2:00PM Water Cooler 11/6/2020

By Lambert Strether of Corrente.

More hot takes soon! As usual, there’s far too much to process! –lambert UPDATE All done!

Bird Song of the Day


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

Case count by United States region:

Waiting for the line to go vertical…

Test positivity by region:

Case fatality rate by region:

Here again the Northeast (orange) really stands out.


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

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

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

2020 Hot Takes

Good question (1):

Good question (2):

Biden and the Obama Alumni Association do have form.

What do we learn, Palmer:

Now they can stand down:

2020 Democrats in Disarray

Money money money money, money [Repeat: x 6] (1):

Money money money money, money [Repeat: x 6] (2):

Grifters gotta grift.

Excellent thread from AOC worth reading in full:

One thing I like about AOC is that she does her homework.

This video includes Stoller’s superb rant on ObamaCare (“It’s like if someone hired a plumber to fix the sink and he didn’t….”):

I’m sort of amazed Stoller went on Nomiki Konst’s show; this Nomiki Konst.

UPDATE Something to look forward to (1):

UPDATE Something to look forward to (2):

UPDATE Peak idpol?

The terrible thing: I don’t believe this is cynical.


The call everyone was waiting for:

“Biden campaign tells staffers to ‘enjoy this moment'” [NBC]. “A top Biden aide said not to expect to hear from Joe Biden until Friday in prime time, assuming the race is called by then…. The Biden campaign held its usual communications staff call earlier Friday, led by Communications Director Kate Bedingfield. One person on it says that where she’s been reserved these last few days, the vibe Friday morning was ‘we did it.’ Staffers had previously been told, ‘don’t watch the news, keep your head down, do the work.’ But Friday morning, they were told: ‘This is the moment when you should be watching the news. They did the work, now enjoy this moment.’ For a campaign staff that has tried to be reserved these last 48+ hours, this feels like a breaking of the emotional dam.” • Break out the Victory Gin!

“In Torrent of Falsehoods, Trump Claims Election Is Being Stolen” [New York Times]. “Most television networks cut away from the statement President Trump gave Thursday night from the White House briefing room on the grounds that what he was saying was not true.” • Well, I’m glad that precedent’s been set. More: “Others believe that he will concede if it is clear he has lost, but that he will most likely never publicly accept the result.” • The focus on whether Trump will concede or not strikes me as bizarre. There’s no Constitutional requirement for it, unless the Norms Fairy added a clause when I wasn’t looking.

Why not the basement?

“Pelosi formally seeks another 2 years as speaker” [Politico]. “Speaker Nancy Pelosi wants another two-year term running the House, cementing her role — for now — as the most powerful woman in Washington…. Pelosi has served as the Democratic leader since 2002, and the vast majority of her colleagues have never known anyone else running their caucus… House Democrats will formally begin choosing their leaders on Nov. 18. No challenger to Pelosi is expected to emerge, and none could defeat her, although a small number of disgruntled House Democrats want a change atop her caucus.”

“A post-election message from government contractors to America” [FCW]. “The day after the election, Wednesday, I attended virtually a long-planned board meeting for a government contractor for whom I’m a board member. Some of the other board members are ex-military or Defense Department officials, while others are purely private sector. During one of our first breaks, a board colleague, a prominent centrist Democrat, noted that he had a good friend who was personally very close to Joe Biden. His friend told him that he was planning to contact Biden to urge him at the beginning of his administration establish what the friend called an Office of Civic Renewal to promote civility, public engagement and common purpose in our country.” • Oy.

“Hispanic Voters Deliver a Texas Win for Trump” [New York Times]. “Demographic changes and a suburban backlash did not stop President Trump from taking the Lone Star State, though he did so with a smaller margin than in 2016. Even as urban and suburban areas moved in large numbers toward Democrats, many Hispanic voters in the south abruptly exited the Democratic coalition.” • Pretty remarkable turnaround for the candidate who came down that golden escalator and accused Mexico of sending us their “rapists.”

* * *

GA: “Georgia Presidential Race Likely Headed For Recount, Secretary Of State Says” [NPR]. “Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger told reporters that the state will conduct a recount given the razor-thin margin between former Vice President Joe Biden and President Trump. ‘The focus for our office and for the county elections officials for now remains on making sure that every legal vote is counted and recorded accurately,’ Raffensperger said. ‘As we are closing in on a final count, we can begin to look toward our next steps. With a margin that small, there will be a recount in Georgia,’ he predicted.”

UPDATE GA: “How Stacey Abrams Is Turning the Tide in Georgia” [Vogue]. “Building on the efforts of New Georgia Project and others, Abrams and Fair Fight registered a staggering estimated 800,000 new voters since 2018 and helped squash suppressive policies like ‘exact match,’ which had required registrations to precisely match voters’ licenses down to the hyphen, or else risk being tossed out. Abrams told NPR on November 2: ‘45% of those new voters are under the age of 30. 49% are people of color. And all 800,000 came on the rolls after November ’18, which means these are voters who weren’t eligible to vote for me but are eligible to participate in this upcoming election.'” • OK, I’m impressed!

NV: “Nevada Republican Party sends criminal referral to DOJ alleging thousands of cases of voter fraud” [The Hill]. “The Washington Post reported that the party’s lawyers sent Barr a list of voters identified by cross-checking voter registration names and addresses with the National Change of Address database. Nevada law allows residents to cast ballots after moving out of state if they are serving in the military, a spouse of someone in the military or attending school. The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Nevada pointed out in a tweet Thursday following the criminal referral announcement that voters in the state do not lose their eligibility to vote when they leave the state temporarily…. [Joe Gloria, Clark County’s registrar of voters] also said Thursday that the bulk of ballots in Clark County would likely be counted by the weekend, adding that the processing of ballots will not be complete until Nov. 12.”

NV: “What Happens In Vegas May Not Stay In Vegas: Why The Nevada Challenge Could Be Important To The Presidential Election” [Jonathan Turley]. “the Nevada Republican Party has sent a criminal referral to the Justice Department alleging at least 3,062 instances of voter fraud in the battleground state. The referral is substantially less than the “10,000” referenced earlier but the underlying allegation is still important. The early concern for many of us was that the system established in Clark County would be difficult to review for violations due to how the tabulation was handled and the record preserved.The allegations over ineligible voting were raised before Election Day. Many states like Nevada are relying on notoriously outdated voter lists and applying fairly lax standards for confirming the identity of voters for mail-in ballots. In Nevada, this is a particular concern because many workers moved out of the state due to the pandemic’s impact on the casino industry. You cannot vote if you moved out of the state over 30 days prior to the balloting. The problem is the accuracy of state voting and residency records in showing such changes shortly before an election. Absent a system of authentication of residency and identification, it would be a system based on the honor system – an approach that no casino would allow even at the nickel slots section…. I have repeatedly stated that we must not make assumptions on either side. My concern is that it is not clear how a court could review these ballots in Clark County if it agrees that there appears to be systemic problems. If the court believes that thousands votes illegally, that lack of a record could prove the undoing of the state officials. At some point, the burden can shift and courts demand proof that a problem was not systemic. If they cannot, the question will be raised whether the same vulnerability existed in other states like Pennsylvania, Michigan, or Georgia. A court could be presented with a decision of when the unknowable becomes the unacceptable.”

UPDATE PA “Pennsylvania lawmakers have no role to play in deciding the presidential election” [Centre Daily Times]. “We have said it many times and we will happily say it again: The Pennsylvania General Assembly does not have and will not have a hand in choosing the state’s presidential electors or in deciding the outcome of the presidential election. To insinuate otherwise is to inappropriately set fear into the Pennsylvania electorate with an imaginary scenario not provided for anywhere in law — or in fact. Pennsylvania law plainly says that the state’s electors are chosen only by the popular vote of the commonwealth’s voters.” • So much for that theory that State legislatures have a “plenary” role. Both the authors are Republicans.

PA Problems at the printers. Thread:

UPDATE WI “Rural Wisconsin Counties Doubled Down on Trump in 2020” [Up North News]. “A review of Tuesday’s county voting totals in Wisconsin shows of the 60 counties that supported Trump in the 2016 election, only two—Sauk and Door counties—voted for Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden on Tuesday. Thirty-three of the 60, including Dunn County, supported Trump by a bigger margin than in the presidential election four years ago. When he was elected president in 2016, Trump prompted significant voter gains in Wisconsin’s rural locations, with 30 counties recording Republican voting gains of 20% or more. He maintained those margins in Tuesday’s election and improved his margin in all but three counties, although most of those increases were relatively small.”

* * *

UPDATE “In plain words: Making sense of election results and news coverage” [Scalawag]. • An excellent glossary, which defines such terms as “ballot curing,” “provisional ballot,” “risk-limiting audit,” and so forth. See also ballot adjudication.

Realignment and Legitimacy

UPDATE “America’s divisiveness will ‘make it a lot harder on the working class’: Ian Bremmer” [Yahoo Finance]. “Speaking to Yahoo Finance Live, Eurasia Group founder and President Ian Bremmer said a divided electorate coupled with a divided Congress will make the passage of additional fiscal relief an uphill battle. ‘I think it’s going to make it a lot harder for the working class for those who have been furloughed and those furloughs are being made permanent, because the amount of stimulus that will be on offer, will be so much less,’ he said. ‘There’s the ability to start to bring red and blue together, but that’s not what we just saw.’… The lack of fiscal relief threatens to push millions of Americans into poverty. Still, the U.S. electorate remains fundamentally divided on how to pursue financial and economic reforms and tackle the public health crisis. Exit polls from Tuesday showed the opinions differed right along political fault lines, with 51% of the voters, saying it was more important to contain the coronavirus now, even if it hurts the economy, according to Edison Research for the National Election Pool. Forty-two percent of voters said rebuilding the economy should be a priority, even if it hurts efforts to contain the virus.” • Caution on the exit polls, though! On fiscal relief:

So Pelosi and McConnell mutually rid themselves of an irritant…

UPDATE “Liberalism & Fascism: The Good Cop & Bad Cop of Capitalism” [Black Agenda Report]. “It is often presumed that each individual state has a particular form of government—be it liberal, fascist or authoritarian—which constitutes the primary mode of rule throughout the entire country. We thus often hear expressions like ‘the liberal democracies of the West’ or ‘the former dictatorships of Latin America.’ This geography of governments is linked to a political chronology, which tells us that a government can shift from one form to another, hence the prevalence of sayings like ‘the return of democracy’ or the ‘resurgence of fascism.’ The dominant paradigm for understanding the relationship between states and government can thus be summed up in terms of one overarching principle: each state, if it is not in an open civil war, only has one form of government at one point in time, which rules over its entire territory and population. The one-state-one-government paradigm dissimulates the complex ways in which populations are governed. Its naïve either-or logic provides cover for less savory forms of governance if the state is declared, for instance, a liberal democracy. It also produces a geography and chronology of faraway fascism, by which liberal states seek to convince their citizenry that fascism is something that occurred in the past, that might emerge in the future if liberal institutions aren’t preserved, or that only infests distant lands recalcitrant to democracy. Whatever the case may be, we can rest assured that fascism is not an issue right here, right now…. “The multiple-modes-of-governance paradigm insists on the multiplicity of agencies that are mobilized for governing different populations.” • This is a must-read, a necessary antidote to binary thinking on this topic.

