2:00PM Water Cooler 8/19/2022

By Lambert Strether of Corrente

Bird Song of the Day

Scarlet Tanager, Sugarloaf Mountain, Frederick, Maryland, United States. I have always loved the name “Scarlet Tanager,” but for once I actually recognize the song!

* * *


“But what is government itself, but the greatest of all reflections on human nature?” –James Madison, Federalist 51

“They had learned nothing, and forgotten nothing.” –Charles Maurice de Talleyrand-Périgord

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

Capitol Seizure

“Woman who flew on private jet to Capitol riot pleads guilty” [Axios]. “Katherine Schwab of Fort Worth, Texas, pleaded guilty to knowingly entering a restricted building or grounds. She’s the last of three co-defendants to either plead guilty or be sentenced.” • American gentry.

Biden Administration

“Biden keeps student loan borrowers in suspense over payment pause” [The Hill]. “President Biden is keeping student loan borrowers in suspense over whether he’ll decide to again extend a freeze on repayments with less than two weeks to go until the Aug. 31 cutoff date. It’s the smallest window of time borrowers have had so far since the pause in federal loan repayments began at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, with lawmakers and advocates pressuring the administration to make a decision that revolves around crucial financial planning…. The delay in announcing a decision and the approaching midterm election raises questions over if the news will include more than a payment pause extension and potentially a long-awaited decision to forgive some amount of such debt. The freeze has been extended six times since loan payments were first put on hold in March 2020 under former President Trump.” • Kudos, President Trump [snicker].

“Biden to host summit on countering hate-fueled violence” [The Hill]. “President Biden plans to host a summit in mid-September focused on stamping out the effects of hate-fueled violence in the United States in furtherance of his campaign pledge to unify the country….. ‘The United We Stand Summit will bring together heroes from across America who are leading historic work in their communities to build bridges and address hate and division, including survivors of hate-fueled violence,’ [White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre] said.” • Perhaps some members of the Azov battalion will attend? (Not to denigrate the work of actual, ground level “heroes” — Ferguson provided many examples — this looks like an NGO beauty contest, to me.


* * *

GA: “Senators Warnock, Ossoff, and Reed visit Robins Air Force Base” [WFXL]. • I hope they got the opportunity to fire off some weaponry! Also, where’s my six hundred bucks?

GA: “‘Sales job’: Warnock hits the road to promote federal budget law” [Atlanta Journal-Constitution]. ” As U.S. Sen. Raphael Warnock praised a newly signed tax, health and climate change law under a rain-soaked pavilion, he was interrupted repeatedly by a handful of audience members — not by hecklers, but supporters shouting ‘thank you.’ The senator is racing to promote the package and other recent Democratic legislative victories as history-making achievements before Republicans and other critics of the far-reaching law define the narrative surrounding the measure first.” • Totally spontaneous!

MD: “Frederick County Democratic committee narrowly picks incumbent in disputed race” [Maryland Matters]. “After a re-tabulation of votes and recount in the District 3 Democratic contest earlier this month, Keegan-Ayer lost to Di Cola by a single vote: 2,297 to 2,298. Simultaneous with the recount, Keegan-Ayer filed a lawsuit in Frederick County Circuit Court challenging whether Di Cola met the residency requirement for the council seat. After a one-day hearing, Di Cola was disqualified from running.” • Commentary:

Let the healing begin! (Background. Can Maryland readers expand on this?)

MN: “Democrats blast Minnesota GOP candidate’s ‘vote with bullets’ remarks” [NBC]. “Democrats on Thursday accused a Republican-endorsed candidate for the Minnesota Senate of condoning political violence, when he talked about the need for ‘voting with the ballot before we have to vote with bullets.’ The candidate, Stephen Lowell, countered that he wasn’t advocating violence but instead simply warning about what can happen when people lose faith in their government…. ‘We need to grow our teeth back. Fast,’ Lowell told the crowd. ‘So, part of those teeth, in this particular set of terms, is voting with the ballot before we have to vote with bullets. Because at the end of the day, when people don’t believe that their elections are stable, they don’t believe that police will protect them, they stop using the democratic, of any kind, method. … And so we have to bring back that faith, and we have to come out and vote.'” • Is this the Republican version of the Democrat “vote harder”?

Democrats en Déshabillé

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

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

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

* * *

Realignment and Legitimacy

Fun with HR at Vox:

There’s a lot going on here, starting with the cheerful assumption that poking HR in the eye with a sharp stick by not filling out their lavish example of successor ideology is a job-winning strategy. I pass over in silence “Identify my ___ identity” (which leaves open the intriguing if slightly recursive possibility that my identified identity is not my actual identity). What really frosts me, though, is the single entry for “White.” I not only identify as a “White Anglo-Saxon Protestant” (WASP), I am one. And yet HR throws me into the same bucket as “white trash.” This is violence.

Once again, whoever threw this over the transom, take a bow!

