2:00PM Water Cooler 10/25/2022

By Lambert Strether of Corrente

Bird Song of the Day

Golden Vireo, Cañon del Sabino, Teotitlán, Oaxaca, Mexico.

* * *


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

“Here’s food for thought, had Ahab time to think; but Ahab never thinks; he only feels, feels, feels” –Herman Melville, Moby Dick

“The logic of the insult and the logic of scientific classification represent the two extreme poles of what a classification may be in the social world.” –Pierre Bourdieu, Classification Struggles

Biden Administration

“Federal appeals court temporarily halts Biden’s student debt relief program” [Politico]. • Oops. I guess the Department of Education won’t be able to develop its mailing list for collections after all.


* * *

“Ron DeSantis is Donald Trump with brains and without the drama” [Financial Times (NL)]. “DeSantis, 44, boasts Yale and Harvard degrees and what some describe as a photographic memory. The recovery effort appeared to be in solid hands as he rattled off statistics and organisational plans with a vigour and fluency that President Biden’s handlers can only dream of.” I didn’t know DeSantis was, like George W. Bush, a Yalie. Was DeSantis, too, a towel-snapping frat boy? Apparently so: “At Yale, he also found refuge at the Delta Kappa Epsilon fraternity, an athlete-heavy club that featured barrels of beer and prominent former members, including the Bushes and Supreme Court justice Brett Kavanaugh. In his recent pandemic memoir, What Just Happened: Notes on a Long Year, the author and critic Charles Finch recalled two things about his former classmate, known then as ‘D’: he did an uncanny impression of baseball star Jose Canseco and, according to a friend, would tell dates he liked Thai food, but pronounced it “thigh”. If they corrected him, Finch wrote, he would find an excuse to leave. ‘He didn’t want a girlfriend who corrected him.'” • Of course, W’s persona worked out very well for him. Maybe DeSantis’s will as well. Then again. Trump is sui generis:

“Without an Economic Message, Democrats Will Never Close the Deal” [Jeet Heer, The Nation]. “Just like the Labour Party, the Democrats have surrendered on the field of economic debate.” • I don’t think that’s true. The Democrats don’t feel they need to make an economic argument because their PMC base is doing fine, just fine. In any case, it’s far too late for some kinda pivot to “the economy” in the midterms; two weeks of messaging won’t do the trick. Biden had the opportunity to take the railroads by the scruff of the neck on behalf of the unions, but he punted ’til after the midterms as well (sorry for mixed metaphors). Same with Starbucks, Amazon, everything. Tactically, in any case, Heer is wrong. “Dance with the one that brung ya,” which the working class is not. Amp up the existing messaging. More hysteria on Ukraine, please, along with election stealing, racism, abortion, “our democracy,” Orange Man bad, and so forth.

“GOP wave threatens blue-state strongholds” [The Hill]. “Democrats are increasingly worried that Republicans will make gains in deep-blue strongholds such as New York and Oregon as the winds appear to shift in the GOP’s favor ahead of next month’s midterm elections. The GOP is making competitive bids to take back governorships in both states, which reliably go for Democrats in presidential elections. The Republican gains could also extend to the House, where the GOP is making inroads in the aforementioned states, along with Rhode Island and others. elsewhere too there are House districts of various shades of blue where this trend is emerging. Take, for example, Rhode Island’s 2nd Congressional District: The seat has long been considered a safely Democratic one, having been represented by outgoing Rep. Jim Langevin (D) for two decades. But recent polling has shown Republican Allan Fung leading Democrat Seth Magaziner, including a Suffolk University-Boston Globe poll released last week that had Fung at 45 percent compared to Magaziner at 37 percent. And the race has been rated a “toss up” by the nonpartisan election handicapper Cook Political Report. In Oregon’s 6th Congressional District, which has similarly been seen as favoring Democrats and which went for Biden by double digits in 2020, the race has also been rated a “toss up” by Cook. Though the district is not quite as blue as other House seats, the competitive environment has required Democrats to move around their resources.”

“In the final days before the midterms, Democrats are deploying their party’s biggest assets in Pennsylvania” [FiveThirtyEight]. “[T]here have been way fewer polls in 2022 than in past cycles. In 2010, pollsters conducted almost 1,700 polls of individual races for Senate, House and governor between early May and late October. By comparison, we have slightly more than half that number this time around — about 900. But this dropoff isn’t sudden; it’s been a more gradual decline over the past decade and a half. Interestingly, as the number of surveys of races at the state or district level has fallen, the number of national polls that ask about the generic ballot — which asks respondents which party they plan to support in their local U.S. House election — has more than doubled in 2022. This could be down to a couple of factors: For one thing, politics today are more nationalized than in the past, so pollsters may be incentivized to conduct national surveys, which will get more clicks and views. And it’s also potentially more economical — and safer — to poll a national audience on different issues and the generic ballot — which, for instance, can produce multiple stories for a media organization — than to poll individual races at the state level. The former involves weighting polls by information about the national population, whereas state-level polls may require more difficult choices to properly interpret results, as we’ve consistently seen larger errors in certain states than at the national level.” • Another classification struggle:

* * *

NY: “NY-17 Rating Change: DCCC Chair Maloney Moves From Lean Democrat to Toss Up” [Cook Political Report]. “When Republicans’ top Super PAC announced an ad buy against Democratic Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney (NY-17) in April, many assumed it was a gambit to troll or distract the DCCC chair. But two weeks out from Election Day, Maloney finds himself in deep danger, simultaneously fighting for his political life in his Hudson Valley seat and desperately trying to prevent Democrats from being swept out of the House majority. Both parties’ internal polls show Maloney locked in a tight race against GOP Assemblyman Mike Lawler in the 17th CD, which is roughly three-quarters new to Maloney following redistricting. The CLF and NRCC have outspent Democratic groups $3.5 million to $384,000 so far, and the climate for Democrats in the state has deteriorated in the last few weeks as GOP Rep. Lee Zeldin has surged in the governor’s race. Republicans have lampooned Maloney over revelations he hosted posh DCCC fundraisers in Paris and Geneva earlier this month, and for hiring his husband’s personal trainer as a part-time driver on his congressional payroll.” • $3.5 million v. $384,000? That’s a lot.

NY: “Democratic campaign chief Maloney at risk of losing House seat” [Yahoo News]. “The irony is that Maloney actually switched districts earlier this year to run in an easier seat for a Democratic candidate to win. It is rare to see members of a party’s national leadership lose their seats, and when they do, it is usually part of a dramatic wave election.” • The DCCC’s head defeated? What a shame that would be.

