Links 11/12/2020

Over 10,000 Cats Rehomed Through Innovative ‘Video Matching’ Scheme Independent

‘The great 2020 money grab’: Muddy Waters unloads on Spacs FT

American Companies Are Stockpiling Cash Before Covid Winter Hits Bloomberg


CDC Report: Officials Knew Coronavirus Test Was Flawed But Released It Anyway NPR. Liberal Democrats [scolding]: “Obey science!” (yes, while using your critical thinking skills). Rebuilding trust in our public health care institutions really ought to be top-of-mind for the Biden administration, and holding whoever is responsible for the testing debacle at CDC accountable should be part of that, regardless of party.

* * *

Coronavirus: EU buys 300m doses of BioNTech-Pfizer vaccine BBC. Since we have only seen the press release, all these decisions are entirely the result of elite consensus. Globalist elite consensus. So, fine….

Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine looks impressive, but Sanofi, J&J and Novavax shots eye a logistics edge Fierce Pharma

Australian Pfizer vaccine trial participant claims patients suffered fever, migraines and nausea after getting the jab – and it could be rolled out in Australia in months Daily Mail

Meet the married billionaire couple who helped create the Pfizer vaccine Business Insider

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Can a nose-full of chicken antibodies ward off coronavirus infections? Science

Effect of pre-exposure use of hydroxychloroquine on COVID-19 mortality: a population-based cohort study in patients with rheumatoid arthritis or systemic lupus erythematosus using the OpenSAFELY platform The Lancet. From the Discussion: “As we await the reporting of ongoing clinical trials of pre-exposure (as opposed to post-exposure) prophylactic use of hydroxychloroquine, related evidence of drug effectiveness among existing users can be generated from observational data. We found no evidence to support a substantial benefit of hydroxychloroquine in preventing COVID-19 mortality. At the same time, we have shown no significant harm. These findings suggest justification to continue trials of hydroxychloroquine for prevention of COVID-19 to confirm our findings from observational data.”

* * *

In fatal COVID-19, the immune response can control the virus but kill the patient PNAS. From the Abstract: “These findings indicate that the pathogenesis of late severe COVID-19 pneumonia involves a dysregulated immune response, rather than direct viral damage.”

Characteristics of Hospitalized COVID-19 Patients Discharged and Experiencing Same-Hospital Readmission — United States, March–August 2020 Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report. From the abstract: “After discharge from an initial COVID-19 hospitalization, 9% of patients were readmitted to the same hospital within 2 months of discharge. Multiple readmissions occurred in 1.6% of patients. Risk factors for readmission included age ≥65 years, presence of certain chronic conditions, hospitalization within the 3 months preceding the first COVID-19 hospitalization, and discharge to a skilled nursing facility or with home health care.”

Largest-to-Date COVID Mortality Study Released MedPage

* * *

Mobility network models of COVID-19 explain inequities and inform reopening Nature. From the abstract: “Derived from cell phone data, our mobility networks map the hourly movements of 98 million people from neighborhoods (census block groups, or CBGs) to points of interest (POIs) such as restaurants and religious establishments, connecting 57k CBGs to 553k POIs with 5.4 billion hourly edges. We show that by integrating these networks, a relatively simple SEIR model can accurately fit the real case trajectory, despite substantial changes in population behavior over time. Our model predicts that a small minority of ‘superspreader’ POIs account for a large majority of infections and that restricting maximum occupancy at each POI is more effective than uniformly reducing mobility.” Short bars.

Navajo Nation Combats A New ‘Monster’: Coronavirus NPR (DD). Gist: “Shops closed, head to the big city on the weekend, come back with a virus, spread it around….”

Passenger Aboard First Cruise Ship to Return to Sailing in Caribbean Tests Positive for COVID-19 People. Whoops.

On arrival passenger testing is twice as effective as 14-day quarantine at reducing Covid-19 community transmission Oxera. Maybe. A consultancy’s “Innovative modeling”….

Is low mask wearing in rural communities a sign of poor health messaging? STAT

The Great Coronavirus Pandemic of 2020—7 Critical Lessons JAMA

Pandemics that changed the world: historical reflections on COVID-19 (PDF) Journal of Global History. This is the introductory article to a special issue on the pandemic. Lots of free (!) good stuff here.

Post-Covid world needs ‘outrageously bold’ vision Daily Star. Says Nobel Laureate Muhammad Yunus, microfinance maven….


Chinese shoppers spend big in post-virus Singles’ Day binge Agence France Presse

Boeing Confident in China With Thousands of Jet Orders Forecast Bloomberg

Beijing condemns mass resignation of Hong Kong democrats as a ‘blatant challenge’ to central gov’t Hong Kong Free Press

Why Beijing Hasn’t Called Biden Foreign Policy

Certain Major Issues for Our National Medium- to Long-Term Economic and Social Development Strategy (PDF) Xi Jinping, Center for Security and Emerging Technology. Commentary:

Chinese premier stresses implementation of policies in boosting economy The State Council Information Office, The People’s Republic of China. Michael Pettis comments:


Senior Boris Johnson adviser quits as power grab role engulfs Downing Street Politico

COVID-19 in Brazil: the headlines should be about science The Lancet

New Cold War

Moscow braced for anti-Russian rhetoric and more confrontation FT. “‘We expect a massive toughening of the stance towards Russia,’ a high-ranking western diplomat in Washington told the Financial Times. ‘There is a hatred for Russia amongst [Biden’s team] that is really amazing. It’s not just rational; it’s also very emotional.'” High on their own supply…

Russia Has No Illusions About a Biden Presidency Carnegie Moscow Center

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Armenia, Azerbaijan and Russia sign Nagorno-Karabakh peace deal BBC

Caucasus ceasefire cements Turkey as a power in Russia’s backyard FT

Understanding the outcome of the war for Nagorno-Karabakh Vineyard of the Saker

Here’s what Russia has pledged (and risked) with peacekeepers in Nagorno-Karabakh Meduza

Trump Transition

Scoop: Divisive Pentagon hire may rush troop withdrawals before Trump’s exit Axios and Trump administration installs advocate for quick Afghanistan withdrawal at Pentagon CNN. Oh noes!!!!!!!!!!


In wake of election, 25 lawsuits filed over election’s conduct Ballotpedia. Finally an aggregation ffs.

Jones Day, Porter Wright Tiptoe Ethical Line in Voting Suits (1) Bloomberg Law (Jones Day press release). So those outside the elite’s “airtight consensus” don’t deserve representation. Good to know, especially when the next case comes along.

Dallas’ Robert Jeffress, leading pro-Trump evangelical conservative, calls Biden ‘president-elect’ but says it’s not yet official Dallas Morning News

State Legislatures Can’t Ignore the Popular Vote in Appointing Electors Lawfare

Facebook and Google quietly extend bans on political advertising FT. And the deck: “Blackouts continue as pro-Trump US election narratives persist.”

Daniel Loeb’s Third Point gains nearly $400m on US election call FT

Biden Transition

President-elect Joseph Biden reportedly plucks Revolution’s Ron Klain as new chief of staff Tech Crunch

More tech executives than tech critics on Biden’s transition team Reuters

Biden’s Transition Team Brings in Diverse Coalition of Experts, at Least Half of Whom Are Women Government Executive

Biden state media appointee advocated using propaganda against Americans and ‘rethinking’ First Amendment The Grayzone

We Finally Have a COVID Strategy Scientific American. But read on….

Democrats in Disarray

Pelosi floats above Democrats’ civil war Politics

Defunding Police? I Don’t Get It East of the River

Police State Watch

The FBI’s War on the Left: A Short History of COINTELPRO Black Agenda Report

Imperial Collapse Watch

The US is losing its world superpower status due to its failure to lead on the Covid-19 crisis – and this time, it might not recover The Independent

The Origins Of U.S. Global Dominance The American Conservative

An Outbreak of Covid-19 on an Aircraft Carrier NEJM. The Conclusions: “SARS-CoV-2 spread quickly among the crew of the U.S.S. Theodore Roosevelt. Transmission was facilitated by close-quarters conditions and by asymptomatic and presymptomatic infected crew members. Nearly half of those who tested positive for the virus never had symptoms.”

Class Warfare

Millions Face Loss of Jobless Aid: ‘Without It, I’m Dead in the Water’ NYT

What We Should Remember on Armistice Day Jacobin

Ötzi, the Man in the Ice Patrick Wyman

Antidote du jour (via):

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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About Lambert Strether

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


  1. Krystyn Podgajski

    RE: In fatal COVID-19, the immune response can control the virus but kill the patient

    First, why do they think this is news?

    But second, and more importantly, this part;

    Their extensive transcriptional and proteomic analyses of lung tissue from patients with severe pneumonia reveal signatures indicative of a neutrophil-driven inflammatory response without evidence of much active viral proliferation. These findings indicate that the pathogenesis of late severe COVID-19 pneumonia involves a dysregulated immune response, rather than direct viral damage.

    So keeping neutrophils low would increase survival. If someone has really low neutrophils it is called neutropenia.

    Zinc deficiency is reported to decrease the number of lymphocytes and increase that of neutrophils.

    Note that this is really about having high copper levels, since a zinc deficiency will increase the absorption of copper and the high copper will weigh in the favor of making more neutrophils.

    If you have had CBC blood test recently, check your neutrophils. It could give you a good idea of your zinc/copper balance and how you will handle becoming infected.

    1. Mark K

      A more literary take, describing the Spanish flu:

      …the immune system is at its core a killing machine. It targets infecting organisms, attacks with a complex arsenal of weapons — some of them savage weapons — and neutralizes or kills the invader.
      The balalnce, however, between kill and overkill, response and overresponse, is a delicate one. The immune system can behave like a SWAT team that kills the hostage along with the hostage taker, or the army that destroys the village to save it.
      In 1918 especially, this question of balance played a crucial role in the war between virus and immune sysem, and between life and death. The virus was often so efficient at invading the lungs that the immune system had to mount a massive response to it. What was killing young adults a few days after the first symptom was not the virus. The killer was the massive immune response itself.

      John Barry, The Great Influenza, Chapter 21

      1. jef

        The difference is that the spanish flu was killing those with the strongest immune system vs those with weak immune system who did not suffer as much.

        CoV19 is the opposite and that clearly should provide the best path to “battling” the virus, make people more healthy. Nawww, just kidding, not gunna happen.

        Gov can make a person not work or make enough money to live, can make them lock themselves away and breath through a cloth, but they cant make them take a vitamin D or Zinc tablet?

  2. PlutoniumKun

    Ötzi, the Man in the Ice Patrick Wyman

    Otzi is fascinating, but one really interesting thing of modern relevance that the article doesn’t go into detail on is that Otzi, at around 43, had arteriosclerosis and was likely on the verge of a serious heart attack or stroke. He also had terrible teeth. This despite the fact that he had a very fashionable paleo diet (wild meat and einkorn wheat) and was incredibly fit and strong. He also had a near ideal biome, one similar to those of hunter gatherers in Africa.

    Scientists seem divided as to whether his heart problems were largely genetic, or whether it was due to inflammation from his many parasites and his high meat diet. Whatever the reason, its pause for thought for those following one or other fashionable diets – all our ill health is not all due to inactivity, McD’s and slushies.

    1. Krystyn Podgajski

      Otiz was not close to a hunter/gatherer and that was made clear in the article. He lived in a time when hunter/gather genetics were being challenged by the new agricultural diet. Two of his meals the day he died consisted of farmed grains

      And note he did not die of a heart attack, but an arrow. There is no reason he could not have lived another 30 years.

      1. Wukchumni

        I heard all those arrows in his quiver I saw were to hunt wheat, and the copper ax was really a plow.

      2. PlutoniumKun

        He was not a pure hunter gatherer, but neither was he a farmer, thats one of the few things certain about him (farmers have distinct bone wear indicators). It looks like he bought grain or earned it some other way, and he also seems to have had a heavy consumption of hunted meat and foraged plant foods. His diet was as close to a temperate climate hunter gatherer as you are ever likely to find – even European mesolithic hunter gatherers probably to some extent had ‘gardens’ for some types of food.

      3. nippersdad

        Re: ” There is no reason he could not have lived another 30 years.”

        In Konrad Spindler’s 1994 book, The Man In The Ice, reference is specifically made to his arteriosclerosis problem.

        “The high resolution method even revealed slight hardening of he arteries in the area of the base of the brain. Such changes, while varying from one individual to another, normally only occur with advanced age. Even if the Iceman’s age at death is taken to have been thirty-five to forty, the changes must have occurred relatively early in in his life. A daring hypothesis would be that he had a metabolic susceptibility to early arteriosclerosis, possibly due to a high blood cholesterol level.”

        Which, given the high proportion of genetic material no doubt added through early interbreeding with neanderthals* and their propensity for having high cholesterol and subsequent heart disease, does not sound off piste, so to speak,** especially given the fact that he had virtually no fat on him as a direct result of his lifestyle. So, no. At forty five he would have already been considered an old man, living to seventy five would have been nearly unheard of.

        * “There appear to have been multiple early modern human (Homo sapiens) immigration and disappearance events on the European continent, whereupon they interacted with the indigenous Neanderthals (H. neanderthalensis) which had already inhabited Europe for hundreds of thousands of years.”

        ** “In a previous whole-genome study of the Tyrolean Iceman, a 5,300-year-old glacier mummy from the Alps, an increased risk for coronary heart disease was detected. The Iceman’s genome revealed several single nucleotide polymorphisms that are linked with cardiovascular disease in genome-wide association studies.”

        1. PlutoniumKun

          I can’t find the links right now, but I did read recently that the most up to date research shows that he did indeed have a genetic predisposition to heart disease, but that also his overall arterial condition was significantly worse than originally thought.

          Put simply, if he turned up to a hospital today, he’d immediately be sent for stents and put on a restricted diet and medication and be told to lay off the cheeseburgers. He would be considered very high risk for heart attack or stroke.

          1. nippersdad

            I have read that as well. He had a series of blockages ranging from his neck down to his left leg. I agree with you; he was a dead man walking, and not walking well at that. Getting hit in the back with an arrow and having a quick bleed-out was probably the kindest end for him.

            Thing is, people with this predisposition create their own cholesterol regardless of what/how much they eat or what medications they take, and the stents will only last a year or two. I am one of them. At 5’7″/120 pounds soaking wet for most of my life* and a BMI most non-anorexics would kill for, I resemble Otzy far moreso than doctors would care to admit.

            Aortobifemoral bypasses do not sound like much more fun than being chased down and eaten by a cave bear.

            I blame my Neanderthal ancestors. All of that cholesterol may have kept them warm during Ice Ages, but it really is not helpful for those of us who have their genetic blueprint these days.

            * I joined a gym once and developed some muscle mass which increased my weight for a few months, until I freaked out at having to buy new clothes…..I may have Neanderthal genes but I don’t want to look like one. “It is better to look marvellous than to feel marvellous,” as they say. I am now learning the downsides to that rationale.

            1. jr

              An anecdote I picked up somewhere: when early Xians were being tossed into the Coliseum to be devoured, they would pray to get one of the big cats. The cats instinctively broke their prey’s neck, a relatively quick death. The bears, on the other hand, would simply hold you down and start eating…

              1. Late Introvert

                Great stuff, thanks. I just watched a well made PBS show about Roman architecture that is mostly under the sea now, Nero’s something or other. Recommended.

    2. fresno dan

      November 12, 2020 at 7:37 am

      Faint bruising on his back suggests that the assailant stuck his foot down and tried to yank out the precious arrow, succeeding only in snapping off the shaft and leaving the projectile itself in place.
      The article states that the arrow head was snapped from the shaft from the supposed assailant trying to recover the arrow. It seems to me that the copper ax would have been quite a prize, so why wasn’t it taken?

      1. PlutoniumKun

        Thats a very good point – copper was a very valuable substance at the time (there is a misconception that the iron age occurred because iron was better than bronze – this isn’t so – it occurred because iron is far cheaper and more widely available than copper and tin).

        There are archaeological precedents for loot to be left with bodies after battles or murders. It may have been considered bad luck to take something like that, or it may be that in the circumstances, the assailants were too rushed and jittery to pay attention.

