2:00PM Election Day Water Cooler 11/4/2020

By Lambert Strether of Corrente.

Bird Song of the Day

Dark wings, dark Words?


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

Here are the United States regions:


Still going up…

And here are the Swing States, for the last time:

Interestingly, there seems to be no correlation between Covid and Red/Blue at all. TX has a terrible experience, goes Red; Wisconsin is on an upward curve with identical slope and goes Blue. (There may well be lingering infrastructural and cultural effects, especially depending on the populations hit, that show up politically in future years. We just don’t know.)

Here is the United States v. select European countries:

This is not adjusted for population; it’s interesting to see France challenging the US in sheer numbers, for a few days.

Here is the United States vs. the same European countries, adjusted for population:

So, if the world were only made up of Western capitalist countries, the United States, right now, would be in the middle of the pack, which gives the lie to the concept that our only problem is leadership (as opposed to, say, political economy). The right comparison is not between Biden’s plan and Trump’s, well, approach, but between Biden’s plan and Europe. What will Biden do that those governments, which one assumes have more State operational capability than we do, have not done?


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

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

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

2020 Hot Takes

Readers, the 2020 election is an overly dynamic situation, so I’m going to collect the best hot takes I can find immediately. Then I can backfill with analysis, and the latest numbers, if I can get to them (possibly in UPDATEs). Please add comments! More to come. –lambert UPDATE All done!

Multiple computers!

Still at it:


Ya think?

Forbidden love:

Matty isn’t wrong:

UPDATE The binaries, they b-u-r-r-r-n-n-n!!!


For the Democrat establishment to be humiliated, they have to feel humiliation. I’m not sure that’s possible for them, since being humiliated requires the ability to self-reflect. Also, Narrator: “He didn’t realign the country.”

They did:

Wish I’d thought of this:

2020 Democrats in Disarray

Why did Democrats lose this county? (1)

Why did Democrats lose this county? (2)

* * *

“Six Takeaways From Election Night” [David Sirota, Daily Poster]. “Trump won 81 percent of the vote among the third of the electorate that listed the economy as its top priority. Even more amazing — Trump and Biden equally split the vote among those whose priority is a president who ‘cares about people like me.'” Also: “Democrats raised roughly a quarter billion dollars for senate races in Kentucky, South Carolina, Texas and Alabama — and their candidates all appear to have gone down to defeat by 10 points or more.” • Sirota characteritizes that as “setting money on fire,” but I don’t think that’s fair. Amy McGrath will surely get a book deal and a shot at being an MSNBC analyst. So “nothing is lost save honor,” as Gilded Age railroad baron Jim Fisk once said.

“25 Lessons Democrats Will Take From Their Horrible 2020 Performance” [Caitlin Johnstone]. “Democrats have shocked the world by managing to spectacularly under-perform against a president who has failed the nation by virtually every metric after years of mass media stories claiming he is literally a secret agent for a hostile foreign government… So with that in mind, here are the key lessons we can expect Democrats to take away from their terrible 2020 performance…” The first six:

1. RUSSIA!!!!

2. RUSSIA!!!!

3. Should have run a more right wing candidate.

4. RUSSIA!!!!

5. Should have given more money to the Lincoln Project.

6. This is still Susan Sarandon’s fault.

Actually, Putin was quiet. Too quiet. Perhaps he didn’t want to interrupt his enemies while they were making a mistake.

Thread from Branko Marcetic worth reading in full:

Marcetic concludes:

Another victory like this….

“Hey, Democrats . . . How Is All of This Working Out for You?” [National Review]. “At this hour, we don’t know how the presidential race will shake out, but we know that this will not be the sweeping rebuke of President Trump that Democrats wanted, and, in many cases, confidently expected.” • Well, you can’t begrudge conservatives their little happy dance. And I confess to considerable schadenfreude that the Republican War criminals who slithered onto The Good Ship Biden are experiencing some discomfiture, hopefully financial.


Sitrep: “What you need to know about the undecided swing states” [Politico]. “The three Rust Belt states that unexpectedly vaulted Donald Trump into the White House in 2016 — Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin — now represent the difference between his reelection and a one-term presidency. Together, they represent 46 electoral votes. If they were to fall in line for Joe Biden — as the trio did for the Democratic presidential nominee in seven consecutive elections before 2016 — they would make him the 46th president.” • States in play are: Wisconsin (Biden 49.6, Trump 48.9 [95% counted]), Michigan (Biden 49.7, Trump 48.8 [94%]), Pennsylvania (Trump 53.5, Biden 45.4 [74%]), Georgia (Trump 50.5, Biden 48.3 [92%]), North Carolina (Trump 50.1, Biden 48.7 [95%]), Nevada (Biden 49.2, Trump 48.6 [86%]).

* * *

Biden (D)(1): “‘This is my son, Beau, who a lot of you helped elect to the Senate’: Joe confuses his two granddaughters and then introduces one of them as his dead son – and he could be US President in HOURS…” [Daily Mail]. • Don’t worry. They loved President-in-Waiting Harris in the Hamptons.

Sanders (I)(1):

Trump (R)(1): “Election Night 2020: Trump Figures He’ll Go To Bed Early And Check Election Results Tomorrow” (podcast) [The Topical].

* * *

“Every incumbent who’s been booted out of Congress” [Politico]. • Donna Shalala. That’s a damn shame.

“The Squad’s Here To Stay: Ocasio-Cortez, Pressley, Omar And Tlaib Win Reelection” [Yahoo News!]. “On Tuesday, the Democratic women of color, who are frequent targets of President Donald Trump, resolidified their standing in Congress by winning reelection in New York, Minnesota, Massachusetts and Michigan.” • Stupid idpol framing, since ideologically Pressley is in “one of these four is not like the others” mode. Nevertheless, happy for Omar, Tlaib, and AOC (pretty much in that order). $10 million down the tubes trying to defeat AOC, though.

“Cori Bush to Become Newest Member of ‘The Squad’ After Winning Historic Mo. Congressional Race” [People]. Bush on Ferguson: “The hair salon was on one side of the street, the nail salon on the other. But in the middle of that, I’m seeing thousands of people in the street, police in riot gear, police with dogs — it was just … something I never thought that I would see.” • This is really good, respectful treatment by People.

“GOP Climate Denier Prevails In Critical Texas Energy Regulator Race” [HuffPo]. “Jim Wright, a hardcore climate change denier and owner of an oil-field services company, is projected to win the race to be Texas’ next energy regulator, preserving the Republicans’ quarter-century hold on the Texas Railroad Commission and defeating a better-funded Democrat. The race for the open slot on the three-seat commission ― which, despite its name, oversees the Lone Star State’s vast oil, gas and mining industries ― had been widely seen as Democrats’ best chance to win a statewide election there in nearly three decades…. ‘Today, I don’t think the technology truly exists. It was an idea. It caught on and hey, we’re going to save the planet because our icebergs aren’t going to melt anymore. You haven’t convinced me at all of that,’ Wright said on the podcast ‘Digital Wildcatters.’ ‘I don’t see the research that proves that. Again, my own theory is, I think the Earth continues to evolve just like we have for millions of years, and we’re gonna go through different times.'”

“Mike Bloomberg takes big losses after spending over $100 million in Florida, Ohio and Texas” [NBC]. • That’s a damn shame. The strategists really took Bloomberg, didn’t they?

* * *

“California Gig Worker, Massachusetts Car Repair Measures Win” [Bloomberg]. “Big-money campaigns led to a victory for rideshare companies in California and a defeat for car companies in Massachusetts, where some of the most high-spending ballot initiative efforts of the 2020 general election prevailed. About $200 million was spent California to urge voters to permanently classify app-based rideshare and delivery drivers as independent contractors. That campaign was backed by Uber Technologies Inc., Lyft Inc., DoorDash Inc., and other gig economy platforms. Across the country, national car parts chains AutoZone Inc. and Advance Auto Parts Inc. succeeded in passing a Massachusetts measure that allows any car repair shop—rather than just dealerships—access to an automobile’s diagnostic platform.” • It seems here, a campaign dollar has value. In the Presidential campaigns, the value-for-a-dollar equation seems a little confused.

“Voters approve amendment supporting Florida minimum wage increase” [Tampa Bay Times]. “With all precincts reporting, Floridians have approved an amendment to raise the state’s minimum wage to $15 per hour by 2026. With 10.48 million votes counted, 60.8 percent of Floridians voted ‘yes’ on the measure, just barely crossing the 60 percent threshold that constitutional amendments need for approval. Orlando lawyer John Morgan, who spent millions trying to get the amendment passed, said ‘God answered my prayers.’ ‘Tonight the people of Florida gave the working poor a forever raise,’ Morgan said in a text message. ‘This was not a political issue, it was a moral issue.'”

* * *

“Tight US election reveals Trump’s resilience and flaws in Biden campaign” [Financial Times]. “But as election results trickled in, it was clear that many voters had not cast their ballots with Covid-19 in mind. According to a CNN exit poll, the economy — the one issue where Mr Trump consistently polled better than Mr Biden — was the most important issue for voters, followed by racial inequality and coronavirus.” • That’s remarkable to me.

“A bitter US election that resolves little” [Edward Luce, Financial Times]. “Elections are meant to resolve differences. But whichever of Donald Trump or Joe Biden prevails in the presidential race — at this point too close to call — will inherit a country in which roughly half the electorate rejects his legitimacy. It could get worse than that. As in 2016, a US presidential count looks like it will boil down to Pennsylvania, Michigan and Wisconsin. The one wild card is that Georgia may also be in play for the first time since 1992. The race is far closer than any of the models predicted, including the Trump campaign’s internal numbers. The most cited forecaster, Nate Silver, gave Mr Biden an 89 per cent chance of winning (against 70 per cent for Mrs Clinton last time). Moreover, this was after pollsters made considerable adjustments to correct the undercounting of blue-collar white voters in the Midwest and elsewhere and take into account the way education affects voting patterns.” • Why don’t we just outlaw polling after, say, two months before election day? Maybe then the press would actually have to report stuff. Let’s outlaw digital advertising too, and subside local print media with political advertising.

Red shift, blue shift:

I agree with Tankus that this is a factor. However, if liberal Democrat soul-searching is one of those things that, if it were going to happen, it would have already happened. The blame cannons are already being wheeled into position…

“Major incidents of voter intimidation and disruption largely fail to materialize” [Boston Globe]. “Much of America was on edge going into Election Day due to warnings of widespread disruption and voter intimidation amid an unorthodox and heated campaign that had already led to violent clashes and plots to kidnap politicians. But those fears did not appear to materialize as the polls closed and the votes were being counted Tuesday night…. Still, as the fate of the election remained unknown into Wednesday morning, concern lingered that unrest might erupt once the results became clear. Cities across the nation remained boarded up in anticipation of raucous celebrations, protests, or clashes between extremists.” • I’m cynical enough to have searched Open Secrets for Plywood Industry donations, but didn’t come up with anything…

“National Exit Polls: How Different Groups Voted” [New York Times]. “The numbers on this page are preliminary estimates from exit polls conducted by Edison Research for the National Election Pool. These surveys interviewed voters outside of polling places or early voting sites, or by phone.” • I’m not sure if that compensates for vote-by-mail, or not. The word “mail” does not appear on the page.

“Why the Post Office’s Last-Minute Ballot Crisis Isn’t as Dire as It Seems” [Vice]. “Indeed, the USPS has been intentionally making its performance look worse than it is by removing ballots from the normal sorting and delivery process to deliver ballots faster. What this means is the stats might look worse than they actually are, because in some cases postal workers have, for example, been manually postmarking the ballots and then passing them off for local same-or-next-day delivery, resulting in the ballots never being scanned into the system in the first place. Other measures, like sending ballots to the sorting facility but then removing them from the mail stream after they’ve been scanned and postmarked, means they are manually bypassing the rest of the process for expedited delivery and are thus scanned in and never scanned out. The suggestion that there are thousands of ballots sitting in sorting facilities around the country doesn’t pass the smell test….. Per standard operating procedure, USPS personnel sweep every facility, including the ones in question here, for ballots at least once a day during election cycles and report “all clear” certifications after they’re complete. The latest sweeps occurred this morning at 10 a.m. To order and coordinate a sweep by independent observers—of which there is often only one in entire sorting facilities which are often massive warehouses—in a matter of hours is no easy feat. It is likely the USPS was unable to comply with the court order due to the same bureaucratic inefficiencies that make the USPS unable to do anything differently on a rapid time scale. At any rate, those same independent observers were already scheduled to be on hand at the facilities from 4 to 8 p.m. to ensure no ballots were left behind, and Judge Sullivan decided that was good enough.” • So, yammering liberal Democrats screwing the actual postal workers, who were only trying to do the right thing. I’m shocked.

Our Famously Free Press

The needle:

Whoever’s running the needle must have Nikole Hannah-Jones-level clout in the Times newsroom….

Realignment and Legitimacy

“Experts” (1):

So how’s that workin’ out for ya?

“Experts” (2):

Remember back in 2004 when Kerry actually raised money for lawyers to fight election theft, and then when Bush actually stole Ohio, rolled over — and kept the money? Good times….

* * *

“We Don’t Live in a World of Cartoon Villains” [Strong Towns]. “No matter the outcome, tens of millions of Americans are going to feel betrayed, cheated, and frightened. It’s difficult right now to see a way back from polarization. One thing is certain: there is no way back whatsoever that involves ostracizing 30 or 40 percent of the country and permanently excluding them from power, in 2022 and 2024 and 2026 and so on. The idea that that is possible is pure fantasy. The people you think are too propagandized and deluded to reason with aren’t going anywhere. And so we have work to do in learning to hear and understand each other, the better to be heard and understood…. The reality is that politics can be life or death: for many people, basic questions of safety, well being, liberty and autonomy are at stake. It is profoundly condescending and unreasonable to tell people, “You shouldn’t harbor any hard feelings toward someone who voted for a policy that does measurable harm to you.” You’re human. Of course you will. Demonization, though, is where we need to draw the line. The other side can be wrong, but if you believe they are categorically evil, it is you who are mistaken. I’m asking you to do the difficult, uncomfortable, but ultimately far more gratifying work of understanding how basically decent people end up supporting, enabling, or voting for things that you find self-evidently bad.”