UPDATE “Don’t Fool Yourself: Your Biden Vote Was Not A ‘Vote Against Fascism'” [Caitlin Johnstone]. “But let’s be clear here: there is no legitimate basis upon which to claim that your vote for Biden was a “vote against fascism”. You can claim it was a vote against what you perceived as a more dangerous iteration of fascism, but you cannot claim with any validity that your vote for a lifelong murderous authoritarian was a vote against fascism. This is a very important distinction for everyone to get clear on, because repeating the mantra that you “voted against fascism” by voting for Biden can lead people to the very mistaken perspective that the US president is no longer advancing fascistic policies that need to be fought tooth and claw. By telling yourself you voted out fascism, you are lying yourself into a state of future complacency.”

UPDATE “A Possible Majority” [Jedediah Britton-Purdy, Dissent]. “[I]t is essential to orient radical politics toward a possible majority, and that if we are not doing that, in this country, we are doing something other than politics.” • This is an extremely wordy essay, worth reading with that single sentence in mind.

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.

Employment Situation: “October 2020 BLS Jobs Situation – Employment Grew 638,000 But Still Down 8,394,000 Year-to-Date” [Econintersect]. “The headline seasonally adjusted BLS job growth continues to show a very good job gain and was near expectations, with the unemployment rate improving from 7.9 % to 6.9 %…. The economically intuitive sectors were positive for economic growth. The rate of further recovery will be dependant on the coronavirus effects.”

Rail: “Rail Week Ending 31 October 2020 – October Up 2.0%” [Econintersect]. “Total rail traffic has two components – carloads and intermodal (containers or trailers on rail cars). Container exports from China are now recovering, container exports from the U.S. remains deep in contraction. This week again intermodal continued in expansion year-over-year and continues on a strengthening trendline. However, carloads remain in contraction. But overall, rail is on an improving trendline.”

* * *

The Bezzle: “Uber reports 18% revenue decline but says ride-hailing business is picking back up” [CNBC]. “Uber’s third-quarter earnings are out, and the company reported losses of 62 cents per share and revenue of $3.13 billion. Bookings from deliveries outpaced bookings for rides and mobility again for Uber, as the Covid-19 pandemic continued to impact travel and commuting during the third quarter. Shares of Uber rallied mid-week after California voters approved Proposition 22, which allows ride-hail and delivery businesses to classify drivers as independent contractors not employees.”

The Bezzle: “Uber, Lyft paid $85K to firm of NAACP leader who backs their ballot measure” [CNET]. Missed this at the time. “The Yes on Proposition 22 campaign even secured an endorsement from Alice Huffman, a notable Black leader and president of the state’s chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People…. A little digging through campaign finance records, however, raises questions about the independence of Huffman’s support. In February, the Yes on Proposition 22 campaign began making $10,000 and $15,000 payments to AC Public Affairs, the small Sacramento-based consulting firm that Huffman runs with her sister. As of Sept. 30, the firm had brought in $85,000 from the campaign.” • I wonder if Kamala Harris — whose brother-in-law, Tony West, is Uber’s Chief Legal Officer, and whose sister, Maya, has worked in Uber’s policy department — will find Huffman a place in the incoming Democrat administration. I think she’d fit right in.

The Bezzle: “Airbnb to make IPO filing public next week despite COVID-19 surge: sources” [Reuters]. “The U.S. home rental company’s planned debut on the Nasdaq is set to be one of the largest stock market listings of 2020, amid a pandemic that has seen demand for house rentals surge as vacationers snub hotels to practice social distancing. Airbnb’s initial public offering filing will give outsiders their first detailed look into Airbnb’s business, shedding light on the company’s reinvention after the coronavirus outbreak pushed it to shift focus from city apartments to holiday homes. Airbnb plans to set an IPO price range and kick off an investor roadshow in December, the sources said, cautioning that the timing is subject to market conditions.”

* * *

Today’s Fear & Greed Index: 39 Fear (previous close: 38 Fear) [CNN]. One week ago: 30 (Fear). (0 is Extreme Fear; 100 is Extreme Greed). Last updated Nov 6 at 2:41pm • Greed and Fear on. NOTE For those who wonder if we should keep running it, readers asked for it back after I took it away. Also, I like having a quick insight, however shallow, into Mr. Market’s psyche.

The Biosphere

“No Pattern Separation in the Human Hippocampus” [Trends in the Cognitive Sciences]. “Relatively recent evidence from human single-neuron recordings shows that, contrary to pattern separation, episodic memories are coded by context-independent and invariant engrams in the human hippocampus. Associations constitute the skeleton of episodic memories and are coded with partially overlapping assemblies, which prompts us to reconsider the view of episodic memory as mental time travel, and the distinction between episodic and semantic memory. A lack of pattern separation may explain human cognitive abilities, such as our unique powers of generalization and of creative and abstract thinking.

Pattern separation is a basic principle of neuronal coding that precludes memory interference in the hippocampus. Its existence is supported by numerous theoretical, computational, and experimental findings in different species. However, I argue that recent evidence from single-neuron recordings suggests that pattern separation may not be present in the human hippocampus and that memories are instead coded by the coactivation of invariant and context-independent engrams. This alternative model prompts a reassessment of the definition of episodic memory and its distinction from semantic memory. Furthermore, I propose that a lack of pattern separation in memory coding may have profound implications that could explain cognitive abilities that are uniquely developed in humans, such as our power of generalization and of creative and abstract thinking.” • Obviously, we should legalize psychedelics immediately!

“Wealthy countries edge towards global climate finance goal” [Reuters]. “Wealthy countries have ramped up financing to help developing countries cut carbon emissions and cope with the impact of climate change, although it is unclear if they will meet their goal of $100 billion this year.” • A hundred lousy billion?!

“Female hunters of the early Americas” [Science]. The abstract: “Sexual division of labor with females as gatherers and males as hunters is a major empirical regularity of hunter-gatherer ethnography, suggesting an ancestral behavioral pattern. We present an archeological discovery and meta-analysis that challenge the man-the-hunter hypothesis. Excavations at the Andean highland site of Wilamaya Patjxa reveal a 9000-year-old human burial (WMP6) associated with a hunting toolkit of stone projectile points and animal processing tools. Osteological, proteomic, and isotopic analyses indicate that this early hunter was a young adult female who subsisted on terrestrial plants and animals. Analysis of Late Pleistocene and Early Holocene burial practices throughout the Americas situate WMP6 as the earliest and most secure hunter burial in a sample that includes 10 other females in statistical parity with early male hunter burials. The findings are consistent with nongendered labor practices in which early hunter-gatherer females were big-game hunters.”

“Horse mastery helped mysterious Mongolian warriors build a multiethnic empire” [Nature]. “To learn more about human migration across Central Asia, a team led by Choongwon Jeong of Seoul National University and Harvard University’s Christina Warinner sampled and sequenced DNA from human remains found in Mongolia… DNA from 60 human skeletons from the Xiongnu’s 300-year-run shows how the region was transformed into a multiethnic empire. After more than 1000 years in which three distinct, stable human populations lived side by side on the Mongolian steppe, genetic diversity rose sharply around 200 B.C.E. Populations from western and eastern Mongolia mixed with each other and with people carrying genes from as far away as present-day Iran and Central Asia. Such wide-ranging mixing has ‘never been seen before at that scale,’ Jeong says. ‘You can see the entire Eurasian genetic profile in the Xiongnu people.’ The results suggest mastery of the horse made possible stunning long-distance voyages on Central Asia’s sea of grass. Archaeological finds in the graves of Xiongnu elites, such as Roman glass, Persian textiles, and Greek silver, had suggested distant connections. But the genetic evidence suggests something more than trade. Eleven Xiongnu-period skeletons showed genetic signatures similar to those of the Sarmatians, nomad warriors who dominated the region north of the Black Sea, 2000 kilometers across the open steppe from Mongolia.”

Health Care

“What COVID-19 Exposed In Long-Term Care” [Health Affairs]. “We might have assumed as well a vigorous policy response to the problems that make senior facilities so vulnerable: the chronic underfinancing, inadequate clinical services, and fragile staffing that are all endemic to skilled nursing facilities. But, similarly, that response is yet to come. We’ve seen these underlying factors contribute significantly to the COVID-19 death toll in these facilities. The consequences of this: nearly 40 percent of US COVID-19 deaths were among seniors in all long-term care facilities. In late September 2020, the federal government had an opportunity for powerful intervention. The Coronavirus Commission for Safety and Quality in Nursing Homes, established by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), released a report detailing its response to COVID-19 in nursing homes. However, the report, issued six months after our nation was aware of the death toll in nursing homes, failed to present a bold new vision for skilled nursing care. Although this cautious response is a disappointment, it comes as no surprise. The federal government followed a standard process: assemble academics, researchers, and thought leaders in a commission; charge them with determining consensus recommendations; publish a report; and hope that something will happen as a result. This is not what the circumstances demand.”

“Coronavirus: Oxford vaccine trial issues warning after participants share swabs with family and friends” [The Independent]. “Volunteers in the Oxford University coronavirus vaccine trial – on which hopes of ending the global pandemic may rest – have been sharing swabs with people not involved in the study, The Independent can reveal. A message to participants of the clinical trial, sent today from the Covid research team based at Guys and St Thomas’ Hospitals Trust in London and seen by The Independent, confirmed some positive infections identified by the trial had been tracked to people who were not participating in the study. Oxford University today confirmed the problem but said it was a small number of participants whose results could be easily identified and would not affect the final results…. But the actions of some participants drew criticism from one doctor in London, who is also a part of the trial. Speaking to The Independent, they said: ‘As both a doctor and a trial participant I am aware that the swabs I send in weekly are incredibly important to track the efficacy of this new vaccine. I am scared and angered in equal measure that some participants are jeopardising this critical study through submitting false data…. We cannot afford an increase in vaccine scepticism and behaviour like this risks giving ammunition to that cause. A good vaccine is our way out of this crisis and undermining the data quality of an essential study will add genuinely credible evidence to a cause usually based on disproportionate scaremongering and misinformation.'” •  E.M. Forster: “If I had to choose between betraying my country and betraying my friend, I hope I should have the guts to betray my country.” And the guts to accept the subsequent shaming and scolding. I don’t think what the sharers have done is right; but a good doctor would, I think, make some effort to understand (and not center their own feelings of fear and anger. I don’t know if we’ve done a mass testing program where the test subjects, if randomly chosen, were more likely to be in desperate straits).

