green. (And what good will it do us, in fighting climate catastrophe, to waste electricity produced by fracking and other All of the Above sources?)

  19. allan

    Bausch + Lomb to be spun-off from corporate parent as separate company [WXXI]

    Bausch + Lomb, the company that has its roots in Rochester and still employs more than 1,100 people locally, is likely to go through a corporate change in the next year or so.

    Its corporate parent, Bausch Health Companies, will announce Thursday that it intends to spin-off its eye health business into an independent publicly traded entity, Bausch + Lomb – NewCo. …

    The Wall Street Journal, which first reported the news, said that the eye-care unit, Bausch + Lomb,
    had $3.7 billion in revenue last year, compared with about $4.9 billion from the rest of the company.

    This news comes about seven years after the Canadian pharmaceutical company Valeant acquired
    Bausch + Lomb for nearly $9 billion [and then the name Valeant became toxic due to various scandals].

    Bausch Health chairman and CEO Joseph Papa said that the company is committed to take action
    to unlock what they see as unrecognized value in Bausch Health shares, and management believes that separating the company will give each business greater flexibility to pursue strategic opportunities. …

    Unlock? Check.
    Unrecognized value? Check.
    Strategic opportunities? Check.

    I love the smell of financial engineering in the afternoon,
    empowered by the CARES Act whatever-it-takes blank check to the Fed.
    Seven years and tens (hundreds?) of millions of investment banking and legal fee dollars later,
    they decide to call the whole thing off.

    Expect the resulting “efficiencies” to more than cancel out whatever meager jobs are added by the Kodak deal.

  20. Sheldon

    “Why Would Biden Pick Susan Rice?” “Obama’s record of military interventions, particularly in the Middle East, was spotty and disjointed”

    This fossil fuel female will run the ship properly for Biden, before he bows out to be with his family.

    Biden/Rice, puts the Dem in Dementia and Oil in the Oval Office…

    This was posted here a couple of days ago:

    “how in the world has Susan Rice’s wealth more than doubled in five years? Part of those investments were in concepts that the Obama administration spent the latter part of their time in office opposing: Oil.”

    “…According to an NPR article, also written in 2012, they tell of how Rice might not have been partial to this type of decision. She owns stock in TransCanada, the company responsible for the Keystone XL project. The Obama administration was toying with either approving or disapproving that deal, which represents a stark conflict of interest for Mrs. Rice. According to the NPR article, she owns stock valued at somewhere between $300,000 and $600,000 in TransCanada. Furthermore, they state, “… about a third of Rice’s personal net worth is tied up in oil producers, pipeline operators, and related energy industries north of the 49th parallel — including companies with poor environmental and safety records on both U.S. and Canadian soil.”


  21. Seth Miller

    When does the left have more leverage? Now? Or under a Biden administration?

    Until the threat to walk out on Biden is seen by Biden, the DNC, and the press as a credible one, the answer would have to be “under a Biden administration.” Right now, the left is not making the threat, and even if there were a large enough number who made such a threat, it would not necessarily be believed. Remember that the counterparty in these hypothetical negotiations is delusional. Ever try to negotiate with someone who is totally convinced of a falsehood? The Bidens of the world and their allies believe the left would not follow through on a threat to stay home, and they believe the left has no power and no place to go with our numbers. Given the lack of organization they are not completely wrong. Leverage would depend on them being wrong and also being convinced that they are wrong about these things.

    1. Tom Stone

      Seth, you only have to eat half the bowl!
      Now…the rest is going in the fridge to be served after the election.

      1. Hepativore

        Not to mention another heaping bowlful of sh*t in 2024, as Biden or whatever neoliberal surrogate runs in his place by then will have incumbency in their favor, and good luck trying to primary them in the 2024 both due to Democratic party shenanigans as well as the fact that the PMC/Karen wing that stuck us with Biden in 2020 will be even less willing to listen to a potential primary challenger in 2024.

        Who cares what crackpot those spoiled millennials/zoomers want for their president? Biden is great for the upper-middle class and the PMC will probably be doing just fine still after four years of Biden and would gleefully get him reelected. It would be like eight more years of Trump in terms of policies without the ridiculous tweets and the approval from MSNBC and CNN.

        I am not voting for either, but perhaps people should look at it from Amorfortas the Hippy’s point of view as well as many other people here…it is more like a choice between four years of Trumpian neoliberalism, and eight long years of Clinton/Obama/Biden neoliberalism because of the momentum of incumbency. At least in the former, you could hypothetically pick a non-neoliberal candidate in 2024 should one arise.

