2:00PM Water Cooler 9/10/2020

By Lambert Strether of Corrente.


At reader request, I’ve added this daily chart from 91-DIVOC. The data is the Johns Hopkins CSSE data. Here is the site.

Here are the United States regions (with positivity):

I must say, if the curves continue like this for another couple weeks, I’ll conclude we dodged a bullet on school re-openings, horrid anecdotes aside. And the Midwest looks a lot better in the aggregate.

* * *


“But what is government itself, but the greatest of all reflections on human nature?” –James Madison, Federalist 51

“They had one weapon left and both knew it: treachery.” –Frank Herbert, Dune

“They had learned nothing, and forgotten nothing.” –Charles Maurice de Talleyrand-Périgord

The electoral map. July 17: Georgia, Ohio, ME-2 move from Leans Republican to Toss-up. Continued yikes. On July 7, the tossup were 86. Only July 17, they were 56. Now they are 91. This puts Biden at 278, i.e. over 270. August 18: Still no changes. August 31: Indiana moves from Likely to Safe Republican. September 9: No changes. Despite the sturm and drang, and the polls, the consensus on the electoral college remains the same: Biden ahead, Trump within striking distance.

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

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

Time to restore the election countdown:

Here, however, is an early voting calendar.

* * *

“Voters are already getting presidential ballots. Here’s what to know as mail-in voting begins.” [CNN]. “The 2020 presidential election has officially started. North Carolina kicked off the process Friday, sending hundreds of thousands of mail-in ballots to voters. Other states are set to follow throughout the month as election officials brace for historic levels of voting by mail as the coronavirus pandemic continues to grip the country.” • So the October surprise tactic is going to need some adjustment…


Biden (D)(1): “Biden, DNC outraised Trump by over $150 million in August” [Politico]. “Biden’s own eye-popping cash haul coincided with his selection of Kamala Harris as his running mate, which has helped Biden dip into pockets of money that were previously less open to his campaign. In the two days following her announcement as the vice presidential nominee, the Biden campaign raised $48 million. But Trump’s August fundraising total — still a one-month fundraising record for the president and his affiliated political committees — will likely not be enough to hold on to his slim, $6 million cash on hand lead he held in July.” • So picking Harris was the right move. They loved her in the Hamptons!

Sanders (D)(1): “First as Tragedy, Then as Farce: The Collapse of the Sanders Campaign and the “Fusionist” Left” [Angela Nagle and Michael Tracey, American Affairs]. Nagle and Tracey are bête noires for the woke, and one can see why. For those who have not read it, this is a clear-eyed assessment of the Sanders campaign, well worth reading in full. Here is the key point: “For years, polling data has been telling us very clearly that the vast majority of the public is to the left of the status quo on matters of economics and to its right on matters of culture. The Left is incapable of absorbing this truth, because to do so would mean genuinely putting the will of the actually existing American working class first—instead of trying to ride them to power in the interest of waging a vindictive culture war*.” • It was the economy. Stupid. NOTE * Surely this oversimplifies the class interests of the PMC? It looks to me like wokeness is an effort to run an entire society like a corporate HR department runs a firm. Plenty of good jobs in HR!

Trump (R)(1): “Mr. Trump Knew It Was Deadly and Airborne” [New York Times]. • I don’t love Trump. That said, this is madness. Trump said to Woodward that the virus was “airborne” on February 7 . From the Times, July 4: “239 Experts With One Big Claim: The Coronavirus Is Airborne”; the scientists had written a letter to WHO asking WHO to change its guidance on airborne tranmission (“It is understood that there is not as yet universal acceptance of airborne transmission of SARS-CoV2; but in our collective assessment there is more than enough supporting evidence so that the precautionary principle should apply”). I posted on airborne transmission only on May 25, and I was following the matter closely to adjust my personal practice. I started watching the topic because of March 9 observations on a Chinese bus that could only be explained by airborne transmission. The index publication for airborne tranmission seems to have been published on May 13, and was done in a laboratory setting. There was no way that Trump could have known the virus was airborne in February because nobody did. Trump might have meant droplet tranmission, but that’s not what the Times wrote. (And of course there’s no gotcha if Trump meant droplet transmission, because that’s what conventional wisdom believed.) And if Trump had said, in February, “the virus is airborne,” do you know what would have happened? That’s right: There would have been a ginormous yammering dogpile saying Trump didn’t “listen to the science,” in this case the scientists at WHO, who were wrong (as they, along with Fauci, were deliberately wrong on masks). The damage would have been enormously greater than the hydrochloroquinine dogpile, so thank whatever Gods there be that Trump didn’t say it. None of this is to defend Trump’s manifest deficiencies in many other areas, particularly in procurement, but Holy Lord! Meanwhile, I seem to remember plenty of other optimistic prognostications in the same time-frame from prominent Democrats, including New Yorkers Cuomo and Diblasio. Can’t anybody here play this game*? NOTE * From Casey Stengel. This, too, is a propos: “Don’t cut my throat, I may want to do that later myself.”

* * *

“Opinion: The COVID recession has decimated some states, but barely touched others” [MarketWatch]. “This is not a typical recession with a broad downturn. It’s a series of micro-recessions and micro-recoveries. When I first discussed this phenomenon, it was within the context of industries and categories. Some industries flourished while others foundered. Variance increases further when you delve into categories within those industries. However, the notion of micro-recessions and micro-recoveries is not limited to industry. States across the United States are experiencing a wide range of consequences from pandemic-related pressures. This is dependent on a number of factors, including the number of Covid-19 cases, response to the pandemic, and regional industries vulnerable to the novel coronavirus…. It’s important to note, though, that the divergence between well-performing and underperforming states is far greater during this recession than at any other time since the data became available in the 1980s—a 40-year sample of data. We have never seen such wide economic differences by geography in modern U.S. history….” • Handy map:

Interestingly, the worst-off (dark blue) states — with the exception of Pennsylvania — all went for Clinton in 2016 (California, New York, and Massachusetts all being Democrat feifdoms, at least at the Presidential level).

“Hundreds of Thousands of Nursing Home Residents May Not Be Able to Vote in November Because of the Pandemic” [ProPublica]. “Most, though not all, of the roughly 2.2 million Americans living in nursing homes or assisted living communities are elderly — and thus at higher risk of dying from the coronavirus. They’re also part of the most politically engaged demographic in the country. In 2018, 66% of Americans over 65 voted, compared with just 35% of those 18 to 29. In 2016, Donald Trump had an advantage over Hillary Clinton among voters 65 and older by 53% to 44%, according to the Pew Research Center….. Family and friends who helped them vote in prior elections can’t visit them — and may have taken ill or died from COVID-19 themselves. Swing states such as Florida and Wisconsin have suspended efforts to send teams to nursing homes to assist with voting. Despite a federal law that residents must be “supported by the facility in the exercise of” their rights, two states — North Carolina and Louisiana — prohibit staff from actively doing so. While many other states allow voters to appoint a helper of their choice, voting assistance may be a low priority for understaffed institutions struggling with COVID-19 outbreaks. And polling places are being moved from nursing homes and assisted living facilities to sites less affected by the virus. For example, Somerville, Massachusetts, relocated voting from a nursing home to a school a little less than a mile away…. Under federal law, nursing homes have a duty to facilitate residents’ rights, including voting, said Nina Kohn, a distinguished scholar in elder law at Yale University. But even before the pandemic, compliance was spotty. From 2018 through 2019, Medicare documented complaints from at least 55 U.S. nursing homes in which residents said they weren’t given the opportunity to vote or were unable to get help casting a ballot. But nursing home inspectors categorized the vast majority of these complaints as low severity, meaning they were seen as inflicting little or no actual harm. As a result, fines for violating residents’ voting rights are rare. Nursing home inspectors, Kohn said, do not take such violations seriously.”

Obama Legacy

Thanks, Obama!

Realignment and Legitimacy

“Even Fauci needs to remember how important a back of envelope calculation is” [Gary Cornell]. “Fauci said this week there is “no reason” Americans can’t vote in person for the 2020 presidential election, so long as voters follow proper social distancing guidelines amid the coronavirus pandemic….. Huh? Every 880 people standing on line1 requires a one mile line. And, since we are voting in November, quite commonly in the cold and rain. Calculating how many people will be trying to vote at any given time is hard, one can imagine doing the voting over many days. Still, it does seem that, given the reduced number of polling stations, isn’t it likely it will be in the many hundreds pretty much continuously in many places? Anyway, one thing I do know is that you take your estimate of the number of people and divide it by 880 to convert it into miles of people standing on line!”

“Safest Voting Method Is Using Paper, Leading Cyber Expert Says” [Bloomberg]. “Election voting is the cybersecurity industry’s most difficult challenge, and casting ballots on paper is the safest option against any digital disruptions, says CrowdStrike Holdings co-founder and former Chief Technology Officer Dmitri Alperovitch. ‘Voting is the hardest thing to secure when it comes to cybersecurity,’ Alperovitch said on CBS’s ‘Face the Nation’ on Sunday. ‘The only way we know how to do it well and safely is by using paper.’ The best ways to ensure that a digital hack won’t happen, he said, are in-person voting and ballots that are either mailed in or dropped off at collection sites.” • CrowdStrike. CrowdStrike?!

