2:00PM Water Cooler 9/27/2023

By Lambert Strether of Corrente.

Bird Song of the Day

Eurasian Nuthatch, Fishponds Open Space, London, England, United Kingdom. With chiming London bell.

* * *


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

The Constitutional Order

“A Terrible Plan to Neutralize Trump Has Entranced the Legal World|” [Lawrence Lessig, Slate]. “A murder of brilliant and prominent lawyers believe they have found a legal argument to solve the political problem of Donald Trump.” Lovely use of the collective noun. More: “irst pressed by Yale Law professor Bruce Ackerman and Indiana University professor Gerard Magliocca, then taken up with law-review obsessiveness by Chicago’s Will Baude and St. Thomas’ Michael Paulsen, and now endorsed by the most prominent former conservative judge, Michael Luttig, and the most prominent liberal law professor, Harvard’s Larry Tribe, this argument says that by its own force, the 14th Amendment prohibits the election of Donald Trump as president because his acts of insurrection disqualify him from that office. The argument is elegant and impressive. But it would be flatly wrong for any court — especially the Supreme Court — to embrace it…. The paradigm case that the authors of Section 3— and the state legislators who ratified it — were thinking of was the Civil War. That war involved an active insurrection against the government of the United States…. No one thinks Jan. 6 was a repeat of Fort Sumter. No one, that is, believes that Trump and his allies were rallying to secede from the Union…. I believe that those who charged the Capitol on Jan. 6 committed a crime. I believe that their crimes should be prosecuted. But I also believe that the vast majority of them thought not that they were overthrowing a government but that they were pressuring their government to do the right thing—at least as they (wrongly) saw it. If such behavior qualifies as Section 3 ‘insurrection,’ then every leader who might resist a future coup attempt risks disqualifying themselves from serving in any subsequent government.” • Interesting argument!

“More On The Trump ‘Disqualified For Insurrection’ Debate” [Above the Law]. ” Suppose Trump’s January 6 plot had succeeded. Pence had disqualified some ballots for Biden, instead counted the Trump ballots, and declared that Trump had been re-elected. Suppose that tens of thousands of Democrats then protested on the grounds of the Capitol. Some of those Democrats, including elected officials, engaged in illegal acts of civil disobedience to show their outrage. Would those Democratic elected officials have engaged in insurrection, disqualifying them from holding future office? It can’t all depend on whose ox is gored. The law must mean something*. Politicians will squeal to serve their political ends. But intelligent, thoughtful people who care about the law will realize that the disqualification question is a hard and close one. There will be much more to come before the 2024 election.” NOTE * The seventy five-cent phrase for this view — which I believe is correct — is “relative autonomy.”

* * *

“The Sweep and Force of Section Three” [William Baude and Michael Stokes Paulsen, University of Pennsylvania Law Review]. I highly recommend this piece (and the ensuing discussion at NC, starting here). As a former English major and a fan of close reading, I’m not averse to “originalism,” of which Baude and Paulsen provide a magisterial example, in the sense that understanding the law as a text must begin with understanding the plain, public meaning of the words used when the text was written. That’s how I read Shakespeare, or Joyce, so why not the Constitution? Just as long as understanding doesn’t end there! In any case, I’m working through it. One thing I notice is that there do seem to have been rather a lot of rebellions and insurrections, not just the Civil War. To me, this is parallel to one lesson I drew from Mike Duncan’s Revolutions podcast (episode 1): There are rather a lot of revolutions, too. Alert reader Pensions Guy summarizes Baude and Paulsen as follows:

The authors go through an exhaustive textual and originalism analysis of Section Three, and their Federalist Society leanings do not deter them from reaching their conclusion that officials in every State who are charged with determining candidate qualifications should conclude that Donald Trump is disqualified from being on ballots because of the oath he took on Inauguration Day 2017 and subsequently violated through his role in the insurrection that took place on January 6, 2021.

Taking “insurrection” as read (I need to do more reading), this has been more of my continuing coverage of Section Three.

Biden Administration

“Amazing Air Force One Facts That Only A Few Presidents Have Been Willing To Confess” [Livestly]. Horrid clickbait. But this caught my eye: “This is probably one of the coolest facts about Air Force One. Air Force One can refuel in the sky. It never has to touch ground. If it wanted to, it could fly forever.” • What a premise for a science fiction novel…


Time for the Countdown Clock!

* * *

“The GOP’s big bet on labor” [Politico]. This is the lead. “When Donald Trump heads to suburban Detroit Wednesday to address striking auto workers, the former president will be bracketing Joe Biden’s own visit today to the UAW picket line and unofficially kicking off the general election in a battleground state. But he’ll also offer the latest datapoint in a long coming convergence between his own party and union members.” • Except–

“Trump to speak Wednesday at non-union Macomb Co. automotive parts manufacturer” [Michigan Advance]. “Former President Donald Trump on Wednesday is set to deliver remarks at Drake Enterprises, an automotive parts manufacturer and supplier in Clinton Township in Macomb County, according to an announcement from Trump’s campaign…. Trump’s remarks are scheduled to begin at 8 p.m. Wednesday. His appearance coincides with the second Republican presidential debate, which Trump is not attending….

