2:00PM Water Cooler 6/15/2022

By Lambert Strether of Corrente

Patient readers, I have a household emergency. Please play the birdsong or talk amongst yourselves for ten minutes while I finish up. –lambert UPDATE Finished. Sorry about that.

Reader query: For those of you who have wood stoves, is it to late to buy seasoned wood by the cord, and if not, when is it too late? Thank you! –lambert NOTE I abolished my much-loved wood stove and much-hated oil burner in favor of natural gas some years ago; I don’t think it was a mistake, but perhaps it’s not going to net out as well as I thought over time.

Bird Song of the Day

Dead Sea Sparrow. Şanlıurfa, Türkiye. Habitat: Creek, Thicket/Brush, Scrub. Lots going on.

“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

“Trump Knew Exactly What He Was Doing on Jan. 6” [Bloomberg]. “Did Donald Trump believe he was telling the truth when he claimed that the 2020 election, which he lost, was rigged against him? I think not, but I’m just one person. Fortunately, lots of other White House advisers, such as former Attorney General William Barr, told Trump in the days and weeks after the election that there was no fraud. Barr called the claims “bullshit,” “rubbish” and “idiotic.” Trump’s advisers were surprised, sometime stunned, that he plowed ahead anyway. Those were just some of the revelations from the second day of testimony of the select congressional committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack on the US Capitol. One reason this matters is that the hearing’s most important audience isn’t voters or historians. It’s an audience of one: Attorney General Merrick Garland. If Garland’s Justice Department decides to charge Trump with electoral fraud, it will need to demonstrate to a jury that Trump intended to commit a crime when he staged an attempted coup — and that he knew what he was doing was wrong. The Jan. 6 committee is laying lots of persuasive evidence on Garland’s desk.” And of course there is a financial incentive: “Staying in power wasn’t Trump’s only goal in propagating the big lie. It was also making him money. His campaign has hauled in about $250 million from donors who believed he was using the money to combat election fraud, according to the Jan. 6 committee.” • Of course, if money was Trump’s only motivation — plausible? — then by definition “staying in power” wasn’t one. Hypothetical Trump testimony: “I was only in it for the money. I knew Stone and that drunk Giuliani’s wacky scheme would never work, because everytime I tried it, somebody stepped in and stopped me! Our system worked. So did mine. That makes me smart!”

“Capitol Police: Loudermilk did nothing improper regarding Jan. 5 tour” [Atlanta Journal-Constitution]. “U.S. Capitol Police have determined that Georgia U.S. Rep. Barry Loudermilk did nothing wrong when he joined a group of constituents touring the Capitol complex on Jan. 5, 2021. ‘A constituent family with young children meeting with their Member of Congress in the House Office Buildings is not a suspicious group or ‘reconnaissance tour,’ ‘he and Davis wrote in a joint response. Manger’s letter said that review of the surveillance footage showed a group of 12 people entering the House building where Loudermilk’s office is located. Eventually the group grew to 15 people, and a congressional staffer met them at the entrance and walked with them toward Loudermilk’s suite. The cameras later caught Loudermilk with the group visiting an exhibit located in an adjacent office building. Loudermilk then left the tour and it continued on in the adjacent building, the letter said. At no time did the group enter the tunnel area that would have led to them to the main Capitol building.” • Commentary:

(Dude, fix the mask!) Readers know my views on digital evidence. I wait Dupree’s interview with him.

“The Ginni Thomas Jan. 6 scandal keeps getting worse. But there’s a silver lining” [MSNBC]. From the lead: “Thomas, the wife of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, sent two sets of emails to a combined 29 Republican state lawmakers in Arizona — 27 more than previously believed, and more than half of the GOP members of the state Legislature at the time — urging them to overturn President Joe Biden’s win in their state. In one email, she demanded that they ‘stand strong in the face of political and media pressure.'” • Presumably, MSNBC’s opinion columnist picked out the most damning quote, which turns out to be…. “stand strong in the face of political and media pressure.” This is bad? (Of course, it’s utterly unseemly that Ginni Thomas is doing this, and Thomas should recuse himself from any case his wife is involved as a political activist. This is a media critique; and perhaps if I read all the emails something even more damning would emerge. Then again, it was the columnist’s job to make that clear….)

Biden Administration

“Biden warns Big Oil over gas output” [Axios]. Not available on the White House site, as yet. From the copy at Axios, the caught my eye: “But at a time of war, refinery profit margins well above normal being passed directly onto American families are not acceptable.” • The Bush Adminstration intoned time-a-war “time of war” constantly, on the flimsiest of excuses. So it’s unpleasant to hear it again. Further, what “war”? Has a war been declared? By Congress? Who, exactly, are we at war with? Russia? Biden in his New York Times Op-Ed: “We do not seek a war between NATO and Russia.” That was May 31, two weeks ago. Did I miss the memo?


More deaths than Trump, the Vax + Pavlovid debacle, public health no longer “politically viable” (as we say), including non-pharmaceutical interventions like masks, and reinfections multiple times a year as far as the eye can see. Unfortunately, neither party, nor any faction within either party, can raise these issues. Logjams wherever you look.


* * *

“Democrats play with fire in GOP primaries” [Axios]. “Democratic groups are buying ads touting some of the most extreme pro-Trump candidates in Republican primaries around the country — meddling in GOP contests to set up more favorable matchups in November. Why it matters: The risky gambit assumes general-election voters will reject candidates who embrace conspiracy theories or lies about the 2020 election. But it could dramatically backfire by vaulting fringe Republicans into national office. Driving the news: Ahead of last week’s primaries, the Nancy Pelosi-affiliated House Majority PAC funded a 30-second TV ad promoting self-declared ‘Trump Conservative’ Chris Mathys against moderate Republican Rep. David Valadao in California’s 22nd District.” • Pelosi’s a genius. What could possibly go wrong?

“Crime” as an issue:


PA: Fetterman’s “front porch” strategy?

