Links 9/4/2020

Ice Sheet Melting on Track With Worst-Case Scenario TreeHugger (Re Silc).

The mystery of the Murray-Darling’s vanishing flows ABC Australia

Germany Ends Probe Into Wirecard Accusations Of Journalists PAYMNTS.COM

The Wirecard scandal is a warning to the EU to think twice before cutting itself off from London’s financial expertise City AM

Five Eyes nations start new club for competition regulators and paint target on digital giants The Register

Inside the Hidden World of Legacy IT Systems IEEE Spectrum


Coronavirus Vaccine Roundup, Early September In the Pipeline, Science. If you’re tracking vaccine companies, this is a very accessible must-read.

Leader of U.S. vaccine push says he‘ll quit if politics trumps science Science. Moncef Slaoui.

Pfizer boss warns on risk of fast-tracking vaccines FT. Either a public-spirited intervention or Pfizer’s buying insurance on losing the race, take your pick.

Trump’s Vaccine Can’t Be Trusted Laurie Garrett, Foreign Policy

How to Decide Who Should Get a COVID-19 Vaccine First Ezekiel Emanuel, Scientific American

3 in 5 Adults Say They’d Get a COVID-19 Test if Exposed, Even if They Were Asymptomatic Morning Consult

Low-cost measurement of face mask efficacy for filtering expelled droplets during speech Science


U.S.-China tensions threaten supply chains in almost all industries Felix Salmon, Axios

President Xi Jinping outlines areas where China will never accept foreign interference Straits Times

Trump-Xi Rift Plays Out With Some 100 Canceled Exchanges, Talks Bloomberg


Coronavirus | India registers over 80,000 cases for second consecutive day The Hindu

India will supply coronavirus vaccines to the world — will its people benefit? Nature

By scrapping Parliament’s Question Hour, government is attacking the foundation of Indian democracy The Scroll

How this mother helped her son score 100 on every online test by simply fooling the AI Gadgets Now

Lifting of restrictions untimely and dangerous The Daily Star. Bangladesh

How the coronavirus pandemic has propelled modern slavery in Asia’s garment industry South China Morning Post


Sheldon Adelson set to buy US Ambassador’s Herzliya home Globes. That’s nice.


Tug Involved in Mauritius Cleanup Sinks Killing Three Maritime Executive


Brexit: ‘Significant gaps’ in UK’s border plans BBC

Learning for government from EU Exit preparations (PDF) National Audit Office (summarized here). Page 18:

29 While government quickly developed a view on where its work was affected by EU Exit and its own actions, it was much slower in developing an understanding of how to achieve a good outcome when this required action from many parties, not just government. The issue was exacerbated by an uncertain political climate where significant policy decisions happened late in the day. We found that the civil service response was to delay communication in the hope of increased certainty, rather than beginning to share thinking or preparations at a time or in ways that would have helped stakeholders with their own preparations. For example, in 2018 both Defra and DfT told the Committee of Public Accounts that at that time they had asked third parties to sign non-disclosure agreements when discussing departmental plans, and particularly the development of Technical Notices, with stakeholders. The Committee set out the risk that these agreements undermined transparency and hampered the spread of information to the business community at large.13 Across government, 106 Technical Notices were published over the course of August, September and October 2018 – two years after government started planning for EU Exit, and at most nine months before a possible no-deal exit in March 2019.

30 More widely, the government underestimated the challenge involved in preparing stakeholders outside government for EU Exit. DExEU’s own monitoring of progress focused on what departments needed to do and did not consider who else needed to take action and whether they were ready. This meant that departments simply didn’t put enough thought, or give enough time, to what their stakeholders needed. Third parties, including businesses and taxpayers, were not told early enough or in enough detail what they needed to do to be ready, particularly for a no-deal exit. Crucial parts of systems development, such as operational testing, were limited in scope because of the time available or were only able to be carried out after the deadline for EU Exit was extended.

I’m not sufficiently well-versed in UK official-ese to know how brutal this caning is. However, it is clear that more than “secrecy” is the problem, as the Guardian would have it.


France first? Macron €100 billion recovery plan bets on manufacturing France24

Why the French will secretly miss us this summer The Telegraph

I Witnessed Labour Staff Working to Undermine Jeremy Corbyn’s Leadership Novara Media

New Cold War

Novichok and Nonsense: From a post-factual to a post-logic world Glibert Doctorow

Navalny, Novichok and Nord Stream 2 — Germany stuck between a rock and a pipeline Deutsche Welle

US-Russia Tensions Flare up on Multiple Fronts NewsClick


The Trump Era Sucks and Needs to Be Over Matt Taibbi. “Ever since Trump jumped into politics, the pattern has been the same. He enters the arena hauling nothing but negatives and character liabilities, but leaves every time armed with winnable issues handed to him by overreacting opponents.” Terrific!

Rebuilding the Economy Will Require Biden to Think Very Differently Than 2009 Portside (LS).

DHS: Russia Will Interfere With U.S. Elections By Promoting Alleged Russian Interference With U.S. Elections Moon of Alabama. Seems legit.

Trump Transition

Pelosi and Mnuchin agree on plan to avoid government shutdown Politico

Fed official warns partisan politics will ‘endanger’ US recovery FT

Postal Service Has Paid DeJoy’s Former Company $286 Million Since 2013 NYT

Steven Bannon Needs A Defense Not A Conspiracy Theory For His Federal Trial Jonathan Turley. Fun!

Protests and Riots

Reports: Michael Reinoehl, suspect in fatal shooting of ‘Patriot Prayer’ backer in Oregon, killed by federal task force USA Today. Reinoehl was no angel (non-ironically). More from the NYT on Reinoehl’s role as a “de-escalator” in the protester’s security team.

Kenosha Police Already Had a Reputation Slate

Facebook Said It Removed A Militia Event Page Threatening Violence In Kenosha. It Didn’t. Buzzfeed

Police State Watch

Pasco’s sheriff created a futuristic program to stop crime before it happens. It monitors and harasses families across the county. Tampa Bay Times. “Futuristic.”

Prosecutors Are Using Gang Laws to Criminalize Protest The Appeal

Federal authorities signal a change in approach with new protest charges Oregon Public Broadcasting

Ferguson and the Criminalization of American Life David Graeber, Gawker. On law enforcement for profit. From 2015, still germane.


Smith & Wesson boss says US gun sales boom is ‘unparalleled’ FT

Groves of Academe

The 450 Movement Medium

Small businesses in college towns struggle without students AP. I’m so old I remember “Small Colleges Can Save Towns in Middle America” (2017). Oh well.

UI scientists modeling COVID-19 say campus can safely reopen News-Gazette. Oops:

A Quaker School Promoted Liberal Values. Then Its Teachers Unionized NYT and Unfriendly Divisions: Union-Busting and Quakerism Collide at Brooklyn Friends School New York Magazine. Not mentioned in the Times piece: “A union, in other words, actually violates the school’s Quaker-ish liberalism. Possibly to drive this point home, Brooklyn Friends has retained a powerful, well-connected Democratic attorney: Kirsten White, who served as former Second Lady Jill Biden’s policy director from 2009 to 2013.” Liberal non-profits, you gotta love ’em.

Black Injustice Tipping Point

Prosecutors’ Plea Deal Required Drug Suspect To Name Breonna Taylor A ‘Co-Defendant’ NPR. Narrator: “He didn’t take the deal.”

Mader: We Must Learn From Defiant Debtors Progressive International

Class Warfare

Affluence Killed New York, Not the Pandemic The Atlantic

New York City Warehouse Storing Million-Dollar Art to Shut Down Bloomberg. Too much money sloshed in to New York. Now it’s sloshing out.

New York and San Francisco Can’t Assume They’ll Bounce Back Noah Smith, Bloomberg

Remote Work Is Killing the Hidden Trillion-Dollar Office Economy Marker

Is the American Dream over? Here’s what the data says World Economic Forum

Antidote du jour (via):

Bonus antidote (dk):

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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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. Arnaud de Chantilly

    Why the French will secretly miss us this summer, The Telegraph

    The Telegraph? Really?
    OK, this is truly a secret in France. We won’t miss the Brits.
    But I think probably the wine superstores in Normandy will be sad.

  2. taunger

    “revolving around a single, much underappreciated economic actor — the white-collar office worker.”

    I immediately want to criticize contemporary culture or politics, but really, I think the greater issue here is the [family blog] terrible writing we put up with. Ugh.

    1. HotFlash

      My dear taunger,

      Please, do criticize! Elaborately, if you are so inclined. I, for one, would be v interested in your observations and thoughts. Me, (sort of former) white collar worker.

  3. Acacia

    The Democrat party continues to plumb the depths of stupidity:

    Democrats unveil plan declaring racism a public health issue (The Hill)

    If passed, the bicameral proposal would establish two new wings within the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC): The National Center for Anti-Racism and the Law Enforcement Violence Prevention Program within the National Center for Injury Prevention and Control at the federal agency.

    According to this bill, the real problem with health care policy is that it’s racist, and thus we need “to create anti-racist federal health policy”. So, more bureaucracy, but no M4A, of course.

  4. zagonostra

    >Is the American Dream over? Here’s what the data says World Economic Forum

    George Carlin had it right: “It’s called ‘the American Dream’ ’cause you have to be asleep to believe it.” The article states: “The American Dream is the belief that upward mobility is attainable for everyone through their own actions.”

    Such hogwash (haven’t used that term in awhile I wonder where it came from) nobody gets anywhere solely through their own actions. My parents made sacrifices, the world offered opportunities, and don’t forget what even Zeus couldn’t control, the “fates.”

