2:00PM Water Cooler 8/9/2022

By Lambert Strether of Corrente

Bird Song of the Day

Polynesian Triller, Tongatapu, Tonga.

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“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


“The Kansas abortion vote, in one graph” [WaPo]. The graph:

“The figure below compares the level of turnout by county (along the X-axis, with higher turnout to the right) compared to the percentage of voters in each county voting against the amendment (along the Y-axis). Counties voting to protect abortion rights are higher on the Y-axis, and those voting to restrict abortion rights are lower on the axis…. The counties voting to reject the amendment tended to be reliable Democratic areas. But party affiliation alone can’t explain the outcome. Even in traditionally Republican counties, more voters rejected the amendment than we would expect from partisan behavior alone…. On average, counties voted “no” on the amendment by a margin of 9 percentage points higher than they voted for the Democrats’ gubernatorial candidate, Laura Kelly, in 2018. What’s more, “no” performed almost 20 percentage points higher by county than Democratic presidential candidates Hillary Clinton and Joe Biden in 2016 and 2020, respectively. Here’s an example — while Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump carried conservative Ellis County by more than 70 percent of the vote in both 2016 and 2020, support for the amendment (the “yes” votes) in the county peaked at less than 60 percent.” • Just possibly, hopeful news for Democrats in the midterms.

Biden Administration

Great mask discipline:

To be fair, the recording doesn’t show Biden coughing, and fomite transmission is very rare. But wowsers, do those guys love to share air!


* * *

PA: “John Fetterman is Running a Test that Democrats Need to Watch” [Politico]. “While consultants and organizers talk about the need for rural talking points and investments in rural newspaper and radio buys, this politician has deployed the most obvious strategy for making inroads with rural voters: He showed up in every county in his state. Then, he did something really remarkable: He showed up again. That candidate is John Fetterman, who secured the Democratic nomination for U.S. Senate in Pennsylvania’s May primary with a robust 59 percent of the vote and currently holds the lead in general election polling. Fetterman lived up to his ‘Every County, Every Vote’ slogan. On a single Saturday in early May, for example, he visited five counties in north-central Pennsylvania, part of the state’s ‘rural T’ — the vast area which form a big ‘T’ on the map between the Philadelphia and Pittsburgh metro areas and north to the New York state line.” • Too lazy to find the link, but Obama attributed doing well in Iowa 2008 to simply being willing to show up. More: “When it comes to abortion rights and unions, Fetterman has been known to use the word “sacred,” and he has been particularly vocal since the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade in June.” • See above on Kansas under “Abortion.”

PA: “John Fetterman announces first campaign rally since suffering stroke in May” [CNN]. “Pennsylvania Democratic Senate candidate John Fetterman will make his full return to the trail on August 12 with a rally in Erie, his first full campaign event since suffering a stroke in May. The return represents a significant step for Fetterman, who has only headlined a fundraiser and informal campaign gatherings while recovering from the stroke…. Erie is a strategic spot for the Democratic candidate — Erie County voted for Barack Obama in 2008 and 2012, then switched to Donald Trump in 2016 before swinging back to Democrats in 2020 by narrowly backing Biden. Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf, with Fetterman as his running mate, carried the county by more than 20 points in 2018.”

PA: “Pennsylvania Senate Race: Fetterman leads Oz in new poll” [WHTM]. “A new Pennsylvania Senate Race poll shows Democrat John Fetterman holding a double-digit lead over Republican Mehmet Oz. The poll was conducted by Momentive/SurveyMonkey for Center Street PAC, ‘a nonpartisan political action committee focused on promoting rational governance and combatting extremism.’ Of the 1,206 voters recorded for the poll between July 29 and August 1, Fetterman received 47% to Oz’s 30% with 23% undecided, a 17% gap between Fetterman and Oz. Oz’s support grew to 38% among likely voters, however, Fetterman’s support also grew among likely voters to 52%…. Fetterman also received 17% support from voters who supported Donald Trump in 2020.”

PA: “Fetterman Tries to ‘Weirdify’ Dr. Oz in Senate Race — and Builds Polling Lead” [Bloomberg]. “That contentious primary and Fetterman’s onslaught have left Oz with a serious enthusiasm gap. Only 35% of Oz supporters back him enthusiastically, and 45% say they support him only reluctantly, according to the Fox News poll. For Fetterman, 68% of his support is enthusiastic and only 18% say they have reservations. Still, it’s Oz who’s had control of the ground war for the past two months. His team says the former surgeon has made more than 120 general election campaign stops and traveled 2,463 miles in July alone while Fetterman was recuperating.” • True enough. Those miles haven’t added up to much, have they? Still, it’s not even Labor Day yet.


“Trump’s Mar-a-Lago home searched by FBI in unprecedented move” [Politico]. “Two sources familiar with the matter said top Biden White House officials were not given advance notice of the raid, which could potentially alter the course of both the upcoming midterms and an eventual Trump-Biden rematch in 2024.” Oh, puh-leeze. More: “Though the investigation of Trump’s handling of presidential records has been percolating for months, it has largely remained in the background while the Jan. 6 select committee built a case that Trump committed crimes to disrupt the transition of power after his defeat in the 2020 election. The National Archives and Records Administration had confirmed in February that it had sought to recover 15 boxes of records from Mar-a-Lago that it deemed improperly removed, including some marked as ‘classified national security information.’ The Archives confirmed at the time that it had been in touch with the Justice Department about the recovered documents. At the time, the Archives said it had had ‘ongoing communications’ with Trump’s team about recovering missing presidential records.” • I’m not sure how this fits into the theory of the case, if in fact there is one. Surely we aren’t going to dwindle from a charge of insurrection to a violation of the Presidential Records Act? Also, if I have this right, if Trump is guilty of insurrection, he can’t run, under the Fourteenth Amendment. The political payoff for Democrats is obvious. But I don’t think a violation of the Presidential Records Act has an equivalent payoff. And speaking of records, we didn’t indict Clinton for running an unsecured server out of the bathroom in her home while in office. So we’re going to indict Trump? (For the “but her emails” crowd, that clever slogan obscures, as it is meant to, the real issue: The unsecured server.) The blogger who broke the story:

Not to preen, but Yves would definitely have “hunted this down.”

“FBI searches Trump safe at Mar-a-Lago for possible classified documents” [WaPo]. “Searching a former president’s property to look for possible evidence of a crime is highly unusual and would require approval at the top levels of the Justice Department. It represents a historic moment in Trump’s tortured relationship with the Justice Department, both in and out of the White House. A department spokeswoman declined to comment when asked whether Attorney General Merrick Garland approved the search. The FBI also declined to comment…. Trump nominated the current head of the FBI, Christopher A. Wray, to the position in 2017, after firing the previous FBI director, James B. Comey, amid a probe into whether any Trump campaign advisers had conspired with Russian operatives to influence the 2016 election.” Trump is such a stone fascist he can’t even appoint a head of the Secret Police who’s loyal to him. And: “It was not immediately clear on Monday why FBI agents would conduct a search related to the documents many months after the 15 boxes of material were retrieved. A sitting president is the top classification authority in the government, giving that person far more leeway than most government employees in deciding what is and isn’t classified.” • Perhaps there’s some major event coming up in a few months? Perhaps some other investigation didn’t pan out?

