Links 8/9/2020

The Secret to Container Vegetable Gardening TreeHugger

Facing up to Woodrow Wilson’s true legacy Times Literary Supplement

Colorado Prison Escapee Caught After Nearly 50 Years on Run USA Today

Satellite images show oil spill disaster unfolding in Mauritius: “We will never be able to recover” CBS (User Friendly)

TikTok ban exposes PSYOPs-led secret dance battle with China Duffelblog

#COVID-19

The COVID Interregnum Counterpunch

sweatpants forever NYT

CA’s top health official: Glitch fixed but there’s a backlog of up to 300,000 records SFGate

Navajo Nation’s Shortage of Clean Water Is Impeding Efforts to Control COVID Truthout

Nursing homes grapple with a dual crisis: preparing for hurricane season amid the Covid-19 pandemic Stat

97,000 children reportedly test positive for coronavirus in two weeks as schools gear up for instruction CBS News UserFriendly

From Bourbon Street to Food Banks, Signs of a Slow U.S. Recovery Bloomberg. Hmm – strikes me as wishful if not downright magical thinking.

Sturgis motorcycle rally draws thousands of bikers despite coronavirus fears NBC News

Thousands of bikers heading to South Dakota rally to be blocked at tribal land checkpoints Guardian (furzy)

UK orders recall of 741,000 coronavirus testing kits over safety concerns Reuters

Boris Johnson says reopening schools next month is a ‘moral duty’ and a ‘national priority’ as he takes on the teaching unions Daily Mail (The Rev Kev)

I know Yves linked to Schumer’s comment yesterday, but I post this today so readers can see him utter the words:

Science/Medicine

Povidone-Iodine Demonstrates Rapid In Vitro Virucidal Activity Against SARS-CoV-2, The Virus Causing COVID-19 Disease Nature Public Health Emergency Coalition

Three major scientific controversies about coronavirus The Conversation

Forty percent of people with coronavirus infections have no symptoms. Might they be the key to ending the pandemic? WaPo

Scientists Weigh the Benefits of Air Purifiers in Fighting COVID-19 Der Spiegel

Statement from Yale Faculty on Hydroxychloroquine and its Use in COVID-19 Medium

Trump Transition

The lost days of summer: How Trump struggled to contain the virus WaPo

Trump signs order for coronavirus relief, with lower level of extra aid for jobless Guardian (The Rev Kev) Likely unconstitutional, but politically astute, especially given Biden’s weakness on bankruptcy and consumer debt.  And what would you have Trump do, in the absence of congressional action?

Trump antagonizes GOP megadonor Adelson in heated phone call Politico

Class Warfare

Record Scratch Airmail. There’s a paywall but one can register for access to some pieces each week. which is what I did. Not sure this is yet worth the price of a subscription – nor if it will ever be. Vanity Fair under Carter used to be something I’d flip through when getting my hair styled, rather than buying for its online or deadtreee content. Especially now that Christopher Hitchens is no more.

Appeals court rules 10¢-a-page charge for court documents is too high Ars Technica

Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway grew profits by 86% last quarter as its stock portfolio soared in value Business Insider

SENATORS PUSH FOR FREE PRISON CALLS IN NEXT CORONAVIRUS RELIEF BILL Intercept

Big Brother IS Watching You Watch

Software that monitors students during tests perpetuates inequality and violates their privacy MIT Technology Review

2020

Biden campaign reportedly making ‘ruthless cuts’ to convention speaking list The Week

OVERCOMING AN ELECTORAL HURDLE COULD HELP TIP NORTH CAROLINA IN NOVEMBER Capital & Main

The Memo: Trump team pounces on Biden gaffes The Hill

How the Final Stretch of Biden’s VP Search Is Playing Out New York magazine


China?

All About The Chips: Taiwan Is Next Battleground For Trade Fight American Conservative

Does the US-led Five Eyes have wider sights on China? SCMP

US fails to build regional coalition against China Asia Times (The Rev Kev)

‘Everything is gone.’ Flooding in China ruins farmers and risks rising food prices CNN (User Friendly)

Mark Ames tweets link to Max Blumenthal’s scoop:

India

Kerala plane crash: DGCA’s investigation team, Union minister Scroll. Note the reporting says the ‘’plane was a Boeing 737- but doesn’t mention MAX, so I think it was a previous model. I wonder how much rusty pilots – both of whom died in the crash- perhaps driven by commercial pressures imposed on Air India Express, contributed to the tragedy. The monsoon seems a too-convenient scapegoat. Pilots who fly regularly in Indian airspace during this time of year are trained for such conditions.

Reliance tech arm expands monopoly muscle in India Asia Times

Coronavirus: India is turning to faster tests to meet targets BBC

India’s expanding mining sector is posing an acute threat to endangered tigers and their habitats Scroll

Syraqistan

More than 60 missing after Beirut mega-blast: Live updates Al Jazeera

Beirut explosions: Protesters storm government buildings as tear gas fired and over 110 wounded Independent

Antidote du Jour (via):

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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320 comments

    1. Martine

      Looks like concern is unwarranted. From the literature:

      Abstract
      Iodine-induced hypothyroidism that develops in patients who gargle routinely with povidone iodine is well known. Usually the hypothyroidism is mild and resolves spontaneously upon cessation of gargling. Here, we report a 63-year-old patient with overt hypothyroidism that developed due to habitual gargling with povidone iodine for more than 10 years. The urinary excretion of iodine was estimated to be greater than 5 mg/day, based on values obtained from 18 normal subjects who gargled three times a day (4.6±2.1 mg, mean±SD). After discontinuation of the gargling, the patient has been euthyroid for more than 10 months.

      Reply
      1. Brian (another one they call)

        Is it worth taking out all your flora and fauna in the alimentary canal to hopefully have an affect on the CV that may or may not be in your throat? This reminds me of the concept of hunting mosquitos with a shotgun. If you weigh the consequences of taking out your first line of defense with the subsequent potential for harm, it doesn’t seem like an even trade.

        Reply
      2. furies

        It’s not unwarranted tho if you have thyroid disease as a huge number of american women do, a lot of which is often undiagnosed.

        Reply
        1. John Beech

          Nasal lavage via squeeze bottle has entered my routine since the advent of COVID-19. I make up the following mix; 3tbsp of non-iodized salt dissolved in 2L of boiled water (to kill off possible amoeba because our well supplies potable water) plus 15mL of 10% PVP-I (resulting in a 0.1% solution). I rinse my sinus cavities twice a day. My physician is aware and approves of the practice. Thus far, no noticeable staining of my teeth. Inconvenient? Sure, but what price life?

          Reply
    2. Olga

      In the ol’ socialist world, this was used as a topical remedy. Came in brown and bright green colours. Kids were forever running around with big splotches of green or brown, where the knees got scraped.

      Reply
    3. Cuibono

      The Conversation article on controversies is poorly written imo. Among the various miscues is this one:’Ultimately though, without a vaccine, the strongest weapons we have are basic preventive measures such as regular hand washing and social distancing.”
      Actually the evidence that handwashing has ANYTHING to do with preventing the spread of covid is UTTERLY lacking.

      Do i wash my hands well? Hell yeah.

      Reply
  1. DanP66

    As for the Yale letter on HDQ…

    I do not trust anyone to tell the truth.

    There are BILLIONS to be made with new drugs coming out to treat COVID.

    I want to know who is funding these docs.

    I want to know what, if any, financial interest or career interest they have that would incline them to dismiss HDQ and I want to know the same for those who did the other studies they rely on.

    SOMEBODY is full of shit. We have “respected” and “board certified” docs and researchers offering opinions that are the exact opposite of the others.

    SO..either the scientists are totally clueless and being “respected” and “board certified” mean jack OR somebody is corrupt.

    My guess? HDQ probably works for some patients in early stages of the disease. Big pharma does not want to hear that and the left does not want to hear that which means that the researchers who rely on them for funding are gonna tow the line.

    Reply
    1. timbers

      This is from Wikipedia under Jonas Salk, so take if for what it is worth. It seems totally alien by today’s practices with profitized healthcare…Salk refusing to patent or profit from his vaccine. Has the US really changed so much?

      News of the vaccine’s success was first made public on April 12, 1955 Salk was immediately hailed as a “miracle worker”, and chose to not patent the vaccine or seek any profit from it in order to maximize its global distribution. An immediate rush to vaccinate began in both the United States and around the world. Many countries began polio immunization campaigns using Salk’s vaccine, including Canada, Sweden, Denmark, Norway, West Germany, the Netherlands, Switzerland, and Belgium. Less than 25 years later, domestic transmission of polio had been completely eliminated in the United States.

      Reply
      1. jsn

        Yes we have changed that much.

        You don’t really notice (unless you’re focused on it) the future being sold off a nickle at a time until one day it’s gone.

        Here we are and trying to take some future back has been criminalized. It’s our move now, what will we do?

        Reply
        1. Brian (another one they call)

          Yale has sold out. Like Stanford, the Lancet, the CDC. Do I really have to make a list?
          The one thing that has been demonstrated with certainty is that HCQ/Azith/zinc do a fine job of preventing virus replication if given promptly upon first symptoms. Nothing else. But that is so far beyond what these other corporations are trying to push as a cure. 2 billion for Johnson and Johnson to develop something? Their recent history shows they will sell anything regardless of efficacy.
          My doctor works for a corporation. He isn’t allowed to discuss or prescribe anything that the corporation puts on a NO NO list. Therefore, he isn’t a doctor really, He works for an AI device. He has abandoned his hippocratic oath to be able to function within the politically correct confines of big money.
          But the self justification to deny reality is a sign of ruin, incompetence and greed.

          Reply
          1. polecat

            Another moniker for your docktor, would be as a ‘Corpserate $hill … ‘Corpse’ being the operative emphasis of said word! But then, almost ALL Corporations are nothing be reanimated CON$ of Grift, aren’t they !??!

            Reply
        1. drumlin woodchuckles

          He was referring to University politics, not the Big Money Politics of competing medical approaches.

          Reply
    2. The Rev Kev

      Sounds like somebody went off the reservation and wondered aloud if HCQ might work and the entire Yale Faculty stomped on him but hard. I mean, just who does this Dr. Harvey Risch think he is anyway? Oh yeah-

      https://medicine.yale.edu/profile/harvey_risch/

      Then again, it’s only Yale. It’s not like it’s a real University – like Harvard.

      Reply
    3. Dean

      “SOMEBODY is full of shit. We have “respected” and “board certified” docs and researchers offering opinions that are the exact opposite of the others.”

      The question is which opinions are backed up by evidence and data? The publication record for chloroquine or hydroxychloriquine shows contradictory results. However those studies involving clinical trials appear to show that there is no benefit at any stage of infection.

      If you want to know if funding for these researchers creates a potential conflict just look at the publications. Most journals require a conflict of interest statement that must be appended to the study.

      A conflict of interest sample statement:

      The authors whose names are listed immediately below certify that they have NO affiliations with or involvement in any organization or entity with any financial interest (such as honoraria; educational grants; participation in speakers’ bureaus; membership, employment, consultancies, stock ownership, or other equity interest; and expert testimony or patent-licensing arrangements), or non-financial interest (such as personal or professional relationships, affiliations, knowledge or beliefs) in the subject matter or materials discussed in this manuscript.

      The authors whose names are listed immediately below report the following details of affiliation or involvement in an organization or entity with a financial or non-financial interest in the subject matter or materials discussed in this manuscript. Please specify the nature of the conflict on a separate sheet of paper if the space below is inadequate.

      Reply
      1. Brian (another one they call)

        I am sorry, but it is plain to the existing science that these signatories are paid well for their abandonment of their duties as doctors. Perhaps they have no patients of their own where they have to follow the hippocratic oath. Administrators are subject to budgets, which are paid for by the generous contributions of the VC/Pharma complex. Thus knowing where one’s bread is buttered has eliminated all responsibility. One solution is to count the nations that go along with the “no good, dangerous, kill you…”, and those that disagree.
        Do you recall when they claimed HCQ would kill you? Find us one example of HCQ killing someone before you put your faith in the poor memory of the citizenry. Did you see that the people taking HCQ in countries prone to Malaria were not suffering from the virus the way other nations were? Real science allows an opinion that must be proven, but even that requirement is abandoned when the payoff is enough.

        Reply
      2. barefoot charley

        Here’s the clearest obfuscation in the HCL controversy: HCL is widely used around the world, including in the White House, as a *prophylactic.* It’s routinely denounced across America as a *treatment.* Starting with mainstream news, the simple fact that Trump said he was taking it preventatively, ’cause why not, unleashed a torrent of of scorn for using it as treatment. Just another day of hysterical TDS I know, but this letter choosing not to acknowledge widespread HCL experience and acceptance beyond America’s PigPharma shadow is self-impeaching. Contempt for Trump creates and breeds fake news. It is a brain disease of the smarty-pants party.

        Reply
        1. Mel

          Only, please spell it HCQ. HCL, spelled “HCl” is a chemical name for hydrochloric acid, and another shitstorm about “drinking bleach” would be an obfuscation all its own.

          Reply
          1. Jerri-Lynn Scofield Post author

            Hear, Hear. I made that mistake once – and promptly corrected the post – and I should have certainly recognized the HCL abbreviation for hydrochloric acid from when I took a couple of chemistry classes.

            HXQ is the correct abbreviation for hydroxychloroquine.

            Reply
            1. Mel

              Another one, eh? Well, if we all recognize it, then HXQ it is. I wonder about the provenance of our abbreviations, when they change to ones I’m not using.
              I wonder why Middle Eastern Respiratory Syndrome showed up to take the heat off that scandalous mortgage data system that tried to replace local property registries, frinstance.

              Reply
              1. Jerri-Lynn Scofield Post author

                Sorry, that was also a typo on my part, It should of course be HCQ. Long day. Can’t believe that in owning up to that previous mistake, I made another! At least it was only in comments. I think I’ve managed to get it right in text. Now and forevermore!

                Reply
      3. furies

        Those publications may have conflict of interest statements, but how many studies have I read that are written by holders of pharma stawk. Most of them…

        It’s getting more and more difficult to ascertain the honest and truthful any more…

        Reply
    4. L

      Speaking as a scientist I think you are looking at it wrong. The short version is that noone has to be full of shit, and no conspiracy has to be taking place.

      The available evidence indicates that HCQ may work, but it is not 100% clear, so the reality is we don’t have a simple yes/no answer. In science there are always debates of this kind and things which seem to work sometimes don’t always do so. This debate gets complicated when we are talking about medicine where we are trying to treat people because people are different and no drug is 100% effective and 100% free from side effects 100% of the time. To the extent that we have studied its’ use, the data is limited at best.

      What is different now is that this is a pandemic and people are on edge and rushing to treat something that should have been stifled at the beginning. As a consequence these normal debates and messy process of research and data analysis is occurring at warp speed and are being breathlessly reported by an often credulous press when they usually happen in smaller groups. And where it is less likely that one letter from one academic will cause the entire executive branch to pivot on a dime and tell people not to bother with lockdowns. People are jumpy to say the least.

      At the same time you have some doctors and scientists who have used HCQ for years and are thus more prone to trust it, and there are those who are justifiably skeptical. Moreover there are people with different goals who approach it as good for early treatment or bad as a cure, again the press does not help because they paper over that distinction.

      And it is helpful to bear in mind that this is after all, an entirely new species. Yes we’ve had coronaviruses before but imagine we encounter an entirely new type of insect, it comes from one region and rapidly begins consuming all of our food. Regular poisons don’t work, “pest-resistant crops” don’t “resist”, what do you do?
      At this point people look to what they know and work on alternatives, while POTUS golfs and plays at being king.

      So there does not need to be a conspiracy by big pharma, evil doctors, or “the left” what there is, is the ordinary messy and complicated process of science playing out at high speed in a highly charged environment.

      Reply
      1. CanChemist

        As another scientist I second this.

        Correct, reproducible, rock solid scientific research normally takes many years, and systems involving living creatures are even longer. It’s all about getting pieces of the puzzle and figuring out how they fit. There will be many more false starts and pivots before we’re done.

        Reply
        1. Jack

          Thank you L and thank you CanChemist. As a non-scientist I look to the science community to do the heavy lifting involving medical treatments AND in explaining why one size does not fit all people. There has been way too much perfection seeking and not enough ‘good enough’. That said, I fear we may be too late to salvage science from the political and religious environments.

