2:00PM Water Cooler 9/11/2023

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By Lambert Strether of Corrente.

Bird Song of the Day

American Robin, Tetlin National Wildlife Refuge; Deadman Lake, Alaska, United States.

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“So many of the social reactions that strike us as psychological are in fact a rational management of symbolic capital.” –Pierre Bourdieu, Classification Struggles

The Constitutional Order

“Can the 14th Amendment block a Trump return to the White House? A Colorado case may hold answers” [Mike Littwin, Colorado Sun]. September 10. “A New Mexico district court judge disqualified a county commissioner last year from holding public office for engaging in the January 6 insurrection. That was the first time the 14th Amendment had been used that way in a hundred years. The commissioner had breached the Capitol, though he didn’t engage in any violence. Trump didn’t engage in physical violence either. But did he illegally incite it? That’s for a judge to judge. And maybe many judges.” • The Democrats can’t seem to get out of their own way on messaging. First, by Baude and Paulsen, an election official “disqualifies” Trump. Then, presumably, the Republicans sue, and the matter enters the courts. But the election officials don’t need to wait for a court decision, in Baude and Paulsen’s reading; the Fourteenth Amendment is “self-executing.” Now I know the Democrats are working election officials. But wouldn’t it make sense to bring their theory of the case and their aghastitude into alighnment? Better messaging from MSNBC and the NGO CREW–

“These concerned Colorado citizens want to stop Trump using the 14th Amendment” [Noah Bookbinder and Donald K. Sherman, MSNBC]. September 10. The authors are both from CREW. “The suit, filed on Sept. 6 in Colorado District Court by Republican and unaffiliated voters, seeks to compel Colorado’s secretary of state to bar Trump from the state’s ballot, under Section 3 of the 14th Amendment, which disqualifies from office anyone who took an oath to the Constitution and then engaged in insurrection. Our organization, Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, or CREW, along with top election lawyers and litigators from Colorado, is representing those plaintiffs.” The plaintiffs are bipartisan. “This is not an academic exercise. It can succeed. In fact, it already has. CREW represented residents of New Mexico who successfully sued to remove from office Couy Griffin — a county commissioner who had helped to incite, recruit for and normalize* violence during the Jan. 6 attack. Griffin was the first official disqualified under the 14th Amendment in more than 150 years. The judge in that case determined that Jan. 6 was an insurrection for purposes of the Constitution, and that someone who helped to incite it — even if they had not personally engaged in violence — had engaged in insurrection and was disqualified.” And: “The fact that the lawsuit is being brought in Colorado is not an accident. The state’s laws maximize the chance our plaintiffs will quickly get a fair hearing on this crucial constitutional provision. The state has a statutory provision requiring the secretary of state to exclude constitutionally ineligible candidates from the ballot and law providing for eligible voters to challenge in court improper presidential candidates.” • Note that Griffen could be said to be “officer of the United States.” Trump, many urge, and I agree, is not, and therefore the Fourteenth Amendment does not apply to him. NOTE * What the heck does “normalize” mean?

“Trump lawyers move “insurrection” clause lawsuit aiming to bar him from Colorado ballot to federal court” [Associated Press]. September 8. “‘Plaintiffs’ challenge to Colorado’s ability to place Donald Trump on the presidential ballot depends solely on the Fourteenth Amendment,’ they wrote. ‘Trump’s basis for removal of the state court action is federal question jurisdiction under Section 3 of Fourteenth Amendment.’ CREW’s case is the first of what’s expected to be many challenges filed in various states by the group and Free Speech for People, another liberal nonprofit. Activists in other states have filed lawsuits in which they represent themselves, but legal observers contend the more robust complaints by the nonprofits are more likely to end up at the nation’s highest court, which has never ruled on the clause. CREW can move to return the case to state court. It has requested a speedy ruling on the issues before Colorado’s Republican primary ballot is finalized on Jan. 5.” • Hmm. Trump, interestingly, seems not to have fired any lawyers recently. So I guess he’s happy with this team’s performance.

“Disqualifying Trump’s Candidacy Will Take a Key Conviction, Not Wishful Legal Thinking” [The Messenger]. “Lawyers around the country are filing lawsuits in state and federal courts to prevent Trump from being placed on state ballots. The decision whether to put Trump on the ballot will be made by an official in each of the 50 states. That decision will be made after the August 2024 party conventions…. So, between August and the election in November, the state and federal courts may be faced with adjudicating thousands of lawsuits. Assuming that some of those cases get from federal district courts through to federal circuit courts, and then to the Supreme Court, before the November 2024 election, and that some cases arising out of state courts do so as well, it is very possible that the Supreme Court could rule that it is up to the individual states to determine under state law whether Trump should be placed on the ballot. What is the practical impact of such a ruling? Chaos. There will be battles in each state as supporters of Trump and supporters of President Biden fight to have their interpretation of state law enforced. In some states, Trump will be placed on the ballot, in others he won’t, and still other states will be mired in litigation that will extend beyond the election. Neither Professor Tribe nor Judge Luttig, nor the authors of the law review article, even consider the likely consequences of their thesis. But it is irresponsible not to.” Not sure about thousands if it takes an NGO to make a serious case. More: “This issue could have been avoided had the Justice Department’s special prosecutor, Jack Smith, charged Trump with insurrection or rebellion or aiding our enemies, which Congress did make a crime under 18 U.S.C. § 2383. Despite a recommendation by the House of Representatives’ Jan. 6 Select Committee, Smith chose not to. Had he, there would be no need for the constitutional crisis that would arise from the authors’ interpretation of the law.” • No, Smith didn’t. Doesn’t that make the prima facie case clear?

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“The Sweep and Force of Section Three” [William Baude and Michael Stokes Paulsen, University of Pennsylvania Law Review]. I highly recommend this piece (and the ensuing discussion at NC, starting here). As a former English major and a fan of close reading, I’m not averse to “originalism,” of which Baude and Paulsen provide a magisterial example, in the sense that understanding the law as a text must begin with understanding the plain, public meaning of the words used when the text was written. That’s how I read Shakespeare, or Joyce, so why not the Constitution? Just as long as understanding doesn’t end there! In any case, I’m working through it. One thing I notice is that there do seem to have been rather a lot of rebellions and insurrections, not just the Civil War. To me, this is parallel to one lesson I drew from Mike Duncan’s Revolutions podcast (episode 1): There are rather a lot of revolutions, too. Alert reader Pensions Guy summarizes Baude and Paulsen as follows:

The authors go through an exhaustive textual and originalism analysis of Section Three, and their Federalist Society leanings do not deter them from reaching their conclusion that officials in every State who are charged with determining candidate qualifications should conclude that Donald Trump is disqualified from being on ballots because of the oath he took on Inauguration Day 2017 and subsequently violated through his role in the insurrection that took place on January 6, 2021.

Taking “insurrection” as read (I need to do more reading), this has been more of my continuing coverage of Section Three.


Time for the Countdown Clock!

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“The ‘Why Not?’ grand jury: The Georgia final report should worry us all” [Jonathan Turley, The Hill]. “I have long criticized the misrepresentation of the two Georgia calls by the Washington Post, which later issued a correction in its reporting. Although it recently made a startling contradictory statement on the truth of its original claims, the transcript of the calls shows that Trump did not tell officials to simply add more than 11,000 votes. I still disagree with his claims, but I have maintained that Trump was making a predictable argument in a settlement negotiation that he only needed that number of votes and that a new recount or continued investigation would find them. My questioning of the use of the calls as evidence of a crime has given many people the vapors. They insist that it was preposterous to think that Trump was actually asking for continued recounts or investigations instead of demanding that Raffensperger commit fraud. Yet Raffensperger himself recently took the stand and confirmed that the call was a ‘settlement negotiation’ over whether to conduct further recounts or investigations. The question is when advocacy or inquiries or negotiations become criminal acts. Willis’s first grand jury clearly believed that senators who called for recounts or Raffensperger’s resignation should go to prison. The comparison between their recommendations and the eventual indictment does not clearly answer how such acts are distinguishable as crimes.” • A “lack of limiting principles.”

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“Democrats Start to Panic About Biden” [Wall Street Journal]. “The party freakout is on display. James Carville and Jim Messina, veterans of winning Democratic campaigns, are chiding the party’s “bedwetters.” But some in the media are saying Mr. Biden should announce he won’t run for a second term. He could leave office as a Democratic hero who saved the country from a second Trump term, say he accomplished a lot by progressive lights, and let the party nominate someone from the next generation. Yet no Democrat of stature has been willing to say this publicly, much less challenge Mr. Biden in the primaries. For months we’ve asked Democrats who visit us why no one is challenging Mr. Biden given his unpopularity. Their answer boils down to confidence that Mr. Trump will be the Republican nominee, that he’s the easiest Republican to beat, that Mr. Biden has done it once, and that a primary challenge would be more divisive than it’s worth. Perhaps that will prove to be right, but what a gamble it is.” • It would be interesting to see Youngkin v. Pritzker, fighting it out on the public schools. Will nobody think of the children?

