2:00PM Water Cooler 1/30/2024

By Lambert Strether of Corrente.

Bird Song of the Day

Northern Shrike, Apache, Arizona, United States. “Two adults. Interacted with each other, vocalizing.”

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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 (Insurrection)

“Illinois election board dismisses 14th Amendment case against Trump, though an appeal is expected” [CNN]. “The Illinois State Board of Elections voted Tuesday to dismiss a challenge to former President Donald Trump’s candidacy, but the decision is not expected to be the final word in the matter, with an appeal all but assured. The panel voted 8-0 on a bipartisan basis to dismiss the challenge, finding that it didn’t have jurisdiction to adjudicate a complex constitutional dispute involving the 14th Amendment…. The election panel accepted a recommendation from retired Judge Clark Erickson, who presided over an evidentiary hearing last week and concluded that the board isn’t legally empowered to undertake a complex constitutional analysis of Trump’s potential culpability in the January 6, 2021, Capitol riot. However, Erickson, a Republican, also concluded that, based on the evidence presented at the hearing, Trump did engage in the January 6 insurrection and the 14th Amendment would apply to him. He said state courts – which have more power than the election board – should decide Trump’s eligibility.” • I guess if Section Three is self-executing, it doesn’t matter who does the executing: Election officials, as Baude and Paulsen contemplated; or state courts, or whoever. I suppose if a State legislature wanted to, they could set up a magic board, and punt the decision over to them. Or, idea: How about sortition? Our militias are more “well-regulated” than this.

“Baude and Paulsen Are Mistaken: Section 3 Has Never Barred Anyone from Serving as President” [David Weisberg]. Weisberg is an “independent” without affiliation but I think his argument is a good one:

Baude and Paulsen make the textual mistake of ignoring the significance of the omission of the specific terms “President or Vice-President” at the head of the list of specifically barred federal offices. If it had been intended that the presidency and vice presidency would be barred offices, any reasonable, competent, careful, sober legislator would have drafted Section 3 to begin with the words: “No person shall be President or Vice-President, or a Senator or …”

[T]heir textual mistake ensures that Baude and Paulsen are blind to the policy consideration underlying the deliberate omission of “President or Vice-President” from the list of barred offices. Elections for president and vice president are nation-wide in scope. Federal electors are elected in individual States, but the president and vice president are elected only after tallying the electors’ votes from every State all together. All the specifically barred federal offices entail elections limited to individual States.

The distinction between nation-wide elections and elections held in a single State is crucial. While unreconstructed rebel voters might constitute majorities in individual States that had formerly seceded, the national electorate could never have been so constituted. In the late 1860’s, the ratio of populations of States that had remained in the Union compared with populations of formerly Confederate States was almost 5 to 1. Additionally, disloyal persons were specifically barred by Section 3 from serving in the electoral college. Thus, there was no reason to deny the national electorate a perfectly free choice for president and vice president—it was impossible that unreconstructed rebel voters would pick winners in a nation-wide election. That is why Section 3, on its very face, never barred anyone from serving as president.

So Jefferson Davis was never within hailing distance of the Oval Office, despite the hysteria of some liberal commentators.

The Constitutional Order (Invasion)

“Texas Gov. Abbott sends stark message to sanctuary cities as migrant crisis continues” [FOX]. Abbott: “Texas has transported over 102,000 migrants to sanctuary cities. Overwhelmed Texas border towns should not bear the brunt of Biden’s open border policies. Our transportation mission will continue until Biden secures the border.” Mission? More: “Former President Donald Trump on Thursday gave his backing to Abbott amid the latter’s feud with the Biden administration — urging states to send their National Guards to the border and promising to work ‘hand in hand’ with the state to combat the ‘invasion’ if he is inaugurated again in January 2025.”

“Governor Abbott’s Perilous Effort at Constitutional Realignment” [Lawfare]. “Article I, § 10, Clause 3 is primarily a statement of several things that states may not do. It includes a default rule that ‘[n]o State shall, without the Consent of Congress, … engage in War.’ It is true that the final clauses of Clause 3 create a limited right for states to respond to “invasions” in a way that the clause otherwise denies them—namely, the power to “engage in War” without congressional consent when they are ‘actually invaded” (or at imminent risk of the same). The ‘Actual Invasion Clause,’ in other words, is an exception to the default prohibition on states’ war-engagement power in Clause 3. In arguing that Clause 3 provides a federal constitutional basis for its actions along the U.S.-Mexico border, Texas has advanced two broader claims. The first is that what is currently happening along the border meets the threshold definition of ‘invasion.’ The second is that Texas can defend itself against invasions without regard to—and even in derogation of—federal laws and policies. Neither argument is persuasive, but the second is truly extraordinary.” More: “[E]ven in cases (unlike in Texas today) in which § 10 is applicable, it does not give the state any power to ‘supersede’ federal statutes. Abbott’s claim to the contrary—which he has yet to test outside of briefing in the current lawsuits between the United States and the Biden administration—is an extraordinary assertion of state supremacy over federal law. It misreads the text, purpose, and historical understanding of how the Constitution structures federal and state relationships when it comes to national defense. And however sympathetic some might be to what Texas claims it is trying to do, were courts to endorse these arguments, it could have ominous implications for national security far beyond the specific—and hotly contested—space of border security.” • Good thing the Feds were sensible enough never to base nuclear weapons in Texas, eh? I like the “Actual Invasion Clause”; a plain reading of the text contradicts Abbott, as I show here, but there’s no question the Lawfare dudes added some spice (as one would expect; this is journal for practitioners).