          Reply
      2. Jeremy Grimm

        After tobacco research, after climate research, after the facemask lies, I think it may be a little late to summarily dismiss all conspiracy theories. Furthermore a series of self-interested moves by unrelated and non-communicating parties does not a conspiracy make. And conspiracies do occur: “”Caught In The Act: Inside An International Cartel” [https://www.justice.gov/atr/speech/caught-act-inside-international-cartel].
        Yes “people are jumpy…” and should be after experiencing the fiasco of this evolving pandemic.

        Speaking as someone with high regard for Science — scientists have done an excellent job of damaging the reputation of science. [Note the cap on Science is not a typo.]

        Reply
        1. L

          Perhaps but the facemask lies such as they were were short lived while tobacco and climate were less about corrupted research than about political corruption. I make no argument that there are no interested actors who are trying to skew this. The stock market gaming is happening above the fold at this point and noone in the admin is pretending to give a damn about conflicts of interest.

          But, I do not see the ongoing argument about HCQ as proof of a clear conspiracy so much as the usual mess of science in the making.

          As to your point about scientists damaging the reputation of science, I lay the blame for that more at the feet of PR people and an awful awful press. All too often science reporters are poorly trained in science and seem to engage in no critical reading whatsoever when they are passed a press release. As such they are too willing to accept preliminary hints from a big name institution as gospel and too willing to shove every dispute into the usual bothsidesism that passes for objectivity in journalism. As a result serious scientists on climate get framed as being just the same as some flack from the Heartland Institute.

          Reply
          1. Jeremy Grimm

            Besides the facemask lies I recall seeing some facemask journal articles questioning their efficacy, and considerable dispute in journal articles about how Corona spread. Big Pharma has been caught several times cherry picking the data in journal articles they sponsored and not all the ties between scientists and Big Pharma were clearly stated up front.

            You are the one who suggested commenters were positing a conspiracy around the HQC hoopla which you suggest is just the usual mess of science in the making. The mess of science around HQC has the appearance of more than the usual mess of science in the making. The rapid publication of journal articles like that retracted from the Lancet suggest there is more than the usual mess of science in the making. The politics and the large amounts of money riding on various nostrums against the Corona virus place science in a context where belief in “the usual mess of science” as an explanation for the dueling science strikes me as naive. As a comment above suggests Jonas Salk and his kind are long dead.

            You blame the Media and the poorly trained science reporters for jumping on bandwagons and magnifying “every dispute into the usual bothsidesism”. Perhaps you are new to this site? There are some references to regular Media reports on new science — often discounted in the comments to this site for their boosterism and improbability. But many — even most of the references here are to public announcements by Nature or Science, or PNAS which very frequently contain references to the journal articles they are describing. Do you include the science reporters at Nature and Science or the press releases that highlight various research in your indictment of the Media? What about the journal articles themselves — many of which are “free access”? Even a poor layman can read a journal article to identify the abstract, discussion, and conclusion sections. Even a poor layman can make enough sense of some of the jargon and deliberately obtuse writing to form a judgement about the validity of the research. I realize common sense has been much deprecated but I find it still serves me well in questioning claims that just do not make sense.

            I can not give scientists a bye for their complicity in serving the interests of Big Money — a complicity becoming increasingly evident in any field of science where profits might be made. I don’t need to assume any conspiracies where simple self-interest and greed more than suffice.

            Reply
      3. Katniss Everdeen

        At this point people look to what they know and work on alternatives, while POTUS golfs and plays at being king.

        Here’s a tip: If you want to be a “scientist,” be one. If you want to be a political pundit, be one.

        But when you mix self-proclaimed scientific “expertise” with half-assed, gratuitous TDS talking points, you pollute your argument and discredit yourself and any “expertise” you are claiming. I expect a “scientist” to know the difference between fact and opinion, and tend to discount what s/he says when s/he demonstrates that s/he does not.

        IMHO, the relentless politicization of this “pandemic” is what is making it so intractable and destructive, and when “scientists” indulge themselves, it is an especially insidious betrayal.

        Reply
      4. Detroit Dan

        Speaking as a scientist I think you are looking at it wrong. The short version is that noone has to be full of shit, and no conspiracy has to be taking place. The available evidence indicates that HCQ may work, but it is not 100% clear, so the reality is we don’t have a simple yes/no answer. [L]

        Unfortunately, it really does appear that many of the “scientists” are full of shit. The statement from the Yale faculty says:

        However, the evidence thus far has been unambiguous in refuting the premise that HCQ is a potentially effective early therapy for COVID-19.

        As L states, there is clearly ambiguity regarding the effectiveness, with many, many studies and data analyses showing effectiveness, while others report no effectiveness. To claim the evidence has been “unambiguous” is clearly wrong.

        Reply
      5. run75441

        L:

        Recent

        Treatment with hydroxychloroquine, azithromycin, and combination in patients hospitalized with COVID-19 International Journal of Infectious Diseases, August 1, 2020.

        Design: Multi-center retrospective observational study.
        Setting: The Henry Ford Health System (HFHS) in Southeast Michigan: large six hospital integrated health system; the largest of hospitals is an 802-bedquaternary academic teaching hospital in urban Detroit, Michigan.
        Participants: Consecutive patients hospitalized with a COVID-related admission in the health system from March 10, 2020 to May 2, 2020 were included. Only the first admission was included for patients with multiple admissions. All patients evaluated were 18 years of age and older and were treated as inpatients for at least 48 h unless expired within 24 h.
        Exposure: Receipt of hydroxychloroquine alone, hydroxychloroquine in combination with azithromycin, azithromycin alone, or neither
        Main outcome: The primary outcome was in-hospital mortality.
        Results: Of 2,541 patients, with a median total hospitalization time of 6 days (IQR: 4–10 days), median age was 64 years (IQR:53–76 years), 51% male, 56% African American, with median time to follow-up of 28.5 days (IQR:3–53). Overall in-hospital mortality was 18.1%.

        The dosages were similar to what Raoult administered having claimed success with it. I am not a scientist; but, I have worked in hospital supply and pharma.

        Hydroxychloroquine was dosed as 400 mg twice daily for 2 doses on day 1, followed by 200 mg twice daily on days 2–5. Azithromycin was dosed as 500 mg once daily on day 1 followed by 250 mg once daily for the next 4 days. The combination of hydroxychloroquine + azithromycin was reserved for selected patients with severe COVID-19 and with minimal cardiac risk factors

        It is an Observational Study and not a full blown study everyone was calling for in the past and going forward. However it may answer some questions.

        Reply
    5. Chris

      The latest reviews of papers as reviewed by the virologists on TWIV have shown that HXQ doesn’t work in lung cells. There is evidence that it helps from other perspectives and testing, but as a pure prophylactic there doesn’t seem to be evidence that its the best available choice.

      Reply
    6. John k

      Those dissing hcq never seem to mention studies that both began on admission and include zinc.
      Those touting hcq efficacy all mention that zinc is part of the protocol.
      Why is that?

      Reply
      1. barefoot charley

        Nutritional supplements aren’t medicine, and aren’t focused on in medical training. So some of the recent trials proving HCQ (not HCL, fine!) doesn’t work don’t include zinc, because American doctors aren’t hippies. However, their tests do prove that Trump is stupid. Right?

        Reply
      2. Foy

        Good question. They never discuss it as a combination therapy (like HIV therapies) with zinc and an antibiotic, which is how most of its proponents suggest it be used. Weird.

        Reply
    7. Maritimer

      “SO..either the scientists are totally clueless and being “respected” and “board certified” mean jack OR somebody is corrupt.”

      Very heartening to see your comment and the other comments expressing free speech and criticisms of the failed Institution of Medicine. Doctors and scientists suggest they are in the main good folk, yet they have failed to clean up their own Institution. And when the public, provided with massive evidence of scientific shenanigans and corruption, is critical, they protest rather than clean up their own nest.

      I worked in IT for a company doing marketing research for Big Pharma back in the 80s. Once I found out how unethical the biz was, I could not leave fast enough. The company owner was a sociopath if not psycho. Part of the company’s strategy was to just shop around until they could get medical specialists to say what was wanted. Maybe even induce them a bit with loot.

      I also had occasion to refuse a serious heart procedure thanks to my prior knowledge and much information provided by the alternative medical community. The doctors I followed were certified by the existing system but had open minds and developed better treatments.

      Kudos and admiration to those medical professionals who have some ethics and care for humanity. You can find many of these reputable folk on the Internet and elsewhere.

      I even know a young man who had wanted to be a doctor. He was working in a hospital as an aide but from what he saw told me that he would never enter such a corrupt profession.

      So, my personal experience. Therefore, critical thinking at all times and extreme due diligence in making any decision.

      Reply
    8. GettingTheBannedBack

      I looked at the Minnesota research that they reference. It is a very poor study. Because
      1. They sent the tablets out by courier then relied on the recipients to take them as directed!! Controlled trial it was not.
      2. They said “Because of the lack of availability of diagnostic testing in the United States, the vast majority of the participants, including health care workers, were unable to access testing” So they were taken to be positive COVID-19 if they had any symptoms resembling the virus.

      Now from our own family experience, we have had 6 COVID-19 PCR tests between us in the past 2 months. Our symptoms have included diarrhoea, sore throat, persistent coughing, runny nose, tightness in chest. The PCR is a very unpleasant test, although nurses have now stopped shoving the nasal swab down to your ankles.
      All tests came back negative. We are all recovering/recovered from what seems to be an infectious cold (probably a coronavirus, but not THAT one).

      So it is immediately obvious that remote researchers cannot assess whether patients have COVID-19 just from the word of untested patients. The patients may have colds, they may have influenza, especially since the population in the US seems to take so few precautions. And the kicker is that the ones without symptoms might have COVID-19 but remain asymptomatic. In short, without testing, absolutely none of their data can be relied upon, symptomatic or asymptomatic.

      Any study that relies on patient self-reporting these symptoms for their results is simply unbelievable.
      I don’t think researchers in Australia would bother carrying out, or would rely on, such a flawed study.
      What is happening in the US research institutions?

      Reply
  2. DanP66

    Trump’s move on the executive orders was brilliant.

    He gave money to the unemployed and protected them from eviction. (thats the headline anyway)

    He gave money to the employed with the payroll tax cut.

    What are the dems going to do? Take him to court?

    If they suit him, even if it is justified under the law, all that people will hear is that the dems are trying to take away their money and expose them to eviction.

    Sure, they could win in court but they would alienate a huge swath of their own voters. Pyrrhic victory.

    Reply
    1. a different chris

      Yes but Trump’s problem is that both parties, but especially the Rethug, are rich men’s games.

      And they do not like giving money away, although I’m sure they do like in theory the long-term consequences of a payroll tax cut.

      But even that’s not a gimme for eliminating SS, if you keep giving and giving and giving the proles money they will eventually figure out things didn’t have to be the way they were. And these types of rich people will cut ties really, really quick. I mean they get Joe Biden for 4 years, which isn’t even that bad (it’s like having to park their Maybach for a BMW 8-series) while keeping their powder dry for some better mannered wingnut in 2024.

      Like I said, this election is already baked, just a question of what comes out of the EC oven.

      Reply
      1. JTMcPhee

        Always keep in mind that the “payrolL tax cut” is a covert assault on Social Security, https://www.commondreams.org/news/2020/03/10/stealth-attack-social-security-trump-condemned-exploiting-coronavirus-crisis-push, which the same monsters tell us repeatedly is on the brink of insolvency — kind of like the Postal Service, carrying that multi-billion-dollar millstone a greed-scented Congress hung around its neck, making it pay in advance for 75 years of future employee benefits.

        Reply
    2. Samuel Conner

      From what I have read, the supplemental cash assistance to unemployed workers will not be distributed through the current UI system, but through a new system that does not yet exist and that the states will have to design and implement.

      It could be months, per this report,

      https://www.businessinsider.com/when-will-americans-get-trump-unemployment-benefits-400-dollars-2020-8

      before anyone sees this money.

      So it does indeed look like a brilliant Trump move — he gets to claim a success and blame others for the policy failure. Sort of like the pandemic response.

      Reply
      1. neo-realist

        It’s good political optics initially as far as getting out unemployment relief, but the consequences for social security via the payroll tax cut may come back to bite him if enough seniors are paying attention.

        Reply
    3. timbers

      I agree Trump’s actions were politically smart. So is this as he gives his reason for providing unemployment and benefits to workers:

      “It was their fault, it was China’s fault.”

      Will be interesting to see how Dems deal with this, it at all. They wont want to go go populist because it they sail that ship they may not be able to control it, so it’s possible the best they’ll come up with is norms, procedure, process,etc.

      I’ve read the Executive Action requires states to pay 25% of the $400 unemployment benefit. Also administratively, it’s probably doomed because States likely won’t go for it – at least not soon – as the funding is unclear (where is the money coming from? When do we get it?), and the payroll tax waiver will likely be ignored because most will assume it will have to be paid later anyway.

      Is it constitutional? Well, I were Trump, I ask our Ivy League educated Supremes and various lower courts:

      “I am The President of the United States the greatest nation on Earth. You have ruled I have the constitutional power to assassinate innocent American children. If I can legally do that, how can say I can’t do this?”

      Touche, Mr John Roberts.

      I have a sister in Arizona who home schooled her child and a big Trump supporter. She’ll eat the China part up. She has commented in the past “I’m sure they’ll come up with some narrative to use against him.” I don’t think she even believes Covid should be taken as seriously as it is – just another narrative. My dad is also a Trump fan, who said recently for the first time in his life wrote a political letter. It was to Mitt Romney just after Romney said mean things about Trump several months back.

      Note: I am not a Trump supporter, but a Bernie supporter.

      Reply
      1. a different chris

        >and a big Trump supporter. She’ll eat the China part up.

        Again, getting a vote he already had. He’s pretty good at that, for sure.

        Reply
      2. lyman alpha blob

        Is it constitutional? Well, I were Trump, I ask our Ivy League educated Supremes and various lower courts:

        “I am The President of the United States the greatest nation on Earth. You have ruled I have the constitutional power to assassinate innocent American children. If I can legally do that, how can say I can’t do this?”

        That is absolutely correct and also what many of us have warned about for years – if Congress keeps allowing presidents to arrogate power to themselves, where and when do they draw the line? If you’re going to try (and miserably fail) to impeach Trump for a phone call between clowns, and not for say the much more serious and clearly impeachable offense of assassinating a general by drone from a country we aren’t even at war with, how can you with a straight face say he isn’t allowed to do this?

        Reply
    4. marym

      He didn’t give anybody any money.

      SS:
      If he loses the election those taxes must be paid in April. If he wins, the taxes remain deferred and SS is defunded.

      “A payroll tax cut would mean you keep this money in your paycheck, if you get one. If you are unemployed, a payroll tax cut would not help you at all.

      He would later state that if he was re-elected, he’d “terminate” those taxes. In the past, President Trump has promised to not cut Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid but this statement seems to indicate that his stance has changed on these social safety net programs.” (Forbes)

      Evictions:
      He suggests federal agencies try to do something. “Trump also signed an executive order stating that it was U.S. policy to minimize evictions and foreclosures. The order does not reinstate the federal eviction moratorium that expired last month or fund the billions in assistance Democrats have said is necessary to help people already behind on their rent.” (WaPo)

      Unemployment
      Requires states to set up a new program to direct FEMA funds to unemployment benefits. Replaces $600 benefit with theoretical $300 from FEMA funds + even more theoretical $100 from (cash-strapped) states. “…it’s a new program that state governments are being tasked to design from the ground up — and experts say they likely won’t be able to implement it for months…But there are strings attached: jobless people only qualify for federal aid if they already receive at least $100 from their state in weekly benefits.” (USAToday)

      https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/2020/08/08/trump-executive-order-coronavirus/
      https://www.forbes.com/sites/jimwang/2020/08/08/president-trump-signs-executive-orders-for-payroll-tax-holiday-enhanced-unemployment-insurance-student-loans-deferred-and-eviction-moratorium/#54691192e785
      https://www.businessinsider.com/when-will-americans-get-trump-unemployment-benefits-400-dollars-2020-8

      Reply
      1. Stephen V.

        Thanks marym. Have forwarded to my colleagues who will be fielding questions from clients for weeks. Good Times as we say!

