2:00PM Water Cooler 11/8/2023

By Lambert Strether of Corrente.

Bird Song of the Day

Common Nightingale (golzii), Ile River Delta–Zheltorangy Poplars; Almaty, Kazakhstan.

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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

Capitol Seizure





Time for the Countdown Clock!

* * *

“Republican debate tonight: Trump skips third presidential face-off in Miami with DeSantis and Haley set for showdown” [Daily Mail]. “Ron DeSantis and Nikki Haley are set for a showdown at the third Republican presidential primary debate on Wednesday night in Miami. They are both hoping to end the night as the main challenger to Donald Trump, who is leading by 40 points in some polls in the race to be the GOP nominee in 2024. DeSantis is trying to kickstart his campaign on a stage in his home state while former South Carolina governor Haley has seen a surge in the polls, elevating her to second place in key states. The former South Carolina governor is expected to go after DeSantis on everything from his policy on fracking to whether he wears lifts in his shoes to make himself look taller. DeSantis, meanwhile, is looking to build momentum after Governor Kim Reynolds endorsed him in the crucial primary state of Iowa. Vivek Ramaswamy, South Carolina Senator Tim Scott and former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie will join them on stage in a narrower field of just five candidates. Again, Trump has opted to skip the debate and hold his own rally just 30 minutes down the road. But will the Republican rivals be able to avoid his shadow with two months until the first primary?

“The Third Republican Debate Could Be Brutal” [Ed Kilgore, New York Magazine]. “So this is a group of candidates with little or nothing to lose, each of them desperately trying to become the one that challenges the front-runner. With Trump absent once again, it’s a recipe for intramural carnage.”

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“I Don’t Believe This Weekend’s Scary Poll Numbers” [Charles Pierce, Esquire]. On the New York Times poll: “Quite simply, I don’t believe a single one of those numbers. [Black voters registering 22 percent support in these states for Mr. Trump] is the last one, although I think that sentence about the male-female split is very mushy, Dobbs being still alive and well as an issue, and with a theocratic fetus-fondler running the House of Representatives, it is likely to stay that way. I do not believe that the former president* will get 22 percent of the Black vote. I’d sooner believe he’d get 22 percent of the votes from pixies, elves, and the Tuatha de Denaan… There’s never been an election more clouded by the unknown than this one is. There are all kinds of vague shadows dancing in the mist. You can’t jump at every one of them.” • Fair enough!s

“5 takeaways from new polls that reveal Biden’s challenges and Trump’s potential victory path” [CNN]. “The topline of a new CNN/SSRS survey of registered voters published Tuesday shows ex-President Donald Trump leading Biden 49% to 45%, which is bad enough for the president. But a deep dive into the data reveals alarming challenges for Biden and bolsters the impression that despite the mayhem and mismanagement of Trump’s first term, the GOP front-runner has a strong chance at a second. The new poll reveals deep public discontent with Biden’s job performance at a time when his economic optimism is failing to connect with a disgruntled nation weary of high prices. The survey exposes cracks in Biden’s multiethnic Democratic coalition and a lack of confidence in his leadership in a war-torn world. Most damagingly, the data show that just a quarter of Americans believe he has the stamina and sharpness to serve as president. This survey follows New York Times/Siena College polling over the weekend that show significant leads for Trump in most of the swing states likely to decide the 2024 election. That triggered another round of agonizing among Democrats over whether Biden should have passed on a run for a second term – even if no realistic challenger for the nomination has emerged in a new generation of the party.”

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“Glenn Youngkin STUNNED in Virginia as Democrats flip House and retain Senate control: Republican touted as White House candidate suffers crushing blow on home turf – as abortion rights take center stage at ballot box” [Daily Mail]. “While Republican donors have been urging Youngkin to make a late entry into the 2024 presidential race, the first-term governor said he had to gain control of the General Assembly first – vowing to push through a 15-week abortion ban. Virginia’s voters rejected that, with Democrats estimated to win at least 21 state Senate seats, retaining their majority, and 51 seats in the House of Delegates, gaining control from Republicans… It’s unlikely Youngkin will join the race now, as he doesn’t have wins at his back. He also missed the filing deadline to appear on the New Hampshire primary ballot and wouldn’t have appeared in three GOP debates.” • Whoopsie.

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“Poll: California voters increasingly disapprove of Gavin Newsom’s performance as governor” [Sacramento Bee]. “Gov. Gavin Newsom’s approval rating among California voters has sunk to its lowest level on record, with nearly half disapproving of his performance, according to a new poll from the Berkeley Institute of Governmental Studies. The survey, released Tuesday in collaboration with the Los Angeles Times, seems to indicate that while Newsom focuses on raising his national profile and launching various political ventures outside of California, support within the state wanes. According to the poll, 49% of registered voters disapprove of his performance as governor. His approval rating of 44% in the late October poll marked an 11-point drop from February when it was at 55%.”

