Links 10/1/2020

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Cast Your Votes for Fat Bear Week’s Chunky Champion Smithsonian

Providing decent living with minimum energy: A global scenario Science Direct. Interesting.

Silent witnesses: what do three corpses have to do with a corruption case? FT

FAA administrator flies MAX in next step to recertification Leeham News and Analysis

WTO to Let EU Levy $4 Billion in Boeing/Airbus Dispute Industry Week

California task force will consider paying reparations for slavery Los Angeles Times

Newsom vetoes bill to provide rehiring protections for workers laid off amid COVID-19 pandemic Los Angeles Times. Of relevance:



Epidemiology and transmission dynamics of COVID-19 in two Indian states (PDF) Science. Extremely important. From the Discussion: “Our findings provide insight into the epidemiology of COVID-19 in resource-limited populations based on comprehensive surveillance and contact tracing data from the Indian states of Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh. Our analysis suggests substantial variation in individuals’ likelihood of transmitting: no secondary infections were linked to 71% of cases whose contacts were traced and tested…. While the role of children in transmission has been debated (36, 37), we identify high prevalence of infection among children who were contacts of cases around their own age; this finding of enhanced infection risk among individuals exposed to similar-age cases was also apparent among adults.” Here is a summary; and a second summary. And of the same study–

Largest COVID-19 contact tracing study to date finds children key to spread, evidence of superspreaders Princeton Environmental Institute. “Lead researcher Ramanan Laxminarayan, a senior research scholar in PEI, said that the paper is the first large study to capture the extraordinary extent to which SARS-CoV-2 hinges on ‘superspreading,’ in which a small percentage of the infected population passes the virus on to more people. The researchers found that 71% of infected individuals did not infect any of their contacts, while a mere 8% of infected individuals accounted for 60% of new infections.”

HKU mechanical engineering study reveals airborne transmission of COVID-19 opportunistic in nature and poor indoor ventilation plays a role in transmission (press release) The University of Hong Kong. From July, still germane. Here is a long video on the same topic from the scientist, Yuguo Li:

One in Seven Dire COVID Cases May Result from a Faulty Immune Response Scientific American. A review of the literature.

CDC’s credibility is eroded by internal blunders and external attacks as coronavirus vaccine campaigns loom WaPo. Testing, masking, data, and aerosol guidance blunders are not minor. Absent that series of debacles, all of which are systemic, as we say, in origin, the CDC would be in a much stronger position politically, even if the way it’s being held to account now is extremely ugly. (The article includes the PMC solution, which is, naturally, to insulate PMC performance from accountability in the political realm altogether with a magic board that assures its “independence.”)

Community Health Workers and Covid-19 — Addressing Social Determinants of Health in Times of Crisis and Beyond NEJM

Surviving The Waves Of A Pandemic Storm: How To Fix The Supply Chain Flaws Exposed By COVID-19 Health Affairs

How to fix public health weaknesses before the next pandemic hits WaPo.

The common denominator is an antiquated and unstandardized system of linking data from clinical records and public health monitoring in ways that provide evidence on how to control the virus while minimizing the disruption to the economy and society. Electronic medical records — envisioned as a boon for public-health surveillance, providing data that could be readily analyzed — turn out to be much better for billing than for the exchange of data.

Because of course they did. (On standardized data systems, see NC here and here.)

A time for choosing: Masks or freedom? Twila Brase, Alpha News


Hong Kong police officers, staff recognised in honours list for efforts during city’s anti-government protests South China Morning Post

Explainer: How Beijing’s security law transformed Hong Kong – month 3 Hong Kong Free Press

The new centre of dissent: Britain becomes hub for Hong Kong activists Guardian

* * *
China manufacturing data shows small rebound in September Macau Business but China’s manufacturing activity surges in September, affirming its path to economic recovery Business Insider and China’s manufacturing PMI rises in September Xinhua

China, Food Security and Geopolitics The Diplomat

Surging Prices Turn Pork Into Luxury Holiday Gift in China Bloomberg

At Milan Fashion Week, Brands Double Down On China Jing Daily (J-LS).

U.S. Aims to Boost Taiwan’s Role Funding Global Infrastructure Bloomberg

Tokyo Stock Exchange paralysed by hardware glitch in worst-ever outage Reuters

55 years of impunity: How Indonesia is going backwards after the 1965 genocide Jakarta Post

Filipinos make up 4% of nurses in the US, but 31.5% of nurse deaths from COVID-19 Business Insider

Force majeure: Apparel buyers’ deadly weapon The Daily Star


Occupation without End The Baffler


The killing fields of Libya’s Tarhuna Middle East Eye

Israeli PM to UN: Hezbollah storing missiles in Beirut AP


Millions at risk of being blocked from Covid tests FT. “[T]heir identity cannot be verified by a credit-checking company contracted by the government to prevent the abuse of the public testing system.”

Deloitte selling contact tracing services to local UK health officials Guardian. Comment: “So private contractors set up a parallel contact tracing system, outside of public health, and now another private contractor is selling councils the chance to ‘integrate it’ back into the public health system. Have I got that right?”

Warren Mosler, Bill Mitchell, Patricia Pino, Chris Cook: Modern Monetary Theory and the economics of an independent Scotland (podcast) The MMT Podcast

New Cold War

Armenia publishes photos of wreckage it says is SU-25 warplane shot down by Turkish F-16 jet Reuters

Nagorno-Karabakh: A Flare-Up, or All-Out War? Carnegie Moscow Center

The legends of the Caucasus: Economic transformation of Armenia and Georgia Science Direct

Phantom Peril in the Arctic Foreign Affairs


DNI Letter Supports Allegation That Hillary Clinton Created ‘Russiagate’ Moon of Alabama

Rescuing US Intelligence Project Syndicate

Alex Younger: ‘The Russians did not create the things that divide us — we did that’ FT. Outgoing MI6 head.

Trump Transition

‘One more serious try’ on COVID-19 relief yields progress but no deal The Hill. Still not getting why Pelosi didn’t take the lowball trillion or so that the Administration was offering — simply to relieve working class suffering, if for no other reason — and then go pedal to the medal after the inevitable Blue Wave in November gives them control of the Senate in addition to the House. Which is inevitable, right?


The Politics That Led to the “Worst Debate” Black Agenda Report

Why Liberals Hate Leftists Caitlin Johnstone, Medium



Health Care

Investors Extracted $400 Million From a Hospital Chain That Sometimes Couldn’t Pay for Medical Supplies or Gas for Ambulances Pro Publica

For the first time, drug makers and PBMs must jointly face an insulin price fixing lawsuit STAT


Your Man in the Public Gallery: Assange Hearing Day 21 Craig Murray

Big Brother Is Watching You

Palantir Grabs $21 Billion Valuation, but Debut Comes With a Hiccup WSJ

Scars, Tattoos, And License Plates: This Is What Palantir And The LAPD Know About You Buzzfeed


Court OK’s $800M settlement for MGM Resorts, Vegas victims ABC

Class Warfare

Sara Nelson: the union boss fighting to ‘put workers first’ FT. On the other hand, industrial unions aren’t much good if their industry disappears…

Lies, Money And Cheating: The Deeper Story Of The College Admissions Scandal NPR

The Radical History of Corporate Sensitivity Training The New Yorker

How the “Sixth Sense” Shapes the Skeleton Weizmann Institute

What I Learned From Spending Almost 2 Months of the Pandemic Living With My Elderly Parents Time

Antidote du jour (via):

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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About Lambert Strether

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


  1. pjay

    ‘California task force will consider paying reparations for slavery’ – Los Angeles Times

    ‘Newsom vetoes bill to provide rehiring protections for workers laid off amid COVID-19 pandemic’ – Los Angeles Times.

    The juxtaposition of these two headlines is quite telling.

    1. Wukchumni

      There was never even 1 person in California who was a slave in American times, why the need to pay reparations for something that didn’t happen?

      1. furies

        That’s not true, Wuk.

        Sutter and his associates sold native americans for slaves. I didn’t know that until recently myself. Ever get a look at “Genocide and Vendetta”?

        1. Wukchumni

          Sutter (formerly a Swiss national) was a Mexican citizen @ the time in a place owned by Mexico, California doesn’t become a state until 1850.

          1. bruce

            America acquired sovereignty over California on February 2, 1848, when the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo was signed.

        2. Oso_in_Oakland

          ++++ furies, thank you. It was a pleasure to see sutter’s statue taken down.

          also, my understanding is the reparation call in places which did not have african slavery is there is wealth there whose fortunes were largely or partially derived from investment in slavery.

          1. Oso_in_Oakland

            yes, of course. that’s what we did. we enslaved each other. i suppose one can make the case we destroyed the environment as well – why not point that out as well?
            one might argue men suffer sexual predation and domestic violence too, although as a male i don’t feel the need to point this out when women share their trauma and suffering.
            NC’s comments section is helpful for those who IRL don’t move in white circles. the whiteness is several steps below the rage of trump’s base, yet it still simmers at varying levels among the commentariat majority.

            1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

              Ah yes, I can feel my “whiteness” “simmering” as I type this, though I don’t think it is quite “raging”. My bipedalism is simmering too, how can I rid myself of that? Do I go on all fours?

              I thought “racism” was when you unfairly call out and act against someone because of something they have no control of, i.e. the color of their skin?

              I’m just not getting the hang of this “woke” business, I still can’t quite figure out how to proceed without any of that pesky “freedom of thought”, “freedom of speech”, and “freedom of religion” stuff.

