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

Week-end Wrap – Political Economy – November 15, 2020

Week-end Wrap – Political Economy – November 15, 2020

by Tony Wikrent


America is an undeveloping state

Trump Is Staging A Coup — Why Are Dems Not Sounding The Alarm?

David Sirota, November 10, 2020

Most ominously of all, Republican lawmakers in PennsylvaniaGeorgiaWisconsinMichigan and Arizona are already insinuating the results may be fraudulent, even though they haven’t produced any evidence of widespread fraud.

Why is public perception so important? Because as Ohio State University law professor Edward Foley shows in a frighteningly prescient 2019 article, legislatures could use the public perception of fraud to try to invoke their  constitutional power to ignore their states’ popular votes, reject certified election results and appoint slates of Trump electors.

Trump is attempting a coup in plain sight

Ezra Klein, November 7, 2020 [Vox]

[Twitter, via Heather Cox Richardson 11-9-2020]


The Empire Strikes Back

The Democrats Are Already Back on Their Bullshit: The party is back to what it does best: blaming the left for its failures.

Paul Blest, November 6, 2020 [discourseblog]

Rep. Jim Clyburn, the third-ranking Democrat in the House who represents deep-blue Charleston, SC, implied during the call that if the Democrats talk about Medicare for All or really anything that would remotely seem like the they might try to improve people’s lives once they’re in power, it would be disastrous in Georgia, where the party is trying to secure a Senate majority by taking two seats off Republicans in January runoffs.

This is despite the fact that most of the incumbent freshman members who co-sponsored Medicare for All—many of them not exactly self-described progressives, aside from Katie Porter, the most successful of the bunch—all won their races….

One thing centrist Democrats might consider is that in a lot of places, their brand is absolute garbage even if their policies are well-liked. How else do you explain a 23-point victory for a $15 minimum wage in Florida and a three-and-a-half point loss for Biden, who supported it? How do you square a 67% defeat of right-to-work in Missouri in 2018 along with a six-point loss for Claire McCaskill? What is the lesson from voters casting ballots for recreational weed in Montana and South Dakota, and medical weed in Mississippi, despite those states all going for Trump by double-digits? It’s not the fault of trans peoplesocialists, or Black Lives Matter.

The Democrats are struggling in these places for the same reason they’re beginning to get successfully primaried from the left, at the local, state, and federal level, in the urban centers they’ve ruled forever. They have not learned the lesson of why Bernie Sanders was such a force in the last two primaries even if he ultimately came up short, or the lesson of why Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez resonates with so many people.

Corporate Democrats Are Attacking So-Called Far-Left Policies

Senator Bernie Sanders, November 11, 2020 [USA Today, via David Sirota’s Weekly Poster 11-13-2020]

With the blame game erupting, corporate Democrats are attacking so-called far-left policies like Medicare for All and the Green New Deal for election defeats in the House and the Senate. They are dead wrong.

Here are the facts:

►112 co-sponsors of Medicare for All were on the ballot in November. All 112 of them won their races.

►98 co-sponsors of the Green New Deal were on the ballot in November. Only one of them have lost an election.

It turns out that supporting universal health care during a pandemic and enacting major investments in renewable energy as we face the existential threat to our planet from climate change is not just good public policy. It also is good politics. According to an exit poll from Fox News, no bastion of socialism, 72% of voters favored the change “to a government-run health care plan” and 70% of voters supported “increasing government spending on green and renewable energy.”

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez on Biden’s Win, House Losses, and What’s Next for the Left (interview)

[New York Times, November 7, 2020]

I think it’s going to be really important how the party deals with this internally, and whether the party is going to be honest about doing a real post-mortem and actually digging into why they lost. Because before we even had any data yet in a lot of these races, there was already finger-pointing that this was progressives’ fault and that this was the fault of the Movement for Black Lives.

I’ve already started looking into the actual functioning of these campaigns. And the thing is, I’ve been unseating Democrats for two years. I have been defeating Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee-run campaigns for two years. That’s how I got to Congress. That’s how we elected Ayanna Pressley. That’s how Jamaal Bowman won. That’s how Cori Bush won. And so we know about extreme vulnerabilities in how Democrats run campaigns.

Now We Have To Fight Trump’s Tin-Pot Coup — And Biden’s Worst Instincts

Naomi Klein [The Intercept, via David Sirota’​​​​​​​s Weekly Poster 11-13-2020]​​​​​​​

“we have to do it all: Stop the Republicans from stealing an election they lost and stop the Democrats from blowing a mandate they won.”

….most progressive organizations are working hard to avoid a repeat of a different variety of Democratic Party debacle: the one that unfolded in 2008-2009, in the months between Barrack Obama’s euphoric election win in November and his inauguration in January. That’s when Obama surrounded himself with a team of hardcore neoliberal economists and Wall Street bankers. And so, despite campaign promises to “rebuild Main Street,” address structural market failures, and arrest the climate crisis, they spent the transition mapping out a maddeningly inadequate response to the raging financing crisis, one that grossly failed working people and the planet.

As the new cabinet was being assembled and its agenda set in stone, anyone who raised concerns about where this train was obviously headed was promptly told to pipe down and “Give the guy a chance….”

What Will A Biden Presidency Be Like?

Ian Welsh, November 9, 2020

Next let us acknowledge that Biden’s career is that of a very conservative liberal. He was against de-segregation. He has voted for war over and over. He is a fiscal conservative in the worst way (aka. has often talked of cutting Social Security and Medicare.) He was for the crime bills of the 90s and a driving force behind the bankruptcy bill which made it impossible to discharge student loans, thus causing the current student loan crisis. He has said many good things about the environment lately, but he has also said he will not ban fracking. In terms of his actual record, about the only high point is his work against violence on women….

In terms of the economy, Biden is likely to bow to the deficit myth. Especially if Republicans hold the Senate (most likely), he will struggle to get money for his priorities, but worse, his career has generally shown him to be a fairly standard Democratic centrist who believes that only Republicans have the right to spend large amounts of money and that Democrats should reduce the deficit and instead of spend, rely on tax cuts. At worst Biden may be willing to cut a deal to reduce Social Security and Medicare benefits to “fix” the deficit. (This is nonsense, but it is nonsense Biden has believed his entire career.)

….One can assume that a Biden administraiton will generally be more technocratically competent. I expect the Covid response to improve significantly, for example, though stubborn red state governors and legislatures will remain a problem. Trump’s propaganda that masks don’t work; Covid is no big deal and that the closures are the problem, not the disease, will remain a huge issue crippling any American response, as will fears and refusal to take vaccines.

Getting any large aid bill through Congress will be nearly impossible if Democrats don’t retake the Senate, for the simple reason that there’s no reason for Republicans to give Democrats a win like that.

The great fear of a Biden administration, and why I only reluctantly supported Biden, is that he will start a new war….

Meet the contenders for Biden’s Cabinet

[Politico 11-07-20]

“What It Took”: The Price of Democrat Victory in 2020

Lambert Strether, November 9, 2020 [Naked Capitalism]

1)The Professional Managerial Class (PMC) attained class consciousness.

2) The PMC was and is embubbled by a domestic psyop.

3) The press replaced reporting with advocacy.

4) Election legitimacy is determined by extra-Constitutional actors.

5) “Fascism” became an empty signifier, not an analytical tool.

The First 100 Days

The Day One Agenda: Now More Than Ever

David Dayen, November 12, 2020 [The American Prospect]

Without signing a single new law, the next president can lower prescription drug prices, cancel student debt, break up the big banks, give everybody who wants one a bank account, counteract the dominance of monopoly power, protect farmers from price discrimination and unfair dealing, force divestment from fossil fuel projects, close a slew of tax loopholes, hold crooked CEOs accountable, mandate reductions of greenhouse gas emissions, allow the effective legalization of marijuana, make it easier for 800,000 workers to join a union, and much, much more.

