2:00PM Water Cooler 8/8/2022

By Lambert Strether of Corrente

Bird Song of the Day

Varied Triller, Queensland, Australia. Indeed!

* * *


“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

“The Distinct Shame of Senate Republicans” [The Bulwark]. “[H]ow much of this did Senate Republicans know when they voted to acquit Trump in his second impeachment on February 13, 2021? Probably most of it. Maybe even all of it…. The idea that the tiny network of the nation’s top Republicans were not circulating the ghastly details of Trump’s actions beginning on Election Day defies credulity. et let’s pretend that, somehow, Republican senators had truly been innocent—like children they had genuinely not known anything about Trump’s intentions and actions before January 6. Well, they surely learned about them on January 6. We know this because during the 187 minute span that afternoon, Trump called Republican senators. We know that he spoke with Tommy Tuberville and Josh Hawley. Who else did Trump call? And are we supposed to believe that neither of these men conveyed what they learned about Trump’s state of mind to their colleagues? Again with the credulity. And then there’s Mitch McConnell. The Republican leader’s wife, Elaine Chao, resigned from the administration because of the insurrection. Is there a separation of church-and-state in the McConnell household?”

Biden Administration

“Joe and Jill’s long summer” [CNN]. “[Anita McBride, who served as chief of staff to Laura Bush] notes first ladies are the best barometers for how a President is actually feeling.” • I read this thing twice, and I can’t find any barometer readings at all.

“The Inflation Reduction Act is Not Designed to Reduce Inflation” [Benjamin Studebaker]. “If you actually look at this thing, this legislation only raises $739 billion over the next decade. This means that on average, each year, it only raises around $73.9 billion. This is not as much money as you might think. The US spends around $782 billion on defense each year. Last year alone, the federal government spent $6.8 trillion. We’re looking at less than 10% of the defense budget, 1% of the federal budget, and about 0.3% of GDP. How is the federal government meant to combat inflation with a new tax that is smaller than a third of a percentage point of the economy? The purpose of the bill is to be seen to be doing something. The Biden administration needs something to run on in the midterms…. [T]he United States suffers from a chronic lack of state capacity. It struggles to pass all but the most paltry legislation. It cannot get out in front of its problems and it cannot even solve crises as they arise. So, it papers over its dysfunction by measuring spending in decades rather than in years, by sticking that extra zero on the end of every number. Seven hundred billion sounds much better than seventy billion. It almost sounds like somebody’s doing something. But it’s the sound of silence.” • True even for warfighting (except domestically, of course). Oh, but $73.9 billion will fund a lot of NGOs to do studies. So there’s that.

“The Sinema-Manchin split that shaped Dems’ deal” [Poliitico]. “It’s probably the last big party-line bill Democrats will be able to deliver for years, with the House expected to flip to Republicans in the November elections.” • So awesome. Going out in a fizzle of glory.


* * *

IL: “The Inflation Reduction Act is Not Designed to Reduce Inflation” [Benjamin Studebaker]. “In my home congressional district, the Republicans are pumping in a vast amount of money to challenge Frank Mrvan. Mrvan’s district has been blue since the 1930s. The district includes many of the poorest suburbs of Chicago, including Gary, East Chicago, and Lake Station. Many of these suburbs are majority African-American. Nevertheless, the Republicans think they can win this year. Why? These municipalities are so poor that there is little functioning public transit. To get around, people in these towns have to drive. They can’t afford new electric cars. They have to buy gas, and they have to buy it often. So, the GOP has nominated Jennifer-Ruth Green, a black female air force veteran. Americans for Prosperity is helping her travel from gas station to gas station, subsidizing the cost of gas back down to $2.38–the price when Joe Biden took office. What would she do if elected? She’d cut taxes on the rich and throw money at private oil companies to drill virgin wilderness. But if you’re broke and Green’s helped you save $20 on gas, you might not care. Maybe if she wins, she’ll run next again in two years, and you’ll save another $20. Why would you expect anything more? It’s not as if the Democrats will give it to you.” •

OH: “Tim Ryan turned his race into a surprise Senate battleground. Now comes the hard part” [Politico]. “Tim Ryan may be running ahead of J.D. Vance in Ohio. But the cavalry is coming to Vance’s rescue. Whether Ryan can survive the coming ad onslaught and keep Ohio’s Senate race surprisingly competitive is an open question. The Democratic congressman is making an appeal to Republicans and independents in hopes he can win in a state that has shifted right in recent years, falling off the center of the battleground map it occupied for so many decades. Vance, the Republican nominee, rose to prominence as the author of “Hillbilly Elegy” and was supported in the primary by former President Donald Trump and tech billionaire Peter Thiel. Independent polling in the race has been scarce so far. But Ryan has staked out a narrow 3-point edge in an internal poll for his campaign obtained exclusively by POLITICO, taking 48 percent support to Vance’s 45 percent, with 7 percent undecided.” • No reason to think Vance is a strong candidate; politics really isn’t easy. But on the bright side, if and when Ryan is elected, he can join Manchin and Sinema as a rotating villain. So all is not lost.

WY: “Liz Cheney Is Ready to Lose. But She’s Not Ready to Quit” [New York Times]. Cheney: “I would much rather serve with Mikie Sherrill and Chrissy Houlahan and Elissa Slotkin than Marjorie Taylor Greene and Lauren Boebert, even though on substance certainly I have big disagreements with the Democratic women I just mentioned.” Sherrill, Houlahan, and Slotkin. Houlahan and Slotkin are CIA Democrats. So that’s clarifying, not least about where Cheney’s funding will come from if and when she loses her race.


“Youngkin’s Donors” [Virginia Public Access Project].

See Matt Taibbi here for his coverage of school district issues in Loudon County (and also Fairfax, deep purple at bottom right). If Youngkin can bottle whatever he sold those voters in his gubernatorial race and sell it nationally, 2024 could be interesting. (No kneejerk reactions on Loudon, please, Read Taibbi first.)

Obama Legacy

A tale of two recoveries:

Say what you will about Trump (or the jobs market), Trump certainly did better, and under more challenging circumstances, than Obama did.* And you could argue that Obama’s ridiculously protracted “recovery” was one factor in bringing the Trump phenomenon about. Not that Rampell mentions this.

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.

* * *



Well, why not?

Speaking of polio:

Leana Wen gunning for another award:

* * *


I see this, too. The famous clarifying question asked by Ann Landers: “Are you better off with him or without him?”

