The horizon is not so far as we can see, but as far as we can imagine

Open Thread

Please use the comments to this post to discuss topics unrelated to recent posts.


Default to Kindness


Week-end Wrap – Political Economy – February 7, 2021


  1. Hugh

    I posted this in the AOC thread and here for general information:

    The Bureau of Labor Statistics Jobs report covering January of this year is out. As always I look at seasonally unadjusted data –as in what really happened. In January (December to January), we expect a big drop off in jobs after the end of year holidays. This January 2.773 million total nonfarm jobs (that is the public and private sectors combined) were lost. This is actually in line with previous years: 2.791 million job loss in Jan. 2020 and 2.804 million lost in my reference year 2014 (best overall year since the 2008 crash). Compared to January 2020 (January to January), we are down 9.128 million: 140.927 million now versus 150.055 million then. This does not tell us the whole story. We have to take into consideration where we should expect to have been. For example, January 2019 to January 2020, jobs increased by 2.176 million. Adding this to the 9.128 million, the total job loss would be 11.304 million. This is a little low since the January 2018 to January 2019 jobs growth was 2.467 million, yielding a jobs deficit of 11.595 million. And for 2014 (January 2014-January 2015), jobs growth was 3.022 million, giving a deficit of 12.150 million jobs.

    Looking just at private sector jobs, the December-January end of the year drop off was 2.357 million versus 2.384 million in 2020 and 2.304 million in 2014. January 2020 to January 2021, 7.873 million jobs were lost: 127.405 million to 119.532 million jobs.January 2019 to January 2020, 1.904 million jobs were gained, yielding a jobs deficit (7.873 million plus 1.904 million) of 9.777 million private jobs. For 2014 (January 2014 to January 2015), private jobs growth was 2.878 million which would give a current private jobs deficit of 10.751 million.

    Turning to employment in the smaller household survey, the December-January drop off was 1.230 million down to 148.383 million. This is less than the December 2019-January 2020 drop off of 1.510 million. This year’s end of the year loss may be smaller because there were fewer employed to start with. On the other hand, at the start of 2014, the drop off in employment was only 897,000, but 2014 was a solid year for employment. The January 2020 to January 2021 employment loss was 8.611 million while the January 2019-January 2020 employment gain was 2.030 million, giving us (adding this to 8.611 million) an overall employment deficit of 10.641 million, or using the Jan. 2014-Jan.2015, 3.026 million gain, an employment deficit of 11.637 million.

    Overall, the economy remains significantly damaged from covid and the responses, or lack of, to it. No indications things are getting substantially worse or better.

  2. Willy

    DCs local economy had a spike the first week of January. Stores ran out of flags, military costumes and zip ties. But they had to take most of it back on the 21st.

  3. someofparts

    “the so-called “She-cession” with female unemployment exceeding male only still held among *Asian* women as of the end of 2020! Here’s the table which underscores how we can’t generalize about how women vs. men are doing–or how anyone in the economy is doing–based on our usual aggregate and average statistics.”

  4. Dr. Peter McCullough, who went into some details about (mostly?) outpatient based treatment of covid patients, claimed that covid rates are dropping “precipitously” now that the collection of treatments he mentioned (hydroxychloroquine or, alternatively, ivermectin, was just one piece of the puzzle) are being used. I assume he means dropping “precipitously” in the US, but it’s not 100% clear. He earlier does say that “finally, America is starting to get on track with early treatment”. He also doesn’t define, quantitatively, what “precipitous” means.

    On the whole, though, it’s good news (though not for the vaccine makers; nor for greedy plutocratic types who want to further profit over the associated economic pain, disaster capitalism style; nor for seemingly clueless, zero-research, media figures like Krystal Ball, who ignorantly mocked Trump for his tepid embrace of hydroxychloroquine, even long after began aggregating the scientific research). If election – fraudster Joe Biden wants to be a hero, and win over some begrudging appreciation from Americans who view him as an illegitimate thief, he could embrace the cost-effective path of sanity gone into by Dr. McCullough. And since Trump never really fought for hydroxychloroquine (whining and tweeting don’t count), he could do so without seeming too much of a hypocrite, at least compared to Trump. Biden can lie-by-omission and say something like “recent research is showing great promise for cheap, outpatient treatment of covid”. Ya know, omit any references to research from many months ago. He can count on mainstream media NOT pointing out the lie by omission, since that’s part of their stock-in-trade, also.

    The interview is on the site, in an article called “REAL AMERICA: Dr. Peter McCullough On Hydroxychloroquine”.

    The punch line is that in Dr. McCullough’s view, there would have been “hundreds of thousands” of fewer deaths had this approach been embraced, early on.

  5. Joan

    Thanks for the stats Hugh. Pretty much anyone who brings manufacturing jobs back to the US is going to be elected forever.

  6. anonone

    It would appear so far that the pronouncements on this site that President Biden is suffering from dementia or senility were incorrect.

