2:00PM Water Cooler 9/23/2020

By Lambert Strether of Corrente.

Readers, I got a late start on Water Cooler for reasons that I assume are now obvious. (The Tip Jar is to your right). The politics section is almost devoid of content, which I will remedy shortly. –lambert UPDATE All done. There’s not as much state level material as I’d like, because I got sidetracked with punditry. A habit to break!

Bird Song of the Day

I have yet to master the search function at Macauley Library. I was hoping for your typical red robin, but I got one from Tanzania. Well, why not? Pretty to wake up to, though!


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:

If current trends continue, we could be where we were August 1 in 30 days — the election now being 42 days out.

Here are the Swing States as I conceive them (see below):

Sorry for all the states jammed together at the bottom of the chart, but if one of those states is yours, that’s good news, right? (I tried the log version, but it just doesn’t convey the spikiness visually, and the spikiness is the point. I also did not include a separate positivity chart, because it was unreadable.) As alert reader anon suggested yesterday, the Texas spike is indeed “a data reporting anomaly” (says the Times).


“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. September 14: No changes. September 21: No changes. September 22: Ohio moves from Toss-up to Leans Republican. Biden still at 278, Trump increases to 187, 73 are tossups. 187 + 73 = 260, so…. MI, WI, MN looking pretty tempting! For all the sturm and drang, and the polls, the consensus on the electoral college remains remarkably static: Biden ahead, Trump within striking distance. Of course, if Trump is still in striking distance on Election Day, that will count as a loss. Maybe.

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

The election countdown:

Here 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.

And here are mail-in voting ruies, which naturally differ state by state.

UPDATE Here are is an enormous spreadsheet on voting equipment, so you can check your own jurisdiction (hat tip, UserFriendly. I should really aggregate these onto a map…).

* * *


Here is my list of Swing States, with votes in the Electoral College and selected ballot initiatives in parentheticals):

  • Arizona (11) (marijuana; taxes(=)
  • Colorado (9) (taxes, lottery, abortion, paid medical leave)
  • Florida (29) (minimum wage)
  • Georgia (16) (declaratory relief)
  • Iowa (6) (Constitional convention)
  • Maine-02 (1) (vax)
  • Michigan (16) (privacy)
  • Minnesota (19)
  • Nebraska-02 (1) (payday lending; gambling)
  • Nevada (6) (marriage)
  • New Hampshire (4)
  • North Carolina (15)
  • Ohio (18)
  • Pennsylvania (20)
  • Texas (38)
  • Wisconsin (10) (crime victims)

Inspired by the thread starting with Arizona Slim’s comment here, I went to Ballotpedia and added selected, hopefully hot button, ballot initiatives, because sometimes they affect turnout. If you live in a swing state, please comment if I got the hot buttons wrong!

FL: “What Miami’s vastly unequal zip codes reveal about the election fight in Florida” [Guardian]. “Miami-Dade county has the second-biggest gap between rich and poor of all large metro areas in the US, according to a 2019 report – only the New York metropolitan area is more unequal. The county’s 33109 zip code – which comprises Fisher Island’s 216 acres and its 800 residences – is the richest not just in the county but in the entire US, according to a Bloomberg analysis from last year. Zip code 33034, which covers parts of the rural but quickly developing cities of Homestead and Florida City, plus some unincorporated areas, is the county’s poorest, according to a Miami Herald analysis. For the 23,000 people in its 280 sq miles, the per-capita income is $10,608. Nevertheless, as the 2020 election looms, it’d be wrong to say that the poor will vote for Biden and the rich for Trump. As conversations with residents indicate the political fault lines are not quite so clear-cut.” • Interesting conversations with voters.

MN: A beautiful big tent:

See, it’s OK to love Trump when there are extenuating circumstances. Like your team jersey.

NC: “North Carolina refuses to disclose who programs their voting machines” [Bob Fitrakis, Columbus Free Press]. Refusing a public records request from Reverend Doctor T. Anthony Spearman. “Spearman thinks that the voting machine vendors have too much power over the election process. Boards of elections are dependent on the vendors to provide pollbooks, voting machines, tabulators, and software used, and often election officials don’t understand the technology. If the vendors don’t want their proprietary hardware and software information to be public, that means U.S. elections are not transparent. Transparency is important because it has been proven that computer voting machines and tabulators can be hacked, programmed to pick winners and losers, and are vulnerable to external tampering. Touchscreen electronic voting machines also cannot be audited because there is no voter-marked paper ballot to compare with the machine results.” • Odd!

* * *

Biden (D)(1): “The Meatsack Candidacy and Theories of the Election” [Mike the Mad Biologist]. “Let’s suppose, for discussion’s sake, that Biden does win. What would this mean for the consulting class?… But Biden is essentially running a ‘meatsack candidacy.’ Trump is a historically unpopular figure, and has horrifically mismanaged both a pandemic response and the economic response to said pandemic. Biden’s strategy is essentially to fill a sack with meat, tie up the sack, paint “NOT TRUMP” on its side, and then count on enough people ranging from conservatives for whom abortion isn’t a strict litmus test (an unspoken, but defining characteristic of Never Trumpers) to leftists who oppose a second Trump term to vote out Trump…. So suppose Biden wins. What does this mean for how Democrats run campaigns?” • My answer to this has been that future Democrat campaigns will ignore policy, and be driven by team spirit (“party loyalty”), fear, and hate, reinforced by constant classlighting, amplified by Democrat control of the commanding heights in the press and the intelligence community, and all very much playing to the mass anxieties of “predatory precarity” in the Democrats’ PMC base. Oh, and identity politics — in essence, an offer for select “voices” to join the PMC, or at least aspire to — as outlined by Brooklyn persona non grata Adolph Reed. So if “the left” wishes to campaign using a different theory of change, there is a way forward. If they are allowed to take it. Or force open the path. Note that to the extend “the left” wishes to “push Biden left,” that is the power they must build. And it is precisely that power that liberal Democrats will never freely give them, as the 2016 and 2020 campaigns clearly show. So, optimism!

Biden (D)(2): “‘I beat the socialist’: Biden reminds voters ‘worried about socialism’ that he won the party nomination, not Bernie Sanders” [Business Insider]. • Certainly reinforces the “push Biden left” theory….

Sanders (D)(1): Well, so much for the “multiracial working class:

“Racial or ethnic?”

* * *

Ginsberg Replacement

UPDATE Why can’t liberal Democrats just say “We’re not voting for this nominee because we don’t agree with their judicial philosphy?” Stoller is correct:

Or why not “We’re not gonna vote for any member of the Federalist Society”?

UPDATE “Democrats step up hardball tactics as Supreme Court fight heats up” [The Hill]. “Senate Democrats are limiting the ability to hold committee hearings in retaliation for Republicans’ decision to try to fill a Supreme Court seat in the middle of an election year, the first action in what is likely to be an increasingly combative battle over procedure in the Senate…. Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) tried to get an exception on Tuesday afternoon for the Senate Intelligence Committee to be able to meet at 2:30 p.m. with the director of national counterintelligence, where they were expected to discuss election security. But Schumer also objected to that.” • Good job, Chuck. You’re sending the message election security is just a theatrical scam by national security goons, and I am here for it.

