2:00PM Water Cooler 11/3/2023

By Lambert Strether of Corrente.

Bird Song of the Day

Large-footed Finch, Cerro de la Muerte; km 107, San José, Costa Rica.

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“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

“Trump faces dual lawsuits to keep him off the ballot in 2024” [Olivia Rinaldi, CBS]. “Section 3 of the 14th Amendment states that anyone who swore an oath to uphold the Constitution and then “engaged in insurrection” is prohibited from holding higher office.” • No, not “anyone.” This damaging distortion was propagated earlier this week by Larry Tribe; when quoting the Fourteenth Amendment he simply cut the words that undercut his thesis, as I show here. Now pack journalists like Rinaldi have picked it up.

“Section 3 Disqualifications for Democracy Preservation” [Ilya Somin, Lawfare]. Love the name. Here, CATO Institute goon Somin jumps into bed with Larry (and Olivia):

There is an ongoing debate over whether Donald Trump must be disqualified from holding the presidency—or any public office—under Section 3 of the 14th Amendment. Enacted in the aftermath of the Civil War, Section 3 states that “No person” can hold any state or federal office if they had previously held state or federal public office in the United States and then “engaged in insurrection or rebellion against the same, or given aid or comfort to the enemies thereof.”

Once again, the text of Section Three:

No person shall be a Senator or Representative in Congress, or elector of President and Vice-President, or hold any office, civil or military, under the United States, or under any State, who, having previously taken an oath, as a member of Congress, or as an officer of the United States, or as a member of any State legislature, or as an executive or judicial officer of any State, to support the Constitution of the United States, shall have engaged in insurrection or rebellion against the same, or given aid or comfort to the enemies thereof. But Congress may by a vote of two-thirds of each House, remove such disability.

Very clearly, Section Three does not apply to “anyone.” If the drafters of the Fourteenth Amendment had meant “previously held state or federal public office”, presumbly that’s what they would have written. And a colorable case has been made (here; here; here) that the President — being elected by the whole people — is not an “officer of the United States,” although he may indeed appoint those officers. Tribe and now Somin need to engage with that argument, not simply edit out words they don’t like. It’s like none of these nimrods can parse a gerund (“no person… who, having….”) any more than the winger morons who handed our public spaces over to the gun humpers in a tendentious misreading of the Second Amendment (“being necessary”), in yet another sign of civilizational collapse. Be prepared for a ginormous jouissance of liberal aghastitude when the Supreme Court rules on the issue, in favor of what I regard as the proper construction (granted, IANAL).

CO: “Could the Courts Actually Take Trump Off the Ballot?” [The Atlantic]. “The trial is expected to last one week. Judge Sarah Wallace is determined to have the matter settled by Thanksgiving. Colorado is a “Super Tuesday” state, so its presidential primary will occur on March 5. Military and overseas ballots must be sent out 45 days before then, meaning that the ballots themselves will be printed in December or very early January. Griswold could not offer an exact ballot-printing deadline, noting that the sheets are prepared at various plants throughout Colorado.” • Presumably all the other judges in these cases are as aware of the printing deadlines for ballots (and surely the liberal Democrats aren’t going to manage to throw Trump off the ballot by filing a late case, so a State can’t make the deadline at the printers?).

MN: “Supreme Court Chief Hudson asks if court should disqualify Trump — even if it can” [Star-Tribune]. “Minnesota Supreme Court Chief Justice Natalie Hudson posed a basic question Thursday at the outset of oral arguments on a petition seeking to use the U.S. Constitution’s insurrection clause to disqualify former President Donald Trump from the 2024 ballot. If the court’s justices agree that they have the ability to bar Trump, ”Should we’ is the question that concerns me most,’ the chief said. She raised the prospect of chaos if 50 state courts decide differently on Trump’s eligibility. ‘So, should we do it?’ she asked. The question went to Ronald Fein, lawyer for a bipartisan coalition including the national nonprofit Free Speech for People, former Secretary of State Joan Growe and former Supreme Court Justice Paul H. Anderson. Hudson noted that prior cases on ballot disqualification gave mixed guidance on the issue. ‘Doesn’t that suggest we use caution and some judicial restraint and maintain the status quo?’ she asked. Fein countered that there is ‘ample authority’ to disqualify Trump and that the constitutional directive to the court is that it shall disqualify Trump.” Hudson is asking if indeed Section Three is “self-executing” (and implicitly contemplated an absurd result if it is so interpreted. I don’t think Fein is really answering that, at least as reported. More: “The court knows that time is critical. Arguing briefly for Simon, Assistant Attorney General Nathan Hartshorn took no position on Trump’s eligibility, but asked the court to rule no later than Jan. 5 so county election officials have time to prepare for the presidential primary before absentee voting begins Jan. 19.” • Good reporting. Worth reading in full.


Time for the Countdown Clock!

Only three more days until a full year to election day!