Stats Watch

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

Employment Situation: “05 September 2020 Initial Unemployment Claims Rolling Average Declined Again” [Econintersect]. “Market expectations for weekly initial unemployment claims (from Econoday) were 810 K to 915 K (consensus 958 K), and the Department of Labor reported 884,000 new claims. The more important (because of the volatility in the weekly reported claims and seasonality errors in adjusting the data) 4 week moving average moved from 992,500 (reported last week as 991,750) to 970,750… Job’s loss since the start of the pandemic is now 60,462,000. Many in this number are now employed or have dropped out of the workforce as all programs continuing claims number is 29,605,064].” • So now we are watching for hysteresis again, exactly as in 2009 and onward. In a year, or so, I imagine we’ll find out those who re-entered the workforce found crapper jobs than before, again as in 2009. They should have learned to code!

Producer Prices: “August 2020 Producer Price Final Demand Year-over-Year Growth Remains Slightly In Contraction” [Econintersect]. “The Producer Price Index (PPI) year-over-year inflation contraction moderated from -0.4 % to -0.2 %. The Producer Price Index (PPI) year-over-year inflation contraction moderated from -0.4 % to -0.2 %.”

Productivity: “U.S. Productivity Is Soaring. Hold the Applause.” [Bloomberg]. “Government statistics released last week show that hourly compensation — defined as wages, salaries and benefits — increased by 20% in the second quarter of 2020, a post-World War II record. Other measures of compensation show similar increases. This spring, the average wage of nonsupervisory workers in the services sector and production workers in the manufacturing sector increased by 7.7% in April, 6.6% in May, and 5.4% in June relative to the same month in 2019. Over the previous five years, average wage growth by this metric was a much slower 2.7%. Statistics like these are heavily influenced by the type of workers who have jobs in any given month. Normally, that doesn’t change abruptly. But in the sudden and deep pandemic contraction, aggregate statistics can be misleading. Average wages aren’t growing because individual workers are getting raises. Instead, they are growing because so many low-wage workers have been laid off.”

* * *

The Bezzle: “The Fraud and Drug Binges That Helped Create a Billion-Dollar Shoe Company” [Bloomberg]. “While many of Madden’s introspective takeaways are unenlightened at best—the lesson from his 2 ½ years in prison is: “I screwed up, I paid my price, and I guess I had to go down that road to get to where I am now”—the book is a valuable, often riveting play-by-play of one man’s rise to riches. If Horatio Alger were transported to the 1990s and gave his characters an opioid addiction, this could be his story, too.”


Hmm. About those Chinese seeds….

* * *

Today’s Fear & Greed Index: 63 Greed (previous close: 65 Greed) [CNN]. One week ago: 60 (Greed). (0 is Extreme Fear; 100 is Extreme Greed). Last updated Sep 10 at 11:47am. Where is the Greed of yesterweek?

The Biosphere

“Climate change poses ‘major risk’ to U.S. financial system, federal regulator warns” [NBC] (original). “The report said U.S. financial regulators ‘must recognize that climate change poses emerging risks to the U.S. financial system,’ and it called on them to ‘move urgently and decisively to measure, understand, and address these risks.’ The authors said that fighting climate change will require moving to a net-zero-emissions economy and that markets need to adapt in tandem. The report also recommended establishing a price on carbon emissions, adding that such a policy ‘must be fair, economy-wide, and effective in reducing emissions consistent with the Paris Agreement.” Carbon pricing, which could take the form of a cap-and-trade program or a carbon tax, would ultimately require legislation passed by Congress.'” • Oy. On carbon taxes and pricing, see NC here, here, and here.

Health Care

Working from home (or not at all):

Screening Room

Not to spoil the trailer for you:

Black Injustice Tipping Point

“I was the woman surrounded by BLM protesters at a D.C. restaurant. Here’s why I didn’t raise my fist.” [WaPo]. “Last week, I went out to dinner in D.C. with a friend. As we sat outside at a neighborhood restaurant, a group of protesters surrounded our table and demanded that I raise my fist in support of the Black Lives Matter movement. I had marched repeatedly in the past several months in support of their cause, but I refused their demands. That interaction wound up in a viral video that within 48 hours had been viewed more than 12 million times…. As the marchers closed in on our table, I could not see any protest signs. I asked who they were and why they were marching. No one would answer me. Why march and hold back your message? This was not your usual Black Lives Matter protest, or really, any other protest I have attended. Marchers are usually delighted to tell you about their mission…. When they crowded around my table and started demanding that I raise my fist, it was their insistence that I participate in something that I did not understand that led me to withhold my hand. In retrospect, I would have done the same thing even if it was crystal clear to me who they were and what they stood for. If you want my support, ask it of me freely. That’s what we do in a democracy.”

Sports Desk

“NBA Strike Will be Meaningless if Players Don’t Start Voting” [Deadspin]. “It was something we’d never seen before, as the NBA’s restart was hanging in the balance. Conversations were had. Promises were made. And players warned of another work stoppage if they didn’t see progress. Three weeks later, sports are back in full swing, as the NFL and certain sections of college football will kick off this weekend. Three weeks later, we’ve also discovered what ‘next’ actually looks like. Voting. According to recent reports, only about 20 percent of eligible NBA players voted in the last election.” • Good job, Obama!

Protests and Riots

“MapLab: The Spread of Far-Right Vigilantism” [Bloomberg]. “The map gives a sense of the variety of names, flavors, and stated motivations of actors. Some are armed militia groups self-styled as anti-government “patriots,” such as the Three Percenters, Oath Keepers and the Texas Freedom Force. Others associate with labels such as the Boogaloo Bois, an alt-right internet meme calling for a second Civil War that spilled into real life in Hawaiian shirts and bullet-proof vests. Some display overt signs of white supremacy, such as skull masks, Confederate flags, Nazi salutes and nooses.” • Here is the map, which is interactive:

Note that pink is for single incidents, red is for multiple incidents, so the map shows extent, but is a little deceptive on intensity. Here are the fields:

Note that the incidents are not typed, unlike the map for political violence I presented yesterday. The distinctions between a noose in Hancock County, ME and people being threatened with assault rifles in Portland, OR are expressed in prose in the Notes field. That will make sorting and retrieval difficult if matters scale up. I’ve been there!

” Intelligence Gathering at Protests, by J.D.” [Seemorerocks]. This, albeit from the right, is very interesting. For example: “The narrative being presented was that these protests were not centrally organized and that they were grass-roots protests just springing up in response to social issues. My time inside the protests verified that this just isn’t true; they are very organized and are being planned by someone…. The biggest observation from the first protest was that despite the claims that they aren’t organized, they are highly organized by a central organization. Ethan and his security/medical team have been at every protest I’ve attended in Michigan, including one at the Capitol an hour away. They use the ubiquitous BaoFeng Handi-talkie radios to communicate.” • Well, I guess this isn’t Occupy anymore, is it? While I’m not sure I agree with J.D. that organization has to be central, this isn’t about drum circles and the library that Bloomberg bulldozed, is it? I find the report reasonably credible simply because Portland organized food trucks, medics, and security as well. And if you were going to be serious about security, wouldn’t you do all the things that J.D. said are being done? The post concludes: “Do I believe there will be a time when confrontation is needed? Absolutely.” • Hoo boy.

What’s wrong with this picture:

Clean, new fabric; not soaked in accelerant.

Not a dinner party:

Guillotine Watch

“Theranos’ Holmes May Pursue ‘Mental Disease’ in Her Defense” [Bloomberg]. “Holmes intends to use testimony from Mindy Mechanic, a clinical psychologist at California State University at Fullerton, according to the filing. Mechanic is an expert on the psychosocial consequences of trauma, with a focus on violence against women, and often provides expert testimony in cases involving ‘interpersonal violence,’ according to her faculty profile on the school’s website.”

Class Warfare

“A reminder as schools reopen — federal law now gives some parents paid time off to help their kids with remote learning” [MarketWatch]. • Of course, if you don’t have a decent internet connection, or don’t have one at all, that’s not very much help is it? Although parents can always take their kids to the public library, or park outside a MacDonalds and catch a signal that way!

News of the Wired

“3 Helpful Calming Techniques That Xanax Still Blows Out of the Water” [Reductress]. “The human brain and body’s ability to treat itself is truly remarkable but nowhere near as remarkable as a powerful drug designed for that very purpose. To medication!” • News you can use.

* * *

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

TH writes: “If I ever knew the names of these plants, I’ve forgotten them. I spotted this in a narrow garden tucked up against a wall on our brief walk around the Alamitos Bay neighborhood. I like the way the colorful flowers are hiding inside the deep green leaves, like a secret.”

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About Lambert Strether

Readers, I have had a correspondent characterize my views as realistic cynical. Let me briefly explain them. I believe in universal programs that provide concrete material benefits, especially to the working class. Medicare for All is the prime example, but tuition-free college and a Post Office Bank also fall under this heading. So do a Jobs Guarantee and a Debt Jubilee. Clearly, neither liberal Democrats nor conservative Republicans can deliver on such programs, because the two are different flavors of neoliberalism (“Because markets”). I don’t much care about the “ism” that delivers the benefits, although whichever one does have to put common humanity first, as opposed to markets. Could be a second FDR saving capitalism, democratic socialism leashing and collaring it, or communism razing it. I don’t much care, as long as the benefits are delivered. To me, the key issue — and this is why Medicare for All is always first with me — is the tens of thousands of excess “deaths from despair,” as described by the Case-Deaton study, and other recent studies. That enormous body count makes Medicare for All, at the very least, a moral and strategic imperative. And that level of suffering and organic damage makes the concerns of identity politics — even the worthy fight to help the refugees Bush, Obama, and Clinton’s wars created — bright shiny objects by comparison. Hence my frustration with the news flow — currently in my view the swirling intersection of two, separate Shock Doctrine campaigns, one by the Administration, and the other by out-of-power liberals and their allies in the State and in the press — a news flow that constantly forces me to focus on matters that I regard as of secondary importance to the excess deaths. What kind of political economy is it that halts or even reverses the increases in life expectancy that civilized societies have achieved? I am also very hopeful that the continuing destruction of both party establishments will open the space for voices supporting programs similar to those I have listed; let’s call such voices “the left.” Volatility creates opportunity, especially if the Democrat establishment, which puts markets first and opposes all such programs, isn’t allowed to get back into the saddle. Eyes on the prize! I love the tactical level, and secretly love even the horse race, since I’ve been blogging about it daily for fourteen years, but everything I write has this perspective at the back of it.


