2:00PM Water Cooler 11/12/2020

By Lambert Strether of Corrente.

Continuing the 2020 pantry clearout… More to come! –lambert

Bird Song of the Day


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

Case count by United States region:

Slight decrease in slope. Could be was noise.

Test positivity by region:

I don’t understand why the sudden dip around a week ago, in every region except the (organge) Northeast (and why does the Northeast keep being the exception?)

Case fatality rate by region:

The Northeast (orange) really stands out. We’ll need to watch this to see if it changes with the increased case count.

Hospitalization by region:

It’s odd that the Northeast hospitalization rate is so low. If the third wave is due to returning students, why is the Northeast seemingly not affected, since it’s such a college-heavy area? Do Northeastern college kids not party? Also, the Northeast (green) stands out for its enormous spikes.


“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

Election Legitimacy

“What you need to know about when states finalize their election results” [Politico]. “The most tightly contested battlegrounds have deadlines looming in the next 10 to 20 days to officially conclude the vote count and declare the winner, which would put an end to Trump’s legal complaints.” • With a good state-by-state summary.

MI (1): “The Trump campaign has released 234 pages of affidavits regarding alleged voting regularities in Michigan. Here’s what they say.” [The Blaze]. Finally the full set of affidavits (PDF). “By my count, the 234 pages contain affidavits from 101 individuals. The majority of them appear to be handwritten impressions of the counting process… This list constitutes the entire body of potential actual fraud allegations raised in the affidavits. The testimony contained in these affidavits clearly pertains to fewer than 1,000 total ballots…” • Not impressive.

MI (2): “This list constitutes the entire body of potential actual fraud allegations raised in the affidavits. The testimony contained in these affidavits clearly pertains to fewer than 1,000 total ballots” [The Hill]. “The newest suit, which targets the Democratic stronghold of Wayne County and Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson (D), contains additional affidavits that allege irregularities in the tabulation of votes. Observers claim in the affidavits that they were unable to get close enough to watch votes being tabulated and claim Republican observers were improperly harassed.” • See above.

“No, Dominion voting machines did not cause widespread voting problems.” [New York Times]. “Dominion, originally a Canadian company that now has its effective headquarters in Denver, makes machines for voters to cast ballots and for poll workers to count them, as well as software that helps government officials organize and keep track of election results.” • Our electronic voting machines are perfect. Perfect! [puts head in hands].

“Less than 0.4% of Kentucky absentee ballots were rejected this election. Here’s why” [Courier-Journal]. “For the general election, the State Board of Elections established a robust cure process which mandated county clerks’ offices to reach out to a voter to “cure all absentee ballot irregularities,” if there were any present, up until Monday evening. Ballot irregularities include missing or mismatched signatures and not including all components — the individual ballots, envelopes, flaps — when submitting. According to the State Board of Elections, 3,946 voters were contacted about curing their ballots after irregularities were identified, and more than 1,500 of those voters ended up doing so. Dearing said his staff is still working to assign voter credit and estimated the number of cures counted will increase by a few hundred.”

It’s possible to create a horrid UI/UX on paper, too:

Do we have any New Jersey voters who can explain how this works?

Epistemological crises:

I presented the figures for Democrats on RussiaGate yesterday; they’re similar.

UPDATE “When the news is what the news did” [Felix Salmon, Axios]. “The media plays a crucially important yet unformalized role in terms of declaring the outcome of elections. Donald Trump might not like it, and no one officially gave them the job, but it’s undeniably the case.” • As I put it, more pointedly: “Election legitimacy is determined by extra-Constitutional actors.” Salmon goes on: “News organizations tend to be a little uncomfortable with the idea that they actually manufacture the news, rather than simply report it. But the job needs to be done, and there’s no one better to do it.” • I think Salmon isn’t really generalizing here; “the news” is the election call. Nevertheless, why not just wait for the States to certify their counts? They’re absolutely “better suited” to do that then the press.

2020 Democrats in Disarray

“Democrats need to stop worrying and get behind legal pot” [Ryan Cooper, The Week]. “here was one bright spot in the 2020 election results that has thus far gotten buried in all the usual Donald Trump madness: legal marijuana. This was on the ballot in four states — Montana, South Dakota, Arizona, and New Jersey — and passed in every one, by large margins. It was closest in conservative South Dakota, and still passed there by over nine points. And yet much of the Democratic elite, including President-elect Joe Biden, is dragging its feet on endorsing fully legal, regulated weed. This is both bad policy and political malpractice — wedge issues as perfect as this one do not come along very often.”

“‘A Loss Is A Loss’: Democratic Senators Frustrated After Party Falls Short” [HuffPo]. “The party had hopes of winning a dozen Republican-held seats on Election Day after spending hundreds of millions of dollars of both grassroots and big-donor money to put the GOP on defense. Instead, Republicans have swept most of the competitive races, and Democrats have only netted a single seat after losing incumbent Sen. Doug Jones in Alabama and ousting Republicans in Colorado and Arizona… Murphy said he was hoping to refocus small-dollar donor energy and cash toward ‘building permanent political infrastructures in every state rather than just channeling it toward the flavor-of-the-week candidate.'” • Remember when Obama and Rahm Emmanuel dismantled Howard Dean’s 50-state-strategy immediately in 2009? And then proceeded to lose 1000 seats? Good times.

Biden Transition

“Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders to be frozen out of Biden cabinet, report says” [The Independent]. “Left-wing politicians Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders are reportedly set to be frozen out of president-elect Joe Biden’s cabinet amid concerns the party could lose more seats in upcoming elections.”

“Marijuana Reform Omitted From Biden Transition Plan On Racial Equity Despite Campaign Pledges” [Marijuana Moment]. “Marijuana reform advocates have been looking for signs that an incoming president-elect Joe Biden will make good on his campaign pledge to pursue cannabis policy changes since the former vice president has been projected to win the election. But they didn’t get any such sign in a new racial equity plan his transition team has put forward. While Biden emphasized on the campaign trail that cannabis decriminalization and expungements would be part of his racial justice agenda, the plan released over the weekend omits any specific mention of marijuana reform. Many of the proposals are broadly described, however, and it’s possible that a policy like decriminalization could be folded into broader commitments to eliminate “racial disparities and ensuring fair sentences,” for example.” • Let the walkbacks begin!

Once again:


Trump (R)(1): “Will Trump quit? A chess master, pro poker player, boxing coach and Monopoly champ on the art of throwing in the towel” [MarketWatch]. “Assessing whether a fighter still has a chance can be difficult. One reason for that is what [Ryan O’Leary, boxing coach, former member of the board of directors for USA Boxing] calls the ‘puncher’s chance.’ ‘I had a guy, he was outboxed in the first two rounds, completely outclassed, but the kid he was fighting had no punch at all, he wasn’t hurting my guy. My guy was getting outboxed, and I was pretty sure he was going to continue to get outboxed. But my guy was a hard puncher, so he had a puncher’s chance. If he landed the right punch at the right time, he probably could have taken out this prospect. We lost practically every round, but he was in the fight the whole time.’ When asked whether or not Trump still has a puncher’s chance in the 2020 election fight, O’Leary said: ‘Do I think he can pull this out? There’s no way at this point. It’s time for him to just throw in the towel; he doesn’t have a puncher’s chance. He’s defeated now.'”

Trump (R)(2): “No, the ‘Hail Mary’ plan for Trump isn’t going to work” [Greg Sargent, WaPo]. “What happens if, say, the GOP legislature in Pennsylvania goes rogue and appoints a separate pro-Trump slate of electors for the electoral college, in defiance of the state’s popular vote? The attorney general of Pennsylvania, Josh Shapiro, has shot down this idea. In a statement, he flatly noted that ‘there is no legal mechanism” for the state legislature “to act alone and appoint electors. None.’… [N]ote that GOP state legislators themselves have recently been saying that they have no role in this process. And it’s true: By state law, they do not.” • If Sargent is damping this down, it really is hysteria.

UPDATE Trump (R)(3): “Trump spent less per vote than Biden” [Yahoo Finance]. “Overall, Biden and groups working on his behalf spent about $1.15 billion on the campaign. Biden won about 77.4 million votes. That works out to about $14.85 per vote. The Trump side spent about $809 million, with Trump winning about 72.2 million votes. That’s about $11.20 per vote, or $3.65 less than Biden. Trump is president, of course, able to command free media coverage worth many millions of dollars. So to some extent, Biden needed to raise more money just to be on par with Trump’s media presence…. In 7 crucial swing states—Arizona, Florida, Georgia, Michigan, North Carolina, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin—Biden outspent Trump on media, $581 million to $339 million…. On average in those 7 states, Biden spent $28.61 in advertising for each vote he won. Trump spent just $17.41 for each vote…. Trump’s best performance in terms of ad spending per vote is the opposite of Biden’s worst performance. Trump won Florida’s 29 electoral votes while spending $15.88 per vote, less than half what Biden spent. Trump did worst in Arizona, where he spent $25.09 per vote—the most among these seven swing states—but failed to carry the state. Biden spent more in Arizona—$36.39 per vote—and won the state, for a costly but crucial win.” • So it looks like Biden’s Swing State spending was money well spent?

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UPDATE CA: “‘Proposition 22 Is a Backlash to Victories Workers Have Had” (interview) [FAIR]. Rey Fuentes, Partnership for Working Families: “That’s what we think is the worst component of the ballot initiative; it’s really actually two things that have not received as much attention as possible. And, again, the quick efforts by these companies to spin the narrative as something about protecting employee freedom and independence, and protecting flexibility, have really provided the type of misdirection that has prevented people from realizing that, exactly as you described, the proposition contains a 7/8ths supermajority vote requirement. So if the legislature in the future wants to expand rights for these workers, or wants to ensure that some other protections are provided, they will be unable to do so unless they get a 7/8ths majority vote of the state legislature. And I heard somebody say something pretty funny, but horrible in this situation, that you couldn’t get a 7/8ths majority vote for a Happy Mother’s Day Proclamation from the state legislature. So it’s difficult to imagine important social legislation protecting workers passing by that threshold in our current legislature. And the other thing that it does, that I also think was underreported, was the fact that it now preempts, or cancels, any local law that would protect workers, and regulate things like local wages, access to tips or insurance requirements for drivers: All the things that local governments are best suited to do in their jurisdiction, they now do not have the power to do it, because the ballot initiative preempts those laws. So they’ve essentially knocked out any way to change the law from the top, or any way to improve it from localities on the ground. That’s why we’ve described it as an attempt to essentially deregulate these industries, and at least as of Tuesday, they were successful, but I don’t think the fight ends there.” • Well, no wonder these people want to expand Proposition 22 everywhere.” • Harris and Pelosi were remarkaby silent on this, weren’t they?

UPDATE GA “Democratic megadonors target Georgia U.S. Senate fight after helping Joe Biden” [CNBC]. “”The DSCC will play a pivotal role in Democrats’ [get out the vote] programs in Georgia and we need your help to maximize our efforts,” the committee told donors and financiers in a recent email that also points contributors to the Ossoff-Warnock Victory Fund. The fund is a joint fundraising committee between Ossoff, Warnock and the DSCC, where donors can write big checks.” • The DSCC has done a great job so far…


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UPDATE “The Election Nobody Won” [The Nation]. “Now, with the promised gains in the House and Senate disappearing, Biden’s ceiling has been lowered even further. He can replace the half-clown, half-convict crew of people that surrounds Trump in the White House, and he offers a baseline level of sanity and competence that many Americans have missed over the past four years. But this election outcome forces us to be brutally honest: This is a country with serious problems. And they’re not getting fixed anytime soon. That is why the potential defeat of Donald Trump hasn’t inspired the kind of celebrating that we might have expected. What is more, Democrats expecting a big-blowout repudiation of Trump were curiously out of step with the conservative, careful choice of nominating Biden and having his campaign aim to run as safe a race as possible. Simply showing up with a warm body on the ballot doesn’t produce 40-state landslides; in reality, Biden’s campaign did what it set out to do: play it safe and win back three states Clinton lost narrowly in 2016: Michigan, Wisconsin, and Pennsylvania. That it added Arizona to the Democratic column is more than such a tepid, low-risk campaign could have been expected to do.”

