Links 11/5/2020

Mysterious Radio Signal Is Coming From Inside Our Galaxy, Scientists Announce The Independent

As If the Platypus Couldn’t Get Any Weirder Gizmodo

Psyche, an asteroid believed to be worth $10,000 quadrillion, is observed through Hubble Telescope in new study CNN

Marauding monkeys bring fear to historic Indian tourist haven Agence France Presse


Systematic review of EEG findings in 617 patients diagnosed with COVID-19 Seizure. From the Discussion: “We present a large systematic review of EEG abnormalities in patients with COVID-19. In our review of 617 patients from 84 reports, we found that EEG abnormalities are common and encompass a wide variety of findings such as background abnormalities, periodic and rhythmic activity and other epileptiform abnormalities. The most common reason for obtaining EEG was altered mentation, and the most common EEG finding was diffuse slowing. Of interest, frontal lobe findings were common and included focal slowing, periodic discharges and rhythmic delta activity…. This study has the shortcomings of other systematic reviews including lack of access to original data such as EEG waveforms. We understand that many normal EEGs will not be reported, and EEGs were possibly performed disproportionately on patients with neurological symptoms.”

Covid-19 vaccine market worth $10bn a year, analysts say FT

How Cannabis-Based Therapeutics Could Help Fight COVID Inflammation MedScape

marka, David L and Kevin W sent us links to stories on the mass mink cull in Denmark; Richard H explained why this is a big cause for worry:

Denmark is culling its mink farm population (it is the 2nd largest producer in the world!). This is potentially bad news, of the order of “pneumonia of unknown origin reported in Wuhan”:

– Mink are close relatives of ferrets and ferrets are the lab animal of choice for human respiratory infections.
– Not covered in the BBC article but hinted at in the science one, a mink farm presents a virus with an essentially infinite population for the first few serial transmissions and thus more pathogenic viral strains are no longer at a disadvantage. Viral infections in battery farm conditions are known to promote virulence and, accidentally, pathogenicity.
– The mink have already succeeded in re-transmitting it to humans, which is the first case of back-infection from an animal receptor population (no cases of this so far for dogs or cats). Hardly unexpected: virology labs use serial passage in ferret populations to “weaponise” viruses for transmissibility etc.



US-China relations: rivalry in early stage and will only get ‘fiercer’, Harvard professor Graham Allison says South China Morning Post

China after Covid LRB. More about current trends in China’s politics than the click-bait headline.

Chinese companies waiting twice as long for payments as in 2015 FT

Indonesia falls into recession for first time in two decades Nikkei Asian Review

The Koreas

Korea’s Public Trust Rises Amid the Pandemic The Blue Roof

Asia Today: South Korea OKs single test for COVID-19 and flu AP


India’s Toughest COVID-19 Test Still Lies Ahead The Diplomat

Graveyards in big Indian cities running out of space due to Covid-19 pandemic Straits Times

Indian TV anchor’s arrest sparks outrage from government Agence France Presse

BJP wants to stop ‘love jihad’. But its real aim is to undermine the right to religion and liberty The Scroll

Mauritius oil spill clean-up likely to be completed by January: ship owner Reuters

Sudan says latest Nile dam talks failed Agence France Presse


The UK’s new national coronavirus lockdown rules explained Wired

Virus crisis in Belgium shows more signs of abating Independent


EU’s Barnier says ‘very serious’ gaps still in Brexit trade talks Reuters

With less than two months left, let’s check in on Brexit: All IT systems are up and running and ready to go, says no one The Register

The Killing of Orlando Gutiérrez Shows the Violent Threat to Bolivian Democracy Jacobin

Venezuelan president: Key oil refinery attacked; 2 detained AP

AMLO’s approval rating drops down to 59% Yucatan Times

New Cold War

US-China Competition Won’t Produce a New Bipolar World Valdai Discussion Club

Shall we drink? Vodka, rational utility maximisers and the 1990s Russian mortality crisis Postsocialism

Trump Transition

The US has left the Paris climate deal — what’s next? Nature

Election results dash business hopes for large-scale stimulus FT


Biden campaign gears up for legal warfare as he nears 270 and What you need to know about the four undecided swing states Politico

American Presidents Craig Murray

Americans are calming their election nerves by watching a fantastically boring livestream of workers counting ballots Business Insider (RS). Oh, I’m sorry you’re b-o-r-e-d. If you’re good, I’ll take you out for a nice mimosa when it’s brunch time. Seriously, there are plenty of people who wouldn’t be bored by this at all. Political professionals for one, but this is also an enormous country full of nerds and hobbyists of every description. Somebody’s probably live-streaming commentary on Twitch…

The U.S. Inability To Count Votes is a National Disgrace. And Dangerous. Glenn Greenwald. The headline is a

House Republicans Defy the Polls, Narrow Democrats’ Majority Cook Political Report

Amy McGrath Blows Remaining Campaign Funds On Lavish Concession Bonanza The Onion

* * *

Republican pollster Frank Luntz calls his profession ‘a systematic failure’ and APOLOGIZES to rival who put Donald Trump ahead by 1% in mid-western states Daily Mail. I hate the term “shy Trump voters.” They’re not shy. They’re monkey-wrenching the pollsters by lying to them. And why wouldn’t they?

Polling Failed. It’s Time to Kick the Addiction Cathy O’Neil, Bloomberg. But what will Democratic strategists bill for? Think before you write these things.

Did COVID End Up Helping Trump? Salon (Re Silc).

* * *

Why Joe Biden Gets it Wrong on Foreign Policy The National Interest

The 277 Policies for Which Biden Need Not Ask Permission The American Prospect. Candidates for Executive Orders.

* * *

‘Science was on the ballot’: How can public health recover from a rebuke at the polls? STAT

Science Denial and COVID Conspiracy Theories Potential Neurological Mechanisms and Possible Responses JAMA. Soviet psychiatry-style white coats waving syringes aside, this: “A systematic analysis of ‘what went wrong’ with COVID-19 policies during and after this pandemic is the responsibility of the scientific community. In addition, working with politicians to establish national policies to support rational science is critical.” This doesn’t strike me as a small-d democratic view. I also note the absence of the phrase “critical thinking.”

A History of Contested Presidential Elections, from Samuel Tilden to Al Gore Consortium News

The Proslavery Origins of the Electoral College (PDF) Cardozo Law Review

Democrats in Disarray

‘Dumpster fire’: House Democrats trade blame after Tuesday’s damage Politico. If only liberal Democrats were as focused, ruthless, and strategic when fighting Trump as they were when destroying Sanders. Makes you wonder what the purpose of the Democrat Party really is.

West Wing Brain:

Sadly, Favreau’s tweet has been deleted.

Intelligence Community

How a C.I.A. Coverup Targeted a Whistle-blower The New Yorker. FBI launders CIA intelligence.

Edward Snowden aims to become dual US-Russian citizen China News Asia

Health Care

As pivotal ACA case heads to Supreme Court, potential outcomes are many Heatlhcare Dive

The quiet pandemic caused by consuming too much salt SALT

Class Warfare

Is citizenship just a rent? Global Inequality

Power To The People? The American Conservative

Riff Raff Rising Blomsays

Rubble Kings: How the Violence Stopped and Hip Hop Emerged in the South Bronx Black Agenda Report

Antidote du jour (via):

Bonus antidote:

Does the flap of a elephant’s ears in Kenya set off a tornado in Texas?

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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About Lambert Strether

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


  1. SpainIsHot

    Hard to understand that animals like mink are still farmed for fur in a country like Denmark –COVID or not. 15-17 MILLON to be killed …

    1. John Ralston

      Mink cull:

      1. Obviously the government of Denmark does not believe that any sort of vaccine of any use is forthcoming. One does not chose to totally destroy a $1B+ annual industrial complex if it is in any way avoidable.

      2. Mink are not the only animals abused for disease gain-of-function experiments. It is well documented that mice and mouse tissues are used -and have been used specifically in the testing ( and if one is to believe the word of scientists involved in the work at Wuhan in corona virus experiments specifically ) and developing new strains of viruses. Maybe it is a seriously outrageously (family bloggin’) stupid idea to use animals such as mink and mice as vectors for gain-of-function experiments. -If NCoV-19 were to gain a foothold in mice there would be no culling possible. What then pray tell? What of the possibility of mutations in mice and rats, etc..? We are very likely to have some very unfavorable answers to that question in short order.

      3. It also seems quite obvious that even when governments are dealing with corona viruses in the context of heavily regulated animal husbandry industries such as mink farming that they are unable to ‘track and trace’, quarantine, or control dissemination. It is not as if these farms are in some thinly regulated third world environment or the stock of low value. Neither is it hard to identify who is and is not involved with, or who has contact with those involved in managing the mink stock in question. This does not bode well for managing the spread of this particular corona virus, or of similar viruses, in less regulated markets, or within wild/feral animals -or among persons generally.

      4. Let us pray this disease is generally as harmless as the cynics believe. It would be a monumental tragedy for whole species to be eradicated due to human dissemination of this pathogen, or worse: destroyed without cause by overzealous bureaucrats in the throes of a panic.

      5. The mink cull is a tragedy; and one which I cannot condone without much much more information. Someone(s) are frightened or have an agenda that they are willing to pursue at all costs.

      5. If this can be done to mink -whether after careful deliberation and for good cause or in haste and without cause- I have have serious questions about the testing, management, regulation, and security of our foods stock industries.

      1. SpainIsHot

        Good thoughts all. My point was more in the direction that these animals should not be farmed for fur in the first place.

        1. John Ralston

          In a perfect world animal husbandry would be unnecessary for clothing, materials, foodstuffs, etc.. That is not the world we live in. Certainly preclusion of the use of animal pelts, fur, hair, skins, etc. in the manufacture of clothing and shoes is incompatible with curbs in use of petrochemicals for the same purposes. Does one wish for shoes to be fashioned from leathers or plastics? Which contributes to more or less pollution, or globalization, or require more input costs, or regulation? Would you rather that your neighbors manage a mink farm in your community or a petrochemicals plant?

          1. Fireship

            So those are the two choices: a mink farm or a petrochemical complex. Could I get a second opinion?

            1. John Ralston

              Wooden clogs and a barrel?

              Maybe since the US is getting over it’s paranoia with hemp it can resume utilizing it broadly in the context of textiles and clothing.

              You tell me what other choices and means are available. Do children require mittens and shoes -and how do you propose to provide them?

              1. Return of the Bride of Joe Biden

                Wooden clogs and a barrel -OR- countless millions of dead animals for mittens and shoes (think of the children)?

                Is that really the argument you’re staking out?

                1. John Ralston

                  Try not to be obtuse.

                  I am not arguing for or against.

                  I do pose a valid question: What alternatives do you wish to entertain?

                  People require clothing do they not?

                  What you wear? If you have children what you purchase to cloth them with? these are simple questions that honest people can answer without derision or dishonesty.

                    1. John Ralston

                      Shoes made purely of rayon or linen? For all weather?

                      As I previously stated: in a perfect world I would not use animal products for clothing except where these are also byproducts of food: hides, leathers, tusks, feathers, etc..

                      What do you wear? NO animal or petroleum products at all in your wardrobe? I honestly find that hard to believe.

                      Again: I’m not the advocate for wearing fur. I think any reasoned reading of my posts attests to that.

                      I’m also not interested in making outrageous demands.

                      I personally prefer mink and cats and such as pets to lavish affection on.

                      I have been forced on occasion to have rescued stray cats euthanized in Astoria/Queens NY due to corona viruses for years.

                      I have never heard of a nation-wide cull of such a population of domestic stock and simply don’t believe that we are being provided with honest and complete answers about these infections or the actions supposedly being taken in mitigation.

                      THAT is the real issue here.

                      I believe that we are being continually deceived concerning the prevalence and danger of NCov-19 and it’s variants…

        2. Darius

          A big issue with mink farming is that they use the North American mink (Neovison vison), which routinely escapes and has proven invasive. It poses threats to endangered species in Europe and South America.

          I guess invasive species is my thing today.

          1. John Ralston

            Which is WHY people in the US should be alarmed and demand full disclosure.

            If this variant of the NCoV-19 disease is so dangerous that a total eradication of their domestic farmed population is undertaken we need to understand what can be done to mitigate contagion within our own domestic populations whether they are farmed, pets, or wild..

            I can assure you that some nasty variant(s) of corona viruses have been /are already rampant in the feral feline colonies of NYC as I have personally been forced to euthanize rescued cats suffering from them. It would be catastrophic if a variant that can be easily transmitted easily to and from humans were to be discovered in the any domestic feline population.

            Sadly: there is already some anecdotal evidence that an unknown virus ravaged the large cat population in the US over the last few years. Many large felines in private hands as well as zoos, etc. died of unknown or unpublished illnesses. Tellingly: these were also usually older animals; often seemingly in good health and with expectations of longer lives by their owners and keepers.

            These populations and the viruses that they can contract are not unrelated. We should be concerned. I am.

        1. lordkoos

          However I assume many of the younger mink would still be carrying the disease, same as it is with humans.

      2. anon in so cal

        Are sharks being used for a Covid vaccine, leading to the possible extinction of several species of shark?

        PS: Mink are also tortured and killed for false eyelashes, which are all the rage among certain demographics; this has led declining mascara sales, apparently.

        1. John Ralston

          Not that it matters… I do NOT advocate the use of animals merely for generation of textiles or clothing or cosmetics, etc..

          As I previously stated: I consider the use of hemp and other renewable resources as a better choice. That said: if we are to continue to farm animals for food, which I do not see ending any time soon no matter what advocates for various political causes demand; then continued utilization of the skins, pelts, horns, etc. that are inedible parts of these foodstocks make sense.

          …Except for Biden’s Bride: she gets to wear the clogs and a barrel along with her clutched pearls..

          1. ewmayer

            “if we are to continue to farm animals for food, which I do not see ending any time soon no matter what advocates for various political causes demand; then continued utilization of the skins, pelts, horns, etc. that are inedible parts of these foodstocks make sense.”

            So that was a choice you didn’t present to reader Fireship in your false binary “mink farm or petro-plant” reply above. As you note, raising e.g. cows for milk & meat is not going anywhere, and a single cow pelt can provide leather for many belts and pairs of shoes. Whereas raising mink for furs is an entirely voluntary luxury-demographic thing – purely to profit from conspicuous consumption.

    2. verifyfirst

      The scale of slaughter of animals when a virus comes along is certainly breathtaking. I remember the swine flu in China–hundreds of millions of pigs reported slaughtered. Where do all those carcasses even go?!

      Of course, the scale of the humans is the driving problem on earth.

      I was curious who the other mink farming nations were:

      “China’s 35 million pelts accounted for about 40 percent of the market in 2014, according to the International Fur Federation. In comparison, the next biggest producer, Denmark, produced 17.8 million that year, according to Fur Europe, the umbrella organization that represents Europe’s fur industry, followed by Poland (8.5 million), the Netherlands (5.5 million), and Finland (2.5 million). The U.S., also a major producer, contributed about 3.75 million mink pelts, the U.S. Department of Agriculture reported.”

      Have not heard of other countries doing culls?

      1. drexciya

        The Netherlands has been culling mink farms as well. There was already a plan in place to slowly phase out these mink farms by the way. As to the ethics of this; it’s hard. If there’s a demand for this industry, it will simply go to another country with, most likely, lower standards.

      2. Polar Socialist

        In Finland the Food Authority (you know, agriculture) monitors individual fur farms and enforces single farm culling if an infection is verified.

        And I know an old classmate vocally campaigning for natural materials in clothing, including leather and fur. The only choice for ecological consumer — you can leave your classic leather jacket to your kids or grandkids, especially if it’s taken care of at all.

        1. John Ralston

          When why weren’t single farms dutifully identified and culled?

          How has it spread? Is testing, or tracking and tracing the problem, or both?

          The wholesale destruction of an industry -let alone the tens of millions of animals including the breeding stock- should not be undertaken without absolute necessity.

          No one seems to be properly angered or alarmed at the serious and comprehensive national regulatory failure that this emergency cull signifies. Are these the same bureaucrats managing the regulation of the food supply/agriculture? The safety of the drinking water?

          Since this virus is known to be transmittable to/from humans there should have been stringent testing and track and trace associated.

          -Or are the tests simply as unreliable as the cynics insist?

      1. John Ralston

        What proof is there of this ‘mutant virus’?

        Why can it NOT be contained.

        Why is there no discussion of vaccination against since it since there are supposedly so many variant vaccines to be tested presently, if not to be widely distributed shortly?

        Too many questions and not nearly enough answers..

    3. fajensen


      If it is “Farming”, as in the subjugation of nature to industrial processing, almost *anything* goes in Denmark:

      Bee-killing pesticides, Pesticides that leaks residues into the water table, Overuse of antibiotics, Pigs with LA-MRSA CC398 being exported and sold, Danish farmers *gotta* *have* *it* and there will be made exceptions for them. In addition to all that, Denmark generally vetoes restrictions on Whaling in the IWC.

      And so on. The fairy tale from the 1950’s of “Denmark as an Agricultural Nation” is an unkillable Zombie of an ideology that keeps forcing the hands of any government, regardless that Danish Industry is a much bigger and also profitable sector of the economy.

      It would be kind-a interesting, in the traditional Chinese way, if our 20 million factory-farmed pigs also got a whiff of Corona (on top of the MRSA).

      I suspect that nobody is testing for that and further that nobody will be testing – as a matter of National Security. The Danish industrial farmers being about 360 billion in debt still, after 2008, and calling on that debt will instantly blow up most of the banks, in particular Danske Bank, the Danish equivalent of DB. Fat, stupid, arrogant, crooked, and always the last to find out when something goes down, therefore “Systemically Important” because we gotta keep those kind of talents around!

  2. JMM

    “The U.S. Inability To Count Votes is a National Disgrace. And Dangerous. Glenn Greenwald. The headline is a”

    No more cliffhangers, please!

      1. Off The Street

        Agitprop, USA-style, is a feature, not a bug. There are many touch points and opportunities to influence, all of which some enterprising soulless person has attempted to monetize. That soulless person doesn’t have to be correct, just able to influence someone with money, then rinse and repeat.

        Take polling, please.
        Those polls are weaponizable. Why not extract maximum coin while also maximizing FUD? If you don’t, someone else will, and they’ll do it anyway. Sample and push this, oversample that.

        Who votes, as influenced by pollsters, media and others with varying degrees in misinformation, narratives and outright lies.

        Who then counts the votes, presenting yet another opportunity to influence. You say you’d like X outcome? For a nominal service charge, that X can be had, and you, too, can reach nirvana tonight. Lyric references from Frank Zappa, who tried to tell Congress a few things.

        Imagine what would happen with correct and complete polls, transparent balloting with instantaneous verification and counts and such could occur. That would put so many out of work and they’d, gasp, have to find something slightly honest, or another grift, to do. So, zero chance in the current DC and state capital environments.

    1. zagonostra

      I like especially like this from Greenwald’s article.

