2:00PM Water Cooler 6/3/2022

By Lambert Strether of Corrente

Bird Song of the Day

Golden-Crowned Sparrow, Alaska, United States. This is Sparrow week at Naked Capitalism (which I think I will continue next week). If you have a suggestion for a sparrow species, please leave it in comments. I’m surprised at how different their calls are.

“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

Biden Adminstration

“Biden urges Congress to renew assault weapons ban, pass stricter gun laws” [The Hill]. • A speech will change everything. If you have West Wing Brain.


* * *

CA: “A midterm alarm for Dems in California” [Politico]. “After this week’s break in the primary calendar, seven states will hold elections on Tuesday. In the biggest of them, California, Democrats are already looking at some troubling early turnout numbers: So far, only about 2.2 million Californians have returned ballots. That’s less than a third of the total early vote at this point in California’s recall election last year…. At the top of the ticket, it probably doesn’t matter…. Where Democrats do need to worry is those competitive congressional districts. California has a number of congressional districts that could be considered swing districts. If Democrats aren’t successful in reelecting Katie Porter and Mike Levin and Josh Harder and then maybe even picking up the Mike Garcia seat in North L.A. County or pushing Michelle Steel and that district to potentially either pick it up or maybe pick that up 2024 — that’s where macro-level turnout can make a big difference…. When turnout drops, it doesn’t drop evenly for all groups. It drops most precipitously for lower income, minorities, younger people. And suburban white affluent voters who are homeowners always stay relatively high turnout. And so, when the floor falls out on a low turnout election and you have those critical Democratic core groups voting at 18 percent turnout and core Republican groups voting at 70 percent turnout, then you have a recipe for disaster in those competitive congressional districts.”

PA: “Fetterman’s health, return to campaign trail a mystery as some Democrats grow ‘very nervous’ about Pa. Senate race” [NBC]. For my part, I’d rather have an unrehabilitated stroke victim in the Senate than any member of the Pennsylvania Democrat establishment. And since a mutual hatred exists betweem Fetterman and that establishment, there’s no reason to take anything “some Democrats” say as in good faith; if it weren’t this, it would be something else. More: “Pennsylvania Democratic Senate nominee John Fetterman does not have a timetable for returning to the campaign trail, sparking some worries in the party nearly three weeks after he suffered a stroke and surgeons implanted a pacemaker with a defibrillator to regulate his heartbeat. Fetterman, the state’s lieutenant governor, has appeared publicly only in recorded video since the stroke. His wife is speaking to the media on his behalf. And the situation has prompted Democrats to refresh their knowledge of state ballot-replacement law — the deadline is in August — according to two party sources who said they don’t anticipate a candidate switch being necessary.” They would l-o-o-o-v-e to replace Fetterman on the ballot. They’re salivating. More: “The careful statements from Fetterman’s campaign since his stroke and surgery have done little to answer lingering questions about his health or whether he has fully disclosed the scope of his heart condition.” • Of course, “full disclosure” is a classic moving target. To be fair to the Democrats, Fetterman has to know he’s handing them an issue; that implies — assuming the time off from the trail is not a light-hearted vacation — that there’s something consequential we don’t know about. (I should know the normal recovery scenario for somebody with what Fetterman is said to have had. Perhaps one of our medical team can weigh in.)

PA: “Fetterman will have announcement ‘soon’ on return to campaign trail” [Politico]. “Despite multiple requests, Fetterman’s campaign has not allowed reporters to interview his physicians. But some outside doctors have been quoted in media reports saying that defibrillators are not used to treat atrial fibrillation, and questioning whether Fetterman has an additional heart condition that has not yet been disclosed. Gisele Fetterman has said previously that is not the case. Asked if doctors revealed any new heart condition on Wednesday, she said no. ‘Not at all,’ she said. ‘The heart’s working great. The pacemaker helps regulate the A-fib.’ As for when the press will be able to talk to Fetterman’s physicians, she said, ‘We’re working on that. That is coming next.’ Gisele Fetterman also spoke about the changes that her husband has made to his health since his stroke. She said he has dramatically changed his diet. ‘The diet is different for sure,’ she said. ‘Very low sodium levels. He’s monitoring that. Eating a lot more of greens and folic acid and B-12, those kinds of things.’ She said her husband has also returned to walking. He has always been a ‘big walker,’ she said, but that became more difficult for him to do in the winter, as well as in the final months of the campaign. Now, she said, ‘The walking has returned full-force. He’s back to his usual mile walk.’ Fetterman has been taking blood thinners since his stroke. No new medications were prescribed during his Wednesday follow-up, Gisele Fetterman said.” • I dunno. This heavily priored layperson thinks — subject to correction — that three weeks is not excessive after major surgery, especially since the campaign trail is so rough, stressful, and nasty. It’s not like going back to the office. Five weeks, though….


“Two words explain why Trump won’t run in 2024” [The Hill]. Fear and fight. “Trump won’t run because he fears losing and does not want to fight for the nomination. But here is why I could be wrong: I asked Mark McKinnon, the co-host of Showtime’s ‘The Circus’ and the last presidential strategist to win the reelection of a Republican president — George W. Bush in 2004. McKinnon replied: ‘Trump will never concede the stage or the spotlight to anyone else unless he’s in prison or a hospital. He’s not licking his wounds, he’s licking his chops. Every defeat is someone else’s fault. Every victory is his alone. The notion that he would simply exit stage left because of some political reality, self-reflection, or awareness flies in the face of everything we’ve learned about him.’ It is fitting to conclude with a favorite Trump quote: “We’ll see what happens.”

Well, we know who Adam’s voters aren’t:

Something wrong with being a waiter?

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.

* * *

“Democrats Misunderstand the Suburban Vote” [Ruy Teixeira, The Liberal Patriot]. “The idea seems to be that the suburbs are full of liberal, highly-educated voters who are likely to be particularly moved by these issues and turn out against the Republicans. That may be true in some limited areas at the margins but it seems highly unlikely to work in the suburbs writ large for a very simple reason: actually-existing suburban voters are quite different from this caricature. Start with who actually lives in the suburbs. Contrary to popular perception, less than a third of the suburban vote nationwide is made up of college-educated whites, the presumed locus of appeal for the suburban abortion/guns/very liberal on social issues vote. In fact, about three-fifths of suburban white voters are working class (noncollege). It is widely misunderstood how vital these voters were to Biden’s victory in 2020. While suburban white college voters shifted around 10 margin points toward Biden, suburban white working class voters also had a solid 5 point pro-Democratic shift. Because of this group’s larger size, their shift toward Biden contributed almost as much to the Democrats’ improved margin over Trump in 2020 as suburban white college voters. And just how liberal are these college-educated voters anyway? Overall, according to Gallup, just 30 percent of adults with a four year degree only describe themselves as liberal and 36 percent of those with some postgraduate education (the less numerous group) do so. Putting this together with the data about suburban demographics, this implies that perhaps one-ninth (a third of a third) of suburban voters are white college-educated liberals. Perhaps the figure is a bit higher but I doubt that it’s much higher.” • Hmm. Of course, Teixeira was responsible for the “coalition of the ascendant” debacle, so any recommendation he might make should be taken with a truckload of salts.

