Links 11/17/2020

Robert Fisk had True Independence of Mind, Which is Why He Angered Governments andParts of the Media Counterpunch

1% of people cause half of global aviation emissions – study Guardian

‘Predatory and Opportunistic’: Southwest Airlines Seizes the Moment as Rivals Struggle WSJ

Marcus Rashford launches book club so ‘every child’ can experience ‘escapism’ Guardian

The key to smarter robot collaborators may be more simplicity MIT Technology Review

63 Amazing Finalists From The Ocean Photography Awards 2020 Bored Panda


Blinking hell: how to keep tired eyes healthy during a pandemic Guardian

The old way of handing out corporate hardware doesn’t work anymore Ars Technica

Tourism, Engine for N.Y.C. Economy, May Not Fully Recover Until 2025 NYT

Iowa joins U.S. states from coasts to heartland acting to curb COVID-19 Reuters

Governors ratchet up restrictions ahead of Thanksgiving AP

James K. Galbraith Says More… Project Syndicate

Three more New York sheriffs say they won’t enforce Cuomo’s Thanksgiving limit NY Post

Christmas in peril as pubs face staying shut and lockdown could be extended Metro.UK

Toilet paper shelves bare at Spokane-area stores amid new COVID-19 rules KREM 2


With strong data on two Covid-19 vaccines, we have more answers about the road ahead — and questions too Stat

Pfizer vaccine’s success is great news – but don’t expect life to ‘return to normal by spring’ Scroll

Covid Blue Capital & Main

Vaccine Apartheid Project Syndicate Jayati Ghosh

More good COVID-19 vaccine news—but it won’t save us Ars Techina

Moderna says its covid-19 vaccine is nearly 95% effective MIT Technology Review

Rapid Testing Is Less Accurate Than the Government Wants to Admit ProPublica


Drawing All the Wrong Lessons From Media’s Election 2020 Failures FAIR

An industry in flux Columbia Journalism Review

Republicans sound alarm on Georgia Senate runoffs as they privately weigh Trump’s influence WaPo

Ga. secretary of state says fellow Republicans are pressuring him to find ways to exclude ballots WaPo

Liberals Envisioned a Multiracial Coalition. Voters of Color Had Other Ideas NYT

The Great Revenge – How Tony Fauci F*cked Donald Trump Moon of Alabama

Republicans start turning the page on Trump era The Hill

The real 2020 election scandal: voter theft targeting Black people, youth Grayzone

A President Looks Back on His Toughest Fight New Yorker. I post the link so readers can read the excerpt and don’t generate any royalties from buying the book

Trump Transition

‘Decapitations’ At DOD: ‘A Purge,’ ‘A Coup’ Or Something Else? American Conservative

Trump was ‘talked out of’ launching a strike on Iran in punishment for ‘hiding its nuclear weapons program’ last week after his top advisers warned it could trigger a war – but he is ‘still mulling options to punish Tehran’ Daily Mail

4 more years; Trump freezes 2024 presidential field Politico

Facebook, Twitter CEO’s to testify Tuesday to U.S. Senate panel over content moderation decisions Reuters

Biden Transition

‘More People May Die’ Because of Trump’s Transition Delay, Biden Says NYT

Trump Obstructing Biden’s Transition May Hinder COVID Vaccine Rollout TruthOut

Biden transition: Why US spy world is feeling uneasy right now BBC


Winter Session of Parliament Unlikely to Take Place as COVID-19 Spread Continues The Wire

How Amit Shah has given plasma therapy a new lease of life, after ICMR junked it The Print


China now has the nuclear strength to hit back at a first strike, former PLA colonel says SCMP

Winners & Losers From The New Asia-Pacific Trade Agreement Jing Daily


Ethiopia bombs Tigray capital as it rejects mediation calls Al Jazeera


Is there a way to stop jihadists in Europe? Qantara

Our Famously Free Press

Class Warfare

AOC Is Standing Up for the Left Jacobin

Will Drug Legalization Leave Black People Behind? Marshall Project

Student-Loan Debt Is Immoral New York magazine

Antidote du Jour (via):

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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  1. bassmule

    From a FB post by Walter Horn, author of Democratic Theory Naturalized: The Foundations of Distilled Populism:

    Here’s the interview with someone at a Trump rally that I’m waiting to see:
    “You think Trump actually won this election?”
    “Absolutely. A ton of fake votes were cast all over the country.”
    “You know he’s losing all his law suits?”
    “Sure. Democrat judges are believing whatever they see on left-wing media instead of looking at the clear facts before them: the ballots found in drainage ditches, the dead people voting, all that stuff.”
    “OK, but suppose Trump really did lose the Electoral College as well as the popular vote?”
    “He didn’t.”
    “I get it. But just suppose for a second that he lost anyway, that there’s more stupid dems in the country than anybody realized, or whatever. Just pretend that’s true for a second.”
    “Would you support Trump staying as President anyhow?”
    “I would. I’d think he should stay on as our president.”
    “Why is that?”
    “Because I believe this country is too important for the people to let it be taken over by left wing extremists.”

    That’s the money interview, because it shows where democracy stands among a person’s priorities. What percentage of the 70 million Trump supporters would exalt their hero (sent from God maybe) far above the paltry value they place on legitimate self-government?

    1. Jessica

      Every Democrat who pleaded for faithless electors* in 2016 was saying exactly this.
      All those who approved of DNC cheating in the 2016 and 2020 primaries was saying it too.

      *Electoral college electors who vote for the party that lost the vote in their state.

      1. Generalfeldmarschall von Hindenburg

        We’re soon to find out. The Electoral College has yet to convene. The states are still ironing out the results. The Electors are actually allowed to vote for whomever they like. They could switch from Biden to Trump or vice versa. The electoral college may be antiquated but everyone here knows the idea was to act as some kind of filter on popular enthusiasms.

        We were here in 2000. Gore, sadly, knuckled under and we got the Iraq War and ‘9/11’. Trump was cheated and if you think he’s a class A swine, you should not be any less concerned about Trump being cheated because of the implications going forward.

        1. a different chris

          Every elite hates Trump, whether they don’t think he is warlike enough*, or they are more uneasy about crowning such a POS as the Second Coming of Christ than they let on, or simply because he’s blocked their progress up the Rethug ranks and if he doesn’t go away they will never get a sniff of the Oval Office.

          The EC won’t be an issue, they don’t exactly put pipeline workers on it.

          *BTW he’s trying to Bomb Bomb Iran at the moment, for those of you that somehow think he’s a gift to peace..

          1. anon in so cal

            >Bomb Iran….there’s that video of Hillary Clinton laughing about bombing Iran…

            Would be interesting to know more about these current claims. The new reports are ambiguous. Was Trump inquiring about options or seriously considering bombing?

            Trump can claim zero new wars, whereas Biden:

            –pushed for the Iraq war years in advance of its start—knowing it was based on lies—-pressured other Democrats to get on board (as Chair of the Foreign Relations Committee)

            –with Obama, started 5 new wars and escalated two others

            –armed right-wing death squads in Colombia

            –key participant in the 2014 U.S. putsch in Ukraine….opened the door to Hunter Biden’s looting

            –repeated the Russian Bounties lie at the debate and overtly opposes US troop withdrawals from Afghanistan

            –overtly states he will escalate in Syria and pick up where Obama, Biden, Clinton, Brennan left off…..

            –overtly articulates anti-Russia aggression

            –wants to move NATO eastward (Ukraine and Georgia)


            So a Biden administration would mean wars and draconian censorship.


            Biden is choosing Richard Stengel for his “Unity” plan:

            “Stengel is one of the most unnerving and outspoken voices against free speech. Stengel’s objections to our constitutional “design flaw” is free speech itself.

            Stengel promises the “unity” of a nation silenced by government speech codes and censorship.

            Stengel has been one of the most controversial figures calling for censorship and speech controls. For a president-elect who just called for everyone to “hear each other,” he picked a top aide who wants to silence many. Since it would be difficult to select a more anti-free speech figure to address government media policy, one has to assume that Biden will continue the onslaught against this core freedom as president. This is not the first Biden aide to indicate a crackdown on free speech in the new Administration and Biden himself has called for greater censorship on the Internet.”


                1. Carla

                  They didn’t “earn” it. I will be very polite and say they “got” it.

                  Nobody on earth actually “earns” that kind of money.

        2. Aumua

          Trump was cheated

          Certainly he was treated unfairly in several ways as president, but I have yet to see evidence that convinces me that Trump was actually cheated in this election or otherwise.

          1. flora

            Yes. Evidence is needed, and for the same reason that evidence of russiarussiarussia was needed, (but never found).

        3. km

          Dude, it’s not going to happen. Not only would faithless electors, state legislatures stepping in, whatever. lead to a firestorm that would make the 1968 rioting look like a love-in, The People That Matter clearly want Trump out.

          There is no way that enough electors, legislators, etc. are going to commit social hara-kiri by publicly defying the will of the The People That Matter.

        4. Mike

          The Electors are actually allowed to vote for whomever they like.

          Is that true? I thought I read that in many (most) states they are bound by the popular vote.

          1. Darthbobber

            And a different slate of electors is chosen based on who carried the state. There are Biden electors and Trump electors, and they are not greatly susceptible to changing their minds.

          2. Anthony G Stegman

            I recall that the Supreme Court ruled on this. Electors must vote for the person who won the popular vote in their area.

        5. skippy

          For the life of me I can’t figure out why some get mired in Trump vs other options after his attempts to cripple or white ant vast swaths of government infrastructure or plop people time bombs in them.

          His FinReg, environmental, workers rights, et al bush fire approach with hire and fire business sector elites has advanced the neoliberal project beyond fundies dreams. Add on that he has given the far right religious fundies a huge platform for governance now – wait for that to bite as things increasingly get frisky.