UPDATE “Who won working class voters? An open challenge” [Carl Beijer]. “Joe Biden won poor voters. Everything even remotely resembling sound evidence confirms this. And it is completely in line with longstanding and well-documented trends of Democratic presidential candidates winning big margins with them. As I noted yesterday, for example, exit polls are telling us that Biden outperformed Trump among poor voters by a whopping 15%. It’s entirely plausible that this margin was smaller than exit polls suggest — they are often somewhat inaccurate, and have to be taken with a big grain of salt. And there are credible reasons to believe that Republicans have made some inroads among poor voters in recent years. But the claim that this strong and enduring partisan preference not only eroded this year, but completely reversed itself — that the polls were not only marginally wrong, but exactly wrong — is absolutely extraordinary, and the evidence it would take to overthrow it just isn’t there.” • I think it’s fair to say that the Democrat Party no longer considers the working class part of its base (epistemologically or operationally) and hence the working class is there for the taking by Republicans. That doesn’t mean they’ve taken the opportunity.

UPDATE “Black Voters: “Contrarian” Men and “Communal” Women” [Glen Ford, Black Agenda Report]. “is beyond question that Black men are more likely than Black women to break with the Democrats. Black women are significantly more “communal” (my term) than Black men in their political behavior – especially when “politics” is broadly defined to describe relations among humans. High levels of Black female participation in church and in social movements, is an aspect of communalism. The lived Black experience confirms that Black women are significantly more likely to join in behaviors that they believe are in the larger group interest, most especially regarding children. That same lived experience cannot fail to note that a significant portion of Black males are what I call “contrarians”: men that take positions at odds with the general Black political consensus – often quite loudly and ostentatiously. If voting for Obama had not been so universally seen as a “once in a lifetime” Black experience that could not be missed, the First Black President would not have gotten 95 percent of Black male support in 2008. The Black male “contrarian” vote kicked in later, when good reasons could be found to be angry with Obama and the Black Democratic echo-chamber – but only Black males actually voted Republican in significant numbers.” • Hmm.

Obama Legacy

“I’m Not Yet Ready to Abandon the Possibility of America” [Barack Obama, The Atlantic]. Excerpt from Obama’s new book: “Repeatedly my memories would toss up seemingly incidental details (trying to find a discreet location to grab an evening smoke; my staff and I having a laugh while playing cards aboard Air Force One) that captured, in a way the public record never could, my lived experience during the eight years I spent in the White House.” • Oh, I thought Obama gave up smoking. Guess not:

(This episode is a neat little example of Invariant #1 in “Neoliberalism Expressed as Simple Rules“: “The rules of neoliberalism do not apply to those who write the rules.”)

Realignment and Legitimacy

“The Catholic Sex Abuse Crisis Is Far From Over” [Elizabeth Bruenig, New York Times]. “The church stands at a crossroads. It can continue to fight legislation that would empower victims to seek redress and respond to abuse long after the fact, such as the suspension of statutes of limitation in sex abuse cases. Or it can confess the way it asks us to confess, and repent the way it asks us to repent: Fully, openly, over and over again, as often as it takes, as painful as it is.” • And people wonder why major institutions have trust issues, and why theories of pervasive elite abuse take root.

“Scrambling Vatican Quickly Establishes Child Molestation As New Sacrament” [The Onion].

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.

Unemployment: 31 October 2020 Initial Unemployment Claims Continue To Improve” [Econintersect]. “Market expectations for weekly initial unemployment claims (from Econoday) were 725 K to 765 K (consensus 745 K), and the Department of Labor reported 709,000 new claims. The more important (because of the volatility in the weekly reported claims and seasonality errors in adjusting the data) 4 week moving average moved from 788,500 (reported last week as 787,000) to 755,250.”

Inflation: “Last updated Nov 12 at 12:06pm” [Econintersect]. “According to the BLS, the Consumer Price Index (CPI-U) year-over-year inflation rate was 1.2 % year-over-year (down from the reported 1.4 % last month). The year-over-year core inflation (excludes energy and food) rate improved from 1.7 % to 1.6 %…. The indices for medical and energy were the primary reasons for the month-over-month increase of the CPI-U. Medical care services cost inflation changed from 4.9 % to 3.7 % year-over-year.”

Marketing: “Portland Bookseller Reminds the World That ‘Amazon’s Gonna Be Fine, Folks'” [AdWeek]. Powells perfume. “The idea is: if you can’t shop there in person, you can at least get a whiff of Powell’s when you receive your online order. ‘Everybody talks about the smell going to Powell’s,” remarked [Rob] Palmer…. ‘It was one of those first ideas that we came across. And it’s ridiculous, but it never went away. One for the copywriters, the deliciously eccentric copy (from the Archie McPhee school) instructs people on how to wear it: ‘This scent contains the lives of countless heroes and heroines. Apply to the pulse points when seeking sensory succor or a brush with immortality.’ ‘The right idea for Powell’s needed to help move the needle from a sales perspective without sacrificing creativity,’ said Emma Siolka, who wrote the perfume copy. ‘And beyond being clever and (so far) effective, Powell’s by Powell’s is a solid reminder that physical places and experiences are what make Portland, Portland.’ The one-ounce, limited-edition bottle retails online for $24.99 and is described as having notes of wood, violet and Biblichor (which refers to the smell of old books, though we stand by that Dead comment).”

The Bezzle: “Virgin Hyperloop Has Invented The World’s Crappiest High-Speed Rail” [Defector]. “Shocking news! In an incredible breakthrough for American mass-transit engineering, the transportation technology company Virgin Hyperloop this past weekend successfully moved two people 500 meters across the barren Las Vegas desert at a top speed of just over 100 mph, setting a new world record for the absolute most pitiful thing anyone not named ‘Elon Musk’ has ever tried to pass off as ‘high-speed rail.'” • That’s the lead. It gets more fun.

Tech: “Is AI finally closing in on human intelligence?” [Financial Times]. “Thanks to recent advances in machine learning, language generation systems are becoming increasingly commonplace. Narrative Science’s Quill can ingest data on the performance of a portfolio of stocks and write summaries for investors, for example. But for sheer adaptability none can match GPT-3, unveiled in May by OpenAI, a San Francisco-based research company. At an estimated cost of $12m, the model contains 175 billion language parameters, 100 times more than the previous prototype. It is, to adapt a phrase of the pioneering British computer scientist Alan Turing, the most impressive ‘imitation’ machine yet built…. Founded in 2015 with a $1bn funding commitment from several leading West Coast entrepreneurs and tech companies, OpenAI boasts the madly ambitious mission of developing [Artificial General Intelligence (AGI)] for the benefit of all humanity. Its earliest billionaire backers included Elon Musk, the mercurial founder of Tesla and SpaceX (who has since stepped back from OpenAI), Reid Hoffman, the venture capitalist and founder of LinkedIn, and Peter Thiel, the early investor in Facebook and Palantir.” • Well, with leadership like this…

UPDATE “TikTok is luring Facebook moderators to fill new trust and safety hubs” [CNBC]. “Many Facebook content moderators who work at outsourcing firms like Accenture, CPL, Hays, and Voxpro have been leaving to take in-house roles at TikTok, according to LinkedIn analysis by CNBC. The outsourcing firms are under contract to Facebook and the social media giant refers to them as contractors. Content moderation has become one of the biggest challenges for social media companies. Firms like Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, Twitter, YouTube and Quora use a combination of software and thousands of humans to spot and remove videos, photos and other content that breaches their rules. That includes everything from posts by President Donald Trump to hate speech, terrorism, child abuse, self-harm, nudity, and drug abuse. Over 25 people have left roles where they worked on Facebook content to join to TikTok, according to LinkedIn analysis. Their reasons for leaving are unclear as they did not respond to a CNBC request for comment.” • 25? That’s it?

UPDATE Tech: “Google curtails free photo storage, pushes users to buy more space” [Reuters]. “Alphabet Inc’s GOOGL.O Google will start limiting how many high-quality photos users can store on the company’s cloud back-up service starting next June, it announced on Wednesday, in a move that could help protect profit margins. ‘Growing demand for storage’ means Google Photos can no longer honor a years-old policy of unlimited capacity for high-quality images, the company said in a blog post. Storage of images, along with files in Google’s document editing services, will instead be capped at a combined total of 15 gigabytes. ‘Original quality’ images, or incredibly high-resolution copies, were the only ones to previously count against the limit. Google’s plans for additional storage, dubbed Google One, start a $2 a month. More than 1 billion people use Google Photos each month, but the company estimated fewer than 20% of them will need to upgrade for extra storage in the next three years.”

UPDATE “New device puts music in your head — no headphones required” [Associated Press]. “Imagine a world where you move around in your own personal sound bubble. You listen to your favorite tunes, play loud computer games, watch a movie or get navigation directions in your car — all without disturbing those around you. That’s the possibility presented by ‘sound beaming,’ a new futuristic audio technology from Noveto Systems, an Israeli company. On Friday it will debut a desktop device that beams sound directly to a listener without the need for headphones…. The listening sensation is straight out of a sci-fi movie. The 3-D sound is so close it feels like it’s inside your ears while also in front, above and behind them…. By changing a setting, the sound can follow a listener around when they move their head. It’s also possible to move out of the beam’s path and hear nothing at all, which creates a surreal experience.” • Don’t tell marketers….

UPDATE Mr. Market: “How Hedge Funds Seek Covid Clues in Alternative Data: QuickTake” [Bloomberg]. “For investors, nothing has underscored the immediacy and utility of so-called alternative data as much as the coronavirus lockdowns that throttled economic activity overnight. Traditional sources of market-moving information such as monthly or even weekly government reports were outdated before publication. Those seeking a more real-time pulse turned to the torrents of terabytes produced every day by web searches, tweets, credit-card purchases and satellites for insights on such metrics as foot traffic at shopping malls or how many people were eating out at any given time.”

Travel: “New United Ultra Economy Class Tickets Lets Passengers Get Dragged Behind Plane By Giant Rope” (podcast) [The Topical].

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Today’s Fear & Greed Index: 61 Greed (previous close: 65 Greed) [CNN]. One week ago: 39 (Fear). (0 is Extreme Fear; 100 is Extreme Greed). Last updated Nov 12 at 12:06pm. Tooling along nicely now.

The Biosphere

“Evolution favors new diseases of ‘intermediate’ severity” [Phys.org]. “New epidemic diseases have an evolutionary advantage if they are of “intermediate” severity, research shows. Scientists tested the theory that pathogens (disease-causing organisms) that inflict intermediate levels of harm on their host are the most evolutionarily successful. The study, by the University of Exeter, Arizona State University and Auburn University, found that natural selection favors pathogens of intermediate virulence (how much harm a pathogen causes) at the point the disease emerges in a new host species. This occurs because virulence and transmission are linked, with virulence arising because pathogens need to exploit hosts to persist, replicate and transmit. While too-low virulence will be detrimental for pathogens if they cannot transmit, virulence that is too high will also be a disadvantage if infection kills hosts so fast that the pathogen does not have time to transmit.”

“San Francisco Bans Natural Gas Use in New Buildings” [Bloomberg]. “San Francisco will ban the use of natural gas in new buildings starting next year, becoming the latest city in California to clamp down on the heating and cooking fuel because of climate concerns. The measure will require all-electric construction for buildings — with exceptions for restaurants — starting in June 2021… California towns and cities remain at the forefront of a push to phase out the use of gas in homes and buildings as a means to cut down on greenhouse gas emissions. At least 38 municipalities, including San Francisco, have passed measures that will restrict gas hookups.”

“The Universe Is Getting Hotter, Scientists Say” [Independent]. “The universe is getting hotter as it gets older, scientists have said.” I know what they mean!

Health Care

UPDATE “‘Proning’ Covid Patients Seems to Save Lives. But How Many?” [Wired]. “[O]ne trend line is mercifully falling: A much smaller proportion of these critically ill patients are dying from the disease, as compared to the spring. It would be helpful if we could say exactly why. Here’s one thing we know: The fancy, brand-name drugs that have garnered so much attention aren’t likely to have done this on their own…. But there’s another Covid-19 treatment that has become more widespread since the spring, and which experts say could be making a decisive difference. It doesn’t get much attention these days, in part because it barely sounds like a medical procedure at all. It’s proning—the practice of flipping people over so that they are lying on their stomachs—and it’s possible, at least, that this simple maneuver has played an important role in changing the course of the pandemic. Proning, as an emergency medical procedure, is far from new. … The method is thought to work by using gravity to pull fluids away from the back of the body, where there’s generally more lung tissue, thereby clearing up more space in the lungs for oxygen. Since the lungs of patients with severe Covid are at risk of fatal fluid buildup, nurses and doctors realized early on that the same approach might be very helpful.” • I can’t find who to raise my hat to, but the first time I read about proning was in the NC comments section — many months ago.

