By Lambert Strether of Corrente
Bird Song of the Day
European Turtle-Dove, Kelling Heath, Norfolk, England, United Kingdom.
“But what is government itself, but the greatest of all reflections on human nature?” –James Madison, Federalist 51
“Here’s food for thought, had Ahab time to think; but Ahab never thinks; he only feels, feels, feels” –Herman Melville, Moby Dick
“So many of the social reactions that strike us as psychological are in fact a rational management of symbolic capital.” –Pierre Bourdieu, Classification Struggles
“Staff changes are coming to the White House. Will Klain be part of them?” [Politico]. “According to people familiar with the internal deliberations, Klain was the foremost advocate for Biden seizing on the July 4 holiday to hold an ‘Independence from Covid-19’ event on the South Lawn. He rejected input from other members of the Covid team who were anxious about declaring victory prematurely, although Biden did include a qualifier, that his words were “not to say the battle against COVID-19 is over.'” • Ron, good job. And electorally, it was a good job, as the midterms show. As I keep saying, the most important of the “lesssons learned” from Covid is that our ruling class can slaughter a million citizens without any riots. That’s an important lesson, and Ron was very much a part of that.
* * *
Democracy was on the ballot, and won. From the head of the Council on Foreign Relations:
All in all appears to have been a good day for the USA. Decent voter turnout, peaceful polling places, many losers conceding with some grace, many deniers denied, no mandate for radicalism. American democracy lives to fight (or better yet not fight) for another day.
— Richard N. Haass (@RichardHaass) November 9, 2022
Allow me to translate: Now the Democrats can return to fomenting war with nuclear powers, normalizing pandemics, and union-busting. Friends, there’s good news tonight!
“Senator Big Sweaty Lunk” [Atrios, Eschaton]. “I realized I didn’t even have any predictions for yesterday. I don’t mean I failed to BLOG them, I mean I just didn’t have any in my head at all.” • So I wasn’t the only one. For those who came in late, Atrios was my blogfather, and introduced me to blogging in 2003 or so (for which I will be forever grateful). The topic: Democratic politics! So it’s a curious data point for some future historian that, after so many years — 2022 – 2003 = 19 (!!) — we both ended up in the same place, on the same election, and on the same day.
* * *
Here is the state of play from FiveThirtyEight:
“Battle for Senate control a toss-up with four seats left to be called” [CBS]. “CBS News characterizes the races in Georgia and Nevada as toss-ups, with Georgia likely headed for a run-off in December between Sen. Raphael Warnock and Republican challenger Herschel Walker. CBS News characterizes Arizona as leaning Democrat. Alaska, where three candidates are on the ballot, had not yet been called early Wednesday.”
“House Midterm Elections 2022” [NBC]. “Though NBC News cannot project control of the House at this time, the Decision Desk has released its estimate for the U.S. House of Representatives as a whole, which reflects the most probable outcome for partisan control. To arrive at the House Estimate, the NBC News Decision Desk calculates the probability of a Democratic, Republican or third-party victory in each of the 435 individual House races based on pre-election research. On election night, election analysts examine all the available vote data in real time, adjusting the probabilities for each House race accordingly. Based on those probabilities, NBC News’ Decision Desk then calculates the most probable outcome for control of the chamber and provides a margin of error plus or minus the number of seats that could still be won by either party. The Decision Desk will project partisan control of the U.S. House based on this estimate when we are at a minimum of 99.5% confident in the outcome.” • The projection is R: 222, D: 213, FWIW. (What I wanted was a simple list of undecided House races, but a quick search didn’t bring it to light. Readers?
* * *
“MAGA Candidates Flounder in Midterms” [National Review]. “President Trump’s handpicked and endorsed candidates largely underperformed or outright lost their midterm contests on Tuesday, deflating the former president’s status as a party kingmaker and likely 2024 GOP presidential nominee. Trump’s influence was felt across the board: his hand-picked Senate candidates, political novices who secured their respective nominations largely on the strength of his endorsement, drastically underperformed expectations. House Republican challengers and incumbents who embraced his election denialism — and gubernatorial candidates who did the same — faced similar struggles…. [H]is poor showing in crucial battleground states has unsettled many Republicans. Florida governor Ron DeSantis’s strong performance will position him well to challenge Trump if he decides to enter the race.” • Sad to see the National Review clambering onto the bandwagon of a short-torso-ed vulgarian like DeSantis.