        Its entirely possible that they took out the arrow and left the loot around to ensure it wasn’t too obvious that he’d been murdered. In tribal societies, it never paid to make too many multigenerational enemies. Maybe there is a TV show in that, CSI bronze age.

        1. jr

          My GF asked me the same question, I imagine that if you walked into town with Og’s hatchet on your belt, Og’s clan would have something to say to you.

        2. drumlin woodchuckles

          If the greater cheapness and availability of iron as against copper/tin were the reason for the switchover to iron, why wouldn’t the metalmakers have gone straight to iron to begin with? Since it would have been just as widerly available and cheaper all along to begin with?

          I had thought the metalmakers started with copper and tin because these ( especially native copper) were easier and lower temperature to smelt than iron was. The metalmakers had to walk ( copper and tin) before they could run ( iron). Have I been wrong all along?

      2. John k

        My theory is that he escaped the attacker(s), and may have broken the arrow himself when trying to remove it, can’t imagine leaving that axe behind, even if it wouldn’t be prudent to let a local see you have it, would be great trade goods. I also remember reading his body was in a hollow, maybe protecting it as the glacier slid above. Perhaps heavy snow was falling, clearly his body must have become encased in ice quickly… odd that the glacier managed to cover and protect him so fast if it was late spring, usually warming then.

        1. Late Introvert

          That was my thought as well, and I haven’t read any further yet, but my first question isn’t about the copper axe, as intriguing as that is, but how did he freeze so fast? That to me seems even more mysterious.

    3. nippersdad

      From your linked article:

      “Dental Cavities
      His teeth were full of cavities, usually caused by plaques loaded with bacteria that dig holes in teeth. Tooth decay and gum diseases are common sources of inflammation and are strongly linked to heart disease.”

      Vs. Spindler:

      “…it is instantly noticeable that the teeth are extremely worn, with an exceptional level of abrasion…One possible cause for the heavy abrasion of his teeth may be the habitual consumption of dried meat…The main cause of abrasion – and not only in the Neolithic period – was probably the consumption of cereals ground in qerns made of quartz sandstone.”


      “Finally, we should mention a negative diagnosis. The Iceman’s teeth are entirely free from caries.…An important cause of tooth decay is the fermentation in the mouth of carbohydrates, such as sugar and finely ground flour….In Europe, a progressive incidence of caries has been noted since the Neolithic, more dramatically so since the Middle Ages…With his healthy set of teeth the Iceman pre-dates the onset of this deplorable development.”

      Interesting that they would have such different descriptions of the condition of his teeth.

    4. cojo

      Otzi is fascinating in many ways. Bringing up his atherosclerosis piqued my interest. Atherosclerosis is a complex, multi factorial disease with genetics, diet, and lifestyles all playing an important role. On the dietary front, one can say that although he was a hunter/gatherer, he did not necessarily eat predominantly meat. This can be seen in African Bushmen tribes of today. Even if he ate as significant percentage of grains, he would unlikely to be suffering from metabolic syndrome (based on his body mass index), the main mechanism carbohydrate rich diets contribute to atherosclerosis and heart attacks.

      One reason I have not heard of as a major contributor to his atherosclerosis is psychological stress. After all, he died with an arrow in his back and who knows why his hunters killed him. From what I recall he may have been a loner and that in and of itself may have lead to psychological stress that accelerated his atherosclerosis. Reminds me of an article a while back on social stress and atherosclerosis in monkeys.

    5. norm de plume

      Good to see Patrick Wyman getting some attention. I listened to his Tides of History podcast on Otzi last night – it’s the latest in an ongoing series on prehistory. Each series he has undertaken is well researched and presented. He is worth a listen.

    1. CanCyn

      I too was thinking that he looked like he’d just had a wash and a blow dry! This was a very inspiring photo for me, today I venture out for my first hair cut and style since early March!

    2. CarlH

      The lion looks like Donald Sutherland to me. I admit to indulging in a joint with my coffee today though.

  3. dcblogger

    What Benjamin Dixon said:
    Donald Trump is attempting to overturn the results of the election and install himself into power overriding the will of the American people.

    This has gone further than simply being a sore loser. The president is rolling out a full-blown strategy to attempt to steal the election from Joe Biden and steal democracy from the American people who have resoundingly spoken that he is to only be a one-term president.

    This is not hyperbole hysteria or conspiracy. This is what they are telling us they are going to do.

    It’s not just the electoral college, but it’s a combination of steps that Trump is using to remain in power. It includes Fox News, Republican-led state legislatures, the Supreme Court, and more.

    1. apleb

      So did the democrats with the faithless electoral college voters in 2016. So?

      It’s not illegal to plot for a politician. It’s the job description.

      And if you honestly think any democrat elected will do the will of the voters instead of donors….

      1. Donald

        Several things can be true at once— the Republicans are plotting and both parties do the will of their donors.

        There is too much reflexive knee jerk reacting everywhere I visit— if you say one thing bad about either party people immediately jump in with a whataboutism. Whataboutism has its place but sometimes people seem to use it as an excuse for one party rather than a condemnation of both.

        1. Gary

          I agree with Donald. Neither Party truly has the best interest of the American citizens. They probably tell themselves they do, but the results speak for themselves. Until we get the money influences out of or at the very least reduced we will have a government of the 1%.

          1. Brian (another one they call)

            We need to remember that we do not live in a democracy. This is a republic where representatives do all the lifting, supposedly for our benefit. We know this is not what really happens because we can’t count any benefit that hasn’t cost us dearly regarding both money and our actual freedoms.
            It is the parties that dictate all marching orders and there is no democracy involved. Orders come from on high to the lowly representatives to do their bidding.
            When you think about it, it isn’t a representative government either. The only democratic examples are found in states that allow referendums/measures to be created and voted on by the people. Not all states allow for these solutions.
            What do you call a system that doesn’t allow for the will of the people?

            1. Duck1

              Take a look at California, though. Corporations advance measures and they pass the popular vote with 100 mm propaganda budgets. Or the property tax reform changes there that never manages to pass. Blue team state of course, though concentrated in the urban archipelagos.

        2. jsn

          2000: Legitimacy Crisis 1.0 stolen election
          2004: Legitimacy Crisis 1.1 illegal war/ torture / surveillance
          2008: Legitimacy Crisis 2.0 GFC
          2010: Legitimacy Crisis 2.1 all of the above institutionalized
          2016: Legitimacy Crisis 3.0 anything, really anything but more of the same
          2020: Legitimacy Crisis 4.0: it’s a whole new operating system!!

            1. jsn

              I was focusing on the break down of the duopoly 8 year trade off, although you’re right that 2.1 does represent a new governing form or OS.

              And, it’s not really clear yet the duopoly tradeoff has really ended. From a purely structural point of view it will be interesting to see if the Republicans have the tenacity and discipline to incorporate their new base and regain power in this cycle.

              The MSM narrative appears to be as effective as polling, the institutions are the enemy, and Trump supporters seem to be self organizing rather than taking selfies as Martin Gurri anticipated. Or maybe not, maybe it is just a bunch of individual protest like the marches 4 years ago.

              If they succeed, like 2.1 this could be a new OS change-over misaligned with the dupoloy transition. Maybe 2010 and 2016 will end up more like platform hopping, Mac to Chrome, or to Windows, in any case there is definitely a “right click” on all the mice now.

      2. JTMcPhee

        They’re not “donors,” they’re BRIBERS and OWNERS. People all het up about slave thinking and such, maybe glance at how well the slaves of capital serve their masters/bribers/owners. Measured in dollars, what is the “take” from “our” legislature and central bank in the last two financial stress situations? $10 trillion, not counting the trillion a year that goes into the MIC…

        Does not mater what kind of political economy might desire — money = power, and the looters have mastered the art of making sure all significant flows go into their pockets.

    2. The Rev Kev

      ‘The president is rolling out a full-blown strategy to attempt to…steal democracy from the American people’

      Which ‘democracy’ would that be? Asking for a friendly nation.

      1. no one

        First past the post, when millions and millions of people voted for the other candidate, does not seem democratic to me. Shared governance would be more democratic; it works so well for Israel. But since the two major US parties only compete to represent the 1%, I am certain that other than the colour of lipstick on the pig, there will be no noticeable difference over the next four years.

    3. mike

      nonsense. shine some light on this mess. The constant screaming that it is over and we can’t look at the irregularities in voting sure sounds like there is something to hide.

      1. voteforno6

        What irregularities in the voting? Do you have any evidence of such? It may very well be that there is nothing to hide.

      2. marym

        The constant screaming about irregularities in voting without documented evidence isn’t spreading any light.

      3. John

        Could you please specify the nature and extent of the mess? Asserting that there is a “mess” does not make it so any more that the opposite.

        1. mike

          In my opinion, The nature of the mess is that a large portion of the population doesn’t believe in the integrity of the election. And the rush to push everything under the rug without allowing complaints or allegations of fraud to work their way through the system, adds to the skepticism of that large population.

      4. Unsympathetic

        100% of all legal cases initiated regarding “This Mess” have been tossed out because no evidence has been found.

        Furthermore, neither you nor anyone has an actual right to a fact-free lawsuit — the only thing you have a “right” to is a hearing of the facts of that suit… and when that judge asks for your proof and you have none, not only is your case tossed with prejudice [meaning you don’t get to re-file] but the lawyer who agreed to take your case has the potential to lose his license to practice in that state. And that’s why multiple firms are now pulling out of “representing” these fact-free lawsuits.. they’re not willing to give up a career for orange man.

        Feel free to look as much as you want — paper ballots hand-counted in public remains a need — but the gap isn’t going to be closed no matter how much you try to Benghazi this.

        1. mike

          I never asserted that we should pursue fact free lawsuits. Just that many people were shouting it was fact free without even hearing if there were in fact evidence of irregularities. The courts are equipped to throw out the fact free lawsuits. Let’s let them do it.

          1. tegnost

            On this I agree with you. For a clear easy transition just let the lawsuits play out. It always takes a long time, but thats the way we do it. Courtrooms in america are where the new starting line is drawn, whether it be contentious divorce or product liability case (the current situation seems a sort of melding of those two types of cases). Just sit back and wait, there’s plenty of time left for the new crop of pigs to get their snouts in the trough.
            No doubt the tds crowd will need some cognitive behavioral therapy to wind down from their 4 traumatic years. PTSD, one needs to recognize when you’re becoming unhinged by it and try to stop the spiral.

          2. Old Jake

            The courts are equipped to throw out the fact free lawsuits. Let’s let them do it.

            But wasn’t that refuted in an earlier comment? Lawyers who bring fact-free lawsuits to court risk losing their license to practice law. Apparently the assessment of the lawyers consulted has been that the lawsuit is indeed fact free and therefore they demur.

            1. mike

              exactly the opposite. The fact that lawyers are filing cases says they aren’t worried about being sanctioned and thus have enough “facts” or evidence to let a judge decide to throw it out or not.

              I haven’t seen Trump lawyers sanctioned yet.

            2. Darthbobber

              It’s not that much of a risk. Thousands of cases get filed every day with less to them than any of the Trumpie ones I’ve seen, and the lawyers get sanctioned about once in a blue moon.

              As you might expect, with fellow lawyers doing the sanctioning.

          3. STEPHEN

            But they already have. Federal District Court judges have dismissed lawsuits in Michigan, Wisconsin, and Nevada, for lack of evidence. This is all public record.

            1. mike

              sounds like we are moving closer to an end then. Was that all of the lawsuits and are there still appeals pending?

          4. Jack

            Facts simply don’t matter to a large portion of the American people. Anything that interferes with a belief is flat out wrong. I’d like to think that’s hyperbole but more and more I’m seeing it as a reality. This terrifies me and a large number of my friends. Facts don’t matter. Kellyanne Conway was/is right. Alternative “facts” are OK. No one understands this better than Trump and his enablers.

            1. drumlin woodchuckles

              Alternative “facts” are okay as long as they don’t lead the alternative “fact” knowers into attempting something that physical or biological laws will punish them for attempting.

              For example, if “global warming” really is bio-physically fact-based, and the denier community wishes to believe in its alternative “facts” to the contrary, they may end up being physically/biologically harmed or killed by onrolling reality at variance with their alternative “facts”. We should all try getting them to move to the coast so we and they can see what will happen. Let Darwin decide whose facts are “alternative” and whose facts are factual.

      5. voteforno6

        To echo other comments, what “mess”? In my opinion, this has been about the smoothest election that I can remember in this country, especially considering everything that’s been going on. Whatever “mess” is happening is due entirely to Donald Trump.

        1. anon in so cal

          >”the smoothest election”

          An argument can be made that the entire election process was and is a mess, starting with the Democratic primaries. As in 2016, a lot of skulduggery occurred. This time, as Sanders was charging toward the nomination, Obama stepped in, as he promised to do, and essentially orchestrated the sandbagging of Sanders. This was sort of preordained by the deliberate dilution of the candidate field. So, in some sense, Biden was not a legitimate nominee.

          Kamala Harris got one delegate and less than 2% of the primary vote…

          1. wilroncanada

            anon in socal
            That is NOT the election. The Democratic Party, like the republican Party, is a PRIVATE club, like your local Rotary club ( Not to cast aspersions on a club like Rotary, which often does good local work). A political party can make up its own rules, and can change them if it likes. Political parties have never been democratic (note small “d”) organizations.

            1. drumlin woodchuckles

              And yet the Republican Party chose to treat its primaries like a legitimate democracy election, even to the extent of permitting Trump to defeat all their own establishment figures.

              The Republicans didn’t invoke the “private club” defense the way you do to defend the Democrats. That’s because the Republicans didn’t try to defraud their own primary process the way the Democrats tried and succeeded to defraud theirs.

              1. Basil Pesto

                I suspect they were too gormless to do it, and completely blindsided. They are perhaps not as used to factionalism as nominally left parties.

                wilron didn’t bring up the private club distinction to defend democrats, merely to point out, contra anon in so cal’s claim that they were both part of the same process, that comparing the democratic primary to the presidential election is inapposite. which it is.

      6. Terry Flynn

        Someone else on here posted not once but twice a youtube video purporting to illustrate statistical irregularities. I refuse to link to it to give it oxygen but it’s not hard to find in the comments over last couple of days. I saw it was over an hour and the presenter waited a while for people to join. So I scrolled straight to the 10 minute mark.

        I saw the most egregious examples of either serious professional misconduct or deliberate Trumpian attempts to sow doubt that I’ve had the misfortune to see in this election, all within one minute of tuning in. The guy argued, with a straight face, that some precincts with zero Republican votes, “should” display votes for Trump that are PLUS OR MINUS 10% of this. That the fact the “Donald deficit” was higher at high levels of Republican support showed “votes being ignored”. He didn’t realise the data in fact made the OPPOSITE point to his whole “dodgy aggregation” argument.

        A lot of his case seemed to be that he got a degree from MIT. Ooohhh. Well I got a 2.1 in Economics from Cambridge but I acknowledge all my macro education was BS. Stephanie Kelton’s book really makes me realise how humiliated Wynne Godley was clearly feeling at being forced to lecture stuff he was increasingly showing was rubbish.

        1. Kurt Sperry

          Links to long youtube videos add no practical value to a discussion. Nobody reading here frankly will, or should be expected to, watch the whole thing. A brief synopsis of whatever ideas or assertions of fact within it you found compelling would be helpful.

          1. Terry Flynn

            Good point. Henceforth I shall ask for synopsis of key statistical/other points to ascertain if the commenter understood and agrees with the central proposition.

      7. Grant

        My problem is the people pushing against any irregularities. I mean, how many coups against democratic governments do these very people support elsewhere? What have they done to Venezuela and Bolivia, among other countries, proudly? How hard do they try to make it for people to vote, and then for that vote to result in things actually changing? Are they in favor of democracy elsewhere too, like workplace democracy? Is there not a massive gap between what people want on policy versus what the state does? And has the right for a long time now refused to have paper trails on electronic voting machines that have been problematic from the get go? So, now, when they look to have lost an election, now they want to make sure there are no irregularities. I fully expect these same people to then allow in international observers to our elections, and I expect both parties to be mindful of democracy in their own primaries. Not only will the other party stop having sham primaries, but they will get rid of high undemocratic superdelegates, right?