“Why Trump’s message works” [Byron York, Washington Examiner]. “How is Trump, nearly three years out of office and facing four indictments, ahead of the incumbent president? Here’s one answer, after listening to Trump and talking to people who came to see him on a hot, sweaty late September day in the Lowcountry of South Carolina. Trump’s message is compelling because it is, in essence, the spoken-word version of the feelings about the state of the country expressed in…the Washington Post poll. Other polls, too. In a shortened version of his old speech — Trump spoke for a little more than half an hour, mercifully short in the debilitating heat — Trump spent most of his time discussing the economy. His message was simple: Things were good when I was president. They have gone to hell since Biden became president. I will make them good again if you return me to the White House… Trump spoke at length about the economy and his proposed solutions. More than anything else, it is the core of his message. And why does it work? Because it reflects what the polls, including the Washington Post poll, show voters are most concerned about. In the new Washington Post poll, just 30% of those surveyed approved of Biden’s handling of the economy, versus 64% who disapproved. Just 25% said the state of the economy is excellent or good (actually, just 2% said it is excellent, while 23% said it is good). Seventy-four percent said it is not so good or poor.” • Cf. the discussion a couple of days ago in Water Cooler about insurance hikes. We might also remember, though York doesn’t mention it, that under the CARES Act — passed under the Trump Administration — poverty actually dropped, significantly. Of course the Democrats, once in office, set about dismantling it, along with every other pandemic protection.

“We Annotated the Trump Organization’s Landmark Court Ruling — Here are the Biggest Takeaways” [The Messenger]. The deck: “The Messenger unpacks the scorching, 35-page ruling that could ring the death knell on former President Donald Trump’s business empire.” From the ruling:

I’m not an expert on the details of this case, on the relevant law, or on New York Real Estate (a business that’s pure as the driven snow, as we all know). That said, “dissolution” of the cancelled LLCs seems pretty heavy-duty. (It’s my impression that Trump’s real estate empire is not built on debt, and that he owns a good deal of property outright. So The Messenger’s deck may be a little harsh. Readers?

“Cassidy Hutchinson warns second Trump term wouldn’t have ‘guardrails'” [The Hill]. “‘I think that Donald Trump in a second term would not have guardrails,’ Hutchinson said during a taped interview with CNN’s Jake Tapper that aired Tuesday…. ‘We have to think, ‘what would a second Trump term look like?’ she said. ‘Who would work for Donald Trump in a second term? That’s the question that we should be asking ourselves going into this election season.’… Hutchinson has been conducting her first media rounds since testifying about what was happening inside the White House after Trump lost the 2020 election to now-President Biden, as her book “Enough” was released Tuesday.” • I finally figured out why I hate the “guardrails” trope. It assumes there’s nothing wrong with the road (construction, direction), the vehicle (bloated, predatory), or the driver (stupid or evil). Our stupid timeline needs more than “guardrails”!

“Republicans face growing urgency to stop Trump as they enter the second presidential debate” [Associated Press]. “‘This is not a nomination that’s going to fall in your lap. You have to go and beat the other candidates and one of those happens to be Donald Trump,’ said Kevin Madden, a Republican strategist and veteran of Mitt Romney’s 2008 and 2012 presidential campaigns. ‘This debate, it’ll be interesting to see whether or not folks realize that the sand is going through the hourglass pretty quickly right now.'” • I suppose it would be ideal for Democrats if every Republican but Trump is taken out, Trump is then indicted (hopefully several times) and either disqualified from office (let’s not count the good folks at the Federalist Society out, here) or dogpiled into oblivion, leaving Biden — assuming he’s still compos mentis (for some definition of compos mentis) and/or alive — to be nominated by acclamation. As they believe he deserves to be. Anyhow, there’s always Michelle. Or Oprah MR SUBLIMINAL N-o-o-o-o-o-o!!!!!

* * *

“Hunter Biden received $260K from Beijing during dad’s campaign — with Joe’s address on wire: Comer” [NY Post]. Dear Hunter. “First son Hunter Biden received two wire transfers from Chinese nationals worth a total of $260,000 months after dad Joe began his 2020 presidential campaign — and with the elder Biden’s Delaware home listed as the beneficiary address, a key House Republican said Tuesday….. ‘Bank records don’t lie but President Joe Biden does. In 2020, Joe Biden told Americans that his family never received money from China,’ Comer said in a statement.” And the Democrat response: “‘Imagine them arguing that, if someone stayed at their parents’ house during the pandemic, listed it as their permanent address for work, and got a paycheck, the parents somehow also worked for the employer,’ spokesman Ian Sams posted on social media. ‘It’s bananas. Yet this is what extreme House Republicans have sunken to.'” • A wire transfer is the same as a paycheck? (To be fair, perhaps to some Democrats, it would be.) And from China? Really? Meanwhile:

“How House Republicans Will Try to Prove Bribery in Biden Impeachment Inquiry (Exclusive)” [The Messenger]. “GOP investigators believe they don’t have to show that Biden took a “direct payment,” a senior House Republican aide with direct knowledge of the impeachment inquiry told The Messenger. There are other ways to prove Biden engaged in the constitutionally impeachable offense Republicans are pursuing. ‘While the corrupt payment is strong evidence of a bribe payment, the crime can be accomplished with even seeking or agreeing to accept anything of value for the purpose of being influenced,’ the aide said. The senior staffer, who asked for anonymity to speak freely about legal strategy, highlighted that the U.S. criminal code says bribery can be accomplished when a public official “directly or indirectly, corruptly demands, seeks, receives, accepts, or agrees to receive or accept anything of value personally or for any other person or entity.’ Cold, hard cash in hand isn’t a necessary burden of proof, Republicans believe.” • They are correct; ask Zephyr Teachout. (In my view, the Republicans don’t even have to show influence. Hunter (dear Hunter) is swanning about using the Biden family name to cash in, with his father’s knowledge. Joe Biden could and should have stopped Hunter from doing that (which would be a simple matter of Joe not taking Hunter’s calls when Hunter is “out to lunch” with business associates). I don’t know the legal theory to fit this under, but surely this is common sense? The Republicans have conducted this enquiry with admirable sobriety so far (“bank records don’t lie,” and they’re also super-boring). If they get the bit between their teeth and go full Benghazi, things will end badly for them.

“Litman: Is it time for a federal judge to put a gag order on Donald Trump?” [Los Angeles Times]. “It is the repeated insistence that the effort to impose a limited gag order comes from “the Biden administration” — the brief contains no fewer than nine references to Biden and his government — that is the tell. It’s sheer demagoguery for the benefit of Trump’s political base to assert that the criminal charges against him are the result of a political command by the president. Any half-sophisticated observer knows it’s a lie. The barrier between Biden and Atty. Gen. Merrick Garland is only reinforced by the separation between Garland and Smith, who has a broad measure of independence from the department.” • That would be a classic Madisonian construct: “Ambition must be made to counteract ambition. The interest of the man must be connected with the constitutional rights of the place” (Federalist 51). That is, the President, the Attorney General, and the Prosecutor would all check each other. Isn’t it pretty to think so. However, RussiaGate and the Censorship Industrial Complex both go to show that Democrats don’t roll with Madisonian niceties.

“Bidens’ dog bites Secret Service officer in 11th known aggressive incident” [WaPo]. • If you believe that companion animals reflect the personalities of their owners, Biden is not a nice person at all.

* * *

“Youngkin ‘doesn’t expect’ to make endorsement in presidential primary” [The Hill]. “‘I don’t expect to endorse anyone. I think voters should choose this, and I’m sure it will be a well-participated primary,’ Youngkin said at the Economic Club of Washington. Youngkin is a well-regarded Republican who has hinted at potential White House ambitions in his future. While he has considered a 2024 race, he has signaled that an announcement is possible but unlikely.”

“The Youngkin blueprint” [The Spectator]. “It is late August and he has just finished up one of his ‘Parents Matter’ listening sessions, this one in Virginia Beach. Youngkin has been traveling the Commonwealth and hearing directly from parents to fulfill one of his biggest 2021 campaign promises: protecting the rights of parents from government overreach in matters concerning their children. Parents groups mobilized during that election to great effect. Covid-related school closures and the intrusion of divisive gender and racial politics into the classroom made parents a crucial and energized part of the coalition that elected Youngkin. Since then, the Republican governor has introduced new statewide policies that require parents to be notified when their children request social gender transitions in school, when their children are exposed to sexually explicit material and, within twenty-four hours, when their kids are subjected to bullying. Students are also required to use facilities and join sports teams consistent with their biological sex. He has dedicated $30 million in state funds to address pandemic learning loss.” • Putting Youngkin on a collision course with Pritzker, who’s totally not running either.

Republican Funhouse

“Gaetz: ‘We will see’ if Democrats ‘bail out our failed Speaker'” [The Hill]. “Under current House rules, it only takes one member to bring up a motion to vacate the Speakership…. Asked about Gaetz’s comments, McCarthy told reporters Tuesday, ‘Look, people have got to get over personal differences. I’m focused on America.’ ‘He never voted for me to start out with. I don’t assume he’s changing his position,’ the Speaker continued. When asked if Gaetz’s comments bothered him, McCarthy responded, ‘Does it look like it bothers me? No, it doesn’t.'” • What fun!

“Hillary Clinton’s portrait unveiled at State Department” [The Hill]. • The gilded frame will provide a nice color contrast to the red of the dripping blood.

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.