“Joe Biden bucks tradition, bets big on early swing-state advertising” [WaPo]. “About 3 in 4 U.S. adults recently told CNN pollsters that Biden failed to inspire confidence and raised “serious concerns” about his physical and mental competence. But this is a different leader shown in the new ads: Here he is before Congress saying no one should bet against America. There he is at the rope line giving a Black teenager a ‘go-get-’em-tiger’ tap on the chest. Wages are rising. Manufacturing is back. The contrast helps explain why the Biden campaign has decided to buck precedent by launching a major advertising buy sooner than Barack Obama or Donald Trump, the last two presidents to run for reelection. It’s a major investment for a still-growing campaign. Through the end of June, Biden’s campaign organization had raised less than $23 million, all in checks no larger than $3,300. The same account is now shouldering the costs of the first weeks of a $25 million, 16-week television and digital campaign, overwhelmingly aimed at the swing-state voters that will decide the election…. The full ad campaign has separate spots to target Hispanics — with a Puerto Rican accent in Pennsylvania and a Mexican one in Arizona — with a separate tag line, ‘Somos Nosotros,’ or ‘It’s Us.’ African American spots praise Biden’s work to cut ‘Black child poverty’ and grow ‘Black businesses.’ An abortion rights message is covered with a female narrator, while a young mom cement mason in the Wisconsin testimonial says Biden is ‘helping real people.’ Unlike Obama, who relied heavily on direct-to-camera speaking for his positive spots, these narrated ads typically unfold as montages of the American people and Biden in action.” And: “John Del Cecato, a Democratic ad-maker who worked for Obama and the 2020 campaign of Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg, calls the strategy a “gamble worth making” to raise Biden’s approval rating from the low 40s, which is on par with where both Obama and Trump were at this point in their reelection cycles, acocrding to Gallup.” And: “The strategy also indicates the campaign’s confidence in raising significant money next year, as they have essentially abandoned the traditional approach of early stockpiling of campaign funds to be used in the final weeks before Election Day, when candidates are given lower rates on television than outside groups. Democrats widely believe that Biden’s Republican opponent, who most now expect to be Trump, will provide more than ample incentive to open a 2024 spigot of small-dollar donations.”

“Joe Biden Fires 2024 Election Salvo with Ukraine ‘War Zone’ Ad” [Kyiv Post]. “With its war zone imagery and macho voiceover it could be a movie trailer — but the sunglasses-clad star of a new campaign ad is none other than 80-year-old US President Joe Biden…. The 60-second spot — which debuted on social media on Thursday and will air on TV in US battleground states during prime time on Saturday — draws a stark contrast with his Republican rivals over the Ukraine war. The message is simple: the Democrat’s support against Russia’s brutal 2022 invasion shows global leadership, while Republicans including Donald Trump have wobbled all over the place on the issue.”

“What if Biden bows out?” [Salon]. “What will Biden face? In a word: ‘Huntergate.’ Every day, especially when the Republicans in the House begin to hold hearings aimed at Hunter Biden, the Republican assault machine will drag the president’s son through the mud and try to link Biden to possible corrupt practices. The lie, oft repeated, becomes for many, the truth. All this will raise questions about Biden and is designed to drive up his negatives.” Yes, the letter from fifty spooks won’t work twice. What now? More: “Would Biden be prepared to daily defend his family and himself from the pounding that will certainly come? Would it even matter? This all leaves the very real possibility that Biden might conclude that it is not worth seeing his family dragged through the mud every day of the campaign.” And now the alternatives: “Perhaps the most attractive alternative for the Democrats is Pete Buttigieg… A Democratic dream ticket in the mold of Joe Biden would be Gov. Andy Beshear of Kentucky for president (age: 45), and Gina Riamondo, former governor of Rhode Island and current commerce secretary (age: 52) as vice president. Both are pragmatic, centrist Democrats who have demonstrated the ability to mobilize moderates and independents.” • Please make it stop.

“Inside the Building of President Biden’s Impeachment Defense Team (Exclusive)” [The Messenger]. “In interviews with The Messenger, nearly a dozen top House Democrats, their aides and West Wing sources described a strategy plan taking shape that will allow House Democrats to deflect Republican attacks against the president without relying on directives from the White House. ‘This is a battle-tested and tight-knit group of intelligent fighting Democrats, members who are part of a very different Democratic Caucus than the one that existed prior to the dangerous lawlessness and corruption of Donald Trump,’ Rep. Jamie Raskin of Maryland, the top Democrat on the House Oversight Committee, told The Messenger. … The White House has built its own team to confront the moment, crafting a stable of two dozen lawyers and legislative and communications staff to prepare for investigations and lead a push back against a potential impeachment. Biden’s oversight investigations team is based in White House counsel Stuart Delery’s office, where aides plan to aggressively call out what they say are partisan GOP assaults on the president.”

“Ohio’s working class felt deserted by Democrats. Can Biden win them back?” [Guardian]. Betteridge’s Law. Who actually showed up in East Palestine? Trump, that’s who. He looked good, too. Of course, there is abortion, the perennial bright spot: “Ohio Democrats have been energised by the size of the victory and turnout in last month’s referendum on a Republican attempt to make it more difficult to amend the state constitution. The move was aimed at making it harder for voters to enshrine access to abortion in the constitution in another ballot in November. But it was defeated by 57% to 43% on an exceptionally high turnout for a ballot vote in August, reflecting what Democrats see as a major electoral issue in their favor after the US supreme court struck down constitutional protections last year.” But will abortion be on the ballot in 2024? More: “Kim McCarthy, the Democratic chair in Greene county, which includes part of eastern Dayton, said her party struggles to shake the perception that, at a national level, it is not interested in working people. ‘It’s not a secret that our country is run by corporate USA Inc. I feel that limitation stops Democrats from fighting for things that would bring people over to their side, like universal healthcare,’ she said. McCarthy said that remained a good part of the reason for Trump’s continuing support in her county. ‘The appeal of Trump ultimately is that people recognise that our federal government is failing us as a society, as a nation. I’m from Australia and I think one of the most profound things that I’ve realised over my 25-odd years of living here is that the US government doesn’t care about me and my life,’ she said.” • The Democratic chair!

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“Youngkin on Education: Progressive Left Emphasizing “Equal Outcomes Over Excellence” While Pushing Parents Out Of Kids’ Life” [RealClearPolitics]. Youngkin: “[T]he learning loss [from school closures during the pandemic] was not only deep, but it’s persistent and therefore, we’ve got to put politics down and go to work. And that’s why this high-intensity tutoring program is so important. It is three to five hours a week of tutoring for reading and math in the classroom, either before or during the day or after school systems get to decide. It’s not going to cost families a penny. It’s being funded by the state and we have this moment where we see almost two-thirds of our third through eighth graders at risk or failing their math standards and more than half at risk to fail or failing their reading standards.” • Putting aside the school closure aghastitude, the tutoring program sounds great, and would be great if the schools were adequately ventilated (which confers learning advantages as well). Which neither party can say, obviously.

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“Twilight Of The Democrats” [Public]. “And yet Biden has shown no sign of throwing in the towel. Rumors periodically fly that he is about to announce he won’t run for a second term. Many thought it would happen in August. The problem for Democrats is that they might have no one who can replace him. Kamala Harris is even less popular than Biden, and San Francisco is Gavin Newsom’s albatross.” • Good point on San Francisco — I’m waiting for a robot taxi to kill a homeless person — but Newsom is Newsom’s albatross. The French Laundry scandal didn’t get Newsom recalled, but it’s there to introduce the country to him: French. Laundry.

“Editorial: Newsom throws South L.A. under the broadband bus” [Editorial Board, Los Angeles Times]. “More than two years ago, Gov. Gavin Newsom approved what was then the nation’s largest-ever investment in public broadband. The $6-billion spending plan was supposed to finally bridge the digital divide that has left too many households and businesses in low-income and rural communities without fast, reliable internet access. But last month the Newsom administration cut projects in some of the neediest, most disconnected communities in the state, including South and Southeast Los Angeles and East Oakland, while adding projects in some of the most affluent, tech-connected communities, including Beverly Hills and Culver City.” • The whole piece is worth reading. Apparently, “bad maps” are at the root of the misallocation. And if you the think the maps are bad by accident, I have a bridge to sell you. Then again, Newsom’s only servicing his real constituency, and what’s wrong with that?

“‘We would’ve done everything differently’: Newsom reflects on Covid approach” [Politico]. Weak. “Gov. Gavin Newsom said criticism of California’s tough Covid-19 restrictions was valid and he would have taken an entirely different approach, given what he knows now about the pandemic. ‘I think we would’ve done everything differently,’ Newsom said in a taped interview set to air on NBC’s ‘Meet the Press’ Sunday.” • Why is it that Democrats always think that the path to victory is adopting Republican talking points? (I mean, you can bet Newsome isn’t talking about, for example, ventilating all schools. Or putting CO2 monitors in public spaces, as civlized countries like Japan do. He’ll end up doing GBD-Lite, and then voters will vote for the real thing, as they tend to do.

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Daou is knowledgeable and technically competent, something the West campaign sorely needs (as does the Green Party).

