2:00PM Water Cooler 8/18/2022

By Lambert Strether of Corrente

Bird Song of the Day

Summer Tanager, Kerr Wildlife Management Area, Texas, United States. This duet does sound summery. Very hot, very quiet, very still.

* * *


“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

Elites infecting themselves with Covid (1):

I count 11. Suppose 20% of the 11 get Long Covid. That’s ~2 Cabinet members with brain damage. Of course, in Becerra’s case it wouldn’t be noticeable, but what if the executives with impaired executive function are Austin and Blinken? (See here at NC for a post on this concern.)

Elites infecting themselves with Covid (2):

So, if you’re vaccinated, the assumption is that you don’t transmit [bangs head on desk]. More:

I’m betting on top-down strategy — and the White House is not the top — and that elites really believe they’re invulnerable.

* * *

“White House solicits ideas on student debt relief as Biden’s decision looms” [Politico]. • I’d go with means-testing, complex eligibility requirements, a long phase-in period, pay-fors, and a ceiling considerably less than the total debt “owed.”


* * *

“Senate Control is a Toss Up, Rating Changes in Pennsylvania, Colorado and Utah” [Jessica Taylor, Cook Political Report]. “Nightmares of Sharron Angle, Christine O’Donnell, Todd Akin and Richard Mourdock are taunting Republican lawmakers and Senate strategists as fears grow that this midterm cycle could be 2010 and 2012 all over again. Plagued with weak, divisive candidates in many key races, the palpable trepidation among a dozen GOP insiders we spoke to is that — despite a favorable political climate and history that shows they should be able to net at least one seat to break the 50-50 logjam — their efforts to win back Senate control will fall short even as Republicans easily flip the House. If that premonition comes true, it’d be deja vu to twelve years earlier, which is probably the most recent pro-Republican climate that is closest to how the past year has shaped up for the GOP. Even though Democrats suffered a “shellacking” and lost 63 seats in President Obama’s first midterm election, Republicans left winnable races on the table, with Angle in Nevada, O’Donnell in Delaware and Ken Buck in Colorado unable to deliver victories.”

“The Political Winds Swirl Yet Again” [Charlie Cook, Cook Political Report]. “While it was never likely that any single or even a combination of several issues would overshadow the referendum nature of a midterm election, this midterm has suddenly begun to look less typical. It still seems doubtful that things have changed enough to save the Democratic majority in the House, but it is plausible that this could shave a half dozen or a dozen seats from the losses that they otherwise might have sustained. In the Senate, things have gotten much more interesting. A trio of sub-optimal candidates have dimmed a bit GOP hopes in the three most visible Senate races—Georgia, Arizona, and Pennsylvania. None of these races are over, but each look like an uphill climb for Republicans, meaning that another trio has become even more important—Nevada, New Hampshire, and Colorado. In New Hampshire, there is a lot riding on the Sept. 13 Republican primary: Should state Senate President Chuck Morse prevail in the GOP primary, Sen. Maggie Hassan can be expected to have a very tight race, but if retired Army Brig. Gen. Don Bolduc wins, Republican odds of taking the seat go down a fair amount. Republicans did nominate their more conventional and centrist candidate in Colorado, Joe O’Dea, making their long shot bid to unseat Sen. Michael Bennet not quite as long as before.” • Hmm….

* * *

AK: “Murkowski advances in Alaska Senate race, Palin in House” [Associated Press]. “Alaska Republican U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski advanced from her primary along with Kelly Tshibaka, her GOP rival endorsed by former President Donald Trump, while another Trump-backed candidate, Republican Sarah Palin, was among the candidates bound for the November general election in the race for Alaska’s only House seat. Murkowski had expressed confidence that she would advance and earlier in the day told reporters that ‘what matters is winning in November.’ Tshibaka called the results ‘the first step in breaking the Murkowski monarchy’s grip on Alaska.’ Tshibaka also said she was thankful ‘for the strong and unwavering support President Trump has shown Alaska.’ A Murkowski has held the Senate seat since 1981. Before Lisa Murkowski, who has been in the Senate since late 2002, it was her father, Frank Murkowski. Under a voter-approved elections process being used for the first time in Alaska elections this year, party primaries have been scrapped and ranked choice voting is being used in general elections. The top four vote-getters in a primary race, regardless of party affiliation, are to advance to the general election.” • Interesting on RCV.

PA: Wut.

I know that the more fortunate sharing the wealth with the less fortunate is a time-honored tradition, but Seth Moulton might as well be Conor Lamb.

PA: Words of the Master:

PA: More Wegner’s fallout:

Maybe Oz’s staff is all from New Jersey….

PA: ‘Cook Political Report shifts Pennsylvania Senate race to ‘lean Democrat’” [The HIll]. “Its update on the Pennsylvania race also comes despite the fact that Oz has former President Trump’s endorsement for a seat currently held by a Republican, retiring Sen. Pat Toomey. Additionally, Oz has had more time to meet with voters on the trail than Fetterman, who suffered a stroke earlier this year.”

WI: “How this populist Democrat is taking on Ron Johnson in Wisconsin” [The Hill]. “Democrats have gone all-in on Mandela Barnes, the state’s 35-year-old lieutenant governor, to oust Republican Sen. Ron Johnson (Wis.) as part of their keep-the-Senate strategy this fall. Critics think it will take a lot to see that seat turn blue. Skeptical optimists call it a toss-up. But others see a nation in economic hardship over inflation, a myriad of GOP scandals and a flawed, unpopular opponent as encouragement that the purple battleground could actually deliver Barnes a victory….. Democrats in Washington have leaned into Barnes’s obvious progressive streak. He’s against corporate PAC money and is for Medicare for All and environmental protections by way of a Green New Deal that’s tailored to Wisconsin’s priorities. He’s also backed by liberal Senate heavyweights, Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), whose ranks he hopes to join, and a slew of grassroots organizations. Notably, Barnes has also secured support from Majority Whip James Clyburn (D-S.C.), who endorsed early in the race.” • Ah, Clyburn.