    And isn’t nice that the article concludes with the following bromide: “Long story short, the American Dream is still alive—it’s just becoming harder to come by.” No, when you have a predatory class that seeks to extract every last bit of profit from labor while not sharing in productivity gains made possible by technological advances, it’s time to wake up from what is peculiarly the American Coma.

    1. John Wright

      This article has this sop to the upper class:

      “This suggests that people born into upper class families are less likely to outearn their parents, regardless of generation.”

      This seems obvious as Bill Gate’s and Warren Buffett’s children would be very, very unlikely to out earn their parents.

      And it has ” A decline in union membership, for example, could be eroding employees’ collective bargaining power.”

      One could hazard that unions are declining, not because potential union members don’t want to benefit from bargaining power, but because American labor is plentiful, either from outsourcing overseas or importing workers and finished goods.

      One hopes that the predatory class is not seeking to drive wages so low that there is no way but up.

      This would be a new “expectations” reset point to base future economic comparisons on,

  5. dbk

    The Taibbi piece is very good, he’s just fed up and can’t take any more of this …
    Keeping in mind that Taibbi has a strong stomach for rough politics/corruption, etc., that’s saying something. Looking forward to watching Useful Idiots, and thinking there’s gonna be an even longer than usual list of awful things (R’s suck, D’s suck) from the past week.

    1. Lost in OR

      Matt is right here, of course. But he’s wrong too. To believe there are unknown and unseen people overseeing Joe Biden is not that crazy. Sorry Joe, I just can’t check the box for you.

      Perhaps the subtitle should be, “Is America crazy for More Trumpism or More Obamaism or is it just Plain Crazy?” Because those are the only policies facades being offered here. Maybe we’re just plain F’d. It’s too early in the morning to be thinking like this.

      1. Amfortas the hippie

        I’m distracted by the fallout from a week and a half of weather pain(laying down engenders a different sort of hurt)…so i’m unable to engage as much as it deserves.
        Tiaibbi’s thing is on the money…I’ve been with him from the get-go.
        but in the comments, there’s a whole lot of confusion of tongues…especially “Marxism” and “The Left”…
        so many followers of Tiaibbi are still so missing the point that it’s almost scary.
        somehow the demparty/wokerati are trying to make us into socialism!…just like venezuela!…where people eat out of dumpsters!

        It’s crazy that this still obtains…especially given how many of our fellow americans eat out of dumpsters.
        It’s exhausting.
        Have a good day, you all…I’m getting medicated and watching stargate atlantis all day.

        1. The Rev Kev

          Couldn’t pick a better choice myself. They just started to play the original Stargate” on TV and I miss shows like that.

      2. CBBB

        Taibbi doesn’t doubt that Biden is controlled by his donors and various other Financial puppet masters. He doesn’t think it’s crazy to think so, but Trump is implying Biden is controlled by “the Left” by “Antifa” Etc which is nonsense.

        1. OpenthepodbaydoorsHAL

          You’re right, it’s the other way around: Biden, functionally in the media hive mind anyway, controls the antifa “left”. So just watch their actions, and then decide if you agree with Biden

      3. km

        Even paranoids have enemies. That doesn’t mean that they are correctly identifying those enemies.

        I can readily believe the Biden is an agent and not a principal. In fact, I would be surprised to learn that Biden has more authority than a glove puppet.

        However, Trump appears unable to name who Biden’s principals are, who has their hand shoved up Biden’s senile backside.

      4. HotFlash

        Ya know, Lost in OR, I think you have seen beyond the veil, and I see it, too. “Is America crazy for More Trumpism or More Obamaism or is it just Plain Crazy?” It looks to me (from Canada, whose citizens are looking south with some trepidation) that you have two factions there, both of which are happy to burn your place down, and to that can be added the “Plain Crazy” types. Are we really here? and how did we get to it? Can we roll it back?

      5. Ignacio

        But I think that in a world getting more and more chaotic, people like Trump help entropy to increase rather fast. On this I am 100% with Taibbi. Then if you ask me what would be worse, 4 additional years of Trump or Biden… I have no clear answer.

      6. Pelham

        I’ll agree. Biden doesn’t seem to have much there there since he left his Senate job representing banks, credit card companies and tax dodgers. So just about anyone could be shoving him around, and by all indications they’re probably people like Larry Summers, not AOC.

        Moreover, Taibbi makes it sound as if Trump has delivered nothing. I’ll differ on that, too. He’s delivered a tiny tax cut for ordinary taxpayers, he has tried mightily to build the wall and managed a teensy bit, and he has produced an ever so slightly better version of NAFTA. Beyond that, he has shown signs of standing up to China, prompting many manufacturers to consider leaving that country, although not necessarily to bring jobs back here.

        What magnifies the otherwise nano-importance of each one of these is the strong likelihood that Democrats wouldn’t have done a blessed thing on any of these fronts. And most dispiriting of all is the probability that a Biden administration will seek bipartisan deals that quietly resume the PMC’s decades-old project of gently (and sometimes not so gently) managing our national decline, including a resumed sellout to China.

        On the bright side, however, we can expect elevated shipments of fentanyl from China to numb the pain and accelerate the pace of our now famous Deaths of Despair, thus reducing that thorny problem of flyover voters.

        Am I too bleak, or have I got it just about right?

        1. drumlin woodchuckles

          What happens if the Flownover Americans realize that they can inflict more pain on the upper classes by staying alive than they themselves would have to suffer in order to stay alive?

    2. D. Fuller

      Taibbi’s piece may be the most in-depth article about how Trump operates. He gets to the point, directly. There have been a handful of articles, maybe, on how Trump wins as his opponents play into his strengths. One or two have been featured on NC.

      The best that I can recall was an article that compared Trump’s style to Berlusconi’s style. No one could ever figure out how Berlusconi kept winning despite all his negatives and obvious failures. I apologize that I don’t have more details.

      One of the problems of Democratic misleadership is that they are almost always, without exception, lawyers. They suffer from groupthink. Most arenas are courtrooms to them. Make a coherent argument for your defendant and you win. Or as prosecutor, make your case? The jury convicts. Add to that lots of donor money, self-insulation from the plebes, living in their own bubbles?

      Yeah, Democrats are a disaster.

      1. Mel

        “One of the problems of Democratic misleadership is that they are almost always, without exception, lawyers. They suffer from groupthink. Most arenas are courtrooms to them.”

        Except for that actual impeachment they tried. That was a parade.

      2. Carolinian

        Perhaps Trump is prez because his style is the media’s style–subtlety not an option.

        I think most of us are tired of Trump. If only there were some alternative worth voting for! I don’t think I will (be voting) this year.

      3. bwilli123

        Tabbibi- “he might be the greatest salesman ever, considering the quality of the product, i.e. himself. He’s up to his eyes in balls, and the parts of the brain that hold most people back from selling schlock online degrees or tchotchkes door-to-door are absent. He has no shame, will say anything, and experiences morality the way the rest of us deal with indigestion.”

        Matt catching up to Scott Adams from 2015

      4. Andrew Thomas

        I have watched enough vintage footage of Mussolini to recognize the theatrical poses he struck at his rallies. Trump’s are strikingly similar. I doubt that this is conscious emulation; just the actions of a malignant authoritarian personality.

        1. paintedjaguar

          I can see it, but have you ever taken a gander at Hillary’s postures and facial expressions? Particularly the way she juts her jaw and looks down her nose – dead ringer for Il Duce. 2016 was such a surreal circus – completely unlike the current “Return to Normalcy” of course (am I the only one who thinks Biden has crazy eyes?).

          1. ObjectiveFunction

            Shifty, too close together. Smirks instead of smiling.

            As a lifelong RBF sufferer, I fully admit blaming a person for their appearance is a cheap shot. But Smirking Joe is simply a Howdy Doody puppet brought to life.

            P.S. Fantastic piece by Taibbi here

    3. Concerned Citizen

      Matt correctly identifies the root problem: America is a nation of hustlers and the greatest hustler made it to the White House. However, just getting Trump out is not going to change much: it is still a nation of hustlers but now the office of president has been cheapened to the level of a reality TV show. With this precedent going forward and the worse than useless Democrats, I expect the nation to enter a death spiral.

      1. John Wright

        Perhaps cheapening the office of the President is a good thing, in that the populace, the media and the world’s political leaders may be less willing to do what the President wants.

        George W. Bush greatly cheapened the office in my eyes with the launching of the (continuing for 17 years) Iraq War, illegal surveillance and limited response to allegations of US torture.

        Obama cheapened it when he promised “most transparent administration” and then came down hard on whistleblowers, continued all of Bush’s wars while personally approving droning foreign citizens to death. Obama also did not fight for Medicare for All, he continued Bush’s surveillance operations and gave a blanket “stay out of jail” card to the financial industry.

        Trump has already got the Democrats to show they will do their own reality shows such as Russiagate and impeachgate while quietly approving Trump’s defense budget.

        Cheapening the office of the President to the level of a reality TV show may be appropriate and good for the world.

        Maybe the Democrats and the media will be inspired to counter Trump in beneficial ways.

    4. PlutoniumKun

      Its the usual brilliant writing and insight from Taibbi. But he does seem to be getting fed up with having to swim around those circles, I hope he doesn’t burn out, he’s a very necessary voice.

      1. Dirk77

        I think he regards himself as a professional journalist, in the old meaning of the term. So seeing clearly behind the veil is his job, and not getting caught up in it is part of his job too. As I see it, in this era where almost every news article should be in the opinion section, there is no job more rewarding than being someone who spends the effort and time doing the research, such that at the end of the day can say to themselves that they are helping to get to the bottom of things, no matter what that bottom is.