  7. Ché Pasa

    The “Joe is senile” trope is related to the “Trump has syphilis” trope. Politically motivated insults designed to rile up one’s own side as well as the other side.

    One can find or create “evidence” sufficient to the purpose rather easily. But it isn’t necessarily true or accurate.

    In Joe’s case, he’s old. And it shows. He doesn’t do much to hide it. “It is what it is.”

    I see him with makeup, somewhat orange (oh.) It doesn’t make him appear younger, but it does make him appear less pale, and apparently that’s important for presidents these days.

    He’s walks with a stiffened gait — like an old man.

    He sometimes stumbles on words or says the wrong ones. He can bungle up sentences. This is supposedly evidence of senility or dementia, and it might or might not be in someone else, someone who’s always spoken clearly. That’s not Joe.

    He’s had difficulty speaking all his life. It became particularly evident after he had a “cerebral event” (unspecified) in the ’80s. My suspicion has been several mini-strokes, but who can say. At any rate, he’s had periods of speaking difficulties ever since, sometimes pretty severe. Most of the time — in public anyway — he’s fine. Sometimes, not.

    Does that mean he’s demented or senile? No. Does it mean he has “issues”? Yes.

    His actions and appearances since becoming president have not demonstrated either senility or dementia, but he is obviously an old man who looks and behaves like one.

  8. Plague Species

    So once again I will underscore this. In the post about “kindness,” in which the commentary is closed and has been since 2012, there is a commenter by the name of Qanon. That is not a coincidence. It means the creeps who are behind Qanon have been hanging at this venue for quite some time, probably using many socks, even before Qanon became a “thing.” I watched the Vice documentary about Qanon, and their disingenuous implication is Qanon was started and is led by a bunch of misfits, one of which is a midget or dwarf with barely functioning arms and hands. Qanon is a psyops, no doubt about it, one in which American alphabet agencies are aware of and have infiltrated or they’re directly responsible for its creation and the dissemination of its disinformation as part of an overall factionalization mission.

  9. Plague Species

    The fact of the matter is, it doesn’t matter whether Biden is senile or not, he’s a figurehead pure and simple. He has assembled a competent team that will do all of his governing and make all of his decisions for him. He just needs to appear semi-coherent and breathing, and if he can’t do that, well, that’s where Kamala comes in.

    On NPR the other day, they had a NYT correspondent on claiming Biden is moving to the left and proclaimed Biden was a centrist his entire career. Biden is most assuredly not moving left, otherwise we would have universal healthcare on the table and the minimum wage and student loan forgiveness and you name it. Also, Biden is no centrist. Pelosi and Schumer are, barely, but Biden has always been a conservative Dem. A de facto southern democrat. Centrist is the left of him. A handmaiden to the filthy rich, just as his father was.

  10. Ché Pasa

    We seem to be nudging closer and closer to a Basic Income Guarantee.

    Romney — the originator of the model of Obamacare — has come up with a plan to provide a monthly benefit through Social Security to all children up to the age of 17 or so, up to $15,000 or so a year to households. This would replace a lot of programs that provide a lot of administrative jobs but not so much benefit to recipients. The plan, apparently, would not be means tested.

    Sounds good. And it’s a step. Whether it will materialize remains to be seen, but it appears to have bipartisan support. And it would take the steam out of some of the insurrectionists, at least for a while.

    “Checks” (whether called stimulus or survival) have become a flashpoint, and Old Joe says he’s not going to budge from $1400 “checks” but he will consider means testing them so they only go to the “most needy.” This is inherently bad politics at this moment, but it plays well with a certain segment of the Overclass, so we’re probably stuck with it.

    On the other hand, practically unmentioned in the relief package are a whole series of additional support mechanisms for the unemployed and small businesses and so forth that will significantly increase incomes for more people and businesses for a longer time than previous efforts. It won’t solve the economic strain most people are under, but it smooths some of the bumps in the road — if it can be implemented reasonably well, always a question.

    Some of what’s being proposed and considered can evolve into a universal basic income guarantee. I suspect that’s the intent.

    But there’s no sign yet — at all — that there’s any consideration of a universal health care guarantee.

    In the midst of a pandemic…

  11. Plague Species

    I’m thinking of starting a new company that I think will be a huge success. Adrenochrome, Inc.. What do you think, Qanon, since you and your’s are probably still commenting here under many monikers versus your abandoned Qanon moniker at this venue. If it’s successful and I get it listed, will you short squeeze it? Come to think of it, that midget/dwarf, cute notion by the way and a way of psychotically laughing at the world since midgets/dwarfs are so David Lynchian, is a short squeeze, isn’t he? Cute little bugger, he is.

  12. Z

    Warning: Keeping the U.S. populace properly fed may lead to an overheating of the U.S. economy.


