2:00PM Water Cooler 11/9/2020

By Lambert Strether of Corrente.

Patient readers, as usual there was an enormous amount of material over the weekend, and I can’t get to all of it, since I have a post to complete. I will, however, get to Pfizer. –lambert UPDATE All done!

Bird Song of the Day

Wake up!


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:

The Northeast (orange) really stands out.

Hospitalization by region:

Again, the Northeast (green) stands out for its enormous spikes.

DE: “Coronavirus spike at UD ‘directly related’ to Halloween parties, spokeswoman confirms” [Newark Post]. “The recent spike in COVID-19 cases at the University of Delaware is a result of numerous large parties over Halloween weekend, a university official confirmed Friday.” • Can’t believe college administrators had the whole summer to figure out college kids partied.

IN: “Notre Dame AD Jack Swarbrick addresses Clemson postgame field storming” [South Bend Tribune]. “The bookend experience flashed through Jack Swarbrick’s mind as he watched a wall of humanity Saturday night coming toward him with relentless conviction to celebrate on Notre Dame Stadium’s turf…. Saturday night’s game [was] played in a pandemic and the field storm that took place afterward looking like a potential COVID-19 super-spreader event to a curious college football world.”

KY: “‘Truly frightening.’ 2,302 new Kentucky coronavirus cases and 10 deaths.” [Herald-Leader]. “Calling the latest case increase “truly frightening,” Gov. Andy Beshear announced 2,302 new cases of COVID-19 in Kentucky on Friday — the second highest single-day increase of new cases — lifting the statewide infection total to 117,505. Thursday’s increase set a record for most new cases reported in a single day. ‘I know we’ve been in this fight for so long that it’s easy to get numb to the scary headlines and high case numbers,’ the governor said in a written statement. ‘That’s normal. It’s human nature. But you have to understand this is the most dangerous COVID-19 has ever been in the commonwealth.’ Hospitalizations continue to rapidly climb.”

RI: The “East Side” is where Brown University is located:


“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 Democrats in Disarray

“A Battle for the Soul of the Democratic Party” [Marianne Williamson, Newsweek]. “Donald Trump did not create those situations; those situations created Donald Trump. And if the Biden administration reflexively falls back into the institutionalized patterns of soft injustice that produced the dysfunction to begin with, rather than springing forward into fundamental disruptions of those patterns, then the next truck could be even bigger…. Joe Biden’s win is not a healing; it’s a reprieve. Now, not later, is the time to make that very clear both to ourselves and to him. The Democratic Party has no basis for self-congratulations at this point. When your opponent is a neo-fascist who has more in common with Mussolini than with Lincoln and has supervised the death of almost a quarter-million Americans, yet all you can do is beat him by a razor-thin margin, that is not a sign that things are going well. It’s a sign that some merciful force to be greatly praised came through at the last minute and saved you.”

“Before the Dust Has Settled, Corporate Democrats Are Already Attacking AOC and the Left” [David Sirota, Jacobin]. “[M]oney never sleeps, and money is already hard at work trying to make sure nothing fundamentally changes in politics — and if nothing fundamentally changes in Washington, then everything is going to change for the worse in the real world. If you hear people tell you to just shut up and celebrate and take some time off, they are ignoring the insomnia of money. Corporate interests don’t rest — they are like a T-1000 Terminator interminably pursuing their prime directives, which is to continue enriching the billionaire class. The election has not deterred them, which means we sleep at our own peril.”

“Will the Democrats Ever Make Sense of This Week?” [The New Republic]. “There’s a real Goldilocks quality to what Biden seems to have pulled off: a campaign that eroded Trump’s strength with core white constituencies without leaning into cultural dog whistles; that got where it needed to with Black voters despite Biden’s record on criminal justice and the year’s tumult; and that substantively stepped to the left of the last Democratic campaign, even as Biden issued public repudiations of the progressives that got him there. All of it was wrapped up with a bow by a quasi-spiritual message about a return to decency, comity, and bipartisanship. It was the perfect moderate campaign, and it was enough to win. And yet it was also a disaster. Leaving aside the fact that Biden’s apparent victory is narrow enough that Trump very plausibly might have won absent the pandemic or with a different political strategy, the campaign did seemingly nothing whatsoever to help Democrats down ballot. The failure to produce a real legislative mandate, as nearly a quarter of a million Americans lie dead in a situation the president has plainly worsened and mismanaged, is a disturbing and catastrophic setback not only for progressives but for moderates telling themselves now that Biden’s personal qualities might cajole Senate Republicans into cooperating with him if Democrats fail to take the Senate in January. They will not.”

Biden Transition

Dogs heading toward another dogpile?

“GSA Holds the Key to When or If Biden Gets Access to Full Transition Resources” [Government Executive]. “[T]he transition process cannot formally begin until the head of the General Services Administration gives the green light… While the Biden team has been working with the Trump administration for months on the transition and launched its transition website on Wednesday, it does not yet have access to all the transition resources the president elect is entitled to—that determination will be made by GSA Administrator Emily Murphy.”

“What’s ascertainment? The green light to launch transition” [Associated Press]. “The formal presidential transition doesn’t begin until the administrator of the federal General Services Administration ascertains the “apparent successful candidate” in the general election. Neither the Presidential Transition Act nor federal regulations specify how that determination should be made. That decision green lights the entire federal government’s moves toward preparing for a handover of power…. The determination clears the way for millions of federal dollars to flow to Biden’s transition team and opens the doors of the federal government to hundreds of Biden staffers, so they can begin assessing agency operations ahead of Inauguration Day on Jan. 20.” • Here is the more highly colored version of the previous two stories–

“A little-known Trump appointee is in charge of handing transition resources to Biden — and she isn’t budging” [WaPo] (not paywalled). “A Trump administration appointee is refusing to sign a letter allowing President-elect Joe Biden’s transition team to formally begin its work this week, in another sign the incumbent president has not acknowledged Biden’s victory and could disrupt the transfer of power….But by Sunday evening, almost 36 hours after media outlets projected Biden as the winner, GSA Administrator Emily Murphy had written no such letter.” • “Refiusing to sign” is not the same as “written no letter.” I’m also not aware that our famously free press plays a Constitutional role in calling elections, although doubtless liberal Democrats would like it to, because norms.

Lambert here: I did a little checking (hilariously, somebody has already edited Murphy’s Wikipedia entry to reflect the WaPo story). Here’s Murphy’s bio; she doesn’t look like a political operator to me. She was also — like so many judges who later ended up on the Supreme Court — unanimously confirmed by the Senate in 2017, having previously served in the Bush administration. It looks like the transition between an incoming administration and the GSA is governed by a Memorandum of Understanding. Here is Obama’s; here is Biden’s. If the Biden campaign had concerns about “ascertainment,” the time to clarify them would been before the MOU was signed, and not afterwards, in the press.

UPDATE “Government agency tasked with transition process has yet to recognize Biden’s victory” [CNN]. “In the meantime, there are informal ways to continue the transition process, said Clay Johnson III, who ran George W. Bush’s transition in 2000 at a time when the election’s outcome was delayed by more than a month over the disputed results in Florida…. ‘Money to support a privately funded transition is easy to raise. (The Biden team) can raise millions of dollars in half a day,’ Johnson said.”

UPDATE “A Fake GSA Transition Letter Telling Biden, Harris They Won Is Spreading Online” [Newsweek]. “A faked letter claimed to be from the U.S. General Services Administration (GSA) telling Joe Biden and Kamala Harris they have been deemed election victors is spreading online. The mocked-up correspondence dated November 8, which begins ‘Dear President-Elect Biden; and is addressed to him under the same title, tells Biden and Harris they are president and vice-president elect for the purposes of the Presidential Transition Act of 1963.” • In other words, ascertainment.


* * *

“Four states still counting ballots after US presidential election” [Yahoo News]. “ll outlets have yet to project a final winner in four US states, as of Monday: Alaska, Arizona, Georgia and North Carolina…. [AZ:] Biden has received 49.5 percent of the vote, compared to 49 percent for Donald Trump — a narrow margin of 16,985 votes, with 98 percent of ballots counted…. [GA:] The Democrat currently has a lead of more than 10,350 votes, according to state election data… [NC:] At the moment, Trump is ahead of Biden by about 75,000 votes, with a total of about 50 percent of the vote versus his rival’s 48.6 percent…. [AK:] Only 56 percent of the votes have been counted in Alaska, due to the complicated logistics of collecting ballots in the vast state, and cross-referencing absentee ballots to ensure no one voted twice. Trump leads with 62.9 percent of the count so far. No Democrat has won in Alaska for decades…. If Biden wins Arizona and Georgia, as some projections suggest, he will have 306 of the 538 electors — the same number that propelled Trump to victory in what the president has called a “landslide” over Hillary Clinton in 2016.” • And then, there are the recounts…

GA: “Great Lakes Justice Center Files Election Crimes Lawsuit” [WBCK] (talk radio with Limbaugh). “The Great Lakes Justice Law Center [here] is filing a new election crimes lawsuit in Wayne County Circuit Court. The Lansing area law firm is representing two Detroit area residents in the action. The suit charges Wayne County elections officials knowingly allowed and supported illegal activities surrounding the Tuesday general election. The suit in Wayne County Circuit Court is asking for an entirely new election to be staged for the county.” • Here is the lawsuit (PDF), although there seems to be no docket number, case number, or judge. However, if this stands up, there is now at least one affidavit:

Frankly, given how screwed up our voting systems are, I’m amazed there’s only one case. The Trump campaign is perhaps having a hard time getting lawyers to work for them…

KS: “Candidate who admitted to revenge porn wins Kansas state House seat” [The Hill]. “A 20-year-old candidate who admitted to spreading revenge porn has apparently won a state House seat in Kansas. Aaron Coleman, a Democrat, was the only candidate on the ballot this week running for Kansas House District 37, though he faced a write-in campaign from two other contenders, including seven-term Democratic incumbent state Rep. Stan Frownfelter, who Coleman defeated in a primary in August. Unofficial election results show Coleman ahead with 3,496 votes compared to 2,013 write-in votes, local ABC affiliate KAKE reported… Coleman thanked supporters on social media Tuesday, saying, “Now that all advance ballots have been counted, a victory of the working class in District 37 appears almost certain. People’s Democracy has returned to the free state of Kansas after 110 years.'” • Coleman also supported #MedicareForAll, although The Hill does not mention that.

