Links 11/18/2020

Another Obama Lecture WSJ I’ve been listening to these since 1988. Less so since he ran for office.

Oceanfront Property Tied to Obama Granted Exemption From Hawaii’s Environmental Laws This too is typical. Assuming the rules don’t apply to his highness nor his family.

How I created my own bubble of clean indoor air amid the toxic Delhi smog Scroll. Delhi is known for its filthy air. But there is no reason most of the strategies won’t work elsewhere.


An interview with a virus-hunter MIT Technology Review

Mid-November Hurricane Iota was the latest Category 5 on record Ars Technica

How Working From Home Will Change Its Design Treehugger

After a year lost in the woods, dog reunites with owner AP


The FIVE days of Christmas: Ministers hope to give festive get-togethers the OK ‘with up to FOUR households able to mix in bubbles from December 24 to 28’ Daily Mail

How close is NYC to banning indoor dining again? Time Out

Bill Gates worries about a ‘dysfunctional’ approach to Covid-19 vaccine distribution Stat

First rapid at-home COVID-19 test approved by FDA NY Post

Trump’s Capitol Death Grip Worsens COVID Surge Capital & Main

Inoculations by December? States aren’t so sure. Politico

The Vaccines Will Probably Work. Making Them Fast Will Be the Hard Part. NYT Not so sure.

Moderna and Pfizer Are Reinventing Vaccines, Starting With Covid WSJ

Adopting mask mandates, some GOP governors give up the gospel of personal responsibility WaPo. Maybe we have turned a corner.

Covid-19 shakes up world’s most expensive city list BBC

Trump Transition

Trump Sought Options for Attacking Iran to Stop Its Growing Nuclear Program NYT

Security officials worry Israel and Saudi Arabia may see the end of Trump as their last chance to go to war with Iran Business Insider

Former Ivanka Trump BFF remembers a fart-blaming elitist with a creepy dad Daily News Great headline.

Will Trump Burn the Evidence New Yorker I have news for you kids – they all burn or control the evidence. Or their spouses do.

“Krebs has been terminated”: Trump fires cybersecurity chief on Twitter Ars Technica


ELECTION 2020: Establishment Dems Can’t Say ‘No’ to Billionaires Consortium News

In reversal, GOP officials in key Michigan county certify ballot count after striking a compromise with Democrats WaPo

How election results get certified MIT Technology Review

Biden Transition

Joe Biden Is Freezing Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren Out of His Cabinet Jacobin

Joe Biden Just Appointed His Climate Movement Liaison. It’s a Fossil-Fuel Industry Ally. Jacobin

Biden hopes to avoid divisive Trump investigations, preferring unity NBC Of course he does. Because this is a MAD situation.

Offering a ‘return to normalcy,’ Biden pledges troop surges in Iraq and Afghanistan Duffelblog

PATRICK LAWRENCE: Hillary Clinton at the UN? Consortium News

Democrats In Disarray

Democrats vent to Schumer over Senate majority failure The Hill


Where are the Praetorian Guard When You Need Them? Craig Murray

Class Warfare

Why Google Didn’t Challenge The DOJ’s Antitrust Charges American Conservative

MTA budget proposal with ‘unfathomable’ cuts includes loss of over 9,000 jobs NY Post

Utah Teachers Organize ‘Sickout” Strikes – Striking Wash Fruit Workers Unionize – Atlantic City Teachers Strike – OSHA under Biden: A Preview Payday Report


Ethiopia crisis: ‘a political mess that makes fathers fight sons’ FT

737 MAX

Boeing 737 MAX Set to Be Cleared to Fly Again, but Covid-19 Has Sapped Demand WSJ


E-commerce can help startups scale up and revive our struggling economy The Print


China launching state rival to Elon Musk’s SpaceX Asia Times

RCEP a ‘wake-up call’ for Europe and the US to unite against China SCMP


Karabakh deal entrenches Russia’s power in Caucasus Asia Times


G20 nearing IMF funding boost for poorer nations, says Saudi minister FT

Antidote du Jour (via):

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.


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  1. Gas Lighting Left

    Was Sanders ever for real?
    He must have known that he would not been allowed in by his “good friend” Joe even though he supported him against Trump.

    1. km

      I suspect that Sanders is one of those people who does not take what he wants, but rather, he accepts what is offered.

      1. jef

        I suspect that after decades in office Sanders knows that short of a revolution he will never be able to make any of the big changes that we all wish he could.

          1. Geo

            Most of us are. He tried to shake things up at least. He lit a match and lit a fuse but sadly it was just a firecracker because not enough people wanted real positive change. Far too many just wanted Trump gone and to go “back to normal”. Not sure what people expected of him after the Dems ganged up against him – to pull a Nader?

              1. Pelham

                I hate to think ill of Sanders, but maybe you’re right. He hasn’t been anywhere near hard-edged enough politically to justify the kind of enthusiasm he whipped up. If that doesn’t amount to a betrayal of his many followers, it’s in the neighborhood.

                1. Cuibono

                  we are all so good at being armchair quarterbacks. tell me what you have done this week to bring some measure of sanity to this insane country?

                  1. drumlin woodchuckles

                    I set my indoor household thermostat down a degree, from 63 degrees F to 62 degrees F. That should deny even a just-a-little-bit-more revenue to Big NatGas and Big Electric.

          2. lordkoos

            I’d cut Bernie a little slack, the guy is now pushing 80 and deserves a huge amount of credit for shifting the political conversation to the left in this country. His followers and his ideas aren’t going to go away anytime soon. People complain that he should have done more which might be true, but what he did do accomplished a lot. How many people reading this blog have done more?

            Having said that, I would really like to see Sanders endorse a third party, if he added his name and support to the People’s Party or similar it would be really helpful, third party efforts need all the help they can get.

            1. drumlin woodchuckles

              People who demand more-in-retrospect from Sanders forget that he was already young-adult and political when Kennedy was assassinated.

              I don’t think Sanders accepts the preposterous ” Oswald diddit acting alone” theory of the assassination any more than I do or than many others do. I think Sanders learned the lesson about ” how far we will let you go without assassinating you”
              just as he and the rest of us were intended to learn it.

              Others accept the establishment line that ” Oswald diddit acting alone” and ” move along people, nothing to see here”. Some of those others blame Sanders for being afraid or cowardly or something.

            2. neo-realist

              A few people have run and won congressional seats preaching the M4A, thanks to Bernie’s coattail.

              While progressive change is needed, a lack thereof should not be placed on Bernie’s shoulders. Too much long term entrenched and organized institutional power aided and abetted by money that he had to go up against, and the people that follow him will be doing likewise.

        1. Charger01

          The DLC democrats (clinton-crats) offer nothing to their political enemies. As Thomas Frank noted in “Listen Liberal”, they want the PMC in the drivers seat, firm grip on the wheel. Everyone else in the coalition can pipe down in the backseat. The famous phrase is ” they’ve got no where else to go”…

          1. Ed Miller

            Charger01: I see it differently. The donors are in the driver’s seat, and there can be no denying that. The PMC get to occupy all the good passenger seats. Everyone else is pushed into the trunk, and there is a trunk because the DNC is still driving sedans!

      2. Janie

        Maybe this country can’t accept someone who fights honorably, gives it his best shot and accepts being double-crossed without retribution. Me, I’m tired if hearing the best candidate around being badmouthed. What the hell was he supposed to do? (Geo is a nicer commenter than I am)

        1. jonboinAR

          I would have liked to see him go the Ralph Nader route. That might have sunk the Democratic Party even deeper than what occurred. Trump would have likely been reelected. The Repubs might have gained even more seats in Congress on his coat-tails and with the Sanders followers opposition to the Democrats. That would have satisfied my shadenfreud-istic (hah!) fantasy. I can’t say what it would have left us with politically or, for the next several years, policy-wise. It would have at least probably made for a more chastened Democratic Party which can only be good, I should think, and mainly why I wish he’d done that.

          Yep! I wish he’d burned the sucka’ down.

          1. jonboinAR

            See “Zagonostra”‘s second paragraph down below. It encapsulates my feelings toward, or caused by, the election.

    2. Rod

      my dogs watch the house better when they are outside, rather than inside.
      He was elected as an Independent and is not a member of the D party in a R led state.

      1. Geo

        How’d that work for Sanders in the decades he was in office? You’ve seen his amazing speeches to empty rooms before he ran? His announcement to run for president in front of a small handful of bored reporters? Nobody outside of diehard lefties even knew who he was and barely anyone supported his ideas (if they even were aware of them). Now those policies are widely popular.

        He’s not an omnipotent god who can fix DC corruption with a wave of his hand. And he has lots of flaws. But he’s done more for progressive ideas and policies than anyone in generations. That’s something to be grateful for.

        1. Pookah Harvey

          Agree wholeheartedly. Unfortunately many people are looking for a savior and didn’t understand Bernie’s slogan “Not me, us”.

            1. Pookah Harvey

              We’re failing him now if we give up . As Nina Turner pointed out Bernie was the spark. We are suppose to be the fire. There is another election in 2022, we had better get busy. So far progressives are doubling their number every election cycle. Let’s see if we can keep that up,

            2. Gas Lighting Left

              Maybe it is tinfoil-hat but what do you think about this?
              The Democrats leadership is stupid, that is what they are paid for by the donors. However, not all the donors are stupid. They could have sent out Sanders as a test balloon for ideas and to try to quantify and qualify the sentiment in the country. If Trump gets the anger out there, many others must have too. If you would be able to quantify and qualifiy the anger you are more able do manage it. They found out that the mass is quite big but not angry or, most importantly, not armed enough to go out in the streets = Sanders can be told to roll over and lie down.
              If Sanders would have been for real wouldn*t he have picked powerful co-workers, if for no other reasons than his own age, to be able to drive real change locally, regionally and nationally?

    3. Panduh

      I think Sanders knew he wasn’t running to win office, but to win goal posts. Any good lefty politician knows its a slog, you should expect to use your first run to gain name recognition, second time to be competitive and maybe the third time actually win. I think Sanders set some new goal posts with Medicare for All (terrible name, but a new goal post after ACA), debt relief (It needed to include farmers, not just students), Green New Deal (you can’t just use Obama era consumerism to improve the climate). I’m waiting to see how the Right and PMC take over these terms and weaponize them against us.

    4. pasha

      we cannot afford any more republican senators. if biden includes bernie or warren in his cabinet we could easily lose their safe seats to a republican, a self-goal, equivalent to shooting oneself in the foot. and can we be certain that haaland will be replaced by another democrat if she is named secretary of the interior?

      1. ambrit

        It depends on the governors of the states involved.
        The governor of Vermont is Phil Scott, a Republican. So, no Bernie in the Cabinet, unless Sanders has some sort of deal with Scott.
        The governor of the state of Massachusetts is Charlie Baker, a Republican. Thus, the same conditions apply as apply to Sanders in Vermont.

  2. eg

    Can someone please help me with Amfortas’ acronym PTB?

    I know PMC is “professional managerial class” but I haven’t been able to suss out PTB, thanks.

      1. Clem

        Is that a noun, an adjective or a verb?

        Just because Bill Gates makes hundreds of billions off stealing DOS, the commonwealth of publicly available software, what right does he have to opine on everything?