  13. Z

    On the other hand, feeding 15 to 20% of the U.S. populace into the wood chipper keeps the U.S. economy moving along just fine …


  14. Z

    Seems like a healthy economy to me as long as you keep a sizeable portion of the U.S. populace short of necessities and the wood chipper well fed and lubricated.


  15. Z

    Don’t think about what your economy can do for you, think about what you can do for your economy.


  16. bruce wilder

    The strong evidence that Joe Biden’s mental acuity is low should hardly be dismissed by the argument that he was never that bright to begin with. President is a job that demands high-energy from its incumbent. It will not be done well by an old, fragile man.

    The assessment that Biden is a figurehead for an administration run collectively by some sort of political faction — call them the Clinton-Obama Alumni Club — seems like a fair enough summary of a situation that is fundamentally opaque to a journalism that has ceased to function independently of that faction’s accustomed ways of operating politically.

    An Administration whose leader and focal point is a “figurehead” — passive, or unable to spare enough energy, unable to learn or adopt revised models in understanding situations — means a politics running on autopilot waiting to degenerate into fiefdoms. Given the “airtight consensus” that seems to have emerged at the most airy heights occupied by global elites where the leading figures of the Clinton-Obama Alumni Association live and work, they may hold together for a while at least as long as Biden functions minimally. But it will still be auto-pilot, repeating and reiterating the mistakes of the recent past. Nothing fundamentally will change, as they say.

    Until it does change, of course. The point is that an Administration with a figurehead at the center lacks the capacity to change in response to creative, adaptive direction from the center. That is only important in a crisis, but crisis — I won’t say “the crisis will come” because crisis is here, the world is drowning in crises — can only provoke one of two reaction paths: persistence in responding with standard operating procedure or degeneration and breakdown until another configuration takes hold.

    The obvious plan is to elevate Kamala Harris. Probably Biden himself has considered and approved this plan, which may be evidence of some spark of sentience in the old coot. But, it may be easier to plan than execute in a timely fashion as chaos takes over in resistance to a worn-out sop.

  17. Willy

    The lost significance wasn’t that Bernie seemed significantly sharper and yet the other Dem candidates still lined up behind Biden, but that Trump took it and ran with it and the Trumpians followed without question, and that strategy crashed in the debates where Biden appeared far more presidential.

    The first place I heard it was on the Krystal and Saagar show. They lost credibility with me after endlessly proclaiming that Trumps being a fascist danger to the country was overblown. And then the post-election fiasco happened. Now AFAIC they’re just another fancified Hannity vs Colmes sideshow. You don’t debate with modern American conservatives anymore. At best you expend your energy pointing out their sociopathic insanities to any outside observers: independents, the youth, and the not-yet cultified.

  18. Hugh

    In the US, politicians don’t talk about equality of results. They talk about equal opportunity. And, of course, they lie through their teeth about this, as if you have the same opportunity to a good education if you come from an affluent family with lot of resources and access to really good chool as someone poor from a troubled family with no resources going to a sucky school.

    Or instead of making a guarantee: We commit to do what we need to do to make sure everyone has good food, shelter, education, income, healthcare, etc,, they will propose a program to do “something”, And how serious they are is measured by the size of the price tag, even if most of the money is misspent or ends up in the hands of the rich.

  19. Interesting Take

    I think it’s important to figure out who this Qanon commenter from a few years back is. He or she wrote two comments under Ian’s “Default to Kindness” post, neither of which was particularly telling.

    I can’t say for sure whether this is just a coincidence or not, but I don’t think it would be an astronomical waste of time, energy, and resources to delve deeper into this abyss.

  20. Chicago Clubs

    >They lost credibility with me after endlessly proclaiming that Trumps being a fascist danger to the country was overblown.

    Well, it was.

    >And then the post-election fiasco happened.


  21. Somebody has taken the trouble to “draw the lines” of the flight of the bullet in a video analysis of the Babbitt ‘shooting’, and sure enough, it’s in complete agreement with what I had eyeballed. The line of fire is into Babbitt’s mid-section, not her neck. You can fast forward to 6:10 in the video “Everything Wrong With the Capitol Shooting In 21 Minutes Or Less – Wooz News” on youtube to see this.

    Quite a “magic bullet”, eh? And you thought the went extinct with the JFK assassination!

    I should have been getting ready for work, but because I want to see the video before youtube deletes it, or forces the youtube channel to delete it, I went through the video immediately, with only brief respites for attending to laundary.

    Get it while it’s hot! Because, before long, it’s going to be not!

    If you fast forward to 19:40, you can see a picture of Babbitt on a stretcher, shirt off, head turned to the side, which presumably covers a wound on the left side of her neck. There’ zero attempt to staunch any blood flow from the still-can’t-see-it wound, but that’s OK, as there’s not that much blood. Phew! Must have just missed the carotid artery.

