2:00PM Water Cooler 6/10/2022

By Lambert Strether of Corrente

Patient readers, I could not get to Stats today because I got wrapped round the axle on the House Capitol seizure hearings. –lambert

Bird Song of the Day

Italian Sparrow. San Cono, Italy. “At Farm House on roof, large number of individuals nesting in roof tiles.” Sheep and dogs included! If you have a suggestion for a sparrow species, please leave it in comments (I think I’ll do another week of sparrows).

“Sparrow ID Guides from Macaulay Library and Bird Academy” [The Cornell Lab of Ornithology]. Free downloads. “Sparrows are a challenge to birders of all skill levels because they’re often skulky and hard to see. At first they seem like dull brown birds, but when you get a good look, they show beautiful and intricate patterns on their feathers. Because many species are hard to see, they are sought after by avid listers and those who appreciate the beauty of birds. Whether you’re at home or out in the field, these helpful four-sheet sparrow reference guides have full-color photos of eastern, central, western and widespread sparrows.”

* * *


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

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

“When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro.” –Hunter Thompson

Capitol Seizure

On the Capitol Hill riot, I’m anchored on this image:

Did I experience aghastitude on “1/6″™? No. The Winter Palace in 1917 this was not. And what if that guy, instead of being a right-winger in a Trump hat, had been a union guy with a giant inflatable rat? I would have been cheering him on! Finally somebody stood up! What’s really driving the liberal Democrats — and, I suppose, Never Trump Republicans — is that deep down they think Capitol Hill is their space, democracy is “our” democracy, norms are their their norms, and that they will be comfortable again when the “insurrectionists” are rooted out and purged. But it’s not, it’s not, they’re not, and they won’t be. They lost their minds in 2016 for the same reasons, and never did manage to find them again, party leadership and PMC base together.

This AP chart, which I repost from yesterday, bears me out:

Insurrection is a crime (18 U.S. Code § 2383). So how come Merrick Garland charged the vast majority of the “insurrectionists” with illegal parading? Is Garland a puppet of Putin?

* * *

I’m starting to look at the Committee materials (I can’t bear to watch the videos):

“Read Rep. Liz Cheney’s opening statement in first Jan. 6 hearing” [NBC]. Cheney is presenting a prosecutor’s “We will show” opening statement (and incidentally providing the roadmap and schedule for the rest of the hearing). These sentences on the first two pages caught my eye: “Tonight, you will see never-before-seen footage [who cares] of the brutal attack on our Capitol… A violent mob… You will see evidence of what motivated this violence.” • Again, look at Garland’s charge sheet. Cases of violence: two (2). Cheney’s rhetorical strategy, as Thompson’s (below) seems to be to conflate the rioters and all the other participants on the day (see the discussion of “silos” yesterday). I think that makes sense as a rhetorical strategy, but it’s the only kind of sense it makes. Carrying off the House podium and putting it up on Ebay — instead of selling it off in a back room, the norm — isn’t the same thing as “seditious conspiracy.” It’s just not.

“Read the full text of chair Bennie Thompson’s remarks in first Jan. 6 hearing” [NBC News]. From Links, but here it is again. This, I think, is Thompson’s key point: “It was domestic enemies of the Constitution who stormed and occupied the Capitol.” (“Domestic enemies” comes from the Oath of Office that Federal officials take; 5 U.S. Code § 3331.) Note that Thompson characterizes all participants in the riot as “domestic enemies,” throwing the guy with the Trump hat, the Proud Boys, Trump’s entourage, and Trump himself into the same bucket. Legally and I would argue morally, this is wrong; again, the majority of charges brought were for illegal parading, and not for insurrection. (The Proud Boys — and the Proud Boys only — were charged with “seditious conspiracy,” which reinforces my point.) Politically, where we’re talking not only the rioters proper, but for those who, for whatever reason (see item below), identity with them, liberal Democrats have escalated from Clinton’s 2016 “basket of deplorables” to Thompson’s 2022 “domestic enemies.” It didn’t work in 2016, and I don’t think it will work in 2022.

On the supposed interference with the count of Electoral College Ballots:

(NOTE: AFAIK, none of the rioters were carrying; they left their guns behind.) So did it even matter that Pence didn’t get in the car?

“We’re Misunderstanding What Caused Jan. 6” [FiveThirtyEight]. “‘They’re interested in political reform and not in the fact that people are pissed.’ That’s something University of Michigan political science professor Christian Davenport told me in the days after Jan. 6…. Davenport was trying to get me to understand that while the riot at the Capitol was inherently political, the divisions fueling it were not. Right and left, Democrat and Republican: Those splits exist in society, but they weren’t the cause of what happened. Income inequality, racial resentment, declining trust in institutions — those were the really dangerous things, Davenport said. We tend to think of those divisions as partisan because that’s the divide our polling data is set up to track. But in quantifying and graphing the tree counts, we miss the fact that we are in a forest…. A team of researchers found in a 2021 paper that an anti-establishment dimension would explain some of the more worrying extremes in American politics — things like support for conspiracy theories, endorsement of anti-expertise opinions and seeing politics as a battle between good and evil — better than the left-right dimension of our politics. One of those researchers, University of Miami political science professor Joseph Uscinski, found no difference in the prevalence of anti-establishment beliefs between Democrats and Republicans, using survey data collected in October 2020. What’s more, Uscinski found that anti-establishment ideologies better predicted belief in the conspiracies of QAnon and Trump’s claims of voter fraud than did left-right orientations.”


* * *

CA: “California primary results: Who is advancing to November?” [Cal Matters]. “For the impatient among you, we have bad news: California election officials take their time counting every last ballot. The outcome of particularly close races might not be certain for days, if not longer.”

CO: “Dems meddle in Senate primary to advance hardline MAGA Republican” [Politico]. • Worked in 2016, let’s try it again!

PA: “GOP takes indirect aim at Fetterman’s health in Pennsylvania Senate race” [NBC]. “rather than directly criticize Fetterman over his health, Republicans are taking a different approach: bashing the Democrat for not being more transparent about the stroke that hospitalized him four days before he handily won the May 17 primary… Fetterman’s wife, Gisele Fetterman, insisted in an NBC News interview that aired Wednesday that her family and the campaign were open about his condition as they were just trying to “navigate these very personal and difficult things very publicly.’ ‘We have done a superb job on transparency,’ she said.” • When you’re explaining, you’re losing.


I love the Nixon account:


Democrats en Déshabillé

I have moved my standing remarks on the Democrat Party (“the Democrat Party is a rotting corpse that can’t bury itself”) to a separate, back-dated post, to which I will periodically add material, summarizing the addition here in a “live” Water Cooler. (Hopefully, some Bourdieu.) It turns out that defining the Democrat Party is, in fact, a hard problem. I do think the paragraph that follows is on point all the way back to 2016, if not before:

The Democrat Party is the political expression of the class power of PMC, their base (lucidly explained by Thomas Frank in Listen, Liberal!). It follows that the Democrat Party is as “unreformable” as the PMC is unreformable; if the Democrat Party did not exist, the PMC would have to invent it. If the Democrat Party fails to govern, that’s because the PMC lacks the capability to govern. (“PMC” modulo “class expatriates,” of course.) Second, all the working parts of the Party reinforce each other. Leave aside characterizing the relationships between elements of the Party (ka-ching, but not entirely) those elements comprise a network — a Flex Net? An iron octagon? — of funders, vendors, apparatchiks, electeds, NGOs, and miscellaneous mercenaries, with assets in the press and the intelligence community.

Note, of course, that the class power of the PMC both expresses and is limited by other classes; oligarchs and American gentry (see ‘industrial model’ of Ferguson, Jorgensen, and Jie) and the working class spring to mind. Suck up, kick down.

* * *

“Democrats Need a Vision. Fast.” [New York Magazine]. “In recent comments to Politico, Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont cut to the heart of the matter. ‘You really can’t win an election with a bumper sticker that says: ‘Well, we can’t do much, but the other side is worse,” he said, suggesting that the party make an affirmative case for holding on to power, ‘a Newt Gingrich–style ‘Contract with America,’’ as Politico put it. The democratic socialist raises a strong argument. It’s not enough for Democrats to portray the GOP as a threat to democracy, even though this is certainly a true statement. They need to explain what exactly they’ll do with the power they want if they stand any hope of not being wiped out in the midterm elections. That case has not been forthcoming. It has not always been clear what Democrats stand for exactly. The party’s big-tent ethos prevents it from staking out a coherent identity. Its neoliberal commitments strand it in a morass of means-testing and personal responsibility and incremental achievements. Party moderates contribute to the problem, as Sanders pointed out…. A savvy political class would address voters where they are and offer something positive in return for power.” • I agree with Sanders, but it’s much, much too late. To make any difference for 2022 or 2024, a new “Contract with America” would have to be accompanied by a blood sacrifice of the existing Party leadership. Na ga happen.

Realignment and Legitimacy


Lambert here: I am but a humble tape-watcher, but if some trusting, non-realist soul tells you that “Covid is over,” you can tell them that cases are high, transmission is high, test positivity is high, wastewater detection is up, and hospitalization is up in many states. And this is all from data designed to support the narrative that “Covid is over,” and gamed within an inch of its life. So, if signals like that are flashing red, consider what the real signal must be like. (Note also this is all with BA.2 only, and with what the establishment considers an “immune wall” made from vaccination and prior infection. Since semper aliquid novi Africam adferre, and we’ve let ‘er rip at the airports…. Well, I just hope we get lucky with BA.4 and BA.5. But it’s starting to look like we won’t.

* * *

• “This New COVID Wave May Be More Like a Flood” [New York Magazine]. “A new COVID wave now fueled by four Omicron subvariants continues to drive up infections throughout the country. Though there are signs that the surge in the Northeast has begun to stabilize, infections are on the rise in other regions and the level of community transmission remains high across the vast majority of the country. There is also reason to worry that the current wave may not subside for a long time, particularly now that the two newest and most troubling Omicron subvariants, BA.4 and BA.5, may be starting to outcompete their predecessors. While previous nationwide surges in cases have mostly played out as single waves, this new one might be more like a flood. It could plateau, or dip and swell from that higher baseline across the coming weeks or even months.” • A fellow tape-watcher. It’s very distressing that the metrics we needed — variant spread — are so slow to appear, whether at Biobot or CDC. What’s up with that?

