2:00PM Water Cooler 12/17/2020

By Lambert Strether of Corrente.

Bird Song of the Day


At reader request, I’ve added this daily chart from 91-DIVOC. The data is the Johns Hopkins CSSE data. Here is the site.

Case count by United States region:

Still flat. Looks like the Midwest did it, from the regional data. I feel I’m engaging in a macabre form of tape-watching, because I don’t think the peak is coming in the next days, or even weeks. Is the virus gathering itself for another leap?

Big states (New York, Florida, Texas, California) instead of the Midwest:

Yikes, California!

Test positivity by region:

Nowhere near 3%, though.

Hospitalization by region:

Distinct flattening. Hospitalization is also discretionary; they may also be reducing their admissions rate — relative to cases we cannot see in this data! — to preserve future capacity; or because hospitals have figured out how to send people home.

Case fatality rate by region:

Slight decrease in slope, now driven by the Midwest and the South,


“But what is government itself, but the greatest of all reflections on human nature?” –James Madison, Federalist 51

“They had one weapon left and both knew it: treachery.” –Frank Herbert, Dune

“They had learned nothing, and forgotten nothing.” –Charles Maurice de Talleyrand-Périgord

Democrats in Disarray

“Stimulus talks could spill into weekend as lawmakers scramble to complete deal” [WaPo]. “Negotiators have cited significant progress in recent days as talks accelerated. Senior lawmakers aimed to unveil legislation as soon as Thursday. While several difficult sticking points remain, aides are expressing optimism that none of the issues that has emerged appeared likely to prevent final passage of an agreement. Congress must pass a spending bill by midnight on Friday to avoid a government shutdown, and some had hoped to add the stimulus package to that legislation. If the stimulus talks drag on, lawmakers could be forced to pass another short-term spending bill to give them more time, potentially pushing talks into Christmas week. Aides on Thursday began to suggest talks could drag on into the weekend.”

“End The Austerity Loop” [David Sirota, The Daily Poster]. “A new administration entering office during an economic crisis that requires deficit spending. A Republican Party that instantly transitions from spending on corporate bailouts to pretending it cares about debt. A Washington-anchored Democratic Party that fetishizes deficit reduction so that cable news pundits will portray them as sober-minded fiscal hawks, rather than New Dealers. Wall Street executives and bondholders celebrate, serfs outside the palace walls starve, a counterrevolutionary backlash follows and the cycle starts anew. This is the Austerity Loop that seems to be starting over again — proving that when we forget our past, history may not exactly repeat itself, but it tends to rhyme. … Democrats’ stimulus negotiations tells the larger tale: After eagerly signing on to help Trump pass legislation creating a $500 billion corporate slush fund, the party led by golf-clapping master strategist Nancy Pelosi negotiated a potential $3.4 trillion economic rescue package down first to $1.9 trillion. As poverty and mass starvation skyrocketed, Pelosi’s Democrats then rejected Trump’s offer of $1.8 trillion and negotiated further down to $348 billion. Now, Congress is down to a mere $188 billion in new proposed spending — cue tweets of Pelosi putting on sunglasses! Vox reported that the bill released Monday did not “include another round of $1,200 stimulus checks — a very popular provision that was left out to reduce the cost of the package.” • Now the checks are back in, but not $1200. $600. Reaction:


Not sure who’s doing the weaponizing, here. And if somebody is holding your head underwater, it doesn’t matter how deep your head is, because you can’t breathe either way. In fact, it’s crueler when they let your head up, but not enough.

As usual, Carlos Mucha asks a good question:

Transition to Biden

“Budding Painter Hunter Biden Has Reportedly Signed With a New York Gallery and Will Have His First Solo Show Next Year” [Artnet News]. “Hunter Biden, son of president-elect Joe Biden, will reportedly have a solo show at New York’s Georges Bergès gallery next year.” • Maybe he and George Bush can do a show together.

“Smooth-talking Buttigieg to be Biden’s infrastructure salesman in chief” [Politico]. “Pete Buttigieg is headed to DOT’s top spot, where despite his thin transportation résumé, the smooth-talking former heartland mayor could help President-elect Joe Biden sell Congress on a massive job-creating investment in infrastructure that would also attempt to blunt the effects of climate change.” Example of smooth-talking:

I had model trains!

Jouissance, with another example of smooth talking:

UPDATE Heading off to brunch (1):

UPDATE Heading off to brunch (2):

UPDATE “Glennon Doyle and Biden Campaign Manager Jen O’Malley Dillon on Politics, Motherhood, and Doing Hard Things” [Glamour]. Dillon: “The president-elect was able to connect with people over this sense of unity. In the primary, people would mock him, like, ‘You think you can work with Republicans?’ I’m not saying they’re not a bunch of fuckers. Mitch McConnell is terrible. But this sense that you couldn’t wish for that, you couldn’t wish for this bipartisan ideal? He rejected that. From start to finish, he set out with this idea that unity was possible, that together we are stronger, that we, as a country, need healing, and our politics needs that too. Which is not to say it is easy. It is like a relationship. You can’t do politics alone. If the other person is not willing to do the work, then that becomes really hard. But I think, more than not, people want to see impact. They want to see us moving in a path forward. They want to do their work, get paid a fair share, have time for themselves and their family, and see each other as neighbors. And this overhang of this negative, polarized electorate that politics has created is the thing that I think we can break down.” • There’s a lot of frothing and stamping about the underlined part, because Dillon transgressed the unwritten law.

Transition from Trump

“A Very Trumpian Christmas Surprise? Signs Point to a Possible US Attack on Iran” [The Nation]. “In the days following Pompeo’s visit to Israel and Gulf kingdoms, a series of subsequent events suggest further planning for US (or US/Israeli) military action against Iran.” • It would be like Trump to destroy one of the few positive aspects of his record on the way out the door. No more “Trump became President today!” nonsense, however; a bright spot.

UPDATE “Mr. Trump’s unforced personnel errors” [Arnold Kling, askblog]. “Perhaps finding personnel is difficult for any outsider executive. If you hire experienced people, you end up with the establishment. If you hire inexperienced people, many of them won’t work out. When I worked at Freddie Mac, at one point senior management hired someone from outside the company to take on a high level position in information systems. A co-worker pointed out to me that if you’re an outstanding leader, people from your old organization will want to follow you to your new one. She pointed out that nobody came with this guy, and she viewed this as a bad sign. She was right. I am inclined to believe that a President with Mr. Trump’s outsider status could find at least one high-level staffer who could in turn bring in colleagues and former subordinates that are also highly effective. As I have said before, I think that this was Mr. Trump’s biggest weakness.” • I believe I claimed, early on in the administration, that Trump faced a professional services strike (his lousy lawyers in his fight against 2020’s results is an example of this; very differerent from Bush in Florida 2000). Kling’s idea that Trump might have been expected to bring his own team in with him is interesting; still, Kling is from Cato, so it looks like Beltway conservative think tanks weren’t much inclined to hold their noses and stake a fellow Republican to a staffer or two.


On the latest intelligence community panic on Crowdstrike FireEye:

No, of course not.

Realignment and Legitimacy

UPDATE “Senate Democrat: Party’s message to rural voters is ‘really flawed'” [The Hill]. “Tester argued the party could strengthen its performance in rural areas by emphasizing its infrastructure policies, particularly in relation to broadband expansion. ‘And then I would say one other policy issue is how some Republicans want to basically privatize public education,’ he said. ‘That is very dangerous, and I think it’s a point that people don’t want to see their public schools close down in Montana.’… [The New York Times] noted that former President Obama won some rural areas by more than 20 points in comparison to President-elect Joe Biden this year. Tester responded by pointing to Obama spending the Fourth of July in 2008 in Butte, Mont. ‘He showed up. Now, he didn’t win much in it, but he did a hell of a lot better than people thought he was going to do because he showed up,’ Tester said.”

Stats Watch

At reader request, I added some business stats back in. Please give Econintersect click-throughs; they’re a good, old-school blog that covers more than stats. If anybody knows of other aggregators, please contact me at the email address below.