        Give me a break with this. The election went the wrong way and there isn’t evidence that the irregularities are outside of the norm in this failed state. I will check out in pretending to care what these far right interests, openly hostile to actual democracy and social movements, say about democracy and elections until they start to actually support democracy and elections. There are real issues with this corrupt, broken system, but they sure aren’t the people to lead this fight, as they too have to be challenged on this. The far right cannot win elections, given how deeply unpopular and destructive their policies are, without increasingly ditching democracy. If they care about democracy, they don’t, then they should work to repair it. Fact is, they don’t, and if they need to take power while ditching democracy, they happily do it.

        I also don’t think Trump challenging some of these results is itself out of bounds, I would imagine that Democrats would do the same, if they cared enough to. But, my concern with Trump and the far right in regards to democracy isn’t just this in isolation.

        1. Oh

          Well said. The two right wing parties have wrested democracy away from the people while pushing propaganda through their rich media allies. Everything they do is to help to enrich themselves and their handlers.

          1. jsn

            Yeah, there was an appropriate tweet in Water Cooler the other day about US institutions being robust both against the will of TV Game Show Hosts and the American People.

          1. Grant

            Sorry, did you interpret my comment as being a defense of Biden or Obama? If so, why? I am not a fan of either, didn’t vote for either. I am commenting on the far right challenging this election, period. They are not in a position to fight for free and fair elections, and if there was a free and fair election in the primaries Biden wouldn’t be the nominee. The neoliberals are on the right on a number of issues anyway, certainly in regards to foreign policy. So, my critique applies to them too.

            On Trump though, you know as well as I do that he did everything he could to start a conflict with Iran. While he didn’t invade Venezuela, his economic sanctions against the country are deeply immoral and cannot be defended. Economic war is war, especially when it causes the damage it has caused. We should be ashamed of what we have done to Venezuela and Iran, with the economic war, to Bolivia with the coup, Honduras with the coup, drone attacks, and for that matter the bi-partisan economic war against Cuba.

      8. GratefulDude

        The crux, IMO, of the matter is repression, not fraud. Fraud is hard and isn’t necessary when logistics are set up to exclude classes of voters. Repression is everyday policy:
        – Removing voting stations from communities of color
        – Siting voting stations where they are not accessible to the underclasses, esp the indigenous tribes
        – Requiring ID
        – Disinformation campaigns about how, when, and where to vote
        – Segregated communities and schools
        – Racism in general …
        Policy is a lot easier to identify, if not fix, than fraud because it’s out in the open. Policy. But elections have to be won first.

    4. zagonostra

      I honestly don’t know who to believe, below was published today on zerohedge. Being that my news intake has a wide spectrum of sources, I’m getting buffeted one way then then the other…I’d prefer the scrutiny to continue being that I am very skeptical of my gov’t, not based on “hysteria” but history.

      According to an unofficial vote count from the Pennsylvania Department of State, Biden has received 3.35 million votes to Trump’s 3.31 million votes. Percentage-wise, Biden has 49.7 percent, compared to Trump’s 49.1 percent.

      “We now are up to a count of about 650,000 ballots that are unlawful ballots that were cast in Philadelphia and Pittsburgh,” he said.

      “What’s being said in the mass media, that we have no evidence, is a complete, absolute lie, just like they’ve been lying for years

      1. marym

        Last night Trump filed 5 appeals in Philadelphia to dispute the counting of 5 categories of mail-in ballots. If his losing streak turns into any wins, it’s 10K ballots total per Marc Elias.

        I didn’t read the ZH post, but did find this reference to 650,000:

        “Pennsylvania woke up Wednesday to President Donald Trump holding a significant advantage over Joe Biden in the initial votes counted so far: about 650,000 votes…There are 1.4 million mail ballots that were cast as of Election Day but not yet counted as of early Wednesday morning, according to the Pennsylvania Department of State. ”

      2. lordkoos

        I wouldn’t hold up zerohedge as a beacon of truth in media.

        Trump wanting a recount is one thing, but it looks to me like the Republicans in congress who are piling on are simply performing for their base to raise funds and further obstruct the transition. They know full well Trump lost.

        1. Aumua

          Zerohedge is now a primary source here in the comments, I guess. For bald speculation and whatever else sounds like it might be true.

      3. Grant

        So, your claim rests on something Giuliani said to Fox News? Come on, be logical. Doesn’t someone have to have a record of being honest before you value unsubstantiated claims and trust them? A large chunk of the country is just gone mentally. Ted Cruz claims blah blah blah, who cares? He’s a corrupt, right wing grifter. Show me proof or kick dirt.

      4. Basil Pesto

        using “history” as a rationalisation for making unfounded a priori assumptions about current events is, imo, an injudicious use of “history”

        Zerohedge has an audience and they play to it. If it’s a news source, it’s a frothy one. You can’t just apply scepticism exclusively to the mAiNsTrEaM mEdIa. They’re all in the same business.

    5. lyman alpha blob

      Sorry, but his is completely hyperbole, hysteria and conspiracy.

      Here’s Krystal and Saager from yesterday with a sedate and sober analysis of where all the lawsuits stand (spoiler alert – they’re all being tossed) –

      They also take the media to task for blowing all out of proportion jokes like the one Pompeo made the other day and riling up the gullible into thinking there is some kind of coup in the works, when Pompeo said nothing of the sort.

      And if Trump were successful in holding on to power using the courts and state legislatures, and not an armed insurrection, then presumably that would be legal, wouldn’t it? I mean George W Bush got to be president for 8 years that way and now he’s best pals with Joe and the Obamas and the Democrat party, so what are you worrying about? He set the world on fire and it’s still burning, but all is forgiven by the Democrat party – did you not get the message? So there’s a widely accepted precedent for what you think Trump is trying to do here.

      My TDS infected urban liberal friend recently bought two firearms because he is scared the Trump’s minions are going to bring an armed insurrection into his neighborhood. Never having been around firearms, he is far more likely to shoot his own face off than battling any armed right wingers trying to invade a major metropolitan area.

      People need to calm down with this nonsense. Stop believing the hype and stop feeding the trolls ferchrissakes.

      1. zagonostra

        >USPS whistleblower denies report he recanted voter fraud claims – NYPost

        Not sure I want to put all my eggs in the Hill, i.e,., The Rising. As I said above, I’m confused and would prefer that they let the re-counting and allegations of fraud play out, as opposed to snuffing it out. I would rather error on the side of mistrusting establishment than trusting it, too much water under that bridge. And at this point, since I didn’t vote for either Dems or Repubs, I don’t have a dog in this fight, they are both vile in my eyes.

        In a video posted Tuesday evening, Richard Hopkins, a United States Postal Service worker in the must-win swing state, denied taking back his statements when speaking to authorities.

        “I’m here to say I did not recant my statements. That did not happen,” said Hopkins, 32.

        1. lyman alpha blob

          I’m interested in what that guy has to say, but the story was originally broken by James O’ Keefe and Project Veritas, and organization not necessarily known for its veritas, so I’m taking anything from there with a few shakers of salt. O’ Keefe is a shyster and should have been shut down long ago.

          If you don’t remember, O’ Keefe was the one whose highly edited video several years ago wound up getting ACORN shut down,.

          1. John Ralston

            O’Keefe did NOT get ACORN shut down.

            What O’Keefe revealed about the illegal activities of ACORN prompted other people to act to shut it down.

            O’Keefe is routinely harrassd by TPTB.
            He had to sue to get his name removed from the National Registry of Felons that is used to block convicted felons from acquiring gun permits.

            O’Keefe’s name was illegally entered onto this Registry in violation of his civil rights. Someone with with access actually went in and placed his name on the Registry although he is not and never has been a convicted felon.

            After finding this out I have chosen to trust what O’Keefe publishes unless disproved.

            When criminals in government respond to the lawful activity of a citizen by willfully abusing their office and illegally infringing on the civil rights of people they simply don’t like, it isn’t hard for a responsible sober adult to see which is trustworthy and which is not.

            I will trust O’Keefe over the liars that defamed him and illegally restricted his civil rights.

            1. drumlin woodchuckles

              Weren’t the O’Keefe videos shown to be retro-edited fake depictions of a fake scenario? Didn’t O’Keefe and his cardboard-replica ho’ girl take advantage of the deeply simple minds of a couple of slow-thinking ladies who were not prepared for O’Keefe’s staged fakery?

              That’s how I remember it.

              And how did the whole of ACORN collapse so suddenly anyway? It is almost as if it were only the holographic projection of an organization, and it disappeared as soon as someone turned the switch off.

            2. rob

              o/keefe was /is just part of the slime of the right wing morons who make stuff up for a living. All he has proven is he has no moral character and no honor…. Which is all important in his biz…….so he has secured his “worker-permit” , to work for either party… now or in the future…
              But seriously, are you saying ” you believe”?
              That’s funny
              And not in a good way

      2. GratefulDude

        Where I live one neighbor has a Trump and a confederate flag and another with a “Trump 2020 \n Fuck your feelings” flag. They aren’t nice people. There was a lot of gunfire from those directions on election night. This is in California. No TDS on my side of the fence, but some very ignorant and dangerously violent folks on the other side.

        No guns here, but the subject has come up. This place is on a very defensible knoll. The gunfire was one night, and they were probably liquored up. That makes me feel safer…

        1. lyman alpha blob

          My parents and probably most of the rest of my family voted for Trump. They do not sport confederate flags, would never tell you to [family blog] your feelings (although I might, not being as polite), and are actually nice people.

          They do own guns, but for hunting, and my father hasn’t even done that for 50 years. When a friend gifted him a handgun years ago, he got it out of the house because he felt it was too dangerous.

          They live in a rural area that has become a haven for rich NYC/Boston liberals to getaway to. Few years ago, they ran across a couple like this who had driven off a dirt road into a ditch in the middle of a snowstorm. My dad got some chains and pulled them out free of charge so they could get the rest of the way to their $1500/night resort, something my own family could never afford.

          There are people who fit every stereotype. If you actually get to know people instead of stereotyping them though, you might find they aren’t nearly as bad as you think. And if things do turn pear shaped in this country, those liberals who can’t do anything for themselves if it isn’t on an app (to use another untrue stereotype) might find that the conservatives who do know how to grow food, fire a gun, fix an automobile, drive a stickshift, use a chainsaw, build a house, etc are petty nice to have around.

          1. wilroncanada

            Are you stereotyping Liberals as people who can’t do anything for themselves, and stereotyping conservatives as people who can do everything for themselves? Stereotyping is as stereotyping does. Keep your balance, man.

            1. Yves Smith

              You are completely out of line. GratefulDude did stereotype by trying to generalize from his neighbors, and Lyman offered counter-anecdotes to dispute that stereotype and stereotyping generally. So you straw manned and got nasty with no grounds. Into moderation you go.

    6. Eustache de Saint Pierre


      I have hesitated in posting this as I don’t have the expertise needed in order to ascertain whether it features a conspiracy theory, is just a load of old crap or that there is something in it. The reason I am is that it comes from a guy named Nafeez Ahmed who lost his job at the Guardian for being too critical of Israel over Gaza & from what I have read of his work he appears to be pretty much on the ball.

      The article is based on a theory from Edward B. Foley a former Ohio Solicitor General around what he calls the Blue Shift in elections & how the resulting confusion caused by it could be taken advantage of by Trump in Congress & even if he loses in the courts to hold onto power.

      If the above is not at all helpful or simply coincidental with Foley’s theory , I hereby apologise.

      1. lyman alpha blob

        From that link –

        Despite official election observers having called the presidential election in favour of Joe Biden, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has declared that he foresees “a smooth transition to a second Trump administration”.

        Except what Pompeo said was a joke – not a very funny joke, but that’s why Pompeo isn’t opening for Dave Chappelle. Immediately after the bad joke, Pompeo talks at length about ensuring the smooth transition.

        I’m inclined not to take any theory too seriously from uptight types who can’t tell when someone is trolling them.

        1. mike

          and of course:

          Official election observers have NOT called the presidential election in favour of Joe Biden.

          1. John Ralston

            Joe Biden has not been declared ‘president elect’.

            ALL expressions to that effect are premature -at best..

            1. Terry Flynn

              After being exposed as someone who quotes videos by someone who endorses negative numbers of votes and ones that exceed turnout (see Aumua above) I thought you’d keep a low profile?

              1. John Ralston

                ‘Exposed’? What does that mean? Clarify.

                The information I have reviewed is compelling and I will wait to see what is most strongly indicated or proved with further analysis of the voting machine data feeds and/or hand counting of ballots under bright lights and watchful eyes..

                I understood the video presentation and discussion of statistical analysis and the voter data series from Michigan precincts.

                I find it compelling.

                Do you have any knowledge of statistics, algorithms or software programming?

                I added an addendum where I also posted my personal opinion that the algorithmic function that appears to be utilized in those analysis is very similar to those found broadly in digital audio compression plugins. The re-allocation would in fact be a subroutine of compression called ‘make up gain’ which allocates information deducted in an earlier phase of the process to the final output of the process…

                I posit that the programming of the suspected vote tabulation re-allocation algorithm is derived from the same math as a digital compression algorithm..

                I have also posted on other comment/chat boards that I see similarities in other types of algorithmic processes commonly found in audio recording and processing software/plugins. Equities order flow spoofing in high frequency trading data feeds often exhibit characteristics of digital synthesis and/or midi information data flows: drum machine/groove box like patterns complete with volume envelopes and synchronized repetitive modulations, etc..

                I stand by my assertions. Let those who can competently discuss these data flow anomalies and/or characteristic linear disruptions come forward and provide informed explanations/regressions of either causative hypothesis or debunk the claims made.

                I will only accept informed, cogent, and constructive challenges.

                These are important issues and deserve honest rational discussion. Let facts and evidence prevail.

                1. Basil Pesto

                  I have also posted on other comment/chat boards that I see similarities in other types of algorithmic processes commonly found in audio recording and processing software/plugins. Equities order flow spoofing in high frequency trading data feeds often exhibit characteristics of digital synthesis and/or midi information data flows: drum machine/groove box like patterns complete with volume envelopes and synchronized repetitive modulations, etc..

                  Is your submission that the election results are actually… someone trying to make a banger in fruityloops?

                2. rob

                  that lengthy and disjointed rebuttal only points to one conclusion…
                  “thou dost protest too much”
                  You personally don’t actually have any “evidence”. You have no “information” … Are you acting in some “official capacity”?

                  So, just saying stuff, with no actual point…. and trying to “jargon” your way to a point; only makes your argument look weak, or really, just not there.
                  I still smell troll.

                3. Yves Smith

                  Terry actually knows quite a lot about statistics, and unlike you, can explain his logic. All you’ve done is say “X looks like Y, therefore bad!” That doesn’t cut it as analysis.

                  Even if what you say is correct, it proves squat. Spurious correlations are common in statistics. And your high ratio of bafflegab to content discredits what you’ve said.

                  1. Terry Flynn

                    Thanks you Yves. I’m aware I’ve let my emotions get the better of me occasionally in the past and these days I’m doing my best to keep rigorously to evidence based points.

    7. marym


      As far as I can tell, none of the Trump lawsuits allege fraud. It’s all about casting doubt on who should be allowed to vote, whose vote should be counted, and who should be trusted to do the counting. Trump and Republicans have been clear about their position on matters of who are Real Americans, and who should be excluded for a long time.

      Like the long history of Republican/Trump unsubstantiated claims of voter fraud, it’s about power and who should be allowed to exercise it; and creating doubt among the people and chaos within institutions to further that agenda for power.

      1. lyman alpha blob

        So what? If all he’s doing is trying to cast doubt, then it clearly isn’t working. The lawsuits are being tossed out. So why not let this play out? The link I posted above mentions a recent poll that asserts that 80% of the electorate, not just one party or the other, already conceded that Biden will be the new president. Letting this play out will only solidify that – why is that a bad thing?

