2:00PM Water Cooler 10/30/2020

By Lambert Strether of Corrente.

Bird Song of the Day


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:

No sign of relief, sadly….

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



“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. October 24: Indiana 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.”


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!

This is totally not a prediction. Here’s another war game. Brown states are states that are not decided on the election day, for whatever reason:

I used states where the Republicans have filed lawsuits as a proxy for states that will get hung up one way or another: IA, MI, NC, NV, PA, TX, and WI. As you can see, even with an extraordinary clusterf*ck involving all those brown states, Biden still gets to 270 (albeit by one vote) if he wins Florida.

Handy chart from the Financial Times:

The whole thread is very useful.

* * *

ME: “Bitter Legacy of Trump Court Fights Put Collins Down in Maine” [Bloomberg]. “A wild card in the race, which features two independent candidates, is Maine’s use of ranked-choice voting. It permits voters to choose candidates in order of preference. If no candidate wins a majority of the vote, the candidate who received the fewest first-choice votes is eliminated, and each vote cast for that candidate will be transferred to the voter’s next-ranked choice among the remaining candidates. The process continues until one candidate receives a majority of the votes. But that could be more bad news for Collins: a poll by Colby College released this week indicated that [Democrat Sara] Gideon would likely net more second-choice votes from the supporters of two independent candidates than Collins, lead researcher Dan Shea said.”

MN: “U.S. appeals court upends Minnesota plan to extend deadline for receiving ballots” [Reuters]. “In a 2-1 decision, the U.S. 8th Circuit Court of Appeals said the deadline extension was an unconstitutional maneuver by the state’s top election official, Minnesota Secretary of State Steve Simon, a Democrat. ‘However well-intentioned and appropriate from a policy perspective in the context of a pandemic during a presidential election, it is not the province of a state executive official to re-write the state’s election code,’ the decision stated. ‘There is no pandemic exception to the Constitution,’ the majority wrote. The 8th Circuit sent the case back to a lower court and instructed it to require Minnesota election officials to identify and ‘segregate’ absentee ballots received after Nov. 3.”

PA: “Philadelphia has the highest number of registered voters in 35 years” [Billy Penn]. “Next time you’re in the supermarket, at a park, or anywhere in Philly with other adults, look around. On average, 9 out of 10 your socially distant citymates are registered to vote. That’s a record high for Philadelphia voter registration over the past three decades. Will everyone come out to vote? Unlikely, but there are signs turnout could be high. Part of that assessment is based on mail ballots, which anyone can use this year for the first time in Pennsylvania. Philly voters have requested nearly 410k mail ballots so far, which is close to 60% of the number of total votes cast in the most recent presidential election.”

PA: “The Divided States of Pennsylvania” [Philadelphia Inquirer]. “Pennsylvania, a state that sprawls from the Northeast corridor to Appalachia to the Midwest. It’s a place of big, crowded cities, affluent suburbs, and vast farmland. Cascading mountains, forested lakefronts, fracking wells, cul-de-sacs, corner stores, and gleaming skyscrapers. Sheetz and Wawa. World-class colleges and shuttered factories. Diverse, dynamic cities and huge rural stretches where the population is almost entirely white. Each piece is big enough that no one aspect dominates the rest. A ‘big, beautiful, complicated, diverse state,’ as Sen. Pat Toomey put it. In other words, it mirrors America — so it’s fitting that Pennsylvania is one of the country’s most politically competitive states….. With nearly 13 million people spread over almost 45,000 square miles, Pennsylvania also reflects America another way: It is increasingly divided. It is separated into geographic clusters — liberals in cities and suburbs, conservatives in rural areas and small towns — that seem entirely distinct. You can drive places where seemingly everyone supports Trump, and others where almost no one does. People often view their neighbors with disdain or fear, worried their way of life is under threat from fellow Pennsylvanians. They absorb different information, work different jobs, live different lives.”

TX: “In Democrats’ bid to flip Texas, maximizing the Latino vote is key” [Texas Tribune]. “Democrats have long cited the state’s shifting demographics as evidence that its future is blue. But attempts to take full advantage have so far fallen short. Latino voter turnout has traditionally been low in the state. The party has often seen President Donald Trump’s rhetoric about immigration and people of color as an opening to win over and motivate more Latino voters to come support its candidates at the polls. But since the March presidential primary in Texas, Biden has struggled to make gains with those voters. And Republicans in the state have long argued that the state’s Latino population is less liberal than many Democrats believe…. Biden lost the Latino vote to Bernie Sanders in the 2020 Democratic primary.” • So I guess the Republicans are wrong?

* * *

Biden (D)(1): “Biden if elected will form task force to reunite 545 separated immigrant children with family, campaign says” [CNN]. “Joe Biden is pledging that if he’s elected president, he will sign an executive order to form a task force that will focus on reuniting the 545 immigrant children who’ve been separated from their families.” • See Taleb:

Biden (D)(2): “The man who created the modern presidential transition now faces an extraordinary one” [Politico]. “The man who literally wrote the laws on presidential transitions is now running one — and it could be the country’s most difficult handover of power since the Great Depression, with dueling health and economic crises as well as an unpredictable incumbent who may throw wrenches into the process. Ted Kaufman, Biden’s longtime chief of staff in the Senate and head of his 2020 transition effort, likely has more control over a future Biden administration than anyone other than the Democratic presidential nominee himself. As head of Biden’s transition team, his ambitions go beyond just an efficient hand-off of power and extend to proving that the federal government can actually work — and that bipartisanship isn’t extinct. A bomb thrower he is not, and he is unlikely to hire many, either. Given the myriad crises facing the country, Kaufman is likely to favor competence and experience over ideology, allies say. That could disappoint some of Sen. Elizabeth Warren and Sen. Bernie Sanders’ left-wing allies….”

Trump (R)(1): “Trump confronts his 50 percent problem” [Politico]. “The president’s inability to capture a majority of support sheds light on his extraordinary attempts to limit the number of votes cast across the battleground state map — a massive campaign-within-a-campaign to maximize Trump’s chances of winning a contest in which he’s all but certain to earn less than 50 percent of the vote… ‘What we have seen this year which is completely unprecedented … is a concerted national Republican effort across the country in every one of the states that has had a legal battle to make it harder for citizens to vote,’ said Trevor Potter, a former chair of the Federal Election Commission who served as general counsel to Republican John McCain’s two presidential campaigns. ‘There just has been this unrelenting Republican attack on making it easier to vote.'” • Fortunately, registering new voters and bringing voters to the polls with a functional precinct organization has been a core Democrat party function ever since Bush v. Gore. Oh, wait…

Trump (R)(2): “Mixed martial arts fighters go the distance for Trump” [Politico]. “Now the president is trying to take full advantage of his popularity with influential mixed-martial artists by elevating them into full-blown campaign surrogates spreading his Make America Great Again gospel at swing-state rallies and fundraisers. The fighters reinforce his us-against-the-world message, but just as important, they speak to a crucial demographic his campaign is trying to turn out in force: young men, who overwhelmingly form the fanbase for MMA and the Ultimate Fighting Championship company.”

Warren (D)(1): “Warren will make case to be Biden’s Treasury secretary” [Politico]. • Idea: Warren could set up a one-on-one with Biden. Later, she can threaten to smear him as a sexist! Problem solved.

* * *

“Black men’s votes courted as some search for political home” [Associated Press]. “‘You don’t lie, you acknowledge the truth, and admit that the choices before Black people in the year 2020 are abysmal,’ said Agnew, an organizer with Black Men Build, a group created to empower Black men.”

“Democrats would rather mock Ice Cube then grapple with what he represents” [Trymaine Lee, MSNBC]. “For many Black men…, there’s a general sentiment that Democrats have either forgotten them or abandoned efforts to reach Black people, and Black men especially. So, why not give the boogeyman a shot? I thought about this conversation late last week when word began to get around that legendary rapper Ice Cube had advised the Trump administration on its so-called Platinum Plan for Black Americans, news that seemed to shake parts of the political universe. The backlash was swift. How could Ice Cube, the O.G., who recently said he’d never vote for Trump, ostensibly work with him despite everything we know about him?” • Lee spent all her time fact-checking….

“Biden to air 90-minute radio programs targeting Black voters” [The Hill]. “Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden plans to air 90-minute radio programs on gospel stations across the country this weekend urging Black voters to head to the polls in a final sprint of early voting before Tuesday’s elections. The Biden campaign will pay about $109,000 to air the programs on 29 radio stations in seven states, according to sources watching the advertising market. The programs are set to air in Ohio, Georgia, Michigan, North Carolina, Florida, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania. Democrats typically run Souls to the Polls programs aimed at Black churches in the final weekends before a November election, when some of the party’s most loyal voters crowd onto buses and head en masse to polling places near their houses of worship. Those programs look different this year because of the pandemic, which has fallen disproportionately on Black and Brown Americans. The radio play is a way to reach those voters even if they cannot attend church in person on Sunday.”

Realignment and Legitimacy

I’m so old I remember when liberal Democrats were the “reality-based community.” Proudly!

Sirota is correct. It’s bizarre. It’s Orwellian. \ I don’t even know how to process it. It’s like a horror movie.

