Links 12/6/2020

Scientists solve mystery of mass coho salmon deaths. The killer? A chemical from car tires Los Angeles Times

New analysis: Extreme flows in US streams are rising Ars Technica (Re Silc).

Atomic Heat in Small Packages Gives Big Industry a Climate Option Bloomberg

PG&E faces millions in fines for ‘egregious and reckless’ logging, roadwork in Santa Cruz Mountains fire area Santa Cruz Sentinel (DS). DS writes: “I drove through the burn zone the other day — the recklessness of PG&E’s logging is evident everywhere. Just what you’d expect from a bunch of carpet-baggers who know nothing about the local topography and environment. I can vividly remember the Love Creek disaster, when sudden heavy rains brought murderous mudslides down from these same mountains back in January of ‘82.” Everything is like CalPERS.

The Business of Benchmarking Net Interest

Libor Needs a Legislative Fix Even If Demise Has Been Delayed Bloomberg

We read the paper that forced Timnit Gebru out of Google. Here’s what it says MIT Technology Review (dk).


Airflows inside passenger cars and implications for airborne disease transmission Science. From the Results: “As one might expect, all windows open” is the best configuration; it has the highest number of air changes per hour. But they simulated “six configurations… with various combinations of fully open- and closed windows.” Worth a read, especially if you plan to travel by car over the holidays!

* * *

End in Sight London Review of Books. The case for optimism, well presented. This paragraph, however, caught my eye:

Are the highly effective Pfizer and Moderna vaccines ‘better’ than the AstraZeneca vaccine? We can’t draw that conclusion yet. The results reported so far aren’t directly comparable: the different trials used subtly different case definitions, and took place in different countries at different times. We will get more information when the full data are published.

Surely it’s possible for scientific journals to expedite publication of the full data? If I were a physician making decisions for my patients — to the extent that such a thing is possible these days — I would surely want to see it.

COVID-19 and mRNA Vaccines—First Large Test for a New Approach JAMA. “All eyes are now on safety and effectiveness…. Experts say several factors argue for mRNA vaccines’ safety. For one, mRNA can’t cause an infection. It also doesn’t enter the cell’s nucleus, so the chance of its integration into human DNA is believed to be very low. In addition, the body breaks down mRNA and its lipid carrier within a matter of hours, assuaging some concerns about long-term risks. However, this rapid degradation raises questions about mRNA vaccines’ protective duration.”

It would be helpful if we had data on infectiousness post-vaccination. Thread:

A better way to roll out Covid-19 vaccines: Vaccinate everyone in several hot zones STAT

* * *

Rapid Antigen Tests Are Effective, Cheap, and Could Quash the Pandemic Within Weeks (In Theory) New York Magazine (nvl).

5 major airlines to roll out digital health passport for travelers next month Health Care Dive

* * *

COVID-19 could cause erectile dysfunction in patients who have recovered from the virus, doctor warns Daily Mail (propagated from a vaguely sourced NBC video). This is the study I found: Addressing male sexual and reproductive health in the wake of COVID-19 outbreak Journal of Endocrinological Investigation. The Conclusion: “COVID-19 survivors might develop sexual and reproductive health issues. Andrological assessment and tailored treatments should be considered in the follow-up.” Plausible, but “could,” “might.” So, wink wing nudge nudge. Emphasis nudge.

* * *

Working at a Nursing Home During the COVID-19 Pandemic Is a Daily Heartbreak Teen Vogue

One of the First Virus Hot Spots in the U.S. Is Under Siege Again NYT

Pandemic challenge: Keeping ex-gang members out of trouble Dorchester Reporter

A philosophical idea that can help us understand why time is moving slowly during the pandemic The Conversation


Beijing’s South China Sea military bases ‘are vulnerable to attack and will be of little use in a war’ South China Morning Post

The 2020 China report of the Lancet Countdown on health and climate change (PDF) The Lancet

“Debutante Style” Proves China Has Mixed Feelings About Luxury Jing Daily

Chang’e-5: China’s unmanned moon probe delivers samples to orbiting spacecraft Guardian

China’s Moon Plans: A Cautionary Note The Diplomat

Japanese space capsule carrying pristine asteroid samples lands in Australia Space

Indonesia looks to Joe Biden for more ‘professional’ stance on China FT


Indian Farmers Lead Historic Strike & Protests Against Narendra Modi, Neoliberalism & Inequality Democracy Now!

China-India border row: prepare for the long haul in talks, Indian foreign minister says South China Morning Post

COVID-19 Returns to the Community Vietnam Weekly

The Philippines Is Democracy’s Dystopian Future Carnegie Endowment for International Peace

The Koreas

Old Obama hands on Korea policy could pose new problems for peace Responsible Statecraft

How Melbourne eradicated Covid-19 Vox


Death in Istanbul: James Le Mesurier and Syria’s media war Middle East Eye


UK and EU agree to ‘last throw of the dice’ in Brexit trade deal talks FT

It would be a terrible failure of statecraft for Britain and the EU not to reach an agreement Independent


Violence erupts in new Paris protest against security law Agence France Presse

WHO pulled report on Italy’s ‘chaotic’ first response to Covid-19 FT

Exxon’s Oil Discovery Off Guyana’s Coast May Be Twice as Large as Early Estimate Industry Week


Kemp again refuses Trump’s demand to overturn election Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Not to comment on the merits or motives, but if Al Gore had fought as hard in Florida 2000 as Trump is fighting today, no President Bush, no “mission accomplished,” etc., etc., etc., ad infinitum, except ad nauseam.

Senate GOP brushes off long-shot attempt to fight Biden win The Hill

Trump’s Election-Fraud Bluster Finds an Audience The New Yorker (Re Silc). Ka-ching, unsurprisingly.

After the Deep State Sabotaged His Presidential Bid, Bernie Sanders Mocks Those Who Believe it Exists Glenn Greenwald

Biden Transition

Biden top economic adviser facing accusations of mismanagement, verbal abuse Politico. Heather Boushey.

Joe Biden’s Staffing Choices Are Looking Great, Except for Those Two Guys (interview) Eileen Applebaum, Esquire

Biden’s foreign policy team has a surprising lack of diversity The Hill. Because they’re all Blobby goons?

Neera Tanden, Biden’s pick for budget chief, runs a think tank backed by corporate and foreign interests WaPo. Now they tell us!

Intelligence Community

Can you solve this CIA-approved puzzle just by looking at this photo? Independent (?). Next up: Can you spot where to apply the electrodes?

Democrats in Disarray

California To Issue Democrat Politicians Special ID Cards Allowing Them To Break Lockdown Rules Babylon Bee

Black Injustice Tipping Point

Introduction to The New York Times’ 1619 Project and the Racialist Falsification of History WSWS

Our Famously Free Press

Why Web Scraping Is Vital to Democracy The Markup

7. Dolly Parton’s string of philanthropic hits Axios. Why the heck is Dolly Parton everywhere, suddenly? Which I can only assume is the result of a PR push. Is she angling for a spot in the Biden administration?

Class Warfare

The new macro: “Give people money” Noah Smith, Noahpinion. Come on, man:

Show me the money!

Corporate culture at Chicago’s top evictor is ‘an absolute caste system’ Chicago Reader

Student Loan Horror Stories: Borrowed: $79,000. Paid: $190,000. Now Owes? $236,000 Matt Taibbi, TK News

Here’s how rich people can help fix America Andy Serwer, Yahoo Finance!

Metallic monolith pops up outside Pittsburgh candy store Reuters

Make them cry Thomas Frank, Le Monde Diplomatique. Today’s must-read. “‘I weep for you,’ the Walrus said: ‘I deeply sympathize.'”

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. vlade

    “If Gore fought as hard.. ”

    Disagree. Trump is not fightint, he’s
    a) thrashing around (IIRC, he scored one, very minor victory vs 30+ significant losses,
    b) activating his base (for better or worse).

    in a), I’d say that Gore fought at least as well as Trump, as he got his case all the way to the SC. Now, if you mean he (Gore) had a way better case and with Trump’s conviction he could have fought wat better (i.e. he gave up the fight way too easily), I’ll agree with that

    b) Gore had no base like Trump does. I’d argue that recently only Obama had a comparable base.

    1. Pat

      Gore didn’t get “his” case to the Supreme Court, Baker got Bush’s case to the Supreme Court. There is a difference. Not that it should have been there in the first place, also not saying it was decided on its merits, but similar to Cuomo’s Covid restrictions, the Gore campaign’s strategy was essentially to pick and chose.

      They chose not to fight for an entire state recount, they chose not to fight Bush and Harris’s throwing eligible voters off the rolls with their “felon” purge, they chose not to fight all the late arriving military ballots, they chose decorum over actually trying to win.

      1. richard

        d exist to protect r from us-

        looking thru only that lens is all that is required for a present understanding of any given situation ivy capitalists are always afraid of…

      2. vlade

        I did say that if Gore fought with Trump’s conviction and gave up too easily.

        But all Trump has is the conviction. He doesn’t fight, he shoots randomly hoping that something sticks – unless of course it’s all a smokescreen to activise his supporters.

    2. Edward

      The Dems actually have a lot in common with the Republicans. Where they will fight like dogs is against the left, who threaten to broaden the political discourse in ways that disadvantage the establishment.

      1. JES

        Rep. Rob Khanna (D-CA) is organizing a group of Democrats to persuade Nancy Pelosi for a House roll call vote on Medicare for all. Initial indications are that Pelosi is against a roll call vote in the House. Even if the proposed measure would pass the House it would be defeated in the Senate, she is reported as saying. Khanna has said that that a Senate defeat would be OK. Democrats need to have policy issues such as Medicare for all to galvanize Democrats around the country and put Republicans on the defensive.

        1. nycTerrierist

          Jimmy Dore suggested people call on our so-called progressive
          reps to pressure Pelosi: get a roll call vote on Medicare for All
          or they withhold their vote to re-install her in Jan

          Constituent of AOC here calling her office on Monday

          A rare moment of leverage for the left – Pelosi needs their votes and
          they can and should make a demand

          1. lordkoos

            The problem is that any member of the house that goes against Pelosi in a significant way is likely marked for later retaliation. I doubt that members of “the squad” are willing to go on record as withholding votes for her as speaker. Progressives might need greater numbers before trying something like that.

            1. nycTerrierist

              C’mon man, Pelosi needs them now

              they have real leverage

              It will take very few of them, under a handful, to make this work

          2. cyclist

            I enjoyed Jimmy Dore’s rant about this. I’d like to see someone from the so-called Progressive Caucus actually take some action to put pressure on Pelosi in this way, but I’m not optimistic. Where can one find out more about what Ro Khanna’s organizing? I’m not seeing anything on his website. Since my congress critter is claims to be ‘progressive’ I’d like to try pressuring him on this point as well.

        2. tegnost

          But what about the children! (of rich people who were able to pay their kids tuition so they wouldn’t be “burdened” with the anvil of student debt [anvils? isn’t that some kind of working class thing? Icky.] and who’ve gotten into biotech or fintech, or maybe just tech, and have plans for a righteous campaign destroying the lives of poor people who really should just go kill themselves because social security is going to be done in by one of their cousins who is, like, sooooo smart and just got a job with goldman working on public/private partnerships to get some time in before moving up into dads hedge fund, or maybe politics, but really thats a job for losers too because money money money)

          My cynic meter seems pinned to the extreme today…

        3. jonboinAR

          Yeah, make them (Senate R’pubs) defeat it! Put the ball in their court. These Dem leadership needs to be called out on their sandbagging, pretending like they don’t know how to play politics.

    3. michael99

      “Trump is…activating his base (for better or worse)”.

      I don’t think Trump’s legal challenges have any chance of overturning Biden’s victory. But by denying the outcome (his loss of the election) Trump is saving face and giving his base a rationale for remaining loyal to him. Even though he won’t be in office much longer he’ll still have a large audience receptive to his persona and political commentary, which the press will be unable to resist covering.

      By not acknowledging his loss he avoids humiliation, continues to get massive amounts of publicity, and continues to have political influence. He is preserving the Trump brand.

      1. lordkoos

        He’s also raised $207,000,000 from his witless supporters, who have the fantastic idea that their money will go towards legal fees.

      2. Tom Doak

        Isn’t denying the outcome exactly the same thing Hillary did?

        It didn’t really help her but it did help preserve all of the other party leaders.

        1. ArvidMartensen

          Yes I believe so re Clinton/Obama.

          Looking at Trump’s 4 years as nominal president, it’s obvious that the Dems metaphorically torched the countryside(presidency) on retreat, and kept shelling it while the enemy had control (Russiagate, Ukrainegate etc)., so that little of any value was left for Trump.

          And now its payback time. Trump is employing the same strategy of scorched earth, and all of these lawsuits are the first salvo. Since its hard to know who won the US election because of the massive holes in the voting process, he might believe he won. And he might have.
          That would certainly give him fire in the belly. Now its the Republican/Trump turn to metaphorically shell the presidency for 4 years. The US seems basically ungovernable, as can be seen in the Covid numbers.

          1. marym

            Throughout Trump’s entire presidency he and his appointees have been steadily trashing whatever minimally serviceable institutions, agencies, regulations, programs, etc. still remain after years of bipartisan neoliberal mis-governance.

            Russiagate/Ukrainegate was stupid and irresponsible, but it didn’t interfere in the least with Trump’s and the Republican agenda. A Republican Mueller and a Republican Senate were never going to do him harm, he and his family and cronies rarely even responded to requests for testimony or documents, and his rally-goers seemed to thrive on his and their own self-victimization.

            1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

              LOL I love the Dem formulation “RussiaGate was stupid and irresponsible”. LOLOL. Here, let me fix it for you: “RussiaGate was the most coordinated attempted coup in the nation’s history, with money from one faction (the Democrats) used to fabricate evidence that was then used by the nation’s spy agencies to attempt to overturn the results of a presidential election and install a different government”.

              I suppose it is business as usual for Dems, kind of like trucks with 200,000 pre-filled ballots disappearing in the dead of night

            2. anon in so cal

              Late, great Prof Stephen Cohen:

              “We have also learned that the heads of America’s intelligence agencies under President Obama, especially John Brennan of the CIA and James Clapper, director of National Intelligence, felt themselves entitled to try to undermine an American presidential candidacy and subsequent presidency, that of Donald Trump. Early on, I termed this operation “Intelgate,” and it has since been well documented by other writers, including Lee Smith in his new book.

              Intel officials did so in tacit alliance with certain leading, and equally Russophobic, members of the Democratic Party, which had once opposed such transgressions. This may be the most alarming revelation of the Trump years: Trump will leave power, but these self-aggrandizing intelligence agencies will remain.”


              Russiagate did tremendous harm, to the U.S. and to the world. It propagandized a huge % of Americans and inculcated in them a deep and totally unjustified hatred of Russia.

              It made diplomacy with Russia almost impossible, conditions the public for war with Russia, and raises the risk of nuclear war.

              Unspeakably dangerous.

              PS: Ukrainegate was linked to Biden’s participation in the 2014 Obama Biden Nuland putsch in Ukraine that deposed UA’s democratically-elected president and empowered Nazis. Effectively, a small cessation in aid to Nazis was the basis of the impeachment.

              Impeachment also distracted the nation during the early crucial state of the pandemic…

              1. marym

                The danger of anti-Russian propaganda and potential war is a different issue from whether Russiagate impeded Trump’s presidency.

            3. Pat

              I’m not disagreeing with you entirely. There was a coup going on but it didn’t encompass the entire government, he was largely stymied on the military and intelligence front.

              But Trump’s success in other ways can largely be laid at the feet of Democrats. They did nothing to oppose the Republicans and nothing to advance an alternate agenda because they have the same agenda as the Republicans. They wasted our time and misdirected the attention of rank and file Democrats with their Russia false flag, and with the pointless impeachment. Everything was campaign publicity with a little primary manipulation on the side.

              Funny how little Democrats can do with much larger majorities and how powerless they are to stop Republican actions when they barely have a majority. Or not funny at all.

              1. marym

                I definitely agree that the Dem focus on Russiagate facilitated the success of much of the most damaging of Trump policies.

