By Lambert Strether of Corrente.
Bird Song of the Day
Large Wren-Babbler, Kuala Lompat; Krau Reserve, Pahang, Malaysia. “Breeding Status: territorial; General Climate: wet; Cover Density: thick). Other Behaviors: Advertise. Habitat: Rainforest, Evergreen Forest, River.” I like the name “Wren-Babbler.” It reminds me of a character in a P.G. Wodehouse novel; “Bertie Wren-Babbler”; “Madeleine Wren-Babbler”; and so forth.
Look for the Helpers
“Obituary for a Quiet Life” [The Bitter Southerner (LL)]. “‘Would you write your papaw’s obituary?’ she asked, ever practical even amid the loss of the love of her life. … When I sat down to write, I found myself dropping details into a template — son of, survived by. The obituary form puts a particular pressure on what matters, on what should be remembered and praised, but what does one say about a life that aimed to carry on in the background, that had no interest in a name in newsprint or an award on the mantel? Ray Harrell, son of Jim and Cora, was content to sit still and watch the breeze scatter the leaves? Ray Harrell, sergeant first class, arranged the bills in his wallet in descending order? Ray Harrell, survived by Grace, whistled the same invented tune year after year while searching for the right nail in the shed? I filled in the expected details and sent the obituary to the newspaper, but I knew it wasn’t right. It captured nothing of the life he lived. What I returned to in the days after he passed, as the ladies from church covered the table in casseroles and Grandma slept in a bed alone for the first time since she was 19, was the sheer audacity of a quiet life.” • LL writes: “This may a bit of a stretch but it’s a lovely piece of writing and a celebration of a non-greedy way of life.” I agree (and I like The Bitter Southerner, not least because of its title; I thought I had subscribed, but apparently not.) I have written the obituaries for both my parents; it is indeed helpful, both to one’s self, the familu, and the community, so -called. The writing doesn’t resolve anything, but the small word count brings its own form of clarity, and the submission to the local paper is a well-defined step forward in the ritual-based transfer of property that is, in America, the consequence of death, in a process where virtually nothing else (feelings, say) is well-defined at all, or indeed assisted. “It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this,” as Lincoln put it. It would be interesting to find out of the obituaries for the million souls lost to Covid differed from past obituaries in any way; a good project for a rainy day, or a reporter, if funded. And so it will never happen.
“So many of the social reactions that strike us as psychological are in fact a rational management of symbolic capital.” –Pierre Bourdieu, Classification Struggles
The Constitutional Order
Two households, both alike in dignity,
In fair Verona, where we lay our scene,
From ancient grudge break to new mutiny,
Where civil blood makes civil hands unclean. –William Shakespeare, Romeo and Juliet
Shakespeare says the two households are “alike” in dignity, but he doesn’t say how much dignity they actually have. If Verona’s households are like our parties, the answer is “not much.”
* * *
“The Sweep and Force of Section Three” [William Baude and Michael Stokes Paulsen, University of Pennsylvania Law Review]. I highly recommend this piece (and the ensuing discussion at NC, starting here). As a former English major and a fan of close reading, I’m not averse to “originalism,” of which Baude and Paulsen provide a magisterial example, in the sense that understanding the law as a text must begin with understanding the plain, public meaning of the words used when the text was written. That’s how I read Shakespeare, or Joyce, so why not the Constitution? Just as long as understanding doesn’t end there! In any case, I’m working through it. One thing I notice is that there do seem to have been rather a lot of rebellions and insurrections, not just the Civil War. To me, this is parallel to one lesson I drew from Mike Duncan’s Revolutions podcast (episode 1): There are rather a lot of revolutions, too. Alert reader Pensions Guy summarizes Baude and Paulsen as follows:]
The authors go through an exhaustive textual and originalism analysis of Section Three, and their Federalist Society leanings do not deter them from reaching their conclusion that officials in every State who are charged with determining candidate qualifications should conclude that Donald Trump is disqualified from being on ballots because of the oath he took on Inauguration Day 2017 and subsequently violated through his role in the insurrection that took place on January 6, 2021.
