2:00PM Water Cooler 5/1/2023

By Lambert Strether of Corrente.

Happy May Day!

Bird Song of the Day

European Starling, Libertytown , Audrey Carroll Wildlife Sanctuary, Frederick, Maryland, United States. “Call; Song. Other Behaviors: Advertise. Habitat: Pond.” I like that this is from 1999. Quite the library!

* * *


“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’s diverse coalition of support risks fraying in 2024” [Associated Press]. “Former Sen. Joe Lieberman, the Connecticut Democrat-turned-Independent long known for his centrist views, voted for Joe Biden in 2020. But as Biden’s reelection campaign begins, Lieberman is preparing to recruit a third-party candidate capable of defeating the Democratic president. Centrists and moderates feel that he’s governed more from the left than they hoped,’ Lieberman, a leader of the group, No Labels, said of Biden in an interview. ‘He hasn’t been able to be the unifier that he promised to be.'” • Joe Lieberman, one of the nastiest pieces of work in American politics. (Lieberman gave us the DHS, let us remember.)

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.

* * *

Here is California DNC member David Atkins on generational politics. The thread is worth reading in full:

For some definition of “bigoted,” of course. (Throwing “essential workers,” disproportionately “people of color” under the bus with Biden’s policy of mass infection without mitigation is totally, totally not bigoted in any way. Look, I’ve got an “In This House” sign on my lawn!) More:

Note the word “gradually”:

And to conclude:

Functionally, the key words in Atkin’s thread are “gradually” and “it will be with us for a while.” That strikes this jaded observer as being, in its effect, identical to Rey Teixeira’s theory of of the “coalition of the ascendant.” Where Teixeira theorized that demographics would do the Democrats’ work for them — all they had to do was sit back and relax, until the electorate got less white — Atkins theorized that aging will do the Democrats’ work for them — all they have to do is sit back and relax until Gen Z assumes positions of power.

Let’s follow the money. Atkins gives the source for his chart and his ideas: An article from the Democracy Fund’s Voter Study Group from June 2017, “Political Divisions in 2016 and Beyond.” From their About Page: “The Democracy Fund Voter Study Group project is made possible through support from Democracy Fund.”

I find it a little difficult to believe that Omidyar is all in favor of making sure that “the AOC/Bernie/Warren-aligned under-45s who vote Dem +20 points are a bigger and bigger share of the electorate”; he funded J.D. Vance, after all. I find it very easy to believe that Omidyar would be very happy to see another decade or so of Democrats being exactly what they are today.

* * *

This is one of those Gen Z influencers everybody’s so excited about:



Realignment and Legitimacy

“Moderna co-founder calls on US politicians and judges to stop questioning science” [Financial Times]. “More than 700 executives signed an open letter last month condemning a decision by a federal judge in Texas to overturn the regulatory approval of mifepristone — a drug approved by the FDA more than two decades ago. ‘Judicial activism will not stop here,’ the letter said. ‘If courts can overturn drug approvals without regard for science or evidence, or for the complexity required to fully vet the safety and efficacy of new drugs, any medicine is at risk for the same outcome as mifepristone.'” • I don’t agree with the Texas judge’s decision, but surely the question of “mifepristone” is primarily political? Unless one equates “science” with “decisions made by the regulatory state,” which I don’t think is a very good idea. Though I see why Big Pharma might see it that way, and might want to see it that way.


“I am in earnest — I will not equivocate — I will not excuse — I will not retreat a single inch — AND I WILL BE HEARD.” –William Lloyd Garrison

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

Lambert here: Readers, thanks for the collective effort. We are now up to 50/50 states (100%). This is really great! (It occurs to me that there are uses to which this data might be put, beyond helping people with “personal risk assessments” appropriate to their state. For example, thinking pessimistically, we might maintain the list and see which states go dark and when. We might also tabulate the properties of each site and look for differences and commonalities, for example the use of GIS (an exercise in Federalism). I do not that CA remains a little sketchy; it feels a little odd that there’s no statewide site, but I’ve never been able to find one. Also, my working assumption was that each state would have one site. That’s turned out not to be true; see e.g. ID. Trivially, it means I need to punctuate this list properly. Less trivially, there may be more local sites that should be added. NY city in NY state springs to mind, but I’m sure there are others. FL also springs to mind as a special case, because DeSantis will most probably be a Presidental candidate, and IIRC there was some foofra about their state dashboard. Thanks again!

Resources, United States (Local): AK (dashboard); AL (dashboard); AR (dashboard); AZ (dashboard); CA (dashboard; Marin); CO (dashboard; wastewater); CT (dashboard); DE (dashboard); FL (wastewater); GA (wastewater); HI (dashboard); IA (wastewater reports); ID (dashboard, Boise; dashboard, wastewater, Central Idaho; wastewater, Coeur d’Alene; dashboard, Spokane County); IL (wastewater); IN (dashboard); KS (dashboard; wastewater, Lawrence); KY (dashboard, Louisville); LA (dashboard); MA (wastewater); MD (dashboard); ME (dashboard); MI (wastewater; wastewater); MN (dashboard); MO (wastewater); MS (dashboard); MT (dashboard); NC (dashboard); ND (dashboard; wastewater); NE (dashboard); NH (wastewater); NJ (dashboard); NM (dashboard); NV (dashboard; wastewater, Southern NV); NY (dashboard); OH (dashboard); OK (dashboard); OR (dashboard); PA (dashboard); RI (dashboard); SC (dashboard); SD (dashboard); TN (dashboard); TX (dashboard); UT (wastewater); VA (dashboard); VT (dashboard); WA (dashboard; dashboard); WI (wastewater); WV (wastewater); WY (wastewater).

Resources, Canada (National): Wastewater (Government of Canada).

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

Hat tips to helpful readers: Art_DogCT, B24S, CanCyn, ChiGal, Chuck L, Festoonic, FM, FreeMarketApologist (4), Gumbo, hop2it, JB, JEHR, JF, JL Joe, John, JM (9), JW, KatieBird, LL, Michael King, KF, LaRuse, mrsyk, MT, otisyves, Petal (5), RK (2), RL, RM, Rod, square coats (11), tennesseewaltzer, Utah, Bob White (3).

* * *

Look for the Helpers

This is very, very good news:

Paris is worth a mass, and “fresh, outdoor air” is worth a deal with Clorox on fomites. If any readers with CO2 meters go to an AMC movie, please send pictures!

If you are in Wells-next-the-sea, Norfolk, please patronize:

I would bet there are other businesses like this, too. There should be a “Green Book,” a directory…


“Widespread Household Transmission of SARS-CoV-2 B.1.1.529 (Omicron) Variant from Children, South Korea, 2022” [Yonsei Medical Journal]. “Here we report an outbreak that started in young children attending various pediatric facilities, leading to extensive household transmission that affected 75 families with 88 confirmed case-patients in 3 weeks. Tailored social and public health measures directed towards children and pediatric facilities are warranted with the emergence of highly transmissible omicron variant to mitigate the impact of coronavirus diseases 2019 (COVID-19).” And: “On January 15, 2022, a 10-year-old child (index case-patient) with a 1-day-onset of fever and sore throat was confirmed positive for SARS-CoV-2. He had visited a childcare center and a Taekwondo academy in Wonju-si, Gangwon-do during winter vacation a day before the symptom onset.” • One asymptomatic kid.

Elite Maleficence

“CDC meeting, intended to mark covid progress, sees virus cases of its own” [WaPo]. We ran this in Links over the weekend, but allow me to point out the hilarity: The CDC’s own superspreading event occured a little more than a year after the superspreading event at the Gridiron Club, where the PMC showed how committed they were to the superspreading bit. The denial — and the absolute refusal to accept responsibility — is so, so thick:

Current and former CDC staff also told The Post that moderators at the conference warned staff several times that some attendees had tested positive for the virus.

A CDC official said the agency was ‘aware’ of several confirmed cases that could be connected to the conference, but cautioned ‘the cases we’re aware of at this time should not be referred to as an ‘outbreak.” [Oh, hell no].

‘These cases are reflective of general spread in the community. It’s not news that public health employees can get COVID-19,’ CDC’s Kristen Nordlund wrote in an email.

So now not only has CDC normalized superspreading, it’s normalized attending mass events while sick with Covid, good job. And of course, CDC will take care of its own:

CDC will take care of its own. But not you:

They were careless people, Rochelle and Ashish….

Another Canadian hospital turning away sick people:

Have any readers spotted one such hospital in the wild, in the United States?

Then again, hospitals are turning into torment nexuses, if they were not already:

“Live your life but let others live theirs.” Which is, exactly and precisely, what anti-maskers do not to. “The right to infect others shall not be infringed.”

“FYI: Stanford research staff have stopped masking in the middle of the long-Covid PAXLOVID study” [r/covidlonghaulers, Reddit]. Confounders? What confounders?

