2:00PM Water Cooler 9/26/2023

By Lambert Strether of Corrente.

Patient readers, I got a late start today due to household issues. More soon; for whatever reason, there was a boatload of Covid news. Thanks for your patience! –lambert

Bird Song of the Day

Beautiful Nuthatch, Mishmi Hills–65 (65 km), Lower Dibang Valley, Arunachal Pradesh, India.

* * *


“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


Time for the Countdown Clock!

* * *

“The Memo: Worried Democrats fret Trump is more electable than believed” [The Hill]. “[I]t’s notable that on three of the most controversial issues facing the nation — abortion, immigration and the war in Ukraine — Trump is either trimming his sails into an electable shape, or public opinion is shifting in his direction….One Democratic strategist who asked for anonymity to speak candidly said that anyone who doesn’t think Trump can win in 2024 is ‘an absolute fool.’ The strategist cited inflation, concern about Biden’s age and immigration, emphasizing ‘the crisis that you are seeing playing out in multiple states because of the number of people coming across the border.’ The war in Ukraine is unlikely to be quite so pivotal in the 2024 election, given that foreign policy rarely dominates elections unless American forces themselves are in harm’s way. Nonetheless, Trump’s skepticism about open-ended support for Ukraine is finding a wider audience than it did at the outset of the war.”

“‘I like him even better now’: Trump’s true believers keep the faith” [Guardian]. “What is striking about the traveling circus is not what has changed over that time but what has stayed the same. Hawkers still move up and down the line selling Trump calendars, keychains and other regalia with captions such as ‘Gun rights matter’, ‘Fight for Trump’, ‘Jesus is my savior, Trump is my president’, ‘No more bullshit’, ‘Trumpinator: I’ll be back’ and ‘Fuck Biden and fuck you for voting for him’. Trump, 77, still puts on a show unlike anyone else in politics. Twentieth-century music from Abba, Celine Dion, Elvis Presley and Whitney Houston booms from loudspeakers. Video clips of allies such as the broadcaster Tucker Carlson and Hungarian autocrat Viktor Orbán receive cheers and those of foes such as Biden and the Florida governor, Ron DeSantis, elicit boos and jeers. The former reality TV star still enters to thunderous cheers and chants of ‘USA! USA!’ People wave signs bearing his name and snap photos on their phones; one stood on a chair wearing an ‘I love Trump’ T-shirt. Trump still plays the parts of demagogue, divider and standup comic, serving red meat to supporters who revel in shared grievance and the thrill of transgression. The slogan then is the slogan now: ‘Make America great again’ (Maga), emblazoned on a blue backdrop to the stage where Trump spoke for 80 minutes. But for his supporters that phrase has taken on added meaning: Maga is now imbued with nostalgia for the Trump presidency when, as they perceive it, borders were strong and fuel prices were low.”

Repurposing the Censorship Industrial Complex? Why not?

If that’s the standard, possibly (it’s not); but holey moley (cf. Matt 7:5).

When you’ve lost Matt Drudge?

* * *

“DeSantis under pressure to get off the ropes in second Republican debate” [Washington Examiner]. “University of Michigan debate director Aaron Kall predicts DeSantis will be ‘a bigger punching bag’ during Wednesday’s debate at the Reagan Ronald Reagan Presidential Library and Museum in Simi Valley, California. ‘This will probably be the first time that we get to see how he responds to being attacked or counterpunched,” the co-author of Debating The Donald told the Washington Examiner. ‘It will be a smaller stage this time, six instead of eight, and so a lot more time for all the candidates and nowhere for any of them to hide or kind of stay above the fray like he was able to successfully do [during the first debate last month] in Milwaukee.'”

“Nikki Haley already beats Biden in polls. Now she needs to win the next Republican debate” [USA Today]. “While Haley has only seen a modest bump in the national primary polls following the debate, she is rising more quickly in early primary states like Iowa and New Hampshire. That’s because, unlike Trump, she’s putting in the time and going to the fairs and events that are integral to the process. The more people get to know her, the more they like her.”

* * *

“Questionable Stock Trade Patterns in Ramaswamy’s Wall Street Past” [Newsweek]. “But one crucial part of his past has so far been overlooked: his short but extremely lucrative stint on Wall Street as a hedge fund investor. Our team carefully mined the Securities and Exchange Commission’s filings archives and Ramaswamy’s own prior statements to recreate and analyze some of his investment history on Wall Street. What we found was shocking. While he was at Yale Law School, Ramaswamy also worked for a hedge fund, QVT Financial. In the span of one year, Ramaswamy and his company invested in three companies—Pharmasset, Inhibitex, and Anadys, all firms in the highly esoteric field of hepatitis C treatments within biotech. And they were all acquired in major takeovers, with Ramaswamy fortuitously buying in or dramatically upping QVT’s stake right around the time secret acquisition talks began in every case…. Was it dumb luck? We don’t have evidence of insider trading. But certainly, Ramaswamy’s timing could not have been better in each of these cases.”… Ramaswamy’s success ‘looks less like lucky investing and more like a known playbook he was reading from,’ noted biotech investor and former Theranos whistleblower Tyler Shultz told us. ‘It certainly raises eyebrows given the repeated pattern.’ Bill George, the former CEO of Medtronic, agreed, telling us these findings showed Ramaswamy to be ‘a classic pump-and-dump guy who has not achieved on his own.” • Ouch!

“The Iceman Runneth” [Business Insider]. “Behind closed doors, some of these former employees said he can be a neurotic, mercurial, and paranoid leader. He takes pains on the campaign trail to come across as salt of the earth. But a person who worked closely with Ramaswamy said, ‘He thinks people are put on this earth to serve him.’ Ramaswamy has cast himself as the child of penniless immigrants who worked hard and scrapped harder to make it in business. But while his parents may have come from humble beginnings, Ramaswamy was raised in affluence. His father worked as an engineer and patent attorney at General Electric, and his mother worked as a psychiatrist in private practice. Ramaswamy was the valedictorian of his prestigious private boys’ school. In 2011, he received a fellowship from a foundation started by George Soros’ brother to attend Yale Law School, a move he later defended in the conservative media because he ‘didn’t have the money.’ But he was also working at a hedge fund at the same time, earning nearly $500,000 the year he applied for the fellowship and $2.2 million the next year, his tax returns show. Some aspects of his management style are quirky: he’d order Taco Bell for the office on his birthday, according to former employees. But he’s also been known to demand white-glove service from staffers, these people said, insisting that they follow an often bizarre laundry-list of rules and procedures to suit his every need. Chief among them: A relentless fixation on temperature. Not only can Ramaswamy not stand the heat, these people said — he dictated that the office thermostats at Roivant and Strive had to be set to 64 degrees or below. The workspaces were so frigid, former employees told Insider, that coworkers resorted to using space heaters at their desks and wearing their Roivant-branded Patagonia fleeces to ward off the chill.” • “Taco Bell for the office”? “On his birthday”? Sounds like a real sweetheart….

