2:00PM Water Cooler 7/20/2020

By Lambert Strether of Corrente.

#COVID19

At reader request, I’ve added this daily chart. The data is the Johns Hopkins CSSE data. Here is the site. Our five problem states, with New York for comparison:

I’ll just keep doing this one until I see a peak followed by a decline. Florida, California, and Texas all flatten (!). We’ll see if that’s an artifact. (There are no notes either on this site, 91-DIVOC, or on the Johns Hopkins site, indicating that there has been any interruption of data.)

I thought I’d also look at deaths (even if cause of death is contested and not the best data):

The virus is going to have to work awfullly hard in our five problem states to beat New York, even given time lags, gamed numbers, and so forth. Yes, I know it’s a multiplicative process, but still. Perhaps the biggest danger to watch for is hospitals reaching capacity. (I used a linear display because it makes New York’s uniqueness evident; that all the other states are crowded together at the bottom is the point, really.)

CA: “Military teams sent to five California hospitals amid coronavirus staffing shortages” [Los Angeles Times]. “[100] Active-duty U.S. Air Force doctors, nurses and other medical providers are being sent to work in California hospitals to assist with a steep rise in coronavirus cases that has strained some healthcare systems across the state. … The hospitals being served are Adventist Health Lodi Memorial in Lodi, Community Regional Medical Center in Fresno, Dameron Hospital in Stockton, Eisenhower Medical Center in Rancho Mirage and Kaweah Delta Medical Center in Visalia, the spokesman said. The move comes as some officials have described hospital staffing — not bed capacity — as the chief stumbling block when it comes to scaling up operations to accommodate more patients.”

GA: Beyond parody:

TX (via):

I wonder why people, especially poor and working class people, are reluctant to enter the medical system…

VA: “Despite pandemic, young bar patrons say they want to keep on partying” [WaPo]. • I had thought that using “party” was a verb was a sign of the collapse of civilization, but according to my OED, it’s been a verb since the early 20th C.

Politics

“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

“They had learned nothing, and forgotten nothing.” –Charles Maurice de Talleyrand-Périgord

The electoral map. July 17: Georgia, Ohio, ME-2 move from Leans Republican to Toss-up. Continued yikes. On July 7, the tossup were 86. Only July 17, they were 56. Now they are 91. This puts Biden at 278, i.e. over 270.


Click the map to create your own at 270toWin.com

So, taking the consensus as a given, 270 (total) – 204 (Trump’s) = 66. Trump must win 66 from the states in play: AZ (11), FL (29), MI (16), NC (15), PA (20), and WI (10) plus 1 to win not tie = 102. 102 – 66 = 36. So if Trump wins FL, MI, NC, and PA (29 + 16 + 15 + 20 = 80), he wins. That’s a heavy lift. I think I’ve got the math right this time!

2020

Biden (D)(1): “Electoral College Outlook: Biden Has the Edge” [Inside Elections]. “[W]e don’t have national elections in this country. That should have been one of the biggest lessons from 2016, not that we should dismiss or distrust all polling data. But the survey data in individual states and districts are no better, and arguably worse, for Trump. For example, the president won Montana by 20 points in 2016. Public and private survey data there show Trump and Biden are within a few points of each other. It’s a similar story in Alaska, which Trump won by 15 points and looks like a competitive state today. That doesn’t mean that Montana, Alaska, or Arkansas are swing states, or will even be close in November. But it does cast considerable doubt on the president’s ability to win previously agreed upon swing states that have much less of a GOP cushion. Four years ago, Trump narrowly won Michigan and narrowly lost Minnesota. He’s likely down double-digits in both today. States he won by wider margins, such as Arizona, North Carolina, Texas, Georgia, Iowa, and Ohio are all at considerable risk for the president. Biden probably just needs to win one of them to secure the White House. Analyzing a combination of partisan and nonpartisan, public and private, national and state-level polling, we’re changing our presidential rating in 17 states- all in favor of Biden. With those changes, Biden leads Trump in our Electoral College projection 319 to 187, when 270 is needed to win. There are some key states, such as North Carolina, where Trump doesn’t appear to be hemorrhaging voters at the same rate, but there just isn’t significant evidence that there is a single state getting better for Trump right now.”

Biden (D)(2): “Biden Begins Receiving Intel Briefs, Warns of Russian Meddling” [Bloomberg]. • Boy howdy, that really came out of left field.

Trump (R)(1): “Trump campaign shakeup continues with three senior staff hires” [Politico]. “President Donald Trump’s newly appointed campaign manager is making more changes to the reelection effort as it barrels toward Election Day… The moves are aimed at tightening the leadership structure of a massive Trump political apparatus that stretches across 13 departments. With just over 100 days until the election, senior aides have complained that coordination has at times been hard, and they have expressed a desire for greater focus.” • We forget it’s not even Labor Day. Nobody normal is paying attention.

Trump (R)(2): “Why Steve Bannon would fuel Donald Trump toward victory” [The Hill]. “As chief executive officer of the 2016 Trump campaign, Bannon captured lightning in a bottle. For a 2020 Trump campaign beset by leaks, appeals to ungettable voters, and the damage from the coronavirus, only Bannon can bring in the missing spark. It might be hard to catch lightning twice, but the president cannot afford to leave out the only person of his first campaign who pulled off an unprecedented win four years ago…. Many of those surrounding the president and the campaign may be loyal to Donald Trump the man but not Donald Trump the idea. There is little that their advice or appearances in campaign stops offer the president.” • “Donald Trump the idea.”

Trump (R)(3): “Every day, I watch Trump’s psychodrama play out in my inbox” [CNN]. “The news media are filled each day with reports about President Donald Trump and his ceaseless campaign — his tweets, his speeches, his surrogates’ comments, his legal battles. But under the roar of that turbulent news there flows a quieter, subterranean river that runs directly into millions of homes, including mine. This is his email stream. Many people never see this stream, but I think it explains a good deal about why a substantial minority of Americans still say they support him. First off, this stream is relentless. I may be alone, friendless, trapped at home by the epidemic, jobless. My family may forsake me, my friends grow bored. But Trump never forgets me. Since last June, when he announced his re-election bid, I have received at least 712 emails. (There were more, but I failed to save the rest.) They come in the name of the President; his sons, his daughter, his daughter-in-law, his vice president, his vice president’s wife, his campaign manager Brad Parscale, his former press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, and several Trump PACs. This spring, they picked up the pace, sometimes sending six or seven messages in a single day.” • I subscribe to Mothership’s “Train Democrats,” which I consider the most vile email operation in the world. I would bet Trump’s is worse. But they wouldn’t be the way they are if they didn’t bring in the bucks!

