2:00PM Water Cooler 9/6/2023

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Patient readers, maybe there really is something to this Mercury-in-retrograde woo woo. The shop replaced my borked screen with a screen that was itself borked. So I wait another day. And my espresso machine failed [snarl]. –lambert

By Lambert Strether of Corrente.

Bird Song of the Day

Mountain Chiffchaff (Caucasian) Ikizdere; Sivri Kaya, Rize, Türkiye. “One bird trapped and photographed; singing from 50cm high bush of beech scrub (Fagus) near snow limiit.” Not sure what the white noise is; I’m picturing a mountain waterfall.

* * *


“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

“Supreme Court to Decide Whether to Kick Trump Off Ballot” [Newsweek]. “The legal debate about whether or not former President Donald Trump should be allowed to appear on the 2024 ballot has made its way before the Supreme Court. The court distributed John Castro v. Donald Trump to the justices for conference on Wednesday ahead of the upcoming term, which will begin on October 2. Conference is to take place on September 26 and the case is expected to be decided on or before October 9. Castro, a tax attorney running for the Republican nomination next year, sent his petition to the Supreme Court last month, asking the justices to answer whether political candidates can challenge the eligibility of another candidate of the same party running for the same nomination ‘based on a political competitive injury in the form a diminution of votes.'” Sounds novel. More: “The lawsuit is seeking to argue that Trump should not be allowed to run for the White House based on section three of the 14th Amendment… Former federal prosecutor Neama Rahmani previously told Newsweek that it’s unlikely for the justices to side with Castro since Trump has yet to be charged or convicted of insurrection and rebellion. ‘A conviction is not required under the plain language of the Constitution, but it’s telling that even those prosecuting Trump don’t believe that there is enough evidence to convict him or insurrection or sedition,’ Rahmani said.” The headline is a little deceptive, since it assumes Castro already has standing. Here is his theory: “Castro, however, argues that his case would have enough standing [whatever that means] because he is directly impacted by Trump’s name being on the ballot since he is also running for the Republican nomination.” • The theory that one candiate can inflict a “competitive injury” on another seems like a Pandora’s box, to me; one that the Court would need very good reason to open. If I were a Supreme Court justice, I’d deep six Castro and wait for a clean case brought against an election official acting on Baude and Paulen’s theory (below). And maybe stuff Baude and Paulen back in their casket and nail the lid shut, so they don’t keep popping up through 2024.

“It’s time for Chris Christie to sue Donald Trump” [Hayes Brown, MSNBC]. Same theory as above. From August 26: “Steven Calabresi, a law professor at Northwestern and Yale and co-founder of The Federalist Society, has suggested that a candidate, specifically Christie, take the lead: ‘Chris Christie is legally injured by Donald Trump’s name being on the ballot,’ Calabresi wrote this month in The Volokh Conspiracy, a libertarian-leaning legal blog. ‘They draw from some similar voters. Christie should sue, if necessary, to get Trump’s name off the ballot.’ I’d expand Calabresi’s call for Christie to sue to include Hutchinson as well, especially since he seems to be well aware of the arguments in favor of Trump’s disqualification. From there, the case is likely to rocket up to the Supreme Court….” • As it did, so good call (which says nothing on the merits).

“Does Section 3 of the Fourteenth Amendment Disqualify Trump?” [Cato]. “[N]o one should assume that just because Baude and Paulsen have made a powerful intellectual case for their originalist reading, that the Supreme Court will declare itself convinced and disqualify Trump. Justice Antonin Scalia memorably described himself as a ‘faint‐​hearted originalist,’ which captures something important about the thinking of almost every Justice—if overruling a wrongly decided old case threatens to disrupt settled expectations to the point of spreading chaos and grief through society, most of them will refrain. Stare decisis, and a general preference for continuity in law, still matters.”

“Could the 14th Amendment keep Trump off the ballot in 2024?” [WaPo]. This is actually a good wrap-up. “In the traditionally first-in-the-nation primary state of New Hampshire, Secretary of State David Scanlan (R) has asked the state’s attorney general to examine the issue and its potential applicability in the upcoming presidential election…. In the battleground state of Michigan, Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson (D) recently said “there are valid legal arguments being made” for keeping the former president off the ballot and that it’s something she is discussing with election officials in other states. In a recent interview with MSNBC, she said states will ‘likely need to act in concert, if we act at all’ regarding the constitutional challenges and predicted the issue will ultimately be settled in courts…. In Arizona, Secretary of State Adrian Fontes (D) has said that he does not have the authority to bar Trump from the ballot, but that the question about Trump’s eligibility is not settled. Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger has said when asked about Trump and the 14th Amendment that voters ‘deserve the right to decide elections.'” • Interesting that Benson wants to join hands with other Democrats so they can jump off the cliff together. I wonder if anybody is orchestrating that effort.

“Is the President an ‘Officer of the United States’ for Purposes of Section 3 of the Fourteenth Amendment?” [Josh Blackman & Seth Barrett Tillman, NYU Journal of Law & Liberty]. Student edited; from 2021 (!). Section 3 says that “No person shall… hold any office, civil or military, under the United States, who who, having previously taken an oath, as a member of Congress, or as an officer of the United States, or as a member of any state legislature, or as an executive or judicial officer of any state, to support the Constitution of the United States, shall have engaged in insurrection….” I crossed out the parts not relevant to Trump. Raising the question: Is the President an “an officer of the United States”? The authors argue no: “Part I will contend that the phrases ‘officer of the United States’ and ‘office . . . under the United States’ in Section 3 refer to different categories of positions. Part II will analyze the phrase ‘officer of the United States,’ which is used in the Constitution of 1788 and in Section 3 of the Fourteenth Amendment. Part III will show that the meaning of the phrase ‘officer of the United States’ did not drift from 1788 through 1868. In both eras, there is substantial evidence that the President was not considered an ‘officer of the United States.’ Part IV will recount longstanding Executive Branch opinions, which affirmed that elected officials like the President are not ‘officers of the United States.’ Part V will respond to recent arguments suggesting that the President is an ‘officer of the United States’ for purposes of Section 3. Part VI will chart how the courts, and not Congress, will likely have the final say about whether President Trump is subject to Section 3 of the Fourteenth Amendment.” • Totally just throwing this one out there. Perhaps someone with more legal expertise than I have can comment.

