2:00PM Water Cooler 4/4/2022

By Lambert Strether of Corrente

Readers, thank you so much for making the 2022 Water Cooler mini-fundraiser a resounding success! Amazingly, on the final day you blew through the 350 target I set — which I thought was a stretch goal — with 447 contributions, with the big surge coming on the second day. Your contributions really take the edge off, and I am very, very grateful. –lambert P.S. This is not a pitch! We’re done now!

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Bird Song of the Day

Again at reader Lena’s suggestion, this is California Quail week at Naked Capitalism. Can this possibly be what they sound like?!

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“But what is government itself, but the greatest of all reflections on human nature?” –James Madison, Federalist 51

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

“When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro.” –Hunter Thompson

Capitol Seizure

“Large parts of the Jan. 6 ‘gap’ have already been filled” [Philip Bump, WaPo]. • What fascinates me is that Trump recorded not one but two videos asking the Capitol rioters to stand down, the second of which “acknowledged that there would be a transfer of power to Joe Biden on Jan. 20.” So do the “gaps” matter all that much? I mean, recording those videos seems a strange strategy for seizing power in a coup. Why not ask the rioters to occupy the Capitol?

“Jan. 6 panel wonders: Is Trump criminal referral necessary?” [Politico]. “Should the Jan. 6 committee ask the Justice Department to pursue a criminal case against Donald Trump? It’s a question with political heft but no practical effect — and some panel members are increasingly skeptical. After all, as multiple lawmakers on the select committee noted in recent interviews, the Justice Department is aware of the volume of evidence pointing to violations of the law by Trump. That evidence got underscored emphatically last week, when a federal judge ruled the former president ‘more likely than not’ committed felonies to try to overturn the 2020 election.” • Passing the buck to Merrick Garland….

Biden Adminstration

“Senate strikes $10B Covid deal” [Politico]. “Senate negotiators struck a deal on $10 billion in Covid aid on Monday, according to four people familiar with the agreement, setting the chamber on a potential course to clear the bill this week. The compromise would reprogram billions in unused money from other coronavirus bills to deliver funding for therapeutics, testing and vaccine distribution. However, it does not include global pandemic aid sought by Democrats and a handful of Republicans, the people said, which could become a sticking point when the package comes before the House.”

“Student loans: Democrats push to ease ‘unnecessary high bar’ for debt relief in bankruptcy” [Yahoo News]. “As prominent Democrats call on the president to extend the payment pause and cancel student loan debt, a group of lawmakers sent a separate request to two agencies for an update on how the federal government is working to make debt relief more accessible for bankrupt student debtors. Unlike other forms of debt [thanks to Joe Biden], federal student loans are not easily erased when a debtor undergoes bankruptcy proceedings. Debtors need to prove that they would suffer from ‘undue hardship’ due to the loans, a standard that’s been very difficult to meet.”

Democrats en Déshabillé

I have moved my standing remarks on the Democrat Party (“the Democrat Party is a rotting corpse that can’t bury itself”) to a separate, back-dated post, to which I will periodically add material, summarizing the addition here in a “live” Water Cooler. (Hopefully, some Bourdieu.) It turns out that defining the Democrat Party is, in fact, a hard problem. I do think the paragraph that follows is on point all the way back to 2016, if not before:

The Democrat Party is the political expression of the class power of PMC, their base (lucidly explained by Thomas Frank in Listen, Liberal!). It follows that the Democrat Party is as “unreformable” as the PMC is unreformable; if the Democrat Party did not exist, the PMC would have to invent it. If the Democrat Party fails to govern, that’s because the PMC lacks the capability to govern. (“PMC” modulo “class expatriates,” of course.) Second, all the working parts of the Party reinforce each other. Leave aside characterizing the relationships between elements of the Party (ka-ching, but not entirely) those elements comprise a network — a Flex Net? An iron octagon? — of funders, vendors, apparatchiks, electeds, NGOs, and miscellaneous mercenaries, with assets in the press and the intelligence community.

Note, of course, that the class power of the PMC both expresses and is limited by other classes; oligarchs and American gentry (see ‘industrial model’ of Ferguson, Jorgensen, and Jie) and the working class spring to mind. Suck up, kick down.

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I have been neglecting my Bourdieu lately, I would like to think because it’s hard to type in. But perhaps there are other reasons, as we shall see. In any case, I am now up to page 67 of Forms of Capital:

I propose to start today with a brief preamble on the meaning of “understanding” for sociology [first by] quoting a statement by Wittgenstein….”

What makes a subject difficult to understand — if it is significant, important — is not that some special instruction about abstruse things is necessary to understand it. Rather it is the contract between the understanding of the subject and what most people want to see. Becaise of this the very things that are most obvious can become the most difficult to understand. What has to be overcome is not the difficulty of the intellect but of the will.

This very clear text expresses extremely well what I often say about sociology: practicing sociology would not be so difficult if the will to understand were not so fraught: the social object is to some extent something that we do not wish to understand

(Keynes seems to have described something akin to this phenomena as well: “The process by which banks create money is so simple that the mind is repelled.”) Here is an example of “the social object” in action, if I understand Bordieu’s concepts correctly (which I might not):

How did such a disaster for democracy in America come to happen? And on a mass scale? Examples could be multiplied (WMFs; Ukraine). I can’t give an account of this. (“Sheeple” is essentialist, not social.) Is my problem lack of will?

* * *

“Cuomo Sues Ethics Panel to Block It From Seizing Book Profits” [New York Times]. “The suit is the latest example of the visible and aggressive stance that Mr. Cuomo, who resigned as governor in August, has adopted since his return to public life in recent months. Mr. Cuomo’s resignation came after a report by the attorney general, Letitia James, found he had sexually harassed multiple women, including some who worked for him. Mr. Cuomo has denied any harassment. After several months in seclusion, Mr. Cuomo has re-emerged lately. He has spent hundreds of thousands of dollars on television ads to promote his accomplishments as governor, spoken at two churches and started to shift from talking about his personal issues to broader political themes. Where he once expressed contrition and said he had been ‘too familiar with people,’ he now blames ‘cancel culture’ for forcing his resignation.” • Since Cuomo wasn’t even slapped on the wrist for slaughtering thousands of elders in nursing homes, we have to assume that’s OK with the political class. Encouraged, even.

“DCCC Celebrates Gains In Diverse Hiring And Contracting” [HuffPo]. “Using a system of self-identification, the DCCC found that 43% of its staff members are people of color, 53% are women, 25% are members of the LGBTQ community, 1% identify as a gender other than man or woman, and 13% are people with a disability. Among what the DCCC considers senior staff, 47% of people identify as people of color, and 26% identify as members of the LGBTQ community. In addition, the DCCC’s spending on firms owned or run by people of color has increased dramatically. The DCCC says it spent $695,000 on contracts with vendors owned by people of color during the 2014 election cycle, the first election cycle when it tracked such data.” • A diverse staff certainly worked wonders for the Sanders campaign in 2020. Although, to be fair, I’d far rather have the next Manchin represent [insert favored identity here] and not [insert disfavored identity here]. I mean, look at the dividends diversity paid with Sinema! ($695,000 is pocket change. So far as I know, the billion-dollar budgets are still controlled by the same six consulting firms that brought us 2016, diverse or no.)