We just walked out and quit the study today. Stanford medical dropped all masking requirements and the researchers running the long-Covid paxlovid study have stopped masking while tending to long covid participants. It’s frankly abhorrent, selfish behavior, and not only does it demonstrate a complete lack of regard and understanding for the illness in question, in my opinion it calls into question the legitimacy of the entire study. We’ve been traveling hundreds of miles for months in order to try to participate in their study and provide THEM with data about the illness, and this is what they think of us. Just want to make everyone aware in case you also have the misfortune of being a participant.

EDIT: Aside from the obvious lack of regard for the safety and well being of their patients/subjects, I should point out that this is also just a terrible choice for the study. Want to know how to get consistent study results? I’ll give you a hint: it doesn’t involve dramatically changing the study conditions 3/4 of the way through. Not only are they callously risking people’s health, they risk invalidating the entire project and its data by suddenly increasing the odds of reinfecting their participants and negatively changing the course of their health.

Who’s running this study? Dr. John Conly? Did he want to see the smiles of Long Covid patients?

The Jackpot

* * *

Lambert here: I’m getting the feeling that the “Something Awful” might be a sawtooth pattern — variant after variant — that averages out to a permanently high plateau. Lots of exceptionally nasty sequelae, most likely deriving from immune dysregulation (says this layperson).

• “This professor is a global coronavirus expert. Now he has long COVID” [Australian Financial Review]. “‘Complacency is COVID’s friend,’ said Professor Nicholson, who has a profound, and personal, understanding of COVID and the damage it can wreak on the health of people when it turns into long-COVID. Professor Nicholson is not only one of the world’s foremost experts in understanding the mechanics of the virus and how it interacts with individuals, he also observed the impact of long-COVID first-hand. As one of the first people to contract the disease in Australia, having picked it up at a conference in Italy in February 2020, Professor Nicholson is also one of the first to develop long COVID…. International research has estimated the health costs of long COVID will be in the trillion dollar range globally and recent data reveals that the life expectancy of Americans has been dialled back three years for white men, and six years for African American men. ‘All the efforts that have been made in preventative medicine over the last 30 to 40 years have been negated by COVID-19,’ Professor Nicholson said.”

• “COVID will eventually evade one of the few treatments for those infected and could cause deaths to ‘easily double,’ former White House advisor Deborah Birx says” [Fortune]. “Omicron is mutating to bypass the initial arsenal of weapons developed for use against it. Already, its changes have rendered every universal monoclonal antibody treatment—administered to people at high risk of hospitalization and death—useless. Eventually it will take down Paxlovid too, Birx says. She added: ‘If we lose Paxlovid, we could easily double the number of deaths,’ which currently sit at just over 1,000 per week, according to data from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. … ‘Right now, we’re just accepting that 270,000 Americans died last year,’ she said. ‘Two hundred and seventy thousand. We’re going to easily lose over 100,000 this year. That, to me, is not success.’ Birx continued: ‘You don’t want to back yourself into controlling the pandemic because all the vulnerable Americans have died. That’s not how you win in public health.'” • Well, “winning” depends on how you define your goals, surely. Anyhow, if you don’t breathe in the virus, you don’t catch Covid. One can only wonder why non-pharamaceutical interventions have been entirely erased from the discourse — even by Birx! And then–

• “New insights into deadly fungal invasion in people with compromised immune systems” [News Medical Life Sciences]. “Fungi such as Aspergillus are so common in our surroundings that we breathe in hundreds to thousands of spores every day. In healthy people, fungi typically pose no threat, but they can cause deadly infections in those with compromised immune systems. However, it is increasingly recognized that viral infections such as influenza or SARS-CoV-2 can increase the risk of invasive Aspergillus infections even in healthy people. The World Health Organization (WHO) has stated that invasive fungal infections are an increasing threat to human health and reiterated that more research is needed. Until now little was known about how the Aspergillus fungus was able to take root, and what could be done to get rid of it. Researchers at the University of Calgary working with researchers at McGill University have provided new insight on why the immune system fails. ‘We discovered that influenza and COVID-19 destroy a previously unknown natural immunity that we need to resist invasive fungal infections,’ says Nicole Sarden, a PhD candidate at the University of Calgary and first author on the study. The findings published in Science Translational Medicine show that two types of white blood cell (neutrophils and a unique type of B cells) normally work together to fight fungal infection. However, viruses like SARS-CoV-2 and influenza impede the special B cells from doing their job.” • Speaking of immune system dysregulation….

• “Deadly fungus spreading in U.S. with approximately 60% mortality” [KIRO]. I’m filing this here because C. auris infection can be a consequence of weakend immune systems. “The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has issued a warning about a drug-resistant strain of fungus, Candida auris, spreading in healthcare facilities in the United States. ‘The rapid rise and geographic spread of cases is concerning and emphasizes the need for continued surveillance, expanded lab capacity, quicker diagnostic tests, and adherence to proven infection prevention and control,’ said CDC epidemiologist Dr. Meghan Lyman in a press release.” • Cordyceps? Not that bad. So about tranmission. The article says “surface,” i.e. fomites. CDC is mealy-mouthed: “C. auris can spread in healthcare settings through contact with contaminated environmental surfaces or equipment, or from person to person. More work is needed to further understand how it spreads.” However, its advice for Infection Control is all fomites. Some say C. auris is not airborne; others agree. Then again (from “high turbulence activities such as bed making,” similar to mpox). I dunno. I don’t know enough about how fungus tranmits (but spores are airborne, no?). The conventional wisdom is strong here, and there’s no other data. OTOH, Hospital Infection Control has a miserable record, not merely on airborne transmission of Covid, but on nosocomial infections as such. Sign of a hard problem? Or a bad paradigm?

“Orgel’s rules” [WikiPedia]. “Orgel’s Second Rule: ‘Evolution is cleverer than you are.'” • Not hard on this timeline. But still true!

Case Data

NOT UPDATED From BioBot wastewater data from April 27:

Lambert here: Unless the United States is completely, er, exceptional, we should be seeing an increase here soon.

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.


NOT UPDATED From CDC, April 29, 2023. Here we go again:

Lambert here: Looks like XBB.1.16 is rolling right along. Though XBB 1.9.1 is in the race as well.

Covid Emergency Room Visits

NOT UPDATED From CDC NCIRD Surveillance, from April 22:

NOTE “Charts and data provided by CDC, updates Wednesday by 8am. For the past year, using a rolling 52-week period.” So not the entire pandemic, FFS (the implicit message here being that Covid is “just like the flu,” which is why the seasonal “rolling 52-week period” is appropriate for bothMR SUBLIMINAL I hate these people so much. Anyhow, I added a grey “Fauci line” just to show that Covid wasn’t “over” when they started saying it was, and it’s not over now. Notice also that this chart shows, at least for its time period, that Covid is not seasonal, even though CDC is trying to get us to believe that it is, presumably so they can piggyback on the existing institutional apparatus for injections.


A kind reader discovered that Walgreens had reduced its frequency to once a week. No updates, however, since April 11.


NOT UPDATED Death rate (Our World in Data):

Lambert here: WHO turned off the feed? Odd that Walgreen’s positivity shut down on April 11, and the WHO death count on April 12. Was there a memo I didn’t get?

Total: 1,159,839 – 1,159,697 = 142 (142 * 365 = 51,830 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).

Excess Deaths

NOT UPDATED Excess deaths (The Economist), published April 23:

Lambert here: Based on a machine-learning model. (The CDC has an excess estimate too, but since it ran forever with a massive typo in the Legend, I figured nobody was really looking at it, so I got rid it. )

Stats Watch

Manufacturing: “United States ISM Purchasing Managers Index (PMI)” [Trading Economics]. “The ISM Manufacturing PMI in the United States rose to 47.1 in April 2023, up from a three-year low of 46.3 in the previous month and slightly above market consensus of 46.8. Still, the latest reading suggested economic activity in the manufacturing sector shrank for a sixth consecutive month, as higher borrowing costs and tight credit hit activity and boosted the risk of a recession this year.”

* * *

Banks: “First Republic Bank seized and sold to JPMorgan Chase” [Axios]. “First Republic Bank was seized by regulators and sold to JPMorgan Chase, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation announced early Monday morning, making First Republic the third major bank failure in eight weeks… The San Francisco-based First Republic on Monday reported that over $100 billion of deposits walked out the door in the first quarter, or a net of around $71 billion once accounting for emergency inflows from JPMorgan Chase and other large banks…. What we’re watching: Whether this move ultimately succeeds in containing weeks of uncertainty that’s ricocheted across the U.S. financial system, especially with the Federal Reserve expected to raise interest rates yet again this week.” • I believe I’ve said that you should never do business with a firm that has “First” in its name? It’s a lot like the restaurant called “Mom’s.”

