2:00PM Water Cooler 9/15/2023

This is Naked Capitalism fundraising week. 890 donors have already invested in our efforts to combat corruption and predatory conduct, particularly in the financial realm. Please join us and participate via our donation page, which shows how to give via check, credit card, debit card or PayPal or our new payment processor, Clover. Read about why we’re doing this fundraiser, what we’ve accomplished in the last year,, and our current goal, rewarding our guest bloggers.

By Lambert Strether of Corrente.

Bird Song of the Day

American Robin, Burton Drive Hideaway
King, Washington, United States. “American Robins upset by 2 Barred Owls in a tree, called for at least 15 minutes. Owl calls at 0:33 and 1:38. Occasional other birds include Pacific-slope Flycatcher.”


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

Biden Administration

“‘You’re screwed’: Romney’s exit threatens a collapse of Senate’s middle” [Politico]. “And as maligned as Romney, Manchin and Sinema are by one party or the other’s faithful, the possible 2024 departures of two or three of them would change the Senate, which passed several notable bipartisan deals in the last Congress….  For two years under a 50-50 Senate, President Joe Biden found some legislative success by letting the chamber work its will. A roving bipartisan group started on Covid aid in late 2020 and came together on big issues that had bedeviled previous Congresses: gun safety, same-sex marriage protection, microchip manufacturing and infrastructure investment. Democrats made their fair share of partisan moves, jamming through hundreds of billions in party-line dollars and a massive pandemic aid plan, but the Senate’s playing field was also open for centrist maneuvering…. Still, the legislative filibuster and its 60-vote threshold remain intact — and that could mean new members step into the bipartisan breach. The question is whether that means collaboration only on essential government functions like keeping the lights on and raising the debt ceiling or whether there’s a bipartisan desire to do more.” • So the real issue is [genuflects] the filibuster…. 


Time for the Countdown Clock!

* * *

“‘They did it to me’: Trump says Biden impeachment inquiry might be motivated by revenge” [Politico]. “Former President Donald Trump has ‘no idea’ whether Republicans will vote to impeach President Joe Biden. But he does have a theory on what motivated House Republicans to launch a Biden impeachment inquiry: revenge. ‘They did it to me,’ Trump told former Fox and NBC host Megyn Kelly during an hourlong interview on SiriusXM radio that aired Thursday. ‘And had they not done it to me, I think, and nobody officially said this, but I think had they not done it to me … perhaps you wouldn’t have it being done to them.'”

“Court orders Trump fraud trial be temporarily halted after he sues the judge” [Independent]. “They are seeking the involvement of an appellate judge to initiate an “Article 78 proceeding”, which aims to compel [Justice Arthur Engoro] to significantly weaken the case brought forward by the attorney general.” • New York court mavens: What the heck is an “Article 78 proceeding”?

* * *

“What’s behind the nonsensical campaign to replace Biden-Harris in 2024” [MSNBC]. “Let’s get this out of the way at the outset: No matter how many pundits speculate and pen scorching hot takes floating the idea, Joe Biden is not dropping out of the 2024 presidential race. He’s not dumping the vice president, Kamala Harris, from his ticket. And above all, he remains the best-positioned Democrat to defeat Donald Trump next year…. Biden announced his candidacy for re-election earlier this year. He’s already raised $77 million as of July, and has no serious primary challenge. He remains broadly popular among Democratic voters, even if he clearly has work to do in order to reassure wayward party members. … He has given every imaginable signal that he is running and that his heart is in it. Barring some unforeseen health event, he’s not dropping out… Nor will Biden jettison Harris from the presidential ticket. While it’s true that Harris is not terribly popular, dropping her from the ticket would be a slap in the face to the most consistently loyal constituency in the Democratic Party — Black women…. Lastly, and this is the crucial point: Biden is better positioned than any other Democrat to beat Trump next year. Not only has he already done it, but he is the incumbent president, and incumbent presidents usually get re-elected.  Any other Democratic candidate, whether it’s California Gov. Gavin Newsom or Whitmer, would be untested on the national stage and, perhaps even more important, unvetted. Why anyone thinks it would be a good idea to cast aside an incumbent president with a record of accomplishments and all the advantages of incumbency, for a candidate who most Americans don’t know, is difficult to fathom at any time. … If Biden and Harris both dropped out, as The Washington Post’s David Ignatius called for this week, potential Democratic candidates would need to feverishly raise money, hire staff and put a campaign structure in place just months before voters go to the polls. The Democratic nomination race would be an ugly protracted food fight with no front-runner and a reasonable chance that no candidate would win enough delegates to capture the nomination before the Democratic National Convention.” • Sounds like Democrats would have to learn to practice politics! What a concept! But if Biden won’t drop out, he’ll have to be pushed out. Jill better keep a close eye on his pills. Or, if Biden were Castro, his cigars.

“Biden campaign plots long-game strategy as Democrats’ fears of a Trump win spike” [CNN]. “It’s not just that voters continue to say Biden is too old or maybe not up to the job, though that keeps coming up in Democrats’ focus groups. It’s a malaise about the president that operatives keep noting that goes beyond a slew of national polls – including one from CNN last week – that show a negative view of the president’s performance. ‘I feel indifferent, honestly,’ said a voter in one late summer focus group conducted in a strong blue district, one of several described to CNN by operatives involved. ‘I don’t have a very strong opinion, except I’m glad that it’s not the previous person.’ ‘I feel like he’s done no harm versus the previous president,’ said another. ‘It’s not bad, it’s not great. ‘It’s basically just trying to bring our country back up to where it was before,’ said a third. ‘So instead of doing great things, just kind of keeping us more middle ground.'” Importantly: “Inside Biden’s campaign headquarters… aides have not shifted from their plan to stay mostly under the radar and off the trail until next spring. In the meantime, they’re ramping up an extensive data and outreach experiment that they say is the only way to account for how much has changed in politics, technology and psychology in the eight years since the last presidential election not defined by social distancing, car rallies, Zoom fundraisers and the rest that came with the Covid-19 pandemic. The mission: see which Republicans and swing voters they can pull back from drifting to Trump, and whether there is any hope of getting the wider electorate actually excited about anything from Biden.”

“‘I don’t know what he’s done’: In the UAW president’s hometown, autoworkers lash out at Biden” [Politico]. “”Historically, man, if you didn’t vote Democrat years ago, and you were in the union, sometimes you got your ass kicked,” he said. “Democrats were for the working people. That sh*t has changed. I’m telling you what, the Democratic Party was not what it was 20, 30 years ago.'” • More like 40 or 50.

* * *

“The Democratic Party Rigs the Primaries” [Robert F. Kennedy Jr., Wall Street Journal]. No debates, rigged primary calendar. And: “If other candidates overcome all that, they have another hurdle: a class of superdelegates called “party leaders and elected officials,” or Pleos. In 2018 the DNC voted to remove other superdelegates from the first round of voting at the convention to limit the power of party elites to override the people’s choice. Because no official will likely dare provoke the wrath of the DNC by pledging to me, only DNC-approved candidates will get any Pleos. Their net effect will be to impose the party insiders’ will on Democratic voters. Assuming no Pleo backs me, I would have to win more than 70% of regular delegates to beat Mr. Biden. The DNC seems to have forgotten the purpose of the modern primary system, which is to replace backroom crony politics with a transparent democratic process. Our campaign has contacted the DNC in advance of its next meeting in Washington, asking for a clear process in which the candidate chosen by a majority of primary voters will be the party’s nominee. In two letters sent this week to DNC Chairman Jaime Harrison, my campaign requested a meeting to discuss voter rights. We noted that the DNC consults closely with Julie Chávez-Rodríguez, Mr. Biden’s campaign manager, and we assume that Mr. Harrison will agree to meet with us. Still, we have had no response of any kind from the party since June.” • Party’s response: “LOL no.”