            4. ArvidMartensen

              Did Democrat held states have a better record of managing Covid than Republican states? If so, I have not heard much in the press about it.
              New York wasn’t a great example, with sick patients being sent back to care homes, and having legislation to absolve care homes of legal responsibility, and that is Democrat is it not?

      3. Kurt Sperry

        The GOP will remain a Trump cult until another can knock him off the perch. These people worship patriarchal hierarchy with a strongman at the top. Daddy, pastor, commanding officer, boss, cop, it’s all about submission to (almost exclusively male) authority to this type of person. And questioning that strong male authority is about the worst thing in the world one can do. They live to follow and to submit. The Dem right is culturally similar, see Obama worship.

      4. Tom Bradford

        by denying the outcome (his loss of the election) Trump is saving face and giving his base a rationale for remaining loyal to him. – Michael99

        More than that – he’s making himself out to be the heroic victim, the honest guy oppressed by hidden, dark and sinister forces so beloved of Hollywood screen-writers. And unfortunately there is a substantial sub-set of the US population unable to distinguish between Hollywood fantasy and real life.

  2. PlutoniumKun

    Atomic Heat in Small Packages Gives Big Industry a Climate Option Bloomberg

    It seems hardly yesterday that we were told that small modular reactors were the solution to powering grids. Now they are all about niche heat markets. And they haven’t even built ones even remotely viable yet. Another nuclear failure. If small, modular nuclear reactors were viable, they would have been built by militaries worldwide years ago, all the major nuclear/military powers have been investing heavily in them for more than half a century, with nothing yet to show for it.

    The article blame cheap gas for undermining their viability, but in reality most commercial high heat users aren’t connected to the gas grid, they use electricity. Its cheap off-peak electricity that is killing off this type of product. Whats producing this cheap off-peak electricity? Wind and solar. Big industrial users are a very important element in balancing grid load – most of them are able to vary their use through the day and season to take advantage of cheaper rates. This will increasingly become as important as storage to renewable heavy grids, as it already is in countries with smaller (and so more unstable) grids.

    1. Glen

      I don’t know about modular, but military nuclear reactors were first developed for submarines and are quite small. But that’s also a problem. The smaller the reactor, the hotter the fuel so to speak.

      And the military also developed small somewhat portable nuclear power sources. Unfortunately, whatever you give to a soldier may sooner or later be dropped. Long ago, I very informally heard through the grapevine was that it fell off the end of the truck somewhere in here, and had to be cleaned up:

      Idaho National Laboratory

    2. fajensen

      they would have been built by militaries worldwide years ago,

      Working “Small Modular Reactors ™” already exists; The nuclear submarines and some of the larger battleships have been using them for decades. There is a line of naval reactor shells sitting in a ditch at Hanford so the waste is being handled in the traditional way that nuclear waste is always handled: “Dear God, Let this be someone else’s problem”!

      Most of the SMR-projects are just that, Projects, that will provide income and conferences for the instigators with the only energy produced will be from burning the pallets of reports and white-papers produced.

      Several of those innovative “designs” are like the integration of the “best of” the Luis Slokin and Friz Haber approaches to nuclear- and chemistry sciences:

      “Say, Let’s take some molten salt, which at 700 degrees is highly corrosive to everything it touches, then totally load it up with gamma radioactive stuff, and make it so that our reactor will need an isotope separation plant next to it, to take the impurities out to the goop. Preferably using fluoride chemistry or maybe just skip the whole salt-thing and use a molten metal, but, at least we shall use a flammable one”.

      Some suckers with money are still buying it, no matter how stupid the whole thing becomes.

      1. PlutoniumKun

        Yes, I know they’ve had small reactors for decades, since the 1950’s, the point is that they haven’t managed to advance them in any significant way – the latest nuclear powered submarines are still using what are essentially updated versions of 60 year old technology, and they are no cheaper than they were back then (nuclear submarines cost multiples of what similar sized diesel-electric subs cost to build). Only the Soviet tried something different with the Alfa class, but that technology proved a dead end.

        1. fajensen

          I.M.O. because smaller nuclear reactors does not remove any of the problems, including costs, that large nuclear reactors have while adding a few of their own such as “hotter fuel”, maintenance that nobody knows how to do, materials problems that nobody knows how to handle and so on. While Solar, Wind power plants are winning contracts for electricity at about 7-15 cent per kW/hr!

          The semi-rational reason for having nuclear power plants at all, is to have some civilian career paths and training grounds for naval nuclear engineers and material scientists. One does not exactly need thousands of miniature nuclear power plants for that.

          Eventually some of the national labs or maybe someone like SAIC, will assume that function.

  3. Alex

    These are some excerpts from a new controversial article

    …study found that publishing just one book would have produced the equivalent of 626,155 pounds (284 metric tons) of carbon dioxide—about the lifetime output of five average American cars.

    “…draft paper points out that the sheer resources required to publish and store books means they tend to benefit wealthy organizations, while climate change hits marginalized communities hardest. “

    A book using racist language as normal is obviously bad. The researchers, though, point out a couple of more subtle problems. One is that shifts in language play an important role in social change; the MeToo and Black Lives Matter movements, for example, have tried to establish a new anti-sexist and anti-racist vocabulary. Many books won’t be attuned to the nuances of this vocabulary and won’t produce or interpret language in line with these new cultural norms.

    …The result is that book output will be homogenized, reflecting the practices of the richest countries and communities.

    Moreover, because the number of books is so large, it’s hard to audit them to check for these embedded biases.”

    As you might have noticed I’ve taken the MIT Technology Review article and replaced “AI” with “books.” I don’t know what is the bar for publication of papers in this field but I’m not impressed by this one.

    1. Tim

      Publish a list of these banned words and we will be sure to use them as much as possible to thwart the Orwellian censors.

    2. ewmayer

      Wow, where to begin – let’s start with one of your oh-so-clever edits:

      “Moreover, because the number of books is so large, it’s hard to audit them to check for these embedded biases.”

      So, no one has ever been able to check, say, Uncle Tom’s Cabin for embedded racial biases because it’s so long that no human has ever been able to read it cover-to-cover? Uh, sure, that’s clearly a brilliant insight there.

      Ooh, I found an ingenious snarky substitution of my own: “I don’t know what is the bar for publication of comments on this blog but I’m not impressed by this one.”

      (I did find the sentence following the 284-metric-tons one to be puzzling: “A version of Google’s language model, BERT, which underpins the company’s search engine, produced 1,438 pounds of CO2 equivalent in Strubell’s estimate—nearly the same as a roundtrip flight between New York City and San Francisco.” Is that per search, per day, per year, what? Might’ve also been useful to mention the carbon footprint of crypto-coin industry, e.g. by way of “what is the CO2 footprint of a single Bitcoin transaction?“. But that is irrelevant to the above attempt to analogize AI-running with its exponentially increasing energy consumption to book-publishing.)

  4. zagonostra

    >Make them cry – Thomas Frank

    The truth is harsh. What is harsher is that there are those, close and dear to me, who refuse to admit to the truth. Rather, they live in a world of false hope and blind trust one in which the goodness of individuals who have proven by their actions that they are not deserving of my trust, will somehow see the change things for the better.

    From the outside, it must seem strange to watch the richest and most powerful nation in the history of the world choose its path by means of moral scolding and sanctimonious posturing, both positions washed in on millions of litres of high-octane American tears. This must be particularly annoying when you are also aware that whatever this country chooses to do will have enormous consequences for your nation and your life, and that your tears will count for nothing in our majestic deliberations. I feel your pain. Really, I do. I weep.

    It seems a shame,’ the Walrus said,
    To play them such a trick,
    After we’ve brought them out so far,
    And made them trot so quick!’
    The Carpenter said nothing but
    The butter’s spread too thick!’
    I weep for you,’ the Walrus said:
    I deeply sympathize.’
    With sobs and tears he sorted out
    Those of the largest size,
    Holding his pocket-handkerchief
    Before his streaming eyes.
    O Oysters,’ said the Carpenter,
    You’ve had a pleasant run!
    Shall we be trotting home again?’
    But answer came there none —
    And this was scarcely odd, because
    They’d eaten every one.”

    1. Greg

      There’s a lot of cyberpunk around lately – it seems to be the current fashionable setting, which makes a change from zombies or wizards or whatever it was last.

      1. Massinissa

        I’m fine with wizards but I hate zombie movies. Maybe I’m just oversensitive, but it seems to me part of the appeal is that it’s a narrative device that makes violence and force against other people justified because they’re ‘not human’. Again I might just be over-analyzing it a bit, but that’s how it feels to me, and it makes me uncomfortable in a way that goes beyond simply not being interesting or entertaining.

      2. Basil Pesto

        I’m not sure about it reaching the heights of zombies and fantasy, but there’s always been a strong undercurrent of Cyberpunk type stories in the pop-culture background, it seems to me. Still, the above piece was written to coincide with the blockbuster game coming out this week, based on a pen and paper RPG, so maybe that’ll change. I just linked it because I know people have talked about William Gibson (and others?) here.

  5. PlutoniumKun


    UK and EU agree to ‘last throw of the dice’ in Brexit trade deal talks FT

    It would be a terrible failure of statecraft for Britain and the EU not to reach an agreement Independent

    Its all gone very quiet this weekend, which could mean that the adults are finally talking, or, more likely, nobody has any idea how to get past the impasse but nobody wants to be the first to admit it.

    At this stage, if there is a deal it will be a ‘holding’ deal in all but name, its only purpose being to prevent chaos over the next few months.

    At this stage its getting a bit pointless to make predictions (except to note that Yves predictions have been better than anyone elses), but mood music from the EU side seems to be that there may be strategic benefits to a no-deal. In other words, hoist the UK on its own petard and let it crawl back later willing to accept anything on the table. I think the only thing that will cause the EU to pause on this is the realisation that dining out in 2021 will be a lot less pleasant with such a reduced range of seafood on the menu.

    Its also worth noting that there are a lot of other crises on the EU’s plate right now, with the Hungarians/Poles threatening to veto the budget and various Covid infected chickens coming home to roost. Brexit just isn’t all that important anymore when viewed from somewhere along the Rhine or Danube. Whether this is good or bad news for Johnson is anyones guess.

    1. David

      TBH I think everything now depends on the instructions that the negotiators have been given, particularly on the UK side. If there’s a will for a settlement, you can always agree something, even if it’s largely worthless. If not, then it’s really not worth trying. It really depends on what Johnson wants, because the crunch time is now and he has to decide.
      You’re absolutely right about the fact that the EU has lots of other problems, and, from this side of the Channel the Hungary/Poland thing is an existential crisis, and Covid risks making the EU irrelevant. Logically, the 27 don’t want yet another problem, and I would hope that Barnier has an elegant manoeuvre available to defuse Brexit. But of course Johnson has to accept it.

    2. alex

      The no-deal talks at times resemble the middle east peace process: negotiations whereby one of the parties really does not want a (n equitable) deal. A farcical show.
      Every time the news is on I am annoyed by the endless reporting on this non-event,
      the self important bureaucrats flying back and forth, wining and dining, week after week,
      year after year, at the taxpayer’s expense, never intending to achieve anything, having a
      nice well paid job.
      How many millions have been wasted on this charade, while pressing, real, issues needed
      more attention?

      1. fajensen

        How many millions have been wasted on this charade, while pressing, real, issues needed
        more attention?

        Most work is exactly like that. If you want results, you should become an electrician, carpenter, plumber or bricklayer. Those are pretty good careers too, if one is self-employed.

    3. fajensen

      At this point, it does not matter. Chaos is baked in.

      There is no time to implement the practical workings of any kind of deal, unless that deal is simply another Brexit transition period extension period dragged up as a deal. Complications are that the EU can’t legally do another extension, the UK side can’t be seen to be “begging” for another extension, and all of the remaining EU countries can still veto the thing.

      Some might veto if it is just another extension, preferring to have Clarity Now instead of a never-ending trek through the mud.

      The EU side must also know well by now that if they blink in the slightest, show any kind of weakened resolve, the UK side will immediately surge back and demand more concessions be made, restarting the entire circus.

  6. PlutoniumKun

    The new macro: “Give people money” Noah Smith, Noahpinion.

    From the article:

    Of course no one in academic macroeconomics is publishing theory papers that literally just shout “Give people money!”

    Its as if JM Keynes never existed.

  7. PlutoniumKun

    “Debutante Style” Proves China Has Mixed Feelings About Luxury Jing Daily

    The headline is a bit misleading.

    According to many fashion influencers, netizens recognize stars like the Gen-Z idol Shuxin Yu from season two of the reality show “Youth With You” and singer Jingyi Ju as the faces of this aesthetic. The aforementioned debutante style guides point out that these celebrities successfully pull off this form of high-class fashion because their quality clothing styles aren’t showy about their luxury labels. And, Gen Zers seem to agree.

    In other words, China is moving into the next stage of growth, where people with style realise that its a bit embarrassing to go around with the words ‘Gucci’ and ‘Louis Vitton’ written all over you, and go for more subtle displays of wealth and taste (i.e. wearing the brands that people ‘in the know’ see as expensive and exclusive). Its a little like the English upper classes looking down on Range Rover drivers from the windows of their Land Rovers.

  8. Wukchumni

    Bernie Sanders was thrown under the bus & got run over, and then asked the driver to put it reverse & run over him again, just to be sure.

  9. Fireship

    > Make them cry Thomas Frank

    “From the outside, it must seem strange to watch the richest and most powerful nation in the history of the world choose its path by means of moral scolding and sanctimonious posturing, both positions washed in on millions of litres of high-octane American tears. This must be particularly annoying when you are also aware that whatever this country chooses to do will have enormous consequences for your nation and your life, and that your tears will count for nothing in our majestic deliberations.”

    As an outsider looking in, American society frightens me. Frank nails it. Sentimental, sanctimonious and self-pitying but viciously cruel to the weak. I think Frank knows it’s game over: it’s a matter of how the US collapses, not when. The problem for the other 95% of the world is how to deal with the fallout (hopefully, only metaphorically).

    1. Pat

      Not just from the outside, most American tears are meaningless: see the home owners who lost their homes in the wake of the 2008 crash, see the middle class workers whose jobs went away due to NAFTA and globalization, see the millions who are on edge due to Corona Virus restrictions and rapidly losing their grip while Congress fiddles.

      1. Massinissa

        Yeah, it sort of feels like Americans only think positively about tears when powerful people do it.

      1. Lambert Strether Post author

        From Through the Looking Glass, Alice’s comment on the poem:

        ‘I like the Walrus best,’ said Alice: ‘because you see he was a little sorry for the poor oysters.’

        ‘He ate more than the Carpenter, though,’ said Tweedledee. ‘You see he held his handkerchief in front, so that the Carpenter couldn’t count how many he took: contrariwise.’

        ‘That was mean!’ Alice said indignantly. ‘Then I like the Carpenter best—if he didn’t eat so many as the Walrus.’

        ‘But he ate as many as he could get,’ said Tweedledum.

        This was a puzzler. After a pause, Alice began, ‘Well! They were both very unpleasant characters—’

        1. Eldest Oyster

          The Donkey and the Elephant.

          The eldest Oyster looked at him,
          And heard of change and hope
          The eldest Oyster winked his eye,
          But saw the slippery slope —
          Meaning to say he did not choose
          To leave and just said nope.

    2. Lex

      I found that article deeply satisfying. I’ve read most of Frank’s books; he’s always ironic, but that was sardonic. He ties the two parties together with the sociopathic performance of their tears. Our attention is constantly being riveted to screens by the party’s moral theater, as though morality is what they held highest in the their hearts instead of power and money. Who does this convince but the virtuous, or at least those who want to be seen that way? We’ve become a morality echo chamber. Do we have any sense at all any more of what it means to be ‘a good person’?

      1. Return of the Bride of Joe Biden

        Do we have any sense at all any more of what it means to be ‘a good person’?

        A good person is one who produces and consumes at an every increasing rate, contributing to an ever increasing GDP. Thus the pie grows, and everyone continues to get exactly what they deserve.

        1. Wukchumni

          Watched Elmer Gantry the other night, and Burt Lancaster did an abfab job of portraying a theoshyster. He’s my favorite actor of the era.

            1. ambrit

              I remember Mad Magazine making fun of Lancaster’s teeth in their parody of “Vera Cruz.”
              Strangely enough, when I tried to google the mad mag parody, aka ‘Vera’s Cruise,’ all I got were pages of german porn sites. (I don’t get out enough any more, obviously.)

