2:00PM Water Cooler 3/12/2021

By Lambert Strether of Corrente.

Bird Song of the Day

This concludes Owl Week at the Naked Capitalism Water Cooler: A Great Grey Owl, Montana, along with what is either a very loud and persistent insect, or a drone!


At reader request, I’ve added this daily chart 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. If we are in the eye of the storm, we are still in the eye of the storm.

Vaccination by region:

Early in February, I said a simple way to compare Biden’s performance to Trump’s on vaccination would be to compare the slopes of the curves. If Biden accelerated vaccine administration, post-Inaugural slopes would get steeper. They have not. The fragmented, Federalized, and profit-driven lumbering monstrosity that we laughingly call our “health care” “system” has not responded to “energy in the executive,” but has continued on its inertial path.

Case count by United States regions:

South heads downward again, Northeast flat.

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

Texas has dropped below New York.

Test positivity:

Jumps in the South. Humongous drop in the West, but is this a data artifact?


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):

That fatality rate in the West (red) is now jumping around, but it’s still high, which worries me. It’s not going vertical, which is what I feared. Is the reason nobody else is worrying about this is that it’s not really a problem? Is this some sort of statistical artifact as well?

* * *


“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

More to come. –lambert

Capitol Seizure

“Dozens of Capitol rioters were turned in by childhood friends, family members, colleagues and ex-lovers who watched them storm the building” [WaPo]. “[O]ne of dozens of Capitol riot suspects who were reported to authorities by their own close personal contacts. According to court documents, the FBI has arrested many based on tips from family members, work colleagues, childhood friends and ex-lovers who called authorities after watching their acquaintances participate in the siege on TV or, in some cases, on the rioters’ own social media accounts.” • The cultivation of snitching will no doubt come in handy when it comes time to begin the campaigns against reading unauthorized content. Kidding! I hope.

“At least 100 more to be charged in Capitol attack investigation, DOJ expects” [ABC]. “The Justice Department expects to charge at least 100 more still-unidentified individuals connected to the Jan. 6 attack at the U.S. Capitol, federal prosecutors revealed in a court filing Friday. They also describe the investigation as likely “one of the largest” investigations and prosecutions in U.S. history. Facing an unprecedented and continuously growing caseload in the U.S. attorney’s office in D.C., prosecutors in the government’s conspiracy case against members of the Oath Keepers militia group outlined the investigation’s scope as they requested a judge delay scheduling a trial in the case for at least 60 more days. ‘The investigation and prosecution of the Capitol Attack will likely be one of the largest in American history, both in terms of the number of defendants prosecuted and the nature and volume of the evidence,’ the filing states. ‘Over 300 individuals have been charged in connection with the Capitol Attack. The investigation continues and the government expects that at least one hundred additional individuals will be charged.'” • Meanwhile:

So the official record will be the only record. How convenient.

“Putin: Riot at US Capitol was a ‘stroll'” [The Hill]. • Because, by Russian standards, it was, even if the Hill does get all huffy about it.

Biden Administration

‘Joe Biden’s Line Of The Night Shows His Biggest Difference From Donald Trump” [HuffPo]. Biden: “I promise I will do everything in my power, I will not relent until we beat this virus, but I need you, the American people. I need you. I need every American to do their part. That’s not hyperbole. I need you. I need you to get vaccinated when it’s your turn and when you can find an opportunity, and to help your family, your friends, your neighbors get vaccinated as well.” • I didn’t watch or listen to the speech. How did Biden look and sound?

“Power Up: Save the date: Biden sets July 4 as return to some normal life after pandemic year” [WaPo]. “Biden noting that he keeps the coronavirus death toll in the U.S. written on a card he carries in his pocket every day.” • Nobody ever did that for deaths of despair. I wonder why?

“Biden: States must designate all adults eligible for vaccine by May” [Axios]. “President Biden directed states and tribal governments to designate all adult Americans eligible for a vaccine no later than May 1 during his primetime address on the passage of the American Rescue Plan Act on Thursday…. Biden also announced that the federal government will launch a website before May 1 to make it easier for people to find vaccination sites and schedule appointments.” • Good idea! Hopefully, the website doesn’t crash on launch, like ObamaCare’s. More: ” his Department of Education will focus on opening the majority of elementary and middle schools across the U.S.” Hopefully, they’ll do something about ventilation, unlike the feckless CDC./

“Fact-checking Biden’s first prime-time address” [CNN]. “Biden’s speech, which ran for just shy of 24 minutes, did not include a large number of fact-checkable assertions.” This one, though: ‘Biden said the new law “will cut child poverty in this country in half, according to the experts.’ Facts First: Biden was correct about the experts’ predictions, at least with regard to child poverty in 2021. Scholars at the Urban Institute think tank and Columbia University’s Center on Poverty and Social Policy separately estimated Thursday that certain key elements of the American Rescue Plan Act would reduce child poverty by more than half in 2021. It’s worth noting that the long-term impact of the law on child poverty is unclear, since the key anti-poverty provisions are currently scheduled to exist only for this year.” • FDR, for example, didn’t go all triumphalist after passing a Social Security program that expired after 365 days. Come on, man.

“Police groups endorse Biden’s pick for civil rights chief” [Associated Press]. “Some of the largest law enforcement groups in the U.S. are throwing their support behind President Joe Biden’s nominee to run the Justice Department’s civil rights division. The support for Kristen Clarke, who is nominated to be assistant attorney general for civil rights, includes some of the nation’s most powerful law enforcement organizations, including the Major Cities Chiefs Association and the executive director of the International Association of Chiefs of Police…. And the National Association of Police Organizations, a coalition of police unions and organizations across the country, which was critical of Biden’s policing policies during the campaign, said Clarke has ‘already been open and welcoming to our views.’ ‘We both realize that we may not always agree with each other on every issue, but at the same time I believe we share a common goal of fair, effective, ethical and safe law enforcement,’ the group’s executive director, Bill Johnson, said.” • Hmm.

From #BidenCalm:

Taibbi (see link under “Our Famously Free Press”) has a different interpretation: Brooks wants to keep his job. The #BidenCalm thread is…. interesting.

“DNC to kick off new ad campaign touting Biden COVID-19 relief bill” [The Hill]. “The DNC is planning a three-week paid and earned media campaign, called “Help is Here,” focused on educating the American public on the benefits from the American Rescue Plan and slamming the GOP for voting against it.” • Wow, I can’t imagine a better advocate.

Not clear how the Child Tax Credit (CTC) will actually be disbursed:

Why not (as Rashida Tlaib suggested) give people cards. And set the transaction fee to 0%, too.

Democrats en Deshabille

“INVESTIGATION: Cuomo Gave Immunity to Nursing Home Execs After Big Donations — Now People Are Dying” [David Sirota, The Daily Poster]. We linked to this a year ago when Sirota posted it, but there’s no harm re-upping it: “Less than two years after that flood of cash from the Greater New York Hospital Association (GNYHA), Cuomo signed legislation last month quietly shielding hospital and nursing-home executives from the threat of lawsuits stemming from the coronavirus outbreak. The provision, inserted into an annual budget bill by Cuomo’s aides, created one of the nation’s most explicit immunity protections for health care industry officials, according to legal experts…. Democratic assemblyman Ron Kim said that ‘the language of the (immunity) bill and the entire proposal was drafted, submitted, and negotiated into law by Governor Andrew Cuomo and his staff.'” • Not to minimize, but I have to wonder why “inappropriate touching” is centered in the Cuomo firestorm, and not this nursing homes debacle. The fact that there’s no moral panic about whacking thousands of helpless old people — surely “inappropriate”? Or, given or elite’s track record of late, not — might lead the cynical or mistrustful to conclude that #MeToo campaigns are not always conducted entirely in good faith.

Regardless, it looks like Cuomo could be on the ropes:

Bowman and AOC at least have the decency to mention the nursing homes:

Republican Funhouse

“Amazon should face unionization drive without Republican support” [Marco Rubio, USA Today]. “When the conflict is between working Americans and a company whose leadership has decided to wage culture war against working-class values, the choice is easy — I support the workers. And that’s why I stand with those at Amazon’s Bessemer warehouse today.” • Nice try, Little Marco. Now let’s talk about wages and working conditions.

Stats Watch

Producer Price Index: “February 2021 Producer Price Final Demand Increased Significantly” [Econintersect]. “The Producer Price Index (PPI) year-over-year inflation increased from +1.7 % to +2.8 %. Year-over-year inflation pressures significantly grew this month.”

Rail: “Rail Week Ending 06 March 2021 – A Better Week” [Econintersect]. “Week 9 of 2021 shows the same week total rail traffic (from the same week one year ago) improved according to the Association of American Railroads (AAR) traffic data. Total rail traffic has been mostly in contraction for over one year – and now is slowly recovering from the coronavirus pandemic although economic intuitive sectors are not doing well….. Shortly, we will see great rail growth as the data is being compared to the coronavirus lockdown period last year.”

* * *

Shipping: “The Pandemic Fueled a Boom in Empty Ghost Shipping Containers Traveling the High Seas” [Gizmodo]. “n 2020, 668,086 empty containers were shipped to foreign ports around the world, 12 times more than in 2019. At the height of this empty container frenzy, in November 2020, 87,000 ghost containers were exported, 87 times more than at same time in 2019…. Usually, domestic shippers would wait to send the giant boxes across the ocean until they were loaded up with U.S. goods to be sent overseas. But since that’s taking much longer these days and shippers abroad are desperate for containers to refill with the goods Americans are buying and are willing to pay a premium for them, it’s more lucrative now for the shipping companies to simply send empty containers overseas. Increasingly, carriers are emptying ships at ports in Long Beach and Los Angeles, then immediately putting the unloaded, empty containers back onto the vessels to go back to Asia.”