“Texas’ Border Stunt Is Based on the Same Legal Theory Confederate States Used to Secede” [The Daily Beast]. “Abbott’s accusation that the federal government has breached the Constitution by having ‘broken the compact between the United States and the States’ is almost identical to South Carolina’s 1860 declaration of secession.” I don’t think “almost identical” is correct, but it’s certainly worth a click-through to see the Slave Power pounding the table. More: “Abbott’s letter espouses the fringe theory of constitutional law known as ‘compact theory,’ popularized by Confederate states during the Civil War era and supported by Confederate President Jefferson Davis. This theory posits that the United States was formed through a compact agreed upon by the states, with the federal government being a creation of the states. However, this view conflicts with the widely accepted social contract theory, which asserts that the federal government derives its authority from the consent of the people, not the states. The Supreme Court has consistently rejected compact theory, deeming it illegitimate and incompatible with constitutional law. At the crux of what’s happening at the southern border lies the question: Does the federal government have the authority to regulate access to Texas’ borders? The answer is unequivocally, yes. Texas’ embrace of compact theory and its assertion that state government can supersede federal authority directly contradict the landmark Supreme Court case of McCulloch v. Maryland (1819).” • Of course, this Supreme Court is fully capable of turning up its nose at any doctrine with the word “social” in it. But Abbots view is indeed “fringe,” even for Texas Republicans; see the views of the Texas Public Policy Institute in Water Cooler of last week.

Can our European readers speak to this point?


Less than a year to go!

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“Trump is running a disciplined campaign. That should worry Democrats” [MSNBC]. “It’s unclear what’s driving the relatively high functioning of Trump’s campaign operation, in contrast to his past campaigns and presidency. It’s unlikely that, at 77, Trump has had an epiphany on the importance of professionalism and attention to detail. What may be at play is that Trump has become more deeply enmeshed in the Republican Party apparatus and more attuned to the benefits of building relationships with its important players. He and his inner circle have become more experienced with electoral politics, and he has more connections to seasoned operatives. In other words, while Trump still presents himself as an outsider, he’s not running as an outsider anymore. We see that not only in his efforts to return to the White House, but also in his preparation for what he would do if he were to return to it: The Heritage Foundation, a Beltway think tank, is helping prepare extensive plans for him to hire an army of yes men and radically reshape the federal bureaucracy in Washington from the day he enters office. It would be a mistake to assume that Trump has struck upon a kind of new, unerring discipline. He remains impulsive, fickle and inclined to rage-post on social media. His powers as a rhetorician may be in decline as his speeches grow ever more discursive and his agenda is ever more defined by a thirst for personal vengeance. While the going is easy for him now, his general election campaign would be a much more complex effort and more likely to grow unstable as Election Day nears and pressure mounts.” • Cope.

“Trump’s Inflection Point Began Where No One Was Looking: East Palestine” [RealClearPolitics]. “The sleet and rain were unforgiving here on Feb. 22, 2023, the day former President Donald Trump came to this small Columbiana County village. Despite the weather and concerns about what was in the air or what kind of chemical was lurking in the pools of mud they were walking in, folks by the hundreds lined up along Main Street as Trump’s motorcade, filled with state and local law enforcement, sirened its way into town…. If you had visited here for weeks — as I had, reporting about the disaster — you understood, more than anything else, that the people here wanted to know that those in power would help them…. [T]he person with the most power, President Joe Biden, had not come, nor would he ever…. While the shift toward Trump in the polls would not happen for at least a month after his visit here — he started gaining steam in March when news broke of the indictment from the Manhattan district attorney — I wrote down in my rain-smudged reporter’s notebook that day that if he is able to resurrect the magic of 2016, understanding the forgotten man and woman and the dignity of work, it started here, the day he showed up when Biden refused.” • Maybe so. What is clear from this story: “[P]eople here wanted to know that those in power would help them.” I think that’s a broad-based desire, or hope, or exercise in wishful thinking across the political spectrum. It’s certainly true for me on Covid. And while I don’t think much of Abbott and his Confderate Constitutional theorizing, I can understand why Texas border towns would have exactly the same desire.

“Tim Scott to serve as key Trump surrogate amid push for Black voters” [The Hill]. “Sen. Tim Scott (R-S.C.) is poised to play a key role in former President Trump’s campaign as Trump and the GOP look to boost support among Black voters. Scott has been a fixture on Trump’s stage since dropping his 2024 bid late last year, spurring speculation he could be Trump’s vice president pick. He also drew scrutiny recently over remarks defending Trump’s policies regarding race. The South Carolina senator’s public support of Trump comes as Republicans have recently made a concerted effort to appeal to more Black voters, long seen as a core constituency for Democrats. ‘He certainly brings a lot to the table,’ Brian Seitchik, GOP strategist and Trump campaign alum, told The Hill. ‘He’s a substantive person. He’s very conservative, with strong ties into the African American community.'” • Commentary:

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“Mayorkas lashes out at ‘baseless’ GOP allegations ahead of key impeachment vote” [FOX]. “Mayorkas’ letter comes after Republicans have traded barbs with Democrats and the administration over the impeachment push against the Biden cabinet secretary, who Republicans have accused of a “dereliction of duty” in his handling of the ongoing and historic crisis at the southern border. Migrant numbers officially hit 302,000 in December, a new record, after 2.4 million encounters in FY23. Republicans have said that large releases into the interior and a rolling back of Trump-era policies have fueled the crisis.” • I hate that word “baseless.” Too many “s” sounds!

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“Trump team made ‘early on’ attempts to recruit RFK Jr. as former president’s running mate: report” [FOX]. “People close to former President Donald Trump made attempts to recruit Robert F. Kennedy to serve as his running mate, according to a report which was subsequently denied by Trump’s team. Citing a source in Trump’s orbit who is familiar with the matter, the New York Post reported that people close to the former president made “preliminary overtures” to Kennedy, a former Democrat candidate now running as an Independent, about the possibility of him serving as Trump’s running mate in the 2024 presidential election. ‘Trump operatives expressed an interest in Kennedy early on, but it was all premature,’ one person familiar with the matter told the outlet, adding that it was ‘right out of the box when Bobby announced’ in April 2023 that he was making a run for the White House.” • There’s only one “Bobby,” and that Bobby ins’t Junior.