* * *

“Larry Brilliant Says Covid Rapid Antigen Tests Are Bad for Public Health” [Wired]. I think Brilliant is right on RAT tests; they’re one reason we don’t know our case counts. However, three other passages caught my eye. (1) “In part, this is because when Trump was president, he attacked the CDC. There was so much political interference that there was an exodus of the CDC’s top people and a loss of its institutional memory.” The central CDC debacle was the test kits. That had nothing to do with either Trump or test kits. The second was masking, which is down to Fauci, if anything. And the third was fighting aerosols tooth and nail, which again had nothing to do with Trump. (2) “Over time, as the human population becomes more and more immune through a combination of vaccines and prior infection, repeated infection, then the coronavirus will sort of settle for being transmissible and it won’t be dangerous.” This is the theory that viruss evolve to be less virulent. It ain’t necessarily so: “There are plenty of ancient diseases, such as tuberculosis and gonorrhoea, that are probably just as virulent today as they ever were.” (3) ” Do you know about the Rockefeller Foundation retreat in Bellagio, Italy, where people go to plan conferences? I think that all the variants of Covid got together there with a list of all the people who spoke bad about them and decided: ‘Enough of this shit. Let’s go after those people.'” So, faced with one of those superspreading events the PMC just loves to construct for itself, Brilliant blames the virus, not the behavior of his class. Typical. • There’s some good stuff in this interview, but boy, bring a dose of salts.

* * *

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:

This looks hopeful, but in fact the drop is down to Florida.

Lambert here: I am but a humble tapewatcher, but this the first time in a long time I’ve seen a lot of indicators improve simultaneously (and federalism + private data work against manipulating everything). Good news. But also modified rapture. Let’s focus on the case data, specifically at points A) and B) on the chart above, and at the “fiddling and diddling” (as I call it) delineated by the red boxes. At A), I remember having the sensation of Omicron going around the house, banging on doors, trying to get in. It did, then “up like a rocket, down like a stick”. At B), we have a pattern I’ve called “sawtooth,” not flat like A), but flat enough. Of course, we can’t see the real curves because our data is so bad (see discussion of the “Biden Line”). But if we make the assumption that the curves for actual cases are the same as for reported cases, the sawtooth pattern has been very persistent (note that deaths, which lag cases, have the same pattern). Now, if I were the sort of policy maker who believed in herd immunity and the Great Barrington Declaration and “everyone’s going to get it,” I might be rubbing my hands and congratulating myself right now, on having achieved a consistent and politically acceptable level of suffering and death that can continue indefinitely; I might even think that BA.5 had been very good to me. (The great lesson of the Covid pandemic would be that elites can slaughter a million people without civil resistance. They can even get people to slaughter themselves in the name of “freedom,” etc. Good to know!) We will see in the coming days and weeks.

Remember that cases are undercounted, one source saying by a factor of six, Gottlieb thinking we only pick up one in seven or eight.) Hence, I take the case count and multiply it by six to approximate the real level of cases, and draw the DNC-blue “Biden Line” at that point. The previous count was ~ 115,000. Today, it’s ~111,650 and 111,650 * 6 = a Biden line at 669,900. per day. That’s rather a lot of cases per day, when you think about it. (Remember these data points are weekly averages, so daily fluctuations are smoothed out.) The black “Fauci Line” is a counter to triumphalism, since it compares current levels to past crises. At least we have confirmation that the extraordinary mass of case anecdotes we’ve seen have a basis in reality. I’m not seeing the volume of anecdotes I did on the Twitter. What are readers experiencing?

Regional case count for four weeks:

The South:

C’mon, Florida. (Desantis must be ticked off that I ran that Marx Brothers clip the other day. Not that Marx, Ron. Down, boy.) It has not escaped my notice that big states are driving the national case count, and that DeSantis (Florida) and Newsom (California) are both Presidential timber, and Abbbot might consider himself so. However, we have other indicators than cases.

The South (minus Texas and Florida):

The West:

As a check on the California case data, here is San Diego wastewater:

I don’t know why the chart’s red line, case data, stops at July 11, though. Nevertheless, wastewater, generally a leading indicator, is going up, and not down. (I don’t know if San Diego is represenative, of course.)


From the Walgreen’s test positivity tracker, August 5:

0.0%. (I wonder if there’s a Keynesian Beauty Contest effect, here; that is, if people encounter a sympotomatic person, whether in their social circle or in normal activity, they are more likely to get a test, because they believe, correctly, that it’s more likely they will be infected.) Starting to look like positivity has peaked, at least for Walgreen’s test population.


NOTE: I shall most certainly not be using the CDC’s new “Community Level” metric. Because CDC has combined a leading indicator (cases) with a lagging one (hospitalization) their new metric is a poor warning sign of a surge, and a poor way to assess personal risk. In addition, Covid is a disease you don’t want to get. Even if you are not hospitalized, you can suffer from Long Covid, vascular issues, and neurological issues. For these reasons, case counts — known to be underestimated, due to home test kits — deserve to stand alone as a number to be tracked, no matter how much the political operatives in CDC leadership would like to obfuscate it. That the “green map” (which Topol calls a “capitulation” and a “deception”) is still up and being taken seriously verges on the criminal. Use the community transmission immediately below.

Here is CDC’s interactive map by county set to community transmission. This is the map CDC wants only hospitals to look at, not you. For July 21, 2020:

Some blue in flyover.

NOT UPDATED Rapid Riser data, by county (CDC), August 3:

Improvements everywhere (except New Hampshire. Tourism?).

Previous Rapid Riser data:

NOT UPDATED Hospitalization data, by state (CDC), August 3:



Lambert here: It’s beyond frustrating how slow the variant data is. I looked for more charts: California doesn’t to a BA.4/BA.5 breakdown. New York does but it, too, is on a molasses-like two-week cycle. Does nobody in the public health establishment get a promotion for tracking variants? Are there no grants? Is there a single lab that does this work, and everybody gets the results from them? Additional sources from readers welcome [grinds teeth, bangs head on desk].

NOT UPDATED Variant data, national (Walgreens), July 21:

NOT UPDATED Variant data, national (CDC), July 16 (Nowcast off):

BA.5 moving along nicely. NOTE CDC restored the previous layout it had been using, so I used it. But the data remains the same.


Wastewater data (CDC), August 2:

Red dots improved. I added grey for today. Grey, not on the legend at bottom right, is “No recent data.” How is there no recent data for New York City, a major international hub and already the epicenter of at least one wave?


Death rate (Our World in Data):

Total: 1,058,738 – 1,057,811 = 927 (365 * 927 = 338,355; the new normal). Quite a pop. I have added an anti-triumphalist 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 Readers, I introduced a new piece of arithmetic: The level of death that the CDC and the political class generally would like us to become accustomed to. Sorry for the arithmetical error yesterday, spotted by alert reader ChrisRUEcon.

Stats Watch

There are no official statistics of note today.

* * *

Tech: Too, too meta:

* * *

Today’s Fear & Greed Index: 50 Neutral (previous close: 49 Neutral) [CNN]. One week ago: 29 (Fear). (0 is Extreme Fear; 100 is Extreme Greed). Last updated Aug 8 at 1:07 PM EDT.

