2:00PM Water Cooler 7/28/2021

By Lambert Strether of Corrente.

Patient readers, I’m going to add more material under Politics shortly. –lambert UPDATE All done!

Bird Song of the Day

* * *


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:

South rising.


Case count by United States regions:

And so we barrel toward parity with the second peak, back in July 2020…. Projecting linearly, I’d guess we’d reach the new peak by early next week. NOTE: Looks like I was too conservative! (Note that these numbers are if anything understated, since the CDC does not collect breakthrough infections unless they involve hospitalization, and encourages health administrators in the states and localities not to collect the data either.)

Covid cases top ten states: for the last four weeks (hat tip, alert reader Lou Anton):

So long, President DeSantis.

NEW From CDC: “Community Profile Report July 28 2021” (PDF), “Rapid Riser” counties, this release:

More red: Florida, California, Acela Corridor. The last two certainly doesn’t fit the “Blame Bubba” narrative. Not a banjo to be heard. Last release:

(Red means getting worse, green means bad but getting better. This chart updates Tuesdays and Fridays, presumbly by end-of-day.)

Test positivity:

South running away with the field. But other regions now playing catch-up.

Hospitalization (CDC):

I do not like the increase in 65+ hospitalization.

Deaths (Our World in Data):

I do not like the rise in deaths, slight though it may be.

Covid cases worldwide:

Every region is trending up. US sphere of influence under the Monroe Doctrine not doing so well.

* * *


“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

Capitol Seizure

On the Whitmer kidnapping dry run case:

I’m relieved to hear that the 1/6 Commission Chair Bennie Thompson’s subpoena list will include FBI officials. Oh, wait, I didn’t hear that. Has anyone?

“Five takeaways from a bracing day of Jan. 6 testimony” [The Hill]. “The panel hearing the testimony was unusually united — especially for present-day Washington. It included seven Democrats and two Republicans all handpicked by Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.). All were critical of former President Trump, who was impeached for inciting a mob to attack the Capitol. No defenders of Trump were present after Pelosi rejected two of House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy’s (R-Calif.) choices.” • That’s not the takeaway, though. One of the takeaways: “Democrats picked their witnesses carefully Each of the four officers selected to testify before the committee had previously shared gripping accounts of their experiences with various news outlets.” • I can’t read anymore. I feel unwell. I have no issue with any of the rioters being prosecuted — none of the charges, AFAIK, reach anywhere near sedition — but I know liberal Democrat hysteria and manipulation when I see it. and that’s what this is. For example:

Democrats think 1/6 is the worst ever because it caught them right in the feels (i.e., symbol manipulation). To anyone with a memory better than a goldfish, 1/6 is not the worst ever.

Biden Administration

“Republicans signal they will advance bipartisan infrastructure deal” [Politico]. “Senate Republicans are increasingly likely to move forward on a bipartisan infrastructure framework, with a vote planned as soon as Wednesday night and an agreement on key issues…. The group, led by Sens. Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.) and Portman, announced a framework with President Joe Biden last month that would include nearly $600 billion in new spending on roads, bridges and broadband. But translating that framework into legislative text has proven challenging.”

UPDATE “Washington is a lobbying boom town under Biden” [Roll Call]. “It’s worth noting that individual contribution limits, which adjust for inflation, are $2,900 per election this cycle.” • Unlike, say, the minimum wage. Sometimes things are just so crystal clear, aren’t they?

UPDATE “The COVID Delta Variant Is Creating Pandemonium in Washington” [Vanity Fair]. “The Biden White House, whose campaign to bring the coronavirus to heel has been hobbled by the MAGA right, is racing to keep this latest surge from derailing the progress it has made.” • “Racing” is one of those words I watch out for. Generally, it signals that efforts are being made to solve a problem that is not described in the article that uses the word, in this case the wretched performance of America’s public health establishment (detailed by Yves here), which Biden owns, now that he’s been in office [checks notes] 189 days, and his choice heads the CDC.

UPDATE “Americans’ optimism about country’s direction over next year drops nearly 20 points since May: POLL” [ABC]. “A majority — 55% — of the public say they are pessimistic about the direction of the country, a marked change from the roughly one-third (36%) that said the same in an ABC News/Ipsos poll published May 2. In the early May survey, Americans were more optimistic than pessimistic by a 28-percentage point margin. Optimism is now under water by 10 points. Looking ahead to the next 12 months, fewer than half — 45% — now report feeling optimistic about the way things are going, a significant drop from about two-thirds (64%) in the May poll. The decline in optimism has occurred across the board among Democrats, Republicans and independents. Optimism is down about 20 points among Democrats and Republicans and down 26 points among independents.” • I don’t know how this translates to 2022, let alone 2024. I do know that you can’t been something with nothing, that Biden is something, and that the only Republican that isn’t nothing is Trump.

UPDATE “Joe Biden’s approval rating simply hasn’t moved in six months” [CNN]. “Right now, Biden’s average approval rating rests at around 53%, no matter how you calculate said average…. Biden, though, hasn’t really picked up any new supporters since the election. His approval rating matches his vote share (51%) and favorable rating in the exit polls (52%) nearly perfectly…. If Biden was hoping that his efforts in the first six months of his presidency would bring over new supporters, he is mistaken — at least for the moment. Of course, Biden would probably accept not gaining any supporters, as long as he doesn’t lose any. His approval rating is still above water, and that’s certainly better than his predecessor.”

UPDATE “The Kavanaugh Conspiracy: Demands To Reopen Investigation Ignore Both Key Facts and Law” [Jonathan Turley]. “The disclosure that the FBI received thousands of uninvestigated ‘tips’ against now-Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh also led columnists to characterize the investigation as anything from ‘laughable‘ to ‘lying‘ in a confirmation cover-up.” • I think the Democrats need the FBI too much to carry this very far; but I don’t think it’s a coincidence that this story popped up when Roe v. Wade appeared to be on the Supreme Court’s docket.

UPDATE “Biden admin says ‘long COVID-19’ could qualify as a disability” [The Hill]. • A small piece of sanity. But small.

UPDATE “Hobby Lobby forfeits ancient tablet with the “Epic of Gilgamesh” to Justice Department” [CBS]. “The forfeiture is part of an ongoing process to return thousands of clay tablets and bullae that were illegally smuggled out of Iraq and purchased by Hobby Lobby. The DOJ alleges that the Gilgamesh Dream Tablet was illegally shipped to the U.S. from London by an antique dealer and cuneiform expert in 2003. Once in the U.S., the tablet was cleaned and experts were able to identify the cuneiform writing as part of the Gilgamesh epic, written in Akkadian. The tablet was then sold in 2007 with a “false letter of provenance,” the DOJ claims, which accompanied the tablet as it was sold several times over the next few years, eventually landing at an auction house back in London. In 2014, the auction house sold the tablet to Hobby Lobby for $1.6 million. Hobby Lobby purchased the tablet and thousands of others like it with the intent of displaying some of them in the Museum of the Bible, which is funded by the family of the arts and crafts chain’s founder, David Green.” • Another small good thing.

Democrats en Deshabille

“Hillary Clinton-endorsed Candidate Shontel Brown Faces Potential Ethics Probe” [Newsweek]. “Under Ohio law, public officials are prohibited from knowingly authorizing or using their authority or influence “to secure authorization of any public contract in which the public official, a member of the public official’s family, or any of the public official’s business associates has an interest.” Violation of the statute is a felony, and penalties can include prison time…. The Intercept reported in April that Brown, who had pledged to recuse herself “as necessary” from contracts involving her partner, Mark Perkins, had used her position as Cuyahoga County Commissioner to help steer $17 million in contracts to Perk. Perk was founded with Perkins’ uncle but is now owned by the Cifani family, who have long-established business ties to the Perkins family and who have supported Brown’s campaigns for office. The Intercept noted that in February 2017, weeks after approval of one of those contracts for $7 million, Perk hosted a fundraiser for Brown’s reelection campaign. According to emails provided to The Daily Poster, in April the Intercept’s story was forwarded to the Ohio Attorney General’s office. The following month, an official in the attorney general’s office noted in an email that she discussed the matter with an attorney in the state auditor’s office. “We are both of the opinion that it makes sense for the Auditor’s office to review, and we also believe that this might end up being a case that is referred to [the] Ethics Commission,” the official wrote.” • I don’t know how this looks to Ohio voters on the ground, though. Is Ohio otherwise a bastion of good government?

“In the Race Against Nina Turner, GOP Donors Fund Shontel Brown” [The Intercept]. “With Clinton and Sanders again pitted against each other, this time via state-level surrogates, the special election race for Ohio’s 11th Congressional District has been described as a reflection of “party tensions.” In addition to Clinton, Democratic establishment figures like Rep. Jim Clyburn, D-S.C., and well-funded super PACs have rallied behind Brown, while progressives like Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., and Justice Democrats have coalesced to support Turner. Undergirding these tensions are donors with long histories of support for Republican candidates who are now funding Brown’s campaign, either directly or via the political action committee Democratic Majority for Israel, a major backer of her campaign. Most notable among them is New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft, a close ally of Donald Trump who donated $1 million to Trump’s inauguration and has supported a slew of Republican candidates.” • And there’s a long, long list of Republican donors. Why, it’s almost like liberal Democrat and Republicans are on the same team! (And you can just imagine the pearl-clutching if a Trump ally was donating to Turner. Yet, oddly, the major media are silent…)

Obama Legacy

“Obama setting up big bash to celebrate his 60th” [The Hill]. “The former president, who has spent recent weeks at his home on the posh island, is expected to be joined by dozens of friends at his oceanside abode, set on nearly 30 acres. ‘It’s going to be big,’ said one source. It’s unclear who will be in attendance but one source said many A-listers and friends of the Obamas, including Oprah Winfrey and George Clooney, scored invites.” • David Frum? Liz Cheney? I took my potatoes / Down to be mashed / And I made it on over / To that million dollar bash.

Republican Funhouse

UPDATE “McConnell aims to boost U.S. Republican vaccination rate by countering ‘bad advice'” [Reuters]. “‘Not enough people are vaccinated,’ said McConnell, a polio survivor. ‘So we’re trying to get them to reconsider and get back on the path to get us to some level of herd immunity.’ McConnell, who was vaccinated for COVID-19 in December and has been promoting vaccinations in public remarks ever since, plans to run 60-second radio ads on more than 100 Kentucky radio stations in the coming days promoting the vaccine with money from his re-election campaign.”

Realignment and Legitimacy

Cop-loving liberals (1):

IMNSHO, Obama gained the loyalty of the intelligence community when he famously “looked forward, not backward” on torture, when he should have prosecuted torturers for war crime. The same dynamic applied to the FIRE sector after the Crash. It only makes sense that the Democrats would add police to the quiverfull of institutions under their dominion. good job. And never mind all the Black people who got whacked. Better training and more money will take care of that [hollow laughter]. So looking forward to 2022.