* * *

If you missed it, here’s a post on my queasiness with CDC numbers, especially case count, which I (still) consider most important, despite what Walensky’s psychos at CDC who invented “community levels” think. But these are the numbers we have.

* * *

Case count by United States regions:

Level. Remember that cases are undercounted, one source saying by a factor of six, Gottlieb thinking we only pick up one in seven or eight.) Hence, I take the case count and multiply it by six to approximate the real level of cases, and draw the blue “Biden Line” at that point. Yesterday, the count was 108,900. Today, it’s 108,500, and 108,500 * 6 = a Biden line at 651,000. At least we have confirmation that the extraordinary mass of case anecdotes had a basis in reality. (Remember these data points are weekly averages, so daily fluctuations are smoothed out.) The black “Fauci Line” is a counter to triumphalism, since it compares current levels to past crises.

Here are cases for the last four weeks:


From the Walgreen’s test positivity tracker:

Up, but fiddling and diddling. This tracker does this at peaks, but also not at peaks. (I’m leaving the corporate logo on as a slap to and check on the goons at CDC.)

MWRA wastewater data:

Both South and North down.

The Massachusetts Water Resources Authority (MWRA) service area includes 43 municipalities in and around Boston, including not only multiple school systems but several large universities. Since Boston is so very education-heavy, then, I think it could be a good leading indicator for Covid spread in schools generally.

Cases lag wastewater data.

NOT UPDATED From Biobot Analytics:

Note that BA.4 and BA.5 are increasing in the South (as of May 18). I checked CDC, they’re not update either (from May 21).

From CDC Community Profile Reports (PDFs), “Rapid Riser” counties:

West Coast and Southwest much better. Texas, Louisiana, Alabama, West Virginia better. Illinois and Indiana better. Arkansas worse. That little speck of red in New York state is gone.

The previous release:

NOTE I shall most certainly not be using the CDC’s new “Community Level” metric. Because CDC has combined a leading indicator (cases) with a lagging one (hospitalization) their new metric is a poor warning sign of a surge, and a poor way to assess personal risk. In addition, Covid is a disease you don’t want to get. Even if you are not hospitalized, you can suffer from Long Covid, vascular issues, and neurological issues. For these reasons, case counts — known to be underestimated, due to home test kits — deserve to stand alone as a number to be tracked, no matter how much the political operatives in CDC leadership would like to obfuscate it. That the “green map” (which Topol calls a “capitulation” and a “deception”) is still up and being taken seriously verges on the criminal. Use the community transmission immediately below.

Here is CDC’s interactive map by county set to community transmission. This is the map CDC wants only hospitals to look at, not you:

West Coast, and Midwest are all red. Seeing some orange (“substantial”) on the East Coast. Great Plains speckled with yellow. (As has been the case for weeks, even while people were yammering that “Covid is over!”)

Hospitalization (CDC Community Profile):

Very volatile.

Death rate (Our World in Data):

Total: 1,035,320 1,035,031. I have added an anti-triumphalist Fauci Line.

Covid cases in top us travel destinations (Statista):

Note the quality of these numbers varies wildly. For example, the UK is cutting back on testing data.

The excess deaths chart appears weekly, on Friday:

What kind of organization puts “in recent weeks” in an explanatory dropdown, and then obviously never comes back to check? Look at the qualifications in that drop-down. And the ginormous typo, helpfully highlighted, has been there for weeks. CDC, if you’re reading this, please send a signal by getting this fixed. And then throw some documents over the transom. In complete confidentiality! Obviously, nobody at CDC is checking the excess deaths chart, because otherwise the typo would be fixed. I certainly hope there are no “coding errors” in the algo.

The Gallery

Not AI-generated:

News of the Wired

“This Robotic Finger Is Covered in Living Human Skin” [Gizmodo]. • Kill it with fire anyhow.

Two papers relevant to The Jackpot:

Governing Boring Apocalypses: A New Typology of Existential Vulnerabilities and Exposures for Existential Risk Research” (PDF) [Futures]. From 2018, still germane. From the Abstract: “[I]dentified existential risks are frequently characterised by relatively singular origin events and concrete pathways of harm which directly jeopardize the survival of humanity, or undercut its potential for long-term technological progress. While this approach aptly identifies the most cataclysmic fates which may befall humanity, we argue that catastrophic ‘existential outcomes’ may likely arise from a broader range of sources and societal vulnerabilities…. Latent structural vulnerabilities in our technological systems and in our (institutional and cultural) societal arrangements (e.g. systemic ‘normal accidents’; institutional absence or failure; cultural distrust of authorities) may increase our susceptibility—the likelihood that we succumb to existential hazards…. We argue that far from being peripheral footnotes to their more direct and immediately terminal counterparts, these ‘boring apocalypses’ may well prove to be the more endemic and problematic, dragging down and undercutting short-term successes in mitigating more spectacular risks.” And from the text: “Thus, our view is that a materialised existential risk (what we call an ‘existential hazard’) is sufficient to lead to an (existentially) ‘adverse outcome’, but crucially, that this is unnecessary to reach that result. If the overarching objective is to lower the probability of human extinction or significant technological curtailment, adopting an array of approaches which complement the mitigation of direct existential risks are required.” This reminds me of the layered (“Swiss Cheese”) model for extinguishing Covid — one which our society signally failed to adopt. These pathways to civilizational collapse are all boring, in the typology of the authors:s

“How complex systems fail” [Richard Cook]. From the Abstract: “Complex systems are heavily and successfully defended against failure. The high consequences of failure lead over time to the construction of multiple layers of defense against failure. These defenses include obvious technical components (e.g. backup systems, ‘safety’ features of equipment) and human components (e.g. training, knowledge) but also a variety of organizational, institutional, and regulatory defenses (e.g. policies and procedures, certification, work rules, team training). The effect of these measures is to provide a series of shields that normally divert operations away from accidents. Catastrophe requires multiple failures – single point failures are not enough.” • One might regard “freedom” as removing these shields.

* * *

Contact information for plants: Readers, feel free to contact me at lambert [UNDERSCORE] strether [DOT] corrente [AT] yahoo [DOT] com, to (a) find out how to send me a check if you are allergic to PayPal and (b) 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. From dk:

dk writes; “Yucca (Agavaceae) outside my door in ABQ NM.”

* * *

Readers: Water Cooler is a standalone entity not covered by the recently concluded and — thank you! — successful annual NC fundraiser. So if you see a link you especially like, or an item you wouldn’t see anywhere else, please do not hesitate to express your appreciation in tangible form. Remember, a tip jar is for tipping! Regular positive feedback both makes me feel good and lets me know I’m on the right track with coverage. When I get no donations for five or ten days I get worried. More tangibly, a constant trickle of donations helps me with expenses, and I factor in that trickle when setting fundraising goals:

Here is the screen that will appear, which I have helpfully annotated:

If you hate PayPal, you can email me at lambert [UNDERSCORE] strether [DOT] corrente [AT] yahoo [DOT] com, and I will give you directions on how to send a check. Thank you!

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
This entry was posted in Guest Post, Water Cooler on by .

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. dcblogger

    when your hatred of the Democrats is such that it blinds you to the seriousness of the January 6 putsch, well, I don’t even know where to begin.

    1. Lambert Strether Post author

      Ya know, I’m actually reading the transcripts. Are you? And if you want to know what a real coup looks like, or real [gasp] violence looks like, read up on Myanmar. Or listen to Revolutions. This is not that.

      1. Jason Boxman

        Or for those that prefer movies and don’t mind Tom Cruise, Valkyrie.

        This is so demonstrably NOT a violent attempt to overthrow the government, it’s impossible to take anyone that claims otherwise seriously. It’s like claiming an afternoon rain shower in Florida is a cat 5 hurricane. At this point, you’re just blowing smoke.

        The hysteria around 6 Jan is really about members of Congress experiencing actual terror for once in their lives. And that can never be forgiven or forgotten.

        1. Duke of Prunes

          “The hysteria around 6 Jan is really about members of Congress experiencing actual terror for once in their lives. And that can never be forgiven or forgotten.”

          This is pretty much what I told my wife as events unfolded. All fun and games until a few “very (self)-important persons” felt threated. Now, they’re going to throw the full force of the government against the deplorables who had the unmitigated audacity to participate in an illegal parade!… Ok, I didn’t know about the illegal parading law back then, but I figured we were definitely headed down the road toward kangaroo courts and trumped up charges.

          1. Henry Moon Pie

            My question that day was why would not one single Congressperson go address that crowd? Josh Hawley had given a very revolutionary fist shake to some visitors to the Capitol that morning. Couldn’t he have found a suitable pile of rubble somewhere, grab a bullhorn and wax eloquent? Maybe Chuckie could have tried to convince them to harass some Supreme Court justice instead. Louis Gohmert could have imparted some of his deep insights about American political culture. Or AOC could have distracted them with some cool dress. Why didn’t McCarthy go out and talk to them instead of desperately trying to reach Trump? After all, most of them considered themselves Republicans.

            But they were all afraid of the people. Maybe not people that I’d care to hang out with at length, but they were citizens just like me, and I know very well the anger they felt that day about the state of their government.

            1. Michael Fiorillo

              It may not have been a coup attempt (I personally don’t think it was) and a lot of the subsequent treatment of participants has been grossly excessive, but it was a riot, and riots are scary.

              We shouldn’t begrudge members of Congress any of the fear they might have felt that day; their behavior before and since is another matter.

            2. Randall Flagg

              >But they were all afraid of the people. Maybe not people that I’d care to hang out with at length, but they were citizens just like me, and I know very well the anger they felt that day about the state of their government.<

              Mr. Moon Pie, You nail it with that, we are ALL in this together and this riot, excuse me, illegal parade, is just the equivalent to a kid's birthday party compared to what's likely to come if life for the average citizen doesn't get turned around. Or at least, given hope that it will get better. Sadly this rot in our government duopoly and society was decades in the making and will take a long time to turn around.

        2. BlakeFelix

          I dunno, it was somewhat violent. The last time something like this happened that I recall was the Brooks Brothers riot, which was a lot smaller and that managed to overturn the election, with a little help from a Supreme Court that was a pack of hippies by today’s standards. It wasn’t a Civil War, but it wasn’t just a protest, either.

