2:00PM Water Cooler 10/23/2020

By Lambert Strether of Corrente

Bird Song of the Day

Raucus! Alert reader Rod writes:

I have so enjoyed your inclusion of bird voices as an intro to Water Cooler–and find it centering before reading on. thanks for bringing it onboard.

Black Capped have a cousin that was noticed here first–so we call it the Carolina Chickadee. Its a regional voice being sweeter and more melodic, imo. Also a bit more petit, though often carouses with the BCs.

The voice graph makes an interesting comparison of the two.

It worked for Robert J. Lurtsema….

#COVID19

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

Here are the United States regions:

Still rising, if anthing faster. Gonna be interesting to see what happens if the virus is really cranking in November or December, and the FDA says a vaccine is ready…

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

Unmistakable rise everywhere. Including Texas, which alas seems to have straightened out its data problem, in the past few days.

Politics

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

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

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

The electoral map. July 17: Georgia, Ohio, ME-2 move from Leans Republican to Toss-up. Continued yikes. On July 7, the tossup were 86. Only July 17, they were 56. Now they are 91. This puts Biden at 278, i.e. over 270. August 18: Still no changes. August 31: Indiana moves from Likely to Safe Republican. September 9: No changes. September 14: No changes. September 21: No changes. September 22: Ohio moves from Toss-up to Leans Republican. September 25: Ohio moves from Leans Republican to Toss-up. September 30: Iowa moves from Leans Republican to Toss-up. October 3: Indiana moves from Safe to Likely Republican; Iowa moves from Toss-up to Leans Republican. October 6: Arizona moves from Toss-up to Leans Democratic; Iowa from Leans Republican to Toss-up; Indiana from Likely to Safe Republican; New Mexico from Likely to Safe Democratic. October 8: NE-2 moves from Toss-up to Leans Democratic. October 13: Indiana moves from Likely to Safe Republican. October 16: Indiana moves from Safe to Likely Republican. October 19: No changes. October 21: NE-1 moves from Likely to Safe Republican.


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

The election countdown:

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

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

“2020 General Election Early Vote Statistics” [U.S. Elections Project (SlayTheSmaugs)].

“How to Vote in 2020: Everything You Need to Know” [Bloomberg]. “Casting a ballot in the U.S. isn’t always easy, with a complex web of varying state rules governing how and when you can vote. The Covid-19 pandemic has introduced even more complexity in 2020, as many states have made significant changes to allow for more early voting or voting by mail. More changes could come as lawsuits in several states wind their way through the courts. That’s why Bloomberg News is answering these critical questions so you’ll know what you need to do to make sure your vote is counted in the 2020 election.”

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

“2020 General Election Early Vote Statistics” [U.S. Election Project].

“California Ballots Mailed and Returned Tracker” [Political Data]. • California only, sadly.

“Where’s My Ballot?” [Alex Padilla]. “Tracking your vote-by-mail ballot—when it is mailed, received, and counted—has never been easier. The California Secretary of State is now offering Where’s My Ballot?—a new way for voters to track and receive notifications on the status of their vote-by-mail ballot. Powered by BallotTrax, Where’s My Ballot? lets voters know where their ballot is, and its status, every step of the way.” • Ballottrax. Shoulda gone long….

“State Fact Sheets” [Georgetown Universitty]. “[F]act sheets for all 50 states explaining the laws barring unauthorized private militia groups and what to do if groups of armed individuals are near a polling place or voter registration drive.”

All the deadlines, rules, and voting hours to know when casting your ballot in the 2020 presidential election” [Business Insider]. “Here are 12 interactive graphics, charts, and maps Insider created to answer your most common questions about voting in 2020.”

2020

Swing States

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

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

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

Turnout:

* * *

Biden (D)(1): Because voters are like little children:

Bruce, Bruce…. Stick to song-writing. This is vacuous.

Biden (D)(2): “Joe Biden’s Animal Crossing Island Has Ice Cream, Dogs, And Model Trains” [Gamespot]. “”A lot of the residents on the island are dogs, Joe Biden loves dogs,” said Kinda Funny’s Greg Miller while exploring the island on Twitch.” • Biden 👏 loves 👏dogs 👏OMG👏OMG.

Biden (D)(3): “Joe Biden and the Return of the Dreaded Bipartisan Commission” [The New Republic]. “Biden’s presidential campaign is built on the idea that he can return the country to normalcy, that his election will break a fever that has been raging since long before Donald Trump took office. Although Biden has recently flirted with some actual big ideas—citing the New Deal as an inspiration and keeping court-packing on the table—a toothless bipartisan commission that performs reasonableness but accomplishes little is the kind of idea that is central to Biden’s approach to politics. It’s a return to normal in many ways, though that might not be a good thing.”

Sanders (D)(1): “Bernie Sanders makes a play for Biden Labor secretary” [Politico]. “Sen. Bernie Sanders is hoping to be a part of Joe Biden’s potential administration and has expressed a particular interest in becoming Labor secretary, two people familiar with the conversations tell POLITICO. ‘I can confirm he’s trying to figure out how to land that role or something like it,’ said one person close to the Vermont senator. “He, personally, does have an interest in it.’… ‘It would be great to have a unity government that takes into account that progressives are a pretty healthy portion of the electorate,” [Former Sanders campaign manager Faiz Shakir] said. ‘Heeding that would be good, but if Joe Biden wins, he rightly has a mandate to move in whatever direction he chooses.'” • Is it possible to grovel more? And why would Sanders want to serve at the pleasure of Joe Biden?

Trump (R)(1): This talking point from the Lincoln Project is so, so stupid:

Bacharach and the Lincoln Project both leave out James Buchanan, the dude who worked toward the Dred Scott decision, and endorsed it in his Inaugural speech, two days before the Supreme Court actually handed it down.

Trump (R)(2): “Trump Has Been Quietly Setting the Stage for an Authoritarian Second Term” [Jacobin]. “A second Trump term would be an authoritarian threat on account of his and his attorney general’s increasingly violent war on protesters and voting alone, symbolized by Michael Reinoehl’s execution, as well as the wide support he enjoys from law enforcement around the country. But this past year has shown Trump and those around him are not content with just that. Rather, they want to root out those they view as disloyal in the parts of the federal bureaucracy not already behind his agenda, and replace them with people who will carry out his bidding. And those parts just happen to be some of the most powerful institutions in the United States: the courts, the military, spy agencies, and federal prosecutors. Skeptics of Trump’s budding authoritarianism, understandably turned off by years of cynical and ratings-chasing sensationalism from sources like MSNBC, keep looking for a Reichstag fire. But not every despot takes Hitler’s path. For some, it’s a gradual one, paved bit by bit by the logic of expediency and the fear of losing power. We can’t know for sure if Trump will live up to his detractors’ worst fears in a second term. But there is ample reason to worry.”

Trump (R)(3): “Is capital finally losing faith in Trump?” [Adam Tooze, Guardian]. “hat has kept Donald Trump in the presidential race is his electoral base. It consists of white men, rural and small-town voters and small-business owners [and “American gentry”]. . The big bucks for the campaign come from a coterie of wealthy loyalists. This bloc will stick with Trump whatever he says or does. But the attitude of other groups that one might expect to be Trump’s natural supporters, such as big business, financial markets, a lobby like the chamber of commerce – ‘capital’, in other words – is far less clear cut. If anything, as Joe Biden’s lead has stabilised, so too has their optimism. With an eye to an impending shift of power, the Chamber of Commerce has endorsed a cluster of Democrats in tight House races, provoking outrage from the president. These unexpected alignments point to the scrambling of assumptions that is characteristic of the Trump era… If, as seemed possible at the beginning of this year, the US economy had stayed on course and the Dems had selected the leftwing Elizabeth Warren or Bernie Sanders as their candidate to run against Trump, the battle lines would have been clearly drawn. But that is not what happened. The Democrats selected Biden, a centrist who as senator for Delaware between 1973 and 2009 represented one of the greatest tax havens in the western world during the height of financialisation.”

* * *

“Tracking Voter Trust in the American Electoral System” [Morning Consult]. “Voters are more concerned about Trump’s behavior around the election than Biden’s: More than half of voters (51 percent) are concerned that President Trump will refuse to step down from office if he loses, compared with 31 percent who are concerned about Biden refusing to concede. Likewise, 53 percent are concerned that Trump will prematurely declare victory versus 33 percent who expressed anxiety that Biden will do the same.” • Interesting differential, considering this: “Hillary Clinton: Biden ‘should not concede under any circumstances’,” besides The Integrity Project’s game-playing, which generated at least one strategy of Blue State secession.

The Debate

“Trump’s disappearing populism was on full display at Thursday’s debate” [Vox]. “The 2016 version of Donald Trump was an ideological innovator. He was a populist, not beholden to the special interests and the donor classes. He was going to shake things up. Today, that’s over. He’s an ideologically orthodox Republican. And at least as much as the pandemic or the Democratic nominee, this Trumpian transformation deserves to be understood as an important reason he’s losing.” • Again, the liberal Democrats 2016-2020 saw off not one, but two populist movements, one from the left, one from the right. Like it or not, that’s a dominating performance.

“Analysis: A newly restrained Trump faces the same old problems” [Reuters]. “‘Trump was fine tonight. Might even give it to him on points. It’s just not the game-changer he needs,’ said Liam Donovan, a Republican strategist in Virginia who has worked on U.S. Senate campaigns.” • If Biden doesn’t slip a cog or start leaking grey fluid, he wins. It was that simple. Trump could have made it worse for himself, and didn’t. Although Frank Luntz might disagree–

“Undecided voters in pollster focus group describe Trump as ‘controlled’ and Biden as ‘vague’ in debate” [The Hill]. “Republican pollster Frank Luntz convened a virtual focus group of 14 undecided voters for the Nashville, Tenn., debate, many of whom used the word “civil” to describe the overall tone of the faceoff. Several of the focus group participants said they were more likely to consider voting for Trump after the debate. ‘I am leaning more toward Trump now, however I still don’t feel like I have good answers on the race issues and that’s a very, very important issue to me in this country right now,’ said one participant. However, the majority said Biden had ‘better character’ than Trump. ‘It’s a choice between character and policy,’ one participant said, summing it up.”

Not a random sample:

Realignment and Legitimacy

“[seminar] Paraparty cooperatives” [Interfluidity]. “Ryan Cooper had a great piece on a “paraparty cooperative” in Rhode Island that sat both on the inside and the outside of the Rhode Island Democratic Party, and worked to reform and substantially replace it….. I now donate hundreds of dollars I can’t really afford each election cycle via Act Blue. Sometimes I donate to 501(c)(3) organizations that solicit my funds for various causes. Again, no criticism, no apologies, we do what we can in the world as it is. But increasingly I think of both of these paths as neoliberal activism, in a pejorative sense. Distant campaigns and organizations present themselves to me in a competitive marketplace of professionally-organized virtue, “effective altruism” if you will. My role is analogous to that of a consumer, to spend my dollars wisely, get the most virtue done for the buck. The relationship is fundamentally transactional. We are isolated, atomized, coordinating only through the offerings providers choose to make available. I worry that these donations are somewhat analogous to masturbation in the Proud Boys’ ontology, that they represent a kind of leakage of energy that could be put to more fruitful use. Act Blue has raised more than three billion dollars this election cycle, to be mostly spent within the politics industry. What if some of those billions had gone to solidaristic, activist organizations to move the Democratic coalition?”

* * *

“ActBlue’s stunning third quarter: $1.5 billion in donations” [Politico]. “Democratic candidates and left-leaning groups raised $1.5 billion through ActBlue over the last three months — a record-smashing total that reveals the overwhelming financial power small-dollar donors have unleashed up and down the ballot ahead of the 2020 election….. “Small-dollar donors are showing an unparalleled commitment to change,” Erin Hill, ActBlue’s executive director, said in a statement shared with POLITICO. “In the final weeks of the 2020 election, they are showing up and investing in races across the board. This people-powered movement will expand the map for Democrats for years to come and sets a powerful precedent for civic engagement. Small-dollar donors are leading the way to victory.'” •  I’d like to see the pre- and post-Sanders figures broken out, because I would bet they’re very different.

Our Famously Free Press

Tracey is correct:

Hannah-Jones: “Especially when the stakes are so high.” At this point, we recall that Hannah-Jones (of the 1619 Project) won her Pulitzer for commentary, not reporting. Although to be fair to the New York Times, the Times apparatchiks who suppressed James Risen’s reporting on warrantless surveillance until after Bush was re-elected were also, at least once, journalists. Perhaps the stakes are always high?