    5. Donald

      I would love to see the Trump era ended for much the same reasons. Trump himself is a disaster. I am not quite so dismissive of his fascist tendencies. He doesn’t have to become the full fledged dictator that people warn about to push things further in the fascist direction.

      But I also want centrist and center right Democrats to lose the cover of the Resistance label. I am sick of militarism dressed up as resistance to Trump and Putin. Trump’s actual policies have been murderously destructive to civilians suffering under sanctions in Syria, Iran, and Venezuela, all Russian allies, but we never hear about this in the mainstream. Trump is supposed to be Putin’s puppet and yet he opposes the gas pipeline. Trump is complicit in the Saudi war on civilians in Yemen and he supports Israeli apartheid even more than usual, but all we hear is that he does the bidding of Putin, which is clearly false. But it does support those who want to keep the Cold War going.

      1. CBBB

        It will be extremely interesting to see what the Democrats plan to do in the post-Trump world. I guess they will try to find a new villian to be the “most dangerous person in the world that you must vote against (and for us) no matter what you believe!” but it will be hard to find someone as much as a blowhard as Trump to make that stick.
        The Democratic Party is a hollow husk, Trump is the only thing keeping them together.

      2. Kurtismayfield

        We have two stays quo candidates this year, just different flavors. I really can’t vote for either.

      3. Oh

        You’re assuming that Trump has any control over policies. That’s all executed by the 1%. Trump is the carnival barker who calls people in to buy tickets.

      4. Procopius

        Heck, we never hear how destructive sanctions are to ordinary people who have no power to affect the policies of their governments. We also never hear how ineffective sanctions have proven to be. It’s like the futile efforts of “the best and the brightest” to “send a message” to the North Vietnamese, while we ignored the point that unifying their country as an independent state had been their vital interest for over a thousand years.

      5. ObjectiveFunction

        For me, the Trump Is Fascist! chestnut was long ago put to rest by Dylan Riley (What Is Trump?).

        But I also go back to Gene Wolfe’s fantasy epic “The Book of the New Sun“. As a combat rifleman in Korea, Wolfe knew a thing or two about leadership and followership:

        “Severian. Name for me the seven principles of governance.”

        It was an effort for me to speak, but I managed (in my dream, if it was a dream) to say, “I do not recall that we studied such a thing, Master.”

        “You were always the most careless of my boys,” he told me, and fell silent…. At last I began weakly, “Anarchy . . .”

        “That is not governance, but the lack of it. I taught you that it precedes all governance. Now list the seven sorts.”

        “Attachment to the person of the monarch. Attachment to the bloodline or other sequence of succession. Attachment to the royal state. Attachment to a code legitimizing the governing state. Attachment to the law only. Attachment to a greater or lesser board of electors, as framers of the law. Attachment to an abstraction conceived as including the body of electors, other bodies giving rise to them and numerous other elements, largely ideal.”

        “Tolerable. Of these, which is the earlier form, and which the highest?”

        “The development is in the order given, Master,” I said. “But I do not recall that you ever asked us before which was highest.”

        Master Malrubius leaned forward, his eyes burning brighter than the coals of the fire. “Which is the highest, Severian?”

        “The last, Master?”

        “You mean attachment to an abstraction conceived as including the body of electors, other bodies giving rise to them, and numerous other elements, largely ideal?”

        “Yes, Master.”

        “Of what kind, Severian, is your own attachment to the Divine Entity?”

        “Answer me, Severian.”

        “The first, if I have any.”

        “To the person of the monarch?”

        “Yes, because there is no succession.”

        “The animal that rests beside you now would die for you. Of what kind is his attachment to you?”

        “The first?”

        Trump grasps this, instinctively.

    6. Katniss Everdeen

      I get what Matt is saying. The four year deranged public tantrum that the status quo has thrown because Trump beat them has been / is as exhausting as it is frustrating.

      But it’s also been instructive in terms of how far they are willing to go to get and keep their power.

      From “rooting for a drug to not work in the middle of a historic pandemic” to don’t trust “Trump’s” coronavirus vaccine, to hillary clinton’s “advice” to biden never to concede electoral defeat under any circumstances, they consistently demonstrate that no one and nothing is more important than their regaining their positions and power.

      Getting rid of Trump will get them out of our faces 24/7 and back into the shadows where no one can see them. Annoying, petulant and demanding as they are, I’m thinking I’d rather keep them out in the open where I can keep an eye on them. I never expected them to go quietly.

      1. Rhondda

        Yes, indeed. As always, thank you for your comments, Katniss. So many veils ripped off, curtains pulled back and power structures exposed. So many factions, malignantly at odds. My comprehension of things political is utterly changed “in The Age of Trump” — as they love to say. Amazing. I would put the intensity of my recent reality re-edumacation on par with my first encounter (when I was a wee 17) with Chomsky’s manufacturing of consent. Mind explosion. Fake news just brings it full ouroboros circle, is all.

    7. Dr. John Carpenter

      Taibbi’s piece is really good and any Democrat serious about “defeating” Trump, should pay attention to it. Trump really isn’t that hard to figure out. The Dem’s problem is they will not get out of their traditional politics as usual mindset and that’s why he vexes them so. He isn’t a politician. He’s a cross between a carny and a pro-wrestler. The Dems can’t stop being offended by his disregard for protocol and tradition and get off their fainting couches and engage him as such. He’s not a fighter nor does he have much of an attention span. But the Dems would rather let him win than change their approach.

      1. Oso_in_Oakland

        ++ very apt encapsulation of the problem “a cross between a carny and a pro-wrestler”. if i might make a sports analogy,like the awkward Oscar Bonavena gave fits to classic boxers and boxer/punchers like Ali and Frazier.

    8. pjay

      This is the best analysis of Trump I have seen. There are insightful quotes in every paragraph so it’s hard to choose one or two. But these strike me as important:

      “Donald Trump is so unlike most people, and so especially unlike anyone raised under a conventional moral framework, that he’s perpetually misdiagnosed. The words we see slapped on him most often, like “fascist” and “authoritarian,” nowhere near describe what he really is, and I don’t mean that as a compliment. It’s been proven across four years that Trump lacks the attention span or ambition required to implement a true dictatorial regime. He might not have a moral problem with the idea, but two minutes into the plan he’d leave the room, phone in hand, to throw on a robe and watch himself on Fox and Friends over a cheeseburger. ”

      “Pundits keep trying to understand him by reading political scare-tracts like The Origins of Totalitarianism or It Can’t Happen Here, but again, the books that explain Trump better tend to be about things like pro wrestling (like Controversy Creates Cash or The Business of Kayfabe) or the psychology of selling (like Pre-Suasion or Thinking Fast and Slow).”

      Yes, Trump’s chaos and cluelessness is dangerous. But those who keep calling him the next Hitler or Stalin are also clueless. He is not the Great Oz behind the curtain. He is Toto; he keeps pulling the curtain back to expose more of the machinery. That is his greatest danger to the Establishment.

      The comments to this piece are very good as well. Many commenters do not like Taibbi’s concluding sentence, where he gives in and says we need to get rid of Trump. Interesting.

    9. marym

      Trump’s chaos and Dem’s Russia/Ukrainegate theater both distract from the destruction of the commons and the authoritarian uses of the presidency accelerated in the Trump era, but an on-going bi-partisan project for the elites.

      The choice is destruction and authoritarianism under cover of either Dem-enabled Trumpian chaos or bi-partisan neolib/con-ism. I think the former is worse, because with the latter there remains some shell of civil governance with which to survive (if there’s no war) and on which to build something (if there’s any chance for a movement for change from the left). Big ifs.

      1. OpenthepodbaydoorsHAL

        Lol “civil governance”.

        Like automatically cancelling anyone not drinking from the Beautiful BrownThink cup. Like Monty Python said: “nobody ever expects The Spanish Inquisition!”. But stray away from the canon into Dangerous RegularThink and the media auto-da-fe will roast you alive. So civil.

        1. marym

          I was referring to things like the civil service who keep day to day things running in many areas of government, the postal service the census, some semblance of things like OSHA and the NLRB. I’ve never said the neolibs do a good job of governance, or that they don’t try to privatize, means test, and impose austerity. It just seems possible that, if building something new is the goal, trashing the entire infrastructure isn’t helpful. I don’t see this as a particularly idpol related issue, but if it is, trashing it because of disagreement with the liberal brand of idpolitics seems no more useful to building something better than trashing it to support the right-wing brand.

    10. Dan

      I too like the Taibbi piece because I’ve been sick for years of people underestimating Trump. As I like to say, he may be an idiot, but he is an idiot savant. He has an incredible talent for amplifying whatever is thrown at him and turning it around for his benefit. Turning the election into a referendum on Trump is the only thing that gives him a chance for re-election – a chance which is much higher than I would like (I think 50/50 at this point, knowing how pissed-off a lot of midwestern voters are about many, many things).

    11. flora

      Great Taibbi piece. My take-away is we are either in for another 4 years identical to the last 4 years if T wins, or we’re in for MSM congratulating themselves and feeling vindicated for obsessive anti-T propaganda if Biden wins. I’m thinking that no matter which guy wins, we lose.

      1. orlbucfan

        The only problem I have with Taibbi is he assumes all Americans are dupes who fall for D+ con artists like the orange maggot/ tRump. What about the ones who saw a political train wreck like this one coming for at least 40 years?

      2. Dirk77

        The subscriber comments following the Taibbi article were almost as interesting as the article itself. Many were saying that they agree with Matt, yet are still voting for Trump and gave their reasons. Reading them I was reminded of a recent article (forgot where) in which the interviewed progressives were lamenting about a Biden win essentially locking out a progressive presidency for Biden 4 + Harris 8 = 12 years. So in that calculus it comes down to whether you think the country will more amendable to a progressive president after 4 more years with Trump or 12 under Biden and Harris.