* * *

“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

“Thanks to Biden, the War Party is back” [Responsible Statecraft]. “As Robert Kagan, Nuland’s husband and leading neo-conservative pundit, puts it, ‘Superpowers don’t get to retire.’ Kagan asserts baldly what this crew believes: ‘The time has come to tell Americans that there is no escape from global responsibility…the task of maintaining a world order is unending and fraught with costs but preferable to the alternative.’ In reality, the time has come for a brutally honest assessment of the growing costs and increasing perils that come from the militarization of our foreign policy and the relentless effort to police the world. As the Quincy Institute’s Andrew Bachevich puts it, ‘Our actual predicament derives from the less than honest claim that history obliges the United States to pursue a policy of militarized hegemony until the end of time. Alternatives do exist.’ Unfortunately the Biden administration appears committed to the war party’s failed playbook of the past, and the rising costs of a global policy we neither need nor can afford.”


Time for the Countdown Clock!

* * *

“Fani Willis lays out criminal case against false electors” [Politico]. Or, as we say, “contingent electors” (at least in orginal expression). Lots of detail, worth reading in full. “On Dec. 14, 2020, the day presidential electors across the nation were required to meet and cast their votes, thereby affirming Joe Biden’s victory, dozens of Trump allies in seven states where Biden was the certified winner convened their own mock elector ceremonies, signing petitions claiming to be legitimate presidential electors and subsequently delivering them to Congress…. Shawn Still, Cathleen Latham and David Shafer — the former chairman of the Georgia Republican Party — were among the Trump allies who signed the false documents in Georgia, and they’ve been charged as part of a sprawling racketeering conspiracy aimed at subverting Georgia’s 2020 election. They’re also charged with false statements, forgery and other related charges. In recent court filings, all three have argued that they believed they were doing Trump’s bidding when they signed the false documents, pointing to the fact that Trump sent a campaign attorney to their Dec. 14 meeting who urged them to sign the documents to keep Trump’s election hopes alive. That attorney, Ray Smith, is also charged in the alleged conspiracy. The false Georgia electors are attempting to “remove” their criminal cases to federal court, where they could attempt to argue that they are immune from the state charges. At the heart of their argument is the claim that they acted at Trump’s behest — and, therefore, became appendages of the federal government. Federal law permits those acting as federal ‘officers’ to remove their cases to federal court if they’re charged with actions that relate to their official responsibilities.”

“Could a New Georgia Law Defeat Fani Willis Before She Tries Trump?” [New York Sun]. “Georgia’s law launched on July 1 and will begin to field complaints on October 1, just months before President Trump and 18 other defendants will stand trial at a Fulton County courthouse…. The push to oust Ms. Willis, who is prosecuting Mr. Trump and 18 others for alleged efforts in Georgia to overturn the 2020 election, is emerging as a sidebar to her stewardship of the case, still in its early days. Governor Kemp at a press conference called the impeachment of Ms. Willis ‘political theater that only inflames the emotions of the moment.’ The governor added that a special session devoted to removing Ms. Wilis “would ignore current Georgia law and directly interfere with the proceedings of a separate but equal branch of government.” He added that the ‘bottom line is that in the state of Georgia, as long as I’m governor, we’re going to follow the law and the Constitution, regardless of who[m] it helps or harms politically.’ In May at the Chatham County Sheriff’s Office, though, Mr. Kemp signed into law a measure called S.B. 92. The law creates an eight-member ‘Prosecuting Attorneys Oversight Commission.’… Three of those members are designated as ‘investigators,’ and three are assigned to serve as a ‘hearing panel.’ The commission possesses the ‘power to discipline, remove, and cause involuntary retirement of appointed or elected district attorneys or solicitors-general.’ One state lawmaker, Steven Dixon, has already promised to file a complaint against Ms. Willis for her indictment of Mr. Trump…. The committee members are to be appointed by the governor, the lieutenant governor, and the speaker of Georgia’s House of Representatives, all Republicans. All three of those who have been appointed so far have been district attorneys, like Ms. Willis, suggesting that they could be empathetic toward her exercise of discretion.” • Shark-infested waters. Including Willis herself, I might add.

“Deer leader?” (letter to the editor) [Valley News]. “When I’m driving, and a deer passes in front of my car, I don’t look at the deer; I look in direction it came from, to see if there are other deer following behind it. Former President Trump has been indicted on several fronts with more to come. The real question is not whether he’s convicted; it’s whether there is enough time before the election in 2024 to find him guilty of a crime that rises to the level of a offense against the Constitution, which won’t allow him to run. I would argue that there isn’t.” • I like the metaphor. Even if I’m not sure I understand it.

* * *

“Joe Biden’s ‘Iron Grip’ on His Party” [Wall Street Journal]. “Whatever may be said about the GOP’s solicitous attitude to Mr. Trump during the years of his presidency, it compares favorably with the left’s omertà in the face of President Biden’s obvious mental infirmity, incompetence and what appears to be a history of self-enrichment. Mr. Trump’s election occasioned some unlovely shifting of principles on the right, but it also precipitated fierce debate. Some Republicans refused to find fault with the new president for anything. Others made their peace with his election but remained critical when his conduct and decisions merited it. A few made it their mission to destroy him. Right-oriented policy organizations and conservative publications endured rancorous public schisms. Conservative religious leaders, including evangelical Christians, fell out with each other. That is more than one can say for the Democratic Party and the mainstream left of the 2020s.” Not unfair. More: “You might have expected a credible Democrat, maybe a retired military officer, to challenge Mr. Biden in a primary. But no; the party rearranged its traditional primary schedule to begin with South Carolina and so make any primary challenge nearly impossible.” • They did. Worse, putting South Carolina first was an obvious payoff to James Clyburn, avatar of the Black Misleadership Class, and the South Carolina Democrats for helping to nobble Sanders, pre-Super Tuesday, in 2020.

* * *

Harris on the various Trump matters:

And from the same interview:

“Harris says she’s ready to step into role of president if Biden is unwell: ‘May have to take over'” [FOX]. “‘I see him every day,’ Harris said of Biden. ‘A substantial amount of time we spend together is in the Oval Office, where I see how his ability to understand issues and weave through complex issues in a way that no one else can to make smart and important decisions on behalf of the American people have played out.'” • One doesn’t “weave through” complex issues, like a running back weaving through the defense; one weaves together. And of course “smart.” We love our smart. “You don’t need that mask, Joe. Let see your smile!”