America Can Have A Boom Economy Six Months From Whenever It Gets Serious

Ian Welsh, November 13, 2020

The solutions are so damn obvious and so easy…. which makes the centrists’ lack of interest even more maddening. 

….we have been unable to accomplish anything important for over 50 years. The last significant US project was the moon landing. Failure or muddled success is the norm, now. The US even loses or muddles all its wars, and when it “wins” as with Libya, well, “made a desert and called it peace.”

Because nothing really works, and because every effort is half-assed (some tax cuts and an underfunded program run by corrupt incompetents) we don’t think anything big CAN be done….

You make a mandate to get every single building energy neutral at least. The Federal government effectively guarantees all mortgages; it sets the norms. You state that no mortgage is considered conforming starting in a year to three years if it doesn’t meet the new standards. You then offer the funds for the refit. This isn’t a gift, it is paid out of savings on utilities: half to the building owner so they win, half to the government. If you insist on doing this thru financial markets, then half goes to the entity who puts up the fund….

There are a bunch of other things to do (for example, rebuild wetlands around cities and on the coast; build sea walls around cities which are too low, blah, blah), but the point should be obvious by now: you can help the environment, produce a massive number of jobs and create an economic boom. It isn’t hard (though it is complicated) you simply have to have the will to do it. Further, if you can get it going, it will soon have massive support because it will create a truly good economy for the first time in 50 odd years. People will have better things to do than squeal about red state/blue state bullshit, the era will be like the post-war period: people are making money and kids and politics is, in fact, largely consensus driven because everyone sees that what is being done works.

My one quibble — and it is not small — is that the modern conservative and libertarian movements were expressly designed, created, and lavishly funded by rich reactionaries to attack and destroy the post World War Two “liberal consensus,” which was the same as what Welsh describes here. Heather Cox Richardson provides the details of this in her book, How the South Won the Civil War: Oligarchy, Democracy, and the Continuing Fight for America (Oxford University Press, 2020):

In 1951, William F. Buckley Jr., a devout Catholic fresh out of Yale, the son of an oilman, suggested a new approach to destroying the liberal consensus. In God and Man at Yale: The Superstitions of ‘Academic Freedom,” Buckley suggested that the whole idea that people would, make good decisions through argument based on evidence—the Enlightenment idea that had shaped America since its founding—was wrong. Had that been true, Americans would not have kept supporting the government activism launched by the New Deal. Americans’ faith in reasoned debate was a worse “superstition,’,’ he said, than the superstitions the Enlightenment had set out to replace.”

Rather than continuing to try to change people’s beliefs through evidence-based arguments, he said, those opposed to the New Deal should, stand firm on an “orthodoxy” of religion and individualism’ and refuse to accept any questioning of those two fundamental principles. Buckley’s book showed how this should be done. Rather than making a reasoned argument that fairly presented others’ positions, it misrepresented the views of the professors with whom Buckley disagreed, claimed that the wealthy white Yale-educated Buckley was a ‘member of a persecuted minority, and smeared supporters of the liberal consensus as the tools of socialists and atheists. (p. 152)

Disrupting mainstream economics

Introduction to The New Economics: A Manifesto

Steve Keen [via Naked Capitalism 11-14-20]

…the epicentre of the Great Recession was the US financial system itself: the crisis came from inside the economy, rather than from outside. Surely there were warning signs? As Queen Elizabeth herself put it when she attended a briefing at the London School of Economics in 2008, “If these things were so large, how come everyone missed them?” (Greenhill 2008).

Not all economists did: there were some who warned that a crisis was not merely likely, but imminent. The Dutch economist Dirk Bezemer identified a dozen, of whom I was one (Keen 1995; Keen 2007; Bezemer 2009; Bezemer 2009; Bezemer 2010). Though these economists came from disparate backgrounds, Bezemer noted that they had one negative characteristic in common: “no one predicted the crisis on the basis of a neo-classical framework” (Bezemer 2010, p. 678).

The carnage of mainstream neoliberal economics

“Non-Competes and Other Contracts of Dispossession”

[SSRN, via Naked Capitalism Water Cooler 11-12-20]

“Employers have used non-compete clauses to deprive tens of millions of workers of the freedom to change jobs or start their own businesses. In occupations ranging from home health aide to journalist and sandwich shop worker, employers have used this legal power to their great benefit. Non-compete clauses reduce worker mobility, help employers keep wages and wage growth down, deter small business formation, entrench potentially abusive, discriminatory, or hostile work environments, and fortify market power to the detriment of workers, rivals, consumers, and broader society…. Non-competes are merely one example of abusive contractual terms that the legal system has condoned or tolerated. Other terms, such as mandatory arbitration, class action waivers, confessions of judgment, and unilateral modification, reflect a ubiquitous economic and political problem. Corporations use these contractual terms to unilaterally rob consumers, suppliers, and workers of a wide range of constitutional and statutory rights. Like non-competes, these contractual terms are established in an environment of radical inequality between a corporation and a worker, consumer, or small business and are often contingent and non-salient to the person or business who must accept them. The result of these contracts of dispossession is the loss of legal recourse for wrongdoing, loss of possessions, and the imposition of unaccountable private governments.”

“California’s 40-Year-Old Tax Revolt Survives a Counterattack”

[ New York Times, via Naked Capitalism Water Cooler 11-11-20]

“The new law, Proposition 15, would have removed commercial properties like office buildings and industrial parks from Proposition 13’s limits, and it would have given labor and progressive groups a long-sought victory to increase funding for education and local services. The Associated Press called the result of the Nov. 3 vote on the measure on Tuesday night, when the count was 51.8 percent to 48.2 percent against it.”

“‘Proposition 22 Is a Backlash to Victories Workers Have Had” (interview)

[FAIR, via Naked Capitalism Water Cooler 11-12-20]

Rey Fuentes, Partnership for Working Families: “That’s what we think is the worst component of the ballot initiative; it’s really actually two things that have not received as much attention as possible. And, again, the quick efforts by these companies to spin the narrative as something about protecting employee freedom and independence, and protecting flexibility, have really provided the type of misdirection that has prevented people from realizing that, exactly as you described, the proposition contains a 7/8ths supermajority vote requirement. So if the legislature in the future wants to expand rights for these workers, or wants to ensure that some other protections are provided, they will be unable to do so unless they get a 7/8ths majority vote of the state legislature. And I heard somebody say something pretty funny, but horrible in this situation, that you couldn’t get a 7/8ths majority vote for a Happy Mother’s Day Proclamation from the state legislature. So it’s difficult to imagine important social legislation protecting workers passing by that threshold in our current legislature. And the other thing that it does, that I also think was underreported, was the fact that it now preempts, or cancels, any local law that would protect workers, and regulate things like local wages, access to tips or insurance requirements for drivers: All the things that local governments are best suited to do in their jurisdiction, they now do not have the power to do it, because the ballot initiative preempts those laws. So they’ve essentially knocked out any way to change the law from the top, or any way to improve it from localities on the ground. That’s why we’ve described it as an attempt to essentially deregulate these industries, and at least as of Tuesday, they were successful, but I don’t think the fight ends there.”

Biden’s Transition Team Is Stuffed With Amazon, Uber, Lyft, and Airbnb Personnel

[Vice, via Naked Capitalism 11-13-20]

….such as Bridget Dooling, a professor at George Washington who works out of the “non-partisan” Koch-funded Regulatory Studies Center who conjures academic research defending the deregulation of the fossil fuel industry.

