By Lambert Strether of Corrente.
Patient readers, this Water Cooler will be heavy; there’s just too damn much on my beats. But enjoy! –lambert
Bird Song of the Day
Eastern Phoebe, Pinetree Drive, Licking, Ohio, United States. This is great! So much going on!
“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
“Poll: Majority of voters would support disqualifying Trump under 14th Amendment” [Politico]. “The headline result came following a series of questions in the POLITICO | Morning Consult poll on the constitutional amendment, which was adopted in the wake of the Civil War to block former Confederates from being sent to serve in Washington. The first question asks if Americans ‘support or oppose’ that section of the amendment. Broadly, voters agree with it — 63 percent said they either strongly or somewhat support it, which includes a majority of Democrats, Republicans and independents. Just 16 percent said they somewhat or strongly oppose it. But as Trump is introduced in the following questions, respondents separate into their partisan camps. When asked if they believed Trump ‘engaged in insurrection or rebellion,’ 51 percent said either definitely or probably yes, and 35 percent said definitely or probably no. That number is divided sharply on party lines: 79 percent of Democrats — and 49 percent of independents — say that he did, while just under a quarter of Republicans agree. The margins are similar for an additional question that asked if Trump gave ‘aid and/or comfort’ to those engaged in insurrection and rebellion.”
“Citing the 14th amendment, group files lawsuit filed to keep Trump off Michigan 2024 ballot” [Michigan Advance]. “In the complaint, Free Speech For People and the former Michigan Democratic Party chair [(!)] argue that Trump is disqualified from holding public office under Section 3 of the 14th Amendment for his role in ‘inciting and facilitating’ the insurrection [which should also be in quotes] at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021.” But they buried the lead: “Robert Davis, a Detroit activist who frequently files lawsuits against public entities, last month first filed a suit to toss Trump from the Michigan ballot under 14th amendment grounds. That came after he appealed to Democratic Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson, who declined to kick Trump off the 2024 ballot in Michigan. She said she doesn’t have the authority to do so, even if the former president violated the U.S. Constitution’s 14th Amendment, as that was a matter for the courts.”
“Trump’s fight to stay on 2024 election ballot threatens to turn Constitution’s insurrection clause into ‘historical ornament,’ experts say” [Law and Crime]. A good wrap-up of the various cases. This caught my eye: “The former president’s attorneys also argue that since nary a Jan. 6 rioter has been charged and convicted under the federal rebellion statute, 18 U.S.C. 2383, there is no way Trump could have provided ‘aid or comfort’ to insurrectionists as Section III describes them. Notably, however, more than a dozen Jan. 6 defendants have been convicted of seditious conspiracy, or the conspiracy to stop the government from exercising its official duties by force. Many of these same individuals have also laid blame directly at Trump’s feet for inspiring them to act violently on Jan. 6.” • If January 6 had been “insurrection,” the “insurrectionists” would have been charged with that. Do we really believe that the prosecutors picked a lesser charge to be nice? Far more likely they couldn’t prove it.
* * *
“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.
The juice lasts an hour at least, I suppose. I haven’t had time to look at the transcript (at YouTube, and looks to be human-made, not the usual horrid auto-generated kind) so I’ll fall back on this tweet:
JUST IN: Biden appears to not be happy with Elon Musk’s acquisition of Twitter because now people have “no notion” of what information is true.
What he meant to say is how upset he is that the government can no longer control what you see on X.
“They, they, they, they, they go… pic.twitter.com/Fs9eiJ8LUM
— Collin Rugg (@CollinRugg) October 1, 2023
Well, that’s why we need a Censorship Industrial Complex!
Time for the Countdown Clock!
* * *
“Trump heading to trial in 7 civil and criminal cases: A calendar of dates and what to expect” [USA Today]. “The Republican front-runner faces 91 felony counts across two federal cases and two state cases for allegedly conspiring to overturn the 2020 election, falsifying business records and storing hundreds of classified documents at his Mar-a-Lago estate after leaving the White House in 2021. He also faces several civil lawsuits that further complicate his 2024 calendar and will require him to sacrifice his time on the campaign trail to appear in court.” • Costing Trump both money, and more importantly a campaign’s most precious resource: The candidate’s time. Here are the dates:
Missed the pyramid scheme one. The whole piece is worth a read.