      2. Pelham

        Agreed. And furthermore, when we hear the word “insurrection,” what are we thinking? It sounds as if it has something to do with overthrowing one kind of government to institute another. Is that what the Jan. 6 rioters were trying to do? I suspect not.

        Rather they appear to have been trying to actually save democracy (as they saw it) not by throwing out the Constitution but rather by preserving a fair election system. And to do that, they needed to defy the authority that was about to certify what they believed to be election fraud, and that only technically and at the extreme margins might have been an insurrection on the part of, apparently, a handful of participants.

        Moreover, if we look beyond the narrow question of the vote count, the election did look rather phony. There was an enormous, years-long media campaign (Russia, Russia) to undermine Trump as well as quiet and not-so-quiet resistance within the executive branch through the four years he was in office, plus evidence of the tech giants subtly nudging voter turnouts to favor Biden. In brief, there was a thick atmosphere of hostility and contempt directed not just toward Trump but also toward his supporters that created fertile ground for allegations of election fraud to flourish.

        Now I hear that if the Republicans take control of Congress next year they’ll keep the Jan. 6 inquiry going but revamp the membership of the panel and switch the spotlight from insurrection to things like FBI involvement and the murder of Ashley Babbitt. That should be fun.

        1. Dan

          A Cauliflower Putsch? Two, count ’em, Two firearms charges.
          One of which was for carrying an empty high capacity, 10 shot, empty stamped tin magazine, probably forgotten, at the bottom of a backpack.

          That’s not how coups, putschs, overthrows, takeovers, work.

          The Federal Reserve, now that’s how you takeover a democracy.

        2. marym

          The rioters weren’t trying to overthrow the government. They just wanted Trump to continue being president. Saying they were trying to save democracy from fraud is like saying Democrats were trying to save it from Russia.

      3. Kevin

        It was a first. The last to storm our Capitol were the Brits. This time, it was our own people. It shows the seriousness of the divisions in this country. The next riot, insurrection, or innocent protest (pick your term)..is gonna be magnatudes worse.

        We’ll keep spending money building sandbags and selling them downstream to those affected, as opposed to the serious, adult task of fixing the numerous holes in the dam. The holes being healthcare, education, infrastructure, income inequality, gun violence, homelessness, climate change, immigration, etc.

        1. Henry Moon Pie

          “The next riot, insurrection, or innocent protest (pick your term)..is gonna be magnatudes worse.”

          I’d agree. What was apparent on 1/6 was that the Army didn’t show up at all, and the National Guard came late. Now Cheney wants to blame all of the latter on Trump, but I think I remember that Pelosi had a role in not calling up the Guard in advance. The truth may be that there is some uncertainty among the commanders of armed forces just how their troops might line up. My guess is that they’d rather not see them tested.

          And yet Nuland, Blinken & Sullivan are probably looking for ways to get boots on the ground in Ukraine, as crazy as that would be, but it’s the only way to stop a Russian win, and it would require taking on those S-400s

        2. Aumua

          I’ve been saying this since it happened. Yes, calling it a coup or an insurrection is over the top. Yes, Democrats are milking this for as much they can to try and ‘get Trump’ and maybe prevent him from running again, and it sucks. At the same time it’s wrong to poo-poo this event as nothing. That goofy dude with the podium does NOT really represent the character of that crowd. They were volatile and at times very violent, and I’m convinced that had they got a hold of congresspeople then they would have been seriously injured or murdered. I’m not that easily spooked, but I was watching this event happen in real time on various twitch feeds and I wasn’t laughing. I was saying OMG this is terrifying. Maybe you should watch the 10 minute video that is circulating around twitter, if you haven’t. It’s mostly raw footage, if somewhat manipulated.

          It absolutely should be taken seriously, as a sign or a forerunner if nothing else. It’s unfortunate that the partisan dishonesty around it seems to be obscuring that fact for some.

      4. Lee

        The gap between putative intent and capability to execute is evident. I rather doubt that 1/6 will end up being the contemporary right wing equivalent of John Brown’s raid on Harper’s Ferry, thus presaging violent conflict on the scale of all out civil war.

        Long ago and about ten miles from here in Berkeley I ran with a crowd whose various war cries and mottos included “Smash the state!” Then Reagan got elected and most of us, tired of being hit over the head by the cops and hassled by the FBI, got pretty good jobs, had kids, bought houses and the neoliberal state just kept rolling along.

        I have full confidence in the state’s ability to employ its near monopoly on the means of massive violence to crush any and all armed opposition, whether from the left, right, or Russia but maybe not China. For the moment at least, when it comes to the happenings of 1/6, I’m in “What, me worry?” mode.

      5. skippy

        Whats in a – WORD – Lambert when say Trump’s business history is all about hostile[tm] takeovers, not that both legacy parties are corporations, in the Corporatist Nation, that America has become during the neoliberal era.

        I found this to be a sound summery:

        “Trump’s ideology envisions countries as businesses in a competitive marketplace. In his view, America is a high-potential but underperforming asset. Despite its excellent people and resources, America loses to its competitors because of mismanagement. At the root of this problem are American leaders, who Trump deems to be incompetent or “just stupid.” The governing class, as Trump would have it, is beholden to special interests, lacking in innate ability, and — in select cases — disloyal to the American enterprise.

        For Trump, the solution to this problem is one that frequently arises in the corporate world: Fire the current managers and hire better ones. Trump’s essential pitch to voters is that he and his business partners — smart, loyal and not wanting for money — are the better managers. Under their stead, the United States would “beat” its competitors in trade, diplomacy and health care. It would earn back its rightful place in the marketplace of nations. This ideology seems to be resonating with Trump’s supporters, who are among the most steadfast in the primary electorate.” – snip

        As such I just view the whole thing a skirmish over property/ownership rights aka of the Corporate Nation. Trump just broke the Rule on having the dreck share holders break into the Executive suite and befoul it in the now and living memory of it.

        Sorta reminds me of the old “The Awful Truth” episodes by Moore where he invades some T1 Corporate HQ lobby, Admin is more concerned about image and its sanctity on the ***Property*** even though as Moore pointed out – the same Corporations bought advertising time during his show because of eyeball numbers.

        So sure … this whole thing is about taking action against those that befouled the lobby and some administration offices and then restoring the “image and sanctity” of the property ….

        So at the end of the day this is not about one event but the environmental cognitive perception[tm] which leads too it …

        1. Lee

          “As such I just view the whole thing a skirmish over property/ownership rights aka of the Corporate Nation.”

          Maybe we have reached a point where we can hire one half of the ruling class to kill the other half. Ever the giddy optimist, me.

          1. skippy

            Gasp Lee why would you – pay anyone – to do something like that when you can get them to do it for free or better yet have them pay for it … that way they ***Own it**** …

    2. hemeantwell

      To get down to images, yes we have the carefree soul with a lectern, kinda like grabbing a trophy in kids game.

      The image doesn’t show representatives and staff panicking, hiding under desks afraid for their lives, an officer desperately to lead a mob away from the Veep, etc etc.

      Substituting a comforting image for a complex reality is Propaganda 101. Is that how we should go at this?

      1. Toshiro_Mifune

        The image doesn’t show representatives and staff panicking, hiding under desks afraid for their lives

        The thought of Congress people hiding under their desks and fearing for their lives…. I’m failing to see a negative here.

        1. dcblogger

          how does Democratic leaders hiding in their offices, afraid for their lives, make anything better?

          1. Toshiro_Mifune

            You’re correct; they are too lacking in imagination, self knowledge and reflection to be able to have connected the previous several decades of policy, both domestic and foreign, to the events of that day. Better to have put them all down and started over completely with a new batch correctly informed of the impact to their own persons when they ignore the impact their actions have on those they are tasked to represent.

            1. Aumua

              Believe me, I have no love for gd Pence or Pelosi, but we probably shouldn’t advocating for their murder, even in jest. Because it really could have happened in this situation.

          2. Henry Moon Pie

            To be quite honest, I’ve always thought that the atypical generosity of the American Rescue Plan owed a lot to the fear installed in Congresspersons and staff by 1/6.

            Larry Summers is still fuming over it. But then, he wasn’t there.

      2. PHLDenizen

        Well, had Fetterman been there, that shit wouldn’t have gone down so easily. Maybe he should run on that.

        Cowardice and a refusal to confront constituents is unseemly in politics — especially at the point of violence. It was obvious the rioters were all a bunch of disorganized clowns from the start. The post-championship parades in Philly are more threatening. And maybe that’s why Garland slapped most of them with an “unlawful parade” charge — too dumb to realize the parade only made sense if Trump actually won. Had Biden-ites done the same thing to celebrate HIS victory, the parade would totally be lawful.

        If someone like AOC or Bernie stood their ground and said “you guys hungry? Let’s go down to the Members’ Dining Room and have a chat.”, that would have profoundly burnished the Dem brand and thoroughly confused the rioters, thereby defusing the whole ordeal. Heads would explode. They had no plan from the start, let alone a strategy to deal with an invitation to break bread. Now that is a crossing of the aisle I can respect.

        But we don’t elect people that socially intelligent or brave or creative. We elect children who hide under desks.

        1. TBellT

          But we don’t elect people that socially intelligent or brave or creative.

          And we hire cops that let children get slaughtered even though they outnumber the killer 60 to 1.

          Maybe we don’t actually have people like that in this country. Seems like 80’s era film and television convinced of us of a hero that doesn’t exist.

        2. Noone from Nowheresville

          I’m thinking that many people have forgotten AOC’s personal Instagram testimonial on the emotional trauma she suffered on Jan 6th.

          Her triggers are her own. No bones with that because I can’t put myself in her shoes. That said all kinds of problems with her 90-minute live streamed personal testimonial checklist performance. Polished narrative preparation was impressive.

          I really should re-watch this to see if I’d feel the same way now as then. But 90 minutes is a long time.


        3. Basil Pesto

          If someone like AOC or Bernie stood their ground and said “you guys hungry? Let’s go down to the Members’ Dining Room and have a chat.”, that would have profoundly burnished the Dem brand and thoroughly confused the rioters, thereby defusing the whole ordeal. Heads would explode. They had no plan from the start, let alone a strategy to deal with an invitation to break bread. Now that is a crossing of the aisle I can respect.

