2:00PM Water Cooler 8/11/2022

By Lambert Strether of Corrente

Bird Song of the Day

Samoan Triller, Aopo Village, Samoa. Forest sounds.

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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

“Here’s food for thought, had Ahab time to think; but Ahab never thinks; he only feels, feels, feels” –Herman Melville, Moby Dick

Capitol Seizure

“Congress left with more questions than answers on missing Jan. 6 texts” [The Hill]. “[L]awmakers remain baffled by the chain of events that led to the missing messages nearly a month after their deletion was first disclosed, including Secret Service’s policy surrounding texting, and whether the department has made any effort to recover the messages.” • The walls were closing in!

“Liz Cheney’s Kamikaze Campaign” [The New Yorker]. “Cheney also helped shape an unmistakable feature of the January 6th committee: a set of hearings backed almost exclusively by Democrats has become about the compromises and abdications of members of the Republican Party. For months, the staff often scheduled multiple depositions a day, and Cheney was a frequent presence in the room. (‘I’m sure the staff experiences her as a bit of a control freak,’ a committee source told me.) Cheney pushed for more Republican witnesses, and was on a first-name basis with some of the key figures of the insurrection, including the President’s chief of staff, Mark Meadows, and his [Trump’s] son-in-law, Jared Kushner. She understood intuitively the ways in which power flowed in Trump’s White House. Jamie Raskin, a congressman from Maryland and a select-committee member, told me that Cheney had emphasized how many in the crowd likely believed the Big Lie, and how Trump and others close to him did not. ‘Liz speaks fluent Republican—it’s her native tongue,; Raskin said. ‘She has really helped me to decode the ideological currents informing all the different sectors of the attack.’ If Cheney made the Republican world more approachable for the committee, she also made the committee feel more approachable to Republicans. ”

Biden Administration

“A Complete Breakdown of the Good, the Bad, and the Ugly in the Inflation Reduction Act” [Slate]. The deck:: “It’s a devil’s bargain, but it had to be.” More: “The Inflation Reduction Act is the Walt Whitman of federal legislation: like the great American poet, the bill contradicts itself; it is large and contains multitudes. It represents the most significant climate investment in U.S. history, but it also paves the way for a massive expansion of oil and gas drilling on federal lands and in federal waters. It includes a new minimum tax designed to ensure that large corporations pay at least 15 percent of their profits to the federal government, but it also showers corporations in tax subsidies that will push many more firms’ tax rates below 15 percent (and in some cases below zero). It is disappointingly modest in its aspirations, but it will arguably be—along with the Affordable Care Act—the most ambitious piece of legislation signed by a Democratic president in more than a half century.” • “Most ambitious” is not the same as ambitious,” sadly.

“The maddening coverage of the Mar-a-Lago search” [Columbia Journalism Review]. Headline material uninteresting. But this is an interesting nugget: “According to Michael Scherer, Ashley Parker, and Tyler Pager, of the Post, President Biden sat last week for ‘a nearly two-hour private history lesson from a group of academics.’ The conversation unfolded ‘as a sort of Socratic dialogue between the commander in chief and a select group of scholars, who painted the current moment as among the most perilous in modern history for democratic governance,’ the Post reports. The participants included Jon Meacham, Anne Applebaum (who writes for The Atlantic), Sean Wilentz, Allida Black, and Michael Beschloss (who is NBC’s presidential historian).” • Not, perhaps, the historians I would have chosen. How about Thomas Frank? And speaking of Thomas Frank, he was on CNN the other day (!):


* * *

“GOP tempers expectations for Senate majority” [The Hill]. “National Republican Senatorial Campaign (NRSC) Committee Chairman Rick Scott (R-Fla.) on Sunday acknowledged that it’s ‘going to be a hard year.’ ‘We have 21 Republicans up, only 14 Democrats,’ he said on CBS’s ‘Face the Nation.’ ‘The Democrats are outraising us, but we have good candidates. And I believe Joe Biden is going to be our key here.'” • Churchill? Really?

“Reassessing the Race for the Senate” [Larry Sabato’s Crystal Ball]. “Republican Senate candidates in many key races generally lack any officeholding experience, just like Trump before he was elected president in 2016. This is an important factor, particularly given that the key question about 2022’s Senate elections is whether unproven Republican candidates can fully capitalize on what still appears to be a promising electoral environment for their party. The value of experience is ultimately in the eye of the voter. Some may prefer a fresh face who has more of a potential to upset the status quo; others may prefer a steadier, veteran hand. From a political perspective, candidates with no elected experience may not be prepared for the meatgrinder of a major campaign, and they may not withstand the scrutiny of vetting. On the other hand, those who do have elected experience tend to be better vetted, but they can carry electoral baggage of their own, like a voting record. On balance, Democrats seem likelier to prefer experienced candidates these days than Republicans…. [Back in 2014, while Republican] candidates did not all have at least some top-level elected experience to statewide office or to the U.S. House, the vast majority did, and even those who didn’t were not total outsiders.”

“Democrats close the gap in two post-Roe v. Wade special elections” [WaPo]. “Democrats over-performing in the second straight special election since Roe was overturned, in Minnesota’s 1st Congressional District. Similar to Nebraska’s 1st District just days after the court’s action, Republicans still held the conservative-leaning seat but by a smaller margin than they’d like and by a smaller margin than in 2020. In Nebraska, the GOP won by six points in a district that Trump had carried by 15 in 2020. In Minnesota, the margin is currently four points in a district Trump won by 10.” • Well, a win is a win….

MN: “Rep. Ilhan Omar defeats Don Samuels in Fifth District DFL primary race” [Star-Tribune]. “Democratic Rep. Ilhan Omar narrowly defeated former Minneapolis City Council Member Don Samuels in Tuesday’s Fifth District DFL primary. ‘Tonight’s victory is a testament to how much our district believes in the collective values we are fighting for and how much they’re willing to do to help us overcome defeat,’ Omar said in a statement. Omar is seeking a third term to represent the reliably blue Fifth District seat that includes Minneapolis and nearby suburbs. ‘We did have the right read on the voters,’ said Samuels. ‘But we just couldn’t pull it off in the length of time we had.'” • Handy map comparing 2022 to 2024:

There’s been some whinging about Omar not buying an TV ads; but what that means is that she beat Samuels with one arm tied behind her back, and has plenty of cash in the bank for an AIPAC onslaught, if things come to that.


“Relieved Trump Thought Mar-A-Lago Raid Was About All The Bodies” [The Onion]. “But good for me! If they want to haul a bunch of boxes out of that place while walking upon the shallow, unmarked graves of people I’ve had tortured and killed, what do I care?” • And speaking of Mar-a-Lago:

““The Whole Enchilada”: Pundits Wrongly Claim the Mar-a-Lago Raid Could Disqualify Trump from Future Office” [Jonathan Turley]. “The claim is that the Justice Department may be actively seeking to use a charge to block Trump as the real motivation for this raid and possible charge. There is not a hint of concern over the FBI being used to achieve such a political purpose. That is putting aside the fact that, unless there is evidence of a “willful and unlawful” effort to conceal or retain such material, the FBI could end up an enchilada short of a combination plate for prosecution…. There are constitutional ways to impeach a president or to bar a former president from future office. The mishandling of official records is not one of them. … There is ample reason to doubt that the presidency would be deemed barred by statute in this fashion. What would not be in doubt is how such novel claim of disqualification would be received by millions of citizens already skeptical of the motivations of both the Biden Administration and specifically the FBI.”

* * *

“10 House Republicans impeached Trump. Here’s where they stand now” [The Hill]. ? = to come; Q = Quit; W = Win; L = Lose. Cheney, WY (?); Gonzalez, OH (Q); Beutler, WA (L); Katko, NY (Q); Kinzinger, IL (Q); Meijer, MI (L), Newhouse, WA (W); Rice, SC (L); Upton, MI (Q); Valadao, CA, (?). Quits: 4. Losses: 3. Wins: 1. To come: 2. So, I’d call that domination, but in fact the majority of Anti-Trumpers just left the field. That’s not really the same as a winning streak, though 3 to 1 is a good record.

“Opinion Trump’s primary winning streak shows he’s still king of the GOP” [WaPo]. “Trump looked like he was on the ropes earlier this year. His early prominent endorsees, such as Sean Parnell in Pennsylvania and Mo Brooks in Alabama, faltered. Others were struggling to raise money, and his high-profile attempt to take down his arch nemesis, Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp, lost steam. It looked like Trump’s hold over the GOP was finally beginning to fade. That’s when he did a characteristically Trumpy thing: He gambled. He conferred his endorsement on candidates who were either behind in the polls or running against strong, well-financed establishment-backed Republicans. If these contests had gone south, Trump would have started to hear even more discontented rumblings. Instead, most of Trump’s gambles have paid off. J.D. Vance and Mehmet Oz came from behind to win the senate primaries in Ohio and Pennsylvania, respectively, and Kari Lake and Blake Masters led a Trump-endorsed slate to victory in Arizona. His candidates won in House races, too. John Gibbs and Joe Kent won narrowly against two pro-impeachment Republicans in Michigan and Washington, while Dan Cox won Maryland’s gubernatorial race against the candidate endorsed by outgoing Republican Gov. Larry Hogan.”

