2:00PM Water Cooler 11/22/2023

By Lambert Strether of Corrente.

Bird Song of the Day

Asian House-Martin, Nantou County, Taiwan. “Calls from several individuals flying around a colony located in a tunnel along a steep cliff.” Busy little creatures!

* * *


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

The Constitutional Order

“After the Civil War, Robert E. Lee Couldn’t Run for President, but Trump Can?” [Garrett Epps, Washington Monthly (WB)]. “All five sections of the Fourteenth Amendment can be seen as what must have seemed like a last, desperate attempt to retain power in the hands of the Union and prevent a reborn Confederacy from ruling for the next century. Section Three addressed the prospects of Lee and all those who served the Confederacy. The old Southern leadership, which had enjoyed federal office until 1861, then fought the United States until 1865, was not coming back; it was barred from state or federal office…. Gentle reader, can you seriously imagine that our 19th-century ratifier—an informed, loyal American who had just lived through a brutal war that took more than 600,000 lives for the sole reason that Southern whites would not accept that Abraham Lincoln won the 1860 election—would have understood Section 3 to mean that a traitor couldn’t be a Senator, or a Representative, or a governor, or a state legislator, or for that matter a dog-catcher—but that Robert E. Frickin’ Lee could turn his coat one more time, swear he really would support the Constitution this time, and waltz into the White House? I cannot. This is what philosophers call “self-stultifying”— so self-contradictory that its very utterance undermines the idea of meaning itself.” • This is an excellent article with which I disagree on the main points (and I also don’t like the lack of links at key turning points; for example, that “Democratic newspapers speculated that their party’s strongest presidential nominee in 1868 would be former Confederate General Robert E. Lee” is a bare assertion). First, Epps urges that the phrase “officer of the United States” in Section Three of the Fourteenth Amendment applies to Presidents. I disagree (and some legal scholars agree). Madison writes, in Federalist 68, of the President: “It was desirable that the sense of the people should operate in the choice of the person to whom so important a trust was to be confided.” It makes no sense to me that a President, elected by the whole nation, is in the same category (“officer of the United States”) as an appointed official, who is not. Second, in regard to the finding of fact in the Colorado decision: It gives me the creeps that we might rely on decision from a non-elected State District Court judge to determine that Trump is an “insurrectionist.” Insurrection is a crime, and if the Biden adminstration’s Justice Department didn’t charge and convict him, and no special prosecutor did, it’s most likely because neither thought they could make the charge stick. So which ought to be controlling?

Biden Administration

“Biden marks ‘146th birthday’ with flaming cake” [The Hill]. “President Biden marked his 81st birthday with a tongue-in-cheek reference to his age in a fiery Instagram post Monday. ‘Turns out on your 146th birthday, you run out of space for candles!’ Biden joked in the post, showing off his cake decorated with dozens of lit candles huddled together along the perimeter. The crowded flames formed a blazing ring atop the celebratory dessert, drawing awe in the post’s comments section.” Going for the youth on Insta. Love the Götterdämmerung look:


Less than a year to go!

* * *

* * *

“Biden Campaign Starts Reminding America Why It Dumped Trump In The First Place” [HuffPo]. “The Biden campaign’s new approach aims to make sure that Trump’s racist or autocratic or otherwise off-putting comments and proposals get widespread attention quickly. One example is Trump’s echo of language used by Adolf Hitler in Nazi Germany. On Sept. 27, a pro-Trump website posted an interview in which he stated that illegal immigration was ‘poisoning the blood of our country’ ― phrasing Hitler used. It did not get much attention in the mainstream media until a week later, and the Biden campaign did little to highlight it. Contrast that to this past week, when after Trump in a Veterans Day campaign speech described people who oppose him as ‘vermin’ ― again a term Hitler used to vilify and scapegoat Jews and other minority groups ― the reaction was swift and coordinated. On Monday, the first workday after the long weekend, both the White House and Biden’s campaign released statements excoriating Trump. By midweek, Trump’s use of both ‘vermin’ and ‘poisoning the blood’ had made it into Biden’s stump speech, in which Trump plays a featured role.” • I’ll set aside the issue that literally no Trump quote can be trusted unless it’s checked against a transcript; this has been true of all mainstream press coverage of Trump since the beginning. I’ll also set aside the aghastitude at “vermin,” while “deplorables” is jake with the angels. It seems to me that Democrats, at some deep level, habitually equate speech and action (or symbols and things). This makes sense to the PMC, since speech out of turn can have irreparable professional consequences (and little Madison will have to give up her violin lessons). I’m not sure that this equation holds outside the Democrat bubble. In any case, the rapidity and efficiency with which Democrats seize on verbal infelicities is in marked contrast to their lethargic and bungled messaging on anything of material benefit to voters.

“Colbert makes Grim Reaper joke about Biden for his birthday: ‘Standing silently in my doorway'” [FOX]. “Late-night host Stephen Colbert made a surprising Grim Reaper joke about Joe Biden on Monday as he marked the president’s 81st birthday. Reacting to reports that some close to Biden think he shouldn’t be put in ‘Bubble Wrap’ but rather make jokes about his age and not shy away from the issue, the CBS host donned a pair of aviator sunglasses. ‘Hey everybody, knock, knock?’ Colbert as Biden asked. ‘Who’s there?’ the ‘Late Show’ crowd replied. ‘Not sure, but he’s been standing silently in my doorway for a while now. He’s a pale fellow, big cloak, long sharp knife on a pole,’ Colbert said, as some in the crowd sounded surprised. ‘Smiling right at me, great set of chompers. Look into his eye sockets and see a little movie about all the fun stuff I did when I was a kid.'” • Was Corn Pop there? Anyhow, this framing is misplaced, at least to me. I don’t care that Biden’s old; plenty of elders are still sharp as tacks (both my parents, for example). I do care that Biden could be losing his mind, and I worry what happens when juicing him up doesn’t work. Why can’t our TV comics say that? Still, interesting? An opening gun? (I remember the opening gun on DeSantis; an assault on his wife’s fashion sense. After that, open season!)

