By Lambert Strether of Corrente.
Patient readers, Mac is turning into Windows. I foolishly let my battery run out, and so had to reboot. When I did, my mouse did not work for some reason. Hence, when Apple put up a dialog asking me whether I wanted to upgrade or not, I tabbed to the “No, ffs, not now” option, saw the blue border meaning that I had in fact selected that option, and hit Return. Apple then proceeded to install the update anyhow. The process was agonizing: Multiple reboots, all with dark screens and slowly moving progress bars, with no information given, culminating in with a progress bar and another notice saying that Apple was completing an upgrade, and it would take 48 minutes. Needless to say, this was not what I wanted to hear when I had just sat down to write Water Cooler, so I hauled out my second Mac, found a power cord, booted it, started fighting to get it to recognize my Bluetooth devices, when I looked over at the upgrading Mac and saw it was finished (in other words, that Apple had lied about the 48 minutes). So I put the other machine away, and now I am typing on an upgraded machine. Who knows that they broke; there’s not even an explanation of what they did, though at least through my strategy of masterful inactivity, I avoided getting an early, i.e. even more buggy, version.
The only difference between this process and what Windows does was that Windows will actually seize control of your machine while you’re working — at least it has done so for me in the past — and Apple was more sneaky. Otherwise, the opacity and the stress level were exactly the same. Not exactly what a professional working to deadline wants from their machine, but then Apple wants to drive away all its professional users anyhow. Snarl.
“But what is government itself, but the greatest of all reflections on human nature?” –James Madison, Federalist 51
“They had one weapon left and both knew it: treachery.” –Frank Herbert, Dune
Here is a second counter for the Nevada Caucus, which is obviously just around the corner:
Alert reader dk (not to be confused with DK) is in the process of developing the following interactive chart.
Today we have a new national poll from Ipsos/Economist, and new polls from NV and SC. As of 2/17/2020, 12:00 PM EST (three-day average):
From Yahoo: “A new Yahoo News/YouGov poll shows that Sen. Bernie Sanders would defeat each of the other Democratic presidential candidates in a one-on-one race — in many instances by double-digit margins.” So the methodology accounts for the spikes. Note, however, the rise of Bloomberg.
And a new poll from NV:
Not hearing good things about how Nevada will count the votes, though, as readers know.
Sanders within striking distance of Biden, Steyer within striking distance of Sandersl.
CAVEAT I think we have to track the polls because so much of the horse-race coverage is generated by them; and at least with these charts we’re insulating ourselves against getting excited about any one poll. That said, we should remember that the polling in 2016, as it turned out, was more about narrative than about sampling, and that this year is, if anything, even more so. In fact, one is entitled to ask, with the latest I boomlet (bubble? (bezzle?)) which came first: The narrative, or the poll? One hears of push polling, to be sure, but not of collective push polling by herding pollsters. We should also worry about state polls with very small sample sizes and big gaps in coverage. And that’s before we get to the issues with cellphones (as well as whether voters in very small, very early states game their answers). So we are indeed following a horse-race, but the horses don’t stay in their lanes, some of the horses are not in it to win but to interfere with the others, the track is very muddy, and the mud has splattered our binoculars, such that it’s very hard to see what’s going on from the stands. Also, the track owners are crooked and the stewards are on the take. Everything’s fine.