      The next time Americans hear from their government that they need to impose democracy in other countries — through wars, invasion, bombing campaigns or other forms of clandestine CIA “interference” — they should insist that democracy first be imposed in the United States.

      1. Minalin

        He had to have meant that as a joke; or even on sub.stack he is all ready overpaid. Democracy is a disease that’s why we import it. And no I don’t agree with what Churchill said about democracy either.

          1. Wyatt Powell

            Truly? If i can have whatever i want?

            Benevolent Dictatorship

            Read up on some John Adams, plently of reasons to fear the “little people” (atleast in his day)
            Especially when those ” little people” are under-educated, over religious, self-centered nut cases

            And just because you’ve had it hammered into your head since birth that “DEMOCRACY IZ BEST FOR EVRY1, BELIVE US!” doesn’t make it true…

            1. lyman alpha blob

              You and Plato both. We’ve been waiting for Mr./Mrs. Benevolent to show up for a few millennia now.

              And if the “little people” are uneducated, why not educate them?

              1. witters

                Look, about Plato and Democracy. The Laws:

                ATHENIAN: Hear me, then: there are two mother forms of states from which the rest may be truly said to be derived; and one of them may be called monarchy and the other democracy: the Persians have the highest form of the one, and we of the other; almost all the rest, as I was saying, are variations of these. Now, if you are to have liberty and the combination of friendship with wisdom, you must have both these forms of government in a measure; the argument emphatically declares that no city can be well governed which is not made up of both.

        1. Bazarov

          The liberal, Lockean republican system is incapable of good, decisive government, which is what’s needed in a crisis. It’s a great system when things are going well (in times when little government is required).

          What we need is a majoritarian direct democracy, not a republic.

          The country should be ruled by a Great Jury chosen by lot with fixed, short terms and with major decisions confirmed via referendum.

          Any army *must* be conscript to reflect the popular will of the country.

          Ostracism every few years, candidates chosen among a list drawn up of the 10 richest people in the country. Whoever “wins” the ostracism gets their assets stripped, leaving them only with the median wealth (since “exile” doesn’t really work anymore–world’s too small!).

          Any functioning democracy needs a formal system to keep the rich (“the few”) quaking in their boots.

          In this respect (perhaps in this respect alone), the CCP has some of that old democratic spirit. They actually execute their corrupt billionaires!

          1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

            What is the point of debating how a *nation* should be led if the leader, once appointed, simply pursues the interests of *global* capital?

            Global capital cherishes no nation and respects no borders. It extracts the sweat of the brow of the people of each nation and spirits it away from taxation authorities to Panama and The Cayman Islands, $34 trillion (34 thousand thousand million) at last count. Policies in one nation are pursued that increase the wealth of global capital owners even if those policies reduce the wealth of the citizens of that nation. In the latest permutation global capital has seized control of the mechanisms by which citizens were able to receive information about how “their” “governments” were protecting their interests. If a leader emerges who even nominally attempts to favor the interests of the citizens of that nation the full resources of global capital are deployed to stop him.

            1. WobblyTelomeres

              Sigh. Global capital can only be defeated by global labor, a global uprising. Nationalism is how they keep this (us) under control.

              1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

                We already *have* global labor. Your high-paying job was sent to China, where it is performed much more cheaply. China has acted in the interests of the citizens of *their nation* since they wished to import the higher global standard of living for them. By contrast we have exported the higher standard of living of *our nation* because the global owners of the means of production wished to reduce their costs and thereby increase their profits. This benefit has not accrued to the citizens of *our nation*, the opposite is true. So it sounds like you are proposing to continue a game where one major nation acts in the interests of *their* citizens while another acts in the interests of *all* global citizens? That we cede the rest of the higher standard of living of *our nation* in favor of our citizens having a reduced standard of living that is the *global mean*? Perhaps I’m not following your argument.

                  1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

                    I’m for it! But how would that work?

                    Global IWW votes to raise wages. National IWW representative takes the result of that vote to national governments. Crickets.

  3. zagonostra

    >As If the Platypus Couldn’t Get Any Weirder – Gizmodo

    What could be more appropriate than a reference to the Platypus in the links today reminds me of a book I read.

    Plato and a Platypus Walk into a Bar . . .: Understanding Philosophy Through Jokes Paperback

    Or maybe,

    Aristotle and an Aardvark Go To Washington: Understanding Political Doublespeak Through Philosophy and Jokes

  4. The Rev Kev

    “With less than two months left, let’s check in on Brexit: All IT systems are up and running and ready to go, says no one”

    I always wonder what happened to the contractors who built the first version of the Obamacare website. Seriously though, they have had since the 23rd June of 2016 to work on this and they came up with this? As much as I despise Amazon, I wonder if it would have been better for the Tory government to give them the contract for this job. Failing that, is there no existing set of IT programs somewhere in the world that they could have not adapted to local use?

  5. polar donkey

    Perry county, home Linden TN, that had a BLM protest in August and worst per capita covid outbreak in the state in October, went 80% Trump 18% Biden. Only 2 counties in all of Tennessee, Davidson (Nashville) and Shelby (Memphis) went Democrat. The Democratic Party, in its current form, has nothing the vast majority of Tennessee wants.

    1. Robert Hahl

      Reminds me of when Al Gore failed to carry his home state of TN, whi h was said to be due to the presence of Lieberman on the ticket (“Gore is not one of us.”) It seems like the presence of Harris haw had the same effect.

      1. The Historian

        Honestly, I don’t see that Harris had much of an effect on the vote whatsoever. She did do what the Democrats wanted her to do – she brought in money. This election was always going to be a referendum on Trump. The Democrats probably could have run Ghenghis Khan as the VP for all the difference it would have made.

        1. Lost in OR

          She has all the duplicity of Obama with none of the charm and I think people see that. She’s not even in office yet and I can’t watch her speak. It’s going to be a long four years if she does get in. Especially if Biden falls on his sword.

        2. barefoot charley

          She depressed black turnout without a doubt. Blacks notice dog-whistling Democrats, and not in a good way.

            1. Yves Smith

              See Vox:

              One of the surprises in the election is that President Donald Trump actually improved his standing with Black voters over four years ago.

              According to AP VoteCast, Trump won 8 percent of the Black vote, about a 2 percentage-point gain on his 2016 numbers (using the 2016 Cooperative Congressional Election Study, or CCES, a national survey of more than 50,000 confirmed voters, as a point of comparison).

              And he may have done even better than 2 percentage points. If you compare the CCES numbers to the results of 2020 exit polls by Edison Research, Trump actually improved by 4 percentage points.


    2. NumbersGuy

      Look at how other red counties voted across TN. You’ll see Trump getting 75% to 85% in many of the red counties. 80% is not unusual.

      It’s easy to check on the CNN web site. Use the presidential race map. Touch a county on the map. The count will pop up.

    3. Biologist

      It would be an interesting excersise to look at this for all counties of the USA, i.e. county-level election results vs. Covid incidence over say, the last 6 weeks.

      If anyone knows where raw data for this can be found I’d be happy to give it a go, especially if there’s similarly granular data for some economic measures like median income or wealth, or unemployment.

  6. Katiebird

    “What you need to know about the 4 undecided swing states” (Politico)

    Why are FoxNews and Politico the only places I find that have Arizona in Biden’s column for sure? They seem to have no doubts. But NYTimes, CNN, NBC, etc all say it is still undecided.

    Who makes these decisions?

    1. yan

      Also seeing the Financial Times showing Biden with 264 electoral votes, vs. 253 at NYT. Seems they are counting Arizona’s 11 electoral votes for Biden but they do not say he won Arizona.

    2. Lee

      Associated Press, with a long history of reliability, has AZ for Biden.

      88% reporting

      Biden 50.5%

      Trump 48.1%

      1. USDisVet

        Many examples of potential voter fraud; Arizona is just one.

        In 7 states the number of voters exceeded the number of registered voters. How can this be?
        Normally you can expect 10% above the normal % of voters due to registered voters dying between elections. In another the number was 96% (Georgia).

        Strangely (or not) included in these states are the very states that are being contested and rightly so. THe most blatant case is Wisconsin which had a ballot dump @ 4AM producing 138,000 ballots, with virtually ALL GOING FOR BIDEN. What are the odds? Perhaps a trillion to 1. Strange abnomalies in Michigan as well. In Pennsylvania no election monitors allowed. WHY?

        1. Off The Street

          Expect news that those ballot-finders stuffers were too clever by half, or more. They could be walking into a trap.

        2. Oh

          After they successfully fixed the primaries to get rid of Sanders the DimRats have gotten more brazen. Now they’re openly cheating! This is headed to the SC for sure. I wonder if we can nullify the whole election and start over?

        3. Adam

          This sounds like total nonsense. The scant little came up on a duckduckgo search and what little it did mention (a meme that Wisconsin had more votes than registered voters) is super easily disproven. Where’s the support for this statement coming from?

        4. marym


          Please don’t include these that have been debunked, or the WI “ballot dump” which was debunked in my comment with Politifact link on yesterdays Water Cooler.


          social media claims used 2018 registration number

          “Definite numbers will not be available until election results are certified. However, with 5,445,078 active registered voters on Election Day and at least 4,045,613 votes cast, turnout was greater than 74%.”

          Note: this is from Brian Kemp who is likely to see potential voter fraud behind every lamppost. Current vote counts 4.9M + `~60K uncounted

          “Among roughly 4.5 million distinct voters in Washington state between 2011 and 2018, we estimate that there are 14 deceased individuals whose ballots might have been cast suspiciously long after their death, representing 0.0003% of voters. Even these few cases may reflect two individuals with the same name and birth date, or cler- ical errors, rather than fraud.”

          Nevada (re: current reports of Trump lawsuit)
          “Nevada generally allows overseas or military voters to cast a ballot while not actively residing in the state, and state law generally anticipates mailing ballots to registered voters who are currently out of state, such as college students.”

        5. ShamanicFallout

          USDisVet: Uh-oh. Now we’re going to start hearing the new ‘Russiagate” from the other team. It’s called “voter fraud”. 4 years of “VoterFradugate” on Fox news! Ratings extravaganza! Ka-ching

        6. Minalin

          A little fun here are not ‘abnomalies’ strange by definition. One county is Michigan had an under count, so they recounted by hand. Changed nothing. No matter how many times when this story is brought up of late it has never been found be true. Could you site from actually convictions, like the Republicans in North Carolina, from a year ago, stuff like that?

        7. Aumua

          There is of course a TON of rampant, scantily supported speculation along these lines circulating in (mostly) Trumpian, right wing circles right now. Much of it is based on simple lack of understanding about how the electoral system works.

          But, on the other hand like the Greenwald article points out, our electoral system is not very competent or transparent and does not inspire confidence, so it really invites this kind of speculation.

        8. STEPHEN

          Please provide a source for this claim. I’ve seen it repeatedly debunked elsewhere. I believe the source was a deliberately misleading report that used 2016 voter registration numbers in the demoniator and 2020 vote totals in the numerator.

          1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

            It’s been so interesting to watch Rupert’s volte-face, I started noticing about 3 months ago that Fox was abandoning Trump but today it’s fully evident. Their home page of videos is about half Joe and Kamala puff pieces, one about how Joe is really sharp mentally and the other about how Kamala is really very likeable. And one from oh-so-serious “Republicans” saying “the Republican Party owes Trump a debt of gratitude” (past tense, even as CNN says the race is still too close to call). Recall that Rupert and Hilary are besties.

            So Rupert still wants to be the guy Republicans turn to even though he betrayed their president when he needed them most. The hermetic seal around the information the electorate requires to make informed voting decisions is complete. Defcon 5…must…elect…globalists…much…cash…still…to…extract…from…America

  7. The Rev Kev

    “Sadly, Favreau’s tweet has been deleted.”

    Well in all fairness, he did say let’s figure them out in private.

    1. edmondo

      You weren’t invited to the Zoom call?

      It’s all fixed now. The Dems almost lost because Bernie ran in the primaries and made Joe look senile-like. Joe also had a shoe-string budget of less than 3 billion dollars. It’s a miracle he won.

        1. Drake

          And the slavish cooperation of traditional and social media openly engaged in one-sided “fact-checking” and censorship. Just small advantages like that.

          1. km

            Yeah, the MSM and social media companies were sort of acting as the volunteer Ministry of Team D Propaganda, and not even bothering to pretend to hide the fact.

            But enough of that, what’s on the menu for brunch?

            1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

              And don’t forget the private secret police force FBI. Just sitting on the laptop for 9 months earned them whatever Caymans account the top guys got

          1. Darius

            Even in a wheelchair and with one foot in the grave, FDR could run rings around Biden or any of these Democrats.

  8. Ella

    So I woke up angry this morning (yesterday I was sad).

    What are the odds that the unknown result states happen to be those that are tight races? Why aren’t the final counts available in states like, NY, MA, KY, etc etc?

    Do they have to count extra carefully in these remaining states (counting is counting, isn’t it!?!?). Are they filled with more dumbarses who don’t know how to manage an election count?

    It continues to feel like a circus and a reality show with all us Americans taken for a ride.

    I’m so sick of it all. (this post is mostly rant but I am curious if anyone knows why these remaining states couldn’t get their act together and provide a final count as quickly as the other 45 or so…..)

    1. John Beech

      No offense but counting is only counting if a bushel full of ballots don’t appear mysteriously when watchers are home asleep. Me? I believe if we want real votes, and no fraud, then we have to take a decision about a national identification system. Driver’s licenses? Dunno, whatever. Maybe a card, to which driving privileges are added, as are passport privileges, health records, yada, yada . . . with the death penalty attached to fraud, theft of data, transmission or sale of data, etc. Make it real to cheat the system to dissuade the fraudsters. I won’t mind if Biden wins, but only if it’s honestly a win, not a fraudulently obtained win. Right now? I am leaning toward belief re: fraud. Sigh.

      1. The Rev Kev

        To do anything like that you would have to have the voting system become a Federal responsibility that could apply one set of standards clear across the board. But to do that, you would first have to convince the States give up a big chunk of their power and send it to Washington. And not just one State but all fifty. Yeah, not going to happen.

        1. J7915

          How about Federal elections according to federal rules, using federal funded infrastructure?

          States may piggy on back of that infrastructure, but have to follow the same rules. Paper ballots, scanned, and the data retained for the duration of three presidential terms.

          Benefit to states would be they only pay for consumables, ballots, pens, etc. If states want their own voting machines for state votes let them.

          Standardize rules, apply Maine rules: apportioned EC votes.

        2. vlade

          Not really. I believe all states already reconigise passport as a valid ID. Of course, having a requirement that all eligible voters have passport would disenfranchise quite a lot of poor people, unless everyone who is registered as a US citizen would get a passport at age 18 regardless (for free).

          That’s not gonna happen though (ignoring the fact that even registering at birth as a US citizen would disfranchise some, as not everyone is born in a hospital or a place where they can register the newlyborn as a citizen).

          Of course, you’d also got full Starship Troopers, and say only those who did military service are eligible to vote, which would blow up many many PMC’s heads off.

          1. TMoney

            Free ID and Passports are an excellent solution – which is why we won’t ever get them. It is a primary function of a Republic to ensure all those who are eligible to vote can in fact vote. If you need ID to vote, the ID should be FREE to the voter (or rather paid for via taxes, just like bombs and tanks)..
            If you need to go downtown to a cellar in the dark and get it from a locked cabinet in a disused lavatory with a sign on the door saying ‘Beware of the Leopard.” — well that’s voter suppression !

        3. Wyoming

          The above is common knowledge – which is actually incorrect.

          US Constitution – Article V Section 4

          SECTION 4

          The Times, Places and Manner of holding Elections for Senators and Representatives, shall be prescribed in each State by the Legislature thereof; but the Congress may at any time by Law make or alter such Regulations, except as to the Places of chusing Senators…….

          It would, of course, be controversial, but it would be constitutional for Congress to set a common set of rules and procedures for National elections as the above states they have a right to do. The article does not specifically mention voting for President since at the time the Constitution was ratified only Senators were allowed to vote for President. Thus one could imply that since regular citizens can now vote for President then the article covers presidential voting also. Or, if you wanted to argue about that then Congress could just say ‘Well this is how you have to vote for Senators and Representatives and you figure out if you want different regulations for voting for President. Since that would be practically impossible then one would end up with the same result of consistent rules across the States.

          If the D’s get lucky later and get control over the Senate this ‘should’ be job one as that would be the surest way to eliminate most of the voter suppression always practiced by the R’. One could say that the D’s are complicit in this in some ways as, if all the poor and colored people voted, the Wal Street D’s might not fare all that well themselves. But I get to wishful thinking before my 2nd cup of coffee many mornings….

          1. anon

            “shall be prescribed in each State by the Legislature thereof”

            Isn’t this the issue in Pennsylvania? The legislature said mail in votes could be accepted until 8 PM but the state Supreme Court extended it to 3 days.

            1. TimmyB

              The term “each state by the Legislature thereof” means by state law. State courts interpret and decide what state law means. As a result, a state court deciding that the state legislature wanted voters to have three extra days for the US Postal Service to deliver ballots during an epidemic would not normally be a violation of the US Constitution.

              The goal of such a date cut off is to give elections finality. However, that goal conflicts with the state citizens’ right to vote. Please note that neither the state nor the voter is responsible for when the US Postal Service, delivers the ballots to the state. Do we really want a voting system where voters are disenfranchised because the US Postal Service is inept?

              While the US Supreme Court could decide that state courts have no role in deciding state laws in order to keep Trump in the White House, that decision would wipe out most state court decisions regarding the interpretation of the state legislature’s intent.

              In Bush v. Gore, the Court stated that it’s ruling was only to apply to Bush and Gore. The Court in effect confessing “We went so out of bounds with our ruling here that it cannot be applied to any case in the future” tells us all we need to know about the coup/decision that installed Bush.

              The Supreme Court again making such a ruling to favor Trump would be outrageous. Is that enough to stop them? I don’t know.

        4. BlakeFelix

          And also, who trusts the Feds more anyway? And the more centralized something is the easier it is to rig, not the harder. And ID cards are like 1940s tech, the government knows who you are and what you look like and what you sound like and where you live and quite likely how you walk and if you snore. For in person voting it would be nearly trivial to have your most recent ID photo next to your name on the list that they check off when you vote. I’m not sure how mail in voting works, but the only ones claiming it doesn’t seem to be Trump and conspiracy theorists even more paranoid than I am. It probably wouldn’t be THAT hard to fake one, but faking 500,000 is a lot of chances for someone to notice.

        5. Roger Smith

          This is exactly what I have been thinking about. I think the Executive election should become a Federally administrated program. Congress should be left to the states, but there is clearly too much administration happening and too many cracks. We can’t count on time and we cannot guarantee the quality of that counting or what is being counted. It is a failure and a close election like this really highlights that. We need less of an administrative chain that can be more easily monitored.

          If the USPS whistleblower is to be believed in MI, this is an example of something that probably happens everywhere, and not even associated to campaigns themselves, just random individuals with a will.

