2:00PM Water Cooler 6/13/2022

By Lambert Strether of Corrente

Patient readers, there’s a lot going on, and I got wrapped round the axle on Covid, where there was a lot going on. I’m going to break my rule and beef up the Politics section a little. –lambert UPDATE Finished!

Bird Song of the Day

Great Rufous Sparrow. Erongo, Namibia. I’m continuing on with sparrows because there are many species and their calls are different! And if you are sparrow fans, please leave suggestions in comments!

“Sparrow ID Guides from Macaulay Library and Bird Academy” [The Cornell Lab of Ornithology]. Free downloads. “Sparrows are a challenge to birders of all skill levels because they’re often skulky and hard to see. At first they seem like dull brown birds, but when you get a good look, they show beautiful and intricate patterns on their feathers. Because many species are hard to see, they are sought after by avid listers and those who appreciate the beauty of birds. Whether you’re at home or out in the field, these helpful four-sheet sparrow reference guides have full-color photos of eastern, central, western and widespread sparrows.”

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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

“Here’s what ‘insurrection,’ ‘coup’ and ‘sedition’ mean” [CNN]. “Insurrection, or rebellion, is a crime under Title 18 of the US Code, punishable by a fine, a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison, or both. Being found guilty of insurrection also makes someone ineligible to hold office in the United States…. Synonyms include ‘revolt’ or ‘uprising,’ according to Merriam-Webster.” Insurrection, subject to correction by those knowledgeable in the statutes, is on the scale of the South seceding; illegal parading hardly qualifies. It could be, of course, that being “ineligible to hold office” caught the eye of Democrats. “Similar to insurrection, the act of sedition is also a crime under the US Code, which characterizes it as two or more people who conspire to overthrow the US government, or “prevent, hinder, or delay the execution” of US law by force. It’s punishable by a fine and up to 20 years in prison.” Trying to halt the electoral college count would, in my reading, qualify; I’d speculate that’s why the Proud Boys were charged with this. “A ‘coup,’ shorthand for ‘coup d’état,’ is broadly characterized by Merriam-Webster as a ‘sudden decisive exercise of force in politics,’ but particularly the ‘violent overthrow or alteration of an existing government by a small group.'” The broad characterization is, to my mind, too broad; surely any riot would qualify? For the tighter definition: I hate to keep quibbling on “violence,” but so far, only two rioters were charged with it. Furher, there was no coup. I await the chain of causality for “attempted coup.” Alternatively:

if only they could have found a picture of a child! (Garza at left has every reason to mourn; the point is the exploitation.)

UPDATE “Dad who took Confederate flag into Capitol on trial with son” [ABC News]. “Widely published photographs showed Kevin Seefried carrying a Confederate battle flag inside the Capitol after he entered the building with his son, Hunter. The Seefrieds were ‘early, aggressive and active participants’ in the Capitol breach and among the first rioters to enter the building on Jan. 6, 2021, prosecutors have said…. The charges against both Kevin and Hunter Seefried include a felony count of obstruction of an official proceeding, the joint session of Congress for certifying Joe Biden’s victory over then-President Donald Trump in the 2020 presidential election.” I would file that under insurrection, but apparently the prosecutors disagree. More: “During the trial’s opening statements, defense attorneys said the Seefrieds never intended to interfere with the Electoral College vote count. ‘Indeed, (Kevin Seefried) was not even aware that the electoral count was happening or was happening in the Capitol,’ one of his lawyers, Elizabeth Mullin, told the judge.” But this, to me, is the important part: “‘Indeed, the flag that Kevin Seefried carried itself served to signal his intent: the Confederate Battle Flag, a symbol of violent opposition to the United States government,’ prosecutors wrote.” • Legalism aside, Howard Dean, 2003: “Howard Dean’s rivals for the Democratic nomination roundly attacked him on Saturday for telling an Iowa newspaper he wanted ‘to be the candidate for guys with Confederate flags in their pickup trucks’ in defending his opposition to some gun control legislation.” Dean, in other words, wanted to appeal to the voters Clinton would later classify as “deplorables.” And from 2003 to 2020, we’ve ended up classifying the voters Dean wanted to appeal to as “domestic enemies,” as Thompson did in his opening statement and the prosecutor does here. Not good for the vital signs of “our democracy.” Not good at all.

“Trump advisers told him repeatedly election was lost, says January 6 committee” [Financial Times]. “In some of the most damning testimony about Trump’s state of mind following the election, Barr told the committee: ‘I thought, ‘boy, if he really believes this stuff he has become detached from reality’.’ • It’s amazing to me that Trump, who is to say the least volatile, is holding on to “election theft” like grim death. Why? (I view the entire political class as detached from reality, so Trump’s joined a big club.) It’s a tragedy on a world-historical scale that Trump’s’ idée fixe did not become how the “deep state” (in his locution) destroyed his Presidency. That would have been politically popular, have had the merit of approximating the truth, and might have affected Ukraine policy in a non-cray cray way. I wonder why Trump shrank from it.

Origin story for the “Big Lie”?

There are so many other “Big Lies” about it really takes chutzpah for the Democrats to, er, approprate it.

UPDATE “On Jan. 6 probe, Kevin McCarthy’s strategy did him no favors” [MSNBC]. “Pelosi offered [House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy] an opportunity to have three far-right Republicans participate in this investigation. He instead chose to have zero. As chess moves go, this didn’t exactly position the GOP for success. For one thing, the committee ended up being bipartisan anyway: Democrats extended invitations to Wyoming’s Liz Cheney and Illinois’ Adam Kinzinger, both of whom agreed to serve, despite the ostracizing effects of their decision. For another, McCarthy’s decision has left the rest of the Republican conference completely in the dark. Ahead of tonight’s hearing, the GOP doesn’t know what the committee has, can’t prepare competent defenses for Trump, can’t influence the direction of the investigation, can’t ask contrary questions during public or private proceedings, can’t leak anything, and can’t dilute the panel’s findings in advance of a final report that’s expected in September.”

UPDATE “Quotation of the Day: After Hearings, a Tenuous Path to Indict Trump” [New York Times]. “‘That’s a hill that no federal prosecutor has tried to climb, prosecuting a former president. It’s very fraught. It’s a massive undertaking as an investigation, as a trial, as a national saga and trauma.’ John Q. Barette, a former associate independent counsel in the Iran-contra investigation.”• If the hearings end with a Benghazi-like yarn diagram, a few legislative suggestions, and a video suitable for clipping in the midterms, that will be a damp squib indeed. I’m perfectly happy to urge Trump be indicted if there’s a theory of the case. I don’t think Cheney’s seven steps makes it Perhaps we’ll hear more.

UDPATE “The Jan. 6 Committee Hosted A Hearing For The 21st Century” [FiveThirtyEight]. The deck: “Congress has finally pivoted to video.” And how’d the pivot to video work out, when Zuckerberg deked the media into doing it? The press has the memory of a fruit fly. “The video — which included images recorded by participants in the attack, security footage, news footage, audio recordings from police radio communication and police body-camera recordings — tracked the evolution of the violence on that day, from an agitated crowd gathering at the outskirts of the Capitol, through the bloody, forceful invasion of the building. Much of the footage was raw and played at length; the violence was visceral. In one clip, a first-person view from a fallen U.S. Capitol Police officer’s body camera, you can see the mob bearing down, beating the officer mercilessly.” • Illegal parading: 208. Violence: 2. Those are the figures the Democrat video is designed to obscure. I haven’t had time to watch it, but if I did, I would be there’s a lot of tight focus, and very little wide angle. That’s because wide angle shows scale and context. Readers, has anyone seen it?

Biden Administration

“Brookings president resigns after being accused of secretly lobbying for Qatar” [Responsible Statecraft]. “Allen — the former commander of NATO and allied forces in Afghanistan — had allegedly obstructed the investigation into his lobbying activities, provided a ‘false version of events’ to federal agents, and used his Brookings email account to conduct secret lobbying work at the height of an economic embargo against Qatar by Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.” • Shocked, shocked. Neera Tanden sucked up cash from the UAE, and she’s now in the West Wing. So who took Allen down? Allen is apparently a Kaganite, and Gonzalo Lira speculates the Obama faction took him down as a warning shot to Biden on Ukraine policy. (And what other faction? The left [snicker]? The Clintonites?) Dunno. I note the involvement of the Saudis. And although DoD tends not to play these games, I wonder if they want to learn.

UPDATE “Biden’s Power Broker: How Susan Rice Defied Critics and Created a White House Policy Fiefdom” [Politico]. “As director of the Domestic Policy Council, Rice leads a team of roughly a dozen staffers examining ways to push through modest gun reforms should Congress again falter, and explore new executive orders even if lawmakers succeed. Her ascendence to the role of point person on guns marks the latest chunk of policy turf over which she has claimed jurisdiction, joining a sprawling portfolio that stretches from policing and racial justice to student loan debt, immigration and health care policy, including a prime piece of protecting abortion rights. The scope of her fiefdom is as remarkable as how she managed to secure it. Having eschewed a public-facing role, Rice has relied on a combination of internal maneuvering and bureaucratic know-how to place herself at the nerve center of some of the fiercest debates roiling Washington. And she’s further cemented her status with the president in the process…. Senior aides say Biden’s trust in her is so profound that she can see him whenever she needs to.” • Neera must be fuming. And Rice is doing a great job on Covid, Medicare, and of course a debt jubilee. Really, you couldn’t ask for more! (Interestingly, the article doesn’t mention anti-trust, one of the few areas where the Biden Administration seems to be doing the right thing.)