“12 December 2020 Initial Unemployment Claims Again Worsen” [Econintersect]. “Market expectations for weekly initial unemployment claims (from Econoday) were 720 K to 915 K (consensus 806 K), and the Department of Labor reported 885,000 new claims. The more important (because of the volatility in the weekly reported claims and seasonality errors in adjusting the data) 4 week moving average moved from 778,250 (reported last week as 776,000) to 812,500.”

Manufacturing: “December 2020 Philly Fed Manufacturing Survey Index Again Weakens” [Econintersect]. “The Philly Fed Business Outlook Survey declined but remains in expansion. Overall, this report was much worse than last month as key elements significantly declined.”

Housing: “November 2020 Residential Building Growth Mixed” [Econintersect]. “Headline residential building permits improved and construction completions slowed. The rolling averages improved for permits but worsened for construction completions…. We seem to be seeing and bad month, followed by a good month, and then another bad month. The backward revisions this month were small. It is always difficult to understand the trends as the backward revisions sometimes reverse trends month-to-month. The nature of this industry normally has large variations from month-to-month (mostly due to weather) so the rolling averages are the best way to view this series. The rolling averages say this sector is growing but rollercoastering. We consider this report both better and worse than last month.”

Coincident Indicators: “12 December 2020 New York Fed Weekly Economic Index (WEI): Index Again Declines” [Econintersect]. “The New York Fed’s Weekly Leading Index (WLI) continues to show an economy that is just above the worst seen during the Great Recession. However, this index remains on a recovery trend based on the 13 week rolling average. This data set should be considered a high-frequency coincident indicator on a par with the Aruoba-Diebold-Scotti Business Conditions Index produced by the Philly Fed – and both show conditions caused by the coronavirus pandemic are already worse than the Great Recession. However, the Aruoba-Diebold-Scotti Business Conditions Index is improving whilst the WLI is still declining. Logic would say with the partial reopening of the economy – the Aruoba-Diebold-Scotti Business Conditions Index seems to be correct.”

* * *

Concentration: “These Are the U.S. Antitrust Cases Facing Google, Facebook and Others” [Wall Street Journal]. •


Not a lot of Blue States among the plaintiffs…..

* * *

Today’s Fear & Greed Index: Day Three of Missing Fear & Greed Index [CNN]. Last updated Dec 17 at 12:22pm.

Health Care

“Are Old Vaccines Helpful Against COVID-19?” [MedPage Today]. The idea that old vaccines might have a role in the fight against COVID-19 has been floated since the early days of the pandemic. Vaccines stimulate the broad, innate immune response, which appears to play a key role in fighting COVID-19. Can the approach bridge the time until entire populations are vaccinated specifically against SARS-CoV-2? Three vaccines dominate the discussion: bacillus Calmette-Guérin (BCG) against tuberculosis; measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR); and oral polio vaccine (OPV).” • Ongoing studies described.

* * *

But people love to shop:

The Biosphere

“London Air Pollution Listed as Cause of Young Girl’s Death” [Bloomberg]. “Air pollution was a significant factor in the death of a 9-year-old girl in south London, the first time air quality has been cited by a British coroner as a cause of death. Ella Adoo-Kissi-Debrah died in February 2013 after an asthma attack that led to cardiac arrest. Poor air quality played a significant role in inducing and worsening her condition, coroner Philip Barlow ruled Wednesday. The report blaming air pollution raises questions about the country’s commitment to tackling environmental problems, especially in the capital, where about 9 million people live and work. ‘While the science has been unequivocal for years that air pollution is significant threat to public health, the coroner’s unambiguous finding is a legal first and will certainly send a signal to the U.K. government,’ Katie Nield, a lawyer at environmental law charity ClientEarth, said in an email.”

“Targeted wetland restoration could greatly reduce nitrogen pollution” [Nature]. “The beneficial effects of wetlands on water quality are well documented, and wetlands are widely used both in urban and rural settings to remove pollution arising from human activities. The biogeochemical conditions in wetlands particularly favour the removal of nitrate, which is often the dominant form of nitrogen pollution in water. However, the global area of wetlands has reduced drastically over the past two centuries5,6, and losses continue despite greater protections being established. The need for wetland restoration is clear, but it is difficult to calculate the potential contributions that restorations could make to nitrate removal for large water catchment areas by scaling up the effects of individual wetlands. This is because water-quality outcomes are highly sensitive to the geographical distribution of wetlands relative to that of nitrogen sources. Cheng et al. tackle this problem by combining an inventory of US wetland distribution with models of nitrogen transport. Their analysis affirms — with much greater precision than was possible in past studies — that remnant and restored wetlands in agricultural areas have a disproportionately large role in mitigating river nitrogen pollution.” • See NC on estuaries, sediment, ponds, and peat.

“Why It’s So Hard to Stop Amazon Deforestation, Starting With the Beef Industry” [Bloomberg]. “Brazil’s Amazon region has suffered more deforestation this year than any in the past decade. The lax environmental policies of President Jair Bolsonaro bear some of the blame; so, too, does climate change. But much can be laid at the feet of cattle farmers. Most cows in Brazil, the world’s largest beef exporter, are grass-fed. Ranchers in the precious biome use bulldozers, machetes, and fire to make room for pastureland—a practice that’s illegal but so widespread that it’s almost impossible for strapped regulatory teams to root out. A study published in Science in July showed at least 17% of beef shipments to the European Union from the Amazon region and Cerrado, Brazil’s savanna, may be linked to illegal forest destruction. The sheer size of the country’s beef industry—2.5 million ranchers, 2,500 slaughterhouses, and about 215 million heads of cattle spread across 3.3 million square miles (8.5 million square kilometers)—is one reason the big meatpackers say they’ve struggled to keep tabs on their suppliers.” • And the solution? You guessed it… Blockchain.


“River conservation by an Indigenous community” [Nature]. “Rivers are a major source of renewable water, and provide food, jobs and a sense of place and cultural identity for people living in the vicinity. For many Indigenous peoples, rivers are central to how they understand themselves, their origins and their relationships to the rest of nature. As a citizen of the Penobscot Nation in Maine put it, ‘The river is us: the river is in our veins.’ Writing in Nature, Koning et al. report ecological surveys that demonstrate how local Indigenous people in the Salween River basin on the border between Thailand and Myanmar have successfully managed the river for conservation purposes and to protect livelihoods.” • Very nice to see the Penobscots getting a shout-out in Nature!

Sports Desk

“‘Where They Belong’: MLB Reclassifies Negro Leagues as a Major League, Updating Its Record Books” [Daily Beast]. “The seven segregated ‘Negro Leagues’ that played baseball from 1920 to 1948 are now considered part of Major League Baseball, and their records will be added to the MLB’s record book, the league announced Wednesday. ‘All of us who love baseball have long known that the Negro Leagues produced many of our game’s best players, innovations and triumphs against a backdrop of injustice,’ MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred said in a statement. ‘xWe are now grateful to count the players of the Negro Leagues where they belong: as Major Leaguers within the official historical record.'” • A little late, but good!

Black Injustice Tipping Point


PMC fragility….

Guillotine Watch

“Democratic governor encourages people to stay home, gets caught out at wine bar” [FOX]. “The governor of Rhode Island is facing backlash this week after she was photographed at a wine and paint night just days after she had discouraged inessential activities to curb the spread of the coronavirus. Oliveras told the station that backlash over the photo was blown out of proportion because Raimondo had only taken off the mask to drink her wine. Still, others felt that Raimondo’s actions were hypocritical, given that four days prior she urged Rhode Islanders in a tweet to ‘stay home except for essential activities & wear a mask anytime you’re with people you don’t live with.'” • Not nearly as bad as Newsome’s debacle, but this keeps happening. It’s almost as if double standards were at play….

Class Warfare

“How Should We Understand Capital Income Inequality?” [Matt Bruenig, People’s Policy Project]. “I think public ownership of capital is one of the most overlooked topics in contemporary discussions of inequality. Unlike labor income, which can only be received by individuals, capital income can be received by anyone or anything. This is because it is completely detached from anything having to do with capital owners. Capital may be productive in some sense, but the people who own it are not, which is precisely why anyone can own it, including everyone collectively through an instrument like a democratically-elected government. For this reason, bringing private capital into public ownership should be considered one of the easiest ways to cut down inequality in society. Building a social wealth fund like the one that Alaska has could quickly trim down wealth inequality in society while also providing new streams of government revenue that could be distributed in a vastly more equal way than capital income is currently distributed. ” • A social-wealth fund has a nice ring to it….

