2:00PM Water Cooler 1/4/2023

By Lambert Strether of Corrente.

Bird Song of the Day

Greater Swamp Warbler, Yala Swamp and Lake Kanyaboli (general), Nyanza, Kenya.

* * *


“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

Biden Administration

“Kamala Harris requires negative COVID tests for Senate swear-in photo op” [New York Post]. “Vice President Kamala Harris is requiring senators, their spouses and guests older than the age of 2 to submit a negative COVID-19 test before taking part in the traditional swearing-in photo op when the 118th Congress convenes Tuesday, Capitol Hill sources confirmed to the Post.” • I thought the pandemic was over?

“Here are the 4 big election storylines for 2023” [Politico]. “Here are the four big election storylines to follow in 2023… The Kentucky gubernatorial contest has already gotten off to a chaotic start, with a slew of prominent Republicans in the state lining up to challenge Democratic Gov. Andy Beshear, who is seeking a second term…. After a much-delayed redistricting process, states scrambled to lock in their congressional maps ahead of the 2022 election. But those maps are anything but set-in-stone for 2024…. A handful of states will also hold state legislative races in 2023, with the contests in Virginia as the likely headliners in November. Both chambers are up in the commonwealth, which will be the only state that has a split Legislature in 2023… Five of the nation’s 10 largest cities — Chicago, Houston, Philadelphia, San Antonio and Dallas — are holding mayoral elections this year.”

“You’re not getting child tax credit checks anymore. Here’s why” [Los Angeles Times]. “If you raised children during the pandemic, you probably remember something remarkable: getting checks in the mail, every month, from the federal government. The expanded child tax credit provided a few hundred dollars to help pay for your son’s braces or your daughter’s ballet lessons — or to ease the stress over whether you had enough money to cover the mortgage. Then, one day, the checks just stopped coming. A sudden end to the payments was not what the measure’s boosters had intended, or its critics had feared. Supporters of the 2021 boost to the Child Tax Credit — part of the $1.9-trillion COVID-19 relief package — had intended it as an initial effort, not a one-off. They hoped that the measure would prove so successful, and so popular, that Congress would feel compelled to extend it. The policy succeeded at reducing child poverty. The U.S. child poverty rate fell 46% to its lowest level in 2021, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. The temporary credit lifted nearly 4 million children out of poverty and reduced the number of households that reported not having enough food. The expanded benefit delivered more money to 61 million children in 36 million households and reached even the poorest families, who didn’t qualify before because they had no income. The monthly payments allowed families to afford essentials, including groceries, rent and clothing, researchers found. But as the pandemic receded, so did the expanded credit’s chances of survival. In January 2022, Republicans and Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin refused to extend it. The effects of the program’s end were immediate, driving 3.7 million more children back into poverty that month compared with the month before. A year later, efforts to revive the $100-billion program have failed again, erasing one of President Biden’s biggest domestic achievements and prompting the program’s supporters to reflect on why a policy that changed so many people’s lives just fizzled out.” • Hey, remember when Trump actually reduced poverty? Until the Democrats increased it again?

Republican Funhouse

“Here are the 20 House Republicans who voted against McCarthy for speaker on the third ballot” [CNN]. Rep. Andy Biggs, Rep. Dan Bishop, Rep. Lauren Boebert, Rep. Josh Brecheen, Rep. Michael Cloud, Rep. Andrew Clyde, Rep. Eli Crane, Rep. Matt Gaetz, Rep. Bob Good, Rep. Paul Gosar, Rep. Andy Harris, Rep. Anna Paulina Luna, Rep. Mary Miller, Rep. Ralph Norman, Rep. Andy Ogles, Rep. Scott Perry, Rep. Matt Rosendale, Rep. Chip Roy, Rep. Keith Self, and Rep. Byron Donalds. • Is your Representative here? If so… What are your views on them? Meanwhile:

“Centrist Republican says ‘preliminary talks’ with Democrats underway on Speaker deal” [The Hill]. “Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) has begun talks with Democrats about a deal to support a ‘consensus candidate’ for Speaker or hold out from voting to ensure he needs to reach a lower threshold to lead the chamber, according to Rep. Don Bacon (R-Neb.) Bacon told CNN on Wednesday morning that McCarthy was in ‘preliminary talks’ with lawmakers to reach a deal, but said he wanted to hold back on the details of the conversations to not get ahead of the negotiations. ‘There are preliminary talks, but we don’t want to go too fast on this because that then highjacks what Kevin is trying to do, and we want to support Kevin, he’s worked hard to get this,’ Bacon said. McCarthy left the House Tuesday after a historic defeat in the first three rounds of voting for the gavel. It was the first time in 100 years that a contest for Speaker went past the first round of balloting. He was blocked by 20 Republican lawmakers who refused to support his bid.” • Commentary:

My understanding isn’t that great either. (Perhaps readers can help.) I do notice that on topics like Ukraine and Big Tech, Republicans keep asking for my vote.

“House begins fourth vote for speaker as McCarthy opponents dig in” [NBC]. “‘I was thinking today, ‘Gosh, Kevin McCarthy was only short a few votes.’ I wish I could be part of some kind of a unity caucus that would yield him the votes,’ Ohio Democratic Rep. Marcy Kaptur told a local news outlet. ‘I was going around talking to some of my Republican colleagues about that.'” • Gosh!

“Jordan says no chance he’ll be Speaker despite peeling off McCarthy’s support” [The Hill]. • Dodged a bullet there; I can’t imagine what “the 20” were thinking. Surely the Republicans don’t need another Denny Hastert?

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!). 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.

