Links 11/8/2020

‘Australia’s biodiversity just got a lot richer’: Two new mammals discovered Sidney Morning Herald

A Plan to Save Appalachia’s Wild Ginseng Wired

The foul-smelling fuel that could power big ships BBC

Mount Everest Empties as Covid-19 Strikes Tourism in Nepal NYT

Can you trust that Amazon review? 42% may be fake, independent monitor says. Chicago Tribune

How a UK supermarket nourished Silicon Valley’s critics FT

#COVID19

Scientists on guard over ‘mutant’ mink coronavirus Agence France Presse

Could a Covid vaccine bring back normality? Guardian

Will vaccination refusal prolong the war on SARS-CoV-2? FREE British Medical Journal. From the Conclusion: “It is very important to start conducting educational public health activities on the topic of vaccination as soon as possible, before a vaccine becomes available, in order to improve attitudes towards SARS-CoV-2 vaccination. Only by educating the general public about the benefits, safety and efficacy of vaccines can we hope to avoid the unnecessary prolongation of the COVID-19 pandemic.” I think the best approach would be scolding and shaming, especially when done by experts!

Small Tribe in Pacific Northwest Drop AZD1222 & Seek Participation in Novavax COVID-19 Vaccine Clinical Trial Trial Site News

COVID-19 Patient Zero: Data Analysis Identifies the “Mother” of All SARS-CoV-2 Genomes SciTech Daily. “They found the proCoV2 [progentior] virus and its initial descendants arose in China, based on the earliest mutations of proCoV2 and their locations. Furthermore, they also demonstrated that a population of strains with as many as six mutational differences from proCoV2 existed at the time of the first detection of COVID-19 cases in China. With estimates of SARS-CoV-2 mutating 25 times per year, this meant that the virus must already have been infecting people several weeks before the December 2019 cases.”

COVID-19 Wastewater Epidemiology: A Model to Estimate Infected Populations (preprint) medArxiv

Estimated Association of Construction Work With Risks of COVID-19 Infection and Hospitalization in Texas JAMA. More natural experiiments.

Contact Tracers Eye Cluster-Busting to Tackle Covid’s New Surge Bloomberg. Good litmus test for the Biden Covid task force.

China?

Could China’s new dam plans unleash more trouble with India? South China Morning Post

2020

Joe Biden & Kamala Harris Election Acceptance & Victory Speech Transcripts November 7 Rev

Sanders:

* * *

‘This isn’t over!’: Trump supporters refuse to accept defeat AP

Which Four Seasons? Oh, not that one. NYT. Wretched advance work:

And in a country hungry for heroes:

Republicans solidify grip on state legislatures, which is likely to lead to redistricting and gerrymandering efforts in 2021 CNBC

Texas Democrats Thought 2020 Would Be a Banner Year. Instead, It Was a Catastrophe. Texas Observer. Beto, good job.

* * *

Senate Control Likely Decided By Fate Of 2 Georgia Runoff Races NPR. But not so fast–

Meet David Keith, the brains behind ‘Bear Doctor’ Al Gross’ unorthodox, underdog and utterly colorful run for U.S. Senate Anchorage Press. This race has yet to be called.

* * *

Biden Can’t Be F.D.R. He Could Still Be L.B.J. Anand Giridharadas, NYT

President-elect Biden has what America needs E.J. Dionne, WaPo

A president-elect with big ambitions but more prosaic skills FT

Ding-dong, the jerk is gone. But read this before you sing the Hallelujah Chorus Thomas Frank, Guardian

What we owe to Donald J Trump Branko Milanovic, Global Inequality

America’s Next Authoritarian Will Be Much More Competent Zeynep Tufekci, The Atlantic

The White House has been without dogs for four years – that’s changing with Joe Biden USA Today

Stress Of Presidency Already Ages Biden 10 Years The Onion

2020 Reax

Pelosi:

My problem with the “heal” trope is that the nature of the wound is never explained (beyond platitudes like “division”), the treatment is never identified (beyond “unity”), and those who inflicted it are never identified.

Harris:

“We”? Is there any data that shows Harris helped Biden anywhere but the Hamptons? Also, idpol erasure alert:

Champers (1):

Champers (2):

The Press:

Beltway Youth:

The French:

Biden Transition

Obama-Era Alumni Are Favorites for Biden’s Top Economic Posts Bloomberg. A survey of candidates for all Cabinet positions. See especially Flournoy for Defense and Haines for CIA. Politico’s list is similar:

I can’t imagine a better team to improve the material conditions of the working class.

Scoop: Biden to announce COVID-19 task force Monday Axios

Biden’s ready to start his pandemic response immediately STAT

Now Trump has lost the election, Pence could pardon him — but it’s Biden who should Independent

Toomey calls for Fed special loan programs to end, setting up clash with Democrats Politico. So much for fiscal!

Syraqistan

Explosion at gas pipeline leads to blackout in Syria, says energy minister Energy World

UK/EU

Trident Must Be Destroyed, Not Given to Westminster Craig Murray

Brexit

Brexit: ‘Significant differences remain’ over trade deal BBC

Trump Transition

Trump Dumps 3 Agency Leaders In Wake Of Election NPR

Democrats in Disarray

Worth listening to, given the House debacle. Thread:

Realignment and Legitimacy

‘Trump Has Given Us a Gift’: GOP Insiders See Victory in Potential Loss New York Magazine

The movement that backed Donald Trump is here to stay Christopher Caldwell, FT

A View from Trump Country? Tarance Ray, Verso. Ray is one of the Trillbillies.

No Matter the Liberal Metric Chosen, the Bush/Cheney Administration Was Far Worse Than Trump. Glenn Greenwald

Health Care

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

Voters rejecting the war on drugs is a win for public health Ars Technica

Our Famously Free Press

Why the networks can’t bear to call the election Ryan Grim, Bad News

Imperial Collapse Watch

If Biden Wins, He Should Start By Ending American Primacy The American Conservative

The elephant (and the donkey) in the room Tempest

To see ourselves as others see us….

Class Warfare

Rahm Emmanuel:

Uber says it wants to bring laws like Prop 22 to other states MSN. So, the investment is worth it… Even if the benefits don’t show up on the balance sheet of any one firm.

Right temporoparietal junction underlies avoidance of moral transgression in Autism Spectrum Disorder Journal of Neuroscience (dk).

Antidote du jour (via):

I wouldn’t try this at home, even with a baby squirrel as cute as this one.

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.

533 comments

  1. The Rev Kev

    “CNN anchor cries with relief while delivering stunning monologue about Biden defeating Trump”

    That CNN anchor, Van Jones – I recognize him. Back in 2016 when Hillary lost to the game-show host, he bitterly criticized those that voted for Trump and calling it a “white lash” but now he is happy that Biden won. I think that the proper title of this should be then ‘Black man, who was furious that an elderly, white female lost in 2016, now happy a white, elderly man wins in 2020.’

    Or you could just say that it is CNN.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MA9aSvHzEIU

    Reply
    1. zagonostra

      Crying must be the thing now, Jimmy Dore skewered Stephan Colbert for crying on a recent live stream…alligator tears they smear the mascara horribly don’t they know?

      Reply
    2. Jesper

      This time the tears might be about losing the easy way of getting views and clicks…. Media prefers the exciting rather than the peaceful so my take is that if there are less/fewer triggering from the executive then the views and the clicks for media will be less. In that sense then Trump might have been great for some journalists.
      The Biden (probably Kamala) presidency might also be more off limits for the press – investigative reporting into the executive might go back to what it was during the Obama presidency.

      Reply
    3. Fireship

      > CRY WITH RELIEF: I am at 35,000 feet trying not to cry. But I will. As a native Philadelphian I thank all of you who voted for saving the American Democracy. YOU ALL SAVED AMERICA. THANK YOU. THANK YOU THANK YOU! NOW CHAMPAGNE!!!

      I am with Gore Vidal on this one: “I love stupidity. It excites me.” I thought the Trumpistas were the ultimate American dumbfcks, but these dim bobbleheads have managed to out-stupid them. As a declinist (someone who believes that the decline of the US is a good thing) I was hoping Trumpi would win, but I may yet be pleasantly surprised by the moronic antics of the Biden gang. Onwards and downwards into the abyss, America! (Remember: decline is a good thing, folks.)

      Reply
      1. Generalfeldmarschall von Hindenburg

        It’s going to be very entertaining as the new William Henry Harrison is replaced by the new George W Bush. Because the odds of Biden living another four years as a fully functional person are slim.

        Also lay in a stock of popcorn for the bombing campaign against Syria. That dastardly ‘regime’ will surely hide behind ‘human shields’ -just like those dastardly Germans and Japanese and Iraqis who cunningly built all their munitions factories in CITIES! Knowing that Our Glorious Men and Women in Uniform would be forced to ‘collaterally’ bomb civilians by the hundreds of thousands.

        Reply
        1. OpenthepodbaydoorsHAL

          I’m so confused! Michele Obama says 70 million people “voted for lies, hate, and chaos” but her bestie George Bush says Trump is well within the law to ask for a recount. I thought Election Certifier Wolf Blitzer officially declared the winner?

          Reply
          1. Yves Smith

            Either a reading comprehension fail or a straw man, which is a violation of our written site Policies. The remark was “living another four years as a fully functional person.”

            Reply
      2. Oh

        Decline will help the American people who may find that there will be less distractions and senseless death of people around the world and our soldiers.

        Reply
      3. bruce

        I am elated at the result, but 65 YO lawyers don’t cry for much except onions, bhut jolokia peppers and when our faces are too close to the doors of our woodburning stoves when we open them. As a native Westerner, I was hoping it would be decided in Arizona and Nevada, but Pennsylvania got there first. I am also a Gore Vidal fan; ever read his fun apocalyptic sci-fi “Kalki”?

        You were hoping Trump would win because you wish for America to decline? Are you smart enough to realize that a Trump win would have also resulted in a decline of Planet Earth’s biosphere and enhanced risk of a mass extinction event (already underway, I’m afraid)? If decline is a good thing, why don’t you decline into the abyss first? You could also decline to write any more dodgy comments.

        Reply
      4. Tom Bradford

        As a declinist (someone who believes that the decline of the US is a good thing) I was hoping Trump would win,

        As a non-American, Trump’s wrecking the US is nothing to me – you deserve what you vote for. But given that he not only dismissed global warming as a hoax but actively sought to exacerbate it – and that’s not nothing to me nor anyone else with more than two working brain cells – forgive me if I was hoping Trump wouldn’t win, as hope was all I could do.

        (Beaten to it by Bruce, by a minute!)

        Reply
        1. harry

          So you noticed the sharp reduction in carbon emissions under Obama? How big was that decline?

          What proportion of US carbon emissions was generated by the US militarys regime change operations?

          Reply
    4. anon in so cal

      >Van Jones

      ‘Black man happy that the individual whose legislation led to the mass incarceration of 100s of 1000s of people of color; who opposed busing; who worried that desegregation would mean kids might grow up in a “racial jungle;” who recently eulogized James Eastland, “Voice of the White South,” known as the symbol of Southern resistance to racial integration during the civil rights era, often speaking of blacks as “an inferior race.”‘

      https://www.businessinsider.com/biden-said-desegregation-would-create-a-racial-jungle-2019-7

      https://twitter.com/AZachParkinson/status/1315832268057960449?s=20

      Reply
    5. Offtrail

      I found Van Johnson’s comments to be incredibly moving.

      So the man is not completely perfect, nor completely consistent. Are you?

      Reply
    6. drumlin woodchuckles

      Van Jones? That’s Van Jones? Van Jones used to be a genuine activist and mover-shaker somewhere or other. And he’s a CNN anchor now?

      Lo. how the mighty have fallen.

      Reply
  2. Mme Generalist

    >Beto, good job.

    Yeah. I for sure would have tapped the guy who lost a senate race to one of the most loathed political figures in the country for the win rather than register voters. Obviously.

    Dems, hear this: True that we run an economy here in Texas that is based on a lot of wrong stuff, but we also run the largest medical complex in the world, NASA, several huge universities, and much more and, all said, we do it really well. We’re just not that stupid.

    Reply
    1. griffen

      As a former resident but not native to Texas, the state struck me as incredibly vast but also diversified as a modern economy. True that oil and gas exploration, and related processes are dominant; but financial services are incredibly robust in North Texas.

      As to how the state mangles the treatment of the poor and indigent, that’s a different thread. I admit no solutions to such problems.

      Reply
        1. Wukchumni

          I’ve always referred to it as ‘the loan star state’ as i’ve never seen as many pawn shops in any of the other 50.

          Reply
        2. Mme Generalist

          Undeniably the most murdering mfing “judicial system” in the country by a long shot. But:

          Third in air pollution, after California and Pennsylvania.
          Eighth in maternal mortality.
          Fortieth in poverty.
          Twenty-seventh is gun deaths.
          Thirty-fourth in overdose deaths.
          Twenty-fifth in homicides.

          And it’s as beautiful as it’s diverse.

          Reply
          1. Sharron W Turner

            For all the wealth generated in Texas, to only have 10 more states with greater poverty does not reflect well on our state. Also we have a very high rate of uninsured population, which goes hand in hand with our dismal poverty.

            Reply
      1. drumlin woodchuckles

        Perhaps the Texas Elites’ treatment of the poor and indigent is not “mangled”. Perhaps it is carefully engineered with cold malice aforethought, to do exactly what it does.

        Reply
  3. .Tom

    I hate squirrels. I have a 5-inch metal plate and 7 screws in my collar bone from when one of their clan crashed me off my bicycle. He jammed my front wheel just like in that scene from Breaking Away.

    And here in Boston they are, frankly, pushy bums. They come right up to you asking for cigarettes. This drives my dog bananas and I have to referee their confrontation. I restrain Lucy and the squirrel escapes just far enough up a tree, turns around and sneers down with exactly that contemptuous look on his face as in this photo.

    Reply
    1. jr

      People who think squirrels are living, breathing stuffed animals should talk to the dog I saw as a kid who was missing half it’s nose due to cornering one of those buggers. I have nothing against them but they aren’t to be messed with.

      Reply
        1. rtah100

          I remember reading that black squirrels arise naturally and ate more aggressive and, in suburban environments where man manages apex predators, they outcompete grey squirrels.
          One well known area is suburban Philadelphia, the aptly named Media. There seems to be a moral trapped by its Bushy tail here….

          Reply
      1. drumlin woodchuckles

        Good PR like this? Squirrels are key to the spread and reproduction and replacement of many kinds of nutbearing trees. Squirrels bury more nuts than they can remember about, and the forgotten nuts grow into new trees.

        Someone with a country background once told me that squirrel brains taste real good.

        Reply
    2. shtove

      My Nemesis is seagulls. The stories I could tell, and that restraining order is still in place – the High Court citation is Shtove v Laridae in generalibus. Couldn’t get the baxtards to cover the costs, so now I’m homeless. And they know it.

      Reply
    3. griffen

      Not sure if it was a hawk, but a large predatory bird was actively filleting his squirrel prey mid afternoon yesterday.

      I gave the bird a pretty wide distance. I don’t want him pecking on me at all.

      Reply
    4. fresno dan

      .Tom
      November 8, 2020 at 7:21 am

      We didn’t originally have squirrels in Fresno – they were officially introduced in the ’60s because people lobbied for them. Elaborate and expensive contraptions have to be purchased to protect the bird seeds, and they frequently dig up my seedlings. I would say a pox on squirrels but I’m sure that it would get transmitted to humans…

      Reply
        1. fresno dan

          lyman alpha blob
          November 8, 2020 at 10:52 am

          Thank you. I have seen that before, but just to be logical, what kind of cure is that? The squirrel gets a very entertaining gym constructed for himself, AND gets all the treats he can eat!!!
          At that rate, we’ll be picking up all the acorns, packaging them, and then preparing elaborate acorn recipes held in magnificent squirrel palaces ;)

          Reply
      1. Wukchumni

        Marmot Cong are the heaviest member of the squirrel family, and you really don’t see them below say 7,000 feet and then they go all the way to Mount Whitney (14,495).

        The damage they could do in the lower climes is inestimable…

        They’d never make it in the city though, they’re all about living under large rocks & boulders, going out on hit & waddle runs on vacant 4 wheels good in the Disney parking lot in Mineral King.

        Sometimes they go on joyrides, one time we were listening to SF news radio and somebody had a marm in their engine compartment all the way to Petaluma, maybe a record ride?

        They were asking for donations to get it back to MK, and we’re thinking-no you keep it. ha

        MC are the only animal in the Sierra Nevada that’ll come towards you, everything else tends to shy away soon after an encounter.

        In Mongolia they eat marmots in a dish called Boodog. I’d have to be starving pretty damned bad to eat a marm, lemme tellya.

        Reply
    5. Brian (another one they call)

      I have lived with squirrels for 30 years now and I don’t know any that are mean and nasty. Never had an incident where one acted like described above. Gray’s are far more pushy than Fox(red) and 25% larger, so they push the others around.
      So a squirrel came up to me in a bar and asked for a cigarette…… For a nicotine fix or to use to keep parasites out of their nest? They are smart enough to know bigguns are working hard to ruin their environ. Imagine how difficult it is to hide nuts in concrete?
      In a forest, the squirrel is critically important at planting seeds and forgetting a percentage of them so replace the loss of other trees.
      Squirrels, and beavers, do for the environment and are unloved by humans that want to remake by destruction. Hard not to love them for all they do around here.

      Reply
      1. anon in so cal

        Here in southern California, native gray squirrels are almost totally replaced by the non-native Fox squirrels. We have a lot of them around. I gave up years ago trying to stop them from partaking of the black-oil sunflower seeds we put out. There are also a lot of Live Oaks around with plenty of acorns…

        Reply
    6. Lex

      Five years ago we had two foxes that hunted through our neighborhood, usually at first light, looking for wild rabbits and the occasional unwary squirrel. Then one day we noticed the foxes had sad looking tails; they had mange and we wondered how they’d get through a Colorado winter. By spring the foxes were gone and the coyotes followed. The summer nights were quiet thereafter. The population of diseased rabbits and squirrels exploded.

      Three years ago we bought an air rifle and heavy shot and began to quietly thin out the diseased varmint population. One summer night last year we heard a single coyote howl and listened for a reply. There was none that we could hear. It called over and over again but there was nothing and then we didn’t hear anything more for the rest of the summer.

      This summer we could hear a pack in the open fields south of us. We hope the foxes return too and both find a somewhat less diseased varmint population.

      Left without natural enemies, large populations of squirrels and rabbits are incredibly destructive to yards, gardens, and bird feeders. It’s very expensive to replace all the plants the rabbits will nibble to death every spring. That may be $14.95+ per rabbit snack. We put up little wire enclosures to protect new growth until the plant reaches the stage where the rabbits lose interest. We find it ironic that hundreds of rabbits are grazing through our yards but the plants have to go into cages if we want them to live.

      Reply
      1. Lost in OR

        A friends car was recently disabled by squirrels snacking on the wiring harness. He got the car running but couldn’t get the windshield wipers to operate reliably. That’s a bad thing here in Oregon. He traded it off to a car dealer.

        Reply
      2. rd

        Our neighborhood has foxes, house cats, and some hawks and owls flying around. The squirrels and rabbits seem to be in reasonable equilibrium.

        Reply
      3. Yves Smith

        Wolves prey on coyotes and coyotes prey on foxes (save the one fox that can climb trees…).

        Wolves require large territories, so they suffer big time with humans.

        So coyotes benefit, clean out the foxes (and small dogs) and you get lots of squirrels.

        Reply
  4. Noone from Nowheresville

    Birds by Artists

    Jhenna Quinn Lewis specializes in smaller birds. Finches, titmouses, warblers, chickadees, etc. Throws in books, keys, locks, etc.

    Beautiful realism in small / medium sizes done with oils.

    Reply
  5. Wukchumni

    It’s just too good to be true
    Can’t believe you’re about through
    You’d be like a hot iron to touch
    I wanna scold you so much
    At long last, deliverance has arrived
    And I thank Pennsylvania alright!
    It’s just too good to be true
    Can’t believe you’re about through

    Pardon the way that I lay this bare
    There’s nothin’ else to compare
    The sight of you leaves me weak
    There are no words left to speak
    But if you feel like I feel
    Please let me know that it’s real
    It’s just too good to be true
    Can’t believe we’re done with you

    I won’t miss you, big baby
    And if it’s quite alright
    Who needs the likes of you, big baby
    To invigorate the hard right
    I won’t miss you, big baby
    Trust in me when I say
    Oh, narcissistic baby
    Don’t bring me down, I say
    Oh, narcissistic baby
    Now that you nabbed the silver medal, go away
    I won’t miss you, big baby
    Let me be done with you

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9B2QDsP32gw

    Reply
  6. edmondo

    I will bet my entire life’s fortune that the always horrible Claire McCasskill ends up in BidenLand too. There’s not a toilet big enough to hold this many turds.

    Reply
  7. cnchal

    > Uber says it wants to bring laws like Prop 22 to other states MSN.

    So, the big money bags behind Uber, the Saudis and Softbank, both foreign entities, and a subtle change to tax law, allowing carry forward losses till eternity instead of becoming non usable after a few years has the intended consequence of changing labor relations between the greediest and the poorest.

    It’s the year 2502 and Uber finally paid it’s first dollar of income tax after whittling carry forward losses that accumulated to two trillion dollars before they entrenched their monopoly in the year 2357 and it took another century and a half to whittle those losses down to zero.

    Reply
    1. tegnost

      I’m starting to wonder whether AB-5 was crafted with a poison pill of film workers/musicians included so they could use the “unfair” trope. I expect over reach as these folks never do incremental, that’s for those who they are opposed to.. I have a coder friend who called himself a gig worker, but after he writes his programs he patents them. Uber drivers and amazon warehouse workers/mechanical turks will never get a patent, they’ll be (possibly) paid for the task done, that’s all. It would be nice if these super smart and clever apparatchiks could do something that benefits someone other than themselves. Rather than the worker power referred to in the rentier capitalism post, the thrust of the new administration are going to reflect the views of my programmer friend, that everyone should be a gig worker. I’ve detailed why my life shouldn’t be held up and emulated, I can’t go to the doctor in spite of knee problems, forget the dentist, no assets except for clothes and some tools. One false move and I’m toast as are the people I take care of. He sort of looks off in the distance and says well that’s the way it is, and I say, and it’s going to get much worse.

