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. .” • 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.
“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:
— 🇺🇸ColonelMAGAMark🇺🇸 (@ColonelMark4) September 26, 2023
“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.
“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!). ; if the Democrat Party did not exist, the PMC would have to invent it. . (“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.
“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!). ; if the Democrat Party did not exist, the PMC would have to invent it. . (“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).
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!
“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.”
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.
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).
NOT UPDATED The Economist, September 24:
Lambert here: This is now being updated daily again. Odd. Based on a machine-learning model.
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?
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.
“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…
Readers: Water Cooler is a standalone entity not covered by the annual NC fundraiser. So if you see a link you especially like, or an item you wouldn’t see anywhere else, please do not hesitate to express your appreciation in tangible form. Remember, a tip jar is for tipping! Regular positive feedback both makes me feel good and lets me know I’m on the right track with coverage. When I get no donations for five or ten days I get worried. More tangibly, a constant trickle of donations helps me with expenses, and I factor in that trickle when setting fundraising goals:
Here is the screen that will appear, which I have helpfully annotated:
If you hate PayPal, you can email me at lambert [UNDERSCORE] strether [DOT] corrente [AT] yahoo [DOT] com, and I will give you directions on how to send a check. Thank you!