2:00PM Water Cooler 6/24/2022

By Lambert Strether of Corrente

Bird Song of the Day

Booted Warbler, Ratchaburi, Thailand. Picked from among recordings from Scotland and India. Quite a range!

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“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

Roe v. Wade

“Supreme Court overturns constitutional right to abortion” [SCOTUSblog]. “The Supreme Court on Friday eliminated the constitutional right to obtain an abortion, casting aside 49 years of precedent that began with Roe v. Wade. The decision by Justice Samuel Alito will set off a seismic shift in reproductive rights across the United States. It will allow states to ban abortion, and experts expect about half the states to do so. In one of the most anticipated rulings in decades, the court overturned Roe, which first declared a constitutional right to abortion in 1973, and Planned Parenthood v. Casey, which re-affirmed that right in 1992. The decision followed the leak in early May of a draft opinion showing that a majority of the justices were privately poised to take that step. On Friday, they made it official. The vote to overturn Roe was 5-4. Justices Clarence Thomas, Neil Gorsuch, Brett Kavanaugh, and Amy Coney Barrett joined Alito’s opinion. Chief Justice John Roberts did not join the opinion. He agreed with the majority that the Mississippi abortion restriction at issue in the case should be upheld, but in a separate opinion, he argued that the court should not have overturned Roe.” • Here is the opinion.

“Supreme Court’s Abortion Ruling Puts States in Spotlight” [Wall Street Journal]. “By eliminating a constitutional right to an abortion, the high court’s ruling returns the issue to the states, and about half of them, mostly led by Republicans, have been poised to ban many or most abortions if Roe was wiped away. Other Democrat-led states are moving to protect access to the procedure, in some cases preparing for visitors from states where abortion will be unavailable. And in politically diverse states with divided government, clashes over the path forward on abortion policy could continue for years. ‘This is going to put abortion toward the center of our politics for the foreseeable future,’ said Steven Greene, a political-science professor at North Carolina State University. Advocates on both sides of the issue said that the ruling would place additional focus on state and local elections, because governors, state lawmakers and attorneys general will hold new power to enact and enforce a broader array of abortion policies. That means those contests could see additional funding and support from national groups and donors.”

Thomas, in his concurring opinion, says the quiet part out loud. “Substantive due process” is next:

(Oddly, Loving v. Virginia is not on Thomas’s list; “a little personal privilege carve-out.“) Commentary:

Can a D&D player in the readership unpack this?

Flaccid Democrat reaction (1):

When counterpoising the rhetoric of moral claims, I think “abortion is murder” vs. “intensely personal” wins easily. As we see.

Flaccid Democrat reaction (2):

Flaccid Democrat reaction (3):

Too bad we don’t have a Democrat Lincoln to fire some generals ’til we get a Grant.

Flaccid Democrat reaction (4):

So why not nuke the filbuster, have both Democrat houses codify Roe v. Wade into law — and substantive due process while we’re at it — and put a bill on Biden’s desk for him to sign? How about it, President Manchin?

Failure has many parents. Here’s one:

(One of the happier by-products of this really ugly decision may be a final burial of bourgeios feminism (+ its Democrat faction (+ that portion of the NGO complex)), which simply didn’t deliver on protecting a medical procedure they rightly viewed as essential.)

“Abortion in America — the road to rolling back Roe vs Wade” [Lyz Lenz, Financial Times]. Growing up in the Christian right: “None of my siblings believe what we were taught. We’ve all grown up. Very few even go to church. Some of my sisters have been victims of abuse and assault. Some have had children, got divorced, faced poverty and loss. One sister, after a devastating car accident, had to declare bankruptcy at 18 in the face of overwhelming medical bills. Some are queer. Some are single mothers. Anti-abortion rhetoric only works if you are never poor, never a victim, never without health insurance, have never found yourself bleeding in a dorm room, unsure how to name what happened to you but afraid you’ll be pregnant and lose everything you’ve fought so hard for, that thing women so rarely get — freedom. Anti-abortion rhetoric only works if you don’t know that your sister has a medical condition that could mean death if she gets pregnant. Anti-abortion rhetoric only works if you’ve never seen your friend recover from a violent beating at the hands of her boyfriend. Never worked at a women’s shelter and seen the wives of pastors come in sobbing, secretly on birth control, because they cannot afford to have another child. So, how did I, the indoctrinated daughter of the American conservative right, grow up to champion the very cause I had been told was evil? Simple: I lived life as an American woman.” • Well worth a read.

Capitol Seizure

“The Jan. 6 Hearings Have Been So Much Better Than I Expected” [Michelle Goldberg, New York Times]. “With Trump, however, the question has never been whether he’s committed outrageous misdeeds, but whether those misdeeds can be made to matter. Over and over again, the answer to that question has been no. It might still be no. But the hearings are having more of an impact than I expected. The decision by the House minority leader, Kevin McCarthy, to keep pro-Trump Republicans off the Jan. 6 committee has eliminated the back-and-forth bloviating that typically plague congressional inquiries, allowing investigators to present their findings with the narrative cohesion of a good true-crime series.” This is important: “For some, the hearings are doing more than that. Dustin Stockton helped organize the pro-Trump bus tour that culminated in the Jan. 6 rally at the Ellipse in front of the White House. Politico once called him and his fiancée, Jennifer Lawrence, the ‘Bonnie and Clyde of MAGA world.’ On Tuesday, after a hearing that included testimony by Rusty Bowers, the speaker of the Arizona House, and the Georgia election workers Ruby Freeman and Shaye Moss, Stockton tweeted, ‘This has been the most impactful of the January 6th Committee hearings. Embarrassed that I was fooled by the Fulton County ‘suitcases of ballots’ hoax.'”

“High drama as Jan. 6 hearing details Trump’s effort to corrupt Justice Department” [ABC]. “Thursday’s hearing of the Jan. 6 committee focused on the pressure then-President Donald Trump and his allies put on the Justice Department to help overturn the 2020 election.” • At the Constitutional level, I’m not aghast at this. There was an enormous scandal in 2006 when Bush the Younger fired a bunch of United States attorneys, but they’re political appointees ffs; they “serve at the pleasure of the President.” At the pragmatic level, the pattern is that Trump tries to get this or that person to do this or that. The person refuses. Trump drops it, and moves along. As a matter of law, I don’t know how to frame this. But an assault on the Winter Palace this is not. More: “Chair Bennie Thompson, D-Miss., closed by previewing the focus of hearings to come in July, calling the Jan. 6 mob attack on the Capitol Trump’s backup plan of stopping the transfer of power’ if he couldn’t get away with a ‘political coup.'” What the heck is a “political coup”? A norms violation? More: “‘We are going to show how Donald Trump tapped into the threat of violence, how he summoned a mob to Washington and how — after corruption and political pressure failed to keep Donald Trump in office — violence became the last option,’ he said.” • Well, I’m glad at last we have a theory of the case about the relation between the Capitol seizure and the rest of Trump’s efforts, because I’ve been asking for that for some time. But as of now, I’m not buying it. If the rioters managed to stop the count, the House moves the count elsewhere and holds it later. How does that not happen?

“Ron Johnson now says he helped coordinate effort to pass false elector slates to Pence, but his new explanation drew a quick rebuke” [USA Today]. “After initially claiming to be ‘basically unaware’ of an effort by his staff to get fake presidential elector documents to Vice President Mike Pence, U.S. Sen. Ron Johnson said Thursday he coordinated with a Wisconsin attorney to pass along such information and alleged a Pennsylvania congressman brought slates of fake electors to his office — a claim that was immediately disputed. Evidence presented this week by the U.S. House committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol showed Johnson’s chief of staff tried to deliver the two states’ lists of fake presidential electors for former President Donald Trump to Pence on the morning of the U.S. Capitol insurrection but was rebuffed by Pence’s aide. Johnson initially told reporters this week he did not know where the documents came from and that his staff sought to forward it to Pence. But he said in a Thursday interview on WIBA-AM that he had since discovered the documents came from Pennsylvania U.S. Rep. Mike Kelly, and acknowledged he coordinated with Dane County attorney Jim Troupis and his chief of staff by text message that morning to get to Pence a document Troupis described as regarding ‘Wisconsin electors.’ Kelly’s office immediately pushed back on Johnson’s claim, saying: “Senator Johnson’s statements about Representative Kelly are patently false.’ ‘Mr. Kelly has not spoken to Sen. Johnson for the better part of a decade, and he has no knowledge of the claims Mr. Johnson is making related to the 2020 election.'”

Biden Administration

“Harris meets Democratic attorneys general as White House gears up for abortion ruling” [Reuters]. “U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris met a group of seven Democratic attorneys general on Thursday to discuss the defense to a major ruling that could dramatically curtail abortion rights in the country…. ‘We will start preliminary discussions about how state attorneys general have power, may have the power at the very least to issue guidance to ensure that people of their state know their rights, that they have the power to assess and potentially challenge the constitutionality of laws that are being passed in their state,’ Harris said.” • Oh. Meanwhile:

Could it be — hear me out — that we’re not “all in this together”?


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PA: Oops:


Fetterman’s campaign is good on the Twitter. I don’t think anybody ever won a campaign there, though.