          What comes after disheveled – ????

    2. Fireship

      Let’s do some quick math here. We’ve got 70 million of these MAGA CHUDs + 75 million liberal buffoons + 80 million too stoned/tired/sick/depressed/lazy to vote = ?

      One excuse frequently pushed here is that Americans are just innocent victims of a dastardly elite scam to keep them in the dark. Another is that they are willing partakers in a sick society:

      “America is essentially about hustling, and that goes back more than 400 years. It’s practically genetic, in the U.S., by now; the programming is so deep, and so much out of conscious awareness, that very few Americans can break free of it.”

      ” I worked for a corporation at one point and it was sheer horror. Most of the employees consisted of very overweight women with dull eyes; they were already dead”

      “Over time the hustling culture swallowed everything up. There used to be margins, interstices, where creativity could flourish. But as things began to speed up in this country from about 1965 on, a kind of industrial, corporate, consumer “frenzy” took over, which meant there was no time for anything except getting and spending. It takes silence and slow time to be creative, and those things are threatening to most Americans, because they understand on some level that that’s what health is about, and that they don’t have it. So they are angry, intolerant. Fear, power, and desperation dominate their lives instead.”

      Does anyone here actually truly believe that America is a viable project with a future? Honestly?

      1. Tom Doak

        Your math equation left out the 5-10 million Professionnal /Managerial class who attempt to control the result of the election by parsing the math and making sure neither side registers a big enough majority to supercede the PMC vote.

      2. DJG

        Fireship: Many thanks for this enlightening article, which succeeds in summing up so many of our problems. (I would also recommend reading Albert Camus’s Lyrical and Critical Essays, a wonderful book that comes to many of the same conclusions, although from the point of view of a not-quite-pure Frenchman.)

        I am going to paste the link here again, for everyone’s ease of access:

        This morning, there was a comment in my FB feed from a friend of mine who is an upper-middle white woman at a giant law firm (because we all know that what America needs is more 700-person law firms). Natch, she wanted to psychologize about Trump and his lies and narcissism–as if Trump is the *only* American who shows strong narcissistic tendencies. Moi, I had never noticed narcissism in American till 2015!

        As Berman notes in the interview, Americans are childish and superficial–lo and behold, a clutch of narcissists.

        So this article is a good antidote to pass around to your well-meaning (and not so well meaning) and unreflective liberal friends, who want to blame someone, anyone for the sour results of forty years of class warfare. It isn’t just the rightwingers in the Republican Party who benefited from the union-busting, economic fantasies, and de-regulation of Saint Ronnie Reagan.

        1. Josef K

          I can also heartily recommend Berman’s “The Reenchantment of the World,” less heartily “Coming to our Senses.” An idea from the former that I find most intriguing is that the use of mirrors became commonplace during the same period that humans (at least in Western/European societies) stopped co-habiting (i.e. upstairs vs. downstairs-outside) with their animals.

          The US has indeed become very narcissistic, or at least self-absorbed and overly competitive. The fact that we get around in a competitive way, driving in the daily road rally, vs. cooperatively, on public transportation, is no doubt a factor.

          Power does corrupt, even the chimeric power to control the mini-environment of one’s gaze-oriented gadget, combined with what’s been chosen as the paradigm–“social media,” a lot of which is just “HEY LOOK AT ME!!!”

          Maybe that’s a reach, but something is making people ever more selfish and self-absorbed. I lived in China in the ’80s, visited regularly after than and made many trips during 2010-18, if anything it’s worse in the large cities there, truly horrifying disregard for other people on display every day.

          None of this bodes well for either US or Chinese society. Both are also very nationalistic (apparently an international survey ranked the two countries 1 and 2), which is another kind of skewed self-regard, of national narcissism.

      3. Generalfeldmarschall von Hindenburg

        The soul and mind of the Atlantic editorial board is ‘Dark and Empty’ It exists to propagate globalist ideological memery. But sure- looking at it as Mr. Misciotra does, it’s easy to agree- America as it is got going by a civilization with superior technology dumping excess population on the fringe of a continent whose inhabitants were beset by political divisions and a tragic lack of resistance to European diseases. They dumped them all over and they were left to hustle or die. That is still the guiding ethos of ‘America’. “Conquer or Die”. It’s easy to be cynical about it. Hell, I am. But technocratic centralization is not the solve. It’s part of the Imperial machinery.

      4. Krystyn Podgajski

        I am now just north of San Antonio, TX and having drive these 1400 miles I could not agree more. The U. S. is living in some sort of death cult. Everyone drives like they want to die and the no-maskers are just an extrapolation of it all. #YOLO is the rallying call for this death cult.

        The horrible infrastructure, I just can believe the amount of “construction” going on. And I look at these people driving through Atlanta and Houston and I scream at them “Why do you do this everyday? Why do you put up with it?” They do it because it is a cult and Trump is the newest cult leader and a very good one. I have had friends in “real”cults and I can no easier get my friends out of the capitalist cult than I could get them out of Lifespring.

        But I am just an outlier, as many here are, so I am off to hide for the rest of my life. Only another 1200 miles to the desert but should mark off 600 today.

        1. carl

          Enjoy your drive through west Texas. It’s a lot of space and not much else. Great scenery, though. Do stop in one of those smaller towns, like Alpine, Marfa or Marathon if you have the chance.

          1. curlydan

            I’ve driven all of I-10…and I mean all of it. The most scenic part probably is the Pecos Valley in West Texas.

        2. ambrit

          Hooray! The water pump replacement did the trick.
          Drive like your life depends on it. It does, in more ways than one.
          Wherever you bunker in, keep us all informed. It is not all insanity out here.

          1. ambrit

            Silly me! It being early in the day for myself, I didn’t chase down your reply to my comments of yesterday.
            This exchange has me musing about the communications tool version of “nudge theory.” In your post, I read ‘water pump’ and automatically began formulating a response incorporating that item, all subconsciously. This further prompts me to self-reflect. The general formulation that arises from my geriatric psyche is: “Beware of Geezers Bearing Advice.”
            Time to shut up now and go do some household chores. (One of my preferred ‘focusing’ mechanisms.)
            Be safe!

    3. vlade

      TBH, there are similar idiots supporting Bidden (or HRC few years back).

      But this attitude, regardless of whether the jerk in question is left or right, is the worst thing – it normalises the “f-ck the elections, we do what we believe in” attitude. That’s how civil wars and similar begin.

      And as I keep saying around that, revolutions never end the way the instigators expect it.

      1. Generalfeldmarschall von Hindenburg

        This really is the key insight. Cane Brinton back in the day made a lot about how a society becomes revolutionary when the populace withdraws belief in the efficacy of the machinery of the existing regime to manage problems.

          1. tegnost

            once again, and as in 2016, more people didn’t vote than voted for either republocrat, so I beg to differ. The rot is the entrenched mafia.

            1. Phillip Cross

              Who are these wicked people you identify in the media? Did they arrive on a spaceship, or did they mostly grow up in American families, with American values, surrounded by American culture?

              Why do they act this way towards The People. Is it an evil conspiracy, or do they just covet money more than they care about the effect they might be having on their neighbors.

              Furthermore, why do the otherwise exceptionally virtuous American People enthusiastically read, watch and regurgitate what these tricksters in the media put out?

              Perhaps if The American People were not such greedy, gullible sheep, we might have better representatives in our government?

              1. Geof

                If you really want answers to your questions, check out Matt Taibbi’s Hate, Inc. As usual, reducing the problem to individual virtue ignores structural problems.

                1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

                  Social + narcissism + unlimited dead end IdPol exclusion rules make people feel lonelier than ever.

                  “Propaganda is the true remedy for loneliness. It corresponds to the need to share, to be a member of a community, to lose oneself in a group, to embrace a collective ideology that will end loneliness…. It also corresponds to deep and constant needs, more developed today, perhaps, than ever before: the need to believe and obey, to create and hear fables, to communicate in the language of myths.”

                  – Jacques Ellul, 1965

              2. Buckeye

                Hear, hear!

                I give you a hearty Amen and Hallelujah, Mr. Cross!

                It’s just like in “V for Vendetta” where V takes over the TV network and speaks to the people:

                “And the truth is, there is something terribly wrong with this country, isn’t there? Cruelty and injustice, intolerance and oppression. And where once you had the freedom to object, to speak and think as you saw fit, you now have censors and systems of surveillance coercing your conformity and soliciting your submission.

                “How did this happen? Who’s to blame? Well certainly there are those more responsible than others, and they will be held accountable [probably not in our case], but again truth be told, if you are looking for the guilty,you need only look into a mirror.

              3. tegnost

                They grew up in american families distributed in a class structure that favors the various classes in much different ways, so not a monolith, The inequalities are manifest and “access” to the american dream is a precious gem and once in the ring of power one looks at things differently, I suppose. Your demeaning description of the american people doesn’t match my experience… Particularly regarding greed, that’s a small set of people.

              4. Aumua

                Perhaps if The American People were not such greedy, gullible sheep, we might have better representatives in our government?

                Well as they say, speak for yourself.

        1. Charger01

          What gives me pause isn’t the slow degradation of our society/infrastructure- its everything thats still working. Water is still coming out of the taps, the lights are on. People can (still) work, even for less pay. We have a facsimile of a normal society, especially for the 10% PMC types to conduct their zoom meetings and maskes grocery store runs. Things are going to need to demonstratially fall apart to 40% or more before the “ah family blog it” attitude kicks into gear.
          We may have the beginning of it with a pandemic/depression…..but we’re not there yet. It’ll happen om the edges of our empire first. And then it will gain steam.

      2. Josef K

        I’ve been advocating half-a-revolution for quite a while, since revolutions always put you back where you were. We need to do a 180….