        Mr. Gates, please fix Windows before you try to fix the world.

        1. Charger01

          Dude doesn’t run MSFT anymore. He’s been elevated to demi-godhood by his wealth and status as a Philanthropist

          1. mike

            His largest charity, of course, is his own charitable foundation. Nice way to avoid paying taxes on your massive wealth while still retaining the power over it.

          2. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

            Correction, as he says, he’s a “philanthro-capitalist”. In practice that means slaying women in India with experimental vaccines (where they then ordered him to leave the country) and getting impoverished Nigerian families hooked on credit card debt through his “Better Than Cash Alliance” with Mastercard.

        2. jalrin

          “Powers that Be” is a noun referencing the dominant faction in a given group. It comes from the “Buffy: the Vampire Slayer” sequel “Angel”, where it referred to the mysterious benevolent powers that would send the protagonists visions and assignments while exerting a hands off but very real control over their lives and their war against the forces of darkness. It has come to be used to refer to any establishment that runs a given group without taking meaningful responsibility for their failures or actively interacting with their followers.

          1. General Jinjur

            The term if not the acronym is much older.

            « powers that be, the
            Those in authority. This term comes from the Bible: “The powers that be are ordained of God,” from Paul’s Epistle to the Romans (13:1), asserts that all power of any kind comes from God alone. Centuries later the term was reasserted by Pope Leo XIII (Immortale Dei, 1885): “All public power proceeds from God.” Today the term is used more loosely for any temporal authorities.
            See also: power, that
            The Dictionary of Clichés by Christine Ammer Copyright © 2013 by Christine Ammer »

          2. ewmayer

            Erm, as talented a writer though Joss Whedon indubitably is, my dictionary has the phrase going back just a wee bit further:

            the powers that be the authorities. [ORIGIN: with biblical allusion to Rom. 13:1.]

        3. hunkerdown

          “Be” is an archaic but sorely missed relative of “is/are”, but in a permanent or habitual sense, analogous to Spanish ser resp. estar

      1. HotFlash

        Yeah, but also tenured professors and other high-level academic ‘adminnistrators’ (but not that riff-raff junk faculty!), professional pundits, political ‘strategists’, highly-paid newspaper columnists (not reg’lar reporters, though). I figure anybody making $250K or more is at least *considers* themself PMC. I think of them as the 10% that serve the 1% and depend on their continuance for their own. IOW, the people who believe they will continue to be fine if ‘nothing will fundamentally change’.

        I believe they may be wrong, but time will tell.

        1. Pelham

          Hmm. I’d expand on your definition and include anyone, regardless of compensation, who aligns ideologically with the people you describe. Thus I’d include university faculty and even grad students paid pennies to teach, as well as reporters and workaday editors on major newspapers (but not in small cities or towns).

          However, be it noted that there are certainly some in every category who don’t much like being part of the PMC and resent (probably quietly) their subservient status. Good for them.

          1. LifelongLib

            I’d say everyone who lives off paychecks and can be fired is basically in the same boat. Some have nicer accommodations and are harder to replace, but all are economicaliy dispensible.

        1. Josef K

          An ersatz acronym for PMC might then be BSJC; reading your comment I had the old thought “they’re mostly bullshit jobs” pop into my head even before seeing the wiki link. MBSJC is a bit more accurate, but unwieldy.

        2. Ella

          So can you be a Pmc but not be a pmc? Meaning you have a * corporate gig but don’t buy into any of this nonsense?

    1. Jeremy Grimm

      I worked on a series of job assignments where I had to learn hundreds of acronyms … but I never became accustomed to or fond of their usage. I am uncomfortable seeing so many acronyms entering comments on this site. What they contribute to brevity they steal from clarity. I suppose you asked about Amfortas acronym because you follow his comments more closely than those of many other commenters, as I do. He is generally good about limiting his acronym usages to acronyms frequent to this site.

      Special jargon and acronym proliferations specialize discourse and over used can turn broad discourse into silos of discourse.

      1. Amfortas the hippie

        sorry for the confusion.
        i use PTB like a noun, and have since circa 2003, on LATOC(“life after the oil crash”, where i cut my internet teeth)
        it’s the apparently commonplace acronyms that constitute regular internet usage(IIRC, etc) that i often have to look up….i think most of those derive from the days of BBS’s and the like, when the Web was brand new.

      2. HotFlash

        Agreed, the old rule was spell it out the first time you use it and bracket the acronym. But that was for publication. I often have to search, but when I put PTB acronym politics into a swisscows search, Powers That Be came up in a description, I didn’t eve have to click on a link. FWIW.

      3. Keith Newman

        I totally agree with Jeremy Grimm and others with respect to (wrt!!) acronyms. They should be spelled out the first time they’re used with the acronym in brackets. Their use can be very annoying, even exclusionary as noted above.

  3. zagonostra

    >Paying Attention to Politics

    Greenwald is correct. Many people who were paying attention will disengage from following the political machinations of the corrupt ruling elites.

    Like any story/link that has Obama in the title I automatically scroll right past it. My mind is set, or rather it is like a turned-off set. My disgust is complete. There was a moment when Bernie and Tulsi had me fired up, but now my hope meter is unplugged, time to focus on “strengthening the things that remain.” Survival mode. I’ll still engage locally and fight the fight for what what is right, but the centralized commissar/cabal that run the regime in DC is beyond my touch, though I know I’m not beyond theirs.

    1. farragut

      This has been a running, contentious issue in the farragut household since 2008. My wife, an incredibly intelligent woman, still clings to the beliefs a) the Ds are better than the Rs, and b) Obama was a good president. My opinion is there’s no difference (other than a few emotional issues such as abortion) between the two since Clinton’s admin (altho I didn’t come to this realization until seeing St. Obama drag ‘Hope & Change’ out behind the barn and eviscerate it with a dull and rusty steak knife, and having the whole awful epiphany hit me like a gut punch).

      There are more and more days for me when I despair we’ll never break out from under the thumb of the oligarchy–no matter who’s in office. There are days I want to remain engaged because that’s what being a good citizen means–a message which was drummed into me over the years. But there are more days when I mutter, “[family blog]-it” and try to ignore the fraud in DC and statehouses around the country.

      I’m now convinced the only thing which will derail this crazy clown car will be something the elites cannot control. I would like it to be a bloodless full-scale uprising by the 99%, but as satisfying as that would be, that too, would come with significant cost and uncertainty.

      1. ex-PFC Chuck

        This has been a running, contentious issue in the farragut household since 2008.

        Wow! Does that ever sound familiar. Not just in family but friends as well. Just received a a B-day present from one of my oldest friends & wife. Guess who’s the author. I guess I’ll be reading it at some point so the rest of you don’t have to.

      2. Dr. Robert

        It will be the eclipse of the US by China. US elites will talk a big game, sabre-rattle a bunch, but at the end of the day capital will force them to back down because even losing hegemony isn’t as bad as being cut off from Chinese markets. Then we begin to face deficit spending constraints that will force major systemic change. My money’s on super-austerity leading to a backlash and the imposition of an authoritarian state to control it. That’s when we turn into some hybrid of post-USSR Russia and Mexico. Then climate change starts to hit us in a big way.

        1. Glen

          US vs China:

          That ship sailed a while ago. US elites make massive amounts of profit from China. GM has made and sold more cars in China than the US since 2012. Walmart and the Waltons forced massive cost cutting in their suppliers which pushed all of them to China decades ago. Walmart has been the largest importer of Chinese goods for a long time (but it might be Amazon by now). Just look at the COVID response and how well these countries have done. We cannot even make enough test kits or PPE to handle the crisis because we off shored that manufacturing base.

          Trump took a stab at this – and I applauded it, long overdue, but he never went after the real root cause of this problem – American CEOs and Wall St looking for instant profits. They have been giving away American technology, factories, and jobs for a long time. Plus, Buy American has been law for a long time (Buy American Act, 1933), but Reagan gutted the law with exceptions way back in the eighties.

          The whole discussion about “doing something” about China was more appropriate around 2000. It’s pretty much a done deal now.

          I agree with you that we are going to get smacked with austerity while we watch the Fed pump trillions into the wrong end of the economy and further crush everybody but the super rich.

      3. neo-realist

        I do tend to believe that the Rs are not only far worse on abortion (which is a right to privacy issue as per R v W), not merely an emotional one, but also far worse on civil rights and voting rights.

        1. lordkoos

          I agree, the Democrats appear a little less eager to toss into the dumpster what little democracy still remains. However, the more they continue to support the oligarchy the less important that distinction is.

    2. Harry

      I had remarkable strong programming to listening to NPR.

      But now it usually takes about 30 seconds to turn it off. I cant bear to listen to their take on most issues of the day.

      And yet i still press that preset on the radio. Must reprogram it

      1. lordkoos

        I stopped listening after they became cheerleaders for the invasion of Iraq, that was a big one for me.

        Then there was the time they had a panel discussing globalization and one participant said something like “well, we always knew there were going to be winners and losers in a globalized economy” (throwing millions of American workers under the bus). None of the other panel members said a word in disagreement.

    3. km

      Greenwald is more than correct. Lots of people who railed against the abuses of Trump will make excuse after excuse for Biden when he does the same thing.

      Just as goodthink liberals wailed piteously about the manifest sociopathy and glaring incompetence of Bush/Cheney, but when Obama did it, then that made it OK!

      1. Mao "No Landlords Now" Zedong

        It’s already started. Tell one that Biden built the concentration camps that Trump is putting people in and you get nonsense like “they were only supposed to be temporary concentration camps, which are somehow much different and less bad.

  4. The Rev Kev

    “Security officials worry Israel and Saudi Arabia may see the end of Trump as their last chance to go to war with Iran”

    Business Insider is being very coy here, maybe because they did not want to step on any important toes. What the headline should read is this-

    ‘Security officials worry Israel and Saudi Arabia may see the end of Trump as their last chance to get America to go to war with Iran for them’

    And that is not far from the truth either. John Kerry once testified that Saudi Arabia offered to pay all the costs for an American attack on Iran and Israel does not want to strike Iran because they have the missiles to hit them right back. Both countries are looking for a sucker, errr, proxy attacker.

    1. timbers

      I’ve long considered the possibility that 1917 Balfour Declaration may have been one of the biggest mistakes in recent history, and as it turned out in more recent times, the taxpayers of the U.S. are the ones footing the cost if not the bloodshed. On the other hand, ethnic discord leading to bloodshed was sure to happen in the Middle East regardless. But Balfour seems to have added an additional toxic ingredient.

      On the other hand, maybe it’s all just due to the commercialization and financialization and profitzation of war and arms sales.

      1. pjay

        It’s all of the above and more. A variety of powerful interests converge to favor permanent war in the Middle East, and elsewhere. That this does not serve the interests of the American people – or anyone’s people – matters less and less.

        1. Phacops

          Or, a geologist. Nothing significant except the sixth extinction has happened in the past 5,000 years.

          1. ambrit

            To quibble here, I’ll put the Industrial Revolution up there as a phase change level event. Indeed, I’ll go so far as to assert that the Industrial Revolution is crucial to the onset of the Sixth Extinction Event.