WY: “In the Ways That Count, Liz Cheney Won” [Frank Bruni, New York Times]. “Come January, she will no longer be Representative Cheney because she represents steadfast principle in an era with a devastating deficit of it. History will smile on her for that…. I don’t mean to idealize her too much — easy to do, given the cowardice of so many others in her party. She’s not some paragon of altruism, and a few conservatives I respect rolled their eyes when she first separated herself from the House pack to denounce Trump in the most sweeping terms possible. They sensed that she had inherited Dick Cheney’s arrogance. They suspected that her motives included grandstanding. They rightly augured that she’d become more of a political celebrity in exile than she would by playing along, and they guessed that she was making that calculation. But there could be no dispute, at least not among honest and sensible patriots, about the correctness of her positions on Trump, on her party’s fealty to him and on the peril that he poses to the future of American democracy.” • Commentary:


“DOJ battles in court to keep Mar-a-Lago warrant details secret” [Politico]. “The federal judge who authorized the search warrant of former President Donald Trump’s private residence is hearing arguments on Thursday over whether to release the affidavit that details the Department of Justice’s rationale for the unprecedented search. While the affidavit is unlikely to be released publicly, Magistrate Judge Bruce Reinhart is expected to discuss the warrant for the first time since the FBI searched Trump’s Mar-a-Lago estate and seized more than a dozen boxes of documents, including classified information. Even if he opts against releasing it, Reinhart, who has seen the affidavit and found it created probable cause for the search, may provide insight about the document’s contents. A wide array of media organizations has asked Reinhart to unseal the affidavit, citing the extraordinary public interest, but proposing redactions as necessary to protect the integrity of the investigation. Justice Department prosecutors have argued that the redactions would need to be so extensive as to render the affidavit useless.”

“FBI search cements Trump’s hold on GOP” [The Hill]. “[T]hose close to Trump believe the search and subsequent outcry make it even likelier he will be the Republican nominee in 2024…. A Politico-Morning Consult poll released last Thursday found that 57 percent of Republican and Republican-leaning independents would vote for Trump if the 2024 primary were held today, up from 53 percent a month ago. In that same timespan, DeSantis lost 6 percentage points of support. DeSantis is among the potential 2024 challengers to Trump whose ambitions may temporarily be put in check because of the FBI raid. The Florida governor, former Vice President Mike Pence, former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and others who are considered possible presidential candidates have been forced to temporarily drop any subtle campaigns to highlight differences with Trump in favor of decrying the FBI search as an abuse of power.”

“Trump Is Back on the Ballot” [David Frum, The Atlantic]. “Big-money Republicans hoped that 2022 would be the year the GOP quietly sidelined Trump. Those hopes have been fading all year, as extreme and unstable pro-Trump candidates have triumphed in primary after primary. Their last best hope was that the reelection of Ron DeSantis as governor of Florida would painlessly shoulder Trump out of contention for the 2024 Republican presidential nomination. Now that hope, too, is dying. DeSantis ran in 2018 as a craven Trump sycophant. He had four years to become his own man. He battled culture wars—even turning against his former backers at Disney—all to prove himself the snarling alpha-male bully that Republican primary voters reward. But since the Mar-a-Lago search, DeSantis has dropped back into the beta-male role, sidekick and cheering section for Trump. Trump has reasserted dominance. DeSantis has submitted. And if Republican presidential politics in the Trump era has one rule, it’s that there’s no recovery from submission. Roll over once, and you cannot get back on your feet again.”

Republican Funhouse

Irritable mental gestures:

I haven’t had time to track down the provenance, but I can well believe this is not parody.

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 Derangement Syndrome Returns” [Margaret Kimberly, Black Agenda Report]. “Worse than the silly Trump inspired derangement is the way that those who call themselves left or progressive have chosen to defend federal law enforcement and bad legislation like the Espionage Act. The Espionage Act is a relic from the earliest days of the cold war, and Woodrow Wilson’s infamous Palmer Raids which targeted the left for persecution and prosecution. Barack Obama used it more than all previous presidents combined in order to prosecute journalists who published what the state didn’t want us to know. As for the FBI, its Counter Intelligence Program, COINTELPRO, created dissension in the liberation movement, targeted individuals for prosecution, spied on Martin Luther King and told him to commit suicide, and killed Fred Hampton and Mark Clark among others. The FBI continues to use informants to entrap Black people in phony terror cases.”


Lambert here: The decision on how to handle the Coronavirus pandemic has turned out to be that advocated by the Great Barrington Declaration crowd of democidal loons: Let ‘er rip. It seems reasonably clear that this collective decision on behalf of society wasn’t made at any level of “our democracy,” but…. higher up, by an elite that hates masking, thinks pills and injections can give them invulnerability, and loves to socialize at conferences and other such superspreading events. The “let me see your smile” attitude comes from the top.

“Bharat Biotech completes clinical development for phase III trials and booster doses for BBV154 intranasal covid vaccine” (press release) [Bharat Biotech]. Key point: “Data from both Phase III human clinical trials have been submitted for approval to National Regulatory Authorities.” • Press release from August 15. This whole process has seemed, to me, to go as slow as molasses. Perhaps resistance from other manufacturers?

* * *

Walensky’s Greatest Hits:

Walensky should have resigned when she saw that memo.

* * *

“Oklahoma school closes due to COVID-19 cases” [KFOR]. ““Due to an increasingly high number of positive covid tests for both students and staff, we are forced to close for this week to allow time for everyone to get better and not continue to spread the virus,” Mannsville Superintendent Brandi Price-Kelty posted on Facebook.”

“OU Health officials expect COVID surge once Oklahoma students return to school next week” [KFOR]. “This week’s COVID numbers in the state suggest cases have gone down, but now as students head back to school as early as next week, University of Oklahoma Health doctors are expecting a spike in COVID cases across Oklahoma, and they say it can come fast…. Masks are welcome and encouraged, plus schools still have enhanced cleaning protocols in place. ‘All of our buildings and every space in the building has an air ionization system that filters and cleans the air. And so that’s in classrooms, in community spaces, in cafeterias. So, everywhere within a school building and also in the office buildings,’ said Courtney Scott, Executive Director of Communications at [Oklahoma City Public Schools (OKCPS)].” • Oh gawd. Cleaning surfaces, and some scumbag sold the public schools ionizers (here, here) [bangs head on desk].

* * *

A personal risk assessment:

You’d really need an app for this. And a phone with sensors?

* * *

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:

Today’s story is the South.

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 ~ 109,200. Today, it’s ~ 99,800 and 99,800 * 6 = a Biden line at 598,800 per day. First case count below (nominal) 100,000 for a long time. (Remember these data points are weekly averages, so daily fluctuations are smoothed out.) The black “Fauci Line” is a counter to triumphalism, since it compares current levels to past crises.)

Regional case count for four weeks:

The South:

The South (minus Texas and Florida):

Encouraging on North Carolina. Tennessee did in fact have data issues, but now Kentucky is up (flood shelters?).

The West:


From the Walgreen’s test positivity tracker, August 15:



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.)