        The one thing that is convincing me the election is not fixed (setting aside for the moment the completely unaccountable voting machines we use every election that are easily hackable and don’t accurately count the votes) is the fact that the courts are throwing out the lawsuits brought by Trump’s people, courts that due to Democrat fecklessness have been packed with Republicans for a generation now. If there was anything there, you’d think the Republican courts would hear the arguments, but they are not doing so.

        I know it’s making many “liberals” nervous that Trump is still in the White House, even though Biden doesn’t become president until January, but they’re all going to need to buck up, grow a spine, and deal with it.

        And then the rest of us will watch all the liberal goodthinkers start holding Biden’s feet to the fire come the third week in January, just like they promised. (haha! – ending with a joke since that is never going to happen)

        1. marym

          The fraud about voter fraud has been “playing out” for decades, and all we got from it has been an excuse for voter suppression. I think pushback is appropriate.

          I look forward to being a Biden critic and a critic of liberal “Trump would have been worse” Biden defenders.

          1. lyman alpha blob

            I agree that ‘voter fraud’ is a stupid red herring thrown out by Republicans that anyone with a little common sense could see has no merit. Trump probably doesn’t even realize the difference between ‘voter fraud’ and ‘election fraud’.

            If the Republican courts strike down the ‘voter fraud’ nonsense, maybe we’ll stop seeing it tossed around so cavalierly, which IMO would be a very good thing. Of course, for the idea that voter fraud is a ruse to get much traction, we’d need a media who could coherently explain what happened in a non-partisan way while putting it into long term context – the ods of that are slim to none too.

            My personal suspicion is that Republicans throw out bogus claims of voter fraud to deflect anyone from looking into the real danger, which I’m quite sure the Republican party has engaged in – election fraud.

            So we’re probably talking around each other a bit here, because it seems we mostly agree on what’s important.

            Side note: if the Democrat party hadn’t so blatantly rigged the primaries against Sanders, maybe there wouldn’t be so many people who think the general election was rigged against Trump too. Those in glass houses and all..

          2. FluffytheObeseCat

            Thank you for your comments on this issue. You have been citing news sources and speaking informatively about the issue for days now, in stark contrast with many commenters here.

            The underlying ‘fraud’ is, as you state, the bone-deep belief about who are the Real Americans, and entitled to have their votes (and theirs alone) counted. That is the belief that underpins Republican views about the validity of this election. They’ve held these views for years. The belief that only some Americans are “real”; that only some of us deserve to rule this nation, is not unique to ‘red meat’ Republicans. But it’s a repulsive, crap notion that deserves the most aggressive condemnation regardless of source, or narrative.

            Excuses for Republican bigotry and lies that cite the misconduct of elite Dems are bankrupt arguments. The Trump Republican attitude about who should have their votes counted is vile, and no complaint about some other guys’ vile misconduct can take magically make it otherwise.

            1. lyman alpha blob

              But it’s a repulsive, crap notion that deserves the most aggressive condemnation regardless of source, or narrative.

              Fine, I condemn the Democrat party who also wrote off a significant portion of the electorate, calling them deplorables, or described them as clinging to guns and bibles. That’s bigotry too and it’s what got us Trump in the first place.

              Time for all the idpol liberals trying to pull the motes out of everyone else’s eyes to notice the damned log stuck in their own.

              1. Phillip Cross

                There is a difference between something being a terrible general election strategy, and it being false. In a general election you need to appeal to as many voters as possible, so pointing out a large portion of the electorate’s glaringly obvious, and very real, flaws is not good strategy. If you want to win bigly, you need to appeal to those moronic a holes, and not just the credentialed ones.

                1. pjay

                  You mean “false,” as in “Putin and Russia stole the election,” or “Trump is an agent/asset of the Kremlin” or Biden’s Ukraine improprieties have been “completely debunked” or …

                  Oops. There I go, bringing up the “misconduct” of elite Dems (and some of their best buddies). Let’s get Trump outta here and move forward, not look back! I’m sure the Biden administration will take all of Bernie’s suggestions into account and pretend to care about all the “moronic a holes” out there.

                  God this debate is depressing. Do all of you guys really think this is about Trump? Or goofy right-wing “conspiracy theorists” on youtube?

                  1. Grant

                    No, I think that brining up how horrible Democrats are doesn’t say anything about horrible the Republicans are, and it doesn’t mean that they have a good case, or that we can all pretend that the right supports democracy in any meaningful way. It is silly. The right has long been an opponent of political democracy here and abroad, and they don’t support democracy in other realms, like the workplace. The right is now essentially complaining about the monstrous voting system they helped to create. Did they do anything about electronic voting machines with no paper ballots, when they were problematic from the get go? They aren’t really serious about saving democracy, as their ideas and policies are deeply unpopular and they aren’t likely to win elections unless they can ditch democracy. So, spare me.

                    I have a lot of concerns about elections, and the Democrats too are not in a position to defend democracy given how they too have supported coups, dictatorships, wars and economic wars against countries the world over, and given how horribly they run their own primaries. But, I certainly am not going to link arms with the right over this.

                    Besides, could you imagine what these same people would pull if Bernie were the nominee? They and the neoliberals would have had a common existential threat, and they would have done everything they could to undermine the vote if he was in a position to win. If the right wants to fight for democracy, it doesn’t, then work to fix democracy outside of a partisan fight over a particular election. Improve it in between election seasons. They won’t, because again it is increasingly hard for them to win in free and fair elections.

                  2. Phillip Cross

                    I’m not even talking about party affiliation here. I just think there are a lot of horrible people about in the electorate. Take a look around. It is ridiculous to suggest otherwise.

                    It is also a fact that ~15% of the population are what doctors used to call “morons” I.e. sub 70 iq. More than enough to swing every election.

                    1. pjay

                      When the Trump impeachment began, I was amused; partisan WWF entertainment a la the Benghazi circus. But when I saw the testimony of people like Marie Yovanovitch, or Fiona Hill, it was chilling. These people were products of our most elite universities and held very high government positions. They were accomplished and “smart.” And they actually *believed* the bulls**t they were spewing! In a Biden administration, people like this will be back in positions of power.

                      Don’t talk to me about “morons”. The people you so easily talk down to have no power to start WWIII. The “morons” I refer to do.

                      There is a lot of energy devoted to misdirection in this discussion.

                2. lyman alpha blob

                  See my comment to Grateful Dude above. And you know where you can stick your rhetoric about the moronic a holes.

                  1. Phillip Cross

                    If i am following your logic, your argument is:

                    “Many members of my family voted for Trump, and they seem nice to me. Some of them were even kind to a stranger in distress once. Therefore all conservatives are nice.”

                    Am I missing something?

                  2. Lambert Strether Post author

                    Dudes, plural:

                    Let’s have a good clean fight here. No holding, no low punches, no biting, gouging or rabbit punches. You’ll break when I say break. And if you’re decked, you’ll get a count of ten to get back on your feet.

                    1. John Ralston

                      The Republican Party is NOT clean. The Democratic Party is NOT clean.

                      Trump may be a dirty business man; but, it is plainly evident from the Hunter laptop that Biden is a corrupt politician

                      The voters who DO want fair and clean and legal are the only verifiable victims here thus far…

            2. Terry Flynn

              The “moving the goalposts” phenomenon is what really gets to me when it comes to contesting any election. I’m sure the Dems have done it in the past, but to attempt it this time as some Trump supporters on YouTube are doing (see comment elsewhere on this) is particularly egregious. In a simpler age, fixing an election via “miscounting or misaggregating” etc could be “felt” by election experts – hence for fans of Ron Moore’s Battlestar Galactica episode in which aides of Roslin attempt to fix the election, Tom Zarek “smelt a rat” – but that all boiled down to ONE issue. The writers were clever (or lucky) to keep it simple and accessible to the average viewer.

              In this day and age it’s a LOT more complicated. Imagine a two dimensional colour grid with blue in top left and red in bottom right. It will be pixelated to some extent so seeing two squares “switched” stands out. But get into 3 dimensions, 4+ etc, when issues becomes multi-dimensional (social conservatism, economic conservatism, trade, esoteric identity politics, sympathy with establishment, etc etc) then we lose our ability to “smell a rat”. You have to look at a whole host of 2 dimensional correlation matrices, plotted across various pairs of issues. “Gut instinct” can no longer be trusted and is often plain misleading. But when you see non-trivial leads across enough States and a large enough win in the popular vote, the chances of fraud become trivial – simply put, it would have required way too large a conspiracy to pull this off. No amount of “shenanigans” could offset our prior that Biden won, according to the rules as currently laid down in law. End of story.

              Why I get so annoyed is an analogue to why Yves and Lambert get annoyed when some commenters obviously don’t understand the rules and basic conventions of debating. If I or someone else debunks a blatantly ridiculous statistical claim made by some random YouTuber, the person linking to that has an obligation to defend why they think that Tuber is right and my argument is wrong. Instead they pivot to something else. Now, to be fair, that hasn’t happened (so far anyway) to the instance I have in mind today. But I’ve seen it happen so often to others that I totally get the feelings of people like our site owners who get frustrated at linguistic gaming – I am merely getting annoyed at statistical gaming of the system. Lambert has eloquently described all the reasons why polling may be destined for the scrapheap. Some of his criticisms are ones I know how to address but IN PRACTICE I know the solution my team helped develop (and we don’t have sole credit here) WON’T be used, for various political reasons regular NC commenters would recognise. So I wouldn’t for one moment blame people for agreeing with Lambert that polling should be abolished plain and simple. It would solve a lot of arguments at a stroke! The fact my former career worked on solutions for a quite a few issues in “stated preferences” is moot really – I myself think MMT and other issues are “bigger issues for society” so I’m not going to go to the wall in defence of “fixing polling”. The fact is, humans are INCREDIBLY good at fooling you in this area and I’m just not convinced we as society will put in the resources to keep up with their ingenuity!

              TL;DR: Humans are clever family-bloggers and we should probably stop trying to predict what they’ll do unless we are willing to spend a LOT more.

              1. John Ralston

                I do not know if you are addressing me or not since you do not name me by name.

                I do not see any viable debunking of the claims made in the video I posted the link to.

                Which ‘ridiculous’ statistical claim in which YouTube video are you referring to?

                1. John Ralston

                  Apparently at least some of Trump’s challenges to the legality of certain ballots have merit.

                  One challenge raised in PA has already been validated by the PA Supreme Court:

                  “[T]he Court concludes that Respondent Kathy Boockvar, in her official capacity as Secretary of the Commonwealth, lacked statutory authority to issue the November 1, 2020, guidance to Respondents County Boards of Elections insofar as that guidance purported to change the deadline … for certain electors to verify proof of identification,” wrote Judge Mary Hannah Leavitt in a court order.

                  “Accordingly, the Court heareby ORDERS that Respondents County Board of Elections are enjoined from counting any ballots that have been segregated pursuant to paragraph 1 of this Court’s order dated November 5, 2020, granting a special injunction.”


                  Biden is not president yet..

                  1. run75441

                    For Clarity:

                    “According to state law, voters have up to 6 days after election day to resolve identification issues if needed. This came out to November 9 this year.

                    Following the Pennsylvania Supreme Court ruling that mail-in ballots may be accepted for an additional three days after Election Day, Pennsylvania Secretary of State Kathy Boockvar extended the deadline for resolving proof of identification issues for additional 3 days as well, which comes out to today, November 12.”

                    I can see why the court would over rule the Sec. of State. She can not make law and neither can the court although the court can interpret law.

                    What do you mean by “some?”

        2. Amfortas the hippie

          “If there was anything there, you’d think the Republican courts would hear the arguments, but they are not doing so.”

          i think that’s a fine thing to keep in mind.
          my take? I really don’t care any more.
          costs too much to care about which evil is lesser.
          the recent spanberger/manchin nonsense…cable news wife had on even had joe frelling lieberman on for his opinion!—screw them all.
          none of them represent me, or things that matter to me.
          i voted for a couple of downballot dems this time, but only if there was no Green…or Libertarian…in that race.
          I won’t be doing so again…until they court my vote…as in try to earn it, rather than merely expecting it/demanding it.
          national politics looks more and more like a waste of time, to me…and the way the blue dogs went straight for the throat makes me want to secede entirely.(i hate my country BECAUSE i’m a GD patriot!—)

          my pmc brother surprisingly agrees with me that we need a new new deal, and that the current demparty is useless/harmful to that end.
          he asks,”but how do we get rid of them?”
          I say “well…we could stop voting for them…”
          then laments at lack of an FDR type with national recognition who could lead the charge.
          first, i immediately thought about the stash of whiskey…
          second, i said, “!@#$@!^@!#* Bernie, dammit!…”
          ran into one of the local Team blue types…as pmc as one can get, all the virtue signalling and hillaryclub credentials.
          she’s mostly talking to wife, but i found an opportunity to interject some of my actual research into local political sentiment(pop:4400, GOP reliable:900, GOP hard core:300….dem reliable: 300, true believer dem: 150….and most gop’ers didn’t vote for trump in primary, and seemed embarrassed until covid)
          it took the wind out of her sails for a moment…all the gloat vanished…but she recovered.
          then i mentioned that there are 2 (TWO) reliable Green voters…and that i was one of them.
          flames shot from her eyes!…singeing my eyebrows and almost catching my hair on fire…she started rambling in the Black Speech of Mordor, but wife cut her off asking about her kids(one of whom worked for hillary(!)…the other married a craft vodka magnate(!!)).

          trump is exhausting, and i’ll be glad when he’s just a citizen….but the Harris Administration/Clinton 3.0 will in many ways be worse, I’m afraid.
          the trajectory at the levels i inhabit will not change…continuing rot and decline, with red meat thrown to the various warring tribes to keep us from commingling overmuch.

          time for a sabbatical.

          1. juliania

            Amfortas, I count winter as happening from Thanksgiving till Christmas. Always have. Usually first winter storm comes then, (though we had one pretty good one on Halloween this year.) But the solstice is only a month away end of November, and for me the months go pretty fast these days. So, after the solstice…it’s spring! Hang in there.

          2. Dr. John Carpenter

            It’s a bit of a head scratcher to me how people think the administration that couldn’t tell the difference between a Four Seasons Hotel and a Four Seasons hardware store has some masterplan to overturn this election that’s going to succeed. Their own courts are throwing the cases out and considering they don’t have the support of the military, security agencies, or anyone else who could help facilitate such a thing, I don’t see how they pull anything off. Looks to me like Trump is working the refs as usual and people still haven’t learned not to lose their mind. Trump is definitely exhausting, but I’ll be equally glad to not hear about him from people who seem to think he’s a comic book supervision too. Like you, I just don’t care about Trump anymore, time to move on.

    8. The Rev Kev

      In reading all these comments, you can say that it all comes down to the Republicans losing the election against the Democrats. So what I want to know is this. At what point will the Republicans wake up to the fact that having a bunch of Republicans & Republican operatives campaign on behalf of a Democrat candidate against a sitting Republican President may not have been the wisest of moves.

      1. lyman alpha blob

        Biden is a Republican in all but name, so the Republican establishment pretty much got what they wanted – they still control the Senate and have a president they can “work with”.

        1. nippersdad

          If there is any functional difference between Mitt Romney and Joe Biden I have yet to detect it. Romney may be more honest, but otherwise….

          As with the ACA, if they had just passed Newt GIngrich’s Heritage Foundation insurance subsidy plan in ’93 and elected Romney in place of Obama then we could have saved a lot of time and angst over who is the least detrimental Republican du jour.

    9. lyman alpha blob

      And I did start watching the Dixon video since I generally have a lot of respect for his opinions. About a minute in he starts talking about Trump’s ‘ rolling out a full blown strategy’ to overturn the election results. That’s when I stopped – Trump has never had a full blown strategy to do anything. It’s just more bluster and throwing crap against the wall to see if anything sticks. Par for the course and completely expected behavior.

      Side note: once Trump is gone from the White House, which he will be shortly, I really do hope he pulls together his own TV news network. I’m sure it will be much more entertaining than the news we’ll get from the other networks with the content prefiltered by Biden’s propaganda czar – coming soon as noted in today’s links!