    BTW, guys, has anybody found any info on her autopsy or burial or cremation? Still haven’t heard a thing…..

  22. Hugh

    Trump is a fascist, and he will end up getting between 600,000 and 700,000 Americans killed. He started an insurrection to overturn a Presidential election he lost. Don’t know how any of that can be overblown, although the Trumper reaction is just to deny it all: they aren’t fascists, covid is a hoax, Trump won the election, and the insurrection never happened. There was briefly talk of “unity” but you can’t have unity with madness. All you end up with is madness.

    Never followed Krystal Ball, but there have been many times where a media or online figure does good commentary for a while but then the political landscape changes and they often painfully do not. They go, with a startling lack of self-awareness, from being cutting edge to has-beens.

  23. Mark Pontin

    @ Bruce W.

    Kamala Harris as Gorbachev w. Biden as Andropov/Chernenko?

    I know, I know. Mikhail Gorbachev was and is a nicer, better person, and history rhymes rather than repeats.

    Also, the U.S. has gotten by fine with a figurehead president, Reagan, before. The difference is that compared to the likes of George Schultz and others around Reagan — however despicable you and I found them — the Clinton-Obama alumni are far less competent.

    More likely scenario should Kamala the Kop be installed as POTUS is that if an internal U.S. clampdown really gets rolling and dissidents get interned on an increasingly widespread basis, then critics of her wonderful POC-headed administration’s policies will find themselves attacked as racists.

    And enemies of democracy, of course. Hilarious on one level. As G. Carlin said, “When you’re born you get a ticket to the freak show. When you’re born in America, you get a front row seat.”

  24. Ché Pasa

    The classic example of a figurehead president was Reagan. Even when he was governor of California, close observers recognized there wasn’t much there there and he was being operated by various individuals, including Nancy, for their own purposes. No less so when he became president, and almost entirely so after he was shot.

    Now comes Biden. A figurehead? Maybe. A placeholder for Ms. Kamala? Nah. I think that’s beyond a stretch. But it’s pleasing to a certain segment of the conspiratorial set. Little harm in it, I guess. No. If Old Joe is just a figurehead, he’s one on behalf of the less ridiculous but no less paranoid faction of the Overclass, the faction that realizes how desperately brittle and fragile the republic has become (largely thanks to rivalries within the factions) and how they are coming to having their own heads on pikes.

  25. Ché Pasa

    *how //close// they are coming*

  26. Stirling S Newberry


    Things are, for however long it lasts, getting better. Unfortunately, this is because America’s exterminationist tendencies are behind us – Christmas, etc.

  27. different clue

    Harris and Obama are male and female versions of the same person.

    One could rename them Count Draculabama and the Countess Draculamala to put a name on their inner essence.

    I hope Tulsi Gabbard runs in somebody’s primaries in 2024 so I can vote for her. Or that she runs on a third party or independent ticket so I can vote for her that way.

    Would she run as Trump’s VP on the Patriot Party ticket in 2024? I doubt it. I think she is perceptive enough to see how Trump used people, and used them up and then discarded them.
    I don’t think she would let her obvious honor and reputation get besmirched by contact or even proximity to Trump.

  28. Hugh

    Stirling, the spring jobs build starts in February so next month’s jobs report should show some improvement hopefully. Of course, for it to affect the covid-induced jobs deficit, it will have to be larger than usual. I am concerned that for at least the last 3 months, this deficit has been stuck in the 11-11.5 million area. Vaccinations, a good stimulus plan, and what I would like to see and won’t a national industrial plan would make a lot of difference.

  29. Some of the comments to the youtube video “Everything Wrong With the Capitol Shooting In 21 Minutes Or Less”, analyzing the Ashli Babbitt shooting event, are worthwhile. In this video, they trace out the path of the ‘bullet’ to show a strike at Ashli’s abdomen (not neck), as I had eyeballed, previously. Commenters who have EMT training:

    Judge Cohen
    The LEO/SWAT response for EMS, scene safety and evidence preservation is all wrong for an actual event and would have a case dismissed. Correct for a “full scale exercise.”

    22 hours ago
    Can you explain what a actual event response would be like compared to this?

    Judge Cohen
    22 hours ago
    @shangrila50019 If I was doing it? Victim would be isolated by force if necessary. At least 10x that backup for a GSW. Scene secured. Actual trauma care via direct pressure for a neck wound and trauma gauze/packing for a chest. Witnesses detained. Shooter detained. Evidence preserved. All SOP stuff tends to fall apart in an exercise because everyone knows it is staged. Personally I think it is more likely an act than an actual shooting given the push not to prosecute or investigate further.

    Amy K
    21 hours ago (edited)
    @shangrila50019 You can read my comment above. But basically, they would have cleared a large space around the victim, or directed the other police to do so, instead of hiding behind SAM . MEDIC would not have been allowed to touch the victim, at all. Especially because he’s not really taking any lifesaving measures whatsoever. None of them are. They all should know what to do here, medically and tactically. But they dont.

