Links 11/26/2020

Yves’ mother asked me to convey that she very much appreciated the kind reader wishes in anticipation of her 93rd birthday today. Also, we are on Comments Holiday through next Monday. –lambert

Thanksgiving Turkeys May Have Been Tamed 1,500 Years Ago in Mexico NYT

Could Google Soon Face… Competition? Matt Stoller, BIG

Pretty Soon There’ll Be Just One Big Book Publisher Left The New Republic

#COVID19

High court blocks NY coronavirus limits on houses of worship AP

What Do Christians Do in a Plague? Public Discourse. From April, still germane.

Pope Francis takes aim at anti-mask protesters: ‘They are incapable of moving outside of their own little world’ MarketWatch

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COVID-19 on Surfaces: Examining the Known Unknowns MedPage Today.

A systematic review of research on SARS-CoV-2 on surfaces found 78 articles, the majority of which centered around healthcare settings, but there remains an inability to align what is known about surfaces contaminated by the virus with survivability of SARS-CoV-2 on those surfaces, reported Gabrielle String, PhD, of Tufts University in Medford, Massachusetts. Not only that, but researchers have yet to match this information to whether or not disinfection of surfaces is effective, she said at a late-breaking presentation at the virtual annual meeting of the American Society of Tropical Medicine & Hygiene.

Seems like we’ve got a lot more conventional wisdom on fomites than we have science, as with droplets v. aerosols. (That said, wash your hands and clean surfaces; that ballistc and floating stuff has to land somewhere!)

No evidence for increased transmissibility from recurrent mutations in SARS-CoV-2 Nature. From the Abstract: “[R]ecurrent mutations currently in circulation appear to be evolutionary neutral and primarily induced by the human immune system via RNA editing, rather than being signatures of adaptation. At this stage we find no evidence for significantly more transmissible lineages of SARS-CoV-2 due to recurrent mutations.”

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The Logic of Pandemic Restrictions Is Falling Apart The Atlantic

Addressing the Effect of COVID-19 on Democracy in South and Southeast Asia Council on Foreign Relations

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Expert raises flag over the ‘shaky science’ behind Oxford’s Covid jab and claims data behind promising vaccine ‘was patched together and doesn’t include many over-55s’ Daily Mail. Bastian’s piece in Wired, which we ran yesterday, makes it to mass media in a single news cycle. Plus more material on the Oxford team.

Most Americans will comparison shop the coronavirus vaccine Yahoo Finance. If they’re free?

What the biopharma industry is doing to build confidence in Covid-19 vaccines STAT

Purdue Pharma Pleads Guilty to Role in Opioid Crisis as Part of Deal With Justice Dept NYT

China?

China’s Recovery Stabilizes as Exports, Markets Continue to Boom Bloomberg

U.S. China Policy Under Biden: New Ground or Back to the Past? China Law Blog

How Joe Biden’s victory paves the way for a global corporate tax rate South China Morning Post

How Agents Keep China’s Housekeepers Grateful — and Dependent Sixth Tone

Devil horns meet sutras in Taiwan’s Buddhist death metal band Agence France Presse

Disgraced Minister Edhy Prabowo Spends Bribe Money on Rolex Watch during Hawaii Trip Jakarta Globe

Indonesia woos US private equity for new sovereign wealth fund FT

The Koreas

Breaking News Analysis: Ministry of Justice Suspends the Supreme Prosecutor The Blue Roof

Makoto Sakurai: An essay on Japan’s monetary policy experience and lessons (PDF) Bank of International Settlements. The author is a member of the Policy Board of the Bank of Japan.

Lessons from Japan: High-income countries have common problems FT. But not entirely (fan site, in Japanese):

India

Farmers’ protest live updates: Pubjab CM terms use of force on farmers as undemocratic, unconstitutional Times of India

India bans more Chinese apps as tensions remain high CNN

This book revisits the history of India through the eyes of imagined animals who played a part The Scroll

CIA officer killed in combat in Somalia CNN. Oh.

Ethiopia to begin ‘final phase’ of offensive in Tigray region, says PM Reuters

Why it is wrong to draw parallels between Trump and Mugabe Al Jazeera

World’s Outlier on Remittances Has Currency Woes to Blame Bloomberg

UK/EU

Failed Vocation London Review of Books. “It is an intellectual vice on the left to think that because the world is best understood in terms of the operation of broad structural forces, personal qualities are less important. With regard to political leadership, the past five years have tested that thesis to destruction. A leader’s first qualification must be that they should want to lead.”

