2:00PM Water Cooler 8/31/2022

By Lambert Strether of Corrente

Patient Readers, I interrupted my Water Cooler prep to perform an administrative task, hence what you will see at 2:00 will be truncated; more to come. –lambert UPDATE All done!

Bird Song of the Day

Great Bowerbird, Queensland, Australia. “Male near his 5 bowers (1 active, 4 older).” Five! Also lots of ambient noises, including, I swear, an owl.

* * *


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

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

“You can’t really dust for vomit.” Nigel Tufnel, This is Spinal Tap


Biden Administration

“FACT SHEET: Biden-⁠Harris Administration Announces Public and Private Sector Actions to Strengthen Teaching Profession and Help Schools Fill Vacancies” [The White House]. • Guess what’s missing? That’s right: School ventilation (in fact, Covid generally).


* * *

AZ: “The Master Key to the Senate” [The American Conservative]. “Monday’s message from what looks like a hotel elevator bay is primary Masters through and through. ‘I’m declaring war on Joe Biden’s dysfunctional affirmative action regime,’ he tweeted with the video. ‘I don’t care if every single employee at the Fed is a black lesbian,’ he said, ‘as long as they’re hired for their competence and not because of what they look like or who they sleep with. News for Joe Biden, we are done with [I hate that “done with” locution] this affirmative action regime.’ So far, safe enough, but then, the consultant heart attack: ‘I can’t think of a single policy since the end of Jim Crow that’s been worse or more divisive for race relations in this country. Race quotas are wrong. Gender quotas are wrong. They’re unjust. They’re illegal. But the Democrats are addicted to this kind of identity politics garbage.” More: “Recent reports indicate the Senate Leadership Fund has cut about $8 million in advertising buys from the Arizona Senate race against Democrat incumbent Mark Kelly. Originally slated to kick off after Labor Day, nationally funded ads are now scheduled to start in October, a half-hearted last-month get-out-the-vote push before Arizonans head to the polls…. So the Trump-endorsed Masters has for now been released on his own recognizance. There is an upside to the national party apparently deciding you’re too much trouble to help; you can go and do your thing.”

PA: “Oz stumbles fuel Democratic hopes in Pennsylvania” [The Hill]. “Recent polling suggests that Fetterman is benefitting from the race’s current dynamics, with the nonpartisan Cook Political Report shifting the contest from ‘toss-up’ to ‘lean Democratic.’ ‘I think it presents an opportunity that nobody envisioned when the calendar turned to ’22,’ said T.J. Rooney, the former chairman of the Pennsylvania Democratic Party. ‘But having said that, there’s still a lot of ground to cover.'” • Rooney, despite being a Democrat loyalist, is correct. It’s not even Labor Day yet. More: “Recent polls have varied, with an Emerson College poll released on Monday showing Fetterman leading Oz 48 percent to 44 percent, and a separate Franklin and Marshall College poll released last week showing Fetterman leading Oz 76 percent to 62 percent. Fetterman’s lead is likely lower than 13 points, with the Real Clear Politics polling average showing him leading Oz by 7.8 points. ‘They’ve got reason to be optimistic, but I wouldn’t put Fetterman in office just yet,’ said Keith Naughton, a Republican consultant with experience working in Pennsylvania.”

PA: Good clean fun:

PA: “Fetterman rejects Oz offer to hold first debate, calls list of ‘concessions’ insulting” [NBC]. “John Fetterman, the Democratic nominee for an open Senate seat in Pennsylvania, rejected Mehmet Oz’s offer to hold their first debate next week, saying the GOP candidate’s campaign thinks “it is funny to mock” his recovery from a stroke. ‘I’m eager to put my record and my values up against Dr. Oz’s any day of the week,’ Fetterman, the lieutenant governor, said in a statement Tuesday evening. ‘As I recover from this stroke and improve my auditory processing and speech, I look forward to continuing to meet with the people of Pennsylvania.'” • Here are the “concessions” from the Oz campaign:

Nice people running the Oz campaign, I must say. What will they do next? Kick Fetterman’s puppy?

PA: Fetterman on the trail (1):

PA: Fetterman on the trail (2):

PA: Fetterman’s theory of the case (see the above two tweets):

I don’t expect much from Fetterman or any other Democrat on policy, but the tactic is music to my ears. It’s much more important than a made-for-TV debate. Anyhow, Fetterman didn’t do too well in his Democrat primary debate, and still won in a walk while stroke-bound. In any case, if the Oz campaign staff is any good at all, they’ll have an oppo researcher recording Fetterman’s every public appearance, and if he slips a cog, the negative ads will start running the next day. So I don’t think much of their eye-poking over the debate; they’ll have what they want soon enough, if it is there to be had. Meanwhile, they look like [glassbowls], and for what? Also, Fetterman can’t be the only big guy in central PA who stroked out from a poor diet and too much hard work. I would bet people have priced all that in already.


“Poll: Youngkin Job-Approval Rating Hits 55 Percent” [National Review]. “A new poll by Roanoke College shows GOP governor Glenn Youngkin’s job-approval rating ticking up to 55 percent in Virginia, while President Biden’s job-approval rating is at a dismal 39 percent in a state he carried 54 percent to 44 percent in the 2020 presidential election. The Roanoke poll finds that most voters in the state disapprove of overturning Roe v. Wade, but the decision hasn’t hurt the pro-life governor’s standing. Youngkin said he’d push for a 15-week limit on abortion in the state, with exceptions for cases of rape, incest, and to protect the life of the mother. But he has also said he’d sign an earlier limit on abortion if it made it through the state legislature.” • Presumably Roe v. Wade will be a long-forgotten memory by 2024 anyhow.

“Arrests for Low-Level Crimes Climb Under NYC Mayor Eric Adams” [Bloomberg]. The deck: “Some criminal justice reform advocates worry that the emphasis on “quality of life” enforcement will lead to a new era of mass incarceration.” • And this would not be popular with liberal Democrat why?

“Please Shut Up About Liz Cheney or Larry Hogan in 2024” [New York Magazine]. “Look, it’s understandable media types are interested in unorthodox pols like these two out-of-the-party-mainstream figures. Cheney is the daughter of a vice-president who used to define truculent conservatism. She rose very quickly to the top tier of House GOP leadership, and she has been an undeniably powerful representative of anti-Trump Republicanism before and during her admirable performance on the January 6 committee. Hogan is the popular two-term Republican governor of a very blue state. But that makes these two strange birds outliers of passing interest, not serious aspirants for the leadership of their party, which is going in a very different direction as quickly as possible. So please stop buying into the notion that the alleged White House aspirations of Cheney and Hogan are newsworthy. There are millions of fine people in this country who would probably like to be president and might do a good job, but just a relative handful who are viable prospects. Let’s focus on them instead of promoting those who might be viable if the two major parties were entirely different from what they actually are.”

* * *

Olbermann weighs in:

For my views on Olbermann’s theory of the case, see NC here.

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.