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

Naked Capitalism Cooking Community™


Zeitgeist Watch

Speaking of epigenetics:

When I grew up in the Midwest, the town would fog every street from a DDT truck during mosquito season, great white clouds of the stuff. It’s a miracle I’m still alive and retained the usual number of fingers and toes!

“North Carolina sheriff stocking schools with AR-15 rifles in wake of Uvalde shooting” [NBC News]. “When schools in one North Carolina county reopen later this month, new security measures will include stocking AR-15 rifles for school resource officers to use in the event of an active shooter. Spurred by the elementary school shooting in Uvalde, Texas, that left 19 children and two teachers dead in May, school officials and Madison County Sheriff Buddy Harwood have placed one of the semiautomatic rifles in each of the county’s six schools. Each of the guns will be locked inside a safe, Harwood said.” • We don’t seem to know how to do anything but double down.

News of the Wired

You’ll like this, if this is the sort of thing you like:

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TH writes: “This is another lovely plant one finds at Roger’s Gardens in Newport Beach, CA. I’m afraid I don’t know what it is.”

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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. Mikerw0

    re: “The Distinct Shame of Senate Republicans”

    My theory from the get-go has been that both the impeachment trial and subsequent 1/6 Select Committee are exactly what McConnell wants. This way the D’s and a couple of R’s do the dirty work of exorcising Trump without risking the base turning on Congressional leadership.

    1. Jimbo

      In retrospect, Trump is looking pretty great. Besides the items mentioned not one new war, versus Biden’s possible TWO, with nuclear superpowers, Gas at less than $3 gallon, full employment, whatever.

      One advantage of reelecting Trump is that the NYT readers and the clucking ladies with blue and green hair can recycle their old one word parrot adjectives and scripts against him.

      1. Jason Boxman

        I dunno, if Trump runs and wins again, it might bring about the singularity as millions of PMC liberals literally implode. That alone might be reason enough to vote for him.

        Trump for President: Burn it all down faster!

        1. CitizenSissy

          Be careful what you wish for. IMHO Americans, given the advantage of geographic size and relative isolation, are entirely too casual about the effects of wars and totalitarian regimes. Very much remembering Poland, where the trauma of unimaginable WW2 horrors still lingers.

      2. Carolinian

        Trump did give us Pompeo, but Alex Cockburn once said that if you lived under the Roman Empire would you want an incompetent tyranny or one firing on all cylinders. Therefore advantage Trump, assuming it comes down him versus the R2P neocons. Trump would not have given us the war in Ukraine and its subsequent political class unithink. They would have still been too busy hating on him.

        1. Michael Ismoe

          I promise I will vote for Trump – whom I loathe – if it kills Dick Cheney.

          If Trump is re-elected, does Liz go work with Neera?

              1. nippersdad

                A Liz and Neera candidacy would be an AxelRovian triumph of Third Way politics that Trump would have a field day with.

                Those would be some good debates. I might even watch them this time. Trump could hover behind them and freak out Neera, Liz could shoot him in the face and demand an apology……The opportunities for a good circus are endless.

                1. Wukchumni

                  Liz could shoot him in the face and demand an apology……The opportunities for a good circus are endless.

                  The former teetotalitarian strongman has already slipped one golden shower charge…

                  1. nippersdad

                    This is true.

                    If they want to make it stick this time, Neera is going to have to do it at the debates while Lauren Boehbert is picking shot out of his pelt and Hillary is screaming “see! I told you so!”

                    I bet the ratings would be great. The Department of Homeland Security has my digits, and I would be happy to stage manage the whole thing for MSDNC for a small fee……….

      3. Tim

        Forgot inflation: you work for your money and between the feds, state disability, social security and the state, you take home 50% of what you earned. Then since you were volunteered to suffer Biden and the globalist’s sanctions, your money is worth 25% less…You basically get to spend 1/4th of what you made at the end of the year.

        At least you get new pronouns in government documents.

        1. notabanker

          Identify as a Private Equity firm and all your tax problems are solved! You’re welcome.

    2. scott s.

      Sorry, but the base is well-aware of McConnell who is referred to as part of the “uniparty”.

  2. Mark Gisleson

    Nice updates to the intro quotes for the Politics section. Includes the most timely Dick quote I’ve ever read that didn’t originate from Philip K.

  3. MT_Wild

    Plantidote – looks like yarrow. Besides being great for pollinators you can use it as a hops substitute in beer.

    1. Henry Moon Pie

      And for I Ching stalks.


      “Over time, as the human population becomes more and more immune through a combination of vaccines and prior infection, repeated infection, then the coronavirus will sort of settle for being transmissible and it won’t be dangerous.”

      Humans like to anthropomorphize everything from viruses to God. It can be a very foolish, even dangerous practice.

      1. Stephen V

        Yes, I remember the “Taming Power of the Small.” Going to need those sticks now more than ever.

  4. DJG, Reality Czar

    Ann Landers did it. Directly below, you have three centered asterisks, which have centered all of the copy thereafter.

    This is probably too much centeredness even for Eppie Lederer.

    1. Basil Pesto

      Speaking of, while I have no doubt (and know anecdotally) that Covid-epistemology and -policy related relationship breakdowns are real, I’m not at all convinced that this is exclusively a problem of dunderhead husbands. Imagine being married to, say, Emily Oster or Monica Ghandi (or any of the ‘urgency of normal’ charlatanettes), for example.

      1. Lambert Strether Post author

        > I’m not at all convinced that this is exclusively a problem of dunderhead husbands.

        That’s not a claim I made. However, I have seen this happen, and the husbands are dunderheads.

  5. fresno dan

    “North Carolina sheriff stocking schools with AR-15 rifles in wake of Uvalde shooting” [NBC News]. “When schools in one North Carolina county reopen later this month, new security measures will include stocking AR-15 rifles for school resource officers to use in the event of an active shooter
    I’m surprised he didn’t ask for a tank – probably knew with the depression there were supply change issues.
    The sheriff just ain’t thinking big enough.
    It is funny how they dealt with the problem of armed robbers by eliminating automatic weapons back in the old days…

    1. Wukchumni

      If multitudes of Walter Mitty Sobchak types don’t have a Steely Dan with 30 round clip, what sort of sorry excuse would they have in an assault situation without it’s protruded length semi-ejaculating?

    2. Lee

      The problem with the AR-15 is that in close quarters their high velocity rounds can pass through the intended target into an innocent bystander, whereas a less powerful round has adequate stopping power with reduced likelihood of inflicting unintended mayhem or death upon those one intends to rescue. Their plan deserves a rethink. But then “rethink” assumes something akin to thinking previously took place.