Stats Watch

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

Trade: “September 2020 Trade Data Shows Some Recovery” [Econintersect]. “Trade data headlines show the trade balance modestly improved with both imports and exports increasing…. The data in this series wobbles and the 3-month rolling averages are the best way to look at this series. The 3-month average rate of growth improved for imports and exports – but remains in contraction.”

Employment Situation: “October 2020 ADP Employment Gains 365,000” [Econintersect]. “ADP reported non-farm private jobs growth at 365,000 which was within expectations. A quote from the ADP authors: ‘;The labor market continues to add jobs, yet at a slower pace.’ … Last month’s employment gain was revised upward. It will be interesting to see what the BLS says is jobs growth.”

Employment Situation:

I remember similar curves during the last Crash. Nobody seems to be noticing this, the same way they’re not noticing the exploding homeless encampments…..

* * *

The Bezzle: “Nearly $1 billion worth of bitcoin linked to Silk Road black market is on the move, analysis shows” [CNBC]. “Nearly $1 billion worth of bitcoin with potential ties to the Silk Road online black market is on the move, according to London-based blockchain analysis firm Elliptic…. Elliptic, a firm that tracks the movement of dirty money in the cryptocurrency sphere, said Wednesday that it picked up on a transaction of funds believed to have originated from the site…. The company said that 69,369 bitcoins — worth about $950 million today, according to CoinDesk — had been moved out of a wallet that had the fourth-highest balance of any globally.”

Manufacturing: “Bumpaa Face Masks Gain ISO Certification For SARS-COV-2” (press release) [Sourcing City News]. “Screenworks, which launched the Bumpaa™ brand in Summer 2020, is proud to announce that its face masks have passed the ISO method1 test on the SARS-CoV-2 virus (Covid-19). Since the garment screen print, embroidery and digital print service provider undertook a business pivot at the start of lockdown, the company has witnessed huge demand for the new range of products from its trade clients and beyond. The customisable Bumpaa face coverings are manufactured in the UK using a technical fabric, which is treated with an antiviral treatment – ViralOff. ViralOff technology effectively reduces viruses and bacteria on the product by over 99 per cent over two hours1. Having recently become the first commercial textile treatment in the world to pass the ISO method1 test on the Covid-19 virus, the Bumpaa face masks were directly tested immediately after and are now also ISO method certified against SARS-Cov-2. The treatment is designed to protect the mask fabric from harbouring viruses or bacteria. It does not interfere with the skin’s natural bacterial flora and lasts for the product’s lifetime. When the face covering is safely removed, if any virus or bacteria is present on the surface, 99 per cent will be safely deactivated within a maximum of two hours. The masks do not require regular washing. For best performance and sustainability, the products should be washed less, only when needed.” • Fascinating data point, to me at least, since I believe masks and other forms of protection need to become fashionable apparel to really get traction. Go long this tech!

UPDATE Mr. Market: “A divided electorate spells trouble for the US economy” [Mohamed El-Erian, Financial Times].

Mr. Market: “U.S. stocks roar higher even as Trump-Biden race goes into extra innings” [MarketWatch]. “For all the angst over the possibility of a dragged-out contest, markets may wind up being comfortable with the outcome, said Sam Stovall, chief investment strategist at CFRA. ‘Familiarity is what Wall Street likes. Wall Street likes to be able to understand what’s going on. It’s uncertainty Wall Street doesn’t like.’ Legal challenges and extended uncertainty may even be priced in to the market, Stovall thinks, and the surge higher in the tech-heavy Nasdaq may point to investor relief that a solidly Democratic government won’t be able to regulate big technology giants like Amazon.com Inc.”

* * *

Today’s Fear & Greed Index: 36 Fear (previous close: 30 Fear) [CNN]. One week ago: 35 (Fear). (0 is Extreme Fear; 100 is Extreme Greed). Last updated Nov 4 at 11:27am. • Greed and Fear on. NOTE For those who wonder if we should keep running it, readers asked for it back after I took it away. Also, I like having a quick insight, however shallow, into Mr. Market’s psyche.

The Biosphere

“Once again, new Antarctic reserves fail to win backing” [Science]. “Delegates attending an international meeting meant to protect Antarctic ocean life dashed conservationists’ hopes for new marine protected areas in the Southern Ocean. The Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources (CCAMLR) concluded Friday after a week of virtual negotiations among its 26 member nations. It declined to approve three proposals for marine protected areas near Antarctica. The commission, established in 1982 as part of the Antarctic Treaty System, is charged with conserving marine life around the southern continent and sustainably managing the region’s fish stocks.” • The article blames Russia and China. But now, because Science has gone into the politics business, I have to wonder if that’s true, or whether Democrat Russophobia and warmongering has infected their editorial coverage.

Health Care

“A person hospitalized for COVID-19 was more than three times as likely to die in March vs. August — here’s why” [MarketWatch]. “The main reason researchers think coronavirus patients are doing better is simply that there are now effective treatments for the virus that didn’t exist in March. I am a practicing infectious disease doctor at the University of California, San Francisco, and I have witnessed these improvements firsthand. Early on, my colleagues and I had no idea how to treat this brand-new virus that burst onto the scene in late 2019. But over the spring, large studies tested different treatments for COVID-19 and we now use an antiviral called remdesivir and a steroid called dexamethasone to treat our hospitalized coronavirus patients. Along with these new treatments, physicians gained experience and learned simple techniques that improved outcomes over time, such as positioning a patient with low oxygen in a prone position to help distribute oxygen more evenly throughout the lungs. And as time has gone on, hospitals have become better prepared to handle the increased need for oxygen and other specialized care for patients with the coronavirus…. My own research proposes that social distancing and face coverings may reduce how much virus people are exposed to, overall leading to less severe cases of COVID–19. It is important to continue to follow public health measures to help us get through the pandemic. This will slow the spread of the virus and help keep people healthier until a safe and effective vaccine is widely available.”

“Repeated cross-sectional sero-monitoring of SARS-CoV-2 in New York City” [Nature]. From the Abstract: “The first COVID-19 case in New York City (NYC) was officially confirmed on March 1st 2020 followed by a severe local epidemic…Our data suggest an earlier than previously documented introduction of SARS-CoV-2 into NYC and describe the dynamics of seroconversion over the full course of the first pandemic wave in a major metropolitan area.” • Doesn’t have a lot to do with scary beardos in Sturgis, does it?

Low tech is good:

Creative! (And there’s been a lot of creativity around testing and diagnosis lately, from sewage through medical dogs and coughing, etc. This is good, akin to the progress through experience in treatment that has been decreasing the death rate.)

The 420

UPDATE “2020 elections: 5 states pass legal marijuana measures, potentially growing industry by $9 billion” [Yahoo Finance]. “The once widely controversial issue of marijuana legalization has been decidedly eclipsed by this year’s divisive presidential race, though voters in five states broadly adopted legalization measures Tuesday. Recreational or medical use, or both, were on the ballot in Arizona, Mississippi, Montana, New Jersey, and South Dakota. Marijuana legalization in the additional U.S. states is estimated to grow the industry’s size by $9 billion, according to cannabis market firm New Frontier Data.” • Opium is the opium of the people?

“DC votes to decriminalize hallucinogenic mushrooms by wide margin” [The Hill]. “Voters in Washington, D.C., moved by a wide margin to decriminalize the growing, possession and noncommercial distribution of hallucinogenic mushrooms on Tuesday. More than 76 percent of voters supported Initiative 81 with just over 40 percent of precincts reporting, according to the district’s Board of Elections. The ballot measure would direct D.C. Metropolitan Police to shift the “non-commercial planting, cultivating, purchasing, transporting, distributing, possessing, and/or engaging in practices with entheogenic plants and fungi” to among its lowest law enforcement priorities.” • Good news, finally.

Our Famously Free Press

“Four ways Trump has meddled in pandemic science — and why it matters” [Nature]. • Nature, Science, I’m begging you: Please don’t go here. It’s most likely the case that you believe that “this is the most important election of our lifetime” — i.e., you’re not going the New York Times route and selling your editorial integrity for clicks — but I don’t want to have to put respected science publications in the same bucket as every other publication with a political axe to grind. Please, please, please keep electoral politics at arms length, or I’ll have to start factoring politics into how I view what you print (and, more importantly, what you don’t print). You’re not going to be able to unring the bell.

Class Warfare

“‘I wanted to meet a mate and have a baby without wasting time’: the rise of platonic co-parenting” [Guardian]. “In a world where biological science and equal rights have diversified ways to start a family, platonic co-parenting – the decision to have a child with someone you are not romantically involved with and, in most cases, choose not to live with – remains a relatively new phenomenon. Well established in gay communities, along with egg and sperm donation, it is on the rise among heterosexual singles…. Now aged four, [one co-parents’] son spends every other weekend and one night a week at his dad’s; the pair live within an hour’s drive of each other. They go on family days out, and spend Christmas and birthdays together. Both describe their relationship now as one akin to best mates…. It is impossible to calculate how many children have been born this way; bigger websites unscientifically guess that they have been responsible for about 1,000 births each.” • Interestingly, the couples seem to describe each other as “allies.”

News of the Wired

On-Point Art Bots (1):

On-Point Art Bots (2):


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

CM writes: “The attached was taken 2 days ago of a pond at Maybury State Park in Metro Detroit. The land used to house one of two state TB sanatoriums for this area and is about 400 acres. We had an unexpectedly pretty day and the park was full of people – big kids, little kids, families and couples. Many of whom were wearing masks around others and finding a spot in the leaves and trees to take photos. A large number of volunteers were busy repainting the stables and fences for a horse-riding concession. A very big-smile day.” What still water can do for a photographer (and even the jet contrail is perfectly placed). For NC on ponds (!), see 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. Clem

    Who is the F*ing genius that decided shackling Kamala Harris to Biden was a good idea?

    She is why Trump won. Donald owes her a gift card or two.

    1. Lambert Strether Post author

      The liberal Democrat hive mind has a collective decision-making process. Also, donors loved her in the Hamptons. Still, I’d be happy to see some evidence for your claim. Who says the primary problem is Harris, and not, say, Biden?

      1. petal

        Can they both be the primary problem? Like, imagine 2 sh-t sammiches on a plate-they’re each a sh-t sammich, but each is just as crappy to eat as the other?

        1. Jen

          One of the few possible upsides to 4 more years of Trump is an open primary in 2024. If it goes to Biden, Harris will be coronated one way or another before the end of Biden’s term so she’s running as the incumbent. Carlson/Hawley will win in landslide.

      2. jsn

        Right, I keep hearing about racists and sexists throwing the vote to Trump, so Harris is the reason more women voted Trump this time than last?

        And Harris no doubt explains Robeson and Zapata counties.

        What will it take to penetrate the blue wall of denial? New owners for the propaganda machine I expect.

      3. Clem

        The ‘primary’ problem? How about only 7% support in her adopted home state?

        Contrast slow, methodical proven Biden with his 47 years of experience and continual reelections with
        Harris who won reelection only once as San Francisco D.A. unopposed, then she barely won, by less than a percentage point, the one time she had a contested race for California A.G, thanks to lots of third party conservative candidates in 2014.

        Lack of support for her in the presidential primary.
        “Joe Biden on Tuesday selected Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA) as his running mate, rewarding a person who ran “one of the most expensive and least effective campaigns in the 2020 Democrat primary.”
        Ugh, I know: https://www.breitbart.com/politics/2020/08/12/kamala-harris-quit-presidential-campaign-before-primary-voting-even-started/

        Optics, I heard multiple women attack her for her appearance, her southern accent, in spite of growing up in Montreal and other things as a guy that I don’t quite get. Her using sex as a lever to start her career with a politician old enough to be her grandfather was mentioned by women not likely to use her as an example for their daughters. Maybe that’s why women and women of color were stronger for Trump than “they” expected.

        Let’s not forget, her connections to Mnuchin and Wall Street which probably alienated lots of truly progressive voters who would have definitely swept in a Biden/Warren ticket.

          1. Darthbobber

            I doubt she caused much, beyond failing to bring anything other than money to the campaign. Neither women nor blacks seem to have been inspired to turn out better for team donkey than 4 years ago.

            As a tokenism effort to shore up Biden’s gender/race credentials I’m minded of ’84 when Mondale decided to make history with machine hack Geraldine Ferraro.

            1. drumlin woodchuckles

              I think Harris was picked to shore up Biden’s credentials as soft on financial crime in the suites. I think the Wall Streeters, the Goldman Sachsers, the Hamilton Projectors, etc. know all about Harris’s granting of immunity and impunity to Steve Mnuchin for his alleged mass fraudulent foreclosure theft of thousands of houses from thousands of homeowers. She is their kind of crime-backer and they “got the message” when Biden picked her to be his VP and Next Prez after that.

        1. Carla

          Look, Clem, I can’t stand Harris or anything she stands for, but she did win election to U.S. Senate from California.

          And if “true progressives” support Warren, then I sure ain’t one.

      4. wadge22

        I thought Sanders was the primary problem. The liberal Democrat hive mind solved that problem by giving us Biden.

        Now as to what their general problem was/is…

      5. Matthew

        The Democrats stood one vicious moron up against another and are mystified that voters can’t choose between them.

      1. Keith Howard

        A perceptive friend this morning suggested to me that BO, by coming out from behind the curtain and taunting DiJiT with glee, may have done more to increase turnout for Trump than for Biden/Harris. If true, it’s another own goal for the stupid D hacks.