Shipping: “Number of the day: $5.19 billion. Overall container shipping importing costs into the U.S. in February, up from $1.95 billion the year before, according to Panjiva” [Wall Street Journal].

The Bezzle: “Buyer of $69 million Beeple NFT is a crypto investor using the pseudonym Metakovan” [CNBC]. “Metakovan’s real identity is not known, but the investor is the co-founder of the NFT collection called Metapurse, which collects NFTs to display in the metaverse through virtual museums. An NFT by the artist Beeple sold at Christie’s on Thursday for over $60 million, making it the most expensive NFT ever sold at auction.

The sale capped two weeks of frenzied online bidding and ushers in a new era in collectibles, where prices for blockchain-based digital images now rival prices paid for Picassos and Monets.” • Added bonus: They help cook the planet!

The Bezzle: “What are NFTs and why are some worth millions?” [BBC]. “A digital-only artwork has sold at Christie’s auction house for an eye-watering $69m (£50m) – but the winning bidder will not receive a sculpture, painting or even a print. Instead, they get a unique digital token known as an NFT. Where Bitcoin was hailed as the digital answer to currency, NFTs are now being touted as the digital answer to collectables… NFT stands for non-fungible token. if something is non-fungible, this is impossible – it means it has unique properties so it cannot be interchanged with something else. It could be a house, or a painting such as the Mona Lisa, which is one of a kind. You can take a photo of the painting or buy a print but there will only ever be the one original painting. NFTs are “one-of-a-kind” assets in the digital world that can be bought and sold like any other piece of property, but they have no tangible form of their own. The digital tokens can be thought of as certificates of ownership for virtual or physical assets.” • Comment:

Or, more to the point, not index cards but laundry receipts?

Tech: “Study links adaptive cruise control to increased crash risk” [The Hill]. “The study’s authors calculated that the level of increased speeding using adaptive cruise control (ACC) and partial automation drivers meant the technology led to a 10 percent higher risk of a fatal crash.” • Seems to be that the same logic would apply to robot cars at Levels 2, 3, and 4, all the way up to taking the driver out of the loop entirely at Level 5, which (IMNSHO) is not attainable without optimizing the built environment for the algorithm.

Manufacturing: “Qualcomm struggles to meet chip demand as shortage spreads to phones: sources” [Reuters]. “Qualcomm Inc is struggling to keep up with demand for its processor chips used in smartphones and gadgets, as a chip shortage that first hit the auto industry spreads across the electronics business….. Demand for Qualcomm’s chips has soared in the past months as Android phone makers seek to win over customers abandoning phones produced by Huawei Technologies Co Ltd due to U.S. sanctions. Qualcomm has found it hard to meet this higher-than-expected demand, in part due to a shortage of some subcomponents used in its chips.”

Concentration: “Uber, Lyft agree to share info on banned drivers in safety push” [Reuters]. • And no doubt union organizer data, too.

The Economy: “Blowout Jobs Report Signals Economic Resilience in Canada” [Bloomberg]. “Canada’s labor market roared back to life in February after authorities began lifting lockdowns, in perhaps the most striking sign of the nation’s economic resilience to the second wave of the pandemic. The economy added 259,200 jobs, Statistics Canada reported Friday in Ottawa, well ahead of expectations for a 75,000 gain…. The unemployment rate fell to 8.2%, the lowest since the very beginning of the pandemic, down from 9.4% in January.” • This could happen to us, perhaps.

The Economy: “Apollo Bets a New Roaring ’20s Will Revive Vegas After Vaccines” [Bloomberg]. “The Venetian Las Vegas isn’t the resort it was a year ago. But that didn’t stop Apollo Global Management Inc. and its real estate partner, Vici Properties Inc., from plunking down $6.25 billion to purchase the property, the neighboring Palazzo and the adjacent Sands Expo Convention Center from Las Vegas Sands Corp. last week…. Apollo managers think they’re buying more at the bottom than the top, with a new Roaring ’20s set to dawn. ” • 

* * *

Today’s Fear & Greed Index: 56 Greed (previous close: 56 Greed) [CNN]. One week ago: 51 (Neutral). (0 is Extreme Fear; 100 is Extreme Greed). Last updated Mar 12 at 12:15pm.

The Biosphere

“Bee data from backyards in six US states shows that native mason bees are declining” [Massive Science]. “In a recent study published in Scientific Reports, [Kathryn LeCroy, a PhD student at the University of Virginia] and her colleagues tracked the populations of mason bees using data collected in Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, West Virginia, and Washington, D.C. over 13 years. They found that six species of native mason bees, in the genus Osmia, steadily decreased in population year after year. At the same time, the scientists studied two related species that made their way from Asia to North America in the 20th century. The horned-face bee, which was brought to the United States to pollinate fruit crops, stayed at a constant population over time. But the population of Osmia taurus, a non-native species that was accidentally introduced to the U.S., has grown by an average of 17% each year of the study — an 800% increase in total abundance.” • So there’s hope? The interesting part, to me: “To track the bees’ populations over time and space, LeCroy and her collaborators sifted through three sets of data collected by a wide range of research groups and volunteers over the years…. The most recent data included in the study was collected in 2017. This effort took LeCroy driving all over the state of Virginia to hand-deliver sampling materials to dozens of volunteers. In exchange for the volunteers’ help, she keeps them informed about the experiment’s findings.” • Citizen science at its finest (which the headline should reflect). More like this, please. Much more.

“The New Trend in Home Gardens—Landscaping to Calm Anxiety” [Wall Street Journal]. I was prepping a joke that, given the source, readers should understand that calmness comes from the garden, not from hiring a gardener, but the tips are actually pretty good: “‘When a view is partially screened, you establish a sense of perspective and discovery,’ said Los Angeles landscape architect Patricia Benner. Designer John Sharp, a fellow Angeleno, favors trails that wind through the landscape. He introduces structure with plants like spiring Italian cypress trees or voluminous Mexican bush sage, and he softens hard edges—fencing, walls, sheds, staircases—with greenery. Mr. Hollander stresses the concept of journey. ‘You can’t come out of the house and be in that space. You have to go somewhere, even if it’s only three steps.'” • This is advice we can all take, without necessarily hiring a designer.

Our Famously Free Press

“The Sovietization of the American Presa” [Matt Taibbi, TK News]. ” Soviet newspapers were wrought with such anvil shamelessness that it’s difficult to imagine anyone ever read them without laughing. A good Soviet could write almost any Pravda headline in advance. What else but “A Mighty Demonstration of the Union of the Party and the People” fit the day after Supreme Soviet elections?… Some of the headlines in the U.S. press lately sound suspiciously like this kind of work: “Biden stimulus showers money on Americans, sharply cutting poverty,” “Champion of the middle class comes to the aid of the poor,” “Biden’s historic victory for America.” And this: “Those still clinging to mainstream jobs in a business that continues to lay people off at an extraordinary rate read the gist of all of these stories clearly: if you want to keep picking up a check, you’d better talk the right talk.” • Another headline:


Zeitgeist Watch

“Health Officials Warn It’s Still Too Early To Stop Languishing In State Of Unceasing Despair” [The Onion]. Walensky: “We know it’s been a challenging year, but if we start feeling like life might possibly be worth living at this stage, then this pandemic may never end”

Class Warfare

“Philly vaccine map: Richer neighborhoods are getting more doses” [Billy Penn]. “Roughly 3 in 10 people in wealthier downtown areas have already received their first dose. A few miles away, in a predominantly Black pocket of Southwest Philly, the rate plummets to only about 3 out of 50 residents — the lowest ratio among the city’s ZIP codes, as of this week…. Reasons for the persistent inequities are numerous, including limited supply, language barriers, transportation issues, and spotty data collection, along with registration systems that have allowed suburban residents to secure a large chunk of the city’s allotted doses…. The last two weeks have seen the geographic disparity improve. Some of the most impoverished areas have doubled or tripled the percent of residents who’ve gotten the shot. Fairhill’s 19133 ZIP code, for example, went from 250 doses per 10k residents to more than 700 doses per 10k.”

News of the Wired

Good one, Dad:

And no sheeple jokes!

And speaking of digitized art:

* * *

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

TH writes: “Tule / Sedge / California bulrush. Whatever you call it, the common yellowthroat loves it.” Nice touch of color!

* * *

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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. km

    Taibbi is right. The MSM today is easily as shameless as its Soviet counterpart.


    1. a different chris

      No, we are way worse I suspect.

      When somebody at Pravda coughed up a Paint (in black and white) By The Numbers headline I strongly suspect they either had to show it to their colleague for a good laugh together or reach into the bottom drawer for another painful swig of vodka.

      But they knew it was BS. Our MSM is shameless in many ways, but that’s almost a so what. The problem is they really believe this stuff.

      1. Pelham

        Yup. I worked at 3 major newspapers over a 32-year career and can testify that journalists (broadly speaking and with some exceptions) are just that full of themselves. Sadly, that included me, at least up to a point. It has actually been clarifying to be out of a newsroom for a few years now.