“No One Fights QAnon Like the Global Army of K-Pop Superfans” [Bloomberg]. “More than 22,000 tweets bearing Korean pop stars flooded hashtags like #WhiteLivesMatter and #QAnon that evening, according to market researcher Zignal Labs. Some typical accompanying text: ‘Stan twitter RISE.’ The barrage effectively commandeered the hashtag and rendered it all but unusable to white supremacists. QAnon devotees are familiar with this tactic, known as keyword squatting, because they use it all the time. ‘They got beaten at their own game by Korean pop fans,’ says Mike Rothschild, a conspiracy theory researcher who’s writing a book about QAnon. ‘I’d never seen anything like it before.'”

Our Famously Free Press

Who is this Greenwald guy?

“Glenn Greenwald Throws a Fit” [Jacob Silverman, The New Republic]. “Censorship! Or, just maybe, an editorial note that a notoriously egotistical writer doesn’t like.” The reaction to Greenwald’s resignation has been spectacularly clarifying, and enables vast swathes of the so-called left to be written off, which is a mercy. A common theme with Silverman and the tweet that follows is that Greenwald is culpable because he prefers not to be gelded edited — unlike Interceptoids and former Timesmen like James Risen, a Very Good Boy who allowed his editors to spike an election-changing scoop for over a year (and caused Snowden to go to Greenwald, instead of his own paper, thankfully). I could quote hundreds of tweets like this one:

What these aspirational PMC “journalists” on the Twitter do not seem to understand — or, if they are sucking up to their own editors, understand all to well — is that Greenwald had a contract that “effectively exempted him from editorial intervention.” In other words, they assume — if not completely sycophantic — that everybody else has business and social relations exactly like they do, which relations they privilege over all others, a generic PMC problem, visible in, say, health care policy.

Greenwald on The Rising:

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.

Personal Income and Expenditures: “September 2020 Real Expenditures Improved” [Econintersect]. “Expenditures improved year-over-year (but is in contraction year-over-year) whilst income also improved year-over-year (but is in expansion)… The real issue with personal income and expenditures is that it jumps around because of backward revisions – and one cannot take any single month as fixed or gospel.”

* * *

Tech: “Virtual Influencers Make Real Money While Covid Locks Down Human Stars” [Bloomberg]. “At a time when interacting safely with other humans can no longer be taken for granted, the appetite for digital spokespeople is accelerating. Brands are expected to spend as much as $15 billion annually on influencer marketing by 2022, up from $8 billion last year, according to Business Insider Intelligence. A growing slice of that money belongs to virtual influencers, and traditional marketing is experiencing serious disruption. ‘Virtual influencers, while fake, have real business potential,’ says Christopher Travers, the founder of virtualhumans.org, a website that documents the industry. ‘They are cheaper to work with than humans in the long term, are 100% controllable, can appear in many places at once, and, most importantly, they never age or die.'” • Kill them with fire.

Tech: “China Focuses on Building Its Own Core Tech as U.S. Curbs Supply” [Bloomberg]. “China said it needs to build its own core technology because it can’t rely on buying it from elsewhere, as the Communist Party laid out plans for greater economic self-sufficiency. Outlining details of its new five-year economic plan that elevates self-reliance in technology and innovation, senior party officials said Friday the nation would accelerate development of the kind of technology needed to spur the next stage of economic development. Key to that are bold measures to cut reliance on foreign know-how, although that doesn’t mean China will cut itself off from the world.”

Mr. Market: “Dow falls more than 300 points as Big Tech guidance stokes unease over COVID impact” [MarketWatch]. “Stocks extended losses Friday morning, with investors waving off strong quarterly results from technology heavyweights to focus on the uncertain outlook amid a surge in COVID-19 cases in the U.S. and Europe. On the last trading day of the month, investors also face the prospect of the U.S. elections next Tuesday and no certainty about the timing of any further aid for businesses and consumers from Congress.”

* * *

Today’s Fear & Greed Index: 26 Fear (previous close: 32 Fear) [CNN]. One week ago: 66 (Greed). (0 is Extreme Fear; 100 is Extreme Greed). Last updated Oct 30 at 12:32pm. • It’s back!

The Biosphere

“‘Ghost forests’ are an eerie sign of sea-level rise” [Yale Climate Connections]. “Along the Atlantic coast, ghost forests provide haunting signs of sea-level rise. These stands of bleached and broken tree trunks are all that remain after salty water inundates a forest…. ‘Eventually they’ll fall apart and become stumps surrounded by marshland,’ [Matt Kirwan of the Virginia Institute of Marine Science] says. ‘And so when you see a ghost forest now, you’re seeing where the marsh will be in the future.’ Marshes are valuable ecosystems, so in some ways, that’s positive. ‘Ghost forests are a surprising indicator of ecological resilience in coastal systems,’ Kirwan says. ‘They mark how marshes naturally migrate in response to sea-level rise.'”

“Geothermal energy is poised for a big breakout” [Vox]. “After many years of failure to launch, new companies and technologies have brought geothermal out of its doldrums, to the point that it may finally be ready to scale up and become a major player in clean energy. In fact, if its more enthusiastic backers are correct, geothermal may hold the key to making 100 percent clean electricity available to everyone in the world. And as a bonus, it’s an opportunity for the struggling oil and gas industry to put its capital and skills to work on something that won’t degrade the planet. Vik Rao, former chief technology officer at Halliburton, the oil field service giant, recently told the geothermal blog Heat Beat, ‘geothermal is no longer a niche play. It’s scalable, potentially in a highly material way. Scalability gets the attention of the [oil services] industry.'” • Ugh. I hate the very idea that Halliburton might be right about anything.

Health Care

“Risk for In-Hospital Complications Associated with COVID-19 and Influenza — Veterans Health Administration, United States, October 1, 2018–May 31, 2020” [Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report]. “Hospitalized patients with COVID-19 in the Veterans Health Administration had a more than five times higher risk for in-hospital death and increased risk for 17 respiratory and nonrespiratory complications than did hospitalized patients with influenza. The risks for sepsis and respiratory, neurologic, and renal complications of COVID-19 were higher among non-Hispanic Black or African American and Hispanic patients than among non-Hispanic White patients. Compared with influenza, COVID-19 is associated with increased risk for most respiratory and nonrespiratory complications. Certain racial and ethnic minority groups are disproportionally affected by COVID-19.” • No, Covid is not just “the flu.”


“Walmart Pulls Guns Off Shelves as Precaution Ahead of Election” [Bloomberg]. “‘We have seen some isolated civil unrest and as we have done on several occasions over the last few years, we have moved our firearms and ammunition off the sales floor as a precaution for the safety of our associates and customers,’ Walmart said in an e-mailed statement. ‘These items do remain available for purchase by customers.’ The retail giant made a similar decision this summer during unrest following the death of George Floyd by police, a move intended to dissuade any potential theft if stores were broken into during protests.” • Lol, so they’re only worried about guns being looted, not bought. This is America!

Riots and Protests

“Video surfaces showing Philadelphia police bashing SUV windows, then beating driver while child was in backseat” [Inquirer]. “Just before 2 a.m. Tuesday, about 10 blocks from where police had shot and killed Walter Wallace Jr. hours earlier, a woman stood on her rooftop, turned on her camera phone, and streamed a few minutes of live video that captured the unrest roiling West Philadelphia: Crowds of people throwing projectiles at police. Officers backing away, then advancing toward them. A slow-moving SUV navigating the scene, then being surrounded by police. Baton-wielding officers swarming the vehicle, smashing its windows, yanking its driver and a passenger from the car, throwing them to the ground, and then pulling a toddler from the backseat. For Aapril Rice, a 30-year-old who works in digital media and recorded it from her rooftop, the entire scene was ‘surreal,’ but none more so than seeing officers scoop up the child. That, she said, was ‘the most traumatic part for me.’… An Inquirer photographer captured an image of police holding a young boy at the scene at the same time, and a freelance photographer captured another image of police pulling that child out of the vehicle that was bashed. On Wednesday, the National Fraternal Order of Police posted another image on Facebook and Twitter of a Philadelphia police officer holding the same child, writing in a caption: ‘This child was lost during the violent riots in Philadelphia, wandering around barefoot in an area that was experiencing complete lawlessness. The only thing this Philadelphia police officer cared about in that moment was protecting this child.'” • Come on, man.

“CW: murder, police violence” [Duncan Gromko, Googledocs]. “This morning I can’t stop thinking about Biden’s statement on the Walter Wallace Jr. murder, which we read when the demonstration had just started. Let me say first: I already voted for Biden, and am investing a lot of time in getting him elected. I encourage you to vote for Biden. But this statement was terrible, as it equivocates the murder of Mr. Wallace with rioting and looting. This is a cruel equivalence to draw when someone has been murdered by the state, but it is also false. It is the police who are rioting in our cities. It is the billionaires and corporations who are looting from their employees and government tax revenues. We cannot stop if Biden is elected because he will not give us the justice we deserve.

