2:00PM Water Cooler 10/25/2023

By Lambert Strether of Corrente.

Bird Song of the Day

Great White Pelican, Lake Ziway–southwestern shore, Oromia, Ethiopia. “Calls from a large group of birds on a large pool of water separated from the main lake, given as they were fed fish by a local. The loud splashing occurs every time a fish was thrown at the group and they would all lunge for it.”

* * *


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

Our Famously Free Press

“Newsguard Case Highlights the Pentagon’s Censorship End-Around” [Matt Taibbi, Racket News]. “On September 7, 2021, the U.S. Department of Defense gave an award of $749,387 to Newsguard Technologies, a private service that scores media outlets on ‘reliability’ and ‘trust.’ According to the suit, roughly 40,000 subscribers buy Newsguard subscriptions, getting in return a system of “Nutrition Labels” supposedly emphasizing ‘safe’ content. Importantly, Newsguard’s customers include universities and libraries, whose users are presented with labels warning you that CBS is great and Tucker Carlson is dangerous…. Consortium News was labeled a purveyor of ‘disinformation,’ ‘misinformation,’ and ‘false content,’ and, worst of all, ‘anti-U.S.’ This is despite the fact that, according to the suit, Newsguard only flagged six articles out of the tens of thousands Consortium News has published since the late award-winning reporter Robert Parry founded it in 1995. … When Michael Shellenberger and I testified before Congress in March, we mentioned Newsguard as a ‘government-funded’ ratings service. I was quickly contacted by email by co-CEO Gordon Crovitz, who hastened to correct me: Newsguard isn’t government-funded, but merely an organization that receives government funds…. I immediately wrote back: “You’re not funded by the U.S. government, except for a $750,000 Pentagon award?”…. Crovitz finally answered, writing: ‘We are ‘government funded’ in the same way that Verizon is ‘government funded: We have licensed data to the government for a fee, just as Verizon has provided telco services for a fee.’… The conceit about funding isn’t complicated, but it works. Because Newsguard has other customers, it can claim to be an “independent” news service that just happens to downgrade news reports that contradict and/or criticize the policy of its major client, the Department of Defense…. The suit also details what I think is the more insidious part of the system. In the guise of an independent news service, Newsguard contacts outlets and interrogates them about disputed content, not-so-subtly pressing for retractions.” • $750,000 is couch change. But enough to harm small fry like Consortium News!

“Washington Post Completely Botches Chaturbate Rules in Virginia Candidate Takedown” [The Intercept]. “The Washington Post had a salacious tip on its hands, graciously gifted to the newspaper by an unnamed Republican operative ahead of a crucial Virginia legislative election. The paper also had a problem: The activity the tip exposed was between consenting adults. But it was also rather sensational — sex and voyeurism on the internet — so there had to be a way to get it into print. The map through that thicket was also provided, it appears, by the same operative. The paper framed the story around an allegation that was elegant if a little absurd: Democratic candidate Susanna Gibson, it was alleged, had violated the terms of service of the sex site Chaturbate by soliciting monetary tips for performing specific acts with her husband. According to a snippet of the terms of service quoted by the Post, Chaturbate’s policy states that ‘requesting or demanding specific acts for tips may result in a ban from the Platform for all parties involved.’ So it was that six of the resulting article’s first 10 paragraphs zeroed in on the claim that Chaturbate’s terms of service don’t allow performers to request tips for specific sex acts, followed by multiple examples of Gibson having done so. The message to Post readers was clear: What consenting adults do among themselves is their business, but if a candidate can’t be trusted with Chaturbate’s terms of service, how can she be trusted with public office?” However: “A complete reading of the website’s terms of service, testimony from users of the site, and a Chaturbate official reveal that the policy applies not to performers like Gibson, but to users of the site, who are not allowed to demand performers do specific acts in exchange for a tip.” • Oppo — dumped!


Time for the Countdown Clock!

* * *

“Ex-Chief of Staff Mark Meadows granted immunity, tells special counsel he warned Trump about 2020 claims: Sources” [ABC]. “Former President Donald Trump’s final chief of staff in the White House, Mark Meadows, has spoken with special counsel Jack Smith’s team at least three times this year, including once before a federal grand jury, which came only after Smith granted Meadows immunity to testify under oath, according to sources familiar with the matter…. As described to ABC News, Meadows privately told Smith’s investigators that — to this day — he has yet to see any evidence of fraud that would have kept now-president Joe Biden from the White House, and he told them he agrees with a government assessment at the time that the 2020 presidential election was the most secure election in U.S. history. Under the immunity order from Smith’s team, the information Meadows provided to the grand jury earlier this year can’t be used against him in a federal prosecution…. While speaking with investigators, Meadows was specifically asked if Trump ever acknowledged to him that he’d lost the election. Meadows told investigators he never heard Trump say that, according to sources.”

“Tearful Jenna Ellis Pleads Guilty as ‘Attorney Who’s Also a Christian'” [The Roys Report]. “Accepting a plea deal with the Fulton County district attorney’s office, Ellis pleaded guilty to one felony count of aiding and abetting false statements and writings. The statements concerned Ellis telling lawmakers in Georgia that fake votes were counted in the 2020 presidential election. She also agreed to provide evidence potentially implicating other defendants in the sweeping criminal racketeering case and to testify in any future trials.”

“Trump Moves to Dismiss January 6 Case” [Declassified with Julie Kelly]. “There is no love lost between both sides and the judge. Chutkan scolded John Lauro, Trump’s lead attorney in the January 6 case, numerous times during the October 16 hearing in her Washington courtroom to debate Smith’s proposed gag order. At one point, she admonished Lauro for giving a “campaign” speech while at times raising her voice and pointing her finger at him. More fireworks can be expected in the near future over Trump’s motions to dismiss the case based on three challenges: selective and vindictive prosecution; statutory grounds; and constitutional grounds. (Smith also indicted Trump in June in the Southern District of Florida for mishandling national defense information and obstructing the investigation.)… [T]he selective prosecution motion accused Biden of pressuring officials at his Department of Justice to open an investigation into the former president… The motion to dismiss on statutory grounds challenged the evidence contained in Smith’s 45-page indictment—some referred to it as a ‘speaking’ indictment after it was filed, meaning the document acted more as a public relations vehicle then a legal one—that detailed Trump’s alleged scheme to stay in power after the 2020 election…. And in a bit of shade-throwing, Lauro cited McDonnell v United States, the successful appeal of former Virginia Governor Robert McDonnell’s 2014 fraud conviction, to blast Smith’s ‘expansive interpretation’ of fraud that ‘criminalize[s] broad swaths of ordinary political interactions.’… Lauro, understandably, made his most impassioned plea to dismiss the case based on the grounds it violates Trump’s Constitutional rights. ‘[The] indictment must be dismissed because it seeks to criminalize core political speech and advocacy that lies at the heart of the First Amendment,’ Lauro wrote in the third motion…. It’s unlikely these motions will go anywhere in Chutkan’s courtroom except to provide more fodder for her surliness toward Team Trump. For now, Trump’s lawyers should just sharpen their arguments for the inevitable showdown at the Supreme Court.”

“Trump Preps for an Avalanche of Co-Conspirators to Flip” [Rolling Stone]. “Since the summer, Donald Trump’s legal teams have been wracked by one abiding fear: betrayal. On one front, the former president’s inner circle has fretted about how many co-defendants in the Fulton County criminal case — or co-conspirators in the special counsel probes — might turn against him, accept a plea deal, and cooperate with the prosecutors. But lingering beneath the fear of disloyalty lies another, darker fear about whether anyone anyone still working in, or close to, Trump’s inner orbit could already secretly be working with prosecutors. For months, Trump, his lawyers, and advisers have been preparing for a potential onslaught of co-defendants flipping on him ahead of trial in the Georgia case. In the last week alone, three prominent co-defendants — ​​Jenna Ellis, Kenneth Chesebro, and Sidney Powell — have all struck plea deals with the district attorney, and the former president and his team are expecting more to come. According to two sources familiar with the situation, and another two people briefed on it, the former president and his inner sanctum have tried for months to ascertain which imperiled Trump allies have been inching towards cutting deals. When Trump has sent his advisers and attorneys on these so-called ‘fact-finding’ missions this year, they have routinely come up empty — unable to satisfy the former president’s demands to know who is preparing to snitch. In the face of this uncertainty, several of Trump’s attorneys have been briefing the ex-president on what one source calls ‘threat and [potential] damage assessments.'”