Stats Watch

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

Leading Indicators: “16 October 2020 ECRI’s WLI Marginally Continues To Improve” [Econintersect]. “ECRI’s WLI Growth Index which forecasts economic growth six months forward marginally improved and remains in expansion. ECRI also released their coincident and lagging indicators this past week…. In theory, this index is now indicating that in the second or third quarter of 2021 the economy should be in expansion year-over-year.”

Rail: “Rail Week Ending 17 October 2020 – Improvement Continues” [Econintersect]. “Week 42 of 2020 shows same week total rail traffic (from the same week one year ago) improved according to the Association of American Railroads (AAR) traffic data. Total rail traffic has been mostly in contraction for over one year – and now is slowly recovering from the coronavirus pandemic… This week again intermodal continued in expansion year-over-year and continues on a strengthening trendline. However, carloads remain in contraction. But overall, rail is on an improving trendline.”

* * *

Tech: “When you tell Chrome to wipe private data about you, it spares two websites from the purge: Google.com, YouTube” [The Register]. “Updated Google exempts its own websites from Chrome’s automatic data-scrubbing feature, allowing the ads giant to potentially track you even when you’ve told it not to…. A Google spokesperson has been in touch to say the issue is a programming error, and will be fixed: ‘We are aware of a bug in Chrome that is impacting how cookies are cleared on some first-party Google websites. We are investigating the issue, and plan to roll out a fix in the coming days.'” • That’s not a bug. It’s a feature.

Tech: “Artists are irked by Twitter’s change to retweets” [The Verge]. “Artists on Twitter have a request: stop quote-tweeting their work. It’s all the more pressing now that Twitter has, temporarily at least, changed its retweet system to encourage users to quote tweets and add their own words on top, rather than simply boost someone else’s message. Artists say quote tweets take attention away from their profiles, making it harder for them to be discovered, while someone else gets the glory. Twitter made the change yesterday as part of an effort to ‘encourage more thoughtful consideration’ of tweets — and presumably, to curb the spread of misinformation — around the US election…. [I]t’s important to artists that they get the signal boost directly when someone wants to share their work. ‘It’s easy to go to our profile,’ Rosa said, ‘but many people don’t check it out if it’s only a quote retweet that’s doing the numbers.’ Rosa said she doesn’t mind when people quote-tweet her work, but she’s concerned the new interface will confuse people who might otherwise want to directly promote an artist.”

Tech: “Where can I download my Creative Suite app?” [Adobe]. “We no longer provide installers for Creative Suite apps. To get the latest versions of your familiar apps that have been tested in current operating systems, upgrade to Creative Cloud.” • Remember when you thought you owned software?

Tech: “Whose computer is it?” [tinyapps.org]. Quite technical; picking out one highlight: “[O]ne may well be left with a niggling doubt: should all this really be necessary to monitor your own computer’s network traffic?”

* * *
.

Today’s Fear & Greed Index [CNN]. • Mr. Market is feeling blank:

The dates are updating… but nothing else is. Abandoned by CNN?

The Biosphere

“The Rescue of the Spirit and of Nature” [Resilience (Henry Moon Pie)]. “Sooner or later, every human being faces the challenge of recognizing their own spirit. Spirituality does not appear, except as a result of their confronting, not fleeing from, the world. It is the response of being ‘in front of the abyss’. Faced with the lack of logic or meaning of existence, faced with the incommensurability of the universe. This intuitive act — arrived at not by exploration or investigation, but by revelation or enlightenment — arises from the idea of ​​the existence of mysterious connections between the parts of nature that form a unity directed by an intelligent process. Hence, the recognition of a vital force that moves everything and to which all members of the human species are indebted. Without exception, this worldview was present in all the cultures that made up humanity during its almost 300,000 years of existence. It allowed humanity’s survival and gave continuity to the impulse already devised by other groups of evolving organisms: corals, jellyfish, siphonophores, bryozoans, ants, termites, bees, wasps, vertebrates and primates.”

Games

“Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Plays ‘Among Us’ On Twitch, Breaks The Internet” [HuffPo]. “Social media was abuzz with comments by excited youngsters (and their parents) as they watched and marveled at Ocasio-Cortez’s gaming prowess ― and her ability to connect with young people.” • Did anyone ask her about ethics in video game journalism?

Class Warfare

“David Harvey: Socialists Must Be the Champions of Freedom” [Jacobin]. “Freedom means nothing if you don’t have enough to eat, if you are denied access to adequate healthcare, housing, transportation, education, and the like. The role of socialism is to provide those basic necessities so that then people are free to do exactly what they want….. But Marx also pointed out that freedom is a double-edged sword. Laborers in a capitalist society, he says, are free in a double sense. They can freely offer their labor power to whomsoever they want in the labor market. They can offer it on whatever conditions of contract they can freely negotiate. But they are at the same time un-free, because they have been ‘freed’ from any control over or access to the means of production. They have, therefore, to surrender their labor power to the capitalist in order to live.”

“Tips to stay focused during the workday when you’re overwhelmed by election news” [CNBC]. “At BetterUp, a professional coaching platform, discussions around election stress and how it bleeds into the workplace have been top of mind for many clients in the last two weeks alone. Gabriella Rosen Kellerman, who examines workplace behavior as BetterUp’s chief product officer, says workers are increasingly seeking coaching help to stay focused during the workday, handle difficult conversations in the workplace and even find value alignment with an employer that has expressed differing political views.” • Why am I thinking these are not “essential” workers?

“Gig Workers’ Only Chance to Pee Is Apparently an App” [Vice]. “Before the pandemic, gig workers—already forced to demean themselves to make ends meet—were regularly denied reliable access to clean bathrooms at restaurants, Uber facilities, and airports. The problem has only gotten worse, and things so dire that a rather dystopian app has launched to find drivers places to relieve themselves. The Whizz App pitches itself as a solution that ‘gives gig workers ‘pee’ace of mind with hassle-free access to restroom facilities.’ The gist of it is simple: ‘travelers, gig economy workers, and soccer moms’ can sign up to use the app, and partner restaurants let Whizz users use their bathrooms.” • I can’t understand why this app hasn’t already been imagined in Snow Crash, along with its sister App, Dump (and Dump’s competitor, Number 2 (slogan: “We try harder”)).

“California drivers sue Uber over in-app messages asking to support ballot measure” [Reuters]. “In-app prompts urge drivers to show their support for the ballot measure, including by asking them to submit video messages, and links to the Yes on Prop 22 campaign site. Those prompts, in combination with Uber’s threat to leave the state or reduce its driver base, leads drivers to believe that they might be punished if they do not follow the company’s line, said David Lowe, the attorney who filed the lawsuit. ‘This case isn’t strictly speaking about Prop 22, this case is about Uber trampling the political freedom of its drivers,’ said Lowe, who according to California data donated $5,000 to the No on Prop 22 campaign sponsored by labor organizations. William Gould, an employment law professor at Stanford University, said Uber’s conduct showed a clear attempt at political interference that was in violation of California law.”

“Capitalist Systems and Income Inequality” [Marco Ranaldi and Branko Milanovic, Stone Center Working Paper Series. no. 25]. From the abstract: ” Capitalism may be seen to range between Classical Capitalism, where the rich have only capital income, and the rest have only labor income, and Liberal Capitalism, where many people receive both capital and labor incomes. Using a new methodology and data from 47 countries over the past 25 years, we show that higher compositional inequality is associated with higher inter-personal inequality. Nordic countries are exceptional because they combine high compositional inequality with low inter-personal inequality. We speculate on the emergence of homoploutic societies where income composition may be the same for all, but Gini inequality nonetheless high, and introduce a new taxonomy of capitalist societies.” • Hmm.

News of the Wired

“Wind Turbine Tutorial” [OpenSourceLowTech.org]. “This is a Vertical Axis Wind Turbine which uses wind energy to drive things like an alternator/generator for producing electricity, or air and water pumps for cooling, irrigation and similar. The turbine uses the 35-40% mechanically efficient Lenz2 lift+drag design. It is made almost entirely from scrap materials, and should cost about $15-$30 for the six vane version, which can be made by two people in four hours without much effort.”

“What If Friendship, Not Marriage, Was at the Center of Life?” [The Atlantic]. “Friends of their kind sweep into territory typically reserved for romantic partners: They live in houses they purchased together, raise each other’s children, use joint credit cards, and hold medical and legal powers of attorney for each other. These friendships have many of the trappings of romantic relationships, minus the sex. Despite these friendships’ intense devotion, there’s no clear category for them. The seemingly obvious one, “best friend,” strikes many of these committed pairs as a diminishment….. Many of those who place a friendship at the center of their life find that their most significant relationship is incomprehensible to others. But these friendships can be models for how we as a society might expand our conceptions of intimacy and care.”

* * *
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Not sure what these red berries are, but I like the tapestry of leaf debris.

* * *

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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.

238 comments

  1. km

    To be fair, Grant very briefly owned a slave, a gift from his father-in-law. He then freed the slave, even though the slave was worth around $1,000 and Grant needed the money.

    I understand that Grant’s father in law was quite torked off.

    Reply
    1. Big River Bandido

      I found the response to be every bit as ignorant as the Lincoln Project tweet. They aren’t interested in any “fair” reading of history.

      Reply
        1. DJW

          Bacharach’s failure to include Woodrow Wilson is particularly telling. Wilson, besides promoting the KKK, actively worked to reverse gains made by blacks.

          Reply
            1. Procopius

              Wilson, as president of a university, was quite active in promoting the Lost Cause narrative. Of course he also got re-elected by promising that, no matter what happened, the U.S. would not enter the war. That lasted until the banks decided they wanted more assurance their loans would be paid and that wouldn’t happen until the war ended — with the Allies as the victors, of course.

              Reply
        2. Big River Bandido

          Judgement of historical figures by current norms is the first mistake of historical analysis. If the human species survives the coming climate apocalypse, future generations will view us — our use of the automobile, or the daily shower — on the same par as our condemnation of anyone else who ever owned a slave, even through no action of their own,, as in the case of Grant (or Ben Franklin), above. Our “society” deserves such.

          There are no “angels” in this debate.

          Reply
      1. Biph

        More than that Grant’s father worked for Owen Brown (John’s father) and for a time even lived in the Brown family home.
        Apropos of nothing US Grant was a horse whisperer.

        Reply
        1. stefan

          Favorite story about Grant: After his presidency, he and his wife traveled to Japan (first to do so). Grant is credited with reviving interest in Noh theater among the Japanese themselves because after watching a performance he said he found it very interesting.

          Reply
    2. Jessica

      Any fair evaluation of Grant has to include the fact that he played as large a role as anyone other than Lincoln in defeating the South and freeing the slaves. A large percentage of enslaved people were freed not by proclamation but by the Union Army marching by and offering emancipation to any enslaved person who could reach it.
      Putting Grant in a category with Andrew “Genocide” Jackson is just wrong.
      This shouldn’t need to be said.

      Reply
      1. Darthbobber

        And even with Jackson, it’s pretty vacuous to have any individual, even a president, bear the symbolic weight of decisions that were made precisely because overwhelming majorities favored them. It’s difficult to imagine anybody who even might have become president pursuing a better policy towards the native Americans. Of all the things Jackson’s numerous opponents attacked him for, the Cherokee removal and other aggressive policies were not what they chose to take their stance on.

        Reply
        1. dommage

          This is mistaken. The opposition to the Indian Removal Act in Congress was fierce. In the Senate the opposition was led by Theodore Frelinghuysen of New Jersey, whose speech was for some time quite famous: “Let us beware how, by oppressive encroachments upon the sacred privileges of our Indian neighbors, we minister to the agonies of future remorse.”

          Reply
          1. Darthbobber

            Yes. But. The Jacksonian did not suffer politically for passage of the measure (though both they and their opponents lost a few house seats to the new antimasonic party.)

            The opposition was mainly led by states whose own tribes had been dispossessed much earlier. Crockett was one of the few frontier area reps to speak against it, and he had his own speech against excised from the record to spare his constituents the task of reading it.

            Reply
      2. Objective Ace

        I don’t think this deserves very much credit. He did it as a strategic means to victory, not out of any moral righteousness. Nazi Germany liberated many Russian serfs/borderline slaves in wwii, but I’m not going to applaud them for it

        Reply
        1. albrt

          “strategic means to victory”

          Yep. So nobody who is voting for Joe “the obviously crooked and racist war criminal” Biden because they think he is the best choice available has any moral standing to criticize any historical figure about anything.

          Reply
    3. clarky90

      Re “OUR slavery”

      Simon Dixon talks to Max and Stacy about a new Bretton Woods Agreement in the works. (Abolish the banks and debt backed currencies. Implement Digital currency dispensed by Central Banks. ie, The Great Reset?)