Cop-loving liberals (2):

UPDATE “Democrats’ New Midterm Strategy: Knocking the GOP for Vote Against Police Funding” [The Intercept]. “As the 2022 midterm elections draw closer, Democrats in Congress are taking on a new strategy: blaming Republicans for voting to defund the police. And according to Democratic aides, the change in messaging is coming straight from the office of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi…. .Localities have started to spend the first rounds of funds released in [the American Rescue Plan] to hire more police officers, retain existing officers, and keep other first responders from being laid off, which means that Democrats now ‘actually have the ability to talk about specific localities where people are being kept on the police force,’ said one senior Democratic aide who spoke on the condition of anonymity.”

Stats Watch

There are no official statistics of interest today.

* * *

Real Estate: “Real Estate Agents Target Record $100 Billion as Home Sales Boom” [Bloomberg]. “The hot U.S. housing market is poised to deliver a banner year for real estate agents. Commission revenue — the cut that brokers collect for helping buy and sell homes — is on track to surge 16% in 2021, surpassing $100 billion for the first time… The increase comes despite a slight dip in the rate that agents are charging customers. In 2021, the average commission rate is expected to be 4.94% — 20 basis points lower than two decades ago, according to Knock…. While the increase in fees is boon for agents, it puts a spotlight on a revenue model that has drawn scrutiny. Earlier this month, the U.S. Justice Department pulled out of an antitrust settlement reached during the Trump administration with the National Association of Realtors, saying it intends to proceed with a probe of the organization.”

Shipping: “United Parcel Service is turning lower shipment volume into bigger profits. The package giant’s second-quarter sales rose 14.5% and profit jumped more than 45%…. despite a 2.9% drop in shipments in its core U.S. operations” [Wall Street Journal]. “The results show the impact of CEO Carol Tomé’s ‘better, not bigger’ strategy and put UPS among a growing stream of companies that are focused on maintaining strong profit margins rather than pure expansion. UPS is looking to manage its operations tightly as growing e-commerce demand sends a flood of parcels into packed distribution networks. UPS is taking on more small- and medium-size shippers, which tend to be more profitable than larger clients. UPS says its operations also reflect new shifts in the economy.”

Shipping: “The supply chain for jet fuel is looking more fragile, and airlines are hoping it doesn’t crack. Carriers are grappling with shortages of jet fuel at some smaller airports in the western U.S…. adding a new challenge to an aviation sector that has been whipsawed during the pandemic by tumbling demand that has now turned into a travel boom” [Wall Street Journal]. “The rush by passengers back to airports has collided with a shortage of labor and logistical challenges. So far, airports hurt by the fuel shortage are smaller sites in the West. But executives fear the factors limiting distribution, including a lack of truck drivers to haul the fuel and insufficient pipeline capacity, could spread the problems to other sites. The supply is also being affected by the wildfires rolling across western states, with fuel now being diverted to aircraft involved in fighting the blazes.” • If the supply chain for aircraft fuel is that tight….

Tech? “Google promises its days as a cold-eyed API-killer are behind it” [The Register]. “Google has therefore created three “tenets” for how it manages API lifecycles: “No feature may be removed (or changed in a way that is not backwards-compatible) for as long as customers are actively using it”; “Customers will receive a minimum of one year’s notice of an impending change, during which time the feature will continue to operate without issue”; and “Any change to an API will be reviewed by a centralized board of product and engineering leads who conduct ‘a rigorous product lifecycle evaluation’.” • Hmm. A magic board. Like Facebook’s.

Mr. Market: “China Convenes Banks in Bid to Restore Calm After Stock Rout” [Bloomberg]. “China’s securities regulator convened a virtual meeting with executives of major investment banks on Wednesday night, attempting to ease market fears about Beijing’s crackdown on the private education industry. The hastily arranged call, which included attendees from several major international banks, was led by China Securities Regulatory Commission Vice Chairman Fang Xinghai, people familiar with the matter said, asking not to be named discussing private information. Some bankers left with the message that the education policies were targeted and not intended to hurt companies in other industries, the people said. It’s the latest sign that Chinese authorities have become uncomfortable with a selloff that sent the nation’s key stock indexes to the brink of a bear market on Wednesday morning…. The step gives reassurance that the tutoring industry decision was a unique case and ‘should slowly begin to restore confidence if they can convince the market that the regulatory developments are not an attack on profitable enterprises,’ [Adam Montanaro, a London-based emerging-market fund manager at Aberdeen Standard Investments.] added.”

Mr. Market: “Delta Variant vs Inflation” [Barry Ritholtz, The Big Picture]. “A couple of weeks ago, we discussed The Economic Risks from Anti-Vaxxers. It was a deep dive into the risks to the economic recovery presented by those who for a variety of reasons (most of which are nonsensical) refuse to get jabbed. That view was — briefly — an outlier position. It only took 2 weeks for the danger of the new Covid-19 variants to persuade 63% of institutional readers of the danger from the Delta Variant. The chart above is (via Jim Reid) reveals that Delta ‘overtook inflation worries as the largest risk to markets’ — now far more worrisome than inflation at 42%. It is just a reminder of how quickly sentiment changes.”

Mr. Market: “What Does the Delta Variant Mean for the U.S. Economy?” [The New Yorker]. “On Friday, July 23rd, I spoke with two veteran economists who have been following developments closely since the start of the pandemic. They both expressed optimism that the Delta variant wouldn’t derail the recovery, but they also expressed some serious concern, especially if the spread of the variant persists into the fall. Mark Zandi, the chief economist at Moody’s Analytics, told me that he and his colleagues are still expecting a ‘very strong second half of the year.’ More specifically, they are predicting that G.D.P. will expand at an annualized rate of about six per cent, and total employment will rise by more than five hundred thousand a month, on average. For the variant to have a major impact on G.D.P. and employment, Zandi said, businesses would have to close down again and people would need to go back to sheltering in place, both of which he considers very unlikely. Moody’s Analytics has constructed a ‘Back-to-Normal Index,’ which tracks real-time economic data, such as restaurant bookings, the number of people flying, and initial claims for unemployment benefits. At the national level, there is little sign that the variant is affecting these statistics, Zandi told me. However, the index has dropped in some hard-hit states, such as Florida, where case numbers are rising fast and the number of hospitalizations has returned to levels last seen in February. Ian Shepherdson, the chief economist at Pantheon Macroeconomics, pointed out that many of the states where the Delta variant is spreading rapidly are low in both population and G.D.P. ‘To move the needle on a macro level, things will have to get a lot worse,’ he said. ‘I’m still bullish on the second half of the year because I don’t think Delta is going to go exponential nationally. If it just moves up fairly steadily, and it doesn’t lead to a big wave in hospitalizations, I think most people will be fairly relaxed about it, and won’t change their behavior much.'” • Shepherdson should look at the county data (see the #COVID19 data) before pushing the much-beloved narrative that only the “optimistic, diverse, dynamic, moving forward” areas of the country matter.

* * *

Today’s Fear & Greed Index: 27 Fear (previous close: 26 Fear) [CNN]. One week ago: 25 (Extreme Fear). (0 is Extreme Fear; 100 is Extreme Greed). Last updated Jul 28 at 12:26pm.

The Biosphere

“The Heat, Floods and Fire We Don’t Hear Enough About” [Bloomberg]. “In the past week alone, 380,000 people have been evacuated due to floods in China’s Henan province, 30 villages in Uganda were affected as rivers overflowed and 25 people died in landslides after Mumbai was hit by big storms that also inundated regions surrounding the megacity. Temperatures in Turkey and North Africa approached 50 degrees Celsius (122 Fahrenheit), while South Africa and Brazil froze. Siberia is battling wildfires again. Finland experienced 31 consecutive days with maximum temperatures above 25°C, the longest heatwave ever recorded in the country… All these calamities are part of a constellation of extreme weather events that paint a picture of a world that’s already warmed 1.2°C from pre-industrial times. There’s no doubt it will get warmer.”

“Climate change wreaks havoc on the electricity grid” [High Country News]. “[T]he heat’s biggest — and perhaps most consequential — infrastructure victim was the vast electricity grid that powers nearly every aspect of modern life, including potentially life-saving air conditioning. Extreme weather exacerbated by climate change can mess with the grid in any number of ways: Cold can freeze gas lines, while hurricanes topple transmission towers. But heat, particularly when combined with hydropower-depleting drought, has an especially deleterious effect, wreaking havoc on the power system just when the warmer climes need it most. Meanwhile, power plants — the fossil-fueled “heart” of the grid — make climate change worse and the planet even warmer, creating a feedback loop that resembles a gigantic electrical monster swallowing its own tail.”

Health Care

“CDC Confirms That Viral Loads In Vaccinated People With Delta May Be Infectious, So Masks Are Necessary” [SFist (RS)]. “So, again, we’re in a place of wondering who to believe.” • This is, basically, a good round-up of differences of opinion among accounts a lot of people follow.

A thread on Delta in Israel:

This is above my paygrade. Perhaps expert readers will comment.

“Higher viral load drives infrequent SARS-CoV-2 transmission between asymptomatic residence hall roommates” [Journal of Infectious Diseases]. “Although the infection rate was lower in single rooms (10%) than in multiple-occupancy rooms (19%), inter-roommate transmission only occurred ~20% of the time. Cases were usually asymptomatic at the time of detection. Notably, individuals who likely transmitted had an average viral load ~6.5-fold higher than individuals who did not (mean Cq 26.2 vs 28.9). Although diagnosed students moved to isolation rooms, there was no difference in time-to-isolation between cases with or without inter-roommate transmission. This analysis argues that inter-roommate transmission occurs infrequently in residence halls and provides strong correlative evidence that viral load is proportional to transmission probability.” • That does not seem like a remarkable result to me. Am I missing something?

UPDATE “Life in a Half-Vaccinated Country” (interview) [The New Yorker]. Interview with Ashish Jha, the dean of the School of Public Health at Brown University. One interesting nugget from Jha: “I find it incredibly puzzling what exactly the F.D.A. is doing. The F.D.A. says that it typically takes them six months or sometimes as much as a year to fully approve a new product. And, generally, we appreciate that. There are two components to that. One is that they want to see a large amount of data, and they want to go through that carefully, and I think that’s essential. Then the second is that there’s a process, which can take a while. This is a global emergency, and while all of us want to make sure that the F.D.A. does its job, most of us also feel that just operating on standard procedures may not be the right thing to do here, and that there are things that can be sped up. Just as with the development of vaccines, we didn’t cut any corners. We did all the steps, but we did it much, much faster. The F.D.A. has to go much, much faster.”

The 420

“Official: New Mexico likely to run out of cannabis after legal sales begin” [Santa Fe New Mexican]. “The head of the state agency charged with overseeing New Mexico’s upcoming recreational cannabis industry told lawmakers to prepare for the ‘Krispy Kreme syndrome.’ ‘It’s highly likely we will run out of cannabis in the first week, if not the first two weeks’ after legal sales begin, Linda Trujillo, superintendent of the Regulation and Licensing Department, said Monday during a hearing before the Legislature’s Economic Development and Policy Committee. Comparing expectations of the new market, expected to start by April, to reports of people waiting in line for hours before the opening of a new Krispy Kreme franchise, Trujillo said the initial demand will diminish over time.” • What, the people are lining up for something they’ve never tasted before? Really?