* * *

“Twitter Files: Why Twitter Let the Intelligence Community In” [Matt Taibbi, TK News]. • The prose version of the thread in Links this morning. Full of horrid stuff; remember the Hamilton 68 dashboard? Worth reading in full. The piece isn’t a smoking gun; it’s a smoking armory. Taibbi cites chapter and verse on a topic I’ve been nattering about for some time, even if at times I thought I was too cynical: The merger of the Democrat Party, the intelligence community, and the press into a single entity. Moreover, Taibbi explains what sparked the merger: Russiagate. So we have a lot to thank the Hillary Clinton campaign for. One example of the merger:

Trust me on this. There are no anarchists in the Democrat Party:

Speaking of oppo:

Realignment and Legitimacy

“California seeks sterilization victims to pay reparations” [Associated Press]. ” About 600 people alive today can’t have children because California’s government sterilized them either against their will or without their knowledge, and now the state is trying to find them so it can pay them at least $15,000 each in reparations. But after a year of searching, the state has approved just 51 people for payments out of 310 applications. There’s one year left to look before the $4.5 million program shuts down and the challenges remain steep. State officials have denied 103 people, closed three incomplete applications and are processing 153 others — but they say it’s difficult to verify the applications as many records have been lost or destroyed. Two groups of people are eligible for the money: Those sterilized by the government during the so-called eugenics movement that peaked during the 1930s and a smaller group who were victimized while in state prisons about a decade ago.” Ah, eugenics. How soon we forget.


Lambert here: I am but a humble tapewatcher, but unlike Eric Topol, I’m not calling a surge, because the last peak was Biden’s Omicron debacle, and after an Everest like that, what’s left? Topol’s view is the establishment view: Hospital-centric. Mine is infection-centric. I do not see the universal acceleration or doubling in cases that I would expect to see based on past surges.

I am calling a “Something Awful.” It’s gonna be bad, in some new way, and we don’t know how, yet (but see here for immune system dysregulation, which is looking pretty awful). Wastewater has taken off in New York, Chicago, San Francisco, and Los Angeles, right on time, two weeks after Thanksgiving. Those are not only in themselves large cities, they are all the sites of international airports (reminiscent of the initial surge in spring 2020, which emanated, via air travel, from New York). Wastewater is a leading indicator for cases, which in turn lead hospitalization (and death). In addition, positivity has reached its highest level ever, at least at Walgreens, and BQ.1* has taken over, closely followed by XBB, and both are immunue escape variants. UPDATE Walgreen’s positivity, Boston MWRA data going vertical, and the rapid rise of XBB in the Northeast are all very concerning. The effects of all our holiday travel should be playing out in the next two weeks. Readers, please feel free to add holiday anecdotes.

Stay safe out there!

• Sitrep from Ashish Jha:

This is the official line. I found this of interest:

That Jha is advocating (“Scarlet Letter”) masks at all (#3) is almost enough to make me call a surge right now. And at least he mentions ventilation (#4), though who knows what “work to improve” means. If Jha means Corsi-Rosenthal boxes, for example, he should say so. And throwing in a #CovidIsAirborne wouldn’t hurt, would it?

* * *

• Can’t be repeated too often:


• Well, French air is different:

800 ppm seems high. Linking to the Biden Administration equivalent, “Fact Sheet: Departments And Agencies Commit To Cleaner Indoor Air Across The Nation“, I commented: “I don’t see who or what is in charge of this effort. If Nixon had decided to clean the water or the air with this structure, if structure it be, I don’t think much would have been done.” Quite a contrast between France’s approach and our own.

• Alternative CR box technology:

* * *

• Here is an introduction to Far-UV. Thread:

(I thought I had linked to this, but I can’t find it, so.) I haven’t done research on Far-UV at all. It worries me, because it seems like exactly the sort of “silver bullet” technical fix our society loves (“Solve Covid by screwing in a light bulb” — probably very unfair). So I will be interesting to hear what readers think. Especially the engineers.

* * *

• One of a series on “forever” (1):

• One of a series on “forever” (2):

* * *


For grins, here’s a look at hospitalization (“new admissions”) from the CDC:

Yes, hospitalization is up, but because CDC truncates the chart to begin on 2020-08-01, we can’t compare today’s peak to the the entire pandemic, good job. I have drawn a grey “Fauci” line to emphasize the comparison. (Note that on the right, the herd is being nicely culled.)


Here is CDC’s interactive map by county set to community transmission (the “red map”). (This is the map CDC wants only hospitals to look at, not you.) The map is said to update Monday-Friday by 8 pm:

The previous map:

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. That the “green map” (which Topol calls a “capitulation” and a “deception”) is still up and being taken seriously verges on the criminal.


From the Walgreen’s test positivity tracker, published January 4:

0.3%. Still the highest ever. NOTE: Of course, it’s an open question how good a proxy Walgreen’s self-selected subjects are for the general population, especially because they didn’t go the home-testing route, but we go with the data we have.


Wastewater data (CDC), December 31:

Too much red (even with Illinois offline). JFK/LGA (Queens County, NY), SFO (San Francisco, CA), LAX (Los Angeles) are all red. ATL (Cobb County, GA) no longer. ORD (Cook County, IL) offline.

From CDC: “Please note that during the holiday season there will be delays in the collection of wastewater samples and reporting of wastewater data.” Just when we need it the most, since there’s no case data anymore, good job.

December 27:

And MWRA data, December 27:

Lambert here: Still yikes. Going vertical. And certainly not all the students are back; BU classes begin January 19; Harvard’s January 22.


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), December 23:

Lambert here: BQ.1* dominates, XBB moving up fast. Note all the BQ subvariants; it’s almost like something’s encouraging them, like maybe a policy of mass infection. Sure hope none of ’em get lucky, like XBB.

NOT UPDATES Variant data, national (CDC), December 10 (Nowcast off):

BQ.1* takes first place. XBB coming up fast. (For BQ.1/XBB and vaccine escape, see here.) Here is Region 2, the Northeast, where both BQ.1* and XBB are said to be higher, and are:

• As a check, since New York is a BQ.1* hotbed, New York hospitalization, updated December 31:

Resuming the steady upward climb after a short plateau. Of all the charts, I find this steady rise the most worrisome, because it doesn’t fit into any of the narratives.