    4. The Historian

      People are now living in a pressure keg and Trump didn’t start it – it only came to a head during his incompetent presidency. It started long ago with Eisenhower and then Reagan. But now in some poll I saw that 86% of Republicans think that the election was rigged and that we can’t trust elections any more. That is about 61 million voters and that is about 42% of the voting population which is more than enough to blow a country apart!

      It is sad but when people are living in conditions like the ones we face now, democracy is not the main thing on their minds – they just want relief. History tells us that over and over.

      So what Biden, Pelosi and Schumer have to do if they want any form of democracy to continue is to reduce the pressure. There has to be a stimulus immediately for working class Americans and Pelosi should be working on that RIGHT NOW so that a bill is on the President’s desk on January 20th. But will they? I sincerely doubt it because I don’t think they realize how bad things really are! How could they – living in their safe secure bubbles?

      Yea, Mitch McConnell will put up a fight but that is where the ‘captured press’ could actually do some good, couldn’t it? Biden now has the ‘bully pulpit’ – why isn’t he using it?

      Is what I am saying so hard for anyone to understand?

        1. tegnost

          Is it possible that it was obama/biden led directly to trump? If so, then yes, he’s been the problem, and he’s still the problem.

        2. Pat

          Biden has been part of every hideous decision of the last forty years. How could he not be a problem?

          Despite the yellow journalism and the ridiculous reset button the Democrats have tried to install where everything before 2016 was wonderful but America entered into a precipitous decline in January 2017, too many of us still have memories and can do research to back it up for that to work.

          It wasn’t a Russian plot, nor did people just go eeny meeny miney mo to vote in 2016. People were and are unhappy with the damage done to America by toadies like Biden. Trump leaving does not change that for most people.

        3. km

          Biden and those like him are much of the problem.

          That doesn’t mean that Trump is the answer to the problem that Biden and his ilk caused. For one thing, a competent populist would be a nice change of pace.

      1. fwe'theewell

        I saw a photo of Biden yesterday with the caption, “More May Die” because of the delayed transition (the article is here in Links too). That moment crystallized for me the pure malign emptiness and cynicism we face.

        1. tegnost

          Rule #1 of power grabs is get as much as you can right off the bat. I for one am glad trump is disrupting the transition. Biden has til Jan. 20 to catch up, and considering all the smart people putting him up I’m sure everything will be fine.

      2. Carla

        It’s interesting to consider Gallup polling re: party affiliation over the last several months and years. IF these polls are accurate at all, Democrats have really done themselves considerable damage. (For my money, the party cannot die soon enough. Actually, both parties, but that’s too much to hope for.)

        The Historian: I do appreciate the wisdom of this statement —

        “It is sad but when people are living in conditions like the ones we face now, democracy is not the main thing on their minds – they just want relief. History tells us that over and over.”

        1. Louis Fyne

          fascinating how Obama and the 09-11 DC Dems. decapitated the Democratic Party better than any Republican ever could.

    5. Katniss Everdeen

      What percentage of the 70 million Trump supporters would exalt their hero (sent from God maybe) far above the paltry value they place on legitimate self-government?

      The “value of legit self-government” as indicated by what? “Voting?” “Elections?”

      I’d argue, actually I’d say, that the last “legitimate” act of “self-government” since FDR was the 2016 election of Donald Trump which didn’t turn out the way it was “supposed to,” judging from the four relentless years of propaganda and hysteria to nullify it.

      In 2016, the “people” actually “spoke,” and the “self-government” preachers of “democracy” were so terrified that they struck back in the most un-“democratic” ways they could think of. It is the appearance of “self-governance” that must be preserved. The reality must be avoided at all costs. It’s why the word “glitch” is tossed around without an iota of irony or “concern.”

      There are a lot of things that can be said about the “election” of 2020, but that those who aren’t buying the story value a cult of “personality” over the ability to “self-govern” isn’t one of them. Not by a long shot.

      1. Walter Horn

        Why do you think the people actually spoke in 2016, when a minority of them voted for Trump, but did not do so this year, when a considerable majority voted for Biden? The sort of result orientation indicated by that comment has nothing at all to do with democracy. It seems to me that you don’t care too much about self-government at all: you just want a particular president.

        Furthermore, in an authentic democracy there would be a recall provision, and nobody supported by only about 40% of the population for four years could stay in office. Impeachment proceedings are silly; recall is indispensable.

        Anyhow, it’s all in my book.

          1. tegnost

            Write a book that says that if no candidate gets 40% of the eligible voting population then there’s a redo I could get behind that because “none of the above” should be one of our choices

            1. Phillip Cross

              How many right leaning voters don’t bother to vote in blue states that are a foregone conclusion, and vice versa?
              How many left leaning voters don’t bother to vote in blue states that are a foregone conclusion, and vice versa?

              Account for this, and the “none of the above” votes would be far lower.

              A straight up national popular vote for president would mean more people’s votes mattered and probably get a greater turnout as a result.

              I doubt it would make much difference to the way we are governed, because it would still be the usual greedy, bought and paid for, American politicians on the ballot.

              1. tegnost

                Certainly plenty of people who voted for biden would have chosen none of the above, as likely would have in the case of trump, so probably statistically insignificant, or favoring neither

                1. Phillip Cross

                  How can someone, who cast an unspoiled ballot for president, be said to have voted for “none of the above”? That doesn’t make sense to me.

            2. Walter Horn

              There are better mechanisms than that. I recommend Approval Voting (AV) to find something like a consensus winner in combination with the Single Non-Transferable Ballot to provide minority/proportional representation. It’s not at all surprising that so few people vote at present given the flimsiness of our electoral processes.

              The 40% I was referring to was Trump’s approval rating for his entire term.

        1. Pat

          Sir if you add the people who rejected voting to both candidates set of totals, the accurate interpretation is neither received the support of the majority. Approximately 60+% didn’t vote for Biden and the same could be said for Trump.
          Perhaps if we mandated voting AND allowed a none of the above line (Coupled with hand marked ballots counted by hand in public) we would have a clearer view of how the public really feels about who should govern. Until then what we do have is a clear view that we are populace is deeply split and deeply disillusioned with the voting process, and little else.

          1. Darthbobber

            Though if you’re just going to assume, you could as well assume that the nonvoters were equally happy with either alternative, and therefore happy to let those who did have a preference make the choice.

            1. Pat

              I figure you go with they didn’t vote for them because they didn’t, but then I know a few non voters.

              For the record it is more acceptance that their view doesn’t matter not that they are fine with either choice. It seems to be one of two things. they either believe it is rigged in that there isn’t really a choice OR it is rigged because the votes aren’t counted really, the count will be changed to match the views of those doing the counting. So they don’t see any point in voting.

              1. Darthbobber

                Most of the non-voters I’ve encountered don’t necessarily think it’s rigged in the sense of vote-rigging. They tend to be deeply cynical when it comes to believing that either party even intends to do a damn thing for them. (gee, can’t imagine where they got that idea.) They’re also pretty much disconnected from the parties’ usual get out the vote methods and allied organizations.

                And as far as I can see the machines are perfectly happy making no effort to engage them.

        2. Katniss Everdeen

          C’mon, man.

          Popular vote totals are not the issue here. To the extent that any president can be considered the “people’s choice,” it is through being chosen in the electoral college. There is no requirement that the popular vote and the electoral college agree, and there’s good reason for that.

          That’s “self-government” as constitutionally defined and practiced in this country.

          You’re just trying to make up a new standard to avoid my argument.

          1. Walter Horn

            IMHO, we don’t have anything remotely connected to self-government in the U.S. at present. That’s what I write about.

        3. Geof

          Key passage (my emphasis):

          the last “legitimate” act of “self-government” since FDR was the 2016 election of Donald Trump which didn’t turn out the way it was “supposed to”

          D or R, the ruling class always get what they want. Except this time.

          It seems to me that you don’t care too much about self-government at all: you just want a particular president.

          The ruling class do not want a particular president. They finance both candidates. In almost every election, either one will do. What they want is to make sure that only the right kind of person is president.

          In no sane world is Donald Trump a good choice for president. He is not the “right kind of person” – and that’s the point. He won even though the people who usually decide things didn’t want him to. Against all the forces arrayed against him, that shows what passion people have for self government. That he was such a terrible choice shows how little power they have.

          That Trump won because of the electoral college does not detract from the point: it reinforces it. The electoral college was designed to ensure elite dominance – yet here it did exactly the opposite. If, under an undemocratic regime, insurgents were able to get their candidate elected – by hook or by crook, never mind democracy – that would be a victory for them and a loss for elites. That’s what we have here.

          In the end, Trump represents barely a gesture of defiance. His program was not that much different from those of other Republican presidents. In the end, as always, the elites got most of what they wanted.

          The only choices the American people were offered were a) a president who will hurt you; or b) a president who may hurt you even more, but will also hurt the elites a tiny bit. The people chose b. It was not a victory for the people, but it was a loss for the elites: only a little one, but it drove them berserk.

          None of which is to say that Trump was the better choice. But his victory shows a gap through which might someday gleam a glimmer of hope. Elites will move heaven and earth to ensure that gap is plugged.

          I know I am being redundant, but I don’t see how you can fail to understand. It doesn’t matter whether Trump is a good president: all that matters is whether the elites considered him acceptable. They did’t. He still won.

      2. Donald

        Trump won in 2016 because the Electoral College sometimes gives the victory to the person with fewer votes. It makes no sense to romanticize Trump as the people’s President. The majority of people dislike Trump, so there is no factual way you can argue he was the people’s choice.

        1. Katniss Everdeen

          Well, ya got me there.

          Seems like “Trump is just so yucky and literally everybody knows it” is what made biden the prom king. Or so we’re told.

    6. JK

      So, just to understand, this comment and subsequent responses on the thread are based on an imaginary interview someone reported that someone else is waiting for?

      1. Duke of Prunes

        Wow, I missed that. Thanks for pointing this out.