* * *

“Will Joe Biden Run in 2024? If He Does, It’s a Failure of Vision By the Democratic Party” [Teen Vogue]. “Age is not an independent variable, unworthy of voter scrutiny or concern. It is inseparable from Biden’s ideology, legislative approach, and reelection strategy. Old age is also one of the defining characteristics of the current Democratic Party. While this Congress is the oldest, on average, of any Congress in two decades, House Democrats claim almost twice as many members at or over the age of 65 as House Republicans. The top three Democrats in the House — Nancy Pelosi, Steny Hoyer, and Jim Clyburn — are among the oldest leaders in Congress. Their leadership is one of the reasons why Democrats are still stuck in the second half of the 20th century, clinging desperately to bygone coalitions and governance models. The septuagenarians of the Democratic Party have essentially brought flowers and speeches to a knife fight. While Republicans cheer on the destruction of Roe v. Wade, Democrats recite poems and criticize their own base. As white Christian nationalism becomes the defining feature of the political right, Democrats extol the virtues of bipartisanship, patience, and moderation. We live in a country where the people who are charged with responding to our escalating political crises are also the least likely to live with the long-term consequences. So, yes, age matters.” • And then… we transition right into Rebecca Traister and Jamelle Bouie….

Republican Funhouse

“How the Claremont Institute Became a Nerve Center of the American Right” [New York Times]. “Much of the scholarly work at the Claremont Institute stems from the belief that the American founding is the culmination of centuries of Western political thought. But, thanks to a century of liberalism, the principle of self-governance has been replaced with a permanent class of unelected experts: the regulatory bureaucracy otherwise known as the administrative state. Members of Claremont wish to see the right take control of all three branches of government for a generation, dissolve certain federal agencies — break up the C.I.A., get rid of the Department of Education, shrink the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission — and also stop, as Anton wrote in ‘Flight 93,’ the ‘ceaseless importation of Third World foreigners with no tradition of, taste for or experience in liberty.'” • Hmm. Ah well, The Democrats don’t have anything like Claremont, so they’ll have to make do with being the dominant faction in the press and the intelligence community….

Democrats en Déshabillé

I have moved my standing remarks on the Democrat Party (“the Democrat Party is a rotting corpse that can’t bury itself”) to a separate, back-dated post, to which I will periodically add material, summarizing the addition here in a “live” Water Cooler. (Hopefully, some Bourdieu.) It turns out that defining the Democrat Party is, in fact, a hard problem. I do think the paragraph that follows is on point all the way back to 2016, if not before:

The Democrat Party is the political expression of the class power of PMC, their base (lucidly explained by Thomas Frank in Listen, Liberal!). It follows that the Democrat Party is as “unreformable” as the PMC is unreformable; if the Democrat Party did not exist, the PMC would have to invent it. If the Democrat Party fails to govern, that’s because the PMC lacks the capability to govern. (“PMC” modulo “class expatriates,” of course.) Second, all the working parts of the Party reinforce each other. Leave aside characterizing the relationships between elements of the Party (ka-ching, but not entirely) those elements comprise a network — a Flex Net? An iron octagon? — of funders, vendors, apparatchiks, electeds, NGOs, and miscellaneous mercenaries, with assets in the press and the intelligence community.

Note, of course, that the class power of the PMC both expresses and is limited by other classes; oligarchs and American gentry (see ‘industrial model’ of Ferguson, Jorgensen, and Jie) and the working class spring to mind. Suck up, kick down.

* * *

Realignment and Legitimacy

Touches the heart:

“Forget civil war. Think ongoing yearslong insurgency” [The Editorial Board]. “On the one hand, future violence will be part of a pattern of regular though intermittent violence that has been with us for years. On the other hand, it won’t be a civil war, as such. It will be violence of the lone wolf variety that, again, has been with us for years. Takeaway: It’s not a civil war. It’s an insurgency – like wildcat terrorists planting roadside bombs to kill Iraqis and otherwise throw the Iraqi government into chaos. The Republican insurgency has been building for decades, first outside the party, then from the inside. It reacted and grew after Sept. 11. It reacted and grew after 2008. It reacted and grew after the Republican Party welcomed efforts by the Russian government to contribute to a long-term insurgent effort to ‘take our country back’ by sabotaging Trump’s campaign opponent. And by the time Trump called on them to attack, they had been standing back and standing by long before Trump asked them to.” • Clearly, we need a COIN operation on the right that works as well as NGOs do on the left.


Be careful to perform your personal risk assessment:

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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

Case count for the United States:

It’s almost as if the West and the South dance the same stately quadrille as Texas and Florida.

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. The previous count was ~107,500. Today, it’s ~ 108,700 and 108,700 * 6 = a Biden line at 652,200 per day. That’s rather a lot of cases per day, when you think about it. (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. At least we have confirmation that the extraordinary mass of case anecdotes we’ve seen have a basis in reality. However, I’m not seeing the volume of anecdotes I did on the Twitter. What are readers experiencing?

• ”Hundreds of Americans still dying of COVID each day despite signs the latest surge may be slowing” [ABC]. “The number of virus-positive Americans currently receiving care in hospitals across the country has plateaued at around 43,000 patients, according to data from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Throughout the summer, hospital admission rates had been rising in many areas of the country, particularly in the South. Hospitalizations, however, remain significantly lower now than during every other COVID-19 surge. There were more than 160,000 patients hospitalized with the virus during the surge last winter. Despite some positive advances, coronavirus-related deaths remain at a persistently high level.” • I wonder if a combination of “mild” messaging + no paid leave + horrific health care systen is keeping hospitalizations low; as opposed to the wilful ignorance of PMC types, I would bet workers, especially essential workers, know the risks but gut it out (since one’s “personal risk assessment” necessarily includes putting food on the table or not).

Regional case count for four weeks:

The South:

The South (minus Texas and Florida):

Encouraging on Georgia and North Carolina. Meanwhile, South Carolina found some cases in a drawer?

The West:

As a check on the California case data, here is San Diego wastewater as of August 2:

We can see that case counts tracked wastewater nicely starting back in Fenruary 2021. As of ~July 15, 2022, they diverged. Why? (The same is also true for Encina and South Bay, although the curves are shaped differently.) Do we have any California wastewater mavens who can track down whether the same is happening in other cities? (We need the case count vs. wastewater comparison, not just wastewater.) Is this an interesting catch, or just a glitch?

UPDATE To be fair, Santa Clara County covid figures are consistently down, much more in line with the case data. Ditto Los Angeles County (although CDC reports “no recent data” on its wastewater map; perhaps CDC is hooked up to this project from the California Department of Public Health, where there is no Los Angeles data charted after April 20 [bangs head on desk].) Neither have case data comparisons.


From the Walgreen’s test positivity tracker, August 9:

0.3%. (I wonder if there’s a Keynesian Beauty Contest effect, here; that is, if people encounter a sympotomatic person, whether in their social circle or in normal activity, they are more likely to get a test, because they believe, correctly, that it’s more likely they will be infected.) Starting to look like positivity has peaked, at least for Walgreen’s test population.


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.)

Some blue in flyover.

Rapid Riser data, by county (CDC), August 10:

I’m almost ready to say “All is quiet.” Boy howdy, does that feel weird. I suppose that if cases are indeed level, it’s likely there would be few rapid risers.

Previous Rapid Riser data:

Hospitalization data, by state (CDC), August 10:

Volatile. What’s up with the Northeast?


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 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].

Variant data, national (Walgreens), July 30:

NOT UPDATED Variant data, national (CDC), July 23 (Nowcast off):

BA.5 moving along nicely.


Wastewater data (CDC), August 6:

Red dots improved.

Lambert: I added grey. Grey, not on the legend at bottom right, is “No recent data.” How is there no recent data for New York City, a major international hub and already the epicenter of at least one surge? How is there none for upstate New York, which only recently was full of rapid-riser counties? The same with West Virginia, Michigan, and Oregon. If I were the paranoid sort, I’d theorize that CDC moved in on the only accurate data source we’ve got, in order to corrupt and destroy it.


Death rate (Our World in Data):

Total: 1,060,755 – 1,059,641 = 1114 (365 * 1114 = 406,610; the new normal. Fluctuates quite a bit, but even the low numbers are bad). I have added an anti-triumphalist black Fauci Line. It’s nice that for deaths I have a simple, daily chart that just keeps chugging along, unlike everything else CDC and the White House are screwing up or letting go dark, good job.

Stats Watch

Employment Situation: “United States Initial Jobless Claims” [Trading Economics]. “The number of Americans filing new claims for unemployment benefits rose by 14 thousand to 262,000 the week that ended August 6th, slightly less than market expectations of 263,000 but hitting the highest since November.”

Inflation: “United States Producer Price Inflation MoM” [Trading Economics]. “Producer prices in the US unexpectedly fell 0.5% month-over-month in July of 2022, following a downwardly revised 1% rise in June and beating market forecasts of a 0.2% increase. It is the first decline in the PPI in over two years, mostly due to a 16.7% drop in gasoline prices. Also, the cost of diesel fuel, gas fuels, oilseeds, iron and steel scrap, and grains moved lower.”

* * *

The Bezzle:

“Revered NFT artists.” BWA-HA-HA-HA-HA-HA!!!!!

* * *

Today’s Fear & Greed Index: 53 Neutral (previous close: 51 Neutral) [CNN]. One week ago: 47 (Neutral). (0 is Extreme Fear; 100 is Extreme Greed). Last updated Aug 11 at 1:03 PM EDT. Mr. Market crusing on Dark Brandon?

Zeitgeist Watch

“Love Spells: How to Conjure Love” [Teen Vogue]. Not happy with Teen Vogue here; this seems like product placement, but there’s no “Advertisement” note. That said: “Directions: “Take one tablespoon each of: coffee grounds, the shredded candle wax (you can use any color but I prefer pink because we are manifesting love), cornstarch, dried lavender, coriander, and raw sugar. Use a mortar and pestle to blend all of the ingredients together. Send a sweet text to your boo then place your phone in the center of a clean desk/space. Sprinkle the mixture you’ve created around your phone while burning a pink candle. Meditate on your desires, and will them to “come to you” or text back with a lovely message of love that eventually leads to something more. This spell is particularly important because good communication can help a relationship grow. If you want to get to know someone, you can decide whether or not you like them through the conversations you have.” • What’s interesting is the tag Teen Vogue files this under: “Identity.” Yeah, pretty much.

