Month: February 2021

Took You Long Enough

Workers in Alabama – and all across America – are voting on whether to organize a union in their workplace. It’s a vitally important choice – one that should be made without intimidation or threats by employers.

Every worker should have a free and fair choice to join a union.

— President Biden (@POTUS) March 1, 2021

He could have made this statement 2 weeks ago.

Amazon has been evil and brutal for months over the unionization effort, and Biden’s response now is late and inadequate.

Your Eyes Will Bleed, and So Will Your Ears

Wait for it, it takes about 30 seconds

Well, Robert Goulet must be spinning in his grave, because he has lost his crown for the, “Worst Rendition of an ‘To Anacreon in Heaven’ inspired song ever.”

By the teeth of the flying spaghetti monster, this is bad.

It makes Rosanne Barr’s version sound positively operatic.

On the other hand, it is a PERFECT metaphor for the incredible clusterf%$# that CPAC was this year.

Ha Ha!

Right wing hate site Gab just got hacked, big time.

DDOSecrets, who previously had leaked racist and Islamophobic police training materials got almost everything, public posts, private posts, user info, passwords, etc.

These guys really do have spectacularly poor IT skills don’t they?

It’s the revenge of Bobby Droptables all over again

On the bright side, it save lots of aviation fuel.

Black helicopters are notorious fuel guzzlers: 

When Twitter banned Donald Trump and a slew of other far-right users in January, many of them became digital refugees, migrating to sites like Parler and Gab to find a home that wouldn’t moderate their hate speech and disinformation. Days later, Parler was hacked, and then it was dropped by Amazon web hosting, knocking the site offline. Now Gab, which inherited some of Parler’s displaced users, has been badly hacked too. An enormous trove of its contents has been stolen—including what appears to be passwords and private communications.

On Sunday night the WikiLeaks-style group Distributed Denial of Secrets is revealing what it calls GabLeaks, a collection of more than 70 gigabytes of Gab data representing more than 40 million posts. DDoSecrets says a hacktivist who self-identifies as “JaXpArO and My Little Anonymous Revival Project” siphoned that data out of Gab’s backend databases in an effort to expose the platform’s largely right-wing users. Those Gab patrons, whose numbers have swelled after Parler went offline, include large numbers of Qanon conspiracy theorists, white nationalists, and promoters of former president Donald Trump’s election-stealing conspiracies that resulted in the January 6 riot on Capitol Hill.

DDoSecrets cofounder Emma Best says that the hacked data includes not only all of Gab’s public posts and profiles—with the exception of any photos or videos uploaded to the site—but also private group and private individual account posts and messages, as well as user passwords and group passwords. “It contains pretty much everything on Gab, including user data and private posts, everything someone needs to run a nearly complete analysis on Gab users and content,” Best wrote in a text message interview with WIRED. “It’s another gold mine of research for people looking at militias, neo-Nazis, the far right, QAnon, and everything surrounding January 6.”

DDoSecrets says it’s not publicly releasing the data due to its sensitivity and the vast amounts of private information it contains. Instead the group says it will selectively share it with journalists, social scientists, and researchers. WIRED viewed a sample of the data, and it does appear to contain Gab users’ individual and group profiles—their descriptions and privacy settings—public and private posts, and passwords. Gab CEO Andrew Torba acknowledged the breach in a brief statement Sunday.


According to DDoSecrets’ Best, the hacker says that they pulled out Gab’s data via a SQL injection vulnerability in the site—a common web bug in which a text field on a site doesn’t differentiate between a user’s input and commands in the site’s code, allowing a hacker to reach in and meddle with its backend SQL database. Despite the hacker’s reference to an “Anonymous Revival Project,” they’re not associated with the loose hacker collective Anonymous, they told Best, but do “want to represent the nameless struggling masses against capitalists and fascists.”

It’s reassuring that all the Nazis so far seem to be Colonel Klink, but we cannot rely on that forever.