* * *

AZ: “Biden admin mass releasing migrants directly onto Arizona streets as border crisis rages” [FOX]. “Fox News Digital reported this week how Border Patrol leadership has set ‘bookout’ targets for sectors amid increasing numbers that is straining capacity…. The Aug 8 email, obtained by Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody’s office as part of litigation, says daily encounters ‘[continue] to surpass the daily permanent bookouts and the in-custody numbers continue to rise creating significant risks to agents and detainees.” Consequently, the agency proposes ‘daily bookout targets’ per sector ‘to bring in-custody numbers to manageable levels’ based on 7-day averages. It then says that, if ‘consequence pathways’ such as expedited removal are not available, then releasing migrants with Notices to Appear (NTA/OR) at a future court date should be used.”

MI: “Michigan Fake Elector Tells Court She Acted ‘At The Direction’ Of Trump and His Lawyers” [Mediaite]. “One of the sixteen fake electors indicted this summer in Michigan told the court in a filing Monday that she acted ‘at the direction’ of former President Donald Trump and his attorneys. The court filing was submitted by lawyer Paul Stablein on behalf of his client Amy Facchinell and on Tuesday local media called it ‘one of the strongest connections yet between the efforts of the 16 Republicans in Michigan who are now facing felony charges and Trump.’ In July, Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel (D) indicted the sixteen fake electors on multiple counts over their role in trying to overturn the 2020 presidential election in that state — they all face serious prison sentences if convicted…. Stablein’s filing moves to establish that the conspiracy, fraud, and forgery charges Facchinell faces are a result of an attorney for Trump on Dec. 14, 2020 telling the Republican electors ‘that performance of their duties was necessary on behalf of the president and the Constitution.’ ‘Attorneys for the president specifically instructed Ms. Facchinello that the Republican electors’ meeting and casting their ballots on Dec. 14, 2020, was consistent with counsels’ advice and was necessary to preserve the presidential election contest,’ Stablein wrote.”

NC: “A 25-year-old from a small town leads North Carolina’s Democratic Party toward 2024” [NPR]. “Now, it’s been more than six months since Clayton was elected chair of the North Carolina Democratic Party, a promotion after leading her county’s party. And at 25 years old, she’s the youngest state party leader in the country. It’s a title she wears proudly, right alongside another: being from a small town. Both identities make many of her political battles personal, as she wrestles with the past faults of her party and what she wants the future to look like. ‘I was angry,’ she said of the Democratic Party. ‘I was angry that it was ignoring places like where I’d grown up.’ 

‘Rural areas right now are dying, and people for years have just sat there and said, ‘y’all deserve that,” she told NPR, sitting on the couch in her parent’s living room during a summer afternoon in Roxboro, N.C. If you’re going to choose to live in an area like that, you deserve just to die out.'” • Rule #2. See yesterday’s discussion of small (Republican) vs. large (Democrat) counties.

NV: “Judge Rules Clark County Teachers Union Coordinated A Sickout Strike” [Nevada Globe]. “Today, Judge Crystal Eller ruled in favor of the Clark County School District (CCSD) who sought an injunction against the Clark County Education Association’s (CCEA) role in coordinating a sickout strike which disrupted school and district operations affecting nearly a dozen schools throughout the Las Vegas valley this past week…. The current injunction filed by CCSD on Monday contended that it ‘defies logic to suggest that mass absences constitute anything other than a strike.’ Today, Judge Eller agreed, noting, ‘the idea that sickouts are not a strike is preposterous.’ The CCEA contended that the absences were due to staffing shortages, a holiday weekend, Covid and the seasonal back-to-school flu, and that the union did not coordinate the rolling sickouts. However, CCSD included exhibits from a whistleblower and a teacher who claimed that the one of the school closures was led by a unionized teacher who mobilized colleagues to take the day off Tuesday and this upcoming Friday to disrupt instruction. Under Nevada law, it illegal for state public employees to strike.”

Obama Legacy


Not many murder their parents and throw themselves at the mercy of the judge because they

Democrats en Déshabillé

Patient readers, it seems that people are actually reading the back-dated post! But I have not updated it, and there are many updates. So I will have to do that. –lambert

I have moved my standing remarks on the Democrat Party (“the Democrat Party is a rotting corpse that can’t bury itself”) to a separate, back-dated post, to which I will periodically add material, summarizing the addition here in a “live” Water Cooler. (Hopefully, some Bourdieu.) It turns out that defining the Democrat Party is, in fact, a hard problem. I do think the paragraph that follows is on point all the way back to 2016, if not before:

The Democrat Party is the political expression of the class power of PMC, their base (lucidly explained by Thomas Frank in Listen, Liberal!). It follows that the Democrat Party is as “unreformable” as the PMC is unreformable; if the Democrat Party did not exist, the PMC would have to invent it. If the Democrat Party fails to govern, that’s because the PMC lacks the capability to govern. (“PMC” modulo “class expatriates,” of course.) Second, all the working parts of the Party reinforce each other. Leave aside characterizing the relationships between elements of the Party (ka-ching, but not entirely) those elements comprise a network — a Flex Net? An iron octagon? — of funders, vendors, apparatchiks, electeds, NGOs, and miscellaneous mercenaries, with assets in the press and the intelligence community.

Note, of course, that the class power of the PMC both expresses and is limited by other classes; oligarchs and American gentry (see ‘industrial model’ of Ferguson, Jorgensen, and Jie) and the working class spring to mind. Suck up, kick down.

* * *

“New Hampshire risks losing delegates over presidential primary date fight with DNC” [CBS]. “The DNC is upending the 2024 presidential nominating process by making South Carolina the first primary state, knocking New Hampshire out of its coveted position. But New Hampshire has so far refused to concede the spot, breezing by a Sept. 1 deadline the DNC had set for New Hampshire to give up its position. On Thursday, the DNC Rules and Bylaws Committee extended the deadline for New Hampshire to come into compliance to Oct. 14, reserving its threat of sanctions that would remove some of the state’s delegates at the Democratic National Convention next year if it doesn’t comply with the national party’s primary calendar changes. At this point, the committee says it has only received a plan from New Hampshire that does not include a primary date. If the New Hampshire primary is held ahead of South Carolina, Mr. Biden and his campaign may omit his name from the ballot in New Hampshire, in protest of its failure to comply with party rules. Mr. Biden, whose successful pursuit of the 2020 nomination was launched by South Carolina’s support, initially proposed that the state go first in the Democrats’ primary process. New Hampshire Democrats argue they lack the authority to move the primary because New Hampshire law requires the state’s primary to be set at least a week before any other nominating contest. To comply, a reversal of the 1975 law would have to pass a Republican-led majority in the Legislature. While just 43% of Democrats support the “first in the nation” law, a majority of Republicans and independents in the state support the law, according to a University of New Hampshire poll. A DNC calendar change has long been floated, and New Hampshire hasn’t taken steps to change its law.” • And speaking of the DNC—

“NC Rules & Bylaws Committee Meets To Consider 2024 Presidential Primary & Caucus Calendar” [C-SPAN]. “The Democratic National Committee’s Rules & Bylaws Committee met in Washington, DC to consider states’ plans for 2024 primaries, caucuses, and delegate selection. The two states with the most controversy — Iowa and New Hampshire, the traditional first-in-the-nation caucus and primary states — had the fate of their 2024 plans delayed until a later meeting of the Rules & Bylaws Committee, slated to coincide with the full DNC’s 2024 fall meeting in St. Louis. The committee also approved delegate selection plans from other states including Georgia and California, and discussed Maine’s experience with ranked-choice voting, which was being proposed by some states for their 2024 presidential primary contests.” 