        Reply
      2. The Historian

        And there is this from CNBC today:
        https://www.cnbc.com/2020/08/06/why-you-might-not-see-a-payroll-tax-cut-even-if-trump-demands-it.html

        Trump can only defer payroll taxes – but what happens if Congress doesn’t go along and pass a bill to forgive them? Then businesses are on the hook to pay those back taxes at a later date, so if CNBC is right, then most businesses would be fearful of passing that deferment on to their workers. They will just put that money into savings waiting to see what happens.

        Reply
        1. ptb

          You’re not thinking like a business.
          Outsource payroll to a third party service provider (new businesses will rapidly appear to do this). When the payroll holiday ends, the service provider goes bankrupt. The clients keeps the savings, the managers of the service provider get paid well while it lasts.

          Reply
          1. Yves Smith

            Don’t make shit up. The employer is liable for the employer share of payroll taxes. Not paying that is criminal. The use of an outsourced service has zero to do with the employer’s obligation.

            Reply
        2. JWP

          Unfortunately, the majority of the electorate who either votes for trump or in on the fence has no idea how these taxes and benefits work, let alone their legality and will see it as something it’s not. Financial undereducation of the masses will doom us all.

          Reply
      3. anon in so cal

        There was a huge flap about the payroll tax cuts yesterday but Obama initiated payroll tax cuts, then extended them for another year.

        “the President called on Americans from across the country to add their voices to the debate and let us know what they would do without an extra $40 in their paychecks. Thousands of individuals did exactly that, and it made all the difference.”

        —Obama Whitehouse Archives

        PS: The Japanese White-eyes are so beautiful! We have them here in southern California on occasion.

        Reply
        1. The Historian

          There is a difference. Obama got Congress to pass bills to give the payroll tax cut. He didn’t do it on his own because he at least understood that he didn’t have that power.

          Reply
          1. lyman alpha blob

            But assassinating teenage US citizen kids by drone though, no problemo. When exactly was he given the power to do that?

            Reply
            1. mpalomar

              As I recall it was a group effort by elements of our rapidly coalescing national security state that, as Sheldon Wolin and others warned, has over the decades of the Cold War and then beyond, stealthily but firmly turned its totalitarian international policy projection inward upon its own citizens, who because of their abiding quiescence toward these criminal actors, now find themselves the target of these policies.

              Congress and the Attorney General applied all their legal skills to interpreting the 2001 AUMF and came up with the immaculate drone strike.

              Reply
            2. Pavel

              Thank you for having a memory.

              Needless to say almost everything Trump does disgusts me, but Obama and Hillary and Pelosi et al prattling on about RussiaRussiaRussia and the “Rule of Law!” whilst St Barack Obama assassinated many innocent victims… Sheesh!

              And all the fuss about Trump’s Executive Orders: Remember when constitutional law professor Obama stated he would end their use during the first campaign? That didn’t last long.

              Bah bloody humbug.

              Reply
            3. Darthbobber

              Yes. People here are well aware of the numerous sins of the Obama administration, but it has about f-all to do with this.

              Reply
          2. Swamp Yankee

            Yes, Historian is right, the power of the purse resides in the lower House. This is a principle that goes back to England, well before the US was even a country.

            Reply
            1. Robert Gray

              Constitution? We ain’t got no constitution. We don’t need no constitution! I don’t have to show you any steenkin’ constitution!

              -with apologies to John Huston

              Reply
        2. marym

          Obama (Bowles-Simpson, chained CPI) and Biden have been no friends to SS. If Biden wins we’ll probably face some version of this again. There’s no lesser evil.

          Reply
          1. KLG

            “There’s no lesser evil.”

            Amen to that, and pass the ammunition.

            Regarding Trump’s Executive Orders, in the hands of a smart politician his follow-through (i.e., lack thereof) will make no difference. Is Steve Bannon back on the payroll? The firm of Pelosi Schumer Clinton Obama & Biden LLC is a very soft target.

            Reply
          2. neo-realist

            A much more severe, in your face evil form of SS cuts from Trump, whereas from Biden, you would get an arguably nipping around the edges, death of thousand cuts approach (more chained CPI), assuming Biden is elected and the base, including progressives sit on their hands.

            Reply
      4. Keith

        Regarding the taxes, I could see Biden/Congress making those deferments as cuts for the period in question, otherwise he will lose a lot of good will during his first 100 days for a fight he doesn’t need. It doesn’t matter than he did not make the deferment, it will matter that he collected. I suspect he will have bigger fish to fry during the earliest part of his term and just throw that on the ol’ govt credit card. It is the politically easiest thing to do.

        Reply
    5. Highs Boson

      Trump could also direct the Secretary of the Treasury to mint several $1T platinum coins. Then use them to shore up the social security “trust funds”, finance a special Medicare fund for people hospitalized due to COVID-19, finance another round of $1200 payments to individuals, gratitude payments to essential workers who worked through the outbreaks, “welcome back to the workforce” bonuses to people leaving the unemployment rolls, funding for schools to tool up for distance learning, etc.

      Reply
      1. neo-realist

        There’s what Trump could do, which is much of what you said, assuming a wee bit of rationality, then there is what he will actually do, which, very likely, will be none of what you said.

        Reply
    6. voteforno6

      I don’t think it’s so brilliant. It’s even more ridiculous than the performative governance that we saw during the Obama administration. So, he’s going to claim that he’s such a boss that he can give money to people with the stroke of a pen? Okay, great, where’s my money? Of course, nobody will actually see anything, and he will blame it on the Democrats, making himself look weak. So people get mad at Congress (which they should), but this whole episode is yet another demonstration of just how ludicrously weak Trump is. He’s trying to look like he’s doing something, but all he’s doing is showing that he can’t.

      If Nancy Pelosi really wanted to troll him, she would hand him a coloring book and tell him to have at it while the adults worked this out. The Democrats haven’t exactly been covering themselves with glory on this, but the Republicans have been even worse. The House did pass a bill, after all – the reason why nothing has happened is that the Republicans can’t come to their own agreement.

      Reply
    7. The Historian

      Oh, my DanP66. I think you need to watch the Wizard of Oz again. The little man behind the green curtain has no power .

      I could have pointed out how this was nothing more than showmanship from our wannabe emperor, but Samuel Conner and Marym beat me to it! Kudos to them!.

      Reply
      1. jsn

        Everything you say is true, but for the vast majority who for whatever bad reason still get their “news” from broadcast media or the plutocrat-papers the DanP66 narrative will be all they hear through to whatever passes for an election this fall.

        It’s only in children’s stories that exposure of the man behind the curtain or the naked emperor makes any difference.

        Until we make an actual in reality alternative, nothing changes. And I’ll be damned if I can’t figure out what else to do: writing, arguing, voting, organizing, none are showing any payoff over the last 40 years. So damned it appears I’ll be.

        Reply
        1. The Historian

          Well, I am still wishing and hoping that people get the “You’d better vote for me in November or else” message that was loud and clear in Trump’s words about the payroll tax break. I think that most people would see that as a complete turn-off. But maybe not.

          Reply
            1. ambrit

              I have noted recently that the people I see and speak to are voting with their preps. The idea of preparing for a grand collapse is gaining credibility “on the ground.” A year ago or more, if you dropped the fact into conversation that you were “preparing for SHTF,” you would be ribbed for being a nutter or told to “..grow up man..” Now, previously skeptical people ask you questions about how to start doing the same, or ask for internet links on the subject.
              This is happening before the massive wave of immiseration really begins to manifest. What happens after is anyone’s guess.
              So much of what happens in a society is based not on ‘facts’ but on perceived ‘facts.’ What we are ‘seeing’ today is not encouraging at all.

              Reply
              1. drumlin woodchuckles

                The more people get pre-prepared today, the fewer people will be unprepared tomorrow. If enough people get so prepared that they don’t need to turn to Emergency Relief as much as they otherwise would have, there might still be enough Emergency Relief capacity left-over within government hands that the unprepared could actually BE helped if/when they lose everything.

                Reply
                1. ambrit

                  That assumes some level of public spiritedness on the part of the government. The ‘Katrina Experience’ which Phyl and I lived through was not an encouraging event. The response to a simple big hurricane disaster was riddled with incompetence and venality. What is coming is at least an order of magnitude worse. The government will be hard pressed to maintain a civil society with the best of intentions. Unfortunately, we see the upper echelons of the governing system here in America being populated with anti-social actors.
                  I am not proposing a conspiracy here. Simple systemic inertia will do the same job.
                  America is about to suffer the consequences of having a governing system where Garbage In Garbage Out (GIGO) is the motivating principle.

                  Reply
              2. Wukchumni

                I’ve bought Izod shirts in every color, along with 5 pairs of tan Dockers and a pair of Sperry Topsiders, bring it on!

                Reply
      1. The Historian

        That would not surprise me in the least. Pelosi was snookered into a trap when she decided to work with the White House and she should have known better. The American people are really getting nothing from Trump but more show. So how many people actually understand that? The only winner here was Trump.

        Reply
        1. edmondo

          You give Trump super-human powers. He may have won short term, but people aren’t stupid. He can’t deliver what he promised (again). He will be seen as the BS artist that he is. The only thing he did was make it obvious that Nancy Pelosi can’t play in the big leagues (again).

          Nothing changed. No one is getting any help. I’m sure the whole exercise was bound by that preferred outcome.

          Reply
          1. jsn

            But no minds are being changed either.

            Everyone’s priors are being reinforced and the most likely actual converts are the imminently homeless, unemployed, uninsured who will be most easily disenfranchised in the fall.

            As if voting sleepy Joe would make any difference for them anyway. A couple of progressive primary wins are the only hope I’ve seen in months and I can’t even imagine what could cause a real rising against our feckless govt: what would be the US equivalent of the fertilizer explosion in Beirut?

            Reply
            1. Berto

              “…what would be the US equivalent of the fertilizer explosion in Beirut?”

              Ignoring climate change because it might cut into corporate profits.

              Reply
              1. drumlin woodchuckles

                No . . . that would be the equivalent of putting the fertilizer there to begin with and having left it there.

                The equivalent here of such an explosion would be a category 6 or 7 hurricane with numerous embedded F6 or F7 tornadoes embedded within it combined with hailstones the size of bowling balls and some beach balls.
                If such a storm killed around a million people in a Global Warming Denialist City in Trump Country, that might be our Beirut Moment.

                ( And China’s Beirut Moment would be if the Three Gorges Dam collapses all at once and several million people are killed down the Yangtze Valley).

                Reply
            2. Darthbobber

              Oh, I think minds are being changed here and there. Changed by Trump himself and in a way not favorable to him. I suspect that this latest routine will within a short time cause another fraction of support to trickle away at the margins, and his position is already such that he can’t afford that.

              When your opponent is Joe Biden and not only your best shots but his own best shots just bounce off of him, you obviously have a problem.

              Reply
          2. L

            Also they presume that this was planned. Given the way it was rolled out, I don’t believe that anyone saw this coming but Trump and Mark Meadows, and then only a day or so ago. The Senate left town a while ago with McConnell publicly handing the mess to Trump by saying he would bring up whatever the WH agreed to except a payroll tax cut and money for the FBI headquarters both of which the R’s had nixed and which he pointedly declined to defend. Then once this happened he came up with a relatively tepid statement.

            The orders, typical with Trump, were oversold to begin with, and when they were rolled out it was done clearly last minute in front of a maskless crowd at a golf club.

            If Trump had wanted to sell this as something he had to do, he would have done so at the Oval office with a laid off worker and a family that was struggling to get by thus making the point that they are all waiting for the Dems to show. He didn’t. This suggests to me that what really happened is that he lost patience with not getting what he wanted and opted for a tactical manouever that won’t convince anyone but which at least provides a cover narrative for those like @timbers’ family who already follow him and just need someone else to blame.

            So yes it is political theater, but clearly slapdash, and well off of opening night.

            Reply
        2. voteforno6

          So, when people don’t get their money, will they still think of Trump as a winner?

          Congress is extremely unpopular, and has been for a long time. Most of the country doesn’t particularly care for Pelosi, McConnell, or Schumer. They’ll still get reelected, though. If they dig in on this bill, what’s going to happen? A lot of people won’t like them? That’s already the case. No, Trump is most at risk here, and by pretending to do something, he’s going to look even more ridiculous if whatever bill comes out of Congress doesn’t meet his demands.

          Reply
          1. JBird4049

            Congress is unpopular because the members refuse to do their jobs and they keep getting re-elected at least in part because they have rigged the system.

            President Trump, whatever his many obvious failures, will appear to be doing something however pathetic. They just might get him elected.

            What has made me just gobsmacked is the apparent ignorance of Congress and such is the economic situation right now, people do not care about just voting. At their base, the recent protests were not just about the police or racism. If just fairly mild protests (compared to the past) does not create any change, it will get more interesting.

            Reply
            1. voteforno6

              Except, Trump didn’t actually do anything, did he? The House did do something – they actually passed a bill back in May. The problem is with the Republicans in the Senate, since they can’t even come to an agreement among themselves.

              Trump claimed that he had to take action because those darn Democrats just can’t come to an agreement. The problem is, he can’t actually take any action on this. It’s kind of hard to act like a big tough guy when other people keep proving over and over again that you’re not.

              My guess, though, is that this whole thing will be forgotten before long – the news cycle is very short these days. Trump, being the person he is, just doesn’t have enough discipline to try to follow through on whatever advantage he thinks he has here. Meanwhile, people will keep dying, which may weigh more heavily on his electoral prospects than this stunt he pulled.

              Reply
              1. JBird4049

                All good points, but I would add that the Democrats allocated the bulk of the stimulus first to their friends in finance, second to other large corporations, and IIRC the remaining 1/9 to actual direct stimulus to households. They could have changed the ratios or made the payments monthly for a year or until some threshold like in unemployment was reached.

                They had the leverage. Everyone, including the Republicans were in a panic in May, but since the financial markets have been saved, the pressure to save everyone has gone away. The wealthy are doing just fine now.

                Now, it’s all performative art with kente cloth on one side and “worrying” about the deficit when it comes to economic collapse, but not on the wars on the other. They fiddled around for months and then went home for a month after doing nothing.

                Reply
        3. NotTimothyGeithner

          Pelosi was snookered into a trap when she decided to work with the White House and she should have known better.

          Yeah, its really unfortunate when PTA members fall for these kinds of shenanigans. Oh…right…Pelosi is Speaker of the House. Remember they killed Caesar. No one is “tricked” in Washington. They might be grossly incompetent or stupid, but they aren’t tricked anymore.

          Reply
          1. NotTimothyGeithner

            This is the problem with the whole idea Pelosi was “snookered”:

            “There’s an old saying in Tennessee I know it’s in Texas, probably in Tennessee that says, fool me once, shame on — shame on you. Fool me — you can’t get fooled again.”

            Even Shrub understood it at some level. Its like saying Obama “inherited” so many problems as President. Its excuses bad behavior by pretending they have agency or chose to be there.

            Reply
    8. jr

      When I read the headline, I announced to my GF that Trump was out-lefting the Left and that if he pulled it off his chances of reelection would go up considerably.

      I may have to crash here tonight…

      Reply
      1. Chris

        Yeah. What you and others have said.

        It’s completely correct that the executive can’t do what he just tried to do. It’s also true that it doesn’t matter. We’ve had years of elite failure, we’ve had multiple instances of people in authority messing up the response to this crash and pandemic, and here is trump appearing to try to do something. The coverage of this is even crazy. The extra $600 is gone, Trump tried to reinstate something, but people are saying trump cut the assistance?

        Biden might not lose if Pelosi and others don’t come back with a decent response to Trump’s latest. But biden is in for a rough time if he thinks this can continue and then he’ll come into office and magically reinstate the status quo ante.

        Reply
    9. Aumua

      Well he really didn’t do anything. He just said some words, and quite effectively made himself the center of attention yet again. We should be focusing on Congress and our representatives and just what the hell they’re doing up there on capitol hill. But NOPE it’s more endless hand wringing and debating about what Trump meant, how Trump can’t do that and why Trump is wrong wrong wrong. He loves every second of it, too.

      Unbelievable.

      Reply
      1. rob

        That is a fact.
        This is one of trumps superpowers…. the ability to insert himself before any issue… somehow beguiling all who get paid to speak to the masses ,that he is worth speaking about.

        Reply
    10. rd

      The problem is that there would be no addiitonal cash going to unemployed people for at least 2-3 months, which won’t help him get re-elected. He will get a couple of sound bites in exchange for withdrawing hundreds of billions of cash from the economy. Of course, he will just blame the incompetence of the states.

