2:00PM Water Cooler 5/02/2022

By Lambert Strether of Corrente

Bird Song of the Day

Warbler Week Two at Naked Capitalism. From Berkeley, WV. I am having fun with the warblers, so I thought I would continue. But readers, if you have other suggestions, please leave them in commments.

* * *


“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

“Judge upholds Jan. 6 committee subpoena for RNC records” [Politico]. “In a landmark ruling rejecting an RNC lawsuit, U.S. District Court Judge Tim Kelly said the select committee had demonstrated its need for the party’s data on its fundraising emails between Nov. 3, 2020, and Jan. 6, 2021 — when the RNC and Trump campaign sent supporters messages falsely suggesting the election was stolen. The committee contends those emails helped sow the seeds of the violence that erupted on Jan. 6. ‘[T]he Select Committee seeks reasonably relevant information from a narrow window during which the RNC sent emails promoting claims that the presidential election was fraudulent or stolen,’ Kelly, an appointee of former President Donald Trump, wrote in the 53-page ruling. Kelly issued an injunction to allow the RNC to appeal his ruling by May 5. The RNC on Monday morning indicated it will indeed appeal the ruling and claimed a partial victory by forcing the select committee to narrow the terms of its Salesforce subpoena. That narrowing, which came in response to some of the RNC’s sharpest concerns about the breadth of the subpoena, was cited repeatedly by Kelly as a reason to permit the committee to obtain the data.”

Biden Adminstration

“Zelensky awards Pelosi the Order of Princess Olga, a Ukrainian civil honor” [WaPo]. • This is so, so stupid. We’re the imperial hegemon, ffs. We are not awarded medals; we award them. (Previous awardee: Anne Applebaum.) Fortunately, Princess Olga isn’t a Nazi. So there’s that.


* * *

“Pro-crypto cash floods Democratic primaries, rankling some lawmakers” [NBC]. ” In many ways, the Georgia Democratic primary fight between two sitting House members — Reps. Carolyn Bourdeaux and Lucy McBath — is a pretty even matchup. The biggest difference might be $2 million in cryptocurrency backing. Both Democrats have been aggressively fundraising and racking up endorsements. McBath rocketed to prominence as a gun control activist after her 17-year-old son was fatally shot a decade ago. Bourdeaux says her newly drawn district, which forced the two colleagues to run against each other, is comprised of 60 percent of her old district. But McBath has something Bourdeaux does not: backing from a 30-year-old billionaire who co-founded a cryptocurrency exchange that allows people to swap currencies. This year, Protect Our Future, a new super PAC launched by FTX co-founder and CEO Sam Bankman-Fried, went up on air in greater Atlanta with nearly $2 million worth of ads praising McBath. That’s a huge sum for one group to spend on a primary between a pair of Democratic incumbents.” • Well, why not. The whole FIRE sector is riddled with fraud, so crypto fits right in.

PA: “Why Doesn’T Anyone Like John Fetterman…” [The Philadelphia Citizen]. The headline suggests this is a hit piece, but it’s not. Instead, it’s a character study of Fetterman (who we might recall is enmeshed in an unusually corrupt, stupid, and vengeful state party). “A dude who, as mayor, had the names of constituents who had been murdered actually inked into his skin just might be the kind of contrast against plutocrats like Oz or McCormick that plays well in a general election. Then again, maybe the establishment’s hands-off approach to Fetterman is rooted in more personal matters. This piece by Holly Otterbein in Politico details all the ways in which Fetterman has refused to play nice with the political establishment at all levels — national, state and city. He’s not a schmoozer or a backslapper or a pol who works personal relationships. He’s aloof; shy, even. Party leaders are still smarting over his refusal to wait his turn and gracefully bow out of the senate race six years ago, where he finished third behind Katie McGinty (another shortsighted party choice, masquerading as “safe”) and Joe Sestak, another practitioner of poke-your-eye politics. Black leaders, in particular, eye Fetterman with suspicion, and it has little to do with the fact that he blew off an appearance before the Philadelphia Black Clergy or the issue Lamb and Kenyatta have tried to use against him in the campaign: He once pulled a shotgun on a person of color who he erroneously thought had fired a weapon. (Consider this: Maybe Fetterman’s refusal to apologize for l’affaire shotgun is an acknowledgment that it might just help him in the fall: “In large parts of the state, pulling a gun on somebody is just what you do on a Friday night,” says political consultant Mustafa Rashed. “It might not be as much of a disqualifier as we’d like it to be.'”). No, the animus toward Fetterman from Black leaders has more to do with seeing him as a hulking embodiment of White privilege. Black and female elected officials have paid their dues in the extreme and have had a bevy of consultants along the way telling them that how they dress matters. Now here comes this dude, wearing basketball shorts to meet Joe Biden.” • “Aloof, shy.” Maybe I like Fetterman because he’s an introvert?

PA: “Fetterman wows enthusiastic crowd in local stop” [Times-Leader]. “Fetterman is running for the Democratic nomination against U.S. Rep. Conor Lamb and State Rep. Malcolm Kenyatta; recent polling from Emerson College shows Fetterman running at 33%, Lamb at 10% and Kenyatta 8%.” • But from that Emerson poll:

There’s still time for Lamb’s PACs to unload a garbage barge of oppo so that the Undecideds break Lamb’s way.


“Should Democrats concede the White House in 2024 to win in 2028?” [The Hill]. “The party would never officially concede the general election, but here’s option three. 3. Retain Harris as the “sacrificial lamb” and quietly work to identify candidates for a 2028 ticket and shape an agreement on the voice of the party going forward.” And how should this agreement be “shaped”? “Should the party decide to stand up to its fringe and make working-class Americans its true priority, then its leadership might want to reacquaint itself with the Democratic Leadership Council (DLC) and how then-Arkansas Gov. Bill Clinton used that model to win the White House after three Republican landslide victories in a row.” • Aaugh! Aaugh!! Aaugh!!!

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.

* * *

“How Tucker Carlson Reshaped Fox News — and Became Trump’s Heir” [New York Times]. Let me call out this one paragraph: “The solution would not just propel Mr. Carlson toward the summit of cable news. It would ultimately thrust him to the forefront of the nationalist forces reshaping American conservatism. ‘Tucker Carlson Tonight,’ the host and his producers decided, would embrace Trumpism, not Mr. Trump. The show would grasp the emotional core of Mr. Trump’s allure — white panic over the country’s changing ethnic composition — while keeping a carefully measured distance from the president himself. For years, as his television career sputtered, Mr. Carlson had adopted increasingly catastrophic views of immigration and the country’s shifting demographics. Now, as Mr. Trump took unvarnished nativism from the right-wing fringe to the Oval Office, Mr. Carlson made it the centerpiece of ‘Tucker Carlson Tonight.'” • I don’t know what jibber-jabber like “emotional core” even means. What’s clear is that identity politics has blinded the Times to the actual composition of the Trump electorate:

52% of Latinos would vote Republican because they’re White Nationalists? Really? Meanwhile, if Tucker Carlson keeps doing the Lord’s work, I may have to take the Times’s 2024 candidate recommendations less seriously than I otherwise would.

