2:00PM Water Cooler 9/25/2023

By Lambert Strether of Corrente.

Patient readers, I am attempting to escape with my life from a post on Loper Bright Enterprises v. Raimondo, a case to be decided this Supreme Court session, in which conservatives are attempting to cripple “the administrative state” (for example, the FTC that just brought the anti-trust case against Google). So I am afraid you must be content with only a plant today, and not even birdsong. Sorry! Talk amongst yourselves! –lambert P.S. Also, Biobot data not updated for a solid week, as of this writing. Ridiculous! UPDATE Here is the post. Enjoy!

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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 Eureka Springs:

Eureka Springs writes: “Just walked out to the same tree I always check for seed splitting winter forecast. This is a young group of a dozen persimmon trees. All seem healthy and we’ve had a somewhat mild wet summer. So we are not sure what this suggests? First thoughts around the round table – Yellowstone eruption, sunburn in February, Biden will speak in complete coherent sentences for a day in December and scare everyone with what says? Time will tell.”

Readers, thoughts? On a more cheerful note, a zinnia:

I know I keep saying this is my favorite flower, but I stan for zinnias. I like to make borders with them.

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About Lambert Strether

Readers, I have had a correspondent characterize my views as realistic cynical. Let me briefly explain them. I believe in universal programs that provide concrete material benefits, especially to the working class. Medicare for All is the prime example, but tuition-free college and a Post Office Bank also fall under this heading. So do a Jobs Guarantee and a Debt Jubilee. Clearly, neither liberal Democrats nor conservative Republicans can deliver on such programs, because the two are different flavors of neoliberalism (“Because markets”). I don’t much care about the “ism” that delivers the benefits, although whichever one does have to put common humanity first, as opposed to markets. Could be a second FDR saving capitalism, democratic socialism leashing and collaring it, or communism razing it. I don’t much care, as long as the benefits are delivered. To me, the key issue — and this is why Medicare for All is always first with me — is the tens of thousands of excess “deaths from despair,” as described by the Case-Deaton study, and other recent studies. That enormous body count makes Medicare for All, at the very least, a moral and strategic imperative. And that level of suffering and organic damage makes the concerns of identity politics — even the worthy fight to help the refugees Bush, Obama, and Clinton’s wars created — bright shiny objects by comparison. Hence my frustration with the news flow — currently in my view the swirling intersection of two, separate Shock Doctrine campaigns, one by the Administration, and the other by out-of-power liberals and their allies in the State and in the press — a news flow that constantly forces me to focus on matters that I regard as of secondary importance to the excess deaths. What kind of political economy is it that halts or even reverses the increases in life expectancy that civilized societies have achieved? I am also very hopeful that the continuing destruction of both party establishments will open the space for voices supporting programs similar to those I have listed; let’s call such voices “the left.” Volatility creates opportunity, especially if the Democrat establishment, which puts markets first and opposes all such programs, isn’t allowed to get back into the saddle. Eyes on the prize! I love the tactical level, and secretly love even the horse race, since I’ve been blogging about it daily for fourteen years, but everything I write has this perspective at the back of it.


  1. Neutrino

    what are your observations about the recent Mayo Clinic discussion of hydroxychloroquin and related, and the FDA kerfuffle about Ivermectin?

    1. ambrit

      Link for the FDA and “the substance that cannot be named” please? (Asking for a “friend” naturally.)

    2. Angie Neer

      Hi Neutrino, please contribute to the discussion with information and links, not by asking for more from our already-overburdened hosts.

    3. ChrisRUEcon

      I’m wondering if you are referring to this page (via mayoclinic.org), which was updated on September 3rd, 2023.

      The use of antimalarials as a possible preventative measure against COVID was well documented in non-US/EU countries – essentially the global south. From south America to south Asia, many countries included Ivermectin in COVID kits that they provided to their citizens. Of course, those countries got a lot of flack (vi bu.edu) for doing so … hence the sheepish acceptance in the US being such an under-the-radar thing.

      1. Cassandra

        Chris, I have tried your Mayo Clinic link several times from a Brave browser tab and keep getting “page not found”. Is it working for other people?

        1. Acacia

          Heh, so this is interesting. Indeed, the link to Mayo’s site gives a 404, but if you try “hydroxychloroquine” in their site search engine, there are a bunch of results and this is the top one. Clicking any of them gives a 404, though.