      2. rob

        I agree making a standard election process would be a priority, if our representatives were actually serving the interests of the american people…. but we all know that is NOT what either wing of the duopoly are there for.
        A fleshing out of the points made by rep. whitehouse from rhode island, during the amy comey barret, confirmation hearings i.e…. the “5 to 4” roberts block… had that 80 to zero record in deciding cases that are actually important to the masters of this nation….all decided in favor of the US oligarchs…
        One of the four points was the lack of oversight the federal gov’t wanted to provide the states. In these cases, the chaos created by the myriad of state policies,procedures,equipment,etc… is useful to party operatives on both sides of the aisle, who swing elections/primaries… and thus the nation. They keep out the riff raff… and let the sophisticated cosmopolitans do all the pretending.
        It seems that if you want unlimited money in politics,no regulations for some, and restrictve regulation for the competition,freedom from taxation, and the rest…. you need a “pliable” election process…. to make it all work.

      3. marym

        A lot of the uncounted votes were mail in, and more than in past years. Counting always takes a long time, sometimes weeks, regardless of media outlets “calling” elections based on statistical analysis.

        Widespread voter fraud is non-existent. Trump’s own commission and law cases couldn’t find any, nor any studies, court cases through the years. Well, some ballot harvesting in 2018 in NC, but those were Republicans and they were caught.

        The ordinary public workers and volunteers who work at polling places and counting locations aren’t finding bushels of ballots. In at least some of this year’s late-reporting states legislatures have made it impossible to prepare the mail-in ballots for processing before election day and/or before counting same-day votes. Sigh.

        1. ChiGal in Carolina

          Thanks as ever for adding a voice of reason.

          No mystery that if it takes for example awhile for CA to count all its votes nobody is focusing on it: in this winner-take-all state the outcome is not in question.

          1. Noone from Nowheresville

            This. How long did it take for California to release their primary results this spring? If Cali suddenly became a highly competitive state for the presidential election, how would it take? If there’s a difference in time, why?

      4. Medbh

        The thing that makes me so upset about this election is that it seems like no one wants a fair fight. We’ve had gerrymandering, keeping third parties off the ballots, contesting absentee voting signatures, purging of voting rolls, fraudulent drop off boxes, delays at the post office, limiting polling places, excessive voting wait times, blind faith in black box voting machines, intimidation during vote counts, etc. It’s a battle to cheat the system, rather than a battle of ideas.

        1. The Historian


          It seems nobody cares anymore about how you win – just that you win at any cost! And that does not bode well for the future.

          I’m wondering about all of us parents who taught our children that it wasn’t winning, but how you played the game that mattered. Did we fail to prepare our children for the world they are going to live in?

          1. The Rev Kev

            Maybe too many parents were telling their kids that second place is first loser. Couldn’t believe it the first time I heard it.

            1. mary jensen

              Re “second place”: As a young-un, about 12 years old I guess, I submitted my home baked batch of “Kourabiedes” (Greek holiday butter cookies, an aunt by marriage was Greek Orthodox) to the Western Washington State Fair baking competition and I won a red ribbon ie Second Prize and I couldn’t have been more happy. My entire family was happy, all my friends were happy. Tough competition up there in PNW, especially in those days when home cooking was practically all there was. That ribbon on my plate of Kourabiedes placed there by a judge was too thrilling. Try them yourself for the holidays:

              My aunt (and I) added a clove bud in the middle of each one before baking. Beautiful, aromatic and delicious.

                1. mary jensen

                  Ha!! Thanks Kevin. Perfect sarc response. Just what The Donald would bellow to a huge crowd of unmasked acolytes: “I would never eat Mary’s cookies, I only eat cookies from First Place recipes! Mary is just another cookie loser. No second prize cookies for America, no, just First Prize cookies. Americans should never have to eat second prize cookies from second prize recipes. Make America Great Again.”

                  Loser: 130,664,195 views, many many more if you add up all the other links:


                  Tragically, I no longer possess my aunt’s recipe (echoes of the song “MacArthur Park”). The recipe I posted is untried by me as of yet but has the air of being at least 2nd prize…don’t forget to add the clove bud before baking.

          2. km

            “I’m wondering about all of us parents who taught our children that it wasn’t winning, but how you played the game that mattered.”

            Sociopaths do not think that way at all. Consider also that political power selects strongly for sociopathy.

            1. newcatty

              Sociopathology: Perfect example are the “University Blues” scandals. Wealthy and often powerful parents cheating and bribing to get their children into colleges. The worst offenders cheating to get their children into college sport programs. The kids had no former playing experience in the sport. Faked photos showing them as “high school athletes ” or “Club members”. How is that for teaching their children ” that the ends justify the means”? And that “greed is good”? The disgusting college coaches and athletic departments were complicit in the fraud and greed. Each slot on any college team that should have gone to an authentic student athlete, but was scooped up by the fake ones,, meant that a student who could have benefited from a scholarship ( many kids play sports hoping to be good enough players for financial asistance) or not dependent on the financial aide, but honestly love to play their sport, are deprived of a spot on those teams.

              This is not including the scam where ringers took SAT tests , or completed entrance exams, for kid’s. Cheating and lying are justified, because it is smart and absolutely preparing the kids of how to play in the games of their future. IIRC one of the celeb moms crying in so many words, that, as a defense of her actions, that she regretted the cheating and bribery, but she just loved her daughter so much that she did it cause, as a parent, she wanted her to have the best in life. This is much of current American culture and values( lack of) in a nutshell. There are many among us who do not worship money or status. But, the tightening of the screws on the people regarding their basic needs and the cognitive dissonance of a beautiful world becoming desolate and the depression of feeling helpless to stop it is undermining many people’s faith, hope and charity. And when Joe or Donald is finally declared to be president what will the “second place first losers” do…

        2. hunkerdown

          No ruling class ever wants a “fair fight” against their subjects. That’s not only weak material analysis, it’s silly. One has to understand what the business of nobles really is: the tradition* of domination of the commons.

          * A tradition is a continuous process of its own fabrication. The content is usually irrelevant, often used to rationalize the irrational process.

          1. Medbh

            I’m not naïve and I understand the chasm between the US ideals and its actual history. But the dynamic has changed when the ruling class doesn’t even try to pretend to follow the rules, and when the average people realize the game is rigged and stop playing along.

        3. flora

          Don’t forget the way states play with 3rd parties either appearing or not appearing on ballots. This year, the only Libertarian party ( right) appeared on many states’ ballots, but not the Green Party (left) or any other 3rd party, unlike some years in past. (Guess the Dems still think the Green party ruined 2016. heh.) The conservative leaning voters had 2 conservative choices and the liberal leaning voters had 1 liberal choice.

          1. lordkoos

            This definitely worked to the Democrats advantage — several states would likely have been Trump’s if libertarians had not been on the ballot.

        4. John Ralston

          It was obvious to me that the Democrats were going to do whatever it took to get rid of their despised nemesis. These are “destroy the village to save it” types who have already openly avowed their total lack of respect for the designated and denigrated ‘basket of deplorables’.

          Forgive me for stating the obvious; but, Democrats cannot even share power among themselves reasonably. The debacle with the Iowa primary and Bernie is one example.

          So is the suspended election in Paterson NJ where fraud was rampant and absolutely no Republicans whatsoever where involved:

          The rampant fraud utilizing mail ballots in the election in Paterson was a dry run for the rampant fraud utilizing mail in ballots in the Presidential election. It is blatantly obvious that the Democrats have been doing whatever they could to make the mail balloting process as opaque and prone to manipulation as possible. those who can’t see it are simply not willing to; ans those who do who accept it do so as they have concluded that the ends justify the means…

          1. a different chris

            I get the first half of your rant, but — what is “blatantly obvious” about putting a vote in an envelope? Where do you think this so-obvious fraud is occurring? Are little nanobots inside there changing my vote?

            Note that the primaries that got rid of Sanders did not use this technique, BTW. They used votes in South Carolina, a state they will never ever win even if they did believe in a 50-state strategy, which they don’t, to get rid of him.

            The votes are correct, mail in or otherwise. This “voting fraud” thing is ridiculous from either side of the aisle.

            The problem is in what you get to select from, nobody much cares by the end who you actually pick. All the “Trump did mostly Obama stuff” is pretty true, TBH

            Again, magicians mis-direct. Don’t fall for it.

            1. John Ralston

              Your assertion is untrue.

              I posted a link to mail voting fraud that took place in the third largest municipality in New Jersey just this year.

              The example of widespread fraud in Paterson NJ is not a subject of debate: it is a known and accepted fact.

              NO Republicans were involved. This was fraud and thievery purely among Democrats. To assert that the Democrats, who have been caught employing ballot fraud against each other and their captured constituencies, would NOT resort to mass ballot fraud against Trump is ridiculous.

              It is painfully obvious that ballot fraud is being employed by the Democrats against Trump if not the Republicans generally.

              IMHO, anyone asserting otherwise is doing so for ideological or financial reasons. Denial is simply not credible.

              How much fraud is being employed by Trump or the Republicans without any findings of it is open to question; but, I am simply not being presented with any evidence of Republican fraud. I’ll believe that too if I am presented with evidences..

              1. Aumua

                Allegations of fraud, which are completely unspecified in the article you linked. Do you have any details about the alleged Paterson fraud?

                1. Brunches with Cats

                  Aumua, the fraud was proven. The candidates themselves were involved, and there was a conspiracy, no question. However, I make the distinction between “voter fraud” and “election fraud.” The former is rare. The latter is difficult to impossible to detect, so we don’t know how widespread it is. Greg Palast was the journalist who blew it wide open in the 2016 primaries, but he’s now in the “Trump is trying to steal the election” camp. It’s a safe bet that both sides are doing it. I’m disappointed in Palast, though, for parroting neoliberal D talking points.

                  1. Brunches with Cats

                    Correction: One of those charged was an incumbent city councilman. The other was a candidate when the fraud was perpetrated and won his race, so by the time the charges were brought, he technically was no longer a “candidate” but a councilman-elect.

                  2. Aumua

                    Ok, but all you did is assert that the fraud is a fact and that there is no question about that. Understand there a lot of people running around right now saying that, about a lot of things. So what I would like is some information. What was the nature of the fraud and how were these people involved exactly. A simple link to (hopefully reasonable) source for your assertions would suffice. Thanks for humoring me.

                    1. Brunches with Cats

                      No, that’s not all I did. I actually read the article. Then I searched for additional sources and actually read those, too. I will concede that the article John linked to is disjointed and somewhat confusing, but the facts are there. Asking someone else to do your work for you is giving an assignment, which is against blog rules. Further, I’d suggest that if you want to entice someone into “humoring” you, you might try not insulting their understanding of current affairs or demanding a source that meets your definition of “reasonable.”

              2. Brunches with Cats

                John, it might help to distinguish between “voter fraud” and “election fraud.” Above comments are correct that voter fraud is rare; voters stick their ballots in the envelope and put them in the mail. I suppose there could have been some voter fraud this year by people successfully applying for absentee ballots for recently deceased relatives, family members they know don’t vote — I can think of a few other ways — but the result would be negligible.

                Conversely, election fraud can be perpetrated in a variety of ways, and by definition, it’s a conspiracy. In the New Jersey case you linked to, the candidates themselves were involved, and they needed an insider — in this instance, a postal worker — for their scheme to work. Now, this probably isn’t the best example to make my point, because it did involved the actual ballots, so it could look like “voter fraud.”

                In any case, I can’t see that scheme scaling up for a presidential election. For that, you need bigger players with methods that are difficult or impossible to detect, e.g., hacking vote-counting machines. Others here have pointed out many times that even where paper ballots are used and where voters can track their ballots online, there’s no way to know whether they were all counted accurately unless one of the candidates sues for a recount.

                FWIW, I share your contention that the Ds are pulling out all the stops to take down Trump, including “interfering with the election.” As of this moment, it appears that they will succeed, and it scares the hell out of me.

                1. Offtrail

                  +100 about the unlikelihood of the Patterson violation being scalable to a national level.

                  How do you see the Democrats as “interfering with the election”?

        5. DJG

          Medbh: Years ago, Chris Hedges made the comment that what was unusual about Occupy Wall Street is that its main demand was that the government enforce the law. There were plenty of laws and regulations in place that would have sanctioned Wall Street and bankers. (This is something that Frank Luntz glosses over in the interview posted here a few days back.)

          So we have had the breakdown of the rule of law. This lack of observance of the law goes on all over U.S. life now, from people who can’t stop at stop signs, to people in my neighborhood dragging their dogs into stores in spite of health ordinances to the contrary, to the endless scams on-line, to chaos and invasion that are U.S. policing. To the endless wars overseas, none of which are authorized by the citizenry, if they ever were.

          It is the Hobbesian war of all against all. Throw in toxic American Religion[tm] in which everyone is saved by some promise of redemption and selective divine laws, and you have a rather miserable community, the remnants of which are now being destroyed. With glee.

          As an astute commenter noted the other day, one can have either a republic or empire. Not both.

          1. km

            Law is for little people. Policy is for people who matter.

            Fact is, the laws in this country are far-reaching enough and broad enough in scope that an aggressive prosecutor or attorney general can always find a pretext to bring civil or criminal charges against anyone. Especially anyone involved in higher-level business or politics.

            This is entirely intentional, keeping in mind that the average state’s attorney (or even U.S. Attorney) is but a glorified politician. If people of influence and authority want someone off the island, a reason is always available to do so. And it is entirely legal under codified law.

            Of course, those who go along with the flow can sleep soundly at night.

          2. Medbh

            “So we have had the breakdown of the rule of law. This lack of observance of the law goes on all over U.S. life now, from people who can’t stop at stop signs, to people in my neighborhood dragging their dogs into stores in spite of health ordinances to the contrary, to the endless scams on-line, to chaos and invasion that are U.S. policing”

            Yes, I’m seeing a lot more of this too, and more specifically, people who are willing to openly admit that they are scamming or hustling in some way. I had someone tell me that he advertises as donating a percentage of his business sales to charity, but doesn’t do it, because there’s no way it can be verified. He seemed proud of his cleverness, but I was so flabbergasted I was speechless. I’ve also seen more lawless driving in the last 6 months than I have in the last 20 years. My husband, me, and my neighbors have all seen people intentionally driving down the wrong side of the street to avoid cars at a stoplight (not just to burn through a light, but also stop oncoming traffic in the opposite lane to pass the cars waiting at the red light).

            I think people are losing faith in the country, and suspect we’re close to a tipping point where it just collapses. It scares me to say it and I don’t know how to undue it, but that’s what it feels like to me.

            1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

              LOL the nation decided not to prosecute an attempt by one faction to use fabricated evidence and the intelligence agencies to overturn the results of an election, or to investigate prima facie evidence that a sitting vice president profited by advancing the interests of another nation while in office. And we’re talking about people running stop signs?

              I do wish you the best of luck in your new nation of men, not laws.

              1. Medbh

                The fish rots from the head, and the stench is everywhere. Something significant has changed, and it’s not just running stop signs. It’s unapologetic Mad Max behavior. People don’t even pretend to follow laws, and people are not embarrassed to admit to behavior that would have been considered immoral or sociopathic a decade ago. It matters.

        6. Ella

          YES. This.

          I played a game of Mancala last night with my partner. We were cracking up at the end as we counted our stones – “I demand a recount!”. “Stop Counting!”. “Keep counting!”.

          At least we were able to laugh about the insanity.

      5. anon in so cal

        I will mind if Biden wins. He is the greater evil.

        There are all kinds of accounts, videos, photos circulating on Twitter and the internet alleging various sorts of fraud. One photo showed ballot counters in Pennsylvania wearing Biden campaign logos on their face masks. There are supposed to be monitors from both campaigns, but is that happening?
        There are also reports that mail-in ballots are not being signature-verified and other reports that some are being fraudulently back-dated to make them legitimate. Who knows.

        Separately, if Biden wins, the Russiagate perps go free and the Hunter Biden influence-peddling scam are permanently buried?

        >Prop 22

        “Anthony Foxx, Obama transportation secretary who now works for Lyft, tells me they’re thinking of how Prop 22 model “can be replicated and scaled” in states across U.S. But Foxx also says they’d like to work w/ labor “lock arms … and figure this out”

        1. tegnost

          prop 22 is really bad for the people of this country, but think of all the PMC who might have had to actually go to the grocery store or pick up their own to go order, I mean they could be exposed to virus! and being the smart important people we can’t have that, plus kamala’s husband! This is the one that really hurts. Biden 2020/ he’ll crash it faster!

          1. kareninca

            “prop 22 is really bad for the people of this country, but think of all the PMC who might have had to actually go to the grocery store or pick up their own to go order”

            That isn’t it. Yes, the PMC uses those companies. But almost all of the people I know here in the Bay Area who use Uber and Lyft are struggling terribly financially; some are actually poor. They can’t afford a car and this is a cheap ride, right now. Under market price due to the exploitation factor. That is what is extra terrible about this; it is the poor exploiting the poor.

            1. Cas

              The Bay Area has a good public transit system. It was better before but private transit (e.g., Google buses, Uber/Lyft) has lowered ridership and thus revenue. So buses/trains run less frequently and aren’t kept clean. Another side effect is the segregation of Bay Area residents, heaven forbid white collar has to mingle with working class. I live in San Francisco. I don’t own a car. I don’t use Uber or Lyft. I use public transit or walk. Yes, MUNI can take two or three times as long to get from A to B, but it is cheap, a fraction of the cost of Uber/Lyft. Uber/Lyft cater to the young, especially techies, and PMCs. The really “struggling financially”–the elderly, disabled, immigrants, are with me on the bus.

              1. kareninca

                I’m not sure what you’re claiming. I know poor people who use Uber and Lyft, and feel that that is their only real option for many of their rides. They don’t always have the luxury of the time to take MUNI or the like; the poor can be very time pressed (and walking is not an option for many). Also some of them can’t risk the extra germs of the bus. I’m sure that you are describing your reality properly; I am also describing properly what I see in Silicon Valley (and second hand re Oakland). I don’t know how you would know that the elderly, disabled and immigrants don’t take Lyft/Uber; you see what you see on the bus; you don’t see who is taking Lyft/Uber.

                Are you saying that anyone who possibly can is morally obligated to take the bus? No matter how tired they are that day, or if they have a lot of groceries, or if they have to get to work on time, or if it is a holiday with almost no buses?? I am not ready to say that to people who are already having a hard time.

                1. kareninca

                  When I was young I lived in SF and did not own a car and took the bus or walked. I had loads of energy and the distances were reasonable. I could not do that now, and not in the part of the Bay Area I now live in; I would just collapse.

        2. a different chris

          No, he is not. You can’t go from “doddering old man” to “Ur-Mastermind of the Galaxy” no matter how much you want to have it both ways.

          Trump is a nightmare. Period.

          Anyway: “But Foxx also says they’d like to work w/ labor “lock arms … and figure this out”” Like socialized health care free at the point of delivery? Oh, never mind…. but here’s some means-testing forms to cover 1/3 of something occasionally.

          1. WJ

            Trump hasn’t started a war. How much do you want to bet that within 2 years under Biden the U.S. is conducting humanitarian interventions again?

