Links 11/9/2020

Man Creates Bird Feeder That Trains Magpies To Exchange Trash For Treats The Animal Rescue Site News (Furzy Mouse).

Jens Weidmann: Too close for comfort? The relationship between monetary and fiscal policy Bank of International Settlements. Weidmann is President of the Deutsche Bundesbank and Chair of the Board of Directors of the Bank for International Settlements. “What might pose particular problems is the combination of unsound public finances and a persistently highly accommodative monetary policy. It could be habitforming. Cheap money may be increasingly seen as the normal state. Under those conditions, even high debt burdens may appear sustainable to governments. But what if conditions change?” Perhaps some central bank maven in the commnetariat can translate these oracular pronouncements.

Deutsche Bank rebuffed ECB over call for action on leveraged finance FT

The Biden Rally Has the Look of Fool’s Gold Bloomberg

Big US tech stocks emerge as election winners FT. That’s nice. The pandemic has been very good to Big Tech, and the oligarchs who own it.

Pontifications: Aircraft prices, rents plunge Leeham News and Analysis. “Wall Street aerospace analysts tell LNA that Boeing Chicago gave Boeing Seattle the greenlight to offer what it takes to sell the MAX.”

‘Lots of people are going to suffer’: Nouriel Roubini on the possibility of a double dip recession and its impact on the labor market (transcript) Yahoo Finance (Re Silc).


Declines in SARS-CoV-2 Transmission, Hospitalizations, and Mortality After Implementation of Mitigation Measures— Delaware, March–June 2020 Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report. “State-mandated stay-at-home orders and public mask mandates coupled with case investigations with contact tracing contributed to an 82% reduction in COVID-19 incidence, 88% reduction in hospitalizations, and 100% reduction in mortality in Delaware during late April–June.” If that what it takes, however, Biden’s plan is not enough. Nor is it clear to me that stay-at-home orders scale, absent income support. The whole article is worth reading in full. It does seem that an implementation that was, to put it mildly, incomplete (“Among 6,527 interviewed patients with laboratory-confirmed COVID-19, 5,390 (83%) either refused to name contacts or could not recall contacts”) can nevertheless have positive effects..

Implication of backward contact tracing in the presence of overdispersed transmission in COVID-19 outbreak (preprint) medRxiv. From the Abtract: “Because there is evidence that the number of secondary transmissions of SARS-CoV-2 per case exhibits substantial individual-level heterogeneity (i.e. overdispersion), often resulting in so-called superspreading events [3–5], a large proportion of infections may be linked to a small proportion of original clusters. As a result, finding and targeting originating clusters as well as onwards infection will substantially enhance the effectiveness of tracing methods. Here we explore the incremental effectiveness of combining ‘backward’ tracing with conventional ‘forward’ tracing in the presence of overdispersion in SARS-CoV-2 transmission, using a simple branching process model.”

On Randomized Trials and Medicine Zeynep Zufekci, Insight. Trisha Greenhalgh has been making similar points for some time. Commentary:

A point I’ve been making for some time.

The States Are Laboratories for Covid Control Scott Gottlieb, WSJ. Gottlieb is saying that in a Federal system, natural experiments at the state level were beneficial. Does that imply a national policy would have been premature? (excepting PPE and Project Warp Speed, perhaps).

How Privatization Hobbled Sweden’s Response To Coronavirus Jacobin

Report of the WHO-China Joint Mission on Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) (PDF) WHO

Luis Arce Catacora tomó posesión como presidente de Bolivia Razón. Oddly, or not, there seems to be no coverage of this in the English -language press at all.


After Joe Biden election win, China will seek to renegotiate trade deal, Beijing advisers say South China Morning Post

Niall Ferguson on Cold War II and the Death of ‘Chimerica’ The Wire China. Commentary:

What Stanley Black & Decker’s Shenzhen Departure Tells Us China Law Blog

Amid Price War and Unpaid Wages, Couriers Strike And Strive Sixth Tone

The PLA’s AI Competitions The Diplomat


Amidst intense stand-off with China, 11 steps Indian defence policy makers should consider The Scroll

India Looks to Poor Farmers to Rescue Its Virus-Ravaged Economy Bloomberg


Iran’s president calls on Biden to return to nuclear deal AP

Trump administration plans “flood” of sanctions on Iran by Jan. 20 Axios

Azerbaijan says key Karabakh town captured, Armenia says it didn’t happen France24

New Cold War

Russian Media, Officials See a Deeply Fractured US Following Election Russia Matters



Trump does not plan to concede any time soon, aides and allies indicate Reuters. Somewhere, the Norms Fairy is weeping. Meanwhile:

Last I checked, there was no Constitutional requirement for a concession speech, and the press does not certify election results.

Pulling A Rosie Ruiz: The Risky Business of Calling American Presidential Elections Jonathan Turley (anon in so cal).

Scoop: Inside Trump’s legal warfare Axios. Statement from Trump:

Trump will lose his Twitter ‘public interest’ protections in January The Verge

* * *

Smile, Democrats. Trump Lost. You Won. Josh Barro, New York Magazine

Yes, Our Long National Nightmare is Finally Over Molly Jong-Fast, Vogue

Hoping for a return to normal after Trump? That’s the last thing we need Yanis Varoufakis, Guardian (Furzy Mouse).

I Want Deeds, Not Words Current Affairs

Neoliberalism – the ideology at the root of all our problems George Monbiot, Guardian. “The transfer of public power to private oligarchs.” Thread:

America in November 2020: a Structural-Demographic View from Alpha Centauri Peter Turchin, Cliodynamica (Re SIlc).

Biden Transition

Donald Trump has lost to Joe Biden, what’s next? The presidential transition from hell. Norman Ornstein, USA Today

Trump is attempting a coup in plain sight Ezra Klein, Vox

* * *

The Biden-Harris plan to beat COVID-19 Biden-Harris Transition. Commentary:

To be fair, it may be that the Biden team conceptualizes “people’s finances” under the stimulus package. That said, a hasty reading shows that testing will be free, but not treatment. There will be contact tracing, but we don’t know whether forward, backward, or both, and in any case the 100,000 figure for tracers seems unmotivated. The mask “mandate” consists of jawboning recalcitrant states and localities. And a very good way to restore “accountability in our government” would be to have a public inquiry on the bungled CDC testing program, and to fix whatever went wrong, exactly as happened when the ObamaCare website crashed on launch. Oh, wait…

With Murthy, Nunez-Smith, and Kessler, Biden leans on experience to steer Covid-19 task force STAT

Biden Team Crafts 2021 Vaccine Logistics Amid Distrust of Trump Bloomberg. From September, still germane: “Biden’s health team, many of whom worked in the administration of President Barack Obama, are leveraging decades-long relationships with U.S. government officials to keep tabs on President Donald Trump’s initiative to deliver a vaccine in record time, the people said.” And we haven’t heard anything from them yet…

How will Biden fight the virus? Macroeconomics. Read all the way to the end.

* * *

Biden set to unwind Trump agenda after winning US election FT

Biden pick creates furor, underscoring bitterness over Obama immigration policy The Hill (anon in so cal).

‘SNL’ host Dave Chappelle urges Biden voters to be ‘humble’ winners The Hill. To be fair, Chapelle actually mentions dropping life expectancy. But then there’s this: “Chappelle also joked about ‘poor white people’ that he said ‘don’t like wearing masks,’ saying, ‘What is the problem? You wear a mask at a Klan rally. Wear it at a Walmart too.'” Let the healing begin!

Democrats in Disarray

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez on Biden’s Win, House Losses, and What’s Next for the Left (interview) NYT

The CIA Democrats in the 2020 elections WSWS. Part Two. From August, still germane. Must-read.

Trump Transition

Election Day Failing Puts DeJoy at Risk of Contempt Order Courthouse News

Census takers say they were told to enter false information AP

Our Famously Free Press

100 Years of Media Lying (free) WSJ. Rich coming from the WSJ Opinion Page. Good nonetheless!

Imperial Collapse Watch

The Myth of Endless Wars The National Interest

Guillotine Watch

The Vainglorious Eternals Go Golfing The New Republic

Gabriel Byrne: ‘There’s a shame about men speaking out. A sense that if you were abused, it was your fault’ Guardian

Hollywood and ‘Jeopardy!’ Contestants Mourn Alex Trebek: ‘A True, True Gentleman’ Variety

Antidote du jour (via):

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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About Lambert Strether

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


    1. Clive

      Usually being relegated to the small print in the coverage is the requirement for the vaccine to be stored at -80°C (please don’t ask me for the Fahrenheit equivalent, I’m not in the mood for Imperial measures barbarity today).

      This is far from a trivial detail. This kind of ultra low temperature refrigeration is much more complex (with resultant constraints on available storage and distribution infrastructure) than your more common low temperature (-18°C or thereabouts) refrigeration used by, for example, frozen food storage.

      It requires two-stage refrigeration cycles. gives a good overview (you get five free articles at this site without registering).

      1. Phacops

        And, for those knowing pharma manufacturing, there are a lot of front-end costs before distribution can begin.

        Aseptic process validation must be completed. This is a test of the process, materials, personnel and environment and usually consists of validating sub-processes too. Filter challenge with P. diminuta is required, then there are the three aseptic filling trials using sterile media in the delivery containers: three batches of 40,000 units each, including anticipated operator intervention in the aseptic core, with zero non-sterile units. Plus, the cold-chain distribution and (preliminary) product stability must be demonstrated.

        Then, there will be three validation lots of product and a recent EIR (Establishment Inspection Report) must be done. Luckily, those batches are retained for eventual distribution.

        A lot of manufacturing work before the first dose is distributed. Hope they are gearing up!

      2. MS Server

        Just saying, I can go to the local grocery store and get dry ice, which begins sublimating at -79°C, so I don’t think keeping this chilly is that much of a technical problem.

        If required, it can always be put into liquid nitrogen and transported. Which is already available as a service from Fed Ex.

        1. Clive

          And how did the dry ice get manufactured?

          And didn’t you know there’s already capacity issues in many countries CO2 production facilities?

          And how do you do the heat transfer from the dry ice to the materials you want to be stored at ultra low temperatures?

          And how do you handle the solid CO2 to ensure it provides the required temperatures in the storage space? How do you cut it, where do you put it? What’s the design — tested and approved to stringent medical supply storage regulations?

          And if you want to substitute liquid nitrogen for solid CO2, how do you ensure clinician, logistics staff and patient safety? — where are the trained people, the liquid N2 storage vessels, vehicles, pharmacy equipment?

          And if you want to use solid CO2 how do you keep it in a solid state unless you supply refrigeration — which will need to be down to ultra low temperatures?

          And if you want to, alternatively, allow the CO2 to re-gassify, how do you safely manage the release of gas?

          In short, have you the feintest idea what you’re talking about? If the answer to that is “I haven’t” then please could you kindly refrain from wasting my time.

          1. rtah100

            Everything Clive said :-) plus physical chemistry:
            – N2(l) too cold, -196degC
            – CO2(s) too warm, -57degC

              1. Clive

                Apart from dry ice being a hazardous material which you’re still insisting on ignoring, if kept at sublimation point (-78.5°C) this is too warm for the vaccine storage requirement. You’d need to cool it well below this point to ensure it had sufficient margin to store the vaccine.

                And dry ice has little thermal mass. How do you propose to stop it from rapidly warming at ambient temperature? You need insulated containers. I mentioned earlier, again, ignored, that medical storage units are specialist products which needs designing, manufacturing and testing to the highest standards.

                There’s already something of a confidence issue in a vaccine. Any hint of doubts will destroy public trust. And you want to adopt an “oh, it’ll be fine, we’ll figure something out” approach to product distribution and storage? Do you seriously think this would be helpful?

                1. MS Server

                  Considering I can go to my local grocery store and buy dry ice, which means it has to be stored longterm below its sublimation temperature, I’m pretty sure this is a minor concern. It’s also a bit of a stretch to label it as “hazardous”.
                  H 1
                  F 0
                  R 1
                  PPE B

                  Pretty mild stuff, which, again, seeing as I can buy it from the grocery store tells a bit about its nature, and the fact that it doesn’t require much in the way of specialized equipment for storage.

                  Seeing as medications are already shipped with devices that indicate if ANYWHERE in the transfer chain it has risen above a set point, it is triggered, this is another “solved” problem.

                  “Do you seriously think this would be helpful?”

                  I think that people that are already predisposed to finding faults with validated drugs (which includes the logistics, by the way), will not take a vaccine regardless. If the goal is to point out all of the ways vaccines are already being distributed in a safe manner, and pointing out that the major hurdles are coordination (which has been sorely missing since the beginning of the pandemic) and not some unknown knowledge of how to ship things that need to be cold, then I guess it’s not helpful.

                  It’s also not helpful to point out possible problems that already have solutions. Limited storage capacity would impact an initial roll out, which will probably be limited by actual production, regardless. Shipping and storage are known quantities. Coordination and distribution are problems, largely because they involve politics, not engineering and basic thermodynamics.

                  1. Clive

                    You cannot design a system without specifications. The pharmaceutical company has not issued product protocols for either storage, distribution, handling or dispensing — not even as drafts for comment, let alone FDA or industry review or approval.

                    This is a big tell. If the distribution of the product had been considered, at least considered to the point where it was ready for a discussion about how it can be done, then Pfizer would have been showboating how it was all lined up, ready to go. So these problems do *not* have ready-to-roll-out solutions.

                    The entire sorry history of COVID-19 has been characterised by public naivety and political magical thinking. A trend which, as this shows, continues right to this very day.

                    I too wish for some sort of resolution to it all. But acting like a society in the throes of bipolar disorder — one minute in the depths of despondency, clutching at obviously dumb straws and doing the scientific equivalent of calling for more leeches, the next minute in misplaced euphoria because of some rha-rha’ing press release from Big Pharma — isn’t any solution to anything.

              2. Rtah100

                You are right. I foolishly looked up the melting point because I forgot it sublimes. But it is still too warm so at least I remembered that correctly.

                And as a heavier than at asphyxia the gas, plus a weak acid in aqueous solution, it’s got some serious safety issues to overcome in transit. You don’t want to corrode your vehicle or suffocate your handlers.

          2. MS Server

            As a chemical engineer that has worked for Praxair, yes I do. You’ve raised questions that are, at best, tangentially related to logistics of the vaccine. As I posted, this is a solved problem, Fed Ex offers an off the shelf solution. The bigger issue might be scaling, but liquid N2 is pennies on the dollar cheap. So then it’s whether Fed Ex (or anyone else) can manufacture enough vessels for shipping.

            You act like medical and lab samples aren’t shipped all over the world already. They are. There are small engineering questions to scale, nothing that would prevent this from moving forward.

            1. Clive

              Then you know better.

              Issues like an existing cold chain which is only scaled for medical samples isn’t “tangential”. It’s a basic fundamental constraint. There’s an order of magnitude difference between a few thousand medical samples and tens or hundreds of millions of doses of vaccine.

              And you concentrated only on the availability (actually, lack thereof) of ultra low temperature storage and distribution infrastructure. You completely ignored the “people” side of handling very low temperature materials.

              Then there’s the complexity of transferring the ultra low temperature vaccine into administerable doses. What’s the warm up time, what is the external warm up temperature glide rules, what’s the shelf-life at room temperature, how do nurses and pharmacists manage inventories?

              And I never said the storage, transportation and dispensing problems couldn’t be resolved. I merely pointed out they’d not been considered yet, let alone subject to any feasibility assessment or, finally, gone through a planning exercise with an output of a verified timescale. This is a specialised, multidisciplinary task and a fairly demanding piece of work for supply chain operators, healthcare professionals and regulatory bodies like the FDA. So I’m not at all surprised all you could come up with were a few handwaves.

              1. MS Server

                “This is a specialised, multidisciplinary task and a fairly demanding piece of work for supply chain operators, healthcare professionals and regulatory bodies like the FDA.”

                Completely agree. Which as I said comes down to being a logistical and coordination problem, not a technical hurdle that would prohibit this vaccine from being able to be distributed in growing numbers (assuming all of the data continue to indicate it is effective AND safe) as production is ramped.

                Being that there are multiple avenues of transporting and storing (deep freezers are, also, relatively common) this is an issue of scaling, not whole new systems that have to be implemented from the drawing board. This seems it would also be a good point for the government to reach out and purchase a large fraction of the required equipment necessary.

                I am much more hopeful these issues can be resolved, now that Jared Kushner won’t have his [whatevers] involved.