* * *
Bloomberg (D)(1): “Michael Bloomberg’s Campaign Is Huge. That’s The Point” [Buzzfeed]. “The sheer hugeness of the former New York City mayor’s campaign is its defining feature. It is the Death Star of presidential campaigns. Bloomberg employs more — much more — staff than any other candidate, and pays them unusually well. And not only that, he offers them three meals a day and iPhone 11s. Bloomberg’s campaign events have everything: catered food, more than enough free t-shirts for everyone, highly produced stages with themed backdrops and lecterns. Bloomberg is carrying out the largest advertising campaign in the history of American presidential politics, with over $400 million spent on ads so far and counting. Bloomberg is cornering the market on available staff for other campaigns that might need them…. The overwhelming size and scope of Bloomberg’s campaign is more than a gimmick: It’s a validator for more moderate Democrats looking for a stable home in a tumultuous primary, a signal that while other candidates may stumble in the primary or later against President Trump, Bloomberg’s operation is too big to fail. The Bloomberg strategy is to vacuum up delegates from states that offer many of them, instead of scrabbling to win the delegate-poor early states. The campaign is focusing now on the Super Tuesday states, which vote on March 3rd. Though Bloomberg’s name won’t appear on a ballot until that day, he’s become an increasing presence in the race. Everyone is suddenly talking about Bloomberg.” • Have I said this? There are around 3,000 counties in the United States. Bloomberg could set up an office in every county and give it a million dollar budget, and not even feel it. He could probably take it out of cash flow. But “Too big to fail”? Hmm…
Bloomberg (D)(2): “Mike Bloomberg Could Pull It Off” [Peggy Noonan]. “There’s the money, Bloomberg’s solid rocket booster. People say he could spend $1 billion, maybe $2 billion. He’d spend more if he has to. In for a penny, in for a pound. He didn’t enter this to preserve his fortune. His social media is witty, weird, dryly subversive. That would mean little except for what it implies, that the people hired to do it are allowed to be creative and daring. The campaign is not playing tight but loose, which you do only when you’re confident. His strengths: resources, relationships and a real biography. For 12 years he was mayor of New York. He governed the ungovernable city that is a microcosm of the world. It is noted that as mayor he was a Republican. No one in New York thought he was a Republican, he was a Democrat who could get only the Republican nomination. After he won he treated Republicans collegially and with respect, which wasn’t hard as a New York Republican is essentially a Democrat with boundaries. Before that he invented a business product that first seemed useful, then necessary. He created a company that became a huge national brand. He is one of the world’s great philanthropists. He is what Mr. Trump claimed to be and probably wishes he were. And he isn’t afraid of the president. Whatever he says, Mr. Trump, who respects money more than anything, would be afraid of him. When Mr. Biden leaves the race, where will his supporters—many of whom feel increasingly outside the party they grew up in—go? Quite possibly Bloomberg.” • I have a soft spot for Nooners, as readers know; she’s like an ancient Sibyl, whispering her prophecies. But reading her work on impeachment, I came to think her time has passed. I am also extremely dubious that Trump is afraid of Bloomberg. I mean, Trump’s first move was to say that Bloomberg would need a box to stand on in the debates. (Incidentally, “philanthropy” doesn’t mean “Someday, and that day may never come, I will call upon you to do a service for me.” But Bloomberg — and the recipients of his largesse — seem to think it does.)
Bloomberg (D)(3): Bloomberg attacks Sanders supporters:
— Mike Bloomberg (@MikeBloomberg) February 17, 2020
Not clear to me that “Twitter is a hellsite” is an answer. But it is:
Anyway, here's a spreadsheet of 100s of accounts of other supporters attacking Bernie supporters. I'm not going to make a video about it because I live in reality and I'm not trying to suppress the vote like Bloomberg is https://t.co/UCbUnRXtFd
— Brett Banditelli ?✂️ (@banditelli) February 17, 2020
Oh, the humanity! I lived through the 2008 Democrat primary. This is nothing.
UPDATE Bloomberg (D)(4): “Bernie posters: don’t back down” [Carl Beijer].
These people are running a well-funded highly-coordinated opposition campaign against Sanders, and they’re leveraging their control of large social media platforms to disseminate their attacks. The only thing you can do to slow this down is to get into their replies, tell the truth, and encourage your friends to join you.
Yes, they are going to tell you to stop. Yes, they are going to try to spin ordinary criticism as “harassment.” Yes, a handful of posters are going to inevitably f*ck up and step over the line – and Bernie’s critics are going to use this to talk about a ‘culture of problematic behavior,’ to demand that Sanders himself should decry his own supporters, and to insist that you personally are complicit in what happened. Yes, Sanders himself will periodically issue some ‘let’s all be civil’ statement, and his critics will try to use that to vilify any pushback to anything they say.
You cannot listen to these people. They are being dishonest and they want you to lose. They are fine with you going without healthcare and with seeing Social Security and Medicare gutted; many of them are even fine with four more years of Trump if that’s what it takes to stop Sanders. And because that’s what is driving their complaints about Bernie Bros, .
So never stop posting, don’t let them guilt-trip you for it, and for the love of god never, ever apologize for it. This primary isn’t going to be won in the media, and it’s not going to be won online – but every little bit helps
Bloomberg (D)(4): Non-endorsement:
no i won't fucking vote for mike bloomberg
— Crewman Number Guy (@Atrios) February 16, 2020
Atrios is a good bellwether for the sane center-left, which does exist.
