Links 11/10/2020

Cat at Northeast’s highest peak dies after 12 years on duty Associated Press (David L)

Navy receives approval for exercises that could increase harm to Washington orcas News Tribune (David L)

A new model found to predict earthquake propagation speed PhysOrg (David L)

Vicious Cycle: Climate Change Spreading Infectious Diseases, Which Contribute to Climate Change SciTech Daily (UserFriendly)

How life-cycle assessments can be (mis)used to justify more single-use plastic packaging PhysOrg (Robert M)

Shot To Prevent HIV Works Better Than Daily Pill in Women New York Times

Why childhood and old age are key to our human capacities Aeon (Anthony L)


Native Americans not really interested in COVID masks U.S. Army keeps sending Duffle Blog


Covid Infections in Animals Prompt Scientific Concern New York Times

Brain Scans Show a Whole Spectrum of COVID-19 Abnormalities We Can’t Fully Explain Science Alert (Chuck L)

One in five COVID-19 patients develop mental illness within 90 days – study Reuters

5 things to know about the Pfizer vaccine news The Hill

Pfizer Vaccine Results Leave Questions About Safety, Longevity Bloomberg. At the very end of the story:

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.

Some People – Mainly Children – Have Pre-existing Coronavirus Antibodies That Could Help Protect Against COVID-19 SciTech Daily (UserFriendly)

Eli Lilly receives authorisation for Covid-19 antibody treatment Financial Times

How to Safely Form a Pandemic ‘Social Bubble’, According to 5 Disease Experts Science Alert (Chuck L)


Tesco shoppers fume as staff use packs of CORONA beer to block off ‘non-essential’ children’s clothes while other stores barricade winter coats Daily Mail (Kevin W)

Denmark drops plans for mass mink cull after Covid mutation fears Guardian (David L)

Lockdown children forget how to use knife and fork BBC


Even though one can correctly say that what Cuomo said was distorted in the tweet below, WTF is a governor doing opining on vaccines? Since when does New York have the capacity to make an independent assessment of the safety and efficacy of medications?

By contrast, Biden seems on board: President-elect Biden Delivers Remarks on COVID-19 C-SPAN

Students Have To Jump Through Absurd Hoops To Use Exam Monitoring Software Vice


Biden’s China policy will upgrade Trump’s Asia Times. Subhead: “Trump re-oriented US-China policy at great cost; Biden will retain the recalibration but improve its implementation.”

Apple Suspends Supplier For Using Illegal Student Labor In China arstechnica

Armenia, Russia, Azerbaijan sign deal to end Karabakh war DW

Where Are They Now? Leaders From My Afghan Tour Are on to Bigger and Bankable Things

Big Brother Is Watching You Watch

Europe is adopting stricter rules on surveillance tech MIT Technology Review


Assange Legal Team Submits Closing Argument Against Extradition ShadowProof (UserFriendly)


Growing Discomfort at Law Firms Representing Trump in Election Lawsuits New York Times (Kevin W). Subhead: “Some lawyers at Jones Day and Porter Wright, which have filed suits about the 2020 vote, said they were worried about undermining the electoral system.” Help me. Even axe murderers are entitled to representation. They are worried about their friends and clients shunning them.

Trump’s New Self-Care Routine: Filing Sad Lawsuits New Republic. So far, the suits have been pretty lame.

Trump camp vows election court fight just began BBC

Trump’s Legal Blitz Isn’t Contesting Enough Votes to Win Bloomberg

Head of DOJ election crimes unit RESIGNS in protest after Bill Barr tore up the rule book and authorized federal prosecutors across US to pursue ‘substantial allegations’ of voter fraud during presidential election despite little evidence Daily Mail

McConnell Backs Trump in Not Conceding Race Wall Street Journal

Voters approve charter amendment and make Florida the epicenter of Rights of Nature in the U.S. (David L)

Voters Overwhelmingly Back Community Broadband In Chicago and Denver Vice

The US media’s desire to play kingmaker in Trump-Biden clash is forcing millions of Americans to the media fringes RT. Kevin W: “Donna Brazile? With Fox News? Seriously?”

Trump (Presumed) Aftermath

Job-seeking Trump officials likely to get chilly reception on K Street The Hill (resilc)

Former Aide Scaramucci Trump “Is an Orange Wrecking Ball” Der Spiegel (Futility, resilc)

How to Protect America From the Next Donald Trump New York Times (resilc)

McConnell and Biden could bring bipartisan cooperation to Congress Washington Post (UserFriendly)

First comes a rolling civil war Pepe Escobar, Asia Times. Civil war is the wrong meme, even though that seems to be how the Democrats conceptualize what is happening (and they are the ones isolated in blue cities with easily severed supply lines…or now out in burbs and the countryside, surrounded by not necessarily friendly locals who certainly have more gunz than they do). I think we are going to have themed and not well organized violence. War implies organization and centralized control.

AOC wants to cancel those who worked for Trump. Good luck with that, they say. Politico

Map: These are the states that have agreed to a plan to replace the Electoral College NBC (furzy)


Progressive Message to Joe Biden: Don’t You Dare “Cooperate” With Mitch McConnell CommonDreams

Biden, Democrats prepare right-wing administration WSWS

The Task of ‘Sleepy Joe’ is to Put Liberal America Right Back to Sleep Counterpunch

2021 can be a climate breakthrough, but Biden and Europe need to talk Bruegel

Our Famously Free Press

Facebook removes pages tied to former Trump advisor Steve Bannon CNBC (furzy)

‘Lots of people are going to suffer’: Nouriel Roubini on the possibility of a double dip recession and its impact on the labor market Yahoo (resilc)

Update on Churches Filing Chapter 11 Bankruptcy Pamela Foohey, Credit Slips

India Opens Antitrust Case Against Google Over Its Payments App TechCrunch

Southwest is reportedly looking to acquire up to 30 Boeing 737 Max jets even though many travelers say they don’t want to fly on the troubled plane Business Insider

“Spencer England,” In Remembrance, November 8, 2020 Angry Bear

Guillotine Watch

Former Google CEO Eric Schmidt has applied to become a citizen of Cyprus Vox (Chuck L). Cyprus? A critical hub for bona fide Russian business (foreign companies invest via Cyprus subs to have access to English law courts in the event of a dispute) and money laundering.

Antidote du jour (Tracie H):

And a bonus (guurst):

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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  1. Richard H Caldwell

    “Growing Discomfort at Law Firms Representing Trump in Election Lawsuits”

    Try, “they are worried about being disbarred for bringing merit-less actions”.

    1. ACF

      I don’t think any of them are at risk of being disbarred

      But it is true that in general these lawsuits are frivolous and the allegations completely unsubstantiated; their purpose appears to be messaging and narrative control rather than dispute resolution or wrong-righting or any other normal lawsuit frame. Lawyers are supposed to say no to clients who want to do such things although lawyers generally don’t. Lawyers unwilling to act as professionals with independent judgment supporting the framework of the legal system— lawyers unwilling to say no to rich clients—is one of the sources of fraud and crisis in our economic system.

      I find it rather chickensh-t though that people are anonymously complaining to the press as opposed to doing what one of the lawyers did and that is quitting or at least speaking to the press on the record. Their consciences cannot be bothering them all that much. In general this article makes me respect Trump’s lawyers less rather than more

        1. Toshiro_Mifune

          Lawyers have consciences?

          They all share one. It’s kept in a small jar in the basement at 11th Street in DC.
          There’s a under secretary who’s job it is to poke it with a stick every few years to make sure it still ok.

      1. km

        Complaining to the press on the record about a client’s ongoing case in which a lawyer represented that client is a much surer way to get disbarred.

    2. apleb

      More likely they are worried their client will stiff them out of their pay.
      How many bankruptcies has Trump done in his career among his subsidiaries?

        1. philnc

          +2, as one of the few reasons judges used to let you withdraw from a case once underway. Of course judges are a lot less strict about such things than they used to be. A certain federal judge in Newark used to give lawyers a hard time if they wore anything other than the standard white shirt, fortunately vests were still in fashion back then so the shirt didn’t need to actually be pressed — and hamburger juice stains were easily hidden. No fun at all, especially since there was as yet no A/C in that particular courtroom during summer.

    3. Mikel

      The electoral college still hasn’t voted. That’s like the jury still being out. 33 states, or something like that, do not have legal requirements that the electors vote the same as the popular vote. So is the Trump line of thought not about influencing millions of Americans but hundreds of electors?
      Depends on how much the establishment Republicans, right or wrong, still feel they need Trump.

      Disclaimer: none of the comment is an endorsement of either candidate and is all hypothetical.

      1. BondsOfSteel

        These are not impartial jurors… they are chosen specifically for their loyalty to the candidate and party. Hillary Clinton is one of the ones from NY. What are the odds of Trump changing her mind?

    4. Tom Bradford

      Axe-murderers should have legal representation because a) someone was murdered with an axe, and b) he is before the courts accused of doing it. A lawyer tasked with prosecuting someone for being an axe-murderer because there must have been an axe-murder even if we can’t find the body, might be justified in saying, “Hey, that’s not what we do.”

  2. none

    In October or so we heard that Hillary Clinton had advised Biden to not concede the election under any circumstances. Now we’re supposed to be indignant that Trump is doing what Clinton told Biden to do. Lol.

    1. Vidur

      “under any circumstances” is not equivalent to “If the race is close, don’t concede”. I don’t personally have an opinion either way but your characterization of her comments seemed inaccurate.

      1. Yves Smith Post author

        You are quoting a Politico headline, which is less bloody-minded than what Hillary actually advised. None’s recap is closer to the mark:

        “Joe Biden should not concede under any circumstances because I think this is going to drag out, and eventually I do believe he will win if we don’t give an inch and if we are as focused and relentless as the other side is,” Clinton said in an excerpt posted Tuesday.

      1. Gary

        The Clinton’s aren’t even people anymore. They are Pavlov’s bell designed to start people slobbering. Otherwise, why would they even still be relevant?

      2. Count Zero

        I share your opinions about Hillary Clinton. However, in a struggle like this she may be right. Trump is going to bully & threaten till he gets his way and pushes the electoral college in his direction. Can you imagine the revolutionary implications were he to succeed? What kind of descent into chaos and civil war would follow? And is that outcome inconceivable? It needs Trump’s opponents to be equally uncompromising — to be, as she says, “as focused and relentless as the other side is.” The fight for the Presidency may not be over yet.

        1. Procopius

          Minor quibble:

          Trump is going to bully & threaten till he gets his way and pushes the electoral college in his direction the electors cast their ballots and he loses definitively.


          The Georgia Secretary of State said there will be a recount there, but that was when Biden’s lead was only a couple of thousand votes. I think it’s still close enough that their law requires a recount, but haven’t seen an update. There’s nothing wrong with that. I think some other states will have mandatory recounts. I still want to hear if any Republican vote watchers in Pennsylvania admit on the record that they were, in fact, in the counting rooms. The guy from New Jersey who claimed no Republicans were allowed in Philadelphia because he was kept out should be clearly contradicted. I believe the Democrats have been scrupulous about following the laws, but I’ve been wrong before.

    2. polecat

      Well, we know for a fact, that *All lawyers are equal .. but SOME non-red lawyers are moarrr equal than ‘Those Damn Dirty Others!’ … saith the Blu ishmonkeys.

      * I can’t help but think that old George, wherever his atoms be dispersed … would approve of the above parphrase.

      But just remember this – General Thade thought he had it in the bag too …

    3. Val

      We all can agree the Democratic party held totally legit, free fair presidential primaries in 2016 and 2020, right Bernie? And the apparatus we call the intelligence community (smart cuddles) have minimum 75 years experience helping folks with their election results. What a team!
      For those rejecting any suggestion of multiple inference election fraud shenanigans, what is your evidentiary threshold? Avoid ad hominems, homies.
      Remember too, Hillary did not request recounts in 2016, as the ballot stuffing in SE Michigan precincts was truly egregious in the first instance (“irregularities”), but nothing compared to the more refined pandemic ballot harvesting 4 years later. And yes, the more complicated the ballot, the more complicated the stuffing, if maintaining speed and plausible deniability is a goal, I’m 90% certain.
      2016 DNC had many media proxies explaining the virtues of faithless electors until almost Christmas.
      If I was clinging to the hypothesis of a Democratic Republic, I would be distressed.

      1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

        Luckily S. Dakota governor Kristi Noem chimed in with exactly what I think, especially at the very end of this clip. If Joe B wants to do anything that remotely resembles “unity” he would be working hard to support the effort to dispel any misgivings about the results:

        George Stephanopolous tried to club her with the fact that Bush v. Gore was only 500 votes. But, Georgie-boy, that was only known after the recount was finished, dóh.

        Noem 2024. Reminds me a lot of Tulsi, intelligent, forthright, and when she speaks I believe what she says, and I believe she believes what she says. Contrast with The Kamaleon could not be starker IMO.

  3. taunger

    Axe murderers deserve representation in a functioning system that declares innocence at the outset. Participants in a criminal trial aren’t litigating the justice system. The issue here is an attack on electoral systems, not outcomes. maybe the subtleties of the ethical boundaries being tested do not resonate with you, but I feel your analogy is not quite apt.

    1. Yves Smith Post author

      Please explain how filing a case in court is a threat to the electoral system. Either the judge will decide the case has merit (as in the plaintiff has standing, the legal theories are a fit, there is some preliminary evidence, and if the plaintiff can substantiate it further in discovery, he has decent odd of meeting a burden of proof) or tosses it. Judges so far have shown few inhibitions about throwing out poorly conceived Trump cases.

      What you are saying is that election processes won’t stand up to the light of legal discovery and therefore must be protected from litigation. That not only makes no sense, it’s profoundly anti-accountabilty. The gold standard of hand marked paper ballots counted in public is the polar opposite of your stance.

      1. KevinD

        Two aspects here to trumps approach. On the one hand he calls into question the integrity of the election which many find destabilizing and baseless. These call outs are for his base. This justifies his appeal to his base for money. On the other hand, he is tempering this approach by going through traditional legal means as well., which are not exactly panning out as he hoped.

        I wonder where the money he getting from his base is actually going?

        1. Carolinian

          calls into question the integrity of the election

          Isn’t that what many around here have been doing–re Biden–for months? Perhaps the key to having a nation with integrity is questioning it, not not questioning it. For quite awhile now the press seem to have stuck to the latter except, of course, when it comes to Trump. Him they question even when he’s telling the trurth.

          1. KevinD

            I was just providing trumps my opinion regarding Trumps approach. I was inferring nothing regarding whether or not elections should be scrutinized . I don’t disagree that elections should be scrutinized – in fact, I’m astounded that a nation that once sent a man to the moon cannot efficiently send a man to vote.