    2. Wukchumni

      When Joe painted himself into a corner early on by saying only a distaff would work as veep, the field of potentials was so awfully bleak, and he choose the weakest link, mainly on the basis of her race & age, would be my guess.

        1. Dr. John Carpenter

          I think he would have preferred the Klob too. While the murder of George Floyd definitely stuck a fork in that, I’m still not convinced it wasn’t just a useful reason for the real powers to tell Biden who his VP was going to be. I certainly don’t think he chose Harris and it’s pretty obvious she had some fans behind the scenes.

      1. drumlin woodchuckles

        Her “race and age”? No, no. Her granting of immunity and impunity to Steve Mnuchin. That would be MY guess.

      1. edmondo

        This just in from sunny AZ:

        There are 900,000 votes still uncounted. The batch they counted today in Maricopa went 2-1 for Trump.

        Gov. Ducey just asked that they move AZ from Biden to Too Close to Call

        1. Minalin

          I don’t think so
          Az history. Max voting has been less then 3million, there isn’t any 900,000 batch waiting. And why and to whom would the governor ask such a thing?

          2020 Trump 1,318,245 Biden 1,411,235
          2016[1] Donald Trump 1,252,409 Hillary Clinton 1,161,167
          2012[2] Barack Obama 1,025,232 Mitt Romney 1,233,645
          2008[3] Barack Obama 1,034,707 John McCain 1,230,113
          2004 George Bush 1,104,295 John Kerry 893,524
          2000 George Bush 781,652 Al Gore 685,341
          1996 Bill Clinton 653,288 Bob Dole b 622,073 Ross Perot 112,079

    3. NotTimothyGeithner

      Biden was out making promises to the cable news crowd without anyone in mind. He thought so little of Harris he was bringing in Whitmer for interviews.

      The Veep has rarely mattered. It’s always the top of the ticket. Castro maybe could have helped, but he would still be under the Biden cloud of death.

      1. OpenthepodbaydoorsHAL

        With the candidate seconds away from his heavenly reward I think the VP mattered alot in peoples’ minds. They could have given the VP to Bernie and had a landslide, some language about how “we differ on key issues”, then later just shackle him. But they would get what they want, namely power and money.

        1. Dr. John Carpenter

          This. Normally I would say without a second thought that the VP didn’t matter. But just based on people in my social circle, I know people who were voting for Harris because they assume Biden won’t finish a term. I like to see numbers on an impact overall because I do think things were different this time (but I don’t think the people I know are necessarily indicative of one thing or another.)

          EDIT: I have to admit, on second thought I’m not sure the VP pick always is irrelevant. I present Sara Palin as an example. I don’t know what the overall impact was, but it’s hard to deny there wasn’t one. Maybe she’s the exception that proves the rule?

          1. Jen

            After her nomination someone forwarded an invite to join a group called suburban women for harris. I deleted it. The woman who forwarded it was a p*ssy hatter back in the day. For some women, including those who were all about BLM for a while, a woman VP with a better than average chance of advancing to the show is important.

            1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

              “…all about BLM for a while

              Yes, for a while all of good cheer were told in absolute terms that the only important thing was that the entire country was irredeemably racist. Anyone who questioned that and said maybe that statue of Lincoln could stay where it was for the moment while we discussed the question were universally condemned for that racist heresy.

              Then: a little time passed. The existential passions cooled down. Nancy and Jamie Dimon donned kente cloth and took a knee and that seemed to work to cool things down. Pity about those hundreds of Main Street businesses (many black-owned) that were destroyed for what a cynical observer might view as a political expedient. Maybe for a while the zeitgeist can turn to, I dunno, wages and health care? Now that the existential emergency of BLM for some strange reason seems to be fading from the brunch set.

          2. drumlin woodchuckles

            McCain picking Caribou Barbie was part of what made me vote for Obama the first time.
            I did not want to risk 2 terms of President Caribou Barbie.

        2. Phillip Cross

          Yesterday I was in Target. They had sold out of toilet paper again, and so I asked the lady working that area, “Excuse me, can you tell me when this all sold out again?” She pulled her mask off and looked quite upset and said “Its because Biden says he is going to shut the country down!”. I said ,”Oh, I thought he said he wasn’t going to do that.”… “No, I saw him say it 3 times!”, she says….

          I mention this because, in order to understand the result, you need to enumerate all the nonsense that Trump and his repulsive minions have been spouting recently. As ridiculous as it seems, a great many people actually believe all that stuff is true. e.g. Biden is a socialist. Covid denialism, Kameleon etc etc The level of delusion is staggering. Trump is just the tip of the iceberg, because the really crazy fantasy stuff is left to his surrogates. Take a look at the kind of headlines they are reading and believing. e.g. http://themillenniumreport.com/

          1. Janie

            Good grief! People really believe those headlines? I couldn’t have come up with those tales in a fantasy headline contest. Thanks for the link.

        3. Altandmain

          The Democrats would rather lose with a neoliberal than win with Bernie.

          For all their vaunted intelligence, they really tend to overestimate their own competence and intelligence. There’s a lot they could have done, from focusing more on the swing states to trying to even allow some concessions to the Berniecrats to focusing more on the economy over idpol.

          But they wouldn’t be in the situation that they are now if they did that.

    4. Matthew

      It does seem weird, doesn’t it? If you assume that the libs actually believe what they say about Trump voters being racist monsters, what are we to imagine they expected when they put a (part) black person on the ticket? Particularly given how comfortable people seem to be with speculating about Biden being shuffled off.

  2. fresno dan

    I’m starting to think “nothing would fundamentally change” wasn’t the best message

    — David Sirota (@davidsirota) November 4, 2020

    “Given the choice between a Republican and someone who acts like a Republican, people will vote for the real Republican all the time.”
    Harry Truman

    it seems to me, and this is just a crazy insane thought, but democratic party candidates should concentrate on democrats voting for them instead of suburban, or any republicans, for that matter. Of course, I’ve never been elected to anything (well, other than to go fetch the beer)…but its beginning to look like Biden hasn’t been elected to the presidency…

    1. jsn

      What? That’s crazy talk, you’d have to take voting rights seriously and voter registration too! How ya gonna send your kids to college on that?

      1. jo6pac

        LOL and so true.

        diptherio so does yahooooo WI called in biden favor but we still have recounts coming.

    2. marku52

      Or if he is, the possibility of anything positive occurring is negligible Then in 2 years, the Dems get wiped out in the midterms as well…

      The guy from the Nation was opining that Biden’s only hope was the bully pulpit, so I guess we can rule that right out. Maybe he can challenge Mitch to a push up contest or something.

      Only positive from Biden being Pres is we get rid of some of the odious Trump appointees, like DeVos etc. Maybe the CDC can recover a shred of credibility.

      “Can’t anyone here play this game! &^*#>?”

        1. richard

          I have a strong feeling that executive orders would be mostly kept in the quiver in a biden admin, based on his career of never swimming against current, and his commitment to collusive process.

          1. Yves Smith

            No, as we wrote early on in the Trump Administration, very close to 100% of the Trump executive orders were repeats of or analogues to Obama executive orders. But the press said nothing about Obama’s but got up in arms about Trump’s. So they are used heavily, but even so, most have been the equivalent of press releases, they opine on things that actually require legislation.

      1. Grant

        “The guy from the Nation was opining that Biden’s only hope was the bully pulpit,”

        Well, provided someone else talks for him.

      2. BlakeFelix

        I’m not convinced of that actually. Mitch Mcconnell hated Obama but he’s friends with Biden I thought? As much as Mcconnell has friends… They have been stopping socialism and “keeping order” or whatever for a long long time. I’m not sold that they can’t sit down and work out a deal, for better or worse… I honestly don’t know what issues they differ on? I guess theoretically abortion and climate change, but Biden doesn’t like abortion, and the only thing that he seemed excited about was continuing fracking. Maybe they can come together and frack some coal, and kill some babies with pollution like God intended…

        1. Procopius

          BlakeFelix, the issues they differ on are that Biden is nominally a Democrat and McConnell is nominally a Republican, and McConnell is sincerely dedicated to making Team Republican win. Apparently, in his mind, the logical equivalent of that is making Democrats lose. There are no policy issues McConnell cares about so far as I can tell. He doesn’t even seem to be a dedicated anti-Communist. From his words, Joe believes he can reach out and get McConnell to cooperate. You and Joe may be right and they may be able to work out a modus vivendi, but I’m not buying a textbook on porcine aerodynamics yet. Republicans do not bargain in good faith. Most Democrats don’t, either.

    3. Phenix

      The DNC’s longtime project is to destroy the left and create a moderate party. The left is effectively destroyed at the national level for another cycle and until they challenege Pelosi amd Schumer they are worthless in Congress.

      The PMC = Democrats now. They are not interested in radical change.

      1. OpenthepodbaydoorsHAL

        Yes, those “moderate” policies like blanket censorship, improving the plight of the Chinese working class, and shiny new wars

      2. Grant

        This is utterly delusional given structural economic problems, the environmental crisis and long-term microeconomic and macroeconomic trends. With the environment alone, we need radical changes and we don’t have tons of time. So, anyone thinking about this sustaining itself in the long-term first has to demonstrate that we can stay on this trajectory in the long-term without collapse. And no one can do that. In these types of situations, the only thing that will maintain the present system is increasingly ditching democracy, which both parties have been doing for decades now, and if we don’t put those changes in places, that is what will be in place when it all collapses. That is where we are heading, and the PMC is largely functionally stupid.

        1. notabanker

          The original comment here is missing the mark with the left / moderate characterization.

          The DNC’s mission is to protect and enrich the DNC. They do that through corporate funding, which means selling out labor / working class. The PMC distinction is not who is running the Democrats, it’s the last remaining labor pool that hasn’t been sufficiently exploited, through corporate self interest of course.

          And this is why those structural economic and environmental problems will not be solved by the USofA. It is in fact the cause of most of it, and the financial benefactors of it are in charge of the campaign coffers.

          The corporate takeover of America is complete, and it is checkmate with Biden in. The real action will be to see the global reaction. Germans have been distancing themselves for a while. Chinese are getting aggressive and Russia is Russia. Those are three cultures that have arguably played America’s capitalists game much better than America the last 30 years. I also think they are far less careless in ceding their state power to capitalists. Conversely, allies like the UK, France, Aussie’s can’t say the same. Interesting times.

          From where I sit as an American, I am along for the ride, whatever that may be. Voting at the national level makes not one iota of difference, in the grand scheme of things. Biden got the nomination with 10 million votes. Harris quit the race before the first primary vote was cast. This is no democracy.

    4. Pelham

      And I’m starting to think that it wasn’t just Hillary that voters rejected in 2016 but perhaps the entire Democrat brand. So maybe many of us have been too hard on Hillary. The Democrats in general have succeeded in identifying themselves as primarily idpol scolds or captives in recent years, augmenting their earlier, Clinton-era identification as budget scold globalists. This combination may tend to taint everyone — no matter how sympathetic and enlightened — with a D near their name.

    5. Acacia

      I gather the rub is that, according to Gallup, only 31% of Americans identified as Democrats, 25% identified as Republican, and 40% as Independent. So the Democrat party feels that it has to poach outside the reserve, so to speak.

      The difficulty may begin when the Democrat party climbs into bed with corporate donors. Instead of hunting for Democrat-leaning voters among the Independents, they instead go hunting for disaffected Republicans because in that way they can offer a Republican-Lite platform that pleases their corporate donors.

    6. D. Fuller

      Democratic leaders have destroyed and alienated their traditional base. If it weren’t for Covid and hatred of Trump? Democrats would have become the permanent minority party this year. A signifcant portion of people did not vote for Biden because “Biden”. They voted against Trump while hating Biden.

      Democrats won’t have that “advantage” in 2024. They have managed to delay their permanent minority party status, another 4 years. Only if Biden wins this election, however.

  3. fresno dan

    Matt Stoller
    This is frankly a good outcome. Joe Biden will probably win power but the arrogant Dem establishment is humiliated.
    Does anyone on the TV (pundits and pollsters) get fired for being wrong (and by wrong, I mean wrong about FACTS, as opposed to being wrong by engaging in Toobinesque behavior – though to be fair that behavior didn’t occur while he was being broadcast on TV…at least that we know of)

    1. .Tom

      I’m not sure about Stoller’s take. As Thomas Frank has explained over and over, these people are so far gone they are basically robotic. They cannot learn, they cannot be chastened or humiliated, they cannot take stock of the fact because, … they are always right. They are the masters of the universe, the elite of elite with the best, most brilliant minds so they will always find a rationalization and be able to shift blame.

    2. .Tom

      Sorry, forgot your question. No, not for being wrong. But they can get fired for poor or adverse effects on ad sales, or for not conforming to ideology.

      No pundit or pollster needs to be right to do a good job at keeping the money flowing.

      1. Duck1

        did Toobin actually get fired by anyone? prolly had to go to some struggle sessions and a webinar on modern zipper technology

    3. Matthew

      That tweet reads like Stoller’s account got hacked. “Biden has to do a good job” said sincerely, like where have you even been.

    4. flora

      Biden’s politics might be set in amber, the Dem estab might be shameless, but the down ticket Senate and House race candidates are starting to blame management for what looks like serious losses compared to their earlier expectations.

      ‘Dumpster fire’: House Democrats trade blame after Tuesday’s damage


      Turns out all the MSM reporting and polling that looked so favorable for the Dems — and suppressed or ignored any unflattering data — left too many of the down ticket candidates blindsided by the strength of the GOP candidates in their districts.

      1. drumlin woodchuckles

        What kind of Democrats were the downticket Democrats who got defeated? Were they compatible with the Sanders vision? Were they compatible with the From/Clinton/Obama/Hamilton Project vision?

        To do our most precisionistic thinking, we should know what kind of Democrats these Democrats who were defeated were/are.