            1. John Ralston

              “Trump is nightmare. Period.”

              A nightmare for what reasons? Some half the country thinks Biden is actually worse or the votes wouldn’t have been cast.

              Maybe if you could actually articulate what it is you think is so ‘nightmarish’ others might consider the validity of your opinion.

              Some very large rice bowls are overdue for breaking.

              It’s personal to some of us on the other side who are very tired of filling up those very big rice bowls and all too often going hungry ourselves..

            2. Minalin

              would you include his own citizens? It seems 5 ot of 6 experts think 1. More people have died of CV19 then reported and of the 240k that have died, many of those deaths were unnecessary. Trump undermines, safety, environmental, health, & education laws design to keep people from danger and death. No one ever asked for that. Trump hates us and that is war when you are the president an act out on us.

              1. WJ

                The U.S. Covid deaths are far and away a function of the structural insanity of our private for-profit health care system. The difference under a different president would be minimal imo.

              2. mnm

                When CV first popped on the scene we learned all we could from the goings on in Italy. The elderly were at risk!! Why then did some state governments allow isolation of certain cv+ people in long term care with the elderly? The majority of hospitalized cv patients are from these facilities, chains that extract cash and treat residents like garbage. Not a Trump fan, but not sure how he is to blame for this. Biden has been in gov for forty+ years, working conditions for average people eroded and I don’t believe he went out of his way to do anything. I don’t recall Obama putting on his “walking shoes” in WI.

            3. lordkoos

              He hasn’t stopped any wars…

              If Trump had handled the coronavirus competently he would have won. He didn’t, and there were thousands of avoidable deaths as a result.

              1. John Ralston

                Let us be accurate and fair:

                Trump wanted to restrict incoming flights sooner -and was demeaned as a racist by Pelosi and others for it.

                It was the Governors of NJ, NY & PA, etc. that forced patients into the nursing homes.


                The incompetence was at the state and local and institutional levels. Several hospital and care home administrators are being, indicted, others are being sued in civil courts, and still more have lost their jobs.

                Trump tried to bail out Cuomo with conversion of the Javits Center to a triage hospital, by sending the naval medical ship, and by forcing the manufacture of ventilators when that is what was called for.

                Less than two weeks after his phony impeachment was rushed through the House Trump was providing support and handing out money..

                there is plenty to dislike about Trump; but, lying about him and blaming him for the decisions made by other officials and corporate managers is unreasonable.

                1. Lambert Strether Post author

                  Trump was plenty incompetent on PPE (though I don’t know the politics of invoking the Defense Production Act). But there was plenty of incompetence at the state level, too, Cuomo especially. It’s also important to remember that the CARES Act actually reduced poverty, albeit temporarily, which was a lot better than Obama’s stimulus package.

                  1. John Ralston

                    Trump has signed more checks than any president I can think of. What did he say no to?

                    I can’t imagine why the Democrats want to oust him: he gives them endless reasons to milk their donors, bleat about civility, whip up their base, and he signs anything they can get past McConnell..

                    Trump has said no to nothing excepting a shiny expensive new war.

                    He hands out candy like a drunken $anta.

                    The Justices? It’s not as if Obama didn’t give the nation a smug ‘wise latina’.

                    I still think the only reason Obama didn’t seat a Justice at the end of his term is that he thought Hillary would reward him for allowing her to use his FBI crew to screw Trump to help her get elected by nominating Obama himself to the court and close the hand washing loop of corruption..

                  2. MS Server

                    It’s weird that so much more funding gets passed when there is bipartisan support (you know, when it’s an R that occupies the Whitehouse and they don’t care about the deficit or debt).


                    The politics around the stimulus was very contentious. On the right, it spurred the Tea Party movement and may have contributed to Republicans winning the House in the 2010 midterms. Not a single Republican member of the House voted for the stimulus. Only three Republican Senators voted for it. On the left, there were criticisms that the stimulus was watered down and did not do enough. Economist Paul Krugman argued that the stimulus was far smaller than the economic crisis warranted.

                    Right… that’s the Democrats fault.


                    Congress passed the CARES Act relatively quickly and with unanimity from both parties despite its $2.2 trillion price tag, indicating the severity of the global pandemic and the need for emergency spending, as viewed by lawmakers. Writing in The New Republic, journalist Alex Shephard nevertheless questioned how the Republican Party “… had come to embrace big spending” when, during the Great Recession, no Republicans in the House and only three in the Senate supported President Barack Obama’s $800 billion stimulus, known as the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA), often citing the deficit and national debt. Shephard opined that, unlike CARES, much of the media attention to ARRA focused on its impact on the deficit, and he questioned whether Republicans would again support a major spending request under a hypothetical future Democratic president.

                    Nothing new to see here.

            4. lordkoos

              Trump has fomented war between Americans. His policies are one thing, his support for racists and bigots is another. I don’t recall seeing heavily armed vigilantes patrolling the streets before he was prez.

              1. John Ralston

                IF you never noticed Antifa or BLM before Trump came along then you just were not looking.

                The vigilantes on the streets are almost exclusively avowed leftists and anarchists.

                I have 10-year old BLM branded media that was given to me in NYC years ago right here on my desk. If you have been involved in staging political events and/or media production in NYC metro you were routinely handed branded CDs with young people rapping their messages/issues, BLM branded t-shirts, etc… None of this activity is new except how widespread the violent action associated with the movement has become.

                For instance: all the now well known slogans: no justice no peace, black lives matter, ya basta, etc..appear on the front of the artwork for: Title: Momma’s Hip Hop Kitchen vol. 8..

                Here is some footage from Hostos in the Bronx. BLM branding and slogans are often featured on Momma’s Hip Hop Kitchen’s distributed media.

                The militarization of the Hip Hop culture started years ago. Children are targeted with cultural activities and as they mature the messaging evolves. Established Hip Hop artists with cred such Jehru are an unfortunate part of this problem:


                Lastly: the street thugs enjoy the overt violence; and the money from engaging in it even more than hustling dope …which is being relentlessly demonetized by legalization as we speak anyway.
                Anyone who thinks that organized concerted violence of the magnitude presently being sustained nationally is organic and without substantial financial and organizational support is hopelessly naive…

                  1. John Ralston

                    I am mixed race and have lived in NYC metro for more than 25 years. It is what it is. BLM has been around for a lot longer than the msm has been covering it.

                    Calling a term a ‘dog whistle’ doesn’t in any way disprove the reality of the intent of the descriptive language. Cheap shot and nothing more.

                    If you can logically and truthfully discredit the statement instead of reaching for dog whistles like ‘dog whistle’ then do so.

          2. Jonathan Holland Becnel

            Biden will bring hundreds of Nightmares with him. Biden has ZERO agency.

            I’d rather one big one than 100s of tiny ones.

        3. lyman alpha blob

          Looks like the Senate is staying in Republican hands. I don’t think they are going to forget about Hunter.

          I think prop 22 will have a far greater effect on the working class in this country than whoever the establishment selects as the next president for us.

          Interesting how cavalier the WaPo is about Foxx’s resume though isn’t it? Supposedly the Trump administration is so corrupt because they made money off of people staying in Trump hotels while he was president. The horror. The horror. But is it illegal for a president to own commercial real estate? I don’t think so. Did he not provide a legitimate service, food and lodging, in exchange for a fee? Unless he deliberately and grossly overcharged foreign dignitaries to line his own pockets, I don’t see what the big problem is.

          But Obama and Clinton can collect checks for hundreds of thousands of dollars after leaving office for one hour speeches, while their high level staffers ooze into sinecures. Exactly what services were performed in these cases? Or was the money really provided for services performed while in office?

          It would seem that for some, it’s only corruption if you start cashing checks while in office, but if you wait until the day after it’s completely fine and just the way things are done.

          A pox on all their houses.

          1. TimmyB

            I would bet my right arm that Trump doesn’t own any real estate in his own name. Instead, he most likely owns stock in a corporation that owns stock in a corporation (and so on) that owns a single specific piece of real estate.

            The emoluments case was always bullshit because Trump as an individual wasn’t getting a dime from anyone who stayed at a Trump property.

            1. lyman alpha blob

              From what I’ve read in recent years, he doesn’t actually own much if any of the property with his name on it anymore even through shell companies, and at the advice of his daughter, goes for branding the properties instead. A lot less risk that way. Ain’t capitalism great?

        4. fwe'zy

          “Anthony Foxx, Obama transportation secretary who now works for Lyft, tells me they’re thinking of how Prop 22 model “can be replicated and scaled” in states across U.S. But Foxx also says they’d like to work w/ labor “lock arms … and figure this out”
          Yeah it’s called arm wrestling.

    2. John

      But votes are still being counted in NY, MA, KY, etc etc. The margin between the candidates is such that mailed in votes, absentee ballots, cannot affect the outcome. The result is announced; the remaining ballots are counted and the official certified result is published, but most of us never see it because it does not change the result of the election. What is occurring now is no different. The emotional temper is higher; there is less trust, but shambolic as procedures are they are unchanged. Reflect on the aftermath of election day 2000. Do you prefer a slow count or the Supreme Court deciding the election? I do not irrespective of who wins.

      1. edmondo

        “Counting the votes” isn’t just opening an envelope and running it through a machine. A lot of states (PA for one) is still accepting ballots (up to three days after the election as long as they are postmarked as of 11/3/20). It’s a little hard to count votes that haven’t arrived yet. The signatures have to semi-match. The correct ward/division have to be assigned and then the votes are prepped.

        Patience. Your reward of President Biden or President Trump will be around making mistakes for a long, long time.

        1. a different chris

          Yeah if I mail my always-2x-what-I-expect credit card bill, as long as it is postmarked on the due date they take it.

          If something that important works that way, why should we worry about it in a something as near-meaningless as voting in the US. Get all the votes, what the heck we get wars and unaffordable healthcare either way.

          A late credit card is $39 plus ridiculous interest charges, that’s something real. And if I sent in in late every month, that would be $468, which is way more than the difference between any Dem or Republican tax plan in my income group.

          1. kareninca

            It doesn’t work that way with my AT&T bill. If it doesn’t arrive by the due date, I get a late fee. Due to the mail being screwed up I am now stuck paying online by credit card to avoid this; even if I mail in a check the day the paper bill arrives it won’t get there in time.

    3. Fireship

      “It continues to feel like a circus and a reality show with all us Americans taken for a ride.”

      I figured this out at seven years of age with the election of Ronald Reagan. But then again, I’m not American.

    4. lyman alpha blob

      It feels like a reality show because presidential elections have been run as a reality show since about the same time reality shows became a thing. No substance and all about who is going to get voted off the island.

      And then we act astonished when an actual reality show star wins the presidency, and may do so a 2nd time.

      We got what we deserved, good and hard, as HL Mencken used to say.

    5. grayslady

      Here is my experience with mail-in voting compared to in-person voting:

      I applied online for a mail-in ballot. Within about a week I received a postage paid form verifying that I still wanted a mail-in ballot; I had to sign the form and I believe that I also verified my address. Another week or so and I received my ballot: a ballot printed on heavy stock, the same as used in all our county’s optical counting machines–so clearly the ballot was going to be read by an optical scanner. I was able to fill in the selection ovals with pencil or black pen. The ballot was placed in an envelope that required my signature and the date on the front and needed to be sealed. This was then placed in a larger envelope to be returned to the County Clerk’s office (mail or drop box). We were able to track our ballots online so what I discovered is that the biggest delays occurred in updating the ballot info at the Clerk’s office and getting a Dem and Repub judge to approve the signature (something that would take less than a minute if doing in-person voting but took almost a month with mail-in). No ballots were opened prior to Nov. 3. By yesterday afternoon, the county had calculated 100% of the vote, except for provisionals and absentee ballots. So it really depends on whether the county is willing to invest money for making voting easier both with personnel and machines. By the way, I’ve noticed that everything is slower since becoming more digitized!

      1. lyman alpha blob

        Thanks for that. I’d been wondering about how mail in ballots were being counted. I’ve never voted mail in, but my understanding is that mail in ballots are designed to be read by an optical scanner. Not as good as hand counting, but if you’re going to use the scanner, then I really don’t see why it takes so long to count the mail in votes – should be just as quick as the scanners counting in-person votes.

        And if mail in ballots are being counted by hand in some places, that begs the question why all of the ballots aren’t being counted by hand.

        Personally I think that all ballots should be hand counted and we shouldn’t expect final results for a few days, which I believe is what happens for example in Germany. But if we aren’t doing that, then why does it take so long, especially in this election where so many people mailed in votes way ahead of time?

        You would think that municipalities would be able to count all the in-person and mail-in ballots received by election day on election day. And they should also know how many mail-in ballots haven’t been received, so they should know whether there is any possibility that late arriving votes could change the result of the first count.

        With such a fractured counting system, as noted in the Greenwald piece today, I really don’t see how we can trust the results of the election, and absent a large scale hand recount, we shouldn’t. I’ve done a hand recount personally and I know for a fact that the machines don’t count all the votes.

        1. marym

          Here are some reasons for slower counting of mail in ballots, even though they possibly go through a scanning process similar to in-person votes.

          Verifying signatures and other identifying information (varies by state), slate laws preventing verification/counting to start before in-person votes counted, probably (my guess) need to pass through more than one person to maintain confidentiality – one person verifies identity/signatures, another person opens envelope and prepares ballot for machine processing, time to notify voters and “cure” invalid/missing identification information, slow postal service, more volume than in past years.

          1. lyman alpha blob

            My city has a population of ~30,000 people give or take. Our city clerk said we had 13,000 mail-in ballots prior to election day, with presumably at least a few more coming in. That’s the vast majority of all votes cast in our city. I voted in person and my wife and I were the only ones at the polling place – not surprising really considering the city leans highly Democrat normally, so if the narrative is to be believed, there weren’t many Republicans locally to vote in person.

            We managed to count all of our votes in a timely manner, even though most were mail-ins. Our city clerk is highly competent, judging by the way she ran the recount I participated in.

            So what’s the problem everywhere else?

            Yesterday you posted a video purportedly showing Trump people trying to stop the vote count from what I could tell. The video seemed to be of people trying to observe the election count, something I feel is totally appropriate. They weren’t rioting, as the caption tried to suggest. That tweet also said boxes were being put against the window so people couldn’t observe, something I feel is completely inappropriate of not illegal. Whoever put out that tweet with the caption it had was extremely irresponsible.

            I would imagine that it would be very time consuming to verify signatures in states where that is required. Since it was the Democrat party urging people to mail in their ballots rather than voting in person in many states, why wasn’t anything done to ensure a better process with so many more mail in votes than normal being expected? Thay had months to do something. If my city can deal with it, what is the problem elsewhere?

            I don’t trust either of these hack parties to count the votes accurately, not one bit, and the more people trying to observe this complete [family blog] show that is the vote count, the better.

            But I’m pretty sure it’s going to the courts, and we all know which party has been packing the courts for a generation, due to the utter fecklessness of the party that ostensibly, but not really, opposes them.

            1. marym

              I agreed the captioning was overly dramatic. There are rules about certifying observers and challengers and how many there can be.

              Here’s a link with commentary from “both sides” so that one can choose the narrative that seems most accurate. If it’s the case that people were shouting “Stop the count” they were probably trying to stop the count.


            2. lyman alpha blob

              Correction: I’m now being told by credible sources in the city govt (my wife) that we did not have 13k mail-in ballots. 13K was about the the number of total votes, but the majority of votes cast were still mail-in.

      2. lordkoos

        Here in WA state vote-by-mail has worked smoothly for some years now. There is no evidence that this results in more fraud.

        1. Kurt Sperry

          Yes, I’m in WA and have adjusted to mail-in only voting. I do kind of miss the social and ritualistic aspects of voting in person, but the system appears to work just fine.

      3. DJG

        grayslady: You’re in Illinois, right? I’m in Chicago, so Cook County. My experience was similar to yours, especially the signature on the outside of the security envelope. I walked my ballot over the the ward’s early voting station (one of the highs schools), so I skipped using the post office to return the ballot.

        There’s plenty of security in the process in Illinois, panic-stricken people of all political stripes notwithstanding.

  9. anon

    Unfortunately, due to mass mail in ballots we will spend another 4 years with half the electorate not trusting the election results and considering the president illegitimate. I wonder if the republicans in the Senate will spend the next 2 years issuing subpoenas to everyone associated with the Biden’s business deals.

    1. cocomaan

      The entire Hunter Biden story has primed the Republican Senate to basically attack the probable Biden administration from the get go.

      IMO, Biden will probably drop out of the administration for health reasons early on, because it’s going to be nasty. Plus that lets the D’s jettison the baggage.

          1. WobblyTelomeres

            One can hope (hope being free). Personally, I’m glad Jim Jordan isn’t in the Senate. But, I suspect Alabama has just put an equally bespittled dullard into the Senate: Tuberville. Even my 87yo Fox News addicted father-in-law was surprised he won.

          2. Higgs Boson

            No; while the mopes are distracted by the circus they will kill social security, out behind the tent.

      1. Katniss Everdeen

        Turnabout is fair play. Russiagate should have consequences and biden should suffer them, especially since the accusations are actually true.

        1. flora

          Should have…except. The Dem estab made sure to run a candidate against McConnell that guaranteed McConnell’s re-election, imo. Just trading favors. ;)

      2. NotTimothyGeithner

        Joe Biden’s political party has primed the entire GOP to spend four years attacking him. “Hunter Biden” is simply what they will chant. The GOP elites don’t give a damn about Hunter or corruption in the Ukraine. Besides, Biden was Obama’s Veep. The GOP can’t stand that either.

        1. cocomaan

          That’s why I think they’re going to let Joe quietly retire in 2021 or 2022. Smooths out their ride considerably, though I imagine Kamala will screw up badly enough from the get go to create a new set of scandals. She doesn’t strike me as someone with good political judgment.

            1. John Ralston

              What is it that you think Trump requires pardoning for?

              The impeachment was both a fraudulent exorcise and a failed one.

              Trump also has every right to fight back against any and all perceived an/or provable election fraud; -reports of which are too many to dismiss outright without investigation.

              There are still the matters of the FISA Court frauds, FBI entrapment game with Flynn, Hillary’s FBI aided Russiagate plot, phony contrived Mueller investigations, the belated Durham cases, Hunter’s laptop and associated revelations, etc.. to play out.

              Only fools would think that Trump and the nearly half of the country that support him are just going to roll over for Democrats who demean them as ‘bitter clingers’, ‘racists’, ‘nazis’, etc..

              Unabashed hubris and blind hatred will have a price.

              Cancel culture and Americaphobia and Anglophobia will indeed be challenged.

              1. tegnost

                “Unabashed hubris and blind hatred will have a price.”

                As I’ve tried to tell my blue no matter who friends…
                It seems they are still thinking biden won in a landslide.

              2. km

                “What is it that you think Trump requires pardoning for?

                The impeachment was both a fraudulent exorcise and a failed one.”

                An aggressive prosecutor can always find a pretext to bring charges against anyone, especially anyone involved in higher-level business or politics.