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UPDATE AK: “Palin, Begich and Gross appear set to advance to Alaska U.S. House runoff as fourth-place hopefuls wait for updated results” [Anchorage Daily News]. 48 candidates on the ballot! “A number of candidates and political operatives spent late Saturday and Sunday trying to make sense of the numbers and deduce which hopefuls could come from behind and advance to the general election. But most accepted that they have to wait for more clarity until Wednesday, when the Alaska Division of Elections plans its next count…. The top four candidates from the primary will advance to a ranked-choice general election in August — held on the same day and ballot as the regular primary election for the full two-year term in Congress. The top four in that primary advance to the ranked-choice general election in November. Begich, Palin and Gross were all able to continue their campaigns Sunday with relative confidence that they’ll have a slot in August’s special general election.” • RCV?!

UPDATE AK: “Sarah Palin will advance in Alaska’s wild House special primary election, CNN projects” [CNN]. “Palin launched her campaign with an almost-immediate endorsement from former President Donald Trump, who said he was repaying her for her early support of his 2016 presidential bid. She held a rally in Anchorage in early June that Trump called into. But she has been a relatively quiet presence on the campaign trail and has not made clear how she sees herself fitting into today’s GOP in Washington.”

UPDATE CA: “Another anemic election turnout. Why most people don’t vote, and what to do about it” [Los Angeles Times]. “Votes in Tuesday’s primary are still being counted, but to no one’s surprise, the vast majority of voters sat out the election for L.A. mayor, council seats and various county, state and congressional races. Statewide, the numbers were about the same based on early indications. Not historically low, but nothing to cheer about. So why does this keep happening, even as it becomes easier to vote than to order a pizza, and even as festering issues such as homelessness drive demand for fixes?” • The reporter finally tracks down somebody who’s interested in politics, and it turns out they founded an NGO….

PA: “‘Comes Across as a Cult Guy’: The Pennsylvania Candidate Freaking Out Both the Left and the Right” [Politico]. “A state senator little known until recently outside of his conservative, south-central Pennsylvania district (he was the fourth-place finisher in a 2018 House primary), Mastriano’s victory in the Republican primary for governor last month disgusted Democrats and panicked establishment-minded Republicans. To them, he represented a structural threat to democracy, objectionable primarily for promoting Donald Trump’s lie that the 2020 election was rigged. Many of Mastriano’s supporters admire him for that same reason. They too, remain devoted to Trump’s election falsehoods, and they cheered Mastriano’s protests of Covid restrictions in the state. But Mastriano’s appeal is not strictly — or even principally — secular. When he announced his candidacy, at an hourslong event in January, a man introduced as ‘Pastor Don’ blew a shofar and said ‘the presence of God is thick in this place.’ Mastriano’s wife, Rebecca, read from a psalm. Mastriano told his supporters they were part of a new generation of leaders ‘raised up’ by God. And when people at the patriotic, flag-dotted events he participated in on Memorial Day weekend stopped to talk about him, they fell into religious language quickly, too: ‘I’m a Christian, and I think we need more of that,’ one of them told me. ‘He represents the restoration of religious liberty,’ another said. ‘Prayer,’ a third person said, ‘can help him win.'”


“Donald Trump has become more popular since the January 6 Capitol attack” [CNN]. “Analysts like me remarked over and over again during Trump’s time in office that he was one of, if not the most unpopular presidents. He left office with the lowest approval rating of any president at the end of his first term (39%) and the highest disapproval rating (58%) thanks in part to a late swoon following the events of January 6, 2021. Today, Trump’s polling position with Americans overall is one of his best, and he remains the front-runner for the 2024 Republican nomination. The former President’s favorable rating stands at 43% with an unfavorable rating of 52%. That makes for a net favorability rating of -9 points — not particularly high, but then Trump was never particularly popular.

He averaged a net approval rating during his presidency of -12 points. A 3-point jump in net popularity may not seem like much, but his current net favorability rating is higher than 86% of his net approval ratings during his presidency. If nothing else, it’s 10 points higher than his net approval rating at the end of his time in office. In 2024 matchups against President Joe Biden, Trump is running a point or two ahead of Biden, on average. It wouldn’t be particularly impressive for most politicians to be leading, within the margin of error, a President with a low-40s approval rating. But being barely ahead or tied with Biden would have been a revelation for Trump in 2020. He managed to lead in only about 1% of all national polls taken in 2020 — and in none that met CNN’s standards for publication. In raw numbers, Trump’s been ahead in more polls against Biden over the past few months than he was for the entirety of 2020.”

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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Realignment and Legitimacy

UPDATE “Unlearning the Language of ‘Wokeness’” [Sam Adler-Bell, New York Magazine]. “I have had to unlearn many of the ways of speaking I cultivated as a student radical in order to be more convincing and compelling off campus. The obligation to speak to non-radicals, the unconverted, is the obligation of all radicals, and it’s a skill that is not only undervalued but perhaps hindered by a left-wing university education. Learning through participation in collective struggle how the language of socialism, feminism, and racial justice sound, how to speak them legibly to unlike audiences, and how others express their experiences of exploitation, oppression, and exclusion — that is our task. It is quite different from learning to talk about socialism in a community of graduate students and professors.” • A lot of dunking on Adler-Bell for this article, but this passage seems obviously correct.

* * *

“Mild respiratory COVID can cause multi-lineage neural cell and myelin dysregulation” [Cell]. From the Summary: “COVID survivors frequently experience lingering neurological symptoms that resemble cancer therapy-related cognitive impairment, a syndrome for which white-matter microglial reactivity and consequent neural dysregulation is central…. These findings illustrate similar neuropathophysiology after cancer therapy and respiratory SARS-CoV-2 infection which may contribute to cognitive impairment following even mild COVID.” • Filing this here so you can think about brain damage every time you see one of our elites saying they had a “mild” case.


“School Masking Policies and Secondary SARS-CoV-2 Transmission” [Pediatrics]. n = 1,112,899 students and 157,069 staff. What This Paper Adds: “Within-school (secondary) transmission was modest (<10%) in this multistate cohort of 61 K–12 districts, representing over 1 million students and staff. On unadjusted analysis, universal masking was associated with a 72% reduction in secondary transmission compared with optional masking.”

• Good idea:

I’m so old I remember when MeetUps sparked the Howard Dean campaign! And the link above might be useful to them. (If any readers find one of these Meetups, please report!

Here is another topic for the Meetups to share:

Again, people stepping up to do what the public health establishment will not do.

Alert reader Pat reports on a bus ride on the MTA in New York:

Events of bus ride: people largely if inadequately masked and I was tired enough not to be immediately engaged. Family told there was a mask requirement finds they lost a mask, as I am giving them a spare maskI have a gentleman who had his mask under his chin and was eating told them it wasn’t a requirement anymore. I chime in to say the rule has not been rescinded in NY and for them own safety they should regardless. Gentleman claims if it existed the bus driver would have masks to give them. I point out that the MTA ran out of courtesy masks during the lockdown, and there was never a requirement for them to supply them. He disagreed. Woman pipes up that Covid doesn’t exist. I correct that, pointing out that the state just dropped the alert from high to the Orange level. Nobody is getting it. Has me responding that I had it in the last month. Eating guy says masks don’t do anything. I point out that there are multiple studies showing that a well fitted N95 that besides being sure you don’t infect anyone it increases the time you can be in an area with the aerosols without exposure significantly. Woman who denies existence brings up keeping N95s for surgery, what they are for. Eating guy goes you can’t believe anything they tell you. I tell him the studies I am citing are largely from other countries at which point he grudgingly admits that “they” might be real. I explain the well fitted caveat to him. Another gentleman has had enough, loses it and starts screaming for the bus driver to reopen the back doors that had just shut after letting out a couple of passengers. That ends the mask discussion for a bit, but I do end up explaining to one member of the family that stress gets to people and that upset gentleman was not violent just loud and worried. Eating gentleman after a time asks me if I have a hard time breathing in my mask. I explain that it isn’t as easy as none but that this style mask keeps the mask from being directly on my mouth or nostrils and that helps and that my allergies also mean I switch between nose and mouth breathing without thinking about it so I don’t find it suffocating. He talks about how he has a hard time breathing in his ill fitted surgical mask and has to pull it beneath his nose. I no longer have a spare so I can’t really give him one to try, but suggest he get a more structured mask. Unfortunately I think the N95 would end under his nose. Or as with the family hanging from one ear. By the time everyone leaves, people on the bus who were properly masked to start still are, those who had to get one out or be told are in various masking for show modes. It was tiring, upsetting and unproductive although not frightening. But it was very much indicative that people do not trust the government they think called wolf which has now said never mind AND they want it to be over so are ignoring or actively rejecting information that says otherwise.

Obviously, this is a failure of scientific communication by the public health establishment on the scale of social murder. (I mean, does the US know how to do propaganda? Does the US know how to do marketing? Of course we do. None of it was done in this case, and so the field was left to “freedom” loons (sorry, I should be reaching out, but I’m out of patience with the ideology). I also wish to thank Pat for their efforts.

• Meanwhile, at the grassroots level, people are still building Corsi boxes:

• Endorsement:

Of course, 3M is happy to sell duct tape. At this point, is that so wrong?

* * *

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.