Bloomberg (D)(5): “#MyBloombergStory: Occupy Wall Street” [Six Perfections (DJG)]. “Anyway, Bloomberg didn’t care about a little pesky thing like the judicial branch or freedom of speech or court order. He had the cops raid and destroy the camp in its entirety. He promised to preserve the collected library on site. The NYPD burned and threw away the books. The city also stopped the media from filming anything. Bloomberg said the media blackout was to ‘protect them.’ The organizers were harassed, fined, thrown in jail…for a peaceful protest that was being protected by the Supreme Court. Didn’t matter though. This kicked off hundreds of raids across the nation in Oakland, SF, Los Angeles. The physical space for OWS was wiped out b/c they were ‘troublemakers’ and ‘socialists’ and ‘up to no good.’ Yes, Mayor Bloomberg actually did this in broad daylight in the media capital of the world. He broke the law, violated freedom of speech, banned the media, burned books, beat and jailed citizens…’in order to protect us.’ #myBloombergstory.” • Destroying a library. Centrists.
Bloomberg (D)(5): There’s always a quote (1):
Bloomberg on why farmers can’t work in information technology
MB: “I can teach anyone how to be a farmer 1 dig a hole 2 put a seed in 3 put dirt on top 4 add water 5 up comes the corn”
— Pete (@PeterMentes) February 15, 2020
So much for the midwest!
Bloomberg (D)(6): “Not long ago, Bloomberg likened Putin’s attack on Ukraine to America’s annexation of California” [WaPo]. • Wow, open season.
Buttigieg (D)(1): I’ve never understood the enthusiasm, but it seems to be real:
— Trip Gabriel (@tripgabriel) February 17, 2020
(I assume the “folks” weren’t staffers.)
Buttigieg (2): “Reading Buttigieg” A former teacher’s perspective” [Commonweal]. • An impressive piece of hagiography from a true believe.
Buttigieg (3): “After saying Keegan-Michael Key supports Buttigieg, the former mayor’s campaign says the actor hasn’t endorsed any candidate” [CNN]. “After touting Keegan-Michael Key’s support for Pete Buttigieg, the campaign told CNN later Saturday that the actor will now appear at the Buttigieg campaign events simply to encourage early voting and voter registration — not officially endorse the former South Bend, Indiana, mayor as the Democratic candidate for president.” • Oops.
Sanders (D)(1): “This One Chart Explains Why the Kids Back Bernie” [New York Magazine]. “[M]ost competent commentators give the Great Recession a starring role in their narratives about the Sanders phenomenon. Their story is straightforward: Americans under 35 saw capitalism discredit itself in world-historic fashion while their worldviews were still taking shape. They proceeded to watch a putatively liberal government bail out the very financial institutions whose malfeasance had birthed the crisis, and then preside over a historically weak recovery that left many a millennial college graduate debt-burdened and underemployed. This created a burgeoning market for market-skeptical critiques of Democratic politics as usual — and progressives and socialists ably served it. I think this narrative is largely right but incomplete. The 2008 crash was central to the radicalization of the millennial and Gen-Z cohorts, but the broader economic system that both enabled and survived that crash is also implicated.”
Sanders (D)(1): “New Hampshire Highlights Continuing Problems With Sanders’ Strategy” [Benjamin Studebaker]. “[T]he demographic composition of Sanders’ coalition has shifted substantially. So far, Sanders done much better with rural voters in 2016 than in 2020. The drop in rural support has been partially offset by stronger performance in cities, but ultimately Sanders is only winning because the centrist vote is thoroughly divided among three candidates–Biden, Buttigieg, and Klobuchar. After South Carolina, this will increase to four, if Bloomberg enters and none of the preceding three drop out. We discussed the evidence for this in Iowa in the previous post. When we look at New Hampshire, we see a similar trend.” • Yes, that’s worrisome.
UPDATE Sanders (D)(3): “Inside the Horror Show That Is Congress” [Matt Taibbi, Rolling Stone]. • Taibbi on Sanders in 2005. You could see Sander’s goal of becoming “organizer-in-chief as an end-run around this entire process, which Sanders obviously knows very well.