Taking “insurrection” as read (I need to do more reading), more on my continuing coverage of Section Three.
* * *
“This issue could knock Trump off ballots nationwide. Get ready for it to dominate primary season” [Los Angeles Times]. “Even as the criminal cases against Donald Trump dominate headlines, a different, less publicized wave of litigation is building that could endanger his presidential ambitions: efforts to exclude him from the ballot under a constitutional provision adopted after the Civil War…. Even before that, however, liberal legal groups had begun researching state laws and working with voters who could challenge Trump’s access to the ballot…. ‘The American public should expect to see a series of challenges filed in state after state,’ says Ron Fein, legal director of one such group, Free Speech for People.” From the About Page, Director Ben Binswanger: “Mr. Binswanger began his career as a political consultant for numerous Democratic candidates, and worked for more than five years as Senator Edward Kennedy’s senior political advisor in Washington… Mr. Binswanger has also served on the boards of Demos.” More: “Whether the efforts succeed is anyone’s guess; the legal issues are complex and without clear precedents and could lead to a Supreme Court showdown early in the new year. Win or lose, however, the issue could severely disrupt a primary season that is already fraught with potential for strife and violence — another example of how Trump’s is stressing the country’s legal and political systems.” • Totes, only one party does that. The party of The Others.
“Georgia indictment and post-Civil War history make it clear: Trump’s actions have already disqualified him from the presidency” [The Conversation]. “We believe the Georgia indictment provides even more detail than the earlier federal one about how Trump’s actions have already disqualified him from office, and shows a way to keep him off the ballot in 2024.” • An indictment? Really? Ask any ham sandwich about that! (Obviously, election officials need cover for these judgments on disqualification. They need a non-partisan, branded MR SUBLIMINAL And totally not spook-infested! NGO. How about the Atlantic Council?
“Will Donald Trump Be Disqualified from Running Under the 14th Amendment?” [Newsweek]. “The case that Donald Trump is ineligible to run for president in 2024 due to the 14th Amendment is ‘compelling,’ but ‘unlikely to gain broad acceptance,’ according to [former federal prosecutor Adam Kamenstein, a partner with the Los Angeles-based law firm Adams, Duerk & Kamenstein]: ‘[L]ike all legal arguments, its practical application rests on the common acceptance of certain facts. We don’t have that here, today, where facts and truth vary depending on one’s political point of view. Even if everyone agreed on the underlying Constitutional scholarship, we would never see agreement on the facts to which it must be applied. So, no matter how compelling the legal scholarship, it is unlikely to gain broad acceptance.'” •
Lambert here: Hat tip to reader yesterday who dug into Baude and Paulsen. Primary sources rule!
Time for the Countdown Clock!
* * *
“Five Key Things to Watch for in Republican Primary Debate” [Newsweek]. “[I]n a race for second place, there is a lot for the prospective candidates to gain, particularly given a front-runner whose campaign war chest is committed to fighting off 91 criminal charges in four different jurisdictions.” • “DeSantis vs. Ramaswamy,” ‘Pile on Ron’, “Splintering on Ukraine,” “Nuance on Abortion,” “Who takes on Trump?” • That’s odd. Nothing about a Republican turn to the working class (no matter how cynical and fumbling).