Groves of Academe

Wowsers, Texas:

Sports Desk

“Paris Sportif: The Contagious Attraction of Parkour” [MIT Press Reader (nvl)]. “[P]arkour, which was invented in the Paris suburb of Lisses in the 1980s. It was inspired by Hébertisme, a method of obstacle course training first introduced to the French Navy in 1910 by Georges Hébert. David Belle learned the principles of Hébertisme from his father, Raymond, who had been exposed to it at a military school in Vietnam. David, along with a friend, Sébastien Foucan, then adapted those principles, originally conceived for natural environments, to the suburban architecture of their surroundings. Over time, parkour has incorporated techniques from tumbling, gymnastics, and capoeira, resulting in a striking blend of military power and balletic artistry. Parkour involves confronting an urban map with an embodied experience of urban space. It is often defined as moving from points A to B in the most efficient way possible, and parkour practitioners, called traceurs, often depict themselves as trailblazers identifying routes through the city that cartography does not capture. Traceurs sometimes evoke the fantasy of tracing a straight line on the map and finding a way to turn it into a path, although in practice, they more often work at a single point on the map — a park, a rooftop, an esplanade — and end a session back where they started.” • I remember some really hard core post-Soviet wasteland Russian parkour videos, but this is the best i can find:

Class Warfare

“Straight White Male: The Lowest Difficulty Setting There Is” [John Scalzi, Whatever]. From 2012. This influential essay maps gaming concepts on what today has become identity politics today. What interests me is that “Wealthy” is not “a difficulty setting”; in other words, Scalzi erases class. I wonder if our gamer readership would take a look at this essay and tell me if my perception is correct.

News of the Wired

Too soon, much too soon:

“Building an antilibrary: the power of unread books” [Ness Labs]. “Tsundoku (積ん読) is a beautiful Japanese word describing the habit of acquiring books but letting them pile up without reading them. I used to feel guilty about this tendency, and would strive to only buy new books once I had finished the ones I owned. However, the concept of the antilibrary has completely changed my mindset when it comes to unread books. Unread books can be as powerful as the ones we have read, if we choose to consider them in the right light… Instead of a celebration of everything you know, an antilibrary is an ode to everything you want to explore. The vastness of the unknown can feel terrifying, which is why many people feel uncomfortable with the idea of accumulating books they haven’t read. But embracing the unknown is what drives discovery. As Scottish scientist James Clerk Maxwell once said: Thoroughly conscious ignorance is the prelude to every real advance in science.” An antilibrary is a reminder of everything we don’t know.” • That is a great Maxwell quote!

* * *

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: “The sky was overcast, making for low (or should I say, ‘no’) contrast. This is a hibiscus flower with a desert fern tree background in our front yard. ”

* * *

Readers: Water Cooler is a standalone entity not covered by the recently concluded and — thank you! — successful annual NC fundraiser. So if you see a link you especially like, or an item you wouldn’t see anywhere else, please do not hesitate to express your appreciation in tangible form. Remember, a tip jar is for tipping! Regular positive feedback both makes me feel good and lets me know I’m on the right track with coverage. When I get no donations for five or ten days I get worried. More tangibly, a constant trickle of donations helps me with expenses, and I factor in that trickle when setting fundraising goals:

Here is the screen that will appear, which I have helpfully annotated.

If you hate PayPal, you can email me at lambert [UNDERSCORE] strether [DOT] corrente [AT] yahoo [DOT] com, and I will give you directions on how to send a check. Thank you!2:00PM Water Cooler 6/8/2021

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
This entry was posted in Guest Post, Water Cooler on by .

About Lambert Strether

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


  1. JTMcPhee

    That 1/6 tearjerking performance by the DC cops and crocodile-teared Congresswimps reminded me of the disgustingly staged performances of one Oliver North, unindicted co-conspirator.

      1. JTMcPhee

        The importance of appearing earnest. Reagan had the same skill set, his being that little “I’m telling you straight” twist of the head and the asymmetrical smile…

        “There you go again”isms all the way home.

      2. Pelham

        Avoiding both-sidesism, it appears that left-wing activists got pretty much a free pass from law enforcement all around the country last summer, leaving billions of dollars in damage to both public and private property. And as for those “rehearsals” in state capitals, how many were activated by FBI infiltrators?

      3. lambert strether

        You think the Democrats adding cops to their quiverfull of institutions is super-easy critical thinking? You do you, champ.

        Incidentally, the only person to get whacked on 1/6 was Ashli Babbit. To be fair, cops whack people rather a lot, especially people in the much-beloved Democrat base, but that inconvenient fact is being carefully airbrushed away, as the Democrats gird themselves for the midterms, in which this maudlin circus of feels is playimg such a large role.

      4. rowlf

        Remember how Ollie North had that little catch in his voice?

        Nervous tic when a lie was being told?

        I’m surprised the DC police statements left out the incoming mortar fire and the Russian airstrikes on their position. I will admit they did a good job of keeping the television and radio stations from being seized.

        1. The Rev Kev

          So did those cops facing the BLM rioters last year, especially the ones that burnt out a police station. So where is their commission?

              1. m sam

                1/6 is a “nothing burger” BLM protests “violent mob that caused our cities to turn to post-apocalyptic ruin.” I’m trying to keep this all straight… on a supposedly left-leaning blog? I mean, I just don’t get it. I know form my own experience that the BLM “our cities were turned to rubble” narrative is bs. But in trying to be objective, the best I can come up with is “nonsense works both ways.” But all this 1/6 “FBI plot” “Crocodile tears” narrative seems like, uh, groping in some pretty bleak/absurd waters (and sorry in advance to any Tucker fans, but I won’t trust him any more than I can trust Maddow, he is a media personality and nothing more).

                I mean, I thought Russiagate was bad because conspiracy theories were foisted on the public as matters of fact. Am I wrong, or is the FBI running something in some Brooklyn in cellar of a Brooklyn pizza parlor?

                1. Ben Dalton

                  I suppose this drama and hyperbole is too much even for a left-leaning blog, that’s why. More disinformation than information in this whole piziness..

                  1. The Rev Kev

                    So everything’s going to plan! :)

                    ‘When everything Americans believe is false, our misinformation campaign will be complete.’

                    William Casey, CIA Agent Head under Reagan

        2. neo-realist

          And a bigoted mob at that, one black cop was called the N-word about 20 times. The republican id on display without the subtleties of the southern strategy rhetoric.

          1. Lambert Strether Post author

            > And a bigoted mob at that, one black cop was called the N-word about 20 times. The republican id on display without the subtleties of the southern strategy rhetoric.

            I agree that bigots should be whacked by cops. It’s the only way to be sure.

            Adding, oh come on: A fight over housing segregation is dividing one of America’s most liberal states Vox. The headline is a little miracle, since it implies this would be surprising in any way. And you can bet the “In this house…” signs are thick on the ground.

        3. chris

          Perhaps some changes to that statement are in order? The capitol police decided to not prepare for a rowdy crowd that they knew had a high potential for violence despite having prior notice and sufficient resources to handle the situation. This resulted in minimum damages only because the people in the mob, while obviously violent and did not obey lawful commands from officials on scene, was not prepared for their successful penetration of the capitol area buildings and was largely unarmed.

          1. Yves Smith

            Not only (among many other lapses) did they not call members of the force in for overtime, which shocked many, but they refused an offer of help from the DC Police. I maintain that 20 cops on horses and nothing would have happened. Mounted police with billy clubs are intimidating and can inflict tons of pain on those stupid enough not to back off.

          2. Lambert Strether Post author

            > was not prepared for their successful penetration of the capitol area buildings and was largely unarmed

            Well, let’s be fair. The real insurrectionists were off seizing the radio station and deploying the rebel troops. Oh, wait…

    1. farragut

      Not to mention, if the “Insurrection of Jan 6” (imagine that phrase intoned by James Earl Jones, accompanied by sombre music befitting such a traumatic event) was such an assault on democracy, why did it take six full months before hearings were convened? Pure theater, and a bad one at that.

      1. JTMcPhee

        Like with Ollie North, when it took six months to prep him with acting coaches and rehearsals and to get the Narrative Choir singing in tune. And what he and the rest of his gang did was an actual “direct threat,” indeed a frontal attack, on what was supposed to be “our democracy.”

        If this Empire can in any way said to have agency (other than CIAFBIDHS, etc.), “it” deserves defenestration.

        Will the hypocrisy and evil ever stick in enough craws to choke it? Not holding my breath, of course.

      1. HotFlash

        Jay Gould updated: I can hire people to get half of the country to kill the other half.

      2. The Rev Kev

        ‘Also takes a partisan and identity politics spin’

        Got that right. I saw headlines yesterday that were hitting all the bases. Some were saying that cops were testifying, another that a black cop was testifying, while another that a Latino cop was testifying. All MSM sources of course.

    2. dcblogger

      Oliver North’s opera was about diverting attention from the fact that he had committed very serious crime. The cops of coping with the aftermath of an horrific experience. I don’t get the need to minimize what happened.

        1. dcblogger

          you charge the US Capitol you get shot. The wonder is that they did not all get mowed down. Any lefty mob would have been mowed down.

          1. Katniss Everdeen

            Like all the blm arsonists / looters who were “detained” for an hour and a half and released with apologies.

            Give it up. There’s no comparison, and you can’t gin one up after the fact.

          2. The Rev Kev

            Actually you bring up an interesting point. What if this had been a BLM invasion of the Capital Building? We know for a fact that the FBI had the Jan 6 rioters heavily infiltrated, including actual leaders, so it would have been the same with the BLM movement. What if they had been goosed to go into the building with Capital Police opening up the barriers and eventually standing aside with not a reinforcement in sight? Would there have been any shootings? Any public Commissions like now? How would the Democrats treated that day? So many questions.

            1. GERMO

              It’s not like only now, after six months people are asking, rhetorically, “what if it had been BLM protesters?”


              It’s just that over the course of six months the question seems to be getting asked more and more disingenuously all the time. Let’s face it, odds are the National Guard would have been there before the rally down the street even started, for one thing.

          3. HotFlash

            No ma’am, they would have been tear-gassed and MUCH earlier. The Keystone Kops could only keep it up for 10min, and they had to rehearse. The guy who shot Ashli B in the neck should be fired and never, ever permitted to carry anything more lethal than a staple remover. Security guards at WalMart face worse on Black Friday. BTW, doesn’t DHS or somebody have unmarked vans?

      1. Katniss Everdeen

        So, are there cops that DON’T “cope” with horrific experiences? I’d imagine child abuse and human trafficking are pretty soul-crushing.

        If you’re looking for the life of an accountant, be one.

        1. FluffytheObeseCat

          And if you’re looking to live a long life without getting shot, either in the neck or in the @ss, don’t storm the joint chamber of the Congress of the United States of America while it is certifying a Presidential election.

          This entire thread has been an embarrassment of a very distinct kind of riches. I.e. it contains a wealth of whataboutism (Yesssss…. the details of BLM protests in the summer, in third tier cities, far from the seat of federal power is so relevant to a Capitol riot. Not.) And a wealth of sheer nutso spleen in defense of rightie whities privilege. (Like HotFlash noted, a leftish mob would have been met with superior force to begin with and a surfeit of tear gas early on.)

