2:00PM Water Cooler 8/16/2022

By Lambert Strether of Corrente

Bird Song of the Day

Western Chat-Tanager, Pueblo Viejo, Dominican Republic

* * *


“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

Biden Administration

“Joe Biden’s Best Week Ever” [New York Magazine]. “The situation has changed with astonishing speed. Biden has salvaged his domestic-policy agenda, his party’s base has snapped out of its torpor, and the economy is showing signs it just might pull through. And while not all these developments are his own doing, nor do they completely extinguish the political danger he faces, they all redound to his benefit. In the span of a few weeks, Biden’s presidency is back from the dead and looking something close to triumphant. The event that triggered the turnaround was the decision by five Republican Supreme Court justices to overturn Roe v. Wade. In so doing, the Court’s right wing disregarded the advice of its more cautious chief justice, John Roberts, who reportedly tried in vain to steer his colleagues toward an incrementalist strategy that would avoid a backlash. Roberts’s fears have been vindicated. One reason midterm elections almost always punish the president’s party is that the public has an instinct to curtail the powers of those in power. The Dobbs decision inverted that calculation, creating a context in which Republicans were responsible for dramatic social change and Democrats could stand for the restoration of the status quo.” • Maybe. We’ll see how the Capitol Seizure, Mar-a-Lago Raid, and Ukraine — remember Ukraine? — play out along with abortion.

“Scoop: White House to circulate Afghanistan memo defending U.S. withdrawal” [Axios]. • Biden asked for my vote with his Afghanstan withdrawal. Then he squandered it with Ukraine. Ah well, nevertheless….

“First lady Dr. Jill Biden tests positive for Covid-19” [CNN]. • Well, the Bidens mask at best inconsistently. Further, I have not seen any information on ventilation in the White House, particularly HEPA filters (though again, and again, inviting Corsi and Rosenthal in to construct one of their boxes, hopefully on national television, would do wonders for good ventilation. One can only wonder why the Administration doesn’t do this).

“The Untold History of the Biden Family” [The New Yorker]. • This is terribly sad, and helps explain not just Joe Biden, Junior, but Hunter. It’s like A.A. on the scale of the Oresteia, over several generations, with multiple families. Well worth a read.


* * *

PA: “Fetterman Reboots US Senate Campaign After Stroke-Induced Hiatus” [Bloomberg]. “Fetterman walked on stage Friday to a rousing applause from about 1,350 supporters, jam-packed in an Erie exhibition center as “Back in Black” by rock group AC/DC blared through speakers. The Pennsylvania lieutenant governor had been sidelined for three months after suffering a stroke in mid-May. Wearing his trademark black hoodie, sleeves rolled up to reveal his tattooed forearms, Fetterman spoke more softly and deliberately than he did during the primary, occasionally slurring words during a brief 12-minute address. ‘I’m just so grateful and so lucky,’ Fetterman said. ‘Three months ago, I may not have made it. But now I’m standing right here in Erie. You are going to deliver for us, and I will deliver Pennsylvania for us, and I will clear the 51st vote in the Senate.’ Fetterman’s rally came just days before Monday’s deadline for a candidate to drop out of the race and his party to replace him on the ballot. The event marked a public rebooting of a campaign that was largely limited to Fetterman’s home — leading Oz to mock him with a daily ‘basement tracker’ that ended Thursday after 91 days. ‘Wait, am I in Erie?’ Fetterman said as he took the stage with his wife Gisele by his side. ‘Or have I got 1,400 people in my basement?'”

PA: Point:

PA: Counterpoint:

One mortal lock from the PA primary: Fetterman’s social media team will be able to name their own price. (I think the main function of their brilliant work has been to keep the Beltway press occupied, so they haven’t gone into “pull the wings off flies” mode while Fetterman recovered. But that’s not at all neglible.)

WY: “From Cheney friend to foe, Harriet Hageman takes command of Wyoming race animated by Trump” [Politics]. “‘I know Wyoming. I love Wyoming. I am Wyoming,’ Hageman tells audiences as she travels across her state, entering the closing days of a bitter Republican duel in one of the highest-profile congressional races in the country. ‘I am going to reclaim Wyoming’s lone congressional seat from that Virginian who currently holds it,’ Hageman likes to say, casting aside the Cheney family’s deep roots in the state and suggesting the three-term congresswoman is more at home in the Washington suburbs. These days, signs of trouble for Cheney are easy to spot here in Wyoming. Hageman holds a commanding lead in the final weekend of a primary election that stands as yet another reminder of the Republican Party’s evolution in the era of Donald Trump.

A University of Wyoming poll released this week found that Cheney is trailing Hageman by 29 points. Yet one question looming over the Republican primary is how many Democrats and independents will switch parties and vote for Cheney, which even her supporters acknowledge is her only chance to stay competitive. ‘If it’s a big Republican vote, there aren’t enough Democrats to change it, even if we all crossed over,’ former Wyoming Gov. Mike Sullivan said in an interview Friday, noting that he is among the Democrats who have temporarily switched parties to support Cheney. ‘Out of honor and respect for her leadership, I cast my vote her way.'” • Cheney will do fine. I’m still betting Cheney-Zelensky will be the new Joe and Mika in 2024.


“Five US States Will Decide If the 2024 Election Can Be Stolen” [Bloomberg]. “Trump and his loyalists are supporting people who deny the results of the 2020 election for governor in five key states this fall, more than enough to tilt a close 2024 presidential race away from the duly elected winner. Tight races this November in Arizona, Michigan, Nevada and Wisconsin, and a possible Republican win in Pennsylvania, will determine who is in charge of making election decisions in states where the White House is won or lost. In all five of these states, Trump and his backers tried to overturn the results.” • Presumably the Democrats are giving their all to win those states….

