Links 11/3/2020

Yves here. If you are in the US and have not done so already, please be sure to vote.

Russia’s ‘Sausage King’ killed with crossbow in sauna South China Morning Post (J-LS). Killer headline :-)

Whale sculpture catches crashed Dutch metro train BBC (furzy)

Cat Visits The Beach For The First Time And Has Very Strong Opinions About It Bored Panda (David L)

Scientists Just Discovered That Platypus Fur Glows Green Under UV Light Vice

New study finds earliest evidence for mammal social behavior (Kevin W)

Watch an Amazing Time-Lapse of Growing Mushrooms Smithsonian (David L)

‘In the sun they’d cook’: is the US south-west getting too hot for farm animals? Guardian (resilc)

How Human Y Chromosomes Replaced Those of Neanderthals in a Quiet Genetic Takeover Smithsonian (Chuck L)

Robot Camera Mistakes Soccer Ref’s Bald Head For Ball Futurism (David L)

What it’s like to get locked out of Google indefinitely Business Insider (Chuck L)


How Your Brain Tricks You Into Taking Risks During the Pandemic ProPublica (resilc)


This long-term coronavirus symptom is so crazy, we can’t believe it’s real BGR (David L)

Early Covid vaccine hopes have a math problem The Print (J-LS)

Pregnant women with Covid-19 face higher risk of severe illness and death, study says CNN. My friend whose pregnant MD daughter who quarantined herself to keep from contracting Covid looks not as paranoid as she appeared at the time

T-cell response ‘lasts six months after Covid infection’ BBC. Far from conclusive. Sample of only 100, and then only people who were symptomatic. Hopefully more rigorous studies will follow. And even this article points out: “But it is still not clear whether this leads to better protection against re-infection.”



China’s yuan nowhere near cracking US dollar hegemony Bruegel

Why manufacturers are not rushing from China to India Asia Times (Kevin W)


India Slips Down Global Hunger Index – Even Without Factoring in COVID-19 The Wire (J-LS)


Holy moly:

Nation Building Overseas? America’s Own Neighborhood Is Becoming More Violent American Conservative

The most diverse cabinet in the NZ Financial Times

Vienna terrorist attack: several dead after shooting near synagogue in Austria – live updates Guardian

Vienna shooting: Gunmen hunted after deadly ‘terror’ attack BBC


Oman Becomes First Gulf Country To Introduce Personal Income Tax OilPrice (resilc)


Turns Out the FBI Has Been Hiding More Seth Rich Documents Sic Semper Tyrannis (Kevin W)

ICE Medical Misconduct Witness Slated for Deportation Is a U.S. Citizen, Says Lawyer Intercept (Chuck L)

Supreme Court issues rare ruling against protections for law enforcement officials The Hill (UserFriendly)

America heads closer to medical price transparency with new rule The Hill (UserFriendly)

2020. The Wall Street Journal is going to be free today, so you can include them in your count-monitoring.

Election Night 2020 Guide: What to Expect From Trump vs. Biden Rolling Stone (furzy). Important. Note which states have already been counting mail in ballots.

Animated Map: U.S. Presidential Voting History by State (1976-2016) Visual Capitalist.

Tech billionaire 2020 election donations: Final tally CNBC (furzy)

Polls show Biden with edge over Trump in key states The Hill

Donald Trump’s COVID Comeuppance Simon Johnson, Project Syndicate

Donald Trump suffers court defeats in effort to exclude early votes Financial Times

Positive Trump polls spark polling circle debate The Hill

Will Fauci have a job? Will the public regain trust in the FDA? 8 of the scientific institutions and traditions on the line on Tuesday Stat (Kevin C)

What I learned from training to be a right-wing poll watcher. Slate (furzy)

10 Major Unions & over 100 Black Clergy Call for General Strike if Trump Steals the Election Mike Elk

The Senate Race That Could be Pivotal for America—and Wikipedia Wired

Amid auto industry battle, Question 1 is the most expensive ballot initiative in Massachusetts history Boston Globe (J-LS). Right to repair.

Our Famously Free Press

Twitter steps up political censorship with Facebook-like labels for election announcements from non-mainstream media accounts RT (Kevin W)

Does anyone know about the ban regarding complex entities interactions? reddit (Person)

Greenwald Aftermath

Meet the billionaire Glenn Greenwald has been protecting all these years Yasha Levine

Police State Watch

Sex-Offense Registry Sweeps Spread COVID-19 And Police Propaganda ShadowProof (UserFriendly)

‘I literally weep’: anguish as New Zealand’s National Library culls 600,000 books Guardian (Chuck L)

Future Supertall Attached to Dime Savings Bank in Downtown Brooklyn Hits 26 Stories Brownstoner. J-LS: “Bad news. Those of us who love Brooklyn – and live there – don’t want it to become Manhattan.”

It’s Happening Here: What a Ukrainian Fitness Club Taught This Anthropologist about Dirty Togetherness in America Janine Wedel

The Future Landscape Of U.S. Oil OilPrice (Kevin W)

What Took so Long? After Years of Brick & Mortar Meltdown Punctuated by the Pandemic, Two Mall REITs File for Bankruptcy Wolf Street

How pension funds shape financialisation in emerging economies in Colombia and Peru Critical Macro Finance (UserFriendly)

Class Warfare

The 90-year-old strategy that could end the US unemployment crisis Quartz (resilc)

How the Myth of a Liberal North Erases a Long History of White Violence Smithsonian (Chuck L)

Antidote du jour (Tracie H):

And a bonus from Jim D:

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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  1. Toshiro_Mifune

    Russia’s ‘Sausage King’ killed with crossbow in sauna

    Surely they could have gone with ‘Meat King Skewered’.

            1. Janie

              Thanks. I don’t keep up as I should. My favorite Sharpe book is Ancestral Vices, a laugh out loud satire. The book I can’t recall involved a dwarf, a naif and, and …

        1. Minalin

          Indeed, and his victim was found in the bathroom attending to his daily affairs. This was watched by 8 million viewers so…

    1. Drake

      Guerrillas in the mist? The final ablution? Hot Slav shish-ke-bab?

      Last might be a little too porny.

      1. Wukchumni

        They call these reddish sausages ‘Saveloys’ in the UK and Aus/NZ and I never gave it any thought what it meant and just looked it up and it’s derived from an old Italian word for pigs brains.

        1. jr

          Warning: dark humor

          I cooked at a restaurant where we made breaded and fried calve brain bites. Why anyone who wasn’t starving to death would eat one is beyond me, to call the texture “squishy” is being generous. They didn’t last long on the menu.

          However, there was a bright side. A lunatic fellow cook, aptly knick-named Brad the Bearded Beer Keg, and I had a wonderful routine. I was Jackie O, he was JFK…

          1. Basil Pesto

            Dad and his brothers grew up in post-depression, post-war Australia and fried lamb brains were very common, breaded iirc. Not sure about veal brains. He’ll still occasionally eat them if he sees them on the menu eg at an Italian restaurant

    2. ewmayer

      Note the aptness of the Links page leading with this story. :)

      Late-rising left coaster and late to the waggery as usual, but now that I’m fully caffeinated, let me give it a shot, or better, unleash a bolt:

      This has all the hallmarks of a Russian mob-rival killing, as the demised Saunaite was suspected of being in the top ranks of the Brat-va.

      1. RMO

        Has anyone informed Putin and the FSB about the existence of this new, amazing, advanced and deadly crossbow technology? Maybe he could try using it rather than that almost completely ineffective Novichok stuff to get rid of rivals… /s

  2. Wukchumni

    It’ll still be undecided by Christmas
    You can count on plan B
    We’ll have Donald & Joe going toe to toe
    Fighting over election results you see

    Christmas Eve will find things
    An awful mess it seems
    It’ll be over by Christmas
    If only in my dreams

    It’ll still be undecided by Christmas
    You can count on plan B
    We’ll have Donald & Joe under the mistletoe
    Fighting over election results you see

    Christmas Eve will find things
    An awful mess it seems
    It’ll be over by Christmas
    If only in my dreams

    1. foghorn longhorn

      Too bad they just can’t have a duel, that would at least stop the bxtching and moaning from the loser.

            1. jsn

              So tape so razors to their ankles, and fund unemployment with the proceeds from a good old fashioned cock fight. I’ll help with the tickets.

      1. D. Fuller

        Mud or hot oil wrasslin’ match.

        Talked to a Trump-supporter who wore a Trump mask. Even he agreed that both are unfit for office.

  3. David B.

    What it’s like to get locked out of Google indefinitely

    There are people who have known for years and years that trusting all your business and personal information to Google, Microsoft, Facebook et al is majorly stupid. Alternatives exist and are not difficult to find. This article, about ‘professionals’ who have lost everything because of ‘faceless trillion-dollar corporations’ making ‘arbitrary decisions, without recourse’ shows that what the French call bonne intelligence is in short supply.

    1. Louis Fyne

      Add video games, add your core movie collection, probably many other examples eluding my mind.

      anything genuinely important, keep an independent copy.

      Storage costs have fallen much much and that there are very few excuses not to

      1. Wukchumni

        So my brother in law’s prized collection of 469 movies all in VHS format seems like a good acquisition now?

        1. Basil Pesto

          I wonder what the antique VHS market is like. I guess it depends on the title’s rarity, as well as tape degradation.

          1. wadge22

            A quick look on ebay shows quite a few single VHS cassettes having sold for almost $1000 within the past few months. Mostly Disney movies. Must be the magic?

            If its anything like the audio cassette market, there is little gaurantee that any given tape will play back well. Good luck trying to force an ebay return if the seller isnt cooperative.

            My music collection habit kind of fizzled after the second $45 dud. Hard to imagine taking that same risk at $500 a pop!

            1. Dr. John Carpenter

              Did those Disney movies actually sell at $1000 or just end with an asking price of $1000 and no takers? Disney VHS tapes being worth a fortune is one of those popular urban myths that won’t die, thanks to listicles and Parade Magazine “Treasures in your Attic!” type articles.

              Disney released some of the biggest selling tapes of all time and because of that, they aren’t worth much. If you have a Goodwill nearby, I’ll bet you could swing by and create your own Disney Vault on VHS for less than a good meal. The place I used to work would sell big boxes of the things for $10 because people insisted on bringing them in for trade.

              On the other hand, obscure horror stuff is worth some coin. Good condition, big box horror titles of cult movies…there’s where the money is. And unless the tapes are moldy or got magnetized, old VHS tapes are more robust than people think.

              1. wadge22

                I searched for only sold listings, and there were quite a few on there. Ebay does make it confusing, but Im quite sure that some are going in the hundreds.

                If we are just talking ask prices, get your zeros ready. Were gonna need more than 6 digits.

                I should note that you can definitely find most of those titles for a lot less. I didnt mean to imply that they are actually worth that much. Only that it looks like there are buyers out there at such high prices. I guess they must have read Parade themselves.

        2. D. Fuller

          If you own the DVD? You are legally allowed to make a back-up copy as long as it is not distributed.

          Got to love Fair Use.

          There was a story awhile back about a man who “purchased” thousands of movies from Amazon. He woke up one morning to find that over 1,000 of his movies had been removed from his library. The man only purchased the right to watch the movies until Amazon’s license to broadcast the movies, was terminated.

          Nothing like paying full price to rent movies.

      2. jr


        My GF asks why I still pick up DVD’s. I only do it for hard to find movies that I fear will disappear with the Dizznifuctation of everything.

          1. D. Fuller

            DVD’s can degrade in far less time. The USPTO found that out when using CD’s & DVD’s as an archival medium.

            :What the manufacturers claim? And what reality & physics dictate? Are often at odds.

            1. Milton

              So that oversized dvd that is flying out of our solar system has already degraded? At least it has a cool media jacket.