* * *

“Scoop: Biden team’s don’t-let-him-trip mission” [Axios]. • I tripped a lot in my younger days, and no, I wouldn’t advise it for Biden. At all.

“Carville on 75% Not Wanting Biden To Run Again: “That’s A Big F*cking Number” [RealClearPolitics]. “CARVILLE: If we had somebody under 60 and ran against Trump, we would get 55%. I don’t like when people take one poll and you extrapolate too much of it. I’ve seen the last 8 polls and they’re all the same. 73-77% of the country does not want Biden to run again — I’m just going to round that to 75%. Okay. That’s a big fucking number, man.” • It is.’

“The Issue That’s a Bigger Problem for Biden Than His Age” [Ed Kilgore, New York Magazine]. “The drag on Joe Biden’s reelection prospects may have as much to do with persistently dark perceptions of the economy as with concerns about a president who would turn 86 before a second term ended. The latest ABC/Washington Post survey of the presidential contest probably affected a lot of fearful Democratic political junkies like an electric cattle prod plunged into their Sunday morning bathwater. The topline numbers showing Trump leading Biden by 52 percent to 42 percent among registered voters represented a hair-raising departure from the very close general election contest most polls have recently documented; indeed, the Post described its own poll as a probable outlier (the last ABC/WaPo survey in May gave Trump a six-point lead, which also raised eyebrows). But arguably some of the poll’s internal findings should worry Team Biden as much as the horse-race numbers, suggesting that voters are not at all internalizing expert analysis of a steadily improving economy, as ABC’s pollster Gary Langer explains: ‘Forty-four percent of Americans in the latest ABC News/Washington Post poll say they’ve gotten worse off financially under Biden’s presidency, the most for any president in ABC/Post polls since 1986….. The poll finds widespread unhappiness with the economy, even on metrics that objectively would tend to indicate recent improvement. Only 35 percent of voters consider the current unemployment rate ‘excellent’ or ‘good;’ 57 percent rated it ‘not so good’ or ‘poor.’ But it’s prices that are really causing Biden problems, Langer notes: ‘The poll probed for details on that sentiment, finding two major irritants: food prices, rated negatively (as not so good or poor) by 91%; and gas and energy prices, rated negatively by 87%.” • And that’s before we get to insurance, as discussed in yesterday’s Water Cooler.

“Biden grapples with concerns over young Black voter support” [The Hill]. “Earlier this month, a poll by The Highland Project found that 69 percent of millennial and Gen Z Black women are dissatisfied with the direction the country is going. Another poll by AEI’s Survey Center on American Life found that only 21 percent of Black voters between 18 and 49 years old want Biden to be the Democratic nominee. Now, in a sign the Biden campaign recognizes this worrying trend, Vice President Harris is spending the month touring historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs) as part of a nationwide ‘Fight For Our Freedoms College Tour.’ ‘This generation is critical to the urgent issues that are at stake right now for our future,’ Harris said in a statement earlier this month. ‘It is young leaders throughout America who know what the solutions look like and are organizing in their communities to make them a reality. My message to students is clear: We are counting on you, we need you, you are everything.'” • Great. Where’s my six hundred bucks?

“‘Missing witness’ in Biden corruption probe offers dirt on Hunter FBI ‘mole’ who tipped him off” [New York Post]. “Gal Luft, the fugitive ‘missing witness’ of the Biden corruption investigation, has offered new evidence to the House impeachment inquiry about an FBI mole who tipped off Hunter Biden that his Chinese partners had been named in four sealed indictments in 2017 by Manhattan federal prosecutors in the Southern District of New York. The Israeli professor and former Israel Defense Forces officer has been on the run for six months after skipping bail in Cyprus, where he was awaiting extradition to the United States on gun-running and foreign lobbying charges, also brought by the SDNY.” A colorful character! More: “In an open letter to Reps James Comer (R-Ky.), Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) and Jason Smith (R-Mo.), the three House committee chairmen running the impeachment inquiry, Luft claims that the tipoff to Chinese executives of CEFC came on the same day that the first son wrote a WhatsApp message shaking down another CEFC employee for millions of dollars over a “highly confidential and time sensitive” matter while claiming his father was in the room with him. ‘I am sitting here with my father, and we would like to understand why the commitment made has not been fulfilled,’ Hunter wrote to CEFC employee Raymond Zhao on July 30, 2017, in a WhatsApp message that was presented to Congress in June during testimony by IRS whistleblower Gary Shapley.” • Hmm.

* * *

“Will Rigging the Primaries Backfire on the DNC?” [The Kennedy Beacon]. “Further exacerbating an already problematic historical moment, the DNC has now issued new rules, stating that any candidates who appear on the ballot in New Hampshire’s “unsanctioned” primary can be punished by receiving zero delegates. For many, it is increasingly difficult to see the DNC’s move against New Hampshire as arbitrary, considering Kennedy has recently polled at around 30% in the state after months of efforts and grassroots organizing there. The DNC has also now issued directives to Iowa demanding it postpone its caucuses to a later date than the first-in-the-nation status (with New Hampshire) that they have held for 50 years. In 2020, Biden placed a dismal fourth in the Iowa caucuses and an even more embarrassing fifth, with zero delegates, in New Hampshire. Naturally, reducing the influence of these votes seems advantageous to him. Meanwhile, the DNC’s decision to give so much weight to South Carolina is bizarre when one considers that the state has voted for the Republican candidate in every general election since 1976, while New Hampshire and Iowa are both competitive swing states that have shifted support between both parties in recent elections. It only makes sense when one considers that South Carolina’s primary single-handedly revived Biden’s moribund candidacy in 2020. The DNC’s tainted primary calendar is also creating significant uncertainty and confusion for many states.”

* * *

“Anti-vaxxers are now a modern political force” [Politico]. “A longtime anti-vaccine group Children’s Health Defense, the nonprofit launched in 2011 under the name World Mercury Project, also saw its revenue balloon. The group, which is led by longshot Democratic presidential candidate Kennedy, saw its revenue go from just over $1 million in 2018 to more than $15 million in 2021, according to the nonprofit’s federal tax filings….. As the nonprofit’s revenue increased, so did Kennedy’s compensation. Children’s Health Defense paid him roughly $500,000 each year in 2022 and 2021, according to his personal financial disclosure and the group’s tax filings, up from $345,000 in 2020 and $131,000 in 2017. The nonprofit salary was still a small share of Kennedy’s overall income; his personal financial disclosure filed as part of his presidential run reported $7.8 million in earnings in 2022, with the bulk of that coming from his work for his environmental law firm.”