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PA: “A Pa. Supreme Court race this fall could have big implications for the 2024 presidential election” [Philadelphia Inquirer]. Pennsylvania is again expected to be a crucial battleground state in the 2024 presidential election. In 2020, the state Supreme Court was at the center of election issues amid battles over mail ballots and former President Donald Trump’s false claims of voter fraud. Voting rights advocates expect similar challenges in next year’s election, especially if there is a rematch between Trump and President Joe Biden. ‘If we see similar trends to what we saw in 2020, the state Supreme Court is going to be vital,’ said Kyle Miller, a policy advocate in Pennsylvania for Protect Democracy. Pennsylvania voters will choose in November between Carolyn Carluccio, a Republican and the first woman to serve as president judge of Montgomery County Court; and Dan McCaffery, a Democrat and Superior Court judge.”

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.

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“Infamous Neo-Nazi blog praises Mayor Adams’ claim that NYC is being ‘destroyed’ by migrant crisis” [New York Daily News]. “The Daily Stormer, a neo-Nazi blog operated by notorious far right conspiracy theorist Andrew Anglin, published a post Friday that said Adams’ comments made him ‘based,’ a phrase used in online chat forums to describe a proudly unfiltered person. The post went on to claim that Adams’ remarks were also ‘insightful.’ Asked whether the mayor’s office wanted to distance itself from the Daily Stormer post, Adams spokeswoman Kayla Mamelak accused the Daily News of ‘legitimizing Nazi websites.’ • Oops.

Realignment and Legitimacy

“Do Geezers Run the World? Should They?” [Counterpunch]. • Do Walmart greeters run the world? From a putatively left publication!


“I am in earnest — I will not equivocate — I will not excuse — I will not retreat a single inch — AND I WILL BE HEARD.” –William Lloyd Garrison

Resources, United States (National): Transmission (CDC); Wastewater (CDC, Biobot; includes many counties; Wastewater Scan, includes drilldown by zip); Variants (CDC; Walgreens); “Iowa COVID-19 Tracker” (in IA, but national data). “Infection Control, Emergency Management, Safety, and General Thoughts” (especially on hospitalization by city).

Lambert here: Readers, thanks for the collective effort. To update any entry, do feel free to contact me at the address given with the plants. Please put “COVID” in the subject line. Thank you!

Resources, United States (Local): AK (dashboard); AL (dashboard); AR (dashboard); AZ (dashboard); CA (dashboard; Marin, dashboard; Stanford, wastewater; Oakland, wastewater); CO (dashboard; wastewater); CT (dashboard); DE (dashboard); FL (wastewater); GA (wastewater); HI (dashboard); IA (wastewater reports); ID (dashboard, Boise; dashboard, wastewater, Central Idaho; wastewater, Coeur d’Alene; dashboard, Spokane County); IL (wastewater); IN (dashboard); KS (dashboard; wastewater, Lawrence); KY (dashboard, Louisville); LA (dashboard); MA (wastewater); MD (dashboard); ME (dashboard); MI (wastewater; wastewater); MN (dashboard); MO (wastewater); MS (dashboard); MT (dashboard); NC (dashboard); ND (dashboard; wastewater); NE (dashboard); NH (wastewater); NJ (dashboard); NM (dashboard); NV (dashboard; wastewater, Southern NV); NY (dashboard); OH (dashboard); OK (dashboard); OR (dashboard); PA (dashboard); RI (dashboard); SC (dashboard); SD (dashboard); TN (dashboard); TX (dashboard); UT (wastewater); VA (dashboard); VT (dashboard); WA (dashboard; dashboard); WI (wastewater); WV (wastewater); WY (wastewater).

Resources, Canada (National): Wastewater (Government of Canada).

Resources, Canada (Provincial): ON (wastewater); QC (les eaux usées); BC, Vancouver (wastewater).

Hat tips to helpful readers: anon (2), Art_DogCT, B24S, CanCyn, ChiGal, Chuck L, Festoonic, FM, FreeMarketApologist (4), Gumbo, hop2it, JB, JEHR, JF, JL Joe, John, JM (10), JustAnotherVolunteer, JW, KatieBird, LL, Michael King, KF, LaRuse, mrsyk, MT, MT_Wild, otisyves, Petal (6), RK (2), RL, RM, Rod, square coats (11), tennesseewaltzer, Utah, Bob White (3).

Stay safe out there!

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“Filters 90% of Harmful Airborne Particles at PM10 and 65% at PM2.5” [O2 Nose Filters]. “3M’s patented AEM™ (Advanced Electret Media) filter technology relies on the principles of electrostatic attraction. The high capture ratios and extended breathability attributed to 3M’s AEM™ material allow airborne particles to be captured within the filter. Rather than using a ‘screen’ approach to block the passage of particles, the charged fibers act as ‘magnets’ to retain particles while still allowing air to pass through – making O2 Nose Filters both breathable and effective.” And: “”A ‘naked’ virus can’t go anywhere unless it’s hitching a ride with a droplet of mucus or saliva . . . these mucus and saliva droplets are ejected from the mouth or nose as we cough, sneeze, laugh, sing, breathe, and talk.” The 3M electrostatic filter material in our filtered nasal dilators captures 65% of particles PM2.5 or larger, 90% of particles PM10 or larger, and the effectiveness rapidly approaches 100% above PM10. This means that when you breathe through your nose, O2 can block the vast majority of those virus-carrying sneeze and cough droplets that are careening through the air.” • Worth a look? When I visited the site, I got a pop-up offering me a free trial pack. (Clear your cookies if you want to see it again.) Readers, any thoughts?

Covid is Airborne

“HEPA filtration reduces transmission of SARS-CoV-2 and prevents nosocomial infection: A call to action” [BC Medical Journal]. “Let’s clear the air about HEPA filtration. When adequate air exchange rates are not achievable, the addition of HEPA filtration reduces respiratory particles and has the potential to reduce nosocomial COVID, as well as other pathogens. I hope someone with the power to implement HEPA filtration will read the state of the evidence and find it a call to action. I hope that my friend will never have to go through another week when three of her patients die from a pathogen they breathed in the hospital air…. A systematic review conducted in 2021 identified 11 studies on the effectiveness of portable HEPA filters for eliminating airborne SARS-CoV-2.[2] A HEPA filter filters 99.97% of aerosols with a size of 0.15 μm, with even greater efficiency for other particle sizes (larger and smaller). SARS-CoV-2 is thought to be around 0.1 μm. All 11 studies showed that portable HEPA purifiers were able to significantly reduce airborne SARS-CoV-2 surrogate particles and augmented other decontamination strategies such as ventilation. Seven of the studies were performed in settings with minimal or no additional ventilation. Placement of the portable air cleaner in front of the subject removed more particles, although placement both in front and behind the subject were effective. Portable air cleaners with HEPA filtration should be placed in open space near the source of the pollutant, near the breathing zone of residents, and not behind furniture.” • Somebody tell HICPAC before they slaughter more patients.

We’re progressing, but backwards:

“Something Awful”

Lambert here: I’m getting the feeling that the “Something Awful” might be a sawtooth pattern — variant after variant — that averages out to a permanently high plateau. Lots of exceptionally nasty sequelae, most likely deriving from immune dysregulation (says this layperson). To which we might add brain damage, including personality changes therefrom.

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Elite Maleficence

Don’t get your hopes up:

That’s not Far-UV in the ceiling. It’s just a light show.

“Mild symptoms”:

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Case Data

NOT UPDATED From BioBot wastewater data, September 8:

Leveling out? I would attribute this to Labor Day data issues (a note above the chart no longer visible says the data was delayed) but I would expect this to be consistent across regions, which it isn’t.

Regional data:

Interestingly, the upswing begins before July 4, which neither accelerates nor retards it.


NOT UPDATED From CDC, September 2:

Lambert here: Top of the leaderboard: EG.5 (“Eris“). No BA.2.86 here, not even in the note, but see below at Positivity.

CDC: “As of May 11, genomic surveillance data will be reported biweekly, based on the availability of positive test specimens.” “Biweeekly: 1. occurring every two weeks. 2. occurring twice a week; semiweekly.” Looks like CDC has chosen sense #1. In essence, they’re telling us variants are nothing to worry about. Time will tell.

Covid Emergency Room Visits

NOT UPDATED From CDC NCIRD Surveillance, September 2:

Lambert here: Another Labor Day weekend drop, like Walgreens? Typically, three-day weekends don’t coincide with peak infection!

Lambert here: I changed this ER chart to a Covid-only chart broken down by age. Note the highlighting.

NOTE “Charts and data provided by CDC, updates Wednesday by 8am. For the past year, using a rolling 52-week period.” So not the entire pandemic, FFS (the implicit message here being that Covid is “just like the flu,” which is why the seasonal “rolling 52-week period” is appropriate for bothMR SUBLIMINAL I hate these people so much. Notice also that this chart shows, at least for its time period, that Covid is not seasonal, even though CDC is trying to get us to believe that it is, presumably so they can piggyback on the existing institutional apparatus for injections.


Bellwether New York City, data as of September 9:

Still climbing. I hate this metric because the lag makes it deceptive.

