2:00PM Water Cooler 2/20/2023

By Lambert Strether of Corrente.

Bird Song of the Day

Eurasian Jackdaw, Heidebos, Moerbeke, Oost-Vlaanderen Vlaamse Gewest, Belgium.

* * *


“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

Theatre, and bad theatre at that:

Does anybody think that the Russian’s couldn’t have rained real missiles on Kiev if they wanted to?


Probably the part of Scranton Joe’s heart that’s wondering what Big Z has on Hunter.

* * *

“Initial Proposals for Revising the Federal Race and Ethnicity Standards” [The White House]:

As we consider these recommendations, we want to hear directly from the American people. Input from non-governmental stakeholders and the public will help guide the Working Group as it continues to refine and finalize its recommendations. We encourage everyone to provide your personal thoughts and reactions on these proposals, including how you believe they may affect different communities, by April 12, 2023.

You can visit the Working Group’s new website, read the full Federal Register Notice, provide feedback on the Working Group’s initial proposals, and participate in one of the Working Group’s virtual, bi-monthly listening sessions or upcoming public virtual town halls to share your individual perspectives directly. You can provide as little or as much feedback as you’d like for the Federal Register Notice (e.g., just addressing one question posed or responding to all aspects). To schedule a listening session to offer your perspective, please send a brief email expressing interest to Statistical_Directives@omb.eop.gov. Additional details on the virtual town halls will be shared on the Working Group’s website. In all of our efforts to gather your valuable feedback, we will not be seeking consensus recommendations.

We are committed to a full, transparent revision process, guided by input from the American people. Your participation in this process will play a critical role in helping us improve the way Federal agencies safely and accurately collect and use information on the race and ethnicity of our diverse America. This is vital to ensure our programs and policies are effective across the Federal government—and we look forward to sharing additional updates in the months ahead. We are on track to reach the goal of completing these important revisions by the Summer of 2024.

Sounds great, but all vitiated by the absurdly short deadline. April 23? That’s only 62 days! Has anyone seen coverage of this? The very few links I can find over the last month are institutional, with one WaPo story, one Heritage Foundation screed, and something from the New Arab. Plus this Times mailer looks like the start of a propaganda campaign.



“Trump to visit East Palestine in wake of train derailment” [The Hill]. “Former President Trump plans to visit the town of East Palestine, Ohio, where a train derailment led to the release of toxic chemicals, next week. Trump posted on Truth Social in response to a report that he was planning to make the trip that the residents of East Palestine are “Great people who need help, NOW!” He later posted that he will visit on Wednesday.” • C’mon, let’s be reasonable. How could Biden possibly visit East Palestine? He’s in Kiev!

“The DeSantis they know” [Washington Examiner]. Photo: DeSantis hugging a supporter. “DeSantis is chatting with his constituents along a walking trail in his hometown when Kimberly Baldwin catches sight of him standing on a pathway in a local park and is moved to tears when DeSantis stops talking midsentence to chat with her. ‘Hi, Kimberly. How are you doing?’ ‘Amazing, now that I’ve met you,’ Baldwin says. The two talk about her return to their mutual hometown of Dunedin after living in Miami. Her father, she says, is the deputy sheriff in nearby Land O’ Lakes, and she recently decided to go back to college. Then she timidly asks for a hug. DeSantis doesn’t hesitate, and Baldwin lists the two things she admires most about his governing: his decision to ‘act with conviction’ when reopening the state during the pandemic and his decisiveness in response last September to Hurricane Ian, one of the deadliest and most destructive storms to hit Florida in nearly 100 years. The encounter was one of the dozens with constituents and tourists amused to begin their Thursday morning randomly running into the governor.” • Hmm.

Republican Funhouse

“Michigan G.O.P. Installs Kristina Karamo, an Election Denier, as Leader” [New York Times]. “Michigan Republicans on Saturday picked Kristina Karamo to lead the party in the battleground state, fully embracing an election-denying Trump acolyte after her failed bid for statewide office, one in which she unsuccessfully sued to throw out mail-in votes in Detroit and refused to concede. Ms. Karamo won a majority of delegate votes at the state party’s convention in Lansing, the state capital, after three rounds of voting that — slowed by paper ballots and hand counting — went on hours longer than the period for which the party had originally rented the convention space.” • Not sure why an unhackable balloting process is a problem for the Times, but whatever.

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.

* * *

I dunno. What’s in it for me?

Maybe we have some direct mail mavens in the readership who can comment on this. Presumably Mothership Strategies keeps pumping out this bilge because it gets the results they want; but why on earth does it work?

Quite right:

Our Famously Free Press

“The Nation Names New Columnists Spencer Ackerman, Adolph Reed Jr., and Jane McAlevey” [The Nation]. • Reed, excellent.

Realignment and Legitimacy

No, it’s not age:

They’re all like this, in both parties.

“Organizing and Covid-19 (Part 1) (02/16/23)” (podcast) [Death Panel]. “In this two-part series, we speak to a few people engaged in organizing and political education projects about their experiences trying to incorporate covid protections into their existing organizing work, wins and losses they’ve encountered, and why it’s so important for the left to take covid seriously, even as the public health emergency comes to a close.” • The public health emergency coming to a close is not, of course, the same as the pandemic coming to a close. Absolutely stunning that we have a lethal airborne pathogen that disproportionately affects those non-labor aristocrats who cannot work from home — especially in service industries — and “the left” does nothing about it. It’s not even an issue. That goes for national union leadership as well as electeds, NGOs, etc.

Alert reader Michael.j makes this interesting comment:

IMHO the corruption at the national level is so endemic that there is no longer any hope at that level.

In Minnesota we tend to be very community oriented and that comes across with our leaders. What’s really fascinating, however, is that the really good ones left national politics and returned to lead in the state with very good results.

People like Governor (former Senator) Dayton, Governor (former Representative) Walz, and Attorney General (former Representative) Ellison all fled national politics and are very effective and appreciated back home.

For some definition of “good results.” Can readers think of examples of this phenomenon in other states? Or is this some weird by-product of “Minnesota Nice”?

These are not good numbers. At all:

Of course, the enormous numbers of people participating, world-wide, in anti-Iraq War demonstrations had precisely zero effect on policy, so it’s not clear what a march would do today. Commentary:

I understand the point Beijer is making, but it seems a little… blinkered. So what if the march in 2003 was better organized, huge, “big tent,” whatever?


Looks like “leveling off to a high plateau” across the board. (I still think “Something Awful” is coming, however. I mean, besides what we already know about.) Stay safe out there!

• Readers, since the national data systems in the United States are being vandalized, let’s start collecting links to state data, too. If readers would send me links (see Plant below) to their favorite State and local dashboards/wastewater sites, that would be great. Canadians, too! Or leave a link in Comments.

Resources, United States (National): Transmission (CDC); Wastewater (CDC, Biobot); Variants (CDC; Walgreens); “Iowa COVID-19 Tracker” (in IA, but national data).