NOT UPDATED Rapid Riser data, by county (CDC), August 17:

I suppose that if case counts are indeed level, it’s likely there would be few rapid risers.

Previous Rapid Riser data:

NOT UPDATED Hospitalization data, by state (CDC), August a7:

Pretty calm on the hospital front. If you’re CDC, and that’s all that matters to you — because Long Covid isn’t a thing, and everybody who is really sick can get to a hospital — you’re probably feeling good right now.


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), August 6:

Complete takeover by BA.5/BA.4. I wonder what’s coming next?

Variant data, national (CDC), July 23 (Nowcast off):

BA.5 moving along nicely.


Wastewater data (CDC), August 14:

For grins, August 13:

Looks unchanged. What I’m really worried about is an increase in grey dots, because that would mean the system is being shut down..

Lambert here: I added grey to orange and red. 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: 1,064,207 – 1,063,087 = 1120 (365 * 1120 = 408,800; 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. NOTE * Perhaps YouGenix™ would be better? Sounds friendlier, somehow.

Stats Watch

Employment Situation: “United States Initial Jobless Claims” [Trading Economics]. “The number of Americans filing new claims for unemployment benefit fell by 2,000 to 250,000 the week that ended August 13th, well below expectations of 265,000.”

Manufacturing: “United States Philadelphia Fed Manufacturing Index” [Trading Economics]. “The Philadelphia Fed Manufacturing Index in the US rose to 6.2 in August of 2022 from -12.3 in July, returning to positive territory after two consecutive negative readings and above market expectations of -5. Although the general activity index turned positive, it was low, and the new orders index remained negative. The employment index increased, while the price indexes continued to decline but remained elevated.”

* * *

Today’s Fear & Greed Index: 54 Neutral (previous close: 55 Neutral) [CNN]. One week ago: 52 (Neutral). (0 is Extreme Fear; 100 is Extreme Greed). Last updated Aug 18 at 1:39 PM EDT.

The Gallery

Maybe this should have gone under Zeitgeist Watch:

News of the Wired

Perhaps I should do starlings next?

* * *

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 RM:

RM writes: “I rode in to my friend’s place in Butte, Montana and found this one snacking out on the flowers.”

* * *

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. nippersdad

    Zakharova and Medvedev have been founts of humor for a while now, but I found this particularly fun:

    @ the 4:12 mark: “Medvedev advises Europeans to call their idiots to account”


    I think I prefer the Russian way of speaking about regime change than the American one, it is less red faced, spluttery and aggressive. In this case the rationale also has the advantage of being true.

    1. Lambert Strether Post author

      There is an old saying in AA: “Keep your side of the street clean” (as opposed to shouting at your neighbor to clean their’s). The moralizers at State would do well to remember that, as they rant about democracy and authoritarianism, etc.

      1. nippersdad

        I wonder if part of the rationale for cutting off Schengen visas is to prevent Europeans from engaging in warming station tourism this winter. It is a pretty small step from barring Russians from the EU to preventing EU citizens from going to Russia, and maybe they think Russia will reciprocate in the sanctions on them.

        If so they may be disappointed.

          1. nippersdad

            Dayum! News you can smell.

            Looks like Roman baths may soon come back into fashion in Estonia. It is going to cost real money just to keep your pipes from freezing there this winter.

            1. Petter

              A ten minute shower here in my region of Norway costs $2.85 US today( that’s without soap.) The fact that I even know this is a sign of the times. And oh yes, even here in Norway, which is 100% electric, and whose SW region produces the same hydro as all of Sweden, is looking at possible rationing this winter.

      1. Wukchumni

        Somewhere over the border near Cliffside Park high
        There’s a land that I heard of once in a lullaby
        Somewhere over the rainbow, skies are blue
        And the residency that you dare to dream
        Really can come true

        Someday you’ll attach yourself to the Donald’s star
        And wake up too late behind in the game to go far
        Where troubles happen like mass-malaprops
        Transmitted to tv antennas on roof tops
        That’s where you’ll find he

        Somewhere over the border
        Keystones apply
        If other carpetbaggers go over the border
        Why then, oh why can’t I?

        Over the Rainbow


      1. Jonathan Holland Becnel

        For some reason, NY popped up in my head.

        I think we can rest assure that they are from somewhere over the Acela Rainbow.

  2. hunkerdown

    Magritte is sooo good at hard light. And reality.

    That starling is so good at R2D2. And speech.

    That MAGA meme is so good at proving the right can’t meme anymore. “Irritable mental gestures” have even taken over the liberals insinuated in that Commentary article to have no need for them.

    1. nippersdad

      I was wondering if I had heard some R2D2 in there as well!

      Judging from my Congressmans’ page, it has long looked like everything that they do not like is communist. It had to be pointed out to one of them that Obamacare was written by the Heritage Foundation and pushed by Newt Gingrich for twenty years before Obama passed it. The dumbing down of the people is well nigh complete.

    2. Jams Blonde

      I’m European, so I really can’t get my head around an economically hard-right party such as the Democrats being conflated with Marxism. I find it truly bizarre.

      1. NotTimothyGeithner

        Not that Euro-right parties wouldn’t do this if they could, but US Conservatism is heavily influenced by the need to create an in-group where no rules apply and an out group of inhumanly evil types. The Right’s views on Marx are well known, but since Biden is on the out group, he will be lumped in with any evil group. Further especially with Biden and right wing Democrats like Obama and Clinton, they will especially be tarred with the Communist label because its a form of rule breaking for the in group. Biden and “smart Democrats” assume the Right can’t label them as Commies and are continuously astonished at how the Right breaks all the rules and labels Biden as a pinko.

        1. Acacia

          US Conservatism is heavily influenced by the need to create an in-group where no rules apply and an out group of inhumanly evil types

          Yeah, and it’s funny how liberals have taken a page out of that book.

          1. ambrit

            These ain’t your Grandpappy’s “Liberals” Sonny Jim!
            The spectacle of seeing in real time how language is corrupted for selfish ends should be pointed out ad infinitum to the younger cohorts.
            I imbued cynicism after my abortive try at University Credentialism. If only someone had taken pity on the young me and pointed out in broad brush strokes the malignancies the socio-political system is hostage to.
            It’s a lot like the ‘formal’ strategy used by psychoanalysts during the “talking cure.” I personally found that process too slow and oblique to gain perceptible benefit from. No blinding “kensho” moments for me. I now think that the Zen practice of the meditation master wandering about the room and whacking the erroneously meditating pupil without warning has much merit to it. That slap serves to focus you and wakes you up.
            That’s my story, and I’m endlessly reinterpreting it.