“‘Accomplished nothing’: Judge admonishes Michael Gableman’s 2020 election review, bars lawyers from case” [Journal-Sentinel]. “For many months, former Supreme Court Justice Michael Gableman’s taxpayer-funded review of the 2020 presidential election that has not produced any evidence of substantive voter fraud ‘accomplished nothing,’ according to a Dane County judge. Gableman didn’t keep weekly progress reports as required by the Wisconsin State Assembly. He conducted no witness interviews. And he gathered ‘no measurable data’ over at least a four-month span in 2021, the judge found.”


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.

• Resign, Walensky!

Note both the WFH and school ventilation situations are covered by Invariant #1 of “Neoliberalism Expressed as Simple Rules“: “The rules of neoliberalism do not apply to those who write the rules.” More:

So both Walensky and Jha are fully aware of what it takes to protect themselves and their children in wealthy Newton, and they make sure it happens, while denying that the same protections are needed for the rest of the country. Please explain to me, then, why “eugenics” is not an appropriate label for lliberal Democrat Covid policy? Too imflammatory? (I love it that both Walensky and Jha are from the same town. That’s just too perfect.)

• “Stop Telling Americans That They’re ‘Tired of Covid'” [The Nation]. “As health equity expert Anne Sosin recently commented, US pandemic policy is being shaped by ‘acceptance of a high death toll rather than the aspiration to reduce it.'” Again, somebody please explain why “eugenics” is the wrong word for liberal Democrat Covid policy. More: “Over recent months, official efforts to steer messaging away from the pandemic and roll back Covid protections have been justified with claims that could seem like common sense: that the public is ‘tired‘ and ‘burned out‘ and experiencing ‘pandemic fatigue‘; that we find Covid measures ‘burdensome.'” Naturally, they’re lying: “[T]he data on public opinion and the pandemic suggest that levels of concern about the pandemic have not declined significantly. While it is true that some opinion polls have suggested high levels of public frustration regarding Covid, only a slightly larger fraction of respondents believe Americans should ‘learn to live with the pandemic’ than believe we should ‘do more to vaccinate, wear masks, and test.’ More recent polls suggest that 70 percent of Americans see the pandemic optimistically—as ‘a problem, but manageable’—potentially suggesting widespread support for preventive measures. A poll last week found that a majority of both Republicans and Democrats support vaccine and mask mandates in schools.” And the obvious: “America’s leaders have long understood that popular opinion is far from fixed, and that public sentiment can be whipped up when necessary.” • Well worth reading in full.

• ”‘Most have thrown their hands up’: has the US forgotten about Covid?” [Guardian]. “Arghavan Salles, a clinical associate professor at Stanford University’s School of Medicine, expressed her frustrations over how officials and the public appears to be moving on from Covid-19, which continues to put healthcare workers under huge strain. “It feels somewhat like a personal affront, like all our sacrifices mean absolutely nothing because in the end, no one cares,” said Salles, who worked at ICUs during the height of the pandemic.” • To my knowledge, Biden has not once acknowledged the tens of millions of Americans who adopted non-pharmaceutical interventions like masks or Corsi-Rosenthal boxes. That silence is about as big a “[family blog] you” as can be imagined. Especially from one of the adults in the room who was supposed to be better than Trump.

* * *

• Twitter now censoring any negative inforrmation on Covid, even if it’s “the science”?

The Twitter support notes on the several examples are idiotic. This stuff is not easy, as this humble blogger knows!

• Here is another example:

I believe it was IM Doc (please correct if wrong) who coined the phrase that “Covid is a vascular disease that presents as respiratory.” So what the account says is perfectly reasonable.

* * *

• ”Air and surface sampling for monkeypox virus in UK hospitals” (preprint) [medRxiv]. Methods: “We investigated environmental contamination with MPXV from infected patients admitted to isolation rooms in the UK, to inform infection prevention and control measures. Surface swabs of high-touch areas in isolation rooms, of healthcare worker personal protective equipment (PPE) in doffing areas, and from air samples collected before and during bedding change were analysed using MPXV qPCR to assess contamination levels. Virus isolation was performed to confirm presence of infectious virus in key positive samples.” Results: “Significantly, three of four air samples collected during a bed linen change in one patient’s room were positive (Ct 32·7-35·8). Replication-competent virus was identified in two of four samples selected for viral isolation, including from air samples collected during the bed linen change.” • The CDC Monkeypox case report form cannot capture aerosolization during changing bed linens. I’d say this was unbelievable, if it were.

• Monkeypox shows up in New Haven wastewater:

I forget who to credit for this link. Take a bow in comments!

* * *

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:

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 nominal 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 ~ 99,800. Today, it’s ~93,500 and 93,500 * 6 = a Biden line at 561,000 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. If you look at the Fauci line, you will see that despite the bleating and yammering about Covid being “over,” we have only just recently reached the (nominal) case level of November 1, 2021, and very far from that of July 1, 2021. And the real level is much worse.

• ”High plateau”:

Regional case count for four weeks:

The South:

The South (minus Texas and Florida):

The West:


From the Walgreen’s test positivity tracker, August 17:



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.)

Rapid Riser data, by county (CDC), August 19:

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

Previous Rapid Riser data:

Hospitalization data, by state (CDC), August 19:

Flat 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].

NOT UPDATED Variant data, national (Walgreens), August 6:

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

Variant data, national (CDC), July 30 (Nowcast off):

BA.5/BA.4 moving along nicely.