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FL: “A think tank funded by a far-right billionaire wrote a bill to weaken child-labor laws in Florida, records show” [Seeking Rents]. “A conservative think tank funded by a far-right billionaire wrote a controversial new bill in Florida that would weaken the state’s child-labor laws, according to records obtained by More Perfect Union. The records show that representatives for the Foundation for Government Accountability wrote the original draft of the Florida legislation, which would allow employers in the state to make 16- and 17-year-old teenagers work the same schedules as adults — including overnight shifts on school nights. ‘Attached is draft language on the Youth Worker Freedom issue that Rep. Chaney expressed interest in to FGA,’ a lobbyist for the FGA’s advocacy arm wrote in an Aug. 28 email to an aide to Rep. Linda Chaney, a Republican legislator from St. Pete Beach, which More Perfect Union obtained through a public-records request.'” • Yes, “freedom” is another one of those words…

GA: “AJC poll shows Georgia Democratic rift over Israel” [Atlanta Journal-Constitution]. “Nearly 40% of Democrats say supporting Israel shouldn’t be a staple of U.S. foreign policy, compared with only 10% of Republicans and one-third of independents who hold that view. The divide is more distinct among younger, more diverse and poorer voters. About half of voters under 30 and a slim majority of those who make less than $25,000 say supporting Israel is not in the national interest. And 41% of Black voters — long the base of Democratic support in Georgia — also say they believe backing Israel isn’t in the national interest. The divide is threatening to fray the coalition that fueled Biden’s narrow 2020 victory over Donald Trump.”

ME: “Maine will print tribal obligations along with the rest of the state Constitution” [Bangor Daily News]. “Maine’s historic treaty obligations to tribes will be printed alongside other parts of the state Constitution after voters backed Question 6 in Tuesday’s election. The yes side of Question 6 had 73 percent of votes to 27 percent for the no side when the Bangor Daily News and Decision Desk HQ called the race at 9:18 p.m. Tuesday. It was a key part of the tribal-rights push before the Legislature this year, although it is more of a symbolic measure because the obligations have remained part of the Constitution. Voters passed the change despite Gov. Janet Mills vociferously opposing it in March.”

OH: “Ohio voters enshrine abortion access in constitution in latest statewide win for reproductive rights” [Associated Press]. ” Ohio voters approved a constitutional amendment on Tuesday that ensures access to abortion and other forms of reproductive health care, the latest victory for abortion rights supporters since the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade last year.” • It’s mind-blowing to see National Democrats campaigning orr state victories when for decades they didn’t do squat — which is why Dobbs happened in the first place.

PA: “Dan McCaffery’s triumph in the Pa. Supreme Court race extends Democrats’ majority” [Philadelphia Inquirer]. “Democrat Dan McCaffery was elected to the Pennsylvania Supreme Court on Tuesday, extending the Democrats’ majority on the state’s highest court and reinforcing the fact that abortion rights and the integrity of elections are top of mind for Pennsylvania voters. Abortion and election issues took center stage in the expensive and contentious showdown between the candidates. Outside groups and the candidates’ campaigns spent more than $20 million to win the open seat, which was the top statewide race on the ballot this fall.”

VA: “Virginia Democrats block GOP bid to take full control of state government” [NBC]. “Virginia voters have rejected Republican efforts to take full control of the state’s government, keeping Democrats in power in the Legislature as a counterweight to GOP Gov. Glenn Youngkin and conservative policy proposals that include a 15-week abortion ban. Democrats kept their majority in the state Senate and flipped the state House, The Associated Press projected.”

Obama Legacy

“Obama warns Democrats against being too ‘self-righteous’ toward political foes: ‘Losing strategy'” [FOX]. “‘A losing strategy for us, is when we are so insistent on our purity, when we are so self-righteous about positions, that we can’t see those folks,’ Obama said of political adversaries. ‘When we’re talking down to them or our general attitude is that ‘we’re gonna convince you’ on how wrong you are.” ‘I have not seen that work yet,’ he added. Obama also said that Democrats were not, for the majority of modern history, ‘on the right side’ of tolerance. ‘It’s not as if the entire history of this country Democrats were on the right side of this thing,’ he said. ‘Democrats, for most of modern history, up until the Civil Rights legislation were anti-democratic and terrorized people and killed them for trying to exercise their democracy.’ ‘So we don’t have clean hands,’ Obama continued.” • I suppose I agree with the part about Democrats not having clean hands. I don’t see where this is going for 2024, unless the idea is that Biden doesn’t embrace complexity or some such.

“Why Progressives Should Heed Obama’s Call on Israel/Palestine” [Newsweek]. “Unlike what many self-righteous activists seem to think, insisting on your moral superiority and constantly comparing yourself to hallowed movements of the past, from civil rights struggle in the U.S. to anti-Apartheid fight in South Africa, doesn’t bring change to the real world. Obama acknowledged this when he said, ‘If you genuinely want to change this, you got to figure out how to listen to someone on the other side and not dismiss it.'” • Well, there’s the Lincoln Project, but is Obama really going to endorse Dean Phillips?

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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“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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Covid is Airborne

#DavosSafe but in the schools. Abrome, a private school in Austin, TX:

A successful program:

Using a multilayered approach:

Ventilation in particular:

Everything we’ve been screaming in the void about for years. It works! And don’t let hospitals get away with saying “Baggy Blues” are enough!

“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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Case Data

NOT UPDATED From BioBot wastewater data, November 6:

Lambert here: Cases up, just in time for Thanksgiving (and tinfoil hat time: This is the, er, inflection point CDC was trying to conceal when they gave the contract to Verily and didn’t ensure a seamless transition).

Regional data:


NOTE I’m so happy to see that Biobot is back. I confess that I have not made a serious comparison of Biobot’s sample sets pre- and post-Verily. Nor to my knowledge has anyone. Readers?


NOT UPDATED From CDC, October 28:

Lambert here: Top of the leaderboard: HV.1, EG.5 a strong second, with FL.1.15.1 and XBB. trailing. No BA.2.86 (although that has showed up in CDC’s airport testing). Still a Bouillabaisse…

From CDC, October 14:

Lambert here: I sure hope the volunteers doing Pangolin, on which this chart depends, don’t all move on the green fields and pastures new (or have their access to facilities cut by administrators of ill intent).

