2:00PM Water Cooler 9/14/2020

By Lambert Strether of Corrente.

#COVID19

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

Here again is the Midwest: Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota, and Wisconsin:

Here is positivity:

North Dakota falling off a cliff over the weekend has to be data issue.

Here are the United States regions:

I don’t like those little upticks for the South, the Midwest, and the United States as a whole. Maybe we didn’t dodge a bullet on school reopenings after all.

Politics

“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. Maybe we’ll have a whole series of October surprises, since election day is gradually being devalued as an event.

* * *

2020

Biden (D)(1): “Is This the Secret to Selling Joe Biden?” [The Atlantic]. “[Horst Ben] Wessel [, who runs the youth-focused super PAC Wessel NextGen America] thought back to the image of Katniss—a heroic underdog trying to defeat evil. He thought about how Millennials have been kicked in the butt by 9/11, Hurricane Katrina, the Iraq War, the Great Recession, and the pandemic and the current economic collapse… He came up with what NextGen now calls ‘the Democratic Avengers,’ after the Marvel movie featuring an ensemble of superheroes. The idea is that by voting for Biden, you’re voting not just for him; you’re voting for all of the Democrats—many of them cool and hip!—that Biden will have in his orbit. Biden might borrow policies from Warren, for example, or have Sanders as an adviser. ‘If he is elected, it won’t just be Joe Biden,’ this message reads. ‘Biden has pledged to build an administration filled with progressive leaders, experts, and activists from inside and outside of politics.’ This idea went over really well, according to Wessel and Baumann. In the focus groups, one white Millennial said ‘the saving grace of this (potential) presidency would be his crew. If he actually chooses true progressives and activists, I will be surprised but happy to admit I misjudged him.'” • Well, sure. That’s why Obama stood Biden up; to implement Sanders’ policies. Nothing to do with war, or austerity, or crackdowns on protest. Biden is, after all, a liberal Democrat.

Biden (D)(2): “Biden’s transition team, wary of Trump and Covid-19, sets massive fundraising goal” [Politico]. “Joe Biden’s transition team has expanded its fundraising goal far beyond what Hillary Clinton raised in 2016, anticipating that, should they prevail in November, the Trump administration could actively work against their efforts and that the coronavirus pandemic will make a presidential changeover more difficult than ever. The Biden transition team is aiming to raise at least $7 million by Election Day and build a staff of at least 350 people by Inauguration Day, according to a person familiar with the transition’s planning… Several people involved in raising money for Biden’s transition said the pitch to potential donors leans on fears that President Donald Trump will not ease the handover process if he loses.” • Erskine Bowles is “offering advice and context as a veteran of past administrations.” But which avenger is he? Nick Fury?

Sanders (D)(1): “Bernie Sanders believes Biden at ‘serious risk’ of losing to Trump and urges him to campaign with AOC, report claims” [Independent]. “But it is rare for such a prominent party figure to repeatedly voice private criticisms of the party’s nominee and acknowledge them publicly, especially in the campaign’s final stretch. Sanders’s decision to do so suggests the ongoing frustration among liberals, who urgently want Biden to defeat President Donald Trump but are upset that he has taken a relatively centrist path.” • I dunno. I’ve gotta hand it to the Biden campaign. Remember how Biden kept cruising in the polls in the primaries while not doing anything? If your goal is an Obama Restorations in which “fundamentally, nothing will change,” than doing what Sanders wants is the last thing you want to do. “Dance with the one that brung ya.” I’m picturing Sanders squeaking as a book descends, here….

Trump (R)(1): Hmm:

Trump (R)(2): “As he fends off more revelations, Trump is running short of time and targets” [CNN]. “With support hovering around 43% nationally, Trump needs a chunk of new supporters to overcome Democratic nominee Joe Biden’s lead. He has just more than seven weeks to lure them. And he faces a significant obstacle that he didn’t in 2016: a smaller pool of available prospects…. Outsized attention to Trump’s base, most conspicuously the maskless true-believers who pack his rallies despite the coronavirus pandemic, obscures the reality that they number too few to give him a second term. Though Trump eked out an electoral victory four years ago with 46.1% of the popular vote, he cannot repeat that feat with 43%.” • This is a good article on the arithmetic (though unfortunately focused on the national level when it’s swing states that matter).” • The first debate is September 29. With early voting, that’s late.

* * *

“The association of voter turnout with county-level coronavirus disease 2019 occurrence early in the pandemic” [Science Direct]. “Our results differ by state. For Michigan, to a lesser extent for Missouri and not at all for Mississippi, they suggest that counties with a larger voter turnout had higher COVID-19 risks over an approximate 1- to 2-week period beginning a few days after the voting… In summary, we reiterate concerns noted in an open letter from multiple public health officials to the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives [34] that going to the polls in an election can be associated with increased risk of SARS-CoV-2 transmission. Although our study of the March 10 primary elections had limitations, the results are consistent with the concern that higher in-person voter turnout may have led to increases in local risk of infection in at least one state. Depending on the situation as the next vote nears, voters may wish to consider taking advantage of absentee ballots or other available voting options.”

“Poverty continues to prevent many ex-felons from voting” [Facing South]. “Florida’s controversial pay-to-vote law — which disenfranchises an estimated 770,000 people — is being challenged in the federal courts in Jones v. DeSantis. The case was brought by a coalition of voters who say the law unconstitutionally discriminates on the basis of wealth and violates the 24th Amendment. In May, a federal district court agreed with the plaintiffs. But Florida appealed the decision to the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals, which is now considering the case. The court is expected to reach a decision before Oct. 5, Florida’s voter registration deadline.”

Realignment and Legitimacy

McNab has been following the militias for years:

“America in Crisis: A Closer Look at a Deeply Polarized Nation” [Bloomberg]. handy map:

That two-dimensional color key is really interesting as a data display technique.

* * *

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.

There are no statistics of note today.

* * *

Marketing: “Meet Mufasa And Hypeman: Influencers Born In A Pandemic, Now Working For The Weekend” [Forbes]. “In 2019 alone, 380 new influencer marketing-focused agencies and platforms were developed, valuing the influencer economy at $9.7B for 2020. Whether or not this market is rattled by shrinking budgets, the number one reported challenge in this business remains “finding influencers.'” • The embedded Mufasa videos are really fun!

Shipping: “Amazon Air expands at unprecedented pace, report says” [American Shipper]. “Since May, Amazon (NASDAQ: AMZN) has added a dozen aircraft to its fleet, increased daily flight activity by more than 30%, continued to decentralize operations with the addition of new hubs and significantly changed service patterns in the Northeast and Florida, the analysis of flight-tracking platforms and fleet registration data showed. ‘By the end of 2021, Amazon Air could cross the 200-flights-a-day threshold, making it about twice the size it was in early 2020. With only a modest increase in fleet utilization, this will require about 74 to 75 airplanes, which the airline is on track to achieve,’ the report from DePaul’s Chaddick Institute for Metropolitan Development concluded. The increased operational tempo appears directly tied to the rapid growth in online shopping during the coronavirus pandemic.”

Shipping: “Container shipping lines are increasingly trying to align their operations with the big shifts underway in retail supply chains. The head of French container ship operator CMA CGM says e-commerce is a growing driver of the company’s strategic moves, including its investment and restructuring of the Ceva logistics business. Rodolphe Saadé [says] that customers including Amazon and Walmart ‘are looking for one entity for all their shipment needs’ as they try to feed their global supply chains into time-sensitive domestic distribution networks” [Wall Street Journal]. “CMA CGM and rival Maersk Line are both pushing into warehousing, freight forwarding and other components of inland distribution even as the maritime sector sees fresh evidence of the impact of digital commerce.” • “One enitity”….