        1. flora

          if you read the article ;) you’ll see this:

          And already they were saying goodbye to at least a half-dozen of their centrist Democratic colleagues, who were stunned by GOP challengers on Tuesday, including Abby Finkenauer in Iowa and Donna Shalala in Florida.

  4. Daryl

    > Why did Democrats lose this county?

    This is quite surprising and I would also like to know the answer. Border counties in Texas have been the absolute worst hit by Covid, and our bungling Republican state gov’t has been not only responding to it in the most incompetent possible manner, but actively suppressing any local efforts to deal with coronavirus.

  5. petal

    I don’t think the Dem establishment can ever be humiliated. It’s just not possible, otherwise they’d have been humiliated to the max in 2016, and there was no evidence of that happening. They are like psychopaths-they don’t feel. They just keep touching the burner, consequences be damned.

    1. Pat

      Nothing will change as long as the wealthy keep giving them money. Humiliation isn’t about losing, otherwise most of the Obama and Clinton apparatchiks would have needed to find a new job. No, it is not being able to bundle millionaires for a big fundraising payday.

      The only thing I can think of is they are the Carly Fiorinas of politics. They have HP level failures every couple of years, but still are business geniuses.

      1. km

        For that matter, the neocons. None of the architects of the War on Iraq, in or out of government, have faced any personal nor professional consequences. In fact, in many cases they have advanced and otherwise been treated as Serious Thinkers and Hardheaded Realists.

        By contrast, the few naysayers have been cast into Outer Darkness, even as the war went worse than their most dire predictions would have.

        1. Clem

          Now that it’s old enough to vote,
          which candidate would the
          Perennial war in Afghanistan have voted for?

          They guy that made it, or the one who refuses to have more children?

        2. richard

          it’s how you rise in this exceptionally sick society:
          be loudly wrong in a Huge Ass Crowd Of Wrong
          the only penalty that is ever imposed is for not joining in

        3. rudiv

          Replying very late, but I just had to say:
          As someone who isn’t American (have lived there a few years) the sharp contrast between how they treat the architects of the war in the UK and the US says a lot to me. Plenty of serious people are happy to go on state-funded television in the UK and say that they think Tony Blair should go on trial at the Hague (waging a war of aggression being a crime against humanity). People were saying this in the 2000s, let alone the 2010s. And yet to speak ill of the Bush administration to that extent is still verboten to a great extent in the US.

          Of course, it’s not like the British did much about it apart from a parliamentary inquiry that didn’t lead to much apart from the embarrassment of Blair and his cabinet. Still though, I feel it betrays something which I can’t quite put my finger on. Maybe it’s the nature of the imperial presidency, maybe it’s just a sign of different political cultures. Either way, I’m left with more respect for the British than America.

    1. fresno dan

      November 4, 2020 at 2:31 pm

      Maybe there are couples married for 15 years that describe themselves as allies. Probably as numerous as all those suburban republicans that were gonna vote for Biden…

    2. Frosty

      Ha! They talk about it as though raising children is akin to minding houseplants. Based on my own admittedly slim experience, a platonic partnership isn’t as frictionless as the author seem to believe.

      1. Stephen C.

        Platonic relationship? Does this mean you can look forward to Socratic dialogue over brunch? Doubt if any of those folks could handle that, much less raise kids any better than the average parent.

    3. Mel

      I think this is a millennial-interest story. Speaking as a millennial (age 33) myself who badly wants kids but is currently is not in a solid relationship. I worry about missing my chance to have a family a lot. I know many others in my age bracket must face the same worries and feel especially lonely during 2020.

      1. Stephen C.

        Mel, I apologize in advance if my previous comment comes off as insensitive. I hear ya about a “solid relationship.” Tough to find these days. Good luck to ya.

      2. ambrit

        Don’t give up yet Mel.
        Phyllis and I had our first child when she was thirty-five, and our last when she was thirty-nine.
        As long as the two parents agree that they want children it can work out. Having a support network of family and long term friends is extra insurance for the success of the venture.

    4. ambrit

      Ouch! We’ve been married for over forty years and it never gets dull. Indeed, riffing on Plato, it often feels like we’re looking at shadows on the cave wall being cast by two separate light sources!
      As I commented to skippy a few days ago, it all reminds me of the late Joseph Campbell’s comment that marriage is an Ordeal, with all that that implies.
      Co-parenting is a curious but necessary concept for this cynical old geezer raised on a hybrid Anglo-American Patriarchal Family Theory. Really, any couple raising children together, in spirit if not in fact, must make adjustments, compromises, and sacrifices. Anything less suggests the “family” is run on a ‘Dominance and Submission’ template. That is nothing but trouble for the poor kiddies.
      If the parents do not put the children first in their calculations, then they are missing the basic reason for procreation.
      Thus endeth ye rant.

  6. Pat

    I said to someone yesterday that the only winners were people who needed plywood because there would probably be a lot to be picked up for nothing or Even bought for pennies here in NYC in a couple days.

  7. clarky90

    Dawn Chorus: New Zealand

    156 delightful musical minutes, performed by the renown, New Zealand Bird, combined Symphony and Choral Orchestras.

    “This morn I was awakd by the singing of the birds ashore, from whence we are distant not a quarter of a mile. The numbers of them were certainly very great, who seemd to strain their throats with emulation perhaps; their voices were certainly the most melodious wild musick I have ever heard, almost imitating small bells, but with the most tuneable silver sound imaginable, to which maybe the distance was no small addition.”

    These are the words of Joseph Banks, botanist aboard Capt. Cook’s Endeavour, moored off the New Zealand coast on January 17, 1770.

    The birdsong on this recording is likely very close to what was heard 250 years ago.


  8. fresno dan

    So Democrats lost to dead guy?
    Quote Tweet

    BNO News
    · 11h
    Republican David Andahl, who died from COVID-19 in October, has been elected to the North Dakota House of Representatives
    I keep telling you, if you look at it objectively, if we had had dead people be president for the last 40 or 50 years, we would be in a much better place today. You people are just prejudiced against the living challenged…

    1. OpenthepodbaydoorsHAL

      Once they are finished counting the ballots of dead people in WI they can install their dead person in The Oval. And some people say the president doesn’t reflect the state of the country? Weekend at Bidens, with the Queen of IdPol sneering at us to shut up and obey our betters.

    2. elissa3

      John Ashcroft, 2000. The only US senator to lose re-elction to a dead man. Fortunately for the nation, he failed up to become Attorney General s/.

    3. Jeremy Grimm

      There are definitely advantages to electing the dead. They can’t cause too much trouble especially as opposed to the works of the walking brain dead.

      1. Foy

        I heard a Republican congressman on the BBC last night saying that as a conservative he wants govt wheels to grind away as slowly as they can, that way the govt isn’t ‘interfering’, he loves gridlock as a conservative, more gridlock the better. I was surprised the glee he had with gridlock. I guess electing dead people would be the ultimate in his eyes.

  9. TBellT

    Just inject this straight into my arms. The liberal pundit class admitting just even the slightest they don’t have any f***** idea what’s going on is filling me with smiles. Time to Defund the NYT editorial section!

    I was also wrong in my intuition but I don’t get paid outrageous amounts for my opinions on politics.

    1. Kurt Sperry

      First time I’ve ever seen an image appear in a post in comments, except of course from Lambert!

  10. flora

    Nature, Science, I’m begging you: Please don’t go here. It’s most likely the case that you believe that “this is the most important election of our lifetime” — i.e., you’re not going the New York Times route and selling your editorial integrity for clicks — but I don’t want to have to put respected science publications in the same bucket as every other publication with a political axe to grind. Please, please, please keep electoral politics at arms length,

    +1 x a gazillion.

    1. Jeremy Grimm

      I am afraid both journals are positioned to weigh in favoring geoengineering for dealing with the Climate Chaos, and the ‘bad’ kind of geoengineering like the programs for spraying stuff into the upper atmosphere. I guess once Science has been purchased it is only natural that Big Money should acquire the journals.

  11. curlydan

    In terms of COVID leadership, I’d recommend looking at the cumulative per capita infection rates to date. If we do that, the US has a 2.8% infection rate compared to a 1.5% rate for the European Union–although France is trying hard to play catch up with the US lately.

    The US does look favorable to Netanyahu in Israel and the King of Belgium :) (is there still a king in Belgium?).

    1. NotTimothyGeithner

      It means he likely won Michigan, PA, and holds onto Zona considering the shape of absentees (catchall) outside of Florida

      1. Aumua

        It means this election is never going to end. We’ll be picking between these two impossibly bad choices for the rest of our lives.

    2. marku52

      That is a start for Biden’s path to the presidency. He might get it, because last ballots to be counted in MI and PA are mail ins, which have gone heavily for him so far.

      1. OpenthepodbaydoorsHAL

        Yes, the 138,000 they dumped in WI at 4 AM after telling people it was over for the night have 6,000 for Trump. Theyre not even attempting to hide the theft this time around.

        1. grayslady

          Not sure who you think is stealing from whom, but after just checking my county’s vote totals (100% counted except for provisionals and absentee ballots), there was about a 3:1 ratio of mail-in ballots being Dem, which probably accounted for late-breaking Dem victories in quite a few races.

        2. marym

          “Dumped” or delivered within the state deadline, and handled and counted within timeframes and procedures specified by state law.

          “Absentee ballots take longer to process than ballots cast in person on Election Day. That’s because absentee ballot envelopes need to be checked against poll books and checked for voter signature, voter address and witness signature requirements before they’re opened. After they’re unsealed, ballots must be smoothed out before they’re fed into tabulating machines. If any ballots are damaged or the machine won’t accept them because they’re too rumpled or creased, the ballot will need to be re-created by poll workers in a time-consuming process dictated by state law.

          Poll workers can begin processing absentee ballots as soon as polls open at 7 a.m. Election Day, but not before.”


          Reports on supposed spike in votes approx. 3:30 am:
          “A chart from FiveThirtyEight.com showing how the Wisconsin race changed as results were reported…showed a sharp uptick in Democratic votes at around 4 a.m. on the morning after the election.”
          The increase in the chart simply shows when the City of Milwaukee reported its absentee ballot results. We knew well before the election that Democrats were much more likely than Republicans to vote absentee, that it takes longer to count such ballots, and that Milwaukee is a Democratic stronghold.

          So, predictably, the mail-in results from that area led to a spike in the number of Democratic votes when the Associated Press added that count — reported all at once — to its vote tally about 3:30 a.m.”

          1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

            132,000 to 6,000. Paging Josef Stalin. They should have just gone 138,000 to zero, same level of credibility

            1. Roger Smith

              Seriously, there has to be stat nerds out there that could give the odds of a 95-5% spread in a given sample, even accounting for mail in weights towards Democrats. I would be very interested to see that number.

          2. mttux

            Fivethirtyeight shows the same thing happening in Michigan at around 6:45 am. Maybe you can explain that one as well for me?

            1. marym

              typo caught by checks and balances

              “When Ms. Bowen and her team sent the county’s unofficial vote counts to Michigan officials early Wednesday, they accidentally reported Mr. Biden’s tally as 153,710, when it should have been 15,371, she said. About 20 minutes later, she said a state elections official called her to ask if the number was a typo; Shiawassee County doesn’t even have that many residents. Ms. Bowen said she corrected the figure and the number was updated.”


              1. mttux

                Well if the NYT says it, it must be true! That settles it! Silly me…

                I’m thinking we’re going to have:

                More wars – maybe even with eeeeevil Russia – fantastic!
                More (many more!) Maoist struggle sessions (aside: google pictures of this, very interesting!), a la Nick Sandmann
                More taxes – make sure you pay your share, at least!
                More neoliberal crony capitalism (though, admittedly, Trump is no prize here)
                Way, way more big tech policing of wrongthink
                More actual treason/corruption (Hunter will be untouchable now)
                More worship of ‘science’


                No more constant, childish p***ing & moaning & crying about Orange Mean Man from the TDS-addled prog masses.

                You know what, on second thought, that’s good enough for me! I’ll take it!

        3. Alternate Delegate

          So when should mail-in ballots be counted and reported? Should the count be delayed until daylight because that makes legitimate ballots more legitimate? Your complaint doesn’t appear to hold water.

        4. Fireship

          I really don’t understand how you can be a regular poster on this site and still not have a clue about the most basic workings of a presidential election. I’m not even American or particularly interested in it and seem to have figured it out. Strange.

          1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

            LOL I watched “the most basic workings of a presidential election” after 2016 when Team D employed the full weight of the CIA and the FBI trying to overturn the election by asserting that the winner was taking direct orders from The Kremlin. Maybe you’re not up on current events but the handwritten notes by the head of the CIA were released after 4 years of stonewalling and in black and white he states that Team D fabricated the entire thing from whole cloth. Reality much?

        5. drumlin woodchuckles

          One reason that very few Trump supporters would have voted by mail could be that Trump said vote-by-mail is fraudulent and he told his followers not to do it. They are faithful and loyal so they did not do it.

          One reason so many grudging Biden tolerators would have voted by mail ( or by early voting) would be that they take the Corona virus seriously and did not want to expose themselves to snarling howling masses of Typhoid MAGA corona-leper Trump voters at the polls on voting day.

          So it seems logical that mail-in ballots and early-submitted ballots would be mostly “for” Biden without having to invoke the concept of fraud.

          1. Procopius

            drumlin woodchuckles, also it was noted and predicted by many pundits, too. My default is to label people complaining about that as not arguing in good faith.

    3. Pat

      I’m pretty sure it means there are going to be a lot of challenges. Less than 30,000 votes difference and 5% not in.

      Not much has really changed. Biden was leading in it. If it holds Biden only needs to win the two other states he is leading in to have the needed electoral college votes. Trump needs every state he is leading in plus one of the Biden leaning states to win.