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

From CDC NCIRD Surveillance, November 4:

Lambert here: Still flattening. Only a week’s lag, so this may be our best current nationwide, current indicator until Verily gets its house in order (and working class-centric, since I would doubt the upper crust goes to the ER).

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 November 8:

A definite decrease. Should be up in two weeks, though! (I hate this metric because the lag makes it deceptive, although the hospital-centric public health establishment loves it, hospitalization and deaths being the only metrics that matter [snort]).

NOT UPDATED Here’s a different CDC visualization on hospitalization, nationwide, not by state, but with a date, at least. October 28:

Lambert here: “Maps, charts, and data provided by CDC, updates weekly for the previous MMWR week (Sunday-Saturday) on Thursdays (Deaths, Emergency Department Visits, Test Positivity) and weekly the following Mondays (Hospitalizations) by 8 pm ET†”. So where the heck is the update, CDC?


NOT UPDATED From Walgreens, November 6:

-1.4%. But bouncing around. (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.)

From Cleveland Clinic, November 4:

Lambert here: Slight increase. I know this is just Ohio, but the Cleveland Clinic is good*, and we’re starved for data, so…. NOTE * Even if hospital infection control is trying to kill patients by eliminating universal masking with N95s.

NOT UPDATED From CDC, traveler’s data, October 16:

Down, albeit in the rear view mirror. And here are the variants for travelers:

Sudden big BA.2.86 appearance. This variant chart has not been updated, which makes me wonder if CDC is gaming the data, and BA.2.86 is worse than we think.

NOT UPDATED Iowa COVID-19 Tracker, September 27:

Lambert here: Dunno why no updates. I may have to drop this one, with great reluctance; I like my sources non-CDC.


Total: 1,181,620 – 1,181,548 = 72 (72 * 365 = 26,280 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, November 8:

Lambert here: Based on a machine-learning model.

Stats Watch

There are no official statistics of interest today.

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* * *

Today’s Fear & Greed Index: 41 Fear (previous close: 40 Fear) [CNN]. One week ago: 32 (Fear). (0 is Extreme Fear; 100 is Extreme Greed). Last updated Nov 8 at 1:45:31 PM ET.

News of the Wired

“Seeing like a Bank” [Bits About Money]. Bank systems are an interesting combination of designed and accidental. They accrete like sedimentary layers. A particular force which affects banks more than most institutions is that the banking industry has undergone decades of consolidation. When banks merge, one bank doesn’t simply eat the other and digest its balance sheet and people. They end up running their systems in parallel for years while working out an integration plan. That plan will, almost inevitably, cause one of the systems to mostly “win” and the other system to mostly “lose”, but for business reasons, something of the loser will be retained indefinitely. It now has to be grafted onto the winner, despite frequently being itself decades out of date, having its own collection of grafted acquirees partially attached to it, and needing expert input from people who are no longer with the firm.” • Well worth a read…

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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 AM:

AM writes: “Not sure what this slightly creepy looking plant is, but it’s definitely not something I would expect to see in Manhattan, in the Hudson River Park just off the West Side Highway near Desbrosses Street. The insects seem to like it though!!”

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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. Samuel Conner

      Judging by the texture of the seed pods, it’s Common Milkweed.

      The red bugs are pests, if you want to harvest seeds; they eat them.

      1. Carla

        I wonder if those bugs are spotted lanternflies, an invasive species that is wreaking havoc on plant life in North America, having no natural predators here.

        1. megrim

          They aren’t lanternflies. Lanternfly nymphs are black with white polka dots, and the adults have large brown wings.

        2. Samuel Conner

          I think they’re simply called “Milkweed Beetles”. Don’t know what the Latin taxonomical name is.

          When I see them on my plants, I try to manually pick and crush them. One should wear gloves for this, both for the “ick” factor and the fact that they are toxic. The poisonous compounds in the milkweed sap are in the tissues of these beetles.

        3. r. clayton

          I wonder if those bugs are spotted lanternflies

          Spotted lanternflies, when they’re not flying, are an inch or so long and are shaped a little like a tent. Their wings are medium-dark gray with black spots on the upper side; the scarlet stripe’s on the underside, and you can only see it when in flight (or somebody’s stepped on one when it’s on the ground.

    2. lyman alpha blob

      Yes, open up those pods and spread the seeds around, and maybe they’ll be some monarch butterflies in Manhattan next year. That could be how that plant got there in the first place.

      Some people have started to make an effort to spread milkweed seeds, or at least not mow the adult plants down when they pop up in the summer, and although anecdotal to be sure, I have seen a lot more monarchs in recent years after seeing nary a one for a decade or so.

  1. Samuel Conner

    > It’s mind-blowing to see National Democrats campaigning orr state victories when for decades they didn’t do squat — which is why Dobbs happened in the first place.

    Is it surprising? If (and, judging by the rhetoric, it seems likely that) the goal is not to “win” the policy fight and be done with it, but to always be “fighting for” (“it’s the journey that matters, not the destination” — I guess we’ll see a lot of this if “Medicare for all” becomes a thing), then losing the big national fight and replacing it with lots of smaller ones at state level might be just fine, from the point of view of the Party.

    1. notabanker

      They can claim victory all they want. The county I live in voted 38% for Biden in 2020 and 34% for HRC in 2016. Both the abortion and legalizing pot issues were voted yes by 55% yesterday. If they think that is going to correlate into support for Biden in 2024, they are setting themselves up to fail. Which is par for the course for the Loser Mafia.

      1. Mechmacho

        I agree.