Shipping: “Fidelity warns of supply chain risks due to stranded seafarers” [Financial Times]. “Fidelity International, the $566bn asset manager, has called on companies and governments to urgently address an unfolding crisis in global supply chains as hundreds of thousands of ship workers remain stranded at sea because of the pandemic…. Jenn-Hui Tan, global head of stewardship and sustainable investing at Fidelity, said an estimated 90 per cent of world trade relies on shipping, providing a vital service for businesses and consumers. He said seafarers should be classified as essential workers and allowed to disembark…. According to the International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF), there are about 300,000 seafarers trapped aboard vessels, while a similar number are facing financial ruin as many have not been able to return to work…. [Mr. Tan] said there was a big logistical challenge to repatriate seafarers because of the reduction in international flights in response to the pandemic. There was also an economic cost, as ships altered routes in order to allow workers to leave.”

Tech: “ByteDance not to sell TikTok’s U.S. operations to Microsoft or Oracle: Sources” [CGTN]. “CGTN Digital has learned from sources that ByteDance will also not sell TikTok’s U.S. operations to Oracle. ByteDance has declined to comment on this matter by press time. U.S. President Donald Trump set a deadline last month for TikTok to be sold to a U.S. company by September 15 or face a ban, citing national security reasons. China released a revised catalogue of technologies that are subject to export bans or restrictions at the end of August, which means that ByteDance may have to obtain a license from the government to proceed with TikTok’s sale to an American company.” • Oops.

Mr. Market: “Dow claws back 28,000 perch as stocks rebound from last week’s selloff, amid vaccine hopes, deal-making” [MarketWatch]. “U.S. stocks rose Monday, kicking off the week amid fresh hope for a coronavirus vaccine and a flurry of potential corporate mash ups announced over the weekend, including reports that Oracle may be forging a partnership with TikTok, the popular China-owned social media platform…. Equities on Wall Street took on a buoyant tone at the start of the week as investors drew optimism from progress reported on the corobavirus front, after market turbulence last week led the Nasdaq Composite to post its steepest weekly decline since the height of the pandemic-driven selloff in March.”

* * *

Today’s Fear & Greed Index: 60 Greed (previous close: 58 Greed) [CNN]. One week ago: 60 (Greed). (0 is Extreme Fear; 100 is Extreme Greed). Last updated Sep 14 at 12:07pm.

Rapture Index: Closes up one on Floods. “China has had a series of massive floods.” [Rapture Ready]. Record High, October 10, 2016: 189. Current: 182. (Remember that bringing on the rapture is a good thing.)

The Biosphere

“Distributed Effects of Climate Policy: A Machine Learning Approach” (PDF) [MIT Center for Energy and Environmental Policy Research (dk)]. “Our focus is on the net increase or decrease of annual household expenses under 12 different policy scenarios, which included both carbon pricing schemes and regulatory standards. We find regulatory standards tend to be regressive and, on average, are a net cost to low-income households—especially those in rural areas. Carbon pricing, when accompanied with a dividend, is progressive for urban, rural, and suburban households, with the average low-income household receiving a larger dividend check than they spend in carbon taxes. However, there are transfers from the Midwest and Plains to the Coasts when the dividend is evenly divided. We show that this can be mitigated through adjusting the dividend slightly (<8% increase or decrease). Increasing the progressive structure of a policy benefits rural households more on average, but increases the overall heterogeneity of impacts within each income group. Reducing the transfers between geographic regions and urban-rural households increases the average benefit to low-income households and reduces the heterogeneity of impacts within income groups. We encourage policy makers to assess and control for unwanted transfers between households.”

“When Bush and Cheney doubled down on fossil fuels: A fateful choice for the climate” [Brookings Institution]. “Fifteen years ago this spring, the United States took a determinative turn when President George W. Bush, in his second week in office, created the National Energy Policy Development Group (NEPDG). The group was tasked with coming up with a solution on what to do about the U.S.’s heavy dependence on oil from the unstable Middle East. The NEPDG never reconsidered U.S. or global dependence on petroleum. Instead, seeing a future of relentlessly increasing global demand for fossil fuels, the White House believed global oil production would have to increase dramatically by 2025 for the U.S. and the world to remain economically stable. Looking back, one could argue that this ‘oil escalation’ strategy failed on all counts, exacerbating instability in the Middle East and setting the U.S. and the world back a decade and a half in the fight against climate change.” • From 2016, still germane.

Health Care

“Transmission Dynamics of COVID-19 Outbreaks Associated with Child Care Facilities — Salt Lake City, Utah, April–July 2020” [Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report]. “Twelve children acquired COVID-19 in child care facilities. Transmission was documented from these children to at least 12 (26%) of 46 nonfacility contacts (confirmed or probable cases). One parent was hospitalized. Transmission was observed from two of three children with confirmed, asymptomatic COVID-19.” • Children are fomites…

“Working from home could be keeping Covid-19 at bay – for proof, look at London” [Guardian]. “Why is the capital now doing better at containing the disease while places including Blackburn, Bolton, Bradford, Bury, Manchester, Oldham, Preston and Rochdale have faced greater restrictions and local lockdowns?…. From London the story is becoming clear: its centre has more white-collar jobs and longer commutes than outer areas, which are characterised by people working in public services such as education or health, or in various blue-collar professions. Many London jobs can be done remotely, which remains a much more appealing prospect than squeezing on to a rush hour train. Londoners may be tightly packed, but many aren’t mixing for work. The percentage of jobs in London in financial and insurance activities is almost double that of England as a whole, as is the percentage working in information and communication.” • Virtue rewarded!

“What do Google searches tell us about our mental health?” [ABC]. “A comparison of Google searches between healthy volunteers and patients with Schizophrenia Spectrum Disorders — or SSD, psychiatric conditions characterized by symptoms of psychosis — looked at 32,733 time-stamped searches, analyzing search activity timing, frequency and content. Researchers then developed machine learning algorithms that use search activity data to identify individuals with SSD and to predict psychotic relapse…. The study identified several important patterns. People with SSD searched less frequently and used fewer words in searches. During a relapse, people with SSD were more likely to use words related to hearing, perception and anger, and were less likely to use words related to health.” • Apparently, Facebook activity can be used to predict psychotic episodes MR SUBLIMINAL Yeah, because it causes them!

Water

“Crystal Lagoons are all the rage. But do they hold water financially?” [WFAA]. “Crystal Lagoons, the large, aquatic amenities being incorporated into master-planned communities across Texas and the U.S., are surfing a wave of popularity… The first Crystal Lagoon in North Texas opened to the residents of Windsong Ranch in Prosper last month. The 10-million-gallon, clear-blue lagoon spans five acres in the 2,030-acre master-planned community and is surrounded by 2,600-tons of sand. You can see that lagoon by clicking here. The company called Crystal Lagoons, with U.S. headquarters in Dallas and Miami, has more than 110 lagoons in different stages of development or negotiation underway across the nation, including 30 in Texas, according to Lisa Moore, regional director of Crystal Lagoons.” • Crystal lagoons are, apparently, “amenities.” More: “To us in the United States and in Texas, the Crystal Lagoon is a new thing. They’ve really been building them around the world for about 20 years. It was late coming here (the U.S.) because of regulatory problems. They had some issues with what was it? Was it a swimming pool? Well, if it’s a swimming pool, you have to add chlorine and do all these things. It took a while to convince the government that it didn’t require chlorine, that the technology is such that it keeps the water safe and clean without using a lot of chemicals.” • So, a regulatory arbitrage play, too?

Book Nook

Social determinants of fiction, a thread:

9/11

Real or surreal?