    2. Acacia

      Walk out now. Maybe talk later, after Trump wins and GOP controls the legislature.

      Or, better yet: just let the Democrat party twist in the wind.

  22. hemeantwell

    Re DSA, it’s odd that the Socialist Majority group quotes Cedric Johnson to beef up their call for black leadership. Along with Adolph Reed, Johnson is one of the strongest advocates of class-oriented organizing among people of color, and SM’s emphasis on the promotion of black leadership is likely not a shared priority. I don’t know if Johnson is point for point in agreement with Reed, but I don’t see how he would escape the vortex of stupidity that the Class Unity group is protesting, wherein Reed was blocked from speaking by a race-prioritizing faction.

    I’d add that the website Reed and Johnson frequent, nonsite.org, is one of the best lefty sites on the web.

  23. Jessica

    The Corvette ad does serve to make Biden seem like a still competent human being. Most of those who would object to him driving or him having a fancy car are committed Democratic voters.
    Also, he seems to genuinely seem to enjoy the car. He’s not saying “look at my expensive new car, I am better than you peasants”. He is saying “whee! 200 mph!”
    That’s as human as I have ever seen him.
    (Admittedly, I used to love driving fast on empty Western highways when I had the car for it. Empty as in, no other vehicle visible for 10 miles in either direction.)

    1. km

      Wait wut? I thought that was supposed to be the plantidote for today?

      The Corvette appears to be a ’67. At least the plant in that particular plantidote drives stick.

      1. Dirk77

        The first rule is: if you are driving a sports car and it’s an automatic, you better be wearing a dress. Slowing down the video, and yes, it’s a four speed stick. So Biden passes that test. But is anyone a fan of that Corvette style? A ‘67 Camaro would have been a better show. And the color green. Gah. That said, the choice of car and color was his dad’s not his.

    2. NotTimothyGeithner

      The problem isn’t that Biden isn’t human. His problem is he’s a disgraceful human.

      I’ve seen questioning today of how the left can hold Biden accountable and whether Biden’s performance today will be a daily event. As President Biden won’t be accountable to anyone and will simply say the racist stuff he thinks that get chalked up to gaffes that he happens to make every time a camera is on him. Part of holding Biden accountable is holding Democratic elites accountable. Biden’s gaffes were never gaffes, and his endorsers need to be chastised at all times, purged from the public sphere too.

      Every Biden supporter should be asked if they agree with the deranged item Biden said today.

      1. Amfortas the hippie

        “Part of holding Biden accountable is holding Democratic elites accountable.”

        which is not to be accomplished by voting for them.
        Withdraw your Consent.
        we should have punished them thus after billary’s first term.
        now, it’s likely too late, but I’ll still flog them in the only way left to me…by refusing to vote for their perfidious husk of a candidate.
        Frak the Dems and all their works.
        they have always been free to earn votes, and refused.
        may the mob find them quickly.

        1. John

          I support this too actually. Obama, Clinton, Biden are still establishment hacks carefully letting the frog slowly boil in the pot. I hate trump but I voted for him because I figured he was a Bafoon and would muck around but hopefully not get much done. His little Portland stasi ordeal brought attention to the extended dictatorial power expansions that had been building. The dems slitting of Berni’s throat..they just don’t represent the people and can’t even give them crumbs. They get nothing from me. Looks like it has to get worse before it’s gets Better. The protests and everything are a sign of extended malaise. Manipulations and status quo won’t remedy it.

    3. John

      that was not my reaction to it at all. All i saw was tone deaf revelry in an expensive thing that seems excessive and impractical especially in these times. Humble , every man, empathetic, approachable joe has a chance. Spoiled, entitled frat boy joe will fall flat.

      1. Lambert Strether Post author

        > All i saw was tone deaf revelry in an expensive thing that seems excessive and impractical especially in these times.

        That is what I wish I saw. But that is not what I did see. And my views on Biden are pretty clear.

        1. ObjectiveFunction

          This is all part of lovable Uncle Joe’s ‘No Malarkey’ shtick. It probably appeals to some seniors nostalgic for the Fifties and Sixties when engineers (and WW2 veterans) still dominated middle and upper management in America and spent weekends working on their cars (or claiming they did), as did union crafts and workers who were then earning middle class cheese.