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“Judge Chutkan warns Trump’s attorneys not to share juror information with his campaign” [CNN]. “The judge overseeing the federal election subversion case against Donald Trump laid out some pre-trial deadlines and procedures for jury selection, as the former president tries to put the brakes on the entire case. On Thursday, Judge Tanya Chutkan handed down two orders, one setting up filing deadlines for prosecutors to respond to Trump’s long-shot dismissal motion and another outlining how jury questionnaires in the case will be handled. The trial is currently scheduled to begin on March 4, 2024, in Washington, DC. Jurors will be summoned to complete the questionnaires – which are generally designed to flag any issues a potential juror might have in the case – in early February. Chutkan made it clear that while prosecutors and defense attorneys can conduct open-source research on potential jurors, they can’t directly contact anyone or pass along any information that could identify a juror to a third party, including ‘the defendant’s campaign.'”

“Trump asks appeals court to stay gag order in D.C. 2020 election interference case” [CBS]. “In a late-night court filing, former President Donald Trump’s attorneys are asking the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals to stay District Judge Tanya Chutkan’s limited gag order in the D.C. 2020 election interference case brought by Special Counsel Jack Smith…. Trump asked the court to make a decision by Nov. 10. That is just eight days away, and so far, it doesn’t appear that a three-judge panel has been assigned to consider the case.” And: “[Chutkan barred] Trump from publicly targeting court staff, federal prosecutors by name, and potential witnesses in the case. The judge said at the time her order was not based on whether she liked the comments in question, but whether they could imperil the future trial. Trump, Chutkan said, was being treated like any other defendant.” • IMNSHO, Chutkan’s order should shield the staff, should shield witnesses who are not public figures or officials, but should not shield Smith (ffs). From the Trump team’s filing:

Loving the term “heckler’s veto.” Being a bit of a heckler myselr!

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“UAW’s Victory And Joe Biden’s Curse” [Brian Beutler, Off Message]. “This is mostly a story about victorious workers and the power of collective bargaining, but by the transferative property, which I just invented, it should also be a victory for Biden, who sided with the workers, walked a picket line with them, and can rightfully note that their success is evidence of a strong economy, with tight labor markets. By the inverse property it is also another mark against Donald Trump, who tried to bamboozle the workers into thinking he supported their efforts, then held a campaign event at a non-union shop and tried to subvert the very solidarity that just prevailed. I don’t actually think there’s any other reasonable way to sum it all up, but apart from rare entries like this one by Greg Sargent, it’s not how the political side of the UAW strike story played out in the public sphere. Trump initially succeeded at confusing the issue, because he was able to convince many people of his lies while Biden was still deciding how tightly he wanted to link himself to the work stoppage.” • And Biden “was still deciding” why? Because screwing the workers — like railroad workers — isn’t something a Democrat should do in an election year?

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Republican Funhouse

“Republicans work to square election integrity with new early voting push” [Washington Examiner]. “Republicans across the country are looking to snag wins in state and federal elections in 2023 and 2024, and they’re embracing early and absentee voting like never before to do it. But the party’s base also becomes increasingly skeptical of election security and results, namely the 2020 presidential election, leading to intensifying calls for ‘election integrity.’ The two goals can appear competing, as Republicans have criticized vote by mail and practices such as ballot harvesting for years. And as the party continues its significant early voting push, prominent Republicans deride the practice. In former President Donald Trump’s pitches in favor of voting early, he still mentions his concerns over its security and distaste for the method. ‘I will secure our elections, and our goal will be one-day voting with paper ballots and voter ID,’ he said in Iowa earlier this month. ‘But until then, Republicans have to compete, and we have to win.’ At a separate New Hampshire event, the former president told his supporters they don’t need to worry about voting at all because he has ‘plenty of votes.'”

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.

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“The Democrats Are Their Own Worst Enemies” [New York Times]. “As [John Judis] and [Ruy] Teixeira write in the book, ‘The Democratic Party has had its greatest success when it sought to represent the common man and woman against the rich and powerful, the people against the elite and the plebeians against the patricians.'” Teixeira invented the concept of the Democrat Party as a bundle of identity verticals, so his repositioning here is absolutely as shameless as we would expect a Democratic strategist’s to be. More: “Much of the Democratic Party’s agenda has been set by what Judis and Teixeira call the ‘shadow party,’ a mix of donors from Wall Street, Hollywood and Silicon Valley, wealthy foundations, activist groups, the media, lobbyists and scholars.” Scholars? Really? More: “For too long, the Democratic Party depended on shifting demographics to shore up its side [persuaded by Teixeira!]. Then it relied on the horror show of the G.O.P. to scare people onto its side. Both have been an effective and damaging distraction. As Judis and Teixeira put it, Democrats ‘need to look in the mirror and examine the extent to which their own failures contributed to the rise of the most toxic tendencies on the political right.’ We [who?] can no longer afford to avoid the hard truths. If the Democratic Party doesn’t focus on what it can deliver to more Americans, it won’t have to wonder anymore where all the Democrats went.” • If there’s one thing we know that the Democrat base in the hegemonic PMC cannot do, it’s self-reflect. So, “looking in the mirror” is, to coin a phrase, “the failed policies of the past.”

“FBI Raids Home of Top Adams Fundraiser Brianna Suggs as Mayor Rushes Back to NYC” [The City (Furzy Mouse)]. “Federal agents raided the Crown Heights home of a top fundraiser for Mayor Eric Adams early Thursday, according to reports, leading the mayor to return to the city immediately after traveling to Washington D.C. to discuss the migrant crisis. The raid on the residence of Brianna Suggs, first reported by The New York Times, happened as Adams arrived in the capital where he had been scheduled to join the mayors of Denver and Chicago to meet with senior White House and other officials. But after 9 a.m. he abruptly canceled all of his meetings and turned right around to return to New York City to deal with ‘a matter,’ his spokesperson said.” • Oh. Nice timing by the FBI, I must say.