NOT UPDATED Here’s a different CDC visualization on hospitalization, nationwide, not by state, but with a date, at least. September 2:

At least now we now that hospitalization tracks positivity, which is nice. Even if we don’t know how many cases there are. And positivity as high as it’s been at any time, except for Omicron.


From Walgreens, September 11:

0.4% Still thinking the dip is Labor Day data. Or perhaps people were actually testing for Labor Day, and stopped. The absolute numbers are still very small relative to June 2022, say. Interestingly, these do not correlate with the regional figures for wastewater. (It would be interesting to survey this population generally; these are people who, despite a tsunami of official propaganda and enormous peer pressure, went and got tested anyhow.)

NOT UPDATED From CDC, traveler’s data, August 21:

A drop!

No BA.2.86 for two of the long-delayed collection weeks.


NOT UPDATED Iowa COVID-19 Tracker, September 6:

Lambert here: The WHO data is worthless, so I replaced it with the Iowa Covid Data Tracker. Their method: “These data have been sourced, via the API from the CDC: https://data.cdc.gov/NCHS/Conditions-Contributing-to-COVID-19-Deaths-by-Stat/hk9y-quqm. This visualization updates on Wednesday evenings. Data are provisional and are adjusted weekly by the CDC.” I can’t seem to get a pop-up that shows a total of the three causes (top right). Readers?

Total: 1,174,580 – 1,174,558 = 22 (22 * 365 = 8030 deaths per year, today’s YouGenicist™ number for “living with” Covid (quite a bit higher than the minimizers would like, though they can talk themselves into anything. If the YouGenicist™ 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).

Excess Deaths

The Economist, September 10:

Lambert here: This is now being updated daily. Odd. Based on a machine-learning model. (The CDC has an excess estimate too, but since it ran forever with a massive typo in the Legend, I figured nobody was really looking at it, so I got rid it. )

Stats Watch

There are no official statistics of interest today.

* * *

Finance: “Finance hits back against US regulator’s rulemaking spree” [Financial Times]. “Securities and Exchange Commission chair Gary Gensler’s ambitious regulatory agenda is igniting fierce opposition from the financial industry, which is challenging what it views as egregious overextension of the securities watchdog’s legal authority. In recent months, the SEC has been targeted in lawsuits from the US Chamber of Commerce, a business lobby, over a rule expanding stock buyback disclosures, and a coalition of private equity, venture capital and hedge fund groups last week sued to block sweeping new rules for private fund managers adopted by the SEC last month. Its crackdown on the crypto industry has also encountered resistance, as the company backing the Ripple digital token challenges an SEC civil lawsuit on the basis that it goes beyond the agency’s power to regulate securities.” • Stuck pigs squeal.

* * *

Today’s Fear & Greed Index: 52 Neutral (previous close: 51 Neutral) [CNN]. One week ago: 57 (Greed). (0 is Extreme Fear; 100 is Extreme Greed). Last updated Sep 6 at 1:26 PM ET.

Rapture Index: Closes up one on Earthquakes. “A massive quake kills over 1,000 in Morocco” [Rapture Ready]. Record High, October 10, 2016: 189. Current: 186 (Remember that bringing on the Rapture is good.) NOTE on #42 Plagues: “The coronavirus pandemic has maxed out this category.” More honest than most!

News of the Wired

“Networking for introverts: a how-to guide” [The Economist]. “Networking pays off if you can identify people who can bring you new information but are close enough to your world that this information is useful. In the offline world, a tool like Chatgpt should make it easier to find useful prospects in a list of event attendees. But you still need to overcome all your instincts and approach them.” • Hmm.

* * *

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 EMM:

EMM writes: “These things are cool. A tree stump preserved in the bog. I’d say it’s pretty old.”

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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. Carla

    Follow up on faked public comment letters supporting fracking in Ohio state parks —


    “The Consumer Energy Alliance has previously been accused of using people’s names without permission on petitions and similar submissions in Wisconsin (in 2014), Ohio (2016) and South Carolina (2018). However, it has never been convicted of or penalized for the alleged conduct.”

    Consumer Energy Alliance is based in Houston, TX. So I guess they can operate with impunity… anywhere? Is that how it works?

    1. Henry Moon Pie

      Between the “Institutes” and the “Alliances,” the world has an oversupply of liars because the billionaires have an oversupply of money.

  2. Clif

    I have not read details of the efforts concerning section 3 of the 14th amendment…a lot of noise being made. One question I have, if these efforts succeed and Trump is banned from ballots, would votes count that write him in as a candidate?

    1. LifelongLib

      The text of section 3 bars the person from holding office (it doesn’t say anything about ballots). Not a lawyer, but it looks as though the person can’t serve even if they win the election.

  3. Wukchumni

    Do Walmart greeters run the world? From a putatively left publication!
    Wal*Mart last had greeters around the turn of the century, and the exiters are young and edgy, think too many tats for somebody making $15 an hour.

    ‘…your paper please’

    1. Amfortas the Hippie

      my thought, as well….haven’t seen a geezer greeter in many moons…although i only darken wally whirled’s door when i have to.
      in fact, last several times ive been in there, the noticeable thing is a lack of employees.
      checkers, of course…so as to funnel one into the robot checkout/antilabor crimetech.
      but also just anyone in a walmt smock who can help me find things(a map would be cool, and in dollar stores, especially)
      i always assume that there’s a live human watching all those camerafeeds…so if i really need assistance…like in electronics…i make like i’m filling my pockets while looking around and making otherwise furtive movements. help arrives pretty quickly,lol…but then i hafta explain what i was doing, and empty my pockets.

        1. Amfortas the Hippie

          unless i want to drive 100 miles to costco(lol), nowhere else to get a cheap boxfan within my budget.
          and TP, of course…laundry…dish…things like that.
          its 16 miles to the north, and i hate myself every time,lol.
          but, “Mom and Pop done closed up shop, they can’t fight that corporate war…”

          (from a song i used to hear on KFAN, outta fredricksburg, texas…and have never been able to find online anywhere)

    2. The Rev Kev

      Walmart greeters are a great scam – for Walmart. Hire old geezers, take out dead peasant’s insurance on them, wait for the job to finish them off, collect on that insurance policy that the family never sees a dime off, and then hire another geezer.

  4. Verifyfirst

    Senator Duckworth: “After experiencing mild symptoms, I tested positive for COVID-19 today.

    I will continue working for the people of Illinois in isolation and follow medical guidance on when to return to the Senate chamber.”

    No, no Senator–you should return immediately to conduct the vital business of OUR Democracy as long as you feel ok–which you should, if it’s mild. Same as every other worker in America, especially the front line heros. And please, do not wear a mask, mingle freely among your colleagues. Please.

    Because the funny thing is, people are still scared of Covid–as some wags have proved by responding to mask comments from strangers in the checkout line, for example, by responding that they have Covid, and pretending to start removing their mask. Unfailingly, the perps backpedaled furiously away from the scene. Imagine her walking into a conference room full of Senators TODAY–they would pee themselves rushing to get out of there.

    And an aside–am I the only one who noticed the new CD Director had her photo taken getting a flu shot in front of a giant poster with the word “mild” taking up the whole background right behind her shoulder? Lol.

  5. lyman alpha blob

    RE: The lie, oft repeated, becomes for many, the truth.

    So they’re talking about Russiagate? WMDs in Iraq? Something else? Because I’m not seeing where the lie is regarding Biden family influence peddling. All I know is saying “The lie, oft repeated, becomes for many, the truth” while you are lying deserves some sort of Irony Jujitsu Gaslighting gold medal. Bravo!

      1. lyman alpha blob

        Evidence of Biden family influence peddling or evidence that this Salon writer knows their rear end from a hole in the ground? Because regarding the influence peddling, the quid and the quo are readily apparent, and have been for quite some time.

      2. griffen

        A number of bank records (which are likely sourced by the beneficial bank locations via a SAR* to start), and some handy LLCs beg to differ on this front, but again I have a lot of questions on just how the Republicans are consistently proven guilty first of such acts but not the other side. Our politicians are lizard people, granted.

        It is unseemly at best, at its very worst it stinks to the heavens. Give Mr. Weiss another 5 years and he’ll be certain to crack this case. One can argue semantics but there is evidence of funds being sloshed around from some, inconvenient, geographic locales.

        *SAR. Suspicious Activity. Foreign financial entity initiating a wire transfer would be a good guess on how funds are transmitted. And then there’s OFAC which is a totally different animal to explain within US Treasury.