      Reply
      1. Cas

        The list of exemptions to AB-5 grew after passage. This seems the latest list, musicians and other creative careers are included:
        https://www.nolo.com/legal-encyclopedia/exempt-job-categories-under-californias-new-ab5-law.html
        Prop 22’s passage is terrible. It will have ramifications nationwide, as cnchal points out. One effect I haven’t seen mentioned is the effect on legislators. If you’ve been following this battle to classify Uber/Lyft as employees you know how long and hard drivers and their supporters fought, and how much pressure was applied to legislators to go against these app corporations. What legislator is going to be willing to go against corporate money now, only to have their stand for workers undermined at the ballot box.

        Reply
    2. R. S.

      I had another worry about Prop 22. CA is one of the states big enough to do M4A on its own. But after Prop 22 I realized that even if the state passes M4A, its ultimate passage will have to depend on winning a proposition fight on the ballot against hundreds of millions of dollars from the health insurance companies.

      Reply
      1. Noone from Nowheresville

        The little I’ve read about Medicaid in California with clawbacks and gottas, the more I’d be afraid of their theoretical v. implemented version of M4A.

        1. Have I been reading the wrong articles?

        2. If M4A were passed in Cali that was say reasonable, could we expect a voter ballot push by industry similar to the Uber Prop?

        Reply
        1. R. S.

          1. You are right that CA’s Medical program has some onerous clawbacks.

          2. Yes, I think if a reasonable M4A was passed in CA that there would be a voter ballot push by industry similar to the Uber Prop.

          Reply
  8. cocomaan

    Fireworks going off last night in my rural area. Someone was happy with Biden’s media coronation!

    I have a lot of conservative friends butthurt by the Biden call. Lots of fretting and grumpiness. I told them not to sweat it, because these people will ultimately be disappointed in the Biden admin the same way they were in the Obama admin.

    Reply
    1. petal

      Wow, same here in Leb/Hanover NH with the fireworks! Also a lot of downright vicious posting by comfortable liberal friends yesterday. Lost a lot of respect and trust for quite a few people.

      Reply
      1. drexciya

        Someone coined the term “sore winner” for people like that.

        The Jennifer Rubin statements also show that Trump Derangement Syndrome will not stop; the anger behind it will just resurface in another way.

        Reply
      2. Noone from Nowheresville

        Didn’t I read somewhere that New Hampshire turned Republican at the state level (governor & State legislature – a trifeca!!!)? If so, which side was celebrating? And which side will impact local life more?

        Reply
        1. petal

          I’ve moved around a fair bit. These were people in VT, Rochester NY and southern tier, San Diego, and Pittsburgh PA. They’re all for retaliation and revenge against Trump voters; that they deserve to/should be banished and have really hard lives, etc(yes, I am putting all that in a nice way). They were/are public school teachers, medical doctors, university professors. It’s been eye-opening. It’s a sheer, red-eyed rage. They are what they said they hated.

          A couple others were more eye rolling-another woman posted a doctored photo of Harris with her shadow on the wall being a little girl. It’s vomit-inducing. I was going to drop Willie Brown, etc, in there for fun but I’m taking the high road. Another (very well-off) said how it was a day to wear pearls to celebrate.

          Yes, NH went Republican at the state level.

          Reply
              1. ambrit

                I’ve dropped into political “conversations” yesterday that Bush the Younger contested an election that was eventually discovered that his opponent had won, yet won.
                I say that Trump, if he is at all serious about winning will take this wrangle on down to the last day, and beyond. The Dems do not understand that, with the Anti-Trump Coup attempts, they have let a particularly viscous Djinni ‘out of the bottle.’

                Reply
                1. bruce

                  If you but lower the temperature sufficiently, a particularly viscous Djinni will not be able to get out of the bottle.

                  Reply
                  1. Duck1

                    vicious
                    viscous
                    is all the viscous I see lately an artifact of spell check changes or am I missing the higher snark? I admit in the bottle above it is ingenious so not the best example
                    I’ll go back to drinking now

                    Reply
          1. Phacops

            I’ve seen that pic and it is degenerate propaganda aimed at the ignorant who do not recognize that Kamala’s a cop wo incarcerated POC at a rate 19 times higher than whites.

            Reply
          2. Noone from Nowheresville

            What’s scary is that they don’t see how inter-connected everything is and many don’t see said connectivity.

            But Oy… Critical thinking lacking in your teachers and medical professionals. Scary in the extreme.

            Brings me back to Chomsky’s political lies. One side blatant. One side a complex puzzle. Chomsky implies vote for the complex puzzle side (supposed lesser evil) is the preferred choice. I think that’s much too simplistic and perhaps just flat out wrong.

            Regardless, when I look at the lies, the liars and the marks’ responses, I’m left shaking my head. Do they have any clue about their own reactions? How they are being played?

            Reminds of Stephen King’s Dark Tower series where Roland’s first love Susan ends up burn at the stake by the town’s folk turned mob.

            What’s a “smart” v. “stupid” lie? Obvious v. devious lie?

            Reply
            1. Noone from Nowheresville

              PS. The irony in using King’s fictional novel as opposed to his real life political leanings / tweets isn’t lost on me. Build multiple universes, get so much of that mob mentality right across said worlds and yet still be seemingly blind to one’s own actions.

              Reply
            2. bruce

              Loved that story, once sketched a baseball-oriented fanfic of the Dark Tower where the first line was “The ejected manager fled down the baseline, and the umpire followed.” (from my 7-book series, The Dark Mound).

              Reply
    2. zagonostra

      Yup, I was at an outside fire last night with friends whose wives made sure the Champaign was flowing. We, the men, sharing the toast but shortly sulking off good-naturedly, dulling the pain with lots of beer, smoke and ribald dark humor concerning what lay ahead.

      Reply
    3. Dr. John Carpenter

      I’d point out one of Joe’s few campaign promises was that “nothing will fundamentally change” so they probably don’t have much to worry about.

      Reply
      1. jsn

        To me, that’s the cosmic absurdity: we’re just getting started on a lethal pandemic that scales logarithmically; we’re just getting started on a city/state fiscal implosion; we’re locked in geopolitical opposition to our major supplier of just about everything; our oligarchy just made the largest cash grab in recorded history.

        And our new President ran on “nothing will fundamentally change.” Everything is in flux and this idiot thinks that’s stable.

        Reply
        1. Basil Pesto

          to be (un)fair, “nothing will fundamentally change” was a message to donors, not how he campaigned to voters.

          Reply
      2. Tom Bradford

        On the other hand there’s always plenty of criticism on this site of politicians on the campaign trail promising what they think people want to hear rather than what they intend to do!

        And I dare say that Biden is very aware this is his last chance to dictate how posterity will judge him.

        Reply
    4. Pelham

      I’m not so sure they’ll be disappointed. Obama is still worshipped despite his many misdeeds. I think we’ll see the various Biden celebrations mentioned in the replies here continuing for quite some time, and whatever Biden does in office will either be quietly ignored or praised to the heavens — even the inevitable Cat Food Commission.

      Reply
      1. John Wright

        Biden does not have the oratorical gifts of Obama, so his misdeeds might get much more scrutiny.

        That Obama was able to claim “most transparent administration, ever” while coming down hard on whistleblowers illustrates Obama’s great talent for minimizing his misdeeds.

        Biden supporters will have their brief honeymoon from now until a few months after his inauguration in Jan 2021.

        But it will be interesting to watch all the shoes dropping as his administration staffing is announced.

        Perhaps Joe is the recipient of the volatility vote this time.

        In 2016, I suspect some voters chose Trump because “we know we will be screwed by HRC (wars/globalization/NAFTA/Wall Street)”) and with Trump we might not be”.

        Now, some Biden voters might be hoping that Biden’s mental state will make for a kinder and more concerned Joe than his record would indicate.

        I suspect Biden Disappointment Syndrome will set in fairly early in his administration, with his supporters asserting, for years, “but Trump would have been worse”.

        Then we have “Top Cop” Harris waiting in the on-deck circle.

        But on a positive note, I should see the “orange man worst ever” emails from Biden supporters stop.

        Reply
        1. Hepativore

          Regardless of how people feel about Bidarris, I doubt that the DNC will allow a primary challenge in 2024. Also, the PMC and their media surrogates are going to spin this is some sort of new golden age because they can go back to brunch and start ignoring those whining peasants again in the precariat.

          Also, the revelers in the DNC seem to be completely oblivious of the fact that the Democrats were obliterated in the Congressional races. Bidarris will probably waste no time trying to cozy up to the Republicans in the house and senate giving us more austerity and tax cuts for Wall Street and everybody will act all surprised when this results in another huge red tsunami in the 2022 midterm elections. Pelosi will flail about clutching her pearls about the result when she will probably be the one rubber-stamping the Wall Street goodies that are sure to come.

          Reply
      2. drumlin woodchuckles

        Obama is probably still worshipped by thousands of homeless Black people whose houses he stole.
        Pardon me . . . whose houses he carefully installed Geithner to carefully foam the runway for stealing them. Gotta admire Obama’s mastery of plausible deniability.

        Reply
    5. TsWkr

      At this point, I think a lot of Dem voters are policy agnostic, and just yearn for some socially progressive rhetoric and someone who sounds presidential. I don’t know if there is any room for disappointment in that reality, especially when the media and political leadership has prevented any thinking about the actual range of policy options.

      Reply
      1. Cocomaan

        Good point. People want the gloss and the sheen and don’t care about much else. Ask many democrats what of Biden’s platform they support and prepared to be underwhelmed by the answer. You’re absolutely right.

        Except that they will if it starts to influence their wallets. Or if their kids go to war.

        Reply
        1. Fraibert

          That’s my experience with the main Biden supporter I interacted with–my mother. Trump’s bad behavior was, as far as I could determine, the almost exclusive reason for her position. If Trump was a congenial conman, I’m pretty sure most of her sentiment would never have existed.

          Reply
      2. Michael

        My wife fits that to a T.
        After I said its still a 50-50 country, she told me to allow her to rejoice in the fact that Trump is gone.
        I told her I was sorry and would shut up for a couple of months.
        I refused to discuss Trump with her or anyone for 4 years. I can wait.

        Reply
      3. Michael Fiorillo

        In my experience, one of the primary motivations of affluent liberals is their moral vanity. It’s closely tied to the belief that their credentials confer not just superior insight, but moral standing. It accounts for a lot of the open disdain/condescension/cluelessness they show toward workering class issues, and their preening performance of the IdPol pieties of the moment.

        Reply
      4. Glen

        Funny, I’m the exact opposite. If the American Nazi party comes out in favor of taxing the rich, M4A and a GND, they will get my vote. I could care less about messaging.

        And based on that I fully expect to have a REPUBLICAN candidate to vote for in upcoming Presidential elections because Democrats are too stupid to figure this out.

        Reply
      5. IMOR

        At this point, I think a lot of Dem voters are policy agnostic, and just yearn for some socially progressive rhetoric and someone who sounds presidential.

        This is a significant part of the political/electoral damage done by installing and then re-installing W. My late mother, a retired teacher with a couple major recurring health issues from a family of elected officials and staff, was so desperate after 8 years of Georgie Wargie’s blithering and blustering that anyone as smooth as Obama was a big relief to her, though I could walk through policy after policy of his and find she was still opposed to the deeds.

        Reply
    6. anon in so cal

      Massive street celebrations here in Los Angeles with 1000s crowded together as Covid cases soar….

      https://ktla.com/news/coronavirus/public-health-officials-warn-against-crowds-as-covid-19-cases-keep-surging-in-l-a-county/

      .

      Meanwhile, are the rumors true that Cheney is advising Biden?

      “I actually like Dick Cheney, for real,” Biden said at the time. “I get on with him. I think he’s a decent man.”

      https://www.businessinsider.com/joe-biden-dick-cheney-comments-resurface-amid-2020-campaign-2019-5

      Reply
        1. Duck1

          weird, I was gonna make some snark about Cheney and Biden today, that he would have a key jawb consulting with sleepy joe, but decided it was to far out

          Reply
  9. carl

    The American Conservative piece tripped my cynicism meter. No no no, ending US imperialism and intervention is not on the agenda, and the author’s wide-eyed “oooh, no one knows what US foreign policy is going to look like” stance is, to put it mildly, either incredibly naive or disingenuous.

    Reply
    1. Lee

      FWIW, and this may be a product of my own wide-eyed naivete, but we are already embroiled in enough costly battles on our own soil, against a virus and each other, that I doubt there is much appetite for hemorrhaging even more blood and treasure abroad. Always the optimist, me.

      Reply
      1. Cocomaan

        Lee, it’s seemed to me that US presidents engage in foreign wars not for utility but usually to distract from the home front problems.

        Reply
      2. Offtrail

        With the US preference for using proxies and harsh sanctions these days, almost all of the suffering and expense is on the foreign target, not on us. One of my biggest concerns about Biden is what he will do abroad, especially with Susan Rice as Secretary of State.

        I’m wondering if any Democrats here ever communicate with their Congressmen/women about American aggression against other countries. I have sent a very few messages to my Senators (Patty Murray and Maria Cantwell) during the past five years. It’s almost as though foreign policy is not a public concern for anyone these days, apart from pro-forma demonization of Putin and China.

        Reply
        1. drumlin woodchuckles

          He will support substantial arms sales to the Hotsie Totsie Banderazi regime in West Ukraine. We may predict that with a high degree of confidence.

          Reply
  10. Eric Patton

    Worth listening to, given the House debacle.

    Lambert and a different chris are just never going to stop worshiping AOC.

    Reply
    1. CuriosityConcern

      What should they be aware of? How would you better or differently navigate the maze of being a young freshman congressperson with a platform that doesn’t conform to that of your party (assuming we are talking about her congressional performance over her first term)? Essentially, what’s your beef?

      Reply
    2. Clive

      No-one is perfect, least of all AOC. But really, what are you citing as demonstrably better who has actually gone and got themselves elected?

      Progress, not perfection, is my take on what’s helpful to the working class, given the givens. Plus encouraging political actors where they’re demonstrably following the right path.

      Reply
      1. SalonBee

        My concern is that AOC will turn out to be another Obama — spoke big but then turned out to be in the pocket of corporate interests. I have this concern because when I watched the Netflix documentary about her first congress race, she comes off as manufactured — as if there was a group of progressives who picked her to be the face for their campaign. That would be fine, except once she got to Congress she dropped the driving progressives from her staff and has filled it up with insiders. The other candidates in that documentary came off as genuine, but unfortunately they lost their elections. I will be happy if I turn out to be wrong about AOC, but I feel burned by Obama and am suspicious going forward of everyone.

        Reply
        1. Fraibert

          If nothing else, I think she is a person who wants to make a mark on national affairs and has comparatively little interest in local affairs, a weakness that I feel that the Democrats in general tend to have and which shows her to fit perfectly within the overall party mentality. Her slow opening of local offices in her district and what sounds like fairly weak constituent services even months or a year into her first term (there are various NY Post articles on this matter) suggest this to me. (Heck, I even made several comments on this blog on her weak attention to her district in the past, one of which pointed out that her then one (1) district office would result in many of her constituents having to take 90+ minutes of public transportation to visit.)

          Reply
          1. edmondo

            Look, I trust AOC about as far as I can throw Bernie Sanders. But if it takes 90 minutes to get to her district office, maybe someone could invent a device that people who are away from each other could actually communicate, we could call it a telephone.

            AOC is a freshman Congressperson. With a boss from Hell and way too much media attention. She talks a mostly good game. “Guilty until proven innocent” ought to be for the Kasichs and the Boots not someone who votes with us 99% of the time. We don’t have too many progressive icons left. Let’s let this one destroy herself and not speed up theh process.

            Reply
              1. neo-realist

                The likely problem with her office is that the staff is of the generation that responds to texts and tweets. As far as they are concerned, responding to phone calls is an antiquated form of communication.

                Reply
            1. cynical observer

              The problem with the congresspersons is that they follow the leadership of their parties, instead of their constituents.

              Nobody should trust their representatives when they vote for or against anything they have not read personally (the staff’s help doesn’t count).

              AOC will be or has already been owned by somebody.

              Reply
          2. Basil Pesto

            this one?

            I didn’t find it hugely convincing, as the sources relied upon were, uh, selective, to say the least. Mind you, so was the tweet that Lambert quoted, I guess. But I’m not inclined to form judgement of AOC’s constituent services programme based on a few reports in the NY Post, as I doubt it provides anything close to the full picture (as the tweet Lambert quoted also indicated). Her re-election is maybe indicative of CS a bit more robust than the Post gives her credit for.

            Reply
          3. Darthbobber

            People who hold representative positions at the national level are interested in national affairs because that is what they are sent to Washington to deal with.

            Since she’s an official enemy of the Post their articles on her constituent services are what one would expect. The reality seems otherwise.

            Reply
        2. Clive

          I do so agree and you raise an especially valuable and salutatory point. I’m still — still ! — smarting from being scammed by Obama (the first time, in my defence, by the second time even I’d wised up, but too little, too late really). We can’t forgive or forget, if we do, shame on us.

          I’m optimistic still about AOC, but naïve hoping-for-the-best has always been one of my weaknesses. So yes, eternal vigilance is required.

          Reply
          1. Minalin

            I believe hoping for the best is an excellent outlook to have. With each joy comes some sorrow. As to AOC, I hope I live long enough to see her elected POTUS. I wondered how long it might be before Biden was yet again condemned before he even started. Ok, whatever, but answer me this (this is not directed at you Clive) what does anyone want for this country and how to get it? It isn’t going to happen by magic.

            Reply
          2. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

            AOC is just now learning the difference between bartending and politics.

            Patron: Give me a beer.
            Bartender AOC: That’ll be $5.

            At this point things can go a few ways. One way is for the patron to drink the beer and hand over the $5, and if he doesn’t he is guilty of theft. The other way is for the patron to refuse to pay, at which point AOC takes back the beer and says the patron is no longer welcome in the establishment.

            Politics doesn’t work like that.

            BCWM (Bloodthirsty Corporatist War Monger): Give me your support.
            Congresswoman AOC: OK but you have to pay me for it.
            BCWM: OK (drinks beer glass empty).
            AOC: OK now you have to pay me.
            BCWM: No.

            At this point only one thing can happen: AOC can have a hissy fit.

            Model applies to the rest of the electorate as well.

            Reply
        3. Oh

          I remember that Obomba was hand picked by the TPTB just before the Democrat convention in Boston(?). Then hewas able to cut in line ahead of Shillary who had been promised the chance to run. He took beaucoup $$$ from the Wall St. crooks (he refused public funding even though McCain said he would take it). AOC, in contrast campaigned on a shoe string budget against a DCC backed incumbent and won a hard fought victory. Only now she’s settling into the Congress and is finding out about it being a nest of vipers who tried to get her out of office. She has to be nimble and gain more support before she can be openly hostile. I give the benefit of the doublt at this point.

          Reply
        4. Aumua

          My concern is that AOC will turn out to be another Obama

          Your concern is noted.

          But AOC is fundamentally different from Obama, who afaik never expressed any genuinely left sentiments at all. Hope and Change doesn’t count. If she comes off as manufactured sometimes then well… she is a politician of course.

          Reply
            1. neo-realist

              I’m not her constituent, but would have given her some grief over that vote if I was. What was that about? Maybe horse trading for a vote on some other legislation? But she relatively new, so I’d say the jury is still out on her.

              Reply
    3. lordkoos

      In a recent interview AOC mentioned the amount of hostility towards her in the house during her first term. Speaking of her personal life she said something along the lines of, “at this point it’s a toss-up if I stay in politics or just leave NYC and try to homestead somewhere”. I think what she’s being subjected to is a bit sad – she’s young, bright, and has to deal with fossils like Pelosi, most of the dems hate her, etc.

      Reply
    4. Yves Smith

      Straw man and an attack on the site. Both violations of our written site Policies. You’ve been trolling too long and we’ve cut you too much slack. No more. Goodbye.

      Reply
    5. bruce

      I don’t think any of us are actually worshipping AOC. Her constituents liked her enough to reelect her, and I would have voted for her too except I’m in Oregon. Peter DeFazio’s district, very good congressman, have actually met him. Is he the best congressman of my lifetime, well, when I I lived in SF ’77-’82, we had Philip Burton. What is it about her that makes you hate her?

      Reply
  11. timbers

    Republicans solidify grip on state legislatures, which is likely to lead to redistricting and gerrymandering efforts in 2021

    Don’t recall how Dems did in 2008 with Obama’s first election, but this looks like a continuation of the Obama’s years from 2010 onward. Dems don’t what voters so much as they want donors. So O’s 3rd term is off to a start perhaps.

    Will be interesting to see the final spending comparison btwn Dem/Repubs, as there were lots of articles of Trump low on funds vs cash rich Biden.

    Reply
    1. Arizona Slim

      In 2008, the Arizona legislature flipped. It went Republican and remains that way today.

      My take? In 2008, our local Dems were so enthralled with Obama’s candidacy, they forgot about those pesky down-ballot races.

      And we continue to live with the consequences.

      Reply
    2. Fraibert

      I think the Democrats are obsessed with federal elections out of a firm belief that centralized power is best. The party elite believe that DC should be allowed to control everything and those pesky states should be made to resemble French Departments (no real power).

      Reply
      1. Louis Fyne

        i have a more pedestrian explanation, ‘elite’ Dems are drawn to the bright lights of DC and the big city–and once they get their the entire world revolves around NYV and DC.

        the Phoenix statehouse and trite issues like redistricting are too provincial for them

        Reply
        1. Pat

          With few exceptions, most of our ‘elite’ Democrats do not have to get down and really scrub the floors so to speak. Between staffers and lobbyists most of the real grunt work involved with running the government is handled leaving them to front the operation. Think how often they don’t have a clue about the bill, the witness, the…Appearances and fund raising are their lives.

          Much more work in being a local representative. And often it is a second job.

          Just a thought.

          Reply
    3. ex-PFC Chuck

      IIRC in 2010 the Dems lost nearly 1K state legislative seats but sought to learn nothing from the disaster. “Move along; nothing to see here.” Anyone who expects after the somewhat lesser 2020 debacle is smoking the wrong stuff.

      Reply
  12. John A

    I am amused that, just as the MSM unanimously accepted and pushed the veracity of Russiagate without the slightest pinch of salt, all MSM are rushing to dismiss out of hand Trump’s allegations of voter fraud, with the same uninquiring alacrity. It is very clearly a case of ‘nothing to see here, move on please, arise President Biden’. Remarkable how malleable the media are these days. Narry a dissenting word. Yet another dog that didn’t bark.