Republican Funhouse

“‘New Right’ takes it back to old pre-neocon roots, starting with Ukraine” [Responsible Statecraft]. “[O]pposition to the $40 billion bill that Biden promptly signed into law was a minority position. But zero Democrats in either chamber of Congress voted against it. All 11 no votes in the Senate and 57 in the House came from Republicans….. Soon there were reports that the conservative-libertarian coalition that has for over a decade sought to defang the GOP hawks are seeing this as their big moment. And they have as unlikely allies some of the biggest guns in the conservative movement, including new Heritage Foundation President Kevin Roberts. ‘Heritage is consciously shifting gears on foreign policy, with an eye toward less military involvement in Europe and more attention on China in particular,’ Roberts told Axios in an interview saying the venerable think tank that helped arm the Ronald Reagan revolution was shifting its gears closer to those of the Cato Institute and Koch network. ‘Roberts said Heritage’s rank and file donors have generally come down firmly on the restraint side of the foreign policy fight,’ Axios stated.” • Hmm. (And a nice little description of the linkage between donor, NGO, and party. The donors rejiggered their NGO portfolio, and that in turn affected the party.

“The New MAGA Establishment” [The Bulwark]. “Tf you want to understand what an ‘establishment’ is in politics, it is this: A collection of people, institutions, and ideas which are not all powerful but are dominant to the point of being all-encompassing. The establishment can be, every once in a while, circumvented or leapfrogged. But it cannot be successfully opposed. Which is why the Reagan legacy remained in firm control of the GOP for 28 years after Reagan had left office. Until Trump… e are now six years into the Trump era and one clearly sees—in the donor and media ecosystems, in the new ideologies (however poorly grounded and tendentious), in the odd combination of orthodoxies that an establishment can enforce and the flexibility it can grant itself—that a new MAGA establishment has been created. Do not count on it going away soon. It may not last as long as the Reaganite establishment. That establishment was built on the foundations of a large-scale win over a sitting president, followed by a massive re-election victory, followed by the election of Reagan’s vice president, followed by a victory in the Cold War which had been set in motion by Reagan’s policies, followed by one of the largest expansions of peace and prosperity in America’s history. The Trump establishment obviously has no such claims. Instead, Trump’s claim on the party centers around failures. He beat a weak Democratic candidate in 2016 while losing the popular vote. He lost the popular vote by an even bigger margin in 2020, as he became the first sitting president to lose re-election in 30 years. His hold over the party is based not on expansion, but on contraction: He has whittled the party base down to a demographic nub—but it is a nub which is in thrall to him precisely because of its sense of grievance.”

“Trump’s Insurrection Is Building Professionalized Institutions Next time, they won’t rely on amateurs.”[Jonathan Chait, New York Magazine]. “The plan is to flood voting sites with Republican volunteers, who largely believe they are witnessing crime scenes. The Republican poll watchers will almost inevitably harass and challenge both voters they suspect of fraud (i.e., ones who have dark skin) and the poll workers processing their votes. These objections can gum up the workers, increase lines, and discourage potential voters. Worse, they can trigger messy disputes, which opens the door for legislatures to override the results and select the winner. ‘Come Election Day, you create massive failure of certification’ in Democratic precincts, Nick Penniman, founder and CEO of Issue One, an election-watchdog group, tells Politico. ‘The real hope is that you can throw the choosing of electors to state legislatures.'” • Would it be a norms violation for Democrats to counter with their own poll watchers?

Clinton Legacy

“Putin ‘doesn’t Like Critics, Has Almost Messianic Belief In Himself’, Says Hillary Clinton” [Republic World].

Realignment and Legitimacy

“‘Everything Is Terrible, but I’m Fine’” [The Atlantic]. “Something deeper is happening. Even outside economics and finances, a record-high gap has opened up between Americans’ personal attitudes and their evaluations of the country. In early 2022, Gallup found that Americans’ satisfaction with “the way things are going in personal life” neared a 40-year high, even as their satisfaction with “the way things are going in the U.S.” neared a 40-year low. On top of the old and global tendency to assume most people are doing worse than they say they are is a growing American tendency to be catastrophically gloomy about the direction of this country, even as we’re resiliently sunny about our own household’s future…. I have a final theory of what’s going on here. With greater access to news on social media and the internet, Americans are more deluged than they used to be by depressing stories.”

“Left-Wing Group Too Disorganized For FBI Agents To Infiltrate” [The Onion]. “We also tried to sow division in their ranks to ensure that they couldn’t become powerful, but that didn’t work because these people already all fucking hate each other. They spend all their time arguing about minutiae, and most of the time when we try to talk them into doing something violent to the communal spaces in their community, they don’t even know where to go. They’re just a mess.”


• “Covid Is Way More Lethal to Kids Than The Flu” [Bloomberg]. “In the US, nearly six times more kids and teens died from Covid in one year than did from the flu, according to a new analysis of pediatric mortality data. Millions of kids get sick with the seasonal flu each year. But although it can be dangerous — especially for those who are unvaccinated — it’s much less lethal than Covid. According to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention data, childhood flu deaths during the regular season have ranged from 39 to 199 since 2004. Meanwhile, in 2021 alone, more than 600 children died from Covid-19, according to the analysis done by Jeremy Faust, a professor at Harvard University Medical School and physician at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston. ” • Oh noes, the minimizers were wrong again.

• Summer camp:

• “Jewel-Osco Stores Reinstate Mask Mandate for Employees Due to High COVID Transmission” [NBC Chicago]. “As a new subvariant of omicron continues to spread across the country and COVID cases continue an uptick in Illinois, Jewel-Osco stores are asking employees to once again wear masks. ‘Jewel-Osco continues to follow the guidelines set by the CDC and Illinois Department of Public Health,’ a spokesperson from Jewel-Osco said in an email statement to NBC 5. ‘Due to current high COVID transmission rates in the counties where we have stores, the Distribution Center, and the corporate office we are requiring associates and vendors to wear a mask.” • Ha ha, CDC guidance is community levels, not transmission. And so, by not following CDC, Jewel-Osco did the right thing.

* * *

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:

This looks like we’re catching up on the record keeping, to me. (I’m not drawing any lines on the chart because it would be pointless.) Note, however, that similar “fiddling and diddling” behavior is seen at previous peaks. So maybe there’s a signal here, and maybe there isn’t.

Here are cases for the last four weeks:

As above.

From the Walgreen’s test positivity tracker:

After a little dip for Memorial Day data, an upward move. I’m leaving the corporate logo on as a slap to the goons at CDC.

MWRA wastewater data:

Still fiddling and diddling, with South and North down.

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

Cases lag wastewater data.

