2:00PM Water Cooler 5/5/2021

By Lambert Strether of Corrente.

Bird Song of the Day

The Strange Weaver has exactly one sample. It’s very pretty!

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At reader request, I’ve added this daily chart from 91-DIVOC. The data is the Johns Hopkins CSSE data. Here is the site.

I feel I’m engaging in a macabre form of tape-watching.

Vaccination by region:

Case count by United States regions:

The Midwest in detail:

Continued good news.

Big states (New York, Florida, Texas, California):

Continued good news.

Test positivity:

Down, except for the West, now flat.

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“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

Biden Administration

“The American Rescue Plan as Economic Theory” [J.W. Mason]. “The size and design of ARPA is a more consequential rejection of this [prevailing macroeconomic] catechism. Without being described as such, it’s a decisive recognition of half a dozen points that those of us on the left side of the macroeconomic debate have been making for years. 1. The official unemployment rate is an unreliable guide to the true degree of labor market slack, all the time and especially in downturns. … n… 2. The balance of macroeconomic risks is not symmetrical. We don’t live in an economy that fluctuates around a long-term growth path, but one that periodically falls into recessions or depressions. These downturns are a distinct category of events, not a random “shock” to production or desired spending….. 3. The existence of hysteresis is one important reason that demand shortfalls are much more costly than overshooting…. 4. A full employment or high pressure economy has benefits that go well beyond the direct benefits of higher incomes and output…. 5. Public debt doesn’t matter. Maybe I missed it, but as far as I can tell, in the push for the Rescue Plan neither the administration nor the Congressional leadership made even a gesture toward deficit reduction, not even a pro forma comment that it might be desirable in principle or in the indefinite long run…. 6. Work incentives don’t matter.” • Interesting. It’s not MMT, but it is interesting. Well worth a read.

UPDATE “Biden Family Plan Will Cost $700 Billion More, Penn Wharton Says” [Bloomberg]. • Good. Great!

“U.S. judge throws out moratorium on evicting renters” [Reuters]. “U.S. District Judge Dabney Friedrich said the “plain language” of a federal law called the Public Health Service Act, which governs the response to the spread of communicable diseases such as COVID-19, blocked the CDC from imposing a moratorium. The moratorium had been due to lapse on June 30…. The moratorium was issued last September, during former President Donald Trump’s administration, and had been extended three times, most recently in March under President Joe Biden’s administration.” • Another continuity…

“The Biden State Department Nominee Who Worked for Saudi Arabia and Big Oil” [The Nation]. “[O]ne of Biden’s own top State Department nominees, Jose Fernandez, previously worked for Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund and oil giants like Chevron, Occidental Petroleum, and the multinational oil and gas company SK E&P, his financial disclosure forms reveal. Once confirmed, Fernandez will be charged with leading the State Department’s environmental and “economic growth” policies abroad. Fernandez, who in March was officially nominated to be the undersecretary of state for economic growth, energy, and the environment, provided “legal services” to Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth fund while he was a partner at the law firm Gibson Dunn. He also disclosed that he has done separate legal work for a number of oil companies and owns stock in fossil fuel companies like Chevron, Royal Dutch Shell, Sempra Energy, and the Southern Company.”

“Column: Every president faces a major crisis. What will Biden’s be?” [Los Angeles Times]. “So if you were starting to feel good about Biden’s early months, don’t get too comfortable. The president’s good fortune — his healthy popularity ratings, the steady advance of his legislation — is unlikely to last forever. Compared with his predecessors, he’s had it easy so far. The real tests are yet to come.” • Covid isn’t still a major crisis?

Democrats en Deshabille

“Republican John Cox Campaigning for California Governor with 1,000-Pound Bear” [Times of San Diego]. “Rancho Santa Fe businessman John Cox, who ran unsuccessfully for Governor in 2018, is campaigning with a live, 1,000-pound bear and promising to make ‘beastly changes’ if elected. The Cox campaign is spending $5 million on an advertising campaign that portrays Newsom as the ‘beauty’ who needs to be replaced by a ‘beast.’ ‘The beautiful politicians have failed California,’ Cox said. ‘We need big beastly changes to save it. I’ll cut taxes, make California more affordable, and shakeup Sacramento.'” • Here is Cox’s “Beauty and the Beast” ad:

You say “Even Elon Musk left” like that’s a bad thing! (I have to say I don’t like the “pretty boy” subtext much.)

UPDATE “Democrats still won’t get out of their own way” [The Week]. “Biden’s infrastructure bill would help with Democrats’ plight. Juicing the economy to create jobs building stuff will mean a better political environment in the 2022 and 2024 elections, and raising taxes on the rich and corporations that offshore jobs and profits actually makes it more popular. Indeed, if anything the bill is too small to accomplish its goals on climate. More importantly, the PRO Act would change the fundamental structure of American politics. The anachronistic and toothless structure of the existing National Labor Relations Act makes it extremely difficult to organize a union, as we saw in the failed drive at an Amazon warehouse in Bessemer, Alabama…. So passing the infrastructure bill, and reversing some of the damage of neoliberalism, is a matter of basic political self-preservation. To be fair, even many establishment Democrats seem to see the logic here…. It is apparently only a handful of people on the Democrats’ right wing standing in the way of progress here (though their obstruction may be convenient for other potential sellouts who support labor rights only if they will not pass). But the party as a whole is going to be judged on what it manages to get through Congress, and so far there seems to be little effort outside of organized labor itself or democratic socialist groups to pressure Warner, Manchin, and the others to see sense. If President Biden and the rest of the Democratic Party can’t find some way to get their party to act in its own self-interest, they will be instructing the American people that in terms of positive achievement, there isn’t much point to voting for them.” • I would have thought that a political party exists to solve collective action problems like this. It seems not.

Republican Funhouse

“GOP leaders add own fuel to Trump’s fire: The Note” [ABC]. “McCarthy was central in shielding Cheney, R-Wyo., from removal from leadership after her vote to impeach Trump. But Cheney is simply continuing to say what she has said for months now — that Trump lost and that his actions leading up to and on Jan. 6 constituted a “betrayal” that should not be forgotten. The stakes for the GOP are about more than who the third-ranking member of House leadership is. It’s about whether Republicans of any stature should be allowed to call out Trump for his lies — or have any opinions about his future role in the party that don’t align with MAGA-world.”

