Links 1/20/2021

Butterflies create jet propulsion with a clap of their wings Agence France Presse

Pikas are adapting to climate change High Country News

Possibly The Most Incredible Wave in Surf History Was Ridden Last Week Adventure Journal (AL).

Time to look again at the financial system’s dangerous faultlines FT

A cloacal opening in a non-avian dinosaur Current Biology. This is a family blog. We don’t write headlines for clicks like Live Science.

Premature mortality due to air pollution in European cities: a health impact assessment The Lancet (Ignacio). From the discussion: “More than 400 000 deaths (equating to 7% of annual mortality) in Europe were attributable to PM2·5 exposure and more than 70 000 deaths (equating to 1% of annual mortality) were attributable to NO2 exposure. Moreover, these mortality estimates were when concentrations of air pollution were below the recommendations given in the EU and WHO guidelines.”


The effect of early treatment with ivermectin on viral load, symptoms and humoral response in patients with non-severe COVID-19: A pilot, double-blind, placebo-controlled, randomized clinical trial The Lancet

* * *

What we now know — and don’t know — about the coronavirus variants STAT

Can I Be Re-Infected with the New Variant If I’ve Had Covid-19? (FAQ) National Institute for Communicable Diseases (South Africa).

Molecular dynamic simulation reveals E484K mutation enhances spike RBD-ACE2 affinity and the combination of E484K, K417N and N501Y mutations (501Y.V2 variant) induces conformational change greater than N501Y mutant alone, potentially resulting in an escape mutant (preprint) bioRxiv

BioNTech/Pfizer vaccine found effective against Covid-19 variant FT. In vitro, by the companies. Note the competing interest statement.

* * *

Exploring the Supply Chain of the Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna COVID-19 vaccines Jonas Neubert

Europe and Canada are facing temporary hits to coronavirus vaccine supply while Pfizer renovates a Belgian plant to eventually produce more doses Business Insider

Why some older people are getting the vaccine in Southern California but others are striking out LA Times. Some go to Happyville, some go to Pain CIty. Randomly.

Vaccine registration technology is failing. Here’s how the Biden administration could fix it STAT

How Operation Warp Speed Created Vaccination Chaos Pro Publica. The last mile problem.

* * *

Op-Ed: Throw Away Your Mask After COVID Vaccination? vs Op-Ed: Now Is Not the Time to Relax COVID Restrictions MedPage

Nosocomial COVID Mike the Mad Biologist

Thousands of Israelis Tested Positive for Coronavirus After First Vaccine Shot Haaretz. Hopefully, as they would, because this vaccine (we learn in paragraph eight) is Pfizer’s, which requires two shots.

Israel trades Pfizer doses for medical data in vaccine blitz AP


Biden’s top diplomat pick says Trump ‘right’ to be tough on China Nikkei Asian Review

How China’s defence law changes pave the way for greater global military influence South China Morning Post

China reckons US democracy is imploding but could be missing the point South China Morning Post

Boardroom drama shakes China’s biggest chipmaker SMIC FT

Jack Ma makes first public appearance since Ant’s cancelled IPO FT

What China’s Male Beauty Market Will Look Like In 2021 Jing Daily

Taiwan scraps new year festival after rare coronavirus outbreak Agence France Presse

The Koreas

Samsung Heavy banks on ‘crewless’ ships to capsize Chinese rivals Hellenic Shipping News

Capitol Seizure

Historical parallels:

Heroes and villains: How networks of influential individuals helped destroy one of the world’s most durable democracies and legitimise a racist, authoritarian state VoxEU

America’s Ayodhya: Hindutva’s Lessons for the March on the Capitol The American Sun. I’m linking to this because I haven’t seen its argument made. Red flags: No About page for the venue, no bio or indeed detectable trail for the author. I would be interested to know what India hands think of it.

* * *

McConnell Says Mob Attack on Capitol Was ‘Provoked’ by Trump Bloomberg

Voices Of Wards 7 And 8: Frustration, But Not Surprise, After The Capitol Insurrection DCist

Trump Transition

Trump pardons and commutations – the full list Guardian. Missing: Assange and Snowden.

Trump Has Discussed Starting a New Political Party WSJ

HHS finalizes rule that imposes term limits for career federal scientists Fierce Pharma

Trump’s Market Was So-So, Whichever Way You Cut It John Authers, Bloomberg

Where Do Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump Go From Here? Town & Country

Biden will recognize Guaido as Venezuela’s leader, top diplomat says Reuters

Biden Inauguration

Washington on edge before Biden inauguration – in pictures Guardian

Biden Transition

‘No choice but to be hopeful’: Biden voters, in their own words, ahead of Inauguration Day NBC

Joe Biden’s challenge: big, early victories in a toxic political climate FT

What Voters Want From Biden’s First Term, in Their Own Words Morning Consult. Handy chart:

A monthly stipend would solve enable social distancing and preserve the economy, but who wants that?

Here are the executive actions Biden is expected to take on Inauguration Day CNN

What’s in President-Elect Biden’s COVID-19 American Rescue Plan? American Law Review

Biden likely to tighten COVID travel restrictions from these countries MarketWatch

Scoop: Joe Biden’s COVID-19 bubble Axios. “The incoming administration is planning extraordinary steps to protect its most prized commodity, Joe Biden.” A President is not a “commodity.” Unless they are, of course.

Monthly Child Tax Credit Would Be a Train Wreck Matt Bruenig, People’s Policy Project

Biden’s Stimulus Plan Will Bring Relief, but There’s One Flaw Editorial Board, NYT. “But there is one lesson that apparently still needs to be learned. Mr. Biden is proposing to repeat a mistake made by the last two administrations by setting an arbitrary end date for economic aid programs rather than tying the benefits to the duration of need.”

The Obama do-over is about to begin Politico


Under Biden, it’s time for Democrats to let go of Medicare for All Independent

Biden Lifts Health Care Plan From Insurance Lobbyists Daily Poster. “If enacted, the plan could head off any talk in Washington of a public option plan down the road.” The West Wing wouldn’t have it any other way….

Comparison of Utilization, Costs, and Quality of Medicaid vs Subsidized Private Health Insurance for Low-Income Adults JAMA. From the Abstract: “Marketplace coverage was associated with fewer emergency department visits and more office visits than Medicaid, total costs were 83% higher in Marketplace coverage owing to much higher prices, and out-of-pocket spending was 10 times higher in Marketplace coverage; results for quality of care were mixed.” From the Discussion: “In terms of clinical quality, we found no difference for the primary outcome of ambulatory care–sensitive hospitalizations. Among secondary outcomes, 5 measures favored Marketplace coverage (though 1 was of minimal clinical relevance, a 1 percentage-point difference in flu vaccination), 1 measure favored Medicaid, and the rest (6 of 12) showed no significant differences.” So subsidized private health insurance is obviously the way to go. Because markets.

Police State Watch

The New Domestic War on Terror is Coming Glenn Greenwald


HOTR: Boeing could further cut 787 production rate—JP Morgan Leeham News

Yellow mealworm safe for humans to eat, says EU food safety agency Guardian (DD). “Crunchy snacks.”

Class Warfare

An Inaugural Inflection Point: Ushering in a New Era of Marketing Amid a Polarized Public Morning Consult. Handy chart:


How to Make a Pencil Well worth a read.

This is not disinformation:

Everything Is Broken The Tablet

The Errand Friend Culture Study. Another type of relationship under assault by Covid and Silicon Valley.

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. Pookah Harvey

      Checking a sample of the list of pardons seem to show many are rich business executives convicted of fraud. And as was reported:”An associate of President Donald Trump’s personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani had offered an ex-CIA officer a presidential pardon in exchange for $2 million.”
      I wonder if there is a sudden influx of money to numbered Swiss bank accounts.

  1. The Rev Kev

    “Biden will recognize Guaido as Venezuela’s leader, top diplomat says”

    Well of course he would. Nothing will fundamentally change, right? It’s not like Venezuela’s oil has gone anywhere. In fact, one of Biden’s Inaugural guests is a Venezuelan coup leader charged with inciting a violent assault on a government building that led to the burning of the Venezuelan Attorney General’s office and the deaths of two people-

    1. noonespecial

      Venezuela Aid in latest COVID relief packet –

      “Nothing will fundamentally change, right?” – A while back overheard on a Spanish-language station that USA$33 million is earmarked for democracy programs for Venezuela as part of the latest COVID relief law. Maybe a NC reader has a link to explain how and where the money will be spent there.

      FYI – in what are commonly called “las trochas” (mountainside/rural paths) Guaido is known to travel in between Venezuela and Colombia. It is speculated that this is done with support from Colombia’s military apparatus, which no doubt operates under the aegis of US training.

    2. Carolinian

      Depressing Links today in that they confirm one’s worst suspicions about the duopoly evolving into a monopoly. To Guaido story add health care plan written by insurance lobbyists, McConnell favors impeachment conviction, goodbye Medicare For All, Biden to operate in protective bubble, tens of thousands of politically vetted National Guard in DC to defend the inauguration.

      The book I’m reading called First Principles says that at first the Founders opposed faction and political parties but eventually Madison came to embrace them because he thought “Checks and Balances” would keep power craving factions under control. So in that sense, terrible as Trump has been, he at least helped the public to divide and conquer the elites even as they use the same tactic on the public. Perhaps today we will be turning over new and better page but it’s just as likely to be he apotheosis of The Blob.

      1. timbers

        Depressing, yes. Almost makes one want to dress as a Viking and storm capitials and rearrange furniture. Or doctors offices and hospitals for that thing we’re supposed to let go of. It didn’t work out so well when banks were targeted so need a change of venue.

