2:00PM Water Cooler 6/9/2023

By Lambert Strether of Corrente.

I hope my [pastes]f[pastes]fing mis[pastes]firing “[pastes]f” key doesn’t a[pastes]f[pastes]f my style in any way; I’d hate to [pastes]find mysel[pastes]f writing around it.

Let me also reinforce a Thomas Ferguson’s point by quoting it: “If there were a sort of VIX index for instability in politics that you could easily calculate, I’d say this thing is much dicier than people think.” The upcoming elections are going to drive pandemic policy, both Covid and whatever is to come. –lambert

Bird Song of the Day

Namaqua Dove, NEAR ISIOLO; 12.8KM ON WAJOR ROAD, Eastern, Kenya. “SONG – SUCCESSION OF SOFT SINGLE COOS. BUSHES IN SAVANNAH, DRY TYPE. MACHINE NOISE.” Kenya, 1955. This is an amazing historical document; most of it is not a cooing dove, but speech from a Brit who sounds like he’s wearing a pith helmet complaining about his malfunctioning microphone; this example of the birding genre deserves the complete parodic treatment. I am reminded of this, by Alan Bennett:

* * *


“So many of the social reactions that strike us as psychological are in fact a rational management of symbolic capital.” –Pierre Bourdieu, Classification Struggles


I guess it’s time for the Countdown Clock!

* * *

“Trying Trump: Scandal May Be His Element — But This Time May Be Different” [Jonathan Turley, The Messenger]. “Destroying Trump in a scandal is like trying to drown a manatee: Both are in their element. The fact is that many people will see this indictment as confirmation of their worst expectations of either Trump or the Justice Department. It will be difficult to get through a trial before the 2024 presidential election. Even if the Justice Department pushed for a trial, judges likely would balk at the notion of trying this case months before the election. Either way, Trump — if he won reelection to the White House — could give himself a pardon before or after any conviction…. Regarding Mar-a-Lago, the reported inclusion of a charge under the Espionage Act is a bit surprising, given the novel legal issues surrounding the handling of such documents. However, the inclusion of false-statement and obstruction charges is what many of us have predicted all along. These are the favorite charges of federal prosecutors; they are easier to prove and can be presented as stand-alone offenses… Indeed, the ultimate jury in this case could prove to be the American people. The 2024 election could become a referendum on this case. I have long maintained that presidents can pardon themselves, and Trump could well use his mugshot as a campaign poster…. The Justice Department has done tremendous damage to itself — and, potentially, to this case — due to its prior history with Trump. FBI and Justice officials have shown open bias against him and have treated him differently than figures like former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. That record was further exposed recently by another special counsel, John Durham, who found that the Justice Department lacked a basis to launch the Russia-collusion investigation. Polls show that the majority of Americans harbor serious doubts about the independence and integrity of the FBI. Many voters are skeptical over yet another criminal allegation just before a presidential election…. He will surrender on Tuesday — but that will be only the start of an existential fight for Trump.” • On the Espionage Act, so recently abhorred by liberals:


I would reconceptualize Tracey’s point at a higher level. Recall the great PMC chain of being; predatory precarity, as Waldman describes it. Those above accumulating social capital from those below; and they in turn being preyed upon by those above them. Clearly, in the official Washington and the Acela Corridor generally, both the ability to classify information, and the ability to declassify it, whether de facto or de jure, are both forms of social capital available to the PMC* (“I would say that our Mr. Swain has recently come into possession of a very high-grade source of intelligence and is busy converting it into power.” –William Gibson, Mona Lisa Overdrive.) Trump’s brutal handling of these precious secrets is both a cultural affront to the PMC, and a threat to their class power. In fact, if Trump does not have “a high degree of discretion” over classified material, unelected PMC classifiers would be running the exective branch, and not the whichever elected official holds the Presidency under Article II. This class power is something I think the PMC would very much like to exercise, and it should come as no surprise that they are collectively and independently “working toward” it. (This would be one way of looking at the change in the Constitutional order initiated in 2016.) In this way, Trump’s indictment over classified material becomes a “classification struggle,” exactly at Bourdieu described it, a result that I think would please him very much. NOTE * A status hierarchy based on “access” to classified material might be a dividing line between what we might label as the “national” PMC, and other PMC **subclasses, an interesting result. NOTE ** I believe in multiple inheritance.

“Trump Associate Indicted in Mar-a-Lago Documents Case” [Wall Street Journal]. Really a wrap-up: “Donald Trump shook up his legal team Friday, one day after he and an associate were indicted in Miami over the handling of classified documents at Mar-a-Lago, as prosecutors considered unsealing the charges against the former president and law enforcement braced for the potential for unrest. Trump’s valet, Walt Nauta—who went to work at the Florida resort after working in the Trump White House—also faces charges alongside Trump, according to a social media post from Trump and a person familiar with the matter. The federal case against Trump and Nauta has been initially assigned to U.S. District Judge Aileen Cannon, who was appointed to the bench by Trump in 2020 and last year approved a request from the Trump team to appoint an outside arbiter—known as a special master—to review documents the FBI seized from Mar-a-Lago in an August search. A three-judge appeals court panel later overturned her ruling and disbanded that review process, saying it represented a radical departure from past criminal cases.” • Trump’s “associate” is his valet? That seems a little low.