Trump Legacy

“Trump Facebook ban remains but oversight board rips company policies” [Reuters]. “The board, created by Facebook to rule on a small slice of its content decisions, said the company was right to ban Trump following the Jan. 6 storming of the U.S. Capitol by pro-Trump supporters. But it said Facebook inappropriately imposed a suspension without clear standards and that the company should determine a response consistent with rules applied to other users of the platform. It said the company could determine that Trump’s account could be restored, suspended temporarily or permanently banned. ‘Indefinite penalties of this sort do not pass the international or American smell test for clarity, consistency, and transparency,’ said former federal judge Michael McConnell, co-chair of the Oversight Board, during a press conference after publishing its decision on Wednesday. In its decision, the board said Facebook refused to answer some of the 46 questions it posed, including those on how its news feed and other features affected the visibility of Trump’s posts and whether the company planned to look into how its technology amplified content as it had done in the events leading to the Capitol siege.” • “Siege,” yet! Maybe somebody can explain to me why platforms, especially platforms owned by one person, have to have any “rules” other than the terms of service? If Facebook were a public utility, that might be difference. Or if the Board was truly independent and had subpoena power, which of course it doesn’t and can’t. All the press coverage on this tries to present the Board as being somehow a separate entity from Facebook itself, which it isn’t, exactly as the Senate Parliamentarian is in no way independent from the Majority, although we may wish to pretend they are for appearance’s sake.

“Trump responds after Facebook ban extended pending additional review” [ABC]. “Trump responded to the board’s ruling, saying in a statement, “What Facebook, Twitter, and Google have done is a total disgrace and an embarrassment to our Country. Free Speech has been taken away from the President of the United States because the Radical Left Lunatics are afraid of the truth, but the truth will come out anyway, bigger and stronger than ever before. The People of our Country will not stand for it! These corrupt social media companies must pay a political price, and must never again be allowed to destroy and decimate our Electoral Process.” • It is not clear to me if there is a clear dividing line on which lies are OK to tell and which are not, other than party membership.

“Why Trump’s new blog could lead to more social media takedowns” [Politico]. “Trump has launched a web page making it easier for users to post his remarks verbatim to both Facebook and Twitter, and it could lead to more run-ins with the social media companies policies. A Twitter spokesperson told POLITICO in a statement Tuesday that sharing content from Trump’s new site — “From the Desk of Donald J. Trump” — generally ‘is permitted as long as the material does not otherwise violate the Twitter Rules.'” • Let’s not kid ourselves. The rules are whatever the platforms say they are. As “Richard Nixon” says:


Our Famously Free Press

“CNN’s Jake Tapper questions giving some GOP leaders airtime” [The Hill]. “CNN’s Jake Tapper on Tuesday questioned why any Republicans who promote false election fraud theories should be given any airtime. ‘If they’re willing to lie about Joe Biden wanting to steal your hamburgers, and QAnon and the Big Lie about the election, what are they not willing to lie about?’ Tapper said. ‘Why should I put any of them on TV?'” • After years of Maddow yammering about RussiaGate, arguably far more crazed and dangerous than Trump’s election fraud theory, since (a) it promotes the liberal Democrat’s election fraud theory, and (b) foments war fever with a nuclear power.

Realignment and Legitimacy

“How most of the West got the pandemic so badly wrong?” [Mainly Macro]. What I find shocking is the failure of governments to learn a much simpler and less controversial point, which is that when cases start increasing you lockdown hard and quickly. In other words the second and now third waves we are seeing in Europe is a terrible indictment of the quality of the politicians leading these countries. No one disputes that if countries had locked down earlier and with full severity during the first wave less people would have died and the lockdown would have lasted for less time. (Eradication is about going the extra mile after any lockdown has brought cases right down.) Yet despite this obvious truth, European politicians have failed to implement this lesson. Failed not once, but twice. In the cases I know about they rejected advice from experts, and tried to get away with weaker restrictions that failed to stem the rise in cases…. But we also need, and this is a sentence I never expected to write, to give loss of life a greater weight in political calculations. The average COVID death leads to between 10 and 20 years of life lost (e.g. here), but those lost years seem to carry far too little weight among the politicians of the West. That is shocking.” • Handy chart:

UPDATE “The Real-Life Victims of Democrats’ Irrational Deficit Paranoia” [The New Republic]. “without imagining taxpayers as victims of government deficits, it’s hard to point to anyone actually harmed by a government department giving unrealistic estimates of future revenues.” • So much for that talking point. And then there’s this: “The complete incoherence of the current Democratic position on spending and deficits is summed up well in another Wall Street Journal story, where Montana Senator Jon Tester was quoted saying, ‘I don’t want to raise any taxes, but I don’t want to put stuff on the debt, either.… If we’re going to build infrastructure, we have to pay for it somehow. I’m open to all ideas.'” • Sounds like a job for public-private partnerships! (This article is actually a very good summary of a recent WSJ story on student debt, which makes repayment schemes seem a lot like HAMP, among other things. It’s worth reading for those blocked by WSJ; I just pulled out the two objects that were brightest and shiniest to me.

Stats Watch

Employment Situation: “United States ADP Employment Change” [Trading Economics]. “Private businesses in the US hired 742 thousand workers in April 2021, compared with an upwardly revised 565 thousand increase in March and below market expectations a 800 thousand rise. It was the fastest pace of job creation since September, as the labor market recovery gathered pace amid an acceleration of COVID-19 vaccinations, the lifting of pandemic business restrictions in many states and the government’s $1.9 trillion stimulus package.”

Private Sector Output: “United States Composite PMI” [Trading Economics]. “The IHS Markit US Composite PMI was revised higher to 63.5 in April of 2021 from a preliminary estimate of 62.2 and above March’s 59.7, to signal the sharpest upturn in private sector output since data collection began in October 2009. The overall expansion was supported by faster growth in both manufacturing and service sector activity. New business growth was the steepest on record and new export sales rose at the fastest rate since data collection for the series began in September 2014. Companies indicated a sharp upturn in employment amid a marked accumulation in backlogs of work. Pressure on capacity led to the second-strongest rise in workforce numbers on record. ”

Services: “United States Services PMI” [Trading Economics]. “The IHS Markit US Services PMI was revised higher to 64.7 in April 2021, from a preliminary estimate of 63.1, signaling the sharpest pace of expansion in the sector since data collection began in late-2009.”