Groves of Academe

“Trading Social Science For Social Intimidation” [The American Conservative]. • Most of this piece is a reactionary screed. Nevertheless, the replication crisis is real. So how about credentials based on “irreproducible results“? (Caveating immediately that branches of the humanities — English, history, macroeconomics — aren’t sciences, and their results cannot be reproduced.)

Class Warfare

“Covid Is Turning Us All Into Hipsteaders” [Bloomberg]. “The poll of 2,200 U.S. residents in late June showed that a third of Americans grew herbs and vegetables and did their own sewing and clothing repairs. Equally significant, 60% of Americans expect in a fully reopened economy to do more for themselves, instead of paying for services… The number of people who want to spend more time raising chickens after the pandemic is 4%, the same as web design. Beekeeping came in at 2%, equaling 3D printing…. Meanwhile at Etsy, which has seen its stock jump about 150% this year after record sales gains, searches for DIY kits have almost quadrupled … While it’s hard to measure the economic impact of hipsteading, it does intersect several giant markets. Globally, there’s $600 billion in home improvement, $576 billion in gardening, $526 billion of handicrafts, $59 billion in kitchenware and $16 billion in organic poultry and meat sales…. Tractor Supply said a shift in spending from travel, entertainment and dining into homesteading, land maintenance and backyard living has helped boost its sales by 35% last quarter—the most in nearly two decades.” • I’m having a hard time throwing tractor sakes and Etsy into the same bucket. I’d suggest that what makes hipsteading hip is that you don’t have to do it. I got into permaculture in 2010 because with the economy, and my personal economy, as they were, I wanted to guarantee that I had food. I didn’t do it to be hip.

“Hanging by a Strand” [The Baffler]. “The coronavirus pandemic has widened an existing rift between [Nancy] Bass Wyden and the workers she employs, one centered on the future of the Strand itself. Even as floor managers and supervisors are having to pick up extra work to cover for missing union workers, union members say that Bass Wyden has cleared her business almost entirely of the layer of upper management that once stood between her and the union. ‘She used the pandemic to, basically, clean house of management,’ Bill Magee, a laid-off Strand worker who’d been employed at the store since 2013, told me. ‘Nancy is running things in a way that she hasn’t before. There used to be people to push back.’ . … “The Bass family always hated the union,” [Melissa Graves, a shop steward] explained. (Strand workers unionized in 1976.) But tensions have really been building since Fred Bass, who inherited the business from his father, died in 2018, leaving behind a $25 million estate. ‘Fred at least had open animosity with us, and we had animosity with him. With Nancy, we’re dealing with a senator’s wife, so it’s a lot more complicated,’ Graves continued. Bass Wyden is married to Senator Ron Wyden of Oregon, who, as it happens, is pushing for more transparency when it comes to loans distributed under the Paycheck Protection Program—one of which the Strand received.” • I wonder if Nancy likes ice cream?

News of the Wired

“TikTok users try to fight traditional beauty standards by showing off their bellies” [NBC]. “Teens have reported that TikTok has warped their perceptions of their bodies. However, more recently, users like Brooklynne have started movements to normalize all body types and shapes to dispel harmful beauty standards. Women and girls joyfully showing off their relaxed, unaltered stomachs has become a sweeping trend on the platform in recent weeks. Experts said the trend could help young people re-evaluate beauty standards and adjust expectations of what their bodies should look like.”

“A challenging and memorable bike ride around Chicago’s exact city limits” [Chicago Reader]. The conclusion: “But suddenly the sky darkens, and the wind does a 180. By the time I reach Promontory Point, I’m fighting a headwind and downpour, rolling into the jaws of a thunderstorm. Weirdly, the setting sun remains visible to my left, and then a rainbow materializes over Lake Michigan. Luckily, the storm soon dissipates, and my spin back to Montrose is uneventful. But I can’t imagine a more fitting grand finale to my epic circuit around Chicago than that bizarro sunset-thunder-rainbow.” • A fun project, and a reminder of what an emormous and wildly varied country the United States really is.

Dad.

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

PS writes: “Lots of bees on them today, coated in yellow. Also a goldfinch but couldn’t get a picture.” Happy, productive bees!

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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.

134 comments

  1. Mikel

    Mr. Market: “Dow claws back 28,000 perch as stocks rebound from last week’s selloff, amid vaccine hopes, deal-making” [MarketWatc)

    With the “buy the rumor, sell the news (or eventual non-news)” environment, one has to ask….And then what?

    Reply
  2. Toshiro_Mifune

    Is This the Secret to Selling Joe Biden?
    So the secret to selling Biden is, essentially, to point out how it wont really be Biden doing anything once he’s in office.

    Reply
    1. jo6pac

      Yep, his friends from FIRE and the defense industry. Let the good times roll for the 1% and more bad times for us on Main Street.

      Reply
    2. NotTimothyGeithner

      At least this isn’t about Harry Potter. I guess they missed the point of “read a different book” though.

      Reply
      1. Hepativore

        The problem is that when the left points out the flaws in Biden’s campaign or how he could appeal to certain demographics he is neglecting it does not realize that it is falling on deaf ears. A few days ago, it was reported on the Hill that the Biden team flat out admitted that they will not give the left a damn thing.

        https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=bJR4Aql7_LI

        You cannot hold the Biden campaign’s feet to the fire when they seem to be perfectly willing to throw the election rather than deviate from neoliberal corporatism. I think it is because the DNC feels that it has already “won” as the overarching goal was to protect their donors from the progressive left. Whether or not they win the presidency is just gravy and losing to Trump would just be the cost of doing business.

        Either way, the FIRE-men win and that is all that matters to Biden and the people propping him up.

        Reply
        1. albrt

          “losing to Trump would just be the cost of doing business”

          No, losing to Trump would be the cherry on top. Four more years of panic-stricken liberal good-thinkers and record fund-raising every year!

          Reply
    3. ChrisAtRU

      IMO, this would be a placeholder presidency … if Biden were to win.

      So, more about getting him over the line, than about him actually doing anything thereafter.

      Reply
        1. Geo

          Yes. That coveted VP position which vaulted cherished Dem luminaries into the presidency like president Al Gore, President Mondale, and President Humphrey.

          The last Dem VP to get the presidency was Lyndon Johnson. Maybe Biden will break that losing streak but, if so, Kamala’s odds of repeating are slim. Unless she’s expecting a natural causes JFK scenario of getting the position due to circumstances and not an election.

          Reply
          1. drumlin woodchuckles

            This would be a case of Joe dying in office or retiring from office or getting Article 25’d before his term ends, thereby default-moving Copmala into the Presidency.

            Reply
          2. Jen

            That’s the scenario I’m thinking of. We voters failed to see the wisdom of the donor class choice, so they will install her as soon as it’s convenient. Assuming, of course, that Biden actually wins.

            Reply
  3. Quebecoise

    “Brest : une bombe de 970 kilos doit exploser dans la rade ce mardi”
    https://www.lepoint.fr/societe/brest-une-bombe-de-970-kg-doit-exploser-dans-la-rade-ce-mardi-12-09-2020-2391555_23.php

    Haven’t seen this in the anglophone news, but in a nutshell, they found an old WWII bomb in Brest harbour in France that’s still live and equivalent to 815kg of TNT…. and they have no other options but to do a controlled detonation. The fun happens on Sept 15th… tomorrow.

    Reply
    1. polecat

      In spite of the smokey conditions persisting today (Now receiving a few sprinkles. Finally, a brief atmospheric cleansing – Yay!), our bees have still been bringing in pollen .. even with the additional feeding .. which is always a good sign!

      polecat’s Fall bee prayer:

      ‘May the insects of light build-up stores, and produce comb with increase, for the coming winter.

      Reply
    2. Swamp Yankee

      Nine WWI artillery shells were just found buried in a backyard in Wellfleet, Massachusetts, on Cape Cod.