TX: “Republican Mayra Flores flips House seat in Texas special election” [The Hill]. “Flores, who came to the U.S. from Mexico when she was 6 years old, will become the country’s first Mexican-born congresswoman. The congresswoman-elect has frequently touted her husband’s job as a Border Patrol agent. Her win will likely further boost Republican optimism about the party’s prospects in southern Texas and along the border.” • Well, I guess the identity politics aspect is settled; the Republicans have a candidate that “looks like America.” Like AOC, in fact:

Incidentally, the bullet points at right are clear and simply, and all imply policy. I vehemently disagree with them, but clear and simple they are. Can Democrats say the same? (Oh, and Sanders won the Texas border counties in 2020 (though not the state). Those votes were there for liberal Democrats. They just didn’t want them.)

TX: “Elon Musk votes for Mayra Flores in Texas special election, suggests he likes DeSantis for president” [FOX]. • Abbot: For this I gave Tesla those tax breaks?”

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.

* * *

Realignment and Legitimacy

Trump wasn’t the only one who spoke the quiet part out loud:

“Elephant In The Zoom” [The Intercept]. The deck: “Meltdowns Have Brought Progressive Advocacy Groups to a Standstill at a Critical Moment in World History.” • I ran this yesterday, but this additional commentary rings true:


Lambert here: In order to focus more on variants and rising watewaster, I’ve removed the MWRA wastewater chart, and the world cases chart.

I am but a humble tape-watcher, and I’m perplexed about the current state of play. Case data is showing the fiddling-and-diddling behavior characteristic of a peak; on the other hand, the South (home of Abbot and DeSantis) is rising. Further, nothing I hear in anecdotal case data tells me there’s any relief. Hospitalization data (trailing) is easing (and so the hospital-centric public health establishment probably thinks Covid is done). Positivity data (leading) has been fiddling and diddling as it too does at peaks (latest, down). Then again, waste-water data (leading) is up everywhere but the Northeast. The wild card is variants BA.4/5 (and I thought we were supposed to be giving names to these things). All the variant sources I have say BA.4/5 are up, but they differ as to how much and where, and the data is two weeks behind (hat tip, CDC; who could have known we’d need to track variant data?). I am reminded of the “stairstep” (see the Case count chart below: I muttered about this at the time) that marked the Delta/Omicron transition, just before Omicron’s amazing take-off. Perhaps a BA.4/5 transition will exhibit the same behavior. OTOH, I could be projecting patterns into clouds.

* * *

• Another tapewatcher:

• Yet another superspreader conference, this one in Canada:

* * *

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:

More or less 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 DNC-blue “Biden Line” at that point. Yesterday, the count was 100,800. Today, it’s 106900, and 100,800 * 6 = a Biden line at 641400. 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:

More or less level.

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.)

NOT UPDATED Wastewater data from Biobot Analytics:

Lambert here: A serious country updates its wastewater data, wtf. Since MRWA was updated (more or less) daily, but isn’t helpful, I’ll have to find some equivalant local sources in the West and South.

• “Wastewater surveillance in smaller college communities may aid future public health initiatives” [medRxiv]. “astewater-based epidemiology has been used for previous public health threats, and more recently has been established as a complementary method of SARS-CoV-2 surveillance. Here we describe the application of wastewater surveillance for SARS-CoV-2 in two university campus communities located in rural Lincoln Parish, Louisiana. This cost-effective approach is especially well suited to rural areas where limited access to testing may worsen the spread of COVID-19 and quickly exhaust the capacity of local healthcare systems. Our work demonstrates that local universities can leverage scientific resources to advance public health equity in rural areas and enhance their community involvement.” • That’s great. We could have kickstarted this a year ago, but fortunately under President Biden’s “Operation Derp Speed” we will do that in a time period of a decade from now to never, good job.

NOT UPDATED Variant data, regional (Biobot), May 25:

NOT UPDATED Variant data, national (Walgreens), May 28:

NOT UPDATED Variant data, national (CDC), May 28:

Lambert here: A serious country updates its variant data, wtf.

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:

West Coast, and Midwest are all red. Seeing some orange (“substantial”) on the East Coast. Great Plains speckled with yellow and blue. Go Vermont!

Hospitalization (CDC Community Profile):

Very volatile.

A new way for hospitals to game the data:

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

Just a reminder:

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

Death rate (Our World in Data):

Total: 1,036,483 1,036,084. I have added an anti-triumphalist Fauci Line.

Stats Watch

Retail: “U.S. Retail Sales” [Trading Economics]. “Retail sales in the US unexpectedly fell 0.3% mom in May of 2022, the first decline so far this year and compared to market forecasts of a 0.2% rise. It follows a downwardy revised 0.7% increase in April, as high inflation, gasoline prices and borrowing costs hurt spending on non-essential goods. Auto sales recorded the biggest decline (-4%) and sales also fell at electronics & appliance stores (-1.3%); miscellaneous store retailers (-1.1%); nonstore retailers (-1%); furniture stores (-0.9%); and health & personal care stores (-0.2%).”

Manufacturing: “United States NY Empire State Manufacturing Index” [Trading Economics]. “The New York Empire State Manufacturing Index rose to -1.2 in June of 2022 from -11.6 in May, missing market forecasts of 3. New orders and shipments edged slightly higher, and unfilled orders declined for the first time in over a year. Delivery times lengthened at a slower pace than in recent months, and inventories grew significantly. Labor market indicators pointed to a solid increase in employment and a longer average workweek.”

* * *

Concentration: Handy chart somebody should hand to Lina Kahn:

(Greenfeld writes on write entrepreneurship, creativity, and performance improvement. This is from a thread of helpful hints for “founders.”)

* * *

Today’s Fear & Greed Index: 18 Extreme Fear (previous close: 17 Extreme Fear) [CNN]. One week ago: 32 (Fear). (0 is Extreme Fear; 100 is Extreme Greed). Last updated Jun 15 at 1:44 PM EDT.

The Gallery

Fauvism, but geometrical?

Under the Influence

“They called it! Kim Kardashian really did damage that iconic Marilyn Monroe dress” [Los Angeles Times]. “In shocking news to no one: The historic Marilyn Monroe gown that reality star Kim Kardashian wore to the Met Gala last month is showing signs of damage and, conservators say, now will have the reality star enmeshed in the story of the dress. Before and after images posted on Instagram this week show new wear and tear on the garment, which Monroe wore in 1962 to sing a sensual ‘Happy Birthday’ to President John F. Kennedy. The images, posted by private collector the Marilyn Monroe Collection, show the iconic 60-year-old piece appearing to have threadbare sequins, tears along the back closure, puckering and pulled seams after ‘The Kardashians’ star wore it to the annual fashion affair.” And: “Ripley’s Believe It or Not, a privately owned, for-profit ‘attractions company,’ acquired the gown in 2016 for nearly $5 million, and said the gown was believed to be valued at more than $10 million around the time Kardashian wore it.” • So what did we expect?