          Well maybe, or maybe they wouldn’t have appreciated the condescension. The behaviour of a rioting bunch of disorganised clowns (your words!) can be rather hard to predict. It’s not a force I’d feel comfortable trying to reason with in a riotous atmosphere, especially if I know said rioters already hate my guts.

          1. Aumua

            Yeah anyone suggesting that walking up to that crowd and confronting them was an option for congresspeople is not to be taken seriously.

    3. Big River Bandido

      “Putsch” means “violent overthrow” — but its usage belies a crude, propagandistic attempt to paint its actors as nazis. Democrats have been doing this for well over a decade, all the ominous implications for national and global security be damned.

      Maybe you could view with humility the fact that the hottest expressions of hatred of Democrats today are coming from the very people the party both despises and depends upon.

      1. jsn

        Right, and the Democrats have been doing this while recruiting from the CIA for candidates, integrating real life Nazis with NATO in Ukraine and de-platforming all dissenters wherever they can.

        “Our Democracy”.

      2. dcblogger

        the Beer Hall Putsch did not result in the violent overthrow of the Wiemar Republic, it was just the dress rehearsal. I think Gathara said it perfectly
        #BREAKING Committee accuses the far-white ex-ruler of ignoring widely accepted means of subverting voters’ will in the ethnically-divided nation, such as gerrymandering and voter suppression, and resorting to tribal violence in bid to overturn validly rigged democratic election.

        1. jsn

          Okay, so who strikes you as more likely to deliver a fascist overthrow in the coming years?

          The Democrats who’ve been integrating Azov into NATO since 2014 when The Most Qualified Candidate Ever was Secretary of State while recruiting spooks and cinching the Overton Window to frame serial hysterias? Or the burn the world for buck punch you in the face for a kick Republicans? I’ll grant, both branches of the duopoly have their qualifications.

          Neither crew is remotely sane, but the Ds are tacking a lot closer into the fascist wind at the moment. We’ve had fascist foreign policy since we invented fascism in Dixie, it’s been in remission since the New Deal but has come back with a vengeance since Obomber bailed out the banks, he brought the impunity Cheney had engineered abroad back home.

          1. jr

            My eyes have been opened wide in regards to the authoritarian fish hook inside the liberal bon-bon over the last two decades. Starting with the Clintons, Albright, and Obama to just everyday people that I have met or read about, it’s truly breathtaking to see the violence and presumption that lurks just beneath the surface of the $hit-lib. The pandemic ripped the mask off of that corpse for good. In a related vein, Johnny Rotten says:

            “I never thought I’d live to see the day when the right wing would become the cool ones giving the middle finger to the establishment, and the left wing becoming the sniveling self-righteous twatty ones going around shaming everyone,”


            What did Malcolm X say about liberals?

          2. Aumua

            The way I see it, Democrats, liberals and/or neoliberals are paving the way for an eventual fascist takeover. But don’t get confused. Fascism is a far right movement, and the reactionary far right is where you should be looking for it to manifest.

                1. ambrit

                  However, I am suggesting that the present day Democrat Party itself is what would have been considered even fifty years ago to be Far Right.
                  Could you imagine Hubert Humphrey, or “Clean” Gene McCarthy getting any influence today? I cannot.
                  When today’s Democrat Party politicos make Dick Nixon look like a raging Liberal, you know something ain’t right with the world.
                  Stay safe. Stay masked.

            1. jsn

              The fascist road crew at present is right behind the rainbow parade, but the March of diversity isn’t drawing crowds anymore.

              It’ll be interesting to watch the blame canons swivel from pointing to the cops in in the hands of BLM while the parade was going by to having the cops point them at BLM while the prosecutor asks “are you now a member or did you ever march with BLM”.

              The US is a Corporate State, Corporation’s put property rights above all else, ultimately worshiping at the church of Mammon: Jesus was a communist who preached the heresy love of money is the root of all evil,it doesn’t get any further right then that.

      3. The Rev Kev

        The news here in Oz is calling it a coup. But I am calling that as bs. A coup is a move to take over the government of a country. If somebody says that this mob of yahoos was actually going to do that against the wishes of some 335 million other citizens, which also includes some1.4 million members of the armed forces, then you know that they are trying to mess with you for their own political gain.

    4. Pat

      Please tell me the best case scenario of tangible results of this. No hearts and minds, no midterm elections, what changes will this bring?

      I’m serious. Disgruntled Sociopaths who lose will still screw with the system, be it a Trump or.a Hillary type. And as witnessed by the Democrats in 2016, they can convince their supporters it was a conspiracy regardless of facts. The system will not be updated to make it fair and transparent. So nothing will be done to solve the big problem, making the system trustworthy in the eyes of the voters.

      It also won’t do what it is really for. If it changes one mind per million, I will eat my hat. It will stay the distraction it is. Congress will continue to be recognized as hideously bad. And most people will still want them to stop showboating and do something to deal with the on the ground problems people are facing.

      1. John

        Coup d’etat: “The sudden overthrow of a government by a usually small group of persons in or previously in positions of authority.”

        It was not overly violent when set beside others, but the intent was to keep DJT in an office he had lost. Q.E.D.

        1. Pat

          Russia! Russia!Russia! and the putsch to get electors to change in 2016 were exactly the same thing. They were attempts to undermine the results of an election that was clearly lost. And in the case of accusing Russian interference, it was the excuse for a long slow continual undermining of the rightfully elected President.

          That Hillary’s coup attempt was not portrayed as such by the media does not make it any less one.

          And once again what concrete changes does this committee want that will make our election system more transparent and trustworthy that will make the public as a whole tell the loser, HRC and DJT and future losers to stop whining and making outlandish excuses and accept they lost?

      2. Acacia

        If it changes one mind per million, I will eat my hat. It will stay the distraction it is. Congress will continue to be recognized as hideously bad. And most people will still want them to stop showboating and do something to deal with the on the ground problems people are facing.

        This farce could change some minds, though in the opposite direction. I agree with your final sentence, and for that reason I actually kind of hope they continue beating this dead horse for as long as possible, or even longer than that. They’re already made it clear (to me, at least), that they’re not going to do anything about the “on the ground problems people are facing”, but the longer this clown show drags out, the more evident it will become to a larger and larger number of voters.

    5. Mark Gisleson

      Just let me know which days the FBI will be testifying and if they’ll be identifying which members of the insurrection were FBI embeds/contract employees.

      Just looking at the Democrats involved in this farce is disheartening enough without hearing that disrespect to them is disrespect to ALL Democrats.

      I refuse to believe that average rank and file party members actually buy into this confabulated kabuki-oke.

      1. IM Doc

        Many of us do not. And are just as horrified as you are. Many of us will be voting accordingly in Nov.

    6. LawnDart

      Personally I wouldn’t mind seeing 10,000 Haitians armed with machettes chop their way through DC– I’m non-partisan, not a party-member or supporter,– and as long as they’re slaying red or blue long-pig I’d be pleased: the swine have grown too fat and we cannot afford to feed them any longer, so time to harvest.

      I’m not Haitian either, so I probably wouldn’t be invited to participate in the event itself, but I would love to attend the BBQ/afterparty, drink rum with those guys and maybe learn to do some voodoo stuff.

      1. dcblogger

        don’t know where to start, the characterization of Haitians as violent crazed, or the notion that a DC blood bath would somehow make the world a better place. This is just a “I am made and I want to see people in the nation’s capitol slaughtered.” how would that end well? for anyone?

        1. Turtle

          Yeah, that post was totally out of line, just from the glorifying and inciting violence angle alone.

        2. LawnDart

          The people in DC have brought death and misery to millions in this country, let alone the world, in the past few years alone.

          Try to deny that fact: I dare you.

          1. LawnDart

            Specificially, from my Tonton friends, I would like to learn how to shrink heads in order to auction these off as souvenirs. I understand that they used to do a lot of this for our USA friend and former ally Papa Doc (r.i.p.).

            My understanding is that these normally are displayed mounted upon a pole, or strung together by thin ropes through the ears, like beads. But from my observations and deductive logic, I believe that the skulls that one could collect from DC and its supporters have the benefit of having less material that could lend to the bulk of an end-product: I believe that with the help of my priest and priestess friends, we could render these already vacated skulls to a size that one could easily attach to a keychain.

            1. ambrit

              Seriously now, if you have Tonton “friends” I’d watch my back like a hawk spirit.
              You do have a point in that the people ‘serving’ in Congress today do seem an awful lot like voudou Priests and Priestesses being ‘ridden’ by evil spirits.
              The Tontons also affected the wearing of dark sunglasses all of the time. The idea was to suggest that they were really zombis, and thus had to hide the vacant stare such posessed. So, if you want to find modern American Tontons, look no further than the Secret Service, and some parts of the FBI.

    7. TimmyB

      I believe the following. The people who instigated the march on the Capital with the intention of breaking into the building and disrupting Congress in order to keep it from validating the election results deserve to be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.

      The people who were caught up in the protest and led into the Capital should be given wrist slaps at most.

      These hearings are not prosecutions. They are a show by the Democratic majority designed to deflect attention from the fact they haven’t done shit to help working people despite being in complete control of the government for two years. They also serve to demonize the Democrats’ political opponents. You couldn’t pay me to watch them.

    8. Glen

      For having Democratic right in their name, I’m beginning to think that the Democrats do not understand small d democracy.

      1) So, don’t want Trump to run, bring him up on charges from the DOJ and throw him in jail, or something/something that nullifies his eligibility to run for office.


      2) Allow the American public to vote in 2024, and if Trump wins that is democracy in action.

      Bottom line, the Democrats need to quit lying to the American people when they say “if you’re liberal you have no choice”. No, I’m afraid the voters ALWAYS have a choice, and if Trump ends up winning in 2024, and getting every prominent Democrat thrown in jail for some reason, then clearly, the Democrats did not work hard enough to win the voters approval and ended up paying a very high price.

      The Democrats currently ARE controlling Congress and the White House. They have no excuses for not being able to, what do they call it, RUN THE COUNTRY. If they would just START by doing what they say they would do if elected, rather than telling us endlessly why nothing can ever change, they might win elections. But the whole bait n switch of “we’re going to go back to the New Deal, oh, sorry the GS-3 summer aid to temp of the whatever said no” they have been running since Clinton (and perfected under Obama) is OVER, DONE, FINISHED.