UPDATE “Ruth Bader Ginsburg and the Failure of Democratic Politics” [The New Republic]. “[There has been] a growing obsession with celebrity among Democrats, as if celebrity itself could somehow transcend the grubby business of politics. With figures like Ginsburg and Barack Obama, this thinking went, the party could win the day on the back of its leading lights. Those pleading for Ginsburg to retire were brushed off, or branded as sexists. Meanwhile, the conservative machine installed a bunch of young jurists to the Supreme Court who might not be famous but will be determining the fate of this country for years to come.” • Installed with the help of Democrats, one might add. Remember when Schumer waved through a bunch of Trump’s judges so the Senate could go on vacation?

UPDATE “Democrats shoot down talk of expanding Supreme Court” [The Hill]. “The debate among Democrats about expanding the Supreme Court has risks for the party because it has quickly been picked up as a talking point by Republicans.” • Quelle horreur

The Debates

“First Trump-Biden debate to focus on Supreme Court, coronavirus and race” [CNN]. • Until Trump picks up a chair and hits a referee with it. Turning himself from a heel to a face, at least in the eyes of many.

Realignment and Legitimacy

UPDATE “The men behind QAnon” [ABC]. “The two Americans most clearly associated with the author of thousands of ‘Q drops’ dating back to October 2017 are James Arthur Watkins, 56, who gained control in 2015 of the controversial anonymous message board 8chan, and his son, Ronald Watkins, former 8chan administrator and current administrator of its successor, the Watkins-owned 8kun. Since 2001, Watkins has been living in the Philippines, according to Philippines immigration records obtained by ABC News. ‘If he’s not ‘Q’ himself, he can find out who ‘Q’ is at any time,’ said Fredrick Brennan, the creator of 8chan and Watkins’ former business partner.” • But: “It remains unknown whether the ‘Q drops’ are authored by one or several people or whether they live within or outside the U.S., burnishing the mystique at the heart of the phenomenon.” • I so, so, so don’t want to get into straightening this out. (Oddly, the money involved seems to be trivial; the QMap.pub dude from New Jersey was pulling down three grand a month; a Watkins SuperPAC raised $4,000.) This is an extremely discursive post whose protagonists remind me of the bait shop guys in Arkansas who ignited the Lewinsky matter that caused Bill Clinton so much trouble; they have that kind of shiny aura. (See also this on the Reply All podcast.)

UPDATE “Are Red State Governors Getting Their People Killed to Help Donald Trump’s Re-Election Chances?” [Dean Baker, CEPR]. • No more than Andrew Cuomo got elders killed in nursing homes, or the political class is getting working class people in flyover killed by ignoring life falling expectancy and treating deaths of despair and the opioid crisis with malign neglect, or liberal Democrats are getting 68,000 people a year killed denying them #MedicareForAll. To be fair to Baker, who is generally sane, COVID-19, striking first as it did in Blue Cities, the Democrat base, may well have touched him personally in a way that all the other deaths — geographically and socially far away — did not. But there do seem to be rather a lot of people getting killed just now. Perhaps — hear me out — Red State Governors are not as central to the problem as Baker thinks they are?

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.

* * *

Shipping: “Container rates are on fire. How can you invest in that?” [Freight Waves]. “Containers have wrestled the ocean-shipping headlines away from tankers and bulkers as stratospheric China-to-California box rates approach $4,000 per forty-foot equivalent unit (FEU). Container shipping, declares a glowing new report by Fearnleys Securities, is “The Unsung Hero.” How can investors expose themselves to this historic trans-Pacific rate spike? Can box stocks woo tanker and bulker shareowners? And what do the curiously low prices of some container equities say about sentiment toward a U.S. recovery? FreightWaves interviewed four shipping analysts to delve into these questions. Their responses highlight significant differences between investing in container shipping versus bulk commodity shipping.” • People who like this sort of thing will find this the sort of thing they like.

Shipping: “The only money-making business for major passenger airlines these days is cargo. Just four of the world’s 30 largest passenger carriers by revenue reported profits in the second quarter… and all are based in export-heavy Asia markets that are seeing a surge in demand for electronic components and personal protective medical equipment” [Wall Street Journal]. “It’s a stark sign of the upheaval in the global airline industry, which has been staggered by the enormous downturn in travel under the coronavirus pandemic. The four profitable airlines last quarter were South Korea’s Korean Air and Asiana Airlines and Taiwan’s EVA Airways and China Airlines. They’re among many carriers that are flying passenger jets as virtual freighters.”

Shipping: “Cass sees freight trends accelerate sequentially in August” [Freignt Waves]. “Cass Information Systems’ (NASDAQ: CASS) August report showed further sequential gains in the freight markets with shipments increasing 8% and expenditures climbing 9.9% from July. Data for the month echoes other recent bullish trends and commentary from the trucking sector, showing that April was the bottom for volumes with continual improvement in freight demand since. Cass’ expenditures index shows freight payments troughed in May, improving each month after. ‘This supports what we have heard from public carriers across all modes, and we believe the trend of ‘better’ has continued here in September. Expect the Cass Index to move back closer to year-ago levels in the coming months, although we think it will stay in negative territory until 2021,’ commented the report’s author, Stifel Financial equity research analyst David Ross.”

Tech: Which face will Twitter choose as, er, representative, and which will it crop out?

There’s a ton of these floating out on the Twitter. Try it yourself!

Honey for the Bears: “One of the financial mechanisms that helps keep commodities shipments keep moving is seizing up. Companies are seeing a severe cutback in trade-credit insurance…. presenting a new challenge for metals suppliers even as they try to take advantage of recovering raw materials demand” [Wall Street Journal]. “Suppliers take out the insurance in case customers don’t pay, while banks use it to insure deals they finance. But insurers have become wary of metals because of challenges in sectors like the automotive and aviation industries that use the raw materials in factories. Credit insurance is less prevalent in the U.S. than in Europe, but some $600 billion in American sales were covered by credit insurance last year. Brokers say insurers now are turning down more requests while premiums are soaring and payouts are mounting in a strained economy.” • “Wary of… industries that use the raw materials in factories.” Oh.

* * *

Today’s Fear & Greed Index: 49 Neutral (previous close: 52 Neutral) [CNN]. One week ago: 56 (Greed). (0 is Extreme Fear; 100 is Extreme Greed). Last updated Sep 23 at 1:51pm. Mr. Market still on the couch.

The Biosphere

Quite right. Let no organic matter leave the property:

Health Care

“Covid-19: An open letter to the UK’s chief medical officers” [British Medical Journal]. “We write to express our grave concern about the emerging second wave of covid-19…. c) The goal of “herd immunity” rests on the unproven assumption that re-infection will not occur. We simply do not know whether immunity will wane over months or years in those who have had covid-19. d) Despite claims to the contrary from some quarters, there are no examples of a segmentation-and-shielding policy having worked in any country.Notwithstanding our opposition to a policy of segmentation-and-shielding, we strongly support measures that will provide additional protection to those in care homes and other vulnerable groups.” • There is a lot of food for thought in this letter; well worth a read.