UPDATE Sanders (D)(4): “Bernie Sanders pranked by Russians posing as Greta Thunberg” [Associated Press]. “Russian pranksters claim they called U.S. Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders pretending to be climate activist Greta Thunberg and offered Thunberg’s support to his campaign. Vladimir Kuznetsov and Alexey Stolyarov, who have fooled many high-profile victims around the world, posted a recording of the phone call on YouTube on Thursday. The call itself took place in early December, but the duo decided to release it more than two months later because of Sanders’ success in Iowa and New Hampshire, Kuznetsov told The Associated Press in a Skype interview. A representative for the campaign didn’t comment Friday on the authenticity of the call.”
Trump (R)(1): “Kellyanne Conway: Bloomberg’s sexist comments ‘far worse’ than Trump’s” [Politico]. “‘The way Michael Bloomberg treated female employees … to have created that kind of culture, that unsafe workplace, to feel that you’re being harassed because of your gender, that is problematic,’ Conway said. “I think you’re going to hear more of it.'” • Where’s the lie?
* * *
“What Obama Is Saying in Private About the Democratic Primary” [Gabriel Debenedetti, New York Magazine]. “The truth of Obama’s silence on the 2020 primary is that it’s not just about his obvious wish to stay out of the spotlight, but it also reflects a choreographed strategy. With the race looking more and more likely to grow bitter and messy, and maybe even wind up in a contested convention, the former president and those around him are increasingly sure he will need to play a prominent role in bringing the party back together and calming its tensions later this summer, including perhaps in Milwaukee, where the party’s meeting is scheduled to be held in July…. And he’s being careful to ensure he can be seen as an honest in June and July…. ” • Then again, if you watch what Obama does, as opposed to what he says–
“Prominent Obama donors will hold Chicago event for Bloomberg” [Guardian]. “Two prominent Democratic donors in Chicago with deep ties to Barack Obama will next week co-host an event for former New York mayor Mike Bloomberg. John Rogers and Mellody Hobson will co-host a briefing in downtown Chicago. Rogers is a philanthropist, investor and founder of Ariel Investments who was co-chair of the former president’s Illinois finance committee. Hobson, a prominent Chicago businesswoman, is a former chair of DreamWorks Animation and a major Democratic donor.” • Of course, they don’t have to hold a fund-raiser. What do you give to the man who has everything? Except for ritual fealty, of course.
* * * * * *
A good thread on Nevada politics:
Let's go back to 2016. Ralston was involved in pushing a fake story that Sanders supporter(s) threw a chair at a Nevada Democratic Party Convention. MSNBC, CBS, the Associated Press, and New York Times all spread this false claim.https://t.co/3yh2cqTopl
— Kevin Gosztola (@kgosztola) February 13, 2020
(Ralson, let us remember, will be a moderator for the Nevada debate; Snopes on the chair throwing incident.)
UPDATE Somehow, I doubt these lines are randomly distributed:
Democratic caucusgoers in Nevada stood in line for more than three hours at one early voting precinct Saturday, according to people at the front of the line https://t.co/OZVvZYU08F
— CNN (@CNN) February 17, 2020
Though I appalud the dedication of the voters.
* * *
“DNC sets qualifications for South Carolina debate” [The Hill]. “The DNC scrapped a donor threshold for the debates last month. The qualification kept Bloomberg off the debate stage since he is completely self-funding his campaign.” • The DNC is like a Third World regime that keeps changing the rules to get the outcome it wants.
* * *
“Just because you’re paranoid doesn’t mean they didn’t rig the Iowa Caucus” [The Outline]. “It’s part of the point of social power that it does not require elaborate plots to carry out and enforce. This is why, when debating the details of whether or not some particular incident took place — say, the rigging of an election — we risk obscuring the knowledge that the exercise and abuse of power is abundant.”
Our Famously Free Press
— Virgil Texas (@virgiltexas) February 12, 2020
Realignment and Legitimacy
Neera has gone offline since this report came out:
Former @amprog staffer @YasmineTaeb says the liberal policy shop censored a report on Islamophobia to protect its relationship with Michael Bloomberg. The report's authors were warned "there would be a strong reaction by Bloomberg World" if it included criticism of him. pic.twitter.com/2D9GjqJLge
— Democracy Now! (@democracynow) February 17, 2020
UPDATE “MIT: Hackers could alter ballots in widely used voting app” [Associated Press]. “An internet voting app that has been used in pilots in West Virginia, Denver, Oregon and Utah has vulnerabilities that could allow hackers to change a person’s vote without detection, according to researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. The analysis of the Voatz app, which has mostly been used for absentee voters and overseas military personnel, found that attackers could “alter, stop or expose how an individual has voted.”
