2:00PM Water Cooler 2/11/2021

By Lambert Strether of Corrente.

Bird Song of the Day

Another city bird — only in New York?


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

I feel I’m engaging in a macabre form of tape-watching…. (A reader asked the source of the data: Johns Hopkins CSSE. DIVOC-91 does allow other data sets to be used, like Our World in Data and The Atlantic, and where they provide visualizations similar to those below, a cursory comparison shows that the shape of the curves is the same.)

Vaccination by region:

Northeast up, others flattening or down. I’d hate to think that was a zero sum game of short supply. More on vaccination:

NEW ENGLAND: “Smaller Clinics in Mass. Say They Need More COVID-19 Vaccines” [NBC Boston]. “As Massachusetts races to vaccinate more people, local health departments are begging for more doses to give out in their communities. They say the state is shorting them on their vaccine orders due to supply and it is making the rollout go even slower. Sharon officials ordered 1,000 doses last week, but only got 100. This week, they are not getting any doses. ‘I’m very disappointed, because we’ve been told to prepare, and we have,’ said Karen Waitekus, the town’s public health administrator. ‘But we have no supply.’ Waitekus said she has a list of 2,500 residents who have pre-registered for the vaccine and are hopeful there will be another vaccine clinic in town. She is concerned many seniors over 75 do not want to travel to the mass vaccination sites, where thousands of appointments are available.” • Looks like misallocation rather than supply as such; we saw that North Carolina had the same problem yesterday. (And the seniors are making sense: It makes no sense to coop two people up in a car when neither are vaccinated, never mind the trouble of organizing the ride in the first place. At this point we pause to consider that modulo China, our rollout is the third best in the world, after Israel and the UK So, a global clusterf*ck!

NEW ENGLAND: “Can you cross state lines to get a COVID vaccine? These are the rules in New England” [USA Today]. “If you own a ski house in the White Mountains of New Hampshire or a summer home on Maine’s Old Orchard Beach, but reside out of state, don’t try to get the COVID-19 vaccine there.” • Wait. How about the Hamptons? More: “That’s the message from several New England states when it comes to who can receive their limited vaccine supply right now. The answer is: residents only. But enforcement mechanisms are few, and no states cite any penalties in place for perceived violators. What’s being referred to as vaccine ‘tourism’ or ‘hunting,’ individuals across the country are seeking out the most optimal or fastest ways to receive the coronavirus vaccine – stalking pharmacies and clinics for leftover doses, or crossing state lines for a quicker result…. New England’s unique geographic proximity and its unsystematic patchwork of vaccine plans present the possibility that people may try to get vaccinated in a state where they don’t live full-time, or live at all.

PA: “Lack of targeted outreach, translated materials leaves Latino community behind as Pa. struggles with vaccine rollout” [Spotlight PA]. “In the weeks since Pennsylvania began its coronavirus vaccine rollout, the Wolf administration has stood by its localized, do-it-yourself system for finding and booking appointments, despite widespread frustration among residents. ‘The relationship that folks have with their provider or with their pharmacists is what was best suited to actually administer the vaccine,’ acting Health Secretary Alison Beam said in January. ‘And so we are allowing those providers and those pharmacists to be able to use their scheduling systems.’ But the state’s patchwork approach has left particularly at-risk residents and communities at a tremendous disadvantage. Older Pennsylvanians, who are supposed to be among the first in line to get the vaccine, are struggling with clunky and disjointed online sign-ups and phone numbers that get them nowhere, while those who are more tech-savvy jump ahead. And more than a month into the rollout, the Pennsylvania Health Department hasn’t done any targeted outreach on the vaccine to communities that don’t speak English, many of whom have been disproportionately affected by the pandemic…. ‘We need numbers where we can call people who speak our language to ask questions and to be able to get answers around the vaccine that understand what we’re saying,’ Claudia Garcia of Philadelphia, who cleans houses and provides in-home elder care, told Spotlight PA through a translator.” • Just the sort of person you’d want to vaccinate first!

PA: “In race for COVID-19 vaccinations, older residents in rural Pa. face tough obstacles” [SpotlightPA]. “[O]lder residents — who are supposed to be among the first in line — in rural areas face more obstacles. They live far away from major chain pharmacies like CVS and RiteAid, and may not have internet or a means of transportation. …. In Venango County in the northwest, Commissioner Albert Abramovic said he was worried about connecting residents who don’t have internet or cell phone service with appointments. About 21% of the county’s 50,000 residents are older than 65, according to Census data, and 22% of households don’t have internet access…. In Juniata County, 19% of the population is older than 65 and a quarter of households do not have internet access. Some older residents live alone, on old family farms, said Alice Gray, one of the county’s commissioners.”

Case count by United States region:

Still dropping nicely. Maybe in a couple of months we’ll be back to where we here in the summer of 2020. A thread on causes behind the declining case count:

Big states (New York, Florida, Texas, California):

I suppose we’ll have to be watching to see the results of the Super Spreader Bowl. And the variants.

Test positivity:

The snow melted or was removed in the Northeast, I suppose.

Nowhere near 3%, anywhere.


The South has flattened. Given that hospitalization is probably a more reliable indicator of trouble than case count, I certainly hope that’s the not first sign of B117. Hospitalization is discretionary; they may also be reducing their admissions rate — relative to cases we cannot see in this data! — to preserve future capacity; or because hospitals have figured out how to send people home.

Case fatality rate (plus deaths):

The case fatality rate has markedly increased, albeit slowly. I don’t like that at all. Deaths plateau, and should really be starting to fall at some point. Maybe this time they won’t head back up again. It would be about time.

* * *

CA: “No bathrooms. No seating. Endless lines. Struggling seniors face vaccine misery” [Los Angeles Times]. “The system set up by Los Angeles County seems, in many ways, to be a young person’s game: It can take social media skills, technology savvy, reliable transportation and even physical stamina to obtain one of the coveted shots. That leaves some of the county’s most vulnerable residents at a serious disadvantage.”


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

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

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


“GOP senators signal they plan to acquit Trump despite visceral presentation by House Democrats” [CNN]. “While they were struck by the impeachment managers’ presentation, these Republicans said that the House Democrats did not prove Trump’s words led to the violent actions. They compared the January 6 riot to last summer’s racial justice protests and criticized how the trial is being handled.” • I have a lot of priors here, I confess, mostly having to do with how many times we’ve heard liberal Democrats cry “wolf”; my hermeneutic of suspicion being, in this case, an example of the genetic fallacy. That said, I’ve often remarked that “digital evidence is not evidence.” I wouldn’t accept a video presentation as dispostive unless every single inch of it was checked for provenance, something the Democrats did not give the Republicans a chance to do. (IIRC, the House impeachment resolution proffered no evidence whatever). Further, ugly though the seizure is, the ugliness in and of itself is no proof of Trump’s intent; the Republicans are correct. What the video seems to be saying, then, is “Convict Trump to remove such people from politics.” Na ga happen. Finally, and simplifying in a tribalist manner, if the Democrat case is that Repubicans are trying to kill them, then they’re asking Republicans to convict themselves. That seems unlikely. (It’s also not clear to me why, if the Capitol seizure is sedition because it interferes with the orderly process of government, or some such, the events in Minneapolis, where a police station was burned down, are not also seditious. Special pleading abounds. (I also very much wonder how many voters are silently saying to themselves that the only real problem is that the rioters didn’t go far enough, and over in their minds what a more strategic approach might look like. Of course, if barbed wire comes to define “our democracy,” that may never happen.

“Graphic Video of Capitol Attack Leaves Emotions Raw but May Not Change Votes” [New York Times]. • “Graphic, never-before-seen video….” It’s like pr0n, isn’t it? Scanning The Federalist Papers for “raw emotion” as grounds for impeachment. I haven’t come up with anything…

“Justice Department says an Oath Keepers leader waited for Trump’s direction before Capitol attack” [CNN]. “The Justice Department is now making clear that a leader among the Oath Keepers paramilitary group — who planned and led others in the US Capitol siege to attempt to stop the Biden presidency — believed she was responding to the call from then-President Donald Trump himself. ‘As the inauguration grew nearer, [Jessica] Watkins indicated that she was awaiting direction from President Trump,’ prosecutors wrote in a filing Thursday morning. This is the most direct language yet from federal prosecutors linking Trump’s requests for support in Washington, DC, to the most militant aspects of the insurrection.” • But the issue isn’t what the Oath Keepers leader believed; it’s Trump’s intent. (Parenthetically, I am not an expert in militant conservative factions, but I thought the Oath Keepers were both less politically wired and less cray cray than the Proud Boys.)

UPDATE “Tuberville says he informed Trump of Pence’s evacuation before rioters reached Senate” [Politico]. “Sen. Tommy Tuberville revealed late Wednesday that he spoke to Donald Trump on Jan. 6, just as a violent mob closed in on the the Senate, and informed the then-president directly that Vice President Mike Pence had just been evacuated from the chamber. ‘I said ‘Mr. President, they just took the vice president out, I’ve got to go,” Tuberville (R-Ala.) told POLITICO on Capitol Hill on Wednesday night, saying he cut the phone call short amid the chaos. The existence of the phone call had been previously reported, but the detail that Tuberville informed Trump his vice president was in danger is a new and potentially significant development for House prosecutors seeking Trump’s conviction: it occurred just around the time that Trump sent a tweet attacking Pence for not having ‘the courage’ to unilaterally stop Joe Biden’s victory. And Trump never indicated publicly that he was aware of Pence’s plight, even hours after Tuberville says he told him. It’s long been unclear precisely when Trump learned of the danger that Congress and his vice president faced — though it was broadcast all over live television — but Tuberville’s claim would mark a specific moment Trump was notified that Pence had to be evacuated for his own safety.” • Tommy Tuberville nailing Trump on intent* wasn’t on my 2021 Bingo card at all! NOTE * Intent for an action in the articles of impeachment? Apparently not. See next link. (To make my own position clear on all this, if it has not been, I think the House should have censured Trump for inciting a riot, and left it at that.)