“Erin Brockovich says US is now in a water crisis far worse than people realize” [The Hill]. “Instead, Brockovich has created a Community Healthbook to allow individuals and community groups to “report and review health related concerns and community environmental issues by geographic area and health related topic.” • Enabling citizen science! Super constructive!

Police State Watch

“‘It seems systematic’: Doctors group finds 115 cases of head injuries from crowd control weapons during nationwide protests” [USA Today]. “At least 115 people were injured this summer when police shot them in the head or neck with so-called “less-lethal” projectiles at protests over racial injustice and police brutality, according to a report published Monday… The sheer number of incidents in those two months was shocking, said Dr. Rohini Haar, the lead investigator for the analysis and an emergency physician in Oakland, California. ‘It seems systematic,’ Haar said. ‘It seems like there needs to be a reckoning with the use of force in protests.'” • Well, I should hope so. I mean, we don’t want cops shooting people in the head randomly….

Black Injustice Tipping Point

“Entrenched racist culture at heart of Portsmouth’s police department, officers and former chief say” [Virginian-Pilot]. “Time and again a group of mostly white officers have pushed back against modernization, worked to oust chiefs, stifled the careers of minority and female officers and sought retribution on anyone seen as a threat to their “good-ol’-boy” system of racial intimidation, according to eight Black officers who recently spoke to The Virginian-Pilot. That view is shared by former Portsmouth Police Chief Tonya Chapman, who also detailed numerous racist incidents that occurred while she was in charge…. Officers who talked with The Pilot, however, said the system has been kept in place with the help of some current and former city council members who wanted to stay in the good graces of the department’s Fraternal Order of Police, which, the officers said, consistently blocked change.” • Given what we know about Breonna Taylor, we should also be looking at property development…

“Officer involved in Breonna Taylor shooting sends email to colleagues ahead of expected announcement” [The Hill]. “‘DO NOT give the pencil pushers at the top, you know the ones who are too scared to hold the line, a reason to open investigations on you. The same ones that couldn’t make decisions to save their lives,’ [Jon Mattingly, one of the Louisville Metro Police Department (LMPD) officers involved in the fatal shooting of Breonna Taylor] stated in the letter. ‘We need leaders that lead from the front and not in a room under a desk. Do what you need to do to go home you your family. Just do it with dignity and make sure you can justify your actions because everything down there is recorded.'” • Not a confidence builder….

UPDATE “1 officer indicted in Breonna Taylor case; not for her death” [Associated Press]. “A Kentucky grand jury on Wednesday indicted a single former police officer for shooting into neighboring apartments but did not move forward with charges against any officers for their role in Breonna Taylor’s death. The jury announced that fired Officer Brett Hankison [not Mattingly, supra.] was charged with three counts of wanton endangerment in connection to the police raid of Taylor’s home on the night of March 13…. Taylor, an emergency medical worker, was shot multiple times by officers who entered her home using a no-knock warrant during a narcotics investigation. The warrant used to search her home was connected to a suspect who did not live there, and no drugs were found inside.” • The sort of thing that could happen to anyone….

Our Famously Free Press

“Matt Taibbi is a cancel culture hypocrite” [Yasha Levine, Immigrants as a Weapon]. (This preview has my token as a free newsletter subscriber, which is why you can see it at all. Levine is always worth reading.) “It was painful to watch Matt — the supposed heir to Hunter S. Thompson — groveling like this in real time. But I could sort of understand why he went that way.” • A distressing read, especially since I enjoy listening to Taibbi. Personally, I think cancel culture is turning into “I don’t like that tweet so I’m gonna call your boss and get you fired.” Like everything else idpol-related — #MeToo, especially — the rot sets in pretty fast…

Guillotine Watch

“The luxury air business is booming — as many Californians struggle to breathe” [Los Angeles Times]. “For buyers at the upper reaches of the real estate market, peace of mind can be purchased in the form of deluxe air filtration systems that keep the world at bay. Carl Gambino, a luxury real estate agent with Compass in Los Angeles, said that his clients had started bringing up clean air as a must-have amenity in the last year.” • Well, at least they’re not selling gulps of oxygen on the street. That was my picture.

Class Warfare

“Misery on Main Street: COVID-19 takes a grim toll on America’s small businesses” [NBC]. “[Small businesses] are vital to the American economy. They employ 60 million people, almost half the nation’s private-sector workforce, and create prosperity for U.S. families. They generate tax revenues that fund public safety, schools, parks and other municipal services and bring local color to their communities…. But misery has swept through Main Street, thanks to COVID, dealing body blows to owners, workers, landlords and town budgets. And although the Paycheck Protection Program supplied almost $700 billion to help small businesses crushed by COVID, many merchants’ operations — and futures — remain in peril. Even in late 2019, before the virus hit and when the economy was thriving, small businesses were ill-equipped to deal with setbacks. Federal Reserve Bank of New York research from April showed only one in five healthy small firms had sufficient cash reserves to continue normal operations if they experienced a two-month revenue loss. So it was no surprise that 1.4 million small businesses either closed or suspended operations in the three months that ended in June 2020, according to figures from Oxxford Information Technology Ltd. ” • It’s almost like under capitalism, there are meant to be only two classes, and small businesses on a human scale just aren’t meant to survive. Speaking of which–

“Stop Waiting for Capitalism to Cure Inequality” [Bloomberg]. “[C]apitalism’s invisible hand hasn’t made the market more efficient when it comes to eliminating racial barriers. Anyone who’d been paying attention was well aware that progress over the past few decades had been scant. White men still dominated the top jobs and made the most money, and Black workers in particular had been left behind.” • Yes, if only the “top jobs” “looked like America” “fundamentally, nothing would change.”

“Richest Farms Reap Bulk of U.S. Agriculture Aid, Study Shows” [Bloomberg]. “In the 2018-2019 crop years, more than half of about $23 billion in payments from the Market Facilitation Program went to the top 10% of farms, according to the Environmental Working Group, a critic of agribusiness subsidies. The funds are meant to offset harm from the U.S.-China trade war. ‘We aren’t really helping people who need the help,’ EWG analyst Anne Schechinger said in an interview. ‘Small farms don’t have a lot of assets to fall back on during hard times and then they are the ones most likely to actually go out of business.'” • In other words, a rake-off for the American gentry? I’d be shocked if that were true.

“Wokies are the establishment” [Redline]. “If you have managed to convince massive corporations that they should re-educate themselves and their staff, paint themselves rainbow, and cancel any dissenters when these same companies refuse to even pay their factory workers a living wage, you are not the oppressed one. I doubt very much if Marx would consider the validation of the identities of wealthy, university-educated, bourgeois brats a priority over the struggle of the proletariat.”