* * *

Case count by United States regions:

Level. Remember that cases are undercounted, one source saying by a factor of six, Gottlieb thinking we only pick up one in seven or eight.) Hence, I take the case count and multiply it by six to approximate the real level of cases, and draw the blue “Biden Line” at that point. Yesterday, the count was 108,500. Today, it’s 107,700, and 108,500 * 6 = a Biden line at 646,200. At least we have confirmation that the extraordinary mass of case anecdotes had a basis in reality. (Remember these data points are weekly averages, so daily fluctuations are smoothed out.) The black “Fauci Line” is a counter to triumphalism, since it compares current levels to past crises.

Here are cases for the last four weeks:


And in the South:

(US Census region: Alabama, Arkansas, Delaware, District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Mississippi, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, and West Virginia.)

(Miami-Dade County, population 2.706 million; Palm Beach County, population 1.482 million.)

From the Walgreen’s test positivity tracker:

Down 1.9%. This tracker fiddles and diddles at peaks, but also not at peaks. (I’m leaving the corporate logo on as a slap to and check on the goons at CDC.)

• “2,050 new cases, 7 deaths in Bay State” [Boston Herald]. “In more welcome news, the Covid-19 wastewater tracker — which has proved to be a strong leading indicator showing jumps and decreases before other data picks it up — has recently dipped significantly, showing levels similar to mid-April around the Boston area. Experts told the Herald this week that these are encouraging trends, if they hold up.” • Breakthrough to the mainstream!

MWRA wastewater data:

Both South and North down.

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.

Cases lag wastewater data.

From Biobot Analytics:

Note that BA.4 and BA.5 are increasing in the South (as of May 18). I checked CDC, they’re not update either (from May 21).

Here’s the Biobot data for Florida:

It seems that Florida’s case count should shortly go up, not least because in this Southern state there seems to be no BA.4/5 (yet).

More on Florida:

• “How can you track the COVID trend in Florida? You have options to monitor health risk” [Miami Herald]. “In the beginning months of the pandemic in 2020, the Florida Department of Health released daily figures on the state’s case and death counts. However, the department now only reports this data to the public once every two weeks, although it sends updates to the CDC on a near-daily basis.” • Gad. What kind of sense does that make? Anyhow, lots of tracking information here for Florida residents.

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

Status quo.

The previous release:

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. That the “green map” (which Topol calls a “capitulation” and a “deception”) is still up and being taken seriously verges on the criminal. Use the community transmission immediately below.

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:

Good job, CDC. Maybe changing the colors on the “Community Levels” page broke their site:

Hospitalization (CDC Community Profile):

Very volatile.

Death rate (Our World in Data):

Total: 1,035,847 1,035,320. I have added an anti-triumphalist Fauci Line.

Covid cases in top us travel destinations (Statista):

Note the quality of these numbers varies wildly. For example, the UK is cutting back on testing data.

Stats Watch

Inflation: “United States Consumer Inflation Expectations” [Trading Economics]. “US consumer inflation expectations for the year ahead rose to 6.6% in May of 2022 from 6.3% in April, matching a record hit in March. After declining sharply last month, the year-ahead expected change in the price of gas rose slightly to 5.5%.”

* * *

The Bezzle: “Crypto Debacle at Celsius Rattles Market Already Shaken by Terra” [Bloomberg]. “A month after the implosion of the Terra stablecoin sent the crypto market reeling, another crisis is causing fresh angst across the entire digital-asset universe. Celsius Network Ltd., one of the biggest lenders in crypto and a key player in the world of decentralized finance, said late Sunday that it was pausing withdrawals, swaps and transfers following weeks of speculation over its ability to make good on the outsize returns it offered on certain of its products, including yields as high as 17%.” Oh. More: “Both TerraUSD and Celsius revolved around the prospect of super-high yields to keep up demand, which itself depended on a steady flow of new entrants feeding the system.” • Wait. That reminds me of something…

The Bezzle: “Crypto Platforms Are Halting Withdrawals as Bitcoin Tanks Over 13%” [Gizmodo]. “The Celsius crypto network has halted all trading, including withdrawals, according to a press release from the company released overnight…. Another major cryptocurrency exchange platforms followed suit Monday. Binance halted withdrawals for Bitcoin as the cryptocurrency’s value tanked, claiming in a tweet the stoppage was ‘due to a stuck transaction causing a backlog.’ Oh. More: “Celsius, which claims to have 1.7 million users, allows people to trade major cryptocurrencies like bitcoin (down 13.2% over the past 24 hours) and ethereum (down 17%), all while promising incredibly high returns for people who were holding (HODLing, in the community parlance), with the service.” But wait! Theres more: “[Celsius] terms of use allow Celsius to halt all trading, as they’ve already done. They also explicitly say that if Celsius goes bankrupt, you might not get access to any of your money ever again, something that U.S. consumers at traditional banks don’t have to worry about thanks to the FDIC.” • Pesky regulators!

The Bezzle:

The Bezzle: “Tesla cars involved in 16 crashes with emergency vehicles, regulators say” [CBS]. “Documents posted Thursday by the agency raise some serious issues about Tesla’s Autopilot system. The agency found that it’s being used in areas where its capabilities are limited, and that many drivers aren’t taking action to avoid crashes despite warnings from the vehicle…. In the majority of the 16 crashes, the Teslas issued forward collision alerts to the drivers just before impact. Automatic emergency braking intervened to at least slow the cars in about half the cases. On average, Autopilot gave up control of the Teslas less than a second before the crash, NHTSA documents said.” • One second may not be enough to avoid the crash, but is it enough to avoid liability?

* * *

Today’s Fear & Greed Index: 18 Extreme Fear (previous close: 28 Fear) [CNN]. One week ago: 29 (Fear). (0 is Extreme Fear; 100 is Extreme Greed). Last updated Jun 13 at 1:20 PM EDT.

Rapture Index: Closes up one on Interest Rates. “Rates are being pushed up by higher inflation” [Rapture Ready]. Record High, October 10, 2016: 189. Current: 188. (Remember that bringing on the Rapture is good.)

The Gallery

This is not a photo:

This isn’t the color of my, but oddly, my dreams have become much more vivid and complex since Covid began. Not sure why this is, and I wonder if it’s universal.

News of the Wired

I am not feeling wired today. Maybe tomorrow!

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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: “So this person’s yard is nearly as random and busy as ours, but not quite. It might be the lights that place it in the ‘charming’ category for me, not to mention that they’re right across the street from the ocean! (Redondo Beach, California) Yep, sorry there’s a bit too much sky—it was a cell phone pic and it didn’t occur to me to edit it before uploading it to Flickr and deleting it from the phone.” I’m leaving the sky in because it’s so California.

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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. Big River Bandido

    Re: the “Cult guy”. I’d say Fetterman is one lucky dude. At this rate he should rest until September and define his opponent via teevee ads.

    Re: Howard Dean. Was it in Links where I read that Dean said something really nasty about the generation after him? In the same breath the article mentioned that Dean voted for Mayo Pete in 2020. What a phony, Howard Dean.

    1. Dr. John Carpenter

      Here is tis:


      The money quote:

      Howard Dean, the 73-year-old former Vermont governor and Democratic National Committee chairman who ran for president in 2004, has long called for a younger generation of leaders in their 30s and 40s to rise in the party. He said he had voted for Pete Buttigieg, 40, in the 2020 primary after trying to talk Senator Chris Murphy, 48, of Connecticut into running.

      “The generation after me is just a complete trash heap,” Mr. Dean said.

      I think my favorite part is that he called for a younger generation to rise, ignoring that his generation has done everything they can to prevent them from rising. It’s such a typical “why haven’t you pulled yourself up by your bootstraps” viewpoint I’m used to from his generation of Dems. He can’t complain about the generation after him when this is exactly the party he helped build.

      1. t

        “So why does this keep happening, even as it becomes easier to vote than to order a pizza” This is insane. It’s harder and harder to succefully register and to vote.

        Finding new ways to prevent people from voting starting right after the voting rights act and were turned up to 11 a well over a decade ago.

        And for my money, watching what the DNC did in primaries made “the big lie” an easy sell and, rightfully, convinced a lot of folks their votes will never count, if they can find an open polling location that doesn’t close while they’re still in line.

    2. Lambert Strether Post author

      > What a phony, Howard Dean

      Dean was OK when he first ran. The 50-state strategy was innovate and might even have changed the trajectory of the Democrat Party in a good way, which is why Emanuel and Obama deep-sixed it immediately. I think after they screwed Dean so hard, he said: “Well, if that’s how it is, that’s how it is,” and he jumped into the cesspool. This is not an unknown trajectory. Today, sadly, he’s not worth listening to. A fine example of The March of Folly.

      1. flora

        The 50 state strategy helped elect O. O’s appreciation for the 4 years of ground prep work was… uh… underwhelming. / ;)

      2. Big River Bandido

        I appreciate what is essentially validation, Lambert, since I supported Dean that year and campaigned for him. But I can’t quite forgive myself my own naïveté. I was old enough then to know better. Nor can I help noticing that this has become the trajectory and I don’t know how we change that. But part of the process must be vilifying those who cashed in. To me, they’re the worst of those who betray the cause — fair game for making examples of.

          1. Big River Bandido

            In terms of the way both were marketed, and who their target audience was, and who they served, I agree. In Obama, they found their perfect candidate.

        1. lance ringquist

          dean gave a interview on a plane to the 60 minute neo-lib, stahl, where he said if elected, he would scrap the free trade agreements because they did not work and were bad for america.

          then almost immediately the airwaves were blanketed with crazy screaming howard dean.

          dean learned his lesson well, and fell in line later.