Staffing a transition team with lobbyists and tech insiders (even ones with a lot of government experience) certainly cuts against the message that Biden is leading an effort to bolster labor and bring Silicon Valley to heel. This is especially critical since Uber has said that it would seek to expand Proposition 22 beyond California.

Slice the Money Cannon Into Money for the People

David Dayen, November 12, 2020 [The American Prospect]

The latest Institute for Policy Studies reporting finds that just the top 644 U.S. billionaires have made $931 billion since roughly the passage of the CARES Act, a figure that more than doubles the $454 billion in public dollars authorized to construct it.

“Virgin Hyperloop Has Invented The World’s Crappiest High-Speed Rail”

[Defector, via Naked Capitalism Water Cooler 11-12-20]

Virgin Hyperloop, an American company despite the Richard Branson branding, proposes to use a combination of magnetic levitation, or “maglev”—a decades-old technology that has been in commercial operation moving real trains filled with real people in, for example, Shanghai, China, at speeds up to 268 miles per hour, for 17 goddamn years…. 

France opened the TGV in 1981. Japan’s oldest high-speed line debuted in 1964—1964!—and was better and faster then than Amtrak’s Acela trains go now. Shanghai’s maglev train has been operable since John Kerry was campaigning to unseat George W. Bush as president. Measure speed by the number of riders the respective services will have moved by, say, 2050. Measure it in carbon emissions. By the year 2020, the best-funded and most sophisticated high-speed rail developer in the United States moved two (2) people 500 meters.

The United States is generations behind much of the rest of the wealthy, industrialized world in this area. For all but a very narrow corridor along the East Coast serviced by the weak half-a-loaf shit that passes for high-speed rail in this country, the best an American commuter can hope for in intercity rail options are crappy and ancient diesel Amtrak trains that top out at around 80 miles per hour. Most American cities simply are not serviced by any intercity rail network at all.

The Pandemic

The Great Coronavirus Pandemic of 2020—7 Critical Lessons

[JAMA, via Naked Capitalism 11-12-20]

Pandemics that changed the world: historical reflections on COVID-19 (PDF) [Journal of Global History, via Naked Capitalism 11-12-20]

Lambert Strether: “This is the introductory article to a special issue on the pandemic. Lots of free (!) good stuff here.”

Health Care Crisis

Picking the wrong health insurance is a $2,000 mistake

[MarketWatch, via Naked Capitalism Water Cooler 11-11-20]

“Almost a quarter of employees faced with the choice of two employer-sponsored health-care plans picked the one that left them worse off financially, even though they offered the same non-cost benefits, according to new unpublished research we conducted. Using data from a large university in the Midwest that offered to subsidize one of two health-care plans, we wanted to see how hard it is for people to make the better choice when given only two options. The plans were identical in every respect other than their costs. One plan had much higher premiums but lower out-of-pocket expenses such as deductibles and co-payments for the employee. Our analysis found that 97% of the 2,300 employees would have been better off with the other plan, which had lower premiums but higher cost-sharing. Yet 23% chose the higher-premium plan anyway. The average cost per year of choosing the wrong plan was over $2,000, according to our paper, which we plan to submit for publication soon.” • First, why are people even forced into this insane choice? What is the point? Second, perhaps the “high premium”/”low deductibles” plan let those who chose it sleep better at night. Who wants to stump $10,000 as soon as they need care?

Restoring balance to the economy

“Can the Bank of Solidarity smash payday lenders?”

[Alice Marshall, via Naked Capitalism Water Cooler 11-12-20]

“After Bernie withdrew from the Presidential race I began to look for ways I could make a difference. I remain convinced that electoral activism is part of how we take America back; but for the immediate future all meaningful progress will come out of direct action. I have started to get active with the DC Tenants Union and Stomp Out Slumlords, because it is clear that our elected leaders have no plan to cope with the coming eviction crisis. However, eviction resistance was not enough for me, so I decided to join DC Mutual Aid. You have to fill out a form and be approved, to prevent law enforcement from infiltrating the group. DC Mutual Aid grew out of the local Black Lives Matter organization. Every mutual aid group will reflect the community that created it…. Once a week people are allowed to post requests for cash. (the Cash App, Pay Pal, Venmo, or whatever they are using). Usually they are short of their electricity bill or have some other emergency where you really need cash. It seems there is some controversy about this, traditionally Mutual Aid does not involve cash. But speaking for myself, I am glad for it, because otherwise I would not be able to participate in the work of the group. Every Friday I give what little I can spare and feel a little less helpless…. The more I thought about it the more I realized how important the Friday cash requests are to the movement. When someone is in a bind what choice do they have? Too often it is go to a Pay Day Lender. When they come to Mutual Aid we can take care of their need and deprive Pay Day lenders of a victim. Could we build up the group enough to smash the local Pay Day lenders? I don’t know, but it is worth a try.”

Predatory Finance

The Fed Says It’s Considering a Central Clearing Facility for the Treasury Market
Pam Martens and Russ Martens, November 13, 2020 [Wall Street on Parade]

The Vice Chairman for Supervision at the Federal Reserve, Randal Quarles, dropped a bombshell during the House Financial Services Committee hearing held yesterday, but because mainstream media ignores these hearings unless they have something to do with Donald Trump, this critical news went unreported….

“So, as we look at the lessons from the Treasury market in March, we have been looking closely at this issue of central clearing of Treasuries. The advantage would be that central clearing would reduce pressure on dealer balance sheets. The current system requires dealers take those Treasuries onto their balance sheets when there isn’t another side to the trade. That’s obviously a significant strain.”

….One critical aspect regarding securing the integrity of the U.S. Treasury market involves the failure of William Barr’s U.S. Department of Justice to properly charge JPMorgan Chase for what the Justice Department described on September 29 as “thousands of instances of unlawful trading in U.S. Treasury futures contracts and in U.S. Treasury notes and bonds…” JPMorgan’s illegal manipulation of the Treasury market, which is essential, as Congressman Foster said, to the confidence in the U.S. Dollar as the world’s reserve currency, went on for more than eight years.

Information Age Dystopia​​​​​​​

Your Computer Isn’t Yours

[Jeffrey Paul, via Naked Capitalism Water Cooler 11-13-20]

“On modern versions of macOS, you simply can’t power on your computer, launch a text editor or eBook reader, and write or read, without a log of your activity being transmitted and stored…. It turns out that in the current version of the macOS, the OS sends to Apple a hash (unique identifier) of each and every program you run, when you run it. Lots of people didn’t realize this, because it’s silent and invisible and it fails instantly and gracefully when you’re offline, but today the server got really slow and it didn’t hit the fail-fast code path, and everyone’s apps failed to open if they were connected to the internet…. The day that Stallman and Doctorow have been warning us about has arrived this week. It’s been a slow and gradual process, but we are finally here.”

Disrupting mainstream politics

The Three Progressive Policies Voters Seem to Love
By JORDAN WEISSMANN, NOV 06, 2020 [Slate]3

Why is it that the three m’s seem to have so much bipartisan appeal? If I had to guess, I’d say it’s because each of them is a fairly simple, easy-to-understand policy that can make a concrete difference in people’s lives and appeals to Americans’ sense of fairness without overly upsetting the status quo. Do you think workers deserve to be able to support themselves? Then vote for that minimum wage hike. Do you think everyone deserves health care, even if you’re nervous about the government toying with your own plan? Then back Medicaid. Do you think people should be able to enjoy a mostly harmless buzz without having to worry about the cops? Then legalize ganja. These aren’t complicated tax credits or grand schemes to combat income inequality. They’re bread-and-butter items that people like, and that Republicans tend to stubbornly oppose (especially the Medicaid expansion).