The case for the prosecution:

Of course, if I got the “classification struggle” argument above correct, what is in the documents isn’t material; it’s not relevant, for example, in answering the question of whether we wish to have a small-r republican government or not. Nor is it relevant to the question of whether over-classification is rife (here; here; here), and that the whole system should be regarded is irredeemable and torn down (PMC social capital: Poof!). However, the particularities — if one believes the indictment, which one might not (“They would, wouldn’t they?” — don’t look so good for Trump. I will be interested to hear his defense, and it would speak well of the PMC if (say) the ACLU would find him a good one.

“Trump indictment cheat sheet: What to know about the classified documents case” [Politico]. Useul if you haven’t been following the story. One nugget: “Federal court rules don’t allow photography or video broadcasting of criminal cases. It’s possible audio of some hearings might be available via phone, but the legal authority to allow that sort of remote public access is unclear now that the coronavirus public health emergency has ended.”

* * *

“Biden dismisses ‘malarkey’ FBI tip claiming he played a role in Burisma bribe scheme: ‘Where’s the money?'” [New York Post]. • Probably distributed through a large number of shell companies and ending up in the pockets of Biden clan members, if the bank records obtained by the House Oversight Committee for other Biden inluence-peddling schemes are any indication. My understanding is that most criminals are very consistent in their methods.

That FBI FD-1023 term — one of those technical-sounding earworms — just in case you hear it because it’s floated out of right-wing circles:

Money moving “through several accounts” is Biden’s “modus operandi,” so it’s not surprising he or they would move $5 million that way. However, the FD-1023 form is for unverified information (IIRC, from confidential informants). That is, it’s a lot like the Steele Report. The Republican Twitter brigade should really do better before they start frothing and stamping about this.

“Construction workers union endorses Biden” [Axios]. “The Laborers’ International Union of North America, with half a million construction workers, has endorsed President Biden for re-election. It’s a sign that Biden is picking up some labor support as his campaign, in the early stages of the race, tries to make the case that the Biden administration has created a ‘manufacturing boom’ in the U.S. The construction workers union, with a diverse membership including Latino and Black men, will engage begin a digital media campaign to mobilize to its members and other union leaders. ‘One of the first actions he took was the American Rescue Plan, which not only created jobs for our members, but it also created long sought after pension relief,’ union president Brent Booker told Axios in an interview.” • Yeah, and [family blog] the railroad workers!

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.

* * *

“The conservative Supreme Court might have paved the way for Dems to take the House” [Politico]. “The Supreme Court just handed Democrats a huge favor: a ruling that likely widens their path back to the House majority in 2024. Democrats are poised to net a congressional seat in Alabama next November after Chief Justice John Roberts’ surprising opinion affirming a lower court’s findings that Republican mapmakers had likely illegally diluted the power of Black voters in the state. But the ruling could very well have implications beyond Alabama. In declining to further weaken the Voting Rights Act, the high court opened the door for Democrats to make other claims of racial gerrymandering in states across the South. That decision could possibly cause a domino effect in Louisiana, South Carolina, Georgia and Texas, which may be forced to add new districts where Black and Latino voters would hold greater sway. It may also leave other Republicans on defense in states they control across the South, though it’s not clear whether that litigation will be complete in time for the 2024 elections in states other than Alabama. New maps could help deliver the House back to Democrats, particularly if the party also performs strongly in the 2024 elections from the presidential race and down the ballot.”

“Kathy Hochul Wants a Republican to Lead New York’s Energy Sector” [The New Republic]. “Kathy Hochul is trying to push through a Republican and climate-denialist donor to lead the state’s energy and power operations. Justin Driscoll is the current interim CEO of the New York Power Authority, earning the recommendation of the NYPA board last year (a board that is appointed by the governor). Now, the state Senate will hold a confirmation vote this week on whether he should become a permanent fixture in the role. Driscoll has a long résumé working in energy, but a closer look reveals a mixed record of concern to anyone who might specifically care about clean energy…. Driscoll is a registered Republican with a history of donations to Republican candidates and organizations. That includes the New York Assembly Republican Campaign Committee, then–New Jersey gubernatorial candidate Chris Christie, and Texas’s John Cornyn, during his first bid for the Senate in 2002. At the time, Cornyn had been criticized for accepting nearly $200,000 in political contributions from Enron, the energy company infamously wrapped up in corporate fraud. Driscoll nevertheless apparently found the Texas Republican—now a member of Congress who doesn’t believe climate change is real—to be compelling.” • What is with New York Democrats?

Realignment and Legitimacy

“Rural Oregon movement to join ‘Greater Idaho’ gains traction with vote in 12th county” [FOX]. “Wallowa County became the 12th Oregon county to join the ‘Greater Idaho’ movement when special election results on the measure were finalized Tuesday. The vote originally took place in May, with preliminary results showing support for the effort leading by only 21 votes. After all votes were finalized in June, the lead shrunk to only seven votes, narrowly avoiding the state requirement for a recount. The ‘Greater Idaho’ effort originally began in 2020 as an idea for large swaths of rural eastern Oregon to secede and join the more conservative Idaho to get away from the western, progressive part of the state. With Wallowa County’s vote, 12 out of 12 counties that have held an election on a “Greater Idaho” measure of any kind have voted in favor of exploring the move.” • I assume this movement is part of some squillionaire’s portfolio, but whose?