Resources, United States (Local): CA (dashboard); CO (wastewater); CT (dashboard); IL (wastewater); IN (dashboard); MA (wastewater); ME (dashboard); MI (wastewater; wastewater); MT (dashboard); NC (dashboard); NH (wastewater); NY (dashboard); OH (dashboard); SC (dashboard); TX (dashboard); VA (dashboard); WA (dashboard; dashboard); WI (wastewater).

Resources, Canada (Provincial): ON (wastewater); QC (les eaux usées); BC, Vancouver (wastewater).

Hat tips to helpful readers: Art_DogCT, CanCyn, ChiGal, Gumbo, hop2it, JB, Joe, John, JM (2), JW, Michael King, LaRuse, otisyves, Petal (5), RL, RM, Rod. (Readers, I am not putting your handle next to your contribution because I hope and expect the list will be long, and I want it to be easy to scan. (If you leave your link in comments, I use your handle. If you send it to me via email, I use your initials (in the absence of a handle.)

• More like this, please! Total: 1 6 11 18/50 (36%). Can anyone find RI or VT? Perhaps not all states have Covid resources….

* * *

Look for the Helpers

“Welcome to The John Snow Project” [The John Snow Project]. “The world is entering its fourth year of living with COVID-19, the disease caused by the SARS-CoV-2 virus. Nearly everyone has had personal experience of catching the virus and many people are living with the lingering effects of illness. Governments around the world have abandoned national policies to curb transmission and have left the management of risks to the individual. “Learn to live with it” and “you do you” individual responsibility are the dominant mantras. This individualistic approach to an airborne virus relies on people being armed with knowledge to understand the risks they face and the tools that help mitigate those risks. Many governments initially responded to the COVID-19 pandemic by holding official briefings, communicating the risks the disease poses and implementing emergency measures to minimize transmission. Three years on the pandemic is still with us but official communication and consequent media coverage has been reduced so that many people have resumed their 2019 lifestyles, largely oblivious to the ongoing risks posed by COVID-19. This information gap comes just as the scientific and medical community is learning more and more about the detrimental long-term effects of SARS-CoV-2 infections. The John Snow Project was started by individuals who grew concerned by the lack of attention being given to a virus that has killed tens of millions, and even after the deployment of vaccines and widespread convalescence, is still killing tens of thousands of people around the world every week and debilitating many more. The objective of the John Snow Project is to provide easily digestible information for the general public and policymakers to help them understand the risks posed by the disease and how to best manage those risks.” • Little known fact: After the cholera epidemic died down, <em>The authorities replaced the pump handle.

Pushback (1):

Pushback (2):

I don’t understand the mentality that says: “Everybody will get Covid, so why not get it over with?” I say, “Why not postpone as long as possible?” Why not break as many chains of transmission as you can?

* * *

“Covid Meetups” [COVID MEETUPS (JM)]. “A free service to find individuals, families and local businesses/services who take COVID precautions in your area.” • I played around with it some. It seems to be Facebook-driven, sadly, but you can use the Directory without logging in. I get rational hits from the U.S., but not from London, UK, FWIW.

Covid Is Airborne

“Opinion: Treating kids as invulnerable is treating them as disposable” [Calgary Herald]. “The solutions for protecting kids can be gleaned from behaviours of wealthy elites, and they involve layering protections to create clean indoor air. The recent World Economic Forum in Davos used the following safety systems: mandatory daily PCR testing with ID-badge access linked to results, new ‘state-of-the-art ventilation systems‘, HEPA purifiers everywhere, various levels of masking and, it appeared, virus-killing UV lighting systems. Our children deserve these protections, in their schools and elsewhere. These measures, along with boosters, are in fact the only currently existing ways of reducing the public health need for universal indoor masking. By treating children as invulnerable we are actually treating them as disposable. But they are everything — to our lives and to our future. Their long-term health is at risk and we need to protect them.”

A history lesson:

One more reason to regard agriculture as one big mistake?

If you can get your Corsi-Rosenthal Box in the Dean’s Office (!!), you’ve got it made:

An effective strategy for those of you in academe….

School assembly line for Corsi-Rosenthal boxes with computer fans from kits:

I never would have thought computer fans would be so powerful. I guess we have crypto, or gaming, to thank?



Can readers confirm that indeed some airlines have such a policy? Policies seem to vary. To me, airline peanuts are no great loss, but the difference in the way we handle allergens vs. pathogens is pretty stunning.


More like this, please.


“Acute and postacute sequelae associated with SARS-CoV-2 reinfection” [Nature]. We ran this when if first appeared. From the Abstract: “Here we used the US Department of Veterans Affairs’ national healthcare database to build a cohort of individuals with one SARS-CoV-2 infection (n = 443,588), reinfection (two or more infections, n = 40,947) and a noninfected control (n = 5,334,729)…. Compared to noninfected controls, cumulative risks and burdens of repeat infection increased according to the number of infections. Limitations included a cohort of mostly white males. The evidence shows that reinfection further increases risks of death, hospitalization and sequelae in multiple organ systems in the acute and postacute phase. Reducing overall burden of death and disease due to SARS-CoV-2 will require strategies for reinfection prevention.” • “Mostly white males” seems to have led to some agita:

The statistics in the paper are above my paygrade; perhaps someone expert will comment. That said, Tufecki was great on aerosols and ventilation. Then she joined the New York Times, and changed her beat to immunology and infectious diseases, where in my view she’s a bit out of her depth; or it’s just that when she joined the Times, she went rancid, as so many do. A shame. As for example (ignore intermediate vitriol):

See “Dengue Fever: A repeat infection is more dangerous than the first.” There is no “of course” about it.

Science Is Popping

“”Common Names” for Notable SARS-CoV-2 Variants: Proposal for a Transparent and Consistent Nicknaming Process to Aid Communication” [World Health Network]. Doing WHO’s job: “Efforts to communicate about the evolution, diversity, and importance of SARS-CoV-2 variants has become increasingly challenging as the number of variants has expanded dramatically, especially since mid-2022. Formal naming systems that are currently in place — namely Greek letters assigned by the World Health Organization (WHO), technical Phylogenetic Assignment of Named Global Outbreak (PANGO) labels, and Nextstrain clades — do not provide options for communication that is both sufficiently high resolution easily accessible outside of technical discussions. Here, we summarize the basis of existing nomenclature systems and propose a complementary option based on informal “common names” or “nicknames” that can be used in general scientific communication about variants…. For the revised system proposed here, it is suggested that names be drawn from astronomy (constellations, stars, moons, asteroids, exoplanets). The list of possible names should be filtered to be consistent with the guiding principles and be compiled and sorted into a usable sequence (e.g., alternating first letters).” • Commentary:

This is the only example I can find. Naming conventions are extremely hard. It’s also hard to be a naming authority (absent funding and/or licensing). This seems like a well-thought-out proposal. I hope it gets traction.

Elite Malfeasance

“Mommy, why was Kamala trying to infect me?”

“Doesn’t she care about people like us?”