      1. hamstak

        If Trump is successful in developing such a network, I imagine Fox News is going to have a panic. I wonder what measures, if any, they can use to try to prevent such a thing?

        1. polecat

          Maybe Tucker Carlson would be inclined to jump from that foundering S.S. Murdock! Wouldn’t THAT be a hoot!

          I’d buy that for a quatloo

          1. Wukchumni

            I occasionally watch the President’s pretty much sole tv news source/fawning agency: OAN.

            It makes Fox look like a bunch of Walter Cronkites all vying to be more honest than the next one, lemme tellya.

      2. Katniss Everdeen

        I am so over this “election.” As far as I’m concerned, the democrats can have this broken system and the broken candidate it gave them. Before very long they’re going to wish that all they were trying to herd is cats. Conservatives can vote from the grave just as easily as democrats. Dems’ll get their asses handed to them soon enough.

        I love the Trump News Network idea. If he stays in the presidency, he’ll just continue to be smothered, slandered and denigrated by the deep state. He can do far more damage on the outside.

        Apparently at&t is in trouble, cnn is for sale and jeff bezos doesn’t want it. The specter of Trump buying it, saying “See ya” to chris cuomo, van jones and the rest, and turning it into his own megaphone is beyond delicious. His 72 million voters would be a helluva good viewer base to start from–they are fed up to the gills with fox and lookin’ for someplace to go. I guarantee everyone would never forget the name hunter biden.

        And a new “social media” site called “Parler” is catching fire with conservatives who are sick of being muzzled by freaks like zuckerberg and dorsey. No need to even deal with those assholes. Tens of thousands didn’t show up to Trump rallies for nothing.

        All that needs to happen during the last couple months is for Trump to start declassifying anything and everything and firing anybody who gets in his way. Let ’em take it to “court” later once the cat’s out of the bag. Oh, and withdraw all the troops from Afghanistan.

        C’mon, Donald. These days, up is down and “losing” is winning. Future’s so bright ya gotta wear shades.

        1. jr

          If “Fredo” Cuomo loses his job and Andy gets the boot at some point, they could hit the vaudeville circuit as a marionette act, Chris playing the dummy of course…

        2. ShamanicFallout

          He will have some kind of TV show, or web channel. Imagine the ratings for the premiere! I was thinking of the scene in Casino where Ace, the De Niro Character, is demoted from running the actual casino as its head, to becoming its ‘entertainment director’. Ace decides to start a live talk show (Ace’s High!) from the casino floor so that he has a platform to call out all the corrupt Vegas schemers and politicians who sabotaged him behind his back. Gold!

        3. lyman alpha blob

          Trump just likes being in the public eye and I don’t think he cares whether it’s by being president or some other means.

          I too am sick of this election and it’s sad to see so many people lose their minds over Trump. As I’ve said before, the reason people lose their minds is because Trump is the funhouse mirror and looking into it reminds them what they’re really voting for when they vote for a Bush or Clinton or Biden or Obama. He’s the id counterpart to all those other nice polite egos.

          And Parler – that’s a hoot! I knew twitter banning certain accounts would only result in them losing traffic and splintering the social media sphere – which might not be a bad thing.

          I wonder how many conservatives know that ‘Parler’ is French? ;)

          1. Katniss Everdeen

            They were talking about it this morning on cnbc and laughing about the fact that it was French. It’s supposed to be pronounced “parley,” but nobody wanted to go there so “parlor” it is.

            I also heard today that Trump has 88 million followers on twitter. I’m assuming that taking them somewhere else would really leave a mark. Adios, Jack. I’d love to see it.

          1. Katniss Everdeen

            Eighteen years of military lies about the ephemeral “turning the corner” in Afghanistan was recently revealed in a supposedly off-the-record survey of military brass and quickly memory-holed.

            Just get them out now. Trump can take the heat.

            If biden wants to put them back, let him make the case to all of his enraptured “supporters.” I’m sure it will go over well.

  4. zagonostra

    >The US is losing its world superpower status due to its failure to lead on the Covid-19 crisis – Independent

    The reason why the US is weaker as a country is because it is divided and these divisions will get deeper as long as Trump is in power….Trump has always excelled in exploiting and exacerbating divisions in American society and producing simple-minded solutions to mythical crises,

    The polity is not divided, they are united in denying the citizens a say in the affairs of gov’t policy. The direction and decisions made come from the ruling elites. (

    The failure is not due to a divided citizenry, as is evinced by the 50/50 split as in this 2020 election but by the type of capitalism that commodifies healthcare that now is approaching 1/5 of the economy while denying access to millions and squeezing out as much profit from those who do have healthcare insurance. The failure is in the fact that the largest voting block – the non-voter, 93M – has concluded it has no stake in electoral politics, that it’s a sham.

    I recently sent a link to a friend that describes a bullet train being built by China that travels through an underwater tunnel linking an island with the mainland. It will travel hundred’s of MPH. I can’t get on Amtrak and go the 90 mile length to PIT and back on the same day. It’s not just, as the article points out, that China was able to produce masks and other medical equip. during the pandemic. It’s more to do with the ruling elite selling out the American People, abetted by big tech, big media, big pharma, and a bloated MIC.

    The retort I receive when waxing desperately in the same vein in conversations with others, always comes down to “freedom.” “Do you want to live in an oppressive communist state. Can’t you see all the people trying to get into this country?”

    I think analysis, like that in the Independent article are shallow. It’s not Trump that’s the problem, as it’s been stated ad nauseam, he was just the symptom, the result of a rotten political system, abetted by self-seeking corporations that had(ve) no concern for the kind of failed state America has become.

    I like the small shire I live in. There is much in the people that is venerable, but being a member of country that has “superpower status” is not an attribute that I personally want to hold on to, it’s been abysmal for the people that live here and those visited by its violence and many military activities throughout the world.

    1. mike

      The US superpower status is derived from its
      1: Military
      2: Reserve Currency/Banking/Oligarchy

      Covid isn’t gonna change that.

      1. timbers

        Think that is correct. Probably what US Covid response does is diminish US soft power and gently accelerate US current trajectory of slow decline vs China and others.

      2. KevinD

        I would add “faith in the U.S. Govt.” to your list.

        Our currency and Govt. debt are all backed by “the full faith and credit of the U.S. Government”
        Our Govt. debt is considered “a risk-fee securities”.
        What causes people here and abroad to have “faith” in the “risk-free” aspect of our debt?
        IMO it’s in no small part due to the “norms” we seem so willing to brush aside; like peaceful transition of power, being reliable allies, faith in our judicial system, decorum and respect for our institutions and our unity as a nation behind these. Our divisiveness and lack of unity is not helping promote this “faith” neither here nor abroad.
        “Norms” are not law, and thus easily violated.
        Once these devolve, faith is not exactly bolstered.

      3. Wukchumni

        2: Reserve Currency/Banking/Oligarchy

        Covid isn’t gonna change that.

        Covid won’t change things, but if I was China, now is the time to make a bold move in becoming the new Reserve Currency. Only the USA will put up a fight, and not much of one as the President is even worse than a lame duck, he’s more of a dishonorable ruptured duck*. The only way that it would work for China is for the new reserve currency to be gold-backed to a small extent, btw.

        * The original Ruptured Duck was a cloth insignia depicting an eagle inside a wreath. It was worn on uniforms above the right breast pocket by WWII servicemen and women.

        It was issued to service personnel who were about to leave the military with an Honorable Discharge. It also allowed them to continue to wear their uniform for up to thirty days after they were discharged since there was a clothing shortage at that time. This showed the MP’s that they were in transit and not AWOL. Well, the boys thought the eagle looked more like a duck; and, because it meant they were going home, the popular saying was, “They took off like a Ruptured Duck”…hence the nickname.

        1. chuck roast

          Bold? Ain’t gonna happen in our lifetime my friend. Can you see the CCP and the People’s Bank of China extending “renminbi liquidity swap lines” to the likes of the ECB, the BOJ, Denmark, Switzerland et. al. in times of financial crisis? The Fed is the go-to guy in this little corner of the universe. If it were not so, we would be forced to get our own house in order, but there are no alternatives anywhere near the horizon.

          1. Wukchumni

            You are assuming the new world order & financial rules of engagement will look just like the last one, and i’m suggesting a squeeze play ushering in an era that looks vaguely similar to the one we used to know.

            Power is it’s own currency, and we’re a spent force, wallowing.

        2. Kurt Sperry

          “Covid won’t change things, but if I was China, now is the time to make a bold move in becoming the new Reserve Currency.”

          It’s a nice thought but they can’t. They would need to completely change their economic model from a mercantilist one to get enough currency out into global circulation via huge trade deficit. Na ga happen.

          1. Wukchumni

            The far east has proven resilient against the virus while the west has no answer.

            Profound changes that happen during one’s lifetime are rare, and we are on the cusp of one in progress on the Chinese front, and stagnation & unrest on the others in mature societies often resting on financial laurels.

      4. VietnamVet

        The USA, at best, through 2022 will be a sick divided nation that will only stay united if government by and for the people is restored and the financial, educational, and healthcare exploitation of Americans ends. Wall Street is no longer a safe haven for ill-gotten global wealth. The USA is quarantined from the virus free world.

        Regional wars are exploding in wake of the fallen Western Empire. Only Russia could guarantee the truce in the Caucasus. Turkey will keep pushing until they are in a Holy War with nuclear armed Russia. What happened to the 30 US nuclear bombs stored in Incirlik Air Base in Turkey? Israel and UAE are now allied against Iran, an ally of China and Russia. India and Pakistan stare at each other. China is seizing territory on its periphery. This is now a multi-polar world full of unresolved ethnic and religious vendettas that could go nuclear.

    2. Fireship

      It’s not just the elites; it’s the whole country. I feel compelled to once again post George Carlin’s take on the great unwashed American public:

      Now, there’s one thing you might have noticed I don’t complain about: politicians. Everybody complains about politicians. Everybody says they suck. Well, where do people think these politicians come from? They don’t fall out of the sky. They don’t pass through a membrane from another reality. They come from American parents and American families, American homes, American schools, American churches, American businesses and American universities, and they are elected by American citizens. This is the best we can do folks. This is what we have to offer. It’s what our system produces: Garbage in, garbage out. If you have selfish, ignorant citizens, you’re going to get selfish, ignorant leaders. Term limits ain’t going to do any good; you’re just going to end up with a brand new bunch of selfish, ignorant Americans. So, maybe, maybe, maybe, it’s not the politicians who suck. Maybe something else sucks around here… like, the public. Yeah, the public sucks. There’s a nice campaign slogan for somebody: ‘The Public Sucks. Fck Hope.

      1. zagonostra

        Reminds me of a debate I saw with Chris Hedges and Robert Sheer when was a regular stopping hole for me. The former took the position you articulated with Sheer somewhat diffident. I think Sheer had a point that people are beat down by a system that doesn’t provide much in the way of civic education. I have family in the PMC class, good honest, hard working, religious/moral, decent folks and completely under the spell of MSM psychop propaganda and no knowledge of history outside what they received in a survey coarse or two in college, if that.

        “Selfish, ignorant citizens?” Some, but most are just don’t have the framework to think outside of what they have been exposed to, they haven’t pursued information that would “red pill them.” Yeah, the “public” as a category sucks. But you have to be charitable of the individuals who compose it, something I struggle with constantly.

    3. nippersdad

      Re: “The retort I receive when waxing desperately in the same vein in conversations with others, always comes down to “freedom.” “Do you want to live in an oppressive communist state. Can’t you see all the people trying to get into this country?”

      Which ones? Those buying the multi-milllion dollar apartments in Manhattan so that you cannot afford to live there or those picking your squash so that you can afford to eat? “Freedom” seems to be a word without meaning anymore.

      1. Aumua

        ‘Liberty’ is really the favorite word of the hard right these days. Liberty is what Trump is trying to preserve, and it’s what the far-left radical communist Democrats want to take away. Simple facts.

  5. The Rev Kev

    “Australian Pfizer vaccine trial participant claims patients suffered fever, migraines and nausea after getting the jab – and it could be rolled out in Australia in months”

    I have read some people describing this vaccine as like having a really bad hangover. And it has to be done twice. It would be akin to a person having to use wax strips to remove hair from one leg – and then to realize that they still has a second leg to do. So Scotty from Marketing has ordered 10 million doses for use next year. That is enough for 5 million people out of a population of 25 million people. But a question does arise. Why? I mean seriously – why? The virus is all but eliminated here and they are mopping up stubborn pockets in I think only one State or two.

    So what if he wants those borders opened back up again like he has stated. Open to the tens of thousands of immigrants that use to arrive annually, open to business travelers, open to millions of tourists from places like the US, Europe, Brazil, etc., and of course open to all those ocean liners again. The only way to do that would be to eventually have a population that has mostly been inoculated to this virus. So it is 90% effective? Tough luck for the other 10% but c’mon man, think of the economy.

    1. Treadingwaterbutstillkicking

      Where I live (midwest USA), the newspaper yesterday announced that regionally (almost 1/4 of the state I live in), hospital beds are full up at 100% (assuming that means ICU beds), and that if you arrive at the ER with a heart event, but are stable enough to turn around and walk back out, well then that’s what they’re gonna tell you to do.

      And cases are still rising.

      You don’t want us as tourists for a looooooong time.

        1. Treadingwaterbutstillkicking

          As a person weary of much medical intervention, I agree with you! The point was just illustrative of what most people think of as a critical situation being turned away.

    2. a different chris

      >suffered fever, migraines and nausea

      It’s a little disconcerting that they can, or claim to be able to, describe down to a little strip of protein how this stuff “works”.

      But they have no idea why, or had even an expectation that, it causes fever, etc. The medical industrial complex is hard to get your arms around, isn’t it?

    3. BlakeFelix

      Well, I’m not a fan of Scott, but if there is a safe population wide 90% effective vaccine the Rt would likely go from maybe 3 with little precautions to .3. So most of the 10% vulnerable would be safe(ish) by herd immunity. Herd immunity is IMO a dangerous mirage if you expect the virus to create it and kill itself off, but it’s very much a thing if you can roll out a 90% effective vaccine to everyone. Tons of diseases can pop up and kill a few people here and there, tourism with testing would be an acceptable risk in such a world in my opinion. We certainly are not in that world yet.

    4. TsWkr

      The other way to think about your success with the virus so far is that Australia has maintained a population that is very vulnerable to future outbreaks. The cost of a vaccine probably pales in comparison to maintaining public health vigilance to prevent any spread.

      Also, I don’t think it’s clear if the 10% get infected just like everybody else, or if they get a lesser version of the disease. I read an article before the announcement interviewing various infectious disease specialists and none thought that many vaccinated people would get a full strength disease, even if not immune. If case fatality drops by an order of magnitude for those 10% (and there is also no risk of hospitals being overrun), then you are looking at something like 1 out of 10,000 people being in life-threatening danger with not much risk of a raging epidemic that needs to be considered. That’s about the same rate as a car accident fatality in the US (note: it’s wrong to make this comparison without a vaccine due to epidemic risk), and it’s something we accept but continuously try to improve upon. I think that’s where we are headed.

    5. RMO

      Injected polio vaccine is 90% effective, oral is 50% effective. Australia last had a case of paralytic polio about a half-century ago.

      90% effectiveness is fine. If the vaccine is actually all it’s being made out to be, which is still to be seen.

    6. Foy

      My thoughts exactly Rev. They are really rushing things on the vaccine front. But I don’t the public is with them, I don’t think the majority of the public will want international borders opened if we have basically eradicated it here and it’s endemic overseas given how much we have invested to get to where we are now. Scomo and Frydenberg are really pushing hard the desires of their big business donors, but the Queensland state election and surveys of Western Australians show that the public are not with Federal Liberals on this one I think. Even one of my mates who is a hard core neo-liberal CFO has turned and doesn’t think we should open up international borders after achieving 13 zero days in row, says it’s not worth the risk now without really strict quarantine measures. The Libs haven’t read the tea leaves properly yet.