                That said, there are several problems with trading immunity for Trump for immunity for Biden.

                One is that a federal pardon (or even an informal agreement not to prosecute) would not immunize anyone from prosecution for state-law offences. Nobody in the federal government can make a deal that would be binding upon the NY Attorney General or any other state AG.

                The biggest problem, however, is that Mitch McConnell would probably give up Trump (now that he is out of office and no longer much use) to get at Biden (who is in office).

                Finally, if and when he gives Trump a pardon, Biden would have no good way to enforce any deal with Team R. Maybe the NY AG could be a party to any agreement and agree not to prosecute Trump as long as Team R looks the other way with Joe and Hunter, but that leaves undecided any other state where Trump did business.

                And of course, the obviously corrupt nature of any such bargain makes the optics look absolutely terrible. At least nobody expects a deal between Mafia bosses to look lawful.

                “Rule of Law”, my foot.

                1. John Ralston

                  An aggressive prosecutor on a witch hunt doesn’t define a real crime; -unless the crime is actually the abuse of power by said prosecutor.

                  Further: the attitude that the entire justice system is nothing but a vast weapon to be used to attack one’s ideological and political opponents is dangerous. Such attitudes leave those who would otherwise seek civil discourse and process little choice but to resort to violence to address their valid concerns and fight for their just causes.

                  If the judicial does not function then the extra-judicial will..

                  I also accept your response as an admission that you cannot actually articulate an actual crime of any kind committed by Trump -and we can leave it at that.

                  1. km

                    I am not saying that Trump should be prosecuted, only that grounds can be found to do so.

                    Of course that is dangerous, but politics is becoming more and more of a zero-sum game with every election cycle.

                  2. lordkoos

                    “the attitude that the entire justice system is nothing but a vast weapon to be used to attack one’s ideological and political opponents is dangerous”

                    And which party has been most aggressive with this tactic?

                    1. John Ralston

                      How many prominent Democrats went to jail for Fast-&-Furious, Russiagate, quid-pro-quo corruption with Ukrainian gas deals or Russian uranium deals or Chinese finance deals, or for using illegal servers, for involvement with the Awan brothers’ spying on Congressional servers, etc., etc.?

                      Like or hate Julian Assaunge: he proved to the world that Hillary Clinton is a criminal with her own emails.

                      Hillary is still walking around free. …Her phony dossier at the FISA court still has not been punished.

                      Objectively, with no vested interest in the Republicans or the Democrats: it certainly looks like the Democrats are engaged in a lot more illegal activity on an ongoing basis. Maybe they are busy trying to catch up to the Republicans.

                      I must say: I never understood how Dennis Hastert stayed in power so long, or avoided prison when discovered to be paying off his victims for years while in office -until Jeffery Epstein was reported dead in his cell..

                      ALL of this is why Trump is unique. He isn’t a filthy owned life long political gold digger like almost everyone in office.

                      Now, about Seth Rich…

            2. John Wright

              Why would the Republicans, who no longer saw Trump as a source of power, agree to this deal? Trump would be history and irrelevant to them while investigating, or threatening to investigate, Hunter could prove valuable in influencing Biden to work to the Republicans’ advantage.

              A lot of Republicans, see Lincoln Project, might be just fine with Trump twisting in the wind.

              1. a different chris

                Yes the upper level of the Republican Party, I bet, hates Trump. He just completely stepped on top of them, with insults (“lil Marco”) to boot. He hired then fired most of their heroes, which is way more devastating than just keeping them outside of the tent.

                They have been so afraid of him, and will continue to be if he prevails,that this is well covered up, but if he does lose — its going to start coming out.

                They’ll pitch the Trump corpse off the boat, keep his voters (where are they going to go? — they’ve been fed so much poison about the Dems they’d happier vote for Chairman Mao) and resume the bipartisan warmaking and corporate overlording.

            3. tegnost

              “Seems legit.”
              Not really. I’d say there is more evidence against the bidens than the wishful thinking of libs against trump. Trump will not see one day of jail time, and won’t need to be pardoned (anyway, to be pardoned one may need to be convicted, not sure…)

      3. Endeavor

        The entire Hunter Biden story has primed the Republican Senate to basically attack the probable Biden administration from the get go.
        Don’t count on it. They will be busy with the Democrats outsourcing jobs, bringing in foreign workers and policing the planet just like pre-2016′

    2. John

      Of course; where would we be without the scandal of the moment? I predict we shall all be heartily sick of the entire charade. By charade, I refer to the Senatorial bloviating and not whatever substance that is being buoyed up by the hot air.

    3. John

      Since so much voting happen via computers, you must trust the “unhackable” software more than a paper ballot marked by hand and sent through the mail.

      1. a different chris

        So I was much surprised at our voting site – new machines.

        You went to one machine, which wasn’t the same machine as 2 years ago but pretty much the same touch screen ballot. I hit the final “ok this is what I want” page, and turn to walk away but out comes a paper ballot!

        How weird. I thought it was just a receipt. But then somebody comes over and leads me to another machine where I am told to feed said ballot into. Said ballot gets sucked into the maw of this machine and then I’m done.

        So my homesprawl does have paper ballots if somebody wants to challenge the voting machines. (Which is ridiculous, the entire process is set up to provide a center-right or right-wing government which is pushed even further right by the Senate setup and the fillibuster and the EC…but sure fall for the magic trick of misdirection “oh my the voting machines, voter suppression”)

        1. flora

          did the paper ballot have a ‘bar code’ printed on it? what did the machine ‘reader’ read? ;)

          Hand marked ballots, hand counted, in public.

        1. km

          No argument there. Biden was the Obama administration’s point man with regard tot hat unfortunate country.

  10. zagonostra

    >Deplorables Win 2020 Election

    Biden, Schumer, Pelosi, McConnell, the Security State, MSM, MIC1,MIC2 (Medical Insurance Complex), in short, the “establishment,” aka the real deplorables.

    Losing my religion. Friends I respect who jumped on the “lessor of two evilism” makes me wonder if as Dante advocated, monarchy is the “natural” form of government (De Monarchia), screw elections; of course it would also have to include St.Thomas Aquinas’ caveat that in certain instances when the monarch devolves to Tyranny, Tyrannicide is morally justifiable (De Regno).

      1. hunkerdown

        That depends on the size of the resource base, how completely exploitable it is, and how well the lowest, most thoroughly shorn mass can be prevented from exiting the regime. See Pandit, Pradhan and van Schaik 2020‘s mathematical model in the journal Human Nature. Where resources are hard to exploit, such as sparsely populated, sparsely cultivated, inwardly-oriented steppes, non-systematically roving hordes tend to be more successful than systematized absentee rule.

        A couple of asides: the first two of those variables are interdependent, as intensive exploitation can make remaining reserves less exploitable. Rule 1 of neoliberalism can be expressed in the model as a goal of driving exploitability to 1, permanently. The interplay between the two is rather interesting, suggesting neoliberal regimes will collapse when, sooner or later, they run out of other people’s markets.

      2. zagonostra

        Aristotle defines oligarchy as a degenerate form of aristocracy. Which doesn’t change the fact that it does seem to be the prevailing form of government.

        Thanks for reminiding me of Michel, he like Gateano Mosca and Pareto are not often mentioned/referenced these days. Their theories are in accord with a paper that Yves posted a day or so ago (Affluent Authoritarianism: New Evidence on Public Opinion and Policy). They belonged to what has been brought under the rubric of the Italian school of elitism as your Wiki link mentions.

        The outlook of the Italian school of elitism is based on two ideas:

        1. Power lies in position of authority in key economic and political institutions.

        2. The psychological difference that sets elites apart is that they have personal resources, for instance intelligence and skills, and a vested interest in the government; while the rest are incompetent and do not have the capabilities of governing themselves, the elite are resourceful and strive to make the government work. For in reality, the elite would have the most to lose in a failed state.

        The problem is that the question of for “whom the government works for” is not spelled out, but history should leave not doubt as to the answer. And, it seems they have figured out how to survive and thrive just fine in a failed state, wit the U.S. and the elections before us.

        1. km

          FWIW, I am not sure I would agree with 2. “The psychological difference that sets elites apart is that they have personal resources, for instance intelligence and skills, and a vested interest in the government; while the rest are incompetent and do not have the capabilities of governing themselves, the elite are resourceful and strive to make the government work. For in reality, the elite would have the most to lose in a failed state.”

          That frankly, sounds like Michels has been drinking the oligarchs’ Kool Aid. Elites are elites, not because they are so much smarter and better than us, but because they tend strongly towards sociopathy, a trait that political power selects strongly for.

          In other words, the people who really really want to rule are the last people we should want in charge. Anyone who has ever met an overly zealous cop or even a rent-a-cop knows the type well.

          1. zagonostra

            Ah but you are viewing it through the prism of our own culture,times, and history. In times of yore the aristocracy was the noble race (Nietzsche, Genealogy of Morals). They had all the advantage of good diet, education, tender care in their youth, and most importantly leisure (which I think is the etymology of “school”). The plebs were debased, not through their own fault, nor lacking in native intelligence, but through having to survive the slums, disease, hunger, etc…they had not the skills, linguistic (Latin/French), logic, rhetoric,etc… (trivium/quadrivium) to be engaged in the affairs of state. Of course, the aristocracy also had their sociopaths back then, as well. But they also supplied the pool from which the leaders were drawn, kind of like FDR coming from a patrician class.

            I agree with you whole heartily that today the elites are a debased and degenerative form of the aristocracy and are sociopaths.

      3. Anonymous

        Except ancient Israel existed for centuries (Book of Judges) without a king and with roughly equal asset ownership.

        The difference between them and so-called Christianity in the US is that economic rights were firmly spelled out with usury forbidden (except from foreigners), periodic debt forgiveness, periodic land reform, rights for the poor, etc.

        So oligarchy is NOT the natural form of government per the Bible. Nor was the monarch, when those times ended, to pursue his own personal wealth either.

        That said, a form of meritocracy based on wisdom and (in some cases supernatural ability, e.g. Samuel) did arise (the Judges) but it wasn’t built on wealth since the ability to acquire that at the expense of others was limited.

  11. Romancing The Loan

    The article on salt in the healthcare section is quite misleading – while there is a connection between dietary salt intake and hypertension on a population level, it’s because of the relatively small fraction of the population that is salt-sensitive. Most people can excrete extra salt with no problem and no rise in blood pressure. So reducing salt if you have high blood pressure is a good first step to see if it drops, but in the interests of flavorful food telling everyone to eat less salt is bad science and bad public health policy.

    It’s also combined with a puzzling assertion that hunter-gatherers didn’t salt their meat. Archaeologists would not agree – the little leather pouch of salt is right up there with the handy belt knife in terms of the well-kitted ancient adventurer.

    1. Krystyn Podgajski

      I agree. For years I had mild Hypernatremia. I went on a very low salt diet and nothing changed. The I changed the fats in my diet to high Omega 3 and they have been normal ever since.

      So for me at least, it was not the salt, but the fat. It is well know that fats effect sodium transporters. I think they are focusing on the wrong nutrient.

      1. carl

        Yeah, I’m still waiting for Bruce Jacobsen of CSPI to apologize for demonizing fat, cholesterol, and salt for so many years.

        1. lordkoos


          My aged mother still buys horrible non-fat salad dressing and other similar products. She took a nutrition course at the local university back in the 1980s and is still on that page, even though we’ve told her that she should be using olive oil and other healthy oils.

      2. BobW

        People still look at me funny when I request regular milk, not low-fat. And I’m noticeably skinny, enough so my MD told me not to worry about what I ate, just to eat.

    2. a different chris

      I developed a life-threatening BP when I was in my mid-40s. Once they got it down, I went to see a well-regarded specialist. He walked in and made a big demostration of handing me a pamphlet all about why my salt intake was such a problem.

      I told him I hadn’t touched a salt shaker since my sophomore year of college, exercised, ate non-processed foods, &etc. He basically ignored me, my wife knowing all this to be true so we found another doctor.

      The medical profession is full of huge egos, and if there is something wrong with you it must be your fault somehow.

    3. Lost in OR

      The article states that only 15% of the salt is applied in the home. Which means that 85% is applied during the industrial food processing. So there’s the problem- processed foods. And salt is only one of many unhealthy ingredients in processed food.

      So the problem is not really salt. It’s a double ended problem. First, its’ the industrial food conglomerates with their teams of marketers, financial manipulators, food scientists (trust science!), and captured government regulators. Secondly, it’s the consumers who make food choices that are in their best interest.

    4. anon y'mouse

      that article puzzled me as well, for i thought for sure that i had read that those of Northern European ancestry, who had lived for a long while on wild-caught seafood and hunted meats (and some kale), were not only highly salt tolerant but also protein insensitive, since the latitude made eating fruit and veg somewhat rare.

      meaning some of us can eat vast quantities with no ill effects. this is somewhat reversed for those of African Ancestry due to salt-poor soils leading to greater retention.

      same kinds of things go on for carbohydrates. the further south your ancestry hails from, the more you can probably tolerate (pasta! pasta!).

      then again, i follow all kinds of people who have nothing but logically sourced disdain for the RDA requirements and the food pyramid.

    5. D. Fuller

      Missing from diet books and the like is the mention genetics plays in determining the effects of food intake on a person’s health. Trying to apply a generalization of “salt is bad” to a genetically diverse population whose ancestor’s diets predisposed them to processing nutrients based on availability of food in a specific eographical location? Fallacies arise.

      Now mix up those genetics and complications arise.

      Fish oil is a big one. A study of Greenland’s population hinted at the benefits of fish oil. Sure, for those in Greenland who adapted to that diet through generations. The Mediterranean diet, oh the benefits; for those whose genetic ancestry includes ancestors from that area. Now, would either apply to a Greenlander-Italian? Maybe.

    6. notabanker

      Unfortunately, however, there is no universal definition of salt sensitivity and the method to assess salt sensitivity varies from one study to another.

      All I can contribute ot this is that a few years ago I radically reduced sodium from my diet becauseof hypertension and it changed my life. I lost 20 pounds in a few months, BP has been stable and very good and I feel a ton better.

      It appalls me when I look at the amount of sodium in foods in the USA. Eating out at a a restaurant it is quite easy to consume 3-5000 mg in one meal. My daily intake is right around 2000. If I double that, I feel it straightaway. Lunch meats, pizza, mexican, chinese takeouts are just loaded with sodium. In my opinion, unnecessarily.

  12. polar donkey

    If you compared the covid rate by county map on the NYT website anytime in October to a county level Trump performance map, there is strong correlation to the worst covid was hitting a county, the better Trump performed. On a political/public health level that makes sense, but on a just common sense level, that’s f-ing insane. Diabetes, obesity, heart problem rates are through the roof in these places and half the rural hospitals in the state have been closed.
    Trump wasn’t lying when he said he could go out on 5th avenue and shoot a random person. He’d get off in Tennessee.

    1. KevinD

      The last few years have been like being in a hurricane, and that has been by design.
      Flood the airwaves with daily doses of hysteria and outrage and don’t give anyone a chance to breathe before the next round hits.

      Once time has passed, we (or perhaps our children) will look back and wonder what the hell we were doing to ourselves.

      1. hunkerdown

        We’ll probably see ourselves as attempting a coup against the professional aristocracy using the landed aristocracy as a bludgeon. The ruling class are not “us”, by the way, and to call them that simply enables them to continue to pretend they’re not us as they parasitize us.

    2. Medbh

      “If you compared the covid rate by county map on the NYT website anytime in October to a county level Trump performance map, there is strong correlation to the worst covid was hitting a county, the better Trump performed.”

      This is what surprised me most about the election. I thought voters would punish Trump for his covid response. Looking at all the results though, it seems like people instead blamed “scientists” (and the Democrats who support them) for the lockdowns and restrictions, and resulting economic pain.

      I guess it makes sense from a risk perspective. People know their life will be destroyed if they can’t work, and covid only kills some people.

      Key lesson for future plagues is that you have to have meaningful financial support if you’re going to impose restrictions. Both for the employees and the business owners. You’d need to have an astronomical death rate for people to accept destroying their business or burning through their life savings. Parents will accept whatever risk is necessary to feed and house their kids.

      1. Kate Sims

        Doesn’t the causation run the other way, i.e. support for Trump causes cavalier attitude toward virus, hostility to masks and social distancing, large rallies etc.?
        Trump supporters are killing each other off (and a lot of innocent people as well), just not fast enough to make a difference in the voting. And the survivors aren’t sharp enough to make the connection.

        1. tegnost

          And the survivors aren’t sharp enough to make the connection.
          Someday will bill maher watching dems realize that calling people stupid makes them not like you? Any self respecting trump or bernie supporter who (could bear to) watched that show would not vote for joe biden, jus’sayin and that behavior (calling people stupid) does not make you smart.

        2. John Ralston

          Firstly: you confuse Trump supporters with people who disagree with the ideology and habits you support. Many who voted for Trump just weren’t buying what the Democrats were selling.

          Further: some of us can read, perform mathematical calculations, assess risks, and think for ourselves.

          The phrase and the sentiment embodied in the phrase: “My body my choice.” does not apply solely to the reproductive rights of women.

          Those that refuse to respect the rights of others endanger their own.

          1. Michael Fiorillo

            A woman’s abortion only has a medical effect on the fetus; being cavalier about infection and refusing to wear a mask can harm many.

            Your logic is false.

            1. John Ralston

              You seriously think how many are likely to be harmed makes one more acceptable than the other?

              If a person is not provably contagious then they are a threat to no one.

              You would restrict many to protect an unknown number of others.

              A pregnant women who desires an abortion is provably dangerous to at least one other person every single time.

              I know for certain who is endangering a life in only one of the two instances; but, I DO know for certain. An abortion WILL impact at least one life very single time.

              If restricting a persons rights to do what they want to with their body to protect the health and safety of other persons is the litmus test of masks how can it not also logically be so with abortions also?

              You have you logic and I have mine.

              Respecting my assertions of my perceived rights is the best path to my respecting your assertions of your perceived rights.

              1. furies

                Your ‘rights’ have responsibilities.

                My right to life is at odds with your refusal to consider the effects of your (lack) of action…

                This is a *pandemic*. It’s not personal.

              2. lordkoos

                The burden of proof is being tested and knowing that you don’t have the virus, not assuming you don’t carry it simply because you aren’t sick.

                Conflating abortion with an extremely contagious and possibly deadly virus is BS.

                1. John Ralston

                  Death is death is it not?

                  Is abortion not death?

                  The virus is, as you said: “possibly deadly”; but, abortion is always and without exception deadly.

                  I conflate actual 100% certitude of death with death much more than some unknown ‘possible death’.

                  Your fear of the unknown ‘possibilities’ cannot be more deadly than what we both know to be absolutely certainly 100% correlated with death in each and every single instance.

                  I maintain my position.

              3. Bruno

                John Ralston says:
                “A pregnant women who desires an abortion is provably dangerous to at least one other person every single time.”
                By “his logic,” then, every embryo between the moment of fertilization and that of birth is a “person.”