“In California’s ‘Little Arabia’, residents feel betrayed by Biden’s support for Israel” [France24]. “In California’s “Little Arabia”, the first officially designated Arab-American enclave in the US, many residents with familes and roots in the West Bank and Gaza feel betrayed by Washington’s unconditional support for Israel. Opinion polls show President Joe Biden’s approval ratings have plummeted in Arab-American communities since Israel launched its military offensive in Gaza following the October 7 Hamas attack.” • Not just Michigan, then.

“Exhausted Biden Finally Concedes 2020 Election To Trump” [The Onion]. “[ Biden:] ‘To the new U.S. president Donald Trump, I say congratulations—they’re your problem now. It’s time for this old man to put this whole election behind him and take some time for himself. You’ll see me again, though definitely not as much—I’ll be moving on to a role where fewer people scream at me and I can get some goddamn peace and quiet.’ At press time, Biden had reportedly called President Trump himself to tell him how after this he was going to sleep for, like, ever.” • Interestingly parallel to Colbert’s message.

[puts head in hands]

No, it’s because Democrats never codified Roe into law, as they promised to do, and never did. Then of course there are all those Federalist Society judges the Democrats never went to the mat on, but passed right up through the court system until they made it to the Supreme Court.

* * *

“The ‘Anti-Defeat’ Candidate” (interview) [Dean Phillips, The Atlantic]. “Phillips, 54, is a figure of uncommonly big plans and weighty burdens, especially given his relatively modest station (he has represented Minnesota’s Third Congressional District since 2019). He seems sincere about what he’s doing, especially compared with the two-faced default of so many elected Democrats who tout Biden’s reelection in public while privately pining for some other candidate, like Gretchen Whitmer, the Rock, or whomever they want instead. In this sense, Phillips’s gambit is noble, even necessary. It can also be lonely and awkward to watch up close.” And: “‘Is Kamala Harris prepared to step in if something happened to Biden?’ I asked Phillips. ‘I think that Americans have made the decision that she’s not,’ he said. I replied that I was interested in the decision of one specific American, Dean Phillips.

‘That is not my opinion,’ Phillips clarified. He said that every interaction he’s had with the vice president has been ‘thoughtful’ and that ‘I’ve enjoyed them.’ That said …’ Phillips paused, and I braced for the vibe shift. ‘I hear from others who know her a lot better than I do that many think she’s not well positioned,’ he said of Harris. ‘She is not well prepared, doesn’t have the right disposition and the right competencies to execute that office.’ Phillips also noted that Harris’s approval numbers are even worse than Biden’s: ‘It’s pretty clear that she’s not somebody people have faith in.’ But again, Phillips is not one of those people: ‘From my personal experiences, I’ve not seen those deficiencies.'” • Tap-dancing, and not especially graceful, either.

“Dean Phillips responds to blowback from Harris remarks” [The Hill]. “‘I recall those words being shared with me and saying that’s what people have been saying,’ Phillips said. ‘… I am defending the vice president because I think she’s a good person; I think she is well-prepared, but I’m telling you the country has a different opinion, and that’s exactly what I said there.’ He added that he believes President Biden is also a ‘good person’ but that the country does not want him as the next president. Pressed on whether he is implying he doesn’t think Harris should be a successor to Biden, Phillips responded, ‘No, you know what I’m saying actually and what I’ve said directly to many and would actually say to her if she was right next to me — run. The water [is] warm, we live in democracy.'” • The water is warm?! Is this some sort of secret code?

* * *

“Senate Dems stake their 2024 hopes on last 2 red-state incumbents” [Politico]. “Democrats’ hopes of clinging to the Senate next fall now rest almost entirely on their party’s most endangered species: red-state incumbents seeking reelection. After Joe Manchin’s retirement announcement, the party is down to just two of them on the ballot next year — Montana’s Jon Tester and Ohio’s Sherrod Brown. Tester and Brown will need to defy their states’ ideological leanings by persuading a sizable number of ticket-splitters to vote for them. It’s an ominous reality for Democrats, who are simultaneously confronting lackluster swing-state polling for President Joe Biden. Democrats are investing in campaigns in Florida and Texas in a bid to oust Rick Scott and Ted Cruz, respectively, but Democratic leaders know the easiest path to retaining the Senate majority runs through victories for Tester, Brown and Biden, whose victory is necessary to break a 50-50 tie. Next fall will bring ‘real opportunities’ to go on offense, said Sen. Gary Peters (Mich.), the chair of Senate Democrats’ campaign arm. ‘But I’m very confident we’re going to be at 50 by holding all of our incumbents and we win the White House. Having battle-hardened candidates is a real strength.’…. The two races combined could approach $500 million in total spending between the GOP primaries and the general election, said one party strategist granted anonymity to candidly assess the map…. Tester and Brown have built-in advantages aside from incumbency and winning track records. They are fundraising juggernauts at this point: each has raised more than $14 million this year, and both are strategically breaking with the Biden administration on foreign policy and border policy as their campaigns heat up.” • Of course, if the Republicans nominate a whack job in either state, that might help these two.

“Democrats Held Off the GOP in Legislative Races This Year, Again Bucking Expectations” [Bolts]. “Louisiana’s runoffs on Saturday brought the 2023 legislative elections to a virtual close, settling the final composition of all eight chambers that were renewing their entire membership this fall. That’s in addition to special elections held throughout this year. The final result: Democrats won five additional legislative seats this year, Bolts calculated in its second annual review of all legislative elections. That’s a small change, since there were more than 600 seats in play this year. But it goes against the expectation that the party that holds the White House faces trouble in such races. In 2021, the first off-year with President Biden in the White House, the GOP gained 18 new seats out of the roughly 450 seats that were in play, according to Bolts’ calculations. (Three special elections will still be held in December, but none is expected to be competitive.) It also mirrors Republicans’ disappointment in 2022, a midterm cycle that saw Democrats defy recent history by flipping four legislative chambers without losing any. They pulled off a similar feat this year: Democrats held off GOP hopes of securing new chambers in New Jersey and Virginia and instead gained one themselves in Virginia, the fifth legislative chamber they’ve flipped in two years. Still, these aggregate results mask regional differences, with Democratic candidates continuing their descent in much of the South. That too is an echo of 2022, when the GOP’s poor night was somewhat masked by their surge in a few red states like West Virginia, where Democrats still haven’t hit rock bottom; this year, Republicans surged in Louisiana and Mississippi.”