“Study Showing Masks Aren’t Harmful May Do More Harm Than Good” [MedScape]. For the study in question, n=25, and oxygen saturation was, oddly, the proxy for pulmonary well-being. “Since the authors of the paper, and the editors of JAMA are physicians, they well know that people who hold irrational beliefs are not persuaded by a study of 25 participants…. The editors knew the study proved nothing, but they still published it. In one day, the paper had more than 13,000 page views and an Altmetric score of 536. This paper will be cited often. The business model of medical journals is attention—page views, citations, and media coverage. That a top-tier medical journal publishes the equivalent of a high-school science project tempts me to believe that attention trumps scientific merit. Think about the next time JAMA publishes a really important finding—say, a study on vaccines. People turned cynical by the publishing of flawed attention-grabbing studies could reasonably think the journal editors are not fair judges of good science. When the important paper comes, scientists will now have to say, yes, yes, we know medical journals publish flawed studies for attention, but this really important paper is different…. In addition to attention, the findings of this study will surely be held up as a cudgel to persuade people to wear masks, the enforcement of which is a policy issue. When medical journals take sides in political debates, they lose the perception of impartiality. That is a problem because dealing with a pandemic requires people to cooperate. This requires trust. And trust is hard-won but easily lost.” • Amen.


UPDATE “Revealed: How a breach of a vast remote ‘landslide dam’ in one of the world’s most earthquake-prone regions could cause ‘the worst natural disaster in human history'” [Daily Mail]. “Breathtaking Lake Sarez in Tajikistan’s Pamir Mountains is one of the great natural wonders of Asia, but it is also a ticking time bomb, hemmed in by a landslide dam that if breached could cause, according to the UN, ‘the worst natural disaster in human history’. The cause for concern emanates from the way the lake was formed – as a result of an earthquake that measured 7.0 on the Richter Scale. It struck in 1911 and caused a huge landslide containing 2.2million cubic metres (78million cubic feet) of earth and rock that formed the biggest natural dam in the world, 3.1 miles (five kilometres) long, two miles (3.2 kilometres) wide and up to 1,860ft (567m) tall. This blocked the Murghab River and allowed rainwater and meltwater to fill a valley and form the shimmering Lake Sarez, which is over 40 miles (64km) long and up to 1,657ft deep. But the area it’s in is one of the most earthquake-prone in the world.”

The 420

“As Advocates Celebrate a ‘Renaissance,’ Could Psychedelics Become the Next Cannabis?” [Adweek]. “With new national attention comes a logical question: Are hallucinogens queuing up to be the new cannabis? Advocates acknowledge the short mental hop between both drug categories. But on a deeper level, they hasten to add that there are few direct parallels between the fast-growing legal cannabis industry, which added five states to the market on Tuesday, and the nascent psilocybin movement. For instance, shrooms will not be sold at the neighborhood dispensary, at least not in the foreseeable future. Still, the results in Oregon may be a harbinger of things to come. Americans increasingly indicate that they’re open to formerly verboten drugs as remedies. And as this recent election cycle proves, they’re voting in significant numbers for decriminalization.” • I would love to see both corporations and advertisers/marketers forbidden to enter the marijuana or hallucinogen market, and everything given to small growers. Utopian, I know.

Our Famously Free Press

It’s hard to come up with a lead-in for perfection:

Class Warfare

Interesting anecdote:

Interesting method, too. Readers, can you confirm?

News of the Wired

“How to Ace Coding Interviews – Advice from a Former Amazon Dev” [Hackernoon]. • “Learn to code.”

“DNA might replace barcodes to tag art, voter ballots: study” [Agence France Presse]. “Easy-to-remove barcodes and QR codes used to tag everything from T-shirts to car engines may soon be replaced by a tagging system based on DNA and invisible to the naked eye, scientists said Thursday. The DNA-based system could help anti-forgery efforts, according to researchers who said thieves struggle to find or tamper with a transparent splash of DNA on valuable or vulnerable items, such as election ballots, works of art, or secret documents…. [R]esearchers at the University of Washington and Microsoft said that the molecular tagging system, called Porcupine, is — unlike most alternatives — cost-effective…. Unlike existing systems to tag objects, DNA tags are undetectable by sight or touch, senior author Jeff Nivala said in a press release from Washington University.” • Sounds like the surveillance industry could get a boost from this as well, though oddly the article doesn’t mention that….

Seasonal artbots:

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WB writes: “Solo Bee Balm blooms make nice table flowers.”

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About Lambert Strether

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


  1. Clem

    “Female hunters of the early Americas”

    When one of the last Native American chiefs was being interviewed by a reporter for the New York Herald in the late 1800s, he was asked what had gone wrong for his people.

    “We let the women grow the crops, do much of the hunting, take care of the children. We men hunt for the big animals, eat, make love with our women, sleep and eat. The white man thought he could improve on that?”

    1. cat’s paw

      do you have a citation for that? it’s not impossible some old leader might have said something like that, but it sounds too modern, too cynical, to my ears.

      1. KevinD

        Chief Two Eagles

        “Chief Two Eagles,” asked one of the officials, “You have observed the white man for 90 years. You’ve seen his wars and his material wealth. You’ve seen his progress, and the damage he has done.”

        The chief nodded that it was so. The official continued, “Considering all these events, in your opinion, where did the white man go wrong?”

        The chief stared at the government official for over a minute and then calmly replied, “When white men found the land, Indians were running it. No taxes, no debt, plenty buffalo, plenty beaver, women did all the work, medicine man free, Indian man spent all day hunting and fishing, all night having sex.”

        Then the chief leaned back and smiled,” White man dumb enough to think he could improve system like that.”

        1. cat’s paw

          duck duck go chief two eagles. a quick review indicates it’s a joke, and i tend to agree for the reasons stated above.

  2. km

    I am probably going to regret opening my tomfool mouth, but I wonder how the QAnon Cult is spinning the events of the last days.

    The Russiagate conspiracy theory in reverse – four years of hype and breathless predictions, and….nothing.

    For that matter, we aren’t hearing much out of the Russiagate conspiracy theorists these days, either. At least their man won, so they have a reason to keep their traps shut.

    1. Duke of Prunes

      I don’t know if it’s from Q, but the most recent “Trump is going to win biggly” theory is that only official ballots have an invisible watermark, and there’s going to be an audit and 10s or 100s of thousands of ballots will be rejected for lack of a watermark. I’m not holding my breath.

      1. km

        A friend who is familiar with such things tells me that this is in fact the latest Q spin.

        Personally, it seems that their standards are slipping, since this is a dramatic prediction which will soon either be proven accurate (yeah, right) or it will not, in which case their support will have to resort to some serious cognitive dissonance to keep up their belief.

        A smarter line would be something non-falsifiable, something that cannot be proven to not have happened.

        1. Lambert Strether Post author

          > A smarter line would be something non-falsifiable

          That’s the lovely thing about quoting anonymous intelligence officials.

          Speculating freely, I wonder if there’s something I might label “narrative thirst” in the conservative world. I first noticed the Republican inability to construct a coherent narrative with Benghazi*, and they failed with “Clinton’s emails”, too**. (Back in the day, they did very well with narrative in the Lewinsky Matter, and also with Hero Of The Resistance™ David Frum’s Axis of Evil, which justified the War on Terror.) QAnon satisfies that thirst (albeit in a post-modern, click-bait-y way, by providing a series of hooks on which readers can construct their own narratives.)***

          NOTES * Challenging because then-Secretary of State Clinton butchering an arms-running operation out of a consulate’s basement to “moderate Syrians” was a narrative that none of the players wanted to deploy.

          ** It was the server you [family blogging] morons!

          *** Constructing these narratives is also an exercise in symbol manipulation, normally a task reserved for the PMC.

          UPDATE As I’ve said before, characterizing globalist elites as blood-drinking p3doph1les isn’t all that cartoonishly off-point…. It’s certainly more on-point than whatever the political class think.

        2. AnonyMouse

          The very first Q post predicted that Hillary Clinton was imminently about to be arrested. It gave a date. It was immediately falsified. I don’t really think falsifiable comes into it. They have a whole mechanism for dispensing entirely with reality

    2. ambrit

      Fear not. This tactic can be spun the other way.
      I can see this being adopted to attack the “Socialist” Biden Administration. I mean, for instance, why was Hunter so pally with those commies over in the Ukraine and China? They even sent money to his Dad through him! Quid pro quo! Etc. Keep this up for four years and meanwhile find an ‘effective’ authoritarian to run in ’24.
      I can see this as the “new” Q-anon meme: “The Democrat Party pushed the ‘Trump was a Putin puppet’ as part of a disinformation campaign! They are the real Russian Stooges!”

    3. Basil Pesto

      For that matter, we aren’t hearing much out of the Russiagate conspiracy theorists these days, either.

      Early days of course. But it also seems to me that from about 2016 we didn’t hear so much about the “War on Terror” either

  3. zagonostra

    >Pelosi Octogenarian

    So she wants 2 more years? Gawd almighty, not only are folks depressed that the establishment/deep state has had their way in selecting Biden, we more then likely will have the same deplorables, aka, Dem leadership, steering this ship right into an iceberg…what a sad day.

    Though I’m no Trump supporter, I think people are going to miss him giving the MSM the middle finger. I just know that the “bringing-the-country-together” pablum that’s going to be coming out of the WH is going to be so sickly saccharine that I’m going to need an emetic

    1. a different chris

      People so often say the Dem leadership really doesn’t want power, that is such a misconception I can’t even… you don’t get to be Speaker of the House without driving ambition.

      She can’t be President, but that doesn’t mean she didn’t have dreams. She sure isn’t gonna go to the backbench in any case.

      I don’t even trust her to retire in 2 years. She will survey the contenders for her seat, declare them “too Left” (it’s just so amazing that so many idjits were told she is some sort of Communist and swallowed it hook, line and sinker) and run again.

      1. Minalin

        If I may her dad was 39th Mayor of Baltimore, as a Dem in a time when having good relationships with unions and the Catholic Workers was essential. Bernie has nothing on her. Nancy needs to let AOC do her thing. Now the fact Nancy has $100,000,000, I find troubling.

        1. Temporarily Sane

          Nancy needs to let AOC do her thing.

          You mean like pushing Biden to the left by teaming up with Bernie to write him “sternly worded” letters?