          So, Mayo yanked all their pages on hydroxychloroquine, but forgot to update the index of their search engine. Meanwhile, the page has been saved by archive DOT org, where you can still read it. A quick scan doesn’t reveal anything objectionable, but maybe its mere existence was seen as objectionable by the proverbial PTB. Looks like Mayo yanked the page sometime after Sept. 25th, which may indeed be due to the aforementioned kerfuffle.

          1. ChrisRUEcon

            Indeed it appears so! But I swear, when I linked to in around 4PM EDT today, it did not 404!

            Pleeeeeeease belieeeeeve meeeee … LOL

            I wonder if traffic from #NC alerted someone to the fact that the page was suddenly being accessed and they yanked it toute suite!


  2. ambrit

    North American Deep South Anecdata (NADSA, not to be confused with NAFTA. Or, now that I think of it, NASDAP.)
    The squirrels are already building nests in the bigger trees. The old timers say that this is a sign of an impending very cold winter. A wave of Monarch butterflies has come through last week, presumably on their way to Mexico for the winter. Waiting for migrating hummingbirds heading South next.

    1. LaRuse

      As far as I can tell, the hummers left Central VA just ahead of Ophelia. Friday was the last time we spotted a hummingbird at our feeder, so my bet is you should see them any time now. The Eastern bluebirds are back in droves – they nevery completely depart but I counted 7 in the backyard this morning.
      In unusual bird sightings, today I spotted a Brown Headed Nuthatch on my feeder for the first time ever. Much smaller than their fierce and larger cousins, the White Breasted Nuthatches (which are daily visitors), it was cute and very fast. Cornell’s All About Birds site shows Richmond being just a tad west of the Brown Headed Nuthatch’s normal territory so it was a real surprise to see one but not completely out of line.

    2. playon

      Here in western WA my neighbor noted how busy the squirrels and birds have been this month. Hope it’s not a super cold one in this region… Farmer’s Almanac says it should be a mild winter in the PNW, I hope so.

  3. Fred

    Biden is old, a little slow to speak. He had a studdering problem in his youth and now that he is older he probably has a more difficult time with speaking. Now on to his most likely challenger. He has never spoke a complete sentence. Has a limited vocabulary and admits to not reading or studying issues. Just saying.

    1. nippersmom

      My problem with Biden isn’t that he stutters, it what he’s actually said over the course of his career. Someone who brags about seeking opportunities for corruption, who never met a war he didn’t like, publicly sniffs young girls’ hair, defended Strom Thurmond,and who has repeatedly stanned for cutting so-called entitlement programs like Social Security and Medicare is not someone who has any moral or intellectual high ground. Just saying.

      1. steppenwolf fetchit

        That is all true of Biden. It is also all true of Trump ( except for the detail about Strom Thurmond and other details available to Biden but not to Trump. . . . which Trump can balance off with detaild of his own).

        So if they are morally and ethically similar, would their respective Administrations also be morally and ethically similar? And would they deliver so many of the same results as to amount to not a dime’s worth of difference between them?

        That is what voters will have to ponder when they make their choices about what to vote for, what to vote against, and why.

        When Lambert above notes that an upcoming Supreme Court case . . . ” Loper Bright Enterprises v. Raimondo, a case to be decided this Supreme Court session, in which conservatives are attempting to cripple “the administrative state” (for example, the FTC that just brought the anti-trust case against Google).” seems designed to advance the longstanding Republican and Conservative goal of deconstructing the Administrative State . . . readers may well want to think about whether they are okay with the Administrative State being deconstructed. If they are, then Trump or another Republican is their best choice.

        Readers who plan to vote for Trump in order to own the PMC or troll the Liberals or give the Democrats an enema should note that a Republican victory means no more such cases brought against Big Monopolists ever again. Never. Ever. They should also note that such a victory means the total and full legalization of total and full pollution of every pollutable thing by the Crusading Heroes of Big Business. It means filling the air supply with cancer gas, filling the water supply with cancer juice, and covering the food supply with cancer gravy.

        Choose wisely.

        1. Lambert Strether Post author

          > When Lambert above notes that an upcoming Supreme Court case . . . ” Loper Bright Enterprises v. Raimondo, a case to be decided this Supreme Court session, in which conservatives are attempting to cripple “the administrative state” (for example, the FTC that just brought the anti-trust case against Google).” seems designed to advance the longstanding Republican and Conservative goal of deconstructing the Administrative State . . . readers may well want to think about whether they are okay with the Administrative State being deconstructed. If they are, then Trump or another Republican is their best choice.