Tech: “Chatbots Are Digesting the Internet. The Internet Wants to Get Paid” [Wall Street Journal]. “If you’ve ever published a blog, or posted something to Reddit, or shared content anywhere else on the open web, it’s very likely you have played a part in creating the latest generation of artificial intelligence. Google’s Bard chatbot, OpenAI’s ChatGPT, Microsoft’s MSFT 0.12%increase; green up pointing triangle OpenAI-powered version of Bing, and similar tools from the many startups now incorporating these and other AI language models—none of these clever automated writers could exist without the enormous body of text freely available on the web. Now, in a way that hasn’t been true since the early search-engine battles, the contents of the web are the subject of a contest over who owns what, as great powers attempt to carve up an irreplaceably rich source of information with a whole new kind of value. The tech and media companies that unwittingly provided this data are waking up to how essential it is to training the latest generation of language-based AIs. Reddit, an invaluable source for OpenAI, recently announced that it will start charging AI companies for access to data.” • Or to translate, and leaving out the “very likely” caveats: Unsurprisingly, AI is based on theft. The Bearded One called this “original accumulation.”

* * *

Today’s Fear & Greed Index: 61 Greed (previous close: 59 Greed) [CNN]. One week ago: 63 (Greed). (0 is Extreme Fear; 100 is Extreme Greed). Last updated May 1 at 12:16 PM ET.

Rapture Index: Closes unchanged [Rapture Ready]. Record High, October 10, 2016: 189. Current: 185. (Remember that bringing on the Rapture is good.) NOTE on #42 Plagues: “The coronavirus pandemic has maxed out this category.” More honest than most! I wonder where that’s coming from?


“Neighbors Fight Over No Mow May: ‘What in the World Is Happening in This Place?'” [Wall Street Journal]. Nothing but good, I’m guessing. “As May 1 looms, Americans face a complicated moral choice: Whether to mow their lawns. Scores of U.S. cities and towns are embracing a British movement called No Mow May, whose supporters refrain from cutting their grass during that month. The goal is to allow more flowering plants to thrive, and provide nectar and pollen to nourish bees and other pollinators, vital parts of the food chain. No Mow May has been promoted by the British charity Plantlife over the past four years and is gaining ground in other countries. The project stirs warm and buzzy feelings in many homeowners’ hearts. ‘Pardon the weeds! We’re feeding the bees!’ declare cheerful signs popping up in meadow-like yards. Yet No Mow May puts bees in the bonnets of other people. Opponents question the science behind No Mow May, deplore what they see as a sloppy look and even suggest it’s just an excuse for laziness.” • Refusing to do useless, indeed harmful work is not laziness!

Zeitgeist Watch

This dude is staying put. He’s a geographic determinist (see Guns, Germs, and Steel):

And of course:

Yes, it’s positively amazeballs how badly our ruling class of rentiers has managed to butcher our enormous advantages!

Class Warfare

“Josh Kline’s Survival Art for 21st-Century America” [Jason Farago and Emma Goldberg, New York Times]. A jolting retrospective at the Whitney. “GOLDBERG Those videos, from 2013, were a visceral reminder that ‘deepfake’ technologies, capable of the type of misinformation people are so alarmed about now with A.I., have been in the works for a long time. What makes us stop and question technological development? For years there was a mounting fear that artificial intelligence would automate blue-collar work. And then in the last few months, the narrative is, ‘It’s not just truckers who will find their jobs obsolete, it’s lawyers and copywriters.’ That’s the moment, for so many people, that the panic switch flipped. I think we have to ask ourselves: What work are people suddenly mobilizing to protect? What work is worthy of being preserved?” • “For so many people.”

News of the Wired

“How thinking hard makes the brain tired” [The Economist]. “One analysis of previous studies suggests that cognitively overworked and “depleted” brains use less than one-tenth of a Tic-Tac’s worth of additional glucose. If cognitive fatigue is not caused by a lack of energy, then what explains it? A team of scientists led by Antonius Wiehler of Pitié-Salpêtrière University Hospital, in Paris, looked at things from what is termed a neurometabolic point of view. They hypothesise that cognitive fatigue results from an accumulation of a certain chemical in the region of the brain underpinning control. That substance, glutamate, is an excitatory neurotransmitter that abounds in the central nervous systems of mammals and plays a role in a multitude of activities, such as learning, memory and the sleep-wake cycle. In other words, cognitive work results in chemical changes in the brain, which present behaviourally as fatigue. This, therefore, is a signal to stop working in order to restore balance to the brain.”

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Contact information for plants: Readers, feel free to contact me at lambert [UNDERSCORE] strether [DOT] corrente [AT] yahoo [DOT] com, to (a) find out how to send me a check if you are allergic to PayPal and (b) to find out how to send me images of plants. Vegetables are fine! Fungi and coral are deemed to be honorary plants! If you want your handle to appear as a credit, please place it at the start of your mail in parentheses: (thus). Otherwise, I will anonymize by using your initials. See the previous Water Cooler (with plant) here. From AA:

AA writes: “Black Oxford apple blossoms in NW Ohio. The cage is necessary to defend the trees from deer. This should be the first fruiting year if the buds don’t get frostbitten.”

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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. Dr. John Carpenter

    Tweets like those Harry Sisson ones are always so disorientating to me. I follow politics closer than I wish I did and I had no idea what half of those “accomplishments” were. The others were either vague promises to do something in the future or flat out lies (“major gun reform”? In what universe?) But, hey, first black woman on the SCOTUS. Gotta give him that. *rolls eyes*

    1. Hepativore

      It is certainly telling that Biden’s handlers will not allow any events for Biden to be scheduled outside of 10AM to 4PM because of the phenomenon of “sundowning” and the DNC is still trying to keep up the charade of Biden’s mental fitness.

    2. griffen

      The bar is low, look how easily it is cleared. For some anyway, boneheaded youngsters or idealists like Rob Reiner or Bette Midler (just picking naturally known names) it is such a great time to live in America. I am considering a deep thinking comment about these recent banking failures, which rarely happen in a vacuum or a short window and then they suddenly cease to fail ( I reserve the right to a poor or bad opinion, on my own volition ).

      Can’t pay the rent, can’t pay the mortgage or afford the groceries? Must be your fault, you MAGA loving red state loser. \sarc

    3. notabanker

      While risking the long standing tenet here of not making shit up, I somehow get the feeling that a 20 yo NYU poli-sci, pre-law student doesn’t speak on behalf of an entire generation.

      1. Fiery Hunt

        No foul . The call stands…there was no making shit up on the play.

        Lots of the kids are alright and don’t buy the bullshit.

      1. IMOR

        Notabanker and hunker together nailed it. Probably has an AOC poster on his wall in the same spot I had my Farrah Fawcett one freshman year.

    4. Adam

      And even those piddly “accomplishments” are enough to send Joe Manchin and Lieberman screaming about how left Biden is.

  2. IM Doc

    About the Moderna co-founder and its upper level executives……..”Let’s pay attention to the science”, etc etc etc.

    I have a very simple question…….How many randomized controlled trials would the $400 million dollar bonus just given to the Moderna CEO have paid for? So we would know what the science says? Maybe a few trials here and there regarding risk stratification and what the actual risk/benefits of these vaccines are in every age and demographic group.

    My guess is he would have had several more hundred million to spare even after funding those types of trials.

    Do these people even listen to themselves? The hypocrisy is just simply overwhelming.

    1. Jason Boxman


      I wondered the same thing when I got a fundraiser in the mail in 2019? from the CEO/director of Brigham & Young or Children’s in Boston. I looked up the guy’s salary. Millions and millions. They could have simply stopped the fundraiser and this dude could have taken a few million dollar pay cut. Truly offensive fundraising campaign, by a hospital system that clearly did not need funds; it had enough to go around. All I could really do is send a nasty tweet suggesting that maybe their director needs a pay cut instead of a fundraiser.

      Just another day in American healthcare.

    2. Raymond Sim

      Lol. Doc, I think we both know he’d have a lot less money right now if he’d have done that.

  3. ChrisFromGA

    Bankz Kant Danz

    (Sung to the tune of “Zanz kant danz” by John Fogerty)



    Bankz can’t dance, but they’ll steal your money
    Watch ‘em or they’ll rob you blind (4x)


    Out on the street the crowd is gathering
    Pushed down by the heat of the markets, they’re wantin’ to dance
    Makin’ his way up the street, a dude with connections to Epstein;
    Little Jamie can work on the crowd, put ‘em in a trance
    For the little broke banks


    You’re watchin’ ‘em dance, not a care in the world
    So Jamie and Bankz get busy, they’re making their move;
    The gubmint tool knows what to do, he’s silent and quick, just like Oliver Twist;
    Before it’s over your pocket is clean
    A silver-tongued chief paid a visit on you


  4. Carolinian

    Joe Lieberman is 81–the octogenarians among us. Also don’t forget Gore/Lieberman to be filed under “plus ca change, plus c’est la meme chose.”

      1. clarky90

        Re; “Al Gore”

        I watched this good video…

        “Making BioChar Soil Enhancer Conditioner Booster. Kick your garden/potting soil into high gear.”


        and received, an unrequested, “Climate Change” warning, from the UN,

        This “climate change” alert is not present in videos about “The Private Jets”, “The cruise ships,” “The wars”, “The war-games”……… “The King’s Coronation”……

        Just BioChar…..?