        2. Yves Smith Post author

          Why should elections be spared from scrutiny? We have a shitty fraud-friendly system. Most of the systems that scan voter-marked ballots have no paper trail for the voter to be sure their vote was counted. Absentee ballots are regularly not counted because the margin of victory of one side in a the top of ballot is so large that if all the absentee ballots were counted, it would make no difference. But what about all the down ballot contests?

          Sanders was cheated in Iowa and had 125,000 votes trashed in Brooklyn in 2016. There were at least two documentaries then which showed poll workers and voters reporting on abuses in California. Why are you defending a bad system? People should be worried about election integrity in close races.

          1. ACF

            Without doubt, litigation is an appropriate way to expose fraud in the system. That said, reading the actual court filings and decisions shows that, so far, the Trump campaign’s lawsuits have been meritless. Not close calls that could’ve gone either way; not claims that have enough substance to challenge the outcome, or even really the margin of victory. Nor has anyone explained why only the top of the ticket would be affected. Surely if Ds were going to ‘steal’ the election, they would’ve ‘stolen’ the senate/house too? They’d already baked in the correct expectations, the ‘steal’ would’ve been hard to spot. Considering each suit on its own cost/benefit analysis: a) what chance does this suit have of success on the merits? b) even if victorious, would the outcome of this state’s race change? the answers–to date–have been ‘none’ and ‘no’. When serial lawsuits are filed with those characteristics, the question has to become, Why are these suits being filed? What purpose are they serving? And the simplest answer is: Narrative, delegitimizing Biden’s victory. A fair response to that may be: So what? That’s all the Ds did for four years–try to delegitimize Trump’s victory–turn about is fair play. And so it is. But that’s different than defending these lawsuits in particular (rather than lawsuits in the abstract) as an accountability mechanism.

            Now, my statements are based on the lawsuits filed as of 9:25 a.m. today. Perhaps a suit with merit will be filed, and at that point, my take would change.

            1. lyman alpha blob

              But Trump can file all the lawsuits he wants and if they’re without merit, they’ll be thrown out. You can’t stop him from doing so without severely limiting the rights of others to take their issues to court. Trump does a lot of things more stupidly than others but that doesn’t mean he shouldn’t be allowed to do them. And IANAL, but I believe judges have some leeway to penalize those who would keep filing frivolous lawsuits.

              I think you are 100% correct with this –

              Surely if Ds were going to ‘steal’ the election, they would’ve ‘stolen’ the senate/house too?

              But what if it wasn’t the Dems? There’s no love lost between Trump and the Republican establishment either. If they helped get rid of Trump with some election fraud, they’re going to make sure they still retain some power for themselves. And with Mr. I Love to Cooperate with Republicans Because I Essentially Am One as president, they arguably gain power by having Biden in charge.

              You’ll never convince me the 2004 election was counted fairly, and a lot of those those Bushies did all run to the Biden campaign this time around…

              1. ACF

                I didn’t say he couldn’t file the lawsuits. I suggested the goal of filing the lawsuits is not election accountability or changing the results, but fueling a narrative.

                Not even Karl Rove thinks the election was ‘stolen’ on the scale of ballots that would have to be falsified. I was being flip because the idea of a coordinated steal across multiple states with the current margins is absurd to me. We don’t have a sufficiently competent and coherent D party that knows how to skew totals under the noses of all the R election workers (ballot counting is bipartisan everywhere).

                1. Anon II, First of the Name

                  I suggested the goal of filing the lawsuits is not election accountability or changing the results, but fueling a narrative.

                  I have no evidence one way or the other, but I think that the purpose of filing these is to attempt to suck up as much sympathizer cash as possible. I do not believe that the cash being sucked up is intended to pay for lawsuits, though…

                  In any case, this is the most fitting end for Trump’s presidency–for good or ill, he entered it in a circus-like tone, and he is ending it in a carnival-like atmosphere. Whatever else, he has been consistent, and he has managed to suck up all the media oxygen in the room from beginning to end.

                  1. Yves Smith Post author

                    “Fuelling a narrative” presupposes that Trump has message discipline, when we have yet to see anything of the kind.

                    He’s just pushing on anything that might give. Recall all the moves he made to try to get his wall built.

                    1. ACF

                      Sure, he is pushing on anything that might give, and also, my choice of ‘narrative’ overstates things. I’m not suggesting not a coherent, consistent message across states that rises to the structure we could call storytelling, it’s just a generalized exhortation of DON’T BELIEVE WE LOST, taking the form of the myriad lawsuits and discussion of them. My point is–having read many of the filings & orders and working with people who have read the others–is that none of these litigations, again, through now, can result in reversing vote totals in any one state, much less a sufficient number of states to change the electoral college results. And so changing the outcome, Bush v. Gore style, does not appear to be the primary purpose. But there’s so many of them, and done as official campaign actions–the Trump campaign is generally the plaintiff–that there must be a primary purpose. Disinformation is another word I suppose.

                    2. lordkoos

                      I think where the narrative part comes in is when McConnell and others join. Republicans seem to want to go on record as calling the election rigged, it’s a performance for their base.

                2. mike

                  Not even Karl Rove… We know the Republican establishment doesn’t want Trump anymore than the Democrats.

                  And I think one of the main arguments put forth but the Trump campaign is that they aren’t processing ballots “under the noses of R election workers”.

                  Perhaps the intent isn’t just to push a narrative and is actually to win the election. I don’t know but think that is equally plausible

                  1. John

                    Look at the republican Senators who has congratulated Biden. They owe no deference to Trump. The other 96 are, whatever their private leaning, hedging because there are those 71 Million who voted for trump. It is a vivid display of wobbly spine.

                3. ArvidMartensen

                  Today, nothing is real and everything is the opposite. A hall of mirrors. Where Sanders, a candidate with huge rallies, just folds and disappears in the twinkling of an eye, and a candidate with the popularity of the People’s Front of Judea ( the lone guy sitting in the stands), just gets a record turnout and wins the vote. Amazing.

                  According to Professor Jonathon Turley, “A recent survey found that almost half of Americans lack confidence their ballots will be counted fairly. A Harvard study also found that only half of young black voters believe their ballots are even counted.”

                  So this is what happens after years of gaslighting US voters by the two major parties, by the intelligence community, by the business community. The result seems to be that citizens don’t believe much of anything that is said anymore. And that is a quite rational conclusion. Some pick one side and cling like barnacles to that side, and others refuse to participate.

                  So I think that in a world where every organisation is fuelling a (mostly deceptive) narrative, of one sort or another to their own benefit, then if Trump’s lot is fuelling a narrative so what?

              2. ACF

                2004 was fundamentally about OH, with the Diebold machines running counts. That’s not analogous here. For example, in PA, you are talking about paper ballots reviewed by bipartisan teams.

                1. lyman alpha blob

                  Serious question because I honestly don’t know – are they recounting all the ballots in PA or just some?

                  I agree that it would be very hard to commit fraud when paper ballots are publicly counted by hand. Not impossible, but very difficult. I’ve participated in such a recount where members of each side counted the ballots with a neutral party directly observing, and other people allowed to watch at the sidelines. The way this recount worked was that each of the two parties counted the same stack of ballots separately and then confirmed the results with each other. If they each got the same total all was good, and if different, they got counted again until both parties agreed. The one avenue for fraud that I noticed was when my counterpart came up with a different total than I did for a particular stack of ballots, and that total was in my candidate’s favor. I’m that situation, one could simply agree that the totals matched, even though they didn’t and move on, but you wouldn’t be able to control it in any way. It would only work in a situation where the difference between candidates was not much more than single digits.

                  But if they are not recounting all the ballots by hand, there is always the opportunity for election fraud with machine counted ballots. If the fraud was committed so that the difference between candidates was not big enough to trigger a recount- for example by flipping some extra votes to Biden in a district Biden was expected to win handily anyway – who would ever know if it’s never looked into?

                  Because of that possibility, I am not at all opposed to Trump using recounts and the courts. Even a blind squirrel uncovers a nut once in a while so even if it doesn’t change the result, it may shed some light on the broken voting system for the public at large.

                  1. Greg

                    Hand marked paper ballots makes some forms of fraud more difficult, yes. Other forms of fraud are not affected and may even be harder to detect – such as ballot stuffing if the names on ballots are not being rigorously checked against a verified list of valid voters with invalid names and duplicates being identified.

                    That’s a shedload of advance work to achieve in a manual system, and I’d be surprised if it had been done competently given the rest of the American electoral system.

                    1. ArvidMartensen

                      If scrutineers are kept a distance of 2 metres or more away from the actual ballot counting process, then they are less than useless. Perhaps someone can advise if that’s how scrutineering works in these elections.

                      Scrutineers do as the word suggests, they closely check each ballot as counted to make sure it follows whatever the rules are, that it’s clear or legible. Sometimes scrutineers have to agree on what the intent of the voter was. If scrutineers are kept a great distance from ballot counting then they are not doing this job at all.
                      An election has to be free and fair and transparent. If not, then the US system is open to fraud every which way.

                    2. fajensen

                      It is physically hard to stuff enough ballots to change the outcome, it is pallets of paper in an election like the USA.

                      If there is effective fraud, it will be done with controlling who gets to vote through, frankly, I.M.O. the ludicrously complex eligibility process and checks and of course with the digital counting and totalling of votes. But, this is the system “Everyone” agrees to have, so they must also agree with the outcomes (despite the whining)!

                      On the low-complexity scale, in Denmark, they will automatically, about a month in advance, send out ballots to the registered address of all people who are eligible to vote (Danish- or EU-citizen, over 18, I think that’s it). There is one ballot for the local elections and one for the nationals, those EU-citizens will only get the local one.

                      If one has moved recently, there may be one set of ballots going to the old address and another to the new address because it takes a while for data to percolate around and stabilise, so, yes, some people could – in theory – cast one extra vote by someone travelling to two voting sites :).

                      On the ballot, it says where the election place is (and the protocol for mailing it in instead, should one wish to).

                      On election day, one goes to the location on the ballots, there will be tea, coffee, maybe cake, and some of the local politicians hanging around, a very short line.

                      There is a check-in desk where one shows the ballots and they have a list of the ballot serial numbers, which they will check and cross out. Then one goes to a little cubicle with curtains, put the desired ‘X”s on the ballot with the pen in there, go out and dump it in the ballot box next to the check-in counter.

                      In the evening, they close at 20:00 normally, they sort all the ballots into piles according to the votes and begin counting. Anyone can stay and watch and anyone can volunteer in advance to help out with running an election.

                      Usually they have the main results about midnight, then there is some recounting on the lower-placed candidates because the political parties can chose different rules on how to handle down-ballot candidates and “surplus votes” from popular candidates.

                      That can take 3-4 days.

                      Then there will always be some back-stabbing and treason where some of the losing candidates joins a coalition with the opposition about a popular position, like the Mayor.

                      But, pretty relaxed and one can explain it to people, even the weirdo vote-runoff and down-ballot rules, should one care enough. Which is why we don’t want “digital voting”.

                      Now, we do have it a bit easier because we don’t vote about every possible government position, right from the municipal dog catcher and up. Those are just regular jobs, with the normal recruitment or procurement rules.

                      If America wanted to have ‘honest, moderately contested, elections with hand-counted ballots’ that could be done though radically simplifying the process. Alas, Americans love to fight and squabble far too much for this to ever happen.

            2. Michael

              “”Surely if Ds were going to ‘steal’ the election, they would’ve ‘stolen’ the senate/house too?””

              Gets a lot more complicated if you expand the list.
              One and done seems almost harmless

          2. Katniss Everdeen

            Why are you defending a bad system?

            Because that bad system gave them the outcome they wanted. Because they “won.”

            A republic if you can keep it.

            1. Off The Street

              For those so inclined, navigate to government voting websites applicable to any of your former addresses.
              Then check to see if you voted, perhaps unbeknownst to you.
              Repeat for any maiden names or former names.

              And people wonder why cynicism isn’t dead.

              1. Katniss Everdeen

                See ACF above–It’s a cost/”benefit” analysis. Viva la capitalist populists!

                A little cheating is no big deal as long as we are assured by TPTB that the “results” won’t “change.” (This time.)

                The Orange Man is Bad so the ends justify the means and nobody who is worth anything gets hurt anywayzzzzzz.


                1. Duck1

                  It seems like what Trump is aiming for is recounts in the close swing states to flip the current consensus EC count in his favor. A secondary aim may be to convince R legislators to send Trump electors. In some of these states there needs to be the plausibility of fraud in order to request the recount, perhaps explaining some of the suits. In themselves they will not flip the consensus EC count.

                  1. lordkoos

                    I doubt it’s going to fly in Pennsylvania, where Biden has a 45,000 vote lead, and that state is all he needs to win.

          3. taunger

            In PA, the challenge to the state supreme court decision has nothing to do with ballot counting integrity in the way you elude. It is rather a rehash of bush v gore

          4. dcblogger

            the purpose of this lawsuit is the muddy the waters, not scrutinize the election. This is a president who deliberately sabotaged the entire postal system to prevent ballots from arriving to be counted in time. It is just part of a larger effort to seize power. Unlike Bush’s effort to stop the count in 2000 this effort will not succeed, but it does not alter the fact that the lawyers involved are attempted to abuse the legal system for the purpose of stealing an election.

                1. Greg

                  I’m pretty sure it’s also been described here at NC that the process of crippling the postal service has been underway since at least 2008, and I believe the future-liability issue is from even earlier.

                  It just didn’t matter to important people before, because they were confident the internet could do everything they needed (and the post was just for the povo).

                  1. Aumua

                    Yes, but there also wasn’t an election impact before the Trump friendly Louis De Joy took over and started implementing changes that would affect the P.O.’s ability to deliver mail votes on time, at the same time Trump was yelling about how terrible and subject to manipulation voting by mail was, and encouraging his base to vote in-person only. This is above and beyond the prior ‘neoliberal playbook’ shenanigans.

                    Coincidence? Could be.


            1. mike

              or you could say Democrats deliberately sabotaged the election process by changing the rules late in the process to favor their candidates. In PA, it is argued the Democrat run executive and judicial branch overreached their authority to change this years election rules (a power that resides in the legislative branch). IF TRUE, do you consider that to be a “larger effect to seize power” ? Our elections are designed to enable fraud and that is a feature not a bug.

              1. marym

                Changes to expand mail-in voting “favored” people who wanted to vote safely in a time of pandemic.

                The history of mail ballot fraud is nearly non-existent. There’s no reason thus far to indicate that it ’s systemic or prevalent.

                1. Katniss Everdeen

                  Ah, yes, the pandemic.

                  Why is it, do you think, that those who were so concerned about “voting safely” were overwhelmingly democrats? So overwhelmingly, in some areas, that 100% of a batch of tens of thousands of “mail-in” “votes” were for biden. Not one Trump voter concerned about his or her “safety.”