    Reply
    1. John

      Not malleable, complicit. The are the sculptors of psyche, salesmen all. After watching them all reveal their cards and overplay their hands dealing with berni and tulsi it’s very clear who they are and how they operate. I’m not sure stealing the election is fully within their competency levels, but nudging it if it’s close I am sure they would fully try giving their (lack of) morality. It is proper to impartially demand full accountability fir an accurate vote. I am sure with all the hysteria that many would see it as a moral obligation to skew it if they could. And thus accomplices are made. Edit: they being corporate dems as frontmen for the blob, with the media in lockstep and in charge of psyops.

      Reply
      1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

        I think “unifier” Joe Biden should immediately appoint Jennifer Rubin to head his NGW (New Great Wall) initiative, designed to mirror Trump’s Wall. While the cyber and media portions of the NGW are already complete, making sure anyone opposing Beautiful OneThink and attempting to air heretical views or calling for the upholding of election laws is muzzled, the pesky problem of 70 million so-called “persons” who have not yet been re-educated remains. A physical barrier is probably required, and it will be simple to divert funds from Trump’s border wall for example to erect a cordon sanitaire around the state of Oklahoma and give Dangerous ManyThink believers a 30-day grace period to present themselves there. Biden can recruit the expertise of his investment partners The Chinese Communist Party for re-education industry best practices from their successful Uighur initiatives.

        Reply
    2. Michael Fiorillo

      Like Russiagate, Trump’s claims of voter fraud are pretty thin on evidence. If you have some, please feel free to provide it.

      Unfortunately, people throughout the entire political spectrum have lost their minds, are ignorant of history and are unable/refuse to reason or think critically. That’s just as true of unhinged, morally vain liberals with TDS as it is of MAGA-heads searching for pedophiles in DC pizza parlors. Just like 9/11 Truthers, they’re all convinced they’ve found the Rosetta Stone, and that The People Will Rise Up when they are informed.

      It’s the kind of childish, magical thinking by media consumers which the Overclass just loves to see.

      Reply
      1. mnm

        So, I guess Bernie wasn’t cheated in 2016 & 2020. Looks like Mayor Pete is getting his payoff. I guess I lost my mind cause I think they cheated, there was a reason for their recent TIP war game. I hope Trump drags this out to the bitter end. President Kamala is going to be another Bill Clinton, not FDR or LBJ. No matter what average person loses.

        Reply
        1. John

          This exactly. They changed rules to let Bloomberg on, they changed rules to keep tulsi off the debate stage. Clinton’s we can select candidates in smoke filled back rooms. The way berni was serially misrepresented and downplayed in the media so people would not consider him. Everyone parrots the same catchphrases about him. Propaganda works this is known. Power is a license to print money. This is sales. These people will do whatever they can for power it’s really not about representing the people for them. They have to keep people in a guided dream and their own vision of reality. In what world is a call for transparent and accountable vote recording ever a bad move to be dismissed? Only in the world of manipulators !

          Reply
    3. voteforno6

      And your evidence of voter fraud is…?

      There are poll watchers from both major parties, as well as independents, if they have the resources. The media had access to many of these places that were counting votes. And, at least in Pennsylvania, they were live-streaming the vote counting over the Internet. Do you have any actual evidence, or are you just grumpy over the outcome of the election?

      Reply
      1. Milton

        I’m guessing (always dangerous) that was the point of the commenter’s post; the evidence for voter fraud is about equal to the amount of Russian tampering evidence. Near zero.

        Reply
        1. edmondo

          Who the Hell would want to vote for these people at all, let alone more than once? The only way I would have voted twice was if I could have cancelled out my first vote so that I was in no way responsible for what happens for the next 4 years.

          Reply
        2. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

          Last time I checked the elections operate under a series of “laws”. Those “laws” call for states to certify the results of an election after all legitimate legal challenges are finished. A legal challenge can be mounted by presenting “evidence” to a court of law. That evidence can include the testimony of individuals, and these are what are known as “witnesses”. Or, we can just skip all of that stuff, and go straight to the Zimbabwe model of governance.

          Reply
          1. lordkoos

            There is such a thing as frivolous lawsuits. From what I’ve heard the Trump attorneys are just filing and refiling the same complaints over and over.

            Reply
              1. Biph

                The Judges are deciding and Trump’s greatest success so far has been getting Alito to tell PA to keep doing what they are doing as regards mail in votes that were postmarked on or before ED but arrived after ED.
                Unless you want to count team Trump telling a judge they had a non-zero number of observers watching the counting in Philly a success. It was a success for comedy, I’m not sure it did much to boost any “legal” arguments team Trump is making.

                Reply
                1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

                  That’s fine. Let the judges decide, not the court of public opinion.

                  Previously the process was to have a Dem observer and a Repub observer. The ballot is handed to the D observer to inspect, then to the R observer. If both agree it goes in the “valid” pile, if either disagrees it goes into the “questionned” pile. It’s unclear how a R observer was supposed to accomplish this from 20 feet away, or indeed why they were kept 20 feet away in the first place. The judge later changed it to 6 feet but Team R does not believe that satisfies the “meaningful access” language in the state law. Perhaps if they also supplied them with a pair of binoculars?

                  Let the judges decide, not the court of public opinion.

                  Reply
                  1. Biph

                    Evidence for that being the counting method prior to this year, because on the face of it it sounds patently ridiculous.

                    Reply
                    1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

                      Biph I’m trying to divine your opinion if Team Biden had lost because R states implemented new procedures that did not allow meaningful access by Dem observers. But that would also be “patently ridiculous” to argue in that case, would it not?

                      (I’m quite aware of Team D standards of what is legal in determining the outcome of an election, the unfortunate answer is “anything, up to and including the fabrication of evidence by the FBI and CIA”. So no, I’m not expecting a response that imagines that 70 million people have a valid right to be satisfied that the counting of votes was done legally).

                    2. marym

                      As far as I can tell (no legal expertise at all) this overruled a lower court decision, and has in turn been appealed (11/5).

                      “Whether, given the specific facts and scope of Philadelphia County’s canvassing process; the configuration, contents (machines and personnel) and workflow dynamics of the room in which that process is occurring; and the practical challenges of ensuring ballot security, voter confidentiality, operational efficiency, and safety in the time of a pandemic, the Commonwealth Court erred in reversing the trial court, which correctly concluded that the Board’s access regulations complied with applicable statutory requirements set forth in the Election Code?”

                      The document says the statute just requires that the representatives can be in the room.

                      https://www.courthousenews.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/11/dem-petition-pa.pdf

                    3. Biph

                      >Previously the process was to have a Dem observer and a Repub observer. The ballot is handed to the D observer to inspect, then to the R observer. If both agree it goes in the “valid” pile, if either disagrees it goes into the “questionned” pile.

                      Please provide evidence to support this claim.

                    4. Yves Smith

                      Biph,

                      This is bad faith. HAL provided a link. More of this and your comments privileges will be revoked. Read our Policies and behave or expect to be booted.

                  2. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

                    Replying to Biph right above: Did you not watch in excruciating and boring detail as those procedures were followed on live TV in Bush v. Gore in Florida?

                    Those not arguing for doing *everything we can* to *legitimize* this election are *playing with matches at a gas station*.

                    Michele said yesterday that 70 million people “voted for lies, hate, and chaos”. Anything but maximum transparency will only serve to amplify those levels of divisiveness and incitement.

                    Reply
                    1. anon in so cal

                      Jonathan Turley:

                      “I am still unclear on the insistence to end any challenges before we actually see the extent of alleged irregularities. I have expressed skepticism on past claims, but we now have sworn allegations of fraud. Why not look at the evidence?”

                      “…The demand for clear evidence of systemic violations during the tabulation stage is bizarre. We would not necessarily have such evidence, which is largely held by election officials. As expected, we have a series of localized affidavits and allegations of intentional fraud…”

                      “…It is like saying that a patient has low white blood cell level but insisting on stopping testing if you cannot conclusively say that there is cancer. These initial allegations may or may not be indicative of a more systemic problem. Let’s find out.”

                      “Pulling A Rosie Ruiz: The Risky Business of Calling American Presidential Elections”

                      “Jake Tapper just quoted the Philly mayor in asking if Trump “should put on his big boy pants” and concede. The challenges are just now being filed in a close election. Why not look at the allegations and the record in light of past election controversies?”

                      https://jonathanturley.org/2020/11/08/pulling-a-rosie-ruiz-the-risky-business-of-calling-american-presidential-elections/

                      https://twitter.com/JonathanTurley/status/1325471890186657793?s=20

                    2. Yves Smith

                      Sorry, I remember discussions of it at the time. Google is useless for older searches (you can’t do date ranges and exact match) and YouTube sucks too.

                    3. Yves Smith

                      Biph,

                      This is more bad faith. NC is not a chat board. One more like this and you will be blacklisted.

                      And for the substance of your argument, which I find difficult to discern, it seems to be the courts can’t be trusted because Rs. In fact, Trump’s case in MI was tossed in MI and for good reason: legally and evidence-wise, it was crap.

                      Maybe he’ll come up with a legal theory or evidence of fraud but so far he hasn’t.

                  3. marym

                    It’s confusing now that we’ve run out of indent levels. This is kind of a reply to Yves@12:22 and HAL @8:12

                    I do remember images of people crowded around in the FL 2000 recount, but can’t find any references in this thread other than HAL’s that describe handing ballots to the observers in PA in previous years. Again, I have no legal expertise, and have only skimmed the documents and some reports about the case. These seem to refer to a dispute about the distance for the observers, not handling the ballots. The appeal cited in my link @9:14 pm also references a specific law that specifies only being in the room.

                    http://www.pacourts.us/news-and-statistics/cases-of-public-interest/election-2020/philadelphia-county-canvassing-observation

                    Reply
                    1. Lambert Strether Post author

                      Remember when we had NC observers during a CalPERS count? And CalPERS put a glass wall between its tabulators and the observers, and turned their laptops so the screens couldn’t be seen?

                      Distance and setting are important….

                    2. marym

                      Apologies for not being clear or if I’m missing something – I did search the comments several times. I was questioning the initial contention that there had been a process of handing around the ballots to multiple observers in PA previously that somehow “Team D” had changed for this election, not opining on what the process should be.

          2. bruce

            Last time I checked, elections were decided by the voters, election officials reported the count to the media, which called a winner at such point as they dared in light of such missteps as “Dewey Defeats Truman”. As an old “lawyer”, I can tell you that “law” is just a structure of rules and knowledge and the means to achieve your objective in the courts of civil society. Your side lost, and you can go straight to the Zimbabwe model of residence.

            Reply
            1. Yves Smith

              Making Shit Up and being gratuitously nasty are both violations of our written site Policies. You fail as a pretend process expert, which suggests you must not have been much of a lawyer either. HAL is correct. State results are not official until they are certified by all the Secretaries of State. And don’t presume upon reader views. In logic “not A” is not B, it’s simply “not A” which happens to include B. In this case, recognizing that Biden was a crap candidate does not make one pro Trump.

              Reply
        3. Darthbobber

          But at least the Russian meddling folks had some Prima facie claims backed by evidence that didn’t fully collapse until you looked at it closely.

          And they could muster up the IRA’s miniscule Twitter and Facebook clickbait operations and use innuendo to expand it into the pretence of something bigger. The voter fraud people don’t even have scraps as lame as that to build on.

          Reply
      2. pjay

        Hey, if Rupert Murdock says “no fraud,” that’s good enough for me.

        I won’t speak for John, but for myself the point is the massive hypocrisy. I watched the CNN talking heads excoriate Trump for his “baseless” allegations and urge him to please cease sowing discord and conflict “for the good of the country.” Can’t we just all now get along? Let us now come together, etc., etc.

        These were the same people screeching about Trump being a Russian agent for four years. The fact that these charges were also quite “baseless” didn’t stop them from “sowing discord” 24/7.

        Personally, I’m glad to see Trump go. He was an unstable demagogue, and a Trump victory would have unleashed all hell by the Powers That Be. But am I grumpy over the outcome of the election? GD right I am!

        Reply
      3. John A

        I have no idea whether there was significant voter fraud. As a European I have no dog in the fight.

        The point being that Russiagate suited the never Trumpers and was pushed heavily but never investigated by the media. The reverse is the case with the alleged fraud. Simply dismissed as nothing to see here. The MSM are simply stenographers these days.

        Reply
        1. voteforno6

          So, because one story was BS, that means this one is, what? The election (which is still going on, by the way) is a huge story, much bigger than “Russiagate,” with much more media coverage of it, going on in real time. For all the flaws with Russiagate, there was at least some (bad, possibly falsified) evidence. There’s not even that when it comes to these allegations of voter fraud.

          The reason why you don’t see the media pushing claims of voter fraud is because they have already been covering the story. If something had actually happened, they would’ve been there to see it, and they would’ve reported it. Something like that would be too big to keep under wraps. Given the competitive nature of the media, they wouldn’t have engaged in any conspiracy to keep it under wraps.

          As an American, I can safely say that this may be the smoothest election that I’ve ever seen in this country, especially given all that’s been going on this year. There are certainly improvements that can be made, but what these different states have done is rather remarkable.

          Reply
          1. Katniss Everdeen

            You’ve got to be kidding me.

            The reason why you don’t see the media pushing claims of voter fraud is because they have already been covering the story. If something had actually happened, they would’ve been there to see it, and they would’ve reported it.

            It just can’t be true because if it was, the “news” media would have said so.

            Un-frickin’-believable.

            Reply
            1. Biph

              I imagine I’m going to be repeating this a lot here in the future. Look at the top line number the overall popular vote Biden is leading by 3% and will probably end up with ~4% win there when the counting is all done. HRC won the popular vote by 2% in 2016 and Trump won 3 midwestern States by less than 1% and about 75K votes total that gave him the EC victory. It’s not surprising, in fact I’d say it’s expected that Biden doing 2% better than HRC nationally would give those 3 States to Biden and a couple of others to boot.

              Reply
        2. Darthbobber

          Well, thanks to the Trump administration’s request you guys sent us an OSCE observer mission, which pronounced our process hunky dory.

          Reply
      4. Mark Gisleson

        One of the electronic voting machine companies is named Dominion, like the church Sarah Palin used to go to.

        Any excuse to pry into our voting systems to get more transparency would be a very good thing. Except for the duopoly, of course.

        Reply
        1. Noone from Nowheresville

          I say Dominion is for the Gamma Quadrant shape-shifters in Star Trek Deep Space 9. Where are my Jem’Hadar warriors? I seem to have lost them.

          Reply
    4. Chris S

      Posting a link to a credible allegation of voter fraud would be helpful here. Otherwise, not sure why I should be expected to take claims of voter fraud by Trump, a serial liar and fraud, seriously. (And yes, let me preemptively agree that Dems/MSM are liars too, etc etc.)

      Reply
    5. FluffytheObeseCat

      Half the US “news”media is aggressively pushing insinuations about voter fraud, pushing the meme that mail-in ballots are inherently fraudulent, pushing the meme that ‘real Americans’ vote only in person, on Election Day. The most beautifully turned out Fox newsreaders are slandering volunteer poll worker with the smiling contempt for hard working little nobodies that characterizes elite Republicans…… just as completely as it does elite Democrats.

      Screw them. Even if their doppelgängers at CNN and MSDNC are revolting, smug, and tiresome, the Trumpist braggarts richly deserve their current mega fail. I only wish they’d lost to Bernard Sanders.

      Reply
      1. Phacops

        I wish those claiming fraud actually worked the polls as volunteers. They would find it tiring, mind numbing at times, and mercilles in attention to detail.

        Reply
        1. mnm

          They could just ask Mayor Pete about his app, sit back, and just have coffee. Let the app with it’s proprietary software do the work. Or just scan those mail ballots, don’t bother with ID, signatures or dates cause you know covid. Better yet flip a coin, Mayor Pete’s team can take that one on cause they are real good at it. Third way here we go, UNITY!

          Reply
          1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

            Q: Do we have a final tally of the Iowa vote yet? A: No.

            Q: Do we have a winner of Iowa declared by the media? A: Yes.

            Reply
    6. STEPHEN

      You should review the transcripts, live reports, and bench decisions issued from the voter fraud lawsuits filed in Michigan, Wisconsin, and Nevada. There’s a reason three different federal district court judges all dismissed these suits out of hand. The Trump lawyers could present literally no evidence whatsoever. The lawyers’ testimony is all public record. The fraud allegations are 100% hearsay.

      Reply
    7. ChrisPacific

      The thing that bothered me about it is that it in less than a day we seemed to go straight from tracking detailed status in all the states still in play to “Biden is the President!” I wanted to know why. Which states had been declared for Biden? Were any of them within recount margins? How many ballots remained to be counted, if any? Had Trump made any specific allegations, and if so did any of them have merit?

      All of that information, which had been everywhere the day before, suddenly became very hard to find. The NY Times kept their tracking page but pulled it back behind the paywall. All of the others seemed to be gone as well, or much harder to find. I kept digging and was eventually able to answer all my questions (local media sites were the most helpful) and became gradually convinced that the official narrative was correct. But man, talk about feeding the priors of Trump and his supporters! I don’t think it was a cover-up, or at least not intentionally, but I can see how a reader trained by this environment of evidence-free assertions as news might have jumped to that conclusion.

      Reply
      1. anon in so cal

        Against the backdrop of Russiagate, the allegations of fraud gain more plausibility. They need to be systematically investigated.

        Reply
  13. The Rev Kev

    “Scoop: Biden to announce COVID-19 task force Monday”

    When I heard about this I thought it a great idea because the pandemic is probably the most pressing problem facing America at the time. At the rate that it is killing people, there will be at least another 70,000 people that will be gone by the time old Joe takes his oath of office pushing the present total to well past 300,000 people killed. But then I had a thought.

    Joe was handed the nomination a coupla months ago and immediately set up a bunch of task forces to work out what his policies should be. Either that or just to keep people like Bernie busy and out of his hair. So did he not have a task force also set up for the pandemic? I am sure that the pandemic was kind of a big deal, even back then.

    This should be the time that he now starts to recruit the people that he identified before as leaders in the effort to fight the pandemic and to turn the principles of the task force findings into solid plans and working out the logistics of it all. So why is he just starting now?

    Reply
      1. ambrit

        Given how much Fauci defied Trump publically and then toed the elite line with the Masks are useless lie, which has been spun as an attempt to “save” the available mask supply for the medicos, I’d say that his chances of survival are pretty good.

        Reply
    1. qmess

      Hey Rev —

      Yeah, good question. It would appear to be a good indicator
      of buncle joe’s ‘late to the party’ agenda.

      Surrounding himself with Obamber retreads is another telling theme.

      Reply
        1. Elizabeth

          I do remember JB saying in one of his early debates that he would revive the TPP. I think that was one good thing that DT did was to get the U.S. out of that monstrosity.

          Reply
    2. timbers

      Hmm…what might Joe come up with from his task force?

      How about a mask mandate. Anyone not wearing a make pays a $1,500 Federal tax. But there should be a online enrollment set up for mask subsidies with links to where you can purchase the masks. But it will be means tested. Maybe they can re-jigger the ObamaCare website for the enrollment/means testing part. But that should prevent us from handing out a great big fee to some tech company to create the website. Maybe we could embed the enrollment site in Facebook and also make it a iPhone app.

      Hopefully it will only take the average enrollie a few hours to shop around for the best mask and complete their enrollment.

      Reply
      1. Louis Fyne

        Where are we going to find enough N95-KN95-KF94 masks so that each American gets one new mask a day? (quality filter masks are not reusable).

        absurdly, the US still does not have the capability to supply itself with masks. as media was screaming about ventilators, and most of Trump’s (Kushner’) efforts went to that.
        l
        Cotton masks are better than nothing, but offer little comparison compared to N95-KN95-KF94 masks.

        i am pro mask.

        the mask debate and scientism around it has become absurd. Fabric masks are only a stop-gap measure, never meant to be a long-term solution, and definitely not meant long-term for people with high-risk

        Reply
        1. ambrit

          Given that, at present, only the wealthy or elite connected can get a full supply of “superior” masks, I would say that the N-95 et. al. masks are a perfect Deplorables Culling Tool. It may not have been planned that way, but that will be the mid-term and long-term effect.

          Reply
        2. rtah100

          My understanding is that N95 etc. Masks are very resusable. Steaming them in a microwave works well apparently (ersatz autoclave).

          Reply
        3. Foy

          Here in Melbourne we have now gone 10 days in a row with zero new cases of COVID. We have been mingling outdoors for a few weeks and have been allowed in indoor cafes and restaurants the last couple of weeks. Everyone wears masks but few are N95 masks. They are either surgical or fabric masks. I think the fabric and surgical masks have a greater effect than people think, simply by stopping the projection of breath. N95 are needed in hospitals and high risk areas but I’m not convinced that N95 masks are needed for the public, especially if supply is an issue.

          Reply
        4. anon in so cal

          This UCSF individual reported on the best fabrics for do-it-yourself masks, which can purportedly be as effective as an N95. I myself tape 2 Filti filters directly on to my face, then cover that with a cloth mask, followed by a disposable 4-layer level 3 mask.

          Back in January, I was able to get 3M N95 and N99 masks at Home Depot. We keep these for emergency use. My husband wore one to get an MRI at our medical center but had to replace it with a disposable because the N95s have electrostatic charge and are attracted by the magnetic field.

          https://twitter.com/jeremyphoward/status/1304465122799230976?s=20

          Reply
      2. cynical observer

        And Amazon will deliver the government-mandated mask free and you get a surprise bill from your primary physician for the mask delivered.

        Let’s have all donors get their money’s worth.

        Reply
    3. marym

      https://www.axios.com/biden-to-announce-covid-19-task-force-monday-23b353bd-863b-4e0f-bb64-c6da4a5758b2.html
      “Some members of the group have been advising Biden throughout the campaign, both the public policy challenges, as well as adopting health protocols for the campaign itself to prevent the spread of the virus in Biden’s inner circle.”
      https://www.nytimes.com/live/2020/11/07/world/covid-19-coronavirus-updates#as-the-virus-rages-president-elect-biden-plans-to-announce-his-covid-19-task-force-on-monday
      “Mr. Murthy has been a key adviser to Mr. Biden and his campaign for months and aides to the president-elect say they expect him to serve as the public face of the new, Democratic administration when it comes to public health issues and the virus.

      Mr. Biden’s policy advisers have been developing plans that would go into effect as soon as he took office, including ramping up testing, ensuring a steady supply of protective equipment, distributing a vaccine and securing money from Congress for schools and hospitals.”