    3. DanB

      Fetterman is facing Dr. Oz, not the Cult Guy. But Dr. Oz is also vulnerable the whacko label.

    4. BananaBreakfast

      Mastriano isn’t Fetterman’s opponent, he’s running against quack doctor and TV personality Dr. Oz. Mastriano is running for governor, his opponent is a fairly generic centrist democrat, Josh Shapiro.

      1. Big River Bandido

        Ah thank you all for that clarification. I had read the article a day or two ago and my memory had flipped the two cray cray candidates.

  2. antidlc

    RE: Good job, CDC. Maybe changing the colors on the “Community Levels” page broke their site:

    Not sure if this has anything to do with it:


    The National Vital Statistics System (NVSS) will be undergoing a system-wide upgrade starting June 6, 2022. NVSS COVID-19 surveillance webpages and data files will be paused between June 6, 2022 through June 17, 2022. Data updates are expected to resume on June 20, 2022.

  3. antidlc

    Re: “Mild respiratory COVID can cause multi-lineage neural cell and myelin dysregulation”
    Lambert’s comment:
    Filing this here so you can think about brain damage every time you see one of our elites saying they had a “mild” case.

    Canadian PM Trudeau tests positive for COVID a second time

    Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has tested positive for COVID-19 for the second time and just days after he met in person with U.S. President Joe Biden.

    The announcement came in a tweet Monday in which he urged everyone to get vaccinated. Trudeau said he feels OK and said that’s because he’s been vaccinated.

    The positive test comes after he met with U.S. President Joe Biden and other leaders at the Summit of the Americas in Los Angeles. Biden took a “family photo” with Trudeau on Friday and met with him on Thursday.

    I’m sorry, but I really have to scream: WHAT IS WRONG WITH THESE PEOPLE???

    1. Fiery Hunt

      I had a appointment to remove a window this morning.
      Load up the truck, drive over, unload, ring the bell…Client opens the upstairs window, says “I’ll be right down. I’ve got a mild case of Covid so I’ll mask up.”

      Client knows I’m caring for a sis-in-law who’s Stage 4 and in chemo.

      1. JBird4049

        >>>Client knows I’m caring for a sis-in-law who’s Stage 4 and in chemo.

        What an ass. Really.

    2. Fiery Hunt

      I know a dentist and his partner who bought tickets to Portugal and then on to Paris. (Portugal Air has an insane deal where it’s $400 roundtrip and thy’ll fly you anywhere else in Europe for free.)
      Both dentist and partner test positive night before flight.
      Call the airlines….’Do we need a negative test?’
      Airlines…”We don’t require a negative test. Just a vaccination card.”

      Needless to say they boarded that plane knowing they were infectious.

      1. antidlc

        As I have repeatedly stated, I feel like I’m living in a Twilight Zone episode, or The Matrix, or some dystopian movie.

          1. LifelongLib

            IIRC at the end of the movie one of the scientists who sent Bruce Willis back in time sits down next to the guy carrying the plague vials on the plane, and tells him “I’m in the insurance business”. Wonder what she was trying to insure…

      2. Lee

        Here in Alameda CA mask mandate once again in effect. Saw two maskless guys get booted from grocery store. A small good thing.

        1. Fiery Hunt

          Over there on the Island, you’ve also got 1 of the 5 Monkeypox cases currently in the Bay Area.
          And with a sizable gay population, and this being Pride Month…guarantee there’s more than 1.

          Good times.

      3. Questa Nota

        Those vectors are emblematic of the current times. Put their faces and stories into encyclopedias, remember those, to be recalled when discussing one of the thousand straws that broke that camel’s back.

        What the apologists won’t say is that all the independence and free thinking used to be accompanied by an awareness of decency, even conscience. When there are too many examples in the media, in government, in public and virtually everywhere of people just going for it, corners will be cut, mistakes will be made. They all seem to count on that short attention span and quick news cycle with the next in the parade of horribles appearing.

        Disclosure: I haven’t cared much for dentists once they became glorified mechanics with lousy chair-side manner pushing expensive treatments. The dental school debts weren’t going to repay themselves. All that fluoride in water systems helped a generation or more start off life with better teeth, and then newer hygiene practices made the conventional dental roles less critical. Of course, there are still needs but at what cost?

        1. Fiery Hunt

          “What the apologists won’t say is that all the independence and free thinking used to be accompanied by an awareness of decency, even conscience.”


    3. Arizona Slim

      How does Trudeau know that feeling okay is correlated with getting the V? How can he prove it?

    4. JAC

      “myelin dysregulation”, well then , how do we protect myelin? Long Chain Omega 3 (DHA and EPA), and B6.


      PLP [B6] also serves as a cofactor in sphingolipid synthesis and is thereby important for myelin formation.


      These results indicate that n-3 PUFAs might have a role in promotion of remyelination after toxic injury to CNS oligodendrocytes. This might occur either via modulation of the immune system or via a direct effect on oligodendrocytes or neurons through EPA-derived lipid metabolites such as 18-HEPE.

      B6 helps metabolize short chain fatty acids into long chain fatty acids like EPA and DHA that is found in fish.

      And I am not the only one thinking this:
      Potential Role of Vitamin B6 in Ameliorating the Severity of COVID-19 and Its Complications

  4. haywood

    This afternoon update continues to be the best news source I know for COVID. Thanks for keeping up the excellent work.

    1. Lambert Strether Post author

      > This afternoon update continues to be the best news source I know for COVID. Thanks for keeping up the excellent work.

      [lambert blushes modestly.]

      It’s frustrating that this enormous story is a non-story. Still, there are good guys in there punching!

      1. Louiedog14

        Recovered from my first bout with COVID about 2 months ago. It was “mild”. Got the Long COVID now. I have started telling people that the Brain Fog sounds cute, like a walk in London. I say I’ve got brain damage, that I am noticeably more stupid now than I was 3 months ago. Which is true. Telling people I had brain fog usually elicited a mild “tut-tut” response. My new response generates a lot of discomfort in most, genuine compassion in a few, but it is not ignored. Seems the least I can do.

        1. playon

          I am the same, but I’m not sure if I’m more stupid or if it’s just that my short-term memory is shot. Some days are better than others.

      2. haywood

        One more of the bad guys, Bob Wachter, has apparently come around to the dangers of Long Covid after his wife’s mild illness has now turned into a months long debilitation. See the Twitter thread here. Something similar happened to Andy whatsits, the Obama/Pharma/Podcast guy, when his son came down with LC.

        I suspect a shift in elite opinion will begin happening over the next few months as more of them get up close and personal with the realities of this virus. In many ways, I think elite suffering will be the only way we see any change for the rest of us. The only reason why we had any protections in the first place back in 2020 was because the elite were quite literally scared for their lives.

        1. antidlc

          ” I think elite suffering will be the only way we see any change for the rest of us. ”

          What if the Summit of the Americas turns out to be a super spreader event?

          For the record, I do not wish sickness or illness on anyone. I just don’t see a way out of this unless, as you say, the elites start seeing the devastating effects of covid.

          1. JTMcPhee

            The elites wish sickness and death on us mopes — “Let ‘er rip,” after all. And it’s the entire set of horrors that they “conspire” to visit on the rest of us, not just how they have “handled” the covid and other disease public health actions.

            The Lords and Masters consciously or unconsciously rely on the goodness (and also learned helplessness and weakness) of the lower orders as insulation against retribution. I hold no reservations about wishing the same for them. There’s a reason “The Masque of the Red Death” resonates so strongly with those who read it.

        2. Basil Pesto

          I read that a little while ago. Much as I feel for the guy’s wife, I found it somewhat jaw-dropping coming from Wachter.

          I think you’re probably onto something; I don’t think it’s unreasonable to conclude that the elite conception of covid, even just implicit, is one of class warfare. And the burden of the disease is undoubtedly greatest in lower classes, around the world.

          But as class warfare, it’s ultimately daft. There really won’t be anyway for elites to escape the negative consequences *if* they are infected, which they seem fairly committed to.

          1. LifelongLib

            I remain unconvinced that doctors, lawyers, scientists etc. are really the “elite”, and that they’re the ones calling the shots (so to speak). I think they were given the word that the kind of measures that might really contain covid were politically and economically out of the question, and put everything in the vaccine basket not out of ignorance or malice but desperation, as the only thing they were allowed to do.

            1. Basil Pesto

              I remain unconvinced that doctors, lawyers, scientists etc. are really the “elite”, and that they’re the ones calling the shots (so to speak).

              I agree that that’s the case in general – I didn’t mean to imply that and I’m not sure that haywood did either – but within those professions there are those who rise to what might be called an elite position or at least something elite-adjacent. Fauci being the obvious example from then’Doctor’ category. Leana Wen is a clear example of an elite-striver. I think Wachter belongs to that cohort. They either use their prominence to promulgate false narratives about the pandemic, typically ending with them trying to cover their own asses (and so Wachter deserves a measure of credit for his frankness here, I guess), or are put out there/put themselves out there to rationalise usually terrible government policy, ie make political tools of themselves. They abandon any modicum of reasonable scepticism or curiosity which is of course a betrayal of their intellectual integrity, if they have any. And they do it because at the end of the day they are bland careerists (that’s my suspicion anyway).

              They themselves may not ultimately be calling the shots. But they’re uncomfortably (and, at this point, I’d argue unconscionably) cosy with those who are.