* * *

2020 Post Mortem

“Graham argues in new filing that calls to Georgia election officials are protected” [The Hill]. “Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) on Wednesday pushed back against a recent filing by the Fulton County, Ga., district attorney that asked a federal judge to support a subpoena against him as part of a probe into former President Trump’s push to overturn the 2020 presidential election in the state…. The South Carolina senator’s latest filing continues to argue that the call is protected under the Constitution’s Speech and Debate Clause, which protects lawmakers from lawsuits and prosecution for things they say and do as part of their legislative work, and it requests the court quash the entire subpoena.” • Nah, man.

Obama Legacy

“‘Picturing The Obamas’ Documentary Framed At Smithsonian Channel” [Deadline]. “A documentary about President Barack and Mrs. Michelle Obama’s portraits commissioned by the National Portrait Gallery is being drawn up by Smithsonian Channel. The Paramount Global-owned cabler is launching Picturing the Obamas on September 10 – three days after the unveiling of the White House portraits of the Obamas. The doc will see curators, journalists, and art critics discuss the ways that the pair’s portraits disrupted traditional presidential portraiture and spurred museums to reach new audiences. The portraits were unveiled in 2018, captivating the world, becoming an instant social media sensation and bringing record numbers to the National Portrait Gallery in Washington, DC. The Obamas’ portraits were created by two Black artists, Kehinde Wiley and Amy Sherald, a first for presidential portraits commissioned for the museum’s collection. They doubled annual attendance at the National Portrait Gallery and they went on a national tour last year. The special will include exclusive access as the portraits travel to museums in Chicago, Los Angeles, Atlanta, Houston and Brooklyn. The film examines the legacy of the first Black president and First Lady through the experiences of everyday people. It follows a Latina community organizer, a young artist from Southside Chicago, and multigenerational members of the oldest Black sorority as they visit the portraits and reflect on the meaning of the Obamas today.” • The meaning? People don’t have meanings.

Realignment and Legitimacy

Biden on political violence (1):

Well, unless you’re suppressing Occupy from a DHS fusion center…. Or sending the National Guard to Ferguson… Or putting some poor schlub in a choehold…. Et cetera, et cetera, et cetera.

Biden on political violence (2):

Well, that’s helpful….

* * *

“Exposing LA County Elections” [Patel Patriot’s Devolution Series] • This is a yard diagram, but I don’t think drawn too tight. Interestingly, it mentions Everyone Counts, a horrid vendor also used by [drumroll] CalPERS. It also mentions VSAP, but doesn’t go into the technical reasons for VSAP’s awfulness, as this extensive NC post does. (I should hat tip a reader for this link, but I can’t find them. Raise your hand in comments!)

Biden is correct than a real insurrection takes more than cosplay:


Changed by disaster (1): Covid:

Ditto. It’s been wonderfully clarifying!

Changed by disaster (2): Katrina:

* * *

Sorry for the size of the graphic, but I got a little carried away; this is CDC’s description of Rochelle Walensky’s plan for a re-org. I’ve highlighted the especially egregious examples of management consultant-speak — starting with the title, “Moving Forward” — added a red dot before every example of tricolon, and marked the two typos. (Tricolon is important as a marker that the anonymous author of the piece probably cares more about rhetoric than analysis. Typos are important because they mean that the entire process is sloppy, and probably not just at the line-edit level. Typos also show that nobody cared enough to read the piece a second time and fix what was wrong. Institutionally, a very bad sign, like visiting the printer and seeing a beer bottle under the press. More pointedly, none of the troops care about making Walensky look good.) Brilliantly, the piece begins in the passive voice:

I’m sure you can find more, much more! It’s also very hard for me to see how the remaining CDC employees would find this reassuring.

* * *

I’ve been screaming for masks to be made into fashion items like Nike shoes since the pandemic began. Finally:

* * *

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 ~88,700. Today, it’s ~88,700 and 88,700 * 6 = a Biden line at 532,200 per day. (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 we are very far from that of July 1, 2021. And the real level is much worse.

Regional case count for four weeks:

The South:

Florida and Texas to resume their dance?

The South (minus Texas and Florida):

The West:


Wastewater data (CDC), August 27:

Very unhappy with the grey dots in California, or virtually no dots in Texas and Florida. We have no check on case numbers in critical states.

For grins, August 23:

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.

• “Surveillance of SARS-CoV-2 in nine neighborhood sewersheds in Detroit Tri-County area, United States: Assessing per capita SARS-CoV-2 estimations and COVID-19 incidence” [Science of the Total Environment]. “The study suggests that monitoring selected water quality parameters or biomarkers, along with RNA concentrations in wastewater, will allow adequate data normalization for spatial comparisons, especially in areas where detailed sanitary sewage flows and contributing populations in the catchment areas are not available. This opens the possibility of using WBE to assess community infections in rural areas or the developing world where the contributing population of a sample could be unknown.” • Hmm.


From the Walgreen’s test positivity tracker, August 30:

-1.1%. The downward trend inside the red circle is actually encouraging.


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.)

This is actually improving. More yellow in the Plains states and the Mountain states.

Rapid Riser data, by county (CDC), August 30:

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 30:

Lots of green, which should make the hospital-centric goons at the Centers for Disease happy. Then again, Light Green is trending down, and Dark Green is straight down. What I would like to see is a lot of Dark Green. But I’m not.

NOTE: Rapid Riser and Hospitalization data are updated Wednesdays and Fridays.


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].

Lambert here: The last real — i.e., not modeled — data from CDC is August 6. That’s such a ginormous derelection I don’t even know what to say. Basic disrespect for honest, hardworking Americans trying to make their “personal risk assessments.” How on earth are people supposed to do that without variant data? Do the morons at CDC think BA.5 is going to be the last?

NOT UPDATED Variant data, national (Walgreens), August 13:

No sign of BA2.75 at Walgreens, despite its success in India and presence in Bay Area wastewater.

NOT UPDATED Variant data, national (CDC), August 6 (Nowcast off):

No sign of BA2.75 as yet.


Death rate (Our World in Data):

Total: 1,069,748 – 1,069,499 = 249 (249 * 365 = 90,885, which is today’s LivingWith™* number (quite a bit higher than the minimizers would like, thought they can talk themselves into anything. Fluctuates quite a bit, but even the low numbers are bad). I have added an anti-triumphalist black Fauci Line. It’s nice that for deaths I have a simple, daily chart that just keeps chugging along, unlike everything else CDC and the White House are screwing up or letting go dark, good job.

Stats Watch

Employment Situation: “United States ADP Employment Change” [Trading Economics]. “Private businesses in the United States hired 132K workers in August of 2022, down from 268K in July, the new National Employment Report produced by the ADP Research Institute in collaboration with the Stanford Digital Economy Lab showed. It is the smallest gain since the start of 2021… ‘Our data suggests a shift toward a more conservative pace of hiring, possibly as companies try to decipher the economy’s conflicting signals. We could be at an inflection point, from super-charged job gains to something more normal’, said Nela Richardson, chief economist, ADP.”

