Links 11/29/2020

Danish Mayfly chosen as 2021’s Insect of the Year Euronews

Moths draped in stealth acoustic cloak evade bat sonar Chemistry World

McKinsey advised Purdue to offer rebates for opioid overdoses Axios

Summary of the Amazon Kinesis Event in the Northern Virginia (US-EAST-1) Region AWS


Why Is the Risk of Coronavirus Transmission so High Indoors? Zeit Online. This article has an interactive calculator for room-size, duration, amount of people, applied to various indoor settings (church, classroom, restaurant), with additional settings for masking, ventilation, ceiling height, time speaking, and volume (the last two covering, for example, choir practice but also karoake). This is the approach Cuomo should have used in drafting his law, because it would not have raised strict scrutiny questions.

Transmission heterogeneities, kinetics, and controllability of SARS-CoV-2 Science. From the Abstract: “Based on detailed patient and contact tracing data in Hunan, China we find 80% of secondary infections traced back to 15% of SARS-CoV-2 primary infections, indicating substantial transmission heterogeneities. Transmission risk scales positively with the duration of exposure and the closeness of social interactions and is modulated by demographic and clinical factors. The lockdown period increases transmission risk in the family and households, while isolation and quarantine reduce risks across all types of contacts. ”

Mask defiance remains strong in Big Sky Country, even as the pandemic rages STAT

Public apathy frustrates COVID-19 contact tracers: ‘We know people are lying to us’ Des Moines Register.

* * *

UK set to approve Pfizer-BioNTech Covid vaccine within days FT

Russia says its COVID vaccine is 95% effective. So why is there still Western resistance to it? CBC

World’s vaccine testing ground deems Chinese COVID candidate ‘the safest, most promising’ Fortune. Brazil, Sinovac’s CoronaVac.

Use of adenovirus type-5 vectored vaccines: a cautionary tale (letter) The Lancet. “Roll-out of an effective SARS-CoV-2 vaccine globally could be given to populations at risk of HIV infection, which could potentially increase their risk of HIV-1 acquisition. This important safety consideration should be thoroughly evaluated before further development of Ad5 vaccines for SARS-CoV-2, and informed consent documents of these potential risks should reflect the considerable literature on HIV-1 acquisition with Ad5 vectors (English translation). From the Times vaccine tracker, CanSinoBio (not SinoVac), Gamaleya (Sputnik V), ImmunityBio, and Vaxart use Ad5.

* * *

Why There Are Suddenly Not Enough COVID Tests Slate

America Just Can’t Get Enough Lysol Bloomberg

* * *

The Covid data spies paid to know ALL your secrets: Town halls harvest millions of highly personal details including if you’re being unfaithful or having unsafe sex Daily Mail

Some prominent exposure apps are slowly rolling back freedoms MIT Technology Review

* * *

Coronavirus risk to consumers from cold chain products ‘very low’, says Chinese official Reuters


China makes final effort to court Japan and South Korea as Donald Trump heads for the exit South China Morning Post

With global push for COVID-19 vaccines, China aims to win friends and cut deals Science

In Sabah, students fall from suspension bridge they climbed to get internet access Malay Mail

Fukushima’s Radioactive Wastewater Dilemma Ha Kai Magazine


Labour Unions’ Nationwide Strike: Near Total Shutdown in Bengal, Kerala; Rallies in Other States The Wire

Kashmir people vote in local polls amid cold and security AP

Why I’m Losing Hope in India Bloomberg

Ethiopia declares victory as military takes Tigray capital AP

Nonviolent guerrilla cartographers Africa is a Country


U.S. aircraft carrier deploys to Gulf, Navy says unrelated to ‘specific threats’ Reuters. The URL tells another story: uk-iran-nuclear-scientist-usa-navy.

Overview: nuclear scientists as assassination targets Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists (Re Silc).

Saudi Arabia: The Ally From Hell The American Conservative

Drones Rain Contraband on Panama Prison Insight Crime

Center-right mayor faces socialist in Brazilian metropolis AP

Air Runs Thin for World’s Populists Bloomberg


Europe signs $102M deal to bring space trash home (press release).


EU’s Michel Barnier says ‘we are not far from take it or leave it moment’ as he resumes make-or-break Brexit trade deal talks with Lord Frost in London Daily Mail

Brexit: New ferry freight route opens between France and Ireland Independent

COVID Second Wave in Siberia: “Who By Fire” Sarah Lindemann-Komarova, Medium


Ex-Trump campaign aide Carter Page sues FBI for $75 million over Russia probe surveillance Independent

Trump Transition

Pentagon Purges Leading Advisors From Defense Policy Board Foreign Policy. Finally somebody fired Henry Kissinger. Pardon my schadenfreude.

New IRS rule will push many US small businesses to the brink WSWS

E.P.A.’s Final Deregulatory Rush Runs Into Open Staff Resistance NYT

Trump administration denies permit for Pebble mine in Southwest Alaska Anchorage Daily News

Deep Sea Rush The Baffler


Pennsylvania high court rejects lawsuit challenging election AP (this case).

The Supreme Court, faithless electors, and Trump’s final, futile fight SCOTUSBlog. As futile for Trump in 2020 as it was for Democrats in 2016.

Biden Transition

Potential Biden Officials’ Firm Is Promising Big Profits Off Those Connections David Sirota, The Daily Poster. The deck: “Former government officials Tony Blinken, Michele Flournoy & Lloyd Austin may run Biden’s national security agencies — their firm is telling investors it expects to profit off ties to those officials.” Democrats always add a layer of indirection (a firm, a foundation) instead of looting directly. Never let it be said the two parties are the same!

The grown-ups are back in charge in Washington FT. So we’re doomed, then?

All Out Of Ideas Eschaton

Democrats in Disarray

Who’s in Charge of the Democratic Party? The Nation. This assumes that we even know what the Democrat Party’s boundaries are; surely many NGOs should be included. If you follow the money, Nomiki Konst at the long-forgotten DNC Unity Reform Meeting mentions (“this smells”) that $700-$800 million dollars to five (5) consultants. Yet these consultants are never named. This article does the same thing: “[T]he handful of consultants who dominate Democratic politics.” Why not name the handful? Then, of course, there’s the question of who’s operating these consultants. Layers of indirection, as I keep saying.

How three conspiracy theorists took ‘Q’ and sparked Qanon NBC

Our Famously Free Press

How to Save Democracy From Technology Francis Fukuyama, Barak Richman, and Ashish Goel Foreign Policy. “Fewer still have considered a practical way forward: taking away the platforms’ role as gatekeepers of content. This approach would entail inviting a new group of competitive “middleware” companies to enable users to choose how information is presented to them. And it would likely be more effective than a quixotic effort to break these companies up.” Note the source, and the authors.

Why Twitter is (Epistemically) Better Than Facebook Logically

Guillotine Watch

Kardashians host lavish Thanksgiving gathering, appearing to ignore Covid guidelines Independent. This keeps happening.

Class Warfare

The Battle of Blair Mountain Was the Largest Labor Uprising in U.S. History Teen Vogue

What Is Land Inequality and How Does It Threaten Women? Euronews

Failing grades spike in Virginia’s largest school system as online learning gap emerges nationwide WaPo

Utah monolith: Internet sleuths got there, but its origins are still a mystery BBC. Conceptual art purchased by an unknown squillionaire for their private collection?

Antidote du jour (via):

Bonus antidote:

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here

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About Lambert Strether

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


  1. Wukchumni

    Utah monolith: Internet sleuths got there, but its origins are still a mystery BBC.
    One angle of repose not mentioned is that a Burner is responsible for it’s construction & placement, as this is just the kind of thing you’d see @ Burning Man, art in the middle of nowhere if you will.

    The idea that said monolith has garnered much attention is largely because of location, if it was in a city setting would anybody care?

    Here’s a monolith from 1998 in Black Rock City

    Another monolith from 2003

    And another from 2011

    1. juno mas

      Th Utah Monolith is now gone. Someone driving a pick up truck was seen with a large, covered object in the bed driving away from the area. BLM says the monolith was private property and is up to the local Sheriff to investigate.

  2. Amfortas the hippie

    some thoughts on the pipeline thing:
    fta:”“FERC has empowered private pipeline companies to repeatedly abuse property owners with deeply dubious claims of eminent domain somehow being in the public interest,” Senator Wyden said…”

    it’s worse in texas, where the TCEQ(Texas’ EPA) is a wholly owned subsidiary of Big Oil and Big Chem.
    we have a natgas pipeline behind our house….i can shoot it with an arrow from the westernmost part of our place…but it’s on our neighbor’s.
    ergo, we didn’t even know it was going in until the heavy equipment showed up.
    they were only required to deal with the actual landowners where the thing was going.
    the deal will pay a part of my neighbor’s property taxes, going forward, so he didn’t think twice about it…as if doing so would have mattered.
    down the road, in Fredericksburg, all the landowners involved in a pipeline project are up in arms…this is the one that is slated to go through Wimberly(a jewel of a place)….once again, points to certain possible commonalities between Right and Left…a place to start talking, if we could get past abortion and deplorables.

    neither of these projects remain economically viable, given the current state of west texas fracking.
    sand plant that was slated to go in 1.2 miles to my north(we’re outside the 1 mile radius of having “standing”)…all my neighbors temporarily won a war of attrition…tying up the company until that sand was no longer needed out west. During that fight, i took the opportunity to teach my mostly republican neighbors about “direct action”, and “caltrops”…should their efforts fail.
    it has not gone unnoticed by these various landowners…from rich wineries, to heirs to pioneers just hanging on in beat up trailers on the 20 acres that’s left of great grandad’s spread….that the deck is stacked…and that “property rights” are only Holy if they belong to the right people(the paper kind).
    for the sand plant, i was close enough to at least be regularly sent the paperwork/briefs/filings/minutes…and it was perfectly obvious(to everyone) that it was all a mere formality, and would have zero effect on the outcome. IE: the project in question would happen.
    my point, with this first cup of coffee, is that there’s room on environmental issues to come together with our otherwise rabid brethren
    in spite of the current polling regarding support for trump, it is understood that neither party is “on our side”…and, sans the renewed culture war hysteria and yelling, there is common ground to be had.