From Biobot Analytics:

Still May 11 for the variants? Really? I want to know about BA.4 and BA.5 (dubbed “variants of concern” by The European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC)). And then we have another wild round of unexplained revisions: Here’s yesterday’s Biobot Analytics:

I don’t know what to do with these people, I really don’t.

• “What wastewater surveillance currently tells us about COVID-19 cases” [The Hill]. “Over the pandemic, wastewater surveillance was able to alert health officials to potential oncoming increases in cases or waves. A review of studies found that positive signals from wastewater surveillance typically anticipated cases by 10 days according to 24 separate studies. The authors also found that the wastewater signal may preempt clinical cases by up to 63 days… This spring, the trend has creeped upwards over a long period of time, unlike it did for delta and original omicron variants. ‘It looks like a surge in slow motion,’ physician Jennifer Avegno, who is head of the New Orleans health department, said to The New York Times. ‘It’s not the sharp increase we saw with Delta and definitely not with Omicron.'” • Hmm.

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

California better, Southwest better, Midwest, New York, New England, and Gulf Coast improving, Pennsylvania better (why).

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.

• Walensky shamelessly continues to advocate for the “Community Levels” metric:

Don’t use “Community Levels.” Use “Community Transmission,” below. Walensky’s advice is going to get people killed.

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:

East coast, West Coast, and Midwest are all red. That bit of Upstate New York is still yellow.

Hospitalization (CDC Community Profile):

Still very dynamic.

Death rate (Our World in Data):

Total: 1,032,862 1,032,410. I have added an anti-triumphalist Fauci Line.

Covid cases in top us travel destinations (Statista):

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

The excess deaths chart appears weekly, on Friday:

What kind of organization puts “in recent weeks” in an explanatory dropdown, and then obviously never comes back to check? Look at the qualifications in that drop-down. And the ginormous typo, helpfully highlighted, has been there for weeks. CDC, if you’re reading this, please send a signal by getting this fixed. And then throw some documents over the transom. In complete confidentiality! Obviously, nobody at CDC is checking the excess deaths chart, because otherwise the typo would be fixed. I certainly hope there are no “coding errors” in the algo.

Stats Watch

Employment Situation: “United States Unemployment Rate” [Trading Economics]. “The US unemployment rate was unchanged at 3.6 percent in May of 2022, the same as in the previous two months, remaining the lowest since February 2020 and compared with market expectations of 3.5 percent.”

Services: “United States ISM Non Manufacturing PMI” [Trading Economics]. “The ISM Services PMI fell to 55.9 in May of 2022 from 57.1 in April, below market forecasts of 56.4 and pointing to the slowest expansion in the services sector since February of 2021.”

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* * *

Today’s Fear & Greed Index: 28 Fear (previous close: 25 Extreme Fear) [CNN]. One week ago: 17 (Extreme Fear). (0 is Extreme Fear; 100 is Extreme Greed). Last updated Jun 3 at 1:25 PM EDT.

Sports Desk

“LeBron James becomes first billionaire active NBA player: Forbes” [The Hill]. “Off the court, James’s wealth has come from endeavors including his production company SpringHill, a sports marketing business partnership with Fenway Sports Group and investments in pizza chain restaurant Blaze Pizza, as well as real estate properties around the country, Forbes reported.”


“We’ve Known How To Prevent A School Shooting for More Than 20 Years” [FiveThirtyEight]. “The studies [Marisa Randazzo] and [Mary Ellen O’Toole] published years ago showed that, like people planning to attack the president, would-be school shooters don’t keep their plans to themselves. They tell friends or even teachers that they want to kill. They talk about their anger and their suicidality. They lash out violently against family and friends. And as more teens have attacked their schoolmates, that pattern has proved to hold true over time. It was true for Nikolas Cruz, the Parkland shooter. It was true for Payton Gendron, the Buffalo shooter. It was true for Salvador Ramos, the Robb Elementary shooter. While all the experts I spoke with said that policies that keep guns out of the hands of teenagers are an important part of preventing mass shootings, they all also said it is crucial to set up systems that spot teens who are struggling and may become dangerous.” • I’m sympathetic to this thesis.

The Gallery

Indian sculpture:


The “intimate details” are servants — or slaves?

Zeitgeist Watch

Remember laugh tracks?

“Brrr! Air-Conditioned Offices Give Chilly Reception to Returning Workers” [Wall Steet Journal]. “[O]ne of the worst excesses of modern life [is] meeting rooms air-conditioned to Arctic levels…. Like most offices, the health department’s thermostats can’t be adjusted without a big rigmarole. Employers may want to rethink that…. Office temperatures are typically set to comply with comfort guidelines established in 1966 and updated by ASHRAE experts. The group’s researchers delve into such comfort issues as “ankle draft,” an unpleasant ankle-high chill….” • I should look into ASHRAE’s standards on air changes per hour, if they have this much clout….

Class Warfare

“How Amazon and Starbucks Workers Are Upending the Organizing Rules” [In These Times]. “The goal of momentum organizers is to foster a virtuous cycle of building to trigger events and then absorbing the subsequent explosion of energy through mass trainings and decentralized structures, while then building to another, future, trigger event. Police violence can be a trigger event, such as in the case of the murder of George Floyd, but so can worker victories. It’s not difficult to see this virtuous cycle being unleashed at Starbucks, where dozens of stores have successfully won union elections and hundreds more are seeking to vote. When the whirlwind comes, what was once seen as a risky long-shot action or fringe idea — going on strike, organizing a union, running for political office as a socialist, advocating for policies that divest from police and prisons and invest in communities — suddenly snowballs into a series of independent, self-organized actions. Among structure-based organizers, ​’mobilizing’ is often described, somewhat derisively, as turning out everyone who already agrees with us, while ​’organizing’ is seen as the more difficult work of systematically convincing those who don’t yet agree with us. This approach underestimates the power of movement moments — the whirlwind — where, very suddenly, the number of people who actively agree with us skyrockets. In the structure-based approach, organizers often spend months having organizing conversations, building committees, and assessing workers in the lead up to a union vote. They often spend even longer painstakingly building the confidence of workers through small, workplace actions to build to a strike. But in a whirlwind moment, those kinds of actions can suddenly be jump-started by the workers themselves. ‘In most conditions, momentum organizing is not the way to organize unions,’ Engler says. ​’The elders in the structure-based tradition know what they are doing and their advice is solid under normal conditions, but they don’t have the skills or the way of thinking that can take advantage of moments when those conditions radically change.’ Engler is not surprised that Amazon was organized through the self-activity of workers outside the mainstream labor movement. ‘It’s not structure-based mass organizations that can step into the void and absorb momentum quickly,’ Engler says. ​’It’s the people coming out of nowhere. Often by people who don’t even know how to do it or by those who are rooted in the mass protest tradition. It’s the unusual suspects.'” • Very interesting, well worth a read.