  1. Phemfrog

    I wouldn’t judge about COVID-19 in schools yet. Many schools are starting the year virtual. Here in DFW our district just started in person this Monday. Dallas and Ft. Worth ISD are online right now. There have been cases in every district that started in person.

    1. Massinissa

      Didn’t even realize there was a department store called that. I saw the title and thought it meant the Real Estate company or something, heh.

    2. Pat

      It may have been family owned, but by the time I became familiar with it it was one of the most upscale discount stores around. There was a whole designer section in the downtown store.

      I’m sure it wasn’t just tourism that hurt. This is a store that a whole lot of the professional class from that area shopped in. Costume designers and their assistants shopped it. I knew a few well known actresses that were addicted to it. Once it was work from home, they lost a whole lot of lunch hour and after work shoppers. And yes, unlike 9/11, those shoppers are largely not coming back this time.

      I am sad for them. I never quite got the Lincoln Square one, but otherwise for decades they served their clientelle well and with a certain integrity.

      1. Toshiro_Mifune

        It was (will have been) an awesome store. For those not familiar Century21 specialized in the off season inventory from all of the boutique and small labels in NYC. You *could* go and shop for Ralph Lauren at discount but if you did you were missing a lot since you can get RL on sale anywhere.

        1. Pat

          I did notice that in housewares and gifts, but that was most of the reason I went there. Most of my experience regarding clothing, was in seeing what others had bought. I probably missed alot. (Although I should point out that they did have purple label RL along with a few other top product lines of name designers you wouldn’t find at Marshall’s and TJ Maxx).

  2. Fiery Hunt

    I’m not familiar with “proper” Molotov cocktail fabrication but I would guess that you do NOT want the “wick” soaked in gasoline. Light a gas soaked rag and it goes up quick…
    Instead, I’d think you’d want a easily lit but slow burning fabric (like cotton?) so you could light it, run with it, throw it, and have it break where you want it to, releasing the accelerant on target…all without burning the s**t out of yourself.

    Sometimes a clock is just a clock. Or a cocktail is a cocktail, as it were.

    1. Lambert Strether Post author

      Wikipedia disagrees:

      A Molotov cocktail is a breakable glass bottle containing a flammable substance such as petrol, alcohol, or a napalm-like mixture, with some motor oil added, and usually a source of ignition such as a burning cloth wick held in place by the bottle’s stopper. The wick is usually soaked in alcohol or kerosene, rather than petrol.

      Not really a subject I’m expert in.

      1. Anonymous

        In fire protection, the term accelerant is used very broadly to include any substance or mixture that “accelerates” the development of fire to commit arson. Chemists would distinguish an accelerant from a fuel; the terms are not, in the truest sense of chemical science, interchangeable. Some fire investigators use the term “accelerant” to mean any substance that initiates and promotes a fire without differentiating between an accelerant and a fuel. To a chemical engineer, “gasoline” is not at all considered an “accelerant;” it is more accurately considered a “fuel.” from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Accelerant

      2. IMOR

        From appearance, the fabric of those handkerchiefs will either a) not burn or b) melt a little rather than burn.
        And…Corona? Maybe a little on the nose. And I seem to recall that 16 oz Coca Cola and fifth booze bottles were favored over 12 ozers.

      3. D. Fuller

        If one doesn’t construct a Molotov cocktail right? It’s practically useless. The Finns did it proper. All others are amateurs or worse.

        Retired Army, here.

      4. The Rev Kev

        There is also a substance that can be added to a ‘moly’ to make the flames stick to a target like napalm which I shall refrain from naming. They did this in the Ukrainian riots and there were videos of police being set afire by this nasty stuff.

    2. shinola

      I read some pointers on “properly” fashioning a Molotov cocktail many years ago (in Abbie Hoffman’s “Revolution for the Hell of it” IIRC).

      It was suggested that using a large firecracker, such as a cherry bomb or M80, taped to a sealed bottle as an ignitor was “safer” (for the thrower) than the strip of cloth stuffed into the top – less likely to slop & burn the thrower. Also could just set it down, light the fuse & run.

    3. Synoia

      If a Molotov cocktail uses Gasoline as a fuel and on the wick (fuse). the contents of the vessel (bottle) will not ignite in the bottle, it will ignite when or as the bottle empties or is broken/smashed – Gasoline needs air (oxygen) to burn, and in a full bottle there is no space for air.

      1. PeterfromGeorgia

        The bottle’s top should be sealed with wax to limit oxygen entry before the bottle is broken. Also, it appears there is little to no fuel in the bottles.

      2. Alex Cox

        Seriously, now.

        Have you ever been to a demonstration carrying a molotov cocktail? Have you ever known anyone to attend a demo bringing along a few petrol bombs?

        I suppose I am pretty old, but I think going equipped in this way is extremely dangerous and counterproductive. It is the kind of thing one expects from government agents and state-supported provocateurs.

        1. fajensen

          Where I grew up, we went to the landfill to “blow shit up” or drive illegally. This was a huge gravel pit where they dug out gravel at one end and then threw in any kind of rubbish in the other, sometimes setting fire to it. Or kids setting fire to it. They are still cleaning up after it even today.

      3. RMO

        The original article, from the Spanish Civil War used gasoline, a piece of natural rubber, a bit of phosphorus and a well sealed cap or plug. The rubber would gel the gasoline when the bottle was shaken prior to throwing and the phosphorus would ignite the mess when the bottle broke open. Easier to carry and use but phosphorus is extremely nasty stuff to deal with in all ways and avoiding accidental ignition when producing them would have been a bit tricky. In the days after the retreat from France the British went as far as to produce basically the same thing on an industrial basis as the Albright Wilson bomb. They even made a version using a stronger glass bottle to be shot out of the Northover projector. Only the Home Guard was ever issued with them

    4. Kurtismayfield

      I do love that they appear to be in a restaurant take out box.. and if they were organized as they are they would be laying down in the box.

    5. fajensen

      Light a gas soaked rag and it goes up quick…

      That’s what you want. Otherwise it will go out when you throw it.

      I think those wicks are much too large (huge flames on ones throwing hand are distracting) and probably too lose. It is really dangerous for the thrower if the bottle opening is not securely closed.

      These are, IMO, more like an artists impression than an actual weapon of revolutionary fire.

      Annoying as it is to see sloppy work, If I write on how to do it properly, I’ll be on some list!

  3. Krystyn Podgajski

    RE: “3 Helpful Calming Techniques That Xanax Still Blows Out of the Water”

    That was awesome. As I was being admitted to one of the worst psychiatrics hospitals on the east coast and in the middle of a PTSD/Anxiety attack which they initiate, they kept telling me to “calm down” and “take deep breaths”.(Might as well have told me to keep my heart beating while I was in cardiac arrest). I told them I needed my prescribed(!) medication (klonopin) but they would not give it to me. When they finally did, a day later, they were AMAZED at how much better I was. Ha!

    1. furies

      Klonopin/benzodiazepines *give* you anxiety.

      I took 0.5 for 12 years and one fateful camping trip had forgotton to bring along. That was the day I realize I didn’t want to be chained to a prescription that would cause so much harm if I was unable to get it.

      After a year and a half taper (with no medical support) and 6 + years of literal hell on earth, I’m still dealing with the damages wrought. Almost uniformly the members of BenzoBuddies experience what appears to be mitochondrial damage, histamine intolerances and a lingering susceptiblity to stress.

      The autodysnomia, anxiety, migraines still flare up but things in general are better but I don’t know if the whole ordeal is worth it (unless concerned about dementia) for the very elderly and frail. It’s surprising how many geriatric patients are on benzos.

      I was so proud of myself for all those years, keeping my dosage down, I’d get my refills and the provider would reply when I expressed concerns, “You’re sleeping, aren’t you?”

      And the same folks not a clue when akathesia kicked in after the last of the taper–no CLUE it was their ‘meds’ that were making me *crazy*.

      How many suicides/violence is caused by psych meds? A sh*t ton.

      ps did you know that Thorazine was derived from rocket fuel? *shudder*

      1. JTMcPhee

        Most of the patients seen for rehabilitative service and chronic medical problems in the doctors’ practice I worked for who were aged, and especially those who were in nursing homes, were victims of “polypharmacy,” thanks to “doctors” (not the ones I worked for) who dosed people because of “billing opportunities.” The worst were the “doctors” with huge numbers of patients, many captive in facilities wherE the “doc” had a pecuniary interest and where keeping the patients “calm” was the driving clinical consideration. Ativan liberally dosed, along with klonopin and alprazolam.

        I’m in my 70s and I hope I check out before I get to the stage of having to be “institutionalized.” From my clinical training that included time in several “skilled nursing facilities” and extended care homes, I have no interest in living long enough to become a semi-vegetable depending on overworked, underpaid staff some of whom commit nasty abuse on their charges.