        I admit that I was suspicious as it sounded too much like Dem projection (4 years of “The Resistance” and all).

  2. zagonostra

    >Trump freezes 2024 presidential field

    The country needs permanent wars and permanent elections to keep the permanent state in permanent power and people in permanent precarity.

      1. Greg

        Cute that they ended that story with a threat of a 911 repeat if Biden doesn’t get his way. Good old deep state.

    1. Winston Smith

      As a Liverpool supporter, I have great admiration for Marcus Rashford both as a player and now as an individual. The Guardian article makes clear that he is a threat to politics as usual and hence a grave threat to the austerity-addicted Tories.

  3. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

    I see the Dems wheeled out war criminal Henry Kissinger age 98 to try and whip the plebes into that old time religion from 50 years ago. Perfectly in tune with the times, circa 1975, just like the rest of their strategic world view. He’s probably worried about his place in the history books now that at least half the country finally understands that China is nothing but the main economic and strategic rival and a few decades of elite grifting at the China piggy trough as championed by a geriatric hologram named Biden has done not one single thing good for the country or any of the people in it. Fabulous for a tiny handful of Cayman’s bank balances and absolutely ruinous for millions and millions of American workers, nice going Henry. The symbolism is simply pitch perfect, an ossified old fossil for an ossified old Empire running empty of conscience and empty of ideas but still wanting to wring that last drop of sweat from American workers’ brows

    1. Stephen C.

      To top off this crazy election year, Biden could always appoint Kissinger as his Sec. of State. Hillary could very well keel over on the news but the Return To Normalcy must march on.

      In related news, the propaganda machine has already begun their softening up campaign against all on the “left” who want to see Trumpsters in a world of pain. (Biden saying he’s not interested in investigating the outgoing admin.) My theory that Trump is being stubborn about letting go as a negotiating tactic for non prosecution may yet be viable. I can’t post the link but should be easy to find at NBC news dot com.

      1. Dr. John Carpenter

        Non-prosecuting what? Again, if Trump hasn’t been popped for anything before becoming President, it sure as heck isn’t happening when he’s “Former President” Trump.

  4. pjay

    Re ‘Drawing All the Wrong Lessons From Media’s Election 2020 Failures’ – FAIR

    Wow! Was this FAIR or the NY Times? The problem is being too *uncritical* of Trump and his supporters??:

    “The whole framing of the problem is wrong here. We already know plenty about “the America [Trump] has laid bare.” Journalism’s deepest failure hasn’t been its lack of attention to Trump supporters; it has been its inability to stop normalizing Trump and Trumpism—of which the uncritical Trump supporter stories are part and parcel.”

    “By repeatedly conferring legitimacy on a fundamentally antidemocratic president and his actions, media have paved the way for the dangerous place we find ourselves in today, and hobbled their ability to protect our democracy.”

    My jaw literally dropped when I read this. We have so few decent media sources left. Please, *please* don’t take FAIR away too!

    1. nippersdad

      “By repeatedly conferring legitimacy on a fundamentally antidemocratic president and his actions, media have paved the way for the dangerous place we find ourselves in today, and hobbled their ability to protect our democracy.”

      Someone needs to tell FAIR that the Gilens and Page study was released in 2015.

    2. Carolinian

      Agree that this is a deeply dumb article that seems to assert that 70 million Americans are not “normal” (“stop normalizing Trump and Trumpism”) in the way the writer presumably sees herself. Even sillier is the notion that the NYT or NPR should be condemning those 70 million in a kind of cancel culture writ large.

      Of course the people who work at the NYT or NPR–many of whom are probably as young as she undoubtedly is–quite likely agree with her about their fellow citizens but at least have the good sense not to say it out loud.

      1. Dirk77

        Dumb article yes. And I spent minutes out of my life reading it. However, her phrase “Black and brown”: I still haven’t got the memo why “black” is now capitalized since last summer. All I know is that whatever the reason, Adolf Reed doesn’t seem to agree as he doesn’t do it. Can someone please explain?

        1. Geof

          From Drake’s link, the strongest argument for the big B:

          The Globe explained that the word has evolved from a description of a person’s skin color to signify a race and culture, and deserves the uppercase treatment much the way other ethnic terms do.

          I disagree. In English, we capitalize proper nouns (and words derived from poper nouns) because they identify unique people, places or things.

          Unique. There may be many (small-b) black people, but there is only one big-B black culture. People are policing the boundaries of what counts as “black”. Nikole Hannah-Jones said “there’s a difference between politically black and racially black”: “being born black does not necessitate being politically black.” Ta-Nehisi Coates exorciated Kanye West for supporting Trump:

          What Kanye West seeks is what Michael Jackson sought—liberation from the dictates of that we. . . . West calls his struggle the right to be a “free thinker,” and he is, indeed, championing a kind of freedom—a white freedom, freedom without consequence, freedom without criticism, freedom to be proud and ignorant

          Coates is saying that by attempting to live as a free individual, West has betrayed the black “we.” West has a responsibiltiy to black people that white people do not have (to themselves or to black people). Because of their history of oppression, certain freedoms are not and should not be available to black people.

          I see the struggle against many sorts of bigotry as a struggle against stereotypes and imposed expectations. Men can be anything they want, but women should be mothers. Black people are good at basketball but not math. Asians are good at math but not basketball. White men can’t dance.. And so on. It is a struggle not not be put in a box, but to choose for yourself who you want to be, whether that conforms to stereotypes or not.

          As I see it, the big B in Black tries to stuff people back in the box. Capitalizing on the difference between black and white, it erases diversity among black people. It attempts to recruit black people as footsoldiers for a political cause. White supremacists use big-W White the same way: Call yourself White, and a little part of you is theirs. Like the big-W, the big-B looks Important, it looks respectful: but it overshadows your own personal choices and identity, your own name with its own capital letters. It lets you find yourself by handing over responsibilty to someone else. Like Persophone’s pomegranate seeds: if you swallow Black, then you are letting someone else tell you who you are.

          If a black person wants to be Black, I say good on them: fine. But to impose it on an entire group is wrong. I would not want to be Black, just as I sure as heck don’t want to be White.

          This may sound like excessive interpretation of a single letter. It would be: except that I strongly suspect some people doing this have thought it through. I don’t really think that the B in Black is going to change the world. I think it’s bad, but it’s just one mor minor skirmish, not some kind of existential crisis of erasure. I don’t think people are puppets or robots: but I think some people propagating Black do, and I don’t want to go along.

          One more thing: other proper nouns usually have simple membership tests. You’re Polish because you have Polish citizenship, you’re French beacuse you speak French. There isn’t usually a lot of gate keeping – when there is, it’s often a matter of No True Scotsman:

          The no true Scotsman fallacy appeals to the “purity” of an ideal or standard as a way to dismiss relevant criticisms or flaws in your argument.

          I think the relevance is obvious.

      2. TMoney

        I watched the “The Social Dilemma” on Netflix last night. It struck me, just how different everyone’s realities are since they are only optimized for clicks (profits) and fed by Twiiter, Facebook and Google. The polarization of society is part of the great social media dystopia. I don’t have a mobile, so the worst of it passes me by, but when you talk to people, it’s clear something has caused a shift in the foundations of society. The documentary made a compelling case.
        I can’t help but feel the Red/Blue team demonizing one another is part of this. In some ways it makes me think Bidens tepid “decency” meme / reaching across the aisle might be more right than I want to admit. However, it also clear that some people can not be appeased (yes, I am aware of the loaded nature of the word) – which makes me wonder what the right solution is – aside from turning off all the cell towers. Most of us need a period of detox from the great “like” button.

      3. barefoot charley

        She’s so young she didn’t know the press illegitimized Trump the summer before he was elected, with cointelpro-style smuttery commissioned by the DNC. And ever since. So she also doesn’t notice its chief effect, illegitimizing the mainstream press that’s not covering Trump, but cudgeling him. So long, FAIR, it’s been good to know you.

  5. timbers

    A President Looks Back on His Toughest Fight (The story behind the Obama Administration’s most enduring—and most contested—legacy: reforming American health care.)

    I was fairly attentive to politics the several yrs before and after Obama’s election in 2008. It was after 2008 I started to realize in baby steps that Dems had no intention of changing things…like ending wars…although after Dems earlier swept Congress and proceeded to do basically nothing to change things, I was already growing exasperated with them. Yet at that point I was able to rationalize it was due to a few bad apples and we just needed “more and better Dems” to right our nation’s course.

    Obama to me at that point, in 2008, looked like that better Dem.

    Getting back to point: I was following politics during the time of 2008, and it appeared to me Obama never so much as broke a sweat regarding shepherding the ACA thru Congress let alone improving it as it was rather awful from the get go. Intervening to prevent lower drug prices and Medicare to those over 55 was especially illuminating.

    So the headline this being Obama’s toughest fight is especially inaccurate IMO, and the “most enduring” part has a Norma Desmond Legend In His Own Mind quality to it, because it has not been enduring except being hard to get rid so as to pave the way for improvement like M4A, maybe because to much of it goes to big corporations, with some also going to those who need it.

    It was Obama being MIA on the fight over the ACA while fighting for corporate interests that was the final straw that turned me off to Dems. That, and learning he really wasn’t MIA after all but working hard in secret with Big Pharma and insurance co’s and shutting out public and non corporate interests. Also the wars and bombings.

    1. nippersdad

      That was pretty much my timeline as well. Pelosi really pissed me off when she took impeachment off the table and made me (to my mind, anyway) partially responsible for covering up war crimes. I haven’t voted for a corporate Dem for Congress since.