    7. Basil Pesto

      US CDC document on adult vaccination including side-effects

      Federal gov’t immunisation handbook table on vaccine side effects

      vaccine side-effects are not unheard of. From what I can tell in the article, for this vaccine, they were unpleasant but transient. I’m inclined to chalk this down to Daily Mail sensationalism.

      I agree that ScoMo is going with the vaccines because he does want the borders open again, although I must confess, I do quite like it when the borders are open.

      I wonder how it might play out. Covid exit visas for the immunised (if it’s only 10 million visas)?

      1. The Rev Kev

        No good Basil. Unless the whole, entire, complete population has an effective vaccination, you will have outbreaks like for Victoria breaking out all over the country. And who is to say how long the vaccine will be effective for? And what happens then? Do we have the resources here to deal with what is happening in Europe and America? Not even close would be my guess.

        Of course we could clear out the virus totally and then open up completely with New Zealand, some Asian countries and the island nations. Then as each nation clears it in their own country we open up to them as well. We still have to worry about social distancing, contact tracing, masks and all the rest of it but that is mostly to deal with anything that slips through. The alternate is to let her rip.

        Scotty from Marketing just wants to go back to 2019 with tens of thousands of immigrants, millions of tourists, hundreds of docking ocean-liners and tens of thousands of international students. That world is now gone and it is time to reconfigure our economy to recognize that fact but Scotty being Scotty, he still insists that we only need a bigger hammer to smash that round peg into that square hole and everything will be the way that it was before.

    1. The Rev Kev

      Look at the bright side. Your neighbour’s Ring doorbell across the street will capture how exactly your home got to burn down for the insurance agent’s claim.

    2. Katniss Everdeen

      “They have made it incredibly easy to hit a button, get a push notification that says police would like your footage, click this button to comply,” Guariglia said.

      “Comply.” Very creepy in this context.

    3. Duke of Prunes

      If you read the actual details of this recall, it’s really (surprise, surprise) overblown. I don’t think “100s of thousands” will need to be re-installed.

      The problem is with doofuses who used a long wood screw rather than a short machine screw to secure the outer cover of the doorbell. I can’t see 100s of thousands making this mistake. I can see 100s or maybe 1000s…

  6. pjay

    Re: ‘We Finally Have a COVID Strategy” – Scientific American

    This is a pretty good article. For one thing, the author challenges the Democrats’ “just trust the science” rhetoric:

    “…it would be dishonest to say politics has no role in health policy when health science is rigorously political. Who is being studied? Who is interpreting the data? Which populations are being tested? Who is receiving medications? Who is designing the studies, and how? These are all political questions.”

    Along those lines, while praising some members of the task force, he strongly criticizes the selection of Ezekiel Emmanuel, in part for publishing “Why I Hope to Die at 75,” which he sees as an anti-aged, “ableist” essay that was “the most commonly reviled piece I’ve heard about in my reporting on disabled communities.” Given COVID morbidity patterns, he feels this was a strange choice. He doesn’t mention that Ezekiel is Rahm Emmanuel’s brother.

    He also doesn’t mention two other appointees that caught my eye in the NY Times story announcing Biden’s task force. In a discussion of several prominent members, this passage appears in the middle of the Times article without further elaboration:

    “Mr. Biden reached across parties and across administrations. Dr. Luciana Borio, a vice president at In-Q-Tel, which invests in intelligence technology, was a member of Mr. Trump’s National Security Council until he disbanded the office charged with responding to pandemics and bioterrorism threats. Dr. Michael T. Osterholm, the director of the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy at the University of Minnesota, advised the George W. Bush administration after the 2001 anthrax attacks.”

    Both are experts on bioterrorism and biosecurity. In-Q-Tel, of course, is the CIA’s venture capital arm (well, one of many, but this one is relatively open). Anyone seen anything else on these appointments? I thought they were interesting as well.

    1. Mike

      Alex Kerr in his book ‘dogs and demons.. ‘ gets some purchase on how self-destructive ideologues can, I’d parrot his translation about the reach those prominent members mentioned in NYT might expect, after two decades of selfless service in the public interest, with O-sumitsuki (honourable touch of the brush).

      Genetics, geography, daring-do as destiny are all self-fulfilling since the window of opportunity is relatively, if you have an app or access to brokerage and the right reflexes, open, now the public patience and pursestrings are a little frayed, regardless between MMT and the IMF little love is lost and we all have pet projects that didn’t make it to the big time hall of causes but, and it’s a big but, one best avert from watching the actual sausage being made, trust the vote, and the science.

      If you’re thinking there isn’t an in-group which wouldn’t go BerkshireH or to town, bet the ranch, on a dead cert trade. You’d have to be crazy not to vouch for such success as experts on venture market cap. and homeland risk inherent to the postal service, nobly answer the call.
      J.Biden is worth nine million dollars so he knows about cutting to the thick (of it!) in matters of credit or debt, 2020 and government now needs to reign in the start of medecine and not confine itself to financing, and to sanction it’s criminal elements, too much potential to cross parties and administrations past and the science is settled, politically primarily and with waivers of liability for damage in these astonishing times to come.

      The injury of populism self-evident to the media allows them to tunnel their view to the very summit, the few personalities that occupy themselves in a usually (well..) unimpeachable manner, and shovel the disdain downwards, it would be honest to say communication has every role in health policy since the information age must continue to draw lines which anyone could get the bigger picture from, even if only afforded a partial glance, niche viewpoints are caged in the same room through the spectacular array of concepts that aren’t going away ‘journal of record, the majority silent so where’s the tyranny, the safety of elected persons means their work on a local level subsumed into the national framework and gets praised more often than scrutinised and in your context, the agencies speculate until the executive reaches out to them on mission critical matters, one imagines Trump followers, or cynics in states elsewhere, could see the internal workings of government as being in anathema to how they are set out come the elections and this appeal to science allows for every admonishment of the loser that if only. they. had. listened!
      All’s fair in love and war but the political becomes the personnel in that magic word, expertise and it’s all the public have a right to expect now that the physical biohazard has been drummed into everyone with grave ethical implications, a snip at tanking the real economy and incurring some intergenerational ill-will, standard better really we suspect each other and respect orders than the opposite binary (it must be, can’t have one without the other) such is life.

      Answering the author’s questions, which are a rhetorical device which leads one to suggest that were it even possible, based on the results, the BAME et al. the polis would be entitled to decide on their own vaccine provider who would have to court them in turn, I saw some criticism that the Apple keynote was wading into far on that score.. No, lockdown so they can cut their teeth on their trading 2.0, partake of ‘new-normal-natch’market solutions’ and drink deeply from the chalice of self-investment, self-reliance in resilient and empirically determined overalls the ticker never deviates from ‘we’ re all in it together’ yet a private position at odds with the public one is tolerable, inevitable really, given that self-selecting, amplification to drown out destabilising currents, misdirection or grinding out the chaff, mechanisms weren’t of online social platforms born!
      Fake news simply levels the playing field and farmed out accountability for subversion, pirated (illegitimate!?) content to expressing anything from sports adulation to an oldie, FoodPol, to those willing to download their own factory of consent, thinking it’s how feudalism would treat voting with your feet, a dim view supplied by a compliant mass media if needed, they are not on the take of course, with impartiality and integrity, they follow the science in which we, the consumer, trust, implicitly.

      The UK and French priorities are an interesting comparison, d-notices muzzle by consent, the former, free press and s-files (watchlisted) allow the latter to maintain a blissful populations’ faith in republican ideals, since the questions in the scientificamerican would need not remain in the abstract and require choices and individuation or stratification of the herd, legislative connivance or outright strongmen have so darkened the pages of history, that the clean up best be left to those who owe their professional attainments to (academic/agency issued) patronage but aren’t bogged down in murky Murican legislative mandates and rich/proud history, with task force a cute soundbite for centralisation of the method and ambiguity over the means.

      That list of questions seems to be premised that the strategy (finally!) evolves, if the goals are agreed in advance (no conspiracy but what’s in a metric, universal acquiescence that it really, really matters and advertising you don’t even notice for what it is?) then it’s hardly political but simply systemic, grandmaster chessplayers don’t freestyle or leave to chance, so if bio-crises is where mr market can prove best and efficacious in finding the solutions to shortcomings and political short-term ‘ism’, call it a gain of function, call it typical of the president-eject, short-sightedness thinking a unitary state needs an umpire from the ballot, whose flaws and self interest need not be underligned but maligned unjustly, no one man can ‘defeat this virus ‘ hence we move into rule by committees but either deficit in democracy can power things through the roof so best to be on the house in the first place.. Take stock now. You know the rest, trust the science, phrase so concise, binding and almost unanswerable unless you choose to mill rumours of conflicting interests at people who make up our forces, indiscriminately as an état-major should, armed with science and without comment (present exception excluded), such is the trade-off in power required to accomplish that task, in future if not for ever?

      … Ouf, Roblox!

  7. Treadingwaterbutstillkicking

    Before she said “Good morning, Sunday morning,” she bleated “just calm down” regarding support for the unemployed, the uninsured, the hurting small businesses, and that she would get to it right away…

    For months.

    Then it would be as soon as the election was over and that she was feeding the people, not Wolf Blitzer.

    Well it’s over. And still nothing.

    I’m sure it’s all Trump’s fault that she’s still doing nothing. /s

  8. The Rev Kev

    “Pelosi floats above Democrats’ civil war”

    It’s amazing this. You had popular leftist measures like legal dope and higher minimum wage measures being passed but the legend that Pelosi and the DNC will adopt is that is was the left that almost cost them the election. It seems that the Democrat’s main message of “We’re Not Trump!” may have not offered enough hope and change for voters. When you get a majority of Fox viewers say that they want M4A, you think that adopting this would cement the Democrats in power for a generation. But from old Joe on downwards, they absolutely refuse to do this because the donors would not like it.

    Somebody remind me what else floats.

    1. Carolinian

      The Dems probably see wine cave Nancy as an essential cog in the fundraising machine. An interesting bit in yesterday’s linked Taibbi discussion was his claim that the real beef the establishment had with Bernie was not his policy proposals–which they figured would never get passed anyway–but rather his success at billionaire free funding. Taibbi says this is the same reason they had to get rid of Howard Dean. Our current system is dependent on the super rich maintaining a hammer lock on the political process and if they are no longer shoveling bribes, er, campaign contributions to the politicians then that becomes dangerous for them.

      1. John

        Given the disasters over which she has presided, why Pelosi? Is there no one else? Is the House a gerontocracy like the Senate? Perhaps the more cogent question is, what have either the House or the Senate done lately for anyone who isn’t “contributing”?

        The Constitution as written made the Congress the most powerful branch. Political cowardice has passed most of the power to the president. The Congress huffs and puffs and fluffs it feathers protesting executive usurpation. Do they actually think us “little people” don’t see through the con? Nancy’s part of the act is long past its seel-by date.

        1. Carolinian

          Doing nothing (or as in 2008 doing a rich people bailout) is exactly what all those billionaires are paying for. Taibbi said that the Dem party is now little more than a corporation for maintaining this money/politics interface and lots of jobs, including Nancy’s, depend on this kind of activity.

          Meanwhile Trump’s version was to say during 2016 that as a billionaire he would self fund his campaign and thereby be free of big money influence. This was surely his biggest lie and the betrayal of this stance the source for most of his failures, domestic and especially foreign. Seems the Repubs don’t like such off the reservation behavior any more than the Dems. The inexperienced Trump did a lot of kowtowing to donor Adelson and others.

        2. NotTimothyGeithner

          None of the other “centrists” in the primary did anything. Why? They don’t have any misplaced nostalgia to back them. Without Pelosi, the first female Speaker, her like minded replacements are a complete clown show who aren’t even fighting for more women prison guards.

          They need Pelosi to bring out the little senior democratic local committee people who have been at this a long time. They are more skeptical about new people and like AOC, but they trust the people Republicans have attacked over the years. They formed their political identity when CNN was a Ted Turner wet dream, largely relying on tv man to tell them good from bad. Clyburn has made more appearances attacking actual moderates in the last week than he has gone on the offensive against the GOP in 30 years. They are running him out because it’s what they have. Hakeem Jeffries can’t really talk about connections to the glorious past. Spannberger can’t talk about the glorious past. We saw what being a Kennedy in Massachusetts is worth. He might as well be Henry Cabot Lodge.

      2. drumlin woodchuckles

        The Sanders fundraising effort showed how small repeat citizen-donors can give a lot of money to be directed at whatever the target might be. Would all those donors be willing to keep donating to a political effort trustworthily guaranteeable to spend that money primarying mainstream Democrat office-seekers and then voting for the challenger in the election if the challenger wins the nomination . . . and voting against the mainstreamer if the mainstreamer wins the nomination?

        If the donors could BE assured that the Rebel Democrat plan is to exterminate the Clyburnosi-Liebermanchin Democrats from office and then from politics, they might keep donating. If enough Clyburnosi-Liebermanchins were exterminated from political life, the Big Donors would have no one left to Donate Bigly to.

    2. a different chris

      Amazing, yes seriously.

      It’s funny, I do believe we have actually run into the unheard of space where we have a bunch of politicians that actually believe in something.

      No, I’m not talking about the Squad. I’m talking about “Centrist Democrats” which, to my surprise, turns out that aren’t Centrist simply because they somehow think that’s the only way to win elections. Apparently they aren’t that stupid.

      They are Centrist because they really, really believe in neoliberalism. They really, really believe that medical co-pays keeps people from “overutilizing” health care. They really, really believe that the budget has to be balanced, and on the backs of the middle class. They really, really believe that people have to serve the economy, not the other way around. They really, really believe that you can have a 30 year plan to address climate change.

      They really, really believe that we need to impose these concepts on the rest of the world, at the barrel of a gun if necessary.

      I was happier when I was trying to convince myself they were actually stupid.

      1. Michaelmas

        a different chris: ‘They are Centrist because they really, really believe in neoliberalism … They really, really believe that we need to impose these concepts on the rest of the world, at the barrel of a gun if necessary.’

        Oh yes. I know some. They’re venture capitalist types, who obviously benefit from the ideology of markets uber alles. But yes, they truly believe.

        People have finally learned to use the ‘n word’ — itself one of the things in the neoliberals’ favor for a long time — but still haven’t figured out that there’s a coherent intellectual infrastructure underlying it all, based on von Hayek’s and the Mont Pelerin’s central principle of markets as supreme, most reliable information processor, by definition superior to anything humans can ever achieve.

        Philip Mirowski is good on this — and he’s a fairly decent writer if a bit prolix, so easy to read. Quinn Slobodian’s GLOBALISTS covers the history; while it’s a bit more of a grind, it’s a completist account, including a chapter on the German ordoliberals’ part in the creation and shaping of the European Coal and Steel Community/EEC/EU.

        It also helps to understand that von Hayek, like Hitler — or Peter Drucker, for that matter — were Austrians and products of the fall of the Austro-Hungarian empire in their youths. It comes in different flavors and strengths, but once you know the underlying intellectual infrastructure, you can recognize it everywhere in elite thinking — in speeches by the Clintons, Tony Blair, Biden, Angela Merkel, etc., or in Charles Koch’s two books.

        The latter is a perfect instance of a true believer. Charles Koch has far more profitable things to do than write his books, on the face of things, and he’s not a stupid man — he has two Masters degrees in engineering from MIT, one in chemical engineering and one in nuclear. But he absolutely believes in his version of the ideology, which he calls market-based management. Any prospective Koch employee is told forcefully before they sign on that if they don’t buy into Koch’s market-based management system they’re not going to keep their job there, and then much of the two weeks of employment is spent attending indoctrination classes, so that that everyone at Koch speaks and thinks via its terminology.

        The big point to grasp here is this: In the minds of true believers like Koch, markets cannot fail, they can only be failed.

        And so where you and I look around around and see the collapse of the societies of the West thanks to this ideology — because ultimately it’s as spurious as the divine right of kings — true believers like Koch will only ever conclude that the damage and the mounting failures are because market-based principles haven’t been applied extensively enough yet.