“House Staffers’ Union Effort Moves Forward, Open Questions Aside (Correct)” [Bloomberg]. “US House staffers’ ability to negotiate key aspects of employment remains up in the air as they prepare to go to the bargaining table under newly granted union rights. Capitol Hill staff are scrambling to define the boundaries of a resolution the House passed last month that allows them to unionize and bargain collectively. Senate Democrats have said they will do the same, but face much greater hurdles to adopting a similar measure. The discussions have brought some of the biggest workplace issues—pay, diversity, long hours, and safety on the job—to lawmakers’ doorsteps at the same time they’re considering a sweeping package of pro-union legislation. And although Democrats have criticized Amazon.com Inc., Starbucks Corp., and Apple Inc. for alleged union busting, they may soon find themselves facing similar scrutiny if they’re not careful.”

News of the Wired

“The Puzzle of Human Origins” [Policy Tensor]. The deck: “African population structure and the origins of the Boas-Chomsky universal.” More: “What truly revolutionized paleoanthropology was the ancient DNA revolution at the end of the 2000s. By looking at the genomes of fossil humans, molecular anthropologists could start to discern the population history of different regions at a much finer resolution. The old certainties especially did not fare well after ancient DNA sequencing arrived at scale. The picture that emerged even overturned many of the claims established by the molecular anthropologists not ten years earlier. The idea that Europeans and Asians had split soon after the Out-of-Africa dispersal around 45ka, did not stand up to scrutiny. It turned out that a basal or ancestral population roughly equally distant from Europeans and Asians had occupied much of Europe and Asia before the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM) around 20ka. Moreover, it turned out that what had been thought of as the continental races of man (in particular, the big three in Europe, Asia and Africa) that were assumed, in 1859-1987, to have occupied their continents in genetic insulation from each other for a million years, were all recent populations that had emerged from the LGM and expanded during the Holocene. They cannot be said to have existed before 20ka; they were, in fact, created by the shock of the LGM. Even later, they were confined to their tiny homelands (southern Europe, northeast Asia, and central west Africa), until well into the Holocene.” • Read the essay for “the Boas-Chomsky universal.”

The Atlanta Forest:

Can any Atlanta readers comment?

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Contact information for plants: Readers, feel free to contact me at lambert [UNDERSCORE] strether [DOT] corrente [AT] yahoo [DOT] com, to (a) find out how to send me a check if you are allergic to PayPal and (b) to find out how to send me images of plants. Vegetables are fine! Fungi and coral are deemed to be honorary plants! If you want your handle to appear as a credit, please place it at the start of your mail in parentheses: (thus). Otherwise, I will anonymize by using your initials. See the previous Water Cooler (with plant) here. From AM:

AM writes: “Lavender and alpine strawberry in a wall planter.” I like the tinfoil reflector idea, capturing light for the plant on a dim porch?

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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

    Lambert, you’re copping a lean to the right today… don’t forget to close that italics tag!

  2. Ghost in the Machine

    It seems that if cases are being underreported by many times that there would be higher levels in the waste water right?

    I guess it is possible that each case could be shedding less virus.

    1. GramSci

      Here in Pentagonia, per biobot.io, the wastewater levels currently equal or exceed the New Year’s delta peak for Arlington, Loudon, and Alexandria.

  3. Carolinian

    I lived in Atlanta for a long tine and never heard of the “Atlanta Forest”–probably because it’s really an old prison farm.

    a property which was actively farmed by incarcerated people perhaps as late as the 1990s


    And even though it’s a big city, Atlanta has never had a shortage of trees and could itself be considered a forest with recreational areas such as the Chattahoochee river park that are much closer to where most peple live.

    1. rowlf

      A past Free Zone in Atlanta ended when firearms were used with unfortunate results. Considering how ATL is knee deep in legal and illegal firearms the Atlanta Forest standoff will not likely end well.

  4. jr

    re: Adams and the Help

    Of course there is something wrong with waiters. For Adams ego, it’s imperative that he distance himself from drudge workers like service industry types so as to let the folks at home know he isn’t one of them anymore. And anyone else who works for a living, for that matter, except of course the NYPD who he needs for protection and votes. Cause, you know:


    1. Larry Carlson

      “Well, you let your haters be your waiters when you sit down at the table of success,” has a certain ring to it, but I prefer “They also serve who only stand and wait.”

        1. Amfortas the Hippie

          And never firget, the people who serve and cook your food can also spit,pee and ejaculate into it….if youre an asshole…and youd never know.

          Almost 30 years of food service, here.

          Be nice to people…
          And tip well.

          Lest they have a quiet revenge.

          1. JTMcPhee

            Recalls military service. I got KP 76 times in 3 years, almost as many tours on guard duty, had a problem with authority. (Note, now “kitchen police” duty, like so much else, has been outsourced as another “public-private partnership,” so other punishment duties are needed now.)

            The trick with KP was to be the first GI there, get up at like 0300, you got the pick of the rotten jobs. We all preferred the orderly job in the little officer’s dining area, the least onerous. You took lots of abuse from the junior officers, something about “rank has its privileges” and “sh!t flows downhill,” and at some point they really started in on the coffee. They had their own urn, but got the same coffee as the GIs. Egg shells didn’t make any difference, to try to improve the flavor, but never good enough.

            So somehow the dead roaches and silverfish from the sweepings of the mess floor got added to one morning’s fresh coffee. And lo and behold, the second lieutenants had nothing but high praise for the day’s brew…

      1. JTMcPhee

        There’s this bit in the Gospels too:

        “ And He sat down, called the twelve, and said to them, “If anyone desires to be first, he shall be last of all and servant of all.” Mark 9:35

        But most churches these days do most of their preaching out of texts from the Old Testament (“angry God on our side”) and the Letters of Paul which are some early examples of really good marketing…

        And for all the people who say the Holly Bibble is the inerrantly transcribed Actual Words of YHWH, I’d note that there’s over 100 “versions” of that collection of bits and pieces just in English alone, https://biblehub.com/mark/9-35.htm, and the doctrinal disputes over the meaning of arcane bits of texts have in the past led to slaughter of “heretics…” https://historyofchristiantheology.com/glossary/transubstantiation/

    2. Mikel

      He’s an ass and I bet he’ll go out with a scandal.

      How about this for inspiration:
      Whatever you do, do it well. Those are the habits that will help you succeed in life. Attitude will always be a work in progress.

  5. Tom Stone

    I bought gas at Costco this morning, no regular gas was available at my pump, Premium was $6.299 per Gallon.
    Premium at a nearby “Shell” station was $6.9999 per gallon.

    1. Keith Howard

      My long-time plumber here in Denver tells me that filling station pumps are being modified so that they can show prices higher than $9.99. Has anybody around NC noticed this?

      1. Randall Flagg

        In the Green Mountajn State, Upper Valley. Two days ago right after I gassed up a tech closed down the pumps. Making small chit chat, I jokingly asked if he was lowering prices down ( currently $4.79/gallon), and he said they needed to adjust the screens and systems. I asked ” Adjusting upward right?”. He just chuckled but yes, it’s coming. God help those on the edge when heating oil season rolls around in the fall. And diesel users. 6.39 a gallon.