NY: “Zohran Mamdani Wins Astoria Assembly Seat In Uncontested Race” [Astoria-Long Island Patch]. “Astoria residents have officially sent newcomer Zohran Mamdani to Albany to represent them in the state legislature…. He is a first-time candidate for elected office and a member of the Democratic Socialists of America, or DSA… He was among several DSA-backed candidates who successfully defeated incumbents in the June 23 primary, such as tenant organizer Marcela Mitaynes and nurse Phara Souffrant Forrest, who both defeated longtime Brooklyn assembly members.” • Like to see some DSA work upstate….

* * *

“Once Again, the American People Have Misunderstood My Election Entrail-Reading Methodology” [Slate]. “As Chief Haruspex at Ntrailz, where we bring a different and more hepatoscopy-driven perspective to elections than many news organizations, I’m no stranger to misguided outrage from the unenlightened masses. I understand why, to the untrained, ignorant, stupid, stupid, stupid eye of the layman, Ntrailz’s “2020 General Election Prophecy: Complete Results” might have looked like some kind of prophecy about the results of the 2020 general election. But when I wrote “Joe Biden will be declared President of the United States in a landslide before the sun sets over Mauna Loa on Election Day, which is to say before 5:54 P.M. Hawaii Standard Time, Nov. 3, 2020,” I was talking about a range of probabilities, not making a definite prediction. When I went on MSNBC to announce that Ntrailz’s Sacred Rooster had pecked the grains covering the letters “β,” “Ι,” and “Δ,” and excitedly told Rachel Maddow that this “absolutely guarantees a Biden blowout,” I assumed anyone with a grade school background in alectryomancy would know I was speaking figuratively…. Once you filter out the noise and misinformation, the election results actually validate important features of our model. I want to explain in a little more detail, so that you can all see exactly why you owe me an apology.


Filing this under 2020, for reasons that will shortly be obvious.

“Vaccine will be “greatest medical advance in the last 100 years,” says Pfizer CEO” [CNN] “‘Emotions are very high,’ [Pfizer CEO Albert] Bourla told CNN Chief Medical Correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta…. He added that the vaccine will be available free to all American citizens. The CEO said Pfizer planned to have more than 1 billion doses available globally next year.” The first discordant note: “Bourla did tell CNN that it was unclear how long protection from the vaccine could last.” • Of course, we should all pray to the God(ess)(e)(s) Of Our Choice, If Any that this “advance” proves out. Nevertheless–

“What Pfizer’s landmark COVID vaccine results mean for the pandemic” [Nature]. “It works! Scientists have greeted with cautious optimism a press-release declaring positive interim results from a coronavirus vaccine trial — the first to report from the final, ‘phase III’ round of human testing.” • So the second discordant note: This was a press release.

No peer review:

The third discordant note.

The Biden team was informed before the press release went out:

(The Pfizer press release was time-stamped “Monday, November 09, 2020 – 06:45am”; in other words, after “last night”.) The fourth discordant note. And the fifth:

“BioNTech, Pfizer stocks soar after COVID-19 vaccine candidate achieves ‘success’ in first analysis” [MarketWatch] and “Stock futures surge, with Dow futures up 1100 points, after Pfizer vaccine news” [MarketWatch].

Lambert here: Somebody with a paranoid and suspicions disposition would be strongly reminded of remdesivir. Remdesivir was hyped in a press release, and immediately endorsed by an expert ([genuflects] Anthony Fauci), which had the effect of “ramping” (Yves’s word) Gilead’s stock, in a manner that would have permitted insiders to profit who might have been aware of Fauci’s plans before they were executed. We see the exact same pattern with Pfizer’s vaccine — only this time, anybody on or associated with Biden’s team could have profited. Why not, after all, inform the Biden team with the press release, and not before? Surely there are norms about that? Of course, remdesivir was also a damp squib, sadly albeit profitably for Gilead. One only hopes the same is not true of Pfizer, a company for which fraud is not unknown.

Oh, and either Yglesias is inhumanly wide-eyed and innocent, or he thinks this is sketchy too:

Health Care

Obama can never fail; he can only failed:

Realignment and Legitimacy

“Looks like America”:

Funny, Abrams doesn’t look like she’s sleeping in her car or in a tent under a bridge. So maybe “privilege” doesn’t mean what she thinks it does?

“Nation Sees Fundamental Realignment In Which Voting Demographics Should Be Demonized” [The Onion]. “‘Where once it was common sense that Democrats only needed to say non-college-educated whites were bigots voting against their own self-interest, it now seems they’ll also need to pin electoral failures on Hispanics who refuse to use the term Latinx. It’s a stunning development,’ [said Stanford University polling expert Harry Mills].” • Ouch.

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.

There are no statistics of note today.

* * *

Real Estate: “Homebound workers inject life into suburban malls after downtowns empty out” [Reuters]. “‘A lot of people who used to commute to downtowns on a daily basis are not anymore,’ said Tim Sanderson, head of Canadian retail at real estate services firm JLL in Toronto. ‘Where are they getting dry cleaning done, picking up dinner? … They’re doing it in their suburban shopping centre.’ Traffic in Canadian suburban malls owned by Cadillac Fairview, the property unit of Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan, is now at more than 70% of pre-pandemic levels, while less than half of shoppers have returned to its downtown malls, Executive Vice President of Operations Sal Ianoco told Reuters. The same story reverberates around the globe.” • No quotes from the US, though. Readers? On the other hand–

“How many DFW malls will be left after COVID-19? Three or four, expert predicts” [Dallas Business Journal]. “Dallas-Fort Worth is currently home to 18 malls with a total footprint of 21.2 million square feet, according to Weitzman. After the dust from the COVID-19 pandemic settles, only three or four may be left standing. This is the prediction of Barney McAuley, the new managing director at Edge Capital Markets, the investment services platform of Dallas-based Edge Realty Partners. In his new role, McAuley will be working closely with CMBS lenders and the mall properties across the country that they are coming into possession of. “There are 1,100 malls in America and somewhere between 700 and 800 of them are not going to be malls much longer,” McAuley recently told the Business Journal.” • If you are a mall maven, this is a fascinating article, with a long interview with McAuley.

Retail: “There’s A Mason Jar Shortage Because So Many People Are Getting Into Canning, According To Experts” [Delish]. “When the COVID-19 pandemic first hit the United States earlier this year, people began cooking and baking at home much more frequently as both a way to safely feed their families and as a way to relieve some stress…. CNN reported that there is already a shortage at many retailers nationwide, specifically for double ring mason jar lids. They spoke with Marie Bregg, the owner of Mason Jar Merchant, who said her online sales began to spike in the middle of August, going up 600 percent, and haven’t really dropped since. Of course canning is nothing new for many people and it has been done for years—centuries even—as a way to keep food fresh long after you make it. And that’s precisely why it’s gaining popularity right now. Experts told CNN the surge is probably fueled by a few reasons, such as people adopting new hobbies as they spend time at home. This could be canning itself or even gardening, which can lead to an influx of fresh food, which then leads to canning.” • Or people don’t have work and are running out of money, so they learn how to grow food. That’s how I got into permaculture after The Crash (this being Son Of The Crash).

Tech: “Apple’s new Macs could revive the PC chip wars, analysts say” [Channel News Asia]. “Apple will design the chips using Arm technology and have them manufactured by a partner, most likely Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing… Arm-based PCs have key differences from Intel-based machines. Because the chips are derived from smartphones where power consumption is a key concern, they tend to claim better battery life than conventional machines. Like smartphones, they also turn on quickly and can remain constantly connected to cellular data networks…. But hurdles remain for Arm-based PCs. Most software written in the past 20 years was for Intel machines, and until it is rewritten, it may have to rely on ’emulation’ that could slow down apps.” • Ha ha ha, how many apps do you think will get rewritten to force you into The Cloud, and then charge you a monthly rent, so you don’t actually own the software? Good job, Apple.

Tech: “People are complaining the Amazon Echo keeps asking them if they want to buy stuff — here’s how to turn that off” [CNBC]. “It’s these sort of unwanted ads that seems to be annoying some people. I’ll show you how to turn them off, but first a reminder why they probably exist in the first place: Amazon can price its Echo speakers lower than some competitors by using it as a way to get you to buy more stuff from Amazon.” • Wowsers, monopoly power… In any case, you can open your Alexa app, if you’re nutty enough to have it on your phone, and “Turn off the option to “receive personalized recommendations and deals based on your shopping activity,” which for some reason is defaulted to “On.” He who controls the defaults, controls the world….


Shipping: “Vital World Trade Route Roiled by ‘Black Swan’ Container Crunch” [Bloomberg]. “Shortages of the ribbed steel boxes that have plied the global economy for a half-century are plaguing transpacific routes in particular. The dearth is boosting the purchase price of new containers and lease rates by 50%, snarling port traffic, adding surcharges and slowing deliveries heading into the holidays. A surge in Chinese exports and robust consumer demand in the U.S. help explain the tightness… Shipping liners own roughly half the world’s containers, and the rest are owned by lessors.”