“U.S. Investigating Whether Adams Received Illegal Donations From Turkey” [New York Times (Furzy Mouse)]. “Federal prosecutors and the F.B.I. are conducting a broad public corruption investigation into whether Mayor Eric Adams’s 2021 election campaign conspired with the Turkish government to receive illegal foreign donations, according to a search warrant obtained by The New York Times. The investigation burst into public view on Thursday when federal agents conducted an early-morning raid at the Brooklyn home of the mayor’s chief fund-raiser, Brianna Suggs. Ms. Suggs is a campaign consultant who is deeply entwined with efforts to advance the mayor’s agenda. Investigators also sought to learn more about the potential involvement of a Brooklyn construction company with ties to Turkey, as well as a small university in Washington, D.C., that also has ties to the country and to Mr. Adams. According to the search warrant, investigators were also focused on whether the mayor’s campaign kicked back benefits to the construction company’s officials and employees, and to Turkish officials.” And the university: “Investigators specified documents relating to Bay Atlantic University, a tiny Turkish-owned institution that opened in Washington, D.C., in 2014. The following year, Mr. Adams visited one of the school’s sister universities in Istanbul, where he was given various certificates and was told that a scholarship would be created in his name.” • Whoopsie. Well, so much for the cop-lovin’ Black Democrat with the million-watt smile! I wonder who has it in for him, and why?


“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!

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“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.

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Elite Maleficence

Second day of HICPAC meetings. Briefly because I need to process this:

HICPAC votes the draft through, rolling back masking so that it’s worse than pre-Covid pandemic levels, setting the stage for hospital mayhem in the next airborne pandemic (which come along every ten years ago, if memory serves):

I am Lambert’s lack of surprise. As I wrote back in July:

1. None of the hospitals with which the HICPAC members are affiliated have a policy of universal masking.

2. Though some of the HICPAC members look not unfavorably on masking, and on airborne transmission generally, none could be characterized as advocates.

3. Favorability toward universal masking, ideally with N95s, is inversely correlated with institutional clout; Mass General/Brighams vehemently opposed; the University of North Carolina and Barnes-Jewish persuadable..

4. The HICPAC committee members are in the pleasant position of being able to ratify as guidance policies that their institutions have already adopted (i.e., no universal masking, let along universal masking with N95s, going forward). One might, indeed, go so far as to characterize the HICPAC meeting as theatre, were there drama involved in a clearly pre-determined outcome[2].

Shorter: The fix was in. I will have more to say on this masterwork of stochastic eugenicism.

There is still time for comments:

Transcript from Day One:

“The HICPAC Public Comments threaded” [Lazarus Long, ThreadReader]. Many embedded videos.

Crowded, closed, close-contact:

I wish I could identify the two HICPAC members who are wearing masks.

Remember that footnote 2 of the HICPAC draft cites to that horrid Cochrane study, as I showed yesterday:

Jefferson is a nasty piece of work.

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Case Data

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.

Regional data:


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. 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

NOT UPDATED 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 November 3:

Leveled out, totally. (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 28:

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.

From CDC, traveler’s data, October 16:

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

Sudden big BA.2.86 appearance. This variant chart has not been updated, which makes me wonder if CDC is gaming the data, and BA.2.86 is worse than we think.


NOT UPDATED Iowa COVID-19 Tracker, September 27:

Lambert here: Dunno why no updates. I may have to drop this one, with great reluctance; I like my sources non-CDC.

Total: 1,181,289 – 1,181,151 = 138 (138 * 365 = 50,370 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, November 3:

Lambert here: Based on a machine-learning model.

Stats Watch

Employment Situation: “United States Unemployment Rate” [Trading Economics]. “The unemployment rate in the United States increased to 3.9% in October 2023, slightly exceeding market expectations and the previous month’s figure of 3.8%. This marks the highest jobless rate since January 2022, with the number of unemployed individuals rising by 146 thousand to 6.51 million, while the count of employed individuals decreased by 348 thousand to 161.2 million.”

Services: “United States ISM Services PMI” [Trading Economics]. “The ISM Services PMI fell to 51.8 in October 2023, the lowest in five months, and way below forecasts of 53.”

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Tech: “YouTube crackdown leads to ‘hundreds of thousands’ of ad blocker uninstalls” [9to5Google]. “After a few months of testing, YouTube has opened the floodgates to its blocking of ad blockers, and that’s led to a wave of uninstalls – but not of YouTube. YouTube’s crackdown on ad blockers started earlier this year in a limited capacity and slowly ramped up to affect more and more users. As of this week, the practice was in full swing, affecting virtually anyone using an ad blocker around the globe. YouTube says that using an ad blocker violates the platform’s policies. As Wired reports, this rollout has led to ‘hundreds of thousands’ of uninstalls, not of YouTube but of ad blockers. The figures apparently come from various ad-blocking companies, where October saw a ‘record number’ of people uninstalling ad blockers. Meanwhile, it also led to a record number of new installs, as many users looked to switch from one blocker to another in an effort to keep blocking ads. One ad-blocking company, Ghostery, shared that 90% of users who completed a survey when uninstalling their ad blocker cited YouTube’s changes as the reason.”