      1. shinola

        What about an AR round that misses the intended target completely – what’s the potential for penetrating an interior sheet-rock wall & maintaining lethal velocity?

        1. Caffinated_geek

          It depends on barrel length of the AR-15 and the rounds used. As the barrel length decreases so does the velocity of the 5.56 round.

          It also depends on shot placement, where on the body the bullet hits, powder load of the cartridge and bullet type (hollow point vs FMJ vs Green Tip)

          “Stopping power” is a debated term that is in reality hard to measure.


        2. Tom Stone

          Well, no.
          The penetrating of a 5.56 load depends on the particular bullet used.
          With hardball ( Full metal jacket) bullets a 9MM penetrattes sheetrock much more effectively than a 5.56.
          Those studies have been done and you can find them on line.

      2. Tom Stone

        9MM Luger penetrates more at short range than 5.56MM when FMJ bullets are used due to yaw.
        And the bullet type makes a huge difference in the penetrating ability of a 5.56,there are loads that are specifically designed for antipersonnel use (TAP rounds among them) and they are both much more effective than any pistol round and safer to use because they very seldom over penetrate.
        An AR15 in a safe and one or two trained safety officers with access to it is about as safe as you can get.
        The “Box O’ Truth” did some penetration studies a few years ago that are worth a look by anyone who owns a firearm for self defense.

      3. The Rev Kev

        How about a shotgun? You are talking about a weapon that needs to only have a range of a few yards – not a coupla hundred. More to the point, if nothing else the fighting in the Ukraine has proved that if a shooter is not well-trained, then they are a liability to not only themselves but to others.

        1. Charger01

          Shotguns are not precise tools. At 10 yards, you can keep a slug or shot pretty close in spread (with specific purpose equipment) 15-25 yards, no dice. Box o truth, TAOLFMAUS, forgotten weapons all have videos about the effective range and purpose of street sweepers.

          1. The Rev Kev

            The range would be within a room so precision is not an issue but stopping power is. And 10 yards may be the maximum length of a school classroom. The problem is that you do have to be precise with a rifle and need training and this is true for a pistol as well. And as been demonstrated repeatedly, even police are bad shots and just keep shooting bullets off, with civilians being hit as a consequence like in Florida not long ago. And when Aussie police stormed a room to kill a hostage killer a few years ago, they killed a hostage as well because they used high-powered rifles – against SAS soldier’s advice – and a fragment ricocheted off a counter and killed a woman on the ground taking cover. So, different tools for different jobs.

          2. Tom Stone

            Shotgun are not the best choice for most home defense situations, you still have to aim, the recoil is heavy unless you use low recoil loads and if you use slugs ( the same size and velocity as a Brown Bess fired) overpenetration is a real problem.
            Follow the first four rules of firearms safety and you will be OK.
            When the guns come out all the good choices have already left the room.

    3. griffen

      Had to review a map to be sure I had a good idea about this area. It is incredibly rural, in western NC, and proximity to either Johnson City, Tennessee or Asheville is plus or minus an hour or so. Used to drive through it, as in it’s the first county once crossing into North Carolina leaving the Johnson City and Elizabethton area.

      Not defending this decision, mind you. An aside, Hot Springs is where one can camp and do a trip on the French Broad.

    1. hunkerdown

      “Anti-COVID advocate Lazarus Long”

      Any similiarity to persons or events, living or dead, whether actual, fictional, mythical, or existing only in Robert Heinlein’s soft sci-fi fever dreams, is coincidental I’m sure.

      It is a decent article. When one has to go to the Trotskyites for relevant (i.e. material) perspectives, something’s familyblogged up. (Adding, Russia’s claim that the USA is behind COVID and monkeypox is not well-fought by the overall USA “public sanitation” community — health is sooo 20th century — and their performance as individuals and as organizations.)

          1. The Rev Kev

            Well, you did end up getting a Dopey Joe. Also one that leaves a bad taste in your mouth. :)

            1. flora

              Heinlein’s ‘A Tunnel in the Sky’ was early on. How could he imagine a Joey B. – a wholly Wall St captured dude – as pres in the US back then in 1955? / ;)

              1. flora

                Or, maybe Heinlein did imaging it. 1955 was in the midst of the US cold war “anti-American” McCarthy hearings moral panic.

              2. ambrit

                Heinlein worked on the Sinclair “End Poverty In California” campaign in 1934, and ran for state Assembly on the EPIC ticket in 1938.
                He knew about crooked politics from the inside after Sinclair switched from the Socialist Party to the Democrat Party in 1933. The Democrat Party of that day treated him similarly to how they stabbed Sanders in the back recently.
                See: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/End_Poverty_in_California

      1. Roland

        If you read Glory Road, you’ll find your attitude at first vindicated–and then invalidated. Sure there’s a gorgeous Empress, and 20 universes, that need to be saved. But if Heinlein only wrote to please teenage boys, the tale would have ended gloriously with the fulfillment of the quest. Instead, a large part of the novel is about anticlimax and superfluity. Incidentally, the Empress turns out to be the ultimate noble-lying utilitarian technocrat.

        Heinlein was very good at writing stuff that appealed to the boys who bought pulp magazines. But there is quite a bit of satire in Heinlein.

        I’m always surprised how few people realize that Starship Troopers can be read as a dystopian novel, narrated in the first person by a sincere supporter of the regime.

        Stranger in a Strange Land is a remarkable, for Heinlein savages the seculars and the sophisticates as much as he does the tent-revivalists and the rubes–the Fosterite frauds turn out to be gods after all.

        1. ambrit

          What is not generally recognized about the “steamy” parts of Heinlein’s writings is that he actually lived that way.
          His encouragement of the Reaganite ‘Star Wars’ missile program was sincere jingoism of the first water. Consider how he savaged Arthur C. Clarke after Clarke raised objections to some of the assumptions underlying Heinlein’s advocacy for American militarism. No reasoned counter arguments, just full on dismissal of Englishman Clarke’s very right to criticize Americans planning American adventures.
          At this remove, I realized a bit late that Heinlein indoctrinated young Anglo-American men into full on libertarianism, and libertinism.

          1. Paradan

            I just read Moon is a Harsh Mistress a few months ago and noticed the libertarian “tone”.

            1. Jonathan Holland Becnel

              Read A Cat Who Walks Through Walls last year and the author says some sexual stuff in there. Got the distinct impression Heinlein wrote himself as the main character screwing whoever he wants. The humans at the end are very open and have orgies and stuff.

              The novel came out in 85.

              1. The Rev Kev

                Heinlein was asked from time to time about his personal life because of what he wrote and his reply was always the same – None of your damned business!