    3. tegnost

      Sentimental, sanctimonious and self-pitying but viciously cruel to the weak.

      I’d say you nailed it to

  10. IM Doc

    Hello All,

    It has been a very harrowing week in my rural hospital. To say we are getting slammed would be an understatement. The hospital is no longer the sleepy little alcove it once was – it is now a M*A*S*H* unit in the midst of war. I have not been this busy since my days as an intern. I was on a grand rounds teleconference the other day – the speaker was an epidemiologist. He made a simple comment that has really resonated with me. Just as the Founders hoped the various states would be incubators of ideas – so has it been in this time now medically. We are getting from the 50 states – literally 50 different approaches.

    I am in a state where the populace has for the most part ignored the masking,etc. It is mostly a rural state – so we are to some degree socially distanced at baseline. Our cases started to explode about a month ago – and we are now living through the hospital crowding from that now. The death numbers are just simply not dramatic – at least in my state – people are sick but they are not dying like people did earlier in this pandemic. Interestingly, even in the “post Thanksgiving” time frame – the case numbers are starting to decline – and in some counties dramatically. I think we are about to see a real live experiment in this country – “let it rip” states vs. “lockdown” states. Ahhh, there is nothing like real data – and real science simply does not do politics.

    This whole past two weeks has been an apocalypse to me – in the truest sense of the word – an “unveiling”. Of just how fragile our health care system really is. Let me explain.

    There are myself and several other internists on the staff here. I am in my fifties – among the oldest. Something has clearly gone wrong in the training of those under 40. It was “standard issue” when I was an intern to be able to run ventilators, to do procedures such as central venous access and lumbar punctures, to be able to draw fluid off chests and abdomens, etc. To be able to handle ECMO. To be able to handle dialysis patients with fluids and meds if dialysis was not available (which it may not be right now for many patients). All of these things and many others were required. It is called “taking care of patients”. It is knowing how to deal with sick people – often 5 at a time. A large part of this training was having a service of 20-30 people daily like myself and my colleagues did back in the day. It was a hazing – but it was vital – for procedure learning and time management/priorities in a crisis which we had all the time. Not so for these kids – they were raised in the post Libby Zion world (look it up). They were only “allowed” to have 5 or so patients daily. A good day for them was getting home at 2 PM. And now we have a complete generation of young docs who have never been in the fire – and are at times just pitiful. They know all about “wellness” – and they know all about how to take care of trans-gender patients – but put 4 really sick people in front of them at the same time – and they just melt. It goes right to the heart of an existential question for my profession during this generation – Are physicians supposed to be “wellness coaches” or are they supposed to take care of sick people? As I say – an apocalypse.

    The nurses and the ancillary staff like PT and RT are just zombies – they have been working so hard. I really fear for some of them. I also remember the good old days when this was a calling – both for docs and nurses and all others. Now it is a job. I want all Americans to know – if this keeps up like this – I am going to guess the amount of walking off the job – unthinkable a generation ago – is going to be enormous. I grew up in health care systems run by nuns. They were right out there on the front lines with everyone else – it is called morale. In hospitals all over America – our corporate managers are doing the Zoom thing from home – dictating to these nurses how things should be done – while taking none of the risk. WHAT A JOKE THEY ALL ARE!

    Lambert – as far as the London Review article – I can make no other assumption that they have read the same whiz-bang pharmaceutical glossies that we all have – and are making the whiz-bang assumptions Pharma wants them to make. Still no science, no peer-reviewed anything – no tangible information to help docs and nurses advise their patients.

    There are multiple other ways this could backfire. For example, just this week – I heard from an Infectious Disease Professor at a major university – that the scuttlebutt going around was that the 3 month all cause mortality in the NON-PLACEBO LIVE VACCINE ARM of both the Pfizer and Moderna cohorts was through the roof. That gossip – and similar stuff – is now spreading like wild fire among the medical community. Why? – NOT A DROP OF REAL EVIDENCE HAS BEEN PROVIDED TO REFUTE ANY OF IT. Why are we not hearing any reporters asking these CEOs a simple question – “Is the all-cause mortality in the VACCINE ARM higher?”

    I am becoming increasingly alarmed about this rollout – and I am not alone.

    If you commenters pray – now is the time to be praying for the nurses, docs and ancillary staff at our hospitals – this is really getting ugly.

    1. petal

      IM Doc, really funny to read your comment about the training of those under 40. I overheard a couple of docs talking a couple months ago. One was telling the other about how the quality of residents this person has received in the past 10 years has been abysmal(they’ve been getting residents for more than 10 years). Apparently quality and education in med school went off the rails ~10 years ago, something changed. This person has been trying to figure out what happened. The ones they are getting can’t do anything and need constant hand-holding/babysitting. They’re pretty much useless.

      1. Louis Fyne

        Things got woke before “woke” was even a term. in multiple disciples. guessing a generational change at schools’ first-year programs.

        focusing more on an applicants’ warm-fuzziness versus their academic chops

        a hot take in my opinion. but i’m old-school….so get off my lawn!

      2. vao

        If I am not mistaken, one becomes a resident after completing medical studies — which last 5 or 6 years.

        Hence, the possible change in education dates back to at latest 2005. What could have happened to universities or the medical curriculum in the early noughties?

    2. DJG

      IM Doc. Solidarity. At this site, there is often a mention of “concrete material benefits” for our populace. What you need is money, supplies, reform / reduction of the insurance companies, adherence to safety regulations, money, regulation of pharmaceuticals. Money–did I mention that?–as higher wages and benefits for those in the wards. I’ll pray some other time.

      Nuns: A friend of mine has written a show the features nuns, and she tours with it, often stopping at convents, where all of the women are now sixty-plus. They are remarkable people, examples of the power of the powerless. Talk about an unstoppable force.

      If I understand your comment about death of the non-placebo arm of the cohort–are you telling us that deaths of all kinds have shot up among those with the “real” vaccine, and for unexplained reasons?

      Thanks for your reports.

    3. Maritimer

      “Still no science, no peer-reviewed anything – no tangible information to help docs and nurses advise their patients.”
      Thanks for an inside report. In my jurisdiction, on the issue of vaccines, for flu and for Covid, we now have a one-size-fits-all mentality and propaganda push. That is, Public Health officials recommend that EVERYONE get flu and Covid vaccine injections. Exceptions are never mentioned. There is now no differentiation between what the Herd and the individual must do. The Herd and the individual are the same and should get the same flu and Covid vaccine treatment.

      This flies in the face of what I always believed was Medicine. That is, as you indicate, a Doctor analysed a patient’s individual health record and circumstances and then recommended treatment according to those characteristics. “Do no harm” now means “do no harm to the Herd”. Harm the individual, no problem.

      In light of these statements by important Public Officials, I would be very hesitant about approaching my family doctor about my health concerns lest I be labeled a dissident, refusenik or hesitator. The Herd Leaders have indicated who will be scapegoated.

    4. Cuibono

      any links to this idea of All cause mortality going up?
      Interesting since i do see some frontrunning of talk to quell the idea that this is vaccine related…
      see derek lowe for example.

      1. IM Doc

        That is the entire point –
        By not being transparent and releasing real science – these companies and our government are actually encouraging the gossip to fly. Who knows what is true?

    5. Cuibono

      Well that rumor can not be true. How do i know?
      The trials are not set up to measure All cause mortality

      “Yet the current phase III trials are not actually set up to prove either (table 1). None of the trials currently under way are designed to detect a reduction in any serious outcome such as hospital admissions, use of intensive care, or deaths. Nor are the vaccines being studied to determine whether they can interrupt transmission of the virus.”

      1. rtah100

        Without reading the BMJ article, it looks to me that the quotation is referring to the clinical trials not being designed to measure the probability of dying from COVID for trial patients who received vaccine/placebo. Any such measurement would need to take place over a long period because, by definition, the 95% effective vaccine arm will not generate significant cases for some time, so you will not be able to tell with what rate vaccinated patients who ae infected with Sars-COV-2 develop COVID-19 and die compared to unvaccinated patients.

        However, a clinical trial would have to collect some mortality data on all participants, if only 1 month all-cause mortality data between the two dose. Cannot have your N shrinking and not know why! I should imagine the trial protocol mandates longer follow up, for adverse events etc. So probably long enough to measure 3 month all cause mortality but not 3 (6, 9 etc.) month COVID mortailty.

        The Derek Lowe article is a good explanation of why you would expect to see deaths in the vaccinated arm. However, you would expect to see similar deaths in the placebo arm as well. If there is a real discrepancy, that is worrying. I have not seen data so at this point, I am just sticking with my initial prejudice against the mRNA vaccines, given they are first-in-man mechanisms. I’m in two minds about the adenovirus vaccines, too – they have a history of increasing susceptibility to HIV-1 infection in men, and possibly to other infections – so I will wait for an attentuated vaccine.

        I shall advise my 75 year old mother to have the adenovirus vaccine!

        1. Cuibono

          YEs you are right. clinicaltrials site will report all cause mortality but likely not for a LONG TIME

        2. Cuibono

          you and i are on the same page here.
          I was mistaken about one thing. i do beleive that all cause mortality will EVENTUALLY be reported to clinicaltrials website.

      2. IM Doc

        First of all – you must realize – that in all vaccine trials through the history of time – CASE NUMBERS have been tangential at best – the real important endpoints are mortality, morbidity and decrease of hospitalizations. Yet all we are being told is case numbers.

        And FWIW – all cause mortality – has ALWAYS been a very important part of vaccine science since the polio vaccine days at least. I am exceedingly hesitant to give my patients any pharmaceutical without knowing the all cause mortality numbers in clinical trials.

    6. The Rev Kev

      Thanks for taking the time to write what is going on in the front lines. It really is appreciated. One day when your rural hospital goes back to being a sleepy little alcove – and it will happen – you might enjoy picking up a book to read called “The making of a surgeon” by William A. Nolen to see how doctors were trained a long time go. You might like it.

    7. BobW

      This week my fourth MD in five years is leaving practice – the only to do so since covid. Prior to this I had the same MD going back to the early 90s when I first moved to this area, and who also was my parent’s doctor.

      So, even pre-pandemic there was something in health care driving doctors away. I don’t suppose it could just be a US thing, could it?

      Nah, this is the best country ever!

    8. UserFriendly

      They taught you ECMO when you were an intern? I doubt that very much. It hasn’t been around that long and cirtainly not in rural areas.

      1. IM Doc

        Yes – actually they did – and much more.
        I had the sense as a young person to try to go to one of the toughest inner city programs in the country. They taught me that and much more – unlike the programs of today where the goal seems to be to get the residents out of the hospital before 3 PM.

        Granted – back then ECMO was in its infancy – and the contraption resembled a jerry-rigged Studebaker compared to the stream-lined “Tesla” machines of today – but the concepts are still the same – and like all other medical procedures that you do hundreds of times – it is like riding a bike – it all comes back to you.

        By the way – I work in a rural area now – I certainly did not do my medical training in a rural area.

    9. Lambert Strether Post author

      > no tangible information to help docs and nurses advise their patients.

      Well, we have insurance companies for that.

      I can see no reason that the peer review and publication process for these mRNA vaccines has not been expedited (and that the full data set remains secret, as opposed to being made available by regulatory bodies). Or rather, I can see reasons, but none of them are good.

  11. Wukchumni

    In our family Zoom jam the other day, one of my sisters mentioned that air fares are dirt cheap now, and it reminded me of the cruise ships offering boffo deals in March for a third of what it would’ve cost normally.

    Was reading a NYT survey of 700 epidemiologists activities that they have personally done or would have done if needed in the last 30 days, and only 8% of them have or would’ve flown commercially.

    Anybody fly recently?

    1. Louis Fyne

      i flew in sept. 3 hrs round trip ti Florida and back. (and spoke with other people who took plane trips too)

      I would recommend it (if you have no risk factors, under 65, and fully aware of the risks).

      Flight was 100% full. Everyone was civil, masked. And despite what NYC-based journos might say Floridians aren’t anti-science yokels (no more so than NYC or LA).

      allow extra time for check-ins and ground transport. take some N95/KN95/KF94 masks if you got em.

      if anything, (almost) everyone in the air was much more civil and unhurried now than pre-covid

      1. Wukchumni

        I’ve only flown 3x domestically since 9/11, when zealous measures made in the midst of getting aloft lost its charm, and you can’t miss something you don’t do, so i’m no barometer of travel trends, and can’t really think of an instance now where i’d get on a plane, none whatsoever.

    2. Louis Fyne

      the NYT is being lazy w/stats….

      “only 8%” flying or would be now? what was the pre-covid base rate? with all the pearl clutching, that’s 8 percentage points too many.

      no way 8% of any random sampling of 100 people flew in the past 30 days pre-covid. those people are flying, or willing to fly, at a rate much higher than the general population.

      if planes were such a real threat that number should be 2% or less.

      ps, no way would i board a cruise ship. Ships were bad enough when norovirus was the only thing you had to worry about

      1. rtah100

        I drove from SW England to Turin and back for a two hour meeting rather than fly.

        They did give me lunch – in a restaurant, to my consternation!

  12. Edward

    Frank’s amusing article reminds me of an account of a presentation by a PR person, who advised his audience to be able to cry on demand, a trick he demonstrated. The Supreme Court nomination hearings seem especially prone to tears. Alito’s wife was sobbing during his hearing. During the Iran-Contra hearings, the Democrats were mortally afraid that Fawn Hall would start crying under questioning, dooming them.

    1. Wukchumni

      During the lengthy 5 year drought here, a couple of measures were considered…

      When an expecting mother’s water broke-there’d be somebody there to recycle it, and a potential pipeline from John Boehner’s tear ducts to Cali.

  13. timbers

    Covid rules for thee but not for me…

    Am seeing reports UK is waiving certain Covid rules for VIP’s. Should work out brilliantly and including “journalists” in the exemption is a good stroke to encourage much needed positive press on this…if such a thing is possible. Mabe it is in UK, don’t know:

    “Grant Shapps announces ‘high-value’ business travellers returning to England will be EXEMPT from quarantine rules from Saturday” at Daily Mail

    And promoted in a different way:

    “High-value business travellers, sports stars and performing arts professionals will not have to quarantine on arrival in England from Saturday. Journalists and TV production staff will also benefit from the new policy announced by Transport Secretary Grant Shapps. Mr Shapps said exemptions will be “subject to specific criteria being met”. These include trips that create or preserve at least 50 UK jobs.” at LBC

    Find it hard to believe pubic officials can actually be so out of touch. At least public officials in the US understand they should at least try to be hide what they are doing, be dishonest about it, and apologize when caught.

    1. Edward

      How shallow can you get? This reminds me of Gov. Chris Christie vacationing on the beach when it was barred to the public. “Deal with it” was his reply to criticism.

    2. Mikel

      Hey, they’ll be jet-setting around enough to bring over the next disease too.
      We could stoo watching them all. There are actual alternatives in entertainment that are enjoyable.

        1. rtah100

          What is more amusing is the Business department and the Transport department got their wires crossed. The actual rules only exempt individuals investing £100m but the business department announced £100k as the threshold! Truly, you cannot make this stuff up….

    3. Seething Fury

      We lost our business and our savings, maybe our house because of our governor.

      “A potential Newsom rival in 2022, San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer,
      wrote on Twitter. “His kids can learn in person. But yours can’t. He can celebrate birthday parties. But you can’t,”
      The following night after Newsom got busted at the Three Michelin Stars French Laundry, San Francisco Mayor London Breed was caught at a birthday dinner there with 7 other people – right before she closed down dining in every restaurant in San Francisco. “I cannot emphasize enough how important it is that everyone act responsibly to reduce the spread of the virus,” Mayor London Breed said in a statement Nov. 10. “Every San Franciscan needs to do their part so that we can start moving in the right direction again.”

      Steve Adler, the mayor of Austin, Texas, has been busted twice flouting his own restrictions. First, he hosted 20 people at a wedding and reception for his daughter at a downtown Austin hotel. The very next day, he took 7 other people in a private jet to his timeshare in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico.