“Measles cases expected to spread cross-country due to vaccination gaps, high travel” [KRCG]. Thanks for doing your bit, Junior:

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Republican Funhouse

“House Republicans poised to torpedo GOP’s best chance in years to pass border bill” [The Hill] .

Democrats en Déshabillé

“The Anti-Democratic Movement Targeted Ralph Nader First. We Should Have Paid More Attention” (unlocked) [Matt Taibbi, Substack]. The deck: “The recent ballot access challenges, political investigations, and canceled primaries are just an extension of a phenomenon we should have seen coming twenty years ago.” More: “Democrats showed great creativity when seeking ways to keep Nader off the ballot, but almost none when it came to examining possible reasons it might be underperforming. Kerry in 2004 was fatally flawed because he had no position on this central issue of the campaign, the Iraq war. He tried simultaneously to be against it (‘Invading Iraq has created a crisis of historic proportions‘) and for it (pledging to ‘hunt down and kill the terrorists‘), while running all year from the fact that he voted for Bush’s war resolution. This complex non-position not only created a clear rationale for a third-party run in a year when support for the war dropped as low as 45%, it was a major factor in Hillary Clinton’s 2016 general election loss, when Donald Trump won 57% of military households vs Clinton’s 39%. Had the party shown a fraction of the backbone on the Iraq issue during the crucial October 2002 vote that it showed in bollocking Nader all through the 2004 cycle, it’s possible Trump never would have been president.” And: “Twenty years and multiple political upheavals later, the Democrats are taking the sabotage game it played in 2004 up a notch or ten. It’s taken the position that all of Joe Biden’s potential challengers within the party and without are, in effect, new Naders, whose presences are “distorting” the real election. The major difference between 2004 and now is that thanks to major changes in both the Democratic and Republican parties, current Democrats have the money and institutional capacity to attempt a legal campaign to “Naderize” even the likely GOP nominee, Trump, essentially seeking to ballot-block their way to victory.” • Well worth a read, and mark well that as I have long urged: The distinctive competence of the modern political party is control of the ballot. (I just hope Taibbi gets out of bed with Bhattacharya* before he gets confused, and thinks the money on the dresser is for him. Decrying censorship is one thing; treating the GBD crowd as anything other than Koch-funded eugenicist weasels is quite another. NOTE * Battacharya is not a “real scientist. He’s an economist, ffs.) Commentary:

Realignment and Legitimacy

“Religious ‘Nones’ are now the largest single group in the U.S. [NPR]. “A new study from Pew Research finds that the religiously unaffiliated – a group comprised of atheists, agnostic and those who say their religion is ‘nothing in particular’ – is now the largest cohort in the U.S. They’re more prevalent among American adults than Catholics (23%) or evangelical Protestants (24%). Back in 2007, Nones made up just 16% of Americans, but Pew’s new survey of more than 3,300 U.S. adults shows that number has now risen dramatically…. “We know politically for example,” Smith says, ‘that religious Nones are very distinctive. They are among the most strongly and consistently liberal and Democratic constituencies in the United States.’ And that could change electoral politics in the coming decades. The political power of white Evangelicals has been well-reported in recent decades, but their numbers are shrinking while the number of the more liberal Nones is on the rise. However, Smith points out that Nones are also less civically engaged than those who identify with a religion – they’re less likely to vote. So, while they identify as Democrats, getting them to the polls on election day may prove to be a challenge.” • Funny how Christianity took a hit when the Christianists went into politics. I would be surprised if the trend didn’t start with the Bush Administration. “In The Right Man: The Surprise Presidency of George W Bush, the former Bush speechwriter David Frum tells of how virtually the first words he heard were: ‘Missed you at Bible study.’ The remark, it should be said, was not addressed to Frum, who is Jewish, but to the chief speechwriter Michael Gerson.” • As, Bibles in hand, the Bushies tortured and bombed their way to disaster. And speaking of realignment and David Frum:

Readers: I’ve had a complaint that the screen shots I make of Twitter threads and documents are not readable. I don’t understand this, because I thought *.PNGs, as opposed to *.JPGs, were supposed to scale without jaggies (and in any case they look fine on my Mac, or I wouldn’t be using them in the first place). I just tried an online sharpening tool which in fact added jaggies. Thoughts? Tools?


“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!

* * *

Look for the Helpers

Guerilla public health communication, since CDC has given up:

I applaud the effort, but I think that the layered protection strategy (a) saves more lives (has greater efficicacy) and also (b) gets rid of the moralizing aspect of mask vs no mask (which I freely admit I have vociferously participated in):


Idea: Why don’t we call respirators “Razor wire for Covid?” Sure, there would be an intracranial splatterfest in the liberal Democrat camp, but so what? They hate non-pharmaceutical interventions anyhow.

Censorship and Propaganda

“Why Covid Can Never Be ‘Just A Cold’ [Nate Bear]. “I’ve said it many times before, and it bears repeating again and again: most people didn’t wake up one day and decide to think about covid like a cold. People didn’t go from being happy to isolate, test, mask, lock down, to being chill about coexisting with this virus. The normalising process wasn’t organic, it was engineered… If covid is here in three hundred years, it won’t be a cold. Why? Because Sarscov2 infects cells in the human body in a very different way to any other virus that causes a cold.” • Worth reading in full.


“Altered brain connectivity in Long Covid during cognitive exertion: a pilot study” [Frontiers in Neuroscience]. From Methods: “Functional MRI was acquired in 10 Long Covid (LCov) and 13 healthy controls (HC) with a 7 Tesla scanner during a cognitive (Stroop color-word) task.” From the Conclusion: “In this pilot study of brain connectivity in Long Covid, despite limited subject numbers, we have detected significant differences from [healthy controls (HC)], mostly in brainstem and salience network connections that are important for the regulation of brain function. Altered regulatory connections can have complex consequences that may manifest as the symptoms of [Long Covid (LCov)]. In the brainstem during the same cognitive exertion, enhanced connectivity in LCov was opposite to the impaired connectivity in ME/CFS.” • Hmm.