News of the Wired

“The World’s 15 Most Complex Subway Maps” [Bloomberg]. “Researchers Riccardo Gallotti and Marc Barthelemy of the CEA-Saclay in France and Mason Porter of the University of Oxford in the U.K. recently set out to calculate the maximium transit map information someone can ‘reasonably process.’ The goal, they write in Science Advances, was to see whether the growth of urban transportation systems has led to visual guides that “exceed our cognitive limits.” If that’s the case, then city residents and visitors might soon have to rely on digital navigation apps less as a crutch than as a necessity.” • N-o-o-o-o-o-o-o…. New York’s subway is “most complex metropolitan system in the world,” followed by Paris, Tokyo, and London. I have always found Paris and London very easy to navigate, and New York less easy (because its signage seems poorer to me, plus the danged express trains). You do have to know where you’re going, duh (I have never been to Japan). And you know what? You can always ask a local for help. Silicon Valley trying to get in the middle again.

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

c. roast writes: “Tree huggers delight. European Beech (fagus sylvatica) in early fall.”

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About Lambert Strether

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


  1. zagonostra

    “The reaction to Greenwald’s resignation has been spectacularly clarifying…”

    Indeed it has. If you go the Guardian online, Greenwald’s former employer, you really have to dig down to find the article that covers his resignation. It’s almost at the bottom and in small fonts. They conclude their article by quoting the Intercept’s allegation, scurrilous in my opinion, that GG’s motive was money, or as they put it “good business sense.”

    The times they are a changing…

    We have no doubt that Glenn will go on to launch a new media venture where he will face no collaboration with editors – such is the era of Substack and Patreon,” Reed said in her statement. “In that context, it makes good business sense for Glenn to position himself as the last true guardian of investigative journalism and to smear his longtime colleagues and friends as partisan hacks. We get it. But facts are facts and the Intercept record of fearless rigorous, independent journalism speaks for itself.”


    1. Person

      A bit of a self-own there by The Intercept. Glenn delivered a low blow when he said (on Twitter, referring to his former employer): “Great journalism that nobody reads isn’t great.” He wasn’t wrong.

      1. Howard Beale IV

        Substack may be great for those who are willing to spend money on their favorite old-school blogger, but does nothing for those who lack internet access – in fact, you might as well brand those who have Substack as part of the PMC, for the simple reason is they are.

        1. Person

          A strange argument to make. As far as I am aware, The Intercept doesn’t have a printed version either. Nor does NC!

        2. Lambert Strether Post author

          > you might as well brand those who have Substack as part of the PMC, for the simple reason is they are.

          I think that reader support makes substack writers/bloggers more likely to be class traitors. The model is much more the individual craftsperson, like a cobbler or a taxi driver, than an individual like a lawyer or doctor working for a firm.

          1. Anthony Noel

            That’s funny, considering I make minimum wage at a call centre yet subscribe to two writers on sub stack now, Matt and Glenn. If I’m part of the PMC then somehow I missed the memo.

            The idea that having internet access makes one a member of the PMC is laughable, even when I had to live in my car for a month I had access to the internet via free wi-fi hotspots at McDonalds or Tim Hortons, and illustrates that PMC is becoming simply an insult for people “you” don’t like or want to engage in debate with, just like alt-right, gamer gater, socialist, Bernie bro, racist etc.

    2. L

      It is worth noting since most people seem to forget that Matt Taibbi was also at one time working on a new publication with Odmayer on a publication that was to open with an expose about the Obama admin’s involvement with too big to fail companies. After much back and forth on editing he too quit in disgust and was roundly attacked as “spoiled” by the odmayer people. The only one who defended him was Greenwald. Taibbi then published the story back at RS but was also soured on trying to do serious financial journalism with someone who has skin in the finance game.

      1. Lambert Strether Post author

        > a publication that was to open with an expose about the Obama admin’s involvement with too big to fail companies.

        I spent some time searching to find this, but came up empty. True, that is the sort of thing a satirical website focused on politics and Wall Street would do, but I can’t find any evidence an actual story was in the works as content. Do you have a link?

      2. griffen

        Good recall. As is sometimes stated here, our illustrious team of bloggers do not do homework assignments.

        But to be fair, the timing was during Obama 2nd term and it was a broader media company that included or preceded the Intercept. Taibbi lasted only 8 or so months.

      3. Anthony Noel

        Also don’t forget that founder Laura Poitras also recently left after issues with the board and it’s shuttering of the Topic and the cutting of funding for the Nib and those funds budgeted for those endeavors being redirected to a partnership between First Look and Passionflix, a streaming service for romance moives owned by Ellon Musk’s sister.

        The only one left from the founders is Jeremey Scahill, who seems to be carrying water for First Look and Betsy Reed, who he claims he has never had reason to question her integrity. I have great respect for Jeremy’s reporting, but if he doesn’t question Betsy Reed’s integrity after taking part in the Glen Grennwald hit piece the New Yorker put out in 2017 which implied his refusal to buy into Russia Gate was a by product of his confusion over his sexuality and the difficulty that created for him in his childhood as well as being driven out of the democratic party by it’s growing racial and gender diversity in the same piece by Joan Walsh, then I have to seriously question how compromised he maybe at this point.

    3. flora

      The Guardian’s take is questionable. The Intercept is not only paying him a big salary but also providing legal department services and security guards for his dangerous Brazilian political reporting. He’ll have to negotiate that in severance or make it up out of his own pocket. Resigning a financially secure job that provides a legal department and other services – like personal security guards, giving that up doesn’t sound like a get-rich-quick plan, imo.

    4. Carolinian

      former employer

      He sure knew how to pick ’em although he says he had a good relationship there. Guess he still likes them even if they hate him.

      Perhaps the reality is that for some time now mainstream journalism hasn’t been too comfortable with “truth for trutth’s sake.” They don’t mind scoops.

  2. BoyDownTheLane

    Will we see the northern Bobulinski “material witness” lark featured as the singing bird soon?

  3. Person

    Instagram is now preventing the use of hashtags up until the election to “prevent the spread of misinformation”: https://www.msn.com/en-us/money/other/instagram-nixes-the-e2-80-98recent-e2-80-99-tab-from-hashtag-pages-ahead-of-election/ar-BB1ay0YY

    And Mailchimp will now ban accounts that send “inaccurate” content (in its sole discretion): https://reclaimthenet.org/mailchimp-misinformation-censorship/

    Of course, this censorship machine would NEVER be turned on to suppress, say, anti-war views, just before the next invasion. Right?

    Wondering how long it will be until ISPs start blocking self-hosted sites for wrongthink. Probably as soon as the next admin further relaxes common carrier rules…

    1. L

      All of these companies are desperately banking on sole DNC control over all the AGs office in the future. Their 230 exemption rests solely on the premise that they not only do not, but cannot exercise editorial control.

      They have proven that false. Any Republican AG could dine out this for years.

      1. Daryl

        I dunno, I think they’d happily switch sides. Yes SV companies are biased towards the DNC and wokeness, but if it looks like Repubs are poised to take and maintain power (something they are much better at than Democrats), I don’t think they’d hesitate to do it. Some recent examples of their tottering steps into censorship have included censoring anything remotely critical of Israel and a Jacobin article.

    2. drumlin woodchuckles

      The time is ripening for a zero-advertising subscription-based Shinola Search and Service. And maybe Shinola Hosting too.

            1. drumlin woodchuckles

              This new Shinola Fashion Store could help increase public intelligence by handing out info about where the word “shinola” came from.

          1. Drake

            There was a very long, tedious, impenetrible digression on this phrase in Pynchon’s Gravity’s Rainbow, which was par for the course. There’s very little that didn’t merit such a digression in that book.

            1. Late Introvert

              Ha. I read that book a 2nd time years after reading it in my late 20s, and it seemed a lot more penetrable. What do people here think of the P.T. Anderson film of Inherent Vice? I loved both it and the book.

              1. Basil Pesto

                I enjoyed the film at the time though a lot of it has been lost in my memory. I thought ‘Under the Silver Lake’ with Andrew Garfield captured a certain Pynchonesque spirit rather well.

            2. Minalin

              Having read the book I would say that was unfair- the book was about more than that and given the time 45 years ago it served a purpose. It may be hard to read but I assure you it was way harder to write

        1. drumlin woodchuckles

          I am not joking. I am wishing and praying. Since I am an old analog refugee in this new digital world, I don’t know in detail how such a service would be designed, engineered, run.
          I should think it would be possible.

          If someone(s) tried to create a company to create and sell such a service, would ethical refugees and exiles from Facebooger, Guggle, etc. work for it and design the service to delete the bad things which Facebooger, Guggle, etc. deliberately build into their products? Could it harvest and store zero user data, in order to sell zero user data to data buyers? Could it sell zero advertising? Would subscribers pay enough for such a service to allow it to stay in business serving its paying subscribers?

          If it would, it could call itself Shinola Search and Social. ( If anyone still alive knows what
          “shit from shinola” refers to.) Maybe the curious could ask why it is called Shinola Search and Social? And it could explain.

          It could sell itself on being Shinola Search and Social because it would provide Shinola-quality search engining and Shinola quality Social Media servicing to those willing to pay for it.
          All others who want their search and social for free could keep the shit-search and shit-social they get from Google and ShitFace Book and etc.

          1. jr

            Amen to that, I have been afraid of a clampdown and have wondered myself if an alternative is possible

      1. Glen

        By installing an ad blocker in your browser, and using DuckDuckGo, you can get pretty close to that right now without a subscription.

        But what is increasingly difficult to judge is the bias of the results of the search engine.