                  Not one.

                  An those long lines of early voters for weeks before election day. The “news” assured us that those were voters eager to show Trump the door and contribute to the “blue wave” that would sweep the nation. Why were they not afraid?

                  So curious. The only consistent “explanation” for a myriad of inconsistencies is…..the pandemic. The deadly, intractable, chaotic, unmanageable, serendipitous pandemic.

                  1. MS Server

                    It seems pretty obvious those that, largely in lock-step, have fought measures that would limit the spread of the virus.

                    State and local governments that have Ds in charge have been much more aggressive in measures meant to protect as much of the public as possible. This includes mail in voting.

                    Sometimes serendipity works exactly as defined.

                    1. Lambert Strether

                      > State and local governments that have Ds in charge have been much more aggressive in measures meant to protect as much of the public as possible

                      The charts I keep printing show debacles in both Blue and Red states. So perhaps performativity isn’t the answer?

                    2. Big River Bandido

                      State and local governments that have Ds in charge have been much more aggressive in measures meant to protect as much of the public as possible. This includes mail in voting.

                      You mean like in Wisconsin, where Joe Biden and the entire Democrat apparatus *insisted* that voters had to show up in person, during a pandemic lockdown? Democrat power brokers put their candidate and their agenda front and center — and said “f the voters”. It was despicable behavior on the part of the Democrats. And yes, it was “aggressive”…in the classic sense.

                      As usual, only The Onion got it right: Wisconsin Primary Voters Receive “I Voted” Gravestones.

                    3. anon in so cal

                      Weren’t Democrats–maybe even Biden—insisting on in-person voting in late March? Or was that mid-April….

                      California Covid numbers have been soaring off the charts the past several days. A public health emergency alert came in over my cell phone a few hours ago warning about the escalating case counts.
                      Was OK, though, for 1000s to congregate in close quarters to celebrate Biden’s “win” the other day….

                      PS: did not see BRB’s comment above…

                  2. Aumua

                    So overwhelmingly, in some areas, that 100% of a batch of tens of thousands of “mail-in” “votes” were for biden.

                    I’m not sure this is actually true. I think the appearance of this could come down to a counting procedure that added batches of Biden votes and of Trump votes separately to the official count. Do you have any additional source on this?

                    1. Aumua

                      Well I slogged through the hard-to-dissect writing, and looked into the site and it’s proprietor Raúl Ilargi Meijer. It’s not a terrible site, and it seems to have some overlap in character with NC. It also seems to have the same peculiar blind spot about the hard Right and their tactics that I see around here sometimes.

                      All I can say about the article is I’m still not convinced of either the facts as presented, or that they add up to what the author clearly has already decided that they do, which is fraud. I would prefer an approach that casts doubts instead of one that presents a foregone conclusion. Statistics are funny things, that can and will be misused wherever possible when the stakes are high.

                      My main doubts about there being a large scale fraud come from a consideration of how many people would have to be involved and keep quiet, and the logistics of covering up such an operation so that no undeniable smoking gun would appear. It’s the same consideration I give to any conspiracy theory. For all the yelling and waving of arms I still haven’t seen what I would consider an undeniable smoking gun. I’m open to the possibility. I’m not saying large scale fraud that changed the election results is impossible, just unlikely imo.

            2. John Ralston

              The only reports pertaining to USPS intransigence with ballots all are reports of Biden/Democratic candidate favorable interference and fraud.

              The ballot delivery/non-delivery issues, completed ballot diversions, ballot back date-ing and/or other forms of USPS tampering and interference appear to be uniformly favorable to Biden/Democrats.

              It is not credible to claim that Trump has used the USPS to interfere when all credible accusations and whistle-blower disclosures clearly indicate the opposite.

              It is not surprising that a hierarchically managed, unionized, highly minority staffed bureaucracy has been mobilized to provide service to it’s entrenched politically sensitive Democrat-leaning mid-level management.

              The citizenry cannot and should not trust such a bureaucracy, wholly ill designed and without necessary oversight, with excessive management responsibilities over voting process.

              At a bare minimum the use of hand stamps should have been forbid from use in order to validate adherence to the legal constraints on the date and time for submitting valid ballots.

              Anything other than verifiable timestamped delivery should have been forbidden. Express legal punishment for deviation should have been explicitly prohibited and punishment codified in the process of contriving the mail in based ballot schemes..

              1. marym

                There’s such contempt for working class poll workers, ballot counters, postal workers, and other civil and volunteer election workers in some of the (thus far speculative or debunked) allegations of fraud.

              2. lordkoos

                So you appear to be saying that DeJoy was actually working for the Democrats? You posit that USPS workers, many of whom are minorities were somehow sabotaging election results? Ballots are sealed, do you think postal workers were opening them and tossing ballots for Trump? Seems like a real stretch. If there was fraud I’m extremely skeptical that the post office had anything to do with it, and if it did it would likely be in Trump’s favor rather than the other way around.

            3. Objective Ace

              The Post office has been sabotaged by both parties since 2006 when it was legislated that the USPS could not run at a loss (and declared that future pension payments must be met by current income). If anything, this administration should be applauded for finally cracking down on the Post office and forcing it to do what Congress ordered it to do 15 years ago. If you want the USPS to run efficiently change the laws governing it

          5. Pelham

            Agreed on all counts. Also note that it would be dead simple to set up machine voting with a paper trail that registers the correct vote and count for the voter to see but registers something entirely different in the bowels of the machine.

        3. marym

          “…the campaign and the Republican National Committee have been sending dozens of daily text messages and emails saying they need financial support to challenge voting procedures.…Clicking through to the donation page, potential givers can review a disclaimer that 50% of any contribution will be used for general election campaign debt retirement and 50% for the campaign’s recount account.

          Other Trump fundraising pitches in recent days ask for help to “protect the integrity of this election” but lead to a donation page for Mr. Trump’s “Make America Great Again” committee. The fine print on those solicitations says 60% of a contribution helps the campaign retire debt and 40% goes to the Republican National Committee.”

          [Biden’s] His legal fund solicitations don’t include language about debt retirement. But the first $142,000 of any contribution is earmarked for the Democratic National Committee, and the next $2,800 goes to Mr. Biden’s recount account, according to the fine print.

          There’s no other detail on the Biden fund raising, but those are interesting numbers even in a world where almost everything is a grift.

      2. taunger

        No, I am saying that it is unethical and dangerous to file frivolous suits against the state elections systems, which is drastically different than providing right to counsel.

        You keep confusing process and outcome, and the engagement with the process is the problem here, not a potential outcome.

        1. km

          Funny that goodthink liberals were not saying that in 2016 when the Stein campaign was filing lawsuits in WI, PA and MI on the basis of vague allegations of “Russian interference”.

          1. taunger

            I was no fan of that, though I think it can be argued in good faith that Stein was actually trying to expose systemic problems, while I would never give drumf that benefit.

        2. Yves Smith Post author

          Horsepuckey. Election systems are not sacred. Your position is that they are.

          Were you voicing similar concerns when the Democrats kept making baseless claims that the “Russia” had interfered successfully in 2016 to push Trump over the line, or more recent assertions that “Russia” was going to/had hacked into local voting systems, even though their fragmentation (there are numerous different types in the US, see California’s Secretary of State site for a listing of how many different voting systems are authorized there) and lack of Internet connections would make that a very difficult exercise?

          1. taunger

            Yes, just like you. Perhaps not on this board, as there was plenty of chorus and my voice not necessary. But I agree, Russia russia russia has been damaging too, as you well know.

            1. mike

              If you believe “Russia Russia Russia” was damaging too, Can’t you see why Trump or his voters would be skeptical of an election process that is conducted with “emergency pandemic” rule changes and with margins that are razor thin in battleground states?

              In northern NJ, we are about 60% of the way through our election count as of now. It doesn’t inspire confidence in the system.

              1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

                “The election was tampered with! See, these ballots from these counties need to be recounted!”

                Meantime the truly gargantuan frauds go unmentioned:

                1. The electorate was not allowed to receive and objectively evaluate the most damaging possible information about alleged criminal wrongdoing by one candidate and his immediate family. That evidence is ample, is corroborated by multiple sources, and includes emails, texts, audio, video, PDFs of signed agreements, bank wire receipts, and multiple eyewitness testimony.

                Rupert’s play was as follows: Let this information out (NY Post). This was the equivalent of a racehorse’s head in Biden’s bed, with the message: don’t f*ck with me. Immediately afterwards a cordon sanitaire was constructed around the information. Rupert then abandoned Trump, because he no longer needed him, and the cordon was resealed. That cordon was then rigorously enforced by the nation’s top tech companies and all of the nation’s mainstream media.

                2. Polls were designed to favor one candidate over another. I’m not sure how you would construct an argument that this did not take place given the accuracy of the results. These wildly inaccurate polls uniformly benefited one candidate: show me one poll that said Trump was up by 17 in states where he ended up winning by 3? Amy McGrath received the results of a poll that said she was up by 10 points over McConnell, on the strength of this she was able to raise more than $100M in the course of a single week. Final result? McConnell by 19 points.

                Sure. Let’s make sure ballot validity and counting are as transparent as possible. While the ship of a transparent and pluralist democracy based on values like “freedom of speech” and “freedom of information” disappears over the horizon.

                1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

                  It’s child’s play, your clicks paid for multiple gigantic thumbs on the scales. Google and Facebook jointly funded something called The Center For Technology and Civic Life. Cash handouts. The top 17 counties that were recipients of $51M in cash? Democratic. Funds applied to the top Republican county? $300K. Total funds to Republican counties? $1.6M.

                  Meet your new overlords and masters.
                  LOL “voting”, LOL:


                  I would be less despairing if the autocrats removing decision power from the people had at least a slight concern for them. They do not. Expect more bribery, censorship and war. Are you down with that? I’m not.

        3. Aumua

          It’s Donald Trump, what do you expect? I’d say these lawsuits are the least of the tantrums he could be throwing right now, so let him have them. He’s within his rights to do so.

      3. Tom Bradford

        Yves, I took your criticism of these lawyers being adverse to taking on Trump’s cases as being ‘unprofessional’ and inspired by fears of being tarred socially and professionally by association. If that’s the case I would argue you are wrong.

        As I replied above, an axe-murderer before a criminal court is entitled to legal representation and in my time in the profession cannot think of it every being denied however concrete the case against him. However had a client ever come into my office and said, “I lost this election because of electoral fraud,” my first question would have been, “OK, what’s your evidence?”

        “There must have been fraud because I lost,” is not evidence.

        Now, if the client wanted to pay for my time to scrutinise the results looking for fraud to base an action on I’d have been happy to do so, but I would not have been meeting my professional obligations to my client to take his money pursuing an action I believed to have no substance or prospect of success, and it would be an abuse of the system to do so. If that is all the lawyers in this instance were doing I believe they were acting properly.

        If my client (probably ex-client) did not agree with my stance he can always try elsewhere. My professional conscience would be clear.

        1. ACF

          Correct and that is how lawyers are supposed to behave

          And in general they don’t. Same holds true for accountants.

          Which is why control frauds can happen.

          But the lawyer is supposed to act decisively and simply not do the representation.

          Whining to the press anonymously is not an answer.

    2. Pat

      I would rather the validity of this election be settled this way rather than spend four years having the validity of the election be disparaged almost daily by a conspiracy made up by the loser and her team. This after the winning campaign was illegally spied on because of a false dossier compiled and paid for by the losing campaign.

      I also have an ulterior motive, even if it is an unlikely outcome.

      Let them exhaust every legal option. Let them throw everything at the wall they can. And please god let them get Recounts only to discover and let people know we have Electronic systems that 1.) do not accurately count votes. And 2.) cannot be recounted because there is no records to count.

      1. Oh

        Both crooked parties have put in electronic voting machines that has no paper ballot trail and can be hacked to change votes. We have no assurance that our votes will be counted accurately.

        1. Eduardo

          I believe that I have seen a “law” here on NC to the effect that any fraud that could be perpetrated has been perpetrated. (Sorry for any mangling and not recalling it better).

          But, based on that:
          We have assurance that our votes have been counted inaccurately.

          1. caucus99percenter

            Yes, that is my understanding as well. The “law” has been referred to here as the “phishing equilibrium,” also lampooning the sort of assumptions made by conventional economics.

          2. Aumua

            Just because frauds have occurred in the past doesn’t mean the election-swinging fraud is occurring now. I remain skeptical.

      2. Randy G.

        Thank you, Pat!

        Let’s see: four years of relentless Russiagate conspiracy theories based on zero credible evidence and utterly bizarre reasoning — all shouted at the top of their lungs while using the CIA and FBI to try to overturn an election they lost — and now sanctimonious bleating about ‘election integrity’ because their wing of the plutocracy eked out a pathetic win over the other wing of the plutocracy….

        For sheer sanctimonious hypocrisy they certainly deserve some sort of Nobel Prize.

        Do you want your stupidity and greed raw and authentic? Vote Republican.

        Do you you want your stupidity and greed dosed with a self-righteous scold? Vote Democrat.

        1. pjay


          A clear and concise summary of my own perspective. I’d only add that Trump was a little too “raw and authentic” for many Republicans as well.

        2. foghorn longhorn

          “Do you want your stupidity and greed raw and authentic? Vote Republican.

          Do you you want your stupidity and greed dosed with a self-righteous scold? Vote Democrat.”

          Sadly, this is a fact.

    3. vlade

      Trump – or anyone else, for the matter – has not just a right, but almost a duty IMO to bring in any reasonable suspicion (supported by more than a hunch though) on vote tampering, or any other illegal election authority.

      That said, on the current count it would have to be quite widely spread for it to overturn the elections, and what he seems to be doing now is more clutching at straws than anything else. Not even anything of the “importance” of the hanging chad yet.

      1. Carolinian

        Don’t forget there are still important senate contests outstanding that will affect control of the chamber. The election battle and the positioning for same aren’t really over.

        1. lordkoos

          The Georgia elections for the senate runoffs will be interesting.

          I don’t understand how the Nov 4th election in GA is even considered valid after governor Kemp’s massive purge of mostly black voters.

    4. Samuel Conner

      We get anxious about new “zero-day” vulnerabilities in widely used software and devices, and we want these vulnerabilities to be patched promptly.

      We’re strangely complacent about the possibility that privately sourced elections management software and hardware have significant security vulnerabilities,

      It is not hard to find discussion of this at reputable internet sources. A single example (re: at polling-place hardware; the issue of county-level aggregation and reporting systems is even more concerning)

      I’m not a fan of DJT, but if his challenges expose actual exploitation of some of the known security flaws in our systems, I would cheer. Perhaps there will be more incentive to patch these flaws, or abandon the system entirely for the international “gold standard” of paper ballots, marked and counted by hand.