A good question:

(I don’t believe the stories on Trump flushing documents down a toilet. For one thing, he’s germaphopic, so what if the toilet get blocked? For another, Trump’s New York real estate: The way to hide a document is to give it to your lawyer.

“Judge who approved FBI raid on Mar-a-Lago once linked to Jeffrey Epstein” [New York Post]. “The Florida federal magistrate judge who signed off on a search warrant authorizing the FBI raid of former President Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort left the local US Attorney’s office more than a decade ago to rep employees of convicted pedophile Jeffrey Epstein who had received immunity in the long-running sex-trafficking investigation of the financier. Sources tell The Post that Judge Bruce Reinhart approved the warrant that enabled federal agents to converge on the palatial South Florida estate on Monday in what Trump called an ‘unannounced raid on my home.’ Reinhart was elevated to magistrate judge in March 2018 after 10 years in private practice. That November, the Miami Herald reported that he had represented several of Epstein’s employees — including, by Reinhart’s own admission to the outlet, Epstein’s pilots; his scheduler, Sarah Kellen; and Nadia Marcinkova, who Epstein once reportedly described as his ‘Yugoslavian sex slave.’ Kellen and Marcinkova were among Epstein’s lieutenants who were granted immunity as part of a controversial 2007 deal with federal prosecutors that allowed the pervert to plead guilty to state charges rather than federal crimes. Epstein wound up serving just 13 months in county jail and was granted work release.” • Florida Man Grants Warrant. I don’t want to draw the yarn too tight on the diagram. But a lot of people involved in this have form, and not just Trump.

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“Hear Me Out: Trump Won’t Run Again” [Slate]. “These days, it seems, no national reporter wants to be seen, once again, predicting ol’ Donny won’t be able to wriggle his way out of THIS jam. Those jams currently include continued unpopularity among the general electorate, falling support in the Republican Party, rising potential rivals in that party, public hearings that have exposed his extraordinary level of responsibility for the mob violence on Jan. 6, a civil case set to go to trial next year over an allegation that Trump committed rape, a civil investigation in New York that is pursuing allegations of fraudulent business practices against the Trump Organization, and a series of state and federal criminal investigations over Trump’s actions surrounding Jan. 6. The point is that it should be easy to view Trump as an incredibly weakened figure who has better odds of ending up in an orange jumpsuit or losing his fortune in a lawsuit than returning to the White House. However, almost nobody in the national media seems to report it that way….. To me, Trump will be a politically crippled figure heading into the 2024 primary. At his most dangerous, he will be a political albatross hanging around the neck of the Republican Party, tearing it apart.” •

“The Appeal of Ron DeSantis” [The American Mind]. Hagiography on a fund-raising letter, certainly a new thing: “Our country is currently facing a great threat. A new enemy has emerged from the shadows that seeks to destroy and intimidate their way to a transformed state, and country, that you and I would hardly recognize…. This enemy is the radical vigilante woke mob that will steamroll anything and anyone in their way. Their blatant attacks on the American way of life are clear and intensifying: stifling dissent, public shaming, rampant violence, and a perverted version of history.” • Dunno how you characterize a billionaire as a member of a mob, but here we are. In fact, the author agrees: “DeSantis tells us the enemy is a “radical vigilante woke mob.” I am not certain this is the best way to describe the enemy, which is not, in fact, a bunch of outlaws. It is, as DeSantis later acknowledges, a loose confederation of the country’s major institutions, in his words, ‘media, educational institutions, corporate boards, professional sports, foundations, and professional institutions.’ I would add to this list the Democratic party and the ‘administrative state.’ I call this confederation the ‘Woke Communists’—’Woke Comms’ for short— which is a modern-day decentralized totalitarian regime. Like all such regimes, the Woke Comms aim to control, not just politics, but all aspects of public and private life.” • One of the funnier aspects of conservative discourse is that they have — do not seem not to have, but do not have — what communism actually is. Do you hear any members of this “confederation” (hmm) advocate for ownership of the means of production by the working class? No? Then no communists. Bury My Heart at Jerking Knee, a book I must read one of these days.

Republican Funhouse

MTG wants my vote (1):

MTG wants my vote (2):

Lots of MTG views I could never be converted to in a million years. But how come she’s getting these things right, and not one single Democrat is? I’m so old I remember when Democrats didn’t love cops and spooks!

Democrats en Déshabillé

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

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

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

* * *

Realignment and Legitimacy

The successor ideology:

Meanwhile, or rather by design, private equity rolls right along, good job Democrats.

“McCarthy Says House Investigation of Hunter Biden Will Include U.S. Intel Chiefs” [National Review]. “House minority leader Kevin McCarthy said the chamber’s investigation into Hunter Biden will include a probe of U.S. intelligence agencies and chiefs who likely knew about his foreign business dealings while his father, Joe Biden, was vice president…. He added that House Republicans want to question former intelligence agency officials who signed onto an open letter in October 2020 dismissing the New York Post’s reporting about the contents of the younger Biden’s recovered laptop as Russian disinformation.” • Excellent. I wish the Republicans would stop giving me reasons to vote for them.


• “Relative Pandemic Severity in Canada and Four Peer Nations During the SARS-CoV-2 Pandemic” [medRxiv]. The Conclusion: “Canada outperformed peer countries that aimed for mitigation, rather than elimination, of SARS-CoV-2 in the first two years of the pandemic, likely because of a more stringent public health response to disease transmission. This resulted in substantial numbers of lives saved and economic costs averted. However, comparison with Australia demonstrates that an elimination focus would have allowed Canada to save tens of thousands of lives, and would have saved substantial economic costs.” • The United States, naturally, was the worst performer of all the Five Eyes countries considered here. But speaking of Australia:

Sounds familiar!

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• Once again on the teleology that viruses necessarily evolve away from virulence:

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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 today the drop is in California.

Cases are undercounted, one source saying by a factor of six, Gottlieb thinking we only pick up one in seven or eight.) Hence, I take the case count and multiply it by six to approximate the real level of cases, and draw the DNC-blue “Biden Line” at that point. The previous count was ~111,650. Today, it’s ~105,500 and 105,500 * 6 = a Biden line at 633,000. per day. That’s rather a lot of cases per day, when you think about it. (Remember these data points are weekly averages, so daily fluctuations are smoothed out.) The black “Fauci Line” is a counter to triumphalism, since it compares current levels to past crises. At least we have confirmation that the extraordinary mass of case anecdotes we’ve seen have a basis in reality. However, I’m not seeing the volume of anecdotes I did on the Twitter. What are readers experiencing?

Regional case count for four weeks:

The South:

The South (minus Texas and Florida):

The West:

Today’s national decline is due mainly to California.


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

0.3%. (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:

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

BA.5 moving along nicely.


Wastewater data (CDC), August 5:

Red dots improved.

Lambert: 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? How is there no for upstate New York, which only recently was full of rapdi riser counties? The same with West Virginia, Michigan, and Oregon. If I were the paranoid sort, I’d theorize that CDC moved in on the only accurate data source we’ve got, in order to corrupt and destroy it.


