2:00PM Water Cooler 6/30/2022

By Lambert Strether of Corrente

Whoops, came unstuck in time, there. Date in title now fixed! –lambert

Bird Song of the Day

Common Nightingale (golzii), Hunting Cabins, Almaty oblysy, Kazakhstan

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Lambert here: One reader suggested changing these quotes; I don’t think it’s a bad idea, but I need to think about it. I don’t want to be too doomy — we are not short of inventory in that department — but I don’t want to go all chipped and Pollyanna-esque, either.

“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

“Doug Mastriano Is A Clear And Present Danger To Democracy” [Jennifer Cohn, Bucks County Beacon]. Cohn is very sound on paper ballots, and completely sold on RussiaGate [sigh]. “Mastriano, who spread one of the most blatant lies about the 2020 election, would get to choose the state’s top election official, the secretary of state, if elected in November. This has enormous implications for the 2024 presidential election because Pennsylvania carries a whopping 20 electoral votes. The only swing state with more electoral votes is Florida…. Mastriano, a close ally of former President Trump, posted a tweet on November 27, 2020, that swapped primary and general election data, creating the false impression that more mail ballots had been counted than were sent out in Pennsylvania. Both Reuters and Trump’s own Attorney General, William Barr, have debunked the content of the tweet. ‘That was one of the big ones,’ Barr has said of this false claim, explaining that Mastriano had taken ‘the number of applications for the Republican primary and … compared it to the number of absentee votes cast in the general election,’ but if you looked at the numbers ‘apples to apples there’s no discrepancy.’…. Mastriano has never deleted or apologized for the tweet.”

“Narratology: State of the Theory” [The Rectification of Names]. This is a fun read. But here’s the last paragraph: “What [Trump] was waiting for that long afternoon was for his troops to win, over the purposely hobbled Capitol Police and absent national guardsmen, upon which the victors would invite him down to make his grand entrance.” • Wait. There’s no link for “purposely hobbled Capitol Police.” There should be, because we just saw the, well, conspiracy theory get larger, as they always do, as RussiaGate showed. Was Tarik Johnson suborned by Trump? If so, did I not get the memo from the House Commitee? (Here is the Executive Team of the Capitol Police. Who “purposely hobbled” the cops? Of course, after Uvalde, a perfectly acceptable answer would be “nobody but themselves.”)

Biden Administration

“Vermont US Sen. Patrick Leahy breaks hip, to have surgery” [Associated Press] (10:45AM). “Any prolonged absence by Leahy would complicate majority Democrats’ already precarious efforts to push controversial legislation and nominations through the 50-50 Senate over Republican opposition.” • Ooof. Emperor Manchin. And now that the Senate is 49-50.

“Biden backs exception to Senate filibuster rule to get abortion rights codified” [ABC] 1:20 PM). Biden: “We have to codify Roe v. Wade in the law. And the way to do that is to make sure Congress votes to do that. And if the filibuster gets in the way it’s like voting rights, it should be we provide an exception for this, except the required exception to the filibuster for this action to deal with the Supreme Court decision.” • So ending the filibuster depends on an 82-year-old man recovering from hip surgery….

* * *

“U.S. Supreme Court ruling limits EPA’s authority in regulating greenhouse gases” [Texas Tribune]. “The U.S. Supreme Court ruled Thursday that the Environmental Protection Agency does not have broad authority to require states to decarbonize their electricity sectors, a decision that is expected to dramatically slow the United States’ ability to reduce greenhouse gases and mitigate the effects of climate change. The court’s 6-3 ruling on a case sparked by Texas and 16 other states — which addressed an Obama-era regulation aimed at coal-fired power plants, one of the biggest sources of greenhouse gas emissions in the nation — was a blow to President Joe Biden’s plan to reduce U.S. emissions and meet the country’s goals under international agreements. Now, it will be difficult for the U.S. to do its part to meet a 1.5-degree Celsius target that scientists have said is key to preventing extreme effects of climate change, experts said.” • I need to read more on this; my impression was that the decision was going to be an assault on the regulatory state as such. Here’s the opinion.

“Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson sworn in to Supreme Court” [Politico]. The first…. public defender on the Supreme Court. That’s actually encouraging! “Jackson’s placement on the court will have no impact on its ideological tilt. Justices appointed by Republican president still outnumber their Democrat-appointed colleagues by a 6-3 margin. Her ceremony Thursday was small and brief, attended by a small group that included her husband and daughters. A larger formal ceremony, or investiture, is expected at a later date.” • Appointed by a Republican president, and moved up every step of the ladder by Democrats, because they were, after all, “highly qualified.”


* * *

“Has Abortion Changed the Subject in the Minds of Enough Voters?” [Charles Cook, Cook Political Report]. “Anyone who’s sure they know what the midterm-election implications of the events over the last few weeks will be is a) a fool, b) a cheerleader, c) really new to politics, or d) some combination of those. Until there is a whole lot more polling data, certainty is folly.” And even then! More: “If you’re sensing some skepticism that the Supreme Court decisions, mass slayings, and fallout from Jan. 6 could be determinative, that’s because it would be truly extraordinary for a midterm election to be about anything other than the performance of the Oval Office occupant and the governing party. Such elections usually turn on whether voters want to stay the course or if they think it is time for a change.” And: “Sooner or later, abortion and guns may very well bite Republicans on the rear end. But my money is on later, and not until the economy is in the same time zone as normal… Obviously a party headed into a midterm election under such circumstances, with a president averaging a 39 percent approval and 57 percent disapproval, is desperately looking for a change in venue. My guess is that it is unlikely the judges in this case will grant one.” • Yep.


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.