“Donald Trump’s next move” [Unherd]. “But what has confused liberals for the whole of the Trump era is that almost every mortal legal arrow they have shot at him has had the opposite of its intended effect. They haven’t even hobbled him. They have only ever enlarged the Trump story, creating new options for him, more dedicated supporters, and an ever-grander battlefield. Most immediately, the FBI search — the ‘assault’ in Trump terms — has become for Trump’s family, inner circle, and MAGA-aligned candidates, a prod to get him to declare his presidential run. It is the persistent state of even the closest Trumpers to know no more about what he will or won’t do or when than anyone else — ‘the king of optionality,’ said one aide recently, with both admiration and annoyance. Indeed, to their frustration, Trump has reverted to his long history of toying with presidential runs. Perhaps, most honestly, he has told various aides he wants to put off an announcement for as long as possible because he doesn’t want to work as hard as he’d have to with an immediate declaration. (Trump’s fundamental laziness has never received its rightful due as a political consideration.)” • “Anyone who is both clever and lazy is qualified for the highest leadership duties, because he possesses the mental clarity and strength of nerve necessary for difficult decisions.” —Kurt Freiherr von Hammerstein-Equord

“Editorial: Why would an ex-president who doesn’t read want boxes of documents at his home?” [St Louis Dispatch]. • Those documents aren’t for reading. They’re for trading.

WV: “‘Shocked and disheartened’: How coal country is reacting to Manchin’s climate deal” [The Hill]. “Coal country” is not coal firms! And this tidbit: “[I]t’s not clear whether deep-red West Virginia will embrace Manchin’s climate deal, given that his popularity soared around the time that he told Democrats he couldn’t support the $2 trillion Build Back Better Act. From the first quarter of 2021 to 2022, Manchin’s approval rating shot up 17 points to 57 percent, the biggest increase among all senators over that period, according to Morning Consult. Nearly 7 in 10 West Virginia Republicans expressed support for the Democratic senator as he railed against his own party’s spending package.”

Republican Funhouse

Tulsi Gabbard eviscerates Kamala Harris:

Quite a talent.

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.

* * *

Trump Legacy

“30 Things Donald Trump Did as President You Might Have Missed” [Politico]. “Many Americans will remember President Donald Trump’s presidency as a four-yearlong storm of tweets, rallies and on-air rants that ended in a mob riot and historic second impeachment. But there was more to the Trump presidency than attention-hogging political drama and conflict; often unnoticed, Trump and his administration actually did succeed in changing some of the ways Washington works. From imposing a ban on Chinese-made drones to rolling back rules on sexual harassment, from cracking down on robocalls to letting states legalize marijuana, Trump changed some key areas of federal policy in ways that may have lasting impact well after he’s gone.” • Omitted: The CARES Act actually reduced poverty, Operation Warp Speed, and no war with Russsia or China (nor Venezuela. though granted, Greedo was allowed to make a half-assed attempt).

Realignment and Legitimacy

“Hybrid Convention: What Would it Take?” [Socialist Majority]. On this year’s national convention, by one who organized the last one. At the end: “My advice is always: don’t let perfect be the enemy of the good. If we cannot have hybrid, that may just be. But the NPC should create a prioritization list of what is most important to have to make a fair determination. Choices aren’t always easy, but leadership requires it.” • The National Political Committee (NPC) is a a sixteen-person body which functions as the board of directors of DSA. For some definition of “functions”?

“The Medical Crisis that Finally Convinced Republicans in North Carolina to Expand Medicaid” [Politico]. “Most of the counties in the state that has the highest rates of uninsured residents are rural ones, according to the North Carolina Rural Center. Over time, Democrats and Republicans in those regions have come to recognize that full Medicaid expansion would provide insurance to people working in low-paying jobs such as construction and fast food, and help keep their struggling hospitals open. Last year, five rural county commissions and the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians passed resolutions supporting Medicaid expansion. Dale Wiggins, a Republican commissioner in Kevin Corbin’s district, helped garner that support. ‘The fact that one of my neighbors can’t afford to go to the doctor, that is asinine,’ Wiggins told me last fall. ‘If we can spend all this money on foreign aid, we can ensure that we have a healthy population.'” • If we could cross out the old “foreign aid” (minuscule) trope, and write in “The Blob” (ginormous), we might get somewhere…


• I give them Sociopath of the Day Awards. They clamor for more!

Here’s an interview with Cheikh Niang. Clearly, Sierra Leone and Mali are serious countries, unlike our own.

• Ho hum, another conference, another superspreading event:

• Do they all use the same PR firm? Are they bots?

(Notice the various synonyms for “mild.” I wonder when CVS is going to come out with a simple, at-home brain damage test. After repeated infections, there’ll be a market!

• At last, a constructive suggestion:

* * *

• Maskstravaganza:

Readers will have noted I support universal mask mandates, but oppose vaccine mandates (persuade people, say I. Lead. Do your jobs).

• Maskstravaganza:

Joe, Rochelle, good job.

• CR boxes in the wild:

* * *

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:

Big story is California.

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 ~ 102,600. Today, it’s ~106,500 and 106,500 * 6 = a Biden line at 639,000 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?

Regional case count for four weeks:

The South:

The South (minus Texas and Florida):

Encouraging on Georgia and North Carolina. Apparently, South Carolina’s cases were found in a drawer after all.

The West:


From the Walgreen’s test positivity tracker, August 14:



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.

• ”‘Living with Covid’ should be countered by containing the virus once and for all” [Eric Topol, Guardian]. No Swiss cheese strategy, the usual Idée vaxe. but nevertheless, give some credit:

With the revised guidelines, the CDC continue to push a contrived metric which they call “community level” to “know your risk for serious illness”. As defined by the CDC website, this “is determined by the higher of the new admissions and inpatient beds metrics, based on the current level of new cases per 100,000 population in the past 7 days”. This is not appropriate guidance since Americans would be rightfully concerned about getting infected, not stressing hospital resources in their community. The right United States map, is the “community transmission” which simply reflects the number of confirmed cases in the past seven days per region. That map currently shows that 94% of the country’s population is at high-risk of transmitting Covid whereas the community level map is only 39.7%.

Readers will note we have CDC’s bullshit on “community levels” as part of our boilerplate. More:

It is a deceptive way for CDC to present a rose-colored-glasses semblance of lower risk. That, too, is unnecessarily promoting spread of Covid to others, especially including the vulnerable, that it purports to want to protect. No less, this is further exacerbating the toll of long Covid, a condition that millions of Americans are suffering from, due to the virus’s massive, unbridled spread throughout the pandemic.

A simpler way to express the idea buried in “unnecessarily promoting spread of Covid to others” is “They really do want to kill us.” Baby steps for Topol!

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. Some orange in Maine, yellow in Nevada. Improving!