Wastewater data (CDC), August 15:

For grins, August 14:

Looks unchanged. What I’m really worried about is an increase in grey dots (“no recent data”). because that would mean the effort is being shut down or defunded.

Lambert here: How come no new sites over the past week? The (nominal) case numbers are showing drops in Florida and Texas, but we’ve got no way of crosschecking with wastewater!


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: 1,064,780 – 1,064,207 = 573 (573 * 365 = 209,145; 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? Although given the givens, perhaps MeGenix™ (Slogan: “I never thought it would happen to Me!”) would be more in keeping with the times.

The Gallery

Class Warfare

“UPS Says No to Air Conditioning, But Here’s a Surveillance Camera” [Labor Notes]. “The agitation and momentum we had generated through Safety Not Surveillance brought hundreds more members out to our campaign kick-off events, along with some reporters who had initially reached out because of our safety campaign. UPS has now installed fans in some trucks and apologized publicly for failing to install them before.” • Great, but “some”? Commentary:

It’s your own fault!

News of the Wired


* * *

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IM writes: “Black and white nubbly textures to make the eyes dance!” Well done, Mr. Adams!

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About Lambert Strether

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


  1. Kent

    “I not only identify was as a “White Anglo-Saxon Protestant” (WASP), I am one. And yet HR throws me into the same bucket as “white trash.” This is violence.”

    Make a list of and boycott all advertisers on VOX. Downvote and smear them whenever possible, while praising their competitors.
    Do the same for all other media that pulls this crap. If you are really nasty, contact the media buyer for the advertisers thus boycotted and explain why you are doing so.

  2. Questa Nota

    Those Newtonians don’t give a fig about non-PMC people. They don’t have to.
    With some bad publicity, that might start to change ever so slightly.

    Only the little people get the following:
    vaxxed instead of salined,
    wear masks, even at parties,
    send kids to unsafe schools

    The Venn Diagram of Newton citizens and Vox supporters probably has some interesting overlaps. Now do Roxbury, Dorchester, even Marblehead or Salem ferchrisssakes.

  3. ambrit

    Again with the dysfunction.
    That DAD “message” wasn’t spell checked. EX. “…when your not thirsty.” Huh? That should be “..when you’re not thirsty.” This is so basic. I won’t even try to blame it on the ghost of Noah Webster.
    Good heavens. It’s not even good American English! Is there such a thing as Corporate English?
    As for that last line; “Dress in layers.” Why not just cut to the chase and work naked?

    1. Big River Bandido

      There is such a thing as Corporate English. Its use commonly involves practices like: creating complex, insider-only acronyms for sloganeering purposes; using obscure words incorrectly, purely because they sound good and make you sound smart (betting that no one else in the room will know the word either); and making up word hybrids to pose as brilliant when in fact you’re completely BS-ing. One common technique of the latter is to take a noun (of at least 3 syllables but the more the merrier) and “verbatize” it. (There’s a perfect example.) [Here’s another: “As we transition to a new era and confront the new paradigm, we must adapt our SWOT in order to better monetize our holdings for better ROI.”]

      I have no head at all for business, but as you can see, this “language” requires neither that, nor real intelligence.

      1. Thistlebreath

        “In our time it is broadly true that political writing is bad writing.”

        George Orwell did quite a good job of deconstructing the mechanism of oppression through language.

        Looks like this doc is hosted on an ‘ru’ server. Uh oh. Hilary alert.


        I wrote my senior essay in college about the use of language as a means of control. Things have gotten worse since then.

      2. griffen

        Twenty plus years and the trend has only worsened, when it comes to laying out what management really wants. Work smarter, work harder and you get beans after your annual salary review / soul crushing time. You did an outstanding job at whatever it was we paid you to do. Congratulations, you are not on the scrap heap!

        Office Space is a movie I quote frequently because it just fits.

      3. notabanker

        I grew up in the midwest and tend to speak with a fairly heavy accent and use a lot of slang. I also tend to say what I think and how I think it which can be both good and bad. As a kid my community was most definitely union auto and steel worker dominated. My grandfather was a coal miner who died young and all but 2 of his 12 kids moved from coal country to this region “where the jobs were”. All this is to say, I can come off as not the most polished speaker.

        Fast forward a couple of decades later to far away lands in the US….. I had a good friend who made a bunch of money as a broker and left to start his own retail business. We were hanging out at his “shop” one afternoon and I got a call from the TBTF that I worked at in a job heavily focused on Tech, so I stepped away for a few minutes to deal with whatever the issue of the day was.

        I hung up and stepped back and he was grinning at me with wide eyes. I gave the “what?” look and he said, “You do that pretty well.” I replied, “do what?”.

        He said, “Corporate Speak, you’re like a completely different person”.

      4. jr

        I know of at least one instance where a blazingly incompetent woman who lied her way into a position she knew nothing about kept her six figure job for years because she could speak corporate-tease fluently. She dumped work on her colleagues, ruined the office morale, and screwed up everything she touched but because the boss was utterly bamboozled by her baffle-gab she lasted around five years. She cost her company thousands upon thousands of dollars by virtue of her unearned pay and mistakes.