Republican Funhouse

“Republicans Lead Race for Private Equity’s 2024 Dollars” [Wall Street Journal]. “The Republican Party is leading the Democratic Party in campaign contributions from employees of private-equity firms for the first time since the 2016 elections, according to data from nonpartisan OpenSecrets, a nonprofit group in Washington that tracks political spending. Republican candidates and committees have received about 56% of the more than $14 million that people who work in the private-equity industry have spent on next year’s elections through the end of June, according to the group’s data.”

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.

* * *

* * *

Subject Line: “We have an incomplete in your file!” How Orwellian.

I have no idea what the “DGA” is, and the mail doesn’t say. “D” for Democrat, I suppose; yes, “Democratic Governors Association.” Anyhow, I’ve marked up some the more egregious hard selling:

I sure hope this doesn’t go on my permanent record! Didn’t Michelle Goldberg tell the Democrats to stop doing this stuff? Looks like they’ve doubled down. An autoplay video, ffs!

Hard pass:

“The Washington Gerontocracy” [David Remnick, The New Yorker]. “The real menace isn’t posed by an elderly pol intent on protecting and renewing a democratic republic; it’s posed by a chaos agent who fomented insurrection and promises to return America to a state of misery.”


“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!

* * *

Covid is Airborne

“Coronavirus: How infected air can flow from one apartment to another” [El Pais]. • From 2021, but handy diagrams and animations.


A natural experiment on deaths from Covid proper and deaths from vax:

“Unexpected vaginal bleeding and COVID-19 vaccination in nonmenstruating women” [Science]. From the Abstract: “. Among 7725 postmenopausal women, 7148 perimenopausal women, and 7052 premenopausal women, 3.3, 14.1, and 13.1% experienced unexpected vaginal bleeding during a period of 8 to 9 months, respectively. In postmenopausal women, the risk of unexpected vaginal bleeding (i.e., postmenopausal bleeding) in the 4 weeks after COVID-19 vaccination was increased two- to threefold, compared to a prevaccination period. The corresponding risk of unexpected vaginal bleeding after vaccination was increased three- to fivefold in both nonmenstruating peri- and premenopausal women.” Yikes. And confirming many anecdotes, too. The first two sentences of the Introduction:

After the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) vaccination rollout in December 2020, spontaneous reporting systems received reports of menstrual disturbances at frequencies not seen in previous vaccination campaigns. Such events were not addressed in the preceding clinical vaccine trials.

“Not addressed” is delicately put. Why the [family blog] not?

Censorship and Propaganda

On the “immunity debt” brainworm:

I’m happy with “holy fricking bongles,” too.


“Distinguishing features of Long COVID identified through immune profiling” (accepted manuscript) [Nature]. “Here, 273 individuals with or without [‘Long COVID; (LC)] were enrolled in a cross-sectional study that included multi-dimensional immune phenotyping and unbiased machine learning methods to identify biological features associated with LC. Marked differences were noted in circulating myeloid and lymphocyte populations relative to matched controls, as well as evidence of exaggerated humoral responses directed against SARS-CoV-2 among participants with LC. Further, higher antibody responses directed against non-SARS-CoV-2 viral pathogens were observed among individuals with LC, particularly Epstein-Barr virus. Levels of soluble immune mediators and hormones varied among groups, with cortisol levels being lower among participants with LC. Integration of immune phenotyping data into unbiased machine learning models identified key features most strongly associated with LC status. Collectively, these findings may help guide future studies into the pathobiology of LC and aid in developing relevant biomarkers.” • NIH blew through a billion bucks developing the prolegomena to a survey, and no biological markers at all. Why the [family blog] not?

Elite Maleficence

“Baggy Blues” from the ghouls at WHO:

Honestly, did the word go out to all the stock photo suppliers and art directors never to model N95s?

The Jackpot

You just can’t get good help these days, especially if its skilled:

* * *

Case Data

From BioBot wastewater data, September 25:

Lambert here: “Data last updated September 18, 2023 from samples collected during the week of September 11, 2023. This Thursday’s update is delayed. Visualizations are next expected to be updated on September 25, 2023. Most recent data are subject to change.” So even wastewater data is turning to garbage? (I checked CDC data, and it was updated on September 18, too? Funding issues? Everybody using the same lab behind the scenes, and there was a debacle of some kind?)=

Lambert here: Dropping everywhere but the Northeast.

Regional data:

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


NOT UPDATED 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 16:

Drop coinciding with wastewater drop.

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 26:

Flattened peak continues. I hate this metric because the lag makes it deceptive.

NOT UPDATED Here’s a different CDC visualization on hospitalization, nationwide, not by state, but with a date, at least. September 16:

Lambert here: At least we can see that positivity and hospitalization correlate.

Lambert here: “Maps, charts, and data provided by CDC, updates weekly for the previous MMWR week (Sunday-Saturday) on Thursdays (Deaths, Emergency Department Visits, Test Positivity) and weekly the following Mondays (Hospitalizations) by 8 pm ET†”. So where the heck is the update, CDC?


From Walgreens, September 25:

-4.7%. Another big drop. (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.)

From Cleveland Clinic, September 23:

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.

NOT UPDATED From CDC, traveler’s data, September 4:

Back up again And here are the variants:

No BA.2.86 for three of the long-delayed collection weeks. We know BA.2.86 is in the country, so apparently it escaped CDC’s net.


NOT UPDATED Iowa COVID-19 Tracker, September 20:

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: 1,176,159 – 1,175,562 = 597 (597 * 365 = 217,905 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). 

Lambert here: Weekend and Monday accumulation, however.

Excess Deaths

The Economist, September 24:

Lambert here: This is now being updated daily again. Odd. Based on a machine-learning model.

Stats Watch

Manufacturing: “United States Richmond Fed Manufacturing Index” [Trading Economics]. “The Manufacturing Activity Index in the Richmond area rose to 5 in September 2023 from -7 in August, beating market expectations of -6. It was the first positive reading of the index since the spring of 2022, as each of its three component indexes increased.”

* * *

Lots of agency action, here, making this post — Loper Bright Enterprises v. Raimondo: A Conservative Assault on the Administrative State — all the more timely.