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.

* * *

Mothership Strategies is at it again:

This is so great. The DLCC is implying — no, openly saying — that the Democrat Party is a membership organization. You can even get a party card. But they’re not. Has anybody actually gotten one of these cards? I’d love to feature it.

“Airbnb taps ex-Biden chief of staff Ron Klain as top lawyer” [Reuters]. “Former Biden White House chief of staff Ron Klain will join Airbnb as its top lawyer, the company said on Monday…. Cities around the United States and globally are more closely regulating short-term rentals, including by requiring hosts to obtain licenses and pay registration fee, or by limiting rentals in business districts.” • AirBnB must be in trouble. That’s a damn shame.

Realignment and Legitimacy

“Many voters say Congress is broken. Could proportional representation fix it?” [NPR]. “One potential alternative to the current winner-take-all approach for House races is known as proportional representation. Instead of the single candidate with the most votes winning a House district’s seat, a proportional representation system would elect multiple representatives in each district, distributing seats in the legislature roughly in proportion to the votes each party receives. Supporters say proportional representation could help temper the rise of political extremism, eliminate the threat of gerrymandering and ensure the fair representation of people of color, as well as voters who are outnumbered in reliably ‘red’ or ‘blue’ parts of the country. This story is part of a series of reports on alternatives to how U.S. voters cast ballots and elect their political leaders. Click here for more NPR voting stories. And last year, a group of more than 200 political scientists, legal scholars and historians across the U.S. said the time for Congress to change is now.”


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Stay safe out there!

* * *

“Something Awful”

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

* * *

Elite Maleficence

CDC openly suppresses masks. Not even a gentle suggestion:

Just for the record, the flu is airborne–

“Minimal transmission in an influenza A (H3N2) human challenge-transmission model within a controlled exposure environment” [PLOS Pathogens]. From the Discussion: “To our knowledge, this is the largest human influenza challenge-transmission study undertaken to date. We applied measures to control and standardise environmental conditions and ventilation rates within and between exposure events, to emulate as far as possible indoor winter conditions when respiratory virus spread is maximal. We particularly sought to maintain low humidity conditions which have been associated with enhanced transmission and increased virus viability, together with a low ventilation rate to maximize recipient exposure to airborne virus. The near absence of transmission to control Recipients suggests contact and large droplet spray did not contribute substantially to transmission under the conditions used in these [exposure events (EEs)]. The significantly lower than expected [secondary attack rate (SAR)] in this study compared with the proof-of-concept study, which had much lower ventilation rates, suggests aerosols as an important mode of influenza virus transmission in this model.” • Droplet dogmatists are such losers. Coverage of the study–

“Influenza might be spread simply by breathing, study finds” [NBC]. “What the new study suggests is that people may need to do more than just wash their hands and keep a distance from sneezing and coughing people to avoid catching the flu. ‘We found that flu cases contaminated the air around them with infectious virus just by breathing, without coughing or sneezing,’ said Dr. Donald Milton, who’s been studying flu transmission at the University of Maryland’s school of public health. ‘Even if you are not coughing, you can still infect other people,’ he added. ;Many people shedding virus into the air are shedding real, infectious virus.’::

“The Flu May Linger in the Air, Just Like the Coronavirus” [New York Times]. “Last week, the World Health Organization modified its stance on coronavirus transmission, acknowledging that the virus may also hop from person to person by lingering in the air, trapped inside tiny aerosols that can traverse the length of room. A wealth of evidence has shown the same is true of flu viruses, which also attack cells in the human airway. Researchers have even isolated infectious flu viruses from exhaled breath.”

“Popular Google Searches About the Flu, Answered by Public Health Experts” [Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health]. “Is flu airborne? CR: Flu can spread through the air, which means being near someone who has influenza can put you at risk. JS: It also means wearing a mask can be helpful.”

* * *

Lambert here: Lots of new results yesterday, most up, starting with wastewater. (The one I worry about the most is ER visits, since I think that data is hard to game, and who wants to go to the ER, anyhow?) I think it’s time to send the relatives those clippings you saved on brain damage (also, of course, the 2022 clippings: here, here. And the 2020 one). And break out the Corsi-Rosenthal boxes at the family gathering!

Case Data

NOT UPDATED From BioBot wastewater data, November 20:

Lambert here: Cases up, just in time for Thanksgiving (and tinfoil hat time: This is the, er, inflection point CDC was trying to conceal when they gave the contract to Verily and didn’t ensure a seamless transition).

Regional data:



NOT UPDATED From CDC, November 11:

Lambert here: Top of the leaderboard: HV.1, EG.5 a strong second, with FL.1.15.1 and XBB. trailing. No BA.2.86 (although that has showed up in CDC’s airport testing). Still a Bouillabaisse…

From CDC, October 28:

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, November 18:

Lambert here: Slight increases in some age groups, conforming to wastewater data. 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 November 22:

Definitely up. New York state as a whole looks more like a spike. (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. November 11:

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, November 20:

0.5%. Decline arrested. (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, November 11:

Lambert here: Increase (with backward revision; guess they thought it was over). 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 30:

Down, albeit in the rear view mirror. And here are the variants for travelers, October 30:

BA.2.86 really rolling now among travelers, so it has to be getting loose. Variant mavens are worried:

No sign of JN.1 (a more evasive subvariant of BA.2.86), at least in this chart.


Total: 1,182,999 – 1,182,945 = 54 (54 * 365 = 19,710 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

NOT UPDATED The Economist, November 18:

Lambert here: Based on a machine-learning model.

Stats Watch

Employment Situation: “United States Initial Jobless Claims” [Trading Economics]. “The number of Americans filing for unemployment benefits fell by 24,000 to 209,000 on the week ending November 18th, dropping sharply from the three-month high in the previous week and well below market expectations of 225,000. In the meantime, continuing claims fell by 22,000 to 1,840,000 in the previous week, retreating from the two-year high hit in the previous report. The result indicates that the slowdown in the labor market has not fully materialized yet, allowing the Federal Reserve the flexibility to maintain interest rates at restrictive levels.”