              1. GC54

                I asked Carl Sagan himself that as Pioneer 11 got underway en route to interstellar space. He noted that the tracks were etched deeply in gold to protect them so that the disk (in his words verbatim) “could be read when stroked with telepathic tendrils”. After uttering this, he wandered off to smoke a joint.

        1. Eustache de Saint Pierre

          I have been for quite a while when I have a bit of spare cash been treating myself to a favourite film on Blu-ray, especially beautifully filmed ones, as in last week for my birthday I got Paris, Texas on Criterion for a tenner.

          A couple of years ago an external hard drive burnt out & deprived me of around 2,000 photos ( Nefs, Tiffs & jpegs ) & a reminder of one of my Mum’s many instructions in regard to putting all of one’s eggs in one basket.

          1. Terry Flynn

            Sorry to hear about losing stuff. I follow an expression I heard years ago – if you don’t have three independent copies of something it can’t be important. Though sync supposedly doesn’t use US storage servers I still encrypt using the program British security services have said gave them huge headaches, uploading to there, as well as two physically separate hard drives.

            These days the content is nothing particularly interesting but old habits die hard.

          2. jr

            Sorry to hear that, I lost some choice photos when an Android tablet suddenly decided to not boot up one sad day. Now I have everything backed up.

          3. chuck roast

            The soundtrack to Paris Texas included a very weird and creepy monologue by Harry Dean Stanton about chaining a woman to a radiator. Of course nothing like this was ever in the movie. The soundtrack by Ry Cooder went out of print almost immediately, and although I was running a record store in the ’80’s I couldn’t lay my hands on the disc. Finally, one of my customers returned from Europe with a nice, crisp euro-pressing of the platter. And of course, one of my regulars walked in the following week with a used disc to sell.

            1. Eustache de Saint Pierre

              The soundtrack is IMO sublime & I am a big fan of Ry Cooder’s Tex Mex & especially his work with Taj Mahal.

              I’m all too familiar with what you describe & over here on the Emerald it is called Murphy’s law, while in England it’s Sod’s law.

        2. Roger Smith

          People use to laugh at my home video collection and I started to give in. Now we have Amazon claiming people don’t own content they paid for and shows moving from subscription network to subscription network when contracts expire, editing or adding disclaimers to content, and I am the one laughing. I own the things I like and can watch them whenever I choose.

    2. Oh

      Why anyone would trust google with anything is beyond me. All of Google’s products are meant to invade your privacy, gather data and sell it. It’s time to get rid of all of Google.

      1. D. Fuller

        IMHO, Google’s only function is as an ad-delivery service, an updated postal mail-flyer brought to us digitally.

        I still can’t understand why Google ad-delivery can only serve me ads related to products I have already bought. Or? I intentionally placed my phone in the bathroom and was receiving bathroom-related ads from Google within minutes on my desktop computer, upstairs.

        As for Google’s search functions and personalization? Two computers, same search – different and 99% irrelevant search results.

        Fully crapified.

        1. Janie

          The other day in comments there was a thread on “rendering”castle walls. I checked google, found out it’s sorta like stucco; now I get ads for pictures of castles and offers to make renderings of my palatial home lol. I’m grateful there are no ads to melt melt us down for the fat.

          1. polecat

            or, to impress the non-repentent in one’s life, by upgrading that basement pit with a brand new ..of mirror finish, a sharp looking pendulum.

      2. jr

        I’ve been sitting on a small book of poetry on my HD (multiple back ups, hard and digital) and I looked into Kindle. The only thing they don’t want is a DNA sample and I wouldn’t be surprised if that comes down the pipes. On-demand printing it is!

    3. D. Fuller

      One time, Microsoft quietly changed the rules on MSN Messenger – used by business people, engineers, etc. to communicate business documents & even engineering plans.

      The rule change was, that anything transmitted by MSN Messenger became the intellectual property of Microsoft.

      The only worthwhile creation of Microsoft that wasn’t stolen from another or bought by MS? C# and .NET

      1. apleb

        Well, with C# they “stole” the guy who designed and wrote it from Borland.
        And you are too harsh. MS Bob and Clippy were original Microsoft inventions. They are great productivity enhancements!

        1. D. Fuller

          Ah, yes. Bob & Clippy.

          Thanks for the info on C#. So that leaves .NET as MS’ only 1 of 3 “original” product. Which C# is part of.

          I remember Paul Allen relating how when he had cancer, he rewrote Seattle DOS into MS DOS. Paul related how he overheard Bill Gates & Ballmer talking about how to split Allen’s shares when Allen died. Turns out, Bill Gates & Ballmer had very little to do with DOS other than marketing & contracts.

        2. drexciya

          They “stole” a development team from Digital as well (David Cutler as the main person). Windows NT was based on the work put into Vax VMS (VMS – WNT). They bought off the claim, and then they had something that, eventually, replaced their DOS underpinned product line.

            1. Jos Oskam

              VAX was the hardware (Virtual Address eXtension) 32-bits CISC. This was later replaced with Alpha 64-bits RISC. The operating system was originally VAX/VMS, later when Alpha arrived renamed to OpenVMS.
              David Cutler was the father of VMS at Digital and later employed by Microsoft to do Windows NT.
              If you study the internals of the original Windows NT you’ll find lots of things that are eerily similar to VMS.

              1. WobblyTelomeres

                As a bit of trivia, I was at the Microsoft developer roll-out of NT with a special presentation of the alpha version. The team looked completely burned out, like they had suffered month after month after month of 100 hour weeks. Made a note to self to never work there.

                On the plus side, rode a bus to a small, nearly empty, club and caught an Ahmad Jamal show. Very nice. Was taken by how percussive his playing is, not something as apparent on his recordings.

                1. Jos Oskam

                  I’ve been system programming and -administrating VMS and WNT for a significant part of my IT career. The development of WNT by Dave Cutler’s team is very well documented in the book “Showstopper” by G. Pascal Zachary. It fully confirms your “note to self” :-)

              1. Procopius

                Doesn’t matter. Windows 10 already refused to play the CD games I’m addicted to, requiring a later version of the game (no fun, too hard) on Steam. I’ll go with Ubuntu, or possibly (not likely) Fedora when I can’t boot up Windows 7 any more. Gates made a a strategic error when he failed to make DOS 2.0 reentrant. In his favor, he really didn’t have the helpers he would have needed — Microsoft at that point was still a small operation. Not reentrant meant no multi-tasking, and the evolution of Windows is a tribute to the genius programmers he was able to hire after he got rich.

            2. vao

              The insider joke is that WNT = VMS++, i.e. add one to each letter rank in the alphabet to get V => W, M => N, S => T.

              1. John Anthony La Pietra

                +1 . . . or maybe +3?

                And a shout-out to Sir Arthur C. Clarke and the HAL (IBM -3) 9000.

    4. lordkoos

      I have always thought of “the cloud” as simply someone else’s computer. When you can buy a 2TB drive for $60 why bother.

      1. Jos Oskam

        This. And if you have lots of data you can mount a hard disk docking solution in your desktop so that you can easily take out- and swap these 2TB drives to store them in a safe place. Search for icy dock on the web.

      2. Still Above Water

        As someone wrote earlier, you should keep 3 copies of any important data. Ideally, these copies should be in 3 physically separate locations. For me, they’re my house, my detached garage, and iCloud. Sure, I could leave a backup drive in a safe deposit box or someplace else, but then backups would happen less often.

        1. RMO

          To me “The Cloud” means “All Your Stuff Is On Someone Else’s Server Somewhere Sucker” – unless they lost it of course. I’m sure it sounds good somehow in a corporate management presentation.

          Not quite the same thing but my ISP (Telus, descendant of The Phone Company here in Canada and a pretty big operation) recently decided to “improve” it’s email system (which has been very good in my 20 year experience – reliable, good spam control etc.) by replacing it with Gmail. Of course our internet fees will continue to be the same. They’re replacing a service I paid for with a service which is available for free and I’m supposed to be happy about it. This leaves aside the privacy and general exploitative and sleazy nature of Google – that’s a whole other can of worms.

    5. Jos Oskam

      One may want to take a look at “Google Takeout” to make a private copy of all the data one has stored in Google’s innards. Far from ideal, especially when it comes to recovering something, but a whole lot better than nothing.

    1. The Rev Kev

      That image reminds me of postcards that I saw in France in the 80s depicting the French equivalent of hobos, usually funny. I have one showing a guy asleep on a sandbank, wine bottle clutched in both hands and off to the side a haversack, a half-eaten baguette and Camembert cheese. Add heavy walking boots and a flower in his lapel and the picture is complete.

      Been looking at today’s Antidote du jour and I wonder if it is a hidden message. That after the bevy of black swans that we have experienced this year, that this is a reminder that yes, there are still things such as white swans.

    2. nycTerrierist

      you can live the dream now!

      there’s no shortage of strays and/or rescue kitties to befriend

      1. jr

        Interestingly not the same for pups in NYC. It took a friend almost a month to find one in state for less than 5K$ and the meeting and pickup was akin to a mid level coke deal. I made sure she met her in public and took a friend.

        One reason I suspect that pups go faster is because they are a public status symbol here whereas cats don’t get seen. I’m agitating for a second pup myself, not a 10 lb Chi-weenie like we have, more like an 80 lb Bully. All in brindle with a jaw that could crush a cinderblock. Love those things!

        The cat chat reminded me of a great book I read a while back:

        Essays on 18thc. French history including a sad tale of a period when printers apprentices went on a killing spree. IIRC the motivation was class conflict, coddled pets being a sign of stability and wealth just as today.

          1. nycTerrierist


            not to be a buzzkill and happy the dog is safe and loved…

            the meetup sounds like a puppy mill sting I saw on one of those
            animal planet reality shows


            1. jr

              It was definitely shady but some of you may remember I lost a pup a few months back, that was actually her little man. I was his walker and step-dad. She has been a total wreck since then, since this little puffball showed up she is much, much better emotionally. He has had his shots and medical records, the vet cleared him of anything immediately amiss.

              1. nycTerrierist

                happy everyone is ok!

                nothing like a new pup to ease the pain of bereavement

                the dearly departed will send us their successor

                v. hard to lose a beloved pet

        1. nycTerrierist

          Indeed – Uncle Veblen wrote about pups as status symbols: high maintenance,
          labor-intensive and good point re: public display factor.

          Chiweenies are the best! I have my third one now – all rescues – (one at a time)
          each with a different expression of the hybrid, each wonderful.
          I’d love a big dog too, but not until this apt. dweller has a yard

          Each came from a local rescue who pulls dogs from the euth list
          at Animal Control. Next time you (or a friend) are looking for a dog,
          I highly recommend sussing out a local rescue group — lots of them pull from the euthanasia lists (tragic: ACC puts down many perfectly adoptable dogs) or go on
 — a database where you can search available rescue pets by breed and zip code.

          I have 2 cats too – sourced from my street – one of them best buddies with my chiweenie

          1. jr

            Total agreement: we got our baby from PupStars rescue and normally my friend would as well but until she found this little dude she was seriously considering driving to Ohio to find one, it’s that bad she said.

            Chi-wee’s are wonderful. Our baby is objectively a genius:

            1. She has planned and pulled off numerous dining table heists including a huge popover in Miami, a slice of prosciutto here in the Willage, and a spare rib from a friends table. By plan I mean she watches us and times her move precisely when we aren’t looking then bolts away like lightning.

            2. Catches treats from the air with zero training, I literally just tossed her one one day and she nailed it. Sometimes it hits her nose and she gets a rebound.

            3. When cold, she goes beyond merely burrowing in a blanket. She will literally o up to one, bite a corner, flip/spin it into the air, and tuck herself under. The GF and I would come home to find her underneath it and drive ourselves nuts trying to figure it out until we witnessed it one day in amazement.