Sealed testimony in the Google case:

I looked at Apple’s filing:

DOJ’s insistence on questioning Mr. Cue about this information in open court represents a substantial risk of revealing non-public, market-moving information….

Boo-[family-blogging]-hoo. The public interest in disclosure over-rides Apple’s stock price. More:

….pertaining to Apple, not a party to DOJ’s suit, and affecting Apple’s ongoing business relations and contract negotiations. It is in contravention of prior agreements between the parties and is unsupported by the legal standard for public disclosure of confidential information.

Everything is like CalPERS. Apple is gonna slap a confidentiality label on anything remotely contrary to its corporate interests, exactly as CalPERS’ bent counsel did with lawyer-client privilege.

Google and Apple, BFFs:

Rather a lot of money!

“FTC files a massive antitrust lawsuit against Amazon” [The Verge]. “‘Our complaint lays out how Amazon has used a set of punitive and coercive tactics to unlawfully maintain its monopolies,’ FTC Chair Lina Khan said in a statement Tuesday. ‘The complaint sets forth detailed allegations noting how Amazon is now exploiting its monopoly power to enrich itself while raising prices and degrading service for the tens of millions of American families who shop on its platform and the hundreds of thousands of businesses that rely on Amazon to reach them.’… The suit targets the parts of Amazon’s business that service consumers and sellers, according to an FTC press release. Specifically, the agency is accusing Amazon of punishing sellers who offer lower-priced products on different platforms and restricting which sellers are eligible for Prime shipping benefits. The agency is also targeting Amazon’s ability to bias its search results in favor of the company’s own products.”

“US FCC chair to seek reinstating net neutrality rules rescinded under Trump” [Reuters]. “U.S. Federal Communications Commission chair Jessica Rosenworcel plans to begin an effort to reinstate landmark net neutrality rules rescinded under then-President Donald Trump, sources briefed on the matter said Monday. The move comes after Democrats took majority control of the five-member FCC on Monday for the first time since President Joe Biden took office in January 2021 when new FCC Commissioner Anna Gomez was sworn in. The FCC is set to take an initial vote on the net neutrality proposal in October, the sources added.”

* * *

Today’s Fear & Greed Index: 28 Fear (previous close: 38 Fear) [CNN]. One week ago: 47 (Neutral). (0 is Extreme Fear; 100 is Extreme Greed). Last updated Sep 26 at 1:47:27 PM ET. Big swing toward fear!

Rapture Index: Closes unchanged [Rapture Ready]. Record High, October 10, 2016: 189. Current: 187. (Remember that bringing on the Rapture is good.) NOTE on #42 Plagues: “The coronavirus pandemic has maxed out this category.” More honest than most!

Class Warfare

“ACLU Fired Staffer for Speaking Up About Working Conditions, Labor Board Claims” [Bloomberg]. “The discharged employee had been ‘concertedly complaining’ about wages, hours, and working conditions ‘throughout 2020, 2021, and until about May 2022,’ according to the filing, which was issued in March by an NLRB regional director on behalf of the labor board’s general counsel, and obtained by Bloomberg News through a Freedom of Information Act request…. Many of the ACLU’s own employees have unionized in recent years, amid a broader wave of organizing by nonprofit and political advocacy staff. The fired staffer was represented by the union ACLU Staff United, which the ACLU agreed to voluntarily recognize and negotiate with in 2021 after employees signed up with the group.”

News of the Wired

“Astronomer Johannes Kepler solved life’s hardest problem: marriage” [Big Think]. “Kepler also used his mathematical prowess to solve a very different terrestrial problem that many of us still face in our lives here on Earth: when is the optimal time to marry someone, assuming you want to maximize the happiness in your life? The answer, perhaps surprisingly, is to follow what’s known as the 37% rule: reject the first 37% of all possible choices, and then pick the very next one to come along whose potential exceeds the best of the 37% who came before. Although some will wind up passing over their optimal choice and others will choose a partner before ever meeting their best possible match, the 37% rule is the mathematically superlative strategy. Here’s the science behind why.” • But… What is a “possible choice”? Also, Kepler followed his own rule. But was he happy in his choice?

“The Casino in Your Pocket” [Matt’s Dumb Musings]. For Wordscapes players, an included mini-game, “Mt. Fortune”. Conclusion: “I’m sure this doesn’t come as much of a surprise to anybody that the game is rigged in the house’s favor. The choice presented to the player is entirely an illusion, masked as a game of chance. In a casino, any rational adult expects this. For games which allow real-money purchases in the hands of players of any age? Well, we can discuss the morality of that another day. In the meantime, I’ll be killing my time with mindless word puzzles.”

* * *

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 DG:

DG writes: “But, this afternoon, I just thought this Tiger Swallowtail was a fine poser. So, if you can use it, here is a Tiger Swallowtail pic taken around 1:00 or so in our yard in Blacksburg, VA.” Indeed, and in a garden full of zinnias!

* * *

Readers: Water Cooler is a standalone entity not covered by the annual NC fundraiser. So if you see a link you especially like, or an item you wouldn’t see anywhere else, please do not hesitate to express your appreciation in tangible form. Remember, a tip jar is for tipping! Regular positive feedback both makes me feel good and lets me know I’m on the right track with coverage. When I get no donations for five or ten days I get worried. More tangibly, a constant trickle of donations helps me with expenses, and I factor in that trickle when setting fundraising goals:

Here is the screen that will appear, which I have helpfully annotated:

If you hate PayPal, you can email me at lambert [UNDERSCORE] strether [DOT] corrente [AT] yahoo [DOT] com, and I will give you directions on how to send a check. Thank you!

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. Wukchumni

    When I hear the shutdown comin’ down it makes me sad and blue
    Was on a painful night like this that the Caucus said I was through
    I told them how I loved the job, and I begged them not to let me go
    But the Red Scare hadn’t changed their mind
    They made it so

    Alone within my office tonight my heart is filled with fear
    The only sound within the room is the falling of each tear
    I think about the thing they’ve done, I know it wasn’t right
    They’ll bury the hatchet tomorrow, but they’re hanging me out to dry tonight

    That night Gaetz came and took my job and became Speaker in DC town
    I knew I had to find this man and try to beg him to back down
    As I walked by the House and I looked through the door
    I saw my job as his new love and I couldn’t stand no more
    I couldn’t stand no more

    They took the gavel from my ownership and with a trembling hand
    I took the life of a resigned man and that good for nothin’ plan
    That good for nothin’ plan!

    I think about the thing they’ve done, I know it wasn’t right
    They’ll bury the hatchet tomorrow, but they’re hanging me out to dry tonight

    They’re Hanging Me Tonight, by Marty Robbins


  2. nippersdad

    I think the swallowtail in the plantidote is nectaring on a lantana camera. Beautiful, but increasingly invasive down here in the South.