Tech: “I Got a Ring Doorbell Camera. It Scared the Hell Out of Me.” [New York Magazine]. “If you strip away the touchy-feely marketing or rhetoric about making wholesome local connections, Neighbors is a social network for crime. I’m not sure how else to describe it. If you open Neighbors and create an account with your home address (you don’t need a Ring camera to download or use it), you’ll find a list, arranged in the familiar, reverse-chronological feed format of your social network of choice, of nearby crimes. Or, maybe not crimes, but things that appear to be crimes, or seem like they might eventually become crimes, or should be crimes, or are, in someone’s mind, crime-adjacent. Besides dry summaries of local police scanner chatter posted by the ‘Ring News Team’ — ‘There are reports of a stabbing near 3rd St & 3rd Ave.’ — the Neighbors feed consists mostly of videos recorded by people’s Ring cameras. In most places this means videos of package thieves and “suspicious” strangers. (“Who is this?” asks one Brooklyn neighbor, captioning a video of a man in an undershirt walking up to the door. “Should keep doors locked at all times,” observes Neighbor27.)” • Fear is extremely profitable.
Tech: “Cute videos, but little evidence: Police say Amazon Ring isn’t much of a crime fighter” [NBC]. “Ring promises to “make neighborhoods safer” by deterring and helping to solve crimes, citing its own research [lol] that says an installation of its doorbell cameras reduces burglaries by more than 50 percent. But an NBC News Investigation has found — after interviews with 40 law enforcement agencies in eight states that have partnered with Ring for at least three months — that there is little concrete evidence to support the claim.” • No doubt voyeurism for owners is the selling point…
Tech: “COVID-19 spells fresh start for digital economy” [China Daily]. “Another heartening outcome is that this sudden epidemic not only made people pay more attention to public health but further promoted the transformation of the Chinese society from a traditional society to an information-driven one. Only by better utilizing the role of emerging technologies in national governance, social governance, and economic development will it be possible to cope with similar crises, if any, in the future.” • Well…
The Fed: “Wringing the Overoptimism from FOMC Growth Forecasts” [Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco]. “Growth forecasts by Federal Open Market Committee meeting participants were persistently too optimistic for 2008 through 2016. The typical forecast started out high but was revised down over time, often dramatically, as incoming data failed to meet expectations. In contrast, forecasts for 2017 through 2019 started low but were revised up over time. Cumulative forecast revisions for these years were much smaller on average than in the past. These observations suggest that participants have adjusted their forecast methodology, including lowering estimates of trend growth, to eliminate the prior optimistic bias.”
Today’s Fear & Greed Index: 55 Neutral (previous close: 58 Greed) [CNN]. One week ago: 57 (Greed). (0 is Extreme Fear; 100 is Extreme Greed). Last updated Feb 14 at 6:30pm. President’s Day.
Rapture Index: Closes down one on Earthquakes. “The lack of activity has downgraded this category” [Rapture Ready]. Record High, October 10, 2016: 189. Current: 183. Remember that bringing on the rapture is a good thing. Finally, the Corona Virus shows up, but under Interest Rates, not Plagues. And then, under Plagues, no mention of an actual Plague of Locusts. What is this, end-time regulatory capture?
“In honor of the 50th anniversary of Earth Day, this year’s Great Plant Picks focus on ‘Plants for a Better Planet'” [Seattle Times]. “Lately, leading voices in ecological garden design are calling on us to loosen our grip and let a little wildness into our cultivated landscapes… Don’t worry; [author Thomas] Rainer doesn’t mean unkempt, simply more lived-in — literally, lively gardens that attract life. Nature is adaptive, resilient and responsive: a dynamic dance between plants, animals, birds and insects — and we’re all a part of that wild mix. Furthermore, nature wants what most of us do — an always-changing, ever-blooming landscape filled with flowers and fruit for as many months of the year as possible.” • What’s wrong with unkempt? If it’s growing, it’s kempt!