* * *

“Biden won’t file for New Hampshire Democratic primary” [The Hill]. “President Biden’s name will not be on the Democratic primary ballot in New Hampshire in 2024, both his campaign and state Democratic Party confirmed to The Hill on Tuesday. ‘While the president wishes to participate in the Primary, he is obligated as a Democratic candidate for President to comply with the Delegate Selection Rules for the 2024 Democratic National Convention promulgated by the Democratic National Committee. On October 24, 2023, the Democratic National Committee’s Rules & Bylaws Committee issued guidance urging Democratic campaigns to refrain from placing candidates’ names on the ballot,’ wrote Biden campaign manager Julie Chavez Rodriguez in a letter obtained by The Hill to state Democratic Party Chair Raymond Buckley…. [This] comes as Rep. Dean Phillips (D-Minn.) is reportedly gearing up to launch a longshot bid for the Democratic nomination against Biden. Phillips has reportedly done outreach in New Hampshire; the Minnesota Democrat is not expected to ultimately draw a competitive contest against the president, but the move would create an unwelcome distraction for Democrats.” • I suppose Phillips would then automagically become “the challenger”?

“The Democrats Do Have A Way To Get Rid Of Joe Biden” [1945]. “It is important to note that the filing deadline for Nevada, the earliest in the country, has passed and 14 more states have filing deadlines before the end of the year. That makes it increasingly difficult for anyone to challenge Biden in the primaries. As such, Biden will appear on the primary ballot and is by far the most likely candidate to win the nomination. Yet, the current commander-in-chief could still opt to step down. The Democratic Party would then be forced to elect a candidate at its convention next year. It would be unprecedented in the modern era, to say the least. In other words, the window for the DNC to replace Biden is rapidly closing. Biden thus won’t join the ranks of Tyler, Fillmore, Pierce, Johnson, and Arthur, unless he chooses to step out of the race. However, Biden could still become the 17th president who was denied a second term.” • I tried to read the Democrat Party bylaws once; they were completely, mind-numbingly impenetrable, especiallly the money-laundering parts. My take is that the DNC, through the Rules and Bylaws Committee, can do whatever the [family blog] they want, whenever they want, and that the bylaws are written with that possibility in mind; see here. (The only real incompressible timeline issue is the actual printing of general election ballots, given that election day is constitutionally fixed.)

The alternative:

“National survey: Biden has a Latino problem” [Orlando Sentinel]. “Politicians ignore the Hispanic community at their peril. It’s contributed the most to U.S. population growth over the last few years, and a new Hispanic becomes eligible to vote every 30 seconds. And Hispanics don’t just live in a few pockets of the country — they are moving to every corner…. LIBRE’s poll tells us that Latinos sense something is deeply wrong with the economy. Nearly four out of five Hispanics have a negative view of the economy, and 71% say the country is on the wrong track. Drilling more deeply, 84% say inflation has hurt their quality of life. These figures help explain Hispanics’ attitude toward Biden: A majority disapprove of his job performance, while he is underwater with independent Hispanics by 28 points. But most alarmingly, the pessimistic attitudes are most prevalent among younger voters. When asked if they agree that the country is declining and that their children will have more limited opportunities, 70% of retirement-age Hispanics agree. Still, a remarkable 85% of those 18 to 34 agree. That means six out of every seven young Latino voters think the country is declining. Those disillusioned voters will be a force not only in the coming presidential and congressional elections but for decades to come. Politicians from both parties can appeal to this group by offering policy solutions that will genuinely improve their lives instead of treating them like an interest group.” • Like universal concrete material benefits.


Shouldn’t that be “with Joe and the Democrats”?

* * *

VA: “Virginia Republicans send explicit “18+ only” ad attacking candidate for sex videos” [Axios]. “The Republican Party of Virginia is sending voters in Henrico County a political mailer labeled ‘explicit’ and ’18+ only.’ It’s the party’s first major swing at Democratic House of Delegates candidate Susanna Gibson over live sex videos she streamed with her husband on the website Chaturbate. Inside the sealed envelope are screenshots and quotes from the videos. In a copy of the two-page mailer obtained by Axios, the screenshots of Gibson are not explicit. But the quotes from the videos are…. The flier also includes a family photo of Gibson and her husband with their two young children, whose faces are blacked out.” • I don’t know what the Gibsons were thinking, but a salaciously sealed envelope? Really?

VA: “Virginia GOP mails voters explicit flyers about Democrat Susanna Gibson” [NBC]. ” Two weeks before Virginia’s Nov. 7 election, Virginia’s Republican Party has sent voters flyers including explicit content about Democrat Susanna Gibson, who is mired in a sex scandal as she runs for a seat in the Virginia House of Delegates…. The House of Delegates is closely split between Democrats and Republicans. Republicans hold 48 seats, Democrats hold 46 seats, and six seats are vacant.” • Whoops.

VA: “Virginia Democrats defend Susanna Gibson after sex-livestream revelation” [Guardian]. “Youngkin told the station he had not seen the mailers, but felt Gibson should be held accountable. ‘This candidate’s personal life is something that that candidate needs to explain to people, and the Democratic party needs to have an opinion on this,’ he said.” • Ah, “needs to.” I thought that locution was only for fingerwagging liberal Democrats!

Obama Legacy

“911 call captures frantic moments after Obama family chef drowns at Martha’s Vineyard estate” [New York Post]. “Details have been sparse since the July accident and Massachusetts State Police has requested that the identities of witnesses and USSS agents who reported to the scene be redacted from public reports. Campbell, from Dumfries, Virginia, had previously worked as a sous chef at the White House, beginning under President George W. Bush and staying through Obama’s two terms. The Obamas later asked him to leave the White House with them and follow as their personal chef.” • Fate.

“Obama Chef Death Investigation Update” [Judicial Watch]. Not seeing a lot, and I’ve only seen sub-Brietbart-level commentary. This caught my eye: “At approximately 8:40PM [redacted]’s motorcade arrived at the ICP [incident command post] and I was introduced to [redacted]. I … along with EFD [Edgartown Fire Dept.] Chief Schaeffer briefed [redacted] on the situation thus far, as well as the search and rescue efforts currently underway. A short time later, [redacted] arrived at the ICP and I was introduced to her. I observed that [redacted] was visibly emotional and was shaking from being cold and wet…. In a preliminary conversation I had with [redacted] and [redacted] [she] informed me that when she initially observed CAMPBELL fall off his paddleboard, began splashing and became extremely panicked, yelling for help and subsequently went underwater very quickly. [Redacted] stated that she immediately discarded her paddleboard and swam over to CAMPBELL as fast as she could in [an] attempt to rescue him.” • I’m assuming that the [redacted] person with the motorcade was Obama, and the other [redacted] person was the staffer who tried to rescue Campbell. As I read this, the police talked to both of them at the same time. I don’t know if that’s odd or not.

Republican Funhouse

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.

* * *

“Nearly 300 Bernie Sanders Alumni Call on Senator to Back a Ceasefire in Gaza” [The Intercept]. “In a letter sent Tuesday, former staffers asked Sanders to introduce a Senate-side companion to the ‘ceasefire now’ resolution in the House; support an end to U.S. funding ‘for war crimes against the Palestinian people, the expansion of settlements, and the occupation of Palestinian lands’; and to support an end to the blockade of Gaza. The House ceasefire resolution — led by Reps. Cori Bush, D-Mo.; Rashida Tlaib, D-Mich.; André Carson, D-Ind.; Summer Lee, D-Pa.; and Delia Ramirez, D-Ill. — now has 18 members supporting it. ‘President Biden clearly values your counsel, as is shown by the ways you’ve managed to shape the outcomes of his presidency,’ the staffers wrote. ‘We urge you to make it clear what is at stake in this crisis politically, morally, and strategically.'”

“How the Democrats betrayed the Jews” [David Mamet, Unherd]. “But there is no more cosy mystery in the antisemitism of the Democratic Party; Representatives are affiliated with the Democratic Socialists and pro-Palestinians, calling for the end of the state of Israel — that is, for the death of the Jews. And Democrat Representatives repeat and refuse to retract the libel that Israel bombed a hospital, in spite of absolute proof to the contrary, and will not call out the unutterable atrocities of Hamas. The writing is on the wall. In blood.”

“Exclusive: How did California DMV clean up dead rats in its Fresno office? Emails detail delays” [Sacramento Bee]. “The communiques were obtained through a California Public Records Act request and included 13 email threads from the DMV concerning the issues at the call center at the Manchester Center mall. Records from the city of Fresno’s Code Enforcement Division were also obtained that detailed an inspection of the DMV’s leased property. The emails paint a more detailed picture of how a few dead rodents festered into a stench that one employee described as ‘a dead person that had been sitting in the 110-degree heat for 10 days.’ The employees, represented by SEIU Local 1000, say the rodent problem existed for years but that they alerted their union representatives when the stench became unbearable and asked them to intervene. Although a DMV manager initially submitted a complaint about the smell on Sept. 26, Omninet Capital, which manages the building, didn’t call in its pest control contractor for a week, the emails show. The emails also reveal that five call center employees filed workers’ compensation claims, and two went to the hospital, as a result of the stench. It appears that the building’s management also did not install air scrubbers until nearly two-and-a-half weeks after the complaint was originally lodged.” • But CalPERS keeps rolling along!