        1. drumlin woodchuckles

          One hopes she spent all the money she took and came out of it with zero savings of any kind.

        2. Rudolf

          Been there, had that happen to me. Same outcome. Narcissists are really good at bullish.ting their way up the corporate ladder, and upper management is loathe to admit they made a stupid decision hiring her/him. Almost destroyed the entire dept.

        3. Ana

          Hah! CalPERS has her beat by a mile. They have one of those kinds of persons who loses billions.
          Ana in Sacramento

      5. drumlin woodchuckles

        I remember from years ago a Dilbert strip. The last panel featured Dilbert saying ” what’s that grinding noise?” and Dogbert saying ” someone shifting paradigms without the clutch”.

  4. Terry Flynn

    Anyone else seeing on Twitter that Cineworld is about to file for bankruptcy?

    The links so far are circular…… But it is claimed that the WSJ has the original (paywalled).

  5. Wukchumni

    Driving around childhood haunts in SoCal the other day, you couldn’t not notice that quite a few new car dealerships have gone out of business like so many wide elephants, leaving a large paved lot uniquely qualified for no other endeavor.

    1. Big River Bandido

      For 40 years, large swaths of “flyover country” have looked like this — a desert of concrete parking lots, most of which sit mostly empty, most of the time.

      1. Wukchumni

        When I was an aspiring driver well before the turn of the century but after Woodstock, it seemed like really rich people owned new car dealerships-which were omnipresent in the SoCalist movement (Go See Cal-Go See Cal-Go See Cal!) and thrived in the very breathing heart of the car go cult.

        They’re almost miniature ghost towns, and one I saw which featured a long rectangular lot with the showroom off to the side in the middle, could have passed for a Gerald Ford class landlocked aircraft carrier.

    2. IMOR

      In this instance, with the dimensions of contemporary vehicles, why not “wide elephants graveyards”?

    3. The Rev Kev

      ‘a large paved lot uniquely qualified for no other endeavor.’

      Perhaps they could be repurposed as places to hold markets at. You just need somebody to lay out where the stalls will be and sort out the matter of permits.

    4. drumlin woodchuckles

      How about open-air farmers markets? The SoCal climate should make that pretty possible with little danger of being rained out.

  6. Toshiro_Mifune

    “Biden to host summit on countering hate-fueled violence….. ‘The United We Stand Summit will bring together heroes from across America who are leading historic work in their communities to build bridges and address hate and division, including survivors of hate-fueled violence,’
    So you’re going to be discussing a jobs and employment program? Cause people who are working for decent wages have a tendency not to be out perpetrating crimes. It helps build a sense of investment in the community. Like they have a stake in things and something to look forward to.
    I mean, they 1947 congressional report Fascism in Action has it in its forward that “A prime necessity in the defeat of fascism is the maintenance of full ” employment. So its not like this is a new idea.
    I’m sure it will be more than just some performative grandstanding….
    Unless I’m misreading the purpose of “stamping out the effects of hate-fueled violence” and you really mean just the effects…. and not the causes.

    1. nippersmom

      If the US really wanted to “stamp out the effects of hate-filled violence”, we’d change our entire approach to foreign policy.

    2. Mildred Montana

      >”…hate-fueled violence…”

      Um…wouldn’t that be a tautology? Methinks so, and therefore it violates my long-standing motto:

      “Stamp out and abolish redundancy!” ;)

      1. hunkerdown

        Most predatory societies would disagree. They like love-fueled violence just fine, like the Puritans they are.

      2. John

        I can think of many reasons for violence other than hate. Ever see the film A Clock Work Orange? Psychopathy, sadism, or even I wonder what it is like to … Perhaps you simply find certain persons inconvenient and quite methodically remove them.

      3. IMOR

        Sport violence. Violence in self defense. Violence in defense of the defenseless. pace Bobby Kennedy re: Beaumont, TX, “I don’t believe that! I stand up for violence!” /jk, don’t @me please.

    3. Carolinian

      I think what he meant is that he wants people to stop hating him–to stop playing the blame game.

      It’s all Putin’s fault anyway.

      Guess I am bitter because just back from the grocery store.

          1. The Rev Kev

            I heard that Ukrainians soldiers were spotted sneaking inside there as unable to bear being on an ammo diet.

            1. ambrit

              I like the entrepreneurialism of the Ukie “resellers.” They sell to the Army Navy stores before the procurement contract is even half way up! [That’s any country’s Army Navy stores; even smaller, ‘indie’ kinetic force multiplier outfits. I wonder of Dr. Oz will be touting these ‘deals’ on Oprah any time soon?]
              That’s enough semi-comprehensible snark for now.
              Everyone stay safe, and keep masking. I’d like to think that reading Naked Capitalism could be considered a survival strategy.

  7. Big River Bandido

    Biden keeps student loan borrowers in suspense over payment pause [The Hill].

    Biden spoke the truth when he said “I’ve got no empathy” for younger people. Here he’s just backing that up. He may or may not extend the “pause”…it’ll never be permanent, of course…but in the meanwhile he and his “party” are content to just play with debtors and let them twist in the wind, as though they get pleasure from such debased behavior as putting regular people on edge.