      2. ShamanicFallout

        It’s hard for me to write this, and I’ve mentioned this in the comments here before, but my wife suicided herself two and half years ago. Our daughter was four at the time. She spent years on various ‘medications’ for anxiety/panic, anti-depressants etc. She desperately wanted to be free of them and tried to get off of them, but found it pretty much impossible. You cannot simply stop taking them. She had a very serious downward spiral and at the time of her death she was taking quietapine, escitalopram, hydroxyzine pamoate, at some points klonopine, and a few others. I do read and see that some people are generally helped by these drugs, but it just seems to me a huge tangle of medications, reactions, adverse affects mixed with the fact that we really know so little about the mind and emotion.

        What good is a drug that’s meant to help you if one of the first indications is that it induces “suicidal ideation”? I offer no answers because I really don’t know, but I always consider that every other commercial on television is for a drug, on every street corner now there are several pharmacies/ drug stores, every grocery store now has a pharmacy, drugs can be delivered to your doorsteps, hospitals and “urgent care’ clinics all over the place… Kind of makes you sick, sad and angry

        1. Eureka Springs

          As late as the ’50’s my Grandmother told me of Great Grandmother taking things a bit to far. Finally Grandmother drives down the cotton field to the end of the farm meets Keo, Arkansas, where the pharmacist had many customers custom mixed bottle behind the counter with their name on it. She read the pharm man the riot act and he toned the blend down.

          I think that was much better than what we have now.

          It’s nothing short of a miracle I’m still here. No Dr. ever told me the xan they prescribed could easily kill me in an instant if I forgot a dose. Took forgetting a dose thus a major seizure and severe injury incurred while seizing to find out on my own. Years to get off of it… and that was all much worse than any reason I got on it.

          1. furies

            ” and that was all much worse than any reason I got on it. ”


            I swear, acute ‘withdrawal’ (dependence, not addiction) felt as if aliens had invaded my brain and controlled my thoughts…perfect way to get a “MI” label.

            At 3:30am for *years* my brain told me to kill myself.

            Thank the goddess I knew about the support websites having been introduced to Robert Whitaker’s work–in fact, “Anatomy of an Epidemic” was the inspiration to get off all the drugs prescribed after my horrific divorce.

            Klonopin was the last to go…

        2. JTMcPhee

          So sorry for your loss. So sad it’s one of the many dysfunctions in medical business in the Empire. Anyone being told they can “benefit” from a medication really ought to use the admittedly anecdotal resources of the net to research how other people have experienced the use of that drug. There’s no A lot of hysteria in some of the experiences reported, but it sure seems clear that there are a lot of profitable drugs that need a lot more than the 4-point typeface package inserts and manufacturer web sites provide in the way of real life effects. Of corse the drug makers have paid to have the legislation and regulations they want to insulate them from liability and it’s sadly up to individuals filing lawsuits to try and force the profit-grabbing corporate types to at least pay something for the damage they cause.

          No news, of course, that we have a sick society here. https://bellacaledonia.org.uk/2020/03/19/after-the-sick-society/

        3. ChiGal in Carolina

          Very sorry to hear it. A tough thing for you to live with.

          But you’re right, going cold turkey isn’t the way to get off benzos. I myself took .5 3x/day for about 15 years, starting shortly after my son died.

          A couple years ago I reduced it to 2x/day and a couple months ago I decided to drop down to 1x/day, before bed. Why? Because a seminar on anxiety mentioned that you can’t get the full benefits of meditation if you’re taking benzos. So far no problems.

          And in the last couple months of her life, benzos were a godsend for my mom.

          Don’t throw the baby out with the bathwater, I say.

        4. CarlH

          Thank you for sharing this heartbreaking story. Stories like these need to be heard more. May you and your daughter find peace and happiness going forward.

        5. furies

          Oh, ShamanicFallout!

          I am so so sorry to hear of this. This is why I can’t shut up about it. If I can prevent even one person from going down that road, it will be worth the ire I draw from those who don’t yet ‘get it’.

          It grieves me that so many suffer at the hands of phARMA.

          Best wishes to you and your daughter~

  4. cocomaan

    Lambert wrote:

    Of course, if you don’t have a decent internet connection, or don’t have one at all, that’s not very much help is it? Although parents can always take their kids to the public library, or park outside a MacDonalds and catch a signal that way!

    I just wrote a grant for a public library to get hotspots that can be distributed throughout the community. The public library itself has severely restricted its lobby/stacks to visitors (something like 25 people at a time) but you can park in the parking lot and use the wifi that way.

    1. Big River Bandido

      but you can park in the parking lot and use the wifi that way

      What a *great* environment for serious study.

      1. lupemax

        welcome to Amerika the richest country in the world… even in my little very rich town when people lose power they go to the library parking lot to log on. inspiring, eh?

        1. D. Fuller

          The small town library that was in NE Washington State was actually hooked into a US Government fiber optic cable along with the town “government” building. The finagled the reasoning for the hook-up to be “national security” of all things.

          Nearby, there were several dams and border patrol stations. Hence the US Gov’t fiber optic cable for Internet.

          The public could not hook into the fiber optic cable. A separate fiber optic cable was run by a co-op into the region. However, only 1 of the 2 companies responsible for providing service would actually sell you a subscription. The other company lied and said they didn’t service that area – too far away and any service calls would result in a 40 minute trip, one way, costing them too much money.

          Spent time in Oregon out near Fort Rock. Best? 0 to 2Mb/s. Cell towers. Except that one cell tower had been faulty for well over six months. Good luck with 911 if you needed it.

          That was four years ago. Somehow, I doubt things have improved.

  5. Henry Moon Pie

    Nagle, Tracey and Sanders–

    Where do Nagle and Tracey get the idea that a Left more attune to popular views would succeed? No one in power cares anything about popular opinion. To the contrary, one’s primary task in politics these days is not to listen to the people but to sell them stuff, stuff like wars, declining life expectancy, ever shrinking public services, etc. (It’s not an easy job, but it pays well, eventually.) Our politics revolves around a 50 year-old fight between two groups of elites: old-fashioned authoritarian Republicans and Hamilton-loving Democrat nudgers moving us decision by decision toward beautiful Sunstein Land.

    1. a different chris

      Yes I wasn’t as impressed with that article as Lambert – but weirdly I did basically agree with the overall thrust.

      It was like 3x too long, and being that long they used it to take a lot of cheap potshots. AOC was

      a) The “it” girl and a great person to draw crowds, you get her for the TV cameras if nothing else. Who cares about vote totals, its name recognition baby!
      b) And having said that, she was not at all the “flash but no cash” person, at that time anyway, that the article says she was.

      I support #2 by quoting all the people here that keep saying AOC sold out or some such. Well maybe she did, but that literally proves she wasn’t the person the article tries to imply she was.

      I could find another half-dozen spots that made me wince, it sounded like some conservative trolls were asked to pretend they were leftists and throw s(family blog)t at everything Sanders.

      However since purity-obsessed leftists seem to act that way anyway then I guess you don’t need conservatives to troll them.

      1. Carolinian

        Do you, like, read every article by first puzzling over whether the authors are right wing or left wing? The article is trying to give a factual accounting of the Sanders campaign. It’s not an opinion piece. Frankly I’m not very impressed by AOC either but I don’t think that has much to do with what they are telling us (which is that this time Bernie really had a shot if he had taken out Biden and held the same supporters who voted for him last time–a shot at the nomination that is.) Of course the press would have still torn into him in the general but the current Bernie white flag to the Dems is the worst possible outcome for reform. Perhaps he should have sat this one out.

        1. m sam

          If by “factual accounting” you mean leaving out a bunch of facts (which you can find up and down these comments), and then (as stated above) “throw s(family blog)t at everything Sanders,” then sure, it was a factual accounting.

          And yes, of course the political leanings of the author (and the intended audience) are of prime importance in an overtly political article. I mean, hello! I don’t see why you would think they weren’t.

          I tried to read the piece with an open mind my myself, but I soon realized somebody who is so anti-leftist as the author does not have anything constructive to add, and I couldn’t even take his screed with a grain of salt.

          1. Carolinian

            Perhaps the difference is that I’m not a Bernie supporter nor ever was. In our primary I voted for Gabbard.

            But agreeing with this viewpoint doesn’t necessarily make you a right winger (if one is trying to read those tea leaves). BAR started it and then Paul Street–Counterpunch’s favorite leftie–by calling Sanders a sheepdog. It was up to him to disprove the accusation. Did he?

            So not wearing Bernie colored glasses I found the article totally plausible. It’s not about whether Bernie is a nice guy or the authors are being mean to him. It’s about the necessary result of the left finally getting close enough to power to make a difference.

    2. Cuibono

      Suddenly it is all too fashionable to find reasons to tear Sanders apart. Not one of heh people doing so has spent an honest hour of their life fighting for real change I will bet.

  6. dcblogger

    I can’t believe you are quoting Michael Tracey, who would not recognize the working class if they knocked on his door and handed him a pizza. He has discovered that never ending attacks on the left and wokeness is a good grift and he is sticking with it.

    In my never was humble opinion, the Bernie campaign fell short because it lacked a voter registration effort. in 2008 Obama had a tremendous voter registration effort because he knew that if you are depending on the black and youth vote, you need voter registration. Bernie was depending on the youth vote and he did not do the voter registration effort you need to do. Also there was not enough effort to win the senior vote. Bernie was never going to win that vote, but he needed only to increase his share. He needed more gray hair on his campaign staff. As for the long knives of Super Tuesday, we could not have predicted that, but we certainly knew that establishment would go all out to defeat us. it was our obligation to overcome that. But for Tracey to sneer at the Bernie 2020 campaign as a farce, all I can say is that there are none so blind as those who will not see.