Realignment and Legitimacy

I hope the ventilation was bad and none of ’em masked up:

I hate to think like this, too. I seem to misplaced my sense of humor on this topic. (Except maybe the FCC chair; I’m too lazy to find the link, but I think Stoller likes her.)


Rule #2:


Lots of schadenfreude these days….

PMC schooling behavior at its finest:

The dude erases his own book because it’s not canon, or whatever we call the approvied list of talking points for the day. (I think in the 30s, the Comintern called this “the line.”)

* * *

Lambert here: If some trusting, non-realist soul tells you that “Covid is over,” you can tell them that cases are up, transmission is up, test positivity is up, hospitalization is up, rapid riser counties are up, and wastewater is up, too. And this is all from data designed to support the narrative, and gamed within an inch of its life. So, if signals like that are flashing red, consider what the real signal must be like. (Note also this is all with BA.2 only, and with what the establishment considers an “immune wall” made from vaccination and prior infection. Since semper aliquid novi Africam adferre, and we’ve let ‘er rip at the airports…. Well, I just hope we get lucky with BA.4 and BA.5. “God has a special providence for fools, drunkards, and the United States of America.” –Otto von Bismarck.

* * *

If you missed it, here’s a post on my queasiness 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. Oh, and just in case anybody thinks that “Vaxed and done” is anything more than a slogan:

* * *

Case count by United States regions:

First decisive upward turn, so we’ll see how it goes. Remember, it’s 100% certain the cases numbers are significantly understated. They’ve always been gamed, but it’s worse than before. One source said they though cases might be undercounted by a factor of six. Gottlieb thinks we only pick up one in seven or eight. The “Fauci Line” is a counter to triumphalism, since it compares current levels to past crises. The “Biden Line” shows what the case count would be if it were 54,000 * 6 = 324,000, i.e. not gamed. (I changed the Biden Line from dotted to solid because the dotted line was too hard to draw properly in my crude tool.)

Here are the cases for the last four weeks:

New York, New York:

I hate to preen [lambert preens], but nobody who has been following Water Cooler will be surprised by this.

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.

From the Walgreen’s test positivity tracker:

I’m leaving the corporate logo on as a slap to the goons at CDC.

MWRA (Boston-area) wastewater detection:

Both North and South services have turned up. Let’s see if it persists.

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 Biobot Analytics:

Also encouraging, in that the Northeast is flattening. Not encouraging, in that the South is up.

Cases lag wastewater data.

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

Worse in the Northeast and California. (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.

The Northeast remains stubbornly and solidly red. Now California is red as well. The Upper Midwest is moving that way, too. (It looks like portions of Maine went from High (red) to Substantial (orange), but that part of Maine is the Unorganized Territories, where virtually nobody lives.

Hospitalization (CDC Community Profile):

Remember the “sea of green”? Good times. Hospitalization is most definitely up. (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.)

A new way for hospitals to game the data:

IM Doc writes: “I would guess with Omicron about 60% of the patients were on Dexamethasone – so no – not an adequate proxy” for hospitalization.

Just a reminder:

As with everything else, because the United States is not a serious country, our hospitalization data is bad. Here the baseilne is off:

Death rate (Our World in Data):

Total: 1,020,854 1,020,159. I have added an anti-triumphalist Fauci Line. Numbers still going down, still democidally high.

Covid cases in top us travel destinations (Statista):

Still a bumpy ride…. (Note the quality of these numbers varies wildly. For example, the UK is cutting back on testing data.

Stats Watch

Manufacturing: “United States ISM Purchasing Managers Index (PMI)” [Trading Economics]. “The ISM Manufacturing PMI for the US fell for a second straight month to 55.4 in April of 2022 from 57.1 in March and compared to market forecasts of 57.6. It was the lowest reading since July 2020, as a slowdown was seen in production (53.6 vs 54.5 in March), new orders (53.5 vs 53.8), and employment (50.9 vs 56.3). Meanwhile, price pressures moderated (84.6 vs 87.1) while the backlog of orders decreased (56 vs 60). “The US manufacturing sector remains in a demand-driven, supply chain-constrained environment. In April, progress slowed in solving labor shortage problems at all tiers of the supply chain”, Timothy Fiore, Chair of the ISM Manufacturing Business Survey Committee, said.”

* * *

Commodities: “Ford and GM Need U.S. Battery Sector to Avert Another Supply Shock” [Bloomberg]. ” Echoing his crosstown counterpart, General Motors Chair Mary Barra, Ford [Chair Bill Ford] said his company had secured enough supply of battery metals including lithium, cobalt and manganese to make 2 million EVs a year by 2026. But beyond that, the U.S. industry needs to grow a domestic business because America just plain doesn’t make enough of the raw materials that go into EV batteries. Lithium is the biggest piece of the problem. The lightweight metal is essential to the lithium-ion batteries that power not only EVs, but iPhones and other contemporary devices. The element itself is plentiful, but there isn’t enough mining going on globally, and precious little production happens in the U.S. Worse yet, the processing done to make lithium usable in battery cells is mostly done in China — about 80% of it, according to Piedmont Lithium, a startup pursuing lithium production in North Carolina. Automakers have similar concerns about nickel and cobalt, much of which happens to be sourced from geopolitical pariah Russia and the Democratic Republic of the Congo, where extraction has been linked to human rights abuses and environmental destruction…. For now, carmakers are at the mercy of a far-flung group of miners and suppliers that are racing to keep up with demand for electric vehicles. Prices are soaring: lithium alone has risen more than 200% since Tesla’s Model 3 first shipped in July 2017, notes Grayson Brulte, who consults carmakers on government affairs. Price hikes like that are surely setting off alarm bells in Dearborn and Detroit.” • Well worth reading in full.