* * *

“The Most Important Elections of 2023 Will Test Purple-State Voters—and Glenn Youngkin’s Clout” [Wall Street Journal]. “Virginia voters’ choices this November will give crucial clues about the direction of the national elections next November, and about the political future of a rising Republican star: Gov. Glenn Youngkin. Control of the state legislature is at stake, with all 140 seats in both chambers up for grabs. Democrats hold a slim majority in the Senate, Republicans have an edge in the House. Youngkin, while not on the ballot, is pushing hard for a GOP trifecta so he can pass a 15-week abortion limit and other conservative priorities—and so he can burnish his reputation as a Republican who can win in swing territory after his 2021 victory put him on the national map. If the Nov. 7 elections go well for his party, Youngkin could make a late entry into the 2024 presidential race—a prospect he hasn’t ruled out and some national Republicans have pined for privately. GOP primary polling and some early ballot deadlines suggest such a bid would have little chance of success. Or Youngkin, 56 years old, could try to continue building legislative and political victories with an eye to running for president in 2028. Virginia governors can’t serve consecutive four-year terms.”

* * *

Obama Legacy

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.

* * *

“Inside the Blue Bubble” [Matt Taibbi, Racket News (flora)]. “I think a lot of people in the world I once inhabited, in center-left media and academia, don’t realize they’ve slipped into a deeply unattractive habit of substituting checklists of unquestioned assumptions for thought. In the blue bubble Trump’s limitless evil is an idea with such awesome gravitational pull that it makes nuanced discussion about almost anything impossible. It’s why no one in media could suggest even the possibility he hadn’t colluded with Russia. He’s become an anti-God, of a faith that requires constant worship. When do we get to go back to being atheists?” • Funny and insightful, but if this were epidemiology, I’d want a mechanism. “Sociology is a martial art,” as Bourdieu says. We need more of that, both art and martial. (“Checklists” is a good data structure, though; it applies in identity politics, reified in e.g. LGB+, and in evidence-based medicine. Also airplane cockpits.)

Realignment and Legitimacy


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Stay safe out there!

* * *

Covid is Airborne


“SARS-CoV-2 reservoir in post-acute sequelae of COVID-19 (PASC)” [Nature]. The Abtract: ‘Millions of people are suffering from Long COVID or post-acute sequelae of COVID-19 (PASC). Several biological factors have emerged as potential drivers of PASC pathology. Some individuals with PASC may not fully clear the coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 after acute infection. Instead, replicating virus and/or viral RNA—potentially capable of being translated to produce viral proteins—persist in tissue as a ‘reservoir’. This reservoir could modulate host immune responses or release viral proteins into the circulation. Here we review studies that have identified SARS-CoV-2 RNA/protein or immune responses indicative of a SARS-CoV-2 reservoir in PASC samples. Mechanisms by which a SARS-CoV-2 reservoir may contribute to PASC pathology, including coagulation, microbiome and neuroimmune abnormalities, are delineated. We identify research priorities to guide the further study of a SARS-CoV-2 reservoir in PASC, with the goal that clinical trials of antivirals or other therapeutics with potential to clear a SARS-CoV-2 reservoir are accelerated.”

“Determinants of the onset and prognosis of the post-COVID-19 condition: a 2-year prospective observational cohort study” [The Lancet]. “At least 5–10% of subjects surviving COVID-19 develop the post-COVID-19 condition (PCC) or “Long COVID”. The clinical presentation of PCC is heterogeneous, its pathogenesis is being deciphered, and objective, validated biomarkers are lacking. It is unknown if PCC is a single entity or a heterogeneous syndrome with overlapping pathophysiological basis. The large US RECOVER study identified four clusters of subjects with PCC according to their presenting symptoms. However, the long-term clinical implications of PCC remain unknown…. Preexisting medical and socioeconomic factors, as well as acute COVID-19 symptoms, are associated with the development of and recovery from the PCC. Recovery is extremely rare during the first 2 years, posing a major challenge to healthcare systems.”

“Long COVID as a functional somatic symptom disorder caused by abnormally precise prior expectations during Bayesian perceptual processing: A new hypothesis and implications for pandemic response” [SAGE Open Medicine (Raymond Sim)]. “This review proposes a model of Long-COVID where the constellation of symptoms are in fact genuinely experienced persistent physical symptoms that are usually functional in nature and therefore potentially reversible, that is, Long-COVID is a somatic symptom disorder. First, we describe what is currently known about Long-COVID in children and adults. Second, we examine reported ‘Long-Pandemic’ effects that create a risk for similar somatic symptoms to develop in non-COVID-19 patients. Third, we describe what was known about somatization and somatic symptom disorder before the COVID-19 pandemic, and suggest that by analogy, Long-COVID may best be conceptualized as one of these disorders, with similar symptoms and predisposing, precipitating, and perpetuating factors. Fourth, we review the phenomenon of mass sociogenic (functional) illness, and the concept of nocebo effects, and suggest that by analogy, Long-COVID is compatible with these descriptions. Fifth, we describe the current theoretical model of the mechanism underlying functional disorders, the Bayesian predictive coding model for perception. This model accounts for moderators that can make symptom inferences functionally inaccurate and therefore can explain how to understand common predisposing, precipitating, and perpetuating factors. Finally, we discuss the implications of this framework for improved public health messaging during a pandemic, with recommendations for the management of Long-COVID symptoms in healthcare systems. We argue that the current public health approach has induced fear of Long-COVID in the population, including from constant messaging about disabling symptoms of Long-COVID and theorizing irreversible tissue damage as the cause of Long-COVID.” • This is the stupidest timeline. I wonder which approach to Long Covid will win out?

“Something Awful”

Lambert here: I’m getting the feeling that the “Something Awful” might be a sawtooth pattern — variant after variant — that averages out to a permanently high plateau. Lots of exceptionally nasty sequelae, most likely deriving from immune dysregulation (says this layperson). To which we might add brain damage, including personality changes therefrom.

* * *

* * *

Case Data

NOT UPDATED From BioBot wastewater data, September 5:

Back to a steady upward climb.

Regional data:

The Midwest now movint upward as well. I’m not sure what the downward swoop was all about. Interestingly, the upswing begins before July 4, which neither accelerates nor retards it.


NOT UPDATED From CDC, September 2:

Lambert here: Top of the leaderboard: EG.5 (“Eris“). No BA.2.86 here, not even in the note, but see below at Positivity.

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 2:

Lambert here: Another Labor Day weekend drop, like Walgreens? Typically, three-day weekends don’t coincide with peak infection!

Lambert here: I changed this ER chart to a Covid-only chart broken down by age. Note the highlighting.

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.


NOT UPDATED Bellwether New York City, data as of September 2:

Leveling out? I hate this metric because the lag makes it deceptive.

Here’s a different CDC visualization on hospitalization, nationwide, not by state, but with a date, at least. August 26, 2023:

At least now we now that hospitalization tracks positivity, which is nice. Even if we don’t know how many cases there are. And positivity as high as it’s been at any time, except for Omicron.