“Democrats’ Elevation Of Election Deniers Worked” [HuffPo]. “All six of the election-denying candidates on the ballot whom Democrats boosted ― three gubernatorial candidates, two House candidates and a Senate candidate ― lost, most of them resoundingly. The strategy was met with scorn and incredulity from ‘never Trump’ Republicans. Other Democrats from across the party’s ideological spectrum said the strategy was unwise, immoral or both. Thirty-five former Democratic elected officials signed a letter suggesting the party was playing with fire.” • Well, it worked this time, so I assume we’ll see more of it.
* * *
“Key takeaways: Democrats avoid Biden backlash and hold their own in 2022 races” [NBC]. “With Trump out of office for two years, one of the big questions of the 2022 cycle is whether the well-educated suburbs that abandoned the GOP and voted for Democratic candidates in recent cycles would stick with Democrats or flip back. They appear to be staying put. Whether it’s the booming Atlanta metropolitan area, the Philadelphia suburbs, the D.C. suburbs or northern Virginia, the red-to-blue trends are persisting, with college-educated voters exhibiting little desire to return to the Republican tent.”
“‘No Republican blowout’: our panel reacts to the initial US midterm results” [Guardian]. “It is now overly clear to everyone that Trump is both a necessity in the primaries and a liability in the elections. Everyone but Donald Trump, that is.”
“Biden Sidesteps Red Wave, Surpasses Obama’s Midterm Performance” [RealClearPolitics]. “Barack Obama saw his party lose 63 House seats and six Senate seats in 2010. Former President Clinton in 1994 lost 54 in the House and eight in the Senate. Biden has avoided anything close to either fate. The president did it, in part, by staying out of the way.”
“Measures to Protect Abortion Rights Triumph on Tuesday” [Bolts]. “Voters in California, Michigan, and Vermont on Tuesday adopted constitutional amendments that enshrine abortion rights into their state constitutions. The referendums came in response to the U.S. Supreme Court’s Dobbs ruling, which in June overturned federal protections for abortion.” • Federalism!
* * *
GA: “Abrams concedes to Kemp in Georgia governor’s race” [Axios]. “Abrams became a national political figure during the 2018 race and that attention helped accelerate her powerhouse fundraising capabilities.” • Money thrown up in the air and set on fire. Because that’s what “rising stars” do….
ME: “Janet Mills beats Paul LePage for 2nd term as Maine’s governor” [Bangor Daily News]. “Mills had 53.6 percent of votes to LePage’s 44.3 percent… It was the first time LePage has ever lost an election going back to his days on the Waterville City Council. He issued a statement on Wednesday afternoon saying he accepted the results. At his election night party in Lewiston around 10:50 p.m., he said ‘the election doesn’t look very well’ and then gave a defiant speech hammering Mills. He addressed her by saying he hoped her second term was better than her first and called her ‘an elitist’ and said ‘America needs better than people who are not caring for the people they govern.’ ‘We missed the message,’ LePage lamented. ‘It’s about abortion, not about heating oil.'” • Hmmm.
NY: “House Democrats’ campaign chief concedes to Lawler in stunning loss” [The Hill]. “Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney (N.Y.), the head of House Democrats’ campaign arm, conceded his race on Wednesday against state Assemblyman Mike Lawler (R), a major blow to the party and a stunning defeat for the man charged with propelling other House Democrats to victory.” • Maloney is the dude who muscled another Democrat out of his own district after a reapportionment, so it would be hilarious if the Democrats lost the House by this one vote.
PA: I’m hoisting this comment from last night’s open thread, frankly to preen a little:
PA called for Fetterman:
— NBC News (@NBCNews) November 9, 2022
I don’t expect anything from Fetterman on policy, but I think his race was very interesting from a technical perspective for two reasons:
1) Use of social media. You can’t call a social media campaign brilliant until the candidate wins, but Fetterman did, so now I will. (a) Fetterman used social media to introduce Oz to Pennsylvania, in essence arguing/showing/meming that Oz was really from New Jersey. This campaign was so infectious I had to stop myself from piling on. It also had the great merit of being true. Tweets and memes are something the national press can focus on, and that is what they did, with the effect that (b) when Fetterman had his stroke, his social media became a bright shiny bauble for the press to focus on, which is exactly what they did. Whoever ran Fetterman’s social media campaign will have many opportunities henceforth.