Supply Chain: “Cold Chain (And Colder Chain) Distribution” [Science]. Dammit, missed this in August. “Let’s talk about the ‘cold chain’. That’s the distribution system for things (like most vaccines) that need to be kept refrigerated until they’re used in the clinic. This document from the WHO will tell you a lot more than you ever wanted to know (or thought there even was to know) about the subject. Details get down to how large the packages are (the vials in the middle will feel the effects of refrigeration last, and then warm up the slowest), the design of refrigerated trucks and their airflow, the various options for “cold pack” devices inside containers, where things are placed in chilled storage units of various sizes and how they’re retrieved, how long things need to be kept out at room temperature in order to be used and how long they must not be kept at room temperature before they have to be thrown away, and so on. There’s a lot of experience with this, and a lot of infrastructure. But let’s qualify that last statement: there’s a lot of infrastructure in the developed world. Cold-chain distribution has always been a major challenge in places that are remote, less developed, or have generally higher ambient temperatures.” • Worth reading in full to understand the issues involved in distributing certain vaccines, including Pfizer’s.

The Bezzle: “Airbnb hit with proposed class-action lawsuit from host missing payments” [CNBC]. Here is AirBnB’s response: “‘When the WHO declared Covid-19 as a global pandemic, we made the difficult decision to activate our longstanding Extenuating Circumstances policy and provide full refunds to eligible guests because public health and safety comes first,’ Airbnb said in a statement. ‘While we know it had a significant impact on bookings and revenue for our host community, we still believe firmly that it was the right thing to do. The allegations in this complaint are completely frivolous and without merit.'” • “Our longstanding Extenuating Circumstances policy,” I love it!

Today’s Fear & Greed Index: 57 Greed (previous close: 40 Fear) [CNN]. One week ago: 25 (Fear). (0 is Extreme Fear; 100 is Extreme Greed). Last updated Nov 9 at 11:57am.

Rapture Index: Closes up one on earthquakes (Iran). “A strong earthquake strikes Turkey” [Rapture Ready]. Record High, October 10, 2016: 189. Current: 181. (Remember that bringing on the rapture is a good thing, so high is better.) I’d expect “Beast Government” to be popping with Biden’s election, but no!

The Biosphere

“Air pollution and COVID-19 mortality in the United States: Strengths and limitations of an ecological regression analysis” [Science]. “[H]igher historical PM2.5 exposures are positively associated with higher county-level COVID-19 mortality rates after accounting for many area-level confounders.”

Health Care

Sounds great:

Until you realize Slavitt not only opposed #MedicareForAll, but is well-paid to do so.

“The Double Whammy of Seasonal Affective Disorder in a Season of Covid” [New York Times]. “But while the pandemic, with its myriad economic, vocational, educational and social disruptions, is challenge enough for people who are not normally prone to the blues, the days of truncated daylight this November through March could be far gloomier than usual for millions of Americans who suffer annually from seasonal depression…. An estimated 5 percent of the population — one person in 20 — has the full-blown SAD syndrome, said Dr. Norman E. Rosenthal, the psychiatrist who first identified it in the 1980s and then devised an effective treatment…. Most helpful for people with SAD, he said, is exposure to sunlight or its artificial equivalent for 20 to 30 minutes every morning. The standard amount of light needed is 10,000 lux. Sitting under a commercial light box at least one-foot square will do the job…. “A 20-minute early morning walk in the sun is as good as commercial light therapy,” Dr. Rosenthal said.” • Get moving! (And send me photos of plants you see on your walk :-)

“An Amazonian tea stimulates the formation of new neurons” [Medical Xpress]. “One of the main natural components of ayahuasca tea is dimethyltryptamine (DMT), which promotes neurogenesis —the formation of new neurons—according to research led by the Complutense University of Madrid (UCM). In addition to neurons, the infusion used for shamanic purposes also induces the formation of other neural cells such as astrocytes and oligodendrocytes.”

Guillotine Watch

The incentives aren’t good anywhere:

News of the Wired

“The Last Days of Mankind” [Karl Kraus]. “This site contains an annotated translation of Karl Kraus’s extraordinary satirical drama of the First World War, ‘Die letzten Tage der Menschheit’, ‘The Last Days of Mankind’, by Michael Russell.” Here’s the Part One of the Prologue. Archduke Franz-Ferdinand has just been assassinated. Seems rather similar to our own day. “In Berlin, things are serious but not hopeless. In Vienna, they are hopeless but not serious.” –Karl Kraus

“Mutual Aid Hub” (map) [Town Hall Project]. “Find Mutual Aid Networks and other community self-support projects near you. Reach out to these groups directly via the map above to get involved, offer resources, or submit needs requests.” • Interesting?

* * *

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

cjmxc writes:

Lambert, I enjoyed seeing your Favorite Flower list and wanted to accept your challenge to offer a pick.

In addition to my recent infatuation with the evening primrose, there is another photo/flower that fits the theme – nature’s beauty and toughness in reclamation despite man’s destruction. The primrose overcame my building a garage and paving the ground.

The Fringed Gentian overcame – in fact, judging by the search hits, seems to thrive on – significantly more disturbed ground. In this case an area that had been a large gravel/sand mining pit ‘given’ the State in exchange for a similar site across the road. (That was mined and then developed with luxury homes. No comment). I had hiked this ‘outback’ section for several years with BC my 4-legged friend when the gentian suddenly appeared in fall of 2008 or 2009. That it appears at the end of summer and into the fall brings a special joy. I also stumbled on this poem by William Cullen Bryant celebrating its beauty and its determination. Being well into autumn myself, the appeal of the both the gentian and the primrose is not surprising.

Unfortunately, the flower will have to try again as this area has been re-leased to a mining operation for 15 yrs during which time it may or may not mine and/or allegedly reclaim mined portions with a ‘native short-grass prairie’. I’m glad BC no longer needs it. Screw cement. It hasn’t even gotten into ‘fixing our damn roads’ as far as I know.

And, I think there is reason to bet that someone and their dog will see the gentian again when the operation runs out or goes bust. Or, at least, the gentian will return when man’s folly has finally removed him from life’s equation.

Does anybody else want to take up this challenge? Something to do before the snow flies!

* * *

Readers: Water Cooler is a standalone entity not covered by the recently concluded and — thank you! — successful annual NC fundraiser. So if you see a link you especially like, or an item you wouldn’t see anywhere else, please do not hesitate to express your appreciation in tangible form. Remember, a tip jar is for tipping! Regular positive feedback both makes me feel good and lets me know I’m on the right track with coverage. When I get no donations for five or ten days I get worried. More tangibly, a constant trickle of donations helps me with expenses, and I factor in that trickle when setting fundraising goals:

Here is the screen that will appear, which I have helpfully annotated.

If you hate PayPal, you can email me at lambert [UNDERSCORE] strether [DOT] corrente [AT] yahoo [DOT] com, and I will give you directions on how to send a check. Thank you!

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
This entry was posted in Guest Post, Water Cooler on by .

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. lyman alpha blob

      Something weird going on with the comments for me – the only one I can see is my own above. I also just realized Chappelle was in links this morning and I missed it at first, so feel free to delete if it’s causing a problem.

      1. notabanker

        This is the first I’ve seen it, thanks for putting it out there. Worth the view for sure, gotta stay til the end.

    1. Darius

      I am always trying to save Mason jars that things like spaghetti sauce and jam come in. My wife, who has a phobia about hoarding, always tosses them in recycling. I’m going on a neighborhood website to see if others want them.

      1. Randy

        The commercial jars have a narrower rim than jars made for home canning and aren’t recommended for home canning.

        Around here I can get jars but no lids for them.

        1. Jeremy Grimm

          Why aren’t commercial jars with a narrower rim than jars made for home canning recommended for home canning?

      2. foghorn longhorn

        Do not use those spaghetti jars for canning, unless you think salmonella swim upstream.
        New, two piece lids only!

        1. Amfortas the hippie

          beat me to it.
          don’t screw around with canning supplies.

          all those post consumer jars(spaghetti sauce, pickles, herbs, fancy rice) do have their uses….i’m a nut, and drive wife crazy with this particular obsession: she calls it my “jar fetish”.
          from nail and screw and aligator clip storage(etcetcetc*) to seed saving to something to put the dried herbs in to a million other things…
          And! there’s currently 6 pickle jars with broken glass, rusty nails, small bones, and pee from everyone who lives here(wife and boys) buried under the “thresholds” of the gates leading into our compound.
          For to keep out the bad juju.

          (* i screw the lids to the ceiling in that part of the shop(where nuts and bolts and things live), fill up the jars and screw them into the lids.)

          1. HotFlash

            I, too, have wards on my house, although of a different sort. But I am curious — how did you get the small bones from everyone who lives at your place?

            1. Amfortas the hippie

              that’s what i get for being habitually Uncle Jack with punctuation.
              mostly mouse and bird bones.
              two of the jars contain a scorpion or two.

          2. Lambert Strether Post author

            > (* i screw the lids to the ceiling in that part of the shop(where nuts and bolts and things live), fill up the jars and screw them into the lids.)

            My father did this!

            1. Amfortas the hippie

              yeah. my grandad’s did this.
              some of my jars are theirs…containing mysterious fasteners and other assorted oddities.
              continuity, and all.
              if i can ever get around to it, the now temporary solar light will become permanent, and less ad hoc(1″ rubber tubing with water and a drop of bleach. capped and caulked, laying partially on the roof in full sun, partially from the ceiling among those jars.
              low tech fiber-optic.