  4. Tom Lewis

    “Since when does New York have the capacity to make an independent assessment of the safety and efficacy of medications?”
    Governor Cuomo said nothing in that piece about the vaccine itself except to say the claim of 90% efficacy was “good news.” He was critical of the distribution plan, which must be effected by the Trump administration, and has demonstrated its incompetence in such matters. The plan relies heavily on private drug stores chains to distribute the vaccines, which leaves out large swaths of the country.
    Seems to me his point was valid and your observation was off base.

    1. Yves Smith Post author

      First, Pfizer hasn’t even completed its trial and does not have approval. It is pressing for fast track but it has only about half the results it needs to show efficacy. And there seems to be a bit of cart before the horse-ing with Pfizer using a vaccine mechanism which has never been deployed in humans befre and even Bloomberg is warning that people who take it will need to be monitored for years afterward. So the concern re the current Administration having any role is based on Pfizer’s statement of the earliest time it might be able to distribute the vaccine.

      Second, it was the CDC that has developed the preliminary distribution plan, which the agency admitted had gaps due to great uncertainties over how many doses they’d get when, whether the vaccine was a one or two shot deal, and whether their were special handling requirements, like the Pfizer vaccine requires super cold storage, at -80C. So you are saying the CDC isn’t up to the task? Recall that its staffing gutting stated under Obama, although Trump made that worse, and it’s not as if Biden can add a lot of people to the CDC quickly.

      Third, $6 billion in funding for vaccine distribution has been held up since it was to be part of the current stimulus package. Trump says he can wrangle up enough money. Not everyone agrees.

      Fourth, “private drug chains” or more specifically, drug distributors ARE the leading actors in how drugs are distributed now. Trying to set up entirely new channels would create massive risks and delay. That is why experts pooh-poohed the Trump claim that the military would play a big role in vaccine distribution. States do expect to get some directly, presumably for prisons and perhaps hospitals that are part of state-run universities. See here from Politico:

      The new CDC roadmap, which defers much of the details to states, still leaves unanswered questions that could complicate their planning efforts. For instance, states don’t know yet how many of the initial doses they will receive or how many will be provided to national pharmacy chains. The CDC offered various scenarios that states should prepare for, but they vary widely; it can be as few as 15 million doses or as many as 45 million by the end of the year.

      So what Cuomo seems to be mad about is that states are expected to step up. That isn’t crazy since the US does put states and cities, and not the Federal government, at the forefront of public health.

      Fifth, it’s not as if the Obama Administration, which is where Biden will get many of its peeps, covered itself with glory when handling an unprecedented task (the Covid vaccine exercise is recognized as a massive undertaking). They couldn’t even get the Federal Obamacare site done on time. We detailed what a train wreck that was.

      Having said that, there is unhappiness and tooth-gnashing about the splitting of tasks between the Feds and the states (the Feds are not taking full control, the states are expected to provide supplies like gloves). So it is true that this is messy and not well sorted out due to know knowing what vaccine(s) will win and what they require, but this is a CDC drill.

        1. Felix_47

          Biden got the news a day earlier. I wonder if the SEC is going to investigate. Maybe inside trading is legal if you are in a winning campaign. I would be interested if the big donors to Biden got the word ahead of time and earned back their donations yesterday.

          1. MaineDogLover

            Merely having info before the public does not insider trading make. Show me where Biden purchasing shares of Pfizer on November 8th or 9th and you will definitely have our collective attention. If you are seeking info that Biden will be criminal in his finances I don’t think this is the guy. He may not offer much as a progressive leader but financial shenanigan’s are not his MO.

          2. rusti

            Taibbi had an article about this back in March:

            When SEC Enforcement Director Robert Khuzami was called to testify about congressional insider trading, many members of congress apparently expected he would say that existing laws already prohibited it, thereby making a new law unnecessary.

            Khuzami complied, sort of. “There is no reason why trading by Members of Congress or their staff members would be considered ‘exempt,’” he said. But he unexpectedly added that the application of such laws to members of congress was “without direct precedent and may present some unique issues.

            I’ll look forward to the Biden administration healing our divisions so those creatures in “the swamp” can feel more at ease.

        2. jsn

          Cuomo’s obviously ticked because he didn’t get the tip.

          If you’re gonna grift on the NYSE, you gotta share your tips with the Gov!

        3. Clem

          Needed, national guinea pigs for further credit expansion and consumer strength. Every case is an opportunity to boost GDP from increased health insurance premiums from patients who can afford the tests to detect Covid 19, Covid-20, even Covid-22, who use lots of medical resources before kicking the debt bucket. Then there’s the post mortem funeral industry and finally, the debt collection from moralistic relatives of the deceased industry.

      1. TMoney

        Yves, -80C is only dry ice (Solid CO2). It will be more effort, but not excessive. Omaha steaks come with dry ice to your door. Admittedly 300 million doses with dry ice is a tricker than 300 million at 4C, but you can buy the stuff at almost every big super market – perhaps you won’t be able to while the vaccine is distributed as the dry ice is diverted. Insulated coolers will keep it cold for a couple of days before needing a refill.

        Now if you say -180C, well that’s Liquid Nitrogen and vacuum vessels. I think that would be hard.

        Am I an expert ? No, but I was a proper chemist, and worked doing crystallography with Liquid Nitrogen cooled samples. Even had some fun with Liquid Helium cooled samples. Brrrr.

          1. Winston Smith

            I happen to be a chemist as well and I agree with Yves. The logistical (and regulatory) challenge is enormous. Sending a few samples and ensuring the stability and efficacy of millions of doses of vaccine are entirely different things

            1. Clem

              Why not combine the vaccine bonanza with a new Green Hydrogen Fueling Station investment opportunity? Mr. Chemist, isn’t hydrogen more effective at really low temperatures? We could build a national network of super sub zero pipes to distribute the hydrogen and the vaccine in these pipes with pneumatic-style capsules, like they use in department stores to move cash to a central office. We should be able to eliminate gasoline powered vehicles AND distribute the vaccines in this manner for a reasonable investment of say, what? 5 trillion or so? Thorium based pebble bed new nuclear can power the whole thing and make the hydrogen. I’m in!, where can I send my check?

          2. TMoney

            My apologies. I missed one day *Sigh*. It was a good discussion with a lot of interesting points. One thing that is clear is there an enormous established bureaucracy about approved methods for all things medical. I’m sure In “ye olden days” stuff that just good enough and not quite good enough got done. Lots of people got vaccines. Some likely didn’t work because of them being mishandling.

            I’ll wonder quietly about it and try not to make any more damn fool comments.

            1. anonymous

              It was an interesting and informative discussion in yesterday’s links, and I’m late to this, too.

              Moderna’s vaccine is also an mRNA vaccine, and I am seeing somewhat less severe cold temperature requirements for that vaccine. In last week’s November 5 Massachusetts General Medicine Covid grand rounds, one of the speakers was Andrea Carfi from Moderna. Slide 47 (at 27 minutes in) gives storage conditions for Moderna’s mRNA vaccine: 6 months frozen at -20 degrees C (-4 F); up to 7 days at refrigerator temps of 2 to 8 C (approx 36-46 F); and room temperature for up to 12 hrs post thaw.

              I don’t know what accounts for the difference in temperature requirements for the two mRNA vaccines, but, if this is correct, the Moderna vaccine could be easier to distribute. 

          1. Wukchumni

            In the summer i’ll buy frozen food (including gelato in pint sized containers-propane powered freezer @ our place not having much room) @ the WinCo supermarket that has dry ice (Save-Mart also does) and drive it to our cabin about 3 hours away.

            About $10 worth in a cooler you fill up with the food and you’re good to go.

            We’ve used dry ice to take perishables like ice cream, steaks & lobster into the backcountry on rare occasion, it holds up pretty well, but only really through the first day out on the trail, forget about any being left the next day.

          2. foghorn longhorn

            The grocery store in our one-horse town, sells it.
            Got a cooler set up by the front entrance.

          3. Amfortas the hippie

            …and i know vets and cattlemen who have fancy igloo coolers for transporting bull semen, and such(only saw them use dry ice once, when there was some momentary problem getting nitrogen(?-years ago, don’t remember).)
            don’t know how any of these disparate chains scale up or are pressed into service.
            but where there’s a will…(which is apparently lacking,lol…the “public” in public health may be causing indigestion and some sort of fugue state.)

          4. NotTimothyGeithner

            Larger Krogers have it stock all year. Its in a freezer near the registers. Other places carry it seasonally for the 4th and Halloween. Mom liked to decorate.

            Those freezers just have dry ice in them.

        1. vlade

          With liquid nitrogen – most dermatologists have liquid nitrogen in their offices, for cryotherapy. I don’t know how exactly they store/replenish it, but I know they have litres of liquid nitrogen available on daily basis. That said, I don’t know whether liquid nitrogen wouldn’t be too cold.

          I can buy small packages of liquid nitrogen at my pharmacy for self-treatment.

          1. vlade

            But TBH, the problem is not really the liquid nitrogen. It’s not even the last-mile type of stuff, as that can be solved reasonably okish (a neighbor of mine runs a cryo gas business doing a lot of work for hospitals, pharmacies and doctors + transport/storage of all stuff from transplants to embryos to what have you)

            The real problem is that you’re manufacturing it en-masse, and then have to distribute widely very quickly. Which means distribution warehouses that can sustan -80C, planes that are certified to fly with liquid gas loads (which is fun, because you have lower pressure while flying, which means you your ground-level containers may not be appropriate), airports which can handle it etc. etc.

            Inother words, the middle part of the distribution. I know DHL is working at it, but I don’t believe it’s there yet.

          2. petal

            In the US, the price of LN2 has jumped a lot very recently. I run a lab and receive a weekly delivery of a tank to supply our -140 freezer.

            1. Clive

              Someone’s already figuring out to go long liquid N2, it seems!

              Sigh, why am I always too moral to make out like a bandit when I had the chance… story of my life, alas.

              1. petal

                Same here. You have good company, Clive. Cheers.

                We are running into shortages and rising prices all over the place-LN2, plastic tubes and serological pipets, gloves, you name it, and it’s only early November.

              2. vlade

                Quite possible, as liquid N is a by-product of liquid O2, and liquid O2 demand is up significantly due to pandemic. So you’d expect more N2 as well..

                As I wrote, I know UPS and DHL are setting up a few massive N2 freezer distribution warehouses, which should be able to handle up to 28m doses at a time (depending on the number of freezers in the freezer farm), so I’m sure they are buying it – they were actually setting up the places as early as July this year.

                1. Otto B.

                  Either I’m misreading your comment or you got it wrong. LN2 is “spent” in the process of liquefying O2, it’s not a by-product. LN2 boils at -195.8ºC, O2 boils at 182.96ºC, when LN2 is completely evaporated the liquid O2 is left behind. If there’s a surge in demand for LO2, you’d expect a surge in demand (and price) for LN2, making it scarcer.

        2. The Rev Kev

          Storing these vaccines will always be a problem and you cannot afford to screw it up. Back in 1928 the children of Bundaberg in Queensland, Australia were given diphtheria vaccine but in a short order of time, 12 children were dead. The cause? The cold storage environment was not up to standard and the vaccine was contaminated with Staphylococcus aureus leading to the deaths of all those children. Bundaberg is hot in January – just like places like Arizona for example, so storage is going to be risky, especially if health service have been run down and are now presently under strain-

        3. kevin smith

          For what it is worth, most dry ice is made from CO2 which is a byproduct of ethanol fermentation:

          There is concern that, because of less driving, there is less production of ethanol for motor vehicle fuel, so less production from that source of CO2.
          I suppose they could use some other, probably less pure, source of CO2 for dry ice, but that might not be acceptable for shipping vaccines, and in any event might [depending on impurities] require different dry ice production equipment.

        4. Clive

          Repeat after me: Liquid nitrogen alone is not certified for medicine storage and distribution. Liquid nitrogen in just any old container is similarly not certified, either.

          Storage of medicines and approved storage solutions is subject (at least in the EU and I’d have thought the FDA take a similar approach) to strict regulations. You need both temperature sensors (with redundancy) and data logging and reporting to certify stable conditions, plus an alarm to alert staff for any temperature excursions.

          There are a small number of ultra low temperature freezers which are suitable for medicines storage. Here’s the entry level, suitable for a small primary care practice or local pharmacy. The sticker price? £8,365 (so that’ll be around $10,000 US) Something a little bigger, suitable for, say a hospital or, in multiple combinations, a vaccination centre? Nearly £10,000. A basic -80C freezer without the required temperature monitoring? £6,000 (ultra low temperature probes and data logging needed on top of that).

          Just how many of these units are there out there at the moment, in medical facilities? What’s the lead time on factory orders? How quickly can production be increased — these need specialised refrigerants, compressors and compressor lubricants, plus suitably robust insulating materials.

          These are all storage solutions. Transporation is a whole other matter. As is medicine handling and preparation for administering doses.

          Pfizer has published no protocols on any of these things. In the absence of an approved set of protocols, you can’t specify the potential storage and distribution methods.

          The reasons Pfizer hasn’t published protocols is that the current EMA medicines testing regulations do not cover, in their off-the-shelf form, medicines that need storage below -20C. These need, to quote

 Drug substances intended for storage below -20°C

          Drug substances intended for storage below -20°C should be treated on a case-by-case basis.

          So, someone will need to define, document and approve this particular use-case for this particular medicine.

          1. a different chris

            Thanks (and to the Rev Kev) upthread.

            My thought is that the vaccine *will* be free but we will have to individually pay Pfizer 10k for the handling charges!

            1. TMoney

              Talk about an education in all things medical and logistical. Rev Kev’s Queensland story explains the consequences of mucking it up, and Clive seems to have the domain knowledge of how not to muck up it.

              It turns out if I was in charge I’m killing people like the the kids in Queensland. Glad there are people out there who know what they are doing.

          2. vlade

            Well, sort of. If you go back, you’ll find bits and pieces of news that UPS/DHL (and other transport companies) started to prepare large cold-storage facilties specced for -80C as early as July this year. BBG run a story on UPS cold chain store on Aug 3.

            At that time, many people wondered why all of those seemed to target -80C. Now it appears that Pfizer (and possibly others) started to look at how to distribute earlier this year (as clearly, no distrbution = no sales).

            And, the BBG article mentions these are not walk-in-vaults, but mobile units, so can be assembled pretty quickly. It mentions that DHL opened one such facility at the time.

            1. vlade

              Ok, I dug into it a bit more. It’s actually not a Pfizer vaccine, it’s BioNTech, which is *gasp* a German company.

              According to them, they could finance the development and even stages 1 & 2 testing, but the main problem they had was logistic, and that’s what Pfizer was supposed to bring to the table.

              So let’s see whether they did.