      Governor Andrew Cuomo of New York was forced to change his plans after he announced on the radio, that he was having his adult daughters and his 89-year-old mother visit his home in Albany for Thanksgiving.

      Several members of the California legislature enjoyed a trip to Hawaii to attend a conference. Those attending include Republican Assembly members Heath Flora of Ripon and Jordan Cunningham of Paso Robles, Republican Sen. Andreas Borgeas of Modesto, Democratic Sen. Bill Dodd of Napa, Democratic Assembly members Blanca Rubio of Baldwin Park, Mike Gipson of Carson, Jose Medina of Riverside and Wendy Carrillo of Los Angeles, as well as Chad Mayes of Rancho Mirage, who won reelection this month as unaffiliated with any political party. They rubbed elbows with lobbyists and special interest groups while in Hawaii. The Los Angeles Times reports: ”

      1. fajensen

        One could arrange for kindergartens and children’s wards in hospitals to send them some home made Christmas cards?

    4. Lunker Walleye

      I’ve noticed that my extroverted friends, including nurses, have a much more relaxed attitude about Covid preventative messaging. They still fly from top ten Covid states to visit friends in other top ten Covid states, they vacation and have parties — generally they do what they usually do.

      1. Louis Fyne

        fatality rate varies wildly based on age and pre-existing co-morbities.

        If I had the risk factors, I would literally never leave my yard and have everything delivered—-even if it meant missing funerals or births

        No risk factors, I would accept the odds, keep calm and carry on—-with prudent risk prevention measures of course.

        Everything we do involves risk, from driving across town to eating bacon. covid is no different

    5. Massinissa

      I mean months later I’m still laughing about the UK’s Dominic Cummings, formerly Boris Johnson’s chief political adivisor, almost immediately breaking the lockdown *that he himself helped to write*, causing such a stir even a third of the Tory MPs wanted Johnson to sack him over it, which Johnson did… Like five months later.

    6. anon in so cal

      “Restaurant owners, supporters surround home of L.A. County Supervisor who dined out after voting to ban outdoor dining”

      “A few dozen restaurant owners and their supporters converged outside the Santa Monica home of Los Angeles County Supervisor Sheila Kuehl on Saturday to express their frustrations with the latest restaurant outdoor dining shutdowns.

      Carrying signs and chanting “let us work!” the group of demonstrators surrounded Kuehl’s home demanding to be allowed back to work, as stimulus negotiations continue to stall amid the worsening pandemic.

      Kuehl made headlines earlier this week after she was seen eating outdoors at Il Forno Trattoria in Santa Monica on Nov. 24, just hours after voting to ban outdoor dining throughout the county for three weeks amid rising coronavirus cases in the region….”

      This is how elites fuel anti-mask attitudes and skepticism about other anti-Covid safeguarding strategies.

      (30,075 new cases so far today in California; 8,949 new cases yesterday in Los Angeles County)

  14. polar donkey

    City of Memphis announced trash and recycling pick up will have delays because 25% of solid waste crews have covid or are in quarantine.

    1. Michael Fiorillo

      The town dump in my Mid-Hudson Valley (NY) town is closed. because crew members have Covid…

  15. Pat

    I am always happy to see Dolly Parton. And even half her philanthropic history would put most of our rich and powerful to shame, much less the full list.

    With that caveat, she has a new Christmas album, and a Christmas special tonight on CBS. So yes there is a pr push on.

    1. lordkoos

      Dolly donated money to BLM I heard. I met her back in the 1970s and was charmed – it’s rare to meet someone in the music business who is so ambitious but also a genuinely nice person. At the time (1976) she was still primarily a country music star, she told me she was planning to be in movies and have her own TV show etc. Everything she told me she planned to do she accomplished, and then some.

      1. marku52

        I liked her comment on her plastic surgery “It costs a lot of money to look this cheap!”

        Watta sensa Yuma.

        1. furies

          The Trillbillies have a bit different take on the Dolly phenomenon.

          I recommend the “Dollywood” episode. By people who live and work there…

  16. The Rev Kev

    “Here’s how rich people can help fix America”

    How about they give back the free $5 trillion that they were given back in March for redistribution? That would help a lot.

    1. Carla

      Oh, TRK, that’s such a good idea. Only trouble is, it’s not as much FUN for our precious denizens of the ruling class as setting up a new “charitable” foundation or slapping their name on a new hospital or museum building by providing 5% of the public/private partnership funds needed to build the damned thing.

        1. D. Fuller

          Does it come with a wing in his honor?

          The wealthy use philanthropy as a tax avoidance strategy. Let us not forget how Zuck and Facebook do far more damage with the spread of conspiracy theory.

          $75 million is a pittance.

          1. Lee

            For clarification: the small, good thing was the condemnation, not the pittance.

            From an interview critical of the current state of American capitalism by a self-described full-throated promoter of capitalism, Scott Galloway:

            There are more full-time lobbyists from Amazon living in Washington, D.C. than there are sitting U.S. senators. There are more people manicuring Sheryl Sandberg and Mark Zuckerberg’s image in the communications department of Facebook than there are journalists at “The Washington Post.”

            Amanpour & Company

            1. tegnost

              before he said what you quoted above he said amazon is going massively innovate by having 2 hour pharma deliveries, and all doctor visits will be zoom or some such similar thing. He’ll have one half of the country driving things around for the other half (well, 10%, the remaining 40% will be considered excess baggage). I like galloway generally but in this case he reminds me of a tech cheerleader I saw on PBS 10 or so years ago (a totally forgettable sharp dresser) who marveled that his daughters were growing up into a world where all traditional jobs have been destroyed and he was . excited for them to try to find their way in the new tech wonderland.He looked pretty wealthy at least, so they’re probably getting into stanford as volleyball players…or water polo…we’re sunk…

            2. John Anthony La Pietra

              The height of that bar may depend on whether or not one believes there are any journalists (or those worthy of the name) at that corporation. . . .

    2. Arizona Slim

      Another suggestion from the same article:

      Revamp 401(k)s to help lower wage earners.

      Now, when I see the word “help” in the same sentence with 401(k)s, I can’t avoid thinking that the ultimate recipient of such “help” will be the financial industry.

      1. Amfortas the hippie

        my PMC-ish brother has been making noises lately about squirrelling away money while the gettings good….something i’ve stridently advocated for him to do for going on 10 years, since he first broke $80K/year.
        (now, he’s at 130K.(!??!))
        he’s had a savings account at some little federal credit union down by dad’s house(other side of houston from him) for 25 years, so he’s been using that.of course, there’s really no good place to stash a lot of cash….everything is tied into Mr Market…and Little People’s Property is not sacrosanct(PMC are still Little People).
        I’m in the mason jar under the house school of saving…but that’s a bridge too far for my very conventional brother,lol.
        so i told him i’d help him get set up with a savings account at my bank, now proverbial…wherein i know where the bank president lives, and am assured that they don’t engage in funny business of any kind.
        this, under the theory that when it all comes to naught, and the power elite mandate that savings accounts and lock boxes be emptied into a wall street investment vehicle, “Chewbacca,for safety, citizen”…my bank will be one of the last to fold up.
        he’s got a 401-k….and has “stopped contributing”.
        I’ve never had anything of the sort, so i don’t know what that really means.
        they involve, as near as i can tell, “safe investments”…also rendered “conservative” or “long term”.
        but what does that mean, anymore? Municipal bonds?
        of course, i’ve had…erm…Trust Issues with financial institutions since that paycheck bounced, 30 years ago, and sent me into a tailspin of hot checks and jail and being declared Outlawx3 forever after….so i don’t even trust savings accounts…so perhaps i’m not the right one to advise my poor gullible brother.

        1. JacobiteInTraining

          I had a 401k I contributed to back in my MSFT days. It was OK, there was
          company matching and all that…it remains parked in supposedly ‘safe’ investments, and i mostly do not ever look at the balance. I’m almost certain to die of a stroke and/or heart attack long before i can use it. I keep ‘in event of my death’ papers prominently located in my effects, along with several forms of life insurance such that after I kick the bucket my beneficiaries might be pleased, and light a candle for me (and pour some grain alcohol/smoke a bowl of primo colas at or on my cremated remains, at times :)

          Mostly since then I have stopped contributing to 401ks and instead assign that cash each month to specific tangible items – lumber to build cabins, well-reviewed and sturdy mechanical devices, skookum solar/offgrid stuff.
          Thrift store/estate sale items such as tools or basic real hardwood furniture, spare steel roofing, steel stuff of any kind, whatnot – anything that has proved its worth and longevity by surviving intact and fully functional all these years…or is likely to be storable/usable for many years in the future.

          Financial advisors will put charts down in front of me, aghast at my choices, showing how much i could have gotten if I had invested it all in stocks, and i acknowledge that…but I prefer my method.

          As Edward Abbey once said, (sort of tangentially about having a physical/tangible item you can USE) …its always good to keep a .357 magnum at your desk, because you never know when god is gonna f*** with you.

          1. Amfortas the hippie

            that’s my method, too…although most of my debris piles(mom’s terminology) i’ve liberated from the dump..especially the metal pile.
            on balance, we’re pretty arid, out here…and i’ve been shocked at just how long cast off treated lumber lasts in a more or less usable state.
            i realised yesterday that i need to look into a supply of start capacitors and such for all the inherited bench grinders, drill press, etc…and one never has enough well made hand tools(got a bit and brace that my grandad was given by his grandad,lol.)

            1. JacobiteInTraining

              “…liberated from the dump….”

              Up in Juneau AK we used to call that ‘beachcombing’ …Amazing what you can find just sitting there, in dumps where they let you salvage!! :)

              I’m kinda screwed in the ‘arid’ department, all my storage being up in a rainforest in the Olympics. But I’ve got enough storage shelters up, and more created when needed, that i can mostly keep lumber/etc dry, if not low humidity, and keep it more or less usable.

          2. Paul

            Your second paragraph is sage advice for those with money who plan to build anything, and is a good way to make 100% on your money by avoiding the purchase down the line, if you can even find it, of items that will cost at least double what they do now in the future.

            At our hardware store, the last box of $100 plus SDS construction screws sold last week. That’s OK, I have a five gallon bucket of them that people discarded as extras in the remodeling craze of the mid 2000s.

            Years of checking out dumpsters we drive by have provided us with racks of 30-40 year old 8′ and longer foot 4x4s, with a few nail holes, bolts, etc that are stronger than anything you can buy today and that at absurd prices. Only take the good stuff though, and leave some for the next guy if there’s a lot of it.

        2. BlakeFelix

          And I’m not particularly a gold bug, but I have found some old stashes in my day, and the silver change was worth more than the paper dollars. The gold was worth more than either, lol. So I advise against burying fiat, it’s usually worth less when you dig it up, which is usually just when you want it to be worth more.

          1. Amfortas the hippie

            aye. mom lives in a rock house, built by actual pioneers, the front part of which is 130 or so years old(with much shoring up and structural mods over the years).
            one day, a bunch of old people showed up, to see “grandad’s place”, where some has spent their youths.
            they were the descendants of the people who built the place, hand-dug the well, made friends with the Indians(really), etc.
            in giving them the tour, one old man wanted to see all the stone steps….family history said that there was confederate gold buried under them….but the steps in question are under a 4′ high, 20’x15′ slab of reinforced concrete that we call ‘the front porch”, and i am forbidden from obtaining a jack hammer to root around under there.

            1. ambrit

              Tunnel man! Don’t forget to shore up the works as you progress. If questioned by relatives, claim to be constructing either A) a bomb shelter, or B) a root cellar.
              The story is sketchy however. Most of the Confederate gold ended up in the hands of my English forebears, who sold guns to both sides of that war.

            1. Del

              Buy everything you need now, if you can, because inflation is already starting and next year the prices will skyrocket–and–many things will not be available because of supply line interruptions.

              Already seeing empty shelves in building supply stores, things massively backordered.

        3. Daryl

          I’ve been squirreling money away for a bit. Problem is it ain’t going to do me much good if, as you say, the whole thing collapses. Thinking investing in skills, tools and self-reliance is probably, although not as easy as stocks or gold, the way to go.

          Counting on FDIC for now, but then that’s another New Deal program that we take for granted and can be raided & dismantled.

          1. Jeremy Grimm

            I’m in the same boat. I don’t have much space. For now my savings sit in a Federal Credit Union waiting for the time I gather enough courage to move again. I believe it isn’t too early to move further inland and to a higher altitude. This means my investments must be small and easily portable.

            For the moment I am caught in stays by the Corona pandemic and my fear of having my cataracts removed — a surgery I would be very reluctant to undergo in the more rural areas I want to move to. When I think of investing for the future I think of things easy to obtain now but which could become very hard to find in the future: furnace coils of nichrome wire, ceramic bearings and similar items I haven’t thought of yet. For exchange in the times after the lights go out — after the flood — I like synthetic gems as a currency of sorts. They are small, durable, and pretty — items of intrinsic value. I doubt a time will come when people stop enjoying adornments. Besides I like synthetic gems.

            I believe finding a good location may be the most important investment I might make for the future. I want to find a place I could leave to my children where they might live through the transitions to a new Earth. Each place has resources and dangers I would carefully document for the location I chose. I would gather maps of the geology, soil, and topology. I would trace the flows of goods into and away from the location and try to identify what will be most sorely missed when our cars, trucks, and trains stop running and ships no longer carry goods from far far away.

            For now, I think medicines might be one of the the things we will miss first. Most of the useful drugs are already off-patent and after the lights go out patents will be difficult or impossible to enforce. I’ll try to find a library where a full set of the patent books have been kept. In lieu of that, I guess I could try to obtain an electronic copy of the patent books. But I don’t yet know how I could preserve the data for the future.

            As for ‘investments’ like stocks and bonds, they pose a growing mystery to me. I have little faith in the numbers claimed by corporate reports, and their pontifications on corporate intent and ‘vision’. For the last many decades the actions of Government seem to play the biggest part in stock ‘values’. The ways of Government are remain murky until I remember who owns the Government. But I have no insight to read the dancing of the actors behind the screen. I never expected Government would act as it has and I grow uncomfortable trying to imagine how long this music can play before the flood.

            1. Amfortas the hippie

              we are as one mind on this.
              i think of my library as a backup drive for civilisation.
              for medicine, it’s in the plan to have a medicine plot…and i have a lot of medicinals scattered about as it is. I know i need prolly several materia medicas, too… so that information isn’t mostly in my noggin.
              as it stands, i’m a big chunk of that section of the library.

              as for location…i came out here because i didn’t have anywhere else to go, except on the road, again.
              turns out, it’s a pretty good place for gettin’ all Farnham’s Freehold.
              one of my worry’s is that the local/regional climate regime could go either way…mediterranean, or desert. It’s hard to plan for both,lol.
              i am more than ready to get this windfall induced period of rapid infrastructure building over with, and get back into a more relaxed groove of farming and bird ranching.

        4. Glen

          Great comment!

          I have used nothing but credit unions for forty years. It is as close to locally owned and run banking as you can get, and they have always treated me great. Completely and totally recommended. If we were able to defund the huge Wall St banks by having everybody move to credit unions (not really possible for all) that would be taking back lots of power.

          So my advice to you is – I read what you say and LEARN! You are at least ten years or more ahead of the curve here. Maybe not by choice, but the life you have lead, the choices you have made, are a road map for us all. It is NOT what you have in the bank, or invested in Wall St. It is family. It is what you have where you live, what you have in hand, what you can do and have done for your friends, and your community.

          I jokingly always made the list of things I have buried in the back yard as cigarettes, toilet paper, and 9mm ammo (European option) or .45 ammo (all American option). But the underlying message is that gold and silver will HAVE NO VALUE when the $hit really hits the fan.

          And as to things – so yesterday I did my best to support my local businesses and went out and bought a new truck. My F-150 is old, and is in rather bad shape. So I bought a new one, but like my old one, it was the cheapest one on the lot. It has a plastic mat on the floor, and as close as I can get to a bench seat. My old one didn’t even have a radio – this one did. My wife joked, gee after thirty years, you finally got a radio in your truck (yes, my old F-150 is 30 years old.) So municipal bonds? No, in the last five years I bought a small tractor with a bucket and a backhoe, and now a new truck. I honestly would have preferred to be able to buy an EV truck. I know they are coming, but it looks like I would not be able to afford one.