        2. Jeremy Grimm

          I do not like the jar lids available and not available for spaghetti jars! The rubber gaskets smell bad and whether they are unhealthy or not I do not like them. The “new, two piece lids” have the same rubber gaskets and bad smell. What about using silicone gaskets cut to fit the jar lids no matter what commercial or after-market jars we are talking about? I noticed many Chinese suppliers offering silicone gaskets but many comments I read indicted the smells and exudation from the Chinese silicone gaskets. Are silicone lid gaskets like the face masks items the US can no longer produce or reliably source from abroad!?

          1. Amfortas the hippie

            for tomato residue, boil them with a bit of vinegar in the water.
            and always boil your canning lids and rings…and use new ones for as long as there’s civilisation enough for them to be available.
            (i boil and store all the used ones for doom, but i’m a nut for that sort of thing)

        3. Jeremy Grimm

          Why? And how much should I worry about salmonella versus botulism?

          I keep wondering whether some clever marketer might come out with an in-jar indicator for botulism and salmonella and ???. I keep an eye on the NASA Tech Briefs hoping.

      3. Unfinished

        The bail-lid type jars, with two-part wire clasps and replaceable rubber gaskets (Fido, Kilmer, and Le Parfait are common brands) are used extensively in Europe. I’ve used them for many years with no problems.

    2. Glen

      Yes, a problem here in the PNW. Our local Coast to Coast is pretty good about making sure these are evenly distributed when he gets them in.

    3. petal

      In my area(northern NH), our local feed store was severely limiting the purchase of Mason jars due to demand, and it was pretty much impossible to find the pressure cookers for canning so I gave up. Maybe next year. I always save the jars and either keep them or return them to whoever gave me the gift of the canned good.

      1. Jeremy Grimm

        I will have a look at tattler lids.

        I too have been looking for lids in the general sense of the phrase. But I am surprised by how few sources show up in a cursory web-search. I have been collecting jars for several years and use them in my kitchen for storage in place of their lighter but less durable plastic cousins. Saved glass is my go-to for storing the many batches of beans I freeze in saving my crock pot efforts and glass jars fill my cupboard for saving spices and herbs.

        1. Late Introvert

          I have been using Tattler lids for 5+ years now. They work. For me I get a failure rate slightly higher than I do with the Bell lids. Tattler is maybe 1 out of 7, and Bell is maybe 1 out of 14.

          You use a different procedure. With the Bell lids you clamp them down tight BEFORE the water bath, with the Tattlers you do it AFTER the water bath.

          They don’t use BPA, which was my original motivation, but they are all plastic. You have to be careful not to lose the rings.

    4. Jeremy Grimm

      This is a strange thread considering the oft expressed concerns about plastic and recycling. I remain enamored of glass … in love with glass and glass containers.

      1. a different chris

        I don’t know if the factual “I mean, yes. But when it’s full of non-committal rhetoric, is there even anything to fact check?” or the hilarious “CODY WE WILL HAVE BRUNCH YOU M…” is the best reply.

        They both rock for sure.

  1. John Beech

    “Some merciful force to be greatly praised came through at the last minute and saved you?”, I suppose it could be cheating. Question is, can it be proven? Interesting times. By the way, this is making the rounds of the rabidly red team members and they’re upset – https://tinyurl.com/y67g5ul3 – and whether you wear a tinfoil hat, or not, surely it’s worth wondering why on Earth we don’t have have elections, where the results can even be questioned! I hope this becomes a priority, then again, if the Democrats genuinely did this then they certainly have no incentive since it serve their purpose in getting rid of Trump. All I have to say is this, Trump said he was spied on, the media ridiculed him for it, turns out he was spied on. Trump said Russia, Russia, Russia was fake news and it turned out it was fake news. So now Trump says the election is being stolen and I’m inclined to wait and see what proof can be produced. Would it truly be the case Democrats were so clumsy as to manufacture 140k votes and due to time constraints be caught because they didn’t do any down-ballot voting, just straight up Biden instead outright ticket Democrat? Dunno. Let’s see, while noting, the stakes are high and I trust nobody.

    1. Samuel Conner

      Given the evidence of chicanery in the D primaries in 2016 and 2020, it strikes me as entirely plausible that there could be meaningful at-scale fraud in the general this year. If there is, I hope that it is discovered.

      Perhaps at some point the voters will begin to desire a voting system that is less vulnerable to manipulation.

      1. neo-realist

        Even on the off chance there was chicanery in the 2020 election, it shouldn’t stop the inevitability of a Biden administration given the electoral count. There was strong evidence of chicanery in the 2000 and 2004 elections committed by the republicans. W was inaugurated in both years without a hitch.

    2. Intelligent yet Idiot

      We don’t know if it was stolen and if the public has the patience to go through mind-numbing weeks of recounting, maybe we will never know. I think being able to vote without showing an id would be considered nuts in most parts of the world, there is a reason they make voters deep their fingers in indelible ink even when voting with an id. Then mailing unsolicited ballots to everyone and organizing to pick them up is probably what did it for Biden. But those things might work against the democrats next time after the republicans hone in their skills of voting by mail to their advantage and then we might finally have some sensible regulations about voting if ever.

      1. foghorn longhorn

        Trump should just let it go.
        The blob doesn’t want him. He caught the car and was lucky it didn’t run his azz over.
        Just fade to black.
        There is always the image of ->her standing at the altar crestfallen.

        So what is the over/under on old joe?
        Think 16 months looks pretty strong.

          1. Amfortas the hippie

            both wings of the rightward party.
            how will any of this get fixed, if both “approved” parties are in on it and benefit from it… and, indeed, couldn’t compete without it?
            i don’t trust most of them with a hole in the head.
            and i can’t think of anything that any of them could do at this point to change that.

    3. Katniss Everdeen

      Along the same lines, wrt discrepancies between top line and down ballot votes. This was published on 11/6/20:

      Twitter user “US Rebel” (@USRebellion1776), however, found that the number of votes cast for Joe Biden far exceeds those cast for that state’s Senate candidates in swing states, while those cast for Trump and GOP Senators remains far closer.

      In Michigan, for example, there was a difference of just 7,131 votes between Trump and GOP candidate John James, yet the difference between Joe Biden and Democratic candidate Gary Peters was a staggering 69,093.

      In Georgia, there was an 818 vote difference between Trump and the GOP Senator, vs. a 95,000 difference between Biden and the Democratic candidate for Senator.

      5 million total votes, give or take, were recorded in each of those states at the time of publication.

      The author of the post suggests that some of the discrepancy could be the result of top line 3rd party votes. In Georgia, Trump received 818 fewer votes than the down ticket R senate candidate. Point being that the disconnect is far greater for biden ballots.


      1. Minalin

        In Michigan as of July 30th there was 7,748,541 registered voters and one county added another 53k from then to Nov 3. Point being as long as the vote total for an single person or initiative is at that number of lower any series of combinations are possible. Fairly easy to check as well. In law you need to prove something happened not that something unusual appears to have happened. I don’t happen to like anyone of the judges that were up for re-election. So I voted for Biden and ignored the rest.

        1. Katniss Everdeen

          The discrepancies noted were between votes for president and for senator. Michigan had a hotly contested race for senate as I understand.

      2. D. Fuller

        I voted for 1 Democrat on a down ballot race. Jo Jorgenson received my vote for President. Greens got the rest.

        What happens if 10,000 people voted like I did? Or 60,000 or 120,000? That Democrat would seem like an oddity.

        Out of 140+ million votes? There are many like me. That alone will skew races and present the appearance of “malfeasance” when said malfeasance is absent. If enough people did not like Trump – yet voted down-ballot for Republicans? It’s a tiny percentage. Yet, enough to make the difference. Well within the realm of reality.

        There you go.

        1. edmondo

          I voted against every incumbent figuring if they couldn’t be bothered to throw us $1200 then I couldn’t give them my vote

          I voted against the incumbent president, a Republican.
          I voted against my incumbent senator, a Republican.
          I voted against my House member, a Democrat.

          You figure it out.

        1. edmondo

          And it happens every election. That’s why they put the important races at the top of the ballot.

      3. Darthbobber

        The ease of finding such patterns in many elections is exactly where the stock phrase about the top of the ticket ”having” or “lacking” coattails comes from.

        And with the democratic campaign centred on little more than “Trump is bad”, I at least would expect this to be a near-record lack of coattails campaign.

        In Georgia, for example, those coveted suburban Republicans who don’t like Trump aren’t nearly as easy to persuade that they don’t like Perdue. Or that they do like Ossoff.

        Arizona, on the other hand, where the GOP was stuck with McSally, Kelly actually does a bit better than Biden and McSally worse than Trump.

        This is also why, short of a Biden landslide, the democratic senatorial strategy was doomed.

        1972 will give you a good example of how extreme this can be. Nixon crushed McGovern by more than 20 points, but democratic senators and representatives generally cruised to victory blithely unaffected by that. And in state after state you could point to really massive gaps between Nixon and his downballot team

    4. HotFlash

      Mr. Beech, and Mr. Connor, too,

      I am pretty sure the Republican establishment has no great love for Prez Trump — I expect that the Bush clan, for instance, will have an undying hatred. Ditto John Kasich. Cruz, Rubio Carson, et al endorsed Trump, but that’s Republicans for you — solidarity, at least public face. The actual candidates, their backers and their ‘people’ may have other ideas. Kasich was an invited speaker at the Dem convention, and the never Trumpers are like a who’s who of the Republican establishment. It wasn’t just the Dems that took him down, and by the slimmest of margins. I submit that the R’s have a much better record of election-rigging, both at the suppression level and at the final tabulation level. Karl Rove might disagree, but he certainly had reason to expect a win. But again, that good old DC bipartanship: see also, Candidate Buttigieg on the Dem side, sure that his company could, ahem, deliver the votes in Iowa.