The Bezzle: “Bored Ape Metaverse Frenzy Raises Millions, Crashes Ethereum” [Bloomberg]. “Yuga Labs, the creator of the popular Bored Apes Yacht Club collection of NFTs, launched a sale Saturday of virtual land related to its highly anticipated metaverse project, raising about $320 million worth of cryptocurrency in the largest offering of its kind. Demand was so strong that activity related to the event caused ripple effects across the entire Ethereum blockchain, disrupting activity and sending transaction fees soaring. Holders of the ApeCoin token who verified their identities jockeyed to buy deeds for 55,000 parcels of virtual land in Otherside, the project’s planned metaverse game and the latest extension of the Bored Ape franchise. Anticipation that interest would be strong for the plots — Ethereum-based NFTs called Otherdeeds — had pushed up the price of ApeCoin last week ahead of the sale. Each plot cost a buyer around $5,800 based on ApeCoin’s price of $19 as of Saturday, plus transaction costs, or “gas fees,” in Ether, which skyrocketed after the sale went live at 9 p.m.” • I wouldn’t call the Metaverse Jackpot-ready. Still, when the whole FIRE sector is based on fraud, who am I to deny Bored Apes their place in the sun?

The Bezzle: “KPMG refuses audit opinion on embattled real estate group Adler” [Financial Times]. “KPMG has refused to sign off the 2021 financial results of German real estate group Adler in a rare move that pushes the embattled group into an ever deeper crisis. Adler disclosed late on Friday that its auditor, who had given the group an unqualified audit in the previous year, would issue a disclaimer of opinion for its 2021 consolidated accounts. “The auditor has not been able to obtain sufficient appropriate audit evidence to provide a basis for an audit opinion on these annual accounts,” the company said. The embattled company said it would nonetheless publish “audited” financial statements — including the disclaimed opinion — on Saturday. In a statement on Friday night, Adler claimed this would fulfil the requirements under the terms of its outstanding bonds. Some of Adler’s bond covenants stipulate that it has to provide audited financial results by April 30 or risk a default. KPMG’s dramatic move comes a week after a separate team of forensic investigations of the Big Four firm uncovered widespread governance and compliance shortcomings, the risk of big writedowns and questionable payments to a real estate investor who has long denied influence over the company.” • Must be really, really bad if one of the Big Four won’t sign off.

* * *

Today’s Fear & Greed Index: 25 Fear (previous close: 27 Fear) [CNN]. One week ago: 40 (Fear). (0 is Extreme Fear; 100 is Extreme Greed). Last updated May 2 at 1:58 PM EDT.

Rapture Index: Closes up one on Oil Supply/Price. “Oil is back above $100 per barrel.” [Rapture Ready]. Record High, October 10, 2016: 189. Current: 189. (Remember that bringing on the Rapture is good.)

Book Nook

Now I’m convinced that Noah Smith really is an ignorant fool (albeit one with a talent for picking up bright shiny objects):

First, Terry Pratchett is not a “hack.” Two, the whole point of the Sam Vimes series on the City Watch is that he turned them into a functioning police force — the kind we would be lucky to have, and not the kind that Smith decries. (Technically, the Vimes series is a wonderful combination of the fantasy and police procedural genres. And considering where this country is heading under the leadership (followership?) of people like Smith, Amkh-Morpork is looking pretty good.

Zeitgeist Watch


Class Warfare

“Audio: Kellogg’s Executive Described Union as “Terrorists” Emboldened by Social Media” [The Intercept]. “In hushed tones, [Ken Hurley, the vice president of human resources and labor relations at The Kellogg Co.] described the tactics employed by activists during a nearly 10-week cereal plant strike last fall. The strike prevented concessions from workers and forced Kellogg’s to back off a plan to expand its two-tier wage system. ‘In my view,’ Hurley said, ‘the union leadership at the bargaining table were behaving more like terrorists than partners.’…. On Saturday, Kellogg’s plant managers called workers at the plant in Battle Creek, Michigan, to personally apologize for Hurley’s remarks. Hurley, the vice president of human resources and labor relations at Kellogg’s, is no longer with the company following publication of this piece. ” • What we like to see.

News of the Wired

“Matlack bill to protect property tax payers now law” [Penobscot Bay Pilot]. “In recent years, some large corporations have begun using this appeal process to advocate for property values that are significantly less than municipalities have determined their value to be. Referred to as the ‘dark store’ theory, big box retailers appeal their assessed property value based on comparisons with stores that have closed and sold for much less than their previous value. ‘Large corporations are taking their newly built properties and comparing their value to closed down and abandoned stores,’ said Matlack. ‘This puts hundreds of thousands of property tax dollars at stake. These big box stores want the benefits of municipal services, such as police and fire protection, sewer and water services and well-maintained roads, while shifting their share of the cost onto the rest of the property tax payers. This law ensures that local assessors have the tools they need to support their determination of just value for these properties.’ Written in consultation with Maine assessors, LD 1129 gives Maine municipalities the ability to clarify what makes a similar property comparable.”

* * *

Contact information for plants: Readers, feel free to contact me at lambert [UNDERSCORE] strether [DOT] corrente [AT] yahoo [DOT] com, to (a) find out how to send me a check if you are allergic to PayPal and (b) 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. From TH:

TH writes: “What caught my eye this time was the patch of green and gold that the sun was spotlighting. It seemed a little amazing that, for the most part, the bluer succulents and cacti were in the shade and the patches of vibrant green were framed in the sun.”

* * *

NOTE ON PAYPAL: As some readers may know, PayPal whacked Consortium News’s account, for no justification that I can see. It’s to be hoped that Consortium News has its account restored, and that NC doesn’t come under the same hammer. In the meantime, until I/we can come up with an alternative, I must continue to rely on PayPal (and rely I do). I will be cleaning out the account daily, and PayPal does give a heads-up, so your risk is minimal. Please carry on as before, or, if you feel you must, write me and I will send you directions for sending a check. Thank you for your support! It is much appreciated, and helps me with responsibilities. –lambert

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!

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. Hepativore

    Actually, since when is the idea that the Democratic Party might be unofficially conceding a presidential race new? I mean, looking at it from a financial standpoint, it makes more sense to run their preferred candidate and lose rather than win with one that upsets their donors. After all, an election loss is no big deal to the Democrats as long as the donor money continues to flow, both in elections as well as the off season.

    The question is, will they drag out a semi-comotose Biden for the candidate pick to stave off left-leaning primary challengers in 2024, or will they stick with Kamala or Buttigieg and do some elaborate primary rigging to make sure that they emerge as the candidates of choice?

    The Democrats would rather destroy themselves as a party rather than waver from their core philosophy of “Neoliberalism now, Neoliberalism tomorrow, Neoliberalism forever!”

    By the way, we should all be prepared for Obama to come out and endorse Brown at the last moment if the race between Brown and Turner is getting close.

    1. JBird4049

      >>>The Democrats would rather destroy themselves as a party rather than waver from their core philosophy of “Neoliberalism now, Neoliberalism tomorrow, Neoliberalism forever!”

      And I am increasingly okay with that, not withstanding the multi-generational loyalty of my family. After all, they threw that into the trash along with tens of millions of other families’ all for some silver. I could say much the same for the Republicans as they have tossed all the owners of small and medium sized business and farms onto the trash as well. If it comes to having one (or two) parties go the way of the American Whigs, I will probably not see much improvement, it still will be a chance to better life for the family’s and everyone else’s children.