“Billionaire Biden Donor Bankrolled 2020 Election Social Media Censorship Effort” [Lee Fang]. “The Department of Homeland Security’s controversial social media censorship effort during the 2020 election was propped up by a partisan billionaire. Newly obtained documents, acquired through a public records request, confirm that Pierre Omidyar [or “Mr. Swain,” supra], the billionaire founder of eBay, financed a specialized portal maintained by the Center for Internet Security (CIS). This portal was used to facilitate the swift removal of predominantly conservative messages on Twitter and Facebook during the previous presidential election. Omidyar, previously identified as one of the largest donors to campaign groups supporting Joe Biden’s presidential bid, donated $45 million to the “Sixteen Thirty Fund” in 2020. This dark money group mobilized Democratic voters and financed pro-Biden Super PACs. However, Omidyar’s direct involvement in the DHS partnership, which is now facing increased scrutiny, remained undisclosed until now. The funding provided by Omidyar to CIS was used to establish a Misinformation Reporting Portal (MiRP). A team from CIS continuously monitored this portal 24/7 from September 28 to November 6, 2020, as revealed in a post-election report, “Election Infrastructure Misinformation Reporting.” The Democracy Fund, Omidyar’s foundation, supported the creation of the MiRP through a direct grant, according to the report.” • Move along people, move along. There’s no story here.


“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.

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), JustAnotherVolunteer, JW, KatieBird, LL, Michael King, KF, LaRuse, mrsyk, MT, MT_Wild, otisyves, Petal (5), RK (2), RL, RM, Rod, square coats (11), tennesseewaltzer, Utah, Bob White (3).

Stay safe out there!

* * *

Look for the Helpers

Let’s straighten out Hospital Infection Control:

You can still comment, before 5:00pm today

So if you have the inclination, go comment when you finish Water Cooler!

Covid Is Airborne

The Big Smoke:

More dunking on the droplet goons:

Can’t have too much of that, really.

More dunking on the anti-maskers:

* * *

“What Wildfire Smoke, Gas Stoves and Covid Tell Us About Our Air” [Linsey Marr, New York Times]. “If the pandemic was whispering to us about air quality, the wildfires are screaming to us about it. Add to that concerns about gas stoves and longer allergy seasons, and it’s clear we should be on the precipice of a new public health movement to improve the air we breathe.” The pandemic wasn’t “whispering,” nor were aerosol scientists or NPI advocates. But do go on. “The particles in wildfire smoke are about the same size as respiratory particles that carry the coronavirus, so some of the same tools we used during the pandemic also work for wildfire smoke. Indoors, the portable air filtration unit that some people used to scrub viruses from the air will also remove smoke particles. Run it on high. If you must go outdoors, wear a high-quality, well-fitting mask such as an N95 or a KN95, which are designed to filter out at least 95 percent of particles of all types.” So now the PMC are authorizing themselves to protect each other because (a) this being the stupidest timeline, they are only reacting to what they can see and (b) because the authorities told them they could. More: “As the saying goes, we wouldn’t accept a glass full of dirty water, and we should no longer accept a lungful of dirty air.” • I won’t dunk on Marr, because the Times is justly giving space to one of the aerosol scientists who made this moment, if moment it be, come true. But Holy Lord, did the Times editorial team have molasses brain on this, or what? More:

Instant. Just instant. PMC schooling behavior (I’m assuming this is Dupont Circle, not Anacostia). Just imagine: Many thousands of lives could have been saved if Biden had said “Wear a mask!” and modeled masking behavior, consistently, throughout the pandemic. Instead, we got that “scarlet letter” foo-fra from garbage-mouthed Rochelle Walensky.


Hot mask summer:

xoxo’s tweet doesn’t even have a hash tag and it’s still going strong. The power of a great concept!

Testing and Tracking

“COVID-19 monitoring with sparse sampling of sewered and non-sewered wastewater in urban and rural communities” [Cell]. “However, large-scale studies on SARS-CoV-2 detection in wastewater from low-and middle-income countries is limited due to economic and technical reasons…. Results showed an increase in SARS-CoV-2 RNA concentrations in wastewater from urban and rural areas 14-20 days earlier than infected individuals were officially reported. It also showed that community/food markets were ‘hot spots’ for infected people. This approach offers an opportunity for early detection of transmission surges, allowing preparedness and potentially mitigating significant outbreaks at both spatial and temporal scales.”


“Something Awful”

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). To which we might add brain damage, including personality changes therefrom.

* * *

“SARS-CoV-2 infection and viral fusogens cause neuronal and glial fusion that compromises neuronal activity” [Science]. “Numerous viruses use specialized surface molecules called fusogens to enter host cells. Many of these viruses, including the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), can infect the brain and are associated with severe neurological symptoms through poorly understood mechanisms. We show that SARS-CoV-2 infection induces fusion between neurons and between neurons and glia in mouse and human brain organoids…. We demonstrate that neuronal fusion is a progressive event, leads to the formation of multicellular syncytia, and causes the spread of large molecules and organelles… These results provide mechanistic insights into how SARS-CoV-2 and other viruses affect the nervous system, alter its function, and cause neuropathology.” • Syncytium: “Because many cells fuse together, syncytia are also known as multinucleated cells, giant cells, or polykaryocytes.[12] During infection, viral fusion proteins used by the virus to enter the cell are transported to the cell surface, where they can cause the host cell membrane to fuse with neighboring cells.” A popularized version–

“Researchers discover that COVID-19 can cause brain cells to fuse” [Medical Xpress]. “‘We discovered COVID-19 causes neurons to undergo a cell fusion process, which has not been seen before,” [study author] Professor [Massimo] Hilliard said. ‘After neuronal infection with SARS-CoV-2, the spike S protein becomes present in neurons, and once neurons fuse, they don’t die. They either start firing synchronously, or they stop functioning altogether.’ As an analogy, Professor Hilliard likened the role of neurons to that of wires connecting switches to the lights in a kitchen and a bathroom. ‘Once fusion takes place, each switch either turns on both the kitchen and bathroom lights at the same time, or neither of them,’ he said. ‘It’s bad news for the two independent circuits.’ The discovery offers a potential explanation for persistent neurological effects after a viral infection.”