        1. Amfortas the hippie

          re: biochar.
          Eldest and i finally built the charcoal retort.
          scrap metal, scrap steel pipe, and 2 $20 50 gal steel drums.
          i lack 8 carriage bolts and some jb weld and we’ll fire that thing up and stand waythehell back(lol).
          i’ll video the experiment, and get my Youngest to figger out how to send it to Lambert.
          if it works as i hope, i’ll hafta dig more intently into the possibility of carbon credits, ag subsidies, etc.(no point in wading through all that mess(and essentially announcing my existence) unless there’s money to be made)

          already running the part of the experiment regarding adding crushed up wood charcoal(purchased hickory and oak…label sez no chemicals, fwiw) to the well rotted horse manure in the bottom half of the lick tubs i use for container gardening at the moment.
          tomato roots(the hardest hit by these persistent herbicides) should be down that far by the end of may.

          1. Lambert Strether Post author

            > i’ll video the experiment, and get my Youngest to figger out how to send it to Lambert.

            We have an upper limit on video size for WP that is pretty small. If you could do a series of photos I think that would be better. I would be happy to feature them!

            Biochar in Amazonia….

              1. some guy

                Or maybe also you could send links to any videos on how to make a retort which you feel are so informative as to allow a normal person to actually make one.

        2. some guy

          The algorithm probably “thawt” that someone who cares about biochar will also care about Climate Change, so why not send a warming.

          Someone who cares about flying a private jet or taking a cruise won’t care about Climate Change, so why even bother sending them a warning?

          Just a guess on my part.

          ( Maybe “thawt” could be an ironic spelling of “thought” for use in discussing artificial intelligence. Maybe it will earn a place in the language along with jawbs and groaf.)

  5. Pat

    If the paperwork shown in the feed with one of Sisson’s tweets is real the DNC laid out six figures to him in 2022. My first thought was that this is probably a decision by the same brain trust who spent millions on Facebook in 2016 which was apparently less influential than the the less than purported $100,000 spent by Russia and its hackers.

    I realize I am not the audience that Mr. Sisson is targeting, but I honestly cannot imagine he is doing anything more than preaching to those who already are part of Club Democratic Party. For example the response to the Republicans was easily as offensive as everything he claims they are doing wrong. But like his minion in the background, his tribe will cheer and dance and make gestures of victory. I get that this isn’t one of the Kardashians where you can measure how influential they are by sales increases following the utterly coincidental wearing of some company’s shoes or mention of how much they love this new shampoo in the otherwise pointless post about what they did today. Measuring the change of hearts and minds is harder. Still can’t wait for all the reasons Gen Z didn’t turn out for Joe when strategies like this crash And burn.

  6. SES

    For Heaven’s sake, those of us with respiratory allergies have been told forever that airborne mould spores are a problem. And here in Vancouver, problems with faulty building envelope design caused mould growth and serious health problems from inhaled spores, ultimately leading to the expensive reconstruction of thousands and thousands of homes (Google “Leaky condo crisis”). But now we’re supposed to believe that there’s any uncertainty about whether fungal diseases could spread by airborne means?

    1. Lambert Strether Post author

      > But now we’re supposed to believe that there’s any uncertainty about whether fungal diseases could spread by airborne means?

      Oh, I believe it. All I’m saying is that I couldn’t find anything in the literature for this mode of transmission.

      That said, if I understand how fungus reproduce, it’s via spores. Spores don’t crawl across surfaces, they float in the air. Shared air.

      1. tevhatch

        … air dispersal but also water, food, and direct skin contact. We already carry many potentially hazardous fungus on us at all times, waiting for a suppress immunity, a lowered body temperature, or other favorable turn of affairs to take over. For a while I was close to a researcher for Janssen Pharma, it was good to have a strong stomach when flipping through the research journals in her apartment while waiting. I’d go long on anti-fungal and cancer cures if COVID T-cell impacts are permanent.

        1. JBird4049

          I am mentally, or maybe emotionally, making COVID-19 = HIV and Covid = AIDS. With AIDS, the disease itself didn’t kill you directly. Nothing so nice. It destroyed your immune system, which allowed everything else to do so. All those weird things that only the very ill, extremely old, or with very bad luck would get.

          If each time one gets Covid, your immune system takes a hit, just long until you do not have an immune system? AIDS often took months to years before it damaged your system enough to affect you. I am sure that the more knowledgeable people have some issues with my description (Covid can kill you all on its own, and the HIV virus whacked the T-cells are examples.), but to me the similarities are strong.

          AIDS, my old acquaintance, you snuck in through the back door, didn’t you?

          1. kareninca

            Check this out: https://www.longdom.org/open-access/cytokine-deficiencies-in-patients-with-longcovid-95498.html

            “Up to half of individuals who contract SARS-CoV-2 develop symptoms of long-COVID approximately three months after initial infection. These symptoms are highly variable, and the mechanisms inducing them are yet to be understood. We compared plasma cytokine levels from individuals with long-COVID to healthy individuals and found that those with long-COVID had 100% reductions in circulating levels of Interferon Gamma (IFNγ) and Interleukin-8 (IL-8). Additionally, we found significant reductions in levels of IL-6, IL-2, IL-17, IL-13, and IL-4 in individuals with long-COVID. ”

            Ugggghhhh. Not good.

            Per Rintrah, re this study:
            “Yes, they found a universal zero, when it comes to circulating levels of Interferon Gamma. That’s AIDS. AIDS is just an abbreviation of acquired immunodeficiency syndrome and this is an acquired immunodeficiency syndrome. If you don’t like that, invent some new term for what HIV does. I’m going to call a spade a spade.
            Let me tell you, this is not what you want to be seeing in a person, assuming you don’t hate their guts. It looks like the immune system has basically been destroyed. NK cells and other immune cells would normally be secreting large amounts of Interferon Gamma, but for these unfortunate women, that’s not happening. And that matters, because Interferon Gamma is not just a signaling molecule, it’s a directly antiviral protein. Hence why it’s called Interferon: It interferes with viral replication in almost every step along the way. That sudden massive wave of excess deaths we saw last December? It might just be a demographic of people whose immune systems no longer respond with Interferon Gamma to respiratory viruses.”

            Daniel Brittain Dugger is a gay man who has been on AIDS meds for a long time. He was lucky enough to be put on them quickly and early after being infected; that made all the difference. He argues that we desperately need to treat people who catch covid as soon as they catch it, before the virus creates reservoirs. And that we need viral load tests, and that we have to act before the virus destroys the kidney and liver function needed to handle the meds people will require. I read his tweets on nitter.

            1. JBird4049

              Thanks for the link. It’s both informative and depressing, but it is nice to see my observation confirmed.

          2. some guy

            Different things with different pathways can reach the same or similar endpoints.

            HIV was not very airborne, if airborne at all. So HIV would be easier to control and avoid with all the right behaviors.

            Covid is very very airborne. That is what the Jackpot Design Engineers are counting on.
            The immune-deletion endpoint seems to be similar to HIV’s endpoint, but the mode of infection is different and some of the pathways may be different.

            Covid will be much harder to avoid getting than HIV , especially considering that most of the world’s governments, agencies, power-combines, etc. want to MAKE you get covid ON PURPOSE.

            1. JBird4049

              I remember personally seeing people slowly die from AIDS as well as reading obituary after obituary in the Sunday Chronicle of usually, but hardly always, middle aged men dying “after a brief illness.”

              I’m not gay and I didn’t have that many gay co-workers or acquaintances, but I guess the flashbacks show that it did effect me emotionally. Seeing someone slowly turn cadaverous all while going through the day to day activities of living. It hit my mom worse because of her acquaintances and co-workers dying, then going to their funerals.

              This is something some people just do not get. The emotional costs to all of a truly lethal pandemic. Fearing about suffering and dying. Fearing about the welfare of others if you are ill. Fearing how others will take your death. Fearing about someone dying. Suffering because of their suffering. The dying itself along with the funeral and memorial services, the hole that person leaves in the lives of others.

              And AIDS itself is not a gentle, quick disease, but a long, painful one, sometimes over years, giving everyone in the victim’s circle plenty of time to enjoy the pain. It certainly not like the pneumonia that nearly killed me decades ago. That was a miserable, rather painless thing, which was mostly over in two months (illness and recovery both)

              Fear, suffering, death, and emptiness. The loss of what was and what could have been, and then enduring it all.

              There are many reasons to damn our current “elites,” but the deaths might be the least of it because we all die eventually even if they found a way to cheaply cure aging tomorrow, something will eventually kill you. That’s life. It is the callous infliction of such a random and loathsome way of dying on millions, probably tens of millions (more?) of people, and their survivors with the goal being to merely profit in someway, that angers me.

              I can forgive much for I am a foolish, often self-centered little man. Who am I to throw stones? But somethings, somethings are unforgivable; these people will remain unforgiven to me so long as I live.