NOT UPDATED 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:

NOT UPDATED Hospitalization data, by state (CDC), August 10:

Volatile. What’s up with the Northeast?

Lambert here: When the cut the frequency of these reports, they said the reports would come out Wednesday and Friday. Ah well. Enjoy performing your weekend personal risk assessments without current data.


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].

NOT UPDATED Variant data, national (Walgreens), July 30:

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

BA.5 moving along nicely. (Same data, but a layout I like better, and I wish CDC would stop changing the layout randomly.)


Wastewater data (CDC), August 10:

For grins, August 8:

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):

Lambert here: If in fact the drop in cases is real, as CDC seems to believe, we should start seeing deaths, which lag, drop around September 1.

Total: 1,062,770 – 1,061,346 = 1424 (365 * 1424 = 519,760; today’s LivingWith™ number. 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.

Alert reader Deschain asks: “Is it just me or do COVID deaths look like a cup-and-handle formation?” I don’t know. Readers?

Stats Watch

Housing: “United States Housing Starts” [Trading Economics]. “Housing starts in the United States tumbled 9.6 percent month-over-month to an annualized rate of 1.446 million units in July of 2022, the lowest since February of 2021 and well below market expectations of 1.54 million. The housing sector has been cooling down amid soaring prices of materials and rising mortgage rates.” • Well, that should help with the homeless situation.

Manufacturing: “United States Industrial Production” [Trading Economics]. “Industrial Production in the United States increased 3.9 percent year-on-year in July of 2022, the smallest annual gain since January, and following a downwardly revised 4 percent rise in June. Manufacturing production rose 3.2 percent, mining 7.9 percent and utilities 2.2 percent.”

Manufacturing: “United States Capacity Utilization” [Trading Economics]. “Capacity utilization in the United States increased 0.4 percentage points to 80.3% in July of 2022, slightly above forecasts of 80.1% and 0.7 percentage points above its long-run (1972–2021) average. Capacity utilization for manufacturing increased 0.5 percentage points to 79.8%, 1.6 percentage points above its long-run average.”

* * *

The Bezzle: “Andreessen Horowitz Backs WeWork Co-Founder Adam Neumann’s Real-Estate Startup Flow” [Wall Street Journal]. • Commentary:

* * *

Today’s Fear & Greed Index: 56 Greed (previous close: 54 Neutral) [CNN]. One week ago: 49 (Neutral). (0 is Extreme Fear; 100 is Extreme Greed). Last updated Aug 16 at 12:01 PM EDT. Mr. Market crusing on Dark Brandon? Apparently so!

Rapture Index: Closes unchanged [Rapture Ready]. Record High, October 10, 2016: 189. Current: 188. (Remember that bringing on the Rapture is good.) I’ve been waiting for the Rapture Index to hit the all time high again. But it just can’t cross the important psychological barrier of 190. Instead, it falls back.

Poetry Nook

“This be the curse: Philip Larkin’s big problem” [The Spectator]. “I’ve been hearing of Larkin’s penis at intervals for much of my adult life. The first time was 30 years ago; the most recent this week. In all cases, my informants had it from his first biographer, Andrew Motion, who had been told by Larkin’s tailor that the poet’s penis was abnormally large, obliging him to alter the cut of his trouser legs. As a friend of Larkin’s, Motion was also able to confirm this rumour from an adjacent stall of a men’s urinal… [I propose] that this piece of information is so acutely relevant to Larkin’s life and work that it should be enshrined in Coles Notes, handed out to secondary school children as part of their poetry pack. Perhaps a statue in Poets’ Corner. Because once the sniggering stopped, students would find it a useful resource in more than one way. Firstly, it brings light into corners of the poetry that are otherwise obscure. Secondly, it challenges the harmful and false belief, much promoted in online pornography, that a very large penis is what makes a boy popular with the girls. For a lot of men, this accident of genetics is a life-ruining affliction. Larkin fell into this category.” • (!!)

The Gallery

The style reminds me of a New Yorker cartoon, back when the New Yorker wasn’t a grim tour of the PMC hive mind:

(To be fair, the Biden article above is very good. Every so often….)

The Conservatory

A self-indulgent return to my roots:

(The songwriter, Jesse Fuller.)

Zeitgeist Watch

“About one-in-five teens visit or use YouTube ‘almost constantly’” [Pew Research]. • Handy chart:

“My Mom’s on FaceBook.”

Class Warfare

“Why Black Marxism, Why Now?” [Boston Review]. “[B]ecause neither Marx nor Engels considered the colonies and their plantations central to modern capitalist processes, class struggles within the slave regime or peasant rebellions within the colonial order were ignored or dismissed as underdeveloped or peripheral—especially since they looked nothing like the secular radical humanism of 1848 or 1789. Cedric’s point is that Marx and Engels missed the significance of revolt in the rest of the world, specifically by non-Western peoples who made up the vast majority of the world’s unfree and nonindustrial labor force. Unfree laborers in Africa, the Americas, Asia, and the islands of the sea were producing the lion’s share of surplus value for a world system of racial capitalism, but the ideological source of their revolts was not the mode of production. Africans kidnapped and drawn into this system were ripped from ‘superstructures’ with radically different beliefs, moralities, cosmologies, metaphysics, and intellectual traditions. Robinson observes.” • A fair, very fair critique. Interesting!

News of the Wired

“Finding the medieval mind” [Times Literary Supplement]. The deck: “The case for a socially embedded self.” “The medieval self, [Barbara Newman] suggests, was inextricable from its connection to others: in this period “the essence of personhood is the capacity to be permeated by other selves, other persons, without being fractured by them”. At a time when our own physical porousness is evident – a deadly virus has shown just how vulnerable our insides are to everyone else’s, and mitigation efforts have made us feel more solitary and atomized than ever before – a book on how people of the past thought about themselves in relation to others might be of particular interest.” • Hmm.

“How I Hacked my Car” [Programming with Style]. Some light reading for your teenager. Best sentence, perhaps: “Turns out the encryption key in that script is the first AES 128bit CBC example key listed in the NIST document SP800-38A.” “No, it can’t be.”• But it is, it is. This is how we write software.