* * *

“The Democrats’ Oliver Anthony Problem” [Ruy Teixiera, The Liberal Patriot]. “The fact that Democrats responded with visceral dislike to a song that expressed the complicated populist views of an actual working-class person shows how unwelcoming the party has become to actual working-class people, as opposed to mythological proletarians who combine hatred of (Republican) corporations with reverence for ‘Bidenomics’ and careful usage of all the approved intersectional language… In a new CNN poll, Biden loses the working class by 14 points to Trump, while carrying college-educated voters by 18 points. That compares to Biden’s 2020 loss to Trump of ‘only’ four points among working-class voters…. We’ll likely see more of the same in 2024. As Brownstein observed in the article referenced above, it is likely that Biden, despite his “middle class Joe” persona, will wind up relying more, not less, on upscale voters than he did in 2020…..It just might work. Certainly it’s mathematically feasible to compensate for working-class losses by gains among the college-educated (though those gains have to be larger because the college-educated are a smaller group). But besides being risky, one has to wonder what kind of party the Democrats are becoming. Is this really the party they want to be, where the views, priorities, and values of the educated take precedence? We are getting very far indeed from FDR’s party of the common man and woman. Both political prudence and the core historic commitments of the Democratic Party should lead them away from their current path and back toward the working class.” • The irony of Ruy Teixiera, the Democratic strategist who more than any other moved created the permission structure for the Democrat PMC base to move the party toward idpol, morphing into Thomas Frank, just seven years too late, is hard to bear.

Realignment and Legitimacy


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

Resources, United States (National): Transmission (CDC); Wastewater (CDC, Biobot; includes many counties; Wastewater Scan, includes drilldown by zip); Variants (CDC; Walgreens); “Iowa COVID-19 Tracker” (in IA, but national data). “Infection Control, Emergency Management, Safety, and General Thoughts” (especially on hospitalization by city).

Lambert here: Readers, thanks for the collective effort. To update any entry, do feel free to contact me at the address given with the plants. Please put “COVID” in the subject line. Thank you!

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

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

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

Hat tips to helpful readers: anon (2), Art_DogCT, B24S, CanCyn, ChiGal, Chuck L, Festoonic, FM, FreeMarketApologist (4), Gumbo, hop2it, JB, JEHR, JF, JL Joe, John, JM (10), JustAnotherVolunteer, JW, KatieBird, LL, Michael King, KF, LaRuse, mrsyk, MT, MT_Wild, otisyves, Petal (6), RK (2), RL, RM, Rod, square coats (11), tennesseewaltzer, Utah, Bob White (3). 

Stay safe out there!

* * *

Censorship and Propaganda

“If You Suffer from Urgent Normal Syndrome, Ask for Help” [Jessica Wildfire, OK Doomer]. Well worth a read:


Urgent normal syndrome is defined by:

  • Unhealthy attraction to crowded indoor spaces.
  • Anxiety at the sight of masks or air purifiers.
  • An urge to downplay threats.
  • Avoidance of ‘bad news.’

Reachers have identified a number of unhealthy dynamics in group psychology that can make someone more vulnerable to urgent normal syndrome. First, groups can demonstrate normalcy bias that inhibits their normal fight or flight response. As Amanda Ripley has argued in Unthinkable, ‘large groups of people facing death act in surprising ways. Most of us become incredibly docile… Usually, we form groups and move slowly, as if sleepwalking in a nightmare.’

Researchers have shown how normalcy bias has hampered our response to the pandemic. As one article in the Journal of Community & Public Health notes, ‘social shaming reinforces our normalcy bias. It’s not cool to overreact.’

Collective amnesia also plays a role in urgent normal syndrome. As sociologist Alessandra Tanesini writes, ‘Communities often respond to traumatic events in their histories by destroying objects that would cue memories of a past they wish to forget.’ Communities actually spread what she calls ‘memory ignorance’ in order to suppress past mistakes, unpleasant memories, and divergent thought. According to Tanesini, this memory ignorance serves as ‘a form of self-deception or wishful thinking in the service of self-flattery.’

A third flaw plays a final role in urgent normal syndrome, and it’s called reactance. Initially proposed by Jack Brehm, reactance describes an intense desire among individualists to downplay threats and risks, especially if they perceive a loss of their personal freedom as a result.

We’ve witnessed an unsettling surge in all of these behaviors over the last few years, as more and more people encourage and even reward each other for disregarding the health and safety of those around them.


Elite Maleficence

Covid minimizer and Sociopath of the Day Leana Wen most likely* has Long Covid:

NOTE * I let my schadenfreude get the best of me (hat tip, alert reader thump). But she certainly plenty of items on the checklist, especially the recurring fatigue.

“PROFILE: Leana Wen” [Covid Accountability Index]. From January, still germane. Massive takedown and outline of Wen’s career, concluding: “For a little while, I used to think of ‘Judas’ as a fun entrance jingle for professional wrestler and dad-rock musician Chris Jericho. Now I think of someone who lines her own pockets whilst betraying her colleagues and neglecting not only her children, but the tens of millions of children across America. If you’re going to be a sit-at-home MD all day Leana, why don’t you pick up a hobby instead – like solo-boardgaming or papercraft or something relatively harmless. It’s never too late to make a positive change.” • Ouch.

* * *

Case Data

NOT UPDATED From BioBot wastewater data, September 14:


Lambert here: Other signals — scattered and partial though they be — also converge on a drop: ER visits, positivity. We shall see. (I would include CDC’s wastewater map for comparison, but it’s eleven days old.)

Regional data:


Interestingly, the upswing begins before July 4, which neither accelerates nor retards it.


From CDC, September 16:


Lambert here: Top of the leaderboard: EG.5 (“Eris“). Still BA.2.86 here, not even in the note, but see below at Positivity.

From CDC, September 2:


Lambert here: Not sure what to make of this. I’m used to seeing a new variant take down the previously dominant variant. Here it looks like we have a “tag team,” all working together to cut XBB.1.5 down to size. I sure hope the volunteers doing Pangolin, on which this chart depends, don’t all move on the green fields and pastures new (or have their access to facilities cut by administrators of ill intent).

CDC: “As of May 11, genomic surveillance data will be reported biweekly, based on the availability of positive test specimens.” “Biweeekly: 1. occurring every two weeks. 2. occurring twice a week; semiweekly.” Looks like CDC has chosen sense #1. In essence, they’re telling us variants are nothing to worry about. Time will tell.

Covid Emergency Room Visits

NOT UPDATED From CDC NCIRD Surveillance, September 9:


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


Bellwether New York City, data as of September 14:


Still climbing. I hate this metric because the lag makes it deceptive.

Here’s a different CDC visualization on hospitalization, nationwide, not by state, but with a date, at least. September 9:


Note the slight drop, consistent with Walgreens. At least now we now that hospitalization tracks positivity, which is nice. Even if we don’t know how many cases there are.


NOT UPDATED From Walgreens, September 11:


0.4% Still thinking the dip is Labor Day data. Or perhaps people were actually testing for Labor Day, and stopped. The absolute numbers are still very small relative to June 2022, say. Interestingly, these do not correlate with the regional figures for wastewater. (It would be interesting to survey this population generally; these are people who, despite a tsunami of official propaganda and enormous peer pressure, went and got tested anyhow.)

NOT UPDATED Cleveland Clinic, September 9:


Lambert here: I know this is just Ohio, but the Cleveland Clinic is good*, and we’re starved for data, so…. NOTE * Even if hospital infection control is trying to kill patients by eliminating universal masking with N95s.