    1. marku52

      I’m near ground zero for this unnecessary pipeline (first it was for import, now it is for export to Asia, still no contracted buyers, maybe next it will export to outer space?).

      You see a lot of “No To Jordan Cove” signs out in the deeply republican heartland around here. After all, private property rights are a big part of the republican mythos, tho of course the people running the looting don’t care a whit.

    2. Henry Moon Pie

      Back in the 80s when I was dealing with such issues–and to my shame on the wrong side of things–it was the Texas Railroad Commission that was the real center of power regulating oil and gas matters and public utilities more broadly.

      Across the border in New Mexico, it was in the state courts where I represented Shell in condemning right-of-way for a carbon dioxide pipeline from the McElmo Dome in SW Colorado to Denver City and Shell’s Hobbs Unit. Shell had played it very cute, denying FERC jurisdiction because they were carrying a “liquid” not a gas because the CO2 was under high pressure. When they went before the ICC, they argued correctly that CO2 was not a hydrocarbon. So the result for them in Round 1 was a big success: there would be no federal regulator of their pipeline.

      The problem arose when they had to condemn right-of-way in New Mexico. That article yesterday did not discuss state law, but there are majority and minority positions on the federal (and usually state) constitutional definitions of “public use.” The majority of states interpreted public use to include any “public benefit,” but a minority required an actual public right to use the proposed improvement. New Mexico was in that minority, so how was I going to prove the public had the right to use this CO2 pipeline? We brought in some landowners along the line who had their own small CO2 deposits, and Shell had dealt with them in a friendly manner, even signing contracts with a few. But the judge was no fool, and I knew if I couldn’t show some ability to enforce a right to use, Shell would lose and the right to condemn throughout the state right along with it. The project would be dead. (And that would have been for the best, I now realize.)

      So the argument available was that the federal Interstate Commerce Act itself used for a model the state common law cases establishing a carrier’s right to sue in state court for a failure to act as a common carrier. So I argued that a common law right to enforce existed, the court agreed, we won and the pipeline was built. The longer term result was that we have less than 10 years before a climate tipping point.

      What was interesting to me about that article was the way that those pipeline opponents used similar reasoning (Americans won’t actually use the line. It’s just passing through.) as our case revolving the narrow definition of public use.

  3. fresno dan

    Terri Nelson
    Nov 24
    There are angry ladies all over Yankee Candle’s site reporting that none of the candles they just got had any smell at all. I wonder if they’re feeling a little hot and nothing has much taste for the last couple days too.
    Just because you’re paranoid doesn’t mean they aren’t out to get you.
    Just because you can’t smell the candles doesn’t mean “Big Candle” isn’t skimping on the scents…

          1. Jack Parsons

            All US carmakers should have gone bankrupt in the 70s and destroyed. They went entirely to hell. Nothing survives from that vintage, because all of their cars were garbage.

          1. flora

            and… Mitt’s father George stated that no CEO needed to make more than $225,000. dollars a year. (about~ $1.4 mil in today’s dollars.) Mitt could have learned something from his dad.


            George Romney, in other words, exemplified a lost species of American business leader: He led in an era when CEOs and boards of directors felt some sense of restraint when it came to compensation. These men (they were all men) lived very well, but they also acted as though there were some relationship between the sums they were paid and broader social cohesion.

            1. Procopius

              I wish I could find the source. I remember reading an article about the engineer founder of some enormous Japanese company who decided to retire. His board of directors were horrified, believing there was nobody else in the world able to continue bringing in so much revenue. They offered him an enormous sum, for the time, to defer his retirement until they could replace him. I don’t remember the amount, but it was well over a million dollars. He just laughed at them, and stated bluntly, nobody is worth a million dollars. It’s still true.

      1. Ford Prefect

        Poster child: $0.57 GM ignition switch that ultimately cost GM over $900,000,000 as well as over 100 dead car owners. They had to ultimately recall 30 million vehicles because the fixed replacement part got tossed in wit hthe original parts on the manufacturing line, so they didn’t want to throw out the unreliable ones to save money and they didn’t know which vehicles got the unreliable or reliable part.

  4. timbers

    Public apathy frustrates COVID-19 contact tracers: ‘We know people are lying to us’ Des Moines Register.

    “…the Jefferson County public health leader, said the current pandemic is particularly challenging for contact tracers, because they have few concrete benefits to offer participants.”

    Also how many folks don’t have “access” to healthcare? Still say contract tracing not gonna work so great unless you start with a population where 100% have healthcare. Not access to healthcare. Healthcare. Add to that the U.S. has other cultural factors that might hinder it, that other nations might not.

    Few years back my super extroverted black Labrador, Rocky, was a puppy and I put him in my back yard and closed the kitchen sliding glass doors when someone came over to view the basement of my home to rent. Rocky had the usual separation anxiety and proceeded to bark in protest of his brief separation. After all, why would anyone come to the house but see HIM? An Animal Control guy showed up. I immediately and politely told him I would fix things immediately and I could not talk further as I was in the middle of a meeting and answered his knock only because I thought he wanted to view the place for rent, and closed the door.

    A few weeks later a City ticket arrived in the mail for not registering and vaccinating my dog. The various fines were about $250. He through the book at me.

    Except the name on the fine wasn’t me, but someone who apparently once lived here and still uses this address to list his real estate tax for his commercial property located elsewhere. Animal Control violated basic rules and made up a violation without even knowing who they spoke to or who owned Rocky.

    Notices to appear in court arrived followed, than new orders to appear in court and so on. It’s possible a warrant of arrest was issued and if he ever gets stopped for a traffic violation, the cop will probably arrest him. Eventually the notices stopped.

    I can understand why folks would avoid contract tracers like the plague. Stay low, avoid contact with “officers” and don’t volunteer any information. Nobody knows nuthin. Sounds all America to me.

    1. Noone from Nowheresville

      Your story is another brick in the wall of the Taibbi article linked to yesterday on city fines and fees from the criminal justice system.

      Iowa for contract tracing. Taibbi’s Iowa for criminal justice “fees.” Hard to believe that the Midwest used to be truly innovative and “progressive” once upon a time. Hollowed out, the state / local elites cannibalize their institutions & their populace at the altar of the elites who decided to hollow them out. I know they’re making choices on the winners and the losers so they can maintain their own hierarchy. Still cannibalize your state and regional areas long enough and even that little bit of hierarchy they manage to maintain can be taken away once locals are no longer needed to manage the decline.

      1. flora

        Yep. There’s a long chain of events, imo, starting in the 1980s. Heavy industries paying high union wages, starting with the auto industry in Michigan and elsewhere started threatening to move to right-to-work states in exchange for huge tax breaks. And they did. States giving the tax breaks saw the potential for new good jobs that would economically improve the local economy, even with the tax breaks.

        That whole ‘tax breaks for jobs’ filtered down to even poorly paid, seasonal, or short term jobs. Think of the tax abatements local cities give to , for example, a Walmart or Amazon warehouse center; with the poor pay, the large infrastructure costs the city bears, and the lost tax revenue the local property owners end up paying for the the tax abatements with rises in their property tax. (Until the city is faced with revolt by the voters for ever increasing property tax.) Then there’s the loss of Main St. jobs the giant chains displace.

        Now it’s the big national, usually out-of-state, apartment complex developers asking for, and in many cases receiving huge property tax abatements to develop (in many cases “excess) complexes, the local property tax can’t be raised much higher to cover the tax abatements costs to the city, and the city is on the supporting end for roads, water, and electricity infrastructure. The profits from these complex leave the city and often the state. The jobs created in the construction are short term. It’s a next loss to the city’s tax base. It’s a gift to giant real estate developers. One of the lures the developers in my area use is that their apartments are so great that they’ll attract the “creative class” to live here, and of course “every city needs to attract the creative class”. Sure. Right. It doesn’t take many of these to punch large holes in a city budget.

        So, here we are. In the name of “build it and they will come” cities and counties and even states have wrecked their budgets, and now they’re increasing turning to fines and fees, too often from the poorest and defenseless, to try making up the shortfall.

        I’d love to see every city, county, state examine all the tax abatements for businesses they’ve given out over the past 20-30 years and examine which ones of what type have actually improved their budgets and economy, and which have been a net loss to their budgets.

        1. jonboinAR

          In the 90’s, while mourning the loss of my Rams to St Louis, I had to admire the fortitude of my city, Los Angeles. It refused to give in to the NFL’s attempt to hold it for ransom, that is, to make the taxpayers of the city pay for a spiffy new facility that the NFL would get the benefits of. So LA went for years without an NFL team. I don’t know what’s happened now, did they finally give in, or was something else worked out? After the Rams left I gradually lost interest altogether in NFL football. I haven’t lived in LA in a long time now, don’t care about the modern Rams nor know what’s going on.