          Here is the post.

          The Democrats were with the Republicans every step of the way, both in packing the Court, and in hollowing out the State. Republicans may have “made it happen,” but Democrats “let it happen.”

          1. Pat

            They also were deep into the kabuki. For instance there were all sorts of procedural delays and holds and essentially flat out vetos of nominees from Democratic Presidents. This happened even when Dems had the majority. You know when they could get rid of those rules. But then they come and go because somehow most of them just aren’t there when it is a Republican administration.

            I know the question is why would Republicans want to help Dems hoodwink their voters. But you have to remember that both parties serve the same master, so if it means certain popular choices just can’t make it to the bench but corporate toadies with deep affinity for weakening civil liberties get through fairly fast and easily.

          2. ChrisRUEcon

            > Republicans may have “made it happen,” but Democrats “let it happen.”

            Exactly. Anyone else remember none other than Chuck Schumer helping fast track Trump-nominated (lower circuit) judges in a hurry before one recess or something?!


            With respect to the Biden-age thing, it’s not just the number, it’s the physical and cognitive decline. Departing from my recent love-lost-for-Bernie stance to remind people of this moment (via YouTube) from the 2020 campaign – yeah, Bernie’s old too, but shows little of the decline that Biden does.

        2. nippersmom

          I don’t vote for war criminals, so there is no possibility of voting for Biden under any circumstances. I also am not going to vote for Trump. I refuse to buy into the false representation that there is any fundamental difference in the policies actually enacted by the two sides of the uniparty, regardless of lip service they may give to certain positions.

          The democrats will talk about taking action, but conveniently aren’t able ever to do so, even when they hold both houses of Congress and the Presidency. If you really don’t think the Democrats are just as willing to deconstruct the administrative state as the Republicans, I invite you to look at the records of the last three Democrat presidents, including the current incumbent, with special attention to Biden’s congressional record.

          I refuse to be complicit with the destruction of civil liberties, economic autonomy, and environmental viability by voting for any member of either of these wholly-owned corporatist cabals. There is no lesser evil here; there is only evil.

        3. nippersdad

          “They should also note that such a victory means the total and full legalization of total and full pollution of every pollutable thing by the Crusading Heroes of Big Business. It means filling the air supply with cancer gas, filling the water supply with cancer juice, and covering the food supply with cancer gravy.”

          To which one might respond: “East Palestine, Ohio.”

        4. ambrit

          To his credit, Trump tried to rein in the Military Industrial Complex. That they ran rings around him is the point. Those of us with any “hope” left will watch who Trump appoints to his Cabinet in January 2025. Just as Obama appointed a ‘Deep State’ Cabinet, which signaled how ‘things’ were going to be run in his Administration, so too we hope that Trump learned something from his first four years and will push back hard against the Unspeakable Beings that slither behind the scenes in Washington and New York.
          With Biden, we are guaranteed to get it up the back passage, and without lubricant. Also, as Gunny says in “Full Metal Jacket,” “…and not even have the common courtesy to give him a reach around.”
          See NSFW: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P2vkiLHiTcY

        5. tegnost

          So if they are morally and ethically similar,

          The democrat party is the more effective evil, so effectively worse.
          Since we’re in election season I guess it’s time to point out that trump axed the tpp in his first day in office, along with axing the 700 dollar ocare penalty (you know, that “tax” that made it all constitutional? Can you say weasels…) and he sent out covid checks, seriously inconveniencing larry summers (famous dem, just in case you’ve never heard of him, you know, that guy who said we need a big recession to get the plebes back to work) in his quest to find a cheaper maid (first world problems, I know…) But not to worry, child poverty has spiked under biden, manchin gets a pipeline that can’t be contested in any forum, and we had an infrastructure bill that never once mentions wetlands (they are infrastructure of the most basic kind, they’re also big flat places that goog and bezos want to build (do I have to say democrats again?) giant energy sucking data centers on in order to process all the data they’ve skimmed and to train their mindless ai with the unpaid labor of all humanity…you’re welcome, I guess…
          Choose wisely? I could go the rest of my life never getting another one of these holier than thou lectures.
          Bidens accomplishments are…?
          Just so you know, normal people look at hunter getting soft pedaled and trump being endlessly hounded off putting. A very large number of people voted the orange menace because they hate the dems so much, and russia has nothing at all to do with that.
          OMG did I forget to mention Russia Russia Russia!, and Putin! pah! Who needs a leader who speaks in coherent sentences?