          The current grandstanding in Congress is repulsive and painfully staged. This does not in any way exonerate or elevate the yammering, raging collection of whiney, snarling horse’s posteriors who ran racket through the Capitol on January 6, 2021. Loud sympathy for these useless sacks of wrinkled flesh is….. silly. They were lucky more of them weren’t killed. The partisan mewling and puling that has ensued since the cluster-riot is just nuts on both sides. However, those of you who expect to garner sympathy just because Nancy Pelosi is a stagy old hack…… come on.

          1. The Rev Kev

            No sympathy for them on my part at all. And a court of law will hit them up with all sorts of penalties for the serious crime of being stupid. The only ones I feel sorry for is those that actually died that day because they died for nothing. Having said this, that attack was hardly the Fall of the Republic. That bs bit is just a continuous grandstanding by the Democrat elites like we saw with Russiagate and the Meuller report and to be spun out from now until the middterms.

          2. Gareth

            Third-tier cities? Ahh, so as long as it happens to the peasants and not to the residents of the Palace and Pleasure Gardens then all is right in the world for you. Someone’s grandma was beaten with 2x4s for asking rioters not to burn her home down with her disabled husband inside, but she was just the wife of a filthy New York serf, so who cares, right? Grab my powdered wig and fake moles! We’re going to brunch at Fiola Mare! Maria Antonia has been dying to see us . . . she just built the cutest She Shed you’ve ever seen, and she promised to tell us all about that urban farming operation she’s been flexing on her Instagram.

          3. dcrane

            The funny thing, Fluffy, is I’m with you in agreeing that there was some appalling behavior going on that day and many protestors should be prosecuted (though not railroaded…). I also can only have so much sympathy for Babbitt. After all, if you force your way deeper and deeper into an inner sanctum containing the likes of Senators (assuming this is what we saw happening on the video in which she was shot), you have to expect that shooting will eventually commence if you cannot be stopped otherwise – and those people seemed to be having success getting down that hallway.

            Yet all of this – the back and forth over what was worse, Kenosha or the 6th, distracts from the fact that something perhaps as frightening as 9-11 happened at the Capitol, a psy-op run on the country by the FBI (which is skilled in these matters of entrapment, as we seem to be learning from the Michigan kidnpping plot that happened just a few months before), who may well have both facilitated and allowed this event to take place, and if so I cannot help but imagine this was with foreknowledge of people very high up who have political agendas that would be easy to imagine. A psy-op whose plausibility is greatly enhanced by the silence of the MSM and our supposed leaders on these questions. If such a thing happened, it is one of the greatest crimes in our nation’s history. We should be demanding that every minute of security footage be released and every person of any significance mentioned in any indictment should be named publicly. And the FBI must be forced to declare the identities and roles of any agents or informants involved in the ‘riot’ that day, for starters. Only then will we be able to disprove this idea, if indeed it is somehow not true.

      2. Lambert Strether Post author

        > I don’t get the need to minimize what happened.

        I’ve said it was a riot and that the rioters should be prosecuted.

        It’s the maximizing I’m worried about, from the people who brought you RussiaGate, let us remember.

        There’s a very simple test for the Commission’s good faith: FBI subpoenas (at a minimum, to clear up any lingering questions that the FBI’s well-known penchant for agent provocateures was not operating in this case).

  2. farragut

    Re COVID: Sorry if this was posted earlier and I missed it. The article is pay-walled so I haven’t read it, but the headline is certainly eye-catching:

    “Exclusive: Over half of Covid hospitalisations tested positive after admission
    Leaked data suggest vast numbers classed as being hospitalised by the virus when they were admitted with other ailments”


    1. Lambert Strether Post author

      Here’s what looks like the same story but from the unpaywalled Evening Standard:

      The data, which covers all NHS trusts in England, showed that, as of July 22, just 44 per cent of patients labelled as being hospitalised with the virus had tested positive by the time they were admitted. But most of the cases were actually not detected until patients went through standard Covid tests, carried out on every person admitted to hospital for any reason, reported the Telegraph.

      A breakdown of daily coronavirus hospital diagnoses, seen by the paper, showed that of more than 780 hospitalisations dated last Thursday, 44 per cent involved people who tested positive in the 14 days before hospital entry.

      A further 43 per cent were made within two days of admission, with 13 per cent made in the days and weeks that followed, including those likely to have caught the virus in hospital.

  3. hunkerdown

    Count the quote marks again, and I believe you’ll find that was Ritholtz’s voice. Click through the link, and I believe you’ll find that Lambert quoted Ritholtz verbatim.

  4. Hepativore

    The end of the Ohio Congressional race is near, so perhaps it would not be worth it, but perhaps we should have an “O-watch” category estimating the probability of Obama’s involvement in using his clout to quash left-leaning candidates in national and local races either direct or behind-the-scenes.

    Still, Turner would be wise to highlight Brown’s ethics probe as well as Brown’s Republican backing. At this point, Turner needs to strike back with all she has. Her lead has shrunk to being near the margin of error last I heard and we can take local DNC cheating and vote-fixing as a given to put the thumb the scale in favor of Brown even more.

    1. Lambert Strether Post author

      > estimating the probability of Obama’s involvement

      I think Obama will only intervene if he feels that Brown has already won. Otherwise, he’d be looking for trouble, which Obama conspicuously does not do.

      1. Darthbobber

        This has been my take on him for awhile. He’s almost unbelievably risk-averse, and tends to intervene on someone’s behalf only if they probably don’t need it.

        1. Michael Ismoe

          The ethics probe into Brown was not intended for Ohio; it was directed at an audience of one on Martha’s Vineyard who is in the midst of planning his birthday extravaganza. It was a warning that Shontel was NOT a sure-thing. And it was brilliantly played. If Bernie had listened more to Nina Turner he’s be barbequing in the Rose Garden right now,

          1. Lambert Strether Post author

            >If Bernie had listened more to Nina Turner he’s be barbequing in the Rose Garden right now

            Possibly. IIRC, Turner was in charge of the Sanders SC operation in 2020. I’m not sure anything could have made it go well, given Clyburn’s dominance, but it did not go well.

    2. PHLDenizen

      My angle would be “Trump’s Republicans are secretly plotting to take over in 2022 by using Shontel Brown.” Who cares if it’s right at this point? And there’s hardly enough time to counter it. Brown would just look like a hapless dupe, clueless about the malignant forces shaping her into a weak-willed stooge who will give comfort and aid to Trump in 2024.

      “Nice lady, but wholly unprepared to deal with the existential threat to our democracy.” That kind of thing. Looks less an attack than a paternalistic reminder that Turner would be the “adult in the room”.

      “As a defender of Democracy, we need leadership who can stand up to the enemies of the right. These are the people who call Brown a friend. And they are no friend to our life, liberty, and pursuit of the American dream.” as the Jan 6th riots roll across your screen.

      I’m not convinced corruption is even on people’s radars at this point. Trump is still a winning election strategy.

      “I’m what they call “nouveau riche,” but then, it’s only the “riche” that counts.” Same is true of winning elections. It’s what counts. Dignified losses are for suckers.

    3. dcblogger

      Progressive Democrats of America have gone all out for Turner, raising money, recruiting phone bankers. Turner has SERIOUS volunteer muscle. I hope it is enough and that she wins.

  5. IM Doc

    Today’s update –

    An uptick has occurred – but we are nowhere near overwhelming the hospital.

    I admitted 5 patients this AM who had been admitted overnight with COVID related symptoms. 3 of these patients are fully vaccinated. Two of them are unvaccinated. None of them is in critical condition.

    With one exception, these are all patients I follow as outpatients so I know them very well. I also know the cT of all these patients that are in the hospital – and will include in the description.

    The one vaccinated I do not follow is associated with the group superspreader event I described yesterday. The patient is 27 and very athletic. Had vaccination competely done in May. Is having problems breathing and is analagous to a very severe asthma problem – although never diagnosed with asthma. This individual is a PMC type but at the start of their career. cT 18

    Another vaccinated patient was completed Moderna on June 4th. A 68 year old very healthy patient with no known medical issues. I have seen them twice in the past 2 years for physicals. No meds. Very vigorous exerciser. This patient has spoken to me of their political persuasion (many people do whether I want to hear it or not ) and is GOP conservative. cT 16

    The other vaccinated patient is a more elderly individual. Age over 70. Only takes 1 med and is otherwise very healthy. I have not seen them often either – just not that problematic medically. This person is definitely in the MAGA group. cT 22

    The first unvaccinated patient is a 35 year old man-bun wearing, unabashed Leftist – wearing his political identity in the shirt he had on this AM. Militantly anti-vax for every single vaccine not just COVID. He was a bit SOB with a low pulse ox last night – and got steroids and is already better – He will likely go home later tonight. cT 22

    The second unvaccinated patient is a 38 year old whose spouse is a known anti-vaxxer and big Bernie Sanders supporter. Indeed, the spouse is the leader of our local anti-vaxx group. Already doing much better and will likely go home today. cT 24

    Again, the crush of patients as outpatients is ongoing – and is actually remaining right at 70%vaccinated/30%unvaccinated. I have no doubt there are many patients not coming to attention. This would be especially true of the unvaccinated who tend to be younger and more healthy. I have now seen 2 patients with COVID today who were just given their first shot in the past 2 weeks. None of these people are very ill. And tend to get better in just a few days. Mostly young.

    As I have repeatedly stated, the “deplorable MAGA unvaccinated rhubarb” trope all over the media right now is really overdone. It certainly does not apply in my world. The anti-vaccine patients around me are largely Liberal Leftists often Bernie Sanders supporters – young and militant anti-vaxx and anti-chemicals. There are also plenty of Evangelical anti-vaxxers. But it should come as no surprise that many of the measles outbreaks have occurred in Oregon, Washington, and California in recent decades. There is a reason for that – and the reason is not MAGA deplorables. This anti-vaxx Leftist group is just as militant if not more so than the right wingers.

    Thankfully so far other than the deaths we had last week – most of these patients are just in the hospital a day or so – and then DC home. Occasionally someone is really ill. I am hoping it stays that way, but I do worry about the future given the fact that these vaccines are so clearly non-sterilizing and this virus is so profoundly capable of mutation. And the way this virus has operated all year – God only knows what is going to happen tomorrow.

    Be safe and take care.

    1. Carolinian

      Thank you. Here in SC the stores have a sticker on the door quoting the (now obsolete?) CDC dictum of masks required if not vaxxed, maskless ok if you are vaxxed. Which is fair enough if the vaxxed were assured of not having Covid. But sounds like that isn’t true or perhaps increasingly untrue as time passes.

      Here’s hoping yours and other reports make it to Joe Biden’s ears and he tells the public the truth even if it’s an inconvenient truth for those Taibbi this morning calls The Vaccine Aristocrats.

        1. skippy

          As already portrayed on this blog by no other than YS herself the whole anti-vaxx movement got traction in O.C. Calif due to a well to do liberal couples social networks after Dr[???] Mercola removed all agency on their part to the government/pharma industry.