        But changes have come to pass. And that prompts me to wonder what the thousands of journos like myself who’ve lost their jobs and careers in the past decade or two think of the ways the profession has warped itself. I’m referencing things such as the recent cases of brutally enforced groupthink at the NY Times.

        1. km

          Well, noting only the case of Bari Weiss, she was all in favor of cancelling people that she didn’t approve of.

          She objected to cancellation, only after she got a taste of what she had so gleefully dished out to others over the years.

          1. NotTimothyGeithner

            She objected to cancellation, only after she got a taste

            She quit the NYT with an obvious plan to launch her little platform. She only claimed “cancellation” to make a news cycle.

            1. km

              I sort of doubt that anyone in Bari Weiss ‘ shoes would willingly go from the NYT to substack.

        2. Nonprophet Jim

          Yep, I abandoned the newspaper ship in 1999, save for a two-year return as a consultant. “Astonishing” is too weak of a word to describe the complete disintegration of the news chain.

      2. NotTimothyGeithner

        I saw a bit of The Daily Show the other day (I know), but it had a little “educational video” giving kids advice on how to get into journalism. The lesson was be the kid of an important journalist, politician, or Vanderbilt. A couple of months ago there was a presentation on how to get a federal clerkship focused on women and minorities. One of the presenters was Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s granddaughter.

      3. Procopius

        The funny thing is it was commonly reported in the American press that Soviet citizens were well aware that it was bullshit. You read the comments sections at some blogs (not like NewsMax or freeper) and it’s astonishing what a strange world they live in. Bernie is not accused of being a Russian asset, but he (and even more his “bros”) are entirely responsible for Hillary’s defeat. Trump and Putin are homosexual lovers. All Republicans are guilty of warring against the United States. Unfortunately, I’m allergic to alcohol, so I no longer have that response available.

    2. dcblogger

      I spent 10 days in the Soviet Union in June of 1989 and I am struck by the many similarities between US 2020 and USSR 1989. Certainly a servile press, so servile that if you told me that it would be this bad in 1989 I would have laughed. Also the culture of lying. I don’t have any illusions about a golden age, but in 1989 neither politicians nor pundits would have told lies so bad that they insulted your intelligence. Also the environmental disasters. Or acts like deliberate destruction, the poisoning of the Flint Michigan water supply.

    3. The Rev Kev

      I think that the Russians had two main publications back then. ‘Pravda’ which mean truth and ‘Izvestia’ which meant news. So the Russian at the time had a popular saying-

      “There’s no truth in Pravda and no news in Izvestia”.

      But at least the Russians at the time knew this to be true.

      1. dcblogger

        But at least the Russians at the time knew this to be true.

        that really is the difference. back in the glory days of civil rights, the Pentagon Papers, and Watergate the press, more or less, told the truth and were capable of speaking truth to power, at least occasionally. I think that is one reason people my age don’t get how bad it has become. they are used to regarding network news and major newspapers as credible.

        Also if you are old enough to remember the Great Society it is hard to understand how completely the Democrats have changed and no they really are NOT doing the best they can.

      2. Andrey Subbotin

        There was also “Trud” meaning “Labor”, so the joke continued “but you can have Trud for three kopecks”

    4. rowlf

      An article at the Strategic Culture website two years ago by Patrick Armstrong covered How To Read Western News.

      In it he wrote:

      In the Soviet Union news was controlled; there was no “free press”; there was one owner and the flavours were only slightly varied: the army paper, the party paper, the government paper, papers for people interested in literature or sports. But they all said the same thing about the big subjects. The two principal newspapers were Pravda (“truth”) and Izvestiya (“news”). This swiftly led to the joke that there was no truth in Pravda and no news in Izvestiya. It was all pretty heavy handed stuff: lots of fat capitalists in top hats and money bags; Uncle Sam’s clothing dripping with bombs; no problems over here, nothing but problems over there. And it wasn’t very successful propaganda: most of their audience came to believe that the Soviet media was lying both about the USSR and about the West.

      But time moves on and while thirty years ago 50 corporations controlled 90% of the US news media, today it’s a not very diverse six. As a result, on many subjects there is a monoview: has any Western news outlet reported, say, these ten true statements?

      People in Crimea are pretty happy to be in Russia.
      The US and its minions have given an enormous amount of weapons to jihadists.
      Elections in Russia reflect popular opinion polling.
      There really are a frightening number of well-armed nazis in Ukraine.
      Assad is pretty popular in Syria.
      The US and its minions smashed Raqqa to bits.
      The official Skripal story makes very little sense.
      Ukraine is much worse off, by any measurement, now than before Maidan.
      Russia actually had several thousand troops in Crimea before Maidan.
      There’s a documentary that exposes Browder that he keeps people from seeing.

      I typed these out as they occurred to me. I could come up with another ten pretty easily. There’s some tiny coverage, far in the back pages, so that objectivity can be pretended, but most Western media consumers would answer they aren’t; didn’t; don’t; aren’t; isn’t; where?; does; not; what?; never heard of it.”

      I like Armstrong as he reminds me of my uncle who was a professor of Russian history and having lived on SAC bases during the Cold War I was fascinated by the Soviet Union, as I was told that they wanted to kill me.

      Back to the USSR: How to Read Western News

  2. dcblogger

    it is not snitching to bring violent criminals to justice. there is nothing virtuous about omerta, the culture that protects criminals. the mob which attacked the Capitol was trying to overset the results of an election. They came within inches of succeeding.

          1. Another Thought

            You don’t think a group of 20 people isn’t capable of beating and kicking someone to death?

            1. tegnost

              How about if we just go straight to ” they might have had a nuclear weapon!” and be done with it?

              1. Another Thought

                That’s the point, they didn’t need any weapons. How much pummeling to you think it would take to kill an 80 year old woman?

                1. tegnost

                  It didn’t happen. This is entirely made up by you. It’s a fantasy.
                  It was a masquerade party that for whatever reason our highly militarized police forces completely dropped the ball on.

                    1. Wukchumni

                      I wonder how many Americans get killed by assailants using only their bare hands, i’d guess a tiny number compared to guns.

                      The ersatz Pelosi sure got his 15 minutes of fame though, and that’s what is the most important thing.

                    2. JTMcPhee

                      And maybe a meteorite would have punched through the roof and saved him from committing such a violent, terrorist, treasonous act. What a fearful world some of us live in, or have reason to construct…

                  1. Another Thought

                    So you’re saying that had this peaceful group strolling through the Capitol had caught up with Pelosi they would have called her a few names and let her go on her way?

            2. Lambert Strether Post author

              > You don’t think a group of 20 people isn’t capable of beating and kicking someone to death?

              The fire extinguisher story blew up, so you’re going to double down on fantasy?

              Worth noting that the only human being actually whacked with intent was one of the rioters, by a cop. Fortunately, the wing nuts haven’t been smart or organized enough to make her into a martyr, Horst Wessel-style.

              1. ambrit

                Yes. I find that curious. It bespeaks a lack of seriousness on the part of the ‘opposition’ forces.
                Also of interest is the observation that, if sorted by class affiliation, this “confrontation” was between members of the American PMC and members of the American Petit Bourgeois. A split in the ruling elites? Or a subset of the upper classes realizing that they have been left behind by their “superiors?”

              2. Baldanders

                Turning into her Horst would create problems with the Doublethink position of “they weren’t real Trump supporters”/”it was like 1776”

                It is important to keep the event in a state of quantum superposition. The cat is dead and it is alive.

        1. km

          Lessee “I have to declare martial law to protect the Constitution from dudes with buffalo horns who want me to stay in office even though I lost the election!” How does that work?

          For that matter, what makes you think that Trump needed that particular excuse, if declaraing martial law was what he wanted to do.

          1. Lost in OR

            “even though I lost the election!”

            Funny how this issue gets sooo simplified by the winning party. I’ll bet you can come up with as extensive a list of election BS as I can. Start with the Iowa primary. Pass through purged voter lists and citizens united and limited polling sites, and … I know you can fill in some of the rest. There’s a sh!t ton of it. The fact is that few of us really believe US elections are conducted fairly and honestly. Trump had a point. Hillary had a point. Gore had a point.

            Do you REALLY trust our electoral system? As long as we refuse to admit that there’s an issue here, we’ll be stuck right here.

            Gore submitted to the SCOTUS. Hillary’s still pissing in the wind. Trump will STFU. This is escalating. Better introduce that elephant in the room

            1. Mike

              Agreed – the basic need is to revamp the electoral process so a non-aligned, independent voting commission counts votes done on paper ballots marked privately by all citizens. Then , of course, you’d need to have guard dogs on all the sociopaths, military brass, evangelical pastors, and media sycophants who’d be baring their fangs for you and that commission.

              Drop all the nitwits above onto the Sahara, compass- and credit card-free. Then, maybe, the dream will come true.

        2. Vlad "The Mad Lad" Lenin

          Please, none of those petty boojs are anywhere close to heroic enough to have murdered their country’s loathsome politicians. With practically unlimited access to the capital they stole junk and took selfies. Nancy Pelosi’s computer was in their hands and they did nothing with it.

        3. Kurt Sperry

          To me, the really dangerous thing about the Capitol siege wasn’t as much the physical reality of it (as terrifying or benign as you may see it) as much as the fact that it was deliberately incited by the sitting POTUS, telling bald-faced lies as colorful and ridiculous as any QAnon dreck about a stolen election and massive electoral fraud. And the intent and its timing was clearly aimed at undoing a Presidential electoral result using a mob fired up by those bald and obvious lies.