    1. Grant

      I think anyone analyzing the Bernie campaign needs to factor in the total disaster that was that primary, from Iowa on. With Iowa alone, any halfway decent party would have shown Perez and Pete what’s his name the door. But, it was horrible from that time on, and includes the destructive and antidemocratic things Obama did behind the scenes to push Biden’s campaign across the finish line. I get the things Bernie did wrong, as well as his massive struggles with older voters (who get their information from places like Fox, MSNBC and CNN. But, it was not a level playing field. The people that beat him back couldn’t win in a fair and transparent democratic process.

      1. dcblogger

        the fishwives are never welcomed into the palace grounds. if you are running a revolution, and that is what Bernie was doing, you have to prepare for unprecedented obstruction. There is not point in saying it was unfair, it was always going to be unfair. Only now we are still going to have a revolution, but instead of a 1932 style revolution where we get education and healthcare, like what Bernie wants, we are going to get a vicious 1917 style revolution. happy to be wrong.

        1. Grant

          Of course it was always going to be unfair, and I agree that he spoke of revolution but isn’t a revolutionary. He made other mistakes, like not really going at Biden’s horrible record and corruption. None of that means you don’t include that in the analysis of what happened. Just because we knew it was going to happen, that doesn’t mean it wasn’t a factor. It was, it was a big factor, so it should be part of the analysis.

      2. Dr. John Carpenter

        That was my biggest issue with that article too. You just can not talk about this election without mentioning what a clusterf the Dem primary was. Regardless of if it was incompetence (Iowa) or evil (The Night of the Long Knives) or Covid-19, the Dems once again ran a very flawed primary and there’s no way it didn’t hurt Sanders.
        I also take exception with the idea that Sanders would have been allowed to win. While I do agree he wasn’t a threat to the establishment Dems, the donors made it clear he was not an acceptable candidate. He didn’t do himself many favors and I think much of the rest of their analysis holds. Unless there’s another email dump, we’ll never know for sure, but had his campaign been stronger, I just don’t think the Dems would have stood back and let it roll on.

        1. Big River Bandido

          The infamous “Iowa caucus app” was essentially a kickback scheme, mandated, ordered, paid for, designed, and approved by Perez and ObamaWorld, which then threw the local party leaders under the bus once they had succeeded in casting doubt on the legitimacy of the process they themselves designed.

          I think you are being too charitable with the party, by attributing to incompetence what is really driven by design.

      3. The Rev Kev

        The truth of the matter is that Bernie’s campaign had people working for it that deliberately sabotaged it from the inside and Bernie went along with it. In fact, Bernie pushed out the very people that could have helped him to win and brought in democratic insiders which made his campaign toast. It is an ugly truth but there it is. They could have won.

        1. Big River Bandido

          My understanding of a lot of that conflict was between the 2016 team including more “traditional” operatives like Devine, and a group who was pushing Sanders to use distributed organizing. I can’t really fault that choice; it’s clear to me especially now that Sanders would never have been allowed to win anyway, but certainly not by running an old style campaign. On its own, the Democrat Party is a 90-pound weakling, incapable of capturing more than 48% of the popular vote. In 50 years there have been only 3 campaigns (Carter and Obama’s) where their candidate barely scraped together a razor-thin majority, *which the candidate himself had organized*. Those few extra percentage points were people voting for the man, not the party.

          I think Sanders was right to pursue the organization model. That it didn’t get the result is not an indictment of the idea — there were lots of small cuts in the primary that were messy but probably no worse than the things other successful candidates have had to deal with.

          Any reform candidate will need to put together a strong organization and huge coalition to win, whether they run as a Democrat or under actual real principles. Certainly the Democrats can’t help anyone, even if they wanted to (and they would never have supported Sanders).

        2. neo-realist

          I think the democratic party elites would have moved heaven and earth to stop Sanders. I don’t think the people that supposedly could have helped him to win could have stopped the candidacy of Warren, which split the progressive vote, nor the gaming of the voting through closing polls, and machine breakdowns in the districts that were potentially strong for Sanders, the forced dropping out of democratic candidates who then aligned with Biden, and the hostility of the corporate media in coverage and in the debates.

          It was going to be made extremely tough for Sanders to win regardless of the quality of personnel in his camp. He wanted to win, but the elites didn’t.

      4. dcrane

        Bernie won the first three contests which hasn’t been done before, including Nevada with a huge win. Yet then somehow he became the subject of a massive behind the scenes re-engineering of the result. The whole show was fake from the beginning because the D party knew that under no circumstances were they going to let Bernie have power at a brokered convention, let alone the nomination. This has ended my relationship with the D party, perhaps for the rest of my life.

    2. NotTimothyGeithner

      Besides the voter registration, the field campaign was much more disciplined than I felt the Sanders campaign was. Volunteers were left as volunteers, and they didn’t make volunteers into volunteer organizers. Field operations can’t be left to “good intentions”, and I worry about how contacts were being handled. With registration, if every volunteer goes to the farmer’s market, then no one goes to Wal-Mart or the library. I feel the Discord created the illusion of a disciplined structure which led to energy being spent on keeping in touch instead of “heres where we need to get our numbers up, go hit those doors.”

      And is Tracey going to write about the Tulsi Gabbard campaign?

    3. TBellT

      I lost all faith in Tracy since 2016, and feel similarly about Dore. Both appeared on Tucker’s show and have allowed his fervent Iraq War pt 2 cheer leading to go unanswered. That tells me they prize boosting their brand over actually speaking truth to power, a character flaw of establishment figures that they have seemed to adopt. Disappointing lack of principles.

      1. dcrane

        I watch Dore all the time and it’s obvious he doesn’t agree with much of what Tucker says. But he will give Carlson credit for saying some things he *does* say which nobody else with MSM access will voice. And that’s good.

        1. TBellT

          Missing my point. Why does that disagreement never appear when he’s on tuckers show?

          I’m not sure why Tucker deserves any credit anyway. Cable News will allow pundits to occasionally go “off ground” to portray the realm of allowed opinion as being broader than it actually is. Alternative Media gains nothing by legitimizing this form of “manufacturing consent”.

          1. dcrane

            Last time I saw him on Tucker’s show the whole piece was just a few minutes, which is probably not under Dore’s control. If you were him, would you choose to spend all that time on the many points you disagree on, or to discuss points of agreement? Both of them know that there is much in common between voters of the two parties, commonality that is otherwise denied or ignored by their leaderships. The whole point of going on Tucker’s show is to make connections with people on the other side.

            I understand your second point, but there is nothing wrong in my view with keeping the focus on the issues, and when there is agreement that should be discussed.

    4. Carolinian

      The authors say voter turnout was way up–they just didn’t vote for Bernie where it counted. In fact the authors say the switch from caucuses to full primaries may have hurt Sanders because he lost several states where he last time won the caucus. Too many people voting?

      What the authors don’t particularly go into is that Trump is the elephant in the room for this election and doubtless many Dems who went Bernie last time worried about him beating the dreaded Trump this time. They do claim that Bernie hurt himself by buying into the anti Trump line–the Russia stuff etc. But arguably the dynamic is different this election where we do have an incumbent.

      And finally this article was linked in the Siman Thomas Frank piece as part of his argument that Dems are failing by turning their backs on populism and particular working class populism. So indeed it is indeed an attack on the identity politics orientation of the current Dem party. Some of us agree totally. It didn’t work for them last time and it may indeed fail again despite the widespread dislike of Trump. The general public wants the trains to run on time and their incomes not to go down. What they definitely don’t seem to want is a “revolution” that turns out to be no kind of revolution at all. Sanders endorsing Biden is not exactly “to the barricades.”

      1. Big River Bandido

        There were plenty of reports post-caucus that overall turnout was well short of the 2008 high, and those reports noted that the 2008 peak was mostly a result of scheduling. So the authors even got *that* “fact” wrong.

        1. Carolinian

          No I said primaries. They say many states that had caucuses in 2016 turned to full primaries as part of a reform and then those states didn’t go for Sanders following the disastrous Super Tuesday outcome.

  7. Synoia

    Theranos’ Holmes May Pursue ‘Mental Disease’ in Her Defense

    One hopes so, then the decision can be she is a threat to society, and must be locked up because she is criminally insane, and the public needs protecting.

    1. Pavel

      Anyone else here old enough to remember how Ernest Saunders miraculously somehow cured himself of Alzheimer’s Disease in the Guinness shares scandal? Clive? Bueller? Anyone…? :)

      Ernest Walter Saunders (born 21 October 1935) is a former British business manager, best known as one of the “Guinness Four”, a group of businessmen who attempted fraudulently to manipulate the share price of the Guinness company. He was sentenced to five years’ imprisonment, but released after 10 months as he was believed to be suffering from Alzheimer’s disease, which is incurable. He subsequently made a full recovery.

      –Ernest Walter Saunders

    2. Paradan

      They could send her to Atascadero, which, because of meth users pleading insanity, is now an overcrowded hellhole.

  8. Billy

    Biden’s own eye-popping cash haul coincided with his selection of Kamala Harris as his running mate

    Win or Place, Wall Street and empire comes in first. Their money’s on the dark horse –2%–in the primaries, to pull their gold encrusted coach across the finish line after Biden tumbles before the first turn.