More importantly, (2) Fetterman’s “every county” strategy was important and non-stupid/non-corrupt Democrats, if any, will emulate it. (a) Fetterman’s strategy was to pick up Republican voters at the margin in Red counties (of which there are many, many in Philadelphia). So he visited them. This strategy worked. When Fetterman had his stroke, he was, as it were, pre-insulated from whatever the national press and the Oz campaign might say. People had seen him, and felt they knew him. There are plenty of people in Pennsylvania, still by custom and practice an industrial state, who have had medical issues and worked through them and come back from them. I believe that was in play here. (This theory also makes the late visits by parachuted in Democrat celebrities irrelevant, which recommends it in my eyes.)
Fetterman’s “every county” strategy reminds me of Howard Dean’s “50 state” strategy, also successful. (It’s worth noting that as soon as Obama and Rahm Emmanuel took power, they abolished the strategy and defenestrated Dean (with the result, IMNSHO, that Dean threw in the towel, said “[family blog] it, I’m in it for the money” and tragically became the corrupt hack he is today. This happens a lot with Democrats. It will therefore be interesting to see if the “every county” strategy is erased, or highlighted, in the coming days.
Here’s one metric of success for the “every county” strategy:
Fetterman outrunning Biden just about everywhere in Pennsylvania. Our estimate now leans Democratic pic.twitter.com/KXfvvsug1e
— Nate Cohn (@Nate_Cohn) November 9, 2022
(Note also that Democrat
facehuggersstrategists and consultants get commissions from media buys. Both Fetterman’s use of social media and the “every county” strategy take money out of their pockets. It will be interesting to see which media figures operate on their behalf in the coverage.)
In addition, Fetterman’s victory comes as the expense of the Pennsylvania Democrat establishment and the ghouls in the national press, an outcome that makes me very happy.
If Fetterman’s “every county” strategy is adopted by more Democrats — heck, more Republicans — I think that would greatly improve politics in this country. Do as Chris Arnade would do; walk around. Get out of the bubble. (Here I am thinking of the World War I British staff officer who went to the front, and broke down in tears when he actually saw the mud that he and his fellow officers had sent the troops out into, back in the Chateau.)
So I’m happy. (Readers will recall that in this comment I’m basically recapitulating everything I’ve said about the technical characteristics of the Fetterman campaign for the last year. That makes me happy too.)
Also, Dr. Oz is a puppy-killing charlatan. From New Jersey.
NOTE I should also mention that Fetterman in essence embedded himself in Braddock. I’n not sure that’s possible for most candidates (and here we mention Fetterman’s family money). I would also like to know more about the role of Fetterman’s wife, Gisele (with one “l”). She did a very creditable job as a campaign surrogate with no experience. (I also wonder, speculating wildly, if she had anything to do with the social media strategy, since nobody has come forward, as of this date, to take credit for it.)
 It’s also possible that our horrid “debate” format, which should be abolished and handed back to the League of Women, really tripped Fetterman up, and that his local appearances went better, and that the “every county” strategy primed voters to accept this:
Around the time of the debate I pointed out that Fetterman had recently been to Bucks County, where he spoke well. The local politicians were happy to appear with him. If he's speaking in Bucks, I said, they are confident.
He is currently at Biden's level in Bucks County.
— Richard M. Nixon (@dick_nixon) November 9, 2022
“When Trump Announces Candidacy, Watchdog Will File Insurrection Disqualification Challenge” [HuffPo]. “‘The evidence that Trump engaged in insurrection is overwhelming,’ Noah Bookbinder, president of Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, said in a statement last week. ‘We are ready, willing and able to take action to make sure the Constitution is upheld and Trump is prevented from holding office.’ Section 3 of the 14th Amendment, passed after the Civil War, bars any officials who have taken an oath of office to defend the government from reelection if they “engaged in insurrection or rebellion” against the government — or have ‘given aid or comfort to the enemies thereof.’ CREW sent a letter to Trump on Thursday alerting him to the planned challenge if he announces his candidacy for the 2024 GOP presidential nomination. ‘CREW believes you are barred from holding office Under Section 3 of the Fourteenth Amendment because you engaged in insurrection against the government you swore to defend,’ states the letter. ‘By summoning a violent mob to disrupt the transition of presidential power mandated by the Constitution after having sworn to defend the same, you made yourself ineligible to hold public office again.'”