Realignment and Legitimacy

“Mock Constitutional Convention Reveals Far Right’s Vision for Rewriting the U.S. Constitution” [Exposed by CMD]. “For three days in August, 115 “commissioners,” as convention organizers branded them, from 49 states participated in a mock constitutional convention — simulating an event that legal scholars warn could result in minority rule and a radical curtailment of federal protections if it actually occurred. Right-wing activists have long advocated for a constitutional convention, an untried method for changing the country’s founding document provided for in Article V of the Constitution, which empowers states to call for a convention that moves forward once two-thirds of them do so. So far, 19 states have signed on to a resolution from the Convention of States calling for a constitutional convention to radically curtail federal powers. … Convention of States has won passage of its far-reaching convention calls in 19 states, and ALEC-led groups claim that they have28 state applications for their balanced budget amendment proposal — just six shy of the 34 needed to trigger a convention.” • There’s the usual wing-nut stuff, including term limits and a balanced budget, but here is the sweetener:


“Narcissism Fuels Congressional Dysfunction” [RealClearPolitics]. “Congress is dysfunctional. We all know that. But the roots of this dysfunction have to do with character, not ideology. Congress is a mirror of American society. Though Matt Gaetz, Andy Biggs, Ted Cruz, Nancy Mace, Rashida Tlaib, and Cori Bush (among others) span the ideological spectrum, they all exemplify an epidemic of narcissism that threatens institutions across society. Equipped with an ‘unreasonably high sense of their own importance,’ these narcissists in Congress use their perch for a ceaseless pursuit of attention and self-promotion. In the process, they undermine public trust in institutions, which are at an all-time low according to polls…. Civic virtue is the counterbalance to our inherent fallibility. The founders understood that character, not ideology, determines the fate of American democracy.” • No, they didn’t! If men were angels….

“Bracing for Impact” [John Michael Greer, Ecosophia]. I have plenty to disagree with here, but this is absolutely spot-on: “I’m not saying that you should move to the country, by yourself or with a group of friends, and settle into a lifestyle of bucolic bliss as a subsistence farmer. To begin with, farming is a skilled trade; if you didn’t grow up doing it, or haven’t spent years on working farms learning how it’s done, you don’t know enough to keep yourself from going broke or starving to death. (It takes five to ten years of hard work on average to get past the learning curve and reach the point at which you can feed yourself by farming.) Since we’re not talking about the end of the world, furthermore, you can expect to have to keep paying a mortgage, utility bills, and taxes while you fling yourself into brutally hard physical labor from sunup to sundown. Americans have this weird cultural fixation about going back to the land, and the dominant role of American culture worldwide over the last century or so has inspired a lot of people in other parts of the world to fall into the same mental trap. Here in the US, for a certain broad class of well-off urbanites, moving to a rural area and spending a few years playing at farming is an approved way to have your midlife crisis and finish the task of wrecking an unstable marriage. (I’ve watched this happen tolerably often.) It’s not a viable way to deal with an impending economic and social crisis—again, not unless you grew up farming or have some other access to extensive hands-on experience.” • It’s not easy being a peasant, which is why so many peasants — and especially their children — escape to the city.


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Stay safe out there!

* * *

Covid is Airborne

“Peak risk of SARS-CoV-2 infection within 5 s of face-to-face encounters: an observational/retrospective study” [Nature]. “The link between aerosol dynamics and viral exposure risk is not fully understood, particularly during movement and face-to-face interactions. To investigate this, we employed Particle Trace Velocimetry with a laser sheet and a high-speed camera to measure microparticles from a human mannequin’s mouth. … Our results showed that the peak of viral exposure risk was within 5 s during face-to-face encounters under both ventilated and non-ventilated conditions. Moreover, the risk of viral exposure greatly decreased in ventilated conditions compared to non-ventilated conditions. Based on these findings, considering a risk mitigation strategy for the duration of 5 s during face-to-face encounters is expected to significantly reduce the risk of virus exposure in airborne transmission.” • What on earth could that strategy be, one wonders? (This also gives an account of the “fleeting encounter” cases, including Osterholm’s elevator case.

“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

Droplet goons still killing people:

I’m still waiting for confirmation on this, from the droplet goons at WHO:

Hopefully, fierce internal dissension is holding up publication.

* * *

Case Data

NEVER TO BE UPDATED 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?

Regional data:

Interestingly, the upswing begins before July 4, which neither accelerates nor retards it.


NOT UPDATED From CDC, October 14:

Lambert here: Top of the leaderboard: EG.5 (“Eris“), with HV.1 a strong second, and XBB. and FL.1.15.1 trailing. No BA.2.86. 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

From CDC NCIRD Surveillance, October 21:

Lambert here: Flattening? Only a week’s lag, so this may be our best current nationwide, current indicator until Verily gets its house in order (and working class-centric, since I would doubt the upper crust goes to the ER).

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 October 25:

Leveling out? (New York State is now falling, too.) I hate this metric because the lag makes it deceptive (although the hospital-centric public health establishment loves it, hospitalization and deaths being the only metrics that matter).

NOT UPDATED Here’s a different CDC visualization on hospitalization, nationwide, not by state, but with a date, at least. October 14:

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, October 23:

0.7%. Slight increase. (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, October 21:

Lambert here: Slight increase. I know this is just Ohio, but the Cleveland Clinic is good*, and we’re starved for data, so…. NOTE * Even if hospital infection control is trying to kill patients by eliminating universal masking with N95s.

NOT UPDATED From CDC, traveler’s data, October 2:

Down, albeit in the rear view mirror. And here are the variants for travelers:

Sudden big BA.2.86 appearance.


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: 1,180,183 – 1,180,119 = 64 (64 * 365 = 23,360 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, October 25:

Lambert here: Based on a machine-learning model.

Stats Watch

There are no official statistics of interest today.

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Today’s Fear & Greed Index: 32 Fear (previous close: 31 Fear) [CNN]. One week ago: 35 (Fear). (0 is Extreme Fear; 100 is Extreme Greed). Last updated Oct 25 at 1:31:59 PM ET

Zeitgeist Watch

“Oregon State University warns students to ‘avoid all robots,’ amid bomb threat with Starship delivery robots” [FOX]. • Wise as a general rule….

Class Warfare

“High steaks society: who are the 12% of people consuming half of all beef in the US?” [Guardian]. “So who is this 12% consuming all that beef? Men and people between the ages of 50 and 65 were more likely to be in what the researchers dubbed as ‘disproportionate beef eaters…. White people were among those more likely to eat more beef.” • Naturally, income was never investigated!

News of the Wired

“Without a Trace: How to Take Your Phone Off the Grid” [The Markup]. “If I’ve learned anything from this, it’s that cash is king.” • Well worth a read. And long live cash.

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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 Angie Neer:

Angie Neer writes: “I’m not sure what to make of these little plants nestled in a cavity in the base of a tree at about 5000 feet altitude in the Cascades of WA. I’ve been through a lot of similar forest without ever noticing them, but then they’re quite inconspicuous. The leaves (or petals?) look like blades of grass, but they radiate from a short central stem, with 5-fold symmetry, almost like flowers. The longest are about an inch. They bend around to point toward the morning sun.”

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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. griffen

    Starship delivery robots…As a child growing up in the ’80s all I can think about “we can build this thing together…nothing gonna stop us now..” \ sarc

    We Built This City on Rock and Roll !! Hopefully no eager Beaver students are harmed by the recalcitrant robot delivery drones of course.

    1. Milton

      Tangential Alert!
      Fun fact, that I recently learned after my spouse attended a book fair here, was that We Built This City on Rock and Roll was written by Bernie Taupin. Doesn’t seem to fit in with his usual lyrics.

  2. Karen

    A critical piece of information was left out of this article which I read … what does “s” mean? “Peak risk of SARS-CoV-2 infection within 5 s of face-to-face encounters: an observational/retrospective study” [Nature].

    1. Cat Burglar

      The smallest measurable particle size was 10 microns. So good work, but not fully representative of aerosol transmission risks.

  3. Jason Boxman

    It really _is_ a society _for_ infectious diseases! Just like the wealthy are _for_ tax cuts and neocons are _for_ war. Lovely, that.

  4. Jason Boxman

    Johnson Elected Speaker of the House, Ending Weeks of Chaos

    Mike Johnson, a little-known social conservative from Louisiana, did what three nominees before him could not: win over support from mainstream Republicans and the far right.

    Representative Mike Johnson of Louisiana won election on Wednesday as the 56th speaker of the House of Representatives, putting an end to three weeks of chaos that left the chamber without a leader and put Republican divisions on display.

    Republicans elevated Mr. Johnson, 51, a little-known and deeply conservative lawmaker after a tumultuous fight that began after the hard right ousted then-Speaker Kevin McCarthy, and raged on as the divided House G.O.P. nominated and then quickly discarded three other candidates to succeed him.

    An evangelical Christian, he has voted for a national abortion ban and co-sponsored a 20-week abortion ban, earning him an A-plus rating from the anti-abortion group Susan B. Anthony Pro-Life America. On the day the Supreme Court voted to overturn Roe v. Wade, he celebrated, calling it “an extraordinary day in American history that took us almost a half-century to get to.” He hosts a religious podcast with his wife and considers Representative Jim Jordan of Ohio, one of the founders of the ultraconservative House Freedom Caucus, a mentor.