    9. JBird4049

      The Wilmington, North Carolina coup and massacre of 1898 is an example of an actual American coup; I forget the exact legal explanation, but a state can be considered a semi independent country. Rather like the United States. Any successful overthrow of the federal government would probably be as least as violent as North Carolina’s. The article says that it is the only successful coup the United States, but IIRC there were a few small towns that had successful violent overthrows in the 19th century. However, I do need to double check that last. I could be conflating particularly violent voter suppression back when with overthrowing governments.

      However, the point I want to make is that everything is an exaggeration or an understatement, with being accurate not acceptable. 1/6 was more of a silly incident excepting the death of that woman; Covid is a lethal and crippling pandemic, but it’s the flu; the one million people homeless daily is unimportant; the drought in the Western United States is ignored; the collapsing economy, the war with Russia, and so on. Heck, even the 150,000 homeless Californians, the school shootings, the many diabetes are not worthy of a Congressional hearing.

      It is all BS. Political Kabuki while people continue to die.

      1. Stick'em

        Here’s a working version of the link:


        Was in Wilmington a couple years ago. It’s still one of those places where there’s a “black” side of the traintracks and a “white” side. The opiate use level is through the roof as well, judging from the people with whom I interacted.

        The point being, 125 years after the coup, the average person in Wilmington isn’t doing well. There are sections of uber-rich, and perhaps the area might benefit from the aristocrats being overthrown…

    10. IM Doc


      I would take your position much more seriously if you or any of your allies could explain why there is no jail time, investigations, congressional hearings or publicity about the attack on our Seat of one of our three branches seen in these videos.


      I know I am a rube Dem from the FDR New Deal wing but the violence depicted here at the White House looks like real violence. I know it is awful hard for the FBI planting in crowd, non deplorable Woke PMC Hillary wing to deign to explain to us rubes their position, but I do think it is very important for your credibility to address such obvious issues with your making such a big deal about Jan 6 while ignoring this issue. Or better yet, ignoring a Dem leader in the Senate screaming threatening comments to a charged up mob about 2 Supreme Court Justices.

      There are lots of us rube Dems out here in the nation and we really would like to know why the Democratic Party is not concerned about ALL violence expressed to our officials in the Capitol.

      Until and unless this is explained, I will assume the current iteration of the Dem Party is a total farce and will vote accordingly. I am most definitely not alone.

      As you can tell I and many others like me are just furious about this blatant hypocrisy. Just livid with the fact that we are watching our patients, neighbors and fellow citizens struggling with this inflation, no baby food, no drugs, no housing and the Dems who are supposed to be on the side of the working man are doing this navel gazing.

      Absolutely nothing personal here, but I am tired of the moralizing and polarizing rhetoric. And right now my party is the source of most of it. We have big problems in this country that are just being totally ignored by this farce of a Congress.

    11. Soredemos

      You’re always useful for demonstrating how utterly clueless and out of touch the liberal sphere in DC is.

  2. antidlc


    Yellen faces grilling in Congress over ‘wrong’ inflation forecast

    U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen faces a gauntlet of tough questions about how the Biden administration has handled the economy in Congress this week, after admitting she was “wrong” about the path inflation would take.

    While Yellen has no plans and is under no pressure to retire, conversations about who may replace her have percolated through the administration in recent months, with Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo and former White House COVID-19 coordinator Jeff Zients topping the list of possible successors.

    Oh, good grief!

    No. Just NO!

    1. griffen

      Could be worse. Transportation Secretary Pete, please, to the courtesy phone ! The Joey “bag o donuts” Biden administration is increasingly feckless with the handling of the economic circumstances placing inflation Front and Center for most of we Americans that aren’t in the upper reaches of the 0.0001%.

      This is what it will look like, as energy costs spiral, to transition slowly or less slowly, off fossil fuels and burning the dead dinosaurs of Jurassic Park to fuel our daily existence.

      I’m in favor of clean energy, but it will just take a long time.
      i am glad it is Friday evening, time for a 2nd and 3rd beer in quick succession. Hey and beer I can still buy on the cheap.

  3. t

    A “union guy with a giant inflatable rat” would have been shot to death on the steps. We’ve seen union guys with giant inflatable rats and correct permits brutalized on the streets.

    And those rats aren’t cheap! And they need to be stored somewhere and then inflated when needed. You don’t just pick up on your way in.

  4. Seth Miller

    I think you should focus on the rioters’ role in Trump’s plot to steal the election, rather than punch away at the straw man of whether the rioters themselves were in a position to take power by force. It seems you are missing the whole point by comparing them to Myanmar or other military-led coups.

      1. flora

        Guess you don’t live in one of the “greater flyover” states and don’t remember the slick TV ads between the Nov 2016 vote and the later Electoral Collage vote encouraging state electors to illegally break faith with their legal required duty. (My estimation of Martin Sheen and Larry David were much reduced, but they don’t live here, but actors gotta have work.) A recent SC decision put paid to the ‘failthless elector’ question that rose during the 2016 election. All I can say, as a resident of one of said great flyover states, and as a registered Dem, it this: I was offended by said ads more than my ostensible party can imagine. oh well.

        1. flora

          adding, and to go on too long: When I signed on to the Dem party years ago because it seemed to adhere to public spirited rules, like in rules for monopoly regulations and clean food and drugs and such, but now the modern Dem party doesn’t seem to give a toss about rules, seem to think rules are changeable depending on what the party bigwigs want, what should I think?

        2. Seth Miller

          I’m having a bit of trouble connecting your comment to mine, even though it’s a reply. What connection are you trying to draw, between Trump’s attempt to steal the election, and the “faithless electors” ads that you saw in 2016 and that you suspect that I didn’t see? You are right, I didn’t see them at the time, but I, like you, was disgusted at the idea of persuading electors to change their votes. The effort, and Clinton’s reaction to the result generally, was deplorable. Are you saying that it made it more likely that Trump would try to steal the election by fraud? Maybe so, that’s how things escalate. But hopefully you are not saying that Clinton’s wrongdoing justifies that of Trump.

        3. marym

          The faithless elector effort isn’t grounds for an argument against the seriousness of the 2020 Republican election effort. It would be like saying criticism of faithless electors or Russiagate is not remembering Bush v Gore.

          1. flora

            Yep. I’m a Dem and I found the ads… well… despicable. I’ve always had a faith in the American electorate long term even when “my” party loses a particular election. Go figure….

            Thanks for the link.

            1. John

              Neither Clinton or Trump is capable of accepting defeat. They are exceptions to all the rules, laws, norms that govern we lesser beings. So we have successive close elections contested as if some deep conspiracy was afoot. Each is a tiresome individual. You lost. Grow up. Be quiet. Go away. YHou are boring. Each of you.

      2. PHLDenizen

        Yes, robbery with a fake weapon can be considered a crime. If it would be reasonable to believe that the fake weapon was real, then yes, it can be considered a crime as well.

        In many jurisdictions, there is not a need for the actual use of force in order for the theft to be considered a robbery. If a victim believes that they would be injured or harmed if they did not cooperate, that is typically enough.

        “Can be” and “would be” are subjective determinations. Those determinations are malleable, as the jury pool can be weighted with those sympathetic to your particular viewpoint. Since selection bias has a measurable outcome on the verdict and that such selection bias is possible, it stands to reason that any claims that Jan 6th is a coup isn’t a universal belief. Your self-righteousness that it’s not a riot is no less or more important than the self-righteousness of one diametrically opposed to you.

        Furthermore, who is the “victim” here? The abstraction of Democracy? You personally? Everyone in America? The elected? If “Democracy” is the victim, then coup should be broadened to include the influence of money and lobbying. This coup was supposedly designed to prevent a lawful transition of power. Lobbying groups and corporate personhoods also prevent a lawful transfer of agency and power to the non-rich and non-connected. Same crime, different perp. Which is an alternate theory for the defense.

        I’d argue a coup as you’re defining it is impossible since the parties are virtually interchangeable in their projection of power and allegiances. Biden and Trump are different edifices for a system unmolested by personnel changes. Sure, things at the margins shift. A real coup would require infiltrating the party machinery itself.

        And what is the fake weapon?

        If you’re arguing it’s analogous to robbery, what is being stolen? Given that “killing Democracy” and “the death of Democracy” are in common parlance, murder seems more apt. And we’ve got different degrees of it. We’ve got manslaughter. All with different levels of culpability and intent. I don’t see how culpability and intent aren’t a factor in the coup-ness scale.

    1. Henry Moon Pie

      The Democrats have proven once again that they are my enemies with their Covid policy, their nuke-risking war against Russia and their failure to enact M4A and Bernie’s Medicare upgrades.

      And I also know the Republicans are my enemies.

      Now I feel badly for the Capitol cops who were used as yet more American cannon fodder. But as for the Proud Boys versus Pelosi or Pence or Cheney or Biden, let ’em have at it. I’d even enjoy sitting ringside via some decent TV coverage now and then.

      And as for this vaunted Republic and its Constitution, both served as vehicles for an evil Empire that I would enjoy seeing gone.

  5. Robert Hahl

    “Catastrophe requires multiple failures – single point failures are not enough.”

    That used to be said during any serious discussion of how to build airplanes. And it still is, said that is.

    1. pnwarriorwomyn

      #1 son finding out about complexity, again, at Boeing in training in Everett. They said one month in Everett. It’s been two and now he’s working on three. Will they ever put him on the assembly floor in Renton, his final destination? He’s in training purgatory. Left hand, right hand screw ups, most of the trainers are contracted employees. All kinds of systems for missing tools and tools just go missing. Then you’ve got first shift/second shift squabbles about tools on the line. Jesh.

        1. Revenant

          A tool trolley for a modern Airbus or Boeing worker’s station (for overhaul but manufacture will be more) is worth hundreds of thousands of dollars. We looked at a startup once that was developing an indoor location system for Airbus to minimise these squabbles. Missing tool trolleys reduce capacity; without tools, no work is done or critical paths are delayed and schedules fail.

  6. flora

    On the Capitol Hill riot, I’m anchored on this image:

    Yeah, pretty much me, also. What a violent fellow the podium carrying guy was…. or, not. jeez. Comparing that selfy-ish image to Pearl Harbor, presaging WWII, or 9/11, presaging 20 years of wars in the middle east, um… no. My 2 cents.