      Could this be the 50 year Jubilee (really good), or something really bad?

      https://youtu.be/XRmuFY0B1KE

      Reply
      1. hunkerdown

        The class order comes first. The economics is then engineered to implement and rationalize the class order. Anyway, not gonna give this our host’s trademark yellow wader treatment, but the press release gives no real indication that it’s not a continuation of the same old familyblogging “woke capital” neoliberalism by the same means, now with 20% more women oligarchs.

        The managing director of the Fund writing about it? Probably bad.
        The managing director being part of the “from an emerging country” idpol class? Ambivalent.
        The managing director having a long career at the World Bank? Probably bad.
        Upward and forward rhetoric? Almost definitely bad.
        “the work of the IMF is testament to the values of cooperation and solidarity on which a sisterhood and brotherhood of humanity is built. ” Gaslighting.
        “Prudent macroeconomic policies” = the same Austrian shit.
        “reforms to boost trade, competitiveness and productivity” = neolib keywords.
        “human capital” = a big old neolib keyword.
        “education” “training” “gender equality” = it’s always the people’s fault
        “financial inclusion” = and this is how you can tell it’s a trap!
        “expanding Internet access” = having 100% of the world owned and potentially for sale has been and remains their aim.
        “Keynes” = they use his name only to desecrate him.

        And finally, Narrative of Progress = usury, which is pretty much true coming out of any creditor type.

        Reply
    4. D. Fuller

      Grant received warm welcomes wherever he went in The South. The Southern revisionists had quite the time rewriting history.

      Quite frankly, judging History by today’s standards is not the same as judging current events by the more’s of the time.

      In a hundred years (more or less)… there will be quite a few people who see us as barbaric & backwards.

      The purpose of history is not to be ashamed of it. The purpose of History is to learn from the mistakes of the past, celebrate what people got right & correct & not repeat what they got wrong.

      When Ben Affleck tried to hide his family’s past of owning slaves? He was ashamed. Why? He wasn’t the slave owner. What could he change? NOTHING. Yet, he felt ashamed. Why? There is no reason to be.

      As long as one learns History and endeavors not to repeat said mistakes while correcting those that remain.

      Look at reparations. Touchy subject. The US can afford to pay $50 billion for 20-30 years… to invest in Minority communities for their economic benefit. This would – if done properly – would help our entire society. Yet, others would complain about the special treatment. When crime goes down & American streets are even safer, when money is being spent into the economy by people who are lifted out of poverty?

      That helps everyone. The problem is, keeping the hands of the greedy from distorting and looting such a program.

      Also, a politically schizophrenic part of the citizenry of the United States, oppose such a program. Mostly because they only see money going to someone else. They do not acknowledge the secondary & tertiary benefits to society & themselves. They only want the money. Except that those same people will probably be on government assistance at one point or another. Whether through disaster relief, tax breaks & subsidies, or other. It will never be enough for them.

      To be fair? Those that hate paying taxes and want them lowered? They do so because they pay taxes and never see much benefit. They know that taxpayer money frequently lines the pocket of the wealthiest. Those that don’t? They are lining their pockets and want to keep it that way.

      Reply
      1. Carolinian

        That “if done properly” is a big hurdle. And if you are going to make reparations the avowed basis then what about all the poor whites who have also been abused by our capitalistic system (and slavery was very much about capitalism)? In my town we have several deteriorating mill villages (worker housing around now closed mills) that are actually in much worse shape than the black neighborhoods. It’s not just right wing cranks who will see this as unfair. If it’s about poverty it has to be across the board. If it’s about giving even wealthy African Americans a reparations then the public won’t support that at all.

        Reply
      2. LibrarianGuy

        “Ben Affleck tried to hide his family’s past of owning slaves” as he was ashamed of that? Well good for him for being ashamed, but not for hiding it. My family are white people on both sides but nobody ever owned slaves (at least in modern times, I have no idea about a millennium or more back), were too economically marginal (or poor) to do so. I imagine if my great– or further grandfathers were slave owners I would’ve inherited a considerable load of economic privilege alongside bad karma on a purely human level. I had white privilege as a white person for decades, but that is a bit shy of generational economic advantage.

        I like what you have to say about reparations, but totally understand (without sharing) Affleck’s guilt. If my grandparents’ + were slave-owning or slave-trading scum I’d be g–damn ashamed for all the advantages it gave me as well.

        Reply
        1. LifelongLib

          My family was wealthy in colonial times, probably owned slaves and invested in the slave trade. So what. By the time my dad came along my grandparents were so poor (or so inept) that he was malnourished as a child. He was lucky to be able to go to college on the G.I. Bill.

          All of this was interesting for me to learn about, but any pride or shame based on it is absurd. They were someone else’s failings and accomplishments, not mine. Exalting or penalizing people based on ancestry is just another form of the same thinking that gave us aristocracy and racism. We should get rid of it all.

          Reply
        2. OpenthepodbaydoorsHAL

          I have so little time for second guessing how people thought 160 years ago, unless you’re also going to second guess them across the board. Did Afflecks ancestors also believe in blood letting as medicine? Because millions died because they didn’t get more modern care. We’re doing things today that in X years will be viewed as barbaric. Carl Sagan thought it might be the keeping of pets but who knows. Can’t we let people in the past have their beliefs, and we keep ours?

          Reply
  2. Zzzz Andrew

    Had an interesting and kind of heartening experience this morning that I wanted to share here.

    My 14-year-old, a new high school student, is still in contact with friends from middle school by group text. Turns out that last night four or five of them were chatting in real time during the debate, and this morning (she laughed out loud about “OMG Bidencare”) she let me read over her shoulder as she scrolled through the thread.

    These are the children of dyed-in-the-wool PMCs, raised on an unremitting diet of identity-minus-class, access to health care, humanitarian obligation to be involved in the ME and Venezuela and Honduras, etc. I know these kids in their preteen incarnations as Hillary-right-or-wrong, Orange-man-bad, and Amazon-is-the-greatest-company-ever. The things they had to say in the thread blew my mind.

    They were unsparing of *both* Biden and Trump. “Orange” and “Hillary” called them both racist; “Amazon” brought up incarceration and the 1994 Crime Bill. “Orange” repeatedly pointed out how appalling Biden’s support of fracking was. They savaged Bidencare. “Amazon” was bringing facts, including Bernie and Howie Hawkins quotes, about Obamacare vs M4A, costs, private extraction, etc.

    She was scrolling faster than I could read, but there was much more. I know the world has ways of diverting the vision of clear-eyed youth, but the fact that these kids have even gotten to this kind of clarity, knowing where they come from, is incredible to me. Honestly, I was encouraged.

    Reply
    1. Amfortas the hippie

      my boys have surprised me, as well.
      both of them,14 & 18, have been on a campaign of parental culturejamming since 2015…saying trumpy things in such a way that wife and i and my mom and stepdad can’t often tell if they’re serious or not.
      i hold forth, as i’ve done since they could talk, when we’re in the car, giving the master class, tying it all together, over time…but they never really speak openly about what wheels are actually turning in their noggins.
      but the crew i have working out here is led by eldest’s best buddy, a kid we sort of adopted more than ten years ago…and he let slip that eldest is voting green all the way.
      i’ve said nothing to eldest…but youngest has inadvertently confirmed this, while also giving himself away.
      we’re planning on all going together to vote when the polls open on election day…so far i think i’m the only one thinking about safety in numbers.
      all of these kids have blurted or randomly murmured the most astonishing insights,lol….but you have to be paying attention to catch it in all the banter and youth pidgin and weird(to me) cultural references.
      so i guess rural texas teens and young adults can be added as yet another tribe i’m embedded in.
      thin raft…but still a raft.

      Reply
      1. ChrisPacific

        They absorb more than you think. Mine will passionately argue against me, and then take the opposite position when he’s with his friends. Sometimes I think it’s like the mental equivalent of play wrestling.

        Reply
    2. Clem

      “Joe Biden is like one of the fathers in the neighborhood I grew up with as a kid. There was an innate decency to most of them…”

      Most, but not all. Imagine one of those fathers seizing your little girl’s shoulders from behind, muzzling her earlobe with his lips and whispering dating tips into her ear.

      https://www.elle.com/culture/career-politics/a28107543/joe-biden-questionable-advice-to-girls/

      Were that my daughter, I would smash his f*ing face in.

      Reply
      1. Katniss Everdeen

        Bruce is on the cover of the AARP monthly magazine that just came in the mail today.

        I haven’t read the “in-depth” interview touted with the pic yet, but I’m guessing he doesn’t wax nostalgic about good times he had camping with the “neighborhood father” Boy Scout leaders. Or his time as an altar boy for that matter.

        Reply
      2. Brindle

        I look for art from my artist faves like Springsteen, not a deep understanding of politics. It’s ok that Bruce is something of a moron when it comes to politics.

        Reply
        1. edmondo

          Actually, he’s not. That makes the Biden-Love all the more disturbing, But I blame the TDS.

          Springsteen has been a class warrior for quite some time. I think you can count the number of entertainment people who are union friendly one one hand. Springsteen is one of them.

          Reply
          1. LibrarianGuy

            Born in the USA (abused by Daddy Bush) & 49 Shots are worthwhile joints by “the Boss”, good art in terms of message, if not of aesthetics. Only his earliest stuff, Spirits in the Night, etc. resonates with me. The dude’s a decade older than me, & he did not fill “the New Dylan’s” shoes in terms of profound music. Recently I was hanging out with a friend, professional DJ, who is young enough to be my son, & I praised Joni Mitchell’s “Pave Paradise.” He immediately called it a garbage song, & I admitted the reverse, PP is extremely strong viz message, unimpressive viz artistry, aesthetics.

            I’m glad Springsteen is union friendly, I’d therefore imagine those who enact his “star making machinery” are better paid, & I respect that. And I don’t blame him for failing to be either Woody Guthrie or Bobby D. Any “Biden love” is of course shameful on its face, for anyone who purports to be on the side of the “working class”.

            Reply
          2. pjay

            Absolutely. Head and shoulders above most celebrities when it comes to political consciousness. Which is why this is so painful.

            We all work within our own information bubbles.

            Reply
            1. OpenthepodbaydoorsHAL

              Precisely how is supporting Biden working toward any of the social goals he sings about? As far as policy goes the opponent is much more vocal about trying to bring back jobs to the places Bruce sings about. Born in the USA indeed, whereas Slimy Joe has been selling the nation wholesale to foreign interests for years. One is a globalist and one is a nationalist. You know, the nation called the USA?

              Reply
          3. NorthAmerican not-so Swift

            Agreed.
            ShamanicFallout below makes a fair point also. But Springsteen is from NJ and is old enough to remember the Jersey shore before gambling came to Atlantic City. Neoliberalism is like dark matter, it can’t even be seen. (We have lotteries to pay for public education.) I believe those cops and firemen were just as Springsteen idealizes them, and as good as they want to be today.
            Don’t worry, AOC’s generation don’t listen to Springsteen. (But this is a masterpiece:
            https://my.mail.ru/mail/mamont2525/video/26473/31594.html)

            oh, in that photo, Bruce is not looking where he is going.

            Reply
      3. jr

        Thank you for linking this. I’m collecting articles that demonstrate the utter degeneracy of Biden as well as Harris. This one is a keeper.

        Reply
      4. ShamanicFallout

        Also, I grew up in the 70s and 80s in a blue collar city and I can tell you that no-one who back then would have been considered ‘working class’ ever listened to Springsteen. They were listening to AC/DC, Van Halen, Judas Priest and of course Zeppelin. The only people who I knew who listened to Bruce were up and coming PMC types, projecting the blue color romanticism onto him. In fact, one of my friends went on to write for Rolling Stone (the Bible of Bruce). Perhaps there are some geographic distinctions here, but I bet it holds that Springsteen, in the minds of the PMC, the ‘idea of a working class icon’. But where it really is in “Heavy Metal Parking Lot’:

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QBryTebK2Og

        Reply
        1. pjay

          If the only people you knew who listened to Bruce were “PMC types,” then you must have had different friends than me (I also grew up in the 70s). Also, there’s a difference between the political consciousness of an artist and that of their audience. I liked all four of the bands you mention when I was young, but their “class consciousness” (working or otherwise) was about zip. And each had plenty of upper middle class fans as well.

          That doesn’t make Bruce’s statement about Biden any better. We all have our limitations. But I’ll take his social commentary over Eddie’s (RIP).

          Reply
          1. ShamanicFallout

            Yes of course! “Class consciousness” doesn’t really matter. You’re never going to take what’s theirs. But you can do something for yourself and for those close to you. The question of course, though, is what is it?

            Reply
        2. jr

          Exactly. I grew up in a small working class city in the 70’s and 80’s and if I had worn a Bruce Springsteen shirt anywhere I would have been humiliated by my peers. I wasn’t winning any popularity contests as it was. I didn’t know who Bruce was until after Bored in the USA came out and I didn’t care when I did know. I always lumped him in with those whining, sniveling snot rags in U2. Lot’s of torn jeans and biker boots, buckles and leather vests, yawn. I even liked a few of either’s songs but their images were instinctively repulsive.