      2. Adam

        What he did to Anita Hill, which led to the monster Clarence Thomas getting a lifetime appointment to the Supreme Court, was more than enough for me to vow never to vote for the *#!&!

          1. steppenwolf fetchit

            For this decision disposition matrix, the best choice to vote for might be Cornell West ( Green Party).

            1. Adam

              You mean the Green Party that the Democrats have worked so hard to remove from the ballot in many states?

              Maybe , just maybe if your party offered something else, you know, material benefits like Medicare for all, affordable education, fair taxation and reined in the corporate, military, spy state those of us who have walked away from your party may be interested again.

              1. steppenwolf fetchit

                Are there lawfare-knowledgeable lawyers ready and willing to get the Green Party back on all those ballots? Or at least on enough of them that if the Green Party won the electoral votes of those states, it could deny either brand name party an electoral college victory?

                If not, why not?

      3. Cassandra

        I will also never forgive Biden for ushering Clarence Thomas into Thurgood Marshall’s seat on the Supreme Court. The grift that keeps on grifting.

        It is true that Biden was fairly nimble, both mentally and verbally, a dozen years ago when he debated Paul Ryan. That was a long, long twelve years ago. Remember Ryan, the zombie-eyed granny starver? Yet another Republican whose policies Biden shares:

        It is also true that Biden has had, for many years, a better tailor than Donald Trump. I believe those advantages are thin gruel indeed for someone trying to promote Biden as the lesser evil. The bar has been set so low a flatworm would be hard pressed to slither under.

    2. curlydan

      And yet Biden’s challenger often connects with people and audiences better. “The Great Communicator” in the 80s was an actor which no doubt helped him effectively communicate his message as dreadful as it often was.

    3. nippersdad

      “Biden is old, a little slow to speak. He had a studdering problem in his youth and now that he is older he probably has a more difficult time with speaking.”

      Fred, I don’t know how emphasizing Biden’s second childhood nets positive for his campaign chances. You might want to room test the evil-with-hairplugs thing a little more, too, before comparing him to the Republican competition. He still needs to figure out if he is going to make it through the primaries without losing his teeth, as he so nearly did the last time he faced the Scranton electorate.

      When he was running he was all about being a one term president. That may be his best strategy at this stage; much better for whatever legacy he presently possesses than falling off of one would leave him with.

  4. nippersdad

    I thought this was funny…

    “Embattled Sen. Bob Menendez (D-N.J.), who faces federal bribery, fraud and extortion charges, said Monday that the $480,000 in cash seized by federal agents at his home was withdrawn from his personal savings account and kept on hand for “emergencies.”

    “For 30 years, I have withdrawn thousands of dollars in cash from my personal savings account, which I have kept for emergencies and because of the history of my family facing confiscation in Cuba,” Menendez said.”


    ….because you just never know when Che Guevara Bernie Sanders may show up in New Jersey and make you flee with your ill gotten gains to…..Switzerland? Argentina? Uruguay? That shows a great deal of foresight on Menendez’s part. You can just never be too careful.

    Bribery, fraud and extortion charges, it is almost like he never left Baptista’s Cuba.

    1. Mark Gisleson

      CNN had a guest editorial that ludicrously praised the Democrats who called for Menendez to resign immediately, constrasting them favorably with the Republicans who stubbornly refuse to applaud and cheer for the Trump “insurrection” charges.

      Given all that has come out, I’m putting the over/under on how many feds/embeds/undercover cops/contractors/military personnel were in the crowd at 114. Seems low to me as while that’s enough operatives to incite/herd a crowd we’re talking Democrats here and I’m wondering if we’re not talking hundreds of fake rioters because you can never have too much overkill when fighting Russia.

      1. Pat

        I have a different over/under for you: how many of the Democrats have made it clear to Mendez that this is all for show and they don’t mean it?
        If it isn’t all, it is only because their staff has done it for them.
        Even though it is probable that his replacement would be a Democrat, there could be hitches and delays. And the majority is at stake.

      2. nippersdad

        They are making a meal out of that one. Nancy Pelosi’s daughter in the crowd with a camera while her mother is in an undisclosed location under a desk rootling out a new supply of Depends with AOC. Sounds legit.