Death rate (Our World in Data):

Total: 1,059,210 – 1,058,738 = 472 (365 * 472 = 172,280; the new norma. Fluctuates quite a bit, but even the low numbers are bad). 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.

Naked Capitalism Cooking Community™

Stats Watch

The Economy: “United States Nfib Business Optimism Index” [Trading Economics]. “The NFIB Small Business Optimism Index in the United States edged higher to 89.9 in July of 2022 but still remained close to a 9-1/2-year low of 89.5 hit in June, pointing to a subdued level of confidence, well below the historical average of 98. 37% of business owners reported that inflation was their most important problem and 49% had job openings they could not fill.”

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Today’s Fear & Greed Index: 49 Neutral (previous close: 49 Neutral) [CNN]. One week ago: 40 (Fear). (0 is Extreme Fear; 100 is Extreme Greed). Last updated Aug 8 at 1:07 PM EDT.

The Gallery

But where are the bears?

I watch Lawrence Alma-Tadema go by on my timeline with horrified fascination. But ZOMG, the detail.

Zeitgeist Watch

Hard to find a better example of performative liberalism than this:

Why not mourn the deaths by building a Corsi box and giving it away? Or giving away masks? Or setting CDC headquarters ablaze, plowing the rubble under, and then salting the earth?

Class Warfare

The world of NGOs:

“Innovative solutions to keep women salt miners hydrated” is the most neoliberal sentence I’ve ever read.

“SC Starbucks manager alleges kidnapping during union confrontation, TikTok video shows otherwise” [The State]. “An effort to form a union at an Anderson, South Carolina, Starbucks boiled over when a manager called law enforcement alleging kidnapping and assault and the company closed the store. A TikTok video shows the Aug. 1 encounter at the Clemson Boulevard exit along Interstate 85, beginning with the manager, who was not identified, on the phone sitting at a table with a dozen or so employees standing nearby. The manager then gets up, walks past them and to the front of the store, nudging one employee as they pass. Someone says, ‘Why are you pushing him?’ The manager is apparently on the phone with law enforcement. A spokesman for the Anderson County Sheriff’s Office could not be reached for comment on whether charges were actually filed. Ian Hayes, a lawyer representing the Starbucks union, said at a press conference Monday the union has filed a complaint with the National Labor Relation Board charging Starbucks with illegally retaliating against workers while they engaged in permitted union activity.” • What we have here is faliure to communicate.

“The Jobs Effect of Ending Pandemic Unemployment Benefits: A State-Level Analysis” [Federal Reserve Bank of St Louis]. A natural experiment: “This note uses the asynchronous cessation of emergency unemployment benefits (EUB) in 2021 to investigate the jobs impact of ending unemployment benefits. While some states stopped providing EUB in September, other states stopped in June and July. Using the cessation month as an instrument, we estimate the causal effect on employment of reducing unemployment rolls. In the first three months following a state’s program termination, for every 100 person reduction in beneficiaries, state employment causally increased by about 35 persons. The effect is statistically different from zero and robust to a wide array of alternative specifications.” • So what the Fed is really saying — hear me out — is that The Bearded One is not only correct on the role of the Reserve Army of Labor, but on the power relation between capital and labor generally? The whole “sell your labor power to survive” bit?

News of the Wired

“How to Fall Out of Love With Your Lawn” [New York Times]. “While the lawn may be a powerful symbol of American postwar prosperity, it’s also an ecological dead zone that’s sucking the nation’s aquifers dry. In this video essay we argue that it’s time to kill your lawn, not just to save the planet, but for your own health and sanity too. And while the idea of euthanizing such a beloved member of the family might seem harsh, we show the alternatives that could make the loss more bearable.” • Oh good, a “video essay.” No transcript. Naturally.

“What the Romans Did for Us” (podcast) [Gone Medieval]. “Early Medieval Britain was more Roman than we think. The Roman Empire left vast infrastructural resources, not least roads, walls and bridges. Why have they survived so well? And what did the people who lived here immediately after the Romans think of them and do with them?” • Not our first Jackpot, eh? Though the current one is shaping up to be worse. Of course, the Romans left bridges and roads. We’re going to leave…. cellphones. Not the same. Still, fascinating show with clever historiography. Naming the most important infrastructure would be a spoiler, so I won’t do it. Today is my day to be kind.

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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 Peter:

Peter writes: “Before the Hong Kong summer heat and humidity overwhelmed them, and they sadly didn’t recover during our ‘winter’ – as a botanical neophyte I found it surprising and beautiful that these morning glories changed color from morning to evening.”

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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. dcblogger

    Still, it’s Oz who’s had control of the ground war for the past two months. His team says the former surgeon has made more than 120 general election campaign stops and traveled 2,463 miles in July alone while Fetterman was recuperating.”

    Ground game is NOT campaign appearances by the candidate. Ground game is your network of precinct captains and campaign volunteers. Given that Fetterman has won 2 statewide general elections, he clearly has a ground game in place. That is part of how he wiped the floor with Connor Lamb.

    Also, going to every country is not new, Beto did that in his Senate race against Cruz and came within a whisker of winning. He is repeating that this time, going to areas where Democrats never win. And polls are tightening.

    1. Lambert Strether Post author

      > Ground game is your network of precinct captains and campaign volunteers. Given that Fetterman has won 2 statewide general elections, he clearly has a ground game in place.

      Excellent point!

      1. Michael Ismoe

        He’s only won one. He was elected LG in 2018 replacing a machine pol from Philly. He lost a statewide primary for senate in 2016 and won in 2022.

      2. square coats

        Lambert, I thought you might be interested in this ProPublica project that tracks politicians’ deleted tweets, particularly wrt Fetterman because, since they started tracking his in 2021, he doesn’t have any! I haven’t looked at other politicians exhaustively but every other politician I checked has plenty of tweets deleted regularly.

      1. Michael Ismoe

        “His team says the former surgeon has made more than 120 general election campaign stops and traveled 2,463 miles in July alone.”

        It must be really hard to find the Jersey Turnpike. He should have just followed the traffic “to the shore.”

    2. haywood

      Does he though? I’m genuinely curious. Fetterman is widely disliked within the state’s Democratic Party establishment, with the VERY NOTABLE exception of PAs powerful governor Wolfe.

      In his first statewide race, if he couldn’t tap into the local machines and broader Dem volunteer networks, he would have had to have built a giant operation for a Lt Governor primary campaign and then kept that going through the last few years years of covid and into this years senate primary, continuing into the dog days of summer now.

      I haven’t seen any of the usual “Look at how grassroots we are PEOPLE POWER” that usually accompanies such efforts. You’d think it would be there, especially with the candidate himself out of commission. Maybe this grassroots army exists. Maybe I’m missing it. I dunno. But I wouldn’t make the assumption that it HAS to exist.

      1. nippersdad

        I wonder if he is just too high profile to deep six in the same manner as Jessica Cisneros and Nina Turner. I think he would not allow Koch brother funds in the race to go unnoticed, and that would make public all of the other subversive activities that the Democratic party has engaged in the past few years..