“Trump in court for New York fraud trial: live updates” [NBC]. “When asked why he opted to attend the trial’s first day in person, which is was not required to do, Trump responded: ‘Because I want to watch this witch hunt myself.'” • Here he is:
it doesn't look like he's having fun in court (Getty) pic.twitter.com/Oy8rd2Zr76
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) October 2, 2023
Lots of dogpiling on photos like this. But if Trump didn’t have to be there, there dogpiling would seem to be misplaced.
“Error in New York’s Civil Fraud Case Against Trump Is Flagged by Industry Insiders, Who Say Valuation of Mar-a-Lago Cited by Judge Is Based on a Misunderstanding of Basic Real Estate Practice” [New York Sun]. “The ruling of a New York judge that President Trump defrauded banks and insurance companies by inflating the value of his real estate assets is based, in at least one prominent case, on Judge Arthur Engoron’s elementary misunderstanding of basic real estate law, according to industry insiders who have spoken with The New York Sun. The director of the school of real estate at Florida International University, Eli Beracha, tells the Sun that the metric used by the judge is “not a good way to value the property” and is ‘not the right approach.’ He adds that real estate professionals ‘don’t even look at county appraisal data,’ which Judge Engoron relied on in rendering summary judgment. Mr. Beracha adds that ‘any real estate professional would say that market value and county appraisal are not the same thing,’ and that County officials, like the ones in Palm Beach County that Judge Engoron cites, merely perform ‘drive-by appraisals’ that are used to assess taxes, not total value.” • Commentary on Engoron:
Because I can guarantee by his own standards he’s actively committing fraud and more than likely AG James is as well.
— @TrickyDickPol (@trickydickpol) October 2, 2023
It’s very hard for me to believe that a discrepancy between assessed value for tax purposes and value on the market can be the prosecution’s theory of the case. If it is, wowsers.
* * *
“Democrats Still Publicly Back Biden for 2024. Privately, Their Fears Are Growing” [Wall Street Journal]. “Publicly, top Democrats say they support President Biden running for re-election and think he can win. Privately, their worries are increasing but they are resigned to the idea that he isn’t going anywhere, and there is no viable Plan B…. Conversations with more than a dozen leading Democrats revealed the pervasive, but mostly private, sense of worry that hangs over the race. …. ‘In 2020, our campaign focused on real voters—not the cable news green room chatter. What matters is building a strong operation, investing in reaching our coalition, and focusing on November 2024. That strategy worked then, and it will again in 2024,’ said Biden campaign spokesman Kevin Munoz.” • Plus Obama annointing Biden on the Night of the Long Knives, let us not forget.
“The case against Democrats bed-wetting over Biden” [Politico]. Patrick Dillon, a Democratic strategist whose wife, Jen O’Malley Dillon, is the president’s deputy chief of staff: “All of the people whose names get thrown about are all sitting there saying they’re supporting the president. That’s it. Period. End of story.”
* * *
“Newsom picks Laphonza Butler as Feinstein replacement” [Politico]. “California Gov. Gavin Newsom will appoint EMILY’s List President Laphonza Butler to fill the seat of the late Sen. Dianne Feinstein, elevating the head of a fundraising juggernaut that works to elect Democratic women who support abortion rights, according to a person familiar with the decision….. Butler is registered to vote in Maryland but will switch her registration to California….. Butler is a veteran organizer and well-known in Newsom’s orbit. He contemplated hiring the Southern Mississippi native to be his first chief of staff, and she was a one-time partner in the San Francisco-based consulting firm, now known as Bearstar Strategies, with his top political advisers. She has remained a confidant of Vice President Kamala Harris, after serving as a senior strategist on her 2020 presidential campaign. Butler, who is based in Washington and maintains close ties with Los Angeles, had a stint as director for public policy and campaigns at Airbnb and spent nearly two decades as a powerful and well-respected labor leader with the Service Employees International Union…. Butler is the first openly LGBTQ person to represent California in the Senate.” • She checks all the boxes! Love the AirBnB + SEIU connection! On the “switch her registration” part:
Ha! Newsom can’t find anyone who’s actually eligible to take the job so he’s appointing as US Senator from CA someone who lives & votes in MD!