                1. Procopius

                  I’m dubious that “deep freezers” actually reach temperatures of -112° F, or that poor countries actually have the infrastructure to handle millions of doses with these requirements, but I’ll bow to your superior knowledge. It seems far more likely to me that, if the Chinese vaccine meets safety and effectiveness requirements, it will be chosen by most of the world.

                2. apleb

                  I’d say there are very high technical hurdles:
                  – the number of such freezing units in existence and/or manufacturing capacity for them.
                  – the number of medically trained people capable of dealing with cold that can easily flash freeze your arm or fingers.
                  – infrastructure to roll this out country wide in every hospital or country doctore premises.

                  This is not a elite, one place only, highly trained professionals high tech thingamajig. This is something that needs to reach the farthest points of any country in the shortest time possible.
                  While there are hurdles in procedures and regulations, etc. Those are really really minor. Those are mainly a piece of paper that is only a problem since it is artificially made.

                  People trained enough not to hurt themselves and others, material that exists, in enough quantity, to do it. Those are actual problems no amount of money, effort or red tape slashing can solve.

                  Think face masks: if the demand suddenly goes up several thousand percent, then there will be chaos, no matter the good. Facemasks everyone with a Singer sewing machine or a simple needle, and a few old clothes can make, and it still is such a problem everywhere. But this new ultra cold transport infrastructure is not neolithic tech like face masks, it’s harder to make with a lot less places for manufacturing.

        2. JP

          Liquid nitrogen is a waste product from the liquefaction of oxygen. Union Carbide has been thinking up ways merchandise it for decades. The question is; how many doses can you get in a five gallon dewar.

          1. The Historian

            Two problems with that:
            1) 5 gallon dewars are not approved containers for transportation. I wouldn’t even carry one in my vehicle because usually the stoppers are loose to allow for the release of gas if pressure builds up. I had this professor when I was in grad school who was always asking us to transport these dewars to his private lab. Only the dumb students would do it.
            2) 5 gallon dewars are not licensed for transporting medical materials. There is no way you can maintain the necessary quality control for medicines that will be injected into humans.

            1. bruce

              Dewars with loose stoppers are safe precisely because the liquid N2 vaporizing can escape without building up pressure. It’s when the gas can’t escape that trouble happens.

              1. Yves Smith

                This is bad faith. You are trying to talk over The Historian and ignored his points that 5 gal dewars are not approved containers for transportation and specifically are not licensed for transporting medical material. I put you in moderation yesterday and really should have blacklisted you. You just confirmed I was too nice. Goodbye.

              2. Rtah100

                The loose stoppers are loose to stop pressure bursts. Not a problem if you keep the windows down. The problem the Historian is wary of is that loose stoppers lead to spilt liquid nitrogen. Worse than McDonalds coffee in the lap….

            2. MS Server

              A real brief search of the worldwide web turns this up this:

              2mL vials – 28,800 units
              Hold time up to 21 days at -150°C or colder
              • Inventory tray locks to prevent rotation during transit
              • Easily moved with pallet jack or forklift
              • Complies with Special Provision A152
              • Includes the SmartPak II® Condition Monitoring
              • Dedicated 24/7/365 client support team proactively
              monitors your shipment
              • Intervention capabilities that mitigate risks when
              they occur
              • CryoMax® also functions as a temperature storage
              unit to optimize your supply chain and relocate your inventory

              So… solved problem!!

              1. JP

                Thank you NS Server for not getting lost in the weeds. I just pulled the size five gallons from my azz. Did not expect that to be the issue addressed.

              2. Clive

                Did you read the top line of the marketing blurb? They pitch this container specifically for moving materials from one laboratory facility to another. It is not licenced for medicines — it clearly states it is intended to be used for “cryogenic commodities”. It is intended to serve human tissue and lab materials markets (e.g. the IVF industry and forensics and so on).

                It is not a product distribution system. It is essentially a large well-insulated tank of liquid nitrogen. The problem is not getting hold of liquid nitrogen. The problem is having to use it as a storage mechanism medium in the first place.

                It says nothing about shipper constraints (who can or can’t convey large amounts of compressed or liquid gas), what skills are needed to unload the consignment at the end of the journey, where you’d put the vaccine after transporting (you can’t keep opening those sealed vessels repeatedly without venting nitrogen and eventually losing thermal protection and the storage time quoted is for an unopened container).

                It similarly says nothing about readying the vaccine for patient administration. Or where all the staff who can both prepare doses and are trained handle cryogenic materials are going to come from. Do you think these exist at every hospital, especially smaller scale ones? Let alone at provincial clinics or, especially, pharmacies.

                If it’s all so incredibly straightforward as you’d like to make it, why do pharmaceutical companies spend huge amounts of time and money on product development to make sure that drugs are storable at, ideally, room temperature or, if not possible, at least at medium temperature refrigeration ranges (+4-6°C)?

                Your thought-pattern is that of one who is looking at a storage and distribution system design question in terms of an individual component. This isn’t how such things are developed. You need to create it as a system. You can’t just say, gee, great, here’s a big tank of liquid nitrogen, that’s it, that is all we need, job done.

        3. The Historian

          @ MS Server
          I assume you understand how many of these packages would be needed to transport 100 million doses of vaccine. Do you think FedEx has enough available?

          Do you understand the difficulties of scaling up this packaging to meet the minimum requirements in 49 CFR for transporting large quantities of cryogenics?

            1. Cuibono

              at least not right away. i mean i know they care calling for a billion doses but good luck with that.
              It would be something to be able to immunize all HCWs alone as a first step

          1. MS Server

            Which is why, in a response above, I pointed out that this is more of a political “problem” due to making decisions on who gets those vaccines first, rather than a problem of knowing how to keep things cold during shipping and storage.

            There will not be 100 million vaccines ready to go on day 1; there will be a phased rollout. So I would expect Fed Ex, UPS, USPS, Swift, etc. to be able to figure out the rate and timing that needs to be in place to continue to ramp distribution across the nation. Again, a coordination and political problem, not an engineering or laws of nature problem.

            1. Clive

              You cannot market a medicine by asking shippers what storage, shipping and distribution services they offer then working back from there. Medicines which are licenced for marketing must be tested as drug products. You can’t take a compound or other chemical formulation, do some lab tests and clinical trials under laboratory supervision, find it is safe and effective as a medicine then just stick it in a phial and put it in the back of a truck.

              Medicines must then, before mass marketing begins, have further tests to establish stability, shelf-life, storage and handling requirements:

              The current regulatory regime — certainly in the EU — does not cover ultra low temperature medicine storage.

              It is simply not even featured in the testing requirements — the only licencing arrangements currently available are for “frozen” (low temperature refrigeration, around -18 centigrade) medicines.

              There is simply no provision under current medical testing and licencing for storing, distributing and dispensing medicines which need ultra low temperature handling to ensure stability.

              Of course, there could be, now the need is presumably there, defined certification, testing and licencing parameters created for this type of medicine (from the EMA guidance “Drug substances intended for storage below -20°C should be treated on a case-by-case basis”). “Could be”. Not “already are”.

      3. Mummichog

        Thanks for that important detail where the Devil is.

        Skeptic asks: what fortunate corporation can get those billions contracts for the refrig equipment? Maybe all planned: Hey, we have a solution BUT we have to give billions to XYZ CORP for fridges! After all, it’s all about spinning the public. Just a healthcare version of Get The Project Started and then we can keep bilking the suckers.

        Sounds like this comes out of Quant Heaven.

    2. Biologist

      More here at BBC:
      As usual the devil is in the detail:

      Their vaccine has been tested on 43,500 people in six countries and no safety concerns have been raised.

      But that seems to refer to safety testing only, not efficacy:

      The data presented is not the final analysis. It is based on the first 94 volunteers to develop Covid – the precise effectiveness of the vaccine may change when the full results are analysed.

      As I understand it they’ve not published precise data, i.e. this is a press release, not a publication. I will be very curious to see more detail, because 90% is a lot, even if the sample size is small so far.

      1. Phacops

        And, it seems to me that the full spike protein is necessary. This is their B2 vaccine with full spike protein mRNA. Their B1 candidate, containing only the active region, elicited a lot of side effects and was dropped.

        What people don’t appreciate is the importance of 3-dimensional structure in the immune response. A protein limited to the active region does not mean that it will fold properly. Presenting a complete, folded, protein presents the immune system with a target-rich material.

    3. chris

      Coverage from BI with a Trump angle is here.

      Yes, the requirement to ship the vaccine at low temperatures seriously complicated the logistics of distribution. The best approach may be to have regional distribution centers and people travel to them rather than trucks bringing it to each area. And as far as I know there are questions about how much can be produced and how quickly it can be produced without losing the stated efficacy.

      But for the moment, let’s just be glad there may be some real progress here :)

      1. Brian (another one they call)

        In the last days of the current administration, the criminal element realized how desperate the president had become and began offering all manner of charms and claims to ressurect the fallen martyr and provide him with an overwhelming victory against the tiny microbe. Billions of dollars have been given to any promise of a cure and proclamations rang from the battlements as victory was declared. Alas, the fraud was institutionalized and the madness of crowds was enshrined in the constitution; “This virus is illegal and shall not pass” The new czar of the medical retalliation wing of government began its purge of all disbelievers.
        We are a gullible lot. Because so few understand science, they still think it is magic. Perhaps it is just that we are a primitive people barely out of the trees and convincing ourselves that we are the magic and we discharge skittles from our nethers.
        Every martyr starts out as a Marty. I will choose Feldman

      2. Phacops

        Exactly. I used to work in Nuclear Pharmaceuticals and distribution was carefully choreographed. For short-lived isotopes the radionuclide had to be isolated, formulated, filled, sterilized, tested, and released within hours. The facility was located near O’Hare to facilitate distribution.

    4. skk

      I worked the numbers – this end point is at 94 cases in total out of a study of 44,000 volunteers – so that’s a positive rate of 0.2% ( the USA is at, hmm 7% or so). That’s not a lot of cases ! Anyway to get to a 90% effective rate it means that the 94 cases split into 9 in the vaccinated group but 85 in the unvaccinated group.
      That’s good, but IMO, too early to say. FOr example if the numbers broke out as 16 in the vaccinated group, 78 in the unvaccinated group we are down to an effectiveness of 80%.

      I’d like the overall positive rate to be closer to that USA+Eu positive rate mark.

      You can find worked examples for varicella in
      with the table referred to there in:

      1. rusti

        I’d like the overall positive rate to be closer to that USA+Eu positive rate mark.

        I think I misunderstood something in your calculation. Are you talking about something like total seroprevalence or confirmed cases when you say 7%? If you want 7% of the trial participants to get an infection, that’s going to be an extremely long wait.

        1. skk

          Good point – I was looking for positive tests as shown in the JHU data. Your question made me look in more detail at the test protocol – thank god its not secret. Their definition is ( section 8.1, page 50) :

          Two definitions of SARS-CoV-2–related cases, and SARS-CoV-2–related severe cases, will
          be considered (for both, the onset date of the case will be the date that symptoms were first
          experienced by the participant):
          • Confirmed COVID-19: presence of at least 1 of the following symptoms and
          SARS-CoV-2 NAAT positive during, or within 4 days before or after, the symptomatic
          period, either at

          the symptoms are the usual …
          So… what the average rate in the US population by that definition ? I’ll have to look that up – unless someone here knows already.

    5. Clem

      –Covid-19 vaccine from Pfizer and BioNTech is strongly effective–

      Wow, such timing eh? Kamala and Biden’s family will on national television, be the first to take the vaccine to inspire us for a jab.
      How do we know they are not getting saline solution? There will have to be some kind of chain of custody rules straight from the manufacturing plant.

      Price? How about a nice Einsteinian number? $36,000 a dose, to be paid by the taxpayers for those without health “insurance”. If Biden & Awaitin’ are serious about vaccination, the price of the vaccine can be deductable from federal taxes owed, averaged over say five years, or whatever the carried interest loophole time period, that they won’t change, is.

  1. zagonostra

    >Wuk Wuk Joke

    I was at a party this past weekend where we (some of us) were drinking champagne celebrating Trump’s lost. We were outside around a fire ring and I repeated a comment quoting Marx that I read here a couple of days ago to the effect that “a judge married me but I deserved a jury.” Someone who was recently divorced replied, “I got early parole for good behavior and time served” which I thought was funny…not saying whether it was a male or female…never know what tidbits you pick up reading the comments here at NC.

  2. vlade

    Re Weidmann – he’s just back to his old “woe betide, we have too much debt! (because it’s so cheap for so long, and when it normalises, govt’s won’t be able to repay it).” (I assume that somewhere in the paper he adds “and hence AUSTERITY!”).

    The abnormally low rates are a problem, but a different one than he (being a proper German banker) thinks.

    1. Harry

      I see Weidmann is not an MMT fan.

      I had an amusing interaction with Simon Wren-Lewis on twitter. Anon of course. In the course of the exchange, it became clear to me that Prof Wren-Lewis had either not read any MMT himself, or had struggled a bit with the sections on Central Bank balance sheets and money. Hey ho. I guess economics is like physics in one key respect. Progress is achieved one death at a time.

      1. jsn

        As Taleb says, “An economist is a mixture of 1) a businessman without common sense, 2) a physicist without a brain, and 3) a speculator without balls.”

    2. WobblyTelomeres

      I’ve had really good luck using a simple equation posted here repeatedly by commenter Sound of the Suburbs:

      Money supply = Public debt + Private debt + coinage

      in explaing how the trillion dollar platinum coin “solution” wouldn’t lead to massive inflation. If we paid off the national debt (“Public debt”) with platinum coins, there is no change in the money supply. Simple enough for an elevator pitch. The austerians are left blubbering and puffing. It’s grand. Thank you, SotS.

      1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

        I like making bankers’ heads explode by explaining to them how they are the ones who create money. Virtually none of them understand this. Did this with a guy who sits between the CEO and the board of one of the largest banks in Australia. I asked him: “John walks in the bank and says he wants to borrow $100K. Bank agrees, and John’s account now has a $100K balance. Which account in the bank were the funds transferred in from?”. To be fair, it took The Bank of England 320 years to acknowledge the truth (2014).

        1. Procopius

          In Seven Deadly Innocent Frauds, Warren Mosler describes trying to explain this to some bankers, I think including the Australian central bank president. He ended the argument with the point, “If someone presents you with a check drawn on the treasury, will you refuse to cash it?” The bankers suddenly realized the point. (NB: It’s been a long time since I read the anecdote and I may have misunderstood).

    3. jsn

      He’s concerned if they keep this up too long, ordinary people will start to realize that money is a public good that, if it’s not good for the public can be made so by spending some on the public.

      This would undermine the propertairian central vision of NeoLiberalism, that property is more important that people.

      This is a fundamental, existential question for NeoLiberals.

  3. vlade

    “Last I checked, there was no Constitutional requirement for a concession speech, and the press does not certify election results.”

    That’s true. Thre’s no constitutional requirement for a fair pay, fair treatment in many areas, or many other things (and, even where we do have “fair” laws, they are so weak, ambigous or plain ignored.. ).

    For better or worse (and we all know they can be for the worse too), the social norms are what keeps the society working. If you drop them, the society will have its problems.

    And yes, a lot of nasty stuff can hide behind gentlemanly behaviour. And yes, someone who does right can be excused being “ungentlemanly”. But I don’t believe we’d ignore it, just be careful to recognise it in the context. And this context is spoiled kid behaviour.

      1. Arizona Slim

        And, with an evil grin, I’m going to say this: His post-presidency will be epic. As in, if he hasn’t given Twitter a workout before, we ain’t seen nothing yet.

        1. Lemmy Caution

          His Post-presidency will be epic? Don’t you mean the launch of his presidential campaign for 2024?

          1. chris

            Is there an over under for when we’ll be looking forward and not back?

            Asking so I can let all my friends who are writhing in anticipation of Trump going to jail for all the not illegal things he did in office :p

          2. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

            If he loses he should go The Bull Moose Party route, might split the next election (like BM split so Woodrow Wilson won) but at some point left populism realizes it has everything in common with right populism, at least on the one thing that matters: economic class. Show me the good of globalism for left populists, answer = nothing. In France they tried to raise the retirement age from 62 to 64, do you think the rail worker’s union asked Le Pen what her social views were before agreeing to join the general strike with her? Result = retirement age stayed where it was.