    Q Revere
    14 hours ago
    @Judge Cohen and you’d NEVER move a potential spinal cord injury until stabilized.

    Carolyn Watts
    14 hours ago
    @Q Revere I thought that as well, no c-spine stabilization. They wouldn’t carry her down the steps without strapping her to a back board and securing her head. Perhaps DC medicine is different from the rest of the country!

    Jake Hollcroft
    13 hours ago (edited)
    I’m watching it now. As a former EMT, nothing about that gsw (gun shot wound) makes sense. They didn’t have a safe scene, meaning the people around, not necessarily the shooter, they didn’t have bsi (body substance isolation) or ppe (personal protective equipment), the backpack and scarf would have come off IMMEDIATELY for several reasons, look for entrance/exit holes, they would be potentially restricting her airway, they had zero ZERO equipment that they would need to work a scene, not even a Thomas pack with basic items. It absolutely don’t make any sense. Also, the “medic” has a red cross for his logo, that’s not an EMS logo. AND WHY DID NO ONE START CHEST COMPRESSIONS WHEN SHE DIED?!

    Note: apparently chest compressions were started, later on.

  30. Willy

    Lou Dobbs has been fired. A conspiracy man’s gotta know his limitations.

  31. Hugh

    metamars, the comment you present all ignore that an insurrection was going on, the forces there may have had guns but they were in a chaotic situation and did not know if they controlled the space, they probably were aware their ability to evacuate someone out of there was close to zero. What you are left with are people with limited medical expertise doing what they can in a bad situation. Pressure on the wound to slow bleeding is about the only suggestion that made much sense. Some like chest compressions on someone bleeding out are nutty.

  32. Chuck Mire

    PBS: 9to5, The Story Of A Movement

    (90 minute Documentary online until March 3d)

  33. metamars

    If heart is stopped, brain death may occur in six minutes, IIRC. Considering the small amount of blood evident, makes no sense, anyway. My guess is all cops and SWAT are trained in first aid. Where i work, the temp cop handling rush hour traffic abandons his post, becomes first outsider first responder, when we have a medical emergency. Cops in U.S. are armed. What are they supposed to do after they shoot people? Just let them die until EMS arrives?

  34. Plague Species

    Willy, I’m sure RT will pick Lou up. They have a penchant for picking up cast offs.

    Too funny, except it’s not. 7,500 healthcare workers have been invited to attend the Super Bowl. A perfectly responsible and absurdly insane thing to do during a raging pandemic that is in no way under control just because Joe Biden and Kamala Harris have been elected. I’ve noticed MSNBC and CNN are increasingly not showing the pandemic numbers as they once did when McDonald was in office. It’s as though the word is, the marching orders are, to downplay the pandemic consistently and increasingly over time until it’s just not a story any longer, or a story not worth covering when you have the likes of Marjorie Greene taking center stage as McDonald limelight surrogates.

    Yesterday, I was watching the Waste Management PGA golf tournament held in Phoenix and the PGA is now allowing fans to watch the tournaments in person. Quite a crowd yesterday. A lot of college students who refused to wear their masks properly. Once again, it’s as though the pandemic is behind us. Electing a new POTUS is all it took. The new POTUS didn’t or doesn’t even have to do anything — just be elected and what do you know, everything’s gonna be alright and is alright. Like magic.

  35. bruce wilder

    metamars: Cops in U.S. are armed. What are they supposed to do after they shoot people? Just let them die until EMS arrives?

    What are they “supposed to do” or what do they in fact do? Bluntly, I think they usually do fail to treat people after shooting them on purpose. I have read enough accounts of shootings where justification is disputed to know that is “normally” the case. I have witnessed arrest situations, where violence is a real risk, and the police (LA City or County) are really not adequately trained to control their own adrenaline and even when nothing actually happens, they are a bit out of control. In an actual hostile action situation, it gets much worse. Some cops are much better than others and they will try to keep the group under control, but a bad supervisor can make a terrible mess. And, the institution is not on the side of the angels, which is a problem. With the Capitol Police, who normally are just employed in crowd control, spotting and blocking lone crazy people, and helping tourists in medical emergencies (of which there are a lot), a riot inside the Capitol would be extremely disorienting.

    They shot that woman while she was assaulting their position. She was trained military and no doubt made a job of “mounting the barricades” so to speak. Did the assault stop instantly? Did the mob sober up as soon as the shot sounded?

    I have been attacked physically and I have been shot at and I have been deathly afraid and I can say I got very, very angry and with the anger came a narrowing of focus and awareness. I am lucky I did not kick my assailant to death; if someone asked why I did not provide first aid, I would be incredulous. Ten minutes later, things were different, that is true, but I was if anything less capable as the adrenaline and anger drained away.

    Cops, maybe, are better trained. Probably not from what I have read and seen personally.