From CDC, traveler’s data, August 26:


A drop! And here are the variants:


No BA.2.86 for two of the long-delayed collection weeks. I have highlighted the two leaders: EG.5 and FL.1.5.1. Interestingly, those are the two leaders within the United States also, suggesting the national and international bouillabaisse is similar. Or we’re infecting the world.


NOT UPDATED Iowa COVID-19 Tracker, September 13:


Lambert here: The WHO data is worthless, so I replaced it with the Iowa Covid Data Tracker. Their method: “These data have been sourced, via the API from the CDC: https://data.cdc.gov/NCHS/Conditions-Contributing-to-COVID-19-Deaths-by-Stat/hk9y-quqm. This visualization updates on Wednesday evenings. Data are provisional and are adjusted weekly by the CDC.” I can’t seem to get a pop-up that shows a total of the three causes (top right). Readers?

Total: 1,175,152 – 1,174,691 = 461 (461 * 365 = 168,265 deaths per year, today’s YouGenicist™ number for “living with” Covid (quite a bit higher than the minimizers would like, though they can talk themselves into anything. If the YouGenicist™ metric keeps chugging along like this, I may just have to decide this is what the powers-that-be consider “mission accomplished” for this particular tranche of death and disease). 

Excess Deaths

NOT UPDATED The Economist, September 13:


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

Stats Watch

Manufacturing: “United States NY Empire State Manufacturing Index” [Trading Economics]. “The NY Empire State Manufacturing Index surprisingly jumped to 1.9 in September 2023 from -19 in August, beating forecasts of -10. The reading showed business activity in the NY state was little changed after shrinking sharply last month.”

Manufacturing: “United States Manufacturing Production” [Trading Economics]. “Manufacturing production in the US went up 0.1% from a month earlier in August 2023, following a downwardly revised 0.4% rise in July, in line with expectations. The index for durable manufacturing edged up 0.1%, and the index for nondurable manufacturing increased 0.2%.”

Industrial Production: “United States Industrial Production: [Trading Economics]. “Industrial production in the United States went up 0.4 percent from a month earlier in August 2023, above market expectations of a 0.1 percent increase and compared with a downwardly revised 0.7 percent rise in July.”

* * *


Combine that with inflation, and you’ve got people scrimping on life’s necessities to pay down debt, which leads to a dour atmosphere in “the economy,” I would imagine.

Tech: “Google says it can’t fix Pixel Watches, please just buy a new one” [Ars Technica]. “Google makes a big deal out of its partnership with iFixit and the availability of replacement parts for its products, but one Google product that doesn’t seem fixable is the Pixel Watch. After spotting some posts from Pixel Watch users seeking a remedy after cracking the glass and coming up with no clear answers, The Verge got Google to confirm that, even 11 months after launch, there is no repair plan right now. Google can’t fix your watch. There are no parts. A Google spokesperson told The Verge ‘At this moment, we don’t have any repair option for the Google Pixel Watch. If your watch is damaged, you can contact the Google Pixel Watch Customer Support Team to check your replacement options.’ Damage like a cracked display isn’t covered under any kind of warranty, so buying a new device is the only official option.”

* * *

Today’s Fear & Greed Index: 55 Neutral (previous close: 50 Fear) [CNN]. One week ago: 51 (Neutral). (0 is Extreme Fear; 100 is Extreme Greed). Last updated Sep 14 at 12:32:38 PM ET.

Photo Book

“Notice what you notice” [Notice What You Notice]. Re Instagram, etc.: “That’s the funny thing about these social nets: they trick you into thinking you need them for your creative work, but they end up sapping you of so much of your energy that you don’t have the juice to do your thing. And they are an enormous distraction, not to mention addictive. That has been my experience, anyway. I’d be curious to hear if you agree and how you have responded to these nefarious challenges in your own work.”

The 420

“Thousands sign up to experience magic mushrooms as Oregon’s novel psilocybin experiment takes off” [Associated Press]. 

Epic Healing Eugene [Oregon] — America’s first licensed psilocybin service center — opened in June, marking Oregon’s unprecedented step in offering the mind-bending drug to the public. The center now has a waitlist of more than 3,000 names… No prescription or referral is needed, but proponents hope Oregon’s legalization will spark a revolution in mental health care…. Colorado voters last year passed a measure allowing regulated use of magic mushrooms starting in 2024, and California’s Legislature this month approved a measure that would allow possession and use of certain plant- and mushroom-based psychedelics, including psilocybin and mescaline, with plans for health officials to develop guidelines for therapeutic use.” • Hmm!

News of the Wired

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

lcm write: “Black-eyed Susan and echinacea, mostly self-sown, in central VA.” Masses of color, exactly to my taste.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
This entry was posted in Guest Post, Water Cooler on by .

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. IM Doc

    One line that stood out to me in the Leana Wen article –

    I’ve been fortunate to access excellent medical care, but millions of American cannot.

    There is that word again “access”. That used to be the word used when discussing Obamacare…….as they patted themselves on the back – “We have given millions of Americans ACCESS to health care.” – Note – Not actual health care – but “access”.

    This is I believe the first time I have ever seen it admitted before that millions of Americans do not even have access to care. She must not have received the memo.

    Meanwhile, I have a woman this AM who has newly diagnosed breast cancer, who is on Obamacare, who is struggling to scrimp together the $15K of her deductible so she can start therapy. Tears in her eyes as she is telling me about having to raid the meager amounts her son had saved for his own education. But she has “access” to care. So she should just shut up and be happy. And then go have a competitive swim in honor of her mother like Dr. Wen describes.

    These people like Dr. Wen know no shame. I have so many patients struggling with this type of thing. I sincerely wish that all they had to worry about was swimming in this weekend’s race like Dr. Wen so eloquently discusses.

    Our elite have completely lost touch with reality.

    1. Lambert Strether Post author

      > Our elite have completely lost touch with reality.

      One reason I felt free to move to Maine in 2006 was that the state had just introduced MaineCare, and “as Maine goes, so goes the nation.” I felt that single payer was such a no-brainer the Democrats couldn’t possibly screw it up, and I wouldn’t have to worry about insurance from my employer. Ha ha, what a fool.

      1. Jason Boxman

        That year must have been peak-Democrat. That’s the year I learned that, no, Pelosi actually is not going to end the war in Iraq. I was so sure. I believed hard. It took until Obama’s election, just before when he decided to legalize illegal spying on Americans and picked tax-cheat Timmy for Treasury Secretary, that I realized Democrats are garbage. I’ve been nursing a disgust of liberal Democrats ever since; they haven’t let me down yet!

          1. JTMcPhee

            I’ll say I could see the con coming, as a bitter Vietvet curmudgeon. When the people at Daily Kos were whooping and crying great rivers of joyful tears in gratitude to the Almighty for bringing forth the promised one, I chimed in with a long piece with links to the Dem platform and Scumbama white papers laying out what they had just worked so long and hard to “legitimize.” Got to know what the cat that approaches a murder of crows gets to feel like. Got turned into an unperson almost instantly. Every so often I go back to see if the illusions are still firmly in place. No surprises, just more of the same. Effing stupid humans…

    2. antidlc

      A couple of days ago she had this WAPO opinion piece that called for treatment for long COVID.

      Covid is here to stay. That means long covid is, too.

      The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that about 6 percent of American adults have lingering symptoms from coronavirus infection. But despite the condition’s prevalence, much about long covid remains a mystery. Most distressing is the fact that there is no cure for it.
      This needs to change. Key to living with the virus is reckoning with its consequences, which includes having a plan to treat those afflicted with post-covid conditions.