        I suspect that more “non mainstream” (as defined by somebody, it gets a little foggy about here) results will essentially vanish. In fact, I suspect that even now it is possible for the larger search engines to just “vanish” web sites. Similar to, but not as radical, as more spooky governments just making people vanish. Google must have refined this technology for China by now.

    3. km

      Cue up some glibertarian saying “Private companies like Twitter or mailmonkey or whatever can censor whatever they want!

      Of course, Twitter, etc. are acting entirely on their own volition, not seeking to curry favor with any political party or any of the alphabet agencies.

      Not to mention, they’re totally cool if PG&E decides to cut off their electricity because they shared the wrong article on FB, right?

  4. Watt4Bob

    Things haven’t changed much from the time Frank Rizzo was mayor.

    Philly is reluctant to give up it’s reputation for police brutality, intimidation, coercion, and disregard for civil rights.

    1. drumlin woodchuckles

      If the Philly PD outguns and out-ammos the Philly citizenry, just what is the Philly citizenry supposed to do about the Philly PD . . . . except gun up and ammo up and prepare for a civil war of extermination between the citizens and the PD?

        1. drumlin woodchuckles

          Thank you for your interest in my comment. I am always happy to hear from you. Please let me know if you have any other concerns.

      1. jr

        Philly hasn’t been waiting around, I assure you. I’d have to dig out his number but an old pal from West Philly could have, at one time, placed a hot Glock in your hands for 800$, a hot Mossberg pump for 1500$, and an absolutely molten AK-47 for 2400$. Ammo not included. His neighbor had, in his words, an “armory” in his basement.

        And then there is this:


        The hatred for the PPD is utterly justified. I taught poor POC’s there for a few years; the stories of their treatment at the hands of the cops was a sharp slap to my innocent young face. Stories of fathers and uncles who would receive their paychecks on Friday only to be “arrested” immediately upon cashing them, with full complicity of the check cashing joint. Young men beaten into comas, faces falling off their skulls. Murders, disappearances, public displays of humiliation…

        OH and lets not forget MOVE:


        A student I had was a young child in the MOVE home. She told me she watched PPD kick a pregnant woman until she bled, then miscarried.

      2. Greg

        That video is an interesting counterpoint to the links a few weeks back lecturing progressive movements on “why black lives matter was successful”

    2. Arizona Slim

      I can remember one of my oh-so-Republican childhood friends referring to the Philadelphia police as “Rizzo’s pigs.” And, mind you, we lived out in the burbs and had been taught to respect the police.

      1. jr

        Legend has it that pig would cruise around the city at night with his stormtroopers, harassing and assaulting black citizens.

    3. Drake

      Philly’s police tactics have softened considerably from the time I was a kid. I remember watching them drop a bomb from a helicopter on the MOVE compound.

  5. flora

    <Lol, so they’re only worried about guns being looted, not bought. This is America!

    Rational actor on Wall St., rational actor on back street; they share the same aspiration. This is America! /s

    1. Person

      My thought was, wow, Walmart actually has ammo in stock?

      They are really ratcheting up the fear propaganda this week. See also the ongoing boarding up of stores in Philly, NYC, DC, LA, Seattle. Or is there some known threat that they aren’t publishing? I don’t see how post-election chaos could be any worse than some of the more active protests this summer… unless there is concern about a Trump win?

      1. Phenix

        The only way Biden wins is if he outperforms in the Philly burbs. I can not imagine Philly coming out big for him unless its all the 55+ demo coming out in historic numbers.

        Anecdotally I do not know any young minorities from the city that are voting Biden its either Trump or not voting
        The reverse is true of the burbs but this is a 10-12 person sample. I do not bring up politics at work only listen and mention MMT when I can get it in.

        1. Lambert Strether Post author

          > The only way Biden wins is if he outperforms in the Philly burbs

          That’s how I see it. Note that in Florida 2016 Miami blacks outperformed, but whites from the boonies outperformed them more. I think that’s a universal dynamic to look for.

        2. CitizenSissy

          Greetings from the Philly burbs (Montgomery County). I think Biden will do very, very well. Burbs (Bucks excepted) have turned against Republican candidates (many of whom were very good) as an FU to the president.

          Where did get that about African-Americans or other minorities not voting for Biden? I’ve worked in Philly for thirty years, and the disgust with Trump is palpable. Early and mail-in voting has been huge in the City.

      2. Eudora Welty

        Yes, storefronts are being boarded up in my sleepy neighborhood in Seattle, where we had just one protest related to the fact that the HQ of the Washington State Patrol happens to be located here (and protesters marched due to two protesters who were hit by a car on the freeway). Business owners are anticipating social unrest after the election, but I don’t understand why, since this is a solid blue state, it’s a certainty we will go for Biden.

        1. Angie Neer

          The fact that people are boarding up doesn’t mean they’re sure there will be unrest, just that they’re wisely managing risk. And if the election goes to Trump nationally, I don’t think the results in WA matter much in terms of unrest.

          1. Mo's Bike Shop

            Hurricane prep, wildfire prep, planned power cut prep, and now riot prep as quaint little habits of American society.

            I’m assuming that at least school shootings are down?

            1. Person

              As long as the gun safe is stocked, the root cellar is full, the generator is topped off, the bugout bag is packed, the kids have their GPS trackers turned on, and the private security has been paid in full… why worry?

        2. Brunches with Cats

          Here’s why, Eudora:

          As of 2 a.m. Friday morning, the interactive map was showing 438 planned events nationwide. It’s now blank, “no events found,” with the following message:

          These events are tentative and dependent upon activation of the Protect the Results coalition if Trump takes action to undermine the results. For safety reasons, Protect the Results opposes any events beginning after dark or planned at ballot counting locations.

          I took a quick look at the signup page this afternoon and found the following note attached to one event (sorry, can’t remember where):

          We think the likelihood of activation is high. We should all plan as though these events could be as early as 4pm local time on Wednesday, November 4. But, this is a tentative date & time. Once you are registered you will receive a notification and a message from the organizer when the final dates & times are announced!
          But we will be ready.
          If Trump undermines the election results, the Protect the Results coalition will activate nationwide mobilizations— and we will need everyone to show up, so spread the word!

          Even if Biden wins in a landslide and Trump is forced to concede early, they still think they need to be in the streets possibly right up to Inauguration Day, because they believe he’ll damage Our Democracy on his way out UNLESS WE STOP HIM!!!

          Every law enforcement agency in the nation is on high-alert. National Guard are on standby. I haven’t searched for anything about what Trump supporters have planned, but it’s safe to assume that some of them will be carrying. And there will be agents provocateurs. If I lived in a populated area, I’d be boarding up, too.

          Sorry not to have posted this earlier. I’ll shoot Lambert an email with some additional links.

          1. Lambert Strether Post author

            > https://protecttheresults.com

            Another meta-NGO (see the “partners” page), organized by Indivisible* (former Congressional staffers, Clinton creature as organizer) and Stand Up America (full of Democrat hacks, many from the Booker campaign. And then there’s the leadership).

            Whatever these Astroturfers are up to will have little to do with “the streets.” At best, we’ll have some street theatre. I mean, are these guys gonna burn anything down? No. So, whatever.

            NOTE * To be genuinely fair to Indivisible, they produce excellent material on how to interact with Congress. But “in the streets,” lol. Lots of facepaint, no doubt.

            1. Brunches with Cats

              Well the button-downs aren’t going to put themselves in harm’s way. But do you think for an instant that they wouldn’t use nameless, faceless volunteers as cannon fodder? They’re sitting on a powder keg of TDS outrage, and telling them, “You kiddies play nice, now. No hitting.” And then when the Orange Fascist Dictator’s white supremacist thugs (or a rental dressed like one) starts shooting into the crowd, VOILA–there’s their proof that Trump is a racist tyrant. Ranks of the protesters swell, it’s harder to distinguish the non-violent protesters exercising their First-Amendment rights from the infiltrators, you can count on someone busting a shop window, cops start bashing heads, Trump sends in the military, and before you know it, you’ve got Euromaidan on steroids.

              If it was just some idealistic college kids and a few soccer moms in pink puddy hats marching by themselves, MAYBE they could get through a week or even two without a major incident. But they’re going to be ingredients in a lethal mix.

              Remember, too, even though this is the mother of all astroturf, many of the volunteers don’t know that. In fact, I’ll see if I can find the heart-rending message from Indivisible’s mommy to the kids telling them not to listen to those mean lies.

              1. Lambert Strether Post author

                My worst case scenario is a Capitol occupation by a militia, possibly in Michigan or Oregon.

                In Oregon, if the Occupation escalates, it won’t be because these tassel-loafered dudes and mimosa-bearing dudettes surrounded the Capitol building, it will be because of anarchists and radicalized moms and leaf-blower dads from the burbs did it.

                In Michigan, I just can’t say. When the gun humpers showed up in the Capitol, nobody lifted a finger.

                I agree that it’s correct to be as cynical about NGOs like this as possible; they’d love a martyr of their own. But look at Stand Up America’s staffing: It’s full of “digital strategists.” It’s a grift meant to suck money off donors, not a bunch of Stalinists or Kropotkins. Neither are about putting people “in the streets” in the sense of taking and holding space a la Occupy. They’re about marches. If a martyr like Heather Heyer emerges, it will be spontaneous and organic, not gamed out by these people. Honestly, people are going to put their lives on the line for quondam Booker staffers? Really?