Anarcho-capitalism? Anarcho-socialism?

“Amazon Has Turned a Middle-Class Warehouse Career Into a McJob” [Bloomberg]. “Many Amazon warehouse employees struggle to pay the bills, and more than 4,000 employees are on food stamps in nine states studied by the U.S. Government Accountability Office. Only Walmart, McDonald’s and two dollar-store chains have more workers requiring such assistance, according to the report, which said 70% of recipients work full-time. As Amazon opens U.S. warehouses at the rate of about one a day, it’s transforming the logistics industry from a career destination with the promise of middle-class wages into entry-level work that’s just a notch above being a burger flipper or convenience store cashier. A Bloomberg analysis of government labor statistics reveals that in community after community where Amazon sets up shop, warehouse wages tend to fall. In 68 counties where Amazon has opened one of its largest facilities, average industry compensation slips by more than 6% during the facility’s first two years, according to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.” • And now comes the good part: “‘Bloomberg’s conclusion is false—it violates over 50 years of economic thought, and suspends the law of supply and demand,’ a company spokesperson said in an emailed statement.” • Commentary:

“A Quiet Workplace Revolution in the Shadow of Silicon Valley” [The New Republic]. From June, still germane: “The news came on a Wednesday morning: Every Dog Has Its Day Care, a luxury daycare for dogs, would be shutting down in June 2019. The staff was in the dark. An email from owner Lauren Westreich, addressed to the clients, offered no clarification. Standard of care would not change. Refunds would be honored. With deep gratitude, Lauren. Six days later, Westreich listed the property for $6.75 million. The daycare had been in the East Bay for 22 years…. When the shock wore off some, clients Kelly Hall and Ra (pronounced “Ray”) Criscitiello—owners of a springer spaniel named Lewis and a pit bull mix named Doughy, respectively—approached the managers with an idea: What if there was a way to buy the daycare and hand the keys to the staff? If they could pull this idea off, collective ownership would protect both employees and clients against the whims of the next rich person looking to cash out. As the deputy director of research for a large union chapter, Criscitiello had helped nursing professionals organize into worker cooperatives and thought the daycare seemed like a good candidate. Co-ops can take various shapes, but rather than any legal description, what makes a worker co-op drills down to two central features: employee ownership and democratic control through a board of directors, an elected body composed of at least 50 percent employees. If they could pull this idea off, collective ownership would protect both employees and clients against the whims of the next rich person looking to cash out.”

News of the Wired

Monument candidates:

Interesting history.

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Readers, feel free to contact me at lambert [UNDERSCORE] strether [DOT] corrente [AT] yahoo [DOT] com, with (a) links, and even better (b) sources I should curate regularly, (c) how to send me a check if you are allergic to PayPal, and (d) to find out how to send me images of plants. Vegetables are fine! Fungi and coral are deemed to be honorary plants! If you want your handle to appear as a credit, please place it at the start of your mail in parentheses: (thus). Otherwise, I will anonymize by using your initials. See the previous Water Cooler (with plant) here. Today’s plant (AM):

AM writes: “Moss and some sort of fungus on a dead tree in Roger Williams Park, RI on Thanksgiving eve, 2020. Lots of textures going on.”

Readers, I’m running a bit low on plants. If you all — and especially readers who have not contributed before! — would kindly send me some more fresh ones, that would be great. Thank you!

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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. Clem

    Thanksgiving log fungus;
    Appropriately they are Turkeytails?


    “Famously, Paul Stamets has claimed his mother was cured of cancer using Turkey Tail, and it has been approved by the FDA for that purpose. It can be chewed whole, eaten ground, or made into a tea, or a tincture.”*


    *You might need a liver transplant or die if you do not know what you are doing with identifying and eating mushrooms.

    1. Tom Stone

      The Cullinan Ranch wetlands restoration along HWY 37 in Solano County is 12,000 acres and a wonderful place to watch the sun rise.

    2. ChiGal in Carolina

      I remember Stamets making that claim in the excellent film Fabulous Funghi. Lately I have been seeing lots of what could be Turkey Tail “tree ears” in the woods, only the colors are different than in the above links.

    3. Howard Beale IV

      How ironic: a character named Paul Stamets from Star Trek: Discovery character is the interface to a mycellum-based ‘spore drive’, which can make USS Discovery travel huge distances in a fraction of the time warp drive could.

      The character is played by Anthony Rapp.

      1. al

        From ‘stoned ape’ to ‘neurogenesis stack protocol’ and beyond.

        Inner space, the final frontier. To explore strange new inner worlds. To boldly go where no man has gone before.

        Or, something like that. Possibly. Maybe.

    4. fajensen

      *You might need a liver transplant or die if you do not know what you are doing with identifying and eating mushrooms.

      True, and it happens every year to someone. Now, these are probaly not too bad, At least I am not aware of, in my location (Sweden)!!!, of any semicircular fungi growing on dead wood that are poisonous :)

      There *are* some quite poisionous ones of the rounded kind attached with stalks, “Hypholoma fasciculare”, that also does grow on dead wood. Attention to *All* of the Details matters!

      Another caveat is that even some of the popular mushrooms are not really investigated yet, there is a lot of “we have been eating these like always, no way it can be toxic” and even expert opinions can be divided on the safety of a mushroom. Like the “Laetiporus sulphureus”, “Sulfur shelf mushrooms”, “Chicken of the wood”, which has it all:

      In Sweden experts disagree on their edibility, in several other countries it is considered to be “foolproof”.

      Then Science comes along and tells us that there are in fact several different species of this, and the one growing on conifers can cause a serious allegic reaction in some people! In Sweden they have a lot of pine and little hardwood so maybe this is where the disagreement happens.

      Anyways, it is a hobby of mine.

    1. Geo

      Maybe we can make healthcare “free” if we use the Facebook/Google model: You can visit your doctor free but every 30 seconds they will present you with ads and “sponsored diagnosis”. Your surgery is free but all your organs will be harvested for “marketing data”. Prescription will be free for a 7 day trial but after that you’ll have to pay a monthly subscription that is nearly impossible to cancel.

      Just an idea. Trying to think outside the box on how to make M4A appealing to the PMC.

      1. Jimmy Word

        LOL! Love it! I can see obits taking a turn in the coming years, as well.

        Old Jimmy lived a long and full life, albeit not as long and full as it might have otherwise been. Alas, he was an exceedingly poor healthcare consumer, who routinely failed to keep up with the latest developments in the healthcare markets, leading to his many poor healthcare outcomes. In that respect, Jimmy’s death serves as a timely reminder to us all: poor healthcare choices are no one’s fault but our own and an early, preventable death will be our just reward.

      2. Dr. John Carpenter

        I think it’s a little late for the ad model. Last time I was at my doctor’s, it looked like a NASCAR event with all the pharmaceutical sponsored charts and note pads and waiting room TVs, etc. etc. We just don’t get anything for it, except for the helpful suggestion to ask our doctor if ________ is right for us.

        1. Johnny

          Charge anyone who wants your email.

          Make up and memorize a consistent fake name and or phone number for discounts at hardware and many other chain stores. If you give your real mailing address when you first do that you will get some decent cash saving coupons at your mailbox. However, if you use a credit card along with the coupons, they have your real name and your address.

          Make a fun game out of lying to and manipulating their scam systems whenever possible. Also, ask the price of an item in a small store. Then ask what the cash price is. You’d be surprised at the disounts that you can get, which are mutually beneficial to both parties.

  2. skippy

    Reg red state google thingy … anecdotal but there was a huge response to the lords prayer event and subsequent evangelist group victim syndrome expanding.

    Red state polies could leverage this in so many ways …

      1. skippy

        Off to work so I’ll pop back in 8hr.

        It was a FB event although many of these tech mobs, seem to be, increasingly viewed as a threat to this group and with it anti American – hence the Conservative social media drive.