• Hospitalization data for Queens, updated December 31:

We’ll see what is hospitalization is like about two weeks into January, after holiday travel has ended.


Death rate (Our World in Data):

Total: 1,118,757 – 1,118,478 = 279 (279 * 365 = 101,835 deaths per year, today’s YouGenicist™ number for “living with” Covid (quite a bit higher than the minimizers would like, though they can talk themselves into anything. If the YouGenicist™ 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).

Lambert here: I put in the grey “Fauci Line” because nobody with honest gelatin in their emblobbed body could look at that deadlly plateau and say “this pandemic is over.” It’s not.

It’s nice that for deaths I have a simple, daily chart that just keeps chugging along, unlike everything else CDC and the White House are screwing up or letting go dark, good job.

Stats Watch

Logistics: “United States LMI Logistics Managers Index Current” [Trading Economics]. “The Logistics Manager’s Index in the US increased to 54.6 in December of 2022 from 53.6 in November which was the second lowest reading on record, with economic activity usually revolving around holiday shopping firms take steps to prepare for it. Inventory Levels (57.3) are increasing at a much slower rate than was observed throughout most of 2022. Inventory Levels were much higher for Downstream than for Upstream firms (62.8 to 53.3 respectively), as Downstream respondents such as retailers held higher levels of inventory and dealt with more limited warehousing as they pushed to get goods to consumers for holiday shopping. Meanwhile, Transportation Utilization was down to 48.1, marking the first time it has dipped into contraction territory since April of 2020. Transportation Prices contracted at a rate of 36.9, which is the sharpest rate of contraction on record.” • See also Shipping below.

Manufacturing: “United States ISM Purchasing Managers Index (PMI)” [Trading Economics]. “The ISM Manufacturing PMI for the US fell to 48.4 in December of 2022, slightly below forecasts of 48.5, pointing to the 2nd month of contraction in factory activity as Americans are shifting spending away from goods to services. Excluding the decline in April 2020 at height of the covid pandemic, this was the lowest reading since February 2016. New orders (45.2 vs 47.2), and new export orders (46.2 vs 48.4) declined further and production shifted to the negative territory (48.5 vs 51.5). On the other hand, employment rebounded (51.4 vs 48.4), with many companies managing headcounts through a combination of hiring freezes, employee attrition and layoffs.”

Employment Situation: “United States Job Openings” [Trading Economics]. “The number of job openings in the United States decreased slightly by 54,000 to 10.5 million in November of 2022, compared with market expectations of 10 million, suggesting the labor market remains strong.” • Dang.

* * *

Retail: “Column: The guilty parties evading blame for the Southwest meltdown are its board members” [Michael Hiltzik, Los Angeles Times]. “The main question should be: What do these people do to earn compensation that, according to the company’s most recent proxy statement, averaged more than $284,000 in 2021? Where were they during the years in which employees and their unions continually warned that Southwest’s crew and aircraft scheduling technology was hopelessly outdated? Why did the board not take matters in hand when Southwest’s on-time performance cratered in 2014 due to bad planning and an effort to expand its service on the cheap, without adding planes to its fleet or upgrading its antiquated reservations system? Or in June or October 2021, when the airline had to cancel thousands of flights because of technological problems?”

Shipping: “Chinese Export Container Rates Plunge 27%” [Marine Link]. “The bad news for liner operators appears to have no end. In a normal year, the weeks leading up to Chinese New Year (CNY) bring an increase in volumes and freight rates. So far, however, the lead-up to CNY in 2023 has been the worst in 13 years. Spot rates for containers loading in Shanghai will normally be 12% higher just before CNY than 10 weeks earlier. Similarly, average rates for all containers loading in China will normally end 4% higher. This year, both spot and average rates, however, continue to fall.  The China Containerized Freight Index (CCFI) measures average Chinese export container rates. The index has seen a 50% drop since February 2022 and stood at 1,730 seven weeks ago. Rather than stabilising and then climbing towards CNY, it has continued to fall. Last week it hit 1,271 and has therefore dropped by a further 27% since mid-November. … The CCFI is showing a worse than normal development in all trade lanes. To Europe and Mediterranean, the index has fallen by respectively 34% and 57% during the last seven weeks whereas the index for exports to the US West Coast and East Coast are down by 26% and 27% respectively. ”

The Bezzle:

“But they were playful thieves.” Really? Why is everybody stretching to give this guy a break?

The Bezzle: “This little-known firm with a weird website was central to the misappropriation of FTX customers’ money, regulators say” [NBC]. “Among the 130 or so companies in Sam Bankman-Fried’s sprawling crypto empire, North Dimension Inc. assumed a low profile. Unlike FTX, its name wasn’t splashed on billboards or sporting arenas, and its business wasn’t promoted by celebrities. Still, North Dimension had a crucial role in the FTX mess, regulators now say. In fact, they contend, the little-known company was central to the furtive misappropriation of FTX customers’ funds. As a subsidiary of Alameda Research, the crypto hedge fund and trading firm also founded by Bankman-Fried, North Dimension was where FTX customers were told to wire money if they wanted to trade on its exchange, according to a complaint filed Wednesday by the Securities and Exchange Commission. But North Dimension Inc. also appears to have been a fake online electronics retailer, an NBC News investigation found. Its website, now disabled, is archived on the internet.” • Oh.