Class Warfare

“AFL-CIO Blocks Debate on Union Democracy Reforms – Amazon Labor Union & Starbucks Workers Excluded from Convention – Shuler Criticizes AFL-CIO Organizing Approach” [Payday Report]. “Earlier today, many were unexpectedly locked out of the AFL-CIO convention after the Secret Service closed the doors for the arrival of President Joe Biden. The lockout infuriated activists and delegates who had arrived early to see Biden, but many also saw it as a metaphor for how people are being excluded from the convention as a whole. Shockingly, the AFL-CIO did not invite the Amazon Labor Union, since it’s an independent union and doesn’t belong to the AFL-CIO. Nor did the convention invite members of the SEIU-affiliated Starbucks Workers United. ‘It’s just petty,’ one senior union official told Payday Report. ‘Starbucks and Amazon are two of the most exciting campaigns in recent memory, and we don’t even have anyone here from those campaigns to learn lessons from these campaigns.’ And of course: “Prior to the convention, the Vermont AFL-CIO submitted a motion that would allow for every member of the labor movement to vote on electing the leadership of the national AFL-CIO. Many unions, such as the Teamsters, the UAW, the Steelworkers, and NewsGuild allow their rank-and-file members to vote on leadership. In contrast, the leadership of the AFL-CIO is selected by a body of 500 delegates. The Executive Council blocked the motion from being considered in an open debate. Instead, only motions that passed by unanimous votes were brought to the floor.” • Not encouraging.

While the AFL-CIO fiddles, Starbucks burns their coffee. Wait, that’s not what I mean. Anyhow:

That is the kind of militancy we like to see. It also has the great merit of being true. More like this, please.

“AFL-CIO unveils plan to grow but some union leaders underwhelmed” [Guardian]. “At the AFL-CIO’s convention in Philadelphia, Liz Shuler, the federation’s president, unveiled a new effort, announcing: ‘In the next 10 years we will organize and grow our movement by more than 1 million working people. How’s that for a goal!’ Shuler received a standing ovation [because of course she did], but several union presidents later said they were underwhelmed by the goal, which would mean growth of 100,000 union members annually or less than 1% a year for the nation’s unions. ‘I applaud putting out a goal,’ said D Taylor, president of Unite Here, the hotel workers’ union. ‘But I think that number is too low. We have to aim much higher.’ In the year before the pandemic, Taylor said, his union organized 22,000 workers, increasing its membership by 8% that year. Mark Dimondstein, president of the American Postal Workers Union, said: ‘I like the new emphasis on organizing. I like the slogan ‘organize and rise’. But I think we should be far bolder. Remember, the CIO [the Congress of Industrial Organizations] organized 2 or 3 million workers in six months or a year in some of its great periods [in the 1930s]. We shouldn’t be doing this in an incremental way, especially when people are so inspired. We should do this in a bold way.'”

News of the Wired

“A biological super glue from mistletoe berries?” (press release) [McGill]. “Each mistletoe berry can produce up to two metres of a gluey thread called viscin. It allows the seeds of this parasitic plant to stick to and infect host plants. Since ancient times, mistletoe berries have been explored as treatments for everything from infertility and epilepsy to cancer. But, until now, no one has fully investigated the potential medical or technical uses of the glue itself. A recent paper from McGill University and the Max Planck Institute of Colloids and Interfaces, published in PNAS Nexus, suggests that through simple processing, viscin’s ultra-stiff flexible fibres, which adhere to both skin and cartilage as well as to various synthetic materials, could have a range of applications – both biomedical and beyond.” • So now I understand the tradition…

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SG writes: “Pistachio tree in Sicily.”

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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. Lambert Strether Post author

    Patient readers, I have a household emergency. Please play the birdsong or talk amongst yourselves for ten minutes while I finish up. Don’t go to sleep, Joe!

  2. Jen

    Re seasoned wood: still available where I am (NH) but I expect it will go quickly this year. In prior years it’s been hard to find (and more expensive) after the summer. There are a few extortionists out there that will hold back a few cords to soak the desperate as winter gets closer.

    1. Amateur Socialist

      Got mine (SE VT) stacked in May, have learned the hard way not to wait. It doesn’t get cheaper or easier to find as the summer runs out, and it gets hotter and harder to stack.

      Have been thinking about building a 2nd woodshed just for seasoning green wood. With inflation etc it might pay off pretty quickly. The price difference here is usually around $75-100/cord.

      1. FreeMarketApologist

        I used to buy firewood (upstate NY) in Sept/Oct, but I was buying for burning 2 years later (had a lot of storage space). It was a lot more pleasant to stack wood in the cooler weather, though I once got caught and had to do it in a snowstorm — not so fun. The storage space has since been reduced, and I’ve already made my arrangements for more seasoned wood, but to be delivered closer to September (so the back porch doesn’t look too wintry in the swelter of August). I want to go back to having a 2-year supply, just to even out the supply chain issues (even a chain of 2 links can have issues), and let it really dry out.

        1. sd

          That’s what we did when I was kid except it was just 1 year ahead – most of the house was heated by wood stove. The wood wood be stacked and covered and then once seasoned moved to piles closer to the house where it would be split. The cheaper wood came in short logs.
          So logs cut and stacked to season. Then split and stacked for burning once ready. I think it was 2 cords – so yeah 4 cords takes up a lot real estate.

      2. The Rev Kev

        Traveling through Switzerland. I use to see chords of wood stacked up against the side of country homes. I always thought that a bit of a fire hazard but maybe that stacked wood helped insulate those homes.

  3. Toshiro_Mifune

    Fed raises rates by 75bps and BTC down 1700…. It is completely useless in its stated goal of being a value store completely separated from central banking actions. It’s just inversely coupled with huge amounts of risk. Outside of the Greater Fool Theory I can’t see any reason to have invested in it.