            1. The Rev Kev

              Anybody think that that wonky committee will be interviewing the people who ordered the barriers moved aside for that mob or those who said to open up the doors and let the crowd into the building?

              1. Darthbobber

                They backed away from that aspect of it early on, partly because focusing on the odd law enforcement response interfered with the heroic cops line they went with.

                Mostly because there seems to be no clear link making Trump and alleged conspirators responsible for that peculiarity.

                An odd thing to ignore if you seriously are “investigating” what went wrong instead of doing something else entirely

                Because with the normal police presence and procedures I’ve experienced at a dozen plus DC demonstrations there would be no “breach” for everyone to hyperventilate about.

  7. Pat

    New York is supposedly on the downswing Covid wise. Funnily enough I am not so sure about that. I’m hearing lots of Covid positive outages from the people in the school system I know. The numbers are higher than they were during the two weeks I had it.

    Anecdote I know, but not one that fills me with any confidence. Nor does the uproar on the bus with people being told don’t bother to mask.

      1. Pat

        Sorry, just my fatigue speaking. Events of bus ride: people largely if inadequately masked and I was tired enough not to be immediately engaged. Family told there was a mask requirement finds they lost a mask, as I am giving them a spare maskI have a gentleman who had his mask under his chin and was eating told them it wasn’t a requirement anymore. I chime in to say the rule has not been rescinded in NY and for them own safety they should regardless. Gentleman claims if it existed the bus driver would have masks to give them. I point out that the MTA ran out of courtesy masks during the lockdown, and there was never a requirement for them to supply them. He disagreed. Woman pipes up that Covid doesn’t exist. I correct that, pointing out that the state just dropped the alert from high to the Orange level. Nobody is getting it. Has me responding that I had it in the last month. Eating guy says masks don’t do anything. I point out that there are multiple studies showing that a well fitted N95 that besides being sure you don’t infect anyone it increases the time you can be in an area with the aerosols without exposure significantly. Woman who denies existence brings up keeping N95s for surgery, what they are for. Eating guy goes you can’t believe anything they tell you. I tell him the studies I am citing are largely from other countries at which point he grudgingly admits that “they” might be real. I explain the well fitted caveat to him. Another gentleman has had enough, loses it and starts screaming for the bus driver to reopen the back doors that had just shut after letting out a couple of passengers. That ends the mask discussion for a bit, but I do end up explaining to one member of the family that stress gets to people and that upset gentleman was not violent just loud and worried. Eating gentleman after a time asks me if I have a hard time breathing in my mask. I explain that it isn’t as easy as none but that this style mask keeps the mask from being directly on my mouth or nostrils and that helps and that my allergies also mean I switch between nose and mouth breathing without thinking about it so I don’t find it suffocating. He talks about how he has a hard time breathing in his ill fitted surgical mask and has to pull it beneath his nose. I no longer have a spare so I can’t really give him one to try, but suggest he get a more structured mask. Unfortunately I think the N95 would end under his nose. Or as with the family hanging from one ear. By the time everyone leaves, people on the bus who were properly masked to start still are, those who had to get one out or be told are in various masking for show modes. It was tiring, upsetting and unproductive although not frightening. But it was very much indicative that people do not trust the government they think called wolf which has now said never mind AND they want it to be over so are ignoring or actively rejecting information that says otherwise.

        I am sure I will engage with people again, but some days it is just too depressing and exhausting.

        1. The Rev Kev

          Ever hear of the ancient term a Ship of Fools? It appears that you had the misfortune to be aboard a Bus of Idiots. :)

        2. Lambert Strether Post author

          Thanks very much, both for the explanation and even more for your work on the bus. You can’t blame people for being ignorant when the public health authorities have done… what they have done.

          It does make me rethink messaging: Clearly, orders of magnitude more messaging — on the order of a product roll-out, say, for any major corporation — would have to be done to reach the people on that bus. This makes me think that the comfort level of heavy media producers and consumers (i.e., the PMC) was a determining factor for the messaging level, and not very much made them very uncomfortably and angry indeed. And then there’s the polarization….

  8. Samuel Conner

    > cases are undercounted,

    perhaps that 6x line should be a wide band, covering 6x up to 8x — “the actual counts may be somewhere within this band” — since that is the range of estimated undercount factors.

  9. Pelham

    Re “We’re Misunderstanding What Caused Jan. 6”: I wonder to what degree the anti-establishment, good-vs-evil, authority skepticism existed before the advent of the internet and social media? Maybe this tendency has always been present but just didn’t have the means to make the necessary connections that would spread the infection and raise it to a fever pitch across society until the right technology came along. To compare it to a virus, it’s like going from infection via sexual contact to infection via airborne aerosols, with the internet being the atmosphere in a poorly ventilated indoor setting.

    1. IMOR

      It was already huge via radio, newsletters, paperbacks, and even conversation in the 1980s, and the groundwork was almost entirely completed earlier than that with the Warren commission and the huge, meda- and government-corrupting, civil society rejecting, police state founding disaster that was the decade-long attempt to force the moon-high stack of lies into and about the Vietnam War down the throat of America. There is no part of the enfeeblement and smirking evisceration of our constitutional system and civic structures and duties now that wasn’t 80% complete by Feb ’73.

  10. drumlin woodchuckles

    Trying to conflate the Happy Guy with the podium with the violent attackers of Capital Policemen inside the capital is a sign of PMC Democrat Derangement Syndrome. Just because Happy Guy was happy does not make the violent attackers not violent attackers and seditionists not seditionists.

    The Capitol attack was part of a broader Trump Republican conspiracy to prevent the “peaceful transfer of power” in order to keep Trump illegally in office.

    The fact that the Democrats tried to cheat the system to get Clinton “elected” does not entitle the Republicans to a free election overthrow. To think that it does reveals Democrat Derangement Syndrome on display.

    1. mistah charley, ph.d.

      The Capitol attack was part of a broader Trump Republican conspiracy to prevent the “peaceful transfer of power” in order to keep Trump illegally in office.

      This summary of the situation by drumlin woodchuckles seems to me to be proven beyond a reasonable doubt.

      It dismays me to see people denying this whom one would hope would be rational and well-informed. As the Dire Straits song put it, “We have just one world, but we live in different ones”. As a study site for the Indian civil service exam puts it:

      The symbolic interactionist perspective views social meaning as arising through the process of social interaction. Contemporary symbolic interactionism rests on three basic premises:

      Human beings act toward things on the basis of the meanings that they attach to them.

      These meanings are derived from, or arise out of, social interaction with others.

      These meanings may be changed or modified through the processes of interaction and interpretation.

      1. VietnamVet

        The really is a lot of cognitive dissonance around ex-VP Mike Pence. From the bleachers, it sure looks like he really gummed up the works by calling the Congressional Vote Count into session, sticking around the Capitol out of the conspirator’s clutches, and gavelling the session closed the next day with Joe Biden the winner.

        There really are a lot of people completely detached from reality. First, a President who thought he could overturn an election that Facebook gave $400 million state officials to make sure that the election worked correctly. Plus, everyone else who thinks that the USA is a Democracy. It is Plutocracy — government by and for corporations — with rotating Emperors and Overseers who make sure that companies can make a profit. But instead, due to corruption and incompetence, the rulers are doing a bang-up job of destroying the West with inflation, shortages, and a proxy world war.

        1. Lambert Strether Post author

          > The really is a lot of cognitive dissonance around ex-VP Mike Pence. From the bleachers, it sure looks like he really gummed up the works by calling the Congressional Vote Count into session, sticking around the Capitol out of the conspirator’s clutches, and gavelling the session closed the next day with Joe Biden the winner.

          Who knew Pence would be the one to come out of the Trump Administration smelling like a rose? But I sure would like to know exactly what falling into “conspirator’s clutches” means operationally. Were all the other steps in the plan as tightly coupled and fragile? If the Committee has spelled that out, I’ve missed it.

      2. Lambert Strether Post author

        > The symbolic interactionist perspective views social meaning as arising through the process of social interaction. Contemporary symbolic interactionism rests on three basic premises:

        Well, I’m not taking an exam for the Indian Civil Service. I’m just a humble blogger trying to make sense of two texts put before me. And what I notice (see my long comment below here) is that there is no concrete series of steps by which Trump would retain power. There is, however, a boatload of bloviation about the illegal paraders, pointless except to the extent that it creates a Halo Effect around everything else.

        The only serious charge, IMNSHO, in Cheney’s opening statement — there’s nothing serious in Thompson’s at all — is Trump’s call to Georgia AG Raffendsberger. You will notice immediately that this has nothing whatever to do with the Capitol riot, which seems to be the only thing the Committee is really serious about, if you take the minutes during prime time devoted to it as a metric.

        NOTE One could make the argument that Trump was pursuing multiple, parallel avenues, some of which depended on the riot, others of which didn’t. So far as I know, I’m the only one to make this argument; Cheney doesn’t.

        1. marym

          “Trump was pursuing multiple, parallel avenues, some of which depended on the riot, others of which didn’t. “

          Good morning. I agree with this argument.

          Also: transcript and recording of Raffensberger call. (The recording doesn’t load for me on the WaPo page so I included another link).


          Also also: Too early, no coffee, Chicago/Cook County doing on ok voting :)

    2. Lambert Strether Post author

      > Trying to conflate the Happy Guy with the podium with the violent attackers of Capital Policemen inside the capital is a sign of PMC Democrat Derangement Syndrome. Just because Happy Guy was happy does not make the violent attackers not violent attackers and seditionists not seditionists.

      Yes, I was explaining my priors (“anchored”). And what do I get for being honest? Abuse. It’s not easy being a blogger, I’m tellin’ ya.

      Violent attackers. You mean all two (2) of them?

      > The fact that the Democrats tried to cheat the system to get Clinton “elected” does not entitle the Republicans to a free election overthrow.

      True, but it does mean the Democrats have no standing to moralize about it. Or create a halo effect of aghastitude around the fact set, which seems to be their main strategy.

  11. Hidari

    Don’t know if you have all been checking this out but Michael Tracey has been great over Ukraine and also this farce.