        Maybe he is just too big to shiv?

  2. Kelli

    “The Appeal of Ron DeSantis”

    He is the guy that the Democrats are terrified of. Therefore, it’s in their interests to promote Trump as they have binders of information, negative scripts and blackmail material on him.

    That would explain why his house was raided, in order to promote him as the chosen opposition.

    1. John

      Wasn’t Trump the Democrats preferred candidate in 2016? Wait a minute… why am I even thinking about an election that is 27 months in the future?

        1. hunkerdown

          Not for very much longer. The jump to the left has been replaced with jazz hands and access to the pelvic thrust is now under control of TV Licensing and subcontractors.

    2. Louis Fyne

      DeSanctis sitting 2024 out would be the worst thing that could happen to Democrats as 2024-2028 will be a basket-case regardless of who wins.

      An unblemished DeSanctis running in 2028 would run the scoreboard if 2024-28 was good or bad.

      “Pied Piper” strategies are developmentally dumb. Focus on your own game first.

  3. Screwball

    Lots of MTG views I could never be converted to in a million years. But how come she’s getting these things right, and not one single Democrat is? I’m so old I remember when Democrats didn’t love cops and spooks! – Lambert

    Don’t forget war Lambert. Or at least for some that is. My PMC friends keep using the word nukes and frankly, it scares the $hit out of me.

    I get it though, they are having quite a time. For the last 6 years their lives have been totally consumed by Donald J Trump. They wake up each and every day in the hopes of seeing him perp walked to some prison for life, or better yet, the gallows. Along with all his supporters, who they hate maybe even more than him.

    But with the raid yesterday, they finally have him – the walls are finally closing in and there will be no chance he can run again. This opens the door to blue wave elections where they can vote harder for the democrats and American utopia will be the reward. And we all live happily ever after. The End.

    The what kind of end is what scares me. This country is in a bad place and neither of these parties is going to fix it – they are incapable and inept – and too many partisan serfs actually believe they can and will fix it. Not!

    1. Wukchumni

      We have French politics of the late 1930’s & German military might of the same era, what could go wrong?

    2. hunkerdown

      No, they’re performing the show that makes people think they’re doing something, can do something, and will ever do something against the reproduction of elite society. 100% bipartisan success, thanks to the 350 or so years of practice, plus whatever theology they recovered from their feudal heritage.

      Now that we’ve dispensed with the notion of sovereign rule as a valid mode of human social formation, let’s try direct democracy. Corporations can’t exist without 50%+1 allowing it? No problems detected.

    3. pjay

      – “McCarthy Says House Investigation of Hunter Biden Will Include U.S. Intel Chiefs” [National Review].

      Kevin McCarthy wants my vote.

      Some Trumpers are really testing the Schumer “six ways from Sunday” maxim. It would be nice if they actually meant it. Bet we don’t catch DeSantis making such statements; he’ll keep punching “woke liberals.”

    4. Larry

      Marjorie Taylor Greene loves cops and spooks. She just doesn’t like them when the act against “good people” and not “criminals”.

      She’s a vacuous shifting point scorer. She doesn’t care about the war in Ukraine, about funding police, or any issue of substance other than herself being in the media spotlight. Here is how she reacted to Trumps policy to withdraw from Afghanistan that Biden executed:


      Yes, but she’s deeply concerned about spending money in Ukraine. Sure.

      The idea that Lambert cites her tweets as anything substantive or a reason to (tongue in cheek?) vote for Republicans suggests that he needs a wider Twitter net or some alternative conservative sources. Marjorie Taylor Greene is a bozo of the first order who flaps in the breeze like a wind sock.

      1. Lambert Strether Post author

        > Marjorie Taylor Greene is a bozo of the first order who flaps in the breeze like a wind sock.

        Unlike…. Unlike… Well, Bernie, I suppose, or maybe Ilhan. That’s about it on the Democrat side.

        What’s truly remarkable, MTG’s shiftiness aside, is that the words were spoken. Catch a liberal Democrat saying the same thing! On either [genuflects] the FBI or [m*sturbates furiously] Ukraine. They don’t want my vote. MTG does. Is that so bad?

        1. Larry

          But words for MTG don’t matter, they’re fleeting. She has no principle other than attention. So I’m not at all surprised at what she “says”. Cops are bad when they go after the “good guys”. She’ll gladly cheer them on as they go after her perceived “bad guys”.

          War is bad when led by Biden. War will be good when led by Trump. If that’s courting your vote, then you get a simple vote.

        2. Adam Eran

          I’ll agree about MTG being a bozo, but here’s the problem: I’ve written Justice Democrats, and more recently Pramila Jayapal, protesting the continued U.S. provocations in Ukraine, lack of change in neocon State Dept. personnel, etc. The best I’ve received in reply is a form letter from Jayapal saying she stands by the Ukies.

          Where’s the peace movement? What excuse does “the squad” have for their supine acceptance of war? Those are serious questions. The best I’ve found online is this site, where I sent a contribution.

          Better question: Could Lambert & Yves start a peace movement here?

  4. ambrit

    Re. “A Bear Fight in the Colosseum.” I think that the artist is making the point that the real spectacle here is the in the Emperor’s box, not on the arena.
    Debord before Debord was a ‘thing.’

    1. John Zelnicker

      It looks like a bear head and paws in the bottom left corner, near background, behind the bottom of the left-most column.

    2. lambert strether

      > Debord before Debord was a ‘thing’

      Alma-Tadema is the weirdest artist on my Twitter List, and I’m subscribed to a lot of surrealists. This painting is from 1909 (Les Demoiselles d’Avignon was 1907), and it really does make you wonder what was going on in the collective psyche of Imperial Britain immediately before World War I.

      1. ambrit

        Orientalism my dear boy, Orientalism!
        For example, “Vathek.”
        See: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vathek
        Alma-Tadema’s work definitely has a Late Empire feel to it (and not a Louis Napoleon Empire either.). It has been said that the fine artists of a culture predict the near future of the society. They observe so closely and must analyze so completely to understand their subjects, and their own relation thereto.
        I subscribe to the idea that surrealism portrays an understanding of the underlying structure of “reality.” Dadaism on the other hand….

      2. dermotmoconnor

        Arnold Toynbee, from ‘Civilisation on Trial’ (1947)

        The writer’s mind runs back fifty years, to an afternoon in London in the year 1897. He is sitting with his father at a window in Fleet Street and watching a procession of Canadian and Australian mounted troops who have come to celebrate Queen Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee. He can still remember his excitement at the unfamiliar, picturesque uniforms of these magnificent ‘colonial’ troops, as they were still called in England then: slouch hats instead of brass helmets, grey tunics instead of red. To an English child, this sight gave a sense of new life astir in the world; a philosopher, perhaps, might have reflected that, where there is growth, there is likely also to be decay … They saw their sun standing at its zenith and assumed that it was there to stay— without their even needing to give it the magically compelling word of command which Joshua had uttered on a famous occasion.