        Indeed, one could argue that by overturning “Roe v Wade” and making it a states-right issue, the Supremes, in a machiavellian plot, have unbundled abortion rights from the Democratic party at the Federal level and removed that arrow from their quiver. Specifically, now that abortion rights are enshrined in the Ohio constitution, there is no reason for them to vote for the Dems at the Federal level (presidential; congress; senate) just because they dangle the abortion carrot. We would then see a bifurcation in the voting pattern – voting for democrats at the state level (at least until abortion rights prevail) and not necessarily for them at the federal level.

          1. Mechmacho

            Please don’t misunderstand me. Having law on one’s side at the federal level is the best that can happen; however, we know that the Dems have been playing just the performative game on tackling it. What did we see after Roe v Wade got overturned? A week or so of grandstanding and then … shoved down the memoryhole until the next election.

            Imagine though that we see Ohio type decisions elsewhere. Virginia voted in a democratic legislature to the embarassment of their GOP governor and the goal there seems to be to pass a similar law legalizing abortion. If this movement gains strength state after state, there is no guarantee that a “woman’s right to choose” will remain a key factor in Federal elections. Just my 2 cents.

  2. FlyoverBoy

    Lambert, I too am delighted to see that Biobot’s reports are back. But minus the goverrnment contract, why are they back? Have others stepped up? Is Biobot eating the cost?

    1. Lambert Strether Post author

      I believe there is a lawsuit involving the assignment of the contract to Verily. Considering CDC’s fine work on FACA compliance with HICPAC, I am not surprised. But I haven’t seen any details. And so far as I know, the contract with Verily has been been disclosed, how odd.

      1. JBird4049

        IIRC, Biobot still has some of the funding from the old contract, which allows it to continue for now. However, it has reduced either the locations or the frequency of its tests because of the lack of new funding.

  3. kareninca

    My mom has a good pension as a retired teacher, and also my dad left a decent retirement account, and her house is paid off. So she is okay barring very long term care needs (which I might be able to provide anyway). Right now she is looking at taking in two relatives by marriage who are elderly and destitute and in terrible physical shape; they had cancer and strokes and cannot walk but their insurance covers no home care and they are now out of money. They are also retired schoolteachers, but they were spendthrifts (I know this is not popular to say but some people actually are spendthrifts; visits to the casinos add up).

    She is also looking at taking in my widowed sister-in law who is a schoolteacher; my brother was literally an insane spendthrift (despite being a tenured college professor) and when he died he left her and my adopted niece nothing, and my sister-in law has a very expensive horse ownership habit.

    She is also looking into taking in a friend who is 59 y.o. and inexplicably suddenly has cardiac problems; that friend used to be her cleaning lady and has no money despite not actually being a spendthrift.

    Before this the middle middle class small town New England development I grew up was not full of driveways full of cars. That was more of a Pacific Northwest thing from what I’ve read. I guess that may be changing soon.

    1. Samuel Conner

      Your Mom sounds like a heroic person. I hope that she does not burn out, and can maintain good CV discipline among so many guests.

      1. kareninca

        The friend would just be for a few days (although that could change). In the case of the elderly relatives by marriage, we have talked about it over the years, and decided against offering, but their situation is getting to a breaking point. The sister-in-law would be some time from now.

        My mom is a first born and feels she is supposed to take care of people in some way (and boss them around, of course). Presently she spends most of her time at her boyfriend’s house, but he is 87 y.o. and so that of course could change.

        None of the people involved take any covid precautions, so that isn’t a factor. Well, that is not quite true; my mom is now using the AirTamer I sent her, occasionally. But that is it.

    2. ambrit

      There are programs to set up “private” dwellings as ‘halfway houses.’ Mom might have to do this, since many municipalities have “rules” against having permanent houseguests. (Locally, ‘excess’ dwellers must be associated with the owners of record somehow. [This is a College Town after all. Must keep up standards, etc.] We have laws here prohibiting parking vehicles on the grass of your yard, etc.)
      Mom might find it handy, seeing the infestation of spendthrifts she is facing, to work out some sort of automatic cost sharing scheme. Either that or be ready to throw someone out into the snowdrifts if they spend the butter and egg money at the casino again.
      A good Christmas gift for Mom would be a brace of tasers.
      Do keep us posted.

      1. kareninca

        It is a town of 5,000 people, and my mom taught in the elementary school there for many years, and had 151 trick or treaters this Halloween, and recognized most of the parents who brought their kids, so no-one is going to make a fuss. And she’s not expecting any money from the elderly relatives; that would be hopeless. They are not in any shape to make it to the casino; they literally can’t walk more than a couple of steps. They can’t drive anymore, so no extra cars (the friend would be a short term thing, and the sister in law would not been immediate).

        This is causing her to get moving on putting in a stair/chair lift that she should have for herself anyway, and an accessible shower rather than a tub.

  4. Carolinian

    to whether he wears lifts in his shoes to make himself look taller.

    As Lambert might say: “[bangs head on desk]”

    And some terrible news this morning for Carolinians


    I was one of those little kids that Mancke took on church nature walks and got one of his questions right (“tent caterpillar”) because I had read about it in my Golden Book of Insects. Later he had a nature show on SCETV–an all round good guy.

  5. marym

    > Obama legacy

    Obama’s aligned with right-wing/maga trolls here. The history of the Democrats on racial issues is a frequent twitter trolling point in response to criticism of contemporary right-wing racism, to which historians reply with threads upon threads about the history of the Democrats, Dixiecrats, and the realignment of the parties. Biden lived during and was part of this complexity, though (like Obama) not always “on the right side of this thing.”