Manufacturing: “Auto execs are coming clean: EVs aren’t working” [Business Insider]. “With signs of growing inventory and slowing sales, auto industry executives admitted this week that their ambitious electric vehicle plans are in jeopardy, at least in the near term. Several C-Suite leaders at some of the biggest carmakers voiced fresh unease about the electric car market’s growth as concerns over the viability of these vehicles put their multi-billion-dollar electrification strategies at risk. Among those hand-wringing is GM’s Mary Barra, historically one of the automotive industry’s most bullish CEOs on the future of electric vehicles. GM has been an early-mover in the electric car market, selling the Chevrolet Bolt for seven years and making bold claims about a fully electric future for the company long before its competitors got on board. But this week on GM’s third-quarter earnings call, Barra and GM struck a more sober tone. The company announced with its quarterly results that it’s abandoning its targets to build 100,000 EVs in the second half of this year and another 400,000 by the first six months of 2024. GM doesn’t know when it will hit those targets…. almost all current EV product is going for under sticker price these days, and on top of that, some EVs are seeing manufacturer’s incentives of nearly 10%.” • Hmm.

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Today’s Fear & Greed Index: 41 Fear (previous close: 32 Fear) [CNN]. One week ago: 27 (Fear). (0 is Extreme Fear; 100 is Extreme Greed). Last updated Nov 3 at 1:02:53 PM ET. Not sure why the turn-around. Nasrallah’s speech?

Our Famously Free Press

“No, newsrooms don’t need to cede control to social media” [Werd I/O]. “In the Washington Post, Taylor Lorenz writes about how influencers creating news content directly on modern social networks are outstripping traditional news sites in popularity:… The trouble is, of course, that creators and publications who publish directly on social media platforms are putting themselves at the mercy of the business decisions and policy whims of those companies…. But that’s doesn’t mean Taylor or the Reuters Institute report she cites are wrong. There are two key factors at play here: a loss of trust in journalistic institutions in favor of individuals, and a change in expectations around where to find content on the internet. The loss of trust in institutions has been ongoing for decades, and in some cases is well-earned. It’s also part of a shift in trust from brands to individuals overall. That’s been accelerated by social media in part, but really comes down to human dynamics. Influencers tend to be more representative of audience demographics than news institutions, which still skew older, richer, whiter, and male. They’re more likely to more closely represent the views of younger people. It’s fundamentally easier to trust a real person who is representative of your communities than some faceless organization that represents the more traditional values of the older audience members who are more likely to pay for subscriptions or make a donation.” • I dunno. The author trashes the blogosphere, to which I wish we could return (a time, also, when bloggers were the demographic Lorenz points to today. “We Were Bloggers Once, And Young.”

News of the Wired

“If You Plant Milkweed, They Will Come. (And Not Just the Butterflies.)” [New York Times]. “If you welcome this plant, a diverse, living fan base will follow close behind — and not only monarch butterflies… ‘The hungry throng’ that Mr. Lee-Mäder enumerates includes at least 40 insect species that ‘feed often or exclusively on North American milkweeds in the summer,’ he writes. They include butterflies, moths, beetles and aphids. In a milkweed seed-farm field in the Midwest, he recalls witnessing a cloud of aphids descend on the breeze, as if tuned in by GPS to the emerging crops’ location. ‘It’s like seeing nature sort of manifest itself out of thin air around this plant,’ he said. Before you say, ‘No, not aphids; not in my garden,’ think about their role in the big picture, Mr. Lee-Mäder said — as food for beneficial insects like lady beetles and lacewing insects, for instance, which are, in turn, food for birds. And one of the most abundant milkweed-visiting aphids, the nonnative oleander aphid, is host-specific, meaning it doesn’t eat other plants. Other invertebrates, including slugs, snails and spider mites, may feast on milkweeds, too, as do some larger animals, like rabbits and ground squirrels, which are apparently resistant to poisoning. Beyond so many opportunities for herbivory, Asclepias flowers provide nectar to adult butterflies and moths, along with an astonishing lineup of bee species and wasps.”

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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 ST:

ST writes: “Found the attached example of plant life in my backyard. Don’t know what it is, but it has interesting colors. Share with the readers if you like it.”

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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. digi_owl

    I try to avoid the actual Youtube site as much as possible, and instead use Invidious or piped instances.

    Sadly neither seem to cope well with live content.

    1. notabanker

      YT is now complete crap. The amount of ads is incessant and of course, completely lacking relevancy or class. Watching a car repair video and it is constantly interrupted with ads for women undergarment pads. Come on folks, not the demo for the user or the content. And of course, politics, politics, politics…. Decent platform is completely ruined with the worst form of capitalist smut.