Nothing would make me happier than to see her credentials rejected by the Senate for not being an “Inhabitant of that State”. @KDbyProxy pic.twitter.com/oEbOirPBpq
— Carlos Mucha (@mucha_carlos) October 2, 2023
It is outrageous that Uber and Airbnb have to split just one Senator.
— Matt Stoller (@matthewstoller) October 2, 2023
There are times when I think Stoller is the only voice that retains the spirit and technique of the Blogosphere, c. 2003-2006, and that’s something else that wasn’t on my Bingo card.
“Governor Newsom Selects Political Operative Laphonza Butler to Replace Sen. Feinstein” [Lee Fang]. “Butler has worked for various political interests, including as a senior advisor to Hillary Clinton during the 2016 campaign and for nearly a decade as leader of the SEIU in Los Angeles and statewide. But her direct ties to Newsom include years as a consultant at SCRB Strategies, the consulting firm that has long managed Gavin Newsom’s political campaigns. The firm, now known as Bearstar Strategies, is the most influential among the small number of operatives that dominate California politics…. The company not only helped elect Gov. Jerry Brown, Newsom’s predecessor, but also served as the main consultants for Vice President Kamala Harris and Sen. Alex Padilla, whom Newsom also appointed to office. During Butler’s time at SCRB Strategies, the firm was tapped by Uber to help defeat efforts to allow drivers to win legal status to make them eligible for the minimum wage and to join labor unions. Lobbying disclosures show Uber paid the firm over $185,000. The Uber campaign pitched Butler against her former allies in organized labor, including the SEIU. The gig industry worked closely with former labor organizers in its ultimately successful push to unwind efforts to provide drivers with enhanced rights.” • She’s perfect! Presumably, however, Newsom’s most trusted political lieutenant will not be available for a 2024 campaign? That sends a pretty strong signal, to me.
“Michelle Obama, Democrats’ Savior and Nominee? Don’t Bet on It” [The Messenger]. “it’s almost impossible to see her jumping in to relieve Joe Biden and save the Democratic Party and the country from Donald Trump. Her life is quite nice right now: She and her husband have multimillion-dollar properties on the water in Martha’s Vineyard and just minutes from the White House in Washington. The Obamas enjoy the celebrity side of a post-presidential existence, having signed a huge deal with Netflix and both scoring Emmy nominations, Michelle for The Light We Carry: Michelle Obama & Oprah Winfrey. Why leave that life to enter a political environment that is as ugly and divisive as it’s ever been? And then there’s the consideration of just how bad such a move to install a candidate at the 11th hour would look to the public. To discard the entire primary process to essentially appoint a candidate on the convention floor, without that nominee having to earn one vote in Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina or on Super Tuesday, would be the kind of Soviet-style politics that most voters would roundly reject. But in the end, always follow the money. On that front, Michelle Obama was just paid nearly $750,000 for a one-hour speech on diversity and inclusion in Munich, according to a Daily Mail report. That’s almost double what a U.S. president earns in an entire year. The Obamas have a nice life, a lucrative life, a life that allows them to live like the ex-First Couple version of Jay-Z and Beyonce. Why leave that for a job she may not even want and a job she may not even ultimately be awarded? Michelle Obama: First female president. Looks good on paper, until reality sets in.”
* * *
“Abortion may not be a game-changer for Democrats in 2024” [The Hill]. “There is no doubt that the abortion issue was influential in 2022. Studies suggested it was a motivating factor for women under 50 in the midterm elections that year. … The other problem with giving abortion too much significance in the 2024 elections is that it discounts the effects of polarization on the American voter. Two kinds of polarization are affective polarization, or feeling close to your chosen party and negatively about the opposing party, and policy polarization, or people of different parties choosing very different policy outcomes. Using data from the Meredith Poll from 2017-2023, we analyzed responses to questions about policy issues, including abortion, as well as their perceptions of people affiliated with the two major parties. We found that affective polarization was significantly stronger than policy polarization, even on a divisive issue like abortion.”