            2. Michael Fiorillo

              We’re not debating abortion here. Don’t throw a red herring into the argument, attempting to misdirect the discussion, and compounding your fallacy: you raised abortion as an analogy to mask-wearing, in other words, a private medical decision versus public health protocals during a pandemic, and you’re flat-out wrong.

              You have heard of the virus spreading via asymptomatic/presymptomatic carriers, haven’t you?

              1. John Ralston

                “Trump supporters are killing each other off (and a lot of innocent people as well), just not fast enough to make a difference in the voting. And the survivors aren’t sharp enough to make the connection.”

                You also make the mistake that one series of restrictions for the good of others cannot be equated with another -simply because you say so. What you call a red herring or a fallacy may be logic to another. Many of the present problems in OUR society involve the inability of people to hear the other. IF I am expected to respect your opinions then you will have to respect mine.

                My assertion of my rights are as important as anyone else’s.

                proph•y•lac•tic prō″fə-lăk′tĭk, prŏf″ə-►

                Acting to defend against or prevent something, especially disease; protective.
                A prophylactic agent, device, or measure, such as a vaccine or drug.
                A contraceptive device, especially a condom.

                Maybe prophylactic use should be lawfully mandated -and refusal or improper use should be punishable. Maybe stringent contact tracing is warranted under certain conditions.

                Or, maybe people should be left to decide for themselves whether or not to wear a prophylactic based on their own calculation of the medical risks associated with their activities..

                But, IMHO: IF we are all going to have to listen to sanctimonious churchy sounding sermons from the likes of Obama and Cuomo about “saving just one life” and have the full force of the police state brought to bear on all manner of our personal activities; then maybe a broader conversation about bodies and rights IS in order…

                I don’t fear the NCoV.
                I do detest invasive government and sanctimonious control freaks.

              2. kareninca

                Calling abortion a private medical decision begs the point.

                I’m not making a point about abortion rights – I don’t want to debate the substance of the argument. This is a point about reasoning.

                  1. rob

                    you don’t have a point.
                    You have an opinion.
                    your logical fail is by first assuming your opinion counts for anything, and should be taken into consideration by any woman who may wish to use the valid safe medical procedure or pharmacological remedy which is available because of competent medical alternatives to procreation.

                    just because you want to call dividing cells…. a person… who cares?. and with that… you don’t get to frame a conversation that is debating what constitutes life. Join a philosophy class.
                    then, you can join a class and learn about our secular nation ,and how one person’s religion and or personal opinions, are not what our laws are based on.
                    And again, your fail ; is bridging the two.

                    1. John Ralston

                      ALL laws are based on someone’s personal opinions without exception.

                      My opinion is as valid as anyone’s.

                      Your fallacy is in refusing to value rights equally.

                      Further; your are trying to place words in my mouth which I have not spoken: I did not anywhere in any conversation here make any determination as to whether dividing cells constitute a person or what what point a fetus may or may not be determined to be human.

                      It is you who are attempting to shift this conversation.

                      The question is whether or not a person has rights to what they may or may not do with their body regardless of what any other person thinks or asserts.

                      Who has the right to control what another person does with their body?

                      Are rights to ones body sacrosanct or are they subservient to the beliefs and concerns of others?

                      My point was and is: it is best not to attempt to seize control of other persons rights to choice what to do or not do with their own bodies as it logically invites reciprocation.

                      Respect will only exist if it is provided as well as demanded.

                      My opinion is just as valid as your opinion.

                      Or, do you also in the same breath cede any value to your own opinion?

                      IF we want a functional society both opinions with have to be respected.

        3. lordkoos

          I live in Trump country and that is my take is that many of his supporters hate being told to wear masks more than they fear getting COVID.

          1. John Ralston

            It isn’t a matter of ‘Trump supporters’.

            Some people have concluded based on their own research that the masks aren’t very effective and are being used as a political and social bludgeon. Instilling fear is much easier ( and more profitable ) than confidence.

            See: calling people who don’t believe that masks work and are a minimum a hassle and a more likely part of a hustle ‘Trump supporters’.

            How could truly extensive mail voting fraud be engineered without promoting truly extensive mail voting? -All for everyone’s safety of course..

            Apparently it is much safer to go to the liquor store than to the voting booth!!

    3. fresno dan

      polar donkey
      November 5, 2020 at 7:48 am

      Did COVID End Up Helping Trump? Salon (Re Silc).
      But for all the people who have been killed and who have gotten very sick, it’s still possible to not know someone personally who has been biologically compromised because of the virus. What’s more likely, based on the fact that COVID kills a small percentage of people it infects, is that you know someone who tested positive and had no symptoms, or someone who got a little sick but was pretty much OK. You are less likely to know someone who has been badly affected by COVID if the people you know are mostly white; hospitalization rates for Black people are almost five times as high as those for white people, and death rates are double. And whether you interpret that disparity as a direct result of racism—as many, many health experts do—almost certainly correlates with whether you were predisposed to vote for Trump in the first place.
      FIRST – I agree with polar donkey that people certainly shouldn’t be REWARDING Trump for covid management.
      Yesterday NC watercooler:
      So, if the world were only made up of Western capitalist countries, the United States, right now, would be in the middle of the pack, which gives the lie to the concept that our only problem is leadership (as opposed to, say, political economy). The right comparison is not between Biden’s plan and Trump’s, well, approach, but between Biden’s plan and Europe. What will Biden do that those governments, which one assumes have more State operational capability than we do, have not done?

      I would analogise this to gun ownership in the US. The public health data that gun ownership leads to excess deaths is irrefutable. Its also irrefutable that prohibition reduced deaths due to alcoholism. We have guns and booze because political decisions were made. And if you are a reality based democrat, in vast swaths of the country, if you want to be elected, you don’t oppose either.
      I don’t like Trump and I hope he isn’t re-elected. But the idea that covid isn’t being controlled merely because Trump is evil is lazy and specious. Way too much time on “should” with only moral justification and not enough critical thinking. Or HONEST examination – how long ago were masks opposed? How long ago was restricting travel from China xenophobic?

      And this:
      And whether you interpret that disparity as a direct result of racism—as many, many health experts do—almost certainly correlates with whether you were predisposed to vote for Trump in the first place.

      I don’t like it that Trump will say “many people believe” without citing who he is talking about and no further rationale for his position. I don’t like the author doing the same thing. AND to imply that Trump supporter racism is the predominant reason for covid outcomes is just too self satisfied.

      I accept racism as the reason for excess black covid deaths, IF racism is defined as the lower economic opportunities blacks have, and the general disregard for the lives of anyone who can’t afford health care.

    4. D. Fuller

      Usually, the economy is #1 when determining Presidential election. A bad economy = incumbent President losing. Yet, Congress enjoys such a high re-election rate of incumbents. Seems that Republicans gambled (and won) on blaming the economic conditions on scientists when Congress could have acted. Points go to Democrats for passing a relief bill (flawed as it was) back in May. Which McConnell ignored successfully – he was re-elected. Not that doing so was too difficult in part to Democrat’s lack of anything substantial other than platitudes.

      It is amazing how voters ignore incumbents in Congress who contribute to the economic malaise, in a case such as Covid-19 and the effects on the economy. To re-elect those incumbents.

      Americans in the bottom 90% economically, fear losing what little they have. While voting for politicians who slowly whittle away at the 90%’s economic well-being. Then again, both parties have a virtual lock on determining who is on the ballot, limiting choices. There are other factors at play such as money. Nice to see that gobs money is becoming less important in determining winners.

  13. Chas

    The picture of Monarchs reminds me that very few Monarchs visited the northeastern U.S. this summer and that hasn’t made the news. Usually I see dozens of them at a time while walking through the pastures but this summer only four or five over the whole season. What happened? Does anyone have any information?

    1. cocomaan

      Chas, I’m not an ecologist, but this year we had a May snow/ice event here in PA that killed off a lot of insects. For instance, our fireflies were not as abundant this year either, neither were the sweat bees, bumblebees, and other pollinators.

      In previous years, my yard has been carpeted with glowworms, aka firefly larvae. Not so much this year.

      This also resulted in a terrible peach and cherry harvest, pitted fruits really lost out. IMO this crappy weather was a big reason for the lack of insect biodiversity this year. We’ll see what happens next season. We still had monarchs out in my neck of the woods, just not as many. Saw one yesterday in a meadow, in fact.

      1. Samuel Conner

        I noticed very few pollinators in my backyard garden this year, and the zucchini I let grow to “club” size for the seeds had few properly developed seeds but large numbers of empty seed coats. I’ll have to plant a large wildflower section in 2021 to encourage the pollinators to hang out near me.

      2. Medbh

        I’m in Wisconsin and have large native plant, flower, and vegetable gardens. I too saw very few pollinators this year. I had a couple of Monarchs, but usually have swarms. It usually looks like something from a Disney movie. My garden is normally crawling with multiple types of caterpillars, this year I had a handful. There is a lot of variability from year to year, so hopefully it was a fluke.

      3. zagonostra

        I’m in Central PA, which didn’t seem too bad this year. I always make a point of leaving a sizable portion of my yard uncut. It makes a big difference in the number of pollinators I see since I’ve been doing this.

    2. lyman alpha blob

      I’m in the northeast and my experience was different. In the last 4 years or so I’ve seen an increase in monarchs after seeing none at all for many years. I’ve seen them in Mass while on vacation, and I’ve seen them in my neighborhood in Maine too. This year I saw them daily in the neighborhood, and even once flying through my own yard, which I hadn’t seen before in the 15 years we’ve lived at this house.

      Anecdotal to be sure, so maybe just a coincidence, but maybe a good sign!

      1. curlydan

        I saw lots of monarchs in Kansas City this year–more so than in previous years. I was at a nature center right in the city in September, looked up, and saw 15-20 resting on a tree at dusk. And I saw many floating through my neighborhood. Hoping for the best. On the other hand, my aunt said there were virtually no monarchs in Washington state this year.

  14. cocomaan

    How could you guys leave out the most important 2020 election news of the day?!!?!

    Kanye West has conceded.

    The results of the 2020 presidential election are still to be decided, but one thing is for sure: Kanye West will not be residing in the Oval Office come January 20th, 2021.

    The rapper-turned-presidential candidate formally ended his campaign shortly after midnight on Wednesday. “WELP” he tweeted alongside a map of the United States shaded with the evening’s victors (Kanye’s name not among them).

    1. edmondo

      I watched FOX. I didn’t vote for either major party candidate, They seemed more neutral than MSNBC and I was going to switch over to Maddow once the results looked so bad for Biden but I couldn’t watch Maddow tears again.

    2. fresno dan

      November 5, 2020 at 8:00 am

      I always watch FOX for my anti democrat cable TV moralizing, preaching, sermonizing and lecturing entertainment. I mean, I guess Maddow could say something anti democrat and Hannity could say something anti Trump (I was gonna say anti republican, but he has! – about those never Trump republicans) – at about the same time flying pigs pop out of the butts of flying unicorns. I mean, you gotta pick your stations – you go to Hallmark for treachly Christmas shows in October, and you go to ESPN for sports.
      I guess there are those poor souls who think one of the political parties is….ok

      1. hunkerdown

        You’re not supposed to mix liberal narratives. People get Ideas above their Station when they do that.

      2. John Ralston

        Purportedly the first ‘Thanksgiving’ the Pilgrims hung out with the natives and broke bread not skulls.

        Those were Anglos of course.

        But, who lifted the sword first and most relentlessly upon arrival in the Americas? Were they ‘white’ men or ‘brown’ men?

        Now: if you wanna talk about straight up landing and going on a rampages of slaughtering natives we can go over the stories of Hernan Cortez or Ponce De Leon or Francisco Pizarro or Hernando De Soto or…

        1. KevinD

          But, who lifted the sword first and most relentlessly upon arrival in the Americas?

          The pathogens that were brought over.

        2. cripes


          “going on a rampages of slaughtering natives we can go over the stories of Hernan Cortez or Ponce De Leon or Francisco Pizarro or Hernando De Soto or…”

          if your purpose here is to prove that “white people” (anglos in your small-world view) aren’t responsible for rampages of slaughtering natives because Spaniards aren’t white, well, you do you.

          It is inarguable that European colonization of the Americas led to the deaths of tens of millions of pre-existing inhabitants, by violence, disease and starvation. Spaniards are, last I checked, European, despite their hard-to-pronounce names.

          Although I’m sure Basil Fawlty would agree with you.
          Lookit up.

          PS I detest the IDPol heresy, but facts is facts.

          1. John Ralston

            I tire of the endless bashing of ‘white men’ and jibes at what should be cherished shared cultural heritage.

            I take umbrage at the nasty dismissal of Thanksgiving.

            The Pilgrims and the natives suffered through a terrible multi-year plague that killed half the settlers and many more natives.

            The Pilgrims and natives lived peacefully together. We should celebrate that. I do.

            Contrasting the peaceful and communal nature of the Thanksgiving tableau with the perverse violence of the Conquest, with the outlandish Requiremento, with the sacking and looting or of Tenochtitlan -then the largest known city in the entirety of the western hemisphere- , and with the enslavement of tens of thousands of natives by writ: is fully justified as a response.


            The first Thanksgiving was a triumph of peaceful coexistence and cooperation. It stands in stark contrast to the savagery and inhumanity of the latin invasion. I defend Thanksgiving and the celebration of it. It is important to me as it is a part of my heritage that I have every right to proud of. Those who mock and demean this holiday and tradition are -IMHO: ignorant, savage and mean.

            Lastly: the natives of the Americas were not angels. Slavery was pervasive long before Europeans came along. So, too was human sacrifice, particularly notably within the central American regions including Tenochtitlan. Cannibalism was not unknown.

            White men did not bring slavery or wars of subjugation to some peaceful perfect place: each and every one of these evils and horrors were here being practiced by those who populated the Americas all along. Those are facts.

            It was not white men who brought slavery and endless brutal violence to the Americas.

            It was white men who brought an end to slavery and endless brutal violence in the Americas.

            1. Basil Pesto

              It was not white men who brought slavery and endless brutal violence to the Americas.

              It was white men who brought an end to slavery and endless brutal violence in the Americas.

              They took their sweet time, though, didn’t they?

              and they certainly didn’t end slavery in the Americas before perfecting it. Do you have any evidence that pre-Columbian slavery was anything like as pernicious as the chattel slavery institution that was to come?

              Your gross oversimplification of these matters of history as evinced by the above quote is inherently suspect.

    1. a different chris

      My wife wants to know if we get the day off. She’s also going to check to see if her grandfather killed anybody.

  15. John Beech

    Science on the ballot? No, not really. I don’t doubt face masks will slow transmission. I don’t doubt locking the country down tighter than a tick would bring it to a halt. No doubt whatsoever. The question is balance. Is it worse to have 1/4-million people die, or have the economy go into a tailspin and depression? The President was totally lacking when articulating his position vice reopening the economy and the media was dishonest in not helping people see the whole picture. It’s not either or in my opinion. Just like driving is a cooperative venture, so should be public health. Anti-vaxxers? What, we’re going to let a small subset put the whole at risk? Honestly, while the Libertarian streak within me rebels at the thought of taking them out back to be shot, the big picture guy within me sees the great value of this.

    1. a different chris

      The problem with your argument, or at least where you put the “balance” point, is the economy is for the people’s welfare, not the other way around.

      Now I (and I suspect you) don’t believe the stupid every-day “the stock market did this because of that” trumpeting, or even that the stock market has that tight a relationship to “the economy”, but news of people dropping like flies sure isn’t going to help bizness, is it?

      And the long term effects we are seeing in many survivors isn’t real good for the future economy either, even if you do (not you! generic person you, I don’t pretend to know your exact thoughts) think us 99% are just food for the economy which refines us to feed the 1%, like grass feeds cows that feeds humans.

      We need to shut down hard, open up, shut down again if that doesn’t work, throw money at things (restaurants) that aren’t going to do well under those conditions.

      Like all half-arsed attempts at anything, a timid approach (both in closing down and opening up) simply will not work.

    2. Fireship

      ” the Libertarian streak within me”

      ” we have to take a decision about a national identification system. Driver’s licenses? Dunno, whatever. Maybe a card, to which driving privileges are added, as are passport privileges, health records, yada, yada . . . with the death penalty attached to fraud, theft of data, transmission or sale of data, etc.”

      Oh dear. Looks like a bad case of Fox-brain there, John.

    3. Medbh

      That’s a fair argument to make. Dead is dead, regardless if it was from covid or starvation, hypothermia, suicide, addiction, etc.

      However, we don’t get to chose between either economics or covid, one follows the other. A number of restaurants in my town are going under. It’s not just because of the capacity restrictions, it’s because people will not go out as long as it does not feel safe. My family used to eat out multiple times a week, go to movies or shows, travel, etc. We are doing none of these things while covid is out of control, and neither is anyone else in my family. It doesn’t take a lot of people thinking that way to shut the economic system down.

      Perhaps it would be better to lift the restrictions, just so they would stop being blamed for everything. We’d crash the hospital system, but eventually covid would run out of high risk people to infect.

    4. Roger Smith

      I would have voted for the candidate that said they would make domestic made 3M N95 directly available to all citizens. I really with people weren’t told at first masks didn’t matter and then led to believe “mask” wasn’t “n95 mask”.

  16. The Historian

    ” I hate the term “shy Trump voters.” They’re not shy. They’re monkey-wrenching the pollsters by lying to them. And why wouldn’t they?”

    That would be an awful lot of liars! I’m not sure that is even realistic. Shy Trump voters and liars sound more like attempts by the pollsters to find excuses for their failures.

    Wouldn’t a more obvious answer be that the pollsters’ methods and models were designed for another age and simply don’t work any more?

    1. .Tom

      Prehaps there’s little market incentive for pollsters (who are, iiuc, consultants selling research) to produce data that biased media clients can’t use.

        1. hunkerdown

          There’s a public polling position and a private polling position. Democrats (at least HRH HRC) believe dishonest service is their right.

    2. The Rev Kev

      If I lived in America I would be extremely suspicious of pollsters for a very good reason. Supposing that I was, say, a Trump supporter and unknown to me the pollster asking me who I supported was hired by the Democrats. So who is to say that when they have a list of Trump supporters, they sell that list to junk mail companies, telemarketers and who knows else to ‘punish’ them for backing the wrong candidate? Tell me that that would never happen. And the people doing this would convince themselves that they were doing it for ‘moral’ reasons of course. ‘Shy’ voters? More likely petrified.

      1. Grumpy Engineer

        Petrified“? Oh yes. In a nation that is increasingly dominated by “cancel culture”, I can easily see people choosing to lie to a pollster so that an easily-offended liberal doesn’t somehow find out and try to get them fired.

        And indeed, who are those pollsters working for anyway? I have no way to know that my preference would stay private.

    3. Phillip Allen

      I suspect that both conditions pertain, i.e., an out-of-date set of tools based on no-longer-valid assumptions, and truly large numbers of people willing to intentionally screw with polling and other perceived instruments of control.