          2. skippy

            Liberals [moderate republicans these days] are just fiscal conservatives with a pangs of guilt for the born poor or bad genetics … readers and not breeders – !!!!!!

            After they went 3rd way it was inevitable the only distinction between them and the increasingly far right republicans would be only on non nuclear family social organization et al.

            So basically on the same page about markets markets markets distribution is optimal and only diverge on what kinda freak you can get on and where …

      2. Ben Joseph

        Yes, It would have made more sense for the submerged iceberg to be ‘fascism’ given Dems’ cop/soldier/big business fetishizing. But Trump/Putin. And idpol.

        So somehow I am supposed to be rooting for my own destruction. USA!

      3. Anon

        That’s because we employ Orwellian newspeak in the discourse here. ‘Liberal’, ‘Conservative’ and ‘Marxist’ bear little resemblance to their actual definitions. In this case the Marxism they refer to is “cultural” Marxism… I still don’t know what that means, but I imagine it’s a catchall for whatever the “conservatives” don’t like: vaxx mandates, and the clown car of red herrings the democrats parade as social movements.

    3. Greg

      I love the Marxberg, even though the original meme is lunatic. Also that Magritte certainly looks like it’s Lenin in the back of the horse and car. A day for commie memes!

  3. Toshiro_Mifune

    In the Ways That Count, Liz Cheney Won
    No, she really didn’t Frank. You can’t spin your way out of this. She lost and markedly so.

    1. ambrit

      Hilarious. That is one Spin Doctor who’s ‘patient’ is now “pining for the fjords.”
      The subtext here is informative. Essentially, in saying that Cheney “Really Won (TM)” the stenographer is saying that the people who voted Cheney out must be sidelined, their votes negated.

        1. ambrit

          I also like the meta-pun that the feathered item in question is a BLUE parrot. ‘They’ can shake Liz all ‘they’ want. She is not getting up from off of the bottom of her cage.

          1. chris

            This candidate is deceased! She is no longer on this mortal coil!

            Hellooo? Lizzy? Lizzy lizzy lizzy? See? She’s dead. What do you say to that?

            Frank: she’s a great candidate who really won her race.

    2. Lee

      There’s all manner of excitement over her possibly running for president as a spoiler against Trump should he win the Republican nomination. This would take a lot of pressure off the Democrats, allowing them to become even more feckless and loathsome than they are now.

      1. Romancing The Loan

        As the only people I can imagine voting for her are anti-Trump Republicans who might otherwise vote Democratic, I can readily see her being a spoiler in the other direction. Harvard-educated strategists gearing up to shoot themselves in the foot again, perhaps this time fatally.

        1. ambrit

          Definitely fatal if said foot is firmly ensconced in their mouth.
          Several references there.
          A) Foot in mouth disease.
          B) Foot is comfortable where it is.
          C) Very limited ‘circular firing squad’ action.
          And other, less seemly concepts available. But then, this present crop of politicos is all about “Seeming,” and not about “Concrete Actions.” So, less seemly might be considered an improvement.

        2. Fiery Hunt

          My thought exactly!.
          Siphoning anti-Trump voters from Republican Lite Democratic candidate will absolutely guarantee Trump’s ticker-tape parade down Broadway.

          These jokers really are that stupid, aren’t they?

    3. Dr

      No, he’s correct. Her stock went up among the only people who matter; PMC Dems, TDS Sufferers and #McResistace types. So what if a bunch of deplorables voted her out of office? She’s gearing up for her Democrat makeover. To the media, that’s the only ways that count.

      1. ambrit

        When do we get to see her gliding down a staircase speaking into the fourth wall: “I’m ready for my close up now Mr. DeSantis.”

        1. JTMcPhee

          And Flint, MI, don’t forget Flint, where the mopes and their kids were still drinking polluted tap water at least up to 2019. But there’s been a settlement, you say! Crisis over! No, there’s been a class-action-attorney-mediated money transfer, of which a third goes to the “class lawyers” the remaining $400 million gets divvied up between businesses and individuals who satisfied the class criteria for inclusion.

          Lot of detail in the Wiki article, including a lot of the shenanigans and corrupt practices that let the worst of the people responsible for the problem in the first instance, off the hook entirely. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flint_water_crisis

      1. hunkerdown

        If you’re a Democrat, and you fight hard to keep the two-party system closed, and you control the losing, you control the winning by default. There is a method, and unfortunately it is not madness.

    4. Michael Fiorillo

      As a news junkie of too many decades, I’ve seen plenty of terrible Times OP-Ed columnists. There is of course the God-like Thomas Friedman, who needs no introduction, but also many other truly worthy contenders: the great A.M Rosenthal, who had the temperment, political outlook and writing style of a petulant seventh grade boy, and who established never-to-be-broken records for use of the first person singular pronoun: Flora Lewis, whose foreign affairs column was a photo-realist exercise in Cold War cliches – Alex Cockburn once memorably described a “stunning crescendo of banality” that ended a column – and who just happened to be married to Times muckety-muck Sidney Gruson: and going further along the nepotism trail, the unreadable C.L. Sulzberger, whose credential was his last name. Many others could be added to this hallowed bunch.

      But for me, Frank Bruni holds a special place of honor among the worst. He’s smarmy and faux-familiar, so his writing style grates. Like big sister Maureen Dowd, he originally gained notice as a sycophantic White House reporter, singled out by Bush II for compliments, but where her empty political snark and convention-validation has the advantage of sometimes snappy and witty prose, little brother vies for attention but always comes up short. With this guy, the glib self-satisfaction of affluent liberal identity finds its soulmate in prose that achieves the OP-Ed page alchemy of being cheery and dead at the same time. Like so many in his fraternity, Bruni is incapable of having an original thought, and of course it’s his job not to, but, like I said, there’s something about the leaden, over-excited perkiness of his cliches that rankles.

      Anyway, I’ve hopelessly dated myself and revealed the secret shame of having read the NYT for way too long, and you may have a different obnoxious God in your pantheon, but for my money, Bruni gets a special career award…

      1. Tommy S

        Damn, Cockburn was so good on this topic from late 70’s to his death…..wasn’t he? I miss him. His two books of collected essays are still a must read. ….

    5. drumlin woodchuckles

      Beau of the Fifth Column has posted a video running in parallel with Frank Bruni’s thinking, but probably with zero contact with or influence from Frank Bruni. Since Beau is generally level-of-head, it would be worth listening to and thinking about and seeing whether it has any predictive power over the next 5-8 years.