UPDATE “Mike Lee objects to House impeachment manager’s narrative about Trump phone call” [Desert News]. “Sen. Mike Lee threw the last few minutes of former President Donald Trump’s impeachment trial into momentary confusion Wednesday when he objected to quotes House managers attributed to him. ‘They are not true. I never made those statements. I ask that they be stricken,’ Lee demanded. Lee said the statements attributed to him about the specifics of the phone conversation between Trump and Tuberville were false and said, ‘I’m the only witness.’ Lee’s objection caused confusion in the Senate as to how to proceed. Lead House impeachment manager Rep. Jamie Raskin, D-Md., ultimately withdrew the evidence. Raskin said Cicilline was simply reading from a media report of the call, but that the anecdote was not worth defending further. ‘This is much ado about nothing because it’s not critical in any way to our case,’ Raskin said….. Tuberville and Trump talked for about five to 10 minutes, Lee said, adding that he stood nearby because he didn’t want to lose his cellphone in the commotion. The two were still talking when panicked police ordered the Capitol to be evacuated because people had breached security. As police were getting anxious for senators to leave, Lee walked over to retrieve his phone. Lee said when he later asked Tuberville about the conversation, he got the impression that Trump didn’t know about the chaos going on in the Senate chamber. Other than that, Lee did not characterize what Trump and Tuberville might have talked about.”

Biden Adminstration

UPDATE “Democrats clash over a $15 minimum wage in the Covid relief package” [NBC]. ” Democrats are confronting a growing intraparty dispute over whether the Covid-19 relief bill they are crafting should include a $15-an-hour federal minimum wage, a top progressive priority for years. Two disagreements are brewing between Democrats: first, a procedural dispute over whether Senate rules even allow them to include it in the coronavirus relief bill. And second, a policy division over whether a nationwide wage floor of $15 an hour is too high. The Democratic-controlled House Education and Labor Committee approved a Covid-19 relief bill early Wednesday that includes a wage hike from $7.25 an hour to $15, slowly over four years. The move puts the chamber on course for a clash with the Democratic-led Senate, where limitations of the reconciliation process being used for the Covid-19 bill could force its removal. And even if the move complied with the rules, Senate Democrats appear to lack the votes for it.” • If the Democrats want the Capitol to be attacked again, they couldn’t be doing a better job. See below under “Neoliberal Epidemics.”

UPDATE “Biden under pressure to go nuclear to get minimum wage hike” [Politico]. “Biden’s team is leaning heavily against the idea of having Vice President Kamala Harris use her powers as president of the Senate to keep the minimum wage provision inside the relief package. She could do so if the Senate parliamentarian determines that hiking the minimum wage to $15 an hour does not jibe with budgetary rules that allow a bill to pass with just 51 votes in the Senate. Harris, at that point, could be the tiebreaking vote to bypass the parliamentarian. Early in his presidency, Biden has taken a historic amount of executive actions. But the president still views himself as an institutionalist, and advisers and allies say he is wary of using the Harris nuclear option. A vice president hasn’t overruled a parliamentarian in more than 40 years. And while the White House is not ruling out the idea, officials are skeptical that enough Democrats would vote to keep the wage provision in the relief package even if they deployed the option, a person familiar with the White House’s thinking said.” • The Senate parliamentarian is, apparently, even more sacred than the filibuster. Gawd forbid that BIden should threaten to close Allegany Ballistics Laboratory (Rocket Center, WV), Camp Dawson (Preston County, WV), and Shepherd Field Air National Guard Base (Martinsburg, WV), all for the sake of party discipline and lifting the rentier boot slightly from millions of working class necks.

UPDATE “At Least I’ve Lived Long Enough to See Bernie Sanders as Chair of the Senate Budget Committee” [Charles Pierce, Esquire]. This exchange:

SANDERS: I have a letter in front of me from, I’m sure you have seen, a number of Republican members of the House concerned about some of the things you said as the head but, of course, your attacks were not just made against Republicans, there were vicious attacks made against progressives. People I have worked with, me personally. So as you come before this committee to assume a very important role in the United States government at a time when we need serious work on serious issues and not personal attacks on anybody, whether they’re on the left or the right. Can you reflect a little bit about some of your decisions and the personal statements that you have made in recent years?

TANDEN: Yes, senator. I really appreciate that question. And I recognize that my language and my expressions on social media, you know, caused hurt to people and I feel badly about that. And I recognize it’s really important for me to demonstrate that I can work with others and I look forward to taking that burden and I apologize to people on either the left or right who are hurt by what I’ve said.

SANDERS: As you know, it’s not a question of being hurt. We’re all big boys, I don’t see too many girls here, big boys who get attacked all the time. But it’s important that we make the attacks expressing our differences on policy and that we don’t need to make personal attacks no matter what view somebody may hold. Can we assume as the director of the OMB, we’re going to see a different approach, if you are appointed than you have taken?

TANDEN: Absolutely. I would say social media does lead to too many personal comments and my will be radically different.

Lol, first at the notion that Tanden is capable of self-refection, second that the idea that “The Twitter made me do it.”

Like clockwork:

Realignment and Legitimacy

“‘There’s Nothing Left’: Why Thousands of Republicans Are Leaving the Party” [New York Times]. “An analysis of January voting records by The New York Times found that nearly 140,000 Republicans had quit the party in 25 states that had readily available data (19 states do not have registration by party). Voting experts said the data indicated a stronger-than-usual flight from a political party after a presidential election, as well as the potential start of a damaging period for G.O.P. registrations as voters recoil from the Capitol violence and its fallout.”

“Legal loopholes allow abuse to go undetected at religious boarding schools, advocates say” [NBC]. • Making Q’s theory of child-abusing elites look rather like projection….

Stats Watch

At reader request, I added some business stats back in. Please give Econintersect click-throughs; they’re a good, old-school blog that covers more than stats.

Employment Situation: “06 February 2021 Initial Unemployment Claims Rolling Average Improves” [Econintersect]. “Market expectations for weekly initial unemployment claims (from Econoday) were 750 K to 878 K (consensus 803 K), and the Department of Labor reported 793,000 new claims. The more important (because of the volatility in the weekly reported claims and seasonality errors in adjusting the data) 4 week moving average moved from 856,500 (reported last week as 848,250) to 823,000”

Employment Situation: “Older Workers Accounted For All Net Employment Growth In Past 20 Years” [Econintersect]. “Total U.S. employment grew by 11,767,000, or 8.5%, in the 20 years ending in December 2020.[ 1] All that growth – 11,879,000, or 101% of the total – was due to increased employment of people age 60 and older. Meanwhile, the net employment change over the past two decades of people ages 16-59 was -112,000 (-1% of the total change), despite this younger group being 3.8 times as large as the older group in December 2000 and still 2.4 times as large in December 2020.” • Sounds like it’s time to make Social Security live up to its name, and decruft existing Medicare, while we’re at it.

Employment Situation: Until morale improves:

* * *

Today’s Fear & Greed Index: 65 Greed (previous close: 56 Greed) [CNN]. One week ago: 53 (Neutral). (0 is Extreme Fear; 100 is Extreme Greed). Last updated Feb 11 at 12:00pm. A ten point swing back to Green. Mr. Market is really having his mood swings between Neutral and Greed (not Fear). Odd.

Health Care

“Public policy and health in the Trump era” [The Lancet]. Single payer advocates Woolhandler and Himmelstein among the authors; worth the free log-in. “The global COVID-19 pandemic has had a disproportionate effect on the USA, with more than 26 million diagnosed cases and over 450 000 deaths as of early February, 2021, about 40% of which could have been averted had the US death rate mirrored the weighted average of the other G7 nations.” • But everything’s going according to plan: “Life expectancy in the USA was average among high-income nations in 1980, by 1995, it was 2·2 years shorter than the average of other G7 countries, and by 2018, the gap had widened to 3·4 years. The extent of difference can also be quantified as the number of missing Americans—ie, the number of US residents who would still be alive if age-specific mortality rates in the USA had remained equal to the average of the other six G7 nations. By this measure, in 2018 alone, 461 000 Americans went missing, an annual figure that has been increasing since 1980 (figure 2, appendix pp 2–3).38 Most of the US mortality excess is among people younger than 65 years. If US death rates were equivalent to those of other G7 nations, two of five deaths before age 65 years would have been averted. To put this number in context, the number of missing Americans each year is more than the total number of COVID-19 deaths in the USA in all of 2020.” • And: “Many of the adverse health and social trends preceded and presaged President Trump’s election. His county-level vote share in 2016 was closely correlated with mortality trends. Counties in which more than 60% of people voted for Trump had higher life expectancy in 1980 than those counties in which more than 60% of people voted for Clinton. However, by 2014, the Trump counties lagged more than 2 years behind counties that had voted for Clinton.” • As I pointed out back in November, 2016, before “economic anxiety” became something for liberal Democrats snicker at.

“Predicting COVID-19 Outcomes in Emergency Department Patients” [JAMA]. “A new artificial intelligence algorithm uses chest x-ray severity scores and clinical variables collected during emergency department (ED) visits to predict whether patients with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) will be intubated or will die. If further validated in larger studies with additional patient populations, the proof-of-concept model… could be used to appropriately triage ED patients before they become seriously ill with COVID-19.” • Triaged by an algo. Something to look forward to, I guess.

“CVS Looks to Simplify Vaccine Site for Federal Pharmacy Push” [Bloomberg]. “CVS Health Corp. has revamped its website where customers can book appointments to get Covid-19 shots, hoping to avoid the confusion and technical snafus that have bedeviled the early phases of the U.S. vaccine rollout. The nation’s largest pharmacy chain, with about 9,900 locations, added a feature Tuesday that displays a map of the U.S. highlighting the states where it’s offering vaccines. When a user clicks on a state, a window pops up showing who is eligible for immunization, which CVS stores are offering vaccines, whether appointments are available and when the data was last updated.” • Oh, great. A pop-up. Better tell all the elders whose grandchildren turned off pop-ups in their browsers to whitelist CVS! Seriously, is there something wrong with a simple list, where everything is visible, and that you can print out?

Groves of Academe

“‘Instagram-worthy’: Covid-19 predicted to change design of Australian universities” [Guardian]. “The report, commissioned by telecommunications company Optus and IT company Cisco, claims that universities are moving towards ‘campuses that are cheaper to build’ after the Covid-19 pandemic. While the report was not written by a university, or a university industry body, Optus said it is based on ‘responses from executives across 80% of Australian higher education and Tafe institutes.'” • I believe it. More: “Darren McKee, the chief operating officer of Murdoch University in Western Australia was quoted in the report saying: ‘The face-to-face mass lecture is all but dead.’ The report claims that creating a more ‘Instagram-worthy’ campus is a new priority of university design. ‘Fifty-four per cent of education leaders believe students will increasingly be looking for ‘Instagram-worthy’ experiences on campus,’ it said. ‘There is general agreement that these changes are driving institutions towards investment in digital … Creating Instagram-worthy moments.’ … Sixteen universities responded to the survey, including seven of the Group of Eight institutions, and four from the Australian Technology Network of universities – Curtin University, RMIT University, University of South Australia, and the University of Technology Sydney.” • And we wonder why university administrators can’t collectively mobilize to keep all their students safe in a pandemic.