WY: “Cheney urging Wyoming Democrats to switch parties to vote for her in primary” [The Hill]. “Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.) is looking to recruit registered Democrats to switch their party affiliation in order to vote for her in Wyoming’s Aug. 16 primary. Her campaign website offers instructions for how voters can change their party affiliation in order to vote in the Republican primary and even directs them to a Wyoming voter registration change form. The New York Times also reported on Thursday that Cheney’s campaign has been sending out mailers to Wyoming Democratic voters with information about voting in the Republican primary. Wyoming allows voters to change their party affiliations by mail up to 14 days before the primary. Voters can also switch their party affiliation at the polls. Cheney is facing a hotly contested primary in August against Republican Harriet Hageman. Former President Donald Trump endorsed Hageman as part of his effort to oust Cheney for her vote last year to impeach him for his role in the Jan. 6, 2021, riot at the U.S. Capitol.” • Merger of liberal Democrats and Never Trump Republicans continues apace. One thinks of scorpions mating.

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.

* * *

“The Gerontocracy of the Democratic Party Doesn’t Understand That We’re at the Brink” [Jamelle Bouie, New York Times]. “I’m reminded of the historian Jefferson Cowie’s argument about the New Deal’s relationship to the American political order. In ‘The Great Exception: The New Deal and the Limits of American Politics,’ Cowie argues for an interpretation of the United States in the 20th century that treats the New Deal era, from the administration of Franklin Roosevelt to the 1970s, as a ‘sustained deviation from some of the main contours of American political practice, economic structure, and cultural outlook.’ The Great Depression and World War II may have ‘forced clear realignments of American politics and class relations,’ Cowie writes, ‘but those changes were less the linear triumph of the welfare state than the product of very specific, and short-lived, historical circumstances.’ If this is true — if the New Deal was the product of highly contingent circumstances unlikely to be repeated either now or in the future — then the challenge for those committed to the notion of a government that protects and expands the collective economic rights of the American people is to forge a new vision for what that might be. ‘The path forward is not clear,’ Cowie writes, ‘but whatever successful incarnation of a liberal ‘social imaginary’ might follow will not look like the New Deal, and it might be best to free ourselves from the notion that it will.’ I think you can apply a similar ‘great exception’ analysis to the decades of institutional stability and orderly partisan competition that shaped the current generation of Democratic leaders, including the president and many of his closest allies. They came into national politics in an age of bipartisan consensus and centrist policymaking, at a time when the parties and their coalitions were less ideological and more geographically varied. But this, too, was a historical aberration, the result of political and social dynamics — such as the broad prosperity of the industrial economic order at home — that were already well in decline by the time that Biden, Pelosi, Feinstein and others first took office. American politics since then has reverted to an earlier state of heightened division, partisanship and fierce electoral competition. Even the authoritarianism on display in the Republican Party has antecedents in the behavior of Southern political elites at the end of the 19th century and the beginning of the 20th. Millions of Democratic voters can see and feel that American politics has changed in profound ways since at least the 1990s, and they want their leaders to act, and react, accordingly.” • Well worth a read, amazingly for the Times Op-Ed section.

Realignment and Legitimacy

“How Elites Misread Public Opinion” [Politico]. “Most of our theories of politics in democracies emphasize this notion that there’s public opinion: Our political leaders are paying attention to public opinion, and they’re forming policy as a result. But one thing that these elite experiments are really good at showing is that oftentimes elites are actually misinformed about what the public wants — that elites are fundamentally misreading the room. So in the context of American politics, there are experiments where you go to state legislators, and you tell them more about what their constituents actually think about given issues, and you see if it affects their political behavior. Similarly, in a foreign policy context, there are researchers who have done lots of great studies where they correct misperceptions about what the public wants and see how that affects elite decision-making. There are a bunch of regularities that folks doing this kind of research have noticed. For example, the public is much more likely to believe that global warming exists, that climate change is real and that it is being caused by human beings than elites think the public believes. Similarly, elites tend to have this assumption that the public is much more isolationist in foreign policy than the public actually is.” • Reminds me of this morning’s link: Power causes brain damage.


I am but a humble tape-watcher, and I’m perplexed about the current state of play. Case data is showing the fiddling-and-diddling behavior characteristic of a peak. However, nothing I hear in anecdotal case data tells me there’s any relief. Hospitalization data (trailing) is easing (and so the hospital-centric public health establishment probably thinks Covid is done). Positivity data (leading) has been fiddling and diddling as it too does at peaks. Then again, waste-water data (leading) is slightly downThe wild card is variants BA.4/5 (and I thought we were supposed to be giving names to these things). All the variant sources I have say BA.4/5 are up, but they differ as to how much and where, and the data is two weeks behind (hat tip, CDC; who could have known we’d need to track variant data?). I am reminded of the “stairstep” (see the Case count chart below: I muttered about this at the time) that marked the Delta/Omicron transition, just before Omicron’s amazing take-off. Perhaps a BA.4/5 transition will exhibit the same behavior. OTOH, I could be projecting patterns into clouds.

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• Maskstravaganza: Medical professionals who don’t mask up, a thread:

• Maskstravaganza: And that’s an order:

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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.

* * *

I cannot find a case count chart that integrates regional and national subtotals, so we are that much stupider. I thought the New York Times had the nicest data presentationL

Case count for the United States:

The totals are or less level, but under the hood the BA.4/5 are making up a greater and greater proportion of cases. 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 DNC-blue “Biden Line” at that point. Yesterday, the count was ~ 97,000. Today, it’s 99,600, and 99,600 * 6 = a Biden line at 597,600. 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.

From the Walgreen’s test positivity tracker:

0.7%. (I’m leaving the corporate logo on as a slap to and check on the goons at CDC.)

Wastewater data, regional (Biobot Analytics), June 22:

Wastewater data (CDC), June 4 – June 18:

CDC’s wastewater chart is down again.

Variant data, regional (Biobot), June 8:

Out of date compared to Walgreens (below) but still showing doubling behavior.

NOT UPDATED Variant data, national (Walgreens), June 15:

In 18 days, BA.4/5 has gone from 18 days, 9.66 to 28.47 (and this is not according to some sorta model, like CDC’s NowCast, which gives 35%). Nice doubling behavior, implying BA.4/5 should be happily dominant just in time for the travel weekend of July 4, good job everyone.

NOT UPDATED Variant data, national (CDC), June 4:

Lambert here: It’s beyond frustrating how slow the variant data is.

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

Everything better except for some new red flecks in the lower Mississippi.

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. More and more orange (“substantial”) on the East Coast, with some yellow breaking out. Great Plains speckled with yellow and blue.

Hospitalization (CDC Community Profile):

Very volatile.

Death rate (Our World in Data):

Total: 1,040,236 1,039,771. I have added an anti-triumphalist Fauci Line.

Stats Watch

Consumer Sentiment: “United States Michigan Consumer Sentiment” [Trading Economics]. “The University of Michigan consumer sentiment was downwardly revised to a record low of 50.0 in June of 2022, from a preliminary reading of 50.2. The current economic conditions subindex sank to an all-time low of 53.8 (vs. 63.3 in May), and the expectations gauge plunged to 47.5. About 79% of consumers expected bad times in the year ahead for business conditions, the highest since 2009. Inflation expectations for the year ahead stood at 5.4%, little changed from a preliminary reading or the preceding four months.”

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The Bezzle: “$100 million worth of crypto has been stolen in another major hack” [CNBC]. “Hackers have stolen $100 million in cryptocurrency from Horizon, a so-called blockchain bridge, in the latest major heist in the world of decentralized finance…. Blockchain bridges play a big role in the DeFi space, offering users a way of transferring their assets from one blockchain to another. In Horizon’s case, users can send tokens from the Ethereum network to Binance Smart Chain. Harmony said the attack did not affect a separate bridge for bitcoin. Like other facets of DeFi, which aims to rebuild traditional financial services like loans and investments on the blockchain, bridges have become a prime target for hackers due to vulnerabilities in their underlying code. Bridges ‘maintain large stores of liquidity,’ making them a ‘tempting target for hackers,’ according to Jess Symington, research lead at blockchain analysis firm Elliptic. ‘In order for individuals to use bridges to move their funds, assets are locked on one blockchain and unlocked, or minted, on another,’ Symington said. ‘As a result, these services hold large volumes of cryptoassets.’ Harmony has not revealed exactly how the funds were stolen. However, one investor had raised concerns about the security of its Horizon bridge as far back as April.” • Hmm. Does make you wonder about collusion between the Founders of DeFi firms and the hackers. Maybe they split the take, and the marks are the only losers?

* * *

Today’s Fear & Greed Index: 27 Fear (previous close: 22 Extreme Fear) [CNN]. One week ago: 14 (Extreme Fear). (0 is Extreme Fear; 100 is Extreme Greed). Last updated Jun 24 at 1:21 PM EDT.

Department of Feline Felicity

Now do baths:

Groves of Academe

Wait. I thought this was a parody account:

Decline of the West Watch

Another historical aberration:


Declining consumer experience has been going on for some time (Yves dubbed it “crapification”) but Covid is accelerating the process.

Class Warfare

“Synthetic Opioids Are an Everything Problem” [RAND]. “The Commission on Combating Synthetic Opioid Trafficking. The commission was created by Congress to examine the threat of synthetic opioids and devise a strategic approach to countering the illegal flow of these drugs into the United States…. The commission came up with 78 recommendations across five pillars for how to address the crisis from both sides of this supply-and-demand equation. These range from cracking down on money laundering by the criminal organizations that manufacture and smuggle synthetic opioids to exploring harm-reduction efforts that aim to mitigate the damage associated with substance use. The recommendations also include actions that could, if enacted, yield comprehensive and sustainable results, such as elevating the director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy to a cabinet-level position and enhancing the research and analysis of ongoing drug market trends.” • As long as there is despair, there will be demand.