          1. mnm

            Twitter is clearing posts left and right. Links from articles & comments multiple sites.
            How can a guy with dementia win? Trump not my favorite, but why do I feel like he got some of the Bernie Sanders primary treatment.

            1. Biph

              He didn’t at this point Biden’s most likely gonna end up with somewhere between 270-332 EV and when the dust settles about a 4% win in the popular vote and a majority of the votes overall I’m guessing it’ll end up ~ 51-47 Biden. Trump won last time by threading the needle in WI, PA, and MI while losing the popular vote by 2%, that extra 2% looks to be enough to get Biden an EV win. While I think a Biden presidency and a GOP senate is the worst possible outcome Biden winning a majority of the vote, if a slim one, and not a plurality like Gore and HRC, makes him winning the EC fair and expected

          1. lyman alpha blob

            Thanks but the video doesn’t show any large animated crush at all. There is a medium sized crowd who seem to be simply standing and listening to one of the election officials.

            Not grokking what’s supposed to be happening there.

          2. marym

            It doesn’t seem to have been that big a crowd. Here’s another video. I saw a reference to “dozens” which seems about right as in this video

            “A Detroit elections officials attempting to deescalating an increasingly tense situation outside the ballot count at TCF Center. republican and democratic challenger limits are at capacity but Republican supporters are not accepting the explanation.”

            1. drumlin woodchuckles

              If they start breaking windows, shoot them. Shoot them all.

              Crime is crime is crime. And riot is riot is riot.

  12. notabanker

    Is there any math on how many people went to the pols and did not vote for any POTUS candidate?

    1. Jeremy Grimm

      Look for total number of votes counted minus the total number of votes for Biden and Trump. I don’t know how to get either number but I believe each state should report those numbers. The total number of votes counted minus the total number of votes for any candidate for POTUS would yield the undercount — persons who voted without voting for POTUS. Of course there may be some finagling of the empty ballot slots given our fair and well-handled election processes.

  13. philman

    The referendum to raise the minimum wage to 15$/hour in FL passed, even though the state went for Trump. So, good news in any case!!

    1. Another Scott

      82% of Nebraska voters approved a limit to the amount payday lenders can charge…36%. I’m still taking that as a good sign and perhaps other states could do the same, but at a more reasonable limit.

      1. BobW

        Capital One Quicksilver credit card has a 26.99% APR. I think that is getting near payday lender rates.

      2. montanamaven

        I can’t believe high “Usury” rates are still being defended or legislated. “Infinite Debt” in Harpers 2009 by Tom Geoghegan . States all had Usury laws of below 12%. and mostly 8% , I think. The congress passed a law that eliminated the cap on interest rates at the Federal Level. This happened when wages had been stagnating and so people started borrowing more and more. It started in 1980 and it was a Democratic congress that did it. Sorry I can’t get a link as I long ago gave up my Harper’s when Roger Hodge was fired in 2010.

    2. Glen

      I’m sure the state government will block it. Just like with the last ballot initiative about felons getting back the right to vote.

      But still nice to see.

    3. edmondo


      Florida is more progressive than California. You get $15 an hr in FL and corporate slavery in NewsomeLand.

      Everything is backwards.

      1. Jason Boxman

        And wealthy conservative Democrat funder Morgan was a funder for the $15 an hour amendment. That’s impressive, in and of itself. Good for him. The working class in Florida needs this; Maybe next time he can fund paid sick leave as well. Before the pandemic, the Orlando rental market was more bifurcated than Boston.

      2. Fireship

        Poor Krugman. He wins a “Nobel” prize for economics but still doesn’t know what “liberal” means. What a schmuck.

      3. neo-realist

        You mean that state whose appeals court turned back the right to vote for (mostly) ex-cons unless they paid their court fees after which the FL pols refused to apply the Bloomberg contributions to pay said court fees. Fear of a POC vote FL has. Who was that progressive state that disenfranchised large numbers of black voters in the year 2000?

  14. furies

    As someone who was tempted to buy ‘anti-microbial’ fabric for face masks, after I did the research, I came to the conclusion that ‘anti-microbial’ is a marketing strategy and a nice, comforting myth. But now ‘anti-viral’ fabric!…I’d need to see some proof.

    My yellow waders are starting to have pin-prick holes due to the sheer volume of crap out there.

    1. Altandmain

      If you want something protective, 3M P100 masks is what I use and recommend. You can get the filters still, although they do cost more. Watch for fakes though.

  15. Arizona Slim

    Dare I drop in with more good news? Here it is! One of my neighbors was elected to the Tucson Unified School Board. Link to her campaign website:


    Among other things, she’s advocating for horticulture education in every school. As she said to me yesterday, kids need to learn how to grow their own food.

    And the lady behind the coolest stickers of any campaign I’ve seen this year? Well, she won her election too. Meet our next County Recorder:


        1. Lambert Strether Post author

          But I believe there was an error in the feed — ~85% of the vote was counted, not ~95% as thought. But I’m not sure whether that’s been rectified or not.

    1. cocomaan

      Slim, that’s great. Your neighbor has a killer website whose quality is only eclipsed by how awesome her hair is.

      The horticulture bit and the other ideas she’s pushing are good stuff. Congrats to her.

  16. Val

    Nature and Science have always been political publications for the 30 years I’ve read them, but usually very deft in terms of their use of framing, technosprecht and that indispensable passive third person delivery that pervades scientific writing. Existing gaps in human knowledge/theory are the most intensely political terrain that can exist, but it seems from the beginning of this year the status publications have found another gear. Nature had to retract and apologize to China regarding covid origins, etc. Also note perhaps the operational and ideological tell in the verb, meddle. Personnel dynamics may explain what cultural osmosis cannot, were one inclined to undertake such an analysis.

  17. zagonostra

    >WI Vote Tally

    I don’t know what the 21K votes is as a percentage, but with so much riding on this a recount is certainly in order.

    With the establishment firmly behind Biden I’m starting to question some of the numbers coming across showing Biden eking out a marginal lead.

    Wisconsin Elections Commission Administrator Meagan Wolfe told NBC News on Wednesday that “all of the ballots have been counted” in the state. Biden is ahead by 20,697 votes, according to NBC’s tally. Similarly, he is ahead by more than 20,500 votes according to the Associated Press tally.


    1. Lambert Strether Post author

      > Trump made a recent campaign stop there and promised to recognize the Lumbee Indians.

      Somebody in the Trump campaign was very smart and working with granular data (probably in some anonymous office park in Arlington nobody knows about). Or some local gentry made a call. Who can tell?

  18. Jessica

    Thank you to Zagonostra in the morning links for mentioning “Archbishop Vigano’s letters in support of Trump on the Catholic voters. I know Catholics who took Vigano’s views very seriously.”
    If it were mentioned here on NC before, it slipped by me. Thanks to all those who bring or point the views of people outside my own circles who have views so different from my own. This is a great aspect of NC.

  19. Wyatt Powell

    (Copying this over from Links Today because im pissed, also I like push back, cause im a sadist)
    America Is Eerily Retracing Rome’s Steps to a Fall. Will It Turn Around Before It’s Too Late?

    I hate this so much. I can not explain to another human being how much this makes my blood boil.

    1. Do NOT compare Trump to Caesar, you give Trump faaaaaarrrrr too much credit, meanwhile Gaius’s is turning in his grave

    2. (The big Point) The author is soooo ignorant of history (even popular history) it makes me cringe and his condensing tone is sickening. Julius Caesar = Bad, Orange Man = Bad. NO. JUST NO. Caesar saw an opening to glory and prestige and took it, this is not only common in Rome, it was REQUIRED by the upper classes. You were a disgrace if you did not have “fiery” ambition. To ignore what lead Caesar to see this “opening” is to piss and sh*t all over history. The late republic i not some democratic paradise like the author wants to project, it was horrible, violent and rotting beneath the surface.
    In the Article… Mentions of Tiberius? 0
    Mentions of Gaius Gracchus? 0
    Mentions of Drusus? 0
    Mentions of Marius? 0!?!!?
    Mentions of SULLA!?!?!?!?!? 0!?!!?!? WTF is wrong with you?!?!?!

    Roman Senators and Oligarchs destoryed the Republic… not Caesar… Sulla crossed the Rubicon and set Rome on the path to poverty,humiliation and despair… NOT CAESAR!

    F*ck you Tim Elliot F*ck you.

    America will continue to dumb down complex history PRECISELY because of people like you. F*ck you.

    1. jr

      Thanks for tearing that article to shreds, I was falling for it a bit myself.

      Are you related to Caesar? jk/jk

    2. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

      I really appreciate this post, thanks. Forget Gracchus and Sulla, wait until the IdPol crowd are finished rewriting Washington, Jefferson, Adams, and Lincoln. Maybe Sherman’s March To The Sea will turn out to be The Long March by the greycoats? You just cannot tell which faction will take control of past events, but luckily now we know that skin color determines the content of your character

      1. jr

        I’m waiting for when failing to know in advance that someone is a “shim” or “shoe” or “schmoe” is going to be considered a hate crime. My GF told me of a freelancer at an old job who was summarily kicked off the project because he >didn’t know< that the head of that department was a “they”.

    3. Wyatt Powell

      Ahhh crap, im an idoit. For more reasons then one, but this time…..

      Sulla didnt cross the Rubicon
      I meant Pomerium**

      Historians butcher me

    4. Stephen C

      I agreed with you earlier today and I agree with you now. These faux historians need to be taken to task. When I was at Uni I thought the “real” historians I encountered were terrible snobs for poo-pooing anyone willing to be published in pop venues. Anyone doing so would be gently but unquestionably shown the door, escorted out of the profession. Now I know why. It’s just pandering to what these authors think are a hopelessly ignorant public.

      Trump is a Caesar and Jesus was a Marxist, don’t cha know!

  20. Jessica

    Perhaps we are overegging the pudding analyzing the failure of the Democrats. Perhaps this is simply a symptom of endemic professional and managerial class incompetence.
    It is true that Biden was chosen as the nominee by the party elite in order to block the Sanders candidacy and that Harris was chosen because the donors love her. Even with that impressively flawed ticket, they were running against someone who has presided over nearly a quarter million Covid-19 deaths and clearly prefers to posture than to find a way out.
    Moreover, both the Biden and Harris selections were themselves the result of an extremely weak bench, another result of their incompetence.
    More broadly, the unifying principle of the professional managerial class has been non-accountability for themselves and for their masters. One of the main reason for their deep hatred of Trump is that he violated this principle of non-accountability in two ways: 1) By calling them out for the economic destruction they have wrought on the working class and middle class and 2) By norm violations and speech that encourage the inferiors to believe that they might have the right to question of the wisdom of their betters.
    He has done far less for these folks than he likes to pretend and than many of them want to believe but this degree of egging on the rabble is heresy that must be stamped out. Being the leading war criminal of the 21st century like Bush II, that is one thing, but challenging the right to rule that our meritocrats have earned through their hard work and superior education that is unforgivable.
    None of this works to make the professional and managerial class competent. Quite the opposite. If you systematically turn off all the warning signals and alarms, it is far easier to fly the plane into the side of a mountain.
    We will only have a chance of moving forward when we create a movement that breaks decisively with the professional managerial class and its cult of non-accountability.

    1. drumlin woodchuckles

      If we still need professionals and managers to professionise and manage things, how can we break their power as a class and also remove the excessive respect and self-respect which they have been awarded for decades now?

  21. Drake

    A few reactions — polls were obviously bulls*** weeks ago. I’m settling on the notion that polls are just a different sort of institutional corruption. In other words, they are expressly for the purpose of allowing the chosen candidate to raise lots of money which (s)he then uses to buy adds from the media organizations who conducted the polls. Accuracy is not their main purpose. Biden was cash-poor after the primaries, then a few polls show him in the lead and the large donor floodgates open. The money cycle is like the water cycle, it just recycles endlessly.

    Both candidates were disasters and both deserved to lose. I wish they would go back to the quaint ways of the past when they actually promised to do things after they got elected. Biden ran on Trump bad, masks, and identity politics. I’m not even sure what Trump ran on. Party hardy is as good a guess as any other.

    There didn’t seem to be any decisive issues. I didn’t think it would be a referendum on Covid, but the riots don’t seem to have been decisive either, nor fracking, nor healthcare, etc. Different issues seem to have mattered to different demographics in different places. Possibly Biden’s waffling on fracking cost him in PA and TX, but at the moment it doesn’t seem to matter much. I think party identification determines most else these days, indicating which issues people care most about, rather than the other direction, and locale beyond that.

    I never thought Trump would win FL, PA, OH, TX, and NC and lose (assuming for the moment he does lose). That’s a shocker. I also never thought Republicans would hold the Senate in a scenario where Trump lost.

    If Biden wins, do riots suddenly stop? Or do they continue, but now that they don’t serve as a cudgel against Trump do Democrats crush them? I think it’s one or the other, will be fascinating to see which.

    If, according to current conventional wisdom, Trump does have to offer a concession speech, I hope he gives a short, eloquent, poignant speech like the Gettysburg Address. Here’s something I think appropriate:

    “What you lookin’ at? You all a bunch of f*in’ assholes. You know why? You don’t have the guts to be what you wanna be? You need people like me. You need people like me so you can point your f*in’ fingers and say, “That’s the bad guy.” So… what that make you? Good? You’re not good. You just know how to hide, how to lie. Me, I don’t have that problem. Me, I always tell the truth. Even when I lie. So say good night to the bad guy! Come on. The last time you gonna see a bad guy like this again, let me tell you. Come on. Make way for the bad guy. There’s a bad guy comin’ through! Better get outta his way!”

  22. Glen

    Biden looks screwed even if he wins

    Au contraire, this is the PERFECT Biden win for the DNC because NOW even “fundamentally nothing will change” is out the window. They claim they will have to move even further right (because that’s the only direction they ever move).

    We’re about to watch Biden govern like Mitch McConnell on steroids. Then expect a horrified public to dump the Dems out in 2020 so that we can get even more Mitch McConnell on steroids.