Manufacturing: “United States Chicago PMI” [Trading Economics]. “The Chicago PMI in the United States was at 52.2 in August of 2022, remaining relatively unchanged from the 23-month low of 52.1 hit in the prior month and broadly in line with market estimates of 52.”

* * *

The Bezzle; “Tesla faces Autopilot lawsuit alleging phantom braking” [The Register]. “A lawsuit filed against Tesla this month accuses the automaker of covering up an alleged malfunction that makes vehicles stop for nonexistent objects, sometimes in the middle of traffic, while in Autopilot mode. The class-action-seeking suit [PDF], which was filed in federal court in northern California, accuses Tesla of fraud, breach of warranty, violation of the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act, disregard for Cali’s deceptive trade practices laws, and unjust enrichment. ‘The problem is that Tesla is rushing these features to market when the technology is not yet ready and not yet safe. That is what this case is about,’ attorneys for 2021 Tesla Model 3 owner Alvarez Toledo, the California-based plaintiff looking to represent the class, alleged in the filing.” • Move fast and break things…

Tech: “How 1-Time Passcodes Became a Corporate Liability” [Krebs on Security]. “A recent spate of SMS phishing attacks from one cybercriminal group has spawned a flurry of breach disclosures from affected companies, which are all struggling to combat the same lingering security threat: The ability of scammers to interact directly with employees through their mobile devices…. In mid-June 2022, a flood of SMS phishing messages began targeting employees at commercial staffing firms that provide customer support and outsourcing to thousands of companies. The missives asked users to click a link and log in at a phishing page that mimicked their employer’s Okta authentication page. Those who submitted credentials were then prompted to provide the one-time password needed for multi-factor authentication. The phishers behind this scheme used newly-registered domains that often included the name of the target company, and sent text messages urging employees to click on links to these domains to view information about a pending change in their work schedule.” • But then who needs phishing when there are apps:

* * *

Today’s Fear & Greed Index: 48 Neutral (previous close: 49 Neutral) [CNN]. One week ago: 57 (Greed). (0 is Extreme Fear; 100 is Extreme Greed). Last updated Aug 31 at 3:05 PM EDT.

Sports Desk

“Federal Lawsuit Filed Over Arrests of Five Midland Christian School Educators” [The Roys Report]. • Not a sex scandal. They messed with the local football team, and the cops didn’t like it.

Class Warfare

The labor market’s not what it was, champ:

News of the Wired

A cheerful thought:

“Iowa town asks: Where did we put our time capsule?” [Associated Press]. “The small northwest Iowa city of Sheldon planned to make the opening of a time capsule one of the centerpiece events of its 150th anniversary this weekend, but it ran into a slight problem. No one is sure where the time capsule is buried. The other events will go on as planned, with the time capsule unveiling delayed until workers can find it. To do that, the city will hire a company with an underground radar system that helped the nearby city of Sibley find its time capsule earlier this year.” • I really love it tht there’s a business model for recovering lost time capsules!

* * *

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: “The grasshoppers have been rather vicious this year but the bees don’t mind them eating the leaves but don’t really care to dine with them on the sweets.” I’ve taken the bee + sunflower photo myself — but not this one!

* * *

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. Screwball

    “‘Picturing The Obamas’ Documentary Framed At Smithsonian Channel”

    Will the Obama worship ever end? It seems not. That paragraph was hard to read. I don’t know where their pictures are hung/posted/shown, but personally, I would just like to piss on them.

  2. ambrit

    “‘Roe v Wade’ will be a long forgotten memory by 2024.”
    Only if you are the Democrat Party Campaign Committee. The “nutter” wing of the Republican Party kept it as a major policy issue for Fifty Years! Then, they went and won their issue!
    Today’s Democrat Party is not a political party in the realist sense. It is a funds raising organization attached to a Perpetual Jobs Program for “the right” PMCs.
    Did I just hear the ghost of Henry Clay laughing from beyond the grave?

  3. KD

    “as long as they’re hired for their competence and not because of what they look like or who they sleep with.”

    Unfortunately, you don’t have to be an affirmative action hire to be incompetent. Straight, white Christian males like George W. Bush, Donald Rumsfeld, and Dick Cheney proved that point, and you can add a host of Eurocrats from Brussels to that list.

    1. Carla

      This cannot be said too often, KD. I don’t know how often I’ve observed “This guy would never have gotten (or been able to keep) this job if he were not a white male.” I’ve seen it for all of my long life. And the maddening thing is, IT STILL HOLDS.

  4. dcblogger

    A recent study shows that more women in Pennsylvania are registering to vote since the U.S. Supreme Court decision on June 24 reversing Roe v. Wade and overturning the constitutional right to abortion.

    Target Smart Insights, a data analysis company, reports women in Pennsylvania are out-registering men by a 12-point margin.


    the opinion polls are not picking this up. remember how the polls were tight on the Kansas referendum, and it was a pro-choice blow out? Fetterman has this. And I think this will continue to be a huge concern for women thru 2024.

      1. Pelham

        Re abortion and the subject as it pertains to Youngkin in Va.: If one chooses to believe that the fetus deserves legal protection beyond a certain point — as is common across Europe at 15 weeks — I don’t understand why either the pro- or anti-abortion sides don’t call out the rotten illogic of making exceptions past 15 weeks for cases of rape or incest.

        In other words, why would it be OK to murder a child for the sins of the biological father? The pro-life people holding out this exception undermine their strongest argument, thereby sabotaging their own movement while also opening the door wide for attacks from the pro-choice side.

    1. ChrisRUEcon

      Aha … posted my comment below about lots of women in Fetterman’s audiences before reading this up top. So yes, certainly looking like this is playing into his hands.

      1. JohnnySacks

        Damn, I hope it plays into his hands. When I watch interviews with him he really doesn’t say much about anything policy related. I’m always left waiting to hear something strong and forthright with regards to policy. Lots of Oz trash talking, well deserved, but some voters may want a senate race to be more than a trolling contest, not that the voters who probably feel that way wouldn’t be voting for him anyways. Couldn’t some ‘undecideds’ get out or swing his way on some strong policy statements?

  5. ambrit

    That ‘Patriot Front’ video is classic militia action. The pictured bunch are not training here to fight the American army. They are training for street fighting. Whether against “lefties” or “traitorous police” remains to be seen.
    You could have found exactly such ‘antics’ going on in Weimar Germany, on both sides of that struggle. [Both sides had ex WW-1 servicemen in their ranks.]
    These are the beginnings of American Brownshirts, out in public no less. If we start to see more of this sort of content, backed by, or, at the least, unchallenged by the Patriot organizations, we will know that the political winds are blowing very hot indeed.
    It is a truism in America that the Organs of State Security infiltrate and try to manipulate “underground” organizations. The numbers of hapless would be jihadists of colour serving prison sentences for being unlucky enough to have followed the ‘advice’ of police sponsored finks and moles proves the point. Here one has to wonder whether those “moles” are true wreckers in disguise or perhaps ‘true believers’ there to facilitate matters in favour of the American Brownshirts.
    The original Brownshirts had backing from Titans of Finance and right wing politicos back then. The same should be applicable today.
    We live in interesting times. [I really do fear for our grandchildren.]

