2:00PM Water Cooler 1/23/2024

By Lambert Strether of Corrente.

Patient readers, this Water Cooler is a little bit light; household matters compelled my attention. Certainly more tomorrow, after New Hampshire! –lambert

Bird Song of the Day

Pine Siskin, Wellington, Ontario, Canada. “Birds “hanging out” at the feeder, staying in the trees, then flying away just to come back again for a bit, feeding at the feeder, chirping in the trees.”

* * *


“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

“Mass. State Ballot Law Commission dismisses challenges to Donald Trump’s eligibility” [CBS]. “The State Ballot Law Commission met last week to consider objections to Trump appearing on the Massachusetts primary election ballot. On Monday, a judge dismissed the challenge to Trump appearing on the ballot saying there is a lack of jurisdiction.” • So, another type of body, besides the legislative and judicial branches: A Commission. The decision will be appealed.


Less than a year to go!

* * *

Trump (R): “Donald Trump has a big problem ahead” [Politico]. “There’s a whole swath of the Republican electorate and a good chunk of independents who appear firmly committed to not voting for him in November if he becomes the nominee…. Trump is not making his pitch to voters as a first time candidate. He is a known quantity who is being judged by the electorate not for the conduct of his current campaign so much as his time in office. And that, political veterans warn, makes it much harder for him to win back the people he’s alienated, including those once willing to vote Republican… The data supports the idea that there are problems ahead for the former president. Even before the Iowa survey, a New York Times/Siena College poll found that — including independents who say they lean toward one party over the other — Biden had slightly more support among Democrats and Democratic-leaning independents (91 percent) than Trump did among Republicans and GOP-leaning independents (86 percent)… [I]t could be enough to tip the scales for Democrats. At a minimum, it is a major liability for the GOP should the party, as expected, push Trump through as its nominee.”

Trump (R): “Senate GOP fears drop in Trump enthusiasm, energy” [The Hill]. “GOP senators say there is less enthusiasm for former President Trump among Republican-leaning voters compared to 2016, a drop in voter energy that was apparent when only 15 percent of Iowa’s registered Republicans showed up for Monday’s caucuses. Lawmakers acknowledge the weather was a factor behind the low turnout in Iowa but point to other signs of diminished enthusiasm for Trump, something that could hurt down-ballot Republican candidates in swing states…. A Colby College poll released Friday, for example, showed rural voters, one of Trump’s core constituencies, aren’t that excited about his candidacy. Nearly a third of rural voters said their vote for Trump was really a vote against Biden and just more than half of them said they are ‘very happy’ with him as the GOP nominee.”

* * *

Latest extremely spontaneous line of attack:

“Trump’s Gaffes and Slurring This Weekend Should Be Leading Every Newscast — Why Aren’t They?” [Mediaite]. “Trump will be 78 when voters take to the polls in November. While he has mostly been sharp and lucid during rallies and friendly media appearances, this past weekend told a different story. The former president made a series of flubs and missteps that serious minds should want to know more about. And yet, his stumbles are barely getting covered on cable news.” For example: “‘You know, Nikki Haley, Nikki Haley, Nikki Haley, you know they– do you know they destroyed all of the information and all of the evidence?’ Trump told a crowd. ‘Everything. Deleted and destroyed all of it. All of it because of, lots of things. Like, Nikki Haley is in charge of security. We offered her 10,000 people.'” • Pelosi, surely.

“Sununu says Trump has ‘no energy’: ‘He can barely read a teleprompter'” [The HIll]. “‘It’s really about the energy of that campaign. Trump has no energy — the guy can barely read a teleprompter right now. All the wind is behind … Nikki’s sails. So I just think the sky’s the limit,’ Sununu added.” • Sununu endorsed Haley.

* * *

Trump (R): “Appeals court declines further review of Trump Jan. 6 gag order” [The Hill]. “A federal appeals court declined an effort Tuesday by former President Trump to have his challenge to a gag order in his election interference case heard by the full court, teeing up a likely Supreme Court battle over restrictions to his speech. A three-judge panel of the District of Columbia Circuit Court of Appeals had largely upheld a lower court ruling restricting Trump’s speech in the case. That decision largely affirmed a prior ruling from Judge Tanya Chutkan, who barred Trump from making statements that ‘target’ foreseeable witnesses, court staff and prosecutors…. The D.C. Circuit’s refusal to rehear the case is likely to bring the issue to the Supreme Court next. Trump could petition the justices to review the gag order and also ask them to put it on hold in the meantime.”

* * *

Trump (R): “Trump’s biggest rival ends presidential campaign with quote Churchill never said” [Metro]. “Ron DeSantis announced he was suspending his presidential campaign in an X (formerly Twitter) post on Sunday in which he quoted the most famous British prime minister of the 20th century. ‘Winston Churchill once remarked that, ‘Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts,” said DeSantis near the end of a more than four-and-a-half minute long video message…. But the prime minister never said those words, according to the International Churchill Society. ‘We base this on careful research in the canon of fifty million words by and about Churchill, including all of his books, articles, speeches and papers,’ said the society in response to a 2013 article in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution using the same quote.” • Terrible staffwork.

* * *

Phillips (D): “In Long-Shot Challenge to Biden, Dean Phillips Goes Where Few Democrats Dare” [Wall Street Journal]. “The party, Phillips says, is sleepwalking into disaster by renominating the oldest and by some measures most unpopular incumbent in history. Yet his colleagues’ response to this clarion call hasn’t exactly been one of gratitude, and he has struggled to get the attention of voters. He hopes to change that in Tuesday’s New Hampshire presidential primary, when he will be on the ballot and President Biden will not….Phillips hopes that he can vault into contention by getting a significant share of Tuesday’s vote, which he defines as a percentage in the “mid-20s.” Polling is challenging given the race’s unusual dimensions. Recent surveys have shown Phillips, who has poured millions of his personal fortune into the effort, notching as little as 6% to as much as 28% of the Democratic vote. (Nationally, he is little-known, barely registering in single digits in surveys in which he has been included.) The ballot will also feature more than a dozen lesser-known aspirants and the self-help author Marianne Williamson, but not Camelot scion Robert F. Kennedy Jr., who dropped out of the Democratic primary in October to run as an independent instead.”