        1. Cynthia

          So you did move your money to a credit union didn’t you? Great New Years Resolution to carry out. Forget storming, it’s easier to sit home, do the projects using all the stuff we’ve accumulated, go on a diet, especially a spending diet, pay off debts–unless you owe a huge amount to credit cards, in that cause, strategically default like a corporation would.

          Yardsticks and inducements for USians to spend; When M4A is implemented, we’ll have huge savings and can then remodel the kitchen, buy a new car, etc. Until then, live with what you have and support your local mechanic.

          1. BobW

            My money is in a credit union, but I seem to have spent most of it, and Social Security retirement is just not keeping up. A race to see if I live long enough to die broke.

        1. Carolinian

          “helped,” not succeeded

          And I think the Trump period did keep them off balance to a degree. It used to be said that we were better off with a President and Congress of different parties–or perhaps that only applied once the neoliberal era firmly in place. But I believe that deep down neither party wants kibbitzing from pesky voters. Our banana republic is a power struggle between nitwits (or shining city on hill).

      2. Donald

        Divide and conquer the elites? It’s almost the opposite. Trump’s actual policies were hostile towards Russia, but the elites in both parties want a new Cold War with Russia and they got what they wanted. If Trump actually wanted substantive change in our foreign policy, which I doubt, he failed. He only succeeded in prolonging the war in Yemen and in giving Israel and the Saudis almost everything they wanted.

        It would have been interesting if Trump actually had been interested in ending our wars overseas, but he was largely incoherent.

        On domestic policy he was mostly a standard Republican which is why McConnell supported him right up to the point where he became more of a liability than an assets.

        1. Procopius

          Minor quibble: It’s looked to me, since Hillary was SecState, that a powerful section of them want a hot war. They act as if they believe the warnings about nuclear winter and destructiveness of nuclear weapons were fairy tales to extort money from the rubes during the Cold War. The collapse of the Soviet Union caught them by surprise, their incompetence kept them from colonizing the former “sattelites,” and they think their money will keep them safe as the cities are flattened. I think many of them understand that Obama’s trillion dollar (now expected to be at least 3 trillion) “modernization” program was just to divert more money to the rich, but some of them really talk as if they believe “the smaller nukes are good because they’re more usable.” Some of those are reputed to be high ranking officers in the military.

      3. Jason Boxman

        Interestingly, Garry Wills (of “Bomb Power” fame) earlier wrote “A Necessary Evil: A History of American Distrust of Government”, wherein he dispels the myth regarding “checks and balances”. In the Federal papers, the Declaration, and the Constitution itself, it basically doesn’t come up at all. By Wills’ take, Congress is the supreme branch, based upon his research and readings.

        Maybe this is controversial? I don’t know, I was always taught “checks and balances” in high school and college, as it seems was everyone else. So I found it a fascinating read. It also digs into the origins of nullification, are states actually sovereign, the origins of nullification, was the adoption of the Constitution over the Articles legal, and other topics of interest.

      4. km

        TL:DR the constitution is immune to neither The Iron Law of Oligarchy nor The Iron Law of Institutions.

      5. Susan the other

        Yes it is nauseating. I’m wondering if the term “access to health care” isn’t embedded in Biden’s acknowledgement of “healthcare is a right” in this way: If it went to the Supreme Court to make some declaratory judgement regarding healthcare as a right – and just what sort of “right” is it – then the argument could be nit-picked in favor of privatized health care and against national health care for all by simply saying that “access to health care is a right.” I can see it coming. If this actually happens it will be a tragedy. But today, amid all this disgusting news, I’d guess our bumbler-in-chief is headed straight for this very betrayal. Classic Joe Biden.

      6. lordkoos

        “the duopoly evolving into a monopoly”

        I was sickened to see how cynically the Democratic party used the “threat” of Trump to move farther to the right. I expect the fake “unity” to continue to result in fringe left and right groups excluded by a right-of-center Republicrat uniparty. The only hope would be if said fringe right and left were able to unite and present a real challenge to the status quo — a long shot at best IMO.

      7. neo-realist

        The composition of congress is a big if not a bigger impediment to M4A than Biden. It’s not as if a Trump second term was going to bring it, unless it was a private insurance scheme sold as M4A.

        Have to get a whole lot of progressives elected to the senate before we are in a position to reasonably expect enactment of M4A — might be a decade or two at the least.

    3. lyman alpha blob

      Coups for thee but not for me says Uncle Joe!

      I guess i will continue to recognize Bernard Sanders as the legitimate POTUS. Wouldn’t it be a hoot if leaders in countries on the receiving end of US bombs and sanctions just refused to speak with current US leadership and held summits with Marianne Williamson instead?

      1. Pelham

        As long as Williamson didn’t break any laws by pretending to represent official US policy, your idea is really a pretty good one. These bombed countries ought to collectively decide to do just this. We as Americans are stuck with Biden, but other sovereignties still have a few options open to them.

    4. Tomonthebeach

      In line with Biden’s boring speech today, it behooves the administration to explain to the American voters why the heck we are even messing with Venezuela at all. Is this all about CITGO? It is not about illicit drugs – Columbia seems to have that monopolized. People there are starving due to our embargoes. We support a puppet schmuck rich kid who seems ill-suited to advance CIA’s putsch. We cannot even manage our own democracy so telling others how to run theirs is hypocrisy.

      If Biden can satisfactorily explain Venezuela, then I would like to hear about Iran – a country that should be our ally were it not for lobbying by Israel and the Saudis and a dominoes cascade of CIA failures.

      1. Wukchumni

        Here I thought it was the duopoly of Columbian cartels in Humordor that controlled illicit drugs from Colombia?

      2. JBird4049

        Money is the reason. Both Venezuela and Iran are major oil producers who are not under the control of, or allied to, the United States. The Venezuelan elites want “their” country back as well and are using their connections to the American regime using the excuse of the dreaded communism to get the United States to wage war on the country. Iran’s enemies are doing the same. Oil companies also want to resurrect the old, extremely favorable oil contracts negotiated with the previous corrupt regimes.

      3. Peter VE

        The massive increase in oil production from fracking (now ending) in the US has been in very light grades of crude oil, useful for refining into gasoline. Most transport of goods in the US requires diesel. To make diesel fuel, you need to mix the light crude with heavy crude. Guess what grade of crude Venezuela mostly produces?

  2. zagonostra

    >Under Biden, it’s time for Democrats to let go of Medicare for All – Independent

    The whole article is built on false premises. The “other constituencies” are the power brokers/donner class/ruling elites, not the 99%ers.

    Sander’s wasn’t “soundly” defeated. His losses were suspect, in my mind and he sure as heck energized people unlike Biden and Biden’s backers/handlers.

    “Evidence” that the “voting constituency” is overwhelming in support of M4A is found in poll after poll.

    I could go on and on, but it would be useless. What bogles my mind is, as Michael Hudson points out, that when you look at what a person has to pay for the basics, like healthcare, housing, debt servicing, taxes, etc…there is no way the U.S. will ever be able to compete globally. But then again, as MH points out below, we’ve entered into a new economic system, that of “financial capitalism” where healthcare is a commodity to be exploited like any other resource.

    And while progressives took up M4A as a battle cry, other constituencies were less swayed. Sanders lost his primaries soundly twice. His two losses mean that the Democratic party has seen M4A rejected by voters repeatedly over the last four years. If M4A was going to energize a new, overwhelming voting constituency, we would have seen some evidence of it by now.

    [From Michael Hudson]

    The United States has decided not to gain wealth by actually investing in means of production and producing goods and services, but in financial ways…So, you could say that America has gone beyond industrial capitalism, and they call it the post-industrial society, but you could call it the neo-feudal society. You could call it the neo-rentier society, or you could call it debt peonage.

    1. The Rev Kev

      After reading this article, I went to look who the author was and figured that he would be a policy wonk in some think-tank somewhere with an interest in the health industry. If I have got the wrong guy I will more than welcome the correction but from what I have put together, Noah Berlatsky is the author of “Wonder Woman: Bondage and Feminism”. He also edits the comics and culture site the ‘Hooded Utilitarian’ and he has written on gender, comics, and culture for many publications, including Slate, Public Books, The Chicago Reader, Reason, The Comics Journal, The Baffler, the Guardian, the Independent and The Atlantic. Is this really the same author? It appears to be so if it his, his knowledge here appears to be even more lacking than mine.

      1. ambrit

        “..his knowledge here appears to be even more lacking than mine.”
        That’s a feature, not a bug.
        Wildly speculating here, but, in his “day job” as a ‘media’ analyst, he should have an affinity for the propagation and emphasis of memes. This article looks suspiciously like one step in the construction of a “Big Lie” with which to bamboozle the public.
        Goebbels would be proud. (And no, this is not hyperbole. See; Eugenics and Public Policy.)

        1. JBird4049

          The Germans and later the Nazis learned a lot about eugenics and public policy on it from the United States. Henry Ford with some of his fellow wealthy Americans funded foundations that often supported such filth. The Germans, and to a lesser extent other Europeans, were happy to imbibe and expand on eugenics.

          It was only the Holocaust that weakened American eugenics and the Great Depression did the same to the economic social Darwinism as well. Seeing what could happen if these ideologies were continuingly extended and carried out truly terrified many people.

          Now that almost everyone who had learned those lessons the really hard way are dead, we get to learn them ourselves in the really hard way. This sucks.

          1. ambrit

            That really does suck. Soon we’ll all be singing “Ich Bin Ein Auslander.”
            I did read that Goebbels read Bernays and that the appropriate Party organizations sent people over to America to look closely into how the denizens of the North American Deep South kept their dusky brethren “in their place.”

    2. Mikel

      If you can’t petition the Democrats about M4A during a PANDEMIC, they never will be for it.
      You need to form NEW organizations immediately and at least immediately withdraw any and all support from the Democratic Party. That means giving them NO time or energy during the long slog to develop new parties and organizations.