        1. Amfortas the Hippie

          when i took out $27k in cash to buy that tractor(from Tam’s life insurance.thanks, hon)…i had to fill out 2 or 3 forms. one from IRS, another from what i assume is linked to fbi, et alia, and if there was a 3rd(it was a year ago), i dont remember.
          i was also asked by the teller chick about why i wanted so much cash…remember, i’ve known these people for 30 years,lol…and that hot teller chick since she was in diapers….
          “looking out for our customers” was what the bank pres said when he materialised before me.
          so i sez, “i’m gonna drive through the Barrio throwing money, of course”.
          none of the small group of bank people who had gathered to “look after” me knew whether i was serious or not.
          i finally rolled my eyes at them and said “i’m goin up to brady and buy a tractor….dont know exact amount with taxes, etc, so cashier’s check is out…and i dont want a checking account, and the debit card i could get on this here savings account wouldnt allow such a large transaction…so i’m well armed and scary looking, and will hand them cash, which is…after all..legal tender…and mine, dammit”
          i got the cash, glared at every car on the highway, and scared the hell out of the old women in the office at the tractor place…and then at their request(being armed and scary) followed one of them to their bank,lol.
          now the people at the tractor place know me by name and on sight…and say hi in the wally whirled in brady…so i mustve made an impression.

          point is…for all those rich bastids who dont like filling out forms or being regulated…whats good for the goose….deal with it like an adult, ffs
          and for the people after the biden crimenfamila…yeah, there’s a record out there…go do yer dern job and prove it.

          1. griffen

            To add to your story above. If it is Joe Smith or William Smith who is later found lying to the Feds on an application form, their butts are going into jail for lying about a substance issue. But on the other hand…the son of Joe Biden is getting a pass for that infraction; but oh wait now they might get around to a charge.

            Rules for thee, as these things go. If it was the son of Mittens Romney doing the same, aka, the gun charge is not hard to prove, as Hunter Biden I’d more or less have the same antipathy for lying sob child of a politician. Maybe more since Mitt Romney is such a prominently and fabulously wealthy son of a gun.

          2. The Rev Kev

            You were lucky that the police did not pull you over and confiscate that money on the grounds that the money itself was acting suspicious. :)

            1. Amfortas the Hippie

              “ima goanta buyy a tractrrr, offssrrr. ”
              now that all the country music people look like me, but worse(tattoos), an authentic redneck east texas drawl goes a long way.
              toothless hillbilly, with life insurance money, goin to buy an iconic instrument…means of production that everybody out here understands, implicitly….
              i want worried.
              but i took my truck, which happened to be inspected and registered at the time(thanks, hon)…and is part of my uniform, in this case…obviously a working farm truck,lol…and filthy.
              i also stayed well below the speed limit.
              point is(!)…i had to go through all that scrutiny…even from people and an institution who have known me for 3 decades…to take my money from one county seat to the next.
              isnt there such scrutiny for our betters?

          3. John Beech

            Amfortas the Hippie,
            I remain saddened for your loss. Kindly allow me share with you how I would have made that tractor transaction. To begin, I would have executed it from the comfort of my computer. In complete privacy I would have wired money from a bank account to their bank account. In full, and, based on an invoice for said tractor.

            Thusly done, there would have been zero questions. Not by that hot teller chick you once saw in diapers, nor the long nosed bank president (peering down same by simultaneously probing up your butt by daring to question you). So believe me in this, if nothing else, *electronically* is how money moves . . . and without answering to anybody!

            So why not stand on principle and use said legal tender, AKA cash?

            Simple, because first, I’m a busy guy – my way takes five minutes. How much time did you spend on that bank ordeal, 30 minutes, plus the gas and drive? Second, I am risk averse. This just means knowledge there’s a potential the hot teller (or bank manager) may inadvertently or intentionally fuck you. How? well, for example, via idle gossip (never assume malign intent when idiocy adequately serves to explain events). So even if they don’t drop a dime on purpose, it possibly happens by someone encountering the local equivalent of bumbling Barney Fife at the diner and sharing salacious gossip, e.g. blabbing your business. Small town, right? Realistically, there was risk of contending with Barney confiscating your money. If that weren’t true, then why were you so careful about driving the speed limit, etc? But third, and most important of all, because I don’t ever answer damn fool questions about my business – not since I was 18 y/o and certainly not if I can help it!

            Bottom line? If you’re computer savvy enough to post on NC, then you can suss out how to wire money, too!

            In summary, doing it your way led you to you being forced to provide an explanation of your actions and basically humble yourself before others, e.g. having to explain your private business and seeking their approval to use your f-ing money to buy whatever in Hell pleases you.

            Not saying your way was wrong for you, but it is certainly wrong for me! Simply put, I am so private I prefer using the bank service that best suits me, and in matters of money transfers, it’s one that minimizes human interaction . . . electronic.

            Then again, some people like playing, Mother may I?, but you’ll never count me amongst them!

            1. griffen

              A small but important detail, your transaction is not done end to end in five minutes. It may seem as though your transaction is clearing or will be clearing in a short order, but trust me the part for services rendered or invoice summarily paid from an individual single or joint account is going to get flagged by the receiving institution. Likely the sending institution might even set some limitations on what they permit. However if the transfer is initiated from a commercial account, you indeed might be in the clear but the ACH takes two business days to clear.

              Simpler yes, but still a paper trail and reports to be filed. Basically every transaction or instance above $3,000 is marked and filed, based on my recall of the endless AFSA training I was accustomed to taking over several years.

    1. Henry Moon Pie

      Well put. That line took a lot of damn gall to put in that article.

      But I loved the LOL humor about 75% of the way through when he gets to his “most attractive” alternative to Biden. It’s worth the silly lib twaddle that leads up to it.

      Hint: it was the hospital bed shot that won him over, no doubt.

      1. griffen

        I read it quickly, so as to avoid any GI distress or discomfort of losing my lunch. This line nearer to the end gets me every time. “The key for Democrats…not to spread the good news of the state of our economy or the peace and prosperity we are now enjoying…”

        Yes that’s right folks. Step right up and take your happy blue pill for the day! I expected a saccharine drip of “best times ever” nonsense so I had a forewarning of the possibility.

        1. lyman alpha blob

          Finally read a larger portion of the article than Lambert’s summary (still couldn’t make it all the way through that dreck). The author is claiming that Trump took focus away from Hillary’s positives, and the people started believing the emails “canard” after it was repeated enough.

          Pretty hilarious that the author makes absolutely zero mention of what was in some of those released DNC emails, namely that the Clinton campaign contacted her friends in the media and asked them to promote Trump, thinking he’d be easiest for her to beat!

          I will never not find that hilarious.

  6. Mikel

    “‘We would’ve done everything differently’: Newsom reflects on Covid approach”

    Just think: there will be something along the lines of the virulent H5N1 to come along for them to try these “new approaches.”
    Go long coffins.

    1. 850 Bryant Man

      Keep adding up all the mistakes….
      “In ten years homelessness will be resolved”… Mayor Gavin Newsom in 2004, plus the disastrous shut downs of California, his kids kept going to private academies while millions of public schoolchildren lost collectively millions of years of education, the complete disaster that his appointed police chief, Heather Fong, and the resulting crime wave enabled also by the district attorney, Kamala Harris, –and you have a social climbing incompetent who has managed to service the needs of the California elite at the cost of the California middle class tax donkeys.

      America’s the land of opportunity; even a slick alcoholic lothario can rise to the top.

      1. JBird4049

        >>>Then again, Newsom’s only servicing his real constituency, and what’s wrong with that?

        Here I am being foolish enough to think that he is the governor of of the State of California, but money really does change everything, and the Good People have it, and we do not, so we are not deserving, and they are deserving. It is like that Victorian saw about the deserving and undeserving poor.

      1. JBird4049

        If you think that it might get exciting enough, go long on excavators and bulldozers. It is a truly gruesome and horrific idea, but with pandemics have done in the past, it has gone straight to mass graves. This is something I suspect will happen because of the increasing incompetence of our government.

        1. Randall Flagg

          Or if we keep fooling around and soon enough there are missle strikes on population centers on good old America soil…

  7. chris

    Re: do geezers run the world.

    Walmart greeter doesn’t capture what we have in our leadership class. The only cultural references I have to compare the behavior of people like Biden, McConnell, Feinstein, Pelosi, Manchin, and others, are the Skeksis. In the greater lore behind the Dark Crystal, you learn that the origin of the Skeksis was a race of beings (urSkeks) who were imprisoned on Thra for their crimes on other worlds, which the Crystal then each split into two different beings (Skeksis and urRu). I don’t know of a better metaphor for our current uniparty – criminals who split into two different groups to rule over a troubled world. The Skeksis were the worst of the lot but the urRu sages knew they were also at fault and yet hid away rather than try to fix the problem they had created.

    Diane and Nancy and Joe appear more Skeksis like each time I see them talk about running for another term…

    1. Hepativore

      For any Dungeons and Dragons tabletop gaming fans here, I would compare it as leadership between two evil groups of fiends. The Republicans are like the Baatezu (devils) who are lawful evil as they make no bones over the fact that they want to rule over and oppress you and they march in lockstep with each other as a united front working towards a common goal.

      Democrats, on the other hand, are like the Yugoloths (daemons) who are neutral evil. They are constantly wheeling and dealing with each other as well as their voter base, yet you can never trust them to keep their word as they will backstab you or one another the moment it becomes convenient. Like the Yugoloths, Democrats do not normally have any degree of loyalty with one another, but many powerful individuals within their ranks can use their social and political influence to convince or coerce their fellow party members to temporarily fall in line…yet all bets are off if one of their underlings sees an opportunity.

  8. flora

    re: ” Yet no Democrat of stature has been willing to say this publicly, much less challenge Mr. Biden in the primaries. ”

    There’s a reason for that hesitancy: the DNC. Here’s RFKjr talking with Forbes. utube ~30 minutes. The first 5 minutes make his point.