          Hopper’s “The Puritan Gift” discusses the American tradition of ‘mechanics’ — self-taught practical problem solvers and tinkerers back to Jefferson and Franklin — being revered figures. And while folks like Edison were primarily pitchmen (like Gates), most domestic innovation in America pre-1900 still came out of the workshops of individuals or partnerships, until European industrial R&D departments and technical institutes began being imitated in the US. It’s part of that ‘temporarily embarassed millionaires’ thing we like to make fun of here, the tenacious American ideal that the virtuous individual can better humanity (and do well for themselves too!).

          … But I really don’t know if that particular dog whistle means a goldurned thing today to any likely Dem voter under 60. Everyone knows we don’t make tangible things anymore, or repair them, and most of the rewards go to the slick money guys anyway.

          … Plus, the strongest believers in that old American dream today seem to be small business owners, who like the GOP getting gubmint off their backs. What’s Joe and some well coiffed lady who calls AAA to change a flat (unless there’s something about Susan or Kamala that we’ve missed) gonna do for them? Now Tulsi, *she* can probably fix a flat.

  24. super extra

    How Native Tribes Started Winning at the Supreme Court | Mother Jones

    This was posted in Links this morning but it has taken me a while to get through during a busy day. Lots of great details on the more-recent history leading to the recent ruling over Oklahoma, which I commented on here a while back. This reinforces my thinking then and the chats I had with my Cherokee relatives, that tribal sovereign rights could possibly be effective as a major non-corporate, non-federal counterweight in environmental issues.

    One thing this article does a great job of is laying out the recent ruling(s) in the context of sovereign rather than racial/tribal grounds, which is often missed in the woke-ist arguments in today’s culture war, as in this quote:

    Federal courts play a much larger role in the lives of Native Americans than most people’s, says Elizabeth Kronk Warner, citizen of the Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians and dean of the law school at University of Utah. That’s because “Indian” is technically not a racial identity but rather a legal designation. “It’s by virtue of my political relationship with my tribe that I also have a special relationship with the federal government,” she says. For tribal members, “everyday issues” like hunting rights and land ownership “become questions of federal law,” specifically a long-neglected branch of it called “Indian law.”

    Sometimes I wonder if this concept (a group of persons with legal distinction as a sovereign relative to the federal state) could be utilized to create non-tribal groups capable of their own rights of self-determination. One awkward thing about interacting with people who have no experience of actual tribal/native american indian issues is the centering of the discussion around cultural or racial frameworks rather than sovereignty. The Cherokee, for example, are multi-racial – because their grounds for tribal citizenship are simply to have a direct-line ancestor on the Dawes Roll, which was done like 120 years ago. I presume the federal state definitely does NOT want more tribes nor would see such groups as constituting sovereigns as the native tribes with their extant treaty history do, so likely a moot point.

  25. anon in so cal

    > California has to “hand count” Covid-19 test results due to equipment malfunctions.

    “A breakdown in the electronic collection of coronavirus test data is hampering California’s pandemic response, with some public health officials resorting to counting results by hand and a growing number of counties warning the public that statistics provided by the state on infection rates are unreliable.”



    ““Unlike the African-American community, with notable exceptions, the Latino community is an incredibly diverse community””


    Also Biden: Re: “Are you a junkie” interview:

    “Joe Biden on cognitive decline testing: “I’ve been tested and I’m constantly tested”

    >Also Joe Biden: “No I haven’t taken a test. Why the hell would I take a test.”


    (apologies if these have been posted before)

    1. NotTimothyGeithner

      C’mon now, the reason Biden says all these terrible things is his stutter. Pete Buttigieg only seems like a terrible person because of Biden’s stutter. Harris didn’t prosecute Mnuchin because of Biden’s stutter.

      Have some respect!

  26. martell

    Regarding DSA’s Socialist Majority statement, it looks a lot like the anti-racism of White Fragility (note the call for individual self-transformation) together with bits and pieces of the White Supremacy Culture list that’s been making the rounds (for example, claiming that individualism, perfectionism, and privileging of formal education over lived experience belong to that culture).

    As for the related article on race abolition, it’s remarkable that there’s been so little discussion of this idea lately (at least in the circles I frequent). The racial discourse of the disparitarians (as I think Reed calls them) strikes me as incoherent. It is asserted that race is a social construct, but then the myth making starts (or continues in inverted form): races are treated as collective entities with essential features that somehow inhabit individuals and explain their behavior. The abolitionist position is more consistent, both in theory and practice: race is a rotten invention of the late Renaissance; we’re best rid of it. Race abolition is an old idea too, finding expression in Sartre’s uncharacteristically short and clear Anti-Semite and Jew, among other works.