    This is why I don’t believe any of the recent propaganda of Democrat resurgence. On the substantive level, $30 billion is less than half the money than we gave to Ukraine war profiteers, and look at how well that went. On the political level, 81 days is a long time in politics — probably too long for such transparent and shallow PR exercises to retain their magic. Politicians like this are far too incompetent, out-of-touch, and tone deaf to pull of this kind of con.

  8. marku52

    Huh, it looks ike Ba.4 and Ba.5 have reached a permanent accommodation. I would have thought .5 would steamroll .4 like it did .2

  9. griffen

    Not a resident of Georgia, but follow the politics just because. Warnock should*, I say should, be able to defeat the Republican candidate but I would not rule out a Heisman like stiff arm by voters in favor of Walker. *All apologies to Foghorn Leghorn!

    Your $600 has vanished into thin air. Despite the fact many here do have a functional recall.

    1. ambrit

      It’s a mark of how dysfunctional American politics has become that I would seriously consider writing in a cartoon character like our estimable Giant Chicken, Mr. Leghorn, in a national level election ballot.

  10. Big River Bandido

    Re: Frederick County Democratic committee narrowly picks incumbent in disputed race [Maryland Matters] and the related Tweet from Dan Greene: Unmentioned is she was in a new apartment bc of an abusive partner and her opponents were stalking her for months

    Looks like the Democrats’ Latinx Outreach is at work. How do you think they’re doing?

  11. britzklieg

    Just a few months after the start of covid, there was an Italian doctor, I believe his name was Zannini, who wrote an article claiming his work with infected patients lead him to declare it a disease of the blood, not respiratory. I posted the article, which was in Italian, but no one took it up in the comments. I also responded to a comment of Ignacio’s by posting the same article, feeling sure he could easily understand the Italian, but I don’t think he saw it. I could not find the article again when looking for it several months later. I think I was posting under “urblintz” at the time (switched back to britzklieg after most of my urblintz posts were being disappeared by skynet). What I remember most is that he had successfully treated patients using steroids and was gobsmacked that the “official” word at the time was that steroids not only didn’t work but were dangerous for covid patients. Many many moths later the use of dexamethasone was finally acknowledged as critically important. I don’t recall seeing GM’s comment re: covid as blood disease.

      1. Jason Boxman

        I remember reading about micro clots and such in at least one article here, and that’s when I knew we were all screwed. Sadly it’s played out that way too. Multi organ damage. Persistent damage. Long COVID. Sigh

    1. Alfred

      Was the doctor perhaps Fabio Zanini? a co-author in July 2020 of “La coagulopatia nel COVID-19: basi fisiopatologiche” https://www.giornaledicardiologia.it/archivio/3386/articoli/33633/ That article does not appear (to me, with poor command of Italian) to mention steroids; but it is cited in this longer publication that does: https://www.salute.gov.it/imgs/C_17_pubblicazioni_3121_allegato.pdf (for example, see page 41; or search in page for corticosteroidi)

    2. drumlin woodchuckles

      I am just a layman here . . . . but in the most specific sense should it be viewed as a disease of the blood itself? . . . the liquid ( with solids in it) which flows around inside the blood vessels? Or should it be viewed as a disease of the inner surface of the blood vessel linings? . . . which can travel around in the blood itself but which does its actual damage to the inner linings of the blood vessels which it randomly decides to infect?

      Would dexamethasone work on the liquid blood itself specifically, or on the inflamed blood vessel lining?
      Can liquid blood itself become inflamed?

  12. Bruno

    “Again, somebody please explain why “eugenics” is the wrong word for liberal Democrat Covid policy.”
    The explanation is very simple: the word “*EU*genics” signifies *GOOD* birthings. The policy of preserving carefully the lives of the Walenskys and Jhas while “letting it rip” the rest of us apart can only be described as “*DIS*genics.”

    1. Jason Boxman

      I lean towards social murder. Based on the definition, genocide doesn’t quite work, although MW gives:

      the deliberate and systematic destruction of a racial, political, or cultural group

      On the other hand, the elite continue to infect themselves, and often; Why would you conduct a policy of eugenics also upon your own class?

      So I think social murder is probably the most appropriate term. Because markets, go die. That is truly the essence of American COVID policy, and GBD, after all.

      1. Eureka Springs

        I’m now leaning towards hate-fueled social murder. And I sure hope they put a full length mirror in front of Biden at that conference.

        On the Senate floor he sold the ’92 crime bill this way:

        “Let me tell you what is in the bill, and I’ll let you all decide whether or not this is weak,” he said. “Let me get down here a compendium of the things that are in the bill. One, the death penalty. It provides 53 death-penalty offenses. Weak as can be, you know?”

        “We do everything but hang people for jaywalking in this bill,” Biden added. “That’s weak stuff,” he said.