                1. ambrit

                  One reason for that attitude was that there were some scandals inside the Sci-fi “community” concerning writers having “inappropriate” relationships with fans, of young ages.
                  Another reason for that attitude was that the evidence suggests that Heinlein was technically a paedophile. Evidently, his writing in “Glory Road” that a female was fair game for copulations after her menarche was part of his personal ethos.
                  The ‘real’ truth of Heinlein’s personal life will not be known since his last wife was fierce in protecting the “legend” of him as a Grand Master sci-fi writer, and philosopher. Much of his personal correspondence has been ‘sanitized.’ As it is, some of the things included in the “official” version of his collected correspondence is quite ‘outre.’
                  Anyway, this is the man responsible for a great deal of the later Technophilic Libertarian zeitgeist in America.

                  1. Synoia

                    I preferred Arthur C Clark to Hemline.

                    I did not like Heinlein’s Stranger in A Strange Land I (goes back in time to sleep with his Grandmother, discovered his libertarians bent, threw the book away and never read his books again.

                    I perceived the libertarian dogma as utter Wild West BS.

                    1. ambrit

                      I particularly noticed his tendency to throw in Horatio Alger tropes. Such as the narrator goes to work for a strong man or woman and loyally serves same, which becomes the payoff for the narrator in and of itself.
                      I have seen it argued that much of Heinlein’s writing is really a form of self therapy.
                      I agree about Clarke, and then I discovered the New Wave writers.

                  2. Roland

                    I guess you never read Glory Road.

                    Oscar, the hero, has fairly conventional sexual mores. In Vietnam, he didn’t want to go to brothels, but he’s comfortable with nude beaches on the Cote d’Azur.

                    n.b. Heinlein predicted the fiasco of the Vietnam War, the “‘Nam Vet” phenomenon, and the materialist Yuppie future of the post-WWII generation, all in a novel written before the Gulf of Tonkin incident. Whatever you might think of his sci-fi, Heinlein had a good grasp on the sociology of his own country.

                    Oscar inadvertently jeopardizes the Quest when he refuses the sex offered by his aristocratic hosts on another planet, thereby doing them great insult. Once told of the local custom and its importance, he relents, “when in Rome…”

                    While some of Heinlein’s work has an extreme liberal tendency, more often he explores the themes of moral and cultural relativism, as in Glory Road or Stranger in a Strange Land. Note that in the latter novel, Jubal Harshaw, who is likely the author’s mouthpiece, declines to participate in the ecstatic revels.

                    The sexual morality of the Starship Troopers is downright prudish, as befits a world under the militarist oligarchy described in the story.

      1. ThePodBayDoorsAreClosed

        Is Monkey analogous to Kaposi’s sarcoma popping up when peoples’ immune systems had previously been attenuated by a virus in the 80’s and 90s? Just speculating. Lots of various other extremely rare conditions (like bile duct cancer for example) showing exponential spikes too. Maybe next year when Pfizer finishes the clinical trials we will be privy to that information. If the FDA does not again attempt to block the release for 75 years that is

      2. Basil Pesto

        I genuinely can’t make sense of your disapproval for Wen elsewhere, while approvingly citing Enjeti’s childish histrionics (“we had to wear masks for a whole. year. 😭”). They are both idiots arguing for the same thing: a “personal responsibility” approach to harmful infectious disease outbreaks.

        Covid will continue to kill hundreds of thousands of people unless meaningful temporary impositions are made on human intercourse in order to solve the problem, whether Enjeti likes it or not. Of course, his side’s victory has been total, and this is no longer going to happen unless there is a variant so severe that it causes a policy reset, and even then it’s pretty touch-and-go. So, hundreds of thousands dead it is then. This prospect appears to give Enjeti a hard-on.

  6. fresno dan

    You’ll like this, if this is the sort of thing you like:
    I don’t like it, even though I always lie about what I like…

        1. ambrit

          Hmmm…. something like, “He lies down with Gods and wakes up and flees?”
          I’m behind you 1000%.

    1. notabanker

      No one could possibly like that video. Therefore your statement is vacuously true and not a lie. Did I win?

  7. Jimbo

    “DDT: It’s a miracle I’m still alive and retained the usual number of fingers and toes!”

    Count them on your grandchildren, if you are not sterile.You saw what DDT did to bird eggshells. Got osteoporosis?

    1. Stephen V

      Now that you mention it, I am getting soft in the head in my dotage. I used to ride my bike behind the mosquito truck when we lived on Oahu in the late 50’s. Good times.

      1. GF

        Did anyone ever wonder if it really was DDT being sprayed around. Maybe it was harmless. Done to keep the plebes from complaining too much about the mosquitoes.

    2. eg

      I would sneak out into the yard when the mosquito spraying truck came around in Massachusetts during the mid-60s because I liked the “gasoline” smell. Would catch hell from Mom if she caught me …

  8. Petter

    I answered the Pinocchio puzzle correctly. Don’t ask me how, no fancy logic. I reasoned that since he lies, he had to have at least one hat. I think that’s what I reasoned! Or am I lying?

    1. Lee

      I thought it should have been C, that he had not hats. I was fooled by the category “vacuously true statement.” Sounds like something a lawyer or a politician rather than a mathematician would come up with.

      1. jsn

        It’s what mathematicians came up with to get off the hook for reality when they use language.

        For math to work everything has to reduce to 1 or 0. This gets ported to True or False in language, but then rules have to be put on language, like “vacuously true”, to cause it to no longer be able to say anything because anything can be and usually is in the world of language, ambiguous.

        An honest mathematician says, “To the extent math refers to reality, we are not certain: to the extent we are certain, math does not refer to reality” (Einstein)

        1. Polar Socialist

          I believe you’re talking about logic. Trying to reduce mathematics to boolean values, well “that way madness lies”. That’s why they came up with “acceptable axioms” and all the “a priori” derived from them. Caveat: from the 3rd grade on my school used Set Theory to teach mathematics, and still for me the fun starts when the numbers are left behind.

          At the university I did took a course in formal logic, and sure found it was unconditionally true that all possible logical universes were filled with madness.

        1. Ben Joseph

          NoYes, using linguistics in lieu of math logic, not having any hats is an even bigger lie. Not only is it not green, it doesn’t exist! Certainly a lot more lie than having a blue hat collection.

          All honest senators care about us.

      2. Jessica

        Agreed. “Vaccuously true” was nonsense.
        I figured that (A) was the answer that they were after, but can’t say quite how. Always was good at taking those kind of tests.
        But the correct answer was None of the above.
        If Pinocchio said “all my hats are green” and he had no hats, then he lied.
        Either (A) or (B) might be true, but we can’t be sure, so the correct answer is None of the above.
        Note that the video does not prove that we can know (A). It just eliminates all the other options and “proves” (A) based on the unspoken assumption that one of the answers must be correct because the test writers could not have made a mistake.
        There is an outside possibility that in Portuguese “All my hats” functions differently from English and does not state the existence of any hats.
        But in English, None of the above is the correct answer.