NOT UPDATED From Walgreens, September 4:

-2.7% Big drop, probably due to Labor Day travel, though the absolute numbers are still very small relative to June 2022, say. Interestingly, these do not correlate with the regional figures for wastewater. (It would be interesting to survey this population generally; these are people who, despite a tsunami of official propaganda and enormous peer pressure, went and got tested anyhow.)

NOT UPDATED From CDC, traveler’s data, August 14:

Lambert here: This is the CDC’s “Traveler-Based Genomic Surveillance” data. And the variant data:


NOT UPDATED Iowa COVID-19 Tracker, August 30:

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: 1,174,291 – 1,174,149 = 142 (142 * 365 = 51,830 deaths per year, today’s YouGenicist™ number for “living with” Covid (quite a bit higher than the minimizers would like, though they can talk themselves into anything. If the YouGenicist™ metric keeps chugging along like this, I may just have to decide this is what the powers-that-be consider “mission accomplished” for this particular tranche of death and disease).

Lambert here: Big because over a weekend.

Excess Deaths

The Economist, September 4:

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

Stats Watch

Services: “United States ISM Services PMI” [Trading Economics]. “The ISM Services PMI unexpectedly jumped to 54.5 in August 2023, pointing to the strongest growth in the services sector in six months, compared to 52.7 in July and forecasts of 52.5.”

Vehicle Sales: “United States Total Vehicle Sales” [Trading Economics]. “Total Vehicle Sales in the United States decreased to 15.04 Million in August from 15.75 Million in July.”

* * *

Retail: “If You’ve Got a New Car, It’s a Data Privacy Nightmare” [Gizmodo]. “[ Mozilla’s *Privacy Not Included project] found that every major car brand fails to adhere to the most basic privacy and security standards in new internet-connected models, and all 25 of the brands Mozilla examined flunked the organization’s test. Mozilla found brands including BMW, Ford, Toyota, Tesla, and Subaru collect data about drivers including race, facial expressions, weight, health information, and where you drive. Some of the cars tested collected data you wouldn’t expect your car to know about, including details about sexual activity, race, and immigration status, according to Mozilla…. The worst offender was Nissan, Mozilla said. The carmaker’s privacy policy suggests the manufacturer collects information including sexual activity, health diagnosis data, and genetic data, though there’s no details about how exactly that data is gathered. Nissan reserves the right to share and sell ‘preferences, characteristics, psychological trends, predispositions, behavior, attitudes, intelligence, abilities, and aptitudes’ to data brokers, law enforcement, and other third parties.” • The slant six wasn’t the only good thing about the Dodge Dart….

* * *

Today’s Fear & Greed Index: 56 Greed (previous close: 59 Greed) [CNN]. One week ago: 53 (Neutral). (0 is Extreme Fear; 100 is Extreme Greed). Last updated Sep 6 at 1:26 PM ET.

Class Warfare

“The climate crisis is a crisis of inequality” [Science]. “Historically, the premise that economic growth ‘lifts all boats‘ has justified maximizing growth, which ‘free market’ proponents often interpret as demanding minimal regulation and redistribution. But this growth requires energy, which largely comes from burning fossil fuels, the major cause of the climate crisis. And thus far, markets have largely failed to price the social cost of carbon. Economic and climate inequality are tightly linked, within and across countries, with richer nations and individuals appropriating vastly more fossil fuels while rarely paying the social cost of carbon and often assuming that they can shield themselves from the adverse consequences of their fossil fuel use. Meanwhile, globally, poverty closely corresponds with climate shock sensitivity. The world’s poor are more likely to reside in climate-vulnerable countries and have fewer resources to guard against and recover from climate shocks. Their food and water are threatened by climate breakdowns. Poorer people—those who work outdoors, live in households without air conditioning, or cannot migrate from flood or fire-prone locations—will pay the highest price for climate disruption in even rich nations. Even if those with economic power believe that there may be a hard limit to carbon emissions, they have incentives to act swiftly to appropriate most of those resources, profit from them, and develop their economies, leaving behind those less equipped, creating a vicious circle that increases inequality. Rising inequality undermines democracy as the richest wield considerable influence over politics, which can diminish policy efforts on redistribution, climate regulation, and carbon pricing. This may explain why global oil and coal use and carbon dioxide emissions are at record highs, despite humanity having known for 30 years the potentially disastrous climate impacts of greenhouse gases.” • Commentary:

News of the Wired

“Remembering Doug Lenat (1950–2023) and His Quest to Capture the World with Logic” [Steven Wolfram]. “One of the surprises of LLMs is that they often seem, in effect, to use logic, even though there’s nothing in their setup that explicitly involves logic. But (as I’ve described elsewhere) I’m pretty sure what’s happened is that LLMs have ‘discovered’ logic much as Aristotle did—by looking at lots of examples of statements people make and identifying patterns in them. And in a similar way LLMs have ‘discovered’ lots of commonsense knowledge, and reasoning. They’re just following patterns they’ve seen, but—probably in effect organized into what I’ve called a ‘semantic grammar’ that determines ‘laws of semantic motion’—that’s enough to often achieve some fairly impressive commonsense-like results.” • “Pretty sure”? “Probably in effect”?

* * *

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 EMM:

EMM writes: “Rhododendrons are a class act.”

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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. Lee

      Speaking of the post-acute sequelae devil:

      Risk of autoimmune diseases following COVID-19 and the potential protective effect from vaccination: a population-based cohort study The Lancet


      The study included 1,028,721 COVID-19 and 3,168,467 non-COVID individuals. Compared with non-COVID controls, patients with COVID-19 presented an increased risk of developing pernicious anaemia [adjusted Hazard Ratio (aHR): 1.72; 95% Confidence Interval (CI): 1.12–2.64]; spondyloarthritis [aHR: 1.32 (95% CI: 1.03–1.69)]; rheumatoid arthritis [aHR: 1.29 (95% CI: 1.09–1.54)]; other autoimmune arthritis [aHR: 1.43 (95% CI: 1.33–1.54)]; psoriasis [aHR: 1.42 (95% CI: 1.13–1.78)]; pemphigoid [aHR: 2.39 (95% CI: 1.83–3.11)]; Graves’ disease [aHR: 1.30 (95% CI: 1.10–1.54)]; anti-phospholipid antibody syndrome [aHR: 2.12 (95% CI: 1.47–3.05)]; immune mediated thrombocytopenia [aHR: 2.1 (95% CI: 1.82–2.43)]; multiple sclerosis [aHR: 2.66 (95% CI: 1.17–6.05)]; vasculitis [aHR: 1.46 (95% CI: 1.04–2.04)]. Among COVID-19 patients, completion of two doses of COVID-19 vaccine shows a decreased risk of pemphigoid, Graves’ disease, anti-phospholipid antibody syndrome, immune-mediated thrombocytopenia, systemic lupus erythematosus and other autoimmune arthritis.”