* * *
“New Trump poll proves Obama and Clinton were right: The GOP base are deplorable, bitter clingers” [Amanda Marcotte, Salon]. Amanda Marcotte and Henry Kissinger: Both still in there punching! “New polling out this week from CBS News proves, as many feared, Trump’s fourth set of indictments — he now faces 91 [fancy!] felony charges across four jurisdictions — has only caused the GOP to rally around their seething orange leader…. And, in a poll finding that really is astonishing, Trump voters claimed they trust the notorious fraudster more than anyone. A whopping 71% of Trump voters claim “what he says is true.” Only 63% of them say that about family and friends, 56% about conservative media figures and 42% about religious leaders. The word that comes to mind is ‘cult.’ ‘Cult leaders must be dynamic, charismatic, and convincing because their goal is to control their members to acquire money or power-related advantages,’ said Joe Scarborough on MSNBC in response to the poll Monday. Political scientist Brian Klaas tweeted, ‘you need to understand what an authoritarian cult of personality is, because that’s what it has become.'” • Speakling of “cults,” but to beMR SUBLIMINAL As always! fair, I can’t find a story where anybody named their puppy after Jack Smith. Or, for that matter, Fani Willis. So perhaps — as [genuflects] Obama once put it — the fever is breaking. We can but hope.
* * *
“Mass shootings spur divergent laws as states split between gun rights and control” [Associated Press]. “[F]ellow Democratic Gov. J.B. Pritzker signed a law making Illinois the eighth state to roll back legal protections for firearms manufacturers and distributors. The new law bans firearms advertising that officials determine produces a public safety threat or appeals to children, militants or others who might later use the weapons illegally. Pritzker signed the bill alongside attendees of an annual conference hosted by the gun-control group Everytown for Gun Safety. The group said 2023 has been ‘a historic year for gun safety in the states.’ In addition to Illinois, Democratic-led legislatures in Colorado, Connecticut, Hawaii, Michigan, Maryland, Minnesota, Vermont and Washington all passed multiple gun control provisions this year.” • Pritzker checking those boxes in very disciplined fashion.
* * *
“Virginia Democrats raise alarms that Gov. Glenn Youngkin could be building toward a national bid” [EMEA Tribune]. Pakistani, fascinatingly, though originally published at NBC. “Virginia Democrats are worried the national party isn’t doing enough to stop Republican Gov. Glenn Youngkin, raising alarm bells that he could try to use wins on the state level to pull Virginia to the right and, potentially, mount a presidential bid. Chief among their worries is this fall’s legislative elections. Every single seat in the commonwealth’s General Assembly, which is currently split between the two parties, is up for re-election in November. Republicans now hold a five-seat edge in the House of Delegates with three vacancies, while Democrats control the Senate by the same margin. Youngkin’s statewide operation is aiming at a GOP sweep, which would open the door to a conservative governing package Democrats have largely been able to stymie during his first two years in office. GOP strategist Karl Rove, who previously worked for the Virginia GOP, agrees. Rove believes Youngkin and his political team have made all the right moves to take full advantage of his popularity and channel it properly. ‘Money isn’t everything in politics, but it’s important and he began raising it early and spending it wisely, which happens far less often than you might think in politics,’ Rove said… Rove believes that while Youngkin’s national profile is on the rise, a race for president might still be a difficult proposition this late in the calendar. ‘It’s a long shot if he decides to pursue it,’ Rove said. ‘The irony is it’s a better shot if he stays focused on November and makes a decision afterwards than if he decides today.'”
“Gov. Youngkin fires back at school district defying policy on gender identity: ‘Parents are in charge'” [NBC News]. “Gov. Glenn Youngkin, R-Va., responded to a school district announcing it wouldn’t use the new model policies set by Virginia’s Education Department (VDOE), saying it is the law and the district ‘doesn’t have a choice’ in the matter. Prince William County Public Schools (PWCS) released a statement last week stating that it would stick with an older policy that addresses the ‘rights of transgender and gender-nonconforming students’ because it is ‘consistent with both federal and state anti-discrimination laws.’ The VDOE’s 2021 model policies for school districts allowed transgender students to use bathrooms and school facilities that matched their gender identity as well as required teachers to use students’ preferred gender pronouns, according to the Washington Post.” • Not mentioned in the article above, oddly. Notice that if dark horse Pritzker runs, gender identity will move front and center as an election “issue.” Always something to look forward to in 2024.