PA: “Trump Plans to Challenge the 2022 Elections — Starting in Philly” [Rolling Stone]. “Trump has been briefed on plans in multiple states and critical races — including in Georgia. But Pennsylvania has grabbed his interest most keenly, including in the Senate contest between Democrat John Fetterman and the Trump-endorsed GOP contender Mehmet Oz. If the Republican does not win by a wide enough margin to trigger a speedy concession from Fetterman — or if the vote tally is close on or after Election Night in November — Trump and other Republicans are already preparing to wage a legal and activist crusade against the “election integrity” of Democratic strongholds such as the Philly area. Trump’s focus on Pennsylvania, however, seems to be more about his own political future than about party allegiance or fealty to his celebrity endorsee. As he hosts meetings on possible 2022 election challenges, he’s also been laying the groundwork for a run in 2024 — where Pennsylvania again promises to be critical and competitive. As one source who has spoken to Trump several times about a potential post-election-day legal battle over the Oz-Fetterman race puts it, Trump views a potential midterm challenge as a ‘dress rehearsal for Trump 2024.’ Trump won Pennsylvania in 2016 and then lost it to Biden in 2020 by more than 80,000, and if the two candidates rematch in 2024, it could well be the state that picks the next president.” • Interesting…

PA: “I Don’t Care If It Costs Me the Next Election. I’m Going to Do What’s Right.” [Mother Jones]. “Campaign finance records show Fetterman’s everyman persona is resonating. More than half of the $48 million Fetterman has raised comes from small contributions of $200 or less. In contrast, just 10 percent of Oz’s $35 million haul has come from small donors. ‘The word ‘vibes’ has become so overused,’ says Adam Jentleson, a former senior aide to Senator Harry Reid, and the author of Kill Switch: The Rise of the Modern Senate and the Crippling of American Democracy. ‘But I think there’s something to it. People just trust him more on a gut level.'” • I think races rarely come down to debates. I think this one does. If puppy-killing charlatan Oz manages to make Fetterman look like a gimp on TV, that’s not gonna be good. But if Fetterman makes it through the debate, I think he should squeak through, despite Oz’s recent gusher of cash. Visiting every county really ought to count for something (and if you’re on the left, you ought to be praying it does).

PA: “Taylor Swift Has a Fan in John Fetterman” [Teen Vogue]. “On Friday (October 21), Fetterman’s team took to TikTok with a perfectly soundtracked jab at his senate opponent Dr. Mehmet Oz. For the video, Fetterman used one of Taylor’s newest singles, ‘Anti-Hero,’ which has quickly gone viral for its made-to-meme lyric: ‘It’s me/Hi/I’m the problem, it’s me.’ As the lyrics play out, two blocks of text appear on the screen, the first of which read: ‘The problem is people who run for office only caring about $ + power and not actually caring about people.’ A second block of text appears with the words, ‘I’m the problem it’s me.’ The video of Oz has him pointing at both captions, as if acknowledging his status as the referenced problem.”

PA: “Scoop: Democrats deploy Biden and Obama to lock down Pennsylvania” [Axios]. “President Biden and former President Obama will barnstorm the Philadelphia and Pittsburgh areas on Nov. 5 with the party’s nominees for Pennsylvania governor and Senate, according to a Democrat with direct knowledge of the plans. In the final days before the midterms, Democrats are deploying their party’s biggest assets in Pennsylvania.” • This isn’t going to “lock down” Pennsylvania. At best it’s going to lock down Philly, maybe the burbs.

Democrats en Déshabillé

Patient readers, it seems that people are actually reading the back-dated post! But I have not updated it, and there are many updates. So I will have to do that. –lambert

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.

* * *

“‘People are furious’: Democratic backlash grows over progressive call to pursue diplomacy in Ukraine” [CNN]. “House Democrats are angry at Democratic Rep. Pramila Jayapal of Washington state for sending out a letter calling for the Biden administration to pursue diplomacy in Ukraine, with many publicly and privately fuming that the progressive leader blindsided them and revealed new divisions within their party over the war and with just days to go before the November midterms. ‘People are furious – especially front-liners,’ said one senior House Democrat, referring to the most vulnerable members at risk of losing their seats in the November 8 midterms.” So0-called frontliners being, necessarily, the most reactionary Democrats. More: “‘Timing in diplomacy is everything,’ said California Rep. Sara Jacobs, a member of the Congressional Progressive Caucus that Jayapal leads. ‘I signed this letter on June 30, but a lot has changed since then. I wouldn’t sign it today.’…. A Jayapal aide declined to explain why the letter went out Monday. And some members said they didn’t receive a follow-up on it before it was sent to Biden. ‘They didn’t check back with the signers before releasing it. I would have taken my name off,’ said one member who signed the letter, who spoke with CNN under the condition of anonymity to speak freely. ‘Timing is terrible.'” Meanwhile, the White House continues to insist that Zelensky is an independent actor: “‘Mr. Zelensky gets to determine when he thinks that’s the right time, and Mr. Zelensky gets to determine, because it’s his country [tell that to the Azovs], what success looks like, what victory looks and and what sort of terms he willing to negotiate on,’ [John Kirby, the strategic communications coordinator at the National Security Council] said. ‘We’re not going to dictate that.'” • A sternly worded letter is soon forgotten. But the timing seems odd to me, too. What’s the purpose, whether tactical or strategic. Of course, if the Progressive Caucus had articulated a principled policy in Ukraine back in February or March, and kept hammering at it, there’s be no need to gather signatures, in June and July, for a letter that went out in October. What were they waiting for? For The Blob to come to its senses, if any?

“House Progressives Float Diplomatic Path Toward Ending War In Ukraine, Get Annihilated, Quickly ‘Clarify'” [The Intercept]. “On Monday Morning, 30 members of the Congressional Progressive Caucus sent a letter to the White House that attempted to gingerly open a conversation about a potential diplomatic end to Russia’s war on Ukraine. The door was slammed shut by the evening, met with enough fury to elicit a ‘clarification’ in the form of a statement from caucus Chair Pramila Jayapal. ‘Let me be clear,’ Jayapal said in a statement issued just before 7 p.m., ‘We are united as Democrats in our unequivocal commitment to supporting Ukraine in their fight for their democracy and freedom in the face of the illegal and outrageous Russian invasion, and nothing in the letter advocates for a change in that support.’…. That the letter was met with fierce opposition is a measure of the space available for debate among congressional Democrats when it comes to support for the war and how it might be stopped before it turns nuclear: roughly zero.” • Oh, good. I’d like to herd them all into the CDC building before nailing the doors shut. It’s really too much.