      2. Ahinsa

        Candida albicans spores, unlike aspergillus, are not felt to contribute to airborne spread. Not enough known of candida auris

        1. Lambert Strether Post author

          > Not enough known of candida auris

          This story from The Times in 2019:

          Last May, an elderly man was admitted to the Brooklyn branch of Mount Sinai Hospital for abdominal surgery. A blood test revealed that he was infected with a newly discovered germ as deadly as it was mysterious. Doctors swiftly isolated him in the intensive care unit.

          Tests showed it was everywhere in his room, so invasive that the hospital needed special cleaning equipment and had to rip out some of the ceiling and floor tiles to eradicate it.

          “Everything was positive — the walls, the bed, the doors, the curtains, the phones, the sink, the whiteboard, the poles, the pump,” said Dr. Scott Lorin, the hospital’s president. “The mattress, the bed rails, the canister holes, the window shades, the ceiling, everything in the room was positive.”

          I don’t see how the above is possible without at least some airborne transmission. How does it get up on the ceiling via close contact?

          Lots of good detail in that article….

  7. Jason Boxman

    Joe Lieberman, one of the nastiest pieces of work in American politics. (Lieberman gave us the DHS, let us remember.)

    Didn’t he also give us the 50 state strategy for Medicaid expansion, which has likely resulted in thousands of excess deaths per year per recalcitrant state? I can’t find specific evidence anymore, just this: Lieberman appears open to health bill deal

    He said he’s concerned about the cost of a proposed temporary expansion of Medicaid, in which people as young as 55 would be able to buy into the program.

    “I’m open to looking at it,” he said, adding that he remains concerned about the cost of enrolling many new Americans in Medicaid.

    And what a stupid approach it was:

    Wright’s inability to get a subsidized policy on Healthcare.gov is related to how the Affordable Care Act was originally designed. People needing insurance who were above the poverty line were supposed to be funneled via the federal and state insurance exchanges to private policies — with federal subsidies to help make those policies affordable. People who were under the poverty line were to be funneled to a newly-expanded version of Medicaid — the public health insurance program that is jointly funded by states and the federal government. But the Supreme Court made Medicaid expansion essentially optional in 2012, and many Republican-led states declined to expand. Today, there are 12 holdout states that have not expanded Medicaid, and Mississippi is one of them.

    I asked ChatGPT, and it had no idea; It only knew at a high level why the compromise on Medicaid expansion was made, and when pressed claimed some Republicans were in opposition. It wouldn’t name names:

    In summary, while it is difficult to attribute a specific belief to any one individual, concerns about the federal government overstepping its constitutional bounds with respect to the ACA’s Medicaid expansion were primarily raised by Republican lawmakers and conservative advocacy groups.

    I finally managed to win the prize, although it is thick with our some of this, some of that journalism, with repeated statements that both senators were not the only ones in opposition, lol:

    That being said, two Senators who were particularly vocal in their opposition to the original Medicaid expansion proposal were Joe Lieberman, an independent from Connecticut who caucused with the Democrats, and Ben Nelson, a Democrat from Nebraska.

    Lieberman opposed the original Medicaid expansion proposal because he was concerned about the cost to states and the federal government. He ultimately supported the final version of the ACA, which made the Medicaid expansion optional for states, but he continued to express reservations about the law’s impact on the federal deficit.

    So I recall correctly. They must have fed it with too many Politico stories. It tries to be entirely balanced and not opinionated. Lieberman is scum.

    I asked about deaths. It doesn’t really know:

    In summary, while several studies have found that Medicaid expansion is associated with lower mortality rates, estimating the number of excess deaths caused by states’ decisions not to expand their Medicaid programs is a complex and challenging task.

    To be fair, we don’t know either.

    1. Pat

      One thing you have to remember from that time is that most of the impediments to doing the right thing for health insurance reform were not the Republicans. Other than the BS about wanting a bipartisan bill that was also the excuse for weakening it, the problem was keeping the Democrats in line. And even that wasn’t as important as they made it appear as the bill was passed in reconciliation. All they needed was the desired item to be included in the final version was it to have been in the House version. After that they just needed 51 senators to vote for it.

      There were various spoilers, Lieberman being one, but like with Manchin it was all for show.

      Lieberman was far more destructive for civil liberties and instrumental in expansion of the surveillance state, imo. But either way he was a nasty piece of work.

      1. Jason Boxman

        Indeed, I viscerally recall the extent to which Democrats intentionally stopped Medicare for all and the ‘Public Option’ from ever becoming law, and ran out the clock long enough that they lost the MA special election, and therefore had no choice but to “compromise”. OFA had activists getting signatures for Obama’s health care vision back in 2009, and I looked and it said nothing about a public option at all, so I pointedly refused to sign. The activist was confounded at this.

        1. Lambert Strether Post author

          > OFA had activists getting signatures for Obama’s health care vision back in 2009, and I looked and it said nothing about a public option at all

          Yes, Obama wouldn’t even advocate for the fake “public option,” designed to forestall single payer. That’s our Democrats.

    2. Michael Fiorillo

      He was also Obama’s “mentor” in the Senate when Barry entered in 2004. Quite revealing, needless to say.

  8. Tom Stone

    Covid anecdotes, I’ve been trying to get together with part of my extended family since mid December, the grandparents (My age), their daughter and her two young daughters.
    One or all of them have been down with “Some Kind of ‘Flu” or a “Cold that keeps hanging on” non stop for 5 Months.
    This morning I had an appointment with a Neurosurgeon.
    No mask on the receptionist and when I commented on it she replied “WE do not have to wear masks anymore, the Pandemic is over”.
    The “We” was emphasized.
    One of 8 staff I saw was masked and so was the Dr, surgical masks.
    I brought up Corsi Boxes to the Dr and he remarked that he had gone without a cold for the entire 2.5 years he masked, but came down with one a week after he stopped masking.
    Happily, the problems with my spine are pretty straightforward and can be addressed by surgery, which will be scheduled soon.

    1. Jason Boxman

      I hope the surgery goes well; You’re not concerned about the procedure with regards to COVID? Is it in-patient or out-patient. Out here (Raleigh), it’s only available as an in-patient deal.

  9. Raymond Sim

    I have limited internet resources at the moment, and my brief effort at tracking down links for this assertion was unsuccessful, however, I believe it was just last week that I saw a journal article, (or possibly letter to the editors) whose authors found replication-competent monkeypox on surfaces in the rooms of patients. Assuming normal precautions were being observed, deposition out of aerosols would be the presumed source. I don’t think that’s the first observation of this kind either.

    Again I apologize, I don’t have links to hand, but unless my recollection is terribly skewed, HEPA air filtration reduces fungal infections in hospitals, whereas surface cleaning does not. And I’m inclined to think that tells us everything we need to know. With some effort Jonathan Mesiano-Crookston’s Twitter would probably yield references for this.

    1. Lambert Strether Post author

      > replication-competent monkeypox on surfaces in the rooms of patients

      Here ya go:

      Air and surface sampling for monkeypox virus in a UK hospital: an observational study The Lancet

      Findings: We identified widespread surface contamination (56 [93%] of 60 samples were positive) in occupied patient rooms (monkeypox DNA cycle threshold [Ct] values 24·7-37·4), on health-care worker PPE after use (Ct 26·1-35·6), and in PPE doffing areas (Ct 26·3-36·8). Of 20 air samples taken, five (25%) were positive. Three (75%) of four air samples collected before and during a bedding change in one patient’s room were positive (Ct 32·7-36·2). Replication-competent virus was identified in two (50%) of four samples selected for viral isolation, including from air samples collected during bedding change.

      Interpretation: These data show contamination in isolation facilities and potential for suspension of monkeypox virus into the air during specific activities. PPE contamination was observed after clinical contact and changing of bedding. Contamination of hard surfaces in doffing areas supports the importance of cleaning protocols, PPE use, and doffing procedures.

      It is true that we can’t equate airborne transmission with respiratory transmission (breathing, talking, shouting, singing). OTOH, I do tend to mistrust Hospital Infection Control’s relentless and paradigmatic focus on activities (changing bedding), surfaces/object, and spaces. That tends to rule out airborne transmission a priori. More from the same study:

      The detection of monkeypox virus DNA with relatively low Ct values (≤30 Ct) in hard-surface samples from the doffing environment reinforces the importance of surface cleaning protocols, the use of appropriate PPE, and robust doffing procedures to maintain the safety of staff and avoid potential onward transmission. Although our findings are specific to sampling in a specialist health-care environment and sampling within occupied rooms was restricted to a small number of patients (seven total), the environmental contamination findings could be relevant to public health measures for other spaces and settings where individuals with monkeypox spend prolonged periods, such as residential bedrooms and bathrooms. Further investigation is required into the contamination of areas occupied for shorter periods of time, such as outpatient clinics, and health-care spaces that do not have mechanical negative pressure ventilation.

      For airborne transmission, I’m thinking the negative pressure ventilation would be a confounder.

  10. Ghost in the Machine

    Took my son to a dermatology appointment the other day. We were wearing masks and other patients and staff were sporadically wearing masks. The dermatologist was not wearing a mask at first, but put one on when he saw we were wearing one. He did not make a deal about it. It seemed he was being courteous about patient preferences. While the mask wearing has fallen off more than I like, I haven’t gotten the gruff many have been complaining about.