    Robert F. Kennedy Jr. Blasts DNC’s ‘Rigged Process,’ Slams Biden In New Forbes Interview


    1. Stephen V

      “Rigged process” is too kind. And what is this manure about a primary contest ” being divisive?” Isn’t that what this essential activity is supposed to do?There are no words left for these tribal insecure human beans. They need to live under a rock for the next 14 months and eat some shrooms. Or maybe that’s what I should do. Gag me with a ballot.

    2. Dr. John Carpenter

      Yep. You can’t tell me the likes of Mayo Pete, Kamala, Newsome, etc. don’t have aspirations. But the DNC is clearly foaming the runway for Biden. Anyone who wants a future in the party knows speaking out is signing their suicide note and they above me mentioned aren’t that stupid. Biden is not going anywhere, unless it’s feet first, on a table and under a blanket.

      Plus, he can’t. The article a few links down about “Huntergate” (ugh). He’s somewhat insulated from this in the Oval Office. I still am skeptical much would happen to former president Biden, but why risk it? Not just that but as the article the other day was talking, there’s a high possibility of blowback from this hitting Obama and we can’t have that.

      (I’d still really like to know what these accomplishments “by progressive lights” are. Every Biden friendly article talks about his accomplishments like it’s understood what they are and I’ll be damned if I can even guess what they’re talking about, even removing the progressive claim from the equation.)

    3. EyeRound

      Thank you, Flora. There are also some very good vids on RFK Jr’s twitter page. I’m curious as to why NC is linking comparatively little on the RFK Jr campaign. That’s my impression, anyway.

    4. notabanker

      “and that a primary challenge would be more divisive than it’s worth.” From the WJS article above and the money line. The ‘divisiveness’ ain’t gonna come from Mayo Pete, Kamala, Michelle or whatever other DNC goon is thrown out there. It’s coming from RFKjr and opening that door is Trump x2.

      After the G20 debacle, there is no way Biden makes it. He’ll be lucky to get to Christmas. What normal person would watch that and say, “Hey, there’s the leader of the free world.” No one. Even his staff knew it. Most of us were thinking his decision making should be confined to tapioca or chocolate.

      They gotta engineer a way to get Biden out and keep RFK under wraps. Lotta trial balloon “Kamala” stories in my google feed lately, which is another Dem disaster waiting to happen.

      They’ve snookered themselves pretty well here politically. If they get Trump knocked off the ballot in even just one state, then the rubicon is crossed and you have 30-40-50%+ plus of the country disenfranchised. Doesn’t really matter which number it is, it’s big enough. The way to beat Trump is to like, actually beat him in an election. The MIC should understand martyr syndrome.

      The only way this makes sense is if you undoubtedly know the outcome of the election already, or there isn’t one at all. For the former, then it is all about making it as plausible as possible, and we’ve already seen the tales they can weave. For the latter, there’s been some “proclamations” in Maui already. There will be plenty of reasons to make more, via natural causes or otherwise.

      1. ashley

        omg, no, “30-40-50%” of the country will not be disenfranchised if trump is blocked from running.

        if he didnt want to be blocked from running, he shouldn’t have attempted a coup. hes a criminal and that is on him, not the rest of us for holding his criminality accountable.

        nobody is stopping you from voting for defascist or whatever fascist candidate the neo-fascist party known as the “republicans” wants to run. wildly ironic how the so called “republican” voters turned trump into their king. then again this is the same group of voters who like to bleat about how “were a republic not a democracy” yet cant define either because theyre at a sixth grade reading level if theyre lucky.

        you want to talk about disenfranchisement? talk about the DNC blocking a primary vote. that’s disenfranchisement, forcing this demented corrupt geezer on us while fascism is quickly on the rise and the climate, economy, and society itself is collapsing. i hate the republicans, but i passionately hate the democrats even more for this. as a visibly queer person, theyre doing their goddamn best to get us gassed in the next decade all so they can make their corporate sponsors happy. iTs ThE mOsT iMpOrTaNt ElEcTiOn EvEr! (so they run the worst possible candidate imaginable and i guarantee they will lose and blame the actual left for their loss like they did in 2000)

        1. Yves Smith

          First, Trump has been not been convicted and the legal standard is innocent until proven guilty. Denying him ballot access before that is denying him due process…which is set forth in Article 1 of the 14th Amendment, which comes before Article 3 (the one everyone is trying to use to keep him off ballots) and therefore takes precedence.

          Second, Article 3 applies to “officers”. That term has a well-understood meaning and had been subject to several Supreme Court rulings. “Officer” in the Federal context is someone appointed by the President or ultimately via Presidential authority. The President is not an officer.

          Third, Eugene Debs ran from prison even though he had been convicted of espionage.

  9. Mark Gisleson

    “Joe Biden bucks tradition, bets big on early swing-state advertising”

    I seem to recall HRC doing the same thing. She blew tons of money way too soon taking coronation laps and that — imo — was what tipped Bernie into running. In late 2015 when I read about her campaign expenditures and how her donors were legally maxxed out (probably here on NC) I began to believe Bernie could win.

    And then of course HRC and her people running the DNC took a fire axe to their own rules and kneecapped Bernie and then the guy holding the axe got shot in the chest eleven times and left in a bathtub in North Carolina next to a pizza parlor. Or something like that.

    Joe Biden is way past the rules. Rules are for little people, man. Dark Brandon does what Dark Brandon wants to do.

    Also it’s my understanding that Scherer has September 19 in the WaPo Biden resignation pool.

    1. flora

      “took a fire axe to their own rules”

      The rules based order = we make it up as we go to suit ourselves. / ;)

    2. Jason Boxman

      It’s worth noting that, contrary to Biden’s claims, we’ve had the largest increase in childhood poverty in history with the withdrawal of expanded aid that his administration and Congress allowed to expire when liberal Democrats still controlled both houses.

      But when the expanded tax credit expired, child poverty spiked, Columbia University’s Center on Poverty and Social Policy reported. In February, the center said, supplemental child poverty rose from 12.1% in December 2021 to 17% in January 2022 — a 41% change. This meant 3.7 million more children were living below the poverty line.

      Biden and Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., predicted in 2021 that expanding the child tax credit could halve U.S. child poverty. Timothy Smeeding, a University of Wisconsin-Madison public policy professor, said the expanded child tax credit worked as forecast.

      This is for:

      Biden’s American Rescue Plan increased the child tax credit from $2,000 to $3,600 for children younger than 6 and to $3,000 for children 6 to 17. The credit is refundable and is no longer limited by the taxpayer’s income tax liability. Beneficiaries received up to half the credit in monthly payments from July 2021 to December 2021. They included families with very low incomes who are therefore not required to file a tax return.

      “We cut Black child poverty in half in 2021 because of the child tax credit.”

      Of course PolitiFact says Biden’s claim is true, hilariously, because I guess you get credit for temporarily reducing childhood poverty, then allowing it to expand once again, even knowing that the policy that is expiring is reducing child poverty. This must be some kind of Beltway-Thought?

    3. PelhamKS

      As with Ukraine, the Dems have painted themselves into a rhetorical corner with Biden. How to cancel the candidacy gracefully? Joe could play on his love for Hunter as that mess percolates a little more and say it’s all become too painful for the lad and the presidential run is only making things worse. Therefore, the campaign is pulling the plug. This narrative avoids any concessions on Joe’s age or corruption, although it does nothing to dodge the Kamala booby trap.

  10. P-100 question

    Going to repost a comment of mine from September 7th in case it got missed, no worries if too busy to answer, won’t ask again after this post so as to not be nagging.
    1)Hey Yves thanks for the info, two questions about the GVS:

    I wrongly thought all P-100s filtered everything equally, but on Amazon there is a chart of all of the GVS elipses available for sale and what they do and do not filter. There is:
    Silica Dust
    Wood Dust
    Cement Dust
    Coal Dust
    Metal Dust
    Acid Gases
    Organic Vapors
    Only two of the GVS elipses filter everything on this list. Would it be best to get one of those two to ensure that they filter covid particles, or will any of the P-100 elipses suffice for covid?
    Also, what model of the GVS mask are you using? There are six types on Amazon, not sure which works best for covid or if all are the same efficacy. I will be taking it on and off regularly throughout a work shift, so thanks for the heads up about, ”the straps can loosen in the clips and pull out when you are trying to put it back on.”

    1. chris

      The different cartridges have different costs too, which may factor into what you’re trying to figure out. This particular question gets real close to asking for medical opinions something I’m not qualified to do. Even with your statements about health and what you’re doing while wearing the mask… I just don’t know. When I help set up safety protocols for work sites I know a lot about the sites and the people before I say much. I’m extremely hesitant to say anything that could be construed as advice beyond what I offered last time (get fit tested, see a specialist for your questions). To your current question, NIOSH and others put out this study in 2020. 3M also has a worker safety page for COVID-19 related issues with their products. Hopefully these resources will point you in the direction for answering your question. Good luck!