UPDATE “Nursing Homes Oust Unwanted Patients With Claims of Psychosis” [New York Times]. “Across the United States, nursing homes are looking to get rid of unprofitable patients — primarily those who are poor and require extra care — and pouncing on minor outbursts to justify evicting them to emergency rooms or psychiatric hospitals. After the hospitals discharge the patients, often in a matter of hours, the nursing homes refuse them re-entry, according to court filings, government-funded watchdogs in 16 states, and more than 60 lawyers, nursing home employees and doctors.” • 

1619 project continues in the news:

See the thread for Hannah-Jones’ response…

News of the Wired

The world of fashion:

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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 (JM):

JM writes: “Primrose moth (Schinia florida), resting in a wild Evening Primrose flower. This small moth, which has a wingspan of about 3 cm, does not pollinate the plant. It does drink the nectar of the Evening Primrose flower and lays its eggs on the plant. When the caterpillars are born, they feed on the plant.” Co-evolution!

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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. Fox Blew

    RE: “Officer involved in Breonna Taylor shooting sends email to colleagues ahead of expected announcement”

    …I am picturing Jack Nicholson on the stand asking Tom Cruise if he has ever served in a forward area…

    1. TroyIA

      The line in the email that stood out to me was “It’s sad how the good guys are demonized, and the criminals are canonized.”

      Um, Breonna Taylor was never convicted of a crime so therefore she wasn’t a criminal. It goes to show how off the rails policing has become where if you aren’t a police officer then by default you are a criminal. Someone needs to tell these Rambos that the war is over and they are here to protect civilians.

      1. JWP

        Life is a war movie to way too many.
        When protecting civilians includes protecting them from the very force supposed to protect them…, see police killings, open support of armed militias, injuring peaceful protestors, tear gassing entire neighborhoods, etc.

        Time to start thinking like Eugene,OR where calls are directed based on the type of call, so police only go to serious offenses. Also, doing away with police officers at traffic stops. just make it a traffic cop who is unarmed. Chances are if you’re fleeing in a car you can be tracked.

      2. farragut

        LMPD: “Ms Taylor consorted with known criminals, and, while it’s true she hadn’t yet broken the law, we feel certain it would only be a matter of time.”

        PS: the above hypothesized reasoning sounds very similar to the way the US military ‘counts’ dead innocent civilians as insurgents in Iraq & Afghanistan: If you’re a male, aged 14-99, and in the area when our ordinance activates, you must be a terrorist, because only terrorists would associate with known terrorists.

        PPS: this same reasoning apparently doesn’t apply to banksters, pedophiles, and politicians.

        1. Tom Doak

          “The officers consorted with known abusers of power and while it’s true they hadn’t been written up often before, we feel certain that it was only a matter of time before they would express their brutality.”

          Which is exactly what the officers ask us not to do . . .

  2. Synoia

    “Stop Waiting for Capitalism to Cure Inequality” [

    Isn’t the whole praise behind Capitalist as is currently practiced to create Inequality?

    AKA “Winners and Losers”?

    Let’s take Amazon as an example…..

    1. BlakeFelix

      IIRC Winston Churchill said that Capitalism does a bad job of distributing wealth, while communism did a good job of distributing poverty, so it’s not like Capitalism tending to cause inequality is some shocking revelation to anyone who has ever played monopoly. Capitalism has virtues, but fostering equality isn’t one of them. It’s like waiting for your car to mow your lawn…

  3. Laughingsong

    “ ‘Matt Taibbi is a cancel culture hypocrite” [Yasha Levine, Immigrants as a Weapon]. …..A distressing read’

    I’ll say. I subscribe to both these guys. I certainly get Yasha’s position. And yeah Matt certainly is, ahem, acerbic.

    But I was so bummed to read it. Reminds me of the criticism of Max Blumenthal who was for the Syrian invasion before he was against it.

    I get distressed when I watch the left eat itself.

    1. Carolinian

      I’d say that Levine piece is ridiculously long and prolix for such a weak tea “expose.” Surely the fact that Taibbi himself was a would be victim of cancel culture–and I believe he has written about this so it’s not news–makes him more than qualified to attack same. That he groveled a bit to save his career doesn’t upset me. Even though Levine claims that all of the establishment is now onboard with the cancel debunking (really??), it’s what everybody did back then as #metoo wiped out careers in an eyeblink. If it took Taibbi a few years to move to an internet blog where he can be more forthcoming than at Rolling Stone that’s no reason we should now treat him as a fraud for a past lapse. Seems to me Levine is trying to cancel Taibbi–who he admits that he barely knows–yet again. Hope he doesn’t succeed.

      1. Laughingsong

        Agreed, while I could get some of Yasha’s points (and
        Yasha’s been kicked around a bit so I can understand he might be more sensitive than others) I couldn’t see goingso far with this rant.

        Since I subscribe I was also a recipient of the first version of the article which had a less provocative title- he sent the second one within minutes (the first didn’t have “hypocrite” in the title), so I suspect he got angrier as he wrote.

        It’s the infighting that just gets me depressed, because progress is difficult when it’s so rife.

      2. drumlin woodchuckles

        I read somewhere that some years ago Taibbi and Ames had a bitter falling out. I forget why or over what.

        But if Yasha Levine works for the same ” the Exiled” that Mark Ames works for, perhaps Yasha Levine shares some of Mark Ames’s grudges and is advancing them in this case.

        1. Zar

          Yeah, I was gonna mention that. This article provides context for why there’s some bad blood between Taibbi and the other eXile alumni, maybe including Levine.

          It seems that Taibbi doesn’t want to be remembered for his work at the eXile and, if you believe Ames’s account, wanted to go more mainstream. (Maybe he just wanted to get the hell out of Russia, I’d argue.) Ames and Levine are proud of the eXile; Ames resents Taibbi for leaving, for not being a true believer in the paper they built together, and maybe (pardon the hyperbolic speculation) for his readiness to sell his soul in exchange for a Respectable Media platform.

          Fact is, it’s pretty easy to shift blame to someone you haven’t been on speaking terms with for 15 years, particularly if you believe you’ve been tarred by their actions. Levine’s right to point out that that’s still not a cool thing to do — I don’t think “hypocrite” isn’t perfectly accurate, though it makes for a more eye-catching title — but he’s speaking as someone who never had a Respectable Media career to lose.

          Anyhow, hypocrisy isn’t very related to factual wrongness. To the extent that I agree with Taibbi now, I won’t stop because of things Taibbi said three years ago.

      3. profan

        Tough times for the writing public and I essentially agree. Both Levine and Taibbi are worth reading and I feel like Taibbi did what he had to do to defend himself. He has definitely grown and with his coverage of the financial crises and Eric Garner and the media and in general by steadfastly refusing to become insane — he has many times over redeemed himself for whatever ridiculousness they were engaging in in Russia in the 1990s.

        1. Nick

          Agreed that he has written quite a bit that’s good but taking up “cancel culture” this year seems to mark the end of refusing to become insane. Gussied up arguments over something that would be inconsequential even if we weren’t in 2020. What a waste of time.

          1. Michael Fiorillo

            Having witnessed weaponized cancel culture in an opposition union caucus (UFT/NYC teachers), virtually nullify the organization (but giving the weaponizers the remains), I’d posit that cancel culture is a major symptom of the pathologies affecting what passes for the Left in this country. In that sense, it has significance, and I appreciated Taibbi’s takedown.

      1. Michael Fiorillo

        Likewise, though Levine’s “J’accuse” is a long, huffing and puffing slog to… not all that much.