              1. Clive

                Yes, these stories circulated in the industry a couple of months back. Nothing particularly concrete, just a lengthy to-do list

                As I linked to in the technical documentation yesterday, very low temperature refrigeration is much more specialised and requires unusual cascade refrigeration systems compared to low temperature / medium temperature / comfort applications. If there’s process cooling involved too, you can’t just build a big box.

                1. Old Jake

                  So, we have a big gun in pharma picking up the tricky-to-handle, expensive-to-manage but critically-needed vaccine from a small player. Major financial investment needed. Major payoff anticipated. Meanwhile the incentives are great for alternative product development that can be managed at lower cost. To which an irresistible urge to suppress will be felt by said biggy, by hook or by crook. Because that’s what capitalists do.

                  Forecast: bodies by the side of the road.

          3. Phacops

            How will dry vapor cryostats violate CFR Title 21, Part 820? They don’t require electricity to operate and from my time receiving SiLi detectors for gamma spectroscopy, reliable cryogenic loggers during distribution are available.

            Regardless, the entire volume of low temperature freezers and stability chambers must be qualified by pretty intensive, long duration, temperature mapping. A not insubstantial cost.

        5. posaunist

          At some point a complete protocol, from manufacture to injection, will have to be published. Until then, it’s all just speculation.

      2. Phacops

        Exactly. It is evident that it will be up to states to handle the cold-chain distribution of the mRNA vaccines and even if distribution may start in 4 months, planning for capacity needs to start now. LN2 is common to everything from food processing, medical sample prep and storage, to metal treatment. I wonder if this can be co-opted to establish regional and local storage centers since those outfits, and hospitals, will have facility tanks.

        But, to me, the success from Pfizer indicates that the complete spike protein rather than a partial of the active site is necessary to induce an immunologic response since their B1 version, containing the active region only, failed. The 3-D conformation of proteins matter for immunologic response.

        That gives me hope that a purified protein or denatured virus vaccine containing intact spike proteins, stable under common refrigeration, will be worth the wait.

        1. foghorn longhorn

          Alright, got a really stupid question here.
          How do you inject a vaccine that must be stored at neg80c?
          Is there a short window to defrost and use it before it ‘spoils’?
          How does the defrost work?
          Just put the package in water like a frozen steak?
          How about a microwave oven?

          1. Clive

            Thawing (essential — you can’t inject things that cold into the body directly and the vaccine might be in solid form at the temperature anyway) is usually accomplished by plunging the phials into a warm water bath with vigorous centrifugal action to ensure consistent and complete bringing to ambient (or stopped at around 0 centigrade if being transferred to medium temperature refrigerated storage).

            So this will be a key handling and pre-dispensing action/activity.

            In material I’ve seen (it’s in one of my links above), the vaccine developed using the Pfizer method is viable for 24 hours or less at ambient (and that’ll be standard room temperature ambient — 21-24 centigrade usually; it’ll be less at high ambients so if you’re in, say, Sothern California it won’t last so long on one of their 110F days, exactly how long will need to be quantified) and a couple of days stored in medium temperature refrigeration conditions (+2-4 centigrade).

            I like the microwave idea, just like the custard for my jam roly-poly was done this evening! Unfortunately, not usually suitable for medicines. The main issue is superheated bubbles forming which would destabilise and potentially ruin the affected phial(s) — and is difficult to detect in-process.

            This will all need to be clearly defined (and also after testing and regulatory approval) in the vaccine handling and dispensing protocols.

    2. fresno dan

      Tom Lewis
      November 10, 2020 at 7:16 am
      Even though I am a Californian (I would prefer Californium), as a former FDAer, I can’t say these state laws are all that useful. Not that I have any great faith in the FDA, it just that more of the same doesn’t really do much…

      1. polecat

        Yeah. It’s all about those ephemeral Half-lifes. Like a gaslit fart in the wind. ‘PooF!’

        The Realm’s plumb full of em.

  5. Winston Smith

    “McConnell Backs Trump in Not Conceding Race”
    The idea is to delegitimize the president-elect, delay the start of the transition and ensure that the new administration has very little time to get caught up before inauguration. The goal is not to reverse the results or that there is any doubt that Biden won. Some have argued that the delayed transition in 2000 contributed to Al-qaeda 9/11 plans not getting the attention they deserved

    1. voteforno6

      There are two main factors driving this, I think:

      1. Donald Trump is a child, and they’re placating him by playing along with him on this. Rather than tell him “no,” and deal with the fallout, they’re hoping to just get him to stop crying long enough so they can get some sleep.
      2.There will be a runoff in Georgia in early January for both Senate seats, and by playing along with Trump on this, it keeps the base riled up, the money flowing in, and hopefully their voters to the polls.

      My guess is, of the two above, McConnell is far more concerned with #2 than #1. He was just reelected, and he knows that Trump can’t really touch him. Unlike Trump, McConnell is far more effective at wielding power.

      1. marym

        To your second point:

        From Washington Examiner which usually leans conservative:

        “Republican insiders privately concede Biden ousted Trump and dismiss suggestions voter fraud, ballot errors, or other issues would be uncovered sufficient to alter the election. But with the president claiming otherwise and two Georgia runoff elections set for January that will decide the Senate majority, plus midterm elections in 2022, most congressional Republicans are backing Trump. The move is purely transactional” Hannity, in his monologue last night, hit similar points

        “Spoke with a Hill Republican today and matched some of @DavidMDrucker’s [Washington Examiner] reporting. Was told that after Dems’ Russia probe and impeachment, Trump’s base “wouldn’t take kindly to waving the white flag prematurely.” Hannity, in his monologue last night, hit similar points” [with screen shots of Hannity criticizing the Dems for Russiagate]

    2. Yves Smith Post author

      Ahem, Biden allies can hardly whine about Trump being pissy about losing and perhaps denting Biden’s legitimacy after Clinton engaged in similar sabotage efforts and kept the dial at 11after Trump took office, with considerable assistance from DoJ types like Sally Yates (who had a very high noise to signal ratio) and the intelligence agencies. It apparently didn’t occur to them that they were legitimating bad behavior.

      1. a different chris

        >Biden allies can hardly whine

        Sure they can. This is the world we live in. Real adults need not apply. History is irrelevant. Everything is to be viewed the way they say it is to be viewed, nothing more and nothing less. Lewis Carroll would give up.

        Short term tactical thinking got them the levers of power, why change. They’ll just re-write history anytime it’s necessary.

        If Yves ran the MSM it would be different, but that’s not what we’ve got.

      2. Winston Smith

        Just for the record, I don’t have much faith in Biden and the democraps leadership nor of course for the other side. That being said, this endeavor will not be helpful to anyone outside of DC.

    3. David

      Looking at this from outside, I find it hard to see what possible incentive Trump has to go quietly. The same people who used every foul means to stop him becoming President and then to try to unseat, him and have kept up a hate-filled chorus of negativity and fantasy which is still going one, are not suddenly going to relent, and allow Trump a dignified exit and a quiet retirement writing his memoirs. Now that he is weaker, they will simply redouble their efforts to destroy him.

      In such circumstances, seeking revenge and trying to crash the system, and making the country ungovernable, are entirely understandable (if not necessarily rational) responses. Trump wants his revenge, and perhaps also is signalling that he has deterrent capabilities, in the form of documents or evidence that could badly damage the Democrats. You don’t have to think Trump is a nice person, to understand that the might feel like that: Gandhi himself might have been feeling a bit irritated by now.

      1. a different chris

        I would agree with you but…

        >are not suddenly going to relent, a

        Yeah, they are. It’s just a family-blogging game to Our Betters and the fact that Trump is acting like a child is annoying but once the tantrum stops they will resume the normal charade.

        > Now that he is weaker, they will simply redouble their efforts to destroy him.

        Politics ain’t beanbag, as somebody said. Wait for the “Et tu, Republicans” moment, it’s coming.

        >and allow Trump a dignified exit and a quiet retirement writing his memoirs.

        Um, what Trump are you talking about? We were talking about The Donald. “Dignified” and “writing his memoirs” is…. oh man. I can’t even picture it without spitting coffee all over the screen.

        Finally (this isn’t in order)

        >I find it hard to see what possible incentive Trump has to go quietly.

        Behaving like this is ruining his chances for 2024. That’s just general personal dynamics in this sort of winner/loser support he has. Once you start to look weak (whiny is weak, trying to hold onto lost ground is weak) you are heading for a cliff with your supporters. Happens to every authoritarian who doesn’t handle setbacks like a man. Saying you are going to re-evaluate and come back stronger is the path to take.

        He is just too stupid, fortunately.

        1. polecat

          Too stupid
          Too childish
          Too undignified

          Too (place derogatory ‘Trump ONLY’ signifier HERE!) … right?

          No doubt, SURELY to be additional hundreds therof. /s

      2. Pelham

        The Trump strategy, I think, may be to pursue his legal challenges up to a certain point at which he could abruptly call them all off in a magnanimous gesture to “heal the nation.” He could still claim the election was stolen from him — and with some justification, given just the clear biases on social media over the past 4 years and the phony charges leveled by spooks and the media — and walk away with dignity intact.

        At one stroke he would instantly rise above the bickering and present himself as more forgiving and presidential than the incoming Biden. But first I’d advise him to pardon himself and everyone under him and, as a thorn in the swamp critters’ collective sides, pardon Snowden and Assange at the same time.

        1. Kurt Sperry

          Trump’s no more going to pardon Assange or Snowden than he would have pushed for M4A, which had he done he would have won the election in a walk. That’s complete wishful thinking. He’s not bright or imaginative (plus far too intellectually lazy) to go off the boilerplate Republican policy script he was handed. Trump got elected not because he possessed any positive personal characteristics or insights or knowledge or anything else. He had fame, and that combined with the volatility vote the similarly evil/stupid Dems gifted to him made him into a Republican Chauncy Gardener—the right fool at the right time, the luckiest man alive.

          One could argue that the husk of Joe Biden is playing the same role four years later, no real policies, ideas, or constructive message or anything else that could inspire. Just another volatility punt, a bumbling cipher alternative to the unpopular and badly flawed Trump, just as Trump was mostly just an alternative to a deeply unpopular and badly flawed Hillary Clinton. It’s poo sandwiches all the way down with the duopoly. There’ll be no pardons for heroes, no M4A, no happy surprises, no strokes of surprising brilliance or political mastery. We aren’t run by evil geniuses; we are run by evil mediocrities.

      3. Kurt Sperry

        “he has deterrent capabilities, in the form of documents or evidence that could badly damage the Democrats” Yeah, keeping the powder dry, waiting for the right moment. That sure sounds like Trump. Any minute now, just you wait.

    4. lyman alpha blob

      Here’s a little walk down memory lane, with many of the same cast of characters! These claims we always hear about the party on the outs “slowing the transition” are lots of sound and fury signifying nothing – Clinton Transition Left $15,000 Damage, GAO Says

      “The Clinton administration treated the White House worse than college freshmen checking out of their dorm rooms,” Barr said Tuesday. “They disgraced not just themselves but the institution and the office of the presidency as well.”

      The GAO concluded that “damage, theft, vandalism, and pranks did occur in the White House during the 2001 presidential transition.” The report stated that some incidents, such as removing keyboard keys, placing glue on desk drawers and leaving obscene voicemail messages “clearly were intentional,” and intentional damage would constitute a criminal act under federal law. No prosecutions are planned, though.

      Clinton supporters countered that the amount of trash was typical of any presidential turnover and that there was little money to replace chair backs, desk locks, mirrors and other items broken before the transition due to ordinary use. Items that Bush administration officials replaced, including two cameras and 26 cellular phones, were left in the presidential offices, Clinton staffers told investigators.

      “The work on this that Mr. Barr did and the White House did cost more than the people moving out of the office,” said Jake Siewert, a member of Clinton’s White House press office who was working during the transition. “The White House was in pretty good shape, but obviously you have some damage from 500 people transiting in and out of it.”

      That being said, Biden’s people deserve anything that Trump throws at them after ginning up the ridiculous Russia nonsense and hammering the US population with unfounded lies for four years straight. It’s all for show anyway – pretending Biden’s team of long time government retreads won’t be able to hit the ground running is just more foolishness designed to make Trump look bad.

      1. Katniss Everdeen

        ……Biden’s people deserve anything that Trump throws at them…… Yes they do.

        Winston Smith and his fellow travelers are, apparently, too blinded by chronic TDS to realize that mcconnell is doing them a big favor. A favor they don’t deserve IMNSHO.

        Like it or not, 71 million of their fellow citizens, many of whom did not support Trump in 2016, voted for Trump this time around and now feel cheated. Confirming the legitimacy of the election results through lawsuits may be one of the only ways to ameliorate the rifts that they themselves have largely caused over the past four years with their Russia obsessions and other relentless pettiness. The “benefits” of the resolution of such lawsuits will redound to them and their agendas. What are they so damned afraid of?

        This reaction is like the Treaty of Versailles–a demand for “unconditional surrender” and acceptance of all opprobrium, responsibility and punishment that the “victors” shall require. It will not end well. Just because Trump supporters did not go all blm in the streets after cnn called the election does not mean that they will slink meekly away.

        The biden/harris administration will most likely need to be “resisted” in the near future. Any honest assessment of what they “stand for” and who supports them suggests that. Many Trump voters could be ideological allies in that fight and should not be gratuitously alienated at the behest of a status quo that will manipulate absolutely anybody to get what it wants.

        As Alex Trebek would say before Final Jeopardy, “Think about it.”

        1. Winston Smith

          “Winston Smith and his fellow travelers”
          That’s a pretty funny one.

          I don’t trust Biden or the democraps.
          Trump even less.
          The US is now truly in the banana republic category with tinfoil hats and paranoia all around

  6. zagonostra

    >Former Google CEO Eric Schmidt has applied to become a citizen of Cyprus – Vox

    There exist a “transnational class” whose interests do not necessarily align not with the interest of the sovereign nation but with their own economic interest. These are the billionaires and ruling elites who stride the world seeking alliances and profits that will primarily redound to themselves and their company. Whether a country provides healthcare and a descent quality of life is outside their scope of interest, the balance sheet and strategic jostling is what motivates them. They control the media and stay, for the most part, outside the scrutiny of media outlets – to the extent that there is a media interested in more than the Hate Inc. paradigm that Tabbi covers.

    Schmidt’s decision in some ways mirrors that of another famous tech billionaire, Peter Thiel, who in 2011 controversially managed to secure citizenship in New Zealand.

    At Google, Schmidt was a proponent for the company paying as little in taxes as possible, even if that meant capitalizing on foreign countries’ tax rules. The company has long been dogged by allegations that it was not paying its fair share of American taxes by utilizing foreign tax rules in places like Bermuda or the United Kingdom.

    1. a different chris

      I hope the side of the Cyprus mafia he pays to keep himself from getting kidnapped for ransom is more adept than all the other sides of the Cyprus mafia that want to kidnap him for a ransom.