    But, it is sheer tribalism to come up with elaborate criticism of the Capitol Police reacting to a riot, and even more tendentitious reasoning for why the murder of George Floyd was not murder by cop.

  36. Hugh

    metamars, you continue to ignore that there was an ongoing insurrection happening, and that when someone is shot in their head or torso small external blood loss is not a good indicator of internal damage or internal bleeding. There is no requirement to administer a medical procedure, like chest compressions, if it is futile. That only happens on TV or as a ploy to avoid legal liability. In a case like Babbitt’s about all anyone could do is apply pressure to the wound and get her to a hospital as soon as possible. The as soon as possible being made substantially longer by the fact that an insurrection was going on.

  37. @wilder

    One doesn’t expect psycho, out of control, or murderous cops to promptly apply first aid to people they just tried to kill. Does that really apply to most cops, or to a small percentage, a fraction of whom become continuous front-page stories, like the killers of George Floyd?* It may not be fashionable for lefties to ask such obvious questions, but I’m not a lefty. (Neither do I make excuses for abusive and murderous cops.)

    I’m sorry, this is a matter of statistical fact, which I haven’t tried determining, but neither have you.

    I have seen cops verbally assaulted by occupy protestors I was with (I failed to tell them to shut up; or to apologize, on their behalf, to the patient NYC cops), as well as by a drunk friend, in NJ. They didn’t attempt to kill or even engage their abusers in a hostile manner. Had they found it necessary to shoot somebody, I don’t believe they would have let them bleed to death. Again, the matter should be factual and discoverable, which I haven’t attempted.

    * who I think may have actually died due to drug or heart situation, I don’t recall; clearly, though, he was assaulted beyond any reasonable measure

  38. someofparts

    “To the President, something felt amiss. “It was all very, very strange,” Trump said on Dec. 2. “Within days after the election, we witnessed an orchestrated effort to anoint the winner, even while many key states were still being counted.”

    In a way, Trump was right.

    There was a conspiracy unfolding behind the scenes, one that both curtailed the protests and coordinated the resistance from CEOs. Both surprises were the result of an informal alliance between left-wing activists and business titans. The pact was formalized in a terse, little-noticed joint statement of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and AFL-CIO published on Election Day.”

    I never thought about it, but there were no left-wing crowds at the Capitol on 1/6 when Trump’s people showed up. Turns out that their strategic absence was highly coordinated. Even though I still regard liberals with skepticism, I applaud them for this.

    My reaction to all the mayhem on 1/6 has been affected by the way things fizzled out. Along with all the real fear and damage caused, the crowd also made clowns of themselves. That lulled me into taking it less seriously than it deserved to be taken.

    When I ask myself how things would have gone that day if there had been large left-wing crowds out there pushing back against the Trump people (as Trump hoped and expected), it’s easy to imagine how it would have played out. People would have gotten hurt, maybe killed. Partisan rancor around the country would have gone off the charts. Within nanoseconds, Trump would have leveraged it into a cover for any state legislators willing to throw their electors to him. That was the play.

    And then the next domino falls and it hits me that this is the outcome Trump hoped for and expected when he launched his provocations.

  39. someofparts

    … trips over shoelace on the way out …

    please ignore that last sentence
    thought it was deleted but it was just hiding under a shrubbery

  40. @hugh

    The “insurrection” is a laughable, propangandistic ploy, embraced by mainstream media (doubtless with the acquiescence – at least – of the Deep State assets they are corrupted by). There was about 1 cop or SWAT guy to something 1 – 1.5 “insurrectionists” near Ashli Babbitt, one of whom was clearly working directly with security, as he was infiltrated and exfiltrated from their ranks. The SWAT guys could have pointed the business ends of their rifles at the “insurrectionists”, about half of whom were ‘armed’ with cell phones, taking pictures. And, in point of fact, there were a couple of guys who {cough} {cough} administered first aid. I have mocked their ‘efforts’, in previous posts on this blog, and the youtube video also does a decent job savaging their ‘efforts’. If they weren’t part of a legitimate security apparatus, then the cops should have shooed them away, and provided first aid, themselves.

    You seem to think that forever doubling down on your more ridiculous positions somehow makes them more credible. The “BIG LIE” theory of repetitious efficacy may work for the public, in general (though it’s probably overrated; certainly was overrated with respect to Communist countries back in the day, whose public was quite aware they were serially lied to), but I am not a typical example of an easily duped “bewildered herd”, and I’m pretty sure that some other commenters and readers of this blog are not fools, either.

    Your endless repetition of obvious BS has only convinced me that you are a paid propagandist, and not just a fanatic.

    No, I can’t prove this. Doesn’t really matter that I can’t.