      1. drumlin woodchuckles

        And in fact he has a second video on the Cheney subject which is also worth watching and off-handedly weighing against the future. Is he spinning or is he analyzing? I myself think he is at least trying to analyze what this really means and how its downstream consequences will evolve. Here is the link.

  4. dcblogger

    Marquette poll shows Mandela Barnes with 7-point lead over U.S. Sen. Ron Johnson; Gov. Tony Evers in close race with GOP’s Tim Michels

    Ron Johnson pushes to dismantle Social Security and Medicare

    looks good for a Democratic pick up

    1. Tom Doak

      I wondered why I heard so many Ron Johnson ads on the radio in Wisconsin last week. I figured he was a lock, as the incumbent, but I’m not from there.

  5. smashsc

    Lots of good stuff today, Lambert!

    The mention of Christine O’Donnell brings back memories. She beat Delaware’s sole US Rep., Mike Castle in the primaries because, despite admitting in a letter to his constituents that they had advised him by 100:1 to vote against the Bailout, he voted yes. Then Bill Maher came into the picture as she had been a frequent guest, and he started releasing clips of her saying outrageous (for 2009) things. He then threatened to blackmail her with even more outrageous clips (which she, of course, was egged on by his producers), unless she came back on his show. I wasn’t a fan of his before, and to this day, think it was reprehensible behavior by him & ignore anything from his mouth…

    1. Lee

      He’s pretty good on wokeness but on most else political, yeah, he’s a centrist hack. His New Rules bit is still pretty funny.

    1. Jonathan Holland Becnel

      I saw that. Some sort of gastro-intestinal issue. Supposedly his husband is on the campaign trail???

  6. jr

    The Marxist iceberg isn’t parody, I’m willing to bet. Right wing utoob is filled with claims that the Democrats are Marxists, CNMSNBCN is filled with Marxists, public school teachers are all Marxists, any and every union is Marxist, I’ve mentioned the Marxist Citi-bike I saw. The term has no real meaning for most people except for what they disagree with.

    1. KD

      “Cultural Marxists” no doubt–although what Marx had to do with culture or race or transgenderism is unclear, best you can do in Marx is the typical 19th century Prussian JQ stuff. In the end, dialectical materialism comes close to economic reductionism after all, although Engels had some stuff about the patriarchal family if memory serves.

    2. Lex

      And if not actual Marxists, then “cultural Marxists” … whatever that is. There’s probably a Marxist in your closet.

      1. Wukchumni

        Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies.


      2. JBird4049

        I have yet to get a good understanding of wtf cultural Marxists are supposed to be. At best, it something, something Identity something Wokeism something something. This is amusing considering that the main supporters of Wokeism are antisocialist Democrats.

    3. Tom Doak

      I will never forget going into the gas station to pay for fuel two years ago in rural Michigan and hearing the lady in front of me complaining about the Marxist mask mandates. There are a lot of people that have been brainwashed about that word. It’s too bad they aren’t old enough to remember the Marx brothers!

      1. The Rev Kev

        If it was an older person, should have said that yeah, Chico, Harpo and Groucho have got a lot to answer for. If called on this, pretend to be confused about which of the Marx brothers she was talking about.

    4. jr

      Ah, “cultural Marxism”. Just Left-ish enough to enrage the Right. Toothless enough to appeal to the synthetic Left. Drummed up by the prostitutes in the CIA funded Congress of Cultural Freedom. All smoke and mirrors.


  7. Mildred Montana

    Re: Starlings

    I don’t care how smart they are, they are horrid birds. Worse, they are considered invasive to North America. They steal and eat robins’ eggs. Those poor, dumb, but beautiful and harmless robins, who only eat worms and insects, are preyed upon by a nasty avian species imported by colonialists from Europe and Asia.

    When it comes to starlings and me, it’s personal. I can never forget or forgive the starlings that used to relentlessly harass me as they perched on an overhead power line while I attempted to mow the lawn. Those “smart” birds never learned that I was harmless, that I was just tending to my business. When the lawnmower came out, the starlings immediately took up their positions and the harassment would begin. Every time. And it didn’t stop until the mower was put away.

    As far as I’m concerned they are stupid, predatory birds and ICE should round them all up and ship them back whence they came.

      1. Wukchumni

        In a miracle of sorts on the all cats and no cattle ranch, birds have not discovered how delicious ripe cherries are yet…

    1. britzklieg

      The kid in “Ozark” has a brief monologue about invasive starlings and asks his mom if he can kill them. I didn’t know anything about starlings. That said, the mimicry displayed in the video creates quite an impression (even when the bird stumbles with “Der Hölle Rache“).

    2. jefemt

      Gut shoot ’em at the border? Montana indeed!!

      I have NEVER seen one with that multicolored bill.

      There used to be a family of Starlings, generations were trained… that rested and nested near / above a bike path next to a 40 MPH 3-lanes-one-way Speer/ 1st Avenue in Denver… I saw an unsuspecting frightened harassed by starlings woman veer off the path, over the curb, into the street, only about 100′ in front of the coming just released throng of vehicles from the traffic signal.

      Not Funny!

      That starling or whatever it was in the video was incredible.

    3. Petter

      Nothing new about destructive starlings. I can remember reading about the Starling Plague back in the Seventies or around then. As for stupid, the starling in the link might not be able to recite the Iliad from memory but did pretty good.

    4. Rodeo Clownfish

      Robins are not the only victims of starlings. Purple martins are also victims. Starling even go into a nest with the parent bird present, kill the adult bird, then kill/eat the young, and take over the nest. There are plenty of gruesome videos posted of examples.

      1. Fiery Hunt

        It’s the cycle of Life, people! :)

        Nature ain’t concerned with our preferences.
        Blue jays and crowes are prime examples of the same kind of “nasty” birds.

        Just shows that humans aren’t the only sociopaths.

    5. drumlin woodchuckles

      I used to feel the same way. I have come to realize that they did not ask to be brought here, and they really don’t even know that they are “here” as against “there”. As to being invasive and therefor damaging, EuroHumans have been/ are more invasive and damaging to the ecology and species here than starlings are. And we aren’t leaving. I know I won’t go back “where I came from”.

      Here in Ann Arbor, Michigan I see large numbers of starlings and large numbers of robins. The robins haven’t lost any numbers. And they seem to be spaced out everywhere in the city whereas the starlings are more in certain places. And I have discovered over time that robins and starlings like to hang out in fall/winter/spring in the same sorts of places. If I hear and then see a bunch of starlings in some bushes or little trees, I look around for robins and eventually find some bunched up sometimes near the edge of the bunch of starlings and sometimes right in among them.