    1. Kristin brown

      Was just going to say the same…i have both lantana and zinnias, and at least in the pic it looks like lantana. Lantana is an annual in the North..for me, they attract hummers and butterflies.have them planted right outside my front window for enjoyment.

      1. nippersdad

        I can sit on the porch and watch them fight amongst themselves all day. They are fun little critters. I used to work with a lady in the Master Gardeners who did up their entire yard for butterfly and hummingbird habitat. She has hundreds of them over there! In the summer she goes through two gallons of nectar a day, and some of them have started overwintering in her yard. She has some other good tips on how to attract them here:


      1. nippersdad

        Nothing wrong with that!

        I’m chuffed. An hour or so ago I just got a bag in the mail for an eighth acre of wildflower meadow seed from the Indigenous landscapes auction. This is a new thing for them. Now all I need to do is clear some brush and we can have our very own (small) meadow! They have some really good books that others might be interested in:


          1. nippersdad

            I doubt that there would be much to see next year but some clay and straw with little seedlings in it. At least, that was my last experience with building up a meadow. It takes three years for them to mature to the point that it is worth taking pictures of, and that was right about when the last one was bulldozed for a 911 addition. The perils of having your demonstration garden in a county park.

            But still! Pretty exciting stuff.

            OTOH, maybe it won’t take so long this time. That meadow had been planted in what used to be a clay parking lot. So I got a member with a tractor to subsoil it, then I and another guy tilled some dump trucks of manure into it from the local livestock barn. Little did we know that the manure was full of this stuff called Grazon, a broadleaf weed inhibitor. Just exactly what we didn’t want.

            But it eventually all turned out. We had enclosed it in a split rail fence with a family of deer made out of rebar made by a local artist, and it was backed up by native flowering vines on 911’s (prison) fence. That stuff even covers razor wire! It was pretty awesome.

            (Note to self: I may need to go up there and snaffle those underutilized deer…….)

        1. Amfortas the Hippie

          directions should say whether or not to scarify in some manner…ie: freeze…
          i do all my pasture and meadow planting on Goddess’ schedule…when the seeds on the living growing plants are dropping in one part of the field, its time to plant that species in another part.
          nowadays, i go around in the Falcon with a bucket and gloves, and strip ripe seeds from one place, and go immediately to wherever i want to plant them, and scatter them around(Goddess doesn’t deign to bury her seeds, i note…unless its in leaves or duff, depending).
          this method is site specific…but “here” is wherever you are,lol…and it’ll work there, too…at least of you have a model extant to go by.
          otherwise, and again, read all the literature the seed company sends.
          and good luck with your meadow!

  3. Mikel

    “Mexican immigration officials said they will negotiate with five countries’ governments to ensure they will take back their citizens. The agreement was announced after shelters in El Paso said they are over capacity.”

    “…The move comes as Eagle Pass and El Paso have scrambled to find shelter for recently arrived migrants, or help them get transportation out of the border cities, after they have been processed and released by immigration officials….”

    Basically, the Fed and government officials have noticed all of the striking workers.

  4. FreeMarketApologist

    Re: “…more electable than believed” and “…or public opinion is shifting in his direction…

    Well, he was elected once, and they didn’t believe it then, so this is some pretty heavy denial. I’d also suggest that the general public opinion shifted some time ago. But, maybe this is just a projection of team D’s own views, as they come to the conclusion that the economic and global policies they’ve been following are deeply flawed. (which is not to say that I think the R policies aren’t also deeply flawed)

    1. DaveOTN

      I think the quote above that “Ukraine is unlikely to matter much in 2024” is pretty heavy denial, too. Biden is on track for a doubleheader if he oversees a loss in Afghanistan and another in Ukraine, even if his predecessors are more to blame. Chances seem good that Ukraine will either collapse right in the middle of the 2024 election run up or Biden will send troops over to that meat grinder to stop it from happening, and neither will be a good look. (It is possible that NATO troops will crush the Russians, of course, which will be great for Biden’s campaign if he can then play out a sharp endgame without blundering into nuclear apocalypse).

      1. ambrit

        Hmmm…. “It is possible that NATO troops will crush the Russians, of course…”
        Such has not been the end game of any attack on Russia proper since at least the Golden Horde of the 1300s. We can pass over the Grand Duchy of Lithuania since it mainly dominated the Ukraine and parts of Eastern Europe.
        What NATO and the West do not realize yet is that this war is a godsend for the Russian military. They are working out and perfecting the next level of great power warfare. I truly hope that some bright boys and girls in the West are taking notes.
        As for nukes, well, power (mechanized warfare,) corrupts. Absolute power, (nukes,) corrupt absolutely. [For some definition of “corruption.”]

  5. some guy

    So . . . why might the Wall Street Democrats want to run Biden again in the teeth of that big f*cking number of poll question-answerers who don’t want Biden to run again?

    Might one reason be that they want a Republican President to be in office when the next Great Financial Crash crashes and possibly the next Great Depression depresses? To let the Republicans ” own it ” ?
    ( Which would be just fine with the Republicans who would apply some Full Metal Mellonomics to every liquidatable and Yeltsinisable thing. ” Never let a crisis go to waste”.)

      1. ambrit

        We are probably also going to get a refresher course in Demagogues and their effects on nations.
        In a very real way, I am glad that the Republicans do not have a ‘More Effective Trump’ waiting in the wings. Such a “savoir” will probably come in from out of left field.

    1. chris

      From talking to friends and colleagues in the MD/DC/NOVA beltway, they believe all of those polls are outliers or wrong. They point to all the special elections where Democrats keep getting elected as evidence that the polls aren’t accurately capturing the sentiment among US voters.

      My question to those people is always, if all these polls are outliers because the methodology is flawed, why aren’t any of the polls producing outlier results in Biden’s favor?

  6. Hepativore

    I find it odd that polls have been showing for the past two years how dissatisfied people are with the prospect of Biden as the 2024 presidential candidate and the DNC’s blatant elections rigging, yet you are only now starting to hear stories about mainstream Democrats sweating bullets.

    It just goes to show that the DNC does not care at all about what the electorate thinks as they basically see themselves as a ruling class that is not subject to the whims of the populace. They think they know best, after all.