      Apparently it’s common, according to local fire officials, to find one or two per year, but nine is a lot.

      They were live, and were safely blown up by the State Police and the Navy.

      Reply
  4. a different chris

    >President Donald Trump will not ease the handover process if he loses.

    Actually The Donald isn’t going to “lose”…. he is currently torn between his natural need to be Top Dog and seen as a Winner, and the opposite lifelong habit of running away from any and all responsibility for anything he does, which is unfortunately not a possibility as POTUS.

    I’m sure he never wanted to declare bankruptcy but he came out of it just fine. Five times, I believe.

    So he’s going to be happy when the election is settled, no matter which way it goes. And the handover will be more like a “fling everything at Biden and skedaddle” than some laborious endeavor the chattering class likes to imagine is part of the hallowed procedure associated with this now thoroughly shamed office.

    The rich are not the same as you and me. As the wag said, they have more money and that keeps a lot of options open.

    Reply
      1. LifelongLib

        Not just more money, but secure (short of a revolution) money. Fitzgerald may have been right that not having to worry about money really does lead to a different mindset.

        Reply
    1. Tom Doak

      The only reason the Democrats are talking so openly about Trump contesting the election is to get people used to the idea for when Biden does it.

      Reply
    2. Beniamino

      Jesus, not this again. Trump is an idiot, but he never “declared bankruptcy.” Not even once, although he probably came pretty close.

      Reply
      1. Glen

        From Everything you want to know about Donald Trump’s bankruptcies:

        “Trump has never filed for personal bankruptcy. But he has filed four business bankruptcies, which Bankruptcy.com says makes Trump the top filer in recent decades. All of them were centered around casinos he used to own in Atlantic City. They were all Chapter 11 restructurings, which lets a company stay in business while shedding debt it owes to banks, employees and suppliers.”

        https://money.cnn.com/2015/08/31/news/companies/donald-trump-bankruptcy/index.html

        But I think this is a little out of date – I though he was up to six BKs.

        Reply
  5. molon labe

    Multnomah Co Sheriff
    @MultCoSO
    “Deputies have contacted several groups of residents in Corbett who have set up checkpoints and are stopping cars. While we understand their intent is to keep the community safe, it is never legal to block a public roadway or force other citizens to stop.”

    Does this apply to BLM and Antifa protests?

    Reply
    1. diptherio

      Protest is a protected constitutional activity. Setting up armed check points is not. If you don’t understand the difference, that says something about your powers of comprehension.

      Reply
        1. The Rev Kev

          Good point that. Though those checkpoints, or should that be shakedown stations, have the force of the law behind them. These guys setting up random checkpoints legally have their a**** hanging out in the breeze. Even if the local sheriffs are on their side, if it came to a court of law, they could de sued seven ways to Sunday as holding up people could be interpreted as a form of kidnapping as they are being deprived of their liberty.

          Reply
      1. Beniamino

        Yeah, protest is (generally speaking) constitutionally protected to the extent that it encompasses speech, assembly, petitioning the government, etc. But the First Amendment does not provide blanket immunity from crimes or torts committed in the course of a political protest. There’s plenty o’ youtube footage of Antifa types in black hoodies and skinny jeans professing to re-direct &/or block traffic in Portland (including a bunch of schlubby white kids blocking a black woman’s car a couple of days ago, with a pleasant racial slur thrown in for good measure) – protest or no, there’s plenty of latitude there to prosecute, were anyone so inclined, for assault / threats / false imprisonment / disturbing the peace / disorderly conduct or any of umpteen other possible charges. Cops and prosecutors can be quite creative when properly motivated and routinely crucify people for much less.

        Reply
  6. Adam

    That two-toned map is interesting, but of all the color combos, red + green is the last one you want to use as it’s the most common type of color-blindness. It would also be more effective to pick two colors that blend so that the intersection of colors would have a more natural interpretation.

    Reply
    1. vao

      In its “Visual Display of Quantitative Information”, Edward Tufte criticized those kinds of two-scales color graphics:

      “The complexity of multifunctioning elements can sometimes turn data graphics into visual puzzles, crypto-graphical mysteries for the viewer to decode. A sure sign of a puzzle is that the graphic must be interpreted through a verbal rather than a visual process.

      For example, despite its clever and multifunctioning data measure, formed by crossing two four-color grids, this is a puzzle graphic.
      […]
      Over and over, the viewers must run little phrases through their minds, trying to maintain the right pattern of words to make sense of the visual montage”.

      Such maps attempt to display four variables on three dimensions: geography (i.e. X and Y in two-dimensional space), plus a combination of two variables that is projected on what is naturally a one-dimensional range (i.e. the color spectrum). Very tricky.

      And as Adam correctly points out, in this day and age there is no excuse when it comes to selecting a color scheme that works for color-blind people — with a bit of effort even for all three major types of color-blindness. There are tools accessible on the Internet for that.

      Reply
      1. Adam

        I now realize that they have multiple versions of this graph style with different data and different colors. The third uses yellow and blue, and actually does seem workable to me with a few alterations (although there’s a lot of missing data in this graph, but at least it’s readable and I think the color grid serves some purpose; not sure if it passes all color-blindness tests). I’d certainly do some user testing on the graph first, but I feel like it’s innately understandable enough that the extra complexity isn’t an issue.

        Reply
      1. Arizona Slim

        I don’t care what they’re playing, I’m staying the [family blog] away from campus. And I’m not the only neighbor who has made this decision.

        Reply
    1. Riverboat Grambler

      UW Madison is completely locked down, every fraternity and sorority as well as the two largest dorms that house most of the freshmen. Two-week shelter-in-place quarantine where the only way to leave is if you’re going to work or for groceries, God knows how they enforce it but if you violate you’re suspended for a year; of course, you still owe for that full year.

      The kids in the dorm had three hours notice, and there were a fair bit of kids who packed up and fled during that window.

      Reply
  7. ChiGal in Carolina

    Little uptick…

    Yeah, daily cases are well above what was in early April an unthinkable number, some 35k at the then peak.

    And maybe the TV ad buys are going down cuz Trump is back to (indoor) rallies, never mind they defy WH guidance and state executive orders?

    Also the fires elevated risk.

    The latest IHME is ugly, exponentially increasing deaths by the end of the year if this goes on.

    Reply
  8. arielle

    Just an FYI: Tractor Supply may be compared to Etsy as it is not a tractor sales place but a store where you can buy everything you need for your farmette. Kind of like an AgWay crossed with Walmart, but smaller. Caters both to the monster truck crowd and the backyard bee-keepers. And sometimes they are one and the same.

    Reply
    1. Laura in So Cal

      My Dad has bought tractor parts there…mostly the stuff that quickly wears out stuff like belts. He is keeping an old (I think it is a 9N) Ford tractor alive and working mostly for for fire clearance & brush mowing here in So Cal. He is constantly rebuilding some part or another, but loves the thing.

      Reply
      1. ambrit

        The Ford N class tractors are really simple, rugged tools that can be kept alive and running for as long as the user can read an instruction manual and use a hand tool. You can tell the rough age of the tractor by it’s nomenclature. The 9N was made from 1939 to 1947. How many autos can boast such longevity?

        Reply
        1. YetAnotherChris

          Several times a week I am treated to a flyover by enormous cargo aircraft out of MSP. Six propellor engines. They must be veterans of Korea, which would make them seventy years old. And today as a bonus I saw a DC-10 on approach (must be FedEx, but hard to tell in the haze). That aircraft is at the very least 32 years old. And people scoff at my 20-year-old truck. No one is asking it to fly.