        1. drumlin woodchuckles

          Actually, yes. Yes I have. Every few years a small number of bluebirds show up and spend time in the brushy woods next to where I live. On rarer occasion I have seen them nesting around Ann Arbor.

          I have also seen them at other times and other places.

          I remember once reading something about bird houses being designed with holes just big enough for bluebirds or tree swallows or other such birds to get into, but just small enough to keep starlings excluded.

          Now what I don’t see for years at a time is red headed woodpeckers. There was a particular oak woods with trees just right for them and there were a few in there. I haven’t gone back to see in years.

          Pileated woodpeckers have had zero presence in SouthEast Michigan but 3 years ago a lone pileated woodpecker spent several days hanging out in the larger-tree zone of the brushy woods next to where I live. Maybe scouting for new habitat?

  8. nippersdad

    Re: “DOJ battles in court to keep Mar-a-Lago warrant details secret” [Politico].

    This…. “Justice Department prosecutors have argued that the redactions would need to be so extensive as to render the affidavit useless.””…. is the point of the exercise. If they told you why they were doing it then it would obviate the entire point and implicate everyone involved. It reminds me of those CIA memos about weapons of mass destruction in Iraq that had only one word left to a page. There must be a lot of yoga and wedding plans in there to receive that kind of treatment.

    I am in hopes that Wikileaks will be paging Glenn Greenwald any day now.

    1. Lee

      I don’t know the timing and protocols for such things but at some point would not the affidavit be subject to a discovery motion by the defense?

      1. nippersdad

        Not when it comes to the “national security” defense. Judges just love that one. It is an all-purpose conversation ender.

  9. Wukchumni

    Caldwell Avenue is megachurch row in Godzone with a number of evang houses of worship dominating the action, but that old school dogma will hunt.

    The idea that’s in a mission style hearkens back to the day when we had to make a model of a California mission during grade school using sugar cubes for lode bearing walls and penne pasta for roof tiling among edibles of our mockatecture.

    The US’s largest Catholic parish is opening in Visalia, California. Look inside the $21 million church. The new St. Charles Borromeo Church will be completed later in 2022. The building will be the largest in North America, seating 3,200 people.


    1. FreeMarketApologist

      Well at least they have a program to provide meals and clothing for the less-fortunate in the community. (unlike some)

    1. Karl

      Too bad that good looks don’t equate to smarts.

      Maybe it’s the other way around: my guess (being pretty average myself, so I’m speculating) if you’re attractive, doors open for you, life is easier, you can slide by….Eventually, you learn you don’t need to use all the IQ you’ve got because you don’t have to. And so, neurons stop firing and the wiring atrophies.

      Me, my BS meter goes on “high alert” when I hear pretty boy or girl talking. They can be so charming and disarming.

      In a choice between beauty and ugliness, who wouldn’t rather have a beer with the former? That candidate has the edge. So it goes.

  10. fresno dan

    The FBI’s nine-hour, 30-agent raid of the former president’s Florida estate is part of a counterintelligence case run out of Washington – not Miami, as has been widely reported – according to FBI case documents and sources with knowledge of the matter. The bureau’s counterintelligence division led the 2016-2017 Russia “collusion” investigation of Trump, codenamed “Crossfire Hurricane.”
    Auten has been allowed to work on sensitive cases even though he has been under internal investigation since 2019, when Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz referred him for disciplinary review for his role in vetting a Hillary Clinton campaign-funded dossier used by the FBI to obtain a series of wiretap warrants to spy on former Trump campaign adviser Carter Page. Horowitz singled out Auten for cutting a number of corners in the verification process and even allowing information he knew to be incorrect slip into warrant affidavits and mislead the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act court.
    An examination of the bureau agents involved in the Mar-a-Lago raid reveals other connections between them and FBI officials who played key roles in advancing the Russiagate hoax.
    Laufman signed off on the wiretapping of Trump campaign adviser Carter Page, which the Department of Justice inspector general determined was conducted under false pretenses involving doctored email, suppression of exculpatory evidence, and other malfeasance.

    Suddenly resurfacing as a media surrogate for the Justice Department defending the Mar-a-Lago raid, Laufman has been a key source for stories by the Washington Post, CNN, and other outlets.
    Former federal prosecutor and Trump administration official Kash Patel said the FBI may have a personal interest – and a potential conflict – in seizing the records stored by Trump.

    He noted that Trump in October 2020 authorized the declassification of all the investigative records generated from the FBI’s Crossfire Hurricane as well as the Clinton email investigation, codenamed “Midyear Exam,” and he said that the FBI may have confiscated some of those records in its raid, ensuring they won’t be made public. In addition, he said, the agency may be digging for other documents to try to justify, retroactively, their questionable, politically-tinged 2016 opening of the Trump-Russia “collusion” case, which came up embarrassingly short on evidence.
    “And to top it all off, this guy admits [to Horowitz’s investigators] he’s unrepentant about his role in making up the biggest hoax in election history, and Wray still lets him be a supervisor at the FBI,” he said. “It’s just insane.”
    Former FBI counterintelligence official and lawyer Mark Wauck said he is troubled by signs that the same cast of characters from the Russiagate scandal appears to be involved in the Mar-a-Lago investigation.

    “If these people, who were part of a major hoax that involved criminal activity and displays of bias and seriously flawed judgment, are still involved, then that’s a major scandal,” he said in an interview.

    1. lambert strether

      Great link, thank you.

      So, not only is this movie a remake, it’s got the same cast of characters!

      1. Eureka Springs

        It’s always worse than I think. How do we know we, or congress, or and executive could ever stop this? This beyond praetorian nightmare.
        Which reminds me to recommend Whitney Webb’s podcast episode on her upcoming book. She’s tying so many ends together, with so many familiar players. The amount of info in her head flying out at machine gun speed in the episode is quite something.

        Podcast: Unlimited Hangout
        Episode Friday: One Nation Under Blackmail

        1. JBird4049

          It’s always worse than I think. How do we know we, or congress, or and executive could ever stop this? This beyond praetorian nightmare.

          We stop this one step at a time. Just think of the Progressive Era before the First World War, which faced corruption and inequality almost as bad as today’s when Senators were being handed bags of cash right on the floor of the Senate, corporations were threatening to literally own the entire country, and heavy machine guns of the kind used on the battlefield of the Great War were aimed at and occasionally used on strikers (and their families); it is depressing to think about and yet encouraging as well to know that almost all the problems we have to deal with today, including environmental destructed, we faced and often solved just over a century ago.