News of the Wired

The datasaurus:


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About Lambert Strether

Readers, I have had a correspondent characterize my views as realistic cynical. Let me briefly explain them. I believe in universal programs that provide concrete material benefits, especially to the working class. Medicare for All is the prime example, but tuition-free college and a Post Office Bank also fall under this heading. So do a Jobs Guarantee and a Debt Jubilee. Clearly, neither liberal Democrats nor conservative Republicans can deliver on such programs, because the two are different flavors of neoliberalism (“Because markets”). I don’t much care about the “ism” that delivers the benefits, although whichever one does have to put common humanity first, as opposed to markets. Could be a second FDR saving capitalism, democratic socialism leashing and collaring it, or communism razing it. I don’t much care, as long as the benefits are delivered. To me, the key issue — and this is why Medicare for All is always first with me — is the tens of thousands of excess “deaths from despair,” as described by the Case-Deaton study, and other recent studies. That enormous body count makes Medicare for All, at the very least, a moral and strategic imperative. And that level of suffering and organic damage makes the concerns of identity politics — even the worthy fight to help the refugees Bush, Obama, and Clinton’s wars created — bright shiny objects by comparison. Hence my frustration with the news flow — currently in my view the swirling intersection of two, separate Shock Doctrine campaigns, one by the Administration, and the other by out-of-power liberals and their allies in the State and in the press — a news flow that constantly forces me to focus on matters that I regard as of secondary importance to the excess deaths. What kind of political economy is it that halts or even reverses the increases in life expectancy that civilized societies have achieved? I am also very hopeful that the continuing destruction of both party establishments will open the space for voices supporting programs similar to those I have listed; let’s call such voices “the left.” Volatility creates opportunity, especially if the Democrat establishment, which puts markets first and opposes all such programs, isn’t allowed to get back into the saddle. Eyes on the prize! I love the tactical level, and secretly love even the horse race, since I’ve been blogging about it daily for fourteen years, but everything I write has this perspective at the back of it.


  1. Hepativore

    So, I have been hearing the idea of a federal abortion ban being floated by Republicans in the impending Democratic slaughter in the up and coming midterms. Has there been any momentum on this? Now that Roe vs. Wade is officially overturned, is there anything that would stop a federal abortion ban from being enacted?

    Even if the Democrats survive the 2022 midterms, I bet they would just fold to the Republicans like they usually do.

    1. ron paul

      A presidential veto, at the moment. Presumably President Trump will sign it on January 21, 2025.

    2. voteforno6

      Pence has already called for it. I’m sure others will come around as well. A “right to life” group has already released model legislation for states – essentially, they’ll crack down on free speech rights as well. I suspect that a lot of people will find the enforcement of these bans to be rather revolting, and it will only get worse when the theocrats go after same sex marriage as well.

    3. PKMKII

      The republicans are likely to take back at least one of the two chambers but I seriously doubt they’ll hit the veto-proof threshold needed to overrule Biden. Which will likely become the new “but the courts!” argument out of the DLC democrats; you need to vote for whatever neoliberal clown we put up else the ban veto will go away.

      1. Tom Doak

        Don’t be so sure. That sounds like their misplaced confidence in achieving a permanent majority with the help of Latino voters.

        In a similar moment President Clinton was eager to compromise and pass NAFTA. When Obama lost his veto-proof majority, he was ready to make the Grand Bargain with Boehner until the Tea Party wanted even more! I agree that compromise on abortion rights will be more difficult, because so much of the party’s base is professional women, but when President Manchin offers our Catholic president a compromise that allows abortion in limited circumstances in exchange for not making it completely illegal, Biden will definitely think about it.

        1. ambrit

          The real problem in President Manchin’s balancing act is that, in this sphere, he is facing absolutists in positions of power.
          The absolutists will rather shut down any process that can lead to compromise, with all the attendant collateral damage that would entail, than yield an inch on their “principles.” Such people operate within an ethos of “All or Nothing.”
          That’s why the Veto is so useful politically. That ‘Nothing’ can be expanded well beyond the public’s percieved boundaries of what constitutes the particular ‘Nothing’ to fully discredit the ‘Nothing’ sayers. Tie Abortion Rights to Civil Rights and watch the fun.
          However, such a strategy assumes facts not in evidence. First, one needs solid evidence of opposing ideologies active in the field of politics. Second, one needs to see real ‘pain’ attached to unapproved actions. The Right knows this, perhaps viscerally. The Left is still playing around with words.
          The fact that Roe v. Wade was not enacted into law over a fifty year span says it all. The Left was not serious about tangible rights, just the Appearance of Rights.
          Today’s ruling has dramatically proven one of my pet theories about Terran human society. History does go backwards as well as forwards.
          Is Complacency a Moral Failing? Just ask the next poor woman who dies as a result of a back alley abortion gone wrong.

          1. Lambert Strether Post author

            > The fact that Roe v. Wade was not enacted into law over a fifty year span says it all. The Left was not serious about tangible rights, just the Appearance of Rights.

            Not the Left, Liberals. Otherwise, clearly. Conservatives/Republicans were just victorious in a 2020 -1973 = 47 year campaign. Since when were Democrats able to organize a 47 month campaign, let alone years?

            1. JBird4049

              >>> Not the Left, Liberals.

              Might it be more accurate to say Neo-Liberals? I’m thinking that what we are calling Liberals is much like how the more rabid “conservatives” conflate Stalinism, Leninism, Communism, Socialism, the Left, Liberalism, Moderates, public education, roads, bridges, and sewers as Marxist-Leninism-Maoism.

              You could describe me, and I think most Americans, as a classical Liberal when describing their beliefs ; it seems to me that what we call liberals today have taken Liberalism’s shell, cleaned out the rotted corpse of their victim, and much like a hermit crab moved in, and convinced people that they are the liberals of the past.

              But I don’t see any of the supposed moderate center liberals that used to make the American Center and composed of the moderate Republicans and Democrats. Nor do I see either major parties as well as the leaders espoused Enlightenment/Classical Liberal themes of the rights of the individual, the rule of law, and reasoned debate.

              I know that they say that they do, but if they did we would not have the Lolita Express, Civil Asset Forfeiture, Qualified Immunity, Mitch McConnell, Gavin Newsom, Big Pharma and all the undeclared wars that the country keeps losing.

    4. chris

      It’s a really good time to stay off all forms of social media. No one is going to be in the mood to listen to anything reasonable. No one is going to listen to comments explaining how where we ended up on Roe v. wade took a team effort. No one is going to argue for fund raising to help women’s health organizations in parts of the country where abortion will be illegal.

      All we’re going to see a outrage memes and fundraising appeals to the DNC.

      1. jr

        Right wing Youtube is gloating like a fat rich kid with a sack of candy. I saw a video this afternoon in which an NFL player states that women don’t have a right to an abortion. When they get pregnant, it’s no longer their body, it’s like an apartment with someone living in it. The audience roared.

        1. Lambert Strether Post author

          > When they get pregnant, it’s no longer their body, it’s like an apartment with someone living in it.

          Shades of Dred Scott, when you take the property aspect of that comment seriously.

          1. CitizenSissy

            Which is the right-wing belief that’s now acceptable to say out loud – women are less equal citizens than babymaking vessels; I was gobsmacked that the term “domestic supply of infants” was included in the ruling.

            Clarence Thomas also signalled that Lawrence, Griswold, and Obergefell are on the chopping block; you’d best believe challenges are on deck.

          2. Jessica

            Another aspect of Dred Scott was that it was dramatic overreach by the South and galvanized the North.
            I know that the Democrats are committed invertebrates but I simply cannot picture a United States in which California and New York let the Christian supremacists run the private lives of coastal PMC folks.
            This time dissolution of the Union would be better.

            1. drumlin woodchuckles

              This time the Christian Sharia Law FedGov would invade California/ New York/etc.
              to stop them in revenge for the United States having invaded and defeated the Confederate States so long ago.

              ” One good Civil War deserves another”.

              Coastal PMC folks should understand that they will not be allowed to seccede peacefully. They will have to win a near-genocidal war fought with every weapon in “America’s” arsenal. Are they ready to do that?

              They might be better advised to figure out how to design and wage and win a cultural and economic Civil Cold War of attrition, whereby one side destroys the other over several decades of economic strangulation, etc. And there is no guarantee as to which side would win that kind of pre-violent war, either.

    5. hk

      They are not “actually” going to be doing it: it’ll be repeat of all those times GOP House “repealed” Obamacare knowing full well that it would be going nowhere as long as a Democrat held the White House. Once Trump came in, of course, no more such “repeals” because it might actually happen. Just stupid political theater.

      1. Lambert Strether Post author

        > Until 2013, there were point-of-sale and age restrictions on the morning-after pill. Now that the restrictions have been lifted, you should be able to buy Plan B One-Step and its generic alternatives at your local drugstore.

        Over-the-counter, but for how long? (Interestingly, they work by preventing ovulation, and so bypassing the (extremely nutty) fetal personhood brigade.

  2. Ranger Rick

    The D&D reference is pretty easy to explain in three concepts: There exists a “rules lawyer” player in any game who attempts to parse the rules in such a way they can be exploited. This eventually led to the rise of two competing ideas — “rules as written” (RAW), which in this analogy stands in for procedural due process, where one is forced to interpret the rules exactly as they appear, and “rules as intended” (RAI) which would stand for substantive due process, allows for considerably more leeway in interpreting what the rules mean but causes conflict over meaning. This all stems from the fact that D&D’s rules are a published work that appears in an unchanging form, and any errors, typos, or unforeseen interactions with future extensions to those rules cannot be corrected until a future printing of that work.