          Reply
      2. ronnie mitchell

        My Uncle Buck recently sold his tractor parts business that he has had a long time near Gainesville Texas, ‘Tractor Parts L.L.P.’
        On my phone I have an aerial shot of the business my sister shared with me when our Uncle showed her the picture and I knew it was big but no idea it was that big,more than a few acres for sure.
        Buck wouldn’t say what he got for the tractor parts place, but I also didn’t know until now it was the largest tractor parts business in the United States.

        A side note-in his own words, Buck didn’t do computer stuff, and said when asked about where were the records of what was there he tapped the side of his head and said “right here”.

        Reply
    2. a different chris

      Yeah it’s hard to describe. Imagine a Super Kmart for Iowa in the 50’s.

      Clothes (heavy on the jeans and boots), pet food, everything you could ever want for raising chickens and larger livestock but in very small herds (like water tanks and troughs), smaller tractor attachments and parts- generally Cat 1 which are still too big for the glorified riding mowers they do sell by the truckload. A hardware section of stuff weird to the suburban eye.

      Lots of fun, really.

      And not alone, there is RuralKing and at least one other whose name escapes me.

      Reply
      1. km

        Good quality inexpensive cat and dog food.

        My middle cat was a feral, caught in a rat trap at Tractor Supply, half-starved In a Northern Minnesota winter.

        She was mostly grown when caught, but now is the sweetest, tamest, most domesticated cat imaginable Still, to this day, she luurves construction worker types like the ones that got her out of that trap.

        Reply
      1. Amfortas the hippie

        avoidance.
        lest one be overwhelmed.
        I’ve been, variously:
        –fetal in my bed, among a literal nest of 25 pillows.(weather, mostly)
        -busy trying to spend my 45k in such a way to do the most good in the world right here, at my doorstep..
        -working at all the shit needs doin, as best i’m able, and in spite of the Pain…multiple hurricanes, and an canadian cold front,(I hate this time of year)
        -turning(sic) 51.

        “Fortunately for us, there have been traitors and there have been heretics, blasphemers, thinkers, investigators, lovers of liberty, men of genius who have given their lives to better the condition of their fellow-men. It may be well enough here to ask the question: What is greatness? A great man adds to the sum of knowledge, extends the horizon of thought, releases souls from the Bastille of fear, crosses unknown and mysterious seas, gives new islands and new continents to the domain of thought, new constellations to the firmament of mind. A great man does not seek applause or place; he seeks for truth; he seeks the road to happiness, and what he ascertains he gives to others. A great man throws pearls before swine, and the swine are sometimes changed to men. If the great had always kept their pearls, vast multitudes would be barbarians now. A great man is a torch in the darkness, a beacon: in superstition’s night, an inspiration and a prophecy. Greatness is not the gift of majorities; it cannot be thrust upon any man; men cannot give it to another; they can give place and power, but not greatness. The place does not make the man, nor the scepter the king. Greatness is from within.”

        Robert Ingersoll

        Reply
        1. Amfortas the hippie

          Men fear thought as they fear nothing else on earth – more than ruin – more even than death… Thought is subversive and revolutionary, destructive and terrible, thought is merciless to privilege, established institutions, and comfortable habit. Thought looks into the pit of hell and is not afraid. Thought is great and swift and free, the light of the world, and the chief glory of man.

          Bertrand Russell

          Reply
  9. epynonymous

    I think I’m finally starting to get the Herbert quote.

    Movie-wise, I quite enjoyed the literalist interpretation of the Gom Jabbar scene in Dune. A moment for our times.

    Trump losing New Hampshire? Seems odd. Even if Hillary Clinton won the state by 3000 votes – a 1% difference. Pretty sure none of the local working class has left the state in the last 4 years, and they’ll vote. Remember, they’re already still working.

    Here’s my other two cents. How does the money keep the people … occupied… as we move forward? The truth of policing is they are *already* a private army. You can hire a cop for 100-200 bucks an hour in any town in this country, right now. Expect more of this. Militias indeed.

    Bonus, the judges can even make you pay for their time.

    Reply
  10. Mikel

    NC news aggregators, are you all alarmed by headlines and stories with this type of meme:
    “Airline stocks led higher by Delta Air after travel demand rises to post-COVID-19 high” …Marketwatch.

    That is just one example. “Post-Covid”! That’s a bit of denial and market desperation that is dangerous to us all, ya think?

    Reply
    1. JTMcPhee

      It’s ambiguous, but I read those “post-Covid” phrases just to mean that the condition or event being described happened after Covid-19 started spreading and people took notice. Not that the epidemic has passed.

      Hard to tell, sometimes – especially since financial-reporting writing is usually a less-than-oracular (even) bunch of puffing and obfuscation.

      Reply
      1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

        If you thought “deaths” would be a marker of whether we were getting “post-Covid” well you would be wrong.

        It’s all about “cases”.

        (Squeaky little voice from the back of the class: “I tested positive for Covid antibodies. I have no symptoms whatsoever. Does that mean I am a “case”? How can I be a “case” if I’m not sick? While we’re at it can I please also get tested for SARS/2003? That way I can be a “case” of SARS too. And don’t forget a test for Influenza 2018 antibodies. I don’t want to miss out!”)

        Reply
      2. Mikel

        “especially since financial-reporting writing is usually a less-than-oracular (even) bunch of puffing and obfuscation.”
        An understatement.

        Up is down and down is up!

        All designed to keep people from knowing what is really going on.

        Reply
        1. Procopius

          While I was studying accounting, back in 1960, I came to realize that accounting, as practiced in the real world, and creative writing have much in common. I sometimes still see references to GAAP, Generally Accepted Accounting Practices, but I think they are so arcane (especially since 2008) that you need a PhD to know what they are and, most importantly, what they are not.

          Reply
  11. a different chris

    BTW, not a serious transgression but this site is dedicated to the idiocy of our news media:

    https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2020/sep/14/humpback-whales-make-wrong-turn-into-crocodile-infested-river-in-kakadu

    Oh noes! Gentle Humpback whales have mistakenly wandered into the Nature’s equivalent of Compton!!!

    Some quick googling shows that a saltwater crocodile weighs 200-300lbs. A small humpback weighs in excess of 20 tons. All the crocs are doing is hiding and thanking their lucky stars that humpbacks are mostly happy eating krill.

    Reply
  12. Generalfeldmarschall von Hindenburg

    “I dunno. I’ve gotta hand it to the Biden campaign. Remember how Biden kept cruising in the polls in the primaries while not doing anything?”

    Funny that, huh? Now we’re treated to ‘scientific’ polling that tells us that a person suffering a very public dementia is somehow 20 points ahead of a sitting president. Because, of course, anyone with any sense at all hates Trump with unbridled passion. It’s almost as though the winner has nothing to do with actual support amongst voters or the population at large. But that the entire thing is a stage-managed fraud.

    But that couldn’t possibly be, could it?

    Reply
    1. ambrit

      Well, there was that ‘obscure’ corporal you appointed Chancellor back when you were in politics. He was a master at stage managing. Think the present day politicos take lessons from that fellow’s political strategies maybe? The Chancellor later had a Minister of Propaganda who read and took the lessons of the works of that stalwart American Patriot, Edward Bernays, to heart.
      It’s the same old story. Stay safe!

      Reply
    2. Anon II, First of the Name

      Now we’re treated to ‘scientific’ polling that tells us that a person suffering a very public dementia is somehow 20 points ahead of a sitting president.

      I am unfortunately posting this too lat in the day to get much by way of comments, but since only 40% appear to believe that either of the candidates is mentally capable of holding office, I am wondering if there is even a point on campaigning on such issues as opposed to promising to implement headline-grabbing actions that don’t require actual governance (for example, release everything about UFOs and/or the Kennedy assassination and/or whatever–I’m sure there are better ideas out there, or even a list that could be released…)

      I think Sanders is close to the mark, though–simply hoping that the anti-Trump vote will get you into office didn’t work four years ago, and I am not sure it will work now. It’s true that people can now extrapolate to get an idea as to what what four more years of Trump would look like, but I really am not sure how much of the anti-Trump vitriol is his existing critics becoming ever more shrill and how much is that people who were on the fence/supported him the first time have changed their opinions.