The Bezzle: “Canada Steals Cultural Works From The Public By Extending Copyright Terms” [TechDirt]. From November, still germane. “We’ve said this before and we’ll say it again: it cannot make sense to extend copyright terms retroactively. The entire point of copyright law is to provide a limited monopoly on making copies of the work as an incentive to get the work produced. Assuming the work was produced, that says that the bargain that was struck was clearly enough of an incentive for the creator. They were told they’d receive that period of exclusivity and thus they created the work. Going back and retroactively extending copyright then serves no purpose. Creators need no incentive for works already created. The only thing it does is steal from the public. That’s because the “deal” setup by governments creating copyright terms is between the public (who is temporarily stripped of their right to share knowledge freely) and the creator. But if we extend copyright term retroactively, the public then has their end of the bargain (“you will be free to share these works freely after such-and-such a date”) changed, with no recourse or compensation. That makes no sense. And yet, countries keep doing it. Canada has quietly done it: extending copyrights on literary, dramatic or musical works and engravings from life of the author plus 50 years year to life of the author plus 70 years.”

* * *

Today’s Fear & Greed Index: 41 Fear (previous close: 36 Fear) [CNN]. One week ago: 31 (Fear). (0 is Extreme Fear; 100 is Extreme Greed). Last updated Jan 4 at 1:05 PM EST.

Class Warfare

“Outlook 2023: Labor shortages continue to plague aerospace” [Leeham News and Analysis]. “Airbus, Boeing and other manufacturers, including engine companies, complain they can’t get to desired production rates because of, in part, a labor shortage. It’s part of a broader phenomenon across all manufacturing, with one industry group saying there’s an immediate need for 2.1 million factory workers right now. In some circumstances, this has meant raising wages. In Wichita, the ‘Aerospace Capital of the World,’ there’s a bidding war going on for skilled aerospace mechanics. In Puget Sound, Boeing had to go back to the bargaining table with the Machinists Union in 2019, to negotiate $4-an-hour pay increases for entry-level workers. In Charleston (SC), Boeing reportedly struggles with a higher than normal attrition rate as workers leave for higher-paying jobs. It seems inevitable that the lack of experienced workers will make it harder for companies to deliver parts and finished goods on time, and the absolute need to raise pay will cut into margins. Both these factors could very well be a drag on profits, even as airlines clamor for new aircraft that will increase manufacturers’ revenues.”

Wonderful world, beautiful people:

(There is a Nick McKeen who works for Amazon in Colorado.)

News of the Wired

“Can Self-Replicating Species Flourish in the Interior of a Star?” (PDF) [Letters in High Energy Physics]. Big if true:

[L]ife needs at the minimum these three hypotheses:

1. The ability to encode information.

2. The ability of information carriers to self-replicate faster than they disintegrate.

3. The presence of free energy: at the minimum, ∆F = T ∆S, needed to constantly create order out of the disorder by decreasing entropy S through self-replication, where T is the temperature of the system.

Armed with this extreme reasoning, we ask whether some form of life could flourish deep inside the core of main-sequence stars like our Sun. We speculate that it is possible to satisfy hypotheses 1 and 3. Given how complex and nonobvious is the functioning of the biological cell that we are familiar with, and the fact that the early path of the biological evolution that has led to it is unknown, we will not speculate about the intricate series of bionuclear reactions that can satisfy hypothesis 2. The only principle one should be guided with is that a self-replication hypercycle, if it exists, inevitably emerges in the dynamics of a complex system as a stationary process that survives out of all other processes.

* * *

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 AM:

AM writes: “Just a few minutes before sunset on New Year’s Day at Battery Park, downtown NYC. Urban sea grass, shrubs and trees with The Statue of Liberty in the distance. Happy New Year!!”

Patient readers, I am running very short on plant pictures, so if you could send me more, that would be great. New readers welcome! Plants covered in ice and snow are fine, but so are field reports on yield from fall gardens. Thank you!

* * *

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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. Wukchumni

    You like me!
    You really mostly like me!

    (with apologies to Sally Fields)

    My Kevin {…blushes slightly with frankly so much exposure in today’s water cooler-but regains composure…) or should I say My Kievan only has one way out of this stalemate and that is to embrace Slava Ukraini and get enough Donkey Show members to swell and force it over the line so we can keep the MIC gravy train well lubricated, utterly Krupp’d.

    …he’s a lackey’s lackey

    1. Carolinian

      Clearly should your Kevin fail there’s only one alternative waiting in the wings. She’s tanned, rested (for a week), has a wine cave….

      1. Wukchumni

        Kev comes out of the corner for the 6th round, his trainer with the towel at the ready just in case, and sure he’s punch drunk but no Palooka!

      2. Not Again

        Ohio Democratic Rep. Marcy Kaptur told a local news outlet. ‘I was going around talking to some of my Republican colleagues about that.’” • Gosh!

        No Gosh needed here. Ms. Kaptur is head of the Congressional Ukraine Caucus. If there’s even a slight chance that the MIC won’t get fed, these guys will turn on those 20 Nay votes like their paychecks depend on it. (They do,)

    2. fresno dan

      Gaetz told Fox News Digital that Trump’s endorsement of McCarthy for speaker has not changed the congressman’s view on the former president or GOP leader, nor has swayed his vote.
      “Sad!” Gaetz said in a Wednesday statement. “This changes neither my view of McCarthy, nor Trump, nor my vote.”
      I am a terrible, bad, horrible person cause the repub tears cause me to LOL. I say the dems nominate Trump as speaker… and the repubs nominate Whoopi Goldberg

      1. Wukchumni

        While there’s no way of knowing whether the former teetotalitarian leader’s tweet was from a bunker complex or not, but you sense Trumpism is dead, baby.

        Watching them now with the great sense of urgency from hair furor means the end is near, but what does the Pachyderm party become?

        I’d be cool with the 60’s-70’s country club image of the GOP.

    3. Randy

      It appears you don’t appreciate Kevin.

      I don’t know much about Kevin but I would still be willing to trade you one Ron Johnson for one Kevin McCarthy.