        1. petal

          Hi Randall, gas jumped over in Hanover, NH this morning. Regular went from $4.549 to $4.849, and premium went from $5.189(what I paid yesterday when I filled up due to a gut feeling about prices rising) to $5.689.

          1. Randall Flagg

            Hi Petal, Last night gas was another .10 cents higher in the two towns to the north of Hanover on the Vt side. It’ s like we should be carrying Bingo cards around with us I don’t know how some folks are surviving.

            I get the sick feeling that all of a sudden things are going to collapse, or just shut down, like a switched turned off.

      2. Myra

        $8.05 Regular, $9.19 diesel for sale in downtown L.A. near a freeway cloverleaf. Search Youtube for news reports.

        Putin price increase? The dates say otherwise,
        Post Biden Inauguration price increase.$2.14 gal average to $3.60,

        before Ukraine.
        After Biden sanctions Russian oil, it jumps to $4.79


        You voted for that! As he said, “You will feel the pain”, Primary Day, his party will feel the pain. By Midterms, we will be in a full blown Bidenpression.

        1. drumlin woodchuckles

          Well, if the Ukrussian War triggers it off, then Bidenpression could be a fair name for it.

      3. Tom Doak

        I was in college in 1979 when gas hit $1.00 for the first time and the old mechanical pumps couldn’t be set at more than 99.9 cents per gallon. I don’t remember how they fixed it, honestly.

        1. albrt

          As I recall, they mostly just stuck a “1.” sticker on the pump before the moving cents numbers.

          1. albrt

            But I do not know how the machines worked internally – back then the total price calculations could have been physically linked to the per gallon price number shown on the face of the pump. Hmmm.

    2. foghorn longhorn

      4.24 regular
      4.77 diesel
      Tyler Tx
      Local Exxon
      4.34 regular
      5.39 diesel
      Somebody is making windfall profits for damn sure.

      1. jo6pac

        Safeway in Tracy, Calif. Reg went 14 cents over nite

        Price per gallon
        Price per gallon

        1. Laura in So Cal

          This is the annual summer blend price increase as of 6/1. It is usually around $0.15/gal. We also will get a $0.03 increase in the CA State gasoline tax on July 1. As near as I can tell, a GOP proposal in the CA Assembly to delay it has gone no where.

          Gas here is $6.09 th o $6.69 for regular

    3. Screwball

      I’m watching the ticker as we speak and as I type this crude oil is up another 3% and hit $120/bbl. Not good news on the gas front.

    4. upstater

      In Onondaga County in central NY state, gasoline prices have gone DOWN. Both state and county gasoline tax has been reduced (state: 8-cent per gallon motor fuel tax and 8-cent per gallon sales tax on gasoline, county: capped 4% sales tax at 12 cents).

      I saw a billboard advertising “gasoline pump technicians” back in early spring.

      At some point reality hits.

      1. polar donkey

        The spread on a barrel of oil hit $62. There isn’t any spare processing capacity.

  6. Samuel Conner

    I’m wondering about the apparent improvement in the “excess mortality” chart in recent weeks.

    Could this be in part a consequence of acceleration of mortality among vulnerable populations (especially the aged) earlier in the pandemic? That would lower the ‘normal cause’ mortality numbers among that group in later periods because there are fewer of them than previously.

    Are there detailed time-resolved breakdowns of the age distribution of mortality and how that has changed over the course of the last 3 years.

    1. Lambert Strether Post author

      > Are there detailed time-resolved breakdowns of the age distribution of mortality and how that has changed over the course of the last 3 years.

      [hollow laughter]

      See my note. I put that chart up, but it’s very clear that nobody at CDC maintains it, and the algo could be broken, as with high priority CDC charts (this one obviously being low).

  7. CommieKat

    Re Chinese lockdowns

    Let’s do a thought experiment – we’re going to do a Shanghai-style lockdown here in the US to get to the elusive “Zero COVID” goal. What would that look like given the state of our government?

    So you have to stay in your home, under some penalty that will be guided by a race to the bottom to select the most draconian punishment possible among city, county, state, and federal officials.

    And it won’t be enforced by unarmed officials in Tyvek suits. It will be enforced by our militarized police. So on the other side of that red line will be someone in body armor driving a Humvee and sporting an automatic weapon.

    Don’t worry, the government will provide food for you and your family — subject to means-testing. After all, we can’t just give out free food to everyone. Maybe use the ObamaCare web site for people to apply for the quarantine food delivery. We’ll need some tax info, and the your last three electric bills to make sure you really live where you say you do. Don’t want some homeless squatter grabbing up a bunch of handouts. Given the efficiency with which the ObamaCare site was rolled out, it should only take a few crashes and a couple of weeks to get registered.

    Then the privatized deliveries from DoorDash et, al can commence. Probably overseen and administered by some consulting company who knows nothing about logistics, but which is well-connected at the federal or local level.

    Be careful what you wish for — you just might get it.

    1. Tim

      There is simply no way the US has the logistical control of private industry to ensure New York City wouldn’t starve to death over a 2 month quarantine.

      It isn’t even an option hence we in the US collectively thumb our nose at it, regardless of whether it was actually the right decision or not.

    2. curlydan

      We can’t do Chinese style lockdowns. First and foremost, large Chinese cities have the “benefit” from living in large apartment/condo style complexes–most of which I’ve seen usually have quality fencing and community people manning entry gates. That makes lockdowns easier to manage.

      Secondly, I really haven’t heard anyone endorse Chinese style lockdowns around here. Most people around here (I think) wish/hope for Swiss cheese style methods to contain and reduce infections, hospitalizations, etc through a number of well-known methods. That clearly is not happening. Just look at Walensky’s tweet above. It’s concentrated on hospitalization and nothing about reducing infection.

      I think a key point is belittling China for its Zero Covid approach doesn’t make sense. People shouldn’t try to browbeat China to follow our path. They’ve done it with relatively little pain. Shanghai and to some extent Hong Kong tried to “go solo” or show their exceptionalism and experienced the most “pain”. Beijing and Guangzhou followed the playbook a bit better and have had better results and fewer interruptions/lockdowns.

    3. hunkerdown

      So you expect Americans to wither and die at home peacefully for mal-performing oligarchs without any sort of escalatory action, private subversion, or resistance. The Man couldn’t even keep BLM on an election season leash. More dialectics, less slashfic.

    4. Amfortas the Hippie

      I cant speak for others, nor their ability to plan and to keep a stock….but wed be just fine.
      Here on the more or less working farm.

      I could do with a year just stayibg here, save for cigs and beer.

      Majority has been led into dependency, almost always at unawares
      When u watch things like seinfeld, i marvel at how they have no room for a pantry…and gi to store every day for mere dinner.
      Every day
      Here i go once a month at best

    1. flora

      Abusers always tell the victims it’s the victims’ own fault they were treated that way. Or their jobs were sent overseas. Or something. / ;)

    2. witters

      You missed this:

      Blair told Clinton the problem isn’t lack of demand for centrist politics, but that few people are defining the center in a compelling way: “We are not splitting the difference between left and right, but you’re trying to understand the way the world’s changing and apply eternal values to a changing situation. I think that’s the best position for progressive politics. And I think it usually wins when it offers that.