          This then became a cash cow as well a great means to suspend disbelief, as such, the ideological narrative can then be inserted into the unwitting subjects world view and the plaything of others for fun and profit.

          This is just another take on the say … well being[tm] health[????] industry, laying of hands or money for prayers to cure religious mobs … tis a long list …

          IM Doc is just observing the post results of these machinations which span across a broad social construct of identity brands in the “market place” that replaced the social society construct before it.

          Too me its just so 10,000 Maniacs – Candy Everybody Wants.

          E.g. “In a marginalized democracy you chose you own dependencies” only bettered by “Glazed apathetic leash”.

          1. Yves Smith

            Actually they aren’t Mercola connected. One of the big propagators is private equity connected. Autistic son and not willing to blame bad genetic luck. Raised $ from other people in PE and PE affiliated businesses and managed to convert some to their point of view.

            1. skippy

              Appreciate the correction, so muddled its hard to keep track sometimes, but details matter.

              Ugh … that is even worse, per se had it been Mercola one could just ascribe the usual back ally suspects, but, the idea that PE people are involved to remove some Roman-esque blemish on their families DNA is just creepy if not maleficence on society at large.

              I mean on a level its nuts to think something like this might be used to short some market sector for short term gain considering the money thrown at it though broad spectrum monkey goo marketing per above link.

              Is it just me or is PE the acid bath for the corpse of classical capitalism …

        1. skippy

          My point is its targeted with the intent to misinform the citizens. Granted its not the majority that will be captured but as you would well know it does not matter when a small group is fundamentalized.

          Q Conference


          I mean how do you think currant neoliberal economics got dominate …. facts – ??????

          1. Basil Pesto

            I think maybe (unless I’ve misread) Lambert’s point is to point out the hypocrisy of those social media companies who gleefully took 1/40 of their ad revenue (which is quite a hefty chunk!) from the anti-vax astroturf lobby, are the same companies that now claim to be on the vanguard of protecting us from misinformation of all kinds.

            1. skippy

              It was stand alone so I could not offer an opinion on intent, though to dispel confusion I made a clarifying statement. Not that I don’t think this falls under Lambert’s – Because Markets = Die paradigm due to profit demand pull …

              Other than that its a hoot walking into the virologists of 17 years house in the morning at 7am and having a animated convo about his libertarian coder old collage buddy in CO. … wife [in house compliance lawyer] came out of bedroom and said you guys are having too much fun …. then on the cusp of 60 years old I took 20 solid core doors off and applied 3 coats to tops, bottoms and hinge side and rehung plus some other stuff … life lmmao …

    2. zagonostra

      “As I have repeatedly stated, the “deplorable MAGA unvaccinated rhubarb” trope all over the media right now is really overdone”

      The deplorable unvaccinated meme has burrowed deep into the American psyche already. Last night I went to dinner at a friend’s house and his wife accused me of being responsible for those who are vaccinated getting the virus again. She said it was my fault (unvaccinated, though I had CV19 and recovered after a nasty couple of days. I’m not a “MAGA type,” just a let down Bernie supporter). If everyone was vaccinated the country would reach herd immunity and everything would be fine, so her argument went.

      It seems that during 2020 elections politics were not a good topic to broach at dinner with friends, now you’d be well advised to stay far away from topic of vaccines if you want to enjoy the food and company.

      1. Objective Ace

        I’ve started mentioning that if getting everyone vaccinated is our way out of this, then we should be equally mad at our politicians, Biden, Gates, pharmacetical companies etc for dragging their feet on waiving Vaccine patents. That’s great that Biden “supports” waiving patents, but where’s the compulsory licensing? Just do it.. we dont need you talk about your “support”. The Delta Virus didnt come from an unvaccinated American.

      2. petal

        It came up in a talk with a PhD-holding coworker friend today and he didn’t want to hear it. Data doesn’t matter, and non-collection of data doesn’t matter. The narrative is fully burrowed into his brain, no matter what. Those da-n unvaccinated deplorable right wingers are all at fault and causing all of the trouble, according to him. I give up. Thank you, NC and commentariat for being an island of sanity.

        1. petal

          And this person was also all good with how the CDC has been operating, and the mask flip-flopping. I didn’t bother to say we here knew about needing to wear masks even if vaccinated ages ago. The CDC can do no wrong.

        2. Jen

          I’ve mentioned that the unvaccinated include kids, people being treated for cancer, people who cannot vaccinate for medical reasons. I’ve also, while acknowledging that my circle of acquaintances includes people who won’t vax because they think the pandemic is a lie and don’t mask, it also includes people who are the most paranoid I know about masking up, social distancing etc. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t, but I push back on the deplorables theme each and every time I encounter it.

      3. Lambert Strether Post author

        > It seems that during 2020 elections politics were not a good topic to broach at dinner with friends, now you’d be well advised to stay far away from topic of vaccines if you want to enjoy the food and company.

        From the Dreyfus affair:

    3. Angie Neer

      Doc, thanks as always for your comments. But I haven’t been able to figure out what cT or SOB mean in this context.

      1. IM Doc

        cT is cycle threshold – it is the PCR threshold for viral particles – in this case COVID – — and indicates the level of positivity –

        SOB – means Shortness of breath –

        Try as I might – the abbreviations and doctor-speak are just too ingrained in my brain to avoid sometimes – sorry.

        1. Laruse

          Ha. I appreciate the clarification. I assumed (until corrected) that the patient had become an SOB when his O2 sat was low. Hope you are doing well and experiencing no lingering effects yourself. Stay safe.

          1. Phillip Allen

            To be fair, those two situations are not mutually exclusive. When a brain starts to starve of oxygen I can see obnoxious rudeness being a plausible, if hopefully brief manifestation on the way to unconsciousness.

            1. The Rev Kev

              Still thinking about those early accounts of patients sitting in a hospital waiting room checking their mobiles, talking or whatever but when the doctors check the level of oxygen in their blood, it was shockingly low.

      2. Keith

        I thought I knew what SOB was, but in this case, it didn’t seem to fit. :)

        Thanks Doc, updates are great info.

      3. marku52

        ct is the number of cycles of test amplification needed to “see” the virus. A lower number means a higher viral load. SOB is not a swear term, he means “Shortness of Breath”

        Pardon my stepping in….

    4. Pelham

      I wonder whether, given the current persistence of anti-vax sentiment, we should just assume that in any similar emergency in the future only half the population will either submit to the medication or measures prescribed. If authorities start from that assumption on Day 1 — that this is the forever flawed human material they’ll have to work with — perhaps they can reshape their response. I don’t know what that might entail, but I’m not one of those governing geniuses.

      1. zagonostra

        Please be clear on making distinction between “anti-vax” in general, and new CV19 mRNA emergency approved ones.

        And, I’m not sure I would consider myself “flawed” viz the “vaccinated. I would be cautions about making these kinds of judgements. Indeed I thought that was made clear in the Doc’s comments.

    5. HotFlash

      Thank you, sir. Reminder that there are lefty antivaxers is w orth hearing — and repeating. Take my ex-DIL (please).

    6. phoenix

      How small is your town/hospital? 0% chance you know this much personal detail about every covid patient in there. More unverified BS with a clear ideological bent being spewed on here and everyone is eating it up.

      1. Isotope_C14

        Ad hominem attacks are specifically against site rules. IM Doc is no Larper, before COVID he regularly explained to us about the problems with EPIC and the crappification of the medical establishment due to the incompetent administrative hacks that run the US hospital system.

        As a once employee of that system stateside, admittedly on the science side, I can vouch for what he was saying back then – though I never commented on it, I didn’t have anything to add. I was required while collecting and processing patient samples to follow strict HIPPA patient protection rules.

        So phoenix, you haven’t convinced anyone of malfeasance – just in case you were wondering.

      2. IM Doc

        There are about 6000 people in the community. We have an additional 3 or 4 thousand around in surrounding counties. It is very remote. And I know the data on them because I got into work at about 530 this AM and went over everything with each one in detail. I have been trained to take care of patients in the hospital – and that is what I do here every day of my life. I see other physician’s patients as well. The primary care here is split among 3 internists, 4 FPs who are also busy with urgent care issues and a pediatrician or two. There are other docs that are specifically tasked with nursing home patients. There are very few local specialists. There are ER doctors. There are a few others who are semi-retired and I end up seeing and knowing most of their patients too. I have a panel of close to 2500 of these people. I work 6 days a week and see on average 20-24 of them every day – along with many others in the hospital.

        I can see you are about as cynical as I was when I lived in the big cities. It was so impersonal there. And I know what being a doctor was like in other parts of the country.
        So, I probably can understand where you are coming from – and the fact that your doctors do not spend a whole lot of time getting to know you well. Thankfully, things are much different here. Almost every one of my patients are active parts of my life at church, in social and civic clubs, walking around town, at the schools, everywhere. Life is much different out here. I cannot walk into the grocery store or the post office without knowing almost everyone in the place.

        When I am admitting patients into the hospital, I would dare say I know about 90% of them already from either my own practice or covering others. There is a local paper – so many of these issues have been introduced by the people’s own interaction with the community – and I recognize them instantly from that as well.

        I really do like it here. I should have come to the small town much earlier than I did. My mental health and support systems are infinitely stronger, and it is a relief to know that everyone knows my family – and has our back.

        I know it is very difficult for those not living in small rural America to know what it is really like here. I know I sure didn’t before we moved. And I am sure that where I live is very unique for its own reasons. I have been commenting on here about COVID for months – and the experience we are having here and what it brings to the picture. I have pulled no punches – and I believe every one of these commenters knows I am from a small rural area – and things may not be the same in our big cities. I have become even more strident about discussing what is going on here since the media has seen fit to demonize these people – whom I now consider my own.

        1. IM Doc

          Sorry – also forgot the hospitalists – who are younger – there are usually 2 or 3 here – hard to keep them – and sometimes we have long stretches with contract physicians every month or two. Long ago, we made the decision to have a minimal amount of staff exposure to COVID – so I mainly handle the COVID patients and my own patients – and they handle all the others.

        2. rabbitPA

          I appreciate where you are coming from. I am a retired Physician Assistant (current term- Associate) with nearly 4 decades experience providing emergency and primary care in a very rural part of a rural state. I do not have any direct info into the situation in our hospital or local office practices, but I still talk to a number of former patients. Many are definitely in the skeptic/ non vaccinated group. There are very few true “anti-vaxxers” among them. These are people who have had no issue getting their yearly flu shot, a dose of shingles vaccine or an update to their tetanus status. The difference now is that they have been influenced by a sizable group of politicians, faith leaders, media personalities and others. These people have done a remarkably effective job of convincing my former patients to ignore and scorn advice from local and national public health providers.
          We do not ever have a President and TV personalities dismissing the severity of the seasonal influenza or calling it a left wing media hoax. We don’t see demonstrations against seasonal flu vaccines and precautions.
          So, in some ways I say that we really aren’t “all in this together” when there is a powerful group – some with malice aforethought- working to undermine the public good. I feel my (former) patients have been thoroughly hoodwinked and lied to and we can’t discuss this whole tragedy without keeping that fact in the forefront.
          Thanks for your valuable insights.