      With Obama, however, I would backdate it to before he was inaugurated and sent some of his people to Canada to tell them that, to borrow a phrase, “nothing would essentially change” in terms of their trade agreements. And then there was the sudden about face on his economic advisors. Newt Gingrich was my congressman; if I had wanted his InsuranceCare grift I would have voted for him in the early Nineties. I haven’t voted for a corporate Dem for the presidency since.

      They have spent many years telling me that I am not a real Democrat. I’m convinced. I can’t wait for the Ossoff/Warnock blitzkrieg of people asking me to vote for them. It is going to be fun telling them that I would have voted for them had I been a real Democrat, but as I am not they are going to have to rely on the Lincoln Project to haul their carcasses over the line.

      1. NotTimothyGeithner

        Pelosi was/is part of the intelligence gang of eight. The question isn’t what did Pelosi know and when did she know it but whether she was asked for input.

          1. Rod

            thanks–I am glad all that is on the record.
            She was having trouble mincing her words correctly to dodge the liability issue.
            Lots of eager female looking students in the audience that giggled at her mention of loving her some Bill Clinton…
            Disingenuous is a good word for all that on record…

      2. marcyincny

        “…Pelosi really pissed me off when she took impeachment off the table…”

        Oh yes, it was the day after the election and the day before I went down to the Onondaga County BOE and changed my registration to “unaffiliated”.

        Not that they missed me; I hadn’t voted for a Democrat since ’92 and I would take that back if I could.

        1. nippersdad

          I put up a flagpole and flew a flag because my Mom thinks they are tacky. I took down the flag and flagpole the day after Pelosi proved it meant nothing and was forced into the realization that my Mom was right.

          Don’t tell my Mom.

          P,S. In hindsight, I would take back my ’92 vote in a heartbeat as well.

    2. NotTimothyGeithner

      Sure Obama worked harder on TPP and pushing to cut Social Security. Trump’s sloth may have lowered the bar, but ACA is likely the hardest Obama worked for something he is willing to share. The little hagiography about the Obama White House seems to be about writing jokes for the Al Smith dinner.

    3. JacobiteInTraining

      “…It was after 2008 I started to realize in baby steps that Dems had no intention of changing things…”

      Once, back in…what was it…1984? Maybe the ’88 run? I stood in a huge crowd at the University of Oregon, when Jesse Jackson brought his Rainbow Coalition campaign for President to town. Got to shake his hand, and I felt really good about the platform.

      he didn’t make it, of course, and I remember at the time feeling a little pissed at the ‘Ds’…my first memory of a vague disquiet about how most of Jesse’s platform planks didn’t seem to be getting much play in the larger ‘D’ universe.

      Never mind, no worries, look…a squirrel!!! Go back to sleep, there there little one. We’ll make it all better,,,,,

      1. Dr. John Carpenter

        Watching Jackson’s treatment during the Clinton years helped me figure things out. The man wasn’t perfect, but it was obvious they weren’t just pushing him away, but also trying to diss him at every chance they had. It told me a lot about the direction the party was going and how they felt about working with those who were to the left of them. It’s kind of painful watching AOC and others start to get the message when it’s been clear as day since at least Bill Clinton was around.

    4. Pat

      I was following it pretty closely as well. It was clear that “No Drama Obama” and strongman Emmanuel started by loading the deck by who they picked to take point. Their fingerprints were all over the final turd we got.
      Two things stood out to me, Pelosi actually had less control in the House (it wasn’t just the Public Option that needed to be stripped from the House bill in reconciliation). And while their campaign to get Republican votes in the Senate allowed them to strip the bait and switch items from the bill, the lack of them meant they had to keep Sanders’ community health centers in it.* A minor point was that the Cadillac tax, while a boondoggle that would eventually crapify every employer insurance plan, was a big indication that the Obamas were anything but union friendly.

      *While Rahm had probably hated Sanders for years, it wouldn’t surprise me if Obama’s clear animosity to him was solidified by this relatively mild Sanders victory, because even that much of a giveaway to the working poor was a bridge too far. Especially when Sanders didn’t stay on the reservation and told the truth about his lasting legacy in 2016.

    5. MRLost

      Don’t forget the torture. Obama gave torture a wink and a wave. Promised to never do it again until next time. Only whistleblowers were punished. Promoted those who turned the screws and listened to the screams.

  6. Wukchumni

    Toilet paper shelves bare at Spokane-area stores amid new COVID-19 rules KREM 2
    A house was TP’d over the weekend, streamers of white festooned on high, and when the home owners woke up and saw what had occurred, they did a bit of a happy jig collecting what was now theirs. I talked to them and the feeling was, they could recycle 5, maybe 6 rolls worth, how lucky somebody picked their domicile to defile!

  7. Halcyon (formerly AnonyMouse)

    2nd September, Raab assures us that the 0.7% GDP foreign aid target is not under threat from Foreign Office DFID merger.

    “The foreign secretary dismissed as “tittle tattle” reports that the £15bn aid budget could be cut to pay for more defence and intelligence spending.

    Press reports suggest Chancellor Rishi Sunak will cut aid spending to help pay off rising debts in his Autumn budget.

    But Mr Raab said the 0.7% target was a manifesto commitment that was written into law.

    His promise came as the newly-merged Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office began work, with a pledge to protect “the world’s poorest” from coronavirus and famine.

    Asked if the 0.7% target would survive the merger, Mr Raab said: “Oh, absolutely.””

    The UK government remains committed to spending 0.7% of national income on foreign aid, Dominic Raab has said.

    The foreign secretary dismissed as “tittle tattle” reports that the £15bn aid budget could be cut to pay for more defence and intelligence spending.

    Press reports suggest Chancellor Rishi Sunak will cut aid spending to help pay off rising debts in his Autumn budget.

    But Mr Raab said the 0.7% target was a manifesto commitment that was written into law.

    His promise came as the newly-merged Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office began work, with a pledge to protect “the world’s poorest” from coronavirus and famine.

    Asked if the 0.7% target would survive the merger, Mr Raab said: “Oh, absolutely.”

    And yet:

    “The Treasury wants to cut the aid budget from 0.7% of gross national income to 0.5% next year and plans to make the announcement as part of next Monday’s one-year spending review.

    The Foreign Office, which recently merged with the Department for International Development, is already cutting more than £2.9bn from the aid budget this year due to the fall in UK growth in 2020 because of the coronavirus crisis….”

    And of Raab?

    “Speaking at the mid-Atlantic regional summit on Monday, Raab was asked why the UK was one of the few countries committed to the 0.7% aid target. He said: “The target is contentious and is debated hotly, but we make the case for our values and the alignment between values and interests. For example, through the vaccine we put a lot of money in … there is a moral interest to make sure that the most vulnerable countries do not get a second wave of this virus.”

    In this, we also find that:

    “Primary legislation would be required to abolish the aid budget target, a measure that would struggle to get through parliament, but it might be simpler, and require less parliamentary approval, to cut the target from 0.7% to 0.5%, especially if it is presented as a temporary cut.”

    1. Phillip Cross

      In a strange coincidence, i was just reading about Poppy Bush and his alleged predilection for Halcyon. I had never heard of it before that.

  8. The Rev Kev

    “Three more New York sheriffs say they won’t enforce Cuomo’s Thanksgiving limit”

    Aren’t sheriffs suppose to take oaths or something? The author John Michael Greer in his book “Retrotopia” offered a solution to things like these sheriffs or that clerk that refused to marry a gay couple. When someone takes office, they will be required to take a standard oath to uphold the given laws. Then, if they decide to break that oath because of their religion or whatever, they get charged with perjury as in lying under oath. So you are actually talking about losing your position, getting a criminal record and fines and maybe some jail time. If you are not prepared to do your job, then you maybe should not be doing it.

    1. Louis Fyne

      same argument can be made with sanctuary cities for (insert hot button issue).

      not trying to pick an internet fight.

      But once you open Pandora’s sanctuary box, everything is fair game for laws that the local executive doesn’t like.

      i expect gun control to eventually be next

        1. Louis Fyne

          we had a little thing called the Civil War which supposedly settled the matter of federal supremacy.

          If liberals can’t follow federal law today re. xxxxxx, don’t expect conservatives to follow federal law about yyyyyy tomorrow.

          this is how political legitimacy breaks down in society.

          1. marym

            According to the link, there have been bills introduced in Congress to pass laws prohibiting sanctuary policies but they haven’t passed.

            1. Rod

              Congress passed them and the Senate has not taken up…

              Map shows SC as pro-sanctuary–now it’s true we’ll never get the Peaches in or the Peanuts sorted or any roofing done without the ‘Mexicans’, but giving them Sanctuary instead of just letting illegal sleeping dogs lie–not so much…

              (Gov) McMaster supported a bill in the last legislative session requiring local governments to certify they are cooperating with federal immigration authorities.

              The bill effectively prohibits any South Carolina “sanctuary cities,” where law enforcement is less likely to refer nonviolent undocumented offenders to the federal government for deportation. The proposal passed in the House but failed in Senate, but supporters got the bill’s language included in the state budget approved by the General Assembly.

              OH!!!– CORRECTION: An earlier version of this story should have said a proposal requiring local governments to certify they are cooperating with federal immigration authorities did pass in the General Assembly this year.

              story from 2018 updated 8/20

              1. diptherio

                Newsflash: the Senate is part of Congress. If the Senate hasn’t passed it, Congress hasn’t passed it, by definition.

          2. D. Fuller

            The difference is is that Federal law enforcement are the only ones who are supposed to enforce Federal law; that State and local governments do not.

            Separation of powers.

            A funding issue, also. When Trump wanted State and local Gov’t to enforce Federal law? Unless there was an contractual agreement and funding? State and local Gov’t are free to tell Federal gov’t to shove off.

            Otherwise, just Federalize all law enforcement in America.

            A violation of oath should be a felony resulting in removal, that precludes one from public office. Specific to statements or actions demonstrable to have the effects of actions. Narrowly tailored to prevent abuse.