          I wonder if David Brooks put on his most rugged 800$ fitted jeans for the interview with the “Boss”, perhaps combed-over his hair a bit more rakishly. I imagine him smiling contentedly to himself afterwards, a career trophy interview and making the world a better place all in one day. Good job, big guy.

          Reply
      5. montanamaven

        The Springsteen endorsement grossed me out. You like some guys songs but then you realize he is kind of clueless. You like some guys movies and then he opens his mouth.

        Reply
      6. Procopius

        There was a clip on YouTube under the heading, Creepy Uncle Joe. It showed five or six events where he did that on stage, in front of an audience, in front of the girls’ parents, and nobody in the video reacted, although several of the girls seemed annoyed. If I had been one of those parents I would have punched him out, it was that bad. The video didn’t come up the last time I searched for it.

        Reply
  3. Michael Fiorillo

    “Donald Trump is the most racist President in US history.”

    Not only that, he destroyed the most affluent country in Africa, replacing it with a warlord state that has public slave markets.

    Oh, wait…

    Reply
    1. Pavel

      Thanks for that.

      Also… BLM apparently but not the 500K “brown” kids killed under Clinton (Bill, not HRC — she was Iraq and Libya as noted) and Albright, and not those killed by BHO with endless drone strikes in the Mideast and Africa.

      Thought experiment: imagine if a US president forced sanctions on an EU “strongman” and in so doing caused 500,000 kids to die from starvation and medical neglect. How would that be judged?

      And it’s not just this warmongering and mass murder and implicit racism — it is the holier-than-thou attitude of Obama, HRC, Biden et al when accusing Trump of being racist.

      /rant

      Reply
  4. Carolinian

    Low blow about Blondi. Biden would only be like you know who if he gave his dogs cyanide capsules.

    Your link does say Hitler was then inconsolable and this tidbit

    Erna Flegel who met Hitler and worked at the emergency casualty station in the Reich Chancellery stated in 2005 that Blondi’s death had affected the people in the bunker more than Eva Braun’s suicide.

    I’ve read that most of the Nazis were animal lovers and, like Hitler, vegetarians. Of course there was one particular animal they seemed unconcerned about–go figure.

    Reply
      1. Carolinian

        Forgot the /s tag.

        Although it is interesting that these monsters of history had a soft spot for probably the only animal they could get to like them. Dogs aren’t judgmental.

        Reply
      2. Clem

        LBJ carried his beagles around by the ears. The men he wasted in Vietnam for Tungsten and offshore oil carried Charlie’s ears around as trophies.

        We can thank him for school bussing, the death of the cities and paving the way for Nixon, whose worst crime was getting us off
        the convertability of the dollar for gold.

        Reply
        1. Carolinian

          There’s a lot of Lyndon revisionism these days but those of us who were there will never feel that way. The Kennedy brothers called him Vice President Cornpone and for young people at the time he seemed as bizarre as Trump probably does to young people now.

          Reply
          1. Procopius

            I’ve felt a soft spot for LBJ ever since I heard that he liked to make the Democratic leadership come beg him for stuff while he was on the toilet taking a dump. He was corrupt, and ruthless, and willing to trample on whoever he had to, but by golly he cared about doing good for the American people. He was in a terrible political situation because of the East Coast Establishment, who still have a lock on our foreign policy, and the reactionary press. Oh, I shouldn’t forget the vicious right-wing nuts, like the Moral Majority and the John Birch Society. They were still screaming about “losing” China. If you were there you should remember the hysteria about “the monolithic international Communist conspiracy,” even though it had been reported for years that USSR and China were enemies.

            Reply
      1. John A

        I honestly thought that photo was of Humphrey Bogart, especially as he is driving what looks like a 1950s car.
        Springsteen is booked to appear on a TV chat show tonight in London, hosted by Graham Norton, a very camp and funny Irish guy.

        Reply
  5. Mark Hessel

    Per Blank Fear and Greed Index

    My Underground Weather app (now owned by IBM) has been telling me it’s 0 degrees out for the last couple of days. I wonder if there is some correlation.

    Reply
  6. John Beech

    Biden rattled! Can he recover? Yesterday Trump went head-to-head with a wily and experienced life-long politician. What’s remarkable is it only took until the second try in the pro arena, a moderated debate, to show off the real Trump as he finally got Biden’s number (and he was on his way in the first debate before the ‘referee’ interceded). For a non-professional politician (and very clumsy speaker) to rattle Biden’s cage was like me getting the best of Michael Jordan in a slam dunk contest! In showing the real Trump, he drew a bead on Biden, which only the willfully blind could dismiss, because Biden’s now marked as just another in a long line of dirty politicians. Choose wisely.

    Reply
      1. John Beech

        Gal I once knew, a hooker by trade, told funny stories of the most awful guys. Like a first timer blowing a load in seconds but persisting and on the next, or third try, getting better. And how some she could teach to become good lovers, while others were destined to be louts forever. The point? Trump seems to be teachable.

        And if you’re black, he has done more than Obama ever did with respect to, for example, HBC. And unemployment pre-pandemic. And prisons.

        Latinos may have been in his sights for political purposes but the cages were built by Obama/Biden, not him. As for the 500 kids, where are the parents clamoring for them back? Might there not be more than a germ of truth in what the President says regarding bad guys toting kids across the border from Mexico for their own purposes? If not, then where are the parents?

        It’s in flashes that you get a measure of DJT. Flashes people not of the PMC – and who hear from others of Trump’s ‘type’ and to whom ‘the Donald’ sometimes reminds them (both when and how he speaks). Honestly, he resonates with a lot of folks. Or are you blind to the fact Latinos take jobs that whites won’t for wages that are unconscionably low? Blaming whites for saying no and politicians letting in low wage workers is dirty pool. Class warfare? Yes. But can you imagine how easy it is to stir the emotions of some low-information type whites by whispering these tings in their ears? Dirty tactics? Yes, of course. But riddle me this; why have the PMC on the Democrat-side let this fester in the first place? You want wages to go up but undercut the most basic tool in the arsenal, control of the borders to limit the flood of workers willing to nut a tradesman out of his just dues.

        Add to it, he hasn’t started any wars. That’s a blessing any way you cut it.

        Plus, he ‘has’ managed to get the Europeans to pony up more money for NATO. Ditto Japan and South Korea. Or does this not count? Thing Biden would have done this, or Hillary, or Obama, or Clinton, or any Democrat who wants more than anything to be liked by the rest of the world? As if.

        And if you’re not fond of abortion, Trump has been a steadying force in the universe. Some actually view him as God-sent, e.g. to set things right with regard to murdering babies – like for their parts. That young mothers who, early in their first trimester get lumped in with late-term abortionists, is just too bad because even amongst pro-abortion folks, the latter practice makes them squeamish.

        So the Trump question is complex. There’s a reason he’s going to get the vote in hinterlands of America. A near 505/50 tie is a lot of happy or happy people. better if it were 70/30 in my view. May be but I don’t think so. In short; Trump may be a crass, and coarse, cartoon-like depiction of a flamboyant brash gazzillionair – but – he’s one of them. He somehow has the common touch.

        Who wins? Don’t know. But don’t think polls are to be trusted (if for no other reason than I’ve blocked more than a dozen pollsters and haven’t ‘participated’ in a political opinion poll so I’m not been consulted for a poll). Add to it, I don’t hang out with people of the type who welcomes these types of calls . . . do you? Anyway, make of this what you will.

        meanwhile, and changing the subject, I went and voted yesterday. Orange-man-bad got my vote. Had it been Sanders instead of Biden I’d have voted Democrat for the first time since 1976. Moreover, if the Democrats loose to Trump again, then they need to look in the mirror and take some elder statesmen around back to be shot. And I don’t believe for an instant Kamala is the future because although I believe the Democratic political class would welcome her with open arms, she makes the little people uneasy. There’s something shark-like in her grin if you catch my drift.

        Anyway, yes Trump may have ‘debated’ Hillary, but good old back-slapping Joe is a world class political operative in comparison to her. Trump did pretty well on his second try at Biden’s rope-a-dope. I stand by my statement. More to the point, he finally helped himself with his mouth.

        Reply
        1. edmondo

          Wow. Just wow.

          Thanks for sharing this viewpoint. I can honestly say I have never seen this perspective before. Only ten days until this nightmare is over.

          Reply
            1. edmondo

              There’s only one loser. It’s us.

              Which one of the goombahs takes over the family is the least of my interest.

              Reply
        2. D. Fuller

          Trump continues many of the same policies as Obama: no wars, but we’re still in them. HBC’s? For profit. Funneling taxpayer money for profit. Kids in cages? Still there. Minorities in prison? Few were affected by pardons. Most are still locked up. The 500 kids? Wouldn’t have that problem if not for Trump continuing Obama’s policies.

          PMC? Doing better under Trump. Billionaires & Wall Street? They are richer, faster; under Trump. Than they ever where under Obama. And with taxpayer-funded loans & grants and such.

          75% of the economic recovery after 2003, under Bush? Went to the top 1% ($5.4 million+ in assets). 95% under Obama. Trump? Increased wealth by almost $1 trillion in 6 months. Something Obama was never able to accomplish.

          Obama? He continued many of Bush’s policies.

          Abortion? It’s legal in the Bible. God wipes out the unborn with ease in many instances. Even commands it.

          The reason why the D.C. Bubble hates Trump? Trump can’t hide what he does as well as they try to. People can look at Trump as a shining – if unwitting example – of just how corrupt our politicians and business leaders truly are.

          Look at Goldman Sachs? They backed Hillary. Yet, where were they on January 20th, 2017? Accepting positions in Trump Admin.

          Trump as a racist? He hates poor people. If you are not White and have lots of money? He wants to be your friend. If you are poor? You are a “moron” – Trump, 2002 Salon(IIRC) interview. Class warfare is nothing knew. Racism is a tool of those who wage class warfare on the poor. Trump panders to them because he wants to remain President. Guilt by association, at the very worst. Though, it is reported that he did (or still does) love using the N-word.

          Trump in many ways, is a continuation of Obama. Just as – in many ways – Obama was a continuation of Bush. Yet, all 3 had or have their differences in style, approach, who they apportion the taxpayer loot (tax dollars) to in their Donors & Friends & Family Program.

          We talk about the PMC… class warfare. They support who they see as best serving their class interests – i.e. how much will they monetarily benefit from by giving their support.

          Reply
          1. LibrarianGuy

            Thank you, you nailed it. ++++++.
            “Same as it ever was”– the Talking Heads, quoting an earlier source?

            Reply
        3. marym

          There’s no good choice between Trump and Biden. Those who recognize this and vote for one or the other will at best base it on an issue or two that’s important to them, but there’s no need to portray the chosen “side” as any better than it is.

          HBCU: Trump signed a bi-partisan compromise bill HR 2486 to restore funding that had been available annually since the GWB era. The bill did make the funding permanent instead of annual. Mixed record on other funding.

          Income for minority workers: Until the pandemic income continued the trend from the Obama economy. Trump made no policy changes to enhance that trend.

          Cages: The Trump “zero tolerance” family separation system was a big step beyond Obama era abuses, which also were inexcusable.

          Where are the parents: These are children who came here with their parents. Parents were deported without their kids. Records weren’t kept to reconnect them. “Some parents, when presented with that ICE form, didn’t know what they were signing. That’s right—some parents were coerced by ICE into signing a form which gave up their rights to reunite with their kids.”

          https://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/promises/trumpometer/promise/1366/ensure-funding-historic-black-colleges/
          https://www.insidehighered.com/news/2020/01/23/trumps-claim-about-saving-hbcus-was-false-his-administration-has-largely-backed
          https://twitter.com/NickMiroff/status/1319485799918936064
          https://twitter.com/ReichlinMelnick/status/1318715243481235456

          Reply
          1. OpenthepodbaydoorsHAL

            How true. One or two issues, like whether our leaders should be paid millions to advance the interests of foreign powers while in office. Whether attempts to overthrow the country by fabricating evidence and then recruiting the full powers of the CIA and FBI should be prosecuted or ignored. I’m kinda like a single issue abortion voter. Everybody has their core beliefs.

            Reply
        4. Basil Pesto

          it’s weird that this discursive comment was your reply to:

          Second try in the pro arena? I thought Trump ran in 2016, and there were debates. Did I not get the memo?

          It’s also weird that you went on this rant a mere one post after invoking the concept of “wilful blindness”. Perhaps some reflection is in order? Or perhaps not.

          Reply
        5. Lambert Strether Post author

          Well, sure.