          As to 401Ks and moving forward – 401Ks were enacted under Nixon as a means for the rich to invest and save money. They were never intended to be a retirement vehicle for normal people, and the rich have moved on to more destructive means of extracting wealth from the country. We need something better, I’m not sure what. Hopefully the better informed commenters here can kick in with ideas. My first go in idea would be to require that all 401ks offer a no fee no load fund indexed to the Dow and call it good. Otherwise all the fees and BS just screw your returns, but I would just as soon invent a retirement investment that avoids Wall St because Wall St no longer treats Americans as investors, they treat them as suckers, so {family blog} them!

          1. Jeremy Grimm

            Yesterday I listened to a podcast interview of Melinda Cooper discussing her book “Family Values: Between Neoliberalism and the New Social Conservatism” — while I looked through my black beans to remove rocks and and other detritus. Melinda Cooper and her book was promoted in a draft paper Philip Mirowski recently posted. [“Family Values with Melinda Cooper” ] Somewhere in the second hour of the podcast Cooper stated that the 401K as a retirement vehicle has the merit of being inheritable. Nixon may have enacted the 401K for the reasons you cite in your comment. However when pushed as a retirement vehicle it serves to undermine Social Security. Cooper describes how Social Security clashes with Neoliberal concepts of the role of Government. Neoliberals the Government should construct and support Markets not provide social insurance. There was more to Cooper’s analysis but I’ll have to listen to the podcast again to grasp it all.

            1. Glen

              Those are great points, and if I had to choose, I would beef up Social Security.

              I’ve also been intrigued with Mark Blyth’s proposal of a sovereign wealth fund for “normal people” to do infrastructure investment:

              The Economics of Anger: How We Got a Rigged System (w/ Mark Blyth and Eric Lonergan)

      2. jr

        I had similar suspicions. Whenever I hear talk of “wealth creation” or “financial education” for people who are struggling to put food on the table or keep the roof on the house, flags go up. First of all, it’s a great opportunity to indoctrinate people into the ideology of the 1%, “You too can be a millionaire!” and secondly can anyone imagine that any kind of such programs of “education” wouldn’t be shaped to benefit the industries that would stand to, um, benefit from everyone suddenly dabbling in the stock market or so? It’s amounts to marketing, plain and simple. Heavy taxation and heavy regulation first, then we can have classes on “Johnny is a stockbroker!”.

        Not to mention the article reads like the writing of a college freshman in the business program. Can anyone in the business world actually write?!

    3. Dalepues

      Forbes 400. The cutoff is $2.1b.
      It’s hard for me even to imagine so much money.
      What struck me about this list is how old most of these billionaires are.
      There are a few young ones, but only a few.
      Years ago I did some work for a billionaire family on this list. People had said they were rich,
      but I had no idea how rich. They didn’t live rich, it didn’t appear to me. Their home was modest, four bedrooms, three and a half baths; a small swimming pool out back; a two car garage. Nothing lavish inside the house. Maybe they had ten such houses scattered around the world. I never asked.

      1. jeremyg

        I’m interested in the economic consequences of rich people becoming immortal.

        David Rockefeller was the last of the ancient ones to actually die, and that was three years ago.
        He had gone through half a dozen hearts, as well as his own.
        In a hundred years time, I expect I will see the same cheerful faces at the top of the list.
        Cancer research gets a lot of funding these days.

        1. Amfortas the hippie

          and don’t forget Thiel and the blood of youth.

          “Altered Carbon” addresses this elite immortality, at least peripherally.(when i watched it, i remember thinking that i wished they had explored that more directly)
          and then there’s Heinlein:

          the Elves in Tolkien’s universe essentially live forever, and there’s again, some discussion peripherally on the implications of this.
          and i’m also reminded of Frank Herbert’s son’s additions to the Dune universe…the cymeks, especially(brain in a jar, loaded into fantastic mechanical bodies, as well as the “Cogitors” who put their brains in a jar to be better philosophers.)

        2. Michaelmas

          jeremyg wrote: ‘Cancer research gets a lot of funding these days.’

          One aspect of the mRNA vaccines that nobody’s cottoned to yet is that cancer is now probably solved, at least for rich people.

          Specifically, Moderna spent ten years developing its technology as a cancer vaccine — that was the concept and mission for which the company was created. Just as they could design a vaccine for COVID19 in a couple of days, the idea was/is to take a sample of any specific cancer victim’s cancer and use it as the basis for a personalized mRNA vaccine which, when injected, would teach the cancer victim’s immune system to attack that cancer.

          When COVID19 came along, Moderna repurposed its technology for that. For insiders, the big question wasn’t whether mRNA technology would work at all, but whether this very personalized, customized bleeding-edge biotechnology could be scaled up — the manufacture is very high-tech (and automated) and distribution is demanding because of the need for low-temperature storage.

          The jury’s still out on that latter, in my mind. In any event, mRNA vaccine technology has now received a massive dose of funding and attention, which will accelerate its development and take-up by a decade or so.

          And that’ll mean the development of anti-cancer vaccine technology, which was always its main point.

          I’m interested in the economic consequences of rich people becoming immortal.

          Right now, that’s not likely to happen. But you will see more and more rich people getting to 110 or 120, which currently appears to be the upper ceiling on human lifespans.

          And that’s because the other main natural cause of death is heart failure or the failure of a similar vital organ. And in the next thirty years in vitro organogenesis is likely to happen.

          Full disclosure: I know a little about some of this because I’ve done some work for the venture capital firm that created Moderna and has about fifty to seventy other bleeding edge biotech-based companies already out there or in stealth mode. It’s only a VC firm in the literal sense: whereas the way venture capital usually works is that someone has a concept, wants to found a company, and goes out to get funding from VCs, this firm is the opposite of that — it’s a bunch of mostly MIT-trained bioengineers who run about 80-100 ‘explorations’ of bleeding-edge biotech concepts annually, then create and fund (and control) companies around the applications that look most promising.

          One direction I know this VC firm didn’t choose to fund was in vitro gametogenesis i.e. the capability to take any cell of any individual human or non-human animal, revert it to totipotent stem cell status, and then advance it again so it differentiates into whatever specific organ is required. For in vitro gametogenesis, that would mean sperm and eggs.

          The point is, this VC firm didn’t choose to fund this technology for anything but legal reasons, because it’s U.S.-based. Because in vitro gametogenesis works now — in the lab, clones of whole mice and lower-order monkeys have been created from a single cell of their hair or skin. I would guess the technology is about seven years away from someone doing it with humans. If it isn’t funded and developed in the U.S. it’ll be developed somewhere else — probably China, possibly Japan because the scientists who are leaders in the field are mostly from there.

          If in vitro gametogenesis is doable — and it is — then you can do in vitro organogenesis. And that means youthful hearts, livers, and kidneys for the old who can afford them.

          1. jeremyg

            Thanks for this. I apologise for the casual use of the immortal word. A friend suggested “extended longevity”. (Though see my reply to MF below) Certainly a great deal of the world’s resources do seem to go towards extending the longevity of relatively few people.

            I think I agree about cancer. Rich peple don’t die of cancer any longer. I should have referred to the massive funding now going into Alzheimers.

            However, it seems from what you say, that something that was going to be exclusive and particular, is now, with a huge dose of public money, about to become inclusive and general.
            Covid19. You couldn’t make it up.

        3. Michael Fiorillo

          The Second Law of Thermodynamics argues strongly against immortality for the Overclass. We can at least be thankful for that.

    4. Howard Beale IV

      I’d settle for the Trump’s peon tax cut (which will expire/get raised over the next few years) permanent.

  17. The Rev Kev

    “After the Deep State Sabotaged His Presidential Bid, Bernie Sanders Mocks Those Who Believe it Exists”

    I am surprised that he did not see his ambush coming. He signed up for Russiagate and all the rest of it instead of debunking this piece of rubbish. Then, at the most tactical moment, they nailed him at that airport with it after getting of a plane when he would have been beat. When Bloomberg told him “Russian is helping you”, Sanders should have turned around and said that “Wall Street is helping you”.

    But he did other stuff too that you would not expect for a seasoned campaigner. He said in an interview that Biden was capable of winning the Presidency. He could have said that Biden is my friend but I will win the Presidency but didn’t. But when he said back in April that he was giving up on medicare for all – in the middle of a pandemic note – I knew that he was totally finished and really, how much has he done since then. He could have been a giant of American politics but he never let it happen. And when he passes away, guaranteed that he will never get the sort of funeral that John McCain got.

    1. Mark Gisleson

      In electoral politics, there are always going to be valid issues you cannot engage on. Lose/lose. If Bernie had fought Russiagate (and I’m sure Clinton’s camp wanted him to) the media would have erased his other issues.

      “Today, Bernie Sanders — who still insists Russia is not aiding his campaign — issued a statement on ____ in an attempt to deflect criticism of his stance on Russia’s interference in US elections.”

      We saw what they did to Tulsi Gabbard. Politics ain’t beanbag. Bernie was/is too polite, but the fluff you say while campaigning provides only limited insight into how you would govern.

    2. Carolinian

      Bernie has always wanted to be a full fledged member of the establishment while simultaneously attacking it. This requires a belief that only some of the ruling class (Trump, billionaires) constitute the problem. Evidence suggests otherwise.

      1. Howard Beale IV

        The fact that in the last two cycles Sanders has been running as a Democrat, but yet (AFAIK) never joined it, makes me think he’s just doing a lot of hand-waving.

    3. petal

      When I went to his campaign rally in October ’19, it was so IdPol & TDS heavy and he had seemed to have given up on the economic message. Right then I knew he was falling in line. It was so disappointing and that’s when he lost me. It was no longer about how he wanted to help the working class and what he was going to do, it was IdPol this, IdPol that, Russia, Trump is the devil, etc. Felt like economic issues were no longer a priority for him. At the time, I couldn’t understand why. Each time he fell in line, like with the Russia garbage, TDS, etc, I did not understand what could cause someone to do a complete 180 like that. He was jumping on that bandwagon and walking away from what had caused such a groundswell of support for him in 2016 and later. It’s like the dorky kid on the outside always wanting to be a part of the gang and will do anything to be accepted, unbeknownst to the dorky kid it is all for naught, of course. Have lost all respect for the guy.

    4. Oh

      From the debates I could tell that Bernie couldn’t think on his feet. He used scripted lines that he repeated everywhere during his campaign. Tusli Gabbard showed how she could topple Chaemela’s campaign with just one line. He also loved his position in the Senate too much and worried that he would lose it if he lost. He betrayed a lot of young folk and leftists by taking their money and quitting. Perhaps the Deep State had something on him but I don’t see how the accusation that Putin was helping him had much effect. Meanwhile his “good friend” is getting set to make this country into a loser nation by wanting to do nothing about our problems. Thanks Bernie. Now the people will really feel the BURN!

      1. barefoot charley

        Surely Bernie’s smart and experienced enough to know that he was going to be kneecapped again, like in 2016. So he planned his response. I think he regurgitates select party shibboleths in order to be less than totally irrelevant, as AOC does too–she’s precocious! If you don’t stick to some party lines, and instead rely on your virtues in office, you will become a virtuous lonely drunk. Ask McCarthy and Stevenson, not to mention Kucinich and best of all, She Who Must Never Be Named, Cynthia McKinnon. And Tulsi Who? Bottom line: Should he not have wasted his time running? I don’t think so.

      2. Michaelmas

        Oh wrote: From the debates I could tell that Bernie couldn’t think on his feet. He used scripted lines that he repeated everywhere during his campaign.


        Granted, he was 78 and dog-tired from campaigning, to the extent that he had that heart attack. But when he absolutely had to be tactically smart and fast in those TV debates, he couldn’t do it.

    5. Rod

      A tactical withdrawal or retreating defensive action is a type of military operation, generally meaning that retreating forces draw back while maintaining contact with the enemy. A withdrawal may be undertaken as part of a general retreat, to consolidate forces, to occupy ground that is more easily defended, force the enemy to overextend to secure a decisive victory, or to lead the enemy into an ambush. It is considered a relatively risky operation, requiring discipline to keep from turning into a disorganized rout or at the very least doing severe damage to the military’s morale.

      Did you learn, or have confirmed, your speculation about the Real Democratic Party??

      1. tegnost

        “to consolidate forces, to occupy ground that is more easily defended, force the enemy to overextend to secure a decisive victory, or to lead the enemy into an ambush.”

        This is what I’ve hoped for, but the game is still being played. It seems the ball is in the corpodems court and I’m increasingly wondering whether they can make contact.
        We’ll see if they can come up with something more substantial than “feelings”.

        1. Rod

          requiring discipline to keep from turning into a disorganized rout or at the very least doing severe damage to the military’s morale.

          “If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles. If you know yourself but not the enemy, for every victory gained you will also suffer a defeat. If you know neither the enemy nor yourself, you will succumb in every battle.”

          ― Sun Tzu, The Art of War

          1. tegnost

            ursula k leguin translates retreat from i ching, interesting parallels
            Kinds of power
            Knowing other people is intelligence,
            knowing yourself is wisdom.
            Overcoming others takes strength,
            overcoming yourself takes greatness.
            Contentment is wealth.
            Boldly pushing forward takes resolution.
            Staying put keeps you in position.
            To live till you die
            is to live long enough.

    6. Jeremy Grimm

      I cannot make sense of Bernie’s actions of late.

      I guess some dark force kidnapped his beloved dog and holds it in a basement at a dark site. He receives a video of the dog and placed under some dire threat each time he receives directions. [Did Bernie have a dog?]

  18. flora

    re: 5 major airlines to roll out digital health passport for travelers next month – Health Care Dive

    What about those who don’t have a smart phone? No digital passports for them?

    I still carry a paper vaccination doc when traveling out of country. Seems to work fine.

    1. Brooklin Bridge

      Weren’t vaccination records stamped on one’s passport? I have an old 1969 passport where they are. Then at some point they stopped but I wasn’t sure that was depending on countries to be visited. That is, if you planned to visit countries where such and such a disease was at risk, you got your passport stamped with records of the appropriate shots.

      Speaking of passports, I recently got a letter from “The United States Department of State” where the intro states,

      “The Office of Passport Services U.S. Departmenmt of State would like to better serve the American public’s need for passport services in the coming months and years.

      To do this we are conducting interviews with Americans ages 18 and older. […]”

      If I don’t reply (by phone or on their web site), they are going to “follow up” with further inquiries.

      I suspect they -or some one(s)- have decided that passports should now be put on people’s smart phones along with bio-metrics that can be digitally checked (and hacked) and they need a veneer of public support in order to mandate the new scheme (gradually?) replacing the old paper passports. Or something along those lines. I find it hard to believe they actually give a damn about public opinion (except if it’s to gauge degree of resistance in order to plan how to crush it).

      I’m rarely right about anything, so this interpretation is my way of fending off evil spirits…

      1. flora

        Thanks. You’re interpretation of the US Office of Passport Services motive for interviewing passport holders sounds reasonable, considering the way things are going.

    2. Oh

      Once you share your medical info (in this case the Covid tests and related info in digital format) with even a so called non profit (it’s just a tax category and means nothing), it won’t be too long before they farm your other medical info and sell it. We don’t need any stinking digital health passport, only a paper certificate.

      1. flora

        Yep. When I get another mandated travel vaccine of any sort I’ll have that info and authorizing signature of the vaccinating agency/person entered in my paper vaccination certificates booklet.

        1. flora

          adding: nearly 5% of smart phones are lost or stolen every year.
          I suppose I could lose my paper vacs booklet, but I’m sure people aren’t trying to steal it. The paper vaccs booklet doesn’t carry my personal communications, business communications, or bio-specs, either. ;)

  19. GramSci

    Re Web Scraping.

    One never knows why the Supreme Court grants certiorari, and I hope I’m not underestimating the maleficent intent of the current court, but the Markup’s concern seems overly alarmist. In opposing certiorari the U.S. argued that

    “this case would be a poor vehicle for resolving any circuit disagreement about the scope of the statutory phrase “exceeds authorized access”, and it restricts its argument to Van Buren’s private use of license plate data as a police officer.

  20. NotTimothyGeithner

    “They need us to understand”

    Biden certainly isn’t eloquent, but who is he talking to here? I think he is meekly asking Pelosi and McConnell to bail him out.