* * *

“Opinion The fall of Roe is the culmination of the Democratic establishment’s failures” [Perry Bacon, Jr., WaPo]. “Biden, Pelosi and the group of political and policy strategists who perpetually hold top jobs in Democratic politics have presided over disappointing results for more than a decade, setting the stage for the fall of Roe and the other struggles of 2021-2022 — most notably, the wipeout of Democrats in 2010 and 2014; Donald Trump’s victory in 2016; the narrower-than-expected Democratic win in 2020…. Pelosi, Biden and other Democratic leaders of course don’t sit on the Supreme Court or in state legislatures. But too many of them have been major players in the party over the past two decades as it has failed to create an apparatus of media, think tanks and other institutions to rival what exists on the right. They have been deeply involved in bland Democratic campaigns and candidates who often lose key races to Republicans, even as the GOP has much less popular policy goals…. it’s not that the Republican establishment has done better — it has lost half the time, too. The critical difference, though, is that there have been several different Republican establishments over the past two decades, allowing the party to test out different strategies. In contrast, the Democratic leadership has aggressively blocked fresher faces from having much of a role in the party’s decision-making. Instead, we have watched over the past 18 months as Democrats made many of the same strategic mistakes that they did in 2009 and 2010, with some of the same people involved in the foibles… No matter what happens this election cycle, their previous defeats, lack of new strategies and open disdain for the party’s activists is too much to allow this group to remain in charge.” So far so good. But then we come to this: “There is a real ideological divide between the center-left and left in the Democratic Party. But I think an equally and perhaps more important fissure is between the political approach of the Old Guard and those who embrace a modern style of politics, such as Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear, California Gov. Gavin Newsom and Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker; Sens. Brian Schatz (Hawaii) and Elizabeth Warren [🐍] (Mass.); Reps. Jamie B. Raskin (Md.), Adam B. Schiff (Calif.), Ocasio-Cortez and Ayanna Pressley (Mass.); Boston Mayor Michelle Wu; Florida Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried; and Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg.” • A-A-U-G-H-H-H-H!!!!!! My eyes!!!!!!! In what way are the underlined names “modern”? No mention of Sanders, of course, who ran perhaps the most modern campaigns of all in both 2016 and 2020, since he bypassed the sclerotic party apparatus entirely. If the first Sanders surge came in 2024, there might have been some union organizers on his staff, instead of Brooklynite wannabe professionals and intersectionality goons. Ah well, nevertheless, sometimes the gears just don’t mesh…

Obama Legacy

“Obama says abortion rights law not a top priority” [Reuters]. From 2009. Good times. Thanks, Obama!

Realignment and Legitimacy

“Teachers alarmed by state’s infusing religion, downplaying race in civics training” [Miami Herald]. “The civics training, which is part of Gov. Ron DeSantis’ Civics Literacy Excellence Initiative, underscores the tension that has been building around education and how classrooms have become battlegrounds for politically contentious issues. In Florida, DeSantis and the Republican-led Legislature have pushed policies that limit what schools can teach about race, gender identity and certain aspects of history.” • What, nobody’s advocating a unit on union organizing?


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. However, 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. Then again, waste-water data (leading) is slightly down. 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.

Dr. Anthony Fauci is our first double winner of the coveted Sociopath of the Day Award

“Fauci says he’s taking 2nd course of Paxlovid after experiencing rebound with the antiviral treatment” [ABC]. “At this time, CDC states that there is currently no evidence that an additional treatment of Paxlovid, is needed, following a rebound. The Food and Drug Administration also says that ‘there is no evidence of benefit at this time for a longer course of treatment … or repeating a treatment course of Paxlovid in patients with recurrent COVID-19 symptoms following completion of a treatment course.’ The CDC currently recommends that doctors advise their patients with COVID-19 rebound to follow CDC’s guidance on isolation and take additional precautions to prevent transmission.” • And the only reason Dr. Anthony Fauci is getting a second treatment at all is that he’s Dr. Anthony Fauci and you’re not.

* * *

“The US COVID-19 surveillance environment: An ecological analysis of the relationship of testing adequacy in the context of vaccination” [Clinical Infectious Diseases]. Background: “COVID-19 testing is a critical component of public health surveillance and pandemic control, especially among the unvaccinated, as the nation resumes in-person activities.” Lol, no it’s not. That’s why we don’t do it.

“NIH-funded project offers efficient approach when tracking SARS-CoV-2 variants” [National Institutes of Health]. Original. “The research team proposed that genotyping could be effectively used for SARS-CoV-2 variant classification. Genotyping is a relatively low-cost, high-volume laboratory technique used by thousands of clinical laboratories across the country with minimal hardware and software requirements. The technique zeroes in on genetic reference points, or markers, and limits the intense process of sequencing a 30,000 base-pair SARS-CoV-2 genome to a focus set of about 45 or less of the relevant alterations that distinguish the variety of subvariants in circulation at a given time. It is performed with polymerase chain reaction (PCR), a technique that already makes up a portion of the laboratory testing for COVID-19. The team showed that known variants can be successfully identified in one to two days, for a fraction of the cost of next-generation sequencing.” • Good, although the funding was molasses-like. The Biden Administration abandoning the Operation Warp Speed business model was a massive dereliction of duty; we could and should have had this technology faster.

* * *

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 for the United States:

We now see a slight increase, but under the hood the BA.4/5 are making up a greater and greater proportion of cases. There was a weird, plateau-like “fiddling and diddling” stage before the Omicron explosion, too. This conjuncture feels the same. 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 ~108,000. Today, it’s ~109,000, and 106,300 * 6 = a Biden line at 654,000. 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.

Regional case count:

The South:

Yo! Ron!

From the Walgreen’s test positivity tracker:

1.0%. (I’m leaving the corporate logo on as a slap to and check on the goons at CDC.)

NOT UPDATED Wastewater data, regional (Biobot Analytics), June 22:

Wastewater data (CDC), June 4 – June 18:

CDC’s wastewater chart is down again.

This chart works a bit like rapid riser counties: “This metric shows whether SARS-CoV-2 levels at a site are currently higher or lower than past historical levels at the same site. 0% means levels are the lowest they have been at the site; 100% means levels are the highest they have been at the site.” So, there’s a bunch of red dots on the West Coast. That’s 100%, so that means “levels are the highest they’ve ever been.” Not broken down by variant, CDC, good job.

NOT UPDATED Variant data, regional (Biobot), June 8:

Out of date compared to Walgreens (below) but still showing doubling behavior.

NOT UPDATED Variant data, national (Walgreens), June 15:

In 18 days, BA.4/5 has gone from 18 days, 9.66 to 28.47 (and this is not according to some sorta model, like CDC’s NowCast, which gives 35%). Nice doubling behavior, implying BA.4/5 should be happily dominant just in time for the travel weekend of July 4, good job everyone.

NOT UPDATED Variant data, national (CDC), June 11:

Doubling behavior moving along quite briskly.

Lambert here: It’s beyond frustrating how slow the variant data is. I looked for more charts: California doesn’t to a BA.4/BA.5 breakdown. New York does (BA.4/BA.5 is 27.7% as of June 18) but it, too, is on a molasses-like two-week cycle. Does nobody in the public health establishment get a promotion for tracking variants? Are there no grants? Is there a single lab that does this work, and everybody gets the results from them? Additional sources from readers welcome [grinds teeth, bangs head on desk].

MORONIC CDC FAILS TO UPDATE “DAILY” REPORT YET AGAIN From CDC Community Profile Reports (PDFs), “Rapid Riser” counties:

The West Coast is on fire again, as is Texas (but, oddly, not Florida). Illinois and West Virginia are heating up, too.