“Hillary Clinton: Hand wringing is part of the Democratic DNA” [The Hill]. “NBC’s ‘Meet the Press’ host Chuck Todd asked Clinton if she saw any similarities between the state of the Democratic Party now and how it was in early 90’s, noting that the party was grappling with what Democrats stood for ahead of the midterm elections in which they risk losing control over the House and Senate. Clinton answered that ‘hand wringing is part of the Democratic DNA. That seems to be in style whether we’re in or out of power.’ ‘We’re in power and there still is hand wringing going on. From my perspective, President Biden is doing a very good job,’ she added.” • The kiss of death? Probably not….

Republican Funhouse

“Why Biden’s jobs boom isn’t translating” [Politico]. “There is a remarkable disconnect among the American public involving the reality of the jobs market and the perception of it. A little-noticed survey by Navigator Research last month showed that 37 percent of the public thought that more jobs had been lost (yes, lost) over the last year while just 28 percent thought that they had been gained. That was particularly pronounced among Republicans, 47 percent of whom believed jobs had been lost over the last 12 months. Needless to say, that’s wildly inaccurate: The unemployment rate was 6.4 percent when JOE BIDEN took office. That these basic facts aren’t translating to the public says a lot about how news is disseminated and consumed. It’s also an illustration about how difficult it’s been for the White House to communicate its successes in light of the setbacks that have come along too…. An official with the National Republican Congressional Committee told me this week that of the 30 unique digital ad campaigns that the group has run this cycle, ‘probably 28 of them’ dealt with cost increases for goods and services; an astounding 93 percent. ‘Nothing I’ve seen in my decade of working in politics has been as salient as the inflation message with voters,’ said Michael McAdams, the NRCC’s communications director. ‘When Republicans are talking about people encountering rising prices every minute of every day versus Democrats talking about bridges that might be built in three years, it’s like an NFL team going against a peewee football team.'”


“Conor Lamb, Malcolm Kenyatta split on fracking, electability at U.S. Senate Democratic debate without John Fetterman” [Pittsburgh Post-Gazette]. “Mr. Fetterman’s campaign said he will participate in debates on April 21 and April 25 and one in early May.” • Hmm. Kenyatta looks like a spoiler to me. Readers?


“Pete Buttigieg Is Living His Best Life” [New York Magazine]. “In a year of woe and confusion for Biden — the war in Ukraine seems to be boosting a president who has been bogged down with Donald Trump–like approval ratings for many months — it has been Buttigieg who is out front and unruffled, the public face of a trillion-dollar infrastructure package that might be the president’s defining domestic-legacy item. At a time when other members of the Cabinet are struggling to escape the administration’s travails, Buttigieg has proved himself to be both a dogged defender of the president and an irrepressibly buoyant figure with a following all his own, as likely to appear in People magazine with his husband, Chasten, and the twins as on Meet the Press. Right time, right place for Buttigieg, who will always be known, to a certain crowd, as Mayor Pete.” • We’re already seeing beat sweeteners for Buttigieg. I fear for the Republic.

Realignment and Legitimacy

Sad news:


If you missed it, here last week’s post on my queasiiness with CDC numbers, especially case count, which I (still) consider most important, despite what Walensky’s psychos at CDC who invented “community levels” think. But these are the numbers we have. More bad data:

With a pathogen that multiplies geometrically, yes, slow data is bad data.

Case count by United States regions:

Fellow tapewatchers will note that “up like a rocket, down like a stick” phase is done with, and the case count– such as it is — is now leveling out. At a level that, a year ago, was considered a crisis, but we’re “over” Covid now, so I suppose not. I have added a Fauci Line. Perhaps this says more about my temperament than it does about the data, but occasionally I watch Japanese tsusami videos. The first signs, at least in the videos I’ve watched, are not roaring sounds or giant waves, but strange ripples in the water, boats rocking when they should not, and so on. And so, for those inclined to pick up on creepy little signals, we seem to be getting rather a lot of them, even leaving Europe out of the equation.

NOTE I shall most certainly not be using the CDC’s new “Community Level” metric. Because CDC has combined a leading indicator (cases) with a lagging one (hospitalization) their new metric is a poor warning sign of a surge, and a poor way to assess personal risk. In addition, Covid is a disease you don’t want to get. Even if you are not hospitalized, you can suffer from Long Covid, vascular issues, and neurological issues. For these reasons, case counts — known to be underestimated, due to home test kits — deserve to stand alone as a number to be tracked, no matter how much the political operatives in CDC leadership would like to obfuscate it.

MWRA (Boston-area) wastewater detection:

The MRWA is divided into two sections, North and South. Both are distinctly up. This chart aggregates them. The aggregate of the enormous Omicron spike conceals change, but change there is.

This little blip is especially uncomfortable, since it corresponds to Massachusetts’ sudden emergence onto both the Rapid Riser and the Hospitalization maps. (Note that Rhode Island, adjacent to the Southern MRWA catchment, and a college state to book, has just seen its hospitalization go vertical. Maybe I can devote a little time this week to seeing how Biobot’s county maps (incomplete though they are) match up to Rapid Riser counties.

The Massachusetts Water Resources Authority (MWRA) service area includes 43 municipalities in and around Boston, including not only multiple school systems but several large universities. Since Boston is so very education-heavy, then, I think it could be a good leading indicator for Covid spread in schools generally.

From CDC Community Profile Reports (PDFs), “Rapid Riser” counties:

Every so often I think of doing away with this chart, and then there’s another flare-up. I remember using the metaphor of flying coals in a forest fire — many land, but sputter out; a few catch, and the first spreads. What I notice about this round of flare-up is that the “coals” are the size of multiple counties, not, as previously, single ones. FWIW! (Remember that these are rapid riser counties. A county that moves from red to green is not covid-free; the case count just isnt, well, rising rapidly.)

The previous release:

Here is CDC’s interactive map by county set to community transmission. This is the map CDC wants only hospitals to look at, not you:

Continuing slow improvement as the map shifts from mostly red to mostly yellow (assuming the numbers aren’t jiggered).

Hospitalization (CDC Community Profile):

Again, I don’t like the sudden effloresence of yellow and orange. I don’t care that the baseline is low. From the point of view of our hospital-centric health care system, green everywhere means the emergency is over (and to be fair, this is reinforced by case count and wastewater). However, community transmission is still pervasive, which means that long Covid, plus continuing vascular damage, are not over. (Note trend, whether up or down, is marked by the arrow, at top. Admissions are presented in the graph, at the bottom. So it’s possible to have an upward trend, but from a very low baseline.)