      1. The Historian

        Possibly! I do remember seeing Michael Moore on Rising telling people not to believe the polls in Michigan – that he thought that the race was going to be MUCH closer than the pollsters were saying – and he was right!

        1. .Tom

          Yeah. And he doesn’t get invited onto MSM news shows, does he? They get their polls from providers of better data.

      2. flora

        Gosh, the MSM and Dem pols spending 4 years calling T voter unredeemable deplorables and unwoke bigots (‘witch, witch’) might, possibly, just perhaps make T voters wary of declaring themselves to anyone. ;)

        Oh, and about wokeness. Seeing exit polls that showed an uptick in support for T among women and minorities, that they now comprise 59% (?) of his voting base, makes wokeism look like a white PMC project. People care more about the their economy than condescending idpol. Who knew? /heh

        1. Phillip Cross

          Are you saying we should be trying to find a middle ground with them? Hasn’t pandering to conservatives gotten us to this point? Two right wing parties pretending to fight over wedge issues, whilst funneling money upwards.

          1. flora

            No, if by them you mean the MSM construct of knuckle dragging deplorables; the idea of middle ground with a media constructed narrative is a futile exercise in chasing phantoms, imo.

            I am saying that economic issues facing Main Street and the 90% — of every party — needs to be addressed. You’ve seen the income and wealth change-over-the-last-30-years charts, I assume. Economic pain can be expressed in many ways. Attacking the expressions of pain instead of the cause of pain is avoided by both Dem/Rep estabs — who want to keep pushing the profits up to Wall St. and the costs down to Main Street. T is the stench, not the rot.

            The 90% in both parties have a lot in common economically.

            1. Phillip Cross

              That is a very charitable appraisal of where we are, and I agree with the sentiment entirely. I wish that we could all focus on our commonalities too. Sadly, I see it as a lost cause until/unless nature makes the current system completely unviable for the 1%, and forces a huge paradigm shift. In the meantime 90% of the population are easily roped into the charade.

            2. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

              Doctors arguing over the treatment of a patient that presents with blisters on his feet while ignoring the knife sticking out of his chest.

              Global economic growth is +/- 2% per year. In our wisdom around about the year 2000 we decided on a policy designed to raise the standard of living of workers in China. Roughly 400 million people went from sleeping next to the pig on the mud floor in the village to owning an apartment, a TV, and a car. The champions of said policy are desperately attempting to overthrow a leader who is shining a light on that policy because their donors personally profit handsomely from the policy.

              1. Phillip Cross

                Tariff Man used his phony trade war to negotiate for increased protection for US corporate I.P. in China, and to open up ways to own a greater percentage of Chinese businesses. MAGA!

        2. Biph

          I know this number is going to be thrown around a lot, but exit polling is garbage this year. The extremely large number of mail in/absentee ballots and that those ballots are coming in overwhelmingly Democratic makes exit polling this year worse than useless.

      3. Drake

        “out-of-date set of tools based on no-longer-valid assumptions”

        If we ever go back to having cookie-cutter candidates from both parties again, polls will go back to being more or less accurate, at least in the final days before the election when they’re finally trying to be right. Before that they are just giving one side carte-blanche to raise lots of donor money.

        Trump is like the Mule in the Asimov Foundation series, who upset Hari Selden’s predictable Psychohistory equations, or Heath Ledger’s Joker (“I try to show the schemers how pathetic their attempts to control things really are.”). The pollsters just basically failed to understand him, or the hatred and distrust felt towards themselves. They were trying to model a world they no longer recognized.

    4. vlade

      So far, the numbers are not far off the polling + error.

      Either Biden or Trump may win but neither will win by a landlisde. Both of those results were well within the probable outcomes, and while they were tail-ish, they were not ridiculously improbable.

      Biden will win the popular vote, by about 4-5% vs 6-8% projected.

      A different question is, in both elections the outocome was within the error band, but in both cases it skewed toward Dems. So is there a systemic issue that the polsters got wrong? And I’d say yes, the issue is that a lot of them has non-white population as breaking more Democratic. Which may not be true anymore (never mind that there’s no homogenous Latin or black or Asian vote).

      But it looks like the issue is not massively wrong out (say 2018 election pollsters got pretty much right). Yet.

      1. SteveW

        Where do you get that 4-5% from? All indications are the the margin is around 2.5%. The polls are definitely widely off. Especially considering the consistency of skewing over extended periods. Statistically if the errors are random, the average of polls would reduce the margin of errors. There were definitely presence of systematic, methodological or intentional problems with those polls.

        1. vlade

          California and NYC didn’t finish their vote count, it’s just that Trump has no chance to catch Biden there ever, so have been declared.

          Those two alone can easily add 2m (1.5m Cal, 0.5m NYC) not-yet-counted votes to Biden, which will take the total to about 4% *) As the late counted votes are mostly postal, and mostly will break Biden even in Rep states, chances are it will be even higher.

          *) that’s based on uncouted votes, although my data on that is a bit old..

      2. .Tom

        How to interpret “not far off the polling + error” in for example the Maine senator vote.

        Excluding Quinnipiac 9/10-9/14, I suppose the result is not far off the polling + error in each case. But it’s surprising that the error in all these separate polls is so similar. That error doesn’t look random.

        When a poll comes with +/-x% then I understand that to be a description of a random statistical error.

        If we have a great many polls that are all not far off the polling + error, which appears to be the case in this election, then something must be wrong. Idk what but a possibility is that pollsters are hiding a convenient, client-satisfying bias in the supposedly statistical error.

        1. vlade

          I did say that in both Trump elections the result ended around the error margin favouring Trump, and that’s something worth investigating. But it’s still within the error margin. I’ll again point out that the 2018 polls were spot on – your random error sample is not just two elections you pick, it’s the whole universe, unless there’s a systemic variable for presidental and Trump elections.

          And there might be, but it’s not super-massive if it still fits into polling error. That’s not a reason to cry “polls failed”. Polls failed would be tue if Trump won in landslide, or won the popular vote, or if Biden won a landslide in Texas or Florida.

          Even Senate outcome is not an outlier – Silver’s site gave, IIRC, Reps chance of keeping Senate majority 20%. Which is a pretty good chance, all things considered. It’s a higher chance than you roll a six on a dice – and no-one is surprised when you do roll it now and then, so why are they suprised if it ends up being an election outcome?

          Polls are a statistical tool. Unfortunately, human brain prefers black-white to shades of gray,

      3. Biph

        In the RCP national average the Dems polled about 1% better than they did on election day twice (2004, 2016), Obama winning by 7.6% in 2008, he won by 7.3% and in 2012 they had Obama ahead by .7% , he won by 3.7%.

    5. Glen

      Every time they call I tell them I’m voting for “Go [family blog] yourself.”

      But I didn’t vote for Trump or Biden.

  17. zagonostra

    >Catholic Vote update

    I still haven’t seen a breakdown of Catholic vote, but Archbishop Vigano has dropped another letter ( what some refer to as “V-bombs.”)

    It seems that google/bing and other search engines don’t retrieve it. Here is a snippet for those who are following the election through this particular prism who might find this of interest (don’t interpret this as an endorsement, I’m just doing my homework/research).

    News of electoral fraud is multiplying, despite the shameful attempts
    of the mainstream media to censor the truth of the facts in order to give
    their candidate the advantage. There are states in which the number of
    votes is greater than the number of voters; others in which the mail-in
    vote seems to be exclusively in favor of Joe Biden; others in which the
    counting of ballots has been suspended for no reason or where
    sensational tampering has been discovered: always and only against
    President Donald J. Trump, always and only in favor of Biden.

    1. D. Fuller

      As a reminder, Ohio 2004.

      Where every vote in the last 30 minutes went for Bush to give him the win. An impossibility. Also, the Ohio voting website was transferred to a private corporate server in Virginia controlled by a Bush supporter.

      Michael Connell, who was to testify regarding those circumstances, predicted he would die. On his way to the court proceeding, his plane crashed.

      As for “more voters than registered” in WI? Wisconsin Elections Commission, there are 3,684,726 active registered voters as of Nov. 1. The number of votes cast? Less than 3.3 million.

      Simple math says? 3.6 million subtracting 3.3 million does not equal “more votes cast than registered voters”.

      Internet memes (outright lies) should not form the basis of anyone’s reality.

      By promoting such lies as the truth? Those who do so become the boy who cried wolf. Or Chicken Little. To be ignored even when an actual disaster is impending. Furthermore, promotion of such as truth in a civic function as voting? Erodes and undermines our democracy in favor of tyranny.

      A simple Internet search would have shown that the meme of, “more votes than registered voters” to be false, originating from a Facebook account run by a P.O.S. who hates America. I am not talking about you. I am talking about those who originated the lie.

      We are all susceptible to being influenced by lies. It is our duty to perform due diligence to sort lies from fact.

      We are all victimized by.lies and falsehoods.

  18. .Tom

    Don’t pollsters ultimately have to give their clients what they want or eventually just run out of clients? If a pollster routinely produced data that gave the same story as, say, Michael Moore, would MSM, which can only use data if they can somehow fit it to their ideological narrative, keep coming back for more? There doesn’t need to be any deliberate intent or conscious decisions to fudge data for this systematic bias to work.

    If that’s the case, in what way did the pollsters do something wrong? They focused on the needs of their clients and that’s sometimes a good way for business people, consultants especially, to behave.

    1. Stephen C

      The polling industry might have turned into something more like accountancy. The client signals what they want to hear, the pollster finds a way. If the pollster comes back with bad news, well, the client can always hire someone else.

        1. fresno dan

          November 5, 2020 at 10:04 am

          Polls are accurate, as long as they include a margin of error of plus/minus 50%

  19. timbers


    Is this a perfect headline for Team Blue or what:

    “Even If Biden Wins, President Trump’s Agenda Will Endure As Obama-Era Gridlock Returns To Washington” Guess that’s what back to normalcy is for the new generation…already setting the stage for “nothing will fundamentally change” because Republicans are mean people who won’t vote for Dem programs (like Dems vote for Republican agendas when they are in power) even if they had some.

    Yesterday I saw a headline that “moderate” Dems what Pelosi to be pushed out for a newer generation of leaders, after “her” election debacle. Would love to see here go but those pushing the idea likely want Dems to go further right and represent corporate interests even more, not people.

    Why can’t “progressives” push her out and say openly they want someone who is actually left and on the side of people?

    1. Big River Bandido

      Why can’t “progressives” push her out and say openly they want someone who is actually left and on the side of people?

      Because that isn’t what they want. Words like “progressive” are just phony branding/gaslighting campaigns.

    2. a different chris

      are mean people who won’t vote for Dem programs (like Dems vote for Republican agendas when they are in power)

      The awesome thing (/s) is that Dems are so resume-oriented, the front row kids, that they simply don’t get the power of shutting it all down. Gotta do a term paper and present it to the class for approval!

    3. Pat

      Which is slightly humorous in that most of the losses were with further right Dems losing to even more righty Republicans. Their logic is “we aren’t anti people, pro business, pro war and authoritarianism enough”, while mine is perhaps we should have run a Democrat rather than a Republican who supports identity issues.

      Call me crazy, but I would really like to try running a few so called lefties who want MFA, Higher minimum wage, more support for local needs in education, libraries, an empowered and expanded and fully public Post Office, less foreign intervention, penalties for moving jobs out of America, etc just to see what happens. Never gonna happen because that interferes with the Democratic professional business model and retirement plan. *

      *Can we come up with a good name and acronym for consultants and candidates/elected officials on the donor reward system gravy train, please?

      1. edmondo

        Call me crazy, but I would really like to try running a few so called lefties who want MFA, Higher minimum wage, more support for local needs in education, libraries, an empowered and expanded and fully public Post Office, less foreign intervention, penalties for moving jobs out of America, etc just to see what happens.

        You wish has been granted. You may not like what you wished for.

        Bill Hagerty Republican
        1,833,299 62.1%
        Marquita Bradshaw Democrat
        1,041,157 35.3

        Don Bacon Republican
        163,363 51.0%
        Kara Eastman Democrat
        147,555 46.1

        1. rob

          so, two republicans beat two democrats….?hmm. Which district? and how do democrats/republicans usually fare in those districts…? they don’t gerrymander for nothing.

        2. John k

          Kara came pretty close for Nebraska. And dnc was fully invested here, right? Oh, wait…
          Tennessee a tough spot, too.

      2. rob

        didn’t “the squad” and cory booker get re-elected?
        I also would like to see more progressive people come forward to beat the democratic machine… and not ex-military or prosecutors…. enough with the republicans who run as democrats to get into the “blue” seats…

    4. Lee

      I’m sure that the conservadems now see the rising expectations they ginned up as a threat. They got the campaign cash, now they just want the lefty rabble to sit down, shut up, and let them get on with their posturing and partisan squabbles. Gridlocked congress, an ineffective and ideologically challenged executive, a supreme court that is discredited and dissociated from contemporary reality, and increasing economic desperation among the lower orders: should get interesting.

    5. R. S.

      Nancy Pelosi is an accurate representative of the district she represents.

      As for why the “progressives” do not push her out, the reason is that there are almost no principled progressives in power. Even AOC is slowly becoming more “centrist/moderate” in her economic stances. Though of course she is maintaining her extremism in identity politics since elites are not threatened by it.

      1. a different chris

        The question is not whether she represents her district, it is a question of who is the best leader of the House.

        >Even AOC is slowly becoming more “centrist/moderate” in her economic stances.


      2. Massinissa

        I mean people have been saying that about AOC since she was first elected. I’m not sure if its ever really been completely proven true, still seems mostly like conjecture.

  20. ptb

    Re: polls eating crow (again)

    This may be a structural shift. I don’t think it’s as simple as the shy tories / shy trump effect, though that is no doubt a part.

    Phone response rates are so low, the sample-adjustment dominates, and now polls mostly just reproduce their population-modeling of party affiliation (not the same as voter registration stats!!) and “LV model”. To make matters worse, this modeling requires more data than the polling itself, so it typically relies on proprietary third party work, via companies like Aristotle, creating a potential monoculture / large universally correlated error source.

    In a similar vein, the other increasingly common “innovation” in polling in recent years is using Amazon’s Mechanical Turk , i.e. simply paying (typically unemployed) gig workers to fill out polls. How you extrapolate from that to the general population is a mystery to me.

    1. edmondo

      Dems (PMC) talk to pollster because they know their opinions will be heard (Karen can get loud when she is ignored. Deplorables won’t talk to pollsters because they know no one is listening anyway. The Dems won’t realize that polling sucks because “it’s science” (except for the smoothing, the population selection and the question writing.)

      1. lyman alpha blob

        If I get coerced into picking up a call from a pollster and I get a live person on the line, I don’t answer any questions and just give my invective laden thoughts on both parties until they hang up on me.

  21. .Tom

    > Shall we drink? Vodka, rational utility maximisers and the 1990s Russian mortality crisis Postsocialism

    Is the language of the article supposed to exclude readers not skilled in the art? Or should I feel that I ought to put the work in (on something idk) so I can better understand this kind of thing?

    I worked through it as best I could and got to the punchline:

    As inseparable from a sense of class, gender and sociality, drinking is also part of propertizing the self; it belongs to Lyova as part of his habitus, and forms part of his making of the traumatic present habitable.

    If that means what I think it does, I could have told you that, ffs.

    1. hunkerdown

      There’s more to life than simply reciting a correct answer. NC is, among other wonderful things, an open-ended course in critical thinking. The essay veers into many alleys and byways to show us the hows and whys of such personality disorders and social dysfunctions as rational choice theory.

      1. flora

        The road to hell is paved with good, rational,
        utility maximizing, choices — as Milton Friedman would never say.

        1. hunkerdown

          Indeed. But Uncle Miltie was a Borscht Belt comedian. His job is to keep the liquor flowing. His forebear Hayek was far less circumspect, wrote an instruction manual whose title almost says as much.

        2. Michael Fiorillo


          “All my means are sane, my motive and my object mad.”
          – Captain Ahab, from Moby Dick

    2. Jeremy Grimm

      I also read through the link. In my opinion, it was an equivocating word salad with little solid content.

    3. shtove

      I found the mention of anti-time interesting: I suppose it refers to suspending the flow of humdrum anxieties.

      The decrease in life-expectancy for men in post-Soviet Russia, and its rise under Putin, to the point the previous high was exceeded in 2014 (I believe), provides a handy narrative. Would like to see an expert take, but I suspect that would be very complex.

  22. a different chris

    So this is what passes for good news in this day and age: Conor Lamb seems to have beaten Sean Parnell.

    Conor Lamb is a DINO of the most typical sort.

    Sean Parnell is a Trump supporter that, like so many, makes Trump look reasonable, he is an a(familyblog) wipe of the highest order.

    Of course both of them have a military resume a mile long, including a Purple Heart for Parnell. We never hear about the specifics, ah well I will give him the benefit of the doubt.

    But it is just so funny: Our whole country is getting taken over by people who “hate socialism and hey I’m a military vet oh wait are you saying the US military is the biggest socialist enterprise in the entire world??!!?? We’ll just ignore that…and make decisions about the economy…”

    Meanwhile, Rove may be proved right about small vs large advantages – apparently one of the Florida Repubs, the Citadel graduate (sigh of course) is all against offshore drilling and doesn’t hide it. We’ll see how that goes in what will still be a Trumpian party.

  23. Noone from Nowheresville

    Did COVID End Up Helping Trump?

    Sure. The article has a lot I can agree with.

    But how did COVID end up helping Biden would’ve been much more interesting. Imagine if Biden had had to finish out the primary season and then run an actual campaign in a non-COVID year. Heck imagine if the Dems had run a more populist campaign in the middle of these pandemic and economic tragedies?

    Listening to the Halper / Taibbi plus panel live stream on Tues night. They said the Dems should’ve promised “stuff.” Anything to give people hope rather than returning to the status quo. Something Trump did very well in 2016 with his final 2016 ad. The Rogan live stream played the 2016 v. 2020 Trump ads. Wow, 2016 was good. 2020 was weird. Someone called it like a TikTok video with Trump doing these little dance moves.

    Anyway, I digress. I actually heard some Biden ads around the time of the first debate w/Trump. He did promise stuff but with caveats or rather means testing mentions. Kind of like listening to a drug ad with all its side effects but without all the happy, laughing people on the screen. Those ads lasted a couple of weeks then disappeared.

    So we know the Dems lie just in a different manner than the Reps. Chomsky likes to tell us one sides lies are too easy and the other sides lies are a twisted puzzle. As an aside I really am curious why the too easy liars are the greater threat?

    But right now, I’m asking myself the question of whether or not the point of the Dems is to get us (whoever “us” is) to accept and acknowledge that we’ve chosen them to manage our decline (their truth perhaps)?

    Yeah, not really what the article was about.

    1. a different chris

      > As an aside I really am curious why the too easy liars are the greater threat?

      If you are on a ship heading into a storm or an icefield would you rather have a dumb evil person as captain or a smart evil one?

      We don’t get any other choices. Some people here may argue that Trump is the smart one and Biden is the dumb one, but I still think the R’s are dumb evil and the D’s are smart evil, and the titular heads are not “captains” in the sense above.