      1. britzklieg

        from the study:

        “whether the association between COVID-19 vaccine and new onset autoimmune manifestations is coincidental or causal remains to be elucidated. A descriptive cohort study in Hong Kong found no increased risk of incident ADs among the vaccination group versus non-vaccination group within 28 days following the first or second dose of COVID-19 vaccination.”

        i.e. – they can’t prove the asserted conclusion to be true.

  1. Tom Stone

    One advantage of using the RICO statutes to go after the
    “Cop City” protestors is Asset Forfeiture.
    Something I expect to be part of the “Domestic Terrorism” Bill as soon as an excuse to pass one comes along…there will be a lot of angry Notsies once the USA abandons project Ukraine as being insufficiently profitable.

    1. JBird4049

      Just because the police can use asset forfeiture to take people’s money and property without charging them of any crime…

      1. JBird4049

        Has anyone noticed that in many communities especially in tax adverse ones funding for the police, the courts, and the government itself comes more from legal fees, fines, forfeitures than by taxes?

        Our country is internally a predatory state as well as internationally, but then the empire always does go home.

  2. Samuel Conner

    > the current public health approach has induced fear of Long-COVID

    Yeah, I totally believe this. It explains why every time I am out and about, everyone I meet is wearing an N95 or P100 respirator and I can’t see anyone smiling (or, more likely, scowling). People are really concerned about the CV and are worried about post-acute sequelae of infection.

    Oh, … wait.

    1. ChrisRUEcon

      #FRealz … consistently, when I am out at the groceries out here in #ChicagoLand, I am one of but a handful of persons masking. Sometimes I am the only one. The people who are very good at their jobs (CDC et al) have turned the trick … most people do not care … because the real risks have been so superbly obfuscated by lies and suppression of information/data.

      1. Henry Moon Pie

        I don’t know if it’s believing the CDC so much, at least beyond the most indoctrinated Democrats, as it is that many people are desperate to believe things are “back to normal.” They just can’t handle contemplating the reality that we’ve let a really bad disease go native among us. It’s too depressing, and they have enough other reasons to be depressed. If you don’t want to face reality–and we live in a culture denying reality on many fronts–the CDC’s lies are soothing, not infuriating.

        1. JBird4049

          >>>If you don’t want to face reality–and we live in a culture denying reality on many fronts–the CDC’s lies are soothing, not infuriating.

          God knows that sometimes the truth is too painful to see clearly, but reality always wins in the end; whatever façade you create will fail, and what happens then? More, what happens when people are forced to see the betrayal, lies, and incompetence of people that should have been trustworthy and of organizations that had been just that a generation before?

          Too many people will never be able to face this truth, but many, perhaps even the majority will see the truth. I worry about what will happen then. Actually, I should be terrified, but I am not. Some people should be in the dock at The Hague. Some have earned great, biblical levels of retribution. Whatever happens to them, I hardly care. I guess I have a small desire to see some of the world burn if it gets to that retribution, which I do not like about myself, but again, my anger is making me not care. And so far, I have not yet lost anyone close to me to Covid.

          Being in this steady cold rage instead of a more normal quick and hot rage is different. I might even call it interesting.

  3. mrsyk

    “It’s time for Chris Christie to…….”

    A: Show the world how to eat a New York slice.
    B: Step slowly away from the fridge, hands in the air.
    C: Crush the competition at the Nathan’s Famous International Hot Dog Eating Contest.
    D: Crawl back under that big rock.

  4. mrsyk

    Interestingly, the “Deer leader” metaphor, wittingly or not, seems to paint the Trump investigations as a fishing expedition, and be ok with that. Hmmm

    1. Robert Hahl

      My wife was a passenger in a car that hit a deer one night. She saw a pair gamboling by the side of the road, seemingly going away from the road as the car approached. Suddenly the doe veered and jumped in front of the car, getting hit but not killed. Next day the driver returned with a gun (and a policeman) to stalk and kill it..

    2. Mark Gisleson

      Russiagate never ended for any of them.

      I’d flip the deer metaphor slightly. Team Biden cannot let Trump escape his courtroom dramas before the next election because if the persecution prosecution ever let up, the DNC’s base would collapse into a puddle of spent indignation. By now the true believerers (stet) must be exhausted.

    3. The Rev Kev

      Maybe the idea is that a cause may have an effect with that deer analogy. If you see one deer, that does not imply that there are no more deer nearby. Or that a predator may not be chasing deer across that road and the one seen is just the first.

      Puts me in mind of what a race car driver said in an interview how you have to look for things that should and should not be there. So if he approached a corner and saw that the audience was not looking at his car but something around the corner he immediately slowed down. The chances were good that another car had come unstuck out of sight behind that corner causing people to look.

  5. Henry Moon Pie

    Al Gore’s TED talk–

    Al deserves to be commended for doing a lot to make the issue of carbon in the air visible in the first place. And his righteous condemnation of Big Oil’s continued efforts to obfuscate and lie about the effects of burning fossil fuels is right on.

    But he persists in the rosy lie that electrifying transportation is possible and effective as a primary strategy. Look up Nate Hagens or Planet Critical on Youtube, pick just about any podcast, and they’ll disabuse of that notion in the first five minutes. He’s also blowing hot air with his sole focus on Big Oil. Yes, they’re awful and deserve to be nationalized for their lying alone, but at this point, they’re just producing what our society demands. We can’t stop producing oil suddenly, We’d be Mad Max in a week or two. We could and should stop exploring, drilling and building new pipelines now*, but that will bring us close to Mad Max unless we have rationing policies in place along with definite plans for completely changing our agricultural systems, manufacturing systems, home heating and cooling systems, not just transportation. And we’d better put a ban on new construction–especially new road construction–in the absence of a showing of extraordinary circumstances. Making and pouring concrete is a big carbon emitter, and the last thing we need are more roads for people to drive on.

    It makes no sense to put all the focus on fossil fuel production when a President reduces the Strategic Petroleum Reserve by about a third to keep voters happy. There must be a come to Gaia talk with American voters about the realities of the situation without resorting to fanciful tech fixes like fusion or direct air carbon capture.