Maybe this will do it; the threat of brain damage certainly hasn’t:

Many studies on the thread.

Elite Maleficence

“How to Eat a Tire in a Year” [David Sedaris, The New Yorker]. Filed under “Personal History”:

One of Dawn’s lungs collapsed when she was in her late fifties, so she was super cautious about covid—kept her face covered long after everyone else had returned to normal. We were in Chicago together, at O’Hare, in the spring of 2022, when I told her she needed to take it off.

“But—” she said.

“Let it go,” I told her. “Everyone else has.”

I felt like a director coercing an actress to unhook her bra for a sex scene. “Come on,” I said. “You can do this. Start by just . . . lowering it to your chin.”

She took off her mask, and then of course immediately got covid—a bad case, too. All my fault, but she’s never held it against me.

Classic New Yorker! (“The Collapse of the Public Health Establishment is the Collapse of the Professional-Managerial Class,” for whom The New Yorker is or was a sort of fetish or totem).

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TABLE 1: Daily Covid Charts

★ National[1] Biobot January 29: ★ Regional[2] Biobot January 29:
Variants[3] CDC January 20 Emergency Room Visits[4] CDC January 20
New York[5] New York State, data January 25: National [6] CDC January 13:
★ National[7] Walgreens January 29: ★Ohio[8] Cleveland Clinic January 27:
Travelers Data
Positivity[8] CDC January 8: Variants[9] CDC January 8:
Weekly deaths New York Times January 20: Percent of deaths due to Covid-19 New York Times January 20:


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] Slight increase in MWRA wastewater data, as of January 25, i.e. the incubation period from the student’s return:

[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

Employment Situation: “United States Job Quits” [Trading Economics]. “The number of job quits in the United States declined by 132,000 from the previous month to 3.392 million in December 2023, down from November’s revised figure of 3.524 million and touching the lowest level since January 2021.”

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* * *

Today’s Fear & Greed Index: 74 Greed (previous close: 75 Extreme Greed) [CNN]. One week ago: 70 (Greed). (0 is Extreme Fear; 100 is Extreme Greed). Last updated Jan 30 at 1:48:31 PM ET.

Rapture Index: Closes down one on earthquakes: “The lack of activity has downgraded this category” [Rapture Ready]. Record High, October 10, 2016: 189. Current: 188. (Remember that bringing on the Rapture is good.) NOTE on #42 Plagues: “The coronavirus pandemic has maxed out this category.” More honest than most! • What are they waiting for in the Middle East? A red heifer?

News of the Wired

“Why flying insects gather at artificial light” [Nature]. “Explanations of why nocturnal insects fly erratically around fires and lamps have included theories of ‘lunar navigation’ and ‘escape to the light’. However, without three-dimensional flight data to test them rigorously, the cause for this odd behaviour has remained unsolved. We employed high-resolution motion capture in the laboratory and stereo-videography in the field to reconstruct the 3D kinematics of insect flights around artificial lights. Contrary to the expectation of attraction, insects do not steer directly toward the light. Instead, insects turn their dorsum toward the light, generating flight bouts perpendicular to the source. Under natural sky light, tilting the dorsum towards the brightest visual hemisphere helps maintain proper flight attitude and control. Near artificial sources, however, this highly conserved dorsal-light-response can produce continuous steering around the light and trap an insect. Our guidance model demonstrates that this dorsal tilting is sufficient to create the seemingly erratic flight paths of insects near lights and is the most plausible model for why flying insects gather at artificial lights.” • So we could think of the effects of propaganda as a sort of “dorsal tilting”? Anyhow, since I cannot forbear:

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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, 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 Judith:

Judith writes: “I saw this snow person (artist unknown) in front of the Cambridge (MA) public library and it made me smile.” Me too!

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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. kareninca

      Wow. That is awful. She probably did go to a lot of effort to avoid catching it, but did anyway. This must be a very contagious variant indeed. And she probably has good insurance. Ugh.

      I wonder if she relied strictly on masking. I will have to start reading her old tweets.

    1. playon

      I love Norm MacDonald – I’ve been on a spree watching him on youtube this week – laughter helps relieve the winter blues here in the cloudy PNW.

      1. Terry Flynn

        I will, to my dying day, maintain that his best and funniest period incorporated the segments he did on SNL, which got him into WHOLE load of trouble. I won’t stick my neck out and say he always “called it right” but he sure showed cojones in calling a variety of things we now know to be true but which the networks were too afraid to say out loud at the time.

        His later stuff showed he wasn’t one of the “stupid shock jocks” – he (like all of us) made mistakes but he could be surprisingly empathetic (compared to his SNL “shtick”). Ironically his more “introspective” stuff doesn’t seem to get the hits on social media. Probably says more about us than him….

    2. Adam Eran

      Great joke! BTW, have you heard there’s a Canadian version of Duke Ellington’s “Take the A Train”?

      …it’s “Take the Train, Eh?”

      Meanwhile, for better screenshots, enlarge the picture in your browser (Ctrl and + on Windows machines), then take the shot. Reduce the size with Photoshop, or WordPress(?) that way you’ll get more dots per inch.

  1. Wukchumni

    My mom turned into a lapsed Catholic when she became a lapsed Canadian and met my dad, who like a lot of Czechs, didn’t do deities duty.

    We weren’t raised as agnostic or atheist or anything like that, we just didn’t hurl in the mystical bowing league.

    I’ve always leaned towards Pantheism, the sum of all the moving parts on this good orb.

    But then again, I’m more interested in the here-versus the hereafter, and require no invisible means of support.

    1. Terry Flynn

      One YT channel I was subscribed to, until (like so many) it let its standards drop to avoid bankruptcy courtesy of THE ALGORITHM, gave some insights into the Czech/Slovak split, perhaps unintentionally. On the face of it, their split was a bit of an accident. Yet when you look at religion you see a MAJOR difference with the Czech “lack of uniformity” in religion being very visible.