      2. Carolinian

        Worth remembering that Balfour was popular among the Brit imperialist elites because it was seen as a way of getting rid of their Jews, while at the same time maintaining a European beachhead in the ME. Which is to say that anti-Semites (Hitler too) were, ironically, big enthusiasts for Zionism.

        But all that is water under the bridge and time to drop the White Man’s Burden and send it floating downstream to oblivion. Everyone should be for peace in the Middle East instead of continuing an imaginary tussle over empires that no longer exist. The world doesn’t need the US to replace Britain as globocop and the American public certainly don’t need it.

        1. Edward

          The deal that was made was that in exchange for British support they would lobby for the U.S. to enter the war.

          1. Offtrail

            This is true. And the gentile British promoters of the Balfour declaration were philosemites, like Lord Balfour himself.

      3. David

        In itself, the Declaration, which supported only a “national home for the Jewish people” and not a state, probably wouldn’t have led to the current situation. The main purpose of the Declaration after all was to rally support for the Allies among Jews in Russia and the US, and it’s unlikely that, in the middle of a desperate war, too many people were thinking about the long term. It was really what happened after the Mandate, and particularly during and after WW2, that was important: a European settler state was seen by the British as very helpful in order to safeguard the route to India. ( A whole book could be written about the importance the British placed on India and how quickly it faded to nothing).

        1. ewmayer

          “it’s unlikely that, in the middle of a desperate war, too many people were thinking about the long term.”

          But a few very crucial ones *were*. There is an interesting story there involving Chaim Weizmann, “the father of modern Israel”, some very practical needs by the Brits in WW1, and the resulting quid pro quo, which did not fully culminate until WW2 and post-holocaust Europe. Wikipedia:

          As [a] biochemist, Weizmann is considered to be the ‘father’ of industrial fermentation. He developed the acetone–butanol–ethanol fermentation process, which produces acetone, n-Butanol and ethanol through bacterial fermentation. His acetone production method was of great importance in the manufacture of cordite explosive propellants for the British war industry during World War I.

          While serving as a lecturer in Manchester he became known for discovering how to use bacterial fermentation to produce large quantities of desired substances. He is considered to be the father of industrial fermentation. He used the bacterium Clostridium acetobutylicum (the Weizmann organism) to produce acetone. Acetone was used in the manufacture of cordite explosive propellants critical to the Allied war effort (see Royal Navy Cordite Factory, Holton Heath). Weizmann transferred the rights to the manufacture of acetone to the Commercial Solvents Corporation in exchange for royalties. Winston Churchill became aware of the possible use of Weizmann’s discovery in early 1915, and David Lloyd George, as Minister of Munitions, joined Churchill in encouraging Weizmann’s development of the process. Pilot plant development of laboratory procedures was completed in 1915 at the J&W Nicholson & Co gin factory in Bow, London, so industrial scale production of acetone could begin in six British distilleries requisitioned for the purpose in early 1916. The effort produced 30,000 tonnes of acetone during the war, although a national collection of horse-chestnuts was required when supplies of maize were inadequate for the quantity of starch needed for fermentation. The importance of Weizmann’s work gave him favour in the eyes of the British Government, this allowed Weizmann to have access to senior Cabinet members and utilise this time to represent Zionist aspirations.

          After the Shell Crisis of 1915 during World War I, Weizmann was director of the British Admiralty laboratories from 1916 until 1919. In April 1918 at the head of the Jewish Commission, he returned to Palestine to look for “rare minerals” for the British war effort in the Dead Sea. Weizmann’s attraction for British Liberalism enabled Lloyd George’s influence at the Ministry of Munitions to do a financial and industrial deal with Imperial Chemical Industries (ICI) to seal the future of the Zionist homeland.

    2. Kasia

      The Democrats used to be the war party (WW2, Korea, Vietnam) and back then the Republicans were the ones who cleaned up the mess. That shifted and the Bush-GOP took over leadership of the war party (Iraq, Iraq 2). We are soon about to see a realignment as the Biden Dems in tandem with the neocon war pigs will most certainly launch a real war in the next year or two. I personally think Lebanon is ripe for the picking. A war to wipe out Hezbollah’s capabilities would be an excellent way to kill two birds with one stone. Not only does Hezbollah go down, but a bunch of Trump-supporting infantry getting maimed or slaughtered will be an excellent form of tough love penance and will hopefully will teach this entire group of malefactors to love and respect their ruling class bettors. Once Biden is gone, Harris will be celebrated for her stunning and brave performance as the first female PoC Commander-in-Chief. And any antiwar sentiment will be branded as racist, sexist and fascist.

    3. Clem

      “America will remain the number one producer of oil and natural gas in the world. We will remain energy independent. It should be for many many years to come. The fact is, we don’t have to be in the Middle East, other than we want to protect Israel. We’ve been very good to Israel. Other than that, we don’t have to be in the Middle East.”

      Trump made the comment during a rally in Winston-Salem, N.C. on Sept. 8, when he was bragging about America’s energy independence, which he said Joe Biden would undermine if he gets the White House (minute 47):

      Say it ain’t so Joe.

  5. TheMog

    Well, between the Duffelblog and the two Jacobin articles, it looks like “return to normalcy” is looking roughly what I expected it to look like. One really can’t be too cynical these days.

    I guess normalcy really does just mean a bit less of waking up in the morning and checking the news to see “WT has he done now”. I currently have a snarky “bet” with a friend as to how many days the Biden administration will wait until they announce that unfortunately the cupboard is bare, so no means tested help for your struggling small business or family that’s been out of work or lost noticeable parts of their income for months.

    I guess, come 2024, the Dimcrats will wonder again why the deplorables aren’t recognising their brilliance and thus voting for someone – anyone – else.

    1. timbers

      Ivanka 2024.

      But don’t worry, Schumer will hold some more conference calls with Dem sore losers explaining it’s Bernie socialism fault and everything will right again.

      1. The Rev Kev

        So, what will Chelsea Clinton be doing in 2024? Can’t see Bernie making a third run as he will be 83 years old in 2024 so he won’t be there to blame. Guess that they will have to go back to blaming Susan Sarandon.

        1. Buzz Meeks

          Ol’ Canvasback is down for the count. I saw him the other day with Jake Trapper and it was embarrassing to watch him repeat the same tired lines from his 2020 bid.
          He’s got his 150 mil.

        2. EricT

          AOC will be old enough to run for president in 2024. She’s a good friend of Bernie’s and probably will inherit his Revolution. And I wouldn’t be surprised if Bernie actively campaigns for her.

          1. The Rev Kev

            Bit of a stretch for AOC to make a serious run in 2024. She will only be 35 years old then and will not have the deep networks to back her up. I checked up and found that the youngest President that the US ever had was Teddy Roosevelt at just under 43 years old – and that was only because he succeeded the assassinated William McKinley.

            1. EricT

              Put it this way. If you turn the clock back to 2004, do you think you would of said something along the same lines about Obama? Tumultuous times lead to people embracing change much more readily. Besides with the leadership of the Dem party in their 80’s, and most of the Dem chairmanships in Congress averaging around 73, there isn’t much of a choice, except they are probably going to try to throw Harris and Cuomo at us expecting us to support nothing again. Perhaps Gretchen Miller( MI )?

              1. Dr. John Carpenter

                The signs were there that they were grooming Obama for the big show.* Obama had a bunch of support AOC doesn’t and won’t have. I’m not even talking about corporate, I’m talking the likes of Teddy Kennedy.

                What senior person in the Democrats, aside from Bernie, has AOC’s back? I think that’s the “deep network” Rev Kev is alluding to.The way things are going for AOC, I don’t see this changing, ever. They’d much rather have Mayo Pete than AOC and personally, I think he’s one to keep an eye on for this reason.

                * I’ll admit, I thought they were going to make him wait until HER had HER turn first, but from all I’ve read, it seems they left them to primary it out fairly. Although, Obama wouldn’t have had that shot had he been devoid of supporters like TK.

                1. NotTimothyGeithner

                  Ted Kennedy only came over in February 2008 after Bill Clinton said only a few years ago guys like Obama would be fetching guys like Bill and Ted coffee. A Southern Democrat with the surname Clinton telling a self respecting Kennedy this probably wasn’t the messenger.

                  There were guys like Daschle who thought they would be players, and there is an article about major donors griping HRC wasn’t low towing sufficiently after 2004 who were looking for something else.

                  Let’s not pretend. Bill Clinton was a terrible president. Not everyone recognized it, but plenty of people organically would have supported anyone other than Hillary. Sanders big problem in 2016 wasn’t having enough structures in place, but it was pretty similar to 2008.

                2. neo-realist

                  I’ll likely be Harris or bust to preserve the incumbency in 2024, and, if the lead issues are solved in Flint, look for Whitmer to throw her hat in the ring for the Dems in 2028. She’s been groomed for a shot a higher office from what I understand, so I think she will have built up the networks by then to be in a good position for a run.

                  I don’t think AOC has enough of a broad appeal beyond the urban northeast to make a successful run at the presidency. I’m also not sure if she’ll be hungry enough to stay in the political game as she hinted of dropping out in a NYT interview. Gotta be seriously hungry to want the Presidency. I could see her as a majority/minority house leader in the long run if she stays in the game.

          2. Lex

            Shouldn’t we look for progressives from the left coast? If for no other reason than to wipe away the nasty memory of Reagan. Maybe a team from each coast. I liked Inslee; I like Kate Brown; I’d even plug my nose and vote for Newsom. As centrist so-called progressive Democrats go, I like Polis, although I’d put his chances as even lower than Buttigieg’s, who ain’t done yet.

            1. hunkerdown

              No, we shouldn’t look for progressives at all. What we should look for are economic leftists, because progressivism is nothing more than a clique and a brand and a dedication never to reach the goal, whereupon the progress stops and the PMC has to do real material work instead of symbol manipulation, which defeats the whole purpose of being part of an elite class.

              Anything the Democrat Party advertises has to be punched. Nothing they advertise will ever be in the public interest because political establishments are never about public interest.

            2. flora

              An aside about, yes, electronic voting (sorry). This video was made in 2018 to try convincing the Senate that electronic voting machines without at least paper ballots for auditing are a bad idea. This was made at the height of the russiarussiarussia narrative. (So why were Dems fine with electronic voting this year? I keep hoping the politicians and election officials will do something about the security issue. But it doesn’t seem to bother them. )


              1. pjay

                Yes! “Think of what the Russians or North Koreans could do!”

                This is actually a good short video. I’ve seen it before. The solution? “It’s called paper” – as stated by the heroic advocate for election integrity at the end of the video.

              2. marym

                This is a state-by-state status as of 06/2019.

                “State statutes govern this choice and thus state legislators are the policymakers in this area. Federal voluntary guidelines do not, at this point, address whether certifiable equipment must have an auditable paper record.”

                It lists IL as requiring a paper audit trail, not necessarily requiring that it be voter-verifiable; however at least in Cook county “…voters choose between an optical scan ballot marked with a pen, or the use of a touch-screen device that creates an auditable paper trail that is reviewed prior to casting a ballot. The paper trail is used for all audits and recounts.”