  2. Wukchumni

    That’s pretty cray cray with the Amazon corpus delecti and all that, and the poor not ready for Prime time player filling in, backstage.

    1. The Rev Kev

      At least Amazon did not call in the police and try to have him evicted as a trespassing ex-worker. The police may have ended up shooting him for non-compliance of police orders to leave.

  3. Etrigan

    Every time a piece about a major shortage of x type of worker in y industry comes along I think back about how remarkable it was that I was trained on the job at all even if it was in a non-related field to manufacturing. It feels like it’s not done anymore, not even an abstract concept anymore, to the point of hilarity. Tragicomedy? I have colleagues in several branches of the hard sciences, quite varied ones, who have told anecdotes that even at the applied research level there is only money for infrastructure, so equipment just sits there.

    1. JBird4049

      Refusing to train people, refusing to push trade schools or the right degree in college, and refusing to actually pay people at the level of education, training, and experience, as well as required necessity for them; instead, moan, groan, whinge, whine, and complain to the nearest trade or business magazine about lazy people and socialism. If people are getting sick, improve ventilation, air filtration, pay for good masks, and maybe some medical care especially related to COVID, or instead of this, also moan, groan, whinge, whine, and complain to the nearest trade or business magazine about lazy people and socialism.

      Maybe, they are hoping for some more bailouts from Congress. Since supporting children is not worth the money, maybe a corporate bailout or three is.

  4. Mildred Montana

    >”What do these people [Southwest Airlines board members] do to earn compensation that, according to the company’s most recent proxy statement, averaged more than $284,000 in 2021?

    I think I can answer that. They show up once a month to collect their pay cheques while thanking profusely the executives who appointed them members of the board. After that, in appreciation, they rubber-stamp any and all executive decisions, especially the very most important one that deals with C-suite compensation.

    If the writer of the LAT article thinks that boards of corporations are a buffer between investors and executive incompetence, malfeasance, and greed he needs to read a few books on the structure of the modern corporation and then think again.

    His piece is merely a series of silly, naive questions showing no understanding of how the board of a publicly-traded company operates.

    1. Glen

      My daughter commented that a co-worker pointed out that their new CEO was part of the “CEO Class” which went something like both parents had been CEOs or on the board of major corporations, and the kids seems to end up in the same positions.

      So yeah, that whole meritocracy thing is working real well too.

      But this all goes back a couple of decades to why I thought voting for the son/daughter of a former President (or PM) was a pretty sure sign that your “democracy” was not working very well at all.

  5. John

    “But they were playful thieves.” Really? Why is everybody stretching to give this guy a break?

    Perhaps we should look closely at who were the customers of the “playful thieves.” Who took advantage of their services. On the other hand perhaps those who dealt with the “playful thieves” are really embarrassed and prefer ot to have their gullibility exposed lest they not look like the smartest people in the world so give Sam a sharp rap on the knuckles and remind everyone that there was really nothing to see.

    1. Dr. John Carpenter

      RE: giving this playful thief a break, I keep seeing the word “Disgraced” pasted before Sam Bankman-Fried’s name in headline after headline but I guess I don’t know the meaning of the word anymore. Sure, he’s in the hot seat now, but disgraced? I just don’t see it. I am tempted to agree with you that, like say Jeffrey Epstein, there are people who probably would be happy if Bankman-Fried just went away before too many questions are asked.

    2. The Rev Kev

      Certainly both parties would want to give him a break as he sent so much money their way, especially the Democrats. And it is not like that the Democrats are going to return that money and Biden has refused to answer that question. As for the media, it was only several weeks ago that they were hailing him as the reincarnation of J. P. Morgan and don’t want to remind people how they were made to look like gullible idiots – which they are.

    3. Adam Eran

      Prosecute thieves? What on earth are you talking about? We’re the country that witnessed what’s arguably the largest theft in human history (the subprime/derivatives meltdown, AKA “Global Financial Crisis”)…and nobody went to jail.

      As Bill Black says, the S&L crisis was the previous biggest-ever bank fraud, but only 1/70th the size of the GFC, and regulators filed 30,000+ referrals for criminal prosecution, and the Justice Dept. prosecuted 1200+ cases with a 90% conviction rate. They got big fish, too — Mike Milken and Charles Keating among them.

      Fast forward to the GFC. How many referrals for criminal prosecution from the Obama regulators? Answer: zero. ZERO!

      This is just more of the same

  6. Mikel

    “Twitter Files: Why Twitter Let the Intelligence Community In”

    With social media and the internet, what came first: the chicken or the egg.
    Did various sites let the intelligence community in or did the intelligence community let people in?

    1. Late Introvert

      The latter. I was around in the dot-com era. My job was to install DoubleClick java-crypt on every page. That company is still going and thriving.

  7. semper loquitur

    re: Russiagate and TDS and PMC authoritarianism

    Here is Greenwald’s System Update 2022 Retrospective featuring the ever so reasonable, NPR smooth Sam Harris on why Trump is super-extra bad, why Hunter doesn’t matter at all even if he has a basement full of dead children, why any Biden corruption is “like a firefly to the sun” compared to Trump University, and why you need to destroy the democracy to save it:


    I don’t know much about Harris because I instinctively avoid his videos, he just gives off an air of smug superiority. He tap dances around his words here like a spider monkey walking on hot coals. An American Jordan Peterson as far as I can tell.

    1. fresno dan

      “Taibbi cites chapter and verse on a topic I’ve been nattering about for some time, even if at times I thought I was too cynical: The merger of the Democrat Party, the intelligence community, and the press into a single entity. Moreover, Taibbi explains what sparked the merger: Russiagate. So we have a lot to thank the Hillary Clinton campaign for. One example of the merger:”
      I would say most of the repubs are in that anti Russia hysteria – while Trump was president, there was some minor pushback against the Putin hysteria, but the true feelings of most repubs in government is to expand and support the security state. There may be some disagreement between the dems and repubs about splitting the grift, but there is a remarkable consensus in this country for ever more war.