        2. Minalin

          Ah, Twitter is going to dialing him down so there’s that. Then in prison will he have access to Twitter? If I understand the MSM, trump is facing any number of civil and criminal lawsuits. The best way to loose them would be to continue mouthing off. And there is the problem of the 70 million who voted Republican – some even for trump. If the Republicans want to bring about the Rapture then they are going to need a different guy to keep that balling rolling, like China didn’t get going until Mao died. I’m just wondering who.

          1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

            Yes, how on form for Team D faithful to call 70 million voters in the country “the problem”. Democracy much? Unity much? Answer, no, of course not, that was just sloganeering to gain power and money. 8 new justices, 4 new states, and a few more tweaks to FB/Twitter/Google will silence those uppity so-called “citizens” quick/smart.

            (Geez I can’t even get part way down the page today and I feel I have to say something, better slow down)

          2. Yves Smith

            We’ve debunked the prosecution meme repeatedly. Don’t spread disinformation. NY is pursing a “criminal investigation” which = fishing expedition for his tax returns. We’ve pointed out repeatedly that tax returns are not a Rosetta stone. No one has provided an iota of evidence to support money laundering handwaving, which appears to be based on the complete misapprehension of who would be the money launder in the scenario that dirty foreign money buys NYC real estate (it’s the bank, not the real estate seller, who would be the money launderer). Similarly, using different valuations for different purposes may not be fraud (any public company’s tax books are different than their financial reports) and even if what the Trump Organization did was fraud, it’s pretty certain to be a civil, not a criminal fraud.

            Shorter: I’m not wasting more time on this. One more remark like this and I rip out your comment and blacklist you.

      2. vlade

        Oh, I don’t disagree – I even said so week ago. Doesn’t mean we have to normalise it though IMO.

      3. Winston Smith

        We will see if his clinical psychologist niece is right. According to her, unable to slide away from eventual defeat, he will experience frequent meltdowns and lash out to “break things”. He can certainly do a lot of damage as president

        1. Antifa

          Dr. Bandy Lee, a world renowned psychiatrist and expert on public violence, says Trump’s followers willingly live in delusions about him and the world. This is the ‘madness of millions’ that arises when an insane leader bonds with his ardent followers. They give him adulation and obedience, and he gives them the Messiah they crave, the Chosen One who is the answer to all questions.

          The cure for the ardent follower is removal of the cult leader. They return to whatever psychological base line they started from, and the cult fades.

          Trump knows he has to keep his cult feeding on delusions to keep his divinity in their eyes. He also knows that it is fear of his base that keeps the GOP politicians in his pocket.

          There’s no hope of court cases disqualifying four million popular votes as “illegal” ballots. The only path Trump actually has is for one or more of the state legislatures to send a team of Trump electors to DC on December 14th.

          That’s what feeding the delusions will allow to happen.

          1. chris

            What are you talking about? I had thought your moniker was sarcastic, nit literal, but your comment makes me doubt that assessment.

            I don’t think anyone is saying millions of ballots have to be overturned. All that needs to happen is a couple tens of thousands in the right places. It’s not necessary to disqualify them either. There are many processes in play here and we’ll see what happens after all the recounts and challenges have been evaluated. It is possible that one or more states could be over turned in Trump’s favor. However, the bigger challenge is that it has to happen in multiple states and all the errors and ballot issues that are found have to have benefited only Biden. And that is not probable.

            With respect to cults, I humbly suggest it’s not Trump voters in need of deprogramming. Most of those voted for Trump because they were too familiar with reality in the country. The people who voted for Biden and desperately wish for brunch wanted Trump to go away so that they ignore reality in this country. Remember an awful lot of people who voted for Obama 2x voted for Trump. An awful lot of Trump voters also said they would have voted for a candidate like Bernie. I believe that speaks to a clear appraisal of which politician can support their interests more than a cultists following.

            Lastly, Trump is Trump. You know what you’re going to get. Biden has said that nothing will fundamentally change in his administration. Early notices of cabjnet selections and his task forces amount to doing what Trump did, but nicer. So who’s the delusional population for thinking that if Biden is elected things will improve?

            1. GramSci

              “Trump is Trump”. Or, as Varoufakis said in today’s link, Trump may be a liar, but he’s not a hypocrite. I wish I had had that line when confronting my TDS acquaintances.

            2. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

              Republican Presidential Candidate Democratic Party luminary John Kasich said yesterday “the far left almost cost Biden the election”. It’s the morning after, folks, you know, where in the bright light of day you have to face up to who you slept with last night.

          2. pjay

            From Yale psychiatrist Bandy Lee’s Wikipedia page:

            “In April 2017 Lee hosted a meeting at Yale University medical school to discuss the ethics of speaking about the mental health of Donald Trump.[9] The assembled, prominent psychiatrists decided they had a “duty to warn.”[10] Lee then stated in an interview with Salon in May 2017 that Trump suffers from mental health issues that amount to a “state of emergency” and that “our survival as a species may be at stake….”

            “In early November 2020, Lee tweeted “Donald Trump is not Adolf Hitler. At least Hitler improved the daily life of his followers, had discipline, and required more of himself to gain the respect of his followers,” which was widely criticized by the right-wing media.[19] She clarified, “To say that Adolf Hitler was more deliberate and calculating … is not to praise or deem him ‘better’ than Donald Trump,”[20] but Donald Trump may still be more dangerous because of “his irrational followership and the enormous powers of the U.S. presidency.”

            I noticed this world renowned psychiatrist’s opinions on Trump were prominently displayed on the front pages of Google, Bing, etc. I don’t know, but I assume her Twitter account is free and clear. No algorithmic censorship if the person you are calling mentally ill and worse than Hitler is Trump. Kinda like no war crime if the country you are destroying is ruled by a mentally ill tyrant who is worse than Hitler – say, a Saddam Hussein.

            Apparently, “duty to warn” works a lot like “responsibility to protect.” Thank you elite experts for protecting us from the “madness of millions.”

            1. lambert strether

              When Trump gives Jill Biden a Werther’s Original at Hillary Clinton’s funeral, all will be forgiven

        2. lordkoos

          His recent firings are worrisome – today he got rid of his sec of defense, who he was upset with because he wouldn’t unleash the military on protesters.

          1. John Ralston

            1. Those ‘Protesters’ are NOT protestors when they engage in brandishing, theft, vandalism, arson, and/or commit acts of assault and battery: they are criminals and terrorists.

            2. How much of your personal property was stolen, vandalized, burned; and what injuries did you personal sustain from said ‘Protestors’?

          2. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

            Rubbish, he wants people loyal to him and the Republican stalwarts suggested by Chris Christie in the original transition and afterwards are not that. Next up is Christopher Wray at the FBI, the apparatchik who dutifully buried the laptop for 9 months, he’ll replace him with Sidney Powell, the attorney who righted the Michael Flynn travesty of justice.

    1. Katniss Everdeen

      ….. the social norms are what keeps the society working.

      Do you mean social “norms” like women should be barefoot and pregnant or homosexuality is mental disease?

      Or are the vital, society-preserving “norms” only the ones the Bad Orange Man gets accused of breaking by wapo and cnn? Deplorables want to know.

      1. mike

        They are looking to go back to normal times like in 2016 when the Obama-Biden administration secretly investigated Trump cabinet picks under the guise of FBI briefings (all predicated on fake opposition research), among many other misdeeds in an effort to delegitimize Trumps win. And this continued for his entire presidency. You know, societal norms and all.

      2. vlade

        Did you read it? If you did, you’d see that I wrote “For better or worse (and we all know they can be for the worse too), the social norms are what keeps the society working. If you drop them, the society will have its problems. ”

        Yes, there are norms which are/were far from good. But they are part of the society, and you cannot remove them overnight without repercussions. Well, you can try, but then you get stuff like Mao’s Cultural revolution in extremis (to put in a relatively recent example. History is full of others too) – and even that failed. For other examples you can look at trying to impose liberal democracy on others (which happily practice the social norms you describe) and how well that worked.

        But if you believe that being a spoiled kid is the new way to go as far as the social norms go, well, up to you. But I’m pretty sure that many of those who now say how Trump’s right were at it when HRC was displaying the same spoiled kid behaviour four years ago (exept she didn’t have as much power).

        The social norms is what makes the culture. Unlike some, I believe that there are better and worse cultures, and yes, we’d move to the better, at the pace the society can tolerate. But it also means retaining the parts that are already good, and again, spoiled kid behaviour doesn’t fall into that category for me.

        1. Katniss Everdeen

          I read it.

          Fact is, after four years of it, I’m sick to death of references like “Mao’s Cultural revolution in extremis” in the context of some heinous Trump transgression like not making a concession speech on the wapo-determined timeline.

          I’ll remind you that the destruction of one of our sacred social “norms,” thus mortally wounding our magnificent “culture” through refusal to concede the election, was first broached by “spoiled kid” hillary clinton.

          Calm yourself. With or without an officially approved “concession speech,” Trump will exit the hallowed white house ground and the “social norms” of the cultural swamp will be preserved. This entire incident will be memory holed. The only person who will be hurt by it all is the kid who said the emperor wasn’t wearing any clothes, and michelle obama will take care of him.

          1. jsn

            I’ll shed no tears for Trump, I’ll shed tears for the investigations into FBI/CIA malfeasance though and for his constipating effect on the MIC.

            And I’m more than a little concerned now about an accidental nuclear war…

            1. Katniss Everdeen

              So you’re thinking it would be an “accident” eh?

              I live in Florida and I’m kinda worried that such an “accident” might happen to be “accidentally” aimed at Mar-a-Lago. By “accident.”

              Doesn’t help my peace of mind that those uppity Cuban expats didn’t do as they were told.

              1. jsn

                The esteem the Blob holds itself in strikes me as the biggest and most immediate threat to life on earth!

                Putin could ride in on one of those nuclear torpedoes like Slim Pickens at the end of Dr Strangelove!

          2. Riverboat Grambler

            “I’ll remind you that the destruction of one of our sacred social “norms,” (…) was first broached by “spoiled kid” hillary clinton.”

            Why would you be reminding Vlade of that when Vlade mentioned that exact point in the comment you are replying to? Did you read it?

          3. flora

            After TV “ads” featuring well paid Hollywood actors popped up in Nov-Dec 2016 encouraging state’s pledged T electors to break their oath and vote C in the EC (which in many states would result in serious legal trouble for any said electors), after the entire 2016 post-election Dem hysteria…. I’m willing to wait for the EC deadline and recounts. “Count all the votes.” /heh

        2. JTMcPhee

          I bet a lot of folks reject or just do not consider the “formal concession speech,” which has no legal (norms, anyone?) effect, as one of those norms presumed to be good.

          Seems the argument starts with the proposition having been assumed into existence. And I’ve no love for Trump, less for the Dems, but given the givens in electoral machinations, one can question whether the presumption that “the voters have spoken” without a lot of caveats is premature. And it is so lovely how the media, so ready to spread the Narrative of a Borg that has tried so hard to pull a coup on Trump, have all lined up to claim the power to declare the winner when there is a norms process in place in the Congress where the electoral votes are counted. The Mockingbird sings, early and late…

          The US does not have a popularly elected head of state. As Trump seems to have proved against the Witch of the Hamptons.

        3. fresno dan

          November 9, 2020 at 8:54 am
          At one time I would have disagreed with you, but as I have aged I have come to realize that the norms are much more important than the laws.
          What you are free to do, what is legal to do, is enough, is I would posit, a neoliberal construct.
          When greed is good becomes a norm, (and MARKETS) when anything that is legal is all that is required, here we are. When the norm is the belief that government cannot do anything competently than here we are. If the norm is to be only concerned with one’s own material situation, it is hard to see how a system predicated on such beliefs could ever have a M4A.

          Finally, this site itself has a code of conduct (i.e., norms). Try reading Zero Hedge’s unmoderated comments – eye opening and appalling when the id is totally unrestrained.

            1. Generalfeldmarschall von Hindenburg

              +1 more

              Zero Hedge is fun. But it’s fun in the way that horror movies are fun.

          1. John Ralston

            Some are appalled by free speech and unfettered debate.

            I am not.

            I prefer ‘Id Monsters’ to be visible, unmasked, and right out in the open where I size them up can engage with them if I care to.

            That goes doubly for IdPol Monsters, too…

            No one told Caesar that his countrymen all intended to stab him to death when he was preparing to enter the Forum.

          2. Clem

            i.e. From commenter named Drake, maybe it was from N.C.? Great summation:

            “The Democrats are allied with literally every group of worst people in this country — Wall St, Big Tech, traditional media, social media, the security state, the healthcare industry, the foreign policy psychopaths, private prisons, the free-trade parasites, every kind of non-profit charity and NGO grift, etc. Industrial scale professional corruption is coming back with a vengeance to replace Trump’s family-owned gifted amateur corruption.”

          3. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

            Ah yes, the norms. Trump did not institute a pogrom rooting out Hilary supporters after 2016 (a serious tactical error as it turned out) but Team D at the highest is suggesting that as a new acceptable norm and plan of action. It’s not clear how Stalin Biden will need to proceed, maybe a snitch program? Anyone suspected of harboring secret sympathy for things like freedom of speech or mentioning the lack of new wars at the water cooler can be brought in for ideological purity questioning. Or, even easier, get Sergei Brin and Mark Zuckerberg to prepare a list based on prior Google searches and FB IMs. I know, we can call those “black lists” (let’s see, black list, black list, where have I heard that term used before?) Hey, you voted for him, good luck getting that “America” thingy back, hopefully the ship of state sails exactly where you want it to go at all times because if it doesn’t you…are…completely…screwed. Are you now or have you ever been a member of the Republican Party?

    2. Eduardo

      In 2020 and with Trump I would not count my votes until they are final in December via the Electoral College.

      My guess is that he will not concede before then.

    3. bruce

      When the Lamb wrote that, I suspect that he was riffing off two comments from the other day, the second of which was mine, in which I advised the first commenter that elections in this country are decided by the voters, not the courts.

      He’s right about concession speeches in the Constitution. I’ve read it from cover to cover, there’s no reference to concessions. He misapprehends the role of “the press”, which is enshrined in our First Amendment as a fundamental participant in our republic. What else but a free press should we trust with “information” about what is happening? The problem with the free press recently is that it has issued forth so many lies, even a veteran epistemologist can’t tell what’s true anymore (note: epistemology and epidemiology are not the same thing); it’s like Borges’ vast “The Library of Babel” where half the information is true and the other half is false, so it has no net value.

      1. lambert strether

        That’s Lambert, champ.

        You’re wrong on the press. States certify elections. The press is attempting to arrogate that function to itself, and the Democrats, because the press is one of the commanding heights they control, is abetting them.

      2. Lupemax

        If Julian Assange is extradited and imprisoned in the US (basically killing him) for publishing US War crimes there no longer will be a ‘free press.’ For the most part it’s not really ‘free’ anyway as it is predominantly corporate owned (thanks to Bill Clinton’s Telecom Bill) and operated as is social media. As is NPR and PBS. The FEC no longer reps the people either. IMHO.

  4. Pat

    Trump’s statement is the Matt Stoller tweet. I might wish it were, but I am pretty sure that wasn’t the intended tweet.

  5. The Rev Kev

    David Barboza
    ‘Niall Ferguson on US-China relations: “The Clinton-globalist consensus was that China is going to become more like us, and [they will] accept second tier or second fiddle status indefinitely. That was the sort of implicit part of it…” ‘

    Got that last bit right. The US under Bush tried to offer China a deal where the two of them would basically run the world between them with the US as the senior partner. In fact, the US would out-source occupation duties to the Chinese so you would have Chinese military forces occupying places like Iraq and Afghanistan under American direction. For some mysterious reason, the Chinese did not take up this offer. Can’t think why.

    1. Carolinian

      China to America, deplorables to coastals: you’re not the boss of me. Our coastal elites are shocked, shocked that people think of them as the head of a rotting fish. Perhaps there needs to be a lot more of that humility thing and not just from Biden voters.

    2. Generalfeldmarschall von Hindenburg

      That deal worked so well for Britain after WW2. I’m sure the Chinese took note.

      1. Clem

        Like allowing the Palestinian Mandate to take us over and fight all their wars for them?

        Balfour on steroids.

    1. rob

      boy that smells like a corporate hand being pushed out to accept “public” money from a “friendly” bunch of people soon to assume the roll of check signers in chief…
      I guess time will tell if the claims… are at odds with reality…. or not.

      but until then…. the ride on the stock markets are sure to feel like a rocket going up…. and up…..