The previous release:

No matter what else the CDC butchered, they have published the Community Profile Report regular as clockwork since forever. It’s resumed after stopping for two days (and wastewater collection is still down). Just to be clear on the responsibilities:

Yes, the Community Profile Report commits to be “daily.” That the report didn’t come out for two days is a White House f*ck-up responsibility, but multiple agencies are also involved. All of them look bad.

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:

Status quo.


Very volatile, but a lot more yellow since the previous update several days ago.

Get ready.

Death rate (Our World in Data):

Total: 1,042,291 1,041,354. I have added an anti-triumphalist Fauci Line.

Stats Watch

Inflation: “United States Core PCE Price Index Annual Change” [Trading Economics]. “The core PCE Price Index inflation, the preferred gauge of inflation by the Fed, eased to 4.7 percent in May of 2022 from 4.9 percent in the prior month, the lowest in six months and slightly below market expectations of 4.8 percent.”

Employment Situation: “United States Initial Jobless Claims” [Trading Economics]. “The number of Americans filing new claims for unemployment benefits decreased by 2K to 231K in the week that ended June 25th, compared with market forecasts of 228K, pointing to tight labour conditions.”

Personal Income: “United States Personal Income” [Trading Economics]. “Personal income in the United States increased 0.5 percent from a month earlier in May 2022, the same as in the previous month and matching market expectations, as a rise in compensation and proprietors’ income offset a decrease in government social benefits. Within compensation, the increase reflected rises in both private and government wages and salaries. The increase in proprietors’ income was led by nonfarm income. The fall in government social benefits primarily reflected a decrease in transfers to nonprofit health care providers through the Provider Relief Fund that was partly offset by increases in Medicaid and Medicare.”

* * *

The Bezzle: “A $2 Trillion Free-Fall Rattles Crypto to the Core” [Bloomberg]. • That’s a damn shame.

The Bezzle (dk):

Not very well attested. Perhaps California readers can comment?

Mr. Market: “Hedge fund manager Jim Chanos’s next ‘big short’ is data centres” [Financial Times]. “[Chanos] is raising several hundred million dollars for a fund that will take short positions in US-listed real estate investment trusts…. Data centres owned by groups such as Digital Realty Trust and Equinix are vast warehouses of servers that power large swaths of the internet…. The three biggest cloud providers, Amazon Web Services, Google Cloud and Microsoft Azure, are by far the largest tenants of data centres. Chanos’s thesis is that these three “hyperscalers” prefer to build data centres to their own design rather than moving into existing ones; and when they do outsource, they typically offer low returns to their development partners. Chanos also said he believed that the real estate investment trusts were overvalued and in for a period of declining revenue and earnings growth. ‘The real problem for data centre Reits is technical obsolescence,’ said Chanos. ‘Their three biggest customers are becoming their biggest competitors. And when your biggest competitors are three of the most vicious competitors in the world then you have a problem.'” • My mind is reeling at the concept of real estate investment trusts for data centers, but I suppose it’s obvious once you think about it. Or was.

* * *

Today’s Fear & Greed Index: 23 Extreme Fear (previous close: 25 Fear) [CNN]. One week ago: 22 (Extreme Fear). (0 is Extreme Fear; 100 is Extreme Greed). Last updated Jun 30 at 1:17 PM EDT.

Groves of Academe

“The Other Cancel Culture: How a Public University Is Bowing to a Conservative Crusade” [ProPublica]. “Across the country, elected officials in red states are seeking to impose their political views on public universities. Even as they decry liberal cancel culture, they’re leveraging the threat of budget cuts to scale back diversity initiatives, sanitize the teaching of American history and interfere with university policies and appointments…. Perhaps reflecting such tensions, the average tenure of public university presidents has declined from nine years to seven over the past two decades, and they are increasingly being fired or forced to resign, according to data prepared for this article by Sondra Barringer and Michael Harris, professors of higher education at Southern Methodist University. Between 2014 and 2020, 29% of departures by presidents of NCAA Division 1 public universities were involuntary, up from 19% between 2007 and 2013, and 10% between 2000 and 2006. Moreover, based on media reports and other sources, micromanaging or hyperpartisan boards were responsible for 24% of involuntary turnover at such universities in red states from 2014 to 2020, a rate more than four times higher than in blue states, Barringer and Harris found.”

Zeitgeist Watch

They love David Ogilvy in Malaysia:

I got sucked in, and read most of it. I wonder if that’s a generational thing? The Intertubes aren’t even listed as a medium….

“Homicide Clusters by County” [Murder Accountability Project]. Interactive map. “MAP also estimates most homicides went unsolved in 130 major cities and urban areas in American in 2020, another record. The homicide rate is significantly higher in these jurisdictions, averaging nearly 23 homicides per 100,000 population. There is a broad, inverse relationship between rates of homicide clearance and occurrence. Communities that experience low clearance rates are much more likely to have elevated rates of murder. ‘The Murder Accountability Project firmly believes declining homicide clearance rates are the result of inadequate allocation of resources — detectives, forensic technicians, crime laboratory capacity, and adequate training of personnel,’ said MAP Chairman Thomas Hargrove. ‘This represents a failure of political will by local leaders.'”

Class Warfare

“Johns Hopkins summer programs canceled as some students are en route” [WaPo]. “The email Chanel and other parents received Friday attributed the problem to lack of staffing. ‘The nationwide labor shortage affecting many industries has created conditions that make it impossible to deliver an experience that rises to the level of quality we expect for our families and programs,’ it said.”

News of the Wired

I am not feeling wired today.

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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. hunkerdown

    Wrong date, Lambert!

    re: “failed to create an apparatus of media, think tanks and other institutions”… nope, Perry Bacon VII is still very much in the business of apologetics, not diagnostics.

    1. hk

      Just a hunch, but the abortion issue opens a big pandora’s box on a major bottom lines issue (health insurance) for major corporations without a clear answer, no? A lot of symbolic issues don’t affect their operations (well, extending benefits to same sex partners might, but I figure that they were going to be doing it anyways as a matter of good business.) but I get the sense that coverage of abortions and/or reproductive services makes things more complicated.

        1. flora

          And hide behind the separation of church and state, freedom of worship clause in their argument to restrict health insurance coverage. The Roberts’ Court is very sympathetic to that argument, even where most people who aren’t on the religious right would not find merit in the idea, imo. See Hobby Lobby decision. (Owner can make company health insurance for employees conform to his religious beliefs about what is and is not allowed by his religious beliefs. That is his ‘freedom of religion’.)

        2. hk

          Yes, but can they deny reproductive health and/or related coverage to their own people while crowing about supporting it publicly? This seems a bit different from other issues where “support” means nothing but cheap words.