        1. flora

          true believers… will only ever conclude that the damage and the mounting failures are because [ X’s ] principles haven’t been applied extensively enough yet.

          I think that was the excuse offered for why the old Soviet Union fell; “X’s” principles weren’t applied correctly or extensively enough.

          The market absolutists describe their market system dream as infallible. Others, who aren’t part of the von Hayek true believers club, sometimes refer to their marketism as “Market Stalin-ism”.

          1. drumlin woodchuckles

            Market Stalinism is a good word and deserves higher usage wherever appropriate.

            Rigging the agricultural markets against family farmers through the downward manipulation of parity-support levels and the import of price-breaking and market-destroying foreign agricultural imports were part of the market stalinist methods used to remove several million farming families from farming. For example.

    3. TsWkr

      We in Colorado had 12 weeks of paid family leave pass 57-43, a wider margin than Biden over Trump (55-42) and Hickenlooper over Gardner (53-44). Nominally a purple state, although probably not anymore.

    4. Laputan

      In 2016 it was either due to racism, misogyny, or Russia, depending on which day you inquired. Now they’re trying to pin their massively underwhelming performance on the only faction of the party where you’ll find any energy, the base. Never mind the fact that that several progressive initiatives won at the ballot box. Centrists like MJ Hegar must have lost because Fox blasted “Defund the police” into a lot of geriatric grey matter and not basing her campaign on her support of the ACA (LOL!), a decade-old disaster of a bill that most people don’t remember all that clearly or care about.

      They can’t lose on their own merits, at least according to them and their boosters in the media. What explains Biden’s ability to overcome such an insurmountable foe? That he’s some sort of historically great candidate?

      1. NotTimothyGeithner

        It’s also the donors. Not all large donors are awful (besides their existence being an affront to democracy). They just know as little a out politics as the average MSNBC viewer and are doing what they do out of a sense of obligation. But they saw the results. Biden didnt deliver and will largely bungle about for two years before being resigned.

        After 2014, Pelosi went out and promised HRC woild set everything right and begged for cash. Then it was the Russians. Now its AOC. But its largely to keep the MSNBC viewers from questioning results and withholding funds.

        All that Biden cash amounted to falling over the finish line, losing house seats, and setting up a 2022 House bloodbath.

      1. mike

        I think there is a wide gap between the Bernie wing and the Bloomberg/Silicon Valley wing.

        A very wide gap.

        1. tegnost

          The bernie wing? Who’s that?
          The Bernie wing gets nothing.
          Bloomberg/Silly con valley on the other hand…
          If you didn’t already know this I can assure you that the TDS clan hates bernie supporters at least as much as they hate trump supporters, but probably more.

          1. Off The Street

            For the general public, or as presented by media, that gap might be explained as follows:

            Bernie wing: We try to help people
            Silicon Valley wing: We get to tell people what to do, and monetize that


  9. PlutoniumKun

    Chinese shoppers spend big in post-virus Singles’ Day binge Agence France Presse

    This article is a little misleading as it conflates online spending with overall consumer spending. A boom in Singles Day spending (a little like Black Friday) can be the result of displaced spending on real stores or just the overall move to online retailers. Consumer spending in China is still weak, despite strong exhortations from Beijing for people to spend. Its unsurprising, as so much of the stimulus there has gone to property and infrastructure, not towards direct support to Chinese poor or working people.

  10. Carolinian

    Re Grayzone/Biden’s new propaganda chief

    But Stengel is perhaps most well known as a regular political analyst on MSNBC in the Donald Trump era. On the network, he fueled Russiagate conspiracy theories, portraying the Republican president as a useful idiot of Russia and claiming Trump had a “one-sided bromance” with Vladimir Putin.

    Maybe Rachel Maddow can step down and become White House spokesperson. Clearly with the departure of Boogie Man number one the Dems and media will have to double down on the subject of Trump’s unrequited bromance. You can’t have a narrative without a good villain.

    1. pjay

      This *should* scare the holy hell out of everyone. But Trump and TDS keep everyone yapping about irrelevant distractions.

      Just my opinion. But I hope people read this.

  11. dcblogger

    Defunding Police? I Don’t Get It
    The “34th-n-EAT” block party was an annual affair promoted widely on social media with the promise of food and drinks. It was advertised as a “drama free” event. On Saturday, Aug. 9 hundreds of people gathered on Dubois Place SE and videos showed many mask-less people partying shoulder to shoulder. Midnight came and the party was in full swing and thirty minutes later the event was no longer drama free. A dispute erupted, guns were fired, 20 persons were shot and one killed. Eleven women were wounded, one off-duty officer critically, and yet another DC teenager was killed.

    The event should have never happened. It was in violation of the Mayor’s COVID-19 restriction on gatherings over 50 persons. The organizers should be held accountable.

    I had forgotten about this incident, which occurred only a mile from where I live. What should have happened is that Mayor and Councilmember Gray respond on social media that there is a ban on such gatherings and WHY there is a ban.

    the police should have been there in force in the very beginning, BEFORE people had begun to assemble. this is an example of why we need to step up violence interruption programs and why police are an ineffectual response.

    1. diptherio

      Maybe guys with guns and flackjackets aren’t an effectual response to much of anything. The organizers of that event should be held accountable, but the fact that we can’t even imagine how that might happen without involving our militarized police is a pretty sad commentary on the state of things. Police are hugely ineffective at stopping violence, and programs that have proved effective always end up fighting for funding to stay alive. Even after the fact, the police are pretty terrible at providing accountability. A whole 4.5% of violent crimes reported to police end up with someone actually being convicted of anything (according to those pinkos at the Justice Department). I think a whole lot of people think cops are waaaaay more effective than they actually are.

  12. a different chris

    It will break our little Trumpers hearts but it looks like he’s giving up:

    Here’s what I don’t totally get, although I know it’s technically a step down: Why doesn’t Trump run for Lil’ Marco’s seat in 2022? If I was as lazy – not the right word, he isn’t lazy so much as childlike so he doesn’t follow thru, OTOH a lot of his “activity” is clearly watching Fox, sigh I don’t have a better word, where was I?

    Oh- if I was as lazy as him, what could possibly be a better gig than Senator from Florida? You don’t do anything but say “meh” to everything that comes out of the House. The hours are great, the (negative) power is immense and the spotlight can be as bright as the President’s if you want it to, but it can also be turned off when you don’t.

    And again, the slam-dunking on Rubio.

    Finally, from the reality-based community one of my favorite guys in politics:


    1. curlydan

      Why wouldn’t he run in 2024? His 2024 campaign starts the day he gives up in 2020. Oddly enough, it might actually force the Democrats to do something instead of “nothing will fundamentally change”.

      1. lordkoos

        Trump will be 78 in 2024 and I doubt very much he’s up for another go. I worry more about the Republicans running a more competent authoritarian.

        1. mike

          I hear Biden is getting his phone and pen ready. Not to act as an authoritarian, of course, just to be able to circumvent an “evil republican” senate that disagrees with some of his agenda.

        2. a different chris

          Yeah I agree.

          But the other answer to curlydan: no Senator has ever run for President? Like I said, that’s the best gig in the world because you get to do what you want.

          Sounds pretty good if every statement my 2024 election team made started roughly “In the estimation of Senator and former President Trump…”

          1. a different chris

            Oh and I meant to broaden that, he starts running for President well that gets old long before 2024. He starts running for Senator and it’s really interesting.

  13. PlutoniumKun

    The Origins Of U.S. Global Dominance The American Conservative

    Given the source, an unusually thoughtful essay. For me, the key triumph of US Imperialism was to build an empire without anyone apparently noticing. If the British built one in a fit of absentmindedness, the US built one through a clever shell game. It still amazes me that even strong critics of US politics and colonialism in general still seem oblivious to – to take one random example – the US’s conquest and subjugation of the Philippines. The US did exactly what the European (and some Asian) powers did to weaker countries. They conquered it (or in the ‘pines case stole it off another colonial empire), and only gave it its ‘freedom’ when they realised there wasn’t much left to steal. And yet I’ve seen even left wing academics describe it as a ‘protectorate’. It was only a protectorate in the sense that the Mafia will ‘protect’ your store from burning down.

    I think the article is astute in seeing the core success of the project as domestically labelling naysayers as ‘isolationists’, as if there was only a choice between military subjugation of the far corners of the earth with a refusal to engage anywhere. Even a country with the potential for autarky like the US has to have some trade and international dealings.

    The core weakness of the anti-Imperial project is that very few, either on the right or left, have succeeded in articulating a real alternative. And no, ‘just leave’ is not a responsible alternative. The US is immensely powerful and has inserted itself in politics all over the world, and not always in a negative way. Even Chomsky acknowledged the difficulties in reversing this, and proscribed his starting point as ‘first, do no harm’ (Chomsky even acknowledged the need for occasional military interventions, citing the Vietnamese invasion of Cambodia as a ‘good’ interventionist war).

    Maybe if her candidacy had gained traction, Tulsi Gabbard might have developed a real alternative project. Maybe thats why she wasn’t allowed get anywhere near power.

  14. dcblogger

    Jones Day, Porter Wright Tiptoe Ethical Line in Voting Suits (1) Bloomberg Law (Jones Day press release). So those outside the elite’s “airtight consensus” don’t deserve representation. Good to know, especially when the next case comes along.

    Biden won, the purpose of the action is to steal the election. This law firm deserves to be shunned.

    1. edmondo

      Trump won in 2016, the purpose of Russiagate was to steal the election. The Democrats deserve to be shunned (and they are in more and more parts of the country).

      There’s a lot of shunning going on. We are all Amish now.

      1. lordkoos

        If Dems wanted to “steal” the 2016 election then why didn’t Hillary challenge the results in Michigan?

        1. NotTimothyGeithner

          She didn’t understand the EC. Why would she challenge results if she didnt understand the rules?

        2. km

          That was what the Green Party lawsuits were for.

          Unless you believe that the Greens (who had nothing to gain from such suits, and who suddenly raised way more money for litigating the 2016 outcome than they raised for the 2016 election itself) weren’t acting as Team D surrogates, in which case, your naivete is touching.

  15. The Rev Kev

    “Biden state media appointee advocated using propaganda against Americans and ‘rethinking’ First Amendment”

    Something tells me that we are going to be hearing a great deal on Richard Stengel over the next four years. He is exactly the sort of technocrat that is so dangerous. He does not ask himself what he should do. He asks himself instead what he can do. And his career touches all the bases. The Obama administration, the State Department, the Atlantic Council, MSNBC. Expect not only regular propaganda but also censorship of people, sites and foreign news sources like RT.

    There was a bulwark against the use of propaganda within the United Sates which was a law called the Smith–Mundt Act of 1948. It allowed the use of propaganda overseas but not within the US itself. But then this law was “modified” after being in use for over sixty years so that propaganda paid for by Americans could be used against Americans itself. That was when Trump as President passed the Smith-Mundt Modernization Act of 2012. Is there no evil that he was not capable of? What? It was who? Nevermind.

  16. jr

    Re: NYT comes to the realization that people losing everything has a downside.

    “ Conservative economists have long argued that unemployment benefits can be counterproductive because they discourage recipients from seeking or accepting jobs.“

    Thanks for the news flash. Any word on how that’s worked out in the long term?

    “ That argument has been persuasive with many Republican lawmakers, who fought to end extended benefits during the last recession a decade ago and who have been skeptical of offering more generous benefits during the current crisis.“

    Can we please stop pretending that there is some reasoned, balanced discussion going on in the halls of power about benefits? One is left with the impression of well-intentioned politicians sitting at their desks long into the night, weighing the pros and cons of the issue, wrestling with their consciences, perhaps praying. I’d bet it takes your average pol about 30 seconds to sign, or not sign, off on something like this. They know where the money comes from, why it does, and so does the author of this piece.

    “In recent years, researchers have also used new data sources to study what happens when benefits run out, and have found clearer evidence that losing benefits creates significant hardship for families.”

    How can anyone say this with a straight face? You need to conduct a study to figure out that losing everything is detrimental? How far skewed from reality is the conversation that anyone feels they can print this without being laughed off their keyboard?

    “ Bruce Meyer, a University of Chicago economist and longtime critic of unemployment benefits, said he remained unconvinced by many of the traditional progressive arguments for unemployment insurance. But he said he found the new data compelling.

    “Unemployment insurance does not help you get a better job — it keeps you out of work and lets your skills deteriorate,” he said. “But it keeps you from starving.””

    Can I be an economist too? It takes “new data” for this guy to come to these insights? That not being able to afford to eat leads to starvation? Who cares if you don’t get a “better job“ while on unemployment, if you can keep your home and pay your bills? It’s not an F’ing career move.

    “ Senator Mitch McConnell, the majority leader, said last week that a new aid package would be the Senate’s top priority now that the election was over, although he has provided few details on what would be included.”

    And I’m sure the tribunes as the NYT are doing their darndest to hold his feet to the fire…oh wait, they are a bunch of sycophants to power and politicians tell the journalists what to do these days. Right.

    “ But negotiations have repeatedly failed, and it remains far from certain that this attempt will succeed.”

    Any ideas why? Or is the author just waiting for the next batch of soundbites so he can regurgitate them? It’s a lot easier than journalism, that’s for sure.

    “The aftermath of the election — including President Trump’s refusal so far to accept the result, and runoff elections in Georgia that will decide control of the Senate — is likely to capture Washington’s attention for weeks, and Mr. Trump may see little incentive to push for a stimulus deal. “

    And so the media will step into bring the pols attention back….oh wait, the election debacle makes for better sales, Trump sells!, and the media long ago abdicated it’s role as the watchdogs of power. So, yeah, nothing will happen.

    “ “We have to figure it out for ourselves. There’s not much help coming from higher up.””

    Again, no analysis as to why this might be other than D.C. is all caught up in the quad-annual Democracy Theatre. No analysis concerning who might be benefiting from all this destruction, who are the actors who got handed 5? 7? trillion dollars while the country collapses. That must be another department.

    But then, this really isn’t a country. It never has been, as I see it. It’s just one long, unfolding con job, one long mugging and rape. And the NYT’s is at the heart of it along with the other stenographers to power. When you can print the notion that people without resources can starve without screaming or laughing out loud or both, you have prostituted yourself to power. There is no other word for it.

    1. zagonostra

      ..critic of unemployment benefits, said he remained unconvinced by many of the traditional progressive arguments for unemployment insurance. But he said he found the new data compelling.

      “Compelling” but unconvinced since a critic’s job is to put forward what the unspoken adgenda of the person who writes his check tacitly has made clear.

      (jr, you have a greater intestinal make-up than I do to parse through a NYT piece…take care of your health, if you need an emetic I hear syrup of ipecac works well).

      1. jr

        Seriously, after that pile I can probably tear into a fly-blown rabbit corpse on the side of the road without gagging. It’s real Bizzaro World journalism, was anyone really unaware that a lack of food equals starvation? Are these the imponderables they ponder at U of C’s econ department? The author should hook up with Fong the Meaningless over at Vogue…

      1. jr

        Thanks, I pray some of these rat forkers read NC to hear their “work” getting shredded but they probably avoid us like a COVID cruise ship…it’s like 1.5m hits a day, right? Maybe we should start emailing our takedowns to their work addresses. One of their glass bubble egos will drive them to respond here at some point and we can all feast…

        1. Michaelmas

          Maybe we should start emailing our takedowns to their work addresses.

          That would just be ignored. The ‘journalists’ — many of them ignorant kids just out of j-school nowadays — are writing exactly what their editors tell and allow them to write to the best of their limited ability. Thus, deeply stupid pieces like this one that’s set you off.

          And the editors, of course, understand that their primary task to make sure that what gets covered and articulated is in ever more perfect alignment with the narrative the Owners want out there.

          Any actual reporting is incidental and often undesirable because it takes time, reduces the number of pieces a writer grinds out, and might require fact-checking, which doesn’t exist any more.
          Since little actual reporting is done by the NYT these days and the primary source for their ‘journalists’ often seems to be Twitter, hitting them via their Twitter accounts might be better if you want to hurt their feelings. Till they block you.