    On a related note – At least on my ERT feed it trades almost entirely out of London (Bitstamp or Gemini) with a few trades out of Turkey or Amsterdam

    1. curlydan

      On Fed rates and the working class: The beatings will continue until the wages fall.

    2. griffen

      Unrelated to the above move from the FED, but a gasoline price anomaly to report. Instead of the $4.59 per gallon of the best 87 octane available at Quik Trip, today I paid $4.26 per gallon just down the street at a circle K location.

      I don’t think anyone driving through, much closer to this exit by the I-85 interchange knows that. This is in the Greenville / Spartanburg area of South Carolina.

      Back to the FED move, well better late than not at all. I do think that a bold action was required.

      1. Late Introvert

        Here in Ethanolowa the price spread is 30 cents cheaper for the “renewable” fuel that requires oil and tractors and pesticides and fertilizer and results in the Gulf Dead Zone.

        1. griffen

          Now I remember the increase to the blended fuel for the summer….I won’t make that mistake again. I fear too much of that blend will cause my fuel pump to self immolate.

          I have no idea honestly if the lower price was attributed to that, but all those stickers about 10% or up to that level of ethanol blend might need a refresh.

    3. Glen

      Under Greenspan, the Federal Reserve pretty much completely stopped performing any meaningful banking supervision and regulation which was a huge contributor to the 2008 crash.

      Then, under Bernanke and Yellen, they just printed trillions for Wall St and billionaires to “trickle down” to the rest of us which those clever, clever Wall St crooks pretty much turned into real pi$$ and hose down Main St – for years.

      Today Powell starts into Volcker emulation mode and jacks up rates. But any comparison of the world Volcker was dealing with and today’s world is a big mismatch.

      Other than keeping rich people extremely rich, and keeping the same stupid banking and corporate CEOs propped up despite running their companies into the ground – what has the Federal Reserve accomplished in the last twenty years?

      Just wondering…

      1. The Rev Kev

        Do you remember this little snippet from twenty years ago?

        ‘Let me end my talk by abusing slightly my status as an official representative of the Federal Reserve. I would like to say to Milton [Friedman] and Anna [Schwarz]: Regarding the Great Depression. You’re right, we did it. We’re very sorry. But thanks to you, we won’t do it again.’

        Ben S. Bernanke, On Milton Friedman’s Ninetieth Birthday, November 8, 2002

        At the time I wondered if Bernanke was seriously unhinged.

        1. clarky90

          A hat tip to…….. Foxglove | 16th Jun 22, 8:25am

          “In the 1960’s,….. at a seminar….. a well versed self made businessman said…. “about problemsif you can fix them with money, they can’t be problems……..”

    4. chris

      Surely savers will see the interest rates paid to their savings accounts increase to 1 or 2%? Right? /sarc

      I love how no matter what type of policy we decide to implement the end result is that the common people with “no commas in their bank account” get hurt.

  4. Daryl

    > (Oh, and Sanders won the Texas border counties in 2020 (though not the state). Those votes were there for liberal Democrats. They just didn’t want them.)

    Dems deserve some kind of award. For years they’ve been pushing the idea that demographic change will magically turn Texas blue while never actually running candidates outside of their “safe” districts here. Now the most reliably blue part of Texas even outside of the major cities flipped on them. Oh and when good candidates do run, they do everything they can to prevent them from getting to the general election (see Cuellar, Cisneros).

  5. lyman alpha blob

    Here’s something – https://www.yahoo.com/news/gop-commission-refuses-certify-mexico-004011875.html

    Some republicans on a NM county commission don’t want to certify the primary results because they don’t trust the Dominion machines. The NM SecState is trying to force the them to. The article itself speaks to several people who say the claims are baseless, and I did dip my toe into the comments and every one I saw was anti-republican. However, if you read the article, what these people are pushing for is a hand count of the vote and getting rid of the machines altogether, something I wholeheartedly agree with. A couple things come to mind.

    For the Democrat party – just because Trump disparaged Dominion doesn’t automatically make them some paragons of virtue. During the Bush administration, a lot of the left, myself included, was very up in arms about the reliability or lack thereof, of the Diebold voting machines. Diebold was purchased by another company which was then purchased by Dominion – essentially it’s the same company that a lot of the left claimed was responsible for giving us W’s 2nd term. (Personally I’d still like to know what Michael Connell had to say, but alas, a small plane crash took him before his time. His time to testify in court about what he knew about rigging the 2004 election, but that’s another story). Also, the Republicans manged to get themselves appointed to this county commission, presumably legally and as is their right, which put them in a position to have some authority over how things are done. Why couldn’t the Democrat party have done the same?!?!? Instead all they do is whine about the unfairness of it all. As we have mentioned many times at NC, the Republicans seem to take electoral politics much more seriously than their opposition, who don’t put in the hard work and would rather just show up to vote every four years and get back to brunch.

    And for the Republicans, how about some proof instead of just allegations? Because by not providing any, you are hurting the cause of those of us who have been trying to remedy this godawful voting regimen for the last couple decades. It took me all of 30 seconds to find videos of Diebold machines being hacked.

    Here’s a Princeton professor testifying before a Congressional committee – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sVzMmpPgnSg

    Here’s another of that same professor showing how it works in greater detail. He claims that he was able to inject a virus that could flip the votes and the delete itself once the election was over so there would be zero trace of any hacking – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B8TXuRA4IQM

    And even the fools at CNN used to care about this issue, back when they were part of the baseless claims that it was Russians doing the hacking on behalf of the Donald – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HA2DWMHgLnc

    I’ve seen many others about these machines being easily hacked over the past twenty years – they are not hard to find. How hard would it be for the Republicans to do the same 30 seconds of research and reach out to one of the experts who has already proven the vulnerabilities of these machines to help them make their case?

    If we are going to have any trust in our elections, we must have hand marked paper ballots hand counted in public, and I don’t care who brings it to us.

    I didn’t bother voting yesterday – first time I deliberately didn’t vote. Have to say it felt pretty good watching baby ducks on a pond instead.

  6. DJG, Reality Czar

    Marianne Williamson. O the times, the ethos. Who would think that I’d be writing about Marianne Williamson as a presidential candidate? Yet here she is right on the economics. She has been on the mark regarding Julian Assange. She has diagnosed the national malaise (to use a euphemism).