    2. skippy

      Its all about the filters, dust is a particulate filter whilst gases/vapors are chemical based filters. The latter normally uses both, although the chemical filters have a shelf life and need to replaced more often. So its not unlike the Swiss cheese protocol, more layers will always be helpful.

      BTW cleaning the mask and handling of filters post using is something one should be informed about. Just make sure the size is right for your facial structure and nothing like facial hair effects the seal.

      Will be wearing my mask at work today as I’m spraying timber sealer and water based top coats.

    3. Amfortas the Hippie

      “Organic Vapors”—-i would assume that covid/flu/rsv fall unofficially under this category.
      and if paint fumes are filtered, i reckon you are good to go with virii.
      remember covid is like smoke.
      have someone not positive eat garlic, put on one of those masks….if you can smell the garlic, it aint gonna filter covid.
      my trusty bandannas are specifically for someone like me, i’m afraid: bearded and long haired and shaggy(masks i can afford wont seal)…alone with farm animals 90% of the time…and spend as little time as possible indoors when i do hafta go some place….and will patiently wait outside(fiddling with my fondleslab, or pretending to) until the place clears out(most of the places i go have decent ventilation…my go-to mom and pop convenience store has a vent hood over the grill, and one of those ac things that has a big dryer hose going out a window.)

    4. Tom B.

      The main dividing line is between particles and gases. Covid viruses are very tiny airborne particles in the 60 to 120 nanometer diameter range which can be filtered by electrostatically charged ultra-fine plastic fibers which attract and hold them, as in (good) N95 masks. Toxic vapors, on the other hand have no particle structure and can only be filtered by adsorption on stuff like activated charcoal or in some cases chemically neutralized like for example filtering acid vapors by passing through an alkaline powder like baking soda.
      So – industrial masks are not necessarily good medical masks and vice versa.

      1. Amfortas the Hippie

        so the high fallutin mask i wear for melting lead or aluminium..with the filter cartridges and everything…and says aluminium and lead right there… wont do covid?
        thats astonishing to me.
        i mean, it’s gases i’m worried about in that instance.

        1. skippy

          Amfort as someone that has worn one since the late 70s [military], later 80s [industrial prep and coatings] its simple. Most masks have a two part filter which is the particulate, on top, can be worn by itself, and the various vapor/gas filters closest to the mask.

          In this case it looks like the GVS elipse filters are all in one where my Sundstrom SR100 is two piece, as well my full face Fox mask. The odds are your mask does have a particulate filter on top rated to P100 so its all good.

          My Sundstrom SR100 uses replaceable filter disks over the top of the main filter, removable cap, keeping it from getting clogged up so fast and are cheap compared to the actual particulate filter itself. I would also think the gas/vapor filter compounds are quite compact and would be P100 or better as they have to make the VOCs inert before entering your mask.

          It would seem the GVS elipse is more of an ascetic choice and would offer the user less issues with head movement in some cases without bumping into stuff.

  11. Wukchumni

    UFC 86

    My Kevin (since ’07) versus My Kevin (since ’07)

    2 strategies go into the octagon, a failed Speakership emerges.

    $49.95 PPV
    $29.95 PPV (HD)

    1. JBird4049

      >>>Just as planned?

      Yes, actually. To expand on this, every single law passed to “protect the children,” “victims of sex trafficking,” drugs and guns, or just “to go after the kingpins” eventually goes after the little people. People are censored or imprisoned, organizations that are created by the victims are shutdown or censored. RICO, civil asset forfeiture, SESTA/FOSTA, and the official unofficial “fact checkers.”

      All of this is used by the powerful, who come from all side of the political and social spectrum, to control others, maintain appearances, and to make a world safe for money. I could write a book, but this is merely a public comment. I will end by saying anything that is created, whatever it is, will be abused and used to destroy the vulnerable, the weak, and even the innocent, usually by those who do not think of others, never you mind the secondary consequences of any action.

  12. Henry Moon Pie

    “No, Smith didn’t. Doesn’t that make the prima facie case clear?”

    I agree with you that Smith choosing not to prosecute for insurrection when he presumably had the evidence before him operates in a way like stare decisis, but without the full weight of a court decision.

    These people are the Bengals going for that 4th down in their own territory early in the 4th quarter. Desperate and it’s getting more and more obvious.

  13. Pat

    My Dan since 2023 and My Jerry (1997-2022) are on the case using their extensive experience with the Trump impeachments to make sure Biden doesn’t have to depend on the Senate to save his ass from being kicked out of office. Yeah, that House committee is chock full of people with that experience. I fully expect that if things keep going as they are, Biden will have to take time off from being impeached to go to the Democratic convention next year, no matter what brilliant strategy Dan and Jerry and pals come up with.

    And just wondering if attempting to incite insurrection counts in the new ballot nullification process so beloved by so many Democrats. I mean you could probably make a decent case that the faithless elector strategy of the Clinton team in 2016 would apply under such a broad reading. (I fully admit that if I had money to burn I might be seeing who I could target for that, and then would be funding legal action to drop them from the ballot.)

  14. Steve H.

    > Filters 90% of Harmful Airborne Particles at PM10 and 65% at PM2.5” [O2 Nose Filters].

    Thought it was neato at first glance, then kept thinking.

    1) The fashion approach to masking never fully took off, nor did the asabiyah of wearing non-fashion masks as a solidarity signal.This item goes the other way, allowing a filter without the social discomfort.

    2) What am I thinking? I’m already deviant for wearing a mask, and most of the people I know who don’t, don’t think masking is needed. It’s not in their frame of thought. (Adjacent anecdote, a friend laid out sick, fever etc, didn’t even think about the Enovid I had given them until I reminded them.)

    3) Actually, there was another person wearing a mask in the grocery store the other day. One other. He came up to the checkout, turns out he worked there, ‘How are you feeling’ asks another. “I’ve had a fever and a killer migraine for like, three days.” So he wore a mask AFTER … One of the other workers then comes up in his intimate space, I guess compassion and solidarity, that’s nice. The cure he tells sad guy to use is {21st Century, remember} Apple Cider Vinegar, ‘make sure it’s Braggs’ ffs.

    4) Skeptical about the fit of the item, nostrils are not uniform and fingers in noses is contagious.

    5) And it depends on the person not breathing through their mouth, from exertion, stuffy nose, stubbed toe… When I got Covid, I thought I could get to the outdoor patio of a crowded restaurant without taking a breath but the lady with the menu stopped. Two breaths is all it took. Do I bet my life I can keep my mouth closed?

    1. Amfortas the Hippie

      its an interesting concept…but yeah, with all the dust, here lately…as well as the constant allergies everybody and their dog has around here…breathing through the nose is not a given.
      that said…and riffing about your comment on what century it is:
      this is from an herbal from the 1800’s…modified, by me.
      when we feel a sinus infection coming on, we run out to the gardens, locate the basil, sage, rosemary or even hyssop…take 2 leaves, crush them and stuff them in our nostrils.
      breathe as much as possible through yer nose.
      works more often than not.
      cant leave them in for more than half an hour, or your nose will burn.
      but it smells nice.
      basil is my favorite…boys and their buddies like sage.
      such leaves are also good for acne…rub them on the affected area….
      when i’m gonna ask a woman in whatever roundabout way to ‘accompany me’,lol…i’ll rub basil in my beard before hand.
      covers up the smoke and dust and goat smells,lol.
      this last works better for my sons.

        1. Amfortas the Hippie

          dont know who braggs is,lol.
          but the herbs up the nose appears to work….haven’t done an actual trial, of course.
          none of us have had a proper sinus infection…aside from covid…in 5 years.
          and we all used to get them at least once every fall.
          covid being asymptomatic yet infectious in its early phase would likely explain the exception.
          i’d hafta stuff herb leaves in my nostrils and go among the mundane, willy nilly, to be sure.
          seemed to work, before pandemic.
          there will never be an RCT regarding this…because anybody can grow basil and sage.
          my post hoc, ergo propter hoc is likely the best evidence we can expect.

    2. Jason Boxman

      At the Walmart a few days ago, two young girls, probably teenagers walked past and I heard one say “he/it is a freak” or similar. Made me laugh, actually. I was wearing my Vader P100.

  15. Camelotkidd

    The Boot is their idea of a dream candidate?
    Jeez, I want some of what they’re smoking
    On a more serious note–paraphrasing Terrence McKenna–the cost of sanity in an insane world is a certain sense of alienation. Naked Capitalism helps me immensely with the alienation in that I have a community of likewise folks attempting to maintain their sanity

  16. Amfortas the Hippie

    regarding down a little bit on the Public substack…about windmills.
    theres thousands of those giant things just to my north…all the way to San Angelo…and many more north of there.
    ive gone and stood underneath one, on an ordinary windy day.
    “whoosh…whoosh///whoosh…” soothing, to me.
    not crazy sleep depriving, at all….as if there’s more than 3 people living close enough to one of those thousands of turbines to hear them.
    as for the alleged visual pollution: one of stepdad’s cousins came up a few years ago…wanted Tam and i to take her to walmart(a theme in my posts, today, it seems) in brady….and we were talking about big windfarms.
    she was againt the whole thing, of course…being a Repub righty.
    so went a little north and west and took her to actually observe the over the horizon field of giant windmills…parked close to underneath one.
    “well, they clog the view…i sure wouldn’t want to live next to this”.
    i sez:” youve been to Pasadena, Texas?(she lives in Houston)”…her:”of course…well, driven through…”
    me:”people live there…mostly poor people…and they not only have to endure the unsightly pipe and tank farms in their neighborhoods….so you could have gas to come way out here to see us….but also have the highest incidence of weird cancer in Texas, to boot…you think anybody asked them if they wanted it? or could have stopped the various installations if they had hung signs from their cars or windows?”

    she shut the hell up for several minutes….