West (I)(1): Very dry:

West (I)(2): “Rapper Kanye West criticizes Harriet Tubman at South Carolina rally” [Los Angeles Times]. “Rapper Kanye West, in his first event since declaring himself a presidential candidate, ranted against historical figure Harriet Tubman on Sunday, saying the Underground Railroad conductor ‘never actually freed the slaves, she just had them work for other white people,’ comments that drew shouts of opposition from some in the crowd.” • GIven the givens, I would need to see a transcript…

* * *

2016 Post Mortem

Clinton’s maneuvered herself into handing out diplomas, apparently…

Realignment and Legitimacy

The Great Assimilation™:

I remain unconvinced that combining the Party faction that led us into the greatest strategic debacle in the history of the country (Bush Republicans; Iraq) with the Party faction that gave us an economic recovery where wages for 70% of the population didn’t recover after a decade (the Obama Alumni Association) will bring changes that are anything other than marginal. Expect continued volatility. (Speculating wildly: If Biden made [drumroll] Obama his Secretary of State, that would solve a lot of our public relations problems around the world; we might even get working passports again. But “marginal” is what I said; liberal Democrats have signaled in every possible way that their warmongering will continue.)

* * *

“‘Everybody Is Suing’: Trump-Biden Election Sets Up Legal Logjam” [Bloomberg]. “A recent count by Loyola Marymount University law professor Justin Levitt found 154 cases already filed across 41 states and the District of Columbia. Many more are expected in the months ahead as Republicans, Democrats and advocacy groups battle over how to vote during a pandemic. ‘Everybody is suing about everything,’ Levitt said. Many of the lawsuits center on the use of mail-in ballots, which is expected to surge to historic highs given concern about catching the virus while voting in person…. Many of the lawsuits filed by Democrats have demanded that election officials give voters a chance to fix any problems with mail-in ballots, particularly issues around their signatures on absentee-ballot envelopes. Research has shown that young, Black and Hispanic voters face a much greater risk of having their ballot rejected, and voting-rights groups have long sought to reform the practice of “curing” a rejected ballot.” • Not encouraging.

Stats Watch

At reader request, I added some business stats back in. Please give Econintersect click-throughs; they’re a good, old-school blog that covers more than stats. If anybody knows of other aggregators, please contact me at the email address below.

There are no official statistics of interest today.

* * *

Commodities: “Lockdown Renovation Boom Sends Canadian Lumber Stocks Surging” [Bloomberg]. “Canadian forestry stocks are surging as consumers stuck at home during the pandemic ramp up renovations on their homes and dwindling lumber supplies send timber-product prices to a two-year high…. The Covid-19 pandemic was initially expected to hurt lumber markets as surging unemployment curtailed demand and lockdowns shuttered the offices that issue permits for cutting operations. Instead, spending on home repairs and renovation is ‘high and accelerating,’ and new home construction is recovering, RBC Capital Markets analyst Paul Quinn said.” • It’s an ill wind….

Tech: “Google’s Cookie Fight Will Shape Future of Digital Advertising” [Bloomberg]. “If the web is an unfathomably complex machine driven by billions upon billions of cogs, then cookies are the lubricant that keeps the thing moving. That’s because the web is, for the most part, funded by ads. And the tiny little text files known as cookies determine which ads get shown to whom. For now. Come next year, that’s all going to change…. Discussions now focus on what comes next. Every week, members of the World Wide Web Consortium, or W3C, an international standards organization founded by a creator of the web, Tim Berners-Lee, dial into a video call to work out the options.” Google is, of course, the driver… This, being a standards process, is too complicated to excerpt. I recommend reading in full.

* * *

Today’s Fear & Greed Index: 65 Greed (previous close: 63 Greed) [CNN]. One week ago: 54 (Neutral). (0 is Extreme Fear; 100 is Extreme Greed). Last updated Jul 20 at 11:49am.

Rapture Index: Closes down one on Beast Government. “The government mevement [sic] is having trouble with world unity” [Rapture Ready]. Record High, October 10, 2016: 189. Current: 184. (Remember that bringing on the rapture is a good thing.) Correct perception on “Beast Government”!x

The Biosphere

“Dogs may use Earth’s magnetic field to take shortcuts” [Science]. “Dogs are renowned for their world-class noses, but a new study suggests they may have an additional—albeit hidden—sensory talent: a magnetic compass. The sense appears to allow them to use Earth’s magnetic field to calculate shortcuts in unfamiliar terrain. The finding is a first in dogs, says Catherine Lohmann, a biologist at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, who studies ‘magnetoreception’ and navigation in turtles. She notes that dogs’ navigational abilities have been studied much less compared with migratory animals such as birds. ‘It’s an insight into how [dogs] build up their picture of space,; adds Richard Holland, a biologist at Bangor University who studies bird navigation…. When Benediktová showed the data to Burda, her Ph.D. adviser, he noticed a curious feature: In the middle of a scouting run, the dog would stop and run for about 20 meters along a north-south axis (see video, below) before it began to navigate back. Those short runs looked like an alignment along the magnetic field….” • Neat!

Health Care

“Safety and immunogenicity of the ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 vaccine against SARS-CoV-2: a preliminary report of a phase 1/2, single-blind, randomised controlled trial” (PDF) [The Lancet]. This is the Oxford study. The Interpretation: “ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 showed an acceptable safety profile, and homologous boosting increased antibody responses. These results, together with the induction of both humoral and cellular immune responses, support largescale evaluation of this candidate vaccine in an ongoing phase 3 programme.” • That’s good news; progress in this trial, at least.

“Immunogenicity and safety of a recombinant adenovirus type-5-vectored COVID-19 vaccine in healthy adults aged 18 years or older: a randomised, double-blind, placebocontrolled, phase 2 trial” (PDF) [The Lancet]. A Chinese study. The Interpretation: “The Ad5-vectored COVID-19 vaccine at 5×10¹⁰ viral particles is safe, and induced significant immune responses in the majority of recipients after a single immunisation.” • Also good news.