Manufacturing: “United States Durable Goods Orders” [Trading Economics]. “New orders for manufactured durable goods in the United States plummeted by 5.4% month-over-month in October 2023, reversing a 4.0% surge seen in September and significantly surpassing market expectations of a 3.1% drop. It was the second-largest fall in durable goods orders since April 2020, mainly driven by reduced demand for transportation equipment.”

* * *

Today’s Fear & Greed Index: 67 Greed (previous close: 63 Greed) [CNN]. One week ago: 56 (Neutral). (0 is Extreme Fear; 100 is Extreme Greed). Last updated Nov 22 at 1:58:06 PM ET.

The Gallery

Our timeline:

News of the Wired

“Best Practices for Time Travelers” [Idle Words]. “Tensors, closed time-like curves, manifolds, shmanifolds – it’s a lot to keep straight. After all, you just push the button, why should you know how the thing works? But if you want to be believed, you’ll have to sound convincing about the underlying physics. Here again, Titor is your model. Instead of spouting voodoo about flux capacitors, tachyons, or the fifth dimension, he grounds himself firmly in general relativity with talk about electrically charged microsingularities (mini-black holes). Don’t forget that quantum gravity isn’t understood until… well, you know when. In the early 21st century, time travel through black holes is still an open question…. So don’t go all crazy on the details, or you’re bound to misremember something. “Black holes” is plenty, you don’t get hung up on weights and measures.” • Readers? Anyone with experience, please speak up!

* * *

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 WB:

WB writes: “This is the week for the Sumac to sing…”

* * *

Readers: Water Cooler is a standalone entity not covered by the annual NC fundraiser. So if you see a link you especially like, or an item you wouldn’t see anywhere else, please do not hesitate to express your appreciation in tangible form. Remember, a tip jar is for tipping! Regular positive feedback both makes me feel good and lets me know I’m on the right track with coverage. When I get no donations for five or ten days I get worried. More tangibly, a constant trickle of donations helps me with expenses, and I factor in that trickle when setting fundraising goals:

Here is the screen that will appear, which I have helpfully annotated:

If you hate PayPal, you can email me at lambert [UNDERSCORE] strether [DOT] corrente [AT] yahoo [DOT] com, and I will give you directions on how to send a check. Thank you!

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
This entry was posted in Water Cooler on by .

About Lambert Strether

Readers, I have had a correspondent characterize my views as realistic cynical. Let me briefly explain them. I believe in universal programs that provide concrete material benefits, especially to the working class. Medicare for All is the prime example, but tuition-free college and a Post Office Bank also fall under this heading. So do a Jobs Guarantee and a Debt Jubilee. Clearly, neither liberal Democrats nor conservative Republicans can deliver on such programs, because the two are different flavors of neoliberalism (“Because markets”). I don’t much care about the “ism” that delivers the benefits, although whichever one does have to put common humanity first, as opposed to markets. Could be a second FDR saving capitalism, democratic socialism leashing and collaring it, or communism razing it. I don’t much care, as long as the benefits are delivered. To me, the key issue — and this is why Medicare for All is always first with me — is the tens of thousands of excess “deaths from despair,” as described by the Case-Deaton study, and other recent studies. That enormous body count makes Medicare for All, at the very least, a moral and strategic imperative. And that level of suffering and organic damage makes the concerns of identity politics — even the worthy fight to help the refugees Bush, Obama, and Clinton’s wars created — bright shiny objects by comparison. Hence my frustration with the news flow — currently in my view the swirling intersection of two, separate Shock Doctrine campaigns, one by the Administration, and the other by out-of-power liberals and their allies in the State and in the press — a news flow that constantly forces me to focus on matters that I regard as of secondary importance to the excess deaths. What kind of political economy is it that halts or even reverses the increases in life expectancy that civilized societies have achieved? I am also very hopeful that the continuing destruction of both party establishments will open the space for voices supporting programs similar to those I have listed; let’s call such voices “the left.” Volatility creates opportunity, especially if the Democrat establishment, which puts markets first and opposes all such programs, isn’t allowed to get back into the saddle. Eyes on the prize! I love the tactical level, and secretly love even the horse race, since I’ve been blogging about it daily for fourteen years, but everything I write has this perspective at the back of it.


    1. Lee

      Best Bolognese sauce I ever tasted was that made by my son with meat from a wild boar he shot. If only more people knew!

      1. Wukchumni

        It’s all good until Puerco Rican gangs lay waste to your lawn in the worst roto-till job ever, searching for grubs.

  1. Tom Stone

    Wow, if the Biden re election campaign gets any shakier the FBI may have to Kidnap Gretchen Whitmer again.
    She’s a good sport and I’m sure she’d go along with it just like she did in 2020.

    1. Debbie

      What a great time for a Black Friday False Flag attack.

      Think of the advantages to the moribund Biden campaign!

      Now if they can just figure out how to combine, assault weapons, Hamas symps, racism, a little homophobia, posting on Brand X, maybe some anti trans rhetoric and of course, a Trump flag, it will be just what’s needed.

      1. nippersdad

        “What a great time for a Black Friday False Flag attack.”

        There was a car that just ran into a fence and burst into forty foot flames at a border checkpoint in Niagara Falls a few hours ago. They have now closed all the checkpoints in New York state.


        If you scroll down, the FOX affiliate story is saying that there were explosives in the car. Not saying it is a false flag, but Hochul appears to be taking full advantage of it.

  2. Lee

    “Each of us are one infection away from having [long covid].”

    New Book Chronicles Life Of Those Living With Long COVID KQED radio. Interview begins at minute 2:20. Alas, it is too brief given the topic, but every little bit helps.

    “While many Americans feel like the COVID pandemic is in the past, countless others are still feeling symptoms months or years after they were infected. They’re suffering from Long COVID. One such person is Bay Area writer and author Mary Ladd, who recruited more than 40 people from across the country to share essays and poetry in The Long COVID Reader, released earlier this month.
    Guests: Mary Ladd and Lisa Carpentier, The Long COVID Reader.