      2. ChiGal in Carolina

        It’s not that they don’t WANT power, it’s that they don’t want to USE it to benefit anyone but their donors.

        1. edmondo

          Hey. Be careful how you talk about the leader of the Congressional Dems. Who else could have held firm in those negotiations and gotten everything she wanted?

          This just in:

          “…Speaking after today’s stronger than expected payrolls report, Trump’s economic adviser Larry Kudlow said the administration now opposes a $2 trillion fiscal stimulus in the wake of stronger-than-expected economic numbers…”

          Thanks Nancy!

    2. lyman alpha blob

      I don’t think Trump will allow himself to be missed. He will keep tweeting (or get his own network!) and the media won’t be able to stop themselves from covering it. Biden being wheeled up to a mic, mumbling for 5 minutes, and shuffling away isn’t going to bring in the eyeballs and I’m sure Trump will be more than happy to fill the void. I for one look forward to some epic trolling from his corner over the next few years.

  4. Baby Gerald

    Re: Stealth Camper Vans

    These Mercedes vans have been popular with the moneyed class for a while now. I’ve seen a few parked around Manhattan and Brooklyn. They are endlessly customizable with raised roof and panel-van looks but often with dark tinted windows replacing the side panels and fancy interiors with reclining chairs, desks, tables, fridge, sink etc. The key give-away that you’re looking at a stealth camper and not a simple delivery van is usually the camper-van style air conditioner sticking out of the rooftop. PMC-types need it at a constant 68 degrees F. and the basic AC running off the engine would be useless if parked somewhere.

    For those looking to hit the road, these Mercedes vans seem to be a reasonably-priced alternative that would be much easier to drive and park, and more fuel efficient than a Winnebago-type RV. A stripped-down van can run you $35K with fancy spec doubling the price at the top end.

      1. Krystyn Podgajski

        But it’s not a house, it’s a large van, and many people figure this out too late. I paid $2200 for my 2001 Dodge Grand Caravan and it is way more stealth than those Mercedes vans. But it’s only slightly bigger than most apartments I have lived in so…

        A lot of us make fun of people turning their vans into little houses. To quite a few of us it is the opposite of why we like to live in vans.

        1. ambrit

          Yep. I remember living in the old GMC van on out of town construction gigs. As long as you can find a quiet, secluded place with water and a bathroom available, you can deal with life in a civilized manner.

        2. Lambert Strether Post author

          > It’s only slightly bigger than most apartments I have lived in so…

          That’s what I meant. I have lived in small spaces most of my life.

          Perhaps I should have said “home,” not “house.”

    1. Carolinian

      can run you $35K

      My latest tent cost, like, $70.

      And if you only buy a van how will you hang your golf cart (the latest campground rage) on the back?

      1. edmondo

        can run you $35K

        You can’t repossess what you can’t find. Put $2000 down and drive away, and away, and away….

    1. a different chris

      Yup but “defund the police” freaks everybody in the suburbs out, when a big problem in said suburbs is not blah people but ex-spouses.

      I wish somebody would point this out on national TV, but no…

      1. Lambert Strether Post author

        > Yup but “defund the police” freaks everybody in the suburbs o

        I believe Ryan Grim has this right:

        1. anon in so cal


          “Is anyone archiving these Trump sycophants for when they try to downplay or deny their complicity in the future? I foresee decent probability of many deleted Tweets, writings, photos in the future…”


          A lot of the replies to AOC are great, such as:

          “Should we put ur name on a list for defending a rapist like Joe Biden and lying on NPR claiming that “Tara Reed never said she wasn’t voting for Biden” just to avoid the embarrassing hypocrisy you’ve demonstrated after ur fake partisan outrage during the Kavanaugh hearings?”


      2. diptherio

        I can’t find it now, but several months ago when the defund slogan was all the rage, I found what seemed like a pretty unbiased poll that found that while majorities were opposed to the “defund the police” slogan, majorities (of both D and R aligned respondents) were also firmly in favor of the actual policy recommendations that the slogan represents. I think the main problem with “defund the police” is that almost no one bothered to try explaining the actual policy proposals in any depth, but were content to just stop at the slogan. Par for the course with our MSM.

              1. Sierra7

                “De-Militarize” the police……and, get them out of their cars…..out again in neighborhood walking beats.

                  1. Howard Beale IV

                    And that’s why it won’t happen. Who among the BernieBots are willing to sacrifice themselves towards a just and verdant society?

                    1. tegnost

                      Bernie bots? I’m waiting for NPR to breathlessly report that the military is having a hard time enlisting the children of the PMC because there are so many of them joining now that we can get that war with russia going!
                      Since you may not be paying attention to the news bernie removed himself from contention months ago so a bit of tilting at the windmill there…

          1. Amfortas the hippie

            perhaps ‘fix the police”(both cat and dog, who never agree on anything, glare at me)

            whatever, until i see sufficient grovelling and abject mea culpas in copworld, the only slogan that works for me:

            take away their frelling guns, at the very least.
            replace them with whisk brooms and feather dusters.
            make THEM wear pink uniforms and women’s underwear(yeah..https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/morning-mix/wp/2017/04/05/new-sheriff-in-town-to-close-joe-arpaios-outdoor-tent-city-jail-of-pink-underwear-fame/

            1. Phillip Cross

              “fix the police”… hmmm..Maybe, but only if we do it in the same way they “fix” dogs. Then there won’t be so many testosterone fueled blow ups…

              How about, “Rejig the Pigs”?

        1. howseth

          When I heard the “defund the police” slogan going around. I thought do the people using it want 4 more years of Donald Trump? Add that to the scenes America was watching of protests, riots, and looting – (amplified, of course, in conservative networks)

          I thought this is going to backfire. ‘Reform the police’ would have been positive. I got tired real quick of people defending ‘defund the police’ slogan – and then explaining what they meant by it. Where was the strategic thinking? Nada.

          1. drumlin woodchuckles

            How many people were upset by Protest Kiddies tearing down statues? How many TV viewers at home decided that this sort of Sack-Of-Rome behavior had to be stamped out, including by voting against the Party the home viewers were told supported the statue pullers?

        2. Aumua

          The whole point of getting more aggressive than ‘reform’ in the first place was that the institution of policing has effectively resisted all attempts at reforming it in the past. It’s not that those calling for defunding haven’t considered reform. They have simply realized that it doesn’t work. Police lobbies and unions are very powerful almost everywhere. At best you get superficial changes that don’t fix the underlying issues of militarization, cops in rough neighborhoods seeing the citizenry as the enemy, rampant steroid use, ever growing bloated police budgets, secret gangs within the departments, low accountability and cops being above the law in general, and yes racism. Defunding means taking their money and giving it to programs more appropriate for handling situations where cops don’t need to be involved, which just cuts through all the b.s. and gets right to the point: the police as an institution is what is out of control, not the citizens.

          1. Yves Smith

            Sorry, there isn’t even support for “defunding” in minority communities. The two New York City council members who opposed the deep level of cuts to the police budget recommended by the Mayor were representatives of communities of color.

            1. Aumua

              Well that may be, but I am simply relating my understanding where ‘defund the police’ comes from, and why the term has been used instead of reform.

    2. Stephanie

      Really long quote from the transcript:

      B.A. Parker: They understand. They don’t agree with the policy, but they understand why the Supreme Court made that decision. Because they say if the Constitution says the police must protect you, well, suddenly that’s going to incentivize the police to be a lot more heavy-handed. Then we’d have to arrest for jaywalking, we’d have to arrest for an open container, we’d have to arrest for everything. You would have essentially a police state.

      Jad: Is what you mean that they see Jessica Gonzales as, in a utilitarian sense, she’s the cost you pay to preserve our safety from over-policing?

      B.A. Parker: Yes.

      Jad: Yes. Now that I think about that– Are you convinced by that argument, that there is that slippery slope that they seem to be worried about?

      B.A. Parker: I mean, his idea that we either get discretion, meaning police make all their own subjective decisions, and how to enforce the law. “Hello, racial bias.” Or we get a world in which they have an obligation to enforce every law across the board, but you get a police state.

      I don’t understand why those have to be the two choices. That just seems bananas to me. I feel there is some medium and I don’t understand why the law can’t figure that out.

      “The cost you pay” mentioned above are the deaths of 3 kids who were kidnapped and murdered by their father while their mother begged the local police to track him down for violating his restraining order.

      The second case mentioned in the podcast was that of a man who sued the city of New York (and lost) because the police, who while they were in the subway car with him when he was repeatedly stabbed by a serial killer, did nothing to defend him during the attack.

      It does seem bananas that there is no middle ground, that there is no positive obligation on the part of the police to preserve life in the moment. On the other hand, the collective emphasis on negative rights in the legal system and the culture really explains, well, a lot. If the government has no obligation to prevent deaths by violence it certainly doesn’t have an obligation to prevent deaths by COVID or opiates or especially deaths by the police.

      1. ObjectiveFunction

        “if the Constitution says the police must protect you, well, suddenly that’s going to incentivize the police to be a lot more heavy-handed. Then we’d have to arrest for jaywalking, we’d have to arrest for an open container, we’d have to arrest for everything. You would have essentially a police state.”

        Umm, welcome to Singapore.

        (Or straying outside your authorized communities if you’re black in America)

  5. Biph

    Say what you will about the Democrats they just disproved the adage that you can’t beat something with nothing.

    Some thoughts about all that happened on election night. First the polls, nationally they weren’t that far off Biden was ahead by 7% in the final RCP polling aggregate he’ll end up winning the popular vote by 4-6% once all the votes everywhere are counted. Some state polling was pretty close others were off.

    The Senate races mostly tracked pretty close with the Presidential race the 2 outliers here would be MT and ME. In MT the Democrat ran about 5% better than Biden but Biden lost the State by 15%. In ME my guess is that Collins institutional loyalty pulled her through, I also think that if the election had went to a 2nd ballot it would be a lot closer than the current spread. Not that unusual I saw Harry Reid do a similar thing in a much bigger GOP year 2010.
    In the House what happened is simple the Dems were +8% nationally in 2018 they will end up 2-4% lower and in these heavily gerrymandered house districts these small percentage shifts nationally will lead to the results we got.
    Exit polling is garbage this year don’t buy any of it with the wide disparity in the method of voting by Dem and Dem leaning voters vs Rep and Rep leaning voters make them worthless. IDK if Trump actually did better with minorities outside of Cubans and Venezuelans in Dade county and that aint based on an exit poll.
    Anyone polled after voting in person was much more likely to be a Republican voter than in a normal election year and that goes for in person minority voters, but that does not make them representative of the electorate writ large with so many Dems choosing mail in ballots and therefore not able to be exit polled.