Learned nothing, forgotten nothing:
This is pretty much every discussion with a Democrat about why Obamacare was a bad law.
"I don't believe reality." https://t.co/cNhkC6Nf1G
— Matt Stoller (@matthewstoller) October 1, 2023
Democrats en Déshabillé
Patient readers, it seems that people are actually reading the back-dated post! But I have not updated it, and there are many updates. So I will have to do that. –lambert
I have moved my standing remarks on the Democrat Party (“the Democrat Party is a rotting corpse that can’t bury itself”) to a separate, back-dated post, to which I will periodically add material, summarizing the addition here in a “live” Water Cooler. (Hopefully, some Bourdieu.) It turns out that defining the Democrat Party is, in fact, a hard problem. I do think the paragraph that follows is on point all the way back to 2016, if not before:
The Democrat Party is the political expression of the class power of PMC, their base (lucidly explained by Thomas Frank in Listen, Liberal!). ; if the Democrat Party did not exist, the PMC would have to invent it. . (“PMC” modulo “class expatriates,” of course.) Second, all the working parts of the Party reinforce each other. Leave aside characterizing the relationships between elements of the Party (ka-ching, but not entirely) those elements comprise a network — a Flex Net? An iron octagon? — of funders, vendors, apparatchiks, electeds, NGOs, and miscellaneous mercenaries, with assets in the press and the intelligence community.
Note, of course, that the class power of the PMC both expresses and is limited by other classes; oligarchs and American gentry (see ‘industrial model’ of Ferguson, Jorgensen, and Jie) and the working class spring to mind. Suck up, kick down.
* * *
“New York Rep. Jamaal Bowman pulls fire alarm in House office building but says it was an accident” [CNN]. “Bowman’s office said it was an accident, and the congressman told reporters [lol] later Saturday: ‘I was trying to get to a door. I thought the alarm would open the door, and I pulled the fire alarm to open the door by accident. I was just trying to get to my vote and the door that’s usually open wasn’t open, it was closed,’ Bowman added.” • CNN gives a video, but the video doesn’t show the alarm. So I immediately investigated the Washington, DC fire code, “International Fire Code” (there are several). From section 07.4.3: “Manual fire alarm boxes shall be red in color.” So it’s very, very hard to believe Bowman’s story, although apparently the “reporters” found a way. Sadly, all this happened over the weekend, so I didn’t get to look like a genius, and meanwhile some enterprising reporter from the scrappy New York Post covered the story–
“New pics throw cold water on Rep. Jamaal Bowman’s excuses for pulling fire alarm in House building” [New York Post]. You didn’t need pics. All you needed to know was the fire code. But: “The bright red alarm is clearly marked with the word “FIRE” — and is right next to two signs that provide explicit details on how to open the emergency door at the Cannon House Office Building, photos show. ‘Emergency Exit Only’ the signs read. ‘Push until alarm sounds (3 seconds). Door will unlock in 30 seconds.'” • Photos from Breitbart, for [family blog sake]. Meanwhile, if Bowman “obstructed an official proceeding” he could be in real trouble, lol no, what am I thinking.
“Bowman’s fire alarm fallout resonates back home and in Washington” [Politico]. “”It’s not just pulling any fire alarm. It’s pulling a fire alarm in the middle of a proceeding,” [Staten Island GOP Rep. Nicole Malliotakis] said in an interview with POLITICO. ‘[Bowman] was a high school principal. ,’ she said. (He led a middle school, but point stands.)” • Congress really is like high school. First the dress code, now this. What next? Streaking?
Realignment and Legitimacy
X, one of my favorite bands. The lyrics in relevant part:
I must go slow
I must not think bad thoughts
When is this world coming to?
Both sides are right
But both sides murder
I give up
Why can’t they?
I must not think bad thoughts
I must not think bad thoughts
I must not think bad thoughts
Learn something new every day: Woodie Guthrie was a big influence on X, something I never knew ’til I researched this. Here also is an interview with lead singer Exene Cervenka. (And there aren’t only two sides. If there were, there would be no dialectic!)