    I wonder how this will play with more war(s) funding?

      1. i just dont like the gravy

        And reliable inbred open-pollinated seed, such as you find in heirloom varieties!

    1. Mark Gisleson

      This is the Mike Johnson I watched shred govt censors during a House hearing earlier this year. This guy is super sharp, super smart.

      Democrats would be very wise to tread cautiously with this guy. War funding def at risk and impeachment absolutely on the table.

      1. ambrit

        Let’s all hope that “standing for Israel” gets the same foot dragging and duplicity that “standing for poor Americans” gets from our political class.

  5. antidlc

    Ruby Princess passengers win class action lawsuit against Carnival Australia over COVID outbreak on ill-fated voyage

    Carnival Australia was negligent and engaged in misleading representations over the Ruby Princess voyage in 2020, the Federal Court has found.

    Some 2,600 passengers were on board an ill-fated trip from Sydney in March that year, before an outbreak of COVID-19 forced the vessel to turn around.

    1. The Rev Kev

      Now that is on the record, I wonder about all those other cruise ships sailing around and getting people sick for profits. Near the beginning of this pandemic there was that one stuck off the coast of California that nobody wanted to know about.

  6. Rob Urie

    Re: High steaks society,

    meat consumption causes type 2 diabetes.


    Adding the medical costs of meat consumption while taking away the subsidies for meat ‘production’ would leave a hamburger costing around $17. This would be one of those crappy little fast food burgers.

    But who cares about costs when you’re going blind and losing limbs from diabetes?

    1. Enter Laughing

      “Men and people between the ages of 50 and 65…” is the mostly weirdly constructed phrase I’ve read all day — and that’s saying something!

      1. barefoot charley

        It’s the erasure of women, as TERFs* say. Since transsexuals are women too, the traditional kind of women are to be known as ‘persons with . . . you know . . .” It’s so ludicrous it’s true.

        *Trans Exclusionary Radical Feminists

    2. Objective Ace

      Your link notes that the increase in diabetes is driven by “processed meat”, hotdogs and bacon. Sugar/sugar substitutes, which are prevelant in just about any realistic alternative to animal products, is a much larger driver of diabetes and obesity

      I’ll continue to eat my organic grass fed cows* rather then whatever our corporate overloards are trying to pass off as food.

      *there’s data that animals raised in a natural manner can actually be a carbon sink. Cows trim back vegetarian, release it back into the environment via natural fertilizer which propagates additional trees and vegetation

      1. i just dont like the gravy

        There is in fact a lot of data on the subject. People may want to search for these keywords:

        * Permaculture
        * Regenerative agriculture
        * Agroforestry and/or silvopasture

        A better world is possible!

        Too bad humanity won’t be the ones to make it happen. :(

        1. thousand points of green

          Well, the people inventing and doing ” * Permaculture
          * Regenerative agriculture
          * Agroforestry and/or silvopasture ” are little parts of humanity.

          So there is that.

    3. Unfinished

      “meat consumption causes type 2 diabetes”
      Actually, the linked article clearly states that, “ the new study could not assign causation”. Observational studies such as this cannot establish causation. Further, I haven’t been able to access the original study but feel safe in saying that a great many co-founders would come into play; and one should also keep in mind the issue of relative vs. absolute risk.

    4. eg

      Up until a couple of years ago I ate beef twice a week. Increased prices and retirement have pushed me off that pattern — I eat about a third of what I used to.

  7. thousand points of green

    Personal conservation natural experiment …

    For years I kept my hot water heater “off”, ( meaning only the pilot light was running) and got enough warm water for two warm showers per day if I wanted that many. In summer, the season of very little other gas use, my gas use went down to 0.1 CCF per day. I always meant to live totally gasless except for the warm water heater to see what my very lowest baseline gas use per month could be.

    Well. . . a few months ago my pilot light and hence my hot water heater went out. Due to several months of deep procrastinertia on all sides, it took several months for me to get that addressed. During those months, especially the last month, I discovered that the Utility Company could hardly even measure the small amount of gas I used apart from the water heater pilot light. In fact, in the final month of no pilot light, the bill said that I used 0.00000 CCF for that entire bill cycle month. So now I know that my lowest baseline gas use was 0.1 CCF as far as the utility company was concerned.

    In the end, they decided to replace rather than fix my hot water heater. So I will have to learn the meaning of all the settings on my new more complex heater. Eventually I will work out whether my new heater also has a pilot-light-only setting so I can discover my new lowest baseline gas use rate.

    1. Amfortas the Hippie

      too late, if youve already dropped $ on a replacement…but next time, consider tankless.
      i was the first hereabouts to get one, 20+ years ago…had to drive to austin to find one, since all the locals looked at me like i had an arm growing out of my forehead.
      this was to replace the electric WH in that old trailerhouse that had crapped out.
      big time difference in the light bill after installation.
      only downside is that they take a bunch of big wires,lol…to use so little electricity.
      my current whole house has 2 dedicated 220 circuits…and ive seen them that require 4.
      the little “stinger” out in the small greenhouse…to supplement the whole house one for the clawfoot out there…is 110, but requires its own circuit.
      boys state that they’re so used to never running out of hot water that when they shower somewhere else they either end up cold…or get yelled at for hogging all the hot water,lol.
      worth a look if anyone else is in the market for a WH.

      1. thousand points of green

        Actually, the tank was pro-ratedly fractionally paid for by me and every other member of the co-op together in our monthly carrying charges, same as for a new tank for any other member. So the cost is not as immediately painful to me as if I were living on my own in my very own house. So the hot water heater isn’t “mine”, it is the “co-op’s”. And I am a member of the co-op.

        But this is worth considering if/when I ever need to buy a hot water heating machine of my very own some day.

        Meanwhile, if I can get my natgas consumption way below that of any other average gas water heater user living alone uses, and way less natgas consumption than the average altogether, I will think I have done a material good deed, which could matter if a hundred million other people do the same.

    2. thousand points of green

      For people in non-cubic-foot countries, a conversion chart I found says that . . .

      One Thousand BTU = MBTU = 0.9625 ft3

      One Joule = MJ = 0.9124 ft3

      and . . .

      One therm = thm = 96.9 cubic feet

      So when I am billed for 0.2CCF which is 20 cubic feet, I am being billed ” for” just about 20,000 MBTUs or
      20 Joules or 1/5th of a therm ( if I did the calculations right).

      So readers in countries which sell gas in ” MBTUs” or ” Joules” or “therms” can decide if my summertime gas use is at, above, or below the personal per capita average in-home gas use for a single person living alone.

    1. NYMutza

      Will the insects be farm raised? If not, where will they come from? Globally, insect populations have plummeted dramatically.

  8. IM Doc

    A quick note about the Ecosophia quotation and growing your own food…….

    I guess I could testify about this issue personally. Wife and I moved the entire family to the hinterlands away from the big city several years ago now.

    We do grow our own food – I would say about 90% of it. We have learned to consume things in the correct season, and can and freeze and dehydrate things so they are available year round. We have ready access via neighbors to grass fed beef and excellent pork. We have our own chickens and eggs. All dairy is from our neighbors dairy farm – we get about 10 gallons a week of raw milk – and make our own cream, milk, butter, kefir and yogurt. Fishing with clean, non-polluted fish is readily available and the kids love to do this.

    On our little area this summer – we grew carrots, onions, beets, lettuce, spinach, tomatoes, tomatilloes, peppers of all kinds, green beans, peas, cucumbers, pumpkins, mushrooms, celery, cabbage, brocolli, caulifower, chard, rhubarb, strawberries, raspberries, grapes, potatoes, garlic, oregano, basil, dill, cilantro, thyme, rosemary, and I am sure I am missing some things. I have 2 beehives on the property. We have an orchard with apples, pears, plums, cherries, and crabapples. My wife, kids and I spend most every day/evening in the entire summer with all kinds of chores related to this. We also burn wood in the winter so splitting and cutting wood is critical all summer. We have learned the critical importance of the concept of “Sunday” – a day of the week to play because the rest of the week is so hard.

    All of our vegetables and fruit are heirloom plants – they grow true – and will reproduce. I have spent all kinds of time breeding and mixing plants to get types that will grow well and produce well in our climate. It is just this year that we finally have crossed over the hump – and have achieved a degree of production that we can call self-sufficient. This has taken years and years – not a few weeks. Please never make this mistake if you choose to do this.

    BUT – and there are big BUTs –

    This is incredibly hard, back breaking work. This is not for the faint of heart. Patience is a virtue. There is no easy way out. We make our own fertilizers – from the neighbor’s cow manure, to our own chicken waste, and bone meal and potash from the burned ashes. This too is work. None of it is intutitively obvious. You are going to have to deal with animals – horses, goats, chickens, etc. and that too is a skill that you must learn. I had elder family members as a child who took great care to instill these skills in me as I am doing with my own kids and 4H kids all around. Instead of doing all the usual medical stuff in college – my biology push was just the mere basics for pre-med and a focus on botany and ecology. ( One of the single best decisions in my entire life.) So I was prepared as best as one can be.