Death rate (Our World in Data):

Total: 1,008,198 1,007,320. We did it. Break out the Victory Gin. An unfortunate upward blip. I have added an anti-triumphalist Fauci Line.

Covid cases in top us travel destinations (Statista):

Stats Watch

Manufacturing: “United States Factory Orders” [Trading Economics]. “Factory orders in the US declined by 0.5% month-over-month to $542 billion in February of 2022, the first decline since April last year as supply constraints and shortages of materials continue to weigh while consumer demand has been shifting from goods to services. Figures came in line with market forecasts.”

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The Bezzle: “After a $625 million hack, the party must go on” [CNN]. Why? More: “There was the branded swag, the free drinks and the mingling. But something was amiss at the Axie Infinity meet-up at Pattern Bar in Downtown LA. Earlier in the day, Axie Infinity, the play-to-earn crypto game in which players collect digital pets known as “Axies,” had announced that the Ronin Network, the crypto network that helps power the game, was the victim of a hack of $625 million — a monumental amount, even in the era of mega crypto heists. The Ronin Network was developed by Axie Infinity publisher Sky Mavis. Even worse, March 29, the day of the hack’s announcement, was supposed to be a banner day for the popular crypto company. When asked if they were concerned about their investments, many of the the assembled Axie crowd were zen about their holdings. ‘I’m an optimist,’ said Chris, who declined to give his last name, with a shrug. ‘I think they’re going to recover,’ said Vince Zolezzi, who told me that a quarter of his portfolio is in the Ronin network. ;I think they’re going to find a way to get it back or if there’s insurance on it. I’m not personally worried about it. It’s going to be ok. … I have faith. They’ve gotten where they have for a reason.'” • They have, but it’s not the reason you think.

The Bezzle: “The great NFT sell-off: has the digital collectibles craze hit its peak?” [Financial Times]. From March, still germane. “Digital items known as non-fungible tokens burst into mainstream culture last year, as several animal collections including Bored Ape Yacht Club, Cool Cats and Pudgy Penguins spiked in price, aided by celebrity endorsements and social media hype. By the end of 2021, nearly $41bn had been spent on NFTs — making the market almost as valuable as the global art market. But almost as rapidly, large portions of the market have begun to deteriorate, leaving novice investors with big losses and raising questions about the long term outlook for NFTs. The average selling price of an NFT has dropped more than 48 per cent since a November peak to around $2,500 over the past two weeks, according to data from the website NonFungible. Daily trading volumes on OpenSea, the biggest marketplace for NFTs, have plummeted 80 per cent to roughly $50mn in March, just a month after they reached a record peak of $248mn in February.” • That’s a damn shame.

Tech: “Elon Musk buys 9.2% stake in Twitter, making him the largest shareholder” [CNN]. “‘Given that Twitter serves as the de facto public town square, failing to adhere to free speech principles fundamentally undermines democracy,’ Musk tweeted last month. ‘What should be done?’ Any time an investor buys 5% or more of a company’s shares, they must disclose the purchase in filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Although a stake of less than 10% in a company is considered ‘passive’ in the eyes of Wall Street, it could signal an effort by Musk to take a more active role in how Twitter is run. That is one of the factors prompting other investors to buy shares and drive up the price early Monday. ‘I think he intends to go active and force change at Twitter,’ said Dan Ives, tech analyst as Wedbush Securities. ‘This is a shot across the bow at Twitter’s board and management team to start discussions.'”

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Today’s Fear & Greed Index: 51 Neutral (previous close: 49 Neutral) [CNN]. One week ago: 49 (Neutral). (0 is Extreme Fear; 100 is Extreme Greed). Last updated Apr 4 at 1:19pm.

Rapture Index: Closes down one on Oil Supply/Price. “Oil prices are down.” [Rapture Ready]. Record High, October 10, 2016: 189. Current: 187. (Remember that bringing on the rapture is a good thing, so higher is better.)

Sports Desk

If only we had Presidents like Nixon these days:

The Conservatory

“The Most Underrated and Spontaneous of the Police, According to Stewart Copeland” [New York Magazine]. Copeland: “The hi-hat is the upper level of the rhythm. There’s two layers of rhythm: One is the 16th-notes, or the fast notes, which you’ll normally hear on the cymbals or hi-hat. The other half of the rhythm is the backbeat and kick relationship, or the downbeat and the backbeat. The snare and the kick drum interact to create the meat of the rhythm. But the upper level, the hi-hat and the cymbals doing those 16th-notes — the faster patterns — are the connective tissue for the meat and potatoes of kick snare. It’s the interaction of those elements that make a rhythm what it is. The hi-hat contributes to the upper level. It’s a particularly useful instrument because it’s two cymbals pressed together, and how tightly they’re pressed together is controlled by your left foot. If you release your foot a little bit, it opens it up completely. So your left foot is controlling the texture of that upper-level rhythm with a high degree of expression. There’s a whole kind of vocabulary that you can put into that upper level of the rhythms.” • Not a big Police fan, but still an interesting interview. Hi-hat fans rejoice!

The Gallery

I would not have thought this was Monet, and I don’t think this is Leicester Square:

Guillotine Watch

I’m so old I remember “bending the curve”:

In retrospect, “bend the curve” was indeed framed as a collective responsbility, but the benefits went to hospitals. (Not to trash all the medical workers, nurses, doctors, and everyone else. They’re trapped in a vile system like everyone else.) As soon as the hospitals were in the clear — that is to say, the PMC in those institutions were in the clear — collective responsibility was out the window, along with non-pharmaceutical interventions generally.

Class Warfare

“Meet Christian Smalls and Derrick Palmer, the DIY Duo Behind the Amazon Labor Union’s Guerrilla Bid to Make History” [The City]. Written before the Union victory: “Tall and slender, with a short cropped beard, Smalls is eerily calm about the union vote that runs through Wednesday at the JFK8 fulfillment center. ‘I’ve been dealing with this machine for so many years, almost seven years now,’ he said. ‘If you’re stressed out and on edge, you’re gonna make the wrong decisions. So you just gotta keep the cool, calm and collected route,’ he said in an interview earlier this month. Smalls, who lives in Newark, cuts an unlikely figure for a union boss. His black ALU stamped face mask slipped as he talked with THE CITY earlier this month, revealing a set of gold grills. He’s got tattoos on his neck — ‘Daniel,’ his middle name, is on one side, and a music scale with some notes on the other. He’s lost count of how many tattoos he has, but it’s “quite a few, my kids’ names and stuff now. It’s a lot different now. Now I have a reason to get them.’ … When he first emerged as a leader of the 2020 COVID safety protests, Amazon management attempted to use his street-casual demeanor as a way to discredit him. In a leaked memo of a meeting, Amazon executives, including CEO Jeff Bezos, said Smalls was ‘not smart, or articulate,’ and sought to create a media narrative around Smalls to make him ‘the face of the entire union/organizing movement.’ The memo sparked something in Smalls, who in reality is soft spoken and meticulous about his words. ‘Ironically, he said to make me the face of the whole unionizing effort, so I said, ‘OK, that’s a good idea.’: • Ha! Seven years! Commentary:

$120,000? That wouldn’t cover the typical NGO’s coffee budget….