“Wrong Masks and ‘Missing’ Ventilators: NYC’s Billion-Dollar COVID Gear Bungle” [The City]. Oops:

DCAS records, internal emails and recordings of virtual staff meetings obtained by THE CITY paint a portrait of taxpayer-funded chaos:

  • City taxpayers paid for millions of surgical masks that turned out to be non-surgical masks. By April, unopened boxes of masks hospitals didn’t want began to stack up in DCAS’ mammoth 300,000-square-foot Queens warehouse.
  • At one point, DCAS lost track of 100 ventilators. “I don’t know how someone could misplace 100 of these items,” an agency supervisor said during a meeting.
  • Millions of dollars of medical equipment wound up collecting dust in the storehouse long after the need for the devices had passed — including machines that could have been repurposed as ventilators.
  • Boxes of equipment got lost in the shuffle, going missing within the storehouse or getting shipped out without anyone recording what was in them.
  • One supplier of masks that didn’t meet surgical standards as promised was an electronics company headed by a major donor to Mayor Bill de Blasio’s campaigns. De Blasio appointed the donor earlier this year to the board of the city Economic Development Corp.

To date, DCAS has awarded $1.4 billion in contracts for COVID-related emergency goods — far more than any other city agency, records show.

Class Warfare

“Can the Bank of Solidarity smash payday lenders?” [Alice Marshall]. “After Bernie withdrew from the Presidential race I began to look for ways I could make a difference. I remain convinced that electoral activism is part of how we take America back; but for the immediate future all meaningful progress will come out of direct action. I have started to get active with the DC Tenants Union and Stomp Out Slumlords, because it is clear that our elected leaders have no plan to cope with the coming eviction crisis. However, eviction resistance was not enough for me, so I decided to join DC Mutual Aid. You have to fill out a form and be approved, to prevent law enforcement from infiltrating the group. DC Mutual Aid grew out of the local Black Lives Matter organization. Every mutual aid group will reflect the community that created it…. Once a week people are allowed to post requests for cash. (the Cash App, Pay Pal, Venmo, or whatever they are using). Usually they are short of their electricity bill or have some other emergency where you really need cash. It seems there is some controversy about this, traditionally Mutual Aid does not involve cash. But speaking for myself, I am glad for it, because otherwise I would not be able to participate in the work of the group. Every Friday I give what little I can spare and feel a little less helpless…. The more I thought about it the more I realized how important the Friday cash requests are to the movement. When someone is in a bind what choice do they have? Too often it is go to a Pay Day Lender. When they come to Mutual Aid we can take care of their need and deprive Pay Day lenders of a victim. Could we build up the group enough to smash the local Pay Day lenders? I don’t know, but it is worth a try.”

“Non-Competes and Other Contracts of Dispossession” [SSRN]. “Employers have used non-compete clauses to deprive tens of millions of workers of the freedom to change jobs or start their own businesses. In occupations ranging from home health aide to journalist and sandwich shop worker, employers have used this legal power to their great benefit. Non-compete clauses reduce worker mobility, help employers keep wages and wage growth down, deter small business formation, entrench potentially abusive, discriminatory, or hostile work environments, and fortify market power to the detriment of workers, rivals, consumers, and broader society…. Non-competes are merely one example of abusive contractual terms that the legal system has condoned or tolerated. Other terms, such as mandatory arbitration, class action waivers, confessions of judgment, and unilateral modification, reflect a ubiquitous economic and political problem. Corporations use these contractual terms to unilaterally rob consumers, suppliers, and workers of a wide range of constitutional and statutory rights. Like non-competes, these contractual terms are established in an environment of radical inequality between a corporation and a worker, consumer, or small business and are often contingent and non-salient to the person or business who must accept them. The result of these contracts of dispossession is the loss of legal recourse for wrongdoing, loss of possessions, and the imposition of unaccountable private governments.”

Averages conceal:

“Susan B. Anthony appealed to white supremacists, sure we’d make up for it later. When?” [Kansas City Star]. “After the Civil War, Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony campaigned for the women’s vote with the support of their huckster ally George Train, whose unambiguous slogan was ‘Woman First and Negro Last.’ In 1869, Stanton argued, ‘Think of Patrick and Sambo and Hans and Yung Tung, who do not know the difference between a monarchy and a republic, who cannot read the Declaration of Independence or Webster’s spelling book, making laws’ for their female betters. They often blamed immigrants for their setbacks. And to win crucial support, Susan B. Anthony and other white suffragists sold Southerners on the idea that the votes of highly educated women — mostly white, of course — would guarantee the future of white supremacy. (Maybe that’s why President Donald Trump just pardoned Anthony, who voted illegally in 1872?)”

News of the Wired

“Inside the Secret Math Society Known Simply as Nicolas Bourbaki” [Quanta]. “Antoine Chambert-Loir’s initiation into one of math’s oldest secret societies began with a phone call…. The group is known as “Nicolas Bourbaki” and is usually referred to as just Bourbaki. The name is a collective pseudonym borrowed from a real-life 19th-century French general who never had anything to do with mathematics…. Whatever their motivation, the founders of Bourbaki began to write. Yet instead of writing textbooks, they ended up creating something completely novel: free-standing books that explained advanced mathematics without reference to any outside sources.”

“A vindication of the right to see women naked: the statue for Mary Wollstonecraft has set us back centuries” [Independent]. “People are baffled as to why the mother of feminism, whose words would go on to inspire the fight for women’s enfranchisement some 100 years later, has been commemorated with a naked woman, especially when the woman it is designed to honour wrote so passionately about how female objectification belittled women, making them ‘literally speaking, slaves to their bodies”, and how ‘men endeavour to sink us lower, merely to render us alluring objects for a moment’. To add insult to injury, the woman in the statue embodies all the damaging beauty standards that have been thrust upon us for millennia. More than just naked, the statue appears to have a personal trainer or at least to have purchased a Peloton bike during lockdown. She has abs, not of bronze, but steel, perfectly toned and with a miraculously perfect thigh gap to boot.” • (The sculptor is a woman.) I looked at the Wollstonecraft staute; I put it in the same bucket as Michelangelo’s figleaf-free David. Neither are especially alluring to me, but both embody power.

* * *

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 (EH):

EH writes: “Shepherd’s Purse and Venus’s Looking Glass —two pretty weeds —growing in a crack in the sidewalk on our Brooklyn street.”

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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. Phillip Cross

    “No, the person who wrote this headline was not a good journalist.”

    “No, the publication that used this headline format was not worth reading.”

    Hate that headline format!

      1. Phillip Cross

        The “No, …” popular dismissive headline format featured twice in your links today. I always found it’s tone objectionable, don’t you?

        “No, the ‘Hail Mary’ plan for Trump isn’t going to work”
        “No, Dominion voting machines did not cause widespread voting problems.”

            1. hunkerdown

              For me, it’s more of a tone thing. It starts out high, quickly goes low with a measured boot on the neck, holding firmly for long enough to give the proper impression of command, until lifting back to high and continuing on with whatever instructions were apparently so necessary.

  2. Wukchumni

    “The Trump campaign has released 234 pages of affidavits regarding alleged voting regularities in Michigan. Here’s what they say.” [The Blaze]. Finally the full set of affidavits (PDF). “By my count, the 234 pages contain affidavits from 101 individuals.
    I took it as more of a prop that Kayleigh McEneny could hold aloft @ a presser, and in their world anything with 234 pages must be a masterpiece, no?

    1. Lambert Strether Post author

      Did you read the excerpt following? FFS, I just want to see them. And now that I can, they don’t look good. (Also, kudos to a right-wing source for doing reporting.)

      1. Wukchumni

        I suffered through the affidavits, and there was more than a faint odor of desperation therein, a lot of them mentioned they couldn’t get closer than 6 feet away from the ballots, and then managed to assert things they couldn’t have known, being too far away from the action.

      2. Unsympathetic

        This is very much the Four Seasons Total Landscaping of litigation.

        For the 4165th time, all lawyers are bound by the state they’re practicing in to act ethically. Link goes to California. This isn’t whimsy — check the statements on “Meritorious Claims and Contentions.”

        This is why each time a judge includes “As a member of the bar of this court” in a question about the case — the lawyer knows he’s personally going to be held liable for the next words out of his mouth.

        You have every right to walk into a lawyer’s office.. you do NOT have the right to bring fact-free cases.

        Lionel Hutz, of course, is always available!

        1. lyman alpha blob

          After glancing through them, I’d say not good for Trump.

          On one handwritten affidavit, the author wrote that they were “even pushed once” and then went back to scrunch in the word “physically” sightly above and between “even” and “pushed”. Not really sure why the extra qualifier was felt necessary, but that’s the general feel of the pages I looked at.

          Really pretty maddening, but not surprising, that the Trump campaign couldn’t be bothered to hire a paralegal with a typewriter at a bare minimum if they were going to go through with this. They deserve to be ridiculed for this kind of sloppiness, but the problem is the next person who comes along with a legitimate claim will likely be mocked too.

          The national voting system needs a complete overhaul, and this kind of shoddy work just gives the establishment the chance to claim there’s no valid reason to question anything, because Orange Man Bad.

          1. lyman alpha blob

            I take back part of the above after reading further. Many of the affidavits are printed rather than handwritten, and while quite a few sound a bit overblown, there were also a bunch that sounded like they were worth looking into.

          2. lyman alpha blob

            Lots of reports of generally feeling intimidated that are very short on specifics – pretty thin gruel those.

            There was one though from Patricia Rose starting on page 109 of the pdf that documents a malfunction of the machines that led to ballots being refed into it multiple times. That’s a legit concern and ought to be looked into.

    2. Eduardo

      “The testimony contained in these affidavits clearly pertains to fewer than 1,000 total ballots…”
      Nice framing to minimize 1,000 allegations of miscounted votes.

      I thought that every vote counted?

      Just kidding. Of course, they don’t. Every dollar counts. Elections are largely a distraction to keep the masses fighting each other.

      1. Eduardo

        Actually, shouldn’t the state be able to provide proof, or at least significant evidence, that every vote was counted correctly?

        1. John Ralston

          “The testimony contained in these affidavits clearly pertains to fewer than 1,000 total ballots…”

          …is an opinion.

  3. Carolinian

    A couple of worthwhile links


    It says scientific journals increasingly have a bias for exciting positive results and a reluctance to publish negative or contradictory results–puts the blame on the heavy use of statistics in studies.

    And perhaps this should be in today’s vaccine thread but this bit is an eye opener

    One of my MD correspondents recently sent me an email which encapsulates these concerns.

    “I’ve been reading about the Pfizer vaccine.

    I’ve known for a while that it is an mRNA vaccine but it just hit me that it will be the first mRNA vaccine ever approved for human use.

    If COVID was a ‘Steven King’ (kills-everyone) virus, sure, go for it–prevent the deaths and take what comes.

    But mortality is low, acute treatments are improving, transmission is preventable, and the greatest risk now appears to be longer term morbidity.

    mRNA vaccines by the very nature of their components elicit an interferon response that triggers generalized autoimmunity. This may, in fact, be part of the mechanism of longer term morbidity associated with COVID infection.

    Mass introduction of mRNA strands into the populations may indeed reduce acute COVID morbidity and mortality, but how many autoimmune complications will result?

    No one knows.


    1. Lee

      Caught a bit of an interview with Laurie Garrett, author of The Coming Plague, on NPR. I don’t know if she was talking her book, as it were, but she had a number of scary things to say. One tidbit was that 60% of cases are being caused in others by people without symptoms. This would seem to indicate that a significant fraction of the population have innate resistance or are completely immune. More Shirley Jackson than Stephen King.

      Given how things are developing at the moment, it looks like the holidays are going to be more Tim Burton than Walt Disney.

      1. Carolinian

        Hey Tim Burton works for Disney these days.

        Still trying to unsee the live action Dumbo. Is nothing sacred?