      1. Howard Beale IV

        Pfizer states they are not part of Operation Warp Speed, and they have stated that the vaccine will be free for All US citizens. Of course, keeping the vaccine at -80 Celsius will be a non-trivial challemge.

  6. anon

    Here is a report from France on COVID infection hospitalization (IHR) and fatality rates (IFR) as defined by the presence of antibodies. This highlights one of the problems with randomized placebo controlled trials of HCQ, where the average age of patient was <50 yrs and only 400-500 were enrolled. Given the IFR of <0.1% and the IHR of just over 1% in that age group, they would have needed thousands of patients to show significance (something Dr Risch has pointed out).

  7. Katniss Everdeen

    RE: Biden Team Crafts 2021 Vaccine Logistics Amid Distrust of Trump Bloomberg.

    “Biden’s health team, many of whom worked in the administration of President Barack Obama, are leveraging decades-long relationships with U.S. government officials to keep tabs on President Donald Trump’s initiative to deliver a vaccine in record time, the people said.”

    The stock market futures are up approx. 1500 points on the news that pfizer has a vaccine that is 90% effective. Never happened before!!! We are saved!!!

    The pandemic is over!!!!! There is no connection between the timing of the announcement and the election five days ago according to the ceo of pfizer. We wait to hear “president biden’s” strategy for “handling” covid.

    Even the virus is glad to give up now that the Bad Orange Man is gone. It’s a MIRACLE.

    Un. Frickin’. Believable.

    1. Katniss Everdeen

      PS. From the link How will Biden fight the virus? Macroeconomics:

      First, El Trumpo will have made the third wave as bad as he possibly can. The anger of the narcissistic, would-be tyrant cannot be contained and the American people will be in the firing line for rejecting him…….

      Orange. Man. Bad.

      Bad, bad, bad. And he lied about a vaccine. All hail joseph robinette biden, jr. Only he canl save us.

      1. tegnost

        one of the most remarkable things about all this are the venomous hateful comments to the effect that those other people are hateful and venomous.
        The american people are in the firing line for rejecting hillary, and they’re going to be punished for it good and hard.
        Re: covid disappearing right after the election? That’s going to leave a mark if so and proves once again that even I am not cynical enough

          1. anon

            I suspect those Dems who condemned the “Trump” vaccine will move themselves to the front of the line to receive the Pfizer (“Biden”) vaccine.

          2. jsn

            And you think the Ds want to govern?

            Times is front paging CIA/Marine Conor Lamb trashing progressives while burying the AOC interview.

            They’ll hand back the House as quickly as they can and jerymandering should ensure it stays that way until the last meat is picked off the carcass.

            Oh, and that vaccine needs to be transported at -80C, so I don’t see the Covid issue going away soon: where’s the operational capability in post industrial US for that kind of distribution?

    2. rusti

      There is no connection between the timing of the announcement and the election five days ago according to the ceo of pfizer. We wait to hear “president biden’s” strategy for “handling” covid.

      Am I reading you right that your implication is that the Pfizer CEO sat on the information until Biden was declared president? As recently as September, the same CEO was boasting about how their best case scenario meant they would be at this stage already in late October (presumably a boost for Trump), but anyone looking seriously at the timeline would have reason to suspect that this optimistic scenario was basically impossible.

      I suspect that the company doesn’t much care about who is president. They’ll get richer regardless of who is in the White House.

      1. Katniss Everdeen

        I am merely reporting what was said in a lengthy interview with the pfizer ceo on cnbc this morning.

        I would also add that dr. scott gottlieb, who has turned himself into a one-man covid information industry, sits on the board of pfizer. His brylcreemed talking head has been ubiquitous throughout this pandemic, dispensing breaking covid news and scientific opinion.

        (That would be the same pandemic without which Trump would have cruised to reelection, or so sayeth most pundits.)

        Had dr. gottlieb known about any imminent vaccine breakthrough, he surely would have confirmed Trump’s relentlessly ridiculed optimistic vaccine scenario to ease the concerns of an anxious voting population.

        No, I think this was just one of those crazy coincidences that happens in washington, d.c. every day and twice on Sunday. Speaking of Sunday, it was just yesterday that pfizer’s ceo said he first became aware of this miracle vaccine that he termed the most significant medical breakthrough in the last 100 years. Imagine that!

        1. rusti

          I just don’t see this as unexpected. The “best case” schedule they laid out a couple months for a pre-election vaccine was idiotically optimistic and that favored Trump.

          If there are suspicious revelations about the timeline I will have egg on my face, but I doubt the Pfizer CEO would make a huge risk to get Biden over Trump. There are a lot of other people down the organization who would have to fall in line to keep a lid on such a scandal.

          1. Katniss Everdeen

            I don’t think I ever said it was “unexpected.” In fact, there are 70 million people in flyover country who expected it in spades and got it good and hard.

          2. TroyIA

            Covid-19 vaccine from Pfizer and BioNTech is strongly effective, early data from large trial indicate

            In their announcement of the results, Pfizer and BioNTech revealed a surprise. The companies said they had decided not to conduct the 32-case analysis “after a discussion with the FDA.” Instead, they planned to conduct the analysis after 62 cases. But by the time the plan had been formalized, there had been 94 cases of Covid-19 in the study. It’s not known how many were in the vaccine arm, but it would have to be nine or fewer.

            Gruber said that Pfizer and BioNTech had decided in late October that they wanted to drop the 32-case interim analysis. At that time, the companies decided to stop having their lab confirm cases of Covid-19 in the study, instead leaving samples in storage. The FDA was aware of this decision. Discussions between the agency and the companies concluded, and testing began this past Wednesday. When the samples were tested, there were 94 cases of Covid in the trial. The DSMB met on Sunday.

            This means that the statistical strength of the result is likely far stronger than was initially expected. It also means that if Pfizer had held to the original plan, the data would likely have been available in October, as its CEO, Albert Bourla, had initially predicted.

            1. rusti

              On the advice of Trump’s executive branch they delayed the reveal of efficacy data to help Biden?

              1. TroyIA

                It is a reply to you calling a pre-election vaccine idiotically optimistic. Had Pfizer stuck to the original intention of an interim analysis at 32 events they would have had data before the election like they had planned.

                As to whether I think Pfizer purposely delayed the trial results until after the election. Nope.

                Do I think there were people (cough) Eric Topol (cough) who waged a PR campaign to pressure the FDA to slow the trial until after the election for the main purpose of hurting Trump’s reelection chances? Yep.

                1. rusti

                  A pre-election EUA application was idiotically optimistic. Here’s a virologist explaining in mid September why the Pfizer “best case” projections made no sense considering the lag times for the trial.

                  To your point about Topol, people like him and Michael Osterholm were suspecting (reasonably, in my opinion) that Trump would demand EUA even for a vaccine that was minimally safe and effective, so calling attention to HHS actions was justified. I would bet my metaphorical house that they both voted for Biden, but there were very justifiable reasons to worry about what actions would be taken based on a 32-case “interim” analysis.

                  I get annoyed at scientists who act like they’re totally above all political considerations and only talk “the science”, but in this case it seems like a real stretch to assert that they were acting in a pure partisan manner.

              2. flora

                In October all the polls indicated — or “strongly indicated” ;) — that Biden would win. Not that the polls had anything to do with timing a press release. / I must step away from this ‘court intrigue’ rabbit hole. ;)

      2. mike

        you don’t think the ceo of a pharmaceutical company would have a preferred political candidate? With heath care being such a hot button topic, really?

        1. rusti

          you don’t think the ceo of a pharmaceutical company would have a preferred political candidate? With heath care being such a hot button topic, really?

          If I can flip that question around on you, do you think that the CEO of Pfizer would risk involvement a gigantic scandal in deliberately suppressing this news for the dubious benefit of maybe not having to face the um, rabidly anti-corporate Trump executive branch? Especially when he was making claims two months ago that played to Trump’s benefit?

      3. Katniss Everdeen

        PS. They are replaying parts of the pfizer ceo’s interview on cnbc, and here’s a part I forgot:

        “It happens at the speed of science. I was predicting it would happen at the end of October, and it happened a week later.”

        Shrugs shoulders.

        One week same as the next.

        We report, you decide.

        1. rusti

          Then 75 million “coastal elites” would be livid if the stupidly optimistic “best case” timeline had held and they’d have applied for EUA right before election day. Like I say in my reply to mike above, I have a tough time seeing the upside for Pfizer in waiting but it makes plenty of sense from the perspective of running a Phase III trial with tens of thousands of participants why it came later rather than sooner.

          1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

            I’m waiting for the moment when candidate Biden becomes president Biden and realizes that the job is not to instill as much fear and panic as possible in the population, in fact just the opposite.

            And LOL look at the Biden Covid strategy: a “task force”. Trump runs roughshod as fast as he can over all kinds of bureaucrats with Operation Warp Speed given the urgency and Team D true to form makes a “task force”. Kind of like the task force they did with Bernie to fold his policies into the platform. I predict delays as the Biden Covid crew argues over whether the BLM logo should be on the center of the masks or off to the side, and what kind of language supporting woman-owned marijuana dispensaries can be folded into the plan.

    3. Keith

      Drudge has a headline claiming the Pfizer was never part of Project Warp Speed. It seems like down the memory hole COVID is going.

  8. diptherio

    Yes, Our Long National Nightmare is Finally Over…and now we’re waking up, only to remember that we still have terminal cancer, and additionally the house appears to be on fire…but at least the nightmare is over.

    1. gsinbe

      Exactly! I was thinking that the article should be “Yes, Our Long National Nightmare is Finally Over – And a New One Has Begun”

      1. Dr. John Carpenter

        I prefer ““Yes, Our Long National Nightmare is Finally Over – Get Ready to Have the Old One Again”

          1. marym

            Thank you for the link. It’s not low-wage H2-B or undocumented workers who are responsible for low wages for US workers, even though people make a good faith argument to justify anti-immigrant polices on those grounds. Trump, like “open borders globalists” doesn’t care about US workers.

    2. Noone from Nowheresville

      I think the nightmare is only beginning. The Dems scare me more than Trump ever did.

      1. Dr. John Carpenter

        Competent, smooth talking evil with a consensus behind it should scare people more than bumbling, crass evil without a list of bipartisan security state support.

        1. Minalin

          Let’s see 75 million for one, 70 million for the other, I don’t see proof that people prefer one to the other. The underlying issue is what of course what do the Oligarchs want. I assume their going the ‘evil smooth’ route. The people make plans, the Oligarchs just laugh.

          1. Dr. John Carpenter

            The people don’t necessary prefer one to another. The security state, MIC, alphabet orgs, etc. do. Sorry if I wasn’t clear on that.

        2. Duke of Prunes

          I’ve been trying to point this out, but no one is listening…

          A younger me would sit back and say to myself “well, eventually, these people will learn when they reap what they sow” and “the checks and balances of the system will kick in before things get too bad”.

          After observing the level of brainwashing successfully implemented over these last few years, I’m doubtful that the “Team Biden” people will actually learn. Their friends in the media will tell them everything is fine and the cognitive dissonance will be strong.

          I associate with a wide variety of people from across the country, and I’ve been amazed at how many people whose intelligence and insight I respect, have fallen for either “orange mad bad” or “Trump is King!”. I guess it just proves the point that people smart in one domain tend to overestimate their mastery in other unrelated domains (like politics).

          About brainwashing, I’ve been trying the line “if you find yourself in agreement with most of what your political candidate is saying, you’ve been brainwashed”. Given the diversity of the USA, it should be nearly impossible to get a broad spectrum of people to agree on anything, let alone the majority of a political agenda. Yet, somehow it happens. Read the NYT and WaPo and watch the network news with a critical eye toward persuasion techniques to find out how.

          1. Duke of Prunes

            I just want to add, everything I said above applies to Trump supporters as well. I realize what I wrote may sound one sided, but I only focused on Biden because its top of mind given the election call.

        3. a different chris

          Sorry guys, I’m talking the “Competent” evil over the incompetent one every time.

          You can get somewhere with competent. They *will* talk to you, and they *will* do what they say as long as they are sure the outcome will be as agreed, that is they get their cut.

          Bumbling evil is just always adjusting it’s compass right back towards the iceberg.

          And people can accuse me of “evil” because I don’t even care about that argument, the best way to win when you are badly undermanned is to keep the overlords fighting. Trump 4 years, Biden 4 years, Old School Republican 4 years, Kamala 4 years… it’s better for these clowns to get nothing done squabbling amongst themselves than do anything they intend to.

          I any case, tell me when we are going to get somebody not evil? In the meanwhile…

      2. Clem

        Damn, why did I waste this quote above:

        Will reposte, apologies to Lambert.

        From commenter named Drake:

        “The Democrats are allied with literally every group of worst people in this country — Wall St, Big Tech, traditional media, social media, the security state, the healthcare industry, the foreign policy psychopaths, private prisons, the free-trade parasites, every kind of non-profit charity and NGO grift, etc. Industrial scale professional corruption is coming back with a vengeance to replace Trump’s family-owned gifted amateur corruption.”

    3. jef

      From a political perspective Biden’s track record is abysmal. He only squeaked through by being held up to a steaming pile of…

      He will bring both sides of the aisle together though as he is the epitome of what is wrong with the dems and is the repubs best friend.

  9. tegnost

    “And once there again jobs, they’re going to be part-time gig workers without full benefits, low wages, freelancers, contractors. Corporate sector wants to have flexibility. That means that these precarious jobs that are going to become the new norm, leading to economic fragility, it’s more uncertainty, more income and wealth insecurity.”
    um…prop 22 anyone?

    and in the header for yahoo finance the dow futures are up almost 1,500 points, nudging 30,000, while when obama/biden took office it was?
    “When President Obama took office on Jan. 20, 2009, the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) continued its credit crisis slump and fell to 7,949.09, the lowest inaugural performance (as measured by percentage drop) for the Dow since its creation in 1896.”

    Biue no matter who should enjoy their short term victory…
    and a side note to schumer,that song from the ’80’s (when the sh!+$how was just getting started)
    “50k a year will buy a lot of beer”, 50k would leave a fair number if not most debtors still owing in the these gilded days, and interest would simply start accruing once again so yet another gift to the grift, but it would be “off brand” to do it any other way.

      1. tegnost

        generally paired with “my head is like a football”
        ah the ’80’s, you punk kids really missed out!
        Now get offa my lawn

    1. Wukchumni

      Count Formaldehyde practically screams ‘Doom Me’ and is in fine form. His accent has gotten even murkier somehow.

    2. ManfredManny

      Now Trump supporters and sore losers are talking about an organized
      spending strike next year.

      Perfect, the Democrats can blame the lack of recovery and recession on the deplorables.

  10. The Rev Kev

    “What Stanley Black & Decker’s Shenzhen Departure Tells Us”

    Uhhh, that Black & Decker needed China more than the Chinese need B&D? All their workers got snapped up straight away. When I read article like this, it has the unintended consequence of making me understand the Chinese stance more. So, ‘Land Use Rights are Never Certain’? Well no. It’s like eminent domain. B&D might have decided to keep that land unused until it was worth much more in a decade or twos time. Sort of like a dog in a manger. Chinese law says nope.

    And ‘Labour’? The most telling sentence in this bit was when he said ‘In the end, though, Americans generally have a clearer understanding of the demands of a market economy, if only because it’s the only kind of economy most Americans will have experienced.’ Yeah, like Amazon fulfillment center workers. Fred Rocafort has apparently not heard of unintended irony.

    And finally there is ‘CCP Lies and Randomness.’ As compared to US Lies and Randomness, particularly under Trump? If any country disobeys Washington then starts sanctions and disputes and riots and all the rest of it. But you cannot always predict it and any country can find itself under the gun. Just ask Bolivia. Or Belarus.

      1. Clem

        Good. I’ve abandoned the B&D brand since they abandoned us.
        Once built in the U.S., might consider them based on quality and participation of Americans from Texas building the tools and the components, not Mexicans making most of it, then final robotic assembly in America.

      2. John Wright

        I have seen the label “Assembled in the USA” on some of the B&D/Dewalt tools which could be a reason for a USA plant.

        While we have “Greenwashing” to eco stamp companies, we may now have “USA manufactured washing”.

        It is not a stretch to suggest that “Made in the USA” requires much more content to be built in the USA than “assembled in the USA”.

        1. Tom Stone

          When I was a child I had a toy marked “Made in Usa”, Usa Japan..
          And boy does that date me!