      My dad has an employee is who is Slovak. Old enough to remember when “we regarded the Commie news as a comic” yet is now saying “how on earth did I end up in a so called better system where the news still became a comic?” She is perhaps not “archetypally Slovak” re religion and seems more Czech (agnostic and not tied to stuff). She is someone I listen to to “take the temperature” of mid/Eastern Europe. She doesn’t easily get triggered and knows when the powers that be are playing us.

      I’ll be quizzing her about the current EU+UK-Israel debacle if I get a chance…….

      1. Wukchumni

        My mom was Slovakian-Canadian, an anchor baby in the modern parlance. Slovaks were under the thumb of the Magyars for eons.

        Growing up, it became very evident that the Czech-Slovak relationship was eerily similar to how Americans tend to look down on Mexicans, in terms of stereotyping.

        I get my humor from my Czech side and my hillbilly from my Slovak side.

        1. Terry Flynn

          Thanks very much for the personal insights (which made me chuckle) on some “more general” geopolitical statements I’ve heard.

          1. Wukchumni

            Another angle is post-war Czech immigrants came in 2 waves to the USA, either 1948 or 1968, and whereas my dad had no Communist indoctrination, the 1968 immigrants had 20 years of it, and their command of the English language was frightful, sometimes it seemed like a whole paragraph went by in a short sentence spoken-with giant halts between words, to a 10 year old like me.

            I only knew all the cuss words, mom & dad spoke Czech at home when they were being sneaky, were they possibly Communist spies on location in Los Angeles?

            I think not, but as if I was gonna rat them out.

  2. Carolinian

    Re Bobby vs Bobby–is it ok if we don’t like the first Bobby either? Jeff St. Clair:

    + Hardly a surprise given the Kennedy family’s political DNA. One might recall that in the spring of 1968 a Palestinian Christian named Sirhan Sirhan, never a particularly political person, read a piece in the New York Review of Books by our late friend Andy Kopkind describing Robert Kennedy’s courtship of American Jewish voters and donors. Kennedy had disparaged his opponent Eugene McCarthy for being too indulgent toward the aspirations of the Palestinians. Kopkind also reported that Kennedy had pledged to push through the sale of US F-4 Phantom jets to the Israeli Defense Forces. After reading Kopkind’s piece, Sirhan inscribed “RFK must die!” in his diary. On the night of June 5th, Sirhan took his Iver-Cadet 22 calibre pistol to the kitchen of the Ambassador Hotel in Los Angeles and shot Kennedy three times as the senator was talking to a dishwasher. Sirhan later told David Frost: “My only connection with Robert Kennedy was his sole support of Israel and his deliberate attempt to send those 50 bombers to Israel to obviously do harm to the Palestinians.”


    1. pjay

      In my (admittedly skewed) opinion, one of the best things about Bobby Jr.’s very early campaign was his five minute story about how, after many years, he came to realize that this story about the assassination of his father could not be true, starting with Noguchi’s coroner’s report and Paul Shrade’s first hand view. I saw it several times, though I can’t find a clip at the moment. I don’t want to go on and on about this again, but St. Clair and the Counterpunch boys views on the Kennedys are as helpful as their views on Putin and Ukraine.

      I’ve given up on Bobby Jr. as a political candidate. But his short spiel on why Sirhan did not shoot his father is clear and concise. Gotta find a clip.

      1. Esme

        I remember reading the transcript where rfk jr described why Sirhan couldn’t have killed his father and too found it very convincing:

        According to Noguchi’s autopsy, my father was killed by four shots fired from behind him.

        Sirhan never got behind him. Sirhan was in front of him. And those shots were all contact shots. So they left carbon tattoos on his body, which means the barrel of the gun could never not have been more than an inch from his body, and in some cases were clearly touching his body. And they were fired upward, at upward angle, suggesting the person who fired them was holding the gun close to his body and concealing it while firing it upward.

        The fatal shot was the one from behind his ear.

        Sirhan never got that near. There were 77 eyewitnesses, and everybody placed Sirhan five feet in front of my father.

        Here is a link to the full transcript

      1. Carolinian

        Search engines are your friend.

        The trial proceeded, and opening statements began on February 12. The lead prosecutor in the case was Lynn “Buck” Compton, a World War II veteran of Easy Company fame who later became a justice of the California Court of Appeal.[28] David Fitts delivered the prosecution’s opening statement, providing examples of Sirhan’s preparations to kill Kennedy. The prosecution showed that Sirhan was seen at the Ambassador Hotel on June 3, two nights before the attack, to learn the building’s layout and that he visited a gun range on June 4. Alvin Clark, Sirhan’s garbage collector, testified that Sirhan had told him a month before the attack of his intention to shoot Kennedy.[29] : par. 16 

        Sirhan’s defense counsel included attorney Grant Cooper, who had hoped to demonstrate that the killing had been the impulsive act of a man with a mental deficiency. But Walker admitted into evidence pages from three of Sirhan’s journal notebooks that suggested the crime was premeditated and “quite calculating and willful”. On March 3, Cooper asked Sirhan in direct testimony whether he had shot Kennedy; Sirhan replied, “Yes, sir”, but then said that he did not bear Kennedy any ill will.[29] Sirhan also testified that he had killed Kennedy “with twenty years of malice aforethought”. He explained in an interview with David Frost in 1989 that this referred to the time since the creation of the State of Israel. He has maintained since then that he has no memory of the crime or of making that statement in court.[30]


        But my point is that it when it comes to Israel/Palestine Junior is a chip off the block. And one might add that senior spent years being a controversial figure among the true left before becoming a sainted martyr by being shot.

        Now RFK jr is sporting campaign signs that say “vote for a Kennedy.” For those of us who were around back then it’s deja vu all over again. I really don’t trust him.