      1. marym

        He says without quoting a source that we “know” that “some 42 boxes of documents were shipped to Mar-a-Lago by mistake.” Then he quotes a “former Trump official” saying Trump “felt” there was information about Russiagate that “that the American people need to know” and maybe (this need to know apparently not being urgent) that he was going to use that in a 2024 campaign.

        1. Lambert Strether Post author

          > that he was going to use that in a 2024 campaign

          One might feel that it’s important to actually take power from the miscreants, no? The 2014 campaign already having begun, apparently.

    2. Skip Intro

      Trump holding evidence against the FBI sounds like the most plausible motivation for the raid yet.

      And too clever by half, if the seized documents aren’t released, or even if they are, Trump will be able to detail evidence that they took, and they will have no way to disprove his claims, true or not.

      1. Lambert Strether Post author

        > sources with knowledge of the matter

        At least we have sources, plural, unlike breathless stenography I’ve seen in the Times and the Post. I’m really not sure what your problem is, here.

  11. Dr. John Carpenter

    To Jerome Adams I would note that Biden’s COVID policy for the rest of us has been “let ‘er rip.” If that’s how he feels, why do we owe him any additional protection? He’s not offered the rest of us any. And considering he used his first (or was it second) infection to show everyone how we all should still go into the office even if we have COVID, shouldn’t we be worried about protecting those around him from Biden?

      1. Fiery Hunt

        Yes. Please. Absolutely.

        Because Dark Brandon may be a doddering, senile, vicious protector of the cruel and wealthy …. Kamala is infinitely worse.

        1. JBird4049

          How is Her Evil Emptiness Kamala worse than His Evil Darkness Brandon? As much as I fear a President Harris, I assume her being without much of a staff because of her… inadequacies… would prevent her from doing much. Biden does not seem like such a psychopathic sadist as her, which means he actually has a support staff, however small, to do his will.

          I am not saying that she would not be worse, but I am saying that she might be so inadequate that can not get anything done.

          1. JBird4049

            Nah, we just have to be slightly creative.

            “Her Emptiness” is my choice as it reflects both her soul and the Resistance Democrats’. The more I see her (despite my efforts not to) the more I am reminded of the quip about the town of Oakland: There is no “there” there. The same is true for so much of the Democratic Apparat (and much of the same with the Republicans although they do have an apparent philosophy of will to power.)

            I wonder why this understanding has taken me so long and why as well that I can use late Soviet terminology to accurately describe late American society and government.

            But: Creepy Kamala, the Maleficent Kamala, Kamala the Cruel, etc. None of this quite has the same flow or feel as “Dark Brandon” or “Dark Kamala” but some wordsmith should be able to create something similar that is not offensive in the wrong way.

  12. jsn

    “The number of Americans filing new claims for unemployment benefit fell by 2,000 to 250,000 the week that ended August 13th, well below expectations of 265,000.”

    If evisceration of bargaining power and the rise of robots has made “gig” labor a Giffen good, what does that mean for Fed rate policy?

    If raising rates in a highly inflationary environment causes more labor, which is losing its purchasing power faster than its wages are rising, to be hired to sustain record profit levels for employers, it seems to me raising rates just gooses profits, until the workforce dies on the job. But, then I’m not an economist.

  13. LawnDart

    Coronavirus, Dementia & Psychosis too!

    From a link to plus-one [dot] ru, via gogov, an article that helps to make sense of our Executive Branch:

    Coronavirus increases risk of psychosis and dementia-study
    Coronavirus can increase the risk of dementia and psychosis in patients for up to two years. This conclusion was made by scientists from the University of Oxford (Great Britain).
    Yulia Ivanova
    August 18, 2022

    Experts analyzed data from more than 1.25 million people who have had COVID-19 and found that many were given new diagnoses of psychosis, dementia, seizures and brain fog within two years of becoming infected with the virus. The children had seizures and psychoses. Adults also had a higher risk of anxiety and depression, but this indicator decreased within two months.

    The “delta” and “omicron” strains resulted in more disorders than the “alpha” ones. Professor Paul Harrison from the University of Oxford said that brain diseases associated with coronavirus can significantly survive the pandemic. He called for research on what can be done to prevent or treat these conditions.

    As reported Plus-one.ru over the past month, the death rate from coronavirus worldwide has jumped by 35%. According to WHO, only in the last week, about 15 thousand people died from coronavirus.

    No link can be provided because it has been decided that you naughty children should not be looking at Russian flith.

    1. ChrisPacific

      Here’s a link from Oxford:


      No evidence of depression/anxiety risk (or rather, elevated risk ending after 2 months, and I’d say recent Covid patients probably have plenty of rational reason to be depressed/anxious) but the dementia and psychosis risk remains elevated through 2 years.

      Latest studies I’ve read put Long Covid risk among highly vaccinated populations at more like 4-5%, which is more in line with what I’ve seen anecdotally (it feels like if it was 20%, I’d be seeing a lot more people with it). However, we can’t rule out reinfections being a new roll of the dice, so Lambert’s count of 11 should probably be 13.

      1. LawnDart

        Our society is so not ready for this… …or perhaps we are: conditioned to be indifferent to the suffering and needs of others. Peak individualism? Take care not to trip over the bodies…

        We laid to rest a dementia-issue last month, and for persons who’ve not been caregivers, let me tell ya… …if you gotta provide care to one with psychosis or dementia, it takes all of your constant attention and it will take a toll on you too.

        So there’s insurance, no problem, right? Well there’s a massive wait-list for probably all long-term care facilities in USA, a shortage of staff that’s only getting worse, and agencies (.gov and otherwise) that deal in human-services are totally overwhelmed (and underfunded). And we’re just seeing the tip of the iceberg. Got insurance? It won’t help much getting most people the kind of help that they need.

        This is the result of duopoly rule, of years of corruption and misleadership, and of putting profits before people: voters voted for this– this is the USA they ask for and approve of.

        The pipeline is quickly filling: it seems best to go full batshit-crazy now and beat the rush.

        1. Fiery Hunt

          I’m not a particularly religious man, (I have my own conversations/arguments with TPTB) but I can’t help but thinking how we, as a society, treat our most helpless, our most dependent, our FUCKING elders!… is a sin against the only lesson of Life I’ve ever truly learned:

          Life is a rarity, a fragile gift. And we best learn from those that live, and have lived, what matters most.

          Dignity tops all.

          Or so I discern.