    1. Mark Gisleson

      “Obama warns Democrats against being too ‘self-righteous’ toward political foes: ‘Losing strategy’” [FOX]. “‘A losing strategy for us, is when we are so insistent on our purity, when we are so self-righteous about positions, that we can’t see those folks,’ Obama said of political adversaries. ‘When we’re talking down to them or our general attitude is that ‘we’re gonna convince you’ on how wrong you are.” ‘I have not seen that work yet,’ he added.

      [bolding mine] This would have been stronger if he’d said who them are. Fox didn’t provide enough context but this sounds like the usual reach out (around?) to disaffected voters. Classic bit for a former POTUS, just preparing the way for all the Republicans4Newsom PACs to come.

      1. nippersdad

        The more things change….I remember during his presidency how he would try that “purity” thing out on those to his left and then attack Huffington Post/social media for their unattractive coverage of him. Sounds like pure projection to me.

    2. nippersdad

      “No ones hands are clean” is an obvious tell that he wants to disperse blame for something he has no excuse for. He was elected, in part, to end Shrubs wars, including in the ME. Instead he continued them, added to them and then left them all still ablaze so that (he thought) Hillary could carry them on for him.

      “Complexity” is one of those weasel words used by PMC types who have obviously screwed up and don’t want to end up with egg on their face. The whole “This is above your pay grade” and then “mistakes were made” commentary routinely used to cover their butts. We have been seeing this for years; it is a common trope.

      Biden to Ritter on how he knows not of what he speaks:


    1. Wukchumni

      Pompadour & circumstance?

      I’d like to impart feelings good, bad or indifferent in regards to Gavin, but apathy reigns…

    1. CanCyn

      A private school… hence the reason for the post…The rich are taking care of their kids with regard to COVID mitigation

      1. griffen

        The inner cynic in my mind can’t help but think….Elysium as a feature film deserves a prequel…

        As George Carlin might retort…”what about the children…”

      2. Will

        Counterpoint – my nephew attends a pricey French language school here in Toronto and they do none of this. (But they follow the French curriculum so that makes up for it.)


        Summer of 2020 they installed a fancy new HVAC system but still had windows open etc during the 2020/21 school year, my nephew’s first. But once the all clear was announced, masks became optional for everyone. Surprising since, as you can imagine, many of the parents are doctors etc. My nephew was the last holdout in his class. For a good long stretch, too, despite bullying by the other children. The worst was the daughter of doctors and would tell my nephew, while trying to rip his mask away, that there was no point since we’d all get infected anyway.

      3. Objective Ace

        18k a year isnt really that expensive. And one school in one city is hardly representative.

        I’m sure the Davos level rich are taking care of their kids.. upper middle class level rich, maybe not

        1. chris

          18k$ a year when the fight for 15$/hr is still going on is a lot to a lot of people on this country. Especially for something that is offered for free in the US.

          I agree with you though. Paying that much for the benefits that some private schools provide, which apparently includes not starting your kid off with cumulative damage from repeated COVID infections, is probably a bargain for the wealthy.

    2. Acacia

      what is Abrome?

      Click through the Xeet from lizwhatsherface to check out Abrome’s COVID-19 page, and especially their “AY22-23 pandemic plan” on Goog docs. Pretty interesting reading, sounds sensible, especially the paragraph that begins “The pandemic is not over.”

      And as lizwhatsherface points out:

      Rich people’s kids aren’t getting sick over and over like your kids are. Billionaires are homeschooling their children. You’ve been conned into letting your children catch this virus that rich people are shielding their kids from.

  6. lyman alpha blob

    RE: Maine will print tribal obligations

    My better half was looking over the Maine referenda results today and mentioned that there were a couple other questions pertaining to the state constitution. On both, they were worded to the effect that it had been determined that some part Maine’s constitution was not exactly legal, and would citizens like to amend the current state of things because of that. Both were overwhelmingly defeated. I hadn’t heard that Mills had opposed the one that was overwhelmingly accepted.

    Sorry I don’t have better details on the subject matter – I sat this one out myself, finally taking George Carlin’s advice after voting for 35 years only to see things get worse and worse. But perhaps Mainiacs are just inherently contrarian when it comes to state constitutional issues?

  7. Screwball

    I watched part of a clip (so you don’t have to) of Hillary Clinton on The View. As one might imagine when you see Hillary and The View in the same sentence – it has to be ugly stupid and it was. Hillary talking about Hitler, getting elected as a dictator, then cancelling elections, blah, blah, blah. Of course that’s pointed at Trump and the MSNBC/The View crowd will eat it up like a fresh bowl of cereal. Barf! Will this women EVER go away, or STFU?

    In other news, Mayo Pete is apparently visiting Ukraine. Saw a picture of him and the creep. I guess I’m just not smart enough to know why this wind-up robot needs to visit Ukraine on our dime? Do we have roads and bridges in Ukraine? Airport? I’m guessing not, but whatever.

    1. nippersdad

      I suspect that, as he apparently has nothing else to do, they sent him to visit Zelensky to tell him they have found no one to buy Odessa or Kharkov yet, that he has a month to figure it all out and to make a deal with the Russians before he is deep sixed Bin Laden style in favor of someone more tractable.

    2. Daryl

      > I watched part of a clip (so you don’t have to) of Hillary Clinton on The View.

      Thank you for your service.

      1. Screwball

        You’re welcome. I pride myself on not commenting on something unless I watch it – as painful as it may be. Self inflicted political torture to consume human idiocy should have some sort of ‘phobia name.