[Twitter, via Naked Capitalism]


[Twitter, via Naked Capitalism Water Cooler 11-11-20]



[Twitter, via Naked Capitalism Water Cooler 11-11-20]


“A Battle for the Soul of the Democratic Party”

Marianne Williamson [Newsweek, via Naked Capitalism Water Cooler 11-9-20]

“Donald Trump did not create those situations; those situations created Donald Trump. And if the Biden administration reflexively falls back into the institutionalized patterns of soft injustice that produced the dysfunction to begin with, rather than springing forward into fundamental disruptions of those patterns, then the next truck could be even bigger…. Joe Biden’s win is not a healing; it’s a reprieve. Now, not later, is the time to make that very clear both to ourselves and to him. The Democratic Party has no basis for self-congratulations at this point. When your opponent is a neo-fascist who has more in common with Mussolini than with Lincoln and has supervised the death of almost a quarter-million Americans, yet all you can do is beat him by a razor-thin margin, that is not a sign that things are going well. It’s a sign that some merciful force to be greatly praised came through at the last minute and saved you.”

“Bernie would have already won”

Carl Beijer [via Naked Capitalism Water Cooler 11-11-20]

“The answer to that last one is clear: if you wanted to landslide Trump, you should have nominated Bernie Sanders. There are two basic prongs to this; let’s address them both in turn. (1). Biden’s supposed advantages over Sanders have proven to be grossly overstated. One major argument for Biden, promoted by everyone from his campaign to Lincoln Project / Never-Trump pundits, was that his candidacy would be uniquely appealing to conservatives and Republicans…. Despite highly publicized defections from Trump among elites and a historically unprecedented outreach campaign to Republicans and conservatives, Joe Biden has performed worse among these groups than Hillary Clinton did in 2016…. (2). Biden’s weaknesses were Sanders’s strengths… Biden may have slightly improved on Clinton’s poor showing with poor voters, but he is still significantly underperforming the standard set by Obama in previous years. We have good reason to believe that Sanders — running on a platform of single payer healthcare, generous welfare benefits, and other programs aimed specifically at the poor – would have fared much better…. Note that Sanders also had a higher proportion of voters among the middle income bracket: the group where Biden overperformed, winning a 13 point margin among voters that Democrats have lost since 2008. Meanwhile, the only income group that Biden tended to fare better among — the wealthiest — is the group that he lost to Trump by a decisive 11 points. These numbers correspond directly with standard socialist intuitions about how a Sanders campaign would have played out. He would have run on class war, running up his margins among the poor and middle income brackets (IE, the overwhelming majority of voters) while boxing Trump in among the wealthiest voters. … Sanders also performed strongly among another major voting group that Biden struggled with: Latinos.”

The Good Scenario For America’s Future

Ian Welsh, November 10, 2020

So, the default scenario is that Biden rules for 4 to 8 years, maybe Harris for another 4, then we get a more disciplined right wing “populist.” In the meantime, nothing that will actually change the trend-lines has been done about climate change or the continued concentration of wealth and power. America continues to be divided into two tribes who hate each other, while the West as a whole stagnates under neoliberalism….

What’s the good scenario for the United States?

AOC, basically. In 2022 she takes out Schumer and becomes a Senator. In 2024 she primaries Biden or Harris and wins. AOC is popular, Schumer is a lame duck. If she goes for him, I give her the nod to win. Having taken out the Senate leader, she looks unstoppable.

The primary will be extremely difficult to win. Obama, Clinton, Clyburn and all the usual suspects will do everything they can to cheat her of a win, just as they did with Sanders twice. But AOC is clearly Bernie’s heir, having saved his bacon when he had a heart-attack, and never having betrayed him as Warren did. Unlike Sanders, she is genuinely charismatic, and like him she will pack massive arenas and have huge support from the grassroots and activists….

Then we come to the general election. Contrary to what centrists claim, progressives running on Medicare-4-All did very well in this election, as did policies like a $15/hour wage. An aggressively progressive platform, with concrete job promises so people know where they go when fracking goes away, can win. A real Green New Deal offers tens of millions of good jobs…. In fact, I see the primary as a bigger problem than the General: if AOC gets the nomination, she’s likely to win, because she can run both against unpopular Democratic politics and Republican ones. Running on an actual popular program, she stands a good chance of controlling both the House and Senate.

“Democrats Can’t Blame the Left for Their Lackluster Election Results”

[Jacobin, via Naked Capitalism Water Cooler 11-13-20]

“Had Democrats delivered the landslide many were promising right up until election day, it’s not difficult to imagine the conclusions that would have ensued. Having defeated Bernie Sanders’s insurgent campaign for the Democratic nomination and run the pathologically centrist Biden in his place, centrists would have viewed the result as ultimate proof of the Left’s irrelevance. We all know, of course, that the election yielded nothing of the kind…. As both Bernie Sanders and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez have argued, no fewer than a hundred twelve House cosponsors of Medicare for All stood for election and not a single one lost (at least eight Democratic House members who ran against Medicare for All, meanwhile, were defeated). Of the Green New Deal’s ninety-three cosponsors, ninety-two will be returning to Congress in January. As Ben Burgis points out, left-wing organizing work in states like Michigan also played a significant role in ensuring Biden’s victory at the top of the ballot.”

[Twitter, via Naked Capitalism Water Cooler 11-11-20]


[Twitter, via Naked Capitalism Water Cooler 11-11-20]


DeSantis pushes expansion of Stand Your Ground law as part of ‘anti-mob’ crackdown

[Miami Herald, via Naked Capitalism 11-14-20]

Gov. Ron DeSantis has drafted “anti-mob” legislation that would expand Florida’s Stand Your Ground law — a move that critics say will allow armed citizens to shoot suspected looters or anyone engaged in “criminal mischief” that disrupts a business.

Lawyers say it’s just one of the many troubling aspects of the draft bill being pushed by the Republican governor in response to police-brutality protests that erupted across Florida and the United States this summer.

“It allows for vigilantes to justify their actions,” said Denise Georges, a former Miami-Dade County prosecutor who had handled Stand Your Ground cases. “It also allows for death to be the punishment for a property crime — and that is cruel and unusual punishment. We cannot live in a lawless society where taking a life is done so casually and recklessly.”

The Conservative Movement Needs a Reckoning

[New York Times 11-9-2020]

The second reason Trump lost is that conservatives never tried to check his immorality. They rationalized, excused, enabled and ultimately celebrated it. For Trump’s presidency to have had even a faint chance of succeeding, he needed his allies and fellow travelers to provide reality checks and expressions of disapproval, including occasions of outright revolt. What he mainly got was an echo chamber….

Less forgivable was the political Manichaeism turned into moral nihilism: When the left is always, definitionally, “worse than the right,” then the right feels entitled to permit itself everything, no matter how badly it trashes conservative policies (outreach to North Korea), betrays conservative principles (trade tariffs), debases the office (arms-for-dirt with Ukraine) or shames the nation (child separation). Stalinists used to justify their crimes in much the same way.

Two recent developments will force the ad industry to democratize RW radio.

[DailyKos, November 12, 2020]

Two reasons why the advertising industry will have to break up Republican talk radio

1 — Artificial intelligence — Advances in artificial intelligence make it faster, easier, and cheaper to accurately transcribe talk radio, with little or no actual listening required. Every advertiser and university and professional sports team that broadcasts on those stations can be directly associated with the content they are helping to sponsor. They all share responsibility for the Trump and COVID disasters and whatever happens in the transition to the Biden Harris administration. Digitizing and monitoring talk radio will force them to own that responsibility….