  5. lyman alpha blob

    About January 6. Let’s just for entertainment purposes pretend that all those very bad people in the crowd that day had been successful in their attempts at overthrowing the government (bwaaaaaaaaahahahahaha – I’m laughing just typing it) by bringing the electoral certification to a halt. What is the mechanism by which Trump would have then become president? It’s been a year and a half and I still haven’t heard a plausible explanation as to how Trump becomes president because a procedural and largely symbolic vote gets delayed.

    The reason the man keeps on about the election being fraudulent is because he’s trolling the entire DC establishment because that’s what trolls do, especially after putting up with four years of “Russia made Trump president” nonsense. The DC elites can hire dodgy tech firms to declare that Russia hacked Podesta’s email account (with no evidence provided), they can lecture us on the nuances between misinformation and disinformation (and they ought to know being the biggest purveyors of it), they can us their techbrodude pals from Silicon Valley to do their censorship for them (for our own good of course!), but they simply cannot learn of of the most basic rules of the interwebs –

    Don’t feed the trolls.

    But they just don’t get it, and offer up a smorgasbord of fruitless threats, lawsuits, impeachments and hearings instead. It’s only those suffering from the TDS who think Trump is the one who comes out looking like a loser here.

    1. ambrit

      Follow the money. The hyperventilating makes for emotional and non-rational decision making. One such non-rational decision is to contribute money to the “brave defenders of truthiness, selective justice, and the Ameriwoke Way!”
      View the Party as a fundsraising machine instead of a political governance system, and you approximate the objective truth.

      1. JTMcPhee

        Fundraising machine, and private club to which us mopes can never spire to membership — just cannon fodder and suckers to be looted…

        And rulers in our Empire are given legitimacy via the faux “electoral “ process that we mopes either go along with or out of despair no longer take part in.

        1. Late Introvert

          That’s me. So many friends have been aghast that I didn’t vote for Biden. I hate that guy, I say, and I can’t vote for people I hate.

          Then there’s a pause and a suspicion passes over their face. You didn’t vote for Trump though? And when I say no, such a relief. All they care about is their shitty team of DemRats.

      1. lyman alpha blob

        Sure, I get that it’s helps fund raise and they have nothing to run on as you and ambrit said. But they keep using the same gambit, and it isn’t working, unless you think barely beating a known charlatan with a barely functioning potted plant who is at least equally and possibly more loathed than his predecessor counts as “winning”.

        There was no bombshell revelation last week, as anyone paying attention knew there wouldn’t be. They have to see they’re about to go down with this strategy – and bigly.

        1. John

          Trump has his little obsessions, his own reality, his refusal to even be a loser. Ah, if wishes could make it so.

        2. ambrit

          But “go down bigly” to what? If we view their preferred outcome as primarily of a personal financial nature, “going down” will be acceptable to “them,” (for some version of political consultant and or apparatchik “them.”)
          This is the end state of Neo-liberal Governance Theory. (NGT) Going back to the Arch Demoness Thatcher, we find that; “There is no such thing as society.” Her contemporary, the Maleficent Magister Reagan, promulgated the theorem that; “A rising tide floats all boats.” (This conveniently ignores all of those without boats. Said unfortunates will have to either sign on as ‘crew’ on a rich person’s yacht, or drown.) Both Minions of Ye Devil established self dealing and naked greed as ‘foundational’ aspects of “Moderne Society.” The result, as we now appreciate, is Burke’s “..war of all against all.”
          The short version is that Politicing has now become “privatized” to the extent that any resorts to the provision of actual public goods have been abandoned.
          What the elites fail to understand is that, as with all “intellectual” theories, the ‘real world’ will eventually come crashing in and wreck the party. (Pun intended.)
          I wonder how the parallel institutions projects are coming along?
          Stay safe! Enjoy our upcoming ‘Summer of SHTF!’

          1. GramSci

            I think that’s Hobbes’ “war of all against all”. Credit where credit’s due.

    2. DJG, Reality Czar

      lyman alpha blob: This is exactly where I am regarding the current situation:

      The reason the man keeps on about the election being fraudulent is because he’s trolling the entire DC establishment because that’s what trolls do, especially after putting up with four years of “Russia made Trump president” nonsense.

      I may take your sentence and plaster it all over social media. Years of Hillary Clinton and the Diehards trolling all of us that a coup d’état had happened, and somehow, the Donald, master of being offended and ever ready to retaliate, pays them in their own coin, with another fake coup d’état.

      I notice, though, that neither the Diehards nor the Election Truthies are headed to the countryside on a Long March to institute a new and democratically elected government. Not when there’s brunch to be had… brunch, the nonpartisan signal of silliness. Somewhat like gunz.

  6. Wukchumni

    So you’re on the floor at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave NW
    Think you can last at the white palace
    Does your mind go to the to and fro?
    But Ukraine is when or didn’t you know
    That Vladimir beat sleepy Joe
    Sleepy Joe knows his foe
    Vladimir beat sleepy Joe
    Sleepy Joe knows his foe

    He tried his tricks sanctioning that Russkie bear
    The United Nations said it’s all fair
    He did the bank & yacht seizures he unleashed a supply shortage plague
    But he could not win with a cossack spin

    The inflation bomb-the price hike
    He tried every move he tried to halt hikes
    He blamed it all on a Russian Czar
    He made every move in his repertoire

    When Vladimir beat sleepy Joe
    Vladimir beat sleepy Joe
    Vladimir beat sleepy Joe
    Vladimir beat sleepy Joe

    Now it was sleepy Joe’s turn to blow
    The economy turned on him and down we go


        1. Late Introvert

          Any reference to the great ¡Sandanista! has to be recognized. Good job Wukchumni, I’ll substitute your lyrics to the chorus for sure, and shout them out.

      1. poopinator

        Of all of the Biden administration hires, the antitrust hires seemed to be the most qualified and fit for the purpose of serving the public good. Initially I thought they’d only use them as a threat to social media and payment companies to enforce their ‘misinformation’ concerns. Hopefully they continue to do more work in the same vein.

        1. Big River Bandido

          I just hope they have enough Republican support in the Senate to continue this trajectory after the Democrats get routed.

        2. Lambert Strether Post author

          > Initially I thought they’d only use them as a threat to social media and payment companies to enforce their ‘misinformation’ concerns.

          I still think this. The battle has a ways to go.

    1. Kurtismayfield

      I used to take my pet into a VCA, then a few years back I noticed the nickel and dining getting bad. Then I spotted a location manager, who was new. So I got tired of it and took my pet to a sole proprietorship. Night and day on service and costs.

      VCA felt like they were selling options for pet care, and not actual pet care.

      1. JTMcPhee

        When they present a form “written estimate of treatment” to you and run your credit card before treatment, it becomes obvious what their “service” is. “Bend over, sir, so we can complete the wallet biopsy as conveniently as possible.”

  7. John k

    Wonder why trump shrank from it… but suspicions?
    Imo somebody showed him the horses head a few months into his pres, and he hasn’t forgotten. I suspect they don’t like him, and just thinking of running in 2024 might be dangerous.

  8. ambrit

    Riffing on the subject of “Corsi Box,” why not a screen shot of a “Fauchi Box,” and have a picture of a cardboard coffin?

  9. Samuel Conner

    > Filing this here so you can think about brain damage every time you see one of our elites saying they had a “mild” case.

    another kind of intersectionality, to add to the intersection of narcissism with cognitive decline that IMO seems a plausible interpretation of some of our gerontocracy.

    1. Lambert Strether Post author

      > another kind of intersectionality


      Makes me think that another way of thinking about intersectionality is in fact an enormous pile of log-jams.

  10. Samuel Conner

    Perhaps US authorities will begin to think more carefully about ‘public health’ after multiple waves of COVID and accumulating Long COVID debilities in the young start to noticeably impair military readiness.

    (I know that I’m “preaching to the choir”; just hoping that this idea circulates and eventually comes to the attention of any powerful people — there may be some — who have a motive to care about the health of the population.)

    1. Lambert Strether Post author

      > Perhaps US authorities will begin to think more carefully about ‘public health’ after multiple waves of COVID

      Only when it affects them personally, and it would have to be worse than Biden or Feinstein.

      Of course, it’s happening to all vax + treatment events who go to superspreading events like conferences or concerts. I read that 30 members of the Tanglewood Festival Chorus came down with Covid at their first unmasked concert; madness, considering that the Skagit Valley choir was one of the first proven cases of airborne transmission. But what I’m getting at is that perhaps other members of the elite, more capable of putting two and two together, my break though to the politicians.

      1. drumlin woodchuckles

        The thought of brain-decay madness does not bother them. They might like the idea of LARPing through life as Mad King Ludwig of Bavaria.

        Hopefully their Life Long Covid will manifest as physical body torture of various kinds with the mind left clear enough to feel every bit of the suffering.

        1. KommieKat

          Re : “Long COVID as physical body torture”

          To me that statement is just hateful.

          I am getting really sick not so much of COVID as of the cruelty and cynical “humor” of some posts here and trashy tweets dragged over from Twitter.

          These sort of statements help no one. They won’t convince the unmasked or un-vaccinated to change their behavior. This kind of cynicism feeds on itself and these sorts of comments will just alienate people and make a bad situation worse.

          1. tegnost

            What I want is for the vaccinated to stop spreading the virus, which you are not really sick of, by going back to wearing masks, because the virus doesn’t care if you are vaccinated…you can get it, and you can spread it…pretty much everyone I know in SF has had it in the past two months…fully vaxxed…sometimes humor is the only way to deal with this crap…you’re stuck on anti vaxxers and anti maskers, which was like a year ago at least, while todays problem is the vaxxers who are anti maskers.