      Reply
      1. The Rev Kev

        Still doesn’t sound like he has put the work in. The pandemic remains the most serious threat to the US and until it is resolved, it will play havoc with the economy, employment, small businesses and the rest of it. That last paragraph that you quoted is all stuff that was being written about back in March but if he could come out and present names, resources and timetables, it would reassure a lot of people. If he stuffed up everything else but got the pandemic response down pat, it would go a long way in redeeming him. But I have my doubts.

        Reply
        1. Pat

          You are even kinder than I am. IMO Joe is incapable of doing the work. And not just because of his physical condition. He has largely been the front man for various powerful interests. Think of him as Reagan lite.
          And I don’t those puppet masters are as concerned with the pandemic as they are in setting up their personal sinecures and bully projects from pre Covid. New invasions and austerity plans to further wealthy socialism don’t leave much room and time for a public health crisis.

          But that’s just me.

          Reply
        2. Bruno

          But he put in as much work as he was capable of, just like his cardboard cutout counterparts did their best to applaud the players in the late unlamented “baseball season.”

          Reply
        3. MS Server

          Covid Plan

          This is orders of magnitude more information regarding a plan than is our current strategy.

          I guess we will see how this unfolds after more than 2 days of being President Elect.

          Reply
        4. Basil Pesto

          You may be right to harbour those doubts, and I’m doubtful a Dem administration will get the virus as under control as it is in our neck of the woods at the moment, but in fairness you originally asked: “why is he just starting now?”, and marym showed that he/his campaign hasn’t.

          Reply
        5. posaunist

          I note that Biden is not yet the president, in fact was just declared the winner, yet commenters seem to believe that he is deficient in not having his entire administration in place. I also note that he will not have any executive authority until January 20th. I’ m not a Biden fan, but these criticisms are absurd.

          Reply
        6. neo-realist

          Biden does have plans to deal with covid-19, unlike the Trump administration who initially responded, by not responding as per Woodward, then calling it a hoax, then saying it was no worst than the flu. But Trump having a plan? What plan? Let it wash over the country (to the tune of 200K plus dead) cause everybody is going to get it anyway.

          Reply
      2. Clem

        Mr. Biden, Miz Harris and all their cabinet can help assuage American’s fears by being the first to take the vaccine.
        Repealing the congressional liability waiver might help too.

        Reply
    4. NotTimothyGeithner

      Better PR. It’s the only solution. Biden is going to call Fauci is the newest promise, but why? Faucci is in public all the time. He’s not hiding a secret formula (though liberals do believe in magic spells). The answer is of course lockdowns, but Biden isn’t going to do that.

      Reply
      1. JTMcPhee

        Or if he does do a lockdown, which by inspection seems to be the only effective way to even “bend the curve downward,” his minions will not allow the necessary concomitant — MMT money to the populace (not effing rich people) so they can survive the lockdown effects. Like the civilized countries have sort of done. And somehow providing the PPE and mechanics for those “heroes” and “indispensable workers” so they stop being a vector and reservoir of infection as they go about making life possible for the rest of us, growing and processing and delivering food and running the power and water and sewage plants and the other critical resources.

        Maybe that “task force” would stand down the military, send the troops back to their barracks, stop the effing generals from flitting about in their private jets between golf games and war games. https://www.businessinsider.com/inside-the-us-militarys-private-jet-fleet-boeing-gulfstream-2020-2?op=1 (“Now you’re just being silly…”

        I don’t see ANY way of stopping the run of this virus through the population, since there will always be that little subset of asymptomatic spreaders and superspreaders, people who defy even that inadequate masking thing and insist “I feel fine, so f@ck you wimps.” Just like Typhoid Mary, who just moved from one job to another, shedding pathogens at every one. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mary_Mallon At least she only cooked for “affluent families.”

        Oh, I’m forgetting — pretty soon we all will “have access to” vaccines! So “What, Me Worry?”

        Reply
    5. anon in so cal

      Biden does not have a clue how to deal with Covid. He said the US would rejoin the WHO. The WHO refused to acknowledge the role of aerosol transmission until July 22….

      Biden cynically campaigned on Covid victims the same way Hillary Clinton politicized the Sandy Hook massacre to try to hurt Bernie Sanders.

      Reply
      1. Basil Pesto

        The WHO’s various cock-ups notwithstanding, does the US obtain any benefit whatsoever from not being part of the organisation, which presumably remains peopled by good scientists doing good work? Was withdrawing anything other than vapid symbolic pandering for his base? Governance by temper tantrum?

        The US hasn’t left btw, Trump announced an intention to formally leave, due to take effect next year. Presumably Biden meant this will be reversed.

        Reply
  14. Katniss Everdeen

    RE: AOC tweet.

    What was it uber democrat abigail spanberger said the other day? Something to the effect of, “Don’t ever say the words “socialist” or “socialism” again or we will get fucking killed next time.”

    Here’s the 411, AOC, they think YOU are the “weakness their operation,” but they thank you for your “support.”

    Meanwhile back at the ranch, blm and biden supporters celebrate the unity candidate’s win with a fist fight. We got your unity right here.

    https://www.unz.com/isteve/the-coalition-of-the-margins-celebrates-in-madison/

    Reply
    1. JTMcPhee

      The bit I liked best was the woman with the mike saying “If you are not a part of this, please stay away.” Unity.

      And am I wrong, or did the guy throwing the punches be beating on a person of the female persuasion? Sure looked like it. Speaking of bad “looks.”

      “Don’t you dare throw shade on my fools’ parade…” yah, things are gonna be beautiful, things are gonna get better…

      Reply
      1. Katniss Everdeen

        I don’t think you’re wrong, and he hit her hard. And more than once.

        No idea what kind of “expert” group biden’s gonna convene to tell him how to deal with this.

        Maybe the Youngbloods could reunite–C’mon people now, smile on your brother, everybody get together, try to love one another right now…….

        + legal cannabis. It could work.

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=deW7_D5qems

        Reply
    2. Kfish

      One of the most bizarre features of US politics, looking from the outside, is the idea that anyone to the left of Genghis Khan is a ‘socialist’. Socialism is government ownership of the means of production. Medicare for All isn’t socialist, progressive taxation isn’t socialist, AOC isn’t socialist, the Democrats aren’t socialist or even left-wing. It’s insane.

      Reply
  15. OIFVet

    Re the Thomas Frank piece in The Guardian. I posted it on my Faceborg wall earlier today, together with the earlier Owen Jones piece in the same vein. My Lib friends told me to get over myself, basically, without even bothering to actually read. At least, I doubt that they bothered to read them, who wants to hear that Uncle Joe ain’t a magic unicorn who will wave his wand and fix the deepr issues, some of which he has been instrumental in creating? Obviously I don’t need to spell it out to the commentariat, but Liberals are credentialed know nothings of the first order.

    Reply
    1. carl

      Yes, social media right now is unbearable. A bunch of scolds screaming about “why can’t you just enjoy this for one minute?” Of course, there’s never a good time to criticize Democrats, is there?

      Reply
      1. TsWkr

        My wife’s FB feed is people ecstatic over Kamala and the great speeches last night (the feed is a lot of PMC women). I watched the speech and it was mostly just self-congratulatory with a listing off of various different ethnicities and races of women who should be happy about this. In my view, the Obama cult following and TDS have removed the need for actual substance.

        Reply
        1. Clem

          Wonder what would happen if all the “Deplorables”, to and including the 1/3 of Hispanics, 1/3 of Asians, and almost 1/5th of blacks in America that voted for Trump —all collectively, and in brotherhood and political solidarity
          went on a General Strike for a week?

          Especially truck drivers, energy, internet maintenance and food distribution. Wonder if the Masters of the Universe and the PMC class could keep things going with their coding, advanced education and credentials?

          Reply
            1. ambrit

              By long term design.
              If they didn’t have to worry about where their next meal is coming from, then they might begin thinking about more socially oriented subjects. And then demand Change, screw the Hope part.

              Reply
            2. jsn

              Josh Hawley will whip them into shape soon enough.

              It’s like how the U.K. Royals bond with the working class ( when not on the Lolita express).

              Crumbs are all the deplorables are asking for, and Trump was the first politicizing a generation to actually provide some.

              Reply
          1. Glen

            Please, the PMC couldn’t code their way out of a wet paper bag. They cannot work on their own cars/trucks, houses, plumbing, wiring, PCs, anything.

            They are the people that are telling everybody how to restructure the whole country, but they are COMPLETELY useless.

            Reply
          2. Person

            Have heard Twitter rumors of a trucking strike in late November. Some people are trying to make it happen, don’t know if it will or not, but I’d love to see it.

            Reply
    2. Noone from Nowheresville

      The ultimate deplorables? Or should be go with an O’meter reference and say they cling to their means testing, and their meritocracy and free market religions.

      Reply
    3. Katniss Everdeen

      Poor Thomas Frank. I think he’s been at this too long.

      What possible motivation could he think biden has for “governing” at all, let alone in a way that repudiates his corrupt 47-year-long career as a “public servant?”

      biden’s so-called campaign was policy free. His idpol running mate was MIA. He has made no secret of the fact that he intends to turn every “governing” decision over to “task forces” of unelected PMCers and “experts” and “scientists” who will make the policies to which he will grant his presidential imprimatur.

      The purpose of installing him into the presidency is to more firmly and permanently entrench the “experts” into their “rightful” place of superiority and authority over those whose input is unimportant, but whose existence and utility requires that their decline be managed.

      Misleadership will not just be for blacks anymore.

      Reply
    4. Eustachedesaintpierre

      I have similar on FB, some English, & Irish with one American who married my Green party councillor cousin. All have TDS, posting anything & everything anti Trump from The ” Resistance ” & anywhere else solidly for 4 years, they are mainly female & for the most part decent human beings. I would add Obama Derangement syndrome as well to the above, as they are all of the opinion that he is a Saint.

      I stopped posting links from here & other places on FB, as it was obvious that I was only preaching to the already converted being about 5% of the total. One of the above non-American /Dem supporters posted a while back when Allbright was raging about Trump, so I replied with a comment showing the video of MA referring to all of those dispensable Iraqi kids, for which I was sent to Coventry.

      Dissenters have I think always been in relatively small number & it appears to be pretty much the same seems these days, with many appearing not to want to hear anything that might prick their comfort bubbles perhaps out of fear as it would lead to the ground they stand on, crumbling under their feet.

      Reply
      1. OIFVet

        Speaking of non-Americans, I moved to Bulgaria earlier this year. It’s amazing just how deep the feelings run here too. I’ve had Bulgarians ringing me all last night to congratulate me on the Biden win, thinking it will actually make a huge difference in terms of policies. I’ve had to explain for upwards of half an hour to diehard BG Trumpers why the fact that certain counties hadn’t reported yet made the early Trump lead in the battleground states a mirage. Such is life in the outer protectorates, not that it surprises me given the uncanny resemblance of the local media to their US cousins.

        In all honesty, American Libs can be just as toxic as the Trumpers. Credentialed ignorance by my US Lib friends is just so wearing. On Election night I made the observation that if it wasn’t for platitudes Chris Cuomo would be a mute. The reaction was as though I had brutalized a saint. So much for respecting other opinions. To them, we are all free to have any opinion that we like, so long as it matches theirs. What rot.

        Reply
        1. Carolinian

          Wow you made it.

          And re the Frank piece–I think he’s a little too Pollyanna-ish about the coming accomplishments of someone with one foot in the nursing home. While Trump has certainly been in many ways horrible I suspect he represents less a “turn to the right” and more disgust with the personalities and policies of Dems like Hillary and her Third Way husband. Which is to say I don’t think Trump is particularly ideological at all and this is one reason he yet again proved to have so much support in a country that itself (flyover division) isn’t very ideological. The Dems have always exaggerated the supposed right wing threat for their own purposes.

          Reply
          1. John Wright

            Frank wrote: “Voters have rejected what can only be described as the crassest, vainest, stupidest, most dysfunctional leadership this country has ever suffered.”

            I believe Bush Jr should be the holder of this record for all the harm he did.

            One can wonder how things would have unfolded if the Dems had not done Russiagate and Impeachgate, which must have further alienated “Moscow Mitch” McConnell and “Putin Patsy” Trump.

            If the Democrats had swallowed their pride and worked with the “barbarian” Trump on issues, the USA, and the world, might have been far better off

            .

            Reply
            1. Basil Pesto

              I think it’s not unfair to say that the Bush Jr administration was functional to a fault

              Maybe Dems admire that, hence the apparently ad hoc truth and reconciliation commission.

              Reply
            2. JTMcPhee

              Frank had to say that sh!t about Trump to bolster the credibility of the rest of his piece. That’s my view and I’m sticking with it.

              Know your audience.

              Reply
            3. neo-realist

              You mean Trump would worked with the dems on fulling funding social security and medicare instead of cuts? You think Trump would have worked with the dems on oversight of police accountability instead of telling the cops to “not be so nice” and doing away with the federal monitors? You think Trump would have worked with the dems on selecting reasonable judges that did not oppose the voting rights act and support voter suppression. I’m feeling a little doubtful about what would have resulted from working with that “barbarian.”

              Reply
              1. John Wright

                I am not suggesting that something as bold as “full(y) funding social security and medicare instead of cuts”. would have happened had Trump been courted by the Democrats

                After all, the Democrats have frequently pursued “fixing entitlements”‘ via cuts as typified by Bill Clinton’s and Barack Obama’s search for Grand Bargains with the Republicans.

                And Biden is on record suggesting “entitlement cuts” are an option.

                One can’t say how Trump would have behaved if the Democrats worked with him in the way they did with the very harmful George W. Bush.

                The Democrats did work/support Trump on his tax cuts, increases in the military budget.,the tilted toward the wealthy CARES act and encouraged him to take military actions overseas.
                .
                And approved a lot of his judges.

                The approach of the Democrats to demonize Trump may have been good political theater, but should have made it more difficult to work with Trump.

                Perhaps I’m misunderstanding human nature, but I believe it is difficult to publicly “dis” someone and then later work with them.

                Reply
        1. Brunches with Cats

          Preceded you by a couple of months, Ella. Stopped commenting on FB in June 2016. I still have to log in periodically, because I’m an admin for a local volunteer group’s FB page. While I’m there, I check on the local “resistance” (their crocheted pink hats are so adorable /s), but I refrain from commenting. There is no reasoning with anyone in the thralls of Kamala worship — and I don’t know what else to call it. There’s a photoshopped image making the rounds of her in a business suit with stiletto-heels, casting a shadow on the wall of “that schoolgirl,” that is causing meltdowns of hope and joy. Some have adopted it as their user icon.

          It’s hard not to feel hopeless and depressed by such a spectacle, on top of the existing nausea.

          Reply
          1. petal

            Yes! That is the photo one of my friends posted! Her friends are fawning over it, as if Harris is the Second Coming.

            Reply
      1. Mummichog

        No anti-social media for me. No Faceborg (good one!). Never even been on it. Nor have I ever Twittered to Twits. Encouraging to see a few humans still around while science and technology destroy our species.

        Reply
    5. lordkoos

      I have given up on facebook after too many unpleasant exchanges with people who I considered friends, primarily involving my criticisms of Obama and the Democratic party. I keep my account in order to occasionally promote myself as a musician but that’s it. Another good reason to leave is that Fox News and Facebook are judged to be the two biggest spreaders of right-wing propaganda on the planet.

      I find twitter to be a lot more fun, most users are younger and smarter than the typical Facebook person.

      Reply
  16. Arizona Slim

    Slim checking in from Tucson.

    And, man, I sure am disappointed in my fellow Tucsonans.

    After hearing their Halloween parties thumping and bumping into the wee hours of All Souls Day, when they were replaced by the most ferocious drag racing I’ve ever heard in, oh, umpteen months since this danged Coronavirus came to live with us, the Biden victory parties were …

    … short-lived at best.

    As mentioned in yesterday’s episode of Links, I was doing my grocery shopping at the food co-op on 4th Avenue when a whole lotta whooping and hollering started happening. What was it all about? A cure for Coronavirus? That’s fast, cheap, effective, and available to all at no cost?

    Nope. It was the presidential election victory of Joseph Robinette Biden.

    Color me less than impressed. I made a few arch comments, which the merrymakers completely ignored.

    During my bicycle ride home, I noticed something interesting. No celebrations. None. Zip. Nada.

    I stopped at a major arterial to wait for an eternal red light to change. Not a single horn honk. Nothing.

    Light finally turned green, I’m within a mile of the Arizona Slim Ranch, and shhhh! No parties. And there are quite a number of college students in the area.

    The peace and quiet continued through the afternoon and into the darkest hours of night.

    Here it is, Sunday morning, and we’re just a few minutes away from sunrise. Coronavirus is still very much with us, and it’s getting worse around here. Link:

    https://tucson.com/news/local/ua-professor-arizona-could-reach-covid-19-crisis-point-after-thanksgiving/article_d90d6cbe-2115-5768-ac7f-cdb8aac9fc13.html

    Methinks that the prof’s prediction will come true. And it will have more to do with all those Halloween parties than Biden victory celebrations.

    Reply
    1. The Rev Kev

      Interesting report that Slim. On the news in Oz you had scene from all around America of people celebrating and partying with a few brief glimpses of Trump supporters. When I think about it, these celebrations were in major cities which you would be expect to be Democrat strongholds. I suspect that in the weeks to come, news coverage of them will be mostly sidelined with only occasional reports of ‘those crazy Trump supporters.’ And of course zero reflection on what caused people to throw their support behind someone like Trump in the first place.

      Reply
    2. chuck roast

      Yes, I was in my local bakery during the great awakening. Two women came running out of the back saying, “Did you hear? Biden won!” My reply was, “Makes no difference. The corporations are still in complete control.” I certain put the kibosh on their enthusiasm. One of the women was very annoyed, and said, “Well it makes a difference to me.”

      Reply
      1. MS Server

        Ah, smug comments to strangers. I’m sure you’re a blast at parties, what with being the smartest fellow/lady in the room…

        Reply
          1. ambrit

            Not to worry. NC has had an uptick in trollery and hasbarism lately.
            The “bestest” way to deny the “truth” about something is to attack the bearer of the tidings. It reminds me of the Roman custom of executing the poor fellow who has to report a major Roman defeat.
            Be safe! Plan for a ‘rough’ winter and spring! We are.

            Reply
      2. lordkoos

        I know I disappointed a friend when he texted me in excitement about Biden’s win, and my reply was yeah it’s nice that Trump is gone but it’s still an oligarchy with a new front man.

        Reply
    3. skk

      I don’t know when people will confront this. The number of new cases , at 128K now is doubling ( which also implies compounding ) every 10 days. By ThXgiving, 20 days from now we will be at 512K, 1/2 million new cases a day. Crude calculations show the number of deaths up from 1000 to 2000 per day.then.
      What’s the daily capacity at morgues/funeral homes ?Its when we start seeing refrigerated trucks parked on the road that people will get shaken up again.
      Current hospitalizations is 55k. By ThanksGiving, crude calcs show at least 75K hospitalized by then. When do we start hearing of routine surgeries for cancer, heart problems stopped ? That’s when people start getting to grips with it.

      {While new cases per day can be extrapolated safely ( assuming nothing new about testing frequency) using compounding, hospitalizations is harder ( since people are exiting as well as entering hospitals ). Deaths calcs are reasonably safe since standard of care ought not to deteriorate in the next 20 days . }

      Of course compounding the case rates, death rates, hospitalizations out to when new policies by Biden start taking effect, say 70 till he’s in power + another 30 for the effects of rollout to kick in, that is 100 days from now.. this compounding is…. heart stopping.

      Reply
      1. Samuel Conner

        10 day doubling period would imply about 7% day on day growth in cases, and I think this is too apocalyptic an interpretation of the current data. There is an intra-week rise and fall in new cases due to scheduling of testing and reporting. Things look exceedingly scary if you start and end the data comparison at specific points in the day to day reporting, and I think that a more reliable metric for “current growth” rate would be to compare cumulative cases at near and more distant past time points choosing the same day of the week, and infer a geometrical growth rate from that.

        I’ve been doing this every 2-3 weeks to get a sense of what is happening nationally and locally.

        Friday night, the (geometrical) average day-on-day growth rate in US cumulative cases over the prior 3 weeks was 0.91%, which implies doubling of the cumulative case count in roughly 80 days (the “rule of 72”). The actual doubling time will be greater or lesser than this extrapolation depending on whether the epidemic is accelerating or decelerating.

        There definitely is acceleration, as the prior 3 week (ie, 6 weeks ago to 3 weeks ago) average daily rate was 0.64%.

        Over the last 7 full days (10/31 to 11/7), using the John’s Hopkins dashboard, the US cumulative total confirmed cases has grown from 9.133M to 9.861M. The implied compounding daily growth rate is the 7th root of the ratio of these two, which is about 1.10%. So there’s further acceleration just in the last week (compared to the 3 prior week average).

        I think that your geometrical extrapolation is too pessimistic. Which is not to say that we are not heading into a rugged period. I reckon that we are. But I think it reasonable to expect that the doubling time will never get as short as 10 days; there would be massive public reaction — voluntary lock down — before things get to that point. The doubling time might get as short as one month (roughly a 2.4% day on day growth rate, a bit over twice the current rate). A one month doubling time from the present state would imply an average daily new case rate of 300Kover the next 30 days. I don’t think we will see that.

        We know what measures can help to slow transmission. Eventually these will be widely embraced.

        Reply
      2. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

        So on January 20 I assume we can start referring to J.Biden as the murderer personally responsible for each and every one of the Covid deaths after that date? Or is there a “grace” period of 30 days, 60 days, 90 days, a year? Maybe we can just agree all Covid deaths past and future are Trump’s fault? Or to decide who is the #1 Covid Mass Murderer, maybe go back in time and adjust deaths ascribed to each based on things like Trump’s China lockdown on Jan. 31 which Biden said was “racist” and did not agree with until March? Where would that put Cuomo’s “super-vector” policies in New York, surely those points would go to Biden’s camp? Writing history is such tricky business…

        Reply
  17. timbers

    Health Care – As pivotal ACA case heads to Supreme Court, potential outcomes are many Health Care Dive

    “From a common sense point of view, the case may seem absurd: The plaintiffs are asking for relief from a law that requires they purchase individual coverage or face a penalty. Except there is no longer any financial penalty, Congress eliminated it in 2017.”