  3. communistmole

    “Religious ‘Nones’ are now the largest single group in the U.S. [NPR]. “

    A few days ago, the Swiss media reported that people with no religious affiliation are now the largest population group (previously it was Catholics).

    In terms of proportion, people with no religious affiliation are most strongly represented in the 25-34 age group, where they make up 42 percent.

  4. Socal Rhino

    I’m pretty sure the decline in religious identification (or whatever you want to call it) predates the entry of Evangelicals into politics, by a wide margin. The religion of the US is progress – the future will always be better, your kids will have a better life than you, the arc of history bends toward justice, etc.

  5. Lambert Strether Post author

    I added some orts and scraps. Not nearly enough, there’s a lot going on! (Incidentally, it’s not liberal aghastitude to say that Abbott is channeling John C. Calhoun. All you have to do is read the texts. This is a big issue.)

    1. hk

      Calhoun was, in many ways, channeling Jefferson (at least the Jefferson who wrote the Kentucky Resolution.)

    2. Pat

      I don’t disagree, Lambert. But I admit that I am at a loss of what other options he had that he had not already tried.
      And yes, I do think on a national level this is a bipartisan crisis that has been getting worse for years, even decades. But it is a crisis. And the border states have been baring the brunt of it.
      I do appreciate your tying it to the stated desire of the populace for help that was in the Trump visits East Palestine article. Funny thing is that I think that desire applies to so many of the problems we are experiencing, and much of the pain expressed here about so many things beyond the ones mentioned is from that.

      1. John

        It would be a thunderclap if the Supremes were to uphold the Texas position. Federal supremacy is the bedrock of the union. But Andrew Jackson is supposed to have said in regard to a Marshall court decision (Cummins v Georgia or Cherokee Nation v. Georgia?)) that upheld the rights of the Indian tribes in Georgia, “John Marshall has made his decision. Now let him enforce it.”

        The more pertinent question is what will Abbott and Texas do after losing in the court?

        1. Pat

          I hesitate to prognosticate. Presumably they will continue as they were before they tried to force Biden’s hand with this. Or who knows, they might come up with some other means to embarrass Washington.
          And unlike others, I honestly do believe this embarrasses Washington more than Texas.

        2. scott s.

          During nullification, Jackson sent VP Van Buren (who ran the NY political machine known as the “Regency”) to NY to ghost-write a resolution the the state legislature passed. You can find it on line published in “State Papers on Nullification”. Van Buren lays out an argument that goes beyond just nullification to secession.

          At the time it seems like the two “sides” used “Rawle” or “Story” as authority for their arguments.

  6. Seth Miller


    It is a fallacy to assume that, because a constitutional provision is self-executing, any and every local official has the power to implement it. All the Illinois board decided is that they are not the ones to decide constitutional eligibility. Although they may decide some self-executing issues (like whether a candidate is old enough), they may, without contradiction, punt other complex but more mundane issues (like where a candidate resides) to the courts.

    1. Randall Flagg

      Self Executing…
      Looking around at what’s going down, at this point I think this country ( USA), is executing itself.

  7. NN Cassandra

    About not readable twitter screen shots

    I think the problem is the images are too small. Even at the biggest version, today’s image is 400px, which isn’t much and will look pixelated if scaled up. Basic difference between PNG and JPG is that the former is lossless format, while the latter tries to compress things with algorithm best suited for “natural” images. When there are hard edges and sharp lines (like text or web UI elements), the losiness can become visible.

    1. cfraenkel

      FYI – pngs are most definitely NOT lossless! They’re just a different kind of lossy. You’re correct that jpegs work better for photos.

      1. NN Cassandra

        PNGs certainly are lossless. I guess you can make them lossy if you choose the palette option and apply it on image that has too many different colors so some information (perhaps even most) is lost during conversion. But that’s just option, intended for images with few colors to better compress them.

      2. cfraenkel

        The 403px image width is also a fair comment. Can’t tell from the outside if that’s what the image was captured at, or just what WP is set to display it as. Other screenshots from earlier posts have also been 403px, so my guess is it’s a WP

        Bumping the image width to 600px would help, but it would also more than double the file size (349k -> 920k, without the additional resolution), so it would slow down page load and be an SEO negative.

        1. Revenant

          The screenshots display fine on a mobile ‘phone screen, without even needing to zoom.

          There may be browser juju at work here in the default rendering options?

    2. lambert strether

      If I have a long twitter thread I use my large monitor, not my laptop. 401 is the width for the longest possible thread on that monitor

      1. NN Cassandra

        You can do full web page screenshot, not just the part visible in browser window. It’s easy in Firefox, but it should be possible with Safari too. Here are some (untested) links from brief google search.

        1. Terry Flynn

          Indeed. I hesitate to suggest more work for Lambert but if one is willing to devote some time to learning Linux (and for the record I twice abandoned it due to being taken in by the claimed “ease of migrating” and only found it a viable solution on 3rd attempt 2 years ago…. And in a former life learnt Fortran so I’m – I hope – not an idiot) then screenshots done exactly right and easily displayed across all commonly used platforms becomes easy.

          But like I said, there’s some up front work that I know the NC team don’t necessarily have at their disposal and which might have downstream consequences of which I’m unaware.

          FWIW After some initial glitches in rendering twitter/X posts after Musk took power, I find that all the NC Twitter enbeds work perfectly when I use Linux. When logging in using my W11 partition it’s random as to whether it works.

  8. cfraenkel

    RE Twitter screenshots. You’re correct, pngs are preferred over jpegs, especially for text legibility. An image sharpener will only make legibility worse. My guess – the complaints are coming from phone readers, and sure, an image of a screenshot would be hard to read displayed on a phone screen. They’re complaining that they can’t just click on the image and have twitter display the text natively, like the good old days.
    For me, on the other hand, the twitter link would be illegible, since I refuse to log into Musk’s s***show. So keep doing what you’re doing!