Elite Maleficence

As soon as Walensky disappears — though I think she’s still wandering about the office, dispensing her famous “warmth,” and smiling — things improve:

CDC immediately and heartily endorses masks for wildfire smoke; I’ll take the win. But remember how I’ve been whining that clip art always represents masks as ineffective and gappy “Baggy Blues”? The mask in that tweet looks a lot like a KN95 to me; it’s white, and not blue. True, it’s got earloops and not head straps, but at least the artwork isn’t steering people in the wrong direction.

Ashish Jha tells the whole truth, or once in his life:

From what? The answer is: From nothing. Biden’s policy of mass infection without mitigation protected nobody:

Hospital Infection Control whacking more patients:

* * *

Case Data

NOT UPDATED From BioBot wastewater data from June 5:

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 CDC, June 10:

Lambert here: Looks to like XBB.1.16 and now XBB.1.16 are outcompeting XBB.1.9, but XBB.1.5 has really staying power. I sure hope the volunteers doing Pangolin, on which this chart depends, don’t all move on the green fields and pastures new (or have their access to facilities cut by administrators of ill intent).

CDC: “As of May 11, genomic surveillance data will be reported biweekly, based on the availability of positive test specimens.” “Biweeekly: 1. occurring every two weeks. 2. occurring twice a week; semiweekly.” Looks like CDC has chosen sense #1. In essence, they’re telling us variants are nothing to worry about. Time will tell. Looks like the Walgreens variants page isn’t updating.

Covid Emergency Room Visits

NOT UPDATED From CDC NCIRD Surveillance, from June 3:

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. 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.


NOT UDPATED From Walgreens, June 5:

0.4%. Frequency down to once a week.


Death rate (Our World in Data), from June 7:

Lambert here: Theatre of the absurd. I can believe that deaths are low; I cannot believe they are zero, and I cannot even believe that all doctors signing death certificates have agreed to make it so. Looks to me like some administrative minimizer at WHO put the worst intern in charge of the project. And thanks, Johns Hopkins of the $9.32 billion endowment, for abandoning this data feed and passing responsibility on to the clown car at WHO.

Total: 1,166,408 – 1,166,331/del> = 77 (77 * 365 = 28,105 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 June 4:

Lambert here: Actually some encouragement!

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

There are no official statistics of note today.

* * *

Monopolies: “The Saudi-PGA Tour Golf Deal Isn’t Going to Happen” [Matt Stoller, BIG]. “There is no way this merger happens in its current form, as it’s obviously creating an illegal monopoly. There is a lot of grey area in antitrust law, but when two companies want to merge to a monopoly, and announce it as such, that’s a violation of black letter law. In fact, this deal is so wildly and comically against the law that I actually don’t think it is intended to close. If I had to guess, I would say it’s a desperate move by the Saudis to keep their dirty laundry out of an American courtroom in a separate but related case. Indeed, the more I look into it, the more baffled I become.”

* * *

Today’s Fear & Greed Index: 78 Extreme Greed (previous close: 76 Extreme Greed) [CNN]. One week ago: 61 (Greed). (0 is Extreme Fear; 100 is Extreme Greed). Last updated Jun 6 at 1:39 PM ET. • What’s gotten Mr. Market so exuberant? Trump’s indictment?

The Gallery

“How a New Wave of ‘Hypersentimental’ Portraiture Is Serving Up Painting for the Age of Vibe Shifts and Nano-Influencers” [Artnet]. • No.

Look, I grant that velvet isn’t the most forgiving surface…

Class Warfare

“Hollywood’s hot strike summer” [Axios]. “This fall might be a great time to catch up on your streaming list — Hollywood has one union on strike, and studios are facing more labor strife that could result in further shutdowns this summer. Why it matters: The streaming era has fundamentally broken the industry, and that has Hollywood’s biggest unions united to a degree we haven’t seen in decades. It’s not just Hollywood that’s embroiled in media labor battles either….” • Maybe the writers — I’m not knocking the writers — could demonstrate solidarity by writing content for other unions? Having listened to many episodes of “West Wing Thing,” I know they could add some humor to the situation — sorely needed!

You can bet nobody’s reporting PMC children to CPS, let alone the children of the wealthy:

News of the Wired

On the spectrum:

When I worked at Midwest firm, I actually had to be told — not unkindly — that some amenities were required before I got down to business.

This is a bit long, but I hadn’t thought Pierre Bourdieu would look a bit like a French movie star:

Sociology is a Martial Art from SCWIBI on Vimeo.

I’m really posting this for two pretty trivial reasons: First, I love the title: “Sociology is a Martial Art.” Let’s do that. Second, while I was finding it, the phrase “shambolic capital” (to go with “symbolic capital” and “social capital”) popped into my head. Is it possible to accumulate chaos, to achieve power over others by embodying and creating it? I think it can; recall also — I think I have this right — that volatility favors the speculator, and the deeper the pockets, the more favor. One thinks of Boris Johnson. Or Trump. Or for that matter any of the “disruptors” in Silicon Valley (and their backers). Chaos is a ladder….

* * *

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 Chet G:

Chet G writes: “This dogwood is close to my front door (very convenient as well as very lovely).” This photo reminds me of a Japanese print, it’s so lovely (though no particular print). And “close to my front door” reinforces a prior of mine, that beauty can always be found close at hand; it’s only a matter of looking (though perhaps a change of scale, or distance, may be required).