Black Injustice Tipping Point

It seems that irony is not a strong suit of textbook writers for Christian home-schooling:

Class Warfare

“With less than 1 week left before emergency arbitration board issues ruling, US train dispatchers vote near-unanimously to authorize strike action” [WSWS]. “It is doubly significant that train dispatchers have voted to authorize a strike. These workers are responsible for setting the schedules for conductors and engineers, but their own numbers have likewise been decimated in recent years. Railroaders report that individual dispatch offices are responsible for vast swaths of the country, putting them in impossible situations and leading to chaotic and irrational scheduling.”

“Do corporate tax cuts boost economic growth?” [European Economic Review]. From the Abstract: “The empirical literature on the impact of corporate taxes on economic growth reaches ambiguous conclusions: corporate tax cuts increase, reduce, or do not significantly affect growth. We apply meta-regression methods to a novel data set with 441 estimates from 42 primary studies. There is evidence for publication selectivity in favour of reporting growth-enhancing effects of corporate tax cuts. Correcting for this bias, we cannot reject the hypothesis of a zero effect of corporate taxes on growth. Several factors influence reported estimates, including researcher choices concerning the measurement of growth and corporate taxes, and controlling for other budgetary components.” • My word!

News of the Wired

“Geometric Analysis Reveals How Birds Mastered Flight” [Quanta]. “Evolution has created a far more complicated flying device than we have ever been able to engineer,” said Samik Bhattacharya, an assistant professor in the experimental fluid mechanics lab at the University of Central Florida…. most birds can morph their wings mid-flight to flip back and forth between flying smoothly like a passenger plane and flying acrobatically like a fighter jet. Their work makes it clear that birds can completely alter both the aerodynamic characteristics that govern how air moves over their wings and the inertial characteristics of their bodies that determine how they tumble through the air to complete fast maneuvers.” • And we think of dinosaurs as clumsy!

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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 SV:

SV writes: “Spectacular year for Figs here in the Ozarks. I’ve a dozen trees but nothing like this in 20 years. Winter must have been milder than originally thought.”

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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. Andrew Watts

        Can we throw a little shade on Frank these days? There doesn’t seem to be anything wrong with Kansas. Just that people would rather have real Republicans as opposed to diet Republicans-lite if they aren’t given an alternative.

        Especially if the abortion vote there is any indication.

          1. Michael Mck

            Sadly there is no quorum. The fewer voters the better as far as pols are concerned. They claim non-voters don’t vote because are happy with either choice.
            Vote 3rd party.

            1. LawnDart

              Disagree Michael, strongly.

              The duopoly has rigged the rules to make it impossible for a “third” party to get a foothold, to get on the ballot of all 50(+) states.

              Withhold consent from the process: don’t sit at the table of a dirty game.

          2. Andrew Watts

            Just because somebody is involved in politics doesn’t make them guilty of something. It doesn’t mean they’re innocent of anything either.

      2. Clark

        That struck me too. I’ve seen many videos of his book-signings and other talks after his “disinvitement” c. 2015, and he didn’t display his usual cheerful affability in this clip. All the same, I was glad (shocked!) to see him on CNN, and I attribute lack of cheerfulness to external forces.

      3. drumlin woodchuckles

        The CNN-video segment said to be of Thomas Frank is a black screen that says ” video is unavailable” etc. etc.

        Meanwhile, when I look up ” You Tube Thomas Frank” I get pages and pages of some digital business huckster who happens to be named ” Thomas Frank”.

        1. Yves Smith

          I do not take well to having to respond to your inability to read. You are already in moderation and you are acting like you want to be blacklisted.

          This is what it says:

          Video unavailable
          Playback on other websites has been disabled by the video owner
          Watch on YouTube

          The last line is a link, as you can see above. It takes you to the video at YouTube.

          Seriously, if you have that much difficulty with reading comprehension, you do no belong here. This site scores at post graduate reading level.

  1. hunkerdown

    Only a century of liberalism, NYT? What movement is Zerofsky actually talking about, here? Consumerist neoliberalism? Scientific management/PMC hegemony? The author’s work focuses on “illiberalism” and inequality, and her awards from the NGO class are numerous. She sounds of the church lady class with ambitions of small-time Hillary-type highness.

    In other news, Caitlin calls out the #KHive: “Why do KHive people all tweet like this? Is there some kind of training course?”

  2. Mildred Montana

    Lambert, you had a link in yesterday’s WC which went thus:

    The Real Dill: Powerful Texans Are Betting on Pickleball” [Texas Monthly]. Really shameless sucking up to billionaire sports investors. “[Klitch, another finance veteran turned pickleball godfather] said he can fit just about four pickleball courts in that same space [as a single tennis court] and that six people might show up per court. ‘If you’re trying to get people to eat and drink and hang around, do you want two people doing that or twenty-four people doing that?’ he said. ‘I like the numbers around pickleball.’

    I was surprised that no one commented on it because pickleball is big in my Canadian city—for all the wrong reasons. It has caused a minor skirmish between players and nearby residents who are complaining about the noise.

    Apparently those pickleball racquets and pickles—er, I mean balls— make quite the racquet—er, I mean racket—when thumping and being thumped back and forth respectively. According to the neighbors of these courts, way, way more than that of the comparatively quiet game of tennis.

    They are upset and City Hall is working on the problem. But, in the meantime, trust a billionaire sports investor (or any investor for that matter) to say: Externalities be damned! I want to make money!

    1. Lambert Strether Post author

      > Externalities be damned

      To be fair, the (rather chirpy) article does include this point. I was more interested in the pandemic (3Cs) angle.

      Have any other readers experienced this?

      1. woozel

        I have a Tennis/Pickleball court across the street from my place. Pickleball is definitely noisier but I can’t say that it’s particularly bothered me. It’s no louder than the basketball court next to it, and I like seeing people out enjoying the outdoors and being social.

      2. Duke of Prunes

        A group in my village wants to tear down our basic community pool and rec center and replace it with a multi-million dollar water park and pickle ball courts. It’s a small village, and I’m really concerned about there not being anyone competent enough to manage such a large project (not to mention that many of the surrounding communities have water parks so why do we need one too?) so we’ll get taken for a ride by the developer. What does pickle ball have to do with it? That’s the carrot this group has for the “older folks” who tend to vote down every other tax issue. I guess I’ll bring up the noise issues with pickle ball at the next forum.

        1. Joe Renter

          I am all in with the PB. It is a little loud. Not as bad as the leaf blower and chain saw I hear right at this moment. The sport is growing big time and sad to see the billionaires are getting into the action, but amerika.
          I now live in Las Vegas but spent 35 years in Seattle watching it grow. Only got involved during covid. I could write a lot more about the sport but here is a bumper sticker I saw, “Pickleball, making tennis courts great again”. In Vegas I counted 135 courts and heard through sources on another 70 in the works. Try it, you’ll like it.

          1. Duke of Prunes

            Oh, I’m not against pickleball one bit. If the proposal was to spend whatever reasonable amount on replacing some tennis court with pickleball courts, I’d be behind it 100%. Instead, they tied the reasonable ask (replace some tennis courts with pickleball courts) with a crazy multi-million $ boondoggle (replace the pool and rec center with a lazy river and water park).

            However, I see the pickleball leagues playing at my local tennis court so that seems to work OK, too. I’m told the tennis net is too high for pickleball, but I’m not excited about adding $100s of dollars/year to my property tax bill because of this (since to fix the net problem, I need to pay for a waterpark).

  3. IM Doc

    About the Trump raid…….

    As I have expressed before, unfortunately, it has become very common the past few years for my patients to express themselves politically in the office. This has never been the case in decades of practice until just recently. This is unsolicited from me, very uncomfortable for me – and goes completely unanswered by me. I have learned the last two years how to be a cipher in this awkwardness. I listen – but I do not engage.

    But it has also been a very interesting political gauge into the zeitgeist.

    I had previously believed that the Biden vaccine mandates would possibly be the biggest political blunder of my lifetime. That still may be so, but the events of this week are now coming in a very strong second and may overcome.

    I have had 2 “independent” patients coming in this week with their blood pressure so high that we needed to take action. Both of them enraged by what happened in FL. One MAGA person after the other even more enraged than before, which I thought not really possible. But it has been the Dem leaning patients that have been most interesting. Most of my patients are Dems as I am in a Dem area. But you would not be able to tell that by listening to them.

    “Doc, something is going on with these people. I am starting to get scared for my grandkids’ future. They are starting to act like a police state”

    From a Dem lawyer – “You simply do not conduct search warrants like that – it is absolutely out of place what they did and someone needs to be held to account. You do not go to this step without first going through the process of subpoena…..if all you are needing is documents. I thought it crazy to do this for documents, but apparently that is what this was about. Complete incompetence. And if they had actually found something, by now, they would be all over the news. I get the feeling there are boardrooms in the DOJ right now frantically trying to figure out how they are going to explain this fiasco to the public.”

    “I have been a Dem all my life – I am going to think long and hard before I vote for them again”

    “This looked like a Keystone Kop routine. Since when in America do the cops not have to hand over the search warrant to the lawyer or the defendant. This is all getting scary.”

    “When will they treat crack head Hunter Biden with the same thuggish tactics. Until then, these agencies will have zero credibility. But of course they spent most of the past 2 years lying that the Hunter issues were make-believe. They obviously are not.”

    All of the above and more has been quoted to me the past few days. Just like so much of the COVID experience, I believe these are very valid issues and not based in cray-cray. These are now issues because those in charge feel that it is beneath them to discuss issues with the public. So things are going unanswered – and of course in that vacuum all kinds of things get started. And the longer this is the case, the worse it will be for the Dems.

    Again, I am life-long Dem. They have become what my ancestors always warned me about – the party of the corporatists and the bankers. That used to be the GOP – that is no longer the case. I share many of the same concerns with my patients – and I will not vote for any Dem going forward until there is a serious change of course.