    * There are actually two aspects to maintaining production levels. The first is new drilling which the International Energy Association differentiates into shale and regular. The second is using enhanced secondary and tertiary recovery in existing oil fields. This IEA web page contains a chart labeled “Global oil demand by scenario between 2010 and 2040, and declines in supply from 2019.” (second chart down) It’s a bit of a shocker. Current global production is a little over 80 billion barrels a day. With no new drilling, that is estimated to drop to 60 billion barrels by 2030. Fill up your SUV at that price with 25% less oil being produced. With no new investment in secondary or tertiary recovery, it would drop by half just by 2030.

    So Al’s rants against Big Oil are a bit disingenuous. Houston, we have a big, big demand problem.

    1. Carla

      @Henry Moon Pie — thanks for this.

      I stopped listening to Al when he said “We’re making tremendous progress and it starts with the Inflation Reduction Act right here in the United States.” That was enuf for me.

      And HMP — If you’d like to be in direct contact, email me at CHduplex@Simmertildone.net

      I lost all the contacts from our meet-up with Yves in one computer disaster or another.

      1. Robert Gray

        > I stopped listening to Al when he said …

        It’s a good thing that Mr Gore is seldom in the news nowadays; neither is the Rev Sharpton nor that late Sicilian gangster from Chicago. Because … in many fonts ‘Al’ is indistinguishable from ‘AI’, as in Artificial Intelligence. I saw your comment first, before noticing that it was a reply to HMP, and that’s what I thought. It made sense to me, because I (too) have stopped listening to A.I. :-)

  6. Val

    “abnormally precise prior expectations during Bayesian perceptual processing”

    That’s training, folks. [rimshot] ha ha ha ha.

    All things considered except uncontrolled state biowarfare experiments, expression vector injuries and Bayesian indemnification.

    In your Bayesian perceptually processing face.

    Are these people seeing patients?

    It seems yes, depends on what you mean by “seeing”.

    Are excess mortality graphs with unlabeled axes an example of Bayesian perceptual processing?

    Please wait over there by the refrigerated truck.

  7. Jeff W

    “One doesn’t ‘weave through’ complex issues, like a running back weaving through the defense; one weaves together.”

    I dunno—one might “weave through” issues if one is attempting to avoid really touching on any of them. It suggests a bit of verbal agility, which is not what comes to mind when I think of President Biden.

    And I think “…his ability…have played out’ (rather than “has”) makes the sentence even more difficult to scan than the typical sentence by Vice President Harris.

    1. Screwball

      I don’t care if he can weave through complex issues like Barry Sanders running through a defense. I don’t trust or believe anything he says, along with anyone in his pathetic, useless party, about anything. That goes for the other side too.

      McConnell just kicked Biden for not being fast enough doling OUR money to Ukraine, and will continue to back this effort, and hopes the rest of his party will too (at least he didn’t freeze up this time). This I do believe as Blinken was just over there promising more money.

      While tent cites sprout like weeds, 61% of American’s live paycheck to paycheck, the border is still wide open, our infrastructure is in shambles – but let’s get Trump, the Jan 6th people, Musk, or whatever the flavor of the day is.

      All these people can go straight to hell. None of them deserve our vote. What a complete $hitshow.

    2. Mark Gisleson

      When one is making a tapestry…

      I think in lieu of weaving, I would have gone with trying to piece things back together. Sometimes I get to hold the gluestick. It smells pretty.

  8. Robert Hahl

    My wife was a passenger in a car that hit a deer one night. She saw it jogging along the road seemingly unperturbed as the car approached. Suddenly the deer veered left and jumped across the road, getting hit but not killed. Next day the driver returned with a gun (and a policeman) and killed it.

  9. petal

    For a bit of afternoon watercooler fun today, a Blind item from CDAN: “The mainstream media is finally reporting what I have been telling you for a year. The state A+ lister is running for the A++ list job. The oil family, led by the former A- list actor already has quietly received commitments for $500M in donations with another $250M ready to go depending on performance. For that kind of money, that would be one hell of a quid pro quo.”
    It means Newsom and the Gettys.

    And for more weird covid-watching fun(?), check out the NH wastewater page, and click on Durham(where UNH is). Pretty wild.

    1. Matt Dorsey

      In case people are not aware:

      Links that open up for each family consigliare

      “The front-runner’s opponents have attacked him for his connections. During the primary, two of his Democratic rivals, Antonio Villaraigosa and John Chiang, painted Newsom as the beneficiary of wealth and privilege. John Cox, his GOP opponent in the November election, reiterated the theme in a new website titled “Fortunate $on.” And an independent expenditure committee supporting the Republican spent a quarter-million dollars late last month on an ad calling Newsom “a child of privilege, his path greased by family and political connections and billionaire patrons.”


      “In 10 years”, Mayor Gavin Newsom pledged on June 30, 2004, “the worst of San Francisco’s homeless problem will be gone.”

      “The most seriously ill homeless people will be moved indoors, clearing downtown streets of in-your-face transients who were startling residents and tourists alike. Emergency shelters will cease to exist because nobody would need them, he said. And new arrivals to the streets will be helped immediately.”

      “This is a dramatic shift,” Newsom announced as he unveiled his “Ten Year Plan to Abolish Chronic Homelessness.” “This won’t all happen tomorrow. But it will get done.”

      Major league hypocrisy and a corrupt newscum bag into which bribes may be dropped.

  10. JM

    WI’s wastewater has culled a fair number of towns that hadn’t reported their numbers in some time, I don’t know exactly but I’d guess it was around 20-30% of the total list just a couple weeks ago. Currently there are 43 locations reporting, and 12 are showing a “significant” increase over the past week. Levels for the state are about equivalent to mid April at ~50 million gene copies/person/day.

  11. Suzon

    I’ve been perplexed for a long while about the Iowa Covid-19 Data Tracker weekly death rates that you post every afternoon — why are they not showing a similar increase during this latest surge comparable to the increase in wastewater or hospitalizations? The death rates from past surges were not discrepant like this.
    Yesterday I played with the Iowa data tool and found something surprising (or not surprising at all, if you believe that “they” are truly trying to hide the worst of it for the economy’s sake…) Bottom line: If you go to the “Timeseries” tab at the top of the maps section and use the dropdown filter to highlight the cause of death category “Symptoms, signs, and abnormal clinical & laboratory findings”, you will see a flat rate of about 600 deaths per week in this category from 2014 until September 2022 and then an exponential increase afterwards, such that the current rate of death from this particular cause is now 3600 per week. If you add these deaths to those attributed to Covid as the underlying cause (not even counting those defined as an “Covid-19 Additional cause” or even cardiovascular deaths), you will find that the combined death rate is currently at its highest point since March 2022 — larger than the past two surges — and now closely tracking the wastewater data as it presumably should. I would attach the figure if I knew how.