News of the Wired

I gotta get more wired…

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About Lambert Strether

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


    1. IM Doc


      A paper written by Dr. Fauci and 2 others. Dr. Fauci himself is listed as the corresponding writer.

      As I have repeatedly stated for the past 2 years, when one looks at any of the standard textbooks of Infectious Disease, this “lack of herd immunity” concept is front and center in the chapters on Coronaviruses and even other respiratory virus families. This is nothing new. This has been settled science for decades.

      Coronaviruses, influenza viruses, and other respiratory viruses simply do not behave with herd immunity the way others such as measles and smallpox do. They just do not. It is not in their nature. Those of us who have taken care of flu patients all of our lives know this. It has been just horrible watching this complete misconception that COVID has herd immunity being preached by our media for the past two years. And both sides have been doing it. One side is all about vaccine immunity – the other is natural immunity. HINT – Vaccine immunity will not last but neither will natural immunity. There is debate about which would last longer, but both sides have been completely out of line professing this for the past 2 years. Anyone who had bothered to read a word in these textbooks would have easily been able to predict the failure of the vaccines to decrease transmission and infection. But they also should know that infection based immunity will not last either.

      WHAT WILL HAPPEN – is as time goes on, we will build up enough immunity to decrease our immune response to future variants in the deep hard drives of our immune system. That will allow us to get sick ( and get sick we will ) but will not be sending us to the hospital. But again, we will still be passing this around for the rest of humanity. And each of us will get sick repeatedly as we do so. But eventually it will be just an illness that we live with just like Coronavirus OC43. The issue is getting from where we are now to that point. OC43 was almost assuredly birthed into the world in the 1890s as the Great Russian Flu. And here we are 130 years later – and it is still being passed around to every human on this planet. And HINT – it took 12-15 waves in the 1890s during the acute pandemic phase for this to calm down. We have now had 3 waves with COVID. Wuhan, Delta, and Omicron. And 2nd HINT – the succeeding waves in the 1890s were variable in their virulence – It was not a step wise progression down in virulence.

      I am so sorry to be be the bearer of bad news. Since OC43 was likely the only other wide Coronavirus pandemic in living memory, it is what we have to compare COVID to. If the comparison holds up, we still have quite a ways to go and there will likely be multiple future waves and variants – some easy and some not so fun. Introducing a non-sterilizing vaccine into this mix is one of the most unique medical experiments ever conducted. I am going to be very interested to see how this all works out.

      The other critically important outstanding issue about SARS COV2 that is still outstanding is the exact damage it is able to convey on its victims and the penetrance of this damage in the population. This is a very important issue – and is COVID specific. We just do not know yet.

      I do not know about you, I find it almost alarming that 2 years into this, Dr. Fauci is writing a paper about an assertion that should have been known by our authorities on DAY 1. Believe me – this was being discussed in Infectious Disease and other medical conferences from Day 1. And he is writing this as if this is a new thing. Downright alarming.

      1. petal

        IM Doc, yeah, I could never understand the whole herd immunity to coronavirus push. I took graduate level Virology at my current institution, and that it’s not possible was a concept drummed into us. As you say, it was settled. When the herd immunity push started, it made my brain hurt. It was like “wtf, it doesn’t work that way. Why are these people saying this? It’s wrong.” You couldn’t even talk about it, because it was almost like a tidal wave, the message that there can be this magical herd immunity to covid. You may as well have been screaming in Space.

      2. ajc

        WHAT WILL HAPPEN – is as time goes on, we will build up enough immunity to decrease our immune response to future variants in the deep hard drives of our immune system.

        Can that actually happen with a virus that infects and destroys T-cells? I’m no expert, but it seems to me when you have a virus that actively attacks the immune system (one essential part of the deep hard drive), you will never get the kind of immunity you are talking about.

        The response to this virus has had the feeling of generals fighting the last war since the beginning of the pandemic. It seems to subvert the experts expectations at every turn, especially those who rely on the poorly documented history of previous global pandemics to try and understand and predict the course of this one.

        I’ve appreciated all your posts about covid. I’m just less sanguine that this virus will recede and just become another cold virus, especially considering the systemic impacts on the human body and health from infection. I don’t know of any other virus that attacks the immune system, causes brain damage, and/or causes diabetes in children (plus everything else), and can do it while presenting as mild or non-symptomatic during initial acute phase of infection. And I don’t see how the immune system will adapt to that kind of infectious agent, especially since the immune system is a direct target of this virus. And I don’t see how humans will socially adapt either, since the urgency of normal is much more pressing than maintaining the health and safety of the social organism.

        1. Basil Pesto

          yes, I think I agree with you. The OC43 as Great Russian Flu SARS/Coronavirus hypothesis is very interesting but by no means conclusively settled.

          Even if you do accept it as correct though, a key difference is that we’re a lot more globalised now than in the 1890s, and the scale of the spread, and therefore the speed at which the virus can mutate is on a whole different level than it would have been way back when. That surely would have to be a significant set of variables.

          But setting that aside, from what I understand, at the genetic level, SARS-nCoV-2 is quite the different proverbial animal to OC43, to the extent that I’m not sure how germane or instructive the comparisons are.

      3. antidlc

        “I do not know about you, I find it almost alarming that 2 years into this, Dr. Fauci is writing a paper about an assertion that should have been known by our authorities on DAY 1. Believe me – this was being discussed in Infectious Disease and other medical conferences from Day 1. And he is writing this as if this is a new thing. Downright alarming.”

        When I read this, I wondered, “WHAT TOOK HIM SO LONG???”

        Is there something going on behind the scenes?

        Thanks for all you do, IM Doc.

        1. antidlc

          “Is there something going on behind the scenes?”

          Evidently, the CDC is undergoing a revamp:

          CDC announces revamp plans, hires outside official for review

          -The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on Monday announced plans to revamp itself, with Director Rochelle Walensky hiring an outside senior federal health official to conduct a one-month review.

          James Macrae, an associate administrator in the Department of Health and Human Services, will join CDC on a one-month assignment from April 11 to listen to and engage with the agency’s COVID-19 response activities, Walensky said in an email to her colleagues.

          Macrae will provide Walensky insight into how CDC’s programs can be strengthened.

          She has also asked three senior officials at CDC to gather feedback on the agency’s current structure and solicit suggestions for strategic change.

          I don’t know if this had anything to do with Fauci’s document.

