2:00PM Water Cooler 9/7/2023

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Just to follow up on my whinging from yesterday: My second laptop’s screen is now repaired, so I am once again doubly redundant in production facilities for NC. And I ran a search on clogged filters for espresso machines; second from the top was a video from a very distinguished-looking Italian gentleman standing in front of a vast enamelled and gleaming espresso-emitting apparatus. His advice, delivered about three minutes in, was that most espresso machines come with two filters, so if one filter becomes clogged — follow me closely, here — you can use the other one. He was right! Yes, I’m using the double filter instead of the single one, but perhaps that’s not so bad? Sometimes I think I’m not in my right mind. Then it passes over, and I’m as lucid as before!

Patient readers, right now this reads more like a post than Water Cooler, because I got wrapped around the axle doing thermometers and such. However, CDC’s latest maleficence had to be dealt with, and it turned out to be even worse than I had thought. I will add more shortly. –lambert

* * *

By Lambert Strether of Corrente.

Bird Song of the Day

“Chiffchaff male singing.” No location. What kind of schema are they using?!

* * *


“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

“Colorado Lawsuit Becomes Latest To Challenge Trump’s 2024 Candidacy Under 14th Amendment” [Forbes]. “Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW), a left-leaning government ethics watchdog that’s opposed Trump in the past, filed a lawsuit in Colorado state court on behalf of Colorado voters, which argues Trump should be barred from the ballot due to his role in the January 6, 2021, riot at the Capitol building…. [Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson] acknowledged on CNN Tuesday that she ‘potentially’ may have to make a decision before the Supreme Court can clarify the issue, but did not say how she believed she’d rule on the issue. Colorado Secretary of State Jena Griswold (D) said she hoped the CREW lawsuit would ‘provide guidance to election officials on Trump’s eligibility,’ and her office noted Colorado law is ‘unclear’ on how to consider candidates’ eligibility under the Constitution. Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger (R), who rejected Trump’s efforts to overturn the state’s 2020 election, said in a Wall Street Journal op-ed Wednesday he firmly does not believe election officials can reject Trump or other candidates from the ballot, describing the 14th Amendment strategy as trying to ‘short-circuit the ballot box.’ Raffensperger previously rejected an effort to disqualify Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.) in the 2022 midterms.”

“Lawsuit seeks to block Trump from appearing on Colorado’s 2024 ballot” [Colorado Sun]. “The lawsuit is part of a national effort by Trump’s opponents to disqualify him from running again in 2024…. Colorado’s presidential primary will be held on March 5. The ballot must be certified by the Colorado Secretary of State’s Office in January, meaning the lawsuit will have to move quickly for the plaintiffs to be successful.” • A national effort, eh?

* * *

“The 14th Amendment Trump Panic” [The Editorial Board, Wall Street Journal]. Godzilla (WSJ editorial board) v. Mothra (the Federalist Society). “For Mr. Trump’s opponents, these risks are justified because the former President poses a unique threat to U.S. democracy. They’re willing to put democracy at risk in order to save it. But U.S. institutions held up reasonably well despite the strains of the Trump Presidency—even the events of Jan. 6. The transfer of power took place on schedule. Republicans across the government broke with Mr. Trump and supported that transfer. The rioters and organizers are being punished, often severely. We have argued from the moment Mr. Trump entered the presidential contest in 2015 that the way to defeat him is through the ballot box. Voters will get their chance to do it again next year—first in the primaries and perhaps the general election. If Mr. Trump does somehow regain the Presidency, in part because Democrats insist on renominating a weak President Biden, the normal U.S. checks and balances will continue to exist. The consequences of a 14th Amendment panic are likely to be worse for democracy and its institutions than trusting voters and 234 years of sturdy constitutional example.”

“Trump’s insurrection should disqualify him for office” [Mark S. Brodin, Commonwealth Magazine]. “Like Jefferson Davis, who served in the Senate and as Secretary of War during Franklin Pierce’s administration before he betrayed his country to lead the Confederacy, Trump spent months —if not years — planning, preparing, and finally inciting the violent insurrection on January 6, 2021. Unfortunately, Special Counsel for the United States Department of Justice Jack Smith delicately dances around the traitorous events of that horrible day in a four-count indictment charging fraud and obstruction of Congress, in conjunction with the violation of the Ku Klux Klan Act for seeking to disenfranchise voters of color. The indictment never uses the words ‘insurrection’ or ‘sedition’ or ‘treason.’ It’s like telling the story of Noah, but excluding the part about the flood. Legal commentators have praised this as clever strategy and pragmatism — foreseeing a leaner and swifter trial with a conclusion before the 2024 election. But what is the cost of excluding the most heinous and historically consequential part of the story? Future presidents, including Trump himself, may find comfort in knowing that a failed coup will be treated like a stock fraud case, instead of an attempted overthrow of our government.” • “For years, I’m tellin’ ya!” Headline might as well be: “Jack Smith Wusses Out.” Dude, come on. “Mark S. Brodin is the Michael & Helen Lee Distinguished Scholar and former associate dean for academic affairs at Boston College Law School.” Oh.