          When a riot against an electoral result is instigated and supported by the President who has clearly just lost an election, we’re at a whole ‘nother level of danger. The Presidential imprimatur was, for me at least, the shocking difference between this and any other riot I’ve ever seen.

          1. Lambert Strether Post author

            > the really dangerous thing

            Exactly as with 9/11, our reaction is the real danger, and will be far worse than the seizure itself. Unless you’re in favor of press censorship, for starters, along with the permanent presence of a Praetorian Guard in DC, more busy work for the national security goons, etc.

            “Intent and timing” are doing a lot of work there, since they obliterate any reference to material reality — the dude was carrying the podium. He didn’t proclaim a provisional government. Can we at least eliminate the phrase “armed insurrection” from the discourse, given that there was no insurrection, and the rioters were not armed?

            If you want to see something really “dangerous,” look at Myanmar. It’s heartbreaking to see people giving their lives in the streets for ideals that we are recklessly tossing away, no matter where you look in the spectrum of approved ideas.

            1. Zagonostra

              There was no ‘seizure’ or insurrection. What happened is yet to be fully disclosed.

              What is indisputable is that there were uncover FBI and other security personnel in the crowd as well as other participants not associated with Trump Supporters.

              1. Lambert Strether Post author

                There was certainly no insurrection. I use the word seizure because for a time the rioters had control of the space. (I don’t use the word Occupy, because that implies more thought that I think went into the project, at least collectively.)

                I’m gonna need a link on your claim about agent provocateurs in the crowd. Just because something is plausible doesn’t mean it’s true.

                1. wadge22

                  It also doesn’t even mean it would be important. It’s very plausible that law enforcement was embedded in the crowd, as they seem to do at these sorts of things, but had no (unusually) sinister motives.

                  I could even conceive of the FBI having plants in the crowd, but also largely having their thumbs up their families’ blogs, with little useful knowledge and no control over anything that was happening. But then that’s just my conjecture with no link.

                  I think the idea that the viking hat guy needed someone to subtly steer him towards making that stupid pointless spectacle that day is, at very least, overlooking simpler explanations.

              2. Zagonostra

                They had control to the same extent as someone who Is trespassing would have had control. As soon as police stepped in they evacuated. There never was a coherent attempt to seize anything except a photo opportunity.

                I think NC has already reported on Sullivan, do you not consider his actions as constituting those of an agent provocateur?

                I will keep an open mind about the significance or interpreting events of 1/6. I’ve read too much about what the CIA and FBI have been involved with over the decades to fall into the trap of viewing events as a ‘seizure.’

            2. Kurt Sperry

              The potential for damage to First Amendment protected speech as a reaction to the riot is real. It’s not like the Bill of Rights is any longer taken seriously by the elites. Snowden already showed us that the Fourth Amendment is a dead letter today in light of the continuous, ongoing, and flagrantly unconstitutional dragnet surveillance of all our digital communications. Both the riot and the reaction to it can both at the same time be dangerous.

              My “intent and timing” were based on the direction the crowd were sent towards the Capitol where a certification of a Presidential election was ongoing at the very moment the crowd was primed and aimed at it by the President, I never used the phrase “armed insurrection” as it mostly doesn’t fit the case, but I don’t think it’s much of a stretch to hypothesize what might have happened if the rioters had walked into a room still filled with what they believed were traitorous legislators instead of one they’d just hastily fled from. It wasn’t far off from being what happened that day.

              And if some clever wag had whispered in Trump’s ear that he call for a provisional government to “stop the steal” he might well have taken that path. I don’t think Trump or any of his circle had thought it through to that degree, just as he seemingly never thought anything through much further than the moment. We’re quite lucky in retrospect that Trump is such a disorganized, shambolic, impulsive mess of a person.

              1. Lambert Strether Post author

                I don’t care what people (are said to have) thought. And I don’t care about hypotheticals. I care about what people did, and I care about what happened.

                > We’re quite lucky in retrospect that Trump is such a disorganized, shambolic, impulsive mess of a person.

                We are indeed. We will also be even more lucky to avoid the scenario where one of the rioters, given his day in court for sedition, becomes a media figure and turns out to be smart and able to organize. That’s what worries me.

                1. ambrit

                  In two years it will be the centenary of the “Beer Hall Putsch.”
                  Just long enough for the social memory of those days to have attenuated sufficiently.

          2. marym

            The people who rioted at the Capitol weren’t interested in taking over the government. They may have had a mixture of fantasies about who would do what (commit violence themselves, be disruptive without real violence, Trump would support them with the military, the cops would be on their side, etc.) and what would happen that day.

            However, the end result they wanted was for the certification of electoral votes to stop; Trump to continue being president; and everybody else goes home.

            The issue is more than just the presidential imprimatur on the event. The crowd had the same objective that not only Trump, but his allies in Congress and state governments, and right wing media had with lawsuits, pressure on state officials, objecting to the procedure on the floor of the Congress, media hype, and encouraging spectacles at polling and counting sites and in DC.

            For those who consider themselves the Real Americans, the event at the Capitol was of a piece with all the other voter suppression efforts – in past and recent history, as a prominent element in Trump’s propaganda, and in on-going attempts across the country. It’s the enforcement of their idea of a natural order in which theirs are the votes that count, and other people’s votes are fraudulent by definition.

            The dangers are both further surveillance and repression of dissent, and further suppression of the vote.

        4. Dr. John Carpenter

          And the military would have just gone along with this? If it was that easy, why didn’t Trump just declare martial law anyway?

        5. chuck roast

          The US military was not coming out of the barracks in any case. Cheney, Mattis and their ilk gave instructions to the brass via a letter to Trump on January 5. All the strum und drang over the lack of military presence was kabuki. The poor stiff DC NG general was the guy that got thrown under the bus for the whole deal, and he did the right thing.

        6. Lambert Strether Post author

          > Had they murdered Pence, Pelosi, AOC and others, as they intended, Trump could have declared martial law and remained in power

          You’d think they would have brought guns. You’d also think they would have done better at actually finding their victims. You’d also think they would have avoided taking selfies of themselves in the act. Trump could not have declared martial law because there’s no indication the military would have backed him up. I don’t care what Paul Jay says, this is all unhinged.

      1. Keith

        That made me chuckle, too

        I remember seeing headlines about it and them clicking on the story and seeing the Shaman in full regalia in the House. I had a good laugh and rooted for him in SMS messages I sent to a girlfriend. It was entertaining as it was absurd, but revolutionary, no.

        1. Lambert Strether Post author

          > the Shaman in full regalia in the House.

          Yes, you’d think they would have seized a radio station, or cut the power lines to the Capitol, or cut off the Internet, or something. But no, we get the dude with the horns.

    1. ambrit

      I think that you are missing the longer term effects that the fostering of this ‘trend’ will engender.
      “Snitches” and “tipsters” are but one step removed from criminals themselves. If someone had information about the death of the Capitol policeman, than well and good. But to tar everyone there with the brush of sedition is excessive.
      Mark my words, the process of “informing” is defined by the parameters that define the “crimes” being ferreted out. One thing that authoritarian regimes are good at is “dumbing down dissent.” As time goes on, the levels of dissent ‘allowed’ will be lowered, step by step. The “public spirited informers” will be adapting to the changing definitions of what is ‘allowed’ as those changes occur.
      Eventually, the American ‘police’ system will devolve into true Third World status. In such a system, the fate of ‘informers’ is often death.
      So, be careful what you wish for.

      1. dcblogger

        If you were part of that mob inside the Capitol you are guilty of sedition. Some more guilty than others, but all are guilty of sedition. There are many reasons for what happened in January 6, but the mob truly thought that Trump won and that the country was behind them and would cheer them on. The fact that their family and personal acquaintances are turning them in is a strong sign, to them and others, that the country is horrified by what they did and they have no public support. We need evidence to bring them to justice, and for that to happen they need to be identified.

        If people think that they can charge the Capitol without consequences then no one is safe. State capitols, city halls, churches, no place will be safe. They need to be brought to justice.

        1. wadge22

          And how about if you were outside the capitol on the steps? In the crowd at the rally but didn’t go to the capitol? Tried to get in but couldn’t hoist yourself over the barricade?
          Are those distinctions likely known to the informants?
          I wonder whether those turning on their kin are doing so to seek justice for the crime of sedition, or just to see their own personal politics prevail. That is what scares me.
          Anyhow, at least we can trust the FBI to be even handed with these weighty issues, no?

        2. ambrit

          And what about the other way round?
          The tell here will be what the charges will be. If the majority of the rioters face long prison sentences for participating in a riot, this will be a defining event. Any dissent will be demonized.
          Since when have public facilities attained the status of cult houses? That is all the House and Senate buildings are, public facilities.
          I am beginning to suspect that, rather than 9/11, this is our Reichstag Fire.
          The present histrionic hyperventilating over the “threat to the Republic” is prelude to some serious legal delineation of the “public discourse.” The details of the laws proposed as a result of the Capitol Riot will tell the tale.

          1. Duck1

            Doing a quick goog sedition is, paraphrasing, “inciting people to rebel against authority”. It seems like sedition laws have seldom been charged, since it sounds a bit like suppressing free speech, no? A sedition act from WW1 was subsequently repealed in 1920 and something called the Smith Act is still on the books (anti-communist hysteria I believe). I’m sure the current crop of hysterics can equal this inane legislation, along with building that wall around the capitol.