    7. campbeln

      Official Scottish data is showing 74% of the deaths between July 8 and 15 were FULLY VACCINATED, while a further 13% were PARTIALLY VACCINATED.

      Only 5 unvaccinated people died (13%) despite accounting for 77% of cases in the previous 4 weeks.

      Do the math yourself between the 2 tables of official Scottish data:

      https://publichealthscotland.scot/media/8500/21-07-21-covid19-publication_report.pdf (see page 35)

      https://publichealthscotland.scot/media/8568/21-07-28-covid19-publication_report.pdf (see page 41)

      As these are week-over-week numbers, subtract the July 8 numbers from the July 15 numbers to get the numbers for the week of July 9-15.

      Full credit to http://DailyExpose.co.uk for making the connection (search for “Because if we go back to their previous Covid-19 Statistical Report published on the 21st July…” for their breakdown of calculating the numbers):

      Background on the website/organization: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Public_Health_Scotland

      1. campbeln

        The above is very likely related to this:


        White House chatter is that lockdowns for delta variant all but a done deal. Virtually all blue states are cooperating with WH / CDC. They’re aiming for late 2nd week of August, per WH official

        87% of the DEATHS came from 23% of the CASES.

        If these numbers are even only a little bit true, we may be weeks away from CIVIL UNREST when this comes to the public consciousnesses that their governments led them so very far astray.

        I, for one, hope these numbers are WRONG!

        EDIT: PLEASE, PLEASE hoist this from the comments! This and my parent post need greater exposure!

        1. Yves Smith

          Sorry, this is complete bullshit. Plus Jack Posobiec is a right wing loon.

          We just ran a post where Cuomo is screaming for businesses to have their workers in full back in the office by Labor Day. He is not on board, not even remotely.

          And the date of the California recall election is Sept 14. For Newsom to back a lockdown would assure him being turfed out.

          I said before lockdowns not happening until hospitals are overloaded. IM Doc said above this isn’t happening because the Covid cases aren’t in all that long. In the first wave, they tied beds up for 2-4 weeks. Now they are in and out in days. So you could have a ton more admissions this time and not crater the hospitals.

      2. dk

        Daily Expose: By unpicking the data that Public Health Scotland have cleverly attempted to hide we have proven that you are more likely to be hospitalised and more likely to die if you are infected with Covid-19 after being vaccinated.

        Daily Expose presents a small and narrow sample of raw numbers without context or proportion to claim proof of its preferred conclusions.

        The difference data below, calculated from the PHS charts cited by Daily Expose, show that one is more likely to die if one is over 80, that age group is +90% fully vaccinated[1].

        What is unusual about the single week on which the Daily Expose basis its entire premise is that no unvaxed 80+ were seen to have died during that period. That may be because most of the remaining <10% of 80+ are in the 1-dose group. In that case, the distribution of deaths is flat relative to vaccination status. At worst one might suggest that the vaccine was (in)effectivly benign during the one-week period.

        Change 08 July 2021 to 15 July 2021
        Age group  Unvax  1-Dose  2-Doses  Total
        < 40           1       0        0      1
        40-49          0       0        0      0
        50-59          1       1        1      3
        60-69          2       2        3      7
        70-79          1       0        6      7
        80+            0       2       18     20
        Total          5       5       28     38

        [1] Coronavirus (COVID-19) update: First Minister’s statement – 8 June 2021
        Published: 8 Jun 2021

        And as I confirmed earlier, more than half of the adult population in Scotland has now had two doses.

        That includes more than 90% of people over the age of 60, and more than 80% of those over 50 – the age groups most at risk of falling seriously ill as a result of Covid.


    1. RockHard

      Maybe they have no credibility because they don’t read, they just comment whenever those emotional spells take over.

  6. Queenslawyer

    Oh come now. You are quoting the article and attributing it to Lambert. Stop that.

  7. Di Modica's Dumb Steer

    RE: Real Estate

    Like most places, the RE market has been red hot insane here in the Southeast. What I’m trying to piece together, though, is what’s going to finally cause the floor to fall out from underneath. From what I understand of the 2008 crash, the banks could no longer originate loans when the purchases of MBS and all their byproducts dried up (in a really crude and simplified explanation, to say nothing of all the sketchy stuff going on), and the market collapsed.

    Now, though, you’ve got a boatload of people buying homes, but they’re also competing against private equity, which, from what I can tell, is less looking to flip homes, and more looking to rent them out, forever. PE is sitting on tons of property and cash, and unless they decide to dump all the homes at once, the market won’t suddenly deflate. Even if people suddenly stop buying, if PE holds a good chunk of the stock, it might not matter much. Who knows?

    Any thoughts as to what might cause the house of cards to come down again? I’m drawing a blank.

    1. Keith

      Same here in the PNW. I am in the eastern part of WA, flyover country, and a neighbor’s house just sold for $150k more than mine (pretty similar, both five acres in the country). That jump occurred in less than three years, and all the houses here at the time I bought were in the 350k range. Very crazy.

      I have been waiting for the everything bubble to pop for a while now. I think the only known for how this one will end is what will be the causing event and when it will be. Your guess is as good as mine.

      1. Di Modica's Dumb Steer

        My only guess is that the rise will stop when people just can’t afford to buy anymore. Would that cause a crash, though? Especially if PE is holding a good chunk of homes? I doubt they would panic and flood the market with a bunch of properties – they’re more liable to keep holding and renting, or buying more in a dip, further consolidating their power. I’m at a loss. There’s probably something I’m missing, but this just doesn’t feel right. I sure as hell wouldn’t buy right now, even if I could afford it. And in the SE, that jump you saw in 3 years has happened in more like 1, locally. Anecdotal, so your mileage may vary.

        1. Keith

          Two issues that popped into my head, interest rates rise, forcing property values down could be an issue.

          A factor killing me, the county uses any excuse to increase my property taxes, which can get to the point of taxing people out of their homes. It is easy for the county to spend, not so easy for the rest of us to keep up with property taxes, especially as it is only paper gains, not real wealth.

    2. Objective Ace

      >Any thoughts as to what might cause the house of cards to come down again

      Not sure why you think its a house of cards? Unlike in 2008, when the increase in the money supply was driven by more and more leverage taken on by banks and other financial intermediaries, 2020’s increase in the money supply is actually driven by printing money – specifically increases to the monetary base reserves. https://fred.stlouisfed.org/series/TOTRESNS

      1. Tom Stone

        I grew up in the Real Estate Business, my late father was an appraiser and expert witness and I have been licensed as a Broker in California for about 15 years.
        Real Estate markets are not rational.
        However they are still cyclical and the inflection point is when the attitudes of buyers change for whatever reason.
        When I look at all of the varied markets ( Stocks, Bonds, PM’s, Real Estate) it looks like a spectrum wide pump and dump.
        With the right people poised to pick up the pieces with money borrowed at 0%.

        There are two wildcards
        The pandemic response in the USA has been characterized by incompetence, greed and dishonesty and I do not expect that to change.
        Maybe we’ll get lucky…

        If not, the effect on all aspects of the Economy will be substantial.

        We could easily lose a big chunk of a major city to wildfires this year or next and the loss of a town like Los Gatos seems more likely than not.
        The only Bay Area County not facing a serious risk of an UWI fire is San Francisco County.
        When warm ashes are falling like snow buyers get nervous…
        The Western USA is a tinderbox, how bad this year becomes is unpredictable, it could be bad enough to affect Real Estate Markets in several states very seriously.

        If you are buying a home you can afford to live in you will be fine, it’s your home.

        Be careful where you buy.
        Location will become more important over the next decade partly due to the effects of global warming WHICH ARE NOT LINEAR.

        1. JBird4049

          Las Gatos? I haven’t been there in decades, but yes, it is green enough. I would put all of Marin County especially the “green” areas consisting of Mill Valley, Sausalito, Corte Madera,Larkspur, Kentfield, Ross, San Anselmo, ans San Rafael, which contain the bulk of the county’s population and has many, many, twisted roads going into heavily forested neighborhoods. That is only several hundred thousand people that could be cut off with a single large fire. Not hurt, mind you, but trapped for however long it would take to clear the roads.The city of Oakland it another good choice although they have much to lower the risks since the last big fire. But Santa Rosa has been hit thrice with my mom evacuated each time and could be hit again especially from the south, IIRC.

          Thanks,Tom for these delightful thoughts I now have. The more I think on this, the more I believe you are right. I remember the Oakland Hills Fire, and have read about the 1929 Mill Valley Fire. We could easily have hundreds of people trapped in the small roads and killed in the hills in any one of the towns I have listed or have the counties of Marin and San Francisco cut off from each other if a fire was to make a leap between Mill Valley/Marin Headlands and Sausalito.

          1. Acacia

            I also recall the Oakland Hills firestorm of 1991. 25 people died, a number in their cars trying to escape. Tragic.

            Although I saw it from the flats, probably the most astonishing moment came after the fire. Residents were not yet allowed to return, but TV news crews could enter the area and broadcast the destruction. I happened to see a local news program that “helpfully” brought a couple into the studio, to try and locate their property by directing the mobile cameraman on the scene. There was a split screen, with the distraught and displaced couple on one side, and a view of the smoking ruins of their former neighborhood on the other. The news program was evidently aiming to capitalize on showing viewers the moment of distress as the couple saw their house burned to the ground (I’m not sure if this is Schadenfreude or what to call it, but it seems to be the bread and butter of local news).

            The neighborhood had been leveled by the fire and was unrecognizable to the couple. The news host tried directing the cameraman, but to no avail. The couple couldn’t get oriented. Finally, they spotted a landmark: the remains of an extra-large mansion of an über-wealthy neighbor. The husband of the couple remarked: “There, that must be ‘The Castle’,” interjecting their nickname for the house, before adding nastily: “that one deserved to burn down.” His wife nodded. At this point, the news host abruptly noted that they were out of time, and had to switch to a different segment, aborting the search.

  8. tegnost

    Those little thingies at the beginning of the passage are called “quotation marks”

  9. Lady Cutekitten of Lolcat

    John Scalzi himself is wealthy, although I don’t know if he was when he wrote the article. As the daughter of a straight white male who was drafted to the front lines of two wars, I must say I wasn’t too impressed with Scalzi ‘s “difficulty settings.”

    Oddly enough, the same man wrote a brilliantly truthful essay on “Being Poor.”

    1. Will Shetterly

      Liberals are often good at describing poverty. They’re just awful at understanding capitalism.

      1. Carla

        Are you using “liberal” as an equivalent to “leftist” ? It is not.

        I can tell you that as a leftist, I understand capitalism PERFECTLY.

        I certainly can’t speak for liberals…

    2. FriarTuck

      Gamer here.

      Lambert, I think you’re right about erasing class in the linked opinion piece.

      From Scalzi’s followup:

      Nope. Money and class are both hugely important and can definitely compensate for quite a lot, which I have of course noted in the entry itself. But they belong in the stats category because wealth and class are not an inherent part of one’s personal nature — and in the US particularly, part of our cultural sorting behavior — in the manner that race, gender and sexuality are (note “inherent” here does not necessarily mean “immutable,” but that’s a conversation I’m not going to go into great detail about right now). You can disagree, of course. But speaking as someone who has been at both the bottom and the top of the wealth and class spectrum here in the US, I think I have enough personal knowledge on the matter to say it belongs where I put it.