“Constitutional debate over Trump’s eligibility to run more extensive than realized” [Politico]. “The idea of barring former President Donald Trump from seeking the presidency on grounds that it would violate the 14th Amendment may be an increasingly catchy constitutional argument pushed by a segment of legal scholars and activists. But it turns out election officials have been discussing how to handle it for months. ‘We have been thinking about this in my office for quite some time, before the start of the year, assuming that this will play out,’ Colorado Secretary of State Jena Griswold said in an interview. Underscoring the seriousness with which she has been treating the topic, Griswold noted that ‘there have been conversations among secretaries” about it.” • And theyt haven’t already decided to hold hands and jump?

“The Fourteenth Amendment Does Not Automatically Prevent Trump’s Re-election” [Law Office of Michael J. Kennedy]. Wild About page. More on whether a President is an “Officer of the United States”

Professor Blackman, a juristic equal [at least] of Professor Tribe and Judge Luttig, whose work and research is current, has written clearly and authoritatively, and I need do nothing more right now than to quote his insightful position:

“There is a recent Supreme Court opinion discussing the scope of the Constitution’s “Officers of the United States”-language. In Free Enter. Fund v. Pub. Co. Accounting Oversight Bd. (2010), Chief Justice Roberts observed that “[t]he people do not vote for the ‘Officers of the United States.'” Rather, “officers of the United States” are appointed exclusively pursuant to Article II, Section 2 procedures. It follows that the President, who is an elected official, is not an “officer of the United States.”

“Moreover, there is [more]good authority to reject the position that Section 3’s “officer of the United States”-language extends to the presidency. In United States v. Mouat (1888), Justice Samuel Miller interpreted a statute that used the phrase “officers of the United States.” He wrote, “[u]nless a person in the service of the government, therefore, holds his place by virtue of an appointment by the president, or of one of the courts of justice or heads of departments authorized by law to make such an appointment, he is not strictly speaking, an officer of the United States.” Justice Miller’s opinion, drafted two decades after the Fourteenth Amendment’s ratification, is some probative evidence of the original public meaning of Section 3’s “officer of the United States”-language. Miller’s opinion is some evidence rebutting any presumption of post-1788 linguistic drift with respect to the phrase “officer of the United States.”

This matters, since Section Three of the Fourteenth Amendment reads: “who, having previously taken an oath… as an officer of the United States… shall have engaged in insurrection.” So, what do the originalists have to say about this? Baude and Paulsen:

All I can say is that one of the advantages of “originalism” —

It is the rule as drafted and enacted in the written text that counts, whether it goes further than the purposes supposed to have inspired its adoption, or even whether it falls short of fully achieving those purposes. While evidence of intention, usage, purpose, and political context can assist in ascertaining the meaning of the enactment, it is that objective meaning that constitutes the law, not the ostensible purposes or motivations that supposedly lay behind it. This is “originalism,” our system’s basic method for interpreting the Constitution and its amendments

— is how very, very supple is turns out to be, especially when there are important political objectives to be achieved.

* * *

“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.


“Alabama exposes a new constitutional landmine on abortion” [MSNBC]. “After the Supreme Court decimated abortion rights last year, Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshall proclaimed that organizations that helped Alabama abortion seekers access services out of state could face criminal conspiracy charges in Alabama…. Marshall argues that he can prosecute speech that facilitates abortion travel just as he could ‘prevent a mobster from asking a hitman to kill a rival.’ Here, too, it’s hard to predict what Marshall and others like him will be able to get away with. The law on crime-facilitating speech is murky. Some lower courts have held that intentionally or knowingly providing information that might help another commit a crime is not protected by the First Amendment.”

Biden Administration


Time for the Countdown Clock!

* * *

“Trump’s big lead: Among nonvoters, many agree with him that elections are rigged” [USA Today]. “Donald Trump’s argument that the 2020 election was rigged has reinforced the views of Americans who are already disenchanted about politics, one factor in their inclination not to cast a vote next year − that is, a vote they would probably cast for him. An exclusive USA TODAY/Suffolk University Poll of unlikely voters − those who are eligible to vote but say they probably won’t − give Trump a lopsided edge over President Joe Biden among Americans who are deeply skeptical of politics and government.”

* * *

“DeSantis built a massive network of big donors. Many have ditched him [Politico]. “Of the 50 donors who gave at least $160,000 in the years leading up to his 2022 reelection campaign, only 16 — less than a third — provided funds to the super PAC Never Back Down, which can receive unlimited contributions, through the end of June. Eight other major donors gave directly to his presidential campaign but not the super PAC. The top 50 list includes five donors who are now financially supporting rival presidential candidates. And of those who are giving money to the DeSantis campaign or his super PAC, five are splitting their funds with other candidates. The inability of DeSantis to convert more of his gubernatorial donors into presidential ones is emblematic of a larger shortcoming of his current campaign. And it presents particular problems for the governor precisely because his operation has leaned so heavily on the super PAC to perform basic campaign functions.”

* * *

“Blind Item #8” [Crazy Days and Nights (Petal)]. A gossip site. “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.” • Newsom.

* * *

On Cornel West’s choice of the Greens:

The People’s Party platform looks good, the GP platform is mush. But who has the ballot access? The GP, so it looks like West made the right choice.

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.

* * *


“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!

* * *

“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.