      1. tegnost

        I will gladly stand aside as they march off to their own version of waterloo. Indeed I may even offer an encouraging word as they livestream by…

      2. Paul Boisvert

        Yes, we need new organizations–regarding which the article’s author is largely correct, but leaves out the most crucial factor. As important as M4A is, unions are the organizations we need more of right away–in fact, even in their now-decimated state, they provide a large chunk of the effective support for M4A, and for almost all other progressive and socialist-aimed policies. The more unions the better for all progressive goals, and without them there’s not much hope for building long-term progressive movements.

        But while the author laudably mentions eliminating right-to-work laws, he inexplicably leaves out the single simplest and most effective change for the better in progressive politics: passing 50% card check legislation. As someone who got a union election scheduled at my workplace, but then lost the election due to an incredible onslaught of employer pressure (legal and illegal) on workers in the long period leading up to the election, I know well that had the election not been needed (had 50% card-check been the law) we would have gotten the union.

        This was in my mind Obama’s greatest crime–had he pushed early on for card-check, he almost certainly could have won it. But he didn’t even try. Most of Canada’s provinces have historically had it, though less so today, but it’s not exactly “radical”. Biden’s corporate donors don’t want it, but a concerted push might get it passed. Most Dem’s will support it, though zero Republicans; so the odds are long–but it should be substantially easier than eliminating right-to-work laws.

    3. The Historian

      To be honest to this writer – and I agree with Rev Kev – he is just another talking head – read his last comment:
      “The left should not abandon M4A. It’s a central human rights demand and an issue of life or death for huge numbers of people. But we need to be strategic about how we get there. It seems clear that, for the moment, given the current makeup of American democracy, we don’t have the support we need to pass this legislation. So we need to change the makeup of American democracy. Concentrating on voting rights and labor rights could do that.”

      While I don’t particularly agree with the rest of his article, I do agree with his comment that we need to be strategic about how we get healthcare. I think we have to change the name of M4A because Medicare really isn’t that great of a system – most of us on it have to have another insurance policy to cover the gaps – and most of us have to pay for that policy! That may not be how M4A works – depending on who you talk to – but that is how M4A is perceived. Why not call what we want by its real name? Universal health care?

      1. marym

        It really doesn’t depend on who you talk to. The bill with minimal changes has been available as HR 676 since 2003 and now HR 1384. What’s needed is a one page summary that would include what people care about most.

        Universal – everybody in
        Comprehensive (the list from Title II Section 201(a)
        No cost-sharing – No premiums, deductibles, supplementary plans, or surprise billing
        No “networks”

        The HR 676 bill title was better: Expanded and Improved Medicare for All

      2. Phillip Cross

        “I think we have to change the name of M4A”

        “Medicare for Me, (Me, Me!)” is a better fit for USA 2021.

        Subtitle, “[Family blog] everyone else!”.

      3. Socal Rhino

        More like Universal Health Insurance with private provision of health services, as done in some European countries (Holland, I think).

    4. a different chris

      > His losses were suspect

      No. They. Weren’t.

      Keep looking in the hat for the rabbit, the con (cough, an important Dem primary in South Carolina for chrissakes for one example cough) happens elsewhere.

      1. zagonostra

        I think you’re being facetious? But if not, take a look at the official report of the Iowa Caucus debacle. I could link to other irregularities or refer to the “night of the long knives” but I think you jest when you say “no, they weren’t.”

        The report called the DNC’s interjection “the catalyst” for the chaos that resulted in the boiler room

    5. Katniss Everdeen

      And while progressives took up M4A as a battle cry, other constituencies were less swayed. Sanders lost his primaries soundly twice. His two losses mean that the Democratic party has seen M4A rejected by voters repeatedly over the last four years. If M4A was going to energize a new, overwhelming voting constituency, we would have seen some evidence of it by now.

      Truth be told, I don’t see how you argue with that statement.

      In the most “flawless” and “honest” election in history, the electorate overwhelmingly chose the candidate who didn’t say much except that he would veto any M4A legislation that came across his desk. “Period.” He made his position crystal clear and got the votes. Even Bernie folded in a nanosecond.

      You can talk about “false premises” until the cows come home, but you can’t argue with the “results.” It is not overstatement to characterize the election of a slimy political hack who tells you definitively that he’s not going to give you what you supposedly want as a “rejection” of M4A.

      So, get used to it, because that’s how the narrative will be spun. He told the “progressives” NO and that we’d be going back to the way things used to be and they said, “We love you, joe.” Not much courage or commitment to be found there, on the part of the politicians OR the voters.

      1. freebird

        Let’s start with Ms. Harris, whom the primary voters detested so much she did not win a single delegate and had to drop out. Yet she is now 1 heartbeat from the Presidency. How did that happen except for rigging by insiders?

        Then let’s talk about the Des Moines Register poll being suppressed for the first time, to lay the groundwork for the crooked caucus there. Sanders won Iowa yet the DNC operatives running it manipulated the caucuses til they could claim Pete ‘won’. Sanders was the overwhelming favorite vote getter in the first primaries. Turns out the DNC couldn’t get the voters to eat the Pete dog food.

        Then the DNC launched a concerted sudden strategic move to get all the minor candidates to drop out, while the MSNBC drumbeat literally said on its chyron “can Covid or Bernie be stopped”. They frightened the average voter into thinking Bernie was a raging irresponsible radical, and they all ran into the arms of the senile puppet left standing. They pointedly avoided saying ANYTHING negative about Biden’s record or sliminess. You can call that a free deliberate choice if you want to, and you’ll have millions of badly misinformed voters agreeing with you, but that doesn’t make it what happened.

        1. Pat

          As the Biden children were walking in ABC mentioned the claims of corruption regarding Hunter’s business dealings in Ukraine all phrased to deliberately give the impression they were baseless attacks.

          Meanwhile many were treated to long discussions of the Sanders’ million dollars of real estate. All with the implication that the man whose private wealth has shown some of least growth during his time in Congress had some how cheated to get them.

          1. km

            Oligarch-aligned interests are going to do whatever they have to do to make sure oligarchs win again. Including subtle and less subtle forms of rigging.

            What is sad is that Sanders and his supporters so meekly accepted this.

            1. Aumua

              What is sad is that Sanders and his supporters so meekly accepted this.

              Well I think and is doing quite a bit of work in that sentence.

      2. WJ

        The issue here is in part that the corporate media determines to a pretty significant degree what *counts* as voter outlook. They do this by choosing to cover certain issues and not others, by framing the issues they do cover, by inventing and then reinforcing the shibboleth of “centrism” (i.e. establishment orthodoxy) as a legitimate political middle ground, etc.

        When a Fox News exit poll tells you that roughly 80% of Americans favor Medicare for All, then the real question becomes why a candidate that runs on that policy should ever lose any election, especially when nobody else is running on it. The answer to this question in 2016 is, in my opinion, different from the answer to it in 2020. I think Sanders was cheated in 2016 (on the basis of documented evidence), and I think he ran a poor and diluted campaign in 2020.

        Notwithstanding the crimes of the DNC in 2016 and the failures of strategy in 2020, however, the media played a big role in framing Sanders as an extremist candidate in both cycles, and this misrepresentation, I think, eventually does have real world effects. People who would have gladly voted for Sanders had he been represented as a middle of the road social democrat, although perhaps a bit too imperialist, eventually interiorized the corporate view of Sanders as “far left,” etc., and I do think this worked against him.

        So while the author of the piece is, from a certain perspective, correct in what he argues, my counter claim would be that his perspective is either much too naive or is in fact calculated to be misleading.

        1. Yves Smith

          Exactly. Polls consistently show any form of mainly-government funded health care as having >60% support. A system with some private insurance sadly still polls higher than single payer. But that’s likely due to propagandizing against “socialized medicine”.

  3. The Rev Kev

    “Washington on edge before Biden inauguration – in pictures”

    So I was listening to the preparations for the Inauguration with the soldiers, the singers, the virtual appearances when a thought occurred to me. Four years ago when Trump had his Inauguration, he claimed that there were more people at his than Obama’s Inauguration. This was our first real look at Trump’s alternate facts. So when you look at the reduced number of participants this time round with dozens of streets closed, would it be too far a stretch to say that even with the police and soldiers included, that Trump can rightly claim that there will be fewer people at Biden’s Inauguration than his own? (ducks head)

    1. Arizona Slim

      Reverend, I think you’re going to be right.

      Who wants to battle through DC’s ferocious traffic and so-so at best public transportation just to see this event from a distance? Unless you’re a major donor or one of our political “leaders,” you’re not going to get anywhere near the stage.

      As for Yours Truly, my feet are firmly planted here in Tucson. I have work to do. Not planning to pay the slightest bit of attention to the inauguration.

      1. Charger01

        Thanks for the comment. Bread and circuses for all…..via zoom.
        I have fences to mend today, its going to be a long winter ahead. Please reach out to your neighbors and friends.

  4. Mikel

    RE: “BioNTech/Pfizer vaccine found effective against Covid-19 variant” FT. In vitro, by the companies. Note the competing interest statement.

    Meaning this statement? :
    “bioRxiv is receiving many new papers on coronavirus SARS-CoV-2. A reminder: these are preliminary reports that have not been peer-reviewed. They should not be regarded as conclusive, guide clinical practice/health-related behavior, or be reported in news media as established information.”

    And look at FT’s headline.
    Why? Because “markets”?

    Big doses of reality and the challenges to be faced are needed at times like this.
    Not this type of manipulative “positivism” marketing.

    1. John Anthony La Pietra

      The Competing Interest Statement (capitals and boldface in original) is the paragraph below the abstract. That paragraph identifies (by initials) six of the 11 authors as employees of BioNTech and the other five as employees of Pfizer — and shows other conflicts as well for some of them.