There Is a Religious Parallel Here, but I Cannot Put My Finger on It………

This reminds me of that religious story, something something something Golden Calf, something something graven image, something something false idols.

But what do I know, I’m not very religious.

— BrooklynDad_Defiant! (@mmpadellan) February 26, 2021

Actuall, I can put my finger on it, I made a similar observation some years back when a group of Christofascists decided to lay hands on the Wall Street Bull in an attempt to drive the “Devil” out of the financial markets.

Spoiler: It did not work.

I am not one to call for divine intervention, I feel that the problems of this world are created humans, and must be solved by them, but maybe they should have a word with Korach, face to face.

Break out your shovels, conservatives, and note that you will probably have to be digging up, not digging down.


Drip, Drip, Drip

Thinking about how we wouldn’t need an Andrew Cuomo reckoning if prestige media and elite pundits just reported on him accurately in the first place

— Ross Barkan (@RossBarkan) February 27, 2021

A lesson for the press

One of the things about serial harassers and abusers is that it almost never happens just once. Once someone comes out to the press, people start coming out of the woodwork.*  

This means, you guessed it, we now have a second aide who has accused Andrew Cuomo of sexual harassment.

The reason that this happens is because typically harassment victims feel isolated, and are terrified of going out on a limb and being there alone.

Once someone else makes an allegation, they realize that they are NOT alone, and come forward as well, and so now we have Charlotte Bennett, former:

A second former aide to Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo is accusing him of sexual harassment, saying that he asked her questions about her sex life, whether she was monogamous in her relationships and if she had ever had sex with older men.

The aide, Charlotte Bennett, who was an executive assistant and health policy adviser in the Cuomo administration until she left in November, told The New York Times that the governor had harassed her late last spring, during the height of the state’s fight against the coronavirus.

Ms. Bennett, 25, said the most unsettling episode occurred on June 5, when she was alone with Mr. Cuomo in his State Capitol office. In a series of interviews this week, she said the governor had asked her numerous questions about her personal life, including whether she thought age made a difference in romantic relationships, and had said that he was open to relationships with women in their 20s — comments she interpreted as clear overtures to a sexual relationship.


Ms. Bennett said that during the June encounter, the governor, 63, also complained to her about being lonely during the pandemic, mentioning that he “can’t even hug anyone,” before turning the focus to Ms. Bennett. She said that Mr. Cuomo asked her, “Who did I last hug?”

Ms. Bennett said she had tried to dodge the question by responding that she missed hugging her parents. “And he was, like, ‘No, I mean like really hugged somebody?’” she said.

Mr. Cuomo never tried to touch her, Ms. Bennett said, but the message of the entire episode was unmistakable to her.

“I understood that the governor wanted to sleep with me, and felt horribly uncomfortable and scared,” Ms. Bennett said. “And was wondering how I was going to get out of it and assumed it was the end of my job.”


Ms. Bennett said she had disclosed the interaction with Mr. Cuomo to his chief of staff, Jill DesRosiers, less than a week later and was transferred to another job, as a health policy adviser, with an office on the opposite side of the Capitol, soon after that. Ms. Bennett said she had also given a lengthy statement to a special counsel to the governor, Judith Mogul, toward the end of June.

Ms. Bennett said she ultimately decided not to insist on an investigation because she was happy in her new job and “wanted to move on.” No action was taken against the governor.

It never happens just once.

I’m expecting to see a few more.

The only question is whether people still fear Cuomo the way that they used to.  

If not, he is toast.

*This statement is offered only in the context of the current story regarding Andrew Cuomo, and not on the allegations involving Woody Allen, which I have not, and probabably never will, have a public opinion on.

Bad Stage Design, CPAC Edition (I Did Nazi See This Coming)

Have you seen the stage desin for this year’s Conservative Political Action Conference>

It’s rather evocative, in an Adolph and Eva kind of way:

That shape looks familiar ……… Oh, right, it’s the Odal Rune, with wings, (Serifs) which was specifically created for:

Yes, it was worn on the lapels of some SS units in the 2nd World War, and is different from the historical Odal rune (), which has no wings.

