Links 8/13/2023

The World’s Oldest Moss Outlived the Dinosaurs, but It May Not Survive Climate Change Scientific American

The Fungi-Mad Ladies of Long Ago JSTOR. Clickbait headline. The deck: “In mycology’s early days, botanical drawing was, for some women, a calling. Their mushroom renderings were key to establishing this new field.”

Rare Gray Wolf Pack Emerges in Unlikely Southern Sierra Nevada Habitat, Hundreds of Miles Away From Other Known Packs SFist

Credit Suisse retail investors plan lawsuit challenging UBS takeover FT


How a perfect storm of climate and weather led to catastrophic Maui fire LA Times

Hawaii Officials Were Warned Years Ago That Maui’s Lahaina Faced High Wildfire Risk WSJ (KS).

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Is Carbon Capture and Storage a Climate Solution? Inside Climate News

Global heating likely to hit world food supply before 1.5C, says UN expert Guardian (KS).

Soil microbiome, Earth’s ‘living skin’ under threat from climate change (press release) Penn State University


US COVID markers up slightly again CIDRAP. “The two main indicators that federal health officials use to track COVID-19 activity—hospitalizations and deaths—both registered small rises this week.” That’s because they’re lagging indicators. “Biobot wastewater tracking suggests gradually rising levels in all regions of the country.” Gradually rising:

Well, I think — surprisingly — CIDRAP comes close to minimizing here. Yes, the slope of this surge is less steep than previous surges, so in that sense, “gradual.” However, the absolute numbers are high, already higher than one previous peak. Further, Midwest levels are not “gradually rising” at all; they are (ignoring possible backward revision) heading toward the vertical. As I wrote

Looks like the current surge is moving along quite nicely! Stay safe out there…. Open air camping on Labor Day, no? Far from the madding crowd? 232 days away…. And drive, as opposed to flying? Just a thought!

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Long COVID in a highly vaccinated population infected during a SARS-CoV-2 Omicron wave – Australia, 2022 (preprint) medRxiv. N = 22,744. From the Abstract: “In a highly vaccinated population (94% with >=3 vaccine doses), almost 20% of persons infected with the SARS-CoV-2 Omicron variant reported symptoms consistent with Long COVID 90 days post diagnosis. Long COVID was associated with sustained negative impacts on work/study and a substantial utilisation of GP services 2-3 months after the acute illness; however, ED presentations and hospitalisations for Long COVID were rare.”

Smart Thermometer–Based Participatory Surveillance to Discern the Role of Children in Household Viral Transmission During the COVID-19 Pandemic JAMA. From June, when we linked to it, but germane, as “Back to School” looms. From the Abstract: ” In this cohort study using participatory surveillance to measure within-household transmission at a national scale, we discerned an important role for children in the spread of viral infection within households during the COVID-19 pandemic, heightened when schools were in session, supporting a role for school attendance in COVID-19 spread.”

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The Media Are Still Failing to Ask Serious Questions about Long COVID to Policy Makers Mike the Mad Biologist

Doctors struggle with how to help patients with heart conditions after COVID-19 CBS. They could start by wearing masks and supporting universal masking in health care facilities. Still, it’s good to see “heart conditions” and “COVID-19” in the same headline. Generally, the two topics are kept carefully, even assiduously, apart.

No, We Haven’t “Lived” with Diseases for Millions of Years Jessica Wildfire, OK Doomer. Wildfire is uneven. Here she is spot on.


How U.S. and China Are Breaking Up, in Charts WSJ. Hmm.

How America is failing to break up with China The Economist

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Zombie Economy New Left Review

China’s eastern economic powerhouse provides national snapshot; declining workforce, demand and wages plague Jiangsu South China Morning Post

China might change one of its most hated laws Semafor. The hukou system.


Sanctioned Myanmar Minister Visited India to Study Aadhaar The Wire. The “Aadhaar Unique Identity system.” I can’t imagine how that would help the Junta…. 

Junta Boss Advisor Faces ‘Hopeless’ Task: Solving Myanmar’s Economic Crisis The Irrawaddy. The beatings will continue….


West African bloc scraps crisis meeting on Niger coup Al Jazeera. ECOWAS. “The meeting was indefinitely suspended for ‘technical reasons.'”

From Chi-Town bagman to ECOWAS chairman: meet the former money launderer leading the push to invade Niger The Grayzone

China ‘winning lion’s share’ of construction projects in Africa, study finds South China Morning Post

European Disunion

France’s supreme court suspends gov’t decision to dissolve environmental activist group France24


US pressures Saudi Arabia to sell oil in dollars, not Chinese yuan, amid Israel negotiations Ben Norton, Geopolitical Report

Taliban’s Massively Successful Opium Eradication Raises Questions About What US Was Doing All Along Mint Press

Dear Old Blighty

‘An utter disgrace’: 90% of England’s most precious river habitats blighted by raw sewage and farming pollution Guardian

New Not-So-Cold War

Ukraine makes “tactically significant” progress in counteroffensive – NYT Ukrainska Pravda

Russian Tornado Rocket Artillery Systems Bombarding ‘Foreign Mercenaries’ at Lugansk Training Range Military Watch. For some definition of “foreign mercenaries.”

‘Bribery during war is treason’: Ukraine’s Zelenskyy fires army recruiters Al Jazeera

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Ukraine’s Foreign Minister Assures: Taurus and Atacms Will Be Used Exclusively inside Ukraine’s Borders European Pravda

Seymour Hersh: Harold Pinter Had It Right (complete) Scheer Post. Effects of Nord Stream II on Germany’s political economy.

Blackwater paved the way for Wagner Al Jazeera

Biden Administration

Lina Khan: The most feared person in Silicon Valley is a 34-year-old in DC Yahoo Finance. 

AOC demands DOJ target Clarence Thomas over relationship with Republican megadonor FOX. Several “megadonors” (billionaires), in fact. Driven by Pro Publica reporting.


The Sweep and Force of Section Three William Baude and Michael Stokes Paulsen, University of Pennsylvania Law Review. Important!! The Abstract:

Section Three of the Fourteenth Amendment forbids holding office by former office holders who then participate in insurrection or rebellion. Because of a range of misperceptions and mistaken assumptions, Section Three’s full legal consequences have not been appreciated or enforced. This article corrects those mistakes by setting forth the full sweep and force of Section Three. First, Section Three remains an enforceable part of the Constitution, not limited to the Civil War, and not effectively repealed by nineteenth century amnesty legislation. Second, Section Three is self-executing, operating as an immediate disqualification from office, without the need for additional action by Congress. It can and should be enforced by every official, state or federal, who judges qualifications. Third, to the extent of any conflict with prior constitutional rules, Section Three repeals, supersedes, or simply satisfies them. This includes the rules against bills of attainder or ex post facto laws, the Due Process Clause, and even the free speech principles of the First Amendment. Fourth, Section Three covers a broad range of conduct against the authority of the constitutional order, including many instances of indirect participation or support as “aid or comfort.” It covers a broad range of former offices, including the Presidency. And in particular, it disqualifies former President Donald Trump, and potentially many others, because of their participation in the attempted overthrow of the 2020 presidential election.

Both Baude and Paulsen are members of the Federalist Society. I will be interested to see how Turley reacts to this (and he should react).

The Memo: Legal chaos engulfs Biden and Trump The Hill

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‘Shoeless Joe’ Weiss and the fixing of the Hunter Biden game Jonathan Turley, The Hill 

The Bidens’ Case Will Keep On Giving Moon of Alabama

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Vivek Ramaswamy says US ‘climate change agenda’ is a ‘hoax’ The Hill. He’s a loonie.

Ron DeSantis and his backers paid $95,000 to an Iowa religious leader’s group Reuters

Spook Country

Commentary on the Implementation Plan for the 2023 US National Cybersecurity Strategy Schneier on Security. I’m a little surprised to see Schneier simply quoting the Atlantic Council (“…finally implementing a working digital identity solution…”, “… the precarious present for the administrative state…”. And much else).

This Is What Happens When People Start Actually Reading Privacy Policies The Markup

Digital Watch

AI will be at the center of the next financial crisis, SEC chair warns Felix Salmon, Axios

Multinationals turn to generative AI to manage supply chains FT

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Two rival robotaxi services win approval to operate throughout San Francisco despite safety concerns AP. Willie, good job.

The 420

The age of K: how ketamine became the decade’s defining drug The Face

Zeitgeist Watch

Note: All three of these trends have the effect of reducing crowding in poorly ventilated spaces.

It’s not just the office people don’t want to go to: COVID looks to have permanently severed something as school attendance plummets and keeps dropping Fortune

Hundreds of government employees in San Francisco told to work from home due to the high levels of crime in the area, report says Insider

Airlines can’t add high-end seats fast enough as travelers treat themselves to first class CNBC

Understanding Migration Trends to Prepare for the Post-Pandemic Future Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland

Class Warfare

Fourteen days across the Atlantic, perched on a ship’s rudder BBC (Furzy Mouse).

Antidote du jour (via):

Bonus antidote (JB):

JB writes: “Here is photos L. took one morning on her run.”

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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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. VT Digger

    Re: Moss uh, temperatures during the cretaceous period were Much higher than today. The planet was doing great. Way more interesting flora/fauna.

    This is what we forget, climate change is not bad for earth. It is in fact probably good for earth, this random moss included.

    What climate change is bad for is…the real estate market. Only half joking…those who generate The Narrative could focus on any one of a dozen more immediate threats to humanity. But climate change is both very lucrative and very threatening to the existing economic order of things.

    1. Lex

      We cannot destroy the Earth nor can we end Life. We can only destroy ourselves and the version of Earth’s life we’ve come to know.

      1. Jabura Basaidai

        Amen to that – seems to be a theme running through the last few days – the earth ain’t going anywhere, we are –

      2. urdsama

        To quote John Cena “are you sure about that?”

        All we need to do is look next door to Venus. And while I’m routinely assured that could never happen on Earth, even Carl Sagan wasn’t willing to rule that out as a possibility. Yes, the science has come a long way since he mused on that outcome, but it has also shown we have greatly underestimated some key feedback loops.

        Destroy the Earth? No. Destroy all life on Earth? Who knows.

        1. Donald

          As it happens, there are scientists who debate what size asteroid it would take to wipe out all life ( not just fragile things like humans and dinosaurs) and they talk in terms of asteroids that boil away the ocean and melt the crust. We are talking about multi trillion megaton explosions. ( And the following paper is saying that the original idea that a 500 km multi trillion megaton explosion would do it is wrong— you need a bigger rock.)


          Lesser impacts can cause something like the Cretaceous extinction and massive volcanic eruptions ( which probably put vastly larger an amounts of CO2 in the air than we are doing) probably caused the Permian extinction.

          What we are doing is very bad and it is happening at a faster rate than prehistoric climate change ( except for impact- caused events) but it doesn’t begin to compare with what nature has done.

          I’ve found that some people have trouble keeping both thoughts in their head at the same time— either they say that climate change doesn’t matter because it has happened before, or they think that we will cause total annihilation of earth ecosystems ( which is close to the actual title of an early paper on Hadea asteroid impacts).

          The collapse of civilization is scary enough for me.

          1. The Rev Kev

            The Earth was once hit with a Mars size object but it eventually went on to become the way that it is now. A large chunk of that object merged with the planet while a massive chunk was thrown off and ended up orbiting the planet and which we now call the Moon. I suppose that it could happen again. Come to think of it, that was the idea for the old film “When worlds collide.”

    2. Mikel

      For the majority of the life of the planet, conditions have been inhospitable to human life. But the fantasy that there is such a thing as a forever species continues.
      So yes, the global economic system is having an existential crisis knowing limits are real and wants to exert all kinds of controls on the pleebs to try to create a few trillionaires that can live comfortably.