    2. hunkerdown

      Neither party will allow the other to die. That’s why Roe is, quite conveniently, very suddenly and urgently in danger.

  2. Jen

    Covid updates from my “small liberal arts college” –
    Our esteemed president and his wife both tested positive.
    We’ll see what the twice weekly report on active cases reveals. The leaders of the various schools get daily reports and according to ours “there’s a lot of COVID out there – be careful!” And yet we have an indoor event (with drinks and snacks!) scheduled 8 days hence.

    And on a personal note, had to reschedule an appointment to finally get dog’s stitches removed today…and it was cancelled as both vets have COVID.

    1. petal

      Hardly anyone on my floor except a couple of groups are wearing masks anymore. The grad students are the worst offenders. It seems like it’s just a matter of time before there’s an outbreak on the floor. I don’t understand any of it. Trying to spend as little time in the lab space as possible. Have been going in super early to get done what I need to in order to avoid people. I don’t understand these stupid policies. The people putting them into place know better but are doing it anyway.

  3. Toshiro_Mifune

    “How Tucker Carlson Reshaped Fox News …The show would grasp the emotional core of Mr. Trump’s allure — white panic over the country’s changing ethnic composition ‘” • I don’t know what jibber-jabber like “emotional core” even means. What’s clear is that identity politics has blinded the Times to the actual composition of the Trump electorate:

    If the writers at the NYT really think the Carlson’s appeal is entirely due to “white panic” they’re so out of touch I don’t know how to help them. Of course, branding his appeal as purely due to racism would allow them to ignore the anti-neoliberal criticisms of his show… so there is that.

    I should add; I’m not really a fan of Carlson. However, he does, on occasion, correctly define what the problem is.

    1. fresno dan

      It is clear to many that the Hispanic vote is far more competitive than Democrats would like them to be. But fewer are willing to accept a possibly more significant trend: the attrition of Black voters that the Democrats are dealing with.

      According to Pew Research Center, fully 25 percent of Black Democrats identify as “conservative” (around 40 percent identify as “moderate”). And with these voters, like their Hispanic counterparts, there was also a massive shift between 2016 and 2020.
      In 2016, Hillary Clinton won Black conservative voters by 58 points. But in 2020, now-President Joe Biden won them by just 20 points, a 38 point drop. And the trend is holding; since taking office, Biden went from an 87 percent approval rating among Black voters overall to 67 percent, a 20 point drop.
      Because the Black vote has been solidly Democratic since 1964, political prognosticators tend to ignore and even deny the diversity of thought in the Black community. It’s how they missed the fact that for a majority of Black voters, being a Democrat does not mean being a liberal, and it certainly doesn’t mean being “woke.” It has always been more complicated than that, part of a communal identity that rejected the historic racism of Republicans and viewed progress as building out the achievements of the civil rights movement.
      And as the Democratic Party started to cater more and more to white coastal elites, it revealed a deep tension between the needs of a mostly moderate Black community anxious for a fair shot at achieving the American Dream and a party catering to a college-educated professional class that doesn’t think much of America.

    2. Michael Fiorillo

      That’s probably been the biggest change among the Right in my lifetime: they will now frequently perceive an issue correctly (or at least somewhat correctly, unlike in the past), or acknowledge issues they previously wouldn’t, and then prescribe the predicatbly wrong remedy.

    3. drumlin woodchuckles

      The confusing thing is that he also runs White panic pieces, and he also runs ” Red Team own-the-Liberals” pieces. I have seen some of his pieces on global warming, for instance.

      I would compare picking through the lie-a-minute body of his work for the good episodes on Neoliberalism and its discontents like . . . picking through a five gallon bucket of pus for the Hershey Kisses mixed into it.
      The Hershey Kisses might well be worth it. But not to me at this point in time.

      I will never be famous enough to be invited onto Carlson’s show. But if I were, I would need to be paid first, with the understanding that if I thought he was lying to my face about what I think and/or know, that I could just sit silent and give him dead air or other forms of bad TV, and I would not have to give the money back.

      1. OliverN

        Well, that’s something that Naked Capitalism comes in handy for! A hero like Lambert or Yves or one of the commetariat slogs through the garbage and one-upmanship of Carlson’s youtube vids to find the occasional pertinent piece.

      2. KD

        Carlson did an absolutely revolting piece on homelessness that I had the misfortune to watch. Its definitely vanilla ice cream admixed with a teaspoon of dog shit, hard to lick the cone for long.

  4. Sub-Boreal

    How about a soil antidote?

    As a welcome cleanse, soil fans will enjoy this ~ 22 min video about an Austrian soil science expedition to the Galapagos Islands: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=55H8UANUEQw

    This archipelago serves as a lovely natural laboratory for studying soil evolution too, because the volcanic rocks are pretty uniform in composition, but the various islands span several million years in age, and contain areas with strong contrasts in rainfall.

    It’s pretty technical, but this group’s main research paper so far is open access: https://acsess.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/saj2.20317

  5. Vikas

    Lambert: “We’re the imperial hegemon, ffs.”
    Me: Yeah, but this is just another morbid symptom of the interregnum
    Maybe reclassify to Imperial Collapse Watch?

    1. drumlin woodchuckles

      Remember when the Ottoman Empire was ” the Sick Man of Europe” ? Maybe America is the ” Sick Man of Globalica”.

  6. Swamp Yankee

    I think it’s notable that the hits on Fetterman have one consistent Professional Class Wokeista strand that was used, not without effect, on Bernie.

    First, note that the article elides “Black Community” and “black and female” Democratic office holders, who in a state like PA, which has a machine like MA, are going to be heavily populated by various degrees of apparatchiks.

    And note how affronted they are by violations of so-called professional class ‘norms’ (not a violation: assassinating American citizens with killer robots, inter alia).

    They seem very affronted by the basketball shorts with the President. This is because the wokeista class is highly bourgeois, haute bourgeois even, and they are structurally conservative, such that sumptuary distinctions are viewed by them as deeply meaningful.

    Recall this __exact__ same line of attack, I do at least on Zuckerberg’s Panopticon, from PMC-class wokeist auto-promoters, that Bernie was somehow offending Kamala Harris by wearing a coat and mittens, in January, sitting for an hour outside, as a near-octogenarian.

    They are Victorians.

      1. JBird4049

        Somehow, I do not see Victorians or Puritans mocking someone just for dressing warmly in January. Righteous arrogance the Pilgrims did have, and the Victorians were bigoted and condescending, and they both might have derided Bernie Sanders for being a Jew, for for his politics, or any of his other beliefs, but not that. No, the critics were just making jackasses of themselves. One would think that they had never been in the snow before or any reasonably cold weather.