        1. Oh

          The subscriber comments made me feel that they were fed up but they didn’t trust Biden – which is the same as most people. I don’t think you can predict that 4 years of Biden will result in 8 years of the DimRats under the female rat Kamala. A lot of things can happen in the next 4 years.

          1. Dirk77

            Yes. I was just going with the reasoning of that article, the title of which escapes me, as I said. I haven’t experienced enough train wrecks to know which one to jump on here, if any.

    12. Basil Pesto

      the quote makes me wonder, why hasn’t anyone given The Donald the horse-sperm pie treatment.

      Granted, that’s logistically harder to do now than it was, say, 5 years ago, but still. It seems to me like the only attack he would respond to is public humiliation, (not mere embarrassment, which he seems immune to)

      I googled ‘Trump pranked’ out of interest and the only result was the K-pop rally attendance troll from earlier this year, which was pretty funny and clever. The only other example I can think of was Obama roasting him at the Correspondent’s Dinner.

      1. Lambert Strether Post author

        > Obama roasting him at the Correspondent’s Dinner

        The result may not have been what Obama hoped for:

        Mr Trump’s reasoning for not attending one of Washington’s biggest social events, which is often referred to as “NerdProm”, is of course very different and may have something to do with a traumatic experience he had at the event back in 2011. In fact, the fateful night has been described as the moment where Mr Trump decided to swap reality TV for politics and become President.

        During the event, Mr Trump took a momentous ribbing from Barack Obama and Seth Meyers. The President and comedian openly scoffed at the notion of Mr Trump inside the corridors of the White House.

        1. ShamanicFallout

          Yes! This has been my theory since it happened. That this was the reason he ran. He was so publicly humiliated that he would put on the “I’ll show them dance”. I’ve posted her a couple of times too. Seems as good a theory as any

      2. drumlin woodchuckles

        Obama’s public humiliation of Trump certainly helped drive Trump into politics . . . even if it was not the only factor. Trump sought revenge on everyone in the room for that ObamaRoast.

        It may also be part of what propelled him to cancel the JCPOA with Iran, because that was an Obama achievement and Trump would get revenge on Obama by cancelling it.

        Still funny, Obama? Still clever?

  6. QuarterBack

    Re the IEEE article on legacy IT systems, this is one of the most comprehensive expositions I have ever seen on the topic. If you work for, with, or depend on, IT applications for your livelihood, I HIGHLY recommend reading it, bookmark it, then read it again later.

    1. philnc

      The IEEE author gets it mostly right on the diagnosis (although they studiously avoid pointing fingers: looking at you, tech illiterate exec leadership!), but unfortunately fails miserably on prescribing solutions. It was particularly disheartening to read the passage about DevOps, which like Agile (one of many competing and overlapping sets of software development principles) has somehow gone from being a verb to a noun. Also missed in any discussion of “technical debt” (a term coined at a time and place where incurring “debt” was actually seen as an acceptable, even desirable, way to leverage ever improving ways to create, deliver and maintain software). But maybe this is a start.

      1. hunkerdown

        The places where IEEE Spectrum might be found or sent tend to skew PMC. Nobody wants to rant at the class whose budgetary authority is engineers’ bread and butter, and their most likely path to career advancement. A matter-of-fact side-eye 15 grafs in is about as much as they dare.

        I agree, it’s a good start to think of IT systems and applications as symbol handling systems, every bit as important, enabling, and hazardous as a hi-lo in a material handling system.

    2. QuarterBack

      Ha! I see CALPERS made the list of institutions struggling with legacy systems (amongst a litany of other terrible management decisions)

  7. zagonostra

    >Kennedy in Berlin

    No not the Kennedy of Ich bin ein Berliner, but Robert F. Kennedy, Jr, you know the one that many people label as an anti-vaccine nut. This is not about what you think about vaccines or corona virus, rather it’s acknowledging the control over what you see as “news” and relates to a piece on Google starting a new “News” aggregation service that was in yesterday’s links. Just like the glitch/static that Neo experienced, people are seeing the glitch in the Narrative Matrix that corporate global media is producing for your entertainment/containment.

    GloboCap hasn’t done anything that heavy-handed in the course of rolling out the New Normal totalitarianism, but that’s mainly because they do not have to. When you control the vast majority of the global corporate media, you don’t need to pass a lot of ham-fisted laws banning all dissent from your totalitarian ideology. This isn’t the 1930s, after all. Over the last ninety years, the arts of propaganda, disinformation, and perception management have advanced to a point that even Goebbels couldn’t have imagined.

  8. Ignacio

    RE: The Wirecard scandal is a warning to the EU to think twice before cutting itself off from London’s financial expertise City AM

    I get another lesson and I don’t really think I will miss London’s financial expertise: the lesson is beware (stupid) nationalistic common places and beliefs. I unfortunately missed yesterday’s link on the harassment of FT journalists because paywalls you know.

    1. Jesper

      Interesting twist from the guy anyway….

      It appears to be a fraud in the private sector. Not sure but it looks that way.
      If there was a fraud then the internal audit and the internal controls within this private company failed.
      To minimise risk to the investors then external auditors were hired and they failed to detect the most basic of error: where possible verify with independent external third party which is this case appears to be verifying that the claimed held cash by contacting the bank supposedly holding the cash.

      So, despite that it looks like a failures in two companies in the private sector (Wirecard and the external auditor) he believes that the fault lies in the regulator?
      Another way of looking at it might be that since the private sector failed in their governance and controls then maybe the sector should be nationalised…..

      Anyway, my expectation is that this might end up a case of Justice Delayed:

      In another case then it took 10 years to have some sort of semblance of justice:

      The professional body starting the investigation (see the dates):
      & the professional body ending the investigation, the penalties revealed (see the dates):

    2. PlutoniumKun

      The article is written as if the EU is unaware of the problem – the inadequacy of regulation is very well known in EU circles and is a major concern – there has been a massive staffing up in the Irish Central Bank of regulators (they even had to rent another office next to their brand new office to hold them), and the former Governor angered the Irish government 2 years ago by refusing to grant licenses to a number of UK based companies on the basis that his staff didn’t have the time or skills to regulate them.

      Wirecard seems to have been a particularly nasty operation, but I’m sure its not the only one lurking around.

    3. CBBB

      I just read the article about the FT Wirecard investigation by Dan Crum. It’s rivetting stuff,, highly recommended, but the article itself makes the point of mentioning that many of the goons and stooges paid by Wirecard to harass Crum and the FT were London based.

      I think what is more embarressing is that Germany is home to a plethora of major newspapers and magazines and they were all caught napping on Wirecard. It was up to the FT to expose a story happening right on their own home turf.
      To me the root problem is Germany’s heavily export-dependent economy, the entire German establishment and government will close ranks to protect German business and national champions at any cost.

    4. periol

      I can’t help but wonder, if the Wirecard scandal is a warning…

      …was it also a warning shot?

      That headline makes The City sound like the mafia making sure people pay their protection money.

  9. Olga

    A timely reminder of the psyop bubble the west is living in:
    “Western nations, and that means all of them, all the self-congratulating “democracies”, are being blackmailed by their own -secret- intelligence services, which most often pose as “national security services”, and they find they have no way out. In most countries, the best before date of a politician, even the political system itself, is way shorter than that of an intelligence agency’s agenda. The only thing a newly elected politician can do is accept a secret service’s word at face value, and define policy accordingly.
    Be it domestic, bi-lateral vs particular countries, or global. The policies have already been defined years ago, and they have been defined by unelected “spooks”, not elected representatives of the people. This is incredibly (and I don’t use that word lightly) damaging to all of our societies, and we need to call a halt to it. But how do you do that? When they are the ones making policy, and not the people we vote into office to do that for us? It’s certainly not an easy task, but we can’t let them continue either. That would only mean assured destruction, economic depression and, ultimately, war.”
    … “and ultimately, war” – let’s not forget this.

  10. Lost in OR

    The Trump Era Sucks and Needs to Be Over
    The race is tightening. Is America sure it’s ready to give up its addiction to crazy?

    Matt is right here, of course. But he’s wrong too. To believe there are unknown and unseen people overseeing Joe Biden is not that crazy. Sorry Joe, I just can’t check the box for you.

    Perhaps the question should be, Is America crazy for More Trumpism or More Obamaism or is it just plain crazy?” Because those are the only policies facades being offered here. Maybe we’re just plain F’d. It’s too early in the morning to be thinking like this.

  11. The Rev Kev

    “The Trump Era Sucks and Needs to Be Over”

    Not sure that I agree with Matt Taibbi here. In fact, it may be best if Trump does win in November (ducks head). Consider this. If he gets re-elected, then he is only there for four more years and that is it. Yes, the guy is the proverbial bull in the China shop but most of that China shop is really Washington. He won’t be able to try and privatize social security as he already has a solid base ready to oppose him on anything. He has to be pushed by the Washington elite into taking any military action overseas. And no matter how idiotic he is going about it, the US-China relationship did need a reboot.

    Now consider if Biden wins. he will only be an addled figurehead and it will be the Washington elite in the drivers seat. So more action against Russia and Iran and maybe even China as well. A likely grand bargain to sell SS off to Wall Street. A more violent crackdown on America with more power being given to the security establishment. And they will be there for eight years. Plus sooner or later, you will have Madame President Kamala Harris aka Willie Brown’s arm bracelet aka Kamala the Cop.

    1. Clive

      Never ceases to amaze me how many who should know better misdiagnose Trump, Johnson, Macron, Morrison et. al. as the problem and removing them is, therefore, the solution.

      They are a symptom, not the cause.