    Author’s website: https://www.maryladd.com/

    1. Lee

      In other Covid news:

      COVID Mask Update As California County Issues Mandate Newsweek

      This is in Marin County, populated by the good and the great, that is wealthy PMC/DNC worthies, and more than its fair share of Davos attendees.

      It is my impression that understandings prevalent here regarding Covid as to its persistence and its dangers, are of late more often appearing in the MSM. This article actually contains the sentence:

      “A major review into face masks published in August by the Royal Society in the U.K. concluded they “unequivocally” reduced COVID-19 infections.”

  3. Wukchumni

    “Best Practices for Time Travelers” [Idle Words]. “Tensors, closed time-like curves, manifolds, shmanifolds – it’s a lot to keep straight. After all, you just push the button, why should you know how the thing works? But if you want to be believed, you’ll have to sound convincing about the underlying physics.

    I did a shit ton of time traveling vis a vis aged round metal discs, or as I called them ‘black holes’.

    They only started putting dates on them in the 1400’s, so I was often purposely vague in terms of timing on say ancient Greek & Roman coins, the only thing being sure was the era of an emperor’s reign, in order to narrow it down.

    When the Roman Denarius went from being 95% silver to almost no silver content in the 3rd century AD, a common practice among merchants was to make test cuts in the edge with a file to ascertain that it was in fact from the old guard in terms of money, being doubting thomasii. The collector market presently greatly discounts these coins with a tale to tell as they appear disfigured, but I imagine being in a seedy Rome bar asking for a Bloody Mary, only to have the barkeep tell me i’ll have to wait 1,200 years for tomatoes & potatoes to show up from the new world-but he can offer me a stalk of celery, that sort of thing.

    I settle for a glass of mead and proffer one of those disfigured Denarii and he smiles, as similar to the USA despite hundreds of billions of silver coins produced from 1794 to 1964, you’ll never see one in circulation, Gresham!

  4. Tom Stone

    One cool thing about the 21st Century is how quickly and dramatically things can change.
    In only ONE DAY the Palestinian people stopped being Semites.
    It’s amazing!
    And if it weren’t for out free and fearless press I would never have known about it.

  5. DJG, Reality Czar

    Garrett Epps. I went back into the article, having noticed some, errrr, infelicities in what Lambert Strether quotes here. But “After the Civil War, Robert E. Lee” truly does come off as a rant by someone who wants you to know that he knows much more than you know and even knows the names of experts.

    I had to check this assertion: for the sole reason that Southern whites would not accept that Abraham Lincoln won the 1860 election

    Really Epps? That was what the Civil War was all about?

    If that were the case, then why did the Union pass the thirteenth, fourteenth, and fifteenth amendments afterward? It was pretty darn obvious that Lincoln was president. Matter settled. No amendments needed! No abolition of slavery, no guarantees of citizenship, no expansion of suffrage. Which is what these amendments are mainly about.

    It didn’t help that I kept hearing some Eppsoid creature reciting the column in that inimitable, I’m-so-exhausted-by-my-inferiors, upper-middle-class singsong that Rachel Maddow uses, thinking it makes her rhetorically all that much stronger.

    1. JBird4049

      Actually, it was the Southern elites, which primarily owners of large plantations full of owned human beings, who both wanted to keep owning people and wanted to expand slavery to wherever they could. Aside from trying to deny freedom in the North to blacks, then expanding it to the American Southwest, there were actual plans for Mexico, Central America, and Cuba, after they had been taken over by Americans and not necessarily by the American military.

      Abraham Lincoln was not quite known as an active abolitionist, but he was known to be against its expansion, which would have ended the grandiose, wealth creating, expansion of slavery by those Southerners. That is why they were “unsure” about his being elected. Their wallets were thinking for them.

        1. Anthony K Wikrent

          In his 1924 book, The Southern Oligarchy: An Appeal in Behalf of the Silent Masses of Our Country Against the Despotic Rule of the Few, William H. Skaggs, a progressive Alabama political leader who was eventually forced to flee to the North, writes:

          The traditions of the Southern people were opposed to free schools. The institution of slavery that dominated in all economic, social and civic affairs of the South was opposed to education except for the privileged class of the social and political aristocracy. In theory and “actual practice it was held that parents should provide for the education of their children the same as for food and clothes. Attempts were sometimes made to provide schools for poor children by the gifts of generous friends, but in such cases the suggestion of poverty placed the schools almost on a level with the almshouse. In the few cases where “free schools” were provided they were seldom patronized by those who needed them most.

          Referring to the history of the common schools in the Southern States, the late Dr. J. L. M. Curry, manager of the Peabody Fund, and one of the most active and useful workers in the cause of education in the South, said: It must be borne in mind that under the ancient regime no public school system providing universal education existed in the South. There was no system adequate even to the education at public expense of the white youth. Our peculiar social system forbade the education of the Negroes. That obviously would have been impossible and dangerous. . . .

          In his 2017 book, From Oligarchy to Republicanism: The Great Task of Reconstruction (University of Missouri Press), Forrest A. Nabors quotes the Republicans senators and representatives debating the legislation to enact Reconstruction after the Civil War, who had to grapple with the slaveholding oligarchy that had arisen from the economic inequality of the South. including describing how the disposition, nature, and behavior of slaveholders became ever more despotic and tyrannical over time. In a section entitled “How Slavery Causes Oligarchy: Effect on the Personal Character of Masters,” Nabors excerpts and paraphrases from Senator Charles Sumner’s dramatic speech upon his return to the Senate in 1860 (after more than three years recuperating and rehabilitating from the attack by South Carolina Congressmen Preston Brooks in 1856).

          Slavery reshaped the political society that admitted it, imparted its essential character, barbarism, to that political society, and reorganized it around that central principle. The inner character of slavery corresponded to the inner character of the political regime, which bred men with its corresponding character, American barbarians…. P88

          The central issue was that “Slavery, by building up a ruling and dominant class, had produced a spirit of oligarchy adverse to republican institutions…”

          Nabors quotes from a number of Civil War era leaders of the Republican Party, who had to grapple with the tasks of defining who the Confederate enemy was, and then replacing that enemy’s system of government after that enemy had been defeated by force of arms:

          “Knowledge,” Thaddeus Stevens said in 1835, “is the only foundation on which republics can stand.” This theory and its opposite, that ignorance is the only foundation on which oligarchy can stand, runs through the Republicans’ criticism of the slave states’ abstention from establishing a healthy common school system. They argued that the slave-state rulers deliberately prevented the development of common schools because popular ignorance was their policy goal. The arrangement of educational institutions in the slave states secured this goal and supported oligarchic rule…. in 1858, Senator Zachariah Chandler of Michigan quoted from the annual message of South Carolina governor Whitemarsh Seabrook: “Education has been provided by the Legislature but for one class of the citizens of the State, which is the wealthy class. For the middle and poorer classes of society it has done nothing, since no organized system has been adopted for that purpose….