    1. super extra

      Thank you for this succinct explanation!! I am currently working through a big software project involving a lot of command line programs that behave like a game in some ways – lots of rules – but I am not a gamer really, so I’ve had trouble really grokking the more subtle implications of the DM and game hosting in general and how that is often a response to player personality types.

      One major (and surprising!) belief I’ve developed out of this project that has probably been covered extensively in anthropology or sociology books somewhere, is that the role of games in any society is to force the participants and observers to take a stake in the outcome. Something I never fully appreciated until now, especially as I look up from my work and take in the games at all levels in our wholly-fu**ed up society.

      1. Bazarov

        If you haven’t already, you should read “Deep play: notes on Balinese cockfighting” by Clifford Geertz. It’s a classic anthropological essay that gets at the roots of game playing.

          1. ambrit

            Thanks for this. I need to reread this as it applies to so much that is going on today.

          1. KLG

            Yes! Back in my not-so-misspent youth in the Anthropology Department, Geertz was a superstar. Still is! And Jack Goody, Sahlins, Evans-Pritchard (fallen by the wayside, alas).
            Levi-Strauss, not so much ;-)

    2. Paradan

      They used to be worried that D&D was turning kids into satanists, when in reality it was turning them into lawyers.

      1. ambrit

        At least Satanists believe in souls, as in they bargain them away for riches and fame etc. Oh, wait….

            1. ambrit

              Even worse, that Cloathes are the Man. (With apologies to Cleland.)
              Echoing Eliot, “We are the hollow suits.”

            2. Acacia

              ‘‘Twas once chatting with a lawyer who said: “Excuse me, but I must go pick up my suit. I’ve got a personal injury lawsuit today, and I’m going to look like a million bucks.”

      2. MT_Wild

        The downside of D&D was we all ended up with our imanginary bag of holding and never had to get rid of unnecessary items.

        My garage is a glaring example of what happens when those kids grow up.

    3. Fraibert

      I get that’s the intended reference but it’s based on a complete misunderstanding of Substantive Due Process.

      Substantive Due Process is the idea that the Due Process Clauses of the Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments affirmatively protect certain conduct from government regulation (at least without carefully scrutinized justification) because the individual right to engage in the conduct at issue is sufficiently fundamental to “ordered liberty.” Regulation of this conduct is conceptualized as a “deprivation” of life, liberty, or property–mostly liberty.

      The bottom line for a D&D analogy is Substantive Due Process is more akin to house rules than anything in the rulebook (Constitution). The courts use Substantive Due Process to create “new” rights that aren’t explicit in the Constitution. The doctrine has been used for ideas as varying as the right to gay marriage, the right to decide how to raise one’s children, and the right of businesses to employ child labor (yes the infamous _Lochner_ Era cases are based on the very same doctrine).

      1. Lambert Strether Post author

        > The courts use Substantive Due Process to create “new” rights that aren’t explicit in the Constitution.

        That is the conservative view. As one would expect given human nature, it’s selectively applied. For example, the Second Amendment speaks of “the right to bear arms.” It does not speak of “the right to bear arms openly,” although of course one might argue that “openly” is in, as it were, the penumbra of the words that are actually present in the text.

        What worries me the most about Thomas’s concurring opinion is that, if I read correctly, he has “tradition” as a test. This would seem to provide a fertile field for selective application as well. For example, in labor law, it’s clearly “traditional,” based on their past actions, for owners to assault strikers, shoot them, create blacklists, etc.

        1. Fraibert

          Sorry to be late, but I figure your comment should get a fair reply.

          Due to the nature of the Constitution, it’s inevitable there’s a large helping of judicial gloss. There’s no exclusionary rule in the Fourth Amendment, and no mention that Due Process mandates the _Miranda_ warnings. While the some of the founders expressed explicit hostility to “previous restraints” (“prior restraints” as the usual modern formulation) against speech, the First Amendment doesn’t mention them at all by name but they’re essentially prohibited under the free speech doctrine. And so on.

          In fact, fundamental choices in interpreting the actual text can have serious consequences for the entire doctrine that develops. For example, there are arguments that the Equal Protection Clause was really concerned only with ensuring at a minimum equal treatment for one “class” of people (freedman) and not with ensuring that people of differing “classifications” (race, gender, national origin, etc.) were all treated equally. In the former “class” approach, affirmative action for freedman and their descendants would be pose no constitutional issue at all. However, the ship has sailed and the law has adopted the “classifications” approach where affirmative action does raise issues.

          Similarly with the Second Amendment, the courts are forced to give the explicit right shape. Like the situations I mentioned above (and many others), this means we get constitutional common law relating to gun rights. The Second Amendment is getting treated similar to the First Amendment, where the words “shall make no law” really mean “must have an excellent reason for making a law.”

          Bottom line: “[I]t is a Constitution we are expounding.” -Chief Justice Marshall

          Otherwise, reviewing the _Dobbs_ case again quickly, it seems to be the majority (and not Justice Thomas) that discusses “tradition” as a ground for finding a right in Substantive Due Process. That’s formally part of the (sometimes really vague) doctrine here, meant to preclude freewheeling judicial activism in this particular area of law. I agree it can be selectively applied, and judges aren’t the best historians. However, I think the history part is intended almost to be similar in conception to the British “unwritten constitution” concept so it’s not something to be the basis of your labor law examples.

          In fact, the basic reason why Justice Thomas _hates_ Substantive Due Process is that he believes the doctrine has no textual basis at all and therefore presents an invented area for judicial activism. In his view, “tradition” and “ordered liberty” are just band-aids for a doctrine that should not even exist. (Interestingly, he has raised the issue a few times of whether the Privileges and Immunities Clause may permit judicial consideration of rights in the fashion of Substantive Due Process but no one’s taken him up on the offer to litigate it.)

          1. Fraibert

            I should also add (even later, sadly) that if anyone wants to see a judicial massacre of a textual right (not all rights are expanded by interpretation), see the privilege against self-incrimination. The resulting rules, with grants of immunity, are necessary to prosecute corporations but I think they’re really contrary to the obvious intent of the language.

    4. ChrisPacific

      Good description. I was a Dungeon Master in most of our games. If you want to be a good Dungeon Master you learn a few things pretty quickly:

      1. You are in the business of collaborative story telling
      2. Sometimes a literal reading of the rules is not compatible with a good dramatic story arc (e.g. if an unlucky roll means that everybody dies in the first half hour)
      3. In those situations, a subtle and well-placed thumb on the scales can make the difference between a good experience for everybody concerned and a bad one.

      One of the popular accessories for the game was a ‘Dungeon Master Screen’ which was officially to protect all your written secrets from prying eyes. Coincidentally (or not) it also allowed you to roll dice out of sight of the players.

      The players are usually complicit in this – I’m sure I wasn’t fooling anybody when I invented a mitigating circumstance in the everybody dies scenario and ‘rolled’ for it – but they want a fun and compelling experience as much as I do, and they trust me to deliver it without taking away too much of their agency.

      It gets tricky when the thumb on the scales is against the player interests (for example, if one of them spots a loophole that turns an epic struggle and critical story element into a trivial victory) and that’s when the rules lawyering comes into play. Dungeon Masters are also human themselves and aren’t above inventing a little payback sometimes if they lose an argument with a rules lawyer.

      The Web comic ‘DM of the Rings’ portrays the Lord of the Rings movies as a D&D campaign, and gives a feel for the kind of tensions and rule-bending that normally occur.

  3. DJG, Reality Czar

    Roe v. Wade. Substantive due process. Griswold! (Hey, there go the condoms.)

    This is like Bonhoeffer’s complaint. First they came for black people (but, heck, that’s not really a problem), then for women, then to end marriage equality, then the IUDs…

    Yet even as the Supreme Court erupts into your bedroom, I am reminded of the years and years of oppression of labor (the working class) in the form of “right to work” laws, the unmovable minimum wage, the tinhorn dictatorships of U.S. offices, and fantasies of U.S. managers.

    [Yet the upper-middle class, dim as it is, never understood that it must buy social peace (by paying taxes) and that its oh-so-precious reputation wouldn’t be harmed by buying social peace.]

    How could this oppression of the working class–and do take a moment to look at this graph of the Gini coefficient over time, up and up and up into greater and greater inequality


    somehow not have had the effect of making social tensions much much worse?

    Plus: If you had any doubt, I’m here to tell you that the war has come back to The Homeland. Ukraine is just one more dangerous sideshow by incompetents, charlatans, and malignancies.

    Douay-Rheims Bible, Hosea ch 8:
    “For they shall sow wind, and reap a whirlwind, there is no standing stalk in it, the bud shall yield no meal; and if it should yield, strangers shall eat it.”

    What is to be done?

    1. Andrew Watts

      Divest the Supreme Court of any legitimacy or deference. If they had any power Dred Scott would’ve settled the question of slavery and/or if non-white Americans could be considered people… much less citizens. However, this is probably another nail in the coffin for the country as a united polity.

      But hey, it’s socialism or the mutual ruin of the contending classes.

      1. John

        Justice Alito seems to me to be low on the judicial temperament scale. His lashing out at dissenters from his ideas sounds like payback. I own the bat and ball now so you are going to play my game. Not at all edifying.