* * *

Elite Maleficence

I suppose I should be grateful Mandy deigned to butcher a PR event wearing a mask:

Butchered because: (1) The mask uses ear-loops, not head-straps, so the fit is likely to be bad; (2) the mask is not NIOSH-approved — CDC’s own agency! — since there’s no label, so the CDC’s crack staff of PR people just handed her any old mask; it’s not like she’s modeling behavior or anything; (3) either (a) it’s not necessary for medical personnel to mask, or heck, even be in uniform, or (b) the photo is staged, or (c) both; and (4) the cream of the jest, she’s wearing a mask to get putatively vaccinated for the flu. Of course, Covid is just ike the flu, so it doesn’t matter.

The CDC updated its main Covid page on August 26, 2023, so let’s look in on our old friends. Here is the landing page:

As you can see, CDC’s designers have rigorously reflected CDC’s Covid policies. [1] Vaccines are prioritized; they get pride of place. [2] Prevention (“protect yourself and others” through non-pharmaceutical interventions are de-emphasized; they require a click-through. Most people won’t click through. [3] There is, as it were, a “treatment pipeline”: symptoms, testing, treatment and medications. Never mind asymptomatic transmission, which also causes neurological and vascular damage, and Long Covid; [4] Grouping Covid-19, RSV, and the flu together suggest that Covid is like the flu; it’s not; [5] County hospitalization is a lagging indicator, so you could encounter a lot of infected people before masking up or taking other precautions,

I clicked through to the “How to Protect Yourself” page. Here again, CDC’s designers make a really strong statement:

CDC is telling you that masks and ventilation are not their priorities, nor should they be yours.

Here is the mask section above at a readable size:

Note again that [1] “as needed” is determined by hospital admission levels, a lagging indicator. (If CDC were doing flood management for New Orleans, they would close the floodgates only after the floodwaters were rushing through.) CDC’s artful and repeated “droplets and particles” verbiage (a) reproduced droplet dogma and (b) does not convey the essential: The Covid, being airborne, moves like smoke. [4] “Crowded” is but one of the Japanese 3C’s: Closed, Crowded, Close Contact. For example, in a closed but uncrowded space, Covid could still linger for hours.

Finally, I ran the County Check recommended on the landing page. It was sure hard to find a county whose level rated high — see the Biobot chart for how insane this is — because CDC is still using its infamous “Green Map” for the levels. In any case, I did. Lauderdake County, MS:

Once again, we see at [1] that a lagging indicator, hospital admissions, drives the masking recommendation. (It’s as if I was working a paint booth, and CDC would only recommend that I wear a mask only after the spray had fogged my glasses completely. Instead of just putting one on at the start of the process, ffs).

I CANNOT STRESS ENOUGH: If you follow CDC’s advice, you are not minimizing your chances of becoming infected with Covid, or infecting others. CDC’s advice seems designed to ensure that a proportion of the population is infected. My advice is to adopt a strategy of layered protection*, as advocated many times and many ways at NC, and to carry it out in a disciplined manner, without waiting for CDC’s lagging indicators to kick in. NOTE * Mine is masking, avoiding 3C areas, plus various nasal sprays daily. I also follow case data as best I can. Other readers may have additional layers.

* * *

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

NOT UPDATED 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.


Bellwether New York City, data as of September 7:

Moving up. 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. 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:


Iowa COVID-19 Tracker, September 6:

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: 1,174,467 – 1,174,291 = 176 (176 * 365 = 64,240 deaths per year, today’s YouGenicist™ number for “living with” Covid (quite a bit higher than the minimizers would like, though they can talk themselves into anything. If the YouGenicist™ metric keeps chugging along like this, I may just have to decide this is what the powers-that-be consider “mission accomplished” for this particular tranche of death and disease).

Excess Deaths

The Economist, September 7:

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

Employment Situation: “United States Initial Jobless Claims” [Trading Economics]. “The number of Americans filing for unemployment benefits fell by 13,000 to 216,000 on the week ending September 2nd, well below market expectations of 234,000, marking the lowest level since February.”

* * *

Cash: Alert reader Petal writes:

The War on Cash continues: [My university] installed laundry machines that do not take cash. You have to download an app to your smartphone and link it to your credit or debit card. You can’t turn the machine on unless you do this. Since I refuse to do this, I am back to washing all of my clothing in the bathroom sink and air-drying in the tub. Fun times. I hate these jerks. I wish the economic conditions allowed me to get out of here.

It will be amusing when some 14-year-old hacker in a Mongolian yurt works out a way to brick every cellphone in the world.

* * *

Today’s Fear & Greed Index: 52 Neutral (previous close: 56 Greed) [CNN]. One week ago: 52 (Neutral). (0 is Extreme Fear; 100 is Extreme Greed). Last updated Sep 6 at 1:26 PM ET.

The Conservatory

“TikTok has transformed the concert experience” [Vox]. “It started with simple nostalgia. In the wake of the pandemic, Craig Powers, a 38-year-old researcher from Tacoma, rediscovered his love for his favorite bands and albums. But as Powers dove deeper and deeper into the music world, he found himself not only returning to beloved artists, but discovering new music and albums. This was largely thanks to TikTok, which constantly served him concert clips of stylistically adjacent musicians via his feed, a broad swath of emo, metalcore, and post-punk artists. At the peak of this new/old obsession, however, Powers realized a grim truth about social media: Watching bands on TikTok didn’t put money in those artists’ pockets, and streaming residuals are so paltry that listening to albums on Spotify or YouTube wasn’t enough. If Powers wanted to support all the new bands he was into, he couldn’t just watch concert clips on his feed: He needed to go to the concerts themselves. So Powers, who tells me he never does ‘anything half-assed,’ started out 2023 with a goal of seeing 30 concerts before the end of the year. The journey he embarked on led him to recapture his love of live music, discover even more bands, and hit his goal far earlier than he expected: He took in concert number 30, Weezer, last month. And of course, he documented it all on TikTok, where it all began.” • I dunno. Part of me rebels at the need to use yet another social media app. Still, it seems to me that TikTok is not as malevolent as Facebook. Readers?