    There is still a penalty. Massachusetts will charge you that same tax penalty if you don’t get insurance. The Massachusetts printed basic income tax form devotes 4 of 6 pages to that penalty. 4 of six pages to comply with the insurance mandate which the form title calls “Healthcare” but it’s not healthcare it’s insurance and I cross that out on the from and correct it by labeling it insurance, with an explanation of that error. That is why I am very much hoping Barret helps to drive a final stake thru the heart of that sad derailment and distraction from real healthcare reform. Obamacare (or RomneyCare in Massachusetts).

    Reply
  18. The Rev Kev

    “On ABC, Rahm Emanuel literally says a Biden White House should tell people laid off from retail stores like JC Penney to learn to code.”

    Breaking news – On hearing this statement, President-elect Joe Biden immediately slates him as future head of the planned combination of the U.S. Department of Labor and U. S. Department of Education.

    Reply
    1. crittermom

      Ah, yes. ‘Teach coding!’

      Reminds me of a friend who years ago went through a govt program where they taught medical billing. She finished top of her class, hoping to finally make a decent living.

      Didn’t matter. She was never able to obtain a job doing that because each place she applied they required at least two years experience, so it was a catch-22. How are you supposed to get the experience to land the job?

      In addition, it seems the codes change yearly so it would require re-training each year.

      But hey, learning such a skill will raise people out of poverty, right? –say those who’ve never experienced it.

      Better yet, let’s put that guy in charge for having such a wonderful idea! /s

      Reply
      1. Oh

        Rahm deserves to be in jail counting bars, 10 at a time (digital). It looks like that crook has been hires by ABC to spew his sh#t.

        Reply
      2. Clem

        The product in those situations is the class and the kit and software that has to be bought, not the actual work product.

        BTW, that can be done in India as well as here.

        Reply
    2. Bill Smith

      While the jobs for coders/developers/software engineers have been growing, they are already using more and more automated tools. (Ah, for the old days of CP/M.). I wonder how long before the business becomes automated enough that the jobs start shrinking.

      Would it be fair to say that Excel and its predecessors (Lotus, VisiCalc) can be considered to have eliminated some of these jobs already?

      Reply
    3. Stephen V.

      Help me win an argument. What precisely is *coding* ? I say it’s today’s *10 key by touch* entry level training. Not computer programming? (Medical) coding IOW.

      Reply
    4. TsWkr

      The obsession with coding as the pathway to prosperity, rather than another field that isn’t without place and subject to international competition and precarity, is telling. Why not encourage people to go into HVAC, especially given the need for COVID mitigating ventilation and a climate plan that involves retrofitting buildings?

      Reply
      1. Fraibert

        I would submit the reason is because the Democratic elite look down on the trades, while coding is still viewed as a white collar occupation.

        Reply
        1. WobblyTelomeres

          It’s even simpler than that. They get big bucks from San Josie. When they (meaning Pelosi and Feinstein) ask the titans what they need, they get told “coders” (meaning cheap h1b coders ).

          Reply
    5. skk

      Yeah I was gobsmacked when I heard that too. I’ve been in computing for 40+ years – in coding from Fortran in 1976 to Pascal to C to C++ to Java and now Python – you can’t teach just anybody to code.. It DOES require aptitude dudes – logical thinking and above all patience, attention to detail, and a readiness and even pleasure in the monotony of testing testing testing.. Quite apart from high-falutin’ things like architecture, and significant grasp of the ancillary vital areas of operating systems, databases, networks.

      Reply
      1. Janie

        My intro to coding decades ago: if you tell the user to enter a number between one and three, you have to anticipate answers like 1.00001, square root of 4, absolute value -2, 2i etc.

        Reply
        1. RMO

          skk: That’s my experience too. I spent two semesters in a computer science program. I’m pretty good at logical thinking, patience and attention to detail I have in spades and I even enjoy testing, testing and retesting – but I was a damn poor programmer! It requires a certain type of mind, and I don’t have it. My marks were high and all my programs functioned but they were not elegant and writing them was actually painful for me. I moved to business focused on accounting. That suited me much better. I finished that with a very high GPA. Still didn’t get me a job. Neither did the trades training I took before that.

          That’s a major problem with the “retraining” thing in my opinion. From what I can see if you’re in your thirties or older and looking for a job in a field that you haven’t had previous experience in all that training in the world isn’t going to do much for you.

          Reply
    6. Glen

      Everybody that says that ought to be asked if they can write code. Because I guarantee that Rahm is too [family blogging] stupid to do it.

      How about we offer money for training on how to be a blow hard {family blog] faced low information bottom feeding grub on TV? Rahm’s been doing that his whole life. He could teach it.

      Reply
  19. rob

    As an american, it is a relief not to be looking forward to four more years of “trumpworld”…. I am glad biden beat him….. but..
    Biden and the democratic party leadership need to be taken off their high horses and be reminded they just barely beat a buffoon. Hillary clinton was one of the worst choices in the world to run for president. but she lost to possibly an even worse choice… and he proved it every day..
    and here biden et al.. just barely squeaked out a victory….numbers wise….
    Yet the “squad” all were re-elected… and the faux blue seat/ corporatists lost their seats…
    What will the leadership call “failed policy agendas?”
    can nancy pelosi still wag her finger and tell AOC and the squad; and all the people who wish we had three hundred more like them in congress… that their ideas have no merit.?
    how long will “the management” pretend single payer healthcare and other actually progressive policies are not where they SHOULD be going.?

    Reply
    1. dcblogger

      As an american, it is a relief not to be looking forward to four more years of “trumpworld”…. I am glad biden beat him….. but..

      yeppers

      Reply
  20. stefan

    Hooray for Bernie and AOC, and Thomas Frank for that matter! Now is the time for progressives to shout our agenda from the rooftops! Put aside the complaints and cynicism for a moment. Now is the time to work hard for positive policies! It will not be easy.

    Reply
    1. The Historian

      +100

      The progressives have been given an opening – let’s see if we can take it! One thing that scares me though, is that progressives don’t have the desire to garner power and wealth all to themselves – which, for me is why I am a progressive – so we don’t have the incentives to fight for control that the elite have. It is going to take a new dynamic to fight off the powers that be and I hope we find it – soon!

      Reply
          1. Minalin

            To be clear is that a specific assumption that progressives (and I’m not sure exactly who has membership in that group) can’t shoot a gun? I’m pretty progressive if not radical and in my time in the Marines I learned to use many kinds of guns and get good at that. I don’t own any or keep any in the house, but as I’m still in the reserves, access to such isn’t that hard. I would hope addressing the needs of the people of which they are many won’t require a civil war.

            Reply
            1. The Historian

              No, it is not! A lot of progressives can shoot – I myself have shot everything from a BB gun to a 50 cal. But I believe progressives are smart enough to understand that violence never gets you what you want.

              Reply
              1. s.n.

                But I believe progressives are smart enough to understand that violence never gets you what you want.

                now that’s a laugh. Guess we need to define our terms.

                famous last words: “I John Brown am now quite certain that the crimes of this guilty land will never be purged away, but with Blood. I had vainly flattered myself that without very much bloodshed it might be done”

                Reply
        1. The Historian

          Let’s get down to basics. The one thing that progressives and most Trump supporters want is an end to neoliberalsim/late stage capitalism. I think that the divisiveness over social issues has hidden that fact. If progressives and Trumpites can get away from the divisiveness that has been imposed upon them and see what they have in common, they finally could become a force to be reckoned with.

          So Biden wants “unity”. OK, I say let’s give it to him!

          Reply
          1. pjay

            What you describe sounds like authentic populism. Sounds good to me.

            The problem, of course, is that the “unity” Biden wants is that between the two branches of the political duopoly, so that it can continue our neoliberal/late capitalist death march. To do this, that other “unity” you refer to will continue to be undermined by the powers that be. My questions are: (1) how do we overcome this “divisiveness over social issues”? That has proven to be a pretty effective “divide and rule” strategy; and (2) by what institutional mechanisms can this set of “unified” interests be organized and translated into political power?

            I’d really like to be optimistic. But when I viewed Bernie’s “thank you” message above I laughed out loud. The idea that the Dems would *thank* the progressives for anything, or incorporate any meaningful elements of Bernie’s agenda, is pretty ludicrous. I would repeat Phllip Allen’s question: what opening for this do you perceive?

            Reply
          2. Fraibert

            Agreed. Though, I wonder if the progressives that you are discussing here are able to escape from the identity politics programming. I’m confident that the usual elites will be able to frame opposition to neoliberalism as an indication of racism, sexism, transphobia, etc.

            Reply
          3. Darthbobber

            Of course, One could say that supporters of the DKP and the NSDAP had in common a desire to end the capitalist collapse that was latter-day Weimar (and also a common desire to end bourgeois democracy), but that their divide over other issues undermined their natural convergence.

            Reply
            1. JBird4049

              IIRC, they worked well together to destroy the SDP, which had been a popular alternative to either the Communists or the Nazis. With the moderate Socialists gone that left the more extreme parties all that was plausibly available for any kind of reform. The electorate was trapped into having only two more extreme options. Kind of what we have in the United States. We have as choices the conservative party and the crazy party because all the leftists and then the moderates were forced out.

              I’m thinking that the Democratic crypto Republicans as well as the out and proud Republicans will work to destroy any plausible candidates and movements for reform as well. Also just look at those who proclaim themselves socialists, leftists, and liberals, but suddenly find anti-racialism and political purity more important than class or even just the increasing impoverishment of the nation. This is a good tactic for undermining the leftists, progressives, even the honest liberals, and their efforts at reform.

              So just because people say that they are one’s allies or enemies does not mean that they are so.

              Reply
              1. Darthbobber

                During the last few years of Weimar one of the few things the Reichstag could pass from time to time was the periodic political amnesties that the Nazi and Communist members would jointly support to get their respective streetfighters out of lockup and back into action.

                Reply
          4. dcblogger

            the reason we can’t get past the divisive social issues is that Trumpers want to kill us, which is why the bring guns to their events. You cannot form a coalition with people who want to kill you.

            Reply
      1. Samuel Conner

        Me thinks that the “opening” is quite narrow, and basically amounts to scaling and weaponizing (against the D establishment) what worked this year — local independent ground game to boost participation in the most competitive states. Aggressive recruitment of new voters and primary candidates for state legislature and US House, starting now, might make a difference in 2022, and give the national party a big enough fright (assuming by then that it wlll want to “win” the general more than the primary, admittedly a dubious assumption) to cede ground on platform in 2024.

        Reply
      2. Noone from Nowheresville

        When you look at the Democractic leadership, rather than being taken over (or even moved) by Sanders’ players, don’t you see a reflection of Biden’s long and storied career looking back at you?

        Biden: It’s your life over almost 5 decades.

        When you look at state legislatures how many “progressive” players do you see? I’d say that’s much more telling then a few wins in the national elections. And don’t hold Omar up as an example for anything except the DFL & Minneapolis.

        I think you need powerful people who see the writing on the wall and decide that a bigger cross-section of humanity in the US needs to be prepared to survive an actual crisis because the US might be one of the safer places on earth for the elites so it’s time to start building that nationalistic infrastructure to support that vision. Yeah, only might.

        Reply
        1. Amfortas the hippie

          i think about this a lot.
          one of my beefs with texas dems, proportional to their proximity to me, is that they never give us anyone to vote for.
          west central rural texas, here…us congressional district 11…we’ve had mike conaway(bush crinmenfamilia’s consigliere) for years…and dems cant find anyone to run against him, aside from antiabortion gun nuts,lol. Same with texas lege and other local and regional positions.
          of course, i reckon i’d make a fine addition to the texas lege….but(and here’s the rub) i’ve a long history of outlawry and libertinism(there’s likely video), and expect that if i threw my hat in the ring, as a dem(since they’re on the ballot consistently*), even though they rarely run anyone with a pulse, they would pull out all the stops and i’d be painted as a pagan Gengis Khan who farms naked, smokes a lot of dope,and enjoys the occasional orgy.
          big disincentive to getting involved….and that’s “my side”.
          the Goptea would be even more brutal with the smears and attacks.
          so, altho i b8tch and moan about the lack of people to vote for without holding my nose and prophylactically taking pepto, i totally understand.
          who in their right mind would want to willingly bathe in the septic tank of modern electoral politics?

          (* i’m much closer to the greens, of course, and even the libertarians….but both remain fringe: 900 R’s, 230 dems, 15 Libertarians and 2(Two) Greens, this election just passed, in my county—I am one of those greens, and have no clue who the other is(eldest ended up voting by not voting,lol))

          Reply
          1. flora

            Does the Texas Dem party have open primaries* or closed primaries? Closed primaries are one reason we never get anyone to vote for. Closed primaries pretty much eliminate the moderate voter’s input and tilt toward the worst excesses in a party, imo. My state’s Dem and GOP primaries were open until the (?) late 90’s. Once both parties closed primaries the state lege’s we’ve gotten have been less moderate and more extreme, imo.

            Open primaries are open to all registered voters, not just party registered voters. You can vote in any party’s primary, but you can only vote in 1 party primary per election cycle. It’s easy to keep track of who’s voted and stop double-voting. Open primaries bring in the independent voters and create a better field of candidates more interested in Main Street than Wall St. imo

            Reply
            1. flora

              note: independent voters can vote in any party’s primary. I think party registered voters have to vote in their party’s primary. The addition of independent voters in primaries meant the parties had to find candidates that weren’t too far outside of the general mainstream thinking in order to attract the independent vote.

              Reply
              1. Amfortas the hippie

                open primaries in texas.
                you go in and they ask you which ballot you want.
                no registering with a party…although, you could say that you “register” by voting in a primary. I don’t fully understand how, but they know, somehow…and fill up your mailbox.
                which brings me to the other issue.
                oftentimes…at least in far places like where i live…local positions, like Sheriff…are decided in the gop primary….because the dems fail to run anybody…and actual democrats often run in the gop primary, because running in the dem primary is seen as political suicide.
                on 2 occasions in 25 years i’ve felt the need to vote against a particularly bad sheriff candidate, and to do this….have some say in what variety of fascist would be sheriff….i had to vote in the gop primary.
                this, of course, precluded me having any say in what the demparty was doing, including things like what the party thought was important that year.
                it also de facto registered me as a republican, and my mailbox was filled with their idiotic junk mail for years afterwards.
                Lil George and Laura still send me an 8×10 glossy of their smiling mugs every year at xmastime, thanking me for supporting the gop.(one can have only so many dartboards before it becomes a problem)

                so, while i prefer open primaries, in theory…they are not a panacea.

                Reply
                1. John Anthony La Pietra

                  IANA(Texas)L . . . but if I were a betting man, I’d give you long odds that which ballot you choose in that primary becomes part of your voting history — and goes out every election year to whichever party organizations can afford to buy the database.

                  Michigan doesn’t have voter registration by party, and into this century printed a single primary ballot with candidates from all primary-eligible parties — so nobody could tell your party preference from your ballot choice. But the corporatists tried to get around that by separating the ballots for the Presidential primaries — and then passing a law in 2007 (conveniently just before the 2008 Presidential primary) saying the Secretary of State was to give that party-preference info to the Duopolistic Duo and nobody else.

                  Fortunately, we were able to help stop that. . . .

                  Reply
          2. Noone from Nowheresville

            Amfortas the hippie
            November 8, 2020 at 1:49 pm

            You just need to pull the ol’ Bush Jr Texas team together and A) let them redeem you and B) make Ann Richards laugh & roll in her grave with glee as they use the Bush tactics for someone like you.

            I’d vote for you. Of course I’m not in Texas so I don’t count.

            Reply
    2. Louis Fyne

      sorry to be a downer but social justice progressivism (BLM, id politics, etc) cost Dem House and Senate seats.

      and given the shambolic, sloppy GA PA vote counts, legitimacy is being tossed out the window in the rush to anoint Biden….even though there is no need to rush as Biden has it in the bag.

      Nancy will move right but for some ID pol crumbs, Biden will appoint Bushies to the West Wing.

      2020 killed progressivsm. And if progressives can’t progress during a pandemic, good luck in 2022 and 2024

      YMMV

      Reply
      1. The Historian

        There is a difference between social progressivism and economic progressivism. The progressives allowed themselves to be defined as social progressives when they really weren’t that at all.

        I think, like a lot of people, you are confusing progressivism with Liberalism. They are not the same.

        I think you will have to explain to me why the vote counts in GA and PA were “sloppy” or “shambolic”. As far as I can see, both states did their best given the amount of mail-in ballots they had to deal with.

        Reply
      2. rob

        arguing against “progressive” is like arguing against evolution.
        Process doesn’t care if you believe in it, it is nature itself that determines the eventual shape of things to come. these basic forces are always at play. What is “progressive” remains to be seen… but it will be seen. eventually… even if it is in the rear view mirror… like we see today of what SHOULD have been done 100 years ago…

        And assuming ANYTHING happened because of what people “thought” is a weak assumption due to the fact that what people are reacting to is merely a media construct. A version of reality that may not have anything to do with actual reality.

        Reply
      3. lyman alpha blob

        You got halfway there – social justice progressivism (or identity politics) coupled with nothing else of substance and a complete lack of policies providing concrete material benefits cost Dem House and Senate seats.

        The majority of people in this country want a much higher minimum wage, government health care, affordable or free higher education and all kinds of other “progressive” policies as shown in poll after poll after poll and by talking to pretty much anyone who isn’t rich.

        But the Democrat party does not want these things and they are trying to shove gig work down the throats of anyone not part of the PMC instead.

        Reply
        1. Fraibert

          I think it’s a bit harder nut to crack. If you deliver economic progressivism, but with a heavy dose of what passes for “social justice” among liberals these days, I think many would opt out. Identity politics are deliberately divisive. Why should voters support politicians who insist that these voters are racist, sexist, irredeemably ignorant, etc.?

          In short, the “deplorables” probably won’t support those who think they are deplorable.

          Reply
        2. Amfortas the hippie

          we need better words for that distinction….idpol progressives vs economic progressives.
          until covid and masks became a political issue, i had made great strides in selling a new new deal out here(feedstore).
          there’s a hunger for such things…but the only ones who sometimes talk about it are painted with the idpol brush, by association.
          this is by design, of course…as evidenced in Team Blue socmed right now….shouting down AOC and Yang for daring to even attempt to hold bidens feet to the fire on this glorious day.

          my mom doesn’t want to hear it,lol
          so i made a prediction on my way out the door: by this time next year, dems will have a new catfood commission(questioning look), talking about how we need to cut “entitlements”, because we can’t afford it…and i’ll never have healthcare….and we’ll be in a new war by then, too.

          Reply
          1. petal

            An economically comfortable friend of mine just said to me that Biden cares about the middle class, and asked how can I argue with that? She had zero clue about his policies and record. Definitely off the xmas card list now. Thank you, NC!

            Reply
            1. ambrit

              We were thinking about ‘appropriate’ gifts for Christmas. I came up with the idea of Thrift Store Gift Cards, (recycled of course!)
              One of the Thrift Store managers I get along with mentioned last week that they were expecting the demand for Thanksgiving free dinners to exceed supply this year. His local group that usually does a Thanksgiving dinner for the really homeless have seen a big increase in their “client” load over the summer.

              Reply
              1. petal

                Sorry, I should have said “I’m definitely off her xmas card list now.” I went and gave her details about Biden’s record and how he “cares” for the middle and working class.
                Can definitely believe there’s going to be a big increase this year. It’s really sad.

                Reply
        3. Glen

          Indeed, the best picture of all the Dem party elites would be to add an Amazon, FB, and Google logo to the idpol’ed B-52, and show it dumping bombs on America.

          Reply
        4. flora

          I’m starting to think idpol is the new Liberal Dem estab excuse for doing nothing for the 90%: pretty idpol words, followed by no meaningful economic action for the 90%, followed by blaming the voters who complain.

          Reply
      4. Laputan

        I have hard seeing how you got here. What I saw, instead, was everyone who ran on Medicare for All winning their elections and party hacks like Donna Shalala getting spindly defeated. How about that minimum wage in Florida, btw? Was that another crushing blow to progressivism?

        If these elections “proved” anything, it’s the left has a much better chance at winning when the run on ideology.

        Reply
        1. chuck roast

          Yep. Remember that if Gore had won his own home state of Tennessee he would have won the presidency hanging-chads be damned. The ever present Democrat blind-spot prevented them seeing this glaring contradiction and to this day blame Ralph Nader and the Greens for Gore’s obvious failing.

          Similarly, the hack union buster Shalala gets beat in a Florida that passes a $15/hr. minimum wage by a wide margin AND almost puts Trump back in the White House. Too much cognitive dissonance for the PMC’s…down the memory hole.

          Reply
          1. Clem

            The albatross around Gore’s neck was
            Joe Liberman, D Tel Aviv. Similar to Kamala Harris, who almost cost Biden the election which they barely won against T. Frank’s “crassest, vainest, most disfuctional leadership this country has ever experienced”, which allegedly killed hundreds of thousands of Americans…”

            Just think of the Biden victory if he had chosen a decent vice president, instead of the Kamaleon.

            Reply
            1. Basil Pesto

              What is this based on other than (justifiable) personal antipathy? The fact remains that an astonishing number of people voted for a Biden/Harris ticket. If the calculus of the independent Biden voter is 1. Ditch Trump 2. Hire Biden/Harris, I don’t see the Harris part of the equation putting the brakes on 1.

              Reply
        2. Bill Occam (@drbilloccam)

          Remember, too, that “red” Florida also recently voted for the enfranchisement of felons after they complete their sentences (A4 2018 Voted for it, but only once). This being Florida, that affected something like 10% of the voting age population. These amendments require a 60% super majority, and while they were squeakers at on the margin, they were wide in an absolute sense. Carl Hiaasen will give you a much better sense of Florida politics than anything you’ll read in media originating from outside the Sunshine State (and you can laugh while you learn!). Grok Skink, for he is to Florida what Aeneas is to Rome. Florida Man and Tallahassee swamp critters are very different things. Establishment Dems would rather blow up a Yemeni wedding with a Hellfire missile or rewatch Gaddafi snuff videos with their Establishment Republican buddies than read Hiaasen or Frank, much less learn from them.

          Reply
        3. Noone from Nowheresville

          So I was curious about M4A yea v. nays and seats won v. lost. Info via Wiki. Not exactly proof of progressivism wins. Still great PR if one wants Jayapal’s M4A which I do.