        With Murphy as governor NJ is a safe seat, and this way they could have one fewer whataboutisms in the ’24 election if they just toss him over the side. I think this would be the third time he has been involved in a corruption investigation, and the second time he has actually been indicted. He is just an albatross at this point, but with Pelosi, Feinstein, Biden and all the other kleptos in the Democratic party, I have to wonder how much of a difference it would make. They are dipping out the ocean with a teaspoon.

        I have to wonder what was confiscated from his family in Cuba? Their plantations? Casinos? Hotels? Prostitution rings? The Dems really do know how to pick ’em.

        1. digi_owl

          hasn’t the Dems flipflopped quite a bit of the decades? I seem to recall reading that they were largely KKK without the robes until the depression and FDR. And Didn’t the Kennedy’s have a mafia connection?

          USA, the best nation money can buy…

          1. nippersmom

            they were largely KKK without the robes

            Not even so much without the robes. The origins of the KKK were in Democratic resistance to Republican reconstruction of the South after the Civil War. It’s my understanding that in many places, it was an open secret who was under the robes, and they included politicians and other prominent citizens.

            1. Lambert Strether Post author

              > Democratic resistance


              Fixed it for ya. I am not an expert in 19th C. party politics. IIRC, the Democrats were a marriage of convenience between former Confederate slaveholders and big city machines like Tammany Hall. I should probably read Frank’s The People, No! but I’ve always had a hard time getting rolling with it.

          2. nippersdad

            Here in the South, anyway, they were largely KKK without the robes up until LBJ’s Great Society. That was the point of Nixon’s Southern Strategy; to get them out from under their invisible robes and vote for Republicans. And it worked very well. By the time they were done redistributing themselves, Reagan was preaching in Philadelphia Mississippi and Clinton was gathering unto himself the cloth coat Republicans in Arkansas, at which point the working classes just got left by the side of the road.

            And we are seeing the results to this day.

      3. steppenwolf fetchit

        What if Senator Menendez were to come right out and say the following to his fellow Democratic Senators who called for his immediate resignation . . .

        ” You people won’t give ME the “Franken treatment”. I won’t play along. “

        1. Mark Gisleson

          I would die laughing reading all the ways in which that was different despite the tone and “shock” being equally over the top.

      1. GF

        Check the serial numbers of the bills from his jacket to see if any were actually withdrawn 30 years ago. If they are all recent printings then he is obviously lying. If there are some older bills in the cache then he will skate again.

      2. Tom Doak

        It could just be that Menendez knows enough about the solvency of the banks to want to have a lot of cash on hand for the next Lehman moment.

    2. Nikkikat

      That bit about confiscation fear from his bad old Cuban life kept me laughing all day. I’m pretty sure that the life of a senator and an elite in the US keeps you pretty scared of someone confiscating your money. Truth be told most of us have that fear as in 2008 when
      My IRA got raided for thousands of dollars in life savings while people like Menendez weren’t touched. I am not taking thousands out of my savings account because most of it was stolen by Wall Street and I’ll just have to limp along until I die. I’m hoping I still have a place to live in my old age.

  5. LawnDart

    BS and Bezzle: China is way, waaayyyy ahead in this tech– hence your taxdollar-support for this via Agility Prime.

    Dayton-bound Joby Aviation delivers first aircraft to the Air Force

    Joby’s aircraft, which is already flying at Edwards, is the first electric air taxi to be stationed on a U.S. military base and is believed to be the first delivery of an electric air taxi in the U.S., as part of Joby’s $131 million AFWERX Agility Prime contract with the U.S. Air Force.


    The “Flying Taxi” space will become very interesting within the next few weeks, let alone over the course of the next year. These are but a small part of the economic development of low-altitude, and primarily urban airspace: think delivery drones and the like, but many will be used for mapping, agriculture, emergency services, etc. It’s a virgin market worth many billions of dollars.

    China will commercialize this tech this year (the Central Government is currently preparing the announcement and ceremony to usher in this new era of aviation: they already have standards and regulations in place), and China will be quickly followed by other countries throughout Asia and other parts of the world. The USA may be ready in 2028, much depending on the speed of the FAA, which gives China a four to five year lead.

    1. nippersdad

      They had best not start sending “Jobies” over my neighborhood. It would be like a skeet shoot with surprise prizes.