    1. griffen

      Welcome to our exceptional America in 2022. We’re on an express elevator going down.

      Attributing my quote above to the quotable science fiction film, Aliens. Fiction is becoming reality with these apparently obvious power grabs. As I thought about this yesterday, all this smoke needs time to clear just a little. Then again, Dark Brandon can go suck lemons.

    2. Carolinian

      It does seem as though Biden is a person with no judgment and no impulse control and no restraint offered by the largely Dem press corps. And that is scary given all the power at his fingertips.

      And he has hired all these mediocrities who are unlikely to challenge his already weak abilities. It was said in the past that the public preferred “divided government” with one party in the WH and another in the Congress and both too busy fighting each other to conspire at chipping away at what’s left of the welfare state. Personally I hope the Repubs do take the House and investigate the heck out of Hunter and his Dad. Biden is a disaster.

      1. Katniss Everdeen

        All due respect, C, but why are you on joe’s case? He didn’t even know anything about it. He was too busy achieving ZERO inflation. Let me say that again. ZERO.

        1. albrt

          I 100% believe Joe Biden did not know anything about the raid. Assuming you don’t count the 3 minute period between when the DOJ told him about it and when it vanished into Joe’s personal memory hole.

      2. JBird4049

        >>>I hope the Repubs do take the House and investigate the heck out of Hunter and his Dad. Biden is a disaster.

        When the Republicans do take back the House the response might be “Oh, my God! We won. What a disaster!” If they investigate the Bidens, I believe that it will become 1/6: Kabuki Too, The Movie. Coming to a theater (and streaming service) near you. Seriously, the Republicans are more ruthless than the Democrats, but like them, they still want to appear to be governing without any of the exposure that could rile up their voters, and worse the donors, risking their votes and their sweet, sweet bribes donations.

        It is like this with the various impeachments, investigations, hearing or perhaps abortion or to a lesser extent guns. Doing anything that succeeds in changing anything that cannot ignore means risk. Nah, they will probably deliberately flub whatever it is they do. If they do manage to succeed, well, it probably will burn them greatly because of overreach. The party is probably hoping to not get a supermajority that can override a presidential veto because they would have little excuse to not pass a nationwide abortion ban.

      3. jr

        “And he has hired all these mediocrities who are unlikely to challenge his already weak abilities”

        I’ve always wondered if that’s why Kackula Harris was picked over Stacy Abrams for Vice President. Abrams would have made Biden look even weaker and more demented, what with her use of complete sentences and refusal to shake hands with ghosts. But then, we would have lost Harris’s wisdom, like when she informed us she is the daughter, and grand daughter, of women. Er, uterus-utilizers, sorry.

      4. The Rev Kev

        Did Biden choose those mediocrities or were they pushed on him? Certainly he never wanted Kamala Harris as Veep because of the run-ins they had during the debate. And I doubt that he has much control over people like Jake Sullivan and Antony Blinken.

          1. notabanker

            Legit lol, and that is mainly because I was thinking the same thing. I can’t imagine Biden is making any decision of key importance. He is along for the ride. While they are totally politically biased, Aussie Sky News have absolutely crucified Biden on video. This guy has no business being in his position.

            It may be fine for the American voters and media, but Manchin does what he wants, the DOJ and FBI I guess do what they want, the Saudi’s basically gave him the finger, Russia is doing what it wants and now the Chinese are going to start showing how they can inflict pain on the US, because Nancy does what she wants. Pretty soon the German’s and the rest of Europe are going to have to make some hard decisions and $3000 a month heat is gonna make those very interesting.

        1. Carolinian

          I have no idea who is really in charge but if this administration does something that is petty, vindictive and foolish then that is definitely Biden’s M.O. He never seems to accept criticism and will blame any bad turn on Trump or maybe Putin. And while presidents often are figureheads nobody twisted Biden’s arm and made him run for a job he was clearly not up for. He even wants to run again or so pretends. Make it stop.

          We need a third party to give at least some relief from this TINA trap.

    3. John

      Seems to me that the majority of each party is now that of corporatists and bankers, which leaves no room to challenge the “received wisdom” at the ballot box. In all other respects Doc, I am in full agreement.

      1. Geo

        Agreed. On almost all troublesome issues, from corporatists and bankers, to war-profiteers, to idpol (just opposing sides of the identity battles), they seem to both be splashing around in the swamp.

        No good options out there. Was a third party supporter for years but systemic squashing of them mixed with their impotent dysfunction seems insurmountable.

    4. pjay

      It’s very telling that the Kevin Gannon tweet above citing the “business coup” against FDR equates the elite coup-plotters with *Trump*! These people are f***ing oblivious.

      I was a life-long Democrat until 2016. Even though I was pretty much through with electoral politics after that, at least at the national level, I was disgusted enough to drag myself down to the County Clerk’s office to change my registration to Independent.

    5. drumlin woodchuckles

      The Rs are still the party of the corporatists and the bankers. The Ds are now the other party of the corporatists and the bankers. So the corporatists and the bankers have both brand name parties now.

      The only way the Ds are going to change course is if a multi-decades long program from a lets-change-course-please part of the citizenry is able to purge and burn every and all traces of DLC-era personnel from every corner of the D party. Part of that might involve voting for anti-Clintonite primary challengers in every primary, and if the establishment D wins anyway, voting for the Republican in that election to assure the mainstream D loses. That would mean accepting the pain and destruction of R majority governance until the D Party has been totally declintaminated by defeating and removing every DLC-Clintonbama figure that reveals itself.

      For example, D-voters in Cuellar’s district down in Texas should vote for his R opponent to indicate that no Pelosi-form Cuellarite will ever be permitted to exist in that district ever again.

      1. Ben Joseph

        Fantasy of ground level change ‘from within’ still alive?
        Unlike Geo, I’m doubling down on ANY third party. Prefer green, but libertarian beats Beltway, even if it is a Frank Capra tragedy in the process. As long as they have you….. they have you.

    6. marym

      Re: concerns about warrant and subpoena

      Media reporting Trump received a subpoena for documents

      Trump and his lawyers have a copy of the warrant and the right to release it if he chooses.

      Today DOJ moved to unseal portions of the warrant

      1. IM Doc

        Yes – so nice of them to release this all two days later.

        As my lawyer patient said today – under no circumstances should they have refused to given the attorney or the defendant a copy of that search warrant at the moment it was asked. Indeed, from reports – the attorney at the scene was allowed to read it from 10 feet away.

        What a joke.

        This is all fun and games and political theater until they come knocking at your door.

        This is the grave concern that is on my mind and clearly on the mind of my patients. This will not be explained away by hand waves.

        I sat and watched with absolute disdain the Merrick Garland discussion today. I was with a group of Dem-leaning doctors. Every one of us in the room had our concern ratcheted up another notch. There were no substantive answers to the above issues – indeed – he appeared to me to be a bit too arrogant about the entire thing. Certainly nothing came forward that would put an end to this disaster.

        We were all sitting in the room lamenting that this is what has become of America. I miss the America of my youth.

        1. flora

          Thank you. This was a step too far, a big step too far. It looks like an attempt to outlaw the opposition. Not what I expect in the US. Alarming, really.
          I’ll be voting a different party this November, (not that the Dems care about my vote).

          1. flora

            An aside: Merrick Garland was nominated to the Supreme Court by O to fill Scalia’s vacant seat. Republicans in the Senate blocked his confirmation.

        2. hk

          While this was unfolding, I was thinking about all the different ways that Dems (and this is usually the Dems) seem to think that their abuse of the laws would not come back to hurt them, both domestically and abroad.

          During 1990s, Clinton White House came up with all sorts of excuses to get involved in former Yugoslavia and tried to create international legal theory around them–leading to, among other things, the creation of Kosovo and the war for its creations (which they intended), and of the Lugansk and Donbass People’s Republics and the war(s) for their creation and maintenance (which they obviously did not).

          When GWB became the president, I remember a lot of Democratic legal theorists coming up with many variants of the idea to hold up GOP judicial appointments in the Senate. FWIW, Dems did not go very far in this direction, but this came back right at them once Republicans gained control of the Senate.

          The Senate nuclear option. Everyone knows about that.

          There are political lines that you don’t cross by mutual understanding of what is and isn’t “proper” among serious players. If you come up with novel excuses to cross them, there’s no reason to believe that the other guys would do the same. If you play Calvinball, there’s no reason to expect that you’re the only Calvin.

        3. voteforno6

          What would you have them do instead? It sure seems like they wanted to keep this quiet, but it was Trump who blew it up publicly. Pretty much every possibility is being considered except the most obvious one – that maybe they’re really telling the truth about wanting to recover classified documents.

          If these documents are as sensitive as they’re hinting at, then the DOJ sending FBI agents to recover them makes a lot more sense. That’s what’s been done in other cases, when people have been suspected of being in the possession of classified information without proper authorization.

          I remember all the people screeching about Hillary Clinton having classified information on her private email server, and how she should be prosecuted for that. I’m guessing that many of those people are offended at Trump being given the same treatment.

          1. IM Doc

            I am sorry – how does one keep raiding one of America’s iconic buildings with 30 FBI agents quiet?

            How does one raid the residence of a former President while keeping it quiet?

            Why was there not a raid on Hillary Clinton’s residence when she was under suspicion of keeping classified documents on her server?

            Why was Obama allowed to have millions of documents in his private control?

            If the documents are as sensitive as they say, why are they not giving the American people any indication of what is exactly going on?

            How is it that Hunter Biden under the influence of narcotics has very sensitive information on his laptop about his father’s activity as vice-president and we sat on that for years?

            Again- hand waves are not going to work this time.

            This is simply either unbelievable arrogance – or supreme incompetence. Again, there is absolutely no one in my orbit who is not really concerned about this. If they have the goods, they should have released them immediately. Since they have not, I have to assume that they are stalling right now until they can figure out how to subvert the truth even further.