              And per the slavery discussion above, it seems the movement to change how people thought 170 years ago is proceeding nicely. Next up is to change what they did back then, but that may prove to be a little more difficult. I’ve yet to find attempts to erase history among nations aspiring to a pluralistic and open society. Khmer Rouge yes, but I doubt France is going to cancel Napoleon because he was awful to people in Russia. Luckily here however they are installing The Biden, and we can all celebrate Year Zero, where all is forgotten so long as you’re on the right team.

              1. Aumua

                Maybe we should listen to, and be willing to take direction from Native Americans and other oppressed peoples on the subjects of oppression, bigotry and even class warfare. Cause maybe we don’t really know what their experience is, and they might have some perspectives that we lack.

                1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

                  Completely agree with this.

                  But isn’t the goal that “race” does not figure whatsoever in how we deal with each other? Why is pointing out my skin color better than me pointing out yours?

                  I believe in the brotherhood of man, we are all in this together. Grouping me in with opinions held by other persons because I happen to share their skin color is nothing but racial stereotyping. I thought that’s what we were trying to avoid.

                  And I think dividing the society based on skin color simply plays into the hands of a ruling class desperate to ensure we do not unite on another axis entirely: class. Let’s fight that war first instead, and the justice will flow like manna. Class solidarity, not racial divisions, and the prize is ours.

                  1. Aumua

                    Ok. I hear you man, but first of all white is not a human skin color at all, but on the other hand whiteness in America is a social construct, constructed by the ruling class to act as a privileged buffer between themselves and the rest of the working class. Class division and class warfare is inextricably bound together with racial and other kinds of oppression. Capitalism as we know it does not exist without white supremacy, or without patriarchy, without the history of slavery and colonization. And these interlocking systems of oppression and control permeate our society fractally, from the largest institutions down to the nitty gritty of each individuals thoughts and feelings.

                    Bringing these facts to the light is not meant to make you feel shame or guilt. It’s not meant to trigger you, but it does. It triggers the whiteness in you, and in me too. That is something we might need to get over, to some degree at least. Because the working class cannot be free before the most oppressed among us is free, so maybe it’s time to give them the platform and elevate their voice, and set aside our own voice which has dominated the discussion for so long, and yet failed to win the war or resolve the conflict.

        1. Wukchumni

          California is admitted as a free state-no slavery, and your link has maybe a dozen or so blacks who were brought out west from slave states by their ‘owners’ and what became of them very early in California statehood. It seemed as if they won in court more often than not against their white owners, according to your link.

      2. barefoot charley

        A good number of Southerners brought slaves with them to California. Presidential candidate John Fremont ran his gold mine with them. Children of slaughtered Native parents were routinely bought and sold. The first California governor, Peter Burnett, advocated extermination, and bounties were paid to local militias out for slaughter. Indians, not being citizens, had no standing in court, so these practices couldn’t be confronted.
        And after our peace treaty agreed to respect Mexican land claims, most former grants were squatted and stolen. So there’s material to talk about.

        1. pjay

          Interesting comments by all. But the point I was trying to make didn’t really depend on the existence or barbarism of slavery in the past. It had more to do with the *theater* of identity politics vs. the *reality* of class politics.

          1. Wukchumni

            There would be scant reparations to pay in order to win the political correctness contest in California, which is why it’s being promulgated.

            It’d be like Mexico giving a pension to all of it’s WW2 fighter pilot aces.

          2. Yik Wong

            …and now you’ve seen a demonstration of just how effective that theater is at diverting action away from where it could really do some good, It diverted a class of people, the NC commentariat, who should know better. Sometimes I think my name should become Yikes! Wrong.

      3. Adam Eran

        We’re all embedded in a society whose condition owes a lot to (unpaid) labor from slaves. We could call them “African Americans,” but a more accurate name might be “kidnapped Americans.”

        Even if the descendants of slaves moved to California later, it’s a bit of progress that this unpaid labor is considered worth something, however belatedly.

        I doubt anything will come of it, but the very fact it’s being discussed is a radical change from the narrative of white entitlement and manifest destiny.

        We typically change the story first, then we get some material benefit from the changed narrative.

    2. cgregory

      The best reparations would be in the form of rebuilding every single public school in America. If one gives the general American population money, within 6 months most of them are back where they started from before they received it. Education can’t be taken back from even the most gullible.

    1. PlutoniumKun

      Thanks, that’s a great article. It certainly explains quite a few of the puzzling aspects of the spread of Covid.

    2. The Rev Kev

      Interesting idea this. So statistically speaking, if you have a few people that have a natural resistance to this virus, then you would also not only have people that would be very vulnerable to this virus but some who would be adapt at spreading this virus to others – the super-spreaders. Only thing is that there would be no way to detect who these super-spreaders are until they have done their damage. If you could identify them, however, then they should be first in line for a workable vaccine.

      1. vlade

        It’s not necessarily with the people, as I understand it.

        It’s more that under some specific circumstances (close contact for extended time, unventilated inside spaces and few more things) it’s much more likely that the virus will spread widely across the present (assuming ‘average’ human).

        Under other circumstances, it looks like the virus is much less likely to spread than one would expect.

        Mathematicaly speaking, it looks like the model for the virus spread is discontinuous – nothing, and then all of sudden a large jump.

        1. The Rev Kev

          I don’t know. I really don’t know. Do all people who are infected shed this virus at the same rate? Taking away some factors as ventilation or whether they are singing or not for example could it be that some people’s metabolism are really good at shedding virus particles?

          1. Ignacio

            I think that vlade’s take on ‘specific circumstances’ is very good. You have to combine one or more (one is enough) in her virus-shedding peak day, with elevated exposure in the recipients by direct contact, airborne, fomites and droplets all together or separately. Not everybody will be equally capable to spread disease depending on the extent of mucosa infection and virus shedding (many factors here, immunity, susceptibility, strenght of innate immune system etc).

            And this is one of the reasons for contact tracing: help identify such ‘special circumstances’ and try to avoid them.

          2. Procopius

            I think the discussion has fallen into the trap of assuming all members of a species (or a class) have exactly identical characteristics. If that were true, there could be no evolution. Evolution works because members of any species have a spectrum of characteristics. Some humans are well adapted to living at sea level, others have greater pulmonary capacity and live well at high altitudes, but get sick if they live in the denser air at sea level. Some people have longer necks than others. Some have bigger feet. It’s these differences that get selected in “survival of the fittest.” It’s not bloodthirstiness, cruelty, or ruthlessness as the conservatives claim. Some species have much greater variation than humans do; look at the differences between a Rotweiller and a Chihuahua, yet they can still interbreed. I can well believe there are genetic bases for differences in susceptibility, as well as nutritional and environmental differences.

            1. vlade

              The distribution of human characteristics follows, most of the time, normal distribution (as most long running natural processes do). It’s actually one of the consequences of evolution.

              It’s fairly likely that most humans will react to CV in fairly similar way. In fact, the whole of our current medicine works on the fact that yes, a human is an individual and each is slightly different (often in non-trivial ways), but that _mostly_ what works for one, will work for another.

              If that went out of window in a significant way, then we can pretty much give up on any but genome-specific treatments, which are still not anywhere near, and who knows whether (given the complexities of the system of the human body) will be ever really viable as anything but complementatary (in sense of error-reducing)

        2. David

          This is certainly what happened in France, where the vast majority of the early cases came from a revivalist church meeting in the north of the country. Several thousand people from all over the country were there, as well as a few from abroad. Had it not been for that single incident, the overall death-toll in France would certainly have been much lower.

          1. Ignacio

            While it is true, IMO, lack of awareness helped a lot in further more conventional spread involving one-to-one contact. I think this is now more difficult and the relative importance of superspreading events is currently higher compared with the first wave.

        3. Ignacio

          This is, IMO, quite certain. Many or most spread chains end in a cul-de-sac while some super-spreading events have a disproportionate epidemiological importance. Then the measure of R0 will have wide variations both geographically and with time depending on how circumstances diminish or increase the probability of such events. Think the bikers gatherings in one of the Dakotas. This casts doubts on epidemiological models.

          In relation with the excellent study in India this has implications on measures to control disease (reduce the size of children gatherings in schools and the like). I also find it very likely that the recent upsurge in Europe, and particularly in Spain, even more particularly in Madrid has a lot to do with after-lockdown gathering groups, both familiar and social (discos restaurants, religious etc.), all fed up about lockdown trying to return to happy life again and resulting in lots of super-spreading events. I personally know of two of such events that resulted on about 6 contagions in one and more than a dozen in a second event. The new normal wasn’t explained well enough and the political wars (particularly heavy in Madrid) diluted the message and delayed noticing the upsurge.

    3. DJG

      vlade: Go back and give it a read. Zeynep Tufekci is a sociologist by profession, I believe, and she is good at explaining data and how to think about data. Even though it is indeed a long article, she marshals her facts and data–and comes up with some new ideas for how to think about things. So it isn’t a long read, even if it is a long scroll.

      1. Rod

        The Atlantic Article from Vlade also reasons out that Contact Tracing backwards to Super Spreaders should be the focus. Reinforces that much less accurate (spit) testing is our friend.

        1. Ignacio

          You are saying something here that is important about contract tracing but IMO is usually overlooked. The objective is not solely to search and identify infected people for self isolation but to analyse which circumstances increase spread probability and what prevention measures would be more efficient. It is an all important feedback for HC authorities. Something that a contact tracing app will not be able to capture.