      2. drumlin woodchuckles

        Maybe pro-abortion individuals and businesses in the greater DC metro area can spoil Alito’s personal enjoyment of life by refusing to seat or serve him in restaurants, refusing to serve him in stores, etc. Or finding shysterlegal ways to “serve” him in theory while dis-serving him in reality.

        That would only work if the entire restaurant/business/etc. were pro-legal abortion and if Christian Sharia Law fascists were only a tiny part of their customer base.

        It won’t reverse any legal trends, but it might at least make Alito ( and the other Alitoform Justices) personally pay for their personal judicial pleasure.

    2. caucus99percenter

      You probably don’t mean Bonhoeffer, but rather German Lutheran pastor Martin Niemöller, the source of the oft-quoted passage “First they came for the…”

  4. Jen

    Obama in 2009: The Freedom of Choice act is not my highest priority. I believe women should have the right to choose, but the most important thing we can do to tamp down the anger surrounding this issue is to focus on those areas we can agree on.

    Here’s the clip.


    I believe it was Ian Welsh who said you will never have good governance as long as you continue to make excuses for those who betray your interests.

    1. Pat

      Add the numerous Democratic Party leaders who repeatedly made the point that the Democrats are a big tent party by endorsing, embracing and funding candidates who were anti abortion. Including over others who were not but especially when those challengers were less corporate friendly and believed in atrocities like single payer health care, income inequality and taxing the wealthy.

      1. John

        All are welcome in the “Big Tent” as long as they will vote for our priorities; FIRE, corporations, Wall Street, bullying the world, and when all else fails war.

    2. IM Doc

      As I have done for many other issues, I will talk about what my patients are saying this AM in a bluish community.

      I had 10 patients this AM – of those10, 4 saw fit to bring up Roe v Wade unsolicited. I do not bring up or engage my patients with politics – they bring it up. However, I could tell it was one of those mornings when everyone had something on their mind.

      I do not have to type out 4 different responses – the 4 were largely the same. You can take this N of 4 as an initial take in a cohort of older voters in Blue America.

      “I am so mad at the Dems right now I could scream. They have betrayed us. We have worked very hard to get them elected and this happened. They have had so many times over the past 50 years when this could have been dealt with by the Congress like it should have been and they chose to do nothing.”

      Particular angst was expressed towards Obama and RBG by 2 of them. Interestingly, not a word about the GOP was stated other than one of the four who stated “Clearly the GOP know how to get things done for their voters. We have all the ne’er-do-wells on our side.” And then something about a takedown of a news reporter by a governor candidate I believe in Arizona? Maybe Nevada? that happened yesterday ( I have no idea what she was talking about ) “When did you ever hear a Democrat let loose like that on anyone? She won that election right then in 30 seconds. I would love for the Dems to grow a pair.”

      As a New Deal Dem speaking, if these modern Dems believe this is going to be a winning issue for them after their decades of incompetence and negligence – I think they have another thing coming.

      1. ChrisRUEcon

        > if these modern Dems believe this is going to be a winning issue for them after their decades of incompetence and negligence – I think they have another thing coming

        Yep. They’re gonna fundraise off of it, for sure … but yeah, a lot of people were online today correctly pointing the finger at the Dems.

        1. Questa Nota

          Campaign fundraisers showing that Notorious RBG with her tiny dumbbells, and some weights.

      2. CitizenSissy

        And the disaffected Democrats will vote for whom? A Republican to speed up the flip to a full theocracy?

        1. drumlin woodchuckles

          Well . . . . ” if the only way out is through” . . . then Accelerationism is the only choice left.

    3. ChrisRUEcon

      Indeed. This tweet and others like it were popular today. I know #TwitterINRL (is not real life), but when I see stuff like this going around more than usual, and in response to vapid-Urkaine-flag-avi-liberals, it gives me a little hope. Dems are feckless, and should be made to pay.

  5. Tom

    The D&D tweet: D&D has a lengthy set of rules to cover a wide range of things that might happen in the game. Obviously, there will be edge cases or times where the rule doesn’t make sense in context or times where applying a rule wouldn’t be appropriate. For players or game masters who are narrowly focused on following the rules (often referred to as Rules Lawyers), this can lead to some amusing/frustrating moments but any group worth playing with will know when to “fudge” the die roll or the rule so that everyone playing can have fun. Most role-playing games have a section in the rules reminding players that the rules take a back seat to cool, fun things happening.

  6. jr

    I think the D&D reference goes something like there are times when the rules should be bent or even broken in order for the game to proceed in a manner satisfying to the group. D&D’s rules explicitly state that playing the game is more important than following the rules to the letter. In fact, it advises you to make up or change the rules as necessary. Like when I got my partner to play *once* by giving her halfling thief character a talking cat familiar who could pick pockets and locks.

  7. antidlc

    re: Maskstravaganza: Medical professionals who don’t mask up, a thread:

    I posted a few weeks ago about how livid I was with the number of unmasked doctors, patients, and staff. We walked out of several appointments because we were told masks were required when we made the appointments. A family member really needed medical attention. Fortunately, we were able to find another doctor that required masks.

    We just recently cancelled dental appointments because there was no mask requirement for the staff and the waiting room.

    I just want to scream, “WHAT IS WRONG WITH THESE PEOPLE???” I never went to medical or dental school, but I know what an airborne virus is.

    1. NotTimothyGeithner

      I went to a covid funeral this morning. I’m not sure how well known the cause of death was, but the deceased had long term health issues. He could have easily died when he did, covid or not, but there were so few people wearing masks.

  8. Steve H.

    > (Yves dubbed it “crapification”)

    Regular Goog gives this as the earliest use:

    2006: The crapification of America

    However, Ngrams dives deeper:

    1996: New York – Volume 29 – Page 100

    Now, this is a very fine word, and there are many historical cases of multiple discovery/simultaneous invention. I had to investigate, I organize notes via Dewey Decimal, and the Library of Congress Catalog was useless. The best category I could find was:

    658.5/6 Product obsolescence.

    though this does not give the full aroma of the phrase. Rather like ‘price gouging’ has more poetry than “338.5/23 Predatory pricing.”

    1. Socal Rhino

      I think planned obsolescence is just a subset of crapification. As I understand the latter, it describes the end state of neoliberal policy, where all quality is driven out by minimization of cost.

      1. Tom Doak

        Is that the end state of neoliberal policy, or just the end state of capitalism? Or is there really no difference?

        1. hunkerdown

          It’s an expected consequence of increasing competitive appropriation along the production process, so it’s fair to ascribe that dynamic to capitalism as a whole.

      2. Steve H,

        Yes, ‘planned’ seems to overstate the agency. Perhaps ‘descent with modification’ with a word-play on ‘descent.’ As in, ‘race to the bottom.’ Where the covariants are “Fast, Cheap, and Good… pick two.”

        In delving, it appears that Yves’ first use in 2014 was, um, clarifying:

        > Yet despite the view among experts that a modern plague of some sort is a matter of when, not if, the commercialized practice of medicine in the US has rendered the healthcare establishment particularly ill-equipped to deal with it. This is yet another example of crapification, but with far more dire consequences.

    2. Bugs

      Anecdote of crapification today at home – 6 year old Samsung fridge stops cooling on the fridge side. Repair guy comes out (promptly, which was nice) does a few things inside and after about 5 minutes says “the cooling circuit is dead, there’s oil in it and we don’t do that repair anymore because it’s half the price of the fridge and it will happen again a year from now. Moreover, 6 years is the average replacement time for this model.” He recommended I replace it with the same thing but the 2022 version. It was 2K€ in 2016, about the same now. He’s not selling anything, his business is just repairs and he didn’t send me to a store or a website for a new one. His attitude was, shall we say, one of total indifference. I did have to pay 65€ for the house call though. Galling.

    3. Acacia

      OT, but I must say I’m impressed at your use of Dewey Decimal! How do you capture the notes? Cards, electronic, or… ?

      Luhmann used a system called Zettelkasten, but I couldn’t quite wrap my head around it.

      1. Steve H.

        Cut & paste into a spreadsheet. My home list of Dewey numbers is over 2000 rows. I’m not saying that’s a good thing.

        Family history with the printed word. My grandaddy was a printer, father started out in journalism school, me at nine years old doing layout with old-school rubber cement. I’ve worked in both new and used bookstores, where categories are literally related in space. Some you need a ladder to get to.

        Dewey is based on Bacon is based on Aristotle, so there is some internal consistency. Roget used the same frame for his Thesaurus.

  9. Judith

    It is important to remember that Biden chaired the Clarence Thomas Supreme Court nomination hearings.One more way the Democrats are responsible for the overturning of Roe v Wade today (and whatever Thomas has planned for the future).


    As chair of the Judiciary Committee, Biden could well have “done something” in 1991 as his colleagues verbally battered and humiliated Hill. He oversaw a rushed process, against the wishes of a number of female colleagues at the time. He allowed a panel of 14 white men to bully and demean a young black woman. Biden himself appeared consistently more sympathetic to Thomas, whom he allowed to testify twice, while his accuser testified only once.


    And the idea that he simply “couldn’t” do anything for Hill back then is very close to a lie.

    Biden presided over the questioning of Hill. If you watch video of Hill’s interrogation and Thomas’ questioning, the position of power Biden held — and the pals-y way he treated Thomas — is evident.

    Consider that Hill was only allowed to testify once, while Thomas was able to do so twice. Thomas was even allowed to speak to FBI investigators twice — something that Biden should have been very aware of, yet stumbled over during the second Thomas hearing, referring to the investigators as being employed by the New York Times, instead of the federal government.