      1. Pelham

        Possibly. Or maybe companies would like to able to fund abortions as part of medical benefits and avoid the higher cost of insuring children or losing workers who’d rather be parents than corporate cogs.

    2. NotTimothyGeithner

      Stream of consciousness here. I think “we’re here, we’re queer, get used to it” was a major point. Matthew Shephard was murdered in 1998. The person “Boys Dont Cry” was killed a few years earlier in the same decade. People being gay in public mattered. As dumb as it sounds, “Will and Grace” at least not the minstrel character mattered.

      Abortions and miscarriages seem like they would suck, so there is a natural tendency to not discuss them. Once, I remember my mom mentioned a miscarriage to my younger sister and myself in an offhand matter related to some other discussion. Neither of us had a clue. Why would we? My parents have a hard enough time discussing their dead son who died a month after the miscarriage. We know about the oldest because we have an older sister and his picture is everywhere.

      When Roe v Wade just went away, plenty of people simply can’t conceive of what is going on or how widespread the chaos will be.

      Also, I think plenty of men simply hate women, so from their perspective a gay man can have equal rights but a woman…preposterous.

      Obama faced a loss of donations and political support over DADT and events in North Carolina. He was bailed out by Biden of all people. I think abortion episodes haven’t been part of the narrative over “choice” for too long. We saw Harris’ reaction “do what?”. These people haven’t conceived these kinds of things matter, partially because they aren’t discussed. The simple reality is the Supremes heard these cases because they know Biden will sit there and do nothing on his own. Anyone looking at Biden realistically knows he is going to sit there unless he is forced to.

    3. Anthony G Stegman

      Ukraine has bi-partisan appeal, as do gay rights (for now anyway). Abortion rights are a third rail that many businesses won’t touch.

      1. hunkerdown

        There was also the #resistance doing their cancellation-in-force swarm thing at the beginning of the war that make Ukraine seem like a good idea. If they were of a mind to repeat that, they would get results. They’re not because the whole idea is to make more babies for the dollar god.

    4. Mikel

      The biggest corporations benefit from having health insurance being tied to employment. it’s a control factor and it’s BS.

      They have to be careful of riling up more people wanting to get health care UNTIED from employment.

      1. Yves Smith

        This is a state law issue.

        I can tell you with great confidence no corp is gonna virtue signal against this in Alabama. Our banks are state chartered and the only national bank that bothered is top criminal Wells Fargo.

        Starbucks and McDonalds and WalMart and gas retailers will say boo.

  2. Laughingsong

    “Dr. Anthony Fauci is our first double winner of the coveted Sociopath of the Day Award”

    A front runner for the first inductee of the Sociopath Hall of Fame! Along with the usual suspects of Hitler, Stalin, Vlad the Impaler, Name-Your-Visigoth, and the lion’s share of the Plantagenets. Can’t wait for the inaugural!

    1. Geo

      After Avenatti, Cuomo, Weiner, and so many titans of liberal obsessive adoration have fallen abruptly from grace, I pretty much assume anyone the MSM/PMC crowd prints out sainthood candles and fan t-shirts for is a raging sociopath.

    2. Mikel

      I think it deserves to be named the Fauci Sociopath of the Day Award.
      That will just have him covered as a trailblazer….

  3. petal

    My parents wouldn’t let me go to CTY back in the 80s “because of the crime in Baltimore”. Still mad about it. It was a huge opportunity for someone like me. Sad to see kids are going to miss out on it this summer.
    Congrats to St. Fauci for being a double winner. He’s certainly earned it. I’m laughing about the paxlovid fail. I was the only person on the bus today wearing a mask.
    And re Leahy breaking his hip-a lot can go wrong after an 82 year old breaks their hip.

    1. NotTimothyGeithner

      I went to their summer program in Cambridge and some weekend shenanigans. It was great. There are worst things, but I’m devastated for the kids. I didn’t go to one of the longer programs in the US, so I don’t know how many counselors they had. We were in groups of 8 whenever we went anywhere. In Cambridge, we were just on our own.

    2. Kurtismayfield

      Ten bucks says they couldn’t find enough suck.. err workers to take the crappy salary they were offering. I bet they were offering their counselors less than minimum wage when you account for it becoming a 24/7 job.

  4. Mark Gisleson

    David Ogilvy got me interested in advertising when I was still in high school. Advertising is a difficult and slippery science and like everything else it’s currently being done by people who have no clue what they’re doing with the Democratic party an excellent example. Like most corporations, the Democrats develop ad campaigns that let Democratic leaders feel good about themselves and you should too!

    Ogilvy — like Zig Ziglar — never gets old. A bit dated perhaps, but in ways that allows readers to easily see how the old rules apply to new media because it’s all about the audience, not the platform.

    1. ambrit

      Or, as Marketing Majors would call him early on a bong juice soaked Sunday morning; Zig Zag Zigler.
      “What you smoking man?”
      “Cool! The best!”

  5. Geo

    “Vermont US Sen. Patrick Leahy breaks hip, to have surgery”

    Considering the age of Democratic leadership, has the GOP considered simply opening some windows and letting a gust of wind topple their opposition? Or, maybe progressive activists should set up a bingo and bocce ball center near the capitol to give Dem leadership something better to focus on so they’ll step down and let the younger generations take over?

    Not meaning to criticize Leahy. In that hall of scoundrels he’s one of the better ones (not exactly high praise) but the guy was elected to the senate before I was born – and I recently started getting retirement junkmail. Not that age is necessarily a detriment. I know many old people whose brains are much sharper than most young people I know. But, seriously, the Dems need to hold power until they croak is a mental illness (i.e. RBG).

    1. RockHard

      Leahy also said he wouldn’t run again in 2022. Maybe he should have a chat with Feinstein, though it’s not as if she’d remember it 5 minutes later.

      1. Michael Ismoe

        Since the position is determined by the most time spent in the Senate, it woulkd be preposterous to expect the president pro tem to be anything but elderly/

    2. hunkerdown

      The GOP needs a strong Democratic Party too, but their brand is less amenable to offering such a hand up directly. The best they can do is pull punches and wait for the DNC to stand up again.

      Democrats do have a lifer kind of entitlement mentality, in a rather different sense than Paul Ryan used the term.

  6. Questa Nota

    That Johns Hopkins cancellation has a few parallels in the service economy. Surprises can abound, too bad about your non-refundable transportation or whatever.

    For example, those needing car repairs may experience some delay due to, ahem, staffing shortages. Those aren’t all due to Covid, as interest in the training and getting dirty has waned. Car dealers looking to maintain profitability in the wake of labor and supply chain hiccups tend to raise hourly rates, and still can’t satisfy customers. That presents opportunities for the unaffiliated, what they call shade shop mechanics to keep busier as dealer satisfaction suffers.

