2:00PM Water Cooler 11/16/2020

By Lambert Strether of Corrente.

Patient readers, I got wrapped around the axle with a technical issue. More from the Augean stables soon. –lambert UPDATE All done1

Bird Song of the Day

#COVID19

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

Case count by United States region:

Test positivity by region:

Case fatality rate by region:

We’ll need to watch this to see if it changes with the increased case count. I added the death counts, and yes, deaths are rising with the case count.

Hospitalization by region:

Politics

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

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

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

Election Legitimacy

2020 Democrats in Disarray

Governing? What’s that?

Biden Transition

UDPATE “Former Facebook leaders are now transition insiders” [Politico]. “But people with close ties to Facebook and CEO Mark Zuckerberg have already become inside players in the Biden transition, suggesting that the president-elect is not slamming the door on the company. Former Facebook board member Jeff Zients is co-chairing Biden’s transition team. Another former board member is an adviser. Two others — one who was a Facebook director and another who was a company lobbyist — have taken leadership roles. And Biden himself has a friendly relationship with a top Facebook executive, former U.K. Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg…. One senior Democratic strategist close to the campaign put it more plainly. ‘We basically think they’re an immoral company,’ said the strategist, speaking anonymously to discuss the thinking inside the party. ‘There are thousands and thousands of people in their 20s and 30s and 40s who will be incensed to find themselves working for Secretary of Commerce Sheryl Sandberg, or taking a soft touch to Facebook because Nick Clegg and Joe Biden go way back.'”

UPDATE “Could Elizabeth Warren Be the Next Treasury Secretary?” [The Nation]. • No.

UPDATE Identity politics watch:

if you think you’re uncomfortable, think of the faraway brown children, women, and men you’ll be blowing ot pink mist with drone strikes!

2020

Biden (D)(1): “Biden advisers to meet vaccine firms as Trump stalls handoff” [ABC]. “Joe Biden’s scientific advisers will meet with vaccine makers in coming days as the presidential transition remains stalled because of President Donald Trump’s refusal to acknowledge that he lost the election. That delayed handoff is especially problematic during a public health crisis, the government’s top infectious disease expert said…. [Biden’s chief of staff Ron Klain] said Biden’s experts also need a detailed understanding of distribution plans being finalized by the Department of Health and Human Services and the Pentagon. In some ways, that’s the more critical issue, he said.” • I’m a little frustrated by the focus on “the transition period” as a barrier to Biden explaining what his plans are. In a Parliamentary system, there would be a Shadow HHS Secretary (although nothing but, I suppose, norms prevented the Biden campaign from innovating that role. If the Democrats are worried about there being “two Presidents,” why not add a layer of indirection? Blue-skying here: Put together an enormous non-partisan conference, with tracks for all the subject matter experts. Make Biden the key-note speaker and have him give the policy speech. If the Covid is the crisis they say it is, why no? Too late for Thanksgiving, sadly, but Christmas is coming. At the very least, couldn’t Biden be addressing the nation or something? All we’re getting right now is whinging about Republican non-cooperation. That’s true, but you have to step up and lead anyhow!

Biden (D)(2): “Tax filings reveal Biden cancer charity spent millions on salaries, zero on research” [New York Post]. “The Biden Cancer Initiative was founded in 2017 by the former vice president and his wife, Jill Biden, to ‘develop and drive implementation of solutions to accelerate progress in cancer prevention, detection, diagnosis, research and care and to reduce disparities in cancer outcomes,’ according to its IRS mission statement. But it gave out no grants in its first two years, and spent millions on the salaries of former Washington, DC, aides it hired. The charity took in $4,809,619 in contributions in fiscal years 2017 and 2018, and spent $3,070,301 on payroll in those two years. The group’s president, Gregory Simon, raked in $429,850 in fiscal 2018 (July 1, 2018, to June 30, 2019), according to the charity’s most recent federal tax filings. Simon, a former Pfizer executive and longtime health care lobbyist who headed up the White House’s cancer task force in President Barack Obama’s administration, saw his salary nearly double from the $224,539 he made in fiscal 2017, tax filings show.” Oh. Pfizer. And did the 2020 Trump campaign have any oppo capability at all? Why are we reading this only now?

Harris (D)(1): “Kamala Harris’ husband Doug Emhoff breaks gender stereotypes by putting her career ahead of his as second gentleman” [USA Today]. “During a recent fundraiser, Emhoff said many of the issues he would want to focus on as second gentleman are justice related, particularly ‘access to justice.'” • Oh.

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OH:

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UPDATE “Democrats’ 2024 Problem Is Already Clear” [The Atlantic]. “The election’s outcome heralds a decade of grueling trench warfare between the two parties for control of the nation’s direction. While it also demonstrated clear problems for the GOP, the results already have Democratic strategists privately asking frank questions about whether any of the next generation of Democratic leaders, starting with Vice President–elect Kamala Harris, can sustain enough of the coalition that elected Biden to the White House without him on the ballot. Biden may be the last Democrat who can reliably hold those Rust Belt states as the party waits for demographic change and shifting suburban attitudes to bring the Sun Belt states more securely within their reach.” • So, we’ve yoked the new “shifting suburban attitudes” theory to the old “demographic change” theory. Fine. Oh, and that’s President–elect Kamala Harris, right?

UPDATE “Biden coalition built on broad but unstable foundation” [Politico]. “In what amounted to a referendum on Trump, Biden’s supporters were primarily motivated by a desire to defeat the Republican president. There is no guarantee that the disparate groups will remain together in the absence of a galvanizing opponent like Trump on the ballot.”

UPDATE “Liberals Envisioned a Multiracial Coalition. Voters of Color Had Other Ideas.” [New York Times]. “The proposition seemed tailor-made for one of the nation’s most diverse and liberal states. California officials asked voters to overturn a 24-year-old ban on affirmative action in education, employment and contracting. The state political and cultural establishment worked as one to pass this ballot measure. The governor, a senator, members of Congress, university presidents and civil rights leaders called it a righting of old wrongs…. Yet on Election Day, the proposition failed by a wide margin, 57 percent to 43 percent, and Latino and Asian-American voters played a key role in defeating it. The outcome captured the gap between the vision laid out by the liberal establishment in California, which has long imagined the creation of a multiracial, multiethnic coalition that would embrace progressive causes, and the sentiments of many Black, Latino, Asian and Arab voters…. The results suggest that Democrats may need to adjust their strategy as the complexities of class, generation and experience, and the competing desires of these demographic groups become clear.” • “Become clear”?! Liberal Democrats have been pushing identity politics for decades. And only now the “complexities” become clear? What were they paying all the strategists for, anyhow?

RussiaGate

“REPORT: John Durham Dropping His Investigations into Spygate, “Worried About Blowback From Joe Biden'” [Gateway Pundit]. I hate the quote these guys, but their one of the few venues covering it…

Obama Legacy

UPDATE That’s a hell of an act. What do you call it?

The Democrats!

Realignment and Legitimacy

“Rethinking the future of American capitalism” [McKinsey & Company]. “Capitalism’s effectiveness in directing capital formation toward the most promising investments has implications for market structure and concentration of economic power.” • Why do we assume this? Uber? Unicorns? There’s so much stupid money sloshing around we don’t know where to invest it, and at the same time we can’t build a new Amtrak tunnel under the Hudson when we know the existing tunnel is doomed. Or take a look at years of underinvestment in public health. Why do we we assume capital formation isn’t in crisis, along with everything else? And isn’t “promising” doing a lot of work, there?

UPDATE “Dynamite German film charts the banality of always looking for meaning in Hitler” [Times of Israel]. “The film draws parallels from the 1940s to today, in ways that are not really up for debate. A section on what Hitler’s use of cutting-edge microphones did for him juxtaposed with Trump’s versatility on Twitter is just plain interesting, and even folks who voted for the guy would have to agree…. Keep in mind that all footage of Hitler was produced by Hitler himself. He made it to propagate his ideology and to preserve it for generations to come. So when we make documentaries based on this material, we are, in a way, propagating the propaganda… The Soviet representation of Hitler was fascinating. Stalin had this whole thing, which we include in the film, about how he didn’t shoot himself, he poisoned himself “like a bitch.” Really saying he wasn’t a real man, a whole machismo angle. Of course, so much of our understanding about Hitler is from wartime propaganda — ideas like his alleged Jewish roots, or a drug addict, or he only had one testicle. In many cases, these are also fabrications.” • The whole interview is well worth a read. Interesting true fact about Hitler’s microphones.

UPDATE “‘The Meaning of Hitler’ Review: Terrifying Proof That Fascism Can Happen Anywhere” [Yahoo Entertainment]. “The movie’s ultimate thesis — that Nazis were normal people who did awful things — doesn’t exactly unearth new insights into the nature of the Third Reich, but it lingers on the humanity of Hitler just enough to bolster its disturbing raison d’être. Whether that comes from closeups of the shoddy watercolors from his failed first career as a street artist (for which an art historian offers a blunt assessment) or roaming the mountainous regions where he forged his ethereal man-of-the-Aryan-people brand, ‘The Meaning of Hitler’ excels at assembling an exploratory nonfiction biopic.”

UPDATE I support the tropes:

Well, we should certainly include them in the training sets of AI moderators on social media.

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.

Manufacturing: “November 2020 Empire State Manufacturing Index Declined” [Econintersect]. “The Empire State Manufacturing Survey index declined but remained in expansion… The Empire State Manufacturing Survey index declined but remained in expansion.”