                1. Brunches with Cats

                  The volunteers believe that they are the only thing standing between The Future of Our Democracy and Fascist Hell. The organizers have deftly exploited their TDS and fanned the flames. And while the organizations get some small donations, their operation has been funded in advance by the billionaire donor’s club, who are paying to make sure there are no more Trumps or Bernies to put ideas of free stuff into thr proles’ heads.

                2. Brunches with Cats

                  Adding that I still think the TIP white paper is their playbook. Same donors, but instead of the digital organizers, now we’re talking full-on Jabba-the-Hutt Blob.

      3. flora

        I think if B wins, which looks likely, the MSM will absolve themselves of their behavior claiming it was necessary to ‘save the nation’; they will add it as a daily tool for their preferred outcomes, as an expectation in reporting and editing, imo. Whipping up controversy and fear sells newspapers.

        It going to be hard, if not impossible after 4 years, to put that genie back in the bottle. imo.

        1. flora

          For example: all the MSM has spent the last for years discounting, if not demonizing populism, first with Sanders then with T. This year it has clamped down on any information that counters the MSM’s “official narrative”. I don’t expect that to change.

        2. Lambert Strether Post author

          > that genie back in the bottle

          I agree. In fact, the business model of the Times depends on whipped up partisan froth. That’s what they are in the business of creating and serving.

  6. lyman alpha blob

    One of the most galling claims from Greenwald’s editor is that there is no evidence that any deal involving Joe Biden was actually consumated.

    I’d be very interested to see the Intercept’s coverage of the impeachment earlier this year. The Democrat party and corporate media repeatedly told us that it didn’t matter that the alleged deal between Trump and Ukraine was never completed, and that the mere thought of it was tantamount to treason and required the president’s immediate removal from office.

    Perhaps some corporate coffee chain can name a new beverage after the Democrat party – the double standard latte.

    1. km

      Not to mention you gotta be pretty stupid not to be able to put two and two together.

      Biden bragged about getting the corrupt Ukrainian prosecutor fired. The new prosecutor is at least as corrupt, but, according to the Ukrainian government and Glenn Greenwald, he drops the investigation into Burisma.

      Gee, what a coincidence! The “krysha” (which is the Russian word for “roof”) worked exactly the way it was supposed to.

      The story reminds me of that organized crime bagman who would sit with an open umbrella at the end of a bar where contractors liked to hang out after work. Contractors who dropped money in the umbrella never had labor problems. Why, just like magic!


  7. Dave

    I just learned a useful term I suppose everyone else on here already knows: “negative solidarity.” Negative solidarity is when you have been shat on, so you expect others to be shat on to the same degree or worse. This is what the “Most of us just take editorial criticism we don’t agree with graciously and get back to work” tweets re: Greenwald remind me of (including by the likes of Naomi Klein, Ryan Cooper). 100% of the PMC (including me) looked at the editorial response to Greenwald’s piece and thought, “Wow, my own editors/bosses have regularly been a lot more censorious and mean to me! What makes him so special that he would quit because of this?” I suspect the editorial response was written with exactly that audience, and that reaction, in mind–in anticipation that Greenwald would quit over the rejection and share the exchange.

    1. jr


      This perfectly describes the culinary industry’s culture. You are expected, literally, to enjoy being treated like garbage. If you walk out because of the abuse, you are accused of screwing over your workmates because “The schedule!”.

    2. Pelham

      This sounds about right, judging from my experience at major newspapers. Special-projects editors in particular are highly valued for the various gentle phrasings they deploy to prevent reporters from doing much of anything interesting. These are the newsroom intellects, such as they are. They’re also skilled in running reporters in circles with their stories, making them “even stronger,” until the reporter throws in the towel.

      More generally, Matt Taibbi has correctly described the situation, noting that high-ranking editors generally have C-minus minds. The further one moves down the ranks, though, the sharper the editing staff tends to be, while the opposite tends to be the case for reporters. The best ones with the best ideas and most enterprise thus tend to be the most disappointed and frustrated due to their frequent run-ins with the C-minus editors in the walled offices. It was a gloriously screwed-up setup — until the internet destroyed most of the industry!

    3. Minalin

      I find Greenwald, “meh”. I can take him or leave him. But, how is Edward Snowden doing by the way? I do feel Greenwald wants it both ways: no editors getting in way of his need to publish and no regard for his collaborators. To me not a honorable man. He isn’t taking a bullet for anyone. Meaning he isn’t as fearless as others in his line of work. Trying to make it real compared to what? Can’t use it.

      1. Lambert Strether Post author

        > He isn’t taking a bullet for anyone

        Really? He’s risking getting whacked by Bolonaro’s goons. Suppose (a la Biden) Greenwald was only shot in the legs, instead of being shot in the head and his body dumped somewhere. Would that be enough?

  8. a different chris

    The rise in early voting in the US is creating complications that could have everybody waiting for days or even weeks

    Only in family-blogging 21st century America can people doing something early cause delays. That is beyond ridiculous, but that’s the country we live in.

  9. drumlin woodchuckles

    The National Fraternal Order of Police is a NaziFascist UNION and there can be no police reform until that NaziFascist UNION is crushed and exterminated.

    “Worker Solidarity” is radioactive toxic waste bullshit if it is used to defend the existence of NaziFascist organizations like the so-called ” National Fraternal Order of Police”.

      1. drumlin woodchuckles

        Thank you for your interest in my comment. I am always happy to hear from you. Please let me know if you have any other concerns.

        1. Jonathan Holland Becnel


          Please leave a message at the beep for *Drumlin Woodchuckles*

          Anger is a perfectly rational response for ANY unwarranted death at the hands of the State.

    1. dcblogger

      “Worker Solidarity” is radioactive toxic waste bullshit if it is used to defend the existence of NaziFascist organizations like the so-called ” National Fraternal Order of Police”.


    2. Jeremy Grimm

      “…the sheer force being used on that vehicle and the person inside and the damage done does raise questions.”
      After I watched that video of the police surrounding the SUV, smashing the window, and beating the driver it definitely did “raise questions”. Philadelphia actually pays for that kind of ‘service’ and ‘protection’?

  10. Adam1

    “Ugh. I hate the very idea that Halliburton might be right about anything.”

    Agreed!!! We know there’s a hot spot under the Adirondacks start drilling now. Most of the region is in desperate need of jobs and it’s basically no further from Boston, NYC or Phili than the nuclear plants in Oswego or Niagara Falls.

    Never thought I’d hear my brain think “Drill baby drill”!?!?!

    1. ambrit

      The problem here is that, as fracking has shown, when you begin a program of large scale injection of liquids deep underground, you promote earthquakes. Just look at all the earthquakes that have appeared with increasing frequency in Oklahoma. They concentrate generally exactly under where fracking wells are injecting fracking liquids and re-injection wells deliver the waste liquids that come up with the resultant petroleum flow.
      Some areas of California, where geo-thermal electric generation plants are built over hot spots, suffer similar clusters of small to medium earthquakes.

        1. ambrit

          The connection between drilling operations that inject liquids deep down and clusters of earthquakes is more noticeable in Oklahoma. Oklahoma had a small number of earthquakes annually before the fracking ‘boom’ took off. Now, clusters of small to medium earthquakes are common, almost always centered on drilling and injection sites.
          to see it, find a swarm of earthquakes on the USGS site, then enter the coordinates on your preferred map app and zoom in. Look for clusters of drill rig “mats.” these can be plainly seen in many places as networks of work roads and drill sites, some of which are in neat geometrical array. Many times, switch to ground level view and you can identify the actual drill rigs and processing infrastructure from the road.
          The USGS being up front for once: https://www.usgs.gov/faqs/oklahoma-has-had-a-surge-earthquakes-2009-are-they-due-fracking?qt-news_science_products=0#qt-news_science_products
          The same dynamic applies to geothermal plants.
          USGS on California: https://www.usgs.gov/faqs/why-are-there-so-many-earthquakes-geysers-area-northern-california?qt-news_science_products=0#qt-news_science_products

  11. You're soaking in it!

    Re: Philly cops behavior; coming of age under Frank Rizzo’s mayoralty has certainly inoculated me against any conflation of “left” and “Democrat party”

    1. jr

      I used to work with a number of AfAm former Philly public school teachers. I had assumed them to be a solid Blue voting block. Boy was I wrong, my boss voted for W!! She despised the Dems.

      Then I had a taste of why that was. My Adult Ed class had a visitor, a local AfAm Dem panjandrum, who was supposed to send off our new program off with a nice talk and some refreshments. He appeared, preemptively chastised my students about lying when filling out benefits paperwork, then turned and demanded to be escorted to the bagels and cream cheese. Total time with students: +/- 45 seconds.

      When I told my boss this she laughed and said that it was par for the course. As time went on I learned of the corruption in the local Dems, their demands for community support and their immediate distancing once the votes arrived, the cornucopia of baloney non-profits and watered down education programs. A black misleadership class per Black Agenda Report’s analysis.