        1. JBird4049

          Maybe, but just as it is all but said that it is only the weak, the disposable, those in the surplus population that suffer and die in the Covicide from depression, drug abuse, homelessness, hunger, diabetes, and lack of medical help while attributing the better health to the superior moral and physical fiber of the upper classes, this Meritocracy; that explicit eugenics both in theory and in practice was centered on the United States from just before the turn of the Twentieth Century to about 1945, when places like Dachau were captured by the Allies is not mentioned in the history books. The removal of supposedly bad blood or genes was considered a progressive thing. I think that the horror made people think about the use of eugenics in the United States. Doesn’t mean that people became less racist, but it made them think about where such beliefs could lead to.

          Still, sterilizations, both legally into the late 1960s in states like California or 1970s in the Carolinas and illegally for decades afterwards (it reappears in court cases occasionally) is unmentioned. Indeed, public health clinics across the country almost a century ago sterilized poor people often without out consent or knowledge by the victims for much of the Twentieth Century.

          What is never acknowledged is the wealth, medical care, employment, education, and social connections that allow the upper classes to thrive, but are denied to the inferior classes. Nor is the support given by organizations like the Ford Foundation (and some of the ancestral or even the same ones shown on public television and radio) to eugenics a century ago.

          A good, readable book on much of this is War Against the Weak by Edwin Black.

          1. Ana

            You are right. Take a look at Buck v. Bell to see a specific example of how the disabled were treated for a very long time.
            Ana in Sacramento

    2. Ben Joseph

      Eugenics is wrong, it’s disingenuous information in service of the market. Capitalism Uber alles. They betray their positions, but really aren’t protected themselves. It’s the economy that must survive.

  13. curlydan

    COVID Anecdata or Anecdatum: My 10th grader started school last Friday and tested positive this morning after saying he felt sick yesterday afternoon (“I was shivering like crazy in 4th period”), yet he continued through the day and went to soccer tryouts after school. I was driving him to and from school most of the week–usually with the windows down or a (weak) portable air filter chugging along. Still…

    I asked him if any of his friends were sick. Yes, one friend on the soccer team was not at school and sick.

    I’ll be watching the stats closely to see if any flare ups occur as schools get rolling.

    I think our only hope is that maybe BA.5 has rolled through most of the country already? Who knows?

    The Nation article was good.

    1. Utah

      My first week was this week as a teacher. I have an air purifier in my room going full blast. I keep the air conditioner on and the door open. The windows don’t open, of course. I’m the only faculty in an n95, I’ve got a few students in measly cloth or surgical masks. One group asked why I’m wearing a mask. As the science teacher I took a couple moments to explain that there are two pandemics occurring. They didn’t believe that a mask was going to help monkeypox. They were shocked that I’ve never had covid and that I’m still trying to prevent it. A couple more showed up in a mask today, but not an n95. My school has dropped all covid procedures.

      I haven’t heard of any covid cases yet. But per the cdc, I guess parents can now send their asymptomatic/ symptomatic kids to school, tell them to wear a mask, maybe, but that’s not gonna do anything.

      1. curlydan

        you’re my kind of teacher. Good luck. I’ve got 3 HEPA UV air filters running 24/7 at my house with an N95 on anytime I enter my son’s room, and I hoping that the rest of the family won’t get it.

        Our school told me to send my son back on Wednesday and recommended he wear a mask from Wednesday to Friday when he returns. So an OK response from them I thought.

  14. drumlin woodchuckles

    . . . ” Again, somebody please explain why “eugenics” is the wrong word for liberal Democrat Covid policy. ”

    I could be wrong, but my personal feeling is that the people running the Engineered Jackpot program for the Overclass do not care whom they kill in particular, or even whether they focus on killing certain ethnoculture racialigious groups of people preferrentially. They just want to meet their overall quota of people killed. They just want to make their numbers. As the mafia shooter said to his target, ” this ain’t personal. It’s business.”

    Now, if we consider age-set cohorts to be “groups”, it seems reasonable to think that the Overclass wants to keep workdoers alive just long enough to extract all their potential work before arranging for them to die by “accident” or “disease” or “bad luck”. So they certainly support a disease like covid which promises to kill hundreds of millions of people in a cleverly time-delayed “plausibly deniable” way just before or just after they go onto Social Security, so as to avoid having to pay out all those benefits.

    But no, I don’t see any specifically ethno-racially targeted eugenics in this. I could be wrong, though.

    1. outside observer

      Now, as life expectancy continues to drop, will workers begin to demand the retirement age be lowered?

      1. albrt

        What is this “demand” of which you speak?

        Is it similar to smiling and rolling over to show your belly?

    2. Kurtismayfield

      Your statement could have applied to smoking policies as well. As a doctor once explained to me, the reason why we haven’t banned cigarettes is because it usually kills the smoker before they start to collect SS and Medicare, and they usually have worked 30 years of a productive life along the way.

    3. MaryLand

      Perhaps the elite recognize climate change is here and think lowering the population is the only way to combat climate change. They maybe see it as a way to lower pollution etc. without having to change their own precious lifestyle. Starting wars helps lower the population too. Lambert says, it’s all going according to plan. Is that what they talk about at Davos? Could be.

    4. JBird4049

      Eugenics is not about race specifically. It is about a group of individuals labeled as “inferior” for whatever reason, which the elimination or at least hindering in reproduction would supposedly improve society. Eugenics was practiced on White Appalachians and poor Americans in the cities as well as on Blacks. Patients in mental hospitals. Prisoners. The disabled. The poor especially those qualified for assistance. All of these people were sterilized or denied the right to marry in the United States.