  9. haywood

    Disagreeing with spousal masking strategies isn’t domestic violence. Good grief. The defining down of actual violence to “things I disagree with” is such an annoying side effect of mass-therapy culture.

    I’m covid paranoid and have huge conflict with my ex over our child’s covid exposure, but it’s not remotely equivalent to her beating on the boy or me.

    1. Lee

      In some cases it could be equivalent to being smothered to death by a pillow. I’d rather take a beating.

    2. griffen

      There are always worse outcomes when it comes to disagreements. Not writing this as a spouse or partner myself, just a passing observation. I submit for your perusal, the wisdom from “Fight Club” and the ever quotable Tyler Durden. NSFW. The very first part of this scene from the bar.


  10. Jason Boxman

    Wait, I honestly thought that headline by Wen was real for a minute. Not sure to laugh or cry.

      1. JBird4049

        On the other real tweet by Leana Wen, I am… confused on what BS she is saying.

        Is complaining about mask usage anti mask? Whatever. It all sounds like ass covering blather and not information or honest discussion.

        Personally, I am happy that almost all my classes this Fall semester will be online with just one in person. Fortunately, it should be a small class in a big room with plenty of ventilation. My college seems to take Covid somewhat seriously. Now, if only the local K12 schools would also be so. However, the various administrators are following the state government’s recommendations instead of the precautionary principle or even common sense as that covers their posteriors from any blame or responsibility.

        1. Basil Pesto

          It’s her stanning for the “personal responsibility” approach to the pandemic. “If you are still worried about the pandemic, well okay but that’s your problem and no one else’s”. Note that she is leaning on the misleading false binary of masks work/don’t work.

          The reality, as discussed here at some length over the past 2.5 years as we’ve learnt more about it, is that it’s something of a continuum. One way masking, even with good
          masks, is pretty good but has a ceiling of usefulness. If all people in a shared space are masked with good respirators, well fitted, protection to every user in that space is considerably more robust over a longer period of time. It is that latter postulate that Wen is fighting against, because being an unprincipled ghoul and carrying on like a rank moron is apparently what brings her personal and professional satisfaction.

  11. John

    On DDT: Each of those claims is accurate as far as it goes and as we learned none go far enough. I recall being impressed by the sudden absence of flies when we began to use DDT on the farm, probably 1946 but maybe a year later. My father said, “Son, it will work for a while.” The number of flies increased year to year until it was back where it had been. DDT was a wonder weapon; it won a battle, lost the war, and made things worse.

    1. Thistlebreath

      Note Bene: dear old Grosse Pointe was locally known as ‘city of the elms.’ Flatbed truck-mounted huge fan equipped spray rigs prowled the leafy streets twice a year during the 50’s, dousing any and all in a miasma of…DDT. I might as well have bathed in it. It was all to no avail, the Dutch elm beetle prevailed, the spray trucks gave way to chainsaw crews and chippers. Before the die off, going down the quiet streets was like being in an arboreal cathedral. Those trees were tall.


    2. skk

      I vaguely recall them even coming into chawls/ tenement blocks in western India in the turn of the 50s / 70s and spraying ddt all around. Wonder what aid program that fell under.

  12. Wukchumni

    Saw an old glory on Highway 395 @ half mast on Saturday and it was perhaps in honor of the late great Vin Scully, the voice of the LA Dodgers who was always there from my childhood until I was all grown up, after breaking into the bigs in the late 40’s.

    1. Wukchumni

      Here’s a beauty, the seventh and final game of the 1965 World Series, with Sandy Koufax pitching a shutout on 2 days rest in beating the Twins. Vin Scully narrates about half of the game.

      A funny thing happens after Koufax shuts out the last batter to win the World Series (2:22 on the youtube) and the celebration is decidedly on the down low, something you’d see after any team in MLB wins a regular season game these days, no wild celebration-a classy ending.


  13. in_still_water

    Didn’t Biden have Covid-19 recently? Is his team really this flippant about the pandemic? What a tone from the top.

    1. Tom Stone

      We’re only running 400-600 Covid deaths a day here in the USA,nothing to worry about.
      Assault type Rifles are the big danger, almost 400 persons a year are killed by criminals using rifles.

      1. JBird4049

        But the gunz are at least 366 times as sexy and eye catching as having people dying or being crippled for life trapped at home or on the streets. Blood splatter against wheezing. The viewers (and advertisers) love it the former and not the latter.

  14. flora

    re: “The Distinct Shame of Senate Republicans” [The Bulwark]. “[H]ow much of this did Senate Republicans know when they voted to acquit Trump in his second impeachment on February 13, 2021″?

    Er…um…how much did Pelosi know when she “took impeachment off the table” during W’s admin? / ;)

    1. drumlin woodchuckles

      She knew that impeaching Bush for anti-Geneva-Convention support of torture would expose her support for that particular torture.

  15. Thistlebreath

    Ah, Larry B, MD. Into the wayback we go…..

    Went to Wayne State w/him and his brother. I was better acquainted with the late Harold Jayne and late Ron Krome, who were founders of the American College of Emergency Physicians. The college of surgeons had a fatwah against these guys. Turf.

    https://epmonthly.com/article/remembering-dr-krome/ Ron was a boatload of fun, whip smart and fierce.

    Harold’s forte was shotgun trauma to the thorax, during the first wave of CIA heroin that hit Detroit. Elmore Leonard’s work will reveal more. I was a local reporter. Don’t wear good shoes to the ER.

    Larry had other aspirations.


    1. whymenow

      well Brilliant or not, he doesnt understand a thing about evidence based medicine. Paxalovid was distinctly NOT shown to work for quadruple vaccinated, Evusheild injected people like himself.

    2. MaryLand

      Hollywood could do a film about his life with someone like a young Leo DiCaprio as Larry. With all those famous people he had contact with and all his adventures it could be entertaining. While he did some real good in the world and hopefully will do more good, I can’t shake the feeling that he is a con man.

  16. Michael Ismoe

    Remember the huge huzzahs because the Ukrainian wheat left port last week?

    Apparently, the risk of famine has diminished rapidly because no one wants the stuff.

    Embassy: Buyer in Lebanon refuses to accept grain from Ukraine. According to the shipper of the Ukrainian grain aboard the dry cargo ship Razoni, the buyer in Lebanon refused to accept the cargo due to a delivery delay of more than five months, Ukraine’s Embassy in Lebanon said. So the shipper is now looking for another consignee to offload the cargo either in Tripoli or any other port, the embassy said. Razoni, which departed from Odesa on Aug. 1, was the first grain ship to leave Ukraine


    1. The Rev Kev

      That may be payback that. Wheat is desperately needed in Lebanon and when a Russian ship pulled in about a week or so again, the Ukrainians screamed that it was wheat stolen from them and tried to have the cargo impounded. Then the Ukrainians tried the same for several other ships full of wheat as well. Lebanon quickly disproved it and the ship discharged its cargo. For the Lebanese, if the Ukrainians had been able to prove it, it would have meant that they would have had to pay a second time for the same cargo. And I am willing to bet that the condition of the wheat that the Ukrainians offered to Lebanon may have been problematical as well but what Lebanon needs is a reliable supplier and right now that is Russia.