      Ok maybe I don’t actually care.

        1. edmondo

          So he’s an illegal alien”?

          Perhaps he and his children ought to be put in cages until CBP have a chance to drop him off at the International Terminal at JFK>

    2. JTMcPhee

      Zag uses “transnational.” I would suggest a more accurate moniker is “supranational,” since that tiny club of extraordinarily wealthy few seems pretty much not only involved in arbitrage activities, but directly drives a lot of the “policy” of many, if not most, nations.

      But it’s kind of hard to see the iron fist within the Bernays-generated silk glove, and for most of us the actions of the filthy rich are invisible at the scale we live at — even though we suffer the effects.

    3. Jonhoops

      The reason he is getting citizenship in Cyprus is easy to figure out. It is the cheapest and easiest way to get citizenship in the Eurozone. You can essentially buy a house for about 400k (ie: invest in Cyprus) and they will give you citizenship fairly quickly. Once you have that, it is your golden ticket to all of Europe.

      1. Zagonostra

        Don’t think money is the deciding factor, he has more than enough. I don’t know why Cypris.

        Yeah supranational is a better Te.

  7. Vidur

    ‘AOC wants to cancel those who worked for Trump. Good luck with that, they say.’

    > “The Bush people faced this,” said one of the president’s closest advisers. “Bush left office very unpopular, people thought thousands of people died in an unnecessary war and he was responsible for it. Everybody forgets that now that he’s an artist who doesn’t do partisan politics.”

    The idea that Trump will fade into the background after his presidency ends warms my heart, but somehow I don’t think that’s likely.

    > said the close Trump adviser, who already has an unannounced book deal in hand. “Dick Cheney? I’ve been to his house in Wyoming!”

    Actually, if ‘fading into the background’ means they all go to Dick Cheney’s ranch and he accidentally shoots all of them (Trump & associates) before turning the gun on himself, then I think the rest of the world will forgive him (I can only speak for ~one-fifth)

    1. Kurtismayfield

      That article is trash.. they did not even examine the actual statement by AOC, rather they jumped right onto the anti-AOC blather. Here is her statement:

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

      This is about keeping politicians from flip flopping on Trump.. not about cancelling anything.

      I doubt I will read much from Politico in the future if it is at all like this garbage.

      1. FluffytheObeseCat

        +1. The disingenuous pearl-clutching about what she actually wrote is really something else.

        As evidenced by some of the comments here in the past few days, there has been a major, pretty hysterical right winger effort to demonize AOC for this tweet. The Politico piece suggests our more norms-loving elite are equally dismayed by the faint prospect of accountability as well.

        Heaven forfend that Beltway insiders be held responsible for trash they talked 2-3 years ago. The horror! They might be as weakened as the rest of us mere citizens if they had to own their pasts!

      2. Geo

        Doesn’t AOC remember? Democrats only look forward, not back.

        Obama regarding war crimes on 1/11/09: “We need to look forward as opposed to looking backwards.”

        Unless, of course, it’s some lefty. They’re always at fault for whatever bothers Dems.

    2. NotTimothyGeithner

      Yeah, former President Harris will be on the view in 2025 railing against President Tom Cotton saying Herr Donald would never stoop to such behavior and like John McCain always put country first. Resist!

    3. shtove

      If you get shot by Dick Cheney, don’t you have to apologize to him? I do like the idea of Dick Cheney apologizing to Dick Cheney.

    4. Grant

      The Democrats are a corrupt right wing party, and have linked arms with war criminals and profiteers, financial interests that rig bond auctions and are guilty of mass criminality (in addition to being parasitic weights on the productive economy), people that profit off of denying people healthcare or affordable drugs and interests that profit off of externalizing their costs off onto society at large. People like Bannon have outright fascist leanings if you ask me, but the rest are corrupt right wing grifters. I have no doubt that many of them will remain in the sea of nothing in DC and will get gigs at propaganda mills (think tanks), space in papers owned by oligarchs and they will get paid to say stupid things on TV. I am sure some will be hired by Joe Biden like ghouls as a sign that they are reaching across to people with rotten, unpopular and failed ideas. This makes you an adult in DC.

      Stephen Miller, Bannon, I can see them working with people like Le Pen in the years to come. The rest will sell themselves to whoever is buying, and it is likely that a Democrat will see use in some of them in the future too.

  8. Krystyn Podgajski

    RE: Update on Churches Filing Chapter 11 Bankruptcy

    If a church can file for Chapter 11 then they are a business, not church.

    St. Francis is rolling in his grave. His whole mission was to tell the tale of the benefits bankruptcy. The closer a church is to bankruptcy, the closer it is to God.

    1. anon y'mouse

      if true, i have been teetering my entire life on the verge of Sainthood.

      thanks for the chuckle.

          1. jr

            It has been to some degree. While I haven’t sought out homelessness and many of my choices were made when untreated, I have always consciously avoided situations such as relationships, education, and jobs that are “wealth oriented”, if you will. I’ve always found them unpalatable, burdensome, and often just dumb.

            But make no mistake, I ain’t ascending anywhere. ;)

            1. Amfortas the hippie

              i’ve always hated money, too.
              and the all too common knifing in the back scrabble for advantage always seemed to me as uncouth…like shitting on the floor.
              of course, admitting this sort of thing out loud in amurca will get you, at best, quizzical looks.

              1. jr

                When I was a Ramblin’ Rose, I learned quickly to pay attention when the topic of money came up and to gauge the reactions to it from my paramours. Nothing will reveal someone’s character quicker than the prospect of gaining or losing money. A case in point was my ex who got me to move to NYC. After putting up all my worldly money for a down payment on our apartment, lending her cash when her dancing career started to falter, and paying the lion’s share of the bills when her hours were cut at her day job, I came home one afternoon to the news that her company had gone public and she was coming into around 40G$.

                When I heard that, a voice said “Carefully now, lad.” in my inner ear. I congratulated her, chatted a bit then casually mentioned going out to eat at a nice place. The response was instantaneous:

                “I can’t support you. I need this money for xxx. My boss (a man who hated me because he knew if I ever caught him in a place without cameras or witnesses I would beat him till he passed blood) warned me that you would be hitting my up blah blah blah…”

                I apologized and we relaxed. A few days later the City smiled upon me and there was an ad from an elderly woman looking for a live in companion in Park Slope, Brooklyn. Free room in exchange for chores and errands in one of the most expensive zip codes in the United States. (The second such opportunity that had been sent my way in less than 3 years.) I called, charmed the old girl to pieces with my sparkling wit, and made my plans.

                When my soon-to-be ex came home, she began to simultaneously brag to me about how she was going to spend her money as well as slather enviously over her workmates who had made over 100G$ and all the cool stuff they were going to buy. This was from a woman who had had to beg me to cover her half of the power bill for the month, not a week prior.

                With a deep sense of satisfaction, I informed her that a. I was moving out in a few days and b. I wouldn’t be spending the night there that night as I had booted up my old pal okcupid and found I still had my touch. Bedlam ensued, including a few punches aimed at me, but two days later I was living with an alcoholic millionaire in Park Slope and coming to the glorious realization that I was single in NYC.

      1. Glen

        The whole Catholic church involvement in healthcare has my wife, the RN, basically enraged. They came in and bought out all of the local providers and then forced the staff to sign pledges to uphold some pretty goofy religious stuff (stuff I actually think the Pope has walked away from). We heard from some local doctors that retired rather than go along with it. (It’s VERY DIFFICULT to run a local practice after ObamaCare so most local practices were wiped out in the ObamaCare give away to insurance companies.)

        just search for Franciscan Health- they are everywhere now.

    2. posaunist

      Churches are treated as 501(c)(3) nonprofits by the IRS by default. They are nonprofit businesses by definition, if not in reality.

  9. anon

    “Some have argued that the delayed transition in 2000 contributed to Al-qaeda 9/11 plans not getting the attention they deserved.”

    The delay is good news for the neo-cons as Biden and his team will need some excuse to start a new war.

  10. Wukchumni

    From teetotalitarian to total tyrant terminator, we can only hope that Sarah Connor is hidden away somewhere, safe.

    When Darwins, threads lose, but here goes. There are many dirty rotten dictator types through history and ours has the qualities of lots of them, but not one in entirety. Adolf wasn’t long on empathy but had a weakness for dogs, for instance. Caligula and him both lasted not quite 4 years in their short-lived reigns.

    And now that i’ve brought him up, towards the end der fuhrer wanted the volk to die along with the reich, and you get the feeling that Trump will go to similar lengths in that for him-a narcissist’s narcissist, this is worse than losing the election, there is no $65 million book deal waiting, and his helicopter is for sale currently.

    Kinda sounds like the ending of a Cinderella story, no?

    In the meantime he’ll hold rallies…

    Diary entry from I Will Bear Witness 1933-41 by Victor Klemperer, 3 years into the 3rd Reich:

    March 23, 1936

    He flies from place to place and gives triumphal speeches. The whole thing is called an “election campaign”.

    1. KevinD

      The hardest thing for Trump to face is realizing he has come to the point where he more than likely will never command as much attention as once did.

      1. Carolinian

        If you think, as some of us do, that Trump was more interested in the attention than the power then I’d say he did very well for himself with his little vanity project. What we probably need to be more worried about are the people who are more interested in the power than the attention–i.e. “the blob.”

        1. KevinD

          I’m no clinical psychologist, but it seems there are egomaniacs who desire both attention and power – and isn’t politics a profession where they would go hand-in hand.? or perhaps I’m confusing it with megalomania. Regardless, I get your point.

    2. Carolinian

      Ya know maybe Adolf got his thousand year reich since people never stop talking about him–the all purpose analogy. And btw Trump doesn’t like dogs. Biden on the other hand…..

    3. ewmayer

      Perhaps I’m misunderstanding the point of your comment, if there is one, ‘but here goes’ —

      Ah yes, nothing like a bit of cartoon-villain Trump-is-Hitler-ism to provide negative illumination. Don’t let ugly facts get in the way of your narrative, but let’s see, “Caligula and him both lasted not quite 4 years in their short-lived reigns”. Hitler was chancellor of Germany from 1933 until his death in 1945, so perhaps you were thinking of some other Adolf Hitler? And wait – didn’t Hitler start a really big war in Europe and invade a bunch of countries? New wars started by Trump, compared to his predecessors going back 40 years? C’mon, with your command of facts and figures, surely you can easily muster numbers there and impress us all.

      Lastly, my parents grew up in WW2 Austria, and as a kid myself a generation later I recall my maternal grandmother – whose husband died on the Eastern front along with so many other millions on both sides – telling us about life under the Nazis, getting death threats and bricks thrown through her windows for refusing to let her eldest son, my late uncle, join the Hitlerjugend, that sort of thing. So enjoy your inane little chucklefest-posts, but be glad that you haven’t a fricking clue as to what life in a real dictatorship is like, and pray you never find out.

  11. Samuel Conner

    re: J Rubin’s “We have to collectively burn down the Republican Party. We have to level them. Because if there are survivors….they will do it again.”

    It’s comforting to know that the D establishment is able to empathize with how some progressives in their own party feel about the 2016 and 2020 D primaries.

    This is why I am kind of hoping that there actually is at-scale fraud in the swing state votes, and that it is exposed and convincingly attributed to D actors. As much as I dislike DJT, I dislike the D establishment more, and I find it hard to choose between “4 more years” of DJT, followed by a competitive D primary, and “8 years of D party business-as-usual” governance.

    Now I need to be on guard against confirmation bias in my assessment of alternative media reports.

    1. TiPs

      When you read what AOC actually tweeted, it’s nothing compared to this; but guess who is getting demonized for her more passive statement?

      1. Eduardo

        Thanks TiPs. I had seen some reaction to AOC, but had not seen what AOC had tweeted. Based on your comment, I looked.

        Maybe there is something “worse” but what I found about this is:

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

        Pretty mild. Based on the reactions I had thought it must have been, uh, stronger. Yeah, my bad.

        1. edmondo

          Unless there’s more than one tweet, which apparently there was.

          “In a subsequent tweet she intimated that she was seeking to hold Trump supporters “responsible for their behavior over last four years.”

          Is anyone archiving these Trump sycophants for when they try to downplay or deny their complicity in the future? I foresee decent probability of many deleted Tweets, writings, photos in the future— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) November 6, 2020
          A group of activists, meanwhile, has launched a project to identify and “never forget” anyone who worked either on Trump’s political campaigns or in his administration.

          “We just launched the Trump Accountability Project to make sure anyone who took a paycheck to help Trump undermine America is held responsible for what they did,” tweeted former Democratic National Committee press secretary Hari Sevugan on Friday.

          The Trump Accountability Project vows that “those who took a paycheck from the Trump Administration should not profit from their efforts to tear our democracy apart.” It appears to advocate a blacklisting of Americans who worked for the Trump campaigns, “those who staffed his government” and “those who funded him.”

          “Remember what they did,” the group declares.”

    2. Jen

      Level them? What are they going to do, not invite them to brunch? Yeah, that’ll show them.

      I share your sentiments, SC.

    3. Katniss Everdeen

      The boxes of bobbleheads nodding in agreement with rubin’s vitriol on that video was pure comedy gold. I wonder if there’s one functioning neuron in the bunch.

      It may be naive, but it’s impossible to believe that anything good will come from a group that has as a spokesperson an individual who oozes such hatred for her fellow citizens from every pore.

      1. Duck1

        Rubin’s comment sounds like the Morgenthau plan. What really happened was Project Paper Clip and the rat line to Argentina.

      1. Aumua

        To be fair, the hard right has been pretty much openly agitating for a one party system in the U.S. for years.

  12. The Rev Kev

    “Job-seeking Trump officials likely to get chilly reception on K Street”

    Jack Tapper tweeted about this when he said-

    Jake Tapper
    ‘I truly sympathize with those dealing with losing — it’s not easy — but at a certain point one has to think not only about what’s best for the nation (peaceful transfer of power) but how any future employers might see your character defined during adversity.’

    2/‘ I mean, I don’t expect the ride-or-die crew to listen to me, but …

    “So, it says here on your resume that you drove a sex offender to testify at Four Seasons Total Landscaping, north of the Tacony-Palmyra bridge…”

    Reminds me of when the US occupied Iraq and a program of de-Ba’athification was put in place to sack anybody that had anything to do with the previous regime. And it never backfired at all.

    1. Daryl

      Such a shame. Maybe they can seek positions in the Biden Admin, which plans to pursue fundamentally the same policies.

      Honestly not sure what this article is getting at other than throwing more mud in Trump’s general direction. I doubt the revolving door is suddenly not working for the first time.