      1. eugene linden

        Only in this broad context do we see that civilization — e.g. cities, organized agriculture, proto states — is almost entirely an artifact of the Holocene which began at the end of the last cooling (the Younger Dryas). 11,500 years ago, human numbers were a few million. Since then they’ve grown to 8 billion. Numbers flatlined during the Little Ice Age, and then truly soared, from 1 billion in 1804 to 2 billion in 1927, at which point the curve goes parabolic. Despite hiccups, the Holocene has been the most human friendly weather since we emerged as a species. And now we’ve left the Holocene. We’re going to miss it. This new epoch we’re creating will not be as human friendly as the one we’ve left behind.

    3. jax

      Yes, the earth will recover eventually, but we can do a very good job of destroying the majority of life on earth when the current 437 nuclear reactors melt down due to the absence of human operators.

      1. aletheia33

        thank you, jax. i agree.
        i keep wondering why more people don’t mention this aspect of the future in all the discussions that seem to be (for some reason /s) currently sprouting up about the ever-accelerating movement toward more and more death of living things.

        who will keep these facilities safe?
        nuclear reactors must not be the only type of installation that requires constant human monitoring.
        who will even keep track of where all the toxic places are?
        –we’re not even keeping track of them today.

        other than in science fiction, has anyone even seriously suggested ways this will be managed?
        serious question.
        oh wait–it’s so obvious! robots and AI.
        no worries. nothing will essentially change.

  2. square coats

    I can’t shake the feeling that Joe Biden’s involvement in and personally benefiting from Hunter Biden’s business dealings is the least of J Biden’s criminal activity, particularly regarding Ukraine but of course more broadly as well. And that the whole mounting flurry around this ultimately narrow corruption could be used to indefinitely or permanently obscure whatever else has been going on and all the other important people who might then be implicated too.

    1. griffen

      per talking head on ABC this week on the “news weekly” and lifelong Democrat political operative, Donna Brazile, there is zero evidence of links to the sitting President. Now, on the other hand, links to his time as a sitting VP and then former VP are worth the discussion and merit more seeking. All those talks about the weather and Joe is showing the love for his son.

      Five years on this. How on earth can the Justice department, with a straight face, tell Americans they have more seeking and digging to do. Bank records are usually pretty plain to understand, in my opinion. One can’t lie about what is showing on a ledger or SAR filing. I’m not very trusting in Merrick Garland or in Weiss, to be certain. Oh, to clarify that is “the Trump appointed” Weiss. Further with the now appointment of Weiss to this status, it slows any path (realistically) of any move towards an impeachment inquiry in the House (if my understanding is right, different talking head on ABC)

      1. Oh

        Donna Brazile seems to a woman with several lives and has a unique ability to fail upwards. Of course she has connections inside the crooked Dem Party. If IIRC, she was the campaign manager for “tank head” Dukakus.

      1. Dr. John Carpenter

        He never seemed useful enough for Epstein. Plus I would think by now something about that would have leaked, even if just a flight log or whatnot. But I refuse to believe the Tara Reade situation was an isolated incident.

    2. some guy

      I wonder whether parts of the Deep PermaGov would like Biden to change his mind and give the Johnson Pledge ( ” Lyndon B. Johnson: ‘Accordingly, I shall not seek, and I will not accept, the nomination of my party for another term as your president’, Address to the Nation – 1968).

      I wonder whether these parts of the Deep PermaGov will begin leeking more and more of the worst Huntergate material at an accelerating rate of increase till Biden either removes himself or is removed before next election. They would have to want Biden out pretty badly in order to do this.

      If they want Biden out badly enough, we will be hearing more and more and faster and faster about Huntergate.

  3. GramSci

    Re: Actually Reading Privacy Policies

    Strange reporting, focusing on (and pooh-poohing) Zoom’s license

    «for a list of purposes, including “machine learning, artificial intelligence, training, [and] testing.”»

    while totally ignoring what I consider to be the more serious issues:

    «The user agreement stated that Zoom users gave the company “a perpetual, worldwide, non-exclusive, royalty-free, sublicensable, and transferable license” to use “customer content”…»

    1. .human

      I take issue with the added sentence also:

      “Notwithstanding the above, Zoom will not use audio, video or chat Customer Content to train our artificial intelligence models without your consent.”

      The word “our” is doing a lot of work there.

        1. Bsn

          Use Jitsi instead. End/end encryption. I did quite a bit of research and they are the best, privacy wise. Here:
          Also, I don’t download much or use a large variety of software but when I do, I always read the fine print (used to work in banking – fine print is everything). Our school district purchased tracking/identity check software “for your own security m’am”, it was the last straw. I read their policy, found some “funny” ways to phrase things so asked the district IT gents bout it. “Oh, we’ll check into it” Bull pucky. I went in as a substitute and it accused me of XY & Z. I – walked out. One less teacher with 20+ years of experience. “Have a nice day”.

      1. Old Jake

        Until we change our mind. That clause where we can change the terms any time we please without advance notice still remains.

    2. timbers

      Regarding privacy policies (and how they are used to crappify Customer Service):

      I recently noticed AT$T requires customers have “passwords” on their accounts, without which AT$T is spreading lies to the effect their “Customer UServe Us” reps can’t access your account to “help” you.

      This triggered an explosion from me, at AT$T Customer UServe Us rep.

      First I told them that any password placed on my account by them, is NOT my PW but in fact theirs. I said to never ever again tell my you can not access account w/o such PW because that was very obviously and self evidently FALSE. After she again insisted she could not and explained it was to protect customer privacy, I said to her that if AT$T was protecting customer privacy, why does AT$T send every bit of the most personal data and key strokes and conversation of all their customers to US Government in direct violation of the Constitution? Which then shares this private data not only to other governments but corporations as well? I told her to get someone to help her if she can not or will not access my account. At that point, she sent me a “one time” code that would allow her to access the account. The purpose of the call was to update credit card info for autopay. Next, she refused to take the info over the phone, saying then my account would not be secure because she would see my card data. Instead, she sent a link from which I did the inputting of credit card info. As I was inputting the data, I noted to her that it was a full screen app, and that any hacker or hackers might be able to see and record this data, and appeared to far less secure than if I had instead given her the information verbally over the phone.

      AT$T has setup a good monkey hoop to screen out callers in need of actual service.

      1. q7

        Just wanting to add some context…

        The account PIN codes were instituted as a hare-brained doing something attempt at stopping account hijacking related to bad actors swapping service to a different device, allowing them to more easily take over financial accounts which often rely on 2-factor authentication.

        Whether it’s effective is debatable but it can be said to be better than nothings and I personally would avail myself to any protection as the effects of financial account takeovers are truly devastating.

        Sim Swapping

  4. Terry Flynn

    re COVID heart issues. Lambert encouraged me to follow-up on the fact I’ve finally got some traction with primary care regarding my “weird bloods etc” that were finally taken seriously after a hospital admission. In interests of brevity a day or two ago I didn’t refer to my heart issues but they are perhaps the most worrying.

    Since birth I’ve had SVTs. For over 30 years these were regarded as “no biggie – indeed something typically only athletes get when over-exercising”. We now know that the effects upon life expectancy etc are in same ball-park as the types of heart issues experienced by people who “have not been good because of food/smoking/drinking/whatever”. Thus I was told (very gently and politely, but firmly, in 2005 that my heart age is probably 20 years older than my actual age). Thus, I’m now having to pay a LOT of attention to environmental risk factors. My heart is probably that of a 70+ year old.

    Lo and behold, SVTs (meant to have been cured via keyhole surgery in mid noughties) returned with a vengeance once COVID hit me. OK I’m not keeling over like some high profile athletic types, but I certainly have seen a BIG return of heart issues I was NEVER meant to experience again. I’m “watching this space” very carefully. Thanks, again, to NC for linking to these sorts of study.

    1. The Rev Kev

      Sorry to hear that you are having such a tough slog, Terry. Having someone say that you have the heart of a 70 year old when in your 50s is something that you never want to hear. In your position I would never worry about making a hairy nuisance of myself with doctors to get some sort of resolution. Obviously I am not a doctor but would it be worth it getting some sort of slow, long-term exercise program from your doctors to slowly build up your heart strength? Even if it is just long distance walking to build up your cardio?

      1. Terry Flynn

        Thanks Rev Kev. The irony is that I was “gently warned” when I was in my 30s (and thus was stereotypically thinking I was invincible). Now I’ve hit 50 the chickens are coming home to roost. I’ve had a junior partner at my General Practice claim (in a phone consultation) that “you didn’t have an SVT, you didn’t understand what it was”. WTAF?! I’m more qualified to understand what an SVT feels like than 99% of people who’ve had an SVT, who are themselves a small group. Just CHECKING my medical record would have shown I had one of the worst SVTs in British clinical history. I didn’t pursue this. There’s only one thing worse than being an unsuccessful whistle-blower – being a SUCCESSFUL whistle-blower. Am not blowing up my mental health again.

        I’m already following advice to do a lot of walking – for mental and physical health. It certainly helps. Unfortunately due to hypermobility and other issues I am very restricted as to what kind of exercises I can do without risking things like ankle sprains/breaks. But the walks are great and I’m glad that my SUBJECTIVE health overall is better than it has been in ages. I know that this conceals a load of underlying blood issues (undoubtedly COVID related) but I mostly am doing OK at the moment. Fingers crossed! (PS Keep posting those comments re sci fi/the critical drinker – we clearly watch similar stuff!)

        1. The Rev Kev

          If you ever want to spice up your walks, try this. Whenever you go for one along a regular route, try and spot something that you never noticed before. It might be how you see that an embankment has eroded revealing more of a telephone pole from when it was first installed or looking at the choices that people make with what front fence that they have. The idea is to stop walking on autopilot and your brain doing its eternal monologue but forcing it to see what is around you, things that you never noticed in spite of seeing it scores of times. Seeing rather than looking.

          1. Terry Flynn

            Thanks, that’s really great. I do have a tendency to overthink and dwell on stuff – mindfulness is something I’m meant to do but alas, don’t do enough. So those types of thought that you mention sound great in providing a more “natural” way of distracting oneself…..and if they get me doing the mindfulness exercises more often, bonus!

          2. griffen

            Talking a short walk this Sunday morning, east coast in South Carolina, I noticed a moderate sized tree limb had recently been felled at a nearby house. Can’t determine for sure if the tree limb was felled last night, but there have been severe weather alerts during the week usually between 4pm to 10pm. Assuming it was wind as I didn’t see other such instances.

            It’s middle August and the humidity hovers daily at the 80% and above mark, or it just feels that way. Off topic I guess to mix up health related issues with humidity!

            1. ambrit

              Re. “Off topic I guess to mix up health related issues with humidity!”
              Au contrair mes amis! The two definitely go together. I find that I sweat out a lot of salts when I do a trip, on foot, to the nearby supermarket. Once I twigged to it, I now carry a 16 oz bottle with sports type drink, the mix the dry powder in water type, and sip as I go. It has made a big improvement in my overall physical situation. Now, if I could figure out a way to defat my thymus.
              Keep paying attention to what your body is trying to tell you.

          3. Bsn

            Yes, mind games are fun on walks. I play a variety of musical instruments so as I walk (or wait in line, or attend a staff meeting….) I do fingerings for fun. Helps if I haven’t played an instrument lately and get a call for a wedding requiring that “horn”. Keeps me limber if I get a call and my mind off of human life’s bad thoughts. “Music is the healing force of the Universe”.

        2. Phenix

          Do you have EDS? (Ehlers-Danlos syndromes). My wife deals with EDS and tachycardia. She was never diagnosed with what tyoe of tachycardia.

          She is hyper mobile and struggles with most activities now.

          1. Terry Flynn

            EDS is one of those conditions I’ve come across in my reading, but haven’t properly investigated. Being “med stats” not physician, I can usually get to grips with the issues around a given condition but it can sometimes take time, so I sometimes skip stuff when I have to do my caring responsibilities etc.

            The fact someone has suggested it has certainly made me think I should go back and look “properly” at it, thanks.

    2. Terry Flynn

      Many thanks. I’m reading (whenever time allows) anything and everything regarding COVID at moment, given that it “gets me at every turn”.