    2. Mikel

      “Can we please stop pretending that there is some reasoned, balanced discussion going on in the halls of power about benefits? One is left with the impression of well-intentioned politicians sitting at their desks long into the night, weighing the pros and cons of the issue, wrestling with their consciences, perhaps praying. I’d bet it takes your average pol about 30 seconds to sign, or not sign, off on something like this. They know where the money comes from, why it does, and so does the author of this piece.”

      Spot on.
      My guess: that is the role of rags like NY Times. It goes down well with the prozac and keeps peoole from thinking they have to do anything to change things.

      1. jr

        Thanks, for some reason it’s been getting under my skin more than usual. Sometimes I day dream about bumping into this hack or a Fong at dinner and publicly shaming them with a thundering sermon about ethics and values and what-not but then I remember they don’t have a sense of shame.

    3. JWP

      Imagine sitting in an econ class at U Chicago and hearing that the economic incentive of unemployment benefits is to keep people freeloading instead of keeping them alive. The NYT is ready to hop on the bandwagon of “acceptance” and let a ton of conservative economists and politicians merge with their center left crowd to form a neoliberal super-pac of economic crap.
      It always seems that people know what economics works for them (public healthcare, higher wages, de-globalization, anti trust actions, etc) but are not presented with the options to vote for those policies so they settle for the next best thing, blaming others for the lack of help whether it be immigrants, the liberal media, or trump.

      1. flora

        Waiting for PayGo Nancy to get on board with cutting earned benefits like SS and MC, because deficit! (Something about a recent $5-7 Tr. dollar bailout to Wall St.) And to prove the Dems aren’t socialists! Bet the NYT will have a soothing article explaining that cutting SS and MC is in fact helpful to elderly people, good for them, good for the country. Hard choices must be made. Because markets! Watch this space….

  17. ProNewerDeal


    It appears most Midwest & Mountain West States are now #1 (Murica #1!! /sarc ) in COVID 7-day case rate, matching or exceeding the current worst nation Switzerland’s 85/100K 7-day average daily new COVID cases.

    Yet it seems these beleaguered Euro nations at this daily say 50+/100K have instituted a 30-day lockdown to at least pause the exponential growth if not “flatten the curve”. Whereas here in Murica no states afaik have done a April-style lockdown. Even if a state did, said state would need the Feds to quickly ratify a UBI stimulus in conjuction, which seems unlikely given the do-nothing disdain of the McConTrumPelosis + the current Biden/Trump anti-cooperative transition era.

    1. carl

      “April-style lockdown”=no lockdown at all. We never really closed everything, just some restaurants, bars, and gyms. I could go to Home Depot during the “lockdown,” for pete’s sake.

      1. ProNewerDeal

        In my state the April-style lockdown was more restrictive than what you describe. A limited amount of retail was declared “Essential” & stayed open, including grocery/pharma/gas stations. Clothing retailers were clothes, for instance.

  18. The Rev Kev

    “Here’s what Russia has pledged (and risked) with peacekeepers in Nagorno-Karabakh”

    ‘How dangerous is this for Russia’s soldiers?’

    I would imagine that if those Russians were attacked, you would have the same reaction if you had American troops coming under sustained attack. There would be absolute hellfire raining down on any attacking forces and the base that they came from.

    A detachment of Russian/Chechen Military Police came under siege by a large force of Jihadists near Deir ez-Zor in Syria a coupla years ago and the Russians launched literally everything that they had in that theater to save them. I would expect the same here.

    1. NotTimothyGeithner

      We saw what happened when that nut in Georgia opened fire on Russian troops. Shockingly enough, the OMG Russia crowd never brings this up, but I guess seeing a NATO get thumped isn’t a good look. Or its all bs thrown together anyway where they can’t be bothered with an actual moment of hot war.

  19. dcblogger

    Louisville police, county attorney’s office hide 738,000 records in Explorer sex abuse case

    Louisville Metro Police concealed at least 738,000 records documenting the sexual abuse of Explorer Scouts by two officers — then lied to keep the files from the public, records show.

    The Courier Journal last year requested all records regarding sexual abuse of minors by two officers in the Explorer Scout program for youths interested in law enforcement careers.

    Police officials and the Jefferson County Attorney’s Office said they couldn’t comply, insisting all the records had been turned over to the FBI for its investigation.

  20. The Rev Kev

    “Scoop: Divisive Pentagon hire may rush troop withdrawals before Trump’s exit”

    Just got this idea that Trump could go live on TV and state ‘I, Donald Trump, as Commander-in-Chief of the United States Armed Forces, order all American troops in Syria to pack up their gear and go back to Iraq within a week. Next,….’

  21. Lex


    My first thought was ‘Jesus Christ’, as in Aslan of Narnia, since I’ve never seen an image of a lion that perfect outside of CGI.

    It’s not Aslan, but that rock star could stand in. Who had the nerve to blow out his hair?

    1. lordkoos

      I’m sure the lion was heavily drugged before his beauty treatment. While playing a gig in Las Vegas many years ago I had an opportunity to stand about 8 feet away from an uncaged lion at the MGM casino, he was stoned to the max on some kind of CNS depressant.

  22. Kaligula

    Passenger Aboard First Cruise Ship to Return to Sailing in Caribbean Tests Positive for COVID-19

    Who would have thunk?

    Meanwhile, back in corporate headquarters, execs are salivating at the injection of some cash, screw passengers’ health…

    1. Wukchumni

      Mountain High* ski resort in SoCal was just about to open for the season when 4 people tested positive for the virus. I suspect that a myriad of resorts will open soon, only to close up immediately when the virus comes calling. It has proven to be one hellova vector, and that was when nobody had hardly heard of it earlier this year.

      There won’t be any refund on season lift tix either, they’ll pull a fast one and give you credit for the 2021-22 season~

      *One fine day about 15 years ago there, I watched 4 fistfights break out in lift lines between LA aggro boarders, and another one where they agreed to take fisticuffs out to the parking lot.

      I’ve skied around 600 days @ resorts and i’ve never seen any other fistfights on the slopes, ever.

      1. JWP

        Sounds troubling for Portland. Everyone is gearing up to go to Mt. Hood for ski season as it is an outdoor escape and the lodge and changing do not exist. Can’t wait for a ton of cases that no one “knows” the source of come magically flowing out of the mountains.

  23. Wukchumni

    It is now day 10 of the ‘I Ran Hostage Crisis’ and voting recidivists will no longer have to rely on ‘The Epoch Times’ for news regarding this saga, as sources have indicated that the White House is in the process of hiring Jeffrey Toobin to get to the bottom of this matter, and how can Alan Dershowitz hold off not providing a helping hand, one wonders?

  24. McWatt

    “Bruce Meyer, a University of Chicago economist and longtime critic of unemployment benefits, said he remained unconvinced by many of the traditional progressive arguments for unemployment insurance. But he said he found the new data compelling.

    “Unemployment insurance does not help you get a better job — it keeps you out of work and lets your skills deteriorate,” he said. “But it keeps you from starving.” ”

    Wow. Good old University of Chicago. They are the nicest people!!

  25. JustAnotherVolunteer

    Posting this resource which I’ve found calming as I watch the drip drip drip of vote tallying

    This wasn’t gotten much coverage but I find the last two columns most useful. If you expand the tables you can also see the post Election Day swing to blue in some cases.

    I look forward to all this ending and a return to discussions on economics and class. I’m an independent voter with no love for the binary reality of current politic so ready to move on.

  26. Aaron

    I really don’t get the dem-media hoopla over Trump not conceding and filing lawsuits all over the place. If everything was really done fair and square, then a) the recounts will hold the original numbers, b) no/very few ballots will be invalidated, c) the lawsuits will be thrown out and most importantly d) Trump will look like an even bigger fool than now, and he won’t have a leg to stand on. There is no way all this will go on beyond mid December. So let him contest all he wants, right? The more ridiculous tantrums he throws, the more comical he looks. Why interrupt him when he makes a mess of himself?

    But noooo, these guys are the ones shrieking batcrap crazy. They are more obsessed with him than the shiny new administration they are going to form and all the cool things they are gonna do with it. Everyday a new lamentation issues forth. You’d think they are the losers. In the meantime, Donny is playing it cool, so cool that it’s ominous. I wonder what is really at the bottom of this. I say let it play out.

    Unless they want the Trump voters to continue doubting the election for the next four years so that it can be used as an excuse for not doing anything. Or worse, for purging the party of the far-left, using the trumpers as a boogeyman.

    1. JWP

      Their business models are sunk without trump. Given Biden’s inevitable incompetence with the economy and COVID they would be forced to fake like he is doing well. They might as well stick a trump cam in the bottom left of the screen and have guests react to him. Works pretty well for Twitch. The goal for all of them is to drag the election on long enough to get to the Georgia Primary where they can use Trump and the GA sens together to get some attention.

  27. rowlf

    While driving around today running errands I tuned into the radio show Political Rewind on a local NPR station. I like the show as the panel format is usually really good even if I don’t always agree with their views and I like the discussions being kept civil instead of the stupid barking running dog stuff on television. The show mostly covers local Georgia politics and I recommend it for following the upcoming Perdue and Loeffler (R-Lockheed Martin) run-off elections.

    A fun topic was one of the panelists compared Donald Trump’s resisting conceding the election to Stacey Abrams actions after the 2018 Georgia governor’s race. Personally, I don’t think the media should be deciding elections before the official results are announced and I think if your country has an organization that has a long record of interfering with foreign elections it is best to make sure that group isn’t interfering in domestic elections, particularly when the current administration is threatening to declassify records and diminish support for overseas adventures.

    Stacey Abrams: ‘I will not concede because the erosion of our democracy is not right’

    April 28, 2019 Why Stacey Abrams is still saying she won.

  28. Mikel

    “Passenger Aboard First Cruise Ship to Return to Sailing in Caribbean Tests Positive for COVID-19” People. Whoops.

    Exhibit A why I try not to be a doomster…but then this. We are not going to make it as a species. This little BS cruise couldn’t wait a year.

    People are acting like there was an actual full lockdown that lasted 5 years.

    1. PlutoniumKun

      Its astonishing really that anyone on the planet who wasn’t a major shareholder of a cruise line thought this was a good idea.

      I can’t link to it right now, but Bill Burr has a hilarious riff on the potential use of cruise lines in population control on youtube. He might just have been ahead of his time.

      1. Wukchumni

        Its no different than the ski resorts all opening up. (I haven’t heard of any staying closed this winter)

        They all realize how risky it is, but their financial survival depends upon things being back to normal, and the selling of said fairy tale.

      2. a different chris


        Sadly the employees may not have thought this was a good idea but quite likely thought it was a necessary one, as they live in a country that tells them they can’t go to work but doesn’t really want to feed and house them in the meantime.

  29. Wukchumni

    Mississippi Republican calls for his state to ‘succeed from the union’ after Biden victory

    As the dust settles from the 2020 presidential election, one disappointed Mississippi lawmaker has a proposition for the Magnolia State. Instead of being governed by President-elect Joe Biden, Republican state Rep. Price Wallace reportedly said on Twitter that Mississippi should “succeed” from the rest of the United States and form its own country.

    About the only way for Mississippi to really make it on their own, would be to hold a continuous series of ‘state liars poker’ contests against the other 49 contenders, and I can only hope i’ve planted a seed of thought in the Representative’s mind.

  30. anon in so cal

    >Ron Klain, Biden’s choice for chief of staff:

    “Ron Klain, who will serve as Biden’s new White House chief of staff, was appointed in 2016 to the Executive Council of TechNet, the trade group that lobbies for Silicon Valley’s interests in DC.”

    1. tegnost

      Thanks anon
      That’s the kind of red meat the lions are looking for…
      leave that other mess to the hyenas

  31. Chauncey Gardiner

    Appreciated the link to Georgetown’s translation of the April policy speech by China’s President Xi in which he acknowledged globalization is in remission and outlined policies China will undertake to change their neomercantilist economic model. As I recall, Chinese government officials have in the past announced similar efforts to increase domestic demand, yet have clung to their manufacturing exports-based economic model coupled with domestic infrastructure spending and real estate development.

    Not a fan of authoritarian regimes, censorship and mass surveillance. However, I found Xi’s speech worth reading for better understanding how China’s leaders perceive China’s position in the world and global dynamics; as well as the public reasoning behind their policies.

    Interesting that Xi specifically announced support of Markets and neoliberal policies in his speech, while at the same time saying State-owned Enterprises would continue to be protected. Also puzzling to reconcile the former with recent cancelation of Jack Ma’s $34 billion Ant Group IPO. Perhaps the latter is a statement that there will be controls placed on businesses engaging in securitization of potentially predatory debt, as well as limits to financialization of China’s economy, concentration of wealth, and ease of capital outflows. Or maybe they’re just concerned about Jack’s ascendancy.

  32. defund them

    Conservatives have defunded stuff they don’t like for as long as I’ve been alive. Defund the arts. Defund pensions. Defund the IRS, speaking of law enforcement. But somehow when it’s police it’s this crazy radical move. It’s especially weird seeing the sort of anti-woke left take up the banner of “police are great, working class, don’t defund them”. You’d think people who think fondly of the labor movements of old would remember that the main function of the police has always been breaking strikes and putting down labor agitation with massive amounts of violence. I guess it’s been awhile since we’ve had a strike broken by police thugs beating and killing working people so everyone has forgotten this is a thing?

  33. ewmayer

    “Can a nose-full of chicken antibodies ward off coronavirus infections? | Science” — To invoke the late, great Lloyd Bridges in one of his lighter-hearted roles: Looks like I picked the wrong week to stop snorting chickens…

  34. Cuibono

    “all these decisions are entirely the result of elite consensus”

    is elite consensus an acronym for greed?

  35. Cuibono

    You got to laugh:
    On arrival passenger testing is twice as effective as 14-day quarantine at reducing Covid-19 community transmission Oxera. Maybe. A consultancy’s “Innovative modeling”….
    “For projected weekly incoming passenger volumes of 409,800 from the EU in August 2020, we estimate that just 45 infectious travellers, or 0.01% of air travellers, would be released into the local community. This is equivalent to one infectious person per 10,000 travellers, which can be compared to the 57 per 10,000 local community risk in England in September and October.”

    0.01%. THE REAL NUMBER IS way closer TO 1%.

  36. Viscaelpaviscaelvi

    Dear all
    Enjoy this one. Make sure to check the pic in the original article. It’s a shocker!

    Donald Trump suddenly becomes a normal person after assuming defeat for the first time in his life

    Without his iconic hairstyle, he behaves like an adult and treats everyone with respect. This is how Donald Trump appeared this morning after spending two days crying and getting to understand that the pain and the feeling of frustration and emptiness he has felt in the last two days are what a person experiences when they don’t get what they want, something that has just happened to him for the first time in his life. “This has been very good for me, it has been a real cure of humility that has put me in my place, ha ha”, said Donald Trump this morning in a press conference where he answered questions.
    This morning he had already shown himself to be a normal person and not a senseless maniac by posting a message on Twitter written in lowercase and talking about the weather and a TV series that he liked very much.
    “I don’t know what happened to me but it felt really good,” he insisted. According to him, last night he suddenly understood and accepted that he had lost and that “although it may seem strange, the world does not always follow your wishes”.
    “I went to sleep with a certain feeling of peace and today I woke up a different person, calmer, more humble, more mature… more normal, if that makes sense,” he said.
    Regarding the criticism he has received for his behavior over the past few days, Trump has admitted that “it’s presumptuous to pretend to be liked by everyone” and that “sometimes, you have to settle for what life gives you,” a lesson that he has now understood, after processing a genuinely human feeling such as frustration after a defeat.
    “I know it sounds strange, but sometimes you want something and you don’t get it… well, that is not a problem. Sometimes it can even be good to suffer a setback and learn from it and move on,” he said.
    “A timely setback is sometimes a blessing. I wish it had happened to me before,” he insisted, advising citizens to assume their weaknesses and learn to accept fate.
    According to White House sources, Donald Trump has also asked for a divorce from his wife, Melania, to go live in Florida with Anna Gatwick, a lady of his age.

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