          You could identify special circumstances in different countries and different seasons on how the disease spreads.

    4. Drake

      “TLDR; R0 is just an average, CV appears to be spreading mostly by super-spreaders (in models it’s the distribution variable k), so pandemic restrictions need to be different than say for flu (which is linear, so R0 behaves as people expect).”

      I think just yesterday I read that Taleb had become a comic-book character, and now we have the perfect non-linear crisis tailor-made for Black Swan Man!

    5. pasha

      thank you, vlade! i believe this is the best piece on covid-19 i’ve read, in that it not only explains transmission but how to stop the pandemic by appropriate testing, busting and preventing superspreading clusters, as japan has done.

      and thank you, naked capitalism, for having provided a forum on this virus since january, long before it was being covered elsewhere, or at least outside of medical journals.

      note to self: perhaps a contribution during pledge week is in order?

  2. zagonostra

    >DNI Letter Supports Allegation That Hillary Clinton Created ‘Russiagate’

    Below is the concluding paragraph from this article. I posted a similar story yesterday from RT. What makes me curious is the lack of any interest from anyone I broach the subject with. It has already been erased down the memory hole. Over three years of public discourse by the complicit corporate media wasted in a political ruse where instead discussions of life and death public policy and foreign relation issues could have been debated.

    Those years are gone, the opportunity cost will only be paid when all the corrupt cast of characters are long dead and buried. It’s how the system is designed to function as the BAR article on the “Debate” articulates.

    The claims made in the Ratcliffe letter fit the timeline of the scandal as it developed. They support the assertion that the Clinton campaign made up ‘Russiagate’ from whole cloth. It was supported in that by a myriad of media and by dozens of high level anti-Trump activists in the FBI and CIA.

    1. pjay

      Some “bombshells” are more worthy of attention than others in our intrepid mainstream media.

    2. Eureka Springs

      “Whole cloth” is doing a lot of work there. Helping all specifically mentioned escape accountability?

    3. Drake

      Virtually everyone’s attitude towards Russiagate was hardened into place at least 3 years ago. No revelation now will be anything but an anticlimax. Those who were skeptical back then knew or strongly suspected that Hillary and her coven were the originators, and everyone else still considers Trump to be Putin’s puppet or lover or whatever. Besides, everyone who pushed Russiagate is still on the air or in positions of power and they are still invested in it, and in an election season everything will be viewed as a political gambit. Practically speaking, I can’t see how this changes anything.

      1. Katniss Everdeen

        At this point, changing people’s minds about Russiagate should not be the goal, severe and very public exposure and punishment should be.

        And the best way to make sure no one is ever punished, and they remain in place to continue to subvert the will of the people whenever and however they like, is to “elect” joe biden.

        1. Drake

          The dominant motif of American life for a long time now is that no one in the ruling class operating according to ruling class interests ever gets punished for anything. They get rewarded. Punishment is for everyone else, particularly whistle-blowers.

          1. notabanker

            But the Obama Administration was found to have violated it’s duty of candor. That’s kinda bad right?

        2. Off The Street

          The FBI and DOJ have had a dramatic thinning of the upper ranks due to firings based largely on IG and other documented investigations.

          That is a positive step and needs to much further to begin to repair the damage to the Rule of Law upon which the country relies. Some perp walks would do a lot of work in the start of that repair.

          1. HotFlash

            Nice, I suppose, for the FBI, DoJ, govt, and military, and ultimately for the government of the country that ‘disgraced’ admin types are censured (however lightly) and removed. However, moving to a better-remunerated position in private business/industry is not actually going to fix the problem. The very wealthy will just rotate in or suborn the next FBI and DoJ managerial types. Meanwhile, the disgracees who don’t flip tend to find a foamed runway after some decent interval. Scooter Libby was commuted, pardoned and got his voting rights back, Peter Strzok has a book deal. Compare with Seth Rich.

      2. USDisVet

        Really a shame isn’t it that Trump and Putin together had a small opportunity to make the world a safer place in spite of the treasonous acts by Hillary and the neocons. Both men think alike on nationalistic issues and the need for peaceful coexistence. A great opportunity wasted.

      3. km

        “There’s probably no there there….” – Peter Strzok to Lisa Page

        If anyone was in a position to know, then they were.

    4. Mark Gisleson

      Neither I or anyone I know who actually has worked in politics ever believed Mook’s July 2016 assertions. Russiagate NEVER made any sense and proved to me long before the 2016 election that Clinton’s campaign was run by people who had no clue how elections actually work. Which is not surprising when sycophancy is a required job skill.

      The Democrats don’t know how to win elections because the people in charge all live in bubbles where everyone has to kiss their ass. Just like in the corporate world including the looting from the top part. #WeimarLLC

      1. The Historian

        Russiagate never made much sense to me either.

        Of course, Russia and many other countries try to interfere in our elections and do, and BTW, so do we – that is just the state of tradecraft these days. And that is the tiny grain of truth that keeps Russiagate going.

        But so what? We already have a Congress that does not listen to the people of this country so why does anyone think that a particular piece of propaganda from a foreign country could possibly change anything?

        I think Russia and other foreign countries have figured out already that it doesn’t matter at all any more to propagandize to average Americans – it is cheaper and more effective to buy politicians.

        1. zagonostra

          I think you miss the point. It’s not that foreign actors are typically trying to sway elections in other countries, rather it’s that HRC was caught fixing the primary election and subverting basic democratic principles with the help of the security state and the media by deflecting attention to a faux attack by Russia. This is treasonous and should be seen as such. In a sense your response is what is wrong with this picture, no disrespect intended.

          1. Gc54

            Not to mention pure sedition afterwards, a far greater crime than fiddling internal DNC politics. That’s what these now-media *$$holes need to be slammed with.

          2. WobblyTelomeres

            What seems to go unspoken, to me at least, is that HRH and her gang of twits picked Trump. And corporate media, once they saw the ratings bonanza, loved the idea.

        2. JTMcPhee

          Goes back to the thinking that gave “The Body Snatchers” such currency in the ‘50s, following the Red-baiting of the whole first half of the 20th Century. “Red-“ness is a disease like Covid, it can take over (that fearful phrase) and turn red-blooded Americans (go figure how “red” can have so many cognitively dissonant meanings) into Pod People. A few “red” immigrants can spread the infection, leading to the whole political economy being “taken over.” Of course that is exactly what the Powell Memo, the Federalist Society, the CIA (Operation Mockingbird,) the Koch brothers have in fact done, to create a political economy that is pure “socialism for the rich.”

          Understanding what has been done unfortunately does not seem to give rise to any kind of antidote or public health action that might reverse the looting and destruction… “pushing Biden left” sure ain’t going to do it. And there are so may voices that whisper “futility” in our ears…

    5. David

      I had to chuckle when I read the story in MoA yesterday.
      If you read the letter, what it says is that US intelligence sources have learned, in some unidentified fashion, that Russian intelligence sources have assessed that the Clinton Campaign was behind this story. The letter points out that there is no way of knowing whether the Russians really think this, or whether they are exaggerating or making things up. Since we all know that intelligence agencies lie all the time, and this story requires us to believe in the bona fides of at least two of them, well, I think we can conclude that Clinton is certainly innocent. Or do we believe intelligence agencies only when they tell us things we want to hear?
      Seriously, I’ve always thought it possible, or even probable, that the Clinton Campaign was at least partly responsible for these ludicrous allegations. But this isn’t proof of anything, other than that some people, somewhere, apparently agree, or at least claim to.

      1. garden breads

        The third point in Ratcliffe’s letter is that American analysts forwarded an investigative referral of Hillary – not Trump – to Comey and Strzok about Clinton approving a plan to smear Trump for colluding with Russian hackers. Subsequently Comey and Strzok instead investigated Trump for alleged collusion.

        To me that is more significant and more certain than what the Russians may or may not have thought.

      2. CarlH

        If I recall correctly, it came out in the book “Shattered” that Mook and Podesta came up with the Russia Russia Russia plan while eating burgers. A couple of the emails released by Wikileaks lent credence to this too, again, if I am recalling things correctly. I would look it up if I had time. Apologies if I am wrong.

        1. Jeff W

          Within 24 hours of her concession speech, [campaign chair John Podesta and manager Robby Mook] assembled her communications team at the Brooklyn headquarters to engineer the case that the election wasn’t entirely on the up-and-up. For a couple of hours, with Shake Shack containers littering the room, they went over the script they would pitch to the press and the public. Already, Russian hacking was the centerpiece of the argument.

          —from Shattered by Jonathan Allen and Amie Parnes, p. 395

    6. pasha

      “Ratcliffe stated that the intelligence community “does not know the accuracy of this allegation or to the extent to which the Russian intelligence analysis may reflect exaggeration or fabrication.”

      two reasons to be skeptical here: ratcliffe is a political hack without intelligence experience; and, the supposed source would have every cause to deflect the possibility of russian involvement.

      just because something fits a preferred narrative does not make it true

    1. PlutoniumKun

      Yes, it was inevitable I think that the EU would play hardball, there was no possibility they’d allow it to be a pawn in negotiations.

      Tony Connolly has more on it – note however how Brexit seems to be falling down the list of priorities for the EU. They are leaving it mostly to the technocrats, which is bad news for London if it thinks they can provoke last minute concessions by playing the hard man.