* * *

NH: “When we expect to get New Hampshire primary results” [WaPo]. “Polls in the state start to close at 7 p.m. Eastern, with the last closing at 8 p.m…. The larger set of GOP results in 2020 were first reported around 7:30 p.m. Eastern, moments after the first polls closed. Vote tabulations during that primary night ended around 1:15 a.m. Eastern…. Getting the results of the Democratic primary may take a little longer than the Republican race [because of the write-ins].

* * *

“Inside the fallout from Biden’s decision to upend the Democratic primary calendar” [MSNBC]. “Along with putting South Carolina at the front of the line, the DNC committee also allowed Nevada, Michigan and Georgia in the early window. While Republican officials in Georgia blocked the plan to move up that state’s primary date, the rest of the changes still meant a massive influx of voters of color into the Democrats’ primary process. Biden and other Democrats believe this more diverse electorate will select presidential candidates with wider appeal and give the party an edge in future races.” • Another way of saying this is that Clyburn’s machine in South Carolina gave us Obama, Clinton, and Biden, which is what the party grandees want.

Democrats en Déshabillé

“It’s Not Just Biden” [Joe Klein, Sanity Clause]. “the Republican base is about ideology and the Democratic base is about identity. The Republicans are coherent, even if the ideology is a repulsive right-wing populism. The Democrats are an amalgam of identity groups, with varying agendas and beliefs. You can aim a message at black activists—on say, reparations, as the ever-foolish Jamaal Bowman did this week—and a fair number of Latinos will be turned off. You can try to stroke Latino activists on immigration, and a fair number of blacks—to say nothing of middle-class Latinos (and the rest of us, for that matter)—will wonder why on earth you can’t act to shut down the southern border…. The Democrats’ ethnicity problems have multiplied in recent years as the identity groups have become more complicated. There is a black middle and professional class now; it holds different views from academic blackdom and from the black underclass. It was middle- and working-class blacks, angry about crime, who elected Eric Adams over the lawyerly MSNBC darling Maya Wiley for mayor of New York…. This has been a disaster for Democrats. They made a terrible mistake emphasizing identity over community fifty years ago. It was one of the great flubs in American political history. And now the coalition is fraying, for the very best of reasons. The “protected” groups are assimilating into the American mainstream (often to the dismay of the activists like Ibram X. Kendi, who would be forced to look for honest work absent his imagined apocalypse of grievance). There are multiple black and Latino agendas now; the most important have nothing to do with identity—but with education, crime and inflation.” • Universal concrete material benefits….

Realignment and Legitimacy

“If you want to understand modern politics, you have to understand modern fandom” [Vox]. “It’s a common observation that modern-day politics increasingly resembles fandom: Both feature communities created around and united by passion, and both are often heavily fixated on a single public figure…. That communal narrative is crucial connective tissue between politics and fandom; it unites people around not just a shared sense of identity, but a shared story and the idea that they’re building that story together. These narratives aren’t just entertainment. To their proponents, they have a higher moral purpose…. Trump’s political rise coincides with a specific substrain of intense celebrity fandom that emerged in the new millennium. The ‘stan,’ sometimes referred to collectively as ‘standom,’ is an ironic term borrowed from Eminem’s 2000 song ‘Stan,’ about a stalker fan whose obsession goes too far. The concept of ‘stanning’ was hugely shaped by Twitter’s ability to allow fans to follow their faves in real time, commune with other fans, and even talk directly to the creators they stanned. It hardly seems coincidental that during the era when celebrities and pop stars became more immediately interactive with their fanbases, Trump successfully styled himself not as a politician, but as a celebrity who deigned to do politics just to satisfy his long-suffering fans. By pretending that he didn’t need politics but politics needed him, Trump established the idea that his political participation was not self-serving, but rather a conduit for the frustrations of his followers. From the outset, he presented himself as a vessel for their beliefs. As one Trump supporter recently told MSNBC’s Garrett Haake, ‘When Trump is facing all these things, he’s doing it for us in our place.'”Making Trump a Christ-like figure, I suppose. More: “But the idea of Trump as a conduit works both ways. If you wanted to see political change, you couldn’t just vote for Trump; you had to transfer your emotional investment from politics at large onto him individually. You had to stan him.” • Interesting, though surely the first contemporary example of the political stan was the Obot? Also, is it possible to stan for a symbol?


“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 (wastewater); BC, Vancouver (wastewater).

Hat tips to helpful readers: Alexis, 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, Tom B., Utah, Bob White (3).

Stay safe out there!

* * *

Covid is Airborne

If we could see Covid:


Good news at HICPAC (!!):

HICPAC and FACA at NC here and here, coverage that in part inspired this complaint to the HHS Inspector General for “gross misconduct.” I assume that “expanded” “technical backgrounds” of participants means aerosol experts, at the very least — is it too much to ask for a mask manufacturer? — which could be good, but we will need to look at the actual proposed members very carefully (for example, Joseph Allen is sound on building ventilation, but opposes masks).



“Work From Home: A 21st Century Revolution” [World Health Network]. “The pandemic propelled Work From Home (WFH) into the mainstream as the risk of infection drove individuals, employers, and governments to adopt WFH when hospitalizations and deaths were skyrocketing. Office occupancy plummeted to 10-20%, and what had not previously been considered was now embraced—a monumental change in behavior. Although occupancies have since rebounded, current data shows that occupancy rates have only reached 50% and are declining in certain cities. This indicates that a fundamental shift in behavior is taking place for non-frontline workers. A major benefit of WFH continues to be avoiding Covid and other airborne infections that are commonly transmitted in poorly ventilated, shared-air environments found in many offices and transport. WFH also offers other advantages. These include reduced time, expenses, pollution, and energy consumption related to commuting; expanded availability of long distance work and for individuals with disabilities [7]; and increased flexibility of lifestyle and family responsibilities and less burnout.” • WFH might be one reason JN.1 was not a second Omnicron. Handy chart:

Elite Maleficence

“GRANT: Stop blaming people for the behaviour of a virus” [Toronto Sun]. “Buying into the delusion that somehow we can “win” this game, if only we try hard enough, will bring nothing but pain. We need to move forward on the one thing that will help by vaccinating as fast as possible. For the rest, we need to accept that we cannot change the virus or its behaviour and be kind to each other.” • Dr. Jennifer Grant is an infectious diseases physician and a Clinical Associate Professor at the University of British Columbia’s Faculty of Medicine.” An infectious disease physician knows — or at least says — nothing at all about non-pharmaceutical interventions. Four years into the pandemic. Why does she still have an academic post, let alone practice medicine?