Zeitgeist Watch

“The Great Super Bowl Rings Heist” [ESPN]. “What is undeniable is that Murphy has been locked up in Bristol County jail for a long time. He doesn’t mind it much, he says, mostly because he sees it as an ‘occupational hazard.’ His routine is static: morning workout, chores, his soap opera from 2 to 3 — ‘I’ve been watching ‘General Hospital’ for 35 years’ — and law library time at night. Most evenings, ‘Star Trek’ is on the prison TVs (Murphy likes ‘Voyager’), and on Saturdays he is able to listen to three hours of ‘House of Hair,’ Dee Snider’s hair metal music show. It reminds him of going to see bands like Poison and Kiss in the 1980s.”

Neoliberal Epidemics

“Life Expectancy and Mortality Rates in the United States, 1959-2017” [JAMA]. From the Abstract: “Between 1959 and 2016, US life expectancy increased from 69.9 years to 78.9 years but declined for 3 consecutive years after 2014. The recent decrease in US life expectancy culminated a period of increasing cause-specific mortality among adults aged 25 to 64 years that began in the 1990s, ultimately producing an increase in all-cause mortality that began in 2010.” • Obama, good job. More: “During 2010-2017, midlife all-cause mortality rates increased from 328.5 deaths/100 000 to 348.2 deaths/100 000. By 2014, midlife mortality was increasing across all racial groups, caused by drug overdoses, alcohol abuse, suicides, and a diverse list of organ system diseases. The largest relative increases in midlife mortality rates occurred in New England (New Hampshire, 23.3%; Maine, 20.7%; Vermont, 19.9%) and the Ohio Valley (West Virginia, 23.0%; Ohio, 21.6%; Indiana, 14.8%; Kentucky, 14.7%). The increase in midlife mortality during 2010-2017 was associated with an estimated 33 307 excess US deaths, 32.8% of which occurred in 4 Ohio Valley states.” • “Across all racial groups.” Handy map:

To be fair, these Americans are unlikely to be woke, and so the results of this grand natural experiment are to be expected, and may even be salutary. From the Virginia Commonwealth University press release on the study: “‘The notion that U.S. death rates are increasing for working-age adults is particularly disturbing because it is not happening like this in other countries,” [ Steven Woolf, M.D., director emeritus of the VCU Center on Society and Health] said. ‘This is a distinctly American phenomenon.'” • Musical interlude….

“Covid-19 vaccination rates follow the money in states with the biggest wealth gaps, analysis shows” [STAT]. “Connecticut has the most glaring disparity in vaccination rates between its richest and poorest communities — a difference of 65% — according to a STAT analysis of local-level vaccine data in 10 states with the biggest wealth gaps. Four other states — California, Florida, New Jersey, and Mississippi — also have vaccinated a significantly higher proportion of people in the wealthiest 10% of counties… The findings back up, with hard data, anecdotal reports from around the country that wealthy people have been able to gain access to vaccines ahead of low-income people…. But the analysis also reveals that some states appear to be distributing vaccines more equitably than others. Among states with the greatest wealth gaps, Texas, Tennessee, New Mexico, Pennsylvania, and Illinois did not show a significant county-level income divide in vaccination rates.

Class Warfare

Makes me wonder what the equivalent would be in North Houston. I just don’t know:

Everything’s going according to plan, but faster this time:

Same as under Obama, how odd:

News of the Wired

“John Keats is brought back to life 200 years after his death: Scientists are recreating the famous poet’s voice, face and clothing in CGI, in the very room in Rome where he died” [Daily Mail]. “The Victoria and Albert Museum were involved in the clothing selection – it had to match Keats working class background and the final outfits were ‘contentious’ While the clothing was contentious, the accent was the most difficult part of the project, Michel said, as they had to capture his famous London voice. He had been said by critics to be of the ‘cockney school’ with ‘low diction’ and that he made use of ‘inelegant rhymes’ – think thorns with fawns. So to get his voice correct they turned to Dr Ranjen Sen of the University of Sheffield – a linguistic historian, who said Keats accent would have had distinctive features. Keats would have emphasised the final ‘t’ in words like fat, cat, sat and mat that would sound ‘put on’ or exaggerated to modern ears, said Sen…. The virtual reading of Big Star will start at 17:00 GMT on February 23, 2021 and will run until just after midnight to ‘give him his full extra day the tombstone promised’.” • Bright Star, ffs (“Bright star, would I were stedfast as thou art,” lovely). Was Andrea Mitchell consulting on this project?

Oy, the “The O. Sea” is the “OC”:

Sid The Cat Lawyer files a motion:

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LL writes: “Danish Flag poppy and a few Bee friends.”

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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. Carolinian

    I wouldn’t accept

    As Turley keeps saying the Democrats didn’t bother to do any sort of investigation at all even though they have had weeks to do so. Perhaps they think finding out what really happened would weaken their case.

    And is that Oath Keeper leader the one who has a history with the FBI–not to be confused with the Proud Boys leader who has a history with the FBI?


    1. fresno dan

      February 11, 2021 at 2:14 pm

      so many nefarious characters…paid for by the government. for some strange reason, Carter Page comes to mind…

    2. zagonostra

      I don’t think anyone in power gives a rat’s parse on a real investigation with full discovery. There are alternative realities on what happened depending on who you’re cheering on to win. Paul Street, says this in an article today.

      Trump rebuffed and refused requests to mobilize the D.C. National Guard. The Guard was belatedly mustered to defend Congress only after the order came from acting Defense Secretary Christopher C. Miller. Vice President Mike Pence approved the command, not Trump.

      and then a friend sends me this from Epoch Times which he subscribes to:

      Former President Donald Trump offered to deploy 10,000 National Guard troops in Washington D.C. prior to Jan. 6, the day of the Capitol building breach, according to former White House chief of staff Mark Meadows…Trump had been vocal about offering Capitol Police and National Guard presence at the Capitol on multiple occasions last month, his offer was rebuked “every time.”

      So take your pick. Me, all I know is the ruling elites won’t provide a system of healthcare akin to what the rest of the civilized world provides their citizens, education for my kids ate my retirement, the streets are congested, the air is fouled, the water polluted and my taxes seem to keep going up. The show is entertaining but a dignified/decent life for myself and friends is getting more and more difficult to negotiate,; the economic precarity is a foreboding shadow that keeps us in a state of gnawing anxiety.



        1. Zagonostra

          I don’t either but their hard copy is pretty slick, reminds one of the NYT before it slimmed down. Seems to be attracting right leaning PMC friends.

          1. Mike Mc

            Epoch Times is deeply culty, like Q Anon level. Youngest stepson – a writer in NYC – took a job writing filler for their web site… in a few months it was quite clear that Epoch Times’ publisher is the Falun Gong empire in the US.

            True believers he worked with began to reveal increasingly cray cray stuff so when they cut his hours to the bone he simply found a better gig.

            Alex Jones, Glenn Beck et al come off as voices of reason compared to Epoch Times. They are radioactive.

        2. skippy


          What if the Dems don’t care if Trump is impeached, but only utilize this chain of events to frame the GOP for future leverage. At the end of the day it is a competition over the minds of the unwashed [Public Choice theory], so the order of the day is crafting a narrative around the Trump camp, for the minds of the unwashed, in creating a visceral dislike, and with it limit the potential for such actors in the future.

          Its not unlike Trump constantly saying “but ***you*** knew that” to his audience after setting up the strawman framing of mind numbing over simplification. Then again Trumps affiliation with the T.V. evangelists [Florida event] is not surprising at all, basically cold reading an audience in an attempt to create a mass suspension of disbelief and then fill their heads with whatever they want. Next thing you know their throwing money at you and consider them leaders to the promised land ….

          The American mind has and is being put through the proverbial Bernays wringer aka the mangler … the rope between forces being pulled back and forth though it …

      1. Carolinian

        Paul Street is a rabid Trump hater and I’d doubt anything he has to say on the matter–might as well be talking to Pelosi. One good thing about the departure of Trump is that I can go back to reading Counterpunch again. However Trump is not quite gone yet.

    3. Phillip Cross

      “that Oath Keeper leader the one who has a history with the FBI”

      It’s not hard to believe that someone with top secret clearance dating back to the 70s, is a crotchety old retiree who likes guns, no matter if he worked for the FBI or not. It was a different time back then. A great many of the American people I have met, who are in their 60s, are extremely far-right in their politics by my standards. That guy is a twofer because retired law enforcement officers are among the most right wing people I have ever met, with the exception of the few Millwall football “fans” I knew in the 80s.

    4. Andrew Watts

      “Perhaps they think finding out what really happened would weaken their case.”

      Probably. The FBI has been infiltrating these groups and others they deem radical for years. But I don’t think it necessarily means they exercise control over them. Groups tend to work by their own logic and the popular consensus usually wins. It’s entirely possible to think they’re being influenced and/or directed by individuals covertly working for the State. Although I’m reminded of the historical fact that one of the first things the Bolsheviks did after taking power was burn the archives of the secret police.

    5. The Rev Kev

      Wouldn’t it be funny if the law enforcement with the job of identifying these protesters found it worked too well. They had millions of people trying to identify them, people tattling on relatives, software to identify people, etc. So you would be going through the faces to remove your own ‘operatives’ from those files and be saying ‘Naw, he’s FBI, she’s Secret Service, he’s DC Metropolitan Police, that couple is DEA, she’s California Police and I don’t want to even think what three-letter agency that he came from!’

    6. flawedmind

      Maybe we should demand that our elected representatives, serving in a public function, wear body cams?

      That would take a lot of the fun out of it for them though…

  2. zagonostra

    >Dollar’s Purchasing Power Drops to Record Low, Despite Aggressive “Hedonic Quality Adjustments”

    I don’t know how much “Hedonic Quality Adjustment” you can attribute to lumber, but I was sticker shocked to see how much pressure treated wood, or any lumber for that matter, has gone up when I went to Lowes this afternoon. Maybe it’s because I only shop for myself that I am now starting to notice just how much prices are going up. At the local Publix, bottled 6 packs of sparkling water is priced 2/$9. I’d rather spend a bit more and purchase beer for that price…I think the trillions that came off the Fed’s computer keyboard is starting to show up in the dilution of the purchasing power of the dollar as is evidenced in Wolf’s charts in below article.


    1. Tom Stone

      You can no longer dispose of pressure treated wood legally in California, however it is still legal to sell and use.

      1. SteveD

        I just encountered this at my local transfer station (although I’d characterize it as posted policy; not strongly enforced). Crazy – what do they think is going to happen to all of the off-cuts from new PT lumber being bought every day? Burn it?