      The Nazis just made it more towards race with the planned genocide of the Slavs and the nearly completed one of Jews, Romani, and others (not including disabled Germans in separate programs.) “Life not worthy of life” I think was the Nazis’ term.

      1. Ana

        Correct. The very long word in German does translate to “A life not worthy of living”. Doctors nominated their disabled patients and got parental consent to kill the disabled.

        How to accomplish all this in bulk by various methods was figured out using the disabled first then applied to other populations.

        Ana in Sacramento

  15. Eureka Springs

    I’ve experienced a new gimmick. It’s been 16 years since I made political a contribution, signed any sort of petition, even longer since I voted for a Democrat for any office. I’ve recently removed myself from the voter roll/registration entirely. This week here in Arkansas I’ve received two spam texts from two different phone numbers from Congressman Nadler of NY asking for money. The politicians no longer offer a way to stop receiving messages from them.

    1. GF

      Try replying “STOP”. I get a few of those from various electeds a week and so far none have tried to text me again.

      1. ForFawkesSakes

        My go-to response to Democratic party spam texts was inspired by NC’s clever commentariat.

        “Joe Biden owes me 600 bucks.”

        That usually puts an end to that text chain.

        1. Eureka Springs

          GF: I tried STOP the first time. Second time, family blogging STOP! That’s always been offered in a political cause or candidate spam text up until now. Anyway, not offered and didn’t work. That’s the new to me gimmick.

          FFS: That or I demand a refund of any and every contribution ever made to you or your corporation/party.

  16. Andrew Watts

    RE: Fun with HR at Vox

    I believe these questions of race, ethnicity, and sexual identity, are meant to divide and conquer people who have a shared economic interest vis-a-vie their alleged social betters.

    The question about identifying as a veteran seems enlightened. They’re specifically not asking if you served in the US military. I’d definitely mark it as “I prefer not to disclose”. Any other answer would be what some legally-minded people, or perhaps the FBI/DHS, would call a confession.

    The list of options under ethnicity is confusing and multiple answers would be applicable. I think I’d stick with Asian / Asian-American. It’s generally agreed that the yonsei generation aren’t Japanese or East Asian. That attitude isn’t universal among people though.

    1. jr

      I found that whole memo chilling. It demonstrates a profound ontological confusion. That confusion riddles the West like a cancer; the notion that objective facts are questions of personal interpretation. That we do not share a common reality.

  17. Samuel Conner

    > That silence is about as big a “[family blog] you” as can be imagined.

    Recently catching up via phone with a long-time friend who has moved to a different part of the country, in comparing notes we agreed that it appears that our rulers are indifferent to our well-being, and that nearly everyone we encounter day-to-day has become complacent about COVID. Given the risks of multiple re-infections and Long COVID and the long-term implications of those for population health and social systems functioning, I observed that the situation has the “feel” of being in a civilization that is in the process of committing suicide.

    After a moment’s pause, I revised my earlier boilerplate preliminary pleasantries (“How are you doing?” “Basically OK”) to, “actually, I’m doing terribly! I live in a civilization that is committing suicide!

    1. jinn

      The dog is acting tuff for its owner making this video. The cat doesn’t get why the dog is acting so strange.

  18. Pat

    A spin on vaccination job loss suits:
    Laura Osnes sues NY Post for defamation

    Okay it is about whether she was fired or resigned because of vaccination mandates, but I thought it was an interesting new push back on the vaccination overkill. I especially like the mention of private medical decisions and information.

    1. Divadab

      Hmmmmm… well the WA Dems are still all in on vaccine mandates. Emperor Jay refuses to contemplate relenting, the official word on the State Employees who were fired for refusing the vax (from my State House candidate) “they knew the consequences and chose not to be vaccinated”. When did the dem party become Stalinesque? Is it recent or long-running? Will the long-term damage from this arrant stupidity ever register with these niwits?

      1. ambrit

        “When did the dem party become Stalinesque?”
        May I suggest that we start calling the “Woke” Democrat Party apparatchiks “Trankies?”

        1. digi_owl

          Trains? I have seen that used as a way to dodge the ban hammer in various circles.

          An i think the proper term is authoritarian, to avoid any left-right implications (from an European viewpoint, US politics lacks a proper left outside of maybe tokens like Sanders).

  19. Michael Ismoe

    I not only identify as a “White Anglo-Saxon Protestant” (WASP), I am one.

    I don’t understand the redundancy here. Do Anglo-Saxons come in any different colors than white? If you say “Anglo-Saxon” i think 2% milk, Wonder Bread and Mayo Pete living down the block. The “white” is not only redundant but synonymous with Anglo-Saxon. From now on, I propose that we call them ASPs. Not only is it less cluttered but it more accurately recognizes the White Anglo-Saxon Protestant’s poisonous impact on America.