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Tech: “HP: That print-free-for-life deal we promised you? Well, now it’s pay-per-month to continue using your printer ink” [The Register]. “For users who don’t need to print much, and to lure folks into the subscription system, HP marketed a print-free-for-life tier that cost nothing, though it was limited to 15 pages a month, and $1 per 10 additional pages. The idea being: you buy a printer, you sign up for the Instant Ink free tier, and get enough supplies gratis to print a few things a month during the device’s lifetime. Well, not anymore: the free tier is being scrapped, and now folks have to pay. Below is a typical email sent to customers at the end of last month. One print-free-for-life reader told us he has to start paying HP a monthly fee from December 26, or his printer will stop working unless he buys his own fresh cartridges. The fees start from $0.99 a month for 15 pages, just like the free tier albeit with the ability to rollover up to 45 unused pages.”

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Today’s Fear & Greed Index: 67 Greed (previous close: 59 Greed) [CNN]. One week ago: 52 (Neutral). (0 is Extreme Fear; 100 is Extreme Greed). Last updated Nov 16 at 1:40pm.

Rapture Index: Closes up one on leadership. “The potential win by the Democrats has upgraded this category” [Rapture Ready]. Record High, October 10, 2016: 189. Current: 181. (Remember that bringing on the rapture is a good thing, so high is better.) I would have expected “Beast Government” to be popping with Biden’s election. “Leadership” seens a little anodyne.

The Biosphere

“How To Spot Wildlife In The City: Tips From An Urban Naturalist” [Euronews]. “With British towns teeming with wildlife, I started to realise that becoming an urban naturalist has never been easier – and anyone can do it. Mental health experts have shown that spending time in nature can be extremely positive for our wellbeing and it gets us away from the daily stress and pressures of city lifestyle. Crucially, the more of us take an interest in the wildlife in our cities, the more local government will have to plan with animals in mind. We’ll demand cleaner waterways, more trees and larger green spaces. Bricks can be modified into homes for migratory swifts and insects can benefit too. For instance, tree bumblebees that have moved through Europe into the UK, are currently nesting in a bird box in my garden. Fascinating, charismatic species can be found right next to where you live. By taking an interest in our local ecosystems, learning about the species that surround us, and preserving our most biodiverse regions, we can ensure a sustainable future for all city-dwellers. The first step is to get outside and look.” • I’m sure this is true everywhere, not just the UK!

UPDATE “Salty rivers, failed durian trees and waves consuming the shore: Climate change realities hit Gulf of Thailand” [Channel News Asia]. “Thailand is a low lying country, which is extremely vulnerable to sea level rise driven by climate change. Combined with coastal erosion and long periods of drought, the lack of fresh water, especially in provinces close to the sea, is becoming problematic. ‘It’s natural that the amount of saltwater mass intrusion depends on the fresh water that comes from the mountains. If the freshwater mass is big, it will push the salt water out,’ said Assistant Professor Payom Rattanamanee, a riverine and coastal engineer at Prince of Songkla University. ‘But in drought season, when the fresh water doesn’t have power, the salt water which has more density will push itself into canals and rivers more,’ he said. As a result, underground water resources have been contaminated, important river systems face serious saltwater intrusion and farmers are seeing their crops fail. Critically, some drinking water resources, including in the capital city, are turning saline.”

UPDATE “Satellite observations reveal extreme methane leakage from a natural gas well blowout” [PNAS]. “Emissions from the fossil fuel industry are one of the major sources of atmospheric methane. Gas leakages due to accidents in the oil and gas sector can release large amounts of methane within short periods of time. Although these emissions are very challenging to monitor, satellite measurement platforms offer a promising approach by regularly scanning the entire globe. This study demonstrates this capability of satellite measurements by reporting atmospheric measurements of methane emission from a natural gas well blowout in Ohio in 2018. Assuming a constant emission rate during the whole event, we find the total methane emission from the 20-d blowout to be equivalent to a substantial fraction of the annual total anthropogenic emission of several European countries.” • Here’s video footage. Yes, it’s fracking. Of course.

UPDATE “How a Human Cousin Adapted to a Changing Climate” [New York Times]. “The change [in chewing muscles] would have been the result of microevolution, or an evolutionary change occurring within a species. Such a morphological change, the scientists said, was likely the result of P. robustus adapting to that changing climate, with members of the species who were able to get enough nutrition from a change in their food supply surviving, and passing their traits to offspring.” • So there’s hope, then!

Health Care

“Moderna says its coronavirus vaccine is 94.5% effective against COVID-19, a crucial victory in the fight against the pandemic” [Business Insider]. “The upstart biotech Moderna announced the success Monday morning in a press release, saying its vaccine was 94.5% effective at preventing COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus. An independent group of experts found clear signs of effectiveness after reviewing preliminary data from an ongoing 30,000-person study, Moderna said…. Moderna’s analysis was based on 95 COVID-19 cases, while Pfizer’s review included 94 cases. Neither company’s data has been published in a scientific journal, and both are still collecting more information on how safe their shots are.” • So not time to declare victory yet.

“2nd virus vaccine shows overwhelming success in U.S. tests” [Associated Press]. “Pfizer’s [vaccine] must be kept at ultra-cold temperatures — around minus 94 degrees Fahrenheit. Moderna’s vaccine also starts off frozen, but the company said Monday it can be thawed and kept in a regular refrigerator for 30 days, easing that concern.”

“An mRNA Vaccine against SARS-CoV-2 — Preliminary Report” [Nature]. The article is dated November 12, 2020. Weirdly, there’s also an Editor’s Note: “This article was published on July 14, 2020, at NEJM.org.” “We conducted a phase 1, dose-escalation, open-label trial including 45 healthy adults, 18 to 55 years of age, who received two vaccinations, 28 days apart, with mRNA-1273 in a dose of 25 μg, 100 μg, or 250 μg. There were 15 participants in each dose group…. The mRNA-1273 vaccine induced anti–SARS-CoV-2 immune responses in all participants, and no trial-limiting safety concerns were identified. These findings support further development of this vaccine.” • This the Moderna vaccine

“How to Avoid a Surprise Bill for Your Coronavirus Test” [New York Times]. “Congress wrote rules in March that aimed to make coronavirus testing free for all Americans. Patients, with or without insurance, have found holes in those new coverage programs. They’ve faced bills that range from a few dollars to over $1,000. I’ve spent much of the past four months collecting patients’ bills related to coronavirus. As part of that project, I’ve read through more than 100 patient stories about coronavirus tests. Many patients are happy to report no charge at all, while others have been billed large unexpected fees or denied claims related to coronavirus tests. The surprise bills have hit uninsured Americans as well as those with robust coverage. The health data firm Castlight estimates that 2.4 percent of coronavirus test bills leave some share of the charge to consumers, which means there could be millions of patients facing fees they did not expect. These are some simple steps you can take to lower your chances of becoming one of them.” Step one: “If you can, get tested at a public site.” • Whaddya know.

“Surging virus cases get a shrug in many Midwestern towns” [Associated Press]. “‘We have an 18-year-old and a 16-year-old, and we certainly believe this is an important time of life to maybe shine a little bit,’ [Jay Stibbe] said. “We’re trying to create as much normalcy as we can. We try not to live in fear. We’ve traveled. We go out to dinner.” In Plattsmouth, Nebraska, Karen Prohaska, 76, said she generally doesn’t wear a mask in her downtown purse and jewelry shop but will put one on at the request of a customer. When customers come into the store with a face covering, she asks if they’d like her to don one as well. Most say no and ask if it’s OK for them to remove theirs. ‘I hope that I don’t get the virus, but I’ve never really been a germophobe,’ Prohaska said. The pandemic hasn’t stopped Mary Gerteisen, of Eagle, Nebraska, from visiting her 96-year-old father on weekends to watch football. Gerteisen said she understands the risks, given her father’s age and vulnerability, but she also weighed the fact that he’s in the early stages of dementia and often believes family members have abandoned him. ‘There are times when I think that I do need to take the pandemic more seriously,’ she said. ‘But I want to see my dad, and I don’t know much longer I have with him. I would love for him to live to 100-some years old, but if he comes down with (the virus), he’s lived a good, long life.” • “Maybe shine a little bit” is so, so sad…

Heh heh:

First, do no harm, eh?

The replication crisis:

It would be nice if we were planning to avoid this:

Our Famously Free Press

“This tool could act as an early warning system for harmful conspiracy theories” [Fast Company]. “But how can you tell if an emerging narrative on social media is an unfounded conspiracy theory? It turns out that it’s possible to distinguish between conspiracy theories and true conspiracies by using machine learning tools to graph the elements and connections of a narrative. These tools could form the basis of an early warning system to alert authorities to online narratives that pose a threat in the real world. The culture analytics group at the University of California, which I and Vwani Roychowdhury lead, has developed an automated approach to determining when conversations on social media reflect the telltale signs of conspiracy theorizing. We have applied these methods successfully to the study of Pizzagate, the COVID-19 pandemic, and anti-vaccination movements. We’re currently using these methods to study QAnon.” • Not RussiaGate?

Zeitgeist Watch

“How Economists Can Enhance Their Scientific Creativity, Engagement and Impact” [Confessions of a Supply-Side Liberal]. ” I am offering a six-week program (on Zoom) to enhance your personal scientific creativity, engagement and impact in economics.” • Mainstream economists need coaching now?

Guillotine Watch

Do all 1%-ers have terrible taste?

“Wells Fargo offers Native American designs on credit cards” [Indian Country]. “Wells Fargo said the campaign stems from its commitment to future generations….” • Oh.

Class Warfare

“Rule by Data: The End of Markets?” (PDF) [Katharina Pistor, Law and Contemporary Problems]. “This Article explores data as a source and, in their processed variant, as a means of governance that will likely replace both markets and the law. Discussing data not as an object of transactions or an object of governance, but as a tool for governing others on a scale that rivals that of nation states with their law, seems a fitting topic for a special issue that is devoted to the legal construction of markets. Here, I argue that while it may well be the case that law constitutes markets, markets are not the only way in which economic relations may be organized, and law is not the only feasible mode of governing these relations. Central planning under socialism posed an alternative, which proved ultimately non-viable. The rise of big tech companies (Big Tech) and their accumulation of vast amounts of data offers yet another possibility: the rule by data.” • The first paragraph. Throws down the gauntlet, doesn’t it?