    1. drumlin woodchuckles

      To what extent have the “undergrounders” already long-since reverse-infiltrated people into some or all of the Organs of State Security? And the Armed Forces?

      1. Lambert Strether Post author

        That was my thought when Biden made his remark about the F-15. The Christian Right, as Mikey Weinstein shows, is very strong at the Air Force Academy (another answer to my perennial question on an American break-up: Who gets the nukes?

        1. Arizona Slim

          One of my local friends is a retired USAF pilot who flew the F-15 Eagle. And, guess what, he also is an atheist.

          Although he isn’t an Air Force Academy graduate, he’s well aware of what’s going on in Colorado Springs. Suffice it to say that the Christian Right’s strong presence does not fill him with joy.

        2. drumlin woodchuckles

          I ( or rather the little gray mouseman who sends “me” here) was once at an extended family gathering with many people, including my youngest Air National Guard brother, who at the time was based in a “major Western state”. He had had to interact personally with some of these evangelicals and also “national christianists” in various endeavors, including some civilian science-y work on the side. One of them lectured him personally on how the earth was created whatever thousand years ago, the fossil record is the work of the Devil, etc.

          At that gathering, I suggested that the kind of people who have infiltrated the Air Force Academy are the kind of people who would much rather drop H-bombs on New York, Sand Francisco and Los Angeles than drop them on Moscow and Beijing. I asked my younger brother, based on his experience in a “major Western state” whether I was literally correct or whether I was inadvertently exaggerating. He told me that in his carefully considered opinion, my estimation of these people was exactly literally correct and if they had an opportunity to drop H-bombs on New York, Los Angeles, and/or San Francisco; they would do it, as their part in God’s Work against some Cities of Satan.

          So . . . “who gets the bombs” is a real concern. As is . . . “where do I live” ?

        3. Terry

          MRFF drives a bunch of the middle of the Venn Diagram between “Military Officers” and “Religious Zealots” to viscous distraction. His hate mail page is something else.
          I recall reading over a decade ago about the Quiverfull folks all sending their kids to the Air Force so the, er, godly would be the ones to have access to his destructive capacity.

      2. digi_owl

        Or that serving makes one amenable to their message.

        Germany recently had a nasty shock recently in that regard.

      3. Henry Moon Pie

        I think that’s a question that a lot of people in DC and New York have been asking for a while. It doesn’t seem to me that anyone is very sure of the answer. Flynn obviously overreached, but the Libs are hiding behind the Pentagon and the CIA. Those people are as far away from the rank-and-file as the politicians are from us.

        Meanwhile, I have a question for Joe Biden. How many F-15s did the Taliban have? This country is very, very fragile, especially now. It relies on what is really a very high level of compliance, and that’s breaking down fast, right down to stoplights. I don’t think it would even take active guerrilla activity. Just enough people dropping out until stores don’t open, things don’t get on the shelves, water systems held together with bubble gum and baling wire fall apart when there are staff shortages. That process is already far along in many parts of the country.

        And of course the answer from the billionaires, echoed from Powell to Cramer to Summers is “CRACK DOWN HARDER!”

        1. tegnost

          why didn’t he say f-35 I wonder…
          f 15 seems kind of dated, but we did actually make things back then so maybe joe knows the f 35’s are like those lunar modules that you’d cut the cereal box apart to ,make, cardboard cutouts…billion dollar cardboard cutouts…jeez, why didn’t I think of that?
          I could be rich, too…

          1. Bart Hansen

            How many f-35s can that seven billions that we plundered from Afghanistan buy? Two, three

      1. ambrit

        But will the supply chains run on time?
        Moosilini, (ably assisted by his squirrely sidekicks,) had a viable philosophy with which to conjure. People like Gentile and Mussolini formulated a floor of belief up from which the edifice of The Fascist State could be built.
        Gentile: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Giovanni_Gentile
        In a similar way to all the ex-Communists who formed the core of the modern neo-liberal movement, Mussolini started out as a socialist.
        The Britannica squib on ‘The March on Rome’ is very apropos to today’s politics.
        The March on Rome: https://www.britannica.com/event/March-on-Rome
        No wonder Trudeau wanted to cut the truckers off at their knees. They were a real danger to his hold on power.
        The Jan/6 riot was just a dress rehearsal.
        One thing to ponder, “Are you pondering what I’m pondering?,” is that the Italian Army refused to deploy against the Fascists when they were ordered to. This brings up the question of exactly who would the Organs of State Security consider “worthy” of support? I can see the Security Establishment getting fed up with the fecklessness of the Political Duopoly. Say, a Winter of Discontent and an ‘American Spring’ full of demonstrations and riots could well sway that august group into looking with forbearance and sympathy upon a political movement that promised to make the Supply Chains Run on Time.
        We live in interesting times.

      2. The Rev Kev

        Didn’t help when the Democrats have declared conservatives/patriots/whatever as enemies of the State with the full force of government to be used against them. Punishing the Jan 6th rioters may have been satisfying to them emotionally & politically but I bet that it put on notice a large portion of the country that they are next.

        1. Lex

          It appears that today the WH press secretary, on behalf of POTUS said that “MAGA republicans are a threat to our democracy”. Which is something.

          1. ambrit

            To which the more astute MAGA republicans ask; “Whose democracy? What do you mean “we” Davos Man?”
            The sad thing about all this is that the Democides will play with fire, and we, the people, will get burned.

      3. JTMcPhee

        Too bad the motivations of these clumsy “patriotic” brutes are not as decent as the ones that moved the Bonus Marchers back in the day. Where the violence was so very clearly on the part of the Gummint of the Wealthy. Or in the case of so many labor actions against industry, with the FBI and Pinkertons and local cops and state police breaking the heads of and killing plain old working people just seeking a fairer distribution of the spoils of industrialization.

    2. digi_owl

      One may wonder if not for the casus belli provided by Japan, USA would have quietly supported the Axis during WW2.

      1. ambrit

        Remember the actions of the International Business Machines Corporation before, during, and after WW-2 and you will notice that America’s elites are not a monobloc. One part of said elites fought the Axis while another part profited from trading with the Axis, even if through third party cut outs.
        As for Japan’s mistake in not fully knocking the American naval ships and facilities in the Pacific out at the Pearl Harbour raid, well, one can thank Admiral Nagumo for not sending out the fourth wave of attacking aircraft that day. If I remember correctly, Genda, the air arm commander wanted to go back and destroy the fuel and ammo depots around Pearl Harbour, but was overruled. If he had done so, the War would have developed much differently.
        The Atlantic War was the result of the machinations of an evil political genius by the name of Churchill. If not for him, America might have stayed neutral. The American public was solidly neutralist up until the Pearl Harbour attack.
        We will not begin to get into the intricacies of why the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbour in the first place.
        Stay safe and keep the Homeland fires burning patriots!