        1. Swamp Yankee

          I think you are being unfair to the Puritans, I fear, hunkerdown — or at least that that article does not necessarily paint the whole picture. I say this as someone who wrote their doctoral dissertation on 17th and 18th century Town Meetings in SE Mass. (the Pilgrims, or at least the religious fanatic half of them, were not technically Puritans but Separatists, more radical).

          The first thing is, it is important not to read the Puritans either monolithically or ahistorically. For every prosperous attorney John Winthrop, there are alternatives — the Roger Williams dissenters from the Dissenters. Likewise, in the political economy of 17th century Europe, the Puritans are fairly radical revolutionaries — at least in certain wings — as historians from Hobsbawm on down have pointed out.

          Nor, JBird4049, were Puritans anti-Semitic — in fact, they were philo-Semitic to the extent that Cromwell reversed the ban on Jews in England that had held since Edward II (I believe). Hebrew was the language of the original Old Testament, after all, and they were nothing if not obsessed with scholarship in service of the divine.

          That said, as my username indicates, the transition of that one historian called the shift from Puritan to Yankee, the secularization of the former, still kept a lot of good things in American political culture — communitarianism, public goods, local democracy.

          The Ahab-esque downsides are all too real, as well, alas.

          Finally, the Puritans were weirdly sex-mad, albeit entirely within marriage.

          1. JBird4049

            I was wondering how if my labeling both the Puritans and the Victorians was correct even as I typed the comment. Mixing the Puritans with the other Europeans of the time and the later Victorians. I should either have edited to show what I knew, not guessed, or checked. It shows how one needs to be careful. And not lazy.

    1. Phenix

      A major difference is that Bernie refused to fight back or even stand his ground.

    2. LifelongLib

      Dunno. My parents said you should conform in the small things, so people will take you seriously when you don’t conform in the big things. If someone comes off as a clown it’s too easy to just dismiss them.

    3. drumlin woodchuckles

      ” White Privilege!” is the battlecry of the Black PMCs. At least in instances like these.
      At some point the only reply possible is ” Fork your fillings and cry little snowflake.”

  7. Phenix

    Fetterman will win easily. State wide races in Pennsylvania are won on name recognition and Fetterman has won state wide already.

    You are right that his use of his shot gun is not a political liability in Pennsylvania or most states. He might get hurt in the Philly burbs, my area, but he will pick up votes in the other parts of Pa.

    Lamb and Kenyatta are regional candidates with no real pull outside their area. I honestly do not know why anyone is pushing Lamb. He has no shot to win the Philly burbs and without them a Dem can not compete statewide.
    Kenyatta is a Philly candidate and he is punching way above his weight. It’s a weird to read that the AA community is upset with Fetterman when a 30ish neoliberal black man is running for Senate. He has jumped ahead of a lot of established politicians as well although he has major political power behind him.

    A few years ago I could give a more detailed synopsis but this has been Fetterman’s to lose from the start which is great since that might mean the end of the beginning of neoliberal control in Pa.

    1. Arizona Slim

      Hurt in the Philly burbs? Uh-uh!

      If he was still alive, my very Republican and pro-2nd Amendment father would have been inviting John Fetterman out to the range. And those guys would have been shooting the sporting clays like nobody’s business.

      Me? I would have sulked for a minute or two, but then I would have headed over to the rifle range to practice by myself.

      1. Phenix

        Yea, I meant politically hurt because of the PMC demographic here. I have stopped discussing politics with liberals and “leftists” in this area. I can have a better conversation with right wingers. I can always bring them back to class even the small business types since they are also dominated by big banks and insurance companies.

        Erik Olin Wrights concepts of class is very useful when dealing with people that do not share a lot of common ground with me. I am amazed that medicare for all proponents never talk about the reduction of cost for small businesses. I use that alot once someone brings up personal responsibility. I can’t spend all day getting trapped in talking points.

        1. Arizona Slim

          My father got a special thrill out of inviting liberals out to the range. Not that they became 2A types, but they did spend some time among law abiding gun owners.

          1. rowlf

            Your father would have gotten a kick out of the new firearms owners over the last two years. They don’t match the old stereotypes and most of them sought out the range training classes. I’ve assisted several at the range when asked or when I saw they may have a injury about to occur. Good folks usually showing up at the range as a family. Easier to be around than the tactical timmys being rough and tough and not hitting anything.

            I really don’t see the downside of people considered liberals being involved with firearms ownership, but then I take the Adolph Reed Jr view of organizing for the common interest of the group. I think it would be ironic if the NRA had to soften their fear marketing to account for the new firearms owners.

  8. flora

    I remember that the Dem estab and Dem-centric media didn’t start hyperventilation about white-superists until Occupy Wall St. became a very sympathetic protest to many Americans – Dem or GOP or indepentent Americans. The 99%. Suddenly, almost as if to distract from Occupy’s pointing out the cause of the GFC and Wall Street’s roll in Main Street’s destruction, the cry went out from Narrative-Central that the REAL problem in the country, the REAL danger is r*cism and white-superism. What a coincidence. And talk about economics and economic class ceased. “Squirrel”! /hmmmm

    1. Carolinian

      There was a time not so many decades ago when a Jim Crow Dem party used fear of Black people to encourage bigotry among poor whites rather than fight it. The result was a Solid South that would never ever go Republican. I don’t think it’s a stretch to say that encouraging bigotry in the other direction is not all that different. And while the liberal wing of that decades ago party did at least give poor whites a boost during the Depression it’s dubious whether these new fear mongers are do much for Blacks or even Latinos when it comes to poverty and economic advancement. Perhaps Trump’s real appeal was that he was at least slightly more authentic than they are.

      As a Southerner I think it’s great that Black people are getting more respect and the Amos and Andy days are over. But fostering cartoonish views of poor whites is not an improvement. True humanism is universal, not us versus them.

      1. Swamp Yankee

        Re: True humanism is universal, not us versus them.

        Precisely this. But because, in my view, of the effects of three decades of dominance of the academy by various postmodernists, with their suspicion of precisely universalism a la’ Renaissance humanism and the Enlightenment, has given rise to a ruling class (the professional managerial class, PMC) that are instructed-toward aversion to all types of universalism, including moral.

        It is a strange time.

        1. Acacia

          Even before postmodern thought, we could point to the influence of French theory in academia, as the post-structuralists had a decided and very broad anti-humanist discourse, although that was primarily focused on trying to find a different way of reading texts that didn’t place “the author” at the center of all meaning, i.e., it was groping for sort of Copernican revolution in the liberal arts.