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Shipping: “Maersk expects tailwind to last amid high demand for containers” [Reuters]. “Denmark’s Maersk said on Wednesday it expected its ‘exceptionally strong’ performance in the first quarter to continue for the rest of the year, driven by high demand for shipping containers from China to the United States. Maersk, which handles about one in five containers shipped worldwide, said there were not enough ships available in the world to meet a surge in consumer demand, resulting in record-high freight rates.”

Tech: “US-China tech war: Beijing’s secret chipmaking champions” [Nikkei Asian Review]. “[China’s] ambitious, state-directed aim of [is to weed out] the [Yangtze Memory Technologies’] American suppliers, along with those reliant on U.S. technology. The equipment used to manufacture high-end computer chips is virtually an American global monopoly. Eighty percent of the market in some chipmaking and design processes such as etching, ion implantation, electrochemical deposition, wafer inspection and design software is in the hands of U.S. companies. It is a frustrating area of dependence for China, which imported $350 billion worth of semiconductors last year, according to the China Semiconductor Industry Association. Removing this source of U.S. leverage over its economy became a national priority two years ago, when Washington put sanctions on China’s biggest telecommunications equipment maker, Huawei Technologies, amid spying allegations that the Chinese company has constantly denied. This was followed by sanctions on several other major Chinese technology companies, from its top contract chipmaker, Semiconductor Manufacturing International Co., to Hikvision, the world’s biggest surveillance camera maker. Over a hundred companies in total have been placed on a trade blacklist prohibiting most U.S. technology to be sold to them without a license. That has spurred an aggressive effort by Beijing to identify and replace risky parts and suppliers. The result has been an unprecedented flourishing of chip-related companies within China. Dozens of Chinese companies, with specializations mirroring U.S. incumbents in key areas from ion implantation to etching, have sprung into prominence over the past few years, accelerating as the state realizes the enormity of the self-sufficiency project.”

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Today’s Fear & Greed Index: 52 Neutral (previous close: 51 Neutral) [CNN]. One week ago: 61 (Greed). (0 is Extreme Fear; 100 is Extreme Greed). Last updated May 5 at 1:14pm.

The Biosphere

“Microplastics are everywhere — but are they harmful?” [Nature]. “Regulators are taking the first step towards quantifying the risk to people’s health — measuring exposure. This July, the California State Water Resources Control Board, a branch of the state’s environmental protection agency, will become the world’s first regulatory authority to announce standard methods for quantifying microplastic concentrations in drinking water, with the aim of monitoring water over the next four years and publicly reporting the results. Evaluating the effects of tiny specks of plastic on people or animals is the other half of the puzzle. This is easier said than done. More than 100 laboratory studies have exposed animals, mostly aquatic organisms, to microplastics. But their findings — that exposure might lead some organisms to reproduce less effectively or suffer physical damage — are hard to interpret because microplastics span many shapes, sizes and chemical compositions, and many of the studies used materials that were quite unlike those found in the environment.”

Health Care

Anecdote from alert reader pq:

Thanks! Per recent NC link, I’m in the highest reaction group, but three days since Moderna #2, and still no reaction (arm still a little sore). A friend told me her father had no reaction to Moderna 2 and theorized it was because he hyper-hydrated starting the day before. I tend not to drink enough water so started guzzling Thursday for Saturday jab. While checking into the VA clinic yesterday for PT, I remarked to the admin that I was surprised I was feeling well enough to make the appointment. Without prompting, she replied, ‘The key is hydration.’ On my way out, I asked her for a source on that info. She didn’t know where the recommendation originated, but said she was working the COVID vax operation at the regional VA medical center, and that’s what they were telling everyone. They’d told me that at the clinic, too, but I took it as the standard advice for cold and flu in case of flu-like reaction, i.e., rest, take ibuprofen, drink lots of fluids, etc. She said that was also recommended, but said specifically that her group was telling people to make sure they stayed hydrated before and after being vaccinated.

Can readers confirm or disconfirm? Both to the fact of the advice, and to its value?

UPDATE “Qualia” [Cory Doctorow, Locus]. “Quantitative disciplines – physics, math, and (especially) computer sci­ence – make a pretense of objectivity. They make very precise measure­ments of everything that can be measured precisely, assign deceptively precise measurements to things that can’t be measured precisely, and jet­tison the rest on the grounds that you can’t do mathematical operations on it. This is the quant’s version of the drunkard’s search for car-keys under the lamp-post: we can’t add, subtract, multiply or divide qualitative elements, so we just incinerate them, sweep up the dubious quantitative residue that remains, do math on that, and simply assert that nothing important was lost in the process. This is one of the reasons that ‘contact tracing’ apps were such a bust. When a public health worker does ‘contact tracing,’ they call patients and the people who may have been exposed to them, establish a person-to-person rapport with those people, win their trust, and both question them about other contacts and give advice on how to get tested and avoid potential further spread. By contrast, the ‘contact tracing’ apps we were urged to install were purely quantitative. They measured whether two low-powered Bluetooth radios were within range of one another, and for how long. If your Bluetooth device was within range of a device that belonged to someone with a positive test, you would get a notification that you had been exposed. ‘Exposure notification’ is the residue that’s left behind when you put ‘contact tracing’ in the quantitative incin­erator. Shriven of context and connection, the numeric facts that your device was in contact with another device for a clinically significant duration does very little to contain the disease. It doesn’t distinguish between devices that sensed one another in adjacent, sealed automobiles in slow-moving traffic and devices that made contact while their own­ers were competing to set the all-time Fort Lauderdale record for the longest eyeball-licking session.” • Thank you for that image.