The EHRC Report is Neither Robust nor Reliable. It is Deeply Flawed Truth Defense

Emmanuel Macron Is Creating a Liberalism Without Civil Liberties Jacobin

Brexit

Brexit: trust is good, but law is better EU Referendum

Europe’s finance sector hits ‘peak uncertainty’ over Brexit FT

EU derivatives decision leaves London in the lurch Reuters

Gove faces secrecy claims over Brexit haulage ‘shambles’ Sky News

Fearing the wurst! EU plots to ban British sausages from Europe – including Northern Ireland – if a post-Brexit trade deal isn’t secured by January 1 Daily Mail

Swedish Life Expectancy to Drop for First Time in Century Due to Covid-19 Bloomberg (Re Silc).

Biden Transition

Reality check on Biden’s national security team Politico

Inside Janet Yellen’s head is an enormous dove Macrobusiness

Members of Congress finding agreement on a tech antitrust agenda Axios

Growing Momentum for Increased Scrutiny of Hedge Funds as U.S. Prepares for the Biden Administration Morning Consult

New Cold War

Do Empires Have Allies? Valdai Discussion Club

Trump Transition

Trump Announces Full Pardon of Michael Flynn in Thanksgiving Eve News Dump Rolling Stone. Commentary:

Trump Races to Weaken Environmental and Worker Protections, and Implement Other Last-Minute Policies, Before Jan. 20 Pro Publica

Our Famously Free Press

Demanding Silicon Valley Suppress “Hyper-Partisan Sites” in Favor of “Mainstream News” (The NYT) is a Fraud and VIDEO: Interview with Edward Snowden on Silicon Valley Censorship, Biden, and Lurking Press Freedom Dangers Glenn Greenwald

Sports Desk

Argentine football legend Diego Maradona dies at 60 ESPN. Tribute:

Boeing

Struggling electric jet startup Zunum sues Boeing for fraud and misuse of trade secrets The Verge

Imperial Collapse Watch

What If We Aren’t Living In The End Times? The American Conservative

Making America ungovernable Richard Heinberg

Class Warfare

At the Frontlines of the Debate on Masks: Worker Experiences Enforcing COVID-19 Safety Protocols (PDF) Clare Hammonds and Jasmine Kerrissey, University of Massachusetts Amherst Labor Center’s COVID-19 Workplace Project. “The most resistance to masks and distancing occurred in retail and hospitality industries, and towards low wage workers. Sixty percent of workers earning under $15 an hour reported compliance issues. By contrast, 39% of workers earning over $21 an hour reported similar resistance.”

U.S. Billionaires Grow Wealth By Over $1 Trillion Since Pandemic Began: Report HuffPo (original).

For What Are America’s Wealthy Thankful? A Worsening Culture War Matt Taibbi, TK News

Spacecraft with precious asteroid cargo is almost home after 3 billion-mile trek Live Science. Meanwhile, on Mars:

WKRP in Cincinnati’s ‘Turkeys Away’ Is Still the Best Thanksgiving Episode Ever New York Magazine. Grab a cup of coffee and a slice of pie:

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Antidote du jour (via):

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here

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This entry was posted in Guest Post, Links on November 26, 2020 by .

About Lambert Strether

Readers, I have had a correspondent characterize my views as realistic cynical. Let me briefly explain them. I believe in universal programs that provide concrete material benefits, especially to the working class. Medicare for All is the prime example, but tuition-free college and a Post Office Bank also fall under this heading. So do a Jobs Guarantee and a Debt Jubilee. Clearly, neither liberal Democrats nor conservative Republicans can deliver on such programs, because the two are different flavors of neoliberalism (“Because markets”). I don’t much care about the “ism” that delivers the benefits, although whichever one does have to put common humanity first, as opposed to markets. Could be a second FDR saving capitalism, democratic socialism leashing and collaring it, or communism razing it. I don’t much care, as long as the benefits are delivered.
To me, the key issue — and this is why Medicare for All is always first with me — is the tens of thousands of excess “deaths from despair,” as described by the Case-Deaton study, and other recent studies. That enormous body count makes Medicare for All, at the very least, a moral and strategic imperative. And that level of suffering and organic damage makes the concerns of identity politics — even the worthy fight to help the refugees Bush, Obama, and Clinton’s wars created — bright shiny objects by comparison. Hence my frustration with the news flow — currently in my view the swirling intersection of two, separate Shock Doctrine campaigns, one by the Administration, and the other by out-of-power liberals and their allies in the State and in the press — a news flow that constantly forces me to focus on matters that I regard as of secondary importance to the excess deaths. What kind of political economy is it that halts or even reverses the increases in life expectancy that civilized societies have achieved? I am also very hopeful that the continuing destruction of both party establishments will open the space for voices supporting programs similar to those I have listed; let’s call such voices “the left.” Volatility creates opportunity, especially if the Democrat establishment, which puts markets first and opposes all such programs, isn’t allowed to get back into the saddle. Eyes on the prize! I love the tactical level, and secretly love even the horse race, since I’ve been blogging about it daily for fourteen years, but everything I write has this perspective at the back of it.

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