Media Coverage

“Here’s why you should make a habit of having more fun” [National Public Radio]. “A lot of us are still recovering from antisocial habits formed in the pandemic.” • “Anti-social” like… choosing not to infect other people with an airborne pathogen whose neurological and vascular sequelae are cumulative? What is wrong with these people?

* * *

Case Data

NOT UPDATED BioBot wastewater data from February 16:

For now, I’m going to use this national wastewater data as the best proxy for case data (ignoring the clinical case data portion of this chart, which in my view “goes bad” after March 2022, for reasons as yet unexplained). At least we can spot trends, and compare current levels to equivalent past levels.


From the Walgreen’s test positivity tracker, published February 20:

-0.5%. Still on the high plateau, equal to previous peaks.


Death rate (Our World in Data):

Total: 1,142,595 – 1,141,862 = 733 (733 * 365 = 267,545 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). Well, the total wasn’t 192 again. Not that I feel better about it.

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. (Though CDC may be jiggering the numbers soon. Lower, naturally.)

Lambert here: Lowest level in awhile. Although we’ve seen this before.

Stats Watch

There are no official statistics of interest today.

* * *

The Bezzle: “Meta to test monthly subscription service priced at $11.99” [Reuters]. “Meta Platforms on Sunday announced that it is testing a monthly subscription service, called Meta Verified, which will let users verify their accounts using a government ID and get a blue badge, as it looks to help content creators grow and build communities. The subscription bundle for Instagram and Facebook, to be launched later this week, also includes extra protection against impersonation and will be priced starting at $11.99 per month on the web or $14.99 a month on Apple’s iOS system and Android.” • Giving your government ID to Faceborg sounds like an absolutely great idea (and I also thought that Facebook was pretty strong on you using your real identity anyhow). Also, “creators.” How I hate that word. It’s like “leaders”: gormless mush.

The Bezzle: “1 big thing: When a savings account is very risky” [Felix Salmon, Axios]. “Compound Banc pays an eye-popping 7% on deposits — or at least things that look and feel a lot like deposits. But it’s not a bank, and the deposits — technically, they’re risky bonds — are not insured by the FDIC or anybody else. The product is aimed at very small investors: The minimum investment is just $10. People looking for improbably high interest rates on their money have learned the hard way to avoid crypto. That’s created an opening for dollar-denominated products taking advantage of various regulatory loopholes — and of the fact that Americans are increasingly comfortable handing over their money to digital institutions. Compound Banc’s product is marketed as a high-yield digital account. Savings start compounding immediately at a 7% APY (annual percentage yield); savers can withdraw their money at any time without any fees or penalties. ‘No if and or buts about it,’ says the homepage. Compound Banc is neither a bank nor a brokerage, and its savings bonds, if you read its SEC filings, are characterized by “a high degree of risk.” Accounts at Compound Banc are not insured by the FDIC, the SIPC, or any other government regulator. ‘We primarily lend to sub-prime real estate borrowers,’ notes Compound on page 7 of its offering circular.” Eesh. Preying on the absolute weakest. And: “The fact that Compound Banc has managed to go live without any real regulatory oversight — they say they have already issued some $1.5 million in bonds — demonstrates the limits of America’s existing regulatory infrastructure.” • Dry. Very dry.

* * *

Today’s Fear & Greed Index: 66 Greed (previous close: 69 Greed) [CNN]. One week ago: 69 (Greed). (0 is Extreme Fear; 100 is Extreme Greed). Last updated Feb 17 at 12:40 PM ET.

Rapture Index: Closes unchanged [Rapture Ready]. Record High, October 10, 2016: 189. Current: 187. (Remember that bringing on the Rapture is good.) NOTE on #42 Plagues: “The coronavirus pandemic has maxed out this category.” More honest than most!

Feral Hog Watch

“Population Explosion of Canadian “Super Pigs” Could Spread Into the Northern U.S.” [Field and Stream (semper loquitur)]. “The U.S. may soon have a new wild pig problem. Until now, the invasive species has largely proliferated in warm places like the southeast, Texas, and California. But in recent years, invasive pigs have started thriving in Canada and may spread into North Dakota, Montana, Michigan, and Minnesota…. According to [Dr. Ryan Brook, who leads the University of Saskatchewan’s Canadian Wild Pig Research Project], the hybridization resulted in bigger ‘super pigs’ that could survive in cold climates. ‘For surviving in cold winters, one of the rules of ecology is: the bigger the better,’ he says. ‘Larger body animals survive the cold better and have better reproduction in those conditions.'” • My gawd. Feral Hogs have a Canadian variant. What would WHO name it, I wonder?

Book Nook

The stupidest timeline:

Note that in erasing Kipling — I would never erase Kipling, although I might slap him around a little bit — these nitwit Bowdlerizers also erased the entire mostly non-white and colonized subcontinent of India and replaced it with 35% white California, a colonizer’s state within a colonizer nation. How come nobody in the cancel brigade is coming after these people? Oh, wait. California’s Blue. So that’s alright then.

And as a palate cleanser, a long thread about how to read Finnegans Wake:

That McHugh book sounds interesting. I’m not certain I’d read it all — the account recommends one page a day, taking two years to finish the work — but I love beautifully printed books with dense scholarly apparatus. (If anybody wants to have a go at Ulyssess, I recommend Hugh Kenner‘s Ulysses for a fine close reading.)

L’Affaire Joffrey Epstein

“Isn’t Anyone Curious” [Eschaton]. “Personally I can get a bit drawn to conspiracy theories not because of the answers, which are often bullshit, but because of the questions. Or more specifically, that others who should be asking the questions aren’t. The questions can be bullshit, too, in that sometimes they have actually been asked and answered. But sometimes not! Like there is a remarkable lack of curiosity about Epstein’s client list! Not that going on cable TV and speculating about who might be a pedo would be productive, but doesn’t really seem like anyone tried very hard to figure it out!” • The other list running around is the list of people SBF gave money to. There doesn’t seem to be much curiousity about that either. This is very Bourdeusian: Lists which which exist, but whose items can only be witnessed by a (self-)appointed few.

“Jeffrey Epstein’s long shadow falls on JPMorgan and Barclays once more” [Financial Times]. “The lawsuit alleges that [former Barclays CEO Jes] Staley used his work email to exchange 1,200 emails with Epstein and received what the lawsuit describes as ‘photos of young women in seductive poses’ from the financier. It also alleges Epstein used JPMorgan accounts to pay more than $1mn to at least 20 victims of sexual crime. In 2009, Staley wrote to Epstein of their ‘profound’ friendship and ‘heartfelt hug.’ A year later he emailed: ‘Say hi to Snow White.’ When Epstein responded: “[W]hat character would you like next?’ Staley replied, ‘Beauty and the Beast.'” • Nice people. Again, as Atrios asks, where’s Epstein’s client list?

Class Warfare

Hard-core stuff. 65 books in a month. Nevertheless:

Can’t say much for the sample size. Nevertheless, the distribution across states is interesting.