“The Rolling Stones debut ‘Angry’ new single, video starring Sydney Sweeney” [New York Post]. • I listened to it; after all, “High Tide and Green Grass” was the first album — remember “albums”? — I ever bought. I don’t know what Jagger has to be angry about; maybe he’s old enough to impart some wisdom? Why not? No emotional complexity to find in this song; if I want that, I can dig out something appropriate in K-Pop (not kidding).

News of the Wired

“Study finds influence of smaller jersey numbers on perception” [ESPN]. Not like a “Jersey Barrier”; like a football jersey. “A peer-reviewed study by UCLA researchers found that perception can be influenced by the associations made between numbers and size through the brain’s cognitive process. The study, which will be published this week in the journal PLOS One, exposed subjects to images of different football jersey numbers to measure their perception of the person wearing it. The smaller the number, the more likely the subject was to perceive a slimmer player.” • Hmm. I guess Robert Parish (“00”) was pretty slim…

* * *

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 TH:

TH writes: “While one is tempted to think this image is all about a pool with a central fountain, my thinking is that this nursery knows how to showcase all their lovely plants, yes? I suspect I will be thinking about this setting all summer.” Sadly, I’ve never managed to create a water feature successfully. Pumps, maintenance….

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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. Laughingsong

      Ah, the Blair Institute, where international swamp creatures go for golden parachutes and eternal plausible deniability.

      Now I must clean up my ejected lunch.

    2. ChrisRUEcon

      LOL @ “Blair Institute”

      One thing I’d love the see the BRICS do is set up an alternate “rules based order” and totally flex it … ;-)

      If Putin can’t travel to South Africa because of the “threat of being arrested”, then there should be a list of places that are likewise unsafe for ghouls like Blair.

      1. The Rev Kev

        If Putin can’t travel to South Africa because of the “threat of being arrested”

        Or maybe something might happen to his plane like a missile. It has happened before. Dag Hammarskjöld would concur.

    1. notabanker

      Family bloggin hell. Stay up to date on your vax. It’s all they got.

      Thanks Mandy!
      Your 50-something 3rd grader.

    2. melvin keeney

      Something everyone should remember. If a real pandemic the military will show up and they won’t be wearing paper or cloth masks.

  1. digi_owl

    Haven’t poked around Tiktok myself, but best i can tell via second hand sources it seems very much the same as Facebook, Twitter, Youtube and on. If one is careless one get a firehose of sewage from the algos.

    As for bands and revenue, the story is as old as time.

    From what i recall reading, it was common for a contract to come with an advance to the artist.

    And then the label would garnish the revenue from the sales to cover that advance, along with various fees for handling the sale and marketing of the releases. Often resulting in the artist seeing little of the revenue for years. Possibly even ending up owing the label if the music didn’t sell well.

    And as streaming picked up, i think the labels has started becoming full time managers of artists. Thus taking a cut not just from the albums released, but also concerts.

    1. Mark Gisleson

      I tried to find some search images of “similar artist maps” but couldn’t so I’m guessing they’re unique to pirate sites where they’re quite common. Tags are also very common and are used by pretty much everybody now so the need for social media recs is more of a social media friend thing but sure, influencers play a role but most social media music memes I’ve seen are not fresh, just finding a new audience.

      Next time you see a jaw-dropping performance in a talent show from some country you couldn’t find on a map? That video probably took years to find you. As culture steps back from Top # absolutism the long tail effect is kicking in hard.

      Your average music review these days is a cut’n’paste of whatever the band said about themselves on their Bandcamp page. Labels are increasingly obscuring dates and basic information from their promotions. Freshness is hard for labels to deliver when half the new releases I see on these sites have release dates that haven’t happened yet (and half the other half cover a range of decades).

      1. Amfortas the Hippie

        for a time, there, the utube algo was pretty good…i snagged all manner of music i’d never heard before…and that is now in the music file(on several large cap flash drives, and 3 laptops—waves to feebs)
        but then…some time after google bought it, the algo’s went to hell.
        recc-ing the same thing i’d listened to a minute ago…or a month ago(and thats without an account).
        interestingly…and perhaps due to my rather wide ranging musical interests(ie: maybe i’m hard to classify)…it took some time for the algo’s to totally crap out after the google invasion.
        since then, i’ve added little new music to the file…mostly stuff from my youth, that plays in my head at odd times.
        got the collected works of Bowie thataway…as well as John’s Honkey Chateau(my fave of his).
        otherwise, it’s stuff i hear on netflix shows…Bosch(one of only 2 american cop shows i actually liked for at least 20 years(other is Justified))…turned me on to Art Pepper.
        after a lifetime of Jazz, i’d never listened to him. Now Modern Art is one of my favorite albums…and doesn’t remind me of anything.
        algo side bar to that turned me on to Mingus…who i’d known about but never really explored.(recent Lost Tapes album is excellent).

        when the algo’s worked, it was great…Huun Huur Tuu to various Uzbek folks music to Nusrit Fatih Ali Khan(!–big hit with the youth at Wilderness Bar) to all the mbrira and shoebox-and-stick guitar work in Africa….all kinds of wild and crazy music.
        another thing that seemed to be emerging back then…re: mention of Bandcamp, etc…was the Dave Matthews Model of Musical Economics(Applied)…self published, self promoted…and touring all the myriad festivals that i didnt even know were a thing, and then relying on word of mouth after that. Made their money touring, and pretty much went anti-metallica and gave the music away on utobe…instead of chasing down good natured and poor pirates like me.
        i thought that was interesting as hell, but never found a studied treatment of the phenomenon.