  13. Alex

    Karabakh agreement is basically a capitulation of Armenia who clearly could not defend Karabakh (yes, Azerbaijan is bigger and richer and was massively helped hugely by Turkey but they should have thought about it)

    Of course ethnic Armenians will be forced to flee from the ceded territories – sparsely populated compared to the Karabakh core – which again shows what happens in Middle East/Caucasus to people who cannot defend themselves.

    Russia can probably be considered a winner. Having peacekeepers in Karabakh would give it powerful leverage against both Armenia and Azerbaijan.

    1. The Rev Kev

      The Armenians boxed themselves in here. Their President had turned his back to Russia and had courted the west. Azerbaijan, using the distraction of the US elections as cover, decided to seize back that territory and Armenia found themselves twisting in the wind with no real allies. What tipped the war their way was the use of Turkish and Israeli drones to decimate the Armenian forces. I read today that they were even using the Israeli iron dome system as well. Real high tech stuff.

      The whole air war was run by the Turks and when the Azerbaijan forces captured the last city, they raised the Turkish flag as well as their own. Having several thousand Syrian ‘moderate-rebels’ also helped out here. The Armenians share a border with Turkey and you can bet that there are dark suspicions about the Turkish intentions, especially after what happened a century ago. This is not over.

      1. Alex

        Still it’s sad… I travelled once across Karabakh, including the territories that will now be ceded to Azerbaijan and met people who came there from afar to settle those lands. Now they will be forced to move again and abandon everything they have built

  14. Wukchumni

    Still feeling guilty over recent barberism on my part by paying a visit to a proper shearer for the first time in nearly 9 months, with my better half learning on the job in the interim, wielding a $30 internet electric razor kit that did a halfway good job, but no better than that in 4 visits.

    I got everything cut on the short side and you can’t wear a mask when you’re getting a haircut (everybody working there was wearing a mask btw) and i’ll admit feeling vulnerable for even attempting this act of shear necessity. Have others gone long stanzas in between visits as well?

    The barbershop with 8 chairs was now down to 4, and aside from one fellow about done and another midway through and me, there was nobody else until when I was almost finished, and nobody waiting. This around noon on Saturday @ a place where there would be a 10-15 person wait while 8 stations were furiously cutting away.

    A haircut & beardcut was $15-20 (it varied-never could figure out why) before Covid, and it was $32 the other day.

    1. carl

      I’m still cutting my own hair with the dog clippers. I’m liking the streamlined look. No swim cap needed for lap swimming!

    2. WobblyTelomeres

      Thirty years ago, I realized that no one was ever going to pay me for how I looked. I’m slow. From that point onward, whenever I can tell from my hair which side of my head I slept on, I have gone into the garage, leaned over the trash can, and buzzed myself with an electric clipper, usually a $5-7 jobber sourced from Harbor Freight (with coupon in hand, TYVM). Anything else strikes me as pure vanity.

    3. Amfortas the hippie

      i haven’t darkened the door of a haircutter in almost 30 years.
      i cut the wind-knots out when necessary.(not above using wirecutters)
      assuming your low end price, and….say ,….5 haircuts per year(i have no idea)….i’ve saved myself $2k+.

      1. foghorn longhorn

        Been about 20 for me.
        Started the ‘neanderthal man challenge’ in March.
        No shaving for one year.
        ZZ Top here we come!

        1. lordkoos

          I’m on the opposite end of the spectrum — I shave my head bald every 3 or 4 days and have been doing this for around 12 years. No muss, no fuss, and no need for a barber but the head can get cold so I wear hats a lot.

      2. notberlin

        Ah, nay. A good old-school barber (not hispster-esque), but an old man with a lifetime in the community, next to the neighborhood bakery, a lifeline. $7-8 bucks a pop well spent (back in late 70s farm country, Iowa, anyway). Best place to garner news as well, that’s not pure propaganda. Miss it immensely. But for do-it-yourselfers, there’s probably a Flowbee to be had on Ebay somewhere. The beauty shops performed the same good service, of course (my grandma operated out of her small house on Main Street in Graettinger, IA, until her late 80s). Crucial community ties in Midwest small towns back in the day. I hope they still are.

    4. ChiGal in Carolina

      I broke down and got my hair cut after 7 mos. there was only me and the hairdresser in the space as they are staggering their times. We both wore masks. There were no attempts at enhancing indoor ventilation other than for some reason they weren’t using hair dryers. But it was in an old building with high ceilings. We tried to keep talking to a minimum.

      They hadn’t raised their prices ($60) but I gave a sizable tip ($25).

      I just felt with our trajectory and winter coming it was only going to get riskier and riskier…but yes, I felt guilty, though it seems by now that no transmission took place.

      1. furies

        I’m finally getting that ‘look’ I was always in search of from hairdressers.

        I’m doing it myself. Finally someone listens to instruction.

        And the savings get funneled into art materials.

      2. Wukchumni

        but yes, I felt guilty, though it seems by now that no transmission took place.

        Thats the tricky part interacting with somebody in close contact with strangers up close. People buy lottery tickets where the odds of them winning a million are 10 million to 1, but they still think they have a shot, whereas the Covid lottery is more like 100-1, and everybody thinks they can beat the odds.

    5. Oh

      I found out it’s easy to trim my hair on the sides and back but it’s harder at the top. After 3 months I forked over the $32 + tip for a professional haircut. I wore the mask and was the only one there besides the hair stylist. Not going there for another two months or so.

  15. a different chris

    No no no no no.

    (and they are the ones isolated in blue cities with easily severed supply lines

    Anybody can “sever supply lines”… but the cities have way way more storage than the red nowheresville. Talk to your grocer, heck talk to Walmart, where the nearest warehouse is… it’s actually generally downtown. The red outskirts got nada. And we import so much food, where do you think the docks are? Arkansas? How you gonna “sever” Los Angeles without your own navy?

    And on that note, food from around the world is produced continuously as everybody literally gets their turn in the sun. Staple food in the US has one (1) season. So if you are counting on the rural countryside to live off of, well I hope you don’t eat all the deer before the crops come in again.

    …or now out in burbs and the countryside, surrounded by not necessarily friendly locals who certainly have more gunz than they do)

    You can only shoot one gun at a time. And your right wing police department is the only place you will get people that can both shoot *and* organize themselves. But the red areas have basically Mayberry RFD, while the cities have basically a division of trained troops.

    This is the same fantasy the Southerners had. In reality the Union didn’t even take them seriously for years, the Civil War was that subject you have to go to the daily meeting for and then you went back to your real job.

    When they finally took it seriously, the “urban” guys absolutely crushed the rural people. They learned how to shoot well enough.

    1. fresno dan

      a different chris
      November 10, 2020 at 8:37 am

      Hi chris. For all the sturm und drang about civil war, when I try to find the total number of people killed in the “troubles” (Portland, Minneapolis, etcetera – are people killed ostensibly due to police brutality to be aggregated with the new civil war?) I am hard pressed to find even ten. I don’t know – I would appreciate links or a post by someone who has kept up with this.
      So about 46 people are murdered EVERY day in the good old USA – so if I have to choose between taking my chances being murdered, or killed in the new civil war, I will fight in the new civil war…cause I want to be where I have the greatest chance to go on living…
      Seriously, my point is about the media and that what is “newsworthy” has just reached the point of ridiculousness – or maybe just first, last, and always clickbait for profit. This is what all profit, all market based news, without – dare I say it – norms – gives us.

      1. a different chris

        > I will fight in the new civil war

        At least you will have people guarding your back, amirite? :D

    2. tegnost

      “When they finally took it seriously, the “urban” guys absolutely crushed the rural people. They learned how to shoot well enough.”

      the difference in the modern world is that the urban areas are the new plantation comprised of masters and “slaves” so I wouldn’t necessarily count on that situation repeating itself. I for one am a little more leery about going to eastern washington with a bunch of PMC’s in their normal garb. Cement dust covered steel toe boots and a grease smeared work coat, my disguise tends to garner little notice.

      1. a different chris

        a little more leery about going to eastern washington

        Yeah me too. But the point is Seattle doesn’t need to go there for anything. If they really want to, they can take their time and plan it out whilst ships from afar bring them everything they need including weaponry.

          1. MK

            He is filled with delusions and lots of TDS. He’s probably out in the streets and helped organize that autonomous zone.

        1. lordkoos

          I grew up in eastern WA and moved back in 2012 to look after my aged mother, after living in Seattle for many decades. I would say in general that people here on the eastside are a more self sufficient and have more practical skills than most Seattle types. Being only a couple of hours from Seattle, people are moving here in droves, our county was the fastest growing county in the state in 2019, and 10th in the entire nation. Many of the people moving here are not conservatives, according a friend of mine who is one of the most successful real estate agents in the area.

  16. The Rev Kev

    Matt Bruenig
    ‘The centrists got to carry the party’s mantle. They ran a centrist Trump-focused campaign. They thought this would secure a landslide victory and it didn’t. Surprisingly they believe the proper upshot of this failure to blowout is they are still right and the left is still wrong.’

    In 2016 the Democrats ran a centrist Washington-insider as their Presidential candidate – and lost to a game show host. In 2020, with America suffering from a pandemic and an economic recession with tens of millions of unemployed, decided to run a centrist Washington-insider as their Presidential candidate – and just scrapped across the line. I use the word centrist but in Washington it amounts to a hard right-winger of course. What is the bet that in 2024 that the Democrats run as a candidate for the Presidency – wait for it – a centrist Washington-insider.

  17. Michael Fiorillo

    While not included in this morning’s links, yesterday’s news in the Times that Alexander Hamilton owned and trafficked in slaves – – has thrown me into panic and confusion, which only the NC commentariat can save me from: do I signify my wokefulness by continuing to brag about seeing the Broadway show, or by attacking it?

    Please help me before I’m cancelled by friends and co-workers.

    Filed Under: Bwa Ha Ha, Liberal Posturing, Misdirections of IdPol…

    1. urblintz

      I was very taken by Matt Stoller’s A.H. takedown (“The Hamilton Hustle”) which solidified my “learned” negative reaction to both the man and the musical. That opinion has not entirely changed, with the slavery issue particularly unsettling (and annoying) as relates to the musical. But we now have a genuine voice from the radical left, Christian Parenti, arguing in favor of A.H. “A NEW HAMILTON BOOK LOOKS TO RECLAIM HIS VISION FOR THE LEFT”

      here he is interviewed by Chris Hedges:

      Parenti does not address the slavery issue so you’re on your own with that. But otherwise, you may find Parenti’s take interesting. I did.

      Personally I am not a fan of the musical so mine’s not an unbiased response to your dilemma.

      1. Bruno

        That Omidyar’s rag would use a “leftist” to glorify Hamilton is no surprise, nor is it that the 1812 War, created by the “WarHawks” like Hamilton’s disciple Henry Clay, would be blamed on Jefferson and Madison underfunding the Army that Hamilton and Washington had used to suppress the farmers of Pennsylvania (“Whiskey Rebellion”) on behalf of his beloved Banks. Nor is it a surprise that his program to make his new Republic a Great Empire is hailed by this “leftist” as original and even modern even though it reads as if it had been plagiarized from the governing program of Jean-Baptiste Colbert for Louis XIV, nearly a century-and-a-half earlier.

        1. chuck roast

          The “left”, “leftist” thingy is getting to be a real pain in buttocks. Words do matter. I found the Parenti take very interesting and informative. While I view Hamilton as a tool of Robert Morris and his clique, Parenti’s take on state sponsored capitalism (or assist to manufacture) and the advancement of the nation state is not inconsistent with this. The Whiskey Rebellion was about S-1, the new nation’s tax bill, which taxed whiskey to pay off the Rev. War debt held by who? Robert Morris and his buds’.

          But I’m seeing “left”, “lefty” and “progressive” as a lazy man’s generalization. Please categorize “hard left” as something else entirely…something currently un-American…something anti-market…something Polanyiesque… How about something Hamiltonian and autarkic? The worm does turn.

  18. Tom Stone

    Two things that I don’t think people are paying enough attention to are the Assange trial in London which is an evil farce and which will result in Assange being extradites to the USA (If he lives that long} and a reversal of the NY Times Pentagon Papers decision.
    The other is the overt and heavy handed censorship of the R Hunter Biden laptop story by Twitter and Facebook along with the revelation that the NY Times had been sitting on the story for 9 months.
    There will be no fundamental change, just more and harder.
    Be lucky.

    1. notberlin

      Regarding your first point I fear you are right but I hope you are wrong. Assange being extradited… it’s just too sick to fathom. I appreciate and agree with your realism about it. But man. On a personal (i.e., perhaps not logical) note, I have been feeling rather guilty about not actively campaigning in some way on the issue. Imagine the courage it takes to do what he did in the first place (and outright awareness and intelligence), and then a lifetime of torture and isolation and bullshit treatment from authoritarian sub-humans who may not even have a brain stem. (Multiply your bully culture of grade school times 300). There’s not a day I don’t feel weakened by this shit. Someone out there will say, So Go Do Something! I agree. But what? How? I honestly don’t know.

      1. JacobiteInTraining

        Not sure about everyone else, but my colors are blue, white, and green.:

        Yeah, yeah, I know its unlikely to happen…(a guy can dream! :) but if the rest of the country goes to hell in a handbasket, I think there are more then enough commonalities between the various ‘wet side’ regions of the PNW…political, social, geographical, and cultural…to mean a forged common identity in this area could be effectively maintained.

        The Cascades are, in fact, a highly defensible position.

          1. JacobiteInTraining

            Yeah, very true.

            I should clarify that in most future timelines where i think a Cascadia is even possible, I also presuppose literal ‘hell in a handbasket’ conditions most everywhere. i.e., think post-Roman Collapse.

            Whoever *used* to be operating the big hydro dams…and maintaining the transmissions lines…has long since gone native and left all that stuff to break down, burn out, or be blown up. Technology is mostly at a pre-1960’s level, and working on declining to the 19th century eventually.

            i didn’t say I was optimistic! But in such a future, someone has to come in and start rebuilding…. :)

          2. Wukchumni

            One of the first hydroelectric plants in California is right here and still working fine well over a century since it started making power in 1899 by harnessing the head of the Kaweah rivers, which have some of the steepest drops of any rivers in the country from headwaters near high passes to the flat as a pancake Central Valley, it was kilowatt kismet.

            A number of lakes in Mineral King had dams put in place between 1905 and 1911, in order to be able to regulate the flow of the outlet streams. The one @ Franklin Lake is the most impressive. Its a couple hundred feet long and 6 feet wide, of concrete & local rock construction. It must have taken oh so many bags of cement, all brought up on mule trains.