Nobody said you couldn’t have your own algo:

News of the Wired

“The Case for Hanging Out” [Slate]. “It was not because I thought her book was interesting that I had reached out to Liming. It was because I passionately believed that her book was right. ‘I’ve become an accidental witness to a growing crisis,’ she writes in Hanging Out: The Radical Power of Killing Time. ‘People struggling to hang out, or else voicing concern and anxiety about how to hang out.’ I, too, see a crisis brewing, among not only people my age but among the peers of my teenage children and the college students I teach. Pushed further into isolation by the pandemic, we’re all losing the ability to engage in what I view as the pinnacle of human interaction: sitting around with friends and talking shit. I agree with Liming that no one is down to hang out anymore, and agree with her that it’s a ‘quiet catastrophe.'” • Fine. Become a ventilation advocate and practice what you preach. Otherwise, “killing time” is a little too on-the-nose.

* * *

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 CM:

CM writes: “Taken on the east coast of Lake Superior.” Does it glow in the dark?

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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. hunkerdown

    Strong “Muffin™” fans have been around since 1958. Typically each model-size of fan is sold with a choice among 4 or more air movement ratings, so that a designer can balance air flow with noise in their particular application. Data centers from 25 years ago were loud and I don’t mean with pot smoke.

  2. thousand points of green

    About . . . ” a history lesson . . .


    One more reason to regard agriculture as one big mistake? ”

    Maybe, but I am not sure. To me the answer depends on if the agriculture developed by the Indian Nations pre-Columbus in these two continents led to the same amount of respiratory virus here in these two continents as the amount of respiratory virus since agriculture in Europe, Asia and Africa.

    From the tiny little bit of reading I have done, I don’t think it did. If that view is correct, then perhaps the kind of agriculture invented in Europe/Asia/Africa was a mistake but the kind of agriculture developed in North and South Turtle Island America was not a mistake. At least not in respiratory virus propagation terms.

    1. ambrit

      I was under the impression that it was the expanded population agriculture enabled, living in denser groupings that ‘fueled’ the rise in respiratory infections. Ie. this is a function of population density, not strictly speaking the sources of the food supply.
      More knowledgeable boffins correct me if I err. (Serious statement. I am often in error.)

      1. vao

        I wonder whether by “agriculture” it is really “animal husbandry” which is meant. In that case, the differences could directly derive from the fact that many more species were bred as livestock in Eurasia than in America (dogs, llamas, alpacas, turkeys and that’s about it?), hence providing much higher probabilities for zoonotic diseases to jump species and establish themselves as diseases in Homo sapiens.

      2. digi_owl

        Urban living until modern sanitation has likely lead to all kinds of problems. This thanks to things like wet markets and open sewer gutters.

    2. Meddle

      Is there actually any evidence for the assertion? Had a quick look and didn’t find anything solid. If deer get Covid, why wouldn’t hunter-gatherers?

      1. thousand points of green

        Well, here in America so far as I know, the deer didn’t get covid until this very introduction of covid into this continent just two years ago. Before that, the deer wouldn’t have gotten covid because there was no covid here for the deer to have gotten it from.

        Now that the deer of today have today’s covid, today’s recreational hunter-gatherers could very well get it from deer. Just as today’s recreational hunter-gatherers risk getting ” mad deer disease” ( chronic wasting disease) from any mad deer they kill and ever so barely mishandle in the slightest.

        But the animal domestication of the Old World would be a very good reason for Old World humans to have spent millenia living with Old World domestic animal diseases. Supposedly the close quarters of chickens, pigs, ducks and people in the moist parts of high-population Asia form an excellent ongoing reaction vessel for breeding up every better and newer flus with.

        So if any forms of agriculture were a mistake, they were a mistake there is no going back from.
        The best we can do is make them better and safer. A retreat from mass-confinement animal concentration camp feedlots and warehouses might be a good first step to retreat from.

        1. JBird4049

          IIRC, it is specific combination of humans, pigs, and ducks/chickens that is a major source of the infectious diseases especially influenza. Often what can’t infect one species can infect one of the other two and then evolve into something that can infect the second and third. Something like human to pig to bird or pigs to birds to humans and in doing so become more deadly as it bounces among the several species. Fascinating really, but it does mean a perpetual disease factory on much of the world.

      2. converger

        Because hunter-gatherers didn’t sleep in enclosed spaces with animals every night, year in and year out, like most pre-industrial farmers did and many developing country farmers still do.

  3. ambrit

    A suggestion about Coronavirus subvariant naming conventions.
    We could turn this idea on it’s head. Instead of paying the appropriate authorities to have a Corona variant named after them, big business will have to pay said authority not to name a variant after them. This way, needed research can be funded, and social harmony encouraged.

      1. thousand points of green

        What would Trump pay to not have a new variant named after Trump?

        ” Give us 50 million dollars and we won’t call this new variant the Fat Donald variant. Deal? “

    1. DJG, Reality Czar

      I don’t care for this: “For the revised system proposed here, it is suggested that names be drawn from astronomy (constellations, stars, moons, asteroids, exoplanets). The list of possible names should be filtered to be consistent with the guiding principles and be compiled and sorted into a usable sequence (e.g., alternating first letters).”

      The inner planets of the solar system, Venus and Mercury, are benevolent deities. And I also don’t want to drag in Andromeda or Betelgeuse.

      I agree with ambrit that there should be a system of selling naming rights, Universities and museums have gotten good at that:

      The Audrey and Otto Van der Bunkle Curator of Impressionism, with Extra Virulence, Variant.

      It goes with our logorrheic times, gents. Consider the potential for fund-raising! I bet Zelenskyyy has already thought of it.

          1. bojang bugami

            The Fauci variant, the Walensky variant, the Biden variant, the Zients variant, the Great Barrington variant, etc.

            1. Irrational

              The Sackler variant? /s
              I certainly agree with DJG that we should not blame celestial bodies, but will the corporates step up and pay?

    2. griffen

      I see your naming convention methodology and raise you the following video clip from Fight Club, at least the first 25 to 35 seconds…this variant was sponsored by Weyland Yutani ( yes now I’m making a hybrid comment to include a separate fictional film, or film series).


      1. ambrit

        “Building better worlds.” If by ‘better’ one meant leaner, meaner populations. It has potential, and would be disruptive as H—. What more could an ambitious MBA or PMC want?

  4. shinola

    “…Tufecki was great on aerosols and ventilation. Then she joined the New York Times, and changed her beat to immunology and infectious diseases, where in my view she’s a bit out of her depth…”

    Good example of the “Peter Principle”… (in a hierarchy, a person is promoted to their level of incompetence)

    1. bojang bugami

      We need to create a counter-peter return-back. If someone gets from a level of competence to a level of incompetence, they should be returned without shaming to their former level of competence. Then we keep getting competent work from them.

      1. LifelongLib

        I remember suggesting that some 50 years ago or whenever it was I first heard about the Peter Principle. My dad (U.S. government employee) basically said that failing in a position you were promoted to was such a disgrace that most people would just leave rather than return to their old job. Plus the person now in that position would also be displaced, no matter how well they were doing etc. I agree it’s a good idea and could be made to work somehow, but not as easily as it looks.