* * *

TABLE 1: Daily Covid Charts

National[1] Biobot January 23: Regional[2] Biobot January 23:
Variants[3] CDC January 20 Emergency Room Visits[4] CDC January 13
New York[5] New York State, data January 22: National [6] CDC January 13:
National[7] Walgreens January 21: Ohio[8] Cleveland Clinic January 20:
Travelers Data
Positivity[8] CDC January 1: Variants[9] CDC January 1:
Weekly deaths New York Times January 6: Percent of deaths due to Covid-19 New York Times January 6:


1) for charts new today; all others are not updated.

2) For a full-size/full-resolution image, Command-click (MacOS) or right-click (Windows) on the chart thumbnail and “open image in new tab.”


[1] Even after a decline, we’re still higher than any of the surges under Trump.

[2] Steep decline in the Northeast!

[3] “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.

[4] “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. And of course, we’re not even getting into the quality of the wastewater sites that we have as a proxy for Covid infection overall.

[5] Decrease for the city aligns with wastewater data.

[6] “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†”.

[7] -0.7%. (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.)

[8] Lambert here: Percentage and absolute numbers down.

[9] Up, albeit in the rear view mirror.

Stats Watch

Manufacturing: “United States Richmond Fed Manufacturing Index” [Trading Economics]. “The composite manufacturing index in the US Fifth District area fell to -15 in January 2024, the lowest since February 2023, from -11 in December 2023, and much worse than forecasts of -7. The reading pointed to sluggish manufacturing activity in January….”

* * *

Tech: “Mother of all breaches reveals 26 billion records: what we know so far” [Cybernews]. “There are data leaks, and then there’s this. A supermassive Mother of all Breaches (MOAB for short) includes records from thousands of meticulously compiled and reindexed leaks, breaches, and privately sold databases. The full and searchable list is included at the end of this article. Bob Dyachenko, cybersecurity researcher and owner at SecurityDiscovery.com, together with the Cybernews team, has discovered billions upon billions of exposed records on an open instance whose owner is unlikely ever to be identified. According to the team, while the leaked dataset contains mostly information from past data breaches, it almost certainly holds new data, that was not published before. For example, the Cybernews data leak checker, which relies on data from all major data leaks, contains information from over 2,500 data breaches with 15 billion records. The MOAB contains 26 billion records over 3,800 folders, with each folder corresponding to a separate data breach. While this doesn’t mean that the difference between the two automatically translates to previously unpublished data, billions of new records point to a very high probability, the MOAB contains never seen before information.” And: “According to the team, the consumer impact of the supermassive MOAB could be unprecedented. Since many people reuse usernames and passwords, malicious actors could embark on a tsunami of credential-stuffing attacks.” • News you can use!

Tech: “China planning 1,600-core chips that use an entire wafer — similar to American company Cerebras ‘wafer-scale’ designs” [Tom’s Hardware]. “Scientists from the Institute of Computing Technology at the Chinese Academy of Sciences introduced an advanced 256-core multi-chiplet and have plans to scale the design up to 1,600-core chips that employ an entire wafer as one compute device. It is getting harder and harder to increase transistor density with every new generation of chips, so chipmakers are looking for other ways to increase performance of their processors, which includes architectural innovations, larger die sizes, multi-chiplet designs, and even wafer-scale chips.”

* * *

Today’s Fear & Greed Index: 73 Greed (previous close: 71 Greed) [CNN]. One week ago: 63 (Greed). (0 is Extreme Fear; 100 is Extreme Greed). Last updated Jan 23 at 1:53:15 PM ET.

News of the Wired

“Is the Emergence of Life an Expected Phase Transition in the Evolving Universe?” [arXiv]. From the Abstract: “We propose a novel definition of life in terms of which its emergence in the universe is expected, and its ever-creative open-ended evolution is entailed by no law. Living organisms are Kantian Wholes that achieve Catalytic Closure, Constraint Closure, and Spatial Closure. We here unite for the first time two established mathematical theories, namely Collectively Autocatalytic Sets and the Theory of the Adjacent Possible. The former establishes that a first-order phase transition to molecular reproduction is expected in the chemical evolution of the universe where the diversity and complexity of molecules increases; the latter posits that, under loose hypotheses, if the system starts with a small number of beginning molecules, each of which can combine with copies of itself or other molecules to make new molecules, over time the number of kinds of molecules increases slowly but then explodes upward hyperbolically. Together these theories imply that life is expected as a phase transition in the evolving universe. The familiar distinction between software and hardware loses its meaning in living cells.” • Sounds neat. Wish I understood.

* * *

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, lichen, 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 No Spam:

No Spam writes: “I heard the call for plants. This is a Garry oak, which may be a quercus Oregonia. On south Vancouver Island.”

* * *

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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. Feral Finster

    ““It’s Not Just Biden” [Joe Klein, Sanity Clause]. “the Republican base is about ideology and the Democratic base is about identity. The Republicans are coherent, even if the ideology is a repulsive right-wing populism. The Democrats are an amalgam of identity groups, with varying agendas and beliefs.”

    While it is true that Team D is the political manifestation of the PMC, with minorities and feminists as junior partners, Team R can be seen as the shotgun marriage of Local Gentry and white Evangelicals, along with Chamber of Commerce types. The difference being that the interests of the members of the Team R coalition don’t necessarily directly conflict as much as those of the members of the Team D coalition.

    1. Lambert Strether Post author

      Very acute!

      To this I would add that the “national question” differs by party as well. I was about to say that the national stratum (?) of the PMC is unified and consistent ideologically, much like schooling fish, and the local strata less so (the Colorado decision in Anderson being a perfect example of this, with all the Ivy Leaguers disqualifying Trump, presumably because they have the resumés to “just move,” and the locals, lacking such credentials, do not). And while Local Gentry are by definition not national (a small-time auto dealer like Ron DeSantis Corbell Pickett is not the same as one of the Koch Brothers), the Christianists, despite doctrinal and factional differences, most definitely are national, in that they have an all-encompassing theory of the state (which is not the same as saying they can govern effectively; the Bush Administration, along with efforts to build competing, parallel institutions like Liberty [sic] University, showed that they cannot, and matters subsequent and occurrent show no improvement).