* * *

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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. britzklieg

    Two morning doves decided to nest in my carport cross-beams a month or so ago and the second hatchling finally found the courage to leave the nest today.. Alas, they never cooed but I sang at them regularly and I think they came to trust the old guy. The whole thing was fascinating to watch and I was surprised by how calm they all remained even as I rumbled around below them. I’ve read that doves often reuse their nests, so maybe I can watch that little miracle again. What’s not to like?

    1. jo6pac

      If nothing happens to them they’ll be back. I watched the same thing for 5yrs in a tree across from my front porch. Enjoy.

      1. Tvc15

        Given our dystopian reality that the ruling class seems hell-bent on achieving, its the simple, beautiful things like two morning doves, or coincidentally, yesterdays bird song of the day, Vinaceous Dove.

    2. Magua

      Well, a bought the house to the left & right and me and started gardens. The mourning doves showed up after a year or two, very close to my bedroom (with a sliding door and deck). The seemed very happy. 27 years later there are dozens. I am happy.

  2. Steve H.

    > 2/3 of people I just passed on street in downtown DC are wearing masks.

    A natural experiment to see if disease rates drop at the same time…

  3. flora

    re: ‘Hypersentimental’ Portraiture

    oh my. Is it kitch or is it treacle? decisions decisions… / ;)

    1. aletheia33

      she appears to have no right breast.
      this lends a certain pathos to the effect of her left breast.
      could this be a sign of a future widespread “look”, as all the carcinogens (not to mention COVID sequelae, and increasing massive stress on especially the impoverished half of the population) continue to ramp up and up?
      a cancer surgeon (and unmistakably wonderful human being) just took my left one… so now, i notice.

      i know, it’s just really bad “art”.

      1. lambert strether

        I should have seen that and I didn’t. Art as good or bad is distinct from messaging, though influencers might think differently. Sorry to hear about your surgery!

        1. aletheia33

          thanks lambert.

          i’m somewhat confused about the influencers/messaging thing.
          i thought i knew what influencers did, but i don’t know how a picture like this one is actually used in that context.
          the influencing phenomenon seems to have developed beyond the last explainer i read, probably a couple of years ago.
          my impression at that time was that vulnerable, attractive adolescents/young adults were being ruthlessly exploited for marketing purposes–their ability to read current trends. am i anywhere close?
          i now realize that i actually do not know what exactly messaging is either–in any context.

    2. Lee

      Heard in passing on the radio, one official, expert or pundit stating that the healthy thing to do in smoke blighted areas is to wear masks outside and unmask indoors. If the smoke doesn’t get you the Covid will.

      1. flora

        An official? That’s odd. (or not) I read some comments (not officials) on other sites recommending using box fans with good, particle filtration, furnace filters taped or attached on either side of the box fan to reduce smoke particles from the indoor air, (sounds like a corsi box).

        1. ambrit

          From your description it sounds like a “Corsi Sandwich.”
          “I’ll have a Corsi with a side of HEPA and Charcoal! No, no Pepsi!”

    3. flora

      adding: I shouldn’t be so unkind to the artists. I apologize. They clearly have patrons and are making an income from their art. Not an easy thing to do.

      1. flora

        Thanks for this link. It somehow confirms my ideas about visual and painting representations “holding together”… or not.

      1. lambert strether

        That’s a brilliant catch. I’m almost sure the painting I posted is an explicit reference to the Schad painting.

    1. lambert strether

      Adding, I skimmed it. First impressions–

      1) Trump’s body man, the poor simp

      2) Trump sure is sloppy, clumsy, truth-telling is, well, not his strength, and he’s acting like a six-year-old with something to hide

      3) “Trump’s Boxes” are a MacGuffin, and there should be a farce written about the way he moved them around

      4) The FBI hates him. There are a ton of quotes that show Trump is a hypocrite, but last I checked that wasn’t illegal, so there’s no reason for them to be in the indictment

      5) The headlines will all be about nukes, but I wouldn’t hang a dog on what the FBI says, so I’d need to see the documents. Which will probably be secret

      6) One cannot tell that a document is classified from its markings

      7) Presumably Trump hoped to gain something. But what? There’s no indication that [genuflects] national security was damaged, he tried to sell any of them, etc.

      8) There is an entity called the “United States Intelligence Community” which has “equities” that can be “implicated by” classified documents. That sounds novel; maybe it’s the game being played here

      9) I would need to do a more careful reading to see if the indictment equivocates between the “boxes” and the documents contained in them, for example in the conspiracy count indicting Trump and his body man

      1. marym

        (4) I’m not sure it’s just to show he was a hypocrite, but also to show that he knows how security is supposed to work, even though his public defense of himself was that he declassified stuff, or that the documents were his.

        (6) Although the classification status of the documents is in the indictment, I don’t think the charges are contingent on that status. The statute is 18 U.S. Code § 793 – Gathering, transmitting or losing defense information.

        (9) Trump is indicted for willful retention of national defense info, he and his man for obstruction type offenses, and his man for false statements

        1. lambert strether

          Thanks. Dear Lord, “defense information,” whatever that is. No wonder they used it against Assange. Of course online is going nuts about the classification stuff. I’ll have to look at the quotes again and see whether they pertain to classification or “defense information.”