          M4A: yeas
          AOC (Incumbent) was safe once she passed the primary. Last Republican term 1993
          Omar (Incumbent) was safe once she passed the primary. Last Rep term 1963

          Pressley: Incumbent in a Dem district – last Rep term 1923
          Bush: beat incumbent w/52 year family history in primary. Last Rep term 1949
          Bowman: beat 16-term incumbent in primary Last Rep term 1949

          Nay to M4A
          Abby Finkenauer (Iowa): Freshman Incumbent defeated 2-term Rep. Last Rep term 2017
          Collin Peterson (Minnesota): 15 term incumbent defeated by Rep. Last Rep term 1991
          Debbie Mucarsel-Powell (Florida: District since 2012
          ): Freshman Incumbent defeated 2-term Rep in 2018. Donna Shalala (Florida: District since 2012): Freshman Incumbent defeated 3-term Rep in 2018. Voted for Impeachment.
          Joe Cunningham (South Carolina): Freshman incumbent defeated Rep who defeated Mark Sanford in primary. Last Dem term 1981

          Reply
      5. CitizenSissy

        I can speak to your comment on Pennsylvania, where I live. The Republican-controlled chambers passed the legislation restricting ballot processing to day-of-election. Most other states process mail-in ballots upon receipt. ID Pol? I’ve certainly seen lots of aggrieved older white guys (including family members) adopt Trump as their standard bearer.

        TDS? I still can’t get how ANYONE thought the carnival-barking grifter, with decades of scamming (charities, Trump U) would provide any assistance to long-suffering middle and working classes. The bootstrap myth ain’t working.

        Very much reminded of Poland, where the ultraconservative Law and Order party makes American social conservatives look like pikers. While the protests against the draconian abortion laws make news, Polish citizens enjoy public benefits AOC could only dream of. My sister required emergency care in Warsaw, and was advised that healthcare was a constitutionally guaranteed right. Polish parents also receive monthly per-child stipends. Can you imagine an American version in the Koch dark moneysphere?

        Reply
        1. Darthbobber

          This was in the 2019 package they agreed with Wolf. I don’t think anyone AT THAT TIME asked for more advance time because in the summer and fall of 19 Covid wasn’t even a blip on the horizon and nobody expected the use of the mail in option to be that significant.

          It was really after the primary, when places like Philly bogged down badly with even no more turnout than the primary produced that concern built about that. And by the time Wolf and the legislature were trying to reach a deal in their spare time from Covid related sniping at each other, the Trumpies had gone full mail in is evil.

          Reply
      6. youMustBeJoking

        Wrong crowd buddy. Go find some data.

        And luck won’t have much to do with 2022 or 2024 (unless we see a lot of old white men die from some scourge — and I’m one of those old white men).

        Reply
    3. Jeremy Grimm

      While I continue to hold Thomas Frank in regard I feel as though Bernie and AOC have shown what they are made of through their support of the CARES Act.
      “Now is the time for progressives to shout our agenda from the rooftops!”
      Where are the progressive leaders? Shouting an agenda from the rooftops will accomplish getting arrested and beaten for disturbing the peace. Now is time to regroup, rethink, and formulate new strategy, new tactics. Once Trump and Biden acquired their nominations progressives had lost. Progressive have few if any true friends in the US Government.

      Reply
    4. km

      What opening? The only thing I see is that self-styled progressives will make excuse after excuse for Biden.

      Because Team D.

      Reply
      1. lordkoos

        I’m sure not seeing that, if twitter is any example. Many progressives and self styled socialists are attacking Biden for his floated cabinet picks and his record. It’s just too perfect that the Dems probably will not have the senate, luckily they’ll still have Republicans to blame everything on. If they had a trifecta then they wouldn’t have any excuses. Doing nothing with their super-majority in 2009 probably had a lot to do with electing Trump.

        Reply
  21. The Historian

    “My problem with the “heal” trope is that the nature of the wound is never explained (beyond platitudes like “division”), the treatment is never identified (beyond “unity”), and those who inflicted it are never identified.”

    Agree with you totally – with one small quibble.

    Read Eric Kline’s “1177” or Tainter’s “The Collapse of Complex Societies” or Marx or the myriad of writers on Late Antiquity. Those who inflict the damage and have destroyed societies are always the same people. They don’t have to be identified – we know who they are – and they are the same people who have been in control here since at least Reagan. We as a society just don’t know what to do about them.

    Reply
    1. Carla

      @The Historian — I think we (at least some of us) may have an idea what to do “about” them. But I do not see clear signs that we know what to do AFTER them.

      Reply
    1. Alex morfesis

      The thumbnail finish on that left hand suggests…”suggests”…a woman is the brave patient calm soul interacting with that furry tailed creature.

      Reply
  22. Dr. John Carpenter

    Does the media ever ask these people what they mean when they say people should just “learn to code”? I know this is the standard way to fill in the blanks for the fact that they don’t have a jobless plan but, as someone in the biz, so to speak, I’d be interested in hearing say Rahm try to explain what that means when I’d bet he has no clue.

    Reply
    1. jr

      “Does the media ever ask these people what they mean when they say people should just “learn to code”?“

      What, and go off script? I’ve never heard a single talking head question that notion or it’s more generalized cousin “go back to school”. In a land of record student debt, blah blah blah…

      Reply
      1. Fraibert

        I’m convinced at this point that all of this “learn to code” and “go back to school” rhetoric is simply open boosterism of the higher education cartel. Since that cartel entirely favors the Democrats, it is a nice little circlejerk.

        Reply
        1. jr

          It’s really bad in culinary education. After realizing my combined philosophy, history, and poli sci bachelors was perfectly suited to a life spent in kitchens, I looked into culinary schools here in NYC. The schools are extremely expensive, the loans they offer are onerous, and the career paths can easily terminate at the fryer for 12$ an hour.

          Reply
          1. Dr. John Carpenter

            Schools for computer, “coding”, etc. aren’t too dissimilar. One could easily come out of school deep in debt with only dead end minimum wage tech support jobs available as you don’t have 5+ years of experience. Meanwhile those supposedly valuable coding skills they paid for atrophy and become obsolete and you never do get that experience you need to actually get a job in your field

            I’m not a programmer (and I’m old enough to still say programmer not coder) but I see this routine over and over.

            Reply
            1. jr

              Aye, Dr. C, in a similar vein I made the mistake of attending a “tech” school upon leaving the Army because “computers”. I had no idea what education was or could be. I also had no idea that they don’t repair old computers, they throw them away. Blew my G.I. Bill and 15G$ to learn how to solder.

              When I taught adult ed, the same tech school vultures were constantly approaching our programs, as a favor to us we were told by the administrators, looking for naive and desperate kids to feast upon…

              Reply
            2. Jason Boxman

              The other route is indentured servitude, where the coding school takes some percentage of your salary annually for some period of time, if you find a job that pays some stated minimum.

              Can’t refinance your way out of that.

              In some ways that’s worse than student debt, although I don’t know if you can get out of these agreements by declaring bankruptcy.

              Reply
              1. lordkoos

                Both coding and restaurant work involve really long hours… best suited to the young. Somebody in their 40s isn’t likely to learn to code.

                Reply
          2. Amfortas the hippie

            i was a cook for 25 years…and a chef for 12 of that(after i owned my own cafe).
            it’s truism that people who come out of institutions like “The Other CIA”(cuilinary Institute of America) are really good at making one perfect dish…as in a plate.–one plate,lol. (what about the other 50 orders?)
            but terrible in the kitchen environment.
            i’ve had to reeducate a million such creatures, on the fly and in the weeds.
            they generally have serious attitude problems, too,lol.
            i’ve had much better luck training up random dishwashers to work the line.

            Reply
            1. Clem

              The California Culinary Academy was, per a friend in law enforcement, the place the cocaine dealers from the high end suburbs in the East Bay chose to attend, so as to obtain a seemingly legitimate career that would allow them to continue their distribution as they “worked.”

              Reply
            2. jr

              They are all told they are the next Ramsey, by the schools and themselves. I’ve seen them argue with chef’s with decades of experience in part because, being brought up in the hyper competitive rat race we call home, they think being loud and assertive wins the day. One line cook I worked with, when taken aside for screwing everything up, boldly told an exec. chef and the senior owner that he was going to do it his way because “That’s how this business is.” He went away a few minutes later.

              Reply
    2. Mel

      Mostly, pay for coding is mediocre. Train to be a Private Equity Fund Manager. Every American could be a multi-millionaire with PE training. I’m surprised Obama didn’t mention that.

      Reply
    3. Toshiro_Mifune

      Of course he has no idea. I’ve been hearing the “Learn to code” trope from varying sources since the 90s but almost all have been Ivy League educated lawyers, lots well north of 60, who have almost certainly never seen a CLI much less tried to navigate something like c#, c++, ADA, etc.
      Expecting any sort of push back from a journalist on the “Learn to Code” prognosis is too much. The type of person who would ask Rahm Emanuel “How did we end up with an economy who’s only access to middle class salaries is by learning to code ?” simply will never be in a position to ask that question.

      Reply
      1. Fraibert

        They also make it sound like “learning to code” (at least to a good standard) is some easy thing.

        Good code, as I can tell you know, requires skill and mental discipline. Not everyone can do it all that well.

        Reply
        1. hunkerdown

          “Learn to code” is only one step short of “Learn to reverse-engineer” which is only one step from “Learn to hack”. Those who can receive rewards on the mental plane will likely find great joy in analysis and even greater joy in (respectively) synthesis. One has to wonder if they have thought through what sort of things the tortured, hyper-avoidant professional setting can do to someone who’s been materially crushed under it, before, during and after learning to code.

          Reply
        2. Dr. John Carpenter

          +1 to both of you. Though I ended up in a different lane after graduating, I can agree programming, err coding, is not for everyone. I’m lucky that I enjoyed it and was good at it but some of my fellow students, not so much. It’s infuriating that this is presented as a one size fits all solution when it most certainly is not.

          Reply
        3. Jason Boxman

          Worse, done poorly, you can kill people. Medical devices or airplanes, for example. Or expose people to fraud and blackmail. IoT, medical devices (again), ect.

          Reply
    4. doug

      I agree.
      I imagine Rahm has a freezer full of ice cream.
      Another out of touch Big Wig in the DNC machine.
      ‘6 months to learn to code’…sheesh…

      Reply
    5. Kurtismayfield

      Because anytime a Dem says “Learn to code” I hear “bootstraps”. There is no plan , you are on your own..

      Reply
    6. Eclair

      And why do they never advocate learning: plumbing, carpentry, electrical, forestry, farming, animal husbandry, nursing, culinary arts? Useful stuff.

      Reply
      1. lordkoos

        As the son of a college prof, I often wish I had learned more practical work even if I didn’t make a career out of it. In high school kids like me were steered away from shop classes but I found later in life that I enjoyed taking stuff apart and solving problems.

        Reply
        1. Dr. John Carpenter

          Same same same! I was a “smart kid” who was the son of teachers. When I was coming up, yeah, the “bad” kids took shop, auto body, etc. I ended up in “computers” not for any reason other than at that time, I fit that mold and I had an aptitude. But I always wish I hadn’t been steered away from the practical arts as I always feel I missed out.

          Reply
          1. ambrit

            As a heretical cynic from the hybrid technocratic lower classes, I can tell you that learning to “do things” with your hands is good for the soul, (I speak from experience,) but that, as far as socially approved standards of living go, supporting a ‘decent’ style of life on the fruits of such “hands on” endeavours is problematic at best.
            Status is a real ‘thing’ in our society. I still wince at the memory of the look I got from the stealth wealthy South American living in Florida when, having been summoned to fix a problem in the master bathroom, I observed to him while crossing the bedroom towards the master bathroom how wonderful it was to see an original Braque painting hanging over the bed. (Having been married to Phyllis for some years by then, she being a serious artist, she had educated me somewhat about the Masters, old and new.) The implied assumption evidenced in his look was that no manual worker should have ever been able to identify a work of fine art, much less be interested enough to bring the subject up.
            I ended up in plumbing because it paid the best of the non-degreed forms of work available to me at the time. [The construction trades may be non-degreed, but most certainly are credentialed. After I earned my Journeyman Plumbers papers, I raised my salary demands, and got them. I still never “got rich.”]

            Reply
            1. Amfortas the hippie

              last 2 days, i’ve been the plumber and the electrician.
              i’m also the carpenter/framer/roofer(not as good at those things)…i can cook a running dog, of course, and build a fire in a lake.
              i’ve saved myself thousands upon thousands of dollars that i never even had to earn in the first place by being my own jack of all trades, and decent enough at them to not worry about being a master of any.

              i built this 2200 sq ft house for under $35k, for instance…it ain’t perfect by any means, but i’m real proud of it.
              “…and they all lived together in a little crooked house.”

              Reply
              1. ambrit

                Serious kudos to you Amfortas! That is real work. The other thing necessary to pulling off such a series of tasks is the ability to be left alone. In most towns and cities today, the DIY handyman’s biggest opponent is the Zoning and Building Inspection Department. I have personally observed local building trades associated businesses turn homeowners in to the Inspectors so as to get the rest of the project as a paying proposition for themselves.
                Never underestimate greed. Also, I have noticed that the level of greed increases as a function of population density.
                Go figure.
                I am very happy to have any house to live in, crooked or not.

                Reply
                1. Amfortas the hippie

                  no earthquakes, thank dog.
                  or zoning and planning…although i tangled with them when we lived in (the one, tiny) town….usually over the grass i refused to mow, so my chickens and geese(!!!*) would have forage.
                  the very idea of a HOA, like my dad’s neighborhood, makes me want to burn something.

                  (*neighbors all got eggs and produce and an xmas goose with instructions…so the birds were tolerated. and, it was the Barrio, so there were already wild chickens(jungle fowl, some of whom i captured and bred))

                  Reply
    7. lyman alpha blob

      I think they mean “my grifter friends who started a tech company are rich so why aren’t you?”

      I am constantly amused by stories like this one in links today – “Can you trust that Amazon review? 42% may be fake, independent monitor says.” Are the PMC liberal types just figuring out that after a generation on the interwebs a very large percentage of pretty much everything is fake?

      I’ve been watching the show Arrested Development recently and in one funny and farcical bit, one of the characters is in a college band but can only play the woodblock, and wants to develop an app that will play a fake woodblock sound, but he lies to friends and family that he wants to impress that the app is really designed to block fake social media stuff, and it’s called FakeBlock.

      In today’s article on fake reviews we find this:

      “We’ve only seen those kinds of numbers in the Black Friday or Christmas period in 2019,” said Fakespot founder and Chief Executive Officer Saoud Khalifah. “In 2020, the surge of fake reviews has proliferated in a rapid manner coinciding with lockdown measures in the USA.”

      So now there’s a company with an app to spot the phonies. Can this service actually spot fakes on websites it doesn’t own or control in any way? Well of course it can’t –

      “Companies like Fakespot and ReviewMeta that claim to ‘check’ reviews cannot concretely determine the authenticity of a review, as they do not have access to Amazon’s propriety data such as reviewer, seller and product history,” an Amazon spokeswoman said in an email. She added that the company is aware of “bad actors” attempting to abuse the system and is investing “significant resources to protect the integrity of our reviews.”

      And of course Amazon doesn’t much care either – why would they when they are raking in billions selling counterfeit and crapified products? And I’d bet most people can spot a fake review all by themselves with a little common sense and no app required. But where’s the money in that?

      Not the first instance I’ve seen in recent years of satire being turned into reality by those who didn’t get the joke. The movie Idiocracy also comes to mind. But now that Trump appears headed out, and Biden isn’t going to get any more popular in the next four years (if he even manages to survive that long), I look forward to the corporate branded idpol right wing populist President Dwayne Elizondo Mountain Dew Herbert Camacho.

      Sneak preview of the 2024 Camacho State of the Union speech

      Reply
    8. rusti

      Does the media ever ask these people what they mean when they say people should just “learn to code”?

      I guess both the interviewers and interviewees are similarly clueless, they might as well discuss particle physics.

      Having worked on and off with interpreted languages over the past 15 years I realize I am somewhere on the downward slope of the Dunning-Kruger progression. These jokers rocketed up to the initial peak without ever having written a single line of code themselves and have no reason not to stay there in great comfort.

      Reply
    9. Glen

      Rahm is the ultimate PMC. He’s a no talent hack with connections. He reminds me very much of the managers I deal with every day. They have an MBA and exercise what we call “manage by Excel”. They consider any co-worker completely expendable and replaceable with somebody that will work for less. The generally leave a trail of $hit products and dead companies in their wake.

      Rahm thinks he has a mandate to re-make every profession in America in the name of “efficiency” and “growth”. If Silicon Valley wants more and cheaper coders, Rahm will work to make them. In so doing, he will wreck the profession in America, and in so doing he has lead the charge to make America a third rate country for a LONG, LONG time. And he has succeeded.

      Another one of the same ilk is Larry Summers. He was SHOCKED, SHOCKED to learn that America could not make the chemicals required for combating CV. Why should he be shocked? That outcome was a given BASED ON HIS ECONOMIC POLICES that wrecked American manufacturing.

      Reply
  23. Antifa

    THROW AWAY THE KEYS (to the tune of KOKOMO, by the Beach Boys)

    Malaysia, Malawi, Uruguay, Uganda
    Or Belarus, Botswana, Reunion or Rwanda
    Guinea, Guyana, oh no he don’t wanna

    (Jailbreak) Throw away the keys
    Lock ’em all up when you please
    Trump thought his crazy crew could get away with it all

    No one’s above the law
    You’ve had your last hurrah
    You’ll be going to jail
    While we’re laughing at your ultimate fail
    Just throw away the keys

    Malaysia, Malawi, Uruguay, Uganda
    Or Belarus, Botswana, Reunion or Rwanda
    Guinea, Guyana, oh no he don’t wanna
    Deal with Kamala
    He’ll find someplace that doesn’t extradite
    Sneak aboard some private flight
    Become a Muscovite

    He’s Putin’s bitch. Let him make the switch.

    Trump is gonna run
    He can’t pay for the things he’s done
    Not his debts or his bets, and never his depravity

    Trump will run away
    He has to run from the USA
    That crazy look in his eyes
    Says there’ll be no goodbyes
    Just an empty . . .

    Malaysia, Malawi, Uruguay, Uganda
    Or Belarus, Botswana, Romania, Rwanda
    Guinea, Guyana, oh no he don’t wanna
    Deal with Uncle Joe
    He’ll grab some cash
    And do a tippy-toe
    Somewhere they’ll never know
    Trump is gonna go

    I’m in a rage ’bout children in a cage

    Trump is gonna run
    He can’t pay for the things he’s done
    Not his debts or his bets, and never his depravity
    Just throw away the key

    Malaysia, Malawi, Uruguay, Uganda
    Or Belarus, Botswana, Reunion or Rwanda
    Guinea, Guyana, oh no we don’t wanna
    Watch him slip away
    He belongs in a padded cell
    And when he dies he can go to hell
    Just throw away the key

    Malaysia, Malawi, Uruguay, Uganda
    Or Belarus, Botswana, Reunion or Rwanda
    Or Guinea, Guyana, oh no he don’t wanna
    Deal with Uncle Joe
    He’ll grab some cash
    And do a tippy-toe
    Somewhere they’ll never know
    Trump has gotta go

    Reply
    1. JBird4049

      Darn you! I just read the whole thing with the Beach Boys singing it Kokomo style running around in my head. :-)

      Reply
    2. Aumua

      Oof. All I can say is that if this is Antifa, then there’s no need to worry about them disrupting the status quo or anything like that.

      Reply
  24. zagonostra

    >President-elect Biden has what America needs – E.J. Dionne, WaPo

    This headline went right in toilet without even using/clicking link. These F&$king (I know it’s Sunday dammit, shouldn’t be cursing) courtiers are so full of it.

    Reply
    1. The Rev Kev

      Seriously, you do not want to go there. The potential blowback on this is breathtakingly dangerous. For a start, it would mean that US politics would be played using “Game of Thrones” rules – you win or you die. With the Dems already on track to lose even more seats in the House in 2024 and a Republican comeback, you could then have a Democratic Accountability Project arise. You would be lucky if by the 2026 United States Semiquincentennial that there weren’t Roman-style Proscription Lists enacted into law-

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Proscription#Proscription_in_ancient_Rome

      Reply
      1. Cocomaan

        Yeah, making lists reminds me of the building years of Marius and Sulla’s spat, (the Social War across Italy) which eventually turned into heads on the walls. It’s a path to military dictatorship and purges.

        Reply
      2. Geof

        Excellent comparison to Game of Thrones. And I see AOC calling for vengeance:

        Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has asked if anyone is keeping a record of “Trump sycophants” who were “complicit” in his administration, predicting that those who were would try cover up their tracks after Donald Trump leaves office. “Is anyone archiving these Trump sycophants for when they try to downplay or deny their complicity in the future?”

        As is said in that Twitter thread, this is a totalitarian impulse. The essence of totalitarianism is that everything is political – there is no escape (the state is “total”), no division between private and public.

        The Accountability Project site says this:

        We should welcome in our fellow Americans with whom we differ politically. But those who took a paycheck from the Trump Administration should not profit from their efforts to tear our democracy apart. The world should never forget those who, when faced with a decision, chose to put their money, their time, and their reputations behind separating children from their families, encouraging racism and anti-Semitism, and negligently causing the unnecessary loss of life and economic devastation from our country’s failed response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

        The spreadsheet says these are the targets:

        Individuals who worked for the Trump for President campaign in 2016 or 2020.
        Individuals who worked as a political appointee in the Trump Administration.
        Individuals who were appointed by President Trump to any boards, commissions, or the judiciary.
        Individuals who donated bundled money for the Trump campaign and related campaign committees in 2016 and 2020.
        Prominent endorsers either of Donald Trump’s campaigns for President, in 2016 or 2020.
        Law firms that worked for the Trump for President campaign or Administration
        Individuals who supported Trump, but publicly denounced the Trump campaign and/or Administration prior to Election Day 2020.

        I had hoped that Trump Derangement Syndrome would end with the election. Whether this Project has legs will be a litmus test. Watch especially for whether the criteria for inclusion grow. This list of wrongs looks to me like some of the cognitive distortions in The Coddling of the American Mind. Similar lists could be assembed for other presidents:

        . . . chose to put their money, their time, and their reputations behind putting kids in cages, deadly drone attacks on children, war and slavery is Libya, supporting fundamentalist terrorists who beheaded journalists and turn women into sex slaves, bailing out bankers as they stole family homes, the coordinated violent suppression of popular protest, and tens of thousands of preventable deaths a year in the opioid epidemic

        . . . behind imprisonment without trial; torture; Nuremberg’s “supreme international crime” of aggressive war, based on lies; mass surveillance of innocent Americans; the destruction of the economy; and the devastation of a major American city in his catastrophic response to Katrina.