    1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

      It’s quite different from “Eminent Domain”, the Chinese Communist Party (5% of the population) actually owns all of the land in China. If you play and pay nice they allow you to lease land and make a business on top of it, if not then they have unlimited ways to remove you from the lease and the business becomes a SOE. You can sue in the courts if you like but guangxi plus payola to the right prosecutor would be critical since the courts have a 99% conviction rate.

      THAT is the lovely investment partner of our new fearless globalist (presumed) leader

  11. Cocomaan

    Delaware study: State-mandated stay-at-home orders and public mask mandates coupled with case investigations with contact tracing contributed to an 82% reduction in COVID-19 incidence

    I mean, no kidding. That’s like saying that preventing people from driving cars prevents car crashes.

    As the NC comment with the article says, you need to do something for people if you’re going to lock them inside their houses. I quoted my libertarian car mechanic on here before: lockdowns are a form of eminent domain and people need to be paid for their labor if they’re prevented from doing it.

    1. Keith

      Absolutely. My daughter is sick, so while working with our doctor, we don’t dare bring her in for a formal COVID test, as then we (the parents) would get quarantined if she is positive. I am starting a new job and girlfriend used all her leave giving birth. We cannot risk a no pay due on this. It is more hope for the best and treat with care. thankfully, she only has a fever and mucus, and it seems rather minor.

      Oh, we have been able to keep her home from daycare, as we found someone to watch her while we are out.

  12. CanCyn

    Rest in peace Alex Trebek.
    He really was a nice guy. I grew up in small town just north of Sudbury, Ontario where Trebek was born and raised. My Mom had cardiovascular disease and Sudbury was the nearest place for cardiac healthcare. My mom was in hospital once in a Sudbury hospital in a double room with Alex’s grandmother. He visited a couple of times and was very kind and friendly to my Mom, chatting with her and including her in the conversation while he spent time with his grandmother. This would have been in the early years of his Jeopardy hosting gig, but from all accounts, it sounds like he retained his humility and humanity.

    1. cocomaan

      If you want to see some hilarious Trebek trolling (he had a wicked sense of humor), check him out moderating the 2016 gubernatorial debate in Pennsylvania. It’s one of the weirdest debates I’ve ever seen, which is saying a lot in 2020.

      The beginning with Trebek admonishing and pontificating is hilarious for how awkward it is.

    2. Phacops

      Born in 1940, during the bad old days of massive pollution. I saw the moonscape around Sudbury caused by cooking off all that SOx. My mother’s family were hard rock miners there but left and didn’t look back.

      There were massive slag heaps and at night one would see the rail cars of molten slag being poured down the slopes of those piles.

      1. ewmayer

        There is at least one positive legacy of all that mining, in form of the famous Sudbury Neutrino Observator:

        The Sudbury Neutrino Observatory (SNO) was a neutrino observatory located 2100 m underground in Vale’s Creighton Mine in Sudbury, Ontario, Canada. The detector was designed to detect solar neutrinos through their interactions with a large tank of heavy water.

        The detector was turned on in May 1999, and was turned off on 28 November 2006. The SNO collaboration was active for several years after that analyzing the data taken.

        The director of the experiment, Art McDonald, was co-awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics in 2015 for the experiment’s contribution to the discovery of neutrino oscillation.[1]

        The underground laboratory has been enlarged into a permanent facility and now operates multiple experiments as SNOLAB. The SNO equipment itself is currently being refurbished for use in the SNO+ experiment.

        For the physics-interested, that page goes on to describe the “solar neutrino problem” which arose when the first measurements of neutrinos generated by fusion reactions deep within the sun – neutrinos are so weakly-interacting with normal matter/energy that the vast majority generated even deep inside a star or supernova fly into space without any interaction with all those millions of miles of boiling thermonuclear matter surrounding the interior – showed that the mix of various neutrino types (a.k.a. ‘flavors’) differed in a major way from that predicted by theory. Improving measurement quality over the next half-century only strengthened the conclusion. The only way to reconcile the theory and experiment was if some large fraction of the neutrinos generated in the sun spontaneously changed ‘flavor’ on their way to earth, so-called ‘neutrino oscillation’. An associated question was whether neutrinos have any mass, or are massless, like photons. The only way a particle can undergo such spontaneous change is if it experiences the passage of time, and per Einstein’s special relativity (in form of the Lorentz transformation equations), only particles with nonzero mass experience the passage of time. (Photons can be emitted and absorbed, but in flight are ‘timeless’). So once it was established that neutrinos do spontaneously oscillate between various flavors, it followed that they must have mass, and subsequent work has been to more-precisely quantify said (very tiny) mass. It was one of the top 2 or 3 physics discoveries of the past 50 years.

        Anyhow, R.I.P. Alex Trebek, we Jeopardy! nerds will never forget you and the class and humor you imbued the show with.

  13. Carolinian

    Re the norms–the Dems refused to accept Trump’s victory in 2016. Michael Moore tried to enter Trump tower to tell him to step aside for the good of the country. Hillary et al cooked up a ridiculous Manchurian Candidate conspiracy theory about Trump working for Russia. Our national newspapers’ sources suddenly all became anonymous “senior intelligence officials” opining on US affairs (which they aren’t supposed to do).

    What are those norms again? And more to the point, what if the Trumpies really do discover widespread vote fraud that changes the results? Given that Biden (apparently?) has a national popular vote majority I’d say that Trump should step aside for the good of the country and in support of majority rule. But who was it that threw all those norms out the window?

    1. Lambert Strether Post author

      IIRC, Al Gore conceded in 2000, and took it back. Apparently that is a norm — at least there’s not any yammering that it’s not a norm — but failing to concede in the first place is not a norm. It’s confusing.

        1. Clem

          Gore didn’t have an easily provable landslide because of being saddled by Joe Liberman, just like Biden didn’t have a landslide because of his campaign being muddied by Kamala Harris.

    2. The Rev Kev

      Agreed about the norms just being made up as they go along. The last four years with America has been like watching Britney Spears go through that shaved-head phase. No, not with Trump. Trump is just Trump and never changed in four years. I’m talking about the reaction to him where suddenly people like Brennan and Clapper and George Bush became Heroes of the Republic. And Russiagate. And pee tapes, and all the rest of it.

      And it may not be over. Katy Perry sent out a tweet saying ‘the first thing I did when the presidency was called is text and call my family members who do not agree and tell them I love them and am here for them. #FamilyFirst. Call your family today. Happy Sunday.’ And she got pounded over it. It’s like Never Forgive, Never Forget-

    3. The Historian

      Hillary Clinton did concede to Trump on Nov 9th, 2016 when it was obvious that she had lost. No the Democrats did not refuse to accept Trump’s victory in 2016. That is a different thing than all the machinations they pulled later in their attempts to get Trump OUT of the Presidency. Remember you can only impeach a legitimate president.

      1. Carolinian

        And how do you know that Trump won’t eventually concede as well? Just to add i said “accept,” not concede. The Dems never accepted that Trump was legitimately president. They had no choice but to concede. Jim Rutenberg even wrote a column in the NYT saying this time it’s different and the norms are out the window. After all Trump was probably working for Putin not to mention aspiring to be the new Hitler.

        I’ll grant you that much of this is out of the Gingrich/Rove playbook so maybe the norms left back in the 1990s. But the notion that we have to go back to bipartisanship but only when the Dems win is more than a bit hypocritical. Trump has every right to pursue his challenges and the Dems very little high ground in this.

        1. The Historian

          OK, to use your term ‘accept’. Did the Republicans ever accept Clinton or Obama? Seems to me if you think this just started with Trump and the Democrats, you have a very short memory.

          1. Carolinian

            Didn’t I just say it didn’t? Please re-read.

            Frankly the real villains here are not the Dems but rather than press who have been trying to hustle their preferred result throughout the process. They did the same in 2000.

            1. mnm

              The media in 2016 at the DNC behest would show Trump 24/7 and bury Bernie. All throughout Trump presidency Russia, Russia and more Russia would never end, a favor to Hillary/DNC?. Now TV, silly social media and papers are telling us Biden won, probably at the request of the DNC, or third way cause UNITY..
              Trump needs to fight this clear cheat so we can reform voting & elections, get rid of these hackable devices, use paper ballots & start ranked choice voting.
              Bernie rolled over, but Trump thrives on fighting with people

      2. Mark Gisleson

        The Durham Report will establish that while Clinton may have said the words, she was busy undermining Trump’s win by even more nefarious means than the way in which she got him elevated to the GOP nomination in the first place.

        Conceding defeat while plotting sedition wasn’t helpful.

        1. FluffytheObeseCat

          Ah, using the behavior of Hillary Rodham Clinton as a yardstick for assessing the virtue of Trump’s behavior is also not helpful.

          They have both behaved like entitled assclowns. Trump is more overt, and therefore ridiculous about it; Clinton was arguably more dangerous to our polity over time because she was more capable and covert.

          However. Trump is a heel. And we’re well rid of him. Let him dally with talk shows for the next decade, until he’s too old for prime time.

      3. Katniss Everdeen

        No the Democrats did not refuse to accept Trump’s victory in 2016.

        O. M. G.

        I’ll take “Who Ya Gonna Believe, Me or Your Lyin’ Eyes” for $2000, Alex. (RIP. You will be missed.)

    4. anon in so cal

      >non-straight tickets

      Stumbled on this Pew Research Oct 21, 2020 report.

      Does this undercut Democrats’ claim that there’s nothing suspicious about all those ballots where only Biden was chosen?

      Or where Biden was chosen as pres combined with GOP down-ballot?

      “Large Shares of Voters Plan To Vote a Straight Party Ticket for President, Senate and House

      Just 4% of registered voters support Trump or Biden and a Senate candidate from the opposing party.”

  14. timbers

    Cold War Two w/China:

    “The Clinton-globalist consensus was that China is going to become more like us, and they will accept second tier or second fiddle status indefinitely.”

    China IS becoming more like us (or always has been like us), but maybe not in the way meant in that statement.

    China thinks she is exception, just like the U.S. thinks it’s exceptional. Now she is slowly acquiring the power to BE exceptional. Problem is…THERE CAN ONLY BE (borrow a movie quote. The world isn’t beg enough tor 2 exceptional super powers.

    I question the last part of that statement. Doubt China will ever except second fiddle, and Trump poking her in the eye economically and militarily all the time is accelerating her moving away from second fiddle.

  15. Noone from Nowheresville

    More than vaporware but less than a releaee-to-the-public vaccine. Interim results were “an interesting first signal” and the markets rejoice. Hey, it’s in the article or perhaps simply the PR release the week after the election.

    Pfizer says early data signals COVID-19 vaccine is effective

    Pfizer says an early peek at its vaccine data suggests the shots may be 90% effective at preventing COVID-19, indicating the company is on track later this month to file an emergency use application with U.S. regulators.

    and from a different article on a whistleblower

    Biden in a statement congratulated “the brilliant women and men who helped produce this breakthrough and to give us such cause for hope.” But he cautioned it is “important to understand that the end of the battle against COVID-19 is still months away.”

    The president-elect said the announcement was “part of of a previously announced timeline by industry officials” and that it does not alter the fact that “Americans will have to rely on masking, distancing, contact tracing, hand washing, and other measures to keep themselves safe well into next year.”

    1. Arizona Slim

      Early data signals are just that. Early. Data. Signals.

      In other words, we aren’t out of the woods yet.

      1. Noone from Nowheresville

        I know. I think we have at least a year of hills, valley, marshes, swamps, mountains and woods.

        But timing is everything in PR, isn’t it?

        The timed PR was more interesting. If the digitized information survives with some type of future usable formats / equipment, historians will have all kinds of data to pull from our era.

        1. JTMcPhee

          Gonna be a big signal-to-noise problem for those presumed future historians, presuming there will even be such creatures… Even most of today’s historians are fully meshed into the Matrix.

  16. The Rev Kev

    “Amidst intense stand-off with China, 11 steps Indian defence policy makers should consider”

    So this guy is saying that India should force them to retreat on their borders, sanction them, stir up Tibet, go after them with cyber warfare, attack them on human rights (yeah, yeah, I know) and to confront them militarily. At that point, China will back down with its tail between its legs and will know its place in regards to India. Sounds like a plan.

  17. marym

    > Re: Donald Trump has lost to Joe Biden, what’s next? The presidential transition from hell

    The “one piece of good news” in the article, along with all the harm Trump can continue to inflict on basic government functions, is Presidential Transitions Act of 1963. It provides for funding and access for the work of transition.

    “GSA has been part of transition planning since the Presidential Transition Act was signed in 1963. Since then, the agency has identified the winner within hours or a day of media projections, and weeks before the results were made official by the electoral college.

    WaPo: “By declaring the “apparent winner” of a presidential election, the GSA administrator releases computer systems and money for salaries and administrative support for the mammoth undertaking of setting up a new government — $9.9 million this year.”

    Transition officials get government email addresses. They get office space at every federal agency. They can begin to work with the Office of Government Ethics to process financial disclosure and conflict-of-interest forms for their nominees.”

    The Trump appointee in charge is currently refusing to do this. Whether it is or should be “a norm;” or it’s better or worse than Clintonite deligitimizing attempt in 2016; or Biden will be a bad president, there are practical consequences as well.

    1. Pat

      Not for nothing, but I would have problems with them if they did. Right now you have media projections, recounts and lawsuits. While we may assume that the law suits and the recounts will not change the reported outcome, we do not know that. Once the lawsuits are thrown out or the recounts will not change the electoral college outcome is soon enough.

      I know reacting as if this is the most transparent election in history without submitting to examination is the desire. However I was annoyed when Kerry couldn’t be bothered and Gore limited his fight so stupidly, I believe you should fight to confirm that the votes were counted correctly. Let the process play out.

      1. marym

        Yours is the good citizen take. I keep lapsing into ornery citizen. I agree about recounts, though I gather from twitter university that statistically they’re unlikely to change the result. I can’t help but see the fraud claims as being next in a long line of unsubstantiated fraud claims through the decades, particularly since Trump’s already been claiming it for months..

        1. Pat

          I understand that. And the fact that I hate the idea of President Biden as much as President Trump or Clinton does make it easier. But I also know that I will never Really believe that Bush got into or stayed in the White House because he won.

          Because fraud has been predicted is precisely why the process should be followed to its full extent. While that will not satisfy everyone, it will probably satisfy a majority of the doubters. Without doing that a significant number of Americans will believe the wrong person is in the White House and have even greater distrust of our system.

          1. jsn

            It’ll be interesting to see how far the lawyers push into the hackability of election equipment.

            Of course I’m not getting my hopes up, but we’re not exactly arguing about paper ballots, hand counted in public, are we?

            If some clever fellow asks to hand count all the optical scans, it might be revealing. If some canny lawyer asks to see a document trail for ballot marking devices, it could actually get exciting!

            1. Pat

              Unfortunately I don’t see it ever being allowed to get that far. I don’t trust any electronic counting device. But I am in the minority, not here, but the population in general.

              1. jsn

                Either Diebold or the CIA will put their foot down.

                The question is who has the “back door” in the “back door.”

          2. Bruno

            There is a case to be made that King Fiery Log would not have been *quite* as horrible as King Rotten Log. But since neither is at all likely to last more than very briefly, the true “choice” has been between Dauphin Stork and Infante Stork. And between those two horrors nobody could have the least idea which would be worst.

        2. lyman alpha blob

          Twitter university is likely correct. I participated in a hand recount. It didn’t change the overall result but it definitely did show that the machines hadn’t counted all the votes the first time around.

          In the recount I participated in, a hand count found 1-2% more votes than counted by the machines, and the margin of victory for the eventual winner was narrowed but not overturned. With the margin if victory so slim in certain crucial states in this election, there is no reason not to let things play out. As others have noted, claims of fraud in MI were already thrown out for being ridiculous. If claims are no good, then toss them, but if there’s something there, it needs to be looked into. If the margins are close enough that a legal recount is warranted, then get to recounting.

          There’s a lot of talk about ‘norms’ today. One norm that needs to be killed with fire in the US is the notion that we must have a winner declared on election night shortly after the last polls close, or perhaps even before if the media needs to get to bed early. Our voting system is a godawful mess and it needs wholesale changes. That isn’t going to happen if no one ever takes too close of a look under the hood, and if it takes Trump to make that happen, so be it,

          Making sure every vote is counted is important if you expect people to have any trust left in democracy. We already don’t really get to chose the candidates. Not counting the votes for the candidates we didn’t really want in the first place puts the US right in banana republic territory.