      2. Jeremy Grimm

        Doesn’t “Nightmare Before Christmas” offer some of both Tim Burton and Walt Disney[Touchstone]? I hope Jack can still overpower Oogie Boogie.

        1. Carolinian

          Believe you are right. He started out as a Disney animator before moving up to big time movie director.

    2. Amfortas the hippie

      re: new, largely untested vaccine tech:
      i’ve been far too scatterbrained to really dig into this, but my spidey-sense has been tingling about the rush job to covid vaccine for a long while, now.
      and, to be perfectly clear, I am Pro Vaccine…we are always the first in line for the flu shot, for instance.
      but i have major trust issues with what’s being done regarding covid.
      the fault for that lack of trust lies squarely on Big Pharma and their Fedgov enablers.
      as a sufferer of an autoimmune disorder(global arthritis/fibro), and as the husband of a cancer patient…and the father of a kid with severe allergies(via the nose)….all this worries the hell out of me.
      i want more than anything for a viable, reliable and safe and effective covid vaccine to be rolled out and widely utilised.
      but we’re not going to the front of the line on this one.

      1. a different chris

        I am Pro Vaccine…but we’re not going to the front of the line on this one.

        I just literally pulled the tape off from two vaccine shots this week (second dose of the shingles vac, the, well shot-in-the-dark flu shot).

        And I’m gonna let the rest of the world take the first shot at (pun intended) this vaccine, too..

  4. zagonostra

    >Virgin Hyperloop Has Invented The World’s Crappiest High-Speed Rail – [Defector].

    Meanwhile in China…

    With a maximum depth of 78 meters and a diameter of 14 meters, the 16.2km-long tunnel will be the world’s longest undersea tunnel for high-speed rail upon completion… When the undersea tunnel is completed, trains traveling at 250 km/h will be able to go from Ningbo to Zhoushan in just 30 minutes. Driving between the two places, connected by a number of bridges, currently takes about three times longer.

    If any train, let alone under water, existed where I live I could get to PIT in 30 minutes from my rural town spend the day shopping, watch a show, visit friends and be back by dinner. With Amtrak it takes several hours and I have to spend the night.


    1. Glen

      America’s train tunnels:

      Rare access to train tunnel shows crumbling infrastructure

      More Pain for N.J. Commuters: Tunnel Repairs Could Cause Big Delays

      The tunnels in question are 105 years old.

      But, if we spend money fixing up the country, we cannot afford to give trillions in tax cuts to billionaires. So this is not even a “you cannot afford to have nice things”, it fits better “we’re going to let the place go to $hit.”

      1. a different chris

        The US population was made up of a largely “uneducated” (well, that’s what they call common-sense now I guess) 100million people when those tunnels were built.

        But now we have 3x the people yet can’t afford to fix them. I would like any mainstream economist to explain why that is. And not to blather on about “big screen TVs” while they are at it.

    2. Dr. Robert

      I recently followed a high-speed rail line in South-Central China on google maps and was awe-struck. There must have been hundreds of kilometers of tunnel, large, brand-new stations, epic bridges. It was truly amazing. It seemed like more of the track was underground than above. It occurred to me that this infrastructure would be quite resilient in case of war, and offer the ability to construct and supply many large underground facilities. Needless to say it’s very difficult to imagine constructing anything similar in the US.

    3. PlutoniumKun

      The Hyperloop looks remarkably like the Dalkey Atmospheric Railway, built in 1843. It is claimed to have hit 84mph going up a steep incline. It too, used a vacuum tube system, although apparently the valves were made of leather and they had a big problem with rats eating them.

      1. The Rev Kev

        When the first trains were coming into use back in the 1820s I think that their speed was about 30 miles per hour and some doctors at the time were warning that that speed would kill the passengers as the blood would not be able to circulate around the body due to the excessive speeds.

    4. The Rev Kev

      Who is this going to be used for eventually? I am reminded of the Concorde here. A supersonic aircraft paid for by the taxpayers of both France and the UK but spending most of its career flying only wealthy people and government officials over the Atlantic. Those taxpayers could not afford the fares themselves.

    5. notabanker

      Thought I’d drop this little nugget here….

      Some commenters on the article were whining about how much high speed rail costs.

      China’s high speed rail with a maximum speed of 350 km/h has a typical infrastructure unit cost of about US$ 17-21m per km, with a high ratio of viaducts and tunnels, as compared with US$25-39 m per km in Europe and as high as US$ 56m per km currently estimated in California.

      And this is from 5 years ago.

      1. a different chris

        Ok, according to Teh Google per cap income in China is slightly less than $13K/yr. In the US it is $48K/yr.

        So (48/13) * (17,21) = (62,77.5). It looks like the Chinese are taking on a much bigger burden that it would be in the US.

        And that’s the whole US, California is, unsurprisingly, way higher at 66.6K


        Yes I was too lazy to correct for the 5 years but that’s gonna make even more of a difference given personal income growth rates.

  5. Watt4Bob

    About that “Puncher’s chance”…

    What if the goal isn’t winning the election, but discrediting the process?

    The Clintonistas and DNC with their schemes to sideline Bernie, and their Russiagate strategy moved the needle on that point, and Trump may be furnishing the coup de grace.

    HRC couldn’t stomach losing to Cheetoh, so we get Russiagate, and now Cheetoh can’t handle loosing either, so we get lawsuits.

    In each case, what is/was the point?

    Are we just seeing giant egos throwing tantrums, or is something really significant happening?

    “The puncher’s chance” is the acknowledgment of a certain reality, IMO, there’s not much reality left in either argument.

    1. zagonostra

      “What if the goal isn’t winning the election, but discrediting the process?”

      Rest assured my side isn’t discrediting the process, it’s your side a la Hate Inc…besides, there is that uniquely human and innate need to believe in the unbelievable.

      In a country where loneliness is widespread, the will to believe and the power of positive thinking are far more powerful than the will to truth. Unlike Nora, who knew that when she left the doll’s house she was choosing the loneliness of the solitary soul, Americans prefer myths that induce them to act out of habit so they can lose themselves in the group.


      1. Watt4Bob

        The way I read your comment is;

        In both cases, we’re being herded, and for some reason, we like it that way.

        Well, at least a rational explanation for what looks like crazy behavior.

      2. Carolinian

        I’m lost. Who is on which side?

        As for hate, there’s a lot of that going around. Are you sure it’s just on one side?

        1. epynonymous

          Plays into the theory that Trump will just run again in 2024. Kamala probably won’t have a chance.

          Eugene Burdick’s book the 9th Wave has been lost in the memory hole, but really goes a long way to describing modern politics and the great levers of political action – Hate and Fear.


          The book deserves its own reading. He describes polling as ‘feeling the elephant’ but he labels it a dragon. A dragon that is ever changing as it goes along. All you can do is hope to have a feel on 2-3% under the best of circumstances (the digital platforms might have changed that, but surely have their own massive failings)

          From the author of Fail Safe and the Ugly American. A Rhodes Scholar, he died 6 years after writing the book in 1959, a heart attack on a tennis court not even aged 50.

          1. Carolinian

            Interesting. Burdick’s Failsafe became an excellent Sidney Lumet film starring Henry Fonda as the US president. There was a dispute with the now better known Dr Strangelove

            Fail Safe so closely resembled Peter George’s novel Red Alert, on which Strangelove was based, that Strangelove screenwriter/director Stanley Kubrick and George filed a copyright infringement lawsuit. The case was settled out of court. The result of the settlement was that Columbia Pictures, which had financed and was distributing Strangelove, also bought Fail Safe, which had been an independently financed production. Kubrick insisted that the studio release his movie first


            Of course Strangelove is a satire whereas Failsafe is deadly serious stuff from the great Lumet. Peraps our Russia bashing upcomimg president should be required to watch it.

    2. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

      How very on-brand for Dems to start things off by breaking the law.

      Yesterday a private citizen by the name of J. Biden lobbied the Australian Prime minister in a phone call. In doing so, said private citizen violated the Foreign Agents Registration Act (22 U.S.C. §§611-621).

      Some may recall the widespread outrage when the Trump Administration was accused of the same violations of law. Those violations led to the imprisonment of General Michael Flynn. At the time The New York Times told the nation on its editorial page that “this is a blatant example of the pattern of complete lawlessness that has characterized the Trump Administration”. It is not clear when The Times will publish a similar denunciation of identical actions by Mr. Biden. It was also not clear what was discussed between Mr. Biden and the foreign leader, what assurances or concessions might have been offered, or when a transcript of the call would be made available to the public.

        1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

          Good catch! They simply destroyed his reputation, life and career in court. So much for the details, now on to the substance of my post perhaps? LOL

            1. Katniss Everdeen

              Charged, not charged. Flynn was a big, heavy-hitting Trump supporter. That’s close enough for government work.

              Flynn pleaded guilty to something he didn’t do to save his son and then took it back when he got a better lawyer. The “esteemed” judge sullivan wanted to call that “perjury” like it’s never happened before in the history of the republic.

              Obama piled on in a bid to retain relevance.

              1. Carolinian

                Plus Flynn had said that our Syria policy, which is to say Obama’s Syria policy, was misguided.

                But he was also a superhawk on Iran so there’s a dark side as well.

            2. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

              Paging James Clapper, please pick up the courtesy phone…

              Very on-brand, laws for thee, but not for me.

              “That we live in a time where the plans of the elite are more openly and more brazenly spelled out, in fiction, in public mythology, in culture, and are manufactured in a way entirely out of the hands of the vast majority of people whose lives will be forever changed, likely for the worse, is hands-down the real catastrophe of our time.”
              Oscar Wilde, 1889

      1. Dean

        I thought the Foreign Agents Registration Act required individuals or agents acting for or lobbying for a foreign principal within the US to register. I also thought that Michael Flynn had problems with perjury not FARA. Paul Manafort, on the other hand, was busted for FARA violation.

        Does FARA apply to US citizens talking to or lobbying others outside of the US?

        1. rowlf

          Well… it depends on whether or not the Foreign Agents are Really Patriotic Foreign Agents. The Act seems to be selectively enforced. There is probably a monetary threshold involved. Too low and you are a bad guy and get prosecuted.

            1. John Ralston

              It is quite evident that more than a few FBI & DOJ agents lied to the courts and to the public.

              Will those agents each serve time as well for their criminal abuse of their positions for political gain?

            2. The Rev Kev

              Flynn was set up so that any answer he gave would trip him up and put him into jeopardy. And the notes by those FBI were released recently which showed the FBI agents planning it out. So, are you still beating your wife?

    3. ChrisPacific

      I think he knows he has lost at this point even if he’s not letting on. He’s just trying to implant the idea firmly in the minds of the Trump faithful. As we know, this is quite possible to do with enough repetition and ‘evidence,’ regardless of whether the underlying idea is in fact true. Compare: Iraq was responsible for 9/11, Russia hacked the 2016 election, etc.

      He must feel that having a significant percentage of the country passionately convinced that the election was stolen sets him up well for whatever he is planning next (a media empire to rival Fox, a 2024 run, all of the above – who knows?)

      1. Duck1

        Losers have to lose someway, Trump will go out as a heel. Nevertheless all the creaky constitutional machinery of the indirect election has yet to be set in motion. Not to say that it is likely Trump can flip the EC, but he will parade around the ring, berating the refs until the clock strikes and then it’s back to the dressing room for him, wrapped in his fur robe muttering imprecations to his enemies.

        1. Stephen C.

          Perhaps this is The Art Of The Deal in action. Trump looking for an offer. Maybe a promise not to prosecute? Or just something that gives him a face-saving out. I can’t imagine the Dems complying. I think they have proven themselves to be vindictive. And yes, they would let this drag out as a demonstration of Trump’s craziness, even to their base who is already convinced of that and needs no more evidence, rather than spare the nation this drama.

          1. Sthub

            I too have been speculating to friends and family that his performance here is really just him negotiating his exit package. The problem is a Trump promise has no value – I would not take seriously any commitment he made to, for example, stay out of the 2024 presidential race as a candidate.

        2. Dr. John Carpenter

          100% this. Perfect visual for our first WWE Hall of Fame President. It’s just amusing to me to see after all this time people still getting so upset by the act.