        3. Lambert Strether Post author

          > f you were part of that mob inside the Capitol you are guilty of sedition

          Here is FindLaw’s definition of sedition:

          According to the statutory definition of sedition, it is a crime for two or more people within the jurisdiction of the United States:

          1) To conspire to overthrow or destroy by force the government of the United States or to level war against them;

          2) To oppose by force the authority of the United States government; to prevent, hinder, or delay by force the execution of any law of the United States; or

          3) To take, seize, or possess by force any property of the United States contrary to the authority thereof.

          To claim the rioters are doing case #1 is obviously ludicrous, and equally obviously what liberal Democrats want you to think is going on.

          Case #2 is more solid, because they riot impeded (although did not stop, and could not have stopped) the electoral college count. That’s not exactly Battleship Potemkin territory.

          Case #3 is also true for any activists over the summer who damaged Federal property, as in Portland. That puts ir firmly into “it’s OK if our guys do it.

          1. Darthbobber

            Sedition prosecutions have had a somewhat unsavory reputation since, well, since the sedition acts of the Adams administration. And the government did not fare well before juries when it ventured into sedition charges against violent leftists in Massachusetts and violent white supremacists seeking to overthrow the ZOG, as they affectionately referred to the federal authority.

        4. LawnDart

          “The fact that their family and personal acquaintances are turning them is a strong sign…”

          A. Someone has a score to settle?
          B. The snitch is an attention-seeking [derogatory name for sex-trade professional, or a synonym for career politician]?
          C. That the fluoride in our drinking water really is doing something?
          D. That loyalty, the bonds of family and friendship, have been horribly eroded by authoritarian, cult-like followship enabled by mass-media indoctrination?

      2. Grateful Dude

        Am I a “snitch” if I call the cops on my neighbor who’s brutally beating a child? Of course not. Our world is not painted in black-and-white. Or in the immortal words of our cherished ‘W’, “I don’t do nuance”? Isn’t it? Am I a snitch if someone defrauds, deludes, or deceives me into breaking the law and I get caught and that someone piles on to protect himself, am I an informant if I sell my knowledge to the state for my liability so they can put back on the hands-off perpetrator. Only in a criminal mind, I assure you.

        A lot of the cynicism here is way too deep and hopeless for me. I might be wrong, but Joe Biden, as phony as he’s always been – he’s no Marco Rubio, however that’s quantified, is a breath of fresh air after Demon Don and His Magical MAGAts and MAGAttes: at least the deceptions are sugar-coated, and there is at least some help coming for most of us.Maybe not good enough, but def a good thing. IMHO.
        Oh, and, remember deficits and national debt? huh?. That’s so 2015. We’re making some progress. At what price? Compared to what? Let’s get reason-able.

    2. a different chris

      Beyond that “snitching” is generally viewed* a way to suck up, to gather something in return for information.

      These people are clearly just sick and tired of their relatives and just want them to for once to see someone so deservedly shut them up, both in a vocal and in a “behind a locked door” sense of shut up.

      *any TV show, the dictionary definition which I did look up has the first def as “act as an informer”. Which means they did snitch, but that’s a stupid definition, as if my wife goes out for milk and my daughter asks where she is and I tell her, I don’t think I’m being a “snitch”. So sticking with the TV definition.

      1. Lambert Strether Post author

        > These people are clearly just sick and tired of their relatives and just want them to for once to see someone so deservedly shut them up, both in a vocal and in a “behind a locked door” sense of shut up.

        I’m sure that’s true. Wait ’til the shoe is on the other foot and it happens to you.

    3. Toshiro_Mifune

      there is nothing virtuous about omerta

      IDK, the first thing I do is remove the ‘9’ and ‘1’ from all my phones.

  3. ambrit

    I always thought that Lichtenstein was ‘sending up’ pointillism with his haystack “paintings.” The series is supposed to be an ‘homage’ to Monet, but I am not convinced.

    1. Synoia

      Lichtenstein ‘homage’ to Monet’? No

      Lichtenstein ‘homage’ to Money and tax evasion! Very probable.

        1. Wukchumni

          I asked Sotheby’s for a $40 million advance on a 1 of a kind etch-a-sketch I wanted to consign, and they seemed ready to make a deal, but then I accidentally erased it.

    2. curlydan

      I like Lichtenstein but hadn’t seen that painting before. Wow! It was doing a number on my eyes for about a minute.

      1. ambrit

        It does partake of the sensibility of a mechanistic op art. Almost a precursor of ‘digital.’

    1. Martin Oline

      Where was Yeltsin when we needed him? Oh yes, protecting democracy for the Kleptocrats.

  4. zagonostra

    >“DNC to kick off new ad campaign touting Biden COVID-19 relief bill” [The Hill].

    “This is the most wide-sweeping progressive package of legislation since the New Deal,” DNC communications director Adrienne Watson told The Hill in a statement

    Which just goes to show how little progress has been made in the past couple of decades. A $1,400 dollar check might pay for your healthcare insurance for 2 months if you were laid off, a plan that would have thousands in deductibles.

    What are these folks smoking? How can they say with a straight face “Help is Here?” What I suspect is that the propaganda campaign is not directed at those receiving the help who know all to well how little and how late it is, but rather at the PMC class. It’s aimed at people who haven’t been badly impacted by the CV19 lockdowns and are actually doing better than before, but, have a conscience. It’s aimed at those who identify with the least among us, who have empathy and want a gov’t that is response to those with needs.

    Those who are the target of the aid, don’t count much in the political calculus of the politicians, dems or repubs, it’s a media campaign for the airwaves and the narrative matrix with no basis in reality.

    1. zagonostra

      in his inimitable style, Chris Hedges blows apart the premises of the DNC’s campaign:

      The established ruling elites know there is a crisis. They agreed, at least temporarily, to throw money at it with the $1.9 trillion Covid-19 bill known as American Rescue Plan (ARP).

      But the ARP will not alter the structural inequities, either by raising the minimum wage to $15 an hour or imposing taxes and regulations on corporations or the billionaire class that saw its wealth increase by a staggering $1.1 trillion since the start of the pandemic.

      The health system will remain privatized, meaning the insurance and pharmaceutical corporations will reap a windfall of tens of billions of dollars with the ARP, and this when they are already making record profits. The endless wars in the Middle East, and the bloated military budget that funds them, will remain sacrosanct. Wall Street and the predatory global speculators that profit from the massive levels of debt peonage imposed on an underpaid working class and loot the U.S. Treasury in our casino capitalism will continue to funnel money upwards into the hands of a tiny, oligarchic cabal.


    2. a different chris

      It’s like you were in a serious car wreck, the ambulance did show up, they carefully dragged you out of the vehicle and laid you out on the berm….then got back in the ambulance and drove off.

  5. fresno dan

    “Amazon should face unionization drive without Republican support” [Marco Rubio, USA Today]. “When the conflict is between working Americans and a company whose leadership has decided to wage culture war against working-class values, the choice is easy — I support the workers. And that’s why I stand with those at Amazon’s Bessemer warehouse today.” • Nice try, Little Marco. Now let’s talk about wages and working conditions.

    If you didn’t see this mornings post, its new to new…
    fresno dan
    March 12, 2021 at 11:21 am
    Senator Marco Rubio (R., Fla.) is backing Amazon workers’ attempt to unionize in the city of Bessemer, Ala., in an op-ed published Friday morning in USA Today.
    “For decades, companies like Amazon have been allies of the left in the culture war, but when their bottom line is threatened they turn to conservatives to save them. Republicans have rightly understood the dangers posed by the unchecked influence of labor unions. Adversarial relations between labor and management are wrong,” Rubio wrote. “But the days of conservatives being taken for granted by the business community are over.”

    Rubio added, “Here’s my standard: When the conflict is between working Americans and a company whose leadership has decided to wage culture war against working-class values, the choice is easy—I support the workers. And that’s why I stand with those at Amazon’s Bessemer warehouse today.
    So….just so nobody gets it wrong – Rubio still believes management should be able to crush labor regarding money, wages, benefits, but occasionally there might be a rich person the repubs might have to teach a lesson to…regarding repub cultural values, e.g., Dr. Seuss, or Mr. Potato head. OF COURSE, unions should not raise wages…cause that would just be wrong.
    Nice for Rubio to clearly state his principles.

    1. a different chris

      OMG I missed that “waged culture war” part. Thanks for pointing that out!!

      Lordy. BTW, I don’t even think he’s stated any principles, beyond the normal street shakedown despised by every restaurant owner in Philly. “Hey yeah we’re expecting and wanna to be here for you, of course, but you know got new expenses and haven’t taken the wife out to someplace nice for awhile and thinking of that the car is getting old… so not sure the old handle is doin’ it for me, know what I mean?”

      1. fresno dan

        a different chris
        March 12, 2021 at 3:27 pm
        Normal street shakedown IS Rubio’s principle. (there may be variations in the frauds and grifts, but it is just bribery variations)

    2. Pelham

      Yes, and this echoes Lambert’s observation that it will be exquisitely difficult for the GOP to become a workers party without doing anything to favor workers. Rubio, however, appears to be giving it the old college try.

      1. Lambert Strether Post author

        > Lambert’s observation that it will be exquisitely difficult for the GOP to become a workers party without doing anything to favor worker

        Empower workers.