            They are playing around with the very foundation of this republic. I am sick and tired of it. If they have the goods, they need to release it right now.

            1. marym

              Obama documents were transferred to the NARA. I posted links in today’s and yesterday’s links.

              1. IM Doc

                And yes – here is a fact check from The Washington Post – about this very issue – a rather extensive document.


                The knee jerk reaction of anyone on the left is that anything and everything on Fox News is false. There was unfortunately a time in my life when I believed this as well. Those days are now over.

                I guess anytime The Washington Post or the New York Times or Media Matters or MSNBC takes the time to do this extensive a rebuke – I have come to realize they are actually trying to cover things up even more. And provide ammunition to give Twitter and Facebook cover to censor anyone asking appropriate questions.

                There was a point in my life when I really trusted these institutions with faith that they would at least be trying to do the right thing. Those days, after 2 years of COVID lies and 6 years of Russia Russia Russia, are long gone.

                It is really a very vexing situation when the major media outlets have become such lying scumbags that you have no idea who to believe anymore. In medical and COVID related issues, things I happen to know something about, when these outlets publish things “fact checks”, my friends and I can usually poke several holes in them in no time. I am not an expert in these Presidential issues, but I probably can assume the “fact-checks” in this regard are probably just as erroneous. When I see this level of protestation – I can almost always rest assured that there is some truth to what they are “fact-checking.”

                1. marym

                  I’m not an expert in anything but I try to be careful in checking and documenting the sources for my comments, so readers can factor in the reliability, or not, of the sources.

                  This WaPo story links to the same CNN article that I linked to in today’s Links, saying Obama’s records were transferred to NARA at the end of his administration. The 2017 announcement of Obama’s “digital” plans (link below) says “Instead of constructing a building to house the textual and artifact records, existing NARA facilities will house the original materials.” The Obama library website (link below) says “Barack Obama Presidential records are stored and preserved by the National Archives.” The NARA website in the link I provided yesterday says NARA “continues to retain legal and physical custody of the records and artifacts.”

                  The digitization didn’t happen, as referenced in yesterday’s NARA link. Everything about the Obama not-a-library is terrible, as an Illinoisan I don’t even want to think about it, and “Chicago” is a scary word in right wing media. I would say records held by NARA but un-digitized and thus inaccessible except through the FOIA process is a form of control. I agree that Obama should be considered accountable for that, but I wouldn’t equate it to records being in someone’s private residence/resort.


                  1. lambert strether

                    As usual, Democrats use layers of indirection to achieve what Republicans do directly.

                    Good info!

            2. voteforno6

              That’s a little hyperbolic. Garland said in his statement that they’ve moved to unseal the warrant and the property receipt. Assuming that gets approved by the judge, you’ll have your answers. But, I doubt that will satisfy you, since you’ve clearly made up your mind about this, regardless of your ignorance of the facts of the case, and the relevant laws and procedures regarding the handling of classified information.

              Playing around with the very foundation of the Republic? What does that even mean? Aren’t we supposed to welcome the equal application of the law to everyone, regardless of their station in life? Or, are you upset because it’s happening to someone who you like, or being done by someone you don’t like? Just because you think the federal government is being run by a bunch of bad guys, doesn’t mean that Trump is a good guy. It’s entirely possible that he’s broken the law.

              1. flora

                Equal application of the law is good. From Taibbi about another admin:

                Grandstanding by Eric Holder and Lanny Breuer — who set incredible standards for non-prosecution of serious crime — adds an extra layer of preposterousness to this story.


                Expand the embedded Gunnels tweet within Taibbi’s to see the full preposterousness.

                1. Late Introvert

                  I’m looking forward to all of it, equal application of the law to the Trumps AND the Bidens, and don’t stop there!

              2. Ben Joseph

                But, I doubt that will satisfy you, since you’ve clearly made up your mind about this,
                You are certainly discussing your own prejudices. Cute that you find ethical despair such an annoyance. IMdoc doesn’t like Trump. IMdoc dislikes authoritarian military shows of force for political ends. Like all decent folks.

        4. marym

          All I’ve read is that copy of the warrant and the inventory list of items is given to the person whose property was searched or their lawyer; and that the person has the right to release it whenever they choose, which Trump hasn’t chosen to do. I guess the 10 feet issue would have been at the start of the search, when the person or their lawyer has the right to read the warrant. I did a search for a reference. It seems to have been a quote from Eric Trump. He says there’s security footage so maybe we’ll find out more.

          The legal reasons for the search or the subpoena may well be as terrible as some of what Dems have said about Trump in other investigations. We don’t have that information though. I think the procedures for withholding that information from the public are mostly for the protection of the person potentially but not yet charged, but ianal.

          I don’t miss the FBI of my youth or any time before or since. I wonder what Trump thought of their behavior all those years.

          1. Yves Smith

            First, I have never in my entire life seen someone who was subjected to a search be told by the press he should have released it. This demand was everywhere, in the MSM, clearly not organic, clearly meant to discredit Trump.

            Second, as the press is now braying in fresh stories, the warrant was sealed. Trump could not release if if he wanted to. Garland has gone to the judge to get it unsealed.

            1. marym

              I understand unsealing would be done in court (Judicial Watch and I think other entities have filed motions to unseal, in addition to DOJ, and Trump can move to prevent it). I’m reading media commentary that says that Trump is free to release what he has – a copy of the warrant, but not the affidavit (where most of the detail is), and the inventory. It’s opinions of lawyers, though, not citation to a law. I should have documented that in my comment.

              1. Yves Smith

                This is 100% false. Please don’t make me waste time this way.

                This is under the section pursuant to criminal cases…

                (4) (a) Applications for search warrants, warrants, and similar orders issued pursuant to Federal Rule of Criminal Procedure 41. Applications for search warrants, warrants, and similar orders issued pursuant to Federal Rule of Criminal Procedure 41 upon application of the government for the acquisition of information or evidence in connection with a
                criminal investigation, and returns made pursuant to Fed. R. Crim. P. 41(f), will each be received by the Court under temporary seal.

                (4) (a) Applications for search warrants, warrants, and similar orders issued pursuant to Federal Rule of Criminal Procedure 41. Applications for search warrants, warrants, and similar orders issued pursuant to Federal Rule of Criminal Procedure 41 upon application of the government for the acquisition of information or evidence in connection with a
                criminal investigation, and returns made pursuant to Fed. R. Crim. P. 41(f), will each be received by the Court under temporary seal.


                The warrant is AUTOMATICALLY subject to a temporary seal for 14 days unless someone petitions to extend it and the court approves the motion.

                No one but the court can break a seal legally. Anyone who suggests Trump should do so is asking for him to be sanctioned by the court or worse.

                This is total Making Shit Up by the press, likely to try to goad Trump into misconduct.

        5. JBird4049

          I have not (yet) found much information on this, but it appears that with the lower classes, the police have a growing tendency to not provide a warrant at the time of a search. It appears with too many SWAT raids that are done for suspected drugs, suspected wanted, expired business licenses, overdue fines, past due utilities, and other serious crimes, the searched and/or arrested are not provided with the warrant unless they scream about it. Probably, there is almost always th is a warrant, but the police either do not bring it with them or they just do not bother to give it as apparently it is not that important to them to do so.

          To be fair, since the victims often have ruined doors, dead dogs, broken furniture, are in jail, or have other problems, it might not occur to them to look through the often shattered home, which is yet another problem especially as a copy would be on file.

          This is probably one of those things like when half of police homicides were not reported to the FBI, which people use to track crime statistics. IIRC, after Ferguson, newspapers like the Washington Post and the Guardian as well as some websites started to check and compile the list on their own. Some people are even going back through the decades, but it is hard work to dig through decades old archives. Most people would just assume that something is being done. This is a function of newspapers, right?

        1. ambrit

          And the CC list on all the internal DoJ and FBI correspondence leading up to the raid.
          Who knew what and when.

      2. Yves Smith

        Trump no doubt was fighting the subpoena as he has fought other requests for records, requests to appear, requests for depositions. It is highly unlikely a judge heard and ruled on whatever objections Trump raised in a month. Courts backed up generally and even more so now due to Covid-related staff shortages.

    7. Pelham

      Apparently a subpoena was issued and executed earlier, but Trump may not have delivered all the documents sought.

      That said, as a far-left guy I find myself roughly in the place of your Dem patients, in my case trying to decide which is the greater threat, the Dems/Deep State/media complex or Trump and his most fanatical followers.

      One curiosity: On Tucker Carlson last night they played a tape of a long series of cable and broadcast news anchors and pundits saying it was dangerously misleading to describe the Mar a Lago raid as a “raid.” For one thing, it appeared as if someone issued a script and shared it widely. For another, how could one not call it a raid? (Carlson does this frequently, playing clips that make it sound as if one daily marching order is issued across all media. It’s really spooky.)

      1. Yves Smith

        First, Trump being Trump, the odds highly favor he was fighting the subpoena. There is a time frame in which to do that. Google is not great on this (keeps giving me state, not Federal) but I think ten days. I can’t imagine a judge would have ruled by now and even so, if he was fighting it, Trump would have appealed if he lost.

        Recall that 90 days before elections issue? It looks like the FBI ran roughshod over the proper handling of the subpoena to get the “raid” in before then, if Trump was indeed fighting the subpoena.

        Now the news stories are saying Garland is asking the judge to have the warrant unsealed. This after the press making a stink as if Trump could/ should have released it, something I have never heard of before from the media. And as Lambert and I noted, the demand seemed unorganic, it was suddenly everywhere.