          1. Duke of Prunes

            One county in MI recounted and found a 6000 vote swing from Biden to Trump. This was much greater than 2%

            I guess not all recounts are created equally.

            The more the MSM tries to say it is over, the more suspicious I become (nothing to see here, move along).

            1. lyman alpha blob

              I’d read that claims of voter fraud were thrown out in MI, which I neglected to specify, and which is separate from the recount issue. If recounts do in fact show large unexplained swings, rather than it merely being just a clerical error, then that would constitute election fraud, which is very different from voter fraud.

              Voter fraud, where a voter casts more than one ballot, is rare to nonexistent and doesn’t do much to swing things one way or another. Election fraud, where one side or the other stuffs a ballot box or deliberately alters the vote count, is a whole different story and happens a lot more frequently, probably more than we even know since the authorities rarely bother to look. It’s made a lot easier with easily hackable voting machines run on proprietary software.

              If you have a link for that 6K vote swing, please post it – I’d like to take a look.

            2. Aumua


              The counting of the vote also produced claims of fraud from Republicans, as in one small Michigan county that relayed an incorrect vote total to the state. The state GOP chairwoman said that caused “a 6,000-vote swing against our candidates.”

              The problem with this “fraud” — due to a human input error, according to the Michigan secretary of state — was that it was caught and corrected in less than an hour. If it had slipped past, it still would have been subject to review by a bipartisan panel of county election canvassers, who scrutinize all results in Michigan.

              Not a recount issue. In addition to the mainstream narratives, maybe you should also be suspicious of alt-stream narratives.

      2. montanamaven

        Yes, why did Gore limit his fight to just one county? And why did Kerry fold like a cheap suit?
        I remember John Edwards being shocked by Kerry doing it. He was not in on that decision. I’m not a fan of “big government” , but maybe some kind of norm for voting and counting the votes should be looked into. But for every solution there seems to be some con artists who figured out how to game it. Has anybody been watching the Danish TV series “Borgen”? Denmark’s politics are pretty crazy too.

        1. jsn

          My working theory is that since Clinton the Ds have been working to enact Republican legislation so the Republicans can reject them and move the Overton window further to the right.

          It’s a loser role not worth fighting for if you understand the game you’re playing, which the evidence suggests Kerry and Gore did.

          Now that the Bush wing of the Republican Party signed on to the Blob Restoration (alternate spelling for Biden Administration), the ability to start wars on a whim is at stake, so maybe they’ll actually fight.

  18. Amfortas the hippie

    re: the Vainglorious Elite
    ( i prefer “Violent, predatory Elite”)
    it occurs to me the question: what’s the covid deathrate for this “class”…a splinter in my mind from the beginning of all this has been the possibility that “Let Her Rip” as pandemic policy smelled strongly of “Cull the Herd”.

    do they fare better? are they so thoroughly buffered and bubbleised that it doesn’t really effect them?(or…as in trump…star trek level medical care?)
    we hear a lot of wailing about the percentages re: covid and Hispanics, black People and Gays…but what about these frelling people?

    1. The Rev Kev

      If you have a class that believes in Social Darwinism, then it is not too far a stretch for them to believe in Darwinism itself, even if it applies to some of their numbers.

  19. ptb

    Statewide ballot initiatives for minimum wage increase have a 27-25 record since 1996, if including FL-2020 [list 1996-2018, ballotpedia]. The House even passed a $15-by-2025 bill last year, HR 582.

    There isn’t really any question of where voters stand, and hasn’t been for a long time. Schumer may simply be trying to “defuse” any future ballot initiatives, so that the Senate has a chance to negotiate a “softer” version with the House.

  20. timbers

    Contract Tracing and Bring Back Jobs to US

    Regarding the Black and Decker factory closing in China, does this not show tariffs can be a tool to bring back jobs to the States? Granted Black and Decker first started moving jobs to Vietnam in response to tariffs and other matters, but now BD is taking additional job moving steps, but the U.S. is not doing the followup or even basic polices to bring back jobs. What if the U.S. did do followup and change it’s basic policies to attract jobs? IMO the US can bring back jobs with the right policy.

    Regarding contract tracing, is tracing even feasible in a nation with a large percentage of it’s population having no healthcare? Seems a rational response to tracing by those with no healthcare would be to respond with evasiveness (don’t answer phone, become busy, etc) and if you’re positive, many might hide the fact and take their changes riding Covid out to avoid isolation and treatment that would ruin them financially. Seems contract tracing will encounter a lot of silent resistance in the U.S. that will doom it to failure.

    Maybe contract tracing can only be really effective in nations were all have healthcare. Like most the developed world (minus the U.S.).

    1. Geoffrey Dewan

      And then there’s this:

      “What might pose particular problems is the combination of unsound public finances and a persistently highly accommodative monetary policy. It could be habitforming. Cheap money may be increasingly seen as the normal state. Under those conditions, even high debt burdens may appear sustainable to governments. But what if conditions change?” Perhaps some central bank maven in the commnetariat can translate these oracular pronouncements.

      Don’t think you have to be a central bank maven to boil this down to one word- AUSTERITY

      Bend over plebes, this won’t hurt a bit….

  21. Eelok

    On Chapelle, would love to know how others interpreted it.

    SNL lost me years ago, but I was curious about Chapelle’s monologue. He can be a bit of a heterodox shit-disturber even if he does toe the centrist-liberal comedy line more often than not. The segment mentioned in the link about poor white communities’ relationship to drugs and government handouts didn’t surprise me. Gnawing on the conservative-hypocrisy bone clearly pandered to an SNL audience that was loving it.

    Still, I expected him to do something clever and I wasn’t disappointed. Very soon after the bit mentioned above, he turned his attention on Dr. Birx. He rightfully blasted her for lending her credibility as a scientist to Trump’s COVID denialism, which the audience was clearly into. Then, things got very awkward very quickly as he basically said that Birx’s ineptitude explained the gender pay gap, which was (to paraphrase) “50 percent or 70 percent and whatever it is they’re still getting paid too much.” The silence was brutal, Chapelle was obviously prepared for it, and he said something along the lines of “damn, I thought we were having a comedy show” before continuing with the set.

    While I don’t doubt that the joke about poor whites was written in earnest, it’s pretty clear also that he used an overtly sexist joke so soon afterwards to highlight the hypocrisy of the audience going nuts for one form of bigotry, while being hugely offended by another.

    (this is not to say that there haven’t been sexist elements to his act before. However, this remark was so out of character I’m convinced he was doing something deliberate)

    1. ChiGal in Carolina

      Lambert: To be fair, Chapelle actually mentions dropping life expectancy. But then there’s this: “Chappelle also joked about ‘poor white people’ that he said ‘don’t like wearing masks,’ saying, ‘What is the problem? You wear a mask at a Klan rally. Wear it at a Walmart too.’” Let the healing begin!

      My take is it was masterful. He always cuts every which way, doubles back on whoever seemed to have the moral high ground in the previous joke.

      Of course he sounds the mask—Klan note: it is the source of the profound anguish that enables him to empathize with the dispossessed Trump voters. Don’t be fooled by his cool demeanor, the man has his demons.

      If you didn’t see his riff on George Floyd 8 minutes you might want to check it out.

      1. lyman alpha blob


        He knows exactly what he’s doing and I think his previous crack about the “kung flu” being racist and hilarious in the same routine with the Klan bit was meant to show that there’s what the woke virtue signalling types consider “racism”, and then there’s racism. So rather than alienating people, I think what he’s doing is letting a whole lot of people who are sick and tired of being called racists just because they’re poor and white know that it’s OK to have a sense of humor, and also pointing out where the actual racists are.

      2. ewmayer

        Chapelle’s Klan bit echoes way back to a classic sketch in the very first installment of Chapelle’s Show, titled roughly “Black White Klansman”, about Clayton Bigsby, a black member of the Klu Klux Klan who doesn’t realize he is black because he’s blind. (The fellow playing the Frontline-style narrator/interviewer in the sketch is priceless, btw). As with most of Chapelle’s stuff, it’s not simply “look at these deplorable rednecks” laff-riot stuff: At the same time the deep-south white folks are attending Klan meetings and cheering Bigsby – played of course by Chapelle, with his identity hidden behind his Klan garb – spouting racist tropes about “shiftless lazy n*ggers – I hate ’em!”, at the end the interviewer asks why no one ever told Bigsby that he was black, and it turns out that the same folks are just too *nice* to reality-check him like that, because they really like him and don’t want to hurt his feelings.

    2. cocomaan

      His last comedy special I watched had him talking about his solidarity with rednecks now that he’s moved his family out to the country!

      I watched the SNL segment, he definitely knew what he was doing. He’s one of the last people doing comedy honestly anymore. And he’s paid for it.

    3. ChiGal in Carolina

      Something ate my previous comment so here’s the short version: agree with your take, it was masterful.

      And as to Lambert’s objection to the mask-Klan remark, it is the profound wound inflicted by exactly that (family) history that is the wellspring of his empathy for disenfranchised Trump voters.

      Chappelle plays it cool and all, but if you haven’t seen 8:46 check it out for how he really feels:

  22. The Rev Kev

    “Trump will lose his Twitter ‘public interest’ protections in January”

    More likely he will be censored from speaking and Twitter will close his account. The other day Trump was being televised while speaking and the TV networks cut away from him. Whether you think that he is a boofhead or not, how often do American TV networks cut off a sitting American President in the middle of a talk? Normally they let them finish and then tear what they said to pieces. By February, it will be more likely that you will see Thomas Frank on CNN or MSNBC than Trump. He will then be persona non grata as far as the main stream media/social media is concerned.

    1. Pat

      Well until the networks see their ratings drop while Fox News remains steady. Then it will be a segment here and a segment there.

      Oh and I would bet Twitter and other social media back off as well, once the lawsuits start to point out they are now responsible for all the stuff they told the government wasn’t their fault.

      Trump disappears ONLY if he wants to disappear.

      1. Wukchumni

        Trump disappears ONLY if he wants to disappear.

        Was it over when the Germans bombed as a loan harbor, Hell NO!

      2. Amfortas the hippie

        well, idk…it’s currently all over the Rightyverse that Fox is a RINO, and in bed with the Commies.
        “it is known…”

        1. Basil Pesto

          my Mum went off Fox years ago, presumably for being too moderate. She listens to lunatic rightyverse podcasts now.

        2. fresno dan

          Amfortas the hippie
          November 9, 2020 at 11:59 am

          The righties and the commies – very confusing (for one thing, the russkies are commies anymore, so I’m not sure which commies they are talking about). I am reminded of Kerry’s I was for the war after I was against it, and than I was for it again…wait. Well, anyway, my point is that allies and enemies seem to switch on a dime nowadays…

    2. Clive

      The Reichssender Hamburg media don’t seem to be operating from a position which implies assured self-confidence here. Just the opposite.

  23. Alex morfesis

    Before someone jumps in to make a copy editors correction…yes, jenzW was at the Rwanda central bank as a working intern…most of his CV has been scrubbed but the 2011 Reuters write up at least mentions it, even if it does not show the dates as his old CV at the German Central Bank used to proudly show…

  24. Redlife2017

    True Anon Pod linked to a blind item which is clearly about Q:
    “Currently on the Dark Web, there is a post on a board listing things for sale. One of the items for sale is the password/control of account to an account that has not posted in several days. The asking price is $1M. Is it really them? It seems as legit as can be for a site that sells all manner of illegal goods.”

    Lambert has often said – who is running this? Perhaps we will find out…

    1. MK

      Actually, it’s a Reddit account that belongs to Guislaine Maxwell. It has stopped posting mostly since she was arrested, and has no new posts in about a week.

  25. The Rev Kev

    “The Myth of Endless Wars”

    Only a policy wonk from the Heritage Foundation would think that endless wars is a good thing. And that once American troops are stationed on one place, that they will be there forevermore. Because there are always more dragons to be found to slay after all. So he says that the reason that American troops are in Afghanistan is so that they can ‘maintain awareness’ and to ‘to help shape the strategic environment to suit U.S. interests.’ The first twenty years hasn’t worked out so well here. Perhaps the next twenty will?

    And yet he still says that ‘this is not some “endless war” ‘ And that American troops are in Syria ‘to ensure U.S. interests are protected.’ What he mean is that Syria does not have a chance to rebuild and ensure a peaceful life for its suffering people. And then he says that only ‘a smidgen’ of all troops are serving in places like those. As an ex jar-head he should know better. Be funny if he was called back to active duty and sent to some hell-hole at the butt-end of Afghanistan for a tour of duty.

  26. Noone from Nowheresville

    In that Stoller thread linked to above was this:

    7. And this one is quite jarring, and breaks most comfortable narratives. Because the mass de-industrialization of America, which took place in the 1980s to 2000s, is the main story here. There are no precedents for it. It is new. The villains are Ronald Reagan and Bill Clinton.

    I don’t know. Stoller is a Biden supporter, says the above and yet on a certain level, isn’t Joe Biden the neoliberal love child of Reagan & Clinton?

      1. Noone from Nowheresville

        You’re right. I should be more careful. Thanks.

        Still I will be curious to watch Stoller’s ongoing critiques of the new administration.

        1. Basil Pesto

          No worries. I expect he’ll be strident (and if, as the fundraiser suggested, he’s a regular NC reader, how could he not be? ;) ) I also trust Stoller to give credit where he sincerely believes it’s due. Let’s hope he’s given a reason to.

          1. Noone from Nowheresville

            Isn’t it interesting that the neoliberal love child of Reagan & Clinton (my words not Stoller’s) is considered the “lesser evil?”

            More of a starting point go down the rabbit hole thought exercise pondering prompted by Stoller’s comment rather than an actual critique.

            a few examples of where my mind has been wandering this morning:
            If you think about it only within the mass de-industrialization framing of Reagan / Clinton, wouldn’t a Trump vote actually be the lesser evil?
            Or is this a matter of someone who helped to create the problem NEEDS to be part of the solution to fix it?

    1. Pelham

      I buy the substance of what Stoller is saying, so it seems to me the logical conclusion is that the currently captive manufacturing/agricultural/mining portion of the country should somehow separate itself from the oligarchs and their PMC enablers. Secession in the usual sense is probably impossible, but how about introducing a separate currency restricted to internal investment administered through a new regional bank? It would be a sort of postal bank or perhaps something along the lines of North Dakota’s state bank.

  27. Wukchumni

    Got a 3 cat lap trance going on like so much yawn furniture as its colder than a witches tit on account of an arctic front passing through, brrrr.

    It snowed as low as 2,000 feet and stuck from around 5,000 feet on up, with 1-3 feet depending on altitude in the higher climes.

    This was our first winter storm, which came as advertised and predicted by weather gurus a week out, no surprise to the amount and duration of the storm, they had it pegged.

    This put paid to those faraway smoke plumes in the distance and smoldering hot spots of the nearly 3 month old SQF wildfire, an ordeal that would get old quick if it became an annual event.

    For the 3rd winter in a row in much of Cali, the first storm of the year has been potent and predictable enough, where we could have had hundreds, no say thousands of prescribed burn areas prepared and cleared out so as to facilitate flames but not conflagrations, and then a few days before the storm is to arrive, you light em’ up let em’ do their thing and then let mother nature do all the heavy lifting of putting them out, toot suite.

    There’s a lot of hands on labor jobs just waiting to be made…

  28. Tom Stone

    I continue to be surprised by the general attitude toward Kamala Harris, most seem to view her as a lightweight.
    That is a serious mistake.
    She went from not even being a runner up to next in line for the presidency in a matter of months.
    Her Wikipedia page is a good example of how she manages perceptions,she has had a full tine team continuosly monitoring it for months and revising it as needed…IIRC it was being revised @200 times a day a few months ago.

    1. Wukchumni

      It’s true, it’s true, the Senate has made it clear
      The climate in DC isn’t perfect all the year

      A law was made a distant moon ago here
      July and August can be too hot
      And there’s a 4 year limit to the show here for Kamala

      Senate is forbidden after December
      And exits not having done a lot
      By order, Senate lingers through at least November for Kamala

      Kamala: Camelot?
      I know it sounds a bit bizarre
      But for Kamala: Camelot
      That’s how conditions are

      Her Senate reign may fall after election
      By November third, when the possibility looms near
      In short, there’s simply not a more presumptive spot
      For happily ever after in than here for Kamala

      Kamala: Camelot
      I know it gives a person pause
      But in Camelot: Kamala?
      Those are the legal laws

      The show may never be thrust upon her spot
      By for of November, an answer must appear
      In short, there’s simply not a more PC slot
      For happily ever after in than here in the White House for Kamala

    2. zagonostra

      Commentary on Kamala runs the full gamut from underscoring that her white husband husband is Jewish and therefore a part of some grand “great switcheroo’ that was planned by the Dem Party long before the Primaries to, she’ll be great for the U.S. and breaks another ceiling for intelligent women, and one of color to boot. It’s a big smorgasbord out there to choose from…and to keep people in a state of constant confusion.