“‘On the brink’: Trump’s push for Medicaid transparency could worsen rural hospital crisis” [NBC]. “But critics say CMS’s proposed rule, one that could be calcified soon after it completes another 60 day comment period, is just the latest attack in an ongoing Trump-led “regulatory war” that aims to undermine entitlement programs, like Medicaid and the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or food stamps… The White House declared this month that it would allow states to receive Medicaid funding as a block grant, or a lump sum, which critics said could lead to limits on benefits and decrease enrollment for a program that provides health care coverage to more than 70 million Americans.” • I need to look into all of this. But there’s so much…
“Baseball, Fiction, and Life: Roger Angell’s Era-Spanning Career at The New Yorker” (inteview) [The New Yorker]. “In 1962, [Editor William] Shawn decided that The New Yorker needed more sports pieces, and, knowing that I was a fan, asked if I wanted to go down to Florida and write something about spring training. I was surprised he even knew there was such a thing. I’d never been to spring training, so I said yes, thank you, and went down to the White Sox camp, in Sarasota, where I found the little wooden stadium jammed with elderly fans watching the young stars….The piece, “The Old Folks Behind Home,” ran a few weeks later in the magazine, and everybody seemed happy with it. It happened without any plan at all from me. I didn’t see it as a career move, I mean. And the long trail of those pieces and books happened one by one and grew only out of my own pleasure and excitement over the endless complexities and beauties of the game.”
“Astros, rivals wage cheating scandal war of words that won’t end soon” [ESPN]. Æ The tentacles of baseball’s cheating scandal are long and abundant. All of the Astros players, past and present. Their front-office members. Their opponents. Manfred and his associates. The MLB Players Association. Team owners. Fired general manager Jeff Luhnow and manager AJ Hinch. Alex Cora and Carlos Beltran, both of whom lost managing jobs on account of their involvement. It is a wide swath of characters with competing interests and self-preservation in mind, each with a story to tell. Already those involved are trying to game the timing, to ensure that their version does not find itself lost amid the morass of takes…. Yes, baseball is burning, and nobody — not the Astros, not Manfred, not the rest of the players — can stop it. Only time will slow it, and until then, as baseball’s cheating scandal metastasizes, as it dirties all it touches, remember that what caused it in the first place will guide its direction going forward: the choices of individuals looking out for themselves.”
Police State Watch
“Courtroom psychology tests may be unreliable, study finds” [Associated Press]. “Courts are not properly screening out unreliable psychological and IQ tests, allowing junk science to be used as evidence, researchers have concluded. Such tests can sway judges or juries and influence whether someone gets custody of a child or is eligible for bail or capital punishment…. “If psychologists are not willing to regulate their own field, it’s a real problem.'” • Failure of professionals to regulate their fields is a general problem, not peculiar to psychologists. See Jane Jacobs, Dark Age Ahead…
Groves of Academe
“No room for you in lectures, top universities tell first-year students” [Guardian]. “The Observer found that students paying £9,250 or more in Manchester, Nottingham and Lancaster, had struggled to get a seat in lectures. Manchester University maths students in a 600-capacity hall were given slips with a link to a YouTube live stream and told they could “sit in a coffee shop” and watch. They were also given the option of sitting in a separate overflow theatre to watch the stream, without being able to participate or question lecturers.” • Lots of excuses from administrators.
News of the Wired
“The Map of Mathematics” [Quanta Magazine]. “Here is a map of mathematics as it stands today, mathematics as it is practiced by mathematicians. From simple starting points — Numbers, Shapes, Change — the map branches out into interwoven tendrils of thought. Follow it, and you’ll understand how prime numbers connect to geometry, how symmetries give a handle on questions of infinity. And although the map is necessarily incomplete — mathematics is too grand to fit into any single map — we hope to give you a flavor for the major questions and controversies that animate the field, as well as the conceptual tools needed to dive in. If mathematics is the poetry of logic, as Albert Einstein once wrote, then through this we hope to provide an appreciation for all the beauty that it describes. Scroll down to begin.” • Despite the word “scroll,” scrolling on a laptop seems to do nothing, although swiping on a tablet does. Sigh.
UPDATE In honor of the holiday:
“And if you’re talkin’ about a poor man’s friend / Grant will get you out of whatever you’re in”
Readers, feel free to contact me at lambert [UNDERSCORE] strether [DOT] corrente [AT] yahoo [DOT] com, with (a) links, and even better (b) sources I should curate regularly, (c) how to send me a check if you are allergic to PayPal, and (d) to find out how to send me images of plants. Vegetables are fine! Fungi and coral are deemed to be honorary plants! If you want your handle to appear as a credit, please place it at the start of your mail in parentheses: (thus). Otherwise, I will anonymize by using your initials. See the previous Water Cooler (with plant) here. Today’s plant (IM):
IM writes: “Plus a stump. I recall you’re a fan!” I am. Also of gorgeous black-and-white photography.
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