        1. Amfortas the hippie

          chances are that there’s some extreme recycling nut somewhere near you that would take any scrap lumber and make a chicken house out of it.
          or a man cave.
          a whole lot of my works are sourced thataway.
          guys at the dump know me, and i seem to have started a trend, as i sometimes have competition at the metal pile.
          (MIL’s toilet literally blew up last october…city’s fault, ergo, insurance is paying for a whole re-do, because the entire 70 yo house was coated on the inside with fecal material.
          so i get a crapload of single pane windows and a bunch of 70 year old 2×4’s, intercepted on the way to the dump.
          this will likely become another greenhouse, for to expand my winter fare and seeding out capacity. “waste not…”)

    1. LaRuse

      Richmond has a falcon cam, though it won’t be up and running for the season until next month. If it is in the same place as it has been for the last decade, it will be on the East Tower of the Riverfront Plaza. I worked in the West Tower in the early ’00s. Love the James River peregrines. https://dwr.virginia.gov/falcon-cam/

    2. Lee

      Peregrines atop the U.C. Berkeley campanile:


      We have urban Peregrines in many locations in the SF bay area. This is pretty amazing considering that in 1968 or thereabouts some companions and I reported sighting of a Peregrine nest with young on a cliff above Goat Rock Beach near Jenner, CA. We were told that it was the only such sighting reported to them that year.

  3. fresno dan


    The Fresno County Department of Public Health received 19,000 doses this week, a significant increase from the 8,000 doses they’d been receiving in previous weeks.
    “They heard us, but they also delivered. Going from 8,000 to 19,000 was a delivery,” said Joe Prado, who is leading the vaccine distribution effort in Fresno County.
    Google says there are 3.8 million people in the Central Valley. Rounding up to 20,000 dose a week, that means (asks pet centipede* to do the counting) we should have enough vaccine in about 190 weeks.

    * https://www.sciencemag.org/news/2021/02/illicit-centipede-raises-thorny-question-should-journals-have-refused-publish-paper
    Yes, a pretty centipede but has a totally careless attitude toward counting, so I make no warranty or guarantees, explicit or implied, to how many weeks it will be before there is enough vaccine in the central valley….

  4. km

    The point of the Trump trial isn’t to convict Trump before the Senate. That’s not going to happen, not if Trump himself were to testify that he urged the rioters to burn the Capitol flat to the ground and strew salt amongst the ruins on January 6, right after cashing a fat check from the KKK and there were videotaped evidence and bank records, to boot.

    The point of what seems like an exercise in futility is to make the Team R brand as toxic as possible, to associate Team R with January 6 in the minds of any likely voters whose minds are not already made up, and to get Team D stalwarts into the polling booths, next election.

    1. Duck1

      The point in the second para “make brand toxic”, etc . . . seems like an exercise in futility as well. Well, from the geniuses that brought us Russia, Russia, Russia we expect similar craftsmanship in their latest Trumpian outrage.

      1. Synoia

        It is theater, designed to eliminate time spent on other matters ($$) while giving the appearance of taking action.

        Collectively the House and Senate are expert in such behavior. So good that one could mistake it for their full-time paid activity.

        1. km

          But of course. Neither Team R nor Team D can deliver concrete material benefits to the average frustrated American, at least not without torking off the donor class.

          That means that circuses it is, since bread is out.

    2. Lambert Strether Post author

      > The point of what seems like an exercise in futility is to make the Team R brand as toxic as possible, to associate Team R with January 6 in the minds of any likely voters whose minds are not already made up, and to get Team D stalwarts into the polling booths, next election.

      Well, yes. Call me crazy, but I thought we had a whole party system and an army of enormously well-paid consultants to do that, with no need to invoke a Constitutional process. The concept of using the impeachment process to launch a campaign video is innovative, however, I grant.

      1. a different chris

        You guys have lost it. When you spend as many words trying to back down (Turley, again, omg) from what is obvious to most other sentient beings that oughta give you a clue how far off reality you are.

        1) The video is emotional. Every lawyer in the world does that if they can. But it proves that people in MAGA hats entered the Capitol. It lines up nicely with the timing of Trump’s incitiations. So it is important evidence. “Too bad if it sways emotions, I’m just establishing facts” says every successful trial lawyer ever.
        2) we had a whole party system and an army of enormously well-paid consultants to do that, WTF dude. Trump said he could shoot somebody in the middle of Main Street. Apparently if he did you feel that a Dem looking at it would be purely political?
        3) make the Team R brand as toxic as possible They aren’t saying “Republicans”, they are saying “Trump”. So if Team R wants to have Trump as their face, then they gotta live with it. If they don’t, then Team D has bent over backwards as pointed out for years on this very site to accommodate them. And anyway, politcs ain’t beanbag. Team R hasn’t done anything ever to make Team D as toxic as possible?

        Trump got people killed. The fact he’s an idiot who can’t hold a coherent thought, doesn’t change that.

        You are both-sidering this beyond belief. Politics ain’t beanbag, stop clutching your pearls. Get ready for the Sicknick family btw.

        1. Lambert Strether Post author

          I can understand why some might experience stress at the prospect of liberal Democrats butchering an impeachment for a third time. Let me address your points individually.

          > 1) The video is emotional. Every lawyer in the world does that if they can.

          This is true. But — follow me closely, here — failing to wallow in succumb to lawyerly manipulation is not only a useful survival skill, it’s essential to rendering a just verdict. Your mileage may vary, of course.

          > 2) Apparently if he did you feel that a Dem looking at it would be purely political?

          Hypothetically, er, no?

          > 3) They aren’t saying “Republicans”, they are saying “Trump”.

          Seems a little naive to me, but if you believe that, by all means keep on doing so. In any case, if we’re going to use the impeachment process as a tool of electoral politics, the Democrats had better get ready for a Biden impeachment if they lose the House in 2022.

          > You are both-sidering this beyond belief.

          The sole count of the impeachment is “incitement to insurrection.” By the standards of a real insurrection — as at the Winter Palace, or the Tuileries, or Berlin 1918, or the February 26 Incident in Japan, or South Carolina’s Ordinance of Secession in 1860 ffs, the Capitol seizure was a [family-blogging] micro-aggression.* This wasn’t an insurrection. It was a riot. That’s why I support censuring Trump for causing a riot, to avoid the ludicrously overblown charge of insurrection.

          * * *

          I’d clutch my pearls at the idiocy, champ, but I don’t have ’em. You do.

          NOTE All I know about Officer Sicknick is that for a month the story was that he was struck with a fire extinguisher. Now it seems that bear spray was the cause. I don’t know how the two could get confused, but no doubt at some point the criminal justice system will come into play and we’ll find out what really happened. I don’t see how much more ready I have to be.

      2. km

        Just this provides a bigger and more public stage, that is all.

        Which is sort of the point of this type of performative performance, to be able to perform in front of as big an audience as possible.

      3. John

        Conviction of Trump is all but certainly out the window. There are enough Republican senators who are either not running for re-election or were just re-elected to deliver, ideally, 66 votes for conviction although 60 and above would show strong disapproval. If you look at the totality of Trump’s utterances about how the election would be, was being, and had been stolen together his rhetoric as laid out by the trial managers, there is a bright line urging his followers to do something about it. His speech and his action, or lack of it, on 6 January in my mind makes the case. Lawyers may argue the law here, but an impeachment is a political act and “high crimes and misdemeanors” need not be literal violations of the law.

        The votes in the Senate will be weighed in a political and not a legal balance for senators to argue otherwise is sophistic.

      4. Yves Smith

        Greenwald is saying, as CNN has quietly admitted, the fire extinguisher account is false and is also disputing the accuracy of core elements of the “narrative”.

        I recall that the original story was that that police officer was crushed by/behind a door.


        1. neo-realist

          The video of the dc cop getting beaten with a flagpole with the American flag, looked real to me.

          The black dc cop called the n-word 15 times by protesters. Considering the make-up of the crowd, very believable.

          A little video cherry picking doesn’t hide the overwhelming reality that these so-called Americans acted in a vicious and violent manner, yet because of the color of their skin and political orientation (not against capital plunder and pro-state sanctioned violence against the left), were treated with kid gloves.

          BLM wouldn’t have gotten away with such behavior.

          1. Yves Smith

            Only one guy did that. Video shows one person inflicting the blows and he has been identified and arrested.

            BLM burned down a police station. Or did you forget that?

            It is hard for the Dems to claim the moral high ground when there was china broken during BLM and they didn’t condemn it.

            1. skippy

              I think the rub here is based on a whole lot of arm chair thinking by those that have never experienced such an event regardless of how that translates to ones involvement or point of observation to draw conclusions from.

              Especially the psychological factors of all involved.

              I will state that the mob was predominately white and largely driven by dialectal propaganda, for some notion of ownership, of the nation, that has no historical back ground and is something the GOP has a long track record of advancing.

              Blow back from the Bush Jr years after the GFC and now covid …. ugh promises ….

              1. Yves Smith

                See John Siman below. He would vigorously dispute the new imaging (in the past couple of days!) that this was a mob. It seems as if there was a small militant contingent and the rest were (as Siman put it) acting as if the entry into the Capitol was a frat house prank. That’s consistent with the selfies and the lack of any apparent agenda.

                1. skippy

                  Oh I don’t depute that angle at all and agree that the contingent was a fracas of social media driven discontents that were incited to act on fraudulent information – see WMD et al.

                  Yet regardless of whatever machinations incited the event, people entered the capital on taking back some uninformed notion of their property being stolen from them.

                  This on top of all the stored potential in the U.S. from income disparities and environmental dramas aside – sucks oxygen from it.

                  Lastly I am on record here as saying Trump would destroy the GOP … things are evolving rapidly now and its anyone’s guess …

            2. neo-realist

              The Minneapolis Police Station was set on fire by a Texas right wing extremist and boogaloo boy – Ivan Harrison Hunter. It’s possible that some BLM people joined in, but he was the guy who bragged about doing it.

              BLM broke china in the sense of massive non-violent protest against police violence black people, with some provocateurs and cops instigating violence to make them look bad. The capitol rioters, including a self proclaimed white nationalist who made himself at home in Pelosi’s office were mostly cry babies who didn’t like their little fascist losing the election, even without strong proof of a “stolen election.” And received the kind of carte blanche treatment from the authorities in the aftermath that BLM or any other left demonstrators never would have received.

              You are really bending backwards for those rioting hillbillies, aren’t we.

      5. Jessica

        I think that is not so much to make the Team R brand toxic as to create justification for censorship and other extraordinary steps. As usual, these will be turned on the left at least as much as on the right.