    Variations on that theme may present themselves to you when you try to arrange house calls for, say, plumbing or HVAC work. In the above examples, the average person is kinda taking on faith what the service writer, estimator or other person says. That hard-to-get part, the change in code or whatever reason can result in some variant on the surprise billing that people expected to occur mainly in a medical setting. The person is on site, you need the work done or suffer longer, so you tend to acquiesce. Now envision your elderly parents in some remote city faced with similar issues.

    1. Nestor

      My son became an HVAC tech. At 23, he’s making more per year than I made at the peak of my career as a pharmacist.

      Tradesmen working for cash are demanding, and getting over $100 per hour, PLUS paid travel time from the shop.

    2. Henry Moon Pie

      “what they call shade shop mechanics ”

      I’m not familiar with that term, but I have heard of “shade tree mechanics,” i.e. someone who works on a vehicle but doesn’t have a nice garage to work in. Now if you don’t even have a shade tree to park under while you change out the alternator, that’s roughin’ it.

      1. ambrit

        Tell me about it. I once had to drive seventy miles down to Ocean Springs, Mississippi to change a literally fallen off alternator on Phyl’s car in the closed pump bay of a gas station at four o’clock at night. The delay was finding a replacement part. Happily, Phyl is mechanically inclined enough to figure the problem out before I came down. (When we lived out in the sticks, shopping trips were all day affairs. Phyl and the kids would pile in the car and head south early in the morning and get back way after dark.)

  7. LawnDart

    Re; quotes
    Three for the day:

    If you’re not careful, the newspapers will have you hating the people who are being oppressed, and loving the people who are doing the oppressing.
    –Malcom X

    Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it is time to pause and reflect.
    –Mark Twain

    For the great majority of mankind are satisfied with appearances, as though they were realities, and are often more influenced by the things that seem than by those that are.
    –Niccolo Machiavelli

    1. hunkerdown

      “Nobles did not hunt or fish. But they maintained the circulation of souls that made hunting and fishing possible.” -David Graeber

      “A think tank is an institution where academics are paid by the worst people in the world to come up with explanations for why it would be good and smart to do something evil and stupid, which are then pitched at key points of influence in the media and the government.” -Caitlin Johnstone

      1. Mark Gisleson

        The next war in Europe will be between Russia and Fascism, except that Fascism will be called Democracy. — Fidel Castro, c. 1992 [cited by The Saker]

        When you’re home thinking about [what $40 billion to Ukraine] is all about, just think about ‘when I was hungry, you fed me’ from the Gospel of Matthew. — Nancy Pelosi, c. 2022 [cited on twitter]

        “Will destroy the world for money.” — Uncle Sam [as drawn by Mr Fish]

        “Keep calm and blame Russia” — t-shirt

        1. JBird4049

          >>>When you’re home thinking about [what $40 billion to Ukraine] is all about, just think about ‘when I was hungry, you fed me’ from the Gospel of Matthew. — Nancy Pelosi, c. 2022 [cited on twitter]

          What? Jesus, Mary, and Joseph… If I was of a mind to do so, I could drive about and find some mob of houseless Bay Areans in around 30-45 minutes. It has been some time and they are moved about by the police, but still. Libraries, parks, methadone clinics, highway underpasses, the Plaza, City Hall, really the list could be used at many towns and cities. If Madam Speaker Pelosi ever visited her townhouse here again, she could too. Or I could find out the scheduled foodbanks in my area (they really want you to go to your “approved” one, be it ever so inadequate, and not travel to others, shortages dontcha know?)

          It’s not insanity, or a delusion, it’s entertainment. At least, I have so chosen to believe. It’s that or the drink.

        2. hk

          When you’re home thinking about [what $40 billion to Ukraine] is all about, just think about ‘when I was hungry, you fed me’ from the Gospel of Matthew. — Nancy Pelosi, c. 2022

          I suppose what she really means is, when I was hungry, you stole my food and gave to the thieves.

    2. Martin Oline

      “Fortunately, I keep my feathers numbered for just such an emergency” – Foghorn Leghorn.
      “It’s a stupidity test Martin, you don’t have to pass” – Michael Kurowski’s advise for me in 1995.

      1. BobW

        In one of Neal Stephenson’s books some travelers in India from Europe were handed muskets, then watched to see what they did. If they looked like they knew how to use one they were drafted into the local army.
        It was an intelligence test you passed by failing.

    3. The Rev Kev

      Mark Twain always was subversive. I’m surprised that they have not tried to cancel him.

      1. hk

        There are routine and numerous attempts to cancel him, for all sorts of reasons, as he was guilty of every sort of thought crime, ranging from racism to russophilia at various times in his life. Of course, all his radical transformations, at the core of his subversiveness, are ignored, since, you see, identity is forever unchanging and everything.

    4. The Rev Kev

      ‘If you trust in yourself. . .and believe in your dreams. . .and follow your star. . . you’ll still get beaten by people who spent their time working hard and learning things and weren’t so lazy.’-

      Terry Pratchett, The Wee Free Men

    5. rowlf

      Hunter Thompson hits it hard several times:

      This may be the year when we finally come face to face with ourselves; finally just lay back and say it — that we are really just a nation of 220 million used car salesmen with all the money we need to buy guns, and no qualms at all about killing anybody else in the world who tries to make us uncomfortable.

      We have become a Nazi monster in the eyes of the whole world, a nation of bullies and bastards who would rather kill than live peacefully. We are not just Whores for power and oil, but killer whores with hate and fear in our hearts. We are human scum, and that is how history will judge us. No redeeming social value. Just whores. Get out of our way, or we’ll kill you. Who does vote for these dishonest shitheads? Who among us can be happy and proud of having all this innocent blood on our hands? Who are these swine? These flag-sucking half-wits who get fleeced and fooled by stupid little rich kids like George Bush? They are the same ones who wanted to have Muhammad Ali locked up for refusing to kill gooks. They speak for all that is cruel and stupid and vicious in the American character. They are the racists and hate mongers among us; they are the Ku Klux Klan. I piss down the throats of these Nazis. And I am too old to worry about whether they like it or not. Fuck them.

      1. caucus99percenter

        What neither HT nor I could foresee is that this American monster’s European ovipositor would colonize the German Greens the way it has.

        Now, its eggs having gestated and hatched, the multi-headed war-thirsty imago bursts forth from the German PMC elite’s chest in all its horrid, warped, militarist glory.