      The evictions will now largely be controlled at the state and local level. Landlords are not going to be happy with politicians who want to delay evictions without providing cash payments to people so they could pay their rent.

      At this point, September economic data releases are likely to be a disaster. NYS already has been unable to pay the $600/week for the last two weeks.

      Reply
  3. The Rev Kev

    “Facing up to Woodrow Wilson’s true legacy”

    Ah, Woodrow Wilson – America’s first Neocon President. That is quite a history in that article. But where it says ‘Among his accomplishments were the creation of the Federal Reserve’, this is obviously a new usage of the word accomplishment that I have been previously been unaware of. But I am going to make a prediction here. I will predict that his reputation will be totally redeemed. Sound unlikely? Then reflect that people like George W. Bush and his ilk are now Heroes of the Republic. He even rates candy by the wife of a recent Democratic President and even Ellen DeGeneres slums with him at NFL games. So why will Wilson be redeemed?

    Because he is in line with the values of the modern PMC and the elite. He made clear where blacks stood in his worldview and resegregates them in the Federal government. He curb-stomped the principles of American democracy, jailed people that talked out in public against him and made laws to back up how he saw America. His laws are still being used to hunt down whistle-blowers today. So how will it end? Do not be surprised to see when the pandemic has burnt itself out that there will be a new show opening up on Broadway called “Woodrow.” Don’t worry. You won’t have to see it. Mostly because you will not be able to afford to pay for the tickets like was the case with “Hamilton” – another Hero of the Republic. That privilege is for the elite and their PMC enablers like the Clintons and the Obamas.

    Reply
    1. Stephen V.

      (In the 1916 Election) Wilson captured the support of labor unions, women in those few states where they enjoyed suffrage, most ethnic groups who hated the British and resented Roosevelt, and almost all progressives and many socialists.
      Quoted from: https://millercenter.org/president/wilson/campaigns-and-elections
      Possibly revisionist history but I have read that these are the same folks WW stabbed in the back the minute he was inaugurated. Sound familiar? And of course Keynes’ Economic Consequences of the Peace is not to be missed.

      Reply
      1. Maxwell Johnston

        Keynes’ description of Wilson’s character (and of his interactions with Clemenceau and Lloyd George during the Versailles conference) in chapter 3 of ‘The Economic Consequences…..’ is priceless. He saves his most withering comment for the end: “Thus in the last act the President stood for stubbornness and a refusal of conciliations.” Or to borrow Matt Taibbi’s words (in the context of another know-it-all, Tom Friedman), “emboldened stupidity”. Not much has changed in 101 years.

        Reply
      2. Bruno

        My late friend Tom O’Sullivan, said of the 1912 election:
        “The candidates were a great man; [Debs] a mediocrity; [Taft] a madman; [Roosevelt] and an evil one. [Wilson] They finished in inverse order.”

        Reply
    2. David

      I’m eternally bemused by liberalism’s inability to understand that (a) the past was different and (b) people are complicated, and interesting people are especially complicated: that’s why they are interesting. Liberalism’s Rousseauian heritage of the Blank Slate and Original Virtue presumes that people can be, and perhaps should be, perfectible by the standards of the age in which the author is writing, and so an irritating percentage of what passes for history these days is giving figures in the past marks out of ten for being Like Us, or more precisely, How the PMC Liberal Establishment Thinks People Should Be. I really wonder why this kind of essay (which I admit I didn’t finish) is thought to have any value at all.

      Reply
      1. NotTimothyGeithner

        Wilson was awesome by the standard of Germany in 1942. Maybe the US South pre-1865. Attila was definitely worst.

        Reply
      2. Olga

        If you read the article, the author says several times that WW was super racist even by the standards of his own day. (It’d be one thing if he did not desegregate… but he actually re-segregated fed offices.) Not clear what is there to be bemused about.
        There were also the invasion of Nicaragua (1912-1933, started before him, but continued by WW) and the despicable suppression of voices (incl. jailing), who argued against the US entry into WWI.
        And note that it’s not just his views – backward as they were – but the discrepancy between his words (i.e., espousing ideals of democracy) and his actions (i.e., supporting imperialist conquest) that was – and still is – the main problem.
        (I did read somewhere that at Versailles, this was an issue – as some had pointed out to him that there was a disconnect between WW’s calls to democracy and occupations of Haiti and Nicaragua at the time.)
        https://blackagendareport.com/us_haiti_invasion_1915

        Reply
        1. David

          Yes indeed but that’s really not the point. People in those days had different frames of reference, far more than we often realise, because the tendency of much historical writing is to make the past seem as close as possible to the present. So some people are eternally surprised to find the past, even the fairly recent past, is very different. Personally I don’t find it very interesting to sit in moral judgment of the past. I wonder sometimes about some journalist in fifty years time going through these comments and awarding us all marks for being like them, in ways we can’t currently imagine.

          Reply
          1. ObjectiveFunction

            Agreed, every word.

            Although it’s also useful to understand when yesterday’s heroes did wicked things, especially while knowing even by the standards of the times that they were… questionable. But that doesn’t suddenly make them villains either, to be ‘canceled’ in favor of some alternative mythology (demonology) pushing a contemporary agenda.

            Also, I believe Wilson was a Liberal, as that word was understood at the time.

            Reply
      3. Olga

        A longer comment lost in moderation, but the main point was that he was a racist even by the standards of his own time – according to the author.
        Plus – And note that it’s not just his views – backward as they were – but the discrepancy between his words (i.e., espousing ideals of democracy) and his actions (i.e., supporting imperialist conquest) that was – and still is – the main problem.

        Reply
      4. Massinissa

        Ah yes, Wilson, one of the architects of Jim Crow, and wrote into law the Sedition Act that had many of my socialist heroes including Eugene V. Debs thrown in jail for not supporting WW1.

        But hes ‘complicated’ so I guess I’m not allowed to categorically condemn him… So sad.

        This isn’t some random dude who was marginally racist or marginally problematic by modern standards but not by their own time. Its Woodrow Wilson, easily one of our worst presidents, who was awful even by the standards of the time. I normally approve of arguments like the one you make, but here I believe it is misapplied.

        Reply
    3. ex-PFC Chuck

      A provocative revisionist history of Wilson’s role in The Great War can be found in The Politics of War: The story of two wars which altered forever the political life of the American Republic (1890-1920), by Walter Karp. There are three main take-aways I got from the book.
      First of all Karp asserts that Wilson regarded himself as a person of destiny:

      “From his youth onward [Woodrow] Wilson was obsessed with the subject of greatness. As a professor of political science, he dwelt often on the attributes of greatness, on the qualities of great men and the need for great leaders in a democratic age. As he once confided to his wife, he himself ached for the opportunity ‘to impel [the people] to great political achievements,’ achievements that, in Wilson’s view, the ignoble masses were incapable even of desiring without strong leaders and strong governments to drive them.”
      .

      “ . . what kept Wilson’s ambition so strong was his keen awareness of ‘great powers’ in himself. That he was born to greatness, that he stood far above his fellow men Professor Wilson of Princeton had no doubts whatsoever.”

      Another fundamental point made by the author is that the dominant narrative that Wilson was dragged kicking and screaming into the war is BS.:

      “From autumn 1914 onward, the diplomacy of the United States would be conducted by Wilson and [Colonel E. M.] House not in the interests of America, not by the venerable traditions of the Republic, not by the nearly unanimous sentiments of the American people, not by the requirements of neutrality, not by the wish to avoid a horrendous war, but solely by the desire to secure by any means possible Wilson’s opportunity to play ‘the noblest part that has ever come to a son of man.’ What burdens the American people might be forced to bear because of Wilson’s grandiose ambitions, what damage might be inflicted upon a free republic when its citizens’ deepest feelings were grossly flouted, were only of tactical concern to America’s President.”
      ,

      “In the hands of the Wilson administration, the alleged rules of neutrality had become a maddening series of dubious obligations and prohibitions designed to prevent a neutral country from maintaining its peace and neutrality.”

      Finally Wilson was on board with the deep state of the time, whose goal was to render “government of and by the people” a quaintly meaningless phrase:

      “Never did the powerful in America seem so willful, so wanton, so remote from popular control as they did the day the war with Germany began. On that day Americans learned a profoundly embittering lesson. They did not count. . . Deep as it was, the would of war might have healed in time had Wilson and the war party rested content with their war. With that alone, however, they were by no means content. Well before the war the war party had made its aims clear. It looked forward to a new political order distinguished by ‘complete internal peace’ and by the people’s ‘consecration to the State.’ It wanted an electorate that looked upon ‘loyalty’ to the powerful as the highest political virtue and the exercise of liberty as proof of ‘disloyalty.’ They wanted a free people made servile and a free republic made safe for oligarchy and privilege, for the few who ruled and the few who grew rich; in a word, for itself. The goals had been announced in peacetime. They were to be achieved under cover of war.”

      “By the time Wilson reached Paris in December, 1918, political liberty had been snuffed out in America. ‘One by one the right of freedom of speech, the right of assembly, the right to petition, the right to protection against unreasonable searches and seizures, the right against arbitrary arrest, the right to a fair trial . . . the principle that guilt is personal, the principal that punishment should bear some proportion to the offense, had been sacrificed and ignored.’ So an eminent Harvard professor of law, Zachariah Chafee, reported in 1920.

      Reply
  4. allan

    So, it looks like Bill Barr lied to the Senate Judiciary committee in filling out his questionnaire when
    he was nominated to be AG.
    He stated “I have not served in the U.S. Military. I was born in 1950 and was not required to register
    for selective service.”

    In fact, he was registered for the draft but obtained student deferments (Columbia),
    and 50 years later thought those deferments would interfere with his tough guy image.

    But in our nihilistic end times, there will be no consequences for lying to Congress.
    It’s not as if Lindsey Graham is going to hold Barr to account.

    Reply
    1. edmondo

      If lying to Congress is a crime then why isn’t it a crime when Congress constantly lies to us?

      If William Barr’s military service is your biggest issue with his performance, then you need anew compass.

      Reply
      1. allan

        Shot: The thing about casually lying concerning easily checkable facts is that it’s usually a signifier
        of much deeper personality issues. Anyone who was 18 in 1968 knows damn well
        whether or not they registered for the draft.

        Chaser: From today,

        AG Barr: Democrats are now the “Rousseauian Revolutionary Party that believes in
        tearing down the system”

        “They’re not interested in compromise. They’re not interested in [a] dialectic exchange of views. They’re interested in total victory…It’s a substitute for religion.”

        What’s past is prologue. He’s all yours.

        Reply
  5. ej dewey

    Obama did a cut in the payroll tax years ago and was cheered when he announced it at a Detroit Labor Day rally in 2011. Although it was a “temporary” move, it gave credence to the idea of cutting taxes and destroying Social Security which he and Biden then parlayed into the “Grand Bargain” talks where it was all on the table. Also, the CARES ACT which was passed by both parties has a provision that permits businesses who got loans to waive portions of their payroll taxes for a few years. Of course, the Democrats now cry about Trump but all this “tax cutting” BS permits them to never talk about raising taxes on billionaires which the vast majority of the public supports.

    Reply
    1. Keith

      We MMTers now anyway, just have the Fed print a few more dollars and SSI will be fine.

      On the contrary, SS already defaulted on its disability side, so in the end, it doesn’t really matter much.

      Reply
    2. rd

      The money that would have gone into SS and Medicare came from the general coffers in 2011. Trump doesn’t have access to those on his own. I think both Democrats and Republicans think it is a bad idea given their past experience with it.

      Companies will be left holding the bag on legal liability to pay the taxes without having collected them from employees. The order also requires it to be for employees making $100k/year or less. That will be a nightmare to implement, given the number of seasonal workers, like construction workers, who get lots of OT when working and little money when not working. So their weekly pay checks could be flipping between collecting FICA and not collect it every week. The company programmers and payroll department are going to riot. Treasury will need to issue rules for the companies, which should only take 2 months to be issued after going through necessary reviews.

      Also, the “Right to Work” means many people are now independent contractors who are responsible for their own quarterly payments and the employer doesn’t contribute.

      It will be relatively easy to implement for the white collar salaried workers who are currently working. I don’t think they will be looking forward to a balloon payment in the spring though.

      I think Trump has been chafing for decades about writing checks for FICA and Medicare for something that he sees his hotels getting no benefit from because the employees who benefit the most from Social Security are disposable. I think he is still baffled about why he can’t bring immigrants from overseas and have them work off their immigration costs through indentured servitude.

      BTW – Maine swimmers and surfers are NOT disposable, so a single great white shark attack is sufficient to warrant consideration of a massive culling of seals. No such protections exist for the average worker though. https://news.yahoo.com/summer-of-the-shark-after-maine-attack-shark-experts-say-the-beasts-are-here-to-stay-020602175.html

      Reply
      1. JBird4049

        The article seems a little hysterical. Killing most of the seals? I get not wanting to have sharks around. Who wants to be eaten by a shark? I certainly don’t, but California Surfers have had to worry about great whites since forever especially when the seals are around off the north coast. People have to be careful with camping for rattlesnakes and bears. I have had to be watchful for them. Nearly stepping on a snake is scary. Someone was eaten by a mountain lion about two decades back. It you have pets or children, you should watching for them. But if you want to have nature and be in it, you have to accept that the wildlife is wild, and that humans are part of the food chain and it ain’t at the top.

        Reply
  6. rattlemullet

    Trump signs order for coronavirus relief, with lower level of extra aid for jobless Guardian (The Rev Kev) Likely unconstitutional, but politically astute, especially given Biden’s weakness on bankruptcy and consumer debt. And what would you have Trump do, in the absence of congressional action?

    The answer is abide by the constitution. The power of the purse belongs to congress. I guess that is why they elected him. Some people want a King that signs unconstitutional executive orders, as long as the King is not black. The constitution is the document that this country lives by for better or worse. Sadly the lemmings that support the current president were the same one that howled at the black president doing the executive order game. I am looking at you specifically. Spare me the agony, the failure the man child is the one who got here in the first place and now you ask what else would you have him do. I will tell you. The republicans should have had a spine and impeached for the crimes he committed. The oath of office he fails to honor everyday, the thousands of lies he has told and for being the epitome of all that is wrong with the human race. Cheats on his wives, converts with whores uses the judicial system with 4,000 frivolous lawsuits and uses pardon power to game the system to be worthless. Shall I continue? He was elected, let the people suffer for the choice made. Some can argue he ahas committed manslaughter in the eyes of the law. Look up the law to see the definition. To me he should be tarred and feathered and run out of town on a rail.

    Reply
    1. tegnost

      Cheats on his wives, converts with whores uses the judicial system with 4,000 frivolous lawsuits and uses pardon power to game the system to be worthless. Shall I continue?
      Well you could come up with something actually illegal, or at least something that’s not bipartisan.

      Reply
    2. Jerri-Lynn Scofield Post author

      IIRC, the Republicans – and not our first constitutional law President – pioneered the executive order game. George the younger certainly played it, and I remember a law school exam question way back when Bush the elder was pres about his Article II powers.

      You are of course correct – defending the Constitution is what the president is sworn to do. But Trump has opted for transparent expediency, and he dares the Democrats to take him to court. And especially since we don’t believe they stand for much of anything, merely claiming to defend the Constitution is not a winning political position. Alas, I wish it were.

      Now, you misunderstand why I criticized this executive order strategy. It’s because actions taken via executive order don’t have much legal weight, and are early overturned if the opposing party wants to take time – and suffer the political price to do so– to overturn via court or other action.

      By contrast, legislation, and judicial selection, is far more permanent than much less weighty, indeed ephemeral, executive orders. And the Dems have been woeful at achieving those stronger results, even when they’ve enjoyed congressional majorities.This has nothing to do with the race of the President. I criticised this strategy because i believe it’s not a long-term, stable solution, not based on any pres, regardless of race, assuming kingly powers.

      Also, may I remind you that to toss out a comment is not necessarily to endorse a position. I asked what you would have Trump do, and you told me. That is the purpose of links, to foster critical thinking, and to elicit comments. So, thanks for sharing your thoughts.

      Reply
      1. voteforno6

        Another option for the Democrats is that they can just ignore what Trump did. That would be the worst outcome for him, as it would demonstrate yet again just how weak and full of bluster he is. He’s doing this to score political points, not to actually get any money to people. As has been outlined elsewhere, it would take a while for any of these programs to kick in, if at all. The fastest way to actually get money to people is through the legislative process.