    There is no wide spread voter fraud Trump was able to get out a lot of people, more than I thought he could, I figured he’d max out at about 65 million he’s gonna get over 70. It wasn’t enough as Dems will end up with over 75 million. In 2020 HRC won the popular vote by 2.1% and Trump threaded the needle in 3 midwestern States where he won by less than 1%. Biden is going to end up doing at least 2% better than HRC and that means more votes and all those extra votes weren’t just from CA, NY and IL.
    In 2012 Obama won the popular vote by 3.9% and got 332 EV, if Biden wins the popular vote by 4% him ending up with 300+ EV seems expected, normal and fair.

    1. zagonostra

      Nothing “expected, normal and fair” about this election. Sanders was sandbagged, 20 + Dem candidates running for president when in 2016 you had 2. Iowa caucus shenanigans, the night of Obama’s “long knives,” I could go on…the only thing that was expected is that the establishment, from Rolling Stones to the NYT, did everything short of giving Biden a blood transfusion to make sure they got their man(churian for the deepstate) into power so that things, as Biden made clear, will not change. No M4A…well you know the spiel, in short no progressive policy period

      1. a different chris

        >Nothing “expected, normal and fair” about this election.

        Depends on where you start the clock. If you think this election would have been “fair” if Sanders wasn’t sandbagged in the primaries, I have me and a lot of others who aren’t D’s or R’s to look at you strangely. We weren’t even invited to the club.

        Not to mention the legion of actual D’s from California that get to watch South Carolina pick the candidate.

        Once it was Trump v Biden, that part was as fair as the Superbowl. Which is good enough, I guess.

        In any case, “it wasn’t fair” is a loser’s cry. Do something about it.

      2. John A

        Are you sure about not giving Biden a blood transfusion? Blood doping has a long and successful history of being difficult to discover. Biden, for the most part, looks like a cadaver not even warmed up half way.

      3. Biph

        I agree Sanders got sandbagged although the large number of Dem candidates to start the field isn’t surprising. Trump has been below the 50% almost his entire presidency it’s no surprise a large number of Democrats wanted the chance to run against him. I wanted Sanders to win but he and his team have to take some blame for what happened in SC he had 4 years to build up support there and instead he dropped 7% from his 2016 showing.
        Finally yes, in a Presidential election winning the popular vote by 4%+ and getting 300+ EV is expected normal and fair, which is all my commentary was about the results of the 2020 national election as we know them so far.

        1. fresno dan

          November 6, 2020 at 3:55 pm

          I think your analysis is petty good.
          IIRC were there quite a few NC posters none too pleased about Sanders going on about his good friend Joe Biden in the primaries. Politics is hardball and what was in Sanders control wasn’t played as hard as it could have been.
          1) Error and fraud happen in every election, so there are always individual incidents on which partisans whose candidate is behind can seize to suggest the whole process was illegitimate. With intensive media coverage, these incidents can be made to look like a bigger deal than they may actually be. The question always is: Did they really make a difference? So far, there is scant hard evidence of anything that made a difference — just generalized complaining about the dangers of mass mail-in voting, which I share, but which don’t prove systemic fraud in any state, much less in all the contested states.

          2) Trump supporters never like being reminded that it was a statistical miracle that the president won in 2016. I supported the president in the election and have supported him through his term when I thought he was right or was being unfairly maligned. But I have always tried to remind Trump supporters of how unlikely his presidency was; their retort has been to talk nonsense about the president’s “landslide victory” in the Electoral College — obviously, they prefer that metric because he comes out ahead, but in reality, it is in the bottom fifth of Electoral College victory margins in U.S. history.

          To cut to the chase, in 2016, against the worst candidate the Democrats have fielded in modern history, Trump won with only 46 percent of the vote in what was essentially a two-way race, losing the popular vote by 3 million, even though Mrs. Clinton also fell short of a majority (48%). Out of close to 140 million votes cast nationally, if just 75,000 votes in five counties across three states had gone the other way, Trump would have lost.
          And again, I make the point – if every vote is so gosh darn wonderful, how about the fact that Gore got more than Bush and Clinton got more than Trump…
          If people weren’t indoctrinated in childhood, they would see the obvious scam the electoral college is. And if people can’t see that scam, how do you expect them to see through the “socialized medicine” scam that the opponents of M4A use?

          1. OpenthepodbaydoorsHAL

            Suggest you crack an American history book sometime, the Electoral College was designed so a handful of corruptible big cities on the coasts did not dominate the lives of everybody else. If you think big city political machines are not corruptible then I’m afraid you should read up a little on that subject too, you might start with Boss Tweed, Richard Daly, etc.

            1. Biph

              You crack one first, the EC was compromise between those who wanted Congress to choose the President and those who wanted direct election by the people, electors chosen by the States was the compromise also using the 3/5 rule it allowed the slave states to be competitive with free states in terms of EV allocation, Boss Tweed had less than nothing to do with it.

            2. fresno dan

              November 6, 2020 at 8:15 pm

              All those wonderful southern rural folks who liked making dark people slaves…or do you think that’s not mentionable?

    2. clarky90



      “Before I became a novelist I was an accountant. In auditing you look for red flags. That’s weird bits in the data that suggest something shifty is going on. You flag those weird things so you can delve into them further. One flag doesn’t necessarily mean there’s fraud. Weird things happen. A few flags mean stupidity or dishonesty. But a giant pile of red flags means that there’s bad shit going on and people should be in jail.

      Except for in politics, where ………”

      1. Biph

        I’ll kill this entire paranoid screed, Democrats encouraged their voters to vote by mail, Republicans encouraged their voters to vote in person. That’s how you end up with things like counties going 71-29 for Trump in person and that same county going 62-38 for Biden in mail in voting.
        Look at the top line number the overall popular vote the one that’s least likely to be affected by any small time finagling in individual States. Trump barely won in 3 States by about 75K votes total, that gave him 306 EV, he lost the popular vote by 2% or 3 million votes, if HRC does .5% better nationally that’s 750K more votes nationally enough to likely wipe out Trumps 75K margin in those 3 States. Biden when everything is counted will beat Trump by 4-6% in the popular vote, it was fluky that Trump won last time it would be just this side of impossible for him to win this time while losing the popular vote by that much.

          1. Biph

            Tilden beat Hayes by 3% in the popular vote plus there was the whole issue of reconstruction which played the major part in how that election turned out. The Election of 1824 might be a better example of what your looking for although I say it’s best to just stick with elections from the 20th century on.

          1. Biph

            I’m hoping you’re just having some fun with the Gaffe Master in Chief, because I don’t won’t this place to become “voter fraud, voter fraud, voter fraud” the way a place like Kos has become “Russia, Russia, Russia”.

          2. marym

            “When Biden used the phrase “voter fraud organization,” he was referring to the systems put into place to help people who have trouble voting. He wasn’t admitting to voter fraud.

            Fox News wrote about the video clip on Oct. 25, referring to it as a “misspoken claim” and reporting, “Biden may have been referring to his campaign’s massive ‘election protection program,’ which includes former Attorney General Eric Holder and hundreds of other lawyers in preparation for a legal battle in the event of a contested election.””


            1. clarky90

              Now I get it! It’s just like “Hope and change you can believe in.” (Which in fact, meant, “unmitigated misery”).

              Ordinary people foolishly rely on Common English Usage for their flawed comprehension. The actual meanings can only be derived from a profound study, leading to understanding of the secret “spiritual” context of the numerology of each letter, in conjunction with the esoteric iterations of the harmonics of the syllables’ interactions with the consonants…..So so complex!

              Joe Biden ACTUALY was saying the complete opposite of what his words seemed to say! Right?

              1. Biph

                I thought you were joking, Biden won the election deal with it, there was no widespread voter fraud and yes the king of the G-D- gaffe did use a poorly worded description. Of course you could show a clip with the question Biden was asked so we could attach some context to what Biden said, but if you did that your entire BS, paranoid argument would fall apart and you know it.

                1. clarky90

                  I’ll attempt to decode Biph’s message to me, using the simple, “inside out, upside down” translation technique.

                  “Biph is concerned that Biden has lost the election to DJT because of blatant voter fraud. It was not widespread, but rather, precisely targeted for maximum effect.

                  Biph praises my stable sanity and wishes me well”

                  And now I will reciprocate in everyday english to Biph.

                  “It’s been fun talking to you Biph.
                  I wish you well! Godspede!”

              2. Basil Pesto

                so, wait, you’re taking spoken remarks by *checks notes* Joe Biden at face value? Stop being dense.

        1. Basil Pesto

          I’ll kill this entire paranoid screed, Democrats encouraged their voters to vote by mail, Republicans encouraged their voters to vote in person. That’s how you end up with things like counties going 71-29 for Trump in person and that same county going 62-38 for Biden in mail in voting.

          What’s even more annoying: this phenomenon was seen coming from a mile away, and has been described for the last two or so
          months, since about the time of the Postmaster General’s USPS jiggery-pokery. America is silly.

    3. km

      All Team D needed to disprove the adage was Trump’s incompetence, the COVID and associated economic collapse, four years of hysterical conspiracy mongering, the MSM taking on the role of the de facto Ministry of Propaganda, the tech companies openly assisting Biden, a string of endorsements from the AMA to Cynthia McCain, oh yeah, and a nearly two-to-one advantage in spending.

      Easy peasy.

    4. Darius

      I always said a lot of people would vote for a ham sandwich to get rid of Trump, and the Democrats obliged with Biden. But, people wouldn’t vote for a ham sandwich to get rid of their senators or state representatives, who weren’t constant irritants, like Trump. The Democrats were hoist on their own petard. So, yes. You can’t beat something with nothing.

      1. edmondo

        A ham sandwich would have gotten more votes than Biden. The guy stood there in a TV commercial wearing a mask and telling everyone he won’t hesitate to shut everything down to an audience in FKN Las Vegas! The Dems are damn lucky. they should have lost but I think God just wanted to screw with Hillary one more time so He let Biden win.

        Nancy is going to lose the House in 2022 so this is her Last Hurrah.

        1. aumua

          Well I’m sure the casino owners are strongly against shutting down no matter what, but I’ll bet a lot of the people who work there take COVID seriously enough that they wouldn’t be against the casinos shutting down if necessary. Depending on how much they will be taken care of with the interrupted income, of course.

    1. D. Fuller

      Hillary failed to register voters and lost. Obama ran a massive voter registration drive and won. Biden lacked a boots on the ground game and nearly lost.

      Barring Obama, and now Stacy Abrams? Democratic leadership has no ground game. Republicans, do.

