By Lambert Strether of Corrente.
Patient readers, I had a liquid lunch and, quite frankly, I’m plotzed. I will make it up to you tomorrow, I swear! –lambert
Bird Song of the Day
Spectacled Finch, Seri Paya, North-West Frontier, Pakistan.
“So many of the social reactions that strike us as psychological are in fact a rational management of symbolic capital.” –Pierre Bourdieu, Classification Struggles
The Blob speaks:
Israel has survived & even thrived since 1948 in the face of external threats. Hamas is but the latest. To argue it must be eliminated-requiring regime change in Gaza-lacks precedent. Degrading Hamas & reconstituting defense ought to be the priority. https://t.co/R6Va7vqIiM
— Richard N. Haass (@RichardHaass) October 29, 2023
I like the red background; art director editorializing a little bit, there.
Time for the Countdown Clock!
Only five more days until a full year to election day!
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“Liberals, Start Giving Biden Some Damn Credit” [Michael Tomasky (of course), The New Republic (of course)]. “Biden’s timely show of support was just about the only one I can think of where a sitting president so openly sided with labor in such a dispute.” • Yes, the railroad workers should make sure their contract negotiations happen in an election year, so Democrats have no incentive to betray them. Is Tomasky a little child?
“Step aside Hillary, Joe Biden may become king of email scandals as new stash alarms investigators” [Just the News]. “Under legal pressure, the National Archives has confirmed to a court that it has located 82,000 pages of emails that Biden sent or received during his vice presidential tenure on three private pseudonym accounts. … [I]n May 2016, Biden’s vice presidential staff sent an email to Joe Biden’s private account and copied Hunter Biden alerting the future first son that his father was having a phone briefing with Petro Poroshenko, the president of Ukraine, where Hunter Biden had substantial business with the energy firm Burisma Holdings. ‘Boss–8:45am prep for 9am phone call with Pres Poroshenko. Then we’re off to Rhode Island for infrastructure event and then Wilmington for UDel commencement,’ the staffer wrote the then-vice president. ‘Nate will have your draft remarks delivered later tonight or with your press clips in the morning.'” • Oh. That’s nice.
“Mike Johnson is a pro-gun Christian nationalist. Yes, be afraid” [WaPo]. “Indeed, Johnson got right to work mixing church and state in his first speech after he won the speakership. ‘I believe that scripture, the Bible is very clear: that God is the one that raises up those in authority,’ he said from the pulpit — er, the House rostrum. ‘And I believe that God has ordained and allowed each one of us to be brought here for this specific moment.'” • Awesome. Somebody should ask Johnson why God raised up FDR or, for that matter, Lenin. The rest of this article is a completely unserious listicle of liberal Democrat reactance.
Democrats en Déshabillé
Patient readers, it seems that people are actually reading the back-dated post! But I have not updated it, and there are many updates. So I will have to do that. –lambert
I have moved my standing remarks on the Democrat Party (“the Democrat Party is a rotting corpse that can’t bury itself”) to a separate, back-dated post, to which I will periodically add material, summarizing the addition here in a “live” Water Cooler. (Hopefully, some Bourdieu.) It turns out that defining the Democrat Party is, in fact, a hard problem. I do think the paragraph that follows is on point all the way back to 2016, if not before:
The Democrat Party is the political expression of the class power of PMC, their base (lucidly explained by Thomas Frank in Listen, Liberal!). ; if the Democrat Party did not exist, the PMC would have to invent it. . (“PMC” modulo “class expatriates,” of course.) Second, all the working parts of the Party reinforce each other. Leave aside characterizing the relationships between elements of the Party (ka-ching, but not entirely) those elements comprise a network — a Flex Net? An iron octagon? — of funders, vendors, apparatchiks, electeds, NGOs, and miscellaneous mercenaries, with assets in the press and the intelligence community.
Note, of course, that the class power of the PMC both expresses and is limited by other classes; oligarchs and American gentry (see ‘industrial model’ of Ferguson, Jorgensen, and Jie) and the working class spring to mind. Suck up, kick down.
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Realignment and Legitimacy
The time for Sanders to have pivoted to labor was immediately after the Night of the Long Knives, when the labor pot was not only boiling, but labor faced the onset of Covid, as I urged contemporaneously (but can’t find because [family blogging] Google is 100% crapified. Now it’s way too late. Don’t give him a dime.
“I am in earnest — I will not equivocate — I will not excuse — I will not retreat a single inch — AND I WILL BE HEARD.” –William Lloyd Garrison
Resources, United States (National): Transmission (CDC); Wastewater (CDC, Biobot; includes many counties; Wastewater Scan, includes drilldown by zip); Variants (CDC; Walgreens); “Iowa COVID-19 Tracker” (in IA, but national data). “Infection Control, Emergency Management, Safety, and General Thoughts” (especially on hospitalization by city).
Lambert here: Readers, thanks for the collective effort. To update any entry, do feel free to contact me at the address given with the plants. Please put “COVID” in the subject line. Thank you!