* * *

“Notes on the State of Politics: Sept. 26, 2023” [Larry Sabato’s Crystal Ball]. “Menendez’s intransigence prompted a bold move from Rep. Andy Kim (D, NJ-3): On Saturday, the three-term member from South Jersey announced that he’d run for Senate. Though other Democratic challengers may emerge, Kim’s early move may help build statewide name recognition. Kim can also credibly claim to have been ahead of the curve throughout the recent Menendez saga — he was the first major New Jersey Democrat to call for the senator’s resignation. We don’t know exactly what type of, or if any, behind-the-scenes politicking went on before Kim’s announcement. Still, it stands to reason that Kim — a non-machine politician in a state still influenced to some degree by machine politics — would have wanted to have some ducks lined up before mounting a challenge to his senior senator. One of the notable voices calling for Menendez’s resignation was 1st District Rep. Donald Norcross. Norcross represents the Camden area and has a brother, George, who is known for controlling a South Jersey political network (although the latter recently said he is taking a step back from politics as the strength of his machine has waned). For Kim, South Jersey may make for a nice statewide launching pad, while the Norcross machine could try its hand a picking Kim’s successor in the House. In North Jersey, though, Menendez has built a durable machine of his own, with a base in Hudson County (Jersey City). Menendez’s pull was evidenced in last year’s NJ-8 primary, when no big-name Democrats ran against his son for an open seat. Although Menendez appears to have lost support from local Democratic parties in several key counties, he could still theoretically win a primary if his support in Hudson County holds, especially if more candidates enter the race. The party line system, one of New Jersey’s electoral quirks that has long been disliked by good government advocates, is the main reason why county-level parties hold outsized sway in the state.” • WSWS classifies Kim as a CIA Democrat: “Civilian war planner and adviser to US military commanders in Afghanistan, Iraq director for National Security Council under President Obama.”

“The Democratic Party Has an Old Problem and Won’t Admit It” [Brian Beutler, New York Times]. Masterful Beutler Substack rollout. “In our fixation on Mr. Biden’s age, we often gloss over the role the Democratic Party has played in promoting and lionizing its older leaders, then muddling through when illness or death undermines their ability to govern. The party’s leaders seem to believe implicitly in the inalienable right of their aging icons to remain in positions of high power unquestioned, long after it becomes reasonable to ask whether they’re risking intolerable harm. The party has come to operate more like a machine, in which lengthy, loyal service must be rewarded with deference.” • Now do Covid brain damage.

“Randomly Chosen Panel Should Guide Airport’s Future, Officials Say” [Santa Monica Lookout]. “The future of Santa Monica Airport should be hammered out — not by the usual community activists and civic volunteers — but by randomly selected ‘everyday people,’ City officials told the City Council Monday. The information item from top Public Works officials proposes using a democratic lottery to ‘engage new residents through a randomized selection process,’ instead of relying on ‘the same self-selected individuals.’ After meeting in person for six weekends over the course of some nine months starting next fall, the panel would make recommendations to the Council for the 227-acre site that under a 2017 agreement with the FAA would cease to operate as an airport at the end of 2028. The panel will be charged with what City officials have said ‘is likely to be the most transformative urban planning event of the century for the City’ (‘Airport Plan Takes Off,’ January 25, 2023). The lottery system — which is not common in North America — ‘would result in a panel that demands broad demographic representation, and minimizes the influence of special interests,’ said the report from Public Works Director Rick Valte.” • Sortition for the win! Do we have any California readers who are tracking this?


“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!

* * *

Celebrity Watch

“Cori Bush tests positive for COVID, working remotely” [The Hill]. “I have tested positive for COVID-19 & I am experiencing symptoms.”

“Minnesota senator tests positive for COVID-19” [The Hill]. Tina Smith. “I tested positive for COVID this morning after developing mild symptoms Sunday night.”

* * *

Case Data

NOT UPDATED 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

From CDC NCIRD Surveillance, September 23:

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 27:

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?


NOT UPDATED 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.)

NOT UPDATED 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: 1,176,310 – 1,176,159 = 151 (151 * 365 = 55,115 deaths per year, today’s YouGenicist™ number for “living with” Covid (quite a bit higher than the minimizers would like, though they can talk themselves into anything. If the YouGenicist™ metric keeps chugging along like this, I may just have to decide this is what the powers-that-be consider “mission accomplished” for this particular tranche of death and disease). 

Excess Deaths

NOT UPDATED The Economist, September 24:

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

Stats Watch

Manufacturing: “United States Durable Goods Orders” [Trading Economics]. “New orders for manufactured durable goods in the US unexpectedly rose 0.2% month-over-month in August 2023, rebounding from an upwardly revised 5.6% slump in July, and beating market forecasts of a 0.5% fall. ”

* * *

Tech: “The invisible problem” [Scott Jenson]. “There are likely many reasons, but I would argue that there are a few deep foundational UX problems with tablets that hinders productively. Text editing is one. Another is file handling, something I’ve previous written about if you’re interested. However, before anyone accuses me of being a nostalgic fool, I want to be clear that I am not anti-mobile. My goal is not to return back to the desktop, but to move mobile forward. How can we actually fix our phones and tablets to be as productive and fast as we are on desktop systems?” • Good question, and maybe Jenson has the answer, but I doubt it.

* * *

Today’s Fear & Greed Index: 24 Extreme Fear (previous close: 26 Fear) [CNN]. One week ago: 48 (Neutral). (0 is Extreme Fear; 100 is Extreme Greed). Last updated Sep 26 at 1:47:27 PM ET. I would expect Mr. Market to be having a sad. But while MarketWatch has a lot of really odd headlines, there aren’t any images of bankers jumping out of windows. Anticipating the government shutdown?

Zeitgeist Watch


A man walks up to a police officer. Officer, I found a penguin, what should I do with it? the man asks.