        If there is no room for forgiveness, or at least forgetting, there is no room for peace.

        Reply
    2. Alex morfesis

      Totally agree with revkev above…and we ain’t no parliamentary system either…and also…well…did you vet that Google doc thingee…it seems to have some type of…”feature” trying to poke around in contacts instead of just doing it’s best Peter sellers and just “being there”….

      Reply
    3. Pat

      It will be good for the thug that follows Biden Harris to have a handy dandy list of where to start. Similar to what Biden Harris are doing with the retread thugs, criminals, and rentiers from the Bush and Obama administrations with whom they are surrounding themselves. God knows the destruction of American civil rights, education systems, healthcare, and most importantly public wealth and opportunity Not to mention foreign death and destruction wrought by that group is hard to top in a mere four years even with the PMC running around with their hair on fire.

      Reply
    4. Clem

      Bah humbug. That’s self aggrandizing remote fantasy projection stuff.
      Local lists of Bay Area politicians are far more useful, as you may run into them in the supermarket, a captive inescapable situation, or, the parking lot, and can give them a piece of your mind.

      Reply
    5. Eduardo

      ” … list of people who need to be held responsible.”
      Maybe it is a bad idea, but if we are going to go there, can we start with the Iraq War? Those that promoted it, voted for it, lied to enable it, etc.

      Reply
      1. ambrit

        If we keep this trend up, we’re soon going to have to put them all up against a wall and…..
        Wait a minute. Now that I think about it…..

        Reply
  25. zagonostra

    >Pelosi – “Congratulations to Joe Biden on his victory for the soul of our country.”

    And congratulations to all the foolish people who voted for her while your fellow citizens sleep under bridges, que up to the food lines, get evicted from their homes, struggle to feed their kids, wonder how they’ll pay their debts and ever be able to retire as their bodies age and tire; but hey they’ll have the chance to take in the radiant glory of the “soul of the the country” (drink and smoke are wearing off…)

    Reply
  26. SOMK

    ‘Right temporoparietal junction underlies avoidance of moral transgression in Autism Spectrum Disorder‘

    Hard to take this seriously, so-called theory-of-mind research on Individuals with ASD is built on very shaky ground, for example if a child is given a theory of mind exercise about a girl who puts her toy in a box, leaves the room and a parent removes the toy, the girl renters and the rest subject is asked where the girl thinks the ball is, the autistic child replies “don’t know”, and this is marked down as an ‘autistic trait’ however I’ve read accounts where when follow up questions are asked the child will reply that the girl could think it’s still in the box, or she might have heard her mother opening the box, and so on, so far from an absence of theory of mind (which is what modern psychiatry texts books will tell you) you have something more akin to an over production of theory of mind, with rather than issue being a kind of cognitive overload making it difficult to make decisions (much like research that shows customers presented with fewer choices make more purchases) at least in some with ASD. One could equally and indeed more accurately say so-called neuro typicals have little or no “theory of mind” for those with ASD.

    The language of the controls as being “healthy” as opposed to “autistic” is frankly disgusting, if this were a study of brain differences between races, sexualities or genders you wouldn’t have one group described as the ‘healthy control’.

    “Here, we show that ASD individuals are more inflexible when following a moral rule even though an immoral action can benefit themselves, and suffer an undue concern about their ill-gotten gains and the moral cost.” In other words the natural tendency for autistic individuals to be more honest and principled is treated as further evidence that it is a condition of deficiency and illness rather than a mode of being in it’s own right.

    Utter, rubbish, but sadly fairly typical, we are with autism roughly where the medical community was with homosexuality in the 1960’s. The term homophobia was invented as a way of turning the tables on those who deemed it a sickness by implying that the real sickness was the irrational fear of homosexual and designation of it as an illness, a term along the lines of autiphobia is similarly required today.

    A disgrace!

    Reply
  27. Alex morfesis

    Get away from me kid…you bother me…based on his long history of finding the next hot button and his love of himself above and beyond any incling of responsibility for anything, including employees, staff, suppliers, banks, nor investors…feel sad for those who expect him to keep fanning the flames…the Donald will now return to his wc fields approach to life ( the public character played by Mr dukenfield…the real person apparently was a fairly warm caring human)…

    Although he too might be seen in public opening that somewhat famous book…

    And keep…

    Looking for loopholes…

    Reply
  28. Carolinian

    Re Biden could be LBJ–look out Vietnam!

    It used to be said that the Democrats started all the wars but Bush and his dad put that one to rest. Now we have both parties gung ho for intervention even though Trump mostly seemed to be bluffing. Perhaps if he’d found some country to invade the media would have liked him better.

    Reply
  29. Phacops

    Biden is showing his true colors already

    He is naming a COVID task force, and one of the members is David Kessler, former FDA head during the Clinton and Bush administrations.

    During that time I worked in pharmaceutical quality, primarily process validation, usually part of teams making New Drug Applications (NDAs) and Abbreviated New Drug Applications (for generics) as well as supporting facility inspections. I pushed for the application of Statistical Process Control as an ongoing measure of process and product quality.

    Kessler was instrumental in shifting the FDA from treating pharmaceutical firms as regulated entities to treating them as customers of the FDA. I hold him responsible for preventing the adoption of modern manufacturing assessment in the industry for over a decade.

    I have no confidence that with David Kessler we will get a vaccine with the quality, safety and efficacy we need.

    Reply
  30. Louis Fyne

    LBJ????

    Oh dear, LBJ, who may have had noble intentions domestically, but then knowingly led the nation into war based on lies from the Gulf of Tonkin….and then was so in over his head that he kept falling for the sunk cost fallacy by sending more lives into the SE Asia meat grinder.

    reminds me of the terminal stage Roman Empire…when they had a string of horrific leadership as the bus jumped off the cliff

    Reply
    1. doug

      The civil rights act was huge and in the right direction.
      He at least had the sense to to ‘neither seek nor accept’ another nomination to run for pres. That was a stunner.

      Reply
        1. ambrit

          I did and I’m here to testify, (I being an old geezer, Caucasian model,) that it was an eye opener. Eventually, the realization sunk in that the world was not all like the cozy suburban enclaves we had mainly lived in during my childhood. There was a big and pissed off world outside.
          Bussing taught the upper middle classes of my day a valuable lesson. The ‘lower classes’ were not going to go away and play dead just because we “rich” folks wished they would.

          Reply
      1. miningcityguy

        So also was Medicare which I am currently appreciating having had an expensive hip replacement for which I paid very little

        Reply
    2. Carolinian

      See the Tempest Magazine link up in Links which pretty much lays it out as to why the establishment hates Trump (a bad look for imperialism) and wanted Biden (fully on board with US in charge of the world, er, keeping “order.”). I think the American public may have always been kept in the dark about what really concerns the upper class and what they are up to. I’m currently reading a book called Ghost Flames about the Korean war through the eyes of victims and fighters. Clearly Korea was one giant US war crime waged in defense of a dictatorial Southern government and done in the name of “fighting Communism.” The American policy was to indiscriminantly shoot fleeing South Korean civilians on the grounds that they might be infiltrating Northerners. Thousands were killed. With television just starting and not many correspondents on the ground in the beginning all of this was kept away from the US public.

      Of course in 1950 the US was very much a world leader but with a Soviet rival. We aren’t even close to being the country we were then as an economic power. The Dems/media/CFR establishment want to revive a world that no longer exists and that shouldn’t have existed in the first place. Blame it on Truman–Trump hardly the first doof to live in the White House.

      Reply
  31. Mark K

    Re: Trump Dumps 3 Agency Leaders In Wake Of Election.

    I thought the most interesting part of the article was Inhofe’s reaction:

    Sen. Jim Inhofe, the Republican chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, issued a statement criticizing Energy Secretary Dan Brouillette, who he said “effectively demanded” the resignation of Gordon-Hagerty….

    Inhofe called Gordon-Hagerty “an exemplary public servant and remarkable leader” and said Brouillette’s decision “during this time of uncertainty demonstrates he doesn’t know what he’s doing in national security matters and shows a complete lack of respect for the semi-autonomous nature of NNSA.”

    Reply
  32. Louis Fyne

    ”? Is there any data that shows Harris helped Biden anywhere but the Hamptons? Also, idpol erasure alert:

    In 2016, Trump won 12% of the bastion of Trumpism, Chicago. In 2020, Trump won 16% of the vote. Not exactly cause for celebration for the DNC or Team Biden

    Reply
    1. The Historian

      Did Harris have to get any votes for the Dems? All she had to do for them was to bring in money, and she did that.

      This campaign wasn’t about the Dems getting votes because people wanted to vote FOR Democrats and their policies because Dems campaigned on none of that whatsoever. This campaign was about Trump and only Trump.

      Reply
  33. timbers

    Here are some headlines from online Boston Globe:

    Biden’s plans for unity could crash into the Republican Senate
    Biden has a climate mandate
    ‘A beautiful thing:’ Kamala Harris breaks the White House glass ceiling and makes history
    In electing Joe Biden and Kamala Harris, we choose the light
    Biden calls for America to ‘marshal the forces of decency’

    See…everything is good and right in America again. Even climate change will be fixed. If not, it’s all because of those meenie Repubicans won’t agree to unity.

    But there’s still hope for those meenies says this headline…if they would only choose bipartisanship:

    The GOP can redeem itself, beginning in Massachusetts

    Reply
  34. Samuel Conner

    re: “We did it”.

    better: Those d@mned locally organized progressives, whom we mustn’t credit, thank or in any way acknowledge (other than to blame for the worse-than-expected outcome), put us over the top in the states where it mattered! Now we can stick it to them again. Ain’t it sweet!

    ————

    > I can’t imagine a better team to improve the material conditions of the working class.

    Am wondering if it would be possible to adopt a different font when irony is intended rather than snark.

    Perhaps comic sans?

    Reply
    1. hunkerdown

      Ha, in which case Pat Lang’s blog just got a lot more interesting. Not that he himself was ever really worth reading outside of his narrow specialty of gunboat diplomacy and the broad dimensions of US military capabilities, but his guest bloggers do bring interesting perspectives regularly.

      Reply
    2. Bill Occam (@drbilloccam)

      It warms my heart to see someone who groks that content and presentation cannot be entirely separated.

      Reply
  35. jr

    Sorry if this is too off topic but can anyone speak to the claim that Marx was an anti-Semite? Once again demonstrating my ineptitude when it comes to ‘ole Whiskers, I did not know about the existence of “The Jewish Question” and it seems pretty blatant when I read through some of the blurbs online. I had heard that charge leveled before but passed it off as the usual smears. I would appreciate a more informed perspective.

    Reply
    1. martell

      It’s been a long time since I’ve looked at that stuff, but from what I recall the text in question belongs to an internecine conflict among Left-Hegelians. These are the people that Marx would break with round about 1847. The text of the break is The German Ideology (I agree with Althusser on this point). Prior to the break, Marx accepts a metaphysical scheme according to which the human species develops over time in such as way as to fully express its potential and does so through a process of objectification. This involves creation of institutions, works of art, religion, and all that other stuff that Germans sum up with “objective spirit.” But this objectification process is also thought to be a process of alienation, so that the creators cannot recognize themselves as such in the objects of their creative activity. Indeed, they even relate to what they have created as an independently existing and hostile being. Religion is a case in point. Thus, the Left Hegelians favored the eradication of religion through what they called “criticism” (which amounts to showing that the whole of it is anthropomorphic projection) and reform or revolution whereby the state would become the medium through which citizens collectively and self-consciously act (as opposed to relating to the state as some thing set over and against each of them as a potentially hostile, foreign power). The eradication of the latter kind of alienation, political alienation, is what Marx calls political emancipation in these early works. In this period he consistently argues that it is not enough, because it does not go to the root of the problem: economic alienation. So, Marx is here breaking with a certain kind of liberalism (the mostly ineffectual, metaphysically driven variety found among young German intellectuals). The radical goes to the root of the problem (as I think Marx also said in those days) and the root of the problem is in the manner in which human beings relate to other human beings in the course of acting on the natural world to meet their needs. There’s alienation here too: from the objects created by one’s own labor, from the activity of laboring itself, from others, and even from the essence of humanity. And this is the alienation on the basis of which there is political and religious alienation.

      Cutting to the chase, in the essay in question Marx is critical of another Left Hegelian’s take on the issue of Jewish emancipation in Germany. He’s critical of Bauer’s take, arguing that Bauer only considers the question of political emancipation. What Bauer fails to recognize, Marx argues, is that there is this other kind of emancipation that is more fundamental, having to do with economics. And that’s where the anti-Semitic remarks come in. Marx argues that the Jewish way of life is the quintessential life of economic alienation, since Marx goes along with popular stereotypes in identifying the Jewishness of Jews with activities (hucksterism) and objects (money) characteristic of capitalist society. Of course, capitalist society is supposed to be a society of extreme alienation. The implication is that complete human emancipation would be emancipation from Jewishness. This is supposed to hold for everyone, Jews included. After the revolution, persons who were once Jewish will have been freed of all that, since there’s not going to be money or markets or even private property (eventually) any more.

      No doubt, much of what is said here by the twenty-five year old Marx is racist, though I would hesitate to attribute to Marx any view according to which races are biological kinds, some of which are superior to others (a view which I believe is sometimes called scientific racism). Rather, he seems to consider Jewishness a passing phase through which the human essence realizes itself in history. Also, I am pretty sure that Marx came to regard much of what he had to say in early works like the one in question as BS later on (and rightly so). Thus, I am not at all sure of what the later Marx, post 1847, would have said on the “Jewish Question.”

      Reply
      1. Late Introvert

        Thanks, urblintz and Martell both. That was very educational.

        I’m glad no one has access to my writings at 25. Maybe a bad song on a demo tape somewhere.

        Reply
    2. mlipow

      You won’t find a better critique of the notion that Marx was an antisemite than in Hal Draper’s study of Marx’s politics, Karl Marx’s Theory of Revolution. While editor of the Rheinishe Zeitung he was viewed as a friend by the Jewish community. In his essay “On the Jewish Question” Marx starts right off by saying he is not criticizing Jews’ practice of their religion. He uses a germanism, the ‘Sabbath Jew,’ to describe what he’s not talking about, and wouldn’t use it after the 1848 revolutions. ‘Jews’ here is a stand-in for ‘hucksterism.’ His daughter Eleanor published a collection of his pieces, mistakenly including an essay by someone else which has been repeatedly leaped on to attack Marx.

      Reply
  36. Alex morfesis

    Beyond the Hamptonians ??? QueMala was able to stir up some juice from black sororities which probably helped lift Uncle Joe (stall inn) Biden(Philly, Pittsburgh, and Atlanta) who obviously felt a need (whether by choice or chosen for him) in his coronation speech to absolve himself probably of any actual progress by giving a plugger or shout out to those for whom he will now also have their backs…

    Hopefully QueMala will learn to stop with the nervous 247 smile thingee some people have when they are in front of a camera…not very vice presidential…

    Reply
  37. Alex morfesis

    And in very blue Pinellas County Florida, literally the day after the election, evictions are back, ignoring the CDC paperwork as long as the property owner, wink and nod, says the magic words…I don’t need a money judgment, just possession…it’s not a money eviction, it is a “holdover case”…writs slapped on doors by the sheriff on Thursday…

    no sound from the self proclaimed largest Florida newspaper, the “Tampa Bay” birdcage liner and the home of the “famous” Poynter institute…no feds showing up asking what the heck is this… crickets….

    laws…laws…we ain’t got no laws…we don’t have to show you any stinking laws…

    Reply
  38. The Rev Kev

    “No Matter the Liberal Metric Chosen, the Bush/Cheney Administration Was Far Worse Than Trump.”

    I think that this was Glenn Greenwald playing it safe here lest he be attacked. My own vote would go for the Obama/Biden team. They built the cages and put kids in then before Trump appeared. They took the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and added several more wars. They forgave the torturers and gave them a free pass, they made conditions for black people worse over their eight years, they protected the banks and threw millions of families out of their homes – often illegally – to make things easier for those bankers, they increased oil production and fracking all across America and opened wilderness areas to oil pipelines, they repealed the Magna Carta in American law, they made possible genocide in Yemen, they threw back more Mexicans across the border than Trump ever did, helped militarize US police, made themselves wealthy after leaving office. But you get the idea. Bush & Cheney built the foundations but it was Obama and Biden that built what you see today – an oligarchy.

    Reply
    1. ChrisPacific

      I would still give it to Bush based on how uniquely awful some of his actions were. Yes, Obama was bad, but I don’t think any of the alternatives (Clinton, Romney, McCain) would have done anything differently. But the cynical exploitation of 9/11 to rally support for a previously planned attack on an unrelated target, the renormalization of torture, the move to American unilateralism and away from the UN – all of those were uniquely Bush/Cheney.

      Reply
      1. Late Introvert

        I say both were awful war criminals.

        The difference with Bush is he never pretended otherwise. Obomber still acts like he’s odorless.

        Reply
  39. ObjectiveFunction

    > To see ourselves as others see us.

    The following is very Tom Friedman MiL fieldwork, so please season to taste. Since Tuesday Mrs. Function and I have had a large number of Singaporeans – store clerks and, yup, *taxi drivers* of several races, but all men over 40 – deliberately seek our views on the US election. We quickly turn it around to ask for their own views (far more interesting than getting our opinions mirrored back to me, in that polite but obtuse Asian way).

    My summary: every one of them admires Trump as a decisive leader, who stood up for the USA and has stood up to China. His crassness is disregarded as being in the zone for Americans (also, IdPol stuff is gibberish to them: to them, America is a ‘white’ country, full stop).

    They are also deeply unsure about what Biden and Harris (the ‘Indian’ lady!) will bring to the table.

    Me too.

    Reply
    1. ocop

      Interesting data points at least. Not recent experience, but in 2018 I rode and talked with cabbies in Ireland (Irish) and Tasmania (Pakistani) “on the Trump train”, metaphorically speaking. The former due to immigration concerns, the latter (partially consistent with your observations) on China and Islamism in his home country.

      Reply
  40. mark

    The Journal of Neuroscience article at the end of links is… (loss for words). I only read the non-paywalled Abstract and Significance. The gist is that austistic spectrum people (I self-diagnosed a few years back) are incapable of fully appreciating how much we can benefit from dishonest behavior, and so we make more moral choices than neuro-typicals (“healthy controls”). We do the right thing because we lack imagination? (which is bs) And *we’re* the defective ones?

    Reply
  41. Clem

    Susan Rice for State? Her husband’s fortune is based on Canadian plywood, along with the Koch Brothers who own Georgia Pacific, it looks like the B.L.M. riots and all the boarding up of windows enriched that duo. The Iraq invasion doubled the price of plywood in the early 2000s. Funny how money is made, no?

    Reply
    1. Dr. Robert

      I didn’t know about her husband’s wealth. She’s probably about the best the blob can cough up honestly. She saw that Libya would be a stupid disaster and agitated against it, with Biden’s faction of the admin I believe, but was overruled by Clinton. As punishment for being right she was made to fall on her sword during the Benghazi fiasco, lying about the cause and nature of the attacks to conceal the sensitive operations involved (CIA running arms from Libya to Syrian jihadists). That might be enough to block her confirmation. An actual foreign policy expert and DC creature with a grudge against Clinton and her lackeys might be just the person to clean up State and get it functioning on a more professional, less crapified/politicized basis.

      Whether that’s a good thing or not is another question.

      Reply
    2. Oh

      No fan of her or any Democrat but the price of all construction materials have more than doubled in the past year – thanks to QE. Can’t blame her and hers for that.

      Reply
    3. Lambert Strether Post author

      > Susan Rice for State? Her husband’s fortune is based on Canadian plywood

      So that’s why all the calls for boarding up buildings before the election! Silly me, I only looked at Open Secrets…

      Kidding, but not 100% kidding… a

      Reply
    1. furies

      Thanks for posting the neuroclastic link. I knew it!! I had an autistic brother (who died in May of Covid), and my mom used to tell me she had dreams about me being autistic also.

      Who gets to define what ‘normal’ is?

      Psychopaths. Psychopaths do.

      Reply
  42. lyman alpha blob

    RE: pardoning Trump

    Would any of these pundits like to mention what it is exactly he needs to be pardoned for? Was it for assassinating a foreign leader? Fomenting coups? Or because some diplomat paid $299.00 a night to stay in a Trump hotel room and got a free continental breakfast?

    Reply
    1. DanP66

      Bingo…

      As far as I can tell being an asshole and crude is not a crime.

      The rest is just fantasy by the left.

      NOW HUNTER BIDEN….well that looks like money laundering

      Reply
    2. JP

      The big mistake of the Dems was backing the notion of collusion. The Mueller investigation turned up obstruction and Russian interference. We finally had the impeachment over abuse of power. All of this missed the more obvious and seamy side of Trump’s criminal behavior. That we elect grifters is a failure of our system, likely by design. The problem of wealthy criminals is they can buy their way out by hiring leagues of lawyers and accountants to avoid taxes, erase debt, cheat vendors, screw relatives and otherwise offshore their problems. This isn’t smart business it’s the corruption money can buy. One of the most obvious failures of the Obama administration was the failure to prosecute perpetrators of the financial crisis. The electorate that put him in office deserves his political crimes that have been exposed in real time. What needs to see the light of day is his corrupt business practice.

      Reply
    3. lordkoos

      Trump has some financial crimes likely waiting to be prosecuted in the state of NY once he is no longer president. Correct me if I’m wrong but I think that since they will not be federal cases, they are not eligible for a presidential pardon.

      Reply
      1. Yves Smith

        No, no, no. The parties pursuing private emoluments cases don’t have the standing for them to be criminal, and it’s separately hard to prove damages.

        NY is a mere “criminal investigation” which looked to be a monster fishing expedition to get at his tax returns. As we’ve said repeatedly, the idea that he could be money laundering is a non-starter unless he took cash in paper bags for his condos (ex though his casinos, which no one has alleged). Tax returns are not Rosetta stones. They don’t show anything like his critics have alleged.

        Reply
  43. Howard Beale IV

    Where did the “compromising evidence” about Trump’s ties with Russia come from? We spoke with his sources – journalists, PR specialists and officials. It looks like it’s all fiction: Medusa.io (Russian)

    Reply
  44. OM

    That autism morality study is bizarre. Correct me if I’m wrong, but the analysis seems to explicitly pathologize ASD individuals’ tendency to more consistently make choices they regard as morally bad (in this case, supporting the extermination of stray dogs and cats) regardless of whether there is an audience for their behavior. It literally naturalizes/normalizes hypocrisy and corruption. The worst part is the barriers (terminological, institutional subscription paywall, article structure, etc.) the authors put between the reader and the sociopathic assumptions they make.