    1. ChrisRUEcon

      Exactly this …

      “COVID is mild” is the grandiose lie that underpins what you discovered. COVID kills by weakening a person’s immune (T-Cell exhaustion!) system, vascular system (spike-protein!) and organs (micro-clots!). It’s the sequelae!

  12. Wukchumni

    Has there been a Speaker of the House who ever went back to being an ordinary boring Congressman?

    …asking for My Kevin (since ’07)

      1. Pat

        They usually, including in Pelosi’s case become the minority leader. Now she has supposedly stepped down from even that but since it is one of her minions in the spot…

    1. dommage

      Assume you meant a Speaker who went back to being an ordinary boring Congressman, despite his party having a majority in a succeeding Congress. So Pelosi would count only if her party won a majority in a future Congress, and did not choose her as Speaker.
      By that standard, Samuel Randall of Philadelphia (Democrat) was such an ex-Speaker then ordinary boring Congressman of the majority party.
      He had been Speaker for the last session of the 44th, and for the 45th and 46th Congresses (1876-1881). When the Democrats again had a majority in the 48th Congress they chose Carlisle of Kentucky (supposedly quite a drunk) who continued as Speaker for the 49th and 50th Congresses (1883-1889).
      Randall returned to being an ordinary member in the 48th-50th. He was a protectionist; in the ’80s they were very much a minority among the Democrats nationally, but not in Pennsylvania.
      Michael Hudson’s favorite 19th century U.S. economist Samuel Nelson Patten got his first major academic job at the new Wharton School of UPa (he later became Dean) as a protectionist at exactly this time.

  13. P-100 question

    Hi everyone I need to get a p-100 full face respirator for covid prevention at work, with the eye protection and everything. I am looking at the ”GVS SPR660 Elipse Integra Low Profile Mask with Goggle with Filters for Dust, Organic Gases and Vapors, M/L” on amazon. It comes in two sizes, S/M and M/L. I am a normal weight like 170 pound male 6 foot tall caucasian, so I am guessing that the M/L would fit me best. I figure I would ask here if anyone has any experience with this particular respirator, whether it is comfortable for long work shifts, whether it fogs up on the face/eye shield to the point it is blinding, and also what size would probably fit me best. I had been using 3M 8210 N-95s but I got a rash on my face that may have been ringworm, on my eyes and directly beneath the eyes and those masks were really irritating the rash to the point it would not heal so I had to stop working for awhile to let it heal. I think the chafing from wearing the 8210s for like 10 hours a day for literally a year straight allowed a ringworm infection to take on the broken skin, and hot moisture build up in the mask promoted its growth. I used an otc antifungal cream and it cleared up after 3 months or so, so I figure it was ringworm but never got it tested. Hoping to avoid that happening again with a better respirator. Thank you for any help!

    1. chris

      For all of those style of respirator, you need an actual fit test. You should also prove that you have the pulmonary capacity to perform what ever activities you need to perform with the mask on. They’re really not intended for all day wear. If you have any kind of facial hair you will need to shave it off. Those goggles do fog, but that depends on a lot of different circumstances. You can get anti-fog solution for the interior if needed.

      It sounds like you should visit an occupational therapist or medical practice to get fit tested and discuss your concerns with the effects of long term use of this kind of PPE. Good luck!

    2. Yves Smith

      I have used the GVS half-face mask. Often. I prefer them to N-95 on planes despite the Darth Vader look.

      They pinch your face more than a N-95, but they are designed for use in an industrial setting where people are moving about and are easier to breathe through than an N-95. I sleep in them on planes rather than an N-95 for that reason.

      Contra chris, I doubt they need to be fit tested due to the soft plastic all around the mask which is designed to make a seal against the face, PROVIDED you have the straps tight enough to pinch the face. You do need to be attentive that the straps are pulled through pretty well. If you take the mask off a lot (like you go outside to drink some water or eat), the straps can loosen in the clips and pull out when you are trying to put it back on.

      For an informal test, go to a basement garage or a gas station. If you can’t smell the fumes, it is working well.

      As for size, it is NOT a matter of body size but size of face/head. I have a big head (I wear the largest standard man’s hat size) and I need the ML even though I weigh 130 lbs, I suspect most men would need a ML.

      I also think all the concerns about mask use and CO2 levels are exaggerated. I work out in an N-95 and the only problem is my face sometimes gets very damp. I have not seen any impact on my perceived exertion level or how hard I actually do work out. If you are worried, you can buy a pulse oximeter to check your blood ox levels. They are good to have around regardless.

      1. chris

        Yves, it’s about the seal and how it changes as you move and breathe. Soft plastic isn’t a guarantee of anything.

        I’ve worn these while doing construction activities. Depending on the make and model of respirator I’ve gone up or down sizes to maintain the desired fit for positive and negative conditions. If you don’t care about maintaining a good seal, then I guess it doesn’t matter.

        When I wear these, it’s because of various contaminants like asbestos, coal dust, toxic fumes, etc. I have to have a good seal. That’s why I go to an occupational health center for the fit test. They hook up lines to the mask for inhalation and exhalation and measure the pressure difference so the effectiveness can be verified and they certify my lungs are good enough to wear the mask when performing the duties I have. I understand that might be a pain for other people to go through but I would never recommend someone use a piece of equipment like that if they didn’t know.

        If at all possible, I’d suggest that the person who had the problem with the lower grade respirators figure out why he had such a bad reaction to them rather than go this route for regular use. Good luck with whatever you want to use.

        1. P-100 question

          Thanks for the response chris,
          ”You should also prove that you have the pulmonary capacity to perform what ever activities you need to perform with the mask on”
          I don’t smoke and have healthy lungs and the labor is cooking/cleaning type stuff so nothing requiring heavy exertion, so that should not be an issue. Also would be working inside for several hours, then a break outside with respirator off, then put back on for couple more hours etc, so I would get breathing breaks every couple of hours. I shouldn’t need to turn my head all that often, probably will turn/move my head about around the same as one would at a desk job.
          ”I’d suggest that the person who had the problem with the lower grade respirators figure out why he had such a bad reaction to them”
          I think I may have gotten the rash from the 3M 8210 N-95s because of the sandpaper-y nature of the fibers, there is a foam piece to protect the wearer from chafing and to get a good seal on the nosepiece of the 8210, but just above the foam piece there is a 3/4 of an inch area that is the sandpaper-y fibers, I think that 3/4 inch area is what causes the thinner skin under my eyes to get irritated after extensive use. I figure a smooth plastic nosepiece/seal will fix that problem.
          The only concern I have with the use of this type of PPE is the rash issue on the thin skin underneath my eye, other than that I do not have any problems with wearing it for extended periods.
          One more question comes to mind, I wrongly thought all P-100s filtered everything equally, but on Amazon there is a chart of all of the ellipses available for sale and what they do and do not filter. There is:
          Silica Dust
          Wood Dust
          Cement Dust
          Coal Dust
          Metal Dust
          Acid Gases
          Organic Vapors
          Only two of the ellipses filter everything on this list. Would it be best for me to get one of those two to ensure that they filter covid particles? Or will any of the P-100 ellipses suffice for covid?