      One might also make a distinction between the proportions of economic, social, and symbolic capital between the national and local Republican and Democrat fractions. Although all accumulate each form of capital, I would guess local Republicans lean more heavily toward economic capital, local Democrats toward symbolic capital; both accumulate social capital but in different fields (church v. university, e.g.) For national Republicans v. national Democrats, I cannot say. Is it true that for every Koch there is a Pritzker? I can’t say.

  2. cpm

    Why does NC pay almost no attention to vaccine injury??
    I understand you don’t like Dr John, for some good reasons but, I’m here to tell you vaccine injury is real.

    1. Yves Smith

      Please read our site Policies. “Why don’t you do X” is an assignment and a violation of house rules.

      Because it is exaggerated and we have no good data and pretty much all the sites that discuss vaccine injury are attributing Covid damage to the vaccines as well as actual vaccine injuries. And their analyses suck. If anything “suck” is kind.

      They are almost pathological deniers of the idea that getting Covid is a big long term health negative.

      So the people who bang on about vaccine injury are having the effect of minimizing the considerable health risks of getting Covid. And there are Covid vaccines that appear to non-problematic, unlike the mRNA vaccines, particularly Novavax.

      If the bad effect happens w/in a short time frame after getting the vaccine, it is probably the vax, such as strokes and myocarditis.

      And yours truly did have a vaccine injury so don’t you accuse me of being a vaccine injury minimizer.

      1. Michael King

        Re: Novavax. My first six shots were mRNA. Moderna was number two and the day after receiving it, I experienced much more fatigue than with the other shots (all Pfizer). In all cases the fatigue was gone by day three. Novavax (BC finally offers it) was the most recent, earlier this month. Pleased to report that neither my wife nor I experienced any side effect that we know of. If you can find it, recommended!
        Thank you Yves, Lambert and the Covid brain trust for the exemplary continuing coverage of the pandemic. It has been an invaluable guide for keeping our household safe and sane.

        1. chris

          Indeed! Very pleased there is a source for good information about COVID.

          Also pleased to provide my families anecdata for Novavax. No discomfort post shot, no problems in the days after the boost, and it may have helped with my family and I not getting COVID-19 at several events where we had identified spread after the fact.

      2. Lambert Strether Post author

        > And there are Covid vaccines that appear to non-problematic, unlike the mRNA vaccines, particularly Novavax.

        My opinion as a layperson, vax really not being my beat, unlike aerosol transmission or institutional debacles in public health, say, is that the little spike factories in mRNA vaccines turned out to be a bad idea, but that proven, killed-virus vaccines are orders of magnitude less problematic. Ditto non-mRNA vaccines like Novavax. Speaking for myself only here; don’t take this as advice. (Also, a serious anti-vax effort would be global, not focused merely on the genuine evils of Pfizer et al: Cuba, China, Russia, etc. Such work may exist, and if so I will happily read it.)

    2. Lambert Strether Post author

      > Why does NC pay almost no attention to vaccine injury??

      Let me rephrase what Yves said from my own perspective: Because I can’t take the time to sort the whack jobs and the charlatans from the scientists, if any there be.

      Case in point: Your comment would have provided real help to readers (and me) had you provided a link to vaccine injury from a source like Nature, or PNAS, or PLOS, or even a decent preprint. It’s not a matter of us not “liking” “Dr. John,” even if we are not on a first-name basis with him; it’s that he’s a bad analyst whose views, if accepted, would be bad for readers.

      Frankly, after having consumed enormous amounts of Covid krill over the (now) years, my heuristic is that vac injury folks are mainly tendentious denialists concerned to pin all Covid harms on vax, for the entire pandemic, a ludicrous claim, albeit comforting to some. Of course, decent links, had you provided any instead of “just asking questions,” might cause me to reconsider my heuristic. Primary sources only, please.

  3. nippersdad

    “The full and searchable list is included at the end of this article.”


    “According to the team, the consumer impact of the supermassive MOAB could be unprecedented. Since many people reuse usernames and passwords, malicious actors could embark on a tsunami of credential-stuffing attacks.”

    OK, so Cybernews not only realizes that this breach could cause attacks on those whose information was leaked, but also helpfully want to give out that information to the members of the cyber community who would know how to use it? That just looks like a lawsuit waiting to happen.

      1. Lambert Strether Post author

        [lambert blushes modestly]. I have on highly reliable authority that NC’s HICPAC posts influenced the complaint filed at HHS IG, and the tweet seems to reflect some of the wording in that complaint.

  4. lyman alpha blob

    RE: A Colby College poll released Friday, for example, showed rural voters, one of Trump’s core constituencies, aren’t that excited about his candidacy.

    With the caveat that I have not taken a drive through the more rural parts of Maine in the last few months, I will say that maybe instead of running a poll, the Colby [Mules are ster-ile! – sorry, just couldn’t help myself there…] people might be better served just taking a drive around the environs of Waterville. Because for several years now, every time I drive through rural Maine there are Trump signs all over the place, some of which look like permanent fixtures. And it doesn’t matter whether the election season is in full swing or not – those rurals tend to show their support year round, fading though it may be.

    My better half recently spent some time up in the county – I will have to ask for an update on the current lawn signage amongst the deplorables of District 2.

    1. lyman alpha blob

      This just in – I’m being told that there were not as many Trump signs as in the past on the recent trip to the rurals. Mules might be on to something….

  5. Tommy S

    I’m always skeptical of journalists claiming ‘majority working class turnout’ of any color. For any candidate.The articles almost never say per capita, or per registered voter, or do a historical timeline. We saw this with both sides claiming Trump had a white working class surge (he didn’t), And sure enough, there is no way you could say Abrams of NYC got majority of black vote, whatever class, when the turnout overall was so damn low. From a spectrum news article in ny, “Just about 1.1 million voters — or 21% of registered voters — cast ballots. It’s the lowest percentage turnout in modern times. The turnout tally was 23% in 2017, and 24% in 2013.”

  6. Samuel Conner

    > If we could see Covid

    Traveling with an MD friend last year, we stopped for caffeine at a highway rest stop. We were the only people masked at the coffee shop, which was packed. I muttered to my friend, “I wish the CV were fluorescent; I’d pull a UV lamp out of my pocket and wake some of these people up.” My friend replied darkly, “You wouldn’t leave your house.”