    1. fjallstrom

      The images aren’t perfect but better than a link to a thread that can’t be read (in particular now that nitter seems to have gone down). They preserve better too.

      I have to zoom a bit both on computer and phone (or squint). On phone I strongly recommend flipping the phone sideways before reading the images, because then more of the image fits on the screen (may need to go to screen settings and turn on automatic screen rotation).

      1. vao

        in particular now that nitter seems to have gone down

        From what I understand, nitter relied upon an API allowing guest accounts to mediate access to twitter/X threads. The API changed eliminating guest accounts — no more nitter.

        1. NN Cassandra

          AFAIK nitter.net still works, it’s just that whoever runs that site forget to renew HTTPS certificate on time and now normal browsers will not let you see it, because it’s not “secure”.

          1. Revenant

            Yes, nitter runs in multiple instances. Nitter.cz is working fine (*). Just substitute .cz for .net in the URL.

            Nitter.net has an out-of-date certificate but you’d think that would have been fixed quicker so maybe deeper issues are at fault?

            Check here for working instances:

            (*) there appears to be a problem with rate limiting of nitter instances to the API. If this is a fixed value per API user, the more popular instances like nitter.net are going to he displaying bounce messages more frequently than smaller, obscurer instances.

    2. upstater

      Lambert, try this experiment. I used screenshots of PDF documents or web pages to incorporate into word or pptx documents. They would always be fuzzy ar 100% screen magnification. As an additional step I would magnify to source document to 200-400% and copy, then paste into the target document. Usually having to resize to 100% of less. It worked very well, but added 2 steps. Not sure how it would behave for your work, but worth trying,

  9. Raymond Sim

    Regarding the phenomenon formerly known as “Something Awful”: Marvin’s “Covid is not chaotic.” analysis does not partake of the kind of nitty-gritty data modelers use, and can’t be used for detailed prognostication, but it does, I think, tell us that we should not anticipate a return to the comparatively low case levels that preceded the emergence of B.2.86, but rather some sort of high plateau.

    I think mean time to reinfection will be what determines how high the plateau is, and how fast we get there.

    1. jsn

      Which in turn sets the slope on our controlled flight into the terrain of the Long Covid labor force decay curve.

  10. John k

    Trump thinking of Bobby jr I suppose because of his positions on vax and Israel… but if this was real, maybe he’d consider tulsi? Proven ability to demolish Kamala is useful for vp debate. What if trump/tulsi talked about at least lowering m4a age as did Hillary and Biden? California dreaming…

  11. Sub-Boreal

    Not sure if this has been linked elsewhere, but here are the speaker notes for Cory Doctorow’s McLuhan Lecture on enshittification, given yesterday at the Canadian embassy in Berlin. (A video recording is promised in due course.)

    In a delightful side-twist for British Columbians, Doctorow begins by “reiterat[ing] what a pleasure it was to meet John Horgan, Canada’s ambassador to Germany.”

    Horgan is the recently retired Premier of BC, where he was leader of a terminally enshittified faux social democratic party. After juicing up fossil fuel subsidies during his term in office (2017-22), Horgan’s first post-politics gig was an appointment to the Board of Directors of the largest coal company in the province.

    But this didn’t last long, as he soon got a much nicer reward from Justin Trudeau when he was appointed Canadian ambassador to Germany, which was blessed by a major business figure who predicted that Horgan would do “an excellent job representing our country”.

  12. Jason Boxman

    Individualized public health success continues.

    Syphilis Is Soaring in the U.S.

    Looks like the Times instituted a new defense against free reading; disabling JavaScript no longer works, it cuts off after a few paragraphs. Oh well. End of another era.

  13. kareninca

    Back in August, a co-religionist of mine on zoom expressed his eagerness to attend a large (for our denomination) in person gathering that was coming up. He had had covid some months before, but was fine again, as far as one could see. Here is what he said: “I am so desperately eager to breath in the same air as other people.”

    This guy is a responsible Wisconsin dweller in his late 70s; he has an advanced degree and has never before shown signs of being insane. But what he said was so crazy that I was startled.

    What immediately came to my mind were anesthesiologists. They are prone to addiction. It used to be thought that it was due to the stress of the job and access, but then it turned out that they were breathing in the breath of their sedated patients, and that was enough to prime them for addiction.

    Early in the pandemic it came out that having an acute case of covid caused an analgesic effect; it affected the opioid receptors. I haven’t seen a lot more on the topic, but even google scholar is lousy now, so probably there is more.

    I think the only way that one can account for the behavior of a lot of people who catch covid and then go out again for more covid, is to figure that they actually want to catch covid. And maybe that is because they are seeking relief for an addiction. The fact that not everyone does that wouldn’t be surprising, since people vary a lot in their susceptibility to addiction. So the waves of infection that we see could be due to people getting past their last hit and wanting more. It is often remarked that many people are very cautious about covid until finally catching it, and that then they give up precautions.

    I have recently seen people on twitter addressing this, and saying that they felt oddly good for about six weeks after their covid. So although this is mostly speculation on my part (and apologies if it is too speculative), it might be good to keep in mind in one’s attempt to get oneself to mask and keep away from people.

    1. Raymond Sim

      “Desperately eager to breathe in the same air as other people.” Am I just hopelessly introverted, or is that a very strange turn of phrase?

      1. kareninca

        Yes, I found it very strange, too. It sounded like drug seeking to me. It was really out of character.

  14. The Rev Kev

    ‘Rob Henderson
    55% of Ivy League graduates believe that the U.S. “provides too much individual freedom” compared with just 16% of ordinary U.S. voters.’

    The obvious conclusion from this is that when they graduate as elites, that these will be the same sort of people who would support putting on restrictions on the Constitution or maybe some creative interpretations of it, especially the first amendment.

    1. JBird4049

      >>>The obvious conclusion from this is that when they graduate as elites, that these will be the same sort of people who would support putting on restrictions on the Constitution or maybe some creative interpretations of it, especially the first amendment.