            4. If she wants a sweater, she will take it and toss it up into the air, barking, until we put it on.

            5. When playing with her bestie, a pure wiener, she will bait her with a toy and perch above it on the couch. When bestie takes toy, she strikes and the wrestling begins.

            I could go on, but instead I’ve produced a short video series….jk, jk.

              1. jr

                This is going to sound weird, but I don’t put up pictures of her. I struggle with people photographing her. We have had more than one person say things to the effect “Oh, someone might steal that cute thing!” and “Boy, keep an eye on her!” on the street. She is extremely gregarious and loving. Strangers have asked us “How much is that dog worth? What did you pay? I’ve never met a dog like her!” If I put her photo up, I’d spend 6 long months gnawing on it in my skull. Too many shenanigans up there already.

                I know it’s paranoid, it’s kind of a bipolar/PTSD thing too.

                To give you an idea, she ran out into the road as a puppy at the GF’s mom’s place in NJ. I >lost< it and ran screaming at a poor old lady who was slowly approaching a block away. Like a maniac. I didn’t set her down for about 2 hours afterwards.

                If something were to ever happen, with the wonderful gift of “ruminative thinking” I would literally relive it in screaming Technicolor detail until the day I died. It would be a trip to the Rubber room and the good tranqs for old jr, I can assure you.

                But she is a cutie!

            1. Wukchumni

              1.) After 8 years, I taught the caterfamilias of our kindle to head bump my fist held about 4 to 5 feet up.

              That’s it.

        2. JohnnySacks

          Son and fiancee just got a pup. I’ll assume you’re not being foolish or irresponsible, are you REALLY ready for this? It’s a full time job, day and night, like a child. You don’t want to end up with an untrained uncontrollable asshole nightmare dog.
          If so, prepare for a full on inquisition, study up, prepare your lies. Can’t blame them, stupid people suck, do some deep introspection – don’t suck. It’s going to cost you $500 – minimum. Give an address which has a fenced in yard, they’ll use Google Earth or Street and turn you down if you don’t have one. Got a veterinary history? If not, sorry. Spare yourself, find a friend with the credentials to apply for you.

          1. jr

            I appreciate your concern, so many people think it’s like buying a new succulent. It’s my friend who got the dog and she is a veteran of about 4 of them. I will be there to assist her as well. It’s only 9 weeks too so it hasn’t had time to become a monster.

      2. Krystyn Podgajski

        I live in a van, down by the river. Literally.

        At one time I owned three cats and worked at a cat rescue that took cats that were set to be euthanized.

        But i more want to be the guy who gives no shts and pets random cats. Already almost there.

      1. Mummichog

        Exactly. One profession that has disgraced itself is that of Criminology. All those analyses, books, essays, studies on street and other minor crime while no major studies on Big Time Crime a la Wall Street, Big Tobacca, Bigger Pharma. In my twenty years of following this metastisizing Big Time Crime Wave, I have yet to see any Criminologist address the Real Crime in the US. Ironic indeed that the power of Omerta is extreme in Criminology. Five and Dime Experts while trillions are looted.

        One area of criminological interest would be how the Master Criminals pay off, fix and corrupt the investigators, prosecutors and regulators. It will be a cold day in Mob Hell when that book is written.

  4. edmondo

    So they are boarding up the windows in Washington DC because all three Trump supporters who live there might attack the other 800,000 residents?

    1. Wukchumni

      I heard the reason was somebody in Humordor knew a concern with a lot of excess 3rd quality plyboard they needed to get rid of.

      1. jr

        For some dumb reason I quit smoking grass 4 days before this Carnival of Lunacy, booze 6 months back….daily caffeine intake up 4000K%, +/-.

          1. ewmayer

            ITYM Lloyd Bridges, father of Jeff and Beau (no, not the dead and constantly-invoked-by-Joe-Biden one). But yah, both Lloyd and Leslie had a lot of late-career fun cutting loose and doing comedy roles – I still get the giggles sometimes with stray “what would Frank Drebbin say?” thoughts when watching early-career Leslie making sweet hunky leading-man woo-woo to a young Anne Francis in the SciFi classic Forbidden Planet.

    2. Pelham

      Good point. The same in other heavily Democrat cities, with mayors solemnly warning of the danger posed by disgruntled white supremacists. As someone else has noted, the left’s demand for white supremacists far exceeds the supply.

  5. a different chris

    “You are either on the side of mob rule or you are on the side of law and order”

    Funny, but more interesting to me (no way to count it, unfortunately) about how many libertarians -small or large L- are gonna vote for “law and order” Trump. Would bet a strong majority, if it was countable.

    Which goes against their whole schtick but they aren’t the brightest lights in the firmament.

    1. edmondo

      Which goes against their whole schtick but they aren’t the brightest lights in the firmament.

      They are probably as smart as all those progressives who think they are going to move Biden left.

      1. The Rev Kev

        I have a plan. Re-elect Donald Trump. Then when he settles in with his Cabinet in January, push him “left” with his policies. If you think that this is a crazy plan, then why are so many people convinced that they will be able to push Biden “left” if he takes power?

        1. Samuel Conner

          I feel pretty confident that if there were a progressive majority in both houses of Congress, DJT would happily cooperate with their legislative agendas.

          Of course, even if the Ds do control both chambers in 2021, they will not legislate progressively. DJT might be to their left, in terms of wanting policies that would make him popular with a larger than “small” subset of the electorate.

          I hope that Federal aid to states in 2021 is not contingent on McConnell’s cooperation. It seems (to me; perhaps I am grievously mistaken) less consequential who is in the WH.

        2. Procopius

          … why are so many people convinced that they will be able to push Biden “left” if he takes power?

          Damfino, but I don’t think they’re progressives. Clinton liberals, more likely. In other words, fantasists.

      2. tegnost

        seriously…who else read the article on affluent authoritarianism and matched that up with the unwillingness of congress to enact another stimulus? There will be punishment for the people and golden carriages for the owners.
        from the the Heartland…
        “Here comes another winter of long shadows and high hopes
        Here comes another winter waitin’ for utopia
        Waitin’ for hell to freeze over

        This is the land where nothing changes
        The land of red buses and blue blooded babies
        This is the place, where pensioners are raped

        And the hearts are being cut from the welfare state
        Let the poor drink the milk while the rich eat the honey
        Let the bums count their blessings while they count the money”

        I think it’s about england but hey, we’re about to set them up for the gold standard of trade deals (sorry but hey, over here we’ve been living with it for decades)

        The song in question…

        1. Eustache de Saint Pierre

          The the, on Airstrip 1 & much of their output would fit pretty well into the present – Armageddon Days etc. There appeared to be many bands at the turn of the 70’s & into the 80’s protesting the effects of the new order that arrived with Snobby Roberts AKA Thatcher – I lost interest in the charts at the turn of the century but I don’t think there has been much out there expressing the same level of anger, unless it is Rap, a genre I know very little about.

          I was thinking about Ol’ man Biden the other day & this verse came into my head from Don Henley back in the Eighties from the song The End of the Innocence.

          O’ beautiful, for spacious skies
          But now those skies are threatening
          They’re beating plowshares into swords
          For this tired old man that we elected king
          Armchair warriors often fail
          And we’ve been poisoned by these fairy tales
          The lawyers clean up all details
          Since daddy had to lie

    2. Drake

      My own hypothesis is that ‘law and order’ will do more to determine this election than coronavirus, an idea that is unmentionable in many circles, but all hypotheses get their final exam (pass/fail) today.

      1. Roger Smith

        I really am wondering how the rioting will impact voting, and if that potential impact will be to keep in a government who wants strong order, or to, in a way, capitulate to the demands and vote out the person some see as the cause.

        1. JWP

          A shame it does. I’m constantly shocked at how many people believe it’s such a large issue. Another distraction that has worked well as a political device to prevent change. Be a lot harder to hate if the protestors went after banks.

      2. Kurtismayfield

        I am sorry.. where did this idea that there is no “Law and order” come from?

        There has been a few protests in cities where there was violence. For 99.99% of the population in this country, the protests have had zero effect on their lives. If it wasn’t for the national news, I would never know there were any protests going on.

        Is the fear of the “other coming to take your property” that strong in this country? You know, the property that you are properly insured for. How about the fear of the lower classes of the police pulling out a weapon n them whenever they feel it is necessary, without any repercussions? When has property > someones life?

        1. barefoot charley

          Riots in the media are ur-reality for many voters. Fear is one of our few industrial products with an insatiable market and a bright future. I fear a few smoky nights in Philly could turn inner Rizzo suburbs lawn orderly, regardless of previously consensual reality. Could that and western fracker-fear turn the state?

        2. Dr. John Carpenter

          You answered your own question: “If it wasn’t for the national news, I would never know there were any protests going on.”

        3. Duke of Prunes

          “When has property > someones life?”

          When it’s my property, and I don’t know that “someone” who lost their life. Extra credit if the dead person died breaking the law. Of course, nice people don’t think this way (at least not publicly). Sad, but true (although I have no source to cite other than years of human history).

          This “properly insured” point rubs me the wrong way… the insurance companies are not going to lose money. When they pay more claims, everyone pays in one way or another. Even if you don’t own anything or pay for insurance, you’ll pay more for goods and services sold by those hit by these higher rates. Or the business will close and then people will complain food deserts and the like… but property damage is a victimless crime because insurance.

          Finally, depending on who wins today, everyone might get to pay for those riots that haven’t impacted 99.99% of the country and are only bad because the MSM says they are bad. NYC, Chicago, Minneapolis, etc. have been racking up massive debts by paying massive overtime to the police, paying teacher full salary to not teach, running empty public transit throughout the pandemic, yet their tax revenues are way down because of lockdown, and stores boarded up and no tourism.

          The word on the street is Dem states are banking on a Dem win today so they can get a Dem bailout. As a resident of one of these states, I’m not sure if this is good or bad. Good because who doesn’t want help to pay ones debts, bad because it may just encourage more behavior like this

          1. Kurtismayfield

            Yes, the property is insured against damage and destruction so that the small percentage that gets damaged are covered by the 99.99% of people’s property that did not get damaged.. How does this rub you the wrong way? Do people building houses on coastlines that are prone to hurricanes rub you the wrong way? How about houses built in burn zones in California? We all pay for that too. We pay for everyone’s health c… no we pay health insurance companies who take a cut first before they pay for everyone’s health care. Does that rub you the wrong way? If this is true then you have a problem with all insurance.

            Closing down the cities because of a pandemic is not bad behavior. Look up where the word Quarantine comes from.. the Venetians would shut down the city for 40 days to contain an outbreak. You are lucky you are not living in their times, or else no one would have left NYC for 40 days.

            Paying the teachers, police, and fire fighters is not bad behavior.. they have contracts. You need them. As far as mass transit, there are going to be cuts. There are going to be cuts everywhere this fiscal year coming.

            1. Duke of Prunes

              So riots are an act of nature like a hurricane or a wild fire?

              I never said it was a bad thing to close down or pay these people. I only pointed this out as an example of how they’re spending money they don’t have which usually isn’t a good thing… eventually.

              1. Kurtismqyfield

                Riots are a human decision. Putting houses in pkaces where they will burn or get their roofs torn off is a human decision. The point of insurance and actuarial tables is to cover for that.

                And you are correct they will have to cut their budgets drastically. They are not soviergn and cannot print their way through tax cuts like the Fed can.

      3. Phillip Cross

        Let’s not forget that at least 60% of voters had an unfavorable view of M.L.K. at the time. By your metric, were they passing or failing with that hypothesis?

        1. Drake

          I made a guess about the 2020 election which today (or tomorrow, or whenever they figure it out) will deem pass or fail. Whatever axe you have to grind beyond that is beyond my purview or interest.

          But I would say that, since MLK’s antiwar and class messages have disappeared down the memory hole, and even his desire for skin color to have no bearing on anything has been inverted completely by his supposed successors, I’d say that he was probably held in higher regard back then than he is now.