        Reply
        1. Dr. John Carpenter

          Ignoring Trump is almost always an option for the Dems. Alas, they have proven themselves completely unable to do so. No matter how obvious, they take the bait, every time. I do agree ignoring him or, even better, coming up with a real plan, would trump Trump. I have zero confidence this is what they’ll do.

          Reply
          1. voteforno6

            I don’t know…I did see an interview with Dick Durbin, and he didn’t seem too keen on taking Trump to court over this. Hopefully cooler heads will prevail.

            Reply
    3. hunkerdown

      What I see in the Democrat Party is a middle management class angry about being preempted by their superior in the office hierarchy in front of the help. That’s it.

      Reply
  7. dougie

    Re: Container gardening article.

    My wife and I have been gardening in raised beds for nearly 30 years.We are mid-60’s now, and she has asked me to consider raising the beds further, to about 30 inches high, due to the fact that no one told us to take care of our knees when we were younger. On one hand, that’s a LOT of work. On the other, gardening and “landscape” maintenance is the only exercise I get. It can be a couple of hours a day.

    Perhaps it is time to consider transitioning to container gardening, since that is likely to be the eventual “end of the road” gardening we will actually be able to participate in!

    Reply
    1. Amfortas the hippie

      if you have sufficient soil to fill them, and a strapping youth on hand to do that arduous work, I like the empty hard plastic mineral tubs that the ranchers throw away(or pile up in a corner of the feedlot)>
      drill holes in the bottom.
      much more room for roots(unlike even 5 gal pots) and nutrient stores(and even companion plants) than the usual containers.
      One problem i’ve had with containers(of any size) is fire ants(the imported, aggressive kind). they really like living in pots full of dirt, and will kill whatever roots there are(and sting you, too)
      I like the fire ant bait better than the various things that require watering in…it’s more targeted, for one(won’t hurt the good bugs and things living in your dirt near as much).
      the other problem is drawing down the nutrients in the pot…some method of fertilising is required…including, preferably foliar spray.
      if you have a couple of buckets and a screen, you can make compost(or even well rotted manure) tea, strain out the solids, and spray it all over the leaves once a week or more(depending on other variables)…or drench the soil/roots without filtration.
      add some sugar…preferably molasses(ag mollasses…i like it dried), which will chase away those fire ants.
      the sugar jump starts the microbiota in the compost/manure. apply it before it stops bubbling(ie: only use when aerobic fermentation is still present)>
      most of my pots are for seeding out, and intermediate growth in spring before putting the plants in teh actual ground…and i have thousands of them,lol…mostly 1 gallon….not near enough 5 gallons(esp. for tree germination)…and way too few 20 gallons, like those tubs.
      Old water troughs that develop rust holes are filled with compost…to keep a bamboo in check…or to provide interesting verticality in and around the raised beds…strategically placed for shade or windbreak as well as to facilitate trailing(similar to rock retaining walls in traditional landscaping)

      (catches breath)
      ramble off,lol.

      Reply
      1. dougie

        I will probably chase both projects, offering my wife a choice. I have an 18 yo “sidekick” that has been helping me some for the last few years. His poor, deluded mother thinks I am a good influence on him. Three miles down the road is a mulch yard, with the most perfect compost I have ever seen. Non peat based. I planted corn seed straight into it this year, with excellent harvest, and zero weeds over 5 months. $28/ cu.yard, delivered.

        I can rebuild the raised beds with rough cut 2×12 lumber we milled over ten years ago! Remember, he who dies with the most lumber wins! I think I would put some sort of swimming pool liner under the entire project. The pathways have become “weedways” over the years, despite having landscape fabric underneath.

        I have used some plastic corrugated culvert pipe, 24 inch, and 36 inch wide, cut to various heights, for some “containers” in the garden. When fire ants invaded a couple of them, I planted some marigolds this year, just for some color. Fire ants vacated, after a couple of weeks. But, as we know, correlation does not necessarily imply causation.

        Copy you on the watering troughs! I just harvested my Yukon Gold potatoes from an 8 foot long watering trough plant bed right outside the front door of the house. Last year we had tomatoes there, supported by a “redneck trellis” of discarded pallets. But you got me thinking. Maybe some of those plastic “totes” that they deliver feed grain in would be excellent containers. But ugly…

        Now, I will wait for fall. I have self diagnosed “reverse seasonal affective disorder”……Once it get much over 80 degrees, I have no desire to be outside. I loathe the sun. I have heat sensitive claustrophobia. Give me three straight weeks of cloudy, cold weather and I am in my sweet spot, while err’body else is ready to slit their wrists.

        Reply
        1. CuriosityConcern

          I recently watched a good YouTube video on building a 12x4x2 foot raised bed using corrugated steel. I’ve been using lumber myself but it’s very expensive at the moment. The videographer claims the cost is <100$(excluding soil I think). It looks like the plans could be adapted for a taller bed(at more cost, but probably a little less than double if you go 4'). Maybe 12x2x4 or 10x2x4 feet is a sweet spot?
          One really good feature of the video is that he planned the cuts for extremely minimal lumber waste, that might not translate to other dimensions.

          Reply
          1. jo6pac

            The down side of corrugated steel it is metal and use to have arsenic in it. It might have changed but is metal. I would think just regular metal would be better. Then again that’s me;-)

            Reply
          2. Amfortas the hippie

            had mine made for the greenhouse by m dad/grandad’s sheet metal shop
            prollly 10 ga
            folded at right angles top and bottom
            12’x3′, but i’ve busted them up and they’re all over, painted blue with light green on top
            this winter another1/3 acre of beds across the road.
            for tomatoes next spring.
            melons and cukes and zukes and pumpkins and squash where the tomatoes are now.
            cousin introduced spidermites with his march walmart container tomatoes….
            so i have to forgo toms on this side of the road.
            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IqgzbgerNGY

            Reply
      2. Susan the other

        Thanks A. Sounds like your garden is pure art – old rusty water troughs filled with compost…in and around raised beds…shade or windbreak…

        Reply
      3. Laughingsong

        We have been toying with raising up the beds like this as well. However we were thinking about using quarter-minus gravel or another rip-rappish material for the bottom to prevent the grass from growing up through the beds. I am frankly still sh*te at gardening even after the past 8 years so I would looooooove your learned opinion on this before I write this particular COBOL code:

        USEing a COLT.45 HANDGUN, AIM GUN at LEG.FOOT, THEN PLACE ARM.HAND.FINGER on HANDGUN.TRIGGER and SQUEEZE. THEN RETURN HANDGUN to HOLSTER. CHECK whether SHOELACE needs to be retied.
        Allocate $500,000 for the project. Define foot, bullet, gun. Run press_trigger. Go for coffee break. Return in time to put foot under bullet.
        You try to shoot yourself in the foot, but the gun won’t fire unless it’s aligned in column 8.

        http://www.toodarkpark.org/computers/humor/shoot-self-in-foot.html

        Reply
    2. sd

      Spouses aunt and uncle created raised beds with large half tubes about 24″ across filled with dirt standing on frames. As the half tubes made rows, it was very easy to walk between them. Things like tomatoes and climbers like beans were still in low beds and planters.

      Reply
    3. jr

      This is a cheapo hydro setup I “designed” for my Salvia. It uses a soup quart as a reservoir, a quart with holes as the basket, marble and gravel as a wick and as a drainage zone, then a lump of dirt for the roots. Pour a mild nutrient solution into the reservoir until it touches the bottom cup and the water will “creep” up into the marbles then into the soil. I take the net out twice a day to let it breathe. The terrarium has holes punched into the top for vents.

      https://www.reddit.com/r/druggardening/comments/i640ex/cheapo_terrarium_due_to_drying_leaves/?utm_source=share&utm_medium=ios_app&utm_name=iossmf

      Reply
      1. Laughingsong

        I used ollas for my raised beds:

        https://morningchores.com/olla-irrigation/

        I have 2 in my regular sized beds and 4 in my double- length strawberry bed.

        Over time the seepage lessens due to dirt getting into the pores, so over a period of say 5-6 years you may either want to dig them up and wash them, or add another. They can be bought or there are websites with instructions on ways to make them.

        https://lovelygreens.com/how-to-make-diy-ollas-low-tech-self-watering-systems-for-plants/

        Reply
        1. jr

          Those are awesome! The commenter below the article who wonders why you have to cement the hole in the pot is awesome too in her own way.

          Reply
          1. Laughingsong

            Being someone who can’t do DIY but can only achieve DURIY-B (Do-Undo-Redo-It-Yourself – Badly), I have only ever bought them not made them.. but I think it’s to keep water from exiting too fast.

            Another commenter gave a great tip too: it helps to thoroughly soak them first, I also found that it helps start the “wicking action.

            Reply
  8. The Rev Kev

    “Trump antagonizes GOP megadonor Adelson in heated phone call”

    I don’t see why Sheldon Adelson is being so stingy. His only allegiance is to Israel and Trump has given that country anything that they could possible want and then some. What more does Adelson expect? Where is the gratitude? Even the First Amendment is being downgraded to suit Israel. About the only thing that Trump has not done is to change the American Pledge of Allegiance for him to-

    “I pledge allegiance to the Flag of the United States of America and to the the State of Israel as well, two nations, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all – unless you are a Palestinian.”

    Reply
    1. Wukchumni

      Heretofore one of the few people to lose money owning a casino was the President, but now the Adelsons of the world are crapping out, their empires based upon punters mingling makes no sense whatsoever, and even when eventually the virus moves on, the stigma of being in a crowded room will take a long time for us to overcome.

      I see an excellent opportunity to do away with casino gambling, get rid of it as the proles will be stony broke soon anyhow, and all it has done is inure us to include it in oh so many aspects of our lives, to our detriment.

      Reply
    2. NotTimothyGeithner

      Adelson strikes me as a Likudnik nut who won’t be happy until the establishment of “Greater Israel.”

      Mass deaths of despair won’t do it for Adelson.

      Reply
    3. hunkerdown

      Remember, dependency is the root of the servile relation. Obviously Adelson believes that hungry workers work harder and feal faster.

      I mean, if the Executive Branch has any power whatsoever, it has RICO. No need to screw around with untested theories of what the executive can and can’t do — unless, of course, that’s a more salient reason for the experiment than the supposed initiative — just declare the entire Beltway class a racket, confiscate their funds, and watch them suffer with at their side only a public defender or any number of pro bono rats which have probably also been declared racketeers and therefore might have trouble being accepted as officers of the court. It would be a winning move in the regular game, but has a very real risk of producing unfavorable, possibly ruinous conditions in the meta-game (i.e. class society) and also reducing the distinction between Players and NPC commoners.

      Reply
    4. Anon II First of Its Name

      What more does Adelson expect? Where is the gratitude?

      Likely, he wants to ensure that the Chinese don’t revoke his casino licenses in Macau. Trump’s (imo very highly justified) policy of telling the Chinese government to F!@# off is endangering those.

      Reply
    5. ChrisPacific

      If you read the article there is really no story there. Adelson did not fire back at Trump in the call and ‘allies’ have said it’s ‘unclear’ whether it will affect his contribution amounts (that translates to “I don’t know.”) All of the pearl clutching is purely because Trump dared to be rude to a big donor, in advance of any consequences (of which there may well be none).

      Even though it’s not really news it’s still a revealing portrait of how DC power relationships work.

      Reply
    6. John k

      No, no. Adelson is pissed trump hasn’t started a war with Iran like bibi wants. And no doubt adelson is fully cognizant that the bushies are swarming to Biden like bees to a honey pot. IMO adelson will donate to Biden, not trump, while also supporting selected rep senators.

      Reply
  9. Ep3

    https://www.bizjournals.com/austin/news/2020/08/07/tesla-buys-far-east-austin-factory-site-for-97m.html

    Must subscribe

    Yves, a voice from michigan here. Mr. Environment/save the earth/move to mars chooses to destroy more untouched nature instead of coming to Michigan/Ohio/Indiana/Penn. He could be refurbishing the miles of empty factories that are blights on their communities, the environment, have higher unemployment, trained manufacturing workforces, on and on. But oh right, he hates unions, is a fraud, is running a bankrupt company on hype.
    Of course, i forget it would be hard for Mr. Musk to buy any land here. those empty factories are seTting on land most likely still owned by the Big 3, who are waiting to sell for a huge profit. and if not owned by them, The son of the Little Caesar himself, Chris Illitch, known as the king of the parking lots, probably owns the land. after grifting it from the City of Detroit with promises of rebuilding (and after chasing poor home owners out of town).

    Reply
  10. cnchal

    > Sen. Chuck Schumer: “If we don’t open up the schools, you’re going to hurt the economy significantly.”

    When you do open up the schools, you’re going to hurt the economy significantly moar over a longer period of time.

    Where are we now? The Ohio governor tested positive, a requirement before meeing Trump and then negative on the next test. In essence the tests have a wide margin of error. How many tests should the governor have to determine with a high probability whether he has it or not. A dozen or two? Best out of ten? Basically it’s one eye out, can’t see out the other type testing that’s going on.

    The governor got his results back quickly, but for the rest the wait is days to weeks for the results, if they can actually be called that. Try contact tracing that. Chasing ghosts would be moar effective.

    There seems to be something missing. A dead nuts accurate test, and the results right away if there is to be any hope of eradicating this thing, If they actually cared about the economy this would be the end goal.

    But, no. 330,000,000 headless chickens.

    Reply
      1. Amfortas the hippie

        absolutely!
        as you might expect with all the composting ,soilbuilding things i do around here, there’s no shortage of smells…and i’m making note of them like never before.
        (composting toilet doesn’t stink, but it has a smell…faint…like rich earth)
        I find myself getting a whiff of coffee in the am when it’s making…or bacon…or the wet wiggly dog…and saying to myself, “alright…i can still smell things!”

        Reply
        1. Katiebird

          If they really want to open the schools they should put smelly stuff all over the place and when some kids say “I don’t smell that” pull them off for a real test. But maybe the smell test is good enough?

          Reply
    1. Wukchumni

      But, no. 330,000,000 headless chickens.

      My mom used to dispatch chooks on the farm with a cleaver, and she told me the record for one running around sans head was almost a minute.

      Reply
      1. Watt4Bob

        We should start a pool on how many days the schools are going to stay open…

        My daughter told me her friends, still at the university she just graduated from, have a pool to bet on when the university will send all the students home.

        Move-in is end of August, she said they were betting end of September, beginning of October.

        I say three weeks after the first classes.

        Reply
        1. tegnost

          The day after the students can’t get tuition refunded if they drop out is what I heard from the rumor mill

          Reply
      2. Jeremy Grimm

        That’s a good idea! And maybe the schools could take out life insurance on all the students and teachers. They could get a package deal and if all goes according to plan they could reap a nice chunk of change to fund next years school building plans and a raise for the school superintendent.

        Reply
        1. edmondo

          I believe that’s why we have private equity. Why should kids get any benefit from their imminent deaths. This can be just like the Children’s Crusade where instead of dying for Jesus, we can kill off the kids for “the economy”. You can always have another kid, a job isn’t that easy to come by.

          Reply
          1. JWP

            Perfect line of thinking… then, creating a children Futures exchange or tracking fund to trace longevity, health, and overall outlook for each kid or group of kids. After a birth, the child is immediately incorporated and an IPO filed.

            Reply
            1. ChrisPacific

              Once you’ve tracked them, then they can be securitized, tranched and sold into pension funds for an influx of capital. Maybe there’s a Magnetar style correlation play to be had? Just like the Magnetar trade pumped up demand at the equity end and gave a financial incentive for issuing risky loans, this one could finance school openings by associating them with profit potential. You don’t want Mom and Pop to lose their pension, do you? Of course not! Off to school with you.

              (I’m going to stop now as this is way too plausible for something this horrible).

              Reply
            1. RMO

              The thought just occurred to me as well. If it’s technically possible for them to do that you can safely bet that they’re way ahead of us.

              Reply
      3. ArcadiaMommy

        The Gov already pushed in-person school start dates back twice in AZ. Currently our school (private) is expecting in-person school to start 9/8, but you can opt to stay in the online learning program for the first quarter, and then opt in to continue for the second quarter. They clearly have put a lot of work into structuring the online school day and how the kids will interact with the teacher and the other kids, so my guess is they expect this to be a long term situation. When they got sent home in March, it was pretty slapdash, granted it was a last minute thing they had to figure out.

        No idea how the teachers can be expected to manage kids physically in class and kids who are online. Based on what our doctor friends say, my guess is we will be doing “distance learning” through the end of the year.