    1. Drake

      Biden promised us nothing, and that’s what he will give us. Fortunately for the Dems, they will be able to blame an obstructionist Senate as the reason they never try to do anything. As for the Senate, my guess is they will launch investigations and (if they can) an impeachment. We might spend the next two or three years on Ukrainegate. This seems to be the pattern of governing these days, and it suits both parties and the press perfectly.

      1. Glen

        You hope it’s that good. But we will find out that “doing nothing” is off the table as too progressive.

        Biden will do a grand bargain with Mitch and will CUT Social Security because we are BROKE after giving MASSIVE tax breaks to the rich, and TRILLIONS to corporations and Wall St.

        1. Drake

          The Blob was robbed four years ago and now they are eager to make up for lost time.

          This was really why I wanted Trump to get a second term. The Democrats are allied with literally every group of worst people in this country — Wall St, Big Tech, traditional media, social media, the security state, the healthcare industry, the foreign policy psychopaths, private prisons, the free-trade parasites, every kind of non-profit charity and NGO grift, etc. Industrial scale professional corruption is coming back with a vengeance to replace Trump’s family-owned gifted amateur corruption.

          1. zagonostra

            Drake your take is spot on. I could not get myself to vote for Trump (wrote in Hawkins), yet I told my friends if you put a gun to my head and said vote for one of the two rapist, I think I would have chosen to go with Trump exactly for the reasons you point out…it’s sad most people act as if the sword of Damocles is waiting to slit their throat.

          2. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

            And a notable absence of *any* Team D faithful chiming in to challenge *any* of your assertions. When your man wins an election you’re supposed to be all giddy and excited and hopeful. Suicide is painless I guess

    2. Amfortas the hippie

      “….We’re about to watch Biden govern like Mitch McConnell on steroids. Then expect a horrified public to dump the Dems out in 2020 so that we can get even more Mitch McConnell on steroids….”

      well, since so many will be unemployed and living in boxes, we should have ample time to talk to each other(i spent a good bit homeless, there’s lots of talking and even community building that happens), and maybe even attempt to storm the bastille of ballot access.
      we need a left party in this country….the two righty parties stand in the way…and nobody has the time to effectively challenge it.
      and too few have the time to talk, or even think about why and how that might happen.

      idk….weary—bruised a rib last friday…san antonio trip didn’t help…somewhat medicated …looking for silver lining.

      1. ambrit

        Sorry to tell you good sir, but the silver is lining the pockets of the oligarchs.

        Watch as anxious oligarchs try to make the robbery of anyone ‘worth’ more than the mean a “hate crime.”

    3. ChrisPacific

      There is really no result that can’t be interpreted as meaning a move further to the right is needed, for those that are so inclined.

      Here in New Zealand where Labour just won in a historic landslide, I keep hearing arguments that they need to move right “because they picked up all those National voters, and will want to keep them.”

      1. Greg

        There were noises about that on the night of the victory.

        Makes me so annoyed – it makes no sense at all, it’s just an excuse for right wingers to try and get what they want even though they lost.
        Those voters decided they liked *what Labour were last term* and *what Labour promised in the election run-up*.

        You give them what they want by doing what you damn well said you would and what you have been doing, not suddenly deciding you should try and be the people that they didn’t like enough to vote for.

  23. Grant

    “Well, you can’t begrudge conservatives their little happy dance. And I confess to considerable schadenfreude that the Republican War criminals who slithered onto The Good Ship Biden are experiencing some discomfiture, hopefully financial.”

    This is what is so frustrating. The right in this country continues on with far more power in government than they have support in the country (at least on policy) because of how utterly horrible, corrupt and internally undemocratic the opposition party is. If the norm was AOC on policy and if the Democrats were serious about change, the right would be freaking out. But, they look at how bad the Democrats are, how bad Biden is, and they can probably see the backlash in two years. What is the Democratic Party to do, if Biden wins, in the next 24 months but effectively throw their own president aside and distance themselves from him? And even if they do, the image of that rotten party is so bad that genuine leftists are up against it because people have no faith that they can do much of anything given how bad their party and its leadership is. The Republicans will get to push Biden right (easy sell with him), and when those horrible policies make things worse they can blame it on Biden. In the meantime, austerity, public debt, deficits, government shutdown, pay go, boo!

    I am sorry, but if Pelosi is chosen once again to lead in the House, Schumer in the Senate, Perez at the DNC, Bustos as the DCCC and the like, it is going to be an utter disaster. And if the Democrats are true to form, they will “change” things by bringing in younger and more diverse faces that are equally corrupt and have the same rough ideas. Don’t like the full privatization of the USPS, all those white guys selling it off? How about a woman of color doing that? See, progress!

    If the left is smart, it will put Biden and everyone to his right in the same group, regardless of party, and they will work hard to distinguish themselves from them all, and the left will build an alternative infrastructure outside of the control of that party. If I was a DSA member running in that party, I would seriously consider running as a third party candidate if they rig it against me, which they will. Build up the infrastructure now, and if the Democrats pull another Iowa in 2020, then run against them in the general election.

    1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

      Is there anyone to the right of Biden? Used to be the Repubs could be counted on to produce complete wack-jobs on war, Wall St, crime, and corporate theft but Biden’s got an absolute lock on those already. Is time a flat circle? Can we keep turning it to the Right and magically end up popping out at the far Left?

      1. MS Server

        In what universe is there any support of “left” policies that wouldn’t be shouted down as being socialist from republican/regressives?

        I really don’t understand the delusion on this site that there is anything but a gapping maw of failure in courting Trump supporters towards a path that is remotely “progressive.” Every “concrete material benefit” will be shouted down as corrupting the great U-S-A.

        1. Dr. John Carpenter

          Have you ever met any Trump voters who would have voted for Bernie even if it was Bernie vs Trump? I have. Lots in fact.

          1. MS Server

            I have talked to plenty in the South, Midwest, and West coasts that wouldn’t have voted for Bernie and his “socialist” agenda in a thousand years.

            But we all know that anecdote is not data. And there is not any data that supports that Trump regressives would support anyone to the left of Biden (who nobody would claim is anything other than a modern centrist).

            As a country we can’t get regressives to wear a [family blogging] mask during the worst pandemic in a century, much less acknowledge climate change.

            As I’ve said, I’ve seen ZERO evidence that regressives can be induced to vote for any “concrete material benefits” that will be decried as “socialist.” Good lunch with that…

            1. SalonBee

              Most of the country is economically liberal but socially conservative (but pro-choice). Progressives who push extreme identity politics along with economic liberalism do not have a path to power, but combining conservative social norms (and being pro-choice) with economic liberalism would be a winning platform. To me that was the 2016 Bernie platform. But you need a critical mass that advocates for this. AOC is too extreme in identity politics to find support outside of the college educated and PMC.

              1. Donald

                What is an example of AOC being extreme on identity politics? My impression is that there is bad faith both in PMC liberal circles and in the right wing critics of identity politics— people like Rod Dreher, for instance. Dreher acts like white racism is a reaction to identity politics, when it is Identity politics in its original form.

                I think a lot of AOC’s critics just hate the fact that she is an outspoken brown woman. Yes, that is a liberal cliche, but in some cases it is true. I would never defend Kamala Harris that way.

              2. Amfortas the hippie

                “But you need a critical mass that advocates for this”

                or just a guy they like in the feedstore using the socratic method(asking questions).
                it can be done…i’ve done it.
                but i’m only one guy, and it took years of patient prodding and questioning and a lot of listening.
                then it was all undone in a minute when we locked down, and a mask became a political statement.
                without the constant reinforcement of the herd maintenance machinery, by turns scaring the hell out of them and enraging them, the american right is not monolithically crazy for fascism and killing the queers.
                most are just ordinary folks with ordinary concerns.

                i just perused a portion of their herd maintenance machinery(townhall, american thinker and free republic).
                there, i learned that fox news has been absorbed by the liberal socialist marxist monster, and that anne coulter is a rino.
                his sort of crazy only sells to people who are on their back foot and kept in perpetual fear uncertainty and doubt(FUD).
                there’s a method to this, and the Righty Wurlitzer is adept.
                the only effective counter is exposure….let the righties you know know what a “socialist” actually looks like, and the FUD won’t be as effective.

              3. bob

                Who are you people? Shouldn’t you be walking off a cliff or something? Do you and your people have no honor at all?

            2. Darthbobber

              Well then, Just give up. Pronounce the electorate irredeemable. That’s the logical end point of that reasoning.

              1. Phillip Cross

                Sad but true. They used to say that true democracy is 5 wolves and 4 sheep deciding what’s for dinner… But in 2020 usa, it’s 100 million greedy, spiteful and easily led narcissists instead of the wolves.

              2. Wyatt Powell

                Haha currently working on just that….

                Im thinking of writing a longer comment in Water Cooler some day, probably end up copy/pasting half of this but..

                I think America is horribly screwed.
                Maybe the Millennial+ generations can fix it a bit, but Ive lost hope in that too.

                But as its currently constructed… it really is awful. It all comes down to one word


                Me, my own, and nobody else
                Money and Possessions
                Property and Ownership
                Business and Finance
                Family and Relationships
                Education and Community
                Politics and Leadership
                Heath and Environment
                Faith and Reason

                All of it is answered with “Me”
                And when any question you have is answered by “Me” things get very insular and reactionary.

                No man is an Island, no one can do it alone.

                But thats what we teach our childern isnt it? Thats what we tell each other. Thats the culture of America, the American Way, The American Dream.

                How can men fight against such reckless and remorseless thinking? What is the cure for that kind of pure Isolationist, Libertarian, Egocentric, Individualist mindset? On a country wide, generational scale?

                I dont believe there is one… even the Great Depression and FDR couldn’t(or wouldnt) deliver us from that.

                We need a society of “Us” of “We”
                A forward looking society… one of planning and long term thought. One where history is taught extensively, to correct mistakes already made…

                My friends of NC… America is not that society, and never has been, and probably never will be.

                We peaked on a social/societal level 50 years ago… now just watch the world burn while the rich loot it for the last few pennies and drops of water.

            3. flora

              Like all the shy T voters showed up at the polls this year, I saw plenty of Republicans I know who caucused for Bernie in 2016 (before the Dem estab eliminated caucusing). I’d never seen that before. They weren’t there to prank the Dem party. When the O years resulted in millions of people fraudlently foreclosed on, homeowners used to foam the runway for the banks, the old red-baiting “socialist” charge lost it’s sting compared to the recent “heartless capitalist” experience for many.

              1. Yves Smith

                No, she never polled above trivial numbers in the primaries, and her opposition to our wars in the Middle East made her a non-starter as a player in either party.

            4. Altandmain

              Take a look at this chart.


              It comes from a study after 2016 the Democrats paid for:

              There’s a lot of socially conservative and economically left wing voters. Also, I would urge you to not call people “regressives”. Otherwise, you’ve lost before the battle for their support begins.

  24. .Tom

    My wife commented on the thought of Biden in the WH, “You might as well put a cardboard cutout of Lincoln there.”

    I thought about that for a bit. Imagine the cardboard cutout of Lincoln in the WH, doing all the meetings and such while the DC politics/government/media/money machine carries on. Just assume that all the people the cardboard cutout interacts with understand this situation as normal and play along, all pursuing their various goals and ideologies as normal. Now imagine the same thing but substitute Biden for the cardboard cutout of Lincoln and compare the two ideas.

    Hard to beat something with nothing. I heard that last night. Not sure the origin.

    1. ambrit

      I’m sure that the animatronic Reagan is stored away in the voluminous White House basement complex. Why not just clean it up and reanimate it as the “Spokesperson in Chief” to handle the load while Biden ‘rests’ dreaming of the fjords. (If corporations can be legal persons, why not androids?)

      1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

        Q: I wonder if Jill will be the Nancy R. analogue, whispering “we’re doing everything we can” in his ear at press conferences when he can no longer compel an electric signal to pass between his last two remaining neurons. He can ask the ghost of Beau while he’s deciding whether to have the mashed peas or just a nice tall glass of Ensure for lunch, then a nice long nap, tra la

  25. Wukchumni

    Now i’ve heard everything dept:

    Although in their defense, more than likely the first cooked food ever was an egg hard boiled in a hot spring~

    This is weird, even by 2020 standards. A group of people, including a man from Idaho Falls, was recently busted in Yellowstone National Park while they were cooking a chicken in one of the park’s geothermal hot springs.

    The culinary event happened in early August, according to Nate Eaton at East Idaho News, when park authorities were given reports of a group carrying cooking gear towards a hot spring. Rangers arrived and found the group had two chickens cooking in the hot waters of a spring. The Idaho Falls man was given a citation for walking in the thermal area, to which he plead guilty. He was also given a $600 fine, probation, and he is banned from Yellowstone for the next two years.


    1. Carolinian

      Does it give the chicken a yummy sulfur taste? Haven’t sampled much thermal hot spring water myself.

    1. NotTimothyGeithner

      Jon Favreau is demanding that all discussion about what went wrong be in private by Team Blue strategerists. They haven’t figured out who to blame yet.

      1. Glen

        There will be many excuses, but ultimately, they will BLAME the voters.

        And the voters ARE a BIG PROBLEM. The voters are tired of getting [family blogged] by their political leaders.

      2. edmondo

        They haven’t figured out who to blame yet.

        It’s got to be the Hispanics. They lost Texas, Florida and possibly Arizona for Team Blue. Nothing like alienating the fastest growing group. Oh, and remember when Sanders’ staffer Chuck Roca was the Hispanic-Whisperer. I wonder how you say “Nothing will change” in Spanish.

        Las Vegas got decimated by Coronavirus and Trump is within spitting distance in Nevada. This is like watching the political version of “The Producers”. Trump did everything possible to not be re-elected . He keeps singing “Springtime for Hitler” and the Democrats wag their fingers while the rest of the audience gets it.