The officer replies: Take him to the zoo.

The next day, the officer walks down the street and meets the man with the penguin. Didn’t I tell you to take him to the zoo? he asks the man.

The man replies: That’s what I did and today we’re going to the movies.

Class Warfare

“A third of Americans believe the economy is a zero-sum game” [MarketWatch]. • Seems low.

News of the Wired

“Tempest for Eliza” [Tempest for Eliza]. “Tempest for Eliza is a Program that uses your computer monitor to send out AM radio signals. You can then hear computer generated music in your radio.” • Might have broader application than music?

* * *

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 Carla:

Carla writes: “In the Hoh Rainforest, Olympic National Park, July 2023.” Wow! A forest, not a plantation. Reminds me of some other photographer…

* * *

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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. Mikel

      They are talking about charts that average and aggregate and deny the role of power in the economy.

      There’s a difference between charts and formulas and actual transactions that people engage in and live with on a daily basis.

    2. notabanker

      Yes, it is most definitely not a zero sum game. QE has tilted the playing board hugely in favor of capital and it is now crushing US citizenry. You absolutely cannot win unless you are at the very top of the pyramid, in which case, you really need to do nothing to continually accumulate more chips.

  1. IM Doc

    The Hillary Portrait Unveiling……..

    Ahhhh, I see we are still doing it. Notice the elite oligarchs and what they are NOT wearing. Notice the proles holding up the painting and what they are wearing.

    This is a really bad look. It is like they are basking in hypocrisy. I thought we got over this months ago.

    1. JBird4049

      Seeing the actual painting with entire background of the portrait being a close view of the American flag and Hillary Clinton is staring visionary like into the distance.

      Clinton the patriotic visionary. This makes me want to projectile vomit (preferably onto the portrait) as the woman has not a clue of what being a patriot, forget about being a decent human being, is. But hey, she has publicly called Henry “The Butcher of Cambodia” Kissinger “my guru.” Just how does one satirize this?

      Thinking on this, I am actually, honestly, feeling insulted.

      1. Pat

        Funnily I don’t think it has the effect on the viewer Clinton might believe or want. I despise Clinton and was never going to like it. But it is off. Yes she is supposed to look like a visionary but the perspective is all wrong. The flag is too large, it diminishes her. She is too far to the right placing the center also on the flag. So much is wrong.
        I have my own idea what the portrait painter had in mind as the subject but that would a guess. I am in no doubt however that Clinton was painted more as sycophant than visionary.

    2. nippersdad

      “A secretary who helped transform American diplomacy for the 21st century,” Blinken said, introducing Clinton…. “Secretary Clinton, your leg of the race helped revitalize the power and the purpose of American diplomacy. It reminded the world of who America is and what we stand for, and helped us achieve our mission,” ….Clinton underscored the importance of American commitment to diplomacy and development, and praised “the continuation of a lot of the values and priorities that we worked on” in the Biden administration.”

      Mission accomplished? Thanks to such as herself, we are on our way to becoming a third world nation and everyone hates us. Any portrait I might paint of her would look entirely different, maybe something along the lines of Dorian Gray’s.

      1. Pat

        I kept the sound off. I am very glad I did. Reading that was hard enough.

        These jerks never admit failure. The missions are always accomplished. Failure comes after the fact.

    3. The Rev Kev

      The present State Department is all gung-ho on war and taking the fight to both the Russians and the Chinese while undermining all non-compliant governments around the world. I wonder how much of this is her creation from when she was SecState.

  2. Synoia

    Air Force One can refuel in the sky. It never has to touch ground. If it wanted to, it could fly forever.”

    But there are lubricants which are consumed and food and for the passengers and crew.

    All consumables and mechanisms must also be refresh able and they are not.

    1. Terry Flynn

      Allegedly in flight refueling won’t be possible on the new one because of cost-cutting by Trump. Plus, as you say, there are things like hydraulic fluids etc (even as backup these days in case an EMP takes out the fly by wire electronics – which might be military grade but are never totally impenetrable).

      So the present one probably could technically fly forever….. But at some point it would have to land….. Likely with a big explosion unless you have a Sully flying it who can really scale up his gliding/water landing skills. Probably more accurate to say it has reserves that would keep it aloft for quite a lot longer than a standard 747. So as to reach somewhere like NZ from anywhere to join the rest of our overlords.

      1. scott s.

        Other than the engine fuel controls, “fly-by-wire” actually uses the A/B/C hydraulic systems to position flight controls. Of course 747 didn’t have “alternate law” / “direct law” concepts of Airbus.

    2. Old Jake

      All mechanical things wear. Engines wear and must be overhauled. Recommended inspections are set for good reason, as while jet engines don’t have the same kinds of sliding wear as do piston rings and things in old style piston engines, allowing much much longer time between overhauls, things will break eventually, and little shards of turbine vanes will fly out. Assuming something else does not wear out first. Plus aluminum that is subject to repetitive stress will eventually crack. We don’t like cracks in aircraft.