“I am in earnest — I will not equivocate — I will not excuse — I will not retreat a single inch — AND I WILL BE HEARD.” –William Lloyd Garrison
Resources, United States (National): Transmission (CDC); Wastewater (CDC, Biobot; includes many counties; Wastewater Scan, includes drilldown by zip); Variants (CDC; Walgreens); “Iowa COVID-19 Tracker” (in IA, but national data). “Infection Control, Emergency Management, Safety, and General Thoughts” (especially on hospitalization by city).
Lambert here: Readers, thanks for the collective effort. To update any entry, do feel free to contact me at the address given with the plants. Please put “COVID” in the subject line. Thank you!
Resources, United States (Local): AK (dashboard); AL (dashboard); AR (dashboard); AZ (dashboard); CA (dashboard; Marin, dashboard; Stanford, wastewater; Oakland, wastewater); CO (dashboard; wastewater); CT (dashboard); DE (dashboard); FL (wastewater); GA (wastewater); HI (dashboard); IA (wastewater reports); ID (dashboard, Boise; dashboard, wastewater, Central Idaho; wastewater, Coeur d’Alene; dashboard, Spokane County); IL (wastewater); IN (dashboard); KS (dashboard; wastewater, Lawrence); KY (dashboard, Louisville); LA (dashboard); MA (wastewater); MD (dashboard); ME (dashboard); MI (wastewater; wastewater); MN (dashboard); MO (wastewater); MS (dashboard);
MT (dashboard); NC (dashboard); ND (dashboard; wastewater); NE (dashboard); NH (wastewater); NJ (dashboard); NM (dashboard); NV (dashboard; wastewater, Southern NV); NY (dashboard); OH (dashboard); OK (dashboard); OR (dashboard); PA (dashboard); RI (dashboard); SC (dashboard); SD (dashboard); TN (dashboard); TX (dashboard); UT (wastewater); VA (dashboard); VT (dashboard); WA (dashboard; dashboard); WI (wastewater); WV ( wastewater); WY ( wastewater).
Resources, Canada (National): Wastewater (Government of Canada).
Hat tips to helpful readers: anon (2), Art_DogCT, B24S, CanCyn, ChiGal, Chuck L, Festoonic, FM, FreeMarketApologist (4), Gumbo, hop2it, JB, JEHR, JF, JL Joe, John, JM (10), JustAnotherVolunteer, JW, KatieBird, LL, Michael King, KF, LaRuse, mrsyk, MT, MT_Wild, otisyves, Petal (6), RK (2), RL, RM, Rod, square coats (11), tennesseewaltzer, Utah, Bob White (3).
Stay safe out there!
Look for the Helpers
IM Doc did something similar (albeit at a more professional level). I wonder how many other Covid journals there are? Readers?
The people behind the covid vaccine technology don't vax and relax in crowded public spaces. Worth thinking about https://t.co/avKff0qrAd
— Nate Bear (@NateB_Panic) October 2, 2023
“These Are The Best Masks To Protect You From Anti-Maskers” [Forbes]. Starts out with a summary of HICPAC’s anti-masking crusade, and describes a vicious and reprehensible lecture by “Dr. Shira Doron, chief infection control officer for Tufts. Doron was Shenoy’s co-author, along with Beth Israel Lahey’s Sharon Wright, in writing an article against universal masking in the prominent Annals of Internal Medicine journal.” Commentary: “Stanford sociologist Pantea Javidan, J.D., Ph.D., also viewed Doron’s speech. Via email, she said, ‘Doron’s callous disregard for vulnerable patients based on anecdotes and personal preferences and denying the findings of long Covid research made this one of the most painful lectures I’ve ever attended.’ She added, ‘Her comments [about outrunning the virus] were replete with fatalism and implicit mental health stigmatization, implying that mitigation is an irrational exercise in futility.’ Javidan also expressed concern that some medical leaders are ‘promoting policies that erode health & safety, which render self-protection increasingly difficult.’ We’ve seen this with Drs. Ashish Jha, the White House Covid-19 Response Coordinator, and Mandy Cohen, the CDC director, for example. Both have stressed that ‘We are in a better place’ than last year and minimizing the toll of long Covid. As Javidan concluded, ‘These are not leadership qualities that generate good health outcomes.'” • Perhaps Cohen, Jha, Doron, Wright, and Shenoy have define “good outcomes” in a way we would not expect medical professionals to do.