      2. skippy

        Back and with my Friday ration for the week.

        So there was some kerfuffle not long ago with Evangs and Fakebook over some notion of having the aforementioned banned and it spread life a bush [head] fire. Heaps of these people seem to be Bush Jr ME leftovers from the New American Century sorts + Ev’bal Obama PR which seamlessly transitioned to MAGA – China retreads – sprinkled with some new biker gang clubs that don’t have bikes[?????].

        I look at a few old family and friends social media from time to time, just to see what is transpiring, scope is near east coast to south west and everything in between. In addition I follow through on contacts and connections across the whole network for the big frightners that really get them all stirred up.

        Anywho … I find it curious that this is a red state only party that historically has no dramas with oligarchical monopolies that engage in bottleneck rent extraction, so it would seem there is some other agency behind this collective [tm] effort. Especially considering the Woke/BLM et al C-Corps perspective [bitter after taste from L.A. 80s ink stamps on money].

        In summation, I guess the red states, as they are want, could use the legal construct of anti trust to influence google [chicken – monkey thingy] in doing the right thing for their share holders [C-suite bonuses] and let bygones be bygones. Because I don’t think for a bloody second that they have any structural dramas with the anti trust/rents/monopolist angle at the end of the day.

        Hay Goggle can be the new Fox News … once a liberal progressive [????] for profit entertainment platform can, as it is said, the King is dead, all hail the King thingy … something about profit and eyeballs.

  3. Geo

    “Budding Painter Hunter Biden Has Reportedly Signed With a New York Gallery and Will Have His First Solo Show Next Year”

    Why not? This is a sore subject for me as a lifelong artist but the only thing audiences and the industry care about is fame, not the art. As the comedian Maria Bamford once joked, “Reach for the stars. They’re the only people who can help you.”

    But, in all sincerity, I’ve seen over and over again that people prefer knowns because they either don’t have the ability to judge quality (think of numerous stories about high priced wines vs. bargain wines in a blind taste test and “experts” can’t tell difference) or they don’t want to take risks on unknowns (why chain restaurants do better than local ones). Mix that with our celebrity worship culture (they’re modern day gods it seems) and this makes absolute sense.

    Having an exhibit with Biden will draw press and attention that no regular artist could ever draw. Even if Banksy were to reveal his real identity it wouldn’t get the same press as Hunter and his doodles.

    Maybe if we had a culture that appreciated the arts it would be different but everything is a commodity now and product sells better with celebrity spokespersons and brand name recognition. It’s an easy sell. Plus, gives big donors a safe way to funnel money and influence to the Biden’s.

    Back in art school we had to do a report on Post-Modernism and how/if we’ve moved beyond it. I wrote we had and the new art era is the Post-Relevancy era. Society doesn’t care about art anymore and art is just a product that is curated for marketability and not quality. Personal example: my new film. Actual words of a buyer for a major platform: “I really enjoyed it but have no idea how to market it.” They passed on it. No stars, no identifiable genre category, no sale. No one wants to sell art, they want to sell brand names.

    Sorry for the rant. :)

    1. Mark Gisleson

      I’m pretty sure “Plus, gives big donors a safe way to funnel money and influence to the Biden’s” was the bottom line here.

        1. nycTerrierist

          yup, Biden should feel right at home with those shysters

          enjoyed your rant on the age of


      1. Tvc15

        Exactly Mark, its another twofer for the ruling class…they can continue laundering money in the art world and now get a bribe as a bonus!

      2. Dr. John Carpenter

        If memory serves, buying a piece of art with an unadvertised “bonus” service or good attached has been the plot of at least one or two TV episodes.

      3. km

        Next thing you tell me is that HRC got those fat publishing advances as a subtle form of payout, or that those speeches she made to Goldman execs were really bribes and not very cleverly disguised ones at that.

    2. wol

      Tell it. If you were a painter idpol would brand it for you with the assistance of PMC curators and critics.

    3. LibrarianGuy

      It worked for war criminal Dubya as well, rebranding himself as someone who “cared about” all those maimed US soldiers he created, & his book even marketed to the effect that the pathetic victims of GWoT have “not an ounce of self pity” & are by implication glad to have sacrificed their vision, hearing, limbs etc. for the empire’s glory (& for Junior’s 2004 “re”-election.)
      . . . & 1 can only wonder if Hunter will be as technically incompetent & clunky at painting as Bush, Jr. was in drawing the human form– seems unlikely. But as said, fame=success.

      1. edmondo

        I don’t understand the Hunter-hate. The man is a master of a new technique which consists entirely of small white lines on a mirror. It’s addictive

    4. Carolinian

      Wonder what you think of Tom Wolfe’s The Painted Word. Is all of the modern art scene bogus, commercially speaking?

    5. notberlin

      It’s an attempt to humiliate artists and people of conscious, not promoting “art” in any way. When war criminals and sheer profiteers start having art openings of their really bad (children do much better than them) paintings, you know it’s a middle finger to your life of struggle and urgency to do the right thing. They are profoundly afraid of the fact they live inauthentic lives, as they should be. Imagine growing old when your only legacy is greed and screwing sentient life and the environment to ‘get ahead.’ In farmland midwest we just call them “posers.” Not to downplay it; they do great damage and love to chortle with glee with each other over a glass of overpriced marketed wine about their superiority. But…. take pride in your honest struggle to be authentic and make honest work. I command you! :)

  4. anon in so cal

    > Glenn Greenwald: “Instagram is Using False “Fact-Checking” to Protect Joe Biden’s Crime Record From Criticisms”


    “Among the many on the left and libertarian right who have voiced this criticism (along with President Trump) is then-Senator Kamala Harris, who said during the 2020 Democratic primary race that Biden’s “crime bill — that 1994 crime bill — it did contribute to mass incarceration in our country.” When Hillary Clinton was running for President in 2015, Bill Clinton, who as president signed Biden’s bill into law, told the NAACP: “I signed a bill that made the problem worse. And I want to admit it.”

    Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ) told Biden during a 2019 presidential debate: “There are people right now in prison for life for drug offenses because you stood up and used that tough-on-crime phony rhetoric that got a lot of people elected but destroyed communities like mine.” Booker then said in an interview with The Huffington Post that that Biden’s “crime bill was shameful, what it did to black and brown communities like mine [and] low-income communities from Appalachia to rural Iowa,” also denouncing it for “overwhelmingly putting people in prison for nonviolent drug offenses that members of Congress and the Senate admit to breaking now.”

    As first noted on Monday by former Sanders campaign organizer Ben Mora, Instagram publicly denounced as “False” a post on Sunday by the left-wing artist and frequent Biden critic Brad Troemel, who has more than 107,000 followers on that platform. Troemel’s post said nothing more than what Biden’s chosen running mate, Kamala Harris, has herself said, as well as numerous mainstream media outlets and countless criminal justice reform advocates have long maintained.

    Troemel posted a 1994 photo of a smiling, mullet-sporting Biden standing next to then-President Bill Clinton. The photo contained this caption: “Find someone that looks at you the way Biden looked at Clinton after signed Biden’s crime bill into law. Bringing mass incarceration to black Americans.” This was the same photo and caption which an anonymous Trump supporter under the name “realtina40” first posted back in June.

    Shortly after Troemel posted this on Sunday, Instagram appended a note in red letters, with a warning sign that read: “Learn why fact-checkers have indicated that this is false.” That was followed by a note plastered over Troemel’s original post with the title: “False,” and which claimed “independent fact-checkers say this information has no basis in fact.” The same thing was done by Instagram to “realtina40” original June post….”


    1. Clem

      Let us not forget:
      Black Agenda Report
      “Harris is highly problematic for black voters. She served as the district attorney of San Francisco and later as attorney general of California. In both roles she did everything in her power to support the mass incarceration system and all of its foundations…As attorney general Harris opposed legislation that would have required her office to investigate police shootings.When California was ordered to reduce prison overcrowding she argued against it. She said, accurately, that a low wage work force would go free…One of her more disgraceful policies was to victim shame black mothers for their children’s school truancy. They were fined and when most of them could not pay, were put in jail and separated from their children.This action is the epitome of modern day chattel slavery and Harris cannot be given a pass.”