          1. flora

            Did you move away because the city didn’t fund a Rams’ super facility? The city fathers are always told that if they don’t give in to NFL or MLB demands for a new super stadium that people (the real tax base) will move away. So this question of mine is actually a serious question and not a snark.

            1. Wukchumni

              It wasn’t only the Rams who went away, so did the Raiders…

              Luckily, I met my ex-Buffalonian wife in the midst of all the gridirony, and have suffered greatly since, but Bills fans wouldn’t have it any other way.

            2. jonboinAR

              Uh, no. That didn’t factor in at all. I moved around, around LA, then the Bay Area, desperately trying to find roots in a state that had become barren and inhospitable. I was surrounded by others in the same condition, hooking up with roommates in rental situations, all of them temporary.. I met the first person I’d known who was working steadily AND was homeless. Like the proverbial frog in the gradually heated water, none of us seemed to understand that this was not only not normal but was going to get worse. In any case, football was the furthest from my mind. Then for me, sadly not for others, a kind of miracle happened. I met my now wife and moved to this town in Arkansas, the southern Midwest. To get back to the parched plant metaphor, I immediately started to put down roots. Say what you will about the Midwest or “heartland” and the corruption within small cities, there still exists in this part of the country a sense of community, of knowing one’s neighbors, of having family relations spread all over the area, and having people that one can depend on, that gives tremendous comfort. And I was blessed, marrying my wife, to be adopted into one of these families. I can’t say it would have been just the same had I just showed up here without anything. I see people moving through here all the time who seem “rootless”. Most probably continue on after awhile. Others seem to stick. Joining a church seems to help a lot with that.

              1. Janie

                Yes, I see that community with my relatives in your neck of the woods. We nearly retired there. There is much that is good in the South, and those who sneer at it should check it out with a more open mind.

      2. timbers

        What seemed to be in play was not community service or order but:

        1). Collect fees. Fixing the situation wasn’t good enough maybe not even relevant.

        2). I aggravated the situation by offending his Officer-ship worshipful-ness by ending the conversation and closing the door.

        “Officiousness – that’s the CURSE of a government job.” – Maude in Harold and Maude

    2. ambrit

      Oh yeah. When I did a gig as a census taker for Uncle Sam back in 1980, (the money was good and we needed it,) I canvassed a mainly rural region. A non trivial number of people did not want to become ‘known’ to the government. There were then, and most probably still are, individuals and groups who have “disconnected” from the Mainstream Society.

      1. Amfortas the hippie

        i’m as disconnected as i can be while still having things like electricity and paying taxes.
        it is not an easy row to hoe, sometimes.
        the difficulty is similar to avoiding debt, and never having had a credit card in my name(rara avis)…both of which play into all that remaining as disconnected as possible thing.
        of course, the nsa, et alia knows who, what and where i am…as do google, etc….and it’s getting harder and harder to maintain what disconnection i’ve obtained.
        “…we’d like to avoid….Imperial Entanglements…”-Obi Wan.
        in my case, the motivation is an almost total distrust of institutions, writ large, due to …certain formative experiences, involving cops, banks and education.
        (and i do realise the dissonance between this and being for things like medicare for all)

        1. drumlin woodchuckles

          Someone once said to me that doing ALL business in cash and not even HAVING a credit card might well mark one as a cultural-economic dissident if/when such people were to get searched out and hunted down.

          So I have a credit card and always keep myself disguised in plain sight as a credit-using citizen. I figure its bad enough that I pay down the balance in full.

          ” Citizen! Your Credit Card Please!”

          1. Hepativore

            It does not help when an increasing number of apartment landlords, automobile dealers, and even employers require a background credit check as a condition of leasing, buying a car, or getting the job. As much as I hate having a credit card, I force myself to use it from time to time as having no credit history is the same thing as having bad credit history. As much as I would like not have a credit card, I would not be able to have gotten the apartment I now reside in without a positive credit score.

            1. The Rev Kev

              What happens with credit is also happening with social media. I’ve heard it years now that when going for employment in the US, the lack of a social media account makes the employer wonder what is wrong with you. And that this includes employment in government job as well. Must get weird when you go for an interview and the interviewer brings up your social media account and then demands that you give your password to get into the account. And yes, this does happen.

    3. fresno dan

      November 29, 2020 at 8:16 am
      An abomination to civil liberty sits beside the Wabash River. One of two Bureau of Prisons Communication Management Units (CMUs) in the country, housing less than 200 inmates between them, there is nothing mass about this kind of incarceration.
      I think you bring up a point that is given short shrift. There is a narrative that Obama and the democrats are civil liberties people. And I think it is in no small part a reason for a significant portion of Trump support. Trump stating some rather obvious things about the US police and legal system, even though Trump’s pique at FBI corruption is only about Trump, and Trump in virtually the same breath admonishes the police if they put street criminals into paddy wagons “please don’t be too nice.”
      “Liberal” Hollywood portrays the police and Federal agencies as incorruptible – in the RARE event of bad apples, they are quickly found, prosecuted, and convicted. CNN and MSNBC put forth the PREPOSTERIOUS proposition that Brennan, McCabe, and the guy who looks like a frog (his name escapes me right now, its not to insult him, but he looks like a frog with glasses) are objective reporters of reality.
      What does the average person see? A thoroughly unjust system, endlessly promoted as the greatest legal system EVAH (there is something rather pathetic about the American self promotion about how wonderful and infallible the American system of laws is), run by elites for their own benefit, and endlessly propagandized for by these same elites. And finally, the idea that pre Trump we were in near Eden…

      1. anon y'mouse


        unbelievably large tuchus?

        can i steal it?

        i am not mocking you. apt freudian slippage.

  5. Wukchumni

    Kardashians host lavish Thanksgiving gathering, appearing to ignore Covid guidelines Independent.

    What would a photo of Kim Kardashian laying intubated on a bed, be worth in stopping this sort of behavior?

    I’m guessing it would be huge, almost as large as her oversized posterior.

    She’d reach the very pinnacle of being famous for being infamous.

  6. petal

    The monolith in Utah has disappeared
    “A mysterious monolith that was found in the remote Utah desert has been removed by an ‘unknown party’ after its sudden arrival sparked theories it was left by aliens.

    The shiny triangular pillar, which protruded approximately 12 feet from the red rocks in southern Utah, was spotted last Wednesday by baffled local officials counting bighorn sheep from the air.

    However the three-sided structure was removed by ‘an unknown party’ on Friday evening, the Bureau of Land Management Utah said in a statement. “

    1. Acacia

      I’m waiting for NASA (Musk?) to propose a manned mission to Jupiter to go looking for the monolith’s maker.

    1. rl

      Turned over one of my mother’s … (I only burn plain beeswax at home as added fragrances give me terrible headaches—how anyone manages to think with one of these big jar candles burning in the same room, I can’t begin to guess) …

      “Made in the USA with global components.”

      “Global components”! It’s a candle!

      1. WhoaMolly

        I think “Made in USA with global components” translates as:

        “Candle made in China. Trivial something added in USA.”

        1. Fwe'theewell

          So the real work was done by some former pigsty-sleeper, now cement bunk dweller and the resulting eco effects were left there but the booking of value was in the USA. Got it.

  7. The Rev Kev

    “Who’s in Charge of the Democratic Party?”

    The DNC are here to say that they are absolutely in charge of the Democratic Party. And they have permission from their donors to say so.

    1. Tom Stone

      Rev, I heard that that wild eyed socialist Mike Blooberg bought the DNC fro The Clinton campaign earlier this year using money borrowed from sofbank.

      1. ambrit

        Funny you should say that. I have it on bad authority from questionable sources that the DNC was purchased by the Trilateral Commission. /s

      1. Lee

        The view of the rocks was improved by the object’s removal, in my curmudgeonly opinion. How can a thing that no one claims to own be stolen?

        1. Kurt Sperry

          Agreed. You leave something in a park and never report it missing, it’s litter. The first person packing it out is performing a public service, not stealing.

        2. SOMK

          I’m sure the masses of people who went their to look at the rocks are delighted to have their view restored. Does nail varnish spoil the view of the nail, does eye make up spoil the view of the eye, does a line spoil the page? They do not, they highlight and accentuate. It’s impossible to judge such a thing outside of the context of experiencing it, the experience of it is also the journey to get there, only then really have you earned the right to judge it.

          The act of claiming that which no one else has claimed is a form of theft, I am ignorant save that I know concepts of ownership are not necessarily universal, but suspect the Native Americans never conceived of themselves as ‘owning’ America, yet have a fair claim in saying the land was stolen from them. Such artefacts are expensive to produce, it was clearly placed deliberately, whether or not is was removed by the same party that placed it is another matter.

          I wouldn’t be surprise if it didn’t have some kind of ritualistic function as opposed to an ‘art’ one (I wouldn’t hold artists to being authorities on what is and isn’t art as the linked article does), that could explain the rapid removal, assuming it was done by those who placed it there. If it was taken by another party, then it was in effect stolen, both from any public wishing to see it and from those who for whatever reason constructed and placed it there.

          Of course cynicism is even cheaper than theft, theft involves initiative and foresight an active, cynicism is like farting without the wit to ask someone to pull your finger.