        1. bojang bugami

          If every time a person was elevated, it was probationary for a year and the work that person had just priorly done could be divided into enough little pieces that handing each piece to someone else at the right rung would not be an imposition on that person.

          Then if the new promotee did not work out, he/she could go back into his/her prior place without displacing anyone, and resume doing all the reunited little pieces of that empty place’s works.

          There would have to be a culture of totally no shame at all for people brought back into their prior level if not working out at the next level.

          But this all becomes moot if civilization burns to the ground.

        2. Rory

          I think it depends on the type of work. Just one example, in the sports news these past few weeks. It is common for well-regarded assistant coaches of NFL teams to get chances to be head coaches. Then, if they are fired as head coaches, they often return to assistant coach positions on other NFL teams. It may happen in other pro sports too, but I don’t pay enough attention to notice. Apparently, if you know your stuff, and the people in your business know it, you can overcome the Peter Principle.

      2. John Zelnicker

        bojang – I thought of this many years ago when I first learned about the Peter Principle.

        I would add that when someone is returned to their highest level of competence, they should also receive a pay raise. It would help mitigate any bad feelings about being “demoted” within the hierarchy.

        1. bojang bugami

          Good idea. A pay raise to mitigate the bad feelings of demotion back to before. A pay raise big enough to really matter. Whatever institution instituted this could call it the Peter Round Trip, the Peter Principle Short-Circuit, etc.

    2. curlydan

      Tufecki is a bit obsessed with the VA study on re-infections that Blake Murdoch mentioned above. I started following her when she and Leonardi were going at it on Twitter because I wanted to see what both sides were saying.

      On the plus side, she does point out how many people in the media have misrepresented the study. While reinfections may double the risk of mortality and triple the risk of hospitalization, this extra risk happens in the 180 days beyond the reinfection date of the reinfection group versus the same 180 days of the “first infection group”. For example, Bob and Tom get Covid on 1/1/2021. Tom gets Covid again on 6/30/2021 while Bob is not reinfected. Risk is assessed for both Bob and Tom from 7/1-12/31/2021. She tries to explain it in this tweet although even here she doesn’t explain it well (although her graphs are OK but maybe not to scale): https://twitter.com/zeynep/status/1590766402100957184

      What really annoys me about her beef with the study and what Murdoch is pointing to is that she doesn’t really understand covariates, i.e. controlling factors used in the analysis. She says the VA study is full of frail, old men in bad health. Besides being insulting to veterans and a gross overgeneralization, she doesn’t realize that the study is full of younger people, and the study’s authors (as far as I can tell) have used many demographic and health covariates to control for the effects of age and any frailty. It’s after these covariate adjustments that the study’s authors have assessed the extra hazard or risk.

      As an example of a person not using covariates, someone could say “Black students score lower on average on the SAT than white students” and make some conclusions on that. A wiser study would use covariates of income, education level of parents, etc to adjust the scores to compare averages. Of course, then, suddenly the scores start to look the same. So the VA study is doing the right thing by using covariates, and much of Tufecki’s criticism of the population falls flat.

      Another thing never mentioned or considered by her is how good the VA data is. The VA is the closest thing we have to national health service (for vets only unfortunately), so the inherent fragmentation of the U.S. health system doesn’t really exist in the VA hospitals. The databases are well connected, and patients are very likely to use the same system for all their needs while the rest of us bounce between hospitals or health systems with unlinked and proprietary databases that can’t be analyzed well.

  5. griffen

    Joe Biden visiting Zelenskyy. Well it is never too early for planning ahead on the Christmas wish list in December. Let’s see I need money, ammunition and planes. A carton of cigarettes too!

    When career politicians show you who they really are, we should really believe them.

      1. tevhatch

        I wonder which sod had to phone the Russians to beg permission for Uncle Joe. Anyway, confirmation that Joe has zero political ability, other than knowing how to take a bribe from the people who really run the show.

        1. Polar Socialist

          What is it telling of that these performing artists have to ask permission from evil Putin just to go outside?

    1. jo6pac

      Please have the DEA send a few pounds from Hunters cabinet of Peruvian marching powder or may be what joe b. flight was all about

    2. The Rev Kev

      Biden has just written the campaign focus for the Republicans for 2024. I can see it now –

      ‘Biden could not be bothered to go to the disaster in Ohio for two weeks and said ‘I got nothing for you pal’ but then went to Kiev with an open cheque book because they were more important for him.’

      You could have a split screen TV ad with a smoking train wreck on one side with Biden walking through Kiev on the other side of the screen – another train wreck.

      1. John k

        Or maybe trump walking thru e. Palestine split with joe in Kiev.
        Didn’t Ohio used to be a swing state? How about the other surrounding rust belt states?
        And didn’t Hillary try the ignoring flyover strategy as she shuttled between ca and ny?

  6. ChrisFromGA

    Dengue fever – hey, I know somebodies gotta have a vaccine for that!

    Dengue fever
    Got to mask up now
    Dengue fever
    I think it’s going around

    I took my baby on an ocean cruise
    The cruise director said “you just can’t lose”
    But when we got back from the jungle shore
    She started hackin’ on the disco floor

    Dengue fever
    Got to mask up now
    Dengue fever
    I think its goin’ around

    I took my baby to the first aid deck
    To get her checked, complete
    The cruise director locked us in a room
    We ate stale pizza dancing to the beat

    We’ve got the dengue fever!
    We’ve got to mask up now
    Ah-ah, we’ve got the dengue fever
    I think it’s going around

    All night long we did the bump, bump, bump
    From the ocean waves, while the docs were stumped
    They called their buddies at the CDC
    Said they were cookin’ up a new vaccine for me!

    I called my lawyer on the telephone
    Said counsel, counsel please. I, I, I
    I got this feelin’ this vaccine ain’t for healin’. Tell me,
    What can it be, is it some big pharma scheme?

    They call it dengue fever
    They’ve got the racket down
    Dengue fever
    I think it’s going around


  7. Jason Boxman

    Health Tech for the win:


    Melding the argots of Silicon Valley and self-care, Joyous delivers treatment primarily by text message, replete with exclamation points and emojis. Each morning, patients receive a questionnaire on their phones asking about symptoms and side effects, and each evening, they get a text with the next day’s recommended dose.

    “Our algorithms use all of this information to tailor the protocol exactly to your brain and body’s needs,” Sharon Niv, co-founder and chief of customer experience, says in a video. In written responses to questions from The Times, the company said its general treatment approach “has been adapted and used by providers nationally and internationally” for more than five years and its internal data indicated that “this medicine is highly effective for both anxiety and depression.” It declined to provide details about how its technology works.

    The company says lower doses translate to lower risk. Yet most of the eight Joyous patients who spoke with The Times said their doses reached the maximum the company would prescribe within weeks. Some providers who generally support at-home treatment expressed concern that taking ketamine every day, even at lower doses, could heighten the risk of tolerance, addiction and bladder problems.

    (bold mine)

    And get this:

    “We want to emphasize that Joyous is a public benefits corporation,” the company said, “meaning that we prioritize public goods over profits.”