                There are election security bill(s) (not sure if there’s more than one) passed by the House but stalled in the Senate that may include requirements for a paper audit trail. See Section 1502.

                Of course who can say how many supposedly wonderful “passed the House – stalled in the Senate” bills would survive if the Dems ever took the Senate.

            3. Big River Bandido

              None of the four names you mentioned are progressives, unless you take that label to mean a neoliberal with an IDpol bent.

              I don’t. And I would never vote for any of those people.

            4. ShamanicFallout

              Newsome can announce his candidacy at a gathering at the wonderful (and not cheap) French Laundry while all of the rest of the schlubs remain “locked” down. The announcement of course should be made after he has had his driver pick up the little Newsomes from their private, in-person school, while, again, the rest of the little schmucks are staring at screens doing remote “learning”

            5. neo-realist

              Inslee is a likable left of center progressive, but he is a bit of a stiff on the stump; not sure if he could inspire voters. Inoffensive stiffs can win in WA state, but they are much harder to sell on a national level, particularly to the youth vote, who want sexy and inspiring.

        3. Pat

          Chelsea will have to get past Mayo Pete. Mark my words, once Kamala has hers, Pete’s next.

          Not sure who will be fighting over the Republican spot, in the accepted vetted positions. Haley certainly, but they have a pretty deep bench.

          Possible spoilers for both are Gabbard and AOC on the left, and yes Ivanka maybe Carlson on the right but I do believe the right might have a wildcard I haven’t noticed.

          We’ll see. The positioning starts now.

            1. newcatty

              Michael, yawn…”dumb blond girl jokes” are stale and old. This, full confession, from a formerly born blond ( with copper highlights). Plenty of real problems with both women besides their bottled appearances. This , now, from a silver fox. (Wink). Foxy Lady! This of course is in the eyes of certain beholder…Salt and Pepper fox.

              1. ambrit

                Yep, fox is gender neutral.
                One of my favourite movie lines is from “The Big Sleep,” 1946, where Bogart, as Phillip Marlow tells the library lady that he also “..collect(s) blondes in bottles.”
                Phyl has regaled me with stories about her and her sisters changing their hair colour on whims and dares.
                I’m content with my dirty white ponytail.

        1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

          For historians chronicling the last days of the Republic, the following clip will be useful as one of its final echoes. Josh Hawley, with Zuckerberg under oath.

          “Once the electorate was quarantined from all unauthorized information about the operations of government it became impossible for them to make the government responsive to its needs. While the Founding Fathers had put important protections like The First Amendment in place, the citizenry tolerated its slow, and then final, dismantlement. A leader was selected who promised higher wages, better health care, and racial justice, but the electorate was not able to receive information proving that in fact the leader was personally profiting from the movement of the nation’s manufacturing base to Asia, was funded by private interests extracting outsized profits from health delivery, and had no interest in racial equity aside from a few empty symbolic gestures.”

  6. ArkansasAngie

    The fact that “liberals” openly support increasing troops around the world is … what? Gotta say … world domination is just NOT on my list. Nope

    1. Charles Misfeldt

      Biden is not a liberal, the democratic party leadership is not liberal, the members of the conservative ruling power elite who own and operate both the democrats and republicans are not liberals. Liberals are in the democratic party but do not have any real say in the direction of the party.

      1. hunkerdown

        Liberals seek to divide the working class. Leftists seek to unite them.

        The American usage of the term is malicious. It is specifically designed and used to place the left edge of the Overton window under control of the right-wing bipartisan establishment. It’s better to not use the word liberal at all in serious political economy discussion, except in the international sense of the term referring to center-right capitalist individualism.

      2. Big River Bandido

        Actually, Biden is a classic liberal, in every sense. The perfect combination of Adam Smith economics, Woodrow Wilson racism, JFK womanizing, and Bob MacNamara war policy.

    2. epynonymous

      Friend of mine fell for the ‘responsibility’ argument. Cant draw down too fast etc. (she just couldnt give trump credit, naturally.)

      Its been decades. As I remember the average age of Afganis ten years ago was like 18.

      1. Wukchumni

        1, 2, 3, 4

        Well the war was now nineteen
        You know what I mean
        And the way it looked
        Was way beyond repair

        So how could we depart & have conflict with another
        Oh, when KBR had standing there
        Well Halliburton looked at fees
        And they, they could see
        That before too long
        They’d fall in love with war
        They wouldn’t dalliance with another
        Oh, when they had standing there

        Well war profits & ied’s went boom
        When we crossed into the ‘stan box room
        And they held their hands out every time

        Oh they hung out during through the fight
        And they held their profits tight
        And before too long
        They fell in love with war

        Now why be a sutler with another
        Oh, when they had standing there
        Well the war profits went boom
        When we crossed that Rubicon into doom
        And they held their hands out each time

        Oh they danced through the night
        And they held onto to manna tight
        And before too long
        They fell in love with war
        Now why have a dalliance with another
        Oh, when they have standing there
        Oh, since they have standing there
        Yeah, well as long as they have standing there

  7. TMoney

    I am convinced that GOP Governors only switch to “wear mask” mode after the Doctors & CEO’s & Board of every hospital in the state have called them 3 times about deaths (don’t care) profits (hmmm this might be serious), followed by the nuclear option of switching support to a Democrat in the next election (holy sh*t I’d better do something).

    1. jef

      Speaking of masks….Wash Your Masks…Alot and Often.

      “How Clean Is Your Face Mask? Inside Edition Sent in 5 Swabs for Testing to Find Out.”

      “The good news—there was no coronavirus on the masks. But the bad news—Magee’s mask had a bacteria count of 680 million, including one that can cause nasty skin infections and also lead to pneumonia. A normal count would be about 10,000.”

      I read that medical pros are encouraged to change mask every hour or so to keep bacteria levels low.

      1. Maritimer

        Inside Edition doing scientific research. Where are the scientists? They only want to cherry pick results from ideal studies. Studies not done in the real world. I see folks taking masks off and on, stuffing them in their pocket until needed again. Probably never washing them. And what is the quality of the mask?

        There is yet to be a study done in the real world regarding all the factors and consequences of mask wearing including mental health issues and long term damage to children.

        1. jef

          Marit – There are hundreds of scientific studies in all the peer reviewed journals dating back a hundred years or more. All point out that simple cotton masks load up with moisture and bacteria very fast. All masks have build up unless it is made of antimicrobial material.

          What IE found is real, they didn’t make it up.

  8. Carla

    Re: Boeing 737 MAX Set to Be Cleared to Fly Again, but Covid-19 Has Sapped Demand

    I can’t access WSJ, but it seems to me the flying public now has control over this. Just refuse to board the g.d. 737 MAX.

    At this point, I can’t imagine flying again, but I suppose it could happen. However, I know I will never step on board a 737 MAX.

    1. Tom Doak

      I used to fly a lot, and I think that would be hard to pull off, refusing the MAX when you’re at an airport hub and you have no alternative for getting there. The best bet is to stick to airlines that didn’t buy one.

      Or, sadly, wait until the next one crashes. That ought to be the death of the MAX – and of Boeing.

      1. The Rev Kev

        Might want to give Southwest Airlines a miss then. They have about three dozen of those turkeys and have a coupla dozen more on order.

    2. John A

      Just refuse to board the g.d. 737 MAX.

      Ryanair, that has a huge no of 737 max on order, has said that anyone who refuses to fly on it wont get a refund and they wont give advance notice of the aircraft when people buy tickets. Ryanair are notorious for wriggling out of refunding any tickets and fighting all manner of employment laws etc.
      I once boarded a ryaniar flight at Beziers airport one morning in south of France during torrential rain. People were sent from the departure lounge in smaller groups to avoid queuing to climb the steps. Rainwater came into the plane and the pilot decided he needed to get it checked. We had to disembark. The nearest engineer was apparently in Toulouse and it took him 10 hours to arrive. He said it was OK and we got back on board, the plane shakily took off 12 hours late. In all that time, we got a 5 euro voucher for refreshments and a bottle of water. Ryanair refused any compensation claims on the grounds it was an act of god.

      1. Carla

        It’s all okay. I can happily live out my life without ever having to step on another airplane.

        Fortunately, I had many opportunities to travel internationally over the last three decades, for which I am very grateful. Now I can — and will — content myself with road trips.

    3. Oh

      Not to worry. The propaganda machine will paint the MAX as a safe airplane. And the airlines will offer heavy (coupon based) incentives to the flying fools who’ll jump at the chance.

      1. newcatty

        Reminds me of the packages sold to the cruise and fly customers. Never, ever wanted to cruise in a ship of captured sardines with that other virus constantly making “passengers” sick. I didn’t want cabin fever. Got turned off on flying before corona virus and crashing turkeys making appearances. Just the thought of airport security makes me the opposite of calm and secure. Like Carla, road trips. But, even those will be on hold as can be avoided.

  9. Dr. John Carpenter

    I do hope Greenwald is right. I’ve been really frustrated trying to talk to people who only started paying any attention to US politics after Trump was nominated and refuse to accept anything bad happened before he took office. My fear is too many will gladly accept the Dem’s offer to go back to brunch and unquestioningly accept the excuses the Dems are already starting to test run. I’d like to think the Dem’s making everything all about Tump ties what happens next around their necks (especially with them leaning on Biden’s bipartisan cred so hard) but the Dems consistently impress me in their ability to avoid responsibility.

    1. Tom Doak

      The problem with the Dem strategy of courting moderate Republicans to win back the Presidency is that those voters were not voting blue for the Senate or the House. They wanted Trump out but they didn’t want to give Biden or Harris any real power.

      Had they been thinking long-term, they would have given the Dems control of both houses for 2-4 years, so the world could see how they wasted it. As is, Biden and Pelosi will just blame everything on Mitch McConnell, like Obama did.

      1. NotTimothyGeithner

        Don’t worry. The new excuse from “liberals” is those weren’t cages and those kids were “unaccompanied minors”.

      2. Katniss Everdeen

        “……mistakenly believing….”

        Anyone who accepts such bullshit “framing” doesn’t have much of a brain to melt IMNSHO.

        I’m looking very forward to exploring a whole new universe of euphemisms for “flat out lying” now that the bad orange man is no more. I’m sure it will be quite the rhetorical adventure.

    2. Katniss Everdeen

      I wouldn’t exactly call “voting” for a senile, corrupt career politician with an abysmal 47-year record of middle/working class betrayal purely because he’s not the other guy “paying attention to politics.”

      In fact, I’d call it just the opposite.

      biden has already fulfilled the only campaign promise he ever made–not being Donald Trump. No need for excuses. He’s already given “the country” the only thing they claimed to want, including the bonus of a not-white female second-in-command.

      The dems know tens of millions of suckers when they see ’em.

    3. tegnost

      My fear is too many will gladly accept the Dem’s offer to go back to brunch and unquestioningly accept the excuses the Dems are already starting to test run
      For me thats not a fear, it’s a certainty.An above commentor noted that the only thing that could bring the elites down is something unexpected, while I think it will be something they are blind to.

  10. Samuel Conner

    Somehow, I don’t expect either DJT or the Senate Rs to accommodate JRB’s desire to avoid MAD. For one thing, I think that for them it will look more like JRBAD. And even if DJT is at risk, I don’t think the Senate Rs will care all that much if DJT gets into trouble after leaving office.