Here it is as the flag of the Flag of the Volksdeutsche 7th SS Volunteer Mountain Division Prinz Eugen, according to Wikipedia.

In recent years, actual NeoNazis have replaced the swastika with the winged Odal Rune in an attempt to mainstream their symboliam.

Also, I have some footage of the stage show at CPAC, and it’s a trip too:

My bad, that’s from the original 1968 version of the Mel Brooks film The Producers.

Still, this is whole affair is a complete mind f%$#.

On the bright side, it appears that at least the fascists are no longer denying who they are.

Politics Tweet of the Day

A 15 dollar min wage won 60% of vote in Florida in 2020. A political reporter thinking this some kind of risky vote is equivalent of doctor recommending you balance your humors.

— Alex Hazanov. (@alexhazanov) February 26, 2021

It really is remarkable just how dedicated the socalled “moderates” in the Democratic Party establishment (There is no Democratic Party establishment) are to opposing policies that would get them massive support.

Least Surprising CIA Intelligence Dump Ever

In which it is revealed that Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman was behind the assassination of Saudi dissident Jamal Khashoggi.

Seriously, this had to be the worst kept secret in the Middle East: 

Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman of Saudi Arabia approved the assassination of the Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi in 2018, according to an intelligence report that the Biden administration released on Friday that offered the world a reminder of the brutal killing.

An elite team of operatives helped carry out the killing, the report said. The team reported directly to Prince Mohammed, who cultivated a climate of fear that made it unlikely for aides to act without his consent, according to the report. It omitted the brutal details of Mr. Khashoggi’s death, including the dismemberment of his body with a bone saw after Saudi officials lured him to their consulate in Istanbul.

But the Biden administration took no direct action against Prince Mohammed, the de facto ruler of the kingdom, instead announcing travel and financial sanctions on other Saudis involved in the killing and on members of the elite unit of the Royal Guard who protect the crown prince. The administration concluded it could not risk a full rupture of its relationship with the kingdom, relied on by the United States to help contain Iran, to counter terrorist groups and to broker peaceful relations with Israel. Cutting off Saudi Arabia could also push its leaders toward China.

It does not matter how much oil that they have, the House of Saud is a complete sh%$ show, and their moving closer to China, and further from the US would be a bane to the Chinese, and a boon to the USA.

Much of the evidence the C.I.A. used to conclude that Prince Mohammed was culpable in Mr. Khashoggi’s killing remains classified. But the report’s disclosure was the first time that the American intelligence community had made its conclusions public, and the declassified document was a powerful rebuke of the crown prince, a close ally of the Trump administration, whose continued support of him prompted international outrage.

The release of the report signaled that President Biden, unlike his predecessor, would not set aside the killing of Mr. Khashoggi and that his administration intended to try to isolate the crown prince.

“We assess that Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman approved an operation in Istanbul, Turkey, to capture or kill Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi,” said the report, issued by Mr. Biden’s director of national intelligence, Avril D. Haines.

The decision to rebuke the Saudis without punishing Prince Mohammed directly was the result of a weekslong debate among aides to Mr. Biden, who during the 2020 campaign called Saudi Arabia a “pariah” state with “no redeeming social value.”

Biden’s characterization is not really accurate, in that Saudi Arabia is not a nation-state in the modern sense, people are not citizens but instead subjects.  It is the absolute possession of the House of Saud.

It may not appear so outwardly, but the position of the House of Saud atop the power structure of Riyadh is more precarious than it appears, and it is further jeopardized by Mohammed bin Salman’s headstrong incompetence.

The US disentangling itself to the maximum degree possible before it all comes crashing down is a good thing.

Let them be Beijing’s problem.