        3. Count Zero

          The silver monolith

          It’s clearly conceptual art of a delightfully minimalist kind. Both its sudden inexplicable appearance, its status as a blank meaningless object and its sudden inexplicable disappearance are part of the performance. Hopefully we’ll never find out the name(s) of the artist(s). It was an aesthetic event — and an art object that cannot be bought.

    1. polecat

      It is probably on it’s way to Saturn as we sneak! This particular monolith .. being all reflective-n-shit, has to compete with that dull, boring BBJM (Big-n-BlackJupiterianMonolith) somehow! Thank Gaia that no Blu dc ish Monkeys were seen fondling it – probably thinking it racist to even consider such at act … thus, (thankfully for us taperlovers), unable to receive even Moar ‘wisdom’ – Here’s looking at you ‘Cold empty Bowl in $pace’ Nancy & co. …

      That’s my CT, and I’m sticking to it like a gravity well.

      ‘Say … Anyone got a spare freeze-dried psuedo-chicken sammich for the taken? Innerspace exploration makes a proto-human hungry!

    2. Wukchumni

      Once you’ve displayed your art for a week @ Burning Man, there are a few options, you can burn it if possible, or remove it from the playa and leave no trace whatsoever that it ever even existed.

      I’m thinking the latter…

      1. ambrit

        Could that be Gaia’s plan for us? We’re one big “art project” that has run it’s time out and now nears the end. (Our only hope now is to “go out ‘on the road'” and survive in the sticks and strings.)
        “Mynock? Oh blast! Everyone get back in the family shuttle, fast!”

  8. Mr Magoo

    Re: “World’s vaccine testing ground deems Chinese COVID candidate ‘the safest, most promising’”

    This seems to be only talking about reactions. From what I recall reading on the trials so far, vaccines not triggering an immune reaction was not deemed to be a good thing. A lot of participants in other trials who did not get a reaction were more worried they got the placebo.

    1. Lee

      If proven effective, this more tried and true mechanism of action might prove preferable to the newer approaches, so far as potential long term effects are concerned. Also, this vaccine doesn’t need to be kept at super cold temperatures. Time will tell.

      Mechanism of Action (MOA) of the COVID-19 Vaccine Frontrunners

      “COVID-19 vaccine (CoronaVac) developed by the SinoVac Biotech company entered its phase-I human clinical trials in April, and after showing promising results in the initial 2 phases, the company started phase-3 trials in Brazil and Indonesia. This vaccine uses an inactivated virus, a proven strategy that has been traditionally used for vaccine development, and such vaccines have been found to be safe and effective for influenza and polio. For this type of vaccine, the specific virus or bacteria is killed or inactivated, and its dead cells are introduced into the body. Even though the pathogen is dead, the immune system can still learn from its antigens how to fight its live versions in the future.”

    2. TroyIA

      Interesting Twitter thread explaining the different vaccines in development. Coronavac produces the least amount of antibodies of all the phase 3 vaccines, even less than patients who have recovered from COVID-19. Whether this low amount of antibodies will provide adequate protection and for how long remains to be seen.

      SARS-CoV-2 Vaccines

      CoronaVac (inactivated SARS-CoV-2+aluminium hydroxide) by Sinovac. They published data from a randomized, double bling placebo controlled trial. 3 or 6 ug of vaccine were given twice, adjuvanted with alum. They used two intervals, either two weeks or four weeks.

      They achieved non-impressive neutralization titers in the 1:30 to 1:60 range. But since e.g. the 50% protective titer for influenza is 1:40, this might be enough, who knows. The vaccine also seemed pretty safe with very few side effects.

      One interesting thing they did was to compare the neutralizing antibody response in younger adults and the 50-59 age group. The 50-59 group had marked lower immune responses. We will get back to that in the end. This vaccine is currently in Phase III.

      . . .

      In terms of immunogenicity, inactivated and AdV5-based vaccines seem to rank the lowest, followed by ChAdOx1-based vaccines and mRNA vaccines, and finally adjuvanted, protein-based vaccines, which show the best performance.

      Reactogenicity seems to be lowest in inactivated and protein-based vaccines, followed by mRNA vaccines, with vectored vaccines having the highest rate of side effects.

      All frontrunners and most of the >180 vaccines in the pipeline are given intramuscularly/as injected vaccines. This route is good to induce IgG which is prevalent in the lower respiratory tract and helps to protect the lung, which is great.

      However, these injected vaccines are poor inducers of mucosal antibodies in the upper respiratory tract which is mostly protected by secretory IgA1. This might lead to immunity that protects the lung (mild/no disease) but still allows for infection and potentially for onward transmission of the virus.

      Natural infection or live attenuated vaccines induce mucosal immunity and live attenuated vaccines might be much better in inducing sterilizing immunity in the upper respiratory tract. By not developing live attenuated vaccines we might end up with vaccines that protect us from disease but not infection and we might still be able to pass on the virus to others. This has been observed e.g. for influenza virus vaccines.

      The next issue is old people. Old people usually don’t respond well to vaccines, as can be seen in the Sinovac and Pfizer trials. We also know this from flu. There are even special formulations of flu vaccines for old people that make them respond better. In addition, it has even been shown that old people need much higher neutralizing titers than young people to be protected (again, for flu). So, the most vulnerable might profit the least from vaccines and we might needs special regimens or dosages for them.

    3. Dirk77

      Being behind on news, I am curious about whether “vaccine tourism” has arisen as a topic. By that I mean, country X has a really good vaccine, not yet available in your country. So you fly there, get a shot in the airport, turn around and go home. Risks associated with the journey nullifying any benefit? Just plain crazy? I’m a self-centered [family blog] for just thinking it? Etc.

  9. Phacops

    Nice to see a Mayfly as insect of the year. Where I live there is the Giant Michigan Mayfly. The trout absolutely relish them when they lay eggs on the water surface and you can almost set your watch to them when they start at 10 pm.

    Importantly, Mayflies, along with Caddisflies and Stoneflies, among other aquatic critters, are indicators of water and habitat quality. Michigan, through conservation districts, monitors stream quality using insect surveys and it is a pleasure to engage in collecting and identification for these surveys. One gets to learn to “see” the rivers and streams in an entirely different way and it is especially fun to have young children helping out. The Michigan Clean Water Corps (MiCorps) site has data down to macroinvertebrate family from various streams under study along with stream quality data.

    I enjoy helping out, not only because a day on a river is reinvigorating, but it gets me back to the fundamentals of biology. And as many fail to recognize, there is a monetary cost to data.

  10. The Rev Kev

    “Some prominent exposure apps are slowly rolling back freedoms”

    When the time comes to write the history of the Coronavirus pandemic, a large section will be devoted to the subject of trust. Or I should say, the lack of trust by people in their governments. There will be talks about the subject of face-masks, of vaccines, of sending kids to school but what will feature prominently will be the lack of trust in these mobile apps. The problem is that most governments cannot help themselves but see something like health apps as a great opportunity to get into the private lives of their people. How many countries are there those people will think that their governments will do the right thing and only use such an app for health purposes only?

    Here in Oz they brought out an app after a very long delay – almost excessively so. More people did not install it than did. And after spending $70 million on it, it only ever worked for 17 people. You read that right. My wife and I took one look at it and said nope. And now a coupla months later it has come out that some of our local spook agencies used it so suck up people’s private data but in spite of all the excuses, you can draw your own conclusions. This is what I mean by trust. If people trusted their governments, they would have no problem installing and using such an app but all that trust got burned up a very long time ago and is not coming back anytime soon-

    1. Arizona Slim

      Paging Yves and Lambert: The above needs to hoisted from comments and re-purposed as an NC post.

      1. ambrit

        However, my first impulse when reading your ‘appeal’ to the Site Admins was to think: “The above needs to be expunged from comments. Thank you, The Langley Spooks.”

        1. JacobiteInTraining

          I was going to REDACTED but then I realized REDACTED but of course apps we install REDACTED or possibly tracking the REDACTED and, koalas.

          In summation REDACTED plus koalas.

          1. ambrit

            Wait a minute! Are you trying to reactivate the Koala versus Pepsi ‘Soft Drink Wars?’
            [In cases like this, one would have to apply a ‘Freedom of Misinformation Act’ request.]

    2. Tom Stone

      Thanks Rev, long long ago in a country far away I worked in one of those loud busy offices where every once in a while there was a moment of silence.
      In one of those moments I heard a coworker say in an outraged voice
      “If you can’t trust a Bill Collector, WHO CAN YOU TRUST?”

      And the answer is Teletubbies, you an always trust a teletubby.

    3. Kfish

      Yep. I’m an Aussie, believe wholeheartedly in Covid and absolutely refused to download the app for that very reason. Our Department of Immigration has a large data leak about once a year, and Centrelink (the federal welfare agency) has leaked before on purpose to embarass its critics. None of my friends believe that the ASIO collection was an accident.

      1. The Rev Kev

        What did it for me was near the beginning of the year when the Government stated that their policies for the pandemic told them to go for “containment” rather than eradication. But then they turned around and said that these models were secret and could not be released to the public so we had to trust them on this. I have no idea why they thought keeping thee models secret was a good idea.

        Perhaps they thought it gave them more power & influence as they had all the information and the public didn’t. Perhaps those models showed that containment only made sense if you were putting saving the economy ahead of people’s lives and did not want to admit this. But with nothing being up for debate or discussion, I wanted nothing to do with those ropey apps as I could see what was going to happen with them.