      (emphasis mine)

      Claiming that wealth is not part of the United States’ cultural sorting behavior is a disingenuous claim at best and purely wrong at worst. I’m not sure if this is a byproduct of the time he wrote this piece (2012), or simply because he has never encountered (or read about!) the multitude of ways wealth is a cultural determinate of all sorts of things (education, healthcare, debt, legal standing, social standing, etc.).

      Absurdly, he himself acknowledges that class/wealth is a contributing factor in outcomes:

      He says,

      If you start with 25 points, and your dump stat is wealth, well, then you may be kind of screwed.

      (a “dump stat” is a statistic you don’t put any points into so you can have another stat absurdly high)

      So, what, class/wealth doesn’t matter, but you’re “screwed” if you don’t have it?

      1. Morgan Everett

        Yep, also voting for the erases class interpretation of the Scalzi article. Or hell, plenty of other things like intelligence, disability, having functioning parents, all things that can have as much influence as the usual race/gender/sexuality trifecta you would expect from the kind of person that would write an article like this.

        1. JBird4049

          Yes, all else being equal, being a white, heterosexual male is the easiest position in American society; yet, too many people claim that these are these stats are the overwhelming important determinant of one’s life, while items like inherited wealth and social connections, or physical, mental, and emotional strengths and weaknesses do not matter as much.

          I wish people would stop insulting me, and if they are not, would please a closer look at the entire American class system and not just the parts that most closely align with with their ideology; however, the previous forty years of social and political propaganda, of the type that would have made Edward Bernays proud, must also be included. The effectiveness of the subtle and malign mind twisting by the business, political, and security state elites must not be dismissed. Mr. Scalzi is not an idiot, nor do I think him a fool or ignorant, but this propaganda has been created to influence people just like him, liberal (and leftist) intellectuals. This was the point of the mendacity called the 1619 Project.

      2. Lambert Strether Post author

        > Claiming that wealth is not part of the United States’ cultural sorting behavior is a disingenuous claim at best and purely wrong at worst.

        Thanks. I had a vague recollection that this was Scalzi’s view, but your quote nails it.

        1. JBird4049

          Okay, my question is still why someone like Scalzi believes this despite his essay on being poor.

          Yes, I do think that propaganda Americans are immersed in is part of the answer, but being poor, or coming from a family that has had such difficulties, makes it obvious that it is an issue of class, which is a primary determinant of where you end up.

          Anyone as observant and thoughtful as he is must see this unless they have some issues, or they have made themselves willfully blind. All it takes is some light research on the internet or read any of many, many books on the subject, never mind being as well traveled as he is.

          I can always point to the ritzy One Market Restaurant, which I enjoyed, and St. Anthony’s Dinning Room on Golden Gate avenue. IIRC, both within walking distance of each other. Then there is the Tenderloin.

          I’m sure I can find something similar in every Bay Area county especially in Berkeley and Oakland. Or to the increasing number of the homeless that I have been seeing for four decades. How about Los Angeles’ fifty blocks called Skid Row? A charming place to visit, trust me.

          If after that, one still doesn’t think class truly exist or matters, well, you are just blind. So, back to the opening sentence, why is someone like Scalzi blind? Or much of our elites? What gives? It is right there in everyone’s face, easy to see, and hard to avoid.

  10. Carolinian

    Re that Texas document–web commenter and reporter Abby Martin was told to sign a similar document when she was invited to give a paid speech at a Georgia college. She refused, her gig was canceled, she sued on free speech grounds, and won a settlement. It seems that these laws are being passed on the theory that nobody will have the gumption to challenge them despite their obvious unconstitutionality. Of course in a better world a national organization like the ACLU might be expected to step up. Crickets?

    1. Pelham

      Good for Martin. But given the fact that employers can fire employees who exercise freedom of speech — with far greater consequences — I don’t see the reasoning that won her a settlement.

      1. Carolinian

        I should have included a link

        “Even assuming that Georgia’s interest in furthering foreign policy goals regarding relations with Israel is a substantial state interest, defendants fail to explain how Martin’s advocacy of a boycott of Israel has any bearing on Georgia’s ability to advance foreign policy goals with Israel,” the court contended.

        Furthermore, as the court outlined “The certification requirement forces parties contracting with the state of Georgia to publicly assign a motive and speech element to what defendants deem merely economic conduct. The certification that one is not engaged in a boycott of Israel is no different than requiring a person to espouse certain political beliefs or to engage in certain political associations.”

        I’d say that last sentence is the money quote. These states are making laws against thought crimes. And they are doing so at the behest of a foreign power no less.


    1. Pelham

      Thanks for the link. I was able to read it even though I don’t have a WSJ subscription. Now for the essential question: Where can I get this stuff? Does anyone know a source?

        1. Ana

          A well known mail order web company owned by a space going bazillionair has that substance for sale. One may wish to also locate advice in dividing it into human sized portions.
          Ana in Sacramento

    2. Keith

      I forgot where I read this, but from what I understand is federal law prevented experimental vaccines from being used if there were alternate treatments available.

    3. Screwball

      The article doesn’t tell us anything we don’t already know. But I would say this is good thing since it will be read by more eyes. I have given up hope than anything will change, but at least a major publication wrote about it.

      1. Arizona Slim

        The fact that it’s in the WSJ is huge. Say what you want about its op-ed page, but the WSJ does have a massive readership.

        1. Petter

          That’s my read too. It’s huge. A break in the dike. I assume they’ve done a lot of research on this and are prepared for push back.

    4. Mantid

      Yes, a paywall. However, good news even just via the implication of the headline. And I concur with Laniki, see FLCCC’s site. In my city of ~ 200,000 a local doctor is now prescribing it and gave a few pills to a friend to use until he could get to a pharmacy. The timing of taking Ivermectin, especially if one contracts Covid, is very important. The sooner the much better.

      Ivermectin, coming from the back of the pack – it’s cabbage by a head, no … it’s …. Beatlebaum!

  11. zagonostra

    >RIP Glen Ford

    First saw GF on DN! when the latter used to be worth watching. He had Obama pinned right from the get go. In below clip he debates Michael Eric Dyson, who you’ll remember subsequently trashed Cornel West (interesting that a google search in their “news” section didn’t return any info – thanks for posting).

    Black Agenda Report is going to sorely miss him, as I will also.


  12. XXYY

    Ian Shepherdson, the chief economist at Pantheon Macroeconomics, pointed out that many of the states where the Delta variant is spreading rapidly are low in both population and G.D.P.

    Like California, Texas, and Florida?

    Very perspicacious!

  13. pck

    Thanks for the Maxwell quote – I’m feeling a great deal of conscious ignorance as I start the 5th year of my PhD but maybe real advances are coming

    1. R

      Terry Pratchett’s reworked it as the point of an education [at the Unseen University or possibly it was Vines or Vetinari] is to expand the boundaries of ignorance.

  14. anonymous

    USDA study on SARS-CoV-2 antibodies in white-tailed deer:
    “Antibodies to SARS-CoV-2 were detected in 33 percent of
    the 481 samples collected from January 2020 through
    2021 in Illinois, Michigan, New York, and Pennsylvania.
    The results varied by State (Illinois = 7 percent of samples
    contained antibodies; Michigan = 60 percent; New York =
    18 percent; and Pennsylvania = 34 percent).”
    Study did compare with samples before Jan 2020 and confirm with different SARS-Co-V-2 test at Ames lab.

  15. VietnamVet

    The rulers sure want to blame the underclasses for all the ills that they cause. But I thought the day of reckoning would be with the winter surge. It is now four months early due to utter incompetence. Greed really does destroy rational scientific planning. So far, the coronavirus death rate is a gradual climb not an exponential spike. Hopefully the virus is becoming less virulent but this may be due to the infections occurring in vaccinated and younger patients.

    It will take a system change to restore the US public health system. The current leadership will let Americans die rather than provide effective public healthcare. It is not a coincidence that there never has been an efficacious uniform masking policy, no cheap accurate paper daily coronavirus infection tests, adequate number of intensive care beds, nationwide personal contact tracing system, or safe free quarantines. There is not a new Manhattan Project to find effective coronavirus treatments, a year and a half into the pandemic.

    This is new. Repeat waves of variants crossing the world, very possibly selected by the for-profit, non-sterilizing, mRNA coded artifical spike protein jabs, porous borders, and an unaccountable Jet Set.

    1. Arizona Slim

      The testing thing really chaps my hide.

      I mean, come on. In-home pregnancy tests have existed for decades. All you have to do is step into the restroom, and, very quickly, you will know if you are pregnant or not.

      Likewise, in-car breathalyzers. You tie on one at the bar? Well, sorry, you are not going to be driving home.

      So, it’s not like a cheap and reliable COVID test couldn’t be developed.

      1. Larry Y

        It takes time.

        Also, what is the testing mechanism? There are already quick COVID antigen tests, but it has high rates of false negatives. Antibodies only tell if there was a past infection.

        For many viruses, the main diagnostic is PCR testing. That’s what my wife does for a living – COVID, most STDs, hepatitis, etc.

  16. Robert Hahl

    “Instead of a celebration of everything you know, an antilibrary is an ode to everything you want to explore.”
    Does it count if a lot of the unread books are on my Wishlist instead of on my dresser? I found out it was cheaper that way, and it lets me keep some other things on the dresser.

    1. Pelham

      Don’t know whether it counts, but I have a Wishlist like that, too. Occasionally I sift through it to weed out a few books and, in the process, attain a higher degree of enlightenment without ever turning a page.

      1. John

        I indulge many whims at my local library’s $1/book sale…Amazon remains in wish list territory. According to my meditation teacher, I have an enlightened bookshelf of unread books.

    2. drumlin woodchuckles

      I think of a bunch of unread books as being a bookberg rather than an antilibrary. Actually, all the books are a bookberg. The books I have read are the tip of the bookberg. The books I have not read yet are the rest of the bookberg.

    3. Rod

      I just am unwilling to discard the potential for osmosis and often keep the more complex really handy (like in the lunch box, dashboard, and back pocket).
      Love the bookberg concept.

  17. Pat

    Adams doesn’t give a damn about Climate Change except as a bargaining chip. Nor is his outreach limited to national Democrats. Nope if you have power and money he wants to know what the mayor of NYC can do for you….and what you will do for him. Think of him as Bloomberg wannabe without Mike’s limited integrity. (Bloomberg actually believed much of what he supported.)

    It is a real kick in the pants that the world loses Glen Ford and this new addition to the Black Misleadership Class is advancing.

    RIP Glen Ford, we are going to miss you so much.

    1. Michael Fiorillo

      He’s a big charter school supporter, and is not above racializing the debate over charters to really ugly levels. Should he do that, it will be interesting to see if there’s any pushback from people like Jamal Bowman, who was a courageous anti-privatization school principal under Bloomberg.

      The public schools are feeling flush, temporarily, thanks to Uncle Joe’s stimulus legislation, but austerity lurks nearby, especially if huge sums continue to be skimmed off by charter schools.