    Does she even stand a chance among the Democrats? Like Bernie Sanders, she has the right platform, the right instincts, and the right mindset. (To go kind of buddhist-y.)

    So how will the Democrats sabotage her and force Pete “Management Consultant with Fear of Black People” Buttigieg on the populace? All signals (and of course the election is far, far off) point in Pete’s direction.

    Awwww, Pete and the Twins the White House. Who cares about predatory pricing, the looting of the Post Office, and de-industrialization / de-agriculture-ization?

    1. Hepativore

      I heard that the Democrats are also possibly looking at Liz Cheney as their next Chosen One for 2024. I guess they (donors) are souring on Joe Biden now that they are finally admitting to themselves that Biden might not be able to make it through another presidential campaign, even if just to be a sacrificial lamb for a Republican win.

      Am I the only one who remembers the W. Bush years? Cheney is probably one of the most evil politicians in the history of the country. I would think that anybody associated with him or the rest of his family would be a political non-starter. I mean, I know the Democratic Party has “rehabilitated” W. Bush as well, but I do not think the average person has any love for W. Bush or the rest of his crime syndicate.

      So, we might have a three-way split between Sneaky Pete, Karen Harris, and the daughter of a monster and war criminal. Why don’t the Democrats just forfeit the 2024 presidential race ahead of time and save themselves the trouble of losing?

      1. Return of the Bride of Joe Biden

        Hepativore says:

        I do not think the average person has any love for W. Bush or the rest of his crime syndicate.

        I don’t think the average person remembers anything that happened more than a year ago except maybe 9-11.

  7. Lambert Strether Post author

    > So how will the Democrats sabotage her and force Pete “Management Consultant with Fear of Black People” Buttigieg on the populace?

    What are you, homophobic?

    1. DJG, Reality Czar

      Lambert Strether: All right, M. Grincheux, here’s my question back at you:

      Did you have a classic wood-burning Franklin stove? Did you junk it? Or is it in the cellar?

      And why didn’t you keep it to throw the occasional log in and warm your tea kettle on its iron stovetop?

      1. lambert strether

        Because the stove was grandfathered in from when my father installed it during the oil crisis of the 70s. It sat on a steel plate with a six-inch margin between it and a wooden floor. I would have had to spend thousands of dollars to bring it up to code by putting it on a platform, and also repairing the chimney. Not worth it, sadly.

        1. Hepativore

          You can always replace it with one of these “antique” styled ovens/stoves from Elmira stoveworks. Despite their 19th century appearance, they are fully modern appliances, and they have both gas and electric models. They are expensive, though.


          I am partial to the Northstar line myself, which has a retro 50’s aesthetic. The Fireview line is similar to the Antique, but they are actual wood-burning stoves!

    1. Objective Ace

      I dont understand why all of these public statements are quick to say “so and so will continue to work from home”. Its terrible messaging for the country that work is more important then your health. (Especially coming from a public health agency)

      Furthermore, continuing to work rather then focusing on recovery is associated with an increased risk of long covid–which hurts the individual in addition to the just being bad messaging

      1. Whobedatguy

        I think you nailed the predominant narrative: “work is more important than your health”. That’s the point and it ain’t subtle.

    2. outside observer

      “medical advice from his physician and return to NIH when he tests negative.”
      Seems to not be following the advice the rest of us have been given…

      1. Late Introvert

        He needs to be back in the office after 5 days, and if his parents don’t tell anyone he’s still testing positive, well too bad.

    3. Bugs

      “brain fog”

      because the more accurate “brain damage” is really harshing their neoliberal buzz

    4. Arizona Slim

      Waddya wanna bet that he’ll be taking the drug whose name must not be mentioned?

  8. Adam

    I voted for Kenneth Mejia in the primary and will be voting for him again in the general election. I’m glad to see he’s gained some traction now that he’s going for a position where his party isn’t listed on the ballot as he has run several times as a congressional candidate for the Green party (IIRC, he changed over to Green after the DNC put the screws to Bernie’s 2016 campaign).

    1. antidlc

      “Fauci has not had any close contact with Biden or other senior officials recently,..”

      Also notice that the ones who test positive have not had close contact with Biden.

    2. Kurtismayfield

      Going to Holy Cross for a ribbon cutting.. no way would all those people give him COVID!

      In other news, water is wet.

      1. antidlc


        Fauci attended a building rededication ceremony at Holy Cross on Saturday, where the university’s Integrated Science Complex was renamed in his honor. Over a hundred people crowded into a tightly packed atrium for about 30 minutes to hear Fauci and college officials speak. Few attendees donned masks.

        Fauci wore a KN95 mask at certain points throughout the ceremony, but removed it to give a speech and talk with reporters.


        1. The Rev Kev

          It’s all about performative theater. Recently Biden went to Japan and as he came out Air Force One, you could see that everybody, including Biden, was wearing a mask. So he trots down the stairs and the very first thing that he did when he reached the bottom of the stairs was to take off his mask. Unbelievable.

          1. albrt

            Actually, this makes sense. Members of the Biden administration on the plane are far more of a threat to give Biden Covid than anybody in Japan.

            And before you say the mask protects others, the Biden administration clearly doesn’t give a crap about whether Covid gets spread to anyone other than Biden.

        2. lambert strether

          > lambert: I wonder if he was at a superspreading event

          nailed it

          Thanks for the link

    3. Glen

      Anecdotal of course –

      We have had more people out sick with coof recently at work than we have had in the last couple of years which also seems to coincide with the company changing the sick leave policy so that we are no longer able to stay home without burning through sick leave and vacation.

      Speculation of course –

      If we get a coof variant that is just a little more deadly that we have now, it’s going to get very ugly, very fast. I suspect they will just have to deny it exists until it is impossible to ignore.

      Just wondering –

      How is America’s heathcare profit machine holding up? All I hear about is people quiting or retiring.

      1. JBird4049

        >>>I suspect they will just have to deny it exists until it is impossible to ignore.

        It has gotten pretty bad in past; our talking about the old plague carts and burial pits with the cart master shouting “Bring out your dead!” here?

        If the one million plus American dead is accurate, we are talking about more people than live in San Francisco.