Resources, United States (Local): AK (dashboard); AL (dashboard); AR (dashboard); AZ (dashboard); CA (dashboard; Marin, dashboard; Stanford, wastewater; Oakland, wastewater); CO (dashboard; wastewater); CT (dashboard); DE (dashboard); FL (wastewater); GA (wastewater); HI (dashboard); IA (wastewater reports); ID (dashboard, Boise; dashboard, wastewater, Central Idaho; wastewater, Coeur d’Alene; dashboard, Spokane County); IL (wastewater); IN (dashboard); KS (dashboard; wastewater, Lawrence); KY (dashboard, Louisville); LA (dashboard); MA (wastewater); MD (dashboard); ME (dashboard); MI (wastewater; wastewater); MN (dashboard); MO (wastewater); MS (dashboard);
MT (dashboard); NC (dashboard); ND (dashboard; wastewater); NE (dashboard); NH (wastewater); NJ (dashboard); NM (dashboard); NV (dashboard; wastewater, Southern NV); NY (dashboard); OH (dashboard); OK (dashboard); OR (dashboard); PA (dashboard); RI (dashboard); SC (dashboard); SD (dashboard); TN (dashboard); TX (dashboard); UT (wastewater); VA (dashboard); VT (dashboard); WA (dashboard; dashboard); WI (wastewater); WV ( wastewater); WY ( wastewater).
Resources, Canada (National): Wastewater (Government of Canada).
Hat tips to helpful readers: anon (2), Art_DogCT, B24S, CanCyn, ChiGal, Chuck L, Festoonic, FM, FreeMarketApologist (4), Gumbo, hop2it, JB, JEHR, JF, JL Joe, John, JM (10), JustAnotherVolunteer, JW, KatieBird, LL, Michael King, KF, LaRuse, mrsyk, MT, MT_Wild, otisyves, Petal (6), RK (2), RL, RM, Rod, square coats (11), tennesseewaltzer, Utah, Bob White (3).
Stay safe out there!
“Masks During Pandemics Caused by Respiratory Pathogens—Evidence and Implications for Action” [JAMA]. From the Abstract: “Robust available data support the use of face masks in community settings to reduce transmission of SARS-CoV-2 and should inform future responses to epidemics and pandemics caused by respiratory viruses.” • IOW, HICPAC’s “evidence review” on masking is full of sh*t, as I argued at the time. What a surprise!
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.
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I linked to this yesterday, but it’s important that Jimenez picked it up:
An important development concerning possible gross misconduct by the @CDCgov #HICPAC committee, that is trying to WEAKEN (really! Can't make this stuff up) the airborne disease transmission protection in health care https://t.co/nKyRpPd1C0
— Prof. Jose-Luis Jimenez (@jljcolorado) November 1, 2023
NOT UPDATED From BioBot wastewater data, October 30:
Lambert here: Cases leveling out to a high plateau wasn’t on my Bingo card. And Thanksgiving is coming up.
NOT UPDATED From CDC, October 28:
Lambert here: Top of the leaderboard: HV.1, EG.5 a strong second, with FL.1.15.1 and XBB.220.127.116.11 trailing. No BA.2.86 (although that has showed up in CDC’s airport testing). Still a Bouillabaisse…
From CDC, October 14:
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 28:
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 31:
Flattened, (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 [snort]).
NOT UPDATED Here’s a different CDC visualization on hospitalization, nationwide, not by state, but with a date, at least. October 21:
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 30:
1.3%. 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 28:
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 9:
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: 1,180,669 –
1,180,405 = 264 (264 * 365 = 96,360 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).
The Economist, October 27:
Lambert here: Based on a machine-learning model.
Employment Situation: “United States ADP Employment Change” [Trading Economics]. “Private businesses in the United States added 113,000 workers to their payrolls in October 2023, slightly below market expectations of a 150,000 increase and following a previous gain of 89,000. However, job gains continued to exceed the 70,000-100,000 range required each month to accommodate the growing working-age population, suggesting that the labor market is indeed showing signs of gradual relaxation but remains robust, even in the face of the Federal Reserve’s tightening measures.” Powell’s rubber thumbscrews….
Employment Situation: “United States Job Openings” [Trading Economics]. “The number of job openings increased by 56,000 from the previous month to 9.55 million in September 2023, reaching the highest level in four months and exceeding the market consensus of 9.25 million.”
Manufacturing: “United States ISM Purchasing Managers Index (PMI)” [Trading Economics]. “The ISM Manufacturing PMI slipped to 46.7 in October of 2023 from the 10-month high of 49 in the previous month, well below expectations of 49, pointing to the eleventh consecutive contraction in the US manufacturing sector. The data underscored the impact of higher borrowing costs from the Federal Reserve in the sector, further challenging the resilience of US goods producers from other reports.”
Today’s Fear & Greed Index: 32 Fear (previous close: 30 Fear) [CNN]. One week ago: 27 (Fear). (0 is Extreme Fear; 100 is Extreme Greed). Last updated Nov 1 at 1:42:06 PM ET.
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 PR:
PR writes: “Creepy AI-generated vegetable zombie pic, in case Lambert wants a plant pic for halloween. Grainnnzzz!” Happy post-Halloween!
And parallel to the “humorous vegetables” in Terry Pratchett’s The Truth, this from Desert Dog:
Desert Dog comments: “Getting married…. Family blog.”
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