Of Course He Did

Today in Republican Family Values™ we discover that freshman Republican Madison Cawthorn spent his college years harassing women on campus.

Also I would note that you have to be pretty f%$#ing “Harassy” to get large numbers of women from a Christian college known for its reactionary politics (Patrick Henry College) to publicly complain your behavior means that it had to be pretty bad.

When you add to the fact that you were doing so FROM A WHEEL CHAIR, which both makes harassment both physically and culturally more difficult. (Lots of people believed that the disabled can’t do things like harass other people, because they do not see the disabled as real people)

Also, he managed to do this in 1 semester, since he flunked out of his first semester.

Still, it appears that Mr. Cawthorn wins the gold on this, which is ironic, since he was also caught lying about training for the Paralympics:

Madison Cawthorn arrived at Patrick Henry College’s small Christian campus in northern Virginia in fall 2016 blazing with charm, bravado, and a flashing white smile. His former classmates said the future member of Congress would whip his white Dodge Challenger into the parking lot and regale his classmates with the story of how he survived a harrowing car crash as a teen, which left him paralyzed from the waist down and in a wheelchair for life. After his intensive recovery, he was older than most students — 21 — and didn’t fit the mold of the Christian and largely sheltered first-year students who chose the conservative school in Purcellville because of its commitment to God and rigorous academics. And, former Patrick Henry students said, it didn’t take long for women on campus to start warning one another: You don’t want to be alone with him, especially in his car.

BuzzFeed News spoke with more than three dozen people, including more than two dozen former students, their friends, and their relatives, who described or corroborated instances of sexual harassment and misconduct on campus, in Cawthorn’s car, and at his house near campus. Four women told BuzzFeed News that Cawthorn, now a rising Republican star, was aggressive, misogynistic, or predatory toward them. Their allegations include calling them derogatory names in public in front of their peers, including calling one woman “slutty,” asking them inappropriate questions about their sex lives, grabbing their thighs, forcing them to sit in his lap, and kissing and touching them without their consent. One of these women now works as an intern for another Republican member of Congress and passes Cawthorn in the corridors of the Capitol. According to more than a dozen people — including three women who had firsthand experience and seven people who heard about these incidents from them at the time — Cawthorn often used his car as a way to entrap and harass his women classmates, taking them on what he could call “fun drives” off campus. Two said he would drive recklessly and ask them about their virginity and sexual experiences while they were locked in the moving vehicle.

“I realized he was taking me out to the middle of nowhere, Virginia,” said Caitlin Coulter, a former classmate who went for a drive with him during her senior year. “We were on these small, like, one- [or] two-lane back roads, and I just felt so uncomfortable and nervous and not even something I think at the time I could put a finger on, but just, like, danger warning.”

BuzzFeed News sent Cawthorn a detailed list of allegations in this story. His communications director, Micah Bock, did not respond to the specific allegations but instead referred BuzzFeed News to remarks the young Republican had made during a campaign debate in September: “I have never done anything sexually inappropriate in my life,” Cawthorn said.


Long before Cawthorn’s persona as a poster child for the new right gained national traction, people who went to school with him at Patrick Henry College said they were stunned as they watched him ascend in the North Carolina race. They told BuzzFeed News they remember him as one of the only Trump supporters on their small conservative campus, where he developed a reputation for mistreating women at the school, according to more than two dozen former students. 


Then, in October, more than 160 members of the Patrick Henry community signed an open letter detailing “gross misconduct towards our female peers, public misrepresentation of his past, disorderly conduct that was against the school’s student honor code, and self-admitted academic failings,” including that Cawthorn “established a reputation of predatory behavior.” After the letter was published, Cawthorn told ABC 13 that it was based on rumors, and his campaign wrote in a Facebook post that he had the endorsement of a “significant number of PHC alumni and former students who knew him well.” The post was signed by just six people. Two worked for the campaign and a third was one of their relatives.