    8. LY

      I’m still waiting for Hunter Biden, Trump, etc. to get the same treatment someone of lesser socio-economic status gets. Seems like a lot of the anger was more over who, rather than how…

      Chappelle’s Show skit where they flip the treatment of two people being arrested

  4. Ranger Rick

    It struck me rather forcefully when I read that blurb about Liz Cheney “speaking Republican” — communication has broken down in the government to the extent that it is perceived that the political parties speak different languages.

    1. hunkerdown

      Not government, politics. They govern just fine when it comes time to do what they both agree on, which is capitalism. The political problem is the Christian-esque ritual where they try to persuade sinners to repent and consume confess their faith in the other party.

      Civil religions are reliably awful, and this one is especially cloying.

      1. jsn

        That’s a really important distinction. Our government is perfectly capable of governing as it chooses and what you see is what it has steadfastly chosen for the last 40 years or so.

        Our elected officials, on the other hand, have only a tangential relationship to the Government, they are the interference that prevents any accurate perception of the government from forming at a meaningful scale.

        Whenever any accurate vision starts to congeal, as happened around Sanders, the effectiveness of the electeds at the task of interference goes on full display.

  5. Dr. John Carpenter

    One could say Joe Biden’s 2020 run was also a failure of vision for the Democrat party, but that only works if you believe they want to do more than preserve the status quo. Joe was the candidate they forced through the primaries. He was their guy. If they’re having buyer’s remorse now, I don’t believe it.

    1. ThePodBayDoorsAreClosed

      I’d say the Biden candidacy was an absolute triumph of vision for the Democratic Party, a la the later years of Brezhnev. A doddering incoherent figurehead fool behind which the real powers can do whatever they like

  6. Mark Gisleson

    I’ve never figured out Don Samuels. Jamaican American and Pentecostal, locally he seems tied to education/school/family issues. Since his campaign began, I’ve been getting spam from him. What’s noteworthy about his spam is that he was targeting me as being conservative, and seemed to be working from a Republican/Libertarian list of which I was put on many after doing some outreach work for a Democratic campaign in ’16.

    If Republicans were viable in Minneapolis, I suspect Samuels would be a Black Republican. The map above strongly suggests affluent white and ADOS support. Omar is not a logical Representative for this CD. A lot of her white voters were (I think) doing the same thing many Trump voters did: they voted for whoever would most piss off the people in charge.

    I don’t think it’s PC to criticize Omar quite yet, but her base is weakening as it becomes clear she’s having no more real impact in Congress than any other junior member while having made powerful enemies back home.

    1. ambrit

      It might be enlightening to see the percentages for voter registration and actual voting broken down by socio-economic status in that district.
      Powerful enemies can be handled if one has some equally powerful friends.

      1. Michael Ismoe

        Had she lost, would Twitter stock have cratered?

        Maybe being a celebrity isn’t all it’s knocked up to be. I believe she is carrying a ton of personal baggage. And some really weird campaign expenditures on services her husband’s firm provided.

  7. John

    As an octogenarian, I feel free to ask the democratic party to retire Ms. Pelosi, Mr. Clyburn, and Mr Hoyer. Yes, they are old. But events say they are also ineffective and out of touch. If Ms. Pelosi does not see or will not acknowledge the harm her Taiwan stunt has caused, she has no business in the Speaker’s Chair. If Mr. Clyburn’s handing the baton to Mr. Biden (of the same age and experience cohort) in 2020, I hope her takes responsibility for his part of our current situation.

    I know that at 86 my view of the world is out of step with younger generations. That does not mean I am wrong or that they are wrong. It does mean that I need make every effort to understand and to communicate my understanding to those younger generations and to do so without condescension. I can hope they will reciprocate.

    I do not have any sense that Ms. Pelosi or Mr Clyburn feel the need to explain their positions. Perhaps I am incorrect or uninformed, but that is how I see it.

    The Democratic Party is a successful fundraising apparatus. It seems to have little sense of how to use the funds except in too-slick-by-half inside politics maneuvers. Maybe they should take a hard look at the manner in which John Fetterman is running for the Senate in Pennsylvania, or hark back to the last time the party ran a 50-state campaign, or made efforts to connect with people as people and not people as indistinguishable members of this or that group. The party also might disavow the “deplorables” tag placed on a great swath of the population even if to do so offends the person who made the statement.

    In sum, get younger and more vigorous, choose issues that matter to just plain folks, stop treating elective office as if your job was fundraising and running for re-election.

    1. Katniss Everdeen

      There’s old and then there’s old.

      Fun fact: Mick Jagger is 8 months younger than joe biden. Have you seen video of Jagger on the Rolling Stones current 60th Anniversary Tour?

      biden, pelosi and clyburn are what happens when a person is more “useful” the more worthless and corrupt s/he is.

    2. notabanker

      Their job is fundraising and running for re-election. Governing has been outsourced to oligarchs and corporations. And I am not being sarcastic or flippant here. Legislation is literally written by lobbyist hired by industry to do the first drafts which are then reviewed and “commented on” by the industry. I’ve seen it happen first hand.

      What Sinema just did for the PE’s is awesome for them. It’s not that they just dodged a big tax increase, it is that they are the only one’s the dodged it, which is going to drive more industry towards them. Does anyone think she actually came up with that on her own?

  8. Samuel Conner

    re: A student exercise on American slavery from Doug Wilson’s classical Christian curriculum,

    One wonders if they will eventually get to polygyny — it seems to be well-attested in the ancient holy writings, at least as well as various forms of slavery. For an assignment: “Imagine you are concubine in King David’s harem. Write a letter home to your parents …”

    1. The Rev Kev

      I can only imagine that the people who wrote that exercise thought of slavery as being like working on a Kibbutz. Do they seriously imagine that Master would just take such a letter to the local post office without reading it first and censoring it? Taking a line from a movie-

      Visitor to attractive slave: ‘What time do you get off?’

      Slave to visitor: ‘Uhhh, I don’t. I’m a slave.’

      Visitor: ‘Oh yeah, right.’

    2. Yves Smith

      I learned about propaganda very early.

      My mother briefly taught state history in the South Carolina schools.

      I used her textbook as show and tell when I was seven, in a Boston suburb. Specifically, the passage that described how the Northerners came in and destroyed all the “fellow feeling” with the “darkies”. More along those lines.

      1. mistah charley, ph.d.

        I learned Virginia history in fourth grade while in the DC suburbs – 1956-7 – the textbook was slavery-apologetic, although not quite pro-slavery. Later, while in high school, living in Virginia again in the early 1960s, this time I had a very nice older widowed lady who lived next door explain to me that “our local Negroes were happy” – the trouble was stirred up by outside agitators.

        I didn’t contradict her, but I didn’t believe it for a minute.

      2. Late Introvert

        I was shunned in 4th grade after my book report about slavery won an award from a local Jewish organization and was reported in the Des Moines Register. I used some flowery language for a young white nerdy sort, and my family, friends, and neighbors were not pleased.

        In the 70s.

  9. jr

    Wow, real masterpiece of the imagination that NFT from the “revered artists”. I’m assuming the landscape was created, not photographed, and if so that’s impressive. But what is with the cartoony red dot for a sun? There’s probably some clumsily conceived meaning behind the contrast in quality between the two components. I’m sure there is someone with dyed hair who could explain it to me.

  10. Tom Stone

    I live in Sebastopol California, one of the bluest towns in a blue state.
    I have spoken to near a dozen friends and neighbors about the raid on Mar A Lago Two told me there MUST BE something really awful that the Feebs knew about or they would not have done something so provocative.
    One old friend (35 years) had been an old fashioned moderate Republican until Trump came along, he voted for Biden because he was convinced that JRB would put the Country back on track.
    He was almost in tears.
    None of the people I spoke to are MAGA types,other than the two who insist that there MUST BE a good and sufficient reason for the Raid they are appalled.
    And those two are seriously worried.
    “The USA IS NOT A BANANA REPUBLIC” is how several of them put it.
    One of them actually told me that he finally understood why I was such a strong supporter of the 2nd Amendment.
    That remark left me speechless for several moments due to who it came from.
    IMO we are one stupid move from chaos, a real no fooling insurrection.
    Which scares the crap out of me.
    I also wonder how this is going over in the EU, I’d bet quite a few of their leaders either tossed their cookies or needed to change their pants when the news came out.
    KNOWING beyond any doubt that the elites you hitched your Country’s wagon to are reckless and stupid to the point of insanity cannot be comforting.

    1. Lee

      It’s as if the Dem establishment are so hyper focused on Trump the individual that they are, at their great peril, ignoring the 74 million that voted for him and that some of their grievances and concerns are valid.

  11. Mark Gisleson

    Teen Vogue seems perplexed as to why Democratic leaders cling to power so long after their expiration date.

    I don’t think Teen Vogue understands how long Pelosi and Biden waited for their turn. The Greatest and Silent generations chose to die in office rather than retire. The Boomer neolibz now in charge were mentored by power mad geriatrics and they’re behaving accordingly.

    1. albrt

      Pelosi and Biden are silent generation, born before the end of WW2. They are still hanging on.

      I remember when Clinton was elected there was a lot of talk about how the silent generation was skipped over – power transferred directly from a WW2 vet to a boomer. The silent generation are now getting their revenge.

      1. Yves Smith

        The Silent Generation is not and was never a voting block. Please don’t flog these bogus marketing memes. The only thing they are good for is what music you might like.

  12. pjay

    “…The conversation unfolded ‘as a sort of Socratic dialogue between the commander in chief and a select group of scholars, who painted the current moment as among the most perilous in modern history for democratic governance,’ the Post reports…”

    Well, they are not wrong. But I have a feeling I’d disagree with them on why.

    Definitely not the groups of “scholars” I would have chosen either. Court “historians;” keepers of the Establishment Flame. I used to have great respect for Wilentz’s work. Then he went full-on Kool-aid about Trump. As for Applebaum… I won’t even start; I couldn’t contain myself.