      Reply
  13. ChrisAtRU

    Biden (D) (1)

    “If he actually chooses true progressives and activists, I will be surprised but happy to admit I misjudged him”

    Perhaps this young millennial missed the press telegraphing potential Biden cabinet members Susan Rice and Pete Buttigieg … ?

    Reply
    1. ChrisAtRU

      Biden (D) (2)

      “Erskine Bowles is ‘offering advice and context as a veteran of past administrations.’ But which avenger is he? Nick Fury?”

      There’s an evil mutant by the name of “Toad” that’s a better fit for sure!

      Reply
      1. ambrit

        Re. Biden (D) ($)
        These retread neos are going to be the guiding powers behind the scenes if “Creepy” Joe wins in November.
        I don’t know which of the two on offer will ‘crash and burn’ America quicker.
        Either way, H— is coming to Frogtown.

        Reply
    2. pjay

      In my little private contest to see which MSM article will actually make me puke first during this wonderous political season, this one came really close. It’s up near the top so far.

      Reply
  14. jgsf

    >@MediumBuying: NEW: The Trump campaign is canceling TV ad schedules that been booked for this week (9/15-9/21) in multiple states including IA, OH and NV

    OH was post-Covid, but Biden got 14% (IA, 3rd) and then 19% (NV, 2nd) back when we had a full field.

    Reply
  15. sheldon

    Biden Says Stay in Mideast, Increase Military Spending,
    wants refocus on fighting Russia

    Ummm, O.K. I mean that’s been such a success after all these years.

    “First thing I’m going to have to do, and I’m not joking: if elected I’m going to have to get on the phone with the heads of state and say America’s back,” Biden said, saying NATO has been “worried as hell about our failure to confront Russia.”
    https://news.antiwar.com/2020/09/11/biden-says-stay-in-mideast-increase-military-spending/

    Meanwhile Trump’s condemning the wars as a boon to defense contractors. What countries has he invaded?

    Who is the pro war party again?

    Reply
    1. marym

      War in the time of Trump
      Drone strikes
      https://chicago.suntimes.com/news/2019/5/8/18619206/under-donald-trump-drone-strikes-far-exceed-obama-s-numbers
      https://foreignpolicy.com/2020/05/22/obama-drones-trump-killings-count/

      Graphics for stats for Afghanistan and Somalia: https://twitter.com/MicahZenko/status/1175535160751796224

      Iraq and Syria 9/2014-12/2017 > 10,000 coalition airstrikes in Trump’s first year: https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2018/jan/23/us-air-wars-trump

      Civilian casualties: https://www.latimes.com/politics/story/2019-09-07/trumps-shameful-rules-of-engagement-are-killing-civilians

      Arms sales: https://sites.tufts.edu/reinventingpeace/2019/06/21/trump-policy-and-trends-in-u-s-arms-sales/
      https://sites.tufts.edu/reinventingpeace/2019/06/21/trump-policy-and-trends-in-u-s-arms-sales/
      https://www.forbes.com/sites/dominicdudley/2019/12/16/arms-sales-middle-east-soar/
      https://www.cnbc.com/2020/08/18/uae-and-israel-deal-could-lead-to-more-us-arms-business-tom-cotton-says.html

      Transparency: https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2019-03-06/trump-cancels-u-s-report-on-civilian-deaths-in-drone-strikes

      Budget:
      https://www.cnn.com/2019/03/08/politics/trump-pentagon-budget/index.html
      “Trump has long touted increasing defense budgets as a major success of his presidency.”

      “While the first two defense budgets of his administration were smaller than those of the early Obama years, the upcoming budget would represent an increase over the peak Obama-era budgets of $691 billion in 2010.”

      Also a MIC lobbyist as head defense dept., and a whole new service branch.

      Reply
      1. Pookah Harvey

        Don’t forget our peace president activities against the heavily militarized Iran and China:

        Lindsey Graham Begged Trump Not To Assassinate Soleimani
        Guided-missile destroyer makes Navy’s 11th trip through Taiwan Strait this year
        Navy brings massive carrier power to Taiwan Strait, South China Sea

        Yemen, Syria, Somalia are not in the same league with Iran and China.

        Reply
        1. pjay

          All true. And here’s the really hilarious thing: the Democrats are WORSE! And they PROMISE to be worse! Trump is TERRIBLE. but the Dems are WORSE! THAT is the f***ing problem!

          If we were comparing Obama to Bush, then I would not say this. But g**d**n it, quit trying to argue that Trump is worse on *this* issue. He is NOT! That is a MAJOR problem. In many ways it the THE problem. We could compare body counts all day, but I’m tired of it.

          Reply
          1. marym

            The level of evil is great enough now, and has been for a long time, that parsing “which one is the war party” or “the war candidate” isn’t particularly useful, just as it wasn’t when people argued during the Obama years that at least he didn’t do a big ground invasion like Bush, or start a war with Iran, as seemed more probable with McCain.

            Reply
            1. pjay

              Marym, I don’t think you quite understand the source of my frustration. My response probably contributed to this. I am not really wanting to argue that one party is better than the other here. A more accurate statement of my perspective is that we have ONE War Party. It basically controls both major political parties. It has been on the same trajectory since 1991, through both Democratic and Republican administrations. Trump, terrible as he is, is an outsider. In my view he is pretty clueless on foreign policy. He hired some terrible FP advisors (including Bolton and Abrams, for God’s sake). But he has not always followed them, and has occasionally pulled back at the last minute. His worst FP moves have been because of his commitment to Likud Israel (due to the influence of Adelson and Jared I assume). But in his bumbling way he threatens the Atlanticist neoliberal Establishment (now including most of the neocons as well), which is why they have been trying to get rid of him for four years. Trump is bad, and given his impulsiveness he could cause real problems. But in my opinion it is not only “useful,” but absolutely imperative, to distinguish him from the real powers that be in order to understand what is going on. The Democrats are now all-in with the War Party; they have quit pretending. As many have said, that’s the one good thing about Trump: he’s been very clarifying.

              Reply
        2. John k

          We don’t fight the heavies, we sanction them.
          We fight the little guys… not that we’ve done so well removing the unacceptable durian dictator, though we are making sure their oil doesn’t get into the wrong hands (theirs).
          So confronting Russia means more missiles on their border.

          Reply
      2. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

        Much too bored to present the list of Obama/Biden years warmongering. Yes, THAT Obama, you know, the one who opposed foreign war when he was running?

        Inquiring minds would ask how the defense budget Trump handed down got $132 billion added to it. Was there a party who demanded that additional money go to the military? I seem to recall a party starting with the letter “D”.

        And let’s quote the new Dear Leader To Be: “Trump has not been acting like a wartime president! No more cozying up to foreign dictators!”. Unclear which dictators he meant but the abundant evidence would seem to mean the one in buildings with onion-shaped domes where they use the Cyrillic alphabet. Other choices would be Pyongyang, Damascus, Caracas, and maybe Havana?

        Your efforts to lobby your team are respectable but I’m afraid you’ll need to choose a different angle than “my team is the one that wants less war!”. Ref Caitlin Johnstone, pls

        Reply
        1. marym

          Perhaps you consider any criticism or reporting of negatives of one team to be lobbying for another, but please don’t attribute views to me which I haven’t expressed.

          (I may have hit enter too soon as I was typing, so this may show up as asomewhat duplicate comment).