  41. bruce wilder


    I do not take Hugh’s approach, which is to latch onto some pejorative and try to use it to shut down any further inquiry, but I also do not think much of your approach, which seems to be to scour YouTube for self-confident conmen willing to build castles in the sky out of conjecture and tendentious speculation — I can get that much from CNN or MSNBC if I want it, which I do not.

    I am suspicious of people calling Jan 6 “an insurrection” to further a questionable narrative or to justify hating on 74 million people not at all represented by a shirtless fool with horns on his head.

    There is so much disinformation out there now and so much unwillingness to share a common reality, I sense people losing their sense of “reasonableness”. Public opinion loses all its power if it cannot confidently wade thru facts without breaking the bank on cognitive capacity.

    The mainstream media’s addiction to certain narratives — the racist nature of lethal police violence is one theme that is sounded frequently but is neither entirely accurate nor politically helpful — contributes to the sense of distrust and I do not know the remedy, but more dubious speculation on YouTube ain’t it.

  42. bruce wilder

    A side note on police conduct:

    It is my view that narratives that individualize the causes of lethal encounters between police and the public (including people reasonably suspected of criminal or violent conduct) are a mug’s game. Narratives that make the cop “racist” or “psychotic” and leave further explanation dormant are politically useless.

    The cops work for The Man. Look to The Man and ask to see the marching orders.

  43. Willy

    I am suspicious of people calling Jan 6 “an insurrection” to further a questionable narrative or to justify hating on 74 million people not at all represented by a shirtless fool with horns on his head.

    One can always find outliers to cherry pick to try and highlight, underscore and repeat. There is a certain wisdom in doing so, for those hoping to brainwash for tribal and personal finance reasons. Been considered a part of human nature for millennia.

    But meanwhile back in our reality, percentages are percentages. The Capitol protesters where overwhelmingly unmasked, white, Pro-Trump, believers in the discredited “Stop the steal” movement, and profoundly anti-socialist anything. I don’t think they were our friends. I think it would be very hard to find “asabiyyah” with them. And I think they couldn’t care less about finding any asabiyyah with us. Polls suggest much support for them.

    The evidence suggests that those closest to the Capitol on the 6th were the most violent of that “gathering”, and the most likely to plan nasty things like civil wars and racial violence. While those in the far back were more white evangelicals unquestioningly following the proclamations of their political and religious prophets, they had to have known that they were marching with a good many conspiracy theorists, violent bullies and white supremacists.

    Is there overwhelming evidence of contrition, come to reality moments, from most of those who were in the far back? I haven’t heard it. For me the overall flavor of that crowd was ‘angry dominionist conspiracy followers with strong hints of fascism’. If bruce wishes to forgive them for reasons of “they know not what they do” or that the media is cherrypicking the mobs own videos, then he can knock himself out. It’s still a free country, even more than it was back when that phrase was popular.

    the sense of distrust and I do not know the remedy

    All it takes to get the wrong people elected, is to have a certain percentage of voters who’ve been tribally and conspiratorially brainwashed to vote against their interests, plus a certain percentage who don’t care because they perceive that the status quo hasn’t hurt them and fuck everybody else.

    Just because the remedy seems impossible to achieve against such powerful corruption, doesn’t meant it shouldn’t be obvious. Forget the more “reasonableness” 1-20%, and focus on getting “common reality” or even a sense of asabiyyah, back to the two sides which the PTB have so efficiently divided.

  44. Willy

    My comment about asabiyyah in mod.

    bruce, do you assume the other side is as reasonable as ours?

  45. S Brennan

    I found Metamar’s vid pretty interesting…

    An awful lot of what happened near the shooting looks like bad acting…everybody totally out of character for a death scene. Definitely has that false flag vibe so loved by the Obama/Biden administration’s color revolution team. I’d give it a green splat, better actors please.

    Where, oh where, were the “white helmet” actors? I think the whole scene would’ve gelled better with those guys ! And don’t tell me they were too busy reworking scripts in Syria for the next installment of “Stealing Syria’s Natural Gas Fields”.

  46. different clue

    @Bruce Wilder,

    What if police departments are still following yesterday’s orders given to them yesterday by yesterday’s The Man? And today’s The Man just doesn’t care enough to cancel yesterday’s orders and issue new orders for today?

    Also, police departments should be studied as quasi-independent politicriminal mafias, self-sheltered by their nazi fascist Unions. And “reforming” the police may well require crushing and exterminating their unions first, before any reform can be forced upon entirely unwilling departments.

  47. Hugh

    metamars is a right winger, and like many right wingers, he starts with a conclusion and then writes a narrative that may have little or nothing to do with reality to back it up. It’s really a “For kool-aid drinkers only” kind of thing.

  48. nihil obstet

    The United States is a signatory on international policing protocols. Neither the federal government nor any state in fact carries out the commitments. Amnesty International USA has had for several years a project to reduce police use of lethal force:

    Fear that an encounter with the police may end in your death is a major human rights violation. It limits your freedom of movement, speech, and assembly. Making each of the over a thousand killings by police an individual case about whether it was reasonable or not supports the police state.