  8. nippersdad

    Re: “Will Obama endorse Dean Phillips.”

    Interesting data point: of the 22 Dems who voted to censure Tlaib,* Phillips was not one of them. Strange insofar as he was pretty prominent when it came to attacking Ihlan Omar and all of his other cronies are on that list.

    He has undoubtedly seen the polling showing Muslim reactions to how the Israel issue is being handled, and Minnesota has a large Muslim community as well as Michigan, but this would represent a real change in his policy of adhering as closely as possible to the party line. It wouldn’t surprise me in the least to find that Obama world has pointed out to him Biden’s propensity to mess things up, how this is likely to end and advised him accordingly.

    Different but related, Christoforou and Mercouris are saying that Biden has until the first of the year to wrap project Ukraine up, and they prolly have a similar time frame for Israel as well. Joe needs to pull out soon if there is any hope to spin the ensuing debacles prior to the election. I’ll be watching Phillips’ votes on war funding. If he goes all in, as one would expect, or if he pulls back. I think that will be pretty definitive as to who is advising him.

    * https://thehill.com/homenews/house/4298890-22-democrats-censure-tlaib-over-israel-criticism/

  9. Buffo

    California voters increasingly disapprove of Gavin Newsom’s performance as governor.

    Here’s the latest from the Democratic Supermajority that squeezed out Kamala and Newsom into the political punchbowl. How to drive the final productives out of the state and over to Nevada or Arizona.

    Buy an electric car to save the environment and save money on gas? Now they’ll tax your mileage–and you can bet your bottom dollar that they will keep the gas tax as well.


    1. steppenwolf fetchit

      What are the “productives” actually “productiving”? What will they “productivize” when they are in Nevada or Arizona, especially in the teeth of coming Death Valley heat waves and farm-killing megadroughts?

      Be fun to watch them try, though.

      1. nippersdad

        I think they may have productivized their property values; retired to the beach or somewhere and will be living on their investments. I have met several of them here in Georgia. They really do stick out.

  10. Jason Boxman

    Would you feel differently about Covid being ‘over’ if you knew that people with 18k to spend on their kid’s tuition are sending their kids to a school with daily molecular testing, mask requirements, clean air & more? Because it’s happening:

    If this is really working, we should be able to adopt this everywhere, and all the nonsense that there’s nothing that we can do about SARS2 spreading freely is garbage. But that also means China’s trouble with controlling outbreaks before they gave up points to an incorrect theory of transmission.

    1. Mo's Bike Shop

      I wonder if administrators face a problem like the tobacco industry, if they make safer buildings, they open themselves up to liability for their previous less-safe decisions?

  11. steppenwolf fetchit

    The Republican ” Prez-Nom Wannabe” debates are really just auditions over who gets to be Trump’s VP running mate. So of course they will try to tear eachother down and make themselves look the best possible in the eyes of the Trumpster In Chief. Tbey will probably adopt Trump’s own style as best they can.

    The big honkin’ exception will be Chris Christie. He knows he will not be Trump’s VP pick and he doesn’t care anymore. He hopes his kamikaze attacks against Trump can somehow prevent Trump from becoming the nominee. He doesn’t expect any gratitude and he won’t get any.

  12. Randy


    You post many pictures of Covid graphs (pictures, data) and I am wondering why.

    It starts with: Case Data: NOT UPDATED From BioBot wastewater data, November 6. This isn’t bad, 11/6 is only two days ago.

    Regional Data: Looks current, OK.

    Variants: NOT UPDATED From CDC, October 28:
    From CDC, October 14:
    Neither of these are current. Useless.

    Covid Emergency Room Visits: From CDC NCIRD Surveillance, November 4
    Current but slightly lagging indicator, OK.

    Hospitalization, New York, 11/8
    Current, but hospitalization is as you say a lagging indicator. Useless.

    CDC Nationwide Hospitalization Data, 10/28, lagging indiucator and not current anyway. Useless.

    Positivity Walgreens, 11/5, not updated? but fairly current.

    Cleveland Clinic Positivity, 11/4. However last chart entry is dated 10/21. Useless.

    CDC Travelers Data, 10/16, not updated. Useless.

    Variants for travelers, 10/2, outdated. Useless.

    Iowa Covid 19 tracker, 9/27, outdated. Totally useless.

    None of these graphs and charts are clickable links, the font is so small it is unreadable. I gather you provide links above for each chart/graph but why would I care to avail myself of them when it states these charts are outdated and useless.

    So to sum up, I just scroll right through all this useless waste of bandwidth. I would think that your time would be better spent doing something else besides posting all this out of date crap unless your mission is to expose the uselessness of these entities. I think they have been thoroughly exposed beforehand here and elsewhere.

    Maybe I am missing something but it doesn’t appear that way.

    1. nippersmom

      How nice of you to decide for Lambert what is and isn’t a valid use of his time. That’s very close to assigning work. If there are links/information you don’t find valuable, just scroll on by. If there are topics you wish to see addressed that aren’t, either submit links or start your own blog.

      1. Randy

        Lambert has said that he is obsessed about Covid and his obsession has “infected” me. Lambert and NC has been my GO TO source for Covid info and I REALLY, REALLY appreciate that. I have been just scrolling on by the outdated information.

        The only thing I can look at is the poop surveillance for my municipalities in my state that are only updated weekly now.

        I just asked why he is re-publishing all this outdated data. It just doesn’t make much sense to me unless he just enjoys flogging that dead horse aka the CDC. No offense intended.