    1. albrt

      This is also consistent with my experience – although me being a 6’3″ white male might have something to do with people not wanting to start an argument.

  11. Jason Boxman

    This is one of those Gen Z influencers everybody’s so excited about:

    Reminds me exactly of the Obama Bots from 2012; When he was, as everyone recalls, the best president, ever, with more epic accomplishments than any president in the history of America. So, the same strategy, recycled. And these “young Democrats” really do believe this, the ones I met back in 2010-2012, hook line and sinker. Incapable of critical thinking. Hardcore mini-Democrats.

    If much of the next generation of Liberal Democrats are made of of this, we’re definitely all ash.

    1. chris


      Sharing this Tweet not because it’s another example of elder abuse, but because the “context” added by users is the opposite of reassuring. Even though they clearly think it is. “In the full video the President acknowledges the football and helmet and held each of them…” and yet he walks away like that? Why not carry them away with him? He looks bizarrely frail and uncertain in that video. I’m sure the Biden drones who spammed the post to add that context can’t see that…

      Exactly like the people who think parroting the line about low unemployment and record jib creation is something to pin on Biden’s accomplishment board. A million people dead, millions more disabled, a lack of positive inflow immigration, and more people deciding or being forced to retire early… and people think we have a low unemployment rate for good reasons based on Biden’s policy? The Biden administration decides “let’er rip” is the law of the land, removes liabilities for employees to return to unsafe workplaces, and people marvel that unkinking a hose produces water. Amazing! How does Biden do it…

      And then there’s the IRA. Praising the less than half of BBB that he could barely get through his own party with the bill being gang raped under Manchin’s watch? Really? You’re going to run on that? I wish it could do something more to reduce inflation. Instead it’s liable to give Team Blue another reason to say the path forward should always be incremental change because clearly, transformative bills aren’t appreciated and don’t work…

      I can’t believe anyone is sincerely hyped about Biden now. I can’t believe anyone is excited about another 4 years of grandpa looking for his slippers in the oval office. I also can’t understand how the GOP continues to produce such odious national figures that people will consider Biden a viable candidate for office.

      1. JBird4049

        >>>I also can’t understand how the GOP continues to produce such odious national figures that people will consider Biden a viable candidate for office.

        It is the dance of the Uniparty. GOP produces their odious people because, not in spite of Brandon; Brandon can be the Oval Office Mushroom because he is not one of the Republicans’ Odious Ones. As long as someone like a Donald J. Trump or a Bernie Sanders is not in the presidency all is well.

    2. Lambert Strether Post author

      > Reminds me exactly of the Obama Bots from 2012

      2008, rather. Everybody has forgotten that scam, so it’s time to run it again. The 19-year-old Obots of that era are now [breaks out calculator] 33, so one wonders what and how they are doing…

    3. some guy

      Part of this is achieved by careful memory-erasure of all things New Deal from parts of the Educational System. How many parts? I don’t know.

      But here’s an anecdote. Semi-recently I was in a local coffee-place/restaurant and was talking some with the young server. I don’t know if she was in college but she seemed college-articulate level which may correlate with intelligence . . . at this point I don’t know. But in conversation I discovered that she had never heard the words ” the New Deal”. Not in school. Not anywhere. This sounds like careful information-deprivation to me. If today’s young people don’t know anything about the size and scope of New Deal accomplishments way back when, how are they in a position to know that present day accomplishments are not all that big? They have been carefully deprived of any meaningful example to compare them to.

  12. Onward to Dystopia

    Even in the Bush years I didn’t feel I was swimming in psyops as much as I do now. It’s really bad; 100% of control media, 100% control of social media, 100% control of search engines. And really lame obvious stuff like NAFO or “Gen Z” rides for Biden! They want to rub your face in it, they know that we know that they know, etc. Hardly a dissenting voice anywhere, and when there is one, there’s plenty of foaming-at-the-mouth attacks on those few voices MOSTLY from people I once respected. I saw the best minds of my generation, broken by Trump.

    I masochistically looked at MSNBC’s youtube channel today, and sure enough; 4 of the most recent 8 videos posted there were about Trump! These people, the very last thought that goes through their mind on their deathbed with their family gathered ’round, as they blink out of existence will probably be about Trump. SAD!

    Aside from the fact that Biden finishes a speech, shakes hands with The Man Who Wasn’t There and randomly wanders off looking lost and vaguely frightened — that’s really the least worrying thing about him in my mind. But obviously, there should be no primary, no debates! /sarc

    1. Fiery Hunt

      Yep, these are the people in charge and yep, we’re doomed.
      Have been for as long as I can remember.
      But remember the GenX motto….


      It really does help with the worst realizations. :)

    2. Lambert Strether Post author

      > Even in the Bush years I didn’t feel I was swimming in psyops as much as I do now.

      The press, the spooks, and the Democrat Party had not then merged. Now they have (at least at the Beltway level).

      1. some guy

        The Beltway level is the National Democrat Party.

        If signs of functional/operational/results legitimacy persist at the level of one or another State Democratic Party, that might still be worked with in its own terms on its own level.

        I remember some years ago attending a Bean Dinner-Fundraiser for my local division of the Democratic Party. Any further donations about the price of the beans were welcome. I asked if there was a strictly-State-level DemParty target I could give money to so that none of the money would reach Pelosi in California. The person I asked that of seemed very understanding of my concerns and showed me the State of Michigan-specific Party and address, so I donated something to that.

  13. JustAnotherVolunteer

    From the John’s Hopkins Covid date crew in todays NYT:

    “ The four of us spent the last three years immersed in collecting and reporting data on Covid-19 from every corner of the world, building one of the most trusted sources of information on cases and deaths available anywhere. But we stopped in March, not because the pandemic is over (it isn’t), but because much of the vital public health information we need is no longer available.

    This is a dangerous turn for public health. The data on cases and deaths is critical for tracking and fighting the coronavirus, which has killed more than 1.1 million people in the United States and nearly 6.9 million worldwide. For the week of April 13 to April 19, 1,160 people were reported to have died from the virus in the United States. This is, in all likelihood, an underestimate.”


    I’ve watched the data in my own region slowly atrophy into something useless so this is all of a piece.

    1. some guy

      The inside dominators of public health have deliberately turned it into antipublic antihealth. They stopped collecting data to deliberately on purpose create more shadows of invisibility for covid to spread around in.

      Jackpot design engineering. On purpose.

  14. semper loquitur

    re: Geophiliactic Affirminancy

    The Girdley Tweet about the magical oceanic moat around the US seems to be blind to a few harsh realities:

    1. ICBM’s
    2. Submarine launched nukes.
    3. Internal conflicts and degradation of infrastructure as well as industry in the US.

    It’s nice that per capita GDP has been going up for ever and ever but how is that wealth distributed? This guy must be a StarWars nut, thinking he lives on the DeathStar…

    1. Watt4Bob

      The most important “harsh reality” he misses is our leadership.

      No invasion necessary.

    2. The Rev Kev

      I was looking through those Girdley tweets and a lot of what he says rings true though with heavy reservations. The US is lucky to have polite neighbours on their northern borders, tranquil Mexicans to the south and fish to the east and the west. Nonetheless these advantages have been squandered by the elite. The country has been heavily de-industrialized, the population impoverished – except for a minority – to the point that average life spans are dropping, large tracts have been polluted for profit and the water table contaminated with cancerous chemicals, the infrastructure is falling apart through age and is not being replaced, etc. The point being, yes America has a lot of geographical advantages but not when they are being thrown away or profiteering.

    3. LifelongLib

      OK, but it’s not like Europe where you have a bunch of countries that are more or less equally powerful and more or less nearby, and which mostly have some geographic or strategic situation that has determined their foreign policies for decades or centuries. Compared to that it’s easy for us in the U.S. to feel quite invulnerable.

      1. Fiery Hunt

        Dear gods…. noooooo….

        but then again, of course, these two are snakes on a plane.. you can’t run away, you can’t escape from their cacklessss and ssschemes.

        We really are doomed.

        Whatever. :)

    1. Jason Boxman

      Time and again,
      has been a global leader on human rights, strengthening the middle class, and building an economy that works for everyone.

      Someone must be high as f**k. I’m sure the Libyans can comment on human rights and an economy that works, as can those unfortunate enough to be trafficked through that failed state on the way into southern Europe, those that survive the trip anyway. These people are incapable of self reflection. It must be a psychological disease.

      1. ambrit

        Obama would never allow it.
        My take is that this is the beginning of a political program aimed at fostering the legal fusion of America and Canada. After all, Canada has managed to carry out some of the Neo-liberal ‘bucket (shop) list’ items that the mass of “deplorables” in America have thwarted so far.
        As it now says in the Pledge:
        “I pledge allegiance to the Logo, of the United Markets of North America, and to the consumers, who understand, one Nation, under Contract, indivisible, with Liberty and Justice for the deserving.”
        From earlier, more quaint days: https://www.ushistory.org/documents/pledge.htm
        Do read down, [it is short,] to the part about the original Flag salute. Very interesting and a bit absurdly comical.
        Stay safe Consumers!