      “I got a pizza, but it was full of buckshot.”

      1. LawnDart

        Drone-jacking… I kinda like it.

        Maybe a fast DJI or a racing-drone with a drop-net or something that’ll snag the propellers of the target-drone… but you’d need to disable the (mandatory, manufacturer-installed) flight ID on your bird.

        I’m thinking that shooting them– except for entertainment– would be out: if it’s a lithium battery-pack your surprise might get a little toasty on the way to earth.

        1. digi_owl

          Back when drones were new, i seem to recall reading about hawks or similar being trained to take down drones.

          These days i see more and more images of security units waving around what is effectively a dressed up yagi antenna with a strong transmitter attached. Likely set up to blast all kinds of noise on common wifi frequencies or some such (blasting out enough localized EM that the drone can’t receive GPS probably isn’t hard either).

        2. Lambert Strether Post author

          > but you’d need to disable the (mandatory, manufacturer-installed) flight ID on your bird.

          Surely DIY is possible? Somebody’s making cardboard drones in Ukraine, IIRC.

          As far as buckshot, perhaps something non-destructive, like a Loogie Gun?

    2. Glen

      China is also taking action to jump ahead in chip technology:

      China plans giant particle accelerator-powered chip factory

      Asianometry has a great explaination here of the technology:

      EUV Lithography. But With a Free Electron Laser

      This could potentially jump them past the banned ASML EUV technology.

      There is so much that the American government and industry should be investing in to stay relevant, but is not.

      1. LawnDart

        If you look at it from a capitalists POV, yes: because shareholders. There was an early attempt to force FAA to sign-off on half-arsed systems (pushed-back), and the hedge-fund bros are currently trying to run a pump-and-dump via a Joby rival.

        But there is “gee whiz” too, and remarkable potential to save lives– happening today:


        The video is very compelling: Africa rising; meet Abdul from Rwanda (a super-cool personal story– someone you’d love to know, and about Rwanda itself, holy-(family-blog)! you’d never know!). It’s a 20-minute video that goes deep into medical drone useage.


    3. Acacia

      W.r.t. use for drones, I heard anecdotally about a homeowner whose insurance was suddenly cancelled(!) because the company sent a drone out to scan his house and there was a “strange dark patch” on the roof.

      1. LawnDart

        I have a nearby nudist colony: if I had a drone, I’d be surprised to see any “dark patches,” let alone anything more than a landing-strip.

  6. Mr. Albrecht

    U.S. moving tactical nuclear weapons up to the Russian border. The Globalists are a threat to everything through increasing the changes of thermonuclear war. Your brain vaporizes to steam instantly, so you just got to share Joe Biden’s declared sacrifices we all have to make until Ukraine is Free!

    Not so lucky,more distant suvivors, later to become known as hibakusha in Japanese, suffered acute radiation sickness (ARS) from neutron and gamma rays released by nuclear fission in the blasts. Symptoms included bloody diarrhea, hair loss, fever and intense thirst. Most later died. As well as direct radiation from the fireballs they were also exposed to radioactive fallout from the bomb.

    The longer-term effects of radiation experienced by the hibakusha have been intensively studied, and include increased levels of leukemia and solid cancers. Long-term radiation from fallout will be the least of our problems following a nuclear war. Much more serious will be social collapse, famine and the breakdown of much of the planetary biosphere.

    A vote for anyone but Kennedy or Trump is risking planetary death.

    1. digi_owl

      Intense thirst suggest internal bleeding from what i have read. And sadly giving them something to drink just makes the situation worse, so the medics have to ignore the pleading.

    2. nippersdad

      I would be really annoyed about Putin bombing Hiroshima were it not for the fact that he pays me so well to post laudatory comments about Russia on social media.

      But the mortgage must be paid. Sigh.

    3. Acacia

      > Biden : pushing the doomsday clock to one second before midnight, and then pushing a little more

      > Trump : mean tweets are baaaack

      And “enlightened professionals” will all shriek that Trump is a unique danger to the entire world

  7. petal

    My car insurance went up 24% in 6 months(State Farm). About had a stroke opening the envelope this morning. Nothing changed on my end. Clean record, etc etc. Anyone else getting hit like this?

    1. nippersmom

      Our prior insurer pulled that about a year and a half ago. I shopped around and got slightly better coverage with another insurer for a little less than I was paying pre-hike. These insurers just try to get away with this stuff because they bank on people not having time and/or interest to seek other quotes and switch carriers.