“Virginia school district not surprised by ‘controversy’ over accepting anti-‘woke’ books in school libraries” [Washington Examiner]. “Taylor added that the question of ‘where are the positive books?’ inspired a greater push to encourage the acceptance of Brave Books in their school libraries. The Brave Books CEO said Monday that he doesn’t understand why some adults are advocating pornographic and inappropriate materials in school libraries and is thrilled Spotsylvania is adding his values-based books in their libraries. ‘Everybody gets grossed out by it, and kids get grossed out by it by nature,’ Talbott said of graphic books in schools. Taylor hopes other school districts follow their lead in an emphasis on providing students a ‘moral education’ and ‘appropriate reading selections.'” • Can’t we just leave what’s in the library to librarians? Or, heaven forfend, has the successor ideology corrupted them too?
Democrats en Déshabillé
Patient readers, it seems that people are actually reading the back-dated post! But I have not updated it, and there are many updates. So I will have to do that. –lambert
I have moved my standing remarks on the Democrat Party (“the Democrat Party is a rotting corpse that can’t bury itself”) to a separate, back-dated post, to which I will periodically add material, summarizing the addition here in a “live” Water Cooler. (Hopefully, some Bourdieu.) It turns out that defining the Democrat Party is, in fact, a hard problem. I do think the paragraph that follows is on point all the way back to 2016, if not before:
The Democrat Party is the political expression of the class power of PMC, their base (lucidly explained by Thomas Frank in Listen, Liberal!). ; if the Democrat Party did not exist, the PMC would have to invent it. . (“PMC” modulo “class expatriates,” of course.) Second, all the working parts of the Party reinforce each other. Leave aside characterizing the relationships between elements of the Party (ka-ching, but not entirely) those elements comprise a network — a Flex Net? An iron octagon? — of funders, vendors, apparatchiks, electeds, NGOs, and miscellaneous mercenaries, with assets in the press and the intelligence community.
Note, of course, that the class power of the PMC both expresses and is limited by other classes; oligarchs and American gentry (see ‘industrial model’ of Ferguson, Jorgensen, and Jie) and the working class spring to mind. Suck up, kick down.
* * *
Realignment and Legitimacy
“Does Voting By Mail Really Help Candidates Win?” [Washington Monthly]. “Academics and political professionals have long debated the effects of mail-in voting, and recent studies have come to two conclusions. First, sending voters a ballot by mail—which they can fill out at home and mail back or deliver in person to a drop box or polling location—boosts overall turnout. Second, on balance, mail-in voting—sometimes called voting at home—doesn’t advantage one party over another. The latter conclusion seemed true even in 2020, when Donald Trump specifically dissuaded his base from voting by mail, spreading false conspiracy theories that absentee voting causes fraud and unfairly benefits Democrats. Even though Trump lost and a far higher portion of Democrats than Republicans voted by mail that year (58 percent versus 32 percent according to a Pew survey), a comprehensive study failed to show a partisan advantage for Democrats in the nation as a whole. The study also found, however, a small advantage for Democrats in states that allowed voters to obtain mail ballots without an excuse (like, say, a note from a doctor). As it happens, nearly all of the battleground states in 2020, where the presidential campaigns focused their energy and resources, were also “”no excuse”” states. As a result, the finding suggests—although it doesn’t definitely prove—that the Democrats’ greater focus on vote by mail in those states may have made a difference. The results from the 2022 midterms point in the same direction. Democratic candidates everywhere endorsed mail-in voting and performed better than expected, while Republicans shied away—largely for fear of antagonizing Trump and his hardcore supporters—and did worse.” • I don’t care, I hate it all, and I don’t care what goo-goos from Oregon say. Any system other than the entire country voting at the same time rewards partisan affiliation, which is the very last thing we want to do (and why Democrats like it so much.