        1. The Rev Kev

          Gotta watch those algos. You watch just one video by a conservative guy, then for weeks and months after they will put even more conservative videos into your feed with some pretty far down the rabbit hole – and I don’t even have an YouTube account.

        2. ambrit

          Funny old world, but I “found” a lot of music to my liking from listening every Sunday night to “Hearts of Space.” Starting back in the 1980s over the nearest Public Broadcasting station. (Remember when pre-PBS Public Broadcasting was good?) There was a radio station out of Baton Rouge that would play all sorts of French influenced music. That’s where I first heard West African polyrhythms.
          Life is far too short to allow ourselves to get stuck in ruts.
          (Good luck with the feminine companionship search. Just make sure to play David Allen Coe’s “Three Biggest Lies” at the Wilderness Bar for her and all will be jake.)

  2. Mildred Montana

    >It will be amusing when some 14-year-old hacker in a Mongolian yurt works out a way to brick every cellphone in the world.

    In simpler times, we 14-year-olds would punch holes in anthills and then watch the frenzied activity. Same amusement here.

  3. Bugs

    New Stones song – Lambert, don’t you think that opening guitar riff is a bit on the nose “Should I Stay or Should I Go”?

    That was my instinctive reaction.

    The video is very cute, in an LA way.

        1. Bugs

          I don’t think he’s privy to anything that conflicts with his worldview that he would be angry about in the way he might have been in say, 1968. My understanding of the Stones’ inner sanctum is that it’s at least 5 layers away from the average middle class punter.

          There was a great interview with Max Weinberg where he describes the layered gauntlet of lackeys that he had to go through to bring an old jazz drummer who was an idol of Charlie Watts to meet him. Weinberg is Springsteen’s drummer, so imagine that.

    1. playon

      I listened to the song and watched the vid. Pretty disappointing on both counts for, me at least. The song is far from their best work IMO but then they are really old so…

  4. SteveD

    The very first bullet on the CDC site “…safe, effective…” strikes me as demonstrably false in terms of “safe” and at a minimum debatable in terms of “effective”. I mean, even Paul Offit admits they can cause myocarditis.

    1. some guy

      After covering up and diverting attention away from the airborne nature of covid for all this time, can we all agree that ” it is no accident” that the CDC keeps doing this?

      If we can all agree that “it is no accident”, then we are left to wonder why the CDC is doing this.

      Would it be irresponsible to speculate? It would be irresponsible not to.

  5. Henry Moon Pie

    So the NFL is back today, and I’ll skip over all the amazing franchise history stuff the Chiefs are shooting for this year ;) to get to my point. There are always lots of SUV ads run during football games, and they always involve harassing Nature in one way or another. But nearly every ad I’ve seen–and we’re talking a dozen or so, features some SUV driving not across a creek, but up a creek. Where is the ASPCA on even the issue of making these ads? Stuff lives in those creeks, and they don’t have much of a place to go so you can drive your macho machine through somebody’s home in order to feel more manly.

    The best way to cross a creek is barefoot on the rocks, carrying your shoes. Yes, I’ve driven through creeks before, where there was already a trail to took you through as quickly as possible, but to drive up a creek? Who does that?

    I wish brook trout and frogs and salamanders had their own SUVs that they could drive through these idiots’ living rooms and bedrooms. These ads promote a truly insane way of looking at the universe. Apparently, these people are Creationists who believe that somebody put this all here to entertain them and make them feel like hot stuff.

      1. ChrisFromGA

        Hey Wuk – so you’re a Bills fan, for reelz?

        Another fellow Bills fan here. May the suffering end, some day. Preferably before death.

        1. Wukchumni

          My Buffalonian better half called me when we were dating and was despondent as the Bills were getting killed by the Houston Oilers and by the time I got there a comeback done broke out and the rest is history,

          I’ve luckily forgotten all the stiff QB’s
          weve suffered through since Flute.

          InJosh We Trust

        2. Laura in So Cal

          So my family all pick the superbowl before the season begins. This year, my husband picked the Bills vs the Vikings. He said that if this happens someone would break their losing streak. Both teams are 0-4 in their past appearances.

          My husband picked the Eagles for last year so he been pretty good at it.

        3. petal

          Pretty sure most of my family will die off before they get to see the Bills win a SB. I hate to say that, but it’s sure looking that way.

      2. Henry Moon Pie

        As a long time Chiefs fan, these good times are helping me forget when Marv Levy coached the Bills and could always beat Marty Schottenheimer like a drum, even when we had Joe Montana.