    3. Minalin

      Two sides? Both doing the work of the PMC & Oligarchs. If the looting was a function of dogma, as when James Baldwin, said “who’s looting who?”, ok, I don’t like it but ok. But I doubt many ‘looting’ even know who Baldwin was. Or the Muslim Brotherhood, who didn’t believe someone could be human and do what white people did to blacks, native Americans, Irish, etc.,. Sooner or later we as a country has to come to terms with slavery & genocide. Read Thomas Frank, please. And if your up for it Richard Rorty – “Achieving Our Country”. He asks (Rorty), what do we want for a country. What do we? Trust me, no one is going to give it to us.

  6. polar donkey

    Polls opened at 7am in Mississippi. My friend is a teacher. School is a polling place. By far the longest line she has seen in her 18 years working there.

    1. johnherbiehancock

      After I saw how many people were voting early here in TX, I figured election day traffic would be pretty light. I was right.

      Walked right in to the ID check station (you put your ID in a tray and hand it to the poll worker who checks that you’ve registered), and right up to a voting booth. No wait.

      We had touchscreens, but they give you a small disposable stylus to use (you can also keep it… it says “I voted” on the side… a memento of voting during a pandemic).

      1. Nordberg

        Similar situation in Charlottesville, VA. There was a line as I was there right when the polls open. No line by the time I left. All I got was a sticker though. They were re-using pens after sanitizing them…

        1. a different chris

          Same in W Pa. So much for “only Democrats are voting early” as there is no way my homesprawl goes any less than 2:1 Trump.

          I got to keep my pen. :)

    2. hunkerdown

      Detroit suburbs, 1pm, 55° and sunny. Canvassers (or candidates?) handing out glossy cards for 3 local school board candidates at the edge of the electioneering zone. ~15-20 ahead of me on arrival. About 20 minutes to reach the head of the line. About 3-5 minutes to sign in and get my ballot, 5 minutes to fill it out (“vote for no more than 15 from this section” is the only bad thing about approval voting) and not quite one minute to feed it into the shredder tabulator.

      Pretty smooth, for the most part. As for COVID, the mask seems to be slipping, so to speak. Tradesman and family behind me social distancing like a friendly dog. His wife had to remind their kids they were doing the social distancing thing, or was she talking to him? Everyone else generally making some effort, but I can see the fatigue. One woman in gloves/mask/eye shields not resisting the urge to fix mask and hair. One sanitizer station empty, one still good.

  7. JMM

    So, where are you going to follow The Greatest Show On Earth?

    The Chapo guys will have their own thing here, I guess:

    Nima & Adam, from Citations Needed, will have a program only for subscribers to the podcast.

    I’m trying to find if Matt & Katie are going to do a special Useful Idiots.

      1. Carolinian

        Taibbi’s latest substack–mostly paywalled.

        Here’s the summer upper

        Biden spent much of 2020 lying about everything from his Iraq War vote to
        his educational history to a fantasy about being arrested in South Africa
        with Nelson Mandela. The same press that killed him for this behavior in the
        past let it all slide this time. Same with the growing ledger of
        handsy-uncle incidents that had adolescent girls and campaigning politicians
        alike wondering why a Vice President needs to smell their hair or plant
        lingering kisses on their heads while cameras flash.

        Biden’s entire argument for the presidency, and it’s a powerful one, is his
        opponent. This week’s election is not a choice between “light or darkness,”
        but “pretty much anything or Donald Trump,” and only in that context is this
        disintegrating, bilious iteration of Scranton Joe even distantly credible as
        a choice for the world’s most powerful office.

        1. Minalin

          No sorry to disagree but Biden did not spend most of his time lying. (I bet sleeping). That would be Trump. And the past is the past. If the people want a miracle in how things are done then they are going to have to put an unbelievable amount of pressure on government to do what we want. Taibbi? I’m tried of him as the god of all that is moral with the press. If Matt was alive when Thomas Paine lived, Matt I’m sure would be upset by the English press not covering – ‘Common Sense”. Eh, mate?

          1. Pat

            No the past is not past, at least not for the people who are still living with the legacy of Biden’s disastrous policies. Everything that happened before 2016 was NOT good and wonderful and America did not go to hell in a handbasket because Hillary Clinton was a godawful candidate and incompetent. Trump is not the be all and end all of corruption in Washington or even NY. That Biden has been a pig at the trough is quite real, that he has repeatedly thrown working people under the bus is not water under the bridge. And quite frankly I’m still pissed at the NY Times putting their Bush reporting under wraps until after the election, so why the hell should I be happy that everyone is putting their finger on the scale for Biden?

            Even if we could do so, how are we going to put pressure on the government if we have to spend most of our time trying to figure out what they are doing because the press is too busy to actually report?

            And I’m curious what leverage you think people have to put pressure on the government much less unbelievable pressure. I’m tired of people being told to hold so and so’s feet to fire when they have access to neither feet nor fire.

          2. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

            You said “…they are going to have to put an unbelievable amount of pressure on government to do what we want

            Q: How will you know what the government is doing?

            A: That nice man from the CIA will tell you on CNN.

            A: That nice man from Google will let you see the correct information.

            (See article above, 98% of infotech billionaires support Democrats, who apparently are the sole source manufacturers of correct information).

            Taibbi says it himself: “I’m pretty much a free speech absolutist”. What are you?

            And you probably want to remove that mention of Thomas Paine in your post:

            “I have always strenuously supported the right of every man to his own opinion, however different that opinion might be to mine. He who denies to another this right, makes a slave of himself to his present opinion, because he precludes himself the right of changing it.”

            “But such is the irresistible nature of truth, that all it asks, and all it wants, is the liberty of appearing.”

            “Those who expect to reap the blessings of freedom, must, like men, undergo the fatigues of supporting it.”

  8. timbers

    Why manufacturers are not rushing from China to India

    “only three of the 56 companies that exited China had entered India as of October 2019. Of those 56 firms, 26 relocated to Vietnam, 11 went to Taiwan, and eight to Thailand.”

    0 firms leaving China came to U.S. That doesn’t even meet the Obama/Biden/Harris standard of some folks will get non leaded drinking water or healthcare or jobs from factories moving back to the U.S.

  9. zagonostra

    >PA Voter

    Long lines in cold weather in rural central PA, Blair County. No Green Party on top of the ticket but write-ins permissible. Polling place ran smoothly. Paper ballots that were scanned into what looked like a copier. Different machines then last time. Seems like more folks voting than previous election cycle.

    1. a different chris

      Yeah those new machines were unexpected and weird. And cool, as there will be a paper ballot somewhere with my votes on it.

      1. gc54

        My county uses these too, each numbered to tally with the vote total. Why aren’t they nationwide? Yes the result upload can be hacked but paper copies remain. Far more rational than touch screens etc. Ah, nevermind

      2. J7915

        Those ballot saving scanners have been used in Okielands for decades. There is a paper trail, unless there isn’t? Sherrif election in the next county had around 4 recounts of less than several 1000nd ballots came up with different results each time. IIRC they finally flipped for it ?

        1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

          Do we know yet who won the Iowa Primary? (Answer: No).

          But L’íl Pete Buttigieg declared victory anyway. That’s the spirit!

    2. Big Tap

      The Democrats have done their best to fix the Pennsylvania vote. First they somehow got the Green Party removed from the ballot. Libertarian party still there. Yes you can write in Howie Hawkins after you fill in the OTHER circle. Second they extended the election beyond today which was validated by the U. S. Supreme court today. Third the signatures don’t have to match.What’s the point writing in one? I live in Montgomery County, PA and the Dems aren’t messing around this time. They run the county. Over the weekend I went 20 miles north to the Quakertown Mart in Bucks County. About 100% Trump country.

  10. Morgan Everett

    Yasha Levine is kinda starting to seem like a demonstration of the left propensity for purity tests. I stumbled on him doing a similar oddly personal and hostile attack on Matt Taibbi the other day too.

    1. PlutoniumKun

      Yes, I find it hard to know what to think reading his articles. He does excellent investigations and essays on a range of topics, but when he gets onto the topic of other journalists he really does get onto his high horse. Its hard to know whether he has a point or if he’s just getting personal issues off his chest. I’m inclined to think the latter, as there are some very obvious holes in his argument.

      Not least that it is not credible that Omidyar would hire all those lefty journalists in order to protect himself from investigation, as all that does is put a spotlight on him from rivals/alternatives to the Intercept and even he can’t hire everybody. Billionaires who really want to shield themselves move to obscure parts of the world and keep very far away from anything to do with the media, and use multiple deniable puppets.

      Clearly, Omidyar was ‘up to something’ when opening up the Intercept, but I’ve not yet seen a convincing argument as to how he is gaining from it. It doesn’t make any sense to me to think that he somehow thought he could buy off every single journalist who would potentially investigate him.

      1. pjay

        I think Levine’s take on Omidyar is mostly correct. Regarding Greenwald, I do think he rationalized or ignored Omidyar’s political interventions for far too long. But as long as Greenwald keeps saying things like this, I will listen to him; this is the best 10 minute summation of everything wrong with the Democrats, liberal Establishment, and fake left that I’ve seen. Right now Levine needs to amplify this message, not undermine it.

      2. Darthbobber

        If you are a journalist whose following doesn’t already allow you a decent living by self-publishing, then you need a publisher. And a large fraction of publishers are at least as problematic and unpalatable as Omidyar.

        And most of the successful self-publishers are from the “thought and opinion” branch of journalism. If your work actually requires investigative money and staff, your options are even more limited. I think Levine’s take leads to an “only freelancers are righteous” position.

      3. Basil Pesto

        Not least that it is not credible that Omidyar would hire all those lefty journalists in order to protect himself from investigation, as all that does is put a spotlight on him from rivals/alternatives to the Intercept and even he can’t hire everybody. Billionaires who really want to shield themselves move to obscure parts of the world and keep very far away from anything to do with the media, and use multiple deniable puppets.

        And to an extent, he kind of does do this. As opposed to the likes of Zuckerberg, he tends to stay out of the news, which makes him hard to cover. One can engage in the kind of semi-muckraking of googling other people’s bosses and bullet-pointing all the horrible shit they’ve been associated with, and don’t get me wrong, as a reader, that’s a valuable service up to a point, but it’s not exactly news, which is what The Intercept (though I barely read it so correct me if I’m wrong) mostly deals with – it’s a different kind of website (formally, not (just) politically) to pando, nsfwcorp, Washington Babylon, or the eXile. If Omidyar scrupulously stays out of the spotlight relative to others of his cohort, and is not involved in the news so to speak, no-one at an ‘online newspaper’, which is what I gather TI essentially is (or a print newspaper, for that matter), is going to report on the general shittiness of other peoples’ bosses (let alone their own) unless there’s something specific to report, which comes from working sources etc to learn something new, instead of researching them online. Which is why I’m glad the writers that do that do have outlets to publish on, even if they are relatively marginal.

        I don’t know, it’s all just so lame

      1. Lee

        Based on the link provided by pjay above and not being a GG scholar, I must ask when was GG a Libertarian? Did he have a road to Damascus experience since the 2012 Exiled article?

        1. meme

          from Rationalwiki, 2013 quote from Greenwald:

          Ever since I began writing about politics back in 2005, people have tried to apply pretty much every political label to me. It’s almost always a shorthand method to discredit someone without having to engage the substance of their arguments. It’s the classic ad hominem fallacy: you don’t need to listen to or deal with his arguments because he’s an X.

          Back then – when I was writing every day to criticize the Bush administration – Bush followers tried to apply the label “far leftist” to me. Now that I spend most of my energy writing critically about the Obama administration, Obama followers try to claim I’m a “right-wing libertarian.”

          Rationalwiki seems not too fond of him, has a list of “asshattery”

        2. Romancing The Loan

          His article defending the Citizens United decision was when people started to call him a libertarian, as I recall. As far as I know he hasn’t changed his mind.