  11. Lex

    ‘America Just Can’t Get Enough Lysol’

    That was not the missing product we mourned; it was Clorox Toilet Tablets. When they showed back up at Costco after months of absence, I snatched up two boxes. I hate cleaning toilets. You wouldn’t think that would be an issue in this house — two people, four toilets, two bidets, one plunger. The problem is in the philosophy of ‘if it’s yellow, let it mellow…’. Sometimes we can let it mellow a long time.

    1. polecat

      Well, saltpeter IS a constituent in the making of ‘gunpolder’. So one could save up, for a bright occasion …

  12. Wukchumni

    Sports Desk:

    Although i’m still smarting from a come from ahead hail mary loss to the Cardinals a fortnight ago, the Bills are 7-3 and on top of their division.

    But there’s bigger fish to fry, in that there’s an awful lot of typhoid marys in the league and if things continue apace, its hard to imagine there’ll be enough players left by the time the Superbowl comes around.

    Football is different than other pro sports in that players are rather constantly in somebody’s face or slathered all over their prone bodies, and all the glad handing that goes on after a game sans masks, is that really necessary?

    1. petal

      Wuk, if the Bills win the SB, won’t there have to be an asterisk next to it in the record book because of covid screwing around with the schedule, etc? Hardly comparable to a regular season? (yes I’m messing with you-I lived through the 4 SB losses as a kid, and had a friend whose cousin was a big name starter).

      1. Wukchumni

        The only asterisk in pro sports that has ever mattered was Roger Maris’s, who had a lot of nerve hitting more dingers than the Bambino in a lengthened season, but yes there will be a taint, not that i’m worried as I picked the Bills to lose* in the SB, before the season started.

        They won ugly today, and i’d rather win that way than gracefully lose.

        * old habits are hard to break

  13. Lex

    ‘Danish Mayfly Chosen As 2021’s Insect of the Year’

    ‘The insect, whose scientific name is Ephemera danica, is famous for its short lifespan: it only has a few days to fly, mate and lay new eggs before it dies.

    This is because it develops no mouth parts nor a functioning intestine.’

    Yeah, that last part could really focus your attention on what’s important.

  14. Pelham

    Re the Utah monolith: I’m just enough of a UFO nut to follow this story rather superficially. And, as usual with oddball events like this, obvious questions aren’t being asked.

    Today, for instance, I see that the monolith has been removed. Obvious unasked question: Are there any signs of how it was removed, such as tire tracks or other evidence of machinery or people at work?

    Also, the first stories described the dingus as being made of metal. What kind? Were there any weld marks? Did anyone rap on the surface to determine whether it might be solid or hollow?

    All that said, I suppose the clickbait nature of such events would be ruined if demystifying details were reported.

    1. Screwball

      I’ve been thinking the same thing. But then again, our “media” isn’t known for being Sherlock Holmes.

        1. farragut

          More like Inspector Lestrade in the early Holmes novels (“Unskilled at handling facts” and an “imbecile”).

            1. fresno dan

              Lost in OR
              November 29, 2020 at 10:42 am

              If only our media could rise to the level of intelligence and competency of Inspector Clouseau – that would be like a 1,000% – nay, 1 million per cent improvement over what we got.
              Really – Clouseau wasn’t trying to be evil.

      1. Kurt Sperry

        The visible “drill holes” ruined the 2001 monolith look for me. It had obviously been assembled in situ with fasteners from components carried in, probably on foot. It would have been a lot cooler with no visible fasteners.

    2. Katiebird

      How many articles follow the Who, What, When, Where, and Why rules? I think it’s been years since we’ve seen it.

      1. The Historian

        I have to agree with you. And I get so irked these days at having to plow through a lot of BS to get to the crux of a news story – which is now usually at the end of the article instead of at the beginning. Perhaps it is because it forces us to scan over more ads?

        1. Wukchumni

          Most of the online fishwraps rather exclaim that you can procure a dozen weeks of the finest journalism available for a Dollar, maybe it’s merely commensurate with the true value of said reporting?

        2. farragut

          And, to be honest, the average news consumer in the United States is a headline-reader — at best. A new study by the Media Insight Project, an initiative of the AP-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research and the American Press Institute — the entire thing is enlightening about how we consume (and don’t consume) news — affirms this fact.”

          So, if you’re going to create and sustain a certain narrative, you’re better off with a sensationalist click-bait headline readers will notice and remember, with the actual (and sometimes contradictory) fact at the bottom of the article where most readers will never see it.

          1. Pelham

            I was in newspaper journalism for 32 years and it was widely known for decades that readers seldom got past the headline of any particular story. And among those who did delve into the copy, readership dropped off about 50% for each paragraph deeper.

            So this is nothing new and, I would argue, maybe not as alarming as it appears at first glance. In decades past when a typical metro newspaper offered a daily serving that might take a few hours to read in full, who would’ve had the time? Separately, I always thought the often put-upon and reviled copy editors who wrote the headlines were routinely undervalued.

            But you get at a good point with your reference to the “actual fact” of a story. Sometimes, unfortunately, this does appear quite far down. It shouldn’t. This nugget of essential info is sometimes referred to as a “nut graf,” a paragraph containing possibly contradictory or qualifying elements that cut to the heart of the story and add perspective. My favorite example from the past was the column of general news briefs on Page 1 of the Wall Street Journal. There would be a short boldface lead sentence, a longer sentence in lightface filling out the idea in the first sentence, and then a third paragraph in italics that would add a qualification, counterpoint or perspective. Axios does something similar today. Many journalists deride the practice, but I think it’s a real service.

            1. Procopius

              Something I read many years ago, which I don’t see mentioned any more. Supposedly taught at journalism schools is the factoid that the average news consumer has a memory span of only three days, so if your article mentions something from last week or earlier, you must include a brief summary of what that was about.

          2. Robert Hahl

            That is what headlines are for, after all. I mostly read only headlines here too, and click only on what seems particularly interesting to me.

            1. Wukchumni

              This is a far too common headline now in Trump’s orbit*, the nuisance lawsuit for a tremendous amount of money, made you look!

              Ex-Trump campaign aide Carter Page sues FBI for $75 million over Russia probe surveillance Independent

              * Devin Nunes being the crown prince in such matters

            1. Wukchumni

              Weekly World News was the best time waster when stuck in a checkout line @ the supermarket. Very little in the way of celebrity hoo-hah, they had vivid imaginations, the writers.

              It’s been gone just about as long as photoshop has been around, as that was their schtick, a front page headline might read:

              World War 2 Bomber Found On The Moon

              And there it was, a B-24 sitting on top of a crater.

              Or Bat Boy might make an appearance hanging out with the President, with another photo of him with a previous President, as proof of his bonafides.

              1. rowlf

                Oh jeez. I was doing shift work in the mid 1980s and would buy a copy of the WWN and bring it in on our Saturday afternoon shift. We would pass it around during break and each mechanic would read a story to the group. If I remember correctly there were classifieds to read too.

                Kind of a hot potato game with us. Good times.

    3. John Beech

      Hollow and riveted together. Setting in place in a depression perhaps 3-4 inches deep. Removing it would be a two man task (as in my opinion was assembly). Oh, and it appears the top portion was left behind sitting in said depression. Next?

      1. Pelham

        So, footprints? Scuff marks? Tire tracks? Evidence of a helicopter’s rotors blowing dust around? Ambient radiation from an interstellar vehicle? What about the guy who said the extraction would’ve required a concrete saw?

        1. polecat

          HeyZeus on a Toothpick! Don’t these people ever learn ANYTHING from Paleo-filmhistory!!! He coulda just used a boar femur, in lu of a tapir’s. Locally appropiate for the type of NA hominid in need of release …

          Those triceps don’t build up themselves you know.

  15. The Rev Kev

    “Europe signs $102M deal to bring space trash home”

    At this point, I seriously think that they might as well save their money. Elon Musk is putting about 42,000 satellites into orbit, Bezos wants to add 3,000 satellites and China also plans on sending up 13,000 satellites of their own. If a Kessler syndrome started up in my lifetime, I would no longer be surprised. Not only would humanity be cut off from space but our technological infrastructure would be thrown into chaos. Space, which should be the commons for all mankind, will then have been cut off so that a few billionaires could make more money for a little while when there is no possibility of them spending the billions that they already have. How sick a joke would that be then?

  16. Lex

    ‘Public apathy frustrates COVID-19 contact tracers: ‘We know people are lying to us”

    What I don’t know is what happens in countries where contact tracing has been successful, if you lie to one of the tracers. Are there consequences?

    1. foghorn longhorn

      “Are there consequences?”

      Not any more.
      I did not have sex with that woman.
      Irag has weapons of mass destruction.
      Flint water is safe.

      Looks more like lying is a prerequisite for public office these days.

  17. Mikel

    RE: Covid Date Spies….UK

    It’s a company called Xantura.

    “Xantura, the firm behind the system, said it had worked exclusively for councils for 12 years and ‘millions of pieces’ of data made its algorithms ‘incredibly accurate’. It charges customers £18,000 to use it.”

    I’m chuckling now, not because of what they are doing, but because of all the hyoe around another US based company doing similar things.

  18. Mikel

    RE: “Some prominent exposure apps are slowly rolling back freedoms” MIT Technology Review

    That’s going to be hard on non-online businesses in the USA.

    (remembering Ticketmaster plans here)
    Risk having to be quarantined or forced through more hoops depending on where you have been?

    Oh, well, maybe I’m not thinking ahead far enough. I guess if most people in the USA won’t be from the USA…they’ll get all the compliance they want.