      1. Pat

        I will add in affordable housing. I recognize that the city guidelines are closer to unaffordable than they should be but DeBlasio was a huge advocate of keeping housing available to working class NYers . Besides demands that new buildings have affordable apartments, his appointments to the rent stabilization board actually were tenant friendly in a 180 degree turn around to decades of tenant advocates having little impact. Adams has already accepted real estate support and even cutely painting himself as one of them.

        I pretty much expect everything but the police to be on the privatization and/or service chopping block if he gets in.

        1. Michael Fiorillo

          NYC municipal retirees are already facing privatization, via a Medicade Advantage plan, which the unions just negotiated with De Blasio. Hard times ahead for public sector workers, which is to say, they will increasingly be “precariat-ed” via privatization, outsourcing and tiered employment.

          And yes, perverse as it is to say, De Blasio may be missed more than people suspect, if Adams performs to type and gets strong ruling class backing.

    2. Glen

      It going to become pretty routine for NYC to flood and have crazy heat domes. And earlier, it was getting all the smoke from the fires. Its only going to get worse at this point with a very good chance it can get much worse.

      What’s he going to do? Ignore it?

  18. jo6pac

    Oh sure

    UPDATE “Biden admin says ‘long COVID-19’ could qualify as a disability” . • A small piece of sanity. But small.

    I’m sure you’re being a little forgiving of joe biden. He’ll doing nothing after this quote.

    1. The Rev Kev

      Just wait till people hear about all the hoops that people will have to jump through to get it, especially all the out of pocket expenses that will have to be paid to doctors first. In the end, it will only be those with a certain level of income that will actually be receiving any payments & support. And the idea behind this is nothing new-

      ‘For to everyone who has shall more be given, and he shall have an abundance; but from the one who does not have, even what he does have shall be taken away.’

      1. JTMcPhee

        This is kind of like VA “eligibility” for care for “service-connected disabilities.” There’s a whole industry of lawyers and veterans groups needed to force the VA to acknowledge such disabilities, which is often only after the veteran has died or has little life left to need that care.

        An individual GI trying to take on the VA on his or her own will meet the “presumption of non-entitlement” wall put up by the rulership, and get submerged and too often defeated by the vastly arcane and complex rules and forms, not to mention the bias of many of the doctors hired by the VE to perform “compensation and pension” pseudo-examinations of veterans, in favor of finding “not service connected.”

        I know of a clear example of this, where the Army determined the person was “fit for duty” and inducted him into the military, then after 3 years convened a medical panel that determined his knee injuries incurred in basic training and Vietnam were in fact so disabling that he could not (not that he had any interest in it) be retained in the Army. The hired gun retained by the VA to conduct the compensation and pension exam wrote that the observed injuries were just due to age and likely some injury that predated the veteran’s draft physical, this in the face of the vet’s own orthopedist’s informed medical opinion that the injuries were clearly incurred (on the basis of the Army’s own records and his own examination) during the vet’s service. The examples are rampant.

        I will say that the VA care system (which is being privatized and monetized and shriveled as we watch) is at least as good and usually a lot better than what I have experienced, from the HMOs way back when to the PE-owned clinics and not-for-easily-visible profit hospitals.

        Crapification , all the way down.

  19. Cuibono

    VE data from Israel now suggesting that by underestimating the percent of pop that are vaccinated they overestimated the decline in VE.
    All by way of saying observational data are notoriously difficult to get right. Lots of confounding influence on both numerator (for example who gets tested ) and denominator.

    1. Yves Smith

      May be true but smells of Pfizer muscling.

      Israel unlike the US is 1. A small country with 2. A fine health care system, which implies 3. Odds high of very good records.

      And an earlier tweet, admittedly with one week of data out of Israel in early July, showed infection rates among vaccinated v. unvaccinated stratified by age. Absolutely proportional. That’s actually worse than the official low efficacy #s publicized.

      1. m

        The data isn’t hard to get. Most hospitals in USA use EPIC & Cerner. Years ago when Obamacare rolled out and hospitals got dinged for 30 day readmits the place where I did my internship had a group-RNs, SW & risk management coming up with anyway to keep that person from coming back till day 31. They could go through that program and find all patients with disease X and other criteria.
        All patients that come to the hospitals for any reason are tested for covid. So, we know who is + or -. They have added a section pertaining to the vaccine, we know who got the V, which & when. If you are asymptomatic or mild you go home, if you have moderate to severe you are then admitted. They can easily find breakthrough cases. There are also programs that link to big pharmacy chains, so if you got V’d there, it is in the system.
        Cases are increasing, but it is the same group as pre V. Poor, no insurance, undiagnosed disease cause they have no PCP and the elderly from long term care who are fully V’d. At least where I am right now.
        We shall see what happens and I will do as much OT this winter cause when the hammer comes down I don’t plan on being part of this mass experiment.

  20. rowlf

    “Washington is a lobbying boom town under Biden”

    How fast can Hunter Biden paint? Has he considered switching to lithographs?

    1. Dr. John Carpenter

      Maybe he borrow some techniques from Thomas Kinkade? Doubt he’s needing them much these days. Hunter already has proved he can live that lifestyle (and top it, really.)

  21. jr

    Re: anti-libraries

    Anti-libraries are fine and all until you have to move. Then those stacks take on a new dimension, for me it was approximately the volume of eight or so boxes. I found myself weighing each book’s value against it’s actual weight.

    P.S. moving tip: use wine/booze boxes for books. They are smaller generally so you won’t overpack them and they are sturdy so they can stack and won’t burst.

    1. petal

      I just moved, have a lot of books from 20 years of adulting and 10 years of that living one mile from the Harvard Coop-my antilibrary because my 2 dogs think books are tasty. I use plastic sterilite bins. They have handles, lids, and haven’t broken. I know it’s plastic, but they’re safe from water and stuff until I finally settle permanently(haha).

  22. antidlc


    Pfizer Boosts Forecast for Vaccine Sales to $33.5 Billion

    Pfizer Inc. now expects its Covid-19 vaccine to bring in $33.5 billion in revenue this year, putting it on course to become one of the best-selling medicines of all time.

    The New York drugmaker had previously projected vaccine sales for the year of $26 billion. The upward revision is a sign demand for the shots, which Pfizer sells with German partner BioNTech SE, is surging as countries battle new outbreaks fueled by the delta virus variant.

    Copyright © BloombergQuint

    1. Rainlover

      I propose an FDA reg that sets a limit on the amt of profit a Corp can make on a vaccine after which the patents are cancelled and the rest of the profits fund public health. Never happen but one can dream…

        1. JTMcPhee

          Gee, and that is the problem, isn’t it, Bill? The people with all the money control the definitions that get written into laws and regulations. So not to worry, “profit” will likely continue to be sacrosanct, however murderous and destructive it is. Time to go check the ticker on my stock holdings…

  23. Elizabeth

    Thanks IM Doc for all your updates -it’s amazing the media keeps digging in that the reason for the uptick in cases is because of those deplorable unvaccinated people. Reporters even go so far as to interview sick, unvaccinated people in their hospital beds – asking the question, “Do you wish you had been vaccinated?” I can’t imagine why hospitals allow this kind of reporting. It is not only an invasion of privacy, but designed to humiliate and shame the patient. I’m so sick and tired of this shaming – it obviously isn’t working.

    Sometimes I get so discouraged because it seems like the public is getting “misinformation” on purpose. It all makes me wonder what the real agenda is.

  24. jr

    Third COVID shot may make masks unnecessary according to this fellow:


    This cannot be at all correct, I’ll go ahead and say it as a licensed medical non-entity. Furthermore, the image of the embedded video doesn’t help. Seeing that guy leaning in to address me makes me feel like a bartender at a dive bar next to a 24 hour porno theatre…and I just noticed he is hyping his book in the background. Maybe he is hoping his comforting words spur sales?

    1. Daryl

      Well, it’ll be effective until you know, the fourth shot you’ll need for the Echo variant…

  25. Phillip Allen

    Throwing this tidbit over the transom, which I found as a Pocket teaser today courtesy of Firefox. “This originally appeared on Elle and was published April 2, 2019.” [Presumably on elle dot com.) Far lengthier than I expected, but fully justifying my throw-up-a-little-in-my-mouth reaction to the headline and tagline:

    FBI Agent Turned CNN Analyst Asha Rangappa Wants to Restore Your Faith in America

    “Having seen how the sausage is made,” she says, “I feel less worried about it.”

    If you want to skip the lifestyle reporting, the Mueller hagiography, the TDS, just replace the headline’s “Turned” to “Assigned” and you’ll know pretty much all you need to know.

    I’m terrible at successfully posting links. I’ll do it in clear in case I fail . . .

    What do you know! I did not fail. Huzzah for the Old Dog!


  26. Carolinian

    Bob Odenkirk collapsed yesterday on the set of Better Call Saul, the final season. Hope he is going to be ok!

    The show is supposed to return this fall.

  27. Raymond Sim

    My take on the ‘wrong denominator’ interpetation of Israeli Covid data: it would appear that high and low vaccination populations are somewhat segregated in Israel, and this is affording us two valuable insights:

    1) High vaccination rates were not a bar to uncontrolled spread of Delta.

    2) Having eventually gotten in among unvaccinated people, it’s making a larger percentage of them seriously ill.

    Note that waning efficacy over time is not being addressed, merely the that percentage of seriously ill people who were vaccinated is only a guide to efficacy if you know what percentage of the group experiencing transmission is vaccinated.

    1. JTMcPhee

      I wonder which cohort the Arab-Israelis fall into, or if the wealth effect divvies that cohort up too?

      1. Raymond Sim

        I’m not up to date on Israeli data, but it’s a pretty safe guess that Haredi communities are now experiencing rapid growth of Delta, and that’s the source of the new conclusions.

  28. Val

    Glen Ford possessed a moral and intellectual courage that is vanishingly rare in our nation and almost extinct in our political culture.

    I shall twist a family-blogging fatty of the Grail Kush in remembrance.

    There is but one human family and we are of it.

  29. The Rev Kev

    “Obama setting up big bash to celebrate his 60th”

    Would it be crass of me to hope that this turns into a superspreader event like happened with Trump’s garden party?

  30. KD

    “Straight White Male: The Lowest Difficulty Setting There Is”

    Is the Battle of Blood River on Xbox these days?

  31. The Rev Kev

    “Hobby Lobby forfeits ancient tablet with the “Epic of Gilgamesh” to Justice Department”

    This is all the fault of George Bush actually. In the lead-up to the invasion a delegation of archeologists, antiquarians and the like met with him to plead that US forces would protect all of Iraq’s rich historical material, especially the museums. They pointed out to him that this was also an international legal requirement as an invading/occupying force. But afterwards Bush received a delegation from antiquarian collectors telling him all that would be able to be ‘liberated’ if he looked the other way and the rest was history. Iraq’s museums were looted and the US built a military base on top of Ur, one of the most ancient cities in the world. A torrent of artifacts were stolen and much of it ended up in countries like the US, the UK and Israel with them slow-walking any return of materials back to Iraq.

Comments are closed.