        1. Acacia

          Lambert has his reasons, though IMHO if he were to remove all of this data whilst the epidemic is still very much happening, it would feel a bit like sending the institutional failure down the memory hole. Also, I think(?) some of these indicators stopped working for a while (e.g., maybe Walgreens), but then came back.

          To run with your metaphor, is it a dead horse when millions of people still think it’s alive and they still listen to what it says?

          For at present, it’s like we are living in a kind of alternate, inverted Mister Ed universe, in which most everybody around us hears what Mister Ed says — not just Wilbur Post — but meanwhile those who have done their homework or applied some basic critical thinking know that the horse is dead and can no longer say anything meaningful.

    2. Solar Hero

      A lot like the “Stats” category more favored of old, I just scroll through the COVID stuff. Still gotta say enough content to deserve my $15/month.

  13. Feral Finster

    Three individuals have been arrested on charges of operating a “high-end brothel network” in Massachusetts and Virginia with a clientele that included elected officials, military officers and government contractors with security clearances, the Justice Department announced Wednesday.

    “Pick a profession,” Joshua Levy, acting US attorney for Massachusetts, said of the sprawling client list during a press conference in Boston. “They’re probably represented in this case.”


    Well, isn’t that just special!

  14. je

    I’m in Austin. Abrome is not where the local elite go — Try St. Andrews or St. Stephens. They just have a very aggressive COVID policy. Everyone else is totally chill (for better or worse).

    1. Objective Ace

      I was thinking 18k is actually pretty cheap (relative to elite institutions) and shouldnt be indicative of what the “rich” do

  15. The Rev Kev

    “I Don’t Believe This Weekend’s Scary Poll Numbers”

    The author of this article reminds me of the New York socialite who, after learning that Richard Nixon had been elected President, complained that that could not be true as nobody she knew voted for Nixon. Then again, being the author of a book called “Idiot America” means that to him, he should not have been surprised.

  16. Pat

    I like Charles Pierce, but I think he has yet to realize that he is really really bubbled. And anybody who thinks Demographic groups are going to save Biden’s bacon is delusional, especially if you depend on no one in any group voting differently. No demographic is that unified.
    Back in 2016 more than a few people I was on blogs with were sure Donald Trump could never win because blacks and women would NEVER vote for him. As it turned out 41% of the women, 8% of African Americans, 28%of Hispanics and 27% of Asians voted for Trump. Every one of those percentages increased in 2020, maybe not by much but they still increased.
    The real question that those in denial about these polls should be asking themselves is how many people are better off or even in the same shape they were in 2020? Forget identity groups. That can have some influence but most are going to be all about affording to eat, having enough gas to get to work, being able to take their kids to the pediatrician, and yes keep a roof over their heads. Not for nothing, but grocery store sticker shock is a very effective identity unifier. I also realize that polls indicate more Americans are down with Biden’s war mongering. Until the last weeks, there were possibly a few residents of swing states rejecting that and leaning Trump, but this is now a coin toss. But the areas that have been the backbone of the volunteer army are a lot more tired and cynical of these positions than they were. That will not help Biden.

    But ultimately no one really knows, they can guess but know…no. A lot can happen in a year. And some of that will be events in the candidates own lives. Personally I cannot pick among the possible outside influences on the Trump campaign, it is a huge minefield. But I would be betting on Biden’s team not being able to up the medication enough for a real campaign with Joe having an undeniable incident revealing how unfit he is before Election Day. But even so, people have elected dead men in the past. Know – NO.

    1. rowlf

      Prior to 2016 I really liked to follow Charles Pierce. I liked how he would skewer BS politics and call things as they were. Unfortunately he lost his mind when the Queen Mother lost the election in 2016 to the populist middle finger vote against the political establishment and the media toadies.

      I doubt any of the political class or the media class have ever understood what happened in 2016. When I am traveling outside the US and people ask about Donald Trump I try to explain that most of the US population does not like their government and it does not represent the people, just the oligarchs and hangers-on.

    2. Daniil Adamov

      Mhm. I think he’s probably right that it won’t be 22%, but it’d likely be more than 15% from the last time, and even slight differences with this and other demographics might prove decisive. The whole thing looks like a coin toss to me, assuming it does not get derailed, which it definitely might.

        1. TBone

          Yes, let’s take a giant leap backwards so that the results of elections are not tabulated for months and months. Surely we will trust the tabulators during that long wait instead of threatening to kill them and actually poisoning their dogs.


          Trying to wrap my brain around this stupidity but, nah. Sane people do not fall for the propaganda that Hugo Chavez and thermostats in Italy have anything to do with election “integrity.”

          1. The Rev Kev

            What are you talking about? Paper ballots hand counted in public – that’s how we do it in Oz and the results get tabulated fast. I know because I worked in a dozen Council, State & Federal elections. When the doors close, you have people from the parties observe the counting so that there is no funny stuff and results are phoned in after the counting is done. Any threats you call the police who are easily recognized. They wear uniforms and carry guns and ride around in cars that have the word ‘Police’ printed on them and are lit up by police lights at night.

  17. Jason Boxman

    Some good news.

    House Republicans Subpoena Biden’s Son and Brother in Impeachment Inquiry..

    House Republicans on Wednesday issued subpoenas demanding testimony from Hunter and James Biden, the president’s son and brother, as they hunt for evidence to try to build an impeachment case against him.

    Of course if they refuse to show, the real test of seriousness is whether they’ll be held in contempt and face arrest by the sergeant at arms of the house.

    1. Acacia

      Yeah. McGrain v. Daugherty.

      Maybe the Sergeant at arms can stock up the House jail with some finger paints for Hunter to create his next masterpiece…

      If nothing else, some fine opportunities for trolling here.