      The only people who love The Donald, it seems, are voters. Sad, as he himself might say.

    5. Bob Tetrault

      But the facts are that he wasn’t spied on, and the facts are that Trump and his minions obstructed the Russia investigation. Mueller report was explicit about this.

      I suspect some gaslight here, John, or at least some unsupported doubt-casting.

      Remember that HRC won the popular vote and Joe won by even more. Hard to cheat by millions, at some point the EVs just accrue.

  2. FreeMarketApologist

    Coleman also supported #MedicareForAll, although The Hill does not mention that.

    Well, there are some acts that are just too, too taboo to mention in a family newspaper.

    I expect we will see #MFA fully erased from mainstream media discussion in the next 6 months.

    1. dcblogger

      does he really support Medicare for All? somehow a revenge porn guy seems like a slim reed to hold on to.

    2. Minalin

      As to Medicare for all, in reality Medicaid covers more things better but historically was considered ‘poor’ people’s insurance. Not a lot of providers etc.,. But since ACA not true. Benefits wise combining both into one would get us along the path of a more perfect way to provide public healthcare. As to ACA’s popularity 9 states (the people of) have by plebiscite made it law because their Republican governments would not implement it. The people did, Thomas Frank should be happy. I think that is some proof that people want it and will fight to have it, given the alternatives.

      The biggest question I have to anyone who wants public healthcare for all is what’s the plan to make it law and fund it? (Yes I know all about MMT) Are Republicans ready to actually support such program(s)? Public health for all may take a similar path to the steps taken by 35 states (or so) to legalize pot. The trick isn’t the will of the people it’s funding. I have found anything of any worth takes effort to obtain, so we work hard and make it happen. Politicians never do anything out of kindness there’s a game that needs to be played and there is no way around it. Personally, I find it challenging. Everything starts with a ‘no’ and doesn’t stop until ‘yes’.

  3. Randy

    A few years ago I thought I had SAD. I was especially depressed during a stretch of cloudy, snowy days. So I bought one of those lights, it didn’t help.

    Fast forward a couple years. My old dentist retired and I got a younger, better dentist. She immediately referred me to a periodontist to fix my inflamed gums. He removed the inflamed gum tissue.

    Two years later I read an article in the NYT about the connection between inflammation and depression (I know, the NYT!). It then dawned on me that I hadn’t experienced my usual winter depression since that gum surgery.

    I am a believer in that inflammation/depression connection.

    1. Louis Fyne

      Capsaicin (spelling?), the active ingredient in hot peppers, is an anti-inflammatory.

      if anyone wants to try a self-medication experiment, try adding spicy food to your diet (daily) and throwing in a Vitamin D supplement for good measure

  4. Louis Fyne

    ” One of their top messages “defend ACA” was not even very popular”

    My understanding is that ACA changed the reimbursement rates such that doctors have an incentive to be employed directly by the hospitals or mega-sized practice groups. Thereby helping to finish off small-scale practices.

    Is this true? would help explain part of the hostility to ACA. asking for a friend.

  5. Another Scott

    Serious question: how do people think Trump’s Post-Presidency cash-in will compare to Obama, Bush II, or Clinton? I haven’t seen this talked about anywhere. Instead, everyone I see seems to be focusing on what Trump will say, but not what he’ll do, providing once again that they’ve learned nothing about the current President.

    1. STEPHEN

      I think it goes two ways. First, I think this is an Andrew-Jackson-in-1824 situation. He is going to spend the next 4 years running for the 2024 nomination. So any subsequent grift will ultimately be leverage in support of that macro goal.

      The specific nature of the grift is obviously unknown but isn’t terribly difficult to deduce. He is going to sell: 1. Support to microTrumps running for lower offices. 2. MAGA-branded everything. I think this very likely takes the primary form of a media conglomerate of some sort. MAGA TV cable channel, MAGAnews.com right wing news site, etc. Flood the zone.

      I think this is likely for several reasons. First, he has to stay relevant and front of mind in order to advance the ultimate 2024 goal. Second, past president have made their money in the elite speaking circuit. I dont think that outlet is available to him, as he is widely loathed among that elite. Third, branding and licensing brands is kinda what the Trump Org does and is good at anyway.

  6. Potted Frog

    Willimason: (Trump) supervised the death of almost a quarter-million Americans.

    Sure one can fault Trump. Why think Clinton would have done better? Look at Europe.

    1. D. Fuller

      Lets talk about Obama’s handling of Ebola in Africa after WHO & NGO’s failed… Or how 2011 H1N1 was contained successfully – a very difficult task considering that DoD bio-defense exercises usually predict that a virulent disease would quickly escape containment measures due to a fleeing population not exercising proper procedures.

      SARS. Contained.
      MERS. Contained.
      H1N1. Contained. The most successful to date. After the prior 2 experiences giving US officials the necessary experience.
      Covid-19. Not contained. Necessary institutions and officials were either sidelined, fired, removed, or replaced with incompetent administrators.

      Clinton? A hypothetical with no known answer.

      1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

        LOL H1N1 “contained” with 60.8 million infections in the US.

        LOL Obama/Biden’s man (I love it when you’ve got the subject in his own words, kind of like The Biden bragging how he threatened to pull $1B for The Ukraine if they didn’t stop messing with the guy investigating Hunter’s company):

        “We did every possible thing wrong”


        No hypotheticals required.

        1. Bob Tetrault

          C’mon Hal –
          The Ukraine AG wasn’t doing diddly about ANY corruption, much less the Hunter-Burisma mess.

    1. Minalin

      Offer them a living wage at $30 an hour & healthcare. Speak to them like adults don’t talk down. That’s what they want. Alternatively they would just as soon end life on earth. Pain & suffering does that to you. Lack of respect too.

  7. timbers

    Now that Dems have already solved Covid under Biden, he’s already our best President evah. Well after Obama that is. Even Republicans can I to brunch.

    1. The Rev Kev

      ‘Now that Dems have already solved Covid under Biden’

      Absolutely. All those people that you saw in the streets celebrating with many having no masks? A week ago they would have been labelled superspreader events but now that the pandemic is gone, people can go out and party.

  8. Wukchumni

    Dear Diary:

    I was almost humiliated in public once, but I covered my ears so as far as i’m concerned it didn’t happen. I have a little over 2 months to come up with a plan to convince the country that the election was stolen from me, and i’ve got the best man, some say the greatest man possible for the job in Rudy.

    Donald Jr. asked again if he could set up a target range on the White House lawn and previously i’d denied it, but that was then and this is now and he sold me upon the idea of terminating the losers in my cabinet who i’m going to fire-simultaneously with him shooting something in a high caliber down range outside.

  9. Grant

    Stacey Abrams: “It is a privilege in this nation to be able to see yourself reflected in the face of leadership.” #Election2020

    I can’t wait until they get around to economic class…gonna be amazing when working people and the poor hold leadership positions and are represented in the media in a proportionately accurate way.

    1. a different chris

      >I can’t wait

      Neither can I.

      I mean that I can’t wait literally, looking around at how little remains of my family it would be a miracle if I live another 20 years, half that more likely. Like I said, Biden, then old-line conservative, then Kamela comeback and I’m pretty much on a banana peel if not already gone.

      I wish you youngsters luck. I’ve stopped expecting anything but this.

    2. Minalin

      She believes she did something good for the country and is happy to see it worked. I’m glad for her, I had my doubts but she pulled it off.

  10. zagonostra

    >Andy Slavitt

    Can you catch COVID from Twitter? Why do people insert pics of themselves wearing masks? How patently virtue-signaling PMC can you get.

      1. Zagonostra

        Is that how it works? Like Edward Bernasy getting women to smoke cigarettes by making it look chic. I don’t like to be ‘normalized’ it rubs me the wrong way.

        1. Kurt Sperry

          Cigarettes kill; masks save lives and not only or primarily the wearer’s. Perhaps the distinction escapes you. It doesn’t escape me.

          1. zagonostra

            Thanks, I’ll have to remember that, “Cigarettes kill; mask save lives.” I’ll make it into a bumper sticker.

    1. Jeremy Grimm

      I signal my virtue by avoiding Twitter and reading it seldom while NOT wearing a mask at home by my computer. I’m not virtue signaling … just not being uncomfortable and stupid. The people wearing masks in their pics are protecting the unfortunates who must take their pictures. Masks are a great benefit to many.

  11. zagonostra

    “Will the Democrats Ever Make Sense of This Week?” [The New Republic].

    There’s a real Goldilocks quality to what Biden seems to have pulled off? Give me a break! The author concludes with this gem of pure pablum.

    But we’ve always had deeper responsibilities than writing posts and polemics. It’s time to give ourselves more fully to them: listening and elevating those who will be fighting to survive all that’s to come, reflecting on what we learn from them and from history, and taking concrete action. That means participating in political organizations working to wring whatever can be wrung from the Biden White House and state and local governments, to force labor concessions from capital, and to defend the marginalized.

    Translation: Nothing will fundamentally change for the 99%, we will still have the predatory capitalism that we had when Trump was in office but this time the porridge will have just the right degree of decorum, not to outrageous, but just insipid enough to swallow without vomiting.

      1. Phillip Cross

        This is how 419 callers get their pay off. The people who fall for it are too proud to accept they have been taken in. They refuse to give up on the con man, rather than accept the humiliating reality of the situation. In the end, when the trickster vanishes with their money, they are left red faced with nothing to show but an empty bank account.