  6. taunger

    I’m not sure your critique of Biden admin vaccine delivery holds up. At this point, at least in Massachusetts, doses delivered are used on a consistent basis. Our family blog health care system doesn’t seem to be the issue. It’s the family blog pharma industry. Manufacturing and delivery seems to be the sticking point. If you mean to criticize Biden on that, it seems fair, but should be made more clear.

    1. JTMcPhee

      Your mileage may vary: https://www.huffpost.com/entry/nikki-fired-fbi-donor-vaccine-florida-investigation_n_60441d5ac5b60208555f21fd, From my home state, and from California, among many other incidents, https://nypost.com/2020/12/18/wealthy-californians-offering-thousands-to-jump-covid-vaccine-line/

      Over time, as the pipelines fill up, all these evidences of corruption and preference will disappear into the Memory Hole.

      Biden administration will claim credit, but it’s tens of thousands of working people doing the making, packaging, transport and administration to the doses who deserve the credit — and where they participate in the corruption and preferences, the blame — not the federal government. And what happened to the apparent reality that Trump’s Operation Warp Speed actually accelerated the availability of vaccines, which are coming available during the Biden Calm Years? And which vaccines, of course, are not about to end the pandemic — both thanks to human perverseness in doing public health necessities like masking and distance and ventilation, and to the likely reality that the mutating virus will be an endemic problem with multiple peaks, spread by the self-indulgence of “I can afford it” tourists and travelers and similar means of spreading this (and subsequent different) pathogens.

      1. The Rev Kev

        And Biden is refusing to admit that at least some of the credit goes to when Trump was in charge. It’s like that $2,000 check that he promised everyone but it turned out that $600 of that was a Trump check – and nobody says that to his face.

        1. Phil in KC

          Just my opinion, but Biden is at least as gracious (and maybe more) to his predecessor as Trump was to his.

    2. Lambert Strether Post author

      > I’m not sure your critique of Biden admin vaccine delivery holds up.

      I don’t see how you show that. I don’t say Biden’s doing badly. I just think he’s not doing any better than Trump, because it he were, there would be some inflection point in the curves. So what we have is a lumbering and fragmented health care system that is not amenable to Presidential action. Which we know to be true.

      It may be that vaccination in stadiums and/or a Federal vaccine registration system (CDC screwed that up, too) will cause a surge. We’ll have to see.

  7. Phillip Cross

    Re: NFT

    1) Collude with friends (real estate license preferred) to buy up a bunch of homes in a cheap neighborhood.
    2) Sell them back and forth among yourselves.
    3) Drive up the prices and raise the comps. Create hype that this area is “hot!”.
    4) Flip grossly inflated assets to third party mark, or use inflated valuations as collateral for loan, then default if house market crashes.
    5) Get investigated by FBI.
    6) Go to jail for fraud.

    1. JTMcPhee

      You are dreaming if you think the corrupt FBI would be “investigating” or that the Justice Department or state enforcement agencies would bring actions even if the investigators took an interest (like because the flippers did a Madoff and ripped off some rich folks…)

  8. none

    Why not (as Rashida Tlaib suggested) give people cards. And set the transaction fee to 0%, too.

    In some countries the tax agency does your taxes for you, since they have your W-2 and 1099 equivalents anyway. They send you a pre-filled tax form, and if you agree with the numbers on it, you don’t have to do anything and that is your tax filing. If you want to change something, you can file your own form and that is ok too.

    The reason the IRS doesn’t do that is the tax preparation lobby (specifically Intuit, makers of Turbo Tax) keeps stopping them. The online tax filing companies have since recently been required to offer a free option, but they keep that well buried in their web sites.


    1. hunkerdown

      You Won’t Believe What Happens Next! The agreement not to compete was rescinded shortly afterward as part of the response to Intuit’s and others’ deemphasis of their free-file services. Unless there’s been counter news lately, Trump could validly be credited in the political sphere with de-liberalizing tax preparation. Blows the mind, doesn’t it?

  9. Roger the cabin boy

    I watched the Biden speech. Usually I can’t watch these things, but I guess I’m not completely sickened by him yet. He was doing OK until the last couple of minutes. Then he said “no one could have imagined this.” God I am so sick of this gaslighting bullshit.

  10. petal

    Daily Mail is reporting that Cuomo refuses to resign, and that the complaint count is up to 30 women. There are a few different articles about it now at the top of their page, so probably best to just go to their main page.

    And it looks like the Love Me I’m a Liberal house(on my commute route) is empty. All signs and flags are gone.

      1. bob

        Cuomo is much stronger and more in control of the NYS bureaucracy than any other gov in at least 50 years.

        Top to bottom, everyone in any position of power within NYS state gov is owned by Cuomo. Everyone is afraid of him, probably because he has dirt on all of them. The Moreland Omission will haunt us for decades to come, with or without Cuomo in office.

    1. Arizona Slim

      Not even a residual Biden/Harris sign? Yeesh! The LMIAL house is disappointing me.

      I am still seeing them here in Tucson.

      1. petal

        It’s weird-looks totally empty. I never saw a for sale sign, so who knows. Kind of bummed, but glad to not have to see their stuff every day.

    2. Dr. John Carpenter

      I’m a big fan of sightseeing the political signs people stake in their yards, so I’ve always appreciated your updates on the LMIAL house. I figured they’d be pretty excited about president to be Kamala.

  11. Lee

    Zeitgeist Watch

    “Health Officials Warn It’s Still Too Early To Stop Languishing In State Of Unceasing Despair” [The Onion]. Walensky: “We know it’s been a challenging year, but if we start feeling like life might possibly be worth living at this stage, then this pandemic may never end”

    Where’s the irony? Given the prevalence of Covid variants and what they may portend, The Onion is spot on. While I will admit to the occasional glimmer of optimism, I regard such inner states with deep suspicion.

    1. rowlf

      Another take:

      Nation Prepares To Celebrate 1st Anniversary Of Two Weeks To Flatten The Curve

      U.S.—The nation is preparing to celebrate what is expected to become a beloved annual holiday: Two Weeks To Slow The Spread Day, to be held in March every year.

      “This time of year we like to come together to remember the historic day one year ago when we put on masks and locked ourselves down, trusting that the lockdown would be over in just two weeks,” said local man Paul Christof as he stared out his window longingly, his three masks securely in place. “This year, I’m going all out with a Zoom party with no more than five of my closest friends — I mean, closest, figuratively speaking, of course. We’ll be literally far apart, because I want to stay home and stay safe, and I don’t want grandma to die.”

      Traditional festivities for the newly christened American holiday include remote Amazon gift exchanges, ordering DoorDash feasts for just yourself, and the customary binging of the Netflix. Historians believe the holiday will become a hit, and people will continue to wear masks and stay home throughout the year as the festive day is celebrated for hundreds of years to come.

      Nation Prepares To Celebrate 1st Anniversary Of Two Weeks To Flatten The Curve

  12. Phil in KC

    I thought the Biden speech met the moment and hit a lot of notes correctly. This is the third major speech
    of his that I’ve watched from start to finish. He’s a good speaker. Teleprompter? Sure, but not nearly so wooden as Trump, unless Trump was gassing on at a rally.

    Speaking of Trump, his media team and supporters are upset with Biden for not acknowledging Trump’s Project Warp Speed. Well, you gotta give to get sometimes. Tell me when Trump acknowledged Biden’s win in November 2020. Or Obama’s US birthplace, for that matter.

    1. dcblogger

      Tell me when Trump acknowledged Biden’s win in November 2020. Or Obama’s US birthplace, for that matter.

      well said

      1. carolinus

        But would it not be a significant expression of this much touted “unity” to acknowledge it? What was it Michelle O proposed be done when they go low?

        1. marym

          Biden refraining from tweeting insults is already a few steps higher on the significant expression performance scale than anything his predecessor ever did.

          For Republicans unity is do everything we we want, while we obstruct everything you want. They’ve always been clear on that. So although Biden may be historically a lot closer to them on many important issues that we’re not talking about in the glow of the rescue bill, for now it’s good that he’s focusing on aspects of his policy that promote unity by being popular with the actual populace.

          1. Pat

            That would be his staff refrains from tweeting insults. I don’t think you can claim a difference in behavior during activity when one of the parties doesn’t even engage in that activity.

            Perhaps we could just compare lies and hyperbole. Trump would probably still “win”, but at least they both engage in them.

            1. tegnost

              mean tweeter? wasn’t that supposed to be neener tandens role? what will she do now? Probably a conference circuit holding forth on the dangers of not controlling one’s ire on social media…kaching!

    2. Lambert Strether Post author

      > Tell me when Trump acknowledged Biden’s win in November 2020. Or Obama’s US birthplace, for that matter.

      I agree! Trump sets the baseline, to which we must adhere!

      1. Phil in KC

        Yes, Biden is failing on so many fronts:
        1. No insults via twitter
        2. He’s behind in lies, half-truths, and deliberate misrepresentations.
        3. He’s not making stuff up.
        4. He’s not ignoring the climate crisis.
        5. He’s not set foot once on a golf course.

        A total failure. A flop.

  13. PhillyPhilly

    Calling our current COVID situation the ‘eye of the storm’ is so over-the-top it drives me nuts. In an actual hurricane, the eye of the storm implies a near certainty that you’ll soon be facing events as severe as the ones you just faced. Which, translated to COVID in the US, would imply that we have another 500K deaths waiting for us, with hospital systems across the country stretched to their limits and mobile freezer units serving as morgues.