  27. DJG

    TNR and the Never Trumpers article by Samuel Moyn. It is ostensibly a book review, but it is juicy indeed. Moyn also has a way with well-stated skepticism of the motives of these poltroons. I am already seeing the FB crowd that enforces the sloganizing about how we must vote blue no matter who go on and on about the Lincoln Project, naively thinking that the enemy of my enemy is my friend. I’d be confused, except I seem to have grown used to the endless mendacity. (The mendacity of Cat on a Hot Tin Roof seems almost cozy in comparison.)

    My favorite observations:
    “But it’s difficult to believe that Trump’s character foibles and edgy nativism are supposed to explain the hatred for him. The notion that the same crew that promoted Newt Gingrich and Sarah Palin as standard-bearers of American conservatism has always demanded exemplary leaders is laughable. American conservatives have never entirely cordoned off the toxic forces in their own coalitions—the antisemites, patriarchs, and racists—especially after the Republican electoral base moved south in the 1960s.”

  28. Laputan

    RE: The Dismal Politics of the Sports World’s “Wokest” League


    While the players golf and fish, the Disney staff who clean the rooms and sweep the floors aren’t receiving hazard pay. In June, it seemed as if the players were on the verge of a wholesale reconsideration of what NBA politics could be. The players could have used the NBA restart to underscore the importance of solidarity for all workers in the pursuit of racial justice. Instead, it’s become a model of how the rich and powerful receive special treatment. Under the current agreement, the players can speak about race in America. But by doing so in cooperation with their corporate overlords, they obscure the structural racism at the heart of the worker/owner relationship in this country.

    On the one hand, I get NBA players not having a coherent politics. They’re mostly in their 20s, obscenely rich in the propagandized, self-made American way, and they’ve never really had even the mediocre demands of normal student life. What I don’t get is how they’re assumed to have any credibility or how they’re beatified when they do anything for the community.

    I had a physically repugnant reaction whenever Jon Stewart compared Lebron to Ali on his HBO show. Like you could possibly compare somebody who gave up 3 years of his earning prime because he refused to be an advert for the Vietnam War to a guy who wears a Beto shirt.

    1. Daryl

      LeBron funded a public school that does pretty interesting things (like free haircuts and tax prep for whole families). Perhaps not Ali, but then more than most celebs including education “reformers” such as Gates have done.

      An interesting sidebar to this whole discussion is the WNBA, where Kelly Loeffler (who you may remember from selling a bunch of stocks after a private covid briefing early on, then denying its seriousness) owns part of the Atlanta team. They wore shirts endorsing her opponent to a game.

      1. Laputan

        Gates is awful but the school is for about 300 kids. I’m pretty sure he has done more than that

  29. Jessica

    “What it Means for DSA to Embrace Black Leadership” [Sociality Majority] v. “Spiraling anti-Marxism in the DSA” [Class Unity]. • Oy.

    The reason the Russian Revolution happened is that the tsarist regime was incapable of putting enough of the Marxists on the payroll.
    I stumbled across a Twitter discussion the other day by DSA members bemoaning the takeover of DSA by the NGO faction (in 2019) and discussing what to do next.

  30. Wukchumni

    I’m trying to figure out this coin shortage, is fear of transacting the virus a large part, or is it financial hoarding on the lowest level?

    There was quite a coin shortage in the late 1830’s early 1840’s as well:

    Hard-times tokens are American large or half cent-sized copper tokens, struck from about 1833 through 1843, serving as unofficial currency. These privately made pieces, comprising merchant, political and satirical pieces, were used during a time of political and financial crisis in the United States.

    Jackson and his Treasury secretary, Levi Woodbury, issued the Specie Circular on July 11, 1836. The circular simply stated that as of August 15 1836, banks and others who received public money were required to accept only gold and silver coins in payment for public lands.

    Instead of the intended results, the circular spelled the end of a time of economic prosperity. The circular set into motion a panic, and the public began hoarding specie. Without specie to pay out, banks and merchants began having financial troubles. It wasn’t too long before the effects of Jackson’s decision were felt across the nation as banks and businesses failed, and a depression ensued.


    Our times remind me of so many epochs and here’s another one:

    The Panic of 1837 came after a prolonged real estate bubble and was partially on account of an epidemic much worse from a numbers of dead versus population standpoint, Cholera.

    The Panic of 1837 was a financial crisis in the United States that touched off a major depression, which lasted until the mid-1840s. Profits, prices, and wages went down; unemployment went up; and pessimism abounded.