      1. ambrit

        Similar experience here. YT has interrupted videos of live musical performances from yesteryear in the middle of a solo. More than once. Longer videos now being interrupted every five to six minutes. Very few “content creators” pace their productions to leave ‘natural’ spots for ads. Done strictly by a timer is what this looks like.
        Basically, the site is now unwatchable for anything other than news.
        Thinking back to the ‘halcyon’ days of broadcast television, I remember that teleplays were paced and plotted so as to provide “natural” spots where ads would exist without destroying the flow of the narrative. As with so much else now, that skill has been lost. I’ll go so far as to posit that such skills no longer are valued in the “entertainment” industry.
        If there is one word that best describes the “entertainment platforms” of today, that word would be “lazy.” Find the cheapest and easiest way to make some big bucks. That’s the ticket!
        One unexpected positive arising from this “next lap in the race to the bottom” is that I am watching a lot less Internet content and rediscovering the “real world” awaiting outside the pixel screen.
        Stay safe all.

        1. digi_owl

          The ad slots still happen on broadcast shows.

          Best i can tell the problem now is that Google are overriding even those uploads marked for “no ads”, because now it is Google that wants the revenue rather than the uploader.

          And all the recent upheaval seems to trace directly back to the Fed hiking the interest rate, as suddenly the cheap credit and VC money kicking the profit can down the road stopped being cheap.

          Google already have a reputation for shutting down services in a hurry, and it seems it will get worse.

          And i think Facebook and Twitter now is mulling accepting payment if the user do not want to see ads. Wonder how long before i see Facebook gift cards at the local store…

          1. ambrit

            I had not thought about this as a secondary effect of the Fed interest rate policy! However, it makes a certain fiendish sense. The Fed plus the overt hankering after outsized fortune. (I wonder how much of C-suite compensation at Google is tied directly to stock performance?)
            The NC Commentariat surely is the best commentariat!

      2. Objective Ace

        For 13 dollars a month to avoid adds, I get my moneys worth. Aside from live sports, its better then a subscription to cable for a fraction of the price. There’s so many niche videos on any subject you could imagine all without adds

        1. ambrit

          If one has the disposable income that is.
          Right now we here in the cloaca of America pay $61.95 just for cable internet. Add on the cost of the router, then the desktop computer to process the signals, and the electricity to run it all, and the prospect of paying more for a ‘decent’ quality of video product is a bit too much to bear.
          Since we used to get the “ad free experience” via the a* bl^%k service, which was often free itself, this tightening of the eyescrews by the Internet Inquisitors comes as a shocking introduction to Rent Extraction 201.
          Sometimes, we need such little shocks to wake us up to the ways we waste our precious time.
          Stay safe.

          1. digi_owl

            Gets me thinking, years back some mobile companies offered “free” access to Facebook on their plans. Maybe we will see ISPs throwing in ad free access to Youtube in their triple play offerings?

            1. ambrit

              The way ‘things’ are today, I would be surely shocked if any ISP offered anything for “free.”
              As an anecdotal example of this parsimony. When AT&T abandoned it’s two wire service around here, it did absolutely nothing to recover the old wire, switch boxes, etc. It’s still up on the poles along the street. That has been several years now.
              Short term thinking will be the death of us all.

        2. notabanker

          I don’t care how much money I have or how great a service it is. I am not giving google my credit card number let alone $13 a month. They completely screw over content creators, and they do it in the typical tech bro slow bleed fashion, a nickel at a time until your one dollar becomes 25 cents and they’ve figured they’ve extracted as much as they can without making you leave. And has Lambert has covered many times, their software dev practices are absolutely horrid. they leave nothing but a trail of broken crap in their wake.

          1. digi_owl

            That seems to be the core issue, how the payment is performed.

            Perhaps the major mistake of the internet was that it never developed a system akin to premium numbers.

            France had a precursor service to the net, Minitel, that worked on a principle similar to telephone numbers. Thus certain services would charge extra for access, and that cost was added to the monthly Minitel bill based on usage.

            It’s success supposedly contributed to France’s slow uptake of net usage.

            1. ambrit

              “It’s success supposedly contributed to France’s slow uptake of net usage.”
              You type that as if it were a bad thing.
              I’m presently reviewing my Internet usage with an eye to quality versus quantity.
              I definitely am with those who claim that Internet usage is addictive. Something like continual dopamine hits.

              1. digi_owl

                Well supposedly the scientists that thought they had wired rats to directly stimulate the pleasure center with a pedal actually hit a part of the reward system related to foraging.

                And supposedly shopping may trigger the same parts of the brain.

                So perhaps bouncing around the net or doomscrolling on social media do something similar?

                1. ambrit

                  Such would explain why “Doom and Gloom” sites are up an at’em continually. My problem is, would a train crash be a ‘fascinating horror’ if one were on the train oneself?

                  1. JBird4049

                    >>>My problem is, a train crash be a ‘fascinating horror’ if one were on the train oneself?

                    For some bent individuals? Very much so.

      3. Glen

        Interesting – I’m not seeing ads. Occasionally, I get a dark screen with narration at the start which I can skip.


        Maybe the American elites will figure out that they completely fractured their ability to present via the MSM a cognizant, comprehensive world view. America’s OTA broadcast TV, with three networks dominated the news back in the day, but all that was destroyed for profit:

        The Fairness Doctrine was tossed out.
        A political news channel was established – Fox News Channel.
        All other networks slowly morph into Fox News clones and IDpol becomes the natural state of affairs.
        Comcast rides the Internet boom and becomes the benchmark for lousy overpriced Internet and TV service, mirror by many smaller but essentially identical cable providers.
        Smartphones begin to take off providing the government with complete access to citizen data, but finishing the atomization of American news sources by creating influencers.