But former classmates also remember Cawthorn as magnetic and ambitious, delivering almost-too-firm handshakes, buddying up with nearly everyone he met, and flirting with and befriending many women classmates. A former high school football player and avid athlete — his Instagram feed is peppered with videos in which he claimed he was training for the 2020 Paralympic Games, which wasn’t true — Cawthorn exuded a jock persona at school, classmates said. He soon formed a small posse of guys, which seven former students told BuzzFeed News was known around campus as the “the douche crew.” 

And he managed this in the single semester that he was there.

He was a very busy boy.

If You Have Neither on Your Side, Pound the Table

With prospects for both a minimum wage hike and Neera Tanden’s becoming head of the Office and Management and Budget (OMB) dimming, the Biden administration has decided to ignore the minimum wage and go all in on the (rather unqualified and genuinely horrible person) Neera Tanden and ignore the plight of roughly 48 million people working for less than the proposed $15 per hour.

In their desperation, an old lawyer’s adage applies, “If you have the facts on your side, pound the facts. If you have the law on your side, pound the law. If you have neither on your side, pound the table.

In this case, pounding the table means, ignoring the reasons for the opposition, as venal and corrupt as they and playing the “Race Card,” which in this case means getting Americans of South Asian extraction riled up about this simply because Tanden is of South Asian extraction:

President Joe Biden’s aides are urging Asian American groups to mount a last-minute campaign to try to rescue his budget chief nominee, Neera Tanden, as her prospects for Senate confirmation dwindle.

Those groups are calling and sending letters to Senate offices and advocating for Tanden on social media to try to combat what they are calling “structural racism” and “institutional racism.”

Their efforts have been actively encouraged by the White House and presidential transition staff, which remains in place to help with Senate confirmations, along with the Democratic National Committee, according to two people familiar with the conversations.

The opposition to her comes from two real, though stupid and corrupt, sources, Republican butt-hurt over her mean Tweets (as if there is any other kind of Tweet), and Joe Manchin’s decades long project to use his power as an elected official to benefit his daughter. (Manchin is lying about his being disturbed by the Tweets)

This is not an issue of Race.  If it were, Deb Haaland would have never gotten the nod, as indigenous Americans have always been further down in the racial hierarchy than pretty much everyone but Blacks and Hispanics.

Invoking racism is stupid and counter productive because it will not work and because it “wears out the batteries” on the tactic.

Keep your powder dry, because Tanden is all wet.

Things that Remind Me of Mom

My mom died over 44 years ago, when I was 14.

One of the things that I recall was her deep affection for turtles.

At one point, we had 17 turtles as pets in the house, roughly divided between Red Eared Terrapins and Eastern Box Turtles, (Separate habitats) with a few others thrown in. (Also iguanas and cats, but that’s another story)

Well, this story has me wondering how she would have reacted to this picture.

A listener in Medina, Ohio messaged to tell me that her local fire department rescued 10 turtles from a blaze and they made LIL TURTLE OXYGEN MASKS for them!! My heart truly can’t handle this ❤️🐢❤️

— Michelle Collins (@michcoll) February 25, 2021

What Should Be Done Now, and Won’t Be Done

Now that the Senate Parliamentarian has ruled that a minimum wage increase cannot be passed through the reconciliation process, the course of action is clear, or at least it should be.

The President of the Senate, Vice President Kamala Harris, can overrule the unelected Senate official, and it would require a vote of 60 Senators to overrule her decision.

Unfortunately, given that Biden has already said that he thought that a minimum wage increase was dead, and Biden’s chief of staff has said that Harris would not rule against her, it appears that they are playing to lose.

Not a surprise.  Learned helplessness, is an innate trait of the Democratic Party establishment (There is no Democratic Party establishment), and Joe Biden has enormous affection for an institution frequently called, “A Petri Dish for Psychopaths.”