Our Famously Free Press

“Be it Resolved: The Mainstream Media is Dying, and that’s OK. Matt UP Debates Ben Bradlee, Jr.” (transcript) [Matt Taibbi, TK News]. “We’ve lost thousands of local newspapers since the early 2000s. The situation has resulted in a major class schism in journalism, because so many of those local news reporters in those smaller papers — these aren’t rich people. They’re not children of privilege. They don’t have a lot of money, but they served a very valuable role in small communities and they reported on things that were important to ordinary people. And also, they were in touch with the people in their own community because they live there. What’s happened with the disappearance of those types of organizations is that the only thing left is the national news media, which increasingly — and I watched this process happen because I’ve been in the business — it’s increasingly made up of people like me who are upper-class white folks from big cities of the coast, of the East Coast and California. If you go on the plane on the campaign trail, most of the people on the plane now are graduates of Ivy League universities. They live in rarefied areas of expensive, cosmopolitan neighborhoods. Socially, they see themselves as being the same people as the politicians they’re reporting on. That’s a terrible situation. I think that it’s an underrated problem within modern news media. It’s lost some touch with mass audiences — in part because they’re no longer the people who are covering the affairs of ordinary people.” • The interchange on RussiaGate is also interesting, and Bradlee’s response is particularly weak: “[J]ust because Mueller didn’t sign off on a formal conspiracy blessed by Putin doesn’t mean that there wasn’t….” [ellipsis in original]. Why isn’t “Yes it does” an adequate rejoinder, here?

Book Nook

“What is Ours is Only Ours to Give” (review) [Crooked Timber]. Review of Kim Stanley Robinson’s The Ministry for the Future (TMFTF). “Right now, most of the blockchain mining in the world happens in China, where provinces with the cheapest energy set up mining operations to do the ‘proof of work’ calculations that the dominant paradigm of blockchain requires. Factories that ostensibly make other things now acquire significant computing hardware and dedicate energy in order to, essentially, print money that’s then stored offshore. A recent study shows that 40% of China’s mostly bitcoin mining is powered by coal-burning. We also already know that non-blockchain server farms in cheap energy countries consume so much energy they distort national grids, and throw off huge amounts of heat that then need cooling for the servers to operate, creating a vicious cycle of energy consumption. All to say, I don’t see how a global blockchain currency as envisaged in TMFTF can be a good thing. Best possible case scenario; it uses mostly renewable energy to generate the proofs of work, displacing other, better uses for that energy. Worst case; it puts more zeroes on the end of the total carbon emissions we currently dedicate to computing. I didn’t spot anything in the novel about how or even if the carbon produced by the pointless computation for the new currency would be mitigated.” • Well, it’s science fiction. I enjoy science fiction, which is what KSR writes.

Groves of Academe

“24/7: A Closer Look at security cameras on campus” [The Piedmont Highlander]. “According to Board Policy/Administrative Regulation 3515 from the [Pasadena Unified School District (PUSD)] Board of Education, “The Board believes that reasonable use of surveillance cameras will help the district achieve its goals for campus security.” … When asked to identify the security cameras’ brand, [PUSD Superintendent Randall ] Booker, principal Adam Littlefield, and assistant principal Erin Igoe said they were not able to specify the company from which the cameras were purchased. Palmer said that he did not want to identify the cameras’ manufacturer because of a concern that making such information public could lead to hacks. After independent research and investigation, TPH concluded that at least 13 of 14 cameras on the PHS and MHS campuses are ‘Dome Series’ cameras from Verkada, a San Mateo-based company that specializes in Internet-connected surveillance cameras, facial recognition technologies, and artificial intelligence-powered analytics. ‘Verkada cameras have an intelligent archiving feature that remembers every face that enters the camera frame,’ according to Monarch, a San Francisco company that sells Verkada products. ‘The faces are categorized and given ‘names’ for easy search access [and the technology] is so advanced it can even accurately detect faces wearing masks.’… “The facial recognition— that’s a pretty big invasion of privacy,” [director of facilities Pete Palmer] said. ‘I can’t ever see that happening here.'” • Oh. What’s wonderful is that this is a high school newspaper (with mastheads going back to 2012. Kudos to the students and to faculty advisor Beth Black). Please give them some clickthroughs.

Guillotine Watch

“The Untold Story of How Jeff Bezos Beat the Tabloids” [Bloomberg]. Lots of interesting detail, but then I came to this: “Like many modern couples, Bezos and Sanchez’s relationship played out digitally as well. The richest man in the world was, to put it bluntly, sexting. Sanchez shared many of these texts and photographs with her brother, a talent manager who represented a variety of cable news pundits and reality-TV contestants. But all of that was happening well outside Bezos’ line of sight. He was enthralled by the adventurous Sanchez, and by nature he wasn’t predisposed to be paranoid or immediately skeptical of anyone—especially not the brother of his new paramour. His philosophy, according to a friend, was essentially: ‘It’s better to assume trust and find out that you are wrong than to always assume people are trying to screw you over.'” • Wait, what? Really? Who is this “friend”?

Class Warfare

Servant problems:


You’ll never guess….

News of the Wired

New York subway posters:

“Red wine in space may age faster than on Earth, study finds” [Space]. “Compared to a bottle of the same wine that aged for the same amount of time on Earth, the wine that aged at the International Space Station ‘was really maybe one to two or even three years further evolved than you would expect from the one that had remained on Earth,’ wine writer Jane Anson, who participated in the taste test, told reporters in a press conference earlier this year. … ‘Differences were perceived concerning the color of the wines. Concerning aroma and taste components: the two wines were described with a rich vocabulary attesting to remarkable olfactory and gustatory complexity; sensory dimensions of sweetness, harmony and persistence were particularly noted,’ Darriet added.” • These guys should go into macroeconomics…

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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 (Lee):

Lee writes: “A neighbor’s heavenly gate.” Oh, that’s just ridiculously great!

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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.


  1. ChrisFromGeorgia

    Re: vaccination rates

    The “March of the refuseniks” has clearly hit its stride. We’re about to enter interesting times, I fear.

    Related news item – OSHA ruling makes it likely that employers are liable for paying out workman’s comp or getting slammed by having insurance companies subrogate a claim if one of their workers gets an adverse reaction, racks up big medical bills and they have made vaccination mandatory.


    1. Alfred

      Wow, someone actually held liable. For making sure a vaccine is given for which there is no manufacturer liability. After I unpacked this as well as I could, I think it’s to save the health care industry and pharma from having to pay out in any eventuality.