            1. Lambert Strether Post author

              > todays problem is the vaxxers who are anti maskers


              > Sometimes humor is the only way to deal with this crap

              Yep. I’m also unsure of what a more appropriate response to a million deaths not even being a political issue might be. I do try to work my way from cyncism to realism, but it’s a hard slog.

          2. ambrit

            We are not being ruled by Philosopher Kings. Quite the opposite.
            We are way past the point of rational discussion changing very many people’s views. The almost universal use of outright facts free propaganda to ‘shape’ the “public discourse” here in the West, generally done by the MSM and other enablers of the status quo elites, guarantees “hate” as the operative technique for controlling the society. Either hate of some elites annointed “others,’ or self hate. Both work well to distract and disempower the public.
            This cynic’s viewpoint is that the fictional concept of “The Jackpot” has become a useful way of envisioning an actual trend in the development of this society’s ethos. Such a strategy is premised on the physical death of a large part of the world’s population. Club of Rome stuff. As such, the main conflict has become, who shall survive? Faced with such an eventuality, it is rational and ‘just’ to desire that Death visits someone else’s dwelling.
            There is also an element of ‘social justice’ thinking involved. Not the ‘modern’ “Social Justice” promoted by various elites in the West, but an original, more universal concept of ‘social justice.’ The “Pain” must be spread evenly throughout the population to give it the gravitas needed to stoically soldier through the population bottleneck event.
            No more serenely floating above the fray, upheld by wealth and priviledge. The elites will have to be dragged on down to the reality that is beginning to assail us. It is only just, because their decisions over the past few decades have hastened and deepened the chaos that approaches.
            Anyway, that’s my story and I’m sticking to it.

          3. drumlin woodchuckles

            Pay closer attention to the comment just above mine and then my comment together.
            I was referring to the covid suprespreading elites, the CDC and other anti-health officials who work as hard as they can to stealth-propel covid, and people adjacent to them.

            I know what they want to do to me. And I hate them for it. And I will state that fact and wish for them that which they seek to engineer for me on purpose.

      2. Big River Bandido

        The institutions and culture of classical music in the US are completely saturated with the NGO/PCM ethos, language, and cult of power, largely because entrance to that world is strictly limited by education. If this crowd experiences a reality check, that perception is bound to filter through academia and other arts NGOs and eventually up to so-called “leadership”.

        1. Lambert Strether Post author

          > If this crowd experiences a reality check, that perception is bound to filter through academia and other arts NGOs and eventually up to so-called “leadership”.

          And “upward” (or perhaps downward) to funders.

  11. lyman alpha blob

    RE: the John Allen ouster

    Going to have to disagree with Lira on this one. I doubt it’s the Obama faction putting a damper on the war dreams of the neocons. Not only does the Biden administration employ a lot of Obama faction retreads, but c’mon man – everybody in DC loves war!

    I think this may be one of those times where a simple explanation is the best – rather than it being some factional conspiracy, he probably just had carnal relations with the wrong person’s significant other.

    1. Lambert Strether Post author

      > he probably just had carnal relations with the wrong person’s significant other

      I rarely laugh out loud…. Perhaps the Saudi ambassador’s inamorata?

      (But if it is factional infighting, and its not Obama, and it’s not Clinton, then who is it?)

      1. lyman alpha blob

        I’m glad I made you laugh! I was going to use a cruder and potentially more humorous turn of phrase, but I thought better of it, family blog and all.

        As to the possibility of a factional fracas, does Carter still have one? /s

  12. Lex

    3M is an evil corporation that’s done a lot of damage to the environment and public health and a corporation that makes important products well. They love the CR box because people don’t change their furnace filters enough and the CR box requires purchase of 4! furnace filters. Even better, they will be visible so when dirty people will race out to buy 4 more. This is not a criticism of the CR box. I think it’s great and that’s based on doing this sort of thing professionally. It’s actually really cool that 3M confirmed the other testing in its own lab.

    1. albrt

      There was an HVAC company in Phoenix that used to advertise “the second best air filter in your house is – your lungs.”

  13. Wukchumni

    UPDATE “On Jan. 6 probe, Kevin McCarthy’s strategy did him no favors” [MSNBC]. “Pelosi offered [House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy]
    It ain’t as if Mensa ever hit up My Kevin (since ’07) for inclusion as likable dolts don’t cut it even if they can conjure up vast oodles of manna in campaign contributions.

    I read that Nunes is making $750k working for the Don and My Kevin’s political future wholly depends upon the Trump card.

    1. JCC

      I have lived in McCarthy’s Kern County for about 10 years. Years ago, during the big bru-ha-ha on Network Neutrality I sent him a letter urging him to support the concept. I actually got a letter back from him wherein he clearly explained to me that Internet Monopolies kept prices low and fostered innovation.

      That was the first and last time I ever wasted any time writing my Congressional Representative. I figured if a guy never passed a basic Econ 101 or 20th Century Am Hist 101 class then it was a waste of time hoping for anything rational from this dolt.

  14. drumlin woodchuckles

    I don’t see why you should be reaching out to the ” freedom loons”. They are just as much a problem as the WHO/CDC conspiracy to force covid’s spread.

    Typhoid Mary-covid MAGAtard Trumpanon covid zombie plague spreading scum are just as much of a danger as the covid propelling DC FedRegime and its little CDC/WHO puppets. They are a different kind of danger requiring a different kind of self-defense, but they are just as much of a danger.

    I wouldn’t reach out to them with a ten-foot pole.

  15. Wukchumni

    ‘We are the People’s Patriot Front…’

    Northern Idaho is where our extremist evang militia-church hightailed it for about 5 years ago, much to the relief of everybody in Tiny Town.

    You don’t often get an opportunity to buy a house of worship, and opportunity knocks on this former Church of the Kaweah charmer, a mid-century beauty with a target range in the back (I kid you not)


  16. Mikel

    “But wait! Theres more: “[Celsius] terms of use allow Celsius to halt all trading, as they’ve already done. They also explicitly say that if Celsius goes bankrupt, you might not get access to any of your money ever again, something that U.S. consumers at traditional banks don’t have to worry about thanks to the FDIC.” • Pesky regulators!

    Think of Uber. That was all about attacking regulations too. The ultimate end goal – deregulation. Crypto is trying to get idiots used to the idea of unsecured deposits or even the thought that it should be something worth having.

  17. You're soaking in it!

    It’s a tragedy on a world-historical scale that Trump’s’ idée fixe did not become how the “deep state” (in his locution) destroyed his Presidency. That would have been politically popular, have had the merit of approximating the truth, and might have affected Ukraine policy in a non-cray cray way. I wonder why Trump shrank from it.

    Just a wild guess, but JFK? I mean, he did spend formative years hanging around Nicky Scarfo et. al.

  18. Carolinian

    RE MSNBC, here’s Turley’s version

    Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) decided a year ago to break from tradition and blocked two Republican committee members selected by GOP leaders. In response, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) pulled his other committee nominees, and Pelosi then seated two staunchly anti-Trump Republicans — Reps. Liz Cheney (Wyoming) and Adam Kinzinger (Illinois).

    Which is to say that if the committee were in jury selection they would only get picked if they had a bias.

    Turley says kangaroo court staged by a former tv producer and the results won’t lead to trump indictment.


    Therefore is it a free 6 hr campaign commercial?

    1. drumlin woodchuckles

      The Republican leadership nominated pro-riot pro-election-overturn vandals to prevent the committee from being able to do any work at all.

      1. Lambert Strether Post author

        > pro-riot pro-election-overturn

        riot -> election overturn is precisely what the Democrats must prove, and haven’t.

        Did I miss the memo — quite possible!!!! — on the alternative history were Pence gets in the car?

  19. Geo

    “I have had to unlearn many of the ways of speaking I cultivated as a student radical in order to be more convincing and compelling off campus.”

    I recently read a biography of a Sandinista fighter (published in 1982) and one of the first lessons he talks about was the importance of speak in the language regular people relate to and not academic speak. I’ve tried sharing it with many “online activists” I come across with no success at all. Too many seem to be more comfortable in an academic bubble of activism and don’t want to dirty themselves with real life. It’s also why a Chris Smalls appeals to more people than any leftie activist movement in years. He is a true person, no matter that he adorns himself as if an aspiring rap mogul, he at least speaks like a person you’d know in real life and not like an automated voice reading a dry text book from a college course.

    In other #COVID news: Another film/video job was cancelled due to “talent” getting Covid. That was the two last week and already one this week. At this point I guess I’m just unemployed because every job I’ve had for the past two weeks has been cancelled due to Covid. Fun times!

    1. drumlin woodchuckles

      ” Adorns himself as if an aspiring rap mogul” may even help, because a fair number of ordinary people adorn themselves as if aspiring rap moguls.

  20. Di Modica's Dumb Steer

    Apparently, it seems like the FTC made some moves to stop PE firms from gobbling up vet clinics, which is nice. I’d rather not get bled by these firms when my furry friends are getting medical help.


    Comments where I first read about it. Some of the commenters are great, and some seem to be naive, or sociopaths, or both. On par for the site.


  21. Leroy R

    Further controversy in the Pennsylvania election:
    New York’s Favorite Burger Bun Has Far-Right Ties. Will Restaurants Leave It Behind? “In May, Philadelphia news outlet Billy Penn reported that Jim Martin, one of the family owners behind Martin’s Famous Pastry Shoppe, along with his wife and daughter, had donated upwards of $100,000 to far-right state senator Doug Mastriano’s campaign for Pennsylvania governor — the largest amount from a single donor made to the candidate in the last two years.”
    Martin’s Potato Rolls — excellent buns and quite popular here in the east.