        1. drumlin woodchuckles

          I can forgive Churchill his machinations, because had America remained neutral in the European part of the war, a victorious Nazi Germany would have bided its time and invaded the North American continent at some future point if it could not have “internally nazified” it in the meantime.

          Very different than WWI, in which even a victorious German Empire would have stayed on its side of the Atlantic.

          1. ambrit

            We differ here. I consider the “Pacification” of Asian Russia to have been a sufficiently difficult task to have absorbed the attentions of the Reich for a generation to come.

          2. Rodeo Clownfish

            Not likely. The USSR beat Germany in the East, and would have made it to Berlin to finish the job even if the USA USA had stayed at home and never fought in the war.

            1. JBird4049

              The Soviets did most of the dying and ultimately are the most responsible for defeating Germany. However, much of what it used aside from their lives and heavy weapons (tanks, artillery, and planes) much of everything else including most of the trucks and cars were shipped to them. Even tanks, airplanes, trains, and food were supplied.

              If the Germans had not been distracted by the British and Americans and the Soviets’ shortages not been filled especially trucks, I don’t think that the Soviets would have won. I do not think that the Germans would have either, but that is a different question.

          3. Lex

            Except Hitler quite admired the US, with its race laws and such. Wall Street was friendly with him. Allen Dulles had his first big time job running a private bank for a German industrialist that was an excellent conduit for sending American finance capital to Berlin to make a killing. I think the US and Nazi Germany would have found a way to coexist.

      2. Leftcoastindie

        Quite possible, except that Germany made the question moot when it declared war on the U.S. on December 11, 1941.

        1. ambrit

          But that was after the Pearl Harbour raid. If the Japanese could have held off on the raid for a half of a year, the war in Europe would have developed less favourably for the Anglosphere.
          Hitler had promised to support Japan earlier on. The debacle of the Russia campaign hadn’t begun yet.
          To continue as an industrial power, Japan needed those raw materials denied them by the Anglosphere. Unlike Russia today, Japan then did not have raw materials of their own sufficient to maintain their industry for long at a high level of production.

          1. The Rev Kev

            The Japanese couldn’t wait as America had given their oil supply the chop which meant that as far as oil to keep their Fleet sailing and their economy going, the clock was ticking. After six months they wouldn’t have had the oil to sail around Tokyo Bay.

    3. KD

      Whenever four are gathered in my name, a fifth is present, because at least one of the four is a federal informant.

      If the American regime collapses, its not going to be from an organized opposition, its just going to be because everyone shrugs like in Eastern Europe. At best, we’ll get some nice street fights, followed by indictments and federal prison for the participants.

      To actually have fascism, you need an actual socialist revolutionary left poised to seize power and confiscate capitalist’s property. Only then can fascism find backers. Instead, we have a left that sells anti-capitalist merchandise and worries about pronouns and online bullies.

      1. nippersdad

        “If the American regime collapses, its not going to be from an organized opposition, its just going to be because everyone shrugs like in Eastern Europe.”

        That is pretty much how I see it as well. Here, anyway, what would happen is that those righties who wanted to go to war would worry about the paint job on their monster trucks being spoiled even as the leftier versions would rather cut their grass. With the polarization of cities vs. country it would be problematic insofar as no one wants to commute to a war; where would one park?

        The revolution may not be televised because it was just to boring to broadcast.

    4. Randy

      You hear about these wannabe military types training in the woods of Michigan or wherever, 300-400 strong.

      Depending on where Navy Seals loyalty lies…….you could insert Seal Team 6 into the middle of their activities and the wannabe bozos would all be dead. Amateurs, they could intimidate civilians but that’s it. And it would be good riddance.

      1. AndrewJ

        That’s not the point. They’re training to frighten and subjugate civilian populations. Whenever protests driven by scarcity and austerity start, you’ll find these guys on the other side, with the tacit approval of the police. They don’t need to be better than an elite military team – they just need to be able to break black bloc protesters and frighten regular people.
        Next time a summer of protest goes down in Portland, I will not be surprised to see these guys show up.

        1. JBird4049

          The United States has a habit of bombing countries to and slaughtering civilians while still losing the war. Vietnam, Cambodia, Afghanistan, Iraq are examples. The more innocent people die then the more of their families, friends, even neighbors grab a gun and join the resistance. Just killing people often fails.

          If anyone thinks that the ostensible right or conservative, really neo-fascists or truly bonkers fundamentalists, will just quickly murder they way using just some ultra violence, please look at places like Columbia, El Salvador, Nicaragua, or South Africa. Yes, the conservative or government side will usually win, but sometimes not, and the fighting is often much longer than people predict.

          And let us not forget that even a state like California has a well armed population; a country of over three hundred million, a third armed, and most of them not of the fascist right or neoliberal “left.”

          While I have no difficulties with any protest moment getting slaughtered one summer, what about the next summer? It is a gigantic country with many people not really understanding just how gigantic. How large an army of occupation would you need for Los Angeles or New York City, Chicago, or even Duluth?

          1. tegnost

            I don’t know how relevant it is, but Columbia, El Salvador, and Nicaragua had heavily subsidised pro capitalist armies…not sure about South Africa

            1. JBird4049

              The United States spent a lot of money funding efforts to murder communists, socialists,
              union organizers, reformers, religious figures, intellectuals, and other evil people while refusing to allow even the most modest reforms of the ruling families and their death squads, paramilitaries, military, and lawless police.

              The ruling class insisted on keeping all the wealth generated while murdering anyone who even mumbled a protest. With the moderates of both sides murdered or exiled, that left the extreme right and left to fight it out with guns.

              The American ruling class is often its own enemy, but so long as the “communists” or anyone to the left of Francisco Franco are not in power, they don’t mind fighting to the last dead peasant using the last junta member. Just look at Ukraine with its very similar dynamics. Large swathes of the Cold War was not ideological, but money making, in nature. Not all, but much.

    5. Terry

      I was forced to come to a lot of the same collisions, er, conclusions. Those are DIY riot squads, built for kettling and front line melee.

      Interesting Times indeed – seems The End of History was merely a compression algorithm, and now that it has Resumed, after a global revolution in digital communications and weaponry, we get to live all of the largest disruptions of the past 120 years all at once in a massively parallel delivery system, but with tons of opposing vectors.

    1. shinola

      I caught that – didn’t make sense to me either so I checked out the link to the survey. Here’s what it actually measured:
      “In the survey, Fetterman earned the support of 76% of Democrats, while Oz’s GOP support sat at 62%.”