        The author of the tenth chapter of the Book of Joshua was at any rate aware that a stand-still of Time was something unusual. ‘There was no day like that before it or after it, that the Lord hearkened unto the voice of a man.’ Yet the middle-class English in 1897, who thought of themselves as Wellsian rationalists living in a scientific age, took their imaginary miracle for granted. As they saw it, history, for them, was over. It had come to an end in foreign affairs in 1815, with the Battle of Waterloo; in home affairs in 1832, with the Great Reform Bill; and in imperial affairs in 1859, with the suppression of the Indian Mutiny. And they had every reason to congratulate themselves on the permanent state of felicity which this ending of history had conferred on them. ‘The lines are fallen unto me in pleasant places; yea, I have a goodly heritage.’

        this fin de siecle middle-class English hallucination seems sheer lunacy, yet it was shared by contemporary Western middle-class people of other nationalities. In the United States, for instance, in the North, history, for the middle class, had come to an end with the winning of the West and the Federal victory in the Civil War; and in Germany, or at any rate in Prussia, for the same class, the same permanent consummation had been reached with the overthrow of France and foundation of the Second Reich in 1871. For these three batches of Western middle-class people fifty years ago, God’s work of creation was completed, ‘and behold it was very good.’ Yet, though in 1897 the English, American, and German middle class, between them, were the political and economic masters of the world, they did not amount, in numbers, to more than a very small fraction of the living generation of mankind, and there Were other people abroad who saw things differently— even though they might be impotent and inarticulate.

        …All over the world, in fact, though at that time still under the surface, there were peoples and classes who were just as discontented as the French or the Southerners were with the latest deal of history’s cards, but who were quite unwilling to agree that the game was over. There were all the subject peoples and all the depressed classes, and what millions they amounted to!…

        To-day, in 1947, the Western middle class which, fifty years ago, was sitting carefree on the volcano’s crust, is suffering something like the tribulation which, a hundred to a hundred and fifty years ago, was inflicted by Juggernaut’s car on the English industrial working class. This is the situation of the middle class today not only in Germany, France, the Low Countries, Scandinavia, and Great Britain, but also in some degree in Switzerland and Sweden, and even in the United States and Canada. The future of the Western middle class is in question now in all Western countries; but the outcome is not simply the concern of the small fraction of mankind directly affected; for this Western middle class— this tiny minority— is the leaven that in recent times has leavened the lump and has thereby created the modern world. Could the creature survive its creator? If the Western middle class broke down, would it bring humanity’s house down with it in its fall? Whatever the answer to this fateful question may be, it is clear that what is a crisis for this key-minority is inevitably also a crisis for the rest of the world.


        Pity Fukuyama and his ‘centrist’ bobbleheads didn’t take the trouble to read more widely, might has saved us a bit of trouble. Toynbee continues (and this might have given Fuku a clue:


        QUOTE: “Centuries before Communism was heard of, our ancestors found their bugbear in Islam. As lately as the sixteenth century, Islam inspired the same hysteria in Western hearts as Communism in the twentieth century, and this essentially for the same reasons. Like Communism, Islam was an anti-Western movement which was at the same time a heretical version of a Western faith; and, like Communism, it wielded a sword of the spirit against which there was no defence in material armaments.”

    3. wol

      Thanks for Alma-Tadema! I had my socks knocked off similarly at the old Tate by John Martin (1789-1854). Didn’t know of him previously. He influenced the great animator Ray Harryhausen (1920-2013), who owned several Martin engravings.

    4. Rodeo Clownfish

      Caracalla and Geta did have disagreements, and Caracalla ultimately did have Geta killed. Right in front of their mother, who was not in on the plot.

    1. ambrit

      That’s assuming a ‘Sane Purse.’ See, we can all go on fishing expeditions! Spectacular!

        1. ambrit

          What? The Lupas are now cheaper? I knew that trouble was coming when the Ladies went onto a ‘piecework’ payment scheme.
          As a fellow from New Jersey who I worked with for a few years might have put it: *Grabs crotch* “Hey there! I’ve got your dupondius right here!” Here in the North American Deep South, that is known as “Showing your A–” since everyone knows that lupas won’t sell for less than two asses. Thus, “Showing your a–” means that you’re always a day late and an a– short.
          Still, that Dupondius joke took some brass I’ll grant you.

  5. flora

    But I don’t think a violation of the National Records Act has an equivalent payoff. And speaking of records, we didn’t indict Clinton for running an unsecured server out of the bathroom in her home while in office.

    This all brings up the faint memory of the Clintons and some FBI files on their supposed political opponents they were apparently not supposed to have during the C. admin. Somehow the files, or copies of the files made their way into the White House basement. All of this, then and now, seems sort of like Dick Nixon territory.



  6. jr

    Foucault is a Fraud

    Debunking Post-structuralism with Camilla Paglia:


    Camilla makes no bones about it. She declares Foucault knew jack about history or art. All is narrative. (Which, of course, implies the claims of Post-structuralism are merely narratives. Along with the notion of endless criticism.) Includes a nice side-swipe at that m0r0n Judith Butler and her “reality is linguistics” brain-bunny progeny. The more I read into this dreck, the more shocked I become at the patent $tupidity of it all.

    1. lyman alpha blob

      Thanks for the Paglia – she’s always a hoot to listen to. There’s a lot of pro- and anti- Jordan Peterson stuff out there and a couple years ago I wanted to see if he was really as bad as some people claim so watched an interview between him and Paglia. She shredded him rather rapidly – he really is as bad as the claims.

  7. Lemmy Caution

    Trump turned over the 15 boxes of documents in question to the National Archives in January. They were transported to a sensitive compartmented information facility — known as a SCIF — in the Washington D.C. area.

    According to the National Archives, there are some holes in the materials preserved by the Trump Administration:

    NARA has identified certain social media records that were not captured and preserved by the Trump Administration. NARA has also learned that some White House staff conducted official business using non-official electronic messaging accounts that were not copied or forwarded into their official electronic messaging accounts, as required by section 2209 of the PRA. NARA has already obtained or is in the process of obtaining some of those records.

    Also, according to a 2018 Politico article, Trump was accused of “tearing up” some official White House documents while in office. The article gave examples of the types of documents that fell victim to Trump’s “odd and enduring habit of ripping up papers when he’s done with them.”

    [The papers} included newspaper clips on which Trump had scribbled notes, or circled words; invitations; and letters from constituents or lawmakers on the Hill, including Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer.

    And here I was expecting something a bit more earth shattering — say 33,000 missing emails about yoga routines or wedding plans.

    1. nippersdad

      Politico is on it.

      “Laufman has the credentials to judge the severity of these matters. In addition to the Clinton case, he managed the investigation of David Petraeus, the former general and CIA director who pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor for mishandling classified material. CNN reported that one of the DOJ officials involved in the Trump investigation is his immediate successor.

      “For the department to pursue a search warrant at Mar-a-Lago tells me that the quantum and quality of the evidence they were reciting — in a search warrant and affidavit that an FBI agent swore to — was likely so pulverizing in its force as to eviscerate any notion that the search warrant and this investigation is politically motivated,” he said.”


      Sure it is. I love the credentialism thing.

      1. Lemmy Caution

        Well, if the evidence is so pulverizing in its force such that it evicerates the notion of political motivation, I guess that’s that. I just hope the Politico writer didn’t blow a gasket while writing that sentence.