          1. meme

            Greenwald from 2016

            What’s most amazing about all of this is that Clinton defenders are going even further in defending the integrity of corporate cash expenditures than many defenders of Citizens United did. There were many reluctant defenders of that decision on free speech grounds — such as the ACLU, Eliot Spitzer, various unions, and myself — who argued that the solution to domination of corporate donations was not to vest the government with the power to restrict political speech (the case began when an advocacy group was barred from distributing an anti-Hillary film) but, instead, to institute a system of robust public financing to even the playing field, to disempower corporations by rendering their expenditures unnecessary. But those of us who defended the decision on free speech grounds nonetheless accepted, and indeed vehemently argued, that corporate expenditures are corrupting in the extreme. As I wrote after that decision, “Corporate influence over our political process is easily one of the top sicknesses afflicting our political culture.”


        3. Morgan Everett

          I’m not aware of Greenwald being a libertarian at all except in the anti-surveillance state kind of way. He says he is not one. I’m pretty sure this is just him doing a white paper for the Cato Institute on the success of drug legalization in Portugal magically making him a Cato Institute Libertarian. Which seems like it falls under the category of absurd purity tests too.

    2. Donald

      There’s way too much infighting among dissident writers. They can disagree without making it personal.

      I don’t want to contribute to the problem even in a tiny way so I won’t name them, but I can think of a number of very interesting far left writers who trash or who are trashed by other lefty writers and it’s a mixture of purity politics and personal issues. It’s petty. Well, I will mention a victim. I bought into some of the attacks on Caitlin Johnstone for a brief time, but when I read more of her essays the attacks just seemed absurd.

    3. Laputan

      Agreed. If you actually dig into the sources for Yasha’s claims it’s like the detective’s Crazy Wall in a cheesy crime drama, except in his case the connections are seemingly all exaggerated and tenuous. Like a few six figure grants is somehow bankrolling the entire anti-Yanukovych campaign or having a wrong take back in 2011 turns into “running interference for a Koch-funded union-busting operation.”

  11. dk

    The Employees Who Gave Most to Trump and Biden

    The Bloomberg News analysis of employee giving through ActBlue and WinRed doesn’t account for all itemized individual contributions, and doesn’t take into account how much people who aren’t employed gave this year. But contributions through the two platforms still account for 57% of all donations to the Trump and Biden campaigns this year, and provide a glimpse into the spending of donors who give less than $200 and aren’t otherwise reflected in Federal Election Commission reports.

    Trump generally fared better with manual laborers, with 84% of donors who reported being ranchers and 75% of construction workers giving to him. The vast majority of donors who work as college professors, deans or who were otherwise employed by colleges or universities gave to Biden.

    Although one shouldn’t read too much into, I find the second chart is more interesting. It strikes me that (with some exceptions) the job types in the reder groups are 1) more likely to (have to) do side work to supplement their income, 2) don’t have clear career tracks, and 3) generally have more difficulty getting benefits like health insurance and retirement plans through their jobs.

  12. bob

    “What Took so Long? After Years of Brick & Mortar Meltdown Punctuated by the Pandemic, Two Mall REITs File for Bankruptcy Wolf Street”

    For Shame! Who will think of the malls? Especially the under privileged malls-

    “The REIT specializes in B and C malls, many of them serving less affluent areas”

    I think we should start a Mall Bond drive. Take all of your change and see if we can all come together to bail out the multi-billion dollar tax shelters. It’s for your grand children’s future. You have to make sure to completely ruin any local tax base so that vouchers can come in and end public schools forever. Even Joe Biden agrees- “I like the orange juice place”

    1. Wukchumni

      Humbly report sir, I am proud to announce the launch of the Wounded Mall Project, and your generous donation of just $19 a month will allow the anchor store restroom to reopen, along with Hotdog on a Stick.

      Your gift entitles you to a limited edition WMP neck gaiter-our way of giving back, call now.

          1. jr

            This will be the soundtrack playing from the speakers of the iron maiden in Hell that I know awaits me…

    2. edmondo

      Where’s Sally Struthers when we need her? “For less than the cost of a cup of coffee a day, you too can sponsor an orphan mall. Not only do we send you pictures of all the empty stores in your mall, but – for only spare change every month — , you can park in your own mall parking lot and watch the weeds grow in the fountains that dot the interior. It’s mall, y’all.”

      1. hunkerdown

        Democrat policy is to let them eat training. Perhaps we can take all the evil unemployed white guys whose career rise ended under Clinton and subject them to 1992 Sally Struthers’ paid endorsements for a correspondence school. ||: “Do you want to make more money? Sure, we all do!” :||

    3. johnherbiehancock

      I worked for a bankrupt retailer. Earlier in the year, while reviewing store lease terms, I was struck by how many had clauses that lower the monthly rent WAY DOWN if one of the anchors in the mall, or strip mall, closes.

      Was thinking this would put the squeeze on commercial landlords in a major way as the pandemic wore on. If rent was tied to sales at that physical location (many leases are structured this way), they were already pulling in less/month due to reduced foot traffic, and now with an anchor store closed, the rent drops even further. It just adds to pain of losing a major retail tenet at a time when few (if any) retailers or other big box chains are opening stores.

  13. The Rev Kev

    Rex Chapman
    ‘Goodbye Trump…’

    Hey, that was Putin playing that piano. He was playing a coupla Leningrad traditional songs while waiting to meet China’s President Xi Jinping in Beijing. Once he even performed Fats Domino’s ‘Blueberry Hills’ at a charity concert back in 2010.

    American main stream media: ‘Now hold on a minute. We don’t hold with no fancy, high-falutin’ folks getting above themselves! Trump is the sort of the man of the people that we push. And don’ you forget it.’

    1. jr

      If you have to have a murderous gangster as a leader, at least have one with a touch of class. The only thing our worthies play their fingers across will get you a 10 year bid…

    2. Brian (another one they call)

      That video was very well done, thanks Rex. Remember, Vlad is a beatlemaniac. Much can be learned about the world from the music.

  14. Louis Fyne

    someone tell Wolf to follow #shutdownDC.

    if trump wins, blame in part tge peeps like the man behind #shutdownDC

  15. John Beech

    On ending unemployment, a modest proposal. How about if every business used one entity to handle payroll and accounting? I propose the IRS. The way it works is simple, they see the books and cook them for you to ensure you continue paying people and suppliers on time. And the key thing is, they don’t answer to anybody, not Treasury, the Fed, or anybody. And better still, they handle the job for China, India, Brazil, the UK – everybody! Why? Simple, people with jobs don’t riot. Thus, no more French Revolution, and no more risk to oligarchs because everybody happy.

  16. lyman alpha blob

    RE: Wolf Blitzer tweet

    Well looks like we’ll definitely have a riot now given the media hyping the possibility so much. It would be a shame to spend all that money prepping for a riot and have no looters show up.

    I will never forget watching the Ferguson verdict come down on TV. The entire area was crawling with police and FBI and law enforcement from everywhere brought in days ahead of time in case people rioted after a not guilty verdict. The verdict came down not guilty and there was no riot. People protested peacefully.

    But the cameras wee rolling expecting a riot and people staninding around peacefully doesn’t make good TV, so a half hour or so after the verdict, with all those cops around, some masked black clad young people managed to find the one police cruiser that somehow wasn’t being guarded at all by any cops, trashed it and set it on fire. And then everyone got the riot they planned for. Funny how with all those cops there, nobody even tried to stop the black clad rioters who torched a vehicle with the whole country watching.

    If people start throwing haymakers tonight, whether it’s blamed on proud boys or antifa, suspect the cops.

    1. Wukchumni

      We’re holding an Antifa séance tonight and if that doesn’t work we’ll try and contact them via Ouija board.

    2. anon y'mouse

      it has been interesting to see “both sides” try to create unrest and rioting through managing the expectation in the entire country that there will be one. social psychology, self fulfilling prophecy.

      i haven’t seen FEAR used to such good effect since 9.11 and the anthrax scares.

      1. Person

        My take is that both sides want a post-election crackdown on civil liberties, so both sides are pushing the civil unrest narrative. The only fundamental disagreement is who is at fault for the unrest; depending on who you ask, it is Proud Boys, Antifa, Trump supporters, BLM, cops, gangs, or militias. Thanks to the ambiguity of the situation, helpfully maintained by the media, whoever wins can turn the machinery of the state on their opponents.

        1. lordkoos

          That has been my thinking as well – an opportunity for a draconian crackdown of some kind. I’ve been seeing these stories about post-election civil unrest for over a year, like we are being prepped for it.

    3. ewmayer

      If Wolf is gonna channel the Prussian officer in Young Frankenstein, the 1-armed one who cheats at darts and says “A riot iss an ugly thing … and I think it’s about time we had one!”, he should at least do it right and wear the full uniform and Pickelhaube.

  17. cocomaan

    Voted at around 730 AM. Definitely republicans in my rural area of PA. The poor Democrat greeter didn’t have anyone willing to take her pamphlet. Lots of blue collar guys voting, a different crowd than I usually see. No observers, interestingly. There was a republican observer in 2016 but he wasn’t there this time.

    Guy in front of my wife and I was talking to us about how it all reminded him of Huxley’s The Island. I kid you not, after voting, he went across the road from the polling place and proceeded to break dance. We honked and waved on our way out. People seem to be losing their marbles.

  18. The Rev Kev

    “It’s Happening Here: What a Ukrainian Fitness Club Taught This Anthropologist about Dirty Togetherness in America”

    I have read about this happening in the Ukraine with Igor Kolomoisky. You have a bunch of oligarchs running things in that country and if you are weak, you get raided. So Igor sent a goon squad to take over an entire factory who beat up anybody who opposed them. The government then rubber-stamps whoever wins. Should we look forward to the day then that Jeff Bezos sends a bunch of ex-special forces goons to take over Elon Musk’s Tesla factory?

    1. vlade

      What has been described in the article happened to the father of my friend’s wife in Moscow.

      He owned a night club, and when it was clear that the club was profitable, it got raided and he found he had nothing. He knew of that happening to others, but for some reason (I can’t remember, it ws around 2008-2010) thought it could not happen to him.

    2. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

      When communism fell and the Western style Loot-O-Rama began the Bulgarian Olympic Weightlifting Team sauntered into many government enterprises (telco, mining, factories etc) and said “we own this now”. LOL nobody dared say they didn’t and today they still do. This capitalism stuff is fun, just grab something and wait to see if anybody tries to take it away from you. Ask Bill Browder

  19. Alex

    The article about Greenfield’s article on Wikipedia covers well the discussions and policies which determine decisions on Wikipedia. Their transparency offers a great contrast with the article about the guy locked out of Google: he has no way of knowing which rule he has broken, let alone being able to influence these rules.

    (this is not to deny that Wikipedia has issues with representation and certain biases)

          1. Alex

            Well, in the current version I do see at least some of the points that the Intercept talks about mentioned (for example about Mnuchin)

    1. lordkoos

      I no longer trust wikipedia myself after having an extremely unpleasant interaction with their moderators over an alternative health entry.

      Where is the link for the article about wikipedia policies, I didn’t see it?

  20. Carolinian

    Re Myth of a Liberal North–Perhaps this article does give a smidgeon of justification to those Lost Causers who said the Civil War was not about slavery. If the article is to believed the North was just as racist as their comperes below the Mason-Dixon and for them it was a power struggle with a traitorous region.

    However it’s surely undeniable that if you take away slavery then there would have been no war and for the Southern aristocrats, who led the South out, it was all about slavery. And also, in true American fashion, it was about money. SC’s Wade Hampton was the country’s richest man with that wealth consisting of human property. Contra 1619, greed not race may be our original American sin with racism, sadly, being a far more universal impulse that must be suppressed at an early age. “You’ve got to be taught.”