      Could have used better explanation in the article Lambert linked to…

    2. Pelham

      Re Fetterman in general: I’ve kept up with this race only glancingly, but it appears to me that Fetterman has been cagey about his post-stroke condition, only now sort of opening up about his recovery after prodding from Oz. I’m very pro-Fetterman, but if he had been more forthcoming from the start — even without appearing in public — he might have earned a useful extra measure of respect and sympathy. As Lambert says, there are probably lots of guys in that part of the world who’ve suffered similar consequences from life’s struggles.

      1. Tom Doak

        He couldn’t be forthcoming from the start for fear his own party would stab him in the back. Because they already were trying.

    1. Bart Hansen

      I’m not sure why Lambert calls ‘agency’ a typo, but that usage has interested me since it garnered saliency in the past few years. Whenever I read that someone now has agency, I reckon that individual is a new State Farm agent.

      Oh, and ‘garnered’ is high on the trendy list as well.

  6. fresno dan

    So, being newly married is opening up all sorts of new and novel vistas. My wife informs me it is the 25th anniversary of the death of Dianna (is it princess of Wales?). She tells me that her news feed is chock full of Dianna.
    My news feed has not one electron about it. It does go to show that being well informed is….kinda subjective.

      1. ambrit

        Diana, poor thing, but who mourns the passing of her paramour, Dodi Fayed, or the driver, Henri Paul.
        However, I will admit that Diana has become about the closest thing to a secular saint known today.
        Diana’s death is also a strong inducement to allow the lawful killing of paparazzi by passing bystanders. Then there is the TMZ film crew…. So many targets, so few….

        1. The Rev Kev

          As I told my wife, the only person to survive that crash was the bodyguard – because he put on his goddamn seat-belt! Yeah, he was badly injured but you have to be alive to be badly injured. If Diana, Dodi and the driver had their seat-belts on, they might have survived.

    1. katiebird

      Not a word on my news feed either. I just saw it mentioned on the evening news. First I knew. Although since she died 2 days after my first grandchild was born, I half knew it was around this time. Hmmm. I guess he’s 25. OMG.

    2. Terry

      Never have so many trees given their lives, nor ink been spilled, nor server space and network freight been wasted, as has been burnt in service to eulogizing and lamenting the passing of princess Diana.

      I don’t think I have ever walked out of a food store or pharmacy without being graced with a picture of her face on a special edition magazine in the past 25 years. It gives me that creepy ‘harvest sacrifice’ vibe wherein concentrating constant focus on her death distracts from the centuries of horrific odiousness coming from the British royal family itself, as well as its present avatars.

  7. digi_owl

    the one time codes thing is a ripple effect of the loss of physicality.

    As everything from telcos to banks turns to the web and mobile for selv serve in order to save on physical offices and staff, crap like this will keep happening.

    1. Revenant

      A onetime passcode is an unbreakable cryptography system where Bob and Alice each have the same cypher pad of random numbers and encode their message using it once and only once. Cock up that protocol and your code is breakable.

      A onetime password is a six digit password that your bank texts you. It is very much not the same thing!

      On a related note, my friend recently had her bank account socially hacked from within her banking app by inapp messages purporting to be from the card fraud team. Worse, she gave the hacker a hard time on the call she then made and did not believe him – until she was eventually convinced and then she thanked him for saving her money! She was boarding a flight abroad for work at the time and had no money and no cards for days…

  8. curlydan

    OK, the Walgreens COVID 19 Positivity Tracker is driving me positively nuts.

    For the past couple weeks, I’ve been writing down the daily amounts and percentages.

    So today, we learn that the positivity rate is down 1.1% from the previous week.

    But a week ago, the “current” positivity rate on 8/24 on Walgreens tracker was not 33.3% but was 35.6%. So really, the positivity rate should be down 3.4% instead if the week ago #s were correct. The week ago numbers are also a little screwy, too.

    See here (https://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2022/08/200pm-water-cooler-8-24-2022.html)

    I don’t get what Walgreens is doing. I like the effort, but there’s something weird going on.

    1. Jason Boxman

      I’ve been concerned since they integrated the rapid test reporting along with the regular PCRs. The numbers shot up substantially, in terms of number of tests, but that reset the overall numbers for the reporting periods and the graph since January or whatever, so I’ve been somewhat suspicious since then. If only the Centers for Disease were a functional organization.

  9. Dr. John Carpenter

    That letter about the employee’s car…whew. That was vile. And “dealerships we have worked with in the past”? I mean WTF?!? Kickback much?

    Every time I think I’m too cynical, something reminds me I’m not cynical enough.

    1. hunkerdown

      You’re not because it’s probably fake. At least jalopnik never got a word back from the actual recipient, FWTW. I think r/antiwork came to a similar conclusion when presented.

      My sniffer has trouble believing an org with a need for those titles would give them to not one but two people with such a lack of CYA and management savvy as to leave traces of the mere possibility of discriminatory conduct in a copyable medium, unless the place was a pure grift and had no familyblogs to give.

  10. Jason Boxman

    So you’ll notice the SMS fishing was principally targeted at stealing BTC. Also, BTC is popular for ransomware demands. It’s not clear that any legitimate purpose exists or will ever exist for BTC and crypto in general.

    It is causing untold collateral damage upon the world, though.

  11. ndk

    This paper from Jackson Hole is seriously worth a read. It goes straight to the throat of Treasury, effectively saying, “inflation is on you and it’s your problem to fix.”

    Will inflation fall as rapidly as it rose, following a similar pattern observed after the Second World War and the Korean War in the United States? Or will inflation drift up as observed in the late 1960s and 1970s in many advanced economies?

    In this paper, we argue that the answer to these important questions hinges predominantly on the fiscal authority’s credibility in stabilizing a large fiscal imbalance. [emphasis mine]

    1. ChrisRUEcon

      > This paper from Jackson Hole is seriously worth a read.

      LOL … no it’s not. New Keynesians suck.

      JFC … how many pages is that thing??? 31!

      The entire premise of that paper can be gleaned from the abstract – look also at the “keywords” beneath:

      Keywords: Fiscal limits, monetary/fiscal policy mix, inflation, government debt, fiscal stagflation.

      [Emphasis mine]

      Yep folks, here goes another attempt frame current inflation as largely “fiscal” in nature. I did the cursory quick perusal, checking for all occurrences of the word “shock”, and sure enough, all the modeling yada-yada is set up to show that cost-push shocks are transitory, but the bigger problem is fiscal inflation. The conclusion is as predictable as afternoon summer T-storms in Florida (excerpt):

      Following the COVID pandemic, the United States, like many other countries, has implemented robust fiscal interventions. We have shown that these policy interventions facilitated the quick rebound observed after the pandemic recession. At the same time, they also contributed to the surge in fiscal inflation.

      Translation: The measly government stimulus was good, but it was still bad because it created inflation!

      What an utter travesty it is that people like this are given any policy voice whatsoever … anywhere.

      Once again #NC prepares minds better than these charlatans.