      1. QuarterBack

        100% Clive. Trump can only exist as an option when juxtaposed against a horribly flawed alternative.

        Trump is not a Miracle Drug to rejuvenate and restore, he is the Chemotherapy you take to slow down the cancer in hopes that you can defeat the cancer before it, or the chemo does you in. The political and governance infrastructure has been cancerous and soul destroying for decades. The solution is not more, or less, Trump, it is to rebuild and restore a fair and viable governance system and draw the candidates and electorate that will commit to doing the hard work of keeping it on track.

        If we had a viable platform and candidates running against him instead of doubling down on the disaster that brought us here, nobody other than Jeopardy Champions and historians would even remember Trump’s name.

        1. Kilgore Trout

          Good points. The US is certifiably crazy as a nation. It was so long before Trump was elected, and if anything, his election was a response to crazy/crazed political leaders. What sane nation launches a ‘war on terror’ in response to a criminal act of terrorism? Or going back further in time, what sane nation drops not one, but two atomic bombs on a defeated adversary? Only one driven crazy by believing its own creation myths?

        2. KLG

          Exactly! I lost a good friend (or so I thought, but the PMC is strong in that Harvard/MIT graduate) in 2016 when I said that, while I would not vote for either Hillary or Trump, I viewed Donald Trump as the radiation and poison before the stem cell transplant. That might/probably would kill us, but we were doomed to a certain neoliberal death without the transplant. Electing Pokey Joe before wiping out all vestiges of the neoliberal malignancy will not help. More likely it will encourage Obama Clinton Schumer Pelosi & Biden LLC in their collective delusions until our deaths, not theirs.

      2. KevinD

        Respectfully disagree.

        The words “Lame Duck” and trump are mutually exclusive. It’s dangerous to think he will simply be stymied by any means. There is still plenty of china to be busted and he will do so. His source of power is unrest – the more, the better. It never ceases to amaze ME, how people cannot see this simple truth.

        Biden? I was delighted to see him (at one point) disappear from the race. I am no fan. However, to move forward this country needs the flames to subside before we can rebuild what’s left. Trump is gasoline poured upon the worst outbreaks of social unrest in our country – he delights in seeing the flames.

        I’ll take an addled old man over a fomenter of unrest any day of the week.

        1. hunkerdown

          The ruling class that causes the problems hasn’t been burned enough yet, and you want to stop now? What, and more importantly whose, interests does that serve? Not everyone supports the single vision of bourgeois liberalism, and it would be fatal to much of life itself if they did.

        2. NotTimothyGeithner

          The problem is Biden isn’t an addled old man. He’s always been a mean pos. About his only redeeming quality is he’s a mean price as opposed to a naturally dedicated conservative, so unlike Obama, Biden is capable of reason and can recognize the bad politics of cutting social security. It doesn’t mean he will as he’sstill stupid, but he’s not quite the believer.

          Don’t pretend Biden’s right wing nature is a quirk of senility. He’ll roll tanks over BLM protesters if he thought it would benefit him politically, and he is stupid.

          It’s important to share what Biden is because if there is to be an actual resistance, people need to be prepared for that. As President, Biden isn’t going to make the apologies for his gaffes. The mask will be off. Guys like Clyburn won’t have any leverage. That’s just for his gaffes. Biden is the guy who carried out Reagan’s rhetoric. He’s a very bad man.

          1. KevinD

            The way I see it, Trump IS a mean pos. Trump IS stupid. Trump HAS rolled tanks over protestors. Trump HAS NEVER apologized for his gaffes. You can’t ignore the elephant in the White House’s damage (take a look at the EPA rollbacks as an example) by deflecting to how bad Biden MIGHT be, in your opinion. Respectfully.

            1. NotTimothyGeithner

              Two people can be similar. Biden’s record he would roll the tanks, and Biden’s apologies have only come after archons in his party acted.

              His record is horrid. Not being President has been a positive for this country. You can start the excuses now, and its reasonable to argue Trump is worse. Pretending Biden’s problems are the result of dementia or a different time is dishonest and will be used to blunt change.

              1. Eureka Springs

                It’s funny no one, nowhere on these internetz has a policy based rebuttal to this in support of Joe Biden and his near 50 year record. I mean at least at this point in ’16 some people were still claiming HRC had once helped poor African women.

                1. NotTimothyGeithner

                  Her Senate record was fairly banal all things considered, but “It Takes a Village” and her efforts on healthcare in the 90’s (minus her own stubbornness) demonstrate there was more “there” there than Biden. Hillary wasn’t the worst candidate.

                  As far as campaigning goes, she never addressed Iraq, doubled down with Libya, didn’t cut out the villains from the 90’s, and ran on being a leader when she didn’t use her fame and clout to do anything besides rename the post office. For all of the Shrub lied to us excuses, I wonder what happens if HRC is stridently against the doofus W. Biden would have been left on an island.

                  1. Pat

                    Unfortunately her record as Secretary of State is far less banal.

                    And her Senate record is only banal because most of the atrocities were with majority votes. The double speak to justify them for the future presidential run were “fun”, particularly the Aumf vote.

            2. Pat

              Biden has a forty year record of civil rights destruction, war mongering, and yes, racism. He has actively pursued policies that increase the police state and criminalize the less fortunate.

              Trump is hideous, but his divisive effect on the political class has believe it or not tempered their embrace of policies they would normally cheer. Biden is part of the club. Their wouldn’t even be a pretense of resistance.

              I give you the EPA damage. I just wouldn’t expect any relief from Biden on that, just probably less expansion. (See his double speak about Fracking.)

              Here’s the thing, for those of us paying attention, there is NO good choice on policy or tendencies. Biden has nothing to offer anyone but the top 0.01%, nothing. Trump has one thing going for him, he is limited to four more years, but that is small indeed.

              You can kid yourself that one of the two parties has offered you a shit sandwich with less shit. They haven’t. Both have nothing but contempt for the public and both their candidates are giant stinking piles of toxic manure. And both parties need to be executed.

          2. orlbucfan

            Only difference between tRump and Biden is tRump acts like he’s got a corncob stuck up where the sun doesn’t shine. Biden doesn’t, but he is still just as mean, stupid, and semi-senile as tRump.

        3. Baldwin

          > However, to move forward this country needs the flames to subside
          > before we can rebuild what’s left.

          Unfortunately, that’s a long time in the future. The numerous hotspots we’re seeing now are merely the kindling starting to catch. The real fires have yet to begin.

        4. Young

          Unfortunately, you don’t know who will handle an addled old man. It is very unpredictable.

          With Trump, you can use the last four years as a guide. Less unpredictable.

          Take your pick.

      3. Carolinian

        Thanx. Most countries these days don’t have a king other than the UK theme park version. Aristocracies we have in abundance.

      4. Pookah Harvey

        Symptoms of coronavirus cases can run the gamut from mild cough to massive organ failure. Some symptoms are easier to treat than others.
        We can’t address the cause in November but we can choose the symptom we need to treat.

    2. 430 MLK

      Loved the article but agreed on your conclusion. A trump presidency will be a lame duck presidency after a year, and much of that year destined to be a quasi-lockdown year. I’ll take that over a Biden+ for 12years that legitimizes the Dem status quo and will doubtless keep new ideas and leaders contained.

      Of course, I won’t be voting for Trump. I’ll join my buddy in Tennessee in writing in Eugene Debs.

      1. STEPHEN

        I wish there was a “none of the above” option on the ballot. I think turnout would skyrocket and that “candidate” would often gain pluaralities.

        1. Michael McK

          Yes yes! And combined with Ranked Choice Voting. If None Of The Above wins, the losers are barred from public office for 4 years. The seat is filled for short stints in some way like jury duty if it takes until after the oirginal term is up because it takes several elections to beat None of the Above..
          Of course we would still need to get money out of politics and a short election cycle (part of getting money out of politics since short campaigns are more possible for working people).

      2. Michael Fiorillo

        I doubt a Biden victory will keep “new ideas and leaders contained.” In fact, it’s likely to lead to a different, smarter, more disciplined, more ideological, more revenge-seeking Trump 2.0.

        One of the lessons Russiagate is likely to have for the next iteration of Trumpismo is that the loyalty of the national security bureaucracy cannot be trusted, leading Trump 2.0 to establish his own Praetorian Guard, loyal and dependent on the Great Leader.

        Not a pleasant prospect…

      3. workingclasshero

        I think trump wants to be admired by some of the republican neo con crowd which is very close to wall st,so i don’t buy the notion he won’t attempt cuts to social security/medicare.i’m 62 and would be pleasantly suprised if i am wrong.i have no idea what biden will try.possibly means testing.

    3. STEPHEN

      You know, I think there’s something to this. In some ways, Trump’s policy is largely performative – toothless executive orders and tweets. In other words, bluster. Even the worst and most harmful policy blunders (think sothern border crisis) were at their heart extensions of Obama-era policy.

      Opposition to him at the elite level is, I observe, primarily focused on his blunt style and lack of professional decorum, rather than any true differences in policy preference.

      As cynical as it may be, 4 more years of bluster is preferable to a full takeover by DC Elitedom through the empty vessel of a obviously…slowed…elderly man.

      1. NotTimothyGeithner

        Many people saw their years of effort to get top jobs go up in flames. It’s very personal, but not professional, hence why the focus on conspiracy theories and Trump’s taxes without actually getting them. Pelosi has promised she might get them if Biden wins.

        Given McCain and Biden, it’s not the style. It’s not terribly dissimilar to the GOP in the early 90’s in their approach to the Clintons. Arkansans took jobs everywhere, disrupting thepost-Watergate order. Even though Bill was a GOP wet dream, they were so irritated by the loss of access to the pomp of the White House. Didn’t Bill got to the USSR? They don’t even come up with new arguments.