UPDATE Mutual aid:

News of the Wired

Oone thing about Gritty: He does not have zozobra:

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

RM write: “I collected these Oregon White Truffles in Pacific City, Oregon. Additional treasure include a nice haul of King Boletes and a small bag of magic. It was a good morning. Oregon has a medical psilocybin measure on the ballot. Getting that passed would be a good first step.” It passed!

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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.

202 comments

  1. petal

    Glad you caught the “access to justice” bit. The article just had so much potential that I couldn’t include it all.

    Reply
      1. Tom Doak

        My son and I were talking about the “access” thing yesterday (as he was paying $170 for his COVID test), and I noted that everyone with or without insurance has access to healthcare – provided they have the $$$ to pay for it.

        Reply
    1. Kurtismayfield

      I am going to start “The Church of Data”, with Gibson as it’s prophet. At this point his cyberpunk dystopian vision is looking on point. We can all pray for the “Great Reset” instead of the Rapture like the evangelicals do.

      Reply
      1. John

        From what I know of the “Great Reset” it is not something for which I would pray? We seem to be in the opening stages of what Gibson called “The Jackpot”; pandemic, climate change, economy going to hell in a hand-basket for the vast majority. What’s to reset?

        Reply
        1. Kurtismayfield

          The whole point of neoliberalism, just like evangelism, is to convince yourself “Hey, the bad stuff can’t happen to me!”. The self delusion is the same whether it is the Rapture or the Great Reset, so let’s be honest with ourselves!

          Reply
          1. ambrit

            If we were the least bit honest, we’d be sitting in a FEMA Re-education Camp. [Threat to Public Order and all that.]

            Reply
    2. clarky90

      Re: “This tool could act as an early warning system for harmful conspiracy theories.”

      I want this tool! I’ve been suspicious, of what increasingly smell like con(job)spiracies…..

      (1) “The cream rises to the top.”
      (2) Prosperity trickles down from “the top”.
      (3) “innovation”
      (4) “charitable foundations”
      (5) “green/eco anything”
      (6) “conversations”
      (7) “wellness”
      (8……………

      Reply
      1. clarky90

        OMG! After only 10 minutes of wearing the new, “conspiracy sniffing, nose enhancement tech”, I believe I may have stepped in …. a conspiracy?

        “Joe Biden’s cancer charity spent more than $3.7million on staff salaries but distributed ZERO towards research grants over two years, tax filings reveal”

        https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-8950275/amp/Joe-Bidens-cancer-charity-spent-3-7million-staff-salaries.html

        “The Biden Cancer Initiative was created after Joe’s oldest son, Beau Biden, died in 2015 after suffering from a brain cancer diagnosis.

        Biden led Obama’s cancer task force while serving as vice president.

        After leaving office 2017, the Biden Cancer Initiative continued in it’s quest to find cancer treatments….”

        Reply
        1. Arizona Slim

          Okay, that does it. I am in the wrong business.

          Stay tuned for the startup of Slim’s [Fill in the Blank] Initiative. Because I always wanted to pay myself a big salary and have nothing to show for it.

          Reply
          1. ambrit

            Sorry. Back in the day, we used to remark that leisure suits were the cancer. The more cynical among us averred that the leisure suits were but cancer packaging. We also had something called “Disco,” which, as the name plainly states, was a form of spinal injury. In disco, the question, “How low can you go?” often was answered with, “Flat on the floor!”
            (Disco does have a bad rap, I’ll agree. Some of the best dance places in New Orleans were the Gay Discos in the French quarter. Some of the things I saw there….)

            Reply
        2. Alex Cox

          A conspiracy is an agreement by two or more people to commit a crime.

          Presumably, what Biden’s cancer “charity” did would be considered legal.

          Reply
    3. Lee

      It is notable in this regard that California voters rejected the bail by algorithm proposition 25 in favor of retaining the admittedly unfair money bail system.

      The computer programs, already used in many counties, consider such factors as a defendant’s past crimes, work history, drug use and community ties. Such data could result in bias against racial minorities, according to a study by the nonprofit Pretrial Justice Institute. That issue led the American Civil Liberties Union to remain neutral on Prop. 25, while some other groups favoring abolition of bail opposed the ballot measure.

      But supporters of Prop. 25 cited a follow-up law, SB36, that requires counties to examine their risk assessments at least once every three years to determine their accuracy and any adverse impact based on gender, race or ethnicity. San Francisco Chronicle

      Reply
  2. Jason Boxman

    Gotta love this. But not on the pandemic.

    Times:

    President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris will speak about their long-term economic plans this afternoon.

    Photo caption:

    President-elect Joe Biden, left, and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris, right, meet virtually with business leaders to discuss the economic recovery in Wilmington, Del., on Monday.

    Certainly not union leaders or workers, though. Or anyone else that might advocate for the plain people. Never that.

    I wonder if business liability protections came up? A great first opportunity for bipartisanship!

    Reply
      1. Jason Boxman

        Is that the UAW of two-tier wage fame? The only people that were disciplined in the last economic calamity were workers.

        Reply
        1. Pat

          Like I said, “friendly” union leaders.

          Pretty sure there wasn’t anyone from say the California nurses union, or any teachers union that has struck in the last decade.

          Reply
      1. ambrit

        Trump would want it structured as a ‘Time Share’ proposition. That way, he could write it off of his taxes as a “legitimate” business expense.

        Reply
  3. Pat

    Perhaps it is my cynicism, but since the Trump administration is making all the arrangements AND that doesn’t change until late January what does it matter if Biden and company doesn’t get right inside until late November or early December. They still have enough information to decide their own benchmarks, goals and necessities of both virus production and distribution. And enough time after they have access to determine what they think has been done right and what should be changed on January 20th.

    As Lambert says nothing stops them from producing their own plan, EXCEPT that would put their plan on record. My personal take is that regardless of the reality the Trump administration will be blamed for every failure for Covid most especially the economic fallout forever. This is just the beginning of the finger pointing. Because they have nothing better, see Europe. Any real response would take more political will and courage than any of these people have shown in their entire lives. They would need to blow off decades of neoliberal baloney when there are no guarantees of anything but that your private jackpot payday will never come. Hell admitting that private insurance hinders public health was a bridge too far, and that is actually a simple problem with a popular solution.

    Reply
    1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

      As above per Matt Stoller, they could point to a single successful Covid strategy in any blue state or district. Oops, there isn’t one. All that yelling you heard on CNN was lies. Volume of Covid reporting on CNN post Nov 3 is down 48%, and they already removed the CNN daily cases meter. It will be memory-holed, and so will you. Thank you for your vote and goodbye.

      Reply
      1. Jen

        Who needs CNN for covid reporting? My neighbor texted me last night about the potential number of cases in our town. We are not on the same side of the political spectrum, and we exchanged notes on doom scrolling. We both agreed that the daily counts in our rural state are horrifying.

        Reply
        1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

          That’s great news and very useful. My point was that CNN amplified and distorted Covid news for political advantage, Cuomo went from super-spreader vector in New York to the hero of Covid, Ron Klain went from epidemic denier in March to Biden’s top Covid man. Good to hear more people are finding information channels outside the MSM because our lives and futures depend on it. I happen to think “the truth” is like a prism, look at it from only one angle and you could say “a prism is a perfect triangle” and you would be 100% correct, look at it from only one other angle and you could say “a prism is a perfect rectangle” and you would also be 100% correct. Look at it from a third angle with the light just right and you could say “a prism is a perfect rainbow” and you would also be 100% correct. Only by taking in all three views do you get a true idea of what a prism is.

          Reply
          1. jr

            I can’t count the number of times I’ve heard people here in Manhattan say that Cuomo did a great job. People who I suspect didn’t know anything about him to begin with other than he is the governor and his failed attempt at cloning has a TV show. A friend displays a “Cuomo-sexual” mask on her coat rack, a two-fer: Woke and politically uninformed. (Otherwise she is a wonderful person.) When I mention how he shut down rural hospitals and therefore undermined the states responsibility to prepare for a pandemic, along with a million other things, she nods in a concerned manner.

            Reply
        2. Lambert Strether Post author

          > We are not on the same side of the political spectrum, and we exchanged notes on doom scrolling. We both agreed that the daily counts in our rural state are horrifying.

          Thank you. I hope the information here at NC helps.

          Reply
    2. Starry Gordon

      All we’re getting right now is whinging about Republican non-cooperation.’

      In other words, Obama’s third term.

      Reply
      1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

        There’s only one line you need to read in his new 700 page doorstop book: Trump voters “were spooked by a black man in the White House”. The man is as racist as the day is long.

        Reply
        1. ambrit

          Did he really make that double double entendre? A “spook” spooks Trump voters? Spook having multiple meanings in American slang just magnifies the semantic carnage. Who ever ghosted the tome for Obama is playing us big time.

          Reply
    3. tegnost

      My guess is they had a 3 month roll out nudge marketing plan all set move opinions toward whatever goal it is that they can’t say in plain language, I mean how would it go over if they just came out and said “we’re handing gov to big tech/fintech wall st., all of your bills will triple (land lines were way cheaper than cell phones, plus they didn’t track you, my bill is at least triple, and rent? so yes, triple, better start scrimping now) and you will have no job security.Your privacy is already gone (mentioned in a phone call I might get an exercise bike to recover from knee thing, NC sidebar like an hour later has exercise bikes). Also don’t forget that if you refuse to listen to npr, watch pbs or any mainstream cable news you are a stupid racist. Full Stop. It’s gonna be ugly.