    In any case, I doubt that the DNC is really all that upset about the prospect of losing the presidency to Trump in 2024. The Trump bogeyman is great for fundraising on things that the the DNC never actually plans on doing anything about, and Trump is also great for boomer-oriented cable and printed news media ratings as Trump-sensationalism sells. Much of cable news networks like MSNBC and CNN are basically an unofficial arm of the DNC after all…

    1. Acacia

      Agree. The important thing for the DNC is not winning any particular election, but maintaining the domestic cartel called “electoral politics” and their position as ultimate “decider” (h/t G. W. Bush) in one of the two families of the cartel.

  7. Carolinian

    Today’s Cooler has a “walls closing in” vibe re Biden. As Captain Picard would say, “make it so.”

    Maybe Joe and his FTC will at least hang around long enough to take out Amazon?

    1. Anthony Noel

      Oh they’re not taking out Amazon, they’re just letting them know that we still have teeth and you better do what we want. Amazon will get the message, and more importantly so will the rest of tech land, they’ll censor and block and lie about whatever they’re told to.

      Amazon will get a slap on the wrist a “historically large fee” that’s equates to a weeks revenue. The media will tell you how great a job Biden is doing, and all will return to status quo.

      After all Amazon and Bezos are in deep with the CIA, and which three letter agency do you honestly think has real juice, the CIA or the FTC. I know who my money’s on.

  8. notabanker

    So we need to save our democracy and the whole wide world from those pollution, cancer causing Republicans by not voting in the NH primary. Good to know. Choose wisely.

      1. Hepativore

        …more like a giant middle finger towards the precariat, complete with it sporting a massive gold signet ring.

  9. flora

    re: Hi there, it’s Laura Carlson, Chief Digital Officer at the DGA.

    (DGA? Dad-Gum Annoying? anyway…)

    Her picture sure reminds me of SBF’s girlfriend, which is pretty hilarious considering it’s an email begging for your information (and later for your money?) .

  10. Corky

    My stepdad passed out a few days ago and an ambulance took him to the hospital. He lost 4 pints of blood and the doctors said he likely has stomach cancer. This morning they told him he being discharged despite the fact he is still bleeding. I don’t know what to do. This is the country we live in now.

    1. nippersmom

      I am so very sorry. I wish I had some advice, or even words of comfort, but I unfortunately you’re right– this is the country we live in now.

      1. MaryLand

        If he has no health insurance or not enough, someone can start a GoFundMe to help with costs—costs with cancer treatment can be high even with insurance. If he belongs to a church, etc. ask for help there. But turn these kind of jobs over to someone else so you can focus on the most immediate things to be done. Delegate when possible so as to keep your energy as much as you can. Make a list of things to do and prioritize the most important. Hand off the less pressing to others.

        1. Amfortas the Hippie

          sound advice, right there.
          we lucked out(?) in that pretty much the whole town turned up to help out in some way or another…and this is why one puts up with the little bs and indignities one gets in a tiny place like this, btw.
          good luck, Corky…and sadly, someone who either speaks doctor, or is at least familiar with that peculiar dialect, must be there to receive and interpret whatever the doctors say, whenever they happen to wander into the room.
          so if that’s you…then yes, delegate.
          no hospital doctors keep a schedule that i could ever discern…its entirely random…
          bring a book.
          and a notebook…or record them on yer fone, in spite of their protests(they will protest).
          the Methodist Hospital was my favorite, hands down.
          avoid HCA or whatever behemoth that skeletor used to run(florida bald man governor or senator or something)

          and locate, as quickly as possible, a “Navigator” for all the financial and insurance and medicaid/medicare/obamacare bs…we couldn’t have managed without ours.

    2. Randy

      You might say I am a heartless bastard but:

      How old is he?
      How far advanced is his cancer?
      How is his otherwise overall health?
      Will he survive treatment or will treatment make his remaining days worse?
      Talk to the docs to see why they made that decision.
      If it makes sense intervene so they don’t discharge him.

      My FIL just fractured his pelvis. He is 92. His pelvis previously had a minor fracture. His kidneys have reduced function. His bones are brittle and not amenable to surgery with pins, screws, etc. to repair his pelvis and he might not come out of the surgery alive. They are doing nothing. A relative who is a nurse suggested hospice which is logical. My wife’s family is one of those “keep him alive at all costs” families but this time they are OK with the impending death.

      You do not know or have not given the whole story. I will not give in to the knee jerk reaction, “hospital, doctors bad”. Not every patient is able to be saved. Sorry.

      1. Yves Smith

        One of my friends in NYC had his cat treated for cancer at NYC’s Animal Medical Hospital.

        He said he’d rather have his cancer treated there, if he ever got one, than at a regular hospital.

        They used chemo as a palliative, so a low dose that didn’t make the cat sick and improved his quality of life, as opposed to the “heroics only” approach for people of trying to cure the cancer and making the patient very ill for 4-6 months in the process (even before getting to the immunosuppression making them vulnerable to disease).

    3. ambrit

      Fight hard. Do not be afraid to ask for help.
      One major reason my Mom decided to go home to die was due to the cavalier attitudes expressed by the Doctors she had to deal with in the hospital when she initially went in with the tightness in her chest. At one point, my nephew, Liddy’s son, a generally calm, even tempered young man, got physically up in the face of one of the doctors and told him off. ‘Things’ must have been really bad for Nephew to act like that. It is wholly out of his character.
      Do “shop around.” There are some good doctors left. The Family in Florida quickly found one.
      All the best.

    4. chris

      That’s awful! There’s no one you can call? No advocacy program that might help to get him a bed and treatment for the hemoraging?

    5. kareninca

      I’m very, very sorry about this. That is terrible.

      I wonder if it would make sense to immediately hire a lawyer to send a demand letter that he not be discharged. That would get the attention of the hospital administration.

      Failing that, after discharge, taking him to a different hospital, on emergency basis (and suing them if they discharge him too soon; going to a second hospital might buy time to get the lawyer).

      I know the medical situation is dire but maybe that could get him some help right away.

  11. Bsn

    DNC Specific rule changes:
    If candidate sets foot in Iowa or New Hampshire, none of the votes for that candidate will be tallied. Any delegate won in those states will only go to Biden (unless he campaigns there).
    Whoever campaigns in New Hampshire, their votes in Georgia will not be counted and their name will not be on the ballot in NC.
    Therefore, adding up all super delegates and automatic delegates that the DNC controls means that any candidate besides Biden, would have to win nearly 80% of all states to win the nomination.
    System broken, elections rigged? Yes Sir (or m’am, or they, them, it and of course aliens (only legal ones)!
    Tweet Link: https://twitter.com/RobertKennedyJr/status/1701233381671838128

    1. flora

      Iowa and NH state Dem parties need to break ranks with the national party if they want to remain a viable party option in their states. This is only one election, but if they don’t call the national estab’s bluff (or strong-arm tactic) they’ll lose their states’ office contests for years into the future. / my 2 cents.