  5. Mikel

    RE: “How Operation Warp Speed Created Vaccination Chaos” Pro Publica. The last mile problem.

    When there are debates being made about how many doses are in a vial, logistics problems existed before shipments even left a building.

  6. Mikel

    RE: Heroes and villains…

    France, 1934…was just watching documantaries about the interwar period and ran across this subject a few days ago.
    Also interesting was Austria in this period. There were still a hodge-podge of cultures in that area. They had enough right-wing groups running around there to make one’s head spin and the pre-occupation with religion reminds me more of the USA. That rigidness is much more like the USA than France.

  7. allan

    Among Trump’s pardons, hidden among the low level drug offenders,
    corrupt congressmen and Steve Bannon, is one of the Varsity Blues parents.
    Another promise delivered to the back row kids:

    Robert “Bob” Zangrillo – President Trump granted a full pardon to Robert Zangrillo. This pardon is supported by Len Blavatnik, Geoff Palmer, Tom Barrack, Sean Parker, Walid Abu-Zalaf, Medo Alsaloussi, and Kevin Downing. Mr. Zangrillo was charged in connection with the Varsity Blues investigation. However, his daughter did not have others take standardized tests for her and she is currently earning a 3.9 GPA at the University of Southern California. Mr. Zangrillo is a well-respected business leader and philanthropist.

    Proving that it’s not who you know, it’s how much you’re willing to pay them.

    1. Maritimer

      As a lifelong Philanthropist myself, I really object to people like Robert Zangrillo giving Philanthropy a bad name. I’m sure other unpardoned Philanthropists must feel the same way.

      “One who is actuated by a philanthropic spirit; one who loves mankind, or wishes well to his fellow-men and endeavors to benefit them by active works of benevolence or beneficence; one who from philanthropic motives endeavors to do good to his fellows.” Maybe, this definition should include “The Philanthropist cannot receive any tax or other benefits from their Philanthropy.”

  8. Tom Stone

    I highly recommend the Greenwald article and as an aside, I am gobsmacked by so many liberals I know who are cheering on corporate censorship and who are in favor of a Domestic Terrorism bill.
    Asking them whether they consider what happened in Portland was an insurrection does not go over well…

    1. cocomaan

      A friend of mine is an appliance repairman whose client base is in high income Democrat/blue areas of the suburbs of Philadelphia. Goes into houses and works on their machines. He’s a major conservative (still has his Trump sign up) and also a good judge of human behavior, given that he interacts with people all day every day, and has during the entire pandemic.

      My friend says that the fear among the people in these blue areas looks like paralysis. He actually did a great bit of physical comedy by impersonating them in their houses: sitting on their couch in the fetal position, covering their heads from an imagined beating, but also checking their phone at the same time.

      Fear is more powerful than heroin. It’s addicting.

      1. Arizona Slim

        As mentioned here before, I grew up in those very burbs. And, believe you me, they were not Democratic strongholds while I was a young Slim.

        Being paralyzed by fear? That would have been a non-starter. I know this from personal experience. One summer, I climbed the tall ladder to the high dive at our local pool. And I froze.

        What happened next was something I’ll never forget. Everybody at the diving pool, and I do mean everybody, started hollering at me to JUMP! Even my father was in on it.

        After a long while, I did. I jumped into that darn pool.

        Was there some valuable life lesson that I learned from this experience? Nope. I jumped off that high dive once, and I never did it again.

        1. cocomaan

          Yeah its remarkable how these areas have changed. The swanky areas like the Main Line are highly blue at this point, sky blue.

          His point was that these people are enslaved by their phones and begging someone to come save them. Enter those who can make a ton of money off of, say, a domestic surveillance structure.

          1. PHLDenizen

            I grew up on the Main Line. Graduated from a private boys’ school, sister went to a private girls’ school. This was 2 decades ago and it’s wholly unrecognizable to me at this point in time. Those suburbs were absolutely not even remotely blue — even the two Jewish kids in my class of 50 were puzzlingly conservative, although the defense of everything Israel should have clued me in. Chalk it up my being a politically ignorant, obnoxious teen.

            The Main Line epitomized everything WASPy and there was a certain stateliness that’s been eroded. Racism, anti-semitism, all the -isms of course existed, but in a casual manner. By casual I mean that the idpol outrage machine hadn’t poisoned the discourse. Every so often you’d hear someone drop some blue comment, but the power of class cohesion trumped everything else. You may have been black or Asian or Indian or on scholarship or a monied brat, but the camaraderie of sharing this bastion of privilege erased any serious animosity or resentment about identity or socioeconomic class. Learning how to navigate those differences on your own terms seemed more fruitful than being told to be outraged about X. The essentialism of “white privilege” wasn’t even on the radar.

            1. cocomaan

              It’s an interesting shade of blue now.

              I work with a non-profit that tries to attract clients from that neck of the woods. It still has a lot of that “blue blood”, but it’s now focused on Democrat politics.

              For instance, here’s an anecdote that you can try from which you can glean many things. A member of one of these old main line families was on a conference call with me this summer, during George Floyd. Huge anti Trump person that talked about how terrible the orange demon was all the time, likely democrat donor, etc.

              She said to me that all the Floyd protests were so heartening for progressivism. I made assenting noises. She then said, “What I really need is some black friends. I really need to go out and make some. There were some black people I was friends with awhile ago but not anymore. I really need some black friends.”

              So it’s interesting to see that the money is all still there, in various forms, but the politics have shifted to what can only be described as a bizarre form of progressivism.

        2. Wukchumni

          A tale of two neighbors…

          Had a ‘Mexican Pandemic Standoff’ with my liberal neighbors yesterday and let me draw you a picture.

          A triangle of fold-up chairs spaced about a dozen feet away from one another, and our neighbors are in their 70’s and way cognizant of the risk, a friend of theirs in his 90’s just died of Covid in town and his wife is quite ill from it, all because they had a family Christmas, where they were compromised by a younger asymptomatic grandchild.

          We shot the breeze talking this that and whatever, and my neighbor was a Marine tank machine gunner during the Tet Offensive @ Hue, and snippets come out occasionally, yesterday a repeat in rat a tat a tat fashion of him machine gunning 6 men and 6 water buffalo about 100 yards away. He told me they were unarmed and he somewhat pleaded to not do the deed when ordered, but in a new wrinkle that came out yesterday, he’d only joined the crew shortly before Tet and when meeting the tank commander, said sod had a garland of 18 ears strung in a necklace around his neck and had been in action for 18 months and had no quit in him. ‘Tank commander said waste em, so I did’ he said.

          Our other neighbors are Fox News types way conservative, love Trump-the full package. They’re also in the 70’s, Nice people and we’ve learned to not bring up politics among ourselves, we have different viewpoints.

          We used to see them more often, but we’re wary of them because they take stupid risks socially, as if to prove us ‘wrong’ by not being scared.

    2. Amfortas the hippie

      and germane, as far as whatever Enabling Acts are forthcoming:
      from yesterdays thing in Yahoo News, about the experts handwringing about domestic terror:
      “But for counterterrorism experts who have spent the two decades since the 9/11 terrorist attacks closely studying and fighting violent extremist groups overseas, the spectacle looked like something altogether different: the likely birthing of a violent American insurgency.
      Retired Army Gen. Stanley McChrystal was formerly the head of Joint Special Operations Command in Iraq and the commander of all U.S. and allied troops fighting the Taliban and al-Qaida in Afghanistan. “I did see a similar dynamic in the evolution of al-Qaida in Iraq, where a whole generation of angry Arab youth with very poor prospects followed a powerful leader who promised to take them back in time to a better place, and he led them to embrace an ideology that justified their violence. This is now happening in America,” McChrystal told Yahoo News.”

      what leapt at me was the lack of mention of any involvement by CIA, et alia, in CREATING that problem in the first place…to the extent of building the madrassas, and purchasing the books used in said indoctrination in them.
      I can’t help but look at the capitol riot in the context of an hundred years of regime change and other skulduggery.
      It’s how “they” roll.

      and, again, i expect such future oppression to be focused on the Left. It might begin with the rabid right…created and funded and conjured into existence over 50 years, on purpose…but it will be in short order turned upon the real enemies of the oligarchy.

      I also expect a Woke Torquemadaism to feature in this…as well as a lot of “Bernie=Trump” BS to be shoveled uncritically into the hivemind.

      1. tegnost

        “This is now happening in America,” McChrystal told Yahoo News.””

        pretty much rhymes with what commenter wyoming was saying yesterday and I’d at least have to agree that the seeds of our destruction are germinating in the cracks in the asphalt and planting beds and boxes in the empty parking lots of strip malls across this once great nation…

        1. Amfortas the hippie

          my above comment was kneejerk…now, after i finally read Glenn’s excellence, he picked up on that same quote.
          The arguments he makes against the New War on Terra, are the same ones he made(and I made) in 2001…and will be met with the same disdain and “now, now, calm down”-ism we faced back then.
          I’ve been saying that trump’s era has been like an extended 9-11…and yes, the mob at the capitol was scary(i was particularly freaked about the Oathkeepers in single file)…but what’s bubbling up in this new push for “Safety” and “Security” would have outlawed MLK, and even FDR.
          “Eat the Rich” is about as far as i go towards advocating anything violent, although i reserve the Right to engage in violent defense of myself and my family….I guess i’ll hafta stop that kind of rhetoric…and hide my Long Pork Recipes under the house.

          I also expect the intertubes to be further crapified and made into a corporate echo chamber…Propornot to Infinity…so I’ll issue a preemptive, open ended and fond farewell to you all…..for when “they” eventually get around to NC for Thoughtcrime.