      Reply
    1. The Rev Kev

      Even the adjacent rich do not have great taste. That is why we have the McMansion Hell website-

      https://mcmansionhell.com/

      What should be remembered is that these homes are furnished not so much for their own tastes but to impress others. It is a status tick box that has to be ticked if you want to fit in or even stand out.

      Reply
      1. Wukchumni

        I’ve noticed that there is a tendency for more recently built ridiculously large garage mahals to have a lot more windows than they should have, why i’m not sure?

        Reply
  4. Judith

    “At the very least, couldn’t Biden be addressing the nation or something? All we’re getting right now is whinging about Republican non-cooperation. That’s true, but you have to step up and lead anyhow!”

    — Lambert.

    Didn’t Obama just write a book about how to whinge instead of actually doing something? Biden did say nothing would change.

    Reply
      1. JBird4049

        Volume… One? Does the man think he is another TR or FDR? Even Herbert Hoover seems to have had a more interesting life than Obama. I think that politics nowadays is like watching Mr. Ripley Goes to Washington.

        Reply
      2. Brunches with Cats

        I saw a clip of him yesterday on a Brian Stelter panel discussion that automatically popped up in my YouTube queue after I watched Taibbi and Hedges (so much for “rule by data”). Essentially blamed “fake news” for why 72 million people voted for Trump and said Our Democracy™ can’t function when voters are operating on two different sets of facts — not an untrue statement, but not in the way he thinks (if he even believes his own BS).

        Stelter later chimes in that Twitter and FB aren’t censoring, “they’re just trying to clean up some of the craziness.” However, the cake is taken by bloated facsimile of his former self Carl Bernstein arguing that the reason so many Trump voters believe in conspiracy theories is because the media aren’t doing their job, which for a millisecond I thought might lead to a discussion of Russiagate. Silly moi. His complaint was that restraints (wtf?) on using anonymous sources prevented journalists from reporting the truth about Trump, that if they’d been able use off-the-record comments by WH insiders, they could have told the truth that Trump was unfit to be president and a danger to the national security.

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SlWyY9k6Byk

        Reply
      3. Arizona Slim

        ISTR that Ulysses S. Grant got to the point with just one volume. And his is considered to be the best presidential memoir.

        Reply
      4. farmboy

        Cut the ersatz out of Obama’s playlist here, bottom to top
        It’s A Beautiful Day-It’sABeautiful Day
        Pride-U2
        Living for the City-StevieWonder
        Revolution-theBeatles
        Kind of Blue-MilesDavis
        Take a Giant Step-TajMahal
        Everyday I Have the Blues-FleetwoodMac
        My Hometown-BruceSpringsteen
        Like a Rolling Stone-BobDylan
        Why I SingtheBlues-BBKing

        Reply
      5. Temporarily Sane

        It surprises me (though it probably shouldn’t) that multi volume “memoirs” by narcissistic blowhard politicians like B.H. Obama actually turn a profit for their publishers. Who reads this crap and why?

        Reply
  5. Pat

    Oh goody, Harris and Biden talking.
    The bull in Harris intro to Biden was overwhelming.

    But you will be happy to know that there is unity between the Bidens and so many of our corporate leaders, all coming together around the same table…

    All about putting Covid behind us so the serfs can go back to work, and Trump is delaying this.

    Wait a table or a call?

    I cannot go on.

    Reply
  6. John

    “The election’s outcome heralds a decade of grueling trench warfare between the two parties for control of the nation’s direction.”
    Which two parties? Democrans? Republicrats? Exactly how are they different? We really need a party/group/association that actually has a different idea of what the nation’s direction might be.

    Reply
    1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

      Try the nationalists versus the globalists axis. Put your mind to that for a moment, which one is better, high paying jobs or lots of cheap Chinese goods. Or try this one: one team wants to tear down statues of Lincoln and Washington and the other wants to keep them where they are. Or this one: one team believes that children of white parents must bear the original sin of being born, the other does not. Or try this one: one team believes we should be the world’s policeman, the other does not. Or this one: one team believes in freedom of speech, the other thinks Big Tech should do even more censorship. You’d be forgiven if you concluded that one team is for patriotism, freedom and spending our money on home soil for the benefit of US citizens.

      Reply
      1. Phillip Cross

        Or try this one; Most of this country’s problems share the same explanation as this oddity noted by philosopher George Carlin: You never see a SHIT HAPPENS bumper sticker on a Rolls Royce.

        Reply
        1. Temporarily Sane

          Yeah, it’s very easy to get people riled up over foreign bogeymen and other scapegoats while the actual culprits rarely get held to account.

          Love your Wikipedia edits, btw ;-)

          Reply
    2. eg

      “The creatures outside looked from pig to man, and from man to pig, and from pig to man again; but already it was impossible to say which was which.”

      Reply
  7. drumlin woodchuckles

    ” White progressives training their fire ” blah blah blah ” makes me uncomfortable about their allyship” to blah blah blah.

    I am not your Ally. I am not Woke. I never will be. Never Ever.

    “Allyship” is a Cultural Marxish word. I speak English. I don’t speak Cultural Marxish.

    Cry little snowflake.

    Reply
    1. hunkerdown

      She’s a Third Way “thinker” handing out the daily narrative to the MSM troops, same as Roger Ailes did at Fox News. Watch for whiny essays on exactly that theme to come out over the course of this week, just in case you missed the Sunday talking-heads shows.

      Gotta love how “allyship” is so directional these days.

      Reply
      1. drumlin woodchuckles

        At a first grade level, if I must.

        Otherwise, not at all if I can help it.

        Marx/Engels were worthwhile social observers of the economy/society/anti-culture growing up around them through industrialization and big-money-investment concentration.

        But Marx hated farmers and peasants and wanted to see their culture destroyed and see their physical persons turned into “open-sky factory workers” laboring for pay and then for “whatever” on vast factory-in-the-field megafarms. Marx would have approved with drooling delight to see the farmer-cleansing carried out against millions of American farmers and their families starting in 1950.
        He would have orgasmafied himself to see the rise of the corporate megafarm . . . . sitting their ripening for the Final Expropriation.

        And what is the Marxist Labor Theory of Value except the silliest form of quackonomics? If I spend 4 hours digging a hole, and then spend the next 4 hours refilling the hole with the dirt I dug out of it to make the hole to begin with; I have done 8 hours of labor. What have I created? Where is the value?

        Frederick Soddy had a lot useful to say about what “value” is and where “value” comes from in a reality-based theory of bio-physico-nomics.

        Charles Walters and the Raw Materials Economists built on and forward from Frederick Soddy’s understanding of a bio-physical reality-based study of economics.

        The pile of fecal waste known as Karl Marx itself was a vicious anti-semitic paleo-nazi racist anti-semite. A hard-right author named James Goad who enjoys trolling leftists wrote an article about that once. I invite anyone to prove that the quotes attributed to Marx in Goad’s essay are fake, made-up quotes which Marx never really said or wrote. And if someone wants to offer the pro-Marx hasbara that these quotes were taken “out of context”, such Marxo-hasbarists are invited to explain what context would sanctify this kind of Marxonazi racism on Marx’s part. Here is the link.
        https://www.takimag.com/article/was_karl_marx_a_dirty_filthy_rotten_bigot_jim_goad/

        Reply
        1. Mao "No Landlords Now" Zedong

          And what is the Marxist Labor Theory of Value except the silliest form of quackonomics? If I spend 4 hours digging a hole, and then spend the next 4 hours refilling the hole with the dirt I dug out of it to make the hole to begin with; I have done 8 hours of labor. What have I created? Where is the value?

          Oh, so you didn’t do any study yourself and you’re just repeating what other people tell you.

          Reply
          1. Mao "No Landlords Now" Zedong

            The same mode of procedure must obtain with the values of commodities. We must be able to reduce all of them to an expression common to all, and distinguishing them only by the proportions in which they contain that identical measure.

            As the exchangeable values of commodities are only social functions of those things, and have nothing at all to do with the natural qualities, we must first ask: What is the common social substance of all commodities? It is labour. To produce a commodity a certain amount of labour must be bestowed upon it, or worked up in it. And I say not only labour, but social labour. A man who produces an article for his own immediate use, to consume it himself, creates a product, but not a commodity. As a self-sustaining producer he has nothing to do with society. But to produce a commodity, a man must not only produce an article satisfying some social want, but his labour itself must form part and parcel of the total sum of labour expended by society. It must be subordinate to the division of labour within society. It is nothing without the other divisions of labour, and on its part is required to integrate them

            Reply
        2. chuck roast

          Whose Frederick Soddy? Whose Charles Walters? Whose James Goad? Were these your first grade teachers? And whose drumlin woodchuckles? Is he the guy that does ad hominem attacks? Are ad hominem attacks OK around here as long they are directed at dead guys? Is this a new policy? Why did I think that the labor theory of value was a pillar of classical political economy? What’s a Marxonazi? What’s a Marxo-hasbarist? Somebody…wake up the moderator! Somebody just chucked on the floor.

          Reply
        3. Basil Pesto

          The pile of fecal waste known as Karl Marx itself was a vicious anti-semitic paleo-nazi racist anti-semite. A hard-right author named James Goad who enjoys trolling leftists wrote an article about that once. I invite anyone to prove that the quotes attributed to Marx in Goad’s essay are fake, made-up quotes which Marx never really said or wrote. And if someone wants to offer the pro-Marx hasbara that these quotes were taken “out of context”, such Marxo-hasbarists are invited to explain what context would sanctify this kind of Marxonazi racism on Marx’s part. Here is the link.
          https://www.takimag.com/article/was_karl_marx_a_dirty_filthy_rotten_bigot_jim_goad/

          Well, the first example in that essay, a letter from Marx to Engels describing Lassalle as a ‘Jew-N*****’, struck me as pretty extreme, so I decided to look into it. Of course, one can imagine that correspondence between M & E would take place in German, and so it did. The expression Marx uses is Juden-Itzig. You can probably figure out the Juden, Itzig is apparently an archaic, often derogatory way of referring to Jews, derived from the name Isaac. I guess an English equivalent might be Shylock, although that has usurious implications. Not exactly salutary, but a far cry from what Goad makes it out to be. If you wanted something as offensive as N*****, you could go with Jew-K***, but I don’t think that translation is supported by the lexicography from what I can tell. So the translation of ‘Jew-N*****’ is clearly in error. I must say, Herr woodchuckles, I didn’t take you to be so credulous!