    1. DJG, Reality Czar

      pjay: The most telling expression indicating the deterioration of the Republic and of the democratic (small d) mindset is “commander in chief.”

      To repeat the quote:
      The conversation unfolded ‘as a sort of Socratic dialogue between the commander in chief and a select group of scholars, who painted the current moment as among the most perilous in modern history for democratic governance,’ the Post reports.

      Civilians don’t have a commander in chief. The militarization of U.S. life is just one more symptom of decline.

      And then there’s this chestnut in the underlying article from one Ian Bremmer, an intellectual specialized in cluelessness:
      “They really wanted outside-the-box thinking of, is there any way that this war, which will be horrible for everyone involved, can be stopped? Can we stop it? How can we stop it?” Bremmer said.

      They wanted a proxy war in Ukraine for years, and suddenly, they wanted Bremmer’s advice on a war that they had persuaded themselves that the Ukrainians would win with their superior ground forces plus a campaign of Zelenskyy on the cover of Vogue. Out-of-the-box thinking? Well, there were the Minsk agreements, undermined by the U S of A.

      And in this whackadoo galaxy emerged the unstoppable force for corruption that is “Speaker” Pelosi…

  13. Tom Stone

    I went outside and pulled weeds for a few minutes to calm down, and in hopes I could think of something that might make this extremely scary situation even a little bit better.
    It worked.
    I’ll be sending Joe a small bag of marbles and a note that says “Dear Joe,since you have clearly lost all of your marbles I’m sending you some.
    I hope it’s enough, sincerely yours, Tom Stone”

    1. The Rev Kev

      Maybe the next time something like this stunt happens – and it will – you can go around to your friends and start handing out bunches of bananas. Tell ’em that it has been a good crop this year.

    2. griffen

      I too went outside for a brief bit this afternoon, this area has received a pretty steady dose of afternoon storms and we aren’t even in Central FL!

      I saw a unicorn with a basket of puppies, and then Dark Brandon appeared like a vision and my worries and cares were vanquished. High inflation is so June 2022 after all.

      1. ambrit

        Wizzard! We got a unicorn with a basket of puppies too! How awesome is that? We accepted the gift and then bar-b-cued the puppies with a killer Jamaican Rainbow Jerk sauce. Yum, yum! Now we understand why everyone of any importance is so enthralled by unicorns of all types. It’s simply delicious!
        I think there is a video on how to prepare the puppies on the Dark Brandon Cooking Channel.

          1. ambrit

            As my one time Chinese Texican roommate put it; “Why do you think we named those dogs Chow?”
            Ever wonder what is in Chow mein?

  14. Anon

    Lambert, you might want to sit down for this one:

    New CDC Guidance

    With the coronavirus continuing to spread widely throughout the country, Americans are getting new advice from federal health officials on how to live with the virus.

    The revised guidance – released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Thursday – lifts the requirement to quarantine if exposed to the virus, deemphasizes screening people with no symptoms and updates COVID-19 protocols in schools, eliminating a recommendation for test-to-stay after potential exposure.

    “This guidance acknowledges that the pandemic is not over, but also helps us move to a point where COVID-19 no longer severely disrupts our daily lives,” the CDC’s Greta Massetti said in a statement. “We know that COVID 19 is here to stay,” she added in comments during a briefing with reporters.

    The update isn’t necessarily a huge overhaul of the existing guidance, but it does represent an increasing focus on individuals making their own decisions about their level of risk and how they want to mitigate that risk, said Dr. Marcus Plescia, chief medical officer for the Association of State and Territorial Health Officials.

    “That is consistent with where we are in the pandemic right now,” he said. “I don’t really think there are many state or local jurisdictions that are feeling they’re going to need to start making mandates.”

    It also brings the recommendations for unvaccinated people in line with people who are fully vaccinated – an acknowledgment of the high levels of population immunity in the U.S., due to vaccination, past COVID-19 infections or both. “Based on the latest … data, it’s around 95% of the population,” Massetti said, “And so it really makes the most sense to not differentiate,” since many people have some protection against severe disease.

    1. ambrit

      “…since many people have some protection against severe disease.”
      Oh good heavens! Now the CDC has put sand in the Butthurt Lube.

    1. anon in so cal

      Just saw that article.

      “CDC: Schools Can End COVID-19 Test-to-Stay Strategy, Quarantines

      Students no longer need to quarantine at home after exposure to COVID-19, according to updated guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that comes as many prepare to head back to school for the fall.”

      LAUSD is slated to start the new school year this Monday August 15. Cases are still high in Los Angeles County. Masks will not be required. Seems insane.

      (BTW, off topic, but the LAUSD school year calendar was changed a few years ago by some folks who seem unfamiliar with Los Angeles weather. Per the new calendar, school ends early mid-June and the new year starts in mid-August. The rationale provided then was that June is a hot month and it makes more sense for students not to be in school then, as this requires more a/c etc. Well, June is typically a cooler summer month in LA county. There is even an expression, “June weather,” to refer to the overcast conditions and inversion layer that lingers sometimes until 3 pm, when the first glimmer of sun shines through. In contrast, August and Septermber are typically warm/hot)

      1. Tom Stone

        BTW the LAUSD has their own Police Department and that police department has several armored vehicles.
        Only in America.

  15. ChrisPacific

    I think it’s kind of sad that sailing is a class marker in the US. I learned to sail in a club consisting of mostly unionized workers and a scattering of managers from the local mill. The members built their own clubhouse, which had a shed for the tractor, rescue boat and buoys but no electricity or running water (an outbuilding with pit toilets took care of sanitary needs, and you washed off in the lake). The boats were not floating palaces but dinghies that could be bought for a thousand bucks, loaded onto a trailer, and towed down the long and dusty dirt road to the clubhouse. Competition was fierce and many of the top racers went on to compete in (and sometimes win) national championships.

    Sailing is a wonderful sport that connects you to nature in a way that’s hard to match (even big boat sailing, although it lacks some of the immediacy of dinghy sailing). Everybody should have the opportunity to enjoy it. I realize it’s far down the list of US problems at the moment, but it strikes me a symptom of the overall issue (one of many, perhaps).

    1. Joe Renter

      Nice story Chris. There is something special about sailing. Racing with cat boats are fun too. When you go in scale the fun starts to dimmish IMO. But just to feel the wind on your face and experience the water, with the land seeming to look quite different from a boat. I was quite lucky that one of my high school teachers took us students out on her boat and taught us to sail her gaffe rig cruiser. My best friend worked for one of the first ultra-light sailboat builders in CA, Bill Lee who win the trans-pac in the Merlin. This was 1977. We had good times on the 27ft shop boat (Santa Cruz 27). The boat had no engine at all, so you had to dock using only the wind. I had another buddy who dropped out of high school and sailed all around the Hawaiian Islands. He came back sailing from the Islands to Northern CA on a gaff rig boat. Which is challenging since you cannot point up wind that well. They were on the water for 45 days, being blown off course. Food was rationed. One of the crew members was caught stealing food. He was lashed to the mast for a period of time.
      I have a fantasy of buying a laser and sailing for the last years before checking out.

      1. ChrisPacific

        Hah – I’m definitely with you on that one, although the Hawaiian islands story sounds a little outside my comfort zone.

        My most memorable sailing experience was probably sailing up from Nova Scotia across to Newfoundland and along the southern coast as crew on a Shannon 38. We got very good at finding a mooring in a fog. The trip across to Newfoundland is probably the closest I have come to blue water sailing. I remember dense fog, running under steam the whole way since there was practically no wind, and huge shapes passing us on the radar (it’s a major ferry route). We could never see them because of the fog, but we heard their horns sometimes. At least one of them changed course to avoid us – we were very glad of our radar reflector.

    2. Yves Smith

      In New Zealand, sailing is not at all tony. Many people sail. An indirect proof is the number of Kiwis who crew in the big sailing competitions.

  16. Nikkikat

    I also thought the worst thing I have ever seen was the vaccine mandate. I really do not remember ever being so upset. Now however it’s been replaced by Ukraine. The level of propaganda and lies. The European Union now willing to let people freeze so they can follow the US down the rat hole. Relentlessly, poking at China looking for another war.
    These people seem completely insane that are running things both here and in the EU.
    So now it’s a search for documents at Trumps house. What I notice is that from Russia gate, to proxy war in Ukraine to the January 6 commitee. It’s all the war mongers types. Which brings me to Jake Sullivan, Vickie Nuland and Blinken. Voting for Old Joe must have put them in charge and they must still be really ticked that they didn’t get orange man to confess to being in with Putin.

    1. Tvc15

      > The level of propaganda and lies.

      Reminded me of an article on Vitamin D I immediately stopped reading after this paragraph.

      “The supplement took on new life last year, when people started taking vitamin D pills as a preventative measure against Covid. Today, medical experts generally agree: Vitamin D doesn’t prevent you from getting the virus. And while scientists are still trying to determine if it can lessen the severity of infections, due to its immune-bolstering benefits, it’s certainly no replacement for getting vaccinated.”

      My wife and I have been taking a Covid prophylactic cocktail that includes D since Feb 2020. We never thought for a second that it prevented Covid but did think that it may reduce the severity of the symptoms like a July article from The Israel Medical Association Journal (IMAJ) posits.

      “The probability of death was found to be higher by as much as 50% in COVID patients with severe vitamin D deficiency, while this probability fell to 5% in patients with good levels of the vitamin.”

      Don’t forget the obligatory, get vaccinated line. It feels like another coordinated propaganda effort to discredit vitamin D as a Covid remedy brought to us by the usual suspects.

      1. Checky Chubber

        Getting a decent level of active hydroxyvitamin D in the blood is not just a matter of chugging loads of vitamin pills. Some people, for various reasons of ill health, have trouble absorbing vitamin D, no matter how much they ingest. Those are the ones who are dying of COVID. Their vitamin D deficiency is a marker of some other disease which made them more vulnerable to the virus.