      1. Darius

        Assuming Biden’s leads hold up, he owes his victory to independent organizing like Abrams’ effort. No good deed goes unpunished. The Democrats are deeply uncomfortable with independent organizing. I speculate that this counted against Abrams as a possible VP for Biden. Harris had a much more coveted constituency: the Hamptons.

        1. Darthbobber

          Had Abrams, rather than Ossoff 2.0 been the candidate for GA Senate, she might have overperformed Biden and taken Perdue’s seat.

          1. KLG

            Very true. Ossoff has no standing in Georgia. But Abrams hurt herself when she took the Bloomberg money.

        2. Brunches with Cats

          “Harris had a much more coveted constituency: the Hamptons.”

          Well, she must have pi$$ed off some of the neighbors. Suffolk Co. currently is looking a little red, with Trump ahead 56-43%. That could change after all of the absentee ballots are counted, but still…

          1. D. Fuller

            Given the amount of money blown on failed races? In 2016 & this year… money is no longer a guarantee. It helps though.

            Digital ad buys don’t make up for door-to-door considering that most on FB and other social media platforms ignore those ads in favor of those ads that already reinforce their beliefs.

            Ad services Alphabet sure do love the money though.

          2. neo-realist

            Suffolk County has always been on the red side, Harris or no Harris. They like low taxes and keeping the area the color of their bedsheets:).

        3. D. Fuller

          Greg Palast and other groups including Abrams’ group led the fight against Republican voter suppression (caging, etc) while Democrats stood mostly on the sidelines not much bothering to lend a hand.

          Crosscheck was destroyed in litigation for instance. 3rd party groups funded the effort. Dems did squat for the most part.

    2. Phil in KC

      Question: what, if any reward will the Democratic National Committee give Abrams for her stellar work?

    3. rowlf

      Stacey Abrams has a long history of registering voters in Georgia. In a long detailed interview in 2016 then Georgia Secretary of State Brian Kemp mentioned her work and how many of the names got registered and not registered during each registration effort. His tone and manner on the subject seemed even but he noted that his office had gone through the dance several times with her group and there seemed to be some exaggeration to her claims of suppression when his office felt a name didn’t meet the state standards. I can’t say who was correct and who had the drama, and I don’t think either one is a saint. I think both have ambitious natures.

  6. fresno dan

    NV: “What Happens In Vegas May Not Stay In Vegas: Why The Nevada Challenge Could Be Important To The Presidential Election” [Jonathan Turley].

    In Nevada, this is a particular concern because many workers moved out of the state due to the pandemic’s impact on the casino industry. You cannot vote if you moved out of the state over 30 days prior to the balloting.
    And how long do you have to live in another state to establish residency so you can vote???
    In CA, Google says to be a CA resident:
    Physical presence. You must be continuously physically present in California for more than one year (366 days) immediately prior to the residence determination date of the term for which you request resident status.
    I would bet other states are similar.

    Get dislocated and lose the right to vote. A cynic might say we’re regressing to only when property owners could vote…
    Can we just please dispense with the rah rah USA USA we love democracy and letting everyone who wants to vote can vote total incessant bullsh*t. Judge political parties by their actions and NO, they don’t want to maximise voting.

    1. Amfortas the hippie

      it’s exceedingly difficult to vote when one is homeless, too.
      on purpose.
      someone finds a way to overcome this….like shelters allowing people to use their address(i did this, in austin…we had a steady group of homeless people who came for showers and BBQ and to get out of the cold, and i let them use my addy)…and the Machine is swift to kill it.

      could be a big problem, going forward.

    2. Procopius

      I suppose you have to link to what seems to be serious opinion, but I’ve grown to hate the many, many, many articles that spread FUD through mere speculation. Don’t tell me that something could be important, wait until it actually is important and then tell me. I’ve got plenty of troubles for today, I don’t need speculations about tomorrow, too. “Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.”

  7. Darius

    Stacy Abrams leading a group that registered 800,000 new voters explains why Biden passed her over for VP. No good deed goes unpunished. Kamala was popular with the key constituency: the Hamptons. Abrams organizing actual voters counts against her for the Money Democrats. All those new voters aren’t easily controlled.

    1. Biph

      FWIW there will be a very strong push to make her DNC chair, she checks all the right boxes and now has the resume to back it up. I’d put money on that being her next job.

      1. neo-realist

        Considering the herculean job she did in getting a lot of voters registered, it might be a strike against Abrams in getting the DNC chair with the Clinton/Obama corporate factions. Getting a lot of people registered mean they’ll demand stuff and the donors don’t want the little people to get stuff.

    2. Lambert Strether Post author

      > Stacy Abrams leading a group that registered 800,000 new voters

      I was impressed. But does anybody know where the 800,000 figure comes from? Most sources that use it qualify it with “reportedly” and some such. Abrams herself uses it, but doesn’t say where she got it from:

      ELLY: I mentioned you have been super focused on getting people out to vote, getting first-timers registered. You founded the voter rights organization Fair Fight, which looks like it has registered more than 800,000 new voters in Georgia. That is a lot. Talk to me about the significance, how that changes an election.

      ABRAMS: I want to be clear. So I created an organization about six years ago called the New Georgia Project. That has focused exclusively on voter registration. And New Georgia Project is part of a consortium of organizations* that have been working hard to register voters of color and voters who are unlikely voters. We also have had easier voting processes made possible because of the Motor Voter Act being really fully implemented in the state of Georgia. And so 800,000 new voters are an incredible number, but the credit should be shared.

      I will say, of those numbers, what we are excited about is that 45% of those new voters are under the age of 30. Forty-nine percent are people of color. And all 800,000 came on the rolls after November ’18, which means these are voters who weren’t eligible to vote for me but are eligible to participate in this upcoming election. And we have been working assiduously to get them turned out.

      There’s nothing in the press release section at Fair Fight. Ditto at the New Georgia Project.

      I spent about half-an-hour with the Google, and couldn’t come up with any links to the 800,000 figure except to the NPR interview above, i.e., Abrams herself.

      Can anybody do better?

      NOTE * So the 800,000 number is aggregated from a consortium — how? — and those registered from the Motor Voter Act?

    1. D. Fuller

      Popular Mathematics, Denning Miller, 1942.

      Copied by the Soviets to teach mathematicians (and cryptographers).

      Best damn mathematics book ever, IMHO. New Math & Common Core would despise that book. One 45 minute lesson from that book taught my nephew over 2 weeks of Common Core math.

        1. rowlf

          I have two old US Navy electronics books that are pure gold. Figure the military had to have some system to teach knuckleheads* how to work on technical stuff.

          *I was mentored by veterans and paid close attention to the smart ones.

        2. D. Fuller

          Those are good also. Miller’s book is so much better though. It doesn’t just teach you the math. It teaches why math is.

      1. Lambert Strether Post author

        > Popular Mathematics, Denning Miller, 1942.

        Maybe this book would solve my problems with math! But I can’t find a PDF online, and the only copies at Amazon are like $800….

        1. MichaelSF

          Look again, the $800 was for a new copy. I ordered a good used copy through Amazon from Thriftbooks-Reno for $6.67 (the neighbor of the beast), and there were other copies in that range available. I went for the seller closest to me to reduce shipping time.

  8. michael99

    The margins in PA and GA couldn’t be much smaller:

    PA (20 electoral votes): Biden leads by 0.2%, or about 14,000 votes, ~96% of votes reported

    GA (16 electoral votes): Biden leads by <0.1%, or about 1,500 votes, ~98% of votes reported

    (from NYT)

    1. Biph

      In PA Biden’s lead will grow and probably end up around 50-70K votes before they get to provisional ballots which will likely put Biden up further. Those will include a lot of people who changed their mind on voting by mail but didn’t surrender their mail in ballot and we know who mail in ballots in PA favor by a wide margin.
      GA is going to a recount assuming Biden retains or increases his 1500 vote lead it’s highly likely he wins there, but not impossible for that to be reversed in a recount. Typically recounts only change things by a few hundred votes at most, I think the recount in WI in 2016 added ~130 votes to Trumps total.

        1. Biph

          In GA? No the military ballots that arrived by election day were counted with all the other election day ballots. There are ~9000 outstanding overseas military ballots that had been sent out but not received back by election day that have until today to arrive that could be counted if post marked on or before election day.

        2. Biph

          Just to get an idea I looked up the results in Chattahoochee County GA (Fort Benning) and Trump won there by 13.5% so if all 9000 ballots came in and Trump won them by that 13.5% margin, it still wouldn’t be enough to overtake Biden’s current lead, but could dwindle it down to ~300 votes making winning in a re-count much more likely, but that’s lot of ifs.

  9. Glen

    Regarding stealth camping vans and YouTube:

    I have seen a MASSIVE uptick on YouTube for stealth camping, do it yourself van conversion, building mini cabins out in the woods, and all subjects related to inexpensive, off the radar living. Of course, given the the YouTube AI, all you have to do is watch one and you get bombarded, but yeah, I’m seeing lots of this stuff for the last couple of years.

    I don’t think it all started with CV, but CV has sped up the trend. It basically is because everybody knows “the American Dream” of a good job and a home in the suburbs is dead for most Americans..

  10. MikeW_CA

    “What Happens In Vegas May Not Stay In Vegas: ”
    California ballot mailers have “Return service requested”.
    Anybody know about Nevada?

  11. noonespecial

    Note from one of Trump and Co.’s court appearances

    The author at Esquire includes a part of tweet thread from Alan Feuer (NY Times person present at a Philly court) observed/heard insofar as the GOP’s claim that vote counting is non-visible to them:

    “Judge asks campaign lawyer if GOP observers are in the room or not. Lawyer says there “is a non-zero number” of them in the room. Judge, losing patience, asks, “Are people repping DJT Trump for President in that room?”
    “Yes.” “Then what’s the problem?” judge asks.”


    “A non-zero number” – Is this the answer which was decided upon prior to the hearing by GOP handlers? Logic and rhetoric practice, and the torpedoes be damned, full steam ahead, say thee?

    Ah, (dons NJ-accent) I don’t mean no disrespect, but ain’t there a better choice of words? And is there a refund clause in that retainAH contract, yo?

    These words rank up there with “alternative facts”.

      1. notabanker

        “The problem is that they are babies. Big authoritarian babies who don’t believe in democracy.”

        Diapers and a warm bottle, problem solved!

  12. Jeremy Grimm

    I could not bring myself to read Gibson’s “Peripheral” after hearing of his alternate reality with a Hillery win for POTUS. If Biden is POTUS I guess I can try to read “Peripheral”. I might be able to tolerate the mutterings of a dottering nebish where the shrill obnoxiousness of Hillery was all too toxic for even a taste. Is it fair to think the “Peripheral” will lose little of its impact and meaning against the contexts of backgrounds with a Biden in place of a Hillery?