          In 1861… Waltman Willey [who was elected from the western mountains around Morganton to go to the secession convention, where he stubbornly voted against secession over and over again, then served in the U.S. Senate representing the Restored Government of Virginia, then served as one of the first two Senators from the new state of West Virginia] directly explained why the oligarchy opposed free schools: “Sir, great astonishment has been expressed at the hostility of southern statesmen to popular education. But, sir, we ought not to be surprised at it. Knowledge is power; and to keep the masses in ignorance is a necessary precaution to keep them in subjection. To maintain the oligarchy of the few owning the capital, it is necessary to bind down with the slavish chains of ignorance the many who perform the labor. . . . Sir, the true reason of this hostility to popular education is hostility to democratic institutions.
          In 1862 Willey’s colleague from western Virginia Representative Kellian Whaley similarly denounced the policy of the slaveholding aristocrats in eastern Virginia and imputed to them the same motive. The eastern Virginian aristocracy jealously guarded their power over the state… “One of the greatest injuries sustained by our western people has been an organized opposition to a system of free schools and popular education, by which the bright but untutored minds of our mountain ranges and humbler classes have not been developed, while colleges and seminaries for the rich have been fostered by eastern legislation. To keep the people in ignorance is a part of the policy of their masters, the forty thousand slave-owners of East Virginia.”

          Nabors quotes West Virginia Senator during the Civil War, Waltman Willey, explaining why the South had no system of free public education: “Sir, the true reason of this hostility to popular education is hostility to democratic institutions.”

          One of the tragedies of American history has been our recurring inability to treat oligarchs as dangers to the republic. Lambert, for example, is propounding a literalist interpretation of the Constitution to argue that the President of the US is not an officer of the US. And Lambert is well enough versed in certain arguments about the letter of the law versus the spirit of the law, which is really the central issue being raised by Epps.

          1. rowlf

            Thanks for the well written reply, and Thaddeus Stevens is in my family tree. I am always fascinated how the south got the poor to fight for them.

            1. JBird4049

              If you want to get angry, the ruling families of Alabama (and IIRC Mississippi as well) both of the antebellum and today are the same. The plantation class is essentially intact there.

              I do not think it a coincidence that the two poorest states in the Union are those states.

  6. mrsyk

    Can’t wait to get my DLCC Card! I’m gonna put it in my wallet, right next to my ACLU card, heh heh.
    Sorry, another dark day for me.

    1. jo6pac

      When I get mine I think I’ll start calling other members so we can unionize. We’ll hold back your votes until we get real health care, bump up SS, end the endless wars, and of course start fixing Amerika’s problem here at home. Oh sure;-)

  7. nippersdad

    There is something very AxelRovian about that picture of Biden in front of his bonfire of a birthday cake. Leaning into their weaknesses and daring anyone to say something about it was pretty clever. It may also serve to prevent anyone from asking what is in it.

      1. nippersdad

        Volodimir Zelenski approves this message. “Sniff.”

        “We only pardon turkeys, man, the rest are fair game.”

        1. Wukchumni

          If you want to hang out, you’ve gotta bow out, Ukraine
          If you want to get down, lay your weapons down on the ground, Ukraine

          He does line, he does lines, he does lines

          If you got bad news, you want to kick them blues, Ukraine
          When your day is done, and you want to run, Ukraine

          He does line, he does lines, he does lines

          If your day is gone, and you want to ride on, Ukraine
          Don’t forget this fact, you can’t get it back, Ukraine

          He does line, he does lines, he does lines

          He does line, he does lines, he does lines


          Cocaine, performed by Eric Clapton


    1. Reify99

      My grandmother used to send everyone in our large family a fruitcake for Christmas. She’d make them in the Summer and then drizzle rum over them daily until it was time to mail them. My wife decided to toast a slice and the toaster promptly burst into flames!

      1. The Rev Kev

        What your wife should have done was to cut off a slice off that cake, raise it high and say ‘Ladies and Gentlemen – the King.’

    2. JM

      I’m glad I’m not the only person who saw the Biden cake pic and thought of the “this is fine” meme. I don’t know anything about the site, but Daily Dot had a decent selection of roasts.

      Utterly baffling to me that this is what they put out.

    3. The Rev Kev

      That image is being used for any number of memes and one I saw was Biden and his cake in a room with cartoon flames and Biden saying “This is fine.”

      1. Hepativore

        There is something ridiculously Panglossian about the DNC and the media establishment in terms of how hard they have tried to maintain a façade of denial over the fact that not only does the emperor (Biden) have no clothes; he also does not know where he is.

  8. nippersdad

    Re: “Is this a secret code?”

    Dean has been saying this all summer, and continued even after he announced. It must be lonely being the only placeholder openly waiting for Biden to fall off a stage. Everyone will probably be a lot nicer to him when he announces that he wants to run with Condoleeza Rice. The mere idea of what could literally be a Biden clone running with a representative sample of black womanhood will be more excitement than they will be able to contain.

  9. caucus99percenter

    According to the Ipsos exit poll, Geert Wilders’ right-wing populist Party for Freedom (PVV) is the big winner of the Dutch parliamentary elections, which potentially could make Wilders the next prime minister.

    The second-place Green + Labour Party Alliance now has to try to cobble together a majority coalition that excludes Wilders.


  10. Samuel Conner

    That birthday inferno looks to be “creating its own weather.” The updraft seems to be creating a partial vacuum that bends the flames inward. Were they trying for a SpaceX heavy booster look?

    We seem to be burning the whole world down, so I suppose that a conflagration in the WH is only appropriate.