    In this hearing, Biden all but sat next to Thomas to hold his hand and tell him what to say.

    “I assume that is a misunderstanding,” Biden said to Thomas, after reading an excerpt claiming Thomas initially told FBI investigators that “he had asked the woman out a few times and after she declined, eventually dropped all advances.”

    “That is incorrect,” Biden helpfully concludes, not even phrasing it as a question.

    “That is wrong,” Thomas agrees, before claiming that when he was “reinvestigated,” an FBI agent “stated that it was wrong and indicated that he was distressed that this matter had been reported that way.” Biden accepts this as fact, despite there being no evidence that an FBI investigator actually said any such thing.

    The whole time Biden is supposedly “questioning” Thomas again after Hill’s testimony, he seems to be effectively coaching the judge. He spends a great deal of time guiding Thomas to indicate that he did talk to Hill about personal things — such conversations, he helpfully told Thomas, are “impossible for anyone in the world to not have in a business setting” — but that the conversations were benign.

      1. drumlin woodchuckles

        ” Scranton Joe Buchanan”? Could that become his political nickname?

        Alternating with ” Joe Demento”?

          1. ambrit

            Quiche! Send him to Sarajevo on a diplomatic trip! (Somebody warn Dr. Jill to skip that trip?)

    1. Watt4Bob

      The episode you describe is how I date the final surrender of the democratic party.

      Faced with losing to the better-funded republicans, the democratic party simply switched sides.

      If you can’t beat ’em, join ’em.

      We were later encouraged to believe that Bill Clinton invented “third-way politics” all by his lonesome self, which had the perverse effect of absolving Biden, Pelosi, Feinstein and the rest of the party for their decades long charade of “fighting the good fight

    2. The Rev Kev

      Just consider yourselves lucky that you did not have this 1990s version of Joe Biden as President instead of the fail, elderly wreck that you have at the moment.

  10. drumlin woodchuckles

    ” Too bad we don’t have a Democrat Lincoln to fire some generals ’til we get a Grant.”

    Even more too bad is that what we have is a Buchanan Democrat party staffed at all levels with Democrat Buchanans.

    The Party Machinery and lines of fortresses is still pretty powerful. Powerful enough that it would be hard for any group of “Lincoln Democrats” to conquer it all, purge every Buchanan Democrat out of the Party at every level, and make the machinery and lines of forts exclusively and monopolistically their own. Part of that purge would have to involve purging millions of Pink Pussy Hat Clintonite Buchanan-Democrat voters from out of the Party.

    Let that Goldman-Sachs-Feminist filth vote Republican.

    1. Bruno

      It’s not a “Buchanan Democratic Party.” its a *Johnson* Demoncrudic Party, and has been ever since November 22 1963.

  11. Laughingsong

    I’ve been thinking of late that, given how things seem to be spiraling/ratcheting up to a new ’11’ of cray-cray, that maybe your introductory quotes are now becoming just that bit too tepid for the times.

    People may or may not agree, but if there are some that do, what would be some new quotes that maybe better capture the brain-splattering weirdness? Since I am not hugely educated or well-read (other than comics :-D) I think others would find some.

    For me I would open with this one:

    “We’re gonna explode? I don’t wanna explode!” — Jayne Cobb, Serenity

      1. Laughingsong

        Another and maybe one of the best I’ve heard in a while:

        “Power is dangerous. It corrupts the best and attracts the worst. Power is only given to those who are prepared to lower themselves to pick it up.” — Ragnar Lothbrok, Vikings

    1. britzklieg

      Some old quotes still do:

      “Because history is a tragedy, not a melodrama.” – I.F. Stone

      “”When the Russians see that on their radar, they are going to go absolutely APE .” – Buck Turgidson

    2. ambrit

      F. Scott Fitzgerald: “They were careless people, Republicans and Democrats- they smashed up things and creatures and then retreated back into their money or their vast carelessness or whatever it was that kept them together, and let other people clean up the mess they had made.”

    3. Alan Roxdale

      The ruling class is faced with imminent loss of power and a change of ideology. Of course they are going to stir up crises, foreign and domestic, in an effort to bamboozle the population and stay in power. Amidst all this chaos, have you heard even one person saying we need to restore the American working or middle classes to overcome our problems?

          1. drumlin woodchuckles

            America’s Christian Sharia Law Fascists will challenge the 中国共产党 (中共) (CCP) ‘s
            attempt to take command within the US territory, if that is what you are implying.

    4. Robert Gray

      ‘Of course, they do not call themselves the weak. They call themselves the good. — Friedrich Nietzsche

      Many people nowadays realise (and some still lament) that the whole idea of ‘reform’ has been turned on its head. (Some blame Clinton; some go back further to the Movie Star; others can no doubt make a case for an even earlier onset.) Back in my formative years, I had a similar disabusing experience with the concept of ‘leadership’. In my military service, lo these many decades ago, I learned that all ‘leadership’ really means is how much you are willing-and-able to fuck with the people under your authority. I reckon that explains, at least partially, why Bob’s warning — ‘Don’t follow leaders …’ — resonated with so many.

  12. Lee

    An audible antidote other than a bird call: The Millions Of Ways Animals Sense The World (33:18 minutes).

    This is a delightful interview with science journalist Ed Yong, intrepid pandemic reporter, on today’s Science Friday program covering quite another topic as explored in his new book, An Immense World: How Animal Senses Reveal The Hidden Realms Around Us.

  13. antidlc

    It’s hopeless.

    A group of maskless people attending a long COVID event.

    Great to see a packed room today at our learning and sharing #LongCOVID event.

    Four places coming together to learn from each other 💙

    Find out more about our Long COVID service – http://bit.ly/MClongcovid

    Be sure to view the image.

    antidlc shakes head and weeps.

    1. jr

      The warm, caring smiles on all those !diot’s faces, so certain of their essential goodness, is the icing on the cake. You know that at least one of them has recently lectured someone in righteous tones about the threat of long COVID. Truly, we are doomed. If anyone from the Galactic Council is reading this, take the wheel.

      “…sharing long COVID event.”


  14. CGKen

    At 11:19am the Democratic Party of IL sent a fundraising email off the abortion decision. In case anyone doubted what the Dem response would be.

    1. jo6pac

      Yep, right on time and with all that cash they can spend it on more consultants and still do nothing but complain.

    2. Wukchumni

      The Donkey Show is much more interested in apportions from their constituency than abortions, because there isn’t any money in the latter.

    3. Kurtismayfield

      Write them back asking them for a picture of all the dry powder, because now is the time to use it. Tell them you want proof that they have been keeping it before they get another red cent from you.

      1. Keith Howard

        How does one ‘write them back’? My experience is that one is never offered any such opportunity. Probably many readers/writers here have noticed that when one ‘contacts’ a Senator or Rep via email, one must choose the ‘subject’ of one’s missive from a drop-down list. This list never includes the subject I have in mind, such as Medicare-for-All or big pharma monopoly crimes, or why the f-ck did they vote for the latest (largest) Pentagon appropriation. And how would I actually give Nancy P or the Democratic Party a real sense of how I despise them? If a letter doesn’t suggest a possible contribution of $100K or more, why would anyone expect anything but a bot to read it?

        These are not rhetorical questions, and I would very much appreciate some hints on actually getting through. But an old motto of mine is, Intelligence is manifested by action. To hell with talk. We are being forced either to accept life as slaves/mice or to defend ourselves.

        1. Jason Boxman

          I’ve taken to say just writing ‘fk you’ when unsubscribing from all these fundraising lists I never signed up for. I got tired of politely clicking unsubscribe and moving on. These liberal Democrat fundraising groups are like parasites.

    4. Jason Boxman

      I’ve actually been thinking, that now is a good time for an extensive review of what liberal Democrat NGOs and women’s rights groups have been doing with all the money for the past 50 years.

      Who’s done right? Who’s been grifting? How much has the executive staff been making, corrected for today’s dollars? Most of these groups ought to be burned to the ground today.

      1. Lambert Strether Post author

        > I’ve actually been thinking, that now is a good time for an extensive review of what liberal Democrat NGOs and women’s rights groups have been doing with all the money for the past 50 years.

        The NGOs have soaked up all the energy that ought to have been driving a militant, principled party, and diverted it into verticals doing fundraising operations directed at the 1%. That’s worth a lot!

  15. John Steinbach

    Organized resistance is the only sane response to the ongoing insanity, & not just against the Roe repeal. This process is the only one that has ever worked, both in the U.S. & around the globe. If the struggle fails to materialize, the fascists will be quite happy to fill the vacuum. Lines will be drawn.

  16. scott s.

    I don’t know about this McClellan “got his ass kicked”. I guess one could argue that concern over having his army divided by a major river and the vulnerability of his base of supply was given too much consideration and the seven days maybe didn’t need to unfold the way they did. But given that McClellan did take the decision to consolidate his army the execution seems about as well handled as could be expected at this point in the war. And concluding Malvern Hill I think demonstrated McClellan was not going to have his “ass kicked”. At South Mountain McClellan was more of the ass kicker than kickee, and at Antietam it was more of a brawl than any sort of kicking.

    Now “headquarters in the saddle” Pope and Second Manassas, that was an ass kicking. I think McC was a bit passive-aggressive in supporting Pope, though I think his protege Porter took a bum political vice military rap.

    The Joint Committee on the Conduct of the War, sort of like the J6 Committee more about show than facts.