On the new South Korean study on transmission among children:

“Bjorn’s Corner: Do I get COVID in airline cabins? Part 11. Wrapup.” [Leeham News and Analysis]. “[T]he respiratory tract mucus attacks the virus as it enters. To keep your mucus fit it shall be kept hydrated. Drinking water during flights is more important than ever.”

Feral Hog Watch

“Peccaries & Climate Change in Mexico’s Southern Jungle” [Yucatan Times]. “In Mexico’s southern jungle, stretching across the Yucatán peninsula and into Guatemala, a group of white-lipped peccaries (Tayassu pecari) move from drinking hole to drinking hole. In the recent past, however, their task has been made increasingly difficult by the onset of climate change as over a ten year period between 2005 and 2015, available water sources reduced by an estimated 90% in the region. Notwithstanding these increasingly long dry periods and groundwater scarcity in the southern jungle, these wild pigs somehow seem to find their way, causing biologist Rafael Reyna-Hurtado to theorize that perhaps they, like elephants, navigate the landscape using spatial memory. Elusive, shy and yet highly social among themselves, the peccaries’ movements orbit around water sources, specifically the ponds that intersperse the southern jungle, but their range extends across Central and South America.” • Like dogs?!

Class Warfare

Context for the next tweet:

Neoliberalism is bleak:

News of the Wired

“Your ‘Doomscrolling’ Breeds Anxiety. Here’s How To Stop The Cycle” [NPR]. “Still, you incessantly scroll though bottomless doom-and-gloom news for hours as you sink into a pool of despair. This self-destructive behavior has become so common that a new word for it has entered our lexicon: ‘doomscrolling.”” • Set a timer. Curate your list carefully to include a variety of personality types and political views. And a sense of humor helps — along with antidotes of all sorts!

“Your Weekend Reading: The U.S. Coronavirus Depression” [Bloomberg]. “The majority of Americans in the nation’s largest cities feel down, depressed or hopeless, according to a survey on how the coronavirus pandemic is affecting people’s mental health. Consumer sentiment has also slumped, and most people disapprove of how President Donald Trump is handling the crisis. Bank earnings signal there will be no V-shaped recovery, Blackrock’s Larry Fink warned of a “bipolar economy,” and the spate of U.S. bankruptcies may be just getting started. While America spirals downward, China’s economy has returned to growth and European carmakers are seeing signs of recovery. ” • Seems to apply to urban dwellers only. If this is you, my $0.02, having been there, worth what you paid, is: (1) Get moving. Direction and distance are not important. Just move. (2) Get some sun. (3) Outside, look up, not down. Also, I wonder how much working from home increases depression. Not just the loss of human, physical contact, but the screen experience itself.

“Scientists Now Know How Sleep Cleans Toxins From the Brain” [Wired]. From 2019, but neat: “[BU’s Laura] Lewis was curious how those toxins were cleared out and why that process only happened during sleep. She suspected that cerebrospinal fluid, a clear, water-like liquid that flows around the brain, might be involved. But she wasn’t sure what was unique about sleep…. Neurons don’t all turn off at the same time when we’re awake. So brain blood levels don’t drop enough to allow substantial waves of cerebrospinal fluid to circulate around the brain and clear out all the metabolic byproducts that accumulate, like beta amyloid.” • Neat! And be sure to get your sleep!

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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 )TH):

TH writes: “My husband and I took a little drive south to Laguna Beach the other day and went up to the hill-side neighborhood we used to frequent for garage/estate sale treasures. I liked the cool (kelvin scale, not groovy) colors of the gray bark on the tree in the background, and the lavender, which I am ALWAYS a fan of, statice flowers.” I like the dappled sunlight.

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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.

126 comments

  1. a different chris

    >If Biden made [drumroll] Obama his Secretary of State

    Not sure which Obama you are referring to? I first thought Barak, but he’s not going to do that it is a demotion both in cash and prestige. He would get to travel around the world for free admittedly but don’t think that is enough.

    So maybe you meant Michelle? The Dem powers-that-be just keep wetting their panties over her, she would almost have to fight to stay out of a future Dem administration.

    Reply
    1. Lambert Strether Post author

      I meant Barack Obama, the Nobel Prize Winner. (I think the very bestest part of the job, for him, would be that he could sit in Hillary’s chair and do a better job than she did.) He might be amenable to an appeal to save the country in the government of national unity that seems to be barrelling toward us.

      Reply
      1. EGrise

        Could you elaborate on what you mean by “government of national unity?” Is it just Obama alumni + Resistance Republicans, or something else?

        Reply
        1. ObjectiveFunction

          “Unity government” naturally means government by consensus. Meaning consensus of the Smartest People, with the Best Credentials, b̶o̶r̶n̶ ̶a̶n̶d̶ ̶b̶r̶e̶d̶ ̶t̶o̶ capable of integrating the myriad complexities, keeping the Higher Good in mind, and not misled by the petty demagoguery of malcontents.

          m̶o̶b̶ Citizens, please do rest assured that your best interests will be kept in mind and our door will always be open. You’re Already Great.

          Reply
        2. Archie

          I think that he means that the last incumbent to lose a bid for re-election by a landslide was Jimmy Carter. It brought us Ronald Reagan who will forever be the symbol of American Unity.

          Reply
        3. Lambert Strether Post author

          > Could you elaborate on what you mean by “government of national unity?” Is it just Obama alumni + Resistance Republicans, or something else?

          Wikipedia (sigh):

          A national unity government, government of national unity (GNU), or national union government is a broad coalition government consisting of all parties (or all major parties) in the legislature, usually formed during a time of war or other national emergency.

          Operationally, that means what you said, “‘Obama alumni + Resistance Republicans” combined with great lashings of DNC rhetoric about “unity” and avoiding “being divisive,” combined with vicious, McCarthyite enforcement of same. Of course, an external threat in the form of a war would be very useful in this regard.