          (i half-slept through the festivities a little while ago…wife has been glued to the TV in the living room all day….so i hear Lady gaga, etc. wafting through the walls.
          and when J-Lo did Woody, she left out the best parts:

          “As I went walking I saw a sign there,
          And on the sign it said “No Trespassing.”
          But on the other side it didn’t say nothing.
          That side was made for you and me.
          In the shadow of the steeple I saw my people,
          By the relief office I seen my people;
          As they stood there hungry, I stood there asking
          Is this land made for you and me?”

          (my fave version of this song: )

    3. vlade

      If by corporate censorship you mean Twitter & co kicking the people out, well, do you then call NC’s closing down comments corporate censorship?

      First Amendment doesn’t give any rights on private platforms (in fact, it doesn’t give people any rights per se, all it does is prevents the congress from certain passing laws).

      For private companies, they can do whatever is legal. Kicking people out of the platform based on their behaviour will rarely fall under “illegal”.

      We can (and should) argue about the power of Twitter/FB and the likes, but what they do is not illegal, and is IMO no more censorhip than NC shutting down/removing comments.

      Their roof, their rules.

      1. cocomaan

        I hate this argument, because by the same logic, businesses should be able to have whatever occupancy they want. Not only does fire code not allow this but the pandemic has governors micromanaging restaurant capacity.

        Can’t have it both ways. Also, this argument assumes that Twitter, Facebook, etc, aren’t receiving a ton of help from government in establishing their status as a near monopoly.

        1. vlade

          You misread the argument. The business may have whatever occupancy that is _legally_ allowed. The same argument is that a Twitter (to pick one), can select users whichever way is legally allowed, which includes kicking users out. If Trump believed he had a case, he’d be on Twitter like a ton of bricks – we saw him fight way less likely fights but here he’d not get anywhere quick.

          It’s not having it both ways, it’s having it exactly one way – the legal one.

          The second part is entirely spurious, as what exactly are they receiving as near monopoly directly from the state, that a competitor would not? You can set up Twitter-like thing pretty quickly (the basics of). It’s not government who’s persuading pepole to go to Twitter and stay on it.. The super-giant Google tried to set up a FB competitor, and failed spectacularly.

          As a note, I am not on Twitter, nor FB and avoid Google services where I can, and personaly believe they are monopolies and should be broken up.

          But I do not believe that anyone should have a god-given right to be on Twitter/FB and say whatever they wanted without risking being kicked out. Being kicked out is good. Maybe people finally realise, to praphrase Lambert “if your life is a platform, you don’t have life”. Maybe it will, finally, mean proliferation of niche platforms.

          I’m not holding my breath, but if we say “Twitter cannot kick anyone out”, all we’re doing is cementing their monopoly.

      2. Donald

        Comparing a blog with a media titan like Twitter seems like a bad analogy to me. If a few gigantic private platforms are where most online political discussion takes place, then their comment policies matter much more ( by orders of magnitude) than comment policies at this blog.

        1. vlade

          Yes and no.

          The political discussion that takes place on FB is 90% chaff, equivalent to watercooler discussion (words, but no actions). At best, it’s used for organising, which could (and IMO should) be done in other ways – it was before, it can be done w/o FB.

          NC has influenced policy, has CalPERS running scared, and you’d be surprised by a number of high-placed people who actually read NC and take what’s written here (in posts and comments) seriously – and not just in the US.

          In fact, it you would really want to take a snip at the giants who control information, it’s not FB, not even Twitter, but Google. Because FB is chatter, Twitter has information value, but Google really controls what you get to see when you’re researching just about anything. And that has an incredible impact. It’s Google where you can find (or not) about your local militia/cult/union/whatever.

          There’s a post on Wikipedia monopoly, but Wikepdia monopoly on information pales compared to Google.

        2. ambrit

          One aspect of that argument that is overlooked is the “quality” of the ‘discussion’ taking place. Most of the “mass appeal” blogs I have looked at have, if they have comments at all, anarchic, chaotic, and mean spirited exchanges of invective drowning out any substantive argumentation.
          Avoiding that descent into Commentary Sheol is a major concern and time sink for the moderators of this blog, from what I have gleaned from comments, posts, etc. Investing that amount of time and energy is a sign of how ‘seriously’ the NC administrators take “their” ‘brand.’ Other venues seem to have ‘outsourced’ their moderation duties to armies of faceless, low paid, often third world internet workers or AI algorithms.
          Until faced with evidence to the contrary, I will continue to view the media Titans as faceless instrumentalities. NC does have a “face.” We often interact with one or another of the avatars of that “face” on a daily basis.
          One could argue that the differences I have pointed out are artifacts of the ‘size’ of the respective internet entities. That may be true, but it buttresses one of my core beliefs; “In intellectual pursuits, Quality is always preferable to Quantity.”

      3. tegnost

        for better or worse I agree with you and am glad that NC doesn’t rely on a platform which would add an uncontrollable and restrictive layer to our discourse.

      4. Fiery Hunt

        I’m pretty sure the “private business can do whatever they want…” theory is complete and utter hogwash. Government has ALWAYS had the power to dictate “private business behavior”.

        No one would say to a restaurant owner “Your roof, your rules. Go ahead a refuse service to any Black. Or Christian. Or conservative. Or Progressive. In fact, discriminate against anyone you want to…”

        Is it legal today? Maybe so.
        Is it right, moral? Nope.

        And 230 protections make the social media platforms far more a public common than if they didn’t have government protection against liabilities stemming from the content on their sites.

        1. Basil Pesto

          No one would say to a restaurant owner “Your roof, your rules. Go ahead a refuse service to any Black. Or Christian. Or conservative. Or Progressive. In fact, discriminate against anyone you want to…”

          and yet, as far as I know nobody has taken the “no shoes, no shirt, no service” discrimination to the supreme court.

      5. lyman alpha blob

        Does NC have huge government contracts? Do DC apparatchiks come to work at NC to compile links after their administration is finished?

        That line between public and private is getting really hard to find these days….

    1. Charger01

      A leopard cannot change his shorts, to paraphase the late great Terry Pratchett. To expect Slow Joe to change his ways once in office is foolish at best. If anything, I fully expect Obama’s third term to be full of handwringing about those dastardly Republicans, if only they could have one R vote, then only then, they could achieve the great shining consensus of “bipartisanship”.

    2. Daryl

      I honestly can’t fathom where the thought that Biden and the machine that surrounds him is even capable of this comes from. Can you imagine Biden saying “they hate me, and I welcome their hatred.” It boggles the mind.

  9. The Rev Kev

    “What China’s Male Beauty Market Will Look Like In 2021”

    Sometimes the puns write themselves-

    ‘China’s perception of male beauty has changed over the last few years due to the rise of Little Fresh Meat idols’

  10. cocomaan

    Looks like the student loan moratorium is going to continue to September under Biden’s EO.

    That’s going to be a hard one to put back in the bag come October. It will have been over a year of not needing to pay your student loans. My wife and I didn’t really need the help but this now lets us put that money toward the mortgage, in a strategic bet that this is never going to change and this is a de facto jubilee.

    We’re fairly well off and this is just going to make us more well off. We’d been paying principal every month, so the savings are pretty significant and we’d been making good headway. Whereas those who aren’t well off probably weren’t paying beyond the minimum in the first place.

    Feels weird to be part of essentially a social welfare program. But this is a bet by both Rs and Ds that they can win the upper middle class.

    1. a different chris

      Student loans are far from an “upper middle class” phenomenon.

      Don’t you think it’s weird that a McMansion mortgage, which is something that basically keeps the banks in business, is way cheaper than your student loan, which is an investment in your brain which I would think is a much greater societal good.

        1. a different chris

          It’s a little slippery, though, that article. After all this noise about “upper-income” we get this:

          Students from the wealthiest households might not need to borrow as much because their parents can pay for college or cover their expenses while they are in school.

          ??? I thought the whole gist of the article was that upper-income people are more indebted to student loans.

          And then we get this:

          >particularly those who do not have families who can help them

          I’m a putative adult borrowing X for career Y and I have to ask my family for money and that’s important is so, so very wrong.

          And this — having offspring working for a school system who *thinks* they are doing an IDR, well:

          A growing share of borrowers participate in income-driven repayment (IDR) plans,… And some borrowers are in forbearance or deferment because of financial hardships.

          You wanna see some “complex eligibility requirements”???

          As a result, out-of-pocket loan payments are concentrated among high-income households; few low-income households enrolled in IDR are required to make payments.

          Being in IDR doesn’t mean you aren’t “required to make payment”. It means you aren”t “required to make payment” today. Ain’t nothing changing about what you owe.

          Going back to my example, if said offspring doesn’t complete the process perfectly, making some monthly payment (the value seems to almost randomly change every year) then they lose it. And they certainly cannot change jobs to something outside the fabled “list of applicable vocations”.

          Finally, and I should have put it first: this only applies to Federal loans. Which cap out at like 7200 a year. Which isn’t even half of what it costs to go to a decent state school.

  11. Fireship

    Joe Biden must put an end to business as usual. Here’s where to start Bernie Sanders

    Poor Bernie Schmernie. He thinks the US is not beyond hope. What a schmuck. The frogs will continue to slow boil in the pot while dumb progs continue to publish articles like this, proclaiming the great changes that just have to be enacted and, hey presto, America will be a good country. Nah ga happen, folks. I wager most readers here realize that by now.

    Let’s see how little Sleepy Joe and the gang do to make people’s lives better. Will there be less wars in 100 days? Medical coverage? Parental leave? Affordable education? Jobs programs? Let’s compare in 100 days.

    I predict that the 1% will be richer. There will be aggressive talk with Russia, China, Iraq or whoever. Maybe a bit of light bombing. There will be tighter surveillance and new powers granted to domestic security forces. There might be an economic bounce after Covid eases.