      1. a different chris

        A narrative that proves that I was at work when my SO was killed most certainly is evidence. Conclusive evidence.

        And thus it must be proved that I was *not* at work. So it is important to the case.

      2. dcblogger

        I consider that linking the timing of Trumps words/actions/tweets to the actions of the mob to be evidence. Especially when the mob responds to Trump’s tweet about Pence being a traitor.

        1. Yves Smith

          I have not seen the video but readers below say there were no (or maybe few?) time stamps, so that connection was not made.

          Moreover, the WSJ had a video of IIRC the Proud Boys. They assembled on the far side of the Capitol before Trump’s speech. So what he said that day had zero impact on what that they were doing.

          In addition, the group in the front on the Capitol steps, on the other side, where the main action was, left over 1/2 hour before Trump’s speech was done, per an extremely detailed video analysis by the WSJ of the assault.

          This is what John Siman, who was actually there, had to say:

          Subject line: at Trump rally in D.C. = weird weird weird @ 12:49 PM

          3 hours of Michael Jackson, Elton John, the Village People, & Laura Branigan.
          Macho Man twice!
          people in crowd are very relaxed & friendly
          Trump = beyond boring
          was this an official fuck-you to Trump supporters??
          now there are rumors that Antifa people dressed as Trump protesters have stormed the Capitol??
          tear gas??
          rubber bullets??
          I do see lots of fire trucks heading towards the Capitol.
          Walking over to check it out.

          Subject line: Peaceful protest at the Capitol — this is fun as shit! @ 2:05 PM

          Sort of like a very large high school pep rally.
          A few people have been tear-gassed & maced, but a couple of the Capitol cops accidentally maced each other & protestors helped them
          also a few rubber bullets
          overall, though, goofy
          everybody seems happy too, including the cops
          need to catch train home
          guy who got into Rotunda is emailing me film
          more later

          Now admittedly by walking over later, Siman was in the back and didn’t have the best view. But he would be with the bulk of people who ambled over from the rally.

          From the next day. Siman sent a lot of pictures. His headline picked up on one of my observations about the pix: “Your crowd pix have way more women and the guys look less surly too.”:

          I spent seven hours yesterday in the midst of those people, then rode the train home with a group of them, and they were overwhelmingly cheerful, friendly, polite, and orderly.

          I felt a lot affection for the people I met.

          The actual storming of the Capitol felt a lot like fraternity prank, though one will of course say that most of these people did not go to college.

          Very many of their conversations were about evangelical Protestantism.

          They certainly represent a specific “demographic silo,” to use Taibbi’s phrase….

          Bottom line: it seems clear that no one at CNN or at any other of the legacy media corporations spent any time hanging out with the protesters, who are being dismissed out of hand as icky deplorables.

          The point is that this is nowhere near as simple as you want this to be. And the legacy media and PMC are high on their class hatred.

      3. albrt

        I think a lot of criminal law concepts are being misapplied here and above. Donald Trump is not being tried for any violation of a criminal statute that requires proof of intent. In fact, he is not being tried for violating any criminal statute at all. I just looked at the article of impeachment, and it talks about breaching trust and acting in a manner grossly incompatible with the rule of law. If the word intent appears at all, I didn’t notice it.

        As I see it, this is basically a political question – is Trump too stupid and irresponsible to be eligible for public office in the future? That’s probably why Roberts recused himself, because there is no real judicial power being exercised here. Trump is not going to be imprisoned or fined, or even removed from an office he had been elected to. The Senate is explicitly the institution that has the power and responsibility to decide this political question.

        Similarly, the federal rules of evidence do not directly apply, and I don’t see any reason why they should even apply by analogy. The issue being decided has very little in common with what a juror would need to decide in a case of trespassing or arson in Portland or Minneapolis. On this purely political question, it seems to me the senators can decide the issue on the same basis they do every other political question – their pre-existing prejudices, or what they see on TV, or somebody making a good argument. The main job of the house managers is to get them to take it seriously, not to prove anything beyond a reasonable doubt.

        It’s sad that it’s gotten to this point, but I think this is an extraordinary remedy that’s appropriate to the extraordinary situation.

      4. lyman alpha blob

        Speaking of evidence, in the visceral video presentation that left emotions raw, does anyone know if there was footage of the cop who was killed? Or anywhere else?

        The story I’ve read is that according to two other police officers, he was hit with a fire extinguisher by protestors. He collapsed later when he was back at the office and eventually died from the injuries.

        Has anyone seen footage of an altercation between the officer who died and protestors, or heard any accounts of his death that don’t trace back to the testimony of the other officers? Have those officers been named? Has anyone arrested from the riots on the 6th been charged with murder? I’ve looked and haven’t been able to find anything.

          1. lyman alpha blob

            In other words there is no evidence of any of it. And I see that Yves above has reposted a tweet from Greenwald now saying the same.

            But nice work by Democrat party apparatchik Josh Marshall to conflate asking legitimate questions with some sort of “truther” conspiracy theory movement. Until I saw your link I didn’t realize people were even looking into it, and now I see I’m a right wing “truther”. I guess one is either with the Democrat party or with Q-Anon terrorists these days. How Bushian!

            1. marym

              Sorry, I didn’t mean to suggest you were a truther. I always appreciate your comments.

              I thought the article confirmed that there are still only anonymous sources, so readers can take whatever TPM says fwiw including factoring in the TPM bias. The police haven’t given any briefings on the riot at all, as far as I’ve seen, which I guess is itself a reason to ask questions,.

              1. lyman alpha blob

                It was a good link confirming what I thought about the story not adding up, so thanks for posting it. And I didn’t mean to imply that you were suggesting that I was a “truther” – that isn’t what I thought at all.

                Josh Marshall was definitely suggesting that though. Quite the piece of propaganda he put out there – there are no confirmed facts about the officer’s death but if you dispute the official narrative based on those no facts you could very well be a right wing “truther” – but hey that’s what he gets paid for, so not really unexpected.

      1. cocomaan

        Also, watching this video, I don’t have much of an opinion on the actual impeachment charges, because I don’t think the video establishes much: it’s just random footage spliced together with no timestamps, no locations, no alternative angles on the same happenings, no simultaneous footage, etc.

        I wonder how much they paid for this video. I could have done it in iMovie.

        But what’s striking is the lack of police. Before, I thought it was an exaggeration that the police were not there. But I might be able to count 100 cops in the video footage. It’s incredible. That’s the real story here.

        1. marym

          There are timestamps in this security camera footage. I’ve only been watching intermittently, but this isn’t the only video. They’ve shown a lot of video and photos from different times and angles inside and outside The weren’t trying to make a case against the rioters, though. It’s about Trump’s role, leading up to the day. They’ve laid out timelines of what he said/tweeted before, during, and since the election and the riot and instances of his riling up of extremist protest, not discouraging or criticizing it, not just in reference to what he said on riot day.

          1. marym

            Adding: the timestamp is in the top left (viewer’s left) of the video from the security camera. In the tweet linked in the WC item you can see it as a blurry thin bar. If you look at the video in full screen it’s readable. In my browser if the cursor is on the page there’s a NYT headline in that space, but if the cursor is off the page the timestamp is visible.

            I read today they also had video from police body cameras, which I guess would also have timestamps.

            Link to full page view of video https://www.nytimes.com/video/us/politics/100000007598548/capitol-riot-new-video-impeachment.html

        2. drumlin woodchuckles

          Yes, that is certainly at least A real story. That the police were deliberately de-staffed and dis-prepared in order to “open the door” for the murder-mob to get into the Capitol.

          Who made those de-staffing and dis-preparing decisions and why? And what higher-ups were they in touch with as they were recieving and maybe inputting into those “invite the riot inside” decisions?

          1. Yves Smith

            We posted on this right after the seizure. The Capitol police are show ponies. Their gig is hauling people out of the galleries and maybe scrums on the steps. It’ s not crowd control. They refused to call in the DC police in advance. They would have known what to do. I keep saying 20 mounted police and a couple of water cannons on the steps and this never would have gone anywhere.

            1. Pat


              But to recognize that is to recognize that the majority of the people who were at the Capitol that day were NOT armed insurrectionists determined to “lynch” elected officials. They were there to protest the actions of those elected officials. Something that is well within their Constitutional rights, whether you agree with their protest or not. Adequate security would have deterred the few looters…arsonists… rioters with intentions* from breaking down the doors providing access to people who would have knocked and left.

              *While insurrection May have been the intent of some there are enough “leaders” with long term intelligence ties mean no one should dismiss the possibility of a set up considering the long history of FBI and law enforcement operatives pushing violent response in dissident groups.

  5. Watt4Bob

    Senate republicans, afraid of being primaried out of office by Trump’s supporters are promising to acquit.

    The reason senate republicans are not afraid of being defeated by progressive democrats is that the democratic party, by organizing to defeat Bernie Sanders in the 2020 primaries, has demonstrated that they have nothing to fear from progressives, because the democratic party is doing everything necessary to thwart progressive candidates.

    The biggest story of the 2020 election cycle was not the rise of Trump, it was the underhanded treatment of the most popular candidate, Bernie Sanders.

    We the people were denied our preffered candidate by the democratic party, and result was Trump, and an emboldened white nationalism.

    It would seem then, that the job ahead of us is to prove the republicans wrong by organizing their ouster by progressive democratic candidates, which at the same time guarantees putting the fear of God into the DNC.

    It would be a tremendous leap forward if this organizing included front-and-center effort to acknowledge the dire straights the whole of the working class has been experiencing, not just the various idpol groups the ‘centrist’ democrats have been so obviously gaslighting.

    I may be wrong, but I don’t think we’re ever going to see a time when the craven corruption of both parties is so clearly visible, and thus vulnerable to plain-spoken challenge.

    1. Patrick

      “I don’t think we’re ever going to see a time when the craven corruption of both parties is so clearly visible, and thus vulnerable to plain-spoken challenge”

      “There is no greater danger than underestimating your opponent.”

      ― Lao Tzu

        1. Patrick

          Well actually, no. But I am no expert.
          I am not a Sinologist, but I do stay at Holiday Inns on occasion.
          Maybe someone in the community is and knows the answer?

          1. Jeff W

            I’m not a Sinologist, either, but the phrase is from Stephen Mitchell’s translation of chapter or section [章] 69 of the Tao Te Ching attributed to Lao Tzu (Laozi). One version of the original Chinese text—禍莫大於輕敵,輕敵幾喪吾寶。—appears here.

            A cross-comparison of various translations shows that at least a few translators, if they’ve chosen to convey the idea at all, have translated it in pretty much the same way.