          Reply
          1. ambrit

            “…external threat…” hmmm…
            How about those wily Francophones from up around the Hudson’s Bay starting a campaign to ‘free’ their brothers and sisters in places like Terra Haute and the Twin Cities from Anglo oppression? A Greater Nouvelle France, including Quebec and chunks of the formerly Americain Midwest would be about right. The Nouvelles could copy a page from the Chinese playbook and claim all the territories explored by the Coureurs de Bois.
            There! Not only an external enemy to unite all red blooded patriotic Americans in defense of the Homeland, but also an internal terror threat so as to legitimize the Surveillance State!
            “Mr. Senator, have you no shame?”
            “Non!”

            Reply
          2. AbateMagicThinking But Not Money

            Re the “legislature” aspect of the Wikipedia quote

            Legislation is too slow for most purposes! It is the administration where the national unity needs to lie. The Westminster system (for all its faults – and I am biting my tongue here) at least has elected people in the form of government ministers trying to steer the ship of state – not some wacko crony appointee with no experience and no electoral legitimacy to boot.

            Ex-Govenors perhaps?

            Pip-pip!

            Reply
            1. drumlin woodchuckles

              Your Westminster system recently gave you Cameron and Brexit . . . and then Johnson with some ongoing Brexit gravy. We will see how that works out for Britain.

              Poop-poop!

              Reply
      2. John k

        If all a secstate person has to do is make speeches, he’ll do a good job. Certainly he’d have an easy act to follow.
        But he’d upstage Biden, and IMO there’s already friction even if Obama was kingmaker… a nonstarter.
        Particularly if one of the billionaires wants it.

        Reply
          1. jonboinAR

            Especially if, as one of the articles going around (maybe here) lately indicates, the position of Sec of State anymore isn’t worth a bucket of warm spit anyhow.

            Reply
        1. NotTimothyGeithner

          Since ’47, this is all State does. Defense and Treasury with a helping hand from the ambassador to the UN more or less handle all the traditional jobs of a foreign minister. The rest is just handled by the President’s trusted staff. Condi and Kissinger for example didn’t gain power when they became Secretary of State just titles.

          Reply
        2. Lambert Strether Post author

          > But he’d upstage Biden

          I don’t think so. I think Biden would enjoy having Obama as a subordinate, just as he’s enjoying watching a lot of women, especially black women, abase themselves in the hope of becoming his vice president.

          Personally, I think Obama would be a good choice, as long as we don’t aim to high (and gave him plenty of time for golf). For one thing, the press would have an ObamaGasm that lasted for months. And Obama did actually accomplish the Iran nukes deal, which was not insane, and he still commands a degree of respect on the world stage. If as SoS Obama got our passports working again, I for one would give him a passing grade. “Nothing fundamental will change,”* of course, but that’s a given.

          NOTE * Except for the worse.

          Reply
          1. ambrit

            But could Obama legally become President again after “Creepy” Joe takes that “last small plane ride?” The Secretary of State is number four on the list of successors after all the previous suffer “unfortunate accidents.”
            A well placed “infernal device” by those pesky “Nouvelle France” fanatics could clear the way for our ‘sainted’ former leader.

            Reply
          2. Acacia

            Obama has certainly demonstrated aptitude as an Imperial administrator. As Secy. of State, I wonder how many new wars he would start. No doubt he could come up with some eloquent-sounding spin the next time a recalcitrant leader gets In the way and needs the Gaddafi treatment.

            Reply
          3. paintedjaguar

            “Working passports”? I presume you’re talking about restrictions imposed by other countries, but last time I looked there was also a moratorium on issuing any new US passports (I think you can still renew if you already have one). Just one more step toward emulating the former USSR, minus the social benefits of course. I wouldn’t be very surprised to see new travel restrictions between US states sometime in the near future.

            Reply
    2. Keith

      Or perhaps a deal would be made that he would run foreign policy, with Biden playing the role of figurehead. It would be an interesting end-run around term limits. It would also play out well in the press, with each side screaming why it is a great/horrible idea.

      Reply
        1. Olga

          Well, if only the US were lucky enough to have someone of VVP’s stature!
          We might have a different world then:
          https://indianpunchline.com/putin-had-a-dream-to-reset-the-world-order/
          “In Putin’s world view, too, no matter the prevailing gloomy world scenario, the US-Russia-China triangle has good prospects to “come through in a constructive manner” and “form the basis to trace the entire history of international relations,” as highlighted in a highly nuanced Tass interview by the Russian Foreign Ministry spokesperson Maria Zakharova last week in a smart signal to both Washington and Beijing.”
          Eternal optimist, too.

          Reply
        2. Lambert Strether Post author

          > Cheney’s lengthy civil career

          Farfetching here, but Cheney claimed that the VP was a Fourth Branch of government (because the VP is also President of the Senate which is in the legislative branch*). That makes me wonder if there are any special powers that the SoS has that are floating freely around….

          NOTE * Yes, the Bush Republicans really were as crazy as sh*thouse, rats, which is why I’m finding The Great Assimilation™ extremely disorienting. I suppose it was inevitable from the moment Bush gave Michelle candy and she called him her “partner in crime” (!), but…. Yeeeesh. And that the liberal Democrat base doesn’t mind it a bit tells us a lot.

          Reply
    1. Lambert Strether Post author

      I take naps myself, but I don’t know if naps are long enough for “substantial waves of cerebrospinal fluid to circulate around the brain,” hence clearing it of toxins.

      Reply
  2. Mark Gisleson

    re: verbing of ‘party’

    I could have sworn the expression ‘party hearty dude’ goes back to at least my first stint in college in the early 1970s.

    Reply
        1. WobblyTelomeres

          That’s a bit sad, John. As was relayed to me, “1950s party as verb” is an integral part of my origin story. That, and a drive-in theater.

          Reply
          1. polecat

            drive-ins ..
            .. who knew that these zombies would be brought back from the dead, by popular demand .. with a little help from biology. Could make for the Next generation..

            Beats sitting in a climate un-controlled enclosed dark space, where all the smart phones are flashing!

            Reply
      1. JWP

        Now it is used more as a verb than a noun. “are you going” or “where are you going tonight” because it is a given you are going to a party.

        Reply
    1. JohnH

      I use “party” as a verb constantly. Those squirrels are partying! Here, party with this etc.

      Relevant detail – I am a rock guitar player/instructor by trade/spirit.