    4. KevinD

      The point:
      Trump is asking his base for donations The donations are for “election defense”. If he conceded, there would be no need. When one considers his “University” and his self-dealing when it came to his charity…not too far out there of a reason. A money grab.
      Grifters gotta grift.

    1. EGrise

      “I returned to my house on Monday, a week after my failed attempt to keep my wallet and valuables tore some teeth from my jaw and sent me to the emergency room.”

      They simply can’t bring themselves to mention the other party involved, can they? Everything that happens in Bolivia is just too mysterious.

      1. JWP

        i think they forgot the part about seizing the lithium trade and production for multinationals as a “failed attempt.” Seeing as the supply of lithium is far far below what is needed for mass electric car use and production, the US will surely try a seize it for Tesla and GM before China can get to it, only to have the industry collapse when a source of power for cars comes along that is actually abundant.

  6. clarky90

    Our lives typically follow a “joyless, narrative” (storyline) taught and enforced by ……omnipresent scriptwriters and directors. No miracles! Never, Ever!

    However, (SPOILER ALERT)

    God wins

  7. bwilli123

    “No, Dominion voting machines did not cause widespread voting problems.”

    Twitch interview (by a Republican) with a Dominion contract worker who alleges personally observed fraud.
    Had a subsequent scheduled interview with Fox cancelled at short notice.
    Names names. Interested to hear if she has been discredited.


    Interview starts at 2:30 in

      1. Glen

        No kidding.

        Paper ballots, hand marked, all the observers you want. Does this pose a problem for mail in ballots? No, my state has been all mail in for years, and it’s how we do it.

        1. Clive

          Yes, in the U.K. too where just about the only thing in politics and government which hasn’t been comprehensively trashed is the electoral process (hand marked paper ballots, hand counted, in public) — probably because it’s organised and executed as county level rather than central government being allowed to get its useless grubby paws on it — postal voting accounts for a significant and increasing proportion of votes. I’d have to check the figures from last December but if I recall, it is over 20% of votes cast now.

          You do still need a lot of vigilance against fraud — excessive registered voters at a particular address must always be queried. But it’s not in any way incompatible with the Gold Standard of voting.

      2. lyman alpha blob


        I really hope somebody on the Trump team is smart enough to bring up the issue of votes cast on voting machines that aren’t working properly that you mentioned in Water Cooler recently in one of the lawsuits they’re bringing in MI IIRC, but I’m not holding my breath that anyone will try to make that case.

        The issue isn’t voter fraud, it’s election fraud, and as you mention it seems the liberals are only too happy to see the two conflated if it means debunking the notion that fraud in elections could ever happen.

        I don’t think there is much to see regarding voter fraud, but election fraud is a whole other kettle of fish. If elections are run on machines that can be hacked to change the result, then they will be hacked to change the result. Guaranteed.

        1. rowlf

          Oh hell yes. Doesn’t the US government have a section devoted to messing with elections outside of the US? Any chance that section could be focused for internal purposes?

        2. notabanker

          For me personally, this is the big story of 2020. We’ve gone from hanging chads to superdelegates to the Iowa app to a completely new normal of taking a week to decide an election. Trust is completely gone.

          These were such horrible candidate choices that a coin flip seems about right. It’s really not about the result. Four more years of TDS would be excruciating and the thought of Harris having access to a nuclear arsenal is terrifying.

          What really stands out is that regardless of whether is was actually corrupted, it is thoroughly corruptible and most ordinary people would concur that where opportunity exists, these characters would take it.

          If history is any barometer, they will get busted in a year or two or three and a hand full of suckers will get paraded on cable news to take the fall. It will likely be Harris in power by then who will deny culpability, or just ignore the issue and pretend like it doesn’t exist while MSM and twitter mount the it’s really not true unless we say it is campaign.

          Not that Trump is any less corruptible, but here you have to follow the money. Dems were flush with it. In the world I live in, high bid wins the auction.

        3. a different chris

          >but election fraud is a whole other kettle of fish.

          Yes! Can we start with the Electoral College itself? Tin-pot dictators have to at least scare their population into massively voting for them. In the US, you get to ignore California for starters.

          Funny how the Trumpists never like that question.

      3. John Ralston

        “why theories of pervasive elite abuse take root.”

        Elites pervasively abuse.

        “vaporized for a moment’s tactical advantage for liberal Democrats.”

        With all due respect: this is precisely why all those exhortations to ‘Drain the Swamp’ and ‘Lock Her up’ won’t be silenced until some Swamp gets drained and some Hers are locked up.

        The Plebs don’t trust them anymore.

        Impede and demean and push out President Sledge-Hammer of their desperation -and next time you are likely to be confronting President Hand-Grenade…

      1. Basil Pesto

        it might have been iPhone’s ‘live’ photos, which take a photo but also about 1.5 seconds of video either side of it, for tiny little animated photos. Very good for plants-in-the-wind.

  8. Lambert Strether Post author

    I continued the 2020 pantry clear-out, which I am beginning to compare to cleaning the Augean stables, so please refresh your browsers.

    Obama’s new book! Volume One (!) clocks in at over 700 pages!

    1. Clive

      Can we, if we ask very nicely (I’m not averse to begging), have a competition for prospective titles for the eagerly-awaited Volume Two?

      Never one to miss a chance to get ahead of the game, here’s my submission:

      “Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit”

        1. ObjectiveFunction

          Haha, imho you win the Snarknado today!

          > “Repeatedly my memories would toss up seemingly incidental details (trying to find a discreet location to grab an evening smoke; my staff and I having a laugh while playing cards aboard Air Force One) that captured, in a way the public record never could, my lived experience during the eight years I spent in the White House.”

          I know NC generally disdains this kind of brand burnishing humblebrag in public figures, as do I. Yet no student of ‘politics as spectacle’ can deny this matters: Nixon’s sweat and 5pm shadow is widely thought to have been the narrow margin that elected JFK.

          So I have this nagging feeling that all Trump needed to switch over the few hundred thousand votes he needed was to drop the veil, reveal a few humanizing moments like this, even in the late innings. Biden had long ago milked Beau’s death dry.

          But the Donald, American con man extraordinaire and “Invesment Grade Persuader” (lol, Scott Adams) simply could not find it in himself to drop the veil and virtue signal / grovel in the socially accepted manner. But then, I guess that’s also why he repeatedly shrugged off what Taibbi called the media “Seal of Death” in 2016, and since. Teflon has no sensation….

          And now comes Sam Kriss in fine form (so glad he’s back from the Outer Darkness) to help explain why, in his own inimitable style: Canción de Trump.

          Imagine Trump alone, watching the northern lights spin gorgeous threads across the sky, alone. What would happen to the man if he had nobody to watch him, nobody paying attention? If he had to be a person, a living subject, rather than an image and a symbol and a name? Would he develop a conscience? Would he become wise? Or would he just dissolve into motes, and drift away in the Arctic wind?

          …He’s never had relationships, only transactions, and even those are few…. He grew up lonely, the son of an indifferent father, insulated from the world by his wealth. It takes a lonely man to plaster his own name over tall buildings. It takes a lonely man to need this kind of concrete proof that he really exists.

          …How did a country as conservative as the United States ever manage to elect a man as utterly weird as Donald Trump? For decades, politicians have tried to sell themselves to ordinary people by pretending to be normal. Look at me eat a hot dog at a diner, just like all of you gurning rubes!

          ….You could not get a beer with [Trump]. He would not shake your hand. You are nothing alike. And still it doesn’t matter. Who ever said that people want to be governed by someone just like them? That’s what the ruling classes think, because they’re all covetous narcissists who want political power to wear a human face: their human face.

          … Donald Trump is the only person to have ever become President of the United States by accident. He never really wanted power, and he didn’t know what to do with the thing once he had it. He had no programme and no politics.

          …Even now, liberals aren’t satisfied with defeating Trump in the election, they want him to admit defeat. They want him duly chastened. They’re still trying to give the man a soul.

          Pure genius (although he often runs long). If Taibbi is our Hunter Thompson, Sam may yet with time evolve into our Hitchens.

    2. DJG

      Volume 1, 700 pages: A quick diagnosis–logorrhea. Which is not what is needed now, given that Trump also suffers from logorrhea.

      Nevertheless, I believe that Mayor Pete’s new book, Building Even More Trust with a Groovy Résumé, will be longer and come with a large jar of word salad.

      The Republic is saved.

      1. Dr. John Carpenter

        If you take the dust cover off Mayo Pete’s book, you discover it’s actually Obama’s.

    3. nippersmom

      That could come in handy if the “second wave” this winter results in another toilet paper shortage.

  9. Samuel Conner

    re: the confusingly organized NJ ballot

    it looks like there is fine print in the left margin indicating how many bubbles one is allowed to fill in each row.

    “(VOTE FOR ONE)”

    Is there research into how ballot organization affects “rate of spoiling”?

    I vaguely recall one of the controversies in the 2000 FL vote related to confusingly organized “butterfly” ballots.

    1. edmondo

      The County ballot in NJ is the list of candidates who have been “officially endorsed” by that county’s D or R political machine. The “officially endorsed” slate is usually voted on by all the committeepeople in the county at a convention before the primary. The county head usually “recommends” a certain slate and the committee people vote “Aye” or “Nay” (in public) so any errors in voting are quickly fixed. The county political party accepts donation for getting out the vote – in fact a suggested amount is often par for the course – to ensure that machine is sufficiently greased to “get out the vote”. The “County Endorsed Line” makes it clear which line you are expected to vote if you need anything from county government in next millenium. All 21 counties do the same thing. Both D and R parties do it.

      County political endorsements are very valuable. The current governor bought himself quite a few in 2017. He was an unknown billionaire and ended up governor. Like magic.

  10. timbers

    Proposition 22 contains a provision it only be changed only with 7/8th legislative approval? I’m extremely skeptical of that having validity. The California constitution is the place to look regarding how the legislature can pass laws. If prop 22 said it can’t be subject to Judicial review, I’d be skeptical of that, too.

    1. Glen

      I predict great things for Prop 22, but always remember that the day the managers herd you into a meeting and tell you about the exciting decision to turn you all into private contractors, you can take Lyft home after finding out you’ve been fired.

        1. JBird4049

          That’s why we’ve described it as an attempt to essentially deregulate these industries, and at least as of Tuesday, they were successful, but I don’t think the fight ends there.” • Well, no wonder these people want to expand Proposition 22 everywhere.” • Harris and Pelosi were remarkaby silent on this, weren’t they?

          Yah think? Those corporate lickspittles Harris and Pelosi know who butters their bread. Fortunately there is a fix for this. Let’s wait a year or two for the carnage to emerge and then we can put out another proposition to repeal this. I am stuck here for who knows how much longer. I might as well see if I can help get a repeal through.

          1. JTMcPhee

            I wonder why dogs like Prop 22 don’t simply contain a provision that says “This measure cannot be affected or repealed by any future ballot initiative or act of the legislature.”

          2. Tom Doak

            Isn’t Harris’s brother-in-law the chief legal guy for Uber? And wasn’t she the Attorney General of California?

            The two of them probably co-wrote Prop 22. Over brunch, of course.

  11. fresno dan

    “The Trump campaign has released 234 pages of affidavits regarding alleged voting regularities in Michigan.

  12. lyman alpha blob

    RE: “Democrats need to stop worrying and get behind legal pot”

    Be careful what you ask for. Maine voted to legalize recreational marijuana in 2016, and the first time it became available for purchase was nearly four years later. And even then, the politicians managed to screw up the rules so badly I’m not sure why anybody with other options would purchase weed through a store.

    Somehow even though it’s legal recreationally, there are still two sets of stores – one for medical marijuana and one for recreational. At the medical stores, the price is comparable to the black market price and you can buy larger quantities, however you need to purchase an ID card, renew it annually for a fee, and have yourself tagged in a government database, even if you have no legitimate medical need.

    The recreational stores are far fewer at least so far, and while you can walk in, pay cash and leave, you can only purchase relatively small amounts – less than 1/4 ounce at a time I believe – and the taxes on recreational weed are much higher than those on medical weed to the point that legal recreational weed costs a lot more than buying it the old fashioned way through the black market.

    Never underestimate how badly politicians, bureaucrats and lawyers can cock up something that really ought to be relatively simple. Its not like they didn’t have legal alcohol sales to use as an example of how to proceed.