    2. Martin Oline

      Absolutely amazing. Greenwald correctly points out that fascism is the unity between government and business to achieve their goals. I don’t listen to government propaganda like NPR but am amazed at the stupidity of what they are willing to say out loud.
      I remember back in 1984 when Jesse Jackson made his infamous “Hymietown” remark, Morning Edition had an interview with a representative from the Southern Poverty Law Center. I don’t recall the name but there are probably some old folks here who also remember this. He said American Negroes should be grateful for the support they have received from Jewish organizations over the years. If they didn’t change their ways that support could be transferred to Mexican immigrants who are more respectful and have a higher birth rate. I was amazed at his hubris but maybe that comes with the job. Is the current influx at the border a push or pull problem or a political solution?

      1. WobblyTelomeres

        I vote “pull”.

        A couple of years ago, I stopped in Grand Island, Nebraska for a bite to eat. The waitress was especially chatty so I asked a lot of questions. Eventually, she stated that the town was being taken over by Cubans, as the meat packers there advertised heavily. In Cuba.

        1. Jason Boxman

          In the past, Lambert has alluded to “illegal employers”, and it seems the best solution is indeed to actually enforce employment laws in America, and if Republicans actually cared about immigration!! and illegals!! they’d perhaps support such an approach, rather than rounding up people encouraged to migrate to this country without documentation to take jobs in abusive conditions and then deporting them. Or trying to “build the wall!!” Which surely everyone knows is useless and just bloviating. Indeed, you’d think liberal Democrats would be on board with this as well.

          Immigration is a great compromise between conservatives and liberal Democrats. The existing “system” suits both just fine. Indeed, it is “bipartisan”.

          1. John

            As with drugs, hold to the fire the feet of the employers. Screw with their profits through fines that are more than pocket change. Rounding up the people doing dirty jobs for pennies is like arresting a street corner dealer.

      2. Adam Eran

        JFYI, between 1798 and 1994 the U.S. is responsible for 41 changes of government south of its borders. This produces a constant stream of military and political refugees (Salvadore Allende’s niece, Isabel lives in Marin County) . Worse are the economic attacks like NAFTA. You might guess shipping subsidized Iowa corn to Mexico would impair Mexican corn farmers’ incomes. The big ones got a bailout in NAFTA. The little ones were bankrupted. (They were only keeping the disease resistance and diversity of the corn genome alive with the varieties they grew…but they weren’t making any money for Monsanto!)

        Economist Ravi Batra, in Greenspan’s Fraud, says Mexican median real income declined 34% in the wake of NAFTA. The Great Depression is the last time such a thing occurred in the U.S. So the immigrants are latter-day Okies.

  8. Jason Boxman

    Yeah, I thought it was fitting, and mentioned here a year ago, that liberal Democrats will preside over the largest increase in child poverty in American history, because they opted to do… nothing.

    Well done.

    And apparently suffered no significant cost for doing so.

    1. The Rev Kev

      But…but President Joe Manchin wouldn’t let them. Hey, maybe they should make him the Speaker as he shares something with Nancy. He would know that his job as Speaker would be to stop good things happening – while playing at inside trader.

      1. Not Again

        Pelosi separated the two bills. Otherwise, he wouldn’t have had a chance to vote against it. The deal was killed by the “greatest Speaker of all time.”

    1. Not Again

      Ted Lieu is a tool. Maybe if the Democrats had as the cajones to do this same thing two years ago to Nancy, they wouldn’t be crying about the loss of the child tax credit – but that assumes they give a fig (which I doubt).

      The monthly payments from the expanded child tax credit that have been given to roughly 35 million families in the U.S. during the pandemic will expire at the end of the month, after Congress failed to renew the program that would have been part of the Build Back Better plan.

  9. Wukchumni

    FTX = Underwatergate

    There’s an awful lot of leeway being given to a swindler…

    I’d normally say follow the money, but Hatch Act, back atya!

  10. Jason Boxman

    From https://www.latimes.com/business/story/2023-01-03/the-guilty-party-escaping-blame-for-the-southwest-meltdown-is-its-board-of-directors

    As I reported earlier, Southwest’s problems are emblematic of a corporate culture that has forgotten why a corporation exists. The venerated management expert Peter Drucker was always very clear about this: The purpose of a corporation, he held, is to create and hold customers by delivering value.

    LOL. In American style financialized capitalism, the purpose of a corporation is to loot itself on behalf of the C suite executives, board members, and largest shareholders.

    Or to use limited liability as a shield to commit acts of evil against customers, suppliers, and the communities in which the corporate operates in the pursuit of maximum profits.

    1. Henry Moon Pie

      The true purpose of every corporation is to suck money from the populace and direct it upwards to the billionaires. Listen to Jim Cramer on CNBC. He constantly demands that corporations do buy-backs and dividend increases. Where does that money go? It’s true that a substantial part of that money is divided into tiny little pieces and distributed through pension funds, etc. But a very large part is divided into very large pieces and distributed to a few score billionaires.

      This is the goal of our society: to drain as much money as possible from the lower classes and re-distribute it to the billionaires as return on their capital. Policy decisions at both the board room and government levels are determined by this goal.

      What a way to run a country.

      1. hunkerdown

        And to waste time, attention, and freedom of action so that the little people have no wherewithal to creorder. The money is the reward for doing the things that uphold capitalist relations.

  11. Lex

    The computer fan C-R boxes are slick and there’s a lot of variability in configuration which means you could really build them to fit and/or adjust airflow in a room. Those are very good CFM numbers. In a 10x20x12′ room you’d get about 7 air changes per hour from one unit (no adjustments for loss and such but I don’t know how the builder measured the CFM or whether that’s taken into account).