    3. Victor Sciamarelli

      Air Force One is impressive, and though jet engines do not consume engine oil as rapidly as piston engines, oil is more important than fuel. AFO will not fly forever, more likely a few days.
      A nice feature of AFO is you can start all four engines simultaneously. And as it’s always parked near a runway, never at a terminal or an area where it can be blocked in, hence the stairs that too often challenge Biden. That feature helps get you out of town fast if necessary.
      Yet, if you want something long lasting, consider Navy Sub One or Navy Carrier One. A nuclear powered carrier or sub is able to roam the oceans for 20-years without refuelling. And I think a better subject for a sci-fi story.

  3. Carolinian

    Re Trump and the economy: so–to flip Bill Clinton’s long ago bon mot–you have to vote for Republican Trump to live like Democrat Bill Clinton?

    And re all the lawfare and why it is so sinister–it is of course a key part of the current Deep State Regime Change Playbook as seen in Brazil and Carwash. There too a dubious chief prosecutor was trying to shape political events. Meanwhile in our current race one wonders if the Supreme Court will sanction any of it. Is that why the nonstop attacks on the SC lately–more lawfare? I say yes.

    The Dems need to find a candidate people actually want to vote for and stop all the media games. If they were smart they’d embrace Kennedy (a mixed bag to many of us) as a gesture to their past success and not try to drag the country into Biden 2.

    1. notabanker

      I was listening to JRE and Alex Berenson today. The conversation came around to politics and Trump and both of them were stumped on how to explain Trump’s popularity. I was thinking to myself the whole time, you guys are just not getting it. Then I saw the superficial article posted above from the WaPost.

      A commenter here nailed it the other night. Neoliberal capitalist policies and NeoCon foreign policies are working successfully like never before for Capital. It is a huge boon. And of course this is at the expense of everyone else and it is accelerating. Healthcare is broken, retirements are doomed, corporations are pricing at will and killing the living standard of all but the wealthiest American’s. The Fed is determined to inflict more pain.

      The surveillance state is being invested in heavily. The assault on the US Constitution by the Government itself is blatant and really unprecedented, at least in my lifetime.

      The only political voice people have is Trump. Yes it is unfortunate he is a real estate con man whose ability to actually deliver is dubious at best, and likely not even close to genuine, but it is the only voice. HRC on the other hand, was the poster child for Neoliberalism. A decrepit Biden barely defeated Trump, with Covid really being the deciding factor. It certainly drove an unprecedented mail in vote that easily explains the slim margin of victory, and I’m being nice here.

      The big issue for the Neolib’s is that the ranks of those disenfranchised voters that propelled Trump to victory in 2016 have grown, IMO, significantly. As someone pointed out, they realize their policies have failed the populace, they have no intention of changing them, so the only way out is to control the narrative at all costs. Disposing of Trump is imperative.

      It is interesting you brought up RFK jr, because he is also now a voice against these policies. And on the surface, he is more polished than Trump, has the pedigree and the experience to lend his message credibility. I remain very skeptical of his candidacy. Running as Dem is a failed strategy from day one, and someone with his background and experience knows this full well. This feels like another Sanders asking Lucy to tee up the football, but we shall see.

  4. rowlf

    The American Way, also known as Riders of the Storm, is a 1986 American science fiction comedy film where a crew aboard an always airborne B-29 that never lands and is configured for electronic jamming, interferes with an presidential election campaign.

  5. Wukchumni

    “Gaetz: ‘We will see’ if Democrats ‘bail out our failed Speaker’” [The Hill]. “Under current House rules, it only takes one member to bring up a motion to vacate the Speakership…. Asked about Gaetz’s comments, McCarthy told reporters Tuesday, ‘Look, people have got to get over personal differences. I’m focused on America.’ ‘He never voted for me to start out with. I don’t assume he’s changing his position,’ the Speaker continued. When asked if Gaetz’s comments bothered him, McCarthy responded, ‘Does it look like it bothers me? No, it doesn’t.’” • What fun!

    What fun, indeed!

    All that My Kevin (since ’07) has left is to blame the pending shutdown on the border situation-its really the only handy vehicle for the Red Scare, make it all about immigration and as long as the Pachyderms all agree to be on the same page, should work out fine for their constituents who are easily flummoxed.

    1. jax

      Unchecked immigration is fueling a lot of far-right European campaigns. Germany’s Afd just came in from the cold this week. The issue, and this issue alone, has the power keep people like Viktor Orban in power. No matter how it’s phrased, I wouldn’t ignore single issue voters in the U.S. for whom this is problemo #1.

      One wishes the Dems had a plan. But one wishes in vain.

      1. Ranger Rick

        One of the most brilliant (and awful) bits of political theater the Republicans have done in a while is Texas Governor Abbott, among others, bussing the immigrants to sanctuary cities nationwide. The human cost of asylum is real, and now in their front yards. The article mentions that Biden recently gave Temporary Protected Status to the Venezuelan asylum-seekers: this makes them the legal equivalent to a US citizen for employment decisions. They are now directly in competition with the rest of the domestic job market.

  6. Hana M

    >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).