        I suspect that a very, very big reason for the formerly effective disease control through the West is because infectious diseases got everybody; not until the 1970s could the average person, with a little bit of caution and luck, could expect to not die from something like smallpox or tuberculous.

        It is too bad, and while it might be corny to say so today, it is still true that it appears that we will get to relearn by experience the costs of not being vigilant. Or is that greedy?

  9. Bazarov

    “Of course, if money was Trump’s only motivation — plausible? — then by definition ‘staying in power’ wasn’t one.”

    In our system, people stay in power by being in it for the money.

      1. JBird4049

        >>>There is also the legal protection which a sitting president has.

        Fabulous. If lawfare directly against politicians, their supporters, and I assuming their families becomes the new normal, just what will a person do to protect themselves and their families?

        IIRC, being legally protected while in office became a contributor to the fall of the Roman Republic. Not for the few few centuries, but when lawfare became routine, the office holders had to worry about the lawsuits being prepared for when they left office; if they won a different office or perhaps got a military command plundering some far off nation, they were safe.

        Desperate people do stupid things. I think that the late Roman Republic’s leaders were using extreme tactics to protect themselves and their families from not only legal and political persecution, they also had to worry about being slaughtered with becoming destitute normal. First having your armed retainers and then eventually your own legions became normal.

  10. DJG, Reality Czar

    Meltdowns of Progressive Advocacy Groups.

    At this point, Ryan Grim, a seasoned reporter who went to state schools and seems to have come from a modest background, has to identify himself thusly: “For a number of obvious and intersecting reasons — my race, gender, and generation — I am not the perfect messenger. But here it goes anyway.”

    Come on. We’re not even having an adult conversation. Then, near the end, he slips and mentions a moment of “grace,” which is the indication of something I (necessarily) harp on: Too much of U.S. discourse involves Baptist testifying and Methodist sermonizing. One wonders if many of these organizations would consider their problems solved if everyone would just belt out twelve verses of “Amazing Grace” every day over the vegan snacks in the break room.

    Yet I am also reminded that these organizations are not the left. Today’s links have some distressing news about the feebleness and self-taught fecklessnes of the big structures of organized labor.

    The story is labor. The story is social programs that would educate, house, feed, and train. The story isn’t about the inner travails of the Audubon Society.

    But here we are. Focused on visual judgments: Oh, Ryan Grim, he’s a big “white” guy with reddish hair. He must be all “mansplainy.”

    Years ago, I worked writing grants for a small Chicago theater as a volunteer. I got an education and some nominations for my work as a playwright. But the executive director took no salary. Luckily, he owned the big building where the theater was. The artistic director, luckily, was married to him, so she had housing and a salary of some 12,000 dollars a year. We are talking the 1990s. The managing director had a similar salary, and there was a nice apartment to rent in the building.

    Foundations would show up to discuss our grant applications. They never wanted to fund positions. No, it has to be something that they could plaster their name on: The Noono Foundation Brings You the Umpteenth Production of The Christmas Carol in Chicago.

    We had a response (that we’d keep for when they left): Try paying the theater people and the actors and playwrights as much the foundation “case workers” made.

    Much of the point of these foundations was to make their clientele beg them for money and remain dependent. There was almost no chance of making the organization successful.

    So Grim’s article, poor messenger, has a strong whiff of the comfortable afflicting the comfortable. And why should I care? I remember too much clientelism–and too little understanding that the theater’s work was to produce plays and cultivate its audience.

    Years ago, some twenty years ago, Wendy Kaminer pointed out that the ACLU was on its way to self-destruction. I didn’t believe her then. Would that I had. (The paragraphs about the ACLU are just plain depressing.)

    Too bad about Audubon and its mission creep away from something as basic as birds. Yes, birds is what they should be thinking about. The rest is just sermonizing, something Americans do too well–and look at all those sermons about democracy in Ukraine. Sermons with bombs.

    Stick to birds.

    1. lyman alpha blob

      One of the diversity issues Audubon has been discussing at a high level is completing renaming the organization because Audubon was supposedly a racist. I mentioned to a person involved that that would be a great idea if the organization wants to see a dramatic decrease in fundraising and watch their organization shrivel up, since many people simply associate Audubon with birds and don’t know anything about his personal history. I’ve spoken to one person who thought Audubon was actually Latin for bird and not a person’s name. Higher-ups in the Audubon organization don’t seem to know much about their namesake’s personal history either, since Audubon was born in Haiti, his father had mixed-race children and the identity of Audubon’s own mother is in question. Seems quite possible that Audubon wasn’t lily white himself.

      As you said, they’d be better off sticking to birds.

    2. Andrew Watts

      Charity is always an exercise in power. It’s one of the many ways the rich lord their power over the poor. The ability to withhold funding and destroy an organization is a byproduct of that.

  11. Jason Boxman

    I’ve taken pictures of a marble staircase before, at a Smithsonian museum. I thought it might be an interesting shot. Certainly nothing untoward there. But I guess if you’re desperate to dredge up any nefarious activity…

    1. Duke of Prunes

      Same. I looked through some of my picture archives just to make sure I wasn’t mis-remembering, and I found a few. I find many staircases interesting architecture. When I saw the picture of the actual staircase in question (included in the thread), I thought that I might have taken a picture of that. I scanned through the first 20 or so replies to the thread, and, by and large, the consensus was that this pretty much proves they were casing the joint (shocking!).

      1. Late Introvert

        And what does a staircase image actually give away in any tactical way? Watch out for the steps! Seriously?

      1. TBellT

        3-Body was such a good book, and honestly I was excited to hear about a possible film adaptation, mostly for the boat scene. Then I heard Beinoff and Weiss were working on it :-(

        I still need to read Death’s End but I feel like I need to be in a certain headspace for that.

        1. IM Doc

          Just published this year was his collection of short stories – The Wandering Earth. Some of these are just incredible and digestible in an evening.

          For those who do not know what is being discussed, this thread is about Liu Cixin – a current Chinese science fiction writer. A few years ago, he wrote one of the best trilogies in science fiction I have read in a long time ( referenced above).