    1. John Ralston

      IMHO, legalization ( and taxation!! ) is the wrong approach.

      Removal from the Federal Schedule of prohibited substances will do just fine.

      People can grown basil or marigolds in their gardens or window boxes without any of this apothecary/dispensary nonsense..

      Legalization just looks like a corporate shakedown. SEE: Aurora, Tilray, et. al..

      1. teri


        Plus, once the states started legalizing, I figured it would only take a few years until we had one or two corporations that would end up owning all the production. We’ll have a marijuana Amazon-like company that holds it all. Because that’s how capitalism works.

        And most people aren’t aware of this, but the cigarette manufacturers managed to get Congress to allow nicotine levels to be boosted not only within the tobacco itself, but to all the individual additives and chemicals added to tobacco products, thus insuring that cigarette smokers would be addicted to a particular brand, not just to cigarettes in general. Waiting for the weed growers to ask for the same privilege.

        And here is one other thing I wonder about: how long until Monsanto creates a genetically modified weed? How long until we find out that they are using RoundUp on the marijuana fields and people are inhaling glyphosate directly into their lungs?

  13. Ranger Rick

    There’s the minimum sentencing reform I expected they would walk back to, now all that’s missing is a prominent checkbox to shake hands on the deal. I expect that until the inauguration we’re going to get a couple months of talking heads arguing in favor of the sentencing reform as opposed to say, literally anything else more substantial. Then whoever polled the strongest gets to “approve the deal”, the protests fizzle out, and the left gets handed their heads, again. As an added bonus the deal never makes it through Congress and nothing happens at the state level.

    If they are serious however, I expect we’ll see some arm twisting over federal funds going to local police. Whether in the form of the subsidies for (military surplus) equipment purchases, or, if the ducks are in a row, the highway fund gets used to browbeat recalcitrant state legislatures.

  14. Jason Boxman

    Left-wing politicians Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders are reportedly set to be frozen out of president-elect Joe Biden’s cabinet amid concerns the party could lose more seats in upcoming elections.

    And that’s why the claim made by some on the left that, however repugnant, it was necessary to vote for Biden because only under a Democrat administration can the left truly focus on “rebuilding” was silly.

    But the next election will always be the most important ever, and the left always must know its place.

    And this comes as no surprise to anyone paying attention, like, ever.

    If a Republican wins in 2024, we’ll be hearing this again for 2028. And it will be just as tired then as it was in 2016 or 2012. Indeed, it’ll be exhausted. Maybe it’s time to retire this fantasy?

    1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

      LOL “hold their feet to the fire” after the vote LOL.

      Sorry GND supporters, fossil fuel lobbyist Ernie Muniz for Energy Secretary.

      Sorry peace activists, Angel of Death Michele Flournoy for Defense Secretary. (Q: why did Trump fire his Sec/Defense? A: Because he opposed his pullout from Afghanistan).

      Sorry people desperate for M4A, Mitt Romney for HHS. Yesterday said “I will be fighting to ensure we don’t put a Medicare for All plan in place”. Surely there are still pockets of the health care system that private equity can suck money from.

      Sorry people wanting corporate accountability, Meg Whitman for Commerce Secretary. Yes, that Meg Whitman, who oversaw mass layoffs at HP, went to run a startup that vaporized $2 billion and then closed, and ran for president as a Republican Party candidate.

      But the meta-question is this: these are anything but “the best and brightest”. Quite the opposite, these are second and third string failures and retreads. Why is that? A: when a billionaire arms merchant or a billionaire tech monopolist calls on the phone they do not want to hear some uppity “policies” or “debate”. They want to hear “Sir, yes, sir, right away, sir!”.

      But no more rude Tweets that make people feel icky, so there’s that.

      1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

        Black Lives Matter leader Patrisse Cullors demanded a meeting with Joe Biden yesterday, asserting that if Biden is elected president he must prioritize the BLM agenda. “We want something for our vote,” wrote Cullors, adding, “We want to be heard and our agenda to be prioritized.”

        So you didn’t get peace, you didn’t get climate action, you didn’t get health care, you didn’t get corporate accountability, and you didn’t get racial justice.

        Q: What did you get?

          1. LilD

            Just more slowly

            Instead of the sh*t sandwich with high levels of toxins, killing us in a few months,
            we get the one with powerful carcinogens
            killing us in a few years

        1. edmondo

          For future reference Patrisse:

          You don’t have any leverage AFTER the election. Does anyone here know how to play this game?

          1. John Ralston

            Reasonably intelligent people fully understood what was going down.

            IF YOU didn’t get it, re-read the line above this one.

            Jimmy Dore, for one: called it months before the election…

            ..People who are repetitively willfully stupid simply do not deserve respect.

        2. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

          Former CIA Head Spook Brennan, for some reason given an open microphone on CNN yesterday: Vice President Mike Pence should seize power immediately in order to prevent last-minute Trump “security breaches”.

          The Intercept, today: “The personnel changes would help clear the way for a more loyal Pentagon apparatus to carry out Trump’s goals, including the last-minute withdrawal of troops from foreign conflicts.”

          Question for Biden voters hoping for even a marginal chance that your tax money buys less overseas slaughter of civilians:

          How does it feel to be a complete and total sucker?

        3. John Ralston

          It sounds to my ears like the saps got played like violins.

          That ol’ timey plantation songbook doesn’t have any new songs in it.

          You all know the words, folks, so, let’s sing along with old man Lunchbox: “IF yew don’t vote fer me -You ain’t black!”

  15. Judith

    Lambert, you asked about low hospitalization numbers in the NE and what is happening at colleges there. I live near Tufts so I pay attention to the numbers there. Students are tested weekly. 67 positive cases since August. Here is the link to the testing metrics dashboard:


    And their policy about Thanksgiving break is interesting. If students want to finish the semester on campus, they cannot leave campus over Thanksgiving break.

    “Dear Student,

    We are writing to share our preliminary plans for the Thanksgiving Break, to invite your input, and to ask about your own plans.

    As a reminder, the Thanksgiving travel policy that we shared previously with you requires that unless you have an approved exception, you must not travel over the break if you wish to complete the semester in person.

    We know it is tempting to travel over the break, but it is also dangerous. If we experience a significant number of people leaving and returning in violation of the policy, it will likely be impossible for the University to remain at the current operating status that we have all worked hard to maintain these last several months. A status change would require significant additional restrictions for everyone.

    We know it’s hard, and we thank you for your commitment to protect the health of your family, yourself, and your close contacts at Tufts.”


    1. ChiGal in Carolina

      Thanks, generally I am guessing that having gotten the worst of the first wave there is more acceptance of masking and distancing in the NE.

      Despite notorious missteps (nursing homes) generally the political leadership modeled taking coronavirus seriously and listening to public health officials.

      1. ChrisPacific

        If you read the protocols in the linked site, they’re doing considerably more than masking and distancing. They’ve more or less made the campus into a NZ/Taiwan style bubble, with their own contact tracing, isolation and quarantine protocols, and limiting all but essential movement in or out (with the strictest possible definition of ‘essential’).

        It appears to be working and the infection rate is probably close to optimal given the conditions (without shutting down movement entirely, a zero case rate isn’t reasonable). Clearly parts of the US are capable of mounting an effective Covid defense at a local level, given the right circumstances.

  16. Eduardo

    “New device puts music in your head — no headphones required”

    So, that’s the technology for the “sonic attack” on the US Embassy in Cuba? (If there were such attacks.)

    1. Samuel Conner

      It sounds like an audio phased array; a sonic antenna with an electronically “steered” radiation pattern.

      Clever, but not earth-shattering. Another toy for COVID-stressed cave dwellers.

    2. The Rev Kev

      What if that music piped into your head had hidden subliminal messages buried into it? Can you imagine? What messages would Silicon Valley like to put into your head?

      1. Milton

        I already have that-it’s a King Vitamin commercial from the 70s that keeps playing. And when I finally purge that I get some obscur ditty from my 2nd grade days: Senor Don Gato

      1. fajensen

        Apart from the debilitating effects, which to me sounds like a lot of effort to be faking.

        My guess would be some kind of electromagnetic weapon. Those sounds are nerve cells going “snap, crackle and pop”.

        A pulsed field of about 50 kV / cm sterilises juice in industrial settings – I believe getting something like that inside someone’s head, from a safe distance and without the attackers or their equipment getting hurt, is a challenge for science and engineering.

        But not impossible.

  17. Synoia

    Ballot irregularities include missing or mismatched signatures and not including all components — the individual ballots, envelopes, flaps — when submitting. According to the State Board of Elections, 3,946 voters were contacted about curing their ballots after irregularities were identified, and more than 1,500 of those voters ended up doing so. Dearing said his staff is still working to assign voter credit and estimated the number of cures counted will increase by a few hundred.”

    That reads as a perfect, or nearly perfect, implementation of Test and Trace.

    Give that man a pandemic and a billion dollars to help with our plague of Covid.

  18. Howard Beale IV

    Re: “New device puts music in your head — no headphones required”: Wonder how well that will work with people who have some form of non-conductive (sensorineural) hearing loss….

  19. Jessica

    “New device puts music in your head — no headphones required”
    Paging Philip Kindred Dick, Philip Kindred Dick to the white courtesy phone, please.

  20. Jason Boxman

    As I recall, Teddy Roosevelt was an early adopter of image management; Obama would be proud. Roosevelt cultivated an image as a rugged westerner and controlled what photos were taken of him.

  21. jr

    Good to know that one Ms. Bruenig at the NYT is hot on the trail of pedophile bishops but a quick search of the news has turned up exactly zero discussion of Kamala Harris’s squashing of the investigation into pedophile priests in San Francisco. Lot’s of right wing sites bring it up, the Daily Mail, some Catholic sites, and one or two MSM sources mention it but nothing from the Paper of Record….even in an opinion piece that rips her to pieces, no mention of the priests she helped to abuse children:


  22. Rod

    Played that Carolina Wren sweet song once, then again for the wife in the next room. She called back “what is that?”
    So I cut it off to respond, only it didn’t stop.
    Man, was I confused until I realized I was getting a live performance from our porch table.
    Tried for Stereo-Live and Recorded and that brown bit of feathers let it rip a couple of times and was off to the Kerria Japonica (http://www.missouribotanicalgarden.org/PlantFinder/PlantFinderDetails.aspx?taxonid=249949) to figure it out.
    They are curious, and friendly, and bold, and vocal. Leaving the screen door open in the Spring is a sure homesteading invitation.

    While I’m at, Thanks to you and all at NC for for keeping the spotlight working with cool efficiency and efficacy throughout the Election and these days past.

  23. Lee

    UPDATE “‘Proning’ Covid Patients Seems to Save Lives. But How Many?” [Wired]….. • I can’t find who to raise my hat to, but the first time I read about proning was in the NC comments section — many months ago.

    I heard about it from a respiratory technician decades ago. IIRC, the method can also include tilting the patient longitudinally, head toward the floor, further taking advantage of gravity to clear the lungs.

  24. anon in so cal

    >NYT’s Tom Friedman at it again:

    “In The Midst of Voting Irregularity Challenges, Democrats Call For People To Move To Georgia To Stack The Vote”

    “Now adding to the Democratic problems are liberal figures openly encouraging Democrats to move to Georgia to stack the vote in the runoff elections. So Georgia just started a hand recount in the midst of claims of voting irregularities but figures like New York Times columnist Thomas L. Friedman are calling for liberals to move to Georgia to influence their election. In other words, Friedman and others are sending the self-destructive message is that Jon Ossoff and Raphael G. Warnock might not have enough Georgians to vote for them so they need New Yorkers and Californians to come and vote as Georgians. The New York Times, which has run repeated pieces on alleged vote suppression by the GOP, has had nothing to say about Friedman’s call for vote stacking in Georgia….”


    1. nippersmom

      Hate to break it to The Mustache, but under Georgia law, you can only vote in the run-off if you voted in the general.

      1. rowlf

        Some of the gun nuts were discussing more out of state plated cars seen before the election. I suspect anecdote over data even though I noted more too.

        (I’m always trying to spot a Tesla or Leaf with out of state plates.)

      2. Darthbobber

        According to the Georgia site this does not seem to be the case. And if it were, that new December 7 registration date would hardly make sense.