2 — Limbaugh is on the way out — Rush Limbaugh has recently  announced that his lung cancer is terminal. The Republican talk radio monopoly was built around him.

Charles Koch Says His Partisanship Was a Mistake

[Wall Street Journal, via Naked Capitalism 11-14-20]

Lambert Strether’s summary: “Translation: Now he thinks he can buy Democrats too.”

And, some of the reactions from commenters on the DailyKos story on 11-13-2020, “Charles Koch: “Boy did we screw up! What a mess!“:

Nov 13, 2020 at 06:03:11 PM

I decorated the whole place in oily rags, then I invited a bunch of meth heads over, cranked up Korn and Wagner at the same time, and left them in the living room with fireworks and a crate of matches. Things didn’t work out well. Sorry about your house. Still friends, though, right?


Nov 13, 2020 at 07:30:13 PM

The killing was a mistake, all it caused was unneeded death.

The Dark Side

In wake of election, 25 lawsuits filed over election’s conduct

[Ballotpedia, via Naked Capitalism 11-12-20] Finally an aggregation ffs.

Growing Discomfort at Law Firms Representing Trump in Election Lawsuits

[New York Times 11-9-2020]

Some senior lawyers at Jones Day, one of the country’s largest law firms, are worried that it is advancing arguments that lack evidence and may be helping Mr. Trump and his allies undermine the integrity of American elections, according to interviews with nine partners and associates, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to protect their jobs.

At another large firm, Porter Wright Morris & Arthur, based in Columbus, Ohio, lawyers have held internal meetings to voice similar concerns about their firm’s election-related work for Mr. Trump and the Republican Party, according to people at the firm. At least one lawyer quit in protest.

Jones Day To Prepare For A Bad PR Campaign The Likes Of Which They’ve Never Seen Before: Their clients can also expect an onslaught.

[Above The Law, via The Big Picture 11-12-20]

“Hal Rogers’s Kentucky Kingdom” [Tarance Ray, Dissent, via Naked Capitalism Water Cooler 11-13-20] “[A]s a former Chairman of the House Appropriations Committee, the elite “College of Cardinals” that manages the government’s budget, and the ranking member of the House Appropriations Subcommittee on State and Foreign Operations, [Rogers is] one of the most powerful men in Washington…. Most people, when they think of powerful politicians from Kentucky, think of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, who over the last decade or so has singlehandedly reshaped how Congress functions, and has all but ensured the prioritization of corporate interests within the federal judiciary. So you’re telling me there’s another powerful congressman from Kentucky who has control over virtually every aspect of my life? That is indeed what I’m telling you, my friend, and it’s no coincidence that both of these men come from the mostly rural state of Kentucky…. As the nation’s rural regions experienced deindustrialization, out-migration, drug-assisted suicide, or a combination of all the above over the last three or four decades, rural elites had to figure out a way to maintain control over their constituents. Many of them turned to Rogers’s example.” • This is must read; I can’t really excerpt it properly, it’s so dense.


Full Interview on the Current Situation and the Future


I Suffered, Therefore So Must Others


  1. S Brennan

    Anybody who would quote, much less republish an EZ-Rah Klein article shouldn’t be taken seriously.

    I was there when Klein..Marshal et al pushed the Cheny/Bush-2nd line that the US should invade Iraq to “liberals”. People forget, but I remember watching “liberals” toed the pro-war line to advance their careers. A very sick group of people, reading Vox leaves a slime over one’s mind, sorta like listening to Nazi war criminals reliving their past crimes.

  2. Joe Biden’s win is not a healing; it’s a reprieve …

    I stand by my post of a week ago, Very Little has fundamentally changed,, nothing has changed in the week, Trump has been voted out (roughly) 50/48/2% – fifty (50) percent against Trump, forty-eight (48) percent for Trump and two (2) percent jerking-off. However, while it may yet happen in January and if it does it is marginal at best there has been no gain the Senate, and indeed a loss of Democrat seats, though not their majority, in the House.

    This is not a mandate, this is not change.

    Of greater concern is we appear to have traded the reich-wing worship of a false prophet for a liberal messianic slate of unrealistic, unrealizable expectations.

    We’re facing four (4) more years of the same bullshit we’ve put up with for the last twelve (12), if not twenty-five (25). Nothing has fundamentally changed.

    We have to stop doing what we’re doing. It isn’t working.

  3. S Brennan

    “We have to stop doing what we’re doing. It isn’t working”

    By returning Biden to power, [he’s been the leading neocolonial/neo-gilded-age proponent in DC for 50 years], the posters on this board who supported Biden ensured that Bush-2nd and Obama’s people will have another 8-12-16[?] more years to eff over this nation.

    If you do the same thing over and over and expect different result, you’re certifiably insane. If you do the same thing over and over and complain that you didn’t get a different result and then come back in four years and beseech people for 9 months to repeat the experiment, you are not just insane, you are criminally insane.

  4. Jerry Brown

    S Brennan, Ezra Klein was born in 1984. He still would have been 18 years old at the start of the Iraq war in early 2003. And you are going to blame him for the war??

  5. S Brennan

    I said; “I was there when Klein..Marshal et al pushed the Cheny/Bush-2nd line that the US should invade Iraq to “liberals”. People forget, but I remember watching “liberals” toed the pro-war line to advance their careers. A very sick group of people..”

    And Jerry Brown asks a rhetorical question; “you are going to blame him for the war?”

    I said; “…“liberals” toed the pro-war line to advance their careers…” which is very different than accusing somebody of starting a war, now perhaps Jerry Brown lacks the mental capacity to understand what I said…possible, but, unlikely. More likely, Jerry Brown thinks he’s being clever by creating a straw man argument.

    Here’s Matt Tailbbi on the subject of EZ-Rah Klein and his ilk:

    16 Years Later, How the Press That Sold the Iraq War Got Away With It

    “the attempts to make comprehensive lists of Iraq cheerleaders post-invasion inevitably focus on usual suspects like Fleischer, current Trump official John Bolton, neoconservatives like Max Boot, David Frum, and Bill Kristol, and winger goons like Sean Hannity, Rush Limbaugh and Ann Coulter. But we expect the worst from such people…[however]..the enthusiastic participation of a blue-state intelligentsia…who failed up after the war…prominent Democrat voices like Ezra Klein [et al]…

    …After we invaded, and the WMD hunt turned out to be a crock, nearly all of our professional chin-scratchers found ways to address their errors…

    Most followed a script: I was young (Ezra Klein literally said, “I was young”), I believed the intel, and on the narrow point of WMDs being in Iraq, I screwed up…

    None walked back the rest of the propaganda, which is why even as the case for invading Iraq fell apart, our presence in the Mideast expanded…The damage this story did to our collective reputations is still poorly understood. We’ll never get rid of the scarlet letter from those years until we face how bad it was, and it was so much worse than we’re admitting, even now.
    Now perhaps Jerry Brown, your conjecture is right, we shouldn’t listen to young people or perhaps, not let them vote? Dunno Jerry, perhaps you are right when you suggest that this generation is not as good as those who have gone before them? Dunno, at what point do you suggest a young men, who profited mightily by being accomplice to war criminals, be held accountable for his deliberate actions?

  6. Jerry Brown

    S Brennan. If you want to blame the Iraq war on liberals, rather than Bush/Cheney, then at least pick some of those who were in office then- like Joe Biden maybe. Blaming Ezra Klein is a stretch even if he did support it as an 18 year old.

  7. KT Chong

    I think the US might have just lost the trade war to China.

  8. bruce wilder

    I think Brennan is blaming the liberal punditry for not-opposing the lying, Jerry.