      1. ChrisFromGeorgia

        It will help the health care insurance industry as they can now subrogate a claim made by a covered person, if that claim involves an injury incurred from an employer making the vaccine mandatory. It’s clear that OSHA considers mandatory vaccinations leading to an adverse event an occupational injury.

        So my guess is another win for insurance cos. They can jam it back on the employer and if not paid back, sue. Or the employee can claim workman’s comp.

        Small business in particular are going to run as fast as they can away from any hint of requiring their employees to get the vaccine, once they grok the ruling. Way too much liability. I have a saying – risk can be transferred, mitigated or accepted, but never destroyed.

        1. ChrisFromGeorgia

          Another way to look at it, I think, is employers, particularly smaller ones without deep pockets and high powered lawyers, are a much better target of opportunity for insurance companies and workplace injury awyers to go after, vs. big pharma.

          For the rest of us … may the odds be in our favor!

  2. tegnost

    Confirmed on the moderna shots coming with a recommendation to hydrate. I was told after, but I’ll be drinking a lot before after seeing this… Still a few weeks out from my second shot but everyone here has been getting moderna so thats my sample

    1. Geo

      Scheduled my second dose and this was in the confirmation email:

      On the day of your appointment:
      Drink at least 16 ounces of water 1 hour before your appointment to help prevent side effects

      It’s for the Phizer vax.

      1. Steve

        I normally drink half a gallon of water each day. Starting the day after my second Pfizer jab, I was fatigued for three weeks. The first week was “go home at noon and take a nap, lay around for the rest of the day”. I asked my doctor’s office for an appointment and a nurse called me back, saying three weeks was not that out of the ordinary, be patient.

        1. JohnMinMN

          I was told immediately after my J&J injection to drink plenty of water. That’s all the advice I was given.

          Got the jab Monday morning. No adverse effects.

          Gee, hope I didn’t get saline.

        2. JohnMinMN

          I was told to drink plenty of water after my J&J jab by the person who gave me the shot. That’s all the advice I was given.

          Got the Jab Monday morning. No adverse effects.

      2. Carmel

        I don’t eat genetically modified food and I sure won’t allow a genetically modified organism to be injected into my body. Especially after the release of the Salk Institute study, linked from NC, showing that the spike proteins that the vaccine gets your body to create, to prevent Covid’s spikes from grabbing hold of your ACE receptors in your lungs, those spike proteins from the vaccine may be more dangerous than the virus itself.

      3. none

        Interesting, I didn’t get any notification like that for 2nd shot (scheduled next week). I had mildly sore arm after first shot but 2nd is supposed to be worse. I’ll be sure to hydrate. I didn’t do anything special for 1st shot. Thanks.

    2. Pelham c

      My wife and I routinely hydrate copiously and had no problem with the Moderna shots.

    3. dcblogger

      I had the moderna last week, and this is the first I have heard about hydrating. But I have found myself drinking much more water. Mostly I have been tired, VERY tired. I basically slept the first two days after the shot and have been too tired to get anything done since. I just sit around all day listening to audio books.

  3. diptherio

    File under News of the Wired:

    A great thread:

    I’m seeing a lot of people FOMO quit their jobs to join “crypto”, probably out of some over-romanticized view of what goes on in these projects. Let me illuminate you about what actually happens:

    My favorite: “15. You will realize that the source of the majority of problems for your blockchain project is that it is built on a blockchain.”

  4. Petter

    Shipping – Maersk
    Here is a link to a shipping site (which may have already been posted on Water Cooler for all I know).
    Flexport: Trans-Pacific deteriorating, brace for shipping ‘tsunami’
    US importers face even more extreme delays ahead as container capacity maxes out.

    The number of container ships stuck at anchor off Los Angeles and Long Beach is down to around 20 per day, from 30 a few months ago. Does this mean the capacity crunch in the trans-Pacific market is finally easing? Absolutely not, warned Nerijus Poskus, vice president of global ocean at freight forwarder Flexport. “It’s not getting better. It’s getting worse,” he told American Shipper in an interview on Monday.

    “What I’m seeing is unprecedented. We are seeing a tsunami of freight,” he reported.

    “For the month of May, everything on the trans-Pacific is basically sold out. We had one client who needed something loaded in May that was extremely urgent and who was ready to pay $15,000 per container. I couldn’t get it loaded — and we are a growing company that ships a lot of TEUs [twenty-foot equivalent units]. Price doesn’t always even matter anymore.”

  5. Alfred

    “Compared with his predecessors, he’s had it easy so far. The real tests are yet to come.”

    Columnist creates a “reality”, invites us in to speculate in his speculative world. Does the L.A.Times have an executive editor? I looked to see if this was under the “Opinion” banner, don’t think so.

  6. IM Doc

    I have looked at both the Pfizer and the Moderna vaccine handouts and physician information. I am seeing nothing about hydration on the Pfizer documentation. On the Moderna documents, there is a comment encouraging patients to be fully hydrated before their vaccination.

    I will look into this later today with colleagues. If I am able to find anything more, I will certainly share. I have not heard anything about this before. Other than, in general, it would seem to be common sense to approach any medical intervention fully hydrated.

    1. Keith Newman

      Thanks. Good to know. I had my 1st Moderna last week and go for the 2nd in a couple of months. No-one told me about this.

    2. Milton

      I had Moderna pt. II yesterday. My wife told me to drink up (lots) before and after. Aside from sore arm, I’ve been feeling rather well.

    3. marym

      Nothing about hydration on my first Moderna confirmation, didn’t save the second but I think I’d have noticed, because I was following that route anyway.

      It’s been mentioned for a while in the random byways of twitter where I roam – not science twitter at alI, just people chatting about their experience. I wondered if it was the start of bit of vaccination folk medicine – like chicken soup!! Thanks for checking the medical literature.

    4. Angie Neer

      I was told to hydrate before my Pfizer last week. But that may have been generic advice from the pharmacy rather than Pfizer-specific.

    5. Michael

      I think it was not just water but electrolytes that should be imbibed. They help manage water in the body. I had Moderna #2 with no side effects other than the standard sore spot. I have an electrolyte rich food regimen. Dietary Sources of Electrolytes

      Sodium: Pickled foods, cheese and table salt.
      Chloride: Table salt.
      Potassium: Fruits and vegetables like bananas, avocado and sweet potato.
      Magnesium: Seeds and nuts.
      Calcium: Dairy products, fortified dairy alternatives and green leafy vegetables.