    2. flora

      er…um…the risk of famine…. Is the WEF, aka the wholly owned farming/food stuffs by Western billionaires consortiums, in competition for biggest famine evah? Who are the current record holders in that ‘competition’? Mao’s Great Leap Forward in China and Uncle Joe Stalin’s Ukraine famine are in the lead. Those are high benchmarks to beat, but if the WEF is determined to beat those starvation levels to win a place in the Guinness Book of World Records I’m sure they can do it. //// ugh.

  17. Wukchumni

    $4.01k update:

    The haterz will always have their say, but laugh on downers as Bitcoin has rebounded off its lows and is now $24k, no doubt on account of institutional buying propelling the price precipitously.

    I can sense no feel for a potential apogee point, the sky being the limit.

    Think I have enough wherewithal in my loose change jar to cost average my $8.02k into a $40k basis per Bitcoin, my initial buy-in coming @ $56k.

  18. GF

    Does anyone know why there is no NYSE data today?
    When I look it up there is Aug. 5 as the last reported day.

  19. scott s.

    The link in “Youngkin’s Donors” goes to the vpap site, not Taibbi. But if you look at the whole state map, I think it just shows that political contribution amounts are correlated with income, or wealth in general.

      1. Jonathan Holland Becnel

        Real interesting watching Brand learn about politics. He asked Taibbi if he should be doing more in addition to the podcast and stuff. I 100% think he should be doing more. He should be holding Public Rallies and Organizing and forming Popular Parties around the world!

  20. Chas

    About the Goat’s Butter blurb. I raised goats for a few years a long time ago and, if I remember correctly, goat’s milk doesn’t separate into cream and skim like cow’s milk does. So it must be difficult to obtain cream from goat’s milk to then make into butter. Or maybe new technology makes it possible or maybe there’s a new breed of goat whose milk does separate into cream.

    1. c_heale

      Maybe it’s been hydrogenated (trans fat alert). Or it’s sold by someone with the name Goat.

    2. mistah charley, ph.d.

      Directions for making goat butter:

      Pour chilled goat’s milk cream into a mixer.
      Mix on high for about 10-15 minutes. ( …
      Once it forms larger balls of butter turn off the mixer and scoop out the butter.
      Place the butter into the bowl of ice water.
      Squeeze the butter until it forms a nice, hard ball.

      Goat butter and cow butter have very similar fat content, but goat butter’s different fatty acid structure gives it a lower melting point and makes it softer at room temperature.

  21. Wukchumni

    There is a split in the ranks between the nutty buddys in the Pachyderm party who are openly disparaging My Kevin (since ’07) and his hopes and dreams of being the Major Major Major Majordomo come the wins of November.

    I’d be tempted to call this blaspheme, but i’m not sure Kev knows what the word means so lets leave it at that.

    Rep. Matt Gaetz hit out at House Minority Leader and fellow Trump loyalist Kevin McCarthy during a conversation with Steve Bannon at CPAC on Saturday, saying the latter should not lead the GOP.

    On an episode of Bannon’s War Room podcast aired live from CPAC, Bannon asked Gaetz if things would be “same old, same old” in a GOP-led Congress.

    In response, Gaetz said a GOP-led Congress would investigate the origins of COVID-19 and allegations of voter fraud. He went on to hit out at McCarthy’s leadership of the party.

    “If anyone posits to be the leader of our party and our movement, they cannot stand for the swamp, and the establishment, and the bureaucratic permanent state,” Gaetz said. “They have to stand with us in exposing these issues. And if Kevin McCarthy will not allow us to be able to find out the answers, he should not be the leader of the Republican conference.”

    Bannon nodded before asking the crowd: “What do you think about that?”

    “Do we want Jim Jordan?” Bannon asked the crowd, positing that Ohio Rep. Jim Jordan could be McCarthy’s replacement.


  22. nippersdad

    I thought this was kind of funny:
    “Petraeus points to 20 years of ‘significant mistakes’ in Afghanistan as US withdrawal anniversary approaches”


    Why does General Betrayus still have a job? Other than the initial Byrzhynski metastasis of Wahabism to the Mujahadeen during the Carter Admin, can anyone else point to someone who has had more to do with making jihadism great again than he? The ISIS Doula pontificating on how “mistakes were made” seems pretty ironic.

    1. Tom Stone

      Petraeus is a member of the club.
      Like Hunter and Hillary his transgressions can be forgiven and forgotten.
      It’s not like they embarassed anyone powerful, for gosh’ sake!

      1. Wukchumni

        Ooo bonk me Dave Patraeus
        Bonk me Dave Patraeus…
        Bonk bonk bonk bonk me Dave Patraeus
        Bonk me all the time to the top

        He was into Intelligence
        And he lived in the big city
        It was near Vienna, in Langley
        Where he did everything
        He had Humordor by the balls, in the CIA halls
        But a couple women loved him
        And each one shouted:
        Come on and bonk me Dave Patraeus

        Patraeus, Patraeus, Patraeus
        Patraeus, Patraeus, Patraeus
        Patraeus, Patraeus, oh oh oh bonk me Dave Patraeus

        He was Superstar
        He was popular
        He was so exalted
        And then his peter got excited
        He was a reverse cuckold
        As his wife was looking old
        And he shouted:
        Come on and bonk me, i’m Dave Patraeus


    2. ChrisPacific

      It’s interesting to see how he defines success:

      “In fact, across our 20 years there, we made significant mistakes and fell short over and over again,” Petraeus added. “Had we avoided, or corrected, enough of our missteps along the way, the options for our continued commitment to Afghanistan would have been more attractive to successive administrations in Washington — and might have precluded withdrawal entirely.”

      Even in his imaginary what-if scenario, he still doesn’t present an exit strategy. Success for him would have meant remaining in Afghanistan indefinitely.

  23. Carla

    From Lambert’s commentary on Rapid Antigen Tests: “The central CDC debacle was the test kits. That had nothing to do with either Trump or test kits.”

    Lambert, I think you meant “That had nothing to do with either Trump or RAT.”

  24. flora

    re; Leanna Wen.

    There is no word in the English language that conveys my absolute contempt for her opportunistic pronouncements, born of her extra-country, extra-democratic, globalist WEF backing and ideology. I’ll stop here, lest I swerve into really nsfw language.

    1. Jason Boxman

      One day, likely many days, the COVID shall be with her. I look forward to that.