            1. Patrick

              I think my favorite Lao Tzu quote is: “As soon as you have made a thought, laugh at it.” I’m laughing now. And now. And …
              Why has not Trump’s statement to the Jan 6 mob encouraging them to march on the Capitol that “I will meet you there” not gained much attention (as in “I am really only a coward … or at least … I’m full of it”)? Kimmel? Colbert? (Not expecting much from the MM)
              Still laughing.

              1. flora

                AI will never code for this idea. AI has no coding subroutine for ‘long term’ importance vs ‘short term’ importance as it applies to human behavior, or for when and why to apply these time scale differences. imo.

                1. flora


                  “The heart has its reasons of which reason knows nothing.” – Blaise Pascal, a more or less paraphrase. :)

                  1. flora

                    adding adding: I believe the enlightenment philosophers would wholly reject the deterministic logic of AI coding. But that’s just my opinion. ;)

                  2. drumlin woodchuckles

                    I have seen a more poetic phrasing which goes . . .

                    ” The heart has reasons that reason knows not of.”

                2. Patrick

                  I think I get your point.
                  But as you can see from my posts, I have been
                  practicing my own kind of artificial intelligence
                  for quite a long while.

                  1. flora

                    Forgive me for saying I think that you, as a human, are practicing your human intelligence. ;)

                    Surely we don’t need to claim our human authority by first deferring to some sort of AI ‘middleman’ approval. / ;)

                    1. Patrick

                      “Surely we don’t need to claim our human authority by first deferring to some sort of AI ‘middleman’ approval. / :)”

                      “To realize that you do not understand is a virtue; not to realize that you do not understand is a defect.” – Lao Tzu

      1. flora

        Nearer to our modern time than Lao Tzu:

        “No one starts a war–or rather, no one in his sense ought to do so–without first being clear in his mind what he intends to achieve by the war and how he intends to conduct it.”

        ― Carl Von Clausewitz

        If only Kaiser Willie had listened.

        1. The Rev Kev

          I don’t know how true it is but I think that statistically that nations that start a war tend to lose them.

          1. JTMcPhee

            One might ask “Who started WW I? and WW II for that matter? No simple answer, except from Winners’ History via Bernaysification…

    2. dcblogger

      so what if they are defeated, they won’t be sent to Siberia, they retire with their pension and very generous healthcare plan. there are worse things that losing an election, participating in the destruction of your country would be one of them.

      1. Watt4Bob

        I hope you’re considering the second object of my plan;

        …which at the same time guarantees putting the fear of God into the DNC.

        They think we’ll continue to believe in their TINA BS, I say prove to them that we can work in concert, as a unified class rather than a passel of ring-in-the-nose, silo-dwellers.

  6. KB

    I’m not sure what you mean by “only in New York” as relates to the peregrine falcon.

    But, if I read you right Bob Anderson should be credited with their return from the brink of DDT.

    He literally almost single handedly helped: incubated their eggs, built cliff side nest boxes, and banded every peregrine until his death….

    I have also seen them and have pics of them across the street from me perching on a water tower…also have video of them flying down the street.

    This is in Minnesota I am speaking of….

    Either way love all of your bird songs in the water cooler….thanks much!

    1. Lambert Strether Post author

      > I’m not sure what you mean by “only in New York” as relates to the peregrine falcon.

      I am so intrigued by the notion of falcons nesting (and hunting) in Manhattan skyscrapers. I don’t know if the same has happened in other cities.

      Thanks for the info on Bob Anderson!

      1. John A

        Plenty in London, for instance at Battersea Power station, currently being converted into some kind of luxury development on the Thames.

      2. drumlin woodchuckles

        We have some peregrine falcons nesting on the shorter skyticklers in Ann Arbor. The buildings offer the sort of nest sites which natural cliff-sides also offer. And the cities offer lots of easy-to-kill rock doves.

      3. Crayola

        Back around 1998 there was a falcon hanging out around the 18th floor of our office building in Glendale, CA, which was convenient inspiration for the animators, since there was a falcon in the film we were working on.

      4. jr

        There is what I believe to be a kestrel living in the West Village, I see it from time to time in one of the small parks. I haven’t seen it since the really cold weather hit. I hope it’s ok.

  7. Jeremy Grimm

    > “John Keats is brought back to life 200 years after his death:…”
    This return of John Keats reminds me of the John Keats persona in Dan Simmons’ Sci-Fi series of Hyperion and Endymion.

    1. cocomaan

      I came here to say this.

      The Technocore isn’t going to fool me again. I know how this story goes. A pox on both your houses, the Hegemony and the Core.

      Hyperion is one of my favorite sci fi books of all time.

      1. Eustache de Saint Pierre

        Jane Campion’s film Bright Star is IMO a beautiful evocation of Keat’s final 3 years with Fanny Brawne, who it seems gave him something worth living for that was not to be.

        ” I cannot exist without you – I am forgetful of every thing but seeing you again – my life seems to stop there – I see no further. You have absorb’d me.

        I have a sensation at the present moment as though I were dissolving ….I have been astonished that men could die martyrs for religion – I have shudder’d at it – I shudder no more – I could be martyr’d for my religion – love is my religion – I could die for that – I could die for you. My creed is love and you are its only tenet – you have ravish’d me away by a power I cannot resist “.

        That CGI is very blurry in comparison to others I have seen, hand painting a plaster cast of the deathmask would with the eyelids cut away to reveal the orbs would have been a better job depending on the skill of the artist & likely a hell of a lot cheaper, but perhaps they are not finished yet.

          1. Eustache de Saint Pierre

            The Emily Dickinson biopic ” A Quiet Passion ” from Terence Davies has I think a similar feel, although in her case an unrequited one.

  8. Rick

    For another look at manufacturing employment:


    This and the detail graph below show manufacturing employment as a percentage of workforce and as an absolute number. Updated through January 2021.

  9. Rod

    Bordering States and Vaccines:

    NC is reciprocal with all bordering States(3) while SC DHEC is too, kinda.
    I gotta agree.
    People will be people : (
    It’s a mess.

    As for residency requirements, DHEC’s website states “non-permanent residents” who are currently living in South Carolina when their vaccine eligibility opens can get the vaccine. However, proof of residency will not be required.

    1. Rod

      But The Great State Has found the key to getting our numbers down, so there’s that…

      Percent positive is now calculated by dividing all positive COVID-19 tests by the total number of COVID-19 tests (positive and negative), and then multiplying the result by 100 to get a percent. With the change, the public will notice a big drop in the number representing percent positive.Feb 2, 2021

      scdhec.gov › news-releases › dhec-a…
      DHEC Announces Change in the Way COVID-19 Percent Positive Is …

      I know everyone in Greenville Co. is breathing easier now.

      New% yesterday = 11%

  10. skippy


    What if the Dems don’t care if Trump is impeached, but only utilize this chain of events to frame the GOP for future leverage. At the end of the day it is a competition over the minds of the unwashed [Public Choice theory], so the order of the day is crafting a narrative around the Trump camp, for the minds of the unwashed, in creating a visceral dislike, and with it limit the potential for such actors in the future.

    Its not unlike Trump constantly saying “but ***you*** knew that” to his audience after setting up the strawman framing of mind numbing over simplification. Then again Trumps affiliation with the T.V. evangelists [Florida event] is not surprising at all, basically cold reading an audience in an attempt to create a mass suspension of disbelief and then fill their heads with whatever they want. Next thing you know their throwing money at you and consider them leaders to the promised land ….

    The American mind has and is being put through the proverbial Bernays wringer aka the mangler … the rope between forces being pulled back and forth though it …

      1. PHLDenizen

        “Almost killed”, in the words of the esteemed Lambert, is doing a LOT of work. The fixation on this sentiment is embarrassingly myopic and misses the larger point: a political party dressed in the finest garb, wholly insulated from the consequences of their dreadfully rapacious policies, ensconced in their bastion of privilege found themselves staring into a mirror reflecting the ugliness of their neoliberal horse$h!t.

        Democrats hate Trump because he decisively proved that the norms fairy is dead, dead, dead. That a vulgar, petty narcissist could simply fall into the presidency broke their brains. Instead of governing, the Dems spent 4 years embarked on some Washington Consensus Reclamation Project. No one outside the beltway, other than the Maddow acolytes, give two fscks about any of Pelosi’s or Clinton’s or Schumer’s grandstanding and handwringing on some abstract principle. When you’re broke, homeless, starving, and plunged into a permanent abyss of unemployment or underemployment, lofty notions of “not being mean” and “adults in the room” hold no meaning.

        Democrats and their defenders, those revulsed by the Diet Coup, have no moral authority. What actually terrifies them is the next “mob” showing up and demanding concrete solutions for their suffering, be it healthcare or being able to afford to send their kids to school or demanding Wall Street be straitjacketed.

        Why else is DC now permanently militarized? Why else are they so determined to repudiate the means and methods by which Trump got elected? Democrats are wholly incentivized to exaggerate their alleged peril in the same way Trump did voting fraud. It’s two sides of the same coin. Both are opportunists desperate to normalize what is a very abnormal sense of history and reality.

        What you fail to see is that the “mob” is a proxy for just how reviled the political establishment is. And that revulsion leads people to get pissed off enough to show up and be menacing. Dems got truly lucky with how low effort demonizing Trump is. But they were cowed with little effort and it’s simultaneously frightened and embarrassed them. And now that that’s been made plain, they’re retreating into a fortress to preserve the system that’s been good to them and awful to everyone else. Being unwilling to unwind 50 years of obliterating futures for most citizens, they’ve doubled down on their declaration of war against everyone they deem an unworthy nuisance.

        1. The Rev Kev

          I think that you nailed it. And both the Dems and the Repubs are going to double down on preserving the present system no matter how many Patriot Acts they have to write nor how many troops they have to use. The present system works so well – for them.

        2. Anonymous

          What I find ironic is that the worthless politicians who were screaming “the walls on the southern border don’t work” are comfortable hiding behind the fences. And, oh no, we can’t deploy the army to protect the border, but, it is ok to protect the politicians at the DC.

          What a disgrace!

      2. Massinissa

        They had no guns or bombs. Some of them had wooden rods, most had nothing. They didn’t even have rope to lynch anyone with. You really expect that this group of people would be able to kill more than one congressperson with their bare hands? Or even just the one, for that matter. Why is everyone treating this as if they stormed in with AK-47s or even knives?

    1. drumlin woodchuckles

      I also think that given that some DemParty officeholders were almost lynched by a murderous mob engineered on purpose by Trump and his MAGA officeholders-on-the-inside supporters, that some DemParty officeholders really care and really take it personally.