    Yes, it’s possible that this all happens again, but it seems highly unlikely. We have vaccines, people with partial immunity due to contracting the virus, and more ability for outdoor activities. The virus and its variants have a lot of disadvantages compared to the recent fall/winter run.

    Of course we shouldn’t let our guard down, but let’s not make wild exaggerations either.

    1. Kurt Sperry

      It’s possible the virus and new VOCs will fuel another huge surge in cases in spite of a massive ongoing vaccination program but from everything I can get my hands on to read it’s exceedingly unlikely. My best guess is that by mid-summer, in the US the pandemic will be running on fumes. We won’t have long here to wait to see who got it right and who failed to. My marker is in.

      1. Arizona Slim

        I think you’re on to something, Kurt.

        And I’m going to put my slender self out on a limb and say that the worst is just about over here in Tucson. Why, on my just-concluded shopping trip to Fourth Avenue, I saw a street musician playing an out-of-tune guitar and let’s just say the guy really needed voice lessons.

        If the incompetent musicians are back on Fourth Avenue, it’s almost party time.

      2. NotTimothyGeithner

        I don’t know. The outbreak of Covid in the fall through Christmas means people should be losing their immunity. It could break out again especially if we start cramming schools full of kids.

        1. PhillyPhilly

          Agreed that it is very easy to imagine the conditions arising for another bad run, but I wouldn’t assign that outcome a probability anywhere near certain.

      3. Lambert Strether Post author

        > We won’t have long here to wait to see who got it right and who failed to. My marker is in.

        For once, I’ve got some useful data: Both B.1.1.7 in wastewater and hospital admissions in Houston. I checked earlier this week; no jump in hospital admissions (which, granted, are discretionary, but Houston is not near capacity). If there’s nothing in the next two weeks, and no countervailing evidence, I’ll start relaxing a bit.

        Do note, however, that we seem to be adjusting to a high baseline as a new normal. Basically, last summer is now feeling like relief. That’s just not good.

        1. PhillyPhilly

          The Michigan situation is also a possible cause for concern. They are leading the states in variants and are also facing an uptick in cases in the past week. I’ll be watching both Houston and MI very closely for the next couple of weeks.

      4. wilroncanada

        So far, according to Forbes, 33% of USites are so far vowing to not get vaccinated, including:
        49% of republican men, 47% of Trump supporters, 40% of white men with less than college, 38% of evangelicals, 37% of Latinos, 36% of the rural, 36% of Gen. X and Millennials, etc.
        If that holds you will never have “herd immunity”.
        Now, I suspect that the numbers of “rebels” will gradually be reduced over time. Many of the Republican men, Latinos, evangelicals and Trump supporters will answer to their significant others for their stubborn stupidity. Many of them are bullsh***ers just like their boy, and will, just like him, go in secret they think, to get their shots while still proclaiming their manly/ womanly rebellion.

  14. LaRuse

    Covid-vax anecdote. My MiL (COVID survivor from last summer) got her second Moderna shot yesterday. She was told to expect moderately nasty symptoms/side effects. My husband (her son) talked to her around 5pm last night and she had nausea, chills, headache, and a fever. He advised her to follow the instructions from the paperwork, take a Tylenol and go to bed. She had been told that having had COVID, her symptoms would likely be more severe because her body would already recognize the concern and go into “Nuke it from orbit!” mode.
    She chose not rest, take Tylenol, or even let someone else make dinner for her. She has hyperactivity disorder and ADHD and is frequently irrational, impulsive, and has nearly manic-levels of energy. She was cleaning her kitchen up at 10pm, probably zooming around like she always does. She tripped or collapsed, fell, earned a concussion, two broken ribs, a host of contusions, and a ride in the ambulance. She’ll likely be in the hospital all weekend.
    It was our assumption that her pushing herself too far caused the fall. Today, an abnormal EKG is back and her heart has shown to be badly out of rhythm, so we are not so sure about our assumption. She’s had a pacemaker for almost 10 years ago and she’s had no heart trouble since.
    Did COVID damage her heart last summer and this is the first we are hearing about it (she is very selective about what she tells us about her health)? Did the fall and the stress cause the arrhythmia? Is the pacemaker just old now? Or did the vax cause the heart trouble and that led her to fall while she was just being her usual self? I don’t know if we will ever know. Anyway, just keep an eye on your older folks once they get their shot. Whether the heart issues and fall are related to the vax or not, Mother-in-Law’s post-vax symptoms were not mild and would not be easy on anyone, much less an 81 year old.

    1. curlydan

      I hope your MiL recovers soon. If I already had COVID, I suspect I’d get the first shot, but after many stories like yours, I’m not sure if I’d go for the second. It sounds like the body might already “get it” after the disease and first shot.

      1. Tom Stone

        I had my first shot the 24th of last month, took benadryl beforehand and had 5-6 hours of nausea, Joint pain started the next day and it persists.
        Disabling for two days and still not good, but I’m functional.
        I still plan to get the second shot later this month, with my other health issues it seems the better bet.

    1. deplorado

      Thanks for sharing this. Incredible, the tone of the article.
      Just read this:

      “But as Bevensee’s report shows, peer-to-peer platforms are a double-edged sword. “The reason I want it as a trans anti-fascist is the same reason that a Nazi wants it; we just have opposite ends,” they explain.

      “You know who really doesn’t understand it? The FBI,” Bevensee adds: “we’re talking about a technology that can’t be subpoenaed. It can’t be surveiled” and, in order to carry out remote surveillance of private chats, “you would have to back door every single device in the world”.

      This opens the way for extremists to propagandize and organize on platforms that are beyond the reach of legal authorities and tech giants alike. “

        1. Kurt Sperry

          File sharing; torrents. If done on both ends through a VPN based in a country with strong privacy protections it isn’t trivial for even state-level authorities to effectively monitor. The goal shouldn’t be airtight privacy but raising the cost of universal surveillance so high that it can only be done on a limited, targeted basis.

          1. Lambert Strether Post author

            > File sharing; torrents

            Thanks. Not my world. Sites that do that get shut down a lot, though, correct? And I can see a distributed index working for named commodities like games or software, but for generic content? I’m not so sure.

  15. Wukchumni

    Since March 11 there have been 9,808 cases in the Porterville area, 702 cases in Terra Bella, 152 cases in Springville, 620 cases in Strathmore, 1,781 cases in Lindsay, 43 cases in foothill-mountain communities, 8,607 cases in Tulare, 4,124 cases in Dinuba, 324 cases in Richgrove, 78 cases in Alpaugh, 362 cases in Tipton, 780 cases in Pixley, 1,444 cases in Earlimart, 1,150 cases in Farmersville, 1,033 cases in Exeter, 891 cases in Woodlake, 739 cases in Cutler, 52 cases in Three Rivers, 1,438 cases in Orosi, 89 cases in Goshen, 256 cases in Traver, 59 cases in the Reedley area, 22 cases in Orange Cove and 493 cases in Ivanhoe.


    The disparity in those testing positive for Covid locally is incredible in largely Hispanic population towns, compared to here where 91% of the population is Caucasian.

    Woodlake is the next town over 20 miles away and is 86% Hispanic and 3.5x as many people, and we have 52 cases versus their 891, a rate of about 5x as many testing positive.

    Orosi, which also has 86% Hispanic population, had 1,438 cases, a rate of 7x as many testing positive versus here on a population basis.

    1. flora

      How does the rate/numbers/percentages of those testing positive compare with the numbers/percentages requiring hospitalization and deaths per hospitalizatons? This is an important question.

      1. Fern

        Yes, that’s the key point. According to the CDC figures, it’s the Hispanic seniors who are dying at huge rates and not the younger Hispanics. And white seniors are still dying of covid in massive numbers, although not at the level of Hispanic seniors. For example, white seniors 85+ are dying of covid at a much higher rate than are Hispanic seniors 75-84, while white seniors 75-84 are dying of covid at a slightly lower rate than are Hispanic seniors 65-74 but at a much higher rate than Hispanics 50-64. In other words, there’s roughly a 10-year covid mortality rate disadvantage for Hispanics, but not more than that. (And no, whites don’t live longer than Hispanics as has been implied by those who claim that “more seniors are white so it’s discriminatory to give seniors vaccination priority”. Hispanics actually have a longer life expectancy than whites). So anyone who says that seniors can “wait it out” is both ignoring the fact that it’s white and Hispanic seniors both who are dying of covid-19 at the highest rates, and that while white seniors have a roughly 10-year covid mortality rate advantage over Hispanics, it isn’t more than that.

        To me, the lesson is that the vaccine priority system should be ordered by age all the way down to 50, with medical comorbidities worked in as is warranted by the statistics for risk of death, and with a major emphasis on vaccinating black and Hispanic seniors down to age 50.

        If we vaccinate according to risk of exposure rather than risk of death, both a lot more people total and a lot more people of color will die.

        (I wish we could upload charts and graphs; I don’t have time to find the link to the page that I downloaded my chart from).

        1. Yves Smith

          This view utterly misses that getting Covid greatly increases morbidity. Focusing on mortality alone is wrong-headed.

          We have (and this is a far from complete list):

          Significant #s of people, skewing young, getting Long Covid, which in many cases is so debilitating they have difficulty working

          A large-scale study of all the patients in a hospital system finding that 100% who had symptomatic Covid showed lung damage on XRays worse than if they’s been smokers, and 70-80% of asymptomatic cases showing similar levels of damage. One of our aides who is 29 now is short of breath after having contracted Covid. There is some hope the damage might be alleviated over time but no one knows

          Brain scans showing ~20% of symptomatic Covid patients having brain inflammation. Again, there’s hope it might abate over time but no evidence yet that that happens.