    “As attorney general of California, Kamala The Cop Harris embraced the promise of data and technology to improve law enforcement – including data mining systems developed by the secretive [CIA sponsored] Silicon Valley firm Palantir.”

    “As President, she would require police data reporting as a condition to receive federal funds (and) require federal prosecutors to provide data on their charging, plea bargaining, and sentencing decisions,” campaign spokeswoman Kirsten Allen said in a statement. She has also proposed creating a National Police Systems Review Board to review the data and issue policy recommendations.”

    “The Palo Alto-based company was co-founded by Peter Thiel, a prominent supporter of President Donald Trump, as a counter-terrorism tool for the nation’s military and intelligence agencies.”

    “Politico reported in 2016 that the company had landed more than $1 billion worth of contracts with the Department of Defense, Department of Justice, Department of Homeland Security and CIA and other federal agencies since 2009. Earlier this year, the company won a contract with the U.S. Army to build battlefield software that could be worth more than $800 million.”


    1. ambrit

      Yet another reason not to vote for the Democrat ticket this November. President Harris will formalize the Police State.

        1. polecat

          Talk about seeing Red ..

          Hell! That right there, would just about turn Everyone who wasn’t already one .. into a full-fledged anarchist!

      1. Tomonthebeach

        ‘scuze me. Trump already had made considerable progress already with DHS. What exactly does Harris have left to do?

        1. ambrit

          Make it official policy. Make arrests and detentions by Homeland Security exempt from any and all judicial oversight.
          I can see this woman implementing a ‘Son of the Patriot Act,’ or ‘Patriot Act 2.0.’

        2. John k

          Remember that biden promises no change from now, ie after four years of trump tax cuts for the rich, Dhs, etc

        3. Acacia

          President Harris will have plenty to do. The riots won’t stop after the election, of course, so she’ll double down on the use of police, DHS, etc. The prison industrial complex needs feeding.

    2. Duck1

      Is Palantir making money?

      . . . “Palantir’s financial documents show the company has never made a profit, with a net loss of about $580 million in 2018 and 2019 and nearly $165 million in the first half of 2020.Aug 26, 2020.”

      Where have we seen this pattern before?

  9. ambrit

    That ‘Woodcut Rate’ Renoir has a distinct “Fin de Cycle” feel to it.
    Let the appropriately approved disruptions commence!

    1. Lambert Strether Post author

      > a distinct “Fin de Cycle” feel to it.

      I’m trying to work out a joke about how many wheels a Fin de Cycle has, but I can’t. Maybe it’s just one big wheel, the karmic wheel.

      1. ambrit

        That’s a question for Big Dada to answer for us. It’s already been a long hot summer down here….
        As the Karmic Guide tells us; “Keep going. You will eventually catch up with yourself.”

  10. zagonostra

    >re: “First as Tragedy, Then as Farce:The Collapse of the Sanders Campaign

    It looks to me like wokeness is an effort to run an entire society like a corporate HR department runs a firm.

    HR Depts. don’t run firms. At least the corporations I’ve worked for (mainly over 10k EE’s). HR is completely beholden to Finance and whims of CEO, they are the ones that run the company and set the tone. HR’s job is to obediently fall in line and give lip service to the “mission, vision and values” that all companies seem to love putting on their letter heads.

    1. jsn

      Ah yes, but in a government that literally makes its own money, HR can run the firm, CEOs be damned! They’ll even get to pick the demographically correct CEOs.

      They were never able to buck the bucks in the private sector, but when they take over the public sector it’s the Wokevik Revolution and they can re-make us all to their ideal: demographically balanced equitable exploitation!

    2. ObjectiveFunction

      > HR Depts. don’t run firms.

      No, they don’t run the ‘core business’, fair enough.

      But from the employees’ point of view, HR looms quite large as a rigid and risk-averse bureaucracy whose primary mission is to protect the firm, not them, to drive employee compliance with policies, and to administer the necessary paper trails to be able to justify their dismissal when required. HR’s proper adjunct is not the C-suite or Finance, but Legal.

      Hillary, and now Kamala, are perfect HR personalities: lawyers, distant, humorless, rules- driven, quick to judge and intolerant of dissent. We serfs are right to fear them. They do not believe their duty is to serve us.

      I’ve known some quite decent, humane HR execs (as well as lawyers), but once again, in the event of conflict, their duty is to the firm, not to the employees.

  11. JWP

    School is now only reporting COVID cases of students who live on campus. That’s about 50% of students this year. Furthermore, Trump’s rally in the area was attended by many students, including fraternities using it as a “recruitment event”. I imagine we will never know the scale of some of these outbreaks, but we will see the incompetence.

    1. Lambert Strether Post author

      > School is now only reporting COVID cases of students who live on campus

      Grade schools and high schools have been open since August.

      Adding, I know there’s a spike in Iowa from colleges. But it’s not showing up in the regional aggregates.

      1. JBird4049

        Let the grifting, under-counting, and ass-covering continue! Don’t worry though as Senator Turtle is still pushing to get the blanket liability protections approved. Hey, maybe they wont have to pass anymore stimulus, cause we’ll all be dead. I don’t sound too bitter do I?

          1. Tomonthebeach

            Epidemiology is my least-favorite field because, like too many economists, they put human nature (psychology) in the error term. Hopkins or any other PH school has to get its numbers from someplace. Often, like WAPO or NYT, they go with what they got even if its validity (esp. comprehensiveness) is unclear. That is why wine is bad for you on Monday, then on Tuesday it’s’ oh-no red wine is healthy, then Wednesday it’s sorry ’bout that, all wine is good for you in moderation, then Friday it’s oops, all alcohol is bad for you – except beer, NIAAA is looking into that…

      2. ChiGal in Carolina

        But notice the South looks to be plateauing way up at the level of the terrifying peak that was NY in the early days.

        Not feeling sanguine.

  12. zagonostra

    But in the sudden and deep pandemic contraction, aggregate statistics can be misleading. Average wages aren’t growing because individual workers are getting raises. Instead, they are growing because so many low-wage workers have been laid off.”

    That’s exactly right. The company I work for has laid off more than half it’s staff. The remaining workers are all senior people who have higher wages. So our average wages for each job classification is higher, but that’s not because we’re giving increases, it’s because we laid off all the more recently hired, less paid employees in the same job classification and we foresee further cuts to staff in October so avg rates will go even higher.

        1. Basil Pesto

          nonsense to both of you. The breadth and depth of acting talent in the anglophone world alone right now is immense.

          1. ambrit

            Look at how said talent is expressed. For all it’s faults, “The Avengers” had style. Our modern crop of ‘entertainments’ go ‘Pow!’ and ‘Biff!’ for two hours or so. Then the audience goes home psychically exhausted from dealing with the assault of stressors it has endured. Going back to 1960’s cultural referents, today’s movies look like a lot of 1960’s “Batman” rip-offs.
            If you wish to cite Indie films as examples, please, let us not go anywhere near “Mumblecore.”

      1. petal

        You said it beautifully.
        She was wonderful and downright terrifying as Mrs. Danvers in Rebecca. Really sad she has passed.

    1. The Rev Kev

      A great actress. She once said that you should have a female James Bond and that if you made her a lesbian, you could still get to keep the Bond Girls. She had a very wry sense of humour and is sadly missed.

      1. John

        Diana Rigg: the black leather was so … so something. I loved the combination of the suave very English sophisticate and the gorgeous very feminine woman who turned the bad guys every way but loose. And, she radiated intelligence.

  13. Polar Donkey

    The worse micro recessions for here in Tennessee and Mississippi were from straight up stupidity. Late for lockdowns in larger cities like Memphis/Nashville and late for masks in rural areas. Kentucky did ok because it took precautions early. Currently, you are about 3 times as likely to get Covid in Lynchburg TN as you are in Memphis. Several other rural counties are even worse and don’t have prisons or meatpacking plants.

      1. jsn

        I’m with you, the only people I know who deny there are “militias” are local police and sherifs who are in them.

        1. Billy

          I was referring to the attacks on the Second Amendment which claim that militias, the stated basis for the Amendment, are an antiquated thing of the past and that no one should own guns because the police are there to protect you–until they are defunded.

          1. Basil Pesto

            do you think it’s perhaps possible that the word militia as used hundreds of years ago by legislators is different from the sense it is being used today by the press/public (to say nothing of the ‘well regulated’ part)?

    1. Wukchumni

      I’ve known of the Citizens Auxiliary Police since 1996, they wear a quite distinctive uniform consisting of: a pith or safari helmet, a blue arm-band, bermuda shorts and wing-tips with knee socks.

      The CAP apparently has sister organizations throughout the United States. These include the Gator Brigade (Florida) The Beaver Battalion or Beave Battalion (Oregon) West Texas Range Riders (Texas) and the New York State Simulated Police (New York)

  14. Big River Bandido

    re: the Angela Nagle and Michael Tracey article. I *tried* to read the whole thing, but I ended up only skimming it and not making it all the way through. Part of it is that I found their use of “left” quite hard to pin down. Some of the points in the article are irrefutable; Sanders did adopt Wokesterism and RussiaRussiaRussia™ and his rhetoric did become more accommodationist. His rural vote share went down and the switch away from caucuses did hurt.

    But ultimately, the journey from the 2016 “Unity Commission” all the way to The Night of the Long Knives exposed the entire Democrat primary process as a farce. I found myself rejecting nearly all of Nagle/Tracey’s conclusions post-Nevada primary, for the simple reason that they took the results at face value rather than viewing them in the light of a corrupt rump able to dominate an entire party.