  5. The Rev Kev

    “No, We Haven’t “Lived” with Diseases for Millions of Years”

    Sorry but this article was nothing less than annoying with it’s very broad brushstrokes. And by the end it talks how public health is falling apart but never saying why. The only thing missing was for her to say ‘Tis a mystery.’ She dismisses the 19th century as a brutal time but it was in this era that our Victorian ancestors were finally getting it together and were spending massive resources on sewerage, drinking water, public hospitals and were taking a scientific analysis of medical practices as she hints at. The advances that we made in the past 100 years that changed everything were built up on the foundation of what had gone before in the 19th century. But now she says that we are going backwards and absolutely refuses to say why but I will. Neoliberalism happened. It was Neoliberalism that privatized public health, led to the lack of training for new doctors and nurses but wanted them to get by on McWages, undercut public trust with the fiasco of Covid vaccines, made conditions so bad in the health sector that people are just quitting as they had enough and all the rest of it. So when she talks about the ‘sociopaths in politics and media’ she neglected the critical adjective – Neoliberal sociopaths.

    1. Bart Hansen

      One sentence in the piece caught my eye: “If you lived anywhere near a cemetery, decaying corpses could leach into your well water and poison you.”

      Long ago I took interest in the lives of the three famous Bronte sisters. They all died young, two from TB and one from a pregnancy condition I cannot spell. We visited the Bronte Parsonage in Haworth (oddly pronounced roughly ‘Howeth’, one syllable) and saw that there was a small cemetery right in front of the building. Researchers believe that the well water must have had a deleterious effect on the whole family. Out of the original family of eight, the father was the only one to live to an old age.

      1. The Rev Kev

        That whole village sounds like a sickly place-

        ‘It is estimated that 40,000 people are buried in the churchyard, the burial registers go back to 1645. In 1849 the graveyard being overcrowded and badly drained was affecting the already poor sanitation in Haworth, Patrick Bronte requested that improvements be made regarding sanitation. Benjamin Herschel Babbage (son of Charles Babbage the Mathematician) visited Haworth and recorded the facilities for the General Board of Health.

        His report published in 1850 described the sanitation as being poor to the public health, with inadequate fresh water facility. It stated that 41.6% of children in Haworth died before the age of 6, average life expectancy was 24. The diaries from the school history are testament to the poor health of the children; smallpox, measles, whooping cough, scarlet fever are mentioned frequently as are the deaths of the children.

        There were 69 privies in the whole village, one to every 4½ houses. Some people drank from water contaminated from open drains. Many of the houses were damp due to backing on to higher ground that was continually seeping water from higher up. There were many cases of typhus, dysentery, smallpox and consumption.

        Babbage requested that gravestones were not to be laid flat on the ground as they were limiting the growth of shrubs which would help with decomposition. The trees were planted in the 1860’s.

        The Brontes are buried in a vault inside the church , except Anne who was buried at Scarborough.’

        1. SufferinSuccotash

          So Charlotte really wasn’t making anything up with her description of “Lowood” in Jane Eyre.

          1. Bart Hansen

            Yes, the older girls, Maria and Elizabeth Bronte, died shortly after being pulled back to the Parsonage from the ‘Lowood School’ due to its unsuitability, being ripe with both TB and Typhus.

      2. JohnA

        What caught my eye was: ” Even then, it took several more outbreaks to motivate investment in a modern sewer system. Politicians waited until the stench of human waste became unbearable in every corner of the city”.

        Policians never change. At what point will the effects of climate change become unbearable enough to motivate investment in changing course? Politicians everywhere continue to wait. As neoliberals, to quote Thatcher, preach there is no such thing as society, presumably it will the genuine death of this allegedly imaginary society that will force change. Or more like the end of homo sapiens.

        1. GF

          “At what point will the effects of climate change become unbearable enough to motivate investment in changing course?”

          The day before the last human dies. (Speculation)

    2. JTMcPhee

      Fascinating that the Imperial-embargo-crippled, dirty-Commie Cuban political economy has managed to produce five (5) effective non-mRNA Covid vaccines and a very effective immunization policy.

      And, mirabile dictu, those actual real vaccines (not the debilitating Big Pharma “products” that snuck into FDA “approval” via the “emergency use authorization” trick) are not locked down by intellectual-property monopoly chains.

      Funny that we rugged individualism-crippled “capitalists” hear so very little about “Cuber,” that dangerous, evil state only 90 miles from our sacred shores…

      1. britzklieg

        Indeed, a small, impoverished and punitively sanctioned-for-almost-a-decade island had the ability to address covid with far better results than billions thrown at a corrupt pharmaceutical industry which demanded immunity from litigation and so delivered poison to a credulous and lazy public which continues to be glad-handed and to ignore what’s really happening, all the while chanting “we’re number one! we’re number one.”

      2. Jen

        A friend of mine sent me links to a website for a travel company that she and her husband had used for a once in a life time pre-retirement trip to patagonia. Way too rich for my blood, but I noticed that the same company also had tours to Cuba, and my first thought was, could I get one of their vaccines if I booked a tour there?

        1. playon

          I’m sure you could. Michael Moore made a film where he took some people needing medical care to Cuba for treatment.

    3. Jabura Basaidai

      thank you – after reading the article it was obvious all the reasons for and real solutions to her conclusions were not going to be addressed – you have succinctly addressed the reasons for – there is no public health, only monetized health thanks to the neoliberal sociopaths and private equity – not holding my breath for solutions –

  6. Lexx

    ‘No, We Haven’t “Lived” with Diseases for Millions of Years’

    ‘When Jesus turned water into wine, he wasn’t throwing a party. He was killing germs.’

    That quote would make a terrific t-shirt. I’m pretty sure I have a book in the library for cleaning one’s whole house primarily with vinegar. If only it had been used on more medical instruments rather than drinking it, then Jesus really would have “saved”.

    I’ve been wondering how dependent (perhaps on a genetic/epigenetic level) humanity has always been (and maybe some people more than others) on fermented food and drink to keep our microbiomes healthy and our immune systems with them, and therefore what a very profitable disaster the contents of the grocery stores are. Easy to chew, little fiber on offer for those little beasties, nutritionless, and heavily preserved. I can hear Sandor Katz say, ‘told ya so’, but I wonder if he knew the half of it. For millennia drinking and eating what was preprocessed by microbes (or boiling) was not a choice, but now it is and we need to return to including them in our diets pronto.

    Have you noticed that those who immigrate to this country, who bring their native diets with them seem to be the healthiest longest? Like a lot of cooks before me, I’ve become interested recently in looking at the roots of regional cooking, and the cookbooks written there. Those private recipe files never make it to the estate sales. It’s more than attachment to their culture, it’s physical survival individually and as a tribe… it’s longevity. Life on this planet is a continuous competition on every level, for every form of life.

    1. Henry Moon Pie

      The discussion of wine and fermentation was the best part of the article. My winemaking season is rapidly approaching, and the process is especially pertinent in these times. You harvest the grapes, squeeze the juice out, and add a little packet of yeast. What do the yeast do? They multiply like crazy in all that sugary grape juice while excreting the alcohol they produce from that sugar. They multiply, eat and piss until the alcohol level reaches a point that it kills them and any other bacteria in that juice. Classic Overshoot. Change that yeast for us, the sugar for fossil fuels and the alcohol for CO2, and you have our current situation.

      Fermentation is a great, low energy way of preserving food by ridding it of bacteria. It’s also a great example of what we’re doing to ourselves and fellow complex life with our overpopulation and overconsumption.

      1. Lexx

        On our farm, it was apples come fall… gathered box by box, the varieties mixed and squeezed. Then we froze the juice in half gallons and took them back out one by one through the winter. Best cider ever. I think about it every fall as the night’s start to get cooler.

        We’re getting ready to smoke salmon, maybe one whole side before we leave and then the bulk of our winter store when we return. The nice thing about smoking is it can usually wait.

    1. griffen

      Now for an obligatory pop culture reference. Donkey, from Shrek (maybe one of the best animated sidekicks?).

      I’m all alone…That’s a nice boulder…in the morning I’m making waffles!

    2. JaaaaaCeeeee

      Great observation, on a wonderful photo, that there is something of the Town Musicians of Bremen in that photo of the horse, bird, and burro buddies hanging out together. Thanks!

    3. Pat

      Thanks for that article. The foray into its type of folk tale is slightly up my alley currently. I’ve been reading translated folk tales recently for fun and diversion. I should have realized that someone had classified them and made lists comparing them by nationality.
      I might not be interested in that intellectually but it could a great resource just to look at how certain themes and ideas appear from one country to another.

  7. LawnDart

    Re; Hundreds of government employees in San Francisco told to work from home due to the high levels of crime in the area, report says

    After reading the article and about all of the reader comments on the ya-hoo board that I could handle, I’d say that the USA is getting close to the point of electing a strongman to power who will “fix” these problems.

    If you thought that it sucked before to be an “undesirable,” just wait… especially as that net expands.

    Capitalisim without social consciousness or responsibility– gotta love it.

    1. Wukchumni

      You hate to kick a place when its down, but one might as well get the boot in.

      What happened to you, Frisco?

        1. Artie

          It was taken over by The San Francisco Family, mostly southern sharecroppers brought up to work in wartime shipyards, later serviced and pandered to through housing projects, given city job preference and vote harvested to assure that Willie Brown and his financial paymasters could promote themselves and mediocrities like Harris and Newsom. Jonestown was the culmination of that. The political and cultural effects linger and metastasize.

          The other night, outside of Trieste coffeehouse, at least seven autonomous taxis stalled and blocked firetrucks. People smashed the windows with a mallet to get to controls to try and move them without success. As long as no passengers, trashing these things, especially cameras and sensors, is the solution whenever they appear. Make it so expensive that there’s no profit possible.

      1. LawnDart

        I really enjoyed my time there in the 90s– I know that it had its “bad parts,” but even these seemed safer than those in Chicago at the time.

        Contrary to right-wing media, Chicago is still a great city to visit (aside from the places that haven’t been safe in generations), but San Francisco? Damn. And I’d love to visit The Stinking Rose again…

      2. griffen

        They might still go by the San Francisco 49’ers but as of now, they are officially housed at a stadium in Santa Clara. There is always regional repping, for certain, and the budding promise in a young star picked historically at a draft spot where nothing is expected, aside from the Mr Irrelevant moniker that is. One time I visited SF back in ’07 or ’08, driving past and I could not resist actually seeing Candlestick, by then a hulking relic of past glory. Imagine the stories these old stadiums have shared through generations.

        1. Henry Moon Pie

          Willie Mays did some memorable things in Candlestick. His most famous catch was at the Polo Grounds when they were still the New York Giants, but this catch is pretty amazing. Don’t want to be in Willie’s way when he was tracking down a ball.

      3. Lee

        In addition to neoliberalism, deindustrialization, and financialization I blame the temperate local climate: rarely too hot, rarely too cold relative to many other places. This attracts both the monied and the poors. Housing prices and the cost of living in general are ridiculously high, and therefore increasingly out of reach for middle income individuals and families. When I first starting spending time in San Francisco in the late 1960s, it was such a lively place both politically and culturally. Alas, no more so far as I can tell.

      4. Jorge

        What happened to SF? Too much money.

        There is no middle class because they can’t afford the rents; thus there are only super-affluent and poor.

    2. Adam Eran

      JFYI, San Francisco adopted the “the beatings will continue…” philosophy of addressing crime. From 2010 to 2021, San Francisco’s police budget increased by 15%, yet total arrests declined by 41%, and although reported offenses were up (+28%) crimes cleared (-33%) and total arrests (-41%) both declined. The effectiveness of those massive investments in punishment and policing is at least limited.

      This is par for the course in the U.S, whose population increased 42% between 1982 and 2017, while police spending increased 187%.

      1. Tom Stone

        SF City Government and the SFPD have been notoriously corrupt for more than 170 years, there’s a reason violent criminals feel safe kicking in people’s front doors in broad daylight in SF.