    House party at my place: leave your phones at home.

  19. Wukchumni

    Pandoras Box has remained shut since August 9th 1945, but you get the feeling not for long.

    The emphasis by the terrible troika of us, the Saudis & the Israelis, is to squash nuclear ambitions of Iran, but what would’ve stopped them from procuring some off the shelf from a player such as NK?


    1. ambrit

      Yes, Kahn indeed.
      Or perhaps the ‘Kiiiiiirk of the Red Heifer.’
      The other ‘nuclear’ option is a “dirty” bomb. A conventional bomb packed with radioactive dust, set off in the heart of your rival Theocracy’s biggest population centre.

  20. Pelham

    Re the tech giants article: And re the reference to the Bork-inspired idea that anti-trust law shouldn’t be applied to monopolies unless they can be proved to harm consumers: Wasn’t anti-trust law designed to curb the POLITICAL power of monopolies, not necessarily to rein in their exploitation of consumers? How could Bork or anyone else neglect that foundational reasoning?

    Also interesting is the emphasis on “consumers.” Consumers are also citizens. Something that benefits consumers may also serve to gut their ability to function as informed participants in a democracy. Isn’t that what’s happening with social media? As a consumer, you may be pleased with what Facebook or Twitter delivers. As a citizen, however, you may be undergoing a rabid lupine transformation.

    Finally, the article’s proposed solution in the form of “middleware” doesn’t sound promising at all. It seems it would merely allow ordinary social media users to choose their own content filters. In which case, they’d be more than likely to choose filters that deliver roughly the same starkly polarizing content they’re getting now. (The article also says this would be done by “transparent algorithms.” But, come on, man, how “transparent” can any algorithm be?)

    In sum, just repeal Section 230.

    1. Mao "No Landlords Now" Zedong

      The political myth of Capitalism is that Capital and government are completely separate and should always be so. Monopolies a priori don’t have political power. Nothing they do is political, and they can only be the victims of political inference. Therefore limiting the political power of monopolies is of no concern because they have none to begin with.

      As opposed to communism, in which Capital is government, and therefore evil.

    2. Carolinian

      But wouldn’t repealing 230 also be a blow to sites like this one which would become far more legally responsible for site comments? I’d say a better solution would be to take action against the giant sites like Facebook on the grounds that they have become a kind of natural monopoly where barriers to entry are too great. In this case it’s not so much physical barriers–as was the case for railroads or those stringing electric lines–as psychological with consumers latching onto the readily familiar in a technologically intimidating web environment. Facebook, Google et al have become too powerful and are now starting to wield it in dangerous ways–not by publishing mythical Russian interference but by their own interference with free speech. Repealing 230 might help by making their business model too unwieldy to continue but would also change the web itself and perhaps do great harm.

      1. Yves Smith

        No, we are already liable because we moderate them. There’s a ton of misreporting about the law. Only sites that act as chat boards, as in do not intervene, are not liable under current law. The bigger issue is most parties are too small to sue Facebook and Twitter.

    3. Fraibert

      This is probably a bit scattershot, I’m sorry.

      The antitrust laws certainly were concerned in part with the political (corrupting) power of monopolies. With that said, the practical aspects of actually applying the antitrust laws in actual cases would tend to favor the adoption of something like law and economics, which at least facially appears to provide some standards upon which a judge can make a decision.

      Let me illustrate. The key part of section 1 of the Sherman Act (after all amendments) is codified at 15 U.S.C. sec. 1 as:

      “Every contract, combination in the form of trust or otherwise, or conspiracy, in restraint of trade or commerce among the several States, or with foreign nations, is declared to be illegal.”

      Looking at the literal language, there’s already a problem. “Every contract” in restraint of trade or commerce is illegal. Taken literally, Congress basically banned every contract that it has power to ban under the constitution because /every/ contract is in some fashion a “restraint of trade or commerce.” Moreover, since Congress’ commerce power has been interpreted expansively, what the Sherman Act actually does if taken literally is ban all contracts in the United States.

      Early cases dealt with that. A restraint was only unlawful if it were “unreasonable” (for example, price fixing among competitors in a market is _per se_ unreasonable). However, one is then left with the (ongoing) argument about what particular conduct is unreasonable. The law and economics school’s focus on consumer prices gave courts a more tangible way of assessing this question, and that’s why, I think, it became so influential in anti-trust law.

      Now, you might say, section 2 of the Sherman Act criminalizes monopolies. As relevantly codified as 15 U.S.C. sec. 2, this statute reads:

      “Every person who shall monopolize, or attempt to monopolize, or combine or conspire with any other person or persons, to monopolize any part of the trade or commerce among the several States, or with foreign nations, shall be deemed guilty of a felony . . . .”

      After reading that language, one has to ask what does it mean to “monopolize”? One can only have a monopoly over a definite market. As a result, in anti-trust cases in general, “market definition” becomes a key component. For example, we might deem Twitter as a monopoly in the “limited character social media market), with perhaps Parler as its only competitor, but it would be strange to say Twitter is a monopoly in the “social media market” (there’s Facebook etc. there). Again, analysis of how consumers behave (law and economics) has been used to define the appropriate market for the case, because it provides a facially more objective method of assessing the key facts of market definition.

      To me, the above illustrates a more fundamental issue. At some point, our open-ended anti-trust laws have become the offloading of legislative decisions (“what economic concentration is unacceptable?”) onto the judiciary. But the judiciary needs to have clear standards to apply–the judiciary’s job should be to assess facts for compliance with the law (“the economic concentration presented in the case before me is unacceptable according to Congress”).

      1. Pelham

        Thanks for the informative reply. Yup, there’s a wide gap here between theory and implementation. Plus clear standards for the judiciary would have to be formulated by someone, and who would that be? No doubt it would be left to unaccountable elites, just as social media censorship and selectivity is now left to unaccountable elites.

        I’m still for repealing Section 230.

    4. BD

      likely to choose filters that deliver roughly the same starkly polarizing content they’re getting now.

      Like Neal Stephenson’s “Ameristan” (from Fall: or Dodge in Hell), where the flyover states sans cities have morphed into an agrarian nightmare of badly stereotyped Trump supporters digesting a stream of incoherent info, softening their minds for the nearest evangelical warlord. Of course the Harvard educated hero has her own “reality based” stream, curated into a Rachel Maddow echo chamber, pre BLM. That Stephenson seems to take sides there is disappointing, but hardly a surprise.

  21. Mikel

    RE: McKinsey Advised Purdue/Opiod addiction crisis

    Hey, speaking of McKinsey, where did Buttigieg end up in Biden’s cabinet?

    1. farragut

      Pete will be Kamala’s VP pick when ol’ Joe steps down for health reasons in the 2rd year of his term. Like HRC & Harris, the *only* way Pete will get into a state or national office is if he’s appointed, without having to go thru the popularity contest we call our elections.

      1. The Rev Kev

        Well it worked for Kamala. She got zip support as a Presidential candidate and flamed out early but now she is one heart beat away from being President herself.

    2. NotTimothyGeithner

      I saw it suggested Pete realized he wouldn’t get a high profile do nothing job like State and might have to do real work where you can really only fail publicly or not fail privatepy. Pete is a front row kid who craves gold stars. Without gold stars, he’s out. Who is the VA chief? Who was the VA chief before and after Shinseki?

      1. NotTimothyGeithner

        Admittedly I’ve suspected he’s been auditioning to replace Chris Hayes for a public rightward shift at MSNBC for some time now.

        1. Pat

          Makes sense. Especially with the supposed military credentials, since that is going to be a safe focus.

          (Domestic problems and unrest will become rare if I don’t miss my guess. And sadly that also means urban areas will need to be glossed over, as I am pretty sure the devastation left in Covid’s wake will make even formerly safe areas of focus clearly troubled, no curtains big enough to hide the cracks.)

        1. Rod

          and intimate with the Institution prior to running it.

          as commander of Troop A, 3rd Squadron, 5th Cavalry Regiment during the Vietnam War. During one of those tours while serving as a forward artillery observer, he stepped on a land mine, which blew the front off one of his feet; after spending almost a year recovering from his injuries, he returned to active duty in 1971.[4]

        2. NotTimothyGeithner

          The first three VA heads were veterans. I stopped at the point.

          My suspicion is the go along to get along attitude that infects so many organizations including the Pentagon made Shinseki uniquely unsuited to do this job, given the conditions when he took over. Both the strains on the system and the general nature of the Bush White House.

          Modern helmets and healthcare means plenty of guys who should be dead are in the VA system. The go along to get along attitude made Shinseki a very public failure who lamented how he was lied to.

    3. Lost in OR

      Biden is surrounding himself with hard-working heavyweights with real-world experience in subjugation and domination. The bimbo mayor from wherever was never more than a toy poodle. Wouldn’t surprise me if he got dropped off at the pound on the way to work.

      1. Pat

        Too many think he is the innocuous face of the future to replace other toothless no drama figurehead puppet leaders.

        And that is an insult to toy poodles. Just saying.

  22. Pat

    Okay in a not just the Dems are crazy moment, going back to switched electoral college votes, my acquaintance has declared that it will happen because Republican controlled state legislators will throw out the designated Biden voters and replace them with Trump voters. And if not enough do this to secure the electoral college vote, there will be enough to send it to the House, where those legislations will control 35 of the 50 votes.

    Misinformation regarding our system is overwhelming. I usually blame our schools no longer teaching Civics, but this person is old enough to have been taught that in school.