When your teenager’s done with the car, they can do this:

* * *

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 j. appleseed:

j. appleseed writes: “Just about to head up to your neck of the woods on holiday (Round Pond near Damariscotta), but I spotted these gorgeous bracket fungi above Cranberry Pond in Sunderland, Mass. Possibly Hemlock Varnish Shelf aka Hemlock Reishi, genus Ganoderma? Perhaps some knowledgeable reader can confirm…” The background is a little blown out, but the composition saves it. Readers?

* * *

Readers: Water Cooler is a standalone entity not covered by the annual NC fundraiser. So if you see a link you especially like, or an item you wouldn’t see anywhere else, please do not hesitate to express your appreciation in tangible form. Remember, a tip jar is for tipping! Regular positive feedback both makes me feel good and lets me know I’m on the right track with coverage. When I get no donations for five or ten days I get worried. More tangibly, a constant trickle of donations helps me with expenses, and I factor in that trickle when setting fundraising goals:

Here is the screen that will appear, which I have helpfully annotated:

If you hate PayPal, you can email me at lambert [UNDERSCORE] strether [DOT] corrente [AT] yahoo [DOT] com, and I will give you directions on how to send a check. Thank you!

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
This entry was posted in Guest Post, Water Cooler on by .

About Lambert Strether

Readers, I have had a correspondent characterize my views as realistic cynical. Let me briefly explain them. I believe in universal programs that provide concrete material benefits, especially to the working class. Medicare for All is the prime example, but tuition-free college and a Post Office Bank also fall under this heading. So do a Jobs Guarantee and a Debt Jubilee. Clearly, neither liberal Democrats nor conservative Republicans can deliver on such programs, because the two are different flavors of neoliberalism (“Because markets”). I don’t much care about the “ism” that delivers the benefits, although whichever one does have to put common humanity first, as opposed to markets. Could be a second FDR saving capitalism, democratic socialism leashing and collaring it, or communism razing it. I don’t much care, as long as the benefits are delivered. To me, the key issue — and this is why Medicare for All is always first with me — is the tens of thousands of excess “deaths from despair,” as described by the Case-Deaton study, and other recent studies. That enormous body count makes Medicare for All, at the very least, a moral and strategic imperative. And that level of suffering and organic damage makes the concerns of identity politics — even the worthy fight to help the refugees Bush, Obama, and Clinton’s wars created — bright shiny objects by comparison. Hence my frustration with the news flow — currently in my view the swirling intersection of two, separate Shock Doctrine campaigns, one by the Administration, and the other by out-of-power liberals and their allies in the State and in the press — a news flow that constantly forces me to focus on matters that I regard as of secondary importance to the excess deaths. What kind of political economy is it that halts or even reverses the increases in life expectancy that civilized societies have achieved? I am also very hopeful that the continuing destruction of both party establishments will open the space for voices supporting programs similar to those I have listed; let’s call such voices “the left.” Volatility creates opportunity, especially if the Democrat establishment, which puts markets first and opposes all such programs, isn’t allowed to get back into the saddle. Eyes on the prize! I love the tactical level, and secretly love even the horse race, since I’ve been blogging about it daily for fourteen years, but everything I write has this perspective at the back of it.


    1. Lambert Strether Post author

      Kamala Harris can’t hold onto her staff, and a bunch of ’em recently jumped ship, presumably because they’ve decided she’s not their ticket to the White House. I think you’re behind the Beltway Curve in your assessment.

      The only way Harris will ever become President is if Jill messes up Joe’s meds (which I assume she has under her control, because honestly, who else?)

      1. Pat

        She has Covid, so now could be their chance!

        (Truthfully, I can’t see anyone taking him out for Harris, but then I’ve been gobsmacked at some of the decisions of the last couple of years so who knows.)

      2. Tom Stone

        Harris,like most VP’s of the last few decades, is an insurance policy.
        “Get rid of me and THIS is who takes over.”
        There weren’t and aren’t many Dem Politicians so obviously vile and corrupt that they are clearly worse than Joe Biden,she was an inspired choice.

    2. Pat

      Does this mean you expect Joe Biden to kick the bucket in the next two years? Because otherwise you are vastly overestimating her chances.

    3. flora

      My only knock on Tulsi, (and it’s a big one for me), is that she’s WEF, (even if WEF has for some reason scrubbed her WEF profile on their web page, I can’t get around her past apparent fealty to WEF. I can’t get around that no matter what).

      As for Kamala, oy, she didn’t win a single primary or caucus election. Talk about “foisting her upon” the electorate, aka the Dem voters.

      Come on, Dems. Do better.

      / oy

    4. nippersdad

      Not a Gabbard stan, but she has not proven to be clownish in her recent incarnation as a Fox spokes-hole; this kind of thing is exactly what got her up on that debate stage. Her repeated warnings about the MIC are still as valid, if not more so, than they ever were. Trump never wanted these wars, now he has someone who can explain why.

      Biden and Harris were bodily heaved over the finish line by a Democratic establishment combining their efforts to overcome the Sanders menace. They were back benchers for a reason, and subsequent events have proven everyone right in not wanting them to continue to rise above their abilities. Only the threat of the even worse alternative that the left was warning of prior to Biden’s election, De Santis, will give them any hope of winning election again, and thanks to the FBI fishing junket to Mar a Lago Trump’s star is in the ascendant.

      We still have over two years before the next election. I ask you if you think the US will escape the event horizon of our self imposed economic black hole in Europe? Somehow I doubt it. These things have a way of metastasizing. If we have to undergo the Democratic proclivity for yet another bankster bailout in the next year I can pretty much guarantee you that they will be the last Democrats in office for decades.

      NewsCorp may be the entertainment choice of the eternally butthurt, but MSDNC and the Clinton News Network are not far behind. With Gabbard, one wonders if they have not all become neck and neck in the race for the World’s Worst Journalism Cup. She is bringing up their abysmal standards in a way that is hard to ignore at a time when political alignments are changing. A Trump/Gabbard ticket in the near future is not outside the realm of possibility.

      When the Trumps, MTGs and Boehberts of the world are outflanking the USS Democratic Party, however insincerely, it may be an idea to stop waving pom poms and start bailing out a ship that seems intent on hitting every iceberg on the way to an appointment to view Davy Jones’ locker.

      1. Morrison

        You forgot DeSantis/Gabbard.