        Reply
  11. Pat

    The devil.is always in the details, whether it is Trump or the Democrats. This is a brilliant PR move on Trump’s part. The CARES Act was one for the Democrats, until it blew up in their faces. What I will give Trump that I won’t give the Dems is he has been smart enough to line up fall guys for his failure.

    For anyone paying attention enough to have realized that no tribe really gives a damn about them it is all Kabuki. No Trump didn’t take Covid seriously, but frankly both sides have just taken this as crisis opportunity and played political one upmanship. The fallout doesn’t mean a thing. They aren’t fighting to stay in their home, pay their bills, bury their dead or get adequate healthcare. They aren’t hungry.

    If this wasn’t posing, Schumer would be using every administrative trick in the book to shut down everything of importance to the Republicans. The House would be tying up anything and everything they could. I realize that might demonstrate how little they have obstructed their supposedly mortal enemies Trump and McConnell for the past four years.

    Makes me almost wish for a “Designated Survivor” event, Not that I can come up with one person in the chain that I would want in charge in such an event. But we really do need an almost complete clean up of the Executive and Legislative branches of government. (I would include the Supremes but they aren’t elected.) Our government is one of the biggest wastes of humanity on earth. This includes but is not limited to their pulling bull shit ineffectual legislation and executive orders in a time of crisis.

    Reply
  12. Wukchumni

    In the ongoing Bizarro World comparison of collapses of the USSR & USA, we’re fast heading towards a scenario where landlords will be going toes up, and keep in mind that greed was good, in that it was rare for a landlord to own but one property, the more the merrier.

    Eventually I figure, ‘ownership’ will become something along the lines of the Soviet Union where nobody really held title.

    Reply
    1. JWP

      Was in an odd debate the other day about landlords and evictions. There was a substantially supported (in numbers) group arguing that protecting a landlord’s property and ownership of it because they “provide a service” is more important than the tenants ability to live there. I think that has legal standing somewhere in our convoluted legal system, but the argument was on moral grounds, not legal ones. First, owning a building or land does not count as providing a service unless the landlord physically operates all utilities and reforms maintenance. Second, protecting the owner of the building from foreclosure when tenants can’t pay over the tenants ability to have a place to live strikes me as as neoliberal and dangerous as it gets.

      Perhaps it will become a USSR for the few, where it doesn’t matter who or if the property is owned, so long as those who live in it are fully subservient to the owners or class of owners of it both in standing and in law.

      Reply
  13. Purslane

    RE: The Grayzone “scoop”

    Grayzone is, if nothing else, are always predictable. Twitter’s @Hongkonghermit does a good job explaining just how terrible—in the sense of not just being wrong, but actively trying to make the world a worse place—that Blumenthal article is. Thread here: https://twitter.com/HongKongHermit/status/1292297086696747009

    The gist: the identity of the person supposedly “outed” as a hoax by Blumenthal has never been a secret, and his twitter avatar (https://twitter.com/KongTsungGan) is a man killed in the Tiananmen protests, which anyone could figure out through a quick image search. I.e. The image is obviously not intended to mislead you as to the actual person behind the twitter profile. But it serves Blumenthal’s agenda to pretend otherwise and mislead his readers.

    Reply
    1. The Rev Kev

      I can see the next stage. A new person will arise on Twitter to replace him. Ban Ya, a 7 year-old girl from Hong Kong who will tweet about the siege of the city by the commies and the destruction of their liberties. J. K. Rowling will become a follower of this heroic little girl talking truth to power and she will be celebrated by western media. One of her tweets will say “better to start 3rd world war instead of letting China & Xi Jinping commit #DestroyHongKong.” It will be glorious.

      Reply
    2. occasional anonymous

      Neither side of this comes out looking good, frankly. Blumenthal flubbed a lot of things, but the core point remains that the media have presented Kong Tsung-gan as a genuine native Hong Konger. And the profile image may not have been intended to deceive, but everything else about the account was. Saying ‘oh, it was an open secret who he really was’ doesn’t fly because no, obviously it wasn’t an open secret to many people and institutions, certainly not the media.

      And Hongkonghermit does themselves no credit smearing Grayzone as ‘tankies’ and ‘genocide apologists’. The Assad government didn’t use chemical weapons, get over it already.

      Reply
      1. Lambert Strether

        > everything else about the account was

        Check. Expats who wish to express political views should check with Max Blumenthal first, otherwise he’ll dox them (putting them at risk of arrest or worse, I might add).

        Reply
    1. Keith

      I would say part of that is the lack of big storm hits, which causes more damage due to the big storms not clearing out the debris on a regular basis. Another factor is a big storm focuses damage in a smaller area, overwhelming services, and without other locals sending their electric workers there (for some big OT), it will take time.

      Reply
  14. The Rev Kev

    “Turns out one of the most popular US-backed Hong Kong protest “voices” is another hoax”

    The Grayzone article of this is worth the read-

    https://thegrayzone.com/2020/08/08/hong-kong-western-media-yellowfacing-amnesty/

    I can see the next stage. A new person will arise on Twitter to replace this jerk. Ban Ya, a 7 year-old girl from Hong Kong who will tweet about the siege of the city by the commies and the destruction of their liberties. J. K. Rowling will become a follower of this heroic little girl talking truth to power and she will be celebrated by western media. One of her tweets will say “better to start 3rd world war instead of letting China & Xi Jinping commit #HolocaustHongKong.” It will be glorious.

    Reply
    1. Lambert Strether

      Er, actually, “the next stage” is the death threats:

      The account is about as much a “hoax” as “Yves Smith” or “Lambert Strether,” both pseudonyms. If you have a problem with that practice, do feel free to let us know.

      If you want to make a realpolitik case that Hong Kong should be absorbed by the Mainland, do it, but to leap from the fact that an anonymous blogger is a long-time expat to the claim that the Hong Kong protests were not organic to Hong Kong is a leap many have tried, and failed to make. (Incidentally, the story in HK is, in fact, precisely “the destruction of their liberties.” That is, after all — and hopefully, though not in China, I won’t be arrested for saying this — the point of the security law. Clever of you to get the ol’ knees jerking on that issue by yoking it to J.K. Rowling.)

      Reply
      1. The Rev Kev

        I think that my reference to Bana al-Abed of Aleppo got lost in translation. She was the little girl that sent all those tweets from that city in spite of not speaking English, there being no electricity in that city and it having the internet connectivity of two tin cans and a piece of string. J. K. Rowling fell for this story and was not only a follower but sent her a complete collection of her stories, hence my mentioning her.

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bana_al-Abed

        China is what China is. An authoritarian state. Hong Kong was in the best position to establish itself as too valuable to absorb but all the riots and protests have wiped out that option which is a shame as that city deserved better. I am sorry if you took offense with my comment.

        Reply
  15. Wukchumni

    The valley floor of the CVBB is lousy with prisons and provides the only good paying jobs in the region, and each convict costs the state around $50k per year to keep them in a lifestyle they’ve become accustomed to, and whereas prisons were seen as just another vehicle to make money, that isn’t true anymore.

    If you release them out into an economy where there are no jobs, the cure might be demonstrably worse than leaving them to fester in the big house.

    As they say, payback is a bitch.

    Reply
  16. The Rev Kev

    “Absolutely despicable journalism from the BBC and punditry from the former head of Carnegie ME Center. The hundreds of dead and victims tapped under rubble are being exploited to blame Hizbullah for the criminal negligence of the real non-state actor—the Lebanese state”

    I had guessed that this would happen on day one of this explosion. So predictable this. Western countries are already saying that they will withhold aid unless an outside investigation is launched. But we have been here before.

    Back in 2005 there was an assassination in Beirut that killed Rafic Hariri along with 21 others in an explosion. His murder triggered the Cedar Revolution which forced Syria to withdraw all its troops in Lebanon a few months later. That was not enough. An investigation was held and four pro-Syrian Lebanese generals were detained for 4 years without charge but the United nations investigation showed itself to be under control of neocons who would target whichever group/country was convenient whether Hezbollah or Syria or whoever.

    Then a UN Special Tribunal was convened and held in the Netherlands, the same place that is staging the present Russians-shot-down-MH17 tribunal. The whole thing was politicized and the accused was a moving target by whichever group could be accused of it. I am guessing that the west wants to set up another UN Special Tribunal to do the whole thing all over again and would be trying to make out that it is all Hezbollah’s fault. All for the good of Lebanon you understand.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Assassination_of_Rafic_Hariri

    Reply
    1. Olga

      Yes, we understand!
      Incidentally, the results of that years-long investigation were supposed to have been released around the time of the blast.

      Reply
    2. David

      OK, a bit of context.
      Without actually hearing the words these two people are supposed to have used, it’s hard to tell. But firstly, the idea that Hizbullah was somehow responsible for the explosion has been voiced by a number of Lebanese politicians – Jumblatt the Druze leader has made such noises, and a variant suggesting it was an Israeli raid on a Hizbollah site is also doing the rounds. In a country like Lebanon, where conspiracy theories are a basic way of understanding the world, such accusations are routine, and widely believed. They have the same status as, oh, let’s say, the idea that Jeffrey Epstein was murdered: not the official narrative but one that is still widely believed. It’s hardly surprising, then, that the Lebanese (except those in government obviously) are calling for an international investigation: they have no confidence in their government and their state, and it’s hard to blame them.

      It’s important to understand in this context that Hizbullah is, in practice, “the state.” They have been in and out of government for a decade now, and they were part of the victorious 8 March Alliance in the last parliamentary elections in 2018. Indeed, they won such a large proportion of the Shia vote that a government cannot be formed without them. Hizbullah has two Ministers in the current cabinet. Thus, whilst others are more directly involved, perhaps, they can’t escape their share of political responsibility for what has happened. They are members of a government that allowed this to happen. And as a result they are playing the same game of “it wasn’t me” as all the other political parties. And also as a result, they have lost a lot of their original support, and demonstrators yesterday in Beirut seem to have been as keen to hang Nasrallah as they were Diab, the Prime Minister. This may be unfair, but it’s a consequence of joining and becoming part of a political system you originally opposed, and is a pattern often seen in politics.

      As for Lina Khatib’s suggestion that it’s in Hizbullah’s interest for the state to remain weak, that is objectively true, even if it comes from someone who ran an American NGO close to the government. But in this, Hizbullah is not actually any different from any other of the major political groupings. All the tribal Mafia chieftains who head political parties and run the country try to keep the state weak, because it increases their power, and enables them to run the country doing deals with each other, in splendid isolation from the electorate. The spoils system enables each political movement to put its own people in positions of power throughout the administration, and to exercise power and make money from them . A strong and capable state would put a stop to that, and the money and the patronage would dry up. If the Lebanese state had worked properly, Hizbullah would never have been created in the first place.

      As for the assassination of Hariri, yes, the Special Tribunal was going to give its verdict last week but it’s been delayed. I don’t have any inside knowledge of this, but nobody who knew Lebanon in 2005 believes that the assassination could have been carried out without at least the passive agreement of the Syrians. At that stage they had been in Lebanon for thirty years, and had infiltrated every level of the government and the security forces. Famously, the head of Syrian Military Intelligence, the effective Syrian proconsul in Beirut, visited the Prime Minister every night by a special route into the Serail, the PM’s building, to give him his instructions. It’s inconceivable that they wouldn’t have known of such a massive operation. Whether Hizbullah was directly involved, I’m not sure, but they were a member of the 8 March coalition, the pro-Syrian group of political parties, and they owed the Syrians a lot of favours for keeping their supply lines from Iraq open. And frankly, it’s hard to see who else would have had a motive. Hariri was close to the Saudis (he was a Sunni of course) and well thought-of in the West. We’ll see.

      Reply
      1. The Rev Kev

        ‘If the Lebanese state had worked properly, Hizbullah would never have been created in the first place.’

        For a change David I must disagree with you here. The reason that Hezbollah was created was that Israel militarily invaded & occupied southern Lebanon, in part to seize and divert their water resources to Israel. When the locals found that their intent was to treat the locals like Palestinians, the resistance got underway.

        Eventually it was Hezbollah and other forces that forced the Israelis back to their borders in 2000 as the international powers could have care less. If there was no Hezbollah, then likely Israel would have stayed after the 2006 invasion right up to the Litani river. Again it was Hezbollah that mauled them and forced them back to their borders.

        Finally you say ‘nobody who knew Lebanon in 2005 believes that the assassination could have been carried out without at least the passive agreement of the Syrians’ which would be quite true – unless it was the Israelis that carried out that murder. Their motive? To get the Syrians out of Lebanon before their invasion the following year and which worked.

        Reply
        1. David

          Well, very briefly, Hizbullah is a lot more than a Shia militia, even if that’s how it started. It provides a whole rage of state-like services to that community. It wouldn’t exist (neither would the other political parties) in a state with a proper political system.
          As for the killing of Hariri, I suppose Israel could have done it, though frankly, given where it took place, right in the middle of the city, on the Corniche, it’s hard to imagine the preparations going undetected. But there’s no evidence of any kind that I’m aware of, so it remains just speculation. As regards the invasion, this was originally supposed to be just an air campaign: the newly-appointed chief of the IDF was the first ever from the Air Force, and wanted to prove something. It was actually Maronite Christian politicians who persuaded the Israelis into a ground invasion, believing that Hizbullah would be destroyed in the process, and their position strengthened. If Lebanon had a proper state and proper political system , this situation would never have arisen, and the Army could have been ordered to protect the frontier.

          Reply
  17. Jomo

    On the unemployment relief executive order, consider the actions now required of each state. Each state must fund the creation of a new unemployment benefit system for the distribution of $44 billion in unspent FEMA funds (I believe that’s the amount) and after that is done there is no more money available. The states do not have any funds Set aside for this. So reconvene the legislatures and pass this appropriation along with $100 per week extra for the UNEMPLOYED! Does anyone believe this will happen? If the new systems aren’t created by the states then the money won’t be distributed. Just a cheap political stunt by the POTUS, exactly what we needed in the middle of a pandemic. I am not so sure this is such a shrewd political move on the part of Trump when people realize it’s just another fraud and a lie.

    Reply
    1. foghorn longhorn

      Yes, it was cruel and inhumane for the orange man to veto the extremely generous bill pelosi and co. put on his desk.
      Oh wait….

      Reply
        1. Jason Boxman

          Can’t have that — it would deprive liberal Democrats of a foil to both simultaneously declare themselves the most awesome liberals ever, while having the Senate refuse to take up bills liberal Democrats would never actually support if the chance of passage existed. Divided government is an ally of virtue signaling.

          Reply
        2. NotTimothyGeithner

          I would argue the whole Pelosi/Schumer approach has been tried and failed so often its disingenuous to pretend they are trying.

          Take the $600 payments. Sanders threatened to shut down over it and despite Obama’s recent backstabbing, Sanders won on a popular policy. Pelosi and Schumer by essentially crafting legislation designed to please Mitch McConnell from the DailyKos “Mommy is a Democrat” level of awareness but not for popular opinion create proposals that don’t put pressure on the likes of Susan Collins.

          Force the Republicans to vote on good bills or at least not hear them means forcing the “good Republicans” to say no. With the garbage, the House passed Collins can always lament the grift and payouts for lobbyists.

          They might have to target different senators with different bills which might require a bit of extra work on Pelosi’s part, but that is how to past progressive legislation. Legislation designed for Mitch McConnell only demoralizes the base and gives the GOP targets for a yes vote an easier way to say NO and go for the whole enchilada later.

          Reply
    2. JWP

      “44 billion in unspent FEMA funds”

      We are already at J in hurricanes, I think FEMA is going to need those funds more than they think. It’s only a matter of time until a dam or levee breaks or a cat 5 smashes a major city. This sounds like austerity for the people, having to get their funds from disaster relief agencies who in turn are stripped of funds to perform their job, while the places where the real money comes from work to prop up a falling building with trillion dollar sticks.

      Reply
  18. Mikel

    Re: Buffet Profits…
    “Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway reported a surge in profits in the second quarter as the soaring value of its stock portfolio offset weakness across much of its business due to the coronavirus pandemic.”