    3. Pat

      Sort of makes you wonder how she is paying for such an extensive personal staff. Or if it is staff from her office why that takes priority over the problems of her constituents.

      I realize that we are in a time where image trumps substance, but her ambitious career growth only looks good if you divorce her job performance from the picture. Which is why nothing can be allowed that might pull back the curtain so you see destroyed rooms the powerful smiling woman in the right pantsuits and stilettos (or Timberlands) Comes striding out from

    4. Katniss Everdeen

      She went from not even being a runner up to next in line for the presidency in a matter of months.

      For some strange reason, that sentence reminded me of the “promotional” video of that Nikola Motors hydrogen fuel-cell powered semi-truck that was exposed as fake several months ago.

      Hindenburg showed evidence that Nikola instead towed the truck up a very long low grade hill and let it go down…..
      Nikola never stated its truck was driving under its own propulsion in the video, although the truck was designed to do just that…..The truck was showcased and filmed by a third party for a commercial. Nikola described this third-party video on the Company’s social media as ‘In Motion.’ It was never described as ‘under its own propulsion’ or ‘powertrain-driven.’
      Their [Nikola] defense is that by saying that the truck is “in motion” and never explicitly saying that it is driving under its own propulsion, they are not actually being deceptive.

      Just sayin’.

    5. ewmayer

      From Craig Murray’s recently-in-Links American Presidents:

      I hope that those who consider themselves of the left enjoy their relief when the electoral process finally puts to bed the extraordinary populism of Trumpism, and returns the USA to the smoother control of the regular media and political classes and their billionaire controllers. Because anybody who believes any more than that is happening is a fool. I said that I did not blog about the US elections because of the appalling partisan nature of debate. The truth is the system threw up, again, two truly obnoxious candidates entirely antithetical to the real interests of ordinary people in the USA. Biden will do nothing to tackle the appalling wealth and resource inequality which is the most startling problem the country faces. He will hopefully resolve social tensions in the short term. But the cause of those social tensions is a system of gross exploitation of the middle and working classes which is not sustainable in the long term, and which was the root of the Trump political eruption.

      Kamala Harris was of course the most right wing possible Vice-Presidential pick. Her advance into power, despite being entirely rejected in the Democratic primaries, is in itself a huge condemnation of the system. I believe I am right in saying that Harris’s Primary campaign was so disastrous she managed to obtain zero delegates at all to the Democratic National Convention. Zero, None. Absolute bottom of the pile. Rejected by Democratic voters as the candidate in toto. Attempting to confirm this zero delegate fact, I just looked up the Wikipedia page on her primary campaign, which turns out to be the most entirely false, hagiographic and manicured Wikipedia page I have ever seen, on any subject, which is saying a lot. Apparently her Presidential Primary bid was in fact a tour de force of brilliant debating and political strategy, recounted in enormous detail, not an abject failure resulting in no delegates. The extraordinarily dishonest Wikipedia page is not perhaps in itself hugely important, but it is emblematic of the sinister manipulation behind the scenes of Kamala Harris’s rise to power.

  29. zagonostra

    >Cable/TV Ratings prediction

    I’m already bored with Biden. I typically take in a couple of segments of “The Rising” and snack on other news sites in the morning and I’ve noticed I’ve completely lost my appetite for anything Biden related. I don’t think this show is going to be getting much traffic or high ratings in the post-Trumpian world we’re heading into.

    On the other hand, who knows what new outrage will pop-up or what war the polity will draw the country into in the future, but at this point in time, I think Jimmy Dore’s prediction of the “Left” going to sleep after they get their man in will probably be true; I don’t care about his cabinet picks, his plans to fight COVID, etc…I’m uncomfortably numb.

  30. jr

    Re: Vague’s Fong hit’s the hopium bong

    “On Wednesday, January 20th, our national nightmare will be over.“

    Nope, it’s just getting warmed up. Now that “Hand’s On!” Joe and the human abscess he partnered up with have oozed into power, the blinds will be jerked back into place in the mental studio apartments of the chattering classes and their “thought leaders” at institutions like Vague.“

    “It will be the end of four very dark years in American history.“

    Sure, four years have passed, but the fifth year and on will be just as dark, if not darker, now that the bandages are securely bound again around the septic, weeping wound that is the United States. Then, in ‘24, Hitler will be making a run for the White House.

    “It will be the end of separating children at the border“

    Ah, pedophragy.

    Let’s assume for a second this is true, which I sincerely doubt. What of the countless other children separated from their parents due to swelling poverty, homelessness, premature death due to illnesses preventable by education and health care? How long before the exhausted young man I saw back in August, leaning against his mother who was wearing a winter coat on a hot, humid day because it wouldn’t fit into the rolling suitcase that held all their possessions, is separated from her, shipped off to a prison due to some crime of desperation or rage? I guess for some in the PMC, these people are an investment in their holdings in the private prison system.

    “it will be the end of ignoring the pandemic,”

    Let’s see.

    “it will be the end of the insane tweets (well, at least the end of insane tweets from a sitting president).“

    Well, maybe the world suddenly is a better place. The new president will use Twitter in a manner befitting the gravitas of his position. To lie.

    “Military actions will no longer be announced on social media.”

    No, they will be trumpeted from the hilltops of the MSM by hacks and opportunists. Well the actions we are told about. The author has nothing to say about the morality of such actions, the legality of them, the agony and horror they disperse around the globe. Not her job, I guess.

    “I’m sure there will be plenty White House press releases will no longer be typo-riddled messes that link to stories by far-right publications.”

    Yes, when pandering to the PMC’s and their masters it’s important to spell check.

    “A lunatic will no longer have access to the nuclear codes.“

    Yeah, an inveterate liar and a sociopath will though. I’m already resting easier.

    “Our government will no longer be stacked with kleptocrats like the president’s eldest daughter, the president’s son-in-law, the sleepy Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, and various other low-level grifters.”

    This is willful myopia. There is nothing else to describe it. It’s going to be a rat’s banquet hall.

    “We will no longer worry about the President of the United States weaponizing the federal government against its citizens.“

    Right, from the man who authored one of the most draconian crime bills in US history and a woman who kept prisoners in prison past their release dates for political points.

    “We will no longer see photos of children on the Mexican border being blasted with tear gas.”

    Yes, but will the detentions stop? Will the children dying in the deserts stop? Can we trust the media to cover it if they don’t? Based on this article, this “journalist”, it’s not looking good.

    “We will no longer be a cautionary tale for what happens when you elect the con-man monorail guy from The Simpsons.”

    In some ways, this is the most terrifying line of this pile of puffery. The use of cartoons, action heroes, and other commercialized entities that stoke the lawn mower engines of creativity in writers like this speaks to a real paucity of the imagination. It reminds me of a while back when Chris Matthews of the Central Park Pogrom fame invoked the name of. Superman to save the nation. These are the ideas of children. It’s what happens when one is fed a steady diet of advertising and marketing, you start to think it all actually means something instead of indicating how dry-rotted your culture is.

    “Our Canadian neighbors will no longer feel like the family that accidentally bought the apartment over the meth lab“

    No, they are going to feel as if they are living above a crumbling world spanning empire who has abandoned the vast majority of it’s citizenry to despair and death. Kind of like a meth lab on meth.

    “For me personally, it’s a strange sensation. Trump has occupied so much of my cerebral tissue;”

    “so much of my life over the past four years has happened with Trumpism churning away somewhere in the back corners of my mind.“

    I’m feeling some churning in my stomach. One of the many benefits of having the Trumpanzee out of office is that we won’t be subjected to the pathetic bleating of PMC’s about how their heads hurt due to TDS. We will be subjected to the pathetic cries of the homeless, the sick, and the dying but that’s par for the course the last 40 years or so…

    “Sure, one of my kids won a debate tournament”

    Perhaps the child’s notes on technique could be cribbed?

    “but have you seen the tweet about how Trump was going to send ICE into sanctuary cities?”

    Can we please stop with the notion that horrible news delivered by Tweet is somehow worse than the horrible news that gets dumped the Internet or the TV? Horrible lies are horrible lies. while Rachael Maddow’s nightly fib-fest has done at least as much damage as the Tangerine Terror’s semi-literate broadsides.

    “It was like that all the time, at a relentless clip.”

    Regulated by the gearing of the mechanism, to be sure.

    “Trump would deliver some terrifying Steven Miller-written speech and then I was supposed to go back to normal life.“

    I’m really starting to believe that the use of terms like “normal life” aren’t just blinkered, they are intentionally cruel. It exudes a sense of privileged satisfaction, sure the world is on fire but I have a “normal life” to lead. Even the worthies at Vague must know how bad things are but if you just keep your eyes focused straight on your onanistic real estate web site, it’s clear sailing.

    “ Trump wasn’t going to war with North Korea, or at least he probably wasn’t. ”

    What in the world is the point of this? It must have been so annoying to not know if we were going to start killing people somewhere else. To kick off a nuclear confrontation. I mean, come on, closure.

    “It’s like finding out that the baby doesn’t have the birth defect you were worrying about”

    Yes, no need to abandon it on a hillside, phew!

    “ Biden is a good, decent man”

    No, he is not. He is a professional liar, a hustler, and he touches women and young girls inappropriately in public because he feels entitled to. And somehow he manages to come across as infinitely better than that grasping, giggling monstrosity at his side. The one whose eyes reveal the back of her skull.

    “ federal agents of nebulous provenance grabbing people and taking them away in unmarked vans”

    You either have to be ignorant of Harris’s career history or willfully ignoring it to make this statement. Either is unforgivable in a journalist.

    “ I went into my daughter’s butterfly-wallpapered bedroom and woke her to tell her that the guy with all the sexual assault allegations was going to be president”

    Biden or Trump? And dear god on rollerskates, what a ham fisted sentence. “Butterfly” next to “sexual assault”. The airy heights and the mucky lows. Oh the humanity. Life’s rich pageant. Back to Creative Writing 101 with you. To wash the chalkboards.

    “ The memory of telling my then eight-year-old daughter about the election of Donald Trump is seared into my brain, indelible”

    Yawn. What’s that word that Taleb repurposed for instances like this? Ah, paedophagy, that’s it.

    “ Even now, with 2016 firmly in the rear-view mirror, it’s hard to forget how painful the defeat of Hillary Clinton by Donald Trump was. And it just got worse, culminating in the installation of Justice Amy Coney Barrett in RBG’s seat as the 2020 election was already happening. ”

    Yeah, it’s amazing what running the naton’s second most unpopular politician in the world’s most inept, presumptuous campaign will fail to accomplish. And exactly how much resistance did the Democrats exert against ACB’s appointment? Zero.

    “ . In fact, the last four years have been an enormous shit sandwich for people who believe that women should have the same rights as men”

    So have the last 40 years. How have women fared with the lack of healthcare, declining wages, families shattered by poverty, drug dealing doctors, etc .? I’d love to see bold political action to win equal rights for women but without a secure material foundation those bill’s she listed are merely pieces of paper. Unless they are only for women who already have stability.

    “ Some people will be tempted to call Trumpism an aberration, a deviation from the norm, a momentary lapse in judgement.”

    This is exactly what her entire article has implied.

    “There is much soul-searching that needs to happen to prevent something like this from ever happening again.”

    Nothing here lends itself to the notion being carried out. More like navel-searching.

    “But the soul-searching should come later.”

    No, it needed to start about a million years ago. And to be sure, there will be no soul searching going on in the halls of power or the hives of opinion makers.

    “Right now we need to take the win, to celebrate history made and dictatorship averted“

    Cause it ain’t gonna be too long before we get a REAL dictator in power, a Trump with a brain, so we should enjoy the relative peace now. In 2024 we may see a different beast slouching towards the White House.

    I really should have gone into journalism. Easy money.

    1. zagonostra

      Really enjoyed reading this. I forwarded to my sibling that suffers from TDS just to get me deeper on her bad side, thanks…I think.

    2. Laputan

      “ federal agents of nebulous provenance grabbing people and taking them away in unmarked vans”

      This line made my stomach churn. Not just the clunky, pseudo-intellectual phrasing (“nebulous provenance”) that has that cringey strutting of a comp 101 essay from the try-hard kid who thinks she’s a lot smarter than she actually is. But also the idea that Trump has had some kind of private gestapo that was in operation only during the term of his presidency is pure wine-addled fantasy. These goons aren’t going anywhere because they’ve always been and they’ll always be there.

      And she hangs with Rick Wilson because of she does.

      1. jr

        It takes effort to be that blind. And her writing is downright horrible, my GF read a few lines and was surprised she writes for a major publication. (My GF is in publishing.) It’s been said here and elsewhere, the Pedo Power Team is going to be able to get away with anything because anything they do will be compared to Trump. Trump is not only not going to go away, with Trump TV or some other platform, but his mythology of evil will grow into epic proportions on the Blue side of the coin. He’ll be blamed for everything that goes wrong.

  31. chuck roast

    Nice rant by Monbiot on neoliberalism. He forgot one thing…decriminalization. This is the bag from the bagman.

    What more evidence of criminality does one need than Stephen Mnuchin current Treasury Secretary and former head of the OneWest Bank foreclosure mill from 2009-2015, and Vice-President Elect Kamala Harris former California Attorney General. Harris declined to prosecute what her staff called “widespread misconduct” at the bank. Widely known as “the foreclosure king”, Mnuchin later gave $2,000 to Harris’ senate campaign. She was the only Dem who got money from him. Worse yet, Mnuchin’s deplorable actions as CEO arguably paved the way to his selection as Treasury Secretary. No Boy Scouts Need Apply.

    I’m old enough to remember when Sherman Adams took the infamous vicuna coat. Adams was forced to resign in 1958, when a House subcommittee revealed Adams had accepted an expensive vicuña overcoat and oriental rug from Bernard Goldfine, a Boston textile manufacturer who was being investigated for Federal Trade Commission violations. (Wiki) Vicuna coats are for suckers in these days high neoliberalism.

    1. fresno dan

      chuck roast
      November 9, 2020 at 11:25 am

      I’ve made this point about a zillion times, which makes it a classic. When I was in elementary school, I was indoctrinated to believe that it is better than 10 guilty men go free than one innocent man go to jail.
      Nice sentiment, but the way it is practiced in that 1,000 guilty rich people aren’t prosecuted for every 100 innocent poor people convicted.

  32. russell1200

    Peter Turchin was answering some Tweeter based attacks from the Sociology crowd. I gather his approach ruffles some feathers, and the attacks were ridiculous mischaracterizations of his ideas. He may not be perfect, but he is at least working at being evidence based.

    But his point is chilling. It’s not a bunch of couch potatoes who are going to grab up their AR-15 and overthrow The Republic. It will be some group, or combination of groups, within the elite that feel left out of the power structure. If the Democrats had gotten the landslide they had expected, it might have gotten very interesting. As it is, it is still a little dicey.

    1. Amfortas the hippie

      aye. very worrisome.
      for all the hysteria about “white nationalists” and other assorted thuggery from “the left”(ha!)…there’s really little there, there.
      even that one eyed guy…maybe oathkeepers? don’t remember….said in an interview that there’d be all this online agitation to descend on portland or wherever, to “keep the peace”(ha!), and they expected 3000 armed “peacekeepers”…but just 20 crosseyed morons showed up.

      the (variously) “Militia Movement” fer sure represents a stay behind army for the right wing of the PTB(see: operation gladio)…but they ain’t there, yet.
      from the rightyverse, they’re still in shock…but my surveillance(limited, i’ve been busy) indicates that the fear of antifa/communist menace/sorospocalypse has staying power, at least for now.

      so whence does the ft sumpter/lexington green shot come?
      team blue is all about singing in the streets, and stamping out dissent from the actual left, at the moment…figuring that they’ve dodged a bullet and all is now right with the world.

      team red is passed out on the bathroom floor, maga foam oozing out of their mouths.

      what i worry about is the joblessness, the evictions and the follow on effects of local budget crises on my garbage man and teachers….as well as teacher pensions, going forward(invested in “Safe” vehicles, like municipal bonds?)…as well as a commercial real estate asteroid and an hundred other things that MSM ain’t talking about…and/or…people don’t remember, because Americanism is now “Falling from the Turnip Truck anew, each day, to a dewy new world”.
      Eventually, some critical mass of ordinary folks will have had enough suffering….will they still fall for the usual scapegoats?(bad messkins/ evil hillbillies)….or will they finally(!) see the enemy that i see?
      then what?
      remember, “General Strike” was trending on twitter mere days before “open up” rallies and “lets topple statues instead of burning the copshop”.
      if enough banks and copshops burn in a bipartisan manner, that kamala is in charge of reimposing order with troops and painrays might not matter all that much.
      maybe if she comes out as Bi…..