    1. Count Zero

      Why this OTUA when WWD? Is it TMTA that people use words? Is it some kind of PL intended to exclude O’s? It’s JAQ to type Trump as DJT or Biden as JRB.

  11. The Rev Kev

    “Democrats vent to Schumer over Senate majority failure”

    I’m shocked, shocked at the Democrat’s campaigning on offering absolutely nothing to average Americans except more fracking did not result in more seats in both the House and the Senate. Where is the gratitude? In any case, Schumer should worry. With Republican control of the Senate, only things that Republicans also want will get passed so anything else Nancy and Chuck will blame those cruel, cruel republicans for not passing more. And all those Republican appointed Supreme Court judges which they let go by just made their job all the harder. So please send more donations to the DNC to fight this.

    1. Clive

      Thereby continuing the long, if ignoble, tradition of the left, or so-called left, forever fighting, but somehow, despite unstinting effort (and the raising of significant amounts in donations), never winning. Whining, yes, that there’s a lot of. Winning, though, apparently impossible.

      1. Samuel Conner

        They got tired of winning even before DJT predicted such an implausible scenario, but they never get tired of whining.

      2. JTMcPhee

        Carries forward, for some reason, into US imperial adventures in Faraway Places. Haven’t “won,” per the prewar publicity floods, since what, Grenada and maybe Panama? But then the reason the DoD’s dictionary does not define “success” or “victory” is that an honest definition would highlight that the “win” is the continued flux of “Full Faith And Credit” (aka MMT) wealth to the effing parasites and tumors of the Pentagram and the MICC.

        Have to understand the nature of the actual game that is being played, to understand what “fighting for” means. Obviously works in the US political context, where the FFAC Flux serves the interests of the Actual Rulers and their minions.

        Burn it all down might be the only way to end the current “lootery,” with all its manifold tendrils and channels. Given humanity, all that is likely to do, per priors, is just set up another set of Looters In Control…

          1. JTMcPhee

            FFAC = “full faith and credit,” which to me is the substrate of Real Economy that underlies the spendable wealth of the nation. MICC = “military industrial congressional complex..’

  12. Darthbobber

    In the “now we can say it” department, this stood out in the SCMP article:

    “I wouldn’t give a green light to all concrete steps taken by Donald Trump, but the general approach – to be tough; to use the economic power of the US; and to make clear to the Communist Party in China that things are changing and that we cannot do it like in the last three decades – that was absolutely right.
    “I speculate Joe Biden will not change the general approach on content towards China,” he added.

    SCMP running this particular piece is interesting.

    1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

      The prescient and patriotic Joe Biden, in the Congressional record, September 2000:

      “I do not foresee the collapse of the American manufacturing economy, as China, a nation with the impact on the world economy about the size of the Netherlands’, suddenly becomes our major economic competitor. Recent attempts by China to police the Internet, and punish advocates of democratic reform, are troubling to all of us, and they are also destined to fail.”

      On election day when Trump was starting to lead, the Chinese yuan dropped like a rock, the most in years. This move of tens of billions of dollars represented the collective wisdom of millions of investors and insiders with deep insight on the actual flow of capital into and out of China. Now that the press has declared Biden the victor and the abundant evidence that he is personally profiting from improving the standard of living of the Chinese working class has been successfully quarantined (for the moment) from the public, the yuan is back to previous levels. Propaganda puff pieces in the press about how “tough” he plans to be on China are pure and unadulterated BS. Follow the money. He sure does.

        1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

          So you do not see the huge spike on Nov 3 that ends on Nov 4? One can speculate. Perhaps they used their logins to Dominion to see where the vote tallies will actually end up? The unfortunate fact remains: Scranton Joe sold the workers of Scranton to China. But at least he’s going to cure cancer, so there’s that:

          1. Phillip Cross

            Noise. Well within the bollinger bands of the 6 month downtrend, and not in any way unprecedented when you look at the chart of the last 5 years.

            ps Scranton Joe did not act alone. He was in cahoots with 90% of congress, 100% of the GOP, the US chamber of commerce, and every corporate boardroom across the country.

            Pps Tariffman negotiated terms with his “so much winning” china deal that focused on protecting US corporate I.P, and opening Chinese companies up to greater US ownership. This makes it even more attractive to do business there, not less. MAGA!

            Ppps Tariffman rescued and repackaged NAFTA when he could have killed it.

            Pppps Tariffman chose to ignore all the other slave labor countries that import cheap goods to the US. That created a property and investment boom in Vietnam because of companies wishing to skirt his capricious China tariffs.

  13. The Historian

    Re: Matt Stoller tweet.

    In Idaho, Amazon just opened a distribution center in Nampa and is planning to open one in Meridian. Don’t you think Idahoans know that Amazon is a monopoly? THEY DON’T CARE! What they care about is that the minimum wage in Idaho is $7.25/hr and Amazon is paying $15/hr. You can’t live on $7.25/hr in Idaho, but you can live on $15/hr here. And he will have no trouble stealing employees away from places like Walmart who are just giving their employees incremental raises. Bezos figured it out but apparently those liberals/progressives like Matt Stoller haven’t figured that out yet. So yea, Stoller can go on telling the ‘woke’ about Amazon being a monopoly and destroying other businesses, etc., but he’s losing the workers in this country.

    1. voteforno6

      You don’t read much Stoller, do you? He writes extensively on monopoly, and he’s certainly not someone who caters to the “woke.” That’s nice that Amazon built that distribution center in Idaho. How many jobs do you think that company has destroyed in Idaho and elsewhere?

      1. The Historian

        Do you think any of that ideology matters any more? Workers need economic relief RIGHT NOW and they will go where it is offered.

        1. Tom Doak

          The problem is, the 300 jobs they create in the warehouse will kill 500 jobs in smaller stores in the region, if not in the immediate vicinity. That’s why Jeff Bezos is worth so much and you are not.

          Also, didn’t Bezos f”figure it out” right after Bernie Sanders introduced a bill targeted specifically at Jeff Bezos?

          1. The Historian

            I think that in this area, Walmart, Home Depot, etc., and then Covid have already killed off most of those small businesses, so no Amazon isn’t going to do that much damage here and Idaho has a relatively low unemployment rate. But that is besides the point.

            The point is that Amazon is willing to pay a living wage where many other places are not. When it comes to putting food on the table, people are not going to be thinking about what Amazon has done in the past or the morality of Amazon – they will be thinking that just maybe they won’t have to go to the Food Bank and that maybe they won’t get evicted.

            Do you think anyone will really care that Walmart or Home Depot or the myriad of other big box stores suffer and lose jobs when they weren’t willing to pay $15/hr immediately when Amazon is?

            If we insist on ignoring the reality of workers’ lives for our ideology, then the next demagogue to get their attention will be a lot worse than Trump ever was.

            1. Katniss Everdeen

              The point is that Amazon is willing to pay a living wage where many other places are not.

              No, the point is that Stockholm Syndrome is a real thing.

              …..Emotional bonds may be formed between captors and captives, during intimate time together, but these are generally considered irrational in light of the danger or risk endured by the victims.


            2. Lex

              Lived there for two years, twenty years ago. Even then, some of the deepest poverty I’ve ever seen, and not in Boise itself but almost immediately upon leaving the city limits, all along the edges. There are pockets of affluence in Idaho and whole lotta deep poverty in between.

              Also the most family-oriented city we’ve ever lived in. In that culture, you were either in or out, there’s not much in the middle.

            3. Noone from Nowheresville

              @The Historian Yes, I agree that $15 / hour is something in the area you describe. Workers have to make the best choices they can for themselves because there is nothing else to help them.

              But what, if any, subsidies and other potential goodies, does Amazon receive for locating two distribution centers in Idaho? i.e., Do a few hundred workers get extra dollars but the rest of the state “pays for it” by having to cut services to afford those services.

              I hear warehouse work at Amazon is rather brutal on the body. What type of medical expenses will these workers incur? Will that be offset by their wages? Will they last longer than 6 months in the warehouse? What type of workers’ comp does Idaho have and will these employees be allowed to access it or unemployment without a lot of hoops if they are let go?

              When we look at the give and take of the unequal game players*, do workers really end up in the plus column just because of Amazon comes in and offers $15/hour?

              * Remember Amazon got free information from virtually every state and most major municipalities on their long-term plans going forward as part of their 2nd headquarters adventure “search”. A power position if ever there was one and that’s against the state / local governments regardless of their professed club labels.

              Workers in a rural area are so far down that totem pole that I suspect they are already buried below ground. If this continues, where do workers end up? what if the end-game is to basically eliminate “employees?”

              1. tegnost

                “Amazon’s distribution network promotes at least two significant interests for the company: accessing customers and using that access to force other sellers into coercive arrangements that promote Amazon’s other lines of business. As Good Jobs First has found, Amazon strategically places warehouses where there is a concentration of disposable income, Amazon Prime subscribers, and easy access to highways and airports.”
                oh look and in 2017 they even agreed to start collecting sales tax, and look at how excited the state is to be finally getting it!
                and this one really hard to find …google search ain’t what it used to be…
                Bezos will only give you something unless you give him something first…
                and why do they want to put data centers there?
                Because they’re socialists, see

    2. Carla

      As Lambert always says “Concrete material benefits.” The Dems are crystal-clear: they will Never, Ever GET this.

      Or rather, they get it, and provide lavishly, for their funders only. Never for the plebes.

      We need us a new national party pronto!

      1. JTMcPhee

        “Funders” is a little bit better than “donors” to describe the oligarchy’s methods of control, but not as good as “bribers” and “owners,” which more exactly IMO describes the relationship between Malefactors of Great Wealth and the “legitimizing minions” in Congress who “pass” those bills drafted by K Streeters and Kochians that they don’t know what’s in them until they have “become law.” Per Pelosi and similar wholly owned creeps:

      2. Rod

        We believe we deserve a system that honors everyone for the content of their character, not the color of their skin, the land where they happened to be born, or the numbers in their bank account. One that brings powerful law-breakers to justice. One that makes sure the planet and its magnificent beings are cared for before any corporation exec’s profit margins. One where the power of our nation’s wealth serves all of us, not just failed banks or masters of war.

        there is no magic wand–just more work ahead

    3. Jonathan Holland Becnel

      Wasn’t it Bernie that shamed Bezos into giving his workers 15/hr? Bezos didnt ‘figure out’ anything except how much pitch forks sting…

      Talking about Monopolies almost won Bernie the primary TWICE had it not been for the treacherous Woke Wing ie Establishment Dems.

      1. The Historian

        No, it wasn’t ‘talking about monopolies’ that almost won Bernie the primary – it was his talking about a living wage and health care and taking the economy back from the elite that won over people.

        1. Wukchumni

          Based upon across the board price increases for food staples i’ve witnessed since Covid hit, is it possible that a $15 an hour wage is equal to really a $10 an hour wage, on incoming mouth based inflation?

          1. lordkoos

            Absolutely. In a couple more years $15 an hour will likely be a standard wage, but it won’t buy frick-all. We should be talking about $22 an hour at least, at this point.