    4. Donald

      I don’t agree. Trump’s policies have been militaristic towards Russia and its allies, but he isn’t called out for it because the “ Resistance” supports all these policies while pretending that Trump is doing Putin’s bidding. Trump’s pathological lying provides cover for the pathological lying of the Resistance militarists.

      With Biden in office, it removes the Trump fig leaf the Resistance has been using. They will still say we have to be unified to oppose Republicans ( and the evil Russians) and the 2022 and 2024 campaign seasons will begin immediately, but it is all less convincing without a demon figure in the White House.

      1. km

        Trump could push The Big Button today, and The Resistance would howl that this just proves he is a Putin puppet and a President HRC would have started WWIII sooner and bigger.

        Meanwhile, Trump groupies would insist that The Stable Genius Has A Plan! even as we all go up in a mushroom cloud.

    5. rhodium

      So… Just because moderate Democrats are a bunch of kowtowing rollovers who will restore elitist reign and fail to really create a fairer system as well as start wars,
      we’ll have to choose the unpredictable bozo who will allow us to be trampled by China and Russia as he animalistically falls into the trap they are hoping for by driving the increasingly violent divide within the country. Whatever, I don’t like Biden either. I’m not expecting a miracle as much as a puppet, but I’m hoping there is just that much more room for the progressives in Congress, after this election, to push forward legislation that will ease off the pro plutocratic policies that the Republicans have been pushing. America maybe deserves Trump because the average american is about as dumb as Trump, but I still refuse to vote for that.

      1. hunkerdown

        “to push forward legislation”, yes, that “fighting for” sparkle pony has been extremely well deconstructed on this blog as the laughable bullshit it is. If I wanted to hear some bourgeois neoliberal ad agency’s talking points, I’d own a television.

        Who’s this “us”, kimosabe? The paid liars in the intelligence community? Wall Street traders? The managerial class? The aristocracies of whatever minority demographics are the Establishment’s cat’s paw today? To the contrary, those are the very people who caused the problem and need to be disciplined. Their organizations and their careers need to be destroyed so that they stop being neoliberal psychopaths.

        Yes, the middle class needs to be punished for their arrogance and their treason to the people as a whole. I invite you to disagree without using any Dem establishment talking points.

        There is an alternative to you. The harder you try to prevent that alternative to the bourgeois neoliberal establishment from coming to fruition, the worse it’s going to work out for your class interests in the end.

      2. km

        Voting Biden is the surest way to convince Team D that it can continue to abuse progressives with impunity, and come election time, they will dutifully fall into line.

        Note carefully what I didn’t say.

      3. urblintz

        “pro plutocratic policies that the Republicans have been pushing”
        sorry to inform you, but it’s a bi-partisan affliction and has been for decades. Democrats – especially Biden – did everything they could to implement the malign neoliberal/ neocon agenda which has enshrined the plutocracy… and the succeeded.

    6. Jim

      Can’t disagree more. We don’t need four more years of packing federal courts with federalist society clones, including possibly the supreme court. Have no illusions about Biden, but if evangelicals will hold their nose and vote for someone they think sucks just for this issue I can do likewise.

        1. zagonostra

          Don’t think their olfactory senses can handle the stench and as Jack Nicholson screamed, they can’t handle the truth.

    7. neo-realist

      Is it better if Trump wins if he much more aggressively turns loose federal officers against (left) activists in the form of plucking of the streets (and possibly their homes) and having them indefinitely detained like people in the cold war era eastern bloc or a Latin American dictatorship? Is Trump better to re-elect if he uses RICO laws against demonstrators (the left) to condemn them to long prison terms and financially devastating fines?

      He may be there four years, but the hard right federalist society authoritarians he places on the courts will be there 30-40 years.

      His long game in the next four years, I believe, will be to privatize all public sector programs and to totally neuter (and possibly wipe out) progressives from the national scene with the aforementioned police state and criminal law actions so that they will never be in a position to effect any sort of change as they would in a Biden administration–Biden doesn’t have the Obama smooth rhetorical moves to chill them out.

      Trump has been willing to break from tradition unlike other republicans, so don’t be surprised if he does come after SS, and medicare, bigtime. It would be a risk for republicans to go along with him, but Trump’s popularity and their ideology will prevail at our peril.

      Another four years of MAGA would be very dangerous, but I hope I’m wrong.

      1. hunkerdown

        That only matters if continuity with the existing ruleset is somehow desirable. Since what we have today is the lowest energy state of that ruleset, and in some sense the “natural” outcome of that ruleset, maybe 20 years of rough road is what the USA needs. I think it’s worth it to end the careers of the Democrat establishment and their clients. They are the problem, and in no way are they the solution. If they were, they would have been by now.

        1. neo-realist

          I’m saying by some of the things I have described that Trump is creating his own rule set to use against opponents of the elites that is way beyond past administrations. Maybe, just maybe, you will neuter the democrat establishment, but is it worth it getting your right to constitutionally protected protest and activism destroyed. You’re ok with becoming carnage on Trump’s rough road, or just the other guy?

          1. SalonBee

            The Democrats are perfectly happy with eliminating due process protections.

            The Obama-era Title IX adjudication rules for college campuses were so contrary to our norms of due process protections, that both liberal and conservative judges have been striking the rules down in court cases throughout the country.

            Trump actually increased due process protections from Obama-era overreach, and Biden has promised to remove those new protections. The California Democrats have already passed legislation to remove those new protections. The Democrats position is contrary to our constitutional protections.

      2. Oh

        I wish there is a way both candidates would lose. Yes, another four years of MAGA will result in the destruction of our right to protest, SS, Medicare and will speed up the privatization of public sector enterprises while the DemRat “opposition’ looking on and screaming “Russia, Russia”. After the damage is down, the DemRats will not lift a finger to restore the damage done, just like their how they have failed to remove the ban on competition on pharma drugs for medicare, the draconian laws that took away our freedom and privacy (thanks Obama) AKA the NDAA, the destruction of the USPS, etc. We may have a better chance (I hope anyway) if we can oppose actions of the JB administration from the get go.

        1. neo-realist

          Yes, Biden sucks, yet progressives will be able to engage in legitimate organizing and opposition against neoliberal/conservative policies without having to worry about being imprisoned, shot to death, and fined into destitution. You won’t have more and more Trump appointments to the courts that will uphold punitive political and financial actions against progressives.

          Trump 2020…he’ll jail you fast and for sure, if you’re progressive.

      3. diptherio

        Agree. Kev is way off here. Biden is bad, but DT is worse, and four years of him in power with no reelection to worry about would (will) be terrifying. Unmarked vans full of paramilitaries snatching people off the street will be only the beginning, I’m afraid. We’re f’d, no matter what, imho.

        1. Carolinian

          Well clearly you don’t agree with Taibbi who sees Trump not as Trump/Hitler but as a self aggrandiizing narcissism machine. I think some of us have always seen him that way even as he was threatening to start a war with North Korea or Iran (but never did).

          Yves got it right from day one–“the naked id.” What Taibbi is saying is that the media’s profitable Trump obsession is making the country psychotic and it’s worth asking–bad as the police often are–whether we’d be having all these protests and violence if someone else was president. Yes there were protests under Obama but the intensity level is new. It really is hard to see how four more years of Trump will make things any better unless he plans to change his narcissistic ways, which he won’t. It will be more endless controversy.

          But Trump is not Hitler and the I’d even say the paranoia about fascism is quite silly.

            1. Carolinian

              Yes but it’s those other attributes that matter not to mention a whole load of historical context. Plus people keeping ignoring that Trump is in his mid seventies which is more the “get off my lawn” stage of life than the take over the world stage. Hitler was mid fifties when he shot himself.

      4. Pookah Harvey

        Most of the arguments that there is no difference between Trump and Biden rely on a worst case scenario for Biden and a best case scenario for Trump. Worst case for Biden is that he continues neo-liberalism as usual, with Bernie and the progressives having no impact. Best case scenario for Trump is a second 4 years of chaos with Trump not pushing his new-found power in an unofficial security force (right-wing militias) working in conjunction with the police. We all know how Trump disdains the mantle of power. Take your pick.

    8. SOMK

      Not read the Taibbi piece yet, but would have to weigh in on the disagree side, there is a case to be made to vote Trump, because he is essentially what you get when the other side fail so dismally (and at least he’s a total idiot) and we may yet get something much worse than Trump after a Biden/Harris win, (though I suspect a Trump victorty is inevitable simply because Trump activates his base and the democrats frustrate theirs and they seem to have learned nothing from 2016). At the same time I think the WSWS is correct its assesment that Trump is a fascist, Biden (for all his flaws and those of his party) is not. FDR wouldn’t shake Jesse Owens hand (unlike Hitler), Truman nuked two cities of an already defeated nation, Churchill was a murderous, racist bully who had no issue siding with fascists when it suited, Stalin was a monster, yet the Allies were indislutably the good guys regardless.

    9. John k

      Bernie had a chance bc Hillary lost.
      For a progressive to have a chance in 2024 Biden must lose.
      And a nice silver lining to trumps black cloud is no new wars in trumps first term, unique among the past five pres… IMO if Biden wins our troops will liberate Caracas in 2021. Certainly the bushies and McCain’s think so, I suspect they know more re where Biden stands on foreign adventures than most Biden supporters.

      1. neo-realist

        Don’t be surprised if Trump initiates a domestic war against progressives: more federal officer snatching and imprisonment of progressive activists, enabling and encouraging more white vigilante violence against progressive activists, BLM etc., and possibly using RICO to imprison and impoverish progressive activists.