      2. Fiery Hunt

        Yeah, nippersdad, like you, I sure am glad the press is sure they’ve got pulverizing

        I feel comforted.
        Don’t you?


      3. pjay

        LOL! Like the FISA warrants for the Russiagate “investigation”?

        Today’s “journalism” is a beauty to behold.

  8. NoName

    I can’t help thinking of Macbeth when hearing about edifice burning as pandemic catharsis. “Performative liberalism” indeed.

    “It is a tale. Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury. Signifying nothing.”

  9. Carolinian

    So the spin being put out by the sites not named Politico is that the raid actually helps Trump. I’m not sure I disagree. Turley also says that even a conviction is not disqualifying to run.

    And by Hunter standards Trump is a choir boy. The profound moral hypocrisy of the Dems/press does not go unnoticed by a public even bothering to pay attention. Trump is a terrible choice for the Repubs but can they come up with a better one? Are the Dems willing to?

    1. Carolinian

      Larry Johnson, certainly a conservative but lately respectable around here

      I am not here to argue that Trump was a perfect President. He was not. His personnel choices–especially his selections to head the FBI, the CIA, the Department of Defense and the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff–were appalling and have come back to bite him in the ass. I know one intelligence officer who regularly briefed Trump. That person also had prior experience briefing Presidents Clinton, George W. Bush and Barack Obama. According to my friend, the President who was most attentive, asked the best questions and treated the “help” with respect was Donald Trump. Whatever his other faults, Trump’s treatment of the little people does say something positive about Trump’s character.

      When Trump was President he had the authority to classify and declassify information. Before he left office, Trump declassified intelligence and law enforcement documents that exposed the nature of the plot to force him from office [he means the Russiagate plot]. He acted legally and within the constraints of the Constitution. When he took those documents with him he was fully entitled to do so. We will find out whether or not Trump secured those documents somewhere beyond the reach of the FBI or at least kept copies in a safe location.


      Johnson likes Trump a lot more than I do but I think what can be objectively argued is that Biden has been worse than Trump and much more the loose cannon that Trump was initially feared to be. Trump likes to shoot off his mouth. Biden has provoked a world changing war in Ukraine and threatens to wreck the US economy. His vaccine mandate revealed an authoritarian impulse that is every bit what the Dems claimed to fear in Trump. You can’t be the “lesser evil” party when you are not even that.

      1. Yves Smith

        Just so you know, on the “treating the help well” point, one of the women at the salon I went to in NYC was part of the team that regularly got Trump and his guests TV ready on the Apprentice (the salon had one of its two NYC spaces in Trump Tower). She said he and his family were consistently polite and pleasant to deal with and everyone at the salon liked working with them.

        Her son has a mildly behavioral problem (needs high structure) and he was going to be at home during college, which she didn’t like at all since she had to work most days.

        Trump was known to come to Trump Towers lobby like clockwork every morning to pick up newspapers from the newsstand. She accosted him and asked for her son to have a job, any job, like a busboy in one of the Trump Tower restaurants (also operated by Trump) since he needed to work over the summer. He walked her to the nearest restaurant manager. “Tell your son to be here at 8:30 AM tomorrow. He’ll take care of it.”

        1. Larry

          This is bland hagiography Yves. Honestly, who cares about such a banal and personal story that has no baring on how the man conducted himself, the actions he’s taken, or the forces he’s stirred.

          1. Yves Smith

            No, it’s to confirm that Trump, contrary to popular assumptions, treats his help well, which was the point made immediately above. Or did you not read the thread with any care?

            The fact that you make it more than that shows that your are exhibiting a classic case of the cognitive bias called halo effect, of seeing people as all good or all bad. Your ire at the notion that Trump might actually have a good character quality or two side by side with his rampant ego and general unfitness for office is a sign of Trump Derangement Syndrome.

            1. Larry

              I don’t find it interesting that Trump treats his help well just as I wouldn’t find it interesting if Hillary Clinton did the same. I suspect there are many glowing encounters she’s had with help and the general public, but that doesn’t change my opinion of her as an important political figure and how I view her actions.

              To take recent speeches, Trump has proposed putting homeless people in internment camps. Who cares how he treats the help when that’s how proposes the treat the least powerful amongst us?

              I view the point you are making to be useful in softening perceptions of the man overall. That’s how I take it.

              1. Yves Smith

                If you don’t find it interesting, why are you belaboring the point? Your conduct contradicts your statements.

                I am confirming that what Johnson heard from his sources is accurate, despite it seeming implausible. My concern is the perceived accuracy of Larry Johnson since we do cite his work more that occasionally.

                If you are going to smear me out and impute your fabricated motives, you are no longer welcome.

                Actually, never mind, you are no longer welcome. I trust you will find your happiness on the Internet elsewhere.

                1. Adam Eran

                  Thanks for sticking up for Trump, Yves. Yes, he was a problematic guy, but so many of my “liberal” friends have TDS (Trump derangement syndrome) that they can focus on virtually nothing else. Where’s the criticism of Obama, the progenitor of Trump (the anti-Obama)? Nowhere. They’re too busy being right about Trump to even care. [sigh]

                  Ralph Nader says there’s not a dime’s worth of difference between the two major parties. Boss Tweed said “I don’t care who people vote for as long as I can pick the candidates.” Thank goodness for NC and the alternative to the pre-selected narrative.

          2. Carolinian

            And the nonstop 24/7 negative hagiography? I honestly resent your comment which is an off the wall attack on two different anecdotes which shed a little bit of perspective if true. Some of us are here to learn, not to throw a bag over our heads. If cartoon villains are the only kind you care for then stick to the comix.

            1. jsn

              I rode an elevator at 601 W26th St, one of the worst elevatored buildings in the world for 15 floors with Donald Trump in about 2014 before the building put in Destination Dispatch elevators.

              The elevator was packed from the lobby with around 20 people in the car. Over the five minutes or so it took to ride to the 15th floor or so where he got out, he talked and joked with everyone in the car, remembering names and coming back to people with relevant comments.

              I was right behind him, so I can attest the hair is real, but very thin on top.
              I think he’s a psychopathic narcissist, but good company in a crowded elevator.

      2. marym

        I don’t know anything about declassification – if it’s something the president just does in his mind, or if there’s a process. As far as his right to take the documents, I don’t know anything about that either, but it doesn’t seem to be a matter of classified or declassified. Here’s a link to the definition of “presidential records” in the PRA.

    2. Michael Ismoe

      Can you imagine the reaction if President Trump’s FBI had raided Hillary Clinton’s home in 2018?

      I’ll bet Nancy Pelosi would have impeached him.

      1. The Rev Kev

        It’s a good thing that Trump never thought to make any copies of all those records and had them hidden elsewhere out of the reach of the FBI. Hello? Hello?

  10. Art_DogCT

    Regarding the absent bears, I found one. It’s in the lower left on the colosseum floor, half obscured by a column. What at first I took for gymnasts seem to be something like picadors, with one’s staff in front of the bear. If you follow the gaze of the woman at the left, bending over to look at something below her, you’ll see the blue and white striped pike, and the bear.