      Reply
      1. jonboinAR

        Rock on, brother! (Image inserted of Wayne and Garth head banging.) Question: Can an actual guitarist play air guitar?

        Reply
  3. nippersmom

    I called Brian Kemp’s office the other day to voice my displeasure with his handling of the Covid crisis in general, and his response to local jurisdictions enacting stricter requirements in particular. It was “clarifying” to note the hold message referred to all “agents” being busy with “other customers”.

    Reply
    1. Glen

      Sounds like you called into a phone center in New Delhi.

      But I am hoping Kemp just bans the COVID-19 virus. This does seem to be the only practical measure he is taking “banning things”, so I would urge him to just ban the virus and make it go away. Problem solved!

      Reply
      1. nippersmom

        The woman who eventually took my call was very pleasant and polite (probably has worked in the Governor’s office for multiple administrations), and definitely sounded local.

        Reply
    2. The Rev Kev

      Maybe Atlanta should send a message back to Kemp saying ‘You’re not the boss of us!’ Unless Kemp wants to declare martial law in Atlanta, his authority can only go so far. Saying that he has the right to stop a sitting mayor issue press statements and talking to the press sounds like over-reach of a high order. Maybe that Keish should say that she is exercising her 1st Amendment right to talk to people – and that if there are members of the press present, well, she cannot help that.

      Reply
      1. nippersmom

        The mayor is not backing down. I believe she has filed a counter-suit. Keisha Lance-Bottoms has her faults, but she is trying to do the right thing for her constituents.

        Reply
    1. Lambert Strether Post author

      > you know how to party.

      I have been to parties. I’m just depressed that party is a verb. I’m familiar with most of the cultural reference given. What disappoints me is that it’s ubiquitous among “the youth,” especially on campus.

      Reply
      1. drumlin woodchuckles

        What’s wrong with party as a verb? Lie is both a noun and a verb and such flexibility-of-usage helps make the language stronger.

        Verbicating a noun embiggens the language. It is a perfectly cromulent thing to do.

        Reply
  4. a different chris

    I don’t know what Pegden is trying to prove with his attack on the study — maybe (hopefully) it’s not an attack, just a broadening of the discussion.

    He is absolutely right (as a lay person, it brings me flashbacks of my 17yr old son occupying a hospital room with an 8 year old) that 10-19 is a stupid age grouping.

    But when smoke is coming from a forest you fence as much as you can off before you are sure of the exact location.

    Shorter me: “nuanced discussions” are necessary and will eventually be a lot of help but not real helpful for pubic policy that needs to be formulated right now so shut up unless you think somebody is doing harm. And I mean from a medical, not an economic perspective.

    Anyway, as a CMU graduate I am properly embarrassed by this guy.

    Ok, can’t stop, here is part of another tweet (twit?)

    >the case rate for teaching staff is just 30% higher than the population.

    Just?? JUST!!???!! I’m not driving down a highway that has a 30% higher chance of getting me killed.

    Reply
  5. Wukchumni

    … The hospitals being served are Adventist Health Lodi Memorial in Lodi, Community Regional Medical Center in Fresno, Dameron Hospital in Stockton, Eisenhower Medical Center in Rancho Mirage and Kaweah Delta Medical Center in Visalia, the spokesman said. The move comes as some officials have described hospital staffing — not bed capacity — as the chief stumbling block when it comes to scaling up operations to accommodate more patients.”
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    As mentioned in the links, the hospital in Visalia is just about full up with Covid-19 patients and the situation is grim, according to a friend that works there.

    Reply
  6. Ignacio

    RE:“Safety and immunogenicity of the ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 vaccine against SARS-CoV-2: a preliminary report of a phase 1/2, single-blind, randomised controlled trial” (PDF) [The Lancet]. This is the Oxford study. The Interpretation: “ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 showed an acceptable safety profile, and homologous boosting increased antibody responses. These results, together with the induction of both humoral and cellular immune responses, support largescale evaluation of this candidate vaccine in an ongoing phase 3 programme.” • That’s good news; progress in this trial, at least.

    “Immunogenicity and safety of a recombinant adenovirus type-5-vectored COVID-19 vaccine in healthy adults aged 18 years or older: a randomised, double-blind, placebocontrolled, phase 2 trial” (PDF) [The Lancet]. A Chinese study. The Interpretation: “The Ad5-vectored COVID-19 vaccine at 5×10¹⁰ viral particles is safe, and induced significant immune responses in the majority of recipients after a single immunisation.” • Also good news.

    These are both good news so far but with still the all important efficacy and duration testing are months ahead. It will be interesting to see when the Oxford study publishes results on the levels of neutralizing antibodies 6 months (october-november 2020) and 12 months after the boosts by may 2021.

    If you read the article you will notice a caveat for adenovirus-based vaccines as well as other vaccines based on viral vectors: if additional boosts are needed, we might develop anti-vector immunity and the very same vaccine will probably not work after 6 months or a year for additional boosts. (The Oxford vaccine boosts humoral response if the second boost is done 28 days after the first but susequently?

    Reply
    1. Eureka Springs

      I promise to always scream, bark, spittle and throw things if and when anyone ever speaks like that tweeter in my presence.

      Edit: Supposed to be a reply to Ranger Rick below.

      Reply
    2. ewmayer

      “These are both good news so far but with still the all important efficacy and duration testing are months ahead.” — That was also my immediate reaction to Lambert’s “also good news” — only if the immunity is long-lasting. Unless this particular C-virus is significantly different in this regard than the myriads responsible for ~1/3 of “common cold” infections, there is little reason to believe vaccine-induced immunity will be long-lived. I hope I’m wrong.

      Reply
      1. TroyIA

        This article is above my pay grade but I think it is saying that a vaccine that is only for the SARS cov 2 spike protein may not be as effective as everyone hopes.

        Targets of T Cell Responses to SARS-CoV-2 Coronavirus in Humans with COVID-19 Disease and Unexposed Individuals

        In the case of CD4+ T cell responses, data for other coronaviruses found that spike accounted for nearly two-thirds of reported CD4+ T cell reactivity, with N and M accounting for limited reactivity, and no reactivity in one large study of human SARS-CoV-1 responses (Li et al., 2008).