    3. britzklieg

      I bet the French Laundry is thriving…

      okay, it’s not directly in SF but you get my point

  8. Lexx

    ‘Airlines can’t add high-end seats fast enough as travelers treat themselves to first class’

    Two choices and little in between… comfortable (expensive) and miserable (less expensive). What can you afford and what are you willing to put up with? I can see customers upgrading to avoid the miserable. They’re running away from rather than toward, and then the airlines are capitalizing on the market action they engineered. It’s not really a treat.

    1. curlydan

      I rarely fly, but this summer I needed to travel on a multi-stop trip. It’s shocking that I can’t even get a window seat anymore in coach without paying a fee. And I travel with a family, so the odds that we’re all together on a flight are basically 0. The only airline I flew that would allow families together was Cathay Pacific–no wonder they’re still regarded as a good airline while the rest generally rot.

      And of course I board last. I look around at my fellow remaining boarders last and say, “Here are the cheap bastards who refused to play the game.”

  9. petal

    Steep increase in wastewater levels here in Hanover, NH since July 4th. Went from 0/undetectable to 2090 viral copies/100mL. It really took off after the 7/25 reading. So many PMC people in my social circle have been traveling this summer-multiple families to London, Paris; another kid to athletic training in Utah, etc. The family parents said they are trying to squeeze in what they “missed or would’ve done during covid” to now so they can do it before the kids go off to college. Of course none of them are masking. No increase in masking around town or at the hospital that I can tell. Alice Peck Day Hospital re-instituted masking(just blue baggies) the other week but the parent hospital has not even though it’s in the same town.

  10. timbers

    US pressures Saudi Arabia to sell oil in dollars, not Chinese yuan, amid Israel negotiations

    The US “demands” are substantial such that MBS has to be quite a bit MORE involved in negotiations than he would otherwise – weather he wants to or not – and is probably noticing how much easy it is to work with Russia/China vs the US.

    Washington has three main demands – (wouldn’t it be 1000x easier to cut the US out and deal w/Israel directly?)

    “assurances that Riyadh will use U.S. dollars, not Chinese currency, to price oil sales”
    “assurances from Saudi Arabia that it won’t allow China to build military bases in the kingdom”
    “limitations on Saudi Arabia using technology developed by China’s Huawei”

    Yah sure, dictate our economy to us on your terms. No problema. And of course we don’t want China using it’s Huawei technology to spy on us, after all YOU would never do such a thing!

    Still, that the US is making demands like this comes across not as a position of strength but of neediness.

    1. The Rev Kev

      I’m surprised that the US did not also demand that the Saudis nail they heads to wooden planks as well but perhaps they were feeling generous. All those demands are a de-facto demand that the Saudis give up their sovereignty and go back to the way things were last century.

      Meanwhile, I have been reading that the US has also been going to Egypt and demanding that they hand over all their weaponry to the Ukrainians along with a coupla billion dollars. Apparently Zelensky wants to buy some mansions in Cairo but the Egyptians not willing to play ball.

    2. NotTimothyGeithner

      Like the BRICS potential expansion, I suspect the US has made so many one sided deals, anything less than total capitulation opens the floodgates to vassals demanding better deals. There are 800 bases, and outside of Germany and Japan, they are effectively leased.

      With the deindustrialization, the US simply isn’t the country it was even in 2009. The dollar won’t be replaced, but it’s not as critical.

    3. Sisyphus

      As I sort of alluded to yesterday, the US can demand whatever the hell it wants–it demanded that Saudi increase oil supplies to aid its Ukraine policy, for example–and it will flood the newsfeeds with threats of punishment, etc, if Saudi doesn’t comply.

      However, when the Saudis ignore the US, the US quickly shuts up (notice that when Saudi mentioned supply cuts recently, there hasn’t been a peep in the press about punishments in return).

      The US has been running on bluster and bluffs for a very long time, and these bluffs are increasingly getting called everywhere in the world. IT will be interesting to see how this all plays out.

  11. dougie

    Reading Links and Water Cooler usually causes me to search the web for further information about one topic or another. Today’s search? After reading “The Age of K”, it was

    Ketamine Therapy clinics near me. I have been horribly afraid of psychedelic drugs since a frightening 3 day long experience with “heroic doses” of LSD in the early 70’s. I have a curiosity whether professionally administered K might help me alleviate some “minorish” anxiety issues, mainly heat sensitive claustrophobia that can lead quickly to full blown panic attacks. Those are definitely NOT minor.

    I have developed coping mechanisms over the years, but I have become more and more resistant to leaving the house when it is hot outside(5-6 months per year in my locale). A lot of that has to do with Covid precautions, but I had sworn off elevators long before Covid hit the scene.

    I had no idea that a psychiatrist whose office I drive by regularly offers those treatments. Hmmmmm……

    1. The Rev Kev

      I had Ketamine once when I broke my ankle in a stupid accident last year (don’t ask). The doctors had to screw around with my ankle before putting it in plaster and gave me some of this stuff. It was, from an observational point, fascinating as it felt like the world was narrowing till it was just my brain left but I quickly came out of it when they had finished so I made note to ask what it was before the doctors left. I did a bit of research after and found that people were taking this recreationally as well as medical settings. Not keen on the idea of recreational drugs so will probably never try it again but that is just me. If I was any more unhip, my bum would fall off.

      1. dougie

        Agreed, Rev. Recreational drug use for me is a very occasional cold beer (not 2) after yardwork. I have made(and subsequently broken) several vows I have taken in my lifetime, but never the one I made to the Universe about never taking LSD again if it allowed me to put my 17 yo psyche back in a box with a bow on it.

        I am still curious about this, though. But never unsupervised.

        1. Sam

          I have had 4 ketamine infusions to deal with neuropathy in my foot and I can imagine that it’s like what LSD is like. Just as it peaked before letting up I was questioning whether anything in my life was actually real or was I living in a Matrix environment. Did I really have 2 dawgs waiting for me at home or was that something that was just implanted in my mind? Was anything in my life actually real? And just as I was starting to freak out my mom walked by and told me to calm down which I did. She died 5 years previously. But boy was that a strange trip. I was forewarned by that experience when I had the other treatments.

          I had it done in a doctors office that had full emergency equipment there just in case and I was hooked up to monitors and I wouldn’t have it done anywhere that doesn’t have the safety equipment and a well trained staff. I have heard that it’s very beneficial for people who have depression and anxiety issues. Anyway hope this helps and if you do decide to have a treatment I look forward to hearing how it went for you.

          On edit. I suggest doing some research on the places that offer it.

          1. dougie

            Thanks, Sam. I have done this, and have found out that the IV infusion (100% bioavailable) is not covered by any health insurance. The Intramuscular (90-95% bioavailable) may be covered somewhat. Spravata is the FDA approved/big pharma nasal spray (50% bioavailable), and then there are the 30-40% bioavailable sublingual tablets.

            Looks like Medicare MAY cover some of it, but you better have a stout secondary drug plan that specifically covers Spravata, as well as proving that other psychotropic meds have been ineffective.

            Uninsured out of pocket costs for treatment could cost $2-5k per week, over a 4 to 6 week course of treatment. I declare curiosity fully satisfied, knowing that I will never seek this treatment.

            1. kareninca

              I have a relative who was prescribed ketamine about seven years ago in nasal form for psychological problems. He picked it up at a compounding pharmacy in San Jose, CA. It was about $80 (self paid) for a really meagre amount and he got the strong impression that it was watered. It was a lame and unhelpful experience.

              On the other hand, my 98 y.o. father in law has been prescribed compounded ketamine in capsule form for chronic pain. His (ultra reputable) pain doctor calls it in to “Feel Good Compounders” in Pacifica, CA, and they compound it and ship it to him. He uses it intermittently for pain and it does help; if he uses it regularly he habituates and it doesn’t work. It is not terribly expensive; it is about $100 (full self pay; no insurance coverage) for as many as 120 10 mg. pills; enough for a month. I don’t know how much more it costs for higher doses, and of course I don’t know how much you would need for your concern). He has not noticed any psychological effects. It may be that a reputable compounding pharmacy via self pay would be your cheapest option; the pain doctor told my FIL that it was by far the cheapest source that he knew of.

      2. britzklieg

        I smoked a lot of pot in my days but it was not primarily recreational, rather self-medicating against the stress of a high-profile talent shared in public in front of large audiences and recognized at a precocious and early age. As a much less aware adult, I dabbled in cocaine but that was easy to reject once I focused on the incredible harm it was doing. I saw a lot of recreational ketamine use during the 90’s, mostly in the gay clubbing scene, and observed it to be public onanism… “K-holes” as they were called seemed to be entirely self-absorbed and fun only to those lost in it’s vortex – naval gazing accompanied by the “rush” not unsimilar to LSD (which I did in high school and college where self-absorption was not recognized as such). But Huxley’s “Doors of Perception” is still an important observation and his expansive mind surely lead him to insights where others would just laugh and contemplate things that ultimately don’t matter. He took LSD as he was dying and escaped the mortal coil on a level that intrigues me still and one I would consider if a pure form of that drug (lsd-24) were readily available and its source could be trusted.

  12. Pensions Guy

    As a retired lawyer, now living in North Carolina, I spent the better part of Friday and Saturday carefully reading the Baude and Paulsen piece on Section Three of the Fourteenth Amendment. The article is 126 pages, with hundreds of footnotes, and it is compelling. 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. My quick research tells me that the North Carolina Board of Elections is charged with determining candidate qualifications and that challenges to such qualifications must be filed within 10 days of the primary filing deadline. That Board currently has three Democratic members and two Republican members. Every State is different, but only one or two determinations in critical States to keep Donald Trump off the ballot would prompt immediate litigation, with an appeal going to the Supreme Court on perhaps the same pace as Bush v. Gore. Justice Thomas should recuse himself because of the efforts Ginni Thomas exerted in Arizona and on Mark Meadows. So, assume that Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson in Michigan has the responsibility there to determine candidate qualifications. She would then have the authority and responsibility to declare that Donald Trump’s name would not be on the ballot for the Republican Primary. Wisconsin has a Democratic Secretary of State. Many States have boards of elections. I see no reason that challenges should not be filed with the relevant decision-maker in every State.

      1. pjay

        Exactly. I haven’t read the article, and I’m not a lawyer. But it would seem that we would have to determine that (1) what happened on Jan 6 was an *insurrection*- was it? And (2) Trump was attempting to *instigate* this “insurrection” – was he? It may be *possible* to conclude that both statements are true, but to this point neither have been demonstrated to my satisfaction. So yes, from the outside this 126 legal analysis seems to be based on a hypothetical, not proven facts. Am I missing something?

        1. GramSci

          And (2) Trump [the then-current President of the United States] was attempting to *instigate* this “insurrection”. But IANAL either, so unqualified to discern what the Founding Fathers “intended”….

    1. Carolinian

      Of course you slide by the premise of your argument which would be that January 6 was indeed an “insurrection.” Here’s what one dictionary says

      rebellion: a rebellion against the government or rulers of a country, often involving armed conflict

      Obviously the insurrection that inspired the amendment–the Civil War–would qualify but many here on this blog observed on the very day of the event that what happened was a protest and riot that got out of control–in part because the Capitol police failed to control it. Trump himself is on tape saying that the crowd should go protest “peacefully.” There have even been suggestions of government agents in the crowd provoking the Capitol invasion and that those so eager to cry “insurrection,” such as Pelosi, contributed to the incident by restraining the preparations.

      Therefore you are making a political argument rather than a “facts speak for themselves” argument so please present it as such.

      The zeal to keep Trump off the ballot doesn’t address the most obvious way for the American people to express their opinion of Trump and that is by voting. Lawfare may not garner the respect that would represent “consent of the governed” but sounds more like the “rules based” pronouncements of our current administration where one side makes the rules.

      1. Phenix

        in part because the Capitol police failed to control it.

        The Tucker interview with the Capitol Police Chief makes it clear that political decisions were made to keep the National Guard out of the Capitol.

        Mitch McConnell and Nancy Pelosi were in critical positions and chose their response.