          Why the American PMC (in its undergraduate, larval stage) absorbed this as a broad-brush rejection of the Enlightenment is an interesting question, and might have more to do with their own anxieties than any particular intellectual current sweeping the academy (e.g., French thought, postmodernism, etc.).

          1. Lambert Strether Post author

            > Why the American PMC (in its undergraduate, larval stage) absorbed this as a broad-brush rejection of the Enlightenment is an interesting question, and might have more to do with their own anxieties

            Interesting idea

    2. rowlf

      Something I observed during the OWS time was that there was a convergence of left and right on the same issues on a class level. A very strange note was a relative’s son who was an US Army company commander in Afghanistan at the time mentioning in family email about how he and people under his command supported the OWS. That was a solid Wow at the time. I really thought a fire was about to start.

      1. Swamp Yankee

        I recall that kind of trans-political solidarity in the days of Occupy, and I too, thought it would turn into something big and fiery in a good way.

        I was still in my misjudgement/defense-of-Obama period then, however, which ended with the Snowden revelations.

    1. NotTimothyGeithner

      Yeah, and John Adams got the soldiers off. I’m partial to the conspiracy theory his cousin rigged the jury.

      1. JBird4049

        Very possibly a conspiracy, but if you look at the evidence it is not obviously a deliberate massacre. Paul Revere’s famous engraving of an orderly line volleying on command is just baloney. It was more like an angry mob, some panicked or unhappy soldiers, with plenty of testosterone meeting rock filled snow balls and guns with bayonets. Not a situation likely to end very well. Rigging the jury would not have been that hard.

  9. Louis Fyne

    “Ford and GM Need [CHEAP] U.S. Battery Sector to Avert Another Supply Shock”

    Enforce current US environmental laws or have affordable lithium-ion batteries made in the USA. Pick one or the other, you can’t have both (given current tech).

    I am just the messenger.

    1. jsn

      However, a Federally supported program to produce these materials meeting all environmental and worker safety requirements would be exponentially more affordable and less deadly than the “Defense Budget”. It would make a stellar jobs program.

      As long as making private profit, Timothy’s “love of money”, is the one guiding religion, we’ll never rise above the death drive.

      We will have to shift our values away from money and domination or none of the things that need to happen will. I’m not terribly optimistic about our prospects, but awakenings have happened before.

    2. digi_owl

      More and more it becomes clear that the car was a mistake.

      It has ravaged local communities and economies by concentrating more and more activity in a few locations, because the assumption is that “everyone” has a car so that they can drive to those locations and bring various goods back with them as needed.

        1. Mikel

          And who wants to be on public transportation when environmental changes can make pandemics more frequent?

          1. digi_owl

            I dear say the problem is not climate change, but long distance travel.

            COVID may well be related to the Spanish flu. That in turn is only called so because neutral Spain was the first nation during WW1 that publicly acknowledged the illness. It most likely reached Europe via USA, who in turn picked it up from Chinese migrant laborers brought over to erect military barracks on the cheap.

            Note that during the cold war there were similar outbreaks like the Hong Kong flu. But because China was an isolated nation for much of it, the outbreaks rarely reached beyond its borders.

            And further back you see things like the black plague happening thanks to trade ships bringing along infected rats.

            Or how native-Americans were massively culled thanks to European illnesses they had no resistance to.

          2. Acacia

            Millions of people in East Asia are riding on crowded trains every day and it seems to be manageable, and with far lower Covid counts to boot.

  10. kramshaw

    Another take on the Luke Rudkowski tweet:
    Klaus Schwab is trying through science fiction–the only metaphor he can understand–to imagine what it would be like to experience empathy.

    1. Lambert Strether Post author

      > Klaus Schwab is trying through science fiction–the only metaphor he can understand–to imagine what it would be like to experience empathy

      And trust?

  11. JohnA

    Zelensky awards Pelosi the Order of Princess Olga.

    Presumably he will award the Iron Cross to male political visitors to Kiev.

  12. Skippy

    “Now I’m convinced that Noah Smith really is an ignorant fool (albeit one with a talent for picking up bright shiny objects):”

    Somewhere Pilkington smirks ….

  13. Jason Boxman

    In South Africa, researchers estimate about 90 percent of the population has some immunity, in part from inoculation but largely because of previous infection. Yet immunity from infection typically begins to wane at around three months. It’s natural to see re-infection at this stage, particularly given people’s changing behaviors, like less mask-wearing and traveling more, said Dr. Ali Mokdad, an epidemiologist at the University of Washington, and formerly of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

    So after ignoring waning immunity and reinfections for like a year, the Times finally mentions it in passing. Fun.

    Whatever the dominant variant, “the lesson here is stopping transmission is the most important,” said Dr. Eric Feigl-Ding, an epidemiologist who is the chief of the Covid-19 task force at the World Health Network.

    As the final sentence, an afterthought. Yeah, maybe.

    Stay safe out there!


  14. NotTimothyGeithner

    Carlson reshaped FoxNews? Please. Falafel Bill was pushing the same garbage. Sure, Bill had that catholic vibe instead of the wasp vibe, but c’mon.

  15. Ken

    Amazon Staten Island warehouse votes against unionizing. 380 for, 618 against of 1600 total eligible to vote.

    Unfortunately a setback for ALU and Christain Smalls.

    1. Big River Bandido

      Not a setback. Just another struggle.

      I do see positivity in the unionizing trend at the most hateful companies on the planet. I do not view this as anything other than a decades-long struggle to bring corporations to heel. Unionizing does not function according to domino theory. For change to be real, it cannot be quick.

    2. Lambert Strether Post author

      > Staten Island warehouse votes

      I believe material conditions are different at the two warehouses, which may account for the different outcomes.

  16. Lou Anton

    Rapid Riser Counties:

    As the “COVID weather pattern” moves NE to Midwest (and maybe West to SW in the future?), I can see the big metropolitan areas and college towns are getting hit:

    Illinois: NE Cluster is Chicagoland, central Illinois is college towns (University of Illinois, Illinois State, Illinois Wesleyan), SW is the Metro East of St. Louis.

    Wisco: Milwaukee, Madison, Green Bay

    Indiana: Gary, South Bend, West Lafayette, Indianapolis

    Michigan: Detroit, Ann Arbor, Grand Rapids, Battle Creek

    Ohio: Youngstown and Akron, Cincinnati meeting soon, meet you in the middle Columbus.

    Let. ‘er. rip.

  17. digi_owl

    More and more it feels like those that “grew up” with cyberpunk has turned to it as a manual rather than a warning. I guess the stories simply made it seem far too good to be “alpha predator” in such an environment, even though the vast majority will be prey huddling around the burning trash barrels.