    I have not done deep research on UV or farUV for applications like this but I’ve done some for similar. It’s not a silver bullet. It’s a powerful tool in certain applications and used in specific ways.

  12. Sub-Boreal

    Today on the Bonnie Henry watch:

    Despite her fogging of the mask question on CBC yesterday, it now appears that as of Dec. 30th the BC government quietly adopted somewhat stronger language on masking.

    Dare we hope that the pols in Victoria may have started to realize that she’s becoming a liability? Clutching at straws …

  13. XXYY

    Leeham News:

    It seems inevitable that the lack of experienced workers will make it harder for [aerospace] companies to deliver parts and finished goods on time, and the absolute need to raise pay will cut into margins. Both these factors could very well be a drag on profits…

    These companies don’t need profits. They have been buying back their own stock with their profits for the last decade or more. If management is using company profits to goose their secondary market share price, that’s as blatant an admission as I can think of that management literally can’t imagine any other use for profits at the company. They are completely out of ideas as to how to improve the value of the company.

    So who cares if there’s a “drag on profits” in this situation?

  14. JBird4049

    >>>There’s one year left to look before the $4.5 million program shuts down and the challenges remain steep. State officials have denied 103 people, closed three incomplete applications and are processing 153 others — but they say it’s difficult to verify the applications as many records have been lost or destroyed.

    Let’s see, even though illegal, sterilizations continued into the very early 1970s and there have been at least three separate from the 1980s to the 2000s, in the state prisons, that we know about. Strangely, the documentation for them is lacking, mostly, IIRC, consisting of records from lawsuits and the rare news story. Finding out about them is difficult. The legal sterilizations all happened over fifty years ago with the bulk of them over seventy years ago. It could still be happening as the penal system just hides them, the perpetrators do not want to have documentation, and their victims are often not believed anyways.

    It is curious that reparations for a series of immoral, unjust, and frequently outright illegal actions, by the state against vulnerable, usually forcibly incarcerated, almost always poor, frequently handicapped, and often a minority, that occurred over a century has a time limit. It is also interesting that a lack of documentation is a problem. A problem that could (mostly) be solved by a organized, well funded, multi year investigation by historians, lawyers, trained investigators, and teams of researchers to dig through the century of bureaucratic, legal, medical, and media records as well as the survivors and participants. They could, with the the victims’ consent, check for the old operations. Operations that would have left a trace. Evidence and documentation could be found if enough thought, warm bodies, and time were used, i.e. adequate resources.

    Anyone who would pass a law setting up a program would know all this. However, a time limited, means tested, underfunded program that would protect the state from further lawsuits seems to be the goal, not of helping those brutalized by the liberal, progressive state of California. Several lawsuits could cost the state more than then the $4.5 million dollars of the program. The brutalization usually done with enthusiastic assistance of the medical profession. Think about that when one says that the CDC is your friend.

    It took events like the Holocaust to stop, for a time, the Eugenics Movement. Not that people stopped being racists, but seeing the endpoint such a movement could go to, made people stop. Francis Galton after he created the word eugenics showed some small wisdom when he refused to get more deeply involved in the movement aside from advocating paying people of the right families to marry. I think he realize just what more forceful actions could come to. To bad that it seems to take living memory for wisdom to remain alive.

  15. ChrisRUEcon



    > That Jha is advocating (“Scarlet Letter”) masks at all (#3) is almost enough to make me call a surge right now.

    Add Kamala as another input signal and this is absolutely spot on. They know what’s here (it’s not “coming”), and XBB1.5 is going the rip along the Acela corridor for sure. I see some school districts are already doing a temporary week-or-two mask mandate to start the term. Ours starts tomorrow, but none such in the Chicago mezzurbs, where the fake/suppressed cases counts are “low” (NOT REALLY!).

    1. ChrisRUEcon

      #COVID19 #BioBotWasteWater

      Wastewater is the best proxy we have for now.

      Looking at the latest, if you draw a line from December back to pre-de-masking in early 2022, this is what you get:

      Dec 14th, 2022
      New Cases: 92,057
      New Cases Avg: 46,322
      Copies/mL: 947

      Feb 2nd, 2022
      New Cases: 364,439
      New Cases Avg: 292,766
      Copies/ML: 873

      Assuming an “order or magnitude” similarity, we are right in the ball-park of a factor of ~4 to ~6, which is what Lambert had been saying at #2PMWC since the dropping of masking:

      Remember that cases are undercounted, one source saying by a factor of six, Gottlieb thinking we only pick up one in seven or eight.

      1. ChrisRUEcon

        #COVID19 #Phillipines #Ventilation #FarUV

        From the doom-scroll … courtesy Mme. Wu (via #Twitter)

        The rest of world is going to start looking at the US/UK/EU in the same manner as the US/UK/EU deign to look at the rest of the world.

        Who is garden, and who is jungle?

  16. NorD94

    some XBB info

    Here’s What to Know About XBB.1.5 — Its immune evasiveness didn’t come at a cost in transmissibility, virologist says https://www.medpagetoday.com/special-reports/features/102496

    The new Omicron subvariant XBB.1.5 is growing rapidly in the U.S., becoming the most common strain as the proportion of cases for which it’s responsible for doubled in just a week.

    XBB.1.5 now accounts for an estimated 41% of COVID cases in the U.S., up from 22% the week prior, according to CDC dataopens in a new tab or window. Just 1 month ago, in the first week of December, XBB.1.5 accounted for only 1% of all COVID cases in the U.S., CDC data show.

    XBB.1.5 evolved from XBB.1, which evolved from XBB — an Omicron subvariant that emerged in India in mid-August and quickly became predominant there, as well as in Singapore and other regions in Asia, according to a paper in Cell Reportsopens in a new tab or window.