        I guess I learned that Matt Taibbi, fine and salutary journalist though he is, might be an imperfect human being.

      2. montanamaven

        Yes, I contribute to both and read both. Yasha really needs the money. His investigative reporting is excellent. his reporting on “Victorville” in California on the 2008 2009 housing crisis is genius. It chronicles the devastation that Wall Street wreaked on middle working class America. And how Obama did nothing for these people. The movie “Nomadland”
        coming out Dec 4 is about many of those peoplewho lost their homes and instead of being able to retire are living in vans and working part time jobs to survive.
        So it is with great sadness that I read this. I hope this will pass and Matt will find his center. Yasha has his. Does it have anything to do with success in the monetary sense?

    2. anon in so cal

      Taibbi lost me a couple of weeks ago when he appeared to be saying we needed to elect Biden to end the chaos of Russiagate, impeachment, Trump, etc.

      1. Laughingsong

        Yeah, didn’t agree with that one either. However I will still be reading him, there’s been a few times I’ve not been onboard with his stuff. He’d probably have to go full Chris Hitchens for me to back completely away.

      2. drumlin woodchuckles

        If we decide to let Joemala Bidenarris get defeated by with-holding enough votes from them, we should be aware of the further pain we will indeed feel.

        The TrumpAdmin will use another 4 years to eliminate the “Administrative State ” from functional existence. The TrumpaKochs will render permanent their policy of total polluter permissiveness. That means the pollutionists will fill the air with cancer gas, the water with cancer juice, and cover the food supply with cancer gravy. The Postal System WILL be liquidated. All our collective public assets ( National Parks, Forest, Wildlife Refuges, etc. ) WILL be Yeltsinized as the TrumpAdmin works ( with Catfood Democrat support) to bankrupt the FedGov Budget past the point of return. There are other things the TrumpAdmin will succeed in doing in that vein.

        This is not to say that Joemala Bidenarris should not be defeated. Perhaps they should. Perhaps their defeat would enable us to exterminate the Catfood Democrats from existence and wipe them off the face of the earth. Still, we should admit to the fact of some incurable pain incurred along the way.

        Such a decision should be made with open eyes.

    3. dcblogger

      wow, it was very distressing for me to read, and I luv Matt. (really, read Griftopia) and so sad to see him not just back down but throw someone under the bus.

      yet another example of how destructive the whole RUSSIA witch hunt has been. It was not enough to Hillary to lose the election, she had to sabotage our entire political culture to deflect from her failure. Gore handled his EC loss much better.

  4. John k

    Be interesting to see, for those states with avg of credible polls within 4% today, how those states changed from exactly four years ago to actual election results. The rep candidate is the same, Hillary arguably generated more enthusiasm among at least dems than Biden does now, granted more animosity among many sectors.
    I must say it’s laughable the reps call Corp joe the socialist. If only…

    1. dcblogger

      the biggest difference is that Trump has a record now. People could choose to believe his lies in 2016. Now only willfully stupid can fail to see that Trump is a greedy buffoon with brainworms.

      1. drumlin woodchuckles

        The problem is . . . what’s the alternative? Can you make the case that the alternative is somehow better? If so, what is that case?

        1. Amfortas the hippie

          the alternative…according to the Texas SecState’s website regarding what my ballot will look like, is Howie Hawkins.
          There’s also a Libertarian guy I’ve never heard of, and a couple of others(the bearded guy with a boot on his head doesn’t appear, sadly)
          all of these are alternatives to the two faced parasite party…in spite of what Team Blue scolds would have us believe.

          1. John Anthony La Pietra

            FWIW, Libertarian candidate Jo Jorgensen is not a guy. as he’s their first female candidate for President.

            OTOH, FWI also W, Howie Hawkins’s running mate Angela Walker is the ninth woman on the seven Green Presidential tickets since 1996. (2008 Cynthia McKinney and Rosa Clemente; 2012 Jill Stein and Cheri Honkala.)

            1. John Anthony La Pietra

              …not a guy. She’s their….

              (Geez. If I can’t pay attention any better than that, maybe I need to set up my phone to make a noise when SpellCheck and the virtual-chiclet keyboard are teaming up to change what I’m trying to type. I’d notice the noise, because the phone’s generally on vibrate.)

              1. Amfortas the hippie

                I saw “Jo” and “Libertarian” and investigated no further.
                I generally don’t lift their tails,as i don’t really care about their private parts, but pay a lot of attention to sundry pols’ policies.
                I suppose it’s a sign of the times that the Libertarians have finally checked that box….especially since they are rather well known as a collection of teenage boys,lol.
                —i was Libertarian county chair for a time…mostly as a middle finger to the clinton dems…and my first vote for Prez was for Ron Paul…also as a finger to the Monolith.
                I still like their Civil Libertarian Wing, but abandoned them long ago due to their randianism.
                still mark for them downticket when there’s not a Green on offer.(more middle fingers,lol)

      2. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

        Good thing Biden doesn’t have a 47-year track record detailing everything he will do, from war to crime to Social Security to health care to student debt bankruptcy. Oh, wait…

  5. Toshiro_Mifune

    Wokies are the establishment

    Yes, yes they are. They are the enforcement arm of status quo power within the realms of the PMC in the same way that the police are the enforcement arm of status quo power within the realms of the poor and working class.
    Their current over the top vocality is evidence of the neoliberal order in its death throws, desperately searching for something to preserve its power.
    Once that order is done there is a long reckoning coming that many will find unpleasant, and probably not in the ways that may think.

    1. Stanley Dundee


      [Wokies] are the enforcement arm of status quo power within the realms of the PMC…

      Some might enjoy revisting a superb essay to that effect, which I discovered in NC links:

      Cancel culture is the ideological mechanism by which the professional class expands its role within public and private bureaucracies.

      The tip jar is to your right!

      1. drumlin woodchuckles

        But the PMC did not invent cancel culture. The Leftard WokeNazi Social Justice Warriors invented that. The hustlers of Whiteness Privilege studies and other such clever rackets in Academe invented that. Will they be suitably punished?

  6. barefoot charley

    I thought Yasha Levine’s piece on Taibbi was informative and interesting, and so rich in detail that I felt qualified to disagree with his conclusions (silly me, but so what). He calls Taibbi a hypocrite for co-authoring smutty satires with Mark Ames about the filthy moral and financial squalor created by our neoliberal prophets shattering the Soviet state after the fall of the walls. Levine explains that Ames wrote the dirty nightlife stories, Taibbi the financial and political satires, and like Lennon-McCartney they shared publication credits. Levine thinks Taibbi’s groveling admissions that a husband and father couldn’t justify satirical smut, which he’s now ashamed of and says Ames actually wrote, is “throwing Ames under the bus.” To me it’s more information.

    My wife thinks of their co-writings from Moscow in eXile as confessions, so Taibbi’s a creep. I can understand his desire, as a real (and essential!) journalist, not to be taken for a hoodlum wanna-be or even just a pornographic satirist. Levine seems to think Taibbi owes Ames solidarity. Like Lennon did McCartney? I just don’t think so. And the whiff of Maoist self-criticism in Taibbi’s renunciation of their effective gonzo journalism for a different time and place, is sadly appropriate for ours.