      1. Fiery Hunt

        When I told my boss this she laughed and said that it was par for the course. As time went on I learned of the corruption in the local Dems, their demands for community support and their immediate distancing once the votes arrived, the cornucopia of baloney non-profits and watered down education programs. A black misleadership class per Black Agenda Report’s analysis.

        Oh, man, does that describe Oakland, CA politics/education system to a Tee!!!!

        1. Mike

          Go back to some 1930s, 1940s film noire and other rare films mostly unseen – this has been a big-and-small town problem since …uh…I don’t know, maybe 1810??? This country was cop corrupt as soon as one rich man could bribe a poor cop. The payroll, hence the bandwagon, got bigger, is all.

        2. Tom Stone

          Oakland Housing Authority police were the most vicious and corrupt of local cops in the late 60’s and early 70’s.
          OPD was close behind, as a child the church we attended was the Vedanta temple across the street from people’s Park, we drove from Oakland to Berkeley along MacArthur Blvd, then Telegraph Ave to Berkeley.
          There were hundreds of hookers walking the strip on Macarthur on a Sunday morning over a nearly two mile stretch.

  12. zagonostra

    >“Biden to air 90-minute radio programs targeting Black voters” [The Hill]

    Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden plans to air 90-minute radio programs on gospel stations across the country this weekend.

    Well good luck with that. On the religious front Carlos Maria Vigano just made public a second letter that was delivered to Trump, the first being in June and just as explosive. It plays into a narrative that is running wild in the alt-news arena, as can be seen from this small extract.

    A global plan called the Great Reset is underway. Its architect is a global élite that wants to subdue all of humanity, imposing coercive measures with which to drastically limit individual freedoms and those of entire populations.


    1. Darius

      I have heard of the neoliberal global reset. A fight between the neoliberals and the proto-fascists led by Vigano, Gingrich, Ginny Thomas, and other luminaries of ultra-reaction is not something that solidarity-builders should be cheering. It’s all about strengthening the ruling class. It’s just a question of which ruling class faction is ascendant, and how brazen and violent they will be.

  13. Mikel

    “Walmart Pulls Guns Off Shelves as Precaution Ahead of Election” [Bloomberg]

    May want to update that…hearing they are putting it all back on the shelves.

    1. ambrit

      Snark alert/
      Also hearing that you need to show proof of Democrat Party membership now to purchase said firearms.
      Policy being referred to as the “Harris Exemption.”
      /Snark off.

    2. doug

      The world now knows Walmart sells gunz and has ammo. That was repeated on thousands of news casts. Freaking brilliant PR. Free of charge.

  14. Katniss Everdeen

    RE: Taleb on “Pedophrasty”

    It has its most effects on actors, journalists and similar people deprived of critical judgement.

    What is this? It sounds like The Onion. Is it for real?

      1. Stephen C.

        Taleb’s style has sometimes been described as arrogant, but he’s a serious philosopher worth reading, and I believe he is not joking.

        1. jr

          Agreed, I just thought he was being a little snarky in that specific comment. I mean, some journalists have critical thinking skills still.


        2. Minalin

          He’s more of an engineer (systems) then a philosopher, he teaches in an engineering school. And there’s his hedge fund (I’m not sure of his equity stake in it). Want a philosopher par excellence, read Richard Rorty in particular “Achieving Our Country”. Rorty lays waste to Neoliberal, Popularism, and just about everything else going in terms of ideology. He does ask this question: “what do we want?’.

  15. dcblogger

    anybody here from the UK? I imagine that pushing Corbyn out of the Labor party is the end of the Labor party, given that everyone under 30 supports Corbyn. Also, this is why this won’t happen to Bernie.

    1. edmondo

      LOL. You can’t get kicked out of a party you don’t belong to.

      The best thing that could happen to the left is if they did expel him (or make him Secretary of Labor – a position worth “half a bucket of warm spit”). Working with the Dems is a dead end.

    2. Big River Bandido

      this is why this won’t happen to Bernie

      This groveling statement is naive and grounded in fantasy and wishful thinking. Democrats do not have members, leaders, or principles, and they aren’t really a political party except in name. They have a handful of owners, and several hundred players. Everyone else? They’re nothing but fans. They can’t officially kick Sanders out as long as the VT Democrats consider him a member.

      However, they did humiliate him, defenestrate him, spit on his values and his supporters, even tried to smear him with the same lies as Corbyn. And like Corbyn, Sanders had no answer, no fight against all that calumny. And if Biden loses, they will blame Sanders supporters for not getting behind a senile rapist who mocks our values and has made it as clear as Hillary Clinton 4 years ago that *he does not want our votes*.

      This is partly why after 30 years as a Democrat, I will never again vote for another. The party —- and much of its fan base — has lost touch with reality.

      1. Procopius

        I’m re-reading Halberstam’s The Best and the Brightest, and he says JFK considered his problem was with the right. The left weren’t a problem because “they had no place to go.” So his kludgy fixes to immediate problems in the Diemh government weren’t given much thought, and no one in Camelot knew much about Asia anyway because all the Asia experts had been defenestrated from the State Department after China went Communist (as the experts had predicted). It was thought Vietnam was a small matter and could be dealt with in the second term. So that attitude goes back at least sixty years in the Democratic Party (such as it is).

  16. Goyo Marquez

    Wait we can’t talk about that black child in Philadelphia because that would be PEDOPHRASTY.

    I’m waiting for some eminent type to come of with word for knee jerk contrarianism.

    1. Stephen C

      You are welcome to talk about children any time you like. Framing a political argument (or hard-sell fundraising) around a photo out of context, you are also free to do. But others are also free to be skeptical.

    2. Lambert Strether Post author

      > Wait we can’t talk about that black child in Philadelphia because that would be PEDOPHRASTY.

      Lol, “contrarian” is the new liberal Democrat shaming word. Well deployed.

      Speaking of jerking knees., do consider actually reading what Taleb wrote:

      Any argument (such as the one now used for illegal immigration) that is supported

      Presumably your view of language is not so instrumental that any statement or claim or indeed sentence is viewed as an argument (granted, there are plenty of deranged persons who take exactly that view, especially on the Twitter).

      Taleb has in mind cases like heart-tugging photos of dead children being used to justify intervention in Syria, or the “children in cages ZOMG!!!!!!!” much beloved of liberal Democrats (who neatly erase the fact that Obama built those same cages).

      That’s not the same as “talking about” the children in Philadelphia.

      But the minute that child is exploited by a political ad, say, that’s an argument, and the pedophrasty kicks in. You can see the bad faith because in every case, there will be more powerful arguments to be used. One can surely, for example, come up with better indictments of the police that don’t involve heart-tugging sentimentality and the exploitation of children. Torture and murder, for example, the blackmail of political leaders, law enforcement for profit, etc.

  17. Pavel

    Whoever wins in November (might be a pyrrhic victory considering the absolute economic mess the victor will inherit, plus a country on the verge of civil war), at least this campaign has been very edifying insofar as we know who among the media actually believe in journalism and fact-based reporting and freedom of speech and integrity. [SPOILER ALERT: NYT, WaPo, CNN, MSNBC and others not on that list.]

    I watched Greenwald on The Rising earlier and thought he made a very good case for himself. I haven’t always agreed with him but he is spot on with regard to the muffling of non-DNC-approved opinions. Maddow was happy to have him on to blast Bush & Cheney but he has become a non-person on MSNBC when he attacks the corruption (so obvious!) of HRC or, now, Biden.

    On a happier note, it is getting cold here on Cape Cod where I am temporarily staying, so I can no longer sit out on my small deck to watch the birds come to a simple feeder I constructed. I bought a small “window feeder” which attaches to the window with suction cups. I wondered how long it would take the birds to discover it… 10 minutes! (^_^)

    Simple pleasures.

    1. Return of the Bride of Joe Biden

      “Civil war?”

      I’m not disagreeing with the idea that the U.S.A. is teetering on the brink of chaos, including violence, nor am I trying to be argumentative or pedantic, but is “civil war” even possible? Who would be the combatants? How would they fight? Where? What would the government do? The military?

      I think a few Reaper drones could likely put down any armed conflict fairly quickly.

      I honestly don’t see how civil war, in any conventional sense, is even possible.

      1. Paradan

        If the military splits, you get a civil war.

        5-eyes vs the DIA?

        nah, those guys love each other to death.

      2. ambrit

        With all of the “RussiaRussiaRussia” bull—- being floated about over the last four years, I would not be at all surprised to discover the Russians, having had enough, were encouraging and supporting, at fourth or fifth hand of course, American dissidents of all stripes.
        As a thought experiment, consider if some faction in Mexico decided to reverse the flow of arms a la the “Operation Fast and Furious,” where the ATF ‘facilitated’ arms flows to Mexican gangs.
        See: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ATF_gunwalking_scandal
        Thus, Uncle Ivan supplies AKs to Mexican cartels who, for a cut, of course, smuggle the arms to El Norte. The arms then ‘gravitate’ to American militias. The political ideology of the end users of the weapons is not important, the chaos and disruption the use of the arms creates in America is.
        Think of it as an “Iran Contra” program in reverse.
        Blowback is a Bitch!

      3. Lambert Strether Post author

        > I honestly don’t see how civil war, in any conventional sense, is even possible.

        I agree. I think the Democrat base’s hysteria about Civil War is a result of their right and fitness to rule being questioned (based on outcomes, too).