      (re-posted from today’s LINKS)

      1. Lee

        The cure for ME/CFS has yet to be found decades after it was finally acknowledged to be a somatic illness. That was after some years of it being categorized by some in the medical establishment as a psychiatric disorder. There are some medications prescribed off label that mitigate some symptoms. For example, in my case, chronic lower back pain was greatly reduced by taking low-dose Naltrexone. Hopefully, more research money allocated to finding a cures and/or mitigating treatments for long Covid will also prove beneficial for ME/CFS patients. Ever the giddy optimist, me.

    3. Victoria Mukerji

      Our elite have completly handed our reality to touch tone.

      Every time our family has an encounter with any health care lately, we get an automated call asking us to do “a brief survey.’

      At first I snarked that they are just pretending to care,
      then the dawning realization that
      we are being asked to train their AI.

    4. Terry Flynn

      Thank you for your continuing work to shine a light on covid related matters. In 6 weeks I will finally see an immunologist under the UK NHS about my long covid symptoms (which started with sudden alopecia within a few weeks of first infection back in early 2020).

      To be honest I had zero confidence that anyone in a field even vaguely competent enough to investigate this would deign to see me. So a 6 week wait is frankly unbelievably good given the “awful timeline/universe” we are in.

    5. Verifyfirst

      Yes, and the truly awful thing is your breast cancer patient’s deductible is ANNUAL, and calendar year. So if she gets the 15K together for this year, that will only help for a couple months. Then she will have to do it again. Unless she can get all her treatment by 12/31. Or waits until next year to start treatment. She should access Obama’s guest house to save money.

  2. notabanker

    Maybe projecting or wishful thinking, but it feels like tolerance of the uniparty nonsense has reached it’s peak and is heading the other way. And much like a roller coaster, the angle to get to the top, and corresponding speed it takes to get there is much different than the race to the trough.

  3. Camelotkidd

    “What’s behind the nonsensical campaign to replace Biden-Harris in 2024” [MSNBC] He remains broadly popular among Democratic voters, even if he clearly has work to do in order to reassure wayward party members. …
    Man, you would need a jackhammer to pry MSNBC out our their Blue Bubble
    I’m rereading “Listen Liberal” by Thomas Frank and it’s even more powerful 7 years later. Liberals have simply doubled down and it’s no wonder they despise him

    1. Feral Finster

      Team D loyalists are going to vote Team D, no matter what. Team D could run Adolf Eichmann and Jeffrey Dahmer, and Team D loyalists would sing their praises with the same fervor as if Team D were to run Mahatma Gandhi and Jesus Christ.

      There’s no trick to get Koolaid chugging cultists to vote for the cult. It’s getting the normies to sign off that wins elections.

    2. flora

      Apparently, Fox News did not get the memo. No surprise there. Jesse Watters is having some fun. / ;)

      Make no mistake: Ignatius’ column is more than a suggestion- it’s a marching order. When American intelligence wants to put out a hit, they feed it to David Ignatius and today, Ignatius pulled the pin on Joe Biden’s 2024 run. He’s turning Washington’s whispers into a rallying cry. The American intelligence community has to tie up their loose ends.


      1. Sardonia

        What kind of crazy world am I living in when Jesse Watters speaks Truth to Power, while Cornell West is putting on Establishment kneepads?

        That’s a potent 10 minute video rant in that tweet, saying exactly what the CIA has morphed into from its original anti-Communist agenda, with the media as nothing but its spokespersons, wittingly or unwittingly.

        I’ve previously only seen Watters for brief moments when I used to turn on Fox a few minutes too early to catch Tucker’s opening segment – and he just seemed like a clown. But this kind of segment is far different. If he keeps this up, Fox might well “Tucker Carlson” him.

        1. JBird4049

          “That’s a potent 10 minute video rant in that tweet, saying exactly what the CIA has morphed into from its original anti-Communist agenda, with the media as nothing but its spokespersons, wittingly or unwittingly.”

          The sky is blue and water is wet. Really, the CIA has always been a tool of the establishment against democratic organizations including American. If anyone wants a quick primer, start with the Dulles Brothers. Most anyone who was alive long enough to remember the Cold War knows this. Anyone who bothered to read on American activities since then would know it as well.

    3. The Rev Kev

      As far as sticking with the Biden-Harris ticket, not only have the Democrats nailed their flag to this scungy flag pole but they have also nailed their pants to it as well. Unfortunately for them, they are still wearing their pants.

  4. nippersdad

    “What’s behind the nonsensical campaign to replace Biden-Harris in 2024” [MSNBC]. “Let’s get this out of the way at the outset:….Barring some unforeseen health event, he’s not dropping out… ”

    Ha Ha! But what about the foreseen events, MSNBC? Wandering off of a very high stage is something that I could foresee, His literally dropping out is actually pretty likely given his present state of situational awareness.

            1. paul

              Fave quote from the admiral:

              Ah. I look out there on all you wonderful guys and I say to myself “What I wouldn’t give to be 20 years younger… and a woman”.

  5. Hepativore

    So, I wonder if the DNC is simply laying the groundwork to get rid of any and all primaries for the foreseeable future for 2028 and beyond with their efford to ignore any challengers to Biden. They are also punishing said challengers for their insolence for their last minute rule changes that will automatically give the points won by challengers in New Hampshire and Georgia to the incumbent president unless they win an 80% majority.

    In an effort to maintain their failing hold on the populace as well as their existence as a party, the DNC might not have primaries at all anymore after 2024 and just appoint their candidates from here on out. They would be giving the GOP a permanent majority by doing so with how many people it would anger, but it has been quite clear that the DNC does not actually care if it wins or not from an electoral standpoint. It has never been clearer that the DNC is not a true political party anymore, but a fundraising company operating as a shell political institution.

    The DNC does not care if their political prospects or their party itself is falling apart as long as their members can make as much money as they can and can get out before the entire thing collapses.

    I honestly not sure what can be done at this point, as both the DNC and GOP would join forces and legally sabotage or change the rules midrace to destroy any serious challenge from third party, and even getting to that point with a third party would take decades…and that is if everything went perfectly.

    1. scott s.

      I don’t understand how DNC or RNC has any effect on third parties? They are, after all, private entities. The only power over them (for Pres / VP) is the state appointment power for electors. I guess a state could refuse to appoint electors for a candidate that was named but didn’t conform to some state primary process; in practice I don’t see how this could not result in an uproar.

      It seems Presidential primaries only became significant in 1960, and vice-President never. We seem to be OK with party insider nominations for VP. If primary is some foundational principle, why is that?

      1. Amfortas the Hippie

        Who runs the polls?
        Dem and gop local apparatchicks.
        Who runs debates, in close collusion with msm?
        Who jiggers tge esoteric state rule regarding ballot access?
        Uniparty has an iron grip on all that and more…and as the various dnc lawsuits against the greens prove, theyll fight toith and nail to keep that grip.

        1. mrsyk

          Remember when the League of Women Voters ran the debates? Good times. Getting rid of them is Mike Dukakis’ legacy. Some history from wikipedia,
          “After studying the election process in 1985, the bipartisan National Commission on Elections recommended “[t]urning over the sponsorship of presidential debates to the two major parties”.[3] The CPD was established in 1987 by the chairmen of the Democratic and Republican Parties to “take control of the presidential debates”.[3] The commission was staffed by members from the two parties and chaired by the heads of the Democratic and Republican parties, Paul G. Kirk and Frank Fahrenkopf.[3] At a 1987 press conference announcing the commission’s creation, Fahrenkopf said that the commission was not likely to include third-party candidates in debates, and Kirk said he personally believed they should be excluded from the debates.[3]

          In 1988, the League of Women Voters withdrew its sponsorship of the presidential debates after the George H. W. Bush and Michael Dukakis campaigns secretly agreed to a “memorandum of understanding” that would decide which candidates could participate in the debates, which individuals would be panelists (and therefore able to ask questions), and the height of the lecterns. The league rejected the demands and released a statement saying that it was withdrawing support for the debates because “the demands of the two campaign organizations would perpetrate a fraud on the American voter.”[6]

          The CPD has sponsored the debates in 1988, 1992, 1996, 2000, 2004, 2008, 2012, 2016, and 2020.