“Five early takeaways from the midterms” [The Hill]. “No other Republican had anywhere close to as good a night as the Florida governor. His reelection to a second term was expected. But the margin was resounding — around 20 points over his Democratic opponent, former Rep. Charlie Crist. To put that in context, DeSantis won the governorship four years ago by less than a single point, and former President Trump carried the Sunshine State two years ago by about 3 points. The result is exactly what DeSantis’s boosters wanted in terms of proving his electability as the focus begins to shift to the 2024 presidential race. In that regard, he was also helped by the fact that Tuesday’s results added up to a mediocre outcome, at best, for Trump. Some of the other contours of DeSantis’s win were especially significant, not least that he carried the populous and heavily Hispanic Miami-Dade County. That’s one reason why DeSantis’s boast, in his victory speech, that he and his backers had ‘rewritten the political map’ wasn’t just hyperbole.” •
Democrats en Déshabillé
Patient readers, it seems that people are actually reading the back-dated post! But I have not updated it, and there are many updates. So I will have to do that. –lambert
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!). ; if the Democrat Party did not exist, the PMC would have to invent it. . (“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
“‘I wanted to wear a purple ball gown with a crimson silk cape” [Scalawag]. “I love the pomp and circumstance of voting even if the chorus of horns that accompanies my balloting is only in my head, and my poll site is a dingy concrete-block community hall…. As much as I know inherently that the electoral system leaves so many behind—the Black, the queer, the nontraditional family, the immigrant, the rural, those with records, the insurance-less, those of us in states that don’t “matter”—a lifetime of civic education indoctrinated me to believe the act of exercising this right is my highest function as a citizen. And I wanted to dress for it. I’m sentimental like that. I love the Black Southern culture of voting, showing up and showing out in your Sunday best. I love the older men crushing their hats in their hands when they cross the poll threshold, the women with tweedy suits and feathers in their feminine fedoras, my father dressing to vote before work with his newsboy hat, Members Only jacket and wide-leg slacks.”
“Survey finds increasing number of Protestants want their church to be politically homogenous” [Christian Post]. “According to a study released Tuesday by Lifeway Research, an organization that surveys ongoing trends in church ministries, 50% of non-Catholics surveyed in the U.S. prefer to attend a politically homogenous church, while 41% disagreed and 10% were uncertain. At least 55% of participants believe they are attending a church that shares their political views. Fewer than a quarter disagreed (23%) or aren’t sure (22%). Lifeway Research conducted the survey online from Sept. 19-29, using a national pre-recruited panel of over 1,000 Americans. The study’s margin of error was +/- 3.3%, with a 95% confidence level. ‘Studies have shown that voting patterns and political affiliation correlate with the type of church and amount of church involvement someone has,’ Scott McConnell, executive director of Lifeway Research, said in a statement. ‘But when asked if churchgoers want political similarity to flow back into their church relationships, this is desirable for only half of churchgoers.'”
Lambert here: I can’t call a winter surge, though we’ll really have to wait for Thanksgiving travel. However, high transmission (CDC), the elevation and continued increase in positivity (Walgreens), and the steady takeover of BQ.1* (CDC; Walgreens) are all a little unsettling (as is the apparent proliferation of variants). Stay safe out there!
• Covid and culthood:
I've just shared the data.
It breaks down to a million infections each week this year.
It breaks down to about a 1000 deaths a week.
It breaks down to covid disabling hundreds of thousands of people.
— tern (@1goodtern) November 5, 2022
I've got to be honest, almost all of those apply to the denialists and the minimisers, not the people concerned about Covid.
— tern (@1goodtern) November 5, 2022
Not to mention funding and immediate access to media forums. A good long thread.
• ”Room-level ventilation in schools and universities” [Atmospheric Environment]. “The direct flow measurement techniques used by building managers and engineers to characterize ventilation rates in mechanically ventilated buildings cannot be applied to naturally ventilated spaces. Other approaches for characterizing ventilation may require technical expertise for execution or data interpretation, or specialized instrumentation, which reduces accessibility. As educators, administrators, and building managers plan for safe operations in the wake of COVID-19, there is a need for practical approaches for characterizing ventilation on the room level, as well as support for small-scale, short-term decision making, e.g., with respect to opening windows and doors and running fans, air conditioners, or supplemental air cleaning. Here, we describe efforts taken by this group of scientists and educators using different approaches to characterize ventilation in educational spaces in different U.S. locations in collaboration with facilities managers, administrators, and other decision makers. We discuss our findings, best practices, and lessons learned.” • Well worth a read, especially if you in the field.
• Maskstravaganza: Readers may wish to look into ReadiMask, “[T]he only full-face respirator that seals to your face using a hypoallergenic medical adhesive at the perimeter of the mask. Masks that apply with elastic straps or ties do not fit properly, allowing gaps around the edges of the mask where contaminants can enter, but ReadiMask’s medical adhesive creates a tight seal that enables the filter and eyeshield to provide substantial protection. The ReadiMask is pocket-sized, virtually weightless, and available with or without the eyeshield.” • There’s innovation in this field, and manufactured in America too.