            1. Louis Fyne

              ok, congrats.

              you are saying the exact same thing that Arkansas segregationalists said when they refused to integrate Little Rock HS and Eisenhower had to send in the 82nd Airborne

              1. D. Fuller

                Wow. What a stretch you have made. The Supreme Court ruled on segregation. When States fail to enforce fundamental Rights of people, as was determined in Brown v Board of Education… it is then for the Federal Government to intervene however it deems necessary.

                The Federal Government spent their own money enforcing The Supreme Court ruling. Regarding a Constitutional issue. Which inherently made it the province of The Federal Government to protect the Rights of a “class of people” who were being denied their CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHTS.

                Whereas the use of local law enforcement to enforce Federal laws, absent an agreement or contractual obligation involving funding and other issues, is a matter of SEPERATION OF POWERS.

                1. The 82nd Airborne was being used in a Constitutional enforcement matter that did not involve the use of local or State law enforcement.

                2. The issue was CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHTS, as affirmed by the Supreme Court and a State’s refusal to guarantee those Rights. Not, SEPERATION OF POWERS issue as is today with ICE & local law enforcement.

                Try again, this time with a sound reply that does not involve apples & oranges. Instead of pulling vacuum out of air.

              2. D. Fuller

                As for the “oath of office” issue?

                Narrowly tailored. I don’t expect the sheriff’s to arrest every person with a car full of driveways. Impossible. Neither do I expect a sheriff to REFUSE to enforce certain laws unless they can prove that the edict or mandate or whatever, involves:

                1. Contradicting an established State or local law.
                2. Contradicting a Constitutional Right.

                Realize that a person spreading Covid-19 has met the definition of endangering the public. Where Rights END. People engaged in activities that endanger the public, where RIGHTS END. To what degree that activity is determined? Is for the courts to decide.

                The Sheriffs should take it up in the courts if they feel so strongly. Instead of refusing to do their jobs – which may or may not involve arresting or fining people engaged in certain activities. More of a “when they see it” approach to enforcement. Does not equate to = TOTAL ENFORCEMENT.

                Given how manpower is limited these days, after all.

                However, NY Governor is determined to have that authority unless shown otherwise. There is the crux. The sheriffs refuse a legal authority.

                Terminate their jobs. End of story.

    2. Lee

      Back in the 70s, San Francisco’s Sheriff Hongisto served five days in jail for refusing to evict tenants from the International Hotel.

      The sheriff did in the end comply, but offered this observation:

      “It was one of the most distasteful things I have had to do since I’ve, been in office,” the sheriff said. “Some of the elderly poor I saw there were absolutely pathetic.” New York Times

    3. Keith

      Well, first and foremost, the oath is to the constitution, even at the local level hence why one sheriff invoked it. Also, these are elected positions and are designed to protect the locals from higher up, like the states are supposed to do with the feds. Lastly, would you want to be the one kicking in doors and tasering grandma for having the kiddies over for the turkey day dinner? Not good optics for the cops.

    4. rowlf

      When someone takes office, they will be required to take a standard oath to uphold the given laws.

      Maybe they were inspired by Attorney General Eric Holder.

      1. BlueMoose

        ooh, the burn! Good one. My vote for the pictionary entry for ‘worthless sack of shit’ would be Eric Holder. You could have had a scarecrow as AG during his time and nobody would have noticed the difference.

    5. farragut

      I vaguely knew there were some key differences between appointed police and elected sheriffs. Keith’s comment above prompted me to look further. Here’s the key difference (from the WaPo link below) as far as I can tell:

      Constitutionalist sheriffs believe that the Constitution appoints sheriffs as the ultimate law enforcement authority, even above the federal government…. Constitutionalist Sheriffs vow not to enforce federal laws that they consider a violation of individual rights granted by the Constitution.”

      1. D. Fuller

        Constitutional Sheriffs are a joke. For their claims to be true, people would have to ignore separation of powers and the office of sheriff would be enumerated in The Constitution.

        Sheriffs are a local creation. Either by State or local law and are governed by such.

        Neither is true. Constitutional Sheriffs are delusional at best.

    6. Darthbobber

      What exactly is the authority of New York County sheriffs? There was a spate of these stories in Pennsylvania, but the sheriff’s offices here don’t have jurisdiction that would have involved them in Covid enforcement anyway.

      As opposed to, say, Kansas, where the County Sheriff’s department actually is responsible for law enforcement in general.

      1. D. Fuller

        PA Sheriffs are an odd bunch. Their usual use is for enforcing liens and collecting debts. Given that PA is a Commonwealth.

  9. shtove

    Guardian headline: Russia discovers ‘road of bones’ on frozen highway in Siberia

    The story: a skull and the bones of three people found by the roadside were probably deposited during road maintenance by a careless utility crew, who excavated their material from a local cemetery.

    Yet: “The discovery in Siberia drew closer comparisons to the famous Kolyma highway, a 1,250-mile road from near Yakutsk to Magadan that was built under Stalin using gulag labour. The highway is nicknamed the “road of bones” for the estimated 250,000 lives lost in the building of the remote roadway.”

    Therefore: ROAD OF BONES!

    1. pjay

      LOL. The story does not say from *whom* the discovery “drew closer comparisons to the famous Kolyma highway.”

      For the Guardian, the rule is: never let any opportunity to diss Russia go to waste – no matter how forced.

  10. The Rev Kev

    “Vaccine Apartheid”

    I’m just imagining if we had dealt with smallpox the way this article talks about the subject of who gets the vaccine. There would still be pockets of smallpox all around the world and you would have constant outbreaks from time to time in developed nations as it would be impossible to keep it out. Just witness the outbreaks of diseases like measles, typhoid, etc. in the United States last year before the pandemic even arose. It would have been the same with smallpox. Either we eliminate this virus everywhere around the world or each nation will have to be constantly under guard for the next outbreak of infections as it gets loos from its reservoirs of people.

    1. cocomaan

      Rev Kev, I’m looking forward to there being two classes of vaccines: the one with side effects and the one without side effects.

      “Which vaccine did you get?”

      “Ah, I got the Pfizer. Wasn’t too bad. I’m impotent, but I didn’t get the fat sloughing that my neighbor got. At least it’s not covid! You look good, did you get the Moderna one?”

      “Nah, I didn’t vaccinate.”

      “You what?”

      “Was worried about side effects.”

      Sounds of sirens in the distance.

      1. Generalfeldmarschall von Hindenburg

        I’ll just go live in the favela for people who won’t take any vaccine for what is really a species of cold. Because that’s what is planned.

          1. Wukchumni

            Someday i’d like to meet my handler @ Big Eavesdrop, Utah, as I know nothing about him or her, but they know everything about me. Could be awkward.

    2. amfortas the hippie

      to do otherwise would require an acknowledgment that some things belong squarely in the “Commons ”
      this is, of course, anathema
      my cynicism is at escape velocity
      we’re a failed state… at least for the 80%
      and not just due to lack of leadership or fake news or hyperpolerisation
      it’s also due to we, the people
      like the ap article about the fatalism and meh in the heartland…. or the folks dying of a disease they continue to insist doesn’t exist

      the truck stop in comfort,tx we stop at is now rigorously enforcing masks
      mean woman at register is obviously mad about it….as are the 1/3 of the customers who she’s required to lambast
      it’s almost funny, observing these interactions…grown up toddlers stomping out the door, yelling about liberty

      i keep coming back to the philosophical leitmotif of battlestar galactic a: it’s not enough to merely survive…. we must also be worthy of survival.
      as sharon valeri said,” maybe we’re not”

      1. Wukchumni

        ‘The ones that stick out are those who still don’t believe the virus is real. The ones who scream at you for a magic medicine and that Joe Biden is Going to ruin the USA. All while gasping for breath on 100% Vapotherm [oxygen],’ she wrote.

        ‘They tell you there must be another reason they are sick. They call you names and ask why you have to wear all that “stuff” because they don’t have COVID because it’s not real. Yes. This really happens.’

        She continued: ‘These people really think this isn’t going to happen to them. And then they stop yelling at you when they get intubated. It’s like a f***ing horror movie that never ends. There’s no credits that roll. You just go back and do it all over again.’

        1. D. Fuller

          At that point, they should br removed from the bed and sent home. Or at least, triage as last in line to receive care.

          We have reached that point.

          1. Rod

            or give them the Twitter and a smart phone and encourage them to get that word out straight from that hospital room…
            No, medical staff cannot type in or hit send for an incapacitated patient.
            let Reality have a live presence

            We have reached that point. I am so sorry to have to concur…

            1. D. Fuller

              Back in 2007, I met a woman who hated “poor people”. Declaring that they were parasites and such. That government was evil and how dare they give away her tax money to “Welfare Queens”. That she had made it on her own and so could others.

              She came from poverty. Received child care & education on the government dime. Landed a great paying job at a private health insurer, processing claims.

              In 2008, during a short visit back Stateside, I saw her again. She had cancer. Her cancer had progressed from Stage 2 to Stage 4. When her cancer was more likely to be treated?

              Her employer found out – the private health insurer – and found a reason to terminate her from her job. Cancer then went from Stage 2 to Stage 4. She had been denied unemployment thanks to the reasons given for her termination by her former employer. Which left her without health insurance.

              Oh, how she screamed for government intervention. How could the government abandon her. Blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah.

              I reminded her of how she used to be. I had less than no sympathy. Rather brutal the words I said to her, something along the lines of “you earned it”.

              She died.

              1. eg

                Reminds me of the parable of the rich fool that I never tired of having my mother read to me as a child. I can still see the illustrations in my mind’s eye …

        2. Shonde

          One thing I learned caring for my now deceased spouse who had congestive heart failure is that decreased oxygen levels can lead to delusional thinking. I once knew I needed to call 911 when my spouse asked me why baseball players were in our backyard. So I am surprised this medically known issue isn’t being considered for some of the patients thoughts.