    1. Biph

      While the Civil War was about slavery the attitudes to the it the North were more mixed. For example Ohio had black laws, Jim Crow style laws that limited where black Ohioans could live go, to school and disenfranchised them. At the same time many white Ohioans who had no problem with black laws also hated that part of the Dredd Scott decision which nullified the Kansas-Nebraska act taking away the ability for territorial legislatures to outlaw slavery. Those Ohioans may have been just as racist as their Southern counterparts but they reviled the thought of free farmers having to compete with in their view lazy, effete Southern aristocrats and their armies of slave labor in the western US.

    2. Jessica

      The North was anti-slavery above all out of fear of what slavery in the South would do to Northern workers. Also, because the large Southern slave-owners were quite autocratic and proud of it. Concern for African-Americans only affected those who opposed slavery from more moral grounds, such as the hard-core abolitionists.
      So Northern racism and anti-slavery were quite compatible.
      And you are quite correct, greed is our original sin. Though at first, the notion of ordinary folks being able to take part in the greed fest was a step forward from only the high-born being allowed to have major roles and everyone else limited to bit parts and being extras, regardless of their talents.
      I think it was Richard White in The Republic for Which It Stands: The United States During Reconstruction and the Gilded Age, 1865-1896 who made the point that by losing the war, the South lost what it fought for, slavery, but by winning the war, the North lost what it fought for, free labor. In those days, free labor did not mean free to sell oneself for wage labor. It meant free. For example, yeomen farmers or artisans.

  21. km

    I can tell you all kinds of stories about corporate raiding in Ukraine, some from my own experience.

    Also, I was friends with a young lady who was a corporate raider by profession. To say that she was a trip is the understatement of the decade.

  22. km

    Re: Simon Johnson: I have read it that if Trump had simply taken the money he initially borrowed from his father, parked it in an S&P 500 Index Fund and reinvested the proceeds, he would be richer than he is today.

    Anyone can confirm?

        1. Lee

          Donald Trump’s net worth has grown about 300% to an estimated $4 billion since 1987, according to a report by the Associated Press. But the real estate mogul would have made even more money if he had just invested in index funds. The AP says that, if Trump had invested in an index fund in 1988, his net worth would be as much as $13 billion.

    1. TMoney

      Ironically, it is the most patriotic thing Trump ever did. He gave up easy higher returns, instead spending money on goods and services (well sometimes he paid for them, a lot of the times he stiffed people) on the uncertain course of Real Estate Developer. In the modern age that’s a Patriot.

      Mind you I’m not excited at my definition of Patriot in this reply.

  23. The Rev Kev

    “‘I literally weep’: anguish as New Zealand’s National Library culls 600,000 books”

    That would make New Zealand’s National Library one of the most provincial in the world if it will feature only kiwi authors. Nearly 2,200 first editions going out the door? Seriously? And going to local libraries, and then to prison libraries and charity book sales? I can see it now. So you have a coupla cons in prison and one turns to the other and says; ‘Hey Bill. you finished with that Gutenberg? Just finished that signed first edition of Bill Shakespeare and he was so bad, I had to bin it rather than finish it. And don’t throw away that 1912 edition of Jane Austen’s ‘Sense and Sensibility.’ The pages are thin enough to make good tobacco paper with.’

    Here is the ‘Leadership Group for this Library. The guy in charge – Bill Macnaught- is retiring this year but he will leave a legacy of enormous cultural devastation in his wake. Somebody should check that he does not take some discarded first editions with him when he leaves-

    1. Wukchumni

      And to throw ammo onto the fire, I found book prices in NZ to be the most expensive of anywhere in the first world, making them even more precious.

    2. lyman alpha blob

      If this is anything like cullings from smaller libraries that I’m familiar with, used booksellers will be the first in line to pore over the stacks and take anything of value for pennies of the dollar for themselves, and the vast majority of the rest will be shredded.

      1. cocomaan

        Can confirm as someone who ran the used book sale at the public library. We took donated books throughout the year and had a big blowout sale in October.

        1st night we’d actually charge for admission. Book dealers would come in and be ripping apart our neat piles and barcode scanning to find valuables. The rest of the week, the plebes would come in and pick out the Danielle Steele and James Patterson.

        We had a farmer who would pick up the rest of it, usually several tons of books, and shred it to use for cow bedding. A lot of that last year was cook books, coffee table books, and non fiction. Those also happen to be the heaviest books, so it was a joy to haul them out to try and sell them, then haul them to the farmer’s flatbed.

        1. Wukchumni

          Goodwill in Visalia had a book sale out in the parking lot a few years back, and there was about 100 cardboard banker boxes full on about 20 large fold up tables, with everything going for 2 bits.

          Danielle Steele was by far the commonest tome encountered, with a lot of evang self help books as well (this is the CVBB fer christ sake) and the pickings were exceptional, I blew $6 on a box worth.

          Pick of the litter was Mencken’s The American Language

        2. Carolinian

          My library does the same and has a pretty good used book store. Supposedly they have a policy of pulling anything not checked out in a year although that may apply more to items like DVDs where space is more limited.

          All of this has to do with the transition to digital of course but the problem is that many of those discarded books will never make it to digital editions. The earlier classics can be found on Project Gutenberg but my library had some wonderful books that I now miss due to this policy. I’ve picked up a few of them including an expensive Ansel Adams biography being sold for a couple of bucks. Current copyright policies mean that many out of print books could become unavailable unless a licensed commercial entity chooses to reprint them. There was a similar problem when home video moved from VHS to DVD and even now there are likely more titles on the older inferior format if you can find them and a machine to play them.

          1. cocomaan

            The state mandates that public libraries weed a certain amount of the collection and add a certain amount to the collection each year. The calculations are done on two separate numbers. So the weeding is a % of the total collection, while the acquisitions are based on a % of the budget. Go figure.

            You’re absolutely right, when publishers hoard C on these old books, you just have to hope they can make it through the Mickey Mouse period to eventually get digitized.

        3. furies

          My local county library culls books that don’t get checked out. Sadly, this only leaves James Patterson and Danielle Steele. More dystopia cuz ‘markets’; everyone knows libraries are like businesses, right? Book burning with a twist…

          1. rl

            Librarians are increasingly “encouraged” to view our work in terms of business and sales, our neighborhoods as consumer markets (with attendant priority to common-denominator consumer appetites rather than the methodic, bonsai-like pruning and cultivation of a place, in physical reality, to find new knowledge … no or minimal questions asked … for free), and—most degrading of all—to refer to our patrons as “customers.”

            Upon reflection: in all the chatter about the steady destruction of the university and of the academy, I think maybe the gradual desiccation of public librarianship has gone largely overlooked. But it cannot come as a surprise if, with the “producers” of knowledge (academics), the “custodians” of it (librarians) were among the first and juiciest targets of neoliberal familybloggery.

            1. cocomaan

              It’s true that libraries are increasingly self funding, through fundraising or services instead of government dollars, but it seems to me that the era of publicly-funded libraries was pretty short. Most of history has involved private funding for libraries.

              There’s definite minuses to being government funded, such as challenges to collections.

          2. Carla

            Our local public library will often actually purchase books that patrons request be added to the collection. The director told me that the only time they turn down a request is if they’re pretty sure NO one else would be interested in the book, or if it’s obscene or something. I have a very interesting neighbor who has requested that the library purchase many books, and she said they’ve never turned her down yet. The local collection is much richer because of people like my neighbor.

          3. Jessica

            The evil genius of the American-led capitalist empire is the ability to accomplish with “market forces” what other regimes needed visible force to accomplish.

      2. Fiery Hunt

        I was a rare book dealer and scout for years the East Bay.

        Library sales and thrift shops…1st eds of “Breakfast at Tiffany’s”, “Martian Chronicles” “Old Man and the Sea”, Faulkners, Steinbecks, “Naked Lunch” (the true paperback first), my entire collection of photography books (Avedon, E.Weston, Beard, Adams, Cunningham, etc) all for less than $10 each.

        Ex-library books are essentially “valueless” on the second hand market but libraries and thrift stores get lots of donations of trade editions.

        Miss scouting for books.

        1. Wukchumni

          Wildly veering from the subject matter…

          I knew a fellow who was well versed in values of jewelry, diamonds, smalls, art and more. He really had it going on upstairs in the days when a good memory was an asset and the internet didn’t exist.

          He religiously haunted garage sales/estate sales from Santa Monica to Malibu, his turf.

          Back in the day when nobody knew nothing, it was all about who got there first wins, and he’d plot out a map of locations based on how promising they seemed, and try and cajole the person running it to allow him in early, etc.

          He might hit 30 garage sales on a Saturday.

          Told me one of the keys to success was when costume jewelry got mixed up with the real thing, and the former predominating, so as to make it all look like junk.

          1. km

            Similar to the strategy for buying collectible vinyl records.

            Start off by prioritizing and hitting all the garage sales, really early. Then raid the thrift stores, etc.. Again, you gotta get there first.

            About 95% of the time, there was nothing worth buying, about 4% of the time there was something sort of saleable but either the condition was janky or the owner thought it was worth way more than it was.

            About 1% of the time, you hit pay dirt.

          1. Fiery Hunt

            That Varney is a true gem!

            I bought an entire collection of Algernon Blackwood firsts…Love the Victorian horror/sci-fi stuff…as well as the Arkam House stuff from the 50’s and 60″s.

            1. jr

              Nice! I have an original Conan somewhere with the Frazetta cover…no one does barbarian like Frazetta. FYI lots of. Blackwood stories on youtube…

    3. Wukchumni


      Loved the Central Library in ChCh, very glassy. Spent many hours perusing the stacks~

      Sadly it didn’t survive the 2011 quake, and only exists in memories.

    4. Tom Bradford

      My little backwoods small NZ town is spending a large chunk of ratepayer’s money on a new, flash-looking, light-and-airy library to replace the current perfectly good one, although the new one will have little coffee bar, more computers for public use, “more space” and 30% fewer books on the shelves for the money.

      Of course it’s the books in the library that cost the most, so cutting back on those makes commercial sense.

    5. ChrisPacific

      If I may offer a differing opinion: while I agree that ‘books of relevance to New Zealand’ should probably not just be limited to NZ authors, I’m not sure whether storing first editions of Graham Greene or Jack Kerouac (to quote two of the named examples from the article) is consistent with the mission of the National Library to ‘help you access and use the collective knowledge of the nation.’ If they end up in the hands of collectors or in regional public libraries, that might arguably be a better fate for them than gathering dust on a shelf in a government archive.

      The process does seem to have been somewhat rushed and I think there is legitimate criticism to be made around that, but I don’t see much serious attempt from the critics to engage with the question about what should or shouldn’t be part of the national collection.

      1. Basil Pesto

        I’m inclined to agree with your points and it’s an interesting question for libraries in the anglophone (or indeed francophone, or hispanophone) world. The value of a first edition Kerouac is obvious to, say, Antiques Roadshow, but what is the value to the national library of New Zealand qua the national library of New Zealand, of the first edition of a popular, frequently reprinted American writer printed in a different hemisphere? It doesn’t seem like it would be anymore valuable to NZ than it would be, to pick random examples, to the national libraries of Slovakia or Lithuania. Is the common language of the original text enough?

    6. Darryl Rosin

      “We repeated the point that the ATL collection is the collection that safeguards documentary heritage and taonga and it is entirely out of scope in this project – ATL content is held in perpetuity. (Addressing Elizabeth Kerr’s concern we noted that the ATL collection includes a wealth of material about European settlement in Aotearoa that will be held in perpetuity including, for example, a first edition Jane Austen title from 1811. The Library continues to buy books about topics beyond the shores of New Zealand.)

      In contrast, books in the Schools collection are fully depreciated after five years as a high use hard working collection used in schools up and down the country. To describe that collection as documentary heritage, let alone as taonga, is completely misleading.