      From Links earlier this year: Why Is Everything More Expensive Right Now? Let This Stuffed Giraffe Explain

      I guess the geniuses (/sarc) at Jackson Hole are in step with the geniuses (/sarc) at the CDC in proclaiming that COVID is over, so supply chains should be supply-chaining like it’s 1999 or something. I caught my back alley neighbor for a chat the other day. She had lent her car to a friend whose Prius had its catalytic converter stolen. As if that wasn’t bad enough for the friend, a new one could not be got in short shrift … because supply chain!

      Forget the Jackson (A**-)Hole crew. Listen to Abba Lerner (via JSTOR). Lerner explains in a few paragraphs (from the visible abstract) what it took those idiots over 30 pages of contortions and a set of BS models to justify.


      While buyers’ inflation is caused by too much spending, i.e., by buyers trying to buy more goods than are available and thereby bidding up prices, sellers’ inflation is caused by sellers raising prices even in the face of a deficiency of spending. A failure to distinguish between the two types of inflation aggravates a problem which has become a serious threat to democratic society.

      What we (still) have now is seller’s inflation … not buyer’s inflatiion.


      The appropriate treatment for buyers’ inflation is to cut down the excessive spending that causes it. This may be done by a restrictive monetary or fiscal policy. But if restrictive monetary or fiscal policy is used against sellers’ inflation, spending is reduced when it is not excessive, so that we get a deficiency of demand, depression and unemployment. The inflation will continue, however, unless the induced depression is severe enough to destroy the power of sellers to raise their prices.

      [Emphasis mine]

      This is what no mainstream economist wants to address – the unfettered power of sellers to raise prices. See European energy, see domestic prices at the pump and see every link in the supply chain passing cost along to the end consumer. Granted, the ability to control prices is not in the hands of the economists, per se … but economists advise politicians on the economy, and if the best they can come up with is more fiscal contraction, we’re all in for a rough ride.

  12. Lex

    Someone should remind Joe Biden of what the Taliban was primarily armed with for the last 20 years. And he might be in for a rather large surprise in terms of insurgent capability given the number of arms he’s gotten into the black market via Ukraine. Javelins are going for less than a new car. Kamikaze drones are readily available.

    Lambert, “The Synergist” which is the magazine of the American Industrial Hygiene Association mentions that the CDC “Examines Ventilation Strategies in Public Schools” in its August 22 issue. The blurb has been the source of a few cynical laughs in my department since that should have been started in March 2020, would have been quite simple and cost-effective and now has no hope of being implemented before the 2023 academic year (or highly unlikely because of the way school projects are scheduled).

    1. Michael Ismoe

      How many nukes did Timothy McVeigh have?

      Good old Joe, taunting people to do stupid sh!t is something we can re-hire his predecessor to do. And he does it better.

      1. JohnnySacks

        A few big dudes with some box cutters kicking cockpit doors down and we blow up 2 countries and toss a few trillion into the hands of the most useless companies in the world for 2 decades. We’re so full of ourselves it’s almost pathetic.

    1. drumlin woodchuckles

      Here is a bunch of images of hoverflies.

      Here is a bunch of images of mostly beeflies. ( the furry ones are the beeflies)

      And here , just for fun, is a mixed bunch of images, some of bees, some of bee-mimic robber flies, which look like bees in order to trick their prey into letting them get too close.

    1. Dermotmoconnor

      Angela Nagles phrase “creating scarcity in an economy of virtue” … Regarding online witch-hunts comes to mind. She’s canceled too now of course.

  13. fresno dan

    Keith Olbermann
    Otter Trucking Trump sold the names of our foreign spies and sources, didn’t he?
    maybe not.
    I’m willing to wait for…..wait for it….evidence.
    Speaking of evidence, it seems to me there is an awful lot of evidence that a lot of FBI people aren’t too bright, have problems drawing logical inferences, and flat out make things up. Uh, what consequences have there been to that?

    EXAMPLE: Review of four FISA applications and other aspects of the FBI’ Crossfire Hurricane Investigation
    We determined that the inaccuracies and omissions we identified in the applications resulted from case agents providing wrong or incomplete information to Department attorneys and failing to identify important issues for discussion. Moreover, we concluded that case agents and SSAs did not give appropriate
    attention to facts that cut against probable cause, and that as the investigation progressed and more information tended to undermine or weaken the assertions in the FISA applications, the agents and SSAs did not reassess the information supporting probable cause. Further, the agents and SSAs did not follow, or even appear to know, certain basic requirements in the Woods Procedures. Although we
    did not find documentary or testimonial evidence of intentional misconduct
    on the part of the case agents who assisted NSD’s Office of Intelligence (01) in preparing the applications, or the agents and supervisors who performed the Woods Procedures, we also did not receive satisfactory explanations for the errors or missing information. We found that the offered explanations for these serious errors did not excuse them, or the repeated failures to ensure the accuracy of information presented to the FISC. We are deeply concerned that so many basic and fundamental errors were made by three separate, hand-picked investigative teams; on one of the most sensitive FBI investigations; after the matter had been briefed to the highest levels within the FBI; even though the information sought through use of FISA authority related so closely to an ongoing presidential campaign; and even though those involved with the investigation knew that their actions were likely to be subjected to close scrutiny*. We believe this circumstance reflects a failure not just by those who prepared the FISA applications, but also by the managers and supervisors in the Crossfire Hurricane chain of command, including FBI senior officials who were briefed as the investigation progressed. We do not expect managers and supervisors to know every fact about an investigation, or senior leaders to know all the details of cases about which they are briefed. However, especially in the FBI’s most sensitive and high-priority matters, and especially when seeking court permission to use an intrusive tool such as a FISA order, it is incumbent upon the entire chain of command, including senior officials, to take the necessary steps to ensure that they are sufficiently familiar with the facts and circumstances supporting and potentially undermining a FISA application in order to provide effective oversight consistent with their level of supervisory responsibility. Such oversight requires greater familiarity with the facts than we saw in this review, where time and again during OIG interviews FBI managers, supervisors, and senior officials displayed a lack of understanding or awareness of important information concerning many of the problems we identified.
    * I don’t think the FBI did think they would be subjected to high levels of scrutiny. I think the FBI thought Hillary would win, and consequently, everyone on Crossfire Hurricane would be immune from any account.
    And after Russiagate, it seems not much has been learned…

  14. GF

    For those to young to have seen Dr. Strangelove in theaters back in the day, it will be on TCM tonight at 9 EDT. This is Peter Sellers day at the channel so every movie will feature him. He played three roles in the movie and was nominated for an Oscar.

  15. ChrisRUEcon


    Thanks for all the #TeamFetterman content from Twitter the Doom Scroll!! ;-) I follow him, but I think the algo’ buries him a bit.

    Just an “upon closer inspection” note – lotta women in his audiences, seems to me. Wondering if this is further proof that the GOP overreach on abortion is really having an impact.

    1. ChrisRUEcon


      Follow up comments, since it has been linked in support of the Olbermann tweet!

      Lambert from [1] > Oh, and the IMDB storyline for the Tinker, Tailor film has a horrific error: One of the plot points takes place not in Budapest, Hungary, but in then Czechslovakia, in Prague and Brno. Tsk.