    2. a different chris

      > of groups, within the elite that feel left out of the power structure.

      Maybe but not sure how you test that in today’s American, where no elite is left behind. You really think Anderson, Murdoch, Gates or Buffet really and can ever feel left out?

  33. fresno dan

    President Donald Trump’s inner circle is beginning to split over his ongoing refusal to accept the results of the 2020 election, as Jared Kushner and first lady Melania Trump advised him to come to terms with President-elect Joe Biden’s victory and his adult sons pressed him and allies to keep fighting.
    every month I pick a story where if I could I would like to know who the real sources were. This is my February story

    1. Jeremy Grimm

      I wonder how well the way mink farms around the world deal with the Corona virus might model what Government programs advocating “herd immunity” might achieve. The chief problem with mink farms as a model is the relative ease with which contacts might be traced [although possibly complicated if some human super-spreader — some Corona-Mary — were handling some of the care for the minks].

      1. Eustache de Saint Pierre

        It is I believe the possibility of a new mutation due to the virus interacting with a different molecular structure, that is worrying some who appear to be wanting to act in a precautionary way just in case, as it might mean that antibodies & T cells react differently to the new strain. There are also cases with mink in Italy, Spain & the Netherlands & the extra concern that it could pass onto other mammals.

        Judging the very quick slamming of the door to Danes by authorities in the UK, even if the above is me being out of my depth, they appear to be very concerned about something if only potential. Also it appears that there are unregistered farms out there in the US & probably elsewhere which could be worrisome. We still have some feral mink here in Northern Ireland who were escapees, in England they decimated the water vole population – consequences of vanity I suppose.

        Mink farms no longer exist in the UK, as it was all banned back in the noughties – hopefully nothing to worry about. but it is yet another don’t know in a world of apparent know all’s.

        Dr. John Campbell is the original source for my imprecise rambling version.

        1. John Ralston

          Destroying the mink will not stop the spread of corona virus.

          And I have still not seen any specific genome data pertaining to these purported ‘mink mutations’ published anywhere by anyone.

          NCoV-19 is already know to be transmittable to felines. Doubtless, as is claimed with mink: if felines large and small can acquire it from humans then the opposite is almost certainly true.

          I posit that there will shortly be some evidence that NCoV-19 has already infected mice, rats, squirrels and/or other mammals as well.

          While the relevant authorities might demand the destruction of all mink in the US, it is unlikely that everyone is going to agree to a mass cull of all domestic felines; and it is simply not possible to destroy all of the feral cats, or mice, or rats, etc. in the US.

          Again: even in Manhattan, NYC: the government has not been willing or able to eradicate rats, or bed bugs, or lice.

          Also again: why are not these infected mink populations being utilized to test the various vaccines in production instead of simply eradicated? Would not these doomed creatures have some purpose to serve in extending our knowledge or the virus and possible prophylactic treatments and vaccines?

          IMHO, what is being claimed is suspect; and what is being done is wasteful and shortsighted at a minimum.

          I am open to new and additional information; but, these culls don’t make sense and appear to be motivated by panic or ulterior motives..

          1. Eustache de Saint Pierre

            I think it is a bit early to be assuming that there are no mutations as I’m sure if positive test results were ready in Denmark they would be shouting the news out from the rooftops as they stand to lose a lot – but I guess we will find out sooner or later, depending on the alacrity & competence of those involved. I imagine that someone will agree with you in using the mink as guinea pigs, after all they are valuable only as how much they can fetch when 30 – 40 of their corpses are used to IMO achieve the equivalent of smearing lipstick on a turd, God forbid that those other little feline or canine predators, be treated in the same way.

            As far as i understand it cats with Covid are pretty rare, but in this case 3,400 or so mink in one place have been reported as as having died from Covid in Wisconsin, suggesting to me that if true what they have might be rather more deadly than that which afflicted the cats, or perhaps it is just down to the mink’s genes.

            I don’t know but it appears to me that judging from our collective response, particularly in the West to C-19 of when we let the Covid cat out of the bag, much in the way of caution should be used in regard to the above.

            I also think the whole fur trade should be banned, but in this world of profit above all things, that ain’t gonna happen, even as we appear to be reaping the bad seed that we have consistently sown, without even the sense to realise that at least for the purpose of our own survival we are destroying nature’s balance & killing our host.

            1. John Ralston

              I detest the fur trade whether it is in mink or feline fur; however, I am not in favor of destroying the entire domestic breedstock, and bankrupting their owners outright, under a false premise of combating NCOV-19 as a solution. I consider many types of businesses to be exploitative, wrong, and cruel; but, my feelings do not automatically provide me with justification against them unilaterally.

              I would prefer a program of re-introducing stock to the wild and neutering and spaying the vast majority of the mink and submitting them to domestic adoption and safe harbor than an eradication program.

              I have owned ferrets and they can be lovely, safe, and entertaining domestic pets.

              1. Eustache de Saint Pierre

                I would be happy with that too & mink apparently for some people also become pets.

                My problem is that according to 2 scientists from the WHO, it is going to take time to figure out the implications of this mutation – perhaps due to needing to unravel the genome.

                My worry is & hopefully it will be proven to have been groundless, is that this is another case of us not knowing the possible implications so therefore as has been the case previously allowing things to get out of hand.

                The virus appeared in a Wuhan wet market & was transferred to humans, subsequently thriving in environments in which human beings were packed together, often weaker specimens due to age, comorbidities, general lack of good health with stress & weariness sometimes playing a part, particularly in the case i imagine of migrant workers. This is I think basically the state of being of the original animals in Wuhan to the humans packed in offices, churches, care homes & even cities where the virus thrives.

                So now we have mink infection hotspots in Europe & the US involving packed together millions of likely stressed out of their minds animals, who are possibly also not in good physical shape. Now hopefully they are suffering badly due to their genes being susceptible to C-19.

                The fact is that we do not know this yet, while also not knowing whether the mutation could allow the virus to access those other millions of animals who are kept in similar conditions that we actually need – battery chickens, pigs & cattle.

                Hopefully they won’t be, but as we continue to destroy habitats & in the case of mink needlessly subject millions of animals to a hellish existence for the sake of vanity & greed – what about next time ?

                I hope that a good thing to come out of this is that the practice is banned as it was in the UK, which appears to have managed well enough without it, after all they also basically banned manufacturing which left the really massive hole in the economy.


  34. Jeff W

    Man Creates Bird Feeder That Trains Magpies To Exchange Trash For Treats

    This video gives a good idea of just how Hans Forsberg did it. It’s an interesting example of shaping (progressively reinforcing behaviors that are closer to a target behavior), both of the behavior of the magpies and that of Forsberg in developing a more streamlined yet more robust design.

    Forsberg seems to be employing a continuous reinforcement schedule—that is, a peanut “paid out” for every bottle cap deposited—which produces the behavior that tends to drop off quickly, i.e., undergo extinction, if the behavior is not reinforced (say, if the mechanism jams or the feeder isn’t replenished in time and runs out of peanuts). A partial reinforcement schedule, e.g., some kind of ratio schedule (some number of bottle caps greater than one in exchange for a peanut), would produce behavior that is far less likely to undergo extinction—as casinos with their slot machines well know. (But it’s a bit harder to produce a contraption that does that.)

    1. a different chris

      He should have just come out everyday, stood in front of the magpies and assured them “nothing will change”.

      Or he could have talked about cats, and how cats were coming to get them, and how he stood between them and those cats.

      Oh wait magpies are actually smart…

      1. John Ralston

        Something tells me that when the magpies have all deposited the ever last one of their bottle caps they will finally be equal in the eyes of the behavior reinforcement technician.

        …And that when this equality of uniform magpie bankruptcy has finally at last been achieved success will be declared and the feeder will be disassembled and taken away entirely.

  35. Jeremy Grimm

    RE: Gabriel Byrne: ‘There’s a shame about men speaking out. A sense that if you were abused, it was your fault’
    This link was really about Byrne’s Autobiography “Walking With Ghosts”. After watching a few episodes of Byrne’s tv series “in Treatment” — which I disliked and removed from my queue, it was too much like a stream of unpleasant in depth dealings with the people around me — I was curious about this link. I took away two quotes from Byrne to keep:
    “It’s a corporation and the CEO can’t turn it around. And they’d never elect someone unless their thinking was known.”
    Byrne was talking about the Church, but the lesson I took was about how the leaders of large organizations are chosen to maintain what those organizations, imagined as a new kind of organism, have come to understand as their mission.
    “If you lose your curiosity about the world,” he says, “you’re in danger of, in some small way, kind of dying.” He’s awestruck by how long a small child can look at a leaf. “I want what they have!”
    This struck me in two directions. It reminded me how I want to recapture the fascination for the world I once held. It also made me think of how soon after a year or two of schooling too many children — my own at least — would no longer stop to pick a leaf let alone study it at length.

    1. Cancyn

      I too got thinking about education and how it totally overwhelms natural human curiosity, creativity and critical thinking almost permanently in the very early grades when I read this piece. My favourite story about children before the education system grinds them into submission is one told by Sir Kenneth Robinson about a child drawing in a kindergarten class. The teacher asks her what she’s drawing and she replies “God.” The teacher says (and I always imagine this in a slightly chiding tone), “No one knows what God looks like.” And the child, completely undeterred, replies, “They will when I am finished!” I try to remember that story when my blinders get big and my adult ennui gets too strong. I don’t blame Byrne for seeking an alternative to the current education system for his daughter. Although, he does have the privilege of not needing to grind away at a 40-60 hour per week BS job and can spend lots of time with his daughter compensating for the poor education she will get at school. Provided he lives so long – a 70 yr old with a 3 yr old child for goodness’ sake! Hell, since he hates Hollywood so much and presumably has ‘enough’, he might quit acting altogether and become an advocate for better education. Hmm, what a weird road that article took me down. Sorry for the off topic story/slight rant. I return you to your regularly scheduled program ?

  36. Samuel Conner

    My apologies if this has already been noted (a quick search did not “see” it at today’s links page)

    Automatic Earth has a post today that suggests we may see some serious litigation ahead.

    The fact that so many ballots were cast by mail, per the item, makes fraud easier to detect.

    A money quote:

    “Bc all of the ballots go through the postal system, they get shuffled like a deck of cards, so we expect reported… ballot return to be extremely UNIFORM in terms of D vs R ratio, but to drift slightly towards R over time bc some of those ballots travel farther.”

    The argument seems plausible.

    While I’m not sympathetic to the Pres’ (or to JB), I do think that this election might be a great opportunity to assess the vulnerability of the different state systems to manipulation. If there are meaningful (as in “at scale” as opposed to individual fraudulent votes) frauds being committed, it would be great to expose them.

    1. a different chris

      Here’s a problem that some of the brighter lights on the Republican side have to be considering, whether Trumpists (he can run again in 2024 so try to keep some dignity) or anti-Trumpists (ruin the whole Party permanently for us, wouldya?)

      Trump again got thrashed in the popular vote. The problem is not that he isn’t going to unleash an army of Proud Boys, they would be fine with that.

      He’s going to unleash an army of lawyers. Everybody will get to see how this “businessman” and the “Party of Business” actually works. Lawyers have been addressed as lower than scum from the outest reaches of the Republican Party uniformly up to the very top. And they are going to, like lawyers these people are sure always do, fight against what seems completely reasonable.

      And now they’re going to be the heroes? I have become as callous as anybody as to the complete blockheadedness of the Republican voters, after trying to defend them for so many years, but I think that’s a really, really dicey proposition.

      Better to dump Trump, do some wound-licking (minor cuts, really), slap Bidens’ hand-across-the-isle away, lie about Kamala’s a LibrulLibrulLibrul and come back in 2022.

      1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

        Trump “got thrashed in the popular vote” by winning more votes than any previous presidential candidate in history. Assume we’re talking about the “racist” who mysteriously received more black votes than any R candidate since 1960. Biden did do well in very populous states like California and New York, what a surprise that is.

        And would you suggest Trump recruit sports figures to see to it that the election laws of the country are upheld? Oh, there’s that word that Dems hate more than Dracula hates wooden stakes: “laws”.

        And then of course some standard drivel about how 70 million voters are “blockheads”, the anti-democratic anti-voter impulse against political representation for those who disagree with you is 100% on-brand for the Dems and their entire media and cyber censorship machine.

        1. Phillip Cross

          I think you are on to something! Saying that *only* 70 million US voters are “blockheads” is a massive underestimate.

    2. Synoia

      Bc all of the ballots go through the postal system, they get shuffled like a deck of cards, so we expect reported… ballot return to be extremely UNIFORM in terms of D vs R ratio, but to drift slightly towards R over time bc some of those ballots travel farther.

      Do they get shuffled? That’s a key assumption which would need to be proven.

      Do Rs live further from vote counting places than Ds?

  37. Alex morfesis

    And…50 years ago today, Charles De Gaulle took his last breath… depending on ones theories on noles and tendance Groucho(68) daze that say the other brother also pass and CDG return two days later after having run to Germany, to “retake” the streets…was it a sad day or happy day… although, much as Chiang Kai Shek was soon enough forgotten, CDG seems to have gotten lost in that dustbin of mystery History too…

    1. Jeremy Grimm

      I don’t know enough about Charles De Gaulle to applaud him or quietly bury his memory. I believe he helped keep post war France from falling too much under the shadow of the US which I believe was a good thing but wasn’t he uncomfortably close to the French efforts to hold on to old colonies like Viet Nam and Algeria? If he were anything like Chiang Kai Shek — what little I know of him — De Gaulle might be better forgotten. You remember Charles De Gaulle enough to note the anniversary of his death. Should he be remembered and if so how and for what?

    2. John Ralston

      De Gaulle was pale and male.

      IF there are still any statues of him standing you can direct the Jacobins to them and his dust-binning can be more definitively assured…

  38. Ep3

    Vainglorious eternals:

    Yves, I don’t think crystal and torrie should be removed from the photo. They represent their own elitist out of touch groups of millionaires and billionaires.
    Sports, where the pro organizations work along with colleges to use colleges as their recruiting facilities by keeping players from making any money with the popular label “student-athlete”. Specifically, baseball. Where minor league players are currently unable to play due to covid yet cannot draw unemployment & receive no fringe benefits.
    Then there are Hollywood & music elites. Lars Ulrich fighting Napster to stop song sharing when most artists do not make money anymore on song royalties. Robert Downey Jr. multiple drug convictions & committed felonies. Now a billionaire, due to his ability to buy his way out of trouble.
    Movies and sports are the most harmful of these groups. Their actions are made public, whereas Trump’s criminal real estate deals are not understood by your average person. And the average person does not encounter such opportunities. Whereas actors & musicians drinking & pissing on the Alamo, that is something poor ppl can replicate, tho they would not be able to buy their way out of trouble.

  39. Maritimer

    The Vainglorious Eternals Go Golfing The New Republic

    The photo gives new meaning to the Mark Twain quote: “Golf—(pause)—a good walk spoiled.”

  40. anonymous in Michigan

    Last I checked, there was no Constitutional requirement for a concession speech, and the press does not certify election results.

    Michigan law calls for each county to have a Board of Canvassers to certify that votes are finalized and counted. From the manual for the canvassers published by the State:

    Michigan election law was amended in 1963 to establish procedures for the appointment of a four- member Board of County Canvassers in every county in the state. (MCLA 168.24a-168.24f) Prior to 1963, county canvassers were elected. While the procedures for filling positions on county canvassing boards have changed over the years, the responsibilities of the boards have remained as follows:


    The Board is responsible for canvassing and certifying primaries and elections held in the county. In specified instances, county canvassing boards are required to forward the results obtained for primaries and elections to the Board of State Canvassers in Lansing.

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