  7. albrt

    “I would have thought that a political party exists to solve collective action problems like this.”

    The Democrats did solve the collective action problem. They collectively achieved the outcomes demanded by their owners donors. Nothing will fundamentally change.

  8. fresno dan

    “Trump Facebook ban remains but oversight board rips company policies” [Reuters].
    I am quite torn on this. On the one hand, a corporation that has such a near monopoly (maybe Facebook shouldn’t have been able to buy up so many potential competitors) can defacto banish someone from significant public access rubs me the wrong way.
    Google search:
    How Many Companies Does Facebook Own? Facebook has acquired 78 companies over the past 15 years.

    On the other hand, although it may seem quixotic, Trump’s assertion of a stolen election can IMHO lead to some serious problems. Whatever voting problems we have, I think reality is that Biden won. Trump’s motives are obviously not serious as to make elections more fair, honest, and representative – they are simply to advance Trump. To placate that portion of the population that is delusional, and contemptuous of reality, is to go down a path that will make the Inquisition look like the epitome of rationality.
    Trump has access to media. The MSM does not give access to those advocating a return to slavery, or that women shouldn’t have the vote. Every opinion can be said and held, but not necessarily conveyed by NYT, Facebook, or CNN.

  9. Tom Stone

    I grew up in Piedmont, as my father had.
    Both my Sister and I attended Piedmont public schools, including High School, back in the late sixties and early 70’s.
    “The Bishops” was the male only secret society that fed quite a few into fraternities, skull and bones among them.
    There was something similar for the girls that fed into sororities, but I don’t recall the name
    And the “Approved Dealer” Steve, ran a small string of not very attractive girls and sold mostly pot, a little coke and the usual “shrooms, Peyote buttons, MDMA and acid.
    Steve would encourage HS kids to buy in bulk and sell at the school and then feed them to the full time Narcotics Lieutenant when needed, he was also a general snitch.
    That the HS is behaving this way is no surprise to me.

    1. hunkerdown

      Attend, monitor, why, even “staff”, which he said not a dozen words later, but “to person the camera” is stunningly inappropriate language at any school function and I move to summarily terminate the District’s relationship with the superintendent forthwith and forever.

  10. jr

    Thanks for the photo of that doorway. I love Wisteria! Now I hope the owners of that charming door have access to a decent contractor because having struggled to remove Wisteria from a building’s wall, I discovered it is unbelievably tenacious and destructive. Dig up the big root ball? Plenty of smaller ones around. Love the way it grows up your walls? Talk to my old landlady. She had an entire wall of a brownstone in Park Slope, Brooklyn covered in the stuff, gorgeous in the warm months. Then she discovered it was literally throwing roots into the cracks it had opened in the wall and roof. It was pushing the rain spout away from the building, literally pushing the nails out of the wall. Splitting bricks. Total damage: 15 grand…

    1. Lee

      Thank for the tip. I will continue to admire my neighbor’s wisteria from a distance. I had an extended battle with bamboo that sent out runners and came popping up all over the yard. Another neighbor had a bamboo grove in her back yard that sent out runners that sprouted up through her concrete garage floor and that also did considerable damage to her foundation. Almost everything, good, bad, and indifferent, grows here in California. One of my most gratifying years of living dangerously was spent cutting down monstrously large, frost damaged eucalyptus trees in the SF East Bay hills.

      1. Lee

        I should add, that it was for some unaccountable reason unknown, or ignored that eucalyptus are champions at rapidly resprouting from cut trunks, so that they rapidly regrew more densely than before they were cut and were major contributors to the great East Bay hills conflagration some twenty years later in 1991.

    2. marieann

      I have found that most vines that grow on walls will cause damage. I had euonymous on my brick house, and while the brickwork was OK it had damaged the gutters…also the roots are still causing damage to an interlocking brick pathway.

      The best plants to use near a house are the ones in pots and baskets.
      I love the Wisteria picture though but I am too old to be doing battle with nature

      1. R

        Sadly everything worth growing up a wall needs vigiliantly cutting back once a year and retraining or it it will take over – unless that is your objective….

    3. Eureka Springs

      I’ve been in what I call – the battle of wisteria – for going on 17 years now. Every year at this time. It always ends in a draw at best. If anyone ever finds a way to truly kill it I would love to know how.

  11. Tom Stone

    I have idiosyncratic drug reactions and had an adverse reaction to both the first and second shots of Moderna Vaccine that persists after 11 weeks.
    Both elbows feel like they have been freshly sprained, one more severely than the other.
    Other areas where I have had chronic pain since being hit head on by a drunk ( 30 years ago come June 3)
    are significantly more sensitive, my background pain went from 3 to 4.
    It’s enough to interfere with sleep, however there is little loss of strength and I have full range of motion.
    I played the odds, with my risk profile taking the vaccine was the best bet and it still might prove a winner.

  12. Alfred

    “Microplastics are everywhere — but are they harmful?”

    NATURE, srsly? Better things for better living… through…plastics.

  13. Lee

    “24/7: A Closer Look at security cameras on campus”

    Confound the bastards. Keep wearing your masks, kids.

    Perhaps perversely, I’m starting to become attached to the air of generalized anonymity conferred by everybody wearing masks. Hypothesis: it relieves the brain of the largely subconscious effort we tend to make of constantly reading each other’s facial expressions and at the same time adds a note of alluring mystery to our social interactions.

    1. Angie Neer

      Not very long before the pandemic there were a few articles here about facial recognition being used at boarding gates in airports, and I was fully prepared to start wearing a mask on my next flight because of that. However events overtook me–I haven’t been in an airport since then.

  14. Doc Octagon

    Taibbi is obsessed with covering journalism, exclusively, so, by extension, covering himself as heroic: an iconoclast in every way except when it concerns the Trump presidency. Which, in and of itself, is naïve. Which is essentially his principal criticism of his colleagues. If Taibbi were so concerned with the everyman, there’s always ethnography. But I have yet to see a quote from Joe Lunch-Pail within his columns. Does Jane Goodall complain that every figure she studies is actually a gorilla? They are the environments in which they inhabit.