“SARS-CoV-2 infection triggers pro-atherogenic inflammatory responses in human coronary vessels” [Nature]. “. Our data establish that SARS-CoV-2 infects coronary vessels, inducing plaque inflammation that could trigger acute cardiovascular complications and increase the long-term cardiovascular risk…. We found evidence of SARS-CoV-2 replication in all analyzed human autopsy coronaries regardless of their pathological classification…. Despite these limitations [small study, 2020-2021 strains, older individuals], our study highlights the hyperinflammatory response orchestrated by SARS-CoV-2-infected plaque macrophages and foam cells as a mechanistic link between infection of atherosclerotic coronary vessels and acute cardiovascular complications of COVID-19.” • [chants] “Just a cold!” (Mild!) “Just a cold!” (Mild!)….
“Doctors issue warning to public as Covid-19 has ‘increased risk of silent killer'” [The Mirror (sorry)]. “Brigham and Women’s Hospital has discovered that sepsis is commonly caused by viral infections such as Covid-19. Sepsis can lead to the immune system sparking damage to the body’s tissues and organs. In the most severe cases, it can cause death. Most people ‘equate sepsis with bacterial infections’. However, a new study showed that it had been linked to the SARS-CoV-2 virus. Researchers discovered that .” Hospital Infection Control #FAIL. More: “Lead author Claire Shappell, from the Department of Medicine at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, said: ‘This is reflected in treatment guidelines and quality measures that require immediate antibiotics for patients with suspected sepsis. However, viral infections, including the SARS-CoV-2 virus that causes Covid-19, can trigger the same dysregulated immune response that leads to organ dysfunction as in bacterial sepsis.'” • Of courser, Brigham’s is also prominent in CDC’s HICPAC, which is trying to reduce patient infections. So maybe the administrators at Brigham should talk to the scientists at Brigham.
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.
* * *
Lambert here: Back to tape-watching mode. It looks to me like the current surge has some ways to run, given how wastewater flattened, with the East Coast up. Let’s wait and see.
From BioBot wastewater data, October 2:
Lambert here: Leveling out to a high plateau wasn’t on my Bingo card! Perhaps FL.1.5.1, high in the Northeast, has something going for it that other variants don’t have?
Interestingly, the upswing begins before July 4, which neither accelerates nor retards it.
NOT UPDATED From CDC, September 30:
Lambert here: September 30 is tomorrow, but never mind that. Top of the leaderboard: EG.5 (“Eris“), with FL.1.15.1, HV.1, and XBB.184.108.40.206 trailing. Still a Bouillabaisse…
From CDC, September 16:
Lambert here: I sure hope the volunteers doing Pangolin, on which this chart depends, don’t all move on the green fields and pastures new (or have their access to facilities cut by administrators of ill intent).
CDC: “As of May 11, genomic surveillance data will be reported biweekly, based on the availability of positive test specimens.” “Biweeekly: 1. occurring every two weeks. 2. occurring twice a week; semiweekly.” Looks like CDC has chosen sense #1. In essence, they’re telling us variants are nothing to worry about. Time will tell.
Covid Emergency Room Visits
NOT UPDATED From CDC NCIRD Surveillance, September 23:
Drop coinciding with wastewater drop.
NOTE “Charts and data provided by CDC, updates Wednesday by 8am. For the past year, using a rolling 52-week period.” So not the entire pandemic, FFS (the implicit message here being that Covid is “just like the flu,” which is why the seasonal “rolling 52-week period” is appropriate for bothMR SUBLIMINAL I hate these people so much. Notice also that this chart shows, at least for its time period, that Covid is not seasonal, even though CDC is trying to get us to believe that it is, presumably so they can piggyback on the existing institutional apparatus for injections.