        DeSantis is clean. They have no goods on him. That’s why they Democrats artificially quashed his chances with the fake Trump raid, to keep DeSantis out of the running, and to run their chosen opposition Trump, who they think they have the goods on.

        Problem is, for them, Trump will win again, even if he shoots someone in the middle of 5th Avenue.

        1. nippersdad

          I think you may be giving the Democratic party too much credit, these people are having an increasingly difficult time navigating themselves out of paper bags, but I agree that Pied Pipering Trump again will have similar results to the last time they tried it.

          And, this time, people may be ready for a steady diet of Sharpie enhanced weather maps. It will be a relief after having to read about the potential for two front wars with nuclear powers and global depressions. I may have to vote for him, myself.

          1. ambrit

            True there. All Trump has to do to win the election in 2024 is to say, and keep saying, “I will start no wars, period.”
            A really absurdist Trump Bumper Sticker: “Give Peace A Chance: Trump 2024.”
            Unless the Democrat Party runs a hologram of JFK or FDR, Trump will win in ’24.

            1. JBird4049

              The sad thing is that if they were running the same economic policies as FDR, JFK, and LBJ (heck, let’s add Teddy Roosevelt, Truman, I assume Eisenhower and maybe Nixon) the Democratic Party would likely win. However, since these seven presidents are all communist, that ain’t happening.

              It is funny how arguably the four or five most successful of the twentieth century’s presidents and two or three of still effective presidents from both political parties all had economic policies that were far better for the average American and the country as well, but are now considered too leftist.

        1. nippersdad

          Thank you! However, it has to be said that it is a testament to the professionalism of our hosts that you only see what escapes moderation. Usually, about five minutes after I post something, I think “that may not have been a very good idea”, and they tend to agree. They are like, pre-agreeing with me, and that is very supportive of them.

          Which is just one of the many things that makes this such a great place to hang out.

    5. Pelham

      We have yet to see whether Gabbard is a has-been, but I’ll grant that it could turn out that way.

      What’s interesting are her forays into Republican territory. If she’s consistent with her past self, maybe she figures the GOP is more malleable than the Democrat Party. If she abandons her past self, in my book she’ll indeed be a has-been.

      In any event, I rather doubt conservatives will ever embrace her, although the Tucker appearances could help with that.

    6. jr

      Um, Tucker Carlson is not only wildly popular with the Right but he has a strong position in the other Right, the Democratic base. Gabbard appearing on his show sends the Right word that she is ready to play ball. She’s smart, articulate, and attractive.

      Meanwhile, Ka-blah-blah Harris crash lands every other sentence, giggles at profoundly inopportune times, and spouts word salads like a Salad Shooter on crystal meth. “Kamala Harris word salad” is literally a pre-loaded search term on Utoob. Given that we have a president who represents the first elected member of the vegetable kingdom, none of the above disqualifies Harris for running but to imply she would wipe out Gabbard is pure wish fulfillment…

      1. nippersdad

        “Given that we have a president who represents the first elected member of the vegetable kingdom,…”

        OK, that was seriously funny! Animal, vegetable….so what mineral do we have to look forward to next?

        1. rowlf

          Pyrite? (Fools Gold)

          To be honest I have been referring to the current office holder as a Potted Plant. Maybe I shouldn’t be shocked that the position has less responsibilities than Zaphod Beeblebrox.

          1. nippersdad

            He is suitably radioactive for a Democratic candidate:

            “…ounce for ounce, coal ash released from a power plant delivers more radiation than nuclear waste shielded via water or dry cask storage” *

            I can see Schumer, Biden and Pelosi saying “He is our only hope for democracy in America!,” and try to make him a thing for the bi-partisanship junkies of the PMC. Let him run with Sinema or Gottheimer and he would be perfectly suited to the Democratic party we presently have.

            * https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/coal-ash-is-more-radioactive-than-nuclear-waste/

    7. anon in so cal

      Kamala Harris has a terrible track record, especially in her home state of California. During the 2020 campaign, Harris achieved 2% of the primary vote, and not even 1 delegate.

    8. orlbucfan

      Why is Tulsi Gabbard on POX? She hurting for money? She was a little off back in 2016 when the info came out that she was Fundie Hindu, and a Modi fan.

      1. KD

        I don’t get the issue with Hindus–Ilhan Omar is Muslim and her dad was a Colonel working for Said Barre (who had a wonderful human rights record) but you’re not supposed to mention it or you are a racist. Why are Muslims the only non-Western religion that gets to be immune from criticism? Seriously, would you rather be homosexual in India or Saudi Arabia? And if you are going to exempt some non-Western religions from criticism, why not Hindus?

        1. nippersdad

          Where did you get the impression that Islam was “the only non-Western religion that gets to be immune from criticism”? It is under constant criticism, including by Gabbard. which makes her close ties to the nationalist Hindu movement under Modi even more interesting.

          I sincerely doubt that I would want to be a homosexual in any country ruled by a fundamentalist religious party, but then one must explain her close ties to Israel and the religious right here. She is a very mixed bag, and her depths look dark, indeed.


          1. KD

            “one must explain her close ties to Israel”. . . yeah, there are just so many prominent politicians that are critical of Israel in the U.S. I can count them on one hand and have fingers left, it really requires a lot of explanation.

            Last time I checked, Cynthia McKinney is now teaching in Bangladesh. . .

            1. nippersdad

              I will write in Cynthia McKinney every day and twice on Sundays if that is my alternative. In her absence I am perfectly happy to let the best Republican win.

              She was very good at describing the uni-party whilst in office. If the Democratic party is wondering why they cannot beat a game show host they might want to take a trip to Bangladesh and ask her.

      2. The Rev Kev

        I would assume that she can’t get a gig on CNN or MSNBC because of her stance against foreign adventures. Lots of people don’t get invited onto the main stream media because of what they say. That is why Fox will invite Jimmy Dore too as Dore is on a do-not-call list for the MSM. How often do you see Thomas Frank on those stations. Didn’t he have to publish some of his work overseas because hew could not find a local publisher?

      3. c_heale

        Maybe because MSM won’t allow to her appear on any of their media products, since she’s criticising the lovely “Democrats”.

    9. KD

      Biden appears to be toast, and Harris Buttigieg and the rest a bunch of airheads and clowns. Bernies too old and too red for the donors. Too bad the Democrats don’t have an intelligent, charismatic and articulate candidate they could run in 2024. . . other than Hillary Clinton, of course.