        Our SARS-CoV-2 data reveal that the pattern of immunodominance in COVID-19 is different. In particular, M, spike, and N proteins were clearly co-dominant, each
        recognized by 100% of COVID-19 cases studied here. Significant CD4+ T cell responses were also directed against nsp3, nsp4, ORF3s, ORF7a, nsp12, and ORF8.

        These data suggest that a candidate COVID-19 vaccine consisting only of SARS- CoV-2 spike would be capable of eliciting SARS-CoV-2-specific CD4+ T cell responses of similar representation to that of natural COVID-19 disease, but the data also indicate that there are many potential CD4+ T cell targets in SARS-CoV-2, and inclusion of additional SARS-CoV-2 structural antigens such as M and N would better mimic the natural SARS-CoV- 2-specific CD4+ T cell response observed in mild to moderate COVID-19 disease.

        Regarding SARS-CoV-2 CD8+ T cell responses, the pattern of immunodominance found here differed from the literature for other coronaviruses. However, stringent comparisons are not possible, as some earlier studies were not similarly comprehensive and did not utilize the same experimental strategy.

        The spike protein was a target of human SARS-CoV-2 CD8+ T cell responses, but it is not dominant. SARS-CoV-2 M was just as strongly recognized, and significant reactivity was noted for other antigens, mostly nsp6, ORF3a, and N, which comprised nearly 50% of the total CD8+ T cell response, on average.

        Thus, these data indicate that candidate COVID-19 vaccines endeavoring to elicit CD8+ T cell responses against the spike protein will be eliciting a relatively narrow CD8+ T cell response compared to the natural CD8+ T cell response observed in mild to moderate COVID-19 disease. An optimal vaccine CD8+ T cell response to SARS-CoV-2 might benefit from additional class I epitopes, such as the ones derived from the M, nsp6, ORF3a, and/or N.

        Reply
  7. Keith

    Doom scrolling? No thanks, I prefer my “Doom porn!” ;)

    Along the same theme regarding urbanites being depressed, I agree with Lambert, get outside. Sun is a miracle cure for many things. Walking is another, and if you have transportation, get out to nature and embrace a hobby, if not walk around the block. A lot of this news coverage seems designed to instill fear and panic to keep people in their homes glued to their TVs and computers. Shockingly, life is going on outdoors and there is a lot to do that won’t run afoul of the COVID Police/Karens.

    Reply
      1. HotFlash,

        Yup. Currants finishing now (lovely accent on vanilla pudding), dandelions and garlic mustard gone (salad, soup, dehydrated for tasty sprinklies, and (the gift that keeps on giving) pesto. For free. Daylillies, aka golden neeedles — everywhere!!! Soups, stir-fries, moo sho pork.

        Oh, and I have harvested garlic mustard seeds, plan to try making mustard. Lambs quarters continuing on fine (salad, soup, munching, stir-fries, braises, casseroles, dried — very high in vits, minerals, and even protein (for a plant)), tomatoes blossoming and zucchini warming up (gentleman flowers mostly spent, lady flowers just starting now). Rose of sharon starting to bloom, green apples for jams/jellies, and pectin falling all over the place. I never travel without collecting bags. Coming up: local apples, elderberries. Quite literally mana from heaven.

        Reply
      2. polecat

        The bees are what’s keeping me sedate. Started with one colony .. and now have an increase of 3 more: one by adding a queen-celled comb ( with nurse bees – from the established spring colony .. plus two extra barcomb .. to an empty hive, one from a swarm cast from the 1st colony that I was able to coax into an empty Warre’ setup, and an ‘after-swarm’ cast off which I captured to fill the last empty hive. All colonies seem to be doing well .. so far.

        I’m a man who stares at bees. I also talk to them, feed them when necessary, and allow them to crawl on my hand, as they make their approach landing. They obviously don’t mind a human touch….

        Reply
        1. Keith

          That’s my plan for next season, Bees and filling out my “dwarf” orchard. I intend to spend the winter building or acquiring the beekeeping equipment I need to make it happen. I need to reread a book about the subject so I can hit the road running. It is something I have been wanting to do for a while now; I just need to make it happen.

          Reply
      3. carl

        Tomatoes are exploding, along with the basil and mixed greens. We just harvested an enormous Black Diamond watermelon. Still have kale in the heat of the summer…remarkable. Celery from winter planting has rejuvenated. Our sunflowers are 8-9 feet tall and every bloom has at least two or three bees tending it.

        Reply
  8. Dan Torrance

    ‘Binge’ listening to all of Thomas Frank’s brilliant audio books the last few days has left me wondering, ‘Has anyone seen Lambert and Thomas in the same room?’.

    Reply
  9. Ranger Rick

    I had to do a double-take when I saw that empathy in transactional relationships tweet. In what world is customer service not an oxymoron?

    Reply
    1. ObjectiveFunction

      RACHEL: May I ask you a personal question?…
      Have you ever retired a human by mistake?

      ….
      TYRELL: Is this to be an ’empathy’ test? Capillary dilation, or the so-called ‘blush response’? Fluctuation of the pupil? Involuntary dilation of the iris.”

      DECKARD: We call it Voight-Kampff for short.

      Reply
  10. ZacP

    Please click through and read the Sarah RN twitter thread. That is exactly why I am not signing a $10,000/week contract to deploy to that region.

    Reply
      1. ZacP

        I stay in touch with some travel nursing recruiters just to keep an eye on the market. These types of contracts were available back when NYC was on fire, and now I’m seeing them again for Texas. This $10K/week stands in contrast to the depressed wages of a staff nurse in the South. I have heard of nurses now quitting and hiring on as a temp to go and work in the exact same unit that they left, which really just speaks to the absurdity of the whole situation.

        Reply
        1. The Rev Kev

          Capitalism at work. What you describe happening with those nurses happens on the corporate level too. But there they return as ‘consultants.’

          Reply
        2. Odysseus

          They were available in Chicago too at the end of March / beginning of April.

          “COVID-19 CRISIS PAY!!! is deploying RNs and LPNs for Exclusive Orders working in a large temporary hospital in Chicago, Illinois. IL license NOT required! You will be working 21 days ON and OFF 2 days. RN pay is $94/hr + OVERTIME!!! LPN pay is $53/hr + OVERTIME!!!”