          Reply
          1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

            My apologies about that, just feeling a bit disgusted with the whole way anything The Orange One does gets reported. Peace deal with the UAE and Bahrain, apparently substantive enough for Iran to rethink their relations with them, gets completely ignored. So we’re asked to move from One Who Can Never Do Anything Right to One Who Can Never Do Anything Wrong, and I have my on ideas about which of those two approaches is worse. Maybe an early hydroxy regime would have saved thousands of lives? But we’ll never know, will we, since that also got tarred with the Orange brush. And 8,500 fewer troops in Afghanistan to me sounded like a *good* idea, silly me.

            Reply
      3. Big Top

        But Trump has started no new wars. Biden will start at least one (Syria) or more. Who says during a campaign you are going to increase troops in the cesspool of the Middle East unless you got war plans. Trump has greatly expanded our current programs (drones) and current wars. He’s threatened Iran but Biden will go there. Remember the time at the last moment Trump averted war with Iran. Trump of the two is the ‘peace’ candidate not that it’s saying much. Plus he did openly call out the MIC.

        Reply
    2. neo-realist

      Trump condemned the wars as a boon to defense contractors, but he’s all for a boon to the defense contractors since he proposed that the Pentagon get 55% of the budget for the 2021 FY.

      Loading up for China?

      Reply
  16. Mr. Stevens

    Update from West St Louis- even octogenarians are grudgingly following protocol. The most precocious offenders are young and privileged. I remember the feeling of invincibility from that age, but these kids are packing 8 into a Jeep someone’s daddy bought (FIRE) and partying at the convenience store because there’s nothing else to do.

    Reply
  17. Phil in KC

    Concerning the CNN articles on the arithmetic of the 2020 elections, two observations. First, a back of the envelope calculation. If we assume 132 million voters nationally, and if Trump garners the same percentage of votes as he currently polls, that would yield 57 million votes for Trump, 75 million for Biden. A spread of 17 million votes just doesn’t seem right (I’m discounting 3rd parties here). Cut it in half: 8.5 million. That’s still a lot of voters to pull from the Dems. Could the debates make that much difference? Trump seems to be depending on it!

    Second, the last paragraphs of the article about Trump’s narrowing coalition quotes ex-representative Charlie Dent opining on what would happen if the Dems win the WH and flip the Senate. Dent has hopes the Republican party would make good on the autopsy report that was made after Romney’s defeat, the report that said the pathway forward was a sincere and sustained outreach to minorities. The Republicans did just the opposite and won in 2016. I think the Repubs would double down on Trumpism sans Trump in 2024. After all, who would stop them? Kasich? Romney? No, the leaders who would emerge from a Trump defeat are the ones who would stoke and energize the 50 million voters who comprise Trump’s base. And Trump himself will not leave the national stage if defeated.

    Reply
  18. harrybothered

    “I got into permaculture in 2010 because with the economy, and my personal economy, as they were, I wanted to guarantee that I had food. I didn’t do it to be hip.”

    Wow, you too, Lambert? I have had vegetable/herb gardens since 1994. I’ve always mended my own clothes. I grow sprouts, soak beans, and make homemade bread. Funny to suddenly be hip for doing something you’ve been doing your entire adult life.

    Reply
    1. polecat

      After doing a bout of real daily ‘green-related’ exertions .. twisting, turning, pushing, pulling, huffing and puffin, shovelin and whatnot .. my hips (among other servos ..) sure let me know how THEY feel ..

      Those are MY credentials! (Ouch!) and they’ll sticking it to me.

      Reply
  19. Tom Stone

    For those benighted souls that doubt Joe Biden is the “New FDR” I have appended a comprehensive list of the progressive legislation Joe has introduced or backed since he entered the Senate a mere 48 years ago.

    Yup, that’s all of it.

    Reply
  20. Pat

    Headline of Trump asks question no one asked “is Biden on drugs” probably got a different reaction from me than they expected and will probably get.

    Mine- because we have all been assuming there is some major chemical cocktail administered daily.

    I may think Biden needs more help, but both of our major political candidates are over seventy years old. The surprising thing would be if either one of them wasn’t on anything stronger than aspirin and vitamins.

    Reply
  21. jo6pac

    I was watching the 9er play really bad football when a joe biden ad came on. He talked about all the family members he’s lost over the years and that why he is going to make sure everyone can get obomber care. I guess he doesn’t know 40+ million are without jobs or he just doesn’t care. I voting for the later.

    Sorry I couldn’t find a copy of the ad.

    Reply
    1. ShamanicFallout

      Was watching the Seahawks game and must have seen that same one. It was the “I don’t know what I would have done without insurance…” and “that’s why I supported ObamaCare…” While I was waiting for him to finally say “That’s why I support m4A” which would of course have been the only sane thing to say. Alas. What ‘voter’ is this ad trying to reach?

      Reply
      1. Glen

        What really bugs me is that story going around that Biden talked to HIS boss at the time Beau was sick, and his boss helped cover all the bills.

        His boss at the time – Obama.

        Gee, to bad Obama wasn’t President or something – then he could of fixed that $hit healthcare insurance.

        Reply
  22. HotFlash

    “CMA CGM and rival Maersk Line are both pushing into warehousing, freight forwarding and other components of inland distribution even as the maritime sector sees fresh evidence of the impact of digital commerce.” • “One entity”….

    “One entity ring to find them all, and in the darkness bind them.
    Just a fly-by at this time, making sweet pickle relish, be back later. Apologies if someone else has tagged this already.

    Reply
  23. CatmanPNW

    That Chicago Reader story really made me miss the Point. It was a block away from where I lived for years. My favorite view of Chicago. Although, driving down Lake Shore Drive south toward the city feels magical. Past Lincoln Park, and then the curve right by Oak Street Beach.
    Links like this are why I love reading Naked Capitalism so much. I think it’s going on 12 years now, a nice hefty chunk of my life so far. Thanks Lambert, Yves, and everyone else.

    Reply
    1. ChiGal in Carolina

      Thanks for this comment. Having lived in Hyde Park and spent time at the Point for most every year of my adult life, I went back to look at the article. Imagine my surprise when on the map accompanying the article there appeared “landscaped tennis courts” at the Point. After a little DDGing I verified that yup, it appears there are now tennis courts there. A shame, really, it was lovely just as green space with a wide paved lane suitable for strolling or bike riding running round it.

      I will see it next summer when my exile here ends and I go home, after 5 long years, to my sweet home Chicago.

      Reply
  24. fresno dan

    Jeet Heer
    @HeerJeet
    ·
    Sep 12
    3. The difference between the old-school locked-door gentlemen detective (say Holmes or Perroit) & a hard-boiled dick like Spade or Marlowe resides in different relation to police: for Holmes, cops are idiots, for Marlowe they are corrupt. Different rational.
    =============================================
    So I just re-watched The Asphalt Jungle and an important aspect of the movie is police corruption. Huston, the director and screen writer, adds a pseudo coda at the end, undoubtedly added to appease movie censors to counter balance the cynical portrayal of the police, that I believe was meant to be ironic by Huston and point out the political pandering of a police commissioner. The police commissioner’s press conference, where he describes the character played by Sterling Hayden as a cold blooded merciless killer does not jibe with the movie at all.
    I noted this before, but back then, there just seemed to be a more mature and realistic view of the police instead of the current rah-rah politically correct view in the media that has pervaded the culture for decades now that the police are essentially flawless, and is now only be challenged in society as a whole.

    Reply
    1. John Anthony La Pietra

      Exhibit #1:

      Narrator: In the criminal justice system, the people are represented by two separate yet equally important groups: The police, who investigate crime, and the district attorneys, who prosecute the offenders. These are their stories.