        1. some guy

          Obama will allow whatever the people he still hopes to get hundreds of millions of private after-office reward-dollars from . . . . tell him to allow.

      1. Pat

        Do you think there should be a subheading?

        Small discount given for high body counts and human suffering, we enjoy that so much.

  15. nippersdad

    With the caveat that charts and I have never been friends, how come the Atkins political compass charts bear absolutely zero resemblance to the ones for the last few elections? One might think, based upon that chart, that Jill Stein would have romped to victory instead of getting one percent of the vote.




    How strange is it that a DNC operative from California failed to notice that the vast majority of the blue dots that represent the Clinton vote are in a diametrically opposed quadrant? Seems like that might be something that would be important when choosing a candidate in smoke filled back rooms. That is not a matter of waiting for a few years and seeing what happens, that is just political malpractice.

    1. JBird4049

      He probably did, but a goal of his tweets is to demonize those outside of the cult and that particular chart is a means of doing so.

  16. jax

    AMC Theaters –
    More than two years ago Japanese movie theaters had digital signs outside each theater room reading the CO2 level inside. Yeah, MERV 3 filters and rapid air circulation sound good, but Aranets worth the money are $250 and up. Not for us poors.

    When American movie theaters buy a clue from Japan I’ll return.

    1. curlydan

      I give AMC points at least for putting in the MERV 13s and cranking in outside air. But CO2 monitors would get me there in a heartbeat (with a mask on still).

      Who I will not give points to is the CDC and any other numbskull orgs who use the term “reflective of general spread in the community”. Is that not the most meaningless phrase ever? My kids’ school district loves to trot that “don’t blame me” B.S. out, too.

  17. lambert strether

    I added some orts and scraps, particularly on generational politics.

    1. flora

      I am going to take a wide wide swing away from your simple statement onto a different track about “generational politics.” Hope I won’t bore the readers too much. Here goes.

      Speaking of “generational” is also speaking about current political outlooks vs earlier political outlooks. (The past is a foreign country, as the saying goes.)

      My largest complaint and charge against the current neoliberal “there is no society” collective is that it has robbed children of the idea of ‘heroism’ in the classical sense. Heroism for both boys and girls in their future lives. It has robbed children of the idea that they are important to the whole, that they can make a difference to the well being of the whole, that they are important in and of themselves as members of the whole of societey. …but but…there is no society. There is no “whole” , there is no ‘society’, there is only “the Market.” That idea or philosophy or whatever you call it has robbed children of something vitally important for orienting themselves toward adulthood, imo.

  18. Angie Neer

    Here’s a take on masking that I had not thought of before: I overheard a comment by a coworker who travels extensively, and is “totally over Covid.” He was seated on an airplane next to a person wearing a mask. The fact that he even considers that notable is alarming, but is not what surprised me. It made him nervous because he figured the only reason someone would be masking on an airplane these days would be if the masker himself is infected! So the mask really is a scarlet letter!

    1. Jason Boxman

      Well, to be fair, in my ignorant days before COVID, I always thought it was weird that Asians in Boston occasionally wore surgical masks, and thought maybe they’re afraid of getting infected from something. I failed to appreciate airborne pathogens for what they are. I grew up in the magic age when we’d conquered disease. But unlike our elite, I’m capable of at least some self reflection.

    2. Fiery Hunt

      Taking my first flight in nearly 5 years in June and I’m soooo not looking forward to it.
      (The airport/ flying part).
      Looking forward to the Mississippi part!

      1. ambrit

        “Looking forward to the Mississippi part!”
        That depends on the part of Mississippi involved.
        Do consider a full face mask. If anyone complains just reply: “If it is good enough for Lord Vader, it’s good enough for me.”

    1. notabanker

      With all due respect to Lee’s reporting on the corruption here, that thought that the legislation proposed would have prevented this crisis is flawed. The Fed has plenty of power to institute increased stress testing requirements for banks, and has been doing so in regionals since at least mid 2021. Adding resolution planning to the mix would be great for the consultants hired to write it, but they would still have been scrambling over the weekends for SVB and FR. If a GSIB failed, does anyone actually believe the regulators are just going to have them whip out their Resolution Plan and wind it down nice and orderly?

  19. semper loquitur

    re: The Atkin’s Mushroom’s Diet

    “Let liberals and the left sort with each other.”

    Why? Why shouldn’t leftists view liberals as they view the Right? What’s the record look like? Why mingle with the other enemy? Atkins assumes some fraternity between the two spheres that exists no where but in the minds of liberal progressive dill-wads.

    1. chris

      I’ve always had a problem with those kinds of distinctions too. Like, the concept of being “socially liberal and economically conservative.” In other words, “I feel so bad that you’re poor but I don’t want to pay more taxes to help you.” (Laughs in Rosé)

      Liberals never think they’re the problem. And given the chance they always kick the left until the activists bleed. It’s just more galling to bear now because the people doing the kicking are mediocre excuses for humans and the people they’re abusing are genuinely hurting.

  20. LawnDart

    Almost forgot– with more frequency than fresh covid-stats, it’s once again time for the (almost) daily-derailment:

    Union Pacific freight train car derails in Granada Hills area

    A Union Pacific rail car derailed in the Granada Hills area Monday morning.

    A freight car derailed on the 14300 block of North San Fernando Road at about 8 a.m. No spill was reported from the car that was carrying unspecified cargo.


  21. Watt4Bob

    That gradual sorting of the electorate that David Atkins hopes for will probably come into focus within the next two or three Friedman units.

    1. chris

      Do you think he’s referring to fascists when he says “fash”? I hate that he’s trying to make fash happen. Just speak clearly. Liberal and lib at least make sense. Fascist and fash…? And by fash, I’m sure he doesn’t mean all the CIA democrats who ardently hope to repeal freedom of speech and protections against unreasonable search and seizure. Not to mention any concepts of privacy… somehow I just know that corporate entities colluding with the state to remove rights from citizens is not what these people mean by fascism.

      1. Fiery Hunt

        I think that’s really what offends me so much…The arrogant ignorance (and I’m being generous with the assessment) these brave new “activists” have with regard to whom they’re empowering.
        They have no idea what weapons they’ve gleefully given to real fascists.

        If they know exactly what they’ve aligned with (ie. are not ignorant) and they’re just doing it for the money…..Well, then Taibbi’s comment says it all for me:

        “I have enough hate in my heart to start a car.”

      2. some guy

        When he says “fash”, he means Cultural Fascism . . . . Klans and Nazis and MAGA red hats and stuff. He does not mean Business Fascism ( Free Trade and etc.) because he supports Business Fascism.

        If he injects his respelling into the language, we could start speaking of “Culturefash” and Bizfash” and hit his own Bizfash turd into his court and let him deal with that.

  22. Revenant

    Wells next the Sea is on ultra-chi-chi North Norfolk coast. Think the Hamptons and equally indefensible in all sense.

    The whole place is only about three feet above sea level for fifty miles inland. You cannot get more ventilated, the wind blows straight from the Urals with not a hill in between, and every other shop is a spacious art gallery.

    It’s a nice place to visit but not exactly representative of the common man. This is the stomping ground of the royal family (Sandringham, Angmering Hall) and their hangers-on. The local nobles include the Coke (“Cook”) family, who pioneered the agricultural revolution of eviction, enclosure and new breeds of vegetable and animal in place of people. Original Accumulation….

  23. Objective Ace

    First Republic Bank was seized by regulators and sold to JPMorgan Chase, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation

    Can you really say it was “sold” when the outcome was the FDIC paying JPMorgan to take it via profit guarantees and, loans at below market rates, and the suspension of various banking rules? Let’s not pretend JPMorgan is doing us a favor, even if they did accept lessor compensation then other banks were willing

  24. flora

    re: Plantidote.

    Lovely lovely photo. The soft tenderness of the early spring leaves and blossoms is palpable. Thanks.

    Happy May Day.

    I wonder if any children still take May baskets to neighbors’ doors. Has that gone out of custom? I hope not. (Even as a child I thought the old Soviet was doomed when saw on the evening TV news that they celebrated May Day with military parades instead of children leaving small, homemade, May baskets filled with small candies or garden flowers on neighbors’ doorsteps.)

    1. petal

      Following Manx tradition, I left some yellow flowers(daffs) on the threshold of the house overnight. It’s supposed to protect from bad spirits/bad luck. Another option was burning some gorse(I don’t have any of that) or making a cross out of a couple of twigs and some wool that has never touched metal and hanging it above the door. I didn’t have any wool, either, so yellow flowers it was.

  25. some guy

    David Atkins was the little creature which Digby brought onto her Hullabaloo blog when she decided to transition to no comments allowed. He oversaw various forms of “ghosting”, “throttling” and other suppression of comments and commenters which were not sufficiently pro-Obama. I was one of the many “ghost banned” under the ancient name of R U Reddy. ( Which is still unbanned over at Riverdaughter’s The Confluence should I ever have the strange urge to go back there and comment after all these years).