    10. drumlin woodchuckles

      You sound threatened by Tulsi Gabbard’s continuing and growing public visibility, and are trying to wave it away.

      She is taking a break from politics and doing an extended observation-reconnaissance mission undeer cover of exposing herself to the public here and there.

      I would not be surprised if she re-enters electoral politics at a time and place of her own choosing. Perhaps as POTUS-wannabe Tucker Carlson’s VP running mate, perhaps as something even more surprising.

    11. Big River Bandido

      Tulsi Gabbard’s vivisection of Kamala Harris was a beautiful thing to behold, and just about the only honest thing any politician has said in the last 2 years.

    12. chris

      You do know Kamala the Cop would be behind locking you up for the demonstrations you support in DC, right? And then she’d cackle about it when asked and say that she supports democratic democracy by giving people the freedom to freely decide not to protest the government.

    13. eg

      Um, whatever Tulsi is or is not, I know how many delegates Kamala Harris earned during the Presidential primary — zero.

      She is unelectable.

  1. flora

    Oh, Lambert! So many terrific links in WC today; how can I carefully respond to the most important ones when so many are important? It would take more time and typing space than a commentator should rightly claim in the comments section, imo. Thanks… er… I think. / ;)

      1. Tom Doak

        I went for the link on “30 Things Donald Trump Did While President,” only to find that Politico had taken it down. Must have been too nice to him. I hope you saved a copy!

    1. Michael Ismoe

      Now that she has tweeted against it, it’s safe to vote for it next week.

      Vote Blue – No Matter Who

    1. Carolinian

      Way long. Really nothing to say except that the notion that Hunter can be “explained” and that Trump or for that matter anyone else can’t is a stretch. We are all pretty much shaped by our upbringing and–I would contend–by puberty there’s not a lot of shaping left other than experience and education which are important but less important. If the Biden family has excuses tell it to the dead Ukrainians.

  2. shinola

    Thanks for the musical interlude Lambert. I’ve always enjoyed the Dead’s “covers” of old rockers.

    1. Randy

      Lambert has good taste in music. So do I, lol.

      Someone posted a link to “The Dead South” last week, a “bluegrass” band. Thanks. I checked them out and bought every one of their CDs. Best musical talent I have heard in a while and I don’t like bluegrass. Maybe it’s because they have the word “Dead” in the band name. Feel free to check YouTube for Dead South at Red Rocks.

  3. Pat

    I have to agree that Fetterman’s social media team has been brilliant. Sure Oz has helped by making multiple unforced errors, but their responses to those trip ups have been pointed, amusing and memorable. And when they tackle something serious, they do a great job of making it approachable.

      1. chris

        From the people I’ve talked to who have met Dr. Oz, they describe him as an amazingly joyless person. Food is nit something to be shared or enjoyed. And he takes the fun out of it from his dining companions too. No way he’d get my vote if I lived in PA.

  4. Tom Stone

    When Trump won in 2016 I described him as a festering pustule on the American body Politic both in person and on line.
    All of the ‘liberals” who responded to me about that description agreed with me.
    Only one person out of dozens recognized that pustules are a symptom of an underlying disease.

    1. griffen

      There is a reasonably well done X Files episode, from season 2, about a disease and contagion whereby the infected is marked with festering pustules. Read into the video clip below what you desire on the narrative by the leaders and men who controlled what Mulder was allowed to research and investigate, And in actual terms, this episode has a lot in common with the original Alien science fiction film.

      An aside, if they had run this episode in season 1 it would’ve been a lot less believable.


  5. FreeMarketApologist

    Re: do COVID deaths look like a cup-and-handle formation?

    They might, but lots of other graphable activity does as well, and for reasons that are unrelated to the “reasons” that a c&h pattern can be attributed to a graph of a securities price.

    I also see chickens, horses, cows, and pigs in the clouds, but that doesn’t mean the sky is a farm, and milk, eggs, and bacon will be in tonight’s rainstorm.

  6. Mikel

    “The medieval self, [Barbara Newman] suggests, was inextricable from its connection to others: in this period “the essence of personhood is the capacity to be permeated by other selves, other persons, without being fractured by them”

    They didn’t think of themselves as “brands.”

  7. Mikel

    “Why Black Marxism, Why Now?” [Boston Review]

    I like the part about “blues time.”
    It’s the antithesis of TINA and claims of inevitability.

    1. Lambert Strether Post author

      > I like the part about “blues time.”

      I thought “Blues time” was interesting and suggestive, but at the same time I don’t see how you call a General Strike on blues time. Or organize a slave revolt, for that matter.

  8. Randy

    “If we have to undergo the Democratic proclivity for yet another bankster bailout in the next year I can pretty much guarantee you that they will be the last Democrats in office for decades.”

    The Tea Party was bad enough the first time. I pray we won’t have to endure another episode of “That Gang That Couldn’t Shoot Straight”. I was just gobsmacked when Russ Feingold lost to Ron Johnson here in Wisconsin. Thanks Obama.

  9. griffen

    Politico article above about the Medicaid expansion in North Carolina. Makes me unusually proud of the political leadership in my home state, for a welcome change. If anyone in Raleigh is anti-government spending for the benefit of the needy and the poor, Phil Berger fits that description to a capital “T”. And he seems to be in favor of this expansion! The mind wobbles.

    I grew up in a rural county in eastern NC, and now live within an hour of some incredible, beautiful landscapes that nature has to offer in the western NC region. And no, I don’t immediately count Biltmore Estate, I don’t write that to disparage the grounds of a beautiful tourist destination. It’s just that I can basically access anywhere else for free or a nominal parking fee.

    1. nippersdad

      Apocryphal or not, I have always loved that quote about George Vanderbilt loving the view so much that he bought it. IIRC, he originally bought what is now the Mt. Pisgah national forest. That truly is one of the most beautiful places I have ever been.

      About fifty years ago we went to Sliding Rock in the Mt. Pisgah National Forest while at summer camp, and I can still vividly remember trying to get out of the pool at the bottom. Back then you had to use a rope. I don’t remember much, but I do remember that; it was spectacular!