        2. Jonathan Holland Becnel

          Idk, sounds the same to me.

          From your silence, i take it you acknowledge that Bernie got Amazon Workers a living wage?

      2. tegnost

        Bezos figured out how to destroy competition. His entire business grew by breaking laws, then closing down that opportunity for other companies. There is nothing about bezos/amazon that can be called “good”. Just another greedy self serving bully that makes trump look like an angel. I ask historian, do you know anyone who has worked for that b*$tard? Not a good person to work for, whether in the maw of the beast programming or as a serf delivering his garbage and trinkets.

        1. Oh

          Amazon Web Services is taking away business from the smaller web hosts too. A friend of mine who buys a lot of stuff from Amazon also has a company that has its web site, etc. om AWS. He doesn’t know that in the near future Amazon will come for his network consulting business too. Sucker!

        2. Lex

          I think you’re giving Bezos too much credit; he’s just one man. Perhaps no more evil than other CEO’s, just considerably richer. The ruthlessness of that company emanates from slightly further down the executive chain, where the C-suite minions (PMC)* have MBA’s and/or law degrees. Think Wolfram and Hart. They’re not nearly as rich and they’d like to be. Further, they come from the class that believe to their very souls they’re entitled to the Good Life. So, if we’re to try Bezos here for all the crimes of Amazon, I’d point out he’s had a lot of highly paid help pulling off his master plan to conquer the world.

          And then, of course, there’s us the customers, or worse… Prime subscribers. Yesterday’s box contained a KVM Dual Monitor Switch, and a bottle of synthetic snail snot for the Missus. The day before that it was a lovely hunting vest I saw on sale and had to have for my sweetie, even though he only hunts marauding squirrels when necessary. And before that… well, there’s been a pretty steady stream of items delivered to our door since March and that would make us Amazon enablers. I don’t know anyone in a position to throw stones. If you want Amazon out of business, talk millions of people into not buying from that company. Amazon might fold eventually or get chopped up into smaller pieces. I don’t think I’ll live long enough to see it though.

          *that means ‘precious metal clay’ to me and I have to pause in reading each time to translate that to ‘professional managerial class’

          1. tegnost

            you underestimate his original intentions.
            Bezos is the kind of guy who has a be evil sign in his office
            Bezos hired those down the line and crated the ruthless ethos of the company, adding that yes as bezos approaches a trillion all the other grifters need that much too. $15/hr sounds like a lot til you have to live on it, and ain’t no way you’re ordering groceries on prime if that’s how much you are paid.
            I never buy from amazon or check for prices even, you may have heard that a significant portion of their products are fake.

          2. drexciya

            Wolfram and Hart; I love that Buffy/Angel reference. I should do a re-watch of those series probably sometime.

          3. lordkoos

            Try switching to ebay – many of the same products that Amazon carries can be found there, often for the same price or cheaper, the service is better and the sellers can be held accountable.

    4. jhallc

      Amazon workers wouldn’t be making $15 an hour believe me, is someone named Sanders hadn’t pushed Bezos into it.

      1. Jonathan Holland Becnel


        Historian needs to read up on their History if theyre gonna come in here defending Billionaires.

    5. tegnost

      but he’s losing the workers in this country.

      and bezos is tossing them out the door injured.
      Amazon is a monopoly, and is destroying other businesses.
      Also creating a dystopian division between the people who order online and literally never leave their house in a pandemic, served by gig workers, otherwise known as serfs. If I were to choose the worst person in the world it is easily bezos, but he has a lot of company.

    6. jef

      “4. Scratch head, puzzle over the decline of the middle class.”

      5. Cut funding for education, healthcare, unemployment benefits, infrastructure projects, and all social programs due to lack of taxes paid by the Monopolies.

        1. jef

          I am fully aware of MMT. Nonetheless a drop in tax revenues ALLOWS TPTB to make all the cuts I mentioned above. MMT for 1% never for the 99%.

      1. Pookah Harvey

        Bezos’ wealth was reported to have jumped by $90.1 billion (to $203.1 billion) from March 18 through October 13. So he gave 0.89% of his increased wealth from 7 months of profiteering on a pandemic.
        We do have to be grateful for crumbs.

    7. dk

      That’s some false equivalency there. Working for a company doesn’t constitute an endorsement of or preference for its business policies, much less an embrace of monopoly. Especially when layoffs are an ever looming peril, let’s not forget Amazon’s investment in worker-replacing automation.

  14. Wukchumni

    The strain of coronavirus wreaking havoc on South Australia has particular characteristics that are most concerning to authorities.

    As the state announced it was going into a full lockdown for at least six days from midnight Wednesday in a bid to combat the latest Covid-19 wave, Chief Health Officer Professor Nicola Spurrier explained the reason for the tough move.

    “This particular strain has had certain characteristics,” she said today.

    “It has a very, very short incubation period. That means when somebody gets exposed, it is taking 24 hours or even less for that person to become infectious to others and the other characteristic of the cases we have seen so far is they have had minimal symptoms and sometimes no symptoms but have been able to pass it to other people.”

    What a difference a day makes, 24 little hours…

    1. The Rev Kev

      Thanks for mentioning that, Wuk. That strain came out of a quarantine hotel where a guard picked it up from a returned traveler through surface contact. And all the people in that hotel have been told that now they are going to have to do another fortnight there. South Australia, having learned from others, are going in early and hard (they actually used these words). They are shutting down virtually everything for the next six days as a circuit-breaker and the government will be sending troops for manpower needs. There are at the moment only 22 cases but they are not screwing around. Not after seeing how Victoria got done over by this virus. The actual lockdown started just over an hour ago-

      1. JTMcPhee

        I have to wonder how those “troops,” given the likely level of particularized training and wisdom of the individual soldiers, are going to avoid catching a “dose” of the virus and starting another hare into the general populace. Will they quarantine after doing their “service?”

        And generally, will these vaccines keep the public from picking up and spreading the disease while their immune systems fight off the infection using the “code” injected into their systems? Does the vaccine keep the virus from ever establishing a beachhead and so spreading by shedding, or as I suspect just let the lucky jabbee have a better chance of not developing a serious or deadly case?

        1. The Rev Kev

          When troops are used here, they go without rifles, vest and all the rest of the paraphernalia. They help out in doing stuff like walking around to contract trace, manning borders, etc. and are there as a quick way to fill up the numbers but with trained, disciplined personnel. They will be doing the mask, social distancing, etc. route so won’t or should not be in contact with any infected. Easier to do now as numbers are still low at the moment.

  15. Cocomaan

    I was reading about this 95% effective Pfizer vaccine and now see that the sample size is 170 or so people?

    I don’t get it. What am I missing here?

    No way in heck am I injecting a rushed vaccine tested on a few hundred people that already has side effects reported (headaches).

    1. Lee

      For quite some time, I’ve been seeing the same three doctors a couple of times a year for chronic conditions. I figure all three will be getting the vaccine before me so I’ll be monitoring them for symptoms for a change. Each was wryly amused at my mention of this role reversal.

      1. Amfortas the hippie

        told all my healthcare contacts the same: I’ll be monitoring you for efficacy and side effects and adverse events.
        our regular doctor of 20+ years laughed his ass off(he’s loud and jolly, and used to my idiosyncrasies), as did our oncologist(she of the arid, jewish wit)…but stepdad’s various nurses and homehealth people just looked sort of blank….likely due to stress(they’re much more out in the world than the doctors)
        i hate being put into this position, where it’s rational to be a vaccine skeptic, at least for these vaccines.

    2. TMoney

      Here is where we all get a pull on the great slot machine of life. Do you

      A) Wear a mask and continue to risk getting COVID19 – possibly spreading it to friends and loved ones – do you want to wait until a large scale trial is done – possibly what ? another year away ?
      B) Get jabbed with a good looking vaccine candidate Pfizer/Moderna that looks like it might work – but with possible undiscovered side effects because the sample is too small.
      C) Something else (always a choice – could be better or worse than A or B) Write your own answer here.

      There are no good choices – we all just have to try and make the one we think is best. Mind you, it’s not like most people are well informed so the choices most people make are going to be – well, iffy at best. On the other hand, I can see well informed people being conflicted about the choices.

    3. Sutter Cane

      I assume any vaccine will go to rich people, celebs and politicians first, then doctors and health care workers, and then maybe the elderly, so there should be a large enough sample size to gauge reactions before it gets around to being available to the likes of me

      1. tegnost

        I expect the opposite, it will be “rushed” to the essential workers, uber drivers, grocery store clerks et al. and the stay at homes will wait to see what happens using the excuse that those essential workers need it first, and isn’t covid killing more poor people so they come right after essentials (no food stamps unless you take the vaccine) so by the time the stay at homes get it the side effects may be clear, or they may not… sneaking protiens hidden in lipids into your cellular network is a brave thing to do, thanks wobbly…

        1. JTMcPhee

          I’d bet both will be the case. Early adopters among the Blessed Ones and also the minions and mopes who serve them. With a slight delay by the first bunch, to let the “poison testers” serve their function.

          1. newcatty

            JT, oh wise one. The “poison testers” were privileged, honored and fortunate minions in the court. Like the chosen ones who emptied the royal chamber pots. The testers, as long as they survived, got to taste the rich foods and wines. Nothing old is new, again. We all are testers, Like in eating pesticides and deadly chemicals in many foods with out nutrients at local stores. And water quality? Food deserts were lamented in communities before the virus struck the country. Now, food lines in Texas and other places are ubiquitous. We saw an image on tee vee the other night. Had sound off and I read closed captioning and realized it wasn’t a snaking, long line to be tested, but for food! After the deluge…

            1. lordkoos

              We’ve all been guinea pigs in a giant experiment since the development of modern medicine and chemical pesticides.

        2. Phillip Cross

          I predict “scientific consensus” will shift from:

          “It is safe for kids to meet up indoors in large groups at school, because they are mostly immune, and so they don’t spread Covid19.”


          “We must make Covid19 vaccination mandatory at schools, because kids are primary drivers of the epidemic.”

    4. Janie

      Refer to the comments in yesterday’s water cooler. User Friendly had a breakdown of numbers about halfway through. I believe 170 was cases of covid among the thousands vaccinated and unvaccinated. Researchers look at how many in each group contracted covid. Very informative thread.

    5. booze

      The sample size is not 170.

      Roughly 20,000 people got the experimental vaccine. Another 20,000 got some other vaccine (as a control).

      Of those 40k people, 170 got Covid-19. Of those 170, 8 got the experimental vaccine.

      There are reasons to be skeptical of all of this without resorting to uniformed discussion/disinformation.

      1. Yves Smith

        The sample IS 170.

        You can’t go around infecting people with Covid after vaccinating them to see how many get sick. So you vaccinate a huge number to then isolate the relevant samples from each.

        The 20,000 who were vaccinated is a relevant sample for safety (side effects), but it’s a vastly smaller # for efficacy. But that isn’t why 20,000 were vaccinated, it was to capture a smaller naturally occurring infections # for efficacy.