  8. Mikel

    “Johns Hopkins summer programs canceled as some students are en route” [WaPo]

    I’d assume alot of these summer programs were to be taught by long suffering adjuncts – the ones with little to no benefits and peon pay. That wasn’t worth investigating for the article?

  9. Steve B

    Re: quotes

    “The most tragic form of loss isn’t the loss of security; it’s the loss of the capacity to imagine that things could be different.”
    ― Ernst Bloch

  10. GramSci

    Re: NOT UPDATED Variant data, regional (Biobot), June 8

    As of May 3, “The U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has selected Biobot Analytics to expand the agency’s National Wastewater Surveillance System (NWSS), an integral part of President Biden’s plan to fight Covid-19 and prepare the country for future pandemics. NWSS works with public health departments across the country to track SARS-CoV-2 levels in wastewater so communities can act quickly to prevent the spread of Covid-19.”

    Yeah, sure they want to “act quickly”.

  11. Samuel Conner

    I’m curious if people can report their own experience, or observation of this in others, of “COVID naivete” (“naive” doing double-duty, with both psychological and medical (“unexposed”) senses) prior to a bad experience of infection, or a troubling Long COVID sequela, followed by stronger commitment to NPIs, such as masking, because of the bad experience.

    I’m just wondering whether it is possible that after a sufficient proportion of the population has a bad trip, it there will be greater compliance, though on an “on your own basis” (‘the market knows best’; ‘revealed preferences’), with protective measures.


    I suppose that the opposite is also possible, that people have a bad experience with the disease after not implementing protective measures, and double down on the hazardous lifestyle afterward in order to not admit to themselves that the original choice was a mistake.

    1. jr

      It’s been my experience that people cut loose after an infection. Everyone I know who was infected still isn’t masking indoors and talks about travel all the time. No one seems to understand the vaccines are outdated. They are misinformed and delusional.

    2. antidlc

      Family members who have gotten COVID learned nothing. They eat in restaurants and travel a lot.
      I think they feel that once they have it, they are immune.

      I’ve given up.

      They are planning a big 4th of July celebration.

  12. BlueMoose

    Re: quotes

    Came across this one on Reddit /r/collapse that I had to save:

    In America, the goal is not to fix societies issues but rather to make enough money so that those issues no longer affect you.

    Not sure if original or just cribbed from someplace else, but I love it.

    1. griffen

      After the moves last summer by OK and TX to leave for the green pastures of the SEC, didn’t think I would be shocked anymore.

      This move is shocking. Pretty jarring actually, to read the details about UCLA athletics.

  13. polar donkey

    Took family on a road trip from Memphis to Branson, MO. Drove across northern Arkansas and back across southern Missouri. Observations- small used car dealerships have almost no inventory. New car dealerships have no new cars and used cars they got from trade ins. The Ozark Patriot Association meets twice a month. At least that’s what the billboards say. Billboard for white pride radio stated “loving people doesn’t mean hate.” A church had a sign that read “”normal” is never coming back. Time to return to church.” Northern Arkansas has always been poor, but things seem rougher now. Many Trump 2024 signs. Felt like the people there wouldn’t piss on a democrat if they were on fire, if there were any democrats.
    Branson seemed slow yet had labor shortages, and looked like the area had seen better financial times. Several mom and pop businesses closed. Strangely southern Missouri seemed to be doing better than northern Arkansas. 50-60 miles apart seemed to make a lot of difference.

    1. Carolinian

      Don’t seem to hear much about Branson anymore.

      And a local Kia dealer has an almost empty lot and a porta sign that says “we buy cars.”

  14. Stanley Dundee

    Re Opinion The fall of Roe is the culmination of the Democratic establishment’s failures

    Afficiandos of wrong-think might enjoy a somewhat concurring opionion from the Brain of Satan himself, Alexander Dugin, albeit with Dugin framing the national split as elites versus commons. Dugin argues that there are two American nations, one of which, the traditional one, is characterized by pragmatism and old-fashioned liberalism in which traditional freedoms (of speech, thought, belief, and action) are paramount. Dugin actually identifies this tradition with Native America! The other American nation, the American elite, with a 20th century European heritage, maintains a fanatic religious belief in progess, opposition to which must be met by violent repression. For the elite, freedom must have a normative interpretation and it is up to the neo-liberals themselves to determine how and to whom they use it and how they interpret it. The rejection by the courts of Roe v. Wade, suddenly the Supreme Court takes an abrupt step backwards, reversing the progress of constitutional abortion rights, can be seen as a victory for the old liberalism and pragmatism against the totalitarian dictatorial strategy of the neo-liberal globalist elites. Curious insights from Zone B.

    1. s.n.

      thank you for recommending this as worth a read, which it definitely is [of course I’m not endorsing the outré ideology of the Russian Eurasianists, Just in search of an interesting read, of which Duggin will apparently provide many…]

  15. Bart Hansen

    “U.S. officials bear a special hatred for countries that they have injured”
    – Michael Hudson

    1. Late Introvert

      “The illusion of freedom will continue as long as it’s profitable to continue the illusion. At the point where the illusion becomes too expensive to maintain, they will just take down the scenery, they will pull back the curtains, they will move the tables and chairs out of the way and you will see the brick wall at the back of the theater.”
      ― Frank Zappa

      1. rowlf

        Alexander Vindman and Nikki Haley both exposed that elected officials do not decide US policies.

        Xin lỗi

  16. Geo

    “The Other Cancel Culture”

    Why can’t liberals learn to speak like people?

    Quote: “I don’t believe in de-platforming Indigenous voices.”

    The article states in the next line, “her appearance was canceled”. Why did she say “de-platformed” and not “cancelled” or “censored”? Those are words regular people use regularly. “De-platformed” is toothless and dumb.

    Mentioned it before but read an autobiography of a Sandinista fighter (published in ’82 before US got heavily involved) and he was a university kid reaching out to the barrios and farmers with no luck. Then he learned to speak to them in their own language, not at them in his university language, and found much more success. That was how he went from a failing organizer to a leader in the movement. I’m an art school dropout and I learned that through my own reading. What do these academics even learn? Seems they only read their own writing.

    One rant down. On to the other:

    This article is not shocking in the least and why I’ve not taken the recent cries of idpol and cancel culture very seriously. Sure, it’s annoying when lefties do it and I hold nothing but contempt for those who have adopted the methods of the puritanical right and religious zealots with their perpetual victim complex. But, those groups have been using grievance politics for decades (centuries? millennia?) with brutally successful results for them.