    I am pretty sure the next weeks will be very hard for them.

  23. Carolinian

    Re WaPo on schools

    Children who were middling or poor students suddenly began earning more failing marks, including in classes they had not failed before, according to the Fairfax analysis. Historically low-performing students are seeing an explosion of C’s, D’s and F’s this semester, far more than would have been expected based on their pattern of achievement in past years.

    “Results indicate a widening gap between students who were previously performing satisfactorily and those performing unsatisfactorily,” the report concludes. “Students who performed well previously primarily performed slightly better than expected during Q1 of this year.”

    Add in the loss of school meals for many poor students and the above is yet more evidence that school closures should be regarded as the most controversial of Covid measures–particularly if the disruptions are expected to be long term and not simply for a few months. And as the article points out those who are most likely to suffer are kids who grow up in learning challenged environments and not those from high status households where mom or dad can take a year off to tutor the kiddies. Of course the latter are the ones making the policies with the results you see.

    In my country plans are for the schools to return to full time after Christmas from the present system of mixed in person and at home (40 percent have so opted) teaching. Perhaps this will be a dangerous social experiment or perhaps keeping younger children out of school is itself the experiment. In much derided Sweden they did not do this although they did go “virtual” for high school and college students.

    1. chris

      On a happier note, there have been many grants given out by the USDA and a number of school districts are still providing meals for kids. They have even increased what they provide. In my area for instance, any student in the county can go to any school in the county, state their name and that they are a student a school X, then they are given a breakfast, lunch and snack.

      I understand that is a problem if you can’t go to a school during the day because you’re a child at home alone while your parent(s) is at work. But it’s something.

  24. nechaev

    doubt that American Herald Tribune is a particularly reliable source, but this little nugget from a column today should at least be noted, just in case it’s true…

    Israel’s Hostage Diplomacy

    “…The speculation over what Moore-Gilbert may have been doing and who she may have been talking with naturally included suspicion of any connection with Israel or with the MEK, whose recent activities in Iran demonstrate the need for a tough response. Rumours circulated that she had “an Israeli boyfriend” but were dismissed as disinformation. We should remember this now it has been revealed that Kylie Moore-Gilbert has an Israeli husband. Not only was this publicly hidden, but someone determined that it must be hidden, until it could be hidden no more….”

  25. Jason Boxman

    Remember when manganese nodules were a thing, such a big thing, that the CIA used a Howard Hughes deep sea mining expedition as a front when making an attempt (partially successful) to recover a Russian nuclear submarine from the depths of the Pacific?

    And that was 50 years ago.

    Oddly, the article doesn’t seem to get into any of the history in this area. But maybe this time it’s actually viable to mine the seafloor?

    1. ambrit

      I remember Ballard, when he gave the lecture at the University last year mentioning that looking into the nodules on the seafloor of the pacific Ocean was in the itinerary of his group’s ‘Round the World’ subsea exploration voyage coming up.
      So, deep sea mining is on the radar of the ‘Powers That Be.’

      1. The Rev Kev

        Ballard was into spying missions as well. In the 80s he was given the highly secret mission of inspecting the USS Thresher and the USS Scorpion – two nuclear submarines that had sunk back in the 60s with the loss of all hands. The Navy wanted to check on the nukes that they were carrying as well as the ship’s nuclear reactors. As a cover story, everybody was told that he was looking for the SS Titanic which he wanted to do anyway. Having finished his mission, he had 12 days to search for the Titanic and succeeded. The rest is history-

  26. jr

    re: Lysoling to yourself

    I wonder to what extent the use of convenient cleaning products is a stand in for actual anti-pandemic safety measures in the minds of those bored with the pandemic, already. Does it not seem to jive with the “spray it all away” approach to life’s problems we see in other areas of American life? Another ritualized act that seems to offer a panacea for real actions, like, for example, voting?

    1. Yves Smith

      I studied up on this early on. These cleaning solutions are useless in combatting Covid. The only benefit might be mechanically removing some live virus (assuming you have some to worry about) and transferring it to your paper towel/wipe. That might not be trivial but naming particular disinfectants mislead people into thinking what is effective is the solution, not the wiping part.

      Hand washing deactivates Covid because the mechanical operation of the scrubbing + the soap breaks down the lipid barrier around the cells. By contrast, washing machines don’t deactivate Covid because the detergent concentration is too low.

      60-70% isopropyl alcohol kills Covid in vitro in 30 seconds. Spray and wipe is not 30 seconds.

      Provodone iodine kills Covid in vitro in 15 seconds.

      Bleach takes hours. Bleach is utterly useless v. Covid plus is dangerous (nasty fumes, caustic) unless you do the baby diaper routine: throw stuff in a washer with bleach and let it sit for hours.

      1. ChiGal in Carolina

        Wow and yet they are now coming out with Lysol and Clorox wipes labeled effective against human coronavirus on the CDC website.

        I myself generally have followed your lead on this: spray bottle of alcohol and also alcohol wipes, which though they mention disinfection more prominently tout their ability to sanitize.

        I don’t know if you pulled my comment asking about the tests being theater as well and if so sorry if I violated site policy.

        It’s just I read a comment here about the necessity of assay tests and hoped that person could address whether the PCR they are using is specific and sensitive enough to be meaningful.

        1. Yves Smith

          Re the alcohol bottle: I spray things (like shopping cart handles) and busy myself a bit with my purse until I hope 30 seconds has passed. And I don’t wipe dry. I try to leave the alcohol to evaporate.

      2. jr

        Thanks, I knew it couldn’t just be wiped away but I had assumed bleach did the trick. Sharing this with friends.

  27. Duffy

    Re Fukushima radioactive water in your seafood

    It’s time to boycott ALL Japanese food products because:

    A. They are probably contaminated.

    B. The country needs to be punished for relying on nuclear power, mishandling it, lying and then attempting to dump their problem into Pacific ocean fisheries.

    1. WobblyTelomeres

      TEPCO management is most probably mesmerized by a slew of Bechtel consultants walking a death circle chanting, “The solution is dilution.”

      1. chris

        I’d be surprised if TEPCO listened to anyone. A big reason why Fukushima was such a disaster is because the Japanese refused the help of WANO, INPO, and all other nuclear organizations in developing practical emergency operating procedures for complex but predictable situations like the earthquake/flood combination that they experienced.

        Also, I’m not sure why you think they’d be listening to Bechtel and not Hitachi, Mitsubishi, or Toshiba.

        I know a lot of people on this site have a hard on for all things anti-nuclear but statements like “needs to be punished for relying on nuclear power” and references to death circles are ludicrous. Fukushima was an accident that was made worse by corporate malfeasance and a workplace culture that forbids most of what we in the US have actively been moving beyond since the 70s.

  28. Wukchumni

    On the first day of Christmas
    my government sent to me:
    A profound lack of PPE

    On the second day of Christmas
    my government sent to me:
    Too little too late
    And a profound lack of PPE

    On the third day of Christmas
    my government sent to me:
    3 false positive tests
    Too little too late
    And a profound lack of PPE

    On the fourth day of Christmas
    my government sent to me:
    4 different vaccines
    3 false positive tests
    Too little too late
    And a profound lack of PPE

    On the fifth day of Christmas
    my government sent to me:
    5 corporate hospital rings
    4 different vaccines
    3 false positive tests
    Too little too late
    And a profound lack of PPE

    On the sixth day of Christmas
    my government sent to me:
    A sick lame duck a lying
    5 corporate hospital rings
    4 different vaccines
    3 false positive tests
    Too little too late
    And a profound lack of PPE

    On the seventh day of Christmas
    my government sent to me:
    7 black swan moments
    A sick lame duck a lying
    5 corporate hospital rings
    4 different vaccines
    3 false positive tests
    Too little too late
    And a profound lack of PPE

    On the eighth day of Christmas
    my government sent to me:
    8 collection agencies a milking
    7 black swan moments
    A sick lame duck a lying
    5 corporate hospital rings
    4 different vaccines
    3 false positive tests
    Too little too late
    And a profound lack of PPE

    On the ninth day of Christmas
    my government sent to me:
    9 ladies intubating
    8 collection agencies a milking
    7 black swan moments
    A sick lame duck a lying
    5 corporate hospital rings
    4 different vaccines
    3 false positive tests
    Too little too late
    And a profound lack of PPE

    On the tenth day of Christmas
    my government sent to me:
    10 infection rates a leaping
    9 ladies intubating
    8 collection agencies a milking
    7 black swan moments
    A sick lame duck a lying
    5 corporate hospital rings
    4 different vaccines
    3 false positive tests
    Too little too late
    And a profound lack of PPE

    On the eleventh day of Christmas
    my government sent to me:
    11 chapters of bankruptcy
    10 infection rates a leaping
    9 ladies intubating
    8 collection agencies a milking
    7 black swan moments
    A sick lame duck a lying
    5 corporate hospital rings
    4 different vaccines
    3 false positive tests
    Too little too late
    And a profound lack of PPE

    On the twelfth day of Christmas
    my government sent to me:
    12 hundred lockdowns
    11 chapters of bankruptcy
    10 infection rates a leaping
    9 ladies intubating
    8 collection agencies a milking
    7 black swan moments
    A sick lame duck a lying
    5 corporate hospital rings
    4 different vaccines
    3 false positive tests
    Too little too late
    And a profound lack of PPE

    1. turtle

      It appeared in English for me! It just had a German overlay, but I clicked the blue button and it went away.