      Similarly, the General Collection is a working collection that has its origins in the Country Library Service before it became part of the new National Library in 1965. Those books were important for supplementing the work of libraries across the country. The General Collection contains one copy of our legal deposit material for the purposes of lending to other libraries. Legal deposit books are not in scope for this project. It also contains books purchased to support current research interests in the ATL. I explained that the British Library has a deaccession policy that distinguishes its legal deposit and special collections from its working collections. When the British Library’s working collection items are no longer needed to support the service they can be deaccessioned. We explained that the books in the General Collection being deaccessioned have served their purpose and are no longer needed. We certainly do not consider them to be documentary heritage or taonga.”

  24. Sutter Cane

    After election, US faces “dark winter”:

    — Enormous unemployment programs 4 millions to expire
    — Protections 4 renters, student borrowers end
    — ACA at Supreme Court
    — Gov shutdown Dec 11
    — 40% restaurants, 66% hotels face closure
    — 1M travel jobs at risk

    Gotta VOTE VOTE VOTE so we can chose between the US collapsing under a Trump or Biden administration! This election is important for deciding between all of the same things happening, but it being Trump’s fault if he wins, or the same things happening but with liberals and the media pretending either that the bad things aren’t happening, or that they are good, actually, if Biden wins.

    I’m sorry but my cynicism is off the charts for this election.

    1. Roger Smith

      Speaking of “Dark Winter”. I thought it was very interesting that the first part of the last debate optically had Trump as the candidate of hope and “Dark Winter” Biden was the Mr. Doomsday. I thought Trump was very strong for that first half hour or so.

    2. Lee

      Look on the bright side: whoever is in charge will be discredited by their failure to rise to this dire occasion. Welcome to Cold Comfort Farm.

  25. Wukchumni

    Comeuppance see me sometime!

    Reading that short article was so chock full of bad memories of a dubious leader, i’d almost made a noose out of the power cord on my laptop when it thankfully ended, relieving me of wanting not to live anymore.
    Donald Trump’s COVID Comeuppance Simon Johnson, Project Syndicate

  26. Eduardo

    Credit Card Joe

    If it hadn’t been for Credit card Joe
    I’d been married a long time ago
    Where did you come from, where did you go?
    Where did you come from, Credit card Joe?

    If it hadn’t been for Credit card Joe
    I’d been outta jail a long time ago
    Where did you come from, where did you go?
    Where did you come from, Credit card Joe?

    If it hadn’t been for Credit card Joe
    I’d been debt free a long time ago
    Where did you come from, where did you go?
    Where did you come from, Credit card Joe?

    If it hadn’t been for Credit card Joe
    I’d been married a long time ago
    Where did you come from, where did you go?
    Where did you come from, Credit card Joe?

    He came to town like a midwinter storm
    He rode through the fields, so handsome and strong
    His eyes was his tools and his smile was his gun
    But all he had come for was having some fun

    If it hadn’t been for Credit card Joe
    I’d been debt free a long time ago
    Where did you come from, where did you go?
    Where did you come from, Credit card Joe?

    If it hadn’t been for Credit card Joe
    I’d been outta jail a long time ago
    Where did you come from, where did you go?
    Where did you come from, Credit card Joe?

    He brought disaster wherever he went
    The hearts of the girls was to Hell, broken, sent
    They all ran away so nobody would know
    And left only men ’cause of Credit card Joe

    If it hadn’t been for Credit card Joe
    I’d been married a long time ago
    Where did you come from, where did you go?
    Where did you come from, Credit card Joe?

    Rednex – Cotton Eye Joe (Official Music Video)

  27. anon y'mouse

    it has been interesting to see “both sides” try to create unrest and rioting through managing the expectation in the entire country that there will be one. social psychology, self fulfilling prophecy.

    i haven’t seen FEAR used to such good effect since 9.11 and the anthrax scares.

  28. amfortas the hippie

    at chemo clinic
    lighter traffic all the way
    but noticeably more aggression on the highway
    only one trump truck…with only one dinky flag
    and markedly less yard signs than a week ago….which i didn’t expect and cannot explain
    chemo place is a ghost town, too…. for whatever reason
    cant tell if what i feel is a disturbance in the force or my own anxiety

    oh….and this is texas hill country down to nw san antonio

    1. petal

      There’s seemingly been an increase in general aggression up here in NH, too. I was in a crosswalk and someone hit the gas and tried to hit me with their car late last week, and when I went to report it to security, they said the same thing happened to someone else a couple weeks ago. It’s like it’s all simmering beneath the surface and splashing out once in a while. You could cut the anxiety and tension with a knife. People are snappy.
      Good luck to your wife and you at chemo today. I hope everything goes smoothly and safely.

        1. amfortas the hippie

          of some note, while we’re sitting in the parking lot waiting for appointment time, a very large column/vortex of buzzards drifted by overhead
          only real trumtrain i’ve seen today

          (this is normal for this time of year in this part of san antone. huge flocks like to roost on the usaa complex,etc….still,felt apropos)

          1. amfortas the hippie

            driving around to go get lunch
            very light traffic
            half empty parking lots
            its much like early days of lockdown.

            listened to rush for a while, then some rush clone….”far left” this,”socialist” that…and its always the dems with the guns and flamethrowers,lol

            npr, otoh, has a guy looking to heal the political divisions using the techniques of marriage counseling
            surprisingly thoughtful and evenhanded

            the sunday morning quality i see here is a little disturbing, lol
            like a held breath…. but again, might just be me

            1. tegnost

              I’m on the side of “disturbance in the force”
              waiting for the other shoe to drop, I hope lambert is resting up, it’s gonna be a long night, luckily I don’t have any whisky…or is that whiskey…

            2. skippy

              Provided that link I promised over in “How Lack of Wealth is a Wage Trap”.

              The error going back 70 odd years is poignant as well the philosophical underpinnings going back hundreds of years.

      1. km

        The other day, I saw a young man out jogging downtown in what appeared to be a “tactical” armored vest.

        He was wearing shorts, however, so I am not sure what was up with that.

        1. Wukchumni

          A friend was the ‘narc in the park’ @ Sequoia NP, and mostly his beat was to take down Mexican drug cartel grows in the backcountry, although he might be lurking in the campgrounds, looking for enthusiasts openly plying their traits, the irony that sometimes he’d bust somebody smoking a reefer @ Potwisha campground, whose very name sounds like a stoner’s whet dream.

          He’d wear the equivalent of a backpack in weight in bulletproof armored gear under his uniform. A lot unwieldy.

        2. tegnost

          sounds like a weight loss gimmick, the other day I saw a young man running carrying 2 10 lb dumbbells and this older man was thinking “hm. not a great idea that.” Stay loose, stay light is what I always say. Do your weight training in the weight room. Multi tasking means you’re doing a half (way) job at two different things in my experience. You’re going to want those knees to work when you get on in years.

      2. JWP

        Concurring with that…Biking around Portland has become more and more dangerous with the aggressive drivers. The other day I had to hit a guys rear window so he didn’t run me off the road. Usually drivers are sane towards bikers in town, but that has changed in the last 3 or 4 months.

    2. carl

      Here in the central area, there’s an absolute ton of Biden signs. Everywhere you look. Homemade ones too. My mom’s gotten multiple texts from multiple D groups urging voting (presumably for the Ds). Not much Trump support here.

    3. lordkoos

      Things have been palpably tense for the last few days here in Trump country (rural eastern WA).

      On Halloween night I was at my mother’s house helping her out (she’s 93). We weren’t giving out candy and no one came to the door until there was an extremely loud knock, like how the police would do. I opened the door to see four grown young adults, none wearing masks. My mother is vulnerable at her age and was recently diagnosed with congestive heart failure so I was really pissed that people would show up at her door that way. I told them off and closed the door.

      Turns out they weren’t looking for candy, they left some flyers with a wanted poster containing caricatures of our city council members, along with a John Birch-style anti-communist screed that dated from the 1950s. (Although our county is very conservative, the town government is pretty progressive). There is a contingent of locals who are up in arms about wearing masks. I think my mother’s place was targeted because she had several Democratic party signs in the front yard.

      1. amfortas the hippie

        stay frosty, man
        i’ve been a lefty weirdo genius freak in rural texas all my life
        the rubes can be pretty intimidating
        just remember that their behavior is due to their terror
        they are extremely frightened people
        such display is akin to an aging gorilla waving a branch
        problem is that modern branches fire bullets

        i keep a 12 ga by the front door
        and a 357 mag under my seat in the truck

        what we need is another scopes trial to send them blushing into the closet for 40 years
        hopefully that will be trumps legacy

  29. farmboy

    Neither candidate gets 270, election goes to the House where each state gets 1 electoral vote. Time to start gaming this out.
    “The constitutional procedure, called a contingent election, enables the House to make the ultimate decision. During this process, the House is required to choose among the three candidates who received the most electoral college votes. Unlike typical, day-to-day congressional legislation, each state delegation votes en bloc, where each state gets one vote, regardless of the number of congressional districts. A candidate must earn the absolute majority support of state delegation votes to become the next president. Out of the fifty states, a candidate must receive twenty-six state delegation votes.”

  30. Clem

    America heads closer to medical price transparency with new rule

    Blame Trump, or Azar, for no more surprise medical bills?
    Blame Trump, or the CDC for the eviction moratorium?

    Here it is Election Day, and the Orange Idiot has not invaded one new country.
    What are we supposed to believe he’s saving it all up for his second term?

    1. marym

      If this were a “medical price transparency” proposal from neolib Democrats I would criticize the premise that people who need healthcare are consumers who need to shop around in a marketplace for the best deal.

      The way to ban surprise billing is by having a health insurance system that pays for healthcare.

      The eviction ban seemed helpful at the time – at least it was more than the reprehensible Congress was doing for tenants or landlords. There has been pushback from landlords to which the Trump administration has been responsive. Not sure where things stand right now. The link below is from a self-described “progressive” source, so factor in the bias as you see fit, but it does identify some of the issues.

  31. Matthew G. Saroff

    The entire Mexico thing seems to be a reaction to the (rather tepid) steps by AMLO to reverse some of the privatization and looting over the past few decades in Mexico.

    Not surprising that it includes the oil producing areas.

    The selloffs of the oil industry have provided brave new world for graft.

  32. Eustache de Saint Pierre

    Due to the positive results of the Spanish hospital Vitamin D study using only 76 patients, it is now being followed in Andalucia by 15 hospitals studying a 1,000 patients.

    Perhaps too late if again very positive to help with this pandemic & likely to be ignored. On a personal note I bought 2 tests from a company named One Step on Amazon ( unfortunately ), for about £ 15.00 & I am now apparently sufficient & will be applying the 2nd test to my precious other when I visit her in a couple of days.

      1. Minalin

        Yes, just ask your doc to run a blood panel on vitamins, minerals, trace elements. Doesn’t cost that much if that’s an issue. My vitamin d was the lowerest my doc had ever seen in 40 years.

        1. furies

          ? Where are you that it ‘doesn’t cost that much’??

          Labs are prohibitive in my (medical) experience. A routine panel can be hundreds of dollars.

          Or your insurance is really excellent.

      2. Eustache de Saint Pierre

        It will be a much larger version of the small study involving 76 admitted patients with Covid, that took place earlier this year in a Spanish hospital. Calcifediol is Vit D in it’s processed form through the liver etc.


        50 patients treated with calcifediol
        One required admission to the ICU (2%),
        Of 26 untreated patients, 13 required admission (50%)
        p  less than 0.001
        Of the patients treated with calcifediol, none died, and all were discharged, without complications
        Of the patients not treated, 2 died

        Calcifediol seems to be able to reduce severity of the disease.

        I hope this helps.

  33. vidimi

    he is sometimes good, but he spends way more time going after people who are not the enemy than he is investigating those that are.