    2. The Rev Kev

      I wonder if this will have an effect internationally. I mean, this use of lawfare to stop Trump running is banana republic stuff is kinda resembles what is being done to Pakistan’s Khan. Some nations in Africa will nod as it is familiar this tactic. So in the long run, the US will be seen as less and less as a serious country. For Trump he has to fight on. If he suddenly announced that he was no longer standing for President in 2024, instead of backing off, the establishment would double down to put him into prison as he would have no protection whatsoever. So it is kinda like a Game of Thrones idea of win or die for Trump.

      1. JBird4049

        One of the breaking points of the Roman Republic was the vindictive lawfare that became common once someone left office. While they were in office, they were legally protected from lawsuits, which encouraged people to either stay away from Rome or try really hard to be elected to another office.

        Some of the offices or positions were governor and military officers. People running an entire province and its resources and commanders of legions. If you know that the not so metaphorical knives are being sharpened for your return to Rome, but you can get or already have an army… what would you do?

        Losing an election or having an appointment end became dangerous to people’s health. They, and their family, friends, and supporters would campaign really, really hard; there was also the retaliatory lawsuits.

        Ratcheting the pressure and the extremities of the tactics used.

        I know that no politicians have their own armies, but this is the United States of America where corporations and oligarchs in the past did have small armies. Elections could be decided by the gun or the club. If not Trump, I can see another politician feeling threatened. Also, people have acted on their own to protect others and we got some angry people as well.

        If Trump was convicted or even jailed during a trial and some other people are not…

        And history does not seem to be a popular subject with the Good People. They like to create their own reality.

        1. The Rev Kev

          Fully agree with what you say and there was far too much payback built into the system. Of course that was why Caesar crossed the Rubicon and marched on Rome. It was either that or go to Rome unarmed to be tried and convicted by his enemies. It is funny that you bring up the Romans. The boys at the Duran dropped a video called “Using lawfare to knock Trump out of 2024 race” and about the 16:00 mark, Alexander Mercouris talks about another example from the Roman Republic where political expediency undermined the Republic in the end-

          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XkBFnDKRplY (24:03 mins)

        2. flora

          Such a good comment. I’m now beginning to slowly work my way through Gibbon’s “Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire.”

          It’s the work of an older age, an age of slower, more careful mental uptake and thoughtfulness. No soundbites there. If you mean to read it prepare yourself to step back from modern soundbite-ism.

          1. flora

            adding as an aside: having worked my way through Herman Melville’s classic “Moby Dick” I can say that it is truly the Great American novel. (Even if whaling is now an obsolete job.) Every vice and hope and conceit in America is in this novel. Conquering nature is perhaps the biggest conceit. It is an extraordinary novel, which I didn’t expect when I began reading the book. I read it some years ago and it’s never left me.

            1. JBird4049

              I keep trying to read Moby Dick, but while it is not that hard for me to read after a few pages, I never seen to have the right mood if that makes sense. Someday I will try again and wonder what made it hard, but until that day, it is still on my bookshelf waiting.

  4. Stephen V.

    Pass the Tabhouli ! From the Stoller piece:
    But when you’re dealing with Saudi Arabia, Donald Trump and global sports, you can get to things like money laundering, arms dealing, espionage, and all sorts of weird conspiratorial stuff. I don’t like speculating on that, because it’s like seeing ripples on an ocean and trying to guess what’s happening beneath. But one thing I can say is that this deal, in its current form, doesn’t make any sense.

    1. griffen

      I agree with a few of his points. The mere suggestion of discovery required in the litigation probably means throwing a wet blanket on said litigation. For immediate reference to US professional sports, see Daniel Snyder as owner of the Washington Commanders. Professional golf in the US is hardly considered charitable work (rightly so), but these annual events do a lot to fund raise for the local communities. Some dudes can win out of the gate like Tiger Woods or a Jordan Spieth, but many grind away for years and maybe hit the mini tours as well. Mini tours are not glamorous.

      Pro golfers wanted Patrick Mahomes money so this is where we’re at. We’re in need of more detail about how it all works, other than PIF cutting a few billion of funds loose. Rumor on ESPN had it yesterday, LIV golf is planning for events in 2024 so maybe Mr. Greg Norman has failed at reading the memo. Caddyshack update: no longer Snobs vs Slobs but Snobs vs Richer Snobs.

  5. Tom Stone

    There’s nothing political about the indictment of Trump for violating the Espionage Act, nothing at all.
    This is about Justice and the Rule of Law!
    We must act NOW and decisively because the Republic is threatened by enemies from within and without as never before!
    We must defend “Our Democracy” by whatever means are necessary…

  6. Bugs

    ““How a New Wave of ‘Hypersentimental’ Portraiture Is Serving Up Painting for the Age of Vibe Shifts and Nano-Influencers” [Artnet]. • No.”

    I’ve been seeing a ton of this. Karen Kilimnik managed to pass off ironic pop culture paintings (though she was actually very talented and the paintings in question are genius) in the 2000s but we’ve crossed into “let’s just put a Parsons/Yale/CalArts CV on it” and it’s just accepted as worthy of investment by our lords and ladies. Which seems to be the only goal now that art is no longer for the people.

    What a world.

    1. Geo

      A few decades back in art school we had to write an essay about whether or not we were still in a post-modern era of art or if we had moved into another era, and if so, what era are we in. I wrote we were indeed past post-modernism and art had become so disconnected from society and so self-referential as to have become totally irrelevant. Thus, we are currently in the era of Post-Relevancy.