        1. pasha

          barr is already using the federal “civil disorder” charge against protesters on the west coast — carries a maximum five year sentence.

  12. jefemt

    The American Dream is Over:

    I was struck at how much the trend lines in the first graph resemble the myriad of cartoons depicting Trump’s comb-overey thingy. Even the varied colors?!

    Freudian? We see and hear what we want?

  13. tim

    Really insightful and interesting graphs in “Is the American Dream over? Here’s what the data says”

    1. tegnost

      However, this may not be as bad as it sounds. While the prices of some goods and services have risen over time, others have actually become more affordable. Since January 1998, for example, the prices of electronic goods such as TVs and cellphones have actually decreased. In this way, individuals today are more prosperous than previous generations.

      Substitution bleh, substitution meh.
      My “cheap” $250 cell phone that I had to get as my flip phone was made unusable by the telcos, and that in my use case (calls texts, work pics that don’t need ridiculous resolution…my flip phone did all that just fine for $20 and $20 a month) Now it’s $50 a month, a $250 phone and the main beneficiaries of that is google who now tracks everywhere I go for their own profit…don’t get me started on spel chek and the constantly needy phone wanting me to train AI and replacing words I typed with words it considers more appropriate. The data says this country is only barely worth saving, and maybe not even barely.
      On the bright side, but as they say, don’t look into the light, I now leave the cell phone at home and let people leave me messages, you know, just like back in the ’90’s when my phone bill in the shared house was $6 a month, and oh by the way, I still don’t charge as much per hour as I did in 2007…

      1. RMO

        The prices (or more sneakily the price for a given set of features so that the price can go up but it can be claimed to be sable or decreasing because you may get “more stuff” in a product compared to past years) of stuff we can do without has been declining, sometimes dramatically over the years so we’re doing great! And just ignore the fact that things we really need such as food, water, shelter and medical care have been skyrocketing over the same period.

  14. The Rev Kev

    Couldn’t agree more. Western democracies are broken which is why they push forward the dregs into leadership positions.

    1. hunkerdown

      Democratic publics have final say as to the law, not just influence over who makes it. Aristocracies with The Gong Show bolted on the side aren’t democracies. Please don’t support this debasement of the language and of popular power.

  15. Don Utter

    Ongoing reports of police violence in Kneosha. Here is another example.

    About 5 years ago, a friend of ours son was murdered by police.

    He was white and a veteran who suffered from exposure to substances from his service and was on disability.

    He lived an alternative lifestyle. He was well liked in his community and did handy man work and provided transportation to Amish and others who needed transportation beyond horse and buggy.

    He befriended a struggling woman and her kids and let them stay at his house. I don’t recall if her partner also lived with him. The woman and her partner were arrested and in a plea deal, they said that our friends son was involved in the drug trade. He wasn’t.

    His house was attacked by a swat team who shot through the door and killed him.

    His health was declining, especially his eye sight.

    His mom, living in Ohio decided to not press the case even though locals who knew about him wanted her to hire an attorney and fight the case.

    1. Oh

      Such a sad story! Unfortunately, this kind of action by the cops is more common. There is really no justice in this country. The mentality of slaughtering people in other countries has come back home to roost.

    2. FluffytheObeseCat

      Murder by SWAT team is pretty common throughout the US, and it’s been recognized for quite awhile now. The apparently equally common practice of libeling the innocent dead via plea bargains with lowlifes is news to me though, despite the fact that it appears to have an equally lengthy pedigree. I don’t usually want to read NPR articles, but the one above in links details multiple official attempts to smear Breonna Taylor’s name after death. The timeline is really something else. At least ten different plea deals given to Louisville area drug dealers contained wording that would have had them implicating her in their business. Posthumously. As in, long after she could have been able to clear her name. All so the Louisville prosecutors and cops could 1) ease their way out of lawsuits and 2) appear vindicated after the fact in the eyes of their thin blue line supporters across the heartland.

      It is well documented journalism of the kind we see too little of today. Just the facts, laid out for you in neat, chronological order.

      1. JBird4049

        Prosecutors’ Plea Deal Required Drug Suspect To Name Breonna Taylor A ‘Co-Defendant’ NPR. Narrator: “He didn’t take the deal.”

        And this almost certainly means that he will be nailed to the wall with decades of prison time; it sets an example to others of the consequences of not taking a plea deal, any. plea, when offered.

        It is one of the reasons why the innocent are in prison at all or very petty criminals are spending decades serving time. Any assertion of your rights is severely punished.

  16. Ignacio

    RE this tweet: ACCESSIBLE
    U of Illinois brought back 40,000+ students to campus based on a model created by 2 very confident physicists, who said epidemiology was important but intellectually unchallenging.

    I was wondering which variables were being taken in account by the physicists and I was willing to add some variables to include in their models for something as simple as epidemiology:

    1) Fd (fear to disease): the higher Fd, the lower R0
    2) Fs (fear to stigma): the higher Fs the higher R0 because this tends to extend time to diagnosis and confinement of infected. Fs uses to be higher amongst the younger.
    3) Os (ostrich attitude, or intentional ignorance): distributed quite at random in all age cohorts. The higher Os, the higher R0.
    4) Rp (Responsibility-personal): How one takes care of oneself. The Higher Rp the lower R0.
    5) Rs (Responsibility-social): Unwillingness to transmit disease to others. Has a mathematical relationship with Os. The higher Rs, the lower R0.

    Mind you, these are real-world variables.

      1. Ignacio

        I don’t think these are variables used in any model and cannot be effectively measured though their effects will be real. I have just brought them to have fun about how overconfident mathematicians may get it totally wrong when modelling complex things, which is OK, but try to bring their results to counsel the real world where many other factors not considered in the models are in play.

        1. RMO

          Here’s a question I would like to see the answer to: what concrete real world things has the physics field accomplished in the last quarter century or so? I know of the advances in particle and wave theory, investigation into gravity etc, etc, but what has come out of it that gets used outside the lab? The neutron was discovered in 1932 and about twenty years later the Nautilus was under way using nuclear power… and of course even earlier than that physics had given us the means to pretty much destroy the world nuclear weapons.

          1. Dirk77

            The two physicists in question appear to work in complexity theory. I have not followed that field for at least a decade now, but the last time I checked a physicist friend referred to it as dedicated to producing the ultimate screensaver.

  17. voislav

    Re:”UI scientists modeling COVID-19 say campus can safely reopen”

    I driving through the neighbourhood around Northwestern University in northern Chicago last night and I passed by two house parties with 50+ people, no masks in sight. The university officially reopens after Labour day, although only with juniors and seniors on campus. Freshmen and sophomore are going to be remote until January and they are keeping fraternities/sororities closed.

    So, anecdotal evidence and all, I am not very optimistic that in-person instructions will last for very long.

  18. The Rev Kev

    “By scrapping Parliament’s Question Hour, government is attacking the foundation of Indian democracy”

    Modi seems to share a few characteristics with Erdogan of Turkey. He is an ultra-nationalist, ultra religious and will also get his country into terrible trouble down the track. Erdogan once said that democracy is like a train. When you get where you want to be, you get off. I suspect the same of Modi as well.

  19. Dan

    The Brooklyn Friends union-busting effort is a pure illustration of the difference between liberalism and leftism. The light of the individual must shine, and to do that the individual can’t be constrained by thinking about messy things like staff pay, working conditions, or protection from the Coronavirus. The administration criticizes the union for not being made up of just “nice”, presumably middle-class teachers, but for including those grubby janitors too. Hard to let your inner light shine when you have to take a janitor seriously, isn’t it?

    “When they talk about diversity, when they talk about social justice, they’re really talking about every other type besides economics.”

    1. CitizenSissy

      Pure stupidity on the part of Brooklyn Friends, with the union-busting attorney (no doubt with a stratospheric hourly billing) and the deserved hit to its progressive reputation, and, by default, to fundraising.

      For what they’re going to shell out in legal fees and PR repair, the school very likely could have honored the terms of the contract with cash to spare.

  20. Ignacio

    RE: Coronavirus Vaccine Roundup, Early September In the Pipeline, Science. If you’re tracking vaccine companies, this is a very accessible must-read.

    Thanks a lot for this link. Lowe’s reviews are great and he deserves merit for being one of the best sources available updating the complex vaccine scene and with very accessible narrative.

    I just would like to add a couple of additional comments on what he wrote: Most if not all are using the wild type Spike protein as the only viral antigen except those that use the whole inactivated SARS CoV 2. This means that, regardless of the platform, the risk of development of antibodies that could elicit ADE is almost always there, though not exactly the same depending on the presentation of the Spike protein and on the adjuvants. Next generation vaccines developed with the specific objective of avoiding the development of IgGs directed against the Receptor Binding Domain of the S protein could be different in this sense. There might also be candidates that avoid Spike epitopes that resemble epitopes present in human cell surfaces.

    Regarding RNA vaccines, which could be promising, preliminary results are showing that differences in vaccine design result in large differences in RNA dosage required for full immune response and these can be of about an order of magnitude. This might be relevant in manufacturing/deployment as well as in investments and costs. Rowe is a bit tough about Inovio candidate and I will check why. If I remember correctly preliminary results where promising but it all might have to do with problems in vaccine delivery or some other.

    1. Susan the other

      Just reading the techniques, I’m impressed with the one that sounds like the opposite of “gain of function” and gradually attenuates the virus by selection for the un-fittest. That actually sounds interesting. In that it sounds safer then the other hotshot techniques. Maybe. I liked the last paragraph, that vaccine tech will never be the same again – like aircraft technology before and after WW2. I’m too cautious. I’ll take an inactivated virus over some mRNA injections any day.