        1. Rtah100

          It is somewhere in between, on efficacy. There is a tacit assumption about exposure rate among the 20,000. Let’s say 1% of them will be exposed per week assuming no lockdown measures. In 26 weeks, crudely 26%. Call it 25% for easy maths. 162 get COVID in placebo arm, 8 in vaccine arm. 162 out of 5,000 is 3.44% infected, 8 out of 5000 is 0.16% infected. 95%+ efficacy. Without fossicking around for the Pfizer trial protocol, we cannot tell the exposure percentage they assumed but many more than 170 were the “sample” of coronavirus-challenged patients.

  16. Wukchumni

    The Masters golf tournament sported the lowest numbers of viewers since they began keeping track, and although it’d be easy to blame the President for fiddling around with a 9 iron as DC was churning as the cause, all pro sports have have rather dreadful numbers which is interesting, as we’re all home a lot more than ever these days, you think it’d be a natural that numbers of people watching would explode, but that isn’t the case.


    On the other hand, do it yourself sports such as bicycling & hiking are exploding in popularity.

    1. Wukchumni


      I think pro sports is doing a great disservice to the country in that NONE of the players on the field have masks on, and just a few when they’re in the dugout or on the sidelines, it sends a horrible message that the virus is no big deal, and players still tend to hug one another after the contest quite visibly as if we’re in 2019, not now.

      Have any of you hugged strangers since Covid hit?

      Heck, i’m still feeling guilty about shaking hands with half a dozen people since March, ha!

      1. savedbyirony

        Speaking of media masking disservices, i would have preferred that the new shows coming out now would have just set them in non-covid contexts. Not that i watch much series tv but the few i have recently seen that are set in covid times have the characters unmasking in all the wrong times and places. I get it, the star does not want to be grilling the villain in this season’s latest cop-porn hit series behind a mask, and that lead actors are making concessions even leaving a mask dangling from one ear during long conversation scenes, but the masking messages they send are completely backwards.

    2. Tom Doak

      Many golf courses reported 30% more play this summer and fall, since golf is very well designed for outdoor social distancing.

      Ratings for televised sports are on the decline everywhere due to the Internet taking over as people’s go-to distraction.

    3. Hubert Horan

      Two professional sports issues: (1) Most were forced into bastardized seasons outside their traditional seasons. Normal build up that gets followers excited about who will win the NBA Championship or Stanley Cup was badly disrupted, and leagues seasons began to overlap. Masters never had to compete with NFL for viewers before. And normal escapism value badly reduced as covid issues became critical to competition (and largely destroyed it in college football, the most profitable sport of all) (2) Pro sports had badly overexpanded pre-covid as TV networks competed for one of the few remaining attractions advertisers would pay for. As with overexpansion in other industries (hotels, retailing, commercial real estate) the big external shock caused the bubble to burst faster than it might have otherwise, but the real problems predated the virus. People running these industries have never known anything but wildly profitable growth and will be incapable of downsizing them in line with the smaller revenue base going forward

    4. savedbyirony

      “all pro sports have had rather dreadful numbers….” No not all of them. Both the WNBA and women’s pro soccer league had record high numbers this past season.

      As for The Masters, taking on the NFL mid season is a loser for probably any sport, the course played comparatively too easy this time of year, the shift in tee off time was too early and probably most hurtful for Sunday’s numbers (aside from Tiger not being in the running) was the lead going into the last round was virtually insurmountable. The winner finished with a record low score.

    5. Basil Pesto

      This would be in large part due to the shift in the schedule. As well as competition with other sports, to many purists, a Masters in November probably just doesn’t feel right.

      As mentioned downthread, the pandemic has boosted player numbers in the manner of those DIY activities you mention. I posted a couple months ago that round numbers in Australia were up (this despite one of the
      most golf-mad regions in the world, Victoria, being
      locked down for large parts of it). I posited that part of the reason might be newfound time, one of the complaints about the decline of golf memberships pre-covid being that pre-retirement people were more time poor, which I hypothesise is tied to neoliberalism. As an activity it’s kind of similar to those DIY activities – you can do it by yourself (as I do 99% of the time), but even if you do it with others, you don’t need a lot
      of people to make a game of it (2-4 people, as opposed to 22 for soccer, etc), and if you take away the socialising fripperies post-match, you don’t really have to be anywhere near them.

      1. Wukchumni

        I only just got my MPGA tour card shortly before Covid hit, and they deemed such courses non-essential, leaving me tilting @ windmills.

      2. ShamanicFallout

        Yes+. Golf has, and from a certain point of view probably deserves, its many bad associations in the collective psyche. No need to name them. But it’s a fabulous game, and needs to remembered at its roots. Also with a little more time on one’s hands, Michael Murphy’s ‘Golf in the Kingdom’ is essential reading (along with Hogan’s ‘5 Lessons’)

  17. The Rev Kev

    “Oceanfront Property Tied to Obama Granted Exemption From Hawaii’s Environmental Laws”

    Yes, very typical. So Obama got his start in Chicago. And now he is trying to have a public park seized on his behalf so that he can build a monument to himself there. But he was born in Hawaii. And there he is trying to take and destroy one of their beaches in order to make his investment safer. Yes, he does own a spread in Martha’s Vineyard but he won’t do anything like that there. The sort of people that live in Martha’s Vineyard are the sort of people that do what he is doing to Chicago and Hawaii.

    I wonder how long it will be until there is a Washington-based movement to erect a statue to Obama as America’s first black President? You know that it will happen. Maybe more so under old Joe. Or would it be such a target for attack that they will have to put it into the Capital Building as they had to put Maggie Thatcher’s statue in the Houses of Parliament?

    1. Carla

      One set of rules for us peons, and another for our lofty leaders. It was ever thus on the mainland, but universal beach access and waterfront protection used to be sacrosanct in Hawaii…

      The Hawaiian courts had more gumption when they forced Beatle George Harrison to fight in court for a decade over strangers using an access trail on his property that passed just 20 feet from his house to get to the beachfront:

      But despite the long legal battle, George Harrison was not arrogant, and was embraced by local Hawaiians…

    2. ambrit

      May I suggest that the statue be cast out of “black iron?” Then, after a few years out in the weather, it can become the monument to the ‘President of Rust.’

    3. ckimball

      The Rev
      (an antidote) a resort to fantasy today
      I would like to vote for Nina Turner for our next president.
      Obama fades next to her vivid realness and any statue of him would too.

    4. ewmayer

      “I wonder how long it will be until there is a Washington-based movement to erect a statue to Obama as America’s first black President?”

      I’m having this horrifying mental image of the top of the Washington monument redone with a giant version of the Chia Obama head, complete with a green “living garden” growing in place of the royal hairline. It’s woke! It’s green! And selected celebrity viewers of the first screenings of Black Panther II: Revenge of the Deplorable Racist Clingers™ will be invited to a special Walk The Garden opening event with Barack and Michelle themselves.

  18. Tom Stone

    Looking at Biden’s Cabinet choices and his choice of advisers leads me to believe that we will see disaster capitalism writ large as States, Counties and Municipalities are driven to bankruptcy.
    And some very nice Public assets will land in the right hands, at pennies on the dollar paid for with 0% loans from the Fed.
    I see Harris as the Hammer, ‘Lawnforcement” is something she has a good deal of experience with…
    Amateur hour is over, it’s time for the professional looters to take over.
    Great timing, what with ecological collapse well begun.
    A final question, how big is the hole in your heart if you need the Presidency to fill it?

    1. NotTimothyGeithner

      I figure the earliest a stimulus will get out is March despite Biden’s fantasies about sweeping pandemic reforms on day one. I mean Feinstein is praising Harris for her work on resolutions to honor the Lakers about sweeping Dodgers. 250k dead, and these people are dedicated to pageantry. See Newsome and Pelosi’s now canceled parties.

      With picks like Richmond and even discussing Rahm Emmanuel, Biden is clearly dedicated to being a divisive figure out of the gate.

      Can you imagine what will happen when Biden “both sides” the next incident of police brutality? And that’s the best case scenario for Biden.

        1. JTMcPhee

          I do like the scenes in gladiator movies, including the last “Hunger Games” offering, where the gladiators launch their weapons at the Imperator… Fantasy, of course.

      1. Glen

        And we’re on track to do the one of the things he said he didn’t support:

        Defund the police.

        But not just in one town – everywhere. And we’re also defunding the fire fighters, EMTs, schools, buses, libraries, road maintenance, all your public services.


        How in the world did we end up being a country where Wall St has a bad week so CORPORATIONS get trillions but we PURPOSELY let our state and local public governments go broke? Two hints, Dodd-Frank Wall St Reform Act and Obama*.

        * Yeah, I’m going to take a pass on 700 pages of being told that Americans are all F’ed up, but I (sold American out and) made it so it’s all good.

  19. The Rev Kev

    “RCEP a ‘wake-up call’ for Europe and the US to unite against China”

    Sounds like a lot of butthurt going on here. How is the EU going to set off countries in Asia against each other in competition for a deal with the EU if the EU now has to deal with the RCP trade block? It’s not fair I tells ya!

  20. km

    “Security officials worry Israel and Saudi Arabia may see the end of Trump as their last chance to go to war with Iran Business Insider”

    TL:DR: “We really really really didn’t want to but Saudi Arabia and Israel made us!”


  21. Carolinian

    Thanks for including the Patrick Lawrence on Hillary at the UN. Since Biden seems set on giving us the Hillary administration that never was–take that Trumpies–it would be only fitting that she be included somewhere. Can Madeleine Albright be far behind?

    Of course Hillary/UN is just a rumor and perhaps a trial balloon. But even if it doesn’t happen we seem headed down a road that will be anything but “normalcy” and healing. Rather it’ll more likely be, as Lambert keeps quoting, “they learned nothing and forgot nothing.”

    1. Clem

      You think we were the laughing stock of the world with Trump in the White House?

      Wait until Hillary is in the U.N.

  22. chuck roast

    Another Obama Lecture:
    I walked into BJ’s Big Box yesterday to be immediately confronted by a 5′ X 5′ table piled high with O-Bee’s recent non-apologia. At least 10 tiers of books. They must be hoping (there’s that word again) for sales in the many millions.

    1. NotTimothyGeithner

      My anecdotal experience is Obots didn’t read his first forays or at least couldn’t retain anything which is understandable as he’s the equivalent of a saltine, so would they really want to risk being seen with a 700 page book?

  23. jr

    Jimmy Dore tearing Michael Moore a new one for his Biden knob-job on Colbert. It’s truly nauseating, Moore actually declares that because he and Biden share the same religious faith that he knows he’s the man for the job. Plus, he is so good hearted that he even ran with Harris despite her “I was that little girl.” speech:

    Moore has become unmoored. I’d call it Biden Derangement Syndrome but that acronym is taken for a better cause.

    1. NotTimothyGeithner

      It’s nice to see the parable of the Good Samaritan and the story about the centurion despite being written for illiterate peasants was completely lost on Moore.

      1. jr

        As Dore points out, Moore, a multi-multi millionaire, using the “Eye of the Needle” sermon about Biden, another multi-multi millionaire, approvingly is breathtaking in it’s blindness. And JD points out something that has always bothered me but never sank in: Moore’s “poor people” costume of baggy jeans and crumpled hat is exactly that…it’s a shtick.

        1. neo-realist

          Lots of people with money dress down. Either dressing up doesn’t mean anything to them, or they have poor fashion sense. I think Moore doesn’t give a poop about fashion.