  11. skippy

    “Innovative solutions to keep women salt miners hydrated” is the most neoliberal sentence I’ve ever read. – Lambert

    #MakingOpportunityUniversal as seen in bottom left hand corner just punches it to another level.

    BTW the bear is in the lower left corner partly obscured by the marble column. The painting could have been titled – Death is over elites boredom.

  12. jr

    “Innovative solutions to keep women salt miners hydrated” is the most neoliberal sentence I’ve ever read. – Lambert

    Why in the name of fu(k would it take innovation to keep salt miners hydrated!?! Why was there any gray area that needed to be innovated? You cannot make this stuff up…

    1. Questa Nota

      I’d be relieved to go back to the salt mines knowing that there were such innovations for the distaff side. Can one still write that?

      Will said innovations help the staff side, too?

      If one has to relieve oneself, what better place than a salt mine!

      1. JBird4049

        I just have to note that being effective seems to be less important than being “innovative” for some reason. It is like an incantation like “diversity and equity.” Which has replaced words like fairness and equality.

        “Yes, we’re innovative in our diversity and equity.”

    1. digi_owl

      A nice reminder that a new Windows 11 install will, if you do not bypass the microsoft account signup somehow, slap the C drive with encryption tied to said account.

      Lose access to that account somehow, and you’re new computer may well be a brick (at least until you format it and install something like Linux).

      I suspect far more data will be lost that way, than will be lost to stolen laptops etc.

      The days of us being the masters of our computing hardware is long gone it seems. PCs are becoming more and more like the terminals of old.

  13. Samuel Conner

    > a Biden line at 633,000. per day. That’s rather a lot of cases per day

    Multiply that by 365 and divide by 3.38 million to get the projected % of the US population infected in one year (assuming no reinfections within a calendar year). That’s 68% for the current “Biden line” level.

    Somehow I think the daily “deaths from COVID” level is going to creep up over time as Long COVID damage accumulates.

    1. NotTimothyGeithner

      I tested positive yesterday. It was day 5 since the onset of symptoms including a day 0, but I wanted to make sure I was counted officially. I just had some cold symptoms for 36 hours and a lingering cough for about another day.

      1. Darius

        I tested positive three weeks ago. Was like a terrible cold the first few days. Bedridden. Still feeling low stamina.

        1. NotTimothyGeithner

          Ugh, I’m sorry. I haven’t had anything that bad. Though that mysterious cold I had in December 2019 was marked by no stamina and overwhelming fatigue.

  14. deplorado

    “Sympathy for Germany
    Jul 26, 2022
    Greeks and other southern Europeans could now be feeling schadenfreude as Germany faces the collapse of its economic model in the face of the Ukraine war and the new cold war with China.”


    What he says makes sense, except this bit – it strikes me as true but not for the right reasons:
    “Low-savings countries with a structural trade deficit, like Greece or Ghana, do benefit from devaluation. High-savings countries with a structural trade surplus, do not – all that happens is that poorer domestic consumers subsidize richer exporters”

    Also, IMHO it is not so much “the collapse of its economic model” as “the collapse of its political leadership class” – those are still different things

    1. VietnamVet

      Yanis Varoufakis was in the trenches when Europe’s junior Corporate/State subjugated the Greeks without firing a shot. Yet he cannot divorce himself from the Neoliberal belief system. It is, unfortunately, like the US Civil War Elephant. You only see parts of the whole, the tail or the foot on top of you. The whole system is built around maximizing this quarter’s profits and bonuses. The lives of others are of no matter. Coronavirus is allowed to rip the population to prop up the economy but the real costs of the illnesses and the pandemic’s disruptions are discounted. Profiteering from war, monopolies and shortages is intentional. Democracy is of no import. The future is unplanned. Exploitation is the goal.

      All the New World Order can do is seek greater profits and try to remain the global hegemon. Armament is shipped to Ukraine and China’s nose is rubbed with Taiwan. The move of nations to free themselves from dependence on Wall Street and the City of London contested. The West, as currently constructed, is simply incapable of rationing. The UK price protection plan for a family’s yearly electrical bill until Sept. 2023 is 7,844.96 pounds sterling or 9,477.98 US dollars. This cannot continue.

      Only working governments with democratic feedback from the people plus peace can avoid the looming End Days of a global nuclear war or climate change.

  15. Samuel Conner

    I am intrigued by the possibility of Roman Chamomile as a ground cover plant. Here’s a discussion of its use as a lawn plant


    I have several plants in small pots, started from seed a few months ago, and they have not formed blossoms, but even the foliage smells like chamomile tea. I imagine that a mass planting would be wonderful. I wonder if the foliage scent has the same calming effect as infusions made from the blossoms. It doesn’t tolerate foot traffic well, however.

    1. Steve H.

      “For though the camomile, the more it is trodden on, the faster it grows”

      tho the source is suspect…

  16. Jason Boxman

    I donated to Public Citizen this year, thinking they seem to do good on corruption reporting or whatever, but now I’m getting unhinged emails from Robert Weissman about 6 Jan and now this FBI raid. Ugh.

    And we do know that Trump took documents from the White House to Mar-a-Lago that by law — according to the Presidential Records Act passed in the wake of the Watergate scandal that forced Richard Nixon to resign in disgrace — should have been turned over to the National Archives.

    Add your name if you agree:

    Donald Trump must be held accountable if he violated the Presidential Records Act.

    (removed bold that was his)

    I wonder what he has in mind? I’ve never tried to search the Twitter, but found no mentions of Clinton’s email server nor the same in Google searches. I wonder if he had an opinion on that? The word “server” doesn’t show up in any Public Citizen posts on their web site, either, in 2016 timeframe, that are about Clinton’s law breaking.

    1. adam

      It does seem that Public Citizen, which I have followed for years, has been coopted somewhat by the neo-liberals. I’ve noticed multiple articles since the beginning of the year about Russia, Russia, Russia!, which has never been an interest of theirs before, along with a partnership with the elites favorite newspaper, the New York Times. Odd and sad.

        1. Jason Boxman

          I’ve been sad to see this as well, as I’ve been donating annually to ProPublica. I decided the investigative work outweighs the crazy. They do some ground breaking reporting.

  17. ghiggler

    > 2024

    The talking heads pointed out that during a lawful search, if evidence of other crimes is apparent, that evidence may be used to prosecute the other crimes.

    In other words, was this a more general fishing expedition, based on it being easier to prove well enough to get a warrant that Trump was hanging on to ‘classified national security information?’


    As far as “weaponizing the DOJ” goes, while, in general, co-opting the judiciary for political purposes is a sign of a failing state, it has a long history in America. Kennedy, Nixon, and Trump himself immediately come to mind.

    That said, co-opting the military steps beyond even these bounds. For that reason Trump’s statements about expecting loyalty from his generals, Michael Flynn’s statement that a Myanmar style coup should take place, and similar statements and attitudes do cause me concern.

    1. Michael Ismoe

      We are Haiti – if Haiti had been colonized by the English, instead of the French.