    I don’t doubt that there is “sunk cost fallacy” thinking in some of our elites — can’t revise bad policies because that would require admitting that the policies are bad. I hope that there is not a widespread similar problem among the population, that people will not want to admit that they were mistaken about their past risk-taking behavior, and so will continue it.

    1. Objective Ace

      It’s not really a sunk cost fallacy among the elites. Admitting they are/were wrong really does lower their credibility going forward. That is a true cost they would have to pay, not a cost they’ve already paid regardless of what they do in the future as “sunk cost” implies

      1. JBird4049

        I find that people who are willing to admit mistakes and are willing to fix them gain credibility. It is the lying and refusing to make It right that truly destroys credibility. Noticed which choice our elites are making?

  7. Mikel

    “Today’s Fear & Greed Index: 73 Greed (previous close: 71 Greed) [CNN]. One week ago: 63 (Greed). (0 is Extreme Fear; 100 is Extreme Greed”

    ‘Loud Budgeting’ Is the Latest TikTok Trend for Saving Money

    Young people are posting on social media about spending limits and financial strain in a bid to be more fiscally responsible.

    1. Mikel

      ‘Soft landing’ means top 1% gets record stock prices while you get stuck with inflation, analyst says

      They neglect to mention that even when interest rates go to zero or below, the wealthy still zoom ahead. They get the best interest rates FIRST and the interest rates will remain better than those for the pleebs. They get the biggest loans cheap to buy the assets that may fall in price so when they rise again, they can cash out (at the highs) and let their cash earn money in safer bonds of various kinds…when interest rates rise to fight the asset inflation again.
      Rinse and repeat.

  8. nippersdad

    Something I thought might interest everyone here, especially those in Alaska: Did you know that the Russians were coming?

    “Putin signed a new decree last week to allocate funds for the research and registration of Russian property overseas, including that in former territories of the Russian Empire and Soviet Union, Russian state media TASS reported. The decree, which comes amid Russia’s ongoing invasion of Ukraine, did not specifically mention Alaska, though it caught the attention of military bloggers, who argued Putin was using the decree to declare the 1867 Russian sale of the Last Frontier State to the U.S. is illegal.”

    I wonder if the nom de plume of the military blogger reporting on this is Paul Revere? Luckily for us, we have an arch patriot in the well armed Sarah Palin, who can see Russia from her house and keep us informed of events. Will there be another shot heard around the world? Only time will tell in this most stupid of all possible timelines.

      1. ChrisRUEcon


        Palin 2008: “I can see Russia from my house.”

        Palin 2028: “My house is in Russia.”

      1. Lee

        Not to mention the Russian River.

        “The river takes its current name from Russian Ivan Kuskov of the Russian-American Company, who explored the river in the early 19th-century and established the Fort Ross colony 10 mi (16 km) northwest of its mouth. The Russians called it the Slavyanka River, meaning “Slav River”.[1] (Slavyanka in Russian means “Slavic woman”.) They established three ranches near Fort Ross, one of which, the Kostromitinov Ranch, stretched along the Russian River near the mouth of Willow Creek.[11] The redwoods that lined its banks drew loggers to the river in the late 19th century.” Wikipedia

        1. Polar Socialist

          Or them Russkies naming Bodega Bay as Zaliv Rumyantsev being the first “westerners” to live there in houses and all. For over three decades.

        1. nippersdad

          So, you are telling us that it is an even longer standing American tradition to steal Russia’s assets than we thought it was?

          Some of the things you learn around here are just shocking.

  9. lyman alpha blob

    RE: Emergence of Life

    I skimmed the pdf and can’t say I really understand it much myself. But they do seem to be talking about a biological sort of life as we know it. But maybe there are other kinds. In the excerpt you pulled, this part –

    …if the system starts with a small number of beginning molecules, each of which can combine with copies of itself or other molecules to make new molecules, over time the number of kinds of molecules increases slowly but then explodes upward hyperbolically.

    -sounds rather familiar. A star is formed when gas, the vast majority of it hydrogen, condenses due to gravitational force, eventually igniting when nuclear fusion kicks in. Fusion causes hydrogen to become helium, then lithium, etc and it all happens very, very slowly, over millions or maybe billions of years depending on the size of the star. This goes on until iron is formed in the core of the star, at which point, again depending on the size of the star, it goes supernova, with all the other elements heavier than iron being formed in the explosion. All of this dissipates, with the various elements scattered, until gravitation brings it all back together again and the cycle repeats. Birth, death, rebirth.

    So is a star alive?

  10. Lee

    Re: News of the Wired

    “• Sounds neat. Wish I understood.” Me too.

    Also, could someone explain and provide an example of the Bourdieu quote: “So many of the social reactions that strike us as psychological are in fact a rational management of symbolic capital.”

    I dipped a toe into something on classification struggles, but I’m just shy of being old enough to run for president and my brain easily tires. Help a codger out.

    1. turtle

      I read that quote as conveying that many things that we might think are subconscious emotional reactions (ex: shock, anger, disgust) are instead conscious reactions that people use to benefit them within their social circles. Example: “I’m so disgusted, have you seen what Biden/Trump just said today?” Virtue signaling seems like it would be a closely-related concept too. Example: “Look at this thing I did, which demonstrates how green/anti-green I am!”

      1. Lambert Strether Post author

        > I read that quote as conveying that many things that we might think are subconscious emotional reactions (ex: shock, anger, disgust) are instead conscious reactions that people use to benefit them within their social circles.

        People may possess, simultaneously, economic, social, and symbolic capital, and that each can reinforce the others. Virtue signaling is a great example of this reinforcement.

        To brutally simplify Bourdieu, the inventor of these categories, by giving example functions: For economic, think tradeable. For social, think networking. For symbolic, think credentials (not tradeable, but priceable). For all, think persistent over time, i.e. accumulated. Bourdieu’s extensive ouvre could be conceptualized as an attempt, by remedying the economic focus of 19th century Marxism, to remedy the “failure to thrive” of socialist movements in the West in the 20th and 21st centuries (and this by careful, even pointillist attention to giving accounts of the “actually existing,” as a sociologist would do, Marx being a founder of the field). As opposed to various “add-ons,” most of which end in “-ism.” You gotta know the territory, as The Music Man sings. It’s not enough to have ideas about the territory. Even for Lambert!