  29. Janie

    One of the saddest things for me is the number of homeless who have little American flags. Do they believe in a country that has discarded them or are they doing what seems necessary to appeal to passersby? Only the former applies to the ramshackle single-wides lacking sewage disposal and the old rusted-out vehicles displaying flags.

  30. BoyDownTheLane

    The Yankee Candle debacle must be related to how the media have been washing the news and leaving out certain tidbits of relevant information.

    On a side note, let’s all start predicting which movie production companies and which Hollywood stars will be involved in the forthcoming movie tentatively entitled “The Battle of Frankfort”. And we could project or predict what honors will be given to the dead soldiers.

  31. diptherio

    Re: Mask defiance remains strong in Big Sky Country, even as the pandemic rages

    Can confirm. And oddly enough (or maybe not) the biggest offender in my little town is the natural food store. The owner is, apparently, afraid to tell anyone they can’t come in without a mask for fear of losing business, and the majority of the customers are eyeball-deep in QAnon and conspiracy theories about Bill Gates and AI-mind-control-vaccines…which is why I haven’t set foot in there since this whole thing started.

    1. Wukchumni

      It’s the same in Big Tree Country, the biggest offender being a restaurant in town that not only doesn’t make guests wear masks, none of the staff does either. The new owner apparently is so far right politically, he wobbles when he walks.

      He’s much more interested in making a political point, than profits.

      There’s at least 20x 1-star reviews on Yelp all related to this.

      I get the willies just driving past the house of spread @ 40 mph.

    2. lordkoos

      Reminds me of a local bakery in the upper county here. I love them because they make the best gluten-free desserts I have ever tasted. Unfortunately I will no longer go in there because they are all anti-maskers/Trumpers and their shop is very small.

  32. Wukchumni

    McKinsey advised Purdue to offer rebates for opioid overdoses Axios
    ‘We’re sorry for the loss of your son, daughter, wife or husband because of our product, please accept our 30 pieces of silver in compensation.’

  33. Glen

    I’m listening to Fauci’s interview on Meet The Press and he is discussing the possible collapse of the American health care system in localities where the hospitals get overloaded, nursing homes get infected, and the overworked/sick health care workers are overwhelmed. And what does Chuck Todd propose as a potential solution? “Can you get the President to mention wearing a mask?” Are you {family blogging} kidding me?

    This whole phenomenon of a pandemic reminds one of massive wild fires/climate change and our national response to this emergency. What response you say? EXACTLY! We now have massive wild fires every year. We have flooding in Florida. We have power systems being turned off when it gets windy. Yet, we knew this was coming, and DID NOTHING.

    In hindsight, the 2000 Presidential election was where our nation made the choice about whether it would actually acknowledge that climate change was a real thing, and do something about it, or double down on oil. We doubled down on oil, and invaded Iraq under false pretenses to “secure” oil for our future. Well, that didn’t work out very well, did it?

    So we are at another inflection point. The pandemic is pointing out more than ever that our health care system is failing. And this is no fault of the people actually doing the work, they are quite literally being worked to death. The obvious solution is to do what the rest of the civilized world did long ago, a Medicare For All based system. This is the time. If we do not do it now, we will never do it.

    And back to where we are – there is a vaccine and everything will go back to “normal”. Yeah, been there, done that. For our healthcare system – THIS IS NOW NORMAL.

    1. Robert Hahl

      In hindsight, the 2000 Presidential election was where our nation made the choice about whether it would actually acknowledge that climate change was a real thing, and do something about it, or double down on oil.

      I think that choice was made in the Carter/Regan election of 1980. Remember those solar panels Regan took off the White House roof?

      1. Glen

        Yes, that was certainly true. I was also working on the solar power project at Sandia National labs prior to that election:

        The Solar Project

        Even back then, the solar panels we had were very close to being more cost effective than any other way to generate power. But back then, we were responding to an oil shortage caused by OPEC, not global warming. I would say that the scientists employed by the oil companies were already warning their bosses about global warming, but it was not on the radar for the rest of us.

        I was a kid in college working with world class physicists at a national lab. They were not discussing how we had to get off fossil fuels due to global warming, they were discussing how to implement alternatives to oil using coal, wind, and solar.

        1. foghorn longhorn

          Carter said turn the thermostat down and put on a sweater.

          Raygun said turn the thermostat up and put it on the credit card.

          We been charging that card up ever since.
          Dow 30,000 baby.

          1. Glen

            I think that is an accurate assessment of that election. Carter told Americans to dial back their expectations, and Reagan said “party on dudes” and he mixed in a bunch of racist signalling.

            And here we are…

    2. Ford Prefect

      This is neo-liberal and conservative freedom. The free market will create the solution. Shorter lifespans, higher risk of personal bankruptcy, and double the cost of the average developed world’ healthcare is the obvious optimum American end point desired by the public.

  34. Wukchumni

    I really enjoy going to Native American wall art sites, there are oh so many in the Southwest, a wide variety. The artwork is anywhere from 3,000 years old to as young as 300, sometimes you get widely different epochs on a panel, such as Newspaper Rock in Utah.

    A new gallery was recently found in the Amazon, it’s amazing!

    In stark contrast, we’re not going to leave much for future inhabitants of the USA, our built to last a generation or 2 buildings will be long gone, along with all of the janky infrastructure which is already in the process of falling apart, as I type.

    1. ShamanicFallout

      This is very interesting. But, as if on cue, one of the researchers there, feeling the need to ‘say something’ about the motivations of the ‘artists’, went there- that is, “they probably worshipped these animals.” Reminds me of the Wittgenstein quote:

      “Frazer [This was from W’s Remarks on Frazer’s Golden Bough] is much more savage than most of his savages, for these savages will not be so far from any understanding of spiritual matters as an Englishman of the twentieth century. His explanations of the primitive observances are much cruder than the sense of the observances themselves.”

  35. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

    Last week in “Biden v. America” we posed a few questions about Biden’s vigorous repudiation of the current White House occupant’s “America First!” policies. Biden named an elite team of cabinet members whose careers have been dedicated to removing the pernicious “national” aspects of America’s economic decisions and governance, but he did not yet indicate which country’s citizens would be elevated to the coveted top spot.

    This week we discuss the appointment of John “Lurch” Kerry, the former U.S. Secretary of State, to Mr. Biden’s cabinet. Mr. Kerry appeared on several news shows in the last week, where he outlined his policy vision. “We must do everything we can to battle the rise of nationalistic populism!” he said. The terms he used include “nation”, which apparently signifies people whose shared economic and cultural interests led them to seek to be governed in units called “countries” (previously America was considered to be one of these so-called “countries”), and “populism”, a term whose Latin root means “the people”. At press time it was not clear what substitute Mr. Kerry is proposing to replace “the people” in determining how the lives of residents of so-called “countries” are to be regulated.

    Also from last week, the “Benefits of Globalism Challenge” continues. Contestants, especially “left/progressive” contestants and “workers” who may have thrown their support to Biden, are asked to complete the following statement: “The best thing about globalism for me is _________________”. So far the closest response is “The best thing about globalism for me is that I saved $100 on a washer/dryer”, but it was unclear how that would outweigh the protracted decline in the standard of living for “Americans” who work for a living.

        1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

          Let me see if I can reconstruct your formulation a little:

          Globalism enforced by the US military where the benefits of globalism accrue to extra-national pools of capital in offshore tax havens and citizens of foreign nations is…globalism.

      1. The Rev Kev

        Just this minute read that story. Gawd. Will she scold the economy when it does not perform to her expectations?

        1. Amfortas the hippie

          isn’t OMB’s job to say “we can’t afford that”?
          I would have pegged her for Ministry of Truth.

          oth, aside from IdPol, fingerwags and being the high priestess of Hillaryworld, i have no idea what she purports to “stand for”.
          this is the case even though she’s been one of the horses in a large-ish stable of twit accts i more or less peruse on a biweekly/monthly basis.(in the DNC machinery file in bookmarks…i have another for rnc machinery, and another for RW nuttery, and so on)

          i wonder what slot joe lieberman is slated for.
          or that Nuland woman?
          so many creatures, so little time.

  36. kareninca

    I just saw two lockdown-loving, mask-pushing, Biden-esteeming ultra-liberal churchgoers take off their masks and start singing five feet apart since well, they hadn’t sung with another person since March and there they were together. I fled. Talk is cheap; humans are stupid; we are doomed. I hate music and that may have colored my perception of this.

  37. Wukchumni

    Day 26 of the ‘I Ran Hostage Crisis’

    The FBI (For Biden, Incidentally) has earned the wrath of the President who is still smarting over election results, while effectively holding the country hostage.

    His demands are ill defined-as in leaving the country sick of his antics, and so far-so good.

    1. Jason Boxman

      Ha. Just saw that too. But as Lambert points out, Obama didn’t stand up Biden to implement the Sanders’ policy proposals.

      The next four years is going to be a continuing slaughter, literally and figuratively. I can’t wait for the austerity while state and municipal budgets completely implode.

  38. richard

    I have often feared one of my favorite terms, “gaslighting”, would lose all meaning from overuse. Then Cenk Uygur blows in, regular as clockwork, and you get a bunch more fresh material to work with. Here is his latest: a tweet encouraging Neera Tanden to do good work for the people. I know he thinks it’s a challenge, and he’s distancing himself from her. I don’t care. Still feel gaslit. Stop performing for me you a$#hole.

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