    It is this time of the year that one can look back on the entire thing and be grateful. But every joint in my body has been hurting for days on end this summer.

    It is worth it. But again – we do no grains, and no tropicals like coffee or chocolate, bananas, etc. As hard as you work, there is no way you can do it all. That simple fact must be accepted.

    We have learned so much about each other. I do not recall a time in my life when I have felt so healthy and robust. And free from inflation and all the toxic waste dump in our grocery stores. But again, this life is not for everyone – and one must seriously consider all the pluses and minuses before even thinking about this type of change.

    God help us if this is ever forced upon us as a country. We are so so so not ready.

    I can also tell you the huge number of young people all around us who have decamped from the cities and tried this with no experience – and have been total failures. They often do not last a year. And this can be a very expensive failure. The amount of work involved is staggering. There are few ready for that.

    So, I could not agree more with the sentiment of that article. It sounds awesome to be able to do this. And believe me, it is. But you are not going to learn this from books or websites. And that is what is really scary to me about not just this but so many other aspects of our culture —— people who actually know how to do things are absolutely dwindling in number and not being replaced.

    1. Louis Fyne

      “Rural simplicity fallacy”. hat tip to SfDebris at Sfdebris dot com

      “Chuck” (sfdebris) takes about the trope of the urbanite’s misapprehension of rural life in his review of the film”Star Trek: Insurrections:

      1. Jeremy Grimm

        I had to hunt around to find the Star Trek: Insurrections review by C. [Chuck?????] Sonnenburg at (sfdebris). That review [I only watched part I of the multipart youtube review of Star Trek: Insurrections] made brief mention of the “Rural simplicity fallacy” suggesting the mini-gardens shown in the film would supply little more than a week’s food for the community shown in the film. Later the review raised questions about the sources for metals used for tools and the cut stone used in the buildings. I must say I found it disappointing and annoying to chase down the very little your comment had to offer in the way of discussion of the “Rural simplicity fallacy”. [I suppose part of my pique might result from my fondness for this movie.]

    2. Jeremy Grimm

      It is very hard work to grow your own food, and it requires a considerable amount of capital in the form of Knowledge, land, tools, and seed. But consider how much harder that work might be without the aid of coal, and petroleum products. Where will the tools come from — the shovels, hoes, rakes, and scythes? Who will retain the knowledge and skills for making these things? What source for the drills and pins for building without nails? Where would drugs come from to help the sick? Paper? Ink? Salt for curing meats and preserving vegetables? Light is nice. What oil will you burn in your oil lamp? What wax will you use to make your candles? The idea that the future will be like a reversion to ways of life in the past tends to forget how much stuff there was in that past that depended on now lost industries, resources that will be depleted, and transportation networks that must be rebuilt. Humankind faces a future equipped with vast stores of Knowledge, stored digitally in forms that year-by-year will grow inaccessible. How long will the paper books in our libraries, such as there are, last? I believe the Archdruid is overly optimistic about the prospects for our future. Humankind will face adapting to new conditions of unkind climate and new limitations of energy and resources that bear little comparison to those experienced in the world of the 1800s. I have in my comment conjured only a superficial view of the complexities Humankind will face in the future.

      1. Irrational

        You are spot on about the drugs. Think about insulin, blood pressure drugs and thyroid medication not being available to name but a few.

    3. hk

      My grandmother had chickens and was apparently was extremely skilled at killing them quickly and (hopefully) painlessly. The conclusion I came to after hearing her stories that, if I lived in her world, I probably would have starved to death (I like planting beans, but never got much yield and I couldn’t get anything else even to produce something useful–a complete gray thumb I have!) I can only admire people who grow their own food–and actually manage to produce enough to eat–after my experiences.

      1. caucus99percenter

        Respect for farmer skill and productivity? At the other extreme is the current situation in the Netherlands, where many farmers suddenly feel scorned and vilified.

        After decades of urging farmers to not just grow things but be growth-minded entrepreneurs, the government — in order to comply with an environmental “directive” (= diktat) from the EU re nitrogen emissions — has now done a 180-degree turn and is now trying to impose drastic limits on livestock-based food production. Out of the conflict this has caused, a new, pro-farmer protest party has arisen, the BBB or Farmer-Citizen Movement.


    4. thousand points of green

      Are there any books or other publications people can read before they attempt any part of this so that they go into it having some how-to information without having to re-invent every single wheel on their own?

  9. nippersdad

    Something else that might be of interest. Biden is showing his entire a** with a new PR scheme to point out that the mass killing of foreigners is good for the economy.

    “The White House has been quietly urging lawmakers in both parties to sell the war efforts abroad as a potential economic boom at home.”


    It may just be me, but that is sounding more than a little tone deaf here at home. I can only imagine what the rest of the world will think of it.

    1. NYMutza

      Biden’s targets are the Nancy Pelosis of the world. A constant state of war means arms manufacturers make consistently high profits which translates to consistently high stock prices.

      1. jsn

        Trying to do for the Military Industrial Complex what he’s already done for the Medical Industrial Complex.

        Politics for profit inevitably turns all public goods into rent streams, for political profit, and then sets out to maximize those rent stream, again for political profit.

        Education, housing, medical, pharmaceutical, food, military, anything a society can do for itself politics for profit will turn into a rent stream that minimizes quality for price in order to maximize price where quality can still be found. Welcome to the Market State.

      2. hk

        Constant state of a threat of war, or a pretense of a war, not an actual war. If there is a real war, you’d need actual weapons that work, and a lot of it. That will cut into profits. I tend to think that’s what unnerved so many people in Washington lately: they never expected, or even thought about real wars until they are staring them in face.

    2. Feral Finster

      “It may just be me, but that is sounding more than a little tone deaf here at home. I can only imagine what the rest of the world will think of it.”

      That’s how the War on Ukraine has been successfully sold for some time now. A sort of military Keynesianism.

      And Biden and his handlers could not care less what foreigners think, unless they can contribute to his campaign or buy Young Hunter’s paintings or something.

    3. Judith

      For some reason this is reminding me of the Catholic Church granting plenary indulgences to people who fought in the Crusades to kill the so-called “infidels”.

  10. Feral Finster

    “How the Democrats betrayed the Jews” [David Mamet, Unherd]. “But there is no more cosy mystery in the antisemitism of the Democratic Party; Representatives are affiliated with the Democratic Socialists and pro-Palestinians, calling for the end of the state of Israel — that is, for the death of the Jews. And Democrat Representatives repeat and refuse to retract the libel that Israel bombed a hospital, in spite of absolute proof to the contrary, and will not call out the unutterable atrocities of Hamas. The writing is on the wall. In blood.”

    Mamet’s logic appears to be that pointing out any real or alleged bad act of Israel is a “blood libel”. Because reasons.

    So if Israel were to feed live Palestinian toddlers to piranhas, any negative comment would amount to a “blood libel”. Such demands for special pleading have probably created more genuine antisemites than all the drivel ever posted on Stormfront.

    1. nippersdad

      There are a lot of those going around. I was reading an op-ed the other day that sounded the same notes. The wild thing is that, in reading articles from the Jewish liberal perspective, it is clear that this type of thing is not flying anymore.

      There is the article today about reduced Hispanic interest in Democrats, but now we are seeing the same thing happening with other demographics, like those liberal Jews and Muslims. I was just watching something from Amanpour and Co* that had Waleed Shahid pointing out that there are very real similarities in the Michigan electorate that were happening in ’16 with Hillary, and we all remember how badly poor Black turnout in Wisconsin affected her chances.

      It looks to me like they are running scared, trying to voter shame, but I just don’t think it will work this time. This may be a blow out, a wave election, for Donald Trump! And the Democratic Party will have brought it all on themselves.

      * https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3CukAAYNE4Y

      1. Feral Finster

        So where will these voters go? To Team R, which is almost as bloodthirsty as Team D?

        Taking into account how wildly unpopular most western politicians and their policies are with their respective publics, “democracy” as it is practiced is basically a cover for rulers to do what they want. The technical term for this is a “beard”.

        After all, your elected representative approved this. If you don’t like it, you can vote for the other carefully vetted corporate imperialist muppet, so until then, shut up and fall in line!

        1. nippersdad

          In each and every demographic electoral story that I have read, the analyst has said that they will just sit it out. Part of the significance of the Amanpour segment, for me, was simply how mainstream the idea is getting to be.

          We used to joke around about how shrub could win the presidency twice, but how much worse will it be for the Democratic wing of the duopoly when Trump does so in spite of every possible pressure put on him to drop out? They can’t run on hope and change anymore; that has been done already, and the lack of it is what got us Trump in the first place.

      2. Pat

        If you listen and read Mamet very carefully, AND recognize that he is an entitled twit, you can see how he is very good at making bad ideas, positions and sometimes flat out sadism seem almost admirable and normal. He pretends to be against such human foibles as greed, misogyny and hatred but usually looking at it carefully shows he glamorizes or excuses them.