        1. flora

          Why are Pelosi’s office records about that day and the days preceding it out of bounds to the investigators? Inquiring minds….

          1. The Rev Kev

            Say, did they ever recover Nancy’s laptop that went missing that day? Now I am not saying that it might contain the same sort of things that Hunter Biden’s laptop had like financial dealings documents along with all those recreational videos but you never know. :)

      2. marym

        The authors do present a lengthy argument that the Capitol riot was an insurrection, and that Trump both contributed to its incitement and delayed trying to stop it. They also consider “the broader argument that the entire campaign to overthrow the results of the 2020 election was a form of constitutional rebellion [p. 121]…” This would include “the dishonest attempts to set aside valid state election results with false claims of voter fraud; the attempted subversion of the constitutional processes for states’ selection of electors for President and Vice President; the efforts to have the Vice President unconstitutionally claim a power to refuse to count electoral votes certified and submitted by several states; the efforts of Members of Congress to reject votes lawfully cast by electors…[p. 111]…” Using that definition, the paper also proposes that numerous other participants in the broader effort would be disqualified for public office.

        1. pjay

          I did not read this before commenting above, so now I guess I will have to read the article to see if the authors can convince me that this was indeed an “insurrection.” I bet I can anticipate most of their arguments.

          1. Pensions Guy

            Yes, reading the article is important. The authors exhaustively cover all historical understandings of “insurrections” and “rebellions”, including dictionary definitions from the time the Amendment was adopted, numerous court decisions, understandings of the term by prominent Americans (such as Lincoln), etc. When the Amendment was proposed, some opponents argued against it on the ground that it was to be self-executing, but the proponents responded basically by saying, “Yes, that’s the point.” As conservative as the authors are, it is almost surprising that the reach their conclusion as forcefully as they do. As they said, they spent about a year doing the research. It behooves us to at least read the article before making pronouncements.

            1. pjay

              I am duly chastised. I was responding to your original comment, which to me sounded like they had assumed an “insurrection” and carried out their legal analysis on that basis. I will read the article when I have time. I imagine that if two conservative legal analysts carried out an “exhaustive” historical review, then they could well have found justification for defining Trump’s actions as “inciting” an “insurrection.” I’m pretty sure this will not change my views on what happened, why it happened, and the various interests involved. We’ll see if such arguments have an effect on Trump’s legal outcome. I’m sure they’ll utilize every tool in their lawfare arsenal.

              It does not surprise me that “conservative” authors from the Federalist Society would come to such conclusions. Trump threatens the status quo, after all. I’m guessing legal scholars who put in a year’s work could find legally disqualifying behavior in the actions of most of our Presidents if they tried.

            2. lambert strether

              > self-executing

              Like so much else about Trump v. United States, a self-executing clause in the Constitution strikes me as… likev Doomsday device?

              1. Eric

                Are you joking? The constitution is upheld by those who took an oath to it. Laws are “executed” by following them. Clearly the words in a law cannot do anything but be words. A “self-executing” law is one that requires that it is read.

        2. Carolinian

          Your “false claims” is doing the same work as “insurrection” and is indeed the basis, apparently, for the latest Smith indictment. Just because state courts have struck down Trump’s objections as not being proven doesn’t mean we have to believe they are all false or that we should be charged with a crime for so believing. In my mind I’m sure some of the claims are true. Some Dems did say before the election that there was no way Trump was going to be allowed to win.

          But I also believe that Trump should have let it go because he still likely lost the popular vote which had a much wider margin. However simply being Trump isn’t–or shouldn’t be–a crime even if people like my brother and quite a few others apparently think it should be.

          Bush v Gore is a very relevant precedent here where the election was decided on a technicality. The Dems were once outraged over that one and now they’re doing it themselves. They should be ashamed. We don’t need two authoritarian parties. The Repubs have always represented the ruling class. What about the rest of us?

          1. marym

            > Your “false claims”

            When speaking in my own voice – not directly quoting someone with quotation marks and links – I try to be consistent in using a phrase like “unsubstantiated claims.” I followed the post-election court cases and believe this is an accurate phrase that reflects what has and hasn’t been presented in court under oath and in other public statements.


      3. ex-PFC Chuck

        Take a look and listen to Tucker Carlson’s interview of Steve Sund, who was chief of the Capitol Police on 1/6/21. The TL/DR is he claims sand was intentionally thrown into the gears of his force’s planning for and performance during the ‘insurrection.’ Examples: being kept in the dark about intelligence developed by other agencies that normally did share such info; what appeared to be deliberate delays on the part of the standing military and national guard to respond to his calls for reinforcements. Regarding the intelligence failure, the actions of Sund’s subordinate heading up the CP’s Intelligence Unit raise questions about where her first loyalties lay.

        1. Katniss Everdeen

          A person could be forgiven for thinking that the chaos in the capitol on 1/6 was just what the doctor ordered for a corrupt cabal of lifer political criminals, desperate to save their golden goose of “public service” from an interloper.

          Without it, all they have is the doofus alvin bragg trying to make Stormy Daniels (Jeezus H.) relevant again, and a classified documents case that needs to be parsed to within an inch of its life to make documents in a Delaware garage that an influence-peddling crackhead had access to benign, while documents in an fbi-approved locked room in Florida a democracy-murdering act of overt espionage.

          I think the jury’s in on the whole “republic, if you can keep it” thing.

      4. JBird4049

        One of the problems with all this lawfare is the rules for thee, but not for me issue. For example look at the Foreign Emoluments Clause of the Constitution. Article I, Section 9, Clause 8.

        No Title of Nobility shall be granted by the United States: And no Person holding any Office of Profit or Trust under them, shall, without the Consent of the Congress, accept of any present, Emolument, Office, or Title, of any kind whatever, from any King, Prince, or foreign State.

        If this clause actual meant anything, the President and almost certainly the entire leadership of Congress and much of the membership would not be in office.
        In addition, Section 3 of the Fourteenth Amendment says the following.

        No person shall be a Senator or Representative in Congress, or elector of President and Vice-President, or hold any office, civil or military, under the United States, or under any State, who, having previously taken an oath, as a member of Congress, or as an officer of the United States, or as a member of any State legislature, or as an executive or judicial officer of any State, to support the Constitution of the United States, shall have engaged in insurrection or rebellion against the same, or given aid or comfort to the enemies thereof. But Congress may by a vote of two-thirds of each House, remove such disability.

        The interview of the former Capitol Police Chief Stephen Sund by Tucker Carlson all but declares that at least one person in his staff, as well the leadership and their staff of the District of Columbia National Guard and probably much of the local leadership of the various security agencies including the FBI, was complicit in the 1/9 contretemps. However, it was only the little people, the protestors, many of whom did not do anything except walking around the building, who were arrested, charged, convicted, and often given multi year prison sentences.

        Even if the Orange Menace is guilty of a treasonous act, I would be more concerned at the dozens, maybe hundreds, of people who enabled the invasion of the House, who have faced no punishment or even exposure. We do not know just how serious the issue is because Congress did not actually do a full, impartial investigation and much of the video evidence is still not released. If Mr Sund’s book is at all true, Congress could have found the greater conspiracy if they had wanted to. Since people gossip all the time, the greater story is almost certainly know among the people working on the Hill.

        If the law was even partially enforced equally, but at all levels, local, state, and federal, it ain’t. Most of us know just how it is enforced. This rules base order pushes harder the lower you are. Those with money or status can get away evermore the greater they have of either.

        Isn’t the last words of the Pledge of Allegiance, “…and justice for all?” The law is supposed to provide this justice and this is why we are supposed to be a nation of laws, not men. It is not perfect but otherwise, quoting Thucydides, “…the powerful do what they will and the weak suffer as they must.” I guess this is why so many Americans want to have this rules based order of theirs with the “rules” being what they decide they are, being as equality under the law is such a pesky thing. It is too bad that most people are not as important or safe as they think they are with turnabout and payback becoming the norm in the United States.

        1. Fred1

          I watched Carson’s interview of Sund a few days ago. I thought there might be something there, but there’s just a little. He’s nothing but a cop who stepped in an enormous pile. All he is doing is protecting himself, some of his senior leadership, and his department.

          Carson repeatedly touts him as the person who knows what actually happened. But when given multiple chances to pontificate, he clams up on almost all of them.

          It may be worth it to buy his book, not because it with give you the definitive, final answer, but because it is probably one of many incomplete, either intentionally or not, books on 1/6 that still has some value and can be puzzled over to maybe bring one closer to the truth.

      5. Katniss Everdeen

        Trump, at a rally in June, after the umpteenth indictment:

        “In the end, they’re not coming after me. They’re coming after you — and I’m just standing in their way,” Trump said.

        126-page “scholarly” and “compelling” analyses of legislative actions taken in response to the Civil War notwithstanding, most americans with a few functioning brain cells know he’s right. “exhaustive textual and originalism analysis” my foot.

        Trump must be kept off the 2024 ballot, at any and all cost, because if he’s there, he’ll win. No doddering, corrupt, influence-peddling crime family don or slick Hollywood brylcreem-er will credibly be able to claim that W or take that sacred “oath.”

        PS. Isn’t it “interesting” how Gini Thomas’s political activities are grounds for Clarence’s “recusal,” but hunter’s debauched money grubbing, influence peddling, and white house coke snorting is not only tolerable but excusable because of a powerful father’s LUUUVVVV?

          1. The Rev Kev

            Oh dear god. I had forgotten that stuff we had to use as kids back in the 60s. Now that I remember it, I shall firmly try to forget it’s existence once more.

      6. hk

        I agree that the slippery definition of “insurrection” is doing a lot of work. Thomas Jefferson, an actual Founding Father, did a lot of subversive stuff while serving as John Adams’ vice president, especially authoring the Kentucky Resolution–which was practically a call for insurrection. So did FF’s think Jefferson was unqualified to be a presidential candidate in 1800?

    2. flora

      Why are they so desperate to get this one Republican out of the way? They’re fine with Mitch and Mitt and Jeb, for examples. Is it personal animus? Fear he’d stop more of the globalists’ plans as he stopped the TPP and TPIP? He’s not a member of the Build Back Better team? A stage show to distract from their own mounting scandals? It really is something to watch. Not the look of a confident party.

          1. pjay

            Right. They’re just part of the “good cop/bad cop” routine by the “liberal/conservative” or “Democrat/Republican” duopoloy. Trump is a loose-canon outsider. He can’t be allowed to screw things up or stir up the masses toward the wrong targets. Whatever the other disagreements among factions of the Establishment, they are in harmony on this issue: Trump must be stopped!

            1. JBird4049

              Let me reiterate a point from my earlier, admittedly excessive comment with another probably excessive comment.

              All this lawfare has nothing to do with the Republic, the law, and certainly not justice. It is about power, and the use of it to manipulate the law, to selectively enforce parts of it, to destroy people to get even more power. Money and power used for more power and money. People wrap their actions as fear for the loss of justice and of democracy.

              They are lying. If not to us, then to themselves. In these United States of ours, those with power, be it by wealth, connections, or position, are twisting the law to mean what it does not say, or at least the maker of them did not intend

              By making the laws, rules, even the very ideas that enable our country sick jokes, they remove the constraints that enables government and society to work and protects us all from abuse. With each election, local, state, and especially federal election, people ratchet up these efforts to get or keep power. Then there is the payback as well.

              We are going to have a regime that wins and give payback or revenge on its perceived enemies. Possible several governments, regimes really, will win and go after the previous, not administrations, but regimes before the system becomes so damaged that a true authoritarian dictatorship or oligarchy, maybe even a totalitarian one, rules.

              It. Does. Not. Matter. Which. Party. Both are actively complicit and it is becoming more about the semi-hidden factions involved, not the official political parties. It is at best a choice of the lesser evil and by focusing on the ostensible good guys and bad guys, we ignore this and become complicit ourselves even if unwillingly.

          2. Katniss Everdeen


            The designations “democrat party” and “republican party” are for democracy theater purposes only.