      1. Carolinian

        Know it well. Western NC is also the land of waterfalls. When Michael Mann made Last of the Mohicans he used the area to sub for upstate New York which is now much more logged out if possessing better waterfalls. Perhaps film should have been called Last of the Cherokees (until their casino). I do love this movie which has a bit of Biltmore in it.

        And the Cherokees are fine in their reservation below the Smokies.

        1. The Rev Kev

          Love that film too. When I see that great landscape, I sometimes wonder about what is depicted in that film and what those present locations would look like in modern times.

          1. Carolinian

            I don’t have a link but you can find the locations identified on the web. The fort was built on the banks of Lake James near Marion, NC and the Dupont Forest near Brevard served for several others. The shot near the beginning where a carriage is crossing a bridge is at Biltmore. Thing is our SC and particularly NC piedmont were logged as heavily as the Adirondacks but things grow like crazy around here and second growth can pass for old growth absent the big trees.

            The climactic finale with the long waterfall was shot at Chimney Rock park below Asheville.

        2. hk

          The Eastern Band of Cherokees have a fascinating history, and their land is not a federally created “reservation,” but the property they bought and kept through 19th century, thanks to the acumen of their tribal attorney who kept it from being confiscated like other Cherokee lands…

          1. Carolinian

            Thanks for the correction. They were also a going tourist concern long before the casino. Went there as a kid.

  10. Morrison

    Inflation at zero percent? Went to the hardware store today. Prices absurd, empty shelves, services backed up and the prices now astronomical.
    Is this the “pain for as long as it takes” until Ukraine is free that Biden talked about?
    Viva Putin! I’m rooting for Russia in that case.

  11. Will

    Re black Marxism and overlooked slave revolts

    From late last year, an interesting lecture and interview with the author of a new book on a forgotten slave revolt in Berbice, Guyana. It was the biggest and most successful in the Caribbean until the Haitian revolution. Real Animal Farm feel to how some of it unravelled.


    The link is to a brief-ish summary that contains links to audio and YouTube versions of the full interview and lecture. Scroll to the bottom for the video.

  12. Mark Gisleson

    Don’t know anything about Raspberry Pi but eight or nine years ago I had Little Snitch running on my Mac. Accessing the internet via a cell phone network was usuriously expensive and Little Snitch taught me a lot about where my bandwidth was going and my attitudes about free apps changed radically.

    Given a choice between seeing how their internet connection works or watching sausage being made, I think most people would sleep better after touring a Hormel plant.

  13. jr

    Thanks for the video of Dr. Oz and the Crudite of the People. Was this his first opportunity to hob-nob with Biden? And salsa with raw vegetables indicates a deeply flawed character…

  14. ambrit

    I’m a little more sanguine than Lambert. I see Cheney-Zelensky as a modern equivalent of ‘Adolf-Ernst’ not ‘Joe-Mika.’

  15. notabanker

    In the span of a few weeks, Biden’s presidency is back from the dead and looking something close to triumphant.

    Nothing has fundamentally changed. Victory!

    1. ChuckyChubber

      Wasn’t he was self isolating for most of that time? Imagine how good things could be if he was permanently removed!

    2. ambrit

      “…back from the dead…” ???
      More like “…back to the Undead…”
      Does Dr. Jill keep garlic and a sharpened wooden stake and hammer close to hand? I would.

      1. Michael Ismoe

        Yep, forget about those 30% rent increases, the 4 dollar a gallon gasoline and the empty baby formula shelves, the Democrats just passed a relief bill to further enrich the insurance companies and the oil companies – I’m voting straight D – Not.

        1. ambrit

          Yep. I want to make a lawn sign saying “Vote Blue And Die.” Let viewers interpret that as they wish.
          Phyl just commented to me: “Republican Red mixed with Democrat Blue makes Royal Purple.” Hmmm….

    3. pjay

      I’ve spent my entire adult life critiquing Fox News, right-wingers, and the conservative echo chamber in general. But seriously, today’s mainstream “liberal” media is about as detached from reality as is humanly possible. This story is a case in point. In some cases they are just useful idiots suffering from Trump/Putin derangement. But in other cases they *have* to know that they are lying and just don’t care – the media is simply a delivery system for propaganda these days. They apparently assume we don’t know or don’t care either.

      1. ChrisPacific

        I read the article. Apparently Roe vs. Wade being overturned was the best thing ever for the Democrats, because voters were appalled by it in large enough numbers that they abandoned the Republican party, resulting in a Democrat bounce of a few percentage points. Score one for Biden!

        They aren’t usually quite so up front about this kind of thing.

  16. drumlin woodchuckles

    . . . ” If we could cross out the old “foreign aid” (minuscule) trope, and write in “The Blob” (ginormous), we might get somewhere…”

    I don’t think we can get from “foreign aid” to “The Blob” in one leap. But I have a suggestion that might get us half-way there. And that is to drop the phrase “foreign aid” and substitute for it the phrase ” foreign policy”. That way the offending sentence would read . . . ” ‘If we can spend all this money on foreign policy, we can ensure that we have a healthy population.’”

    If people can make the mental leap from “foreign aid” to “foreign policy” sooner, maybe they can make the further leap from “foreign policy” to “The Blob” later.

    Worth a try?

    1. nippersdad

      They are so inextricably linked that it would not be much of a jump. Who amongst us could say with a straight face that our foreign aid to, say, Guatemalan generals did not reflect our foreign policy goals in Guatemala? When one considers how much the blob had to do with getting that money into the generals’ pockets then there really is no line between them.

      Add all of that up and you have one huge chunk of money to play with.

  17. drumlin woodchuckles

    About renaming monkeypox as Walensky, would it be more obvious if we renamed it Walenskypox? Just calling it Walensky without the “pox” on the end might be confusing.

      1. Big River Bandido

        Remember Dan Savage and “Santorum”?

        I propose we at NC simply refer to it as Walenskypox and hope it catches on. It does roll right off the tongue well.

  18. jr

    Thanks for the interesting article about the permeable medieval mind. I found this point to be particularly pertinent:

    “Examples of our porousness are all around us, and The Permeable Self succeeds in opening our eyes to our own theories of mind, which I suspect are far more diverse, and more rooted in various forms of community, than broad cultural theories might suggest.”