        1. JTMcPhee

          Do the people running the UK government give a rip about how Brexit plays out? My understanding is that they are protected in a comfortable financial bubble, fully hedged against whatever happens. The condition of the upper classes going way back, of course. Like old Tony Hayward, and Tony Blair and “Tony” (sic) Rees-Mogg…

          Rule of the impecunious by the immune…

      1. David

        I think they pretty much had to do this, and it shouldn’t have come as any surprise to the UK, though it probably did. The EU comes from a continental administrative law tradition, where doing things by the book is exceptionally important, and not doing things by the book can be grounds for having your plans overturned, even if they are quite legal. On the other hand, the accusation at the moment (quite justified incidentally) is just the the UK has acted in bad faith, against the spirit of the WA, and the UK has been given a month to provide “observations.” I think we all know what they are likely to be. After the Bill becomes law, the situation will be much more serious, and of course if the government actually takes any action under it, that will encourage the EU to bring out the heavy artillery. It’s worth adding that the procedure the EU has started is normally intended to deal with (relatively) minor issues where there is something to be said on both sides. That’s obvioulys not the case here, because I don’t think anyone ever anticipated this kind of situation.

  3. ProNewerDeal

    What do you expect to happen with the COVID pandemic from now to Jan 2022 in the USA? What would be constant & what would be different under a Pres. Biden with respect to Trump?

    Sadly I do not expect any US state or county to do like Australia/S Korea/Cuba/etc & consistently maintain the 1-wk prevalence to even under 0.050% (aka the German standard & also the IL “Warning” level standard), with the possible exception of a few Northeast states like VT. For the lower level of 0.007% Mikethemadbiolgist lists is safe for schools (and presumably other high risk activities like bar/church/gym/indoor restaurants), I doubt even VT can be like Australia & consistently achieve this level.

    I expect this status quo to continue affecting nearly all US states & counties. For the less bad performing states & counties, the prevalence will exceed 0.050% for a number of weeks at the worst of pandemic waves. For the worst performing states like IA & TX, the prevalence will never dip below 0.050%. I expect this status quo to persist until 1 a functional vaccine is created & 2 70%+ of USians take this vaccine, which at best will not occur until July 2021.

    To paraphase the late pundit Ed Schultz, “what do ya think?!” Am I correct?

    1. vlade

      No matter who gets elected, given they won’t be able to do anything effectively till Feb at best, which would really start affecting things late March IMO at best (there’s at least two weeks lag for most things you can do with CV, and I’m making a very generous assumption you can get any actions in and acted on within 4 weeks from inaugration) .

      So the course for the US winter will be set right now, and even if you got elected the objectively best human possible as the US president in November, it won’t make much difference until Q2 next year best.

      1. Ignacio

        This is it. I believe the political noise and election results will take too long to settle, but on the meantime we can try to figure out what could happen and some of the hints come from the papers posted above. Winter is not the same in Florida or in Minnesota, in Florida or New Mexico etc.

        What I mean is that the behaviour of humans is not the same in these states and, for instance, the winter will modify the behaviour in different ways. Apart from climate, the kinds of human activities are not the same. Food processing in here, internet services there… There is also the butterfly effect (a very small change in initial conditions creates a significantly different outcome), the founder effect (in the sense that isolated or remote essentially Covid-free sites could unexpectedly become epidemic hot-spots by a single entry) so it is more than hard to predict what the hell will occur in, let’s say Shreveport, LA next winter.

        One could expect Covid hot-spots rising here and there in the most unexpected way just because the circumstances for superspreading events were realised. How far these would run might depend on how the mechanics of detection and contact tracing work in each place. Stay tuned to local news. Schools might at some point become spreading sites and children acting as living fomites (I always laugh at Lambert’s contradictory definition).

  4. steve

    Building air flows and schlieren images:

    Effects of ventilation on the indoor spread of COVID-19



    I’m caught up in deadlines but my brief read is positive. The Building Management shops are in overdrive dressing everything in COVID Green, so busy me.

    1. Jeremy Grimm

      Thank you for the reference. The paper on ventilation looks very good. Beyond Corona I believe ventilation is very important for future housing designs and of course for any return to the use of many office buildings.

  5. The Rev Kev

    “‘One more serious try’ on COVID-19 relief yields progress but no deal”

    ‘Still not getting why Pelosi didn’t take the lowball trillion or so that the Administration was offering — simply to relieve working class suffering.’

    Not too hard to work out when you consider the character of the people involved. Pelosi walked away to keep those working class people suffering The calculation is that through despair, they would blame the Republicans and vote instead for the Democrats in the upcoming election. All the misery, hunger and deaths by the working class is only ‘collateral damage’ then.

    1. The Historian

      From working in Washington and seeing how the sausage is made, I am not willing to blame Pelosi and the Democrats just yet for not accepting what the Republicans are offering. I need to see the text first.

      Considering that McConnell does not want another vote on the stimulus before the election, it wouldn’t surprise me if what the Republicans are offering has a big poison pill in it – something that the Democrats would be heavily damaged for by accepting. That is typically what one party does to the other when they want to avoid a vote.

      1. Romancing The Loan

        If that were true then surely they would have publicized what that poison pill is by now, no?

        1. The Historian

          Possibly not – it depends on whether the text is freely available for everyone to see or whether the Republicans still have plausible deniability.

          Without seeing in print what each party is offering, I really can’t say one way or the other. All we are getting right now are the spin doctors telling us what they ‘think’ each side is offering.

        2. WobblyTelomeres

          The poison pill is COVID liability protection. Big business wants it, trial lawyers don’t. Never will the two meet. Hence, theater.

          1. Rod

            Acute Vision on display, imo.
            First up may be Public Universities and Public Schools, as well intentioned as they have been.

        3. pasha

          the poison pill: mcconnell has insisted that the bill immunize employers from liability if workers are infected. this dis-incentivizes employers from enforcing worker protections (think of the 200+ dead from covid-19 because of unsanitary conditions in meatpacking industry)

          pelosi has so far refused to surrender worker protections. i hope she does not give in on this

    2. KevinD

      It’s a game to them, they have no dog in the fight. More working class representation would help – but who in the working class can afford to run for office?

    3. Darryl Fuller

      Perhaps it was the $306 billion in “discretionary” spending included in McConnell’s HEALS Act.

      Or the $40+ billion in additional defense budget money.

      Or the criminal liability shield for employers to continue to endanger their employees. We already had Goodyear knowingly manufacturing defective tires and of course, Boeing building airplanes they know will fall out of the sky.

      Do we really need more criminal liability shield for businesses? No one went to jail for the Goodyear criminal negligence & murder. Anyone going to jail for the Boeing murders?

      Republicans had months to craft their own legislation. They waited until the end before negotiating among themselves to create a bad bill. In order to blame Democrats for blocking “coronavirus relief”. Republicans took American families hostage in order to get their crap bill passed. See “$306 billion discretionary spending”. Where do you think that is going to go?

      Reminds me of the American Recovery Act – a $787 billion bill. Described as inadequate by just about everyone. To get Republicans on board to pass ARA? Half of the $787 billion had to be turned into tax breaks & tax credits, then larded with pokt – even more so than originally.

      Fact remains, Republicans had months. Did nothing. Waited to the last minute. Proposed bad legislation. Blamed Democrats for their bill not passing. Blamed Democrats who had a bill ready back in May to be negotiated on but Republicans were never around.

      Maybe Pelosi had had enough. She has her own reasons – more than one. Some bad, some good. Hey, she actually did not cave for months. GOOD FOR HER.

      For American families? Well, neither party is our friend. Republicans are just much worse at this time.

      1. kareninca

        If Pelosi is so great she can give some of her $100 million to poor people. Or do you also think “good for her” that she has accumulated that in her years as a “public servant.”

    4. polecat

      Yes. Another prime example .. of the lowly mokes receiving a big, heaping, empty bowl of Cold Nancy!

    5. RickV

      Two main issues are holding up a deal from my sources:
      1. Republican’s proposal would not include relief for states and municipalities.
      2. Republican’s proposal prohibits lawsuits by workers against employers who require work without adequate protections in place.
      The Dems would be crazy to accept either one of these issues, as the Reps would quickly publicize the sellout to voters.
      The ‘collateral damage’ is from the republicans in my view.

    6. Jeremy Grimm

      I think Big Money is holding back relief. The evictions and mortgage defaults are just beginning and there are still small and medium businesses to bankrupt. Once there’s been a sufficient transfer of wealth and property Congress will find ways to put money into the hands of Populace to flow into the coffers of the new owners.

      Of course the collateral damage to Populace is helpful in crafting an election result. It also serves to humble and punish Populace and drive it back to its proper place in Society.

    7. John k

      Both sides are blaming the other for no deal. Reps have bully pulpit, dems have msm. No movement cause both think they have upper hand.
      But also Biden camp think cupboard is bare, and both sides are tired of giveaways to workers, money far better put to tax cuts and military. IMO no deal or very little, and nothing at all after.
      But my predictions have been crappy.

    8. Aumua

      I don’t know, it kind of seems like the same group who were condemning the Democrats for not fighting for more back in April are now condemning them for fighting for more. So I mean… you know. On the other hand I’m sure there also some aspect of the never ending “make Trump look bad no matter what” agenda in there too.

  6. DFTBS

    Regarding China and food security, I just can’t understand the viewpoint of Western and particularly American geopolitical “analysts”. They’re like a person ignoring their own burning home and pointing out their neighbor’s broken fence.