      Each passing year my snarky essay feels more and more true. If there’s any upside to “art” in the social media and NFT era, even those AI monstrosities, it’s that it once again seems to be something regular people engage with again. I could quibble about their taste levels but it’s not like the gate-keepers and taste-makers of the fine arts community have much to be lauded for in that regard anymore either.

      1. JBird4049

        Isn’t art a form of communal discussion and a way to note what has or happen?

        Painting, sculpture, music, poetry, literature, even throwaway genre writing. I could add dance as well.

        Just look at Guernica by Picasso. Listen to Shostakovich or some good Blues or 60s rock. This might sound pretentious, but just as modern architecture has nothing to do with people especially the masses, it is the same with art. It has closed off or atomized people into individuals.

        I don’t know if all this was deliberate except for it being financial for profit or used as tasteless ego fellating projects.

        So, it is post relevant art meant to not to create a message or emotions or an idea, but to give the owners something to gloat over or something to make money from somehow.

        1. flora

          These are great questions. Look at Picasso’s Guernica. Find the architectural triangle lines in the the painting. They are there. They are classical lines of visual organization of representations. When you find them, then compare them to Renaissance paintings with the same triangle lines of organization of visual representations.

          1. flora

            adding: early 20th century artist Wassily Kandinsky in his short book “Concerning the Spiritual in Art” referred to the triangle as itself the important thing for the spiritual in art.

            “The life of the spirit may be fairly represented in diagram as a large acute-angled triangle divided horizontally into unequal parts with the narrowest segment uppermost. The lower the segment the greater it is in breadth, depth and area.”


            1. lambert strether

              > acute-angled triangle divided horizontally into unequal parts with the narrowest segment uppermost. The lower the segment the greater it is in breadth, depth and area.”

              1%, (9% + 90%)?

  7. tevhatch

    (“Sociology is a Martial Art.”)…”Chaos is a ladder…” and a club with which you can beat down competition from below. Oh, and on the ladder part, it is a ladder that pulls itself up after a certain %, say the 1% or the 0.01%, pass up it.

  8. Samuel Conner


    This seems unnecessary; most people will already be practising this after picking the sooty mucus out of their nostrils.

  9. aletheia33

    i’m with you on both beauty close at hand and chaos as a ladder.
    somehow i sense there is a connection to be made between them,
    which could even prove useful in seeing how to pull down that whole ladder,
    but it eludes me . . .

  10. some guy

    I have not studied Presidential DeClassification laws-rules in detail. I would have thought there would be some kind of check-and-balance on a President high-handedly excercising that power the same as any other.

    If it is purely the President’s whimsical option, then any President could give all our most nuclear secrets , secret cookbooks, secret everything to , lets say, Israel or Ukraine or whomever with no slowdown function at all.

    Is that the kind of kingly declassification power Mr. Tracey wants a President to have?

    1. lambert strether

      Checks and balances occur between the three branches of the government, not between the President and other departments with the executive branch. (That was one of the appalling things about the process Obama set up for his “disposition matrix (kill list). It looked like a judicial process, but it wasn’t.

      1. The Rev Kev

        ‘It looked like a judicial process, but it wasn’t.’

        It is if he makes a Presidential Finding. :)

      2. Angie Neer

        Eric Holder’s “Due process is not the same as judicial process” still rings in my ears.

  11. LawnDart

    (Almost) Daily Derailment(s)

    Street crossing closed after train derailment in Columbiana

    COLUMBIANA, Ohio — A street crossing in Columbiana has been temporarily closed following a train derailment that occurred on Friday morning.

    The Columbiana Police Department said that it received a call at 11:44 a.m. regarding a train that had jumped the track near East Friend Street crossing. Upon arriving, officers said they found that several wheels of two Youngstown & Southeastern Railroad (Y&S) cars had jumped the track south of East Friend Street. Y&S employees had stopped the train and decoupled the last three cars at the Friend Street crossing.


    1. notabanker

      I just want to thank you for posting this (these). I can sit outside in my backyard and here the trains probably 3-5 miles away. I’m about 80 miles from E Palestine as the crow flies, so to think we are safe here is a fallacy.

  12. Carolinian

    Re unelected bureaucrats–if these government agencies are going to become partisan actors then maybe we should revert to the old 19th century spoils system and be done with it. Surely the last thing the founders wanted was for the inmates to be running the asylum. They believed in a group of elected representatives–fat cats like themselves but still elected. In our revolving door world it has to be assumed that everybody is on the take in some sense and “public welfare” merely a nice talking point for government workers. That may be an exaggeration but trust in government is leaking away and so the great cause of the Repubs–government downsizing–is given fuel by the Dems.

    As for Trump, didn’t they already impeach him twice for “espionage”? Does it ever end?

  13. Jason Boxman

    So there’s no way to know how egregious Sec State Clinton’s violation of national security might have been, because the national security state gave her a pass, letting her wipe her server, before handing it over. We’ll never know if there was no fire there, only smoke, or not. Unsurprisingly, Trump is getting very different treatment. When the FBI interviewed Clinton, it wasn’t even on the record!

    This whole thing is a ridiculous farce. This country is not a functional state.

    1. Tom Stone

      The firm that maintained HRC’s server ,was it Platte River Network? had a complete back up of her hard drives.
      Which the FBI was very careful not to look at.
      In addition Anthony Weiner, the convicted sex offender had copies of all her emails on his laptop because he shared an Email account with his lovely wife Huma Abedin.
      The FBI put a crack team of 3 agents on it and they were able to determine that there wasn’t anything to see there, in three days.
      It’s called a Criminal Justice system for good reason, may you never run afoul of it.