          Reply
  11. Gregorio

    “Every day, I watch Trump’s psychodrama play out in my inbox”
    I have experienced the same. Even though I have tried to unsubscribe at least 10 times, they are still coming at the rate of 6-10 a day from Trump, Lara Trump, Eric Trump, etc.

    Reply
    1. Shirley Ende-Saxe

      About 2 years ago I liked Restate and Brietbart News on Facebook because I felt like causing some mischief with FB’s advertising etc. Three weeks later I started to receive multiple emails from Karl Rove, the whole Trump clan and on and on, along with requests to sign birthday greetings to Melania and Barron. There has been no letup in the amount of email but now, after awhile, they are starting to say things like ” Have you forgotten us?” They are relentless!

      Reply
    2. drumlin woodchuckles

      Someone told me to unsubscribe from the surplus of DemParty emails I was getting. It didn’t appear to work. Later, someone else told me that if you unsubscribe, it shows them that a real human is there and engaged enough to try unsubscribing. That encourages them to keep sending you emails even harder.

      Reply
  12. ptb

    Another hopeful line of covid treatment, esp. significant for the elderly.

    spraying interferon-beta directly into lungs, via inhaler.
    early trial (n=101) … significantly reduced severity of illness … according to company that hopes to sell this
    link [BBC News 2020.07.20]

    Reply
    1. ShamanicFallout

      This is what Krystyn here has been saying for a long time: the importance of zinc. Please see comments form today’s links

      Reply
  13. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

    @Adobe #ExperienceMakers:

    “…brainstorm ways you can be human”

    I’m all for it. Maybe it’s something every single solitary NC reader can agree on. We really need more of those.

    Reply
  14. Milton

    Curate your list carefully to include a variety of personality types and political views. And a sense of humor helps — along with antidotes of all sorts
    We don’t need to do this-this is already done for us by the kind folks at NC.
    Is that Cistus mixed in with the Statis?

    Reply
  15. fresno dan

    So I seldom remember dreams, and not very well. But I had quite a dream (first ever) about Naked Capitalism in my afternoon nap, and as I am here in quarantined CA with nothing else to do, I might as well tell everyone about it, as quite a few of you were in it.
    So I guess it was a meet-up in somebody’s house. Scolfield, Lambert, Yves, Wukchumni, Ignacio PlutoniumKim, Pat, ArizonaSlim, RevKev, jrs, Ambrit, DJG, Petal, ChiGalinCarolina, Flora (if only there were more contributors with 3 letter nom de plumes it would make typing this so much quicker) were all there and too many to mention and a couple of big dogs. It was a small house…
    REMEMBER THIS IS A DREAM
    So I had asked permission to start the discussion, because upon arrival I saw a gizmo that was like a armored – oh, what do you call those things like skateboards but with the vertical handles – scooter? Anyway, – these armored scooters were for gliding through the jungle UNHEARD on reconnaissance missions. Anyway, I went up to it and moved it and it screeched and squeaked like a condo filled with 10 billion mice. So I was just going to demonstrate this horribly designed military equipment. And than I woke up.

    Reply
    1. Wukchumni

      How weird, I had a similar notion when I saw an F-35 passing overhead with the knowledge that making just 1 less of a white elephant of a plane could’ve paid for an awful lot of N-95 masks.

      The sound it made was nothing like 10 million mice in a condo, it was more like money being frittered away in what will no doubt be the last fighter jet in these still United States.

      I’d go for a meet-up in Mineral King on the deck of the Silver City Resort, drinking snappy cocktails and shooting the breeze. The carne asade fries there are to die for, by the way.

      https://www.silvercityresort.com/

      The maddening world seems so very far away when you’re in the range of light…

      Reply
    2. The Rev Kev

      ‘I am here in quarantined CA with nothing else to do’

      I was going to suggest you do a spot of family history but thought better of it. I was once told that you will meet retired policemen, retired teachers, retired sales people, retired business people but you will never meet a retired family historian – ever!

      From one who knows. :(

      Reply
  16. allan

    Shot: Ousted New York Democrat warns his colleagues: ‘Very dangerous’ to engage in intraparty primary fights

    (CNN) House Foreign Affairs Chairman Eliot Engel, a 16-term veteran who was vanquished in his
    New York primary by a progressive insurgent, bluntly warned his fellow Democrats against backing challengers against sitting lawmakers from the same party.
    “I think that it’s a very dangerous thing for party unity if members are going to start putting up primary challenges to other members in the same caucus,” Engel, 73, who has served in the House
    for nearly 32 years, told CNN on Monday. “I think it’s not something that should be done.”
    Engel added: “But you know everyone does what they want to do, and I’m willing to abide
    by the wishes of the people.” …

    Willing. Mighty generous of you, Elliot.

    Chaser:

    Hakeem Jeffries @hakeem_jeffries US House candidate, NY-8

    Congratulations @MondaireJones & @JamaalBowmanNY
    on your exciting campaigns and impressive victories.

    New York’s House delegation will be strengthened by your arrival and passion to serve.

    Onward and upward!

    As Max Planck almost said, Politics progresses one primary challenge at a time.

    Reply
    1. Lambert Strether Post author

      From the link:

      “If the court really believes what it just did, then it just handed President Trump a great deal of power, too,” Yoo, a professor at Berkeley Law, said.

      “The supreme court has said President Obama could [choose not to] enforce immigration laws for about 2 million cases. And why can’t the Trump administration do something similar with immigration – create its own … program, but it could do it in areas beyond that, like healthcare, tax policy, criminal justice, inner city policy. I talked to them a fair amount about cities, because of the disorder.”

      I don’t see a flaw in the logic, unfortunately. Yet again, the Democrats build a car and then scream and yammer when somebody drives the car they built in a direction they don’t want.

      Reply
    1. griffen

      I just assume that walking & talking to be a prohibited action.

      When you combine the far side with the dark side what do you get?!?

      I find your lack of humor disturbing, commander.

      Reply
  17. stefan

    Nothing will change without a General Strike for better wages, better schools, better healthcare, and more social awareness.

    Reply
  18. freedomny

    Michael Brooks (of Michael Brooks Show) passed away. I was just listening to a podcast with him and Adolph Reed the other day to catch up. I so enjoyed his thoughts and am so sad.