  12. Dr. John Carpenter

    Re: “Democrats play with fire in GOP primaries”. Just ask President Hillary how well the Pied Piper strategy worked in 2016. But hey! It’s a win/win for the Dems. They either win the office or they can fund-raise off the “radical extremest Republican” they helped elect and whine about how the big meanie won’t let them pass any of their neato bills. Come to think of it, winning the office might not really be a win after all, given the forced helplessness and constant begging from the Dems.

    1. Amateur Socialist

      I read it as even worse than that: Dem establishment to GOP primary voters: “Please don’t make us campaign against a generic republican, we can’t get our pitiful generic corporate candidate across in the general unless you give us a genuine wack job (and maybe not even then)”.

      How little do you have to regard the product you’re selling to try to undermine your competition in this way? C’mon guys can’t we try promising a bunch of stuff we’re never going to do?

      1. YPG

        This is cool! If they lose, the fascist takeover will come that much sooner. When that day comes, we’ll beg (BEG!!!) them to run their ineffective, milquetoast candidates but by then they’ll be on some tropical island eating very fancy iced cream. All we’ll have to console ourselves is the nostalgia of a time when we had these staunch warriors to anemically push back against authoritarian control.

        The writing is on the wall for me: “Scratch a liberal, a fascist bleeds.” This is how afraid they are of left-wing, genuinely emancipatory politics. I’m sure it’ll all turn out fine.

  13. antidlc

    RE: Shameful (President Biden’s tweet: My approach has brought down COVID deaths by 90%.)

    Also shameful — June 14 tweet:

    Ask yourself: How well are you going to sleep at night knowing that every five years Ted Cruz and other Congressional Republicans pushing ultra-MAGA policies are going to vote on whether you’ll have Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid?

    That’s their plan.

    Shameful, given Biden’s track record. What about those DCEs, Joe?

  14. ambrit

    About Lambert’s wood stove imbroglio; the best strategy is ‘defense in depth.’ Always keep a backup platform handy incase the primary platform becomes “questionable.” Go for the wood stove, and clean the creosote out of the vent pipe, aka. ‘chimney.’ At one point, we burned scrap lumber from job sites in ours. (It stayed behind with the property when we sold it, alas.)
    If you restore the wood heater, do consider coal.
    Something for the more adventureous among us: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GEiKdaLIUh4
    We were quite conflicted at buying the place we presently reside in because it did not have a fireplace. However, given global warming, that might net out a positive for us “in the long run.”

  15. Starry Gordon

    I was sorry to see the MWRA chart removed, as it is derived from the only source of public information about COVID-19 that I trust.

    1. lambert strether

      There’s only so much I can do. MWRA uses Biobot IIRC. I would like to find other local (i.e., municipal, more likely to be trustworthy) sources. If the Northeast heats up again I will put it back in.

      1. Revenant

        I am pleased to see the overseas chart banished. The UK data it sourced were consistently not the same as the UK gov data, for no obvious reason, and in some cases were magnitudes higher. I am not sure even the direction of the graph was right.

  16. Greg

    The intercept article has a lot of accidental truth telling about the social justice “movement” (not the idea of social justice, which is fine).

    These two bits come back to back and jumped out at me

    In the eyes of group leaders dealing with similar moments, staff were ignoring the mission and focusing only on themselves, using a moment of public awakening to smuggle through standard grievances cloaked in the language of social justice.

    How dare they! It’s not as if almost every loud social justice outcry is self-serving. Oh, wait. Then the chaser –

    Often, as was the case at Guttmacher, they played into the very dynamics they were fighting against, directing their complaints at leaders of color. Guttmacher was run at the time, and still is today, by an Afro Latina woman, Dr. Herminia Palacio.

    Ah, the bliss of having an infallible identity. The leadership can’t possibly be doing anything bad because they’ve got boxes! Ticked boxes!

    Good fun, thanks for the link

    1. Henry Moon Pie

      Little boxes made for ticking off,
      Little boxes for your job app,
      Little boxes for your grant.
      Little boxes for the PMC.
      There’s a gender one and a race one
      And a LGBTQ+ one but not a class one
      And they’re all made for ticking off.
      And they’re neolibs just the same.

      Apologies to Malvina Reynolds (Video)

  17. anon y'mouse

    if i remember my Golden Bough, mistletoe is affiliated with lightning and seen as semi-magical because it is a parasitic plant (perhaps not a concept the ancients had, or had about it in particular) that sprouts on other trees seemingly from nowhere. thus it seems to self-generate.

    generation, quickening, fertility thus immortality of a kind, yadda yadda. but it’s been a long time since i read that so you may want to double check.

    1. B dog

      A birder finally learned how that mistletoe spreads around. He watched as a little bird that had been eating the mistletoe rubbed his butt on a branch to get the little nobs off his butt. The glue on them sticks to their butt..

  18. Lunker Walleye

    Fauci has covid.
    Re: Cyril Power — looks like a print from a linocut. To me some association with Futurism.

    1. FreeMarketApologist

      Cyril Power, Sybil Andrews, Lill Tschudi, Claude Flight: Masters of this style — I might call it vorticism. They worked in linocuts (which indeed this one is), as well as woodcut, lithography, and etching. Combines the best of realism, cubism, futurism, and an amazing sense of color and movement. All of them did really spectacular small scale works, and a bit of image Googling for any of their names will be well rewarded (and you will find no bargain prices at auctions of their work).

      For those further interested, I would recommend Modern Times: British Prints 1913-1939, Metropolitan Museum, NY, 2021, (distributed by Yale University Press) and
      Sybil Andrews Linocuts: A Complete Catalogue, Hana Leaper, Osborne Samuel (Ashgate Publishing), 2015, Surrey UK.

  19. Glen

    A new vulnerability in Intel and AMD CPUs lets hackers steal encryption keys


    So I know I’m an old school kind of guy, but you know a sure fire way to make sure your passwords are not going to get hacked while stored on your PC?

    Don’t put them in your PC, write them down on a piece of paper. This still means these can be stolen when used, but one problem at a time, and also unfortunately, the programs that require a password tend to store them away in obscure spots on your PC.

    1. digi_owl

      I suspect that hte majority of my passwords are only used while i am at home. Thus writing them down, and putting them in a locked drawer or similar the rest of the time, should suffice massively.

      The basic problem is that for the vast majority of computer users, the major enemy is drive by phising attacks.