    In contrast to the popular notion that we Westerners exhibit a strong sense of individualism, I would offer that in fact it at least in part illusory. It’s true that many of us eschew communality with our neighbors, fellow citizens, and co-workers. Usually to our detriment. But we are quite permeable. Consider the influences of marketing and advertising, the insidious infection of social media and it’s degenerate norms, and our craptacular popular entertainment wherein the likes of Kanye, the Kardashian family of hustlers, and the sages at The View wield undue power over our lives. We are as permeable as rice paper condom, except where it would serve us best.

  19. Michael Ismoe

    I understand that Liz Cheney is a hero/god for bucking her party (i assume the next JFK Profile in Courage Award is hers for the asking) but then why is Joe Manchin “a traitor”?

    Asking for a friend….

    1. Dr. John Carpenter

      But that’s the twist. Manchin isn’t going against the Dems. He’s allowing them to pretend to be for any of this without the danger of anything passing. It’s all kabuki and he’s the designated villain.

  20. Petter

    Re:Larkin: I have his collected poems, I read the Motion biography and now the linked article.
    From Larkin’s poem Aubade:
    An only life can take so long to climb
    Clear of its wrong beginnings, and may never

    1. Lambert Strether Post author

      I think Larkin is terrific. I feel too cheerful today to quote the rest of Aubade*, although the theme is on my mind. Instead, I’ll quote the last verse:

      Slowly light strengthens, and the room takes shape.
      It stands plain as a wardrobe, what we know,
      Have always known, know that we can’t escape,
      Yet can’t accept. One side will have to go.
      Meanwhile telephones crouch, getting ready to ring
      In locked-up offices, and all the uncaring
      Intricate rented world begins to rouse.
      The sky is white as clay, with no sun.
      Work has to be done.
      Postmen like doctors go from house to house.

      I underlined the amazing and appropriate change in rhythm; Larkin was quite a technician.

      Also, “the uncaring intricate rented world” seems prophetic now. It was written in 1974. Thatcher was elected in 1979, so Larking “called the turn” as it were.

      NOTE * I’m also something close to an animist, so I’m not sure I agree with Larkin’s views.

  21. Tom Doak

    The Rapture Index seems to be run by someone “liberal”. No matter how much more dangerous things are getting — Ukraine, Chinese Taipei — it seems like it’s not allowed to break through the all time high which was pegged on the day after Donald Trump was elected President. The only way it will go over that is the liberal nightmare if Trump is elected again in 2024.

    1. Lambert Strether Post author

      > The Rapture Index seems to be run by someone “liberal”.

      I’ve followed the Index for years; I doubt this. I think instead the index is detached from political and economic experience as most of the rest of us understand it, which is its charm.

  22. The Rev Kev

    ‘Here’s the exchange between Gabbard and Kamala during the 2020 Dem primary debate that many believe was a key factor in destroying Harris’ campaign before one vote was cast. Tulsi exposed the huge gap between Harris’ sanctimony and the reality of her work’

    Like somebody said in a reply, that clip never gets old. And yet people are supposed to believe that America did in fact choose Kamala Harris by their own free choice (pick a card, any card – psych!)

    And as for ‘Those documents aren’t for reading. They’re for trading’ – I saw what you did.

  23. Raymond Sim

    I’m pretty sure I have a hanging twin-fan Corsi box in my future.

    The SCAN Bay Area wastewater monitoriing data, now updated to the 13th or 14th for all sites is giving me deja-vu. Sites whose trimmed averages aren’t now trending slightly upward are showing a lot of bounce. I’ll be very relieved if this doesn’t turn out to be the beginning of the next version of awful. The variants page isn’t very helpful, but the candidates I’m aware of all seem very daunting.

    The divergeance between normalized and dry weight I noticed the other day was perhaps the result of some error on their part. In any case the graphs are different now.


  24. Wukchumni

    We in the Palinstinian Movement say carpe diem, you betcha. Our darling doyen of the top drawer state is back in the saddle after intentionally throwing herself off as Governor.

  25. Tom Stone

    I saw a bumper sticker I liked today
    “It isn’t Left Vs Right, It’s Top Vs Bottom.
    And it always has been.”

  26. jr

    Apologies for linking Dore but he has a mash-up of media bobbleheads saying “The walls are closing in!” and “Bombshell!!” that kills:


    Featuring that loaf of doofus-ness Rob Reiner! They got him this time! They can’t hear themselves, can they?

    1. jr

      Ye gads, the Biden family saga was a grim read. A carnival of pettiness and pretensions. Although the ashes being poured down the rat hole kicked off a fit of giggles…

      1. Lambert Strether Post author

        > the Biden family saga was a grim read. A carnival of pettiness and pretensions

        And general crookedness and flimflammery. You can see why the Biden clan fits into Ukraine so well.

    2. nippersdad

      I love Jimmy Dore. I do hope he runs in ’24 just so that I can see Kamala’s face when he dumps on her.

    1. Tom Stone

      Rev, it’s easy to tell the difference between the Onion and “Real News”.
      The onion is almost always plausible.

    2. Pat

      I have no idea if it is, but I can’t think of a better way to increase her loss. I can imagine some Wyoming voters not having a visceral reaction to Bernie, but even Democrats crossing party lines there would probably think twice if AOC, Talib, and/or Omar showed up to support Cheney. Think of It as NYers seeing Majorie Taylor Green coming out to support Jerry Nadler.

  27. Lex

    Re slave revolts, Mike Duncan’s “revolutions” podcast series on the Haitian Revolution is an excellent primer.

    Good choice on the BIODTL. What a world we live when there are so many shows now floating around with really excellent sound quality. I don’t miss the tapes at all.

    1. Lambert Strether Post author

      > Good choice on the BIODTL

      The conclusion to Garcia’s solo is very funny. He seems climb out on a limb and start sawing it off, but then magically rejoins the flow at the exact right time. I searched on 1972 deliberately, when the Dead were at their peak (IMNSHO).

  28. The Rev Kev

    Looks like the Russians aren’t waiting for the war to be over before putting on exhibition captured Western gear, including a M-777 howitzer-

    Replying to
    They have opened an extra exhibition dedicated to the captured weapons today.
    It will be soon open for public too.

    Sadly I missed it, but RIA made a short video for public’

    https://twitter.com/MayaSashenka/status/1559549261930500097 (2:11 min video)

Comments are closed.