        1. ambrit

          In the sense that the PMCs power and authority are being threatened, it is a ‘civil war,’ just not yet a shooting one.

    2. km

      Revolutions do not happen when the 99% rise up against the 1%, because the 1% will do whatever it takes to get and hang onto power. That’s how they got to where they are.

      Revolutions happen when the 1% are divided amongst themselves and factions of the 1% start casting about for allies.

      There will not be a civil war at this time, because the 1% are still pretty unified.

      1. hunkerdown

        Sounds like cant to me. In historical fact, revolutions happen when enough of the lowest elites, the barely-10%ers or so, defect or fall from allegiance to the elite side and join the commoners, bringing their numbers and their resources with them.

        Of course it is harder to fight two enemies at once and easier to fight half an enemy. No doubt this dynamic figures prominently in motivating the Great Assimilation™.

      2. Big River Bandido

        Actually, the ruling class is sharply divided over Donald Trump. That’s the huge instability in the present situation.

        1. VietnamVet

          The effect of the pandemic is being downplayed even though Democrats and the media bang Donald Trump head over the peaking number of coronavirus cases. 2,977 deaths on 9/11 started the Afghanistan war, almost 20 years ago, that is still ongoing. The USA is at 235,159 coronavirus deaths today. If Donald Trump remains President, a third of America will ask how is it possible that someone so incompetent and crazy was reelected. If Joe Biden is inaugurated in 2021, another third will say how did that touchy feely corrupt old man get himself selected. Neither will have a united nation behind them.

          Chaos is here. Rich profiteering. It cannot be hidden much longer. Nuclear weapons make a Third Battle of Bull Run outside of Washington DC impossible. But the checklist is getting pretty long for urban gang warfare: 1) Oligarchs infighting. 2) The Pandemic continuing through 2021 if the vaccines don’t work or the supply chain collapses. 3) Over 25% of young males out of work and families hungry. Urban unrest that has been continuous through 2020 will explode.

          A charismatic autocrat will jump in front of the mobs.

        1. Noone from Nowheresville

          Sorry not for me. There’s too much TDS syndrome here and not enough real analysis of what the Democratic Party brought to the table. It also has what I consider BDS: Biden Derangement Syndrome. Projecting onto Biden. Similar to how we projected onto Obama.

          I’m half-way through feel like I’d need yellow waders and lots of links. My take on it so far is: we’ve honestly learned nothing.

    3. Pavel

      Thanks to Return and km for the useful queries/objections.

      I should have clarified I meant “civil war” in the cultural sense. But watching the videos of the various protests and riots and *actual* battles between BLM and Proud Boys and other groups… there will be further violence on the streets.

    4. Oh

      It might be a pyrric victory for the masses who support that candidate but the victor will lick his lips and go to work quickly to have bills passed appearing to help the people but will be largesse to their pals in the yuuge corporations the scale of which will make the CARES giveaway look amateurish!

  18. Katniss Everdeen

    RE: biden wins Florida

    My “on the ground” feeling from central Florida–no way in hell.

    Of course I’m just one election day, in person voter who is a registered democrat so that I could vote Bernie in the primary, and wouldn’t touch biden with the ten foot pole that my neighbor has been flying a gigantic Trump flag from for the past 9 months.

    1. Lee

      One possible good thing resulting from a blue wave might be that some of the gen-pop relief that Nancy keeps “fighting for” might actually be provided. Or, maybe not. Who knows? The other more likely thing to happen would be that the Democrats will then have to own their failures resulting from their market/donor-constrained responses to our crisis and will be revealed as the naked capitalists they truly are. As for what may come of a Trump/Republican win, I’ll think about that the day after the day after the day after tomorrow.

      1. neo-realist

        As for what may come of a Trump/Republican win, I’ll think about that the day after the day after the day after tomorrow.

        Four years of “Kristallnacht” for the left

        1. Carolinian

          One seems to be planned, but not by the Trumpies–just the opposite. One interesting question is whither the press should Trump improbably win. They have openly declared for his opponent and having done so they almost have to make sure Trump loses. After all with Russiagate down in flames they are out of imaginary bullets.

          The whole thing is a sad state of affairs (including Trump’s presidency as well) and should be considered a ruling class (mental?) breakdown. Proper democracy is our system’s pressure relief valve and they have tied it down tight.

        2. drumlin woodchuckles

          Well . . . the Left always had the same Gun Rights that the Right had. It is not the Right’s fault if the Left spent the last twenty years preening and posturing about how it was too moral and righteous and above-all-that to get ready to make Right Wing Kristallnachts too expensive for the Right to prosecute . . . or at least enjoy the fruits of afterward.

          If there is 4 years of Kristallnacht, the fitting epitaph on all the Left-wing graves would be:
          ” Where the hell was your gun?”

      2. edmondo

        A Blue Wave will result in nothing of value for anyone who didn’t contribute to the Democratic Party. This is what the election is all about: Which set of donors gets rewarded for their “investment.”

  19. Stormcrow

    The Biosphere
    An Actual Ray of Hope: Tremendously Cheap Solar, Wind, & Batteries To Transform Society
    “It is no longer a matter of if the Solar/Wind/Battery disruption of energy will happen, it is only a matter of when and where.” “By 2030 electricity systems comprised entirely of solar, wind and batteries (SWB) can provide both the cheapest power available and two to three times more total energy than the existing grid in the continental United States, and most populated regions globally, bankrupting coal, gas and nuclear power companies and slashing consumer costs dramatically.”


  20. jr

    Joke of the Day:

    Q. What is the ultimate libertarian Halloween costume?

    A. An 8 year old coal miner buying Fentanyl with Bitcoins.

    1. ambrit

      That ‘joke’ also applies perfectly to neo-liberals.
      I prefer the Halloween jest put up by the old ‘Addams Family’ television show. Gomez is standing by his children, Wednesday and Pugsley on Halloween. The kiddies are dressed formally, gowned and suited. Nothing would be more out of character for real children than that! A modern take would be that bankers have been, of late, the most destructive criminals in our society. Thus, dress up as a Banker if you want to scare the rent out of American PMCs this Halloween.
      Addams Family clip: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cJEUMOaHYPk

  21. 430MLK

    Here in Kentucky, some high school students from Louisville did some investigative work on a Kentucky State Police training powerpoint that cites Hitler (as motivation…in three separate slides; Robert E. Lee appears in one slide) and “urges cadets to ‘be ruthless killers.'”


    According to the article, the manual appears not to have been in use since 2013; a cynical hooray for silent Obama-era incremental victories! (And a more heartfelt hooray for student journalism.)

  22. Adam Eran

    Sirota talks about the D’s ignoring the financial shenanigans during Bush 43… but if they were to bring up that topic, they would also have to mention Clinton’s complicity–signing the deregulation laws, and producing the “Clinton Surplus”… A dastardly deed if ever there were one. See Randall Wray’s comment here.

  23. Roquentin

    “Sirota is correct. It’s bizarre. It’s Orwellian. \ I don’t even know how to process it. It’s like a horror movie.”

    Thanks for this line. It resonated with me. About the election, about The Intercept, about everything. I’ve never seen anything like it. It wasn’t even that long ago that I used to genuinely respect a lot of them.

    1. Carolinian

      What was the obstacle to just asking Hunter if it is his laptop (so I don’t have to read something from NBC)?

      1. Darthbobber

        1. Hunter not inclined to talk.
        2. Knowing the answer to whether the laptop is his doesn’t answer any of the relevant questions about what is or isn’t shown by the spoon-fed snippets doled out to anybody trying to evaluate the story. And of course the laptop doesn’t really connect in any way with the Bobulinski squib.

        1. Carolinian

          Well is there any other logical conclusion to “not inclined to talk” other than that it is his laptop? In fact if it wasn’t then undoubtedly he and his father would be proclaiming to the high heavens that it isn’t without having to be asked.

          Plus evidence has been presented that it is including his apparent signature on the work order and an email from his apparent lawyer asking for the laptop (now in possession of the FBI) to be returned.

          What NBC is really saying is that we decline to investigate any evidence that will disprove our thesis–the very thing that Taibbi and Greenwald have been talking about.

          Add in that there are abundant pictures of Hunter and his family and that computer forensic experts doubtless could verify the contents and it’s a ridiculous argument to say that they cannot be verified. If newsies want to say it might be true but we don’t have time before the election to verify this that would at least pass the laugh test.

          But here’s betting that should Biden win they will continue to blame Russia with no evidence whatsoever because they’ve had years now of lying to the public and nobody has called them to account except writers like Greenwald who they will do their best to cancel from the public view. I think Biden supporters are way too complacent about this sort of threat to our liberties. A national press allied en masse with a political party smells of something and it isn’t democracy.

          1. Brunches witih Cats

            “Complacent,” because they’re too blinded by TDS to see what’s right under their noses. In fairness, though, they’ve been played by the masters of propaganda who are using them as cannon fodder in their war on Trump. The horrific irony is that they believe they’re the only thing standing in the way between democracy and the orange fascist dictator, when in fact they are unwittingly clearing the path for the real fascists to cement their grip.

            1. apleb

              If all nation wide media in the country with the far biggest propaganda machines on earth is played like a 5 year old, it’s not fit for any purpose.