If they were not cowards or delusional, here is what would happen:

On Thursday, a key Senate official advised Democratic lawmakers that the chamber’s rules do not allow them to include a minimum wage increase in President Joe Biden’s first COVID-19 relief legislation. The ruling from the parliamentarian means that Vice President Kamala Harris could decide the fate of one of the Democratic Party’s most significant campaign promises — but it remains unclear what she will end up doing.

As the presiding officer of the Senate, Harris — who has long touted her support for a $15 minimum wage — can now use the power her predecessors have used to ignore the advisory opinion and fulfill Biden’s campaign promise to boost the wage. A confidential memo obtained by The Daily Poster now circulating on Capitol Hill spells out exactly how that could be accomplished.

However, White House chief of staff Ron Klain this week declared that Harris will refuse to use that power — a decision that would effectively put the Biden-Harris administration in the position of potentially killing the prospect of minimum wage legislation for the foreseeable future. Immediately after the parliamentarian’s ruling, the White House issued a statement reiterating Klain’s comment, declaring that “Biden respects the parliamentarian’s decision.”

Some congressional Democrats have already been arguing that the Biden administration’s refusal to overrule the parliamentarian would be immoral and a political disaster for their party.


As such, Democrats are working to pass the COVID bill using the convoluted budget reconciliation process. The process will allow for a simple majority vote on the final legislation, but it also allows Senate parliamentarian Elizabeth MacDonough to recommend tossing certain provisions if she decides they violate the so-called Byrd Rule, which is designed to prohibit extraneous matters outside of federal spending issues to be added to budget legislation.

BTW, while not common, overruling the parliamentarian is by means rare, particularly given that the Senate can pass one reconciliation bill in a year:

Vice presidents have ignored the parliamentarian in the past. According to Slate, “Vice President Hubert Humphrey routinely ignored his parliamentarian’s advice.”

Roll Call reported last month: “Precedents for ignoring parliamentary advice include 1967, 1969, and 1975 efforts to change the Senate’s threshold to end debate from a two-thirds vote to three-fifths.”


In a new memo circulating to lawmakers and obtained by The Daily Poster, Harris’s power as the presiding Chair of the Senate is spelled out, citing a precedent set during the Clinton administration.

“It would take 60 votes to overturn the ruling of the Chair on a Byrd Rule point of order, regardless of what the Parliamentarian advises,” states the memo. “Based on a search of the Congressional Record, it appears that only twice has the chair’s ruling on a Byrd Rule point of order been appealed. Both instances occurred on August 6, 1993, during consideration of the Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1993. Neither appeal garnered the 60 affirmative votes necessary to overturn the Chair’s ruling.”

Like I said, the Dems are playing to lose, and come 2022, lose they will.

Today in Evil, Facebook Edition

This time, it’s not Zuck, it’s Sheryl Sandburg, who shut down people that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan did not like

What’s more, it is clear from the internal communications, they did so despite Facebook’s publicly stated affection for freedom of speech, because it was more profitable to side with despots.

No big surprise. 

Also not a surprise, Facebook structured it to make it look like a network error, so as few people as possible would know.

Manchin to Support Haaland for Secretary of the Interior

After publicly playing Hamlet for a few days, Joe Manchin (DINO-WV) has announced that he will support the nomination of Deb Halland as Secretary of the Interior.

Why her, she participated in protests against the Keystone XL pipeline, which as a VERY pro fossil fuel Senator from a coal state he should find even more unsettling than a few mean Tweets about Republicans made by Neera Tanden.

The idea that only CEO contributes to a company’s growth and not all employees is really pernicious

— Neera Tanden (@neeratanden) August 27, 2016

Pretty mild, actually

It turns out that Manchin is probably lying about his reason to oppose Tanden.

It seems that his daughter, Heather Bresch, academic fabulist and CEO of Mylan Pharmaceuticals, was criticized by Tanden for raising her own pay while gouging consumers for the Epipen® anaphylaxis treatment

This would not be the first time that Manchin has used his official position to benefit his daughter. His finger prints are all over an effort to get Bresch an MBA degree that she did not earn

So Joe Manchin’s actions here are even more stupid, sordid, and corrupt than I had previously imagined.