• Maskstravaganza: When the American Public Health Association can’t be bothered to enforce its own policies:
Hi Eiryn, thanks for your concern. While presenting, speakers are allowed to remove their masks. The sign below should be in all sessions pic.twitter.com/0rvoDSRDpK
— APHA's Annual Meeting & Expo (@APHAAnnualMtg) November 6, 2022
No doubt masked speakers wouldn’t look good on television….
Every family I know with kids in school are like, “Robert has been sick 5 times & he missed 3 weeks of school. Bess quit track, she’s in a wheelchair with LongCovid. She missed 28 days. Pete had a 6-week flu & bleeding eyes, but I worry about learning loss. No, we don’t mask.”
— Laura Miers (@LauraMiers) November 5, 2022
• “The notion that COVID-19 has been vanquished is not supported by the facts” [David Berger, Sydney Morning Herald]. “The pleasing notion that COVID has now been vanquished, however, that it has been turned into ‘just another seasonal upper-respiratory virus’ by vaccination, ‘hybrid’ immunity from repeated infection and natural attenuation of the virus itself, is not supported by the facts. New variants continue to arrive, irrespective of season, and the world is now on its eighth. Actuarial analysis from around the world, including in Australia, shows an ongoing 10 to 15 per cent excess death rate, as compared with before the pandemic…. But deaths are not the only metric. High rates of long COVID, consisting of a smorgasbord of chronic conditions, are already being felt in terms of labour shortages and seem set to be accumulating both human and economic effects over time.”
• ”AHPRA’s made a serious mistake in trying to silence Dr David Berger” [AusDoc]. From July, still germane. “Dr David Berger has been told to pull his head in by the Medical Board of Australia who wants him to undergo a re-education course ‘in relation to behaving professionally and courteously to colleagues and other practitioners’. His offence, according to the board, was his passionate Tweets, sometimes containing the odd expletive, critiquing public health measures, dopey commentators and the politics of the pandemic.” • ZOMG mean tweets!
• ”Fallout continues from Ahpra “over-reach”” [Insight]. “What is at issue though is robust criticism of what Dr Berger and others might argue are fools making foolish policies. Is Ahpra saying there are no fools or foolish ideas in politics, big pharma or medicine, or just that if there are we must not say so? Why should doctors, and no-one else in the community, be forced to feign respect for mediocre or incompetent authorities or individuals? The law must to be applied equally to everyone; you should not single out one person who opposes government policy while apparently not acting on myriad others who are emotionally pejorative online, and who now threaten and follow through with anonymous reports to Ahpra when they do not like what a doctor says. Ahpra is, in my view, open to being used as a tool of anonymous bullies, while they say without irony they are trying to improve culture.” • Ahpra = Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency.
• And from Berger:
Really profound reflection, from a thermodynamics perspective, sent to me by another emergency doctor as a result of reading this thread. You can try and cut this any way you like, but there is no path where this resolves itself by doing nothing. pic.twitter.com/RNph2HY3cf
— Dr David Berger, aBsuRdiSTe cROnickLeR (@YouAreLobbyLud) March 3, 2022
“Free sunscreen, ear plugs — and Covid shots? At the NASCAR race, vaccinations are still a tough sell” [STAT]. “It’s a modest dent in stagnating vaccination rates as public health officials attempt to rally fatigued Americans before an expected winter surge, but among a key group of vaccine holdouts: rural, largely conservative Americans. The NASCAR tents are also of federal health officials’ now yearslong strategy to build Covid-19 vaccine confidence by enlisting people, from religious leaders to local organizers, in their trusted communities, to take on the challenge that has eluded public health officials for nearly two years now.” Really? How’s that been working out? Then again: “‘I believe in vaccinations,’ the nurse, who also declined to give her name because of her occupation, insisted. Just not these ones. ‘If you have to get vaccinated every four months, it doesn’t f—ing work.'” And: “NASCAR itself has resisted vaccine requirements for its drivers and swerved questions about its stance, though vaccinated drivers who are Covid-19-exposed can return to racing sooner than unvaccinated peers. But if racing officials and drivers were to speak publicly about vaccine safety, they could reach what NASCAR claims are 75 million fans worldwide.” • Or maybe — hear me out — if there were a “whole of government response”? On a layered strategy?