        I’d have to say that my guess is that the consensus among Chiefs fans is that Burrow and the Bengals are the toughest competition. For several years now, we’ve heard about Allen, Jackson and Herbert, but it’s only Burrow that got past Mahomes to the Super Bowl. And Brady. That divisional game two years ago when the Chiefs came from behind with 14 seconds left was one of the best ever.

        1. ChrisFromGA

          Ah yes, that game will go down in Bills lore with the “Music City Miracle”, when the Bills just had to kick the ball out of bounds to win the game, but instead they kicked it deep but within the field of play. Leading to a lateral pass from a Titans’ kick returner (I forget the name) to another man across the field. Which was returned for a game winning touchdown.

      3. upstater

        Look at the bright side… NYS taxpayers are picking up $850M of the now $1.7B cost of a new stadium for the Bills. Thank you Kathy Hochul, a true Bills fan…

        I’m so old I remember watching them as a kid for 4 bucks in War Memorial Stadium in the meanest part of town.

        1. Bill Urman

          I believe her husband owns the concessions so that new stadium funded by taxes will be greatly appreciated by all in the family.

    1. Bugs

      Anyone outside the USA who wants to watch legally has been shunted into a new service on dazn.com and it’s absolutely ruined the game experience. So much so that there’s a petition to get back the old version of NFL GamePass. It’s truly a nightmare. We had a great service and the NFL ruined it. Crapification at the International level.

      Here’s the petition in case you’re interested:


      Go Pack Go!

      1. notabanker

        As someone who subscribed overseas and has been trying to cancel my subscription, I applaud the change. It turned out to be the only way to finally stop the billing. There literally was no way to cancel the subscription inside the US.

    2. Michael King

      US and Canadian football (not soccer) = CTE in some form for many players. The Boston University CTE Center has some horrifying data. I was a rabid Cleveland Browns fan for decades but cannot watch this sport anymore. As with Covid, rule #1 trumps an awful reality.

  6. KallieG

    Newsom is the posterboy for California’s preference for central planning and misguided compassion. Keep this greasy lothario away from the white house.


    The evidence used to justify California’s centrally planned, supposedly compassionate polices is “disparate outcomes.” The power of this concept derives from its quantifiable, quasi-scientific veneer. As soon as a statistic is discovered that identifies how some group has collectively achieved less than some other group, a moral imperative is created to correct the injustice. In terms of groups with which to construct these statistical bludgeons, there is infinite material: men vs women, cis vs trans, straight vs gay, and white people vs people of color. In all cases, the former is the privileged oppressor, and the latter is the disadvantaged, underprivileged victim.

  7. Robert Gray

    ‘Influence of jersey numbers on perception’

    heh heh

    > … football jersey numbers to measure their perception of the person wearing it. The smaller the number,
    > the more likely the subject was to perceive a slimmer player.”

    They should have looked at rugby. There, the number a player wears corresponds to the position he or she plays. Numbers 1, 2 and 3 are the front row, typically (especially 1 and 3) the heaviest players on the team.

  8. pjay

    Re the Dore interview with Cornell West:

    My son watched the whole interview and said it was so bad, so full of Trump derangement, and so lacking in *class*-oriented discussion that it might as well been a Biden campaign plug. I haven’t had a chance to check out any clips, and it was only mentioned briefly in passing in this morning’s Links comments. Any one else see this?

      1. Cassandra

        Not sure I can handle another letdown.

        I feel your pain. May I suggest disengaging from presidential politics? The alternative is heavy drinking, which is both expensive and bad for the liver.

    1. aj

      I saw some clips. There was a heated exchange toward the end where Dore calls him out directly for not being more forceful on his class rhetoric and sticking mainly to “Orange Man Bad” politics. Jimmy seemed really let down that Cornel wasn’t willing to take on BOTH parties which triggered some anger. My opinion on West has been that he is mostly an academic and his platform is really lacking in specifics. If he gets the Green Party nod, I’ll probably pull the lever for him just because I refuse to for the other guys but so far I don’t see that he’s done much in the way of organizing that even Bernie seemed to do well on initially in 2016.

    2. poopinator

      I watched for about 10 minutes and bugged on out of it. That’s a fairly succinct summary from what I saw. I’ll still vote for him, but only because that’s the only sane option for me at the moment

    3. Michael Mck

      West needs to be putting forth a constant stream of concrete, common sense policy ideas that appeal to those outside the beltway not saying how much he loves everybody.

      1. Michael Mck

        Btw, I will be voting for him too unless somehow RFKj (the only person able to beat Trump) makes it to the general election or Yves/Lambert/IMDoc throws their hat in the ring.

      2. some guy

        ” Love” is a perfectly legitimate emotion and approach. But ” love” is not the same thing as ” luuhhHHHHhhhv”. I grow tired of the cloying and smarmy referrences to ” peeece and luuhhvvv ” which I heard in the past and keep hearing today.

        I remember hearing for the first time a Bob Dylan song which contained the crystal essence of distilled bitterness. It was such a bracing antidote to all the Peeeeece and Luuhhhv. Its words are not strictly relevant to the general political situation, but I hope there is a way to tap into its spirit of cold rage and deep bitterness.

        And once again I will offer Devo’s ” Through Being Cool” which, while it contains no deep political wisdom, offers a better and more useful psychomental approach to enemies and obstacles than ” Peeeeece and Luuhhhv”. Here is the link.