    1. nippersdad

      There is a movie plot there: Backdraft; White House version.

      “A rookie firefighter tries to earn the respect of his older brother and other firefighters while taking part in an investigation of a string of arson/murders. This detailed look into the duties and private lives of firemen naturally features widespread pyrotechnics and special effects.
      —Keith Loh ”


      That might work. If they get it into production quickly they can have Dean Phillips play the plucky understudy in time for release just prior to the primaries. The White House hasn’t burned since 1812, so a theatrical reprise may be in order.

  11. NorD94

    Deja Vu All Over Again

    Another Pandemic? Mystery Pneumonia Sweeps Through Chinese Schools – In Beijing and Liaoning, hospitals are struggling with an influx of sick children, while both students and teachers are affected.


    China, still reeling from the devastating impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, now faces a new threat: a mysterious pneumonia outbreak sweeping through schools. This alarming situation, reminiscent of the early days of the COVID crisis, has led to a surge in hospitalizations, casting an ominous shadow over the country’s healthcare system.

    Hospitals in Beijing and Liaoning, 500 miles northeast, are struggling to cope with an influx of sick children, straining their resources to the breaking point. Local media reports suggest that school closures are imminent due to the outbreak. The affected children present with unusual symptoms, including lung inflammation and high fever, but noticeably lack the typical cough and other signs associated with flu, RSV, and other respiratory illnesses.

    2nd article, similar info

    Chinese hospitals swamped with severe child pneumonia cases – Mycoplasma pneumoniae is causing a wave of severe illness among children, as well as some adults, experts say.

    1. Tom Stone

      NorD94, this may be another indication of the effects of Immune dysregulation.
      I experienced the effects of being immunocompromised when undergoing chemo and was lucky to survive, tens of Millions are about to get that same lesson and not all will be as lucky as I was…just 5 days in ICU.

      1. Janie

        You’ve had your share if health issues and more! Here’s an early wish for good health in 2024 (starting now).

    2. ambrit

      Can we say ‘Jackpot’ comrades?
      I never thought that I would be seriously considering the Chinese Communist Party as being “fellow travelers” to the Davos Crowd.

    1. Tom Stone

      Ann, Whitney Webb’s two volume “One Nation Under Blackmail” is the best resource i have found for those interested in blackmail ops in the USA from the days of Ray Cohn through the Epstein years.
      At the end of Volume 2 she states that the reason Epstein and Maxwell were shut down is that they were no longer needed.
      Modern surveillance tech made them obsolete.

    2. nippersdad

      And the kinds of money AIPAC operatives are openly prepared to spend in getting rid of pols is really quite shocking. Twenty million against Tlaib, a hundred million against the squad, why there isn’t more of an uproar about what is essentially an unlicensed foreign foreign intervention in our elections system is beyond me.



      1. ChrisRUEcon

        > why there isn’t more of an uproar about what is essentially an unlicensed foreign foreign intervention in our elections system is beyond me

        … by design … but the tide is turning.

  12. The Rev Kev

    “After the Civil War, Robert E. Lee Couldn’t Run for President, but Trump Can?”

    it’s a weird article talking about laws passed over a century and a half ago to make sure that Confederates of that generation would not be permitted to serve in office so it was through time a self-terminating measure. Since the last known Confederate died about seventy years ago, then Mission Accomplished. But here they are trying to do a Lazarus with a triple bypass on this law and twist it to mean something completely different in the 21st century which is akin to playing with sweaty dynamite. They should simply call Trump to the stand, swear him in and ask him ‘Are you now or have you ever been a member of the Confederacy?’ and if he answers no, then case closed.

    1. Carolinian

      Isn’t the absurdity more the notion that the jan 6 guided capitol tour was something like the Civil War? One should also point out that the North itself was by and large eager to reunite with the South since to most of them the war was about union, not slavery. This attitude persisted well into the 20th century with the blacks and their presence here being blamed for the quarrel between “brothers.”

      Meanwhile Biden keeps sinking in the polls. He is their Trump problem.

  13. Tom Stone

    I think it’s wonderful that HRC is considering another run for President, if we are going to have an essentially meaningless shitshow let’s have a totally over the top shitshow!
    I want a show!!
    Politics is show business for ugly people and while I can’t think of anyone uglier from the inside out than Billary, can she perform at a high ( Low?) enough level?
    Maybe if she increases the transfusions to two or three times a day…

  14. Bugs

    Happy Thanksgiving to all you Americans here. I don’t always do the holiday but it somehow appeals this year.

    Making a capon tomorrow because a turkey is just too darned hard to find out here in the Norman countryside until mid December when they start coming to market. Mrs Bugs called it Al, which is pretty cute.

    1. ChrisRUEcon

      > In any case, the rapidity and efficiency with which Democrats seize on verbal infelicities is in marked contrast to their lethargic and bungled messaging on anything of material benefit to voters.

      Dem Math:

      #TribalVirtueSignaling >> #TangibleMaterialBenefits

    2. ChrisRUEcon

      > I do care that Biden could be losing his mind, and I worry what happens when juicing him up doesn’t work. Why can’t our TV comics say that?

      Well, we don’t want the Dem base to be capable of that level of critical thought, now do we? :)

      Much better for politics-as-sport to just have issues presented like teams running out of the tunnel to cheers or jeers …

    3. ChrisRUEcon


      > Not just Michigan, then …

      Oddly enough, digging into data, it appears that there are higher numbers – both in terms of population and percentage of overall population – than those in Michigan. New York, New Jersey and Illinois are others. I don’t think NY, NJ & CA are in danger of flipping red … yet. But if things get close – we could have some really uncomfortable moments with Steve Kornacki on the big board come election night.

    4. ChrisRUEcon

      “Let’s be clear: The only reason a fundamental right has been stripped away from the American people for the first time in American history is because of Trump.”

      > No, it’s because Democrats never codified Roe into law, as they promised to do, and never did. Then of course there are all those Federalist Society judges the Democrats never went to the mat on, but passed right up through the court system until they made it to the Supreme Court.

      Exactly … distinctly remember Chuck Schumer fast tracking a whole bunch or Trump judges before one recess … top notch!