        2. Tempanota

          Because they had to milk the taxpayers and the public with two years of fear mongering, profit taking and most importantly, 5 Trillion of bail outs for their friends based on an endless pandemic.

      4. Mikel

        “I do not know about you, I find it almost alarming that 2 years into this, Dr. Fauci is writing a paper about an assertion that should have been known by our authorities on DAY 1. Believe me – this was being discussed in Infectious Disease and other medical conferences from Day 1. And he is writing this as if this is a new thing. Downright alarming.”

        This kind of thing is all over the place in all kinds of disciplines…relearning the lessons already learned.

        They’re liars who will say anything for money. I doubt most of their claims about their shot therapies are true.

      5. Lambert Strether Post author

        > I do not know about you, I find it almost alarming that 2 years into this, Dr. Fauci is writing a paper about an assertion that should have been known by our authorities on DAY 1. Believe me – this was being discussed in Infectious Disease and other medical conferences from Day 1. And he is writing this as if this is a new thing. Downright alarming.

        CYA? Make you wonder — not that I’m foily — what Fauci knows that we do not yet know.

    2. Joe Well

      Their conclusion is that we can “control” endemic COVID with the existing vaccines and treatments, especially monoclonal antibodies.

      Reading the first few pages, I did not see a single mention of ventilation and filtration, sterilizing intranasal vaccines, or prophylactic treatments. Just a handwave that non pharmaceutical interventions such as masks have met stiff resistance from the public.

      Also they bemoan that small pox is the only human virus to be eliminated. No mention of the role that US foreign policy has played in drawing a veil of suspicion around vaccination programs, especially in Pakistan, or the low funding levels of vaccination programs relative to the benefit to humanity in eliminating these diseases.

      1. Lambert Strether Post author

        > I did not see a single mention of ventilation and filtration, sterilizing intranasal vaccines, or prophylactic treatments

        Perhaps that was the real point of the paper.

        “Fundamentally, nothing will change.”

  1. Anon

    Interesting piece in the WSJ today:

    The New Progressives Fight Against Consumer Welfare

    Having read Goliath by Matt Stoller, it seems the history that Christine Wilson and Phil Gramm are laying down is at best, a mischaracterization of what happened, especially with Penn Central; Wilson and Gramm argue that it was over-regulation, Stoller argues that it was financial mismanagement.

  2. Toshiro_Mifune

    There is a remarkable disconnect among the American public involving the reality of the jobs market and the perception of it. A little-noticed survey by Navigator Research last month showed that 37 percent of the public thought that more jobs had been lost (yes, lost) over the last year while just 28 percent thought that they had been gained. That was particularly pronounced among Republicans, 47 percent of whom believed jobs had been lost over the last 12 months. Needless to say, that’s wildly inaccurate:

    You know… When all of you data is saying one thing and a large segment of the public is saying something else it could just be messaging/the media, but you’d also want to check and make sure your data is, indeed, accurate.

  3. DJG, Reality Czar

    Reading the profile of presidential Pete gave me a lick of PeTeSD.

    To quote: “The former mayor of South Bend, Indiana, has been marked for stardom since his Harvard days, shooting to national fame with a surprisingly viable presidential campaign in 2020. In New Hampshire, Biden cut a blistering ad mocking Buttigieg’s small-town roots — comparing the former veep’s revitalization of the U.S. auto industry with Buttigieg’s revitalization of South Bend’s sidewalks — but Buttigieg still managed to strategically endorse Biden not long after, helping consolidate votes against a surging Bernie Sanders.”

    The unbearable lightness of being Buttigieg. Stardom. Tactical (not strategic, please) “endorsements.” “Helping consolidate.” Yep, he’s a helpful guy to have around.

    Like Hillary Clinton, Pete Buttigieg is a résumé in search of a host to parasitize.

    1. Geo

      The other day we had a little discussion here about how PR is more important than quality in the art world. Seems that is the case in most areas of life, including politics.

      Having a resume of resume building titles is more important than actual accomplishments. But, even more important are all the glowing write ups in our press.

      “Journalism is printing what someone else does not want published; everything else is public relations.” – George Orwell

    2. Questa Nota

      can’t wait for to be gavaged with the next take on Most Qualified Evah

      too soon?

  4. Rick

    Sorry, I give up: what’s a WMF? White married female is what an internet search returns. I doubt it refers to a Windows metafile.

    1. LaRuse

      I believe it was meant to say “WMD” = Weapons of Mass Destruction. D and F being neighbors on the QWERTY and all that, it’s an easy typo.

      1. Rick

        Thanks, I suppose that’s it. One of the downsides of OAOOC (Online Acronyms Out Of Control), one supposes: having to consider typo permutations as well. SMH &c.

        1. Robert Gray

          Well, the only thing is that WMD is not an acronym, ‘out of control’ or otherwise. An acronym is a nym, i.e., a name or, simply, a word. A word can be spoken. NATO, just to pick one from today’s headlines, is an acronym: a word made from the acro, i.e., ‘high’ — cf. Acropolis — (i.e., initial, capital) letters of a multi-word name or title. If you can’t say it, it’s not an acronym. WMD is only a string of initials, which some people call an ‘initialism’.

          1. WobblyTelomeres

            I recall a cartoon of a door labeled “Angry Citizens Rabbling Over New York Minorities” in the New Yorker years ago.

          2. Rick

            ElOhEl – thanks for the nostalgia: I worked for a couple of decades with a physicist who would reliably deliver a lecture on initialism vs. acronym if someone said acronym when referring to an unpronounceable string of letters. I thought it rather mean when people would deliberately bait him by doing so.

            YMM, as they say, V.

  5. Henry Moon Pie

    Musk’s jump into Twitter was a topic on CNBC this morning. The report included information on the sources of Elon’s astronomical wealth: Tesla (but under 20%); Spacex; various cybercurrencies; and now the Twitter stock. No real estate, they said, not even a personal house.

    If the billionaires, the big banks, the institutional funds and the hedgies–not that big a community really–decided tomorrow to dump Elon, Elon would go to zero. To date, they’ve done the exact opposite: inflate Musk’s wealth almost to the point of being a joke.

    Is Musk much more than the billionaires’ carnival barker with his outrageous statements and behavior, all from an extreme Propertarian point of view? He provides cover for the real billionaires who know better than to have all their wealth in paper, especially paper deemed worth many multiples of the scrap price of the enterprises. They keep in the shadows while Musk keeps saying the quiet part out loud. Say it often enough, and some fools start to believe it, especially with the added luster of space flight and flashy electric cars (and self-driving too!).

    1. Dr. John Carpenter

      I’ve mentioned this before but TrueAnon’s three parter on Musk is the best resource on the guy I’ve ever heard:


      1. Stillfeelinthebern

        And I will chime in again, it is! We couldn’t stop listening. We had a 14 hr car trip that felt like 10 minutes.