        There is a severe social capital imbalance between myself and Cornell West. It can be seen in the fact that I know who he is but he doesn’t know who I am, because he has no objective reason to. I have no fame or power or anything. I am just another nameless nobody to him. I may not like it but I accept it in the same spirit of weary resignation to reality in which I accept the fact that “gravity sucks”.

        So here is an imaginary conversation between myself and the Reverend Tenured Full Senior Professor West which will never happen outside the confines of my own brain.

        West: ” blah blah blah-de-blah Brother Some”.
        Me: ” I’m not your brother.”
        West: “Brother Some! All men are brothers”.
        Me: No. All men are strangers. I’m not your brother. I’m just one more stranger you don’t

        This “brother” crap has to go. We live in a leaner tougher meaner age.

  9. skippy

    Ref your espresso machine … Gosh Lambert … having repaired my ex wife’s two machines over the years, after the expense and time after the first time one went one the frits. Yes even after regular descaling. So after her ICH event and all that went with it, I vowed never never again … so I got a Brikka Moka pot.

    Most Moka pots are just stove top coffee brewers, where as the Brikka is an espresso. This is achieved by a cap on top of the inside spout, which puts pressure on the spout, rather than free flowing hot water moving through the coffee up the spout. You get crema rather than just a black coffee, due too the pressure like in a machine. It take only a few minutes and only a rinse clean, has only 3 parts, loss of electricity is not drama as one can use any heat source i.e. gas camp stove or small wood fire. Best bit is you know when its ready because it makes burbling noise, so you can walk away and then remove it once it starts to talk.

    Want frothy milk – ???? – just get the hand plunger milk frother which comes up to temp at about the same time. Did I mention cost, 3 years now and not one drama ….

  10. Ghost in the Machine

    So I watched the video about the Lahaina fires flora linked to. There are some definitely compelling images there. This is the first time I have heard of this conspiracy theory (not a derogatory label for me, some are true). I have had the thought when looking at news images that the vegetation that existed around some of these towns burned did not seem commensurate with the level of destruction, and this video speaks to that. It would be interesting to hear what others think.

    The compelling images include wood fences only burnt around the metal nails, intact but likely dead trees next to ruins indicating very hot fires like melted aluminum and glass, surviving plastics, isolated cars subject to very hot fires etc (theoretically hotter than forest fires). Assuming all the images are legit, which they seem to be. Also, for the Lahaina fire I was also struck by how rapidly investors were calling and the complete lack of federal response. The observation of the ‘cleaners’ with all new vehicles and equipment that came to clean up right after the fires, very x-files if that is true.

    The lack of physics knowledge comes through, but in a way that is actually kind of compelling. The guy talks about weird flames that avoid dry wood, burning water, and trees burning from the inside out. He talks about special types of fire. That is not likely but microwave radiation does interact with metal and water. So it makes sense that things next to metal preferentially burn. Water is a polar molecule and the microwave radiation interacts with the water molecule, spinning it. This is why things containing water heat up fast in a microwave, but the water is not burning.

    His conspiracy includes the potential large scale control of winds which is impossible. They refer to weather control patents and planes which I assume refers to the atmospheric dispersal of sulfate via planes for geoengineering, which can’t manipulate winds. He implies climate change is a hoax. I have noticed that people realizing that powerful interests are using disasters and climate change to move forward agendas (shock doctrine) often translates into them not believing in the underlying disaster. But, both the disaster (climate change) AND the nefarious interests are real.

    The conspiracy also implies co-conspirators at high levels in government (including the governor), the military for the technology and lack of response, corporations, investors, and many workers who may not know what they are doing. A large conspiracy to keep secret. Also the energy required is immense. I don’t know how a satellite could manage it and it would even take large and noticeable equipment on the ground if it exists. Hard to imagine. But the images are troubling enough to warrant further scrutiny. In any case, real or not, it indicates that many people believe the US government is profoundly evil.

    1. mrsyk

      I don’t know. High velocity wind gusts randomly changing direction might explain some of it. It seems suspicious and is feeding my priors, but seems far fetched in technological achievement.

      1. Ghost in the Machine

        Yes, the last 10 years have been especially marked by climate change and the winds were immense. And the conspiratorial project would have to have been executed during the storm, making it more difficult. Seems impossible. In a kind of schadenfreude, I don’t mind these more outlandish conspiracy theories that target elites. Did Blofeld nlike microwave satellites burn their house and kill loved ones? Not likely. But you could argue corruption, incompetence, and profiteering did. And the opportunism following the fire is disgusting. They deserve the hatred.

    2. Ghost in the Machine

      Also, years ago, the 1980s, my grandmother’s truck burned. It did burn hot enough for the aluminum around the engine to melt into a pool. I don’t remember about the glass. And the winds were 60-80 mph in Hawaii. Brutal. It is darkly amusing to me when the powerful are shocked to learn how so many believe they are evil. Well, I have news for them, if you are descending on people right after a disaster to take advantage of them, you are evil.

      1. scott s.

        Well, we’ve had a lot in the media warning about people taking advantage, with no details. The only people being named are the lawyers filing suits. We were treated to daily piling on to HECO/MEC power company, though they finally hit back against the county.