      And of course, #TooTallJones on his “First 100 Days” address (via X/Twitter).

  15. petal

    Re Time Travelers/Titor: The Why Files on YT did an episode on him. Had never heard of it/him before then. Was interesting and fun. Sure wish I could time travel. Would make my genealogy brick walls easier. Towns in the Finger Lakes have not taken care of burial records and in one, all records of literally everything pre-1930 were lost in a fire so I won’t be able to find my 4th GGPs, another 3 towns have no record of another three burials, surrounding towns aren’t being helpful(results of a serious brain drain, I think), and a funeral home has “lost records”. So I’m never going to be able to find these people. Wasn’t even that long ago, either. The 2 Revolutionary War veterans I understand, they were 200 years ago. Most of these were barely 100. So yeah, someone needs to get working on a time machine-yesterday. Pretty please?

    And that membership card you get by cutting it out of a $10 DLCC cereal box-do you get a super secret decoder ring with it, too?

    1. rowlf

      Not sure of which area of the NY Finger Lakes you are looking at but also check with the monument companies, some have been in business for a long time in that area.

    2. The Rev Kev

      If you think that it is hard finding burial records then consider the early Presbyterian families that I am researching. Yes, they kept baptism and marriage records but they kept no burial records at all. :(

  16. ChrisFromGA

    Sing to the tune of “Lucy in the sky with diamonds”

    Ukraine suicide with Biden

    Picture yourself on a boat on the Dnipr
    No military objective, just news sugar highs
    Somebody calls you, you answer quite slowly
    The war machine shrugs as you die

    Tungsten tipped warhead of gun metal gray
    Heading right down for your head
    Look for the shore with your very last breath and you’re gone

    Ukraine suicide with Biden!
    Ukraine suicide with Biden!
    Ukraine suicide with Biden
    Whoa – oh

    Follow a clown to a bridge head to nowhere
    While safe NATO generals
    Sip coffee and chai
    Everyone smiles as they count up the death toll
    That grows so incredibly high

    Charnal house porters appear on the shore
    Waiting to take you away
    Jump in the trench with the petal-mined dirt and you’re gone


    Ukraine’s suicide with Biden!
    Ukraines suicide; thank Biden!
    Ukraines suicide; thank Biden!

    Picture yourself in a hospital in Gaza
    With plaster-full-o-bullets, and screaming death cries
    Suddenly, something explodes thru the ceiling
    The War machine shrugs as you die

    Bibis genocide, thank Biden!
    Bibis genocide, with Biden!
    Bibis genocide, thank Biden!

    Oh …

  17. Jason Boxman

    Novel MRI reveals brain changes in long-COVID patients

    “This study allows for an in vivo insight on the impact of COVID-19 on the brain,” Dr. Rau said. “Here, we noted gray matter alterations in both patients with long-COVID and those unimpaired after a COVID-19 infection. Interestingly, we not only noted widespread microstructural alterations in patients with long COVID, but also in those unimpaired after having contracted COVID-19.”

  18. rowlf

    I’ll set aside the issue that literally no Trump quote can be trusted unless it’s checked against a transcript; this has been true of all mainstream press coverage of Trump since the beginning. – Lambert

    I am always thankful you mention this, as I noticed this during the 2016 campaign after watching a Trump rally and then noting how the MSM reported it. The MSM reports rarely matched what actually transpired. The ‘I Could Shoot Someone and Not Lose Any Voters, Okay?’ quote is a great example of why the transcript is required.

    At a certain point it becomes fun to see the MSM frantically try to be the gatekeepers between the President and the Vice President as far as what we are allowed to see and hear them say for ourselves. Why would we need this much filtering in a democracy?

    1. steppenwolf fetchit

      If the pneumonia is from a “known organism” and the only mystery is why so many people are getting it now, then that is a different sort of problem than if it was a new mystery organism.

      So which is it? Well known organism but the mystery is why so many children and non-old adults are getting it? Or unknown organism?

  19. ChrisRUEcon


    Walgreens – Inside The Numbers

    Has anyone noticed that in some states – notably TX and FL, the number of tests being taken have risen sharply?

    TX (this year):
    Date | +ve-ity | Total Tests
    5/26 | 18.8% | 573
    11/19 | 22.5% | 2356

    FL (this year):
    Date | +ve-ity | Total Tests
    6/8 | 25.9% | 490
    11/19 | 17.3% | 1398

    Is this just flu season and a COVID wave colliding (again)? Or is this now the network effects of more people realizing through infections and maybe even long COVID in their social circles that they need to be more vigilant?


    1. ChrisRUEcon


      I find it really interesting that it’s mainly school-age children. I am wanting to agree with Tom Stone above that this may be more immune system dysregulation sequelae, since mycoplasma pneumoniae is bacteria. But, I dunno. Dear ${DEITY}, please … not another one.

  20. Even keel

    Sports desk:

    guardian article

    An AI with a video avatar is “running” for leadership of world soccer (FIFA). The avatar is a picture of a woman.

    Hope Sogni” would like to be Fifa’s 10th – and first female – president, putting forward a progressive programme and highlighting the vital role women can play in the decision-making process.


    She also exists as the voice of this calibre of women in the game, built to represent their collective outlook

    It’s great!

  21. scott s.

    “The DLCC is implying — no, openly saying — that the Democrat Party is a membership organization. ”

    I don’t see that at all. Of course these funding activities want to encourage giving/ownership. But these national funding activities were created by party-identified politicians who enshrined them within FEC law. Likewise the DNC/RNC have specific powers granted for fund raising via the FEC. The fund raising aspect isn’t really identical to the concept of “party membership” which historically has been a state matter. The primary value of “membership” is being allowed to use the party name in running for elective office. Otherwise “membership” is mostly a factor for the internal operation of the state party organization (typically a state central committee and various subsidiary bodies). Here in Hawaii, voter registration does not involve any party identification, neither does voting, but state law is silent about Presidential / Vice Presidential nominating process. Parties (state recognized or not) are free to do what they want, and for 2024 the Ds will have a mail-in, ranked choice ballot. That ballot will only be made available to registered voters who enroll in the DPH. That enrollment is generally considered “membership”.

Comments are closed.