            It was useful to consider Trump a “republican” when “democrat” hillary needed someone to easily beat–Oops. The uni-party was perfectly fine with her ascension to the throne.

            Same as it’s useful to consider bernie sanders, angus king and kyrsten sinema “democrats” so that “democrats” can control the senate, chuck schumer can be at the helm when mcconnell’s brain periodically ceases function, and harris can be a tie-breaker.

            Trump’s no more a “republican” than the man in the moon.

            Democracy theater.

        1. britzklieg

          And need it be said that “Hamilton” as worshipped by the misled and under-educated classes proves that “federalist” has lost all meaning in regards to separating “progressive” from the national bank money beast and military keynesianism it once protested against. Federalists were never honest about the power for which they ultimately and exclusively hungered. Before scales can fall from credulous eyes the wool that’s been pulled over them must be lifted.

          Not gonna happen…

        2. Pensions Guy

          It’s two law professors who happen to be members of the Federalist Society and who invested a year of their lives doing this research. Their paper anticipates and rebuts every argument against applying Section Three of the Fourteenth Amendment to Donald Trump as an instigator of an insurrection and as one who provided aid and comfort to the insurrectionists. One has to read the entire article to grasp the arguments to and fro. To follow my earlier comment, here in North Carolina, once a challenge to one’s qualifications is filed, citing relevant constitutional provisions, then the burden is on the candidate to establish his/her qualifications by a preponderance of the evidence.

          1. Katniss Everdeen

            Pages 112-114 of the article lay out the authors’ opinions that what happened on 1/6 should be considered an “insurrection.” (They go on, in subsequent pages, to justify its also being considered a rebellion!)

            The “proofs” cited are uses of the words “insurrection” and “insurrectionists” in various congressional documents such as the act awarding medals to capital police for heroism on 1/6 and the Trump impeachment.

            On page 24 is a discussion of an action filed against Marjorie Taylor Greene under this section of the 14th Amendment. The challenge failed. The authors put the “insurrection” issue like this:

            The judge proceeded under the theory that if January 6 was a constitutional “insurrection,” and if Representative Greene had been part of it, she would be barred from office. But it concluded that the challengers had failed to meet their burden of proof under state law: “In short, even assuming, arguendo, that the Invasion was an insurrection, Challengers presented no persuasive evidence….

            Arguendo is a Latin legal term that means “for the sake of argument.” It is commonly used by lawyers in courtroom settings and academic legal settings to designate provisional and unendorsed assumptions that will be made at the beginning of an argument in order to explore their implications.

            The point is that there has been no legal finding that what happened on 1/6 was a “constitutional ‘insurrection’ ” for the purposes of ballot exclusion of President Trump or anyone else under the 14th Amendment.

            I assume that such a finding would be necessary before Sec. 3 could be legitimately invoked, and that it would be the supreme court that would ultimately need to declare it in a matter of such importance.

            Incessant repetition by the likes of huffpo, msdnc or nancy pelosi is just not going to cut it.

            Please correct me if I’m wrong.

            1. Carolinian

              Thanks. Turley wrote a column on this and made your point that a proven insurrection has yet to be accepted in any legal venue–as opposed to partisan venue–and that would be necessary to even begin to lob such a long Hail Mary bomb.

              As for much being made of the authors being Federalists, is it a big revelation that traditional conservatives of the establishment variety don’t like Trump?

      1. Henry Moon Pie

        The Uniparty or Blog or whatever you want to call them see Trump as the organizer of the Deplorables. Without organization, the Deplorables are Orwell’s proles, and they constitute no threat to power. Trump has been able to unite them to some extent, and he claims the ability to weaponize them. That has frightened the Uniparty, and they’re willing to risk a lot to remove Trump from the scene on the assumption that the Deplorables will give up on politics and go back to meth and beer and Wednesday night Bible study.

    3. Lambert Strether Post author

      > Every State is different, but only one or two determinations in critical States to keep Donald Trump off the ballot would prompt immediate litigation, with an appeal going to the Supreme Court on perhaps the same pace as Bush v. Gore.

      Thanks for your reading, Pension Guy. I envisage a similar scenario.

      I assume, however, that the states don’t get to “just do what they want” in this regard; that was, after all, one of the whacky theories espoused by Trump’s team in 2020.

      1. Pensions Guy

        One could envision a scenario where the responsible officials in States like Michigan, Wisconsin and North Carolina accept challenges and determine that Donald Trump is disqualified by Section Three of the Fourteenth Amendment, whereas States like Alabama or Mississippi reach the opposite conclusion. One would expect that the first adverse decision, if it came in an important swing State, would be appealed rapidly to the Supreme Court. That decision would then be binding upon all States. It would also be important for that decision to be rendered as soon as possible, so as to give other candidates, the parties and the country time to adjust and move forward.

        1. Carolinian

          Aren’t you being totally disingenuous to suggest that it’s normal for partisan election boards in a few states to challenge a leading candidate on this basis and then a Supreme Court decision will somehow settle the matter even as the Dems are doing everything in their power to discredit the current Supreme Court?

          Rather than the supposed sacredness of a legal text common sense would be a much better guide in this situation, which has been so thoroughly explored in both an impeachment and an extensive and widely televised Congressional hearing.

          What’s really happening is that the Dems are throwing everything they can think of against the wall until something sticks and this would be the latest instance. The reason they have to keep throwing this substance is that the public seems largely indifferent to the thing you insist on calling an “insurrection.” The Dem’s Russiagate was arguably a much more sinister insurrection since committed with the connivance of government three letter agencies and most of the news media.

          So legal niceties have been long gone from the scene for years now. A modest suggestion would be that the Dems stop Trump the old fashioned democratic way by finding a better candidate to run against him and not our elderly and mentally deteriorating president.

      2. scott s.

        In my state Hawaii interpreting the laws seems a bit murky, as you have references to voting for electors and other references about “candidates”.

    4. Regis Tufarian

      Following up on a few of the responses to this comment, here is a possible scenario for the 2024 election.

      1. Donald Trump goes to trial on the “Jan.6” indictment and is found guilty.
      2. Donald Trump is the Republican nominee.
      3. Donald Trump wins in the electoral college.
      4. The Democrats win control of both houses of congress.
      5. The Democrats vote to disqualify Donald Trump under the terms of Section 3 of the Fourteenth Amendment, as the authors of the article discuss, using the guilty finding as the basis for doing so.

      The problem, in my view, is not that the authors of the law review article are wrong about the meaning of Section 3; it is that they are wrong about whether what Trump did constitutes “…insurrection or rebellion against the [United States], or giv[ing] aid or comfort to the enemies thereof.”

      If Trump wins the election, that would mean that millions of Americans do not think what he did should disqualify him from office. I.e. it would constitute a nation-wide referendum on the question. And even if Trump were to win without winning the popular vote, do we really want to defy the wishes of those tens of millions who are going to vote for Trump?

      Any attempts by the Democrats and their fellow Republican Trump haters to undo such an election result is inviting more trouble than Donald Trump’s second term in office could cause. Not the least of the reasons for this is that neither the Republicans nor the Democrats command the kind of support that would allow them to get away with such a move.

      1. Pensions Guy

        The authors fully anticipate such reactions and cover them all in great detail. Each person responsible for ascertaining candidate qualifications, whether a Secretary of State, a member of a board of elections, or some other official, also has an obligation to defend the constitution. Each State has its own procedures for challenges, hearings and appeals. In North Carolina, when a challenge is filed, the candidate has the burden of proving his/her qualifications by a preponderance of the evidence.
        It’s important to read the entire article, as the country has not been confronted with a former official who took an oath to support and defend the Constitution against all enemies and then participated in, or provided aid and comfort to, an insurrection since the Civil War. Memories have faded.

        1. pjay

          I do appreciate your arguments and the time you took to read this analysis. But you make it sound like the application of such laws and procedures are based, or should be based, on objective legal definitions or precedent. I would argue the opposite. At least in cases of this import, they are *always* political decisions. They reflect the interests of those behind these decisions. That a couple of legal scholars can argue that Trump “participated in, or provided aid and comfort to, an insurrection” means almost nothing to me in terms of understanding either the facts, or the political meaning, of this case. What it does mean to me is that interpretations like theirs will be used in legal arguments against Trump. Those wielding these legal tools are not interested in enforcing “the law;”; they are interested in getting rid of Trump. The outcome will depend on the relative power of the competing parties. But as Regis points out, such *obviously* political actions will have some serious political consequences. I hope all parties involved understand that reality as well.

        2. Regis Tufarian

          I have read the law review article. It sets out in detail the legal arguments but does not, in my opinion, properly take into account the political dimension of Trump’s candidacy.

          Those who oppose Trump do not have the same level of political support as those who were in office in the Reconstruction Era. Quite the opposite.

        3. TomDority

          It’s not about supporting trump or Biden or Repubs or Dems – it’s about upholding the constitution and the laws.
          As far as I am concerned, ignorance is no excuse to break the law.
          What part of of the republican party – itself a non majority of voters – even dems and repubs combined don’t make a majority – think that Trump acted in a way that does not disqualify him from office? Just because the Dems field such a crap candidate that some lowlife, criminal, con man coward like a Trump has a chance to win elections does not excuse the sh&t from article three of 14th re culpability on constitutional grounds and ineligibility of office.
          So let all those who don’t think my constitutional expectations don’t mean crap with the Pay-walled parties games against viable parties or candidates . I believe He is an insurrectionist and attempted to subvert the constitution and the peoples will – so F him and his coward cohorts in crime
          Just infuriating that people still believe the con – but, I guess that is usual for victims of a con – embarrassment – that dems and repubs still use it as excuse for not doing the peoples business but to raise campaign cash is infuriating – Trump had some good ideas -stopping stock buy backs for one – a blind squirrel (a mindless one also) finds the occasional nut.

          1. britzklieg

            It’s not that your constitutional concerns are crap it’s that you apply them selectively… low-life, criminal, con man, coward applies to Biden just as much as Trump and Biden did far more damage to the country during his decades in DC than Trump did in 4 years, only difference is that Biden is not being investigated or charged for the more serious crap he perpetrated under the guise of “legislation.” And if he took bribes from Ukraine and China he’s just as “constitutionally” compromised and treasonous. That’s all. As for the insurrectionist part, that’s an opinion which many reject. Looked to me like a clown-show that got out of hand and there’s NO doubt that Epps’ role has not been sufficiently scrutinized. But whatever, you are allowed your interpretation of events and your “constitutional concerns.” I don’t find a defense of Trump in the above comments, rather a frustration that the obviously corrupt DOJ is allowed to continue its politicized BS without recrimination solely because it’s Trump they are after. I’d happily see Trump cut down to size, but if doing so leaves our polity in the mess that it was in well before Trump than nothing has been accomplished… other than giving Trump the spotlight he needs to rev up his voters to the degree that he might actually beat the malign, mummified and, in my interpretation of constitutional concerns, criminal asshat Biden who hasn’t been investigated or pronounced guilty before the trial he deserves and may never be. A pox on both their houses, duh…

            1. TomDority

              When I apply the terms – I did applied them selectively – It ain’t a ‘ whose the bigger —– pissing match’ sort of thing or, If others do it and get away with it why shouldn’t he- kind of thing. Maybe its if you can’t catch em all then don’t bother thing. Also, after reading the entire review… it’s not about just Trump. “I’d happily see Trump cut down to size, but if doing so leaves our polity in the mess that it was in well before Trump than nothing has been accomplished” I would say Nothing will have been lost by implication of your statement.
              The review did not, nor do I, wish to apply them selectively. rather to apply it uniformly and without the Democratic and Republican circus antics and carnies yapping. It does not matter the party affiliation, either one, don’t care about anything but cash in their pockets and sensationalism with faux concern. Its a shame because some are good people with good intent. Jefferson once questioned the motives of anyone wanting office and so do I, but I guess most are left helpless to change it and opt for the popcorn ringside.
              I agree that both their houses (Democratic and Republican) deserve a pox.
              So how about a little agreement on campaign finance reform – like cut all the bribing and amounts needed to run or needed once in, for getting on to juicy committees. How about tax reform that hits the FIRE side of the equation instead of the productive side of the economy.