“How Democrats Botched Trump’s Impeachment” (interview) [The Intercept]. Ryan Grim: “A new book out this week “Unchecked: The Untold Story Behind Congress’s Botched Impeachments of Donald Trump” is chock-full of new details about both of the failed attempts to impeach Trump, including what I consider to be one of the most significant: On the day of January 6, there was a concerted effort by rank-and-file Democrats to impeach Trump that very night, and Democratic leaders from Nancy Pelosi on down rebuffed their effort in a way that may have changed the course of history.” • Impeaching Bush in 2006 over warrantless surveillance plus Iraq would have changed history too, and Pelosi didn’t do that either. Lots of good detail in this article.

Realignment and Legitimacy

“Hillary Clinton questions the integrity of 2024 election by already claiming ‘right-wing extremists have a plan to STEAL it’ – but offers ZERO evidence in fundraising video (and after she said questioning Biden’s win was ‘doing Putin’s work)” [Daily Mail]. “The two-minute clip urged Americans to look past the 2022 midterms and turn out to vote in their local election, because she claims the conservative majority U.S. Supreme Court might give state legislatures the power to overturn results…. The video was put out on Twitter by the progressive group Indivisible Guide [I wondered what happened to Indivisible], which is running an initiative aimed at promoting progressive candidates in local state races on a website called Crush the Coup… Crush the Coup’s website homepage reads in huge capital lettering: ‘MAGA has a plan to steal the election in 2024. We have to stop them, today.’ It further claims that Democrats need to focus on winning 29 local seats in six swing states – Arizona, Georgia, Michigan, North Carolina, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin…. Any Republicans who still question the outcome of the 2020 presidential election have been dubbed ‘election deniers’, even though Democrats have asked questions – and continue to question – the outcome of some previous elections. Now, Clinton is questioning results a full two years before an election was even held, despite her claims that Republicans pushing election fraud claims are helping push the Kremlin’s agenda.” • The Mail is right about that, at least. I don’t much like “independent state legislature theory” either. I just wish the Democrats would find someone with standing to speak against it, and I wish it weren’t being treated as just another “our democracy” talking point.

“Biden admin set to warn about threats to nation’s election infrastructure” [Politico]. “The internal administration concerns about election threats come days after a call was held between federal officials and local law enforcement personnel about the midterms, according to one of the people familiar with the matter. Those on the call discussed the potential for violence in response to the spread of false narratives regarding the election process. Officials said election workers, including those working at polling stations, are likely to face threats and harassment from extrements both online and offline, the person familiar with the matter said. ‘We are now hearing reports of people surrounding ballot drop boxes, some even wearing tactical gear, and questioning people,’ said John Cohen, the former counterterrorism chief at DHS. ‘Are the police prepared for that? They need to be. All of this is being driven by the false narrative that the 2020 election was stolen.'” • Note that the Democrats have done nothing, zero, zilch, nada on this. (Tactically, all the “convenience” crapola like drop boxes and mail-in ballots does is increase the attack surface. Start with making Election Day a national holiday, and then go back to the concept of voting locations by precinct, hopefully run by “little old ladies” (sorry, actually existing small elderettes), and with hand-marked paper ballots, counted (hopefully by hand) in public. (Yes, I know that mail-in ballots work in Oregon. I just don’t think that’s going to scale out nationally, for obvious, if unjust, reasons.)


• Maskstravaganza:

• Maskstravaganza:

Biden Administration polices, IIRC, destroyed all the small businesses in favor of Chinese manufacturers and giant monopolies like 3M because hospital adminstrators wanted masks the lowest possible price. Hence, the lack of innovation. Almost three years into what is surely not the last pandemic of respiratory pathogens, and we’re wearing medical devices on our faces, instead of fashion items (since that is the sort of innovation small firms not selling to hospitals would create).

* * *

• Speaking of fashion items:

Still waiting for Doctor Biden to go on Good Morning America and bulid a Corsi-Rosenthal box, along with some adorable schoolchildren.

• ”Build an Indoor Air Quality Monitor with WisBlock” [RAK Documentation Center]. “The WisBlock ecosystem now offers multiple sensors required to build an indoor air quality sensor that covers the most important values.” • An Arduino project. I wish there were miniaturized sensors for cellphones, but perhaps not yet.

* * *

• A very good question:

ACT-UP was, AFAIK, a very ambitious, disciplined, and succcessful project. Perhaps that’s why amnesia has set in about its methods and achievements.

* * *

• “The great Texas COVID tragedy” [PLOS One]. “The United States of America leads all high-income nations in COVID-19 deaths, even though as a nation at had the greatest access to antiviral vaccines and therapeutics. To understand this disconnect we can look to the COVID-19 deaths and disability in the State of Texas. Because of COVID-19, Texas is enduring one of the greatest human tragedies in its 186-year history. It did not have to be this way…. The disproportionate deaths in Texas among Hispanic and African American groups in 2020 (and possibly thereafter) followed by conservatives who refused a COVID-19 immunization in 2021–22 will leave a haunting legacy for Texas…. In Texas, many if not most of those who died from COVID-19 in the last half of 2021 and into 2022 could have been saved through immunization. Instead, they became victims of antivaccine activism and aggression that now predominates—for years Texas has been ground zero for the antivaccine health freedom movement in America. Another grim reality: It is doubtful that antivaccine activism will dissipate with the end of the COVID-19 pandemic. Instead, many signs point to its spillover to all childhood vaccines leading to significant protests and future legislative action against Texas school immunization mandates.”

• And yet there is hope:

(“Experience is a hard school, but a fool will learn in no other.” To qualify, I’m not making the argument that vax is good in all cases; it isn’t. I’m arguing that minds can change, which is good to know.)

* * *

• And for the RCT fetishists:

* * *

The CDC is down, as of this writing:

How am I supposed to be doing my personal risk assessment with no data?


From the Walgreen’s test positivity tracker, October 18:

0.4%. Slowed increase.

Readers, please click through on this, if you have a minute. Since Walgreens did the right thing, let’s give this project some stats.


Lambert here: It’s beyond frustrating how slow the variant data is. Does nobody in the public health establishment get a promotion for tracking variants? Are there no grants? Is there a single lab that does this work, and everybody gets the results from them? Additional sources from readers welcome [grinds teeth, bangs head on desk].