    One possible factor is the use of molnupirvir in ‘treatment’ of covid. Molnupiravir is a mutagen and in people who have trouble clearing the virus (for example, the frequently boosted) it may be contributing to the creation of an alphabet soup mix of circulating variants. See William Hazeltine’s comments here: https://www.science.org/content/article/prominent-virologist-warns-covid-19-pill-could-unleash-dangerous-mutants-others-see-little-cause-alarm

  7. Sub-Boreal

    These two readings for today may be of interest:

    (1) A review essay on new biographical studies of George Orwell: “Ah, that’s better”

    Orwell’s career shows that writing bad early novels and having intensely felt but under-thought-out principles can enable someone eventually to produce a masterpiece.

    (2) Another climate apocalypse to worry about – but at least it’s 250 million years away.


    Up to 92% of Earth could be uninhabitable to mammals in 250 million years, researchers predict. The planet’s landmasses are expected to form a supercontinent, driving volcanism and increases to carbon dioxide levels that will leave most of its land barren.

    “It does seem like life is going to have a bit more of a hard time in the future,” says Hannah Davies, a geologist at the GFZ German Research Centre for Geosciences in Potsdam. “It’s a bit depressing.”

    1. Darthbobber

      If knowing that the whole place will eventually be a charred cinder circling the remnants of a dead sun doesn’t depress me I don’t know why a mere supercontinent in 250 million years would. If there are still humans or their descendents around to face these problems we’ll have already done way better than we have any right to expect

      1. John

        Continents converge and form a super continent. Then they diverge and scatter about the planet. It happened before. It will or may happen again. It’s academic. How about the next 25 years, 50 years? How about 2100? I have young adult grandchildren. It would be pleasing to think that serious efforts at mitigation would happen before something huge and tragic shakes folks out of their complacency … but I do not expect it.

  8. digi_owl

    Crazy thing is that Android was there around the 3.0 version, but then Google got in bed with MAFIAA in order to compete with Apple’s store and thus had to lock down file management in the name of DRM.

    Then came the civil war between Rubin (Android) and Pichai (ChromeOS), with the latter winning and the former sidelined and later disgraced.

    1. Carolinian


      I believe with Androd you can use both mouse and keyboard via an inexpensive usb adapter cable. Or Bluetooth mouse and keyboard. So text editing is feasible although it may seem silly to do it this way. I’ve always thought the netbook sized small laptop was the ideal thing to carry around to library etc.

      1. digi_owl

        After Pichai was made CEO Rubin moved from running Android to doing R&D, then later quit, or was fired, after some misconduct allegation.

  9. Feral Finster

    I am all in favor of constitutional originalism, at least if conducted in an honest way. If you don’t like what the law says, then change it, rather than pretend that black now is white. If you want rights that the Constitution as presently written does not provide for, then go through the democratic process of debating and amending the Constitution, rather than getting a unelected friendly judge to rewrite the document for you.

    However, let’s stop kidding ourselves. The discussion and whether or not the Fourteenth Amendment could entitles Donald J. Trump to lawfully take the office of president.is a pretext. Those who want to use the courts to bar Trump will insist that Trump is barred from office on any justification, and those who want Trump as president will duly assure us that the same language does not mean what the other side says it means, even if the meaning were as plain as day.

    In the end, the only thing that matters is which side can get enough justices to go along with them.

      1. Feral Finster

        Not necessarily, as long as one keeps in mind what the text would have presumably meant at the time it was written.

    1. JBird4049

      Like with almost everything else, American history, the ideas, concepts, the actual political ideology behind the Constitution, the Bill of Rights, even the Declaration of Independence has been bent. Indeed, the whole of American political economy that is the basis for the whole Republic of the United States of America is twisted around to mean or not, anything that the different factions want it to mean.

      To expand on this, we are a nation self created by ideas. The ideas from which the Constitution, the Bill of Rights, the Declaration of Independence, and other writings like Common Sense, and the Federalist Papers are the foundation of the country. Once you start deliberately doing a 1619 Project on the whole of it, which has been happening for at least a generation, where does it end?

      This might seem separate, but the state governments and Congress starting to devolve and turn their responsibilities include the abilities to do to the central government, and finally to the executive is connected. 75 years ago, Congress started to avoid things like the declaration of war. Forty years ago, Congress started to gut the staff needed to run the country, including Congress. Thirty years, Congress started to destroy all the means, ways, the habits, the unspoken rules that kept running smoothly, or as smoothly as it likely was to be. Now, it is permanent undeclared war, and anyone who speaks against it is a traitor, bribery money is free speech, and the security state can do no wrong, and we have members of Congress advocating for censorship.

      Really, once you start to make a lie out of one area, what is going to make you stop making a lie of it all? Will it be reason, or will it be because nothing is left, but a flaming, smoking pile of bullpucky? Since the Republic of the United States of America was created and maintained by ideas, perhaps more than any other polity, certainly any other nation or country, just what the heck will be left afterwards?

      And do not think that this is just about politics either. This is nihilistic tactic being done on everything, merely for the grift, the money, the power, the rice-bowl by many people. Education, religion, science, politics, community, perhaps even families. There have always been a few such people, but now this technique seems to be used by more and more people, not just the immature, the monstrous or the empty, even if as just as a means of raw survival. A “Let’s stab him in the back before he stabs us in the back.” means of survival.