          Washington University in St. Louis has been selected by the commission to host more presidential and vice-presidential debates than any institution in history.[7]

          In January 2022 the Republican National Committee warned the CPD that it planned to amend the Rules of the Republican Party to prohibit Republican presidential nominees from attending CPD-sponsored debates.[8] The amendment was unanimously passed on April 14.[9]

      2. Hepativore

        Because elections committees that draw up the rules for what and who qualifies as a valid political party or how to go about it are staffed by Democratic or Republican appointees as well as Congress, and both parties work together to tilt the rules in the favor of the two-party establishment as well as shopping for electoral judges to appoint that are sympathetic to DNC or GOP arguments in various state voting districts. This is exactly what happened in when both the GOP and DNC joined forces and banned fusion voting in most states by the early 20th century to kneecap a growing left-populist movement started by farmers and labor.

        This is also why you will never see nationwide adoption of ranked-choice voting as both parties are largely fine with the way things are as they both benefit from the current system too much to want to change it and it keeps out third-party riff Raff.

        1. JBird4049

          A government’s authority derives from the respect people give it. No respect, no authority, or only to the range of the boots with guns. If the Democratic Party decide that primaries are unnecessary, I will pay them no mind, and I believe so will many others. So, if nobody shows up, do you still have a party? What happenings with a third or fourth party shows up and wins the vote even if just by polling? This also applies to the Republican Party as well as without Trump, it is a dead party walking. The skeletons of both parties are there to see because most of the flesh that would animate it is gone with people insisting that it still moves.

          1. Amfortas the Hippie

            I withdrew my consent, at least tacitly, a long time ago…but now i’m seeing the lumpen analog all over the place.

            week ago, i actually got an email on that farmer dating site(!!-lol).
            of course she was a rabid righty, and assumed i was(i was demure regarding political philosophy on my profile–but ‘radical horticulturist’ and ‘feral philospher’,lol)
            admonished me that if i wanted a taste of her…virtue…i must certainly LOVE THE LORD and TRUMP.
            and OUR COUNTRY.
            so i let loose(i had been into the homegrown noble herb and had been jamming to Nancy Griffith at ACL, so i was feeling radical, indeed).

            as far as politics:
            I’m a New Dealer.
            but also an Anarch(Junger).
            i hate my country BECAUSE i’m a frelling Patriot.
            we could do much better, if we stopped being an empire.
            and cooked and ate the hyper rich.
            or fed them to the poor.
            or simply mulched them.
            I get along with Russel Kirk/Front Porch Republic/small-c “conservatives” quite well.
            Wendell Berry, and all.
            i don’t really fit into the current paradigm.
            I remain unrepresented.

            nothing y’all ain’t used to,lol.
            i do note with some regret that i’m not having much luck with this online dating thing…not least, because Texas is frelling huge!…and i’m smack in the middle of it.
            (there could be other factors at work.)
            takes at least a day to get to the Texas Border in any direction.
            2 to 5 hours to any real population centers.
            add in the chore of discerning(when its not so obvious as the above) whether i’m speaking to a cryptofascist, religious zealot, or what have you.
            and now, i must worry…not only about meth…but “Gas Station Heroin”..which Lambert or Yves turned me on to by linking Vice, which induced a wander:

            sad story…pretty well done.

            1. Carla

              Amfortas, I’m here to tell ‘ya, dating is hell, and online dating is worse. My sole experience with the latter was back in the late ’90s. I can only imagine how much worse it is now. You have my heartfelt sympathy.

              1. Amfortas the Hippie

                well, i’m right here, hon,lol.
                i’m something of an agoraphobe, too…hows that for luck?…a lonely agoraphobe.
                i dont like crowds.
                let alone big cities.
                i belong on this dead end dirt road in the literal middle of nowhere.
                makes it rather difficult to meet women, however.
                i’ll stay on farm for weeks if ive got my keg and sufficient cigarettes.
                …and someone who can pick up milk and ice.
                also loathe the schmaltzing and schmoozing and small talk one must do at big shindigs…be it weddings or what passes for Galas around here(wild game dinner)
                everyone else is a social climber…and i just aint,lol.
                i’ll yammer on about carbon cycles or various good bugs..and away they flee,lol
                get some beer in me, and i talk like i do at NC…all antiimperialist, etc…which no one understands…unless they react violently.
                i met my late wife when i was cooking at the nursing home, and she was helping a retarded girl learn to do stuff.
                first date was a contrived xmas party at mom’s house, and she just kinda never left.
                ie:i’m terrible at all this,lol.

                1. Janie

                  You never know. Nearly 20 years ago (2 years after my husband died) I went to a reunion 1500 miles from home – was visiting relatives there, so, why not. Ended up at a table with a classmate I had barely known (big school) who was also in town visiting his relatives. Had a great time in the group that evening, and, well, we kept in touch, and things worked out very well. So, hang in there; she will come along when you least expect it.

      3. Turtle

        The state democratic and republican parties control the rules of ballot access in their respectively-controlled states, and they have both made it very difficult in some states for third parties to be on the ballot. Here are a couple of interesting links I found on a search about this subject just now:

        Some of the worst current hurdles: https://fairvote.org/the-worst-ballot-access-laws-in-the-united-states/

        Some of the history of how and why this happened (hint: in the 1930s, they were all trying to keep the communist party out): https://journals.shareok.org/arp/article/view/550/504

    2. SG

      I honestly not sure what can be done at this point, as both the DNC and GOP would join forces and legally sabotage or change the rules midrace to destroy any serious challenge from third party

      It’s interesting that you should mention this.When the GOP had a lock on Colorado politics in the early 2000s (both houses of the legislature and the governorship) they faced a significant threat in Republican strongholds from the Libertarian Party. Their response to this was to eliminate the Colorado Presidential Primary and require candidate selection solely through a caucus/convention process in order to get on the general election ballot.

      Their reasoning was simple: caucuses and conventions are expensive processes and the costs are borne solely by the parties themselves, as opposed to primary elections which are conducted at public expense. It was basically an attempt to starve third parties out of existence. Democrats did not collude in this charade, and it has since been reversed (in 2016, by popular initiative).

      It doesn’t take “joining forces” to accomplish this. A single party can do it if they have sufficient power in a given state (barring constitutional impediments).

      The DNC doesn’t have to abolish primaries to reduce their effect on the nominations – that’s what superdelegates are for.

  6. petal

    Dartmouth College men’s basketball team seeks to unionize
    The Dartmouth College men’s basketball team is trying to become the first college sports team to successfully form a union.
    There have been other sports teams that have tried to do what the Big Green is doing, and legal experts said other colleges should get ready for more of such efforts.”Colleges should really be prepared or getting ready for a world where their athletes have a legal right to employment,” said University of New Hampshire School of Law professor Mike McCann.
    McCann said the Dartmouth team faces the same challenge other teams have faced in their unionization attempts.
    “It really depends on whether or not they can make the case that they ought to be recognized as employees,” he said.
    The 15 players filed a petition Wednesday with the National Labor Relations Board as a part of the Local 560 chapter of the Service Employees International Union, excluding managers and supervisors.
    “This will take a while to play out,” McCann said. “It’s certainly not going to be resolved any time soon.”The NLRB applies to most private sector employers, including private universities. All eight Ivy League schools are private and do not offer scholarships, only financial aid.
    Dartmouth College issued a statement, saying, “We are carefully considering this petition with the aim of responding promptly yet thoughtfully in accordance with Dartmouth’s educational mission and priorities.”
    The Ivy League said it did not have a comment at this time.
    Dartmouth students who work for dining services are in a union.””