  34. Carolinian

    FWIW I walked down to my polling place and was told “no wait.” Even mid morning this would be unlikely for a presidential election. A sign outside said “masks recommended, not required.”

    I didn’t vote, having performed my civic duty earlier in the year by voting for Tulsi.

    1. NotTimothyGeithner

      I mean its early, but Olbermann already has the worst tweet of the day. He might even be the clear winner for 2020.

  35. fresno dan

    So I voted. Went at about 7:40 am – it was a 15 minute stroll to the polling place. Based on the number of occupied 6 foot interval markers, there must have been about 14 people waiting in front of me. The line moved at 1 spot in about 70 seconds, so the wait wasn’t bad. Only one person joined the line after I had arrived – I figured I would get a little bit of a line cause I would catch the people who vote before work, but this was the first day of the season I was going anywhere early enough that the temperature was low enough to wear my leather hat…the leather hat wearing season in Fresno is pretty short, so I have to take advantage of every opportunity.
    You could vote electronically or by paper ballot. I did the paper ballot, marked with a felt marker pen. Fed it into a machine that indicated I had marked so that it could be tabulated and than I was gone.
    Saw 4 biden signs on the street I walked down – I never walk down that street so these were Biden signs I had not seen before. No Trump signs.
    There was a huge sign walking back that I hadn’t seen walking to the polling place because it was facing a cross street, that said , Vote Decently 2020

  36. flora

    re: After election, US faces “dark winter”:

    After reading Tom Ferguson’s excellent “Affluent Authoritarianism” post today, I’m reminded of this 2013 book review of George Packer’s The Unwinding by Thomas Frank.

    Frank’s review goes beyond examples narrated in The Unwinding and applies to today’s state of affairs, imo. It’s been a “dark winter” for a long time for over half of our US citizens, our neighbors. Biden says if he’s elected “nothing will change.” (Not sure if anything will change if T is re-elected, either… beyond the PMC class losing their minds for a second time.)

    1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

      “Wage workers” covers a lot of ground, doesn’t it. Q: Which candidate is firmly in the pocket of BigTech? I’d think “wage workers” would want to vote for his/her opponent

  37. zagonostra

    >Seth Rich

    I think the moderator(s) who approve these comments here at NC must have some sort of tool that has key words/phrases flagged as “do not post” which include “Seth Rich.” If that is the case I wonder why you posted the link above referencing him. Seems highly unlikely that of this writing not one of the 161 posts make mention/comment on it. And, what I did post didn’t make it through the filter even though it was innocuous. Oh well, still love you guys…

  38. Eclair

    A few, totally random and unscientific observations, from the past 7 days driving across the US, from western New York to Seattle.

    Public mask regulations differed among states: New York and Ohio stores all banned entrance to people not wearing masks. Missourians were totally mask-less. As were people in Utah and Idaho. Kansas, Oregon and Washington …. people wearing masks. Some correlation with CoVid 19 incidence.

    Amazon presence still amazes me. Big blue smiley 18-wheelers all over the interstates. Going north on I-25 from Denver to Laramie, Wyoming, we were passed by a line of 15 gray Amazon delivery vans. We saw ‘fulfillment centers’ along the route: Amazon and Walmart. Huge, gray, windowless behemoths, trailer trucks lined up along their sides like suckling pigs.

    Poverty. The clerks at Interstate Travel Centers, formerly known as truck stops, or working the night shift at the motel in Wyoming, a treeless clover-leaf anchored by a Walmart Superstore, off-track betting and a handful of flimsy houses, all with that unmistakable worn, beaten down look, missing teeth, but greeting us with a smile. Empty store fronts, closed restaurants, settlements of ramshackle old trailers surrounded by rusting cars and assorted pieces of metal.

    Recently built chain hotels are abundant: Hilton Express, Motel 6, Comfort Inn and Suites, Staybridge Suites, Hampton Inns. Mind-boggling amounts of bathroom marble countertops and thousands of sinks and toilets. Most were almost empty; a few big pickups and work vans in the parking lot indicated the residents were contract workers for construction, maybe fossil-fuel related.

    Gas is cheap! Under $2 in the midwest. So we saw even more monster pickups than usual. We carried all our food, because eating and breathing while maskless in public seems to be a good way to pick up a virus.

    The size of farms. Big and bigger. From far-as-the-eye-can-see fields of corn and soybeans in Indiana, Illinois, Missouri and Kansas to Oregon and Washington, where ranks of grapevines are creeping up and smothering the hillsides. In the midwest, where the grain elevators dot the horizon, the silos are full and the grain is dumped in ice-berg-sized piles off to the side. Double trailer trucks passing us in the Yakima Valley, loaded with room-sized crates of apples: Organic Pink Lady.

    Religious radio. And billboards. Male preachers, telling us about God and Jesus and the Bible. A money management program based on Biblical teachings. BIG billboards across the country: Anxious? Jesus gives us reassurance. Afraid? Jesus provides security. etc., etc. And, especially in Kansas, fields with “Abortion stops a beating heart,” and other such messages. Again, no controlled experiment, but this trip there seemed to be even more religious radio stations. (OK, we should listen to podcasts. Let me tell you how many exits I have missed because I was so engrossed by the narrative …..)

    And so, from sea to shining sea, what I see does not give me confidence in our country’s trajectory.

    1. Carolinian

      Thanks for the post. I’ve driven across the country many times and feel that, whatever one thinks about the nation or its people, the beauty of the place is its great redemption. We’ll pull through….somehow.

        1. flora

          Detroit was “motor-city”, once upon a time.

          Same in Pittsburg with steel. Same in the industrial Midwest after companies were off-shored for cheap labor. (Forget quality, imo.)
          Millions of jobs were moved from the US to other countries in the name of labor wage arbitration. I think it was short sighted, quarterly profits reports, sending the real wealth of the US to other countries. But I’m not an “economist.”

          Meanwhile, in China:

          The US’s industrial fall and wealth, and the rise of China’s industry and wealth didn’t “just happen”.

          Eclair’s comment is a good ‘camera eye’ view of where the US is now for most Americans.

          1. flora

            adding: before anyone responds that it’s great US businesses have lifted so many other countries’ poor out of poverty, I’d ask if they’ve paid attention to the rising poverty, homelessness, rising shanty encampments (Hoovervilles), and the falling life expectancies of US citizens. The people in the new ‘gig’ economy might once have found stable work at decent wages here in US factories, now off-shored for higher stock prices.

  39. Pat

    Was at my NYC polling location at just after noon. There were no lines to get in and no lines at some of the district tables. At my table there was one person being helped, one waiting and then me. I was in and out in approximately 15 minutes. Lots of poll workers looking for something to do, and eager to help.

    Also lots of businesses with boarded windows, others being boarded, including the Apple Store. I have to really wonder who is going to riot in NYC. The state is going to go to Biden, the city is going to go to Biden, and I don’t see Trump voters traveling here. And even if Trump wins (a big if) and we know it tonight (an even bigger long shot imo) what would be the point in rioting here? This scenario doesn’t make sense to me. I could maybe see it somewhere where the vote was closer, but even that seems like some idiot fevered dream.

    If we are going to see unrest that isn’t some bit of smoke and mirrors, I would think it would happen down the line – as the vote count lags and people’s distrust of the process boils over. And even then I am once again going to wonder the point of it. Mindless wandering of the streets vandalizing places accomplishes nothing – including striking of fear in the people who should be afraid. Unfortunately, my spidey sense says faux violent uproar could very well be on the agenda.

  40. Ella

    I’m in Massachusetts. Drove through the main “rotary” in my town today – all Biden signs were gone, replaced with about 6 Trump signs.

    Seem to remember the Biden signs were up yesterday.

    Yesterday, I saw a big truck driving around with a trailer, waving HUGE trump signs from the back.

    Why such bullies?

  41. jr

    Ok, I did it. I voted. Howie. I think.

    When I drew unemployment, I was told I was registered. I remember this because that means jury duty and that means death to a gig worker and that means going to the shrink for a note about why I wouldn’t make the optimal juror. So I went to the place and they couldn’t find me in the system. So I was given a provisional ballot or whatever.

    When it came time to sign it, I grew concerned because they hadn’t found me in the registry and I didn’t want to get in some kind of trouble or something so I asked the guy. He said it’s NBD, something to the effect that this was registering me. I said ok, just wanted to make sure, I haven’t done this since Nader (where the PA polling place had him under “independents”, not “greens” still not sure about that one). Anyway, he >reassured< me that if there was a problem they would just toss it out.


  42. Skip

    Re: Turns Out the FBI Has Been Hiding More Seth Rich Documents Sic Semper Tyrannis

    I know former intelligence and intelligence tech guys who believe the DNC info left not by hack but by thumb drive. Why do I feel this has some parallel relationship to Assange extradition hearing testimony, on Sheldon Adelson and security and intelligence types discussing spying on and poisoning Assange? Why would a casino magnate, who is Trump’s main donor and the Likud far right’s US front man and funder, want Assange permanently silenced? I guess the mainstream’s ignoring that testimony still allows me a private conspiracy theory.

  43. EMtz

    Re: Méxicos “Federalist Alliance”. I live in Guanajuato, one of the States in this “alliance” and the most violent State in the country thanks to the corruption of state and local governments. The governors of every one of these States is a strong advocate for opposition parties heavily steeped in the corruption which AMLO is trying to stamp out. The majority belong to PAN, party of former Presidents Fox and Calderon whose finances now are underscrutiny for tax evasion, bribery and fraud. The news source, El Universel, cited is widely acknowledged as being, er, favorable to PAN, PRI and these other old guard parties who are clinging by their fingernails to what remaining political power they have. They currently are trying to leverage every political molehill into a mountain in the hope of gaining and cementing leverage in México’s 2121 off-year elections.

  44. Maritimer

    Scientists Just Discovered That Platypus Fur Glows Green Under UV Light Vice
    Golly gee, Mr. Peabody, another triumph for science and Now well on the way to solving the existential problems of Humanity.

  45. Randy G.

    Yasha Levine’s journalism is generally impressive; his book ‘Surveillance Valley’ is especially compelling but with a few caveats. For example, the weakest part of the book is his disgruntled and rather petty attack on Snowden’s personal politics.

    Snowden came from a conservative family background and appears to think of himself as a libertarian. Levine seems outraged by that, but the political litmus test is absurd.

    How exactly would Snowden have gotten his hands on all those incriminating NSA documents if he been a lovable anti-corporate ‘leftist? Was the ‘National Security State’ going to hire him to spy on the world if were a member of Democratic Socialists of America? Or going door to door for Jill Stein?

    The inestimable Daniel Ellsberg also came from an anti-left political background: he was a First Lieutenant in the Marine Corp! And a fervent anti-communist when he went to work at the Rand Corporation and then later for Robert McNamara at the Pentagon. If he had been hanging out with Jack Kerouac and praising Fidel and Che for the Cuban Revolution, just maybe he wouldn’t have gotten that job at the Pentagon and been in a position to release the Pentagon Papers.

    Ellsberg became a very, very different person politically after his disillusionment with the U.S. government and military. As someone who courageously rebelled against his training, Ellsberg has gone on to live an inspiring public life.

    Snowden appears to be a conservative who actually believed that the U.S. is a Democratic Republic and that the Constitution, including the Bill or Rights, was for real. The shock of finding out that the US secret police are running an illegal scam jolted him into rebellion.

    Whatever his politics, Snowden is incredibly courageous and it’s only by sheer luck that he hasn’t ended up (so far) like Assange and Manning — or faced something even worse.

    Hope Levine can focus his talents on more important targets and not fall into a pattern of personal sniping at journalists (Taibbi and Greenwald) and whistleblowers (Snowden) who are far better known than he is but definitely not in positions of power. Not saying they are above criticism, of course, but considering the state of the world it seems like there are better options for outrage.

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