“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; Wastewater Scan, includes drilldown by zip); Variants (CDC; Walgreens); “Iowa COVID-19 Tracker” (in IA, but national data). “Infection Control, Emergency Management, Safety, and General Thoughts” (especially on hospitalization by city).
Lambert here: Readers, thanks for the collective effort. To update any entry, do feel free to contact me at the address given with the plants. Please put “COVID” in the subject line. Thank you!
Resources, United States (Local): AK (dashboard); AL (dashboard); AR (dashboard); AZ (dashboard); CA (dashboard; Marin, dashboard; Stanford, wastewater; Oakland, wastewater); 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).
Hat tips to helpful readers: anon (2), Art_DogCT, B24S, CanCyn, ChiGal, Chuck L, Festoonic, FM, FreeMarketApologist (4), Gumbo, hop2it, JB, JEHR, JF, JL Joe, John, JM (10), JustAnotherVolunteer, JW, KatieBird, LL, Michael King, KF, LaRuse, mrsyk, MT, MT_Wild, otisyves, Petal (6), RK (2), RL, RM, Rod, square coats (11), tennesseewaltzer, Utah, Bob White (3).
Stay safe out there!
An intelligence test! Which Mandy fails, dramatically:
I’m impressed by CDC staffers’ collective (and exceptional) silent rebuke to “Maskless Mandy”‘s recklessness (and I hope the auditorium was well-ventilated). These staffers give me hope. The parallel between Mandy’s modeling of masking practice during a pandemic driven by an airborne Level 3 biohazard and the management pablum on Mandy’s PowerPoint is pretty stark. You want “trust”? Then act in a trustworthy fashion!
“CDC Weighs Lower Infection Safety Precautions For Healthcare Workers” [Judy Stone, Forbes]. “The Healthcare Infection Control Advisory Committee advises the CDC on guidelines for infection control in healthcare settings. HICPAC met in June and published slides summarizing its draft guidelines [finally]. This is where the controversy began. It is scheduled to meet again on Tuesday, Aug 22, and, per its published draft agenda [finally], to vote on finalizing its plan for the CDC. However, I was told by a CDC representative that there will not be a vote until at least November. The planned HICPAC revisions would water down infection control protections, particularly for aerosol transmission and multidrug-resistant organisms.” Importantly:
More than 900 experts in infectious disease, public health, industrial hygiene, aerosol science and ventilation engineering signed a letter to Mandy Cohen, M.D., the new CDC director, explaining how the new draft guidelines weaken protections for healthcare workers. They state, ‘Surgical masks cannot be recommended to protect health care personnel against inhalation of infectious aerosols.’ The experts’ letter was coauthored by Lisa Brosseau, Jane Thomason and Peg Seminario, among others. Seminario was the director of occupational safety and health for the AFL-CIO from 1990 to 2019.
The CDC responded to Seminario and the experts’ letter only now, a month later, and just before the scheduled Aug 22 meeting. The agency offered no substantive or specific rebuttal, but spoke of its dedication to ‘improving healthcare quality’ and commitment to ‘to transparency, communication, and stakeholder engagement.’ . The letter is not yet publicly available [dry, very very].
I hardly dare hope that my yammering about FACA (here; here) had some effect. But a man can dream! Today is August 22; HICPAC will finish meeting one half hour after Water Cooler posts in an ideal world; and we will see what the results are.
From BioBot wastewater data, August 22:
Lambert here: Happy memories of tape-watching days! Closing in on a Trump-era surge level; Biden’s, of course, are higher. It will be interesting to see what happens when schools open up. I would like to congratulate the Biden administration and the public health establishment, the CDC especially, for this enormous and unprecedented achievement. And a tip of the ol’ Water Cooler hat to the Great Barrington goons, whose policies have been followed so assiduously! A curious fact: All of Biden’s peaks are higher than Trump’s peaks. Shows you what public health can do when it’s firing on all eight cylinders! Musical interlude. NOTE I’m not happy that Biobot can’t update this data more frequently.