  8. griffen

    LeBron James, $Billionaire is a rare feat to accomplish. Goodness the career earnings alone as an a player are just a bit mind blowing.

    Big shoes for junior to step into, eventually!!

  9. synoia

    Standards for air exchange

    15 Cubic ft/minute

    0.35 changes / hour

    Trump, and many other blowhards, can reach those numbers without drawing breath.

  10. flora

    Everything Is Terrible, but I’m Fine’” [The Atlantic]

    Hmmm. Here’s a thought: Americans are looking ahead to their children’s and grandchildren’s likely opportunities and the country they’ll live in 20-40 years from now. Almost like Americans can think beyond the next quarter’s profits. who-coulda-knowd?! / ;)

    Oh, about Chuck Schumer saying for every blue collar Dem voter they lose they’ll pick up two GOP suburban voters. Um… maybe not.

    1. jr

      Here is a bit of background from Dr. Richard Wolff via Jimmy Dore:


      The take away for me was that the White House’s claims that the economy is improving are (rap. Income has in fact risen 4%….inflation 8%. So the hack at The Atlantic is simply drinking the Kool-Aid. Perhaps knowingly.

  11. Reader_In_Cali

    Re: Momentum Organizing

    Joe Thompson, the young person leading the organizing at CA Starbucks stores (y’all ran a story on them written by Sonali a few weeks ago), and the other union organizers with SBWA seem to be very gifted at momentum organizing. I didn’t know this but they were able to embolden 17 year olds to organize their store on the news of Starbucks trying to union bust (https://twitter.com/whatslefttodo/status/1532088907344404480?s=20&t=dWO_h4Tg1Om0zuvxS61cWg)

    Also interesting from this interview, intuitively, the pandemic and its related health concerns (specifically workers needing to stay home sick after getting the jab or a COVID exposure) was a big impetus for Joe to start organizing their co-workers (https://twitter.com/whatslefttodo/status/1532088011302637569?s=20&t=dWO_h4Tg1Om0zuvxS61cWg). AND! They use dating apps to recruit people into organizing their stores, genius!

    1. Lambert Strether Post author

      > Momentum Organizing

      If we thought of a union campaign as a football game, and then we broke down the film, I think we’d see that the incidents that build “momentum” are tendencies on the management team to be exploited; they are “natural” (i.e., regular and structural) and will always happen (though this varies by the firm). I may not have read the article closely enough, but I got the sense that it treated momentum-generating opportunies as somehow exogenous; they’re not. (“Luck is the residue of design.” –Branch Rickey)

  12. antidlc

    RE: Community transmission by county map

    83% of the counties are at SUBSTANTIAL(14.4%) or HIGH(69.52%).

    I thought the pandemic was supposed to be over.

    I feel like I’m living in a Twilight Zone episode or The Matrix or some dystopian movie.

    I’ve got to stop looking at these numbers — they are too depressing.

    1. ChiGal

      and actually re the Jewel stores requiring masking again, the person quoted in the article misspoke and they are in fact following community level guidance, not community transmission guidance as the article states:

      If a county is averaging 200 or more weekly cases of COVID-19 per 100,000 residents.
      If a county is averaging 10 or more new weekly hospital admissions per 100,000 residents.
      If a county is seeing 10% or more hospital occupancy by COVID patients.

      In those areas, the CDC recommends that residents wear masks indoors, regardless of their vaccination status, and also recommends that immunocompromised residents take steps to protect themselves from the virus.

      Chicago is in a world of hurt.

    2. Pelham

      Yes, the Twilight Zone quality is something I’ve noticed as well. It manifests as an initially nagging sense that things aren’t quite as they appear or ought to be, a sense that eventually snowballs into a terrifying obsession. I can’t see it but I’m beginning to probe around for a portal leading back to the three familiar dimensions.

    3. Lambert Strether Post author

      > I feel like I’m living in a Twilight Zone episode or The Matrix or some dystopian movie.

      That’s how I feel. The Stupid is so enormous it’s almost impossible to focus on.

  13. FreeMarketApologist

    Would it be a norms violation for Democrats to counter with their own poll watchers

    At the risk of anecdote being data, I know several Dems who have been involved in overseas elections as UN observers. Clearly they believe they’re doing the right thing to make sure the heathen foreigners conduct fair elections. Could they be made to believe they need to do it in USA USA? (of course, using your vacation time in Burma may be more interesting than using it in, I dunno, Mobile).

    1. ambrit

      Your terminal analogy is a bit, um, faulty.
      Both Burma and Mobile are tropical climates. (I’ve seen Burma in the films. The Golden Triangle is more far afield.) I’ve been to Mobile, in the Summertime. Take along your sweat towel and a Frozen Daiquiri. [Shout out to Mr. Zelnicker, a fellow sufferer in the North American Deep South heat and humidity.]
      The Snark adjacent might also observe that both places are home to thundering herds of elephants. The Burmese use theirs as beasts of burden. In Mobile, they hang out around the City Hall.

    2. Michael Ismoe

      “Would it be a norms violation for Democrats to counter with their own poll watchers”

      Just win the state legislatures – I’ll bet no Democrat ever said that.

  14. marym

    Re: Would it be a norms violation for Democrats to counter with their own poll watchers?

    They’re discussing it at brunch, but probably.

    In this particular phase of voter suppression Republicans are training and placing poll workers, not poll watchers. I didn’t get past the paywall to see what else is in the linked post. According to the Politico link the plan includes lawyers and DA’s.

    The plan, as outlined by a Republican National Committee staffer in Michigan, includes utilizing rules designed to provide political balance among poll workers to install party-trained volunteers prepared to challenge voters at Democratic-majority polling places, developing a website to connect those workers to local lawyers and establishing a network of party-friendly district attorneys who could intervene to block vote counts at certain precincts.

    “Being a poll worker, you just have so many more rights and things you can do to stop something than [as] a poll challenger,” said Matthew Seifried, the RNC’s election integrity [sic] director for Michigan…

    Backing up those front-line workers, “it’s going to be an army,” Seifried promised at an Oct. 5 training session. “We’re going to have more lawyers than we’ve ever recruited, because let’s be honest, that’s where it’s going to be fought, right?”


    1. drumlin woodchuckles

      Well . . . the Republicans are being kind enough to forewarn everybody of what their plans of action will be.

      Will there be any counter-Republicans equally planning to disrupt those plans, and sharing with all possible supportive voting-citizens on what the political-combat citizen right there at the tip of the spearpoint can do to counter the vote-suppressing Republican operative in poll-worker disguise?

      Probably any citizen who does not find spending hours dealing with Republican poll-infiltrators to be a delightful form of recreation for a whole day . . . should vote in advance in any way possible. Probably the Democrats should encourage that and facilitate it in every possible way.