    5. Willow

      You’ve gotta think Jan 6 was the perfect setup for her to take another tilt at the presidency. Helping Trump suck the oxygen from any rival Republican nominee while at the same time making him ineligible to get on the ballot.

    6. Lambert Strether Post author

      > 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.

      Trump was charged under Section 1512 with obstructing an official proceeding. He was not charged with insurrection, although Smith could have decided to, since insurrection is also a crime. (Even the Proud Boys were not charged with insurrection; they were charged with “seditious conspiracy.”) Ergo, Trump, even if convicted by Smith, is not guilty of insurrection, so Thirteenth Amendment does not apply.

      Are we really saying that a “self-executing” Thirteenth Amendment over-rides the charging decisions of the Department of Justice? Those are, after all, an important “Federal government function.”

    7. Alan Roxdale

      The elephant in the room here is that Trump has not actually been charged with either rebellion or insurrection, except in the court of public opinion. Even the special prosecutor in charge of investigating Jan 6th has so far declined to bring ANY charges related to the actual storming of the capital. Being the bete-noire of the broadsheet reading classes is not, in and of itself and indictable offense, and barring candidates from the ballot box for such is decadent old-world empire stuff — Trump or no — and will only further inflame a dangerously smouldering electorate.

      Instead of this legalist self destruction, gripping onto the good thing by their fingernails, the beltway class is going to need to face up to the reality that they are Donald Trump’s most effective campaign managers. If you want him and those who follow him off the ballot, you have to put a new kind of politics on it instead. One that addresses the electorate’s need and concerns, and gives them back a fairer portion of their capital and social power — that other bete-noire of the beltway.

      Or just keep staging micro-coups and legal precedents until you get bored and just declare this whole democracy thing expired history. MBS 2028?

  13. Lex

    Long, long ago I wrote a three part series on opium and Afghanistan at the old Scholars and Rogues blog. During the US occupation, Afghanistan became the primary producer of opium but had the lowest border interdiction rates of any major drug producing nation. That we never “controlled” opium was a feature not a bug. And that goes into the giant file of CIA involvement in the drug trade going back to its founding.

    The achievement of the Taliban is going to come with a host of its own challenges though. Opium is one of (if not the only) reliable cash crop for afghan farmers (hash production being one of the others). First, it doesn’t spoil so poor infrastructure has no impact on its value. Second, the traditional afghan way of growing poppies allows double cropping the same land. Poppies are seeded in the fall and overwinter under snow so they can be harvested in spring. That allows a second crop for either sustenance or local market sales.

    Opium’s roll as the primary cash crop goes all the way back beyond the international convention on drug production. Afghanistan petitioned to be an exporter claiming opium accounted for 90% of its hard currency. It was denied so that countries like France and Australia could be legal producers. Given that much of South Asia continually suffers from lack of opioids for medical usage, the Taliban would have been better served by legalizing opium production and operating morphine synthesis under government control. The opium-morphine conversion is simple chemistry and had already started developing in country during the US occupation.

    1. Jabura Basaidai

      could tell you a few stories Lex – these names familiar at all? Ayub Afridi – Iqbal Baig – Anwar Khattak

      1. Bsn

        Patterns anyone? Vietnam = Heroin in the USA, Nicaragua = Coke and then Crack in USA, Afghanistan = Opium again. Patterns? Mafia = USA

    2. Felix_47

      I spent two years in combat in Afghanistan in total. I had to work with the Taliban on a daily basis. The Taliban were generally quite honorable. I trusted their word more than the government leaders. They want the opium out on religious grounds. They take their religion seriously.

    1. Lexx

      I’d be interested to know what was actually typed onto the death certificates; the article is written as though it was just a question mark, ‘it’s a modern medical mystery!’… do they scare because they care* or seek to inform?

      *’Monsters, Inc’

  14. Reply

    In your Covid research, have you seen the mortality resources available from the Society of Actuaries? They specialize in death-parsing so of significant interest to people who don’t want to swallow publicity reports from the CDC or others viewed as compromised.

    1. ChrisRUEcon

      Oh my … Thank You Very Much [Abbreviated as #TYVM occasionally by yours truly; this is my new effort to make people feel less annoyed by acronyms and abbreviations … :) ].

      There’s a wealth of good info in there just from my first cursory scan.


      1. Judith

        Just noting the acronym used for Private Military Company in the Blackwater article today: PMC. :-)

    2. Acacia

      Jumping in to add that the Society of Actuaries is the main source for the USA Today Opinion piece by Dr. Pierre Kory and Mary Beth Pfeiffer, linked just above by flora.

      Anecdotally, my Twitter timeline has been filling up with various people commenting on yuge jumps in excess deaths, albeit in “‘Tis a Mystery!” mode.

    3. Acacia

      Adding, just a small tidbit from this quite interesting SoA report (linked above):

      The Gray-Collar group had the lowest actual-to-expected ratios (A/E’s) relative to baseline over the pandemic period at around 10%, followed by the Blue-Collar group at 14%. The White-Collar group continues to have the highest mortality A/E relative to baseline at 19% during the pandemic period.

      PMC insouciance for the win !

      1. Daryl

        IME, these people have bought the most into thinking vaccines make them invincible. I’ve had more negative experiences around masking after moving to the west coast than in a heavily conservative part of TX.

        A couple covid infections in, it doesn’t matter how many kale shakes you are drinking or how many hot yoga sessions you do every week, it’s gonna take a toll.

      1. Lee

        Search term “life insurance and covid”. From one of the articles:

        “Will COVID-19 have a long-term impact on life insurance requirements? (Value Penguin/Lendingtree)

        It’s still too early to know for certain the effects of the coronavirus pandemic in the long run. Some recovered patients are said to have suffered lasting lung damage, but medical professionals will need more time to assess the true long-term impact of COVID-19. If there are lasting consequences, life insurance providers may incorporate that information into their underwriting standards, which could affect the cost of coverage for COVID-19 survivors.”

        “According to some researchers, it’s also possible that COVID-19 could last beyond pandemic status and join the established family of respiratory illnesses that we deal with season after season. Depending on how quickly and effectively new treatments and vaccines are developed, the threat of continuously recurring COVID-19 might mean higher costs for life insurance.”

        Looking at what private insurers are up to is probably a pretty good indicator of what’s really happening on the ground.

        1. britzklieg

          And, like property insurance in Florida, most life insurance policies will not be available to anyone but the wealthy. Needless to say, the insurance CEO’s will see no effect on their obscene remuneration.

  15. Mildred Montana

    Re: Vivek Ramaswamy

    I posted this a week or so ago but too late I assume to attract any interest. Here’s Ramaswamy in his own words. From the transcript:

    HOOVER: You’ve coined the term “climateism.”

    RAMASWAMY: Yeah. [Note that he takes credit here for an unoriginal “coinage”.]

    HOOVER: What does it mean?

    RAMASWAMY: I think it refers to an ideology that says we have to abandon fossil fuels and carbon emissions at all cost to stave off existential climate risks for humanity. I think that is a religious conviction. It is not a scientific conviction. So I think we have to reckon with the facts to say that, are global surface temperature is going up? Yes, it appears to. That’s a fact.

    HOOVER: Because of the emission of carbon–

    RAMASWAMY: Because of broadly manmade causes, including but not limited to the emission of carbon and also not man made causes. Yes. Is that an existential risk for humanity? No, it is not. Does that mean that we should abandon or even abate the use of carbon or carbon dioxide emissions? No, it does not in my book. I think the right question we should be asking is what advances human prosperity? That’s what I care about. That’s what I will care about measuring as the leader of this country, rather than obsessing over a cult of carbon.

    HOOVER: When people point to the 101 degree water temperatures in Florida or the heat waves throughout the country or the unparalleled storms and climate events. How do you respond?

    RAMASWAMY: I respond by saying that if the same shoe fit the other foot and you disagreed with that policy and somebody else were picking up anecdotal data from the middle of Arkansas who didn’t go to Harvard, you’d be laughing them off the stage as a bunch of rubes who didn’t know how to follow data based on anecdotal evidence.

    Yup. That’s Vivek Ramaswamy. He of the “glittering Ivy League credentials” who made his nut as an “asset manager” (which only means skimming from large pools of other people’s money). He’s a loonie. Just a rich one.

    1. Mark Gisleson

      Legitimized by the anti-climate change folks bundling themselves up into cozy NGOs and LLDs with “$olutions” but yeah, this has all the earmarks of a hustle.

      With seemingly perfect politicians, the exceptions are the tells. Not all exceptions are tells (everyone’s hardwired with some kind of alt-belief) but tells that “show” defects need to be put under a microscope.

      I remember John Edwards being seemingly perfect (but the vibe was inconsistent). Then I saw him with the video producer he cheated on his wife with. Once I saw the video producer, it didn’t make any difference how perfect Edwards was, I was ready to believe any story told about her

      Ramaswamy’s denialism seems pretty conclusive. Vivek’s a nutter on climate science. Good to know. Never loved him but was intrigued by his noticeable energy and drive which may in fact just be him pedaling his tricycle harder than the other kids.

    2. Henry Moon Pie

      Part of the foundation for what Ramaswamy is saying comes from neoliberal economists. Vivek says, “I think the right question we should be asking is what advances human prosperity?” Well then, who thinks that the impacts of Overshoot that we are experiencing now and that will only get worse are the sorts of things that “advance human prosperity?” Orthodox economists like “Nobel” prize winner William Nordhaus:

      While climate scientists warn that climate change could be catastrophic, economists such as 2018 Nobel prize winner William Nordhaus assert that it will be nowhere near as damaging. In a 2018 paper published after he was awarded the prize, Nordhaus claimed that 3°C of warming would reduce global GDP by just 2.1%, compared to what it would be in the total absence of climate change. Even a 6°C increase in global temperature, he claimed, would reduce GDP by just 8.5%.

      Temperatures 6 degrees C higher than the 1850 baseline have not been experienced on Earth for 50 million years. Temperatures 2 degrees C higher than the 1850 baseline have not been experienced in the lately deceased Holocene when humans have been engaged in agriculture.

      Nordhaus is clearly insane or an alien lizard in human drag, but his view dominates among economists. That gives Ramaswamy a foundation from which to make equally ridiculous statements.

    3. Even keel

      Nothing any government has done seems to have helped so far. All I hear, and I may not have the details but what I gather, is that the situation is getting worse and worse. All the solutions proffered seem to either give money to large corporate interests for stuff that doesn’t work (climate capture and storage) or have their own massive environmental and technical problems (evs- mining and transmission).

      So what does it matter if the President actually disbelieves in this crisis that nobody is doing anything about? What would it practically change? Is there some candidate who has put forth a solution that would actually work?

      Has some presidential candidate proposed the radical reductions in consumption that we need? If not , then perhaps some other issue ought to be a deciding factor among presidential candidates.

  16. Roger Blakely

    RE: CIDRAP comes close to minimizing here.

    Dr. Osterholm convinced me on Thursday that we are not in the kind of surge that we have seen in 2020, 2021, or 2022. We just are not seeing the same level of deaths and hospitalizations.

    Yes, there is plenty of SARS-CoV-2 out there. SARS-CoV-2 is kicking me around today. The health effects (skin rash, GI tract) are annoying. I wear a respirator in all indoor public spaces. I think that everybody should do the same. EG-5 is landing on my eyeballs and making me miserable.

    I think that Dr. Barbara Ferrer at the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health is doing the best that she can. She wanted healthcare workers to continue wearing masks. I think that the LA County Board of Supervisors got to her. I am sure that they told her that such measures would no longer be tolerated. She had no choice but to let the order expire.

    1. Lambert Strether Post author

      > Dr. Osterholm convinced me on Thursday that we are not in the kind of surge that we have seen in 2020, 2021, or 2022.