      1. albrt

        Cannot be given a pass, but can be given the vice presidency, and the presidency when Biden mysteriously falls out a White House window in a few months.

        1. ambrit

          No, it has to be a window on the 16th floor of the Bethesda Naval Hospital. Somewhere safe. Not some mysterious second tier New York hotel’s 10th floor.
          My money’s on Biden, or a Disney animatronic copy of him, carrying out his full term and then losing the 2024 campaign to the future Regent of the Constitution.

    2. Carolinian

      Thanks for link. Unfortunately there don’t seem to be any fact checkers for the fact checkers (except for Greenwald and a few others). Funny that.

  5. BobWhite

    “Looks like the Midwest did it, from the regional data.”

    Well, sort of…
    If you look at the tests per day during the same time frame, it shows a similar drop as cases:

    Less tests=less cases…
    Not saying it is the only factor, just seems like a large one.

  6. RMO

    The “back to brunch” tweets were bad but below them someone replying to that post shows one by Cenk which just has to be read to be believed:

    “Democracy is such a messy wonderful thing. Through the invisible hand of the market we have found ourselves with a comforting grandpa…”

    (emphasis added by me)

    1. Tom Stone

      RMO, that quote from Cenk is as fine an example of abject sucking up as I have ever encountered.
      He might be able to get a little lap time if he dressed in a girl scout uniform…
      I mean, gosh THE INVISIBLE HAND!
      Do what it takes Bro, you only live once.

    2. The Rev Kev

      You saw that too. Gawd, no wonder that Jimmy Dore had a falling out with him and TYT crew for being deluded with things like Russiagate. The rest of that tweet is almost as bad. So is Cenk and other ‘progressives’ going to act as defenders of whatever old Joe does? Dammit, these are supposed to be adults. Is Cenk hoping for an MSNBC contract and is playing nice. What is wrong with the man.

      1. Morgan Everett

        Just seems like a redux of the Obama years, so smart money says yes, they will just defend almost anything he does.

        1. RMO

          It’s one of those times where someone accidentally says the truth without apparently even realizing it – coming right out and saying that the US electoral system is a market where positions and power are bought and sold like items at an auction.

    1. Ranger Rick

      Do a web search for any blue state you could name and “Google office”. Tech jobs mean tech salaries mean tech taxes.

      1. Nick

        After I posted, the Colorado AG filed a different antitrust suit against Google joined by some 38 other states, blue and red, so this explanation doesn’t hold up.

        The TX suit seems to be different from the one today in that it (1) goes after Google’s ad display practices and (2) requests monetary damages. The one today seems to be about (1) the search market and (2) seeks divestments. There could be something deeper going on as to why there are multiple suits in different venues with different groups of states seeking different remedies. California isn’t a party to the one today but they were to the DOJ suit recently, so I think there is something more to it than tech campaign contributions.

        1. JTMcPhee

          The partners in the law firms that represent Google have to be just wetting their pants over this litigation. Will send a lot of privileged brats to institutions of higher education, fund a lot of third and fourth “homes,” all that trash. Will be especially interesting in the firms where the rule of that jungle is “you eat only what you kill.” So lots of infighting and efforts to persuade Google’s in-house lawyers to switch horses. Amazing what happens in the detritus on the floor of the triple-canopy corporate-legal jungle.

          Of course, this will all be resolved, after a lot of showboating by government lawyers tasked with gaslighting the public, via settlements that look big to us mopes but amount to slaps on the wrist to the supranational corporations, and getting sent to bed without supper.

          May they all rot.

  7. drumlin woodchuckles

    About the jungle beef problem in Brazil, the solution is a global wide effective boycott against all meat and all leather products coming out of Brazil. Torture the jungle-free part of the industry till they torture their pet government into exterminating the jungle beef sector.

    And if the Brazilian government won’t do that, extermicott Brazil’s meat and leather industry at every step into extermination. No meat and leather production at all? No jungle beef production by definition.

    If the BrazilGov responds by burning down the Amazon to grow soybeans, extermicott all soybean production in Brazil. No soybeans? No jungle soybeans by definition.

    Assuming China will immediately buy all the beef, leather and soy that Brazil can produce, to win Brazilian friends and influence Brazilian people, Friends of the Jungle will have to try their best to organize a Global Extermicott of all Chinese production of EVERYthing China produces until China is made too poor to afford Brazilian meat, leather and soy.

    Sounds hard. If it can’t be done, then nothing can be done. Because nothing else will work.

    In which case, lets all put our head between our knees and Kiss Our Ice Goodbye.

  8. KB

    “Are old vaccines helpful against Covid-19?”
    I am particularly interested in this and seems intriguing to me. I am probably one of few Americans who got a BCG vaccine as a newborn in 1952 as mother (RN treating TB) got tuberculosis and pregnant at the same time…Also, when in California got a tic and was given a smallpox booster to boost immunity in the early 1980’s for it.
    Early on in March maybe there was lots of info regarding BCG vaccine’s given to everyone in other country’s like India.
    Follow up would be nice……Anyone?
    I am in the above 65 year old category, but have stayed extremely isolated as had my husband in home hospice until he died in October and haven’t changed my behavior yet.
    Sure wish for more follow up in this domain.

    1. Dean

      I hope this might help.

      The mechanism by which old or other vaccines may help is by stimulating the innate immune response. One function of innate immunity is to recognize danger and to alert the immune system to respond immediately and to initiate adaptive (antibody and T cell specific responses). It functions by recognizing danger signals by families of receptors that can detect danger. These receptors recognize signals that may be present on similar pathogens and are therefore called pattern recognition receptors (PRRs). The most well characterized of the PRRs are toll-like receptors (TLRs) of which humans have 9 found on many different cell types. The TLRs are not as specific as antibody recognition but do recognized patterns seen in similar pathogens. For example, many bacteria can move using a whip-like attachment called a flagellum. TLR5 recognizes flagella and will fire if any flagella-using bacteria are present. When any TLR binds its target it activates an inflammatory response sending out cytokines and chemokines that both attract and activate immune cells to attack the pathogen. The inflammatory response is also important in activating adaptive immunity as both antibody production and T cell responses.

      BCG binds to both TLR2 and TLR4 leading to inflammatory responses. The inflammatory response is not specific so could activate production of antibodies or T cells against any pathogen that is present.

      Smallpox is a double stranded DNA virus so it activates TLR9 which again can activate immune responses to any pathogen present. Single stranded RNA virus like SARS-Cov 2 and influenza bind to TLR7 or 8. This might help explain the reactogenicity of both Pfizer and Moderna vaccines which are single stranded RNA.

    2. HotFlash

      KB, about BCG vaccine. Here is a world map showing which countries require BCG vaccination. Clicking on a country brings up a table at the bottom of the page that tells exactly what the policy is, how many vacs are required, when they are given, and, if the programme was changed, when.

      Comparing it to the 91-divoc charts, I found the difference between CoViD severity in, say, Ireland (vaccinates) vs UK (doesn’t), or US (only identified high risk — ie, children and health care workers in prolonged exposure settings or at high risk, such as yourself), Mexico (does) and Canada (used to vaccinate everyone until 60’s-70’s) verrrrrrry interesting. There are more correlations. For instance Africa, about which everyone is scratching their heads as to why it isn’t being devastated , is almost 100% vaccinated at birth. There are anomalies, too, but overall I would have to say, as the lawyers; do, not conclusive, but persuasive.

      1. rtah100

        UK vaccinated routinely until fairly recently (2000’s?). Only stopped because cost accounting suggested vaccination had been too successful and the cost per life saved of the programme was now too high! Ironically, since we stopped vaccinating, immigration from countries with uncontrolled outbreaks has re-imported TB (South Asia, Africa).

        Anyway, the older and worst affected cohorts in the UK should have the same vaccination status as EIRE, down to about 20-somethings, maybe 30-somethings. So the map is not telling us anything useful.

        An alternative explanation revolves around which BCG formulation is used where. The closer to the original live bacterial strain, the better, is the hypothesis. Japan has continued using a very potent BCG. The UK switched to a “modern” more attenuated version in the later years of its programme. The US always used its own method.