Bellwether New York City, data as of September 29:
Return to the upward climb. 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. September 23:
Lambert here: “Maps, charts, and data provided by CDC, updates weekly for the previous MMWR week (Sunday-Saturday) on Thursdays (Deaths, Emergency Department Visits, Test Positivity) and weekly the following Mondays (Hospitalizations) by 8 pm ET†”. So where the heck is the update, CDC?
NOT UPDATED From Walgreens, September 25:
-4.7%. Another big drop. (It would be interesting to survey this population generally; these are people who, despite a tsunami of official propaganda and enormous peer pressure, went and got tested anyhow.)
NOT UPDATED From Cleveland Clinic, September 23:
Lambert here: I know this is just Ohio, but the Cleveland Clinic is good*, and we’re starved for data, so…. NOTE * Even if hospital infection control is trying to kill patients by eliminating universal masking with N95s.
From CDC, traveler’s data, September 11:
Back up again And here are the variants for travelers:
Now, BA.2.86. FL.1.51.1, interestingly, low.
NOT UPDATED Iowa COVID-19 Tracker, September 27:
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: 1,177,283 –
1,176,771 = 512 (512 * 365 = 186,880 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).
The Economist, October 1:
Lambert here: This is now being updated daily again. Odd. Based on a machine-learning model.
Manufacturing: “United States ISM Purchasing Managers Index (PMI)” [Trading Economics]. “The ISM Manufacturing PMI rose to 49 in September of 2023 from 47.6 in the previous month, well above market expectations of 47.8 to reflect the slowest contraction in the US manufacturing sector in ten months. Despite the softened slowdown, the data still pointed to nearly one year’s worth of consecutive monthly contractions in US factory activity, underscoring the impact of higher borrowing costs from the Federal Reserve in the sector. Despite declining for the 13th month, new orders fell at a significantly slower pace as the evolving supply chain environment drove customers to take on more projects.”
Today’s Fear & Greed Index: 25 Extreme Fear (previous close: 28 Fear) [CNN]. One week ago: 31 (Fear). (0 is Extreme Fear; 100 is Extreme Greed). Last updated Oct 2 at 1:59:14 PM ET.
Rapture Index: Closes unchanged [Rapture Ready]. Record High, October 10, 2016: 189. Current: 187. (Remember that bringing on the Rapture is good.) NOTE on #42 Plagues: “The coronavirus pandemic has maxed out this category.” More honest than most!
Hundreds gather in Breslau, Ont. for unveiling of COVID Wall of Memories | CTV News https://t.co/8JZnxYl3ho
— Dr. Dick Zoutman (@DickZoutman) October 2, 2023
A Covid Wall, like the Vietnam Wall (built in 1982, seven years after the Vietnam war ended; I’m surprised it was that soon). But we don’t do that here.
“How to Process Our Collective Grief” [Yes!]. “It is beneficial to address the concept of oscillation, or the back-and-forth movement, in processing the grief. Because of how finite our human bodies are, it is not sustainable for us to be exposed to pain or stay in it for long periods of time or in high frequency. In oscillation, we stay present enough with the grief to confront, reflect, and talk about it, but not to the point where we are too overwhelmed or overcome by it that it debilitates us or causes physiological ailments, inflammation, or extreme discomfort. Similarly, we ought to avoid overstaying on the other side of the spectrum of desensitization or disconnection from the collective trauma, leaving us apathetic or numb to our collective responsibility to look after one another and disrupt systems and cycles of violence.” • We “ought” indeed!