  15. Mikel

    • “Covid Is Way More Lethal to Kids Than The Flu” [Bloomberg]

    And starting to hear more and more about parents catching it over and over again from the kids passing it around.

    Minimizers wrong again on that one too.

  16. foghorn longhorn

    Back in the 70s, the first time they pulled this cr@p, the pump prices wouldn’t go above a dollar a gallon, so they priced it by the half gallon and recalibrated the volume the pump delivered the fuel.
    Also no sales on Sundays and the 55 mph speed limit.
    The more things change…

  17. ortho

    Hi first time commenter here!

    I’m from Atlanta and have been involved in protesting the new “Atlanta Police training facility” as well as the expanded Black Hall studios onto forestland. In both cases, planning was conducted without public input and eventually leaked to the public. There was a lot of noise about it, but it was quiet enough that both plans went ahead and are in progress, although people are actually camped out in the area and supposedly sabotaging development. My understanding is part of this area was federally protected forest until it was deeded to the county with a promise not to develop it and another part of it is a former prison farm. I believe the Cop City is to be entirely funded with corporate cash.

    1. ortho

      oh i see a lot of that was explained in the Twitter thread. So yeah, it stinks! There was clearly a PR campaign to play up how hurt the police were after 2020 protests and how the training facility they had been using for decades was now in a desperate state. Because both projects appear to be fully approved i’m not really sure what to do! I’m not going to chain myself to the bulldozers. They just arrested 8 protesters late last month and of course one of them threw a molotov cocktail “towards” police. I didn’t believe it until a video was posted of it. Still not sure i can believe any media in this city so for all i know it was staged or infiltrated.

      1. drumlin woodchuckles

        Is there reason to think that the molotov cocktail thrower is an undercover policeman who was “seemingly” arrested along with the others in order to maintain its police cover? Its progress through the legal system should be very carefully tracked to see if it is quietly turned loose at some point when its handlers think that no one is paying attention.

  18. skk

    re:Prince Siddhartha bids farewell to his sleeping wife as he begins his journey…

    According to some texts, he snuck out in the middle of the night, while his wife was asleep, having just given birth, which the Prince noted as “A rāhu is born, a fetter has arisen”, i.e. the child was an impediment.

    In another age, it would be called a ‘dead beat dad’. I noted that to a neighbour once when he was coming on all charmed by Buddhist enlightenment stuff. It went down poorly.

    Of course, William Dalrymple is of the secularist strand of India that dominated the nation creation ideology thru most of the 20th century.

    1. Joe Renter

      Not a deadbeat Dad. Both his Son and wife joined him in the Sangna. His wisdom and teachings are and will be a vehicle for ages.
      But I get your point.

  19. IM Doc

    The Fetterman Heart Issue –

    I emailed the COVID group this AM about the article Lambert linked above – because there is just not a reason a defibrillator would be placed for the AFIB condition that supposedly caused his stroke earlier this month. I told everyone in the email that something was being misreported.

    And then this just came out since this AM –


    So, this makes much more sense. He apparently as far back as 2017, had a ventricular cardiomyopathy. This can be found in diabetes, in drug abuse, in genetic conditions, in coronary artery disease, in the immediate post-partum time frame and many other conditions. Sometimes, it is called idiopathic cardiomyopathy, in other words WHO KNOWS?

    He is known to have been a very big pot smoker – and as I am repeatedly telling my patients who are told by the media all the time that pot is benign – “green” – it is not. It is often far more toxic to organs than other types of drugs. It also appears that he seemed to admit completely ignoring this condition. To the men out there – IF YOU ARE DIAGNOSED WITH THIS PROBLEM – THIS IS NOT ONE TO BE IGNORED. IT WILL COME BACK TO BITE YOU. Indeed, the complications often occur in times of great stress.

    The ventricles are the pumping chambers on the bottom of the heart. Often, this condition has a very long slow decline over many years. There are any number of meds that can help this. Cardiologists are often in the modern era inserting implantable defibrillators because sudden rhythm issues like vtach are often the cause of death, and those devices mitigate that greatly.

    Atrial issues like AFIB are not treated with defibrillators. Rather, they are medicated, or burned out ( ablated). A patient can certainly have AFIB in the setting of a global heart myopathy as well – indeed it happens often.

    There are still unanswered questions. The initial issue was reported as being an afib related stroke. This is why he was reportedly unable to campaign for several days before the primary. I want everyone to know – AFIB related strokes are among the most brutal strokes there are. It is because the fibrillation atria harbor very slow moving blood and allow clots to form in the chambers. Those get dislodged. They are often substantial in size and because of chest hemodynamics, invariably they end up going right up the carotids. Because of their size, they are going to get stuck in larger arteries and therefore the area of the brain involved is going to be larger. In the overwhelming majority of these situations, it is the middle cerebral artery – and it takes out the movement areas on that entire hemisphere causing the patient to be paralyzed on the other side. If it is on the left – it will take out the speech as well.

    This is DEVESTATING. The patients cannot walk and often cannot talk. Many months are required of rehab to get over this. And they are never the same again.

    My understanding is he has not been seen or heard from in public since the event. If it truly was afib related as described above – it is very likely a massive stroke. In my experience, it will take him months to be able to even begin to resume normal life. If it involved the left brain, his speech is likely very impaired and will never be the same.

    Obviously, I do not know the exact details here, but this is just conjecture from experience. I am not going to say any more than above. However, I do feel they need to make some kind of statement about exactly what is going on. It is only fair to the voters.

    1. Carolinian

      Wow as always thanks for the info. Those of us commenters who are mere kibitzers salute you!

  20. Tom Stone

    That Interpol Chief gets the “Captain Obvious” award for the week with his comment about weapons sent to Ukraine ending up in the hands of criminals and terrorists.
    WTF does he think has been going on in Ukraine?
    One of the most corrupt countries on earth and known for being a center of the illicit arms trade for how long?
    It’s pretty clear how the War is going and it’s nice to have a second Mercedes at your place in Corfu or Tuscany.

    1. clarky90

      Re; [O]pposition to the $40 billion bill that Biden promptly signed into law was a minority position.But zero Democrats in either chamber of Congress voted against it……..

      Endless applause for Stalin!
      Applaudissements sans fin pour Staline!


      The entire audience was terrified of being the obvious (and therefore, doomed) “wrecker” who stopped clapping first…..

  21. CuriosityConcern

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Severe_acute_respiratory_syndrome_coronavirus_1 SARS1.

    In the SARS outbreak of 2003, about 9% of patients with confirmed SARS-CoV-1 infection died.[14] The mortality rate was much higher for those over 60 years old, with mortality rates approaching 50% for this subset of patients.


    By November, 2019, 2,494 cases of MERS had been reported with 858 deaths, implying a case fatality rate of greater than 30%.[12]

    I think I saw that SARS2 mutates into a new strain 7 times per million infections. Estimates of 100,000,000 infections in USA alone this winter, that’s possibly 700 new rolls of the dice.
    I’m in the quarantine camp, but yes, I don’t see it happening here if/until there is proper motivation.