    2. Di Modica's Dumb Steer

      Progressive Insurance in Florida here. No changes, no accidents, no claims, and yet, something like a 25 – 35% jump in 6 month premium here. I’d shop around for a better rate, but it looks like everyone is getting shafted.

      I read a few articles with some mewling about hurricanes, inflation, and excessive charges for windshield changes, but it smells like a tremendous pile of crap to me.

    3. JustAnotherVolunteer

      My last renewal was an almost 30% jump but I called my local agent and complained and they ran my details for a “new” policy and I got slightly better coverage for five dollars less then my previous bill. They had to rewrite my coverage which took all of 10 minutes.

      YMMV but worth a try.

      1. petal

        I complained and asked for an explanation and he gave me lip and talked down to me. I informed him I’d be shopping around.

    4. Mark Gisleson

      My State Farm agent bailed out and quit. Complained bitterly that all the decisions were made in Texas by what he called the Dept of Insurance Prevention. I saved $1000 on house insurance by switching after they jacked my rates for no discernible reason.

      1. Di Modica's Dumb Steer

        I jumped off State Farm when they refused to even consider competing with the rate I was offered by Progressive, which was at least $50 a month cheaper, and for more coverage/lower deductibles. It took Progressive about a decade to get to where State Farm was, so I can’t even imagine what kind of insult of a quote State Farm would bless me with today.

        I got bad vibes from State Farm even then – at some point, they started trying to give me the hard sell for all kinds of financial products, which was a bit much so close to the Financial Crisis. I smelled a rat and bailed. Considering how often State Farm threatens to bail (or has, in the past) from Florida, they shouldn’t take it personally.

        1. polar donkey

          I get called by my state farm agent quarterly for a “review” and sales pitch. They are going to sales pitch me right to another insurance company. State farm more interested in financial services than insurance.

    5. Angie Neer

      Same here in Washington. All car insurance rates up 20-25%. Insurers are saying it’s mostly because of the cost of repairs. Anecdotally, the amount of dangerously reckless driving also seems to have gone up in the last few years.

      1. Joe Well

        There have been quite a few news stories about how the US is almost the only country on earth where car fatalities are going up, presumably because of SUVs and pickups…even if you drive a compact, your life and vehicle are now at greater risk on the roads because you have a better chance of getting hit by one of those behemoths.

        1. Joe Well

          But yeah, 25% in 6 months cannot possibly have an explanation that doesn’t involve massive abuse by insurers.

          1. John

            Of course it involves massive abuse by insurers. The model is all-the-traffic-will-bear. Lambert put it succinctly years ago.
            Rule #1: Because markets … markets are rule based and we make the rules
            Rule #2: Go die … we don’t need you anyway

    6. Samuel Conner

      Accidents and deaths are up since the beginning of 2020, The change from 2019 to 2021 is nearly +20% for both:


      I’m not aware of firm explanations, but the timing of the change in trend from “flat prior to 2020” to “increasing after 2019” suggests correlation with the pandemic.

      If this change in traffic accident statistics is due to the pandemic (perhaps “brain fog” effects impairing driver reactions or attention), I think one can expect the trend to continue. It may be another instance of “Stay safe out there!”

      Given that the absolute numbers are small compared with medical fatalities attributable to COVID, even if this is attributable to the pandemic, I wouldn’t expect it to cause much alarm on the part of public health authorities; they already seem chill with high levels of mortality. But the insurance industry, which has to pay claims, would be compelled to notice the change and make adjustments. 


    7. Carla

      It’s a grift. They do it because they can. And the insurance grifters can do it better than anyone. Same deal with homeowners’. We live far from a coast, far from any wildfires, haven’t filed a claim in years, and our homeowners’ just went up 20%. Car went up about 15%. I talked to other companies, and nobody has a less odious grift than the grifters we’ve got.

      1. Randall Flagg

        I’m the last guy that wants to defend an insurance company but the cost of materials and labor for a house has been hit by the “inflation” bug so my guess is the cost of replacing/rebuilding your house went way up. Hence, the cost to insure it. I can see it in Fl or other states hit with disasters and will likely experience them again. Other regions not so much. Climate change coming home to roost?