    XBB involved a recombination of two descendants of the BA.2 variant, according to virologist Jesse Bloom, PhDopens in a new tab or window, of Fred Hutchinson Cancer Center in Seattle

    1. Jason Boxman

      Yep. This is horrifying. I’ve been watching it come from nothing to almost majority since December on the “COVID-19 Variant Dashboard – USA by Raj Rajnarayanan” dashboard in Tableau. I’ll guess we’ll see what happens, as this massive experiment plays out on unwitting Americans. The best way to see how SARS-COV-2 evolves seems to be letting it ride, and then later studying what carnage was caused.

      Great public health strategy, to be sure. This is a larger experiment on humanity at large than even GMOs are.

      I guess we won’t have a Chinese century now, though, given that the CCP has decided to hose it’s population as well. So back to the status quo.

      1. Samuel Conner

        > CCP has decided to hose it’s population as well

        This is a thought that would have been outrageous 3 years ago, but perhaps there are people in the CCP hierarchy who would like to “reset” the age distribution of the population.

  17. The Rev Kev

    “Kamala Harris requires negative COVID tests for Senate swear-in photo op”

    Well, certainly Kamala Harris is no spring chicken anymore. And it was just in April of last year that she was infected though they claimed at the time that she had “no symptoms”. Perhaps it hit her hard or maybe she is suffering some form of long Covid. Whatever. The point is that she realized that the effects of Covid are real and is not interested in another bout that might end up derailing her lucrative career permanently.

  18. Jason Boxman

    If this made links, I missed it. And in it Trump trade officials are actually praising Biden on this: ‘A sea change’: Biden reverses decades of Chinese trade policy

    Taken together, the “protect” and “promote” agendas represent a fundamental rethinking in the American government’s approach to China’s technological advancement and, ultimately, its economic development. While American policymakers were previously content to manage China’s technological growth and make sure it stayed a few generations behind the U.S., security officials now seek to bring Beijing’s development – particularly in chips and computing, but soon in other sectors — closer to a standstill.

    China can build, we can’t, so not clear how you could ever bring their development to a “standstill”. Wishful thinking.

    “It’s not an exaggeration to say this is a Biden doctrine of technology policy toward China,” said Eric Sayers, a former staffer for the U.S. Pacific Command during the Trump administration. “More than an escalation, it’s a grand departure from a three-decade strategy.”

    “We are not seeking the decoupling of our economy from that of China’s,” Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo, who is enacting key parts of the agenda, said in a late November address outlining the administration’s new tech policies. “We want to promote trade and investment in areas that do not threaten our core economic and national security interests or human rights values.”

    But that attempt at a middle road between decoupling and unfettered economic engagement is under attack by China hawks and free traders alike.

  19. tegnost

    I was listening to the NPR this afternoon as I had tired of the omnipresent 90’s rock, which isn’t bad so much as I’ve heard it too many times, so against my better judgement, etc… and was served a couple of tidbits.
    One, a warning to san diego ratepayers that their bills from sdge were going to increase. The example given was if your bill from this period last year was $105, this year it will be about $225 due to increased natural gas prices. Can I get a slava ukrainia for that?
    The second was Biden is going to give a speech on the border, I believe from the border…just a teaser, no speculation on what he might say.
    Oh, and mob boss pelosi blew a kiss at jeffries…hopefully it doesn’t mean she put a contract out on him…
    he’d best not bust a deal…


    or he’ll face the wheel…

  20. none

    “Mommy! Mommy! Why is the US Capitol on fire?”

    “That black smoke, dear? That just means McCarthy lost another Speaker vote. They’ll send white smoke when they finally elect a speaker”.

    1. Henry Moon Pie

      Maybe would it help if they fillled the House chamber with some funny smoke. And they all had to inhale.

  21. NorD94

    and more XBB fun and games

    White House cautions against panic as XBB.1.5 omicron subvariant spreads https://thehill.com/policy/healthcare/3798876-white-house-cautions-against-panic-as-xbb-1-5-omicron-subvariant-spreads/

    White House COVID-19 response coordinator Ashish Jha posted a lengthy Twitter thread on Wednesday addressing concerns over the sudden rise of XBB.1.5. He acknowledged that the subvariant going from 4 percent of cases to 40 percent in a matter of weeks was a “stunning increase.”

    Jha said XBB.1.5 is likely more immune-evasive than other omicron subvariants and could likely be more contagious as well but said it is not yet known if it is more dangerous than previous mutations.

    “If you had an infection before July or your last vaccine was before bivalent update in September, your protection against an XBB.1.5 infection is probably not that great,” Jha said.

    Robert Califf, commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), posted his own thread on XBB.1.5 in response to what he characterized as “misinformation/disinformation” in an editorial published by The Wall Street Journal earlier this week.

    The opinion piece suggested that repeated vaccination could be making people more susceptible to infection due to XBB subvariants and fueling viral mutations.

    “There is no clear evidence that repeated vaccination with COVID-19 vaccines makes people more susceptible to the XBB.1 or XBB.1.5 variants,” Califf tweeted in response to the op-ed. He further said that a Cleveland Clinic study cited in the article was “provocative,” but noted that it ultimately concluded that bivalent vaccines offered protection against infection.

    “It is highly likely that the current bivalent vaccines provide some protection against XBB, especially in the prevention of serious illness and death,” said the FDA commissioner.

    “Immune evasion by COVID-19 would happen even if no vaccine existed because of the high level of replication of SARS-CoV-2 and because many of the novel variants have been traced to continuous replication of the virus in immune compromised individuals,” added Califf.

  22. Arul

    Re the House Speaker Vote, I hope the Squad is taking notes. This is how you twist arms and not fold like a pretzel on the Build Back Better bill. I know 20 R now vs 6 D then is not the same. But Dems had 222 vs Reps 213 in previous congress. 6 votes would still have mattered.

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