  12. PeasantParty

    We all new the Covid spikes would happen in fall and winter weather. How quickly it is happening is shocking. On the vote count fiasco, I do have to say that I argued with a right leaning friend that laughed because they did it to Bernie twice. I told him he should want to find out why it is being done, where, and how because it may happen to his candidate. Well, suddenly there are a whole bunch of Conservative, and Right leaning voters suddenly having voting, and counting issue problems.

  13. Terry Flynn

    So Alaskans are slow? I have flashbacks to the movie Deep Impact where gas deposits keep erupting blowing heroes into space.

    Sorry… . Cheap shot…… But come on, we know Trump won it, why don’t you declare?

    1. Jeremy Grimm

      I don’t care one way or the other but why are you convinced Trump won? If there is a Deep Impact by comet will it really matter who won the Presidency?

  14. DJG

    Yes, we can be skeptical of Pfizer. Also, I am seeing different reports on the numbers to be produced and availability. One article says that the vaccine will be free, and another gave the very sure figure of $19.50.

    Yet the couple who are the researchers behind this promising vaccine are the real deal:


    Germans of Turkish origin. Many ironies here, given tensions in Germany but also the weird U.S. prejudices about who is doing the best basic scientific research (U.S. research universities, of course). Instead, you have the vaccine coming out of — a skunk works.

    1. Kurt Sperry

      There’s going to be a lot of disappointed and depressed doomers if this or another vaccine proves safe, effective, and widely and cheaply available soon. Particularly if the economy rebounds as things open back up. .

      1. Yves Smith

        From Bloomberg, hardly a hotbed of anti-vaxxers:

        It’s also important to continue watching those who received the vaccine for years. The messenger RNA technology used in the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine has never been deployed in humans before.


        So we won’t know if it’s safe for many years.

        But the Pfizer vaccine is one of many in the pipeline, and it also has the need for super duper freezing in transit against it, so the hurdles to sort out with distribution might allow other candidates to be competitive.

  15. Samuel Conner

    This (granting for the sake of argument its validity) is an interesting example of what one might call “citizen social science”, or maybe a kind of “citizen election forensics”

    This thread


    was linked in a post at Automatic Earth today


    The method is clever — someone constructed an automated process to harvest the real-time updates to a major news site’s state-by-state vote counts. The thread discusses time series constructed from the harvested data and notices some regularities, and some irregularities.

    I’m not convinced that all the noted irregularities are evidence of fraud, but they appear to be good places to start looking.

    1. Phillip Cross

      Good thread. At this point I think it would be quite amusing if Trump could objectively prove they cheated. Can you imagine the fallout? It would be like someone releasing videotape of Cheney and Rumsfeld briefing the hijackers on 9/10. *Chef’s kiss*

      1. Samuel Conner

        > Can you imagine the fallout?

        It would be profoundly damaging to the D party establishment. Which, come to think of it, might be something earnestly to be desired.

        As I noted in an earlier comment, if there is at-scale fraud (by either side), I hope that it is exposed.

  16. a different chris

    Well this is good news, but of course I have that “the new guy could certainly be even worse but the important point is that they are weaker then the ones that were long dug in” attitude which you may understandably not agree with. Especially given we live in a country where “new” is considered (or not even considered, it’s more like burned into the lowest parts of the psyche) synonymous with good.

    So YMMV:


    Looks like people are finally starting to hold the Democratic Leadership responsible. Their first pass will, sigh, of course to replace idiots like Bustos with lesser-known idiots like Bustos and trumpet the “new faces”, but see my initial point as to where I come from on this.

  17. Brunches with Cats

    “Refusing to sign” is not the same as “written no letter.” I’m also not aware that our famously free press plays a Constitutional role in calling elections, although doubtless liberal Democrats would like it to, because norms.

    The media were primed well in advance by the Transition Integrity Project’s 22-page white paper, which stated outright that a priority for the election and transition was controlling the narrative: Trump would not concede, he would “falsely” claim that the election was rigged, he would impede a smooth transition, destroy incriminating evidence needed by future investigators, pardon all his criminal friends and family, and in general wreck the place before being dragged kicking and screaming out the door — the only way he’d go out the door … what have I forgotten?

    1. Brunches with Cats

      Forgot this one: Participants in TIP’s election war-gaming exercise imagined a scenario in which Trump would start a war during the transition as a diversion. Surprised they didn’t claim he’d nuke a nation or two as part of his denial meltdown. Seriously, remember in early 2017, when the “narrative” was the imminent danger of letting this unhinged narcissist anywhere near the football? The spate of articles by “experts” with firsthand knowledge of the launch process, assuring us that yes, it could happen and we should fear for our lives? In fact, I recall a ridiculous comment on NC arguing that Trump could barge into the Pentagon, order everyone out of the room, and push the button himself.

    2. Brunches with Cats

      Re-reading the TIP paper … This was their conclusion about the transition process:

      Anticipate a rocky administrative transition.
      — Transition teams will need to plan to do two things simultaneously: possibly defend against Trump’s disruptive actions on his way out of office; and find creative solutions to ensure landing teams are able to access the information and resources they need to begin to prepare for governing.
      — Here too civil servants will need independent legal guidance and possibly whistle-blower protections. They need to know what information they can and can’t disclose to transition teams, how to preserve government documents, what constitutes an unlawful instruction, and how to sound the alarm.
      — Congressional leaders and lawyers need to anticipate that Trump will make strategic use of pardons to thwart future criminal prosecution, arrange business deals with foreign governments that benefit President Trump and his family, attempt to bribe and silence associates, declassify sensitive documents, and attempt to divert federal funds to Trump’s businesses.

      1. Roberoo

        That all seems about right. Trump is an untrustworthy unstable whack job that doesn’t respond well to losing. Probably the worst President since Harding (who was a lovable rogue though). Best to prepare for the worst and hope for the best. That said, I just shake my head and wonder whether Americans will find ways to appoint worse leaders going forward. Rudy Giuliani fo President!

          1. Kurt Sperry

            Biden’s a s**t sandwich, but “untrustworthy unstable whack job” is a pretty good thumbnail description of Trump. The only good thing I have to say about Trump—and it’s admittedly a significant one—is that he didn’t initiate any more regime change war crimes.

            1. s.n.

              —is that he didn’t initiate any more regime change war crimes.

              except for vaporizing that hapless Iranian general….

              1. apleb

                While it is certainly a crime, against international treaties, a reason for Iran to declare justified war, etc. it’s not anything to do with regime change and not a war crime.

                I doubt even the biggest US hawk ever intended it for regime change since even they would know that it instead bonded the iranians and their leadership stronger together.

            2. Bob Tetrault

              He took reporters out of military embeds, relaxed Rules of Engagement, so who knows about war crimes when no one is watching?


    1. Glen

      I have to admit, the one time I did have bootleg, it did come in a Mason jar. But I think it was labeled Pirates Alley Rum (white tag, hand printed) and was from somewhere around New Orleans.

  18. shinola

    From the [UPDATE] CNN article about the transition:

    “…‘Money to support a privately funded transition is easy to raise. (The Biden team) can raise millions of dollars in half a day,’ Johnson said.”

    I find that statement rather disturbing (in nearly any context)

    1. notabanker

      I read that four times to make sure I was reading it accurately.
      WTH is a privately funded transition? Next up privately funded inaugurations? How about sessions of Congress? Naming rights to the Capitol building, maybe?

      1. Roberoo

        Ivanka stumped for baked beans in the White House so I figure there is nothing sacred in US government institutions. Everything is sold to the highest bidder…or any bidder for that matter.

    2. Jeremy Grimm

      The import of the CNN quote passed me by on a first reading. On second look and small thought I too find that statement very, very disturbing.

  19. D. Fuller

    One serious issue with one part of that post:

    A Michigan USPS employee alleged that USPS employees were illegally postmarking ballots on Nov 4th, for delivery. Michigan does not accept ballots after 8pm on November 3rd. All ballots after that time are physically removed.

    How would Republican observers miss the delivery of that many tens of thousands of ballots? It is hard to miss with Republicans in the room. “Hey, don’t mind these pallets of mail-in votes arriving all at once!”

    The tweet on that page linked to was deleted for reasons. Most likely after being debunked.

    A simpler explanation was that after ballots were certified as legitimate and legal? They were examined and sorted by Presidential preference. Due to the uncertainty being created. It’s actually faster to count this way regarding Presidential outcomes and less effective for down-ballot races which would be slightly delayed.

    I’m not a Biden fan. I detest him. And Trump. I voted for neither but I did vote.

    The pattern that Republicans exhibit is of finding ONE person and having that person make allegations that are then destroyed. Or making false allegations and then being destroyed by a judge as happened with Philadelphia. Paraphrasing,

    How many (Republicans) observers did you have in the room.

    Answer: A non-Zero number

    Georgia? Is well known to be a Republican vote count fraud paradise. Stretching all the way back to 2002. Republicans would have to lose their death-grip on those machines. Again? What about Republican observers?

    Now, Blackboxvoting dot org does have a mathematical model that anyone can use to detect fractional voting that is very indicative of fraud.

    The mingling of two sets of graphs is not appreciated. Either present 1 set or both, but no fco-mingling of partial sets of graphs. Though it was a nice touch that the author(s) of the page pronounced “maybe indicative of fraud”. Goes to believability.

    The smoking gun that the post is a partisan attempt to introduce uncertainty into the vote count?

    169,000 mail-in ballots delivered to a vote count station at 3am on November 4th represents PALLETS of mail that Republican observers would have to be on almost-fatal doses of benzodiazepines, to miss.

    Same goes for all other States. Republican observers would have to be deaf, dumb, blind, on almost fatal doses of benzos. And never mind the video surveillance which can easily be pulled.