    What are your predictions for the first 100 days of King Bidon’s reign?

    1. Jim Hannan

      Join the Paris Accords. Release a 1.9 trillion stimulus package. Nominate and secure a Cabinet with experience in government. Walk back Arctic National Wildlife Refuge leases. Reverse the family planning gag rule. Revitalize the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. Nominate qualified federal judges. Revamp the federal covid response.

      1. Donald

        I expect both. Biden will do some good things and in foreign policy maybe he will help end the Yemen catastrophe that Obama and he helped start.

        But he will also continue to act as if the US has the right to slap murderous sanctions on any government it chooses. He will support Israel as they continue to be an apartheid state. He will oppose universal health care. He probably won’t do enough on climate change.

        1. ambrit

          It is also beginning to look like Venezuela will be America’s next “War of Choice.”
          How long before Guaido cries out from his “Headquarters” high up in the mountains, (right next to the Narco processing plant,) for Uncle Joe to send in the Marines to save him from those “dastardly Commies and Socialists.”

            1. ambrit

              “Too Mulch is Never Enough.”
              As any ‘well integrated’ red blooded American knows, the “Grass” has to be ‘mowed’ on a regular basis.

          1. ambrit

            As the French seem to have found out, to their cost, ISIS and it’s ‘organic’ enablers will create and support radical madrassas and other forms of ‘capability’ building anywhere.

      2. PHLDenizen

        The Paris Accords always struck me as toothless hopium. The goals aren’t nearly aggressive enough. More important is the lack of recourse. If it were negotiated as a trade deal rather than some voluntary cooperative, you’d have the ability to punish countries for violating it. It might as well be called “The Pelosi Accords” due to finger wagging and moralizing being the extent of the signatories’ powers. It’s a sexy edifice that deflates the more serious conversations about de-globalization and putting to rest “growth economies” in the traditional sense. Being a signatory is symbolic and is purely performative.

        “Qualified federal judges” remains to be seen. Each party has its own meaning for “qualified”. I expect moderate weak sauce.

        Summers and his goons will ensure that the CFPB is as advisory as possible, with no actual enforcement mechanism.

        Biden undoing “teh evil orange” isn’t any signal that he’s going to be any kind of transformative leader. One step backward to the Obama years, years that immiserated large swaths of the population and gave them buyer’s remorse, isn’t an improvement. Democrats always have the stink of desperation over them, furiously trying to berate you into loving their odious brand.

    2. Katniss Everdeen

      Maybe a bit of light bombing.

      What a way to put it. Kinda made me wince. I’m sure those on the receiving end will be “grateful” for the “respite” though.

    1. Another Scott

      I wonder if this is part of his deal with Schumer, get more influence over the Senate in exchange for convicting Trump. McConnell got his judges and corporate tax cuts out of Trump, what else did he need the soon to be former president for?

      1. timbers

        Dems I work with, think it’s a good idea to impeach Trump to prevent him from running again.

        I try to make the point that if you think the team you like needs protection from Trump come election time, you should consider another team because your’s must really s+c.

        Then I slip in conversation about Down with Tyranny and how DNC etc get Republicans to re-register as Dems so they can fund their campaigns against actual Dem progressive candidates.

    2. a different chris

      McConnell is everything but stupid. Family feuds are the bloodiest and angriest – going after Mike Pence instead of say Pelosi is a good example of that.

      He’s trying to get clear, I don’t think he’ll succeed but he’s got no other reasonable option. Couldn’t happen to a nicer guy.

      1. Wukchumni

        Mitch is out of power and really has nothing left to prove, the GOP ticked off all the items on its to-do list, all done on the down low while we were busy deciphering the Don’s tweets in regards to dirty deeds done dirt cheap or something to that regard.

        Trump was their Trojan Horse, but they don’t need him anymore.

        Impeaching Anthony Fremont whisks him into the scorned field.

    3. Wmkohler

      I would caution against this interpretation of McConnell’s comments. The far greater win for the GOP would be to drag the Democrats into protracted impeachment proceedings, at a time when there are likely to continue to be massive competing legislative priorities for the foreseeable future. Then, once these proceedings have dragged on long enough that everyone is sick of the Dems spending all this time impeaching a former president, they can then also show the Dems to be ineffective when they ultimately fall short of the thresholds needed to prevent Trump from running for office again. At least, if I were McConnell (or any Republican Senator), this would be my strategy.

  12. Wukchumni

    How do we overcome the mask divide, the visual signifier of ‘us & them’?

    ‘Ask not what your country can do for you, mask what you can do for your country.’

    1. Arizona Slim

      What if Biden dusted off that plan that Trump nixed?

      The one that involved the USPS sending five masks to every American household? What if those masks had some really cool red, white, and blue-themed designs on them? What if those masks became a fashion statement?

      Hey, a slender Arizonan can always dream, right?

      1. Wukchumni

        How about a mask lottery, i’m making this up as I go, but in order to win the jackpot (not that one, Lambert) you have to be wearing it?

        A fortunate few get to go on Fox’s ‘The Masked Winner’

      2. The Rev Kev

        Nice thought but you just know with Trump that he would have insisted on his name on those masks or on the parcel that they would come in and there would go that idea. It was the same with those checks a month or two ago.

        Hope that you are keeping your head down where you are, Slim. I read a coupla days ago that Arizona is leading the world in the rate of new cases. It sounds really ugly in your corner of the world-

        1. Arizona Slim

          I’m masking up whenever I go for a walk, Reverend! And masks are required in stores and other indoor venues. City of Tucson passed an emergency ordinance last year.

  13. Carolinian

    Michael Tracey

    It’s doubly odd because the deployment of military personnel to various cities last summer, though generally welcomed by locals and intended to quell what had genuinely been a sudden outburst of destructive chaos, was depicted by media members at the time as the rawest incarnation of violent fascism. The New York Times nearly imploded in a spasm of wild outrage. Suddenly though, this unprecedented militarization of DC is greeted by the same media hive-mind as the triumph of good over evil, light over darkness. It’s almost like the ultimate variable is not principled apprehension about the force of the state, but whose political priorities are being defended by such force — and who is being punished.

    Nuff said.

    1. Katniss Everdeen

      It’s almost like the ultimate variable is not principled apprehension about the force of the state, but whose political priorities are being defended by such force — and who is being punished.

      “Almost like”???????

      In the 21st century iteration of “freedom of speech,” I think tongue-in-cheek (TIC) is destined to become as ubiquitous and recognizable as LOL.

  14. petal

    There is a season 1 episode(“Conspiracy”) of Star Trek TNG where the officers that had been taken over by an alien species tuck into goblets of meal worms. I don’t think I could ever do it, even if they were dead or prepared in some way.
    There was an article in the Daily Mail earlier this morning when I got up saying McConnell threatened Trump that he’d vote to impeach him if Trump pardoned Assange. Now I can’t find it, seems to have been wiped.

    1. Amfortas the hippie

      we’ve eaten quite a few grasshoppers in the last 4 years…but never really integrated it into our lives.
      It could be done, though…especially with the encouragement of hunger.
      I’ve also recently looked into mealworm production for the birds…the trick is getting it self sustaining, with no outside inputs.
      it would also need to be routinised…and much more so than, say, earthworm farming(relatively hands off, ime)

      1. petal

        They sell containers of dried meal worms for chickens at our local feed store. A friend gives them to their flock as treats. Have never looked into production. You are right, I suppose if things were tough enough, I could figure out a way to incorporate them into meals.

    2. Louis Fyne

      shrimp are practically not much different than insects.

      Have eaten chocolate-covered grasshoppers. very neutral taste, much like shrimp.

      I presume eating shrimp is good for the environment, if it wasn’t for low cost imported farmed shrimp crowding out the more ecologically friendly sources.

      1. Amfortas the hippie

        shrimping in the Gulf is only environmentally friendly due to regulation. I’ve known many shrimpers in my time*, and every one of them would have been happy to see the regs go away, so they could make more money. (*this was 30 years ago…sentiments may or may not have changed)

        as for eating hoppers…our favorite is tempura fritters, fried in real butter, and dipped in honey. One must let them sit in a jar overnight, so as to allow them to clear their guts…and pick off the hind legs and wings before battering(some folks behead them, too). They, like a lot of insects, are supposedly incredibly healthy as foodstuff.
        Cooked like the above, they have a nutty flavor.
        “Land Shrimp”?

  15. Mark Gisleson

    Wouldn’t mind having some Tim1965 powers so I could slip a slash (/) between “solve” and ” enable” up above. (My inner editor hates tattling in the comments but I am a huge fan of this kind of phrasing.)

  16. The Rev Kev

    “Scoop: Joe Biden’s COVID-19 bubble”

    Well, old Joe could take a leaf out of Modi’s book and set up a 3d Holographic Biden. It would keep him from having to appear in public and if things start to fall apart, then I am sure that there would be a ‘transmission interrupted’ problem. All his new buddies in Silicon Valley would fall over themselves to help him do it and all the young people would coo at how cool old Joe actually is. Hell, he could do a few extra pre-recordings and if he meets with an ” accident”, they could use those while they sort out the succession.

  17. Wukchumni

    ‘The Shot Hear Round The World #2’ is what i’m calling events of January 6th-as only one was fired, kinda similar to Princip in Sarajevo, but he got off 2 shots.

    Lexington-Concord is of course where #1 happened, similar in that it was regular citizens versus organized military/police.

    By the rude scaffolding that hindered the flood,
    Their flag to November’s brazen theft unfurled,
    Here once the embattled lunatic fringe stood,
    And a cop fired the shot heard round the world.