    1. LifelongLib

      I’ve read that McClellan’s plan of attacking Richmond from the Virginia peninsula was a good one, and that Lincoln sabotaged it at the last minute by moving part of McClellan’s army in front of Washington. But if McClellan had been successful and the South had surrendered in 1862, slavery would probably have remained legal. Although it cost a lot of lives it was ultimately better for the U.S. that the war lasted longer and slavery was abolished.

      1. JBird4049

        McClellan’s problem was that he too loved his army, which is a great tragedy of many commanders; the best of them often love that which they have to destroy to be successful. General George B. McClellan formed the Army of the Potomac into the successful army that won the war, but unlike General Ulysses S. Grant, he was not able to use as in slowly destroy it to win that war.

      2. Lambert Strether Post author

        > if McClellan had been successful and the South had surrendered in 1862, slavery would probably have remained legal.

        That was in fact McClellan’s goal.

        McClellan also thought the goal of the war was to capture the enemy’s capital. Grant (and Lincoln) knew better: The goal is to destroy the enemy’s forces. Same dichotomy today in Ukraine.

        As for the Peninsular Campaign debacle, McClellan’s excuse-making, and McClellan’s generalship generally, here are the McClellan episodes at the Civil War podcast.

  17. Wukchumni

    I’m glad that Roe vs Wade went away so the Donkey Show can finally concentrate on trans rights without the distraction.

  18. John Beech

    So the overturned Roe. Telegraphed it so as to defuse riots.

    I, personally, am against abortion – but – I also hold that while I’m entitled to my opinion, ‘my’ opinion should count for about a butterfly’s fart in a woman’s decision. Put another way . . . her decision is none of my business.

    Sure wish Justice Alito, and the Roberts Court had seen it that way. Sigh.

  19. Tom Doak

    Lambert, I’ve been totally on board with your questions about a theory of the case for 1/6, but you finally said something I disagree with:

    “If the rioters managed to stop the count, the House moves the count elsewhere and holds it later. How does that not happen?”

    If the count had been postponed, who knows what might have happened? Would that have been a precipitation for one or both sides to take up arms? There are people in my home state who would certainly do that if they felt a strong signal that it would be safe to do so.

    And then how would law enforcement react? I’ve always agreed with you that the military itself is not very likely to support a coup, but if nobody orders the military in — and 34 governors wouldn’t call on the National Guard, either — they’re not going to get involved until things get pretty ugly.

    I’m not saying that would have led to a Donald Trump dictatorship, but it’s possible that’s what some of his followers were hoping for. It might well have led to a lot more violence than what we saw on 1/6. So kudos to Mike Pence for not taking us there, even though he won’t have my vote for dog catcher if he runs for national office again.

    1. Lambert Strether Post author

      > If the count had been postponed, who knows what might have happened? Would that have been a precipitation for one or both sides to take up arms?

      We don’t know, do we? However, since the House Committee’s proceedings have led to a post-midterms postponement of the only entity remotely likely to take up arms, the Proud Boys, I tend to think the possibility was not great. Put another way: There’s been no aghastitude about the possibility, so it’s unlikely (though perhaps we will find out that this is the “backup plan” of which Thompson speaks).

      Again, the guy with the buffalo hat and the horns…

      1. drumlin woodchuckles

        . . . was diversionary cover for the Proud Boys and the Zip Tie Guys-in-Black.

        “Somebody” was sure beating on those Capitol Police Officers while buffalo hat guy was posing for cellphone videos.

      2. Tom Doak

        I wasn’t meaning to imply that there was a plan to take up arms. I strongly doubt so because if there was, they would already be front and center in the 1/6 hearings.

        I’m just speculating that if the count had been successfully delayed, and there was “power laying in the street” as you often refer to it, someone would have tried to pick it up, instead of just cosplaying.

  20. Pavel

    Dems voting for evil Liz Cheney in Wyoming sums up the current state of USA politics. Sigh.

    1. ambrit

      They are just following the precedent set down here in Mississippi when Thad Cochran made a deal with the Democrat Party for them to run a get out the vote drive in the 2014 Republican primary, (Mississippi has open primarys,) and vote Establishment Republican. It worked, and the very popular Tea Party challenger lost by a whisker.
      See: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2014_United_States_Senate_election_in_Mississippi#:~:text=Cochran%20defeated%20McDaniel%20in%20the,was%20funded%20(according%20to%20F.E.C.

    2. Utah

      Democrats failed to nominate a Senate candidate in Utah in hopes that Evan McMullen can beat Mike Lee. I’m not saying a Democrat has a hair’s chance of winning, but I don’t have a lot of confidence in the caucus system that did this to us (of which I attended and participated in remotely).

      However, I’ve also been working at the local county election division for the summer and I’ve fielded a lot of phone calls from people who don’t understand the process at all, so it doesn’t shock me why both parties want the antiquated caucus system to remain. This kind of information is what should be in high school government classes and explained every year to the people. Most people don’t even understand how the primary works. It’s very sad, and I’m doing my best to explain it to each and every person that calls with questions.

    3. Pat

      I may not think it will be enough to save her, but what is to stop outraged Republicans doing a Lieberman on her if it is.

      As Cheney is now almost 30 points behind her leading opponent AND that is pretty much every Democrat who voted in 2020, it really is a Hail Mary move. But say she pulls it off. Not sure if it is possible legally , but if the top Republican in the primary, there are more than one challenger, were to form a new party… The top Republican is a Trump endorsed candidate named Harriet Hageman and say she forms the Hageman For Wyoming party, Liz will lose in the general. Hageman would have all her voters and most if not all of the votes of all the other Republican challengers, while Liz would have her remaining Republican voters and the Democrats who weren’t voting for her hoping it might clear the way for an actual Democrat to win. She would be toast.

  21. Watt4Bob

    That NYT article is an invitation to accept our dreary political situation as somehow a reversion to ‘normal‘.

    It is only a reversion to normal in the sense that class warfare, the repression of the working class by the 1% and their minions is the perennial political struggle.

    What ever explanation you accept for the passing of the New Deal into law, and the brief period of wide-spread prosperity post WWII, it can indeed be understood as progress and realignment of American politics and class relations.

    The authors characterization of the New Deal as an illusory example of “linear progress of the welfare state” is an attempt to obscure the actual nature of that realignment.

    If the New Deal was a temporary blip in the otherwise stable political history of our country, it was so only because the rich and powerful are, and have always been actively organized in the repression of the working classes efforts to improve their economic condition.

    The problem is not that “The Gerontocracy of the Democratic Party Doesn’t Understand“, the problem is they’ve been bought off, Biden, Pelosi, Feinstein and rest found themselves losing to the better funded, bought-off republicans, and decided ‘if you can’t beat ’em, join ’em’.

    This happened gradually, and was mostly complete long before Bill Clinton and the vaunted “third-way” politics was offered as an explanation.

    We’re all talking as if Joe Biden’s assistance in placing Clarence Thomas on the bench was an example of “…institutional stability and orderly partisan competition…” as opposed to vivid evidence of the democratic party’s historic capitulation in the face of the people’s perennial enemy.

    1. JBird4049

      Maybe. I do think that the leaders of both parties are willfully ignorant and unable or unwilling to see just how likely their respective parties are likely to be destroyed in the near future.

  22. Paradan

    Overturning RvW is gotta be the biggest jobs program for the liberal elite in decades. This ought to help out with the over-production of elites issue. 50 states is 50 governments, there’s gonna be so many new god dam NGO’s being formed their gonna have to use an AI to generate names for them all. I’ll bet right now all across the liberal elite, senior members are calling up nieces, nephews, their friends kids, etc.. and letting them know that as soon as they graduate they’ve got a job waiting for them, of course for the rest of us..5 years of 5% to fight inflation.

      1. Watt4Bob

        You were once upset with me for saying ignorance was a verb.

        It sure seems as if our country is in a very important sense busy being ignorant.

  23. Andrew Watts

    RE: How Elites Misread Public Opinion

    What an ignorant and/or naive view of how the US government functions. The assumption that the political elites of our dominant minority would follow political opinion if only they knew it is ahistorical at best. The minority of elites never considered public opinion as a governing force beginning with the inception of the country.

    When the second Continental Congress issued the declaration of independence they did so on behalf of people who had no say in the matter, or perhaps never wanted to break with Great Britain. Nor did they act at the behest of colonial governments. They didn’t exist outside of New Hampshire who had a state government and South Carolina which had a provisional government already in place. Rather the self-appointed delegates of the Congress urged a convention in Massachusetts to form a government and other colonies soon followed this example. Except one notable exception where Congress temporarily exercised direct rule in Pennsylvania by forming a board of war and appointing an executive council to govern the rebellious colony.

    The exercise of force and their success legitimized their actions. The apathy, if not outright hostility to the public opinion, continued onward into the formation of a new federal government with the adoption of the Constitution of 1789. It doesn’t get much better the further you read into American history. Where public opinion was viewed as some thing to be manipulated, or suppressed, if it deviated from the whims of the ruling class.

    1. Lex

      This. Everything that’s good about the US has been forced onto the order established by the Constitution and even Revolution. None of it was about “the people” as your description makes clear. Washington wasn’t Cincinnatus, he was Caesar. And we’re never going to fix anything until we quit fetishizing the constitution that was written of, by and for oligarchs. (Except Paine, he was the real.)

      1. Andrew Watts

        That isn’t likely. America’s civic religion like any other maintains certain dogmas that cannot be questioned and are beyond reproach. I think this will eventually lead to a situation where the contradictions are too great to be ignored by even the dimmest among us.