      Now . . . whether any of the Repuglan officeholders care . . . . that a member of their big club, Senator Pence, was also almost lynched . . . remains to be seen.

      Now, on top of all that personal caring, there could certainly be some politicratic bernaysian mass-brain engineering going on.

      Obviously the Senate will vote to aquit. And maybe the Dems hope that all the non-MAGA Repub voters will start defecting from their party to . . . somewhere. And the Republican Party will become a Pure MAGA Party, with Trump as its leader.

      1. Pat

        Which Democratic office holders were almost lynched?
        In fact please name anyone that actually encountered any of the rioters directly.
        In the numerous videos where were the nooses? Ropes even?
        Yes people stormed the Capitol. Yes threats were shouted. If they had found someone they were threatening no one can say they wouldn’t have attacked them, but no one can say anything is certain to have happened either. But nothing did happen because they never encountered them.

        No one should have made it into the building, but despite security being inexcusably inadequate that day, no elected official was harmed. Few even came close to trouble.

        1. drumlin woodchuckles

          ” Lynched” means killed by a civilian group of 3 or more people in a non-war setting. The word is applied to situations where no rope is involved.

          Some of the mobbers ( how many?) came to kill officeholders. They were recorded saying so themselves. I imagine it will be played back over and over.

    1. Jeremy Grimm

      I joined their mailing list and eagerly await the publication of programming for cats. … must go to chase a red-dot trying to escape my attacks.

  11. McWatt

    We frequently see Falco Peregrinus flying around our 22nd floor outdoor deck at The Cliff Dwellers Club
    overlooking The Art Institute and Grant Park in Chicago.

    The only falcon prettier is the elusive Gyr.

    See John Gould’s stunning painting of a Gyr in Birds of Great Britain.

    1. Jeremy Grimm

      Sorry … I did not twitter your link. A little more information might stoke my interest but while there is merit in brevity I am not enticed by too little information.

      1. RMO

        Doctor in Houston had ten vaccine doses that were going to expire in a couple of hours and no one scheduled to receive them so he gave them to people who were present who had medical conditions that made them more vulnerable to Covid (including his wife apparently). He was fired from the hospital for this. Details are in an NYT piece and I don’t have a subscription so I can’t go farther than that.

      2. Janie

        A doctor gave an about-to-expire vaccine to a person not in the currently eligible group. He was fired.

        1. drumlin woodchuckles

          Cases like this make one wonder whether the “determination” of “eligible groups” is a re-expression of “means testing”.

  12. Trainreq

    “Lol, first at the notion that Tanden is capable of self-refection, second that the idea that “The Twitter made me do it.” ”

    Freudian typo or…

    re·fec·tion (rĭ-fĕk′shən)
    1. Refreshment with food and drink.
    2. A light meal or repast.
    3. Reingestion of fecal material to obtain nutrients, as is practiced by rabbits and rats.

    1. Jeremy Grimm

      I added refection to the list of new words I keep in the hope I might expand my vocabulary. I too am enamored of definition #3. Is there a word that conveys a forced refection as in meaning #3?

      Is there a verb form related to meaning #3 to enable “Go refect and die”.

      1. Stephen C.

        Refection definition #3: “Reingestion of fecal material to obtain nutrients” might refer to those who, although massively disappointed throughout the years, keep listening to and voting for their favorite brand of politician.

  13. dcblogger

    Why did the Georgia GOP team up with a Riot Instigator?
    by Greg PalastJanuary 8, 2021
    [Atlanta] The star of the GOP’s get-out-the-vote door-knocking program in the Georgia Senate run-off, standing next to Alex Jones, was blasting his threat through a megaphone in front of the Governor’s home. “We’ll light the whole sh*t on fire!”

    Ali Alexander’s threat in December would become all too real when he repeated his performance on January 6 in Washington, DC.

    1. dcblogger

      linked this yesterday, but bears repeating that the Jan 6 mob was financed by Trump’s political organization, all documented by the FEC
      Trump’s political operation paid more than $3.5 million to Jan. 6 organizers

      Newly identified payments in recent Federal Election Commission filings show people involved in organizing the protests on Jan. 6 received even larger sums from Trump’s 2020 campaign than previously known.

      OpenSecrets unearthed more than $3.5 million in direct payments from Trump’s 2020 campaign, along with its joint fundraising committees, to people and firms involved in the Washington, D.C. demonstration before a violent mob stormed the U.S. Capitol.

  14. Jeff W

    “…and my will be radically different.”

    “My”…what? Charlie Pierce’s quote of Neera Tanden omits a crucial noun or noun phrase after the word “my.”

    A check of video of the exchange reveals that the missing testimony is the word “approach,” and not the phrase “way of sticking the shiv to progressives,” in case anyone is wondering. I know I was. (It might not, of course, make any difference.)

    1. Tomonthebeach

      Just one comes to mind after reading Tanden’s vitriol.

      (1) Raise your hand if you would be happy working for this person.
      (2) Raise your hand if you would want Ms. Tanden working for you.

      What her snipes and trolls reflect is an executive with limited image management abilities, poor impulse control, and wretched judgment.

      1. Jeff W

        “…an executive with limited image management abilities, poor impulse control, and wretched judgment.”

        I agree completely—you specified it perfectly. I’d like to think that such things act as absolute bars to executive employment but I suppose not.

        1. drumlin woodchuckles

          It all depends on the purpose to which the executive employER wishes to put the executive employEE.

          Whoever told Biden to pick Tanden wants Tanden to work her magic in her own way from OMB.

  15. phemfrog

    Vaccine update in Texas:

    About 1 million fully vaccinated (2 shots)
    2.7 million one shot
    1.6 million over age 65+ (DSHS person said this was about 1 in 3)
    ~130,000 per day and increasing

    Will be getting 3 new FEMA sites bringing their own additional doses soon

    There seems to be a lot of people having difficulty getting an appointment, some due to technology. But the main constraint is supply. They run out of appointments as soon as they open them up.

    My county (Denton) simplified this by having everyone sign up on a waiting list. You can only get on the list if you qualify (65+, health care worker, pre-existing condition). They then notify people when it is their turn several times, well in advance. Working very smoothly. They can already do 10,000 shots per day at the Texas Motor Speedway site. They could do more per day and be open more days per week (3 right now) if they had more doses.

    They are anticipating a March 1st date for the J&J vaccine to be available.

    About 20,000,000 adults to vaccinate here in TX, so 130,000 per day means 22 weeks to finish. We have to speed up.

    1. Amfortas the hippie

      our county’s doctor told wife they expect another 400 doses soon.
      wife(the one with cancer) was told not to get one, because she already had covid.
      boys aren’t eligible any time soon.
      and the night before i was gonna get my name on the list(with the county judge), that dude burned the damned courthouse to the ground.
      so entire county apparatus is in chaos/shock.
      (lol…2020 just won’t die)
      now word comes that the local clinic is endeavoring to vaccinate all the teachers(if they can convince any to roll up their sleeve)…so i would have withdrawn my name anyway.
      wife is busy helping set up a benefit/bakesale/whatever for the family of the dude who burned the courthouse…since he also burned the family home down, and they are now homeless.
      county doctor also indicated that the J&J is on the way, and the vax efforts are expected to get easier by april…per whatever medical grapevine he’s plugged in to.

      meanwhile, historic cold spell/winter storm.
      coldest central texas has been since mid 80’s.
      we’re expecting another maybe 8 inches of snow, a 14 degree night, and then a five degree night(!)…all lasting until next wednesday.
      i don’t know how y’all northerners deal with this every year.
      i shut off all the water on the place, since we won’t be above freezing for a week(we’re not set up for nebraskan winters, here), and walking on my dirt road was like walking on a frozen pond.
      they said to expect powerlines to snap with all the ice(our big gates, usually abt 40#, are more than 100# right now,lol)
      we’ll at least have heat.
      woodstoves need no juice…

  16. kareninca

    I’m sorry if I’ve missed it but I don’t think I’ve seen anyone comment on Denninger’s piece: http://market-ticker.org/akcs-www?post=241536. He does say that the odds of his worst case scenario are very small (but dire if they come to pass) As far as I can see his argument makes sense.

    I am already seeing people who have been vaccinated greatly reduce how cautious they are. I have a friend who got her first shot on Tuesday and she said that everyone getting the shot was properly distanced entering and being treated, but as soon as they were done they all jammed together as they left. Her husband, who is in his 80s and has been extremely cautious all along and has ordered all food delivered, went shopping at Safeway soon after his second shot. So if people are still catching and transmitting after vaccination, we are going to have a surge due to vaccinated people not knowing or caring that they can still kill others.

  17. fred

    > (To make my own position clear on all this, if it has not been, I think the House should have censured Trump for inciting a riot, and left it at that.)

    I didn’t watch the video. I listened to the prosecution’s case on WCSP.
    The point is not to establish a narrative. The point is to prove the fact that Trump’s speech was direct incitement to riot; which action violated his oath of office. It isn’t like he said: “Storm the Capital: they’re about to enact Medicare For All!” He specifically wanted to stay in power, so he incited a riot. The desire to prevent a transition of power was a violation of his oath of office.

    It’s was a privilege to listen to a Prof. of Constitutional Law lead a classic conviction case. I’m waiting to hear the defense. This is why we have conviction: to prevent this sort of thing from happening in the future: e.g. Ev Meacham’s impeachment and conviction, aka “The Vampire Clause”.

  18. Synoia

    No a lot tall trees in the fens if I recall correctly. One of my Uncles was a farmer there. But I haven’t been there since1958.

  19. Swamp Yankee

    Re: the Capitol and Impeachment: I’m sorry, and I know I’m in the minority here, but I really think many people around these parts have almost become as entranced by being what I will call counter-savvy as those in the so-called Church of the Savvy are in being “savvy.” I really don’t think you are seeing this either clearly for the thing itself, nor through the eyes of the People.

    You are letting your priors — most of which I share! — shape your analysis, and I seriously think it’s leading many of you to get it wrong.

    Let me explain. Many of us, myself included, around here have a great hatred, justified, of the Democratic Establishment. That’s fine. But new events require new interpretations.

    And this was really bad!

    The seat of the Legislature itself, the First Branch, cannot be invaded without punishment. It was invaded! That is a fact that cannot be denied, and I think it is one that you all collectively underestimate in its psychic resonance among the American People. I say this as a community college Professor in a working class community that is in touch with lots of former students, themselves representing the median of American life. This rings with people like the Gauls on the Capitoline Hill in 390 B.C.

    I think you are missing an important shift in public opinion, and I would urge you not to do so.

    1. Massinissa

      Would be nice to know what, exactly, you’re replying to? Or for that matter who you are even talking to?