    1. lyman alpha blob

      The Peripheral is really good and you should read it either way. It’s the sequel to it that Gibson wrote after he came down with TDS (I forget the title) that has the Hillary alternate reality – I haven’t read it and don’t plan to after seeing it panned here at NC.

      The Peripheral is good at making Gibson’s point about the future being already here, just not evenly distributed with its descriptions of a poverty stricken US strip mall drug infested wasteland. Fun stuff!

        1. DaveC

          FWIW, in both Peripheral & Agency the near future part of the story is a very minor part of the plot. Social criticism of the present is really the point of both. I wouldn’t say Gibson has TDS, but I’m biased pretty blue.

          1. Lambert Strether Post author

            > the near future part of the story is a very minor part of the plot.

            That’s true, but there are other parts to stories, including setting and theme, where the Clintonite future plays an important role. Gibson himself has said:

            Gibson explained that he began writing the novel as a standalone book in 2016, only to find that the presidential election changed his near-future world, and that the entire story would need to be rewritten. “I assumed that if Trump won, I’d be able to shift a few things and continue to tell my story,” he said. Instead, he decided to keep the original sequence of events by turning back to the mechanism he used in The Peripheral: people in the 22nd century have the ability to alter the past and create alternate timelines.

            If an event causes an author to feel the need to rewrite their book, it’s safe to say that event is important to the book and not a “minor part.”

    2. Jeremy Grimm

      Thanks! I like Gibson very much and will seek out a copy of “Peripheral”.

      Gibson’s observation of the “future being already here, just not evenly distributed” seemed plainly obvious the minute I heard the idea.

  13. Seth Miller

    What do we learn, Palmer:

    My daughter is 16 now, but when she was little I used to recite this ditty I made up. I hope you like it.

    This little piggy went to Harvard
    This little piggy went to Yale
    This little piggy went to Princeton
    And this little piggy went to Jail
    And these little piggies went “whee whee whee” all the way home.

    1. Jeremy Grimm

      Would the line “And this little piggy went to jail” be better if replaced by “And these little piggies went to jail”? I believe it might better fit the world we live in. Although … “And these bad little piggies were never jailed” might fit the world we live in even better.

      1. Seth Miller

        Yes, definitely. We aren’t having more kids, though, so will have to wait for nieces, nephews and grandkids to try the new version.

        1. Samuel Conner

          The elites really have no clue how they are viewed by the rest of us.

          Keep up the good work!

          Cultural formation is a key aspect of “social reproduction.”

          1. ambrit

            I’ve had “interactions” with the American elites most of my life. It is obvious that ‘they’ do not care anything what the rest of us think about them. Many of them are too busy playing “in group” games.

    1. edmondo

      With a diminished majority and a larger Squad, Ms. Pelosi ought to be treating the progressives with kid gloves. There are now enough members of the Progressive Caucus to stymie any legislation Nancy wants if they all stick together. I wonder if they know how to use power?

      1. Jason Boxman

        As I recall, anyone can join the progressive caucus, so it’s hard to believe it has any real legitimacy.

        Besides, isn’t passing legislation with Republican votes the ultimate in bipartisan excellence?

        1. ambrit

          The big question is, can the “caucus” maintain ideological cohesion in legislation. That’s why the “whip” is one of the most important positions in any party legislative group.

      2. Temporarily Sane

        If they actually learn how to use power I’ll take back some of the mean things I’ve said about AOC and co.

  14. Seth Miller

    Re: Turley

    Turley says that a voter temporarily displaced from Clark County for more than thirty days prior to the election would not be eligible to vote. I doubt he’s right about that. I litigate similar issues under New York law, and whether the standard is domicile (where you call home) or primary residence (where you physically reside), an excusable interruption of long duration does not change your residence. To me, it is inconceivable that any state would construe its voter eligibility statute differently. Even before the pandemic, teachers would go on Sabbatical, musicians would go on tour, anthropologists would go on digs, filmmakers would go on location, and not forfeit their voting rights. Turley is usually a good lawyer, but on this issue, I call bullshit.

    1. DaveC

      Heck, there was a Congressman in my state who for practical purposes lived in my district, but was elected to Congress in an adjacent district. IDK what he did to establish residency in the neighboring district, but he was never challenged on that. Difficult to imagine this wasn’t known to his partisan opposition.

      I support some federal investment in cleaning up voter roles, e.g. deceased persons. I do not think any sort of interstate voter checking for multiple registrations is politically viable. It does make sense for states to check for multiple registrations for the same individual in-state. That would come at a cost of some disenfranchisement because some would get booted from voter roles and not return.

      It would cost more, but if there were a federal mandate for jurisdictions to issue pre-printed paper ballots, it would be almost trivial to give ballots unique but anonymous validation ID numbers. Again, that would cost more than the current system. Unlikely there is political will to pay for it.

      1. Oh

        I fail to see why you have to establish residency in any state if you are a US citizen. After all only citizens can vote not residents who are not citizens. Looks like another way to reduce the number of people who can vote.

        But wait. We are an exceptional country….

    2. Lambert Strether Post author

      > an excusable interruption of long duration does not change your residence.

      And if economic collapse + a pandemic have caused people to “move” who nonetheless voted in Nevada, how is that detectable?

  15. Brunches with Cats

    “I would love to see both corporations and advertisers/marketers forbidden to enter the marijuana or hallucinogen market, and everything given to small growers. Utopian, I know.”

    I would love to believe that corporations and investors rushing to dominate a projected $100 billion market had absolutely nothing to do with the success of ballot measures legalizing marijuana and psychedelics. Cynical, I know.

    1. Jeremy Grimm

      I like to hope that small and private growers might slip under what ever details of taxation and laws protect the interests of Corporations and investors and quietly provide but with more hopes of a less hostile reception by ‘law’ enforcement.

      1. ArcadiaMommy

        If you are smart in this line of business you will do everything to comply with state and tax law. The mom and pop type of operations struggle with these issues and they are increasingly facing problems with product testing. You can’t risk your license. Just what I have observed and worked with. Personal grows are a different story but there aren’t issues with taxation and product testing.

        1. ambrit

          As is the case with our benighted baliwack, “home grow” is still a felony. Medical marijuana just passed in Mississippi, but it has so many curbs and snaffles that it is primarily a money maker for the Medical Industrial Complex.

          1. Brunches with Cats

            “so many curbs and snaffles” … which was precisely my point. If there weren’t potential billions to be made, and in a way that a few large players could regulate everyone else out of existence, there would be no ballot measures or bills in the state legislatures to legalize it in the first place.

      2. hunkerdown

        Home grow laws in the US don’t tax the product since there’s no transaction to excise. If you have clear propriety to use the grow and processing space, push your plants to get the most from the statutory personal plant limit, and don’t give any Feds any reason to be near it, you’re good.

        Michigan, for its part, has a liquid wealth minimum as its main barrier for commercial marijuana licensees, depending on the type of license being sought. That part seems a little sus to me.

  16. zagonostra

    >UPDATE “Liberalism & Fascism: The Good Cop & Bad Cop of Capitalism” [Black Agenda Report]

    Far from being exceptional or intermittent, fascism is thus an integral part of the systems of governance within which we live, or at least most people live. It is not something that might arrive in the future

    I know how people (over)react when you tell them this country is fascist, they will tell you if it were truly so you wouldn’t be able to say what your saying, nor would you enjoy the freedoms you do. But if fascism is the capture of the mechanism/bureaucracy of government by corporations, which the classical definition, it doesn’t matter that you can post comments and voice your opinion, or freely live under a bridge.

    What the BAR article lacked was an analysis of how tech/globalization/surveillance is changing the dynamics from when Mussolini used the term. Technology, big tech, big pharma, big everything is changing how fascism operates. The goals are still the same, power, control, and domination over others and exploitation of the Earth’s natural resources.

    1. Lambert Strether Post author

      > I know how people (over)react when you tell them this country is fascist,

      I think the key point of the BAR article is this:

      The dominant paradigm for understanding the relationship between states and government can thus be summed up in terms of one overarching principle: each state, if it is not in an open civil war, only has one form of government at one point in time, which rules over its entire territory and population. The one-state-one-government paradigm dissimulates the complex ways in which populations are governed.

      So, no, not “this country.” I like demolishing the “one-state-one-government paradigm” because having done that, it’s easier to give accounts of (say) the liberal Democrat thirst for leadership (there’s a name for that…), their authoritarian followership following the night of the long knives, the “unity” madness… It’s possibly for there to be fascist subsystems in a complex system that is not, taken as a whole, fascist.

      I’m toying with the metaphor that full-blown Fascism is Covid with the full-blown SARS-COV-2 taking over all the machinery of State and Civil Society to reproduce itself. But even after the body politic has thrown off the attack, still there are RNA fragments of the full virus lying about and detectable…

  17. CuriosityConcern

    A naming proposal for next arbitrary grouping of people based on their age: The Baby Zoomers.

  18. The Rev Kev

    Pretty remarkable turnaround for the candidate who came down that golden escalator and accused Mexico of sending us their “rapists.”

    Yeah, about that. I have met many emigrants that were heavily against so-called boat people. People who ‘jumped the queue’ so to say. These legal immigrants did the right thing by doing the qualifications and all the rest of it to come to a new country and resented those who bypassed that to just arrive through the back door. I would imagine that it might be the same with legal immigrants in America versus those who just turn up. So you might find not that much sympathy among legal immigrants to the people that Trump was talking against.

    1. Kfish

      The same thing happens here in Australia: recent immigrants tend to vote socially conservative because the left’s sympathy for illegal arrivals (refugees on boats and visa overstayers, since we’re an island) doesn’t resonate with them as much as the right’s emphasis on tradition, family and order.

      1. The Rev Kev

        Not that long ago we had a vote on gay marriage vote in Oz which passed with a majority. But what shocked a lot of so-called liberals back then was that these immigrants that Kfish talked about came out and voted against that measure because of their beliefs in tradition, family and order.

        1. Biph

          Similar thing happened in 2008 in CA with prop 8 (gay marriage ban) where it was it’s support in AA communities helped put it over the top.
          It seems to me that gay marriage and legal weed are similar, in that there is majority resistance to them until it is implemented and people see it doesn’t cause the world to spin off it’s axis then solid majorities support it.

          1. WobblyTelomeres

            Opposition always seems to arise when the preachers and the bootleggers find common cause. Even in states that legalize it, odd impediments are created. Such as saying licensed transporters cannot be licensed sellers cannot be licensed growers, and by the way, that will be $250k to get a license to be any one of the three.