    1. diptherio

      This is a good summation of some of my recent annoyance with Taibbi and Greenwald.

      “Taibbi is obsessed with covering journalism, exclusively, so, by extension, covering himself as heroic…”

      I don’t know about “exclusively,” but apart from that quibble I think this really nails something important. And not that there isn’t plenty to criticize in journalism, but there does seem to be heavy overtones of navel-gazing in a lot of the critiques. I think maybe it has to do with the current political discourse being so freakin’ personalized, so much about celebrity instead of policy. Maybe it’s a result of the “personal brand” mentality that social media and sites like Patreon and Substack have created (or just exacerbated), encouraging constant self-promotion to stay relevant.

      Some food for thought here, I think.

      1. jhallc

        “Some of the best investigative reporters that we had when I was growing up were basically impossible people, but that’s how they became the reporters that they were. They were relentless, dogged, distrustful, suspicious, and were not team players. That was part of the character make-up of a good investigative reporter — lone-wolf types who were more devoted to seeking the truth than they were to getting social rewards or acclaim from within the organization.”

        The above quote from Matt T. says a lot about the type of reporter he believes he is. He has done a lot of good reporting on many topics over the years. The recent focus on journalism is, I think, a function of the sad state of affairs in the industry these days.

      2. barefoot charley


        The handful of iconoclast journalists who are cultural PMC Democrats, yet don’t drink either red or blue Kool-Aid, are therefore inescapably individual brands (forgive me, I’m corpo-colonized!). You won’t read them or know them without expecting an independent critique of what smug liberals are thinking. There’s no way around independence being personality-driven anymore. And Izzy Stone and Noam Chomsky and Ellsberg and Zinn might suggest that it was ever thus . . .

        1. Jason

          There are those who haven’t succumbed to it. Robert Parry comes to mind. There are others.

      3. Alfred

        Greg Palast just gets on with it, and in a very entertaining way. I have gotten a lot from his work, especially on the Euro. Pepe Escobar is another. They aren’t interested in being liked, however, so they don’t have to obsess about themselves.

    2. Skk

      When crappy journalism in the msm IS the story, and obviously they aren’t covering it then of course Taibbi and Greenwald do their job and investigate it.

    3. djrichard

      Taibbi covered Trump. Just not in the way most of the news industry covered Trump. Matt’s beat is propaganda. So in the context of Trump, why was Trump’s propaganda so seductive to get him elected? Matt covered that. As well as this blog.

      Regarding Joe Lunch-Pail, they weren’t a propaganda player before the internet; they were just on the receiving end. Now they get to be on the sending end too. Were those that were threatened by Trump also threatened by Joe Lunch-Pail? What if Joe Lunch-Pail could be enlisted in the campaign against these threats? Wouldn’t that be interesting to cover?

      Regarding ethnography, it would be pretty cool if Taibbi delved into “The Gift” by Marcel Mauss and it’s treatment of the oceanic potlatch societies. My understanding is that this was the launching point for Baudrillard so would be interesting to see what Matt would make of it. In the absence of trust and relationships bound up in gift giving, is propaganda what fills the void?

  15. stefan

    As my old anthropology professor Wyatt MacGaffey used to say, “There are two kinds of facts: the facts that fit the theory, and the facts that don’t fit the theory. The facts that fit the theory, you keep. And the facts that don’t fit the theory, you throw away.”

    1. km

      Dick Armey famously said “You tell me who did the study and I’ll tell you what results they got.”

      Dick Armey may not be popular on NC, and God knows there is plenty not to like about the man and his policies, but the above statement appears accurate.

    2. The Rev Kev

      Albert Einstein says ‘Hey, I made my career on examining those facts that did not fit the theory – and built a whole new theory which worked better than the old one.’

    3. eg

      This appears adjacent to Sir Humphrey Appleby’s “policy based evidence making”

  16. beatnikpicnic

    “Best possible case scenario; it uses mostly renewable energy to generate the proofs of work…”

    As I’ve been trying to learn a bit about blockchain, I’ve found that several chain protocols are attempting to mitigate proof-of-work’s energy consumption issue by using less energy-intensive alternate consensus mechanisms like proof of stake. This includes the second most well-known token, ETH, which is attempting to move to proof of stake. I suspect KSR assumed some advancement in this direction.

  17. Alex Cox

    Re. science fiction, I think the author of the blockchain book needs to mention the energy waste and environmental consequences, precisely because he is writing SF. Good SF extrapolates from reality, and attempts to address issues and questions which readers will likely have/ask.

    If he ignores the actual consequences of his subject matter, he isn’t writing SF but fantasy or ‘paranormal romance.’

  18. flora

    re: Let’s not kid ourselves. The rules are whatever the platforms say they are.

    Some years ago, comments were made comparing modern political times to the run-up to WWI. I think that’s probably a good comparison, except it isn’t a nations’ alliance vs nations’ alliance competition but a Silicon Valley platforms’ control force vs Western nations’ democracy force competition. imo. It’s the not-West (in the mentally stateless silicon valley guise, as if mailing address corresponds to political outlook) vs the West – aka the Enlightenment values. /heh (or not /heh) My 2 cents.

    1. flora

      Shorter: the Silicon Valley-type techs believe their tech world reach transcends nation statehood rules. So why should they obey the democratically arrived at rules of the democratic nations they grew up in? / ;)

      1. ambrit

        Sadly, I suspect that the Silicon Valley tech overlords think that they are the reason that the tech world is so ‘exceptional.’ Exceptionalism covers for a whole lot of sins.

  19. Robert Hahl

    So if the red wine aged faster at higher speed rather than aging slower; doesn’t that up-end Einstein’s whole theory of relativity?

    1. Tomonthebeach

      I think that Lambert’s remark suggests this is unlikely to be a problem for Einstein when he said: “These guys should go into macroeconomics…” These outer-space connoisseurs should read Doctorow’s article as well.

    2. ambrit

      I suspect a jape here. This observation would properly be about the (in)famous “red shift” seen in stars as they recede away from the observer at high speeds.
      If the same ageing were to be observed in a chablis or a decent port, then scientists would have a problem with astrophysics.