    Never mind seeing capitalism turning to the same tools that they decried communism for a generation ago have wry taste of irony to it. Just wish i could wait it out from the sidelines…

    1. Acacia

      I’m sure Gibson in particular must(?) have written about this, but I don’t have a reference.

      I remember reading Neuromancer in the mid-80s and taken by surprise how many people seemed to think his vision was the kind of world they wanted to live in. As you say, many saw it as a manual, not a dystopia to be avoided if at all possible.

      1. digi_owl

        That said, Gibson himself has stated his puzzlement that people read Neuromancer as being a dystopic setting.

  18. Geo

    Big Brother Watch:

    Just had an Amazon rep drop by my place to talk about installing a Ring camera to aid in their delivery service. Apparently it would allow delivery persons access to the property. Personally, I love the idea of Amazon installing a camera to track my comings and goings! Apparently they’ve installed these all around the neighborhood. Will be helpful for their AI drone deliveries too if they have these cameras on every property.

    Told him I’d pass the info along to the landlord. Then, promptly threw it in the trash.

    Please, if you can, boycott Amazon. They are pure evil.

    1. CGKen

      The neighbor gave Amazon the access code to his garage so packages can be dropped off inside. But what happens is that the driver brings the package to the front (because that’s where the software says to bring it) and knocks on the front door. With no answer the driver then walks around the side of the house to the back. The neighbor locks the gate going to the alley so the driver then has to walk back to the front, get in the truck and then drive around to the alley, counting houses from the corner so to be able to open the correct garage. Only then does the package actually get delivered.

      1. digi_owl

        Reminds me that Volvo of all companies some years back was trying to sell the idea of delivery drivers being given the means to unlock car trunks in order to deliver packages that way.

        I find myself thinking that what should be done instead is offer the sale and installation of a oversized mail box, built on some of the same tech as these new lockers perhaps, that a driver could place the package in. Make them out of reinforced steel and provide a way to bolt them to a wall or ground, so that “enterprising” individual could not just up and leave with the whole thing.

  19. Soredemos

    Regarding the GP not having proper air filtration, this pandemic hasn’t revealed just institutional rot. It’s also shown just how many individual doctors are, well, morons.

    1. RockHard

      A friend who is dean of a medical school likes to ask, rhetorically “what do they call someone who graduated last in their med school class? … ‘Doctor'”

    2. digi_owl

      Most GPs are trained to identify common illnesses, and either prescribe matching medication or refer the patient to specialists at a hospital.

  20. Geo

    Personal good news for my fellow cat lovers: took a chance on my 18+ year old cat today and the vet was able to remedy her ailments so didn’t have to euthanize her as they expected. So, my little one gets to come home soon and enjoy a few more days/weeks being the queen of her dominion.

    If you want to see cute cat photos of her here’s a link (yes, I have an IG account for my cat. I’m that kind of loser).

    Side note: When I first found her at the shelter she was about a year old and they had her scheduled to be euthanized the next morning. She’s been with me now over 17 years. Her time may be up soon but happy to know she’s once more told the grim reaper he’ll have to come back at a later date.

    1. petal

      That is great news. Please give her some loving for me. Glad you two are getting bonus time. And you can never take too many photos of your pets!

      1. Geo

        So true! They’re so cute i just have to snap photos.

        She’s back home now and eating. Been extra sweet too. Pretty sure she knows that whatever hell she had to go through at the vet today lessened her suffering and she is showing appreciation. Nice to see the twinkle in her eyes again.

        Doc says with meds she should be around for a few more weeks at least, hopefully a few more months.

        1. Pat

          Fingers crossed. And she is beautiful and photogenic, of course you must chronicle her reign!

          Here’s to months and months…

    2. The Rev Kev

      That’s a good looking cat that. I think too that she chose her “owner” wisely.

      1. Geo

        Thanks so much. For being old and ill she is still adorable.

        And she did choose well. I spoil her rotten! But she deserves it. She is (like all our little creatures) a special soul.

  21. Matthew G. Saroff

    “Should Democrats concede the White House in 2024 to win in 2028?”

    Betteridge’s law.

    1. The Rev Kev

      Since they are thinking of chucking the ’24 election and saving their money, they should let other people have the field since they are going to lose anyway. I know. How about a Sanders-Gabbard team? What could possibly go wrong letting them stand against a Republican Presidential nominee like Mike Pompeo? They should totally do that. :)

      1. Matthew G. Saroff

        True, if the Dems are going to throw the 2024 election, they will want to blame it on a progressive.

        1. Acacia

          Though they would likely stab him in the back and throw Sanders under the bus again, just to kick him on the way down.

      2. drumlin woodchuckles

        Given how Sanders refused to protect Gabbard’s right to be included in televised DemNom wannabe debates, I doubt Gabbard would trust Sanders or associate with him in any way. Nor would she ever again work with any Democrat at any level.

        If she runs as an independent in order to destroy the two party chances of getting a president elected in 2024, she may attract a lot of support.

    2. chris

      There are rumblings tonight that a draft opinion by one Justice Samuel Alito has the concept of officially overturning ROE V WADE. If that happens then Team Blue might actually need to show up ready to win in November. They might also have to deliver before then too.

      1. curlydan

        Here’s an article pointing to the likelihood of Roe v Wade being overturned (someone leaked a draft opinion to Politico):

        “A person familiar with the court’s deliberations said that four of the other Republican-appointed justices – Clarence Thomas, Neil Gorsuch, Brett Kavanaugh and Amy Coney Barrett – had voted with Alito in the conference held among the justices after hearing oral arguments in December, and that line-up remains unchanged as of this week.”

      2. Big River Bandido

        Roe v. Wade was handed down in 1973…49 years ago. The same year Biden became a Senator. Who do people think helped grease the wheels for the Hyde Amendment, anyway?

        Expectation of a Hail Mary pass after 49 years of Democrats of doing nothing in support of repro rights is either terribly naive, dangerous fantasy, or deliberate sheepdogging. Voters aren’t going to suddenly rush to the polls in support of NOW or NARAL (or whetever their current “branding” is) in any case.

      3. ape

        This is the turning point — not just the political implications of overturning a national consensus, but throwing out substantive due process, the Warren court, the court itself leaking opinions…

        They’re on the verge of throwing out the New Deal agreement that held the entire system together. Absolutely huge.

  22. Michael Ismoe

    “Retain Harris as the “sacrificial lamb” and quietly work to identify candidates for a 2028 ticket and shape an agreement on the voice of the party going forward.”

    Am I the only one who noticed that the author of this memo was one “P. Buttigieg”?

  23. Nikkikat

    Enjoyed your beautiful photos Geo, God bless you for all the love and happiness you have given to your lovely kitties. And all the kindness and care you’ve shared. I will be thinking of you and sending my prayers. So glad you were able to bring her home.