          Claim A proves P, but if claim A gets shot down then drop it, and deploy claim B, because B proves P. This is fun, and can go on a long time.

          Which is how science advances, I suppose, but just dropping A as if it had never existed… suggests a certain lack of good faith, no matter how colorfully expressed.

          Reply
  7. Henry Moon Pie

    Spirit and nature–

    I thought Lambert might get a kick out of this piece focused on animism.

    I had a little quarrel in that quote about “intelligent process” which seemed unnecessary anthropomorphizing to ascribe the human patterning instinct outside our species.

    Thomas Berry put it very succinctly:

    The universe is a communion of subjects not a collection of objects.

    That maxim alone is very helpful in removing some of our Cartesian blind spots.

    Reply
      1. LibrarianGuy

        That’s easy. Higher dimensional shifts . . .

        From 2d to 3d (see Flatland, late 19th century. Or 21st century shift, 3rd to 4th or 4th to 5th d—)

        Reply
    1. Tom Stone

      Thaks Henry, that reminded me of Sunday school at the old Vedanta Temple in SF, and of conversations I had with Swami Ashokananda when I was living at the Vedanta Monastery in Olema.
      I never met Vivekananda Although he is who initiated my Grandmother and my Dad.
      The Universe is integral and aware.
      This is something that Humans can experience/percieve directly and it is not particularly uncommon.
      It has happened to me twice.

      Reply
  8. TBellT

    marveled at Ocasio-Cortez’s gaming prowess

    lol that’s one way to put it… she self reported twice and when she was teamed up with ilhan, ilhan got like 80% of the kills.

    I do hear she is good on League though.

    Reply
    1. Lambert Strether Post author

      > lol that’s one way to put it… she self reported twice and when she was teamed up with ilhan, ilhan got like 80% of the kills.

      That is approximately my assessment of AOC. AOC is smart and charismatic, but Ilhan is that, and has a spine of steel.

      Reply
  9. Solar jay

    Please stop with the non tested wind machines.

    On the site it says the machine “ should produce” X watts at X KPH

    That’s not how it works. You actually test at given wind speeds for output power.

    If there is no actually documentation, then it’s not real.

    Kinda like news stories without data or documentation.

    Reply
      1. WobblyTelomeres

        Personally, I would love to see Bernie at DoL. I know of at least one OSHA inspector that would really like to see an ally in the top tier as well. I suspect there are many in sub-SES capacities there that feel this way. There is a lot of pain in the workplace, workers used, abused, and ultimately discarded when broken, the cost of their injuries and deaths and pitifully small fines considered as a rounding error in the cost of doing business.

        Reply
      2. hunkerdown

        It’s a campaign, he’s a Democrat, he’s solidly against Trump, and the prospect of hard-left representation in a Cabinet post most related to his brand, however insincere, might bring a few more refuseniks in for Biden. I don’t see it coming to pass. Sanders’ first project would likely be the conspicuous bedsore of Amazon, and it would be personal, and it could be effective.

        For the players’ part, a quick exit from DC by way of the Cabinet would play a bit more honorably than simply retiring from the Senate in 2024, for both Sanders himself and as a token of Party gratitude, however insincere, toward the economic left.

        Reply
        1. edmondo

          Bernie would fit perfectly in with such former luminaries who have served as Secretary of Labor, like Alexis Herman, Elizabeth Dole and Tom Perez.

          He can sit there do nothing for a while and leave when President Harris needs a job opening for Jamie Harrison who came “this close” to knocking off Lindsay Graham back in 2020.

          If Bernie gets Labor, the Dems lose a seat in the senate. It won’t happen.

          Reply
          1. pjay

            In recent decades, the Secretary of Labor in a Democratic administration is where token progressives are sent to die (“Locked in the Cabinet” was the title of Robert Reich’s memoir – remember him?). The final indignity for Bernie would be to accept such a position. I also can’t imagine that it would happen. But then nothing surprises me anymore.

            Reply
      3. Lou Anton

        Swan song maybe? Maybe sees it as a chance to get changes made before leaving public life. I can imagine him thinking through what he wants his path to retirement to be (heart attacks will do that to you), and maybe a role in the executive branch as a way to really affect change before calling it a career.

        Shorter version: Sanders has nothing left to prove in the Senate, his record is exemplary and inspirational. Maybe he sees this as a last chance to make change stick.

        Reply
      4. Jessica

        Maybe he is just done and this is a graceful way to move on. He wouldn’t be the first senator to use a cabinet post as a post-retirement job.

        Reply
        1. edmondo

          Yes we do. He would fit in perfectly in the Biden White House. Unfortunately, there is NO WAY the professional Democratic Party class would ever let Bernie get what he wants. They hate him and Her Majesty will not serve in any cabinet that includes the man who “cost her the presidency”.

          Reply
      5. Darthbobber

        I’ll be surprised if anything comes, or is intended to come, of this. Like ten thousand other unnamed source pieces floated on Politico, all this one tells me is that some unspecified faction wants this story floated.

        Reply
      6. Tom Stone

        He’s old.
        Maybe he wants a chance to change things and thinks the $15 Minimum wage ( It would be well above $20 if corrected for inflation from where it was in 1969.)
        However, if he thinks he has a chance in hell to land a spot in the cabinet…well, he’s old and cognitive decline wouldn’t be a surprise.

        Reply
          1. Sierra7

            Oh my God!
            Could it come to pass?
            Hillary as Sec State?????????????????????????????
            Oh my God!
            Say it ain’t so!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
            Will it be Deja Vu all over again?????????????????
            Let me out of this crazy house!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

            Reply
      1. Big River Bandido

        Any replacement in VT would be “interim”. Vermont law requires a special election to be held within 6 months of the vacancy — sooner if a general election is to occur within that time frame.

        Reply
    1. Katniss Everdeen

      This was discussed on Rising this morning.

      The comment was, if Bernie wanted this cabinet slot, he should have made it a condition of his support for biden. Instead he comes as a supplicant.

      They also mentioned that, in terms of budget, the Labor Department is very low on the totem pole, and without support from other cabinet secretaries in an administration which, with Bernie’s priorities he’s unlikely to have in a biden admin, there’s not much of a chance to make an impact.

      Additionally, Krystal did an interview with Bernie yesterday. He apparently intends to have his own, “progressive,” first hundred days agenda distinct from biden’s.

      Bernie, Bernie, Bernie……..

      Reply
      1. edmondo

        They also mentioned that, in terms of budget, the Labor Department is very low on the totem pole,

        I vehemently disagree. The Secretary of Labor is 11th in line of presidential succession. Bernie may have gotten a few ideas from Game of Thrones. All is takes is one flying dragon and Bernie could be a Stark.

        Reply
    1. NotTimothyGeithner

      With a weaker President, even less idea of what to do, and a much greater crisis on hand than the housing bust and foreclosure crisis in 2009. Mark Hamill and other liberals may think Trump caused the calamities of our age, but those problems will still exist. Biden is boldly promising commissions.

      “You ain’t black” Biden apologized because he’s running for the prize. He’s going to be his loathsome self in the White House which will be largely listless. He might make an effort to fill jobs and make March Madness picks in keeping with the PR complaints about Trump, but Biden will largely be there.

      Reply
  10. ProNewerDeal

    Perhaps Maine-style Ranked Choice Voting (RCV) for Federal offices can be a solution on the 20+ year Lesser Of 2 Evils (LO2E) debate & actually get US public policy to start matching majoritarian desired policy.

    Litmus test for at least 2 policies: MedicareForAll & RCV

    Democrats can either adopt the policies to potentially get the vote, or at least adopt RCV to hope in getting a n-1th option vote.

    msDNC type Voter Shamer Hacks will whine about the privilege of not carying about “kids in cages” or “da Suprem Court” or whatever the short term election issue is, however I believe this approach has a chance of improving the US policy status quo in the 5+ year future. The current status quo is NOT working, with the Clinton/0bama/JoeTheBiden types similarly as right-wing as Reagan.

    I heard on a podcast (I don’t recall who perhaps Ralph Nader?) that every Progressive policy in US history, except the GI Bill, was promoted by a 3rd party before a duopoly party adopted it, including slavery abolition, voting rights for women, voting rights for all races, 40 hour work week, abolish child labor, Social Security, etc. Even now it happens with D Ocasio jacking (& weakening) the Green New Deal from Green Party/Howie Hawkins 2010 NY Gov race.

    If the Green Party continues to have good policy but incompetent ability to win office, then People’s Party or some other Progressive party can outcompete them with the RCV system.

    This approach MAY influence Ds to support MedicareForAll. Or the Greens to improve competence. Perhaps it may be futile but it seems it could have a chance at success of getting key proven-successful majoritarian-supported policies implemented.

    In contrast I don’t see hope in LO2E voting for Corporate Ds & hoping after the fact they actually do some good policies. The track record in the neoliberal Reagnomics 1981-2020 era of the Corporate Ds is atrocious.

    What do ya think?! (c) Ed Schultz

    Reply
    1. a different chris

      >What do ya think?

      I think asking the duopoly to implement that is like asking chickens to build a KFC. Well, big scary velocorapter chickens that will disembowel anybody that even suggests it.

      Reply
      1. chris

        +1 fellow Chris

        I would love to see RCV implemented nationwide. I have no expectation of that happening absent a huge public revolt.

        Reply
        1. Procopius

          I’m sorry, chris, but I don’t see how RCV changes anything. Is there a space on the ballot for None of the Above? And what happens when that’s everybody’s first three choices? Or when “Just Kill Me” ranks above both Republican and Democrat? I was shocked to see the U.S. Taxpayers’ Party candidate is Don [Family Blog] BLANKENSHIP !!! Not one of the others would be my fifth choice.

          Reply
    2. Darius

      The Ds and Rs will never allow RCV to be considered in a legislature. The only way to get it is through voter initiatives in states that have them. That should be a priority for those who want alternative parties. Combine RCV with multi-member districts and you have a true, representative, multi-party system,

      Reply
    3. Justin Time

      I would add two more reforms to RCV.

      I would want national standards on drawing congressional districts with a few simple rules such as following natural and existing neighborhood boundaries and mathematical compactness (a line drawn between any two points in a district should be entirely within the district). Although rare exceptions on compactness should be allowed if a meandering river creates a natural boundary.

      But I think more importantly would be to increase the number of representatives so that there are three in each congressional district. Multiseat constituencies with RCV (as in Ireland) would be something to see.

      Of course both of these reforms weaken the two party duopoly, but one can dream.

      Reply
  11. Phillip Allen

    The antidote is, I believe, the remains of the foliage and fruit of False Solomon’s Seal (Maianthemum racemosum, formerly Smilacina racemosa) .

    Reply
  12. dagan68

    Another anecdote to ponder:

    My wife and I live and vote in one of the bluest of blue counties in all America.
    Actually the entire state is much more competitive and considered a “swing state”.

    We are both life long progressive Dems. We would have happily voted for Sanders, Gabbard, Warren, or even some of the others.

    I cannot and will not vote for Biden. Something about him gives me the creeps. And he also represents the DNC which both me and my wife absolutely loathe – especially after all the antics this summer.

    Both of us voted for Trump. I felt a sense of nausea, dread and malaise since I cast the ballot. As I detailed yesterday, my wife is on a weekly Thursday call with a national polling company – and telling them she will vote for Biden – I detailed this yesterday in the comments. She too voted for Trump.

    Again – this is one of the bluest counties in all of America. There are usually DEM signs and banners and stickers everywhere. Obama signs everywhere in 2008. This year – NADA. And I mean NADA. Have not seen a single one this whole year. It is easy to blame the pandemic – but for one fact – there is Trump and MAGA stuff everywhere.

    I happen to be very good friends with the county election supervisor. I am informed that the number of people who have never voted before – and have registered this year has just been staggeringly off the charts in a nuclear fashion. Both Biden and Trump are so hideous – it is hard to tell who this might benefit – I can see it both ways. As he stated – it is for sure that none of these new voters are being counted in the polls.

    We have gone for early voting daily since last week – and have been turned away. Finally – the day arrived when we only had to wait two hours. It is that busy – and has never been before.

    I no longer have to wonder who these people are voting for. I stood in line for 2 hours. Unlike the national press – I actually just stood and listened and did not talk unless talked to first. I heard about antifa. I heard a lot about law and order. I heard a lot about Portland. I heard a lot about forcing granddaughters to play sports with cheaters dressed up as transgendered boys. I heard a lot about Biden and his dementia. I heard a lot about the latest Biden scandal. I have no doubts who most of these people are voting for.

    PSST – Dems and especially the DNC – it seems to me the “deplorable” poodles are no longer willing to eat the dog food you have been providing.