  17. antidlc

    Bernie and Jha doing a live Q+A on COVID:


    I had to stop watching.

    Jha said we may just have to get vaccinated a couple of times per year for the next couple of years.

    Also said Biden took Paxlovid and it is an effective treatment.

    I couldn’t watch anymore.

    1. Arizona Slim

      I’ll betcha money that all the questions about Iver[censored!] and early treat[censored!] never got past the moderators.

      1. antidlc

        “Also said Biden took Paxlovid and it is an effective treatment.”

        Does he know how ridiculous that statement is?

            1. rowlf

              Wow. How can we Santorumize Another fine product from ACME Industries! to Pfizer/Moderna? What a guerrilla campaign that would be. Too bad Google bombing doesn’t work anymore.

              1. ambrit

                A cartoon of Wile E Coyote dressed up in medico white doing a spiel for Paxlovid? With a two or three minute banner crawl at the bottom of the screen with Paxlovid ‘side effects?’ The last ‘side effect’ can be, “Sudden Death from: and a list of dozens of maladies.”

  18. lyman alpha blob

    RE: the ongoing yearslong insurgency

    Anyone still quoting “stand back and stand by”, which was an off the cuff remark to an unexpected question, and trying to make it seem like some sort of official MAGA mantra used to signal the Donald’s white supremacist minions is not a serious person, and one who is blind to who actually holds the power in this country and what they are doing to keep it.

  19. The Rev Kev

    Re the Mar-a-Lago tweet. The Wikipedia entry on this place is interesting and before Trump bought it, was a money drain so bad that there was approval to have the place torn down and replaced with smaller homes. And then Trump appeared on the scene. How he got possession of this place is a story in itself-


  20. The Rev Kev

    Reuters being unexpectedly honest in their headlines-

    ‘Ukraine preparing for ‘tragedy’ at Russian-held nuclear plant – minister’

  21. Mikel

    Now on various news outlets. But:
    https://www.barrons.com/articles/cdc-covid-19-pandemic-guidelines-51660253842/The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released an update to its coronavirus guidelines Thursday afternoon, relaxing recommendations for those exposed to the virus and around screen-testing asymptomatic individuals.

    The agency said those exposed to COVID-19 could wear a “high-quality mask” for 10 days when around others in indoor, public settings and test on day five after exposure—instead of entering quarantine. For most communities, it also no longer recommends screening testing of people without any symptoms or known exposures….”

    Then they talk about the BS shots. And pills that cause Covid relapse, and other assorted trash.

    “This guidance acknowledges that the pandemic is not over, but also helps us move to a point where COVID-19 no longer severely disrupts our daily lives,” she added.

    Yeah, some people just want to watch the world burn…

    1. SocalJimObjects

      They should take some notes from the Indonesian authorities. No booster, no international flight for you!!!

      Wait, the vaccine does not prevent the spread of the virus?? Some people have not gotten the memo it seems.

  22. hunkerdown

    From the Twitter sidebar earlier this afternoon:

    US elections · This afternoon
    Experts and authorities confirm US elections are safe and reliable

    For whom?

  23. mistah charley, ph.d.

    With regard to Hunter Biden’s laptop, my local library has available for online borrowing this eBook:

    Laptop from Hell

    Miranda Devine

    Published Liberatio, 2021.

    As seen on Tucker Carlson Tonight! USA Today and Wall Street Journal Bestseller! The inside story of the laptop that exposed the president’s dirtiest secret.When a drug-addled Hunter Biden abandoned his waterlogged computer at a Mac repair shop in Delaware in the spring of 2019, just six days before his father announced his candidacy for the United States presidency, it became the ticking time bomb in the shadows of Joe Biden’s campaign. The dirty secrets contained in Hunter’s laptop almost derailed his father’s presidential campaign and ignited one of the greatest media coverups in American history. This is the unvarnished story of what’s really inside the laptop and what China knows about the Bidens, by the New York Post journalist who brought it into the open. It exposes the coordinated censorship operation by Big Tech, the media establishment, and former intelligence operatives to stifle the New York Post’s coverage, in a chilling exercise of raw political power three weeks before the 2020 election. A treasure trove of corporate documents, emails, text messages, photographs, and voice recordings, spanning a decade, the laptop provided the first evidence that President Joe Biden was involved in his son’s ventures in China, Ukraine, and beyond, despite his repeated denials. This intimate insight into Hunter’s dissolute lifestyle shows he was incapable of holding down a job, let alone being paid tens of millions of dollars in high-powered international business deals by foreign interests, unless he had something else of value to sell—which of course he did. He was the son of the vice president who would go on to become the leader of the free world.

    Amazon is selling hardback and Kindle editions.

    I’ve seen enough about the laptop at the Daily Mail to be convinced that the brief description is approximately correct – I don’t want to bother to read the book.

    There’s a joke sometimes expressed as an inquiry about one’s spouse, but which is adaptable to other topic areas:

    Q. How’s your ruling class?
    A. Compared to what?

    1. griffen

      Hunter Biden has certainly got the chops to portray a villainous scion of a powerful mob connected family. Much like the careless son in the initial John Wick film, come to think of it. Kicked the hornet’s nest but hey that was a nice Mustang. Back to Hunter, for everything that we the people and unwashed masses seemingly have on his life and these sordid details there is this lingering question. Does any of this rise to the acceptable level for criminal prosecution and if not now when exactly.?

      Maybe in a future world we get the streaming version available on Netflix.

  24. Tom Stone

    I’m cherry picking (There are a lot more examples), but here are three actions recently taken by the Biden administration that are objectively insane.
    Shelling a Nuclear power plant.
    The new CDC guidance on Covid.
    The raid on Mar A Lago.
    It took me a few years to internalize the truth that when some person or persons act in a manner that is insanely reckless, they are in fact insane.
    It took a while because many of those people hold positions of authority, look good and speak an educated form of American english.
    And I still occasionally find myself thinking that NO ONE could possibly be THAT stupid when the evidence has repeatedly shown that there is no limit to human stupidity.
    Remember when we had to elect Biden because he was a responsible adult,unlike that loose cannon Trump who might start WW3 out of sheer stupidity or spite?
    If we manage to avoid a nuclear holocaust the next year or two are going to be very interesting indeed.
    For the survivors.

    1. Mikel

      I don’t give a shit about the system they are trying to preserve.
      Not giving a shit works both ways.
      And they will see…

    2. Jason Boxman

      Indeed, insane is a word I reach for periodically when describing our elite now. I usually preface with profanity.

    3. griffen

      You’ve left on the table, about his stunning lack of awareness on how financial markets, supply and demand and the hypothetically capitalist system in place even functions. Exxon made more money than God, didn’t you know? But it’s ok if Apple has a Market Cap in the Trillions. After all these years in Washington, what has he learned about economics 101 ? Apparently zilch, as in nada.

      I submit the candor of the below for the satirical take of the week. If that is possible. In all honesty they have some real zingers this week.


  25. VietnamVet

    The current deaths with COVID in America are plateaued at roughly 1,114 per day or 496,610 excess deaths per year (see Death Rate graph above). In 2020, there were 91,799 drug overdose deaths in the USA. These numbers are perfectly acceptable to America’s rulers. As the Washington Post wrote “The updated guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention puts more of the responsibility for limiting viral spread on individuals, rather than on schools, businesses and other institutions”. One must isolate themselves, home teach the kids, roll the dice in public to earn enough money for food and shelter, and binge on drugs, tech, transportation,religion, and/or media to avoid reality, until it is all over, way too soon.

    The historians who visited the White House are out of date. Democracy, government by and for the people, is gone. The West is a NYC/London financial Empire riven by feudal corporate/state fiefdoms; military, intelligence, communications, pharmaceuticals – healthcare, fossil fuel, technology, agriculture, insurance, and housing. The USA sent $7 billion dollars to Ukraine. Trillions of dollars were wasted on the Global War on Terror (GWOT). Unless an armistice is signed soon, the fact that Europe has no defense against a Russian invasion except the use of tactical nuclear weapons by NATO will become too evident as Europe descends into a frozen depression. Who gets the cut from the oil stolen from Syria? All of this wealth is skimmed by war profiteers.

  26. Acacia

    Latest fallout from the assassination of Abe Shinzo in Japan…

    Current PM Kishida called for a reshuffle of his Cabinet, to get rid of members with ties to the Unification Church. This attempt to clean up the image of the Cabinet pranged, tho, when it turned out that three of the new members also had… d’oh! … ties to the Unification Church.


  27. Pat

    I am disappointed that I do not see the same level of rejection for the “official” but deeply flawed or outright erroneous narrative regarding Covid and now Monkeypox and our foreign/military actions in Ukraine and Taiwan that is occurring for the Trump prosecutions. I am sure I could come up with some explanations, but what I am seeing is that this is not working the way those behind it expected.
    In truth, about the only place it is going as expected is the public’s passive acceptance of totally nonsensical policies about infectious diseases. Ukraine may be going as expected for the public, but Russia having unexpected tools has both extended this AND is providing a clear counter narrative that is beginning to take down European leadership and they fear it will be before their socialist safety nets have been entirely destroyed. Here no one is signing up to fight and most are just ignoring it at least until it costs too much.
    But the “search warrant” was and is both a sign of desperation and such a massive overreach that the visceral reaction has not even remotely been what our overlords intended. My eaves dropping in deep blue NYC has found a range of amusement to astonishment that Trump got the ghetto treatment to outrage. What I haven’t heard much of is approval and belief that the system is working. The belief in Saint Mueller might have been based on smoke and mirrors but those that if you listened they were still thinking it was the system working.

    I don’t know what will come of this, but imo this was a massive miscalculation both politically for the midterms, but also long term destruction of institutional trust. It may be an ongoing project but considering how well most of their strategies have turned out, it won’t be good.

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