        1. Randall Flagg

          The older I get, the more I learn, the dumber I feel about the world and universe around me.
          And the education continues with thanks to most importantly, all here at NC.

  11. lyman alpha blob

    Sununu must be watching a different Trump than the one I’ve seen recently. Isn’t a large part of Trump’s appeal that he does NOT just give canned speeches off a teleprompter but reads the crowd and makes lots of off the cuff remarks? Taibbi and Kirn were talking about how his campaign stops are more like stand up routines these days, and if you aren’t an uptight PMC type, he’s pretty funny.

      1. Lambert Strether Post author

        Nothing organic about this at all, and I’d trust any clip as far as I could throw a concert grand piano. When the audience stops laughing at Trump’s jokes, that would be time to worry.

        Incidentally, Trump seems to be the only candidate with a genuine and spontaneous sense of humor (though granted Biden can crack a joke, probably scripted). Why is that?

    1. jsn

      He lives comfortably inside the “if you describe it, that’s how it is” DC embubblement.

      It works till it doesn’t.

      For those for whom it’s always worked (see Obama, I think when it quit working is when Bush 2 picked up painting), it’s hard to believe the first few times it doesn’t.

  12. Adam

    Re: the Democratic base is about identity

    Once more the Democratic PMC conflates their needs with us average Joes/Janes, and I strongly believe it’s all an act to (theoretically) give them a chance to move into the donor/owner class by showing their obedience and keeping on message. But their donors/owners are solely about money, power and a large helping of cruelty and have no intention of sharing anything with these ‘outer party’ riff raff. I wonder when these stable geniuses will finally realize the only people they’re fooling are themselves?

    1. JBird4049

      The turn to identity politics and away from providing concrete, material benefits for all, but especially to the poor, working, and middle classes was not mistake. It was a was a way to weaken and impoverish those classes while strengthening and enriching the wealthy donor base thereby making “governing,” winning elections, and stealing money easier. Remember, it has taken fifty years of doing this before the likely and very damaging blowback will occur, which is over two generations; if the Democratic Party was still competent, it likely would still be doing so successfully for another decade, but it is not, and therefore, it is a mistake, now and not back then.

  13. lyman alpha blob

    RE: politics as fandom

    Sure, but is this new or is the author just figuring this out? Living Colour came out with their biggest hit Cult of Personailty – checks watch – in 1988, and it wasn’t exactly a new sentiment then. The two big examples from their song, Kennedy and Gandhi, had already been dead for a generation when it came out.

    Take us on out, with some riffage – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7xxgRUyzgs0

    1. JBird4049

      It like with sports stadiums. Overpriced everything, and with the movies, the quality has crashed.

      If the prices were reasonable and Covid was being dealt with, I would love to go back to the movies as there is still nothing like seeing a flick on the very big screen (although last I went, the sound was painfully loud for this hearing aid wearer.) Until then as with sports, I am staying home.

      1. c_heale

        Agree on the sound. Modern movies are too loud, and often to the detriment of hearing what is being said.

    2. Lambert Strether Post author

      > movie theater attendance has dropped by almost one half from peak.

      Like WFH, this is another enormous social change at the population level that’s is surely causing a decrease in Covid transmission (no thanks to the restaurant industry or people like Taylor Swift making bank by creating superspreading events).

  14. ChrisPacific

    Yes, Trump is playing to the extremists in his party and burning bridges, and will likely suffer among independents and some Republican voters for it. It would be nice to conclude that he didn’t have a chance, except for the fact that Biden has been just as busy giving people reasons not to vote for him.

    I think for most people it will come down to deciding which of them is more horrible, then voting for the other one. Both have an impressive and growing resume in that regard, so it will be hard to call.

  15. Feral Finster

    I see that the Turkish Parliament voted to ratify Sweden’s accession to NATO.

    Zero surprise that Erdogan would fold.

    1. The Rev Kev

      Probably did so in return for a Biden promise. Last time Erdogan did that and freed those Azov prisoners, he ended up getting nothing from Biden for that.

      1. vao

        I have seen recent rumours that the USA were planning some political re-alignment in Syria — such as letting the SDF reconcile and ally with the Syrian government.

        A most inconvenient move for Turkey, since it views the SDF as a hostile front-end for the Kurdish PKK. This might well have been a ploy to extract concessions from Erdogan — in particular ending his opposition to Sweden’s accession to NATO.

  16. Willow

    > Trump’s Gaffes and Slurring
    Will Trump do a ‘James Holden’ [The Expanse]? Get nomination, select a VP (Tucker?) and then step aside? Pretty sure Trump would prefer limelight of UN Ambassador hobnobbing with international leaders but no real workload than US President again.

    I wouldn’t be surprised if Biden does the same with the VP switch. Both will need someone they can rely on for their pardons. Which rules out some more obvious contenders.

    1. lyman alpha blob

      Wait a minute, did you just give a spoiler for the end of The Expanse? I haven’t read the last book yet, and I gave up on the TV show once it went to Amazon and the Emerald City Cueball butchered it. I had a buddy borrow some of the Amazon episodes from the internet library for me, and they were so bad compared to the ones Scifi network did, I didn’t bother finishing them all. I’d been debating whether to read the last book, since the ones preceding it were pretty poorly written and a slog to get through – they read more like screenplays than novels.

      If that’s what happens, it sounds like a bad ending and I will avoid the sunk cost fallacy and skip it.

    2. Lambert Strether Post author

      > Get nomination, select a VP (Tucker?) and then step aside?

      Highly implausible, both because of Trump’s personality, and because his backers will have concluded, rightly, that there is no substitute for him.

      1. Willow

        This is why Trump Jr is pushing the idea because he then becomes VP. There will be a Trump on the ticket but not necessarily Trump Sr. (Ivanka if Haley ends up as nominee due to misfortune)

  17. Tom Stone

    In 2020 my vote for Jill Stein was a vote for Donald Trump, something I did not learn until I spoke to my Sister whose reaction of rage and contempt was a shock.
    Unless Cheeto Doofus is in jail by the time November arrives I plan to vote for her again.
    I’ll be spared the outrage from Sis this year since we no longer speak.
    TDS has cost me several long term friendships and it is still somewhat of a surprise that otherwise rational people totally lost it over Trump’s vulgarity when they were fine with Abu Ghraib, Presidential kill lists that included American Citizens who were never charged with a crime…it’s a long list.