    My point being – this county is usually considered a “bellwether” county for the bluest of the blue. If this is happening here – I think we may be in for some surprises.

    Reply
    1. Donald

      I stopped caring when you said you voted for Trump. Is this still the worse the better crap, or do you actually like sociopathic narcissists who govern like bog standard far right Republicans?

      I could barely understand this in 2016. Clinton was awful and so is Biden. But there is no possibility anyone could really believe Trump will shake things up in a good way. He has a record and it is awful. So you will eat his dog food.

      Reply
      1. dagan68

        What is there about Biden – that is not a sociopathic narcissist? – he may fit the bill in that regard far more than Trump.

        Reply
            1. edmondo

              I had one option. The Dems threw the Greens off the ballot. In ten days either Jo Jorgunson will be elected president or I will have “wasted my vote” once again. I can’t vote for Trump and I won’t vote for Biden.

              Reply
              1. Sierra7

                Haven’t voted for either of the two major corporate political parties since the Reagan years and sleep very well at night.

                Reply
      2. Pat

        You should care. Note who he would have voted for, and that a man with a lifelong record of being on the opposite side of the issues they care about was pushed through to lead the Democratic ticket. Also note that despite their support, Biden has either outright rejected or dismissed the policy priorities they advanced.

        Now really look at what those two massive pieces of excrement put forth in the debate and tell me again how the American public is really any better off with one or the other. They are not. Both are bog standard corporate narcissists sociopaths.

        The only thing Biden has going for him is the endless tantrums will end.

        There is one thing Trump has going for him and that forgive me trumps Biden totally. No one has ever won a war with Russia, and he isn’t going to start one while Biden is pushing every specious reason out there for it.

        Reply
        1. Lost in OR

          Roger that! The war drums scare me. Even if it’s *just* a Cold War.

          It’s a bad thing when I despise the president before he’s even president. I don’t like that feeling. What I find despicable is that they aren’t what they say they are. biden (I’m liking the lower case) and especially harris are truly despicable. The virtue signaling has lost its magic.

          Nice comment dagan68. Could be a shocker!

          Reply
        2. LibrarianGuy

          Even in the WORST of states, can’t one do a write-in?

          It doesn’t matter (hell, statistically voting individually doesn’t matter, obviously)– I wouldn’t vote for either of those garbage duopoly losers. In California, at least I can vote for Howie Hawkins (hopefully I got the name right?) & Greens, voting with either Establishment party for Pres. is equivalent to spitting (cough) in your own food or punching yourself in the privates.

          Reply
    2. carl

      Well, down here in mostly blue San Antonio, we’re finding out what it means to be a “swing state” for the first time in many years. I’ve never seen this many Biden signs; literally all my neighbors have one up. Some even have homemade ones. Next to our neighborhood is a very expensive village, the residents of which would normally be red as can be–mostly Biden signs.

      Reply
      1. albrt

        Similar here in central Phoenix, Arizona. Not a Trump sign to be seen anywhere, but many yards with multiple Biden signs. Before Biden started putting out official signs there were a lot of “Any Functioning Adult,” “Dump the Turd,” and “Not voting is the leading cause of unwanted presidencies” type signs.

        I don’t know who is going to win, but the folks who are judging based on the prevalance of Trump signs in their neighborhoods are not working from a valid sample. Especially if the local Klan is leaving “social visit” cards at houses with Biden signs.

        Reply
    3. Panduh

      Appreciate your insights. I held my nose voting for Biden. My priority is getting schools opened and PPE/Vaccine distribution. Trump has had ample time to push PPE and has amazing logistics resources at his disposal.

      I know Biden means more wars. Trump was resolute in avoiding war expansion.

      I know Biden means know meaningful changes to the environment.

      Reply
    4. Darius

      I subscribe to the notion that a Biden election creates better conditions for solidarity and successful revolutionary activity. Biden’s complacent corporate corruption is a more hospitable environment for organizing than the nonstop firehose of reaction that comes out of Trump.

      Reply
      1. nycTerrierist

        Funny, I share your goal (solidarity, etc.) but come to the opposite conclusion re: Biden.

        Instead of Trump’s in-your-face firehose, we’d get gaslighting from the virtue-signaling set —
        a more insidious way to squelch revolutionary consciousness, and imo a more effective evil.
        e.g. smoothtalking conman Obama who still has so many sheeple fooled — they still have
        no idea he built the cages for those children, etc. etc.

        Reply
    5. neo-realist

      As a (so-called) progressive, why vote for Trump if you find him hideous? At least if you don’t like Biden, you can write in the person of your choice or some third party candidate.

      Reply
    6. Dr. John Carpenter

      Thanks for the report. You raise a point I think is often overlooked. Both sides are hearing the “______ is going to steal the election” talk (fill in the blank with your villain of choice.) I know historically high turnouts favor the Dems, but how does that figure with a candidate no one is actually voting for? Are people really waiting in two hour lines to settle for Biden?

      As for signs, I live in a blue part of a red state. I’ve seen some Biden signs, but many fewer than I’d expect. I see the normal amount of local elections represented but you’d almost think it was an off year.

      Reply
      1. neo-realist

        A lot of African Americans waited on line in ATL to vote, presumably, for Biden. Long voting lines in deep blue Philadelphia. Don’t be surprised at how some people are very motivated by voting against the incumbent they hate, particularly this fall.

        Reply
        1. edmondo

          Well, if the Democrats can be successful by turning the Republican into the Bad Boogeyman, why would they ever run on policy again?

          And what are they going to do on January 21st?

          Reply
          1. Darthbobber

            Not “the Republicans”, only those who failed to jump on the anti-Trump gravy train. The others are all now “decent folks” by definition.

            Reply
          2. albrt

            “what are they going to do on January 21st?”

            That’s easy. Nothing.

            Well, maybe start emailing people in Ukraine and similar places about corporate board positions for their kids.

            Reply
        2. MK

          If Trump gets over 10% of the minority vote, then Biden is toast. Interesting times when more rappers support Trump than Biden . . .

          Reply
            1. rowlf

              Have you ever been to a naturalization ceremony in Atlanta? Nobody fits in big categories. Africans are not the same as Caribbeans who are not the same as South Americans who are not the same as Europeans, even if they all have the same skin color as African-Americans.

              Reply
    7. Procopius

      I heard a lot about forcing granddaughters to play sports with cheaters dressed up as transgendered boys.

      If you actually heard people really worried about this, then it’s no wonder the Republic is doomed. It’s a long time since I was an adolescent boy, but if they have really changed to the point where they would face the sneers of their peers by dressing up as a girl in order to Nyah, nyah, nyah, beat a girl, beat a girl, beat a girl! then a lifetime of trying to understand people has been useless. I have always thought the hysteria about boys pretending to be trasnsgender just to get into the girls bathroom, where the toilets are in booths so you can’t see them anyway, was ridiculous for this reason.

      Reply
      1. Yves Smith

        dagan68 may have written about the issue in a way that would elicit skepticism, but the issue is very real. There are way more athletic scholarships, pro rata, for women college applicants than men because jockdom is still less highly prized and promoted among women than men. And did you miss the memo that being gender fluid is now cool?

        A lot of parents with girls with good enough athletic ability to be scholarship candidates are dismayed by the number of transgendered women competitors. Anyone with a Y chromosome, pound for pound, even after taking estrogen, will have lower body fat and more muscle mass, giving them a native advantage. They’ll also have way more upper body strength, grip strength, and nearly always more running speed too, giving them a big boost in a large range of sports.

        Reply
        1. Still mad about how Selenya was treated

          Perhaps this is an argument to stop segregating sports by sex and start segregating them by historical testosterone ranges.

          Why say that the issue is hormonally-induced body composition, and then use “sex” as your separating mechanism instead of “hormonally-induced body composition”? Especially when the link between sex and hormonally-induced body composition is so fraught with issues not relevant to accomplishment in sports. The presented sex is a proxy that has outlived its usefulness. In this regard it’s no different than requiring that Olympic athletes be non-professionals. It seems like it’s high time to stop looking at what’s in people’s shorts and start looking at what’s in their blood – a boon as well to the high-achieving afab and female-identifying athletes who are routinely humiliated by accusations of not being “real” women.

          Come to think of it, there is already a precedent for this: weight classes in boxing, wrestling, weightlifting.

          Reply
  13. upstater

    I was eagerly awaiting the call of the Great Blue Heron. As a kid, sighting one intrigued me! 2 weeks ago in the Adirondacks we saw and heard a Raven making a great imitation of the GBH.

    With the election being so close now and the equally bad major party choices, the GBH’s call seems more relevant than ever!

    Reply
  14. Mark P.

    The idea of a urination app was just done in Season 10 of Curb Your Enthusiasm, March 2020. In Episode 8 Larry watches a news stand so the attendant can pee. The attendant pays Larry $10 as a thank you. Larry tells his friend Leon, who creates an app Gotta Go, which supplies a stand-in for those that…

    Reply
    1. Darius

      If you get a chance, see a new movie called Lapsis. It’s a fantasy that seems pretty real about a gig economy pawn. He is followed around by the company app and has to tell it when he is taking one of his limited number of bathroom breaks. I saw it through the now-past New York Film Festival.

      Reply
    2. Stephanie

      I believe Larry David also wrote this idea into the CYE-Seinfeld reunion: George invents the “iToilet” app, makes a fortune, and then loses it investing with Madoff.

      Reply
    1. ChiGal in Carolina

      Thanks for the link! Is this a new strip by BW or an old one repurposed by Go Comics? If the latter, how do they get away with it?

      Reply
      1. a different chris

        They are rerunning them, it’s weird on one computer I see the original date (same month/day but 20 years ago or so) but accessing them on this computer, I, as you, see today’s date.

        But man they are awesome, aren’t they? There’s C&H and then there is just a contest for a (very distant) second place.

        I’m sure he’s getting paid.

        Reply
  15. Mr. Magoo

    Re: “California drivers sue Uber over in-app messages asking to support ballot measure”

    “William Gould, an employment law professor at Stanford University, said Uber’s conduct showed a clear attempt at political interference that was in violation of California law.””

    One could only hope that Uber could somehow screw themselves from the Prop 22 heist thru this type of behavior, should it pass.

    Reply
    1. LibrarianGuy

      I live in Califa and today I got a slick mailer from MADD telling me to “Vote for Prop 22” (the Uber written keep our peons unvested independents) Initiative. Disgusting!!!!!!

      I always knew that they were anti-humanity, nice to see that these “concerned” “Mothers” don’t even hide it . . . sadly, all the polling says the Uber/Lyft bought and paid for Keep the Gig Workers Poor initiative will win in “progressive” PMC California.

      Reply
  16. petal

    Bruce’s comparing Biden to the firemen and policemen in my town when I was growing up is an insult to those guys. They were decent guys and weren’t corrupt slimeballs.

    Reply
    1. Darthbobber

      Well, the county sheriff in my hometown as a kid had acquired the near universal nickname “baby raper Bland”, for his Roy Moore-like antics with the kiddies. Failed of reelection for that reason.

      Reply
  17. lambert strether

    Your comment shows very little understanding of how the modern press actually works. I’m sure if the story had been sourced to anonymous intelligence officials everything would have been jake with the angels.

    Do. Liberal. Democrats. And. Resistance. Types. Understand. How. Shopworn. And. Grating. This. Fingerwagging. Trope. Is. I. Wonder?

    Reply
  18. Knifecatcher

    “Did anyone ask her about ethics in video game journalism?”

    Legit LOL on that one. Nicely played, Lambert.

    Reply
  19. Synoia

    “Wind Turbine Tutorial” [OpenSourceLowTech.org]. “This is a Vertical Axis Wind Turbine which uses wind energy to drive things like an alternator/generator for producing electricity, or air and water pumps for cooling, irrigation and similar…. which can be made by two people in four hours without much effort”

    Nonsense, at a minimum one needs plans, a drilling template and a sheet metal bending jig.

    Reply
    1. Lee

      “….which can be made by two people in four hours without much effort.”

      I’m pretty handy and I doubt that 8 work hours would be enough. With practice and, as you say, with plans, shop made templates, and jigs it would be possible. And fun too. I may have to give it a try.

      Reply
  20. BoyDownTheLane

    The idea that ethics is or isn’t in play with regard to the Biden laptop is a knee-slapper.