      Which makes me feel stupid for giving an analogy that seems to match up perfectly and then claiming it doesn’t, but I guess you get what you pay for here. :D

      1. Duke of Prunes

        I don’t buy your smart vs dumb evil. If so, the smart evil would eventually win, no? Shouldn’t smart have beaten dumb by now?

        I’m more of the opinion that it is obvious vs duplicitous evil. Some take their “medicine” straight, some with sugar. More a matter of style, than substance.

        1. Noone from Nowheresville

          Good points. But what if smart evil and dumb evil or obvious v. duplicitous evil are lying about the same thing and simply reinforcing or even overlapping one another for the marks’ benefit detriment?

          @a different chris

          If you are on a ship heading into a storm or an icefield would you rather have a dumb evil person as captain or a smart evil one?

          This is analogy made me smile. I don’t care about evil at least in your scenario. When immediate survival is at stake, I want the captain with the most competent crew on a ship that has outstanding maintenance, the willingness to save all passengers and the one who is open to and actively seeks out luck.

          @Duke of Prunes

          Shouldn’t smart have beaten dumb by now?

          Are we talking about the liars or the marks here? I’d say the liars are winning.

          If we’re only talking about the obvious v. duplicitous liars and are disregarding the marks, how would the marks determine which group of the liars had won? After all the liars will lie about well everything.

          I do think you’re right about the style over substance. Perhaps lying should become an official spArt. Think of the scoring possibilities. /s

  24. The Rev Kev

    “Edward Snowden aims to become dual US-Russian citizen”

    In the short thread, Snowden emphasised that he and Mills would “remain Americans, raising our son with all the values of the America we love – including the freedom to speak his mind”.

    Sadly, he cannot actually do that at home without being Assanged but can only do so from a foreign country where he cannot be droned.

    1. ewmayer

      To be fair, he did say the America he loved, not the America he left.

      But yes, the irony is rather extreme, innit?

  25. flora

    re: “But what will Democratic strategists bill for? Think before you write these things”

    I ‘heard’ that in Lanny Breuer’s voice. Dry, very dry. Thanks for a good laugh.

    1. Steve H.

      From the post:

      “Lewis’ desire to satisfy his fan base’s craving for good guys led him to miss the most important story of our age: how a small number of operators used a nexus of astonishing leverage and camouflaged risk to bring the world financial system to its knees and miraculously walked away with their winnings.”

      By that time, I’d read Turchin and figured things weren’t going to get better, so I’ve filed a lot of stories under “Broken News.”

      But truth, when in the midst of a global pandemic and the biggest employment collapse since at least the Great Depression, Congress just… went home in August, my alcohol intake quadrupled. I asked myself, when else have I felt this way? When the second plane hit the Tower. The instantaneous loss of comforting doubt.

      Then I found out how much wealthier the superduperrich had got, and it made sense again.

      However, I do suggest changing the Toldjaso Index to a log scale.

    1. flora

      Dean built a 50-state strategy and O tore it down. The current Dem estab works for Wall St. The rural areas most hurt by Wall St. monopolization and big Ag are deliberately ignored by the Dem estab.

      Adding: idpol isn’t economics, but is a good way to turn off large numbers of financially struggling voters.

  26. bob

    Nominate more vice principals-

    Cobb flip-flopped on medicare for all and lost over 10% of the electorate. 56/42 in 2018, 64/35 this time.

    Upstate had a few girl boss races. None of them did well. Running people who look like someone you have to go talk to after your kid skipped school is not a winning strategy.

    Changing policies away from popular ideas is not a winning strategy.

    But, lets listen to the scolds tell us how those people are just slow, backward people that will never change in spite of all the quality people they keep nominating for us.

    1. bob

      One note that got completely skipped over on this race in that story-

      “Indeed, in Central New York, Claudia Tenney, a former Republican congresswoman and close ally of Mr. Trump running to reclaim her seat, harped on that theme in an election night speech; she was leading against Mr. Brindisi, a moderate Democrat who narrowly upset her in 2018.”

      Brindisi got elected by going against Spectrum/Time Warner (cable co). In 2018 he was a big cable hater. This time, not much about that.

      As others have said- Just make a party about hating the cable company. It’s a winning issue. Even in ‘trump country”. Can’t be any worse than the policies the dems have now.

      1. edmondo

        Run against the cable companies? I think not.

        From Open Secrets”

        Comcast Corp
        CONTRIBUTIONS $10,661,371
        LOBBYING $13,360,000 in 2019

        Top Recipients
        Cycle: 2020

        Senate Majority PAC $1,016,834 $1,016,834 $0 Outside Group
        Biden, Joe $846,417 $846,417 $0 Candidate (D-PRES)
        Priorities USA Action $600,000 $600,000 $0 Carey
        Pacronym $500,030 $500,030 $0 Outside Group
        Democratic Congressional Campaign Cmte $397,540 $367,540 $30,000 Political Party
        DNC Services Corp $376,520 $271,520 $105,000 Political Party

        1. Jeremy Grimm

          These sums are well beyond my means … but I never cease to be amazed by how very cheaply our ‘democracy’ can be bought. The returns on investing in political candidates are much much better than investing in an index fund might yield and beat the bank interest I receive on my meager savings by an embarrassingly large amount.

    2. a different chris

      But how does Stefanik pick up votes because her opponent doesn’t vocally support the same thing she vocally disapproves of? Seems like it would be 56/35 and everybody else voted Snoopy. Normally I would think that it was simply the Snoopy voters staying home, but not this year.

      Medicare-for-all is a negative. Even in New York state. You can conclude otherwise, but try to explain the votes. You can’t.

      In this summation, and I think generally correctly, we see what a pile of dirt-throwing game Stefanik plays

      Stefanik in turn accused Cobb of increasing taxes during her time on the St. Lawrence County Board of Legislators, and said that Cobb did not support Second Amendment rights and that Cobb wants a government takeover of health care. Stefanik also alleged that Cobb supported defunding police, based on her vote not to fill a vacant deputy sheriff’s position.

      However, earlier in the article has Stefanik finding and addressing some local issues with some money. This is the modern Republican Party, say ridiculous things loudly to get the mouth-breathers vote, but open the checkbook locally to get the margin.

      The Dems need to understand this, they don’t. Even if they do, I don’t know what diff it would make. “This person takes care of me, I don’t really care so much about the stupid stuff they say as it doesn’t affect me, and I certainly don’t want to risk that attention”.

      Only explanation for Susan Collins I can think of, for example.

  27. Pat

    Wall Street is flying and despite some momentary discomfort Democrats are releasing a sigh of relief. Gridlock means nothing will change and Biden can just blame the big bad Republicans who are meanies!

    Above timbers had a headline about gridlock returning to Washington, can’t have that. That might point out how little the Democrats acted as an opposition party. Sadly, I don’t think gridlock will save us from the worst our “betters” have in store. I can see bipartisan agreement on repairing the Post Office by fully privatizing it, and on fixing our budget deficit by cutting “entitlements” and public programs. But we can take solace in that it will all be the Republicans fault

      1. hunkerdown

        The takings clause forbids a jubilee and enables the tyranny, the expansion of which the Framers spent much ink pretending wasn’t their object.

        1. Jeremy Grimm

          What is the “takings clause” that forbids a jubilee? Sorry I really don’t know this reference.

          1. Massinissa

            ‘Takings clause’ is another name for the Fifth Amendment to the Constitution. I guess I’ll quote the whole amendment, though I’m not sure which part of it hunkerdown is referring to specifically.

            “No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the Militia, when in actual service in time of War or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offence to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.”

            1. Jeff W

              …though I’m not sure which part of it hunkerdown is referring to specifically…

              This part: “…nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.”

            2. hunkerdown

              Thanks, that very one, at the end. Just compensation, of course, being a matter for the structurally reactionary Supreme Court to adjudicate, and not likely in the public’s favor.

            3. Jeremy Grimm

              Thanks, I really didn’t know what had been referred to.

              Of course the content of the taking clause is not so cut and dried as it seems to read.

  28. The Rev Kev

    So, anybody know how the Democrat strategy of ignoring progressives, blacks and Latinos in favour of suburban Republicans work out?

    1. urblintz

      Don’t have a link but have heard that Trump received the largest % of Republican votes ever… if true, the NeverTrumpers never were.

      1. John Ralston

        The ‘Never Trumpers’ are in themselves one of the reasons that Trump is as popular as he is.

        Genuine Republicans/Conservatives call them ‘The Swamp’ or ‘The Deep State’. -They are career bureaucrats and rich donors who believe that they and they alone have a right to decide policy – the electorate be damned.

        The fact that the Democrats and ‘traditional’ Republicans have basically brokered a type of power-sharing deal in order to oust Trump implies that neither of the Parties can muster a majority alone.

        The new Biden administration would be a an re-entrenchment of government bureaucracy, a coalition government and not a popular government..

        Oliver E. Williamson warned of this development quite explicitly.

    2. fresno dan

      The Rev Kev
      November 5, 2020 at 9:46 am

      It failed – somehow the dems appear to have been elected, more or less

    3. Another Scott

      I just saw a Democrat on The Rising saying that Joe Biden got more votes than anyone in history, so she seems to think that everything worked out.

  29. LaRuse

    Re: Psyche, an asteroid believed to be worth $10,000 quadrillion, is observed
    Ugh. Cannot believe that even something as fascinating and unusual as a potential iron planetary core (sans mantle) floating around in space must have an extractive monetary value assigned to it.
    This is the worst timeline.

      1. Upwithfiat

        Well, if it drove the gold price down drastically, it would be poetic justice for those who worship scarcity rather than ethical money creation.

        Not that the current system is ethical …

    1. ewmayer

      Even on crass-monetization basis, the headline omitted a crucial thing: it’s worth as much as $10,000 quadrillion … not including the costs of shipping and handling.

      I’m 100% sure that somewhere miles deep within an as-yet-unexplored part of earth’s crust there is gem-quality diamond even larger than the legendary Cullinan – I hereby claim it in the name of, well, me. 10% finder’s fee to the person who digs it out. Ah heck, why be miserly – 20%, I daresay that’s more than generous, given that I assume all the costs of security, cutting and polishing once the finder hands it over to me, the rightful owner. Any takers for this once-in-a-lifetime offer of fabulous riches?

      1. Jeremy Grimm

        Psyche might still serve as backing for a currency. The USA could lay dibs and use it to back the dollar, and it is very secure — better than Fort Knox.

        “Any takers for this once-in-a-lifetime offer of fabulous riches?” Perhaps Psyche might entice some of our billionaires to venture there for a personal encounter with wealth beyond even their greatest dreams.

        1. hunkerdown

          So, trading asteroids, not eating asteroids.

          Agree on the second part. I would have put it a bit more Crassusly.

  30. Drake

    American Presidents Craig Murray

    Just giving a strong rec to this article. I’d cite passages but the entire thing is quotable. The part on Harris is particularly noteworthy.

    And as a bonus, I learned that “outwith” is a word. Thank you, Scotland.

    1. Drake

      Also, as someone who has watched “The Warriors” as many times as the author, I found the Rubble Kings article really interesting. New required movie to watch.

  31. Roberoo

    Glenn Greenwald gets a gold star for his analysis. Canadians (and I suspect many Americans) are watching with jaws dropped as the US “…struggles and stumbles and staggers to engage in a simple task mastered by countless other less powerful and poorer countries: counting votes.” Add in the fiasco of the electoral college system, a judicial framework shot through with partisanship, politicians and parties bought and paid for, a vastly bloated military and you check the boxes for “Banana Republic”…. When I was young it was frequently said that … ” what is good for the US is good for Canada, what is good for GM is good for Canada…” You don’t hear that anymore. In a way we should thank Trump and Co. President Chaos has handed our independence of thought back to us. Almost single-handily he has broken the colonial mind-set.

        1. rowlf

          Maybe the US State Department will use their vast experience of helping out other countries that get confused about democracy and send in someone to represent the US.

  32. nechaev

    dunno if this one got a mention. Ancient – from 3 days ago- and longish but definitely worth a scan:

    Sacha Baron Cohen, Propagandist
    CIA contacts, a web of lies, and a robust propaganda operation. It’s time to start asking questions about Borat’s methods—and his goals.

    If we’re supposed to be so worried about “election disinformation” and foreign election meddling, shouldn’t we be concerned about a British multimillionaire—with unexplained connections to the CIA and the White House press corps, and public affiliation with other institutions clearly hostile to Trump like the ADL—carrying out massive information ops in the lead-up to an election that he has publicly expressed an interest in influencing? Or should we just pretend it’s all okay because the press told us we’re supposed to be laughing?

    1. Aumua

      Well NC, if you haven’t seen the new Borat: subsequent movie then let me just say that it comes highly recommended.

  33. Quentin

    As former Tanzanian president Julius Nyerere said, if my memory serves me right, “The United States is also a one-party state but, with typical American extravagance, they have two of them.” No less true today as the two wings of one eagle, to reference Gore Vidal, fight it out to the bitter end only to kiss and make up later behind the scenes. Who was the man who recently removed his twitter thread suggesting the Democratic Party solve their internal differences behind closed doors.

  34. meadows

    All I heard for months is that where Covid was raging, anger at Trump would go through the roof, thereby increasing support for the oh-so-sensible Dem support for lockdowns. Makes sense from a penthouse view of the streets.

    But now is it accurate to say that the opposite has happened? And that the disconnect between working stiffs and the privileged elite has embittered the proles even more?

    Talking about the economy and the pandemic as “two major issues” is ridiculous. The majority of working people were suffering and deep in debt waay before this ‘Rona…

    It has been gasoline on the fire, throwing money and mortgage/rent delays at the citizens demonstrates a mighty big lack of imagination. Almost to the point of “….we don’t actually care…”

    1. Roger Smith

      With the vote split so close, I wonder how a potential heavy mandate on lockdowns from a Biden administration will go over. I suspect he will have harder time selling the idea.

      1. R. S.

        I actually think Democrat governors will start lifting their lockdowns. They claimed to be science-based but for example in California the reopening guidelines are so strict that even if there are zero cases then the false-positive rate of the covid test is such that the state would never be able to meeting the guidelines to fully open. This is a basic calculation that the public health officials should have been able to make and take into consideration.

        I think much of the lockdowns has been driven by Democrat governors thinking that if they cause enough pain to the American public, then that would push more people to vote for Biden.

        As another point towards this, the California governor is sending his own children to a private school with in-person sessions. But he refuses to come up with a plan to reopen public schools in the state.

    2. Carlos

      Biden et al, could barely win against the most reviled, clumsy, rude, undemocratic mass murderer in U.S. history?

      That says more about the people that chose Biden and his category check off sidekick than it does about the electorate.

      Time for a third, or maybe a second, political party in the United States.

  35. Lex

    ‘Bonus antidote’

    Very effective. I could watch elephants all day. Also bears fishing for salmon at Brooks Falls.

  36. Cuibono

    “Psyche, an asteroid believed to be worth $10,000 quadrillion, is observed through Hubble Telescope in new study”
    MMT to DA MOON

    But WAIT:
    “Even if it was possible to bring back metals from Psyche without destroying the Earth, that would quite possibly collapse the markets, Elkins-Tanton said.” ROFL!!!

    1. Massinissa

      I mean, to be fair, the Spanish with their new world colonization crashed the European gold market for some time because of all the ship fulls of gold they were sending over.

      1. Drake

        And then spent it all on soldiers and galleys for the next two centuries while the bulk of Spain remained dirt poor. Fortunately we’re more enlightened now. We just print money to buy soldiers and weapons while the bulk of the US remains dirt poor. And some people don’t believe in progress.

  37. John Ralston

    It appears that a Naked Ballot fraud is being uncovered.

    Reports that suddenly lots of Biden votes being counted in swing states that have NO votes down ticket. Why would the last ballots being counted -the votes that would move the tally from Trump to Biden if the votes already counted didn’t – be inexplicably entirely bereft of down-ticket votes?

    People generally do not leave everything on the ballot blank below the Presidential choice. At worst they tend to just vote by party down ticket. Both Republican voters and Democrat generally do do this: simply checking off all the boxes for the Party that they belong to if they don’t have specific choices, ‘dressing the ballot’. Correlation of the Presidential choice and Congressional choice is highly correlated..

    The correlations are all outrageously skewed in the swing states, and uniformly these are alleged to be naked ballot votes for Biden.

    So, did tens of thousands of voters only vote for Biden for president and for no other office, or did the votes for the other offices get ignored for some nefarious reason? Ignoring actual votes on the ballot would be a different fraud than generating a fake ballot with only a single vote choice for Biden on it and nothing else; but, indeed also a fraud none the less…

    Either way it is unlikely that these ballots are going to stand up to scrutiny if either is the case.

    Which fraud will create the most anger and resentment and legal action?

    If the fraud is wilful neglect to count real actual votes down ticket: big $$$ Democratic Party backers such as Bloomberg who spent millions and had their down ticket successes punked by the DNC are gonna be furious.

    If the fraud is generation of obviously phony Biden ballots easily identified by the lack of down-ticket or write-in candidates: Trump and the Republicans are going to be furious.

    1. Aumua

      It’s just an endless stream of OMG look at this Bombshell Revelation! This time we have Indisputable Evidence of FRAUD! All hung on the sketchiest of frameworks. I mean it’s kind of the right wing’s revenge for Russiagate I think. They’re gonna lay it on twice as thick now.

    2. Yves Smith

      This is why we don’t allow links from ZH. I don’t know who approved this but we won’t let it happen again.

      And if you keep up with this CT, you will not be welcome. If any of this were remotely accurate, you’d see it in Trump court filings. It’s not there. Therefore it’s just unsubstantiated rumor.

  38. Mummichog

    Science Denial and COVID Conspiracy Theories Potential Neurological Mechanisms and Possible Responses JAMA.
    Hey, JAMA, did you ever consider that critically thinking citizens do not want to associate with criminal organizations like PFIZER, ASTRAZENECA, JOHNSON&JOHNSON. Look up their Rap Sheets:

    Take a look at those and then tell my why, like you, I should associate with criminals. For my health and conscience, I prefer not to get into the gurney with them like you have.

  39. chuck roast

    “Dumpster Fire”

    Best thing that I have read yet post-election. My Tourette Syndrome was kicking in big-time. Good thing I don’t have CV. My computer screen would have had to immediately go to the Emergency Room. Of course any of our more creative NC fellow-travelers could have written this article six months ago. Many, many little nuggets of truth, and I was almost ashamed of the my schadenfreude. The union-busting swine Shalala lost in a state that overwhelmingly passed a $15/hr. mandate, and yet threw the popular vote to Trump. What. About. This. Do. You. Not. Get?

    Not one GOP house incumbent lost in the face of Covid incompetence extraordinaire. Democratic blindness and navel-gazing was simply breathtaking. And the coup-de-grace…”several centrist Democrats blamed their more progressive colleagues, saying moderates in Trump-leaning districts couldn’t escape their “socialist” shadow.” More by these guys please.

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