      2. lyman alpha blob

        Thanks for those. I’ve been listening to TrueAnon recently and have a (probably dumb) question. You can find them on a few different platforms and sometimes you can listen to the whole show and other times it’s just a 2 minute trailer. Do you have to get a paid subscription in order to listen to the full version of every episode? You’d think it would mention that on the trailers, but I didn’t see it. And if you do get a subscription, does it let you listen to the full version on any platform?

        They’re on Spotify too and Spotify is constantly shoving ads at you so you’d think the ad revenue replaced the need for a subscription, but there too some episodes only have trailers. You can listen to the full version of Joe Rogan’s episodes for free using the free version of Spotify.

        1. CoryP

          Yeah every second episode (or whatever) requires a $5/month Patreon subscription. (Possibly they also do so on something other than Patreon, cant remember).

          I am a subscriber, but there may exist bootleg RSS feeds out there, considering I found one for Chapo (by accident) after I canceled my sub to them and then searched for their regular feed.

          A good strategy is to sign up for a single month and then download the whole back catalog and unsubscribe, but that’s somewhat time consuming.

          Rogan is a Spotify product after he signed the exclusivity contract. Whereas Spotify is just mirroring or syndicating TrueAnon’s free content so different situation. Spotify also pays musicians absolute shit, so I doubt it would be much different for podcasters.

          1. LawnDart

            Do they do transcripts? Podcasts and videos aren’t my thing– too cumbersome to back up video or rewind to re-listen: I prefer to just look away when mulling things over, absorb and ponder at my own pace.

            1. CoryP

              Not that I know of (I might be wrong!). I personally dislike videos but I can handle audio at work or driving or working out. Most podcast players have the backwards scrub button set to do something like “rewind 15 seconds”, so when I miss something that sounded important I usually just hammer that button a few times.

              I prefer reading in most cases, but the podcasts I listen to tend to be (partly) comedy which would be lost in transcription and make for an unwieldy read.

            2. CoryP

              I didn’t understand the use case for podcasts until I realized a subset of the tasks I do at work don’t engage the same part of my brain and I can listen without affecting my performance.

              Audio books seem like they’d be more information-dense so I’m still a bit skeptical of those.

  6. Lex

    Only in modern America would a union organizer need to be “intelligent” and “articulate”. Quotes because they mean PMC educated rather than actually intelligent and able to express themselves convincingly. Was Bezos expecting the reincarnation of Marx? He’s got plenty of time to read a book or two on historical union organizing to understand that the working class is historically best represented by the working class. Maybe Jeff thought he’d be getting a dem party McKinssey consultant?

    I do a lot of work that’s industry/construction adjacent. That infrastructure bill won’t go as far as it should and the amount of waste will be amazing. There also won’t be enough workers to actually do most of it. The whole industry is already booking close to year out and offering bids that are significantly higher than the norm simply because nobody needs the work. I do it too, issuing proposals based on what I’m willing to do the work for rather than what it costs or attempting to make sure we have a very competitive bid.

    1. Verifyfirst

      Remarkable to me is that Bezos himself (it true) is in a meeting about a guy in New Jersey who is trying to organize a union at one single warehouse.

      Scared much?! If only workers knew how much power they have……

  7. Lee

    The California quail call is indeed what they sound like. Perhaps it’s the speaker I’m using but to my ear, in the wild the calls are typically a bit higher pitched and softer.

    1. Wukchumni

      We used to have thousands of Cali quail here in tiny town, I called them suicidal quail, as they have this habit of running right towards your wheels as you’re tooling down the road, but always escape somehow at the last minute.

      This year maybe i’ve seen 40 quail, and I think its on account of another bird that would rather walk, and whose numbers have grown dramatically-wild turkeys.

      Quail are a odd bird in that they have their nests on the ground, and you’ll see upwards of 20 eggs in a nest (and then see 20 little quail following mom a few months later) and I think Johnny turk ate them all up in a clear cut case of a territorial dispute that led to ovumbalism.

    2. ambrit

      Is this iteration of ‘California Quail’ anything like that other West Coast ground roosting “chick,” the dreaded San Quentin Quail?

  8. Andy

    I’d be wary of trusting DuckDuckGo. From techrights.org…

    DuckDuckGo is a fraudulent ‘privacy’ firm, which falsely markets itself as a safe haven for privacy seekers. We wrote about DuckDuckGo in the following articles among more:

    Why You Should Avoid DuckDuckGo (DDG) 2021 Edition

    Why People Should Never Ever Use DuckDuckGo

    How (Simple Technical Steps) to Convince Yourself That DuckDuckGo is Just Spyware Connected to Microsoft, Falsely Advertised as ‘Privacy’

    1. Donald

      Why do I get a security alert every time I try to open that site? Self signed security certificate.

      I like search.brave.com

      it opens lists all the approved and banned websites, no problem. I’ll make my own decisions thank you.

      1. ambrit

        “I’ll make my own decisions thank you.”
        That is exactly what the Powers That Be do not want to hear.
        Now I’m wondering where the “back doors” in the ‘search.brave.com’ website lead to.

  9. Antifaxer

    The jobs thing is…..interesting…..

    Heard around the watercooler:

    People were I work had a meeting with higher-ups at the Carlyle Group and the sentiment amongst the ownership class is that the current labor shortage will be rectified this fall, because all the people not working will finally be forced back into the workplace and those who got greedy with wages will loose their jobs. (their words, not mine)

    They truly are delusional at this point.

    They firmly believe that a) there is some magic trove of workers who are going to just appear this fall to ease the hiring issues while subsequently b) this will allow them to hire workers for less money and keep those profits up.

    The sounds of pitchforks in the distance….

    1. Ned

      Much of the job gain is just people rehired after 1/3 or America’s small businesses were destroyed by shutdowns. You go from small business owner to Starbucks barista. The commercial pilot becomes a Walmart greeter. Both are employed at a nominally higher hourly wage than they would have made two years ago in those shitty jobs, but relative to inflation, they are working for far less.

      Meanwhile, here’s KamalAliden’s main support group: The Red Line and may a few of the yellow:


      1. Mr.Lee

        There is only one thing that will bet the administration, and the Powers that Be’s attention: Americans refusing to file income taxes, after filing a W4, exemption from withholding form. Might be too late for this April, but think ahead and download one, print it out and keep your own money, minus SS and state disability, which at least gives you some workman’s comp insurance.

        1. jimmy cc

          taxess dont fund government.

          the irs also has a tendency to levy bank accounts amd seize assets.

  10. jr

    “ What has to be overcome is not the difficulty of the intellect but of the will.”

    This is illuminating. So what happens when you apply this notion to the solipsism factory of post-structuralism and it’s twisted, demented offspring identitarianism and Wokeness? Whenever you are engaging with an IDpol cultist, you must remember you aren’t engaging on an intellectual level but rather you are wrestling with a mindset without an ontological basis, and therefore epistemic basis, other than what they wish it to be.