    1. ddt

      They’ll track also via the supermarket loyalty card too so you’d have to give that up also along with whatever perks.

  22. George Phillies

    ““Left-Wing Group Too Disorganized For FBI Agents To Infiltrate” [The Onion].” FBI: Your serious problem is that you were accidentally trying to infiltrate the national Libertarian Party convention, which was so confused that you failed to notice that you were in the wrong place.

  23. Noone from Nowheresville

    It’s official Dr. Oz vs Fetterman for US Senate.

    McCormick conceded.

      1. chris

        Not odd at all. Oz had a successful TV show and is seen to be popular with women. Trump sees him as kind of kindred spirit. He was also highlighted as a “winner”. So Trump put his brand name on him with very little risk. The funny thing is, according Aaron Mate and Katie Halper on Useful Idiots, McCormick was supported by MAGA pros who had tied themselves to Trump so they could better grift people. I’m not crying over their loss :)

  24. Mikel

    “‘Everything Is Terrible, but I’m Fine’” [The Atlantic

    I wouldn’t discount just being alive after all of this as a factor for personal satisfaction.

    And…work from home.

    But again, this is a poll. They focus on the PMC.

  25. flora

    Matt Taibbi’s latest articie, no paywall.

    The Incredible Political and Media Journey of Jesse and Tyrel Ventura
    Interview with Substack’s newest contributors, who may be the ultimate symbols of America’s censorship regime

    “In fact, if not for one of the most scandalous stories in the history of American media, former Navy demolition expert, pro wrestler, and Minnesota governor Jesse Ventura might still be occupying Rachel Maddow’s slot on MSNBC, broadcasting from Minneapolis rather than New York (“All we get is the East Coast, the West Coast,” Jesse told the network then, “You don’t hear nothing from the heart of America, and we’re true America”). Jesse and Tyrel moved to Substack this week, launching their site Die First, Then Quit, but their journey here — by way of two extraordinary censorship campaigns — just might be the ultimate illustration of how politics, not ratings, decides who’s allowed to sit in the big chair on primetime American television. ”


  26. Mikel

    “With greater access to news on social media and the internet, Americans are more deluged than they used to be by depressing stories.”

    Well for one example, mass shootings aren’t caused by a greater access to news. Neither are pandemics.

  27. Ed Miller

    Hillary on Putin

    “Putin ‘doesn’t Like Critics, Has Almost Messianic Belief In Himself”

    I’ll say it – Look in the mirror, Bitch! Surprised nobody beat me to it.

  28. Mikel

    “The baby formula shortage continued to worsen last week despite actions from the Biden administration to ease constraints, according to retail tracking data.

    Out-of-stock rates climbed to 74% nationally for the week ending May 28, according to data on 130,000 stores followed by Datasembly. The increase comes after rates spiked to 70% for the week ending May 21 from 45% the week prior….”

    But they’ll have their Pfizer shots. How much nutritional value in those?

  29. Skippy

    “The New MAGA Establishment”

    File under when a new management flexian pops on the desk computer for the first time and then rummages through it for ideas of others to rewarm – and call their own – imagine the mental contortions they would with wild abandon in mangling so much past thoughts into some product that their masters would consume like a dogs breakfast mindless of all the past brushes with fragments of it …

    Its just so like heaps of the past, elites don’t work, they have others for that, and whatever pops out the other side is vindicated by the dint of wealth and power …. then Jung was a wee bit confused …

  30. Acacia

    So here’s a question about politics that maybe somebody with a better memory can weigh in on…

    I have a recollection that back in the Shrub years, there was a right-wing ideologue — perhaps a political technologist like Karl Rove, but very possibly somebody else, I don’t recall — who said that it was good strategy to push divisive social issues into the foreground of public discussion, because it was safe to say there would never be consensus around issues like gay marriage, abortion, etc., and as long as left-liberals and “progressives” were arguing with each other over these issues, they wouldn’t come together to form any unified opposition to the political right.

    Does this ring any bells? If possible, I’d be curious to find references to exactly who argued for this strategy, where, etc.

      1. Acacia

        By coincidence, I recently watched Can’t Get You Out of My Head, and Century of the Self, has been on the watch list for a while. But from skimming the précis for Century of the Self, it sounds like most of the interviewees are either psychoanalysts, spooks, or Democrat party operatives (funny how those three go together, eh?).

        Scanning the list of all those who appear in the documentary, I don’t see much engagement with Shrub-era political strategists, though again I haven’t watched the series. Instead, I was thinking there’s a quotation in an interview or article somewhere, either with or penned by a right wing ideologue, that makes this argument about a strategy for dividing the liberal left.

        1. Skippy

          I would refer to my above thread comment and add that I’ve always found it to be not unlike Herbert Spencer – for an example. No one individual is responsible in a given period as all are drinking from some past thoughts of others, albeit might add some new twist, yet some individuals do become the talk of the town and are replaced when deemed non productive in advancing some elite agenda. Larry Summers could be viewed as a contemporary example, but these days it seems more more multivariate in scope to keep heads spinning and camps more fractured.

          Personally I thought the Shrub-era policy was quite apparent in attempting turning the U.S. into some notion of a Third Jerusalem-esque nation with a side of the New American century sorts. I would caution on trying to pin down a single source for any one dynamic because synergies always complicate things e.g. hard core AET libertarians have a cross overs with mobs like Heritage Foundation when it comes to core economic socioeconomic policies. Had to provide a link not long ago from the foundation to a AMI sort not long ago after their prostrations at the suggestion and then watched them go pop when it was borne out by the words of its key leaders.

          On the topic of dividing the liberal left I thought Third Way/Washington consensus was fairly obvious e.g. burgeoning Petite Bourgeoisie from that era jumped on the free market band wagon as a means to redress its social grievances with the right wing conservatives in social organization. Hence an old conversation I had with a now decamped NC commenter downsouth about the monetization of the 80s gay/lesbian moment in L.A. Calif after they stamped money with ink stamps to show the market their purchasing power. Which we can now see as the market now is sensitive about this groups choices and attempts to burnish its image to garner income from them whilst the right and tight are not as big spenders for various image products.

          If I may I would suggest when viewing Century of the Self to remember Freud basically admitted to being a mythologist at the end of the day. Perfect example of what I suggest above, basically did a Tudors 2.0 by assuming the power of religion to pigeonhole humans and the authority to reward or punish them in driving a self serving socioeconomic agenda.

          I would all so recommend Hudson’s ‘Think Tank Memories’ to further flesh out the dynamic of elites funding such organizations and how that ends up in confusing synergies.

  31. LawnDart

    Re; ATL forest: Online anarchist rag “itsgoingdown” has ongoing coverage from a citizen’s perspective.

  32. Acacia

    East German saying (from YT comments on Gonzalo Lira’s latest):

    There are three ways to the goal. A wrong one, a right one and a Russian one. And the Russian one always looks like the wrong one until just before the goal, but then miraculously turns out to be the right one.

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