        I live out in the sticks and was using satellite TV when I finally just told the wife about fifteen years ago, [family blog], it I refuse to spend $xx a month to watch this $hit and dumped watching TV.

        But I think the real shocker to American elites will be the younger generations. They are almost completely weaned off the MSM, and get their news for way too many sources for the PMC to track, much less control.

        I mean, think about it, if America had a re-start today, and Ben Franklin re-did the US Postal Service, it would be to ensure everybody had the following:

        An email address
        Internet service at a reasonable price
        Free Wi-fi at every post office

  2. Samuel Conner

    Maybe the first “C” is silent. Perhaps it’s actually an infective practices advisory committee.

  3. MLK

    Our mortgage servicing rights were sold early this year to Mr. Cooper (largest mortgage servicer in the country at ~4 million mortgages and 937 billion in unpaid principle balance servicing over the past year). Mr. Cooper was hacked on Oct 31st and their systems have been completely locked down for the past 3.5 days–only boilerplate posted on their website and app. I’m concerned about the length of this outage and the security of my personal information. And TechCrunch is the only outlet that I could find that is reporting on this. Seems like it could be a big financial story. Anyone else having trouble paying their mortgage? https://techcrunch.com/2023/11/02/mr-cooper-hackers-cyberattack/

  4. MLK

    One of our nation’s largest mortgage servicers was hacked and their systems have been completely locked down for 3.5 days. Mr. Cooper services ~4 million mortgages and over 900 billion annually in unpaid principle balances (including mine). Only boilerplate posted on their website and app. Anyone else unable to make their mortgage payment and/or concerned about their personal data? Only reporting I have found this far has been on TechCrunch:https://techcrunch.com/2023/11/02/mr-cooper-hackers-cyberattack/

    1. griffen

      Ah I see the Mr Cooper is a derivation or dba for Nationstar Mortgage. This is a certifiably frustrating, damn shame for those needing to be certain their payment is correctly processed ( and should have every concern about information being hacked ). Added as a footnote that these mortgage companies just began to aggregate unto themselves following the GFC, and they were prolifically stationed through out the Dallas / Ft Worth metro area when I lived there.

      1. MLK

        Smells like a possible ransomware attack but Mr. Cooper is not forthcoming. A few more news stories are trickling out now but with sparse details. Our property taxes and insurance payments from escrow are due 11/15. Annoying. I keep my credit locked and I will encourage my wife to lock hers down. Not much to do but wait and see. Maybe file a complaint with the Oregon’s Department Of Justice if this is not handled well.

    2. Objective Ace

      I dont understand why these mortgage servicers even exist. All of the loans are conventional — ie bought by Fanie and Freddie. Why cant Fannie and Freddie service the loans? Surely that would achieve cost savings, both as a matter of economies of sale and because there’s one less middleman skimming off the top

      1. ambrit

        Ah, but those “middlemen” are the point of the exercise. Just another example of rent extraction.

        1. Wendys

          Best to have your mortgage with a credit union. Mine won’t sell it. I had problems with an earlier mortgage where it was sold and they kept changing the due date and trying to add a penalty for late payment.

          Too bad it’s such a bad time to refinance.

    3. Bill Urman

      Just checked and the email sent by Mr. Cooper notifying us of the “outage” has been pulled, it’s long gone.

  5. Fresno Bee

    Newsom sure knows how to pick em. Can’t wait for his Supreme Court appointments.

    A California man arrested with what authorities described as an “astonishing” amount of child pornography – including over 1,000 DVDs with content showing children being raped – will spend less than a year in jail. The sentence was issued by Fresno County Superior Court Judge Leanne Le Mon, a judicial appointee of Governor Gavin Newsom.


    1. Wukchumni

      The timing is awful in that I was just going to announce Feel Good Fresno Week.

      You haven’t seen fresno dan, have you?

        1. ambrit

          Since he has married, his commenting has dropped off considerably. Connection?
          (Maybe he discovered the “real” world at last.)

    2. The Rev Kev

      Could he get out early on ‘good behaviour?’ He had better pray that he doesn’t get put into general pop.

    3. fjallstrom

      Given how US justice works I think the wealth of the accused and the amount of political donations given by the accused is a better indicator of leniency than who the judge is.

  6. JBird4049

    >>>It’s like none of these nimrods can parse a gerund (“no person… who, having….”)

    I would think that they can parse just fine, but choose to “parse” or “interpret” to pre-decide what they think should be. Honesty is not important, and if it is an impediment, to whatever winning is considered to be at the moment, to be ignored. The law, like facts, don’t matter, just the illusion of righteousness.

    1. LifelongLib

      It’s surprising the 14th Amendment doesn’t include the President and VP though. Former President John Tyler overtly supported the Confederacy. Of course IIRC he had been a senator and a rep before that, so he would have been covered if still alive. As it happened he died in 1862.

      1. JBird4049

        It could be as Lambert suggested, that those two offices are national ones, and I would add that are also the head offices of the executive, not the legislative branch of government. The American nation wanting someone as president as opposed to say the Floridian nation wanting someone in Congress or the state legislature are two separate things; they also were concerned about lapsed Confederates getting back into power and reversing Reconstruction, which I guess was not an issue for the national office of President and Vice President.