    Yes, I remember David Atkins . . . ” There is No Spoon”. Little spoonie-poo.

    But I’m not bittttterrrrr . . . . .

      1. some guy

        Well thank you! And thank you for the kind words. I do try to behave myself most of the time, mostly.

        I found my way to The Confluence just after its reader-base had divided into two blogs and bases . . . some supporting Riverdaughter and others supporting My Eye Cue Too Ex Yew. I think I remember it was ” Mr. Yew” who alerted readers to Spoonie-Poo’s nastiness over on his Lobster Burrow blog. ( He himself and his fanbase then went crazy in their own way, and I notice that he has been utterly absent from that blog for a year and a half at least. Someone named “Denise” has been keeping the blog technically alive with posts of beautiful flowers and landscapes and gardens and such. The fanbase is still together and still crazy in their own way).

    1. flora


      ” This chart explains *so much* about modern American politics. What it says, simply, is that almost all the actual persuadable voters in the electorate aren’t “moderates.”

      ” They’re cross-pressured extremists and…kinda fashy. They’re socially bigoted and economically leftist.”


      Oh… Uh…. Where, of course, ‘fashy’ is the current shorthand for ‘fash’ er ‘ist’, etc.

      Adkins to me sounds like the cry and fury of a full on Davos company man. Projection? / ;)

      1. JBird4049

        That chart is very convenient isn’t? Most of the ostensibly “fashy” people have been hurt the most by the same economic conditions that have hurt the Clintonians the least, which is why people did or did not support Herself.

        1. flora

          Yep. And this twt:

          “There is no magic bullet to fixing the Fash problem. It will be with us for a while.

          “All you can do is understand it–and then reform the anti-majoritarian structures of American democracy that empower it. /end”

          What are the anti-majoritarian structures of American democracy?
          The Bill of Rights – the first 10 Amendments to the Constitution.

          Sounds like he wants to eliminate the first 10 Amendments to the Constitution. What a guy….

          1. some guy

            I suspect more that he wants to abolish the Electoral College and make the whole country into one Unitary Election District so that the Clinton Archipelago can win every Presidential Election going forward. That was a big obsession of his at the time.


            But if anyone can find things he has written against the Bill of Rights in whole or in part, this would be a good place to bring it and links to it.

      2. some guy

        Spoonie-poo is to Davos as suckfish is to shark. I would be surprised if he ever even made WEF’s list of Joonyur Leederz to keep an eye on.

        He was very much an Obamazoid when the Obamazoids and Clintanons were divided. I think he tried being nice to Clintanons for the greater good of the DemParty.

        The closest he will ever be to Davos Man is Davos Man wannabe.

      1. some guy

        His blog-name as a commenter was There Is No Spoon. I believe the phrase ” There Is No Spoon” was some kind of deep words of wisdom from Morpheus to Neo somewhere in that movie The Matrix.
        So he adopted it to show off how hip and cool and groovy he was, in tune with the Rising Young Zeitgeist and stuff like that there. (He also owned a little political consulting company called Gemini or Castor and Pollux or some such thing. Time is too short and energy too low to try finding it now.)

        I found a semi-relevant scene-bit from the Matrix on You Tube but since I have no sound and no earphones here at the public library computer, I don’t know if the phrase ” there is no spoon” is uttered in this segment. I also don’t see Morpheus either. But Neo is in it.

  26. flora

    re: “Former Sen. Joe Lieberman, the Connecticut Democrat-turned-Independent long known for his centrist views,”

    Joe Lieberman, aka smoochy smoochy to W, is the leader of No Labels? I knew there was a reason that outfit raised the “somethings not right here” for me. / heh

    adding: just what the heck does “centrist” mean anyway? GOP in all but name?

    1. Daryl

      Lieberman was the first “rotating villain” I can recall, though surely there were many before that. So many good things could’ve been done by golly if not for that Joe Lieberman fella (and the party that installed him).

    2. some guy

      Centrist means Wall Street/ Free Trade against parts of a public which are getting more suspicious of Wall Street/ Free Trade.

      Lieberman’s “complaint” about Biden not being ” the unifier” may be based on personal spite and bitterness about not being President his own self. He is smart enough to know that “America” is not in a unifying mood.

      Third Way is aware of rising discontent preparing the ground for a New Party emerging. It plans to fill that opening space with trash before some other movement can fill it with treasure. As long as it achieves that, it won’t mind ” not winning” bu all that much. Surely the Third Wayvians are smart enough to know that they will not get a single Pink Pussy Hat Clintonite vote. And if Obama criticizes Third Way, then they won’t get a single Obamazombie vote either. And if Clyburn criticises Third Way, then they won’t get a single Old Black vote either.

      But if they can prevent a viable New Party from emerging for just ” one cycle more”, they will have done the job they set out to do for now.

  27. wilroncanada

    Gordon Lightfoot died today. He was 84, and had been in ill health for some time. Remember: The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald, The Canadian Railroad Trilogy, Black Day in July, and dozens of other songs.

    1. Wukchumni

      My favorite troubadour and was fortunate to see him in concert maybe 5 or 6 times, one time @ the Greek Theater in LA in the early 1980’s was most memorable.

      He could put a story to song like no other, rest in peace Gordon.

      Gordon Lightfoot Live in Concert @ the BBC (1972)

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PEVQiUMbvHU&t=1737s (one hour and four minutes)

    2. Arizona Slim

      The actual wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald happened on November 10, 1975, my 18th birthday.

      I was a freshman at the University of Michigan, and the gales of November came roaring through Ann Arbor that day. It had been a pleasant, warm autumn, but on that day, the weather took an ominous turn.

      I don’t recall hearing about the ship sinking until several days afterward.

      1. flora

        My local news weatherman tonight noted Gordon Lightfoot’s passing and also said the upper Lake Superior is tonight having huge weather, huge 20- 25 foot waves.

    3. ChrisFromGA

      I liked “Sundown.”

      “I can see her lying back in her satin dress, in a room where you do what you don’t confess”

      RIP Gordon.

  28. JBird4049

    “How thinking hard makes the brain tired”

    Nice to know, but I would really like to know the process of getting better at thinking.

    I have noticed that being in good health, exercising, and using my thinking expands and extends my ability to think hard. It is not just about age although being young does helps, but it is still use it or lose it. And the older this student gets, the more I miss my younger brain, but the more I understand that a large part of what makes a student good is not their youth, but their practice of studying. What are the mechanisms for this? Rewiring or the stockpiling of the right chemicals? Both? More?

    1. ambrit

      Gadzooks. I wonder what actually produced the first BOOM, a Kinzhal? Then the fun kept on.
      I did notice that it was raining at the camera site. Who is going to do an offensive there in the mud?
      Stay safe.

      1. skippy

        The secondary explosion suggests a large quantity of volatile chemicals detonating all at once. So if the tweet is true in this was a UKR ADM stock pile, it all went up at once. That brings lots of questions about how it was stored and what it was hit with. One would think it would be in bunkers spread out a bit above ground to negate such an event, albeit underground repurposed is very likely. In the latter a Kinzhal would smash everything up in a blink of an eye and create conditions which would allow it to all go up at the same time. Warheads and propellant going whoosh …. not to mention the big flaming chunks raining down – propellant methinks.

        That was a lot of stuff that just went off – huge amount and just before the planned counter offensive.

  29. some guy

    . . . ” I don’t agree with the Texas judge’s decision, but surely the question of “mifepristone” is primarily political? Unless one equates “science” with “decisions made by the regulatory state,” which I don’t think is a very good idea.” . . .

    There was a time when the decisions of the various regulatory agencies were more science based than now, I believe. They had boards of scientists reviewing evidence as best as they could and offering their best advice which the regulators-in-power could then take or not, and I believe took more often than they do now.

    If mifepristone’s approval some 20 years ago or so was made in these more science-based better days, and was based on lots of data from non-corrupt studies, then its approval might indeed be science-based.
    I don’t have the time and energy to do the thousands of hours of forensic research needed to establish whether and when the regulators were more science-based than they are now . . . or not. I only have my intuitive memory on that score.

    So if my memory serves me well here, then the FDA’s mifepristone-okay decision would have been science based for its time, and the judge’s decision would be anti-science as well as purely culture-war political. Have the scientists been stripped, expelled, and or muzzled from and by the regulatory agencies to the point where their decisions are made without scientific input or even against it? That is certainly so for WHO and CDC, but is it true for them all? Or is “regulatory state” being used as a synonym for “administrative state” as used by Steve Bannon and meaning the same thing?

    ( I remember a very sentinel event for the corruptionization of regulatory agencies was the Reagan-Rumsfeld conspiracy to get FDA approval for aspartame when it looked very clear that FDA was going to disapprove it. And more sentinel events followed. Approval for Posilac. Approvals for various GMO organism and product releases. etc. etc. But that just re-inforces my memory that there was a less corruption-based and more science-based past at these agencies).

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