  22. Val

    “Language of ‘Wokeness”, when the diversiteers meet the “unlike audience”, an inclusive hilarity ensues for everyone but the alphabet kids.

    1. drumlin woodchuckles

      Well, medical leeches are a thing again, too, for certain limited purposes. If a severed smallish body-part or chunk has been re-attached and blood is not getting into it properly, a leech is put on it to suck blood out of it. That creates somehow a vacuum which blood from the body moves in to fill as the leech keeps restoring that vacuum by sucking out more blood.

      I sometimes take little jars of leeches out to certain medical units on my rounds if/when they are prescribed.

  23. Pelham

    Re the confederate flag in the Capitol: Does anyone else recall the pinnacle of Southern rock — Allman Brothers, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Elvin Bishop — back in the ’70s when that flag was a somewhat cool thing to have around? Perhaps it was a dastardly decade and I’m just misremembering it, having spent one memorably adventurous summer then in Richmond and Atlanta.

    1. Wukchumni

      Craziest thing in a car vein I ever saw was in the parking lot of a motel in Lake Wanaka about 20 years ago, and an inventive Kiwi had made a Dukes of Hazard General Lee car out of a station wagon with a Confederate flag painted on the roof.

    2. Questa Nota

      Carter got a boost from the awareness of southern rock among the masses nationwide. Perhaps enough to encourage more to vote and to swing some away from Ford. Somewhere there must be dissertation about that pivotal event. Bonus if soundtrack included.

    3. Nikkikat

      Most of the people I knew that went to see those groups had no idea what that flag meant. I would never go to any of their shows and avoided their music. However, when I inquired as to why they would go see a bunch a racist. They were mostly my male friends. They were like really? I never really thought about it. I would play Neil Young’s Southern Man for them and remind them that was why Lynyrd had that line about Young in their song.

  24. Jason Boxman

    If you click through the Walgreens data, the next page gathers up BA1/4/5 together. And we’re at 25.66% nationally from the Walgreens data sampling. Next page, BA4/5 are about 10% total now, but this as of 5/28. Walgreens even includes notes, updating frequently. Puts the Centers for Disease to shame:

    Although BA.2 and its sublineages are the current predominant variants in circulation, BA.4 and BA.5 cases have been identified in the US.  Early assessments of PCR results for these lineages have demonstrated that they are likely to cause SGTF similar to the B.1.1.529 and BA.1.  We have updated headers in the National Omicron Sub-Variant Trend to include presumed BA.4 and BA.5 cases which are identified based on the occurrence SGTF or rSGTP during initial PCR testing.

  25. Jason Boxman

    It seems like we’ve reached peak fintech; Until a month or two ago, I’d get weekly emails from recruiters asking me to join the latest fintech monstrosity. My standard reply is: “I’m not a believer.”

  26. Max

    RE: Corsi Rosenthal boxes and communication. I work as a hardware engineer in the East Bay at a med device company, almost everyone has been home for the last two years except production (on site 100% of the time). I spend a 2-3 days a week in our lab but since everyone has been gone, I’ve always felt safe. It’s usually just a couple people in a big airy building.

    Recently they’ve been trying to get people back (which has failed spectacularly but they’ve managed to get more bodies in the office overall). They also lifted the mask requirement. I built my first CR box to put by my desk and people LOVE it. Lots of “I wish I thought of that” or “dude this is a great idea.” I’ve also had a lot of feedback from people with family members w/ allergies, or are sensitive to smoke, or just feel better with cleaner air. It was interesting… everyone immediately understands the concept but nobody had heard of Corsi Rosenthal. Biden or the CDC could just show a picture of one and many people would get it, I think.

    Another personal revelation – it’s been hot in the Bay lately and I got chilly!

    1. Lambert Strether Post author

      > everyone immediately understands the concept but nobody had heard of Corsi Rosenthal. Biden or the CDC could just show a picture of one and many people would get it

      One can only wonder why they don’t. But the (ugh) grassroots propagation of DIY plans is a real bright spot. I wish I had a count of how many CR boxes have been constructed; Corsi asked on Twitter, but Twitter isn’t representative.

  27. jr

    Manipulated symbol manipulators:

    There seems to be more than a bit of confusion in the Adler-Bell piece. The sentiments of solidarity he expresses are correct but he misses the reasons they aren’t in play. Further, he confuses the groups he presents as being on one side of the struggle. It’s a lot more complicated than that.

    First of all, socialists aren’t social justice types. At least in my experience, those who don the “social justice” crown are by and large identitarians and as such are anathema to a socialist program, whatever program of economic struggle they profess. They are decidedly not Leftists, I see them as authoritarian liberal progressives.

    Socialism is about bringing people together under the banner of a struggle for economic redress and to seek changes to the economic order. As Jimmy Dore points out in his framing of unionization efforts, this includes the Trump voter, the gun-toter, and even the white supremacists. That’s what the Black Panthers did in Chicago, bringing black radicals and the KKK to the same table, although I don’t know that the Panthers saw themselves as socialists.

    Identitarians divide people into disparate groups based on sex, sexual orientation, and ethnicity, by definition undermining solidarity. Common histories are ignored in favor of solipsistic tales that disappear the commonalities of struggles. A hierarchy of the deserving victims versus those who can be safely, and smugly, dismissed is created. The Nerf-argument of “white privilege” is an example of this, as if all white people have benefited equally or even at all from the fact that whites dominate the socioeconomic order.

    Then there are the feminists. What wave is he referring to? If he is referring to “third wave” girlboss feminists whose pantheon of heroes includes Hillary, Harris, and their ilk, well, again that’s not the Left. Third wave feminism is about reproducing the power relations of the status quo but including elite women for a patina of authenticity. It’s not about bettering the lives of all women. I would argue they aren’t really feminists at all.

    As to the question of language, the non-intuitive, alienating, exclusionary language all makes sense if you consider that that is the actual goal of it. Attacking people for words they have used all their lives, such as Latino, with clumsy stand-ins like “LatinX”, has as it’s goal the creation of an in-group/out-group knowledge relation. Gibberish like “lived experience”, supposedly a nod to the common parlance but representing a linguistic redundancy that leads one to ask who hasn’t been alive for an experience, dumbs down the user and panders to inaccuracy as authenticity. I haven’t been in school for many a moon but I can imagine the “in-house” academic jargon has slipped the leash completely, take a quick look at the work of that mighty thinker Judith Butler and her spawn and you will quickly sink into a morass of empty terminology and tortured concepts, all with the goal of spinning gold cloth from straw.

    Adler-Bell is describing the Synthetic Left, not the Left, the progeny of the Congress of Cultural Freedom that Caleb Mauphin has documented. I would suggest that a focus on material gains for working people, no matter their background, is the proper place to start. Organizing should be truly inclusive under the umbrella of us versus them; the plutocrats, the tech-lords, the 1%ers who are r@ping the world for yet another yacht.

    1. Acacia

      Excellent, yes, thanks.

      More broadly, I wonder how we got from “political correctness” to “woke”.

    2. JBird4049

      Has anyone noticed that that prominent leaders of the 1960s who were not identitarians, or in the process of becoming so, conveniently became dead? MLK, RFK, Malcom X, Fred Hampton…

      I see a similar pattern repeated again and again. Women’s Moment was subvert and effectively destroyed by leaders such as Gloria Steinem who pushed the preferred concerns of the upper middle class and higher against everyone else; the Union Movement was weakened and then destroyed by pushing out socialists, then the communists(who were the best organizers and recruiters), and finally any remaining effective leftist leaders; the leftist churches, synagogues, and any other religious organizations have been rendered stupid by the current insipid, empty feel good theology, then shoved aside by well funded grift “churches” with their insipid, empty, feel good “Prosperity Gospel”; a flood of money and PMC grifters have also subverted and hollowed out most of the non-profits, NGOs, and charities. Then add the media being under similar pressure.

      A pattern of “plata o plomo” or “silver or lead” going back to at least the 1950s. The Palmer Raids and other similar efforts from 1917 to the 20s also. I could make a decent argument for at least as far back as the Antebellum or pre American Civil War. Since most people just want a decent life and a little extra money for yourself or seed money for whatever organization or business could be useful and allow you to outmaneuver others. If one does not have to worry about their rent be it the apartment or the office, that’s an advantage.

      I think someone took the identitarian and identity politics that even I as a college freshman noticed in the 1980s and just watered and fed it with some light use of weed killer got it to its malignant glory today.

  28. Fraibert

    I’m not sure the extent to which federal judges would be willing to apply the insurrection (18 USC sec. 2383) or seditious conspiracy (18 USC sec. 2384) statues to the January 6 cases. (Side note: The descriptive titles of sections of the US Code mostly are not assigned by Congress in the first place and they don’t have any legal weight.)

    Read broadly, both statutes can be viewed as covering most acts of civil disobedience against the federal government. Even read somewhat more narrowly, certain acts of organized violence targeting the federal government (such as the Antifa riots in Portland around the federal courthouse and the ICE facility) would be covered. I think federal judges aren’t going to be convinced that these statutes are meant to cover any of the above.

    The “lawyerly” way to address this reality is to give the statutes limiting readings based upon an attentive parsing of the text. For example, sec. 2383 deals with “rebellion or insurrection” and those terms can be read to imply a serious, organized, and violent effort against federal authority (cf. the Whiskey Rebellion). (It’s also worth observing that sec. 2383 is partially unconstitutional to the extent that its language covers abstract incitement to overthrow the federal government.)