        1. KB

          Very interesting on both above comments regarding BCG..I have wondered about the strain of BCG I got in 1952….?…I also have a twin who had the same and all our lives we were told to NEVER allow anyone to give you two a TINE test and boy we remembered…wish I knew where it came from?…maybe Britain me thinks. My mother was quarantined for 18 months in a tuberculosis sanitarium…back in those days nurses didn’t wear masks and were coughed on by their patients. We were removed and placed in another hospital and didn’t see her for over 6 months. I hope going forward researchers investigate in depth the possible correlation with reduced severity to COVID with BCG vaccinations.

    3. Tim W

      I seem to recall that, as kids in the UK (born 1953), we got a BCG jab as a matter of course along with all the others -MMR, prob Polio, Tetanus etc.
      Except we called Rubella ‘German’ measles for some reason…..

  9. Pat

    I know there is supposed to be a hole for every peg, but I must admit that finding Pete Buttigieg “sexy” in any manner could be the most disturbed and deranged thing Tribe has ever Put forth.

  10. DJG

    From that Politico profile: Biden called Buttigieg a “policy wonk with a big heart” and a “new voice with new ideas, determined to move past old politics.”

    Buttigieg is such a disaster. First, and I knew this all along but had been trying to keep my intuitions under control, the first “major” gay presidential candidate just happens to be a glib, well, let’s not put too fine a point on it, white boy selling his résumé. He might as well have been cooked up by a caterer for a Human Rights Campaign dinner + fundraiser. What you have here is commodification of dissent. From Stonewall and ActUp to Mayor Pete, lover of transportation and romantic at O’Hare–proposing near the Nuts On Clark store, I’m sure.

    Second, and about as egregious, is this heartland-y stuff. “Heartland” usually comes up in (1) Tourist Board of Indiana brochures and (2) profiles of dignitaries of Indiana like Mike “Tartuffe” Pence, Mayor “Locomotion” Buttigieg, and Amy “Cultish” Coney Barrett. In the other Great Lakes States, which have their own unique characteristics, the term heartland is used ironically only. No one from Michigan, Illinois, Wisconsin (all three of which are more concerned with butter and cheese consumption, as in upping it) or even Ohio would use the term. Minnesota is definitely not the heartland, and Amy! undoubtedly has a toxic Jell-O creation to offer you if you use the word heartland within the chilly confines of Minnesota.

    Sheesh. Now what the heck ever happened to my Lionel train setup?

    1. Tomonthebeach

      Pete Buttigieg is in so far over his head that he has no idea that there is almost nothing under his feet either. He will either emerge a national hero, or be banished to someplace in Indiana. Given his background???

      Transportation sounds dull, and trains, highways, sea, and air transportation (space too). Who cares if vehicles are safe to ride in? The auto industry is also suffering from EV-Interuptus (seen any Charging stations at WaWa or SUNOCO?). Expect safety shortcuts. Trump never did institute a WPA to fix all the decaying bridges under cars, trucks, and trains. So those all have 4 more years of rust to crumble as the economy struggles to recover. That is hardly a reason to hire a lot of unemployed workers, right?

      Aviation as an industry has imploded. That is partly because Congress neutered the FAA over the past 30 years (Anybody want a fleet of 737 Max’s?). Herd-of immunity will not appear for at least another year. Odds are that many business trips will remain replaced by Zoom and Skype. Maybe airports can be converted into hydroponic gardens. At least Cape Kennedy is one with the (Space) Force.

      1. Massinissa

        Pete: “Ah yes, I have liked this sector that I know nothing about since I was a kid. I am glad I have been given this post that I have never thought about in my life.”

      2. jo6pac

        Pete Buttigieg isn’t and bug in the system he is a feature. Since he knows nothing of this field then no money will be spent except on consultants the dnc way of business;-)

        1. edmondo

          Am I the only one who finds in frightening that Pete Buttigeig will be the 16th in line of presidential succession? If Biden sneezes, Pete will declare himself president while Kamala has to sit at the National Observatory while the DNC decides which one won.

        1. drumlin woodchuckles

          He not as smooove . . . .

          Obama pulled it off and made it work. Buttigieg tries too hard. Obama looked “tall, dark and handsome” . Buttigieg looks like a starving little rat.

      1. YetAnotherChris

        We won’t have Mayo Pete to kick around much longer. He’s the overeager actor in the local theater troupe who blurts, “I did it!” in the first act of the Checkov production. See Iowa caucus.

    2. Glen

      Pothole Pete will delight in the further destruction and privatization of our transportation infrastructure.

      I look forward to tollbooths on FREEways, and selling the Interstate Freeway system to Wall St so that we can re-pay for the same roads FOREVER.

      1. albrt

        The Indiana turnpike is the worst toll road in America. It was sold to private equity and they replaced all the toll collectors with computers. I was driving across Indiana in a thunder storm a couple years ago and the computers got knocked out. No one was allowed to exit – we literally lined up at the exit for hours waiting for the computerized toll machines to let us out.

        So yeah, sounds like the Amerikkkan heartland to me.

    3. notberlin

      Sheesh. Now what the heck ever happened to my Lionel train setup?

      Good call-out on the use of the word “Heartland.” It’s been bothering me for years, without me even being fully conscious of it.

      I think Elvis took your Lionel train to Memphis, btw (or is is Nashville?). These childhood dreams die hard.

    4. fajensen

      For what it’s worth, there are some ministries where the head of the minister always ends up on a platter. Transportation is one of those in Europe.

  11. FreeMarketApologist

    re: maskless at a wine and paint event.

    But, but… wine and paint events are *essential*. What else could we do if our favorite brunch place is shut down?

    I’m finding it’s the wine part that’s essential. The paint part, not so much. Those who are enjoying all the whitewashing that’s going on may disagree.

  12. Cuibono

    i think that it is likely we are rolling over in many states in terms of case counts. deaths will likely continue for a few weeks .

  13. chuck roast

    Gina (Yes, I have my own personal guillotine) Raimondo apparently broke quarantine to attend her wine sampling. That may well put a new spin on being “supportive”. Five days ago it was reported that Dr. Nicole Alexander-Scott the director of the RI Dept. of Health had tested positive and that (Yes, I have my own personal guillotine) Raimondo and several members of her staff would be self-quarantining. I guess everybody got better.

    1. Swamp Yankee

      Yes, Raimondo is pretty dreadful — didn’t she try to privatize Providence’s water supply, too?

  14. ambrit

    Dreaded Pathogen Zeitgeist report.
    Had to go in person to Phyl’s GP to get an “approval” for Medicare to allow a Prosthetic leg. Medicare wanted an in person ‘evaluation’ of Phyl’s need and ability to use a prosthetic. Standard operating procedure I am told.
    While there, “pumped” the woman GP for info on local hospital and associated clinic experience with Covid.
    She is in her early thirties, and has had the Pathogen. She had a mild, but symptomatic case, with soreness, congestion, and what she described as “..the worst headache, lasting three days, that I can remember ever having.”
    She said that the hospital has been giving the vaccine to medical workers since Monday. the quantities are small, and some sort of triage is in effect for vaccination. Those who have had the Covid were told to wait sixty days before getting the vaccine. Pregnant women are being given the vaccine. The GP knew one of those. The third hand report says that the main side effect seen so far is soreness and fatigue for a day after the shot.
    She was vacillating between skepticism and rah rah boosterism concerning the vaccine.
    Upon prompting fromn yours truly, she admitted that the hospital has had one incident of anaphylactic shock resulting from administration of the vaccine. The GP stated that the person so afflicted had a prior history of anaphylactic shock from a vaccine, so, why was this person given the shot in the first place?
    I was being very circumspect in my questioning of the woman because I sensed an immediate wariness on her part when I bought up the subject of the vaccine.
    The clinic is doing well as far as the incidence of Covid is doing. The Clinic is associated with the Hospital, but in a separate building. The Covid precautions there are strict. The GP said that the Hospital has had a “..horrendous infection rate..” and was running at full speed. Beds were full and the outside ‘Cough and Fever Clinic’ was doing triage for the Hospital. With that triage in place, the Hospital was still running at close to full capacity.
    The GP had heard about Ivermectin but was waiting for “official approval” to begin using it on patients.
    So, there we are.
    Stay safe everyone!