  21. rowlf

    Yesterday in weird things that happen, one of my sons told me that while he was driving with a friend to another town here in Georgia to pick up lawn equipment parts they passed a field where a group of people in white robes where gathered in circle in view of the state road. My son’s friend mentioned that, yeah, that group does that from time to time.

    I guess Illinois Nazis are everywhere. I also wonder at what point do the racists and anti-racists franticly team up to try to stop miscegenation before they are both out of business. (Both of the teenagers in this story tick more than one race box on government forms, which is what makes the friend’s comment funny.)

  22. The Rev Kev

    “US-Russia Tensions Flare up on Multiple Fronts”

    This is actually official US State Department policy and perhaps a legacy of Hillary’s time at State. To ratchet up tensions and sanctions with Russia but never to ease it off. In the decades to come, historians will be scratching their heads wondering just what did the Washington elite think would happen with this policy. It pushes Russia together with China and Iran into an informal – for the moment – alliance and will likely have other countries join such as Venezuela. I sometimes wonder if Caitlin Johnstone has the right idea. That the US and it allies are waging a third world war against these countries but without the actual shooting. It is just attack, pressure, sanction all the time everywhere without respite. It is that crazy.

    1. barefoot charley

      The logic of our crazy: You’re either our tributary vassal or our enemy.

      The less we have to sell, the less we have to offer, the more of our crazy logic you get.

  23. Tom Stone

    I went by Safeway this morning during senior hours and since we’re expecting a heat wave was happy to see pints of Hagen-Dazs on sale.
    The packages didn’t look quite right,somehow.

    A pint is now 14 Oz…12.5% smaller.

      1. Samuel Conner

        I first noticed this in the early ’90s. The Ragu jars on the shelves of the local big-box retail club were present in both 32oz and 28oz. I wouldn’t have noticed the change-over if they had sold-thru the quart jars before stocking the 3.5 cup jars. Lately, the “quart” Ragu package is down to 24 oz.

        Perhaps they’re trying to stimulate portion size control as well as boost profits /s

    1. pricklyone

      I’ll bet the word “pint” is not there, anywhere.
      Blame it on your mind filling in the blanks.
      I dunno about Ha-Da, but Edy’s/Dreyers and all such have not been pint/quart/half gallon for 15years, at least.
      If your Safeway is advertising these as Pints, they are in violation of multiple laws/regulations at State and Fed level.
      Soup cans were a standard 15 oz years ago. They are even numbered with standard number sizes.
      Campbells made that a 10.5 oz can years ago. Screwed up all my recipes using Cream of Mushroom and tomato soup.

      1. paintedjaguar

        Yes, and tuna cans used to be 7oz, now down to 5oz. Where I previously used 2 cans for a recipe I now have to use 3. Plus the solid to liquid ratio has decreased, further throwing off the measurements and the actual price. The extra hassle and aggravation of all this ought to be added to the cost of hidden inflation and deceptive marketing.

    2. John Anthony La Pietra

      I remember when a pound of coffee was actually a pound. It’s been whittled down to 12 ounces. . . .

  24. flora

    re: Postal Service

    Through about 100 contracts with [DeJoy’s firm] XPO Logistics and its subsidiaries, the Postal Service has paid the firm $33.7 million to $45.2 million annually since 2014 for services that include managing transportation and providing support during peak times.

    The documents also show a surge in revenue for XPO from the Postal Service since Mr. DeJoy took over on June 15. The Postal Service paid XPO Logistics and its subsidiaries about $14 million over the past 10 weeks, compared with $3.4 million during the same time frame in 2019 and $4.7 million in 2018.

    Why, what a coincidence! Triple the usual revenue stream from a year ago after he becomes PostMaster! No corruption there, no self-dealing, nope, nothing to see…

    1. pricklyone

      My friends were driving Postal trucking runs for a private firm from Florida to St. Louis in the 1970’s.
      No one was listening then, and they sure as hell are not now. That ship sailed long ago.

      They have just become totally transparent about putting the Fox in charge of the henhouse.
      How many people do you know who thought “making the post office more efficient” was a bad idea?
      Everyone cheered keeping the stamp price down.

    2. Late Introvert

      No worries! Debbie Wass Schultz got a photo op with cops blocking her access. The Dem Rats are on the case!

  25. Michael

    My expectation if B&H win is a repeat of the 911 aftermath where we went from a conversation about healing to the Patriot Act in seemingly seconds.

    I’m in CA and voting 3rd party as the EC’s choice has been made.

  26. Timothy J Martell

    It looks as though some on the left are suggesting that the Reinoehl affair is an “op.” The author of the linked tweet says so. She points to the fact that he’d been arrested at a previous BLM protest for weapons possession, but that the charges were mysteriously dropped. I have to admit that Portland would in fact be the perfect place for such an operation. After all, this is a place where police protection of an asset could easily be mistaken for just another imprudent and irresponsible act of mostly incompetent city leaders. “Oops,” the latter say, and anyone who’s been paying attention takes them at their word.

    But, no, I don’t think it was an op. What the experts in Brooklyn and Santa Barbara have to remember is that this is the town that brought the world those criminal masterminds: Tonya Harding and Jeff Gillooly. Reinoehl fits right in. And, besides, get your story straight people. You can’t both say that all police are blundering brutes (and bastards to boot) and at the same time make them out to be super-competent, diabolical masters of deception. Whatever his flaws, the Devil isn’t dumb. It is worth pointing out too that the same reasoning that supports looting also supports politically motivated killing. It’s of pedagogical value, since it teaches people about all the things they could get away with but for state oppression. And Reinoehl wasn’t just killing another local Portland guy. No, he was attacking the idea of whiteness. I mean, what is an emanation of the essence of whiteness if not a 40 year old, working class white guy in a Patriot Prayer baseball cap? Rather than making this out to be an op, the Twitter leftist should own it.

    1. Lambert Strether Post author

      > Tonya Harding and Jeff Gillooly. Reinoehl fits right in. And, besides, get your story straight people. You can’t both say that all police are blundering brutes (and bastards to boot) and at the same time make them out to be super-competent, diabolical masters of deception.

      Very good point on Tonya Harding (non-ironically). However, I think the cops can be brutal, dumb, and deceptive. The Czars’ Ohkrana, IIRC, was at one point actually assassinating government ministers.

    2. Susan the other

      His “confession” was strange. He’s less than a conscious participant maybe. Reinoehl sounded like he was implicating a companion, maybe standing with him, talking him into taking the shot. And that sort of information can get you killed too. Don’t tell me I’m a goofy old conspiracist. With all the deaths associated with both Kennedy brothers? And please don’t even think that Trump doesn’t want to cook up a law-and-order political image for himself. Just my opinion.

    3. VietnamVet

      Portland OR and Seattle WA are at the end of the road. The misfits, snake oil salesmen and entrepreneurs were halted by the Pacific Ocean. Also, real family supporting income came mostly from resource extracting minerals and trees, building civilization, and government handouts; Grand Coulee Dam. That ended starting in the late 1960s. Federal forests closed. Dams removed.

      The biggest company in Oregon, Nike, makes every single shoe overseas. Boeing is in a death loop. An East Indian runs Microsoft. Cities grew and prospered serving each other, but coronavirus stopped that. Rural areas went belly up; except for irrigated crops and migrant workers. It started with the Spotted Owl, the WTO riots and has moved up to left/right gangs; libertarian anarchists and patriots. With no alternatives, the rumble is the thrill. The problem is Jay Gould’s quote “I can hire one half of the working class to kill the other half.” Which gangs will get robber baron funding? With no end in sight for the Pandemic Depression, will for-profit, color revolution, chaos engulf the Pacific Northwest?

  27. RMO

    RE: “The 450 Movement” article… on the one hand he says some things that seem to make sense… on the other hand he is making “wearable tech” and seems to like doing so and thus deserves to be fed into wood chipper feet first.

    The legacy IT systems article was interesting. Given that most large IT projects are failures already, combine that with the seeming rampant increase of techno-grift where large quantities of money are spent on worthless or actually harmful projects because someone uses a few buzzwords and I don’t see a lot of hope. I did get a laugh out of the example of the new online bank that is supposed to be poised to run circles around their aged competitors because of the efficiency of running everything on Amazon Web Services though…

  28. drumlin woodchuckles

    Shi Jin-Ping, the Red Emperor, can lecture the rest of us all he likes about what we are allowed to say and not allowed to say. But until he has the raw power to “reach out and touch us” and MAKE us obey, we will say what we please.

    Any trolls and spies who are here reading these comments are free to carry this basic statement of fact back to their masters in the Great Han Lebensraum CommuNazi ChinaGov Regime Apparatus.

  29. Maritimer

    Steven Bannon Needs A Defense Not A Conspiracy Theory For His Federal Trial Jonathan Turley. Fun!
    All I got for the $850 Billion Bailout of the criminals was Bernie Madoff, small time chump.

    In the interim, I got Conrad Black who evidently stepped on someone’s important **** in Chicago.

    And now, I’m getting Big, Big Time Criminal Steve Bannon who might have stolen $1,000,000. I can hardly count those zeroes. What a Mastermind!

    Thank God for the American Justice System for hunting down and prosecuting every last one of these financial criminals. My digital accounts are safe at last.

    1. drumlin woodchuckles

      I remember when Bernie ” Madoff” with the money. With all of the few-several billion dollars he “relocated”, he was not able suck a single sardine out through the side of any of my numerous cans of sardines.

      I have always thought there is a lesson somewhere in that.

  30. JohnB

    Sad to hear of David Graeber’s passing. The exact cause is a bit of a mystery. Spent a good while looking back over his Twitter relating to it, and what is described is Odd – and warrants paying close attention to, as more is learned.

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