Still no sympathy for Ms. Tanden though.  She’s a hack and a psychopath, and she shut down a publication in response to unionization, so am firmly of the belief that she should not be kitchen staff supervisor* at the White House, much less director of the OMB.

*It’s a reference to the comic book Cerebus the Aardvark.

Today in Stupid

It appears that one of the Capitol rioters was texting his ex-wife while breaking into, and said ex promptly notified the federal constabulary of the state of affairs.

As the saying goes, “バカにつける薬はない”.*

One consistent theme so far in the enormous federal investigation of the Jan. 6 attack on Congress is the overwhelming willingness of friends, family and lovers of Capitol rioters, past and present, to rat them out to authorities.

Wednesday brought yet another exemplary entry to the court record.

According to an FBI agent’s affidavit in a newly unsealed case, Richard Michetti texted someone with whom he had a prior romantic relationship several times during the attack. She contacted authorities the following day.

Michetti allegedly sent a video showing himself on Capitol grounds during the riot. Another video showed him inside the Capitol Building itself, according to the affidavit. He also allegedly texted a string of updates about what he was up to as he rampaged with the mob.

In addition to everything else, I get the sense that these folks were NOT exactly the the sharpest knives in the drawer.

*Pronounced in Japanese, “baka ni tsukeru kusuri wanai”, which means, “There is no medicine for stupidity.” Apologies for any inaccuracies in the text, I do not know Japanese.

They Should down the Whole Corrupt Sh%$-Show

Following the payment of massive fines for unethical, and quite possible illegal benavior, the global managing partner (basically CEO) of the consulting firm McKinsey & Company has been given his walking papers

The proximate cause is the $600 million settlement that the consulting firm had to pay out over their truly heinous recommendations to the manufacturers of opioids, where (among other things) they suggested that pharmacies be paid a bounty for drug overdoses to boost sales.* (They called it, “Rebates,” but it was a bounty for overdoses.)

McKinsey & Co. is, and has been for as long as I have been aware of it, an evil and corrupt organization.

The sole reason for its existence is to assist overpaid executives engaging in short sighted and destructive policies for the person enrichment of said overpaid executives. (And McKinsey & Co. partners, but that goes without saying)

When one considers the long litany of evil that they have been associated with, mass layoffs, excessive CEO pay, facilitating corruption in South Africa, assisting in setting up Trumps immigration gulags, looting Puerto Rico, facilitating the House of Saud’s frequently murderous campaigns against its critics, etc.

McKinsey is a cancer on society, and if it goes the way of Arthur Andersen tomorrow, it will not be a moment too soon:

Partners at McKinsey & Company voted out the consulting firm’s top executive, Kevin Sneader, this week as it continues to face blowback over its role in fueling the opioid crisis.

The decision to deny Mr. Sneader a second three-year term as global managing partner came in a vote by more than 600 senior partners, according to a company executive. Earlier this month, McKinsey had agreed to pay 49 states a historic settlement of almost $600 million because of sales advice the company had given to drugmakers.

It is highly unusual for a sitting managing partner at McKinsey to be refused a follow-on term. The last time a firm leader was denied a second term was in 1976, according to the company’s internal history book.

Mr. Sneader, 54, did not even make it to the final round of balloting, according to the company executive, who spoke on the condition of anonymity. The final candidates for Mr. Sneader’s replacement are Bob Sternfels, based in San Francisco, and Sven Smit, based in Amsterdam. The shake-up at the prestigious consulting firm was first reported by The Financial Times.

It should be noted that McKinsey is as much a symptom as it is a cause of the ills that it is associated with, and the solution in the long run is greater accountability for businesses, managers, and consultants for the actions that they take.