    LOL. I assume they’d decline to share their financials and let the public decide on whether this promise is kept.

  8. Darthbobber

    Where will Beijer and associates be holding the properly leftist anti-war rally? I’d hate to miss it. What are any of the former ANSWER participants doing at this point? Half pro-war and the other half keeping their heads down?

    1. pjay

      Well, in Beijer’s case, based on his previous writing I’d say his Putin derangement would prevent him from devoting much energy to such a cause. Now of course Beijer and all the peace-loving, right-wing hating, red-brown rejecting, compatible “leftists” out there don’t *support* US imperial warmongering, you see. It’s just that they can’t work up much enthusiasm to protest a war against a brutal fascist imperialist thug like Putin. And they’ll be damned if they will be seen with any brown-shirts, whatever the cause! So they’ll continue to call for “peace” in their little self-enclosed bubbles of righteousness – and influence exactly *nobody*.

      Though I should not have been surprised, I was actually taken aback at the vehemence of the compatible left’s efforts to undermine this event. They seem to have been successful. Despite Caitlin’s fine words, the turnout was pretty dispiriting to me. I could see some problems with a few of the groups involved, and it wouldn’t surprise me if some were there to undermine the event. And whoever decided to place the Russian flag right behind the speakers podium is an idiot. Still, there were some good speakers. Hopefully their message will reach a larger audience of real people. The warmongering elite and their oh-so-ideologically pure enablers are a lost cause. Divide-and-rule, keep ’em separated. It’s a strategy as old as dirt, but it keeps on working.

        1. cyclist

          I was there. Here are some quick takes:

          There was an area behind the speakers and in front of the Lincoln Memorial steps where anyone can walk. This is where the Russian flag guys knew they would get on video – maybe agent provocateurs? Some guys from the RCP were parading around with hammer and sickle flags too.

          Maybe 2000 people paying attention. I think the libertarians/Paulites were at least half or more of the crowd – they seem more organized than the left. Also LaRoucheites. No problem with making common cause against the war for me, although I took a break when some of their speakers were talking (Ron Paul being the worst – crowd very excited about abolishing the Fed as the solution to war).

          One thing that bothered me: the mall was thronged with tourists on a warmer than usual day, with a steady stream of people moving along to the reflecting pond to go to and from the Lincoln Memorial. When taking a rest (from the horrible libertarian music act) I sat alongside their path and noticed virtually none of them had enough curiosity to notice to stop and listen, or even notice what was going on. Total apathy.

        2. Aumua

          Or maybe there’s just a little bit to some of the assertions that are saying that some of the people there are not necessarily anti-war, but are more pro-russia. and so am i, honestly in some sense. I mean I want to see NATO get its face rubbed in its hypocrisy as much as anyone here. and I want to see an end to this war, even if it means that Russia gets some of the things that it wants. I don’t think that Russia’s invasion was unprovoked, and I don’t think that Putin is evil and or insane.

          but I don’t trust these mfs at this thing. I don’t trust Jimmy door, I don’t trust laroucheits, or libertarians, or any of the even further right groups representing there. I also don’t think a lot of them would be out there at all if this was a different kind of war, such as one that was more in line with the interests of capitalism and the free market. call me crazy, go ahead.

        3. JohnA

          I went on a No to Nato rally in Stockholm last spring. There was a girl with a Russian flag. The organisers kindly asked her not to make it so high profile as they did not want to be unnecessarily accused of being Putinbots or Russian useful idiots or similar. She agreed. There are ways and means. However I am pretty sure she was genuine not an agent.

  9. Ranger Rick

    Speaking of inflation equaling pay rises… Caught this link from the games industry on a different aggregator about a business giving everyone 30% more. According to BLS if you’re not making ~19% more today than you were in January 2019, you took a pay cut. And that’s just the CPI definition of inflation.

  10. Mark Gisleson

    So far as I know, the Democratic mailers DON’T work. Richard Viguerie’s mailing costs went north of 80% and I believe were at 90% most of the time. Yes he raised a lot of money for Republicans, but he didn’t net much for the candidates who nonetheless got to brag about raising boatloads of money.

    So I googled and all google wants me to know is that 1) Democrats raise lots and lots of money (but zero detail on fundraising costs altho not much cash on hand is a clue), and 2) Republicans are skeevy. Srsly, almost all related search results were one or the other but not a nickel’s worth of information I could sell to Russia : (

    Lambert, the mailers pay for themselves so what’s the problem? It’s not like the small donors ever expected to get anything back for their donation and in that regard they’re exactly correct. You’re thinking in terms of raising money for electioneering purposes which is not what this is. These mailers a reminder that you joined a cult, and dues must be paid! [I’m very serious when I call the Democrats a cult, there isn’t a single “Is your child in a cult” quiz ever that today’s Democratic party wouldn’t fail].

  11. Sub-Boreal

    Feral Hogs have a Canadian variant. What would WHO name it, I wonder?

    Relax, I’m sure that they’re mild hogs.

    1. CanCyn

      WHO could look to Margaret Atwood’s MaddAdam series for a name for those pigs. The super intelligent and vicious pigs were called pigoons.

    2. JBird4049

      Isn’t much of Europe colder than the South? Now, if I ever meet one in the Rockies somewhere especially in winter then I will really, really freak out. But I will have to admit that I was not thinking of feral pigs in Canada.

      Maybe we should bring back jaguars and move some of mountain lions and grizzlies around as I have read that they all love wild pigs.

      It is funny how much of the ecological problems that the United States has are due to all the predators being extirpated. People complain about the roving herds of hoofed rats aka deer or about the ticks, but both would be greatly reduced by having the right mix of predators, which would change the mix of plant eaters and change the mix of plant species making more hospitable for people. But no, people are worried about the awful, blood thirsty, people eating monsters. (Rolling my eyes here really hard)

      We are never going to get rid of the pigs (or the deer) unless we want to spend a century or more having massive hunts. Bears and mountain lions, maybe jaguars and wolves, might be the best bet.

    3. bojang bugami

      Eventually the Canadian hogs moving south will meet and mate with the Southern hogs moving north, and breed up a ” hog for all seasons”.

  12. Mark Gisleson

    Regarding my fellow Minnesotan’s comment about national politicians coming back home…I agree and disagree. Ellison and Walz, yes. Ellison was a legislator then a Congressman, then returned to run for AG. Walz was not in the lege, but had 24 years in the state Guard where he was the top master sergeant, then Congress, and then back to run for Governor.

    Dayton is different. His legislative background was serving as an aide to Walter Mondale and others. His first foray into politics was to run for the U.S. Senate where he was unhappy so he came back to Minnesota and became an unhappy governor.

    But mostly I want to point out that Ellison got nonstop [family blog] from Democrats for backing Bernie Sanders. Walz got nonstop [family blog] from Democrats for being a Blue Dog in Congress (I live in his old CD and no liberal could ever win this seat; by winning and holding it Walz proved himself to be exactly the kind of politician who’d make a great guv and he has been that.)