    Reply
    1. Darius

      Was thinking today I’d like to hear Michael talk to Matt Stoller. This is devastating news. There was no one like him.

      Reply
  19. rowlf

    Because the spirit of Huckleberry Finn still walks amongst us:

    A police department just south of Atlanta is getting laughs on social media for a bizarre public service announcement asking people to stop putting signs next to roadkill.

    The Henry County Police Department posted the brief — some called it hilarious — request Thursday: “Please stop labeling dead animals on the freeway. Thank you.”

    A photo was included, showing a dead deer on the shoulder of Interstate 75. Nearby are two large messages spray painted on cardboard: “Died from COVID 19” and “Wear a mask.”

    Someone is posting odd COVID-19 signs by roadkill in Georgia. Cut it out, cops demand

    Reply
    1. fresno dan

      rowlf
      July 20, 2020 at 8:09 pm

      OMG, now covid 19 is killing the deer. Actually, I hate deer – rats with hooves. DEER, don’t wear masks!

      Reply
      1. polecat

        Locally speaking, us gardeners are always on the frontlines in the War On DEER!!

        A garden, left unfenced, and thus wide-open to Bambi’s gastronomical intentions, can be – in one night alone – transformed into a scene of utter destruction!

        Years ago, one of my neighbors planted a small veggie garden, complete with new bare-root fruit trees along it’s perimeter. I mentioned that it might behoove them to fence it .. as the deer would make minced-fauxmeat out of it in short order. Their response was something to the effect of ‘piss off! .. we know what we’re doing….’
        A couple of days later – non of those newly planted veggies …. and every single fruit tree branch chewed down to nubs!
        They did eventually put up a fence …..

        Reply
  20. Wukchumni

    There are now 3 employees @ my mom’s assisted living place who have contracted Covid-19, and she’s supposed to take a test tomorrow in her gilded cage. I wonder how long it will take for the results to come back, a week, or maybe a fortnight?

    Reply
  21. Wukchumni

    Devil’s Own Ombudsman Moderator:

    We all know that Trump is going to do something along the lines of somebody hopelessly behind in the latter stages of a game of Monopoly, and just how does he go about it, harshing the eventual winner’s mellow?

    Reply
  22. Wukchumni

    You get the feeling that the pm’s are about to skyrocket as the almighty buck isn’t all that anymore, it’s a question of timing, nothing more than that.

    The only group of Americans that have any really, are the evangelicals. They are really fruity about anything in the good book, and gold is mentioned 419 times.

    They were extensively targeted by sleazy telemarketers (and ripped off, often) and bought a shit ton of it in 90’s and 00’s when it was worth bupkis in comparison to now.

    There’s no reason for the $ to be the world’s reserve currency, and yes I get it, there isn’t any other national currency that could pick up it’s considerable slack, which means we’ll be going back to the future of money, as it was for thousands of years.

    This will give the evangs an amazing economic advantage, a bunch of 1 eyed freaks in a country full of blind ambition, and no money.

    Reply
      1. polecat

        Are you saying you don’t want to live within a currency basketed? You have a jones for the status quo remaining the same, when a new status quo could be full of so much fun and excitment?
        Where’s your sense of adventure!

        Reply
  23. Roland

    I regard war as certain if Biden is elected. Only question is whether it’s a slow lead-up with the outbreak following the ’22 midterms, or a hurry-up offense before the midterms. War would mean unlimited monetary and fiscal expansion, crackdown on domestic dissent whether in the streets or online, and reassertion of US hegemony abroad, all with bipartisan approval, and with the avid cooperation of the media and intelligence communities. In an America yearning for some traditional presidentialness, it’s easy to imagine that Biden will see a war, fought on one of the usual pretexts, as a “smart” and easy way to restore a sense of national direction, while safeguarding the FIRE sector and reassuring the PMC.

    I just don’t see any way in which a restored DNC White House doesn’t go looking for a war. The living generations of US elites have little sense of war’s dangers, since they’ve waged numerous wars without any costs they couldn’t externalize. COVID, the Floyd riots, and years of humiliation under Trump are all things they feel much more keenly–demons they will want to exorcise violently, to show to everyone at home and around the world that their sort of America is Back.

    Trump, bad and buffoonish as he is, stands as the peace candidate. His has actually been the first presidential term since Clinton’s first term in which the USA did not engage in an additional unnecessary open war. Trump’s unexpected victory in ’16 was the only reason why there wasn’t a major escalation in either Syria or Ukraine.

    n.b. back in March I worried about Turkey and Syria going to war. But the Syrian government halted its offensive to reunite their country. The Turkish protectorate remains, although reduced. This ceasefire, in spite of many violations, is holding up a bit better than the earlier ones. Nevertheless, the underlying power-political situation remains dangerous and any resurgence of interventionism in the US could cause a war more serious than any active Western leader has ever dealt with.

    Reply
    1. Lambert Strether Post author

      > I regard war as certain if Biden is elected.

      Nothing is certain in politics, but I think the odds are greatly in favor of it. UkraineGate was farcical and useless as impeachment, but with the orchestrated testimony of national security goons like Fiona Hill, Pelosi sent the clearest possible signal that war was desirable, who the enemy was, and what the terrain would be. It will be amusing to watch all the CIA Democrats furrowing their brows on the teebee as they are lionized as experts by the press. (That Politico beat sweetener on Slotkin was the most egregious example of servicing an elected I’ve ever seen, and I’ve seen a lot.)

      Insane, of course. But we’ll keep doubling down until disaster hits our own shores.

      Reply
  24. ObjectiveFunction

    Scott Galloway draws a lot of ire here for his matrixy / powerpointy approach to strategy, fair enough. But this is a good snip from his latest broadside against US universities reopening for in person classes this fall:

    Phase 1 of the spread was enabled by a mix of arrogance and incompetence. It appears the virus did not get the memo about our exceptionalism, and is indifferent to our optimism. The venues for spread were cruise ships and nursing homes.

    Phase 2 found governors infected with the same arrogance, enabling a younger generation of superspreaders. Again the virus appeared rude and unwilling to read the room, and recognize our desire to return to normalcy.

    A Phase 3 wave appears to be forming due to a mix of economic pressure and lack of imagination on the part of academic leadership.

    Reply

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