    Likewise, every prong of sec. 2384 requires the conspirators to “by force” pursue a prohibited end, and that element can be interpreted to require significant, organized violence.

  29. Bsn

    Oh My! Just finished listening to an NPR radio show “The Daily” sponsored by the NY Times. It’s just so obvious, now that Rayethon el al have received their billions of dollars to upgrade the US stockpile of artillery and missiles, we’re in the process of throwing Ukraine under the bus. In the Daily broadcast, the guest is saying Zelinsky won’t share his “intel”. This is such a set-up for “well, we didn’t know so it’s not our fault”. Oh my, such drivel.

    1. Arizona Slim

      You just listened to NPR? We owe you a medal for putting up with that [family blogging] stuff.

  30. Wukchumni

    My buddy who runs sightseeing tours in Sequoia NP guestimates that foreigners make up more than 50% of recent visitors to the park, and there was that pent up wanting to travel vibe which probably explains it along with Americans staying away in droves on account of high gas prices, but think of all the vectors for Covid all mingling mostly outdoors, with the Sherman Tree and Moro Rock your best bets to catch it, the latter in particular.

    1. B24S

      When we entered the Sequoia Cider Mill in 3R for lunch on Thursday, it was empty except for the five of us, so we were comfortable being inside in the relative cool. About the time we were finishing up at least a dozen French tourists on rented Harleys came boisterously in, loud and happy to be on the road. We were waiting to check in at the Lazy J, and when one of us had asked what we might do while we waited, I said that we could head up to the park and join the crowd. He laughed nervously and declined. But by then our rooms were ready, so we all checked in and headed down to the river to cool off.

      1. Wukchumni

        When we moved here almost 20 years ago I had no idea what a major role the river played in keeping one’s sanity during the 100 days of 100 degrees (an exaggeration-there were only 67 days hitting the century mark) and just how many bitchin’ swimming holes there are.

        A friend who worked for NPS @ Sequoia NP transferred to Death Valley NP, and she was the instigator of swimming long stretches of the main fork of the Kaweah River. The first time I did it we went from Potwisha to the park headquarters culminating @ a funny named pool that goes by the title: Toilet Bowl’

        You’re only swimming about half the time with the rest being portaging around waterfalls or what have you in the way of impediments en route. You always have to be cognizant of slippery granite and potential rattlesnakes, and might be swimming in a foot of water to as much as 8 feet deep. The longest pool was over 100 yards long. It took 7 hours to do the swim and it so worked me with muscles I seldom use and when I got home and my wife had made dinner, I looked up with a fork in my hand and uttered i’m so knackered, it hurts to chew’.

        Our grocery store in Tiny Town could hold UN conferences in it, you hear so many accents in each aisle. ha ha

  31. marym

    Capitol riot: parading vs violence

    Here’s a DOJ list of cases for the “Capitol Breach” including charges. It’s a text file, not a database. I did a Find for parading and clicked a (really small) number of results. They show parading plus other charges. A text search for violent or violence also gets many results.

    Then I looked up one of the “convicted” dots on the AP chart (06/09 Water Cooler) for “parading.” There were additional charges in the DOJ case list The case was settled with a plea agreement to parading.

    Then I randomly looked up 2 DOJ cases with a lot of charges (one included violent entry) and a plea agreement. The plea was to parading, with other charges dismissed.

    So charges in the AP chart are charges in settled cases, where the DOJ list may have had additional initial charges; and has additional charges in other cases with outcomes still pending.

    1. Lambert Strether Post author

      > charges in the AP chart are charges in settled cases

      Yes, they’re not hypotheticals. As the AP says, and I repeated: “There have been 829 people charged with offenses related to the attack on the U.S. Capitol.”

      Presumably a Democrat AG wouldn’t plead out charges of insurrection or sedition?

  32. jr

    More good news to add to the pot: Inflation hits a 40 year high. From Breaking Points:


    At this rate, you will have to add big words to the pot, just to stretch it out and feed the family. Guess who Biden blames for this? Putin! That’s why chicken is 12% more expensive than last year!

  33. NotTimothyGeithner

    Re: Susan Rice

    So she is now trying to get fluff pieces written about her influence in the White House…

    1. Michael Ismoe

      The headhunters need to be impressed. It’s not like she will have a job in two more years,

  34. Michael Ismoe

    Gym shorts in January but the feet of clay are appearing. Looks like it might be “$27 dollar time” again:

    Lt. Gov. John Fetterman has hired a Philadelphia-based veteran of President Joe Biden’s 2020 campaign to lead his U.S. Senate run in the general election.

    Brendan McPhillips, a Democratic strategist who ran Biden’s campaign in Pennsylvania, will become Fetterman’s campaign manager, the campaign said Monday. McPhillips ran Pete Buttigieg’s Democratic presidential campaign in Iowa and has known Fetterman since 2015.


      1. ambrit

        Fetterman looks to have won his early political races on his own terms. I’m with you. The only ‘real’ task for Democrat strategists today is to make sure that non-approved candidates, no matter how popular, do not win office.
        How well does Fetterman know this McPhillips character?
        It reeks of the self destructing Bernie political staff issues back in ’16 and ’20.

        1. Lambert Strether Post author

          > It reeks of the self destructing Bernie political staff issues back in ’16 and ’20.

          Yep. Fetterman won, and would have won, by visiting every PA country no matter how red and talking to voters. Diametrically opposed to what a “Democratic Strategist” would recommend. The previous line of attack on Oz was that he was not from Pennsylvania, which was very funny and had the merit of being truth-adjacent. It will be interesting to see if that line of attack continues.

          OTOH, that slippery little scut Buttigeig did “win” Iowa, at least, and a place in the Adminstration, and that’s the point, isn’t it…..

          1. Arizona Slim

            The last Democratic candidate who made that kind of effort was Joe Sestak. He walked across Pennsylvania and talked to the people. That was back in 2015.

  35. Mikel

    “Another anemic election turnout. Why most people don’t vote, and what to do about it” [Los Angeles Times].

    Would be interesting if they crossed checked registered voter records with covid deaths.

    1. Daryl

      Boy. Setting aside the particulars of the situation, thought politicians were supposed to be good at dodging controversy. Read the room, look at the accelerating crypto collapse that’s already begun. This one ain’t gonna look good in a few weeks let alone months.

    2. Wukchumni

      Lummis is a Republican from Wyoming and not only does she own somewhere between $50k to $100k worth of Bitcoin, but Wyoming is also a big Bitcoin mining state~

      She called Bitcoin ‘the hardest money ever been created’, which wins the hyperbole contest this month, no matter what future challengers to the claim might utter.

    3. eg

      A particularly odious candidate for the leadership of the Conservative Party of Canada, Pierre Poilievre, is a proponent of crypto among other inanities.

      Watching him hoist upon his own crypto-petard is most gratifying …

  36. none


    Hugh Jackman tested positive 1 day after the Tony awards.

    Idk if that means he caught it at the awards (I thought maybe incubation before a positive test was longer), or that he already had it and was spreading it to other people while he was there.

    Either way, maybe the Tonys and all those other superspreader events should be renamed to the Darwin awards.

    1. Noone from Nowheresville

      I flipped through tv that night. Caught his performance from The Music Man. Remember thinking his eyes looked awful. Eyelids near the lashes seemed red. Figured harsh lighting. Getting older. Hadn’t seen him in a while so shrug. Unfortunate that he sang to the audience and really belted it out. Wonder how many of the stage performers and hands with him will also test positive.

  37. eg

    Crypto fools striking yet another blow for “freedom” — in this case, freedom from liquidity …

    1. ChrisRUEcon


      “Denmark issued a diplomatic note warning that Ukraine does not sufficiently fulfil criteria related to the stability of institutions guaranteeing democracy, the rule of law, human rights, and respect for and protection of minorities.”

      (Radio Free Europe via Twitter)

      Someone with a brain in the Denmark just caught up with the whole “Zelensky barring political parties, TV outlets and allowing the slaughter of Russian-speaking Ukrainians by Nazis for the past eight years”.

      1. Lambert Strether Post author

        > Ukraine does not sufficiently fulfil criteria related to the stability of institutions guaranteeing democracy, the rule of law, human rights, and respect for and protection of minorities

        Italy has the Mafia, but at least they’re not Mafia state.

  38. VietnamVet

    The Corsi Box is a symbol of the separation of the individual from the public. Tex-Air Filter and 3M jumped aboard to make a profit. They confirmed that the boxes work. That is it. With the current political economic system all that counts is individual wealth. Public Health, Public Education and Public Safety have been discontinued. They cost money (taxes) to operate. No one is mandating Corsi Boxes as workplace COVID-19 mitigation measures. Instead the coronavirus pandemic just vanished although thousands are getting infected and hundreds of Americans are dying each day.

    The most public of all human endeavors, warfare, simply cannot be won with only mercenaries who quit when their pay stops and who have absolutely no concern with community, laws or public good.

    This is the basic flaw in both super-powers approach to the Ukraine Russia War. Unless there is a stalemate and armistice soon, one side or the other must do a full mobilization to obtain the manpower and armaments to fight the world war and also to ration goods and services needed to avoid the economy from collapsing into a depression. The not mobilized — losing side likely will use its thousands of strategic nuclear weapons rather than accept total defeat and loss of its super power status.

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