    Why haven’t Republicans pulled the video? Trump wouldn’t have to send lawyers to court to show up with weak, baseless claims; if they had video that they can easily access. Georgia State is after all run by a Republican in charge of vote counts. Brian Kemp knows all about that.

    Unless Republican observers where in collusion to commit vote count fraud? Anyone want to allege that?

    Details kill hoaxes.

    1. Clem

      Please kill these details for all of us:

      “Around 4am there, there is a marked shift in the ratio of D to R mail-in ballots. Based on other posts in this thread, this should not happen. This is an anomaly, and while anomalies are not always fraud, often they may point to fraud.”

      “By 4am the D to R ratio was all thrown out of whack. That is because these ballots were not sampled from the real Wisconsin voter population, and they were not randomized in the mail sorting system with the other ballots. They inherently have a different D to R signature than the rest of the ballots quite possibly bc additional ballots were added to the batch, either through backdating or ballot manufacturing or software tampering. This of this being kind of analogous to carbon-14 dating, but for ballot batch authenticity.”


      1. Aumua

        Please kill these details for all of us:

        Haha all of who, kemosabe?

        There’s nothing to kill, just bald unsupported speculation.

      2. D. Fuller

        No ballots accepted after 8pm on Nov. 3rd, 2020 in MI.

        Unless Republican observers are colluding to remove Trump.

        Video surveillance would easily prove Republican allegations. Yet Trump supporters, Trump’s very smart lawyers, and his very smart team and all the Republican officials would show SOMETHING.

        Especially in Republican controlled State such as Georgia.

        What do they have? NOTHING. Lone individuals alleging vote count fraud being destroyed on their allegation. That and a bunch of Internet fanatics trying to appear as if they have something.

        When they have NOTHING.

        Do you seriously expect anyone to believe in vote count fraud in a Republican controlled State such as Georgia? Inanity.

        Or pallets being rolled in after deadline loaded with ballots? Without Republican officials – in the count rooms no less – and video showing such?

        The inconsistencies between allegations and execution of a dastardly multi-State conspiracy that would have to involve Repiblican officials at high State levels?

        Is idiocy. Pure idiocy. No evidence supports the Jade Helm 15 of voter fraud.

        Trump supporters either produce the solid evidence? Or stop. Accept the loss.

      3. D. Fuller

        It’s simple.

        Depose the Republican observers in the count rooms, RNC officials, State Republican officials, obtain the video surveillance… and prove it.

        None of which is happening.

        The closest was Philadelphia were EXACTLY ONE Republican observer complained he couldn’t see the process. Which Republican Trump supporters took to mean: Republicans are not allowed in the room – as far from reality as one can get and maintain credibility (though lacking it).

        Round up every Republican official involved in a multi-State conspiracy to collude with Democrats to throw the vote to Biden. If Trump supporters can not do this? They have NOTHING. Do stop ignoring this one detail that derails the entire Jade Helm 15 Voter Fraud-Vote Count Conspiracy.

        Try it and see what happens. You will be laughed out of the United States.

        I especially liked the video of one lone police cruiser that was supposed to contain 196,000 ballots, rolling along the street like they it had zero ballots in it. If a ballot is printed on 20lb paper? 196,000 ballots would weigh 7,840 pounds. Over 2 tons. The equivalent of 7,840 REAMS of paper. Which would never fit in that police cruiser. EVER. At one sheet per ballot.

        The pure insanity of such “evidence” is what destroys any argument. The more one cries wolf or the “sky is falling”; the less likely one is to be believed. Trump supporters have less than ZERO credibility. That is their fault.

        An inconvenient truth.

        1. D. Fuller

          Correction, 392 ream equivalent of paper at 1 ballot = 1 page. Weighing 7840 pounds.

          Not including envelopes – security & inner envelopes – and additional pages. Which would drive the weight to between 10,000 and 15,000 pounds and the ream equivalent of between 500 & 750 reams of paper (A4 size, 20lb weight).

          All in a police cruiser according to one Trump Twitter video.

  20. Eduardo

    Re: GSA Holds the Key to When of If Biden Gets Access to Full Transition Resources …

    The MOU contains language referring to the President-Elect.

    How can there be a President-Elect until there is an Election? That happens in December via the Electoral College.

    I realize that is not the normal use or “norm” and President-Elect is commonly used to describe the winner of the early November contest. Just sayin’. If I wanted to be obstructionist I might go there.

    In any case, after the EC votes then there will be a clear President-elect (unless there isn’t).

    1. D. Fuller

      Courtesy, as in not being sure losers. Transition being a delicate and lengthy process. To insure continuity and minimize uncertainty among allies. Most importantly to make it clear to America’s competitors and enemies not to try anything.

      If Republicans and Trump want to embolden those that wish America harm? They are doing a good job of it. MAGA, right?

      The handing off of power in any government is critical time of vulnerability in which confusion can result in attacks. If I were a foreign actor attempting to launch attacks on Americans? The more confusion and uncertainty in the hand over of power? Would be to my advantage. Fortunately, I am not of that sort.

      Trump? Is.

      1. fajensen

        Didn’t Napoleon say something about not interrupting one’s enemies when they are making a mistake?

        Basically, Attacking America while Americans are doing it would only unite the country and therefore be counterproductive for any adversary.

        I.O.W. You are quite safe :p

    2. Jeremy Grimm

      There is little or no information or practice to pass from Trump Executive agency appointees to incoming Biden appointees. For all intents and purposes the Trump Executive Branch appointees refused a clean hand-off from the Obama appointees. Many of the Trump appointees were staunchly opposed to the missions previously held by the agencies they took over. Many civil servants left if they could or greatly diminished their activities.

      1. Late Introvert

        Good news about the many civil servants leaving. Don’t let the door hit you on the way out, PMC types with other gigs easily obtained. Boo f’in Hoo!!!

  21. Eduardo

    President-Elect Joe Biden’s Transition: Live Updates as McConnell Backs Trump’s Refusal to Concede
    “President Trump is 100 percent within his rights to look into allegations of irregularities and weigh his legal options,” the Kentucky Republican said, delivering his first comments since Mr. Biden was declared the winner. “Let’s not have any lectures about how the president should immediately, cheerfully accept preliminary election results from the same characters who just spent four years refusing to accept the validity of the last election.”


    1. marym

      “Even as he celebrated the success of incumbent Republican senators who won re-election and the winnowing of Democrats’ House majority…”

      But those elections haven’t been certified!!! NC hasn’t even been “called” yet. Hmmmm.

      1. Aumua

        Yeah of course, they’re all hypocrites. Still, I think McConnell is right here, loathe as I am to admit it.

        1. marym

          Republicans don’t believe votes for Democrats are legitimate. We’ve been headed here for a long time.

        2. D. Fuller

          Not until States certify the results later. By law, results must be certified by certain dates. Republicans argued that successfully re: Florida 2000.

  22. dcblogger

    want to say a word about Abigail Spanberger, the Democratic Representative who was whining about never wanting to hear about socialism or transexuals again. Just to the north of her district, in Prince William County (home of the Bull Run Battlefield Park) voters elected Delegate Danica Roem, a transwoman, and Delegate Lee Carter, a socialist. They were part of the highlights of the 2017 election when Virginia Democrats took Gov, Lt Gov, and AG along with nearly a majority in the legislature. (they won a majority in 2019). Danica Roem beat a notorious right wing nut by promising to do something about Prince William’s transportation problems. Lee Carter promised to do something for the working class. This past session he authored to cap insulin costs at $50 a dose. They are both very popular. Had Spanberger done a better job for her constituents she would have had an easier re-election.

    1. NotTimothyGeithner

      Re: Danica Roem.

      She didn’t just beat a notorious righter. Marshall was there for years. I’m frankly astonished she beat Bob, but Marshall dropped the ball on constituency work in favor of grandstanding and his particular brand of nastiness. That wasn’t a district on the cusp of change or anything. Roem had to work for it. The potential votes were there.

  23. Pelham

    I see in the NYT that AOC is calling for “a lot of anti-racist, deep canvassing” post-election. Sounds ominous — but maybe falls short of a Nuremburg tribunal. Really, what does she mean?

    1. Clem

      Yet, AOC vs. DNC: Ocasio-Cortez Threatens To Quit Politics, Slams “Hostile” Dems For Not Being Progressive Enough

      Yup, that hedge site…

      Black Friday and BLM transition to

      Black Licensed Mayem?

      1. Minalin

        Read or watch the whole interview. Her issue isn’t the Dems in charge of the house aren’t progressive it is that they are stupid. I think we all agree on that and we are tired of it as she is. My three kids are around her age and they are pretty frustrated too. Things are going to change, easy or hard, we need to make new arrangements with reality.

        1. Amfortas the hippie

          I think she’s kicking much ass, of late.
          the Right screams “Soshulizm!!!”…but they do that all the time.
          the Dems, wag their wooden fingers, “now, now, little orcs….don’t be hasty,,,.,hrrrrooomhhwrr…”

          when is it appropriate to criticise the Demparty from the Left?
          How about Tuesday Week, around 5AM?

        2. notabanker

          “Because the party — in and of itself — does not have the core competencies, and no amount of money is going to fix that.”

          She happens to be discussing campaigning, but the concept applies more liberally, no pun intended of course.

      1. hunkerdown

        Wokeism totally isn’t a religion and the government should absolutely totally pay private organizations to spam bourgeois idpol for the Party machinery which has NEVER used such things for dishonest right-wing economic purposes. Never thought AOC would privatize the HUAC but there it is.

        Anyone talking idpol instead of money at this point is trying to preserve the problem.

      2. Jonathan Holland Becnel

        All identity politics All the time.