  18. unhappyCakeEater

    re: mealworms

    the chickens occasionally get a handful as a treat and being a curious sort, I can confirm they are less “crunchy snack” and more “crisp treat”. something like a tiny cheeto. Tossed with a little garlic salt or maybe chili powder they could rival roasted soybeans.

  19. timbers

    China reckons US democracy is imploding but could be missing the point South China Morning Post………..So, compare how Trump tried to overturn the 2020 election vs how Obama Hillary & Elites tried to in 2016. Two very different approaches. For this and so many other reasons, I take no comfort in this article. Judges who dismissed 62 or whatever Trump’s bad vote challenges had no problem with crackdown on Occupy, assassinating American children, launching illegal wars of the fly. Have to say rather than missing something China has it right.

  20. fresno dan

    Trump Has Discussed Starting a New Political Party WSJ
    As the repubs didn’t have a party platform for the 2020 election, will the new party just be called the Trump Party, and its operating principles be, what ever Trump wants? I doubt that the name and platform would have any affect upon the number of registrants.
    And now that the Trump presidency has come to an end, it can be asked: Who was worse: Nixon or Trump?

    1. Wukchumni

      About 3 years ago, my Congressman Kevin Mc Carthy sent his oh so very sharp* young aides to tiny town here to hear us out, and we’re a 50/50 mix politically, so it was mostly the left that came to complain, and my dad could have been on Nixon’s enemies list if only anybody but my family knew he was a contender. When he arrived in the USA circa 1952 in order to crank out anchor babies such as me, he saw what a fearmonger Tricky Dick was and how he rode on the tale of McCarthyism. Lets just say none of your dad’s threw an impromptu party on August 9, 1974 like mine did, ha ha!

      For me, Nixon’s crowning achievement was cleaning up the mess we’d made of our environment. Growing up in LA in the 60’s & 70’s was a battle with smog. Oh so many days PE @ school was held inside because the air was particularly particulate and no matter what your eyes would sting a little, along with a scratchy throat, and the San Gabriel mountain range a straight shot across the San Gabriel Valley 25 miles from my front porch?

      I’d see it a handful of times a year, usually after a heavy rain beat down the smog, if only for a brief respite.

      Everything was remarkably better by the 1980’s, all because of the EPA

      So, i’m at a town hall meeting with McCarthy’s young henchmen, and when it was my turn to address the town at large, I mentioned what a mistake it would be to gut the EPA which was that great Republican Richard Nixon’s doing, and then attempted to find a place to avoid a potential lightning strike hitting me, if by chance daddy-o was listening in.

      * When Kev gives a speech they’ve written, its brilliant and he’s good with the teleprompter, but extemporaneously it ain’t.

      1. fresno dan

        January 20, 2021 at 10:19 am
        As President, Nixon was only as conservative as he could be and only as liberal as he had to be. He took credit for the creation of the Environmental Protection Agency while privately noting that if he had not taken this liberal step, the Democratic Congress would have forced more liberal environmental legislation on him….*
        Still his tactical flexibility should not obscure his steadiness of political purpose. He meant to move the country to the right, and he did.
        Nixon’s most celebrated achievements as President—nuclear arms control agreements with the Soviet Union and the diplomatic opening to China—set the stage for the arms reduction pacts and careful diplomacy that brought about the end of the Cold War.
        Nixon and Trump were both of their own eras. Nixon campaigned on “bring us together” and Trump, implicitly, on “own the libs.” It strikes me that anger is more profitable than harmony. Today that famous Coke commercial would be selling red coke bottles to bash libs with, and blue coke bottles to bash deplorables with…

        *of course Nixon had input on the legislation, and undoubtedly chose the more “conservative” version, but Nixon DID support it, and of course had to defend that decision to his conservative supporters. Obama faced the same constraints (only inverse, as liberal as he could be and only as conservative as he had to be) but Obama chose to placate banks and ignore homeowners. As best as I can analyze it, Nixon took a bigger risk for a better policy. Obama took essentially no risk with his worshipful followers for a worse policy.
        Which brings to mind: Who was worse – Obama or Trump? One thing it shows is that picking presidents based on media adulation/attention means your going to have a rather inconsequential presidency…

    2. CuriosityConcern

      If Trump starts a third party that siphons votes from the Rs, then it would seem an opportune time for a fourth party to demand concessions from the Ds. Maybe Overton will get a more panoramic view and see what’s going on in the left side of his yard.

      1. WJ

        Honestly the populist left has a better chance of taking over Trump’s hypothetical new party than they do the Democratic Party.

    3. Phil in KC

      Trump doesn’t own the Republican Party, despite his child’s comments. He merely gets to use it for a few years. The adults who run the GOP are taking their party back, McConnell’s actions being a part of that. Smart Republicans are coming to understand that you can’t be the party of Lincoln AND Alex Jones. You have to choose. They are choosing.

      Trump is choosing too. His party will be the party of Alex Jones, the Proud Boys, and Q anon. That’s got be 30 million votes, at least.

      I can imagine Democrats enjoying this, but they shouldn’t. The Democrats need a good opponent to keep them on their toes. Iron sharpens iron.

  21. The Rev Kev

    “Israel trades Pfizer doses for medical data in vaccine blitz”

    ‘The inoculation blitz is a matter of national pride.’

    You would have to have a lot of chutzpah if you believed a sentence like that. Not when they pretend that vaccinations for the Palestinians have nothing to do with them when they have them all locked up tight as a drum. There is no way that historians will ever be able to whitewash what Israel has done here, even to the point of bombing a Palestinian Coronavirus clinic. The State of Palestine therefore, has authorized the use of Sputnik V and the first shipment is expected within a month.

  22. Samuel Conner

    DJT is reported to be mulling the formation of a new party. The preferred name is “Patriot Party.”

    I surely cannot be alone in noting the aptness of the terminal disyllable of the first word in the proposed name.

    1. RabidGandhi

      That name’s already taken.

      The Patriot Party was an American socialist organization of the late 1960s and early 1970s that organized poor, rural whites in the Appalachian South and Pacific Northwest…. The Patriot Party borrowed strategies of community organizing from the Black Panthers, with whom they were especially close. For instance, they established a Free Breakfast for Children program.

      But on the plus side, this way the FBI won’t have to open another file.

      In 1970 the FBI arrested 12 members of the Patriot Party and charged them with various felonies. They later dropped the charges but, by the mid-1970s, the FBI’s COINTELPRO program had effectively suppressed the organization.

    2. WJ

      “The preferred name is “Patriot Party.””

      Faux-populism must ever clothe itself in the gown of nationalism.

  23. Lex

    ‘Everything Is Broken’

    Flatness is the word I most often hear used to describe the effect of mood-regulating drugs. There are no highs or lows. Soma?

    O, wonder!
    How many goodly creatures are there here!
    How beauteous mankind is! O brave new world,
    That has such people in’t!
    -from ‘The Tempest’

    1. Jr

      It’s not soma if the alternatives to flatness are emotional highs and lows that would engulf one of those cargo ships made out of tractor trailers. Heavy-handed dosages and a liberal readiness to prescribe those drugs are the real problems in my opinion. Not everyone needs them and it’s a huge problem but some do. It took almost two years of playing around but I finally found the right combo for me and it’s been a life changer.

      1. Zack Blabbath

        Purely anecdotal: I took some antidepressants for about eight months in 2014 & found the ‘flatness’ to be worse than my mood swings.

        “Uncomfortably numb”, as if I was half dead, apathetic, unable to connect to myself, thus unable to do anything creative.
        Once I quit, I slowly reawakened over a couple of months.
        Today, over six years later, I have very little memory of any events both in my life & those of others… Not unlike “lost time”.

        Mood swings not as bad last few years, but I think that could be due to aging (was born in early 1970s)

        1. flora

          uncomfortably numb
          The Dark Side of the Moon. Pink Floyd was ahead of its time – or not – depending on the measurement of time. ;)

          Thanks to NC for the Tablet link. Very good read.

      2. Lex

        I started with ‘flatness’, considered the effect, leapt to ‘soma’, and then ‘A Brave New World’ and the alleged plagiarism by Aldous Huxley and the more likely influence of his reading ‘The Tempest’. The voice is Miranda’s; some read her as naive, some read her as critical of Prospero. I’m in the later group.

        I can hear the oblique references to the neurotribes running through the article. The caste system of ‘A Brave New World’, and Noam Chomsky’s ‘Manufactured Consent’.

        Aldous Huxley Interviewed by Mike Wallace in 1958.

        Is it better to be happy or free?

        I don’t have an opinion about those who take mood-regulating drug, except some worry about how they may be weaponized against the populace. I have suffered PTSD most of my life and have chosen not to address the anxiety with drugs. I’m pleased we both still have individual choices to make about what we put in our bodies, since the sources of the anxiety were beyond our control. If I’ve offended, I apologize sincerely.

    1. flora

      Great pictures! And what “ambitious” corgi dogs to sire these offspring. ;) Still trying to figure out the great dane/corgi mix.

      1. fresno dan

        January 20, 2021 at 2:08 pm

        I imagine it looked a lot like those photos I see of giraffes taking a drink at watering holes ;)

  24. Pat

    The coverage on ABC is so abysmal it suits my mood. Besides being led by Stephanopoulos, they have even had Rahm on to comment. Adoration rained down for statesman Bush and the Saintly Obama.

    The factoid that makes me insane though came out after talking about how Congress were victims. Oh and Klobuchar once again called it an insurrection. But apparently despite now massive security and more vetting of that security than ever before, many of our elected officials are wearing body armor. They got hustled out of the Capitol or got to hear an angry crowd calling for their heads. In the aftermath not one of them was harmed, and there were few other people hurt. Yet they are so scared to be in public they have to wear body armor.