      I know someone who’s boss, immune compromised, that just got COVID on vacation. Air travel was involved. It’s like no one left believes this is real.

      I know of a coworker as well, had it twice. Travel both times. Seems to have recovered, but never asked about any lingering symptoms.

      Exciting times.

      1. drumlin woodchuckles

        Lingering symptoms may not be the only problem. Silent stealth-damage to cells and organs which is asymptomatic now but which deletes the “margin of safety” that organs/tissues/etc. normally have so that when you suffer the organ attrition of advancing age, you have no margin of organ-safety-reserve left and you semi-suddenly die quickly.

        That is how spreading covid to the whole population could stealth-kill-later enough millions of people to save real money on Social Security Benefits.

      2. flora

        I’ve thought much about this. I do not wish ill health on anyone, not even on her. Public shunning for past bad public direction, however, is another matter.

        1. HotFlash

          Looks like the CDC has engaged in current public misdirection WRT Freedompox(tm) (the disease formerly known as monkeypox). Our Saagar at Breaking Points is counseling “individual risk assessment”, but I do not trust the CDC to tell us what the risk actually is. Frankly, I don’t trust them for anything.

          AIDES was a ‘gay’ disease until it wasn’t, and the last outbreak of monkeypox infected 47 (or maybe 42) Minnesotans who did not match the profile of gay males indulging in group sex — started with a couple of kids who had a new pet prairie dog, then their parents got it, then it was found in the guy who supplied the p’dogs to the pet store, his Ghanaian pouched rat, and yada. I think the family cat got it, too. Sorry if I am vague on the details, but the story I read a month or so ago doesn’t come up in any of my searches these days. A bunch of pet-shop animals were killed since they had been exposed — BTW IIRC, and again, I cannot confirm since it won’t come up on any search I can devise, the exotic pet wholesaler was a govt veterinary health officer of some sort. If anyone has, can get details, it would be a great service to global knowledge. And I wanna know how you did it.

          Some excellent stuff about airbourne at the good old NC Watercooler last week..

    2. Tom Stone

      What always surprises me about Wen,Fauci and their ilk is how cheap they are to buy.
      A fancy title, a little airtime onna Teevee and maybe a few $K raise is all it takes for them to happily condemn hundreds of thousands to an early death.

    3. anon in so cal

      ““Death and suffering have been normalized to such a horrific extent that the vulnerable are now expected to remain “civil” when asking not to be disposed of so that others can keep social plans intact. The moral vacuum of the current moment is shocking.””



  25. Mark K

    A minor point re “IL: “The Inflation Reduction Act is Not Designed to Reduce Inflation”:

    The IL in the heading should be IN. East Chicago, etc. — and the congressional district being described — are in Indiana, not Illinois. It is Indiana’s 1st Congressional District.

  26. griffen

    Breaking after 7pm US East Coast…FBI is apparently making a casual stop by the Trump residence in southern FL. I wonder if Melania had them in for afternoon tea and scones.

    FBI raiding Mar-A-Lago. CNBC is pretty much running this and anything else be damned. Maybe you don’t take records marked as presidential record on the banker’s boxes back home once you leave? Cue up the rapture index!!

    Edit. One person’s raid is another’s rightfully executed search warrant.

      1. Michael Ismoe

        Just found this little nugget:

        18 U.S. Code § 2071 – Concealment, removal, or mutilation generally

        (a)Whoever willfully and unlawfully conceals, removes, mutilates, obliterates, or destroys, or attempts to do so, or, with intent to do so takes and carries away any record, proceeding, map, book, paper, document, or other thing, filed or deposited with any clerk or officer of any court of the United States, or in any public office, or with any judicial or public officer of the United States, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than three years, or both.

        (b)Whoever, having the custody of any such record, proceeding, map, book, document, paper, or other thing, willfully and unlawfully conceals, removes, mutilates, obliterates, falsifies, or destroys the same, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than three years, or both; and shall forfeit his office and be disqualified from holding any office under the United States. As used in this subsection, the term “office” does not include the office held by any person as a retired officer of the Armed Forces of the United States.

        1. Mikel

          “As used in this subsection, the term “office” does not include the office held by any person as a retired officer of the Armed Forces of the United States.”

          Would Commander-In-Chief be considered and officer of the Armed Forces of the United States?

          Just a question, not a defense. I know how people get about their Ds and Rs…

        2. Yves Smith

          The records at issue were allegedly in one room and the FBI already had access to it. I was told this by a high functioning not crazy conservative reader and am trying to run this down. Of course, given the state of search, not having much luck on a first pass.

          If that is correct, matter of Trump’s retention of the records looks to have been under dispute and Trump was cooperating.

    1. HotFlash

      Next time there is an election, I think I will vote for any non-hominid. Gort, where are you when we need you?

      1. ambrit

        It’s time for the Zeta Reticulans to come out of the random object storage enclosed space (and time.)

      2. Daryl

        > I think I will vote for any non-hominid.

        I dunno, I think a bonobo would be a marked improvement over the so-called “wise man.”

        1. rowlf

          Echo’s of the WIlliam Burroughs skit where the purple assed baboon Homer Mandrill is nominated to be President of the United States?

    2. Jason Boxman

      Remember when Clinton kept classified data, almost surely, on her private email server used for state department business. And liberal Democrats didn’t care. Lolz. Yeah. And then she wiped it. Democrats are all about using the security state to go after who they deem to be enemies of the republic, a fluid set of conditions you’d best not run afoul of.

  27. The Rev Kev

    The Republicans also lost another fight in the Senate. They wanted an an amendment to Joe Biden’s $740 billion climate, tax and health care bill acknowledging that only biological women can get pregnant but were defeated. All Democrats voted against it and all Republicans voted for it so it so was left to Kamala to break the tie. Ideology trumps everything in politics, especially about stuff that is not that important-


  28. VietnamVet

    Promoting one-way masking is simply confounding. It is shilling that gets people sick with COVID. It is due to the ruling ideology that “only money has value”. Common sense says that everyone wearing a mask inside a room is more protective than being the only person there wearing a N95 mask. If there is a spreader in the room and no-one masks, coronavirus variants are so virulent that catching the virus approaches certainty; repeatedly.

    Air filtration reduces transmission. Ventilation also. But it is not a zero risk. Washington DC hobnobbers caught COVID at an outdoor dinner gathering. What gets the risk the lowest level is antigen/PCR testing and isolation if positive. Yet, public health quarantines are now only being conducted in China.

    Public health and public education are of no concern. They are not money makers but takers. The economy will go into contortions due to the lack of workers, safe workplaces and soon the uneducated, but the propaganda will still declare that this is the best of all possible worlds.

    In reality, instead, each individual is left to his or her fate or happenstance, not much different than being in a war zone.

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