NEW Variant data, national (Walgreens), October 7:

Lambert here: BQ.1*, out of nowhere. So awesome.


Death rate (Our World in Data):

Total: 1,093,153 – 1,092,409 = 744 (744 * 365 = 271,560, which is today’s LivingWith™ number (quite a bit higher than the minimizers would like, though they can talk themselves into anything. If the LivingWith™ metric keeps chugging along like this, I may just have to decide this is what the powers-that-be consider “mission accomplished” for this particular tranche of death and disease.

It’s nice that for deaths I have a simple, daily chart that just keeps chugging along, unlike everything else CDC and the White House are screwing up or letting go dark, good job.

Stats Watch

Manufacturing: “United States Richmond Fed Manufacturing Index” [Trading Economics]. “The Manufacturing Activity Index in the US fifth district fell to -10 in October of 2022 from 0 in in September, the lowest since May of 2022, as two of its three component indexes deteriorated notably. The indexes for shipments and volume of new orders fell from 14 and -11 in September to -3 and -22 in October, respectively. The third component, the employment index, remained unchanged at 0 in October, as hiring challenges persisted.”

* * *

Capital: “Ventures & Networks” (interview) [Sebastian Mallaby, Phenomenal World]. Mallaby: “A diversity of actors that have slightly different objective functions or analytical processes is ultimately a healthy thing. You get different types of investors with different levels of risk appetite, and different specialties in terms of which part of the economy they understand. That diversity is more likely to yield sound capital allocation than a monolithic system in which all the capital is allocated either by the government or by banks or by some other particular player.” • Now explain Silicon Valley’s turn toward innovative rent-seeking.

* * *

Today’s Fear & Greed Index: 52 Neutral (previous close: 48 Neutral) [CNN]. One week ago: 34 (Fear). (0 is Extreme Fear; 100 is Extreme Greed). Last updated Oct 25 at 1:37 PM EDT. October, and no crash yet. It’s like waiting for the Ukrainian Kherson counter-offensive. As always for bears, the issue is timing….

Rapture Index: Closes down one on Floods. “The lack of activity has downgraded this category” [Rapture Ready]. Record High, October 10, 2016: 189. Current: 187. (Remember that bringing on the Rapture is good.)

Photo Book

Perhaps the paintings are more “accurate” than the photos?

The Gallery

“The Warhol Foundation’s Basquiat and Mine” [Ishmael Reed, Counterpunch]. “My play, “The Slave Who Loved Caviar,” challenged the perception promoted by the Manhattan art industry that painter Jean Michel Basquiat was Andy Warhol’s ‘mascot.’ Or it was because of Warhol’s beneficence that Basquiat, born of Haitian and Puerto Rican parents, became famous…. My play depicts Warhol as a depraved and decadent leader of a death/suicide cult. He didn’t care whether the young people he exploited lived or died, yet in McCarten’s play, Warhol says to Basquiat: ‘Is that why your paintings are filled with so much death?’ Warhol merchandised death. Car crashes. Executions. Andy Warhol appropriated a picture of Evelyn McHale’s suicide for his ‘Suicide: Fallen Body’ (1962). His response to the suicide of his actress Edie Sedgewick and dancer Freddie Herko was that he wished he’d been there to film their suicides. When he received an urgent plea from one of those who truly cared for Basquiat, Paige Powell, that Basquiat’s cocaine addiction had become life-threatening, Warhol quipped: ‘Maybe he wants to be the first to go out early.’ However, in [a competing play] ‘The Collaboration,’ Warhol is portrayed as a naive, clean, church-going individual who cares about Basquiat’s welfare…. Warhol found Basquiat disgusting. He called him ‘dirty’ and regarded him as a nuisance. This and other negative views of Basquiat held by Warhol are published in Warhol On Basquiat, edited by Michael Dayton Hermann. Warhol’s screenwriter Ronald Tavel thought Warhol lacked compassion. He said, ‘Sometimes I admit that his coldness was shocking.'” • Not a nice person at all, Warhol. Here’s a Basquiat, instantly recognizable despite the lack of imagery except for, well er, a boat:

No mascot here. As a palate cleanser to the controversy, another Factory than Warhol’s:

Class Warfare


Items sold at estate sales would be an extremely interesting metric to have, although over decades.

News of the Wired

A very nice grape arbor, too!

* * *

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

CF writes: “One of the busy volunteers at the Van Deusen Botanical Garden.”

* * *

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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. The Rev Kev

        I picked the grapes used for ice wine once and they kinda looked like raisins but the alcohol content must have been more concentrated as a result. But man, it was cold weather doing it.

  1. tegnost

    My guess is Jayapal did a solid for Patty Murray who is in a tight senate race. and maybe “I love rich people and boeing execs” isn’t getting the expected wild enthusiasm?
    I’m sure the aforementioned dirtbag left is slamming the door on dem canvassers…in washington at least…

    1. DJG, Reality Czar

      I note that Jayapal, ever the revolutionary, is now blaming the staff. All of them are blaming the staff. And the “timing.”

      From the article on CNN: Jayapal, a Democrat from Washington state, said in a statement. “The letter was drafted several months ago, but unfortunately was released by staff without vetting. As Chair of the Caucus, I accept responsibility for this.”

      I’ll translate “released by staff without vetting.” It means, “We’re a bunch of cowardly liars.”

      As I mentioned in a comment on the earlier post about Lies-and-Letter-Ganza, line up all of these congresscritters. Send them to the induction center. Make them cannon fodder.

      Progressives? Leftists? They are pond scum. The cowardice, the bureaucracy, the competition to apologize for talking about peace. It is the very banality of evil. This is exactly what Hannah Arendt described.

      Eichmann was much concerned about timing, too.

      1. Lambert Strether Post author

        > unfortunately was released by staff without vetting

        1) “Progressives” aren’t supposed to kick down. So there you have it.

        2) Makes you wonder what was really going on with the staff….

      2. fresno dan

        The fact that a tiny amount of dems did anything, anything at all to show even an electron’s amount of disent about Ukraine shows that there must be a tsunami against being involved in Ukraine from regular people. There is an absolute black out with regards to anything negative reported about Ukraine. The greater the lack of any difference of opinion expressed in the MSM, the more you can bet that the non expressed opinion is the majority opinion…(e.g., Hillary winning)

        1. caucus99percenter

          In Germany in Hamburg, a man is being prosecuted for drawing the letter Z on a DIN A4 sized sheet of paper and driving around with it clearly visible in his car’s rear window.