              Fire them all and let GPT-3 write all stories in the future. It will do a better job.

  24. The Rev Kev

    “China Focuses on Building Its Own Core Tech as U.S. Curbs Supply”

    Well, yeah. Why wouldn’t they? Pompeo is running around threatening any country that has contracts with Huawei for example. In addition, ‘In early August, Pompeo announced a global Clean Network programme aimed at creating another Internet, stripped of the ‘malign influence’ of the Chinese Communist Party. A few days later, Huawei was barred from using any technology that, directly or indirectly, involved US companies.’ China is under attack and Pompeo is trying to threaten China by attacking their technology companies like Huawei. Good thing that nothing could ever go wrong by doing this-


  25. michael hudson

    Haha, Lambert. Your joke, “You can always ask someone for help” in New York
    I remember the first few times I asked for directions back in 1960 and 1961 here. Two or three people, each pointed in different directions.
    People don’t want to admit that they don’t have a clue. They all made up an answer that they THOUGHT might work. Most didn’t.
    It’s like asking someone for political directions.

    1. Oh

      I thought Lambert was talking about Tokyo where people are very willing to help and even take you to the destination!

    2. Lee

      Forming mental maps of frequently traveled terrain is as natural as walking for people who actually look where they’re going. Another innate ability being lost to screens and apps.

    3. Lambert Strether Post author

      > Haha, Lambert. Your joke, “You can always ask someone for help” in New York

      I really must defend New Yorkers, here. I have always had very good luck getting directions from strangers in New York!

      1. ObjectiveFunction

        Yup, New Yawkuhs are perfectly friendly as soon as they’re satisfied you aren’t about to ask for money.

    4. Andrew Thomas

      Even when I lived in Evansville, IN when it was chockablock with one way streets downtown, when people asked me for directions, most of the time I would see the expressions on their faces, and tell them to just follow me and turn left or right when I stuck my hand out the window. I can see how people in NYC could give good faith instructions that don’t work.

  26. lyman alpha blob

    RE: Biden (D)(2)

    If Biden manages to be dragged across the finish line, it will be interesting to see what role Ted Kaufman plays and what he tries to accomplish. He’s been Biden’s right hand man for a long time and replaced him as senator for a couple years when Biden became VP.

    I first heard of him in this book by Biden and Kaufman’s aide, Jeff Connaughton, about the 2008 financial crisis and subsequent attempts to get real reform – The Payoff: Why Wall Street Always Wins. It didn’t get as much publicity as other books at the time, maybe because the author was more of a behind the scenes guy, but it was a really good account of how things played out. My recollection is that he paints Kaufman in a very good light, as an unexpected senator who fell into the job and then surprisingly considering his mentor, tried to do something good and pass legitimate financial reform in his limited tenure there. Not a whole lot about Biden (D) MBNA in that book though since he’s never been one to rein in the banks, and in fact quite the opposite.

    Any Delewarians out there know much about Kaufman? Any chance he would at least try to point a Biden administration in the right direction with financial reform? I have no illusion that it would actually work, but it would be nice to see an attempt.

    1. Brunches with Cats

      Yeah, but it’s been verified repeatedly that the Kremlin hacked the DNC and gave the emails to the traitor Assange to fulfill a personal vendetta against Hillary. And don’t forget that Flynn, Manafort and a bunch of Russians we have no proof even exist were indicted! Ya’ll are just in denial about who’s really running this country. Anyway, the dossier’s totally irrelevant and has been thoroughly reported on. The only reason anyone is bringing it up now is to deny millions of Americans access to Joe’s healing touch.

    2. Brunches with Cats

      Seriously, though … there’s something very fishy about Steele’s involvement that I’ve yet to see explained. The official story is that he was friends with the guy (former WSJ reporter) hired first by the Republicans and then by HRC’s campaign to dig up dirt on Trump. In fact, Steele had done work for the State Department a couple of years earlier. He was introduced to Nuland (remember her?) via the “special coordinator” for Libya in May 2014 (incidentally, a month after Hunter Biden was hired by Burisma, probably a coincidence). Six months later, he was in D.C. and had several meetings at the State Dept, apparently to see if anyone was interested in his reports on Russia and Ukraine (cookie lady commented that it was mostly old news) and then asked the Libya guy to set up a meeting for him with the head of an NGO with business in Ukraine.

      FWIW, the Blob is working closely with the billionaire donor network to get rid of Trump by any means.

    1. anon y'mouse

      which angle?

      the part where he was killed for becoming more nuanced in his views of the world, and also because he was calling out the hypocrisy of the church leaders? the only remaining questions being how much role did COINTELPRO play?

      the people on that sub are relatively well-informed.

      1. jr

        Umm, did you look at the image? They are including him with Obomber, Killery Clinton, and Ruth Vader Ginsberg. I don’t consider him of their ilk, thus my question of their “angle”.

  27. japan train fan

    The thing about this Tokyo Metro map is that it actually leaves out about half of the train lines…there is the Tokyo Metro, then there is the Tokyo Subway, two completely different systems. And then there’s the JR lines, like the Yamanote Line, which is maybe the busiest train line in the world, and yet barely visible on this map! When the system is so complicated it’s basically impossible to represent on a single map, I’m pretty sure NYC can’t compare.

    1. Lambert Strether Post author

      > this Tokyo Metro map is that it actually leaves out about half of the train lines

      I was wondering about that, thank you.

      “The map is not the territory.”

      Who knew?

    2. Larry y

      NYC, Paris, and Tokyo are a mash up of several different systems.

      Japan’s systems are still separately owned and operated. Even in secondary cities like Kyoto, taking mass transit was a pain due to several disconnected systems. There’s the main public owner, then private lines, and finally Japan Rail (JR).

      Each system does honor each other’s RFID payment systems, but I also had JR pass – with some planning, could take the JR lines, save yen, and the time difference is only a few minutes

  28. drumlin woodchuckles

    Back to that Republican battleground voter suppression campaign . . . . Lefto cynics like to quote that Emma Goldman quote about ” If voting could change things they would make it illegal”. And the Republicans are trying very hard to make it illegal for some citizens to vote in some places. So the Republicans must be afraid that voting “can” change things. They may be wrong, but they seem to be afraid of certain people voting.

    1. Lambert Strether Post author

      Thanks, that’s a good link. Quoting from it:

      The family fight spilled into public view earlier Thursday. Ted Kaufman — Biden’s longtime chief of staff in the Senate, now leading his transition team — made the case for a more moderate approach in a Wall Street Journal interview, arguing the swelling deficit will limit what the next administration can pursue.

      “When we get in, the pantry is going to be bare,” said Kaufman, who served the two remaining years in Biden’s last Senate term when he became vice president. “When you see what Trump’s done to the deficit … forget about covid-19, all the deficits that he built with the incredible tax cuts. So we’re going to be limited.”

      Oh good. I don’t know which makes me more more crazy: Kaufman’s austerity, or WaPo’s casual trope that a political party is like a family. Holy Lord, a political party is no more like a family than a government is like a household.

      1. fwe'zy

        Ok that does it. I will reject the emotional bluemail I’ve been getting from Dem friends. Byedem is coming in loud and clear.

  29. drumlin woodchuckles

    And in all honesty, lets not forget how afraid the Pink KKK Democrats ( KKK standing for Kitty Kap Klintonite) were to allow Democratic Primary wanna-voters to vote. The Pink KKK Democrats were afraid that voters not-suppressed-from-voting in a series of non-rigged DemParty primaries would change things.

    1. Lambert Strether Post author

      I know the election is making everyone crazy, but “Kitty Kap Klintonites” is over the line. I don’t see that contingent bombing churches and killing children, or burning crosses on people’s lawns, or organizing lynchings. Watch it.

      1. ambrit

        Not to quibble too much, but, as SecState, Hillary was closely involved in such murderous behaviour overseas. The lesson from the last decade is that Blowback is a real ‘thing.’ Once a faction learns that “deviant” behaviour can be carried out ‘elsewhere,’ the obvious next step is to try and bring such excesses of power home.
        The Klan was ‘allowed’ to function in the South by politicos up North. No serious efforts were made to suppress it. Contrast that with the efficient suppression of the Union movement by the Pinkertons and State Militias at around the same time. In the 1920s, the Klan was a quasi-legitimate political movement in parts of the country, such as Bakersfield, California. It has been deligitimized today, but not destroyed entire. The basic conditions that can lead to the resurgence of such an organization are perennial and potent. Don’t think that “It Can’t Happen Here.”

  30. Lambert Strether Post author

    > I have heard of the neoliberal global reset

    Back in July, I wrote: Can Davos Man Punch the “Great Reset” Button? and looked at a lot of WEF stuff.

    I shudder to think what the right-wing fever swamp is doing with it, though. Caitlin Johnstone makes this very useful point:

    You cannot simply point at two adjacent dots and say “Look!” (although people do this all the time). You must connect the dots, and you must label and explain the connection. Johnstone is correct to say these are useful tools for doing critical thinking about CT. (For example, Russiagate was full of “two people were in the same city at the same time!” which is an example of adjacency.)

  31. tommystrange

    Man o man, sure do like your Greenwald thoughtful coverage too, amongst everything else! Comment section mostly great too….fresh air here……thinking people…

Comments are closed.