  49. @bruce wilder

    “which seems to be to scour YouTube for self-confident conmen willing to build castles in the sky out of conjecture and tendentious speculation”

    Not sure where you’re going with this. It’s factually not true, though I did spend 1 1/2 hours “scouring” the internet, via google and duckduckgo searches, for information on Babbitt’s funeral and/or autopsy. Found nothing, and many commenters have said the same thing. One anonymous person gave a name, apparently her maiden name, or name from a previous marriage, with no real evidence for the claim that she’s alive, living under that name (IIRC).

    Also, I don’t have a problem with reasonable conspiracy theories, which, following Micheal Parenti, are (or should rise to the level of) “conspiracy analyses”. Better a conspiracy analysis, based on facts and reasonable inferences, than a laughable coincidence theory, especially one which has the blessings of a corrupt, but official, establishment. When Parenti skewers coincidence theories, his audience tends to laugh out loud, such is their absurdity.

    A real bullet, directly aimed at short distance at somebody’s abdomen, cannot strike their neck. Wouldn’t you agree? The line of flight drawn for the “bullet”, in the video I reference, seems accurate, ignoring a smallish displacement. We could go through the video, as well as my own analysis, that I posted on this blog, but I have no stomach for that. I suspect you don’t really want to go into details, either, given the superficiality of your description of my youtube reference.

  50. Ché Pasa

    Note: there’s a whole lot of unsupported speculation and outright disinformation in that Wooz News video, and yet things on that stair landing at the Speaker’s Lobby on January 6 couldn’t have been much….odder.

  51. The video “Everything Wrong With the Capitol Shooting In 21 Minutes Or Less” has now been deleted by youtube, for violating their policy on “harassment and bullying”. Yeah, sure, whatever.

    You can still find it on under the title “What REALLY happened – or DIDN’T happen – on January 6th”

    I know it lasted on youtube over 24 hours, and I actually think that’s good, given the culture of censorship at youtube. Never the less, the tech giants should be deliberately cut down to size by concerted efforts, in much the same spirit reddit folks took down some hedge fund billionaires.

  52. bruce wilder

    everybody’s crazy but you and me, Willy, and I am beginning to wonder about you.

    seriously, while i do not see symmetry between left and right and their respective articles of faith, but i do understand that the spectrum of political opinion is fundamentally a product of human ambivalence crossed up with perceptions of self interest. Slicing it down the middle like a cake and rejecting half as the alien “other” is not healthy. “all the reasonable” people are not going to agree.

    In a functioning democracy, people agree to disagree about a lot of things and act together for different reasons.

    it has not been my recent observation that centrist Dems and NPR-listening tote bag liberals are especially reasonable or reality-based.

  53. Willy

    Would you care to rank any of the groups you happen to perceive, by median sanity? (white conservative evangelicals, black southern Baptist dem voters, techie dems, etc, etc…)

    For some reason “centrist Dems” are going for covid relief via reconciliation and I’m unaware of any NPR-listening tote bag liberals bitching about it. Are they becoming more sane or just following dear leader?

    Theoretically, if everybody was sane We The People wouldn’t have allowed our ruinous neoliberalism to get this far. I can say this with some confidence because I worked with lots of modestly educated people who accurately predicted that neoliberalism would be this ruinous.

    Unfortunately, I wasn’t one of them, being an ambivalently apathetic Republican at the time. But those people I spoke of could smell bullshit, and were apparently saner than I was, and even those far more credentialed Chicago School types who were pushing that shit. I mentioned Thomas Sowell. Give him a whirl sometime. He’s either completely self-unaware batshit, or on some rich guys dole being paid to spew propaganda. As you know, a lot of conservatives greatly admire him.

  54. Willy

    Other response in mod.

    But what if the other side has repeatedly demonstrated its level of sanity? I highly doubt that centrist Dems and NPR-listening tote bag liberals will ever be accused of totalitarianism or socialism or satanism or climate hoaxes or wanting sharia law or drinking the blood of babies.

    Oh wait. They already have. By that other “equally sane just different opinions” side.

  55. someofparts

    “it has not been my recent observation that centrist Dems and NPR-listening tote bag liberals are especially reasonable or reality-based.”

    For some reason, the ones I know want to tell me that they watch Rachael Maddow. One of them got me her book on Spiro Agnew and is angry with me now for scanning it instead of reading it closely. The other friend laughed when I told him what I really think of Maddow. I think he was just saying it to keep the peace because his tenant is a die-hard NPR tote bag guy.

  56. StewartM

    Saw this article. I’ve always wondered why a surprising (to me) number of graduates in US history tend right-wing (Newt Gingrich and Josh Hawley, for glaring examples).

  57. someofparts

    Stewart M – Great links. Explains so much. Thanks.

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