    1. Divadab

      While I am mostly of various Celtic tribes in origin, I probably meet the popular definition of WASP which you deride trollishly. Prosperous, Protestant, family in North America for 400+ years, and quite proud of what, despite its manifest flaws and recent degeneracies, we have created. Like it or not- and you apparently like it not. Too bad so sad- unless you are indigenous, in which case , welcome to the colonisé club- we were colonised by the English also, don’t even speak our languages since 20 generations.

      What tribe are you? What has your tribe created? Cmon, fess up, troll.

      1. ambrit

        Oh, come-on folks. This is America. It’s not called the big “Melting Pot” for nothing.
        Phyl’s family are New Orleans German Italians. One of wife’s sisters married a nice Jewish boy from Metairie. Years later one of their sons does the genetic back scatter test. Woah there Mr. Interlocutor! About four or five generations back, a suspiciously African genotype shows up! Where is the fainting couch Beulah? There’s a Nubian in the fuel supply!
        Six degrees of separation. That’s the soul of America.

    2. drumlin woodchuckles

      Russell Baker, the one-time political humorist and sometimes-writer of serious political material, got humoristically tired of all the off-handed dismissals of ” WASP” this and “WASP” that . . . so he wrote an article called : No More Mr. Nice Wasp. He came up with a new acronym to cover all the culture-lines in the seething cauldron of WesterNorthern Euro-Ancestry groups. Its deep inside the article.

      Here is the link.


        1. drumlin woodchuckles

          Paywalled? It let me see it without paying anything. I wonder if the paywall rises or falls randomly based on what kind of computer or program or whatever is clicking the link, or other digital reasons which my analog self can’t begin to comprehend.

          Anyway, I found the article by search-engining the phrase . . . Russell Baker SNAPFADA . . .
          It brought up a number of links, one of which you might find to be non-paywalled for your computer machine.

      1. hunkerdown

        Never mind the acronym, “Let’s Get Touchy” is great, just needs “But Quick” added,

    3. JBird4049

      WASP refers to a specific group of Americans and not only to what is now the large category labeled as White.

      If you told an Irish, Welsh, Scots, Breton (all Celtic, generally Catholic) French (Gaulish-Celtic, Catholic) Italian(Catholic), Polish(Slavs, Catholic) or Greek (Greek Orthodox) individual a century ago that really they are equivalent to the White Anglo-Saxon (English descent of proto-Germanic tribes) Protestant (Church of England) there might have actually be blood spilt. I mean really, everyone on the list but the French would not have been considered White especially the Irish and the Poles. It was only until the middle of the Twentieth century that the mantle of whiteness was bestowed on the Irish and the Italians. That’s like five or six decades ago.

      More to the point, WASP specifically refers to the English/American Protestants of New England and their culture. They are quite different from the old Southerners and their culture or the old Spanish/Mexican families that have lived in the Southwest some for over four centuries. Heck, saying that they were Yankees would have been an insult to many people. Still is to some Americans, I believe.

  20. The Rev Kev

    If Twitter has now decided that it has the medical expertise to decide what is and isn’t true as far a people trying to link to scientific papers is concerned, then what will Twitter do with the upcoming midterms in *checks countdown clock* 81 days as far as political information is concerned? Will they decide what people will be able to see through their platform? If another Hunter laptop turned up, would they decide that it is not in people’s interest to see what is on that laptop, even if it is full of information on the Big Guy’s business dealings?

  21. BeliTsari


    Nobody’s ever going to VOTE Democrat; believe government or listen to media, in this country, EVER again. We’ve NO idea how far into our 2nd MILLION dead neighbors we are; since instead of learning how to treat immune hijack, novel coronavirus mutations, pro-inflammatory cytokine virus; all “our” party has done is FEED the most vulnerable, powerless, terrified of us to a frigging VIRUS, sneering PMC & denial ridden speciously brainwashed yuppies used to flip victims’ apartments, upwardly-redistribute equity & indenture re-re-infected essentials with cascading PASC into gig-serfdom as these soulless monsters fork us to FIRE & PhARMA Sectors to monitize our death & profit from our debilitation. All they’ve learned, was how to hide the bodies & we were absolutely powerless to DO anything about it.

    1. Jason Boxman

      She should have been fired after equating wearing a respirator or any face covering at all as the same as adultery. What a moral degenerate.

  22. kareninca

    Oh, thank you for posting the New Haven monkeypox chart I linked!

    Here is something more (https://www.rte.ie/news/regional/2022/0819/1316744-covid-testing/):

    “People in Northern Ireland with Covid-19 symptoms will no longer be advised to take an antigen test from Monday.

    Free antigen tests will no longer be available for that purpose from the same date.

    Northern Ireland’s Department of Health said the move is in line with the Test, Trace and Protect Transition plan published in March, which aims to make testing more proportionate and targeted to protect the most vulnerable.

    People who are eligible for new Covid-19 treatments and those working in health and social care settings will continue to be advised to test.

    They will continue to have access to free antigen tests.”

    That is so convenient!!! Even if you have every possible symptom of covid, there is no need to test!! No test, no problem.

  23. kriptid

    I really like your comment Susan.

    I totally think that science is too centralized in general.

    The NSF/NIH often seems to me like a secular Vatican trying to control its flock.

Comments are closed.