    1. Acacia

      TDS cost me in this way as well. It’s a bad feeling, but I guess somewhat familiar after the cult of Obama schlupped a few other former friends, and who then unfriended me for daring to question his Saintliness.

      While I also voted third party and plan to do so again, a few ppl have put me “on notice” that I will be unfriended if I get any funny ideas about voting for the Orange Man.

      Must admit that part of me now hopes that Trump evades all the lawfare and at least makes the home stretch, just to see all the TDS meta-stasize into a full meltdown.

      1. JBird4049

        The Empire cannot do much competently, but it has developed propaganda and brainwashing into an art and a science. The shame of it is that a person does not know that they have been mindforked and sent to a cult. Of course, all the fear, danger, and chaos, that we all are feeling at least subconsciously turns off the very mental and emotional skills one needs to avoid being mindforked, or becoming free of the mindforking. This helps the Empire maintain its control.

        I am not sure that I want a full scale meltdown of the TDS, BDS, or any other derangement syndrome sufferer, which is becoming more common. Very understandably. We live in crazy times and that does drive people bananas. Disenthralling yourself from such deep insanity is extremely painful and disorientating with unpredictable behaviors. People do it all the time, sometimes by themselves, but having of millions of people simultaneously doing so would be very, uhm, interesting. Is there a network of deprogrammers that we can hire?

        1. Acacia

          @JBird, any favored go-tos for demystifying that “art and science” of mindforking?

          E.g., I have found The Century of the Self pretty interesting in this regard, as well as Chomsky’s older work, and of course NC.

          1. JBird4049

            My favorite book is Toxic Sludge is Good For You by John Stauber and Sheldon Rampton. It is not just the government that is mindforking you, and business and government are occasionally one and same effectively. Madison Avenue being paid by both.

    2. Lambert Strether Post author

      > TDS has cost me several long term friendships

      Same for the Covid-conscious, and very sad. Seems to be a trend? “Cancellation” in the small? Or would an anthropologist say that society always been this way? IIRC, ostracism in Athens was a public function, not a private one.

  18. digi_owl

    Measuring speed of ICs are probably only second to economics in vagueness.

    Most computing systems today are not hampered by core “speed” as such, but rather that the core so massively outpace memory that most of that speed is spent waiting on the next morsel of data to chew on.

    And there are precious few computing tasks that speed up by throwing more cores at them. At best you may be able to do multiple separate tasks at the same time. But that depends on them not getting bogged down waiting for their turn at the storage IO.

    We are a long way away from the days when CPUs were so slow that support chips could take turns taking to RAM.

    1. Acacia

      Also, many CPUs are already multi-core. I think(?) the Apple M2 even has performance vs. efficiency cores. And these cores are generally attached to high-speed cache memory, like an on-chip instruction cache, which tells you right off that the CPU is not the bottleneck.

      It seems like the favored solution has been distributed systems, e.g., using servers and “the cloud”. At the hardware level, the other trend has been fairly simple specialization, e.g., a separate GPU, and then another specialized chip to do neural network stuff, etc.

      There was a time when there was more buzz around languages like Prolog, in which each statement can be treated like a separate process. In principle, that could be used to take advantage of many cores, but I don’t know that anybody ever tried to write an entire operating system with Prolog.

      1. digi_owl

        The Big.Little scheme was introduced by ARM Back in 2011 (paradoxically that feels like both yesterday and a lifetime ago), and in recent years Intel has adopted a variant of it via P and E cores.

        And what is not distributed systems than another way of stacking cores?

        And GPUs are a funny lot, as they have a massive number of small cores that each get a fixed job assigned and then data is being fed like an assembly line through them.

        As above, so below as the spell goes…

        1. SocalJimObjects

          “And what is not distributed systems than another way of stacking cores?”

          Not that simple. I would say there were two things driving the development of distributed systems:
          1. Resiliency. Machines fail all the time. Without distributed systems, the failure of a single server would mean no one can access a system. Other than servers, the network can also fail with the same result.
          2. Cost. Back in the dot com days, everyone was deploying code on Sun Microsystems servers, but those were expensive, although they were super reliable. Then the crash happened, and there’s plenty of servers available for cheap. On top of that, the Google guys championed the idea of building services on top of cheap off the shelf computers, like buying a thousand of them so failures won’t really matter.

          It’s not all fun and games though, because with distribution, you are now faced with server coordination and data consistency issues, and those were and still are difficult problems.

    2. vao

      I always found the hyper-focus on processors (in IT curricula, trade magazines, etc) and the relative lack of consideration for I/O incomprehensible.

      Not only has I/O always be a decisive factor for overall system performance, there is a good argument that storage (both main memory and permanent storage), not CPU, is what has truly driven the development and innovation in computing. For instance, flash memory is what made mobile phones of all kinds, PDAs, and tablets really possible, not the specifics of CPUs (in that area DSPs were more important).

    3. Lambert Strether Post author

      > Measuring speed of ICs are probably only second to economics in vagueness.

      I had no idea this link would generate such an informed discussion. Perhaps I should link to exotic technical issues more often?

  19. Glen

    At one time the US Military recognized climate change as a huge problem. I think it still does, but it’s taken a back seat to Genocide Joe and the neocon’s desire to conquer the world (or something).

    Maybe they should reconsider that a bit:

    Video shows massive waves crashing Army base in Marshall Islands, causing extensive damage

    I hope everyone is OK; the video of the waves is rather horrific.

    1. nippersdad

      “U.S. Army Garrison-Kwajalein Atoll supports the U.S. Space and Missile Defense Command’s Ronald Reagan Ballistic Missile Defense Test Site, which serves as an integral space and missile defense test range for the Department of Defense and houses some of the U.S. Army’s most sophisticated space tracking equipment.”

      I hope all of that stuff was waterproof.

      I once read a Nineteenth century short story about one of those low lying Pacific islands, and during a typhoon everyone had to climb the palm trees lest they be washed away. Seems like Herman Melville could have given them some good advice. Prolly something like “Don’t put your space command center two inches above the high tide line.”

      Yeah, I know that sounds like common sense, but that does not appear to be particularly in good supply these days.