  14. MaryLand

    Boris Johnson has resigned as an MP after the final report on “Partygate” in Parliament.

  15. notabanker

    This class power is something I think the PMC would very much like to exercise, and it should come as no surprise that they are collectively and independently “working toward” it.

    I think you are wrong about this. They already believe they own this, are exercising it, and the rest is narrative filler to feed their minions.

    I read an indictment story on yahoo this morning, 100% of the comments were to the effect of it is about time Trump is finally getting what is due to him. There is no way that sentiment is indicative of even 60% of the population, let alone 100. The blue bot army is out in force.

    1. lambert strether

      I try to be a little conservative. And their beliefs and realty do not necessarily correspond

    2. ambrit

      I can attest from personal experience that Yahoo curates their comment sections with a vengeance. No deviation from the “Official Narrative” is allowed there.
      I no longer even read anything coming out of the Yahoo Mighty Wurlitzer any more. I can get my daily dose of “Goodthink” down at the FEMA Re-education Centre and Soup Kitchen. There I can get some mouldy crusts and flavoured water for my pains.

  16. Hepativore

    This probably deserves its own post, but Julian Assange has lost his latest appeal attempt.


    I mean, I know that this is largely a foregone conclusion as the UK does not think that Julian Assange is worth risking a diplomatic breach with the US over, but it just goes to show that this entire thing is political, and Assange is going to be extradited to the US no matter how many protests or international outcries occur.

    The Biden administration strategy for sidestepping this travesty is dealing with it the same way it does with any major problem, to quietly ignore the issue until it goes away, or continuing along with the status quo while it assumes nobody notices or cares.

  17. JBird4049

    >>>“Construction workers union endorses Biden“

    As a comparison to Congress (or the legislatures of pretty much all fifty state) is it the members of the union or the often bought out leadership?

    1. The Rev Kev

      The later I would say. Back in 2016 there were union leaders who were committing their support to Hillary Clinton as president but then the members of those unions would say whoa, not so fast there. And not long before the Pandemic there were those teacher’s strikes and you could see that the leadership of those teacher’s unions were working actively and in secret against their members and for the State governments.

    2. tevhatch

      Crime Bosses running Construction workers union endorse Biden.

      I’m now re-reading We the Elites; Why the US Constitution Serves the Few
      by Robert Ovetz. Much of it I already intuited from watching the machine and
      from reading the Federalist Papers, but the structure Ovetz brings can be applied
      to any social struture. See how it’s set up, by whom, and you know who runs it.

      1. JBird4049

        It is worse than the structure because the Founders thought (assumed really) that the elites in the good sense of the word or an unofficial aristocracy would tend to run the government, but that the voters would have some influence over the government (and the guns if it came to that); what they feared has happened as an extremely corrupt government with an extremely powerful military controlled by the extremely wealthy oligarchy.

        Say what you will about the creators of the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution and the Bill of Rights, what they really, truly did not want was a recreation of the British Empire of 1775. Add that the current government is more incompetent and that our current society also has a greater wealth disparity than that empire and you have a nightmare vision for the founders.

        To be clear, this is the reason why they created a system of checks and balances was because while they never heard Lord Acton’s statement “power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely,” I very sure that they would have agreed with it. Just because they preferred rule by an elite did not mean they they thought that these elites would be angels that would not need a good kicking occasionally.

        Unfortunately, not only is the current system corrupted and incompetent, both the leaders and their Professional Managerial Class of apparatchiks have gotten drunk on their ideological moonshine.

  18. Terry Flynn

    OK i am totally on board with why the PMC as embodied by the Democrats in US and (to slightly lesser but still significant) extent the Labour Party in UK need destruction to start anew. And why it ain’t happening.

    However seeing Boris defenestrated today is nice. Still don’t (can’t) believe we’ll “do a mid 1980s Canada” and destroy our Conservative Party…. But we are trending that way.

  19. herman_sampson

    Another New York Democrat? : “I actually like Ron DeSantis a lot,” Hillary Clinton reveals in a surprise online endorsement video. “He’s just the kind of guy this country needs, and I really mean that.” Welcome to America’s 2024 presidential race, where reality is up for grabs.[From Reuters].
    One more reason to vote for Cornell West and to never vote for a Democrat (unless they are going door-to-door).

  20. Pat

    Do I think that Trump kept classified material probably as a power wedge. Of course I do. do I think he is the first President to do so? Heck I don’t think he is the first in this century to do it. If it comes to that, I think that every document that the Clintons thought was important from both his Presidency and her senatorial term and as Secretary of State is still on a digital copy in Chappaqua. And I honestly don’t think Biden was keeping all that material in his garage because he was writing his memoirs. (There was nowhere in them to plagiarize a memoir).
    And yes I think that Trump’s big mistake was not indicating he was going to do a library. That little boondoggle, besides being another revenue stream is all about consolidating the files for personal use in plain sight masquerading as a public situation. That cover would be very useful.

    The Democrats and the DC bureaucracy that allowed and/or participated in the excesses and power plays of the system for the past sixty years I know have taken their outrage and gone full scorched earth in their offense at Trump the interloper. I don’t know if it will bring down the edifice or merely strip back the final false image the world, and most of us, have about the legality and fairness of our system. Well not unless they want to also indict most of our major political figures of the last half century…

  21. Matthew G. Saroff

    “What is with New York Democrats?”

    It’s simple. Republicans are the opposition for the New York “Moderate” Dems, and progressive Dems are the enemy.

    Think Kier Starmer and Labour, only more petty and corrupt.

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