    1. grayslady

      Thanks, ambrit. I hope Phyl receives her prosthesis and that it’s a really good one. Your story about one more incidence of anaphylactic shock has merely confirmed my thinking that this vaccine is definitely not for me.


    RE Russian Hacking:

    First off, let me make clear that I dont particularly care about the political implications, the Russia angle, whatever. Lots of smoke.

    I am positively certain that very few people have fully grasped the severity of this situation. 100% of the commentariate chatter has been political, and focused on the fact that government agencies were infiltrated.

    What is being missed is the impact on industry and transportation. I have seen multiple trucking companies shut down and idle. These are multibillion dollar firms, systems completely down, no email, no phones, for multiple days. Same on the client side, i am getting calls from manufacturers cancelling shipments because they cannot produce product. Their control systems are electronic and networked, currently offline, and plants subsquently idle. I had three such calls yesterday alone.

    This is a big, big deal for the real economy- the part of the economy that actually makes and ships physical stuff. The PCM twitterverse is so far detached from that part of the economy that they don’t have the industry contacts to even be aware this exists

    1. drumlin woodchuckles

      Since computers and computer networks can not be defended or protected, how many years would it take for American Civilization to decomputerise every possible thing and go back to how life was in the Analog Sixties?

      I remember the Sixties. Life wasn’t bad then. We all had food and water, clothing and shelter, cars and telephones and TV sets. This could be taken as a warning that it is time to Go Analog again.

      1. Janie

        It’s why the MAGA slogan works. Those were better times; if you were white, or black in a good trade union, one wage earner could support a family. No homelessness that I was aware of.

        1. Glen

          YES! MAGA is a damn good slogan. We had problems, but we seem to have lost so much – like the whole lower end of the middle class.

          So – reality check – what happened?

          The 50/60/70s, that was FDR’s New Deal America: Union jobs, high taxes, free colleges.

          Starting with Reagan in the 80’s, and right on through Bush, Clinton, W, Obama, and Trump, the rich BOUGHT our government, unions went away, taxes on the rich vanished, and jobs with good salaries and benefits went flat. Throw in endless wars, and endless Fed bailouts of the rich,

          and here we are in Ronald Reagan’s America.

          It was subtle at first, accelerating in the 2008 crash, and BAM here we are.

          Let’s Make America Great Again because – yeah, this sucks, it REALLY sucks.

  16. Carolinian

    While from a different perspective than most of us around here this Hillbilly Elegy piece is interesting.

    Hampton wages an uproarious battle against Appalachian stereotypes, even as she utilizes them to make a point: “Tryon is still a town with shocking wealth disparity and de facto segregation, where rich white residents still live high on a hill…” Like Catte, Hampton is out to prove something when she talks about socialist and pro-union roots in the mountains. But dang it, she can’t stand the fact that there are folks up in the holler who buy into capitalist definitions! How dare they? And don’t forget about “unregulated corporations and himbo charlatans.” Like everyone else on the left, Hampton wants to throw out the baby with the bathwater. But at some point, you have to accept the idea that “evil” capitalists who mined and timbered gave Appalachia an economy. They brought jobs, houses, schools, and—dare I say it—pickup trucks. Expensive pickup trucks.

    Of course Western North Carolina these days is nothing like WVA and both Asheville and its southern cultural terminus of Tryon are chock a block with wokesters and Northern transplants.

    But some of us here predicted that NC would go for Trump and some of us were right. The state is more conservative than it likes to pretend and those Northeners living on the high hills may be conservative as well. After all they’re pretty rich.


    1. wol

      I know two couples- think Bentley SUV rich- who moved from Buckhead ATL to Linville Gorge NC in hope of escaping the guillotine.

    2. drumlin woodchuckles

      Clinton sure helped parts of Appalachia go Trump when she talked about how ” we are going to put a lot of coal miners out of business . . * cackle cackle* ” She then went on to talk about all the green new jobs we could create for disemployed miners, but it was hard to hear that part through the cackle cackle.

      (That link doesn’t capture the cackle cackle part. I think I remember it. Maybe I am misremembering from her Qaddafi comments.)

      But either way, Sanders or some other Sanders figure would have been decent enough or at least smart enough to say . . . . no closing coal till replacement jobs are lined up. New Jobs for Old. Good Green Jobs at Good Coal Pay. Right where the miners already live at.

      And what would those jobs be? Paying the coal ex-miners coal wages with coal benefits to use their heavy equipment expertise and other expertise to restore the mined-out stripmine wastelands back into eco-viable forest and woodlands. A Green New Deal indeed.

      So the coal mining brought jobs? And pickup trucks? Sure. Till the coal is gone or obsoleted. Then the jobs die and the pickup trucks die. And hundreds of thousands of acres are now a no-more-living-here coal mine spoil heap and acid leach runoff wasteland.

      All those jobs . . . worth it?

      1. Janie

        I remember a years-ago comment from someone who lived in the backwoods along side of “deplorables”. He said that his neighbor couldn’t quote Shakespeare but he could keep the commenter:s irrigation system and willingly shared his knowledge.

      2. Carolinian

        Those sliced off West Virginia mountain tops are quite bizarre and something more touristy North Carolina would never do–at least not these days. There is a decapitated mountain but it has a hotel on top of it. A hundred years ago lumber companies were stripping those western NC mountains of trees but trees grow back. Mountain tops don’t.

        1. YetAnotherChris

          In northern Minnesota they came for the trees and stayed for the iron ore. It is quite the mangled landscape. Now you have new-growth forest sprouting from the tailings heaps at the played-out mine locations. US-169 and US-53 offer a pretty good view of the effort.

  17. drumlin woodchuckles

    About that Robin DiAngelo tweet . . . . it would appear that Little Miss White Privilege has perhaps come cleaner than she ever meant to. Or even realized. Perhaps that tweet can be flung back in her face like a cup of battery acid over and over and over again.

    After all, why would Little Miss White Privilege ever want to criticize capitalism? She is a capitalist herself. Or at least a thoroughly cynical capitalizer, capitalizing on her talent to pimp her own self out to the high paying corporate capitalist johns she turns tricks for.

    I wish someone would say to her in public: ” You don’t have any White Privilege. You aren’t even White. You’re Italian, not White. Who died and made you White?” See how she responds. The goal would be to make her go Postal in public and destroy her own Brand Image Value in real time.

  18. The Rev Kev

    Re the flattening of Hospitalization by region. This is actually the coal-face where the hospitals deal with the pandemic. Now I have read that some hospitals are performing a form of triage for incoming infected patients. So if you are down for the count, they won’t bother admitting you but send you home to die so that critical resources can be saved for those patients that stand a fighting chance. In Italy a coupla months ago they were doing it by age. If you were above, say, 70 years old they would not admit you. As the pandemic got worse that age was reduced again and again. So my point in all this is perhaps one reason for that flattening is that hospitals are being more critical with whom they admit. That price-beyond-gold ICU beds are being saved for people that have a decent shot at being saved, hence this flattening.

  19. edmondo

    “Amazon Has Turned a Middle-Class Warehouse Career Into a McJob”

    The reason that wages have fallen so much is that Warehousing used to be a union job, specificlly, the Teamster’s Union – remember when there were unions? Remember when “Norma Rae” was a hero? She’d be blackballed and driving graveyard shift for Uber these days.

    1. drumlin woodchuckles

      Interesting. What if the Amazon Warehouse Workers were to ask for Teamster assistance in getting Teamster unionized in the Warehouses?

      1. albrt

        The teamsters are not shy about organizing. I don’t have union contacts anymore, but I would guess that most of the Amazon workers are totally brainwashed and not the slightest bit receptive to the idea of a union.

        By brainwashed I mean they are either anti-union because unions only help lazy workers be lazy, or they are scared to death of getting fired for talking about a union. Both types of brainwashing work about equally well.