  9. KT Chong

    China and over a dozen Asian Pacific nations have just signed the The Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) on Monday, November 15, 2020. It is a HUGE game changer for China, the US, and their trade war, yet none of the major US news network has even bothered to report it.

    America has not yet realized: the signing of the RCEP, China has effectively prevailed in — i.e., “won” — the open trade and economic war with the US.

    With RCEP and the entire Asia Pacific as its economic and free trade sphere, China has maneuvered into an economic and strategic position in which it will have very little to fear from being decoupled or even sanctioned by the US. Now America and its Western allies will no longer be able to defeat China through trade, decoupling, sanctions or any economics means. With RCEP, China’s economic future is secured.

    Trump has been the single biggest obstacle for the West to come together and unite together against China. I had thought that China would need another four years of Trump presidency to create chaos, havoc and disunity in America and the West for China to bide its time, to continue to grow until it becomes economically powerful enough to overcome a united Western anti-China alliance. Well, it seems that China has reached that position 4-5 years than I had expected, albeit through a different path. Now, with China having locked in over a dozen countries in the RCEP, even a united America + West will not be able to overcome China’s advantages.

    This will be the longest-lasting legacy of the Trump administration: starting and then losing the trade and economic war with China, in just three years, and now China’s rise to economic supremacy is all but certain.

  10. KT Chong

    Another realization…

    Now that I’ve thought about it, the reason for China’s recent barrage of economic and trade sanctions on Australia has just become clear:

    I had thought China was being petty over Australia’s proposed investigation into the origin of COVID 19 in China; but it was actually China applying full-court pressures on Australia into signing RCEP as soon as possible, before a possible new US president who will replace Trump.

    Now the RCEP, which is a done deal, will make it much harder for the new incoming US President (Biden) to revive the TPP or pursue a trade agreement to counter China and RCEP, (which overlaps and is somewhat mutually exclusive with the TPP.) If China has allowed Australia to wait, then Australia will most likely choose to participate whatever trade deal the US offers over RCEP.

    Have to say, did not realize it until a moment ago, but it’s a brilliant move on China’s part: misled and misdirected everyone into thinking China was hitting on Australia over the COVID 19 investigation, but it was for a whole other reason. Very Sun Tzu.

  11. KT Chong

    Just remember something:

    Huawei will become a big winner — now all the countries in the RCEP will have to open up their markets to Huawei in accordance to the free trade agreement. It will be the first big loss for the US to come out of the RCEP. Just waiting for the US news networks pick up on it.

    Also, the US — led by the likes of Marco Rubio — has been plotting to use economic weapons like economic and trade sanctions to compel China into compliance on Hong Kong, Xinjiang, and Tibet. That option is now off the table. The US has just lost the option of using its economic or trade weapons to be able to force China to do anything.

    It will be nigh impossible for the US to enforce an economic or trade sanction on China that is now the keystone player in a multilateral free trade agreement that has locked in over a dozen countries. If the US tries puts an economic or trade sanction on China, it will effectively be forcing those other countries to choose a side — and, if they choose the US (with its declining economy) over China (with its rising economy,) they will be breaking the free trade agreement and lose access to not just China’s but other participatory nations’ markets as well. Frankly, I think they will choose China over the US in this current economic climate.

    Trump has seriously mismanaged the trade war with China by the working with its allies to form a united front against China from the get-to; instead, he has pissed off leaders of important allies like Germany and France. Now that the RCEP is a done deal and has secured China’s economic security from the US, it will be too late for Biden to salvage.

  12. I used to enjoy reading David Sirota at, and bought (and read) one of his books. However, he appears to have gone over to the dark side. I guess the ease of his own career path is more important to him than his integrity.

    Here’s a Rudy Giuliani tweet, responding to Josh Gerstein

    Rudy W. Giuliani
    I imagine this guy has a reading deficit. He didn’t read paragraphs 132 to 150 of the amended complaint. I guess 680,770 uninspected, unlawful mail in votes isn’t enough. Well we will find more before trial.
    Quote Tweet
    Josh Gerstein
    · 4h
    UPDATE: Pennsylvania’s lawyers say there’s now so little left of the Trump campaign’s federal lawsuit over election results there that there’s no need for the argument session a judge has scheduled for Tuesday

    I know only a handful of prominent, lefty or left-leaning journalists or commentators told the truth about Russia gate, a baseless smear that went on for years: Aaron Mate, Matt Taibbi, Glenn Greenwald, Jimmy Dore. I’ll take a guess that Sirota was not in this rare group, based on the trash he’s promulgating, now.

    A Sirota take-away is we need to do away with the electoral college. Well, that IS consistent with the idea that we already have practically faultless voting systems in place. After all, if we didn’t, how would we know that a popular vote would be reliable?

    I attended a lecture by Rush Holt, the “rocket scientist” congressman from NJ, many years ago, about fixing the voting systems. Even earlier than Holt, was a book called “Votescam: the stealing of America”, which goes back to a 1970 election. In Sirota’s fantasy world, there is no need to address conspiracy theorists like Rep. Holt, any more that there is to delve into the problems with the Dominion system (rejected 3 times by the state of Texas, for MULTIPLE un-secure faults). No! Some of the people in the NY Times article were Republicans, and we know what angels they are! If they say there was no fraud, dammit, there was no fraud!

    Even if you want to dismiss the fraud arguments as wishful thinking, if you want to follow them, (oh, say, e.g., to accumulate source material for mocking the trumpanzees), sources are Rudy Giuliani, Sydney Powell, Steve Bannon’s War Room Pandemic, and the gateway pundit. (I’m not that familiar with gateway pundit. My impression is that they have solid articles commingled with, ah, not-so-solid articles.)

    My cousin has an office in East Orange, NJ, and up until a few years ago, would regularly observe, on election days, vans full of apparent voters dropping off eager-beaver citizens to perform their civic duties. Funny thing was, the vans would bear NY plates. Steve Bannon has reported vans full of Camden, NJ voters extending the reach of their voting activities into Philadelphia.

    It’s my POV that thinking we have reliable voting systems, to be utterly laughable. If you were a Bernie supporter, you should support the idea of catching, and prosecuting, anybody and everybody who manipulated the voting. D or R. Because (reportedly), vote scams were also used to take him out of contention.

  13. Plague Species

    Obama has the audacity to mention Truth Decay on his 60Minutes interview and in the same breath Scott Pelley asks him what advice he has for outgoing Trump. Truth Decay is Scott Pelley asking that question as though it’s a serious question and should be answered seriously. Obama’s response should have been, “it’s a worthless exercise to answer this question, Scott, because McDonald Trump doesn’t take advice. If we learned nothing else from the past four years, we’ve learned that at least, so next question please, Scott.” Instead, Obama engaged in Truth Decay of his own and answered the question as though it was a legitimate question and as though McDonald Trump was capable of taking advice.

    Also, on CNN this morning they ran with three headlines that can only be explained properly via a Class analysis, otherwise you can’t applaud one and decry the other. CNN made sure to inform us that Texas has tnes of thousands waiting in long lines in SUVS for food because they can’t afford food. They showed a pic of these long lines, mostly SUVS fyi and not cheap SUVs either. CNN then boasts and brags about the “successful” SpaceX launch calling it an accomplishment when men landed on the moon, not a space station 50 years prior with much more crude and complicated technology. Finally, Christine Romans bragged and boasted that the Stock Market is healthy and doing well and is well on its way to breaking 30,000 amidst an apocalyptic surge in pandemic cases and deaths in America.

    Are those who “prepare” and “present” the news at CNN malevolent or daft or both? They are certainly part and parcel of what Obama calls Truth Decay and so too Obama is part and parcel of his vaunted Truth Decay.