  18. Will

    re relative Covid severity in Canada and four peer nations

    I don’t have the background to get into the weeds with something like this, but it seems weird to me that the study authors didn’t also look at comparing Canadian provinces. The four Atlantic provinces instituted a collective “bubble” in July 2020, which turned into 3 bubbles, when the 2 island provinces instituted their own in November 2020.


    The federal territories also had bubbles.

    Perhaps there are already studies out there covering this angle?

    Also, in the discussion, they admit that a major limitation of their study is the use of rate stats from Ontario to derive national numbers for Canada, which is then used to compare against other countries. They justify it based on quality of available data and population size (40% of Canada).

    But there are big difference among the provinces, and the Federal Territories, that would have affected local death rates etc., and not just because of the bubbles mentioned above. Quebec has a two-tiered healthcare system in all but name and Alberta (the Texas of Canada), is its own island of dysfunction that would not be out of place in the “southern” US. (The other 2 prairie provinces look kinda competent only in comparison to Alberta.)

    FYI – Quebec, Alberta and the Atlantic Provinces are about 22%, 12%, and 7% of the population, respectively.

    I understand you have to make assumptions and such when modeling, but I wonder if it would be more accurate to call this study “Relative Pandemic Severity in the Province of Ontario and Four Nations.”

    Or, “How the Vestiges of a Formerly Well-Funded Administrative Apparatus Ameliorated the Bumbling of Fail-Son Leadership: A Comparative Study”

    1. The Rev Kev

      We had the same in Oz where most States wanted nothing to do with this virus but the two biggest States wanted it to let ‘er rip for the good of the economy. And you had federal government undermining efforts to keep it out until they opened the floodgates. There is so much we could do right now like mandatory mask wearing with the government supplying N95 masks or ventilation but nothing is being done. So the policy here is bipartisan but is not reaping the herd immunity that they decided will happen.

      Lambert quoted a guy on twitter who said ‘As long as there are huge numbers of viruses mutating and transmitting, new variants can evolve, and they will evolve specifically in terms of transmissibility and immune escape.’ Pretty sure I said the same damn thing back in a comment in 2020 and I constantly failed biology as a subject in high school years ago. Blind Freddy could see this happening.

      1. The Rev Kev

        Goddammit. There was just a government ad on TV about what to do for this virus and it had the typical things like wearing a mask, testing, social distancing, etc. and then the guys says their aim right out loud – to slow the spread. And that is it. In other words everybody is going to get it and they are just fine with that.

  19. Wukchumni

    ‘America’s drunkest city?’ Fresno leaders say 4 a.m. last call could solidify stigma

    I would probably drink to wicked excess if I lived in Fresno, so I get it why it has been judged the drunkest city in the country, but if the leaders were really two sheets to the wind they’d have no last call instead of extending it from 2 am to 4 am.

    1. Sardonia

      I’d read years ago that Fresno was America’s fattest city. And now with this, I’m reminded of Dean Wormer’s advice in Animal House: “Son – fat, drunk, and stupid is no way to go through life.”

      1. Wukchumni

        One of the city founders way back when insisted on calling the fledgling metropolis ‘Cautionary Tale’ but was turned down.

      1. Sardonia

        4:01 AM. Fresno has this figured out. Close the bar at 4, allow one minute for the drunks to pee on the sidewalk, then open the bar back up.

  20. XXYY

    Or setting CDC headquarters ablaze, plowing the rubble under, and then salting the earth?

    Performative and practical! I vote for this.

  21. Earl Erland

    The Dems spend money to get Trumpistas on the ballots, state and federal. They then send the FBI to whack the the Hornets nest.

    “Mere Anarchy is loosed upon the world.”.

    1. Mo's Bike Shop

      Good catch. It makes me think about the sanctions from hell. They have bullet points, not plans.

  22. Tom Stone

    I had an odd thought, is the Mar A Lago raid a squirrel?
    As in “Look,a squirrel!”.
    I know,that assumes there is a rational reason for the raid happening at this time and there is no evidence that any of the decisions made by the Biden administration have had a rational basis.

    1. notabanker

      Well CNN ratings have been hammered and big pharma has milked the covid vaccine thing dry, so it is probably time to sell more boner pills in prime time. They should be able to drag another Trump drama out at least a year. Maybe Jan 6 was not as profitable as planned.

    2. The Rev Kev

      Note that nobody is now talking about Nancy’s trip to Taiwan now. Well, except those in China and Taiwan.

  23. Tom Stone

    I see that the IRS recently purchased 5,000,000 rounds of ammunition for its agents…
    Nothing to see here, move along.

    1. JBird4049

      Five million rounds for what are supposed to be office workers? Are they the police? Well… okay then. I just hope that they train and practice enough not to shoot themselves in the foot. (Looks around nervously)

      1. ambrit

        Yes, I have it on good authority that the Feds do think that way.
        Years ago I spoke several times with a Federal employee who was dragooned out of a desk job in New Orleans and sent to Waco Texas to assault the Branch Davidian compound. Many of those ‘going in’ were not trained in methods of combat and were thrown in with only their monthly pistol practice as training. Four agents were killed. The Feds evidently did not expect a robust defense from the cultists.
        Everyone I spoke with over the years who knew anything serious about then Attorney General Reno, who had final say over how the FBI handled the situation, stated the she was “a piece of work.”

      2. digi_owl

        The number of government offices with some semblance of police authority in USA seems staggering.

        1. eg

          My father made some comment back in the early’90s about how we live in a police state, at which I guffawed and dismissed as ridiculous.

          Now I wish I had asked him to elaborate and listened more carefully.

      3. marym

        It’s the Criminal Investigation unit that’s armed. Whether that’s a good idea or not is arguable. However, the “office workers” are civil servants doing their best on a job we presumably think is necessary in an economic system that assesses and collects taxes. They shouldn’t be the scapegoats of anything we may argue is bad policy regarding taxation and its enforcement.

        1. JBird4049

          I am not criticizing the individual office workers who are cogs and gears trapped in the machine like most of us. I am criticizing why tax auditors and collectors need the ammunition or the guns.

  24. Tom Stone

    I mentioned the other day that a friend had inherited a Chaffee-Reece trials rifle from the 1882 trials.
    I had a chance to examine it in detail yesterday evening ( I took my good screwdrivers) and for a 140 year old tool it is in remarkably good condition, two screws were moderately buggered but with a little Kroil they came right out.
    The rifling is still clean and sharp with a little glazing, there are traces of blue here and there and an even patina on the rest.
    Mark ordered headspace gauges and a lee loader, if the headspace checks out we’ll be shooting it next weekend with mild smokeless loads
    140 years old, not many tools made today will still be in good working order come 2162 AD.

  25. CoryP

    Since the Trump thing is in the news I’ll ask a question I’ve had for a while….

    Can anyone recommend a good source of analysis on the 1/6 and current Trump stuff?

    I’ve been dismissive of it all, and generally only read sources that are equally dismissive. But my alternative seems to be hysteria (MSM, WSWS, etc).

    Any good middle of the road commentators that would walk me through the important stuff, if any?

    1. ArchieShemp

      Heather Cox Richardson does a good daily roundup. You could read recent ones, on Book of Faces or Substack.

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