      2. P-100 question

        Hey Yves thanks for the info, two questions about the GVS:

        I wrongly thought all P-100s filtered everything equally, but on Amazon there is a chart of all of the GVS elipses available for sale and what they do and do not filter. There is:
        Silica Dust
        Wood Dust
        Cement Dust
        Coal Dust
        Metal Dust
        Acid Gases
        Organic Vapors
        Only two of the GVS elipses filter everything on this list. Would it be best to get one of those two to ensure that they filter covid particles, or will any of the P-100 elipses suffice for covid?
        Also, what model of the GVS mask are you using? There are six types on Amazon, not sure which I ought to use. I will be taking it on and off regularly throughout a work shift, so thanks for the heads up about, ”the straps can loosen in the clips and pull out when you are trying to put it back on.”

  14. John Beech

    Suzon wrote in part . . . I’ve been perplexed for a long while about the Iowa Covid-19 Data Tracker weekly death rates that you post every afternoon

    in reference to the Iowa COVID link:
    Iowa COVID-19 Tracker, August 30:

    But I can’t find what Suzon is talking about with respect to;
    – Timeseries tab
    – Maps Section
    – Dropdown filter to highlight the cause of death category
    Symptoms, signs, and abnormal clinical & laboratory findings

    . . . none of these things.

    So kindly more carefully describe where to find your results, please.

    1. LaRuse

      You have to scroll about a quarter of the way down the page below the 2023, 2022, 2021, and 2020 bargraps, and below that, you will come to “Weekly Provisional Deaths 2014 to Present.” There are tableau tabs you can click on and then filters for various conditions you can add or remove from the graph. I am not smart enough to make it all tell me something I can understand, but I get the gist – lots of people are dying.

      1. Suzon

        When you load the page, look for the section with the maps (“Annual reported deaths per 100K people”), just below the top section with all the bar charts. Above all the actual maps, click on the reddish (pinkish?) box labeled “Timeseries”. That will replace the maps with an interactive plot of death rates by week by cause. There is a pull-down menu on the right-hand side that lets you select which cause of death to include on the plot.

        The specific cause “Symptoms, signs, and abnormal clinical and laboratory findings” is not included in the default data plotted when you switch to the timeseries — in fact, you have to click at least a half dozen buttons to isolate it from cancer, liver disease, etc., But once you see it on its own, it’s hard to avoid the conclusion that this is a neat new way of hiding actual Covid deaths — this category has never before been a significant cause of death before Covid became a problem for the elite way of life.

  15. The Rev Kev

    “Supreme Court to Decide Whether to Kick Trump Off Ballot”

    Wouldn’t be the first time that the Supreme Court decided who would be President. They did that in Florida back in 2000 with George Bush. But that other article called “Is the President an ‘Officer of the United States’ for Purposes of Section 3 of the Fourteenth Amendment?” did make me wonder. Wasn’t there a Republican theory at the time that when a President takes his oath of Office, that in order to carry it out that duty that the Presidency has to be not a part of the Constitutional government but actually be above it – meaning the Senate, House & Supreme Court – in order to fulfill that duty? I think that it was called the unitary executive theory. So what happens if Trump argues that line in Court? Will Biden’s lawyers really fight that idea? They would love it-


    Commiserations on your busted screen and espresso machine. As they say, it never rains but it pours.

    1. Not Again

      • Interesting that Benson wants to join hands with other Democrats so they can jump off the cliff together. I wonder if anybody is orchestrating that effort.

      Ms. Benson wants to be the Dem party nominee for governor in 2026. Just as you can’t be too Catholic to work in the Vatican, one cannot be anti-Trump enough for any Democrat.

      This is just part of her publicity campaign for her next office.

  16. anon in so cal

    Politics of eugenics:

    “Fauci claimed, “96 percent or more of the population has some degree of immunity, either through prior infection or through vaccines, or both.” He continued:

    I doubt very seriously whether you’re going to see the hospital and death surge that we’ve seen in the past, even if we get a surge of infections. Because there’s enough fundamental community-level protection, that even though you’ll find the vulnerable will fall by the wayside, they’ll get infected, they’ll get hospitalized and some will die, it’s not going to be the tsunami of cases that we’ve seen.

    Who are these “vulnerable” people, who will be left to die on the side of the road?

    In the United States, approximately 45.4 percent of the population are at heightened risk of complications from COVID-19 due to having at least one of six comorbidities, including cardiovascular disease, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), diabetes, asthma, hypertension and/or cancer. When factors exacerbating the risk from COVID-19 like autoimmune diseases, obesity, an organ transplant or being over 65 are added, the list of groups that will be left to “fall by the wayside” grows to significantly more than half of the population and approaches two-thirds.”


    (apologies if this was already posted)

  17. LaRuse

    Wanted to share this profound op-ed in today’s Virginia Mercury (a really top notch media source in Virginia) written by a now completely disabled, formerly fit and active Virginia state employee who lays out in detail how his health and life have been destroyed by Long COVID. He lays out in detail the failures of research and funding on Long COVID. It is well written and painful to read.
    I wish every single person who has ever asked me why I keep masking still would read this. I am not scared of dying of COVID. I am scared of having to live like this 38 year old with Long COVID. I hope he can regain his former health.

  18. cnchal

    > The slant six wasn’t the only good thing about the Dodge Dart….

    the other was three on the tree.

    New cars are dead to me. Salespeople never extol the spying prowess of the iron being sold so customers have no clue this is happening in real time as they drive. Instead of an airbag warning when you flip down the sun visors there should be a “the car is spying on you warning”.

    What’s the end point of all this digital crapola? A police ride along camera installed on every dashboard, authorized to drain your bank account for every minute infraction it detects, with the only escape being ceding driving to an autonomous vehicle. Then you will be charged extra for closing your eyes to the infinite loop of idiotic commercials glaring from the screens instead of windows.

  19. economic cannon fodder

    On this -Retail: “If You’ve Got a New Car, It’s a Data Privacy Nightmare”
    My question is: How are the wealthy/rich getting around this? They certainly don’t want to have their data hoovered up like the commoners? Thanks

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