        Ur DC Establishment at work!!!!

        Yeah lemme go knock on poor people’s doors and talk about white supremacists and not putting more food on their table….smh

    1. The Rev Kev

      Years down the track that could make a great comedy film about this period. Maybe they could call it “Nightmare on Pennsylvania Avenue.” And you thought that Halloween was over!

  24. Clem

    “People are complaining the Amazon Echo keeps asking them if they want to buy stuff — here’s how to turn that off”

    Or, let it buy stuff for you, then call the credit card company and cancel the transaction as fraud = free stuff. For a while anyway.

    Hope Echo has good taste and orders some really precious things “that I left in the driveway for a gig Amazon worker to pick up. They just disappeared.”

  25. Heruntergekommen Sein

    The 800-page, 100+ scene montage that is “The Last Days of Mankind” was never meant for the actual stage, but when it was performed at the turn of the millennium, the venue was naturally a colossal fortified submarine bunker, “Valentin”, in Bremen-Farge on the Weser river. Perhaps the only theatre to survive being struck by 7x 12,000 lbs. bombs and 13x 24,000 lbs. bombs, and the only theatre whose walls contain the corpses of thousands of slave laborers deliberately murdered during its construction. Valentin exists today simply because the explosive force necessary to demolish it would also destroy the suburbs of Bremen.

    The First World War is responsible for the deaths of one-quarter of all European military-age males, but Valentin is a testament that reality can get *so much more* grotesque. The legacy of “The Last Days of Mankind”? At best, nationalism seems impervious to mockery. At worse, the ridicule is the fuel that sustains identification with authoritarians. — The bunker? Speaks for itself.

  26. Cuibono

    Smart move IMO for Pfizer to delay this news till after the election: makes it more likely that folks will believe the news

  27. marym

    The 2 (Republican) Senate candidates in GA who now face a run-off election are angry with the (Republican) SoS and asking him to resign because of “illegal” votes and failure “to deliver honest and transparent elections.”

    The (Republican) SoS is angry because yes he is transparent and “illegal” votes will be “investigated” but unlikely to change the outcome for Trump.

    The (Republican) Governor (guess who) says this “needs to be a wake up call” for the (Republican) SoS to ensure every “legal” vote is counted.


  28. The Rev Kev

    “Candidate who admitted to revenge porn wins Kansas state House seat”

    ‘What’s the Matter with Kansas?’ – Thomas Frank

  29. Tim

    “He who controls the defaults, controls the world…. ”

    It’s worse than you even think. I have a google pixel phone and it allows me to turn off youtube notifications which are defaulted to on like every other app, but the next day notifications are turned back on automatically, which no other app does.

    And you can’t uninstall the youtube app from your phone. You can only disable it. My son still uses the app so I can’t do that. However even if I did I’m not sure it would stay disabled past the next time I restart the phone.

    1. Person

      One day Google turned back on “find my phone” and Google’s location services after I turned them off explicitly. Currently evaluating alternatives to the smartphone duopoly. Do I really even need a cell phone? I guess I could leave it turned off and switch it on for maps or emergencies.

      1. Alternate Delegate

        Dumb phones can still be purchased, and some even have reasonable battery lives.

        Pinephone is an open-source phone (not Android). This is a real smartphone with a browser etc. And it has HARDWARE DIP SWITCHES to turn off GPS location hardware and so forth.

        However, I have to report that this is still in beta, and neither the sound quality nor battery life are acceptable for regular use yet. The sound quality supposedly can be improved with future software updates, and I’m hoping they’ll be able to do something to improve the battery life.

        If you buy it, you’re supporting this kind of development, not getting an immediately usable phone, FYI.

        1. RMO

          I can’t even get Google to admit that either of the two Android phones I’ve owned have been mine so I could add an application to them. Either that or they don’t believe I am me… I’ve never had any success trying to get this fixed either. Fortunately it isn’t really that important to me to be able to get applications but it certainly makes me consider it a bad idea to rely on Google for anything.

  30. jr

    Good deed of the day:


    Rescued this little lady (?) from the street, she had a human hair wrapped around her right leg which I removed. She’s bathed and resting in a comfortable box with fresh water. I’m going to hand feed her some softened dog food in a bit.

    Tomorrow I’m going to see if she can fly, if not I’ll take her to the bird shelter.

  31. Person

    Following up from yesterday, it looks like a trucker strike is gaining momentum, at least if you can believe Twitter (which you should always hesitate to do). Main hashtag seems to be #stopthetires. Dates floated are Nov 11th and then the 29th onward through Christmas. Search engine shows a couple of large Facebook groups. I give this less than 24 hours until the groups and hashtags are blocked…

  32. ChrisAtRU

    The New Squad Rules*

    * – noun

    Allow me to exult in the failure (and close calls!) of the down-ballot Dems who started screeching before Joe Biden began finished sprint toward the podium for his acceptance speech in front of that huge CHASE logo (nothing will fundamentally change).

    They’re hurt, yes … but more importantly, the machinery by which line-toe-ers and fundraisers have gotten elected repeatedly is now also “hurt”. And that is a good and even great thing. The game has changed. The pandemic was a catalyst. It’s official – we have a new squad. And yes, we have new squad rules.

    What the left needs now is to pick up where Bernie was after his Nevada victory. Remember that? Remember how Chris Matthews, Chuck Todd and a host of other media miscreants lost their minds? It was a beautiful but all too brief moment when the media’s consent-manufacturing cliques realized that their machinations had failed – spectacularly.

    When voters showed down-ballot that they believed progressive policies were good, but that Democrats who didn’t support them were bad, it represented a clear break from the #VBNW trope advanced by the Democrat establishment. This must absolutely put the fear of ${DEITY} into the Democratic establishment (see Chuck Schumer).

    My sincerest wish is that after AOC’s well worded and emotionally vulnerable opening salvo, she along with the rest of The Squad and Justice Democrats will go in hard on the establishment once the general election and senate run-off dust has settled. I agree with Sirota that voters and activists must be exhausted mentally and emotionally, but there is little time for respite.

    The goal is simple: primary every establishment Dem who does not support: #M4A; #GND; #StudentDebtCancellation; #LawEnforcementReformAndRightsizing (LOL, for those allergic to #DefundThePolice); and for and the kind of nation-rebuilding package on par with what Haliburton, Raytheon & Boeing reap in MIC windfall.

    1. Samuel Conner

      Not sure it’s prudent to wait until the “dust settles” in Pres’ and Senate. And I have an uneasy sense that JB’s lead may erode a bit under legal challenge in coming weeks.

      But yes, primary every D who is not interested in a policy suite that serves the interests of the people.

      1. ChrisAtRU

        Not sure it’s prudent to wait until the “dust settles” in Pres’ and Senate

        Well, it might be a bit politically unwise to point out that neither Warnock or Ossoff support #M4A for example. So even if they win, we’re effectively back to January 2009. A (smaller) majority in both houses and not enough will to push through bold policy. Midterms will be another story, though.

        1. ambrit

          Midterms, 2022. A general election in America after three years of Pandemic.
          I fear the Democrat Party has painted itself into a corner. If one of the Covid-19 vaccines isn’t a genuine copper bottomed miracle cure, they will suffer mightily from the public backlash. The Obama era “Hope and Change” scam was nebulous enough that it could be ‘disappeared.’ The Covid debacle is up front and murderous in plain daylight.
          Biden had better put the “Best and Brightest” to work on the Pandemic response.

          1. apleb

            “Best and Brightest” for the taskforce: that is actually one thing which could be done fairly easily. The pandemic taskforce under Trump was led by Kushner afaik, and he or his cronies subsequently then ignored most expert advice.

            Of course it’s still “the private sector” in all its forms which rules the new administration as well in reality, so the medical exports which don’t have HMO like interests, most probably still won’t be followed, no matter who leads this time. The upside is, those experts will be insulted by POTUS only in private rooms instead over twitter.

            So I guess it’s miracle cure or bust.

            1. Wukchumni

              When mess kins sends its people, they’re not sending their best. They’re sending people that have lots of problems, and they’re bringing those problems with us.

    2. notabanker

      Not sure about well worded, carefully worded, absolutely.

      Appealing to the pragmatic, logical side of the DNC, Pelosi and Chuk plays well on twitter but they frankly don’t care. What she needs to say is they are in the pockets of corporations and need to be replaced, but then again, she just helped elect them into power, so can’t go there.

      Justice Dems? Yeah, ok.

      Oh and Sanders is going to introduce a first 100 day Senate bill with the entire progressive agenda. I guess that will be an interesting footnote in the library of Congress one day, maybe.

      Dems are way beyond internal reform. It’s like designing a next gen breakthrough search engine and taking it to Google to help you roll it out. Biden has made it perfectly clear there will be no progressive agenda or policies. No amount of lipstick is going to change that.

      1. ChrisAtRU

        Concur on carefully worded … ;-)

        ” … so can’t go there.”

        Correct, and I give her credit for temperance in the now. One thing I lament on the left is what appears to be an abandonment of guile as a weapon. That’s so weird to me. It’s as if some onf the left are more comfortable wailing about being wronged than plotting to wrong their own. Look at Obama stabbing Bernie in the back, or rank and file Dems getting on Zoom to plot and celebrate Bernie’s demise or even the overt challenge to progressives like Markey by Pelosi’s endorsement. I’d like to think that the squad has a little two can play that game or turnabout is fair play in them, but that they subscribe to Johnny Depp’s Jack Sparrow in waiting for the opportune moment. As I said: new squad rules.

  33. Daryl

    Houston, not known as a hotbed of violent crime, just had seven homicides in 24 hours.

    The centre cannot hold…

Comments are closed.