    Will Biden start a new war? We’ll see . If he does, how can he justify it when soon millions of Americans will be dead from this pandemic. I know this, it will involve a hell of a lot of Truth Decay, that’s for certain. Right, Sleepy Joe? Right, Barack? Right, Michelle? I mention you Michelle because of your obvious fondness for Dubya who knows a thing or two about Truth Decay. Yellow Cake, anyone?

  14. Plague Species

    Almanzo asked Father why he did not hire the machine that did the threshing. Three men had brought it into the country last fall, and Father had gone to see it. It would thresh a man’s whole crop in a few days.

    “That’s a lazy man’s way to thresh,” Father said. “Haste makes waste, but a lazy man’d rather get his work done fast than do it himself. That machine chews up the straw till it’s not fit to feed stock, and it scatters the grain around and wastes it.”

    “All it saves is time, son. And what good is time, with nothing to do? You want to sit and twiddle your thumbs, all these stormy winter days?”

    “No!” said Almanzo. He had enough of that, on Sundays.

    Industrialization and Mass Production were the accelerant that hastened the end that is nigh.

    The excellent movie Koyaanisqatsi visualizes this hectic destruction artistically and perfectly in fact with an excellent musical score to accompany it.

    As for twiddling of thumbs, well, that’s what cellphones are for, right? From threshing to texting and tweeting. How far we’ve come in the name of progress.

  15. “I’m not that familiar with gateway pundit.”

    Gateway pundit has an article on Benford law analysis, apparently taking it seriously. It’s a serious statistical tool. But the requirements for it’s application aren’t met. I learned so much with about an hour of reading….

  16. StewartM

    Bruce Wilder

    I think Brennan is blaming the liberal punditry for not-opposing the lying, Jerry.

    No one knew for a fact it was all lies until the deed was done.

    Oh, BTW, Jerry, +1 for the observation that for some of the commentariat here, that liberal politicians are always first and foremost to blame for the disastrous policies formulated, put into force, and managed by movement conservative Republican politicians. Even when they were 18 years old and had no actual political power.

  17. Ten Bears

    I do wish Obama had left the bimbo of the backwoods, karibo karen, the quitta’ from Wassila, pride of the Idaho Vandals the former Mrs. Sarah Palin out of it. Everything was going just fine, just like I said they would: we were all ignoring her and she went away, faded into obscurity, a footnote to be forgotten. Obama pulled her out of the woodwork and there she is, running of at the mouth again, yapping like a half-bred rat-dog. Yes, it is important that the keystone to today’s politics of stupid for the sake of stupid is lain to her doorstep, but still, she had gone away and now she’s back.

    A harbinger: an omen or other indicator of what is to come, not unlike signs and portents in the skies, oh my. Tea leaves, chicken gizzards, the wind in the willows. Voices in a crazy woman’s head.

  18. S Brennan

    Ref Iraq Invasion 2003: “No one knew for a fact it was all lies until the deed was done.” – StewartM

    Oddly enough, this is exactly the line of bullshit that the citizens living next to the Nazi extermination camps said, exactly the same. People go in, there’s a stench, nobody comes out and then more people go, there’s a stench, nobody comes back out, “No one knew for a fact”…and so it goes.

    Yes people, many people knew, many spoke out and they were silenced by being publicly fired…all to the applause of people like StewartM.

    As the article I cite above noted, millions upon millions knew and protested the US invasion, I was one of them and it cost me professionally but, I did it because the bullshit was patently obvious, only fool who was paid “not to understand” didn’t know.

    Indeed as the article I cite above points out, the 3-letter agencies were quite concerned about how transparently false the narrative appeared, hence the heavy-handed media treatment of those who spoke out against the US war of aggression Iraq.

    Unlike the political hacks here, I call balls and strikes as I see them not as D/R operatives, media and 3-letter agencies [but I repeat myself] instruct me to…that used to be called intellectual honesty and it was the norm in America when I was growing-up. We have normalized lying, through the rationalization that every set of circumstance is existential, we have truth expendable in ALL circumstances.

    And let me tell you something, when want to win a war, or accomplish anything of value, you must be honest to yourself and to your fellows. Telling the soldiers on a landing craft that they are going to a beach party in Normandy may make it easier to get them loaded up but it will lead to disaster when the door drops.

    StewartM, If you actually believe it right to repeat what the people surrounding the extermination camps said; “No one knew for a fact it was all lies until the deed was done”…I pity you. And if you are lying here to cover-up for those who were accessories to war crimes, I pity you even more.

    The Bush/Obama/ administration, [singular intended], has been the worst in are histroy, nothing Trump has done, [or not done] compares to what lead to Trump and now will return to an amalgam of Bush/Obama minions running the country based on lies…all lies.

  19. Willy

    Trump Coup: The million MAGA march consisted of only several thousands, and Trump made a dry-by appearance in his motorcade on his way to play golf. Probably called them “losers and suckers” while waving, but I’m open to the possibility that he said something else derogatory.

    Voter Fraud Conspiracy: Should this thing not pan out, I tend to agree that names should be taken of anybody who’s pushing this thing. We can’t never let them live it down. Plenty of other, better citizens worth giving our attentions to.

    Corporate Democrats attacking So-called Far-left policies: Should be taken more seriously. Once we’ve washed the skidmarks off the underwear of our democracy (or some other better metaphor), by the far more corporatist-vile Trump administration, we can focus our pressure against these corporate funded types.

    Gateway Pundit comment: Reminds me of the time when Agent K called the Weekly World News the “best damn investigative reporting on the planet”. Hell, even Drudge went Biden.

  20. Ten Bears

    Blind hogs and acorns – I too suffered professionally through my outspoken denouncement of the lies that led Iraq II. Ruined my career, it did, at the hands of a religiously racist, misogynous, homophobic, old testament authoritarian, dominionist no doubt Trump voting sure as hell looks, sounds and smells like it bigot with half my education and half my experience but none-the-less in a position to get away with harassing and ultimately forcing me to quit the career I had worked fifteen years and invested tens of thousands of dollars in educational expenses to have. Millions, tens of millions saw through Cheney’s lies, it can be argued the “blogs” as we know them are the results of many speaking opposition to the lies. I started blogging moderating bulletin boards, and though no fan screaming at how Clinton was treated; my blog as it is today was started in opposition to Bush’s Excellent Little Adventure. Though it pains me deeply (which is of course a learning experience) I have to agree with Brennan here, today, on just this one thing: “No one knew for a fact it was all lies until the deed was done” is not true. Is gaslighting.

    Hell, even Drudge went Biden – baddabing!

  21. Willy

    Ten Bears,
    I worked in offices full of religiously conservative, personally responsible, ye reaps what ya sows, job creator types. Sounded good to me at the time, since I thought I could compete with the best of them.

    When 911 happened I thought it’d be a bonding experience for us workfolks who’d been undergoing pressures from offshoring and competing local startups. But 911 was just a diversion for my own personal rival who’d been machinating my removal so that he could take over my project which I’d built, then run it into the ground, then skillfully scapegoat others for his own failure. He got away with it because he was supported by upper management who needed his help since their power was politically based instead of competency based, in that dysfunctionally tribal brainwashy bullshit world.

    After much soul searching, I came to see religion, conservatism, and all of their mantras as dysfunctionally tribal brainwashy bullshit as well. No society is gonna grow very well after elites have taken over all the fertile ground, no matter the lies they sell.

    Is that what happened to you?

  22. Ten Bears

    Something like that: I had built a community college wide area network of classrooms and computer labs on two principle and four satellite campus’ across a district the size of Vermont.