  24. Big River Bandido

    Having been completely alienated from the Democrat Party, I have not paid much attention nor put any emotional investment in the PA Senate race. But after reading the Otterbein piece and her tremendous concern for the fate of the PA Senate race in the fall…wow, look at the politicians and political interests who take offense at Fetterman:

    • The Working Families Party, soberly described by Otterbein as “a leading national progressive group”. This astroturf group is nothing but a phony political front for corporate Democrats, whose entire purpose is to prevent reform. The views expressed by this unnamed functionary were typically Heatheresque — typical behavior for a party that endorsed Andrew Cuomo over a progressive female challenger.

    • Christine Jacobs, a Philadelphia NGO functionary and false-flag “feminist” who criticizes Fetterman’s physical appearance. But of course she does — proving that feminism means absolutely nothing to these people.

    • And this is rich: Ella Jones, a borough manager who pled guilty to embezzling $170,000 from Braddock’s city government. In a town of 1,869 residents, that’s about $100 from each of your constituents. (She’s the one who derisively called Fetterman “the great white hope”.)

    Then there’s the article by Larry Platt, who identifies many of the idiots and much of the dysfunction of the Gerantocrat Party — yet he still can’t seem to quit them.

    With people like these, in control of politics and media, no wonder voters like the candidate they all hate. May Fetterman win, and proceed to make living hell of all these horrible peoples’ lives.

    1. Lambert Strether Post author

      > With people like these, in control of politics and media, no wonder voters like the candidate they all hate

      Fetterman is definitely hated by the right people, a point in his favor.

    1. FredsGotSlacks

      One of my favorite Twitter reactions so far is the dunce Pelosi offspring screeching “we warned you” at all the leftys who dared vote against the corrupt democrats. Blame surely coming for Bernie bros, Jill Stein and Susan Surandon.

    2. poopinator

      The Democrats could use this moment to reflect on their utter failure in codifying Roe into law despite having over 4 decades to do so. While doing so they can also revisit Obama’s complete failure/hubris with his milquetoast SC nominee. They could even realize the folly of forcing the Queen on the 2016 ballot and how dangerous that would be to the future of the court when she does what she does best and fails while a number of Justices are on the verge of retirement. Maybe they could even reflect on the self-centered decision of RBG to overstay her time on the court.

      Or they can start a twitter flame war tomorrow blaming the whole fiasco on Susan Sarandon.

      I know where I’m putting my money.

      1. Lambert Strether Post author

        > Or they can start a twitter flame war tomorrow blaming the whole fiasco on Susan Sarandon.

        It’s already started. Surprised Traister is even close to correct, but these are strange times:

      1. Pat

        It has been clear for awhile that we needed legislation to decouple religious marriage from civil marriage. It should make clear that religious marriage is between a couple and their church and has NOTHING to do with the government including any legal rights. Civil marriage has nothing to do with religious marriage but is the only marriage recognized legally for any reason, including but not limited to next of kin, adoption, survival rights, taxes, etc. Government cannot determine which adult is eligible for religious marriage, religion cannot dictate eligibility for civil marriage. Civil marriage will need a license and civil ceremony over seen by a recognized civil authority. No priest, pastor, rabbi, etc shall be recognized as a civil authority.

        That would still chap their *sses, but it does eliminate the forcing the church bs.

      2. Big River Bandido

        “Gay marriage” has an exceptionally well-funded PMC network and embedded NGOs to protect it. Significantly, this clique is made up of neoliberals who care nothing for working-class gays or gay POC — their only interests are optics and respect — non-redistributionist, symbolic “issues”, bright shinys that only affect “respectable” gays who look, act, earn, and went to schools like themselves.

        Success is easy when you set such low bars, but succeed they did, beyond their wildest expectations, so fast and complete they had to retool quickly to find a new cause for the fundraising network they constructed. Rather than do something to help average queer people, the lobby latched onto trans rights — the issues being public restrooms and language policing — and now here we are.

        The “abortion-rights movement” (in quotes because it was never quite real) failed in part because — as liberals always do — they rewarded failure and ignored doing things to build success (like focus on birth control). Even when they lost an election or a legislative vote, they raked in the contributions. Such a situation can only be described as “corrupt”. The Human Rights Campaign and all the gay NGOs are the same way, but in the meantime they at least kept their eyes on their small-bore policy ball.

        Had NOW done the same, with that kind of focus and fervor and less attention to lining their own pockets, they wouldn’t be blaming Bernie Sanders and Susan Sarandon for their own failures. The smarmy, illiberal arrogance and vitriol expressed by Hillbots in response to the Rebecca Traister tweet is clarifying, typical, and would make me happy that they are so upset, if it weren’t for the fact that all the rest of society will suffer because of their mendacity.

    3. JBird4049

      It’s the The New York Times, which has gone from being on the Sunday edition home delivery to something much less credible especially on attention grabbing social issues. However, the Supreme Court due to strenuous, consistent efforts of the Republicans, with the active connivance of the Democrats, is not just more conservative, but reactionary as well.

      I am a very firm supporter of the Second Amendment, but it would be nice if the courts could be bothered to support the other nine amendments and not look for new and creative loopholes to enforcing them. We are a country increasingly without healthcare, in an increasingly corrupt, “conservative,” authoritarian, edging on totalitarian, “security” state.

      I can’t get my hearing aids repair because reasons (actually Medicare/Medi-Cal wants some verification of my health when the aids are clearly damaged. The latest fancy aids do not deal with moisture or oil well. Again. And again. Unlike the previous thirty plus years. Maybe I should not were them around my ears? So, it is waiting for an appointment to see a doctor to confirm it’s not in my head, so the doctor will give the okay to the audiologist. I’ve only been wearing aids since the seventies, but wtf do I know?). But I digress. I can still buy a rifle even in California after some testing and background checks. However, getting my aids fixed in a timely way is impossible?

      And healthcare? The pinheads are all aghast either about the sanctity of “a woman’s right to choose” or about ending “the life of the pre-born”, but the healthcare, housing, food, clothing, and education? It is all argleblargul wah hah bing blab! But Governor Newsom is determined to protect me from the gunz, but statewide single payer is just so, so hard. Just so hard. It is pathetic that California’s Medi-Cal/Medicaid is very good compared to Texas (or the rest of the South), but they too are willing to protect the Second Amendment and the pre-born without making sure that children and their families can actually survive. Because reasons. It is funny that every lesson I got on Jesus Christ was more about serving your fellow human beings as well as redemption, but somehow Mammon keeps popping up and changing the message.

  25. Gawr Gura

    >Hurley, the vice president of human resources and labor relations at Kellogg’s, is no longer with the company following publication of this piece.

    Okay, but was he fired for saying it, or fired for being heard saying it?

Comments are closed.