    And there, ladies and gentlemen, is the frame for this week’s failed stimulus agreement.
    The big donors are fine, so their servants in DC and other govts are being told to go back to the usual plan of putting the squeeze on the non-wealthy.
    After all, the big corps got THEIRS and now they want to continue to squeeze for profit margin by increasing the desparate labor pool to continue to lower wages.
    Expect more layoffs and continued cuts to benefits. I don’t think it has sunk in to most, even the comfortable, that the struggling corporations, all of them are struggling, are still focused on getting the cheapest labor from the janitor to the scientist.
    Next year they will say unemployment as decreased and -like the liars they are – totally ignore that major decrease in unemployment will be due to people no longer eleigible to apply not applying (so they aren’t ciunted as unemployment).

    Reply
    1. Susan the other

      Just wondering at what point inequality becomes so extreme that it no longer matters – that it becomes absurd. I think we have reached that point. The logic behind it is puzzling. All the “wealth” has been siphoned up to the wealthy and they literally have nowhere to go with it. Maybe there is a secret hope, an unspoken agreement, that if we give the wealthy enough money to no longer fret about losing their wealth they will start to do good things.

      Reply
      1. JWP

        I have been thinking along similar lines. I’ve extended my thinking to currencies. Clearly the dollar flows upward from the have-nots to the haves and horizontally from the gov to the haves. Most of that flow is now done through taxes and electronic money transfers and payments. With cash dwindling, there’s an opening in for new currencies to form. Especially in towns and soon states where there is little connection to dollars besides taxes. Forming banks that allow conversions to pay taxes, and having new currencies accepted across multiple towns and state lines.
        this would allow:
        -small businesses to be the main source of spending and payments in the new currency,
        -much of the food supply to fall under the domain of the new currency, i would imagine all farmers that aren’t Archer-Daniels or Cargill.
        -given wide enough acceptance, universal healthcare and education among those communities.
        If enough of the electorate, i could see buy in from working class left and right bought in, it would have to be taken seriously and would be impervious to military crackdown as well as the crazy risks and debts the dollar and investing using it automatically puts one into.
        Just an idea of hope from the extremes of inequality in the not too distant future.

        Reply
      2. Henry Moon Pie

        The system is designed to provide a chain of control over every adult, usually through a “job,” many of which involve doing useless or even harmful things. So we live in a society with growing amounts of churn just so we’re kept busy and out of trouble even though there’s a climate crisis that requires drastic and immediate action.

        Add to that the knack of capitalism for siphoning off a cut from every piece of churn out there, and we have inequality that grows right along with the carbon content in the atmosphere.

        Reply
  19. Wukchumni

    Look up in the sky!

    Is it a bird, is it a plane?

    Nope, it’s the Perseids.

    We like to get high when the light show is in town on the 3rd rock from the Sun, and our favorite was about a decade ago where we were at a no-name lake on the topo map that was around 100 yards long with a small island at the 25 yard line. We were at the north end of the lake on top of a granite shelf about 30 feet above the water and the first night was glorious with lots of what I term ‘Buck Rogers’, meteors that dart across the sky leaving a trail of light across the horizon for a brief spell. At one point it dawned on us to look downwards towards the lake where we watched their reflection on the surface, magical!

    Reply
  20. The Rev Kev

    “Does the US-led Five Eyes have wider sights on China?”

    Is the Pope a Catholic? Does a bear dump in the woods? Well of course. Japan has an interest in becoming “the sixth eye”? Sorry. The Five Eyes may as well be called the Anglo-Saxon Alliance going by their membership. So tough luck Japan.

    Reply
    1. Anon II First of Its Name

      *sigh*

      1. For all the talk of Five Eyes, most indications are that it is really now only Four Eyes for the most part
      2. For all the talk of “only Four Eyes”, there are multiple strong indications that many other countries have a whole lot of intelligence sharing with this group on quite favourable terms. And yes, some of those countries were losers in WWII
      3. Point #2 is far more alarming than soothing–I really don’t need every government to be spying on me and then sharing information on me and those whom with I make contact andthen hiding behind opaque agreements and national security clauses. I would be quite happy if these people/machines collected, shared, and retained as little information amongst each other as possible.

      Reply
    1. Berto

      So the theory that it took a foreign power using subterfuge to get the Republican base jazzed-up about voting for a bigot, might have been a farce all along?
      What’s the opposite of the word “shocking”?

      Reply
      1. ambrit

        The site is short staffed on the weekend is my take. Moderation takes longer thereby. Plus, for funsies, the automatic moderation ‘tripwires’ are equal opportunity. (I run afoul of them frequently.)
        You really should get that “auto snark syndrome” of your’s looked into. Passive aggressive insults to the site are really “vice signalling” gone terribly awry.
        As always, remember, “just the facts ma’am.”

        Reply
      2. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

        Berto if you have been around long enough you would know that is not a concern here, bring your best supported arguments and opinions and then get in line with the rest of us. The “C” part of PC tends to hold sway here over the “P” part in my experience

        Reply
      3. Lambert Strether

        Whinging about moderation and insulting the site are both against site policy, which I would have suggested you read if your comments were of high value. Because today is not my day to be kind, I hope you find the happiness you seek elsewhere.

        Reply
    1. Wukchumni

      I’ve decided to go long on aluminum futures, surrounding 72 ounces of barley soda, that is.

      I think that after suing somebody once every 10 days for 30 years, these tariff tantrums are an ersatz replacement for our commander in chief.

      Reply
    2. JEHR

      Yes, I wonder what Trump will gain by putting tariffs on Canada. He’s just one grumpy old man, in my estimation, who wants to be re-elected and knows that his base likes to see quite a bit of bullying, especially towards (former) friends and allies.

      Reply
  21. Wukchumni

    Reporters were loudly booing the President today as he abruptly disappeared when asked why he lied about taking credit for Veterans Choice, which was Obama’s doing.

    I’d like to see a lot more of this happening…

    Reply
    1. Lambert Strether

      I wouldn’t. Since the press became political players, it takes an enormous effort to sort fact and fiction.

      Everybody is playing “any stick to beat a dog” and you know what? It’s not going to end after election day.

      Reply
      1. Wukchumni

        As it turned out, the booing was from the assembled audience of acolytes of glorious leader @ Bedminster golf club, my bad.

        Reply
  22. jef

    George Washington’s blog talks about green tea and zinc;

    “…that the active ingredient in green tea (EGCG) is a powerful zinc ionophore which helps get zinc into the cells.”

    https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2020-08-08/green-tea-zinc

    As I read all the coverage it seems clear to me that the unnecessary battle between “germ theory” and “terrain theory” is keeping us from finding out the true cause, effect, and treatment of CoVid as well as other diseases that plagues humanity.

    Reply
    1. jdm

      Thank you for this, I think. I have a constant problem with “externalities” in economics. I grew up in a superfund site full of externalities in the chase for an ultimate weapon and cheap energy. there is a wildfire blowing smoke into this valley. It’s hot and dry.. Our oil and gas man in congress lost to a 31 year old bar owner that will face a liberal woman in the election. The peaches are few, but good here. My compost is piling up with mowed grass and chicken straw. When I go outside today, the smoke gives a doomsday sense to the soot-covered mountains, making an urgent cry from our raised beds and container crops to feed them compost and give them more water. We put six jars of tomatoes with bel peppers and onions away for our economy, hoarding essentials. Next week, tomatoes with chilies.

      Reply
    2. Jeremy Grimm

      Sorry — I was disappointed by the analysis in the link you pointed to: “irrational-expectations”. I saw a single use of the word Neoliberalism near the tail of the article. The rest of the analysis better fit describing the collapse of relatively standard economic theory, various unsuccessful attempts to dump Keynes and subsume Neoliberalism. I believe the Tooze article referred to in the review of “irrational-expectations” comes much closer to the mark and avoids a slog through the history of dead economic theory:
      “The coronavirus lockdown directly affects services—retail, real estate, education, entertainment, restaurants—where 80 percent of Americans work today. Thus the result is immediate and catastrophic. In sectors like retail, which has recently come under fierce pressure from online competition, the temporary lockdown may prove to be terminal. In many cases, the stores that shut down in early March will not reopen. The jobs will be permanently lost. Millions of Americans and their families are facing catastrophe.” [https://foreignpolicy.com/2020/04/09/unemployment-coronavirus-pandemic-normal-economy-is-never-coming-back/ ]

      This extract from the beginning section of Tooze’s article suggests just how catastrophic the Corona pandemic is for the US economy. And stimulus? How do you stimulate something that isn’t there? Many of the employers where 80 percent of Americans worked have gone or are going out of business. US industry is a shell fronting marketing gates for products imported from far far away. The “stimulus” put in the hands of the unemployed can’t stimulate US industry because there is so little left of US industry.

      What kind of jobs is the “invisible hand” busily fashioning to replace the jobs lost? And how many of the services and service jobs will return? It could be quite a while before I consider going out to eat at a restaurant.

      Reply
      1. cnchal

        > What kind of jobs is the “invisible hand” busily fashioning to replace the jobs lost?

        Amazon is hiring. Qualifications are fog a mirror and take your position at the whipping post.

        Reply
  23. Anon the II, First of Its Name

    I really don’t understand the supposed outrage behind Max Blumenthal’s rant.

    A guy who has been living in Hong Kong for 12 years is criticizing and protesting against what is far and away the most disliked Chief Executive (Carrie Lam) in Hong Kong history because she is basically kow towing to a totalitarian regime that is destroying any minute shred of political freedom that the country has.

    He hides behind an assumed identity–and never made any pretense at hiding that he was, in fact, using a pseudonym–because he is protesting an insanely hostile government that is pretty happy to kidnap people, imprison them without fair trials (this was one of the key concerns behind the entire anti-elab movement to begin with), and beat the living sh!t out of protesters in broad daylight. Well duh! Meanwhile, nothing in the article demonstrates that this person actually reported on anything incorrectly except for his own identity.

    Shouldn’t, maybe, the outrage be directed towards a government that condones this type of activity?

    Reply
    1. drumlin woodchuckles

      I remember reading once, back when Britain was still negotiating this agreement with China, that an opposition Peer in the very minority, perhaps his own minority of One, said that what Britain should do is pull every bit of money out of Honk Kong, allow every Hong Konger to move to Britain and become citizens, dismantle and remove every physical object of value and destroy the rest, and in his words . . . . ” hand back the bare naked rock which first we found here”.

      The world acting in co-ordination with Hong Kong could still do a version of that. Figure out a way to distribute that part of the Hong Kong population which wishes to emigrate over all the participating-in-this-plan nations of the earth so that a few million Hong Kongers could flee. Let those who wish to move their money out do so. Then let the pro-CommuNazi Hong Kongers remain behind and take their chances under the CommuNazi Regime in China.

      Reply
      1. Alex Cox

        Re. Your proposal that fleeing HKers should all go reside in England. Do you live in England? How many will you invite to live with you?

        Reply
        1. drumlin woodchuckles

          “All Hong Kongers” should live in England” was not my proposal. It was that British Lord’s proposal. If you go back and read my comment more slowly and carefully, you will see that it is a proposal that I said I had remembered reading about once.

          And if you go back a second time and read even more slower-er and carefully-er, you will see that I didn’t write “England”. I wrote “Britain”.

          And if you go back a third time and read even more slower-er-er and carefully-er-er, you will see that MY proposal is that the Hong Kong departers would be evenly divided up and shared out to countries all over the world. Not just Britain. Or as you mis-read it, ” England”.

          Reply
          1. Felix_47

            I would say they would be better off in English speaking countries since most people in HK do speak English based on what I have seen. The HK educaiton system is excellent and they are largely talented and hard working. Wherever they go they will be an asset. I always wondered about the fact that despite having a British passport they were not allowed to settle in England.

            Reply
    2. Purslane

      Anon the II,

      I like your comment more than mine (above). Were it possible I would’ve gone back and edited mine a bit after submission (wrote it in the morning, it hit the mod tripwire), as it’s not sufficiently precise or explanatory, but oh well. So thank you for writing this comment here.

      Reply
    3. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

      Nancy Pelosi made it clear today which side of the divide Team D is on:

      Quote: “China would prefer Joe Biden”.

      Unclear at this point what that will mean for the residents of another nation named: The United States of America.

      I suppose it matters how you draw the Venn diagram, one circle labelled “Good for China” and the other circle labelled “Good for America”. The evidence since about 2000 would indicate that the overlap of those two circles is vanishingly small.

      Reply
      1. Aumua

        Ok, now put a third circle in the middle of the two previous, overlapping ones called “Good for Humanity”. I’ll bet that one covers most of the other two. In that case I guess it’s all about where our priorities lie.

        Reply
    4. Lambert Strether

      > Shouldn’t, maybe, the outrage be directed towards a government that condones this type of activity?

      No duh.

      Adding, it’s entirely evident from the account’s avatar that the account is a persona; the image is of a Tien An Men protester who was, IIRC, killed. So “hoax” is really a Blumenthal smear. I always had doubts about that site; now I’m sure.

      Reply
  24. Wukchumni

    “A Fremont landlord recently found out his property was being illegally rented out on Airbnb but state and local eviction moratoriums are preventing him from getting his house back. ‘I was furious,” said Avinash Jha, the homeowner about finding out from a neighbor that his home was being rented out on Airbnb without his permission. Their tenant, Linda, is violating Fremont city law by allowing more than two people to stay there at a time. She asked them to reduce her rent back in March by $500 a month because of hardships caused by COVID-19, they agreed to lower the rent and now regret it.”

    “‘They’re making money off our house and not paying us the rent, it’s kind of like crazy in every which way you look at,’ Shah said.”

    https://sanfrancisco.cbslocal.com/2020/08/06/eviction-moratorium-poses-nightmare-scenario-for-small-landlord/

    Reply
  25. Synoia

    A brilliant move by Republicans and Trump

    It’s all about the election:

    1. The Republicans did not compromise with the democrats (The Democrats look like losers)
    2. The republicans appeal the their “fiscally conservative” (Rich and Poor Bigit Base) and keep the Senate
    3, Trumps executive orders make him the “decisive hero” and boost his re-election prospects.
    4. The new payments mechanism guarantees none but republican favorites (the rich) will get money
    5. The Democrats look good to their base, and have actually done nothing, so avoiding the hard decisions.

    Really it is a brilliant (and cynical) set of political maneuvers, and I admire our leadership class’s mendacity for making a huge amount of noise, while doing much for only the rich.

    Brilliant, just brilliant. And totally despicable.

    A pox on all their houses.

    Reply
    1. NotTimothyGeithner

      Under normal conditions, it might be.

      The GOP electeds have tried to disown Trump often enough that I don’t think a “win” by Trump transfers especially when GOPers have been calling for mass death.

      Trump isn’t going to create any kind of immediate relief which will be noticed. Things are too bad. This isn’t a case of kicking an invisible group.

      This does somewhat expose Biden’s lack of leadership. Team Blue elites fumbled the ball early. Sanders delivered $600 while Schumer and Pelosi gave the rich everything and made PPP funds very difficult to be used or too limited to really help. Biden hasn’t used his status to craft any kind of Team Blue response despite his popularity among the Team Blue elites (the key to his popularity. He won’t make them do anything).

      Reply
      1. edmondo

        Sanders delivered $600

        Uh, no. The $600 a week federal supplement was the idea of Sen Bennet of Colorado. Bernie was too busy Kissing Joe Biden’s rear end to come up with anything of his own. Amendment king my ass. Michael Bennet did a progressive thing – I’m assuming by accident since he has no other history of doing so. Even blind squirrels….

        Reply
    2. voteforno6

      How is this brilliant? Trump gets to strut around and brag about doing…nothing? Because that’s exactly what he’s accomplished. People need money, but this won’t get it to them. The best thing that the Democrats can do right now is ignore him, and continue on with their negotiations with Senate Republicans, if that group can ever come to an agreement internally. If Trump tries to interject himself into this, maybe they should just hand him a coloring book to keep him busy. He just looks ridiculous right now.

      Reply
      1. Synoia

        Machiavelli was brilliant. As was Hitler. Brilliant does not mean good,

        Trump has crated a clever, and destructive, fiction for the time being. I agree it will not stand the test of time, and probably fail, but that appears intentional, will take time and will be hailed bt Trump as “The Democrats Fault, because…”

        “Trump gets to strut around and brag about doing…nothing?” Yep! Trump hopes it will last to the election. What possible reaction could the Dimocrats muster? A Lawsuit?

        Do I like it? As I wrote before, A Pox on all their Houses.

        Reply
        1. Aumua

          Heheh Trump is pretty far from Machiavelli and/or Hitler brilliant, LOL. But he does have a certain kind of… cunning I suppose.