      1. Swamp Yankee

        That is a fair question and good point, Massinissa. I am speaking to Lambert, to the regular Commentariat, to the people who frequent this site. I’m sorry that I did not speak to a particular post. It is my sense of the room that many people are of one point of view, and I think that in those cases it is particularly important to raise dissents.

    2. The Rev Kev

      Sure there is going to be punishment for that invasion. But let the punishment fit the crime. And most of it was trespassing. You must have seen the clips where the police were opening up the barriers to the rioter or how hundreds were strolling through the entrance corridor with police there standing on either side. Who gave those orders? And let us not forget that the Capitol has a long, long history of violence including bombings and shootings, some of which is fairly recent-


      As a community college Professor, I am sure that you understand analysis. So, decades ago there was a business technique where you asked Five Whys as in asking why to an event, then asking why to that answer, then why to that answer and so on. So as an experiment, you could try that with a class. Ask them why those people attacked the Capitol and take it from there. Some of the factors I am seeing is financial troubles, abandonment of these people by the system, alienation of their communities, etc.

      We have an Effect – the attack on the Capital. But I am not seeing much in the way of an analysis of the Cause. Just a lot of band-aid solutions to Symptoms like troop occupations without treating the underlying Causes of all this. If all those people had been getting healthcare through their lives as well as financial support during the present pandemic, would they have even been there? Would there have even been a Trump?

      1. Swamp Yankee

        Rev Kev, I thank you for your comment. I think all of what you say is more or less true. I have also worked as a reporter, incl. a financial reporter, and am very familiar with the Five Whys.

        What I am going to say to you is that they are of importance, but secondarily so.

        It is obviously true that any historical account of how the Riot happened is going to take these into account.

        Yet perhaps as a function of being in a different country, I think you are missing a key point here, that actually weighs heavily in the account:

        This is perceived by many Americans (and my students are a cross-section thereof) as a profound violation.

        Again, I am trying to report from the front lines, and I am telling you: this is big, and different, and strange. And it is just that kind of front-line reportage that I would hope Naked Capitalism would treasure.

        1. The Rev Kev

          Swamp Yankee
          February 11, 2021 at 9:05 pm

          You’ll get no argument from me there. I have always valued your comments when you post them so I hope that you do not think that I was having a go at you. It may very well be that I am looking at it from the perspective of a different country. Here, if some politician started to say that a particular building was ‘sacred’ it would sound like an absolute clanger. You would never, ever hear it and those that try would be mocked.

          Probably I have some personal prejudices here too as I have a profound mistrust of mixing politics with religion and words like violation. The potential is too great to weaponize this into an attack on political groupings by a sitting group and saying that they have a semi-religious vindication for what they do. Interesting times we live in.

          1. drumlin woodchuckles

            I read somewhere a saying that the British Monarchy sent its Religious Nuts and Troublemakers to America and its Common Criminals to Australia. That is offered up sometimes for the deep religiousness of America as against Australia.

            A lot of our Secularness is very Religionistic in its ” feeeeeeelllll”. A number of Americans would regard rioting in the Capitol the way a number of Muslims might regard tossing some pigs heads into the Great Mosque at Mecca. The campers would be unhappy.

            1. The Rev Kev

              In a weird – and probably illegal – time in history, Americans & Canadians were once sent to the Australian colonies as convicts by a Canadian Court. The American were dropped off in Tasmania and the French-Canadians were sent on to New South Wales. I have no idea what happened to them after but I read an account of a French-Canadian who eventually got back home. On the linked page is their names, nationality, age and town of origin-


          2. Swamp Yankee

            Didn’t take it as having a go at me at all, Rev Kev — was also coming off a cold and had had a fair amount of cold medication, so wasn’t firing on all cylinders myself.

            I think you and Drumlin Woodchuckles are right: Americans, even secular ones, are still extraordinarily religious in comparison even to closely related Anglosphere societies like Australia.

            A lot of this has to do with the creation a specifically republican national identity in the early decades after the Revolution. Republicanism gets imbued with a quasi-sacral quality that persists to this day.

    3. flora

      The seat of the Legislature itself, the First Branch, cannot be invaded without punishment. It was invaded! That is a fact that cannot be denied, and I think it is one that you all collectively underestimate in its psychic resonance among the American People.

      I think you are right. My apprehension is that even the Congressmen/women do not understand the importance of your comment. When politics and factionalism overtakes the guidance and import of the Constitution, so to say; when the ‘other’ becomes not bad governance, or aristocratic governance, or oligarchic governance, or undemocratic governance, but becomes the narrowly prescribed factional rival within democratic governance…. Turning inward to ‘defeat’ the inward ‘enemies’ instead of looking outward to the larger world and philosophies opposed to democracy. etc.

    4. DJG, Reality Czar

      Swamp Yankee: Yes, thanks for this warning. I am seeing many logical double and triple axels. Well, we don’t know Trump’s intent. Well, it isn’t much different from Black Lives Matter. Well, they didn’t spend much money on it. Well, only five people were killed… [Back to Black Lives Matter–can you image the smoke pouring out of ears if it had been Black Lives Matter climbing the walls and a black activist in a buffalo hat sitting in the speaker’s chair?]

      As you say, having the president lead a charge against the legislature is a serious matter, particularly considering the long U.S. history of lynching. This is the kind of event that has been known to happen in lesser nations, with untoward consequences.

      But not the U S of A, where we can gum anything to death. Including accountability.

    5. Duck1

      Well, you may be on to something. The trial will be over pretty soon, presumably without conviction. Imagining about orange man in orange jumpsuit will continue as long as Trump occupies center stage in the Democrat consciousness. I think it is long odds he goes to jail, but that is the fantasy. I may be wrong. 2022 will be another plebiscite on governance, that may be the test of the shift in public opinion that you detect. I believe Congress as a whole has been one of the least liked branches of government in many opinion polls, for what it is worth.

      1. drumlin woodchuckles

        No, Trump won’t go to jail. He will go on to his Presidency In Exile in Mar a Lago ( or somewhere).
        He will be America’s Juan Peron, biding his time and deciding when to return unto his hordes of loving Peronistas.

        If he feels like starting a MAGA Party, tens of millions of people will join it. This impeachment will be taken as his Martyrdom by his worshippers.

        And it would be good to know how many of them there are and who they are and get them all in one visible political place for better observation and study.

  20. The Rev Kev

    Just for an update. Remember those Buffalo police shoving that old guy on his back and he cracked his head so loud that it stooped a whole line of police to see what happened? Well, a grand jury has decided not to indict them as there was ‘no intent’. Injury yes, but no intent-


    Maybe the next step is for those two police officers to sue that protestor for loss of wages and bringing them into disrepute.

    1. fresno dan

      The Rev Kev
      February 11, 2021 at 8:48 pm

      Remember Andrew Fitch? (unarmed, unequivocally completely innocent man killed by a trigger happy cop in a “spoofing” incident where the police were called to a fake crime). Flipping around the TV, I saw a crime show documentary about him. I had read about him, but I had never seen the video. So the cop shoots an unarmed man with ABSOLUTELY no justification. No one was in any danger, no weapon was visible (or present). This man was not a imminent threat to anyone. And yet, in the land of the free and the home of the brave, a nation of laws, our legal system says the police state enforcers have immunity from accountability most of the time. Only the people in power who think their guards should be exempt from justice could view that and come to the conclusion that the cop should not be held to ANY account. Astounding.

  21. VietnamVet

    The second impeachment trial’s intention is to make Donald Trump so radioactive he (or his apprentice) will be finished as a populist politician. Democrats are also trying to taint all who said the 2020 election was rigged. It was – Bernie Sanders didn’t have a chance. The top 10% Democrat Crew want to continue into the foreseeable future with their lucrative speeches and seminars that netted Janet Yellen $7 million from Wall Street. The very people she now regulates as Treasury Secretary and who the apparatchik defend by saying men made more.

    The basic problem is that there is no future as a Union if coronavirus is not controlled and if the economic depression continues. The meritocracy is too greedy to self-reflect on how corrupt and incompetent they are. In the past; censoring, surveillance and jails did not save the aristocracy when Iceland’s volcanoes exploded or when the Eastern Front stalemated in WWI. Today the USA faces inequality, illness, climate change, and a multi-polar world that can only be addressed by a functional government that is run by and for the people.

  22. teri

    Re: controversy on which exact action killed officer Sicknick. I really don’t get why people are indulging in taking “sides” on this manufactured argument. Was he killed by being brained with a fire extinguisher or by being gassed to death with bear spray? Does it really make a difference? There is no doubt that he was killed through the actions of someone in the mob; both “sides” of the argument agree on that. He is, in fact, dead, and will remain so. Is it “better” to have died one way versus the other? Is one method of killing him less offensive or less criminal than the other? The point is that he was killed by someone in the riot doing something dangerous enough that it resulted in his death. Unless you believe he ended up in the hospital for reasons totally unrelated to the riot (and no-one is actually presenting that point of view), the bald fact is that the actions of the mob led directly to his death. Someone in that frenzied mob killed him. Dear god, the man did not go to work that morning, catch cancer and die from it 24 hours later. He was killed.

    The rioters at some point became so sucked into mob mentality that they trampled one of their own to death while they were trying to break through a door. Freaking stomped her to death (what a horrible way to die, I must add) – so out of control they were unaware of her screams and insensate to the feel of a human body under their feet.

    I see no reason to doubt the ones who admit they would have killed Pelosi or Pence had they been able to get to them. Some of these people were totally swept up in the moment and we know mob frenzy – group think – is a real phenomenon.

    Also, as an aside, Glenn Greenwald is not a liberal or a progressive or a leftist anything. He is a Libertarian. He thought Citizen’s United was correctly decided, only had a problem with Obama invading Libya because Obama didn’t get Congressional approval first (Greenwald said over and over that Gaddafi was a horrible despot who had to be taken out), and he has held the Snowden documents back for many years, without ever releasing the entire cache. Not sure why people are so enamored of him.

    1. Yves Smith

      Help me. Your comment is a straw man. Right now, we have no idea how he was killed and therefore you can’t assign responsibility of any kind.

      On top of that, bear spray can’t kill people. It’s less effective than pepper spray, which also does not kill people (pepper spray has only been “implicated” in a very few deaths of asthmatics). Using it might be considered assault, like punching someone in the gut.

      And no one was “stomped to death”. The one woman who died was shot by a cop. She was pulled to one side and the videos show some people tried to treat her as she bled out.

      Making Shit Up is a violation of our written site Policies. And your attack on Glenn Greenwald is ad hominem, another violation. This is not a chat board. Goodbye.

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