    The panic had both domestic and foreign origins. Speculative lending practices in the West, a sharp decline in cotton prices, a collapsing land bubble, international specie flows, and restrictive lending policies in Britain were all factors.

    On May 10, 1837, banks in New York City suspended specie payments and so would no longer redeem commercial paper in specie at full face value. Despite a brief recovery in 1838, the recession persisted for approximately seven years. Banks collapsed, businesses failed, prices declined, and thousands of workers lost their jobs. Unemployment may have been as high as 25% in some locales.


    1. The Rev Kev

      That 1837 panic must have spread around the world as I know that the early Australian colonies had their own financial panic in this exact time period. In fact, it must have gone on some time as the 1840s were know in the UK as the ‘Hungry Forties.’

      1. Wukchumni

        Cholera raged for some time, Daniel Swain was in a company of 65x 49’ers headed west, and 5 of them succumbed to it on the way.

        Judging from the numbers it killed, Coronavirus is kid’s play in comparison.

    2. jsn

      That one started in London in 1836. It was when the slave backed mortgage bubble burst and desperate slave owners across the US south moved in mass to found my home state:The Republic of Texas had no extradition treaty with the US or UK. Baptist’s “The Half Has Never Been Told” has a great couple of chapters on this.

      When the 10 year LSE statute of limitations expired Texas promptly joined the US as a slave state, capital (slaves) in tact.

  31. The Rev Kev

    “Pete Buttigieg Takes a Faculty Post at Notre Dame ”

    ‘Buttigieg will be a 2020-21 faculty fellow at Notre Dame’s Institute for Advanced Study (NDIAS), taking part in a cohort that is set to focus on the “nature of trust.”’

    That’s hilarious that. That is like Jeffrey Epstein becoming a faculty fellow at Notre Dame to take part in a study on female puberty.

    1. NotTimothyGeithner

      The worst part is Ratboy is such an obvious corporate toad he probably polled and found out he wasn’t considered trustworthy and is simply going to shout “trust” at us until he gets stomped publicly.

    2. Tomonthebeach

      Guy has yet to hold federal office and already the Machine is supporting him with tide-him-over jobs till the next big run – for Governator maybe?

  32. Acacia

    Scrutinizing Allan Lichtman’s “six keys” to winning the presidency (from yesterday’s water cooler), this one seems suspect to me:

    12. Incumbent Charisma: The incumbent party candidate is charismatic. False. “Trump is a great showman, but he only appeals to a narrow slice of Americans.”

    Judging from the 62 million who voted for him last time, and the number of “Trump 2020” signs reported all over the country now, I wonder how Lichtman defines “narrow”.

  33. RMO

    “Wait. The cops get to “opt for” enforcing or not enforcing country health orders?”

    The cops on the street make the vast majority of the decisions about which incidents result in arrest and charges or not. It’s largely up to their discretion unless their superiors or the government that controls their department have decided to make it mandatory for certain offenses to always be prosecuted and/or set up official or unofficial quotas.

  34. witters

    Once again, I don’t love China or the CCP, but it’s not hard to tell which country — and which system of political economy — prevented more people from dying of Covid.” What I don’t get is the need or point of the first qualifier. (Or rather, I think I may do, but it is a bit disappointing.)

  35. RMO

    A German court recently ruled that the Tesla Model 3’s touchscreen windshield wiper speed control setup ius dangerous and illegal:


    You can turn the wipers on and off with the stalk but changing speed or making them intermittent requires drilling down into the touchscreen menus. As does changing the HVAC settings, including simply directing the flow from the vents to where you want it. Genius!

      1. eg

        My brother jokes about German automotive engineering, noting particular oddities with a Teutonic accent, “inconvenience package — check.”

      1. The Rev Kev

        The White House does have a bomb shelter. When the protestors were doing their thing outside the White House several weeks ago, Trump felt a sudden need to inspect it. For dungeons, you would have to check out Langley.

  36. VietnamVet

    First posted several weeks ago in the comments at NC, this video gives the science behind a quick cheap antigen daily testing regime:

    It has finally made it to the media:

    This testing program will control coronavirus and we do not have to wait till next year for a for-profit vaccine and/or treatment that may not work. If Democrats want to win, they must latch on to this. Emphasize Americans working together using science to rebuild a virus free, healthy nation. The pandemic and a thousand Americans dying per day will end. Also, stop using racial politics, like Donald Trump, which will destroy the USA. If antigen testing is not implemented, this is proof that there is no democracy, the pharmaceutical corporations own Washington DC, and violence is the only way to end inequality.

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