            1. Biph

              I know there are a bunch of stupid wonky rules, when I do drive up pick ups the person with my weed can’t hand it to me directly but has to put it in the passenger or back seat and before that when I’d go inside if the cost was $80 I couldn’t just hand the clerk a $100 and walk away but had to take my change then put it in their tip jar. I wish it was as easy as buying beer, but it still beats the hell out of having to deal with drug dealers.

      2. Basil Pesto

        it’s worth clarifying: per the Convention on Refugees which Australia is party to, a refugee who arrives by illegal means and makes themselves known immediately, is not considered an illegal immigrant (see article 31).

  19. The Rev Kev

    “Horse mastery helped mysterious Mongolian warriors build a multiethnic empire”

    ‘genetic diversity rose sharply around 200 B.C.E. Populations from western and eastern Mongolia mixed with each other and with people carrying genes from as far away as present-day Iran and Central Asia.’

    It has been many years since I read it but was not the purpose of the Fremen Jihad in Frank Herbert’s “Dune” revealed to be that it was needed to spread different strains of human DNA near and far to rejuvenate the human race which had been too siloed on their own planets?

    1. Amfortas the hippie

      and not just genetic siloing, but all kinds of siloing…spiritual, intellectual, teche, etc
      silo=stagnation and decline.
      this is what Paul saw in his visions and turned away from…and what Leto II, as God Emperor, engineered in his Scattering.
      enslaved and kept them all in a box for a few thousand years, until they killed him and ran off in all directions.
      no more eggs in one basket.

      (the first six books(Papa Franks part of it) are a masterpiece…and textbooks on political economy and how Power works.)

  20. Terry Flynn

    I found the report on yesterday’s water cooler regarding the failure of ranked voting amendment in MA to be interesting. Amherst (a centre of people involved with the mathematics of things like voting) went heavily for it but ultimately the state rejected it. The stated explanation is that “people think it’s too complicated”.

    In this case the “media wisdom” might be right. It’s well known (and illustrated in Australia where I lived for a number of years) that ranked voting can give weird results. I have to declare an interest here…. I co-wrote textbook on best-worst scaling (https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Best%E2%80%93worst_scaling) BUT I must emphasize I’ve had NOTHING to do with applying it to voting.

    Groups in Mainland Europe did that… And get interesting results… The “practical” results are that nasty populists get eliminated.but does the resulting “tendency to elect centrists” seem ok? Value judgment that I won’t comment on.

  21. drumlin woodchuckles

    ” A lousy hundred billion?” Well, let’s remember what Senator Everett Dirksen once said.

    ” A lousy hundred billion here and a lousy hundred billion there, and pretty soon you’re talking about real money.”

  22. The Rev Kev

    Laura Palmer Raids
    We are mere months away from white liberals telling us it is good that Joe Biden is sending in troops to quell the uprisings of Black people.

    More likely it will be Kamala the Cop that will be sending in the troops who will be giggling about it on TV as she talks about cracking heads. ‘Ordnung muss sein!’

    1. DaveC

      We are weeks away from massive social & economic disruption from COVID19. Would that it weren’t so, but it feels inevitable. Economic inequality will make things worse and more tense. You sound like you want to provoke the uprisings? How will that help those with low income & no health insurance? Its going to be a dark winter. Have some empathy for your fellow humans – where a mask & stay home if you can.

      1. The Rev Kev

        This is me doing my Cassandra act here yet once again and giving a heads-up on what to expect. This is a woman who is one heartbeat away from the Presidency so she bears close scrutiny. Watch the following video clip and then listen to how the main stream media is saying how she is the most liberal politician ever-

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-mRH2lePYws (15:39 mins)

        I get it. Nerves are frayed and the general situation not looking optimistic. What I am saying is that you have to look with a realistic eye at what is around you. Just remember that for your own health’s sake that you should learn how to turn it off at night. Get a good meal, read a decent book and have a good night’s sleep. It helps. To repeat a quote, it is only in the dark of the night that you can see the stars.

  23. Darthbobber

    Generally like the Black Agenda Report piece, except that history has already happened to the word Fascism. It’s inextricably tied to its manifestations under Hitler and Mussolini, and those connotations are unavoidable.

    You can of course expand it to include all those uses of violence from orders facing threats that span the entire history of this country and predate our existence by centuries elsewhere. But if you’re talking about something that widespread and common, dating back centuries before the political descriptor Fascism was ever uttered, why use the term Fascist? Other than to associate them with Mussolini and Hitler?

  24. Brunches witih Cats

    Organizers of anti-Trump protests issued a press release saying they were holding back and standing by. It’s dated 11/5, but apparently the volunteers got it just after noon on Tuesday. Excerpts:

    Bipartisan[*] Coalition Of 165 Groups Remains Ready To Mobilize

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — Today, as millions of votes are counted and with Joe Biden’s lead in several key states growing, the Protect the Results coalition is announcing that it will not be activating the entire national mobilization network today, but remains ready to activate if necessary. While the coalition will not be activating its national network, some local organizers may still hold “Count Every Vote” events in their community. …

    [W]e know that Trump may say and do anything he can to cling to power—and that’s why the entire coalition will remain vigilant in the days and weeks ahead. We are ready to mobilize if needed to ensure every vote is counted and respected. …


    Sure looks like the outcome is being negotiated by the elites. Maybe they didn’t expect Trump to do as well as he did (or in the states where they had Plans B and C positioned) and need more time?

    * LOL

    1. Lambert Strether Post author

      > Coalition Of 165 Groups Remains Ready To Mobilize

      165, forsooth. The multiplication of NGOs and groupuscles is a weakness not a strength.

      Clarifying, it’s a weakness if these groups which to achieve their professed aims. When “these people” are thought of as rather like a tangled mangrove swamp that soaks up kinetic energy and protects a shore, the Democrat Party, from erosion, it’s a strength.

  25. MichaelSF

    Who will get the appointment to fill the rest of Harris’ Senate term (presuming she vacates as is looking likely)? Will Gov. Newsom go for AG Becerra? I’m drawing a blank on what other big name state elected official might get it. Of course, we could always hope that if that happens the new AG shows a little spine and has a long look at CalPers. Or maybe it is time for Marcie Frost to fail upwards again to Capitol Hill?

  26. Brunches with Cats

    Warming up the audience (although the guitar playing must be freezing his @$$ off).


    Rise and Resist is on the “partners” list. Score one for Lambert: There’s your “street theatre.” Apparently there’s going to be a “day of celebration” tomorrow, not sure what that entails, other than a bigger crowd. Don’t expect much plywood will be damaged until Biden is “officially” declared the winner, setting the stage for Trump to “officially” refuse to concede.

      1. hunkerdown

        John Robb either called this or helped design this.

        At the center of this effort will be a tech-fueled enemies list — a state-sanctioned enemies list, created by corporations at the behest of the government, of people who support domestic violence and adjacent ideologies. Additionally, there will be a proliferation of open-source lists of fascist/racist enemies built by the networked tribes (already in motion). Companies will use these lists to determine who allowed access to their services (from dating to retail to travel).

        Whois database information shows that it’s hosted and registered with Google, which doesn’t necessarily mean Google is behind it.

        I like that Avast antivirus lists The Trump Registry (correctly) as a phishing site.

      2. jr

        A bon mot:

        “They should look to Russia. They seemed to have supported them for four years. They need to wear the shame of supporting that man and atone until their dying breath. We don’t need fascists here.“

        My emphasis…

    1. Daryl

      Would be nice if they could be really thorough on this. Like, include all the Dems who wanted Trump to win the Republican primary as a goof in 2016. And Obama for making fun of him a decade ago and planting the seed.

    2. rowlf

      Lists had a part in the Korean film Taegukgi about the Korean war. The film takes the gloss off of having a civil war.

  27. Phillip Cross

    If you want to peek through the looking glass and see the latest in the wingnut fantasy operation called, “Stop The Steal” then please check out: https://thedonald.win/ …and I thought the wing nuts on here were delusional!

    1. Biph

      I think this is the first time I’m seeing the GOP get upset about voting machines and their software.
      Maybe one good thing that will come about because of this is both sides will agree on hand marked paper ballots and we can get rid of those god awful voting machines.

    2. tegnost

      Hi Philip! I just got off the zoom call with the guys and everyone was so excited that biden won (Yay!)
      and so I asked ok now that trump is gone what do you expect/think biden should/will do? And certainly I pose this question to you as well?
      or maybe now the elections over we’ll never hear from you again, that sounds kind of like a “see ya wouldn’t wanna be ya'” kind of sign off.

      1. Phillip Cross

        I oppose them all, no matter which faction they represent. The whole system is broken and unfixable.

        With the powerful tools of subliminal persuasion and emotional manipulation constantly deployed against us, “we” are going to keep electing the worst of us, until the bitter end.

        Whilst long term is a no win situation for me, once every four years, I do quite enjoy the spectacle of those who invested themselves into the tribal charade, flailing around aimlessly.

  28. VietnamVet

    The contradictions of the rule by the 5% who get richer at everyone else’s expense by dismantling government are getting pretty glaring obvious. Government is the only way humans have found to fight pestilence and foreign invaders. Strong borders, a democratic based militia, and public health systems are the only way to maintain a sustainable societies. A money based service economy is patently unable to keep its customers healthy and alive. The chance that there will be an effective coronavirus vaccine that is distributed equably is nil in neo-liberal West.

    The clear difference between nations that controlled the virus like Australia and China and those like the USA and the EU that can’t are too stark to hide by propaganda. The Western Empire has fallen just like the Soviet Union did. There are two choices ahead; restore the New Deal or chaos.

    1. The Rev Kev

      In all fairness old Joe did say that nothing will change. So Rahm is showing that they will still use the same, old playbook from when Big O had the Presidency. And they will move America from the parallel time-line that we are living in now to the one where Hillary won back in 2016.

    2. Pat

      Next he’ll be helping police set up black box sites in every city in America so troublemakers can disappear, because he has never failed to double down on hideously bad arrogant and prejudicial ideas.

  29. Pat

    Let’s see, Abrams and her group registers 800,000+ voters in Georgia. Biden wins there by less than 2000.
    There is online speculation that Abrams will be in line to head DNC.
    My speculation is that any attempts by her to expand her voter registration nationally in that position will be stymied by entrenched representatives who know only suburban Republicans, lobbyists and bundlers are important.
    I will also predict massive losses in 2022 after the Biden administration is ineffectual against Covid, does nothing to fight a recession/depression but install “necessary” austerity measures, etc and all the candidates run on being the adults in the room with not a “socialist” in sight. It will all be blamed on Abrams, who won’t have done enough.

    Because no good deed goes unpunished.

    1. Katiebird

      (Nodding) I feel a lot like I did the night Jimmy Carter won. A sick feeling in my stomach that didn’t go away for 30+ years. Actually, I guess it never went away….

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