          My interest in Marx is mere curiosity. I’ll probably never read him substantially (life’s too short), I don’t subscribe to any -ism so don’t feel compelled to immerse myself in the full extent of his thought and figure out which parts of it have value and which don’t, but nor do I suffer from Marx Derangement Syndrome as you plainly do. So I do hope that nips that ‘Marxo-hasbarist’ retort in the bud.

          As to the question of whether Marx was an anti-semite, a commenter referred to Hal Draper’s work on the question just last week, and I found this, which I believe is what that commenter was referring to. It’s fascinating stuff, throwing up some information about language in the period that I was unaware of. I’d like to see a good-faith rebuttal to Draper on this topic if there is one, but I doubt it’s going to come from… James Goad. Nevertheless, your allyship to my fellow tribesters is noted.

          Reply
        4. TBellT

          What have I created? Where is the value?

          I mean the obvious question is why did you dig the hole and then cover it back up?

          But Marx hated farmers and peasants and wanted to see their culture destroyed and into “open-sky factory workers” laboring for pay […] He would have orgasmafied himself to see the rise of the corporate megafarm

          I’m sorry but I think you’re misunderstanding Marx if you are arguing he would have been a) pro wage labour and b) for the private ownership of natural resources, two of his primary critiques of the emerging capitalist system of the time. He saw these elements of industrial production starting to extend to agriculture, but just like he tried to avoid making any moral value judgements on how capitalism was replacing old modes of production like feudalism I don’t think he would claim these are “positive” developments. Especially since these developments are part of the process that is rapidly driving us to a uninhabitable planet via climate change.

          Good quote from Critique of Gotha that I think relates to both of these points:

          “Labor is not the source of all wealth. Nature is just as much the source of use values (and it is surely of such that material wealth consists!) as labor, which itself is only the manifestation of a force of nature, human labor power. the above phrase is to be found in all children’s primers and is correct insofar as it is implied that labor is performed with the appurtenant subjects and instruments.”

          Reply
        5. TBellT

          What have I created? Where is the value?

          I mean the key question is why you digged the hole and then refilled it?

          see their physical persons turned into “open-sky factory workers” laboring for pay […] He would have orgasmafied himself to see the rise of the corporate megafarm

          Since he had critiques of capitalism that were tied to the wage system and private ownership of natural resources, not sure how you can reasonably draw this exclusion. He believed the emerging system of industrial production being extended to agriculture, but hard to say he would make a positive assessment of this development just like he tried to avoid making a value judgement on capitalism replacing former modes of production like feudalism. Especially since capitalism is now leading us towards a mostly uninhabitable planet via climate change.

          From Critique of the Gotha programe that addresses both of these :

          “Labor is not the source of all wealth. Nature is just as much the source of use values (and it is surely of such that material wealth consists!) as labor, which itself is only the manifestation of a force of nature, human labor power. the above phrase is to be found in all children’s primers and is correct insofar as it is implied that labor is performed with the appurtenant subjects and instruments.”

          Reply
        6. Jonathan Holland Becnel

          Ugh. Gross.

          Lot of BS Identity Politics and not much Economic Substance :(

          Expected more from you, DW

          Lot of hate, I sense

          Reply
    2. Darthbobber

      Don’t recall allyship turning up in any Frankfurt School stuff I ever read. Allyship is where liberalism goes to die. And how it differs practically from noblesse oblige isn’t clear to me.

      Reply
      1. drumlin woodchuckles

        Allyship is reverse noblesse oblige. What Allyship is . . is willing servitude. ” Allies” willingly serve whatever “victim group” kick-or-cause monger has decided to ride that groups’ problems to personal ideological and psychological power. The “Ally” is supposed to serve the needs and wishes of the “victim groups” self-appointed spokes-front. The “Ally” is supposed to give Everything to the “victim group” Front, and is supposed to get precisely nothing back in return.

        Reply
        1. TBellT

          “Everything”? I am not sure you’ve met an “Ally”, precisely how many of them do you think are giving away “Everything”?

          Reply
          1. drumlin woodchuckles

            “Everything” is what is expected from the Ally. Anything less than “everything” makes the “Ally” an incomplete “Ally”, and thus subject to circle-jerk cultural-Maoist criticism and self-criticism and psychological blackmail and extortion on the part of the “victim-group” Front.

            The “Ally” is expected to check its brain, mind, independence of thought, independence of ethics and morals, etc. at the door of the “Struggle”.

            Reply
              1. drumlin woodchuckles

                I’m talking about the new Social Justice Warrior definition of “Ally”, not the old diplomatic definition of “Ally”.

                Reply
        2. Alternate Delegate

          Have noticed quite a lot of this, which is why I don’t do “allying” much anymore.

          Like when acquaintances wanted gay marriage, and I had their backs through thick and thin, and they finally got what they wanted. Now, maybe I’ve been wanting Medicare For All this whole time – and not been shy about asking for it! – but then I feel a stabbing pain in my back and I find a sharp libertarian knife in there with their fingerprints all over it.

          These days, if I’m going to lift a finger for someone, I need some confidence someone’s going to lift a finger for me in return. That’s a two-way road.

          Reply
          1. TBellT

            Most of the fellow gays I know also want Medicare for All, so I’m not sure why you would think we are the ones stabbing you in the back.

            Reply
            1. drumlin woodchuckles

              Perhaps Alternate Delegate received the knife from the Log Mansion Republicans in particular, and the weller-off elements of the Gay Bourgeoisie in semi-particular.

              ( There. See? I can speak some First Grade Marxist when I have to.)

              Reply
              1. TBellT

                Well they never were really his allies anyway, the ally is the vast majority of queer people who aren’t well off Log Cabin republicans. I expect the wealth distribution of the queer community to mostly match that of the broader population, (maybe slightly weighted more towards lower quartiles, given queer youth who get disowned and end up homeless). If that’s the case unfortunately there’s going to be some class traitors.

                I don’t think that means the fight for gay marriage was antagonistic to Medicare for All, merely that it was easier to achieve because there were wealthy people willing to bank roll the fight.

                Reply
                1. drumlin woodchuckles

                  Perhaps “ally” isn’t really the word you want, given the way you are using it in this comment.

                  Perhaps the word you really want is “coalition partner”.

                  Reply
                  1. JBird4049

                    Back before the Clintons and their minions in the DNC extirpated the few remaining actual Democratic leftists in the 90s, back in the 70s and 80s there was an actual Democratic block of those both socially and economically liberal or even leftist. What with the coup by these third way Democrats, all the economic rights and needs were chucked with the poor into the garbage pile.

                    So during the struggle for gay and lesbian rights, from the 60s onwards, there were plenty of people who wanted healthcare for all and those civil rights. The implied quid pro quo was real. That is one of the reasons for the old Democrats like me who were in the party before the Clintonian purge. “Healthcare? What healthcare? Here’s some civil rights though. Just like we promised.“

                    So no. The betrayal was not by the people in the various movements and parties. The knives were wielded by the then new, upcoming, neoliberal leadership.

                    Nice to know that Obama took knife wielding lessons from the older Democrats

                    Reply
          2. Lambert Strether Post author

            I object to the concept “ally” because I think it’s a buried metaphor: Identity politics categories are sovereigns.

            (Funny how we need a new word; solidarity was apparently not on point.)

            Reply
        3. dcblogger

          Allyship is reverse noblesse oblige. What Allyship is . . is willing servitude. ”

          huh? I do not see it that way. I just see it as if a certain group is being singled out for discrimination and persecution, if you are member of the privileged group you just look for ways to support those being persecuted. servitude does not come into to it.

          Reply
          1. drumlin woodchuckles

            Well, that’s the line that Clinton tried to sell in her debate with Sanders. ” If we break up the big banks that won’t do a THING about racism, will it?” Therefor all those non-rich people who suffer from Big Banks should accept Big Bank oppression because curing Big Bank oppression against EVERYbody won’t cure racism against a certain SOMEbody in parTICular.

            Another version of that crap is that the 28 dead coal miners at Upper Big Branch Mine have no complaints. And neither do their surviving loved ones. Because they are all White and therefor they have White Privilege against the persecuted Black or whatever groups. Do you suppose that was those coal-miners-in-a-mine-explosions’ very last thoughts? ” We may all be dead, but at least we have White Privilege”. Do you really think that?

            Reply
                1. TBellT

                  Good reason to avoid taking comment sections and twitter threads too seriously. I see quite a few opinions online that I have never run across among people irl. It’s easier to troll.

                  To the extent I have ever talked to anyone irl with anti-rural views it’s mostly a combination of lack of personal experience and a lack of critical thinking , similar to people I know who express other forms of bigotry.

                  Reply
            1. Aumua

              The truth about all this is really tragic, and it falls between the coloring book lines that you (and many of us) draw. I don’t have the heart right now to try and shed any light on it. I’m sorry.

              Reply
  8. hunkerdown

    Democrats Playing Poker by Jon McNaughton. Big whiff on not calling it “Blue Dogs Playing Poker”, and he also put Bernie at the table, unlike the subject of the work.

    The replication crisis tweet was a replica of the class warfare tweet. Crisis averted?