Backward revisions. The national flattening is due to the Midwest downward swoop. I’d wait for the backward revisions on that. Interestingly, the upswing begins before July 4, which neither accelerates nor retards it.
Regional variant data, August 19:
EG.5 (the orange pie slice) still seems evenly distributed. Sadly, the Midwest data is not available, so we can’t infer anything about the Midwest surge and any variant(s), one way or the other.
NOT UPDATED From CDC, August 19:
From CDC, August 5:
Lambert here: Not sure what to make of this. I’m used to seeing a new variant take down the previously dominant variant. Here it looks like we have a “tag team,” all working together to cut XBB.1.5 down to size. 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.
Covid Emergency Room Visits
NOT UPDATED From CDC NCIRD Surveillance, August 12:
Lambert here: Increase is even more distinct. (The black line is “combined”, but it is easy to see that Covid, the red line, is driving everything.)
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.
I hate this metric because the lag makes it deceptive. Nevertheless, here’s bellwether New York City, data as of August 21:
Could be worse, and doubtless will be. But how much worse?
Walgreens, August 21:
So, Walgreens is back in the game (and how the heck did that debacle happen? We breathlessly await the news coverage). The percentage of positives is the highest ever, though absolute numbers are still small relative to past surges.
NOT UPDATED From CDC, July 31:
Lambert here: This is the CDC’s “Traveler-Based Genomic Surveillance” data.
NOT UPDATED Iowa COVID-19 Tracker, August 9:
Lambert here: The WHO data is worthless, so I replaced it with the Iowa Covid Data Tracker. Their method: “These data have been sourced, via the API from the CDC: https://data.cdc.gov/NCHS/Conditions-Contributing-to-COVID-19-Deaths-by-Stat/hk9y-quqm. This visualization updates on Wednesday evenings. Data are provisional and are adjusted weekly by the CDC.” I can’t seem to get a pop-up that shows a total of the three causes (top right). Readers?
Total: 1,172,801 –
1,172,458 = 343 (343 * 365 = 125,195 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).
The Economist, August 21:
Lambert here: Back to almost dailiy. Odd when it is, odd when it stops. 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. )
Manufacturing: “United States Richmond Fed Manufacturing Index” [Trading Economics]. “The Manufacturing Activity Index in the Richmond area edged up to -7 in August 2023 from -9 in July, as expected.”
Today’s Fear & Greed Index: 50 Fear (previous close: 46 Neutral) [CNN]. One week ago: 54 (Neutral). (0 is Extreme Fear; 100 is Extreme Greed). Last updated Aug 21 at 12:31 PM ET. Mr. Market is still chewing his hands.
From the mouths of menswear mavens:
"His benefits may be considered as parallel to what are called the comforts or conveniences in arrangements of a personal nature—like an easy chair or a good fire, which do their best in dispelling cold and fatigue […]"
Does this mean wearing a coat-and-tie? Often not! pic.twitter.com/19cdFYmlVu
— derek guy (@dieworkwear) August 21, 2023
So it’s not possible to be a capitalist and a gentleman?
News of the Wired
I am not yet wired today.
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 SR:
SR writes: “Balcony, northern Virginia: The mystery of balloon flowers.”
Readers: Water Cooler is a standalone entity not covered by the annual NC fundraiser. So if you see a link you especially like, or an item you wouldn’t see anywhere else, please do not hesitate to express your appreciation in tangible form. Remember, a tip jar is for tipping! Regular positive feedback both makes me feel good and lets me know I’m on the right track with coverage. When I get no donations for five or ten days I get worried. More tangibly, a constant trickle of donations helps me with expenses, and I factor in that trickle when setting fundraising goals:
Here is the screen that will appear, which I have helpfully annotated:
If you hate PayPal, you can email me at lambert [UNDERSCORE] strether [DOT] corrente [AT] yahoo [DOT] com, and I will give you directions on how to send a check. Thank you!