    1. NotTimothyGeithner

      Publicity is best as they have limited leverage. The SEC guarantees scholarships. If football wasn’t so barbaric, that would be a solid option.

  7. Tom Stone

    Thanks for the good news about Leana Wen, I hope she has many years left to study Long Covid from an intimate perspective.
    Did anyone else notice Zelensky’s threat of terrorist attacks if “The West” abandons Ukraine?
    Once it becomes obvious that Ukraine has been “Stabbed in the Back” and we see a Stinger or 3 used at Heathrow or La Guardia the Blob will have the perfect excuse to pass a “Domestic Terrorism” bill.
    it’s going to be a real interesting next year or two…

    1. Jason Boxman

      Yes indeed, I thought this was so fantastic I just had a shot in her honor. May she yet learn introspection and self reflection!

    2. nippersdad

      “Did anyone else notice Zelensky’s threat of terrorist attacks if “The West” abandons Ukraine?”

      The guys on the Duran have been talking about that…and they had a good shout out for Yves today, as well. Apparently there were some homegrown Nazis that had volunteered in Ukraine down in Florida that were talking up Biden’s support for their pet project. You can prolly add to that list some airport down in Florida as well.

      1. NotTimothyGeithner

        My thought was the Russian fall mobilization was to secure the border to force the angrier Ukrainians to have to take out frustration on the West.

      2. The Rev Kev

        Said a long time ago that this was going to happen. That if they did not win they would get bitter and seek to take it out on anybody – which includes all those countries that have been helping on the grounds that they did not help enough nor did they send their armies in to fight the Russians. You can see this already with all the fights between the Poles and the Ukrainians.

  8. thump

    The Washington Post article linked in the Xcrete (formerly, Tweet) about Leanna Wen describes a difficult recovery from pneumonia, but does not say she has Long Covid. Does she say anywhere else that it’s due to Covid? (Mind you, it’s not that I have any intention of indulging in schadenfreude, if so.)

    1. Lambert Strether Post author

      Thanks for reminding me to check the source. This is what she says:

      This week, I wrote about the need to focus resources on treating and preventing long covid. I can relate to the frustration and desperation of people suffering from long-term conditions, as I’ve been managing my own months-long recovery from pneumonia.

      In July, I wrote about the unsettling experience of being on the other side of the stethoscope when I suddenly fell very ill and was hospitalized. Many readers have kindly written to ask whether I’ve fully recovered.

      I wish I could say yes — that as soon as the antibiotics kicked in, I was back to everything I was doing before. The truth is far from that.

      The first week was rough, as expected. I was so tired, I could barely get out of bed. I gasped for breath after walking 10 steps to the bathroom. Thankfully, the fatigue lessened, and I was able to resume work…

      But my trouble breathing persisted. I also developed a hacking cough. I couldn’t talk for more than a few sentences without coughing, and it was nearly impossible to get through an hour of lecturing to students….

      I was started on steroids and inhalers, which helped for a few weeks. My walking progressed to a slow jog around the block. I got back into the pool and rejoined my masters swim team for a few workouts.

      But just when I thought I was better, the symptoms worsened. The cough was constant. The fatigue returned. My blood-oxygen levels, which were almost back to normal, at 94 or 95 percent, began dropping to the 80s again.

      I improved again after another round of treatments, but I remain worried that the relief is temporary. I fear there is something else the tests have missed. Most of all, I’m distressed I won’t get back to where I was before I became sick.

      She plenty of items on the Long Covid checklist, including the recurring fatigue. So my armchair diagnosis is that she has Long Covid + a bad case of denial.

      To be fair, even to Wen, I let my schadenfreude get the best of me. Fifty lashes with a wet noodle for lambert.

      1. Sardonia

        It’s not really schadenfreude to enjoy watching someone beating their head into a brick well – if the hope is that it might jar some sense into them.

      2. SG

        I don’t know, Lambert. My half-sister-in-law contracted a really bad case of pneumonia a couple of decades ago and it took her over 18 months to recover to the point where she could go back to work even part-time. She was pale, easily fatigued, and quite unsteady for quite awhile after that. So maybe it’s long COVID and maybe it’s not.

      3. THe Rev Kev

        It’s not schadenfreude if you are talking about a Judas goat. I still want to know how that strategy of ‘learning to live with this virus’ is working out. And her idea that getting infected should be considered the ‘new normal.’ Even if you have access to the best of treatment like Wen does, the answer seems to be not so well.

  9. Bradford

    Delinquencies on auto loans, credit cards and consumer loans are at the highest in a a decade: pic.twitter.com/5A4iLjIawO

    Draw a vertical line where the first full month of a presidential term begins (February) for the last couple of administrations and one can see the obvious.

  10. Janeway

    An Article 78 proceeding is short for the “Proceeding Against Body or Officer” of the NY Civil Practice Law & Rules (CPLR). This procedure allows for a court to review the determinations of administrative agencies, public bodies, officers, courts, judges, tribunals, boards, officers, or other person(s) acting with authority of the NY government or any subdivision thereof.

  11. Reply

    Shroom deaths expected to increase in Oregon, film at 11.

    There are enough toxic fungus varieties in that moist climate to kill many neophytes, as has gone on for decades. So say locals.
    When one of the more notorious is called Death Cap, why take the chance on having your insides dissolved?
    Or is there some Darwin Award angle to play out with freelance mushroom entrepreneurs?

    1. JBird4049

      If you know what you are doing, it is safe enough. The problem being too many people are too sure of what they know, not knowing what they don’t know.

      1. ambrit

        Plus, getting good advice on usage is hard at the best of times.
        What worries me here is that this phrase leapt out at me: “…plans for health officials to develop guidelines for therapeutic use.”
        If the “Official” response to the Coronavirus 2019 is any guide, the “guidelines” will be actively malicious.
        Find a legitimate Shaman to help you navigate the multifarious worlds of the Inner Life.
        (And definitely do not entrust your ego to a Freudian Witch Doctor.)
        Stay safe space fans. Wherever you are.

        1. Amfortas the Hippie

          Jungian Witch Doctors are better suited for these purposes, if you can find one outside of town.

          i was once a pretty good guide, by all accounts.
          Kept my head, when others lost theirs(yes i was always tripping, too)
          learned to do that by studying comparative mythology since i was like 12.
          learned to pick shrooms from older people who knew what they were doing(60’s and 70’s refugees)
          i could still identify whatever variety of Psilocybe grows in East Texas cow pastures…but i’m not in East Texas anymore.

          one definitely needs a guide…and Set and Setting!
          like dont do shrooms in an industrial wasteland…or an apartment.
          find nature where you’ll be safe and relatively unmolested by the Mundane(cops will assume that you’re drunk, btw…unless there’s bags of shroooms laying around)
          it’s been 30+ years…except for the crappy dried ones i got for Tam.
          but it’s a good trip.
          oneness, and all.

          1. Wukchumni

            Apparently the May 13, 1957 Life magazine with the article ‘Seeking The Magic Mushroom-A New York banker goes to Mexico’s mountains to participate in the age old rituals of Indians who chew strange growths that produce visions’ in regards to the Vice-President of J.P. Morgan and his wife going down to Mexico, was the catalyst for usage in the USA with the Beats being among the first to indulge in the late 50’s…

            https://www.cuttersguide.com/pdf/Periodical-Publications/life-by-time-inc-published-may-13-1957.pdf (skip to page 102 for article)

      2. dave -- just dave

        As Josh Billings said in the 19th century, with intentionally variant spelling,

        I honestly beleave it iz better tew know nothing than two know what ain’t so.