      Yes, they just have to protect “our” democracy.

      It is a funny thing to go over all the classes and all the books that I have read on the United States in the past forty or fifty years, and I rarely have I ever come across the idea that American democracy should be class based is fairly uncommon, especially within few decades after the American Revolution when the property requirements were dropped. Although, I think more than a few wealthy individuals were unhappy about that. Race and ethnicity, that I have in plenty especially from the social darwinist, eugenical high tide of a century ago, but then they were pushing to biologically eliminate via sterilization groups of “inferiors” particularly the poor, the mentally ill, and prisoners by sterilization.

      Those generations that fought in the American Revolution and created the Constitution were worried about tyranny, or in a more modern term, a dictatorship and a lesser concern of an oligarchy. Some of the more retrograde of them would have preferred an aristocracy. But all of them would have been worried about putting power into too few people with a strong central government unworried about civil rights with a strong national army. This is one of the reasons why state militias were pushed and why the American army was frequently small, too small really.

      Speakers and writers of the time pointed to the British Empire with its corruption, great wealth inequality, oligarchy, and more specifically to London, as to what they did not want for the United States.

      So, now we have a semi-hereditary, corrupt oligarchy, feeling itself an aristocracy, serving an entrench, extremely wealthy and powerful small elite class with somewhat effective control over a vast, overly funded, police state and empire; the oligarchy and elites claim to have a “democracy,” that they are trying to save, really overthrow, and putting forth eugenical practices beyond the dreams of the previous wave of wealthy eugenicists while destroying the very ability of the country to even survive.

      They have created the very thing that the Founders, whatever their faults, feared, while claiming to save the United States by breaking the Constitution, using the very tactics forbidden in the Bill of Rights (which deal with the tactics used by the British before and during the revolution against the colonists). Maybe they are saving the British American Empire, perhaps, I certainly do not see them doing anything for the American Republic or for American democracy.

  15. The Rev Kev

    “Trump’s Inflection Point Began Where No One Was Looking: East Palestine”

    I guess that it is only a matter of time until he flies into Maui as well. It does not matter that as President, he would not do much for them but the fact is that at least he is turning up in person. It looks “Presidential.”

    1. Pat

      Or as has been put here a few times: “he is asking for their vote.”

      Neither might really do what these people need and deserve, but one thing Trump seems to have realized that Biden has not is that people do not have to vote for him. He knows he must court voters not just donors. When was the last time we saw Biden even trying to pretend interest in the concerns of non donor class voters. He lectures, he extorts, he preens, but he never courts. He is as entitled as Hillary Clinton.

  16. Skip Intro

    55% of Ivy League Grads Think Americans have too much freedom


    Clearly Ivy League grads have too much freedom

  17. gerry

    I seems to me that the enumeration of those ineligible under the 14th amendment includes officers, representatives, and electors. I think maybe the latter 2 are not officers and so are enumerated separately, but the president is an officer and would be included under the heading of officers.

  18. JBird4049

    >>>So Jefferson Davis was never within hailing distance of the Oval Office, despite the hysteria of some liberal commentators.

    Are there people loony enough to even say this? Out loud?

    IIRC, there was serious talk about executing Jefferson Davis after his capture.

  19. Tom Stone

    It strikes me that Bibi isn’t the only Western “Leader” who is facing serious legal trouble, Genocide Joe is in the same boat.
    And the Dims are looking at November and it does not look good for their chances of keeping front tit.
    Pelosi’s attempt to blame RUSSIA!!! for the opposition to the mass murder and ethnic cleansing in Gaza is one indication of their desperation and a War with Iran and the consequent disasters might look like a good excuse to declare a National Emergency that requires the cancellation of the Election, just until stability can be restored…keeping a steady hand on the helm of the Ship of State.
    Keep in mind how insanely reckless and irresponsible this Administration has been, I don’t think there is any action they would not take to stay in power if they thought ( Is that the right word?) it would work.
    The Bidenista are not pretending to be crazy, they ARE crazy.

  20. Jason Boxman

    Why Covid Can Never Be ‘Just A Cold reiterates what the affinity for ACE2 binding that SARS2 has means, and mentions the envelope protein that I hadn’t heard/remembered, that aids in gaining access to cells.

    ACE2 was mentioned early in the Pandemic, but I didn’t grasp the game-over significant of this until years(!!) later. We’re all truly, proper f**ked.

    The popular refrain that infection with SARS2 is a common cold is truly insane.

    We’ll get to see how this unfolds in realtime; I can’t wait. At what level of population disability do things obviously break? What kinds of breakage will we see? What hidden treasuries lie in wait? Tune in, every single day of the rest of your life, for the COVID show! Brought to you by Trump, the Republicans, Biden, and The Democrats, and the notional “Left”! The complete collapse of Public Health as a concept and institution is square the result of liberal Democrats, though.

    I think the resurgence of all kinds of diseases will be the real kicker, stuff I never saw growing up having been born during the age of communicable disease held in check. I can’t really imagine. I never wanted to. And with the collapse of the health care system, there won’t be much in the way of effective treatment for these things, what with drug shortages and shortages of health care workers. (No shortages of health care administrators, though!) And without public health, we’ll let these things spread too!

  21. Wukchumni

    $4.01k update:

    I’d be lying if I didn’t say I was sitting on my laurels, but Bitcoin has simply shone and is tactically poised to resume it’s valuation to the nether regions if i’m not mistaken, the sky not being the suggested limit. No FOMO of the mouth here, i’m all in.

  22. JM

    That David Sedaris got a longtime friend who is at risk due to having had a collapsed lung in the past sick with “pretty bad” COVID, and all that he seems to care about is that she didn’t hold it against him says everything. I didn’t, and won’t, read the whole thing but he intimates that he has a deep platonic love for this woman and this is all that she rates?

    All I can do is throw my hands in the air and wonder where we went wrong.

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