    1. flora

      Party of the wokeratti tried to get Taibbi ‘cancelled’ over those articles, literally tried to get him fired. From 10 years ago (10 years ago):

      The closer the election gets and the more Taibbi or any reporter’s writing doesn’t toe either the prescribed team red/ team blue narratives the more the tut-tutters come out to discredit them for insufficient ‘correctness’ Can Propornot be far behind? /heh

      1. barefoot charley

        Thanks flora, my wife must have encountered their propornot-aganda. Sad thing, she sure wouldn’t call herself woke. Putin has fuddled us all!

        1. flora

          I know a few Russian-Americans, immigrants who grew up in the old Soviet system and hate that old system with the white hot heat of a thousand suns and distrust the new system, so I’ll cut Levine some personal slack on this. I don’t buy his line on Taibbi at all.

          1. Michael Fiorillo

            I might have taught some of the kids of of NJ people you refer to in NYC public high schools; my experience corroborates your statement, and extends to other states within the Soviet sphere of control and influence.

      2. occasional anonymous

        I remember that article being linked to by NC when the cancel attempt happened back in 2017. The official NC stance was that The eXile was satire, and that the book about The eXile was at least partially satire, so you couldn’t really take any of the horrible stuff seriously.

        The problem I have with that is that you basically have to accept that Mark Ames is always in facetious mode and is never serious. Is he being sarcastic even in this old Observer piece? https://observer.com/2000/06/from-russia-with-lust/

        Because to me Ames really does come across as a creepy scumbag here.

    2. Moe Knows

      What? The take away you want me to have? Sorry, I’m confused as to what your saying. I like Matt and what he does.

  7. Kije Hazelwood

    I LOVE the morning ? songs!! We live on a beach in Hawaii and the songs are a perfect intro to the day.

  8. Judith

    Lambert: Here is one way to get to the file you want on Macaulay. Go to All About Birds and enter the name of your bird in the Search box. (For example, American Robin.). This will take you to the American Robin page, with lots a great details about the species. Click Sounds. This takes you to a page of different sounds for the Robin, with a link to Macaulay for the sound file.


      1. Judith

        You can also enter a more general term like warbler or hawk into Search. The results will show a group of birds that you can choose from. Have fun!

        1. Clark T

          This new birdsong link is a super value-add to this site. Praise Lambert for adding the feature, and praise NC’s commentariat for providing instructions for the most efficient, er, the best way of extracting the right song from that site.

  9. BobWhite

    This just in, from FAIR:
    “A Quick Calculation on How Many Kids Jacobin Is Willing to Let Die”
    by Jim Naureckas


    “Children and young adults have minimal risk, and there is no scientific or public health rationale to close daycare centers, schools or colleges.”
    “If you’re very confident, you can bring those numbers down, maybe into the thousands rather than hundreds of thousands. But you’re still talking about thousands of dead children.”

    File under “essential=expendable”… no sarc…

    1. Yik Wong

      Jacobin editors are with Madaline Albright when it comes to others paying the cost in lives for our wars. Max Blumenthal has some damning stuff on the people behind Jacobin. Good night from here.

      1. BobWhite

        Ah, they retracted the story due to a miscalculation of the numbers.
        They should be posting updates soon…

        The general message is still true – that there is an acceptable number of expendable people (adults or children), if it allows more money to be made – by those who have the most and need it least, of course.

        1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

          And remind me which other area of society is not subject to these kinds of calculations, unfortunate as they may seem. We could get auto deaths to zero by banning driving but for some reason we don’t.

          Just wish we could shift the Covid conversation from “OMG Trump!” to “OMG No M4A!” or “OMG we spent all the money on Iraq and Afghanistan instead!”.

  10. Ignacio

    The Bird Song Of The Day section has been welcome at home. Everybody asking: What’s that? I had some fun saying I just brought home a Tanzanian bird.

  11. Greg

    I have yet to master the search function at Macauley Library. I was hoping for your typical red robin, but I got one from Tanzania. Well, why not? Pretty to wake up to, though!

    I suggest searching the binomial – the common name is prone to massive duplication. For a bird like the robin, a search routine that goes via search/wikipedia to pick up the binomial first then to macauley should serve you well until you get into the really esoteric ones.

  12. Hepativore

    The only thing the left is going to get from Biden from trying to push him left is a giant middle finger. The base that the Democratic Party caters to are the Karen’s and wokies and they do not think they need the left at all to win and if Biden is our next “meatsack” president, they will shove it in our faces just how much they do not care about the left at all and you can look forward to the next 4 – (probably 8) of PMC hippie-punching and a likely war with Iran.

    I doubt that the left will be able to run a successful primary campaign against Biden or Harris in 2024 as the media will be singing their praises non-stop by then and unfortunately the same older voters that gave us Biden for 2020 will be the ones that will be swept up in the momentum of his or Harris’ incumbency with CNN and MSNBC lionization all the way.

    Hell, I would not doubt it if the DNC tries to cancel the 2024 primaries in many states like what the Republicans tried to do for Trump. The DNC will simply claim that there is no need to have primaries as the presidential candidate has already been chosen.

    1. Lee

      I’m assuming that immiseration-driven social upheaval will at long last light a fire under the asses of policy makers. But then I am often delusionally optimistic.

        1. Lee

          Thank for the tip. I hadn’t read that. Yes, rising expectations followed by extreme disappointment, coupled with continued immiseration are a combustible mixture.

    2. Glen

      Well, you have to look at the upside. He’s actually giving a giant middle finger to 90% of America. (At least 90%, maybe more.)

      Remember, NOTHING will fundamentally change. Which means the Republicans can offer somebody worse than Trump, and they will probably get elected.

    3. notabanker

      I believe 2015 and 2019 has fully exposed that the Primary election outcomes are whatever the DNC wants it to be. Where I live, we didn’t even have one. Biden was announced the presumptive nominee many many weeks before the election was rescheduled. And I live in a swing state that supposedly “matters”. So the message clearly is I don’t matter anymore. And hey, what goes around, comes around. I have a middle finger too.

    4. Moe Knows

      “Democratic Party caters to”, is what, who & whom? I doubt 1% are part of the base as you depict it. And no one cares. This is a non issue to most citizens.

  13. fwe'zy

    I deeply respect and appreciate Yasha Levine’s work on the California pistachio billionaires’ machinations on Iran as well as theft of California water.

    We commonfolx were told by eco-organizers to hoard dirty water in buckets and to stop watering our plants and trees (which fell over and died), as the pistachio empire went on steroids in terms of water use.

    … California’s constant water shortages are political, not natural. News coverage of the state’s recurring water problems focus on weather and the environment — which gives people the sense that water shortages are natural and inevitable. While climate change is indeed a factor, it is not the main driver of California’s water problems.

    The stark reality is that farms use 80% of the state’s supply, an amount that trivializes savings made by residential users. Our documentary will cut through the talking points pushed by corporate lobby groups. The shortages are about allocation, not supply: much of the water is diverted to grow fringe, non-essential crops.