        2. skippy

          The best part of SEREs was the phones on the poles just outside the wire …. escape only to go back for more naked late night barn personal fitness self help programs … but hay it beats crawling though mangrove swamp for over a week any day … mirth …

  14. antidlc

    From the Impact Research website:

    Impact offers a team-oriented working environment which allows professionals to learn and grow from their peers’ natural strengths as they tackle challenges and solve problems together. We are fortunate to be surrounded by a caring team that is highly skilled and motivated. Though our employees are passionate in the performance of their individual roles, they recognize that the team’s synergy produces results unattainable individually. Team members exhibit humility, empathy, and respect while also bringing intensity and their unique perspective to every project.

  15. McWatt

    Just saw this:

    But The Washington Post reports the Biden administration has “created a plan to bring 7.5 million Americans in default on their federal student loans back into good standing, restoring their eligibility for financial aid and removing the incident from their credit history.”

    What do you bet that this money gets paid directly to the lenders for “fees and interest”.

    1. Tom Doak

      Ooof. That won’t win a lot of votes among the younger set. They must have calculated that if they’re running against Trump again, TINA for the younger voters, they have to vote Blue even if they get shafted here.

      1. Charger01

        The youngish crowd (under 45) will regard that offering about as well as a flaming bag of dog excrement. Nothing to celebrate, they’ll just stay home.

  16. NotTimothyGeithner

    Re: The supposedly favorable climate for GOP Senate candidates

    I think the disconnect, besides the GOP properly being a rump party, is these are the seats from 6 years ago. These shouldn’t be seats of Republicans trying to keep control but seats Democrats would be defending. In 2010, Wisconsin and PA were lost because Obama’s stewardship of the party and right wing politics, and 2016 is what it was, the usual Team Clinton effort.

    1. nippersdad

      The problem here in Georgia, for me, is that Warnock is almost completely beyond the pale. He has consistently voted against nearly every trip wire I possess. The calculus is complicated by how funny I find Herschel Walker to be. He, too, would be all kinds of awful, but he would have the advantage of being amusing. I really do feel like, with Palin, they could get together with Trump, MTG and Boehbert for a road show. They could have a superlative stand up comedy career together.

      I may just have to sit that one out.

      1. Fiery Hunt

        Yeah, can’t imagine my mental gymnastics to justify voting for the brain-damaged football hero against the id-pol Pelosi sychophant.

        Break the Democrats vs absolute morons in charge of the Senate.

        Talk about a devil’s choice. Seriously.

      2. Lambert Strether Post author

        > is that Warnock is almost completely beyond the pale. He has consistently voted against nearly every trip wire I possess

        Can you expand on this a little?

        1. nippersdad

          Having been the Reverend at Martin Luther King’s church, and having explicitly run as such, I have held him to the same kind of standard that I would have expected of MLK. I never expected to see any Malcolm X action out of the guy, but I thought that he would at least uphold some of the social justice and anti-war stances of the person he was borrowing glory from. I mean, really, one need not even bring up his support for Nazis, the guy misses no chance to talk up Israel. What would MLK have thought about that?

          The guy has proven to be a player. My main issues are anti-war and the environment, but he is pretty awful on other issues as well.

          There is a podcast with Briahna Joy Gray and David Sirota that gets right down to my problem with him* (starts around the 26 minute mark), in which is discussed the procedural games played with the IRA bill that got 57 votes for a 30 bil PE tax cut that passed vs. a 30 bil child tax credit that did not. They did the same thing with the insulin price cap. Note whose side he was on.** He plays these stupid little games and then he comes down here and acts like he has a halo on his head.

          I’ll be watching for the vote on Manchins’ pipeline amendment, and I am pretty sure I know exactly where he will stand on it.

          * https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1VDLRwfYKIU&list=PL1VUdX8wJjByyCoGUQgYkq8jUPoiwvika

          ** https://www.warnock.senate.gov/about/voting-record/

    1. nippersdad

      That really does look like a black flag operation that was coordinated by the Silicon Valley billionaires who claim that they cannot allow their companies to organize because it would hurt their bottom lines. Don’t know that that idea has any basis in fact, but it sure looks like another Me-Too takedown by Wokesters who conveniently have something to lose.

        1. nippersdad


          But waterboarding? He doesn’t look like the Dick Cheney type. And who would do a Ted talk about it before just sticking a knife in his throat? Seems like an introvert would be more introverted about it.

    2. .human

      He’s being Spitzered (Eliot Spitzer.)

      Sex scandals are a very effective method of discrediting even the most well-meaning.

  17. flora

    re: “DOJ battles in court to keep Mar-a-Lago warrant details secret” [Politico]. “The federal judge who authorized the search warrant of former President Donald Trump’s private residence is hearing arguments on Thursday over whether to release the affidavit that details the Department of Justice’s rationale for the unprecedented search. ”

    Same judge for both questions? No conflict of interest or apparent conflict of interest there. Nope. None at all. / ;)

  18. Pat

    Nothing says inability to think or strategize (OR that your policy stands are for show) more than embracing a top ally of your political enemy, someone who supported his policies more than anyone else who turns on that enemy, but not the policies, because of a matter of style. That style break may be troubling, but short of that action Cheney is not rejecting Trump’s judge choices, immigration policies, climate destruction, etc and in addition continues to embrace her fathers neoconservative war mongering. Still Democrats support her continued political presence. It isn’t even I despise everything she stands for but she has shown great courage in her rejection of Trump’s post election choices. Mind you, imo Cheney has positioned herself politically to get Democratic votes from people who have no clue of her policy positions but also Republican votes of those like her who love Trump’s policies but hate his style. She is working to become the Republican who can win purple states AND has a shot of taking some blue ones.

    The uniparty loves her, sorry Pete, sorry Kamala. And unless the public rejects the blatantly manure filled narrative and kicks her to the curb like Wyoming, I am really sorry for most Americans.

  19. Acacia

    Did’ya ever wonder how in the wonderful world of woke you can choose (or invent!) your gender but somehow not other aspects of your identity? Wonder no more, because Vox Media now has you covered:


    Scroll down to “Demographic Information”, where you’ll find that you can now freely choose not only your gender, but also your race, ethnicity, whether you’re a veteran, LGBTQ+, or living with a disability. It’s all up to you!

    I’m sure all persons of all identities will be happy to know that we/us can now freely identify as they/them, and even tick more boxes than they/them do on job application forms. Not that it would give we/us any advantage, right? Winning!

    1. griffen

      Keeping with the best of the best, they have good company based on this fact checking I found below. Having to fill in those blanks on an application in 2021 or 2022, well one must proceed carefully. Maybe it’s time to start identifying as IT/They/Them, meaning I shall be addressed forthwith as Pennywise.

      And as we all know that our sitting VP is the daughter of a woman, and granddaughter of a woman…


Comments are closed.