          Reply
      2. Lambert Strether

        > How is this brilliant?

        Because Trump at least appears to be taking action, while the others are not.

        It’s also amazing and horrible sadly typical for Democrat NGOs to be reinforcing the fiction that Federal taxes fund Federal spending. Although, to be fair, that frame will be useful when Biden imposes austerity [hollow laughter].

        Reply
  26. Jason Boxman

    In comments to the New York Times published on Saturday before Trump’s announcement, the House speaker, Nancy Pelosi, said she’s been unwilling to bow to the administration’s demands for a stopgap solution. “We’re not doing short-term action, because if we do short-term action, they’re not going to do anything else, she said, adding: “This president is the biggest failure in our history.”

    LOL. Not her failed, and doomed to fail, impeachment effort. Or bailing out Wall Street again with the first bill. Liberal Democrats are are shameless as Trump. And they’ll probably challenge his executive orders in court, because separation of powers, but I don’t recall anyone clamoring to reclaim executive powers when Obama destroyed Libya, for example, or dived into Syria.

    Reply
  27. SoldierSvejk

    On the discovery of a pale-face masquerading as an HK blogger (Greyzone) – not surprised at all. It has long been clear that there is western interference in the process of HK protests, although some would rather not see it.

    Reply
  28. semiconscious

    re: Sturgis motorcycle rally draws thousands of bikers despite coronavirus fears

    so: bikers bad, demonstrators good?…

    Reply
    1. marym

      Current assessments of relative risks of social gatherings:

      Wearing masks: good
      Non-participants staying away: good
      Outdoors: good
      Social distancing: good
      Not gathering in bars and restaurants: good

      Time will tell:
      From above link: “One week after the rally, residents of Sturgis will be able to take the coronavirus test free of charge, “TODAY” reported.”

      https://www.nber.org/papers/w27408
      “This study uses newly collected data on protests in 315 of the largest U.S. cities to estimate the impacts of mass protests on social distancing, COVID-19 case growth, and COVID-19-related deaths. Event-study analyses provide strong evidence that net stay-at-home behavior increased following protest onset, consistent with the hypothesis that non-protesters’ behavior was substantially affected by urban protests.” 


      https://www.mlive.com/public-interest/2020/07/5-reasons-why-summer-parties-are-spiking-coronavirus-numbers-when-protests-didnt.html
      ““What we saw at the protests was very different from what we see at parties and social gatherings where people are hugging, touching, gathered in close contact and for long periods of time,” [public information officer for the Washtenaw County Health Department Susan] Ringler-Cerniglia said. “The time period also probably has something to do with it — walking past each other outside during a march is very different than having a close face-to-face contact like you probably would at a bar or a house party.”

      https://www.yahoo.com/lifestyle/motorcycle-rally-sturgis-draws-thousands-154316660.html
      Sturgis: “Photos and videos from the event show a sea of largely unmasked crowds…
      While [Sturgis] headliners were seen performing outside, concerts were also held indoors in bars…”

      Reply
      1. marym

        Adding: Re: “Time will tell”
        It won’t really. Sturgis testing may indicate whether residents were infected by partiers. What partiers may bring back to their home towns or places they stop on the way home may not be measurable.

        Reply
        1. jo6pac

          You bet most bikes are taken by trailer to the event and no I’ve never been. Then on their back across Amerika they will typhoid marys. Sadl

          Reply
      2. Lambert Strether

        If the protests caused spikes, we have yet to see it in data (readers, please correct). Again, the virus is capricious. Marym has a good list of reasons protests are not equal to, say, superspreading events in church choirs, restaurants, gyms, offices, or even stadiums. In terms of the three Cs, protests are not Closed spaces, Crowded Places, or Close Contact settings. However, I would bet the bars and event venues for the Sturgis event are all of those things.

        Reply
    2. JWP

      ->so: bikers bad, demonstrators good?…

      Team Blue: “come on down! for the next round of our favorite game ‘How many groups can you alienate'” “and today we have a special bonus for ‘how many groups of former supporters can you alienate'”

      Reply
      1. HotFlash

        And the sterotypes come tumblin’ down. I own a motorcycle, and have been a motorcycle safety instructor. Medicare for all, even bikers.

        Reply
    3. drumlin woodchuckles

      Well, it depends. If the bikers all wear Covid containment masks like the demonstrators did, and if the bikers all stay 6 feet apart from eachother like the demonstrators did, then the bikers are just as good as the demonstrators.

      Otherwise , not.

      If the bikers all inSIST on going maskless , and if they all inSIST on milling around together right up in eachothers’ faces and airstreams, then the bikers are being bad and dangerous to themselves and others.
      They may spread so much Coronavid virus among themselves and all of them then take it back to all of their communities that we may end up renaming the virus Mad Biker Disease, in honor of Mad Cow Disease.

      Reply
    4. Wukchumni

      I’d like to see the equivalent of a 60’s motorcycle gang movie, but instead of Peter Fonda (it was almost like a rule that he had to be in damn near every one) and cronies causing mayhem on the road, they ride too close to cars and cough on the occupants through open windows.

      Reply
    5. Lambert Strether

      > ->so: bikers bad, demonstrators good?…

      I don’t think it makes a lot of sense to essentialize either bikers or demonstrators. Instead, we should focus on behaviors and settings, knowing what we now know about how the virus spreads.

      Reply
  29. jr

    Re: sweatpants

    I’ve long been a adherent of the freewheeling and free swinging sweatpants lifestyle. I work, play, and sleep in them. I can’t imagine wearing real clothes unless I want to for some reason. My GF used to get polished up for every day of work, now it’s only for important meetings. She dreads returning to that.

    Reply
    1. Laughingsong

      Ha! Me too! Not that I did tooooo much polishing….

      But yeah sweatpants! Lined ones in winter, cut-off ones in summer, etc. ahhhhhhhh…..

      Reply
      1. jr

        I had one pair that I practically lived in all last winter. I wore them outside once and when my girlfriend saw the shape they were in I was immediately sent to back to change and throw them out. I say this with real pride.

        Reply
  30. Tomonthebeach

    Regarding the Hill article on exploiting Biden gaffes.

    I find it odd that the press has been okay with calling Biden’s Freudian slips (betrayals of his true worldview) gaffes. He most surely does view African Americans as monoliths (it’s all about civil rights and standard of living) vs Latinos who are concerned with citizenship, family immigration, corruption in S America, etc. Biden’s behavior betrays that he is not free from his own systemic racism. To him, Blacks are still “those people.” These are not trivial mistakes. They discourage voting at all. It also might encourage voting for Trump, just like in 2016, to punish the DNC for running a demented, rightist fool for president.

    Reply
    1. drumlin woodchuckles

      I have long suspected that part of the Catfood Democrat Elite’s secret agenda/mission is to deliberately on purpose THROW the election to Trump in hopes that things will get so bad by 2024 that a desperate nation will then elect a Catfood Democrat by FDR-In-1936 sized margins.

      The Catfood Democrats secretly hope that candidate Dead Joe Walking will be able to lose without even having to take a dive on purpose.

      Reply
  31. R. S.

    There is a lot of discussion about Trump’s four new executive orders, but the discussion here is missing an important point: The legal justification for these executive orders lies in the creation of DACA, and SCOTUS’s ruling on DACA was bad jurisprudence that saved the Dreamers but created bad ramifications for the rule of law.

    There is no legislative basis for the creation of DACA, and so Obama justified his executive order creating DACA through a new (and extreme) legal theory. The idea was that since the executive branch has the power to exercise discretion in the enforcement of laws, then the creation of the DACA program is merely the executive branch formalizing their discretion of the enforcement of immigration laws. It is an extreme legal theory because it went beyond discretion and created a new program without legislative mandate.

    So how does this relate to Trump’s most recent executive actions? Well Trump is using an identical legal justification for deferring payroll taxes. The argument being made is that since the executive branch has power to exercise discretion in the enforcement of laws, then allowing deferral of payroll taxes is merely the executive branch formalizing their discretion.

    I hold SCOTUS and the Obama administration in low view for their role in weakening the rule of law in this country. The DACA ruling by SCOTUS is even worse because it created new restrictions relating to so-called “reliance interests” that make it more difficult for a new administration from rescinding executive orders, meaning that if Biden wins the election he may not be able to easily undo Trump’s executive orders. For instance, if Trump makes a new executive order that defers payroll taxes for 2 years, then under SCOTUS’s ruling Biden may not be able to rescind that order.

    Reply
    1. drumlin woodchuckles

      I’m sure that if President Dead Joe Walking and the Majority Catfood House and Senate wanted to creatively pass and sign a bill covering that 2 year period with a “special fee-in-lieu-of the deferred payroll tax” . . . . that President Dead Joe Walking and the Catfood Congress COULD do so. The reason WHY they would NEHH-ver EHH-ver pass such a bill is because they all share ObamaTrump’s hatred for Social Security and they share ObamaTrump’s desire to destroy it.

      Reply
    2. Lambert Strether

      > I hold SCOTUS and the Obama administration in low view for their role in weakening the rule of law in this country. The DACA ruling by SCOTUS is even worse because it created new restrictions relating to so-called “reliance interests” that make it more difficult for a new administration from rescinding executive orders, meaning that if Biden wins the election he may not be able to easily undo Trump’s executive orders. For instance, if Trump makes a new executive order that defers payroll taxes for 2 years, then under SCOTUS’s ruling Biden may not be able to rescind that order.

      As usual, the Democrats build the car, and then get all bent out of shape when Trump drives it in a direction they didn’t think it could go. Lovely that the “reliance interest” doctrine formalizes the ratchet effect.

      Reply
  32. drumlin woodchuckles

    It is good to see that Woodrow Wilson . . . America’s most EVIL president . . . . is beginning to get some small measure of the agonizing re-appraisal his record deserves.

    I only have a few minutes before I have to “get to work”, so let me just say that I hope other commenters see fit to discuss the waves of antiGermanitic culturacist persecution he unleashed against this country, the persecution into near non-existence of the viable left this country had at that time, his founding of the Federal Reserve as the private playground of the private banks who own it, his collaboration with Great Britain to lie and manipulate America into World War One . . . some would say on the Wrong Side . . . etc. etc. etc.

    Woodrow Wilson IS America’s Most EVIL President EVer. Pray his memory finally comes in for the hatred and calumny and infamy it deserves over the centuries to come.

    Reply
  33. Jason Boxman

    It’s still astounding the extent to which liberal Democrats destroyed Al Franken, and here we have the Democrat presidential candidate, Joe Biden, an accused rapist, who gets a total pass.

    Believe women, sometimes.

    Indeed, I haven’t read anything about this in months. I wonder if Trump’s forgotten?

    Reply
      1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

        How very depressing to see this massive attack on the very foundations of our republic go unpunished and largely even unremarked. If the republic cannot even close ranks to stave off a fundamental attack on its very existence then we may as well close shop right now. I don’t give a single g*ddamn which team did this and anyone ignoring and misdirecting the severity of this threat does not understand the very basis for even having a country in the first place. This will make it quite easy for future historians to peg the exact date when we tipped over from a nation of laws to a nation of men…and believe me, allying yourself to a grouping of one or more men will end predictably, no matter how woke or brown or smart you might think those men are. Nasty, brutish, and short. And here I thought we had made something different from that, silly me.

        Reply
        1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

          From the article: “Imagine if Nixon’s allies appointed the Watergate burglars to investigate themselves, then placed them in nightly news positions where they could attack anyone questioning them”.

          This is so far from the nation that we called “America” in 1972 that you can’t even see the place from here.

          Reply
        2. Sheldon

          A nation of Persons, please.

          Moose Barbie, Palin
          Chinese Spy Driver Feinstein
          Industry ruining Carly Fiorina
          Cultural Appropriationer Kamala Harris
          School Looting Betsy Devoss
          CALPERS ruining Marcie Frost
          Etc.

          Reply
  34. Wukchumni

    Satellite images show oil spill disaster unfolding in Mauritius: “We will never be able to recover” CBS
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    Too bad Colonel Smithers hasn’t been around as of late, i’d like to hear his take of goings on in Mauritius.

    Reply
  35. Plague Species

    I’m all for dropping a nuke on Sturgis and I’m sure I’m not alone. Pigs doesn’t even begin to describe these horrid beasts. In fact, describing them as such is an insult to pigs. Every new bike comes with a free insulin pump and a year’s supply of high fructose corn syrup, oh, and they’re all made elsewhere, not in America, but let the patriots dream on until they evaporate in the mushroom cloud. I’m surprised Trump isn’t flying in on Airforce One to be with his most diehard supporters and swim in the COVID.

    Reply
    1. flora

      Don’t be silly. I know several Dem voters who ride to Sturgis every year. They are nothing like your description. Politics has nothing to do with the ride. Stereotyping is so blinkered.

      Reply
      1. jo6pac

        Are they wear mask and helmets? I don’t mind them doing their thing but there are others on the their way home and other family members?

        Reply
    2. Lynne

      Haters gonna hate, so you knock yourself out there, kiddo.

      BTW, Trump already did a Sturgis flyover during his July 4 trip. People at the Buffalo Chip Flip unfurled what they claimed what the world’s largest US flag. https://www.newscenter1.tv/worlds-largest-american-flag-unfurled-at-sturgis-buffalo-chip/

      And for the record, Sturgis residents voted not to hold the rally. The city council was set to close it down, and then some creep lawyer in the Twin Cities threatened to sue them for gazillions in lost profit and they caved.

      Reply
    3. foghorn longhorn

      This is your brain on drugs O
      This is your brain on TDS .

      BTW Harley-Davidsons are the only motorcycles made in the USA at this time

      Reply
    4. HotFlash

      Unfortunately, most ‘made in America’ bikes (ie, Harley Davidsons) are functionally inferior to bikes made elsewhere. Well, the Buell isn’t quite so bad. But really, as usual, we did it to ourselves.

      Reply
    5. Felix_47

      Here in Germany we have a lot of Harley riders. Many ship their bikes over to the US and make the trip to Sturgis. It is a highlight of the year for them.

      Reply
  36. VietnamVet

    The Coronavirus Pandemic is similar to the volcano blowing up in Iceland or the Black Plague. The USA is so hallowed out and corrupt that it can’t respond. It is pathetic.

    The Trump Administration was at first in denial but is now using PR to say it is no big deal. Andrew Cuomo and Chuck Schumer are reopening NY schools because of the economy. 300,000 projected deaths this year is of no concern. The professional managerial class bubble is so thick and opaque that they don’t realize that there will be no economic rebound out of the depression until the pandemic is controlled. Fear drove the collapse of the service industry, 80% of the US economy. The prudent will not go out in public unless it is necessary for survival. Failure is bipartisan.

    A WaPo editorial calls for antigen testing. In reality like the ancien regime or White Russians, billionaires will have nowhere to go where they can take their digital dollars and be safe, except perhaps New Zealand (but how can they get the gold to fly there)?

    Americans only hope is that a national public health system is reconstituted to test employees every day. Reopen schools only once students can be tested quickly and cheaply before instruction starts to see that they are negative. A for-profit vaccine next year will be too late. The coronavirus is simply too widespread and too transmissible. Coronavirus is never going away.

    https://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2020/08/coronavirus-will-never-go-away/614860/

    Reply
  37. Wukchumni

    I can’t remember the last time our little town was this flat out busy, as it’s possible Sequoia NP will break the record of most visitors in a year, for there really aren’t that many places to go on vacay in the golden state, coupled with restrictions on the number of people let into Yosemite NP, and we seem to be picking up their considerable slack.

    Reply
  38. drumlin woodchuckles

    Here’s something kinda funny from a Reddit subthread about ” what things sucked worse 50 years ago?”

    Someone mentioned McCarthyism and someone else asked ” what is McCarthyism?” And someone replied…

    McCarthyism, homophobia, conformity.

    permalinkembedsavereportreply

    [–]Arcordia 2 points 8 days ago
    I’m sorry but I’m not familiar with McCarthyism. Is it alright to ask what it was and why it was so bad?

    permalinkembedsaveparentreportreply

    [–]MKEJOE52 3 points 8 days ago
    “A vociferous campaign against alleged communists in the US government and other institutions carried out under Senator Joseph McCarthy in the period 1950–54. Many of the accused were blacklisted or lost their jobs, although most did not in fact belong to the Communist Party.”

    I guess you could call it right wing cancel culture.

    ( That ” I guess you could call it right wing cancel culture” was the funny part to me).

    Reply

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