  21. The Rev Kev

    ‘My dad used to say, “Joey, I don’t expect the government to solve my problems. But I expect it to understand my problems.”’

    That is not a policy. That is not even a plan. It’s like him saying “I understand your need of bootstraps’ and leaving it at that. And frankly I do not care about the story of his dad moving him to Delaware when young. Sure, his dad did OK after that move but you are talking about the American economy of the 1950s. America was a powerhouse of manufacturing and free spending. How does that compare with the American economy of 2020? I think that next year it is going to be like Trump again as in ‘You’re on your own.’

      1. Amfortas the hippie

        it’s gonna take them “Feeling” us, i’m afraid.
        like that JFK quote about making violent revolution inevitable…even the upper echelon of PMC(stepmom) is blithely indifferent and generally unaware of just how tenuous the majority is right now.
        (when we’ve argued about politics(“well, biden’s gonna fix it”), i’ve encouraged her to go to a different walmart next time…like one in Pasadena…to get a better read on how the other 80% lives…look in their eyes, etc.
        but that ain’t gonna happen,lol.
        even trump’s hamhanded, apparently accidental, reference to this(“the poors are coming to your neighborhood!!!”) didn’t really get traction….at least not as much as i would expect if there were a subconscious fear that things were crumbling.
        it’s gonna have to get frelling Obvious for these folks to understand…and even then, i’d expect that they’ll continue to attribute it to various symptoms(lazy, trump, drug addicted, immoral, racist, etc) til the bitter end.
        when i’ve stayed at my brother’s place in kingwood, i go a rambling in the predawn. across the main thoroughfare from his uppermiddle neighborhood is one of the exclusive gated areas of kingwood…with a wall and a guardhouse and a fancy gate…
        i forget about it until my rambling takes me up there, and i always think, “all that’s not gonna protect them”.
        form over function…the appearance of security…in one of those upper floor windows you can see from my roadside vantage, over the top of the wall…there was a teenager…up “late” i assume…lights on, looking out at the peridawn twilit world…and then he saw me, all gnarly and hairy and bearded and dressed as if i’d just emerged from a hollow tree…and his eyes got real big…lights went off…but i knew he was watching me.
        “return of the Repressed” manifested as a country hippie taking an early morning walk.

      2. foghorn longhorn

        Maybe he should emulate ->her and go on a “listening tour”.
        The next 4 years are going to be a delight. s/

    1. Lee

      Generations, as Lambert is fond of noting, do not have agency. But they do have historical circumstances into which they are born. Biden is a member of what has been described as the “lucky few generation”: a numerically small cohort, too young to have fought in WW2 and coming of age during America’s post war boom when, as you describe, opportunities in both the public and private sectors were abundant.

      1. VietnamVet

        Joe Biden is the first and last member of the Silent Generation to be elected President. I admit I am extremely lucky, too, being a year younger than him. I spent a year in Vietnam, got a federal job being a Vet, and retired on a government pension. So lucky I have food and medicine delivered at home. But I’ve gone Stir Crazy. I may live long enough to have my digital pension not be deposited in the bank monthly due to austerity. So old, I get to see USA splinter apart like the USSR when Operation Warp Speed’s for-profit vaccines and distribution falls on its face with no national public health system in place to fight the coronavirus infestation.

    2. a different chris

      And it’s always the story of “move to where the jobs are”.

      Another breath is taken, and then we hear homilies about marriage and family and “starting a household”- which are pretty hard to maintain when you and your need-a-job-too spouse* have to continually chase employment around the 1.9 billion acres of the continental US. And the mortgage industry alone basically guarantees that the only way you will see a profit in your current home over the 4->7 years you manage to stay put is to somehow move to a place that is less booming.

      Square that circle if you can.

      *which I expect was untrue for the estimable Mom Biden.

    3. Aumua

      The messaging is definitely very cagey. The subtext I basically hear is “don’t expect any help, and be grateful for whatever scraps you do get.” But, we do “understand” your suffering. Ugh.

      1. NotTimothyGeithner

        Actually, its not a “we feel your pain” excercise. Its closer to reminding elites to put on a show just in case.

        Folks out there aren’t looking for a handout — they just need help. They’re in trouble through no fault of their own, and they need us to understand.

        Biden is separating himself from the American people. Those others who need help. The staggering amount of businesses going under, rents and mortgages in arrears, the 300,000 dead, dealing with educating children. He’s not even bothering to talk directly. He only wants to talk to the 1% who have made out.

    4. Kurtismayfield

      And yet Wall street and the wealthy expect the government to solve all their problems. Shouldn’t we be emulating them?

  22. Expat2Uruguay

    Argentina will do a one-time tax that will raise 3 billion dollars from its richest.

    20% of the proceeds will go to medical supplies for the pandemic, another 20% to small and medium-sized companies (SMEs), 15% to social developments, 20% to student scholarships and 25% to natural gas ventures.

    Here are some quotes from the linked-below local Uruguayan paper that I couldn’t find in articles from the mainstream Northern Hemisphere sources:

    To respond to the accusation that taxing the wealthy would dampen the spirits of capitalism, the tax falls heavier on assets located out of the country:

    “The tax reaches 0.8% of total taxpayers. 42% have dollarized assets, of which 92% are located abroad. Far from taxing productive activity,” explained one of the authors of the project , the ruling legislator Carlos Heller.

    And a final interesting note:

    But Hernán Letcher, director of the Center for Economic Policy Studies (Cepa), explained that “the proposal is not exclusive to Argentina and there are at least 11 countries in Europe and Latin America that are advancing in greater tax justice.”

  23. Wukchumni

    Day 33 of the ‘I Ran Hostage Crisis’

    ‘The similarity between the recent monolith sightings & disappearances and polling machines go without saying, and isn’t that reason enough to overturn this obviously purloined election in favor of me, your favorite President of all time.’

  24. Lex

    ‘Covid 19 could cause erectile dysfunction in patients who have recovered from the virus’

    (checks receding hairline due to excess testosterone production… allegedly) So even more boner pill in our water supply? Great, that’s just great.

  25. Mikel

    “Much of the logging occurred on private property without notifying the landowners, investigators say. Some people lost their homes or were evacuated, only to return to find massive piles of logs left on their property where their trees once stood, debris which could cost them thousands of dollars to haul away.”

    The problem isn’t trees, fires, or lightening, is it?
    I hate that the trees were cut down. But why are there power lines out there in the first place?

    1. Lee

      Why were 400 square miles of the most fertile and productive agricultural land in the world paved over to create Silicon Valley? C’mon, man, it’s how we roll.

      1. Weimer

        Not only paved over, but filled in with one-story buildings. Only one story… cuz we don’t do stairs! All those orchards destroyed. And what did we get for it? Perfected surveillance, that’s what.

        1. JBird4049

          Santa Clara county and the city of San Jose thought it was the future, a future without all the riff-raff with their farms, ranches, and orchards. Then add the money being made by the developers for their “donations.”

          San Francisco destroyed its own port with all the associated industries, as well as any other industry because of the unionized riff-raff; let’s have the tourists, and the FIRE sector instead.

          Much how the national elites are destroying the nation for short term gain and to establish a neo-caste social system. It will likely destroy them eventually, although they might not think that, but it certainly has destroyed at least half the country already.

    2. howseth

      Those awful fires last summer.
      We live 50 feet, or so, from the bank of the San Lorenzo river – in Santa Cruz – below the fire zones – I guess we will see that logs/mud runoff this winter – unless we get severe drought – and the winter rains don’t come.

  26. griffen

    For data nerds or finance nerds, the benchmarking article is an interesting read. Covers quite a few examples of one format or standard beating out another.

    Now if i only kept my Betamax tapes* with my Atari from 1982! Not that either is worth much.

    I only have the Atari console, most likely a Sears or K mart version.

  27. Mikel

    RE: “Are the highly effective Pfizer and Moderna vaccines ‘better’ than the AstraZeneca vaccine? We can’t draw that conclusion yet…”

    Amazing how mindlessly corporate press releases get repeated.
    Nobody KNOWS if the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines are highly effective. You can’t draw that conclusion yet either. FFS….

    1. a different chris

      Have you seen their stock prices? I would say the vaccines did exactly what was intended of them.

  28. Phacops

    Re: SARS-CoV-2 mRNA vaccines.

    I have been attempting to find data on the conformation of those proteins at the cell surface with no luck. In model systems there is a great difference in protein post processing and folding between proteins made from DNA and RNA templates. Without normal 3-dimensional conformation, one cannot be certain that immunity to protein active sites is developed.

    Plus, both Pfizer and Moderna have only reported on T-cell immune response. Nor do they present data on CD4+ v. CD8+ T-cell response . Humoral immunity as well as immune memory requires B-cell involvement and I wonder at the bias in communicating the response.

    Like you, I intend to be vaccinated by an appropriate vaccine candidate, but the lack of information makes an informed choice very hard.

    1. Amfortas the hippie

      i’m no expert, by any stretch…but i’m more versed in this stuff than almost everyone i know(i can keep up with my doctor, and sometimes run a few circles around him…which is why my visits run longer than the average patient,lol).
      I’ve rummaged around a lot, attempting to determine which of these to trust…and they ain’t making it easy!
      so far, if i had a choice(undetermined), I’d prolly prefer one of the Chinese vaccines(not gonna be given that choice,lol).
      of the one’s likely to be available to me, I’d settle for the Oxford one…at least so far.
      I never do this sort of exploration with the flu vaccine…as i’ve generally trusted them to not use me as a guinnea pig or macaque.
      I’m not at all certain this time.

      1. Katiebird

        I’m not unhappy to be down the line in priority for a vaccine. I’m hoping that by the time my number comes up they’ll know more about effectiveness and safety. But just from what I’ve read I think the Oxford one seems safer. I’m kind of scared of the RNA vaccines both because I don’t really trust the very idea. And also because of fears about keeping them deeply frozen consistently.

        Another thing I wonder about is how much choice we’ll have. It seems it might depend on what vaccines they send where.

        1. Mark

          re: the Oxford/AZ vaccine: Agree that it being known vaccine methodology I’d prefer to take it over the mRNA vaccines. There is a another subtle point that hasn’t been mentioned much (and it’s important to remember that we’ve only seen press releases so far) that suggests the Oxford/AZ could be superior as well (but they also have to do better job with their trial but that’s a different story). In the Moderna and BioNTech trials they only followed Covid-19 cases and did not do routine nasal swabs to test for infectivity so (if the press releases are to be believed) those vaccines prevented disease and may not have prevented those vaccinated from being infectious. (This is the point of the Twitter thread from A Marm Kilpatrick). The Oxford/AZ trial did weekly nasal swabs and claimed that their vaccine prevented infection and not just disease. That’s another reason to root for that vaccine.

          1. Phacops

            If a vaccine only recruits CD8+ T-cells then viral shedding is still possible during viral clearance since the modes of action involve infected cell death. Humoral immunity, B-cell mediated, produces the antibodies that cripple viral infectivity by Ig-G binding to the target protein, the spike.

            While both actions are desired, I’d like to see data on Ig-G titers as well as secretory Ig-E.

            1. Amfortas the hippie

              and after you see that whatever you said, i’d like you to come on here and explain it to us.
              this is the beauty of rare internet places like NC…distributed Think Tank.

            2. TroyIA

              Here is a good write up as of September of COVID-19 vaccines currently being tested. SARS-CoV-2 vaccines in development From the highest antibody production to the lowest it is Recombinant protein vaccine(Novavax), RNA vaccines(Moderna and Pfizer), Replication-incompetent vectors(AstraZeneca) and lastly inactivated viruses (Sinovac and Sinopharm. Unfortunately not every vaccine has been tested for T-cell response.

              One other point to note is that all of the vaccines currently in phase 3 trials are delivered via intramuscular route. Therefore mucosal immunity is not really expected to occur leaving the upper respiratory tract (nose, adenoids, tonsils) vulnerable to infection.

        2. Janie

          Yes, may be no choice at all. Perhaps Canada for the Oxford one, but of course we’d be at the back of the line.

      2. Cuibono

        the history of the oxford approach and a prior vaccine attempt that increased HIV susceptibility on one group has me concerned

    2. Daryl

      I am not exaggerating when I say that I will be relying on NC and comments like this to help me make my choice. Can’t trust the media/elites who need this to work and are pushing through a never-before-used method of vaccination, nor can I trust anti-vaccine people to actually evaluate what’s going on and whether it provides immunity without long term harm.

        1. Elizabeth

          You have lots of company – we have so little information re the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines. I feel like pharma is testing their mRNA technique on us guinea pigs. Thanks, but no thanks. I’m not anti-vax, but would prefer to take the vaccine made by China – or even Russia, but I doubt Usians will be given that choice..

    3. Synoia

      I want to be vaccinated, but have decided to wave any privileged position I might, or might not have, to 100 Million of my fellow citizens.

    4. Jeremy Grimm

      I assume this thread is discussion of the JAMA article:
      > COVID-19 and mRNA Vaccines—

      This article gives a lot of play to Drew Weissman, MD, PhD of the U-Penn Perelman School of Medicine worked with Moderna on and off and “minimally” with Pfizer, and Barney Graham, MD, PhD, NIAID Vaccine Research Center part of the National Institute of Health which worked with Moderna.

      Drew Weissman was half of the team that developed the idea of RNA modification. “So, if you look at pharmaceuticals right now, protein drugs are the biggest thing around. They keep coming up with new monoclonal antibodies for cancer, autoimmune diseases, cholesterol, migraine — everything imaginable. And other protein drugs are similarly being developed, left and right. Our idea was that it’s really expensive to make protein drugs and it’s a very complicated process and it has safety issues. Our idea was that the modified RNA could deliver any protein at a fraction of the cost, at much lower doses and with much better safety.” []

      Barney Graham worked on the lipid nanoparticles that will be used to house the mRNA on its through the blood and was a member of the team that discovered a coronavirus presents one protein surface before it attaches to a host cell and a different surface after it has fused to the host cell. If the post fusion protein is used as an antigen, the antibodies generated are less effective at stopping infection.

      I think the protein structure you are looking for is the spicule structure on a virus before it attaches to the cell. If you really want to find the conformation of the proteins at the cell surface – after the virus has fused with the cell you might be able to track it down starting with the paper “Pre-fusion structure of a human coronavirus spike protein” [] (originally published in Nature)

      Several of the statements by these gentlemen that the JAMA article repeats tickle my suspicious nature:
      “…more closely mimics a natural infection … innovations weren’t possible until recently … highly adaptable techniques … waiting in the wings … incredibly efficient process … potential to be truly transformative”
      And I like this one too: “ … the way we can understand things in a very detailed level is really stunning to me.”

      I guess the idea of injecting DNA or RNA or mRNA to trick human cells into generating a protein by processes I do not believe are well understood at a “very detailed level” bothers me. If the processes are so well understood why not just trick yeast or some other critter to make the target protein? The business and status interests of the Doctors behind this idea, as detailed in the Scientific American article are also ‘disturbing’.

      1. Amfortas the hippie

        i agree. I also agree that those kinds of medicines could be a game changer…a revolution in medical science.
        i just don’t want to be a lab rat for getting there….and i think it’s ethically suspect to passive aggressively coerce people into doing do.
        texas tribune has a brief thing about vaccines coming to texas:

        i’m left to assume it’s one or both of the mRNA types.
        beggars can’t be choosers, and all….and me and mine are fortunate to be able to more or less stay out of crowded places…still.
        the governments and the corporations involved(“trust pfizer!”,lol) haven’t been near forthcoming enough with all this.
        I’ll attempt to be over there when stepdad’s nurses are coming or going…i’ve missed them for a week…and ask for an update, as well as their thoughts on the vaccines.

  29. Jim

    “Airflows inside passenger cars”
    JC! They expect people to read, understand and take action on that?
    This study screams for a better summary that normal Americans with the average eighth grade reading level can understand.

    Not mentioned, no outside air and cabin air sucked into the car’s recirculation system, to be heated or chilled, along with virons and then spit out in driver and front passenger’s faces, as well as rear passengers if there is a rear air duct above them.

    Bottom line, open rear windows away from passengers if possible, and crack front ones.