    Short version: I don’t trust a word the Democrats say, nor their “democratic process”.

    1. Darthbobber

      They get a bit carried away in pursuit of their thesis. The claim of no effective “Bernie blackout” this time is reasonably laughable. And the establishment perceiving no threat because of all the accommodation flies in the face of everything I watched their minions doing and saying for months on end.

    2. TBellT

      I don’t see how one can link Bernie adopting party orthodoxy on Russia to the decreased rural voter share, when Biden picked up most of it.

      1. Darthbobber

        1) I don’t see how they convince themselves that going Anti-Russiagate would have helped Sanders in any primary, given the huge number of Democrats for whom this was gospel.
        2) Sanders benefited in rural areas in 2016 from being the candidate who was not named Hillary Clinton. Also from the fact that it was a 2 person choice from the start. Pete and Klobuchar were there to muddy those specific waters.

    3. John

      If it was ever in doubt the Democratic Party longs for the days of boss politics and the smoke filled room, minus the smoke. The defenestration of Bernie with no pretense proves the case. These primaries are such an annoyance to the powers-that-be of the orderly process of picking their candidate. If “they” really wanted Harris all along, she sure was an embarrassment during that messy and SO unnecessary primary phase. Well, they managed in the end.

  15. Lunker Walleye

    “MapLab: The Spread of Far-Right Vigilantism” [Bloomberg]

    Looked at Iowa and they have Des Moines County confused with City of Des Moines. Surprising there is not more showing up at IA/MO border.

  16. Tomonthebeach

    “It was the economy. Stupid.” Really?

    That assertion is an inaccurate oversimplification of politics. The problem is that this phrase conflates the economy with quality of life. They are not the same thing. While both are correlated, one can have a strong economy (Rising GDP, climbing DOW, Naz, and S&P) yet still NOT feel like your quality of life is improving or even okay. Just look out the window!

  17. zagonostra

    >Confusing UI Statistics

    If you just read the headlines, the UI statistics are very confusing. What I sense is that it is much worse than what is actually being reported. I can’t help but wonder when people will put some fear into the politicians and their owners..

    The official unemployment rate fell to 8.4% in August as businesses continued emerging from broad shutdowns imposed early in the coronavirus pandemic, the Bureau of Labor Statistics


    These 29.6 million people who continued to claim UI under all programs translate into 18.4% of the civilian labor force of 161 million:


  18. Goyo Marquez

    Trump and airborne covid 19:

    The cynical response to trump saying it was airborne is: How did Trump know it was airborne months before everyone else?

    1. Lambert Strether Post author

      > The cynical response to trump saying it was airborne is: How did Trump know it was airborne months before everyone else?

      If it was intelligence from China — and where else would it come from, in that time-frame? — then Pelosi, as a member of the Gang of Eight, knew too.

      1. Count Zero

        > The cynical response to Trump saying it was airborne:

        “Oh, so it’s NOT airborne then?” But maybe that’s not a “cynical” response.

    2. anon in so cal

      The WHO refused to acknowledge the role of aerosols. Even after 239 researchers wrote a letter expressing concern, the WHO still dragged its feet well into July.

      “39 Experts With One Big Claim: The Coronavirus Is Airborne

      The W.H.O. has resisted mounting evidence that viral particles floating indoors are infectious, some scientists say. The agency maintains the research is still inconclusive.”


    3. fajensen

      How did Trump know it was airborne months before everyone else?

      Trump says a lot of things. He says so many different things that some of them might be correct purely by accident.

  19. Adam

    I think the Tracey piece is interesting not for itself, but that it will likely invoke a different response about what the worst part of the piece is among all the readers here (as well as the different reasons Bernie lost).

    I definitely agree that piece (and Tracey in general) loves to attack the left and manages to do it from both an identity and economic front (attacking free college because it doesn’t help people who didn’t go to college like Bernie’s signature economic platform wasn’t Medicare for all?). It’s also wrong about the establishment not banding together to go after Bernie. Just because there wasn’t some massive media flood doesn’t mean it didn’t occur in the background, and IMO, that’s the biggest reason Bernie lost.

    Sanders definitely did fail on many messaging fronts and I can’t speak to any internal issues with his campaign (Lambert, are you still working on the Sanders volunteer post-mortem or did I completely miss it?), but Sanders was in a super-strong position after Nevada, but before the Clybourn endorsement. 25% of SC voters said the endorsement was the largest factor they considered when voting, and that’s basically Biden’s winning edge. Clybourn’s endorsement is very much backroom politics and SC basically crowned Joe Biden as the “electable” candidate. I’d imagine that was a much bigger factor in anything Bernie said or didn’t say in all the states that voted afterwards. Of course, that doesn’t change that had Bernie been running better messaging strategies before then, it may not have mattered.

  20. Pat

    I have had my first official “you are wasting your vote” attempt at shaming.

    First I live in NY. Despite the fact that I am sure that Trump is going to carry most of upstate rural NY that doesn’t begin to offset the Metropolitan Area, and even the upstate cities. We also now have a scanner vote system where we have no clue how our vote has been counted, which Democrats are fully in charge of programming. (I really, really do not belief that Biden got as high a percentage of the vote here in the primary for instance.) So the shamer really doesn’t have a clue that massive numbers of NYers voting for Biden is not going to make the difference in whether Trump is reelected.

    Secondly, after asking a few questions, they are merely basing this on Biden is a Democrat who is not Trump.

    I am beyond tempted to start sending them reams of information on both Biden and Harris. With the idea that if Biden is elected, I will tell them flat out that having wasted their vote on him they are now on the hook for everyone of his administration’s evil actions and I will not hesitate to point that out. Over and over and over again. Because as we all know they will be evil. There is too much value to Biden/Harris to do the wrong thing.

    1. drumlin woodchuckles

      When you say “scanner” system, do you mean like Opti-Scan where you make an analog physical mark on a real analog physical paper ballot? Which is THEN scanned?

      Or do you mean by touching a choice on an electronic touch screen?

      What does “scanned” mean in this comment?

      1. Pat

        Opti-scan. The machine takes the ballot and then announces “You Voted”.

        We would have paper ballots for a recount though the system to secure them is obscure.

    2. a different chris

      >they are now on the hook for everyone of his administration’s evil actions

      Yeah but they will have two responses, the first from the normal idiots:

      1) But Trump!!???!!?

      But the better informed will point out that

      2) it’s just a choice of who will screw you less. If they say they voted for 1000* evil actions in order to avoid 1500, that’s a pretty tough argument to take on.

      And I vote third party all the time, gets me nowhere which starts me on the back foot when arguing against a #2 voter.

      *not to tegnost – just a illustrative number, again. Nobody actually said that.

      1. tegnost

        Thanks, and yes “but Trump” was aggressively pursued +the whole RRR thing.
        I will consider them on the hook if biden wins because they foisted him on us.

    3. Acacia

      A vote for Biden/Harris is a vote for the same crew that got us Trump. He is very clearly Obama’s legacy.

      So, really it’s the opposite: a vote for Biden/Harris is a wasted vote.

      But, many people cannot think outside the box, so to speak.

    4. Howard

      After voting 3rd party for the last few decades, I have decided to vote for one of the main prez candidates or what I like to call the lesser of two racists/rapists. Now if I can only figure out which one is the lesser evil dude. It’s nice to have choices!

    5. jr

      “I am beyond tempted to start sending them reams of information on both Biden and Harris. With the idea that if Biden is elected, I will tell them flat out that having wasted their vote on him they are now on the hook for everyone of his administration’s evil actions and I will not hesitate to point that out. Over and over and over again. Because as we all know they will be evil. There is too much value to Biden/Harris to do the wrong thing.”

      I feel you but save your breath and pixels. They won’t listen. People’s minds are “turtling” up. They want to pick a color and stick to it. A former neighbor, thank God, was ranting in the hallway a few months back about how the Russians AND the Chinese were probably going to tank it for Biden. His daughter is in NYC politics and I’m sure his babbling paranoia is shared by more than one of those worthies. “It’s existential!” I hear from lips that didn’t know that word existed a year ago. Questioning Biden around here literally gets you confused stares and a quick change of topic. No doubt this will turn to disbelief and anger if that revenant loses to the Tangelo Terror.

  21. occasional anonymous

    The Dune movie looks like it’s going to be exceptional, as hoped. Might even be worth risking the ‘rona to go see it in theater (it needs to make plenty of money, so the studio will fund a second movie of the second half of the book).

      1. Pat

        Not to mention that Paul has spent his entire life doing serious physical training including Hand to hand and weapons combat. Chalamet looks like he would fall over if he picked up a broad sword. (And no I do not for a moment imagine they were using fencing weaponry in this universe.)

        The worm looks good though.

        1. Anthony Noel

          Except it’s specifically mentioned that Paul is small for his age by Gaius Helen Mohiam.

          And actually yes, in this universe it is all fencing weapons, specifically long knives and daggers.

          A broadsword would be relatively useless since by design it’s a cutting weapon which means you need speed to damage and personal shields block anything with a high velocity. It cannot function as a weapon in Dune’s imperial society because it cannot achieve the dual requirements of a weapon that is effective against personal shields, one that can A) attack fast enough to get past an opponents guard and then B) slow said attack down enough to penetrate that opponents shield while still being able to land a killing or wounding strike.