From the Walgreen’s test positivity tracker, November 7:
Wastewater data (CDC), November 5:
Lambert here: It’s beyond frustrating how slow the variant data is. 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? [grinds teeth, bangs head on desk]. UPDATE Yes. See NC here on Pango. Every Friday, a stately, academic pace utterly incompatible with protecting yourself against a variant exhibiting doubling behavior.
Variant data, national (Walgreens), October 24:
Lambert here: BQ.1* moving along quite briskly.
Variant data, national (CDC), October 15 (Nowcast off):
BQ.1* moving along quite briskly. New York/New Jersey numbers are higher:
UPDATED And as a check, since New York is a BQ.1* hotbed, New York hospitalization continues to increase, from November 9:
Lambert here: I’ve added yellow lines to show the slopes of previous surges. This one seems pretty sedate, as surges go.
Death rate (Our World in Data):
Total: 1,098,524 –
1,098,387 = 137 (137 * 365 = 50,005, which is today’s LivingWith™ number (quite a bit higher than the minimizers would like, though they can talk themselves into anything. If the LivingWith™ metric keeps chugging along like this, I may just have to decide this is what the powers-that-be consider “mission accomplished” for this particular tranche of death and disease.
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.
• Turns out the Times is run by sentimentalists:
Of course, this was under the former guy. And as it turns out, the losses are indeed calculable; indeed the Biden administration calculated them, and the midterms show that their calculations were right.
There are no official statistics of interest today.
The Bezzle: “Facebook Parent Meta Announces Layoffs of 11,000 Staff” [Wall Street Journal]. • I should have sympathy for the workers, I suppose. But Meta is a literal force for evil. I wouldn’t feel bad for sailors who lost their jobs on slave- or opium ships…. Makes me a petty bourgeois idealist, I suppose!
The Bezzle: “Crypto chief braces for biggest one-day loss for a billionaire EVER: FTX CEO will see $16B fortune slashed to $1B – as Bitcoin and Ethereum plunge 10%” [Daily Mail]. “Crypto giant FTX’s CEO lost $16 billion of his personal fortune as his company faces a liquidity crunch and is bailed out by its rival. Sam Bankman-Fried, 30, who touted last year that his crypto company would be big enough to buy Goldman Sachs, will see his fortune drop to $1 billion after receiving a bailout from rival Changpeng Zhao’s Binance, Bloomberg reports. The 94 percent loss is the biggest one-day collapse ever among billionaires.” • That’s a damn shame.
Today’s Fear & Greed Index: 57 Greed (previous close: 58 Neutral) [CNN]. One week ago: 50 (Neutral). (0 is Extreme Fear; 100 is Extreme Greed). Last updated Nov 9 at 1:58 PM EST.
Cornell boxes are great!
— AIC: Modern Art (Bot) (@aic_modernart) November 5, 2022
And for the eclipse:
— AIC: Modern Art (Bot) (@aic_modernart) November 3, 2022
“Railroad unions push back threatened strike date” [CNN]. “The threat of a freight railroad strike has been pushed back to early December, as four major unions have agreed to coordinate the date on which they could potentially go on strike. The third-largest railroad union, the Brotherhood of Maintenance of Way Employe Division, had been prepared to strike as soon as November 20, the Sunday before Thanksgiving. But the group announced Wednesday that is has agreed to extend negotiations with the railroads until at least December 4, the deadline set by another union, the Brotherhood of Railroad Signalmen. The rank and file members of both unions have rejected the tentative agreements reached with the railroads in September, mostly over the lack of sick pay in the contracts. A strike by any one rail union would lead to a shutdown of America’s major freight railroads, as all the other unions, even those that have ratified contracts, would honor the picket lines. That could cause severe economic problems, as 30% of America’s freight moves by rail, when measured by weight and distance traveled. The two largest rail unions, the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen and the Sheet Metal, Air, Rail and Transportation union, which represents conductors, are holding their own ratification votes, the results of which are due November 21. If one or both of those unions reject the deals, they would be prepared to strike December 9. If those contracts are voted down, the BMWED and Signalmen have agreed to further push back their strike deadline to that date. The BMWED and Signalmen are engaged in negotiations with railroad management seeking deals that union leaders believe their members would ratify. The unions hope the extension will prevent Congress from imposing a contract or order them to keep working into the new year, when Republicans might be in control of one or both houses of Congress.”
News of the Wired
“The text editor for poets” [Versepad]. • Or lyricists, of which we have several in the commentariat?
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