    The key claim is that the American Empire, the Empire which literally conquered Planet Earth, the Empire which literally runs Planet Earth, the Empire which literally controls (either directly or indirectly) the fate of almost everybody on Planet Earth, this empire, which is by any measure the largest, the most powerful, the richest and (arguably) the most violent empire that has ever existed, that this empire could be overthrown by a bunch of unarmed drongoes waving silly placards who were so stupid that they had been mesmerized by Trump’s idiotic lies….it’s literally the most preposterous claim that has been made, politically, in the last 20 years (although I’m sure the DNC are working on even more ridiculous claims even as we speak), and anyone who gives it the time of day has demonstrated that they are absurd and not worthy of being debated with ever again.

  12. Carolinian

    Agree with all Lambert’s comments re 1/6.

    As for Sanders/the Dems/Gingrich–worth remembering that the Contract With America included a term limits pledge and thereby conceded that the public regards dynastic politicians as tainted and, often, even corrupt. Of course Gingrich immediately dropped the idea once in power but some of those Republicans did honor their pledge and step down including my own representative.

    Surely one problem for the Dems is that in Mr. Smith Goes to Washington they are playing Claude Rains instead of Jimmy Stewart. Like the professional politician played by Rains they regard the rubes as the enemy and have lost touch with the notion of “serving” the public. The desire for an everyman folk hero may be Capra-corny but it’s a narrative that most people can buy into and surely one of the biggest symbols of the Dems’ contrary narrative is that Nancy Pelosi is still speaker. Didn’t she pledge to leave?….

    1. LifelongLib

      Dunno. Anything that lessens voter choice or gives power to unelected staff/bureaucrats reduces democracy (even more than it already is). Term limits do both. A constant stream of clueless newcomers who are replaced by other clueless newcomers, even if the voters would like them to stay on…and who naturally turn to old-hand staffers for help…

      1. Carolinian

        We have a term limit for Presidents (and the same 8 year term limit that was Contract proposal for 2 year representatives). Many states have term limits for governors. Is that merely “reducing voter choice” or there for a reason? When a political system is already doing everything possible to limit voter choice (including # of parties limits) then a forced departure may be the only way to get rid of Pelosi. Her equally tainted staffers can get jobs at McDonalds.

        In other words the premise of your reply is that we would be somehow damaging a system that works rather than something that is profoundly broken. Power corrupts. You don’t need staffers for that to be true.

        1. Yves Smith

          The reason for the Presidential term limit, as you surely must know, was that FDR died in office in his fourth term and that was widely seen as the result of the physical demands of the job on his health. It has nothing to do with concerns about corruption.

      2. Robert Gray

        > clueless newcomers … turn to old-hand staffers for help…

        Sometimes truisms are even true: Cabinet Ministers come and go, but Permanent Secretaries are forever.

    2. Lambert Strether Post author

      > term limits

      In Maine, because of term limits, the only people who understand what landfill legislation means are the lobbyists.lawyers from Portland who wrote it. That’s bad.

      You’d have to couple term limits with the equivalent of a civil service staff for the legislature. That would be a good thing, but I doubt it’s “politically feasible,” like most good things.

  13. Mikel

    “This Robotic Finger Is Covered in Living Human Skin” [Gizmodo]. • Kill it with fire anyhow.

    Hey, everybody…start using the username John or Sarah Conner?

    1. Hepativore

      Actually, this might be a very useful innovation for amputees. Part of what makes current prosthetic limbs so crude in comparison to their biological counterparts is the lack of haptic feedback and sensation when grasping or feeling objects. If a prosthetic limb is coated in skin cultured from the amputee, it might be a significant improvement in terms of quality of life and practical application to feel things using real nerve endings.

      1. LifelongLib

        I guess the nerve endings could be reconnected somehow, maybe like with artificial eyes. Probably very limited but better than nothing…

  14. Return of the Bride of Joe Biden

    Lambert says:

    I agree with Sanders, but it’s much, much too late. To make any difference for 2022 or 2024, a new “Contract with America” would have to be accompanied by a blood sacrifice of the existing Party leadership. Na ga happen.

    Don’t despair, Lambert; it telegraphs some sort of personal character shortcoming, or something.

  15. Starry Gordon

    The only measurement I trust is the wastewater measurement. People have to excrete; most of it goes in the sewer where COVID’s little particles can be observed. Everything else seems to have been compromised by political considerations. When numbers go down far enough I’ll change my behavior about masking indoors. Much of the thinking going on reminds me of the theory that you couldn’t get HIV if you were “really in love.” Magical! Seriously.

    1. Lambert Strether Post author

      > The only measurement I trust is the wastewater measurement.

      That’s close to where I’m ending up (which is why I began running the Biobot data regularly). I trust Walgreens, I trust the CDC transmission data because it’s against interest, I trust the case data because I think I’ve got it properly discounted), and I use rapid riser as a check (and as a risk assessment for travel, because what else is there). Wastewater data is the best, but there’s not enough of it, and variant data is way too slow.

      I played around with the biobot country data; sadly, there’s no way to make it into a broader column to fit more easily onto a page (absent a lot of putzing around with graphics software, which would be time-consuming).

      Florida and Texas are both up, though.

  16. The Rev Kev

    Just an odd data-point here. It is wintertime here in Oz and right now we are experiencing a massive flu season. Some States like mine are giving free flu shots to slow it down. I don’t know if you guys will be seeing the same this winter in the northern hemisphere. Point is, I cannot help but wonder if this is a result of people’s immune systems being compromised when they decided to let the Pandemic rip about a year ago-


    1. Daryl

      Is the flu hospitalization over what is expected, or is it the combo of that with the ongoing covid pandemic?

      1. The Rev Kev

        It is way over what is expected and is hitting hospitals, day-care centers, etc. pretty hard. In my State, numbers of flu cases are triple what they usually are. This appears to be totally separate from Covid numbers which our media is hardly reporting anymore because, you know, the Pandemic is over. /sarc

        1. Dayrl


          I fear it’s going to be a long time before public health officials are going to be willing to draw connections between the systemic damage covid causes to the body and all of this… the flu, the “sudden adult death syndrome” someone posted the other day. Too much pressure to declare the pandemic over.

        2. Tinky

          It would be interesting to learn what percentage of those hit hard had previously received COVID vaccinations, as opposed to those who remain unvaccinated.

          1. Basil Pesto

            The Australian population is very widely vaccinated (well over 90% of adults are double shot) but it’s hard to imagine how said vaccine would make people more vulnerable to influenza.

            I suspect it’s a combination of two things:

            1) we have some of the highest per capita rates of SARS2 infection in the world this year, and our data collection isn’t even good because we rely mostly on RATs. It’s quite extraordinary. Anyway, Covid leads to lymphopenia and it can take several months for the immune system to return to baseline function. So it’s not surprising that people recovering from the acute phase of their Covid infection would be more susceptible to other illnesses during that recovery period.

            2) on top of that, flu season in Australia in 2020 and 2021 was minimal (in fact I suspect we came quite close to eliminating influenza without even trying to in 2020) so that fact, combined with the fact that we have abandoned all semblance of disease control, means that a relatively severe flu rebound is unsurprising. Reimposition of mask mandates would help with both influenza and rampant SARS2 spread, but consumer and traveller confidence is more important to the governments here than helping the overburdened healthcare system.

    1. Jason Boxman

      I was always suspicious; She really really likes attention and performative art.

    2. Lambert Strether Post author

      Sort of amazed that Dick “Fourth Branch” Cheney’s spawn is prating about honor, but greatly saddening that AOC retweets her. Even if you believe the sentiment (honor, etc.) find somebody else to say it. Thompson, for example.

      Again, that missing Democrat bench… Here it is.

  17. jr

    Arts and Culture Corner:

    I cannot find his channel to confirm this, but I’m pretty sure that guy in Lambert’s favorite 1/6 picture is a conservative YouTuber. He does goofy skit-style videos with him wearing women’s wigs and such. He’s been on Crowder, if I recall correctly. Not that I watch Crowder I hasten to add. I get fed this crap because I watch Dore and sometimes Tucker.

    Speaking of conservative YouTubers, Tim Pool had a live stream interrupted by the police the other night. They had received a call that someone was on the premises with a gun. This has happened a couple of times before, I understand. While that was going down, another conservative YouTuber with a show called “The Quartering” was SWATed, someone called in a report that the guy had murdered his wife. Although he was on a no-SWAT list, the cops came and had him cuffed and laid out on his lawn while his wife sobbed nearby. No one was hurt. Meanwhile, Matt Walsh has been receiving death threats and promises to exercise his Second Amendment rights if necessary. $hits a’ poppin…

    1. JBird4049

      Wonderful. People have been killed due to SWATing, which I suppose these swatters would not be too heart broken over.

      1. drumlin woodchuckles

        Given that anyone can swat anyone nowadays, and the police are just happy to have a “reason” to go somewhere and kill someone and maybe their dog too, perhaps people who live in real houses should up-armor their houses strongly enough that police would need at least 2 minutes or so to break, bash, and chop their way in. This would wake up the inhabitants and give them time to retreat into a police-proof safe-room which they will have providentially built for just such an occasion.

        I believe that everything I suggested up above is totally legal. it is totally passive non-violent self-defense.

        I would never go so far as to suggest that the homeowner also install various kinds of microwave ray guns around the house focused to where the violent home intruders would likely be, and fireable from inside the safe room. Cooking the violent home invaders with microwaves would be illegal and I would never ever recommend it.

        1. JBird4049

          Maybe, but without jesting I say that while armoring the doors and having a safe room is legal, but just as shooting crated dogs using flash-bang grenades are justified because officer safety, I assume that somehow doing so might justify ramming their militarily retired armored vehicles through a building’s walls.

          1. Amfortas the hippie

            used telephone poles are free…landfill doesn’t want them(not allowed to do anything but pile them up).
            and they wear out…so power company replacves them>
            i started a stockade with them some years ago(by hand, so pretty slow going,lol)
            on the 2 sides and corner from which ‘violent intruders’ would be compelled to approach.
            if you can concrete them in, like any good fence post, the apc’s some cops have(not here, yet) would have great difficulty(an abrams, not so much)

            bullet proof, too…unless they’ve got a ’60 or better.

            and don’t forget the pain field generators…focused in the likely area of approach.

            i may have been thinking along these lines for decades(paranoid, due to history with bad cops, long ago…and purely defense oriented on my part)…but i think we’re just about there.
            sadly, i might add…but it’s apparently what the rulers have been working towards.
            we’re living in the world they created, and we had little say in the matter…even when some of us weren’t drunk on the various flavors of koolaide.