        1. Mark Gisleson

          The argument for caucuses is that they generate very large pools of movitivated volunteers who have demonstrated their commitment with more than just a signature on a petition or even a donation.

          The DNC hates caucuses because they strengthen state parties and the DNC wants weak state parties that do as they are told, greatly increasing the disconnect between party and base.

          Everything the neoliberals do is contrary to sane electioneering but consistent with a power struggle. They’ve screwed everything up so they must stay in power to control the narrative.

          I’m starting to feel like we’re living in a Jason Bourne movie.

            1. John

              Oh there will be an election to preserve the fiction. It doesn’t have to be something real. The show, the illusion, is all that matters. Never forget that the people running things for the democrats believe what they see on their computer screens. Just like Carl Rove, they create their own reality. Biden will run because they have no one else. Trump will run because they have no one else. We are so F#^&*d.

      1. Hepativore

        The DNC leadership would probably retaliate by getting rid of Democratic Party primaries entirely, if they have not been thinking of doing so already. After all, since they have been doing all sorts of measures to lock-in their anointed candidate they will probably proceed to the next logical step in the near future.

        Whether or not this causes massive consternation among the voterbase is of little concern to them, as all that matters is that the corporate donors keep on giving.

        1. nippersmom

          They’ve already stated in court that they aren’t obligated to honor their own primary process and can select whoever they want as their nominee, irrespective of who the voters chose, so it wouldn’t be a big step (or terribly surprising) if they ended the charade and eliminated the primaries.

          1. Amfortas the Hippie

            i look forward to beating over the head the handful of true blue believers out here with that kinda thang,lol.
            all the pretentious shite about our democracy and how we have to burn democracy to save it from trump/putin, etc…

  12. Mark Gisleson

    re: Biden’s trips

    I feel like I’m speaking for thousands of retired campaign folks when I rip on Team Biden for not always having an extremely visible staffer attached to him at all times. When Biden speaks, that staffer is visible to him in the wings letting him know which way to exit. That staffer has closely eyeballed the terrain and immediately notes any changes. That staffer is dressed to blend in but consistent in some aspect of presentation that makes them easy for Joe to spot. A short dress would do the trick but for optics, darnit.

    It feels insulting to even say these things aloud. This is retail politics 101. Biden is not the first geriatric pol and won’t be the last. There are things his staff needs to do but his staff is too self-absorbed to see past whatever fresh hell they’re immersed in to notice that they’ve left Robert L. Peters hanging in the wind again.

    1. Randy

      Hoo boy! I am crabby today! Good. Biden deserves to fall flat on his face and convert the rest of his brain that isn’t pudding into something similar to the rest of his pudding brain.

  13. mrsyk

    “Questionable Stock Trade Patterns in Ramaswamy’s Wall Street Past” heh heh heh. Seems like standard resume material. Come on. If that thing about Newsom and DeSantis having a debate is true, then I think the establishment has decided what our ballot choice will be come November ’24. Crank up the selective prosecution on the rest of those clown car joy riders.

  14. Pat

    Anybody but me think that the internal numbers the Democrats have are as bad or worse than those in the polls released this week.
    The trial balloons we have seen over the last week or two already told us that the numbers were shaky. My bet is that as bad as Biden’s chances are now looking against Trump )and possibly even other Republicans, the top Democrats not named Biden are worse.

    1. Carolinian

      An Oprah/Michelle ticket may be the only way. It’ll be the big TV star showdown–battle for all the nuclear marbles.

  15. Mark Gisleson

    I’m flagging ““holy fricking bongles” as obviously having been AI assisted writing.

    Not Artificial Intelligence, I’m talking Alcohol-Impaired, creativity’s best/worst friend.

  16. VTDigger

    It’s not “Net Neutrality” it’s reinstating title II regulatory authority over all broadband ISPs which is potentially a seismic event

  17. LawnDart


    Ford suddenly pauses massive EV battery project that Republicans are probing over CCP ties

    “We applaud that the construction of this reckless deal has been halted,” former U.S. Ambassadors Peter Hoekstra and Joseph Cella, co-founders of the Michigan-China Economic and Security Review Group, said Monday. “From the outset, Ford Motor Company, the State of Michigan, the Michigan Economic Development Corporation and all other parties to it have been irresponsible in advancing this deal.”

    “There was zero strict scrutiny or due diligence, concerns of our intelligence and national security agencies were ignored and mocked,” they continued. “The halting of the construction is the natural result of the consent of the governed being ruptured by government and business elites. With citizen activists, we are not relenting or letting our guard down. We will keep fighting against the Ford-CATL and Gotion deals until they are no more.”

    Although it is not state-owned, Chinese investors tied to the CCP have held financial stakes in CATL, according to a New York Times review. The Chinese government has also taken strategic steps over the last decade to bolster CATL and other electric vehicle industry companies based in China.


    Spy batteries. Next thing you hear they’ll be talking about flouridating our water… damn commies.

    1. John

      Those sly devils. Seeking to pollute our precious bodily fluids with emanations from CPC influenced battery makers.

  18. Pat

    I wonder if the top election official in New Hampshire particularly and In Iowa could eliminate the Democratic Party from the ballot in the general election as disenfranchising voters is an insurrection.
    And yes I mean the every Democratic nominee, not just the eventual Presidential nominee (although doing even that should make the DNC pause) as it was the party not an individual candidate. (Although state nominees might be able to get a ballot line with an a different party depending on state rules.)

    1. Acacia

      Hah! Yeah, good luck with “we’re kneecapping your state in the primary but your orders are still to invoke the 14th and remove Trump from the ballot.”

  19. The Rev Kev

    “Nikki Haley already beats Biden in polls. Now she needs to win the next Republican debate.”

    Nikki as President? When you step back and think about it, if she was in a photo of world leaders with people like Macron and Trudeau, she would not look out of place. Whether that is a good thing or not would be up for debate.

    1. John

      Try these out. Roll them over on the tongue. President Nikki Haley. President Kamala Harris. President Ron De Santis. President Robert F. Kennedy, jr.

      NB: Putting Haley next to Macron and Trudeau , to me, brings to mind the unfunny version of the Three Stooges, or come to think of it, from the old Pogo cartoons, Bewitched, Bothered, and Bemildred.

      The choice is yours fellow citizens.

  20. Mikel

    London’s Gatwick Airport imposes daily flight limit amid COVID-19 outbreak

    “Gatwick Airport, London’s second-busiest, is limiting flights this week, partly because of an outbreak of COVID-19 within air traffic control….”