          1. Fern

            Granted, no one should ever get Covid-19 and everyone should be vaccinated as soon humanly as possible, but I still feel strongly that fatality trumps morbidity when we’re forced to prioritize. A 65-year-old has 140 times the chance of dying if they contract covid-19 as a 25-year-old does, according to a study published by the European Journal of Epidemiology (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7721859/).

            That said, there aren’t very many empirical studies about the age distribution of long covid, but the closest thing I could find was this study which was published just two days ago in Nature Medicine. They found that the rate of long covid actually increases with age; they found a higher rate of long covid in those over 50 than in those under 50. While this paper is not the last word, I don’t think there’s any data to support the assumption that young people are disproportionately afflicted with long covid.

            Fortunately, the priorities issue is not as important as it once was, since the epidemic is slowing at the same time that the manufacturers are stepping up production on a timeline that is faster than expected.


            1. Yves Smith

              Please see Links for 3/13 and the articles just launched. The virus is out of control in Brazil and Italy, and Brazil is looking to be a perfect breeder of new variants.

              The study in Nature is badly flawed. Self reported??? On an app???? The results are going to be strongly biased in favor of those who keep reporting and are motivated to do a good job. This is not at all a well selected sample.

              This has a more detailed set of links on long Covid. It points out that there’s no definition of the threshold level of symptoms.

        1. Wukchumni

          Its mostly retired peeps here, few have to go to meat packing plants or fruit sorting warehouses or work in nursing homes or other avenues of Covid. We can wait out the virus.

  16. flora

    re: The Bezzle: “What are NFTs and why are some worth millions?” – [BBC].

    Far be it from me to suggest this is a digital/art money laundering game. Nor would I ever suggest this is a case of tech bros with too much money playing games of ‘foosball for 25 cents (put a quarter on the foosball table)’ amongst themselves. No, nay, never could it be the case! I would never suggest it’s the case, nor should you ever think that’s the case. / ;)

    1. The Rev Kev

      Remember about fifty years ago when the whole world went to fiat money with absolutely no link to the real world like gold or whatever to keep it getting out of hand? And then how in the past few decades tens of trillions of dollars was printed up to save Wall Street from ever making a loss as in ever? And now umpteen trillion dollars is sloshing around the world looking for any profit that it can make in a zero interest environment which again, was to protect the bankers? Well, NFTs are one of the results as well as all those building projects that should never have been built on financial grounds and all that PAC money to buy politicians and turn elections plus all the money going to think tanks to decide how countries are run. This is the result of ll that money just laying around. NFT is just the latest on a never ending train of money scams.

      1. Anonapet

        Remember about fifty years ago when the whole world went to fiat money with absolutely no link to the real world like gold Rev Kev

        The missing “link to the real world” isn’t a silly precious metal but that fiat isn’t created for the general welfare ONLY but is instead created for private interests such as for the banks and asset owners, typically the rich.

  17. roxan

    Concerning vaccines in Philly– suburbs are in bad shape, with Delaware County getting the least while some small, upstate counties got more than they needed. I live near the airport and asked at Giant supermarket last week–pharmacist said they had none, didn’t know when they would or anyone who did. Nearby Montgomery and Chester counties are also short but we are the worst. Fairhill St, in the city, is the heart of the ‘badlands’, (50 years ago I lived on Fairhill. It wasn’t the ‘goodlands’ then, either) but it is a short subway ride from Temple U. where black drs set up a vaccination site last week. Temple Hospital, which is related but at a different location, has always served the community in every way, I know Temple well– got 2 degrees there and also worked at Temple Hospital.

  18. Fern

    Okay, I just listened to Biden’s speech for you. He was in fact able to read it from a teleprompter, which wasn’t a given. To me, he seemed very unspontaneous and wooden, but I have no illusions that others would see it that way. His speechwriters wrote a hokey, cringeworthy speech, for what that’s worth. And they focused on the fact that more people are vaccinated now than were vaccinated when Trump left office, which is like taking credit for the sun rising in the east.

    But then again I’m biased; I dislike Biden’s policies immensely from his war-hawk, corporate-connected appointments to his bombing of Syria to his pursuit of the persecution of Julian Assange AFTER the judge threw the case out, so it doesn’t take much to annoy me.

  19. Darthbobber

    So “Bidencalm” is predictably the preferred trope of the back to brunch crowd. It should be really familiar territory for them, just “no drama Obama” redux.

    Which worked out so well that the Democratic Party was a bombed out heap of rubble within 2 years.

    But at least there’s a large archive of unmemorable early Obama hagiography that can just be rerun with only slight changes of verbiage.

  20. bob

    Even the senators are scared of him. Is this the oddest statement ever? Start with comforting and overcoming covid, then the bravery of the individuals who have come forward? Very in-appropriated

    Schumer and Gillibrand call on Cuomo to resign


    “Confronting and overcoming the Covid crisis requires sure and steady leadership. We commend the brave actions of the individuals who have come forward with serious allegations of abuse and misconduct. Due to the multiple, credible sexual harassment and misconduct allegations, it is clear that Governor Cuomo has lost the confidence of his governing partners and the people of New York. Governor Cuomo should resign.”

  21. Darthbobber

    Since our sycophantic press is a recurrent theme, I’ll do a plug for Upton Sinclair’s 1919 muckraking book The Brass Check, on the workings and systematic omissions and distortions in the “news” of that era, and how that system replicated itself. It’s a free download, as it would now be in the public domain even if Sinclair had asserted copyright, which he did not do in the interests of wider distribution.

    His 1923 look at higher education (the Goose Step) is also of interest, dealing with the economic interests that dominated the boards of various universities, various suppression of academic freedom, etc. And colorful nicknames he assigned different universities.

  22. truly

    Happy Owl week! This was a great week for me to be exposed to all of these owl sounds at NC. I spent the last two days working on tap lines for a maple syrup operation here in MN. Amazing how noisy the owls were in broad daylight. The maple woods was silent other than their calls.
    A few miles away nearer to my garden site, the Canada geese and Sand Hill Cranes were noisy. As were red wing black birds, eagles, and several woodpecker (unsure of what kind?). Saw a few swans today too! Yay!
    Thanks for the bird sounds!

    1. ambrit

      Thanks for Owl Week from this decrepit commenter as well.
      Owls are a common part of the soundscape here down south too.
      We don’t have maple trees, but will pecans count?
      Stay safe up there!

    2. Lambert Strether Post author

      > A few miles away nearer to my garden site, the Canada geese and Sand Hill Cranes were noisy. As were red wing black birds, eagles, and several woodpecker (unsure of what kind?). Saw a few swans today too! Yay!

      Sounds great. I’m amazed how many species of birds there are, but also that the audio recordings bring back a lot of memories.

  23. bob

    This is a long, great read. Well worth the time-


    So far, Cuomo has refused to entertain calls for his resignation, instead requesting an investigation and circulating a statement, which he asked female lawmakers to sign, suggesting that calls on him to step down are tantamount to undermining Tish James. It’s a classic Cuomo defensive deployment of feminism and one of many signs that he is not going down without a probably very ugly fight

    Good, specific details and descriptions of his bullying.

    Some mention of the MASSIVE media malpractice over the last decade-

    If the town is rough, the press corps that covers it doesn’t offer enlightened salvation. “You walk into the Legislative Correspondents Association, and it’s largely men and largely white men,” said Amy Spitalnick, who worked as the New York attorney general’s communications director and senior policy adviser from 2016 to 2019. “There are very tangible impacts of that on how our government is covered: what is deemed permissible and what rises to the level of attention. Which is why all of this has been an open secret for so long.”

  24. Pat

    Cuomo’s problems being more about sexual harassment and not his dangerous mishandling of covid and nursing homes, his emergency powers and his previous gift of immunity to donors operating nursing homes are self protective on the part of our other elected officials. It is much easier to be outraged and indignant about personal failures than to invite examination of policy, oversight and yes the corrupting influence of large donations. You know things those officials typically fully embrace and in many cases aspire to having. (Nationally the Dems only have to be concerned with possibly admiring Cuomo as he was killing grandma, but in the state they handed everything over to him. Ooops.)

    I do have to wonder what else Andy did to annoy Schumer as Chuck has made a big show of handing money directly to DiBlasio for the city. It is especially surprising since Bill went in for Sanders.

    1. Yves Smith

      They want big donors to stay in NYC, so NYC needs to get dough. Underscoring that NYC is getting support is important. I think this is at least a counter to Cuomo trying to divert it to other parts of the state out of pique.

      1. Pat

        Duh. Thanks.

        I must hang my head for not even considering donor service as I was so fixated on Cuomo. I can only hope I would have had logical thought return and would have thought of it later.

  25. drumlin woodchuckles

    The current strategic and tactical “moral panic” about Cuomo’s sex abuse allegations gives time for people who lost their elderly loved-ones to Cuomovid time to force their losses in front of the same cameras which are now focused on the sexual assault allegations. Its not too late to make Cuomo pay for all those deaths, too.

    ( By the way, if anyone in New York State thinks the word ” Cuomovid” can be weaponised for viralization and disemination and dispersal all over the State of New York, feel free to use it. Or if not, not.)

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