  12. Jason Boxman

    “We are pleased to join this collaborative effort to develop and assess the safety, immunogenicity, and effectiveness of an adenovirus type 4 based vaccine expressing the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein as a novel approach to the prevention of COVID-19,” said Wright

    This got eaten the other day, but I still want to say…

    But we now have ample evidence that this target absolutely does mutate. A lot. Often. And confounds the immune system, so prior infection or vaccination does not prevent re-infection. So why continue to target this piece?

    And here’s this from The Atlantic: COVID-19 Vaccine Makers Are Looking Beyond the Spike Protein.

    In recent months, though, it’s become clear that the coronavirus is a slippery, shape-shifting foe -and spike appears to be one of its most malleable traits.

    May 21, 2021. Two years ago. So how is that working out?

    This is truly the stupidest timeline.

  13. Seth A. Miller

    Article 78: In New York law, think of an Article 78 proceeding as a sort of appeal, only the appeal is to a trial judge (most frequently from the decisions of administrative agencies, of which there are many, with significant power in New York). Less frequently, it asks an appellate court to compel (a writ! of prohibition! or mandamus!) a lower court to do something it doesn’t want to do, as here. The funny name is after Article 78 of the CPLR, the basic procedural statute governing all civil matters in New York State courts.

    I tried looking up Trump Organization v. Engoran, and it is sealed from public view, at least for now.

  14. GlassHammer

    Honest to God I do not understand how anyone who works in the medical industry can operate without the “precautionary principal” at the forefront of their minds 24/7.

    How do you not see yourself as being someone else’s future patient for reasons not within your control?

    How on earth does the “well that won’t ever happen to me attitude” ever find fertile ground within such a person?

    My career field isn’t even “high stakes” and I couldn’t develop the “well that won’t happen to me” attitude even if I tried to so on purpose. I can’t “not see myself” in all the unfortunate circumstances of my colleagues and customers.

    1. Verifyfirst

      One of the most puzzling things with Covid has been the medical community. Reasonably intelligent people, educated on some of these matters, could easily confirm online in an hour or two from reliable scientific sources that infectious Covid is airborne; infectiousness does not correlate to having active symptoms, and masks and air cleaning help a lot.

      And they are personally at risk–high risk actually.

      Why would you not protect yourself? And your patients?

      But the culture in medicine seems to have become super anti-mask–actively hostile in many cases. I have seen many Tweets about hospital units that had masked, sometimes for decades, prior to Covid, that are now no longer masking.

      Like this one:


      Was there not once a commonly agreed to notion that doctors should not infect patients, especially the most vulnerable?

      1. JBird4049

        >>>I have seen many Tweets about hospital units that had masked, sometimes for decades, prior to Covid, that are now no longer masking.

        It is $h** like this that prevents me from being fully with either the stupidity or eugenics hypothesis. I think that the effectiveness of masks has been known since before the First World War. Airborne infections several decades before that. We are talking about six or seven generations of people who have been taught all this. My great grandparents would likely know about this. It has worked for all those generations.

        They taught this in middle school and again in high school. And of course, in college if you are taking any degree that has anything to do with biology at all including that physical anthropology I thought of taking.

        And this is nothing to say about the books on basic biology and history of diseases you will find in any public library bigger than a closet.

        So, like a broken record, wtf? Have all these people been cursed with madness?

  15. nippersdad

    So, I have been wondering what the legal basis of a corporation unilaterally deciding to rearrange primaries when state law governs elections is. How did the DNC think that was going to work? What happens when the (R controlled) state takes the DNC to federal court for electoral meddling and cleans them out?

    If the NH Republican party wants to take a bite out of the DNC coffers that sounds like a great way to do it, and get some of that free advertising they so love in the process. I think Trump would approve of that message.

      1. nippersdad

        But Michigan does not have a state law that posits it must be the first primary in the nation. That is a law that would have to be changed by the Republican majority in their statehouse, therefore the “offense” in question cannot be addressed by arbitrary DNC pronouncements from on high.

        There is literally nothing the state Democratic party can do the situation, and it seems like recourse to the courts by someone testing the ability of a corporation to disenfranchise voters would be the obvious answer.

        1. SG

          But Michigan did pass a state law setting the primary date to January 15 in 2008 (contrary to the desires of the DNC). It didn’t matter. The convention refused to recognize the primary-selected delegation and reconstituted it with a majority of Obama supporters, even though he wasn’t even on the Michigan ballot.

          The convention doesn’t have to seat a delegation. At the convention, DNC rules govern:

          The National Convention shall be the highest authority of the Democratic Party, subject to
          the provisions of this Charter. The National Convention shall recognize the state and other Parties
          entitled to participate in the conduct of the national affairs of the Democratic Party, including its
          conventions, conferences and committees. State Party rules or state laws relating to the election of
          delegates to the National Convention shall be observed unless in conflict with this Charter and other
          provisions adopted pursuant to authority of the Charter, including the resolutions or other actions of the
          National Convention.
          In the event of such conflict with state laws, state Parties shall be required to take
          provable positive steps to bring such laws into conformity and to carry out such other measures as may
          be required by the National Convention or the Democratic National Committee.

          (DNC charter, Article 2 – emphasis mine)

          They didn’t just do this to Michigan in 2008. They did it to Florida, too: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2008_Florida_Democratic_presidential_primary

          NH can pass any legislation it wants, hold a primary, and select a slate of delegates accordingly, but the National Convention can simply refuse to seat them. The Credentials Committee is the final authority on who gets to vote at the Convention.

  16. Mark Gisleson

    Not many murder their parents and throw themselves at the mercy of the judge because they

    Pretty sure there was more to this thought if only a cryptic ellipsis.

    1. ambrit

      I thought that it was only a lost ‘connecting’ word, so that:
      “Not many murder their parents and throw themselves at the mercy of the judge because they [are] Democrats en Déshabillé.”
      That sounds so….Neo-liberal.

  17. Verifyfirst

    It’s been a minute since I’ve heard a UAW President quote Malcom X. (ok, never have I heard that until now….).

    And one person has already been arrested for threatening the UAW President…..don’t recall that happening since Walter Reuther got shot through his kitchen window….though those assailants were never caught.

    And Mary Barra, GM CEO (I know, a woman, right, makes all the difference…..) went on CNN and said her pay increases of 30% over the past four years were jake, since…..wait for it…..they were based on company performance!

    This could get interesting.

    1. nippersdad

      The bar chart yesterday showed that stock buy backs were…off the chart I wonder how much of her “company performance” could be attributed to her investing all their money into their stock rather than into their employees or plant.

    2. Amfortas the Hippie

      why do you hate womyn?


      and hell…if i got a 30% bump in my little tiny pension check, I’d be pretty jake, too,lol.

  18. Old Sarum

    Can Corporations fully engaged in AI maintain limited liability?

    It is bad enough already when CEO’s disclaim knowledge and/or responsibility for their corporations’ nefarious deeds, but if and when decision and actions are by handed over to computers programmed by AI who or what is responsible? Who carries the can?

    I have been reading AP Herbert’s “Misleading Cases” and one in particular caught my eye on the subject of the “reasonable man” who was supposed to populate the men (and men only) juries at the time of writing. I assume that limited liability rests on the questionable optimism that corporations are run by reasonable people, but not unreasonable (and unfathomable) computer algorithms.

    I wonder how the law is going to change in response.


    ps To paraphrase ‘Little Britain’, “…the computer says No, but it cannot and will not tell me why”. https://youtu.be/x0YGZPycMEU?si=F3L_TGcG-3rNYmsc

Comments are closed.