    Reply
  9. Carolinian

    Re Hitler movie–If you watch Triumph of the Will Hitler seems faintly absurd and indeed that’s how a lot of non German people took him at first. Surely his famous charisma was helped along by liberal doses of fear and intimidation in the background.

    Whereas Trump seems absurd but it’s his opposition that is doing the intimidating–at least if you are in any kind of job where you can be canceled. Good thing Biden is too feeble at this point to start bouncing the globe off his butt the way Chaplin did in The Great Dictator. Some of us worry about the authoritarian tendencies on both sides (but lately more the Democrats). Still here’s betting Americans are far too at odds to be molded into a single Volk.

    Reply
      1. ambrit

        That post is very interesting in that it shows an ongoing power struggle inside the American Establishment. The post asserts that the target of an American law enforcement operation overseas was a CIA computer ‘asset.’ That suggests that someone high up in the American government has a reasonable suspicion that the CIA is “up to no good.”
        That FB takes this post down is also educational about the lines of influence in American politics.

        Reply
    1. ambrit

      One does not need a homogeneous “volk” to achieve domination in a country. Just a segment of the population properly motivated and organized.

      Reply
  10. Mark Gisleson

    Words cannot express how bitterly disappointed I’ll be if Durham censors his report.

    More than anyone on this planet, liberals need to have their noses rubbed in their bad actions. If no one is ever held accountable, nothing will ever get better.

    Reply
    1. pjay

      “If”? Sounds like it’s a done deal.

      They did what they were supposed to do – run out the clock while pretending to investigate.

      I’ll say it once again. Anyone who thought William Barr would actually *expose* a major intelligence operation rather than cover it up does not know much about his career in government. I’d love to be wrong. But I bet I’m not.

      Reply
      1. drumlin woodchuckles

        I wonder if the reason Barr visited that jail where Epstein was living was to give all the relevant personnel inside that jail that they had one more chance to ” do the job” and this time they’d better make sure they “finished the job”.

        Reply
  11. 430MLK

    Are poems post-able? If so, in thanks of the recent bird song addition, a bird poem from my friend Wes:

    Catbird:

    Today I wait
    on a single word
    unknown to me
    that I open with
    my mouth
    and pass through
    like a cedar bough.
    Where the utterance
    ends I perch
    because I am
    going to die but
    can’t yet appreciate it.
    Birds have always
    understood this migration
    as imperative.
    Take the catbird
    practicing her medicine.
    The hoarse meeurrs
    and cackling kedekekeks.
    The deep whurfs,
    all signaling life
    at once glorious
    on a high branch
    then just gone
    in a hedge.

    Reply
    1. French75

      Quite nice!

      Has your buddy Wes been reading much Dick Barnes or CK Williams? The mid-poem rhetorical turn to “[natural creature or phenomenon] has always [wisdom-related verb]” is a common element of their style (and they’re among my favorites, so if Wes sent any others you’d like to share, I’d like to read them)

      Reply
      1. 430MLK

        I’ll ask him about Barnes and Williams (and pass along your enjoyment of his poem). I know he’s a Gary Snyder fan and often calls (I think after Snyder?) what he does, ‘A bear sh_t in the woods, poems’. He usually posts via Facebook but occasionally I steal them to post on the greater web. This one would have been topical for both birds and Trump. More topical than birds, but you can fish around from there to some of his other stuff I stole.

        https://noclexington.com/arent-fishes-great/

        Reply
    2. Lambert Strether Post author

      > Are poems post-able?

      … gone / in a hedge.

      Like Bear Stearns? [rimshot. laughter]

      NOTE Do remember that there is an awful lot of bad poetry in the world (clue: Your feelings, as such, have no artistic value or merit whatever. It is also not important to be sincere). I like this poem, however, and I’m pleased the bird songs inspired it.

      Reply
  12. christofay

    Is Durham really not going to report on Russiagate? I find this the most frightening news. There really is no justice. With the democrats able to manufacture the news and election results; that’s a completely out of control corrupt club.

    Reply
    1. Bob Tetrault

      Suggest that you please cite your sources for these allegations.

      It’s also possible that Durham couldn’t find anything, right?

      Right??

      Reply
      1. tegnost

        Sure, but the reason to have a report is to find out whats there, and report, and reporting there’s nothing there is ok. At the same time I’m pretty sick of it all and am ready to move on to the fertile pasture (because of all the manure of course) of the biden harris administration, with the gloves off. I see as a second chance to get into the nitty gritty of the extremely effective elite dem graft and corruption. No holds barred this time. Biden would not be president without votes from many bernie supporters, and I for one am champing at the bit. These people suck, and it’s about time it landed on them. And the beauty of it? It’s very like an alcoholic, at some point you just say “ok, you wanna crash your life, go ahead.” And they do, and the dems will, like the sun comes up in the east.

        Reply
    1. drumlin woodchuckles

      But if it looks like her career has ended in the Senate, she could be a very good Bureau-Head of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau ( if I remember its name right).

      Reply
    2. The Rev Kev

      You mean that she back-stabbed Sanders in that debate on behalf of the DNC several months ago and there was not a skerrick of gratitude on behalf of the establishment? I’m shocked, shocked!

      Reply
    1. Pat

      From that article it appears that the contribution was limited to Jill Biden showing up at a potential donors event and urging others to give. I am sure if their foundation had donated anything substantial, there would have been some mention of it. But nice of her to notice something should be done.

      Reply
          1. tegnost

            hm. joe got 400,000 a year from penn in 2017-2018
            https://www.inquirer.com/news/joe-biden-penn-salary-tax-returns-20190709.html

            FTA…
            “Asked about Biden’s duties, a Penn spokesman referred to a 2017 news release in which the school announced his new role and touted his ability to expand its global imprint and work on international affairs. “His unsurpassed understanding of diplomacy and far-ranging grasp of world issues make him an ideal fit to further Penn’s global engagement,” Penn President Amy Gutmann said in the release.

            Biden, in the release, said he would continue his work “promoting and protecting the post-WWII international order that keeps the United States safe and strong.””

            Is it me or is there a rash of highly paid /no credentials/no show work going on?
            ala CalPERS? I wonder if there’s an onshore tax haven somewhere that could be hiding some assets for pres elect? I don’t believe for one second his net worth on leaving the white house was between 330,000 and 1 million. That essentially means they owned a house and nothing else. For the senator from MBNA? But kaching since then anyway…

            Reply
  13. Geoffrey Dewan

    The culture analytics group at the University of California, which I and Vwani Roychowdhury lead, has developed an automated approach to determining when conversations on social media reflect the telltale signs of conspiracy theorizing. We have applied these methods successfully to the study of Pizzagate, the COVID-19 pandemic, and anti-vaccination movements. We’re currently using these methods to study QAnon.” • Not RussiaGate?

    Along with “Social Security Bankruptcy” “Deficit Reduction” and “TSA”

    Reply
    1. Alternate Delegate

      Tim Berners Lee also warned against “walled gardens” on the internet. I can only see the open internet. This link goes nowhere for me.

      Reply
      1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

        Fear not, Biden’s top “media affairs” appointee Richard Stengel says “we need to rethink the First Amendment”. In other news, the other 26 amendments were nullified…because you can’t even get to them if you don’t have the First. But “Orange Hitler” is the real threat, mm-k, doop di doop di do

        Reply
        1. The Rev Kev

          You put Richard Stengel’s ideas together with the Democratic elite and what do you get? A promise that people will have access to those 27 Amendments. And the more money & connections that you have, the better your access.

          Reply
  14. JBird4049

    >>>So there’s hope,

    Well, yes. IIRC, our direct ancestors lived further north in an area where the environment repeatedly ping-ponged back and forth between dry, streams, rivers, swamps, and lakes, from savanna, brush, forest, marsh to jungle. I would say that encouraged flexibility.

    Reply
  15. Geo

    “Biden may be the last Democrat who can reliably hold those Rust Belt states as the party waits for demographic change and shifting suburban attitudes to bring the Sun Belt states more securely within their reach.”

    Dems are also waiting for Continental Drift to fix gerrymandering.

    Reply
  16. Wukchumni

    “Wells Fargo offers Native American designs on credit cards” [Indian Country]. “Wells Fargo said the campaign stems from its commitment to future generations….”
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    I heard that if you aren’t a Native American, Wells Fargo will be only too happy to open a fake account in whatever tribe they think you should be a member of…

    Reply
  17. Brunches with Cats

    Identity politics watch:

    Dem Billionaire Donors Club* argues that white women who voted for Trump have to accept responsibility for their role in maintaining white supremacy. Using exit polls to claim that 55% of white women voted for Trump, which is disingenuous at best, deliberately inflammatory at worst. Responses on Ryan Grim Twitter thread are effing unbelievable:
    https://twitter.com/ryangrim/status/1327970666222657543

    * The interviewee is an advisor to the Democracy Alliance, which coordinates the annual agenda for donors each year. Cynic that I am, I go with “deliberately inflammatory.”

    Reply
    1. Amfortas the hippie

      well…i guess this is what Team Blue will be yelling about for the foreseeable future.
      “bringing the country together”….except for those people….
      thankfully(i suppose), where i live, you can hardly find a living, breathing member of the demparty with a geiger counter.
      the “fee” for being able to avoid(IRL) the hilltrolls and pumas and such is putting up with Magaites and randians.
      sigh.
      and people wonder why i’m content to just stay out here on the farm…

      Reply
      1. JBird4049

        Yeah, every demographic except non-college educated White males increasing its percentage of people who voted for the Orange Man. This includes Blacks and Hispanics.

        Good. The Democratic Party deserves to die. It probably won’t as it is being mainlined all that sweet, sweet Heroin money while on life support. Perhaps one could describe the vast infusion of money as financial formaldehyde. I can see it now. The Undead Democratic Party shambling along doing a sort of play acting or even doing cosplay as a political party.