          The charges seem to be “expressing approval of a crime” — no challenge allowed to the government’s a priori deeming of Russia’s military action in Ukraine to be a crime, nor to the lack of consistency when it comes to wars the West supports. And also: “disturbing the peace” — because people who support Ukraine may see the letter as an affront and feel incited to violence.

          The Powers That Be in EU-NATO Germany must be very insecure about regular people stepping out of line if they’re already making suppression of dissent this pervasive.

          The government’s policy is bad enough, but on top of this, the taz.de writer is cheering it on.

          1. Wukchumni

            It’s better than a quite visible ‘G’ on the rear echelon on a vehicle in the fatherland, or elsewhere.

          2. The Rev Kev

            That taz.de writer may be in a quandary if Germany bans the letter ‘Z ‘like some European nations have.

            You don’t do prosecutions like that unless you are not sure about your cause. Where’s Zorro when you need him?

            1. caucus99percenter

              How about a worldwide theatrical re-release of this award-winning movie from 1969?


              The Powers That Be here in Europe would, at a minimum, demand all the promotional artwork be redesigned to eliminate or obscure the movie’s title.

              But why would that surprise anyone? NATO country governments at the time all played ball with the Greek fascist coup plotters and later junta that are the subject of the film.

                1. The Rev Kev

                  I’ve got the book “World War Z.” It was a preview of the present Pandemic and how it came to spread but did not recognize it at the time. At least in the novel people weren’t being told to learn to live with the zombies.

      3. Jason Boxman

        This is the same Congresswoman that folded on Biden’s “agenda” 18 months ago, and took the two track approach to that legislation at face value.

        Not really a model of competence or intellectual ability.

        1. Adam Eran

          A better example of political power: Joe Manchin. Of course “progressives” couldn’t actually get what they wanted… What were we thinking?

          In the past I’ve contributed to “progressive” politicians. I recently sent them notice I was thinking of contributing to them again, but withdrew that intention…kind of like the letter to Biden (which was pretty weak tea, and parroted stuff already said by the likes of Obama).

          Finally: for a great example of how to steal an election, see Robert Caro’s Means of Ascent which describes how LBJ stole his senate seat from Coke Stephenson. Karl Rove learned everything from LBJ, I’d say.

      4. pjay

        I apparently missed a few news cycles today. I did not realize that after the “progressive” Dems “clarified” their letter, they actually *retracted* it!


        “Pond scum” is too nice a term. These a**holes supposedly represent the *left* among our elected representatives. Not a William Fulbright or Frank Church among them. Captured, bought, and paid for.

    2. Robert Hahl

      I have a utopian plan. Instead of holding primary elections, hold votes to decide if the various incumbents should have to run for re-election at all. If 50% +1 vote to retain the incumbent, then no election for that office would be necessary. If not, then primaries would follow quickly. This plan would free the incumbents from needless campaigning, and focus the public’s attention on the primaries where the real decisions are made in many cases. Any problems?

      1. hk

        Under that system, especially if elections are held on unusual days (as most primaries are), almost all incumbents would win because very few people will bother showing up. Unless the incumbent is an axe murderer, that is (and that may not be enough).

    3. Young

      Whoever is controlling the Ds operates like mafia, i.e., I don’t like your apology, get down on your knees.

      Yesterday, we are squad.

      Today, we’ve squat.

      AOC 2028, anyone?

    4. judy2shoes

      A number of years back, the Patty Murray campaign sent out out a message to her loyalists (I had long since figured out the soccer mom in tennis shoes) to think of all the things Patti had done for them. They then asked for “our” votes to pay Patti back. I thought long and hard (couldn’t come up with anything she’d done for ME), and then I blew a gasket and spewed forth my thoughts in a return email. The mildest thought was “take my name off your email list.”

  2. Acacia

    Re: People are furious

    Dems aghast over calls for diplomacy? Let’s see how that works out for them at the midterms.

    1. Dr. John Carpenter

      My question to that is which people? Other pols? PMC? The media/military industrial complex? Also, nice to see the so-called progressives fold faster than an “Eat the Rich” gown the day after the big ball.

  3. Lee

    Re deindustrialization and the passing down of tools and proclivities.

    In spite of our best efforts to direct him toward college and a professional degree, our son became like his great grandfather before him, an electrician. I guess it’s in the blood.

    1. cocomaan

      He will be much better off as an electrician. I have a white collar job and the electrician down the street probably makes 2x my salary, easily. He told me he spends a lot of time sitting around waiting for something to happen, since he’s the house electrician for a large corporation.

      1. ambrit

        It’s also one of the last of the heavily unionized occupations in America. I wonder if there might be some sort of connexion between that and the wage scales on offer?

      2. amur

        Vīta brevis,
        ars longa,
        occāsiō praeceps,
        experīmentum perīculōsum,
        iūdicium difficile.

        Life is short,
        and art long,
        opportunity fleeting,
        experimentations perilous,
        and judgment difficult.

    2. Fiery Hunt

      I have all of my great grandfather’s and my grampa’s carpentery tools…Victorian and block hand planers, and hand drills, more different types of saws than I knew existed…

      Why I started as a carpenter and became a stained glass craftsman. Building skills are just in the blood, i guess.

      No kids and no one but me to actually use them.

    3. Data Prepper

      I like going to estate sales, for tools, though not so much anymore. Truly sad seeing really good wrenches, sockets in ‘english’ units that no one needs or wants. I already have a set (came with metric set) that I barely use. I’ll use the English sockets and a hammer to pound or press something.

    4. B24S

      My worry is that’s my garage in a few years. I have machine tools, and specialized tools I’ve made over the years to work on certain vehicles (search pebble beach +2008 +my handle. the green one.). Most of my friends who worked on their own similar cars are now gone (no playmates), and I’ve had to clear their shops. As well the cars are getting so valuable that the new owners are so wealthy they just write checks to big shops rather than get their hands greasy.

      Ten? years ago the average age of someone who could repair/fix things was 55. And the kids aren’t too interested either. Ours followed my wife’ career into medicine. At least what they do can’t be off-shored.

      My wife is hoping she goes first…

  4. John

    Trump’s plan to challenge Pennsylvania: The article is quoted as saying Trump would be acting in his personal interest. Has he ever at any time in his life acted in anything but his personal interest?

  5. Acacia

    Warhol was a piece of work, for sure. He appears as an “English Lord” in Griffi’s bizarro film Identikit, which stars Elizabeth Taylor as a mentally disturbed woman who travels to Rome in search of an imagined intelligence contact. Somehow, Warhol fit right in.