    “Nevertheless, driving with all windows open might not always be a viable or desirable option.” Especially when it’s ten degrees outside.

  30. Carolinian

    For those who don’t care to wade through the technicalese of the car/covid article here’s the summer upper

    As one might expect, all windows open (Config. 6) has the highest ACH – approximately 250, while among the remaining configurations, all windows closed (Config. 1) has the lowest ACH of 62. However, what is somewhat surprising is that the ACH for the configuration with windows adjacent to the driver and the passenger (FL and RR, respectively; Config. 2) are opened is only 89 – barely higher than the all-windows-closed configuration. The remaining three configurations (Configs. 3 to 5) with two or three open windows all show relatively high efficacy of about 150 ACH. The reason for these differences can be traced back to the overall stream-line patterns and the pressure distributions that drive the cabin flow (Fig. 2). A well-ventilated space requires the availability of an entrance and an exit, and a favorable pressure gradient between the two (41, 42). Once a cross-ventilation path is established (as in Config. 3 or Fig. 3), opening a third window has little effect on the ACH.

    In other words if you only want to crack the windows to improve ventilation (in winter!) then cracking open one front window will create suction toward the outside and cracking an opposite rear window suction toward the inside creating a cross cabin airflow. Or so say the scientists.

    1. ewmayer

      That actually makes perfect sense from a fluid-dynamics perspective – due to symmetry, absent a sidewind the air-pressure profiles on left and right sides of a moving car are mirror images, so opening directly opposite pairs of windows yields no effective pressure gradient to drive flow sideways through the passenger compartment. I expect similar results from opening both rear passenger windows.

      Unfortunate the authors failed on the “express the key results in plain language” front.

  31. David

    Just a quick recommendation to read the WSWS article, which in spite of its title deals with issues beyond just the 1619 Project. When discoveries in theoretical physics can be dismissed because of the skin-colour of the scientist, then, as the article says, we’re pretty much back in the mindset of the Third Reich. And no, for once, I don’t think that is an exaggeration.

    1. nycTerrierist

      agreed, strong critique, highly recommend!

      concluding graph:

      “In the midst of this unprecedented social and political catastrophe, requiring a united response by all sections of the working class, the New York Times has devoted its energies to promoting a false narrative that portrays American history as a perpetual war between the races. In this grotesque distortion there is no place for the working class or for the class struggle, which has been the dominant factor in American social history for the past 150 years, and in which African-American workers have fought heroically alongside their white brothers and sisters. The extreme social crisis triggered by the pandemic, and the desperate conditions that confront tens of millions of working people of all racial and ethnic backgrounds, constitute an unanswerable indictment of the reactionary premises of the 1619 Project.”

      1. Amfortas the hippie

        well worth the time.
        almost Debs..or even Ingersoll… level ringing oratory, i can hear it as i read it.
        once you see it, you can’t unsee it.
        it’s all over MSM…the perfunctory shoehorning of the racial aspect into every story…especially those stories on our economic woes.
        I suppose that in noticing this phenomenon, i condemn my self as a klansman or something….at least my mexican wife remains in the dark(there i go again!!)
        (NYT, Wapo, and many others, are now paywalled to me (“you’ve reached your limit on free articles”), so cnn and faux are my last remaining windows into the Blobosphere)

      2. Pwelder

        I guess I’m showing my age here, but that WSWS piece strikes me as far and away the most timely link on the board – and on a day when the other links are by no means chopped liver.

        North doesn’t make the connections explicit, but it’s a must-read for any autopsy of the D’s disappointing down-ballot election results.

    2. diptherio

      It’s overall a good article, with a lot of valid points. However, I think it also displays the extreme difficulty people seem to have now with drawing distinctions between weaponized neoliberal idpol and valid critiques of ethnocentricity masquerading as universal truth. Because — surprise, surprise — that’s a thing that does happen.

      To wit, North places the critique of music theory presented by Philip Ewel in the same basket as Prescod-Weinstein (apparently) making the case that the skin color or gender of the researcher effects their observations of physical phenomena. Adam Neely made a video about Ewel’s critique, which includes an interview with the man himself, and which makes me think that North is being a bit disingenuous in his take on what Ewel is actually saying. Ewel’s point seems to be that what is taught as “music theory” is actually a theory of “the harmonic style of late 18th century European music.” Anyone who is familiar with, say, Indian classical music, or Japanese musical tradition will be well aware that this “Western European classical music theory” isn’t well suited to understanding those non-Western traditions. Heck, it’s not even that well suited to understanding Ornette Coleman. So yes, there is a very pronounced “ethnic frame” that what is referred to simply as “music theory” exists in. That doesn’t mean that it isn’t useful (which Ewel himself does not claim, as he teaches it, ffs), but that it is not nearly as universal at it is implied to be. Honestly, it shouldn’t be that controversial of a take, and I’d hardly put it in the same category as the weaponized idpol of the 1619 Project that North rightfully criticizes.

      1. Aumua

        I think he’s being disingenuous in several places, or at the very least deliberately obtuse in his understanding of the claims being made by those he’s criticizing. He makes some great points though, especially about the 1619 thing.

      2. David

        Well, assuming he’s been correctly quoted, he’s saying that there’s a “white racial frame” to music theory, and that Beethoven is only above average, and is only seen as a great composer because he’s white and male. If you don’t want people to think you’re an idiot, it’s better not to say things like that.
        Everybody has recognised for a very long time that music theory as taught in the West doesn’t easily explain traditional Indian or Japanese music (though there’s a lot of more modern Japanese music written in the western style, often pentatonic) and vice versa. But so what? There’s a difference between saying that a theory is not universal, which is uncontroversial, and saying that it’s a product of the White Race.

      3. jr

        “ It’s overall a good article, with a lot of valid points. However, I think it also displays the extreme difficulty people seem to have now with drawing distinctions between weaponized neoliberal idpol and valid critiques of ethnocentricity masquerading as universal truth. Because — surprise, surprise — that’s a thing that does happen.”

        Well said, I was thinking along similar lines. Not only does this racialist none sense undermine efforts to address real “establishment” biases, it also shortchanges the people of color who are attempting to carve out a space in the sciences, academics, what have you. Instead of dealing with real issues and addressing real problems, they are being forced or fooled into viewing everything through the deeply flawed lens that a small group of elite academics and their flunkies have perpetrated on them. Not to mention the corporate worlds hand in this, always looking for a way to exert control over their work forces as well as legitimize their banditry under the guise of well meaning societal stewardship.

        It’s pandering as well, pandering to justifiably angry people eager for an opportunity to point fingers and assign blame. It resonates with the 8th grade minds of the average USian mentioned above with the trappings of logic and reason, easily scraped off with more information but appealing to the untrained eye. A real mess and one who will set back the country as a whole vis a vis our global competitors.

      4. Swamp Yankee

        Prescod-Weinstein’s a friend of a friend, ran into her on social media. In addition to her IdPol foolishness, let’s just say she’s not a person most people would choose to spend time with.

    3. Basil Pesto

      very tempted to get the book, especially if it’s not too heavy on the ~4th International~ stuff. The WSWS vs 1619 contest has been very entertaining for more than a year now. Their critiques are very well written, very thorough. That WSWS is the only media outlet willing to attack such obvious bullshit is just amazing. Plus I’ve learnt a bit more about American history through their articles and interviews, which was probably not the 1619P’s desired effect! Heck, I might buy two copies and give one to a library.

    4. DJG

      David: Agreed.

      WSWS on the 1619 Project. Wowsers. I have read David North before, and he is formidable.

      Here’s part of a paragraph that cuts many different ways:

      Nationalist mythmaking has, for a long period, played a significant political role in promoting the interests of aggrieved middle-class strata that are striving to secure a more privileged place in the existing power structures. As Eric Hobsbawm laconically observed, “The socialists … who rarely used the word ‘nationalism’ without the prefix ‘petty-bourgeois,’ knew what they were talking about.” [16]

      I am reminded of the travails that we as Americans have gone through recently with the Exceptional Nation foofaraw as well as the fandango about America is either to be great again or already great. A note: A great nation doesn’t have to advertise.

      Then Kendi puts his foot into it—the usual American anti-Catholicism. You can’t make up this stuff:

      “For Enlightenment intellectuals, the metaphor of light typically had a double meaning. Europeans had rediscovered learning after a thousand years in religious darkness, and their bright continental beacon of insight existed in the midst of a “dark” world not yet touched by light.”

      I suppose it would be too much for him to look up the Carolingian Renaissance, the Irish church, the quickening of the High Middle Ages, the influence of the Franciscan movement, the influence of Arab scholars on the West during that Millennium of Ignorance, the emigration of Greek scholars to the West at the fall of Constantinople, and the glories that was Venice from about 1400 to 1800. Yes, yes, yes, it’s a trope of American life that the Church was out to get Galileo. Just don’t mention the Salem Witch Trials—which were caused by the Catholic clergy, doncha kno?

      I am reminded of the trenchant observation of an American Marxist pagan (they exist—plenty of them) about Americans’ habit of laying their racial categories and racial panic on the rest of the world. Sorry, darlings, but Cleopatra was not “black” in the U.S. sense of the word.

      As always, in the U.S. scheme of things, what the whole world has been waiting for is U.S. Methodists.

      And there’s that word again, “ascribed.”

      And North writes: “Underlying much of contemporary racial and gender theorizing is frustration and anger over the allocation of positions within the academy.”

      This isn’t just the academy. We are seeing this play out in the personnelling of the Biden administration.

      Definitely worth one’s time. (I didn’t even mention the “nonnegotiable” stuff.)

      1. flora

        As a Methodist, your comment made me chuckle. So I’ve waited a day to reply.

        My basic argument against idpol – including religion and national origin – as the basic premise for politics is this: Idpol cares only about its in group and not about the country as a whole, imo. It’s each group against all other groups grabbing for the good life. It is divide and conquer, benefiting the big corporations and billionaires. The Roberts’ court rolled back the Voting Rights Act in 2013. (And not a Methodist on the Court. ;) )

        The 5–4 ruling in Shelby County transformed our multiracial democracy, eliminating our nation’s most successful weapon against racial discrimination in voting. It gutted the Voting Rights Act, the crown jewel of the civil rights movement.

        It was the Roberts’ court that created a ‘corporated personhood’ doctrine, granting corporations the equivalence of ‘freedom of religion’ and unlimited campaign contributions in Citizen’s United. (And not a Methodist on the Court. ;) )

        Although corporations won big, the justices focused on the nature of the rights in question, not the identity or status of those who claim their protection.

        As long as both parties keep us divided based on idPol (including religion) the harder it is for us to overcome the steady corporate takeover of govt and its public interest duties and functions. IdPol give most of us ‘each against all and devil take the hindmost.’ Right and Left are political divisions, not idPol divisions. IdPol is a carefully orchestrated play by the union of big corporations, lobbyists, and the ultra rich. They are united in their economic interests. They see economics as a zero sum game. They work to keep most of us divided and less effective in achieving our economic interests.

        1. flora

          adding: It’s interesting, in this age of IdPol, just how easily corporations got themselves declared near natural instead of simply legal ‘persons’ ,worthy of many natural person ‘civil rights’ protections by the Court. And this in the same decade the Court removed the Voting Rights Act protection for natural persons – human beings – who are trying to vote.

  32. Mikel

    RE: “Biden’s foreign policy team has a surprising lack of diversity” The Hill. Because they’re all Blobby goons?

    Too bad they aren’t surprised by the lack of diversity of ideas, lack of imagination, lack of compassion, lack of (fill in the blank)….
    Nothing matters to these clowns but optics.

    1. lordkoos

      Just saw that Tom Perez, former DNC head, is being considered for attorney general. Plus Neera Tanden, it looks like the Bernie-busters are being rewarded for their service.

  33. Mikel

    “Student Loan Horror Stories: Borrowed: $79,000. Paid: $190,000. Now Owes? $236,000 Matt Taibbi, TK News

    It wouldn’t be a hard sell to eliminate these types of debts. No one is paying either. Crooks should be happy with what they’ve already gauged.
    And if serious, bring back usury laws ..with big teeth.
    This is criminal.

  34. Bill Smith

    “Beijing’s South China Sea military bases ‘are vulnerable to attack and will be of little use in a war’ ”

    I laughed when I saw this in the 4tth paragraph:

    “article in the latest edition of Naval and Merchant Ships, a Beijing-based monthly magazine,”

    The article and the underlying article is pretty much junk. it also looks like the comments section has the Chinese version of the IRA at work.

  35. Wukchumni

    It’s beginning to look a lot like eviction after Christmas
    Everywhere you go
    Take a look at brick & mortars, locked down once again
    With food banks and lines of cars that grow

    It’s beginning to look a lot like eviction after Christmas
    Laid off employees of every store
    But the sorriest sight to see is the notice that will be
    On your own front door

    A box of ammo and a pistol that shoots
    Is the wish of Barney and Ben
    The latest iPhone
    Is the hope of Janice and Jen
    And Mom and Dad can hardly wait for school to start again

    It’s beginning to look a lot like eviction after Christmas
    Everywhere you go
    There’s homeless camped by Grand Hotel, and the park as well
    It’s the sturdy kind that doesn’t mind the snow

    It’s beginning to look a lot like eviction after Christmas
    Soon the bells will toll with the scariest part
    And the thing that’ll come after the ring is a herald the sheriff sings
    You have an hour to depart

    It’s beginning to look a lot like eviction after Christmas
    Laid off employees of every store
    But the sorriest sight to see is the notice that will be
    On your own front door

  36. Mikel

    RE: “Covid and mRNA vaccines…”

    “It also doesn’t enter the cell’s nucleus, so the chance of its integration into human DNA is believed to be very low…”

    I was looking for more a “no way in hell it integrates into human DNA…”

    1. Mark

      The notion that RNA could be incorporated into DNA seems completely daft to me. Any molecular biologists out there who care to comment?

        1. Mark

          Thanks! Another question – if the lipid nanoparticles cross the outer membrane of the cell why wouldn’t they cross the nuclear membrane?

          1. Phacops

            Doesn’t cross the membrane as much as melt into it. The cell membrane is primarily a lipid bilayer with proteins floating in it or penetrating it completely.

            Hence, the postulate about early cells merely being the result of interactions that created bags of chemicals.

          2. Kurtismayfield

            Those lipid nanoparticles bond with the membrane and incorporate their lipids into the membrane. After that there is no way for the nanoparticles to bond with the nuclear membrane.

            What Phacorps said.

        2. chris

          Ah, another Chris :)

          Yep. That is a concern with the proposed mRNA approach. People with serious exposure concerns may have to evaluate which risks they need to mitigate. Heres hoping we get enough options out of “Warp Speed” that people can choose the best one for their personal situation.

        1. Phacops

          Yep. And a good question is how those in eukaryotic cells are modulated to prevent damaging activity.

          But then, if memory serves, I recall that our trichromatic color vision is due in part by a genetic element that caused an opsin (color sensitive pigment) to be replicated from the X chromosome to another chromosome.

        2. harrybothered

          Reverse transcription gives you cDNA, a single stranded copy of the messenger RNA. cDNA is used in eukaryotic cells as the template for protein production. All of this happens outside the nucleus and is not likely to co-mingle with the nucleus located, double-stranded genomic DNA of your chromosomes.

      1. harrybothered

        In order for mRNA to work, it has to be converted to cDNA inside the cell. The cDNA is then translated into a (hopefully) functional protein. cDNA is single stranded, whereas your nuclear DNA is double stranded. If the cDNA doesn’t enter the cell nucleus it shouldn’t be given a complement and be incorporated into the nuclear DNA. cDNA and protein translation both occur outside the nucleus.

        1. chris

          Yes. That and the relative weakness of mRNA is part of what makes people think that the current approaches are reasonable and will not lead to outsized risks of bad outcomes.

  37. Wukchumni

    Went on my last outing for a fortnight or 2 to procure vittles & sundries, Saturday.

    Shit can still happen as there was a plethora of 2-ply @ the Groutlet & WinCo supermarkets, and there was no shortage of anything else, nor was it busier than normal, if anything less traffic.

    Once again in the hundreds of people I encountered in the aislederness all were adorned in masks, but not one other person had an N-95 on aside from moi.