        I wonder if all those minorities who voted for Trump will be described as self-hating.

        Reply
        1. Brunches with Cats

          “This includes Blacks and Hispanics.”

          Someone on Ryan Grimm’s Twitter thread made that objection … met with immediate cries of, “Not the same thing! Just shows how racist you are.”

          Reply
          1. JBird4049

            Oh, another version of those Deplorables, only for black folks. So the Party can’t have failed, it can only have been failed. What an ass.

            Reply
      2. Brunches with Cats

        Can’t find ’em with a geiger counter. LOL. When I moved to this area, I registered D so I could vote in the primary. A few months passed, and there was a knock on my door, a representative from Ds wanting to know if I’d run as an officer for the town Dem Party — begging me, actually, as she’d been doing it for years, there being something like five Ds in the entire town, and she was burned out. I told her I could almost guarantee I’d piss somebody off within two weeks and that it wasn’t a good idea.

        Not a lot of MAGA types here. Mostly libertarians. But I’ve always kept to myself. I could have written the book on social distancing and self-isolation.

        Nonetheless, it’s sad to see how lost people here are when cut off from their community. They had to cancel the annual Labor Day picnic, pancake breakfasts, school sports. No Sunday services or church volunteer work. The library is closed. I’m wondering what will happen when the trickle of downstaters turns into a steady stream of COVID refugees heading north for cheaper real estate and schools with the space to limit classes to groups of ten. If the strong sense of community doesn’t survive the shutdown, I fear we’ll be in for the Milagro Bean Field Wars.

        As for the “white women who voted for Donald Trump,” I can virtually guarantee (I’m psychic, you know) that trying to shame the women around here into “[accepting] their role in maintaining white supremacy” will get the complete opposite of the intended result. And it could be passed down for several generations along with the secret to Aunt Betty’s flaky pie crust.

        Reply
  18. Wukchumni

    UPDATE “Could Elizabeth Warren Be the Next Treasury Secretary?” [The Nation]. • No.
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    I heard if Liz doesn’t get a cabinet position, Wells Fargo wants her mug to be on a Cherokee credit card, wampum if you got em’.

    Reply
  19. Jessica

    “Capitalism’s effectiveness in directing capital formation toward the most promising investments”
    In many financial meltdowns, for example 1929 or 2008, the proximate trigger for the meltdown is some action by financial authorities attempting to gently let down what they have come to recognize as a dangerous bubble. I have long wondered what would happen if they didn’t do that. What if they just kept on pumping the bubble? (As they are doing now with QE)
    My best guess is that if the financial authorities are willing, they can blow the bubble as long and as large as they want. The effects won’t manifest in the financial numbers themselves but in the relationship between those numbers and the underlying physical reality. In other words, the entire capital allocation mechanism will be so severely warped as to cause enduring damage to the basic structure of the economy.
    One good example is the continued rise of real estate prices, even during the Covid depression, as set against what is going to happen to the metropolitan NY area the day that the train tunnels under the Hudson fail. Or the day when we need to manufacture something, N95 masks for example, and not only the manufacturing capacity is no longer present, but even the more basic engineering competence required to re-establish that manufacturing capacity has deteriorated.
    More broadly, unless the US elites are content to play second fiddle to the Chinese Communist Party, the US is going to have to re-industrialize. This will run quite contrary to the financialization of the past decades and all the attendant social effects, for example the conversion of universities from research and training institutions into financial institutions whose main function is to generate high-paying jobs for administrators and to lure rich foreign students.
    It is highly unlikely that this drastic change in direction can be performed by the current political duopoly, whose main purpose after all is to stay out of the business of governing so that finance can govern.
    This emerging need to re-industrialize will be a powerful force shaping events going forward, just as the elimination of the communist rivals and the addition of massive amounts of extremely low-wage labor into the labor pool available for capital in the core economies were for the past 4 decades.

    Reply
    1. JBird4049

      Just because most of the American political establishment is to the right of the Iron Chancellor, Otto von Bismarck…

      Reply
  20. jr

    zozobra: the story of jr’s life

    Reading that piece was like reading my biography. My GF was nonplussed at how calm I’ve been through most of the pandemic; I told her I’ve always lived in turmoil. Now I have a name for it, thanks NC!

    Reply
    1. Jonathan Holland Becnel

      Yuuuuup.

      Same here.

      I already survived lifes shipwreck. Everything else is Lagniappe :)

      Gives me a chance to be strong for others who are panicking.

      Reply
  21. Jessica

    Those willing to support imperial violence against people abroad and at home as long as it advances the careers of others belonging to their own demographic makes me deeply uncomfortable about their allyship with the human race. Actually, it just makes them enemies.

    Reply
  22. Glen

    This takes a strong stomach to read:

    Review: Obama’s memoir is a masterful lament over the fragility of hope
    https://news.yahoo.com/review-barack-obamas-memoir-masterful-213000195.html

    Here’s where I did that little throw-up-in-your-mouth thing:
    “The necessity of using additional billions in taxpayer dollars to bail out unsavory bankers in order to prevent a deeper economic collapse offered an early lesson, Obama writes: “Sometimes you were just screwed, and the best you could do was have a stiff drink and light up a cigarette.”

    This is JUST CRAP. Everybody knew it was fraud and corruption running rampant on Wall St and NOT ONE PERSON was prosecuted. Plus, every CEO and C suite of a bank that was bailed out should have been forced out.

    People seem to have forgotten that some estimates of the costs of the Wall St bailouts exceeded all prior total debts of the US government going back 206 years:

    Bailout Costs vs Big Historical Events
    https://ritholtz.com/2009/06/bailout-costs-vs-big-historical-events/

    And we were told by people like Larry Summers that the Wall St people not only could not be fired, but we had to honor the multi-million dollar contract bonuses (because contracts.) All while the UAW PENSIONS were being renegotiated in the Senate for the automotive bailout (because blue collar, so [family blog] them.)

    It’s clear that Obama sold out the American people that voted for him – SOLD THEM OUT. All they wanted for him was to do was UPHOLD THE LAW, and prosecute. Heck, even Enron got prosecuted for fraud under W. I’m sure they would have got away with it under Obama.

    Reply
    1. JBird4049

      Careful there, Glen with that false narrative. Next you’ll be saying that organizations like Pravda The New York Times‘… news stories… about are not accurate. Why, Twitter, Faceborg, and Google all might have to quiet your false speech. Don’t worry. It’s merely moderation, don’t you know?

      Reply
      1. Glen

        Since Judith Miller and the NY Times lied and help get us into the Iraq war, that’s sorta old news. And I don’t do Twitter or Facebook so…

        To be honest, now that I’m surrounded by people saying fake news, etc, I feel like asking them – where have you BEEN for your whole life, this is not exactly new, if fact, there is a rather long history of this.

        One place to start is here:

        Edward Bernays
        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Edward_Bernays

        Reply
        1. ambrit

          Oh, fear not, the Commenteriat is hip to Bernays.
          Go further back and consider W R Hearst and the Spanish American War.
          (A lot of the people commenting here also eschew FB, Twit, and the MSM. You are in good company.)

          Reply
  23. edmondo

    Bernie Sanders
    @BernieSanders
    ·
    Nov 15
    No figure in history has done more to undermine American democracy than Donald Trump. His “birther” movement tried to delegitimize the Obama presidency. His refusal to accept defeat now is trying to undermine the Biden presidency. Goodbye Trump.

    I guess Bernie thinks we all forgot about the Night of the Long Knives, huh?

    Reply
    1. drumlin woodchuckles

      Well . . . Sanders wrongly regards that as a family dispute among friends. Whereas Sanders regards Trump as the “true menace”. So Sanders is sincere in his belief. And sincerely wrong. But still, sincere.

      Reply
      1. notabanker

        I’m sure Sanders sincerely thought he had a sincere change to win the Presidential nomination when he sincerely solicited all those sincere campaign donations during the sincere primary that never was.
        Sincerely-
        Insincere donor.

        Reply
        1. drumlin woodchuckles

          Well . . . I think he sincerely did. As sad as that seems in hindsight.

          What it means is that we will all have to be the Sanders we wish to see in the world. All eleventeen million of us.

          Reply
            1. drumlin woodchuckles

              But in a battlespace of our own choosing . . . after we have been able to shape it to our best advantage.

              Reply
    2. The Rev Kev

      I guess that Bernie does not think that Russiagate undermined American democracy at all or was used to delegitimize a sitting President both domestically and internatonally. The sad thing is that Bernie signed up for Russiagate until the day on that airport tarmac when they ambushed him and stated that his campaign was supported by the Russians as well. It was like watching someone realize that they had walked into a kill zone.

      Reply
    3. Buzz Meeks

      Anyone know where Ol’ Canvasback Bernie’s $150-200 mil of campaign donations went? Haven’t seen any evidence of “solidarity “ in support of nurses, teachers or any other strike or job actions. Blather about masks for all and then silence.

      Reply
  24. Wukchumni

    Could you compare the banking crisis of the early 1930’s with Hoover & FDR, to the Covid crisis of today?

    After FDR won the election, in a reverse from today’s gig, Hoover wanted to meet with him and discuss the banking issues that plagued the country, and Roosevelt said, ‘no thanks’. Over 4 months elapsed from him winning the election to being in office, and in that time span even more banks went belly up.

    Trump hasn’t been to a Covid meeting in 5 months as it turns out & doesn’t read daily reports, and although today he took one for the team in claiming victory on account of a vaccine he had nothing to do with, he’s been really similar to Hoover, albeit on a completely different front.