        He uses words very well. He knows what he is doing when he does these things. This is par for the course. And for the record there is no doubt in my mind that he knows very well the genocidal intent fueling Israel’s response.

      3. fjallstrom

        Wonder if voter shaming will work.

        I am reading a lot of sentiment among young USians that amounts to “if you tell me to vote for Biden after he supported genocide, I’ll punch you in the face”.

      4. JBird4049

        >>>It looks to me like they are running scared, trying to voter shame, but I just don’t think it will work this time. This may be a blow out, a wave election, for Donald Trump! And the Democratic Party will have brought it all on themselves.

        And the absolutely bug crazy thing is that the Democrats, or the Republicans as well, for it don’t matter really, could win the next national election by doing what they did when when Covid-19 was officially in existence: bump up SNAP and loosen the requirements, same with the child tax credit, the semi regular deposit of “stimulus” money, and then there is the $600 we are all still owed. The munificent $23 I now get in SNAP plus my yearly, ostensibly inflation adjusted disability is a sick joke, really an insult, for it does not even cover the increase in food cost.

        Even a few of the Libertarian eugenicists are not completely opposed to SNAP and the child tax credits, but no, because reasons. This means both parties are willing to risk real defeat, and (if you read history, you can see this) the collapse and disappearance of one or both of the parties.

        I understand that the legislators are owned and controlled by the wealthy, but eventually the votes will not be there and will not be hidden by any amount of rigging. What then? More so when it is obvious that it is the families with children that have been abandoned. Something almost all Americans can probably see and agree on, but the legislators seemingly want to die as lemmings.

        1. Feral Finster

          Even if Trump wins in a landslide, after a few weeks of protests, condescending Heartland Safaris and finger-pointing exercises, Team D and its institutional frenemies on Team R will settle right back down to work, just as they did after 2016.

          If they are good at nothing else, they are very good at bureaucratic infighting and using it to get what they want, or at least to neutralize political opponents.

      1. Carolinian

        I’ve never thought much of Mamet including a very long ago theater visit to American Buffalo. He likes stories about tricksters and deceivers so we should of course hang on his every reliable word re Gaza.

        He does represent a certain type of scornful above it all browbeater proclaiming his moral superiority to, in this case, the Democrats. The worst have passionate intensity?? If one is looking for at least a glimmer of humility and self doubt among the Israel boosters this would not be the place.

        1. thousand points of green

          Plus he is a global warming denier. I once skim-read parts of a book he wrote and his global warming denialism was loud and proud.

    2. Joe Well

      As the years go on, it becomes more and more obvious that many of those who were hailed as geniuses were just well connected cogs in the Establishment.

    3. albrt

      The democrats have stabbed Israel in the back.

      It is more than a little unnerving how closely Israel backers are following the script from 90 years ago.

  11. JBird4049

    >>>KAMALA HARRIS: The falcon…it cannot HEAR the falconer. [NERVOUS LAUGH] Things fall apart!

    Really, for me this is just clickbait with Her Kamalness. But, Sweet (fricking) Jesus. This is the person next in line to the Oval Office. We are ruled by children. Immature young children. (I’m honestly thinking about weeping.)

    The Second Coming by Willam Butler Yeats

    Turning and turning in the widening gyre
    The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
    Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
    Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
    The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
    The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
    The best lack all conviction, while the worst
    Are full of passionate intensity.

    Surely some revelation is at hand;
    Surely the Second Coming is at hand.
    The Second Coming! Hardly are those words out
    When a vast image out of Spiritus Mundi
    Troubles my sight: somewhere in sands of the desert
    A shape with lion body and the head of a man,
    A gaze blank and pitiless as the sun,
    Is moving its slow thighs, while all about it
    Reel shadows of the indignant desert birds.
    The darkness drops again; but now I know
    That twenty centuries of stony sleep
    Were vexed to nightmare by a rocking cradle,
    And what rough beast, its hour come round at last,
    Slouches towards Bethlehem to be born?

    1. Hepativore

      21st Century Man by ELO

      A penny in your pocket
      Suitcase in your hand
      They won’t get you very far
      Now you’re a 21st century man

      Fly across the city
      Rise above the land
      You can do ‘most anything
      Now you’re a 21st century man

      Though you ride on the wheels of tomorrow
      You still wander the fields of your sorrow
      What will it bring?

      One day you’re a hero
      Next day you’re a clown
      There’s nothing that is in between
      Now you’re a 21st century man

      You should be so happy
      You should be so glad
      So why are you so lonely
      You 21st century man?

      You stepped out of a dream
      Believing everything was gone
      Return with what you’ve learned
      They’ll kiss the ground you walk upon

      Things ain’t how you thought they were
      Nothing have you planned
      So pick up your penny and your suitcase
      You’re not a 21st century man

      Though you ride on the wheels of tomorrow
      You still wander the fields of your sorrow
      Tomorrow, 21st-century man

      1. You're soaking in it!

        I see you, and raise you a “Schizoid”!

        Cat’s foot, iron claw
        Neurosurgeons scream for more
        At paranoia’s poison door
        Twenty-first century schizoid man

        Blood rack, barbed wire
        Politicians’ funeral pyre
        Innocents raped with napalm fire
        Twenty-first century schizoid man

        Death seed, blind man’s greed
        Poets’ starving, children bleed
        Nothing he’s got he really needs
        Twenty-first century schizoid man

    2. Martin Oline

      What rough beast – How about an Apeman?

      I think I’m sophisticated ’cause I’m living my life
      Like a good homo sapiens
      But all around me everybody’s multiplying and
      They’re walking round like flies man
      So I’m no better than the animals sitting
      In the cages in the zoo man
      ‘Cause compared to the flowers and the birds and the trees
      I am an apeman
      I think I’m so educated and I’m so civilized
      ‘Cause I’m a strict vegetarian
      But with the over-population and inflation and starvation
      And the crazy politicians
      I don’t feel safe in this world no more
      I don’t want to die in a nuclear war
      I want to sail away to a distant shore and make like an apeman
      I’m an apeman, I’m an ape, apeman, oh I’m an apeman
      I’m a King Kong man, I’m a voodoo man, oh I’m an apeman
      ‘Cause compared to the sun that sits in the sky
      Compared to the clouds as they roll by
      Compared to the bugs and the spiders and flies I am an apeman
      In man’s evolution he’s created the city
      And the motor traffic rumble
      But give me half a chance and I’d be taking off my clothes
      And living in the jungle
      ‘Cause the only time that I feel at ease
      Is swinging up and down in the coconut trees
      Oh what a life of luxury to be like an apeman
      I’m an apeman, I’m an ape, apeman, oh I’m an apeman
      I’m a King Kong man, I’m a voodoo man, oh I’m an apeman
      I look out the window but I can’t see the sky
      The air pollution is a-family-blogging up my eyes
      I want to get out of this city alive and make like an apeman
      Oh come on and love me, be my apeman girl
      And we’ll be so happy in my apeman world
      I’m an apeman, I’m an ape, apeman, oh I’m an apeman
      I’m a King Kong man, I’m a voodoo man, oh I’m an apeman
      I’ll be your Tarzan, you’ll be my Jane
      I’ll keep you warm and you’ll keep me sane
      We’ll sit in the trees and eat bananas all day, just like an apeman
      I’m an apeman, I’m an ape, apeman, oh I’m an apeman
      I’m a King Kong man, I’m a voodoo man, oh I’m an apeman
      I don’t feel safe in this world no more
      I don’t want to die in a nuclear war
      I want to sail away to a distant shore and make like an apeman

      by Ray Davies

  12. caucus99percenter

    Rep. Mike Johnson (R–LA) has been elected Speaker of the House, 220–209.


    Whatever else may be going on, I hope Matt Gaetz’s posse can make the rule requiring separate, transparent, single-focus funding bills stick. No more rolling myriad goodies for lobbyists and donors into one huge, opaque 1000-page door-stop of a bill that no one has time to read and no one understands.

    1. Pat

      It sounds like he is going to do at least one temporary funding bill to get everything past the holidays. And that it may include the Ukrainian funding that Biden wants. No mention of Israeli funding but that might not have been as controversial. Supposedly it is to give time to negotiate changes.

      Depending on what he has and has not promised behind closed doors, Gaetz’s posse may have been side swiped by this.

      1. Feral Finster

        I would be very surprised if the fix were not in.

        No way the Team R mainline would support a candidate who would not agree to fund Nazi Ukraine.

  13. LawnDart

    Pierre Bourdieu & Ka-ching!

    “Narcissism Fuels Congressional Dysfunction”…”But the roots of this dysfunction have to do with character, not ideology.”