        1. NotTimothyGeithner

          Favreau is smarter than the average jackass, and now I suspect he’s worried the Karens will do just this without coherent messaging.

        2. Drake

          “I wonder how you say “Nothing will change” in Spanish.”

          Various digital translators tell me: “Nada cambiará.”

          But that sounds a little off to me. To my non-native-Spanish ear you would have to say “no cambiará nada” or “no va a cambiar nada”, since Romance languages don’t consider double-negatives to be abominations. I’m open to correction.

  26. stefan

    Biden seems likely to win the presidency, but he may not have a Senate majority for the next two years at least.

    Progressives need to trim their sails to push policies that can get traction in this environment: immigration reform, effective industrial policy, jobs stimulus/infrastructure to states and localities, e.g. hardwire broadband and electrical grid modernization.

          1. Noone from Nowheresville

            Nah. We have a few million people to evict first. Then the states won’t have money so we’ll cut food stamps, medicaid, housing assistance and unemployment, etc. Followed by cutting the workforces of the state and local governments and hiring contracting firms to take over.

            Then the federal government will claim it’s broke and that just like a household everyone will have to tighten their belts. Tensions will increase. Fights will break out. Perhaps the military or national guard will be deployed.

            Throw in winter weather and covid infections v. other medical conditions / diseases and well… we’ll start to more directly feel the effects of the CARES Act. Perhaps even the “cost” of the deploying vaccines as something which is very expensive.

            Now we can form that Grand Bargain commission and work can begin. By then it will be TINA and unless the populace has been prepped to resist, they will go along because we all “know” that Social Security and Medicare will run out of funds. They’ve been telling us that lie for decades, even giving us “dates” to play along with. But this time it’s different, we’re serious. This time it’s a “crisis” caused by the pandemic.

            That’s IF we continue on the path that’s been decided on for us.

            1. ambrit

              My favourite story about old people getting even is one, (not by ERB of course,) where Tarzan is living in a retirement home in Northern Virginia when his social security is cut. He ends up sharpening his “iron tooth” and planning to “stalk the halls of Congress” to make his displeasure known.

    1. tegnost

      what do you have in mind for immigration reform?
      And do you have any infrastructure ideas that don’t just give money to big tech, who seems to have plenty if money of their own?

  27. Wukchumni

    The claim is the donkey show wants to foreclose on Nancy in the house, while she’s still got equity.

    1. ambrit

      “You’ve got a nice collection of gelato there sweetheart. It would be a shame for anything to happen to it. Capisce?”

  28. jr

    Overheard a conversation while shopping earlier. Two PMC’s were chatting on their stoop:

    “Costa Rica!”

    “Oh yeah?”

    “Yeah, it’s nice there. I’m thinking Costa Rica.”

    From the grimness of their tones, I’m assuming they aren’t talking about their vacations.

    1. drumlin woodchuckles

      They are just validating eachother in their sense of snooty superiority over the rest of us . . . . and parading their superior Wokefulness.

  29. Jason Boxman

    Having finally read some Taleb, I’ve been thinking about causality a lot lately, and the human hunger for narrative. It’s possible to come up with so many theories about the outcome of these different races. But we can’t run this in a simulation, adjusting variables, to see what happens. There’s only one election.

    So I wonder what ultimately can we discern from these outcomes? Lambert and others had some fascinating commentary about the primary, and as this election season concludes I’ll be curious to see what narratives stick.

    Did the stimulus standoff matter? Who benefitted politically? How did Trump do so well with some groups, and defy polling expectations again in at least a few state races? Where was the Democrat money advantage deployed and did it deliver any electoral results? Will there be an affect from the Trump rallies, official and unofficial, on pandemic metrics? Have we run out of our annual supply of plywood?

    1. Amfortas the hippie

      my duckblind excursion this early am was inconclusive…so i’m still wondering why so many folks out my way pulled in their trump signs, flags and banners on election day.

      we’re gonna just avoid town for a while,lol.
      and i’ve advised my eldest, who works every day at cousin’s coffee shop, serving coffee at the drive through, to be extra sweet to everyone, and avoid politics like a plague.

      1. drumlin woodchuckles

        Perhaps their thinking-brain dogs told them that hordes of violent BLM Antifas were going to roam the countryside; rioting, burning and looting every house and car with a Trump sign on it.

      2. Calypso Facto

        Amfortas, I was thinking about the signs earlier and my theory as to why they were pulled is that there were 3 primary motivating voting factors ex-Trump’s personality (win/lose from lockdown; interpretation of BLM protests and police violence; better/worse during obama years (biden proxy) vs Trump). For those who interpreted the summer protests as a law ‘n order response, as election day got closer, they fell prey to paranoiac fears about retaliation violence by antifa supersoldiers in the events of Biden landslide. The same response by city commercial real estate owners led to the plywood in the blue cities.

        1. Amfortas the hippie

          i’ve settled, provisionally, on 2 explanations….which may ovelap in some of the individuals in question:
          1. like both of you say, paranoid delusions of antifa hordes coming to get them(it’s the kind of thing they fantasize about among themselves online, after all=projection is as mother’s milk to the american right when it’s in it’s disembodied form)
          and 2. embarrassment.
          until covid and lockdowns and masks, most of the gop types i know were embarrassed by trump.
          out of the 900 or so reliable repub voters out here, only 200 or so voted for him in the primary. cruz was the local fave(ugh)
          i hypothesize that many of these sign withdrawers were never really true trumpers at all, merely team players.
          if he’s winning, so be it…but if they think he’s losing?
          better to remove the outward signs that would remind their neighbors of their momentary madness.

          i couldn’t find any discussion from my FB duckblind…so i’m leaning towards #2.

  30. jr

    500 strong protest in Midtown, NYC according to the Citizen app. It does provide video but it’s too far to definitively identify them. I think it’s a safe guess they are anti-Trumpers as the app identifies the group as chanting “Count every vote!!”

    1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

      Yes the “count every vote” messaging went out and Jake Tapper et alia dutifully sang from that glorious hymn. The problem is that this would then be the *first* election where we counted every vote before declaring a winner. Hand counting is slow, messy, and expensive and normally they count until it is mathematically impossible for the other guy to win *even if he received 100% of all of the remaining votes*. The winner is then declared. If you are confident you would win with that prior well-established procedure why would you send the *every vote* message out? A: because you want to buy time to win in the courts, in the court of public opinion, and you want time to find “missing” ballots from dead people that for some reason did not make the collection deadline. Just get a local judge to say “yeah, sure, stick those other ballots in there too”.

      1. Phillip Cross

        I woke up today and made peace with the result either way. I mean what difference does it make anyway. I had been really looking forward to seeing the horrible far right defeated and crestfallen, but I figured that watching PNC Dems fail would be good too. A win-win.

        Saying that, watching the wing nuts have a tantrum about this evening’s slow motion Trump Train crash, is every bit as delicious as I had hoped it would be. *Chef’s kiss* One of the highlights of 2020. I am not sure this much schadenfreude is healthy though!

        1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

          Yes it’s wonderful isn’t it, watching your country, its political parties, and its election processes become a laughing stock of legitimacy and representation. Sadism is such an underrated quality in a person, do you also shoot your BB gun at passing cats? Such a hero

          1. Phillip Cross

            It has been a laughing stock for a long time, but most people just smile politely when it’s around because of the long history of unprovoked violence.

            p.s. If you give me a PO Box address I will send you a dictionary so you can look up the difference between schadenfreude (which i am enjoying) and sadism (which underpins conservative social policy).

            1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

              Ich brauche kein verdammtes Wörterbuch, mein Freund.

              “Pleasure derived by someone from the misfortune of another person”. Nice.

              Q: For your head shots, do you lead them while they’re walking along, or do you wait until they curl up and take a nap?

    1. JacobiteInTraining

      Welcome to the Civilized World,and damn glad to have you, Sir! :)

      Stay away from edibles, to start with, it takes time to get yer dosages situated with them. Like me, I hope you stick with the tried and true Blueberry OG Kush. :)

      I still remember my first visit to a legal weed shop here in WA State. i was just…wow. Finally. Now, if I can just get Cascadia before too darn long i can die a high and happy man….

        1. Hepativore

          I prefer tinctures myself…all of the potency and fast effects but with none of the lung irritation/damage from tar or smoke. They are also not as messy and you can take the mixtures anywhere and since there is no odor nobody can tell that you have used them. They taste horrible, but a few drops is enough to do it and you can easily pop some gum or candy afterwards.

          I am surprised that more people make use of them. Inhaling any sort of smoke probably is not the best thing for your lungs anyhow.

          1. Drake

            Still have the taste in my mouth as I read this. I often pop a few drops before going to bed, it’s better than any other sleep remedy I’ve tried, and none of the downside of alcohol. Tinctures are great, especially in seasons when you can’t open the windows.

    2. ambrit

      Alas, in Mississippi, the proposition that passed, 65, (there were two versions with different ‘enforcement’ mechanisms,) restricts it Dread Weed to people with serious medical conditions and this to be managed by medical ‘professionals. Recreational use is still illegal. Possession of small amounts, (30 grams and under,) is a misdemeanor, but repeated arrests carry a graduated increase in punishments. Items that qualify as paraphernalia, which category includes whatever the cannabis was being stored in, carry a similar punishment. Growing your own is a felony here. (Nice to see the Legislature looking out for the local small business community!) Larger amounts and derivatives such as hashish bring mandatory jail time.
      All in all, the Mississippi oligarchs prefer to have their peons shackled to the cause of the local PMCs, Medical Division.
      Read: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cannabis_in_Mississippi

    3. diptherio

      Same here in MT…but just about every state elected office went to the Repubs, which I wasn’t expecting. We’re usually a bit more balanced. Oh well, at least Gov Gianforte won’t be locking up people for the demon weed.

    4. jr

      Heres a trick:

      1. Get an electric coffee/spice grinder, say Braun.

      2. Break your weed up into maybe pea size buds.

      3. Let that dry for a day, day and half.

      4. Grind the bud gently, pulsing it, till it’s like say oregano.

      5. The inside of the top piece of the grinder, the clear plastic, will turn a light yellow green. If it starts to darken, stop immediately, your getting bud mixed in and it will taste harsh.

      6. Collect this powder with a small brush or something. This is keef or kief or kf, pure THC crystal.

      7. I used to put it on top of a bowl of weed but you can smoke it straight.

      8. Grab a seat, smoke, then try to get back up out of the seat if you can.

  31. jr

    Some posters and a Wokey window in the West Village:


    The red poster is from the Liberty Socialist Front (!) but the yellow ones have no clues as to their origin. They are all pasted up together so maybe they are all from the Front.

    As for the window, I’m getting so tired of PMC moralizing and finger waving. Don’t lose hope? Given the state of things, I ask how anyone dares to have hope.
    Also, skitzo plywood up around here, some look like bunkers, some didn’t bother.

  32. Gary

    So where did the Bloomberg money go in Texas? I missed it.
    I was born in Texas and was planning on dying here, but I am really starting to not like the people at all.
    I don’t know what happened to them. They are getting worse than the feral hogs.

      1. Amfortas the hippie

        we must remember that all texans are NOT sheetwearing sheep&&kers who hate black people.
        let us leave that sort of nonsense for the Kossacks.
        (i’m seventh generation texan, myself…and a direct descendant of the brother of one David Crockett)

        (and yes, i just had to count on my fingers)

  33. Matthew

    Sirota sounds surprised about that 81 percent, but there are tens of millions of people who have direct experience of a Democratic administration throwing them to the wolves during an economic crisis. I don’t know that they could pull out of that hole no matter how hard they tried, but it’s moot since they aren’t going to try and are hostile to the idea of trying. In order for the Democrats to be more trusted on the economy, the Republicans would have to screw up so badly that the country might not survive it.

    1. tegnost

      the Republicans would have to screw up so badly that the country might not survive it.

      Well we are in a race to the bottom aren’t we?

  34. David J.

    Just wanted to take a second to offer a shout out to occasional NC commenter Hank Linderman. You fought the good fight for us here in KY.

    And as a long suffering fan, Borowitz provided my morning chuckle.

  35. edmondo


    Nevada is completing their vote count and will issue final results at 9 ET Could give Biden 6 EV he needs to win.

    1. Kurt Sperry

      That needs a link, all the reporting I’m seeing contradicts that and says we won’t have final results before Thursday at the earliest.

  36. AnonyMouse

    Fresh from the take factory:

    So a President narrowly ekes out an electoral college victory in the Midwest and a significant fraction of the fanatic partisans and talking heads on the other team will never accept the results as legitimate? Plus ca change.

  37. Carla

    From the Strong Towns piece: “there is no way back whatsoever that involves ostracizing 30 or 40 percent of the country and permanently excluding them from power, in 2022 and 2024 and 2026 and so on.”

    Well. Excusez-moi. This has already been done to 99 percent of the American people by the top 1/10th of 1 percent and their government minions. As they keep proving to us, over and over again. What dullard doesn’t get this by now?

    ” Demonization, though, is where we need to draw the line. The other side can be wrong, but if you believe they are categorically evil, it is you who are mistaken.”

    Bullshit. The other side — the ONLY other side — is the top 1/10th of 1 percent. They are categorically evil, and they are propped up by people who are categorically evil.

    And I am not mistaken.

  38. dcrane

    In order to deny Trump a second term, the mainstream media cashed in whatever might have been left of their credibility as arbiters of reality.

    As one example, compare the outcomes of these two Google searches of the NYTimes site:



    Of course, Biden was just as brutally unapologetic a liar as Trump is, when he needed to be, as during the debate with Sanders for example.

    1. MS Server

      Question: has Biden claimed to have already won despite hundreds of thousands of votes still needing to be counted?