          I find that people of lesser means, or, in some cases, those that have grown up with lesser means – poor, working class – tend to dress up to give the appearance of having more money than they really have. It’s about escaping the poverty they fear and or have experienced in the past and to not be perceived as people of lesser means by the PMC or the wealthy.

          1. Rtah100

            Or like my friend who grew up in London attending St Paul’s school said: don’t be a target.

            (St Paul’s vies with Westminster as the top performing private day school; George Osborne went there and was nicknamed “Oik” by his fellow Bullingdon Club members “Call me Dave” and “Call me Alexander de Pfeffel” because it’s hardly Etonian is it?)

          2. jr

            Yes, thanks for that, but Moore is not just any sartorially challenged multi-millionaire, he has created an industry around appearing to be Joe Sixpack the Tribune. I think he was well intentioned at one time but I remember him uncritically jumping on board the anti-Nader train, falling to his knees with John Stewart to beg Nader not to run again as if Nader had derailed Gore in ‘00. And this latest spectacle on Colbert’s show was literally gross to listen to. Biden is the kind of creature Moore used to fight against, now he is proclaiming BoBo Joe’s ascension. I’m sure there are other offenses he has committed on behalf of the Powers That Be. So I will continue to view his costume as exactly that. I may lay off if he tried wearing a sweatsuit once in a while, now that’s grassroots

    2. zagonostra

      “Moor is unmoored” and has been for some time.

      I get the same queasy feeling in my stomach when I see or hear MM as I do with Obama. As always JD does what only he seems to be willing to do, call out the rot at the top – which certainly included the likes of Colbert and MM.

      1. jr

        I can’t think of anyone else, besides us that is, that is screaming bloody murder from the rooftops like Dore does. Genuine rage and genuine tears.

  24. Mo.B.

    Oceanfront Property Tied to Obama Granted Exemption From Hawaii’s Environmental Laws

    Thank you for that heart warming report. Hopefully the former President will be able to enjoy some hard earned rest at that beautiful island retreat.

    In unrelated news, President Donald Trump is reportedly contemplating a relaunch of his populist campaign for the presidency in 2024. He would be a shoe-in for the Republican nomination, having received some 71 million votes while narrowly losing the last election, all in the midst of a pandemic and an unprecedented economic catastrophe. His working class supporters, increasingly Black and Latino, complain of “corruption”, among “coastal elites”, and often make baseless claims such as “the elites make rules for us that they themselves don’t follow”.

    1. Samuel Conner

      Me thinks this would be a good development. It might force the Ds to not forget half the country until 2024.

      And, who knows, by then DJT might have embraced M4A. It seem a mortal certainty that the Ds will not.

    2. Phillip Cross

      “His working class supporters, increasingly Black and Latino, complain of “corruption”, among “coastal elites””

      How many of them are Q cultists? There is a lot of talk of “elite” “corruption” (wink) and “El Diablo” being shared on social media. I often see the unlikeliest folks declare, “Where we go one…”. Americans are a mostly a credulous bunch.

  25. DJG

    Jeri-Lynn Scofield: Thanks for the photo of the snappily dressed Eastern Rossella.

    I clicked through and discovered that it doesn’t like being made into a pet. They don’t take to taming.

    So they won’t show up as someone’s emotional-support bird on an airplane, because as good parrots, the Eastern Rossella has better things to do.

  26. ckimball

    The Rev
    (an antidote) a resort to fantasy today
    I would like to vote for Nina Turner for our next president.
    Obama fades next to her vivid realness and any statue of him would too.

  27. JacobiteInTraining

    My dad used to tell the story of the ‘Tall Firs’. Not the Oregon basketball legends, but rather the family thing – when you are a little teeny kid, all those older folks around you…seem so big, so mysterious, and yet both comforting and sheltering, like a forest of Tall Firs.

    As you grow up, every once in awhile you hear about a storm came and maybe one of the oldest of them Tall Firs comes crashing down, but maybe you only saw them on holidays and family reunions so you are sad, but life goes on…all the rest of the Tall Firs keep sheltering you.

    More time goes by, and you are taller yourself – mature, active, taking charge of life. You’ve probably left the old forest by now, and every time you come back home on holiday there are one or two more of the Tall Firs that have fallen, and are gone. It makes you wistful…but you have things to do, and life goes on.

    Then one day, a lot more time has passed, maybe you have some sprouts and seedlings of your own to protect. You look around, and you realize that with how tall you have grown – goodness, YOU are now one of those Tall Firs, hoping against hope, since most of the ones you knew and counted on are gone, that you remember their lessons and guidance right. And can pass it on well.

    As the storms buffet your own treetop and branches, and you await the storm that topples you…you do your best to keep the ones down below safe in the meantime.

    Heh, sorry for sapppy so early in the morn. I lost my Mom just a few weeks ago and feeling a bit emotional after seeing that Wolfgang vid/tribute to his Dad:

    1. Wukchumni

      Sorry for your loss, and yeah it was all about the Tall Redwoods for me, as my father had a love affair with them that he passed on, and they’ve grown a little since I was a kid, but not that you’d really notice. One of the few things in the space of my life that hasn’t changed demonstrably in a world that practically demands it.

      Went out on a date to a special one we call ‘Low Rider’* @ Ladybug Camp in Sequoia NP yesterday, and it’s awkward in that I always have to go to her place when I want to see her, and it’s the ultimate May to December romance, with about a 1,473 year difference between us.

      * the largest Giant Sequoia of size in the NP @ the lowest altitude, an odd pairing. It’s @ 4,280 feet, a few thousand feet below where they normally hang out. Around 12 feet wide @ eye level.

    2. Amfortas the hippie

      right there with you.
      i’ve been thinking about that sort of thing since wife’s cancer diagnosis, 9-11-2018.
      after the initial chaos and disorder, we went to eat at a Luby’s(a cafeteria of some repute in texas), and the square fish made me nostalgic. my grandparents always took us kids there.
      i realised that i was then the same age he was when i was born(49).
      and since my dad died in july, i’ve realised that my son’s are the last males with my last name…brother and cousins all have girls….a lineage i can trace back to the 1750’s, outside of Prague.

    1. anon in so cal

      “Europe has nearly half of the world’s 4 million new coronavirus cases.”

      “….Switzerland, which has registered some of the highest transmission rates in the world in recent weeks, stepped up government support Wednesday — including an extra $1.1 billion in state aid — for people affected by the coronavirus and by lockdown measures.

      The Alpine country counted more than 6,000 new cases over the last day….”

  28. jr

    Just came back from walking the dog on a cold day in Manhattan and noticed that the squads of bicycle delivery guys who normally sit on the steps of churches or along lightly used sidewalks are now huddling in doorways for warmth. A homeless man had passed out standing up, leaning on the fence around the train entrance, I’m not sure how he manages to stay upright. A man was hollering at people passing by that in fact he is not crazy and could someone help him with some change.

    Dickensonian stuff and it’s going to get worse. I bought a door brace.

    1. Rtah100

      Emily Dickinson? Afeared of poetesses with crazy punctuation distilling the moment?

      A Door just opened on a street —
      I — lost — was passing by —
      An instant’s Width of Warmth disclosed —
      And Wealth — and Company.

      The Door as instant shut — And I —
      I — lost — was passing by —
      Lost doubly — but by contrast — most —
      Informing — misery —

      Or is it prolix Charles and his adjectival riches of squalor you are fencing out?

  29. anon in so cal

    >Covid “900 on Mayo Clinic staff have contracted coronavirus in last two weeks”

    “…Williams said that 93 percent of staff who have contracted the virus did so in the community, and that the majority of those who contracted the virus at work did so while eating in a break room with a mask off.

    The 900 staff newly diagnosed with COVID-19 equals over one-third of the 2,981 Mayo employees diagnosed since the start of the outbreak. When you add in staff who are quarantined or taken offline in order to care for relatives, the clinic is currently experiencing a stable shortage of 1,500 staff systemwide, 1,000 in Rochester….”

  30. Jason Boxman

    What hasn’t come up much yet regarding vaccines: How many of the 1% will buy access ahead of health care workers and other at risk groups. I wonder whether and when those stories might come out?

    1. neo-realist

      Since they’ll be at the head of the line, it will be an excellent opportunity to see if guinea pig richy riches suffer side effects from either of the mRNA vaccines so us plain folk can decide if its worth the risk.

      daily mail will certainly release the stories:).

  31. jr

    Adventures in Wokey-ness:

    So I recently became involved in a verbal dispute on Reddit (I know, I know) with some 20 something’s (I know, I know) over a disagreement on how to resuscitate a dying plant. The conversation became heated but never foul mouthed, essentially me offering advice and this child nay-saying it. I kept my cool but he became accusatory and I fired off a few choice salvos questioning his “expertise”. Other voices joined in, mostly kids siding with him. They have a bit of a gang, it appears, not that I care.

    But one thing did stand out. One of them wrote an earnest bit about how she wanted to help with pertinent information but that she was “scared” to join the conversation because, the implication was, my words were so harsh, so derogatory. (They weren’t.) It was puzzling but it occurred to me that this was the censorious nature of IDpol coming into play. It doesn’t even have to be a specific question of identity, just upsetting to someone’s agenda. Literally, my words on a reddit sub-thread were so scary that……what, exactly? Her hair would catch on fire? Her keyboard would explode? I asked her something to that effect and received no answer but it was a bit chilling to consider. There was no physical threat, no possibility of one, and I wasn’t even using abusive language but someone believed that pretending their safe space was being violated would be enough to get me censured by the mods. It brought to mind a kind of mirror image of young students in North Korea who are trained to report even the mildest of infractions to their teachers and who of course use it to their own ends. A generation of narcs, terrified of words and quick to run to authority when it suits their needs. We are truly entering dark times.

    1. Lex

      I seem to recall that playing the victim is one of the characteristics that define fascism; antifa is using the same playbook.

      In the Drama Triangle — victim, rescuer, persecutor — the power role is the victim. Without a victim, the other two have nothing to do. The players constantly flip roles.

      There was this short film involving two actors made back in 2009 called ‘May Fly’. One female and one male and the audience watches the two quickly flip back and forth through the three roles. The short was well done; it was kinda fascinating and horrifying at the same time. It couldn’t have illustrated the Drama Triangle better.

      1. Aumua

        I seem to recall that playing the victim is one of the characteristics that define fascism; antifa is using the same playbook.

        Yeah, and the actual fascists are using it too, every chance they get.

  32. Edward

    If the Dems really did tamper with the vote, in both the primary and the election, it may be really important that this be exposed, to at least prevent future tampering. Unfortunately, so far Trump hasn’t been making a strong case, and animus against him is leading many to dismiss the possibility. It is too early to say for sure if there was cheating, despite some fairly suspicious voting, but just the fact that the system allows such opportunities for fraud by itself should be a scandal. The dismissal of these concerns by the Dems reminds me of the Russiagate propaganda; it seems like hype that people are expected to swallow out of party loyalty.

    Another complication in this matter is that I don’t think the Republicans care about fair elections; they only oppose tampering when they are the target. This makes me squeamish about supporting them on this issue.

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