    He didn’t. I still have a hard time putting a finger right to it, I can’t help but feel that turning my back in contempt and walking away in disgust was letting the bastard win. It’s like that little terror cell he started 20 years ago in that little computer department in that dinkass community college in the middle of nowhere Oregon became the Trump Administration… that I have been living in the Trump Era since April 2000.

    Question: if your deep state mission were to sabotage an educational institution’s mission, where would you best place the saboteur?

  23. NR

    Now is a good time to remember that Donald Trump’s own investigation proved that voter fraud isn’t a thing.

    It’s really pathetic that he and his cultists can’t just admit that he lost, and have to invent all manner of crazy conspiracies to explain how he actually won.

  24. Ché Pasa

    Coup? No. Contra Sirota, it appears to me that Trump and his major fans are trying to precipitate an uprising and a permanent split in what remains of the consciousness of the nation. They may get both.

  25. Plague Species

    Come January, America will have two presidents. Oh joy!

    Trump supporters, the unwashed variety, are the fast-forwarded to 2020 Eastern European peasants displayed in the twisted movie The Painted Bird. I could only watch 20 minutes of this movie before shutting it off. But I’ll be damned if the peasants weren’t and aren’t Trump supporters. Cruelty drives them. It’s what keeps them going. Keeps them alive. Another day to be cruel is another day worth living. Superstitious scum of creation.

  26. different clue

    KT Chong,

    The BBC News as co-broadcast thru the post-midnight hours on NPR announced the China-etc.
    Trade Deal. Every hour in their top-of-the-hour news. So at least that much of the Big Media did discuss it.

    How it represents 20 per cent of the world’s people and 30 percent of the world’s economic activity. Or maybe the other way around. But they made sure that we the listeners would know that this big. Big!

  27. NR

    Well, well. It looks like there WAS attempted election fraud–by the Republicans.

    I hope this is thoroughly investigated by Biden’s AG and charges filed as appropriate.

  28. different clue


    If Biden assumes the presidency, Biden will do the “Obama thing” about this Lindsey Graham fraud attempt. Biden will “look forward, not back” and instruct the Justice Department to make very sure no investigations are conducted. ” Bring us together” and that sort of thing.

  29. Plague Species

    Fyi, my wife’s vote, my daughter’s vote and my vote that I gave to them to do with what they will, are precisely the votes the scum Graham doesn’t want counted and I mean PRECISELY. Signature verification on mail-in ballots was intended as a poll tax. It’s a voter suppression methodology. People’s signatures can and do change over time, especially these days where people write much less often than they once did in days of yore. I know my signature has changed over time and actually many times over time precisely because I don’t sign my name all that much. A handwriting analysis expert would be able to verify it’s me, but a non-expert wouldn’t have a clue and when matching signatures could say, “this signature is not an exact match therefore the vote is invalid.” From what I’m gathering, those comparing the signatures were not too strict about it, fortunately. Graham and Trump supporters want the vote decided by rubes comparing signatures who are not handwriting experts. They want the vote to be decided by inexperienced dunderheads who couldn’t tell a con man from jesus, and in fact, would persecute again and again the latter while worshiping the former.

    The irony is, I have a Trump-supporting Evangelical sister and her weasel husband who live in South Carolina. I am estranged from them and no longer speak to them and never will again. They are gone from my life for good but they still want to put the screws to me and mine by virtue of their orange con man jesus in the White House.

    In fact, I am estranged from ALL my family since the majority of them are avid Trump supporters. It’s been a year since we communicated, since my mother’s death in fact who herself was a Trump supporter, and it will be the rest of my life that I never speak to them again or ever see them again. To me, they are Nazis through and through and I have no doubt if zeitgeist manifested in America, they would be happy to see me and mine marched off to the contemporary equivalent of death camps.

    Sleepy Joe, you can shove your conciliatory reaching-across-the-aisle bullsh*t up your decrepit a**. There can be no reconciliation with these freaks. Ever. They are what they are and nothing your senile self could do will ever change that so shut the hell up and get to work already controlling this pandemic rather than encouraging group hugs with Nazis you damn fool.

  30. Plague Species

    Georgia won’t let us look at the all important signature match. Without that the recount is MEANINGLESS. Open up unconstitutional Consent Decree, NOW!

    The above quote is from McDonald T****’s Twitter account. Note how he underscores “the all important signature match.” Are your observers handwriting experts, McDonald? I don’t think so. Unless and until independent handwriting experts inspect and audit the mail-in ballots for signature match, you cannot say a signature doesn’t match. It would be purely subjective and arbitrary.

    Also, he’s implying a massive conspiracy where the majority of mail-in votes have been fraudulently stolen and usurped by interlopers. Does he not understand the process and what that would have required? The manpower involved? Before you receive your mail-in ballot you receive an application for a mail-in ballot in the mail. You have the complete the application and mail it back and only then do you get the mail-in ballot mailed to you. He is claiming that the multitude of mail-in ballot applications were stolen from mailboxes by conspirators and fraudulently completed and returned and then the conspirators waited for the mail-in ballot to be mailed so they could steal that also from the very same mailboxes. It’s absurd. Conspiracies can and do happen both in plain sight and out of sight, but this is ridiculous and beyond the pale.

  31. different clue

    @K T Chong ( and anyone else who might be interested)

    I found a couple of comments on a recent NaCap thread about the Great New Trade Deal. I will copy-paste them here.

    Chauncey Gardiner
    November 17, 2020 at 3:44 pm
    Appreciated the link to the Jing Daily article about the new Asia-Pacific Trade Agreement. So, is the RCEP another race-to-the-bottom “Free Trade Agreement”? What are the terms, and will China’s Yuan be the settlement currency? The economic models of all participants are heavily reliant on exports, so Who among them will be the net importer(s)?… or is this just a Wikipedia list of countries that will still be looking for the U.S., which is not a party to this agreement, to continue to run big current account deficits to protect US dollar hegemony and transnational corporations at the expense of American labor and the nation’s long-term industrial capabilities? Did they piggyback on the Trans-Pacific Partnership documentation that would have so damaged U.S. sovereignty, environmental considerations, and further penalized American labor? Was China’s decision to allow a coal-mining SOE to go bankrupt last week a related message of intended conformity to the terms this agreement? So many questions, so little time.

    Interesting that the article featured comments by Citi Research portraying the TPP as a missed opportunity… for whom? Will they try to resurrect the TPP under the incoming administration? As I recall, revolving-door bank senior executives were key TPP negotiators, and drafting the documentation for that agreement was a gravy train for some large law firms.

    If a renewed effort to install the TPP is in our future under the next administration, little wonder that Rahm is telling Americans to learn how to code. Maybe we can all write Apps for each other.

    Reply ↓
    November 17, 2020 at 7:47 pm
    No, it’s actually the most liberal and progressive trade agreement ever.

    Article 1.3: Objectives

    The objectives of this Agreement are to:

    (a)establish a modern, comprehensive, high-quality, and mutually beneficial economic partnership framework to facilitate the expansion of regional trade and investment and contribute to global economic growth and development, taking into account the stage of development and economic needs of the Parties especially of Least Developed Country Parties;

    (b)progressively liberalise and facilitate trade in goods among the Parties through, inter alia, progressive elimination of tariff and non-tariff barriers on substantially all trade in goods among the Parties;

    (c)progressively liberalise trade in services among the Parties with substantial sectoral coverage to achieve substantial elimination of restrictions and discriminatory measures with respect to trade in services among the Parties; and

    (d)create a liberal, facilitative, and competitive investment environment in the region, that will enhance investment opportunities and the promotion, protection, facilitation, and liberalisation of investment among the Parties.

    In other words, yes.

    Reply ↓

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