          1. D. Fuller

            Difference being that it is reasonable to assume that these people believed such – Covid is a hoax – when they were healthy.

            First question should be, “Do you believe Covid is a hoax?”

            If answer is “yes”? Back of the line. Once Covid deniers hear that, most will be swearing that Covid is real. Such is their nature. Much like anti-government types swear government is evil. That is, until they need a handout. Few refuse, rather being in the front of the line for a handout.

            America is a land bereft of consequences in too many instances, in the exercise of personal responsibility.

      2. carl

        Thanks for the observations. I sometimes wonder how things are playing out, out there in the Texas hinterlands. I could probably drive out there sometime and have a look, but then I think that my presence might alter the scene. Anyhow, you’re always welcome to stroll around my garden when you are in SA-town.

        1. amfortas the hippie

          backatcha if you’re ever out mason way
          i’m in the chemo parking lot at the moment(since 8am.we left at 5:15)
          took a nap
          otherwise just chillin and watching the other parking lot denizens
          bumper sticker survey here: almost equal trump/biden: skews trump away from here
          dad walking toddler around and around
          a wife power walking to pass the time
          lay anthropologists should never be bored

    3. Eustache de Saint Pierre


      IMO It is perhaps the most obvious illustration of our collective short termism, upside down list of priorities & profound hubris.

  11. Wukchumni

    Day 14 of the ‘I Ran Hostage Crisis’

    We’re delighted to welcome Ted Koeppel, an old hand at this.

    Tell me about when you first got the call to start reporting this story?

    TK: I of course reported on the original hostage crisis when a number of our staff at the US Embassy in Tehran we’re taken and held against their will, but this is different in that the President is holding the entire country hostage, and i’d much rather negotiate with a religious mullah that hates my guts, than Jared.

    At what point did you realize that this hostage situation was actually not going to end quickly, and that it was a much larger story than you’d initially thought?

    TK: This situation looks not to last 400 odd days, but it might if Trump doesn’t concede and the weak kneed Democrats fold their tent similar to what happened when they couldn’t push Merrick Garland through and pretty much gave up.

    As a correspondent and later an anchor, what was different about this story from others you’d reported?

    TK: The public passion for it. It struck people as so outrageous, and they were angry about it. They were angry about seeing pictures of their leader whacking off yet again and being pushed around in a golf cart.

    1. Carolinian

      Wikipedia tells me that Koppel, 80, is still around and even doing bits on CBS. Perhaps they should put him on the interregnum beat.

      Of course the original “America Held Hostage” may have had a lot to do with giving us Reagan. Some would say that was when America was really taken hostage.

    2. neo-realist

      Didn’t have the numbers in the Senate to push Garland through. Blame Obama and feckless DNC leadership for losing Congress 10 years ago for not pushing Garland over the finish line.

  12. The Rev Kev

    “Trump was ‘talked out of’ launching a strike on Iran in punishment for ‘hiding its nuclear weapons program’ last week after his top advisers warned it could trigger a war – but he is ‘still mulling options to punish Tehran'”

    I’m not really buying this. I could see Trump on the horn with his best mate Bibi asking him if there was anything else that he could do for Israeli before clearing his desk and Bibi shouting ‘Attack Iran you buffoon!’ and Trump mentioning it to his staff but that would be about it. Why would he want to start a war when right now he is content to spend a lot of time golfing on the public dime? He would have been told years ago that if he attacked Iran, then a few minutes later Saudi oil production would disappear from the earth in a rain of missiles. And maybe parts of Israel to boot along with scores of US military bases and ships. Does anybody here think that Trump is energetic enough to deal with that for the next six weeks? He may be a lot of things but low-energy would seem to be apt here. Maybe Trump himself spread this story so that as he withdraws troops out of places like Afghanistan, people will say that he was not weak militarily as he was ready to strike Iran itself until talked out of it.

      1. The Rev Kev

        Maybe instead on January 19th, Trump will declare “Medicare for All!” and watch old Joe and Nancy try and work out how to take it back without creating a general uprising.

        1. Wukchumni

          Empathy is right next to empty in the dictionary. Why would Trump ever do something that would benefit his fellow Americans?

            1. neo-realist

              Helping people doesn’t move Trump. He wants Presidency for life as his legacy. Narcissism, incuriosity, power, money, hate, and a good burger is his jam.

          1. ewmayer

            Not sure what dictionary you’re using, but in mine I see this:


            Maybe I’m reading it wrong?

    1. pjay

      More likely yet another attempt by the NY Times (the original source) and its patriotic insider informants to show how bloodthirsty Trump really is – and deflect from the other story of Trump “bringing home the troops.” Also an opportunity to put out some anti-Iran propaganda at the same time. Not that Trump is incapable of doing something that stupid, but for the reasons you list it is not likely.

    2. Pat

      First he was not as big a hawk as most Republicans, probably because war is only good for people In real estate getting it from those whose properties were destroyed afterwards. Personally, I think cooler heads took Trump aside awhile ago and pointed out that the idiots who wanted to directly attack either Iran or Russia were fine with the fallout from a World War, but that he personally might not be. And that it wouldn’t take much to destroy his home in NYC and Mar-a-lago. All done With a simulation of what would be left. And whenever the hot heads suggested it was a win, those cooler heads Would point out how the hot heads were ALWAYS wrong about how things would work out and Pass him the photos of his favorite places in ruins.

  13. tegnost

    James Galbraith on the ability/will of the new administration to deal with covid 19 crisis…

    ” Though Biden won in the end, the election was a poor showing for the donor-dominated Democratic Party, and the prospects for effective economic policy are bleak.”

  14. Halcyon (formerly AnonyMouse)

    This story as laughable as it is utterly enraging. Why is it that, when we’ve all known about the large-scale looting of the UK government that is taking place via dodgy procurement contracts issued without tender or to unusual suppliers, we are finding out about this via legal proceedings in Florida?

  15. tegnost

    I expected more fairness from FAIR.
    Among the howlers at fair was the claim that “almost a third of eligible voters didn’t vote…” well theres give or take 250 mil eligible, 77 went for biden, 72 for trump which equals 149 so give or take 100 mil (I heard 90 something somewhere) That’s more than a third, but yeah is hard, especially for stenographers…
    In the next link to CJR, the navel gazing was also a disappointment, and close…
    “And so, as the most noxiously anti-press government in American history begins to wind down, our reinvention starts.”

    I might re word that, as presidents in my lifetime have successively been anti press and pro propaganda at an accelerating rate, andyes virginia, that includes obama…so I would put it this way…
    And so, as the most noxiously anti president media in american history winds down, our self realization starts…who are we now:(

  16. Katniss Everdeen

    RE: Greenwald tweet

    The outlets most loudly demanding suppression of “disinformation” — CNN, NBC, The Atlantic, etc — are the ones who not only sold the bullshit of the Iraq War but also the last 4 years of deranged Russia-took-over! conspiratorial insanity. They want their discourse monopoly back is being “deplatformed” by wordpress for “content violations” after ten years.

    One week after the 2020 presidential election, The Conservative Treehouse received the following notification:

    …”given the incompatibility between your site’s content and our terms, you need to find a new hosting provider and must migrate the site by Wednesday, December 2nd.

    Regardless of what you may think of the political ideology expressed on the CTH site, this should be seen as an ominous development, especially given the “pedigrees” of some of those hired on for the biden “transition.”

    CTH has been about the business of debunking Russiagate for years now and, more recently, chronicling the hunter biden affair. It has also followed the developments in the Durham investigation closely. And, speaking of which, that “investigation” may never see the light of day. What a surprise:

      1. Katniss Everdeen

        Such a good question–What are they so afraid of?

        The more they censor and purge, the less I believe.

        1. Darthbobber

          They’re afraid there won’t be enough “conspiracy theories” or “disinformation”, I guess. Because it’s the ever-increasing belief that the reliable media aren’t reliable at all that drives the counternarratives in the first place.

          And all of their solutions just exacerbate the original problem.

    1. Aumua

      I feel ambivalent about it. On the one hand I don’t like that site. It’s an outlet for right wing propaganda as far as I’m concerned. It’s one of the places where people fill up their heads with half truths, bitterness and poison. It’s where some commenters get their little hot-take turds that they bring over here and drop in the comments section. On the subject of Russiagate, it’s these guys who make any honest criticism of it look like crazy far right conspiracy theory mongering. I don’t like how they are fucking up society, spreading their bias around like it’s the God given truth. I don’t recommend anyone go there for information and opinions.

      On the other hand, it is very disturbing to see internet information gatekeepers tightening their grip on what people see online. I don’t support censorship on social media giants but at least there it was always a devil’s bargain. You can reach this huge audience but at the cost of being under their thumb. In the case of treehouse, this isn’t just their twitter or their facebook page, this is their website that’s being threatened with oblivion. It’s a lot more concerning, especially since NC is also run on wordpress if I am not mistaken.

  17. timbers

    Didn’t notice a comment on MAO regarding Dr. Fauchi tanking Trump so I’ll add: it’s sorta common sense that you shld never piss off your Doctor/healthcare giver or the person preparing/serving your food. The article is good to know but elitices no sympathy for Trump. He cooked his own goose.

  18. Wukchumni

    Judy Shelton gets the yea or nay this week in her effort to be on the Fed governing board, and the main sticking point is that she’s an Aubug, which is scary stuff in a world where all you have to do is press a finger on a keyboard a few times, in order to create money.

    She wrote a book in 1988 titled The Coming Soviet Crash: Gorbachev’s Desperate Pursuit of Credit in Western Financial Markets that was awfully prescient. Not many in the west were calling for the Soviet Union to go bust a few years before it actually happened.