      1. Another Scott

        I’ve been trying to understand why the Democrats have had trouble criticizing the Supreme Court as institution or questioning its increasingly dominant role in setting policy. But this afternoon, it hit me – the Supreme Court is the ideal of the meritocratic PMC. SCOTUS is made up of nine individuals who went to the most elite colleges and law schools in the country before clerking for Supreme Court justices, working at white shoe law firms, working at law schools (perhaps as deans), and serving as federal court judges. They have the perfect resumes.

        Therefore, if you believe that resumes are what matters, then these are the people who should be making the hard decisions about all the cultural, economic, and legal problems facing America today. There is no need to rely on the people’s representatives in the legislature or even graduates of lesser state colleges, who are after all less equipped to handle vexing questions. Instead, let the experts handle them and if you want to influence policy make sure that you get the best education and make the right connections, how else would everyone know that you are their intellectual and moral superior.

        1. JWP

          +1. And to add, people see the educated PMC member as apolitical and basing their opinion on expert knowledge and fact. But in reality, that mindset is just as political as any random person’s interpretation.

            1. Michael Fiorillo

              More political, and often less self-aware, and/or less honest.

              As Adolph Reed says, the easiest way to recognize class bias is when it denies that it is class bias.

      2. Procopius

        She’s quite right, but she only mentions ACA, which only requires a one-line amendment. They could do the same thing with the Voting Rights Act and restore the requirement for pre-approval of changes to voting laws, but I guess we’ll have to wait until they have a majority (i.e., more than 60) in the Senate. Alas, I don’t think they can do the same with Citizens United or campaign finance.

  14. zagonostra

    >Hunter Biden’s Ukraine ties ‘awkward’ but impact on US policy unclear, report finds – Guardian

    This headline says everything that’s wrong with U.S. politics. So if you find your best friend in bed with your wife and drinking your Johnny Walker Blue, I guess we could just say it’s “awkward” and move along since he really didn’t hurt any legal relation with your wife, but that drinking your JWB, well I couldn’t let that go..ok not the best metaphor…


  15. farmboy

    Trump going all Bobby Knight and throwing a chair at Chris Wallace, I’d tune in to watch that, otherwise no. And you thought Professional Wrestling was fake…

    1. Lost in OR

      I’m looking forward to seeing if Biden loses it. Loses his wits, that is. I don’t care about the debate. Neither will get my vote.

        1. Procopius

          George Carlin’s rant. If you vote, you have some responsibility for the outcome. If you don’t vote, you can just say, “It’s not my fault. I didn’t vote for the [family blog].”

          1. John Anthony La Pietra

            I sympathize with Carlin and those who agree with him on this — but I don’t think I’m going to let George do it for me. I’d rather go with Eugene V. Debs, and vote for what I want even if I don’t get it.

            Maybe one point to consider is whether we think our votes are more important as possible deciders of elections, validators or legitimizers of a broken process, or part of our ongoing exercises of citizenship.

  16. FriarTuck

    RE Macaulay Library

    I found the typical American robin by looking up the scientific name on Wikipedia (turdus migratorius), then searching the Macaulay Library using the scientific name. That seemed to work pretty well.

  17. rl

    re: “Wokies are the establishment”—

    When you are able to take 12 [16, actually] women to human rights court for refusing to wax your [familyblog], you are a chauvinistic narcissist and the state is pandering to you.


    If you can propagate the lie that feeding children off-label drugs intended for cancer treatment and sterilisation is safe and even vital because it suits your agenda and health agencies, governments, and NGOs blindly agree, you are morally bankrupt and frighteningly powerful.

    If you can undermine the hard fought protections and legal wins of same-sex attracted people simply by redefining them to include heterosexuals who identify as gay, you are no friend to LGB people; you are the oppressor. When you demonise lesbians for refusing males no matter how they identify, you are more alike to incels and MRAs than Marxists.


    Wokeism is performance. It is mostly educated, establishment youths LARPing the struggles of truly marginalised groups. It is time we stopped letting them pretend to be saviours when they’re just malignant power in a different outfit.

    I’m not convinced that the narcissistic drive to “LARP” (had to look that one up!) is the only drive at work.

    In the case of the genderbomb, social alienation (e.g. “nerdy” or “effeminate” heterosexual boys and men), placelessness and fear (homosexual boys and girls in homophobic, especially aggressively so, households and cultures, for whom a [trans]gendered “ghost in the machine,” complete with gender roles and all, offers a tempting sense of structure in the face of extreme loneliness), and escapism (girls and young women under an endless array of gendered pressures) are at least as significant.

    The wokerati are just the hypervigilant vanguard of (one side of) a tortured social fabric.

    The narcissism makes it worse, of course.

    1. Moe knows

      They won’t let me comment, as Disagreement w/lambert is forbidden. But I completely agree and have 3 children that I have to hear this abuse of logic & sociology daily.

  18. Cat Burglar

    Maybe Dean Baker’s Are Red State Governors Getting Their People Killed To Help Donald Trump’s Election Chances violates Betteridge’s Law, but the red state governors are not the only the only ones getting people killed, and for a variety of reasons.

    Consider democratic state Oregon. A physician must order your test — you have to have a physician, you have the money to pay the physician, so the doctor becomes the gatekeeper. That has held testing numbers down. State guidance on testing for nonsymptomatic people exposed to sick persons has been left vague. The policy of letting the professional decide sounds good on a witness stand, and sounds good to the PMC — meanwhile, people don’t get tested.

    With little public discussion, Governor Brown was ready to Reopen ASAP. A couple months later, as the number of cases and deaths increased after Reopening, to public alarm, the State epidemiologist quietly told us that it was expected to happen. There had only been a few tiny demonstrations in the state demanding Reopening.

    You have to wonder who the governor was depending on for advice and support — someone somewhere made a very hard political calculation about whose welfare was most important, and who had lived long enough; it was not the general public. I have found zero reporting on it. Brown was not the only Governor to do so, and one wonders about how the discussions might have networked nationally.

    Trump defaulted responsibility to the governors and left them with the blame for and much of the cost of the pandemic. While I hold his administration most responsible for the mass death, this also looks to me like an all-class default by our handlers.

  19. Katiebird

    In Missouri, Gov Parson and his wife have both tested positive for COVID. They are doing contact tracing. And are self isolating. The tests are being redone for confirmation.

    Is he the first Governor to test positive? And I wonder how it will affect his reelection chances.

    KCTV News coverage

  20. going nowhere slowly

    Love Matt Taibbi. Also fond of Mark Ames and the War Nerd. Also read an liked Surveillance Valley and Levine’s memorable pieces on California agriculture. I think about them every time I walk past the mountains of pistachios at my local grocery store. IIRC, months ago, when toilet paper and flour could not be had, there was still plenty of California pistachios. (I live in DC.)

    I followed this story when it slithered out years ago and it seemed like a baseless hysterical hit job at the time. It is sad and disappointing to see it revived now. I just want to wish all these guys well. No good can come of their tearing each other apart.

  21. notabanker

    NHJ – “why lie about what people can easily verify, except that you know most people won’t verify”

    Just before she deleted her twitter timeline, lol. Verify that! Oh, and here’s some cake.