    I suppose propaganda has its place in information warfare, but it seems that the “analysts” consume their own propaganda, garbage in; and spew it back out as analysis, garbage out.

    You’d like to think that somewhere in the halls of military and diplomatic bureaucracy there is some truthful assessment of the motivations and capacities of other nations and of our own. But judging by our results over the last 30 years, the “decision makers” are just remoras on the side of this propaganda-as-analysis beast.

    1. Wukchumni

      Paging Joseph Campbell to the white courtesy phone…

      For whatever reason the NFL has been coming down hard on scofflaw coaches & staff who are seen unmasked along the sidelines with $100k fines, whereas MLB, NHL & the NBA have been quiet as church mice in regards to the same subject matter.

      Now along the same lines, why not fine our political leaders the same amount as levied on NFL for mask violations from the lowliest position right on up to the President?

    2. The Historian

      Reading that article just made me shake my head.

      When people come together to form a government or even just a community, they voluntarily give up some personal rights for the good of the whole, i.e., traffic laws have been pointed out before as an example. But it truly scares me now how many Americans have forgotten that and can only think about their own ideologies.

      One paragraph had me flummoxed:
      “The mask is a visible sign of oppression. Governors and government officials are forcing Americans to put a barrier between them and the air they breathe, or risk being fined, tased, or jailed.”

      Seriously? Like masks stop you from breathing? How far over the bend are anti-maskers willing to go?

      1. Darius

        This is an oldie, but a goodie. If masks made it difficult to breath, we’d have been seeing surgeons and their assistants collapsing during surgery as a routine matter, but that isn’t a thing, even in America, the exceptional nation. “What about people who have a medical exception?” For that small group, of course, they are excepted. I don’t think America has an exceptionally large number of people with asthma and other respiratory disabilities.

        These mask resisters are a bunch of drama queens. The pandemic is the most drama they have ever had in their lives. They aren’t giving it up. We gotta keep this pandemic going in the exceptional nation, even as other nations have learned how to deal with it and get on with life.

      2. garden breads

        Think how offended they’d be if we followed historical practice. In the past our military enforced quarantines (e.g. Honolulu Plague 1900) and buildings and ships etc. which had housed infected persons were burnt down.
        Similarly there are historical reasons why we have a Surgeon General and why the Public Health Service is one of the few uniformed services of the US along with the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines and Coast Guard. Always had to explain at our school of public health those days faculty and students showed up in their dress blues.

      3. crittermom

        Am I the first to say there’s more than a medical benefit in wearing a mask?
        After having my beloved, humble ranchette stolen by the banksters resulting in me being homeless, and going through stage III breast cancer following that, it aged me a LOT. Reading my Drs comments in my medical files states, “A pleasant woman, who appears older than her years” (ouch), is further proof. (I used to appear younger than my years, still getting carded at bars at 30)

        So I consider wearing a mask can be good for cosmetic reasons, as well.
        It covers up many of the wrinkles! (I’m really trying to remain optimistic and keep a sense of humor during these sh*tstorm times)

        Now if only I could afford an eye lift…

      4. Clive

        You may not agree with the argument but as a point of law, the rights of the person are an intrinsic part of long-standing and hard fought-for treaty-enshrined protections.

        Here in Europe this has been upheld consistently in cases which have come before the courts. The European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) gives wide-ranging and inalienable protections. Courts are slow, rightly so in my opinion, to jettison profound safeguards on what are at-best debated grounds. The Convention was adopted in a Europe where the horrors which governments, hiding behind the smokescreens of “crises”, and “urgency” started down a conveyor belt of horror.

        I have had long discussions with friends who are Brexit Remain die-hands and have previously called the U.K. government from a pig to a dog insults for its threat to withdraw from the ECHR. When I say that mask mandates almost certainly are not compliant with with ECHR, courts are handing down judgements saying exactly that, I’m told, with absolute certainty, that the Convention “doesn’t apply” or “wasn’t supposed to be used for things like that and isn’t designed to deal with the current complexities because of the deadly virus” or “people are abusing the legislation”. Cognitive Dissonance being, apparently, one thing which is still alive and well, despite everything.

      5. kareninca

        Yes, at the time that people come together to form a community, they may give up some rights for some public goods. However, we are not at that point of time. There are plenty of people of all political stripes who would not sign on to our present system, so it really isn’t relevant that they might give up some rights for some common goods in some abstract founding situation. The question is whether they would give up those rights that are now in question, for those goods that are now in question. It looks like some would and some wouldn’t.

        For instance, it is argued that we should give up privacy rights so that the surveillance state can better protect us. Your abstract argument could be used to support that. I happen to agree with you about the balance in the case of masks and public health, but I don’t ground it on some “founding agreement” notion.

    3. Rod

      my comment on such nonsense is caught in moderation but I could not agree more.
      Some kind of Special Stupid going on here.

    4. Paradan

      From Ian Mortimer’s “The Time Travelers Guide to Restoration Britain.”….

      “Past experience has led to the development of a series of Orders about what magistrates should do to control the disease when it is found in a locality……If the searchers find an infected person, the house is to be closed up with all occupant inside, a red cross is painted on the door, and a watchman set to ensure that no one goes in or comes out.”

      “Such orders are, of course, aimed squarely at preventing the spread of the disease, but in 1665 some people don’t remember how deadly an outbreak can be. They see the incarceration of victims as cruel and uncharitable. In April, one of the first houses to be infected is in the parish of St Giles-in-the-Fields. The magistrates order it to be sealed up but the neighbors object to such unchristian behavior: they obliterate the red cross that has on the door, force the padlock that has been placed on it and release all the inhabitants as if they were victims of an injustice…..The infected victims emerge and mingle with their rescuers – and the plague spreads rapidly throughout the parish. More then 3,000 people die in St Giles-in-the-Fields as a result.”

      Looks like we got a long history of Free Dumb Disease.

      1. wilroncanada

        My wife got an email from a woman in her reading group, containing material passed on from a website in Portland. This lady is in her 80s, a holocaust survivor, who wears thousands in gold and jewellery to the meetings. She was apparently a devotee of what she was sending, that it was “truthful and accurate.”

        The email links passed on included the invitation to an online pandemic town hall on the topic, Pandemic Illness Is Easily Preventable. The host–KC Craichy. the panelists: Isaac Golden, Phd, DHON, ND; Leigh Erin Connealy, MD; David Brownstein, MD. She added her own perspective to this with the 24 point heading: THE ROAD TO MEDICAL TYRANNY OR FREEDOM.

        I scrolled to the bottom and found the eminence gris:

    5. carolinus

      Whenever someone goes all spring snakes about masks around me, I immediately launch into the importance of protecting the rights of americans to drive automobiles while intoxicated. It usually has a chilling effect on their cries about tyranny.

      1. hunkerdown

        “My right to infect others shall not be infringed!” To people who actually believe there is no society, a concept like public health would be multiple degrees of incomprehensible.

      2. Henry Moon Pie

        “I immediately launch into the importance of protecting the rights of americans to drive automobiles while intoxicated.”

        Or the right not to wear pants in public. Those damn fascists/communists with their “No shirt. No shoes. No service.” signs.

    6. Maritimer

      In the main, I agree with the sentiments in that article.

      First, I have believed all along that a “one size fits all” approach to Covid was wrong. For instance, in my jurisdiction, there is practically no Covid yet the government beats the fear drum in Chicken Little fashion. To haphazardly and indiscriminately violate civil rights is dangerous public policy.

      Secondly, there has been no study or report by Epidemiologists/Public Health Experts on the total consequences of Masking or, for that matter, of all of their draconian measures including their repressively named “Lockdown”. Why no report on the total consequences of all of these repressive measures? The bankruptcies, the suicides, the postponed diagnoses and other healthcare, the mental health consequences, on and on. But apparently this is beyond the ability of Epidemiologists/Public Health Experts to analyse. But we do get expert, scientific, tunnel vision reports on droplets, etc. Certainly makes one wonder. It seems biased scientists investigate what they want not what is relevant.

      Thirdly, I am concerned when corporations and their employees become agents and enforcers of government policy. And also citizens who become snitches, busybodies, informers and vigilantes. Those are not the hallmarks of a free and open society.

      Lastly, in my jurisdiction, the government, probably knowing what they are doing is in part illegal, has couched certain of their “mandates” in murky and confusing terms. For instance, as far as masking, they have said there will be no “enforcement”, that there are medical exemptions but do not go to a doctor and try to get one because that will overload the system. But, corporations are allowed to bar you if you are unmasked in violation of the stated medical exemptions and Human Rights legislation. This lawlessness in caused by the government. There has been no clear statement of government policy in the matter of masking.

      So, Epidemiologists/Public Health Experts show us those reports on the total Covid picture including masking not just part of it. Until then, hands off my civil rights.

      1. furies

        Covid-19 is a *new* phenomenon–the tests, papers, proofs you require to satisfy your ego/rights is in it’s infancy cuz it’s NEW. Noting the state of our mercenary ‘experts’ and ‘scientists’ the muck to wade thru is prodigious.

        But you can take lessons from past pandemics. As well looking at other countries that have kept the virus at bay during this one.

        Wearing a mask is not a big deal! I mean, geez…! You gave up your right to privacy with nary a squeak!

        1. pasha

          ninth amendment bonus: masks protect your right to privacy, since they fatally disrupt facial-recognition devices!