  7. Wukchumni

    Nancy Mace may say she fights for the people, but it seems that all she really cares about is being famous, the internal handbook for her congressional staff shows.

    The handbook, which Mace reportedly wrote herself, includes clear instructions for making sure the congresswoman gets the most attention possible.

    Staffers are also expected to book Mace at least 15 television appearances per week: a minimum of nine spots on national channels (between one and three times a day) and six or more times on local outlets. And to get on television, she’ll pull stunts—like strip the House speaker of his gavel.

    Mace also set the highly unrealistic goal of filing 25 new bills per year. She expected 10 of those bills to pass the House per year and one to be signed into law annually. It’s incredibly rare for almost any member to see a major bill that they wrote become law. Mace has introduced 62 bills since she took office in 2021, and only one—renaming a local post office in her South Carolina district—has actually become law.

    When I started down the merry path of looking at My Kevin’s (since ’07) accomplishments in terms of legislation he introduced that became law, and in 16 years time a few post offices and a dam were renamed-that was it, and it got me looking at other Congressmen & Congresswomen and sad to say, its pretty commonplace for your Representative to have done nothing, aside from rename a Federal building of some sort.

    1. Carolinian

      You force me to look up one of our Congress people that I prefer to studiously ignore.

      In 1999, Mace was the first woman to graduate from the Corps of Cadets program at The Citadel. From 2018 to 2020, she represented the 99th district in the South Carolina House of Representatives, covering Hanahan, northeast Mount Pleasant, and Daniel Island. In 2020, Mace was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives, becoming the first Republican woman elected to Congress from South Carolina.[1]


      Nikki also graduated from the SC legislature and sounds like Mace stole her handbook. Let’s just say politics around here tend to be, er, transactional.

    2. Samuel Conner

      The thought occurs that the apparent pointlessness of the service of some of our rulers might be a blessing. If they got what many of them may really want, there might be no non-defense spending at all.

      I would like to think that it is possible to do better, but I’m not confident that it is. (Not a counsel of despair; hope and work for a better future, but don’t be surprised by what actually happens.)

  8. Chuck Harris

    I think today’s plant is Crocosmia. I’ve seen them in red and orange, they are popular with hummingbirds.

    1. Old Jake

      Yes, it’s unmistakably crocosmia, but the picture is also infested with buttercup (the slightly fan-shaped leaf), which despite it’s sometimes glowing rep is invasive, mildly toxic and useless to the local fauna as they have not evolved with it. While very popular in my region, crocosmia also tends to spread.

  9. Henry Moon Pie

    Those interested in permaculture might be interested in a Nate Hagens interview of Mike Holmgren that’s been posted in the last couple of days. I learned something about the phosphorus cycle in this podcast.

  10. notabanker


    This is truly disturbing. The IRS is making home visits, using alias names so you cannot even verify they are working for the IRS, telling the homeowner they are there for a false reason and then accusing of them of owing back taxes they do not actually owe. They had to have the local cops run his plate after he left just to see who he really was.

    This is Gestapo stuff here and a complete breakdown of law and order. And that agent is damn lucky he didn’t pick the wrong taxpayer to harass. This government is going to get turned on, it is just a matter of time. Short time.

    1. The Rev Kev

      It sounds like they are doing fishing trips. Hassle a whole bunch of people to try to nail a few of them. Sort of like how phone scammers work.

    2. flora

      Yep. Absolutely. Show up with a false id, then expect homeowner to comply with false id…once homeowner knows it’s a false id. omg. This could go so wrong in so many ways. Why am I thinking of the near-criminal (imo) asset forfeiture takings by local police departments?

      And more, why am I thinking of the subtext of the Russel Crowe movie “Gladiator” where the failing roman empire declared rich subjects criminal in order to seize their properties to help finance the empire’s troops? Ok, too foily I’m sure…

      1. The Rev Kev

        Wouldn’t that be considered a felony? I mean, gaining access to a person’s home using false claims of identity?

      2. Maggie Blueyes

        Once homeowner has revealed to be victim of false I.D. then the agent shows her real IRS I.D., why would homeowner believe it?

        First rule is never let a stranger into your home, no matter what their I.D. says.
        “Come back with a warrant, signed by a judge” if they try to force their way in.

        If they previously pushed their way in by being admitted by child or wife or gullible guy, escort them out at gunpoint.

      3. fjallstrom

        Yeah, that is robbery.

        On a visit to Russia in the early 00’s we were repeatedly robbed by the cops for made up traffic violations and being westerners (Russians were robbed too, but at a lower rate). My favourite was the clearly hung over cop on a Sunday morning that just stopped our car and went “50 rubles!”. The guy who was driving got a bit surprised and asked if the cop wasn’t supposed to say what we did wrong and the cop went “Come on, it’s Sunday morning! 50 rubles!”

        From what I have heard it became much better once Putin cracked down on the oligarchs and made sure public sector employees got their wages paid on time. I suspect that is a large part of his popularity.

      1. Objective Ace

        From the article: Effective immediately, unannounced visits will end *except in a few unique circumstances*

        1. notabanker

          Yup, exactly. ‘We’ve stopped doing this, except we really haven’t.’

          This isn’t some borderline practice that is justified in certain circumstances. You either have a warrant signed by a judge with probable cause or you don’t. If you don’t, a property owner has every right to protect themselves and their home.