      1. digi_owl

        To add to the problem, the high tide in a decade may be quite a bit higher than high tide today. Just look at a certain Japanese power plant, where the engineers took the highest documented wave in the area, added a percentage, and designed protections accordingly. Only for mother nature to deliver a wave that trounced even those numbers.

    2. digi_owl

      It is still to them a “long term” problem, and then only in terms of “how do we keep the grunts fighting during ever more extreme weather?”.

      Because the eternal problem of war is logistics. We are a far way from when some emperor could point towards the horizon, and the army would forage and pillage their way there. These days there is a massive “wagon train” of goods following every last soldier into the field, as they need food, bullet, and in more recent years batteries.

  20. petal

    No people standing on the corners outside my house today. There were 5 of them(holding the “write in Biden” signs) standing outside the polling place door, along with 3 Nimarata Haley people. I asked the volunteer that switches people back over to unaffiliated if it had been busy today and they nodded and said it had been a steady stream and that there’s usually a big bump between 5 and 7pm. On the way in I had passed a lot of Dartmouth students walking out. All of the GOP candidates were on the ballot-even the ones that have dropped out.

    And I used up one of my nine lives today-milliseconds from being hit in a crosswalk by a white BMW SUV from NJ that had crossed the double solid lines and passed 3 buses. They didn’t even slow down. Good times.

    1. nippersdad

      Electioneering within a hundred feet of a polling place? Is there still time to call the cops? :)

  21. cpm

    Thank you for your answer. I’ll try to avoid the why don’t you phrasing in the future….but you did answer my question and I understand what you say and mostly agree.

    BTW, I looked into Novovax recently. I’m very wary of mRNA after some myocarditis and subsequent heart failure which I have reason to attribute to the vaccine. The CDC reports that clinical trials suggest “an increased risk of myocarditis following Novovax vaccination”.

    Given my delicate condition, I’ve decided to isolate and stay home.
    Apologies and thanks again.

  22. The Rev Kev

    “Donald Trump has a big problem ahead”

    ‘Trump is not making his pitch to voters as a first time candidate. He is a known quantity who is being judged by the electorate not for the conduct of his current campaign so much as his time in office. And that, political veterans warn, makes it much harder for him to win back the people he’s alienated, including those once willing to vote Republican.’

    Of course the exact same thing can be said of Biden. After three years everybody knows exactly what he is all about and are probably wondering what other wars he will get America involved in between now and November. Or how much further he can trash the economy. Imagine being so bad a President that Trump actually looks like a good alternative. New Hampshire is going to be interesting.

    1. nippersdad

      Had Biden wanted to be a successful war time president he should have invaded Nauru, or somewhere like that. It might only take a few years for him to win, and it would give the Nauruites something to talk about.

    2. OliverN

      Good pickup. Buried 13 paragraphs in, the politico article admits:

      Biden himself is grappling with a Democratic Party where a portion of voters have soured on him and are either leaning towards or threatening to vote for a third party candidate or stay home in November.

      So a “swathe” of Republicans don’t want to vote for Trump whereas a “portion” of voters don’t want to vote for Biden. So what’s bigger, a portion or a swathe, or are they both roughly the same? Such scientific measurements!

      But also it’s proof they could have flipped the names Trump and Biden around, and ran the same article, with 3-4 anecdotes from disillusioned democrats…

      1. Acacia

        Apparently, 70% of Gen Z voters soured when Dementia Joe turned out to be Genocide Joe.

        But yeah… 70% of 41 million Gen Z eligible to vote in 2024 are “a portion”. Yup.

        And methinks the “Accelerationist Candidate Joe” voters are but a tiny contingent.

  23. Jay Ess

    WFH might be one reason JN.1 was not a second Omnicron. [sic]

    I disagree strongly with this – WFH is no longer being encouraged or allowed at many companies, while during the original Omicron outbreak, most companies that had gone to WFH were still allowing it.

    Anecdotally, both of the last two companies I’ve worked for were still allowing WFH during the original Omicron, and now both of them have mandatory office attendance policies.

    1. chris

      More importantly, WFH was never an option for the class of people most at risk of Sars 2 exposure. The last remnants of WFH are constrained to professionals and public employees.

  24. FreeMarketApologist

    Re: “Interesting, though surely the first contemporary example of the political stan was the Obot?

    No, it was JFK & Jackie O.

    1. chris

      It’s surreal to read summaries of the Democrat primary and see that with half of the votes counted, Joe Biden has half the votes of Dean Phillips, but the press has still called the state for Joe Biden. I think that’s how this entire election cycle is going to be. There’s what my lying eyes tell me, and there’s the approved and fact checked TRUTH(tm) brought you by the people who know best. Even better, the Guardian says Joe won because of a “vigorous write-in campaign”. I didn’t think you could make this stuff up but apparently, you can!

      I may have to stock up on whiskey to get through this year if this is quality of coverage we will be exposed to…

  25. Ben Joseph

    How could they have counted the write in votes in a couple of hours. AP calls race with no county data or explanation. I trust that not.

    1. Lambert Strether Post author

      This crops up in every NH primary.

      NH precincts use different forms of counting (hand, scanner, mechanical, for all I know) and these operate at different speeds. Urban is different form rural.

      The write-in ballots are easy because there is a single ballot line (as NH’s election director said yesterday; I linked to them, forget whether I cut that part but it’s there). Plus very few names other than Biden will be written in.

  26. Lambert Strether Post author

    I’m glad readers looked with favor on the redesign for the Covid charts section. I just fixed the alignment problem so everything is flush left, as the laws of nature and of nature’s God intend.

    Further changes:

    1) Mark those charts updated at the time of posting, perhaps with a gold star

    2) Make the charts larger within space available (shown by the width of the horizontal rules)

    3) Separation of concerns on footnotes: Put standing notes on frequency/reliability in the footnote area. Integrate commentary (“Steep decline in the Northeast”) into the table itself, under the relevant chart

    4) Add Legend with (a) note on meaning of star, and (b) explanation of click-through for larger image

    5) For the click through charts, make larger, like 1200px, since 600px standard width for graphics is no longer a constraint.

    I also added a title for the table.

    I had thought of adding some encoding for better or worse (like red, yellow, and green dots) but on reflection, I think that adding a note like “Good News” to the chart itself is just as informative, and stands out more.

    NOTE I also did a little election year value-add on the Biobot national cases chart. In 2020-2022 the contrast was not so clear. Now it is very clear.

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