Denial (and I hope this dude’s eyes aren’t really that blue):
“argumentum ad consequentiam”
— The L.C. Barbarian (@D_Bone) September 29, 2023
Deru kugi wa utareru (出る釘は打たれる):
See pinned 🧵 for more on this. If no one else moves, then human beings will literally sit still in a smoke filled room and risk being burned alive because the alternative — being the weird person that panics and leaves — is somehow worse psychologically.https://t.co/iqLxy6px9b
— Dr. Lisa Iannattone (@lisa_iannattone) October 1, 2023
“‘COVID isn’t done with us’: So why have so many people started rolling the dice?” [MarketWatch]. “Hersh Shefrin, a mild-mannered behavioral economist at Santa Clara University, still wears a mask when he goes out in public. In fact, he wears two masks: an N95 medical-grade mask, and another cloth mask on top. ‘I’m in a vulnerable group. I still believe in masking,’ Shefrin, 75, told MarketWatch. It’s worked so far: He never did get COVID-19. Given his age, he is in a high-risk category for complications, so he believes in taking such precautions. But not everyone is happy to see a man in a mask in September 2023. ‘A lot of people just want to be over this,’ Shefrin, who lives in Menlo Park, Calif., said. ‘Wearing a mask in public generates anger in some people. I’ve had people come up to me and set me straight on why people should not wear masks. I’ve had people yell at me in cars. It might not match with where they are politically, or they genuinely feel that the risks are really low.’ His experience speaks to America in 2023. Our [we?] attitude to COVID-related risk has shifted dramatically, and . But how will we look back on this moment — 3½ years since the start of the coronavirus pandemic? Will we think, ‘There was a mild wave of COVID, but we got on with it’? Or say, ‘We were so traumatized back then, dealing with the loss of over 1.1 million American lives, and struggling to cope with a return to normal life’? We live in a postpandemic era of uncertainty and contradiction.” • Lots of theories about how “we” assess risk. Well worth a read!
“The year poverty began to end” [Nate Bear, Do Not Panic]. “From 2020 to 2021 every marker of poverty, from child poverty, to overall poverty, to food insecurity, to homelessness, plummeted in the richest countries….. In 2021, US poverty fell to a record low, as did child poverty, which was almost halved, an achievement without precedent in modern US history. These achievements equated to lifting nearly 5 million children out of poverty…. It turns out that when you give people money and food and homes, they no longer suffer from a lack of money and food and homes. It turns out that poverty in rich countries is a choice…. As this transformation was underway in 2020 and 2021, the media was flooded with articles along the lines of: will we learn the lessons from the pandemic? I think we know the answer. Who talks now about the unprecedented reduction in rich world poverty? No one. Not even the left. So predictably, all these gains have been lost…. Homelessness and poverty is capitalism’s live stream, broadcast everywhere to ensure you can never fully escape the sense of precarity about what might be.” • At least for Covid, we also tested a single payer system and found it workable. That was erased, too. (I like the metaphor of “capitalism’s live stream.”)
“There is no market but the labor market”?
News of the Wired
“How Google Alters Search Queries to Get at Your Wallet” [Wired]. “Google likely alters queries billions of times a day in trillions of different variations. Here’s how it works. Say you search for ‘children’s clothing.’ Google converts it, without your knowledge, to a search for ‘NIKOLAI-brand kidswear,’ making a behind-the-scenes substitution of your actual query with a different query that just happens to generate more money for the company, and will generate results you weren’t searching for at all. It’s not possible for you to opt out of the substitution. If you don’t get the results you want, and you try to refine your query, you are wasting your time. This is a twisted shopping mall you can’t escape. Why would Google want to do this? First, the generated results to the latter query are more likely to be shopping-oriented, triggering your subsequent behavior much like the candy display at a grocery store’s checkout. Second, that latter query will automatically generate the keyword ads placed on the search engine results page by stores like TJ Maxx, which pay Google every time you click on them. In short, it’s a guaranteed way to line Google’s pockets. It’s also a guaranteed way to harm everyone except Google. This system reduces search engine quality for users and drives up advertiser expenses. Google can get away with it because these manipulations are imperceptible to the user and advertiser, and the company has effectively captured more than 90 percent market share. It’s unclear how often, or for how long, Google has been doing this, but the machination is clever and ambitious.” • YIKES! As I wrote: “One of Terry Pratchett’s more entertaining villains, Mr. Pin, has ‘Not a Nice Person at All’ done in pokerwork on his wallet. ‘I wonder kind of person would put that on a wallet?’ ‘Somebody who wasn’t a very nice person.'” Google is Mr. Pin (embodied as a corporate person, of course).
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 PH:
PH writes: “Pea flower emerging during a challenging pea year in Central Maine. After all the rain, slugs are the latest pest to deal with.”
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