          1. jr

            Sure, but he is still a wimp. There was a scene in the trailer where he is facing some enemy off screen or something. He looks like an high school art teacher’s class pet about to get his sketch pad stuffed in the lunch room trash can by the wrestling team captain. Brushing his hair aside, he takes a hopeless stand against Chad and hopes Becky notices. After all, the sketch pad is full of pictures of her…

            1. occasional anonymous

              Saying you’re not interested in a film because of one character’s haircut is incredibly petty.

              You also don’t seem to be familiar with the source material. Chalamet is perfectly cast as Paul. That the character is tiny and fragile looking yet can fight is a plot point. He impresses the Fremen with his fighting skills because he has what is basically magical space Kung fu training, which he then teaches them.

              1. jr

                Please, Chalamet looks like he’s about to break out in a Psychedelic Furs jam on his synthesizer. His kid sister could beat him senseless. I wonder if his stillsuit has a tube of hair conditioner built into it.

                Now look into the eyes of Kyle MacLachlan in the dual. There’s a man ready to kill, not primp.

                And I think you can judge a movie by a haircut. I see his haircut on the street here every other day or so. But one of the things that I loved about Dune so long ago was how alien the humans seemed. If I were to watch this movie, the whole time I would be like “Look at that F-ing haircut.” I want strange haircuts, challenging haircuts, fierce haircuts, haircuts that aren’t afraid to go in new directions.

                As for the charge of petty, well, you should have heard me snoring through “A Star is Born.” I kept being awakened but kept falling back asleep. And where the hell did Dave Chapelle come from?

        2. jr

          I’d like to see him pick up a comb. Speaking of movies, I have the Criterion streaming service and I can’t recommend it enough. I’m currently watchin<em, 1954, which is luxurious:


          I had MUBI but it was as if someone gave a bunch of wokesy film studies grad students a budget and free rein. There was literally a docu-drama-musical offering whose mere existence pushed me to cancel, after writing a review that bordered on a demonic invocation. However, there were two notable exceptions:


          China not China 2018

          Surreal double exposed footage of streets in Hong Kong and Taiwan. Dreamlike…



          The Convent 1995 A spin on Faust but well done and complex, John Malkovich and some European film notables.

  22. UserFriendly

    Intelligence Gathering at Protests, by J.D.” [Seemorerocks].

    LOL That sounds like every Special Ops reject’s wet dream. But who knows, not many right wingers are willing to try and convince people about climate change.

    And he linked to this right wing Christian news cast which doesn’t bode well for Trump. An Hours long denouncement of Trump for the Woodward thing. Also amusingly condemning die hard Trumpers for being cultists just like how the democrats treat the Clintons (spot on!). He also, gets awfully close to antisemitism with his denouncing of Kushner and then pointing out how they had early coverage of COVID:

    At ~ 50min “we were calling it the AIPAC virus… Israel quarantined everyone who came back from AIPAC.”
    They keep trying to site Haaretz as saying it was a super spreader event but this is the closest I could find so I think that might be the antisemitism getting ahead of itself.

    And then into the homophobia at which point I lost interest.

    1. Duck1

      Sort of sounds like you didn’t read the post, but spent your time reacting to the Seemorerocks site instead.

      1. L

        So I actually read the post and I also have to wonder about this guy. He finds examples of organization (i.e. people (self) defined as security) and examples of people preparing for violence and people being intimidating (often the same group). All of which he finds at multiple events in one place. From that he concludes that there is a national organization managing all of these protests and that they plan to enforce control over the crowd.

        He says he is a “trained investigator” but if so I think he should ask for his money back.

        Having been to protests, random labor marches, and even sporting events there are always people who want to call themselves “security” and are ready for a fight. Likewise there are also people on the lookout for spies. That is hardly surprising given the long and documented history of undercover agents in political crowds, as well as more recent events. I remember one march for peace in 2004 where the “undercovers” actually carried their cuffs in plain sight.

        Now given the fact that the same groups come back to protests in a given area again and again it is also unsurprising to find a “team” that reappears. People who are active in an area, tend to stay active. And people who are active in a cause move around. But none of that proves his key claim of central organization. All that it does is show that he assumed that any “organization” must be backed from somewhere because it is impossible for people to self organize and self-fund these things.

        This would be silly if it didn’t speak to two very important points. First, like the CCP this guy has adopted the assumption that it is fundamentally impossible for people to have attitudes that diverge from him without being led by a conspiracy. Thus he presumes that none of their views are legitimate, real, or derserving of a public hearing and it in turn excuses violence to respond to them. Second, he sees no meaningful distinction between peaceful people at these events, and the assholes with guns, meaning that justifies violence still more.

      2. UserFriendly

        I did read it. I was convinced it was fanfiction, then explored the site and saw that he was willing to challenge right wing dogma on two counts so I hedged my comment.

  23. edmondo

    Just to confirm that the Biden campaign has a pulse:

    I just got a text message from someone Bidenland asking me if I was a “vote for Joe” (Our VBM ballots will be out in the next 10 to 14 days.)

    I responded, “Sure. I would be happy to pledge my vote for Joe Biden the day AFTER he comes out in favor of Medicare $ All. Unless I hear that promise, I’ll be voting for the orange catastrophe.”

    OMG – I just realized that it could have been Susan Sarandon on the other side of that exchange!. Oh well, that will teach her to compromise with evil.

    1. edmondo

      One point I’d like to reiterate here.

      The Biden campaign contacted me a week or so before the ballots will be received. Contrast that to the Democratic primary – the first time i heard from any volunteer from the Sanders campaign this spring was two weeks AFTER I had already received, voted and returned the ballot through the mail.

  24. ChrisAtRU

    Biden (D) (1)

    “So picking Harris was the right move. They loved her in the Hamptons!”

    Biden’s placeholder presidency is the only vehicle by which their early bet can pay. She failed miserably on her own as a candidate.

    What’s the line on her ascension before 2024? I’ll take the under.

    1. John k

      They dependably went for the donations, not the votes. She got 2% of the votes in her own party’s primaries, and no delegates at all. I find it unlikely she brings any votes that the awful Biden wouldn’t get on his own, and will likely lose votes in the swings.
      But the amontillado!
      I hope the money lured Biden to his doom.

  25. marym

    “A special three-judge[*] court in New York has ruled to block the Trump administration’s efforts to make an unprecedented change to the constitutionally mandated count of every person living in the country — leaving out unauthorized immigrants from the census numbers that determine each state’s share of seats in Congress.

    Since the first U.S. census in 1790, the country’s official once-a-decade population numbers used to reapportion seats in the House of Representatives have included both U.S. citizens and noncitizens, regardless of immigration status. Enacted after the Civil War, the 14th Amendment ended the counting of an enslaved person as “three fifths” of a free person by requiring the counting of the “whole number of persons in each state.”

    The ruling in New York is likely to be appealed directly tothe U.S. Supreme Court.”


    1 Obama appointee, 2 GWB appointees

  26. The Rev Kev

    “Amazon says it has added retired four-star Army general Keith Alexander to its board of directors. Alexander also previously ran the NSA — the National Security Agency.”

    Stealing another person’s line here. So when you now say ‘Hey Alexa’ is that short now for ‘Hey Keith Alexander’?

  27. John k

    Sanders campaign… perhaps he was trying to win until obama showed him the horses’ head.
    But thinking back, trump managed to take over the rep party by demolishing all other candidates. Memorably going after bush for the Iraq disaster, and calling it such… prior to that, no rep would have dared attack bush, McCain, or, indeed, any rep war. To take over the dems you must attack Obama and the rest of the Corp gang, Pelosi and Schumer., remember that at one time bush and McCain were both rep saints.
    But staying with the reps, maybe they’ll be vulnerable to takeover by progressives post trump… certainly a Biden win would make it far harder for the foreseeable future in dem land. Rank and file Reps like m4a. Plus reps are more the peace party than dems these days. Maybe progressives should try to recruit a few rep progressives to run in rep states. Camel shouldn’t limit his efforts to just one side of the Corp tent.

  28. tongorad

    I’ve yet to see any Bernie post-mortem address his performance vs Biden in the debate. Too superficial? I suppose it was all over by then, but I was shocked at Bernie’s muddled night, in which he was caught flat-footed by Biden’s lies and seemed only prepared to repeat his stump speech. That’s when I finally realized it was all over.
    It seemed to me wildly unwise to pick that moment to rage against the billionaire class, when the gravity of the pandemic was pulling hard and material concerns were foremost in everyone’s mind.

    1. TBellT

      Trump is right about one thing though, Biden’s performance and congence in that debate was markedly improved from everyone before it.

      He did call out biden lies and doing it any more forcefully wouldn’t have mattered. People who aren’t incredibly engaged probably just see at as attempts at working the ref. The only way that debate was going to have an impact on the race was if Biden made more gaffes and countered the “electable” narrative. Bernie spent big on pointing out NAFTA and that didn’t dent the narrative. Outside of Bernie changing his entire debate style to make Biden short circuit idk what else he could have done.

      1. Basil Pesto

        as Yves has said with reference to that debate, it takes at least three times as much time and effort to debunk a lie as it does to disseminate one. To expect that from the light entertainment that is a televised political debate in 2020 is unrealistic.

  29. VietnamVet

    Tonight’s NewsHour reported on the forest fires in Western Oregon. It is apocalyptic. Towns burned down. Air a smoky yellow. Blade Runner’s 2019 West is here, up and down the Coast, including the wet western side of the Cascades and the Sierra Nevada.

    Across the West fireproofing your homes is now required

    The coronavirus pandemic,100 days of riots in Portland OR and the firestorms; the dystopian future is here. Only a people’s government will address the illness, climate change, inequality and endless wars that are the cause the collapse of the USA.

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