    In my experience dealing with the “elite,” the ruling-caste and their functionaries, common characteristics would inculde arrogance, a sense of self-importance and entitlement. Also dishonesty… perhaps most especially, the dishonesty: fabrications, lies, and willful self-deception. I found that social world to be an intense minefield of posturing and conformity to thought, deed, and expectations

    I dug around the internet and found this link for the book the abstract that you linked cited, an examination of narcissism at the societal level:

    The Narcissism Epidemic: Living in the Age of Entitlement [PDF]


    On narcissism at the personal-level, another member of the commentariet posted this earlier this week, and some might find these short videos helpful:


  14. herman_sampson

    If federal mineral rights are to be limited to ten years, why not the lifespan of corporations be limited to ten years? And determine only flesh and blood are persons and not corporations.

    1. steppenwolf fetchit

      The Corporation Design Engineers could get around the intent of that one by creating a new corporate shell to move all the assets and everything of the old aging-to-sunset corporation into . . . . just before that old corporation reaches its 10-year self-evaporation end-date. And the corporate assets and everything would just be moved from shell to shell to shell every ten years. All nice and legal-like.

  15. SD

    Re: Newsguard:

    Isn’t it strange and perhaps telling how these censorship services always use some kind of measurement metaphor to break the connection between journalists and their readers?

    Props to Newsguard for its “nutrition label.” They clearly know their PMC audience.

    I guess the rest of us are just going to have to read journalism and make up our own minds based on a critical analysis of the writer’s sources, an assessment of the writer’s probable biases, the writer’s track record of reliability, the ecosystem in which the writer exists, and who is paying them, etc.

    “Nutrition label” is extremely canny. “Stop eating that left-wing junk food! Don’t you know that Newsguard gave it five Pringles!?”

    1. notabanker

      To me, the issue is not whether Newsguard is funded by the government or not. The issue is why is DOD spending taxpayer money rating news services for ‘disinformation’. When did I elect the Pentagon to tell me what news is safe for consumption? How is this even remotely constitutional?

      We all know the answers, we didn’t and it’s clearly not. Where is the ACLU on this and why aren’t they being sued in the courts? I swear, I play the lotto in hopes of winning $500M masquerading as $2 billion just so I can sue the pants off these con men.

      1. backwards

        The ACLU has been steadily deteriorating for going on three decades. It went all-in on self-absorbed identitarian crap when Anthony Romero took over.

        This can easily be discerned from his words at a Princeton orientation this past August:

        President Eisgruber and ACLU’s Romero urge incoming students to embrace free expression

        “Why do you care about free speech?” Eisgruber asked Romero, a member of the Class of 1987, on the stage of Matthews Theatre at McCarter Theatre Center, with the Class of 2027 filling the seats beyond.

        “I think it’s foundational to personal fulfillment, in terms of figuring out what you think, what you believe in, who you are, who you associate with. I think it’s foundational to a society that allows individuals to be their very best as they define it. I think it’s essential to the workings of democracy.”

        Personal fulfillment is not a good first line item here, and frankly the entire paragraph reeks of self-absorption. While free speech is necessary for these personal endeavors, they should not be the primary reasons given, and never were before Romero took over.

        Free speech’s preeminent necessity is in “speaking truth to power” for lack of a better phrase. This was always understood, and it was always understood that all other freedoms essentially flow from this.

        This basic truism has been turned on its head, so that now “free expression” is given much more attention than the main principle of freedom of speech itself.

        This has become very obvious during Romero’s reign, and it’s quite evident in this and other interviews and statements he’s made over the years. Romero seems to think “freedom of speech” is for his and others’ personal development and free expression first and foremost.

        In the old days, the immediate answer to the question Eisgruber posed would be something akin to Romero’s final sentence:

        “I think it’s essential to the workings of democracy.”

        Or a constitutional republic. Whatever. The point is it’s the principle of free speech and how it relates to the wider world, most particularly the nation-state you live in and the government you live under, that comes first – not the personal stuff.


        1. hk

          And “self expression” is only for the “more equal animals.”. I can’t remember when (It might even have been Romero himself), but I remember someone from ACLU arguing in favor of curbing “hate speech” (I think). Whatever it was targetting, I could not believe someone high up in ACLU was advocating limiting freedom of speech, but I’d subsequently learned that there was a huge fight over whether some speech “deserve” protection in ACLU….

      2. more of same

        To me the issue is that “Newsguard” founders Louis Gordon Crovitz and Steven Brill are rabid Zionists/Israel-firsters.

  16. Amfortas the Hippie

    yeah. definitely not for the faint of heart…and NOT a turnkey enterprise.
    its taken me almost 30 years to get to where i am…altho thats with little $ and in spite of numerous distractions.
    (like wife’s cancer)
    and like you say, book learnin aint gonna cut it…although books are important.
    ive got 2 roofs to do, and then a bunch of incidentals under those roofs, and i’m done with infrastructure…and can finally focus on actually farming.
    but even being at half strength…i manage to grow a whole lot of what we eat.
    that will only increase as i move into full time.
    theres a story that i know ive related here before:
    my paternal grandad was born and raised on the family homestead outside of caldwell, texas.
    the Great Depression happened, and they didn’t even know, until another family’s truck broke down on the highway out front…and that family stayed with them for years…and are even today considered a part of our bunch.
    they didn’t know because they produced everything they needed.
    thats what i’m after.
    big ice storm? i’m the only warm house for miles and miles.
    covid? i dont need to go to the store.
    trucks stop due to a hurricane in houston? we hardly noticed.
    i’m glad i aint the only one.

  17. SteveD

    “Mock Constitutional Convention Reveals Far Right’s Vision for Rewriting the U.S. Constitution”

    Since when are Federal term limits ‘wing-nut stuff’ ?

    1. Lambert Strether Post author

      Since forever?

      Term limits are very stupid idea, unless your goal is to make sure that the only institutional memory on Capitol Hill is located on K Street. We saw this the Maine legislature, where we had to turn to the bent lawyers from Portland who wrote the legislation legalizing the landfill for the legislative history. And the statutory interpretation.

      1. flora

        Yes, absolutely. Term limits create a ‘get out of jail free’ card for captured idiots and their ideas. “Oooh, I blame term limits for my defeat”, instead of “I was defeated because my stance was idiotic.” / ;)

        The money powers behind the curent idiots always have a line of idiots behind the current incumbents. Defeat the ideas, that’s the ticket, that’s the way forward.

      2. SteveD

        If one assumes no other structural changes, then sure. That’s not my assumption. Plus, one’s expectations regarding what congress should be doing (or not doing) impacts the desirability of term limits. What other *structural* solutions are there to the Thurmond, Feinsteins, Pelosis, McConnells, etc of the world?

        1. John9

          What other *structural* solutions are there to the Thurmond, Feinsteins, Pelosis, McConnells, etc of the world?

          Sortition (random selection) for the house, rank choice voting for senate, money limit for all elections, fairness doctrine and size limits for all media, nationalize all natural monopolies, 95% wealth tax above $100 million for starters. Exile penalty for evaders and lawbreakers. Exile in Aleutians for high crimes, exile in warmer climes for lesser offenders. You gotta start somewhere!

        2. jsn

          Next Congress pure sortition.

          When the term is up, a new candidate again selected by sortition runs against the incumbent. Whatever your economic status when selected, the Federal Government backstops you for the period you serve plus some period after and you get a pension at 60. Employment or other income from beneficiaries of legislation you passed will be taxed in total. “Campaign Finance” is renamed bribery and campaign spending prohibited. There are some other details to sort.

          Some will stink, some will shine. The incentives would all be structured to reward serving voters. If your voters approve your performance, you can get reelected as often as you choose to run. For instance.

          1. hk

            That would ensure that Congress is utterly dysfunctional and policymaking a complete clusterf**k, as if we haven’t had enough problems already. It’ll be like term limits, except the K Street crowd would be 1000 times stronger.

            If we can’t find a way to make the government work, we might as well disband most of it (I can’t blame my people in Louisiana for being small gov’t fans, even if, in principle, I don’t agree.)

  18. Pat

    I think a lot of the average people who might support ALEC’s proposal on Federal land holdings probably hold the mistaken notion that the folks writing this intend for them to get a share of the wealth expected. Oh and that their grazing fees won’t sky rocket. Unfortunately any gains will be short lived, if at all, and there will be a whole lot of angry folk after the fact. Too bad it will be too late.
    The pillaging will be massive and destructive.

    And I say that fully aware that there is a fair amount of pillaging already.

  19. flora

    Thanks for the no-paywall Taibbi link. Very good. My own sort of thinking, such as it is: the Racket’s Taibbi and Kirn podcast is hosted on Apple podcast, among others. Jon Steward just lost his podcast show hosted by Apple podcast. Official narrative on topic and all that. I think Matt et al are fighting the good fight against the *ensoship industrial stuff as best they can. Glad I still subscribe to him and others, even when I’m surprised by some of their stuff, especially knowing the forces arrayed against open dialogue they face.
    Being directionally correct over all, imo, is good.

    1. Benny Profane

      I really hope Stewart has learned that sucking up to the neocons (HRC/Condelleza war mongering, pinning medals on Nazis) didn’t work. They want purity of thought. Maybe he’s so rich he’ll just gibe up. Would love to watch him change.