        1. flora

          shorter: I have no faith in our temporary, of the moment politicians but a great deal of faith in our entire polity who are mostly quiet, thoughtful, slow to act, but act they do. What was it someone once said about the the US polity? Something about awakening a sleeping giant. Can’t remember.

  10. Watt4Bob

    From Rueters;

    VW has been hit by a big IT outage.

    They are having problems with manufacturing processes and I am hearing that their new GRP system is having problems at the dealership level here in the US.

    The speculation is a cyber attack.

    Nice industry you have their Germany…

    People who live in glass houses, and all that.

    1. ChrisRUEcon

      I wonder if the same hackers who hit Vegas are spreading their wings as it were. Did either Links or 2PMWC hoist any articles about the recent Casino hackings?! With apologies for missing if I did, I’ll hoist these over fence:

      [Two] Las Vegas casinos fell victim to cyberattacks, shattering the image of impenetrable casino security (via Fox5Vegas)

      How the Okta Cross-Tenant Impersonation Attacks Succeeded (via darkreading.com)

      Now Okta is a major provider of federated identity-based security for SSO (Single Single On) and MFA (Multi-Factor Authentication). Outside of social engineering, if there’s something vulnerable with Okta, a lot more businesses are going to get hit.

    2. cnchal

      > The speculation is a cyber attack.

      “According to current analyses, an external attack is unlikely to be the cause of the system malfunction,” Volkswagen said, adding that efforts to fix the problem were of the highest priority and well under way.

      Either we are being lied to or complexity cubed is the problem.

      Here is what I found that is interesting.

      The carmaker is already grappling with lower production at its all-electric Zwickau plant, where muted demand for battery-powered vehicles may change a long-standing three-shift system.

      Muted demand. Why? Early EV buyers are all in and they are high income and the next class down is not interested in a virtue signaler or people sense too many things are off to be splashing big bucks on a rolling garbage can.

      Tesla is expected to have fewer sales in 24 than 23


      Tesla Inc. could miss third-quarter delivery and production expectations, but there is “meaningful downside risk” to current 2024 projections due to limited volume growth, Deutsche Bank analyst Emmanuel Rosner said.

      The early adopters got theirs, the majority don’t care.

    1. ThirtyOne

      The take-away:
      According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, TB is “spread through the air from one person to another. When a person with TB disease of the lungs or throat coughs, speaks, or sings, TB bacteria can get into the air. People nearby may breathe in these bacteria and become infected.”

  11. JohnnySacks

    “How can we actually fix our phones and tablets to be as productive and fast as we are on desktop systems?”

    I may not be a nostalgic fool, but I’m a realist. Not possible and really sick of phone interfaces attempting to be as rich as desktop apps. There are some phone interface developers who get it, and you can tell when a very simple screen is presented which performs a very simple task.

    I have a somewhat flexible line where I just give up trying to accomplish something on a 3.5″ touch screen which should be done on a workstation with a keyboard, mouse, and full size screen.

    1. cfraenkel

      These days the industry seems to be moving in the direction of “how can we make our desktops crippled like our phones?” — looking at you, Apple.

    1. Carla

      Thanks, but the picture pretty much took itself. The Hoh Rainforest is truly a magical place. If you have a chance to go, don’t pass it up!

  12. GF

    A thought on the UAW strike. The union leadership is very smart in how the strike is playing out. By just striking at select locations the majority of union workers are still on the job and paying union dues. It has always been a big issue with strikes that the unions run out of strike funds and sometimes settle for less that spectacular new contracts. In this case the strike funds are being continually replenished so the strike can continue for a longer duration if needed – unless the companies lock out the workers, which has been done a lot in the past.

  13. Wukchumni

    Master debaters tonight, and wow! ND Governor Doug Burgum is sporting perhaps the largest old glory lapel pin I’ve ever seen on a politician, it is practically pulling him a little to the left with sheer heft.

  14. Wukchumni

    The Bad Coin

    Things had started out innocently enough, a small but useful purchase in the mid one figures of Bitcoin, oh to be a player with the big boys, was the initial attraction.

    Our relationship soured when Bitcoin wanted to go out to bars @ night, sometimes paying for endless rounds for all the patrons, trying to prove that it wasn’t a johnny come lately fluke. It rarely got up before noon and that was to only check the latest quote repeatedly before going to a Starbucks to try and sweet talk the 20 & 30 somethings into a relationship, the nerve of my 2-timing invisible friend I thought to myself!

  15. Wukchumni

    :Pence wants the death penalty for mass murderers!

    Bad boy bad boy, what you gonna do after your spree is through?

  16. flora

    er. um. Dost thou thinkest that those Western governments now happily applauding an actual Nazis would or could hold back from the same actions of the old school Nazis if the actions might momentarily benefit said modern governments? A modern government’s applause of an old action shows the character of the modern government, does is not? / oy I fear for the future of our countries when the future is left in the historically ignorant hands of our modern leaders.

    1. Watt4Bob

      It’s called a ‘tell’.

      From our current vantage point, it should be clear that WWII was not waged to stop fascism.

      It was arguably fought to determine who would be in charge of it going forward.

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