    Reply
    1. ChrisPacific

      Yes, apparently doing the right thing even when nobody is watching is pathological if an ASD child does it.

      Repellent framing aside, Greta Thunberg has made remarks along the same lines. Apparently believing something to be true and then acting in a manner that is utterly inconsistent with that belief is a special power that we ‘healthy’ people (ugh) possess. She thinks she is the sane one, living in a world full of crazy people. Society says she is wrong, but I’m having trouble putting my finger on exactly why.

      Reply
    1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

      And in the best possible news, Covid was cured right before the celebrations! You can tell they were definitely not “super-spreader events” because none of the celebrants wore red baseball caps

      Reply
  45. Brian (another one they call)

    I see derangement, hope, regret, anger, euphoria and so much waiting for the next statement written by AI or a politician about what comes next.
    I have never been more sad that people believe someone else is going to be their savior. They suddenly believe someone they know has never done anything to help anyone below them in social class is going to suddenly change and begin depositing rose petals from their exhaust port. But worse, knowing that these warriors have already caused them harm for decades and they can ignore it as though it isn’t true.
    America isn’t going anywhere but down until hope and magic is abandoned for reality. Is that dystopian?

    Reply
    1. Late Introvert

      You describe my wife, and my 15-year-old daughter a bit less. She at least hears me out, heh.

      I can understand very much why they are happy a woman got elected as VP. My wife’s 103 year old grandma was so hoping for Hillary.

      So I try to just keep quiet about how bad JB/KH are as people and compared to Trump far more destructive. Sigh.

      Glad the Orange Bad Man is gone, I guess? Hollow victory for the DemRats who would have no other.

      Reply
  46. Wukchumni

    I’m glad to see that the noisome hacker in Humordor will soon be not plying his traits on the links after setting the Presidential record for times whacking off repeatedly in pursuit of trying to maneuver a small object in a fitted hole.

    Reply
  47. Wukchumni

    Don
    Go away we’re no good for you
    Oh Don
    Stay with Mike, he’ll be good to you
    Hang on (hang on)
    Hang on to him

    Think (think)
    What a big man would decree
    Think
    Of the places other than the White House you’ll see
    Now think what the future would be
    Don go away
    Please go away
    Although I know
    You want to stay
    Don go away
    Please go away
    Baby, don’t cry
    It’s better this way
    Ah, ah, ah
    Oh

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bE40KM4SGAY

    Reply
  48. Wukchumni

    I could care less about Biden, but am most delighted to get rid of the evang menace that greatly threatened our country, and it’s funny in that Joe is genuinely a religious fellow, as opposed to the poser in chief presently posturing as President.

    Reply
    1. griffen

      I’m reminded of the line from Blazing Saddles. Now let’s turn to the books of Matthew Mark Luke and Duck.

      I did find the evangelical base a little compromised with the orange man shape shifting to fit his needs. Can’t win it without em.

      Reply
    2. ambrit

      Sorry to tell you this Wukchumni, but the Evang Ultras are in an unholy alliance with the Judea and Samaria clique in Israel. Some Texas Evangs are still trying to breed the Red Heifer.

      Reply
  49. BrianC - PDX

    Regarding this article: America’s Next Authoritarian Will Be Much More Competent Zeynep Tufekci, The Atlantic

    My first thoughts on hearing of the Election of Trump were of this quote from Tacitus the Elder regarding the death of Nero:

    Although Nero’s death had at first been welcomed with outbursts of joy, it roused varying emotions, not only in the city among the senators and people and the city soldiery, but also among all the legions and generals; for the secret of empire was now revealed, that an emperor could be made elsewhere than at Rome. [1]

    Trump exposed the rot and ripped away the facade. You can bet that people far more disciplined, vicious and competent have taken notice. Removing Trump only clears the stage for the next act. Biden is merely the intermission.

    [1] – https://penelope.uchicago.edu/Thayer/E/Roman/Texts/Tacitus/Histories/1A*.html – From Section 4.

    Reply
    1. DanP66

      I agree.

      Trumpism was popular, Trump was not. People are stupid enough to vote for who they like as opposed to who has done and will do what you approve of.

      Trump will be working to get the next version of himself elected, only the next one will be female, possibly of color and whole lot more charming.

      Reply
  50. rowlf

    Old Soviet jokes:

    What does Brezhnev’s schedule look like these days?

    9am: Reanimation. 10am: Intravenous breakfast. 11am: Makeup for official lunch. 12pm: Official lunch. 1pm: Medals are removed. 2pm; New medals are bestowed. 3 – 5pm: Batteries are recharged. 6pm: Makeup for official dinner. 7pm: Official dinner. 8pm: Clinical death. Next day at 9am: Reanimation…

    ====

    Brezhnev is reading yet another speech: “Today we bid farewell to General Secretary of the Central Committee of the CPSU, Chairman of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR, Marshall of the Soviet Union Leonid {pause} Ilich {pause} Brezhnev!”

    He looks the paper over, up and down, turns it over, then looks at his clothes. “Excuse me, comrades, it seems I have put Comrade Andropov’s jacket on again.”

    Reply
    1. Wukchumni

      Brezhnev was the first Soviet leader to wear a USSR flag lapel pin, obviously inspiring us, because a President can’t be seen sans one.

      Reply
      1. rowlf

        By the time of Brezhnev’s death in 1982, the median age of the politburo was 70.

        I think the US can match and exceed this. Plus US congressional insider trading should be superior to anything the Soviets had for generating wealth in office.

        Reply
        1. The Rev Kev

          I use to think at the time that it was not good that the politburo was so aged but later I changed my mind. Those men served in Russia during the bloody days of the German invasion when Russia itself almost went out and had to fight its way back from the brink. They knew what war was all about and were not going to go that way again.

          What did the present generation of elderly members in power in America experience in their youth? Why living through the riots, assassinations and hippies of the 60s for which their take was that they will never allow the left to have so much power and influence in America ever again.

          Reply
  51. Oh

    Just heard that Alex Trebek (Jeopardy) passed away. He’d been suffering from pancreatic cancer. His suffering is over. God Bless and RIP Alex.

    Reply
    1. fresno dan

      Oh
      November 8, 2020 at 2:34 pm

      For 500$, Who is with the angels now?
      Answer: (as tears roll down my cheeks) Who is Alex Trebek?

      Reply
    2. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

      I was a contestant and can say that Alex in real life was a very warm and cool guy. In my intro he cracked a joke about his first marriage that I still use

      Reply
  52. DanP66

    Anyone who thought this was going to settle anything is out of their minds.

    Trumpism is going to carry on. Only now, those who support it KNOW they can garner black and Latino support and they are going to work even harder to gain MORE of that support.

    AND..they will have success because we can be sure that the democrats are going to push an agenda that is going to alienate even more of those communities. PLUS…a lot of conservatives did not vote for Trump. I know that from my own circle. They loved his policies but could not forgive him going after McCain among other things.

    The dems on the left are going to push Biden to pack the court, to ban fracking, to repeal the Trump tax cuts. They are going to push for a national health insurance scheme. We are going to have a bunch of intersectionalist loons pushing for the dems to do all kinds of things that are going to alienate a lot of people. All stuff people were willing to look past because Trump was so offensive personally but once it looks real they are going to rebel.

    PLUS…Biden has no plan for making COVID better but he has promised one. He wont be able to deliver anymore than Trump was already delivering.

    The midterms could be very very bloody indeed for the democrats. The dems have a lot of seats open in the senate in that year. Lot of conservative dems nearly lost their seats and after 2 yrs of a “progressive” agenda, unless they stand up to it, they will very likely lose them in 2022.

    Then, in 2024, the republicans will run a woman, probably a woman of color, who pushes an America First, Trump policies, and who is a whole lot less offensive than Trump. She will likely win against what will likely be a Harris incumbency.

    Oh, and for those who think Trump is going to disappear, he is not. He is going to be on the sidelines teasing a run in 2024, commenting every time there is bad news and saying he told us so. The media will eat it up because they hate him but know he is really good for ratings. Trump will have his followers pumped up and ready to go in 2022 and again in 2024.

    Reply
    1. flora

      I’m not even sure what “Trumpism” means. Is it populism rising on the right because of bad economics for the formerly employed at good wages who saw their jobs and futures outsourced , starting with NAFTA 30 years ago , and continuing under both parties’ estabs. That’s the same energy that propelled much of Sanders campaign, populism on the left. Is “Trumpism” a shorthand for “populism-is-bad”,( especially the Sanders-style populism for the Dem estab)?

      Reply
      1. Phillip Cross

        No, you’re confusing Trumpism with the excuse some people made for voting for him, and others made to come to terms with the fact that tens of millions of their country people seem to be total d-bags. In reality only a very small percentage of his voters fall into this set you define.

        Trumpism is simply a personality cult, and He is Dear Leader.

        Reply
        1. DanP66

          Your mistaken.

          Its a belief in…

          1. No more neocon wars and regime changes via CIA
          2. No more stupid free trade agreements
          3. Limited immigration to keep wages from being suppressed at the high end via H1Bs etc and the low end via unlimited illegal immigration over the southern border
          4. The belief that handing over our sovereignty to international organizations and agreements such as the TPP or the Paris Accords is a really really bad idea
          5. That the world order in which the US must step up and carry other countries such as with NATO is over. They can defend themselves. Heck, they are EXPANDING their trade with Russia and are dependent on Russia for the energy. No need for us to be there and carrying the lions share of the costs. We CAN crack down on Iran without paying them billions of dollars. There CAN be peace in the Middle East without US troops pouring into Syria, Libya, Iraq.
          6. It is better to get along with other countries, such as Russia, than to be constantly screwing with them cuz they have learned to screw back.
          7. Inter-sectional race theory and left wing SJW theories in politics and academia are a really BAD idea. The US is NOT an inherently racist country and there is NO reason that a white child should grow up with some bizarre original sin of having been born.
          8. Stupid levels of over-regulation that disproportionately impact small businesses is STUPID.
          9. China, not Russia, is a geopolitical and economic threat to the US. It aint xenophobia to say so
          10. The idea that the trades people, the people who work hard at hard jobs have value and they are NOT stupid, in fact, they are the backbone of this country, not the big data analyst in Silicon Valley. I would argue that the average plumber has more social value than any dozen of the tech geeks at Twitter. They are not ugly or deplorable but in fact the self satisfied pundits, urban “elites” and academics, Silicon Valley billionaires like Bezzos, are in fact the deplorables.

          Reply
            1. Yves Smith

              Gratuitously nasty and a complete mischaracterization. Tell me what there is about authoritarianism on that list. Or are you saying not liking idpol = fascism? Help me.

              Reply
            2. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

              I am at a complete loss for how you could draw that conclusion from any of the many points listed above. Please give us your counterpoint argument to one or any of them, or for simply blanketing labels you may or may not know the definition of, suggest you try that in a fun space like FB or CNN.Com.

              My compliments, DanP66 for compiling a fine list of actual policies that would actually make life better for those residing in the United States of America.

              I’m afraid we now have seen the definitive results of the globalist experiment designed to raise the standard of living of the Chinese working class. It worked. An estimated 400 million people went from sleeping next to the pig on the mud floor in the village to having an apartment, a TV, and a car. Persons searching for the reason the wages and standard of living of median Americans have stagnated for two decades need look no further. The actual persons who designed and implemented the program are close to regaining The White House, but the genie, thank goodness, is out of the bottle. It’s a pity The Biden will not live to see the inside of a jail cell for selling his country to the highest bidder, if the ample and corroborated email, text, audio, video, and witness evidence is to be believed. In the old days they simply used a rope and a tree for acts that so closely meet the definition of the word “treason”. But the issues brought to the fore by the rude brash TV showman from Manhattan will be as alive as ever. At least half of the country now understand what the MSM is these days and how and why they say what they do. At least half of the people now understand that the nice man from the CIA on CNN is not your friend and never will be. That “America First” is not just a political slogan but is rather the obvious mandatory starting position when you apply for the job of leading the nation. I’ve yet to hear any refutation of that starting position, is it America Second? Or perhaps America Fifth, since your son still has some serious grifting to do in places like Kazakhstan? People may be dumb, and ugly, and deplorable, but they’re not that stupid. Not any more.

              Reply
            3. Aumua

              @Yves and Hal and Dan

              My comment was gratuitously nasty and I take it back. I almost didn’t post it, but I just had to listen to that impish voice. Anyway all else I’ll say is that I do believe resentments stemming from these points not being properly addressed can and will push more people toward far right movements.

              Reply
      2. fresno dan

        flora
        November 8, 2020 at 3:16 pm

        Trump has said so many things, and many of the things are flat out contradictory. A lot of the promises Trump or any president make would be unable to be done because reality. Coal use is going down because coal is becoming uneconomic, not because of regulations. A lot of what Trump says is poking the libs, but it really isn’t something that can be done legislatively. What Trump was able to actually do was pretty standard republicanism. Some of it, IMHO, like ending the Iran nuclear deal was just bad policy.
        Trump’s real vocation and most successful enterprise was being a TV “star.” I think he enjoys spouting off and the limelight. Troll is the pastime that most fits Trump for his remaining time on earth.

        Reply
        1. s.n.

          Trump’s real vocation and most successful enterprise was being a TV “star.” I think he enjoys spouting off and the limelight. Troll is the pastime that most fits Trump for his remaining time on earth.

          and merchandiser. Don’t forget that. I think he expected to lose to Hillary in 2016 and had planned on setting up a quasi entertainment broadcasting network / political movement which could flog an endless array of stuff. I also think his 2020 performance was all kafaybe: he didn’t really want to win and spend the next four years tied down as prez. Now he’s just whipping up the base with stop the steal in preparation for his next act. [Not that there wasn’t a steal btw….]

          Reply
    2. Wukchumni

      Your prediction of electoral votes made before the election was completely the opposite of what occurred, not inspiring confidence in the scenario laid out.

      Reply
  53. flora

    re: A View from Trump Country? – Tarance Ray, Verso.

    Thanks very much for the link. Bookmarked for future reference.

    Reply
  54. Wukchumni

    That Four Seasons mishap was almost something like Dick Tuck* would’ve pulled, although I suspect a disgruntled WH staffer saw their chance and pounced…

    Who was he?

    Tuck’s most famous prank against Nixon is known as “the Chinatown Caper”. During his campaign for Governor of California in 1962, Nixon visited Chinatown in Los Angeles. At the campaign stop, a backdrop of children holding “welcome” signs in English and Chinese was set up. As Nixon spoke, an elder from the community whispered that one of the signs in Chinese said, “What about the Hughes loan?” The sign was a reference to an unsecured $205,000 loan that Howard Hughes had made to Nixon’s brother, Donald. Nixon grabbed a sign and, on camera, ripped it up. Later, Tuck learned, to his chagrin, that the Chinese characters actually spelled out “What about the huge loan?”

    In 1968, Tuck utilized Republican nominee Nixon’s own campaign slogan against him; he hired a heavily pregnant black woman to wander around a Nixon rally in a predominantly white area, wearing a T-shirt that read, “Nixon’s the One!”

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dick_Tuck

    * what a name, it sounds like a female impersonator

    Reply
    1. YetAnotherChris

      While it’s usually wise to suppose incompetence ahead of malice, this Four Seasons episode has to be a prank. I’m imagining someone who just lost their job having a Johnny Paycheck moment. And it’s a well-turned jape at that. I’m sort of impressed.

      Reply
  55. Dalepues

    I wonder what book Trump will select for his Library. Maybe “Get out of Your Own Way: Overcoming Self-Defeating Behavior”, or “You Are a Badass: How to Stop Doubting Your Greatness and Start Living an Awesome Life”. No reason to think that “Walden” would be his choice.

    Reply
  56. Jason Boxman

    Amazon is a wasteland of garbage:

    He [Tommy Noonan, founder of ReviewMeta] suspects the changes have helped push up the average rating on One Tap reviews to about 4.6 stars, compared with 4.3 stars when reviewers had to comment on, as well as rate, a product

    Amazon wins either way; Whether the reviews are fraudulent or not, Amazon gets a sale. If the product is garbage and returned, the seller can eat the costs, not Amazon.

    I mostly only read negative reviews. What I’ve learned is generally that, even high price stuff is frequently garbage, so buy the cheapest thing and throw it away if it is garbage. So far using this system, I’ve done surprisingly well. (Third party review sites seem less likely to have this issue, because if they recommend something and it’s garbage, who would use their reviews and affiliate links in the future? Plus I can buy something decent from a vendor other than Amazon.)

    Reply
    1. lordkoos

      I have far better luck on ebay than I do on Amazon – better service and better communication with sellers. On Amazon you cannot contact the sellers at all.

      Reply
  57. Mummichog

    Will vaccination refusal prolong the war on SARS-CoV-2? FREE
    (That’s about all you’ll get FREE with this ongoing BigPharma, WHO vaccine racket.)

    “Only by educating the general public about the benefits, safety and efficacy of vaccines can we hope to avoid the unnecessary prolongation of the COVID-19 pandemic.”
    ************
    Yes, they must resort to publicly financed Propaganda because the scientific case is so weak and unconvincing let alone dangerous to many in the population with various medical circumstances and conditions unstudied by these scientists. But, the Herd Managers say “jab-em-all, take one for the Herd.”

    Reply
  58. Brunches with Cats

    Re: Biden’s victory speech, Bernie’s agenda for the future

    We presume the donors are calling the shots, but holy F mole. The following post appeared a little over two weeks ago on the blog of the Democracy Alliance, a.k.a. the Dem Billionaire Donors Club:
    http://democracyalliance.org/da-blog/gearing-up-to-win-and-to-be-ready-for-what-comes-afterward/

    I haven’t compared it side-by-side with Biden’s speech but certain phrases jumped out at me, e.g., “a government that looks like America.” Admittedly, my short-term memory is overloaded and prone to error, but something sounded vaguely familiar in Bernie’s message as well. Here’s an excerpt from the blog, written by the organization’s president:*

    [W]e need to think about the next phases of our post-November 3 agenda: transition, accountability, and staying the course to keep and expand our hard-won gains. A transition that brings us a government that looks like America and is prepared to move effectively to repair the damage of the last four years and enact bold progressive reforms. Accountability because we cannot build the country we need on a foundation of lies and impunity. And staying power, as progressive donors and activists, to make sure we can deliver on the increasingly ambitious and far-reaching agenda set forth by the Biden Unity Teams and the Democratic platform.

    While I don’t recall hearing Biden or Sanders saying anything like the following, this paragraph also struck me:

    One key post-election issue that I feel strongly about but has received little attention so far is the need to ensure accountability, once Trump is out of office, for the many abuses of his administration. The failure to do so after Nixon, after the human rights abuses of the war on terror, and after the 2008 financial crisis, when the banks went scot-free, has been corrosive to our democracy, and we can’t make the same mistake when we turn the page from the horrors of the Trump years. The Center for American Progress recently issued a very good report, available here,[**] on ways to hold the Trump Administration accountable.

    “Best defense is a good offense?”

    * The Democracy Alliance is set up as a “network,” so there’s no membership list. Further, the group doesn’t make contributions, but every year compiles an “investment portfolio” of issues and specific groups as “suggested” donations. If you go to the blog, there’s a drop-down menu.
    ** This is from August. Apologies if it’s already been in links.
    https://www.americanprogress.org/issues/democracy/reports/2020/08/05/488773/future-president-can-hold-trump-administration-accountable/

    Reply
      1. Brunches with Cats

        Right? Or all those banker who went “scot-free?” Nor will there be any mention of WHO let them off scot-free, which was so “corrosive to our democracy” that we ended up with Trump.

        It’s truly hard to know whether these people actually believe their own BS — including calling themselves “progressive.”

        Reply
      1. flora

        Or, considering how very profitable the T admin has been for MSM, maybe they want a spin-off show to keep the money flowing. “We’ve got him this time!” /heh

        Reply
      2. Brunches with Cats

        From the article in Taibbi’s tweet:

        Finance executives will be closely watching how Biden handles the coming internal Democratic fight between centrists and progressives that threatens to increase regulation and dent profits.

        Vs. the billionaire donors club blog post:

        The progressive donor community is also stepping up to make sure that the enormous and diverse pool talent of the progressive world is tapped by a new administration. Roosevelt Institute, the Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies and other groups areas are working to get the best names to the Biden team, since having the right people to work the levers of government on behalf of progressive goals is a crucial part of the success we must have in making our government work for everyone.

        This could be fun! Thanks for the link, flora.

        Reply
    1. Lambert Strether Post author

      >> “a government that looks like America.”

      A government that looks like America would include people living out of their cars or sleeping in tents under bridges. I can certainly get behind that.

      Reply
  59. Wukchumni

    A Plan to Save Appalachia’s Wild Ginseng Wired
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    This was the main export to China during the Clipper Ship era, before treasuries took over this century.

    Reply
  60. Wukchumni

    Walk away like a man

    Oh, how you tried to cut us down to size
    Tellin’ dirty lies to foes & friends
    But even Jared said “Give it up, don’t bother
    Your Presidency is comin’ to an end”
    (He said)

    Walk away like a man, talk like a man
    Walk away like a man my son
    No loser needs to caterwaul on the earth
    So walk away like a man, my son

    Bye bye baby, I don’t-a mean maybe
    Gonna get along somehow
    Soon you’ll be cryin’ on account of all your lyin’
    Oh yeah, just look who’s laughin’ now
    (you’re gonna)

    Walk away like a man, fast as you can
    Walk away like a man from your loss
    Tell the world “forget about it, Biden won”
    And walk away like a man from your loss

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GzoIvwNqKpw

    Reply
  61. km

    A friend of mine insists that coding is so easy to learn, it takes only a couple of days to master.

    Then again, my friend is a high school dropout tech millionaire who collects illegal firearms, keeps weird hours, and doesn’t like to wear clothes.

    Reply
  62. drumlin woodchuckles

    Fake reviews on Amazon? This suggest a way to partially destroy one aspect of the Amazon DeathStar System.

    How many stealth NOmazon underminers would have to post how many credibly disguised-as-real sneakily fake reviews which trick millions of people into buying something they will regret having bought . . . to destroy trust in the Amazon review process? Would it work to degrade Amazon’s online shopping numbers?

    Reply

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