        And about cars and accidents, has anyone else noticed how many people are driving with their heads down while speeding down any type of road? So a pedestrian looking at their phone while crossing the road meets a car operated by someone looking at their phone, or navigation screen, or whatever on the console, some scary excrement out there.

    8. IM Doc

      Our auto insurance is up 19% yoy. The house insurance is up 37% yoy. I have had no accidents – nor have there been any kind of major cataclysms anywhere around us.

      Interestingly, for the first time in a more than three decade career – we were informed this past week right before open enrollment that there would be no life insurance benefit at all. We are on our own. There would be none through our employer. A quick email to a few colleagues demonstrates that this is about half of my contact list getting the same message.

      I guess that is one way to take care of the life insurance premium problem.

        1. The Rev Kev

          Got an 1850 death certificate which lists as the cause of death-

          ‘Sudden Natural Death by the Visitation of God’

          That bit about a Visitation of God is to be found on a lot of death certificates back then but hey, why not recycle it?

    9. Mikel

      It’s in your imagination according to the “what inflation, where?” crowd.

      “The airplanes are full” as a sign of an ok consumer?
      Wouldn’t that tend to happen when there AREN’T AS MANY ROUTES.
      Stores and restaurants get more crowded when there aren’t as many of those, too.

  8. Joe Well

    Instead of having election watch, you should just start a betting pool on which of our gerontocrats is going to have a stroke/infarction/other cardiac event/sundown moment on live TV or stream. Only slightly /s

    1. Mark Gisleson

      I went to Urban Dictionary just so I could snark on some smutty use of persimmon in popular culture but the top upvoted definition was:

      A type of fruit that is superior to all other kinds of fruits.
      Persimmons are perfection, especially better than pears!

      Can’t argue with a dictionary.

  9. Willow

    Persimmons probably suggest a Mt Rainier eruption as closest Fuji analog (persimmon pun :-) ). Keep an eye out for any Oarfish off the West coast!

  10. The Rev Kev

    For a long time now we have watched kamikaze drones wreck chaos on both sides of this war. Guess what? Their use is spreading and this time to the Sudan-

    https://www.bitchute.com/video/F4N6uemseLWK/ (44 secs)

    Next time that the US goes to invade a country, they can expect these things to turn up en masse. They got a plan for that?

    1. caucus99percenter

      Sure: (1) Because black markets. (2) (offspring of deplorables only; scion of PMC families exempt) Go die.

  11. Mikel

    U.S. Will Pay Salaries to Thousands of Ukrainians During Government Shutdown

    “This war is about so much more than just Ukraine,” he said. “If you think about it, Russia has been for decades, and still is, an existential threat for Europe and the United States. I mean, just listen to what their leaders say. Look at the thousand nuclear weapons. They clearly will keep going if they’re not stopped.”

    They’ve got a real hard on for Russia’s resources. Heaven forbid they actually have to trade and buy from a country on fair terms.

  12. Onward to Dystopia

    Maybe I’m crazy, but I’ve come to believe that Democrats consciously weaponize their own (self-acknowledged?) cringiness to snuggle up to and tarnish political causes they don’t like. It’s like rubbing off a bad smell onto somebody.

    Biden going to the UAW strike is an example. Joe Biden’s handlers know what this will do — his brand is so bad this could tarnish the UAW strike, and help turn the public against the strike if they are associated with him, or the Democrats. I think they do this with other stuff to, like climate change, covid, etc. People might care about an issue, but as soon as they hear the Democrats are for it, it’s over.

    1. tegnost

      Anyone who pays attention remembers the railroading of the rail workers. The UAW move is bad for them because it’s such a cringeworthy photo op.
      Committed centrist dems hate unions…
      I was just walking through the grocery store looking for an impulse buy…chips almost 5 bucks on sale. On sale, mental note not good for me anyway thanks. $5 for dry roasted peanuts…on sale of course, I’m like , it was a bad idea at 3.49…
      I saw gas by ucsd at 6.59, and paid somewhere in the mid $5’s at vons
      It’s brutal, I think it definitely affected the NC fundraiser, what happens come winter?

    2. Lambert Strether Post author

      > Democrats consciously weaponize their own (self-acknowledged?) cringiness to snuggle up to and tarnish political causes they don’t like.

      Interesting theory. Like AOC and her “Tax the Rich” dress at the Met Gala (had to check to make sure it wasn’t “Eat the Rich”; now that would have been a nine-days wonder!

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