  20. lobeliia

    Re: hyper-hydrating

    Be very careful about over hydrating beyond normal recommendations (i.e being fully hydrated), particularly if taking certain medications (Lasix (generic=flouresimide) being one of them. Sodium deficiency, hyponatremia [a sodium crash in medical slang], of which their are three basic types (see https://www.verywellhealth.com/hyponatremia-overview-1298756 ) – all regarding sodium and water imbalances – can be lethal.

    My anecdotal experience was horridly witnessing someone comatose for two days, with too much water and not enough sodium in their body.

    gotta run

  21. Darthbobber

    That one trick to get workers. Labor power is the only commodity whose price gets the selectively lopsided treatment. I can’t imagine that people whining about a Camry shortage because they offered dealers 11 grand and didn’t get to drive off in a new one would get a response other than laughter. Or opining about how greedy the bakers had become because whole grain bread wasn’t moving for 75 cents a loaf.

    Only labor power is expected to be available at prices below the cost of replicating it.

  22. The Rev Kev

    “The Untold Story of How Jeff Bezos Beat the Tabloids”

    ‘It’s better to assume trust and find out that you are wrong than to always assume people are trying to screw you over.’

    Sometimes the satire writes itself. Does he really believe this? Bezos’s whole history is one of screwing over everybody that he came across, especially those people that wanted to sell stuff through his company Amazon. If I ever wanted to sell stuff on Amazon, then I would have to go with the saying-

    ‘It’s better to assume Bezos/Amazon are trying to screw you over and find out that you are wrong than to always assume trust.’

    1. tegnost

      they’re just trolling us…
      bezos puts trackers on his minions, that’s not an indicator of a trusting human form (sorry, can’t bring myself to say “soul” when referring to qualities bezos possesses [possesses? really? how little did he buy it for, and how dear is the selling price…])

  23. allan

    Projected land ice contributions to twenty-first-century sea level rise [Nature]

    The land ice contribution to global mean sea level rise has not yet been predicted1 using ice sheet and glacier models for the latest set of socio-economic scenarios, nor using coordinated exploration of uncertainties arising from the various computer models involved. Two recent international projects generated a large suite of projections using multiple models2,3,4,5,6,7,8, but primarily used previous-generation scenarios9 and climate models10, and could not fully explore known uncertainties. Here we estimate probability distributions for these projections under the new scenarios11,12 using statistical emulation of the ice sheet and glacier models. We find that limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius would halve the land ice contribution to twenty-first-century sea level rise, relative to current emissions pledges. The median decreases from 25 to 13 centimetres sea level equivalent (SLE) by 2100, with glaciers responsible for half the sea level contribution. … However, under risk-averse (pessimistic) assumptions, Antarctic ice loss could be five times higher, increasing the median land ice contribution to 42 centimetres SLE under current policies and pledges, with the 95th percentile projection exceeding half a metre even under 1.5 degrees Celsius warming. This would severely limit the possibility of mitigating future coastal flooding. …

    Which calls for an appropriate musical accompaniment.

  24. marym

    Arizona Cyber Ninja “audit”

    “[AZ Secretary of State] Hobbs warns @ArizonaAudit of 13 concerns identified by her observers. Just-filed settlement agreement gives Bennett/Senate GOP 48 hours to correct or be hauled back into court…”

    Link to Hobbs’ letter: https://www.documentcloud.org/documents/20698739-hobbs-5521-letter-to-ken-bennett

    “The U.S. Department of Justice is asking [AZ State] Senate President Karen Fann to explain what steps she’s taking to make sure the election audit she ordered doesn’t violate federal laws prohibiting voter intimidation and requiring ballots be preserved.”

    Hobbs’ letter gives a good description of concerns about accuracy, transparency, chain of custody, etc. though it doesn’t go into detail about the assorted conspiracies that some of the procedures are supposedly investigating.

  25. Tom Collins' Moscow Mule

    “Be it Resolved: The Mainstream Media is Dying, and that’s OK. Matt Taibbi Debates Ben Bradlee, Jr.”

    I suppose that is one way to look at things. But, I thought all of this had been thoroughly dissected and laid bare long ago. For example [Or Ben Bagdikian],

    “What Makes Mainstream Media Mainstream”


    Where we are informed that, “But the audience is the product. The product is privileged people, just like the people who are writing the newspapers, you know, top-level decision-making people in society. You have to sell a product to a market, and the market is, of course, advertisers (that is, other businesses). Whether it is television or newspapers, or whatever, they are selling audiences. Corporations sell audiences to other corporations. In the case of the elite media, it’s big businesses.”

    Two decades and more later, everyone is still tying their own semantic knots and going around in circles, but the bottom line remains the same and that bottom line is the capturing of potential customer eyeballs and “selling audiences.”

  26. marym

    Eviction moratorium:

    “Update: The federal eviction moratorium remains in place for now — the judge who vacated it in a ruling this morning (see thread) has agreed to pause her order for at least 1.5 weeks to consider DOJ’s request to keep the case on hold while they appeal to the DC Circuit”


  27. dk

    EXECUTIVE SUMMARY: Melons reduce acidity that can contribute to muscle aches and other generic symptomatic complaints.

    I got my second Pfizer jab on Monday, no effects at all, but this time I had prepared.

    After the first one I had a severe flareup of the shooting pains I get from a damaged spinal nerve. It’s intermittent excruciating pain that lasts 1-10 seconds, at intervals between 0.5 and 5 minutes. Very difficult to sleep though.

    But I already know that this happens when my blood pH is too low. So I bought a cantaloupe and ate some slices, that raised my pH beyond the threshold. The pains stopped within the hour.

    So before the second jab I got some fresh melon slices at the supermarket and noshed on them before and after the shot.

    Easy peasy.

  28. VietnamVet

    The mitigation vs elimination graph is the visualization of the neo-liberal-cons flushing government in the West down the drain. What is haunting is that the dysfunction continues. No national public health program to address coronavirus variants and jab hesitancy.

    The GOP theater being played out by Liz Cheney is the duopoly political establishment fighting against an insurrection who deny that the pandemic is exists. Paid incompetents verses crazy radicals. Proponents of good government are sidelined, ignored. War, plague, famine, and climate change are way above the current western rulers skill set.

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