  11. Samuel Conner

    > I can’t give an account of this

    In a different context, I’ve become persuaded that a rough ‘rule of thumb’ is that “desire is more fundamental than belief. People believe what it is necessary for them to believe in order to feel justified in doing what they want to do.”

    Not sure if that’s an ‘account’ or just an attempt at ‘description.’

    Maybe it has something to do with chimp/pig hybridization.

    1. eg

      You might wish to investigate the origins of the term “rule of thumb” — it is NOT edifying …

  12. Darthbobber

    Kenyatta is little known outside Philly, and I’d be inclined to say he’s really not well known even here. His campaign, such as it is, is largely based on the idea that because he’s youngish and black he automatically represents the interests of anybody in that category. In spite of being just a very junior member of the state legislature he was well-regarded enough by tptb to be a Biden delegate for the 2020 convention. He’s anto Medicare for All, anti just about the whole Sanders wing’s preferred policies. And Lamb attacks him from the right.

    I think Kenyatta’s candidacy was intended to siphon black votes from Fetterman, but my impression here in Germantown is that that’s not really taking off. And if Kenyatta can’t muster much enthusiasm in Germantown, its safe assuming he’s doing worse literally everywhere else in the state.

      1. ambrit

        Let’s jump to the chase.
        Wokeness Candidate = WC.
        “We’re voting for a WC! S—!”

    1. Michael Ismoe

      Kenyatta’s job will be to attack Fetterman as a racist – it would be idiotic to have White Bread Lamb use that line. It’s Pennsylvania. If Kenyatta does as he’s told, they will move him up in the Party. Wouldn’t be a bad choice for a running mate for a white gubernatorial candidate.

      I hate to tell you this but there will never be a Senator Fetterman. If he wins the nomination (and it’s going to get ugly and dirty first) they will sandbag him in November. They did it to Joe Sestak when he took on Arlen Specter. That’s how Toomey got to be a senator for the last 12 years. They’d rather lose than let Fetterman win. And they know how to lose.

      1. Lambert Strether Post author

        > They’d rather lose than let Fetterman win. And they know how to lose.

        That’s my preferred scenario. But surely Fetterman knows this, so one might wonder if he has a strategy to cope with it.

    2. haywood

      Endorsed by Working Families Party, which has a nascent organization (not a formal party) up and running in Philly/Pittsburgh.

  13. Dr. John Carpenter

    Steward Copeland is one of my drumming heroes. He’s definitely known for his hi-hat work and that’s something I know I’ve swiped from his playing. For what it’s worth, he was one of two rock drummers I’ve ever read Buddy Rich compliment. Considering Buddy’s low opinion of rock drumming, praise doesn’t come much higher.

    1. QuicksliverMessenger

      One of my early drum heroes as well. I didn’t know much about the Police when someone took me to see them in 1982. I was pretty young and had just started playing drums. From the first moment they started I was immediately drawn to the drummer- he was attacking his set with such ferocity that I was blown away. He seems to be focal point of the band. And he played with a traditional grip. As with many drummers, he was so much better live than in the studio.

      And just seems so much cooler than that other guy on bass.

      One other side note to your comment- my mother was a jazz singer (grandmother also) and she took me to see Buddy Rich when I was about 10 years old. Incredible. Although I have heard he was one of the most arrogant musicians around. Also got to see Dizzie Gillespie with my parents too. I don’t remember who his drummer was but, needless to say, whoever he was, he was incredible.

      1. Questa Nota

        Rich acknowledged that he was a prickly guy and that drumming helped take the edge off that. He also got Johnny Carson into drumming as a way to not drink, as Carson was an admitted belligerent drunk. Artists helping one another.

      2. Dr. John Carpenter

        I’ve read a lot about Rich. He was a complex dude and a pretty interesting character. One of my favorite examples: he used to do drum battles with Gene Krupa. Krupa was older and was the first superstar drummer, a elk liked and respected guy. But as good as he was, Rich could play rings around Krupa and both men knew it. However, Rich would often pull his punches in these things out of respect and friendship he had with Gene. He wasn’t known to show many people mercy, but he loved Gene and, especially in the later years, didn’t want to embarrass him.

        On the other hand, I’d read about him getting wind of a drummer named Barrett Deems (who played with Louis Armstrong, among others) billing himself as “The World’s Greatest Drummer.” So, one night Buddy showed up unannounced and schooled him at his own gig. Mr. Deems apparently had the marquee changed after that incident.

        I’m envious you got to see him and Dizzy too! Dizzy is a hero of mine. He was another amazing musician.

  14. hemeantwell

    Re Bourdieu

    This very clear text expresses extremely well what I often say about sociology: practicing sociology would not be so difficult if the will to understand were not so fraught: the social object is to some extent something that we do not wish to understand

    It’s not only a matter of will, or if it is it’s a matter of will overcoming fear. The hellish climate of opinion we have now, in which a patriotic revival tries to sputter into full scream and shout down people who modestly quote yesterday’s war criminals against today’s, is geared to reptilian, fight/flight levels of consciousness. Good sociology is always at least dangerously close to triggering hindbrain responses. In his essay “Sociology and Psychology” Adorno put it this way:

    “…the fear of being cast out [has] long been internalized along with other taboos, and left their mark on the individual…This atavistic and often exaggerated social fear, which latterly, to be sure, can at any moment revert to real fear, has gathered such force that, however thoroughly one might see through its irrationality, it would nevertheless take a moral hero to cast it aside.”

    Nice to have a place like NC!

    1. Lambert Strether Post author

      > Good sociology is always at least dangerously close to triggering hindbrain responses.

      That’s a very interesting point. So, watching for a “hindbrain response” in one’s self — and then moving beyond it — might be a good process….

  15. Trainreq

    My recall of “The Rhythmatist” was that it was quite good, though it may be skewed by many, many years having passed.

    imdb link

  16. Mikel

    “the social object is to some extent something that we do not wish to understand”

    Exhibit A:
    This article from today:
    Do households save more when the kids leave?

    • In terms of saving, we found no evidence that parents were increasing their monthly mortgage payments, making large one-shot contributions to reduce their mortgage, or paying down mortgage debt. Thus, the conclusion that parents aren’t increasing their savings when the kids leave seems right.
    • In terms of consumption, parents do not appear to provide continued support to their kids once they leave home, nor do they expand support to any other family members. Hence, the story that parents reduce consumption once the kids leave also seems right.
    • Our findings with regard to income provide some explanation for how consumption can decrease and savings not increase. Specifically, we found that parents are in fact working less and earning about $2,500 less per year after their children become independent
    “…So, once again, the question of where do the resources go remains….”