        1. nippersmom

          If it is not the case, that is a relatively recent change. The last time we had runoff elections they were very clear that only voters who had cast ballots in the original election were eligible to vote in the runoff.

  25. RMO

    ” “News organizations tend to be a little uncomfortable with the idea that they actually manufacture the news, rather than simply report it. But the job needs to be done”

    Got to admit I still find it surprising (and maybe ominous) when I see things like this being said so bluntly and openly.

  26. lobelia

    Re: “‘Proposition 22 Is a Backlash to Victories Workers Have Had” (interview) [FAIR]

    It’s highly unfortunate that Fair interview did not note that the California Electeds, on a Bipartisan basis, have historically so deliberately loaded California with H1-B Visa immigrants and so called illegal immigrants for monetary purposes far more amoral than moral; that a significant portion of the population subject to GIG work and Insane Rents is unable to vote for or against the propositions which have deadly effects on the vulnerable and impoverished – whether they be citizens (and there are millions of now impoverished Gig worker and/or Renter citizens in California) or non-citizen residents; therefore the venal results of Propositions 21 (Expands Local Government’s Authority to Enact Rent Control on Residential Property) and 22, et al.

    1. JBird4049

      Leaving aside the local California Republicans Party, who have become a bit, umm extreme as in libertarian John Birchers, it is hard to distinguish the neoliberal California Democrats from the national Republican Party.

      There are some differences. The Democrats will throw some extra crumbs during bad times and the social safety net is barely more whole than holes unlike some states; we are still just short of a Banana Republic and the government is not quite as corrupt as some of the Northeast and Southern ones are. Democrats at least still expect government to function, but if this decay keeps up, I just know that it’s just going to go down like the jenga pile it is.

  27. Pelham

    That bezzle item on Musk’s hyped hyperloop makes a good case about the cheerleader media fawning over this dodo and his garbage technology. However, I will note that once — just once — I actually heard a media person make a relevant point about one of Musk’s many wonderful toys, namely a cargo capsule docking with the Orbital White Elephant, otherwise known as the International Space Station.

    This NPR guy (NPR!) was interviewing a Musk spokesman about the complexities of docking in orbit, and the Musk guy was making it sound like a truly impressive feat. Then the NPR guy (possibly reading my mind) questioned why, noting that NASA and the Russians were routinely doing the same thing half a century earlier.

  28. jr

    “ The rules of neoliberalism do not apply to those who write the rules.”

    This brought back some memories from a job I held years ago in Philadelphia. I was a GED instructor and the organization I worked for was filled to the brim with what I now know to be PMC’s, the schwein-hund of the neoliberal. Most of them were white, held at least a master’s degree, and were from no where near the neighborhoods we were situated in.

    They loved to lecture the students, the junior staff, and anyone else who would listen about the loftiness of their goals, the good work they were doing, their happy days at Swarthmore or Penn. Always quick with the rulebook, never forgetting to tally a missed day or a long lunch, and happy to fire someone while wearing a concerned smile on their face. Never out of sorts, always reasonable, the office door was always open if you needed some sweet smelling smoke blown up inside you.

    What a ball of slime they collectively turned out to be. Backstabbing intrigues amongst themselves was par for the course. Arguing over departments that consisted of two people; no doubt that number swelled to legions once it was noted on their resume’s. One would intentionally hold lunches with her colleagues in the teachers work area and leave the mess for the teachers to clean up. (A friend who quit dumped it all onto her desk one afternoon, wow the righteous fury.) Once, I got in major trouble because I had become extremely sick and when I called into the office to let someone know, no one answered the phone. I left a message with the front desk instead. When I returned to work a day later, I caught hell because all the managers had expected me to be there and had all taken a few unofficial days off. To their dismay, the director, who eventually went to jail for embezzlement IIRC, had popped in on a surprise visit and found students sitting around with no one in charge. Naturally, no one mentioned that I had in fact called in, it was just dumped at my feet. The only reason I wasn’t canned was because most of the teachers had left and the program, dreamed up by the geniuses in that mockery of a city known as Harrisburg, PA, was already faltering badly. You can’t pretend to teach students if you don’t have a teacher on the rolls.

    Now, working in non-profits, one becomes accustomed to people leaving early, taking long lunches, showing up a bit late in the morning. My direct boss, an old school Philly public school teacher who had literally beaten up a gang of teenaged would-be muggers one afternoon with her purse, knew how this worked and let it go because she knew we were getting paid nothing and that we would be there for her in a second when needed. She understood the dance.

    What struck me then and came back just now was the incredible sense of entitlement, I mean serious entitlement, these people held. They would break the rules all the time and then come down like a hammer when a junior or a student dared step over a line. Nothing new there in and of itself but the unreflective nature of it was striking. They weren’t like “Hey, I’m the boss and I get to break the rules!” with a snigger. It was more like “Everyone has to obey the rules!”……and then they just did what they wanted. Perfectly bifurcated thinking, it was just the natural order of things. When the rats turned on themselves, the director had had her fill of their antics, there was genuine disbelief in their voices. They literally couldn’t understand that the rules actually applied to them as well.

    1. The Rev Kev

      That’s a helluva story that. Seems like the biggest losers would be the students that have to put up with this all.

      1. jr

        No one ever gave a damn about the students, except the naive teachers and one or two of the junior administrators. Non-profit adult ed schools, at least the ones I worked for in Philly and NYC, are complete farces. For the state, it was a few low paid jobs to add to their tally of good deeds, for the directors and administrators it was resume fodder or a laid back gig until it was time to have children. (Most of these people were women.) The teachers stayed for a few months or so then fled. The students, accustomed to such institutional failures, hung around a few weeks then blew out the door.

        Some revealing anecdotes:

        One of the teachers I worked with had a brother who worked as an accountant for City Hall in Philly. The program had allocated 100M$, half for Philly and the rest spread around the state. When Philly got the money, they immediately spent the lions share paying back bills. (This was the year Philly almost ran out of money to salt the roads.) The scraps were allocated to the program. We were supposed to have TV and billboard ads, instead the teacher were asked to walk through violent ghetto neighborhoods, where we would stand out like a flashing red beacon, posting printed flyers. Ghettos where I was once followed for blocks by a lowrider filled with gangbangers, where open acts of prostitution took place, where machine guns were occasionally heard. When the doors opened, we sat for >3< months without students because no one knew about it. Finally students started to trickle in but in dribs and drabs.

        So we all had to take a bus to Harrisburg to meet with the then Secretary of Education to discuss the faltering program. What I saw beggared words. Immediately, the Secretary began to blame the teachers for the programs failures. It was surreal; we had almost no students but were somehow to blame, we were told that everything depended on us. “The teachers will make or break this program!” People lost it and began to shout but the Secretary droned on through her prepared speech. Directors and administrators nodded sagely at her words while we freaked out. It occurred to me later she was speaking for the video camera, not us. A few months later, they shut it all down, no one got their GED (worthless anyway), and not long after the director and board of my particular site were all being audited and found wanting. Prior to all this, a second non-profit in the city that I had worked at “off-site” had been audited and had higher ups sent to jail.

        Jump ahead a few years to NYC and I decided to give it another shot. Same thing: money came in but jack for the students. I bought my 10 kids some 2$ geometry kits and was dressed down by the director for not checking with him first about spending my classroom budget. I had made it clear I wasn’t able to teach math; they tossed that onto my class load without comment. One student came to me in confidence about trouble he had with some local kids. When I innocently told my boss, she immediately called the cops who threatened my student if he didn’t name names. He quit and moved to Florida in fear of his life. Two Lawyers Guild lawyers came to address the students about how to deal with the cops and how they had a right to know who was arresting them. When a student, tired of the constant harassment, demanded a cops name he was backhanded. I had Bloods, Crips, some M13 affiliates in my class and when the months late 300$ individual stipends for transportation suddenly disappeared, I was told it was my job to inform them all. I quit that day.

        To give you an idea of what my students lived with, allow me to share the story of Johnny. Johnny, a Blood affiliate who brought his local warlord, a Bishop, to class for parents night, disappeared for a week. When he returned, I found him sleeping in the classroom and told him we had to go talk to the boss. He begged me to let him sleep. He had been at the bedside of a dying uncle in the hospital a few days prior and his cousins, convinced their father was hiding money, had started to beat the dying man in his bed. The rest of the family intervened and the two were arrested. Things calmed down until the family noticed a male cousin and female cousin, first cousins, were holding hands. They were involved in an incestuous relationship. The family attacked them and everyone was arrested. He had come from jail to class. I let him sleep.

  29. lyman alpha blob

    Just went to watch a news video on youtube and noticed a message about the election – not sure if it was put there by youtube or the channel itself (The Hill) and it doesn’t appear to be on all videos.

    Here’s what it says:

    U.S. Elections

    The AP has called the Presidential race for Joe Biden. See more on Google.

    Robust safeguards help ensure the integrity of elections and results. Learn more

    Clicking on learn more brings you here: https://www.cisa.gov/rumorcontrol

    Where you find this –

    Rumor: A bad actor could change election results without detection.

    Get the Facts: The systems and processes used by election officials to tabulate votes and certify official results are protected by various safeguards that help ensure the accuracy of election results. These safeguards include measures that help ensure tabulation systems function as intended, protect against malicious software, and enable the identification and correction of any irregularities.

    Every state has voting system safeguards to ensure each ballot cast in the election can be correctly counted. State procedures often include testing and certification of voting systems, required auditable logs, and software checks, such as logic and accuracy tests, to ensure ballots are properly counted before election results are made official. With these security measures, election officials can check to determine that devices are running the certified software and functioning properly.

    Every state also has laws and processes to verify vote tallies before results are officially certified. State processes include robust chain-of-custody procedures, auditable logs, and canvass processes. The vast majority of votes cast in this election will be cast on paper ballots or using machines that produce a paper audit trail, which allow for tabulation audits to be conducted from the paper record in the event any issues emerge with the voting system software, audit logs, or tabulation. These canvass and certification procedures are also generally conducted in the public eye, as political party representatives and other observers are typically allowed to be present, to add an additional layer of verification. This means voting system software is not a single point of failure and such systems are subject to multiple audits to ensure accuracy and reliability. For example, some counties conduct multiple audits, including a post-election logic and accuracy test of the voting system, and a bipartisan hand count of paper ballots.

    Well glad that’s settled. Thanks for the valuable info, spooks and google!

    1. Milton

      I noticed that as well on Jimmie Dore and Useful Idiots’ channels. Glad you took the time to do the research and report back.

  30. Wukchumni

    Don’t want to cast aspersions, but Trump owes Adelson big-time, the casinoist pumping in $75 million late in the campaign.

    The President has already proven that he is willing to attack Iran by assassinating Soleimani, and he has nothing to lose by implementing a much wider attack, possibly earning more baksheesh from his benefactor in doing so~

  31. suffragette city

    The narrative is always that the horrible white women sold out black people to get the vote, but the exact opposite happened. All the suffragists were abolitionists first. They were trying to get the vote for everyone, arguing the opportunity was there when the franchise was being extended. But the men said no, get the vote for black men first, it’s too risky to ask for both. This is just a simple fact. And black men did get the vote, and women had to wait 50 years for it. Yes, the suffragists, after being abandoned, turned to reprehensible racists as allies and yes, Stanton especially revealed a deep racism (and classism, etc) with her gross rhetoric, but all this was after men said no votes for women. But it is a super weird thing to say that the white women only cared about themselves. I don’t think Susan B Anthony was down in “Redeemed” southern states writing up Jim Crow laws.

    But even to say this makes me feel like I’m going to be called racist for it. All I’m saying is they had the right idea in the first place, votes for everyone, and it was the men, not the women, who nixed it.

    1. John Ralston

      No one but white men would have the right to vote today if a great many white men had not considered both ethical and in the best interest of the country/society and extended the franchise.

      People who have monopolies do not have to share.

      White men made a choice.

      Maybe there should be some gratitude and congeniality extend to those high minded and ethical white men. Those men held their countrymen and countrywomen in such regard as to choose share rights and responsibilities. Those men were generous and heroic allies, and not defeated enemies..

        1. John Ralston

          Specify the franchise as a right or a privilege as you like…

          The gist is: white men did the honorable and congenial thing: they held open the door and invited others in to exorcise rights and accept responsibilities.

          This generosity is generally demeaned and I maintain that it deserves to be celebrated.