        The concept of a unified set of regulations, laws, or even levels of government will prove itself to be unviable. Which is to say that in the wake of Roe v. Wade being overturned the reactionary right will overplay it’s hand. Like they always do.

    2. Jason Boxman

      Indeed, it’s interesting that a not insubstantial number of colonists were totally cool with English rule. Perhaps Paine’s Common Sense could be seen as the earliest form of propaganda on this continent?

      1. JBird4049

        Not quite. Thomas Paine was most certainly not an advocate for elite rule. He was straight up for self government. His writings are a basis for the war though as well as political thought.

        About a third of the colonists were against British rule (or more accurately the then current incompetence and corruption of the government and its rule). What eventually got a majority of the American colonists into becoming secessionists or at least not active loyalists was the successive overreacting, stupidity, and arrogance of the British government and military. The Bill of Rights gives some explanation for the war; it started as a protest against taxes with a small minority advocating independence and it ended with most Americans angry enough at the actions of the British to want them to go away. In trying to crush the rebellion, they created a successful effort for independence.

        1. Andrew Watts

          Historians like to claim that the American Revolution had that level of support without any basis. If the revolution was that popular the Continental Army wouldn’t have had a problem with keeping over a hundred thousand troops under arms at any given time. Washington never oversaw much less commanded anything close to those kind of numbers.

          Anyway, if you were a small farmer the last thing you’d want is the Continental Army or the British trampling your crops. Perhaps they might even confiscate your livestock at bayonet point even if they paid you in some kind of currency.

        2. Lambert Strether Post author

          > What eventually got a majority of the American colonists into becoming secessionists or at least not active loyalists was the successive overreacting, stupidity, and arrogance of the British government and military.

          I’m reading The March of Folly and indeed that is Tuchman’s thesis, in the section on how the British lost America. (The first part is about how the Papacy brought about the Reformation and nearly destroyed “our democracy” the Catholic church.

          1. petal

            Lambert, that looks like a good book. Thank you. Going to check it out.
            Have been doing genealogy and found a couple ancestors that fought in the Revolution on the Continental side. It looks like they would re-up every several months. They were from Ulster County, NY and of Dutch extraction or married to Dutch women, and whose families had been there from the beginning of New Amsterdam. One of the family had been flogged by the British after the British took over NY because he refused to celebrate Christmas according to the British calendar and he celebrated it how and when the Dutch did. I wish I could go back and talk to these people and get their thoughts about the Revolution. Your book might be a great dovetail. This question/topic has been something I’ve been thinking about a lot lately.

      2. Andrew Watts

        Personally, I wouldn’t disagree with Common Sense being a work of propaganda. Paine was an idealist and a brilliant writer. I think his writing made the overall idea of an American nation born from the Thirteen Colonies a viable project in people’s minds. Washington saw the value of it when he had it read to his troops, but his motivation was to boost the morale of his forces.

        I don’t think propaganda is necessarily a bad thing. The only way to effectively mobilize the masses is through a common basis of appeal. There’s an argument to be made that there wouldn’t be such a thing as public opinion without propaganda which can unite “the people” in thought or deed.

        1. The Rev Kev

          I often thought it strange that Thomas Paine has been shuffled mostly out of sight and I do not see much reference to him. But this has meant that Alexander Hamilton has been idealized as the hero of the Revolution by the establishment. Maybe you will know that times have changed when the plebs can get to see a play called “Paine – The Musical.”

          1. JBird4049

            I don’t think any reasonable person would claim that independence was overwhelming supported; I have never read anywhere of less than one fourth of the population being pro-independence. That is large enough for a real fight to begin in New England and then spread into the southern colonies where the British were their worst enemy.

            The war started (and where and when nobody actually thought it would start) at Lexington and Concord, and then for real at Bunker/Breeds Hill was in New England where the Sons of Liberty, the most extreme of the organized pro independence advocates, were the strongest. If there wasn’t any strong support for independence, then there could not have been a military large enough and eventually able enough to fight the British. If Parliament had been less corrupt, the King less pigheaded, and the military less ham handed, even brutal at times, they would not have gotten the fence sitters to join the Continentals.

            It was a process of response and counter response where the actions of the British, which included mostly ignoring the one-third of the population that was loyal at the beginning of the war, pushed more people into supporting independence. Also, people may not support something, but they will want to not worry about punitive measures and roaming armies. And who was doing the most punishments while too often lumping the different factions into one group? Think of the various wars that the United States has been in the past sixty years. The populations eventually just wanted the occupiers to just leave and have the local leaders run things.

            On Thomas Paine, I think you are right about him, but I also think that he was effective because much of the population was already thinking similarly. His writings just put it into a more potent organized, written form. Don’t forget that the revolution and the United States came the close of the Age of Enlightenment and that is what forms both the foundation and the skeleton of the government and even society; just why Alexander Hamilton got his own hagiographic play instead of Paine is obvious when noticing that Hamilton was proponent of finance and industry with an elite class in control whereas Paine was a proponent of liberty, democracy, and human rights, not of rule by elites or by mob rule. Paine’s contributions were minimized by the American establishment and almost guillotined during the Reign of Terror because he spoke against the injustices being committed.

            So, yes we should have Paine-The Musical. I actually like Alexander Hamilton despite his flaws and his support for rule by the elites. But Paine needs to noticed more and his contributions known more.

  24. Glen

    Sorry to tell you about air travel, but –

    You’re not chartering a jet, going to private gates (no TSA lines), easy walk through Customs, traveling to other countries despite official travel bans?

    You’re just middle class, we’ve passed peak travel a while ago. The major airlines took over twenty years but they turn good jobs into bad jobs and (between that and fuel costs) here we are. Pothole Pete is there to make sure profits and subsidies stay high.

    1. Questa Nota

      Your suitcase has had all of its available taxes extracted, so you will continue to pay via non-monetary crapification means. The romance of air travel disappeared a long time ago for many, replaced by the humiliations of endless lines, automated non-response units, tiny seats, and snacks masquerading as meals. You wanted a blanket and pillow? A window seat? Leg room? Pay up.

      Like that old Alaska Airlines ad that was way too poignant, with the pay toilet exigencies forcing some creative search for coins via bill exchange. Something like four quarters for a dollar, two quarters for five dollars, a quarter for ten dollars.

  25. Pat

    Never forget that the Democrats actively sought and supported anti abortion candidates, which made codifying Roe v, Wade impossible all while running on the importance of the court.


    Schumer attempts to deflect but… Remember Schumer both urged and supported Manchin’s 2018 run over a more progressive Democratic challenger. All of Casey’s challengers disappeared before the primary.


    Unless and until the Democrats make it clear that support for abortion being between a woman, her doctor and maybe her partner and her deity AND that government must not intervene in that choice by restricting abortion is mandatory for all Democrats every outraged declaration is fund raising and nothing more. Because they will have sabotaged any move they might make.

    1. Lambert Strether Post author

      > Never forget that the Democrats actively sought and supported anti abortion candidates, which made codifying Roe v, Wade impossible all while running on the importance of the court.

      Remember when [genuflects] Hillary picked a pro-lifer as her VP candidate…

  26. Tom Stone

    Gosh, if only the Democrats controlled the Presidency and both houses of Congress they could pass a bill legalizing a Woman’s right to choose.
    Or at least make every National Politician go on the record with their position on legalized abortion.

    1. The Rev Kev

      A force the vote campaign? The last time that was tried, the people – like Jimmy Dore – that were pushing for it got demonized by the Democrats and all good-thinkers and got roasted for their trouble. That is why colossal bills like the $6 trillion CARES Act got passed by voice affirmation – so that no politician had to go on record with what their actual vote was. It served well to hide the fact that the “progressives” also vote for whatever the Democrats want as well. Now would be the time to organize something like you suggest as the midterms are so close and it would be a great way to put their feet to the fire but that is precisely why it will never be done. And if it went to the floor of the House, do not be surprised if it ends up on a voice affirmation too courtesy of Pelosi and Schiff.

  27. Tom Stone

    I have had some success by framing abortion rights as a class issue.
    Coat hangers are for poor people, private hospital suites are for our betters.

  28. jr

    Shocking report: Life in the Metaverse sucks.

    Dore discusses a study in which 18 volunteers spent a week in Meta. Two dropped out immediately. The rest complained of anxiety and physical discomfort:


    Who could have guessed?

  29. antidlc

    These ER doctors said profit-driven company officials pressed them to work while they had Covid symptoms

    In January, Sonali Patel, an emergency department doctor at a big Houston hospital, became ill while on duty. After testing positive for Covid, she said she told her boss she had the coronavirus and was going home.

    “He insisted I stay and finish the shift,” she recalled in an interview with NBC News and in a recent lawsuit. “I told him it’s not the safe thing to do. We have a ton of immunocompromised patients and we were putting them at risk.”

    By requesting time off from work while sick with Covid, Patel breached an unofficial policy promoted by officials at the hospital staffing company she works for — American Physician Partners — according to the lawsuit filed against the company by her and seven physician colleagues.

    Those doctors say American Physician Partners’ officials pressed them to work while ill, even if they contracted Covid and could spread it to patients and colleagues, according to the suit filed in Harris County, Texas, district court in March. Physicians who worked while sick were celebrated, while those who stayed home with Covid had their pay docked, the lawsuit says.

    This country is broken.

  30. LawnDart

    Re; Roe v Wade

    Watch the birdie!

    This is a great opportunity for work in the shadows.

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