    Fascinating excerpt of a discussion concerning Hunter Biden’s laptop with the exemplary and authoritative seasoned legal expert, attorney Robert Barnes. Legal moral of the story: No expectation of privacy in abandoned property. https://www.lewrockwell.com/lrc-blog/hunter-biden-law-of-the-laptop-explained-with-attorney-robert-barnes-highlight/

    “For Wednesday, October 14 through the morning of October 19 MRC analysts looked at the ABC, CBS, NBC evening and morning shows and their Sunday roundtable programs, plus ABC’s and NBC’s townhall events with Joe Biden and President Trump. Out of a total of 51 hours of news programming, there was less than 15 minutes (14 minutes, 15 seconds) spent on the latest scandals involving Joe Biden’s son.
    ABC spent ZERO seconds on Hunter Biden.
    NBC spent just 5 minutes, 2 seconds on Hunter’s emails. CBS led the broadcast networks with nine minutes and 13 seconds.
    Even when journalists mentioned the story, they devoted much of their time to knocking it down.”

    Article by Geoffrey Dickens republished from NewsBusters.org
    https://www.naturalnews.com/2020-10-22-abc-cbs-nbc-bury-hunter-biden-scandals.html

    PLEASE FIX THE BREAD AND TIDY UP THE SHIP.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v6tdo8qyuwo

    As for the great blue heron, the last time we sighted one, it was dining on the koi in the neighborhood koi ponds. One resident (an African-American ex-Marine, ex-DEA, current US Marshall and DOJ cyber-sleuth extraordinaire) winged it with his pain ball gun and it hasn’t been seen since.

    Reply
  21. Lee

    ” Again, the liberal Democrats 2016-2020 saw off not one, but two populist movements, one from the left, one from the right. Like it or not, that’s a dominating performance.”

    Not only that, the more kinetically inclined elements of left and right are fighting each other in the streets. The Weimar centrists should be pleased.

    Regarding the Luntz interview posted yesterday. It has really stayed with me. His emotional agony toward the end as he observed that the center is not holding, that his world was passing away before his eyes was quite moving. Even as I believe the center is rotten and doomed, at least it provides a point of reference to oppose or support. Better the devil you know….

    Reply
    1. flora

      Regarding the Luntz interview posted yesterday. It has really stayed with me. His emotional agony toward the end as he observed that the center is not holding, that his world was passing away before his eyes was quite moving.

      Yes. I think the bill is coming due for both parties accepting and promoting neoliberal nihilism toward the country’s social capital, to both parties’ surprise. “It wasn’t supposed to be like this.”

      I liked the Luntz interview very much.

      Reply
      1. Lee

        Obama foamed the runway for the banks with foreclosures; Trump is foaming the runway for the market economy with the victims of Covid-19. I wonder what Biden’s flight plan might be.

        Reply
        1. The Rev Kev

          Sell Social Security to Wall Street. There are any number of video clips where he says that he wants to get rid of Social Security. Just imagine people like Jamie Dimon and Michael Bloomberg running your pension scheme then.

          Reply
          1. flora

            Sure. That always works. /s

            …the decision to privatize Social Security made Argentina’s situation more precarious. The reason is simple—Social Security privatization deprived the government of a large amount of tax revenue. Payroll taxes that had gone to the government to support the old pay-as-you-go Social Security system were instead diverted to private accounts. As a result, the government lost an amount of revenue that has been estimated at 1.0 percent of annual GDP (the equivalent of $100 billion a year in the United States) (International Monetary Fund, 1998, p 9).

            https://cepr.net/documents/publications/argentina_2002_04.htm

            It’s a two-fer in financially gutting the fed govt for neoliberal purposes.

            Reply
    2. drumlin woodchuckles

      Well,Luntz helped to create it. So it is only fair that Luntz survive long enough to live in it as it plays all the way out.

      Maybe Luntz’s house will be hit with beachball-size hailstones from one our coming future superstorms from the global warming which he got renamed to “climate change.”

      Reply
      1. MichaelSF

        That was my general feeling to the interview. Yes, he seemed honestly distraught at the end. But from what little I know about him he worked hard (on one side of the divide) to make things better for “his team” at the general population’s expense. Is he devoting the rest of his career to trying to undo what he did in the past, or will his paycheck depend on him not showing that kind of understanding?

        Reply
  22. tegnost

    I just looked at a poll for prop 22 and ex undecideds it’s ahead by a fair amount. I can’t find anything that looks like a recent poll, though. It’s just like the app companies to disrupt some laws, lie, get what they want, a slave workforce, then pay a fine after the election from their bottomless funding. I also have to wonder how a law like this will impact oobers liability in accidents/rapes and the like?

    Reply
    1. Darthbobber

      Most recent poll from Berkeley has its lead shrinking dramatically, 39-36 with 25% undecided. On propositions a really high percentage of undecided usually break as no.

      Reply
  23. boydownthelane

    https://twitter.com/Hagstrom_Anders/status/1319314523162107905?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw%7Ctwcamp%5Etweetembed%7Ctwterm%5E1319314523162107905%7Ctwgr%5Eshare_3%2Ccontainerclick_0&ref_url=https%3A%2F%2Fthepoliticalinsider.com%2Fthe-media-couldnt-protect-biden-from-himself-trump-won-the-debate%2F

    She repeatedly insists the Biden laptops “can’t be verified” so reporters shouldn’t talk about it.

    Trump asks her why it can’t be verified.

    Her answer: “Because it can’t be verified.”

    Reply
    1. The Rev Kev

      That is insane that segment. The MSM had no problem claiming that Trump was a secret Russian agent for four years but with this laptop – which Hunter tried to get back just a few days ago – they say it cannot be verified because it cannot be verified? No wonder he left that interview.

      Reply
  24. marym

    “In the wake of protests following the May 25 killing of George Floyd, a member of the “Boogaloo Bois” opened fire on Minneapolis Police Third Precinct with an AK-47-style gun and screamed “Justice for Floyd” as he ran away, according to a federal complaint made public Friday.

    A sworn affidavit by the FBI underlying the complaint reveals new details about a far-right anti-government group’s coordinated role in the violence that roiled through civil unrest over the Floyd’s death while in police custody.”

    Link (may be paywalled): https://www.startribune.com/charges-boogaloo-bois-fired-on-mpls-precinct-shouted-justice-for-floyd/572843802/
    Twitter thread: https://twitter.com/AndrewMannix/status/1319666269835173888

    Reply
    1. lyman alpha blob

      After checking both of those links, I have no idea what this group is about. If they are far-right, were they yelling ‘Justice for Floyd’ in an attempt to place blame on BLM? Or were they acting in solidarity, being anti-government? And they are far-right but supporting Hamas? Either I’m missing something (highly possible) or they are not following the prescribed narrative about these types of things…

      Reading Lee’s comment above about the agony of framer/narrative maker Frank Luntz at the center not holding – maybe he’s on to something. I gave up on that interview yesterday when he started comparing Occupy to the Tea Party, but after seeing all the comments about it over the last couple days and now reading your links, I’m going to give it another shot.

      And now HST’s quote about the weird turning pro comes to mind. Is that what’s happening? Time for lawyers, guns and money?

      Reply
      1. marym

        I haven’t read much – I gather they’re primarily anti-government, and not necessarily consistent on other points. Below are 2 links, one more general, the twitter link more specifically this incident.
        There was some Tea Party/Occupy comparison at the time, partly in terms of both being grassroots anti-elite movements and partly some speculating on Dems co-opting Occupy the way Republicans co-opted the Tea Party, before the Dems just crushed it.

        https://www.startribune.com/inside-minnesota-s-boogaloo-movement-armed-and-eager-for-societal-collapse/571821151/
        https://twitter.com/jjmacnab/status/1319663334803836937

        Reply
      2. drumlin woodchuckles

        They just want a race war. And they will do any old thing to set one off. It doesn’t have to be “ideologically consistent” with anything. Just a trigger for violence in hopes of getting a race war out of it.

        Reply
  25. Tim

    If 65% of the eligible voting population actually votes, then throw away the polls. There is no recent precedent to calibrate the polls to the demographics that are now stirred to vote that have previously been absent.

    I have a hunch the big change is young people are getting involved this time, but I wish they had done that in the primaries. Now its too late to get real change.

    P.S. I think the clearest point of the debate was when I saw two old white guys on the screen pointing fingers at each other yelling that the other is corrupt and it being blatantly obvious they are both telling the truth.

    Reply
    1. HotFlash

      I have a hunch the big change is young people are getting involved this time, but I wish they had done that in the primaries.

      What makes you think that they didn’t? Election results?

      Reply
  26. chris

    Re: professional coaching and BetterUp comments about how to stay focused during the election…

    As a professional consultant myself, in the engineering world, the idea of paying someone else to teach me how to deal with clients or colleagues who have different political points of view is mind blowing. If i was that inept at interpersonal relations I wouldn’t be a successful consultant who could afford the bill these fools would send me. Besides, that’s money better spent on therapy these days… if you can get in to see a therapist.

    I really don’t know what is going on lately. I’m being inundated with emails and phone calls asking me if I want professional career coaching life coaching, physical trainers, etc. LinkedIn is basically a service for life coaches and business coaches to spam you with requests. It’s amazing the number of people who have made some kind of career sucking up to the PMC. I wonder if this is the precursor to data showing they’ve hemorrhaged income over the last year? You need some kind of high basic income to support all these leeches. Perhaps that crowd has dried up for all these people?

    Reply
    1. Procopius

      I vaguely recall a joke from decades ago about archaeologists a thousand years from now excavating D.C. and explaining that this primitive society had an economy that consisted of people doing each others’ laundry, and that was why it had the name, “Washing Done.”

      Reply
  27. Pat

    I believe Springsteen is one of those who has talked of leaving America if Trumpmis re-elected. So the father figure meme is not the only tired trope he has turned to in this. So he isn’t wasting much creativity on this. (Or thought and discernment for that matter.)

    Reply
  28. neo-realist

    Lambert, thanks for the Jacobin piece on Trump setting the stage for an authoritarian second term: Just what I believe is coming down the pike more or less if he is re-elected. The federal agent kidnappings in Portland, Chicago and NY were a spring training warm-up for Trump 2.0. Add to that the possible use of the RICO statutes against progressive organizers.

    Reply
      1. ambrit

        Agreed. The driving force here is neither Trump nor Biden, per se, but the institutional bureaucracies that ‘run’ the national government. One rule I have read concerning bureaucracies is that they never willingly give up any power. Now that the apparati supporting authoritarianism at the national level have been put in place, I expect those ‘tools’ to be used, by whoever wins this election.
        With Biden, expect a “kinder, gentler whip hand.”

        Reply
      2. neo-realist

        Biden is going to use the RICO and sedition statues against lefty demonstrators??? Federal Officer kidnapping of demonstrators??? Granted he’d have the cops mow them down in demonstration skirmishes, but Palmer Raids and McCarthyite scale prosecution of the left, I seriously doubt it.

        More or less the same war like moves against China and Russia, but not out and out war on people who oppose him on the left as Trump will do.

        Reply
  29. Annus Horribilis

    Hunter Biden story hiccups. “Rudy, you say these devices have illicit images of minors on them, and you want me, crackerjack reporter, to bring these files into my network and open them up? Yeah… turn these things over to the police immediately, do not pass go. There is no ‘political hatchet man’ or ‘born yesterday’ exemption to the laws prohibiting possession of such material. And you appear to be distributing the material.” That’s one.

    Which comes to chain of custody. Hunter lives in California, but he took the redeye to Wilmington to abandon three (!) devices? Ya-da ya-da, now Trump’s personal lawyer has copies of the very thing Trump wanted so bad he got impeached. FYI, the First Amendment lacks protections for libeling a political opponent’s son after doing, then ignoring, due diligence.

    Because… it sounds like Giuliani, himself, is already compromised for hoarding and shopping this stuff around. Particularly, if Giuliani made it known to associates that he is unconcerned about the veracity of such material, he just wants to distribute fakes with possibly real minors. – I know, “But her emails!”

    Reply
    1. MK

      The FBI has the original in their possession. Hopefully they don’t hire CrowdStrike and actually do their own forensic exam to get to the bottom of this.

      Where does Daddy live? Where is Daddy & Biden from? Oh, would that be DE?

      If one smokes crack, it’s hard to dismiss any outcome . . .

      Reply
    2. Carolinian

      So Hunter never goes to Delaware because he lives in California?

      Where is that BTW? Maybe some ace reporter should simply knock on his door and ask if the laptop is his. Are they afraid of the answer?

      As for “libeling a political opponent’s son” do get serious. Hunter has a history of drug abuse and multiple trips to rehab and his dubious sexual history includes having an affair with his sister in law while his brother Beau was dying of cancer. These are not secret things and do not depend on a lost laptop. Indeed they support the notion of him being careless enough to take an incriminating computer to a repairman and then failing to even come back to pick it up.

      Reply
        1. flora

          Newspapers reported the Pentagon Papers (stolen/leaked), Snowden’s NSA spying on all US citizens information (stolen/leaked), T’s tax returns (leaked), and the Biden emails (leaked). The source is less important than the public interest of the information and its accuracy. The media’s responsibility, no matter the source, is to ask “is this in the public interest, is this true”? The Biden emails about the possible corruption of a govt official running for pres are certainly in the public interest. (As are the leaked T tax returns.) No one has yet claimed the Biden emails are false or forgeries, which is interesting.