          Ingratitude sucks.

      1. flora

        Yes, there were many fine men who believed in womans’ suffrage, who worked for womens’ voting rights, and were invaluable allies. Many of the western states had equal M-F suffrage when territories but had to eliminate women’s suffrage when they became full states before the 19th Amendment was passed. My own state was one of those states. After statehood my state passed womens’ suffrage for local elections, and in 1912, 8 years before the passage of the 19th Amendment, passed womens’ right to vote in state elections. It was men in the legislature who passed the state law.
        White and Black suffragists worked across White and Black communities to pass both the state voting law and national law. The state legislature voted unanimously to ratify the19th Amendment in 1919.

    2. The Historian

      There are many articles out there on how Frederick Douglass sold out the woman’s suffrage movement in order to secure the vote for black males. After that, the more radical suffragettes turned on Frederick Douglass for his betrayal and were willing to go to anyone in their attempt to get the vote for women. The article above seems to be a bit of revisionist history when it leaves out Douglass’s betrayal.

      But to be fair to Frederick Douglass: He considered getting the black man a vote was a matter of life and death – and he was probably right! Douglass did maintain contacts with the less radical suffragettes and he sometimes gave speeches for them, but sadly, it was all ‘words’.


      1. John Ralston

        IdPol is a flawed as ever.

        Democrats carry on this legacy of being unwilling to share power.

        SEE: the 2020 D vs. D election debacle in Paterson New Jersey…

    3. JBird4049

      You are not a racist. Some people just don’t realize just how complex history is.

      Grouping all the suffragists-abolitionists together is silly, but even into the 1890s-1920s when Black suffragists were trying to join the national movement, they were rejected. IIRC, usually at the behest of the upper class leadership. This in spite of their White suffragists allies trying to get them in. There were always women who were abolitionists, wanting the vote for everyone, and for what we would call civil rights for all. For the day, they were extremely radical.

      In fairness, the Black Nadir, or when Blacks were treated the worse since the end of slavery, was somewhere in the late 1910s to early 1920s. Perhaps during the Red Summer? So it would have been an increasingly dangerous struggle after Reconstruction.

      It was the divide and conquer IdPol of the day. Divide the abolitionist from the suffragists, then those fighting for the vote, then those generally fighting for White and Black rights, and finally the upper classes from the lower; the upper classes usually had most of the power in those movements. Throw in social Darwinism, eugenics, and the anti-immigration movements from the late 19th century into the mid 20th and it is amazing that any group large and powerful enough could form.

    4. flora

      Thank you.

      Somewhere, Jay Gould is still trying to hire one half of the working class to kill the other half.

      The KCStar is owned by McClatchy, which filed for bankruptcy in Feb this year. So I wonder if this “story” is click bait for ad revenue.

      1. flora

        adding: the monied interests then (and now ) worked to drive wedges between different segments of the abolitionists, the suffragists, the populists, and the working classes. Anything to disrupt a threat to their money interests. Divide and conquer.

  32. Wukchumni

    Everybody knew this past weekend was gonna be quite something from a weather standpoint in the Sierra Nevada with an arctic cold front sweeping down from up north, but the departed didn’t get the memo.

    A mother of two who slipped and fell while hiking and spent two nights bearing freezing cold temperatures died shortly after she was rescued in California, according to her family and friends.

    Cassandra Bravo, 34, died over the weekend following her rescue from Mt. Whitney on Saturday — two days after she vanished after telling her boyfriend she was going for a hike, according to a GoFundMe page raising money for her children.

    Bravo’s friends and family grew worried on Thursday after they did not hear from her, and alerted the Inyo County Sheriff’s Office, which found her car at Mt. Whitney Portal in Inyo National Forest.

    She was wearing only a tank top and leggings amid “very cold” temperatures and a wind chill of -20 degrees, according to a weekend forecast warning by the sheriff’s office…

    Bravo was a single mom to two children, and worked as a registered nurse in the urgent care center and the emergency room at Loma Linda University Medical Center, according to the page.


    1. Lee

      The cold snap caught me tent camping on a crabbing expedition at sea level. It got down to 31 degrees. Down bedding and a pitbull footwarmer kept me comfortable that night. Alas, all the crabs we caught were undersized and had to be thrown back. Even so, it was great to get out of town and into the thinly populated coastal countryside. It had been a good long while since I heard coyotes calling forth the dawn.

  33. Tim

    I mentioned proning in the comments a long time ago. I googled around for laying positions for pneumonia patients in preparation if I got COVID, knowing most doctors only know what they’ve been sold, I mean told.

    It just seemed like common sense.

    Of course I’m just a mechanical engineer, not a selfish, opportunistic capitalistic, shareholder driven grift machine like our pharmaceruticals. They only think of cheap effective solutions in their nightmares and quickly suppress them.

  34. rowlf

    Salmon goes on: “News organizations tend to be a little uncomfortable with the idea that they actually manufacture the news, rather than simply report it. But the job needs to be done, and there’s no one better to do it.” • I think Salmon isn’t really generalizing here; “the news” is the election call. Nevertheless, why not just wait for the States to certify their counts? They’re absolutely “better suited” to do that then the press.

    Lambert, Yves and crew, thanks for doing what you do. Your website was offline for a while yesterday and it was like the Magnetic North Pole disappeared or was stolen by Russians. Thanks for keeping it real and keeping the moderation tuned up. This is a great place to come to to realign my Inertial Navigation Systems.

  35. Jeremy Grimm

    “Inside the Secret Math Society Known Simply as Nicolas Bourbaki”
    Nicolas Bourbaki brought the ‘New’ Math to torment and confuse high school students in the 1960s:
    “Eventually, they conquered essentially the entire world of mathematics, even trying to breach the walls of high school in the disastrous episode of the “new math.” [(Mumford 1991) ref. from Mirowski’s paper]
    When I got to college it remained a force for making mathematics obscure and nearly impossible to understand on an intuitive level. I felt doubly cheated with Nicolas Bourbaki the lastest fashion in math and Skinner and behaviorism the lastest fashion psychology. Mirowski details the invasion of Bourbaki into economics in a 1994 paper: “The Pure and the Applied: Bourbakism Comes to Mathematical Economics” describing how Gerard Debreu brought Bourbakism to the mathematics in economics.

    1. The Rev Kev

      There is a story of how during the American Civil War that General Grant had on his staff a not so bright captain who served a very important purpose. Grant, before issuing orders, would run it through this captain and if the captain did not get it, Grant would reformulate those orders until he did upon which Grant would only then send those orders out.

      This is more important than you would think. I recall one battle that ended disastrously because a general told a force to move down the left side of a mountain. But the officer who received the orders was facing the opposite way around and he and his subordinates concluded that the General meant another place and went there instead.

      So there is a photo in that article that has the caption ‘The members of Nicolas Bourbaki value collaboration, discussing their work in person and out loud; they only publish a text once everyone agrees it is ready.’ Perhaps what they should have done was to arrange to have a class of kids from the local school look at that text to see if they could understand it first and not just a bunch of trained mathematicians instead. If those kids did not understand it, they should have then rethought it.

      1. rowlf

        Rev, I chased this down a few years ago as I wanted to get my references straight and if I remember correctly it wasn’t Grant but another officer that was noted for using this technique even though it it is a good story/example. Sorry to be a stickler but I find actual history fascinating and really embarrassing for media and political preeners (not you!). I was an old school journalism major until a significant emotional event happened and I decided airplanes are easier to deal with than people.

        1. The Rev Kev

          Thanks for the correction rowlf. I too would much rather have the correct information go out there and be corrected as if history is not about true information, then it is not history at all. I too find history fascinating as some of the stuff out there is amazing. I suppose that in the end, history is mostly composed of people stories which are the most fascinating of all.

  36. Milton

    Well, here’s another steaming pile from the Guardian courtesy of our former prez. I guess the reason why we had a Trump presidency was because America was spooked by having a black in the white house.
    Apparently, we were so spooked we decided on an encore by re-electing him to another term. No need to rehash, most here believe, the reasons for why Trump was allowed to occupy the white house, I thought I would share for entertainment purposes.

  37. lobelia

    Re: There is a weird irony to the fact Obama couldn’t quit smoking but also his official policy position was that working class people who are too weak willed to quit smoke don’t deserve affordable health care… (the tweet by Jon Walker)

    Jesus, especially given the finer details regarding nicotine, Jon Walker’s next tweet of the thread is even more damning of Obombya; I don’t at all recollect this being publicized, emphasis mine:

    Jon Walker
    @JonWalkerDC 9h

    Re: There is a weird irony to the fact Obama couldn’t quit smoking but also his official policy position was that working class people who are too weak willed to quit smoke don’t deserve affordable health care… (the tweet by Jon Walker)

    Jesus, especially given the finer details regarding nicotine, Jon Walker’s next tweet of the thread is even more damning of Obombya; I don’t at all recollect this being publicized, emphasis mine:

    Jon Walker
    @JonWalkerDC 9h

    Replying to @JonWalkerDC

    Since some people don’t know what I’m talking about Obama insisted that in the ACA smokers are allowed to be charged 50% higher premiums than non smokers and ACA exchange plans are arguably just barely affordable. Basically no smoker can afford the massive premiums


    I knew Obama was low life upper class, but that’s near as low as it gets, the tender mercies of the wicked.

  38. Wukchumni

    A Trump campaign attorney conceded in court on Thursday morning that he tried to enter hundreds of dodgy form-filed affidavits into evidence, even though their own investigation found that a subset of the sworn statements that they received were filled with lies and “spam.”

    “This is concerning,” Judge Daniel Kiley, from Arizona’s Maricopa County, remarked with some understatement.

    “How is that a reliable process of gathering evidence?” the judge asked, later blocking admission of the so-called evidence.

    Put on the spot by the judge was the Trump campaign’s lawyer Kory Langhofer, who explained the automated process that reflected their post-election evidence hunt. It included an online form whose reliability Langhofer claimed was boosted by the fact that it included a CAPTCHA, which weeded out the bots. The attorneys then visited the complainants’ homes. The Trump campaign said it excluded the submissions of those who swore to lies, but they included the ones they could not prove were lying into evidence.

    Judge Kiley replied that this did not show the remaining affidavits are trustworthy.

    “That just shows you cannot disprove what’s asserted,” Kiley noted.

    Shortly after, Langhofer went sharply off-message with Trump representatives telling any media outlet that would listen about their vast voter-fraud conspiracy theory.

    “This is not a fraud case,” Langhofer said, casting the lawsuit instead as allegations of flaws within the voting system. “It is not a stealing-the-election case.”

    That marked the second time in as many days that attorneys for the Trump campaign disavowed in court what the president and his loyalists alleged in print, tweets and on the public airwaves. On Wednesday, it was the campaign’s Porter Wright attorney Jonathan Goldstein who refused to allege fraud when pressed by a Pennsylvania judge.


  39. The Rev Kev

    “A vindication of the right to see women naked: the statue for Mary Wollstonecraft has set us back centuries”

    I would say that the bush on the statue is to remind us that this was an 18th century woman after all. At this point of time, any council that does not get to see a model of any statue by an artist before being actually made is just begging for trouble. If the commissioned statue does not resemble the model, then the artist will not be paid. Simple.

    Saw a picture of another statue like this. It was a woman Medusa with a long sword in one hand and the severed head of a man in the other. It was a Medusa. As in, she would not need a sword to cut the guy’s head off but more likely a hammer and chisel.

  40. richard

    thanks lambert for reposting the neoliberalism rules thing! looking for that just the other day
    had forgotten about the variants

  41. Zzzz Andrew

    “The smell going to Powell’s”: used to hit Powell’s all the time in high school (the 80’s), and the smell I indelibly associate with those visits was the miasma of the Henry Weinhard’s brewery in what were then the empty surrounding blocks. Don’t know what the offending element was, exactly, but I vividly remember trying to hold my breath and not toss my cookies for hundreds of feet en route to the entrance.

    Inside, to be fair, there was a spacious and musty scent which I can still faintly recall; but that’s not what the phrase brings to mind. A hogo you could hang your hat on …

  42. TiPs

    Appreciate the find of the article on non-compete clauses. I have a little info I use in my macro class when I discuss the attack on worker’s bargaining power over the past 40 years, and this will be a great addition. Thanks.

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