    1. The Rev Kev

      Remember when they were talking about taking the “nuclear football” off Trump because he could not be trusted not to start a nuclear war? And now we have old Joe doing precisely that as well as plots of nuclear dirty bombs. But not a peep from the main stream media.

      1. YetAnotherChris

        One must concede in Biden’s defense that nuclear Armageddon would cancel all student loans.

        1. chris

          I can see the post-bomb interview now fellow Chris…

          And none of these noodle armed reprobates would appreciate that! They get free vacation and no students loans. War does the thing, you know? One nation, under the bomb, because look, look, this, this is important. We won’t back down because we’re right. Thank you and God bless this America.

          1. Anthony G Stegman

            What do you visualize Biden saying at the podium during the post-nuclear apocalypse presser?

    2. Fiery Hunt

      That’s exactly the word.

      How did we become such a hallowed-out nation, a country full of vampires and stupid people?

      1. hunkerdown

        I’m sure you meant “hollowed-out” but in fact your quite excellent pun answers your own question. Graeber and Sahlins proposed the concept of “adverse sacralization” where the ruling class (the monarch, for instance) makes themselves so superior and sacred and untouchable that they can’t really affect things “on Earth” anymore. The PMC seem to want into that trap very dearly.

  6. Mildred Montana

    Gawd almighty.

    Biden was on CNN an hour ago imploring everyone to get their Covid vaccine shot and, while yer at it “folks”, don’t forget yer annual flu shot (mustn’t forget that flu vaccine shot, since many people don’t get it and sales are flagging, but somehow ya gotta boost revenue on a product of questionable efficacy).

    CNN world has become so absurd, I can’t remember anything anymore. Didn’t Biden say a month or two ago that Covid was “over”?

    Oops. Apparently Covid is not over. Now he’s shilling for Big Pharma and Big Pharma is saying, “Thanks for the free infomercial Joe, we’re gonna raise prices for vaccines through the roof since you’re paying for it. Ha-ha!” (See: Pfizer in links today)

    P.S. According to the same CNN segment, uptake on the latest Covid vaccine offering is 10%. No wonder the pharmaceutical companies had to hire Joe as a salesman.

    1. Screwball

      I just watched a clip yesterday of Biden telling a crowd how they beat big pharma.

      I can only shake my head.

      War, pandemic, inflation, people starving, living paycheck to paycheck – and my PMC friends (Joe’s base) only worried is how the J6 committee is going to serve Orange Man the subpoena.
      On another note, the message is working. My PMC friends are already convinced that if any GOP member wins a race – they cheated.

      1. John

        Both parties and many individuals have been busy since 2016 poisoning the well of trust in US elections. Do they have a desired end state or is it simply the simple minded games of political operatives, minions, making nasty furtive moves for momentary advantage. Will these creatures disclaim all responsibility when the wheels come completely off? Of course they will. Virtual defenestration seems called for.

        Each party in its own way arouses disgust. If there are “good” people they manage to conceal their “goodness” under veils of double talk and obsfuscation.

    2. Basil Pesto

      to be fair, I think he said “the pandemic is over” rather than covid per se. It’s bad messaging either way. But as we’re well on the way to infinite covid as policy, it’s a matter of time before the “pandemic” state of affairs is fully normalised, even if the threat remains. But actually, it’s possible that Omicron was a second pandemic (WT thru roughly Delta being the first), and that we’ll have endless SARS pandemics of varying severity indefinitely going forward (similar to avian IBV coronavirus). We’ll see

    3. Bugs

      China is offering an inhaled vaccine booster in Shanghai – thought this might interest Lambert who’s big on the nasal route. Apparently 14x more effective vs. Omicron than shots.


      “…the aerosolized vaccine is contained in a sipping cup like the ones used to contain bubble tea. To get vaccinated, people only need to bite the mouth on top of the cup and take a deep breath to bring in the gas and hold their breath for five seconds”

  7. Wukchumni

    It won’t be too long before new car dealerships start going out of business, my Toyota dealer has 9 new cars on the lot of specifications nobody would want, such as a 4 door-4 cylinder 2wd Tacoma @ $33k (sticker is $27k) and other white elephants.

    I need an alternator and new rear brake pads, they told me it’ll take a few days to locate them from other dealerships.

    …not exactly exotic parts

    1. flora

      Thanks. I may have my car’s brake pads replaced this year instead of next. The supply chain still seems too backed up.

    2. Adam

      Had an oil change at the local Acura dealership this weekend and noticed the new and improved price of their small SUV, the RDX, is now $68K. Just about fell over when I saw this. Who can afford that? Their lot was full of new cars though.

    1. Fiery Hunt

      Was on damn scaffolding in Beserkeley putting in a window…yeah, I felt it.
      Not fun…and I love earthquakes!

    2. MichaelSF

      It went on for a fair amount of time here in SF near the beach. There was a small quake a few days ago too, If the World Series is soon, it must be earthquake weather (Loma Prieta).

  8. Verifyfirst

    For the first time in my life, after 44 years of never missing an election, and always voting Dem (hard as that became over time), I will NOT be voting for one single Dem up and down the ballot, not even the judges.

    I’m now a single issue voter–I am anti-Covid. They are pro-Covid. The end. (and the Republican candidates in Michigan are really really unqualified for anything…..I don’t care). I will be writing in Disney characters for every office. Or maybe a Green or a Workers Party for grins……(I’ll look them up first though).

  9. Rattib

    Re: Warhol – the institutional white-washing comes as no surprise; the art world has been and still is full of terrible systemic power dynamics and messy people with boundary issues, and Warhol both embodied those qualities and put them on display as simultaneous fetish and critique.

    That being said, an artist I met once told me a story of attending a party and seeing Warhol there, looking bored and super glum; when Basquiat showed up he brightened immensely, was instantly obviously in a much better mood.

    Basquiat was brilliant; I wish he was still around – he and all the other talents who’ve been squashed/ left out before they had a chance to reach the limelight, or harmed once they got there.

    1. Fiery Hunt

      Gotta admit, hate Warhol’s “art”…and, equally, Basquiat’s too.

      The Pop Art movement was the end of the search for Beauty and has rendered 99% of Art since absolutely beneath contempt.

    2. Acacia

      If you dip into Andy Warhol’s diaries, you’ll find him repeatedly expressing depression, “nobody loves me”, “it’s Christmas and I’m alone”, etc.