    In The Great Depression-A Diary, Benjamin Roth describes goings on in Youngstown in the early 30’s, banks closing up with your money in them and no recourse or FDIC, you were pretty much shit out of luck. The diary starts in 1931 and both that year and 1932 are the best entries, as banks are closing up all over the country, it isn’t just an Ohio phenomenon. Conversely, after FDR was inaugurated and called a Bank Holiday, the onslaught of closed banks doesn’t happen anymore.

    Reply
    1. Roger

      What I learnt as an executive, “always blame every bad thing on your predecessor until you can’t, then move on as rapidly as possible” – I should have taken this advice more often – you find that most of the senior guys practiced this and have a “checkered” career as they careen upwards. FDR didn’t want to be tarnished with the failures, so let Hoover eat them all and didn’t share in the mess. He then got to come in as the saviour.

      None of the Democratic leaders covered themselves in glory during the pandemic, including the governors of all the Democratic-ruled states. Biden will happily let Trump eat all the COVID crap, greatly aided by the partisan press, then ride in late in the day with the vaccines and weather becoming less beneficial to COVID spread. Obama got involved in the 2008 financial crisis because he was bailing out his backers and future $250,000+ a speech employers.

      Then onto more wars and cutting social security with a new round of austerity and tiny tax increases for the rich as a cover.

      Reply
  25. TroyIA

    In regards to the chances of the case fatality rate increasing this story No One Is Listening to Us offers a glimpse into the situation in Iowa. As you read the following realize that last week 1% of Iowans tested positive for COVID-19. As last week’s new infections begin to need medical care you begin to question where or even if they will be able to cared for or if we will reach a point where medical care is rationed.

    Hospitals have put their pandemic plans into action, adding more beds and creating makeshift COVID-19 wards. But in the hardest-hit areas, there are simply not enough doctors, nurses, and other specialists to staff those beds. Some health-care workers told me that COVID-19 patients are the sickest people they’ve ever cared for: They require twice as much attention as a typical intensive-care-unit patient, for three times the normal length of stay. “It was doable over the summer, but now it’s just too much,” says Whitney Neville, a nurse based in Iowa. “Last Monday we had 25 patients waiting in the emergency department. They had been admitted but there was no one to take care of them.” I asked her how much slack the system has left. “There is none,” she said.

    The entire state of Iowa is now out of staffed beds, Eli Perencevich, an infectious-disease doctor at the University of Iowa, told me. Worse is coming. Iowa is accumulating more than 3,600 confirmed cases every day; relative to its population, that’s more than twice the rate Arizona experienced during its summer peak, “when their system was near collapse,” Perencevich said. With only lax policies in place, those cases will continue to rise. Hospitalizations lag behind cases by about two weeks; by Thanksgiving, today’s soaring cases will be overwhelming hospitals that already cannot cope. “The wave hasn’t even crashed down on us yet,” Perencevich said. “It keeps rising and rising, and we’re all running on fear. The health-care system in Iowa is going to collapse, no question.”

    Reply
      1. Arizona Slim

        And, from Tucson, the top story from our daily fishwrap:

        https://tucson.com/news/local/window-to-prevent-crisis-narrows-as-covid-19-cases-spike-in-arizona-across-tucson/article_10cff810-c878-55e6-ab8b-acebd00d5ba0.html

        From the story:

        “If we don’t do something to change the pace of this outbreak, we will again overburden our hospitals. It’s coming,” said Dr. Joe Gerald, an associate professor with the University of Arizona’s Zuckerman College of Public Health.

        Reply
        1. Carolinian

          Here in my town the two hospitals are listed as 97 percent full. This area of the state is also considered a Covid hotspot.

          However the local schools have been open since September (with a large percentage opting for Zoom classes) and no students have fallen ill.

          Reply
          1. ambrit

            I find that last point, shall I say, of questionable “truthiness.” [Not you, the statement itself.]
            How many students in the system? How many of those enter classrooms on an average day? Do those students rotate into and out of the classroom on a weekly or bi-weekly basis? And, most troubling, are the ‘scientists’ missing low level infections in the young?
            We here in the NADS are beginning to think that the Dreaded Pathogen is a slow moving train wreck which will take years to play itself out.

            Reply
  26. Jeff W

    Guillotine-Worthy Zillow Listings

    The marquee lighting over the mantelpiece spelling out Forever (as in “Bad taste is…”?) in that brush script font is perhaps the crowning touch.

    Reply
    1. Lost in OR

      I would certainly have shared. The truffles were a bi-catch. I knew what they were but nothing else. Turns out they deteriorate rapidly, as in, they should be used within 5 days. For gifts I made some truffle salt, truffle oil, and whole truffles in sunflower oil.

      On the magic, we actually had two ballot measures and both passed. Measure 109 legalized the medicinal use of psilocybin. Measure 110 decriminalized specific drugs, including psilocybin. Possession of small amounts is no longer a felony. I’m currently trying micro-dosing.

      Reply
      1. Kurt Sperry

        I love Fall black truffle season in Italy. It’s not nearly as posh as many will think, you can indulge without spending a lot in season. They even put them on pizza. My neighbor in Tuscany will give me ones from his property for free. I’ve seen West Coast US truffles at Pike Street Market in Seattle, but they are *way* more expensive than Italian truffles so I’ve never tried them.

        Reply
  27. The Rev Kev

    Sarah Cooper
    @sarahcpr
    I don’t want to have sex with Barack Obama I just want him to hold me.

    And while she is being hugged and Obama is lifting her purse, Biden could come from behind to hug them and to sniff her hair.

    Reply
  28. Duck1

    Interesting frou frou in the PDX radical community over the apparent salting of the revolutionary wave of 2020 with honeypot WIFI spots that eventually led to analysis of its’ social network and a twittering disclosure thereof, which was quickly suppressed, as well as other iterations of the map on other platforms. The following is a rant about the whole situation, which seems to be firmly below the event horizon for the bien pensant, and as far as I can tell has been suppressed but still seems to exist as a sort of internet Crab Nebula:
    https://fidelitypdx.substack.com/p/a-few-things-about-the-antifa-honeypot

    Reply
  29. Expat2Uruguay

    “Bolivia’s Government Will Tax Large Fortunes in 2021 | News | teleSUR English” https://www.telesurenglish.net/news/Bolivias-Government-Will-Tax-Large-Fortunes-in-2021-20201113-0022.html

    I wonder what sectors are being referred to in this last paragraph…
    “Ballivián commented that if the new government’s idea is to capture more income and create a new tax, it would also be prudent to analyze the situation of other sectors that handle large sums of capital. “

    Reply
    1. tegnost

      that does sound ominous for someone doesn’t it!
      The thing is, is it ominous for the peopel with the money, or the people who want to tax it? :/

      Reply
  30. JTMcPhee

    COVID testing costs and surprise billing. I give you this from our local newspaper this morning:

    Ahead of the holidays, BayCare Health System is expanding rapid coronavirus tests, which will also test for the flu, to nine of its urgent care centers, according to a press release from the health care system.

    Asymptomatic individuals can get the test, which will not be billed by insurance and will instead be a self-payment of $150, according to BayCare. Patients will get results within a half hour, and the RT-PCR test is as accurate as a lab-based test, according to BayCare. It also uses a shorter swab than the traditional PCR test.

    “We’re looking forward to offering this service for patients and give them an accurate diagnosis in real-time,” said Jim Cote, the BayCare senior vice president for ambulatory services, in a press release. “This service will give people a peace of mind as they plan their holiday travels and celebrations with their families.

    So if one can “afford” $150 out of pocket, one can somehow rapidly be assured that they won’t get or spread CV to their families this loving holiday commercial season. Problem of Acceleration of transmission neatly solved, for just $150 per person. “Access to healthcare at its best.”

    I’m also curious whether the up and coming vaccines will keep a person who gets infected from shedding a sh!tload of viruses while waiting for his or her or its augmented immune system to identify and liquidate the incoming pathogens… Seems to me that CV is a lot like malware and computer viruses – only sure and certain way to keep from being infected is to have no interface to the wider world. Given the running battle between “virus protection” code and the variants of computer pathogens being ginned up every moment by smarty-pants malefactors, analogous to the mutations generated by nasties like Covid-19…

    Reply
  31. UserFriendly

    “Lady G” (Lindsey Graham) is trending on twitter.

    Because the USA is one giant Middle School and sexism and homophobia are funny. Especially for Liberals. I hate this country.

    Reply
    1. drumlin woodchuckles

      ( I hedge this link-offering with these questions because police disinformation bureaus have been known to lie about persons and events. And there is always the possibility that the alleged assailants in this news story and video could themselves be occasional police informants who may have been promised lighter treatment for something else if they could provide telegenic “violent incident” video related to this event. Or they maybe they could have been extorted by the police in secret to do this in public. Or they could indeed be exactly what the article portrays them as being. In these paranoiagenic times, nothing can be ruled out).

      Reply
      1. ambrit

        So now we have a ‘victim gap’ to cope with!
        Bugger! I voted for the Dread Lord Cthulhu and yet he did not rise from out the vasty depths to claim his own! [When even the comforts of religion fail one….]

        Reply
        1. paintedjaguar

          Cthulhu wuz robbed! Calling it now.

          (This doesn’t mean that I think Trump wasn’t, possibly. Unfortunately the US electoral system is at present unverifiable and untrustworthy, so all outcomes are open to question.)

          Reply
    2. Duke of Prunes

      There is a longer version of the incident (not as close though) that shows some of what lead to this. I’d say the video you link to shows an excerpt most favorable to the victim. In the longer video, the guy who got hit was mixing it up with a few people (or maybe they were mixing it up with him). In any event, in the longer video, he wasn’t just walking along minding his business, and this guy sucker punches him. Rather, there was a minute or two of some pushing, shoving, kicking, etc., and then the guy starts to walk away and gets sucker punched. It does not show what precipitated the original scuffle. I’d say the article and video are slanted toward the victim, but is a sucker punch ever justified?

      Reply

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