As I noted over 2 years ago, studies have shown that when managers and holders of capital are allowed to skirt responsibility, whether through bankruptcies, corporate indemnity, or (as is the case of my earlier post) through changes in marital property laws, bad things happen. 

If the mantra of, “Personal responsibility,” and, “Real consequences,” held so dear by Republicans needs to be applied anywhere, it is to the boardroom.

*As Anna Russel would say, “I’m not making this up, you know,

Not Enough Bullets

In the latest edition of awful Wipipo, we discover that rich white people in te LA area have set up a scheme to secure Covid-19 vaccines intended for poorer and more darkly complected folks, because ……… Karen, I guess.

Color me disgusted:

A California program intended to improve COVID-19 vaccine availability to people in hard-hit communities of color is being misused by outsiders who are grabbing appointments reserved for residents of underserved Black and Latino areas.

The program to address inequities in vaccine distribution relies on special access codes that enable people to make appointments on the My Turn vaccine scheduling website. The codes are provided to community organizations to distribute to people in largely Black and Latino communities.

But those codes have also been circulating, in group texts and messages, among the wealthier, work-from-home set in Los Angeles, The Times has learned. Many of those people are not yet eligible for the vaccine under state rules.

Some people able to make appointments have been driving to Cal State Los Angeles to get the shots.

I know that I have been over-using the phrase lately, but I want to see these folks frog marched out in hand cuffs.

Tweet of the Day

The Texas blackouts perfectly illustrate how post-70s deregulation has simply been a project of destroying state capacity, infrastructure, and coordinating industrial institutions—and replacing them with absolutely nothing

— Isaac Wilks 🎤🐢 (@wilks_isaac) February 17, 2021

This is as succinct a description of Neoliberalism as I’ve seen in a long time.

Yeah, This Will Driver the Black Farmer Vote

Former Secretary of Agriculture, Tom Vilsack, who is (or should be) notorious for fighting against equity for black farmers and lying about it, is Secretary of Agriculture once again. (He’s also in the tank for large agribusiness, but that’s another story)

Right now, he’s my choice for worst member of the Biden administration, but the term is still young:

After a 92-7 vote, the former governor of Iowa will reprise his role heading up USDA.

Three weeks after a cakewalk of a confirmation hearing, Tom Vilsack was confirmed as President Biden’s Agriculture Secretary on Tuesday in a 92-7 vote, garnering support from both parties. Vermont Independent Bernie Sanders and Republicans Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio, and Rand Paul were among those voting against his confirmation. Senators had scheduled twenty minutes to debate the nomination but no one spoke out against Secretary Vilsack on the floor. Democrats voted unanimously in favor of the former governor of Iowa.

Vilsack’s nomination drew sharp criticism from civil rights advocates and various food safety and progressive farm groups, though he ultimately won support from major players including the Farm Bureau and the National Farmers Union.


Under Vilsack, USDA distorted data and concealed decades of discrimination against Black farmers.

Back in 2019, we published a two-year investigation exploring how USDA spun a fictional narrative about a renaissance in Black farming during the Obama years. Under Vilsack’s watch, USDA employees foreclosed on Black farmers with outstanding discrimination complaints, sent a lower share of loan dollars to Black farmers than it had under President Bush, and underrepresented the frequency of new discrimination complaints.

When Vilsack’s nomination was announced in December, Lawrence Lucas, president emeritus of the USDA Coalition of Minority Employees, told us his phone had been ringing off the hook with people telling him they did not support Biden’s nomination. “This brings tears to my eyes,” he said.

During his confirmation hearing, members of the Senate did not ask Vilsack about his record on civil rights, but he did say he anticipated forming an equity commission.

Yes, a f%$#ing commission.  That will solve the problem of bigotry and racism, a problem that Vilsac studiously avoided doing anything about, go away. 

It’s not, and if the past is prelude, Vilsack will continue to sacrifice family farms, regardless of color, on the altar of Big Ag.