    If you throw Dayton out (he’ll be unhappy either way), then this phenomenon is, in Minnesota, one of Democrats who are not part of the Clinton-Obama-Biden machine getting sick and tired of D.C. very quickly. I’m guessing that would be the case for most Democrats coming home to run for statewide office. The Democratic party is being run like a cult, and you’re either in or out and if you’re out you might as well come back home.

    1. bojang bugami

      Perhaps such happy-in-their-state Democrats might think about quitting the Democratic Party at all levels and forming their own State Democrat Party. The Minnesota State Democrat Party, the Michigan State Democrat Party, etc. And they could work to keep to ban any ClintoBama-Biden type Democrats from entering their State Democrat Parties.

      If enough state-level Democrats created enough State Democrat Parties, they might create a Union of State Democrat Parties under that name to run candidates under a Union of State Democrats label to sow the kind of confusion and division needed to exterminate the Democratic Party from politics over time.

    2. YetAnotherChris

      This sounds accurate. Add to the list Rick Nolan, who returned to Congress after a long absence (MN-8). His second tenure was brief. He had an ailing daughter, true, but was also publicly chagrined by the amount of time he was expected to commit to working the phones, i.e., fundraising.

    3. spud

      dayton broke the back of austerity in minnesota, and took back the state for the DFL.

      dayton was the only one who could have beaten that piece of s##t pawlenty.

      dayton got the roads and schools funded. this started our long long recovery.

  13. Jason Boxman

    So I see why NY Times was always running Tufekci’s opinion columns; She’s less sane than I originally thought, maybe because she’s less nuts than everyone else on COVID at the Times, but still nuts.

  14. JohnA

    And as a palate cleanser, a long thread about how to read Finnegan’s Wake:

    Start by reading the title correctly, which is Finnegans Wake.

    No apostrophe please.

  15. Jason Boxman

    Walgreens sub-variant tracker is back!! With an addition about S-gene amplification that is way beyond my understanding. We’re at 62% XBB.

  16. Louiedog14

    I think the Diane-osaur played it a little too down the middle. She could of either coddled the kids with “Don’t worry, we’ll fix it next week. Who wants cookies?”

    Or she could have told them the truth.

    “Kids, your parents voted for me in droves. They don’t really care much about anyone but themselves, which is why they all drove you to school today in an enormous SUV because you couldn’t be arsed to get off your phones in time to catch the bus. Your Grandparents? They LOVE me. They bought an ugly little ranch in Palo Alto 40 years that they just sold for 3 mil. That’s why they keep sending you all those nice postcards from places like Bordeaux and Fiji. Let’s face it, they’ll be dead before things get really bad. But we do hope you keep studying all this “By the people for the people” stuff in school so that you go to college and one day grow up to vote for someone just as horrible as me.

    Oh, and kids? Santa isn’t real.”

  17. square coats

    Lambert- for bird song of the day, have you ever posted any Potoo songs? I found a really lovely video of the Common Potoo singing (on pinterest), which is interesting to watch how its mouth goes from wide open to closed over the course of its song.

    Ebird has some nice songs, also an interesting song of the White-winged Potoo, which kind of sounds like a missile or something.

  18. Wukchumni

    Much of my outdoor life revolves around hanging out, for instance i’m en route to Vail where the other dartful codgers will soon be descending upon, and while everybody skis by their lonesome, we’re in essence hanging out together when we ski-all arriving at the bottom of a run within minutes of one another and in an average day we’ll take 20 to 25 chairs up which involves a lot more hanging out and bullshitting-the spell unbroken by an hour lunch involving guess what-more hanging out, and then when we get done skiing for the day we hang out and drink, and it’s somebody’s turn to make dinner, more hanging out possibilities.

    Backpacking is similar, when you get to your campsite for the evening, you really don’t want to do anything aside from hanging out and bullshitting, and similar to skiing you have to walk your own walk.

    If possible, I like to walk at a talking pace on dayhikes, which allows for ample hanging out while ambulatory, sometimes steep hills can be conversation killers though.

    Its a funny thing to look for in hiking partners, their ability to walk and chew the fat @ the same time.

  19. antidlc


    Long COVID impacts 15.6 million Americans
    Sen. Tim Kaine (center, wearing mask) recently held a summit about long COVID that included patients with the condition along with representatives from state and federal health agencies

    n estimated 15.6 million Americans, or one of every five adults who had COVID-19, continue to have symptoms of the illness.

    Those with long COVID still have issues that they didn’t have before their infection at least three months after their diagnosis, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

    Why does the lack of sense of smell or taste linger for some and not others? Or why do some people develop chest pain and shortness of breath and have symptoms that are even more severe than their initial infection?

    “That’s one of the weird things about long COVID,” said Sen. Tim Kaine, D–Virginia, who recently hosted the nation’s first summit on the matter. “You can be in the hospital on a ventilator for 30 days and not have long COVID. You could have a mild case and have severe long COVID. Why? We don’t know the answer to that question.”

    The nation’s FIRST SUMMIT on the matter after three years.

  20. JustTheFacts

    @Naked Capitalism / Lambert

    A suggestion for an improvement: Could you replace twitter iframes with a screen capture of the tweet (that could link to the tweet so people can click on it if they want)? Twitter takes an inordinate amount of time to load, and I have to wait something like a minute before the page will scroll down. It also takes a minute away from the ability to edit one’s reply, if one needs to.


    1. tevhatch

      That’s probably a lot of work but more textual context to judge the value to the individual reader would be helpful and probably can be cut and pasted easier.

    2. hunkerdown

      Why don’t you block third-party scripting? There is perfectly good text in the page underneath the iframe.

    3. Lambert Strether Post author

      It’s a lot more work. So, no. I’m sure others can help you optimize your machine; a minute to scrolls is not normal. Sounds to me like the browser is loading each Tweet’s script individually, instead of consolidating them into one (it’s the same script for each tweet).

  21. Alex Cox

    Re peanuts on planes, I haven’t seen any on United in many years… Since American is the Republican airline equivalent, I would guess their nut policy is the same.

  22. Hepativore

    People are indeed raging, but I am not sure Netflix is going to care, as a lot of these companies pushing IDPol have the attitude of:

    “We know best, and we do not care what you have to say, so shut up, you ignorant peasants!”

    …and are large enough to where any sort of backlash is probably not going to impact them all that much as they have captured so much of the market share.

    Also, when stuff like this happens, scalpers are going to grab all of the unabridged versions of these books as well, and start charging hundreds or thousands of dollars on eBay or elsewhere on what used to be a cheap $15-$20 dollar book, and soon, you might not be able to buy them at all as nobody will want to part with their copy because of how valuable they have become.

    1. JBird4049

      Maybe scalpers will grab the unabridged versions, but some of the books have been in continuous print for over a century. Maybe some of the already rarer and nicer hard covers, but paperbacks, even trade paperbacks? No way. If I am wrong, it will be awhile and probably by thing it will be out of copyright. However, by then there will be all these bowdlerizations clutter up the stacks.