  18. Victor Sciamarelli

    The 2024 presidential election has the potential to be rather exciting for reasons like ‘flora’ remarked, “RFK SURGES To 24% In Swing States.”
    Everybody knows, that of the 538 electoral votes (evs), a candidate needs 270 to win. However, if a third party candidate actually wins some evs, and RFK might do just that, and neither candidate achieves 270 evs, it’s my understanding the winner will be decided by the House of Representatives. Thus, who controls the House after the 2024 election becomes crucial.
    It’s also my understanding, that House members do not vote individually. Instead, each state delegation has one vote. You need a majority, 26 states, to win. The Senate chooses the VP and they vote individually. You need 51 votes to win.
    Of course, not all states have laws requiring their Electors to vote for the candidate who won the popular vote. These ‘faithless’ Electors could legally vote for RFK rather than Trump or Biden.
    RFK’s policies are more closely aligned with the average American, his message is appealing, and he is able to raise money.
    Moreover, the economy will be worse in 2024, the current wars are going south for team Biden, and Trump is a severely damaged candidate who did little as president. Of the candidates come November 2024, RFK might be the best choice.

    1. tegnost

      He’s lousy on the middle east so I don’t know that he is closely aligned with the average american, I see it as a probable tip of the iceberg thing, there’s a vast unseen element. And faithless electors are very likely more aligned with the average grifter and will go for biden to save the world from the bogeyman. For myself, I can’t shake the feeling that neither trump nor biden will be candidates, and I arrived at this theory with mike johnson incident. Too much was known re mccarthy and gym, and the work of empire sought out a no name whose policies would only be revealed post assignment. So two newcomers will be able to fly imperialism under the radar and trick the rubes into thinking there may be some change in the direction of the country which is now basically anything for rich people. How many of us has heard a bettor say “americans are going to have to expect a lower standard of living” (now thats a campaign slogan!), or “I want all the anti vaxxers to die” and similar? It’s not just unions who are all in on two tier, clearly the uppers are all in on two tier and they will continue to be bailed out now and in the future. Somewhere in wall st/dc there are “smart” people planning how to bail out CRE at the expense of the commons. It will happen. Youngkin/Pritzger will maintain the grossly unequal dynamic that is “the land of the free” (stuff for rich people, who are too weak to handle any kind of competition). I hope bernie has ruined the field for sheepdogs which is essentially what rfk is in the hope that he will take votes from trump/youngkin by appealing to libertarian meritocrats. Your description of the math is intriguing and we could wind up with a catastrophic sh!t$how but it’s a fools game to undervalue the gross power wielded by the MoU who, while thinking they have taken over the world, facts on the ground notwithstanding, have definitely taken over the usa where the system has clearly morphed to one dollar, one vote. I expect mike johnson to to be “forced” to deliver the goods for ukraine. Time will tell

      1. Victor Sciamarelli

        There is a political choice. Yet, the choice is not between your imaginary ideal candidates. Rather, come Nov 2024, and barring a dramatic event, the choice will be between Trump, Biden, and RFK.
        Thus, I don’t understand your RFK remark, “He’s lousy on the middle east.” Compared to who; certainly not Trump or Biden?
        Once inaugurated, Trump immediately made a beeline for MBS in Saudi Arabia because in the Trump brain, that’s where the money is. He soon fawned over the Israeli government and made the unnecessary and provocative decision to move the US embassy to Jerusalem. And, together with Mike Pompeo, threatened Iran with annihilation.
        As chair of the Sen Foreign Relations Biden did more than any Dem to support the invasion of Iraq. Biden is a neocon and he is surrounded by neocons. ME diplomacy is in shambles as Biden totally supports genocide in Gaza. And, of course, there’s always room for more sanctions on Iran.
        Biden, and to a degree Trump, have done the impossible, a real foreign policy miracle. Biden managed to bring Russia and China together in what XI Jinping described as a “unlimited partnership” and in opposition to the US.
        Moreover, Biden and Trump have done little to reduce economic inequality and Biden never tried to reverse Trump’s tax cut for the wealthy.
        RFK is committed to restoring the middle class, ending corporate capture of the regulatory agencies, reining in the MIC, and promoting real diplomacy.
        Fundamental change will not come from the two major parties or imaginary ideal candidates. In the real world of Trump, Biden, and RFK, I choose RFK.

        1. Acacia

          Fair enough, though how many states have RFK on the ballot?

          How will he prevail against the inevitable lawfare to shut him out?

          1. Victor Sciamarelli

            According to a recent video, RFK said he is “trilled to meet the challenge” of obtaining ballot access in all 50 states. His favorability rating is higher than Trump or Biden and he viewed collecting the necessary signatures as an opportunity to showcase the “people power” of his candidacy.
            He estimated the cost at $15m and he claimed to have out-raised both Trump and Biden in personal donations.
            He also claimed that he already has enough national support to qualify to be on the stage during the national debates.
            As to lawfare, a majority of Americans want another choice besides Biden or Trump and sabotaging RFK’s campaign might not work well.

            1. Acacia

              Yeah, I saw that news about RFK. I guess I’m wondering more what’s realistically possible. I can’t see it happening in all fifty states.

              As to lawfare, a majority of Americans want another choice besides Biden or Trump and sabotaging RFK’s campaign might not work well.

              Well, the DNC has been party to various acts of sabotage (e.g., lawyering third-party candidates off of state ballots, and they threw Bernie under the bus twice), but who’s holding them accountable?

              Lots of fear- and hate-voters will vote for Biden lest their TDS-addled heads explode.

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