  38. QuarterBack

    Re the article on driving with the windows down, this caught my eye:

    4). For maximum social isolation, driving alone is clearly ideal but this is not widely practical or environmentally sustainable, and there are many situations in which two or more people need to drive together.

    This presents an interesting subtle Trolley Problem ethics dilemma between reducing COVID transmission and increasing CO2 emissions. By the way, rolling down windows in a call dramatically increases aerodynamic drag and thus, fuel consumption.

  39. Wukchumni

    I’m proud to announce the launch of Bitbar, rich chocolatey good and strictly a limited edition once you’ve eaten it, and expectations are that mining operations will be set up to convert waste matter into new Bitbars, fueling interest and increasing awareness of investing in Cocoacurrency, get in on the ground floor.

  40. Sailor Bud

    So that Biden tweet: is it me, or is it going to be this then?

    “We’re not going to help at all, but we will feel your pain. Here, have some more pain for us to feel for you.”

    That’s the vibe I’m getting from his message, and I’m wondering if the government didn’t exactly help out Daddy Biden quite a bit when he gave the sage advice to young Joe.

      1. Massinissa

        Ah yes, invading two countries: ‘Compassionate’ Conservatism! Does the un-compassionate version not get people killed en mass? Someone should ask Shrub if Obama practiced ‘compassionate liberalism’ by deporting and drone striking people.

        1. marym

          That’s kind of what Obama’s followers did say about his drone strikes, and even about the Libya horror – at least it wasn’t a big ground war. It was disgraceful, and will presumably start up again as Biden builds his war machine with the old gang.

    1. zagonostra

      >“We’re not going to help at all, but we will feel your pain. Here, have some more pain for us to feel for you.”

      I think these two stanzas from “The Walrus and the Carpenter” linked above covers it well.

      It seems a shame,’ the Walrus said,
      To play them such a trick,
      After we’ve brought them out so far,
      And made them trot so quick!’
      The Carpenter said nothing but
      The butter’s spread too thick!’

      I weep for you,’ the Walrus said:
      I deeply sympathize.’
      With sobs and tears he sorted out
      Those of the largest size,
      Holding his pocket-handkerchief
      Before his streaming eyes.

      O Oysters,’ said the Carpenter,
      You’ve had a pleasant run!
      Shall we be trotting home again?’
      But answer came there none —
      And this was scarcely odd, because
      They’d eaten every one.”

  41. farmboy

    progressive Left and Sanders won economic ideology so take heart! And this is what happens when conservatives have had their run, there are no ideas, no solutions, just a return to the good ole days. “That’s about as wholesale a paradigm shift as you can imagine…”
    “There’s no theoretical discussion of whether fiscal stimulus is effective; everyone seems to be in tacit agreement that it is, even Ken Rogoff.” from Felix Salmon
    “Don’t get cynical.

    The people with genuine power in this country want you to feel defeated. They want reform-minded people feeling like nothing can ever change so why bother trying. They spend millions each year to accomplish this.

    Waste their money.” Walter Bragman

  42. Ep3

    “ Here’s how rich people can help fix America Andy Serwer, Yahoo Finance!”

    Why is the solution always to invest more in the stock market? Sure, that’s how you create success in a pyramid scheme, which is what the market is.
    Then the statement that “banks & investment funds are really excited to have kids taught in high school about the basics of investing”. Well sure, Las Vegas would love for kids to be taught how to play blackjack & poker before they are old enough to gamble.

  43. Gregorio

    It sounds to me like The Center For American Progress is trying to sabotage one of Biden’s more progressive picks.

  44. Wukchumni

    Corona Monopoly

    In this version, contestants are all property rich in the Big Apple and in debt up to their necks-with no money coming in, and if your roll ends up within 6 spaces of another player, you lose a turn.

    When you Pass Go, there’s a $200 Pass Go tax levied on expected earnings by doing so.

    To win, you have to be the first player to get rid of all your motels, cabins, avenues, utilities & railroads

  45. chris wardell

    I am sorry to interrupt the conversation but I am totally confused and at a loss regrading the Covid19 vaccine(s).
    Do I take it? Which one do I take? Do I take two vaccines? Do I get a booster later on? Does the vaccine (whichever one it is and how many I take ) cover me for the rest of my life?? Please advise!

    1. HotFlash

      I believe the correct answer to that is, “No one knows yet.” I for one will stay tuned here.

  46. juno mas

    RE: Coho mortality by tire detritus

    This staff writer for the LA times (Rosanna Xia) is a rising star. She makes science readable for the general population. She was a Pulitzer Finalist for her explanatory writing about the looming effects of sea level rise on the California coastline. The discovery of the lethal mechanism in Coho deaths reminds me of Poincare’s tenet: It is through intuition that we discover and by science that we prove. (Inverted paraphrase mine).

    1. Phacops

      Gotta support those who are talented in explaining complexity to us. While part of learning a specialty is learning a jargon which is a shorthand for more complex ideas, it takes both knowledge and skill to write for an intelligent non-specialist.

      1. tegnost

        I used that link to inspire a college student in an enviro program noting the sleuthing of knowing the elements involved and searching for the compound and it was well received. The problem sounds pretty dire though, and one has to wonder what other little demons are lurking in our detritus.

  47. semiconscious

    re: Airflows inside passenger cars and implications for airborne disease transmission Science. From the Results: “As one might expect, all windows open” is the best configuration…

    a couple other articles i enjoyed from this issue: ‘toys left on stairs and implications for staircase-related accidents’ & ‘amount of toothpaste on toothbrush and implications for cleaner, brighter teeth’ (as expected, anything over ‘normal amount’ produces no significantly greater results)…

  48. lobelia

    Re: PG&E faces millions in fines for ‘egregious and reckless’ logging, roadwork in Santa Cruz Mountains fire area


    I’m very close to a healthcare worker who had to evacuate their near unaffordable apartment during that fire. They still haven’t had the time to clean up all the smoke damage that remained. Oh and only thank god for that wonderful volunteer crew during that fire (no thanks to Newsom and vile Kamala Harris as Attorney General), that far, far more would have burnt to the ground; adding yet even more unsheltered homeless to California’s stunningly shameful (well before the coronavirus), unsheltered homeless travesty. Next it will be a life threatening mudslide, the shut off of a major throughway (Highway 17) which countless healthcare workers alone have to traverse for their jobs, let alone the criminality of excessively destroying all of those trees up to 100 feet away from power lines?

    This is what happens when a Public Utility Historically Pays Bi-Partisan, Pay to Play, Crony Public Officials – at all levels – to Play, instead of ensuring safe energy and energy transmission; they operate with wanton impunity. This, on top of an Historically Rotted at the Head California Public Utilities Commission, which has operated with wanton impunity.


    11/25/20 Newsom silent as PG&E’s regulator spins misdirection on Camp Fire – Butte County prosecutors said the California Public Utilities Commission hurt the criminal investigation of the 2018 Camp Fire. [Gee Gavin, even Squillionaire Nancy Pelosi had the cunning not to accept Play Money from a highly publicized felon]

    11/29/18 Gov Brown’s Culpability For Spreading Wildfires

    2010 Campaign Contributions – The following candidates, state and local ballot measures, political parties and other committees received corporate campaign contributions from PG&E in 2010

    09/29/06 Gov. Funds Public Events Privately [Re: California Utilities and Republican Governor Schwarzenngroper, November 17, 2003-January 2, 2011]

    (P.s. Some totally impoverished and underpaid Californians end up living in fire hazardous areas because they can no longer afford to live anywhere else (e.g. the demographics of Paradise before the massive Felony Manslaughter. I’ve seen some of the so called apartments for rent in the Santa Cruz Mountains, shameful gluttony by landlords at the ones I visited. Gotta run now, my hour minutes glass has once again cracked and I must vacuum the sand.)

  49. marym

    For those following some of the statistical and computer equipment charges in the “kraken” (Powell) election cases:

    Responses were filed yesterday in the GA case, from defendants (Kemp, Raffensperger and other election officials) and intervenors (Dems).

    Below are links to a twitter thread summary and the documents. The intervenors’ document is a motion to exclude testimony from plaintiff-designated experts. Analyses from some of the same experts are also cited in Powell cases in MI/WI/AZ.

  50. ChrisPacific

    The Google paper summary was very good and reinforced a number of reservations I’ve had for some time about the AI field.

    The researchers summarize the third challenge as the risk of “misdirected research effort.” Though most AI researchers acknowledge that large language models don’t actually understand language and are merely excellent at manipulating it, Big Tech can make money from models that manipulate language more accurately, so it keeps investing in them.

    Bingo. The vast majority of advances in the field right now stem from a new learning architecture and pattern recognition mechanism (neural networks with back propagation) combined with dramatic leaps in processing power. The learning mechanism is very generic, which makes it broadly applicable to almost everything, but also makes it ‘dumb’ in the sense that it doesn’t understand anything about context or have the ability to abstract notable features and form models. Humans do this all the time and it’s one of the things that enables higher reasoning without a whole data center worth of processing power.

    I expect Google and the others are interested in this from an academic perspective, but from a business perspective there’s much more to be gained in a shorter time frame simply by taking the existing tools and wringing every drop of commercial potential out of them. Much as I’m sure they’d like to argue otherwise, Google are engineers first and researchers second. That means that any advances they come up with tend to skew towards heuristics and implementation, rather than untangling the theory. I’ve been struck by how many so-called ‘research’ papers in AI boil down to “you should do this because it seems to work better than the alternatives” with no real attempt to explain why.

    The other points are very good as well (for example, AI suffers from the same problem as Bitcoin in the sense that the massive computing power it uses contributes strongly to climate change).

  51. ProNewerDeal

    Is there any effort from any US patient advocacy org or US Federal politician to add an Inactivated Virus Type (the mature Type used in polio & influenza vaccines) COVID vaccine to the existing 3 the US Feds have ordered of mRNA (Pfizer, Moderna) & Non-Replicating Viral Vector (Oxford/AstraZeneca) Types?

    On it looks like India’s Bharat/Covaxin is on par with China’s Sinovac/CornaVac at the Regulatory Review (RR) phase, same phase that Oxford/AstraZeneca is in.

    So if Geopolitical Risk Game reasons ChinaBad! to the US Power Elite, why not use the Indian vendor, since it is not an Official Enemy? Perhaps for once Offshore Outsourcing to India could actually help us 99%er Muricans?

    This looks like a hypocritical case of Free Market Competition/Globalization “for Thee, but not for Me”.

    But at least are any powerful USians advocating for ordering a Inactivated Virus Type?

  52. Glen

    The U.S. Has Passed the Hospital Breaking Point

    So I posted this late last night after my wife, the RN, pointed it out to me. She would kill me for adding the rest of this…

    My wife’s younger sister was admitted to the hospital last week. She has been sick for two weeks, and has a blood clot in her lungs. She is a Trump supporter, and refuses to admit that CV-19 is real or that she has it. She is on massive doses of blood thinners and pain killers (that actually interact in bad ways so just knowing that, my wife, the RN, knows things are not right). She should be transferred out of the podunk hospital she is in, but the near by big city hospitals are max’ed out. She seems to be doing OK. but …

    Believe it, not believe it, commie plot, or not. I don’t really care, and it don’t matter just right now.

    Just know, that if you get sick enough to have to go to the hospital, it is very, very bad. Last week they were mentioning that major hospital have “death wards” where the sick people that they cannot save are placed so they can provide care while they die. Since then, they have not mentioned it. Probably because it is VERY GRIM REALITY and becoming more common.

    The odds are low that you will get that sick, but please, please, please, take precautions!

    1. Daryl

      It’s certainly bad here in TX. No beds at all in many places. Denton County had 6 ICU beds available as of yesterday. They have been transferring and airlifting people, but pretty soon there will be nowhere to send them.

      1. Glen

        And I wasn’t clear enough above. In normal times, she would be in the ICU, but it is full. She is in a cot in an isle off of the ER.

        And with regard to any political slant. She is a very hard working essential small business owner. Her only “failure” is being a good hearted, trusting, morally grounded person in a society structured to reward narcissistic sociopaths. It’s not her fault that we have TWO political parties that don’t give a $hit about Americans anymore. Most people have to pick one and go with it.

        Please, be safe out there!

  53. chris

    Seeing all these posts about how bad it’s getting makes me feel so fortunate for my own situation. Yet I’m doing things I hate at home. I just put away all the hobby projects and games I had intended to get to in the last 12 months. A whole year wasted.

    Many of those games I had hoped to enjoy with my kids but since I’m now gym coach and teacher and parent they don’t want to spend too much free time learning new rules with Dad. They just want to see their friends. I can’t blame them.

    So I sit here knowing I’m fortunate and that odds are good what’s coming will pass over my family and yet feeling beat up about everything I wasn’t able to finish this year. The people I didn’t hire because of the economy. The plans I didn’t get to act on because of the virus. The friends and family I haven’t seen and might not ever see again. And now I look at what could easily be another 6 months or more of this. It makes me so sad to think about it.

    Best wishes to our hosts and the commentariat in this difficult time. To those who aren’t directly suffering deprivation or health issues, and feel like they can’t complain or don’t deserve commiseration, I offer you some advice a friend gave me recently: “just because you carry a load well doesn’t mean it’s not heavy.” To those who are suffering and don’t know when they’ll have a warm house or a full belly I ache for you and hope some relief comes soon. I’m donating whatever we can locally but I know that’s not much.

    Here’s hoping we all come out of this sooner and better off than we imagine.

  54. Amfortas the hippie

    the business insider thing about a bunch of young turk mmt enthusiasts taking over wall street was fun.
    i don’t trust any of them with a hole in the head, either, but if it gets a bunch of great big things passed, why the hell not?
    linked within was this:
    the blog of a “personal think tank” of a wall street tycoon.
    there’s an interview with mark blythe, ffs,lol.
    revolutions are generally led by a faction of the elite, after all.

  55. lobelia

    Re my above comment about PG&E, Newsom, et al @ December 6, 2020 at 1:19 pm:

    A correction (and addition) I should have caught (but forced haste, on point in a minefield of explosives, for all except the elite):

    [Gee Gavin, even Squillionaire Nancy Pelosi had the cunning not to accept hang on to Play Money from a highly publicized felon. Kamala kept her peasly $1,000 and likely grumbled (along with Nancy) in green-eyed envy at Gavin Newsom’s enormous PG&E 208.4K Felon haul for his election campaign, whispering ME TOO™

    Pelosi first accepted $26,000, and then donated it™ under the heat of the fires. Looks like Kamala kept her $1,000; I’m guessing PG&E wishes they had given her far more, their own experience being able to get away with murder should have informed them better about just how awful she could be and still make it to the White House. I’m sure they’ll make up for it now. Pelosi and Kamalas’ attempted weasle word responses are included in this piece:

    11/20/19-11/25/19 Most California Congress members took PG&E money. Did yours keep it? – All but nine members of congress accepted money from corporate felon PG&E. Here’s who gave it back and who didn’t.

  56. Wukchumni

    Going through freedom withdrawals under virtual viral shackles here in lockdown on the left coast bottom right hand corner pocket.

    When we started doing our family Zoom jams 4 or 5 months ago, i’d ask every week who knew somebody that had tested positive, and aside from my brother in law’s sister, for a few months nothing came of my query, and then last week my sister related that a friend of hers husband tested positive, quarantined a week and it wasn’t long enough and now her friend and 14 year old son have both tested positive.

  57. Pat

    More of Biden questionable picks:

    Becerra for HHS and Zients for Coronavirus Czar

    Because AG Becerra screams advocate for health and housing. Zients is telling in a whole other way.

    Jeffrey D. Zients, an entrepreneur and management consultant who served as the head of Mr. Obama’s National Economic Council and fixed the bungled rollout of the health law’s online insurance marketplace, will become a coronavirus czar in the White House,

  58. jan

    We’re facing an unbelievably deadly plague and any human contact might act as a “super spreader” incident that could ultimately destroy humanity via a seasonal flu with a survival rate of 100 percent if you want to round to the nearest whole number.

    To prove just how deadly the seasonal flu is this year, here is a capture of the entirety of flu cases recorded by the CDC for the last 8 weeks.

    Okay, so according to the CDC’s own website there are no flu cases recorded in the United States over the last eight weeks. Zero


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