    3. ambrit

      “… it indicates that many people believe the US government is profoundly evil.”
      Rather, many people are discovering just how evil the Government, or better yet, the “special interests” that manipulate the Government, are, and have been for a long time.
      One mundane explanation I saw had to do with the winds involved. Blast furnaces operate on the principle of concentrating the available oxygen source to ‘super charge’ the fire. Given favourable geography and sufficient winds, a blast furnace effect can be produced. The fire storms of WW-2 come to mind; Dresden, Tokyo, etc.

    4. flora

      I think a lot of questions need to be asked about these highly unusual fires. Too many anomalies. Does that make me a Connecticut Theorist? / ;)

      (Ms. Subliminal notes you used the word ‘conspiracy’ at least 7 times in 6 paras. / heh)

      1. flora

        Questions need to be asked about what caused them to behave this way to prevent like fires in the future with better understanding. Nothing CT about that. The simple “brush fire” explanation doesn’t really answer the question, imo.

      2. Ghost in the Machine

        Did I? :) Well, a secret plot put together by a number of people is a conspiracy yes? There are conspiracies to set prices, start wars, etc. that have turned out true. you have to postulate the existence of one (a theory?) in order to investigate its truth. Some speculation is more sound than others. But, conspiracy is such a hard term to avoid!

        The energy involved for such devastation is a huge obstacle for such a weapon. A power plants worth? It would be terrible if it existed. You could easily target anyone. It does take much less energy to damage tissue. Here is an interesting old popular mechanics article about the potential dangers of large antennas and radio and microwave radiation.

        1. flora

          Yes, you did. You might have used the word ‘theory’ as a stand alone. As in, ‘people asking questions are postulating various theories’. / ;)

    5. some guy

      Is there a way to analyze these images and videos to see if they are “real” or if they are deepfake videoshop?

  11. mrsyk

    After exploring the google algorithms I can see that there is a media blackout on US Open mystery bug and US Open Covid. Nothing to see, move along.

  12. lyman alpha blob

    RE: blocking Trump from the ballot

    The Democrat party does realize that anyone other than Trump is likely to wipe the floor with Sleepy Joe, don’t they?

    They still haven’t learned after 2016 to be careful what they wish for.

    1. notabanker

      It doesn’t matter if they can be controlled. Another Bush would be just fine. They can go back to being the loser mafia and complain about how helpless they are because the Reds cut social security while they vote to send more billions to Ukraine.

    2. Michael Mck

      I strongly suspect Trump is the most sure to beat Joe. And the more indignant they get the bigger Trump’s margin in the general will be.

  13. m

    “many people believe the US government is profoundly evil.”

    Hard to think otherwise, if you are paying any kind of attention…..

  14. Jason Boxman

    Pelosi Pushes Back on Calls for Feinstein to Resign

    She suggested that the criticisms of Ms. Feinstein, 90, and questions related to her eventual retirement were gendered.

    These people are absolutely degenerate. No one without a dog in this fight thinks Feinstein is in any way competent to continue to serve; the people that would know best, staffers on the Hill, have already indicated it’s an open secret she’s completely vacant mentally.

    This is not a serious country.

  15. The Rev Kev

    ‘[My university] installed laundry machines that do not take cash. You have to download an app to your smartphone and link it to your credit or debit card.’

    I wonder if your university is getting a kickback for ‘encouraging’ their students to use that app? Officially or otherwise.

      1. The Rev Kev

        Just do it on the quiet if you do, OK? People can get nasty and vindictive when their payola schemes are uncovered.

  16. The Rev Kev

    “Alabama exposes a new constitutional landmine on abortion”

    That should be fun. I can just see it now. Alabama goes into Texas and tells them that their courts have the right to police what happens in Texas. Even though it is about abortion, you think that Texas will be willing to let some other State have authority over them?

  17. Darthbobber

    Maybe it’s very bad of me, but I can’t take anybody seriously who with a straight face equates the kerfuffle of January 6th with the bloody 4 year long war waged against the nation by the secessionists under the leadership of Jefferson Davis.

    I also have trouble with anyone who describes allegedly relevant clauses of the Constitution as “self enforcing”. Sounds good when you say it fast, I guess, but self-enforcing laws are like self-evident truths, perpetual motion machines and the spirit of the law. They don’t exist.

  18. Milton

    Don’t know if anyone reported the All Cause death number from the CDC. In August, it was enumerated there were 179k deaths. This would make it the least deadly month in over 10 years.

  19. Utah

    Re: tiktok

    Browse the teacher subreddit for the hatred of tiktok. I think it’s a dopamine loop that shortens attention spans, others truly think it’s a Chinese conspiracy to mess up America, since their own version sets so many limits, especially on kids. I don’t think any social media is healthy, personally. So… different malevolence.

    If you’re using it for journalistic purposes, it’s probably okay. Using it as a layperson, the algorithm is still an algorithm.

  20. Jason Boxman

    Last para but shocked to see it, CDC won’t say this.

    If you’re worried about catching Covid in the meantime, use the behavioral protections you’ve employed throughout the pandemic: Avoid big crowds; wear a high-quality, well-fitting N95, KN95 or KF94 mask when you’re in indoor public settings; and try to make sure rooms are well-ventilated — even opening a window can help.

    Specifically says N95 ect.


    1. mrsyk

      This is how we roll in Vermont. The Guardian “A Vermont armed robbery suspect who police say eluded capture in the past week in a vehicle, on a stolen bike, on foot and in a stolen sailboat was arrested on Thursday after he was spotted in a kayak on a river, authorities said.”

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