    I’ve experienced conservative “cancel culture” personally many times in my life. From having a film I made in high school banned and threatened with expulsion because it was critical of the school and portrayed their conservative policies regarding policing and punishing of activist students in a negative light. (Side note: made a film the next year about this censorship that was also banned by my school but won top prize at a film festival). Have had homophobes try to “cancel” me by pointing a gun in my face and come after me with metal pipes in their hands while shouting slurs. Recently had a mildly-notable actor in Texas try to get me fired off a film saying I was a “Hollywood p—y” and threatened to “kick my a–” amongst other things – all for enforcing mask policies (which were mandated by the film commission). Fortunately, I had more leverage on the production and had him fired instead. And these are just some first-hand anecdotes over a twenty year span. I could go on with many more.

    Now, these are fairly trivial examples because I’m a nobody that mostly does small indie projects that few people care about. I stayed out of academia and college so don’t have much experience with that and I know it swings both ways yet our history of civil rights, women’s rights, and gay rights, makes it clear that idpol has always been a brutal weapon wielded by conservatives (often from institutions with much more power than a college) for a long time before SJW’s and lefties on social media started making a stink with it. And, it seems much of this outrage about cancel culture really is just a lot of people who have never been on the receiving end of it having to deal with it. It’s not fun but it’s part of having a voice. People who disagree will go after you in any way they can. Wish all sides would understand this and instead of focusing on outrage and how to cancel others would use the opportunity to communicate better and win allies.

    1. Left in Wisconsin

      Excellent rants. I completely agree with you that cancel culture has been a thing on the right forever, while it is relatively recent on the “left” (which is not really left in my book). As to rant #1, in my experience academics mostly just talk to each other, just want to talk to each other. In some ways the bizarre, exclusionary language is the point. Academics who think like organizers are a vanishing species. There used to be many.

    2. Duke of Prunes

      On rant #1, I seem to recall theories being espoused in these very comments about how “woke speak” is used to identify members of the “in group” (the cool kids) vs the “out group” (not cool kids). The cool kids know, and have the ambition to keep current with, the continuously evolving lingo while the others do not. Helps to identify the members of their tribe.

    3. hk

      In fact, I’d claim that “elites” insist on not speaking like peons to shove it to the latter’s face that they are different, elite-notsplaining, if you will. They won’t talk to real people because they really don’t want to.

  17. upstater

    This is a big deal and a huge win for the environment:

    NY denies permit for Bitcoin-mining power plant near Seneca Lake

    New York state regulators today denied an air permit to a natural gas-fueled power plant near Seneca Lake that used most of the electricity it generated to mine the cryptocurrency Bitcoin.

    The Department of Environmental Conservation’s decision was celebrated as a huge victory by opponents who cited the plant’s impact on climate change and the local environment.

  18. marku52

    This year’s democratic “achievements” are pretty much laying bare what a useless waste of oxygen and protoplasm they are.

  19. Wukchumni

    $4.01k update

    My iPrecious!

    Bitcoin dipped under $19k today in heavy traiting, you get the feeling that getting it back over $20k last week took a herculean effort on somebody’s part, but now they’ve parted with their money and the new resistance level could be $16,666, experts are in agreement.

    My investment is down to a buck-buck fifty, and i’m considering committing pseudocide over mounting losses, maybe i’ll post a Golden Gate Bridge emoji with a Bitcoin being tossed off of it.

  20. GF

    I received the USPS delivered home tests for Covid and the first shipment has today (June 30, 2022) as the expiration date. Does anyone know how long the test will still detect the virus after that date?

    Thanks in advance

    1. Shonde

      The tests may have extended expiration dates. “To see if the expiration date for your at-home OTC COVID-19 test has been extended, first find the row in the below table that matches the manufacturer and test name shown on the box label of your test.”

      “If the Expiration Date column says that the shelf-life is “extended,” there is a link to “updated expiration dates” where you can find a list of the original expiration dates and the new expiration dates. Find the original expiration date on the box label of your test and then look for the new expiration date in the “updated expiration dates” table for your test.
      If the Expiration Date column does not say the shelf-life is extended, that means the expiration date on the box label of your test is still correct. The table will say “See box label” instead of having a link to updated expiration dates.

      The FDA will update this table as additional shelf-life extensions are authorized. ”


      1. RA

        Test expirations — weird stuff.

        I took the USPS offer for 8 free tests. I think it took a month or so before they showed up, which was, I forget exactly, maybe two or three weeks ago.

        Prompted by these messages I just checked. Label on mine says an expiration of 8-26. Mine are from Roche. Took the link Shonde provided and Roche isn’t listed in the table. But there was a web link on the box, so checked that. There I found…

        “The COVID-19 At-Home Test, distributed by Roche, has been granted a shelf-life extension of three months by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). This extends the shelf-life of these tests to a total of nine months from the manufactured date.”

        Entering the batch number from my box into their web page, I see mine has moved from 8-26 to 11-26.

        FDA extends — I guess they are just making s**t up as they go. Not that I would expect expiration dates to really be hard and fast. I’m working on a bottle of aspirin that is well past its date.

        But these Covid tests? The more we learn the dumber our guiding institutions seem to get.

  21. Verifyfirst

    I’m sure they are terrified of Fauci getting long covid–the only thing that would be worse for the narrative would be Biden getting long covid.

    Meanwhile, CDC opens its Emergency Operations Center for monkeypox, nor sure what that means:


    And there is this: https://twitter.com/DrEricDing/status/1542620737210667010

    Eric Feigl-Ding
    Is #monkeypox an emergency yet?—“Monkeypox is mutating up to 12X faster than expected, amid warnings 🇬🇧 could see as many as 60,000 new cases a day” by 2022 end.

    I think our projection (HT
    ) of 100k cases by August & 1 mil by Sept is realistic.

    1. The Rev Kev

      ‘I’m sure they are terrified of Fauci getting long covid’

      How about Fauci getting dead of Covid.

      1. JBird4049

        Tisk, him dying of the Covid would be a real shame. That reminds me I need to stock up on The Drug That Will Not Be Name and try again to get my Mom to always wear her mask, but she’s vaccinated and boosted, so why should she worry?

        If I become an orphan in addition to being a widower thanks to our deathcare system and the feckless and corrupt elites, I will be most… annoyed.

  22. JBird4049

    >>>‘The Murder Accountability Project firmly believes declining homicide clearance rates are the result of inadequate allocation of resources — detectives, forensic technicians, crime laboratory capacity, and adequate training of personnel,’ said MAP Chairman Thomas Hargrove. ‘This represents a failure of political will by local leaders.’”

    (Emphasis is mine.)

    Just what is meant by a lack of political will? Law enforcement is expensive. Trying for justice is even more expensive. IIRC, a piece on 60 Minutes back in the 1990s on the declining numbers of expensive autopsies clued me to some of this. I think that the Crack Wars along with President Reagan’s “government is the problem” so lets cut taxes and regulations was the start of this.