      1. caucus99percenter

        Jon Stewart once had a huge audience and could have had enormous political sway. Instead he pissed away the political capital he had accumulated, content with stunts of post-modern conceptual theatre:


        He once famously mocked Tucker Carlson for “hurting America,” but now one could be forgiven for wondering if in fact the shoe wasn’t on the other foot the whole time.

        1. steppenwolf fetchit

          He was mocking Paul Begala and Tucker Carlson both together as part of the Crossfire team for “hurting America”. And he was exactly right about that. CNN cancelled Crossfire within days of Stewart’s neat little on-air burndown of Crossfire.

          Crossfire was nothing more than political Wrestlemania.

    2. notabanker

      I’m glad Taibbi is out there doing god’s work. If I had a criticism it would be that sometimes the content is overidden with the angle that the press in corrupt. We get it. NYT and WaPo are beyond redemption. But the real story is the blob’s tentacles into everything. Keep exposing that.

  20. Trogg

    Beef consumption demographics: The article the story links to says there is no income correlation. However, it is an odd article because it’s not modeling beef consumption, but whether someone is a weirdo who eats pretty much only beef. Leaving aside quality of the study (questionable), I wouldn’t be surprised if the profile was similar to a serial killer.

    1. flora

      What was it charlton Heston said? You can pry this steak from my cold, dead hands? (heh) Yeah, I agree with that. Really. / really, and I was for years a vegetarian for health reasons, but then discovered I did better with a bit of beef a few times a month. What the heck is paleo?

      1. flora

        If paleo means no veggies then that’s not for me. I love veggies. All veggies. Take me to your broccoli. / :)

        1. caucus99percenter

          I remember how astonished I was years ago at learning that broccoli, cabbage, Brussel sprouts, kohlrabi, kale, and cauliflower are all just variants of the single species Brassica oleracea, bred to obtain different “form factors.”

          1. thousand points of green

            Here’s a neat little thing . . .

            There are two species of brassica derivatives which are called kale.

            The tall ones which have leaf after leaf going up a central stem, like lacinato, redbor,winterbor, etc. are Brassica olearacea.

            The short ground-hugging ones which tend to grow as a single ground-anchored rosette of leaves , like Siberian kale, are species Brassica napus.

      2. eg

        I think “paleo” refers to eating only the sort of foods that would have been available 50,000 years ago or so.

  21. Benny Profane

    As per News Guard: “Newsguard isn’t government-funded, but merely an organization that receives government funds”

    Thanks for the laugh. I needed that. Really bad day.

    1. OliverN

      It’s incredible isn’t it… a site that thinks it has the right to label news as “disinformation” is arguing that there’s a different between being government-funded and receiving government funds. Sounds like a Snopes fact check article.

      “I didn’t kill him your honor, I merely held his head underwater until he stopped moving”

  22. The Rev Kev

    “Nearly 300 Bernie Sanders Alumni Call On Senator to Back a Ceasefire in Gaza”

    Not going to work. Bernie has already came down on the side of Israel and that is it.

    1. Hepativore

      Biden and his administration do not give a damn about what anybody else thinks, especially Sanders.

      There are so many things ranging from Julian Assange to Ukraine, to the current disaster in the Gaza strip in which the public has been screaming full-tilt at Biden to do something or stop making it worse, and he unfailingly plods along out of institutional inertia or escalates the situation even further.

      Biden either does not care, or he is too senile to notice what is going on half of the time, and his minders are basically controlling him with Biden’s brain being to melted to realize it.

      No matter how much you protest the Biden administration, it is only going to fall on deaf ears and a dementia-addled mind that is too far gone for it to register.

  23. antidlc


    Maarten De Cock
    Bioaerosol scientist @brosseau_lisa
    :”This whole discussion about aerosols is something…infectious disease physicians…don’t want to talk about…I think it frightens them.”

    Why is this even accepted?

    Would we allow engineers to build bridges if they’re afraid of mathematics?

    Video at the link.

  24. Jason Boxman

    Weird sightings. I continue to see someone (different each time) walking one of the state roads weekly and out here you’re in bad shape, highly rural. Someone coughing at the lake once a week. Never heard this in two years until the past month. Hallmark cards mostly oos at Ingles. Note says Hallmark upgrading system for supply chain orders. Maybe?

  25. ambrit

    Son of Mini-Zeitgeist Report – Electronic Warfare Department.
    The other shoe has dropped in the YouTube vs. A* B—ker War.
    This afternoon, I got a countdown clock screen when I “accessed” a video on YouTube.
    “A* B—-kers are not allowed on YouTube. You have three videos left before you are blocked from screening videos on YouTube.” Then a litany of “reasons” and ‘alternatives.’ One can whitelist YouTube, disable A* B—ker or subscribe to something called “YouTube Premium.”
    Delving deeper one finds that YouTube Premium gives one an ad free experience on the platform, for the measly pittance of $13.99 USD per month for a single person, or $22.99 USD per month for a family of up to five persons. (A “special” deal lets you off easy as an individual for ‘only’ $139.99 USD per year, paid in advance no doubt. Huzzah! That’s only ten bucks a month! [You could marinade a side of beef on the spit with the amount of sarcasm dripping off of those words.])
    See: https://www.omnicoreagency.com/youtube-statistics/#:~:text=YouTube%20User%20Statistics,-According%20to%20the&text=The%20research%20firm%20Statista%20provides,figures%20might%20even%20be%20higher.
    With roughly 245 million average users a month in the US alone, and using the $13.99 USD per month as an average income from ad sales per ‘customer,’ (a dodgy assumption I agree, but we have to start somewhere,) I see “average” monthly income for YouTube America as about $3.427 billion USD a month. I don’t know how “ad revenue” is shared out, but I have read rumours of smaller “content creators” being frozen out and otherwise despoiled by YouTube Corporate. How much would it cost to run the enterprise is above my pay grade, but, somehow, I do not envision it as costing billions of USD a month.
    My admittedly jaundiced worm’s eye view of rent extraction as a “social good.”
    So, to my query.
    A while ago, when I originally whined my way onto the comments section concerning this subject, someone kindly mentioned an internet address of a ‘work around’ for this ‘problem.’ Like the fool that I am, I lost the slip of paper holding that “address.’ Could some kind soul ‘refresh my memory?’ [Assuming the site admins allow of course.]
    Thanks all and stay safe!

    1. ambrit

      My admittedly off kilter view of this is just how truly un-sane most of these shooters are. A real “social justice warrior” would pick “high value” targets, not a random bunch of ordinary people in a bowling alley. So, we are left with losers acting out with dangerous weapons.
      My favourite version of the “problem” is in the joke I heard when I worked at the Post Office.
      Q: There is a mass shooting at a Post Office. How do you tell if the shooter is a good Union employee or not?
      A: The good Union worker will shoot Management first.
      A sign of the times.

    2. caucus99percenter

      As with most websites belonging to U.S. television stations — due to their unwillingness to make their use of cookies comply with the E.U.’s GDPR (“General Data Protection Regulation”) — access from here in Germany is blocked.

      In this case, all I get from that link is the message, “Sorry, this content is not available in your region.” I know, I know, I just need to go use the VPN …

    3. griffen

      Incredibly bad and shocking news to read about. The craziness of the timeline gets weird and more unpredictable with every passing week.

  26. ChrisPacific

    The charge against Gibson is clear: engaging in sexual activity outside the bounds of what certain persons consider acceptable for an elected representative. No, she didn’t actually do anything wrong, but politics isn’t about that.

    I think the Republicans are a good deal more culpable here, since the Gibson’s activities were private and limited to consenting adults, while the Republicans are shoving it in voters’ faces with the mailing. I would like to think this will backfire on them (it’s essentially revenge porn on a grand scale) but who knows? It will come down to voters and how they react.

  27. The Rev Kev

    Another Clown World entrant. So Google News has a Fact Check section where they “correct” the news. You treat it for the funnies like the one below-

    Russia’s Foreign Minister Paints Iran a Responsible and Balanced Regional Peacekeeper

    Claim: “With regard to Gaza… the Iranian authorities have taken a responsible and balanced stand and have called for preventing the conflict from spreading throughout the region, to neighboring states.”

    Fact check by Polygraph.info: False

    And earlier today that did a fact check on something disrespectful that Israel supposedly done and it was not enough to label it ‘False’ but they went full-on capital letters and shouted ‘FALSE.’

  28. scott s.

    “The only real incompressible timeline issue is the actual printing of general election ballots, given that election day is constitutionally fixed.”

    (Federal) election day is not constitutionally fixed, except as enacted by Congress. The first presidential election popular vote held on the same day was in 1848 (Tuesday in Nov picked because at the time South Carolina legislature picked its electors, so election day had to be when it was in session). That day was extended to Congressional (House) elections for 1872. Of course today with early and mail-in voting there is no “election day”, so the same problems that led Congress to mandate same-day voting almost 200 years ago have returned.

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