  20. richard

    hey, i haven’t seen it covered here yet and thought I’d drop this K.Kulinski video on the campaign (started by j. dore but taken up by many others) to convince the most progressive members of congress (squad, khanna, jayapal, and other official pwogs) to withhold their vote for Pelosi as speaker unless she publicly agrees to a floor vote for M4A.
    Well, a ton of hue and cry has ensued. Supposedly the whole thing is pointless and “performative” (never has a word gone down so quickly in my estimation). Yeah, that why every rep is refusing to touch the issue with a 10 foot pole and why opponents ad hominem attack Dore and use the genetic fallacy to dismiss it. Because it is “pointless”.
    Anyway, Kulinski highlights AOC and charger running back Justin Jackson (arguing for dore, who aoc won’t acknowledge) exchanging some emails, and AOC’s weak, weak tea reasoning.

    1. drumlin woodchuckles

      Dore asked his audience to specifically pressurise the “progressive 12” congressfolk to overtly promise to vote against Pelosi for Speaker until such a Floor Vote had actually been scheduled and held. The point being to burn and humiliate every DemParty Rep. who voted against it. And begin the process of purging them out of Congress.

      1. richard

        I agree that is the real point. Dore says he thinks it actually has a chance to work, meaning pass the house and senate and become law. Which is counting on more focus and burning hatred for incrementalism than any one issue can probably muster at the moment. But it feels like a start anyway, a little opening.
        Their defense of for profit health care, and their neglect to address police injustice, will be the two betrayals that melt the democratic party into a smoldering heap.

  21. richard

    Hey, also a big get for the People’s Party. Well, not a “get” exactly, but Thomas Frank is speaking on the National Call to members tonight (in about 20 minutes. So even though he’s given up writing about U.S. politics (i thought i heard?), he’s still enough of a mensch to do this. Right on.
    Much love to Thomas Frank. The 1990’s Baffler ruled!!

  22. dcblogger

    the thing about Abigail Spanberger and the rest of the CIA Democrats that blows me away is that none of them seem to recognize a pre-revolutionary society when they see one.

    1. ambrit

      A friend remarked a few months ago regarding that idea that the Neo-cons and their fellow travelers think that they are the revolution.
      The composition of State Secret Security services by class for different countries and cultures would be an interesting thing to contemplate. I suspect that the class issue would dominate most cultural and national identities. It might even be a case of certain general human psychological types predominating.
      Another problem here is that, if those Apparatchiks did recognize the temper of these times for what they are, then they would have to “do something about it.” That would require them to move on out of their “safety zones.” The ultimate bureaucratic conundrum.

      1. The Rev Kev

        I thought of that too but apparently the plunger was already depressed to the bottom of the vial so no air bubble to go racing to the heart. I am not sure if that means that it was a second-hand needle which whose thought also makes me uncomfortable. But don’t they cover how to give an injection on day one of medical school?

        1. ambrit

          H—! Just go on down to the local junky district and ask around. They know all about that, and would be willing enough to demonstrate, if you had some “goods” with which to demonstrate.

  23. marym

    “An audit of Antrim County election results Thursday gave President Donald Trump a net gain of 12 votes from the certified results in the northern Michigan county, a small gain in light of unsubstantiated allegations of mass fraud targeting the county’s election software.

    Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden’s total decreased by one vote, from 5,960 to 5,959, while Trump’s increased 11 votes, from 9,748 to 9,759, according to preliminary results from the county’s more than seven-hour, livestreamed audit. Biden won the state of Michigan by more than 154,000 votes on Nov. 3, according to certified results.”


  24. The Rev Kev

    “‘Where They Belong’: MLB Reclassifies Negro Leagues as a Major League, Updating Its Record Books”

    If asked, I would have assumed that this had already been done back in the 70s or 80s. I mean, 2020 seems awful late in the day to do something like this. Were they waiting for the last of those 1920 to 1948 to die of old age first?

  25. Swamp Yankee

    Re: egrets. They also have a beautiful mating dance. They move their necks in unison like figures from hieroglyphics. Saw this on the salt-marsh a few or more years back.

    Which brigs me to: peat. Having missed NC’s original peat offering, I thought I’d point out that the saltmarshes which ring the Atlantic are themselves major peat deposits. The peat accumulates at about 1 cm per year, and boy, is it ever carbon intensive. Salt-marsh grasses like Spartina fix 10x as much carbon as most vascular plants. Thus, when some clump of salt-marsh gets scraped off by the sea-ice and washes up each spring, I cut it and dry it and use it as a kind of hamburger-helper for my campfires. It is extremely hot, though doesn’t produce a huge amount of light, and as it smoulders it should be added to the fire once it is started (it’s hard to start a fire with just peat but can be done). It’s particularly potent with hardwoods like oak or maple. It also smells like Ireland, and adds a delicious smoky flavor to grilled meats.

    It’s not legal to cut it, for good reason, so I only use pieces that are already detached from the marsh. Keep it on the “down-low”
    so that yahoos don’t go cutting up every marsh from the Bay of Fundy to the Gulf of Mexico.

  26. Swamp Yankee

    Obviously, I have sympathy for Yglesias as I do for anyone else caught in the maw of the ACA.

    But coming from him, it’s a bit…. rich (pun intended). I mean, come on, man (as they say) — you own part of this one.

    I’d believe him more if he ever issued a mea culpa, about anything, ever (he could try Bangladeshi factory collapses….).

    Rather, having observed him since the early 2000s, and being his same age and having gone to similar schools as him, I think he’s trimming his sails yet again — after all, he starts out as liberal Iraq War supporter, becomes a liberal Iraq War critic, a period where he tried to do economics, a paid booster for Obama et al. at Vox — he senses the changing wind and he’s going with it.

    Who knows, maybe it means our side of things is making more progress than it seems when belwethers (meant in the most pejorative sense) like Trust Fund Matty begin to move in our direction.

  27. VietnamVet

    The problem with the Russiangate Coups by the Mockingbird Media for the last four years is that they failed. It took a pandemic to force Donald Trump out. Monopolies (who stamp of facts with a big red false) make profit the sole criteria of worth. Damn the addicted. The end result is that everything becomes a conspiracy or the butt of Soviet-style jokes.

    The first Wuhan coronavirus wave can be explained by a new pathogen and society coping by isolating, wearing masks, and finding treatments that somewhat mitigated COVID-19. The second wave was apparently due coronavirus’s contagiousness and right-wing Darwin Award Winners. What is being ignored is the Third Wave and California. What is happening? Either, this is the complete collapse of the public health system, for-profit healthcare, and government or it is a contagion being purposefully spread. If the vaccines don’t work or have unacceptable side effects and essential workers become ill or evicted, the Biden Administration is facing chaos next month and they are patently ill equipped to handle it.

    1. drumlin woodchuckles

      If the coronavid virus is being spread deliberately, who is spreading it? StormTrumper left-behinds hoping to give the Biden Admin a real problem? Bitter young people out for revenge on a social order which takes pride in how much nothing it has to offer them? CommuNazi Chinese agents? Vaccine company agents hoping to create a bigger market for their vaccines? The Global Rich pursuing yet another population-reducing excercise? Who?

      1. furies

        It is not at all hard to see *who* is spreading the virus about…

        NO ONE wears masks *still* in my county. Well, me and one other person.

        Deaths are rising with the case loads.

        Our little town had a Xmas parade and craft show last weekend. The vibe to me was ‘superspreader event’.

        It’s not easy staying healthy in an atmosphere such as this…

  28. michael99

    “I had model trains!”

    How about bicycles? Decent bicycle infrastructure hardly exists in the US. Painting a bike lane line on the shoulder of the road doesn’t count.

    The Department of Energy and Department of Transportation would be lead agencies in infrastructure projects for transportation as well as wind, solar and other lower carbon energy, one would think. Maybe the Army Corps of Engineers?

    Both parties have a history of putting the wrong people in key positions. See Sebelius – ACA rollout, and Brown – Hurricane Katrina. That weasel Buttigieg is a “nothing will fundamentally change” pick who will hew to the neoliberal center.

    Harris – Buttigieg 2024? Brings new meaning to the term “dream team”. /s

    Engineers and builders are what is needed (h/t Jeffrey Sachs) – along with the right vision and ethic. It is time to get a move on.

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