    The elephant in the room: Healthcare costs are not mentioned once by these dimwits…

    Thus, prime example of something they don’t want to understand.
    And wow…they really don’t want to think inflation exists and has been out of hand since the 70s.

  17. Jason Boxman

    This little blip is especially uncomfortable, since it corresponds to Massachusetts’ sudden emergence onto both the Rapid Riser and the Hospitalization maps. (Note that Rhode Island, adjacent to the Southern MRWA catchment, and a college state to book, has just seen its hospitalization go vertical. Maybe I can devote a little time this week to seeing how Biobot’s county maps (incomplete though they are) match up to Rapid Riser counties.

    It is instructive that MA hasn’t published a graph without the massive Omicron peak, as that is clearly not relevant to anyone’s survival today, on a day to day basis. So naturally, it remains to distort whatever uptick might be taking place today. A public health service or disservice in action?

    1. c_heale

      Taken for wikipedia.

      This happens when the soil is disturbed often by clearing trees, construction and farming. The more land that is cleared, the more arid the soil, the riper the environment for Coccidioides (the fungi which causes valley fever).

      Maybe we need to live in more harmony with the Earth.

    2. Wukchumni

      Thanks for that~

      We were hiking to the Sequoia trees of Oriole Grove @ around 6k, and peering back into the Central Valley about 50 miles to the west, it had the look of a well shaken dirty snow globe that went up to about our altitude in the purple mountain majesties above the fruited plain.

      I’m not aware of anybody here in the foothills .who has Valley Fever, only occasionally a few cases of cabin fever

  18. Mikel

    Police/Stewart Copeland
    “Hi-hat fans rejoice!”

    For the past 20 or so years, hi-hat fans should be in heaven. Trap beats are all over all genres. It’s gimmicky.

  19. bwilli123

    From Alistair Crooke. A layperson’s guide to the New, New World Order.
    “The era of liberal globalization is over. Before our eyes, a new world economic order is being formed”

    …”How rapidly the wheel of fortune turns. It seems like only yesterday that a French Finance minister was touting the imminent the collapse of the Russian economy, and President Biden celebrated the Rouble being “reduced to rubble” – the collective West having seized foreign exchange reserves of the Central Bank of Russia; threatened to seize any Russian gold it could lay its hands on; as well as imposing unprecedented sanctions on Russian individuals, companies and institutions. Total fin-war!

    Well, it didn’t work out that way. It scared the bejesus out of Central Bankers around the world that their reserves might be up for seizing too if they strayed from ‘the line’. Nonetheless, Team Biden’s hubristic decision to try again to collapse of the Russian economy (first ‘go’ was 2014) may yet come to be viewed as a major geo-political inflection point.

    Its’ salience in geo-political terms may even ultimately equate to Nixon’s closing of the U.S. ‘gold window’ in 1971 – albeit, this time, with events pointing completely in the converse direction.

    The consequences to Nixon’s abandonment of gold were nuclear. The petrodollar based trading system that was birthed from it allowed America to ‘nuke’ the world with sanctions and secondary sanctions – giving the U.S. its unipolar financial hegemony (after U.S. militarism alone, as the global order’s main support pillar, became discredited in the wake of the 2006 Gulf War).

    Now, barely a month on, we see articles in the financial press that it is the Western financial system and world reserve currency that is in open decline, and not Russia’s economic system….”


  20. Wukchumni

    Germans have been informed that prices on food in supermarkets will go up 20-50%, and of course the same thing happened here, only nobody told us ahead of time.

  21. Michael Ismoe

    the DCCC found that 43% of its staff members are people of color, 53% are women, 25% are members of the LGBTQ community, 1% identify as a gender other than man or woman, and 13% are people with a disability.

    And zero percent have ever worked on a winning campaign. I’ll bet they don’t keep that statistic.

    1. hunkerdown

      They might be paying the #resistance to monitor social media like a cadre. They play for position, not score.

  22. Art_DogCT

    Regarding the Monet, Christie’s listed it for sale at auction in 2005 where it fetched $800,000. From my browsing, Monet produced a number of paintings from about 1900 until his death that were well-within the rubric ‘post-impressionist’ and even ‘expressionist’.

  23. Wukchumni

    UFC 86

    Rocky ‘Digital Dollar’ Balboa versus Ivan ‘Iron Rouble’ Drago

    Rocky hasn’t lost a fight since ’44 when he pounded £ in a TKO, although he was clearly out of his element in ’71…

    [musical interlude} Precious & Few, by Climax


    Ivan has an irony fist, and you’d have to think he’s thinking payback is a bitch, and revenge is a dish best served Cold War.

    2 currencies go into the Octagon, 1 emerges as VHS to the other being Beta.

    $39.95/ ₽3,350 PPV
    $49.96/ ₽4,175 PPV HD

  24. haywood

    The Amazon Labor Union spent only $120k on their campaign?

    That would barely cover the annual cost a campaign manager for most union organizing campaigns!

    1. drumlin woodchuckles

      When I first started reading your comment, I assumed you were going to feature one of the several neotropical cotinga-family birds called “bellbirds”. I did not know there is also an Australian bird called “bellbird” but I can see-hear why it is called that.

      Here is one of the several neotropical “bellbirds”.

  25. Robin Kash

    “DCCC Celebrates Gains In Diverse Hiring And Contracting”

    Now that they’ve got identity politics whipped maybe they can try addressing some things people actually need, e.g., climate change, healthcare for all, living wage, tuition-free higher education, affordable housing, and affordable childcare.

    1. drumlin woodchuckles

      DCCC is funded by its upper class funders to prevent these things. That is how the DCCC addresses them . . . .by targetting them for prevention.

  26. drumlin woodchuckles

    Here’s a little episode of police recreational criminality in Fort Lauderdale from off of “white people twitter”.
    After the description, the question is asked: ” how do you reform this?”

    Well. . . . . if hundreds of thousands of weaponised-internet-enabled people had an exquisitely-legal way to reach out and touch Fort Lauderdale and keep touching it until it felt touched into taking punitive action against these officers, that would do it.

    How might word of this spread across all the social media networks to reach millions of people who “would” visit the Greater Fort Lauderdale area, but won’t until those officers are fired and rendered unemployable and forced to live out the rest of their lives sleeping in dumpsters or under bridges?

    Because an outcome like that might deter other such otherwise-unreformable officers.

    The Global Guerillas blog probably offers some clues as to how it can be done.

  27. Louis Fyne

    — little-noticed survey by Navigator Research last month showed that 37 percent of the public thought that more jobs had been lost (yes, lost)—

    That is because real wages have been consistently declining for 1 year.

    Voters are saying it feels like a recession becuase it does feel like a recession to them.

    But the DCCC won’t get it. they are in their bubble.

  28. orlbucfan

    Lambert, kudos on the not surprising record fundraising!! You guys (gender neutral) deserve it! :-) Just want to remind you that my “old fashion, snail mail” donation went out last week. Take care!

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