            A few old photos of Kaweah #1



            The flume that brings the water to the power plant:


        1. Amfortas the hippie

          i have no flag….just strips of random cloth on a few bamboo poles, so i know which way the wind is blowing(idea for Demparty?)
          but i do maintain a couple of “displays” here and there…scul;pture, mostly…
          several Pan/Cernunnos/Thor things with antlers on fenceposts…a 14″ carved middle finger…and several Jawbones of Asses(judges 15:15)(only one is really from a donkey…most are from cows)
          many skulls, and those strings of bits of wood, like in the Seer’s place on Vikings…hanging in trees, here and there.
          Eldest’s buddies says it all has the intended effect: power, here…look out.
          coupled with the 2 demonstrations of the Pain Field in my shop, rumors among the local criminal element are that i am a powerful Brujo, and they’d best stay away.

  19. flora

    Cyprus? A critical hub for bona fide Russian business (foreign companies invest via Cyprus subs to have access to English law courts in the event of a dispute) and money laundering.

    That was my first thought on reading the headline. (Especially the last bit. Lots of that in eastern Europe, from the Balkans to the Baltics, apparently. Too foily – 1?)

    With Schmidt so closely tied to the Dem party esstab, I wonder if this was all his own idea. (Too foily – 2? )

  20. Chuk Jones

    RE: 2021 can be a climate breakthrough, but Biden and Europe need to talk.
    Leaving aside the repeated references to problematic “net zero emissions”, I had to stop reading at the use of the phrase ‘coalition of the willing’. Maybe they are going to get Bush II to head the effort.

    1. Chuk Jones

      BTW, as Yves and Jeri-Lynn commented about biden-harris Covid plan: “that neoliberal systems aren’t equipped to handle Covid because effective responses don’t have enough profit mechanisms/opportunities.” Same applies for climate response IMO.

      1. Grant

        The system isn’t sustainable, and these old politicians are damning the young and those that will be there after they are gone with their selfish, short sighted decisions. Intergenerational equity is always a concern, and in environmental economics there are always debates on things like discount rates. How much is something in the future “worth” to us now, as if we could possibly really answer such a thing, and as if the assumptions inherent in a conversation like that aren’t determinative. But, markets are themselves completely incapable of dealing with the environmental crisis. If you look at what needs to change in the economy and society, and you look at how much time we have, and then you look at giving power to Biden, I honestly think that the situation is as dire as can be. The idea that we should commit to policies in the face of the environmental crisis based on what is “realistic”, given who has power, is collective insanity. Beyond the fact that many of these people are sociopaths, and that they are old and will not pay for their decisions (their kids and grandkids will), it also relies on these people having a good understanding of what we are facing, doing a good systemic analysis, and being honest with themselves about the limits of markets and the limits to growth in regards to throughput and pollution generation. In reality, we should analyze what needs to change, acknowledge how much time we have, and base our support on who is the closest to what needs to happen in the time we have. That is what is actually pragmatic. It may lead us to conclude that a system run by these people is highly irrational and destructive, regardless as to whether or not these people call themselves pragmatic. Again, given who has power, I don’t know if we could be in any worse of a situation.

  21. DanP66

    According to a new poll by Scott Rasmussen.

    Less than half of all respondents — 49% — believe Joe Biden legitimately won the race, while 34% said they believe Trump won the election, and 16% said they are not sure who really won.

    I have a feeling that these lawsuits by Trump are going to result in whole state elections being called into question and THAT could lead to the election going into the House of Representatives.

    And, anyone who says that there is not enough suspicious activity around votes is just not paying attention.

    Is it REALLY that hard to believe that democrats such as those on the board of elections in Philly had such a case of TDS that they felt compelled to bend or break rules to get the results they wanted?

    Apparently, at least 1/3 of the electorate is convinced the vote is rigged and Biden is not legit even if he ultimately wins in court and so the WH. That does not bode well for the country.

    I know HOW it is that we have gotten here with our elections but there is just no excuse for it. Whoever wins this thing ultimately, fixing our election process has got to be item #1 in order to prevent the midterms from being another disaster.

    1. a different chris

      >And, anyone who says that there is not enough suspicious activity around votes is just not paying attention.

      Anybody that says there is, is simply delusional. You have 150 million people participate in something, you can always warp what you see if that’s what you want. And clearly you want that.

      I do commend you for staying on here as everything you’ve said so far has been wrong but hey keep screwing your courage to the sticking place!

      >Is it REALLY that hard to believe that Republicans such as those on the board of elections in Texas

      See, two can play this game.

    2. apleb

      It will not matter. Trump does not have the money to finance a recount and my guess is he doesn’t even have the money to pay his lawyers in enough courts he would have to bring suit. More importantly: all the relevant elites have spoken and QAnon+friends have no say.

      And the US elections are very much a sham for at least 20 years now. Read more Greg Palast. Read wikipedia about LBJ, Remember the democratic primaries with Sanders, etc.

      It only shows up more when the elections are close like this time and 4 years before. Also technology gives us finer grained results over time so things like the sudden vote jump in the night stands out like sore thumbs, no matter if it’s what was voted or some shenanigans.

    3. Grant

      Is it not a problem though that we wait until Trump and the far right have lost to have this conversation? Regardless as to where people are ideologically or if they are in either of these two parties, the right has been openly hostile to voting both here and abroad for decades. Similar to the Democrats and corruption, they are simply not in a position to be the ones to fight for free and open elections. I don’t take them seriously. As Chomsky long ago noted with the far right, they like elections when elections go their way, but are at best indifferent and usually openly hostile to democracy when they lose. Neoliberals aren’t any different, see the sham primary from Iowa on. If the public doesn’t trust elections in the US, it is because they have reason to, and we don’t allow international observers in to monitor our elections for obvious reasons.

      Did this last election have irregularities? Probably. Outside of the norm? No evidence of that. If you want to indict the voting system in this country, sign me up, but keep these far right interest away from the fight. Not huge on Abrams, but see what Kemp did in Georgia last time around? What does the right do with felons that want to vote (even if supported in state referendums), or throwing people off of the voting rolls for ridiculous reasons, or making it harder for people to vote, refusing to get rid of highly problematic voting machines, etc. Think they have any interest in doing away with voting machines that have been problematic from the start? Give me a break. They want to cry fowl on a system they created. If Bernie was the nominee, could you imagine what these very people would do behind the scenes with the vote? Give me a break.

    4. the suck of sorrow

      Rasmussen goes with Reliable like Our Elections goes with Hand Marked Paper Ballots counted publicly.

    5. Katniss Everdeen

      Thanks, DanP66. You are right, of course, and all the shouting, hysteria, insults, denigration and obfuscation doesn’t change that.

      Secure people, confident in their position, just stand back and let their enemies knock themselves out. Those with something to hide go……well…..postal.

  22. The Rev Kev

    “Map: These are the states that have agreed to a plan to replace the Electoral College”

    Yeah, I’m looking at that map. And I am mostly seeing States dominated by large cities like L.A., Seattle, Chicago, Denver, New York and Washington. I would call that a vested interest on the Democrat’s part. Fifteen States agree with this idea? That leaves only thirty-five who do not. If this is a back-door method to eliminate the Electoral College, they had better be careful what they wish for. They may cross a line that they may not mean to-

    “The truth is that we were so spiritually and morally bankrupt that we could not even see some of those lines: we stepped over them blindly. Other times we saw the lines alright, but we wanted to cross them. It wasn’t God who was dead. We were.”

    -Ray A., “Practice These Principles”

    1. John Anthony La Pietra

      State legislatures haven’t had “plenary” power to allocate electoral votes however they wanted to since the ratification of the 14th Amendment. And especially not since the one-person-one-vote cases held that one way to deny voting rights (and run into the Mal-Apportionment Penalty in Section 2 if the 14th) is to dilute voting power.

      An ordinary winner-takes-all allocations of electoral votes does that. But any state in the NPV compact that allocates “loser-takes-all” would do it even worse. More voters would lose their rights — and it would be harder if not impossible to enforce those rights against not only their own state government, but those of other states (trying to get recounts, for example) . . . unless Congress specifically provided for standing in related lawsuits under Section 5 of the 14th.

      See the work of Professor Asa Gordon — here, for example.

  23. Democrita

    I am hoping the collective can help me find a Twitter thread that was linked here in recent days. I’ve searched through several past Links and Water Coolers and also tried to search this site as well as Twitter itself but I can’t find it.
    It was about an alluvial plain running through several southern states. The image showed the counties as all red until the voting rights act created some pockets of blue along the alluvial ridge. Does anyone else remember it?

    1. FluffytheObeseCat

      The blue “swoosh” across the mid South is the black belt. It’s controlled by a band of limestone rich bedrock that rims the base of the southern Appalachians…. and that created unusually rich, dark soil. Which allowed for plantation style cotton farming to remain profitable into the 20th century. Which concentrated the Black population in those counties. The blue swoosh mostly = counties with Black majority electorates.

    2. foghorn longhorn

      You do realize the ‘south’ was ruled by the democrats until a certain family from arkansas moved into the white house, right?
      Texas had a WOMAN, DEMOCRAT, effing governor in the 80’s fer christs sake.
      That map has arkansas hoove prints all over it.

  24. George Phillies

    “Map: These are the states…” Readers will note that these are states that are highly unlikely to support a Republican.

    …forcing some of America to the media fringes… and note Jennifer Rubin on making a list of people to block and Facebook on deleting pages. Attention to TV audiences for men’s football and basketball is also significant. The Times article on preventing another Trump is also noteworthy.

    At some point, people completely stop paying attention to each other. One side will have Facebook and Twitter, the other will have Mewe and Parler.

    1. furies

      Yes, a commenter posted a link yesterday–with no response.

      Thank you for reposting this (inspiring?) information.

  25. Joshua Ellinger

    I knew Politico was bad but that AOC article is something else.

    They are upset because she’s predicting that the people who are currently defending Trump are going to be embarrassed about it and she’s calling out their hypnotical “personal responsibility” double standard.

    Then it quotes a White House official as being worried that it will get in the way of the revolving door. I love the “OMG, she is actually serious. She wants to CANCEL our god given right to work as lobbyists when we’re out of power. I am so scared on a single 1st term congresswoman saying criticizing the system.”

    And it ends with saying that that Democrats blacklisting people who worked for Trump is “literally fascism.”

    1. Jason Boxman

      Oddly, luminaries such as W. Bush’s Rice haven’t had any problem finding employment; Not sure why it would be any different for Trump’s people, unless Never Trumpers have a special kind of hate for anyone that worked in Trump’s administration for however briefly until he fired them on the Twitter.

  26. fresno dan

    Lockdown children forget how to use knife and fork BBC

    The “hardest-hit” group of young children have suffered from time out of school, going backwards on words and numbers and with “regression back into nappies among potty-trained children” or losing “basic skills” such as using a knife and fork.
    Well, I’m an adult, but I’m forgetting stuff too. Being a family blog, I won’t go into too much detail, but I have forgotten to wear pants. But the way people go on about it – you would have thought I forgot to put my mask on…

    1. lordkoos

      Flynn lied about it, while Biden administration is transparent. Isn’t it normal for incoming administrations to reach out to other nations before the inauguration?

  27. Wukchumni

    Cat at Northeast’s highest peak dies after 12 years on duty Associated Press
    Rest in peace, great alps feline.

  28. flora


    “It’s not only that @realDonaldTrump
    has to lose, his enablers have to lose. We have to collectively burn down the Republican Party. We have to level them. Because if there are survivors….they will do it again.” Jennifer Rubin

    Oh goody, a female political mirror image of Pol Pot’s tactics. Progress! /massive snark

  29. Ep3

    Map: These are the states that have agreed to a plan to replace the Electoral College NBC (furzy)

    Yves, I want to see the electoral college plan where each district’s vote goes to the candidate that wins that district. That would really make the powers that be mad. They would have to spend money on districts they don’t want to visit. The plan in the link sounds like a compromise to fixing the electoral college, bcuz obviously they congress don’t want change.

    1. John Anthony La Pietra

      Unfortunately, that would leave gerrymandering in place — and for higher stakes.

      Proportional allocation of EC votes is the easier, better, and already-constitutional way to go. Please see my comment above (November 10 at 11:13pm).

      If/when we can muster up support for amending the Constitution, we can include requirements for equal protection in terms of who can vote, who they can vote for/who can be on the ballot, who counts and recounts votes, et cetera, et cetera, et cetera….

  30. Geof

    I followed the links on single-use plastic bags to a UN lifecycle analysis:

    The usage rates that make the reusable plastic bag a better option from an environmental point of view vary from 4 times . . . to 20 times for reusable bags made of virgin material and 8 times for reusable bags made of recycled PE

    SUPBs [single-use plastic bags] rank better than single-use paper bags and single-use biodegradable bags in almost all environmental categories, except impacts of littering.

    A reusable LDPE bag has lower climate impacts . . . if they are used 5-10 times more than the single-use bag . . . However . . . the average reuse rate in the US is just 3.1 times

    Durable PP bags are . . . more durable. In order for PP bags to be environmentally competitive with LDPE bags, they need to be used more times. The data already suggest that they are used on average 14.6 times in the US . . . which is approximately what is needed for PP bags to be competitive with conventional, single-use plastic bags

    Cotton bags must be re-used 50-150 or even more times to be better than single-use plastic, depending on the study and the waste managemnet context.

    An image search for LDPE bags finds thick plastic, of a kind some stores (e.g. book stores) already give out. PP images include the woven reusable bags sold at grocery stores.

    I think it’s a con. Cotton is so much worse worse that it becomes clear that buying one less shirt (or book, or DVD, etc.) a year is probably better that worrying about bags. Reusable bags can be better, but in practice people don’t reuse them enough: the best case, PP, is a wash.

    My proposal: Instead of campaigning to get rid of single-use plastic bags, environmentalists should campaign to reuse them. Reuse them just once and you halve the impact of the most competitive alternative. Encourage this by pricing them at the cash register – high enough to encourage reuse, but low enough to discourage inferior alternatives like paper or cotton. Where I am, the charge is 5 cents. I would suggest increasing it to 10.

    But really, this is a shell game: a way to divert attention from serious problems for which the real solution is less consumption. But who’s going to profit off that?

  31. Rabbit of Caerbannog

    Trump got 70.5millions votes, even after some Republicans voted Biden. That’s one hell of a marketing base that Fox has now pissed off by siding with the Democrats. Hopefully this means the end of Murdoch just like there has been a collapse in Drudge.

  32. jlowe

    (and they are the ones isolated in blue cities with easily severed supply lines…or now out in burbs and the countryside, surrounded by not necessarily friendly locals who certainly have more gunz than they do)

    The supply chains in the outlands aren’t any more circular than the urban cores. Where do you think GoreTex comes from?

    Yep, They have more gunz. Here’s hoping they don’t have logistics. Or concept of operations. Or meaningful strategic objectives. Or unit cohesion.

    It’s less a matter that a new civil war is starting in this country as much as it’s never really stopped since the mid-19th century – it just cycles from detente to state-on-state violence. A cold war phase has been building for two decades and it seems to be quite visible now.

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