      Valerie Solanas, author of the SCUM Manifesto, saw Warhol and his enablers as sufficient menace that she shot and tried to kill three of them. Warhol survived his injuries. Later, she noted “I consider that a moral act. And I consider it immoral that I missed. I should have done target practice.”

      The Warhol story I heard came from somebody who worked for a moving company in college. His team was assigned to move Warhol’s art space and found a pile of dirty metal sheets laying on the floor somewhere. The metal was all corroded and they were in the process of throwing them out when Warhol’s rep overseeing the move stopped them. “No no, don’t throw those out. They’re worth a lot of money. Andy pissed on them.”

  10. jsn

    Tweet on Polling: all the trust in polling has been monetized.

    People used to talk to pollsters thinking their opinions would influence politicians.

    They have learned through hard experience any thoughts they share will only be used against them, cost them money and make their lives more difficult.

    1. eg

      I treat all surveys with similar disdain and refused to complete any and all such in my workplace with extreme prejudice.

  11. Art_DogCT

    Regarding ACT-UP, I lived in NYC from 1979 to 1989 and was on the periphery of what went on to become ACT-UP, in that some of my friends were very involved. I attended a number of demos, participated in meetings and debates. At the time my political energy was focused elsewhere, but I remember thinking, after a very long ACT-UP meeting, that I couldn’t function within an organization that used consensus so absolutely for every single decision. It worked for them, but frustrated the hell out of me, a member of a communist party that practiced democratic centralism. I am no longer a member of a party, but I still have little patience for the rituals of consensus as encountered in the wild.

    At all levels, I was impressed by the overall discipline of the ACT-UP coalition locally and nationally. I believe a key factor in ACT-UP’s successes was the unstinting support for creative, effective civil disobedience, and a total willingness to use propaganda that made lots of people uncomfortable. Such a movement can happen again, though it’s hard to see how it might emerge given the cultural dominance of neoliberalism and the toxic role of PMC non-governmental organizations in the roughly 30 years years since ACT-UP faded away. The movement accomplished most of their aims, especially compassionate use of experimental medications, and the belated introduction of Federal support in the services and resources made available under the 1990 Ryan White CARE Act. Since then, whole careers have been built on the federal HIV/AIDS funding stream, and few of the veterans of the first decade of the pandemic remain.

    The Basquiat and Hopper pieces are wonderful. The Basquiat in particular rewards close scrutiny. I find its density fascinating and marvelous.

    1. Fiery Hunt

      Hopper was a master of light and mood, with the perfect eye and craftsmanship for simple details…like the ground shadow that shows the ground topography.

      One of my all time favorites.

  12. flora

    re: ” The Democrats don’t feel they need to make an economic argument because their PMC base is doing fine, just fine.”

    The “butler” class always does fine as long as their employer class does fine. / ;)

    1. Fiery Hunt

      Until they don’t.

      In my business, I’m noticing a bit of…let’s call it “hesitancy”…amongst the PMC that doesn’t make $400,000 a year. The above $4hundK crowd? Burning money like it doesn’t matter.

      $200K….starting to ask how long they can put off repairs/restorations. Still committing but slow walking.
      Wait’ll after the midterms…economy’s gonna sloooooow way down. Been watching this kinda thing for frickin’ 20 years and know when the real slow down hits, it’s gonna be a “hard landing”..

  13. flora

    re: “Hillary Clinton questions the integrity of 2024 election by already claiming ‘right-wing extremists have a plan to STEAL it’ – but offers ZERO evidence in fundraising video (and after she said questioning Biden’s win was ‘doing Putin’s work)”

    This made me laugh out loud because it is so true to Hillary Clinton’s form. Thanks.

    1. The Rev Kev

      During the 2016 elections she demanded that Trump respect the results of all the voting because of what he said in some of his relentless tweets. But when she lost, she was the one that turned around and said that Russia stole them on behalf of Trump who must therefore be a Russian agent. And with that the Kraken was released. She has no standing whatsoever in anything anymore.

  14. Jason Boxman

    On Deconstructed Podcast: How Democrats Botched Trump’s Impeachment

    RG: And so, Rachael, do you think that they focus so narrowly on Ukraine because it was something they could do so quickly? And to me, it seemed like there was so much pressure on Pelosi at the time — something like more than 100 incumbent Democrats, by that point, had primary opponents who had filed challenges. And all of a sudden, because of Joe Crowley, everybody was taking primary challenges extremely seriously. And they’re like: We need to do something, the base is angry, they gave us the majority — we can’t pass legislation because Trump is the president and he’s not gonna sign it, but we need to do something. When are we going to impeach this guy?

    Wait, what? Trump said repeatedly that he’d work on infrastructure. Of course it would have to include funding for “The Wall”, but Biden is still building that wall even today! So how ridiculous is that anyway?

    The truth is probably that they didn’t want to give Trump any possible victories heading into the 2020 reelection campaign.

    RB: Well, before we get to the Ukraine-only focus, you had mentioned something about 100-and-some House Democrats at that point had actually embraced impeachment. We have this unreported anecdote in our book about a liberal activist with MoveOn.org, who actually visited Pelosi’s office in July, and told her top people that the left is starting to organize, and we’re sick of you doing nothing on impeachment, and what number of House Democrats do you need to see before you make impeachment viable?

    Heh. I guess if you work your base up into such a blood thirsty frenzy, that Trump is obviously a Russian asset and Putin is running the country, and people actually believe that, you’ve kind of put yourself into a bind, eh?

  15. marku52

    Just voted in OR. Changed my registration from D to R, because even when elected, the Ds are the do -nothings. Once elected, governing is too hard, and I guess they go to brunch. At least the Pubs intend to put their election to use, so there is value in doing primary support for their non-crazy candidates.
    For Guv I had the choice of the D who passed the law that made street camping legal (there is an interesting suit about that-disabled folks sued under the ADA that this made the sidewalks non-compiant–This may actually force the cities to do something. Portland has declared a homeless “emergency” for something like 7 frickin years now. Some “emergency”…)

    A Pub who wants to gut the land use laws for her real estate developer hubby, but in other ways tries not to be insane–Probably our next guv. Led walkouts that stopped the last legislature from accomplishing anything. Because OMG, they wanted to do something about climate change.

    An independent who declares that she will only sign legislation that has bipartisan support. A recipe for nothing ever happening. She will probably steal enough D votes to elect the Pub.

    I wrote NOTA and left that line blank.