    We are so family blogged. Corrupt cowards congratulating themselves without a moment of trying to understand how any of this came to past ready to go to brunch and continue making the lives of most Americans less secure for jobs, food, housing and education. But they are the victims.

    1. hunkerdown

      I’m not so sure they’re scared for themselves as their owners are. The neoliberal counter-revolution needs to conspicuously demonstrate that it protects its own agents well with force, in order to maintain its credibility.

    2. flora

      Those visuals must be driving home some point or other. /heh
      In the meantime:

      Federal official walks back allegation rioters intended to ‘capture and assassinate’

      A U.S. Department of Justice official on Friday walked back a federal claim that Capitol rioters “intended capture and assassinate elected officials.”

      I’m watching great old movies today. Stocked up yesterday at the local library’s video section. Hitchcock, Capra, Ealing comedies, etc.

        1. John Anthony La Pietra

          If you’ve time for one more, take a look (and a listen) at “The Flim-Flam Man”.

    3. Arizona Slim

      I haven’t watched any of the coverage. And, wouldn’t you know it, I have more stuff to add to my compost pile in the back yard. I think I’ll go do that for a while.

      See y’all in the Water Cooler!

  25. Ignacio

    RE:The effect of early treatment with ivermectin on viral load, symptoms and humoral response in patients with non-severe COVID-19: A pilot, double-blind, placebo-controlled, randomized clinical trial The Lancet

    The results shown here grant a follow up to confirm the very interesting effects of invermectin on viral loads and disease development. It should qualify for fast track procedures having potential to reduce disease transmission (this could be particularly important if new strains prove more readily transmissible as it looks like) and the incidence of pneumonia, and who knows, possibly severe pneumonia (though the trial was not conducted on severe cases). Besides, it would be cheap treatment compared with other antivirals so this gives incentives for Health Services that are Public. Hopefully this effort is not abandoned. A good thing about the trial is that it used a single-dose approach so treatment deployment is easy. Larger trials needed for risk assessment. Cheap, easy… if proven safe and effective, what’s not to like?

    The results suggest invermectin might reduce the rate of cell infection in patients though nothing is known about the ‘how?’

    1. freebird

      Last month I had a gregarious fellow at an RV dump station in Arizona hold forth for quite a while about some miracle medicine that is freely available in Mexico, he couldn’t remember how to pronounce it, but said, if you start to feel bad, you take this stuff and it slams the brakes on the deadliness of it. He had taken it and thought it was amazing. Said it was the reason Mexico did not have an out of control situation with Covid. I kind of humored him, as a captive audience while the tanks drained, but thought it sounded pretty iffy.

      After seeing the piece about ivermectin, I just looked at the 91-DIVOC chart of cases; Mexico has quite a flat curve and currently 13 cases in 100,000, where the US average is about 60. So, maybe the ‘larger trials needed’ have already been conducted in other countries outside our brilliant pharmaceutocracy?

    2. curlydan

      and the article notes that the treatment vs placebo groups had only 12 participants each (or 24 in the full trial), so it’s extremely hard to get statistically significant results with that small of a trial.

  26. Wukchumni

    Such a weird inaugural, pomp is lacking although laden with circumstance. Has the feel of a high school graduation in size.

    That’s it just now, we’re in the post-Trump era.

    1. ambrit

      Watch This Space Wukchumni.
      I predict a medium term program to “erase” the Trump Administration from the public memory. I can foresee the last four years being referred to in the future as “The Interregnum.”

  27. paul

    RE: America’s Ayodhya: Hindutva’s Lessons for the March on the Capitol.

    We got on a train to Mysore the night before, one of our first days in India.

    Decanted there into streets on fire, almost immediate lockdown and an eerie,silent India I hope I’ll never see again.

    After a phone call to the local consulate, which gave me the priceless advice of the foreign office fast tracked;

    “It’s all a bit iffy right now”

    We changed our plans and,with the usual (just in time) gouging, travelled on to enjoy the more even tempered south of the sub continent.

    I’m not sure the piece’s comparison holds up,though the basic timeline, as I understand it, does.

    Muslims are about 10% of the population.
    The hindutva (the ones with the confidence to knock off Gandhi) have a majority and a mythology to work with.

    Blue and red get, in equal ignorance, 50% each, it’s both colour’s J Gould strategy.

    It’s not the grounded, majoritarian sectarianism you find in Indian politics.

  28. Jason Boxman

    So, news from the wild:

    I know of at least 3 people at work that are concerned about something untoward happening today, which is to say, worried enough that it sounds to be casting a mental shadow. So the pronouncements of violent insurrection at the Capitol recently aren’t without consequence in regards to mental health, as well. As if COVID isn’t causing enough psychological damage.

    1. Amfortas the hippie

      i went into the living room with wife and watched orange babyman leave…wanting some level of catharsis(which i didn’t get).
      the whole while, i was expecting some newsworthy horrorshow…whether trump yelling crazily on the lawn, melanoma announcing her impending divorce, or a shot(or Hellfire) from off screen left…maybe even a sudden stroke, right there on the sidewalk….or deranged madman sets off a nuke in some sh(thole country on his way out the door.
      something to keep that guy in the news, by himself, or due to the mysterious ways of whatever grasshopper god they’ve manifested in the basement…especially on Uncle Joe’s day.
      then i let out the chickens in the pouring rain, smoked a hogleg, and went back to bed(significant rain event, here, today).
      i feel compelled, on the one hand, to keep abreast of the news of the world…which usually means digging around for the Rest of the Story.
      On the other hand, i also wish fervently for a little national boredom…jess send everybody money, dernit!…and refrain from starting any new wars…just til…say….June…
      In my optimistic moments(see: Hogleg, above), i think “they” could at least temporarily satisfy the great majority…calm everything like they say they want to…and relatively simply.
      Just do what Bernie said on CNN.
      But they don’t want to, apparently…we must keep the filibuster so turtlemania can continue, as the Founders wanted.
      “They” expect to rule the ashes, I guess.
      we’re in the in between frames portion of the Show.
      the shoe will never drop, just threaten to….keeping everyone cocked and ready.
      it’s not sustainable.

      (i also feel the great need to wander through my duckblinds in rightyland…especially those so positioned that i can see what my neighbors are thinking….but don’t feel like i’m up to it, today.)

  29. Wukchumni

    I’m starting Queue Anon, a 12 step program to wean people off of doing lines of way out there doom scrolling.

    ‘I’m (state your online name) and i’m powerless without Parler’

  30. Pelham

    Re the Capitol seizure and likely domestic terror crackdown or re-education camps: Harper’s magazine ran a letter on open debate last fall that was signed by many luminaries and should have been entirely uncontroversial but wasn’t. Which was instructive.

    So maybe it’s time for a new letter along similar lines. But instead of advocating open debate, it would serve to pre-emptively turn in its signers as possible instigators of violence and insurrection through their writings, thus informing the FBI, NSA and the like before the signers’ friends and family can rat on them.

  31. none

    Biden has been president for more than 2 hours now, and hasn’t started a single war. You hippies were all just a bunch of alarmists. He is nowhere near as bad as you said. ;)

  32. chuck roast

    Premature mortality due to air pollution in European cities: a health impact assessment

    Gee wizz! And here I am thinking that Covid is the killer. Couldn’a been all those motorcars speeding around on diesel engines. NoX and PM…the primary constituents of diesel emissions. Even the much diminished and toothless EPA considers diesel smoke a toxic emission. And Clinton showered Detroit with $1.5bB in search of a clean diesel. Jeez…no luck there. That didn’t stop Navistar and VW from turning off their NoX precipitators. Just another day on the drive to the office. I remember thinking, “Europe is going all-in on diesels. It’s the environmental equivalent to Thalidomide.” I’m still trying to figure out the US dodged that bullet.

  33. duppy54

    Re: Everything is Broken

    “You could get them to understand their social world not as consisting of people whose families and faces one knew, which was literally the definition of social life for hundreds of thousands of years, but rather as composed of people who belonged to categories—“also followed by,” “friends in common,” “BIPOC”—that didn’t even exist 15 years ago.”

    I read this, and found it jarring. First, it is ahistorical. For thousands of years people have been categorized. There have been the barbarians and the civilized, the peasants and the nobility, the citizen and the foreigner, the master and the slave. Categorizing people is not an invention of Silicon Valley, just a useful tool for a predatory business model.

    Second, what rabbit hole is Ms. Newhouse dropping us down with this comment in an essay about brokenness: ““BIPOC”—that didn’t even exist 15 years ago””? So what if BIPOC didn’t exist 15 years ago? I’m Jamaican American. In my case that means I have African, Northern European, and Jewish ancestry. It also means that I identify as Black, and as a Person of Color. If not for the genocide of the Taino in Jamaica, perhaps I could have checked the Indigenous box as well.

    On 1/6/2021 the confederate flag was raised in the Capitol building by rioters incited by Trump. This is the flag of traitors who tried to create a nation with an economy based on the enslavement of Black people, and People of Color, on land taken from Indigenous Americans. In the face of that reality, that history, what business is it of Ms. Newhouse to question the validity of my identifying as BIPOC, if I so choose?

    Labels are ambiguous, lack nuance, and context is everything. I came of age when African-American was considered a more appropriate descriptor, my father was comfortable being described as Negro. Perhaps it is the opposite of brokenness that people in a struggle for justice and equality continue to find empowerment in the ability to redefine themselves.

  34. Shonde

    Fascinating series of comments on a Science Translational Medicine article that Lambert featured yesterday.

    One such comment:

    “This evidence is that the virus is hanging around and mutating in individual patients after the acute infection. It probably says nothing about vaccine efficacy in preventing disease in the first place, and it raises the question of whether “reinfection” is movement from bowel back to airway. We need effective antivirals to kill this thing ASAP by early outpatient Rx. “Long haulers” may be “antigen persistence.”

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