          Reply
        2. Carolinian

          Giuliani gave them to the newspaper. The repairman gave the hard drive to the FBI because it appeared to have illegal material on it (is it legal to report illegal material?–yes it is). After almost a year of the FBI doing nothing he gave a copy of the drive to Giuliani’s lawyer in August. At least that’s the story.

          Is it legal for the NY Post to print the emails and pictures from the hard drive? I’m guessing that Murdoch’s paper has quite a few lawyers.

          Reply
        3. John k

          I think I read that the laptop had been left long enough to be abandoned, plus the shop made repeated attempts to get hunter to come pick it up… and when you give something to be repaired there’s standard boilerplate saying you know that after a certain point in time title is transferred to the shop.

          Reply
  30. Darthbobber

    Makes little sense to ask Joe Biden about the authenticity of Hunter’s emails unless he is a recipient, CC, or BCC.

    Which is not the case for any yet floated by the Post, WSJ, or Bobulinski.

    Another oddity or not in this silly season bombshell. Bobulinski (self-described CEO of Sinohawk, and who uses the present tense for that though Sinohawk seems to have been folded up some time ago), ostensibly had deep moral, ethical, and patriotic misgivings as early as 2018. Given that there was a Senate committee fishing in precisely in these waters from the summer of 19 to the fall of this year, whence his lack of interest at the time in going before them with all these things he characterizes as bombshells of great magnitude. (why, for that matter, was the committee disinterested in him, or even in compelling the testimony of the central subject of said investigation.)

    Why surface this instead far too close to election day for any meaningful investigation to take place by then? And even now, with a couple years’ lead time to prep his documentation, do all his breathless revelations consist of characterizations of things he says he can show at some future point but today has not?

    Reply
    1. hunkerdown

      Cliff-hanger, old as show biz. Are you gonna let all that juicy footage go into the shredder, or will you tune in next week for the next exciting episode?

      Reply
    2. Carolinian

      Just to repeat, the official story is that the repairman gave a copy to Guliani’s lawyer in August, Bannon told the NY Post about it as late as September 28, Giuliani didn’t give the drive to the Post until a week ago Sunday. You can certainly question this time line and whether it is true but that doesn’t change anything does it?

      And there are reportedly 40k emails on the hard drive–many of which are indeed to Joe Biden.

      Finally, Joe Biden’s son was getting thousands of dollars a month from a Ukrainian business while his father was supervising US relations with Ukraine and US aid to Ukraine after the US sponsoring a coup to overthrow Ukraine’s government (Vicky and those cookies). This alone is corrupt with no hard drive needed. Biden claims his son “did nothing wrong” but what he really means is he did nothing illegal (yet to be seen). It was most certainly wrong and Biden has been lying about his involvement which is very wrong indeed.

      Reply
      1. The Rev Kev

        What’s the bet that Hunter was high when he decided to take his three laptops to a computer shop to see if the files could be retrieved? Then when he wakes up the next day, he could not remember which computer shop he took them to. Hell, he may have not remembered which State that that computer shop was in when he dropped them off.

        Reply
      2. Darthbobber

        But the stuff from Bobulinski is, or claims to be, completely separate from anything derived from the Biden laptop. And whatever supposed bombshells HE lays claim to, HE has had for years.

        And so far, none of the emails that are claimed to be evidence of the whatever are from or to Joe Biden.

        Indeed, Bobulinski seems to be laying the groundwork for not producing any that are, by saying Hunter insisted on keeping Joe out of that loop, setting the stage for future bare assertions about conversations. Could be true, could be not, but in any case mighty convenient.

        And to reiterate: Laptop aside, Bobulinski could, if he chose, have come forward with his alleged evidence any time in the last couple of years. Why now? And again, a committee interested in a serious investigation could and should have formally subpoenaed the central object of the investigation.

        Reply
    1. howseth

      Oh My Gawd! Apparently, there are some gifted commentators here. A mere several paragraphs and… 4 years of idiocy and hard core Republican shenanigans – and – Voila! the Orange Menace becomes the Orange Aid.

      What’s next a re-evaluation of Mitch McConnell? Yes! – one where the Turtle has only the best intentions for all Americans? It will be shown that he’s been just playing a 7 dimensional chess game of using the wealthy and the Republicans now in seemingly odious ways – but – in fact – really has the goal – to reduce inequality- and provide Universal Health Care? He’s a clever deceiver! What? You think I got nothing?
      I’ll be back with the evidence shortly…uh, eventually.

      Reply
      1. howseth

        Elections have consequences. I’ll vote. Pick one or the other – there will be some differences. I may pick the wrong one – but I’ll choose, anyway.

        Reply
        1. Basil Pesto

          the problem is, these consequences are often unforeseeable and complex, especially when, as a rule, the candidates deceive the electorate and the political system and political economy is dysfunctional.

          For example, I doubt anyone casting a vote for Obama in ‘12 envisaged President Donald J Trump as a consequence of that decision. Not a direct consequence of course, a consequence at some remove, but a consequence nonetheless (would Trump be president if Mittens beat him to it? Maybe he’d have run as a democrat! Who knows?! Isn’t this fun!!)

          So when you have people reading the tea leaves and making assertions about what the future holds that are very bold indeed (Biden will start World War 3!! Trump won’t leave office!!) I tend to disregard them. Or even more mundane claims like a Biden win next week means President Kamala Harris crushing progressivism underfoot until 2032. Some humility in general in our predictive abilities is required, I think.

          I would go so far as to say that either candidate as president will have far more negative consequences than positive ones, which (besides the obvious that they have outright told us with regards to medicare, climate) I wouldn’t be able to predict. So I’d vote for neither of them*.

          * disclaimer: not American

          Reply
    2. Carolinian

      I don’t think anybody here has said Trump is not bad. Which one is worse is up to you to decide.

      But you can’t really make that decision unless you know the truth about Biden. The media and the Dems have spent the last couple of years trying to keep Biden’s skeletons firmly in the closet.

      What Bannon said is quite likely true–if Biden’s shady dealings had been exposed to the public a year ago then Bernie Sanders would now be running against Trump instead.

      Reply
      1. howseth

        I voted for Bernie Sanders here in the California primary. He won. The Democratic Party sucks.

        How about the peaceful Californian succession from the Union, ‘The New Republic of California’ – (even though the rent is too damned high.) Or maybe break us apart into 3-4 states, to get better representation. – I am not at happy conceding so much power to North and South Dakota, Wyoming, Alaska … even Vermont, etc Does Congress make up the difference? No.

        But back to the subject – Biden’s skeletons have been rattling regardless of the DNC and the Dems all suppressive…and have been for many a year harking back to Delaware days., I agree let the Sh*t fly.

        I’d still rather take a chance with the SOB over the Orange Man this time around. So, I suppose I’m more casual about the detailed descriptions of his brand of crap then I should be. Granted.

        Reply
      2. Brunches with Cats

        Not just the truth about Biden, but about who’s preparing a Maidan-style coup against Trump. Lambert slipped a link to their playbook into the Toobin story in Tuesday’s WC. I’ve been working my way through the 22-page doc and following the trail of breadcrumbs to other sources. It’s so late that I’m not sure anyone will even see this, but here goes:

        For all its talk that the mass demonstrations be “non-violent,” they damn well know cops are inclined to shoot first and ask questions later. They know that Trump supporters show up armed. They know the odds against resolve to non-violence holding up when shots are fired into the crowd. They also know how easy it is to ensure there will be a first shot. In other words, some very scary shit.

        The group behind the document comes right out of the Clinton wing of the Ds, Third Way/New America, Atlantic Council, CFR. The foot soldiers who will put their lives on the line are by all appearances the progressive left, but it’s right there in the doc that they know they can’t count on the progressive left to support Biden, that to get the necessary numbers in the street, there will have to be an umbrella group to bring in new SJWs. Lo and behold, such a group materialized right on cue:
        https://protecttheresults.com

        For the heck of it, I picked an affiliate website and checked bios: used to work for USAID, got grants from USAID and State Dept., funded by an ex-Wall Street investment banker with lifetime membership on CFR, etc. BTW, if you didn’t catch Lambert’s link, the Zoom conference that challenged Toobin’s focus was a re-enactment of an election “war game” described in the strategy doc. FWIW, The Jacobin article reads like it came from the same talking points.

        As for Biden, I recalled that he visited Kyiv sometime around Maidan, and I vaguely remember that he made a quick stop on Cypress, which, coincidentally, was where the bank accounts of Burisma’s uber-corrupt owner were located. Ironically, I had the info on a laptop that bit the dust a couple of months ago, and I still haven’t taken it to a shop to have the hard drive recovered. I definitely will remember to pick it up, as it also has a bunch of unsent plantidotes. :-)

        In the meantime, I ventured into the trove of State Department emails released under FOIA requests (many from HRC’s email account) to search for the references. I didn’t find the one document I specifically remembered, but I did stumble upon a curious exchange in which intel gathered by Christopher Steele was sent via an intermediary to none other that the Kyiv cookie lady herself. The date on the email was within a few days of Burisma’s announcement it had hired Hunter Biden and Devon Archer. Doubtless just a coincidence…

        Reply
        1. drumlin woodchuckles

          Now that you have written about that hard drive right here in the open where any one can see it, you might want to figure out how to protect it from the Men In Black at every step of the way.

          Reply
      3. Dr. John Carpenter

        Trump may have gotten millions in free promotion from the media in 2016, but the cover Biden has received this time from the media has been priceless. This really hit me the other day when I was reading a friend’s justifications for settling for Biden. They honestly haven’t heard any of this stuff. It’s not just the Hunter stuff or Tara Reede allegations or Creepy Uncle Joe things. It’s as basic as his actual record.
        And yes, it’s all out there and they could find it, if you’re willing to dig. Most people just want to get back to brunch, so they aren’t.

        Reply
  31. The Rev Kev

    “Creative Suite archive”

    ‘We no longer provide installers for Creative Suite apps. To get the latest versions of your familiar apps that have been tested in current operating systems, upgrade to Creative Cloud.’

    Adobe…Adobe…Adobe. Now where have I heard a story about Adobe and the Cloud? Oh yeah, I remember now. Adobe’s latest update for Lightroom’s iOS app suddenly had people’s photos and presets deleted – as in forever.

    https://www.theverge.com/2020/8/20/21377411/adobe-lightroom-ios-ipados-app-update-pictures-photos-presets-deleted

    And a coupla years ago Adobe did the same after an update with Adobe Creative Cloud for Mac users-

    https://www.bbc.com/news/technology-35577498

    They will upload my data files to the Cloud over my cold, dead fingers.

    Reply
  32. drumlin woodchuckles

    Something about the interior of that car in the Bruce Springsteen photograph seems hauntingly familiar . . . reminding me of the 1948 Pontiac Wood Bodied Station Wagon we had till I was about 3 or so years old.

    Reply
    1. Yves Smith

      That can’t be. We don’t allow them and you are the only person who says they are getting them. They don’t run as remnant ads and we don’t have gaming ads of any kind as premium ads.

      Perhaps you have multiple windows or tabs open and are hearing the sound from another window and attributing it to NC?

      We are going to add video adsbut non-autoplay. You have to interact with the ad for the video to start. And we haven’t made the site changes for that to happen.

      Reply
  33. flora

    Well, this is rich.

    https://twitter.com/matthewstoller/status/1319773187081723904

    Facebook Seeks Shutdown of NYU Research Project Into Political Ad Targeting

    Facebook Inc. is demanding that a New York University research project cease collecting data about its political-ad-targeting practices, setting up a fight with academics seeking to study the platform without the company’s permission.

    In a letter sent Oct. 16 to the researchers behind the NYU Ad Observatory, Facebook said the project violates provisions in its terms of service that prohibit bulk data collection from its site.

    “Scraping tools, no matter how well-intentioned, are not a permissible means of collecting information from us,” said the letter, written by a Facebook privacy policy official, Allison Hendrix. If the university doesn’t end the project and delete the data it has collected, she wrote, “you may be subject to additional enforcement action.”

    https://www.wsj.com/articles/facebook-seeks-shutdown-of-nyu-research-project-into-political-ad-targeting-11603488533

    Reply
    1. The Rev Kev

      Sounds like that New York University caught Facebook with its hand in the political cookie jar. Imagine if it went to court so NYU sought the process of discovery.

      Reply
  34. John Anthony La Pietra

    Perhaps the stakes are always high?

    Maybe that depends on how you measure the stakes — by how much you have invested, or how much (of what) you have to lose. . . .

    Reply

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