    1. notabanker

      I was just watching a Breaking Points video, which I would hardly deem an right leaning audience, and there was a block of comments, at least 20 of them, from OR residents saying there is no way they are voting for the Dem incumbent. The video, btw, was about the CNN polls trying to gloss up the Dem’s positions in key races.

  16. ChrisPacific

    ‘Mr. Zelensky gets to determine when he thinks that’s the right time, and Mr. Zelensky gets to determine, because it’s his country [tell that to the Azovs], what success looks like, what victory looks and and what sort of terms he willing to negotiate on,’ [John Kirby, the strategic communications coordinator at the National Security Council] said.

    Sure, just like Liz Truss got to determine tax policy for the UK. Because it was her country, right? Or like Biden got to determine what the US would do on Roe vs. Wade.

    Kirby must think we are idiots.

  17. Data Prepper

    I went to the twitter account of the gent that talked about anti-vax and being in the ‘Florida of Canada’. I could not find such a tweet in his timeline.

    Deleted? It reads like the 2021 propaganda to get everyone to take the shot.

        1. ambrit

          Those two blessed isles are a possession of France silly. The similarity is rather than oranges, but in the fact that both places are enclaves of foreign ‘influence’ in mainly Anglo cultural zones. The islands being French in Canada, and Florida being Caribbean and South American Oligarchic Zones of Influence in America.

  18. marym


    Six cases of alleged voter intimidation at drop box locations in Arizona have been referred to the Justice Department in Washington, Secretary of State Katie Hobbs said Monday, as early voting options have been open for nearly two weeks across the state.

    One incident report…detailed how a couple in their 70s, who parked their car in order to individually put their ballots in the drop box, said they were approached by a group of five or six men in the parking lot. “As we were getting up to our car, two individuals took pictures of our license plate and our car. I got out and asked what they were doing. They claimed they were taking pictures for “election security” and I took pictures of them to report them to the DOJ for voter intimation and harassment. As we were pulling out, they continued to film my wife, myself and our car,” the complaint said.


    On Monday, Oct. 24, the Arizona Alliance for Retired Americans and Voto Latino filed a lawsuit against Clean Elections USA, its affiliates and unidentified individuals (who allegedly have been “recruited or encouraged” by Clean Elections USA to monitor drop boxes) challenging the organization’s voter intimidation practices in Arizona.


    The Maricopa County Elections Department provides live video feeds inside the Department to provide the public access to the elections process. Cameras are available in our signature verification rooms, early ballot processing rooms and in the Ballot Tabulation Center.


    1. marym

      Adding: It wasn’t included in the quote from the Maricopa County Elections Department, but the link includes video feeds from ballot drop boxes.

  19. Tommy S

    Part of the problem with holding on to tools, passing them on etc….is a lot of people don’t have the room to even learn the skills, that is, store the stuff….workplace area…. Most people that would like to do that, are constantly having to move…look at eviction rates….and rents rising 40% in ten years…I had tons of stuff in my SF flat for 25 years….after ellis act….couldn’t keep anything…That kinda stuff is really hard and expensive to move also….

  20. The Rev Kev

    With British Prime Ministers, you may seen them from time to time outside Number 10 in front of a lectern – a stand to hold a mike and their speech to read. Never noticed but it seems that each PM wanted to have their own personal lectern-


    So, who pays to have them built?
    Who actually owns them?
    What happens to them after each PM leaves office?
    Do those PMs get to keep them for free or maybe eventual resale?

  21. Lex

    The HRC video is something. The first thing I noted is that she makes no mention of what the Democratic Party and all the money the Clintons have is doing about the situation. Just that people should donate and vote (in that order of emphasis). The second thing is a recurring theme for me. We’ll now have three presidential elections in a row where like half the voters will have an inkling that the election was somehow stolen. I’m feeling like that’s not a great barometric reading for sustained democracy.

  22. Michael Ismoe

    Is it too late to change my votes in 2016 and 2020?

    Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders said Tuesday that the Russian invasion of Ukraine “has to be resisted,” and that the Congressional Progressive Caucus was right to withdraw a letter that urged President Biden to negotiate an end to the war with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

    “I don’t agree with that, and they don’t agree with it, apparently,” Sanders told Semafor in a phone interview. “It was withdrawn today, so it becomes a non-issue.”

    Sanders, who is launching a multi-state midterm campaign swing to help Democrats in tough races, remained committed to supporting Ukraine from “a major power invading and causing mass destruction.” He dismissed the claim from some candidates, and some protesters, who have called progressive members of Congress “war mongers” over their votes to fund Ukraine’s counter-offensive.

    “Democrats, war mongers?” said Sanders. “When you have Putin breaking all kinds of international laws, unleashing an incredibly disgusting and horrific level of destruction against the people of Ukraine?”


    1. caucus99percenter

      Well, that punctures any remaining illusions I may have had regarding what Bernie Sanders stands for in his heart of hearts. That is truly sad.

  23. Amfortas the hippie

    fuck it, i’m to bed.

    and just so we’re all clear as to where i stand: fuck the us empire, poking the bear like that was stupid…like i’ve been telling them for 30 or more years….
    but would they listen?
    so fuck them.
    not my country.
    My Country is this 5 acres, until mom dies, then its 20…and i Secede, dammit.
    on Moral Grounds.
    as well as an aversion to such gross stupidity.

  24. VietnamVet

    I had decided to not to vote for democratic incumbents or republicans but after the progressive congress critters’ kerfuffle that “deep-sixes” diplomacy and insures further escalation towards a nuclear world war, I won’t be voting for either party. A lot of blank circles but I will mail the ballot in to be counted.

    “The great Texas COVID tragedy” clip listed above is the height of propaganda to sell mRNA injections and aid the spread of pestilence to make money that can only end in society splintering apart. The purposeful bombing of 3 of the 4 pipelines bringing Europe’s natural gas energy supply from Russia to Germany and the hiding of the perpetrators is similar propaganda by the omission of facts and the truth. The mercenary horsemen of war and pestilence are running wild across the globe creating profits for the overlords. There are no working governments by and for the people to stop them.

    Those spreading war, hunger, disease and illness will destroy human civilization to make a buck.

  25. JBird4049

    >>>This isn’t going to “lock down” Pennsylvania. At best it’s going to lock down Philly, maybe the burbs.

    We all know that in California, three fifths of the land and a third, maybe more, of the population isn’t reeeally Californian to the ruling elites, right?

    It is not the politics here, but the mindset, that is talking.
    This is also no different than the New York Times explaining to Gothamites about why the price of freaking gas is so important to the rest of the country.

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