  7. Carla

    Black Agenda Report’s Glen Ford perfectly ON TARGET once again. Thank you, thank you, thank you for “The Politics That Led to the Worst Debate.”

    I have sent it on to many Democrats, thereby insuring and cementing my unpopularity with that crowd.

    1. zagonostra

      You can take a horse to water but you can’t make him drink. I have provided links to BAR, Jimmy Dore, and NC to family and friends so they can get an alternative view of politics and finance. They may have clicked on the initial link I sent, but then they never go back, instead they continue to drink from the toxic polluted propaganda on MSNBC,FOX and the other corporate media sites.

      I agree with Ford’s comments that there exist a responsibility on the part of the citizen to dig deeper to understand why and how things got to where they are and how it is possible that we are being told we must vote for one of these two men to lead the “free world.”

      The trick will continue to work until voters, especially Blacks, stop rewarding Democrats for their serial betrayals. There is nothing smart or “strategic” about falling for the same trick every election cycle – and anybody that tells you different is in on the con game.

      Black folks and progressives are not to blame for Donald Trump, but do bear responsibility for the Democrats that are not much different from Trump on every issue that counts except race – and in Biden’s case, not even that.

    2. DJG

      Viva Carla!

      The nice thing about confinement to quarters is that you won’t be running into them on the street. So they get a few days to have a rational thought–well, maybe. Then you may get a sternly worded e-mail message.

  8. Katniss Everdeen

    RE: “Congress to the working class:” Video

    If you click on the date in the tweet, it takes you to the twitter post. Before you can view the video, you get this “warning”:

    The following media includes potentially sensitive content.

    It seems twitter has decided that this is some of that “inflammatory” political content the social media gods must “protect” us from. As if everybody doesn’t already know.

      1. hunkerdown

        Yes, they don’t want the working class to get Ideas. Especially the people who are so useless and parasitic that they’d fail the first or second cut out of any spontaneous alignment based on material needs. They’re extremely sensitive to the very thought that their stylized, performative generosity isn’t exactly equivalent to material resources, after all the haute cuisine they digested making them up.

      2. polecat


  9. Rod

    A time for choosing: Masks or freedom? Twila Brase, Alpha News

    from what i have been seeing for the last week, many people in my neck of the woods are believing this propaganda–prominent signage requiring masks prompts nothing. WalMart, my counting bellwether, was 3 masked out of every 10 observed yesterday–down from 8 masked out of every 10 just last week–actually saw a couple remove their masks as soon as they passed the door monitor.

    In SC, DHEC shows the Infection Rate still about 12% of those tested(with 5% being the accepted goal for safer public interactions). DHEC reports testing sought is down about 40% from last month alone. The death rate is about +2% of the Infected Rate(145,000 infected and 3600 deaths.)

    1. Wukchumni

      I was @ Wal*Mart yesterday, and everybody was masked up, no exceptions…

      An interesting development by the way, I sauntered over to the locked glass ammo cases, and they weren’t there anymore.

      I asked a clerk what had happened to them, and he told me W*M stopped selling ammo about a fortnight ago in their stores.

      Didn’t hear anything about that in the press, did you?

      1. Off The Street

        Was that due to a corporate decision or to low ammo supplies? There has been a huge spike in reported firearms sales this year so it would stand to reason that ammo sales spiked, too, leading to supply restrictions.

        1. Wukchumni

          The ammo shelves @ Wal*Mart were just about barren during the ‘Obama’s gonna take away our guns’ era, and it certainly didn’t stop them from selling what meager amounts were around then (just as big of an ammo shortage then, btw) and this is quite the sea change.

          Now in those same locked glass cases are of all things, headlamps. Must be one of the more stolen items in the store.

      2. rowlf

        The media covered Wally World’s announcement in June. No loss as it was usually unreliable MBA’d ammunition.

        Often when people at a range have problems with their firearms the troubleshooting starts with: What ammo are you using? Did you buy it from Wally World? Have you tried better made ammunition?

    2. The Historian

      I had to go into my local Walmart last week to pick up wipes – they won’t sell them to you for pickup or delivery – and what I noticed was that the guy at the door checking for masks was gone. About 25% of the people shopping had no masks. The one good thing I noticed was that Walmart had its HVAC going at full speed so that it was almost windy in the store.

      1. Alfred

        This week I’ve been to two Walmarts, a few miles apart from each other here in south Georgia. One of them had signage (In place for months) to the effect that Walmart requires that masks be worn by everyone in the store. The other had a newish sign to the effect that Walmart recommends following state, local, and federal guidelines to reduce the spread of COVID-19. I got the impression that a change of corporate policy is under way (in accordance with some evolving theory of liability?), but of course one or the other store could just have a maverick manager. Inside both stores the rate of mask-wearing was still pretty high, upwards of 90% I’d estimate. But the practice of social distancing seemed to be declining. And the number of personnel assigned to monitor the entrances was radically reduced (from around six people at each entrance last week, to one).

    3. Clive

      Yeah, it’s not like people have to contend with scope and mission creep, governments abusing their ruling by decree under “emergency” powers, harms caused by either malice or incompetence, corrupt and compromised “experts” nor any temptation to use fear to instil compliance or any other general all round unpleasantness.

      I for one will never question authority and am eternally loyal to the Crown. No risk of getting dirty looks picking up my sausages in Asda for me! No sir-ee.

      More seriously, why this urge to show how much you care for others by insisting you know best and implying they’re too stupid to know what’s best for them? Isn’t that being a little one-sided?

      And if the propaganda isn’t working, what’s the reason why some people are refusing to believe it? And what do you propose to do about it?

      Have you really thought through where you’re going with all this?

      1. a different chris

        >they’re too stupid to know what’s best for them?

        Clive, it’s like been 1000x a day we get told that the point of masks is to seriously address spread, what’s best for everybody.

        So you’re “too stupid” remark is a bit misaimed.

        >Have you really thought through where you’re going with all this?

        Yes everybody wears masks and we get this s(family blog) under some sort of control. Again the last thing Big Gummint really wanted was to give people an excuse to basically hide in public, but they simply had to or they would have no public to oppress.

        Jesus help me.

          1. furies

            People *aren’t* wearing masks and continue to galavant!! That’s what ‘we’re’ doing wrong!

            1. Clive

              Then you have a failed public health policy.

              If, as I assume it required, the success of it depended on universal adoption (everyone had to do it) and unfailing adherence (they all had to do it, all the time) then that was an exceptionally high hurdle to clear. It is unsurprising it wasn’t cleared. Compare with, for example, condoms to promote sexual health — a public health policy which demonstrated generally good beneficial results with little or no downsides. There, only sex workers, promiscuous gay men and IV drug users needed to adopt this (monogamous relationship couples didn’t need to bother, by-and-large) and it was only necessary for, being delicate here, a specific activity at a specific time.

              In the face of a failure of a public health policy, you’ve got two choices. You can keep on with it in the hope that something will change and it will become more successful. Occasionally, persistence pays off. But this is a long-term proposition and is unlikely to yield a sudden transformation in outcomes. For policy advocates, it is extremely important to not appear bitter and resentful because, after all, no-one is predisposed to paying attention to whiney sourpusses. Just the opposite.

              The other option is, given a finite amount of communication bandwidth and public attention, you can stop wasting it on unsuccessful public health policies and move to ones which may deliver better results.

              In defining any new public health policy or policies to address a public health issue, you can hopefully learn from any past failures. What went wrong? Why did it go wrong? Was it too ambitious? Was it too radical a proposal? And so on.

              If I may finish here by giving the benefit of my experience in defining and implementing public health policies, one of the most important lessons I was taught — and observed first-hand — was that, when it came to public presentation, you had to keep your most fervent policy advocate zealots as far away as possible from any association with your campaign and presentation initiatives. This was exceedingly difficult because, being particularly keen and enthusiastic, such supporters naturally considered themselves especially suited to act as spokespeople.

              I recall most distinctly one particular lady whose both appearances and demeanour resembled an Edwardian dreadnought. She gave in such generosity of both time, funding and also crucially connections (she knew or was related to several members of the House of Lords and two retired ambassadors) that her contributions were invaluable. However, in speaking in public or on the record, she, like a lot of extreme and idealising converts, was a disastrous liability (she had a habit of talking about “fallen women” — I always, while groaning in despondency, had to joke to myself that I hoped they didn’t hurt themselves — and “ruffians from broken homes”).

              More experienced committee members than I rapidly changed tack and allocated her back office duties — organising conferences, getting big name keynote speakers, hectoring laidback government agencies into action and ramrodding through red tape — to keep her gainfully occupied but safely away from journalists, the public and above all TV cameras.

              Sadly, nowadays, such management of activists is nigh-on impossible. With social media and the internet, anyone and everyone who is a True Believer and sees it their personal duty to convert the masses and get them to The Path of Righteousness can take to the airwaves willy-nilly.

              And, in doing so, set the cause back by doing untold damage each and every time they open their mouths. Worst of all, if that wasn’t bad enough, they are completely convinced that what they are doing is of the utmost help and importance.