      Yet the security sector gives advice as if the major threat is the NSA and like.

      I’m starting to become convinced that the supposed “paperless society” has been a massive mistake.

  20. Michael McK

    It is never too late to buy seasoned wood since it is already seasoned, it is more a question of how much you will need to pay. A more useful question may be “when is it too late to buy almost dry wood and have it be good by winter?” which depends on your climate. I, in my hot mostly dry in the summer area, try to have my wood cut, split and piled loosely in the open by now (to be well stacked and covered just before the rains) for wood I will burn next winter (16mo or so away) though it is better to burn it the winter after that.

  21. Bart Hansen

    On firewood: Do you know how to ID the various types of wood you will be offered?There is a hierarchy of firewood that starts with locust, hickory, oak, beech, ash, maple and then the softer woods like poplar birch aspen and scrub pine. Can’t speak to California woods.

    The wood should be a year old for burning but you can buy green wood to save for following years. Ask around for recommendations.

    Fortunately I have never had to buy from a guy with a truck. As I recall, a face cord or rick is variable amount but less than a proper 4x4x8′ cord.

    Living as we do in a rural area, a wood stove can be a lifesaver when the power goes out in January. This past New Years we were out for six days.

    You should build at least a small three sided storage shed. Then you can shuttle the dry wood in from whatever stacks you have in the open via that shed.

    1. wol

      I’ve heated with wood for thirty-five years, preferring to saw and split (“bustin'” around here) myself. Red oak is the local favorite and for very cold nights dogwood is the best, if you can find a dead tree. Burns very hot with a deep magenta glow. (No one I know would cut down a live one; besides, it’s illegal. State tree).

      Last year I burned aluminum cans in the stove on the advice of an acquaintance. No idea yet if it had an effect on the creosote.

    2. Robert Hahl

      Maple burns when it is green. That is why people steal them in a pinch. It happened to me.

      1. Robert Hahl

        Reminds me of the gumbo recipe I got from a friend in Arkansas. It went, “First steal a chicken.”

  22. The Rev Kev

    ‘BREAKING: Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz says that the company will never engage with @SBWorkersUnited. For months, Starbucks has claimed it’s engaging in “good faith” bargaining with the union, as required by law. Now Schultz is revealing that Starbucks has been lying.’

    Wouldn’t it be nice to have a media where the next time Howard Schultz put in an appearance, an intrepid reporter would ask him-

    ‘Mr. Schultz. You have just said that you will never engage with that union in spite of saying the opposite the past few months. So why have you been lying your face off then? Isn’t your behaviour showing that Starbucks is not capable of good faith negotiations? Are you in fact agreement-incapable?’

    Yeah, I know. Dream on MacDuff.

    1. drumlin woodchuckles

      If that is Schultz’s heartfelt position, I doubt that torturecotts would budge him off of it.

      The only thing left is an extermicott designed to exterminate Starbucks from existence and hope all the business goes to other coffee places to the extent that all the resulting disemployed baristas and baristos and others can all get work at the other places.

      If correction has been ruled out, then only punishment is left. And if Starbucks is not exterminated, it hasn’t even been punished.

  23. fresno dan

    “Trump Knew Exactly What He Was Doing on Jan. 6” [Bloomberg].
    I know we have beaten it to death, but still. If Trump KNEW there really wasn’t electoral fraud in 2020, did Hillary also KNOW there really wasn’t Russian collusion? (Uh, as well as Obama, Comey, and how many others???) And as I noted many times before, isn’t all the dems in the FBI and DoJ, as well as judges (dem or not) in the star chamber FISA who essentially instigated a coup based on purposeful ignorance of the Clinton funded Steele report a pretty damning indictment of how the US legal and political system really works?
    And when you think about all the screw ups this US government is involved in, it beggers belief that they are truly that divorced from reality. But is there a country where the excuse of total ignorance and incompetence is accepted so equanimously?

    1. WobblyTelomeres

      >But is there a country where the excuse of total ignorance and incompetence
      >is accepted so equanimously?

      There’s this dude, Boris, I think. You may have heard of him.

  24. drumlin woodchuckles

    . . . ” The “tough on crime” politicians pushing Democrats toward electoral failure aren’t even tough on crime, at least if one follows scientific evidence. Their policies lead to more crime, exactly because they don’t address root causes. ”

    Actually , they do address root causes. They deliberately and on purpose seek to foster the root causes so as to deliberately increase the steady supply of fresh crime for them to run tough on.

    That wretched one-time prosecutor then-congressman McCollum from Florida was an example of that.
    He opposed “midnight basketball” because ” those thugs and superpredators don’t deserve to be coddled like that”. But that was only his stated reason. His real reason for opposing “midnight basketball” was because he was afraid that “midnight basketball” might keep young black teenagers occupied playing basketball into the night, whereas he wanted them kept idle and bored in hopes that they would commit more crime for him to run tough on.

    So it is too generous to the “tough on crime” politicians to say that they “failed to address root causes”.
    They actually fertilized and watered every root cause they could in order to grow more crime.

  25. MichaelSF

    “viscin’s ultra-stiff flexible fibres”

    did they mean ultra-sticky? Stiff and flexible are not a combination of terms that typically are used to describe the properties of a given material, which isn’t surprising since they are antonyms.

  26. orlbucfan

    “TX: “Elon Musk votes for Mayra Flores in Texas special election, suggests he likes DeSantis for president” [FOX]. • Abbot: For this I gave Tesla those tax breaks?””
    Lambert, I have considered this over-rated So. African yahoo a jerk for a long time. Now, I have proof cos if he’s supporting De (family blog) face, what was considered his brain drained out of both ears a long time ago!

  27. drumlin woodchuckles

    ” Democrats play with fire in GOP primaries”. It is exactly the Pied Piper Strategy all over again. And if these Democrats get their “easiest opponent” Trumpists nominated for these races, and then the Trumpists win, the Democrats will blame the voters. When Boss Tweed said . . . ” I don’t care who votes so long as I get to pick the candidates” . . . I don’t think this is what he meant.

    When Nancy goes wherever it is that Dead Democrats go, the ghost of Boss Tweed will say to her ” Ohhhh Nancy! You gotta lotta ‘splainin’ to do!”

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