          1. dcrane

            Fwiw, this is topic drift from my original point, which was about Biden’s lies about his record, and the MSM role in covering that up. Since Biden’s entire campaign was based on his allegedly superior character, this coverup probably played a crucial role in this close election.

  39. drumlin woodchuckles

    About that failure to achieve Antarctic Marine Reserves, there should perhaps be a way to find out who diddit. Read all the millions of words of all the minutes and all the meetings, plus all the tens of millions of words of all the emails going back and forth . . . if someone can get them.

    If any votes were held, see how each delegation and voting attendee voted on each item being voted on.

    I am still prepared to believe that China diddit, because the Chinese habit and practice of strip-mining all the fish it can reach from every part of the sea it can reach is becoming harder to deny the reality of. It is quite natural that the ChinaGov would want to keep the Antarctic open for Chinese fish miners.

  40. Edward

    Is the graph showing confirmed COVID cases per day per country meaningful? This value should depend on the amount of testing going on which varies between countries, and should fall below the actual, real number. Does the graph try to compensate in some way for the amount of testing?

  41. anon

    Some are reporting that Arizona may go to Trump by 10-30K votes when Maricopa and rural counties are counted. I just heard that Pennsylvania has 160k votes left to count – Trump is up by 220K. What am I missing? Unless…

      1. Foy

        Here’s one. Arizona 605K votes outstanding which are apparently mostly election day uncounted votes. Trump current deficit 93K. POTUS needs 58% of remaining votes to win. Election day trend in Maricopa county (biggest county in Phoenix ) went 62% Trump. Outstanding votes are also from rural counties where the Trump vote is even higher. So this guy says this Trump will win it.


        Which means hello Pennsylvania and Georgia, lets see what you got…

        1. Aumua

          Yeah I don’t know where this guy is pulling any of these numbers from, but they don’t match up with any of the electoral maps I’ve been looking at. Either way I wouldn’t give a Trump campaign advisor’s opinion too much weight here.

  42. stefan

    I’m always impressed by how well other people know the future.

    Zen Buddhists speak of “shoveling snow into the well.” Everyone knows that working to end human suffering will never bring an end to human suffering, and yet we must all continue to work to that end.

    If progressives do not continue to work on that part of our agenda that is feasible in the moment, then when comes the time when we can achieve what is not yet feasible?

    1. tegnost

      If progressives do not continue to work on that part of our agenda that is feasible in the moment,
      incrementalism in fancy words, while the tech giants gobble up everything as fast as they can, while hooking the blood funnel into the government who prints the money.
      What are you going to do when you can’t blame trump?
      Spare me your “zen buddhist”…
      try some “beginners mind”
      I plan not only on putting bidens feet in the fire, all of his supporters should buy some asbestos socks as well.

      1. drumlin woodchuckles

        The problem with holding their feet to the fire is that Biden and all the Bidenoids have asbestos feet.
        You can hold their asbestos feet to the fire all you want. They will never feel it.

        What Stefan has written can seem and feel like “defeatism with a smile” in the face of all the destructive forces and destructive force-deployers above us and all around us.

        But would it be possible to combine the concept of “what is feasible” with “what is also effective” in a way to determine things which both “can be done” and are “truly worth doing” at the same time? By definition we all will either be doing something, nothing, or something else. And “nothing” is a something all its own.

  43. drumlin woodchuckles

    Not to change the subject or anything, but . . . . .

    Speaking of soil, I found an interesting little website about use of cover cropping right in the garden while gardening. Here is an eye-grabbing little sample . . .

    “Even if you allot absolutely no extra growing area to cover crops, chances are you can slide them into gaps and grow an appreciable amount of organic matter. I didn’t expand my garden after learning about cover crops, but I soon found I could fit buckwheat into summer gaps and oats and oilseed radishes into winter gaps without taking away space from my vegetables. In fact, as organic matter levels increased in my garden beds, I realized I was getting higher yields from the plots in vegetable production, and was able to cut back my planting area and grow more cover crops. The cycle of soil improvement continues.”

    The website is called The Walden Effect and the particular post is titled Fitting Cover Crops Into The Garden Ecosystem. Here is the link:

    1. Amfortas the hippie

      i do this…partly due to laziness/arthritis….but it’s also sound practice: no bare soil.
      it gets real hot here, and the roots of plants need shade.
      i’ve also found that if i grow buckwheat or vetch or whatever in between the peppers or whatever, the “bad weeds” can’t get a foothold.
      i like our native spiderwort for this, too.
      vetch can get out of hand, of course,lol.
      i pulled gobs of it out of all the beds all season long…and fed the multiple compost piles with it.

      1. drumlin woodchuckles

        That sounds interesting and suggestive as to even further research-by-doing. That is the sort of thing that one hopes tens and then hundreds of commenters would bring to those posts which are suitable and appropriate.

  44. a different chris

    Want a really good laugh? Compare this


    …to reality…


    … and “conservative blacks”, aka “South Carolina”, are what Biden used to kill off Sanders. The Republicans used to be the Stupid Party, but now…

        1. Drake

          I thought his ego was his country. All the same, I hope he’s ready for a serious run in 2024. That could be fun.

  45. jr

    Re: crows

    I just discovered the other day that there is a murder of crows living in the West Village! They were all over a building across the street, cawing amongst themselves.

    That’s all I got.

    1. drumlin woodchuckles

      You know .. . if we want an Alien Intelligence to interact with, eventually our gene-engineering/ manipulation skills may reach the point where we will be able to retro-evolve a crow’s wing back into a dinosaur’s arm with hands and fingers. If we can give it an opposable thumb, then we and they both will be off to the races, so to speak.

      What would tool-making crows do if they had opposable thumbs? What if they had wings and hands both? So they could fly AND make things?

  46. anon in so cal

    >Covid and Europe

    Yep, last week, the EU had a record 1.5 million confirmed new cases of Covid in one week, way higher than the highest US numbers. Biden somehow has a better handle on this than all these other governments.

    >Biden is not even declared winner and he’s making plans for Hillary Clinton’s hot war with Russia in Syria:

    “The advisor said Biden would keep a US military presence in northeast Syria to counter Russia and keep reconstruction funds from the country unless “meaningful” political reform occurs.

    The US has a small occupation force in northeast Syria to control oil fields, estimated to be around 600 troops. The US soldiers have had confrontations with both Syrian and Russian forces. The advisor said Biden would maintain this military presence because it “is a deterrent to Russian and regime airstrikes.”

    IOW: got to protect the Queda terrorists in Idlib….which is exactly what Antony Blinken told CBS a month or so ago…


    1. Edward

      Given that Trump’s attitude has been, “Less testing means there is less COVID”, I wonder how good a grasp we have on the actual number of U.S.cases. I don’t think U.S. testing has been comprehensive.

      The U.S. support for ISIS in Syria should qualify as “material support for terrorism”, a U.S. crime. But these days U.S. laws are enforced selectively. What are other countries supposed to think now about U.S. complaints about jihadi attacks on U.S. targets?

  47. dk

    Below is a twitter thread from @EdEspinoza with some pushback on the “Hispanics went to Trump” narrative. Surely not the whole story but treating counties like they’re demographically uniform entities is a political rookie mistake (there repeated by Dems every cycle, a la Talleyrand) that neoliberal-tendency media eats like it’s pie on pie day.

    Also consider that Brad Parscale was spending on GOTV programs well in advance (since Q1 2019!), including registrations drives at churches and colleges, outreach to ethnic communities particularly Hispanic, and stoking involvement (not just snark) on social media. That kind of investment pays off and was probably worth 2-3+% in net votes across the country, but concentrated regionally.

    And while Biden-Harris did better GOTV than Clinton-[I forget his name], it was still heavily dependent on cross-country list-calling, about the weakest field campaign sauce there is. My point is that increased non-Hispanic turnout in nominally Hispanic districts goes a long way in rural areas. GOP turnout jumped too, the Dem’s “blue wave” wasn’t unique, it had a GOP counterpart that wasn’t purely organic.

    As for Florida, descendants of Cuban families fleeing Castro (the rich right wing ones) are not particularly typical Hispanic/Latino voters. So again, lumping by the most superficial ethnic demographic is prone to GIGO.

    Could BidenCo have done more work (spent more money) on Hispanic/Latino outreach? Sure. But the “they turned on us!” narrative seems thin and smacks of blame deflection.


    A handful of reporters have reached out to me about Texas turnout today and I want to clear something up:

    Biden did not underperform with Texas Latinos.

    Dems increased vote share in Cameron, Hidalgo, Webb, and El Paso from 2016-2020.

    Here we go…

    When you look at counties with an expanded electorate, such as Latino-majority counties, it’s important to consider the actual vote share and *not just the percentage.*

    Along the border, BOTH Democrats AND Republicans increased their votes:

    2020 – D 64k, R 49k
    2016 – D 59k, R 29k

    20 – D 128k, R 90k
    16 – D 119k, R 49k

    Webb (still reporting)
    20 – D 32k, R 19k
    16 – D 42k, R 13k

    El Paso
    20 – D 169k, R 81k
    16 – D 148k, R 55k

    While border counties in Texas are very Latino they are also very rural – and Trump improved his performance in rural communities by 400k votes across Texas.

    What we’re seeing South Texas looks less like Latinos leaving Biden and more like rural voters flocking to Trump.

    Anyone recall how after the 2016 election people saying that Clinton did better because “Texas Republicans crossed over” for her? Face with tears of joy

    At the time, few considered the expanded electorate. And that’s how post-election narratives can deceive if we don’t dig deeper.

    When looking at expanded electorates, look at the whole number and not just percentages. Otherwise we can arrive at false narratives – which are dangerous the day after an election when stories get written and are accepted as fact for months/years until they are corrected.

  48. Palaver

    Southern States picked the awful Democratic candidate during the primary then gave all their votes to the Republican during the real election.

    I’m proud to be from the South. But you really got stop us from pissing up your leg.

    1. drumlin woodchuckles

      But that’s exactly WHY the DemParty LeaderLords arrange the primary season that way. The only way “we” could stop “you” from pissing up our leg is if we could exterminate the Democratic Party leadership and all its cadres and all its sympathisers, both visible and hidden.

  49. epynonymous


    “In a soldier’s stance, I aimed my hand
    At the mongrel dogs who teach
    Fearing not I’d become my enemy
    In the instant that I preach
    My pathway led by confusion boats
    Mutiny from stern to bow.
    Ah, but I was so much older then,
    I’m younger than that now.”

    The Byrds – My Back Pages (1967)

    1. epynonymous


      the Who – Won’t Get Fooled Again

      “Hail to the new boss. Same as the old boss.”

      Comments section says it’s Keith Moon’s last performance.

      So the “woke” channel on twitch is back after 2 weeks off. Strange. Covered the BLM ‘chaos’ for 150 days plus, then just died. Now it’s back. Seems pretty slick. Running ABC news audio unapologetically all of a suddent.

      Possibly ‘wokenet’

  50. Amfortas the hippie

    Up at 2am with a bruised rib…so wandering around the web, looking at stuff.

    First, call for a real third party, abandoning all the hopium of changing the demparty from within:
    —”The target for this left party is the 25 million+ progressive voters who vote Democrat, the tens of millions of GOP voters who are looking for economic support and a chance to have what their parents and grandparents had, the 5-7 million third-party voters and a sizable percentage of non-voters, the single largest block of voters in the US (in 2016 more than 100 million people did not vote, while 65 million voted for Clinton, 63 million for Trump and approximately 6 million voted third party). Getting even just 10-15% of non-voters to show up in 2024, 2028, 2032…upsets the electoral balance in this country dramatically. “

    —”If Joe Biden couldn’t thrash Trump under these circumstances, God only knows how he could have won if COVID-19 hadn’t happened. Trump has been an abysmal president. His approach to climate change threatens the lives of countless human beings. The case against him should be open-and-shut. Yet the Democratic Party lost to him once and has come close to doing it again. How? “

    —”But the bottom line is that Democrats keep choosing bad candidates. Biden has no virtues other than a sort of sleazy but OK Uncle vibe. He’s carrying all the baggage of being a shitty neoliberal all his life, who voted for every war in sight and fucked the poor and middle class every chance he got. He’s senile (though no worse than Trump) and he doesn’t have Trump’s stamina.
    Two men made this happen. Sanders was moving towards victory when Clyburn gave Biden the southern Black vote with his endorsement, and Obama leaned on all the other candidates to drop out. Boom! Biden wins the nomination.”

    on the other side of the romper room, shiny balls rolling everywhere!
    —-Beck can be heard every day on am radio all over texas…

    —-these sorts of people are also all over am radio every day….and, as surprising as some of us, here, might think it is, it is not out of the realm of impossibility that the nice old man/lady down the street who says hello and god bless when you walk by is listening to this kind of crazy on a regular basis.

    Lastly, someone linked to this yesterday, I think…but i’ve been chewing on it all morning:

    there’s your basis for a real opposition party, right there….this stuff sells in the feedstore…so long as it’s presented in non-threatening , non-triggering language.
    The problems with climbing that hill are legion, of course….ballot access, media access, and on and on.
    Now all this censorship on socmed platforms, where apparently anything new dealish is equated with the worst far right criminal behaviour.

    My last necessary excursion for 2 weeks, getting my ranch golfcart out of the shop in kerrville, almost 70 miles thataway…(i need the damned thing…it’s not optional,lol)
    then I can lay still for a few days(ugh) and try to let this rib heal(cut up a telephone pole friday, for holding the sides of the large raised bed going in across the road…put down the chainsaw, and turned around, and got tangled in my own feet and fell on one…hard.
    This tangling due to weakened legs, due to walking too much for a month, while golf cart was out of commission. Troubles of Job, sometimes.
    Doing the breathing exercises to stave off lung issues that often accompany rib problems, due to inability to cough appropriately, so as to clear one’s lungs…allergy season has begun.
    I wouldn’t wish a bruised rib on even trump…it sucks, bigtime.

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