              1. Cuibono

                much of what you say about approach is true. but you strangely leave out the role of intentionally divisive political rhetoric in making this policy less successful

                1. wilroncanada

                  It’s interesting. We have never had a mask mandate in my part of Canada (BC). We have never had a “lockdown” either. The only mask obligatory places are public transit: buses and ferries, and those have been just in the past month or so.
                  We have a very persuasive medical health officer who has “suggested” public responses which have been embraced by almost everyone, especially here on Vancouver Island. Our contact tracing has been large-scale, completely personal, and has prevented almost all group outbreaks. Wearing of masks and physical distance were “sold” as protecting others, not just oneself. Maybe we are just more community-minded.
                  The only “lockdown” I should mention was long-term care. The result on V I has been zero cases

                2. Clive

                  In defining any public health policy response, be it formal government-sponsored or grass-roots in origin, the political dimension must always be factored in. Latching on to some public health response or other and hoping that politics doesn’t exist or magically won’t eventually enter into the equation is naïve. If you’re naïve, not only won’t you be able to define an effective public health policy, you aren’t really qualified to do so either and so shouldn’t be playing about with things you’re not sufficiently skilled in to be able to deal with.

    4. Ignacio

      Is this a personal choice or is this a social feature? I guess it is both so I disagree with the take in the article and IMO, the Government can, even must, have a voice, though it should stand to reason. There is also the oppression of the mask-less in a closed space like WalMart, or in the tube, the office, restaurant etc. Not to mention if one approaches a nursing home for a visit when criminal offence could easily apply if mask-less.

      Regarding mask usage in the open air, mask enforcement is indeed a much more debatable thing. I personally think that masks mustn’t be enforced when circulating in the open except in gatherings. The larger the gathering, the more necessary. Regarding actual enforcement, the police should apply common sense and have the ability to ascertain risks in particular occasions.

    5. Brian (another one they call)

      I have a theory about the resistance by people on masks; Self Image.
      Some people are out looking for partners. Some people are always looking for partners, life, sex etc..
      When on the hunt a person believes it necessary to be seen by prospective partners. Imagine meeting someone that looks good around the mask. You talk and find you have enough in common to continue the conversation. How many of these people are going to be afraid to take the mask off for what it reveals to a prospect? How many are in fear of not being able to reveal their true self? Add in fear of law enforcement and disease, yuck.
      This seems to be where orders are very different from requests. Can you imagine having to dress up to go out and have the mask at the center of your wardrobe?
      Image is a first contact for most of us. How do you tell them to interupt their lives and put everything on hold? Not possible.
      The wankers in government say yes to masks. no to masks and change every week or so. Our government has no credibility remaining for anything. When it happens in a pandemic, you have to ask yourself why would the government be so incompetent apparently by design?
      I have a theory that everyone in government knows very well that a collapse of everything that matters in our lives is ongoing. They are so powerless to do anything they being spouting inanities to relieve the tension they feel about lying about everything to everyone and have lost respect for themselves. If they can ignore what reality is telling them and create a fantasy land, they will. People do this all the time to keep the wolf away.
      the lying and inane folderol is becoming systemic. 2 old retired scheming s#Xt for brains want to rule you. This is more than enough for many of us to give up trying and try to isolate ourselves from their insanity. In Britain you have a drooler that would prefer to imagine himself and his people on little busses that can be driven around the little neighborhood in which you play. No different than here in the US. The EU have no idea with their leaders are doing because there is no accountability in the government at all.
      It has become unstable. People dislike unstable. Try living that way. Oh, wait…..

  10. The Rev Kev

    “Alex Younger: ‘The Russians did not create the things that divide us — we did that’ ”

    This article was starting to get real interesting until I realized that this spook was gas-lighting the readers of it. The Russians did the Skripals? That was a warning sign. But when he said ‘His own analysis is that Vladimir Putin’s government is threatened by the quality of western democratic institutions and alliances and sets out to disrupt them as a matter of policy.’ that was it. What actual quality western democratic institutions is he talking about that threaten Putin? The US Presidency? The British Parliament? The US Senate & House? The Australian government? Perhaps the French Government? When you see the leaders of these countries gather together, it always look like Clown College drop-outs.

  11. William Hunter Duncan

    “We find that global final energy consumption in 2050 could be reduced to the levels of the 1960s, despite a population three times larger. However, such a world requires a massive rollout of advanced technologies across all sectors, as well as radical demand-side changes to reduce consumption – regardless of income – to levels of sufficiency”

    I’ve only read the abstract of that Science Direct piece, but I am reminded of that Frank Herbert Dune reference Lambert has referenced a few times, something like, men put their faith in machines but that only permitted men with machines to enslave them.

    As in, a radical reduction is consumption for the many, and no such reduction for a few.

    1. John Steinbach

      Essentially this paper is reiterating the Harvard Energy Futures report from the 1970s. 50 years from now we’ll have another one.

  12. The Rev Kev

    Tom Whyman
    “Human sacrifice was a bloody and barbaric tradition – but could stopping it altogether be why the rains aren’t coming?” – bronze age opinion columnist

    I don’t know who this Tom Whyman is but I think that he’s a bloody genius!

    1. Bruno

      Very funny. But was human sacrifice ever considered a form of weather-engineering? Wasn’t it rather an apotropaic ritual to propitiate the “gods” ( Plato’s Timaios calls them “bodies that deviate from their orbits around the earth”) that caused planet-wide catastrophes of the sort adumbrated in the biblical books of Genesis, Exodus, and Joshua? Didn’t the Meso-Americans carry out mass human sacrifices for the specific appeasement of the “god” they identified with the planet we call Venus?

  13. QuarterBack

    Re Why Liberals Hate Leftists, I was drawn to this

    Liberals hate leftists for the same reason you’d hate someone who keeps yelling out “This is all fake! Those are actors!” at a theater: they disrupt a pleasant illusion the liberals are trying to enjoy about villains being fought by heroic protagonists.

    I think that this is also part of why the Liberals have a special kind of hate for Trump. He is like a young boy at a magic show that yells out the magician’s tricks during the act “The box has a trap door! The rabbit is under the table!” The magician boils with anger and many in the crowd just want to be entertained by the illusion. It’s a pretty douchey thing for the boy to do, but he isn’t lying.

    1. hunkerdown

      Enjoying the show of robbing the working class via legerdemain. Hmm. How can the leftist working class give them the absolute worst night of their lives with long-lived repercussions?

    2. Pookah Harvey

      This is the reason progressives could get support from some Trumpsters if Trump (as a cult leader) is taken out of the equation. Remember many wavered between Trump and Bernie. Both Trumpsters and progressives despise liberals.

  14. William Hunter Duncan

    A time for choosing: Masks or freedom? Twila Brase, Alpha News

    I live in Minnesota, so I check in to Alpha News every so often just to see what the right in Minnesota is thinking.

    Wading through the comments on some of these articles is like wading through America’s Id, or maybe sewage. In a recent opinion piece about the protests after the death of George Floyd, the writer basically said that poor black people are going to go door to door in Minneapolis and do nasty things to all those delusional liberals.

    It is not every day that you hear someone say in a public forum that Black people should be thankful for slavery or they would all still be in Africa.

    By contrast, the politician Gil Gutnict recently posted an article there about the evils of monopoly and how it distorts and destroys markets. Not one single comment.

  15. ChrisFromGeorgia

    Re: Pelosi and stimulus

    My admittedly amateur armchair analysis is as follows:

    Pelosi has no reason to come to a “grand bargain” with the dying Trump administration. Why take a quarter loaf now when she can get a full loaf in January? And besides, why throw a life raft to Trump when she can have massive airline layoffs, food lines and decreased consumer spending on October as a backdrop for the election?

    Remember that the incumbent party almost always loses when the economy sucks. Trump is on the ropes and Pelosi, whose political instincts are superior to most, can smell it.

    I am more surprised that she bothered to go through the motions of pretending to want a deal. I suppose that is just the usual DC Kabuki theater. Now that she has plausible deniability, she can send her troops back home and say “well, we tried …”

    An admittedly cynical take but given the state of the country, are not all these men and women in power “guilty until proven innocent?”

    1. Darryl Fuller

      McConnell’s HEALS Act (an insult to America) was full of goodies.

      Over $40 billion in new defense spending, after passing $740 billion defense budget. Add up all the other defense related programs across the various agencies and The US will exceed $1 trillion in national security spending. No wonder we can’t maintain our infrastructure and afford nice things. Republicans need to explain how more spending on Apache attack helicopters, ballistic missile defense, hypersonic missiles, etc… is going to aid in defeating Americans and providing economic security. What do Republicans plan to do? Use weapons systems to fight Covid-19?

      The $306 billion slush fund included in The HEALS Act. It’s a SLUSH FUND. Controlled by The Administration. We all know how Trump wants his wall built. And other things.

      The criminal liability shield for businesses for exposing their workers to Covid-19. Can I get a murder-liability shield please? By businesses not taking sensible precautions? Negligent homicide. Like Goodyear knowingly producing defective tires where people died. Or Boeing producing airplanes they know will fall out of the sky. Do we really need more liability protections for the people who endanger our lives because of their bank accounts? The reverse should be happening.

      $1200 stimulus check. Wall Street has received over $40,000 for every man, woman & child in The US; in relief. Probably more when you add in the additional Federal Reserve support for Wall Street. And yet a certain RW segment of voters complain about an additional support for people in need i.e. American families.

      Budget deficits? Republicans never cared about that. Every Republican President since & including Reagan doubled the national debt. Reagan tripled it. Okay, GHW Bush did fall a few hundred million short of doubling it. Republicans only trot out the deficits & fiscal responsibility so they can get back into power and start spending like drunken profligate spenders they are with someone else’s money.

      Now to Nancy and The HEROES Act.