      Some people are bluenosed morons more concerned about maintaining appearances and protecting their narrow little minds than in actual reading and understanding what is being said or who and when. “The past is a foreign country; they do things differently there.” Really, they don’t have to read anything, if it hurts their feelings, but they should not censor what I can read just to protect themselves.

      I wonder with them being right thinking and virtuous if they would approve of this poem by Rudyard Kipling:

      If any question why we died,
      Tell them, because our fathers lied.

      A dreadfully unpatriotic poem, I know, that questions war or at least some of those who send others to their deaths.

    1. Irrational

      Brilliant! Can’t wait for the lawsuit – sue the government for destroying the property of the government? Sorry, must get out of sarcastic mood, but news today lends itself so well to it.

  23. britzklieg

    I think it’s great that The Nation has hired Reed. I’ll read his stuff.

    That said, go to its webpage today and see the top post from Jeet Heer about Putin’s
    forever war… yeah, Putin’s. So okay, Heer probably doesn’t write the headlines but he wrote everything else, including suggesting that a Korean solution would be just fine.

    Plus ça change…

    1. tevhatch

      Jane McAlevey has been quite a pistol in the past. She sometimes has purity standards that don’t function in the real world, but at least they are with the right purpose at heart. However it is the Nation, so If she was not going on with Adolph Reed, then I’d start to worry that aging Trotskyist syndrome had gotten her.

      1. Late Introvert

        The Nation lost me long ago, and especially after NC I just feel utter contempt. Not to mention they use debt collectors if you cancel your subscription.

  24. The Rev Kev

    ‘Roald Dahl – 2001 authorized Puffin edition vs 2022 authorized Puffin edition.’

    Not acceptable. Not acceptable at all. I suppose that those people who ‘own’ a digital copy will have it ‘modified’ in an update that they may not even know happened. Will this mean that there will be an illicit market for early paper copies of this book? Will there be a campaign by do-gooders & right-thinkers to steal copies from libraries or purchase copies whenever they can so that those copies can be relegated to the flames? Imagine somebody buying a new copy to re-read that book that gave them so much pleasure twenty years ago only to keep having their memory jarred by all the changes in the book that they do not remember reading. Would it occur to them that the book was deliberately censored? If the people that did this are quite happy with censoring a piece of our culture, will they have any hesitation is censoring our recorded history as well?

    1. tevhatch

      …censoring our recorded history as well?

      That has already been going on for a very long time. What I found disturbing was the use of technology to remove the word “black” without any context considered. Mr. Black becomes Mr.

    2. wol

      My wife’s friend attended a campus production of Hamlet. In her message: ‘…story changed into a dark-skinned lesbian who spurned the white girl… the lines simply did not work.’

      My wife wonders why IDers don’t write their own masterpieces instead of altering existing works. I recall Angels in America won a Pulitzer. Maybe it could feature a straight couple facing Covid.

      1. Big River Bandido

        The *author* is dead and did not approve the censorship of his work. “Copyright holder” is legalese and means nothing as far as any literary questions.

  25. Wukchumni

    (Oi, oi, oi, oi, oi, oi, oi, oi, oi, oi, oi, oi, oi, oi, oi)

    See me ride out the sirens
    On your color TV screen
    Out for all that I can get
    If you know what I mean
    NATO to the left of me
    And Volodymyr to the right
    Ain’t got no F-16
    Ain’t got no ATACMS
    Don’t you start no flight

    ‘Cause I’m J.R.B., I’m dynamite
    (J.R.B.) and I’ll win the fight
    (J.R.B.) I’m a neoliberal power load
    (J.R.B.) watch me explode’

    He’s ex-KGB, mean and mighty unclean
    A wanted man
    Ideological enemy number one
    So lock up yourself in a dacha
    Lock up your wife
    Lock up your back door
    And run for your life
    The man is back in Kiev town
    So don’t you mess him ’round

    ‘Cause I’m J.R.B., I’m dynamite
    (J.R.B.) and I’ll win the fight
    (J.R.B.) I’m a neoliberal power load
    (J.R.B.) watch me explode’

    J.R.B., (oi, oi, oi)
    J.R.B., (oi, oi, oi)
    J.R.B., (oi, oi, oi)
    J.R.B., (oi, oi, oi)
    ‘Cause I’m J.R.B., I’m dynamite
    (J.R.B.) and I’ll win the fight
    (J.R.B.) I’m a neoliberal power load
    (J.R.B.) watch me explode’

    T.N.T. by AC/DC


    1. tevhatch

      Did you or anyone redo “Four Dead in Ohio”? This is about as far as I got before throwing something in anger.

      FEMA workers and Biden not coming
      We’re really on our own
      This summer I taste the vinyl….

      1. John k

        AFAIK, the same number of congressional progressives that went to Ohio attended rage against war in dc.

  26. ArvidMartensen

    Many of these leftist revolutionaries did believe in the ideal of everyone having a say in decisions.
    And then others were just upset because they were not the people in charge telling us what to do. And once they got their hands on some power, they morphed into lying, authoritarian a***holes.
    The famous one is Tony Blair https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/tony-blair-leon-trotsky-student-politics-hero-oxford-university-new-labour-leader-prime-minister-biography-a7885446.html.
    Many wouldnt admit it these days.
    The whole arena was full of purists, as shown by the multitude of organisations that existed under the Totskyist umbrella, eg in Australia there were
    1) International Socialist Tendency (IST) comprising, Solidarity (formerly the ISO)
    Socialist Alternative,
    2) International Socialist Alternative (ISA), Socialist Action (formerly the Socialist Party/Militant)
    3) Groups linked to the US Socialist Workers Party, Socialist Alliance (formerly the DSP), Red-Ant, Freedom Socialist Party (FSP), Spartacist League and the Bolshevik-Leninist
    4) International Committee of the Fourth International (ICFI), Socialist Equality Party Australia, classconscious.org
    5) Other Trotskyist publications, Workers League, Trotskyist Platform

    In fact, a small lecture on the various factions of the left (not Australia) is given here: https://youtu.be/WboggjN_G-4?t=25
    And some philosophical arguments given here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hUBAx8jbYNs

    1. JBird4049

      So, just what is it that makes so many people start yelling in protest at all the corruption, work really hard at fighting it, and then not just leave or change sides, but personally backstab all their friends, coworkers, and organizations before leaving to make bank working for the man?

      Often their new sugar daddies are worse than the earlier jackasses they had been fighting were. It is not like neoliberalism is anything better than the what the old robber barons created; they do get their signing bonus of thirty denarii and a cushy job. Is it greed? Ego? Or both?

  27. Acacia

    Here in the WC, I believe, there was recently a tweet listing the number of spooks working for Google, Twitter, etc.

    If someone has the URL, I’d be happy to see it again.

  28. Jack Pine

    Beautiful mushroom. Given that I’ve found the same on the southern shore of Lake Superior, I’m going to say that it is a Phaeolus schweinitzii or ‘Dyer’s Polypore’, and while it does not glow in the dark it can be used to make a beautiful (glowing?) dye for clothing or art. Several different colors can be made with it depending on how it’s processed.

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