  18. ChrisRUEcon


    Money quote from the WaPo article:

    “In recent polls, including the most recent Washington Post-ABC News poll conducted in April, the percentage of Democrats who strongly approve of Biden has been between the mid-30s (34 percent in the Marist poll) and the mid-40s (44 percent in both the Quinnipiac and Post-ABC poll). In other words, a majority of Democrats don’t strongly approve of a Democratic president.”

    I dunno … maybe the dude who was a hastily engineered “plan B” after Hamptons-annointed Harris failed to ignite, and who had to be rescued by a combination of primary election shenanigans, scions of the Black Misleadership Class, and yet another intense round of general election voter-shaming … doesn’t really have a base after all. Funny that, eh?

    1. ChrisRUEcon

      … oh and he’s basically backed away from virtually everything he promised to deliver on the 2020 campaign trail.

      1. Ranger Rick

        Oh, everyone at the time was fully on board with the cynical exercise of praising him for making those promises while simultaneously recognizing there was no way he would deliver on those promises. “We’ll keep his feet to the fire,” promised the progressives, in a way that suggested they didn’t even believe what they were trying to convince you of.

      2. Lambert Strether Post author

        > virtually everything he promised to deliver

        Joe Biden owes me six hundred bucks.

        And the worst of it is that both Ossoff and Warnock, who ought to be forming the new Democratic bench everybody wants, got sucked into the corruption and lied, too.

  19. SocalJimObjects

    “Senior US officials have conveyed to Saudi Arabia that the US is prepared to move forward with a “reset” of the relationship, and effectively move on from the 2018 murder of Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi in order to repair ties with the key Middle East ally, senior US officials tell CNN.”

    The US is ready to make Saudi Arabia and MBS Great Again!!!

  20. Jeremy Grimm

    “Governing Boring Apocalypses: …”
    This paper spent 15 pages of boring and turgid prose to arrive at the less than remarkable conclusion that Collapse could and most probably would come through an accretion of many small events. It spent much effort classifying and categorizing events and building a taxonomy for them which impressed me as little more than a purely academic exercise offering little insight into the way the Collapse might occur or for suggesting viable means for its prevention or amelioration. Read this paper after reading today’s post on what going on in the WTO. There are plenty of items to name and categorize and place into the taxonomy, but that will do little to affect the goings on at the WTO.

  21. Lambert Strether Post author

    I’ve now finished both opening statements. Thompson’s is worthless, self-serving, moralizing tripe. For a fine example of question begging:

    And ultimately, Donald Trump—the President of the United States—spurred a mob of domestic enemies[1] of the Constitution to march down the Capitol and subvert[2] American democracy[3].

    [1] “Domestic enemies” is the new word for “deplorables,” except you can’t put somebody in jail for being deplorable. (If you think I’m exaggerating, listen to this segment from the Trillbillies, starting at 1:23:54. Spoiler: It concludes with the DA saying “Have we learned nothing from 1/6?”). Of course, via horseshoe theory, extremists on the left will be “domestic enemies” of “our democracy” too.

    [2] Yes, of course this could be just throwing red meat, but you’d think that a really good use of prime time would be for Thompson to give a one-sentence summary of what “subvert” means operationally. Of course, the halo effect of the rioters may be enough for many.

    [3] At which point I can well imagine a Sanders supporter punching the screen. Dude, come on.

    Cheney, again, is makes a much more seriouis effort than Thompson (but then Republicans are more serious in their politics than Democrats):

    As you will see in great detail in these hearings, President Trump ignored the rulings of our nation’s courts, his own campaign leadership, his White House staff, many Republican state

    officials, the Department of Justice, and the Department of Homeland Security. President Trump invested millions of dollars of campaign funds purposely spreading false information, running ads he knew were false, and convincing millions of Americans that the election was corrupt and he was the true President. As you will see, this misinformation campaign[1] provoked violence[2] on January 6th.

    [1] If misinformation campaigns were illegal, let alone unconstitutional, than everybody who ran RussiaGate — and Iraqi WMDs ***cough*** Dick Cheney ***cough*** would be in jail.

    [2] Garland indicted two (2) rioters for “violence,” as opposed to 208 for “illegal parading.” Even so, violence per se doesn’t equal a coup attempt. (Inciting a riot might be illegal, but that’s not the same thing as a coup attempt either, unless the halo effect of the videos has caused a temporary case of blindess.

    In our third hearing, you will see that President Trump corruptly planned to replace the Attorney General so the U.S. Justice Department would spread his false stolen election claims. In the days before January 6th, President Trump told his top Justice Department officials [quote]: “Just say the election was corrupt and leave the rest to me and the Republican Congressmen

    The underlined portion is the important part; what, operationally, “leave the rest” means is what I’m waiting for. (At the Constitutional level, Justice Department officials serve at the pleasire of the President, as Cheney surely must know.)

    And you will hear that while Congress was under attack on January 6th and in the hours following the violence, the Trump legal team in the Willard Hotel war room continued to work to halt the count of electoral vote

    This is one of the things that most bothers me about “the case for the prosecution.” If this is a(n attempted) coup, it’s an attempted coup like no coup before it. In 1917, the machine-gunners of the Imperial Russian Army in Saint Petersburg were all Bolsheviks. In the modern world, coups are typically signaled by troops at government buildings and seizure of the media. THere’s nothing like that here. Instead, the engine of the coup is apparently lawyers concocting novel legal theories; in other words, symbol manipulation. Well and good, but at some point the symbols need to connect with events on the ground. In addition, the purpose of the lawyers is to make the coup legal, or at least colorably legal. Believe me, in the real world, military coups don’t work like that; coups are legalized retrospectively.

    You will hear details about President Trump’s call to Georgia officials urging them to “find” 11780 votes that did not exist, and his efforts to get states to rescind certified electoral slates without factual basis and contrary to law.

    This seems to me to be the most serious charge (and note that it has nothing at all to do with the riot). So I look forward to Raffenberger’s testimony with interest. (Since Trump is very often misquoted, I’d need to be sure of the provanance. I assume Raffenberger has a transcript, or witnesses, or shared his recollection contemporaneouslu. (I don’t have any aghastitude about this at all, after Sanders in the Iowa caucuses (2020), “lost” votes in Brooklyn (2016), the Texas Democratic primary (2008), Ohio (2004), Florida (2000), and of course the dead voting in Chicago (1960). One might alomst say that election theft is a time-honored and bipartisan American tradition, and Trump’s real sin was to speak the quite part out loud and handle matters personally, instead of working through professional operatives and cut-outs.

    You will hear new details about the Trump campaign and other Trump assoicates’ efforts to instruct Republicans in multiple states to create intentionally false electoral slates, and transmit those slates to Congress, and the National Archives, falsely certifying that Trump won states he actually lost.

    “Efforts to instruct” seems like pretty weak.

    As we present these initial findings, keep two points in mind. First, , so what we make public here will not be the complete set of information we will ultimately disclose. And second, the Department of Justice is currently working with cooperating witnesses, and has disclosed to date only certain of the information it has identified from encrypted communications and other source

    Ah, cooked uop encrypted communcations. And at such a late date!

    That’s at page ten. Then we get four more pages of aghastitude at the illegal parading violence.

    If there’s a theory of the case here, I missed it. The only serious point raised, so far as I’m concerned, is Trump’s call to Georgia.

    For the rest of it, as far as I can dope out form all the little bits left lying about, the theory of the case is something like:

    1) Trump foments riot at Capitol Hill

    2) The goal of the riot is to shut down the electoral count[1]

    3) Pence is to be shunted aside.

    4) Some creature of Trump’s will do the count, perhaps based on the false votes claimed to be sent to the National Archives. I don’t know how those votes get in the box to be counted; maybe Ginny Thomas suborns Clarence, I don’t know.

    [1] Where the Proud Boys fit into this I don’t know and Cheney doesn’t say. Whatever they were to do, they were completely ineffective.

    You can see that this scheme, if scheme it be, is both very tightly coupled and very fragile. In fact, it failed at step 3, when Pence didn’t get in the car. What kind of coup attmpt is that?

    NOTE Cheney references a “sophisticated seven-part plan,” but she doesn’t use her prime time to explain or even summarize it; she mentions it, then drops it. Tapper covers for her in this thread:

    In essence, Tapper summarizes Cheney’s points. But points in an indictment are not steps in an plan. If you read the thread carefuly, you’ll see that nowhere is it explained how Trump will actually retain power (cf. my steps 1-4 above).

    1. Lambert Strether Post author

      Adding, we — and I think here by “we” I mean “I” — tend to forget that Trump was instantly impeached for insurrection over the Capitol Hill riot even though he had left office — he was acquitted — and so by focusing so much on the rioters, the Committee is really seeking a second bite at the apple. Here are the transcripts of the impeachment proceedings. I would dearly love to know how much the theory of the case has advanced since the impeachment in 2021. My guess is not very much. There might be more testimony, but has the theory of the case advanced? (Even the Raffensberger call is not new.)

  22. st33ve

    Yeepers, Lambert. I’m afraid you’re more than a little uninformed about the extent of the January 6 violence.

    You should watch the 10-minute video of riot footage that the Committee aired. And you should watch (or read) the testimony from the Capitol Police officer (Caroline Edwards).

    In looking at Garland’s charges, you focused on the two “acts of physical violence” (which I’m guessing didn’t involve violence directed against a person), but you seem to have missed the 22 “assault” charges. And hopefully needless to say, they can only charge the people they end up being able to identify.

    Please watch the video, and listen to Caroline Edwards’ testimony. I’m pretty confident that will prevent you from making any further dismissive references to “Cases of violence: two,” in the midst of a lot of “illegal parading.”

    1. Lambert Strether Post author

      > You should watch the 10-minute video of riot footage

      You’re right on the assault number, and I’m wrong (which I hate to admit). Then again, I’ve always called it a riot; I’ve never implied it was a peaceful gathering, even with a ratio of 208 to 22. (As far as being able to identify rioters, I think we’re up to 600 or so? With the Feds after them, and the online hunting them, and friends and family informing on them, I think most of them have been found, if not charged.)

      As far as the video, no. I don’t regard digital evidence as evidence. I won’t waste my time watching this video any more than I would watch a Ukrainian propaganda video, and for exactly the same reasons.

Comments are closed.