  22. BoyDownTheLane

    I am amazed that, among the hot button issues noted for the hotly-anticipated swing states, there is no mention of all the politicians in key positions who’ve been having sex with under-age children.

    1. Moe knows

      What are you talking about. I live a swing state, per se, but as a rule we enforce all laws. It seems like your asking for dis-prove of something that hasn’t by any rational standards been proven true. Why are you doing this?

      1. boydownthelane

        You obviously don’t check the news often. One could easily assemble a list of people in high power that have been involved. One could easily check the name index available for Hagopian’s encyclopedic book that is free online [ https://pedoempire.org/ ] and for which he is working on the Iberian peninsula chapter as we speak. There are innumerable and notable cases from the past; there is action underway that will bring more of this kind of news out into the public arena soon. I am told that the NSA has the evidence.

    2. down2long

      I know many of you are into permaculture a nursery in Washington that I buy from – white mulberries, light purple mulberries – part of my plantout of my property with low water fruit trees – on having a online permaculture. Event Sept 24-27! Could be very interesting for permaculture fans in cooler climates. $20 for the weekend. I do not know of it will be useful


        1. drumlin woodchuckles

          Or one could YahooSearch it, or DuckDuckGo it, or Bing it, or some-other-search-engine it.
          One doesn’t have to Google it specifically.

  23. marcyincny

    Oh my. I doubt I would ever have ‘heard’ the scrub robin if you’d gone with the native robin. And what a lovely bird… Thanks.

  24. a different chris

    From the how do we make complete idiots this rich in this country (“What Miami’s vastly…”)

    Potash thinks his wealthy neighbors should be Trumpers, too. If they’re voting for Democrats, “They’re kind of stupid, as far as I’m concerned. They’ll be poor by the time Biden and Harris get in. That’s no way to live, I’ll tell ya.”

    OK, #1 this doesn’t even make the point he’s trying to make, Trump will be in charge until “Biden and Harris get in”. Secondly, nobody can get from that zip code to “poor” in < 5 months.

    And third, I suspect this good Doctor (another notch in the "our medical profession is so screwed up" post), being 92 freaking years old, said the same thing about Obama's second term. And Obama's first term. And Clinton's second term. And Clinton's first term. And he and his neighbors are richer than ever.

    What a maroon.

  25. drumlin woodchuckles

    I read the whole Mattingly email. It was in a twitter which prevents any cut-copy/pasting of select pieces.
    So I will have to quote from memory the quote where he says: ” Now go and be the warriors you are.”

    ” Warriors”. Did you get that?

    Public safety will require the purging and burning out of all police departments all the personnel who believe themselves to be “warriors” and all the trainers who have carefully fostered the “warrior” ethic.

    That purge can only be conducted over the “dead body” of crypto-nazi Police Unions. If the Left thinks that “working class solidarity” should extend to support for the existence of crypto-nazi Police Unions, then the Left has no mind and no brain and nothing to offer anyone.

    Crushing, breaking and exterminating the Nazi Fascist Police Unions will be a necessary first step in de-contaminating the police. That’s a bullet the Left can either bite sooner, or eat later.

      1. drumlin woodchuckles

        Now . . . here is where we must think very clearly and precisely. If I were to say that if the BLM and the Antifas decide to hold a festival of rioting and looting, that the BLM and Antifa will not solve the police problem by doing so . . . would I still be considered to get it?

        Nazi police departments carefully foster and support the bad behavior of police who want to behave badly. Other police may not behave badly even though their Nazi departments and especially their Nazi UNIONS try to get them to behave badly. How can aggrieved people ” reach out and touch” certain relevant police perpetrators directly? How can suggestions be kept within the bounds of legality?

        Can a city be legally boycotted into reaching out and touching its own bad actor police? Surely it is legal for me to suggest that I would not feel safe entering Louisville for any reason, including tourism, as long as Louisville has a Nazi Police UNION which supports the recreational pleasure-murder of anyone the police feel like designating a future pre-crime pre-suspect. The Nazi UNION police could do that to any tourist, including ME.
        If enough people could boycott enough Louisville economic functions into extinction, would the economic remnants of Louisville decide that their survival required the de-Nazification of their police force and specifically the extermination of their Nazi police UNION? Would it be worth an organized multi-year try?

        1. drumlin woodchuckles

          And let us remember, in German – Occupied Poland, the gas chamber operators were working class. Just like Nazi UNION police officers today. If “working class solidarity” requires supporting the working class Nazi police UNION members who pleasure-murdered Breona Taylor and sanctify that murder today, then fuck working class solidarity.

  26. Clem

    No organic material leaves the property
    Better than that, volunteer to take all your neighbors leaves and grass trimmings if you are sure they use no biocides, including commercial plant “food” which is often industrial slag.
    Take your empty rolling green compost bin and switch it for a full one down the street full of good stuff.
    Local tree trimmers have to pay to dump chips, in some cases, a lot. If you know the owner and the truck is full of good hardwood chips from non diseased trees, have them dump it at your place. Not the driveway however nor too close to the house. Chips are smaller after they install a sharpened set of blade. Dull blades mean longer bigger chips. Use chips as mulch and very slow compost when mixed with neighbors grass trimmings. We get free tree trimming and chipping for every five loads they dump. Be greedy, get all the organic matter you can.

    We have built up about 6″ of deep dark loam on top of clay and sand in seven years this way. Plants grow berserkers in this.

    1. Moe Knows

      Shredded bark is much better in terms of decay (means useful) to soil then chips. Honestly get 1’ of newspapers, pile on shredded bark, add top soil (black dirt 10 yds or more), plant various nitrogen fixing annuals; then plow under (by hand if necessary), then start your garden. Good soil is 99% essential, the rest is just fooling around. I do indeed know first hand and 50 years of trying.

      1. drumlin woodchuckles

        A problem with shredded bark could be that some barks contain terpenes and other natural decay-resistance chemicals. They continue resisting decay even after the bark is off the tree. That is why some barks are considered good for mulch . . . because they last a while before they decay, giving you your money’s-worth over time in terms of mulch-usefulness.

        Memory suggests that oak bark is one such. Pine bark is another.

        What if there were a machine like a truly huge ginormous humendous pencil sharpener? Into which one could feed branches up to 2 inches thick and off the in-feeding end of which the giant pencil sharpener would keep cutting long ultra-thin shavings of wood? That wood would decay very fast.

        I read once that Jean Pain of “ramial chips” fame invented a machine which would do a rough crude version of that . . . giving him his special fast-decay “ramial chips”.

        hmm. . . . I see on the web there is a site for a company making wood chippers which bears the blessing of Jean Pain’s name upon it. Are they the super thin-chip makers that Jean Pain is supposed to have invented the first of? I don’t know. But here is the website.

        And here’s a whole lotta buncha images of the “Jean Pain ramial woodchipper”

  27. Alex Cox

    “Democrat control of the commanding heights in the press and the intelligence community”

    Did you not mean the reverse, regarding the “Community” and the Democrats?

  28. John k

    Could happen to anybody… Taylor
    I don’t think so. Certainly doesn’t often happen to white folks living in the best part of town. And seems to happen to essential ones, which just means they have to go to work in an unsafe environment cause no option.

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