      Anything the police investigate must be a crime, and anyone the district attorneys prosecute is a criminal. Right? /s

      Reply
  25. The Rev Kev

    “Is This the Secret to Selling Joe Biden?”

    This is nuts. Voting for Biden is like voting for President Snow as he is such a great progressive. Do those Millennials not remember when Biden told them that he has no sympathy and to give him a break? Once in power he would ignore them in the same way that he will ignore progressives. He has no use for them once he has their votes and it is not like that he will ever do a single, solitary thing for them. The perfect Seinfeld candidate for the Seinfeld election.

    Reply
  26. The Rev Kev

    Just watching an NBC News interview with Bob Woodward and he was asked that if he knew that the virus was so dangerous way back in February, why he did not speak up back then but he just fobbed off the answer and gave an incoherent answer. Likely he saved that tidbit so that he could use it in his present book rather than give people a heads up when it would have been useful. It seems that Woodward has decided that it his mission in life to defeat Trump and he is just as much a Washington political player as Biden and Sanders are.

    Reply
  27. fresno dan

    https://www.nationalreview.com/2020/09/neil-postman-still-amusing-ourselves-to-death/?utm_source=recirc-desktop&utm_medium=homepage&utm_campaign=river&utm_content=featured-content-trending&utm_term=first

    One of these books is Neil Postman’s 1985 work Amusing Ourselves to Death.
    The subtitle of Postman’s book is “Public Discourse in the Age of Show Business.” His thesis is simple: that what we talk about in the public square and how we talk about it is fundamentally shaped by the prevailing medium of communication. Different conversations will be had, different conclusions reached, and different value systems espoused in a society dominated by print as opposed to a society dominated by television.

    Reply
  28. John k

    Lambert…
    Looking at polls shown on real clear, the battleground states (where trump trails by 4% or less) are six…
    Oh, NC, GA, FL, PA, MI, not counting a couple stray ev’s.
    If, so, AZ goes blue but trump gains a net 25 tossups with PA and MI. 2% Swing isn’t much considering the shy trumpers… all of these eastern states have significant minorities.
    Tightening as we get near, as expected. And debates coming…
    Maybe need more popcorn.

    Reply
  29. Pat

    I feel most of us here have realized there is no lesser evil. There is just a different evil, as in worse on some issues better on others but overall hideously and callously evil. The same was true in 2016 and 2012. It was probably true in 2008 as well, but I was still shedding my tribal loyalties at that time so cannot trust my perception.

    I have spent time trying to figure out what makes this group so different. Yes we are self selective. But I think there are multiple reasons we were drawn here. One is a wide range of experience and expertise and an awareness of the conditions of people outside our circle. We also have much better than average short time memories, something that looks to be increasingly missing in America. There also appears to be an ability to think logically.

    Considering the number of people who have not voted in the last few years I would bet we are not alone but are a growing majority. We may not have the same ideas of what we think our elected officials should do but we do know it isn’t on the agenda of those running. We may choose not to vote, or leave certain offices blank, or go third party, but rejection of the offerings is growing. Despite the press, despite the ads, despite peer pressure people are saying “No”.

    They can still ignore it, but not forever. More and more it will be “They are both evil. No.”

    Reply
    1. ambrit

      Well, the Internet Dragons seem to like my ‘cooking’ tonight. Thus, try the second.
      Trump calling for Joe Rogan to moderate a Presidential debate is unqualified political genius. It shows that someone in the Trump Organization understands how the political discourse is carried out now.
      If “Creepy” Joe doesn’t counter with at least an hour and a half long format, it will show that the Biden campaign does not trust their man out alone after dark.
      If Biden avoids a debate, Trump can do the old “empty chair” gambit and secure tons of political capital for himself.

      Reply
      1. Dr. John Carpenter

        Biden says he wants to debate. And if you believe that…

        Biden is also the only candidate I can ever recall voluntarily ceding his time in a debate, as he did repeatedly in the Dem debates. Odd strategy, but on brand for the substance free campaign he’s running.

        Reply
    2. skippy

      Sadly that says more about voters being effected by such a media scrum and the rather pub nature of this election cycle … basically a cheap TV advertising campaign for consumers.

      Reply
      1. ambrit

        The article about “The Secret to Selling Joe Biden” lays it all out, plainly, in the title. Biden is a commodity. Elections are financial transactions. Selling implies “market forces” setting a price. All are basic neo-liberalism.
        America is heading into a psychotic break.

        Reply
  30. Big Tap

    This broke this evening. A federal judge appointed by Trump has said that Pennsylvania governor Tom Wolf overstepped his executive authority in requiring business shutdowns and his stay-at- home orders as unconstitutional. The federal order doesn’t apply to wearing of masks. The governor will appeal this decision.

    https://philadelphia.cbslocal.com/2020/09/14/federal-judge-rules-pennsylvania-gov-tom-wolfs-covid-19-shutdown-order-unconstitutional/

    Reply
  31. The Rev Kev

    And in other news – ‘Trump administration rolls out new ban on Chinese imports made in ‘concentration camp’ ‘

    No word if the Chinese will roll out bans on American imports made in American prisons such as clothing, uniforms, furniture, mattresses, product packaging (e.g. Starbucks, Microsoft), signage, sexy lingerie, car parts, food, etc.

    https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/world/trump-administration-rolls-out-new-ban-on-chinese-imports-made-in-concentration-camp/ar-BB191Q1W

    Reply
    1. fwe'zy

      Nothing makes sense. I saw two homeless young men today who obviously only recently became so. We have hyperabundance. /sorry if non sequitur. There is plenty of work and plenty of willing workers. The disconnect is not on them. It’s enriching a bunch of other people.

      Reply
    2. drumlin woodchuckles

      Well, if such things are really made with prison labor in America, why not have China ban them? China and America can keep eachother honest.

      And if it leads to eventual zero economic contact of any kind whatsoever between China and America, then it will be a good thing.

      Reply
  32. drumlin woodchuckles

    The best time to learn a new skill is before you actually need it. Likewise the best time to start stockpiling survival food and learning to prepare it and enjoy it is before there is no food available to buy and the survival food you don’t have is the food you don’t have period.

    If hipsteading and hipstersteading get people to learn some subsistence-economy useful things and skills, it will be good for them and good for whatever social survival grids will feel the absence of strain from the hipstersteaders’ absence of immediate desparate need for social survival grid support whenever survival emergencies occur.

    And what if mass hipsteading and hipstersteading leads to massive or at least measurable and meaningful reductions in use of matter and energy to support still-acceptable standards and levels of life?

    Any cultural trend among massed millions of people which gets those people to use enough less resources to actually lower the strain on mass survival grids enough that those grids can survive for more years than otherwise . . . . buys us time to try putting those grids on a sustainably supportable survival basis at a lower use level than now.

    Reply
  33. Pat

    Woodward possibly withholding incriminating evidence that Trump knew of the deadly nature of the corona virus outbreak in February has larger implications than just Woodward’s self interest. This supposedly happened within days of Trump’s acquittal. Does anyone think that Trump was getting these briefings and Nancy, Mitch and Chuck weren’t?

    Woodward’s excuse is that he had no idea if Trump was telling the truth. So this supposedly savvy newsman was incapable of finding out that China was battling a deadly virus. And our political leadership were too busy with political shenanigans to consider a public health emergency.

    It wasn’t just Trump who didn’t take this seriously. We can comment on the delusional invincibility of youth, but we should not ignore that our elite journalist and his people and our elite politicians are equally delusional. (IIRC, Congress largely displayed faux concern until one of them were diagnosed with Covid 19. The White House took several brushes.
    Not sure when Woodward recognized he was vulnerable.

    Self interest of greed and power took precedence for everyone until fear trampled it.

    Reply

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