      When Pelosi caved to McConnell and passed The CARES Act – more aptly named The CORPORATE Aid & Relief Act, Pelosi was probably expecting some quid pro quo from Republicans. That’s never going to happen. I don’t know what Pelosi was thinking. Oh, she wasn’t. As usual.

      The most egregious item I saw mentioned by Republicans contained in The HEROES Act? Electric vehicles for San Francisco. And the cost in which Republicans have no legs to stand on regarding deficits considering their spending habits that would make Imelda Marcos blush.

      I am sure that The HEROES Act included other provisions that even I would object to. I do object to EV being included. Silicon Valley should be taxed if they want electric rides to their campuses instead of being funded by taxpayer-provided corporate welfare.

      Both bills should have been clean bills. Republicans want Americans to eat a **** sandwich. While claiming that they provided Americans with the relief American Families NEED. It is a **** sandwich.

      Now, I despise Pelosi. I despise Trump. I despise Biden. I despise The Republican and Democratic Parties who are only fighting over the loot represented by taxpayer dollars and how it is divided among friends, family, and donors. They only fight for votes in order to claim legitimacy as government, to continue their looting. “We were elected by the people to loot the taxpayer”.

      Who allows this? THE VOTERS. They know. Many turn a blind eye. The most important thing to them is that the other side doesn’t win. As for Culture Wars? The Moral Majority (co-founded by crypto-Nazi Paul Weyrich) & The Heritage Foundation (also co-founded by crypto-Nazi Paul Weyrich) really kicked The Culture War off into high gear. Also, Newt Gingrich’s Contract with America, doubling down on the Culture War waged by The Right.

      On the Democratic Centrist Right – AKA Liberals – front? We have that terrible Identity Politics actually meant to defuse and cripple The Left. Led by a Leadership (or remnants thereof) from The DLC which began with money from The Koch Brothers.

      Enough of that. Back to business. McConnell waited until CARES Act relief was exhausted – to pressure American families to pressure Democrats into signing his **** sandwich of a “relief act”.

      In other words, American Families became HOSTAGES for Republicans.

      That’s just cold blooded.

      The old, “Make people desperate and they will accept ANYTHING” play.

      Yes, Pelosi is not an honest person. She has her own faults. However, she did stand up for once. Too little too late. For whatever good & bad reasons she decided to stand up? GOOD FOR HER.

      IMHO, Pelosi standing up instead of fronting a brave face of defiance in the face of Republican duplicity & bad faith. T:he case can be made that she has her own problems with bad faith & duplicity – she does.

      But where was McConnell to negotiate from May 20th on? Absent. On vacation. McConnell later did negotiate with Republicans on his HEALS Act.

      Republicans had months to negotiate a relief bill. They failed to do so. The proposed an inadequate **** sandwich of a bill while holding American families hostage in order to pressure Democrats. Republicans should have had a relief bill in early May. They did not. They willingly waited to create a crisis to use to their benefit.

  16. paul

    Re: Warren Mosler, Bill Mitchell, Patricia Pino, Chris Cook: Modern Monetary Theory and the economics of an independent Scotland.

    I went along to that, didn’t see anyone from the SNP there.

    The current leadership,on the very rare occasion they express any interest in independence, prefer to to take economic advice from the duke of buccleuch’s (probably the largest native landowner) business advisor.

    Still, it looks likely they may well be gone soon, and good riddance.

  17. The Rev Kev

    “Israeli PM to UN: Hezbollah storing missiles in Beirut”

    He won’t shut up, will he? The last time he said this, Hezbollah invited international observers to check out the sites that he was talking about and there was zip there. I think that both the US and Israel refused to take part in his group at the time. I wonder if he said this to cover up the news coming out that Israel is shipping all sorts of military equipment to Azerbaijan. So here you finally see Turkey and Israel working together – to help stoke a war and facilitate the attacking of another country.

    1. garden breads

      Hezbollah did this time too. AP and others reported it but somehow not the major US media.

      JERUSALEM (AP) — Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Tuesday accused the Lebanese militant group Hezbollah of maintaining a “secret arms depot” in a residential neighborhood of Beirut, warning it could cause another tragic explosion in the Lebanese capital.

      Hezbollah denied the allegations and invited international and local media to immediately visit the site, where they found a small factory housing heavy machinery but no weapons.

  18. jo6pac

    Well here they come begging for money. I hope this goes through the system.
    Joe Biden.
    Kamala Harris.
    Jimmy Carter.
    Andrew Cuomo.
    Pete Buttigieg.
    James Carville.
    Beto O’Rourke.
    Khizr Khan.
    Paul Begala.
    Carole King.
    Barney Frank.

    Starr, we’re deeply disappointed to say even after ALL these top Democrats told you how important our End of Quarter Deadline was, we failed to hit our goal.

    This is devastating for our Democrats — especially since Donald Trump:

    – Begged his donors in Shorewood, Minnesota for $2OO,OOO each last night
    – Sent his family off to rake in even more to defeat our Democrats
    – And now is jetting off to Bedminster, New Jersey for another massive fundraiser

    It’s going to take a herculean effort from our grassroots team, Starr — 5,OOO grassroots gifts before midnight — to get us back on track.

    Please, Starr, we’ve never needed you more.

    Will rush in $1 to protect our Democrats?

  19. jo6pac

    Here’s part 1 of dnc begging me to help them.
    I’m coming to you because I’m in awe of grassroots Democrats — like you!

    You’re the reason I hold the Speakership with a historic Democratic Majority.

    And I’m committed not only to protecting — but expanding! — our Majority.

    But I know I can’t do that alone. It will take each and every grassroots Democrat on my team to make it happen.

    So I’m asking you directly: Complete my Democratic Priorities Survey before midnight, and let me know what issue is most important to you. >>

    Our Democratic Majority is working for each and every single one of us.

    I can tell you our Democrats are working overtime to:

    -Protect Social Security and Medicare
    -Lower health care costs
    -End attacks on our environment
    -Expand voting rights
    -and so much more

    But I know fortifying our Majority won’t be easy — as President Trump and his Republicans work to obstruct us at every turn.

    That’s why I’m coming to you.

    TAKE ACTION NOW: Tell me and our new Democratic Majority what you want us to do now that we’re in charge.

    I wouldn’t ask twice if your input wasn’t vital to winning again. And over the coming months, you can bet I’ll be personally reaching out with more updates on how our Majority is working for you.

    Thank you for all of your support,

    Nancy Pelosi

    1. Adam

      My favorite are from “Let America Vote”, a grift started by former Missouri Secretary of State Jason Kander. All the usual doom and gloom (one email is titled “Brutal News from Kentucky. We’re Sobbing, All is Lost”, but donate now and they offer 600% matching which seems totally legitimate.

      And they have a bold new strategy! Commercials! On the TV!

      “Here’s our NEW plan: If we exploit his sinking campaign, we’ll snatch control of the Senate AND protect the Supreme Court from his dirty hands.
      So we’re airing Democratic TV Commercials on MAJOR Networks like CBS, ABC, and NBC to ruin McConnell and turn the Senate blue.
      If we don’t get 10,000 donations by our End of Quarter Fundraising Deadline to fuel our ads, they’ll be ripped down. And if we fail, McConnell will KEEP his Senate and ruin our Supreme Court for generations.”

      That said, I haven’t heard from them since 9/22, so maybe the grifting didn’t pan out.

    2. Glen

      The Chamber of Commerce has switched sides from Republican to Democrats. For every buck you send, they will give her millions.

      When do we officially say the Democrats are the new Republican party?

  20. jr

    “By Mind Medicine
    Psychedelic Stock Goes Nuts
    This biotech stock focused on psychedelics is seeking to disrupt the mental health market.”

    I’m not generally a fan of advertising but this made me crack up. I get the ideology but sheesh what writer wouldn’t flinch as disrupting the mental health market? Maybe “revolutionizing?”

  21. jo6pac

    My reply to nancy p.

    1. Double SS for All and lower the age to 55.
    2. Improve Medi-Care to cover all cost and Free to all from Birth to Death.
    3. Stop all the Endless Wars bring all troops home and improve VA.
    4. Start aggressive plan on the Environment. Free solar for all.
    5. Expand voting rights and protect them.

    I should of added free ice cream for all;-)

  22. Wukchumni

    Court OK’s $800M settlement for MGM Resorts, Vegas victims ABC
    You’d think nearly a billion $ settlement over having a gun nut doing his thing on your property would scare other hospitality venues into action against allowing them and take measures to never let it happen in the future.

  23. lyman alpha blob

    Re: Rescuing US Intelligence

    While the sheer scale of the harm done under Trump is anyone’s guess, his unrelenting attacks on US spies and analysts have cowed the agencies and undermined their missions.

    And they say that like it’s a bad thing…

  24. Alex

    Re Millions at risk of being blocked from Covid tests

    It’s another case of doing things more complicated than they need to be. I really don’t understand why they chose to use a credit rating agency for that. They could use a mobile phone number – it would have been much simpler logistically, wouldn’t have hurt the most vulnerable people and would have prevented fraud (for example hoarding tests to re-sell them)

  25. drumlin woodchuckles

    Here is an interesting short video-talk by a musical artist. I saw it on the Reddit.

    The reddit item is titled this . . .
    Tyler Childers makes heartfelt plea to his “White Rural Listeners to think on this” I always liked his music, but now I appreciate him as a human being as well.
    Here is the link-

    Youtube Link – Tyler Childers Statement

    And here is the link which the reddit post links to . . .

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