    Although they can expose medical accidents, diseases, homicides, even suicides, autopsies are expensive. Of course this has meant the rise of the private autopsy industry. It is not just the poor and marginalized that this happens to, but they are especially vulnerable to the police habit of declaring victims and the perpetrators as NHI or No Humans Involved and then ignoring them. Large cities like Los Angeles have often done so as well as smaller ones. Even when the police are clued in by statistical studies, they have ignored them. Or they have declared obvious murder victims as suicides or justified. (In rare? cases, even when the victim is tied to a chair or has multiple bullet wounds in some jurisdictions) Or they have just not processed rape kits. Then there are those scandals of police lab “mistakes” that have gotten many innocent people convicted and the field drug tests that are very often wrong, leading to many arrests of innocent people. People who often plead guilty to reduce prison time or just get out of jail after months of waiting for a trial that never comes.

    Then we have the practice of civil asset forfeitures, where the police steal more than burglars do, or the practice of adding fees and fines to everything and then using them as a revenue source instead of taxes. In both, it becomes law enforcement for money. I think it often becomes more of we need money, so don’t solve those murders, rapes, or robberies. Get the money from the “drug dealers,” collect more traffic tickets (especially from out of towners who won’t contest them.)

    I could keep expanding this, but this suppose to be a comment.

  23. drumlin woodchuckles

    The Groves of Academe article about Red State power-wielders persecuting their State Universities into obedience with ConservaRed Ideological demands makes me think that the Red State Leaderships may create a Brain Pushout faster and farther reaching than any Brain Drain which the Legal Abortion states could possibly set into motion by enticing Legal Abortion supporters to move to Blue states.

    Militant Backwardite Stupidite universities for Militant Backwardite Stupidite Red State leadership elites.

    1. Noone from Nowheresville

      The Mole sounds amazing.

      Beautiful poem. Nice song rendition.

      What a gift you and your family are to the world.

      Thank you for sharing.

      Peace, man.

    2. ambrit

      Oh man. Expect a lot more people to show up. You described her as a local society linchpin.
      Nothing much left to say. It is what it is.

    3. .human

      To Emma

      O come, dearest Emma! the rose is full blown,
      And the riches of Flora are lavishly strown;
      The air is all softness, and chrystal the streams,
      And the west is resplendently cloathed in beams.

      We will hasten, my fair, to the opening glades,
      The quaintly carv’d seats, and the freshening shades;
      Where the fairies are chaunting their evening hymns,
      And in the last sun-beam the sylph lightly swims.

      And when thou art weary, I’ll find thee a bed,
      Of mosses, and flowers, to pillow thy head;
      There, beauteous Emma, I’ll sit at thy feet,
      While my story of love I enraptur’d repeat.

      So fondly I’ll breathe, and so softly I’ll sigh,
      Thou wilt think that some amorous zephyr is nigh;
      Ah! no–as I breathe it, I press thy fair knee,
      And then, thou wilt know that the sigh comes from me.

      Then why, lovely girl, should we lose all these blisses?
      That mortal’s a fool who such happiness misses;
      So smile acquiescence, and give me thy hand,
      With love-looking eyes, and with voice sweetly bland.

      ~ John Keats, 1815

  24. Verifyfirst

    There is another Madison quote I like:

    . A popular Government, without popular information, or the means of acquiring it, is but a Prologue to a Farce or a Tragedy; or, perhaps both. … a people who mean to be their own Governors, must arm themselves with the power which knowledge gives.

    To which I would add: and never before have so many had such easy access to information, but so little skill in separating wheat from chaff……..

    1. JBird4049

      The First Amendment exist partially to ensure a Free Press. They did not predict that 233 years later almost all the media would be owned by a handful of corporations and that we would have a national police state with increasingly centralized and thorough censorship. All of this is reinforced by the propaganda that the United States (and the UK/British Empire) have been masters of for over a century. People are not stupid; they have been made ignorant, confused, and disorganized by the state.

      Even the most elitist Founder would think that this is insanity and tyrannical especially the military and the vast number of militarized police as well as the extreme wealth disparity being a sign of a corrupt oligarchy. They would be labeled as extreme radicals and terrorists by the current elites.

      1. caucus99percenter

        Whatever happened to the concept of communications infrastructure as a universal-service common carrier?

        If the old Bell system were being built today, liberal elites would be demanding that all calls be monitored so that AT&T could immediately come and disconnect your — or even a sitting president’s! — phone, if some flunky (or algorithm) happened to disapprove of something being said over their copper wires.

        When did everyone who used to defend civil liberties, even of — especially of — those whom they disagreed with, turn into little J. Edgar Hoovers?

    2. drumlin woodchuckles

      And never before have the wheat and the chaff been ground into such a fine powder and so uniformly mixed together, making it hard to separate them.

  25. SocalJimObjects

    How many times does one need to win the Sociopath of the Day award before one gets the coveted Anti-Christ designation?

    1. JBird4049

      Interesting, but I am not surprised. Nice to see some pictures of familiar streets albeit jammed with those “autonomous” machines and reading the quotes of company management saying that safety concerns “are a distraction” and bad for morale. I wonder how bad would the employees feel if a more important intersection got blocked. Gough and even Fulton can get serious traffic, but the intersection of Lombard and Van Ness or anywhere on 19th at any time? It would be awful. But a cool new way to frack up the commute.

      I wonder how serious the people at City Hall are taking the possibility? It would be unpleasant, dangerous, and possibly lethal. But then they have been ignoring the homeless living on the streets near the plaza since the 1980s. Absolutely gorgeous Beaux Arts City Hall with some nice buildings surrounding the plaza, but the people living on concrete and asphalt there, I guess what the City’s Powers That Be consider detritus floating around there among the tourists, are ignored.

  26. The Rev Kev

    Wow. So a Biden advisor was asked about what he would say to families that can’t afford to pay for high gas prices for months or even years as it is unsustainable. So the guy said that, affirming what Biden said, that this was all about the future of the liberal world order and so having to stand firm. Do they listen to what they say?-

    https://www.bitchute.com/video/uweZ0jZjDaJr/ (18 secs)

    1. Skippy

      Sorry chum … but until recently the issue was conservatives in a synergy with corporatist libertarians aka neoliberalism, whilst champagne/limo liberals were deemed quasi socialists bent on transforming the virtuous capitalist market state into a Hayekian totalitarian social order and we would all starve …

      Yeah sure FDR bastardized classical liberalism to push it in a more modern welfare state, but as we all know that died with the dominance of neoliberalism.

      So why are we banging on about liberals anything after third way …. such a snipe hunt ….

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