      Actually, if you look at Water Cooler, we have already surpassed surge #2 in 2020, and are well on our way to passing Surge #4 in 2020. Biden’s surges, especially Omicron, in 2021, are larger than Trump’s, so we may not be able to meet the standard he set this time around (almost certainly not Omicron).

      However, with rotten testing, few to no mitigations, social pressure to infect others, lots of travel, school starting up, vaccine immunity fading quickly, and a eugenicist ruling class, I am not sanguine. I am also not sanguine about the effects of boosters, especially take-up, because of a catastrophic and well-deserved loss of trust in the public health establishment.

      Finally, death and hospitalization are the sort of tendentious metrics that we would expect a hospital- and pharma-dominated health care system to promulgate. They take no account of neurological and vascular sequelae, all well proven, or of Long Covid.

      In any case, it costs very little to “stay safe out there.” Since the benefits are so enormous, staying safe is a no-brainer, no matter what those who profit from death and suffering might say.

    2. kareninca

      I am seeing a lot of first-timers on reddit covid/positive. Also, do you check Eric Feigl’s tweets? I find some of his political views annoying, but he does post helpful covid graphs, and my impression is that the really unpleasant version (I won’t say variant, since what do I know) that they’ve been dealing with in Japan has now reached us, and the hospitalizations will come soon (and of course long term problems later).

      Here is an example of Feigl relaying a good point: It is on nitter, so you don’t have to have a twitter account to look at it.

      I do wonder if Osterholm’s brain has been affected by his recent covid infection, which was his first. I have seen lots and lots of people catch covid and then stop caring about avoiding it, even if they had a really bad time of it. The only people that I know off-of-the-internet who still care about avoiding covid, are people who haven’t caught it.

      1. SocalJimObjects

        I had Covid last year and I still care about avoiding it. My symptoms were super mild, resembling a regular flu, most symptoms went away in 1 to 2 days, with the exception of a light cough that only disappeared after 11 days. I am still masked wherever I go, and I’ve upped my Vitamin D intake.

        1. kareninca

          Yes, there are some few people who have had it but are careful going forward. They exist; I come upon them online in credible form. But absolutely everyone I know in my personal life who had it immediately lost interest in avoiding it in the future. However, most of the people I know who have not had it, are in fact still careful (whether vaccinated or not). I think if you look around, you will find that you are a rarity. I wonder what makes you different. Maybe your brain has some quality that makes it resistant to the virus (or at least the variants we’ve had so far).

  17. The Rev Kev

    “Zombie Economy”

    I smell a rat. A Biden White House rat. Today I noticed a whole swathe of articles in Google News saying how China’s economy is about to crash and that it has all sorts of insoluble problems. And today in Links I see two more examples of this. This was of course just after old Joe’s speech where he called China ‘a ticking time bomb’ and how they were in debt and unemployment was so bad. It looks to me to be a coordinated campaign to undermine China international and spook investors – with the cooperation of the main stream media of course. But more concerning, to get himself re-elected Bidne will do nothing but China bashing in the coming months and will be in competition with Trump doing the same. In practice, the US will burn down all diplomatic bridges with China and perhaps Biden will seek to do a few stupid stunts against China to make him look like a tough guy. That is a bad brew that.

    1. Onward to Dystopia

      I must come across a new YewTewb channel every week (to block) that’s obsessed with telling me how China is about to collapse in 15 minutes (Trust Me Brah™). And almost all of these channels conveniently have the same, bland 2-D “corporate art” style. I’m sure that’s a random coincidence though.
      Whenever I see one of these things, I just question, who has China bombed lately? How many military bases do they have around the world? And for that matter, when’s the last time China called me in on my day off or stole my overtime pay or raised my rent? I might have plenty of enemies, but they ain’t over there.

    2. Glen

      An interesting analysis from The Duran:

      Deflation and China’s new economic reality

      Seems like they see that the Chinese economy is slowing too. But their analysis is a bit different. If they’re right (and they have a pretty strong track record), a “Cold War” with China will be exactly what the Chinese economy needs. Another example of Biden’s neocon instincts being exactly wrong at the exact wrong time? Or just a further example that all those old fogies in DC are stuck in the 90’s?

      I give up trying to figure our DC elites out except that I’m even more strongly in favor of them doing a George from Seinfeld:

      George Does The Opposite | The Opposite | Seinfeld

  18. ChrisRUEcon

    #COVID19 – The absolute squalor of public policy

    Thanks as always for the links therein, Lambert.

    Here’s another data point validating the “uptick” – BLS series LNU02006735 (via – “Employed – With a job, not at work, own illness”

    After bottoming out in May to near pre-pandemic levels, back up in June and July.

    #MaskUp #UseANasalSpray

  19. Jason Boxman

    “Trump is going to have his bail revoked,” Anthony Scaramucci wrote on X, the social platform formerly known as Twitter, Friday afternoon. Scaramucci served an infamously brief spell as Trump’s White House Communications Director in 2017.

    That’ll be some show, if former president of the United States Donald Trump is arrested and jailed.

    I don’t look forward to seeing how that plays out in the streets.

  20. Jeff W

    The last paragraph/line of the Markup piece on privacy policies has a link to a guide on “how to read any privacy policy and quickly identify the important/creepy/enraging parts.” Even if you don’t care about identifying the creepy parts of a privacy policy per se, the guide is pretty illuminating about how these privacy policies work and what they actually have you agreeing to:

    The Markup “How to Quickly Get to the Important Truth Inside Any Privacy Policy”

  21. Jason Boxman

    Looks like the NY Times has an alternative energy hopium barrage:

    Arriving Faster Than You Think
    Roiling Both Friends and Foes
    A Battle for Hearts and Minds

    The Clean Energy Future Is Arriving Faster Than You Think

    Such a high level overview, you’d think it’s all to the good. Not a single mention of the state of our electric transmission grid, which has been covered at length at NC. All this capacity, with no way to get it where it needs to go.

    As the planet registers the highest temperatures on record, rising in some places to levels incompatible with human life, governments around the world are pouring trillions of dollars into clean energy to cut the carbon pollution that is broiling the planet.

    (bold mine)

    That sets the tone for the article. I would have selected deadly for as my descriptor.

    Meanwhile, with a surge in NYC, there’s no mention of COVID in the NY Times today.

  22. FUBAR111111

    “Democrats Say It’ll Take A Lot More Than Eyewitness Testimony, Bank Records, Audio, Video, Complete Confessions For Them To Believe Biden Did Anything Wrong”

    “WASHINGTON, D.C. — As evidence of bribery and corruption by the Biden family continues to mount, Democrat lawmakers in the nation’s capital have expressed heavy skepticism, saying they will need a lot more than just eyewitnesses, financial records, audio and video recordings, and admissions of guilt from parties involved for them to believe any of it.

    “Nah, I’m not buying it,” said California Congressman Eric Swalwell. “If you’re wanting me to believe President Biden and his family have been involved in a far-reaching money-for-favors scheme for years, you’ll need to show me a lot more than rock-solid, irrefutable evidence. If the Biden family was corrupt, I think I would have heard about it from my Chinese spy girlfriend.”…….”

    BabylonBee, the most accurate news site now. Hat tip ZH. More at the link, probably not safe for liberals.

  23. mrsyk

    One further comment here. The death of the publisher’s 98 years old mother being (optically) directly associated with the raid has IMO pushed this into the “things go sideways” department. I see that this story is getting national press coverage. How this plays out will offer some strong signals to the community of journalists, bloggers, free-speech advocates etc as to how “protected” we are.

    When they kick in your front door
    How you gonna come…….

    “Guns of Brixton”, The Clash

    1. flora

      I’m starting to wonder what this Kari person, who has such police protection, might be the tip of some iceberg of fishy stuff that might involve some local bigwigs. I have no idea. But. Seriously. The newspaper got a tip, verified the information, decided not to publish the information because, ( I surmise), the paper decided it was a purely domestic dispute with a minor law violation revealed. Not worth public newspaper attention. The newspaper passed on to the police the small law violation information instead of ignoring said violation.

      Then this?! The sky opens up and the county equivalent of a SWAT team drops on the newspaper and journalists like an anvil?! And no one can product the affidavit for the warrant?! What the hell? Something doesn’t add up, in my mind. Why am I thinking about the old TV show The Dukes of Hazzard and the character “Boss” J.D. Hogg ? This is just wild. All this because someone might be denied a catering license to serve liquor? Just wild.

  24. Terry Flynn

    One for “Imperial collapse”: our local Lidl is being regularly raided by kids on e-scooters. I asked checkout lady earlier if she was alerting others when she made a curious call to colleague. No. She explained that earlier that day they’d had a guy WITH A SAMURAI SWORD! My sister knew – apparently armed police were called (as reported on FB) to deal with “Mad guy with deadly sword”. Jeez…….

  25. thousand points of green

    If all the billions of dollars to be spent on performative carbon-capture technology gestures were spent on wetlands restoration instead, how much carbon would those wetlands capture and store? As much or more carbon than the “carbon-capture technologies” would capture and store?

    I don’t know the answer, but I think the question is a real question, and very very fair.

    For example, how much land has Ducks Unlimited bought and kept wet or made wet ever since it was first founded in the 1930s? How much money has Ducks Unlimited spent till now on buying and maintaining that land? If core-borings were taken in some of Ducks Unlimited’s wetlands, prairie potholes, etc., how much peat or other bio-carbon would be found in each annual deposition layer from the time of DU’s purchase till now? The question could be answered if somebody could hustle up a grant to study the question.

    How much former wetlands could those billions of dollars buy from farmers who would like to quit the business if they could find someone to sell the land to? If a Wetlands Unlimited were set up to buy and reflood/rewet millions of acres of such drained-for-farmland former wetlands, how much carbon would those millions of acres of restored wetlands resume capturing?

    How much of California farmland is in the former San Joaquin River Delta wetlands area . . . . the former Great Tule Marshes? What if it were all bought and reflooded and restored to Great Tule Marshland? What if all the drained wetland of Florida from Lake Kissimmee south were bought from its owners and restored to former wetland status? How much carbon would it begin capturing again?

    How much money would a Beavers Unlimited need to buy land beside thousands of running miles of prospective beaver-stream habitat just waiting for beavers to come and build their dams? How much carbon would that capture and bio-sequester?

    1. thousand points of green

      Or the farmers could sell easements on their land to Wetlands Unlimited to reflood and re-wetlandize the land while retaining ownership of it.

      Or they could even just rent the land to Wetlands Unlimited for just as much money per acre as they would have gotten by growing crops on it and Wetlands Unlimited could run that land as a carbon-sink wetland for just as long as farmer and Wetlands Unlimited agreed to keep the arrangement going.

  26. kareninca

    I just got off zoom church and the lady in the Midwest who runs it told us of a religious friend who just had covid for the third time and was in a coma due to it but had just gotten out of the coma. And she also told us of a relative by marriage who had just died of a surprise heart attack at age 52. I think there will be more covid deaths than are counted as covid deaths in this surge.

    1. some guy

      This will be the rise in death rates hoped for by the elites who moved heaven and earth to make covid into a permanent endemic.

      In what they hope will be a plausibly deniable way. Part of the shroud of denial will be the attribution of heart attacks to “heart disease” rather than to the covid which degraded the patients’ hearts to the point of attackability. Same for chronic kidney covidisease. Same for lots of other things over the years and then decades to come.

    2. cnchal

      > I think there will be more covid deaths than are counted as covid deaths in this surge.

      I think the word “not” is missing between the words “are” and “counted”.

      Profits over people requires the harms of covid be airbrushed from the conversation. No one can prove that the poor 52 years old’s death of a heart attack had anything to do with covid.

      Yes, demented thinking is everywhere, even in my family. My brother sat at the kitchen table yelling “bring it on so I can get it over with”. I just laughed. Tough guy goes to the gym for hours a day, thinks he’s tougher than covid. When I try and explain what’s happening, I get the it’s just the flu denialism. I don’t care anymore. Let him have it. Covid has wrecked families in many ways.

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