    “well…maybe these arent so bad…”

  17. Kurtismayfield

    RE: Youngkin plan for tutors.

    Where are you going to find them? We are running on a skeleton crew and have 1/6 of our teaching positions still open and half the Instructional assistants. And this is liberal Massachusetts.

  18. chris

    This is worth dunking on the Guardian. Robert Reich has crawled up on a step stool to tell us all that the entire anti-Trump movement must line up behind Biden or else. He also notes that only 44000 votes separated Trump from victory last time. Oddly, he does not talk about what Biden could be doing, or should be doing, to attract another 44000 people to vote for him.

    I understand that according to Reich I have no choice and if I try to have a choice the consequence of my choices will be my fault, and mine alone, because Joe Biden has no agency or ability to anything different. Glad we’ve cleared that up… I think I will repeat last time. I can’t vote for Biden or Trump. Let whatever happens, happen.

    1. Rainlover

      A friend sent me a link to that article and after I read it I wrote back to her: This is what they told us last time and look where we are now! Idiots.

  19. marym

    The GA phone call:

    Trump names several types of supposedly problem ballots and the number of those ballots. Raffensperger and his general counsel tell him what recounts, lawsuits, and investigations of these ballots have found, and how those findings have been shared with the GA state legislature and Republican Congressmen. Trump keeps insisting that any of those sub-sets of ballots will change the outcome for the state. At one point he says “you will find you will be at 11,799 in minutes.” He says to go further than this in the investigation/re-counting would somehow be “not fair to the voters of Georgia because they’re going to see what happened and they’re going to see what happened.”

    It seems to me that he was suggesting yet another selective recount/re-investigation that would end when the results (more votes for Trump and/or disqualifying votes for Biden) were sufficient to make Trump the winner by 1 vote. To me it doesn’t read as solicitation of fraud – as in making a false claim about the count; but if we’re looking for “limiting principals” what’s the limiting principal at this point in the electoral process after a state’s routine recounts and other certification procedures, the special investigations that had already taken place, and the passing of federal deadlines for electoral votes?

    That’s not to say there shouldn’t ever be continuing investigation long after an election, but only wanting to announce a 1 vote margin based on a limited sub-set of ballots a few days before the ultimate deadline would also seem to raise the question of when advocacy or inquiries or negotiations become election interference.

    1. Katniss Everdeen

      …when advocacy or inquiries or negotiations become election interference.

      Never. Those things are never “election interference.” They’re never “crimes” either. Doesn’t matter how many times someone asks, when they ask, or how many votes they’re looking for.

    2. Carolinian

      You are putting your interpretation on the transcript whereas those who have heard the recording say it was more like thinking out loud. And even if one disagrees this “state of mind” indictment is tailored for any handy kangaroo court. The reality is that the vote did not change and so it’s like a murder without a body.

      And finally if Trump’s behavior was really such an outrage then surely it merited swift retribution and not waiting until the middle of a campaign. Perhaps we should really be asking what is the state of mind of the prosecutor and whether this state is in fact solely concerned with justice rather than partisan advantage.

      1. marym

        True, I didn’t listen to the audio, though it’s readily available on-line and has probably been interpreted one way or another by Trump’s friends and foes. The transcript certainly includes a lot of statistics and the various claims made about them, as well as Trump repeating his disgraceful impugning of election workers, and what seems to be clear statement that he only wanted a recount up until he was ahead by one vote. To me it doesn’t seem all that much like thinking out loud.

        Where Trump’s state of mind matters from a legal standpoint I’m not qualified to say. However it should be possible to discuss the state of mind of Trump and his allies in their various attempts to change the outcome of the election without every such discussion including a what-about discussion of the state of mind of the prosecutor.

  20. Wukchumni

    The devil in the details went down to Georgia
    He was lookin’ for votes to steal
    He was in a bind ’cause he was way behind
    He was willing to make a deal
    When he came across this lawyer figurin’ up a fiddle and playin’ it hot
    And said devil jumped upon a rally stump and said “Girl, tell me what you got?”

    “I bet you didn’t know it, but I like to fiddle, too
    And if you’d care to take a dare I’ll make a bet with you
    Now you play a pretty good fiddle, girl, but give the devil his due
    I’ll bet a fiddle of stole against your soul ’cause I think I’m better than you”

    The girl said, “My name’s Sidney, and it might be a sin
    But I’ll take your bet
    And you’re gonna regret ’cause I’m the best lawyer there’s ever been”

    Sidney, rosin up your bow and play your fiddle hard
    ‘Cause Hell’s broke loose in Georgia and the devil has run out of cards
    And if you win this shiny fiddle you get a cabinet role
    But if you lose the devil gets your soul

    The devil stated his case and he said, “I’ll start this show”
    And fire flew from his lips as sweat formed on his brow
    And he agitated all the right wings and they made an evil hiss
    And a band of demons joined in and it sounded something like this

    When the devil finished, Sidney said, “Well, you’re pretty good ol’ son
    But sit down in that chair right there and let me show you how it’s done”

    “Liar on the Mountain.” Run, boys, run!
    The devil’s in the details
    Chicken’s in the White House raising dough
    Did he win though, no”

    The devil bowed his head because he knew that he’d been beat
    And he laid a retainer’s fee on the ground at Sidney’s feet
    Sidney said, “devil, just come on back if you ever wanna try again
    ‘Cause I’ve told you once–you son of a bitch–I’m the best there’s ever been”
    And he’d been played

    “Liar on the Mountain.” Run, boys, run!
    The devil’s in the details
    Chicken’s in the White House raising dough
    Did he win though, no”

    The Devil Went Down To Georgia by The Charlie Daniels Band


  21. John Beech

    The advertising against Biden will be without precedent.

    Remember the footage where he walks off and leaves the medal of Honor recipient standing alone the other day? That’s but one example of many to be played and replayed over and over. Like showing him trotting up the stairs of AF1 and tripping three times before making it to the top. Or simply show him struggling to walk through the sand at the beach the other day. Or any of MANY gaffs.

    Me? I’m thinking Dems are mistaken in believing DJT will be easy to beat. I actually they’re going to get their heads handed to them. Especially when spots of the vice President’s nervous giggles are shown over and over along with VO intoning ‘one heart beat away’ in solemn tones.

    It will be a slaughter.

    1. chris

      You’re assuming any of those ads will be visible. You’re assuming all the platforms will air them. You’re assuming a large enough audience will see them.

      This election could very easily shape up into one where Biden does not campaign and no bad press against him is presented to the public. They vanished the Hunter Biden story. They let him campaign from his basement last time. What makes you think he won’t get away with similar things this time?

      1. caucus99percenter

        As an example bolstering your thesis, I have never seen any of Biden’s stumbles and mumbles ever highlighted on mainstream Dutch and German TV news.

        I find it quite amazing the lengths the establishment media here in Europe go to, to make Biden always appear “presidential.”

        The way they are consistently “on message” against Trump and pro U.S. Democrats (and their accomplices in Silicon Valley & Hollywood / at the Fed / on Wall Street) is proof to my mind that nowadays EU elites are, for all practical purposes, part and parcel of the U.S. “Blob” / Deep State.

      2. Pat

        They’ll be seen. Remember we are talking about ads. Censoring the news is actually easier. Cable might have some leeway, but OTA television and radio are using public airways, so short of refusing ALL political advertising they will be accepting opposition advertising. Refusing ads creates a huge conflict of interest for outlet management who need them for the bottom line, political advertising is a necessary cash cow for most television outlets. And selective refusal of advertising is probably a loser for cable as well. It loses them money, and sets them up for both legal challenges and possible future regulatory payback (the Dems do not have unassailable majorities everywhere.)

  22. Carolinian

    In Switzerland Patrick Lawrence gave a talk on American exceptionalism and here is the transcript.


    He’s a very clear thinking writer but I think he’s a little too glib to say the doubts all started with those helicopters on top of the Saigon embassy. Most of the 1960s were consumed with doubts about what was even then called US imperialism and at the same time the NAACP was taking on what was undeniably a strong current of “white supremacy.” Indeed our masters of Overton want to revive the latter while ignoring the former which was so inconvenient to them.

    Nor is our exceptionalism exceptional. Chauvinism is a French word and the British Empire was there long before ours. In putting the country on the couch Lawrence may not go far enough since individualism and self aggrandizement have always played a role. It is about psychology, but of a universal kind matched with circumstances that gave us a leg up.

  23. maipenrai

    “What is the practical impact of such a ruling? Chaos.”
    Of course. All part and parcel of a brilliant campaign of divide and conquer

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