      Again, did not read book, but love the film … so sad to confirm Lambert, that in the movie, the event that precipitates Control’s departure from the Circus takes place in Budapest (Prideau’s failed mission).

      In the movie, the precedent set is that of the Circus having been riddled by prior leaks and scandals, allowing Alleline and his faction to wrench power from Control & Smiley. Crucial to that power move is the new (but compromised) asset Polyakov. It is Control’s suspicion around the all too convenient prowess of the asset that leads to his demise (figuratively and literally).

      Shifting those themes to US political power structures, one can imagine that factions in our Circus show their fealties in likewise fashion. The “get Trump” faction is in the business of making chicken feed, but has to include “just enough glitter” with it in order get buy-in from those they are looking to convince – both in government and the populace. I don’t think there’s necessarily a Gerald on the other side – Russia – but there are potentially “Geralds” playing one side of the Circus for the other. We’re all familiar with the “walls are (not) closing in” nosh that’s seemingly never-ending now, even if it’s only been about six years. If there was anything on Trump that would stick, it would have happened already. One of the sub-plots in the movie was Karla trying to make it look like Ricky Tarr had been turned by Moscow Center by depositing £50,000 into Ricky’s account. My belief has been that those looking to get Trump could have used various agents pretending to be Trump-friendly to gain access to Mar-A-Lago, manufacture a leak of sorts, then spring the trap. However, it seems that not even that has been done, and instead, they’re still relying on innuendo and insinuation. Could part of the reason for this failure be that the Trump faction in the security apparatus have been good at spying on the other faction and helping Trump keep his nose clean by running interference? With respect to offed agents in the field, would anyone put it past the “get Trump” faction to do the offing just to implicate Trump?

      Would that Le Carré were still alive and penning another book about this …

    1. Jay Ess

      Sunlight destroys folic acid in the human body. Normally this is regarded as a bad thing, but I wonder if that relates to the reported COVID risk reduction associated with sunlight.

  16. flora

    Long thread from Matt Stoller about B’s student debt relief package and the response it’s getting.

    1. The anger at student debt relief has a backstory. Those of us who worked on financial/foreclosure policy during the Obama era were horrified by the the WH’s rigid ideological thinking around debt relief. Larry Summers helped destroy faith in America.


    1. Tom Stone

      Flora, in the 70’s I took a job collecting second, third and fourth placement Student Loans ( There was an economic downturn in CA at the time and I needed a job.).
      The percentage of delinquent student loans from scammy schools was at least 50% of those I saw.
      Like the place Bill Clinton was something “Emeritus” of for $10 Million a year which iirc included one speech a year…
      Trump had his share of this grift himself, are the Kardashians next?
      ITT Technical Insttute, Patten Bible College ( Those were fun, lots of curses including one on parchment with lovely calligraphy which cursed me and mine unto the seventh Generation).
      My point is that these loans should never have been made, they were a grift that benefitted the schools and the banks that made the federally guaranteed loans.
      There is NO RISK to the lender and a sweet little money spigot for the “Schools”, screw the funding units.

      I believe that all student loans should be converted to grants and that any pending loans be converted to grants.
      Grants, yes, Loans no.

  17. Tom Stone

    The opposition of the DOJ to a Special Master is clarifying, so was having agents who are tainted by their involvement in “Crossfire Hurricane” involved with the search at Mar A Lago.
    The Whitmer “Kidnapping Plot” and the Laptop that must not be examined were gross interference in the 2020 Presidential race.
    And this Mar A Lago raid is another demonstration of the DOJ/ FBI’s power.
    Craig Murray and Graham Phillips in the UK,
    Assange and many others in the USA.
    And now Trump, who is by virtue of his wealth an oligarch.
    And an ex President.
    Who stepped out of line.
    Messengers all.
    The FBI’s peckerprints are all over the 2016 election, from being very careful not to look at the backup of Hillary’s hard drive stored at Platte River to being able to percieve a substantive difference between being “Very Careless” and being “Grossly Negligent” ( 20 years in Leavenworth Federal Penitentiary)
    And who could forget Robbie Mook’s contribution to American Democracy “RussiaGate!” which inspired numerous FBI agents to flights of fancy that are enshrined in FISA Warrants

    I still miss Habeas Corpus, the Bill of Rights and shit like that, I’m just a Romantic at heart.


  18. The Rev Kev

    “Last year, a top-secret memo sent to every C.I.A. station around the world warned about troubling numbers of informants being captured or killed…” ‘

    Hasn’t Keith Olbermann got another American flag that he can wrap around himself again? And he is worried about CIA covers being blown by Trump? Jeez.

    Say, does anybody remember the time several years ago when the Iranians rolled up an entire CIA network of Iranian agents in Iran itself? And the reason was because some spook at Langley sent an email to them but used CC instead of the BC function to repeat that email to each of them? So when the Iranians had one email, at the top was the email address for each and every one of the other spies as well? They must still be dining off that story in Tehran.

    1. Terry

      Yup, thanks for confirming that really happened, its one of those things I get blank stares when I bring up.
      If I recall correctly, one of the people on the accidental carbon copy turned out to be a Double Agent, who then had a Who’s Who’s of deep cover agents and turned assets, whom were rapidly turned into counterintel interrogation fodder, and then likely reduced to their constituent materials, entirely destroying the human intel network there.

    1. ChrisRUEcon

      I have no idea why … but I instantly thought of “Touch & Go” by Emerson, Lake & Powell … LOL

      It’s Emerson’s keyboard riff, I think … at once triumphant yet meets the moment required by the subject matter!

      Enjoy! (via YouTube)

      And good riddance!

  19. Big River Bandido

    Re: “FACT SHEET: Biden-⁠Harris Administration Announces Public and Private Sector Actions to Strengthen Teaching Profession and Help Schools Fill Vacancies”

    This molasses-brained foolishness hits close to home, and not just because of ventilation. To supplement my income, I decided this summer to take a 20-hour substitute teacher authorization course. My state has waived certification requirements which makes it possible for me to do this — as a college teacher I was hired for my expertise and have never needed certification. Having completed the course I’m now applying to districts in my area. All substitute teacher assignments are filled by the school districts’ HR offices — highly-regimented governmental bodies. Wages appear to be “uniform”, but I really wonder if that’s the case.

    Seeing how bad the pay scales are now, I’m not sure it’s worth it — the *top*-paying district in this area pays $155 for a 9-hour day, or $17.22/hour. The others are all around $120, which works out to $13.33/hour.

    For context, grocery stores in this area offer a starting wage of $12/hour.

    Are there any members of the commentariat who are or have been substitute teachers? I know that my local districts are letting qualified subs “write their own ticket” on many of the terms of employment such as where/when, what grades, what subjects, how you want to be contacted, etc. But as a practical matter, are pay scales for government jobs of this type actually negotiable?


Comments are closed.