  11. flora

    re: Manufacturing: “Auto execs are coming clean: EVs aren’t working”

    Ya think? Anybody noticing that Ford put the all their EV pickup trucks F-150 on hold (battery fires) and GM putting its EV Cruise and Equinox on hold ? It almost like, I don’t know, wishful thinking isn’t real world ready or something. I don’t know. I do know that as a resident of large space flyover country, with long commutes between here and there, I’m holding on to my old gas powered engine transportation. Call me a luddite (or a deplorable, ha).

    Someday, someday, they might get all the motor and battery and charging infrastructure right. But that day is not today. Not yet. Maybe someday.

    1. Verifyfirst

      It’s not complicated–EVs can be widely adopted once they can be charged back to full in five minutes at a gas station for not more than gasoline costs now. Then range won’t matter, and the large number of car owners who cannot charge at home (think apartment buildings in cities) will be able to own one. Of course, there will still be the problem of affordability, which applies equally to gas cars at the moment.

  12. Pat

    Since I was on the Speaker’s unusual financial disclosure yesterday, this Daily Beast opinion piece popped up.
    They think Congress needs a raise.
    Pretty much their point is that since it is so hard for the non wealthy members to get by on $174,000/yr and that salary has not gone up with inflation, it is prudent to raise it just so financial instability cannot be used to pressure them.
    After I stopped laughing about the difficulty raising minimum wage where workers make a hell of a lot less and have far fewer perks being no problem but Congress!?! Mind you Johnson just got a raise to $223,000 per annum, so perhaps we can wait.
    I did appreciate that they also think all bank accounts should be listed, no exception, as should any salaries paid to spouses.
    (Johnson also is already vested in a congressional pension, so no depending on Social Security for a guy with supposedly no personal retirement investments.)

  13. SG

    Regarding Trump’s gag order: IIRC, the original allegations against Al-Alawki were that his speech might incite violence and Obama burned him alive with a Hellfire missile for it. Maybe Trump should be thankful that a gag order is all he’s getting.

    1. ambrit

      It’s early days yet. Trump may yet get the “Novichok Treatment,” courtesy of our esteemed friends ‘across the pond,’ so as to supply plausible deniability for the American Cousins.
      We have definitely entered the Late Stage of Empire.

    2. digi_owl

      They still seem to want to maintain some semblance of decorum at home.

      But Trump best be on guard should he make any trips abroad.

  14. tegnost

    I’m not going to link the local rag but this subheading shouldn’t be missed…
    how nice that this bs news overshadowed the amazon fraud.

    Bezos didn’t mention Washington’s politics in the announcement, but the news immediately sparked speculation that new taxes may have been a contributing factor.

    I say make him fund social security for 50 years in exchange for not being sent to guantanamo for economic terrorism, but that’s just me

  15. The Rev Kev

    Sometimes you have to sit back and have a laugh. It seems that the city fathers of the Russian city of Ekaterinburg are being bedeviled by a serious problem at the moment. A rash of appearances of snow penises which are being erected around the city and officials are not happy, especially with the one outside the city opera house. ‘Cocky copycats soon erected similar works of art in parks across the city, with one culprit sculpting a short yet sturdy member on the hood of a parked car.’ The vice-mayor is demanding police action and requesting the public to take them down but when an online petition demanding that the sculptors cease and desist was launched, it only had 33 people sign it in 24 hours – in a city of 1.5 million.


  16. Pat

    I’ve been thinking about Lambert’s Adams’ question. I don’t have a real answer for who. I mean I can’t answer who is propping up Biden so much he hasn’t been forced to take himself out of the running for 2024. Still figure the same people who have decided that lawfare and Section Three will get Biden over the finish line this time. Still I think I can give some of the reasons that Adams was and can be targeted.
    First you have to remember that NY is deeply corrupt. It comes up occasionally but you can’t take a step in the tristate area without falling over some titan of business or politician that has been indicted or worked with someone who was indicted or mentored by someone indicted. Adams is a neophyte among all this. He has little real power of his own and that is in this troubled first term, he isn’t related to a power broker, and his mentor Sharpton has some power but the biggest power brokers aren’t real fond of Al. So that offers limited protection.
    Adams has failed in his biggest reason he got elected. It wasn’t law and order. The real estate industry was behind him. The major thing they needed was for him to shepherd the return to the office. He tried but commercial real estate is barely hanging on. Not really his fault but the FIRE folk do not care. The best he has done for them is using their empty properties to house migrants, but even there he doesn’t have the money to keep doing it. They are not happy.
    On the political side, he isn’t a good soldier type. Sure at the beginning he was the law and order corporation loving Democrat that our neoliberal DNC and state leaders love. But after a few weeks of toeing the line on the migrants he decided enough was enough and started to share the pain. Once again, he is the scapegoat for something where he has little power to change the situation. But in this case it is coming back to bite the national party. Biden has lost huge ground in NY. And Adams has been the party face in this. The timing of the raid was very pointed.

    Long winded way of saying my take is Biden is in the process of possibly losing NY, Adams is weak and increasingly unprotected. He needed to become the problem. And the Turkey connection was probably irresistible since Erdogan is being a thorn in their sides. Hochul is probably just hoping she isn’t next.

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