    Anyway, why did I look at the comments there:

    7 hours ago
    Just dumb. It serves no purpose. It will spread just as easily through 800 flights. These restrictions give the false impression of “doing something” to ease people’s fear of the inevitability of death.

    4 hours ago
    This is mainly because staff have called in sick and not for the fear of a spread. COVID has given unions an easy way to call in sick. “people are advised to stay away from work if they have tested positive for the coronavirus.”. Even if one has no symptoms but test positive, why waste the opportunity to get paid time off?

    This is what passes for thinking among the death cult.
    Yes, there could actually be people that give a &^%$ about spreading it to someone with a comorbidity.
    And if I remember some reports here on NC correctly, the NHS isn’t in tip-top shape right now. They are not looking to be swamped with cases.

  21. The Rev Kev

    ‘But a person who worked closely with Ramaswamy said, ‘He thinks people are put on this earth to serve him.’

    Isn’t that the definition of what being a Brahmin is all about? Weird he is so heat intolerant. What happens if he is elected President and has to go to India? Next thing that you will tell me is that he is also afraid of snakes.

    1. ambrit

      I’ve read that he is fond of hamburgers too!
      “Afraid of snakes?” Well, isn’t anyone who encounters one of the Zeta Reticulans?

  22. petal

    We finally have our giant back to college covid jump in wastewater levels. Been waiting for that data to roll in. Can’t get much more steep than that. For entertaining viewing, click on NH’s wastewater, and then Hanover, and it will bring up the graph. Have seen quite a few people wearing masks outside this past week, including tonight whilst walking my dog on campus. I give them a wide berth.

    Re vax causing bleeding: I seem to remember the women that were reporting this were laughed at, told they were full of ish, and that it was just another made up conspiracy theory.

    After reading people’s posts, this unaffiliated NH voter is debating which party’s primary to vote in. Could be fun.
    And sorry for being the downer yesterday with the insurance thing.

    1. Jen

      When I saw our state turn bright red on the wallgreens chart, I immediately thought “Dartmouth is back, baby!”

      Checked the wastewater data and that is one heck of a vertical climb. I counted 6 people besides me wearing masks (KN95 or better) in the Lebanon Coop last saturday plus a couple of baggy blues. Most I’ve seen since spring.

  23. Jason Boxman

    From Biden grapples with concerns over young Black voter support:

    Adrianne Shropshire, executive director of the left-leaning BlackPAC, said young Black voters have become a critical electorate for Democrats, who cannot win an election without their support.

    “Their energy drives the electorate,” Shropshire said. “Young Black voters tie their activism and their participation to culture. There’s a cultural element to political engagement and political activation in the Black community and that energy that young people bring really sends a message about when is the moment for the Black community to come together and act in unison around protecting the Black community and the Black community’s interest and the Black community’s future.”

    Seriously. What the f**k does that even mean? That is a lot of words to say literally nothing whatsoever.

    Maybe deliver concrete material benefits, like Biden’s missing $600? Liberal Democrats are presiding over the largest increase in poverty in history, because they allowed emergency measures to expire on their watch that were known at the time to have markedly reduced poverty, especially among those most in need, which in America happens to overlap quite a bit with minorities that liberal Democrats claim to love so much. If they really actually cared about expanding even a means-testing “safety net” for deserving people, if there was ever such a time, this was it. And they let it expire.


    These people keep showing voters who and what they are. It’s a surprise maybe black youth notice?

    Since taking office, Biden has invested $5.8 billion in HBCUs, addressed the Black maternal health crisis with Black Maternal Health Week and its Blueprint for Addressing the Maternal Health Crisis, as well as forgiven some student loan debt, though not for as many borrowers as originally promised.

    So more money for the black PMC… and that’s basically it. This is the best list of accomplishments Biden has? No mention of Bidenomics: More for less! All Americans are surely excited about that!

    “I think what we’re seeing more and more is a lot of young Black voters becoming more politically engaged and furthermore deepening their understanding of the political process,” Nichols-Smith said. “Obviously, there’s two very sharp narratives about the left and the right and that means that voter education is really beneficial.”

    I guess so — Trump improved his margins with black men in the last election. Oops.

  24. ChrisRUEcon


    CARVILLE: If we had somebody under 60 and ran against Trump, we would get 55%

    ::Googles “gavin newsom age”::


    ::Googles “j. b. pritzker age”::


    ::evil grin::

    1. Pat

      Fun. Why stop there.
      Kamala Harris 58
      Pete Buttigieg 41
      Tammy Duckworth 55
      Gretchen Whitmer 52
      Cory Booker 55
      All members of the squad…

      It doesn’t take much to show that Carville is full of ripe manure does it.

      Lordy, the Democratic Party is one very empty husk.

      1. ChrisRUEcon

        > It doesn’t take much to show that Carville is full of ripe manure does it.


        Well yes, that’s a given … :)

        But I am having fun with all the not so subtle insinuations coming in the press, and from Dem stalwarts like Carville. Carville is pretty much an emissary aligned with the “Clinton wing” of the party, eh? I did notice her Hillaryness made a recent appearance to remind us that Russia-Russia-Russia is gonna interfere with 2024!!! Did not see or hear her say much about “it’s gotta be Joe” … Hmmm. Your list includes many Houses worthy of consideration, but none of have the billions recognition and fundraising machinery in place panache of The House Of Tupac (Newsom) or The House Of Chance (Pritzker)!

  25. Jason Boxman

    From the party that brought you the largest increase in poverty in history.

    The legislation cleared its first procedural obstacle Tuesday night on a bipartisan vote of 77 to 19. It would keep government funding flowing through Nov. 17 to allow more time for negotiations over yearlong spending bills and provide about $6 billion for the Ukraine war effort as well as approximately $6 billion for disaster relief in the wake of a series of wildfires and floods.

    Moar for the Ukraine!


  26. ChrisPacific

    I don’t believe that chart about non-COVID deaths at home proves what the author thinks it does. Yes, there’s a correlation, but let’s remember that people were spending a good deal more time at home starting from 2020. How about we control for annual WFH rates over the COVID period? We might find that the rate of at-home death is unchanged, or even lower. The near-reversion to the mean in 2023 could be consistent with people going back to normal routine.

    Numbers on work from home rates over time are surprisingly hard to find but do demonstrate that the trend predates COVID, although COVID definitely sent it into overdrive. That probably explains most of the higher-than-population growth rate over 2010 to 2019 in the graph.

    I’m all for calling BS on official narratives where appropriate, but we shouldn’t try to do it with lazy stats like this one.

Comments are closed.