    1. Wukchumni


      A book review from 1990:

      The first section of this book, “The Financial Condition of the Soviet Union,” is in many ways the most interesting. Using the Soviet Union’s own statistics, Shelton shows that the Soviets have been running huge budget deficits for several years, despite their claims to the contrary. By issuing credits for state ventures that fail to meet their production quotas, Gosbank, the Soviet central bank, has created an annual budget deficit that is almost double that of the United States. In a Western economy, those deficits would likely give rise to spiraling inflation. However, because prices of many Soviet goods are fixed, that inflation takes the form of severe shortages of consumer goods.

      Although the broad outlines of Soviet economic problems have been known for years, Shelton fills in a number of details about how the U.S.S.R. manages its deficit financing and how that financing affects Soviet citizens. Faced with an increasingly resentful population and an economy heading toward collapse, Gorbachev’s perestroika plan attempts to stave off the crisis in two ways.

      The first involves loosening the reins of central economic control. Local managers are to get more leeway it/making hiring and firing decisions, and badly managed concerns are to be allowed to go bankrupt. While this probably will help increase the efficiency of some ventures, such a policy promises Soviet citizens only the down side of capitalism (bankruptcy and unemployment) without any of its benefits.

      Since most Soviet citizens feel that they’ve already sacrificed enough for the benefit of the state, the second part of Gorbachev’s perestroika plan is as vital as the first. By raising imports of Western goods, he hopes not only to modernize Soviet industry with Western technology, but also to increase the availability of consumer goods and placate the restive population. But such a strategy requires large amounts of hard currency to pay for those imports, since the ruble is Monopoly money on international currency markets.

    2. km

      For that matter, in 1968, Andrei Amalrik wrote a book called “Will the Soviet Union Survive Until 1984?”

      The irony is that Amalrik was regarded as a nut in his day. Even the hardcore Cold Warriors of the WEst wanted little to do with him, because a Big Bad Scary USSR was needed to justify massive budgets and police states at home and outright dictatorships abroad.

  19. Laputan

    RE: Student-Loan Debt Is Immoral

    I get the pat responses by hacks who have who have used academia as a launch pad into lucrative book deals (Thaler) or high profile appointments (Furman (read up on what Obama has to say about him, btw, just hilarious)), but peer into those tweet threads linked in the article and you’ll find a lot of indebted asst/associate professors willing to sacrifice themselves on the altar of neoliberalism.

    It’s the one demo I have no sympathy for who have been impacted by college and university peonage, bourgeois hall monitors who were so taken by the culture of higher ed they were willing to take on six figure debts so that they never had to leave, provided they live like Roma until they luck into a tenured gig. If there’s one profession that should be exempted from student debt jubilee, it’s econ professors.

      1. Laputan

        “…one of the most brilliant economic minds of his generation.”

        But is it really any surprise that that’s how Obama describes Mankiw’s body double?

  20. Jeff Snyder

    Off topic, but his post by Alice Friedmann deserves a headline treatment in the Links section.
    “Climate Change Dominates News Coverage at Expense of More Important Existential Issues.”
    Snippet: “I’ve noticed that in the half dozen science magazines and several newspapers I get practically the only environmental stories are about climate change. Yet there are 8 other ecological boundaries (Rockstron 2009) we must not cross (shown in bold with an asterisk below) and dozens of other existential threats as well.

    Global peak oil production may have already happened in October of 2018 (Will covid-19 delay peak oil? Table 1). It is likely the decline rate will be 6%, increasing exponentially by +0.015% a year (see post “Giant oil field decline rates and peak oil”). So, after 16 years remaining oil production will be just 10% of what it was at the peak.

    If peak oil happened in 2018, then CO2 ppm levels may be under 400 by 2100 as existing and much lower emissions of CO2 are absorbed by oceans and land. The IPCC never even modeled peak oil in their dozens of scenarios because they assumed we’d be exponentially increasing our use of fossils until 2400. They never asked geologists what the oil, coal, and natural gas reserves were, assumed we’d use methane hydrates, and many other wrong assumptions.

    Meanwhile, all the ignored ecological disasters will become far more obvious. They’re papered over with fossils today. Out of fresh water? Just drill another 1,000 feet down. Eutrophied water? Build a $500 million dollar water treatment plant. Fisheries collapsed? Go to the ends of the earth to capture the remaining schools of fish.”

  21. David

    Thanks for including something on the crisis in Ethiopia. I know that people have plenty to worry about at the moment, but this is really, really serious as well as very depressing. Ethiopia is one of the few countries in Africa where things generally work, most of the time. It has a decent airline, a fairly capable government and one of the most effective militaries on the continent. It has an important symbolic status as the one African country which was never properly colonised, and of course the African Union has its HQ there. It has been an oasis of relative stability in a region (Somalia, Sudan, Eritrea …) which is frankly a mess, and the Ethiopian Army has done a good job in Somalia – they are reportedly the only AU force that Al Shabaab was genuinely afraid of.

    There’s a lot of background here, which is quite well examined in the Al Jazeera article, but if you want to know more (and thoroughly depress yourself) have a look at the International Crisis Group’s typically excellent coverage.

    1. BlueMoose

      Agreed. I was concerned when I read people were fleeing from Ethiopia to Sudan. How bad does it have to be that one would choose to flee to Sudan?

  22. upstater

    re. Patrick Cockburn’s obituary “Robert Fisk had True Independence of Mind, Which is Why He Angered Governments and Parts of the Media” in Counterpunch.

    Unlike the chattering mob of stenographers that staff the NYT, WaPo and cable networks, Fisk could be relied upon not to apply establishment varnish to the forever wars of the past 30 years. He clearly was a very brave truth-seeker, unlike the stenographers that remain embedded with and in-bed-with the national security apparatus (they loved to dress up in helmets and flak jackets!).

    Some commenters here said here Fisk was “hectoring”. How might we describe Judy Miller, Michael Gordon, Anderson Cooper, David Ignatius, Brian Williams, Christiane Amanpour (CBE), etc? Do they hector through their megaphones? Or is it sheep-like bleatings as they read their scripts?

    May Fisk Rest in Peace. If only we had more such journalists.

  23. flora


    The outlets most loudly demanding suppression of “disinformation” — CNN, NBC, The Atlantic, etc — are the ones who not only sold the bullshit of the Iraq…
    -Glenn Greenwald

    I think they fear the rising competition from better journalists who’ve moved to substack and other online sources.

  24. Jason Boxman

    Times story headline today. You can’t make this stuff up: Can America Restore the Rule of Law Without Prosecuting Trump?

    It’s hard to believe that title was written in good faith.

    I don’t recall seeing anything of the sort back in 2009, about Wall Street, Iraq, or anything else.

    1. Darthbobber

      They could stop with “Can America restore the rule of law?”

      And at present that seems likely to be a big negative.

      We’re in the process of having a “rules based domestic order” supplant “rule of law” as central governing concept.

  25. JohnB

    I notice in reference to the protests Thailand, one of the NGO’s trying to push constitutional changes is ‘iLAW’ or Internet Law Reform Dialogue – who receive funding from NED (National Endowment for Democracy).

    Seems the US are using NGO’s to meddle with Thailand. No fan of the monarchy dictatorship there, but even less of a fan of what could become of US meddling there.

  26. Chauncey Gardiner

    Appreciated the link to the Jing Daily article about the new Asia-Pacific Trade Agreement. So, is the RCEP another race-to-the-bottom “Free Trade Agreement”? What are the terms, and will China’s Yuan be the settlement currency? The economic models of all participants are heavily reliant on exports, so Who among them will be the net importer(s)?… or is this just a Wikipedia list of countries that will still be looking for the U.S., which is not a party to this agreement, to continue to run big current account deficits to protect US dollar hegemony and transnational corporations at the expense of American labor and the nation’s long-term industrial capabilities? Did they piggyback on the Trans-Pacific Partnership documentation that would have so damaged U.S. sovereignty, environmental considerations, and further penalized American labor? Was China’s decision to allow a coal-mining SOE to go bankrupt last week a related message of intended conformity to the terms this agreement? So many questions, so little time.

    Interesting that the article featured comments by Citi Research portraying the TPP as a missed opportunity… for whom? Will they try to resurrect the TPP under the incoming administration? As I recall, revolving-door bank senior executives were key TPP negotiators, and drafting the documentation for that agreement was a gravy train for some large law firms.

    If a renewed effort to install the TPP is in our future under the next administration, little wonder that Rahm is telling Americans to learn how to code. Maybe we can all write Apps for each other.

    1. hunkerdown

      No, it’s actually the most liberal and progressive trade agreement ever.

      Article 1.3: Objectives

      The objectives of this Agreement are to:

      (a)establish a modern, comprehensive, high-quality, and mutually beneficial economic partnership framework to facilitate the expansion of regional trade and investment and contribute to global economic growth and development, taking into account the stage of development and economic needs of the Parties especially of Least Developed Country Parties;

      (b)progressively liberalise and facilitate trade in goods among the Parties through, inter alia, progressive elimination of tariff and non-tariff barriers on substantially all trade in goods among the Parties;

      (c)progressively liberalise trade in services among the Parties with substantial sectoral coverage to achieve substantial elimination of restrictions and discriminatory measures with respect to trade in services among the Parties; and

      (d)create a liberal, facilitative, and competitive investment environment in the region, that will enhance investment opportunities and the promotion, protection, facilitation, and liberalisation of investment among the Parties.

      In other words, yes.

  27. John Richmond

    Glenn Greenwald: White supremacists are a problem in my neighborhood. They take over protests and break a bunch of windows. They harassment non-white neighbors. And they threaten us with guns. As for far rightist we shut down our downtown so they could gather. So yes. They’re a problem.

    1. John Richmond

      Matt Stoller’s scenario: AOC will be 38 in 2028. Third party. Let’s go. She can be president until age 122.

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